This is my third hunt, and by now I’m a savvy veteran. There are NINE mind-blowing YA author teams currently lurking on the internet, stuffed with cool bonus materials and pee-your-pants-great giveaways. I’m part of #TeamBLUE. We super bad.
SPECIAL NOTE: I’m doing a separate giveaway at the bottom!
This is the greatest thing ever, right? The hunt runs from March 29th through April 3rd, beginning and ending at noon Pacific time. All #Virals fans are required to test the waters. Prizes! Deleted and bonus scenes! Sneak peeks, including a new one from the Virals short story, SPIKE, which can be purchased alone or as part of the Virals short story collection TRACE EVIDENCE. It’s out there on #TeamBLUE, AT THIS VERY MOMENT people. CHOP CHOP.
ABOUT THE HUNT: If you’ve never done this before, the scavenger hunt runs like a giant author website circle, one connecting to the next, introducing you to YA writers and their books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team: a signed book from every single author in that group! For more information and hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. Get to work, my fellow book nerds. There’s a brave new world out there. You have six days!
I could talk about her for 85 days straight. Kate is an avid reader and apparently addicted to menthol chapstick, which is perfectly okay. She lives in her hometown of sunny, tropical, Buffalo, New York, with her husband and two kids. Kate is the author of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE, (DON’T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME, and the upcoming DOWN WITH THE SHINE, all from HarperTeen. She’s a big deal, is what I’m saying. Bow down before the greatness.
Kate has graciously given you an EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK of her upcoming release DOWN WITH THE SHINE, which releases April 26th, 2016.
There’s a reason they say “be careful what you wish for.” Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for “balls of steel” and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.
These are things Lennie only learns when it’s too late-after she brings some of her uncles’ moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago. Lennie didn’t mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles’ moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their “important family legacy,” she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging. As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.
Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…
Hi Hunters! Below you’ll find an excerpt from DOWN WITH THE SHINE (hitting shelves April 26th from HarperTeen!). In this scene the main character, Lennie, has just crashed a school party and brought along several jars of her uncles’ infamous moonshine and her friend, Larry.
We walk in like we own the place, not slinking in the back past the idiots doing keg stands, but strolling right through the front door and straight into the kitchen. One by one I pull the mason jars out of my bag and line them up on the glass table. I can feel a crowd gathering behind me, but nobody says a word. Grabbing the first one, I spin the lid off and let it hit the shiny hardwood floors. Larry snags a plastic cup and holds it out to me, but I push it away.
“You always drink moonshine straight from the jar,” I say.
It’s not strictly true–tradition only dictates that the first swig comes straight from the jar–but I like the way it sounds. I push the shine into Larry’s hand and then pick up a second one for myself. Off comes the second lid.
“Make a wish,” I say to Larry, holding up my jar.
This is another moonshine ritual that I’ve seen performed a million times. Everyone buying shine needs to have a drink with my uncles first. Uncle Rod usually takes the lead, slurping a bit from the jar of shine and then pouring a few fingers into some Looney Tunes glasses they got from a gas station years ago. My uncles sit at the kitchen table with the poor schmuck, and as he lifts the glass to his lips they tell him to make a wish. Usually it’s some eye-roll-worthy, sad-sack nonsense like, “I wish my wife wasn’t so mean to me” or “I wish I could get that promotion at work.” “Penny-ante shit” is what Uncle Jet calls it, but then he’s quick to add it’s better that way.
They never miss a chance to remind me to dream small.
I’d coached Larry in the car, not wanting him to ruin our first impression by saying something stupid like, “I wish I was home playing Donkey Kong.” Instead I told him to say, “I wish I were the king of this party. Bow down, bitches.” He practiced, but every time it came out of his mouth like a question. And he refused to say “Bow down, bitches.” he thought it sounded too mean.
Now Larry’s eyes meet mine and I can see the panic in them. “Um,” he says. Around us people snicker.
Larry gulps. “I hope my mom isn’t mad at me tomorrow.”
I narrow my eyes, promising retribution, but make my mouth smile as I give Larry his wish–with a little embellishment. “To your mom and everyone else’s parents’ staying chill, no matter what!” Then I add the words I’ve heard my uncles utter so many times: “May all your wishes come true, or at least just this one!”
He clinks his jar against mine. And then, in unison, we drink.
The liquid dribbles out the sides of my mouth, and burns going down. Smiling, I wipe my mouth with my sleeve. Next to me, Larry is doubled over, coughing hoarsely. I make a big show of taking the moonshine from him and patting him on the back. “Sometimes the first sip’s like that,” I say.
Another half-truth. The first sip is always like that.
My uncles rubbed the stuff on my gums when I was a teething newborn, poured a finger of it into hot tea anytime I had a cold, and every April Fool’s Day they find some way to make me take an unwitting taste of the stuff, whether by soaking my toothbrush in it or mixing it into the milk I pour over my Cocoa Krispies. And yet, despite all that, I have no tolerance. The shine leaves a scorched path from the tip of your tongue all the way to your belly. The only reason I’d been able to take a swig without coughing was the bottle of Chloraseptic I’d sprayed onto my throat before leaving the house.
By now the entire party is trying to squeeze its way into the kitchen. Everyone wants to know whether we’ll be welcomed or thrown out on our asses.
Here’s the thing about Michaela Gordon’s party: only the coolest kids are invited. The rest of the school comes to ride it like a bucking bronco–you hold on as long as you can until someone throws you out. For the cool kids, finding horrible new ways to let the unworthy know they’re unwelcome is part of the fun. And for everybody else who comes to school the next week with Sharpie-covered faces, or still clutching their stomachs after being force-fed laxatives, there is a strange mixture of shame and bravado in announcing they were at Michaela’s for thirty-eight-and-a-half minutes and three of them were at the exact time the Barry twins performed their topless table dance.
If we’re gonna get tossed, this is the moment it’s gonna happen.
MY BONUS CONTEST FOR TUESDAY (all entries are for one giveaway, but the rules may change each day to keep the entries fresh): Leave a comment below naming the author hosting me, and I’ll draw one winner for a complete signed set of Virals books, including TRACE EVIDENCE.