Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt! On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one signed book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Sunday, October 4!
You can start right here or you can also go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or both! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM–but there is also a red, purple, pink, gold, orange, green, and teal team and if you do those hunts you’ll have 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, see the full list of prizes up for grabs, or if you get lost along the way, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.
Looking for my exclusive bonus content? You’ll have to keep searching. Somewhere on this blog hop, I’ve hidden my the first three sneak peaks of Titans in the form of pretty, share-able graphics. Before you go on though, check out the amazing author I’m hosting. But, first, a few rules.
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. Hint: the secret number is highlighted in BLUE.
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 October 4, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I’ll introduce the author I am hosting on this hunt.
I am super excited to be hosting…
JENNY MARTIN is the author of Tracked. Jenny is also an experienced librarian, speaker, panelist and presenter who’s appeared at many state and regional conferences, events and festivals. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with her husband and son, where she hoards books and writes fiction. And yes, she’s still on a quest for the perfect pancake.
The book she’s showing on the fall hunt is…
You guys, I absolutely loved this book! Here’s what it’s about:
The Fast and the Furious gets a sci-fi twist in this action-packed debut!
On corporately controlled Castra, rally racing is a high stakes game that seventeen-year-old Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well, but that hasn’t stopped her from speeding headlong into trouble. When she and her best friend, Bear, attract the attention of Charles Benroyal, they are blackmailed into racing for Benroyal Corp, a company that represents everything Phee detests. Worse, Phee risks losing Bear as she falls for Cash, her daring new teammate. But when she discovers that Benroyal is controlling more than a corporation, Phee realizes she has a much bigger role in Castra’s future than she could ever have imagined. It’s up to Phee to take Benroyal down. But even with the help of her team, can a street-rat destroy an empire?
And now for the exclusive content!
Tracked Deleted Scene
Jenny’s Commentary: This scene lingered until the final drafts, when it was cut to keep the pace speeding along. And by the end of revisions, I knew I’d grown beyond it as a writer, too. But…there are still things I enjoy about it! I’ve always loved the way this scene highlights the growing tenderness between Phee and Cash, and the affection Phee’s circuit manager Auguste (‘Goose’) harbored for her. In the book, this vignette would have occurred immediately after Chapter Twenty-Seven, after the big race at Sand Ridge, and after Phee’s made a pivotal choice. (If you’ve read the book, you’ll know why Phee is completely heartbroken here.)
I hope you enjoy this sweet little (deleted) scene from Tracked. J
Goose pounds on my bedroom door, but I’m not ready to answer. If I move from this spot on the bed, I’ll fracture and break.
“Ma lune et les ètoiles! Security said you’re alone. Answer me or I shall assume you have fallen and broken your neck!”
I should’ve known I couldn’t shake him off so easily. Auguste isn’t one to be ordered around by anyone but Benroyal. “I cannot leave you unattended,” he insists. “Dr. Menar tells me you have a concussion. Where is your friend?”
Goose opens my door and sits at the edge of the bed. “Ah, I see. That would explain things. I will call for a nurse or–”
I shift to hide my face, so he can’t see the grief in my red-rimmed eyes. “I don’t want a nurse. I just want to be left alone.”
“What happened to my spitfire girl?” He’s talking to himself as much as to me. “Oh, this is terrible. I see you are desolate. This is your day of victory, ma chere. No, no. This will not do.” He stands and moves back into the doorway. “I shall return with reinforcements.”
“Goose, please…” I don’t bother wasting any more breath. He’s already gone.
I lie in the quiet, hiding from everything but myself. I can’t stop thinking of Bear. Of what’s become of us. Of what I’ve done. In my mind, it all plays out, over and over, like a terrible recap of a route gone wrong. When Auguste returns, I’m guessing it’s only been twenty minutes or so. “Can’t I just leave the door open? It’s okay. I don’t need any company.”
There’s a book–a leather-bound antique–in his hands. “Good. I didn’t merely bring any company. I brought the best, from upstairs.”
Goose nods. He pulls up a chair and settles beside my bed. Still on my side, I curl up and close my eyes.
In the silence, I catch a soft, whispering crackle, something I’ve only once heard before. I sneak a glance at Auguste. He’s turning the pages of Benroyal’s book. The sweep of gilt-edged paper is soothing, a quiet kind of music.
