Excerpt: Spies Like Me by Doug Solter [Giveaway]

spiesSpies Like Me
(The Gems, #1)
By: Doug Solter
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication date: October 4th 2016
Genres: Adventure, Young Adult

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Can she bring these girls together?

When she discovers her father’s plane crash wasn’t an accident, sixteen year old Emma wants to punish those responsible. Even if it means becoming a spy. The mysterious organization known simply as The Authority wants Emma to join the Gems. This team of all-girl spies knows how to handle themselves on dangerous missions…like stopping an evil plan to incinerate the world’s food supply.

Meet the Gems…

Olivia, code-named Emerald, is seventeen years old. Half English and half Jamaican. Specializes in leadership, marksmanship, and is a rated pilot.

Miyuki, code-named Ruby, is sixteen and from Okinawa, Japan. She specializes in gymnastics and martial arts. Trained in jungle survival and deep sea diving. Once blew up her boyfriend’s motorcycle using a rocket launcher.

Nadia, code-named Sapphire, is sixteen and from Saudi Arabia. She’s a science and computer nerd. Nadia’s zero-gravity school agriculture project created interest from NASA and the European Space Agency.

Emma, code-named Black Opal, specializes in high school theater and shopping.

Each girl comes from a different background. Each girl comes with different skills. Each girl comes with their own drama.

The Authority thinks Emma is the missing link to make this team work.

Emma thinks The Authority is her only chance for revenge.





The English girl leaned forward, her curly ribbons of golden-brown hair were way out of control. “The name’s Olivia, love. Code name Emerald.”

The girl with the headscarf showed Emma a polite smile. “My name is Nadia. Code name Sapphire. Very pleased to meet you.”

“Mine is Emma. Oh, code name Black Opal. Do you know if there’s a way I can get my code name changed?”

Olivia ignored Emma’s question. “Did you notice we’ve been following you this entire time?”

“Emma would have noticed, but I distracted her.” Miyuki sipped her tea and grinned politely.

No, Emma hadn’t noticed the girls at all.

“We followed you the moment you entered the mall,” Olivia said. “Observed what shops you favor. What things you bought. Your mannerisms. The way you interacted with Miyuki.”

“Wouldn’t it have been easier to just come up and say hi?” Emma asked.

“I like to observe my targets. You learn quite a bit about a girl when you watch her. Especially when she doesn’t think she’s being watched.”

Emma didn’t like how Olivia said target.

“And what did you learn about me?” Emma asked.

A smirk appeared on Olivia’s face. She loved this. “Your family’s wealthy.

Appallingly wealthy. Your clothes, that Mercedes you drive, and your shopping habits reflect that to obscene levels. You’re also a loner. More comfortable with yourself than around others.”

“How do you know that? You can’t know that by only watching me.”

“Inside California Limited Miyuki excused herself to find a ladies’ room. Once she was gone, your body language changed immediately. You were putting up a front. A public face for her. And judging by how relaxed you became, acting nice around people exhausts you. But you’re a good actress. Must give you points for that, love.”

Emma’s defenses went up. What was with this girl? How dare she call her out in front of Miyuki like that. Emma actually liked the girl. She wasn’t being fake to her like Olivia implied. It wasn’t a total act, but sometimes Emma couldn’t help herself. It was a habit she’d developed in junior high to protect herself.

Miyuki squirmed in her seat. “Would you girls like some tea?”

“No one cares for you at school either,” Olivia continued. “It’s unnerving the way the girls fire eye-daggers in the hallways at you. Yet all the boys still drool when you pass by, for obvious reasons. It’s a shame none of them are brave enough to pick through the layers of ice around you.”

Olivia threw it all out on the table like it was no big deal. Peeling Emma back like an onion. Exposing every flaw. Every blemish. And Olivia had the added nerve to recite it all back like a stupid book report. Like she was trying to help Emma correct these “flaws.”

