These are some strange times that we live in — and I hope that you all are staying safe and healthy!
Stranger still is that about two years ago, I started writing a virus book . . . in which the virus kills two-thirds of the world’s population . . . and it is up to a girl ten years in the past (our present) to stop its spread.
Even stranger is that this book, MALICE, released on February 4 of this year.
I have to admit, I find it utterly surreal to write this post, as my family and I are beginning our second week of social quarantine. But since this story takes place in the present (with the virus pandemic ten years in the future), I promise it is mostly funny and swoony and suspenseful!!
My awesome publisher, Entangled TEEN, is hosting a blog hop, a virtual road trip, with lots of wonderful prizes and talented authors! This stop on the tour takes you to the suburbs of D.C., in beautiful Maryland, which is also where I live!
I will be giving away a hardcover of MALICE to one lucky winner! To enter, please see details below.
What I know: a boy at my school will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.
What I don’t know: who he is.
In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I’ll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I’m starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice she’s lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way―because now she’s drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved…
Before I know it, I’m a foot away from the basketball court. The players are taking a break, and Bandit stands at the edge of the concrete, taking long pulls from a water bottle. Up close, his brilliant hair looks almost purple, and his T-shirt sticks to his back in sweaty patches, hinting at his solid muscles.
Now what? Do I clear my throat? Tap his shoulder? Going for broke, I do both at the same time.
He turns and lifts his eyebrows, as though wondering how a mere mortal such as myself dares to approach him. He’s tall—really tall. Almost a head above my five feet five. His jaw is chiseled, his shoulders broad. I’m so close that I can feel the heat rising off his body.
My brain scrambles. I forgot to check if I had any food in my teeth! Did I brush my hair this morning? Put on clothes?
Okay, so clearly I’m not naked, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what I’m wearing. Please don’t let it be the navy T-shirt with the faded splotches on the shoulder, from when I accidentally added bleach instead of detergent to the laundry.
I glance down. Jeans and a white tank top—my favorite shirt because it has Lin-Manuel Miranda’s autograph. More than passable.
“I, uh…” My entire vocabulary chooses that moment to flee.
His lids lower, and he looks at me, decidedly bored. “Yes? Can I help you?”
Three, four, five of his basketball friends angle their towering bodies toward us, probably wondering what the interruption is about.
Sweat gathers at the nape of my neck, and electricity hums along my skin. The Voice is about to zap me again. I just know it.
“Running out of time,” the Voice pipes up, as if on cue. “Tell him.”
Say the words and be done with it. Say the words. Say. The. Words.
“I love you,” I blurt. “That is all. Goodbye.”
I wheel around, ready to sprint, when a hand snags my arm. His hand.
“Wait a minute,” Bandit says, his eyes 2 percent less bored. “Are we in third grade? Do you want to give me a note asking if I love you back, so I can circle yes or no?”
My cheeks burn hotter than the sun assaulting my skin. Hotter, even, than the flames that got me into this mess.
I could really use that alien abduction right about now.
The object of my supposed affection smirks. “We can skip the note. Can’t say I blame you for falling for me. I mean, I’m a lovable guy. But have we actually met?” He lowers his voice. “Outside of your wildest dreams, that is.”
For a chance to win a hardcover of MALICE, please comment below! Tell me: would you take one life in order to save a million? Or, you can share with me what you’ve been doing while you have been social distancing!
This contest is open internationally (so long as Book Depository ships to your address!), and I will announce the winner at Entangled’s final FB bash, on March 25, where they will be giving away even more prizes! (I will update here, as well) I hope to see you there!
- Be sure to visit my dear friend, Brenda Drake, tomorrow for the next stop on the tour! It is also her birthday tomorrow, so her post is bound to be extra special!