Welcome to the #NewASH Winter 2017 New Adult Scavenger Hunt
Play the game! It’s a chance to WIN BOOKS!
I’m being hosted by Paula Stokes. You were possibly sent here, mid-hunt, after visiting Kelsey Ketch.
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Suzanne van Rooyen, author of Scardust
Dead Rock, Texas, 2037
Raleigh Williams made a promise to his brother before he died, that he’d scatter his ashes on Mars. Desperate to leave a life of bad memories behind and start over in the Martian colony, Raleigh fully intends to keep that promise. But his plans are thwarted when a meteor near-misses him in the desert, and Raleigh finds in its crater not debris or even a spacecraft, but a man covered in swirling scars and with no memory of who he is. At least he looks like a man—a man Raleigh can’t seem to keep his eyes off of—but whenever they touch it ignites a memory swap between them.
Raleigh agrees to help Meteor Man piece together his life through their cosmic connection. But the memory share goes both ways, and Raleigh becomes inexplicably entangled with a guy who is everything he needs—everything good that Raleigh is not—but might not even be human. As their minds and worlds collide, reality unravels and Raleigh must face a painful truth, one that could shatter his dreams of finding love, reaching Mars, and fulfilling his brother’s last wish.
Check out this short scene!
There’s sand between my toes – not the thirsty dust of Dead Rock dreaming of a summer storm, but the squelching kind that’s somehow cool despite the Corpus Christi swelter. The white-gold beach stretches toward a placid ocean, waves lapping at the shore in time with my heart. Part of me wanted it to be violent, wanted to hear the crash of bone-breaking waves and shudder at the thought of being towed under the foaming swell, but the Atlantic is calm today as Brennan takes my hand.
“Is it how you imagined it would be?” he asks, casting me a furtive glance.
I don’t know. I’ve seen the ocean countless times online, in photos, paintings, a million renditions experienced by other people. I couldn’t have imagined the various shades of blue and green that ripple across its surface. I couldn’t have imagined the sticky perspiration slicking Brennan’s shirt over his chest and trickling between my shoulders. I couldn’t have imagined the scent of salt and the feel of the wind pouring off the edge of the world. Seagulls wheel and screech as I squint into the unforgiving sun. The same sun glares down over all of Texas, but here it doesn’t seem so cruel.
“Yes,” I say, then, “No. I don’t know. It’s so… so… big.”
Inhale. The beach. Exhale. The ocean. Inhale. The world. Exhale. The universe. Inhale. This moment with me standing holding the hand of the guy I love. Exhale. Do I deserve this?
Brennan laughs gently and tugs me closer to the waves. Bear tugs on my other hand, the leash preventing him from tearing after the seagulls. He snaps at the waves, catching the foamy frills with flapping lips. He barks in joy, eyes shiny and whole body wiggling as he wags his tail. That’s how I feel. My whole body vibrating with a joy I can’t even begin to express. I hope Brennan knows. I turn to look at him, the words on my heart never quite making it to my lips.
With a squeeze, he lets go of my hand and starts digging in the sand.
“Tell me if a wave’s coming in,” he says.
I unclip Bear’s leash, watching the ebb and flow as my dog tears through the shallows. The horizon blurs in sun-glare, the water dazzling. I wonder if this is how it’ll feel when we finally get to Mars.
“Raleigh,” Brennan says my name and a frisson passes through my body, setting every nerve ending shaking like a rattlesnake.
“What you think?” he asks when I crouch beside him.
I study what he’s made and can’t help the grin spreading across my face. It’s a perfect replica of Olympus Mons, the tallest mountain in the solar system. Before I get the chance to tell him how brilliant he is, to ask for the umpteenth time if he’s sure he wants to be with me, here on this beach, in space, anywhere – Bear comes hurtling after a seagull, laying waste to the Martian shield volcano.
“Sorry,” I manage to say.
“Doesn’t matter. Pretty soon we’ll get to see the real thing.” Brennan smiles and looks at me with eyes as blue and fathomless as the ocean.
Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland where she finds the heavy metal soothing and the cold, dark forests inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.
Do you feel pretty lucky having read all that? I bet you do! In fact, I bet you feel 11 times luckier than before you got here. Yup. Eleven times luckier. That’s all the fingers plus a nose. Are you with me? Okay!
Prize: LOST!: A themed anthology 2017 (Kindle Edition)
Hosted by: J Lenni Dorner
Winner: Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, 1 winner.
Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States
18+ years of age (or legal age)
Follow J Lenni Dorner on Amazon
By the way… I’m joining the Bout of Books read-a-thon next month! Click to check it out.