Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-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!
I am happy to be hosting Gina Rosati, author of Auracle. I heard a rumor that she needs to crack her knuckles 7 times before she can start writing.
16 year old Anna Rogan has a secret she’s only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the far reaches of the universe. When there’s a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna’s body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state. Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder.
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Gina Rosati lives in southern New Hampshire with her husband, two children and two chubby guinea pigs. AURACLE is her first novel.
Without further ado- here is the exclusive content from Auracle!
This was the first chapter of Auracle, which went to a few agents and editors when I was querying, but which was ultimately edited out of the finished book. You may have your own issues with this chapter, but read on to see the feedback I had from agents and editors and why it was pulled.
by Gina Rosati
“Please don’t take this personally,” I say as I tug at a lock of Auston Martin’s hair, “but after the Legolas debacle, I have some trust issues when it comes to hair.”
Of course he doesn’t take it personally, in fact, his only reaction is to reach up and scratch at the back of his head where I’ve just tugged, acknowledging me as nothing more than a random itch. He smoothes his dark hair back into place, oblivious to my presence, even though I am no more than two feet away from him. I am invisible to him, and that’s just the way I like it.
Twelve is a tough age. It’s old enough to understand the realities of life, but young enough to resent the unfairness of them. When I was twelve, every girl I knew had a crush on Legolas, the cute blond elf from Lord of the Rings, and I was no exception. For me, the big attraction was the hair, that long platinum blond hair. It was always so perfect, no matter what he did, every hair remained in place.
One Sunday morning, as I sat at the kitchen table picking at dry Froot Loops and poking through the newspaper in search of the comics, I found a picture of Legolas on the cover of the magazine section. Practically swooning over my cereal, I skimmed through the pages, and there, on page six, I discovered the terrible truth.
The hair was a lie.
A lie, a fake, a sham, a wig!
It took me a while to process this information, and during that time I kept repeating the word until it felt foul, like a swear word weighing on my lips. Wig. I was torn between grief over the death of a fantasy and fury at being fooled. Only one thing was crystal clear to me. Legolas was the scum of the middle earth.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I had heard my grandmother say this at least a dozen times, and she was right. There was no one else I could blame for my disappointments if I didn’t guard myself well. And there was no one else to shoulder my shame when I failed, falling for yet another handsome Hollywood hero.
It isn’t nice to spy on people, I realize that, but I’m here for a purpose other than the thrill of watching my latest movie star crush in action. Lately, Auston has been on my mind a little too much, meandering into my thoughts during chemistry class or while I’m trying to do homework. He has a bad habit of popping into my head, uninvited, whenever I’m bored, and chemistry bores me to no end. Even if I fantasized that Auston and I did nothing more exciting than play checkers, it’s better than chemistry. The problem is I know myself well enough to recognize when a crush slips beyond the point of entertainment into the darkness of obsession. If I don’t get rid of him soon, I’m going to fail chemistry.
So I need to find a flaw, but not just any flaw. I’m looking for something big, something so icky and despicable that every time I think of Auston, I’ll envision this imperfection long before I remember the curve of his biceps or those big, blue eyes.
It took me a while, but I finally found Auston in Surrey, which is a lovely, woodsy section of England where he’s brushing up on his archery skills for his upcoming movie, Raging Arrow. He plays the hero. In every movie, he’s always the hero. There’s a film crew set up nearby, most of them chattering through a lunch break, but here in the shadowy glade by the forest edge, Auston is alone. Except for me. About a hundred feet away from him, a round, ringed target is staked to the ground. The bow in his left hand is an obviously expensive work of art, with scrolls and symbols carved into the polished wood. He draws an arrow from the leather quiver holstered around his back, leans forward and nocks the arrow in one fluid movement.
So far, he is poetry in motion.
Straightening his torso, he steps back with his right leg into an impressive stance and surveys his target. His eyes are the color of my favorite stonewashed jeans, fringed with long, dark lashes, and his eyebrows are so perfectly shaped that I can’t help but wonder if he plucks them. I have a sudden, unpleasant vision of Auston leaning towards my pink magnifying mirror with tweezers in hand, flinching as each little hair is uprooted, like I do.
