Welcome back to our site during the Halloween Character Booktacular celebration. Today is the last day to celebrate because its HALLOWEEN! So Happy Halloween everyone. OUaT's day to post was every Weds during October. You can still see the full schedule HERE. This event is hosted by A Book Lovers Review and Good Choice Reading.
Today's author is known for a book called The Summer of No Regrets that was released this year through Sourcebooks Fire. Katherine Grace Bond wrote a special Halloween treat for all the readers to indulge in. This treat might contain Aliens, so enjoy!
For this little Halloween story, I indulged one of my favorite obsessions.
THE AUTUMN OF NO REGRETS: ALIEN INVASION
Natalie’s tombstone-covered lawn was freezing, despite all the layers I was wearing. My face itched where I’d wrapped my headpiece way too tightly. Was this a stupid thing to wear? It had seemed like a good idea earlier. But now, with Luke gone, I was second-guessing everything. Even if he’d been in town and able to come to the party, I wouldn’t have asked it of him. He got attention everywhere he showed his face, even if he told people, “No, I am not Trent Yves.” That’s why he kept to himself, why he confided in almost no one. Except me.
I stepped onto the porch and nearly jumped out of my skin as a zombie swung out at me, shrieking. The second stair triggered two strobes, which began to flash wildly, making me queasy. Halloween was Natalie’s favorite holiday. It wasn’t mine. I was here because I’d promised her, because she loved costume parties more than anything—except perhaps movie stars.
Last summer, when people heard there was a guy in Kwahnesum who looked just like Hollywood’s favorite bad boy, things had gotten interesting. They got even more interesting after I saved his life—but that’s a long story. It had been nearly a month since Luke had climbed on a plane—again. I didn’t think I’d ever be used to it. Texting and talking on the phone weren’t the same as having his arms around me.
Before I could ring the bell, the door opened and a bunch of people I didn’t know spilled into the yard. The crowd included Darth Vader, with Beyoncé on his arm, Harry Potter laughing at something Kristen Stewart had said, and Simon Cowell, who squinted at me and shook his head. Behind them, I could see Natalie in a blonde wig, wearing a white dress and very red lipstick, and sipping coke out of a clear blue cup. “Marilyn Monroe?” I shouted over the din.
“There you are, Brigitta!” She put the cup down and pulled me inside, then held me out in front of her and looked me up and down. “You’re a nun,” she sighed. “I said, ‘Come as a celebrity.’”
“I’m Saint Theresa of Lisieux.”
“Whoever that is.”
“She’s sort of a celebrity.”
Natalie tugged on the black veil part of my headpiece. “Is he coming?”
“Who?” I tried to bluff.
“Brigitta, you know who I mean. I didn’t tell anyone; I was saving him as a surprise.”
“You were saving him? Like the last piece of pie?” This was exactly what I was afraid of. And exactly why I had waited so long to tell her about Luke last summer.
“Well?” she pressed.
I shook my head. “Gone,” was all I could contribute.
“He found out you’d become a nun.” She gave me one of her upside-down smiles.
“Who else would I come as?”
“Blake Lively, Ashley Olsen,” she counted blondes on her fingers. “I think you could even pull off Paris Hilton.”
“I don’t have the dog.”
Cheryl Thompson appeared from the basement dressed as Cat Woman. “You could have borrowed my dog,” she said. “He’s pretty laid back.”
“Oh!” squealed Natalie, “Wait until you see who Cheryl’s brother came as.”
Cheryl rolled her eyes.
“Who?” I said.
“Not telling,” said Natalie.
Under my habit my cellphone buzzed. I couldn’t pull it out because Natalie was already towing us through a cluster of Anime characters, past She-Hulk and Ashlee Simpson and down the stairs. I wanted to find somewhere private to read the text. And I had no desire to run into Zach Thompson, who had made “obnoxious” into an art form.
At the bottom of the stairs, I slipped into the bathroom and flipped on the light, startled me to see how convincing I was as a nun. Luke’s text said only:
For just a moment my mind flooded with horrible emoticon interpretations: Narrowed eyes--meaning “I’m mad.” (So mad that one of my ears is bigger than the other?) Or were they closed eyes and it meant “You put me to sleep.” Or maybe (___) was me and (| meant “I’ve found a girl skinnier than you.”
