Hi all. *waves hello* Today, I am so excited to share with you a guest post written by Vanessa Barneveld, author of the novel This Is Your Afterlife. Vanessa’s guest post features a bonus scene which she wrote especially for Treasured Tales for Young Adults. A big thank you to Vanessa for her amazing guest post and to Sonia from Bloomsbury Australia for the opportunity to host Vanessa on my blog. 🙂
~ Happy Reading ~
Alishia, thank you so much for inviting me to Treasured Tales for Young Adults! I’m excited to be here. I’ve written a bonus scene from my debut book, This Is Your Afterlife, especially for you and your readers.
First, a little background…
Sixteen-year-old Keira Nolan has finally got what she wanted-the captain of the football team in her bedroom. Problem is he’s not in the flesh. He’s a ghost and she’s the only one who can see him.
Keira’s determined to do anything to find Jimmy’s killer. Even it if means teaming up with his prickly-yet-dangerously-attractive brother, Dan, also Keira’s ex-best-friend. Keira finds that her childish crush is fading, but her feelings for Dan are just starting to heat up, and as the story of Jimmy’s murder unfolds, anyone could be a suspect.
This Is Your Afterlife is told in Keira’s point of view, but this bonus scene shows Dan’s perspective. It takes place after his brother, Jimmy, vanishes from their tiny Northern California town.
It’s only when a cramp seizes my palms that I realize I’m still gripping the wheel. I loosen my hands. Finger-shaped impressions linger on the leather, then disappear.
Gone. Just like Jimmy.
I slide down in the seat and stifle a yawn. A half-empty pretzel bag crunches under my thigh. I’d driven all night. Purposely at first. Then aimlessly toward dawn. I don’t remember driving through the school gates. All I know is the place was deserted at the time.
Now kids drift past my car in groups. Gossiping. Joking around. Do they care that my brother’s missing? Does anyone even know? Students herd toward the main entrance. Glass doors open wide and swallow them whole. I can’t follow them in there. Can’t sit in class like nothing happened.
I slap my cheek to wake myself up. Stubble grazes my hand. Five more minutes. That’s all I need, and then I’ll keep looking. I’ll find Jimmy before our folks get home from their vacation.
I glance at the dashboard clock.
I’m running out of time.
An ancient VW Bug rumbles to a stop nearby. It’s easy to pick out the driver, even from where I’m sitting. Keira Nolan. Can’t deal with her either.
At the same time, it’s hard to take my eyes off Keira. That’s always been my problem. The Bug shudders and coughs before dying. Keira sits with her head tilted to one side, in no hurry to get out. Her lips move. Is she singing along to the radio? Giving herself a pep talk?
She shakes her head, then nods emphatically. Oh, yeah, a pep talk.
When she does climb out, she flicks a glance my way. I duck further down. It’s stupid. I know she can’t see me through the window’s dark tint. So I sit up again, but by now she’s on her way to the main hall, gesticulating and nodding to herself.
A stiff breeze sprinkles pine needles over the car’s bonnet. The noise is slight, but enough to spark an idea in my head. An idea I can’t shake. I’d driven all the way to San Jose and back thinking maybe Jimmy had gone to our grandparents’ house for God knows what reason. I’d searched every street and alley in Halverston. But there’s one place I haven’t looked—Camberwell Forest. All fifty square miles of it.
I rev the engine and drive like my life—and Jimmy’s life—depends on it.
© 2014 Vanessa Barneveld
Wasn’t that an awesome guest post. Thanks, Vanessa.
More information about This Is Your Afterlife and Vanessa Barneveld:
website ~ blog ~ facebook ~ twitter ~ goodreads