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 RED TEAM–but there is also a pink team, a gold team, a blue team, a purple team, a green team, a orange team, and teal 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
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Amy K. Nichols holds a master’s in literature and studied medieval paleography before switching her focus to writing fiction. She is the author of YA science fiction novels NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE (Knopf 2014) and WHILE YOU WERE GONE (Knopf 2015). She is mentored by award-winning novelist James Sallis. Insatiably curious, Amy dabbles in art, studies karate, and has a long list of things to do before she dies. She lives with her family on the edge of the desert outside Phoenix, AZ. In the evenings, she enjoys counting bats and naming stars. Sometimes she names the bats. Visit her online at www.amyknichols.com.
Eevee is a promising young artist and the governor’s daughter in a city where censorship is everywhere and security is everything. When a fire devastates her exhibition—years in the making—her dreams of attending an elite art institute are dashed. She’s struggling to find inspiration when she meets Danny, a boy from a different world. Literally.
Raised in a foster home, Danny has led a life full of hurt and hardship until a glitch in the universe changes everything. Suddenly Danny is living in a home he’s never seen, with parents who miraculously survived the car crash that should have killed them. It’s like he’s a new Danny. But this alternate self has secrets—ties to an underground anarchist group that have already landed him in hot water. When he starts to develop feelings for Eevee, he’s even more disturbed to learn that he might have started the fire that ruined her work.
As Danny sifts through clues from his past and Eevee attempts to piece together her future, they uncover a secret that’s bigger than both of them. . . . And together, they must correct the breach between the worlds before it’s too late.
WHILE YOU WERE GONE tells the flip-side of the first Duplexity novel, NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE, following the story of the alternate Danny and alternate Eevee in Danny’s parallel world.
Sounds amazing, amiright?!
And what’s more awesome? Amy has been awesome enough to give us a guest post AND a peak at her first book below!
I’m so excited to be on Team Red for the YA Scavenger Hunt and to share some bonus material with you! While I’m here promoting WHILE YOU WERE GONE, the second book in the Duplexity series due to be published by Knopf on August 4, the scene I’m sharing with you today is from the first book in the series, NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE.
First, though, a little background.
WHILE YOU WERE GONE tells the story of Danny, a boy who jumps to a parallel world where he’s no longer an orphan, where he has a cool best friend, and where he even gets the girl. But the society his parallel self lives in is a police state about to implode. The people there are weighed down by and fed up with constant security and surveillance. Surprisingly, Danny’s jumping holds the key to solving the problem. With the help of super-secretive Warren, they devise a plan to take down the entire system. If their plan fails, though, they run the risk of sending Danny back to his old world for good.
WHILE YOU WERE GONE is the flipside of the first book, NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE, which tells the story of the alternate Danny and alternate Eevee. Danny jumps from a police state to a free society, only to discover his parallel self is an orphan living in a foster home. He’s a lonely loser who has no friends, let alone a girl. Still, super-smart Eevee who sits next to him in English agrees to help him figure out how he jumped there. With the help of her best friend Warren, they devise a plan to get him home, but now that he has Eevee, he’s not sure back home is where he wants to be.
If you’ve read NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE, you know about the date between Warren and Missy Bivins (which happens off-stage) and its wider implications. The bonus material I’m giving away today is that scene, in all its nerdy splendor. If you haven’t read NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE, I hope this scene piques your interest enough to give it a try. It’s a lot of fun.
Without further ado, I give you…
Caterpillars, Bantha Steak and Secrets
Captain’s Log Stardate 92799.92
I set course to rendezvous with a fascinating life form approximately 1.6 meters tall with astronomical mathematic skills and brown hair typically worn in braids. Melissa Bivins.
