Welcome to the fantastic book circus that is the YA Scavenger Hunt! For those new to the fun-fest that is YASH, this bi-annual event was first organized by the fabulous Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to bonus material from their favorite authors … and a chance to win some awesome prizes!
So for those of you who don’t know me, I’m the author of several books, including the #1 bestseller BLOODSPELL and the IPPY award winning BLOODCRAFT in my witch/vampire series; WATERFELL, OCEANBORN, and SEAMONSTER in my twist-on-mermaids series; THE ALMOST GIRL and THE FALLEN PRINCE in my parallel universe science fiction series; and the Spring 2014 Kids’ Indie Next Pick ALPHA GODDESS and DARK GODDESS in my Hindu mythology series. I am also the co-author of the steamy historical romance series: the LORDS OF ESSEX and the TARTANS & TITANS series.
If you came here looking for my bonus material, a teaser from ALPHA GODDESS, you’ll have to keep hunting! This hunt, I am a member of the BLUE team!
At this hunt, 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 the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Sunday April 7th!
Check out the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are five contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM–but there are also other fabulous teams for a chance to win a whole different set of 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, OR IF YOU ARE STUCK, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
Directions: In my post, you’ll notice that I’ve hidden my favorite number in BLUE somewhere. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on each team, and then add them up.
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 APRIL 7TH, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
ARE YOU GUYS READY?!?!
I am so happy to be hosting PATTY BLOUNT, author of SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW for this leg of the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Patty Blount grew up quiet and invisible in Queens, NY, but found her superpower writing smart and strong characters willing to fight for what’s right. Today, she’s the award-winning author of edgy, emotional contemporary and young adult romance.
About SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW:
It’s been two years since the night that changed Ashley’s life. Two years since she was raped by her brother’s teammate. And a year since she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap on the wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain.
It’s been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows he handled it all wrong. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister’s life.
When it all comes to head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again.
Find out more information about this exciting book by checking out PATTY BLOUNT’s website!
And DRUMROLL please … now for PATTY BLOUNT’s exclusive content! A deleted scene from SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW!!
In this deleted scene fromSOMEONE I USED TO KNOW, siblings Ashley and Derek Lawrence haven’t been getting along for years but now that they’re once again both in the same school, Ashley still hopes things will improve. She’s been invited to dance on the Fusion squad, and she’s caught the eye of a senior. But when she tells her parents all about the football team’s annual scavenger hunt that makes all the girls at school nervous, they order her brother to sit out the hunt or they’ll bench him for good.
Everything’s about to get a lot worse than it already was.
The reason my editor and I decided to delete the scene is because it clocked in at over 2000 words and that was just a bit much for a flashback. Even though it hit the cutting room floor, it’s a favorite of mine because it shows so much emotion — Ashley’s pure mortification at her brother’s behavior, the sinking sensation that Victor will never ask her out now, and even the desperate sort of hope that maybe her brother’s finally over whatever bug crawled up his butt with her.
Deleted scene from SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW:
The football team ran practice drills in the center of the athletic field. The band, color guard, cheerleading squad and dance team met up under the goal post. We’d all be sharing the field during the half-time show at the Homecoming game and we had to make it perfect. We’d practiced our routines for forty-five minutes already and still had issues.
Tension was thick.
I tugged my Fusion t-shirt away from body, praying it didn’t have pit stains, and ran an arm across my sweaty face. The other girls looked perfect. Candace, with her dark smooth skin, looked luminous when she got hot. Tara didn’t look hot at all. Did she not have sweat glands?
I was sure I looked like a melted Popsicle.
Deanne guzzled from a water bottle, breathing heavily. I shot her a grateful look. At least there was one flawed human in this sea of perfection. She grabbed my elbow and tugged me aside. “Hey. So you actually told your parents about the hunt? Half the football team is gunning for you now.”
My eyes bulged. “What? They’re what?”
“Yeah, you didn’t hear the boys when they took the field before? Brayden said Derek told them all you were off-limits but then Doug said that really means you’re worth double points now. Then he said Sebastian promised Derek he’d look out for you. Is it true that your dad plans to go to the coach?”
“Ashley? Relax. It’ll be fine. Just tell the guys after practice that you’re cool with it. Flash some boob.” She gave my t-shirt a strong tug, filling the V-neck with cleavage. I quickly readjusted it, hoping nobody had seen.
I was going to kill Derek. Squash him like a bug.
But the drum majorette blew her whistle and once again, we went through our routines, so exterminating my stupid brother would have to wait. Fusion’s big number was a fast-moving, perfectly synchronized hip-hop routine set to a Lady Gaga song. We were halfway through it when a cacophony of whistles, shouts, and cheers brought us to a halt.
