Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt!
This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes in a scavenger 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 book from every author on my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online till Sunday!
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’m on the RED TEAM but there are also teams of many other colors. Enter them all to win different sets of 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.
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.
LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.
CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful. . . .
Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.
SMASH & GRAB: First stab at the first chapter.
Keep out. Trespassers will be prosecuted.
The sign is directly in my face, right at eye level when I pull the metal cutters out of my backpack. I read it out loud and behind me Whitney snickers as she leans into my back, urging me forward. She’s covered in goose bumps and shivering because she is still wearing the sparkly silver cocktail dress she had on at dinner earlier at Mr. Chows. Then it made perfect sense. You have to make a statement at places like Mr. Chows, get people to notice you, but here and now, in the spillway we’re trying to do the exact opposite. We need to be at least a little stealthy. Good thing it’s too dark for anyone up on the overpass to really see her from this distance.
“Are you going in or what, slowpoke?” She huffs and then I hear the soft clicking sound her camera makes as she snaps a selfie in front of the gate and the sign.
“Are you mental? You put that up and there will be evidence that we were here.” I give her a pointed look as I work the metal cutters into place. I’m planning to snip the fence itself and not the oversized padlock. The metal there is less thick and easier to manage.
“Smile, princess,” Whitney says and her phone clicks again.
“You’re deleting those,” I say knowing full well that she’ll post the pic within the next three seconds and in four it’ll be reposted by nearly half the kids at school. I should be worried, but I’m not. This isn’t the first time we’ve done something mildly illegal. So far we’ve never been caught. In reality I’m not sure how many man hours the LAPD might actually put into a trespassing case, but my guess is not many.
Snip! Snip! Snip! Snip!
The lock and an uneven square of fencing drop to the dirt with a satisfying thud that is quickly swallowed up by a low set of cheers from the people lined up behind Whitney and me. The gate complains loudly as I push it open. We slip through as soon as the gap between it and the fence is wide enough for us to fit. My nerves are all on high alert, every sense heightened. I am awake the way you are when you know you’re doing something wrong. Which is to say no part of me is not here. In this moment. Aware. Something that never happens in the middle of say, chemistry class or at dinner with my parents or in any other moment of my life. Some part of me is always wandering then, stuck inside my own head, thinking about everything and nothing with my skin practically crawling over my bones with the need to not be still.
We walk down the dirt road that leads into the spillway. It’s dark with only the weak light of a dozen or so streetlights lined up on either of the streets above illuminating it. It smells a little rotting trash mixed with creek water the further down we go.
“You’re sure that they won’t fill it back up until morning?” I ask Elena.
“Of course I’m sure. Dad talked to the director who had it emptied. It’s supposed to stay this way until tomorrow afternoon in case they need to reshoot anything.”
Elena and Whitney’s dad directs himself and seems to know every single movie that’s shooting around town at any given time. Normally this isn’t something either of them keeps track of—unless there’s an unusually hot actor involved— and even then they’d rather run into him at a dozen different LA hot spots instead of lined up alongside a shoot with the rest of the groupies, but for what we’ve got planned, this is vital information. We wouldn’t want a wall of water rushing through here while we’re racing motorcycles down the spillway. I might be into fun and risky, but death defying not so much.
Elena catches up to Whitney and me and flanks my other side so I’m sandwiched between the both. Unlike Whitney, she isn’t dressed like we’re going out dancing later. She’s got on a black leather jacket and combat boots, both so new that they make creaking noises when she moves. She even sprung for a knit skull cap which she’s pulled over her meticulously relaxed and flat-ironed black hair at an angle that looks both tough and flirty. I almost laugh out loud. She looks like a character out of The Fast and Furious or something—street tough and edgy, or at least as edgy as a trust fund baby can look.
“Who are you supposed to be? Michelle Rodriquez? Cause even dressed like that it’s a stretch.” I say, bumping my arm playfully against hers. I get a strong whiff of warm leather mixed with some kind of floral perfume that tickles my nose and makes me want to cough.
“More like a female Vin Diesel,” she says and Whitney rolls her eyes. Her lips settle into a half amused smile—mirroring Elena’s expression. Even dressed as differently as they are, it’s hard to tell them apart. If they switched clothes and claimed to be one another, I would still be fooled for a few minutes despite our ten years of friendship. They have the same high cheekbones and silky smooth skin that—between their liberally applied body glitter and the street lights—looks almost coppery tonight.
I walk a little ahead, leading the way down to where the race will start. I shove the metal cutters back into my backpack and throw it over one shoulder. The spillway is dark at first, but my eyes adjust quickly and as we get closer I can see the remnants of the movie set that was here earlier today. There’s an overturned metal shopping cart at the bottom of the dirt road we’re on now and two rusted out trash barrels set out, the lingering smell of wood smoke still wafting off of them every time the breeze kicks up. I breathe in and try to savor it. I love that smell. It reminds me of fall and burning leaves—which is completely out of place for this time of year, this close to summer.
I trot out onto the flat expanse of cement that makes up this section of the spillway. To my left and right are overpasses, bridges that have center dividers supporting them that separate the spillway’s path into two, perfect for creating lanes for each racer. In less than ten minutes I will be riding across this cement, pushing Quinn’s motorcycle to its max speed and Noah will be so far back I won’t be able to separate his bike from the shadows. I will win and he will lose and then finally, finally maybe I will be able to see him and not feel weak and sick to my stomach.
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