Also in the honors track at Palo Brea, Missy sits next to or near me in several classes. She smells of citrus blossoms and potassium iodide. On a number of occasions I’d considered pointing this out, but didn’t want to state the obvious. It’s my understanding that females tend to be deliberate about matters such as perfume choice. Besides, orange trees are in bloom in Phoenix this time of year. Most residents probably carry a certain amount of pollen, and thus the scent, every day without even knowing. Still, I’d resolved that, should the subject come up over the course of the evening, I’d mention it.
That moment came approximately three minutes after she answered her door.
“Hi Warren,” she said, turning a braid around her right index finger.
I moved my goggles—my best pair, the antique aviators—up onto my forehead and said, “Hi Missy.” Then we looked at each other for another minute and a half, and I said, “You smell like citrus blossoms and potassium iodide.”
My keen observation skills must have impressed her. “Thank you,” she said. “I like your shirt.”
I’d chosen the quasi-steampunk Tesla portrait for a number of reasons, the first and foremost being that Nikola Tesla is one of the greatest scientific minds to ever live. Second, the scrollwork and stylized font make it look classy and I wasn’t sure what Missy had planned and if we were going somewhere nice. Also, my favorite shirt, the cosmic Einstein, was dirty. “Tesla was one of the greatest—”
“Scientific minds ever,” she finished and we both smiled.
I followed her through the house to the backyard where she led me up a ladder into the limbs of an enormous mulberry tree. Of course she’d have a killer fort. Inside, the Milky Way stretched across the ceiling. “Did you paint this?”
“My father helped me. He’s an architect.” She picked up a mulberry flower that had fallen through the open window. “They look like caterpillars. Spilarctia luteum maybe?”
I picked one up, too, and inspected it, my mind spinning. A lepidopterist, too? Missy Bivins was full of surprises. “Or spilosoma lubricipeda.”
She held out her pseudo-caterpillar and I touched it with mine. “Cheers.”
We sat on a blanket set in the middle of the fort and ate the dinner she’d prepared with her mom. Lamta, hubba bread, bantha steak soup. The choicest selections from Jun Seros’ diner in Mos Eisley. “It’s really couscous,” she whispered, pointing at the lamta, but we agreed to pretend.
When the sun went down, the Milky Way above us glowed. We ate sugar-dusted pallie and talked about school and the severe lack of challenging homework. We debated DC versus Marvel and tried to solve unsolvable math problems. Then, in a most surprising turn, Missy reached across the blanket and took my hand. “Tell me a secret.”
My mouth went dry. Of course my first thought was the Faraday cage and EMP device I’d been building with Eevee in my garage at home. I wanted nothing more than to tell her about Danny Ogden. If he really had jumped here from a parallel universe, then we were sitting on a discovery that would blow the scientific realm wide open. The words gathered at the front of my brain like podracers revving at a starting line somewhere in the Outer Rim. But secrets are called secrets for a reason. I couldn’t tell her.
Or could I?
“Lle quena i’lambe tel’ Eldalie?”
Her eyebrows furrowed. “Is that Italian?” she asked, confirming my suspicion that she wasn’t familiar with the languages of Middle Earth.
In perfect elven, the secret poured forth from my lips. Somewhere, Tolkien smiled down on me.
“Amazing,” she said, her face beaming despite having no idea the incredible tale I’d just told.
Bolstered by a mix of relief and confidence, I added, “Oio naa elealla alasse’.” Ever is thy sight a joy.
At the end of the evening, when all the pallie and blue milk had been consumed, she walked me to her front door and kissed me on the cheek. “Thank you,” she said, and her finger went back to turning the braid.
I moved my goggles down over my eyes. “Lissenen ar’ maska’lalaith tenna’ lye omentuva.” Sweet water and light laughter till next we meet. Then I turned and walked home, filled with a sense that all was right in the world—or worlds, plural—all the while reciting the names of the stars above.
And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Amy, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 17. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
But WAIT! There’s more!
Enter my bonus giveaway below! I’m giving away 1 copy of RENEGADE to 10 people. It will be signed HC if you’re in the US and e-copy if you’re International.
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