UPDATE: The contest winner is …….. Ciara Doyle! Thanks for entering everyone. More contests to follow, along with details on NEMESIS and SPIKE!


Welcome to the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt! This is my first year participating and I’m super stoked. There are eight killer teams out there, brimming with cool bonus materials. I’m part of #TeamRed. Good stuff. This hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th, beginning and ending at noon Pacific time. I encourage all Virals fans to give it a try. There are prizes, special deleted scenes, and sneak peaks, including one from me of the new Virals short story, SPIKE, coming this winter. It’s out there somewhere, people. Get looking.

If you’ve never done this before, the scavenger hunt runs like a giant blog circle, one connecting to the next, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team: a signed book from each author in that group! For more information and hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. Get cracking, book sleuths. There’s a whole new world out there. You have three days!


OKAY NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF: For this  hunt, I’m hosting Rachel Shane.

Between the 2 of us, she’s an excellent author. She works in fancy New York City. You can buy her new book, Alice in Wonderland High, right here. It’s a contemporary retelling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, where Alice follows a group of teenage environmental vigilantes on a rabbit trail into the underground (aka secret society) of Wonderland High. Sounds dope.

Rachel has gracious given you a DELETED SCENE from the original version of chapter one of ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH, which comes out April 18, 2015 (but is already showing up in stores). Here it is:

 (Note from Rachel: here is the original version of chapter 1. I cut this scene and started later. Some lines in here made it into the final book.)

My empty English classroom promised a few precious moments for me to come up with a new plan of action without making my reputation as endangered as the rainforests. I grabbed a pen out of my bag and wrote: sell body to save up money for farmer’s market? (Note: find another way to fund this that doesn’t require loss of morals or virginity.)

Pursing my lips, I crossed it out. Too small, and only part of that was my boobs. I was this close to sewing a spandex Superhero uniform and crusading the night to save innocent trees. But a nothing-left-to-the-imagination outfit wouldn’t give me the manpower necessary to carry out one of my ideas. I needed help. Preferably in the form of an environ-mental army or at least a cute guy.

A chair scraped the floor beside me and a shadow passed over my paper. I slid my English book on top of my notes and pasted on a fake smile.

My best friend, Dinah, frowned at me. “What are you hiding?”

“Nothing!” I clasped my hands on the table and widened my eyes in the fake-innocent expression I’d perfected on my parents before…well, before their car crash turned me into an orphan. “Just reading over the assignment.” I patted my trusty textbook.

She dropped into her plastic seat, rope-colored hair bouncing. A heavy sigh escaped her throat, the tell-tale sign of not buying it. “Alice, when are you going to stop with this”—she lowered her voice—“tree-hugging stuff?”

My face scrunched up in annoyance at her superhero 20/15 vision that had managed to unmask my identity. She would never understand. Like everyone else, she always thought my parents were weird for their dreadlocks and the free hugs they bombarded people with. And I was weird for following in their footsteps, dreadlocks aside. “I stopped, okay?” What I didn’t add: in public. Di stretched an arm out and placed her palm on my desk. “I’m just looking out for you, okay?”

The final bell drowned out my strained laugh. “Did you do the essay?” I asked. School work: the language of good girls and the only safe topic we discussed these days.

Di launched into a play-by-play account of every answer. I stared out the open window, the breeze blowing my hair all over my face. A spark of color stood out amongst the expanse of dirt that led to the dry creek. Exotic flowers spilled over the exterior the abandoned creek. Daffodils, roses, and orchids curled toward the sun. Leafy potted plants guarded the lip of the creek, like a jungle just sprang up in the middle of dead land bring life back to it.

A figure stomped into view and placed another plant in prime view of the classroom. The girl whipped her head around to look at us. Whitney Lapin. She was in my grade—in this very class. Well, sort of. If your definition of “in” was loose. Her habits mostly included shunning extra curricular activities and cutting class even though she used to be some kind of chemistry genius in Junior high.

I thought we had nothing in common. But maybe that wasn’t true. Because she took nothing and made it into something, a garden of all things, while I couldn’t even make a Farmer’s Market pop out of thin air. I bit back a smile and sat up straighter, finally feeling like somebody understand what I wanted.

The seeds I’d been missing.

EXCELLENT STUFF. Thanks to Rachel for sharing, and be sure to check out the rest of her books. You have found gold. MY BONUS: Leave a comment below about this sample and I’ll draw one winner for a complete signed set of Virals books. Sounds good? Sounds good.