I spun around to see what was up to see Derek and Victor throwing fists at each other’s faces. Derek let out a roar as he threw himself at Victor. They hit the turf at the sidelines and slid into a group of players standing there. The coaches stalked over, still blowing their whistles, and pulled Derek off Victor. Victor struggled to his feet and blood poured from his nose.
Victor said something I couldn’t hear but Derek could. He went wild, bucking against the arms holding him back. “You stay away from my sister! Stay the fuck away from her!”
Gasps went up from my friends and they all turned to stare at me, open mouths covered by their hands. “Oh, Ashley. Jesus.”
My stomach churned and my eyes blurred. Why? Why would Derek do this to Victor? He’d been nice to me. That was all. He’d driven me home and been nice to me. Was just being nice to me a federal offense now? I ran across the field, determined to get things straight between my brother and me.
“Ashley, don’t!” Candace called after me.
But I had to. I had to hear it from Derek. I had to know. Sobs exploded from me when I saw Victor’s face. His lip was split and blood still flowed freely from his nose. I grabbed a towel from the bench, pressed it gently to Vic’s face. “I’m sorry! Oh, God, I’m so sorry.”
Vic pulled away from me and shouted at Derek. “You’re insane, Lawrence!”
“Stay away from her, Patton.”
“Shut up, Derek! Just shut up!” I screamed at my brother and moved closer to Vic. That smile. That adorable smile. Had Derek knocked any teeth out? Oh my God.
“Vic, I’m so sorry.”
Vic looked at me, really looked at me. And then he took the towel out of my hands, held it to his lip, and smiled halfway. “Not your fault.”
But it was. If I hadn’t said anything to Mom and Dad, this never would have happened.
“Patton, go wash up, get out of here. Have your parents call me.” Coach Rafferty led Victor away.
Everybody turned to watch Derek get what he deserved.
Coach Rafferty crossed his arms over his chest. “Explain.”
Derek’s throat worked as swallowed hard. He looked at me and then away.
“Still waiting, Lawrence.”
“He said something about my sister’s chest, sir. I took offense to it.”
Oh my God. I wanted to evaporate. My face burned as all eyes turned to me — to my chest — and I wished I could just disappear into a puff of smoke.
“You took offense. Oh, that clears it all up. You took offense and just decided to pound on a teammate, instead of come to me?”
Derek squirmed, his face going red while he struggled not to mouth off.
“You’re done, Lawrence. Take your gear, get out of here. You’re riding the bench—“
“You’re riding the bench until I’m convinced you and Patton can play together without beating each other to a pulp and handing the damn trophy to the other team on a silver platter, is that clear?”
Derek’s shoulders rose as he took another fighting breath.
“I said, is that clear?”
Derek’s blue eyes were bright with hot fury. He wouldn’t even look at me as he stalked back to the entrance, one of the assistant coaches stuck to him like glue. Whistles blew and the coach ordered everybody back to their places.
“Come on, Ashley,” Candace put an arm around me and I realized then that I was shaking like it was below zero instead of eighty degrees.
A hand on my shoulder stopped me.
“Not now, Sebastian,” Candace ordered, putting up a hand.
“Ashley, don’t be mad at Derek. Vic deserved it. Vic isn’t your friend. You have to trust me on this. He’s not.”
I stared at Sebastian, one of the boys who’d laughed when I called Derek Leo back on the first day of school. He was tall, taller than Derek, with dark hair and dark eyes. He was also crazy big. Not fat, just broad. Wide. A wall. He was built like a wall. Okay, sure, he had on all his football gear, but so had Derek and Victor and neither of them had been this…solid.
I took a step back. Candace’s arm tightened around me.
Sebastian’s big dark eyes looked hurt for a moment and then they went hard. “Remember what I said.” Then, he jogged off to take his spot on the field.
Candace walked me back to the end zone area. “Ashley, look at me. You said Derek’s been a real jerk to you for a long time, right?”
Tears stung the back of my eyes. I couldn’t talk. I could barely nod.
“He just beat up somebody for looking at your chest. That’s not a jerk thing. That’s a brother thing.”
I blinked at her. I hadn’t considered that. I’d just assumed he’d hurt Vic because I liked him. I stared at the door where Derek had disappeared after the coach scolded him. He loved football. Lived for it. Breathed it.
And he’d risked it all because somebody said something about my chest.
I wanted to go to him, hug him, thank him for standing up for me, for showing he still cared about me.
But my feet wouldn’t move.
“Here, honey.” Tara handed me a bottle of water and a tiny package of tissues and oddly, that only made me want to cry more.
“I think we’re done for the day,” Brittany said to nobody in particular. Nobody argued and I was grateful for that.
I sank to the turf and gulped down some water, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. I blew my nose and wished I knew what to do to make all of this just go away, make it all better. “I’m sorry, you guys. I have to go home. I’m really sorry.”
