Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guest Post + Contest: Anastasia Hopcus

Here today is Anastasia Hopcus, author Shadow Hills, with a new scene. For those of you haven't yet read the book, you're safe to read this- there are NOT any spoilers in it.

For those of you that have, remember the party in the woods, where Brody and Adriana stayed behind and played Dominoes while Phe and the rest headed back? If you're like me, and you fell hard for Brody, you probably were curious about what happened then. Well, here's your chance to find out.

Stick around after this great scene for your chance to win a signed ARC or poster.

This scene is from Brody's perspective.

This sucked. It seemed to me like the party was already breaking up, and I still had half a drink and a very hot girl sitting across from me.

“Brody. Hasn’t anyone ever told you it’s not polite to stare?” Adriana pursed her lips in a pouty, calculated way. There was no way that she didn’t realize how sexy she was when she did that.

“Whatever. You love it.” I smirked.

Phe and Toy were gathering up their things, but I stayed right where I was, taking another swig of my drink. Adriana hadn’t shown any indications of leaving yet, and I wasn’t getting up until I knew she was taking off.

“Here, finish this for me okay?” Graham handed me his cup. I hadn’t even finished saying ‘sure’ before he was running off after Toy and Phe.

“So which one do you think he likes?” Adriana asked after the three were out of earshot.

“Who cares?”

“You're Graham’s, like, only close guy friend. He must have said something about it. Come on, Brody, I promise I won’t tell.” Adriana batted her lashes for extra coaxing effect.

“I’m guessing he, like, has some female confidant he tells that kind of stuff to.” I batted my lashes right back at her.

Adriana’s oh so subtle eye-roll showed that she hadn’t missed my imitation. I grinned---I was definitely getting to her.

“I have no clue.” I shrugged. “I don’t remember the topic coming up, but it’s very possible he mentioned it, and I just wasn’t listening. Graham’s a sharer---he doesn’t quite grasp the concept that video games are supposed to be an escape from reality.”

“What else could they be? Besides a boring waste of time, of course.” Adriana added.

“I’m gonna just slide right by that statement as if I didn’t hear it, since you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.” I wasn’t actually bothered by Adriana’s disdain. When it came down to it, I often found video games kind of boring myself. I’d rather be out skateboarding or working on the playlist for the school radio program I hosted. But I wasn’t going to let Adriana know that. The more I annoyed her, the cuter she got.

“I have a fourteen year old brother who actually wanted to go to military school. I’ve seen enough Halo and Call of Duty to last me a lifetime.”

“Interesting. I never would have guessed you had a brother. Your whole ‘princess’ thing screams only child.”

Adriana’s annoyance seemed to be morphing into rage and after seeing her temper with Sybil, I figured it was best not to have that directed at me.

“Anyway,” I continued swiftly, “Graham seems to think that playing Grand Theft Auto is the perfect opportunity to talk about the moral responsibilities of parents to teach their children right from wrong before allowing access to video games.”

“It is a shame that Graham’s got such strong hippy leanings.” Adriana mused.

I pulled my pack of Camels out of my jacket. Score one for the home team. I’d successfully refocused her attention. Nothing like gossip to get Adriana talking.

“He’s so hot, but I just don’t think I could take all that ‘making the world a better place’ crap. Of course, if he was shirtless while philosophizing, I could probably learn to enjoy it.” A mischievous gleam came into Adriana’s eyes.

This was not exactly the topic I wanted to be refocusing on. Time for some damage control.

“I’m not so sure he wants Phe OR Toy, if you know what I mean.” I tapped a cigarette out.

“So he actually does like me?” Adriana’s eyebrows went up a notch. “Not that I’m surprised, or anything; most guys do.”

“Not really what I meant. But that comment shows off your not-self-centered side very nicely.” I flicked my zippo open. “What I mean is that Graham might not be into the ladies,” My cigarette finally lit on the third try.

“No way,” Adriana scoffed.

“I can’t say for sure, as I wasn’t raised by two moms and I’m not exactly into the bromance male bonding thing so I don’t know how it works. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Graham was gay.”

Adriana was staring at me with a scowl.

“Hey. Another guy's sexual orientation is not my fault. I mean I’m charming and lovable, but I don’t think even I can claim credit for that.”

Adriana raised her eyebrow in an expectant manner.

“What? Why are you still staring at me like that?” After a few more seconds of absorbing her pointed look, I realized she wanted me to offer her a cigarette.

“At least you’re somewhat trainable.” She plucked it out of my hand. I flicked the zippo several times, demonstrating how gentlemanly I could be, but nothing happened.

“I guess I forgot to put more lighter fluid in before the party. I had a feeling I’d spaced on something.”

“Here.” Adriana leaned over the rock separating us and reached for me. The feel of her cool fingers sliding around the back of my neck made every hair on my arms stand up. I felt almost paralyzed with her whiskey-colored eyes just inches away from mine.

Then she inhaled and I realized she was lighting her cigarette off the cherry of mine. After a few puffs, hers was also ablaze, but she didn’t sit back down immediately. If I’d had any idea how to make my muscles respond at that moment, I would have thrown both of our cigarettes to the ground and crushed my lips against hers. But by the time I’d made up my mind to do just that, she was already leaning away from me.

“I don’t think lighter fluid is the only thing you spaced on tonight,” Adriana said after a moment, but her comment didn’t have its usual acidic tone.

“Yeah. That’s possible,” I admitted. Or maybe I was laying the groundwork and it was just a matter of time.

Adriana blew a stream of smoke out of the side of her mouth, keeping her eyes unflinchingly locked onto mine. Yep. I was definitely getting to her.

Brody, you definitely got to me. I have to admit, he was my favorite character in the book! So what did you guys think? Brody a keeper, and does this satisfy your curiosity about that night?

And now, I have two chances for you guys to win!

You can win a signed Shadow Hills ARC or poster simply by filling out THIS FORM! Contest is US Only and ends December 24. There will be two winners- one for the poster, one for the ARC.

Comments are VERY appreciated (show Anastasia and Brody some comment love) but no entries will be accepted through the comments.


  1. Sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I love posts like this where we can see more into the side characters. Thanks for sharing.

  3. It's look very interesting.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I've been wanting to read this for a while. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Thanks for the excerpt and the giveaway!

  6. thanks for the giveaway! i've been wanting to read this one. :)

  7. It looks like I won! What a great giveaway! Thanks
    I enjoy your blog ♥