So, Before I Let Go hit shelves today and Sourcebooks Fire hooked me up with an excerpt AND info for their Alaska Wake Up Call Giveaway! Check out the excerpt and then follow the link at the end for the giveaway :)
STRANGERS, TRAITORS, GHOSTS
I open the door and jump out of the plan as soon as we land on the narrow strip. The concrete shocks my knees and I stretch in the freezing cold air. I expect to find Mr. Henderson's 4x4 waiting for me, or Sheriff Flynn, maybe. Instead, a lone figure stands against the rising sun. With the light at her back, I can only see her silhouette- a tall, gangly figure whose long hair dances in the wind. She raises a hesitant hand.
My heart skips a beat. Kyra. Without thinking, I start towards her, her name on the tip of my tongue.
Then the light clears. Her nose is smaller. Her hair lighter.
And the shout of recognition dies in my throat.
I forgot. Now I ache to forget.
Behind me, the pilot disembarks. He grabs my backpack and hands it to me. "Your return flight is booked. Be here on time. See you in five days."
So little time, but it has to be enough. "I'll make sure of it. Thank you."
The man hesitates, then says, "Be careful in Lost Creek. Not everything is as it seems here."
Before I can reply with a simple, I know. We've always gone our own way, he turns on his heels with military precision and stalks back to the plane. I head towards Piper, who smirks. Plenty of people don't understand our closed community, our way of living. We're all used to odd comments like these.
Piper wraps her arms around me. She's never done so before, but I cling to her. She's strong and familiar. She smells of winter and home. "Hey, big city girl."
"How was your flight?"
"It was good. Quiet. Early." Strange.
"I can only imagine." Her smile fades. "Mr. H has a business meeting, so he asked me to pick you up. We're glad you're here. Kyra would've liked that."
That's new. These last few years, Piper never considered Kyra's feelings, and now that she's dead doesn't seem like the right time to start.
I sling my backpack over my shoulders, wondering how to phrase this question without sounding accusatory. "What can I expect here, Piper? I know Kyra wasn't exactly...loved."
Piper stiffens, as if I'd slapped her. Then she flicks a wayward lock of hair out of her face. "Do you think us so cold that we wouldn't mourn her?"
"Things changed after you left."
"Nothing ever changes in Lost Creek," I say, out of habit. The only way to mark the passage of time here is by the aging of the children. They grow older, as they're meant to, every birthday the start of a new year. The adults somehow appear to stop aging, and the elderly stop counting the years altogether.
Piper's mouth quirks up, twisting her face into a harsh grimace. "never mind. You'll come to understand."
"Understand what?" I ask, but Piper has already turned away from me.
"We take care of our own here. You ought to know that."
I trek after her and regret not changing into my bunny boots. My sneakers are fit for traveling, but not for withstanding miles of snow. The cold bites.
At least I've arrived with the sun. When Piper and I turn away from the airstrip. towards Lost, bright light peeks out over the horizon. Anticipation takes over and the churning in my stomach settles. I breathe. This is home. The zingy smell of ice in the air. The snow, layered over the permafrost, that crunches beneath our feet.
Amid the gentle hills and pine-tree forests lies the town of Lost Creek. Our small, private universe. From our vantage point, it looks tiny, like a collection of dollhouses rather than a place where people live.
But it is home.
NOTES FROM KYRA TO COREY
Can you see the stars at your new school? I can't imagine that the night sky there is as clear as it is in Lost. When you're back, let's go camping near the springs. Just you and me and a campfire and the northern lights. We'll build a bridge. A bridge between us. I miss you, Corey.
I have plenty more of the excerpt that I would be more than happy to share. Just leave a comment and I'll send it your way!
To celebrate the release of Before I Let Go, Sourcebooks Fire has teamed up with Alaska Wild Berry Product to giveaway an Alaska Wake Up Call gift basket!
Check out the giveaway here:
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