I scrambled to my feet, collected all of my stuff and started walking.
“Ashley, wait. I’ll take you.”
I nodded gratefully while Brittany grabbed her own gear. The rest of the girls waved, called out farewells and five minutes later, Brittany and I were moving.
“I am so seriously sorry,” I whispered.
“No, Ashley. This wasn’t your fault. I mean, not really.”
“I get why you told your parents and all. And I totally get why Derek decided not to play. He’s not the only one. A few of the guys won’t play. I actually think it’s pretty cool that your brother beat somebody up for you.” She shrugged and waited for a chance to turn left.
Cool? It really wasn’t. And what the hell did she mean by that not really part?
“It’s not that much longer until the Homecoming game and all of this goes away, so just hang in, okay?”
Sure. I’ll just hang in. No problem.
Brittany drove me all the way home this time, instead of dropping me at Dad’s garage. I stepped inside, the house dark and lonely. I ran upstairs to my room, locked the door, and threw myself on the bed. My phone buzzed. I tugged it out, found a text from Justin.
When’s D’s game? I’m coming home for it.
Awesome. I text him back the date and time and stared at the phone. Justin was a college senior. He didn’t come home too often these days. Busy with school, his various activities, a part time job, and a girlfriend.
Hey, can I ask you a brother question?
I waited for what felt like forever until the phone buzzed again.
Why, Derek not around?
I knew this was a bad idea. I tossed the phone down and threw an arm over my face. Several minutes later, it buzzed again and kept buzzing. The caller ID said Justin.
“Hey. Figured it was just easier to call than keep texting. It, uh, occurred to me when you didn’t text back that your question was probably about Derek. You and he still not getting along?”
“Uh, definitely not. He can’t even look at me most days. I still have no idea what I did.”
“Ash, you really didn’t do anything. He’s a guy. Sometimes, guys just want to hang with other guys and do guy things. You crowd him.”
“Oh.” I sighed and sat up on my bed, tucking a pillow behind my head so I could lean back. “He got benched today, Justin. He may not play in the big game.”
“He um…well, he beat up a guy on the team.”
“Yeah. But that’s not all.” I poured out the whole stupid story to my oldest brother. “So I don’t get it, Justin. I don’t get why he’s mean to me pretty much all the time but then he goes and risks everything to stick up for me? Why?”
“Did you ask him?”
Oh, yeah. Sure. Why didn’t I think of that? “No. That would require talking to me and Derek doesn’t do that.”
“Okay, let me ask you a question and tell me the truth. Why did you join the dance team?”
“Because they asked, Justin. You may not have noticed this before, but I don’t have many friends.”
“Actually, I have noticed this before and you don’t have friends because you wasted too much time and energy trying to make Derek’s friends like you.”
I winced at that. When I said nothing, Justin added, “Truth hurts, right?”
“Hey, you asked me, remember? So you joined the dance team because they asked you, even though he asked you not to. But you don’t see how this could upset him?”
“Justin, he didn’t ask. He ordered.”
“Semantics, Ash. You’re still trying to make his friends yours and it’s wrong. I get that you two were best buddies and all that when you were little, but you’re not little anymore. You have to respect that now.”
I squirmed and tried to deny it, but all of this was uncomfortably true. “Okay, maybe dancing started out that way. Maybe I did say yes just to piss him off, but I really like it, Justin. I’m good at it. And the girls like me. At least, they did.”
“Ash, I don’t know what to tell you. It sounds to me that Derek defended you. The least you could do is thank him for that and get the hell out of his way, like he’s been asking you to do for years now.”
“Yeah.” I sighed loudly. For years now. And I never listened.
Sweet Jesus, Derek could be kicked off the football team and it would be my fault.
WHOA! This makes me want to do THIRTEEN cartwheels!
To read more about PATTY BLOUNT and SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW, be sure to click on the links!
To enter the contest, you need to know that my favorite number is hidden somewhere in this post (hint: scroll up two lines – it’s in blue and it starts with THIR and ends with TEEN). Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
While you’re here with me, be sure to enter the personal contest I’m hosting below for a chance to win signed books (including both books in the award-winning INDIE NEXT ALPHA GODDESS series).
Contest is international!
***Please note, if your blog comment doesn’t post in the comments section or you’re getting a certificate/authentication error, please feel free to leave your comment on my Amalie Howard Facebook page!
SIGNED PRIZE PACK INCLUDING HARDCOVERS OF ALPHA GODDESS and DARK GODDESS WITH LOTUS FLOWER CHARM, HENNA TATTOO, AND BOOKMARKS.
YOUR CHOICE OF BOOK(S) FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY (UP TO $25)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
CONTINUE THE HUNT
If you’re ready to move on to the next author in the hunt, click here: TERA LYNN CHILDS!