Emma then realized something. “You spied on me at school?”

“When Mrs. B first thought about approaching you, I suggested we do a bit of reconnaissance first. Gather some intelligence. See what kind of girl we were dealing with.”

“Right now you’re dealing with a furious girl who doesn’t like being treated like something’s wrong with her.”

Miyuki shifted in her chair. “Would you girls like to share a cookie with me?”

“I wasn’t casting judgments on you. Merely stating my observations,” Olivia said.

“What’s with that 2.5 grade point average anyway? Had a 4.0 in New York, didn’t you?

How does a girl get into a good medical school with a 2.5 grade point average? You still want to become a doctor, right?”

Emma wanted to throw her coffee in Olivia’s face and burn off that smug little grin of hers. But Emma did something worse. She opened her mouth.

“You’re a rude bitch.”

“Ouch. We’re not acting now, are we?” Olivia asked. “This is the real kitten coming out with her claws, isn’t it, love?”

Emma ran out of the coffee place and out into the mall as shoppers looked on with mild interest. The tears came on and Emma tried to fight them back. But they trickled down her cheeks anyway. Emma knew all her weaknesses. All her failures. Of course she pretended to be happy and pleasant to be around. She didn’t want everyone in California to hate her.

Emma reached the indoor parking lot and found her car. She pushed the start button and the engine rumbled. Emma backed out of the parking space, automatically engaging the car’s backup camera. Clearing the space, she touched her brakes and was about to shift the car into drive when she noted something on the backup camera screen. It was Miyuki running up to her car, with paper napkins in hand.

Emma hesitated.

Miyuki slowed behind the car, seeing the backup lights still shining.

Emma put the car into park.

Miyuki tried the passenger door, but it was locked. She flashed a warm smile through the glass.

Emma flipped the unlock switch. Miyuki eased into the passenger seat. She offered Emma one of her paper napkins with the Kaffee Cadre logo on them.

Emma took one and blew her nose.

“What Olivia did…” Miyuki sighed. “Mrs. B wanted her to observe. Not collect a psychiatric evaluation of you.”

“I thought we’re supposed to work together as a team?” Emma asked. “How can I trust someone who tears me down like that?”

“Olivia is paranoid about many things. She wants to take the mystery out of everything and everyone. And when she does, Olivia tends to focus on the negatives instead of the positives. Believe me, though, she’ll risk her life to protect yours. The same as I or Nadia will. Nothing is more important than the team.” Miyuki’s face softened. Her beautiful green eyes released this genuine vibe that melted away Emma’s hesitations. She didn’t know if she fully trusted Olivia, but Miyuki had won her over. “Olivia just received a text from Mrs. B. She wants us back at headquarters. If you don’t mind driving.”



Meet the author…

dougDoug Solter lives in Oklahoma where he writes young adult novels full of escapism. He’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Doug respects cats, loves the mountains, and one time walked the streets of Barcelona with a smile on his face.

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8 Thoughts on “Excerpt: Spies Like Me by Doug Solter [Giveaway]

  1. Looks like an interesting series. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Yay! This seems like an interesting read. I’ll be stalking it now, hehe, thanks for the share!

  3. Stephanie Wang on 8 October, 2016 at 2:31 pm said:

    definitely spy cams haha

  4. Veronica Vasquez on 9 October, 2016 at 11:21 am said:

    Spy cams would be awesome 😉

  5. Oh I loved Totally Spies, they aired it here on tv and I ended up watching it quite regularly. Now I am curious about this one, it does sound interesting!

  6. I like the excerpt! The characters were pretty interesting. I definitely would have run over Olivia if she came out to the car, though 😉

    For a spy gadget, I want a grappling hook that shoots out of a watch, kind of James Bond-like. Heck, anything James Bond has, I’ll take.

  7. Sounds like Olivia is a bit big for her boots, stepping on toes there.

  8. Hadn’t heard of this one before, thanks for sharing!

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