Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt! If you're new to the hunt, you can find out more about how it works here. It's really easy--just add up RED numbers on all the red team posts, and then enter to win a book by EVERY AUTHOR on the Red Team!
I'm thrilled to welcome author Kristi Cook to the blog today for the YA Scavenger Hunt! I especially love authors with less than 7 letters in their first names, and Kristi's new book, MAGNOLIA, sounds awesome. Here's a little more about it...
"Jenna and Ryder are far from friends—until a storm stirs up their passion in this contemporary southern romance from New York Times bestselling author Kristi Cook.
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, The Cafferty and Marsden families are practically royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when the families finally have a baby boy and girl at the same time, the perfect opportunity seems to have arrived.
Except Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen—oh, and also? They hate each other. But when a violent Mississippi storm ravages through Magnolia Branch, it unearths feelings Jemma and Ryder didn’t know they had. And the line between love and hate just might be thin enough to cross…"
And here's a Secret Excerpt from MAGNOLIA...not seen anywhere else!
I run out onto the front porch, trying to slow my racing heart as I peer out into the night. The light gets closer and closer, causing hope to blossom in my chest.
“Hey!” a familiar voice calls out, and I nearly weep with relief.
He’s back. Thank God.
But then…the relief is immediately replaced with anger. “Where the hell have you been?” I ask, my voice shaking.
He clicks off the flashlight and makes his way up the porch steps. “Didn’t you see my note?”
“Are you kidding me?” I sputter. “Do you have any idea how many hours you’ve been gone?”
“Yeah, sorry about that. The house was fine, but the pool was a mess. A tree fell through the screen, and the roof was ripped off the pool house.”
“You’re sorry? That’s all you have to say?” I take two steps toward him, fury thrumming through my veins. “Do you have any idea how worried I was? God, Ryder! I thought you were lying in a ditch somewhere. I thought you were hurt, or…or…” I trail off, shaking my head. “I was about to go looking for you, out in the pitch dark!”
He reaches for my hand, but I slap him away.
“Don’t touch me! I swear, I can’t even look at you right now.” I turn and reach for the door. But before I can fling it open, Ryder pulls me toward him, his hands circling my wrists.
“Look, I’m sorry, Jemma. It took me forever to get there, what with all the flooding and everything. And then I was trying to clean stuff up and…well, I guess the time just got away from me.”
I try to pull away, but he tightens his grip. “I didn’t mean to scare you,” he says.
“Well, you did scare me.” I manage to pull one hand loose, and I use it to whack him in the chest. “Idiot!”
“I’m fine, okay? I’m here.”
“I wish you weren’t!” I yell, fired up now. “I wish you were lying in a ditch somewhere!” I stumble backward, my heel catching on the porch’s floorboards.
“You don’t mean that,” Ryder says, sounding hurt.
He’s right; I don’t. But I don’t care if I hurt his feelings—I’m too angry to care. Angry and relieved and pissed off and…and, God, I’m so glad he’s okay. I thump his chest one more time in frustration, and then somehow my lips are on his—hungry and demanding and punishing, all at once.
I hear him gasp in surprise. His mouth is hot, feverish even, as he kisses me back. The ground seems to tilt beneath my feet. I stagger back toward the door, dragging him with me without breaking the kiss. Ryder’s tongue slips between my lips, skimming over my teeth before plunging inside. And…
Oh. My. God. No one’s ever kissed me like this. No one. His hands and his tongue and his scent and his body pressed against mine…it’s making me lightheaded, dizzy. Electricity seems to skitter across my skin, raising gooseflesh in its wake. I cling to him, grabbing fistfuls of his T-shirt as he kisses me harder, deeper. I was meant to do this, I realize. I was made to kiss Ryder Marsden. Everything about it is right, like the last piece of a puzzle falling into place.
As a child, Kristi Cook took her nose out of a book only long enough to take a ballet class (or five) each week. Not much has changed since then, except she’s added motherhood to the mix and enjoys penning her own novels as much as reading everybody else’s. A transplanted southern gal, Kristi lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Congratulations on the new book, Kristi!
Hunters: Let me know in the comments...what's the coolest thing you've found on The Hunt so far?
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