“???” I texted back.
All I got in return was:
Luke loved to text these little treasure hunts to me. Once the clues had led me into the treehouse where he’d left a book of poems for me in the window seat. Another time, they led me to a jewelry shop in Bellevue Square where there was an amethyst pendant waiting. It made the separation easier, but I’d have given up all the presents just to have him back. What I really wanted to do now was go home and call him, but I’d given Natalie my word that I’d stay at least an hour.
Someone pounded loudly on the bathroom door. “Just a sec.” I tucked my phone away and stepped into the hall. Zach Thompson leaned against the wall, shirtless and wearing a cowboy hat and sunglasses.
“Well hello, Sister!” He whistled. “Do you want to hear my confession?” He smelled of beer, which was out of place at one of Natalie’s parties.
Cheryl, coming around the corner, almost tripped over the hem of my habit. She scowled at her brother and shouldered past him. “You don’t look anything like Trent Yves, Zach.”
“Don’t I?” He waggled his eyebrows at me over his shades. “You ought to see my sword.”
Leaning against the other wall a guy who was, I think, supposed to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, guffawed.
“Don’t encourage him,” Cheryl shot over her shoulder as she disappeared into the Inner Sanctum, which was what Natalie called her rec room.
I hadn’t planned on encouraging Zach. As insufferable as the real Trent Yves was known to be, Zach was ten times worse.
I followed Cheryl, but not before Zach reached out and pinched my butt, whispering, “I’d love to get into your habit, Sister.”
In the Inner Sanctum Natalie was singing “Some Like it Hot” into a karaoke mic while Frankenstein and Taylor Swift cheered her on. The room was full of fake spider webs, a glowing cauldron on the latte bar and multiple pumpkins along the walls. I grabbed some punch in a clear, blood-red cup. Obviously, Natalie’s little sister Bekah had been the decorator. Against the closet was something covered in black crepe paper that looked more like an ironing board than a coffin; behind the couch was some kind of octopus-shaped sculpture covered in orange lights; and next to the sliding door was another hulking metal sculpture that looked like a giant saltshaker with a camera lens protruding from its lid. A toilet plunger and an egg whisk stuck out of it at odd angles. Bekah was nothing if not original.
My pocket vibrated again. I found a lamp. The text said:
What language was that? Danish? Was he in Denmark?
I texted back:
At the karaoke machine, Zach sidled up to Natalie and slid the mic out of her hand. “’Scuse me, babe,” he said. She smiled and blew him a kiss.
Zach whipped off his cowboy hat and put on a top hat. “Here’s a little Trent Yves magic for ya,” he growled into the mic. “Let’s talk about my wand.”
Draped over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arm, She-Hulk snorted.
Did the boy only have one joke?
Luke’s next text said:
Zach took a swallow of beer from a bottle that had appeared from somewhere-or-other. A flash of worry crossed Natalie’s face. Her parents trusted her with parties strictly because she’d never given them a reason not to. Her older brother had been a different story.
Another text from Luke:
Scandinavian? Don’t you watch Doctor Who?
“What is Doctor Who?” I texted back.
“Trust me,” he texted.
Looking around the room, I saw a few more bottles. And outside the sliding door, Darth Vader reached into a cooler and came up with another.
Behind the latte bar, Natalie nervously pulled more food out of the fridge.
“Song time,” said Zach. “This one is for Sister What’s-Your-Name over there.” He pointed the beer bottle at me and hit the button on the karaoke for the opening chords of “Whistle.”
My phone buzzed again, but I didn’t have time to look at it because She-Hulk laughingly propelled me towards Zach, with a little help from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Zach grabbed my wrist and spun me toward him. “Don’t be shy, Sister,” he sang, to the tune of the song.
Natalie came out from behind the latte bar and called something, but I couldn’t hear her over the chuckles that were spreading around the room.
I tried to laugh like I was having fun. “I think I need to, um, go pray,” I said.
