Hi, people! (And particularly new people I haven’t met before, but who are here for the scavenger hunt) Hi!
Okay, technically the hunt doesn’t start until April 4th at noon, Pacific time. However. I’m about to dart out of town again and wanted to make sure I got this posted in a timely fashion.
The instructions are below, and remember, I’m putting this up a little early because I’m Away from the Internet, doing educational, self-improving things like writing a book and going to seminars and hanging out with MY EDITOR! (Editor! ::eeee::)
I repeat, the contest does not actually start until April 4th.
Now, without further ado:
Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors … and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At each stop, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!
Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or both! I am a part of the RED TEAM–but there is also a blue team for a chance to win a whole different set of twenty-five signed books!
If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April 7th at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I am hosting Kathleen Peacock on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Kathleen spent her teen years crushing on authors and writing short stories about vampires. Her debut, HEMLOCK, is available from Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins. THORNHILL, book two in the Hemlock Trilogy will be released in September.
Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered. Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.
— Hemlock Bonus Content —
The following is a deleted scene from one of the early drafts of Hemlock. In that version, Mac and Kyle actually left town in an attempt to escape the attention of the Trackers (after Kyle lied and told Mac he was still in love with his ex).
I turned on my side and stared at Kyle in the semi-dark. We had gotten a discount on the room because the last guest had stolen the curtains. The neon glow from a sign across the street cast red shadows on his face and bare chest, and it was hard not to let my gaze linger over the planes and angles of his body.
I had seen Kyle shirtless a thousand times, but that one stupid kiss had changed everything. “Are you awake?” I whispered.
“Do you think Jason’s okay?”
Kyle opened his eyes and stared up at the ceiling. After a long moment, he rolled onto his side and studied my expression. He reached out and brushed a strand of hair from my forehead. I found myself turning my face into his touch as his fingertips lingered on my skin. It was the first time he had touched me since his revelation about Heather.
“You’re worried about him. Even after everything he did.”
Kyle didn’t answer. He didn’t need to. We both knew you didn’t stop caring just because it was the healthier option.
I stared into his eyes. Strong emotions seemed to bring the wolf closer to the surface and those husky-blues, still unfamiliar, gazed back at me. I badly wanted the familiar warmth of Kyle’s brown eyes, but the blue held a strange pull. Ice was dangerous: you could fall through and lose yourself in the space between heartbeats.
Slowly, I reached out and trailed my hand from his shoulder to the top of his jeans and then back.
I wanted to lose myself, I realized. I wanted to forget—even for just a few minutes—how completely messed up everything had become.
How messed up we had become.
Kyle sighed, a soft rush of breath that stirred my hair. He closed his eyes and inhaled through his nose. A deep, calming breath. I didn’t want him to be calm; I wanted him to be as confused and lonely as I was.
I rolled him and he let me. One fluid motion that put the mattress at his back with me on top. I held my face inches from his. Then, before I could lose my nerve, I lowered my lips and kissed him.
A low groan trickled from Kyle’s throat as his lips parted under mine. The kiss was gentle at first, but it quickly slid into something feverish and almost desperate.
As Kyle’s arms strained around me, as he kissed me like he could drink me down, I tasted the edge of the oblivion I craved.
“Wait…” The word was long and drawn out, as though it had been wrenched from deep inside his chest. Gently but firmly, he put his hands on my shoulders and eased me back. “This isn’t right.”
I slid off of him, stunned. The heat that had been building in the rest of my body rushed to my face as I moved to the edge of the bed. I stared at the far wall because looking at him was suddenly impossible. “Because you love Heather?”
“Yes.” There was a strange catch in Kyle’s voice, but I didn’t examine it too closely. I didn’t want to examine anything too closely.
An ache spread through my chest, leaving me hollow inside.
I used to be so good at putting up walls. Walls so that I didn’t say the wrong thing. Walls so that I didn’t get hurt. It was a skill I hadn’t needed for a long time. Now, when I needed it the most, it was too rusty to be effective.
Or maybe it was just a skill I couldn’t use against Kyle.
The mattress creaked as he stood.
“I think I should sleep in the car.”
“You don’t have to.” My voice was dead and automatic.
“Yeah, actually, I do.” There it was, that catch again. It sounded almost like regret. But that couldn’t be it.
The door opened and shut.
After awhile, I stretched out on my back and stared up at the ceiling.
I didn’t sleep.
Yowza! Just … 0_o
So. If you love reading deleted scenes—if you’re glad that this scene has been made undeleted for your reading AND angsting pleasure—leave a comment for Kathleen, check out HEMLOCK, and be sure to visit the other blogs for more exclusive content like this!
And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Kathleen Peacock, and everyone else on Team Red ! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 11. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Mari Mancusi!
EDIT: You guys, you guys, sorry for the font confusion! The number is ELEVEN. Because it’s awesome.