Hello and welcome to
the Fall 2014 YA
I am Sherry Thomas, your host for this leg of the hunt. (Don’t forget to enter my bonus contest below, while you are here.)
I love reading while I eat–or is it eating while I read?
I drink super-weak tea. My friends say it’s just slightly dirty water.
Someday I would like to write a book while lazing on the shores of Lake Como.
Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by 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 some awesome prizes! 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 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 GOLD TEAM–but there is also a red team, a blue team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie 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.
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
Kate Karyus Quinn
Kate Karyus Quinn is an avid reader and a menthol ChapStick addict. She has lived in California and Tennessee, but recently made the move back to her hometown of Buffalo, New York, with her husband and two children in tow. She promised them wonderful people, amazing food, and weather that would . . . build character. She is also the author of Another Little Piece. To find out more about Kate and her books, visit her website, follow her on twitter, and connect with her on Goodreads.
The book Kate Karyus Quinn is showcasing on the YA Scavenger Hunt is
(DON’T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME
A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies . . . of natural causes.
But there’s a price to pay for paradise. Every four years, the strange power that fuels the town takes its toll and a teenager commits a horrible crime—a crime that sends other teens to their graves. And every four years, the killer is locked up in the reformatory, only to emerge years later, a shell of their former self.
Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was taken away after leading her classmates onto the trestle bridge and commanding them to jump to their deaths. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, waiting for Piper to be released. But the secrets Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to truly get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.
KATE KARYUS QUINN’S
“I gave you my name for a reason, Lennie. It might not be worth much now, but someday, someday real soon, I’m gonna make it so Cash is a name nobody ever forgets. I’m serious, Lennie. People are gonna remember us, and they’ll look at us different because of it too.”
When I was a little kid, I didn’t get tucked into bed with a story or a song, but instead the ravings of my father. The nightly routine ended on my sixth birthday. That’s the day when he made the nightly news for the first time and they re-christened Leonard Cash the Bad Daddy Bandit.
Over the next two months Daddy and I crisscrossed the country on a hold-em-up-shoot-em-down robbing spree. With me in tow, he took down six banks, three toy stores, and killed two people who’d gotten in his way before finally getting pinned down at a Chuck E. Cheese. Daddy got away by taking the guy inside the mouse costume as a hostage. They found me hours later, burrowed deep in the ball pit, still waiting for Daddy’s all-clear whistle.
The only place I’ve seen him since then is on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted webpage.
All that was eleven years ago, but that’s not the sort of story that people forget. Maybe if I’d become some super-smart honors student nerd or a chipper rah-rah leadership council type or a sporty girl whose addition to any team meant it was headed for the trophy rounds, maybe then they’d think of it a little less often. But I’ve had adults call me the devil’s spawn to my face and the kids at school find even more creative ways of making me miserable. So mostly I just look like your typical sullen angry teenager.
Except I’m not your typical teenager. I’m Lennie Cash and most people think it’s just a matter of time before my daddy comes back for me and then the two of us pick up where we left off at the Chuck E. Cheese oh so many years ago.
And that famous name is a big part of why at this exact moment, instead of dividing my time in English class between clock-watching and trying to figure out exactly how those two crazy kids, Romeo and Juliet, managed to mess things up so badly, I’m sitting in the principal’s office while she and a cop give me the ‘bad blood will tell’ glare.
This is the third time I’ve been called down to the office for one of these sessions since my best friend, Dylan, went missing two weeks ago.
The first meeting was more of a “we’re all on the same team” informal type of chat. That’s when we all thought Dyl was a runaway. I told them I didn’t know anything, which was half-true and that I hadn’t heard from her, which was totally true. When I left the room, I’d only caught the slightest whiff of “of course the Cash kid is involved with this.”
Things were a little more serious the second time. This was after they’d found Dylan’s car at a rather infamous bar on the outskirts of town. They asked me if Dylan went there a lot. If I’d ever been there. Mostly they were fishing, waiting for me to slip up. Or at least that’s the only reason I can think of for why they never came right out and said anything about the rumors that Leonard Cash had been supposedly spotted at this bar more than a few times and that some even said he might be the owner.
The one thing they didn’t skirt around was asking about the very public fight I’d had with Dylan the day before she disappeared. “I heard you were very angry,” my principal, Mrs. Kneeley, said, trying to look concerned.
“Well, yeah, we were fighting,” I answered, sounding sarcastic and, yes, angry.
A lawyer probably would have told me to keep my mouth shut. But I didn’t have one of those or anyone else. My mom and her three brothers were my official guardians, but none of them were the school meeting types.