Zach put a sweaty arm around me and pulled me against his chest. “Don’t you want to blow Trent’s whistle, baby?”
“Not so much,” I said.
Zach pulled me closer to him and grinned.
Then, from the back of the room, a furious electronic voice cried out, “Exterminate!”
Everyone turned. Bekah’s giant salt shaker was gliding across the floor. “Exterminate!” it cried again, its voice rising in pitch. Its camera lens swept the room like an alien eye stalk.
“It’s a Dalek!” someone yelled. “Woot! Whovians unite!”
A Dalek? Luke’s Dalek? Was this what he had wanted me to find?
Zach let go of me as the thing moved mechanically toward him. “You can’t exterminate me!” he blustered. “I’m Trent Yves!”
The Dalek waved its toilet plunger arm. Was Luke controlling it? From wherever he was? How?
“Trent Yves must be exterminated!” the electronic voice raged. “Delete! Delete! Delete!”
“Get out!” Zach swatted the air.
“No, you get out!” The Dalek pronounced as it continued to advance.
Zach snorted. He tipped his bottle over the Dalek and the brown liquid ran down its sides.
“Trent Yves versus the Dalek!” She-Hulk shrieked. “Ya want some more beer, Trent?” She handed her bottle to Zach, who poured it over the Dalek. Darth Vader gathered up the cooler and brought it inside. The atmosphere grew more raucous, as people surrounded Luke’s robot, which somehow kept moving and talking. They were going to short it out if they kept it up.
“That’s enough!” Natalie tried to get everyone’s attention, but they all ignored her. She started to cry. This was completely out of hand.
I picked up the clear red cup I’d left on the table and suddenly had an idea.
I raced up the stairs, nearly tripping on my nun’s habit. By the front door I snatched up the blue cup Natalie had left, and breezed outside. Wind and rain blew at my veil. I felt around the wet porch until I found the two little strobe lights. I put the red cup over one and the blue over the other. This was crazy. Who knew if it would actually work? I stepped down to the second stair.
Flashing blue and red lights lit up the trees, the lawn and, most importantly, the basement windows. The laughter downstairs stopped, replaced by cursing and yells of “Cops!” I crept around the house to see the rec room clear out as Zach and his crew and everyone else raced for the woods.
I pulled my veil and headpiece off and shook out my hair. The rain had stopped, but it was still too cloudy to see the moon. I turned when I heard a noise behind me. It was Luke’s Dalek, with its eyestalk going back and forth. I laughed. “I don’t know if you can hear me, wherever you are, but that was brilliant. That was the best one yet.”
The plunger wagged up and down as if it agreed. Maybe he could hear me.
“I just wish it was you instead of a robot,” I sighed. “When are you coming home?”
In response, the entire top half of the creature tipped open. “How about now?” a voice said.
I jumped back with a rather embarrassing scream as Luke hoisted himself out of the Dalek and landed on the lawn. His hair stuck out wildly and his white tee-shirt was streaked with grease. His blue, blue eyes twinkled. He folded me in his arms and spun me until we both toppled into the wet grass. When I’d stopped laughing, I patted the Dalek. “Where did you get this?” I asked.
He grinned. “I’m sworn to secrecy.”
“You’re my favorite secret,” I told him.
He touched my face. “You’re my favorite nun,” he said.
The Summer of No Regrets
Author: Katherine Grace Bond
Reading Level: YA
Released: May 1st 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Available: Amazon • BN.com • IndieBound
Summary: (from goodreads) This was the summer that would change my life.No more being what everyone expected. No more doing what everyone else wanted.
So when Luke came into my life, I decided to keep him a secret. Maybe he as a dead-ringer for notorious Hollywood bad boy Trent Yves. And it was possible that everything he told me was a lie. And yes, I was probably asking for trouble. But all I saw was Luke--sweet, funny, caring--someone who would let me be the real me.
But which was the real him?
Since its Halloween, you all get a chance at a treat. We are offering a signed copy of The Summer of No Regrets and 3 bookmarks. So fill in the rafflecopter and make sure to read the terms and conditions. Happy Halloween!!!
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