As you may know if you read this blog, I announced a free audible book giveaway last week. That sentence is totally redundant, I realize, but “free audible book” has such good SEO results, so there you go! 🙂
Now, if you read the post from last week, you’ll see the contest closes tonight, as in 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. (Have we fallen back yet? Wait! It’s still summer, right? 🙂 )
Where was I? Oh, yeah!
So here’s what you need to do to enter the contest for the free audio copy of my young adult novel, INVISIBLE ME.
Just leave a comment on this blog. And be sure to tell me whether you’re in the US or the UK, because I’m giving out one copy to a US citizen and two for my UK readers/listeners! If I only had a TARDIS, I’d do a signing across the pond! 🙂
Meanwhile, please enjoy this excerpt from the novel:
After seventh period, I wander by the gym, half-wondering if I’m being set up or about to be the butt of another practical joke. Lingering by the door, ready to bolt, I hear “psst.” I step into the gym and see Denise standing against a wall a few feet away.
She waves me over. “C’mon. Hurry.” Her voice is pinched. She looks frantic.
“What? Afraid to be seen with the freakazoid chick?”
She grabs my arm and pulls me toward the bleachers. We duck underneath.
I cross my arms. “Well, I guess that answers my question.”
“Hey, look, I’m sorry.” Her voice catches. It’s enough for me to stand down a bit. “I wanted to talk to you because I have a problem. And I can’t discuss it with my friends.”
I roll my eyes. “Are you serious? Take my advice. Don’t go into sales.”
As I turn to leave, she yanks me back. “I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. Please, please listen to me.”
She sounds desperate. I can scarcely believe the most popular girl in my class is begging me for help.
I sigh. “Fine. What is it?”
“It’s my boyfriend, Randy. I think he might be seeing another girl.”
She tells me about Kathleen, a girl she met over the summer in tennis camp. They became doubles partners. Denise introduced Kathleen to all her friends, Randy included. Kathleen goes to another school. I tune out and stifle a yawn. This is a life-or-death problem? “I need you to follow Randy,” she says. “Find out if he’s seeing her.”
“What? Are you kidding? Why don’t you follow him yourself?”
“Because he’ll notice me. I need someone he doesn’t know.”
I laugh. “And I’m the one to do it? Look at me. I don’t exactly blend with the scenery.”
“I’ve got that figured. My sister’s in a theater group. She’ll borrow a wig. You can wear it with a hat and dark glasses. He’ll never spot you.”
I start to protest. Why did she choose me? I’m the new kid and I’m a freak. Ah, that’s why she chose me. Which leaves me with one question.
“Why should I do this?”
Denise leans in and whispers, as if sharing a government top secret. “If you do, I’ll invite you to my birthday party next month.”
For a moment, I’m too stunned to speak.
Denise Laughton’s upcoming birthday bash is the talk of the school. Getting asked is like receiving an invite to Miley Cyrus’s coming-out party.
Denise is talking but I’m not paying strict attention. She shoves a photo of a girl in my face. She’s a pretty redhead with impish green eyes.
“You know Randy, of course,” Denise says. I nod numbly. “If you see him with Kathleen” —she cocks her head toward the photo— “just let me know.”
“Um, okay.” Apparently, we’ve struck a deal. Or so Denise thinks.
I consider saying no, but Denise’s offer entices me. I feel a sudden rush of power. Ha! Look who needs who!
The next day after school, I see Randy and Denise talking. They say their goodbyes and he strides across the street, stopping long enough to give Denise a final wave before disappearing around a corner.
I’m on my bike, my colorless hair tucked under a ridiculous blonde wig. A baseball cap perches atop the monstrosity. Denise has provided light-colored foundation with sunscreen, which I’ve liberally applied to my pale cheeks and other exposed body parts. In case you haven’t heard, albinos burn easily. My eyes are hidden behind dark glasses. I look like the world’s lamest spy.
I set off on my bike, keeping a good distance between Randy and me.
If you bike, you know that maintaining a distance between yourself and a pedestrian is difficult. I keep stopping so I won’t get too close to him. Meanwhile, God knows where Randy’s headed. I figure it can’t be all that far if he’s traveling on foot.
Turns out I’m wrong. Randy makes a right onto a four-lane road. He halts at a sheltered bus stop. I circle back. By the time I’ve returned, an ECAT bus (that stands for Escambia County Area Transit—big time, huh?) is pulling up. Randy boards it. The doors close and the bus takes off. I follow in hot pursuit.
The bus is slow-moving and makes frequent stops. That makes it easy for me to keep up. Randy gets off near a busy intersection and waits, for what I don’t know. I turn down the nearest side street and hide next to a tree where I can observe him unnoticed.
He is tall and slender with glossy brown hair. Cute, but not overly so. He has a way of shoving his hands deep into his pockets, as if he wants to hide them. I find that oddly cute. His nose is a bit crooked, as if it had been broken and not properly set. He looks very serious. He must have a lot on his mind. Is he worried because he’s cheating on Denise? Or is he worried about the crazy girl in the blonde wig who’s been following him?
Another bus wheezes to the curb and Randy gets on. As the doors shut and the bus lumbers off, I cycle behind it. This works well until the bus signals to make a turn onto Route 29, a major highway and bike-unfriendly road. I may be pale, but I’m not suicidal. I coast past, turning my head to watch the bus roar onto the highway. Randy escapes, free and clear, despite my amazing surveillance skills.
And, if you’re into audio and video, well, here you go! 🙂
Still not enough for you? Well, how about eight free chapters? You can get them by clicking here and signing up for my bi-monthly (as in every two months, unless there’s something BIG to report) newsletter! 🙂
Or you can get in on the BIG Back-to-School Giveaway, with free school supplies and YA books! That one starts on Aug. 20 and runs for five days!