Monday, 8 November 2010

The Replacement Blog Tour: An Excerpt of The Replacement and Bracelet Giveaway!

 Today we have a very special excerpt from The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff! And scroll down for a giveaway at the end of the post!

Brenna's note – This is a scene from the beginning of the book and I'm probably over-explaining, but here goes anyway: Mackie is walking home from school and meets a very strange man.


I walked along Welsh Street until I came to the place where the road dead-ended. I stepped over the low concrete divider and started down the footpath toward the slag heap.
    When the refinery was running, they’d just dump the gravel and quicklime into the ravine to get rid of it. It piled up for years, covered in skinny trees and clumps of weeds. It was the only part of Gates that still existed.
    There were dump hills and slag heaps all over the county, but in Gentry, the elementary school kids never climbed the fences. Other towns’ slag heaps were fenced for liability reasons. They were low and gray and not very interesting. Ours were so black they looked burned. They were fenced because it was better to stay away.
    The stories people told were the campfire kind, possessions and hauntings. Grinning, rotting things that rose from the dead at night and walked around deserted streets. None of it was believable, but that was irrelevant. It didn’t matter if the stories were just stories. You still didn’t want to go there.
    Partway down the side of the hill, the path split and followed a footbridge across to the other side of the ravine. A man was standing in the middle of the bridge, which was weird because it wasn’t the kind of place grown-ups usually hung out. He was leaning on the railing, staring out with his chin in his hands. He looked familiar in a way I couldn’t place.
    I didn’t really want to go any closer, but I had to walk past him to get home or else climb back up the hill and go all the way around to Breaker Street. I shoved my hands into the pockets of my jacket and stepped out onto the bridge.
    “You look awful,” he said as I came up next to him. It was a strange thing to say because it was rude and he was a stranger, but also because he wasn’t looking at me.    
    He had on a long coat with frayed cuffs and military stripes sewed onto the sleeves. There was a row of holes down the front, like someone had cut the snaps out.
    “Your eyes,” he said suddenly, turning to stare at me. “Your eyes are black as stones.”
    I glanced back over my shoulder to make sure there was no one else on the path before I nodded. My eyes were always dark, but iron just made it worse. The dizziness was nearly gone, although I still felt sweaty and pale.
    The man leaned closer. The skin around his eyes was bruised, oily looking. His complexion was an unhealthy shade of yellow. “I could help you.”
    “I’m not an expert or anything, but you look like you need a little more help than I do.”
    That made him smile, which didn’t improve his appearance. “My face is simply a result of my poor breeding, but you, my friend, are in bad shape. You need something to get you back on your feet.” He pointed across the bridge to the other side of the ravine, my quiet suburban neighborhood and my house. “That way lies misery. It’s what you’re going home to, and I think you know it.”
    Rain pattered on the bridge. I glanced over the rail and down at the slag heap. It was so black that you could almost see other colors. My heart was beating harder than was comfortable.
    “I’m not interested,” I said. My mouth was dry.
    He nodded gravely. “But you will be.”
    It didn’t sound like a threat or a warning. His voice was flat. He took a watch out of his coat pocket and turned away from me, flipping the lid open but staring down at the slag heap.
    After a minute, I edged past him, careful not to let our shoulders touch. I crossed to where the path climbed the other side of the ravine and came out at the intersection of Orchard and Concord. I kept going, trying hard to fight the panic in my chest. A small, fearful part of me was convinced he was following, he was coming up behind me, but when I turned back toward the bridge, there was nothing.

 Creepy, right?

Well now you can enter to win a Replacement themed bracelet! The bracelet has charms just like the mobile on the cover. The contest is US only and ends on November 15 at 2 EST. So you have one week to enter! I'd tell you all I'd announce the winner on the blog, but I never do. So if you're the winner, you'll get an email next Monday. ;)



Good luck everyone!

--Julie

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