Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!
If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.
Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High. For extra spending money, Julep runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students. But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. She enlists help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming and her loyal hacker sidekick. But Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. Julep Depree’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her.
Joe Dupree wasn’t born a gambling man. There’d been a time, long ago, when he was just lucky. Stuff would just come to him. When he was sixteen, for example, he’d wanted a car. He could have stolen one—Lola had shown him how when he was seven. But he knew he wouldn’t have to. He’d just need one, and it would come.
Three days was all it took. Silas’s uncle died of a heart attack, and no one wanted the old Camaro he was forever fixing up. Joe bought it for a song. He traded for parts and sweet-talked his mechanically inclined friends into helping him bring the rusted hulk back to life. In a matter of weeks, he watched the dingy yellow lights of Barlow, Kentucky, recede in its chipped rearview mirror.
Luck just seemed to follow him around, smoothing the way when his way needed smoothing. He never gambled, because he never had to. Just like stealing. It wasn’t part of Joe, because Joe never needed anything that didn’t just fall into his lap.
Then he met someone. And he fell in love. And everything changed.
Joe’s hands don’t tremble as he writes the last words he’ll ever say to his daughter. In fact, his rock-steady hands are what got him into this mess in the first place. His hands, his gambling addiction, and his reputation for flawless passport forgery.
He can’t help thinking of her as he writes to his daughter. You, me, and sixty-three. If only running had been enough. But they’d never stood a chance, not really. No matter how much he loved her. No matter how much she’d wanted to stay. No matter how much their daughter would suffer. They hadn’t had a choice.
But none of their sacrifices make a bit of difference now. Joe had made a mistake. A single mistake. He’d gambled with the wrong house, and the house always wins.
Beware the Field of Miracles.
He folds the note and slips it into the large manila envelope. It’s the last piece of the puzzle he needs to put in place, the first step in his final con. The irony is perfect. His last move sets off his daughter’s first. And isn’t that always the way?
Joe picks up the gun, hefting the unfamiliar weight. He considers his options. But there aren’t many, and he’s considered them all before. It’s now or never. And never is not a chance he’s willing to take. Not when his mark is this dangerous. Not when his daughter’s the score.
That’s the thing about gambling. All it had ever been was a pathetic attempt to steal back the luck that had abandoned him the day she’d walked into his life. The day she’d taught him what it meant to have something to lose.
He slides the gun into the envelope with the note. Then he seals it and lays it in the bottom of the kitchen trashcan. He replaces the half-full garbage bag on top, careful not to spill. His daughter will find it. And if she doesn’t, Joe has contingencies for his contingencies. She’s as safe as he can make her.
Then, instead of sitting at the table, or at his desk, or on the living room sofa, Joe waits on his daughter’s bed, thinking about all the things he values most, about how he never had any of those things until he met Alessandra Moretti. About how he’d take those things over luck any day.
Twenty minutes later, they kick the door in. Joe closes his eyes and places his last bet.
And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Mary Elizabeth Summer, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is THIRTEEN. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!