  1. This sounds SO GOOD! I love Alice In Wonderland and a retelling sounds awesome right now!

  2. My students would LOVE Virals

  3. This sounds AMAZING. I’m definitely adding both of your books to my TBR. I’m so excited that I got to read this bonus scene. <3

  4. This was a really great sample. I’m now super excited to read this book! 😀

  5. Thank you for the giveaway!

  6. This sounds so fun! I love retellings!

  7. The book sounds different, a tree hugger? I think I would give this book a try just to see what it is about the sample has me wondering if it would be in my genre of reading. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Loved the excerpt. The book sounds brilliant, retellings of Alice in Wonderland are some of my favorites!!! Thank you!

  9. This book sounds amazing!!!! Can’t wait to see if my library has it!!! 🙂 🙂

  10. ”my reputation as endangered as the rainforests” this told me that I would love Alice! And after reading a bit more I’m sure that I would love her so I’m definitely going to check out this book 😀

  11. To good to be true!!! Thank you so much for the amazing giveaway.

  12. Thank you so much for the giveaway! I’m excited to read both of your books.

  13. Fun! Definitely adding this to my to-read list! 🙂

  14. Ohmy gosh, Dinah–THE CAT–is her friend? xD that’s hilarious. The tone of this sample in general makes me thinks this retelling will keep the quirkiness of the original novel intact.

  15. Thank you so much for this awesome giveaway!

  16. Oh my goodness, I love the dry humor! This seems like it will be another awesome retelling!

  17. I love Alice in Wonderland retellings, so this sounds awesome!

  18. I like that each author gets to host another author. I enjoyed your sneak peek on one of the other blogs.

  19. The humor is awesome in the piece. I’m definitely interested, and I’ll be looking into getting it for the library. 🙂

  20. Ugh! I so want to read this!!! Thanks for sharing!

  21. i love retelling and i havent read a alice in wolderland retelling before so this sounds really interesting.

  22. Sounds great, both your giveaway and the deleted scene. I love Alice in Wonderland and all it’s retellings I’ll definitely give this one a try!

  23. I love Alice in Wonderland retellings so this is right up my alley!

  24. I hope you might consider coming to our library at ASF in Mexico City! 🙂

  25. Sounds good!

  26. Thanks for the giveaway!

    An Alice retelling, hippie parents… sounds interesting.

  27. Sounds like so much fun! Can’t wait to read it!

  28. Ooh, I love retellings! I also love the Virals series and I can’t wait to read Nemesis! 🙂

  29. Sounds great!

  30. This sounds like a fun book!

  31. Sounds great! I’m not a very good liar myself…my kids call me out on it all the time haha Thank you for the giveaway and for participating in YASH! I was so excited when I saw your name pop up!!!

  32. This sounds really good and thanks for the extra giveaway!

  33. I love the Virals series so much and I have already found the sneak peak for Spike and am sooooooo excited for it. <3 Love your writing 🙂

  34. I love the Virals series with my whole heart. I have already found the Spike excerpt with is hilarious and I can not wait to read the whole thing.

  35. Ohhhh I do love a good retelling of a classic story!

  36. Sounds like a great book – looking forward to reading it!

  37. Thanks for the giveaway!

  38. I love fairytale retellings! Thanks for participating

  39. Ow, rope-colored hair? The question is: what KIND of rope was her hair like? Haha, definitely love this concept!

  40. I enjoyed read this clip . Hopefully i can read the rest soon.

  41. I think this sounds like a really intriguing book! There are just too many great books in this hunt so far… like, how am I going to find time to read them all AND write my own?!? 😉

  42. YES it sounds good! This is also my first time in YASH and it’s fun! I got to discover new books and put them to my TBR.

  43. Retellings are always awesome! Definitely adding this one to my TBR list. Thanks for being part of YASH and thanks for the give away!

  44. Retellings are the absolute best and this sounds so intriguing!

  45. Wow, thanks for sharing the little sample of ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH. Sounds interesting! 🙂 Also, thanks for hosting your own giveaway, and for participating in the YASH. (Crossing my fingers that I will finally be able to read your book…)

  46. This one is pretty good, so I guess the new chapter one must be better. Feels like I’ll be giving it a try. Anyways, thanks for the giveaway.

  47. Sounds like a great story. I would love to read it all.

  48. this book sounds amazing!

  49. This sounds so awesome! I would devour that book, seriously!

  50. Whitney Lapin! love it. made me laugh, captured my interest. All in one grab. Do not know what age group she had in mind, but I am 61 and I reccon I will go get it and then AFTER I read it I will pass it on to my grand daughter. Maybe get her into a new author. 🙂

  51. I do enjoy a good Alice retelling!

  52. Thank you for the giveaway!

    Hope the giveaway is international.

  53. Both books sound awesome! I’ve added both Virals and Alice to my list! Loved the snippet so thanks for sharing.

  54. Sounds really exciting! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  55. Sounds awesome! I am a big fan of ALice in Wonderland retellings. One of my favorite series of all times is Splintered and this “glimpse” into the book sounds amazing too! I’ll have to check it out!!! Thanks for taking part in this scavenger hunt. It’s a great way to discover new novels to read!!!

