Guest Post: Anna Martin

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Oh My Shelves welcomes author Anna Martin to the blog to celebrate the release of her newest book, Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me and One Time I Kissed Him First, releasing from Dreamspinner Press – Friday, May 20, 2016 – and share with us an excerpt from the story as well as a recipe for a fun and colorful cocktail.

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Hello! Thank you for joining me at Oh My Shelves where I’ll be talking about my new book, ‘Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, and One Time I Kissed Him First’.

This book is set in Virginia Beach where one of my good friends grew up, and she gave me some great information about the area. One of my favourite scenes in the book is where the two main characters—Evan and Scott—make a drink called an ‘orange crush’ for a house party. These cocktails are a classic at a bar called Waterman’s along the boardwalk on the beach, so I just had to make them as research for the story! Funnily enough, I don’t remember too much about what happened after we started the taste testing…

Though the orange crush is undoubtedly delicious, my own personal favourite cocktail is one of my own invention, that I call a Sailor’s Ruin. It involves Sailor Jerry’s rum, apple juice, fresh lime, and crushed ice. It’s become a party staple—every time I invite friends over I need to make sure I stock up on the apple juice!

Although I don’t make a habit of writing underage drunken teenage house parties, I can’t deny that it’s definitely fun to throw some hormones and repressed lust into the story and see what happens. Here’s the recipe for how to make an orange crush for yourself, and a little clip from the story to enjoy while you drink it!

1 shot orange vodka

1 shot triple sec

Half fill the glass with freshly squeezed orange juice

Top off with a splash of Sprite



 He found Scott in the kitchen, surrounded by a huge crate of oranges, a knife, several bottles of vodka, and a family-sized bottle of Sprite.“We’re making orange crushes,” Scott said.

“Seriously? Do you know how to make orange crushes?”

“Nope. But they put the ingredients on the menu at Waterman’s. How hard can it be?”

Scott was wearing his “trust me” face. Evan knew the expression well. It had gotten him into plenty of trouble over the years. Scott was wearing a pair of shorts almost identical to the ones Evan had pulled on, and a denim shirt rolled up at the elbows and unbuttoned most of the way down his chest. His feet were bare, and as Evan watched, he lifted one and used the heel to scratch at an itch on his calf.

“You look nice, by the way,” Scott added.

“Thanks,” Evan said, rolling his eyes. “Okay. So we have to squeeze all of those to start with, right? Does your mom have a juicer?”

Scott gave him a blank look. “A what?”

“A fucking orange juicer, Scott. Seriously.”

“Maybe? I don’t know!”

It took nearly half an hour to find the food processor with a juicer attachment, set it up, and try to figure out how to work it without removing one of their fingers.

“What?” Scott said, pushing at Evan’s shoulder.

“Read the fucking instructions!” Evan practically yelled at him. His patience, usually an infinite thing, seemed to have taken a leave of absence. “They put instructions in the box for a reason, Cap.”

“Where’s your sense of adventure?” Scott teased, his eyes sparkling, the dimples in his cheeks flashing. “I thought you were an artist. Artists don’t need instructions.”

“We do to operate machinery,” Evan said.

“Aw, come on.” Scott hip-checked him, then pulled him back into a hug. “We can do this.”

Evan sighed. “Look. That little thing there needs to line up with the slot there. Then it has to click into place before the Go button will work.”

“Are you sure? Insert slot A into tab B?”

“You have a dirty fucking mind.”

Scott laughed again, then screwed up his face in concentration as he affixed the juicer attachment, which was really too fiddly for a basic kitchen appliance.


“Move your fingers.”

Evan pressed the button, and the machine whirred to life. Scott whooped and started to dance around the kitchen.

“Don’t celebrate too soon,” Evan said, unable to stop the grin spreading over his face. “Now we actually need to juice the fucking things.”

“Let me put some music on.” Scott went into the family room to put a CD into the sound system that hooked up to most rooms in the house. A few minutes later, the familiar opening track of By The Way filled the kitchen.

Evan had introduced Scott to the Chilis when they were younger, and Scott’s dad had scored them tickets when they played Atlanta a few years back. To Evan, it had always felt like the band was their band, the one that cemented their friendship as they progressed into adulthood.

“Good choice,” Evan said as Scott sauntered back in.


“You wanna cut or juice?”

Scott looked between the big pile of oranges and the juicer, frowning a little.





After a few songs, they found their rhythm. Evan could halve the oranges fairly quickly, and Scott had to transfer the juice to the enormous punch bowls at regular intervals, so it wasn’t surprising Evan finish

“You tricked me into this,” Scott grouched as he licked sticky orange juice from his wrist.

“I gave you a choice!”

“Yeah, yeah. How much vodka do you think we should put in?”

“On the understanding that everyone is going to try and spike it? Not much?”

“And keep the rest of the vodka for ourselves,” Scott said, throwing a juiced orange half to Evan.

“You’re a genius.”

“I try,” Evan said, turning the orange inside out to scrape the stringy flesh from the skin with his teeth.


FiveTimesMyBestFriendKissedMeLGFive Times My Best Friend Kissed Me and One Time I Kissed Him First by Anna Martin
Release Date: May 20, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:

When you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.

As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years.

When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.



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About Anna Martin

Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south- west of England and now lives in the slightly arty, slightly quirky city of Bristol. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.

Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theater (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, baking weird and wonderful sweets, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.

Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading, and creative ass kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.

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