Welcome to the latest edition of the YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by Our Glorious Leader, 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 ALL the good prizes. At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, but you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues (this part is important), and you can enter for our grand 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 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 SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM also known as “Team Sexy” — but there is also a blue team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team, and you should make the circuit on each and every team 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, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.
This little scene from Bree’s section in Let’s Get Lost was one I had a lot of fun writing.
Bree is a runaway teen, hitchhiking through Kansas when the mysterious Leila picks her up in her bright red car. They hit it off, aided by a little bit of lawlessness that starts with candy bars and, after too much time in Leila’s AC-less Plymouth Acclaim, ends up with a “borrowed” car. This scene takes place while they’re on their joy ride. It ended up getting cut fairly early in the revising process, but I loved the crazy composer in the Mercedes, as well as the thrill of the race. It was cut for pacing, and because it was too repetitive from other scenes. Also the hints of Hudson (the character in the first section of the book) were a little too obvious. But I still picture it as part of Leila and Bree’s adventures, and I think readers might enjoy this glimpse at other shenanigans the two girls could have gotten themselves into.
Enjoy, and always seize the Tuesday. — A.A.
* * *
It was dusk now, about an hour since they’d taken the car. Bree started the car and pulled out onto the street, headed away from downtown. She noticed Leila looking through her phone. “Expecting a call?”
“No,” Leila said. “Just thinking of someone.”
“Ooh. Someone special?”
“Everyone’s special,” Leila said with a wry smile. She put the phone back in her pocket. “Come on, it’s been a while since we got into trouble. Let’s go find some more.”
A few blocks later they were stopped at a red light when a car pulled up next to them. It was another Mercedes, royal blue, its windows reverberating from the music inside. A man in his fifties was at the wheel, waving his hand vigorously in the air like a composer. His thin, white hair flapped with each motion and the girls couldn’t help but laugh. He noticed them and offered a smile, then went back to his wild composing.
“See? Everyone’s special,” Leila said.
“He sure is,” Bree said.
A few seconds later, they heard the sound of the other Mercedes’ engine cutting through the night. The driver was smirking as he composed. He turned to them and raised his eyebrows a couple of times.
“I bet that’s exactly what he looks like when he eats ice cream after sex,” Bree said.
Leila laughed but didn’t turn away from the neighboring Mercedes. He looked up at the still-red traffic light and revved his engine again. “Bree, our day means nothing if we don’t drag race this man and beat him.”
Bree was about to respond when the light turned green. Leila screamed for her to go and Bree stepped on the accelerator but nothing happened. “Leila, why won’t the car go? I’m asking it to go. Why won’t it do as it’s told?” The blue Mercedes was roaring ahead.
Then Bree realized she was pressing down on both pedals. She released the brake and the car jolted back into motion with a loud screech of the tires. Bree could imagine a layer of rubber being literally peeled away by the road and she finally understood where the expression had come from.
She stepped as hard as she could on the gas, as if it was her enemy, as if it deserved to be crushed. Leila was shouting something that could have been, “Go,” but could just as easily have been a guttural battle cry.
They were closing the gap, but the composer’s car was still in front. Through the back windshield, she could see his hand waving back and forth, like a checkered flag, declaring itself the victor.
“Do not let him win,” Leila yelled.
Then Bree felt the gas pedal hit the floor of the car. The engine growled as if in pain and then picked up so suddenly it was as if something had shoved them from behind. The speed was palpable.
Up ahead was a traffic light. It was still green, but Bree could see the flashing red numbers of the crosswalk signal counting down. They were almost even with the blue Mercedes when the light turned yellow. He started to slow, but Bree left the pedal right where it was, as if suffocating its last breaths. She couldn’t help but turn away from the road to look at his expression as they passed him by. A horn blared at them as they shot past the intersection.
Bree only slowed down when she saw his headlights come to a stop in her rearview mirror, when she knew they had won. There was a second of pause as she and Leila recuperated from their rallying cry during which the only sound was the air conditioning humming through the car. Then they burst out into the victorious laughter and whooping that was quickly becoming the soundtrack of their day.
Awesome, right? And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Adi Alsaid, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 88. (It was my parents’ secret code when they were dating; they would say “88” to each other in public, because there are eight letters in “I love you.” Say it with me: AWWWWW.) 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!