Which meant that if Dyl didn’t show up real soon, I could see this getting real ugly for me. Still I kept my mouth shut and insisted I didn’t remember what the fight was about. I was trying to protect Dylan, trying to give her time to do whatever crazy thing she thought she needed to do before they found her and dragged her back home.
In my own way, I was trying to make up for that fight. For saying things I shouldn’t have.
Now though, I think it may be too late cause the cop and Mrs. Kneeley look dead serious. I know without them telling me, that we’re not fucking around anymore.
The cop leans forward and hands me a Ziploc bag with a piece of paper inside.
The paper is yellowed with age and red with…
Not blood. Please tell me it is anything but blood.
“You recognize this?” the cop asks. Actually his name is Detective Otto. He’s introduced himself each time we’ve done this, but I still just think of him as the cop.
I look past the red smears, to the words.
Yes, I recognize this paper. And I know exactly where they found it.
“It’s mine,” I tell him. “From when I went to camp a few years ago.”
Actually it was more like seven years. I’d begged my uncles to send me, thinking I could spend a week with a bunch of kids who didn’t know my name. Of course, the counselors recognized my name and figured everything else out pretty quickly… and then it slowly trickled down to every kid there. At the end of two weeks, after being caught at the center of the first brawl in Camp Onawanta history, I came home with my official happy camper certificate shoved into my suitcase. It said: Lennie Cash earned the following Camp Onawanta badges:_____________. Instead of writing on that line how I’d learned to ride a horse or dive into the lake, the camp director had written: I’m sorry but I don’t think Lennie and Camp Onawanta are a good fit. She will not be allowed back next year.
I never showed it to my uncles, I just crumpled it up and shoved it under the ripped lining of the suitcase. Now seeing it again, I feel the old shame and embarrassment come up, filling my throat. I want to grab the paper from the cop and rip it to pieces, but he’s already tucking the plastic enclosed piece of my past into his manila folder.
“Do you know where we found this?” he asks.
I nod. “In my old suitcase. Dylan borrowed it.”
A few weeks before she disappeared, Dyl found the suitcase at the back of my closet, where it had sat since that disastrous camp experience, and declared it, “Awesomely vintage.” I gifted it to her on the spot.
“Do you know where we found that suitcase?” the cop leaned in, his voice hard.
“No.” I whispered the word, suddenly afraid. The red stains. This new urgent angry tone.
Something was wrong. Or worse than wrong. I wasn’t worried about Dyl before this moment. She is tough and fearless and… reckless. It now occurs to me that maybe I should have been worried. Dyl is the exact type of person to be stamped with an early expiration date.
Done with playing it cool, I lean in towards the cop. “Is Dylan in trouble? Did you find her?”
In the moment before he answers, I say a quick prayer. Not one in the traditional sense, but more like playing Let’s Make a Deal with God—or whatever it is out there that keeps the world spinning. If Dylan returns in one piece, I’ll destroy my uncles’ distillery and shut down their moonshine making operation. If I were God, I’d think that was a pretty good deal. My uncles’ moonshine has been the cause of countless troubles and sorrows; seems like nipping it in the bud would save him a whole lot of headaches.
“Yeah, you could say that we found her,” the Cop looks angry and too late I figure out he’s one of those people who hates me on principal.
Still, he’s the guy with the answers, so I ask, “She okay?”
“What do you think?” He asks and then pulls out another paper from his folder and slaps it down in front of me.
This is the moment when God laughs at my stupid little deal. When he tells me where I can shove it.
Because what I see isn’t a paper, but a photograph. At first I can’t make sense of the image. The purple plaid of Dyl’s favorite flannel shirt mixed with red red red and then feet and her dyed black hair and a hand…
My brain actually refuses to understand exactly what I’m seeing until the cop helpfully adds, “Or most of her anyway.”
“Detective!” Mrs. Kneeley, looking as sick as I feel, reaches past him to flip the photo over and hide it from view.
She’s too late, though. Much too late.
And that’s how I find out that my battered old suitcase, patched up with duct tape and kept closed only with the help of an old leather belt, now carries the butchered remnants of my best friend.
If that doesn’t give you
Thank you so much for being part of the YA Scavenger Hunt and for allowing me to be your host.
Because THE HIDDEN BLADE, the book I am showcasing during YASH, features a girl learning to be a deadly martial arts expert, for an extra bonus entry, answer this question on the blog: If you were a kickass martial arts expert, what would be your weapon of choice? a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ready to move on to the next stop of the hunt?