  56. I loved that sample! Such an awesome voice. Can’t wait to read it!

  57. I love retellings and this one of Alice in Wonderland seems fascinating! 🙂

  58. Signed Virals books?? I would definitely do a little dance if I got those bad boys! Thanks for the chance at getting them!

  59. I love Alice in Wonderland books, and I’ve been looking for another to read! 🙂

  60. It sounds really good, great story!!!!
    Thank you for the great.

    • I mean, thank you for the chance.

  61. Thanks so much for participating. Having a great time learning about you all. Appreciate the chance.

  62. I have been lucky enough to read an ARC of Alice in Wonderland High so it was great to see the original first chapter! Rachel is so sweet, isn’t she?

  63. Yay, sounds amazing! Thanks so much for being part of the YASH, it’s a blast meeting so many new authors 🙂

  64. That got me. I’ve already ticked off quite a few things that I love in books that is in the excerpt. Alice in Wonderland retellings? Check. Awesome planet saving badass? Yup, check. Funny, snappy writing? Got that, check. Definitively going to be getting this. I need something to sooth the book hangover I have after finishing Terminal. (amazing btw, gonna’ miss the gang.)

  65. thank you for your giveaway!

  66. Sounds cool!

  67. I love that Dinah has been turned into a human character. Perfect. And the other fairy tale touches -the daydreaming while listening to her lessons, etc. All very nice.

  68. This book is intriguing. I want to know more!
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  69. Alice as an environmentalist – intriguing. Save the trees Alice !!

  70. Thank you so much at the chance in this Giveaway!

  71. Thank you so much for doing this hunt!

  72. Ooh, this sounds good! Adding it to my TBR!

  73. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I really liked the extract of Alice in Wonderland High, and I will definately read it now!

  74. I’m a huge Virals fan so thanks for participating in this giveaway Brendan. I’ve been interested in this series since I got into Bones – when I was twelve or so – and have followed Kathy through all her book series. It would be my life’s dream to meet you and Kathy but I guess signed books would be almost as good! 🙂

    Rachel Shane’s book sounds wonderful too! I love retellings.

  75. I am liking this retelling! It has sass!

    Thanks for the giveaway – if it’s international, please count me in!

  76. That is a pretty generous bonus!

  77. Hmm this sounds promising! I think I’ll go and pick up this book soon 😀

  78. This looks awesome! Thanks for the great giveaway, Brendan! xo

  79. I would love to see how she transforms some of the characters from the original.

  80. Thanks for the giveaway!

  81. I saw this book when hopping through her site and looked at the Goodreads page. I absolutely love this idea! Alice in Wonderland is so fun to play around with and has some amazing reimaginings out there. I love the idea of her in high school! I need to grab the book, because I *have* to see if she takes drugs (eats shrooms or LSD or something) and everything gets all trippy. I just think that’d be funny 😀

  82. An Alice retelling would be AWESOME! prettylittlepages[at]gmail[dot]com

  83. I have had my eye on this book for a while, and by the looks of the sample, I think I’ll like this book! I love modern retellings. 😀

  84. Wow. Sounds really good! I’ve always loved Alice in Wonderland, and can’t wait to get my hands on this!

  85. A retelling of Alice in Wonderland… Just fantastic!!! and thank you for being so generous!!!

  86. Nice excerpt

  87. I’m very interested to know more about what surrounds this scene! I’ve always loved Alice in Wonderland and a retelling sounds great.

  88. I knew that Alice in Wonderland existed and was releasing soon, but that’s about all I knew so thank you for hosting this excerpt. It sounds like a fun read – and character.

    Thank you, as well, for the giveaway – the Virals books have been on my to-read list for a while.

  89. woo – what a great giveaway would love to win and thanks for the chance

  90. I love Alice in Wonderland and it would be fun to see where this story goes! (:

  91. I can’t wait to see where this story is heading, since I love Alice in Wonderland! (:

  92. I love retellings of Alice in Wonderland and I am so excited to read this one!

  93. I love Alice in Wonderland, this sounds fantastic!

  94. Alice in Wonderland High sounds like a cute take on Alice in Wonderland I look forward to reading more.

  95. Sound so good! I want to read more!

  96. This retelling sounds fantastic and unique! Added it to my TBr!!

  97. Wow! I love it. I can’t wait to read it.


  99. Thank you so much for this giveaway!

  100. Haha! It looks funny and cool!

  101. Sounds like an awesome read! I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  102. This sounds amaze-balls! I am already adding it to my coveted To-Read list. Hope I win as well!

  103. I love retellings. This is one of my favorite stories can’t wait to read this version.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>