“What is it?” I ask.
“This is a favorite of mine, A Treasury of Universal Literature, 1048-2279.”
I blink, unmoved.
“Have you no taste? This volume is filled with the greatest stories and plays and poetry ever written. There is The Legend of the Castran Sun. The Thousand Verses from Bisera’s Golden Age. Shakespeare’s Sonnets from Earth.”
None of the names mean anything to me. Fine literature…fine anything…isn’t something they push with south siders, kids they know will never go to school beyond the eight year core. I fight the urge to shrug.
“Words can be a great comfort, ma chere.”
I turn away. “I’m tired.”
“Goodnight,” he says.
I pretend to sleep, but I listen as he reads aloud in languages I don’t understand. I cling to each strange and beautiful word.
After Auguste picks up on the fact that I’m not actually asleep, he flips forward to some of the stories written in Castran, the only dialect I fully comprehend. He reads The Legend of the Castran Sun. It’s a tale Mary told many times, on quiet nights before Bear and I fell asleep.
The book’s version is not so different in plot, but the lush language is so beyond Mary’s plainspoken words.
“…Castra was the most beautiful, even more verdant and green than her sister, Cyan-Bisera. And so the Sun gave his heart to her. He crossed the stars to move closer, drenching Castra in his warmth and favor to woo her. But Castra’s heart belonged to the moon; she longed to bask in its soft, cool light. As the Sun drifted, his embrace scorched her green woods and dried up her great rivers. Only when Castra was near dying, did the Sun realize his mistake. He turned away, and begged forgiveness, but it was too late. Neither he nor the Moon could bring back the…”
Goose’s voice trails off. My lids are closed; maybe he thinks I’ve really fallen asleep. I hear footsteps, and think he’s leaving, but I hear another voice, low and soft. “Go catch some sleep, Auguste.” Cash says. “I’ll stay and keep watch.”
My pulse wakes up, but I lay still, eyes shut, too afraid to breathe. Auguste agrees. He says goodnight and closes the door, shutting me in with the boy I’ve held so often in daydreams. Part of me is too numb and scarred, too afraid to even speak to Cash. The other half, the wild and lonely girl who still wants to feel alive, shouts and calls his name. I want to turn away from him and beg him to leave and wrestle him down and drink in the taste of him again.
I don’t yet know if he’s my moon or my sun, my solace or my undoing
I sense the dip of the mattress as he slips beside me, his back against the headboard. I try to squint, but without moving, I can’t see much more than the book in his lap. I guess Castran fairy tales don’t match his mood. Cash turns the pages and looks for something else to read. Each minute of silence seems to stretch out too long. I want him to begin, so I can risk a breath again.
“Here is one for you, there’s even a Phoenix in it. Sonnet Nineteen by William Shakespeare,” he speaks just above a whisper. I have to concentrate to hear him. The text is Earth-tongue. Cash doesn’t translate, but the dialect is easy enough, a close cousin to my own. My mind can catch the edges of meaning in the half-familiar words.
“…Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets…”
Cash reads more slowly now, with each word, his accent slips deeper into a Biseran lilt. I inhale the sound. His guard is down. I know now he’s letting me see who he really is, an outcast forced so far from home.
“…But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O, carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young…”
After the last line, Cash reaches over and strokes my hair, his fingers sink into the tangles, smoothing them away from my temples. I don’t understand the meaning of the poem and I can’t explain how Cash’s voice eases the ache in my divided heart. All I know is that I want to take his hand and press it against my lips.
But I don’t move. I listen and let all the words in the book wash over me, lulling me to sleep. In my dreams, I still hear them. Blunt thou the lion’s paws. Burn the Phoenix in her blood.
I wake early, but Cash is gone.
Ahh! Can you believe we almost lived without that perfect, delectable scene? What the WHAT?! Did I mention how much I obsess over this book? I swear, I could read it 8 times and it wouldn’t be enough! Thank you so much for visiting my site! While you’re here, don’t forget to enter the bonus contest I am running exclusively during the YA Scavenger Hunt. I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of FIRE & FLOOD, a signed TITANS poster, and a FIRE & FLOOD Madox necklace, so enter below!
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