Welcome to the Doomed Scavenger Hunt! Over the next eight days, Tracy Deebs and Mundie Moms are sending you on a scavenger hunt through eight different blogs. In Doomed, the three main characters embark on a scavenger hunt that winds itself through a video game and the real world in order to stop a countdown to nuclear annihilation. Our scavenger hunt is nowhere near as complicated– or as scary– as what Pandora and her friends have to go on. Instead, all you have to do is visit the eight sites, read the excerpts and find the hidden number in each of the entries. At the end of the eight days, add up all eight of the numbers and then (what Katie? rafflecopter or email me? how does this work?) to be entered to win a $75 gift card to your choice of Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Apple. There are also prizes to be won at every stop, so make sure to get your entries in. Happy hunting!!!!!
About the Author:
Tracy Deebs collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. From the first page of that first book, she knew she’d found her life-long love. Now a writing instructor at her local community college, Tracy writes YA novels that run the gamut from dark mermaids and witches to kissing clubs and techno-Armageddon stories… and she still has a soft spot for Judy Blume.
Suddenly, Eli shouts, “Holy shit! What happened to you?”
I’m in the back seat, so I can’t see anything but the right side of Theo’s face, which looks fine to me, bruised cheekbone and cuts from the accident notwithstanding. Scrambling out of my seat belt, I lean forward and finally see what Eli is talking about. There’s a jagged wound at Theo’s left temple and blood is dripping from it, all the way down his face.
Theo shrugs, barely bothered by a cut that looks intensely painful. “Nothing big. Just an altercation over the allocation of resources that we paid for.”
“What does that mean?” asks Eli.
“They jumped you for the water?” I say at the same time.
“Why didn’t you call me, man? I would have had your back.”
“And leave Pandora on her own? I don’t think so.”
Anger sweeps through me at the condescending answer. “I’m not the one who got his face bashed in,” I tell him. “They weren’t after me.”
“You’d be surprised at everything those guys were after,” Theo says, and there’s something in his voice. Something that tells me the fight was about more than water. The knots in my stomach twist a little tighter.
Eli must have figured out the same thing because his13 cheeks flush angrily. “It’s like Lord of the Flies out there. Any second I expect someone to jump out and scream, `Kill the pig!’”
“Pull over,” I urge Theo. “I want to look at your face.”
“In a little while. I want to put some distance between us and them.”
“But your cheek—“
“Will be in a lot worse shape if those bastards catch up with us. Keep driving, Theo,” Eli snarls. He’s furious and I don’t blame him. I want to go back to that stupid gas station and beat the hell out of the guys who messed with Theo. For him to look the way he does, there had to be more than one or two of them. He’s just too strong and too big for it to be anything else.
I drop my gaze from his face—I can’t look at it anymore—and end up staring at his bruised and skinned knuckles instead. How much worse is this thing going to get?
I scoot to the back, pull some ice out of the cooler and wrap it in one of the shirts they bought me earlier at Wal-Mart. “Here, put this on your face,” I tell Theo.
He starts to argue, but I stare him down in the rearview mirror, and finally he acquiesces. “Fine. Thanks.”
I pull out another shirt—a pale pink, ribbed tank top—along with one of the two bras I’d packed in my backpack. I’m soaking wet from my awkward-in-the-extreme hair wash.
“Don’t look back here for a minute,” I tell them, even though I know it’s ridiculous. They saw me running around at the accident scene in nothing more than a bra, but this is different. More intimate.
I try to climb into the third seat, but the supplies are stacked so deep that it’s almost impossible. I give up, settle on facing backwards as I shimmy out of my wet clothes and into the new ones.
I turn around just in time to catch Eli watching me from the mirror in his sun visor and I smack him on the back of the head. “I think we need to establish some ground rules,” I growl.
Eli just laughs, his green eyes gleaming mischievously. “I think you have me confused with Theo. I’m not the rule-following kind.”
“You need to start. At least when it comes to seeing me naked.”
Theo’s eyes jump to the rearview mirror. “He saw you naked?”
He sounds so annoyed that I swat him too, for good measure, before settling back against my seat. I’m exhausted, completely drained. It’s been over twenty-four hours since I’ve slept and I know I should try to rest now, but I can’t. I’m way too hyped up and nervous.
“Hey, Pandora, have you got any gum?” Eli asks a couple minutes later.
I toss him my backpack. “I think there’s some in the front pocket.”
“Thanks.” He opens it up, then pulls out an envelope. “Hey what are these pictures of?”
Too late I remember shoving the pictures I’d downloaded from my father into my bag—back before I realized that he was the cause of all this.
“They’re the pictures my father sent me. The ones that uploaded the worm when I clicked on them.”
Theo swivels to face me. “You have copies of them?”
He pulls the van over. “Let me see them.”
“Why? They’re just stupid pictures of when I was little. Nothing else.”
“Still.” He all but rips the envelope out of Eli’s hands. He doesn’t say anything while he goes through them, and neither does Eli, who is looking over his shoulder. They flip through all twelve of them, then start at the beginning again. “What are you looking for?” I demand.
“I don’t know. But I have a hard time believing these are just pictures. Your father seems too smart for that,” Theo says.
“They weren’t just pictures. They were the worm!”
“There’s got to be more. Otherwise, why have you launch the worm? Why not just do it himself?”
“Hey, isn’t that the capitol building, in Austin?” Eli asks, pointing to one of the pictures.
“So your dad reprogrammed Pandora’s Box to start out next to the capitol. Don’t you think that’s strange?”
I start to tell him that this whole thing is strange, but then I remember my weird shock at being dropped into the game in the center of Austin. The strange feeling of déjà vu that overcame me. “What are you trying to say?” I ask, taking the picture from Eli.
“Get out your laptop,” Theo tells me. “You need to go back.”
“Go back where?”
“To the beginning of the game. There’s a clue hidden in the capitol somewhere.”
“That’s ridiculous? A clue to what?” I’m totally confused
“I don’t know. But it’s there.” He glances at Eli and for once there’s no animosity in his voice when he asks, “How much do you want to bet?”
“Nothing else makes sense,” Eli agrees. “We knew you were missing something.”
“Why would he do that? Why would he go through all the trouble of bringing the world to a crashing halt, only to leave clues as to how to make it okay again?”
“Isn’t that what it said? Beat the game, save the world?”
“Do you really believe that?”
“I think we have to believe it. Or what’s the point?” Theo interjects.
“There is no point! He’s crazy.”
“Look, just try, okay?” Eli says. “What’s it going to hurt?”
Me, I think. It’s going to hurt me even more than I already have been. I don’t want to get my hopes up, don’t want to pretend that my father is something more, or better, than he is. It’ll just hurt too much when this whole thing ends up being nothing more than a wild goose chase. I want to say all that, but I can’t. Not even to them. I don’t want anyone to see what’s inside me right now.
But they’re both looking at me, waiting for me to do what they ask or give them an excuse as to why I won’t. They’ve risked everything for me and this is all they’ve asked. How can I say no?
Thank you to Tracy we have an awesome prize to enter to win! Want to win a $75 gift card to Barnes & Noble or Amazon or Apple? Than fill out the form below. The winner will be contacted and at that time will get to choose which gift card they’d like.