The first ever Evernight Teen Valentine's Blog Hop is here!! Join in the fun for your chance to win some fantastic prizes from Evernight Teen and Evernight Teen's fabulous authors, including YOURS TRULY from February 14 through February 17!
It's easy! My challenge is for you to read the excerpt below and answer the question that follows in the comment section. You also need to leave your email address so I can email your fantastic prize, which is....DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!....a digital copy of PHOENIX: THE RISING. That's all you have to do, but I will also love you forever if you'd "share" this post on your Facebook or Twitter account, AND, when you find yourself on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, please "LIKE" PHOENIX: THE RISING (we authors COVET "likes" and "shares"!) Once you're done with my challenge, click on the linkies for the other authors and Evernight Teen to see what glorious challenges they have in store for you!
And now, for the excerpt and challenge question:
Allison was just beginning to nod off when she heard two car doors slam. She swung her feet off the Natuzzi and scanned the room. TV—off . Cushions—straight . Dirty glasses—in the dishwasher . Just as the front door opened, she yanked her almost-forgotten ear buds out, cutting off Katy Perry in mid-chorus, and stuffed both the buds and her iPod in the pocket of her running shorts.
Allison pasted on a smile as first Mrs. Paulsen—and then Mr. Paulsen—entered the room. Mrs. Paulsen, a slightly overweight, frump of a woman who looked closer to fifty than her actual age of thirty-four, smiled sweetly with her too-red lips and cocked her head to the side as she patted Allison’s arm.
“How’d things go tonight, dear? Did the boys give you any trouble?”
Allison raised her eyebrows and lied through her newly braceless teeth. “It went really well. The boys had a good time.”
Mr. Paulsen pulled out a money clip and sauntered over to Allison as his wife went upstairs to check on the boys. He was obviously on the far side of forty, but tried to dress the part of a younger man in low-riders and a striped tee pulled dangerously thin across his bulging mid-section.
“Are you sure you don’t want a ride home?” Mr. Paulsen handed her a twenty-dollar bill, warm and limp from the ride in his front pocket. “I wouldn’t want anything to happen to my favorite babysitter.” Paulsen’s eyes shifted from Allison’s face down to her chest, where they stayed for several uncomfortable seconds before moving back up.
Allison felt the hot rush of blood to her face as she folded the bill and stuck it in her pocket. She wiped her hands down the front of her shorts. It didn't help. “No thanks, Mr. P. I’m training for cross country. Besides, my parents are fine with it.”
Paulsen thought for a moment then traced his tongue between the seam of his lips. “All right, but if you change your mind, just call. I can be there in a flash.”
Forcing a smile, she pulled open the front door and sprinted away, trying to gain as much distance in the shortest amount of time possible between herself and the ogling pervert.
Allison fell into her pace, running parallel with the broken yellow line down the middle of the road that led to her father’s small sheep ranch located just two miles outside of Palisades. Cars rarely frequented this lonely stretch of road, so it was quite a surprise when she saw the dim glare of headlights headed her way.
The car, which was coming at a good clip towards her, slowed as the headlights illuminated Allison’s moving form. Her heart skipped a few uncertain beats, and she instinctively moved to the side of the road. A rush of adrenalin kicked in and her pace quickened. As the car passed, a hand shot out the driver’s side window and waved. “Hey, Chica!”
Allison breathed a sigh of relief and smiled to herself as she waved back. She recognized the voice as one belonging to a Paiute boy from her History class, but she couldn’t recall his name.
Allison returned to the middle of the road and settled into her pace once again. She removed a band from her wrist, gathered her curly auburn hair and secured it into a high ponytail, never breaking stride. About a half mile up the road, she saw the lights of her house and decided to sprint. As she kicked it in gear, the roar of a racing engine came up behind her. She turned to see headlights bearing down on her. Too late.
The crack of bone and snap of ligaments registered in Allison’s brain at the same time her face slammed onto the hood of the car. It was at that moment she realized she had been hit, and she wondered why it didn’t hurt. A microsecond later, she was airborne, catapulting off the hood when the driver hit the brakes.
I’m Superman! Clark’s words echoed in her head as she flew through the air. She could see her legs extending outwards, following her in flight, but they didn’t look right. The knees were bent the wrong way. Backwards. Backwards was not good. She couldn’t run with them backwards.
She heard another crack as she landed. The blacktop seemed to mold itself around the back of her head, cradling it like a stinky, black, memory foam pillow. Allison felt no pain, only a muddy sluggishness that seemed to be clouding her senses. She was, unfortunately, still lucid enough to taste the metallic tang of blood as it pooled in the back of her throat, choking her. Still lucid enough to come to the horrible realization that she couldn’t turn her head to spit it out ... or cough ... or feel her body. As she struggled for one last breath, someone spoke.
“See, I told you she had green eyes.”
There are two reasons Allison didn't accept a ride from Mr. Paulsen. One is obvious, one is only hinted at by Allison's reaction to Paulsen. Give me one of those reasons, or both, if you can (if you get one right, your name still goes in the drawing for the prize!)
Now write your answer and your email address in the comment box, then HOP on over to the next blog by clicking on one of the 7 links below. Thanks and have fun! (The winning name will be drawn on the 18th.)