He squeezes his left eye shut as he draws the string back, the sharp metal tip trembling slightly. I follow the focus of his right eye to the yellow center of the target, the archer’s Holy Grail. His jaw is set. His lips are locked together in concentration, those fantasy lips that half the world’s female population dreams of kissing.
Wait! Could that possibly be a zit on his chin? I zoom up for a closer look. Why yes, it is, and look! There’s a smattering of blackheads across his nose. Tiny flaws, but I’ll take what I can get. He draws the string back a fraction of an inch further, releases and the arrow whizzes through the air.
Bulls eye! I give Auston a generous round of applause, which he cannot hear. I settle myself on a nearby boulder to watch the rest of the show. He launches the arrows with great deliberation. Zzzumpf! Zzzumpf! Zzzumph! Zzzzz … you know, as gorgeous as Auston is, this is getting boring. Maybe he’ll get warm and take off that T-shirt.
No such luck. Ten minutes later, I realize that archery is not an aerobic sport because Auston is still fully dressed. How sad – I was hoping to check for excessive back hair. He pauses to reach into an obviously expensive black leather duffle and retrieves a cobalt blue glass bottle filled with obviously expensive water. After he drains the water in several deep gulps, he hurls the empty bottle into the woods where it shatters against a pine tree.
Gasp! In my religion, littering is a mortal sin. I float there with my mouth hanging wide open, unable to believe that someone who looks so close to perfect could harbor such a severe character flaw, when he clears his throat, a deep, productive reverberation that promises something slimy. I shut my mouth quick and dark back several feet as he spits a wad of chunky green gunk onto the ground.
Okay, I am cured now. Why do guys spit? Do they not realize how disgusting it is? Do they care? I feel a slight tug just above my belly button, the ethereal cord that connects what is spirit to what is flesh, telling me it’s time to go. Before I do, I feel compelled to give him just a hint that I’ve been here, enjoying my own private matinee, well, enjoying it until that final phlegmatic scene.
I position myself directly in front of the target, facing him, hovering there until he loads another arrow and draws the string back, back, back …
… and release.
I hear the whoosh of the arrow heading towards me. I feel the arrow’s vibration closing in on me.
I choose this moment, this precise millisecond in time to concentrate all of my energy into one powerful surge. Those baby blue eyes bulge like two sunny-side-up eggs, and his mouth flops open. I know, I know. I’m riddled with guilt.
In the mirror of Auston’s eyes, you would finally see me, Annaliese Rogan, just an average skinny teenage girl with messy brown hair and olive green eyes staring directly at him with a slightly devious smile. For this flash second, I appear, not as a ghost, not as a mirage, but as solid as any flesh and blood girl. His gaping stare leaves him looking so incredibly … dorky.
Mission accomplished! The arrow whizzes through the air, too late for any hero, real or imagined, to stop. I hear him gasp as it pierces my chest … and poof! I vanish.
Obvious problems: 1) The mention of Legolas immediately dates this – today’s readers are past LOTR and into the Hobbit now, and even that will be old news before long, 2) The story hinges on a love story between Anna and Rei. Mentioning that Anna has a crush on a movie star takes away from Rei and makes Anna seem fickle, something we don’t want to see in our hero, 3) The only purpose of this chapter is to show that Anna can astrally project – there is little to hook the reader, it doesn’t give a good glimpse into her life and what she’s doing now, and 4) Anna is a bit of a brat in this scene. Edits do her a world of good, I promise you!
Now for some more fun! I’m giving away a copy of my NA E-Novella The Next Forever, companion to my debut novel Pretty Amy! All you have to do is comment in the comment section and FOLLOW ME on twitter at @LisaBurstein !
One night in college can change everything…
Away at college, Amy just wants one night alone without her high school sweetheart, Joe. So when he invites her to go to the library, she heads off on her own instead. How she ended up at a house party with the mysterious bad-boy Trevor is another story…
Joe so isn’t going to the library. He needs space from Amy, too, so he’s decided to rush a fraternity, to get back the swagger he had in high school. But it doesn’t take long for the brothers to invite him to the real rush–where the beer is flowing and one particular girl has set her eyes on Joe.
Over the course of one wild night, both Amy and Joe will have to decide if their futures belong with two new people, or whether the next forever will have their first loves in it.
Link to Diana Peterfreund the next stop here !