You probably know by now how much I love this series!!! and if you don't know then guess what?! I LOVE THIS FREAKIN' SERIES!!!!! It's SO good and if you haven't read them you need to *period*
ANYWAY back to this post...so Heather @ SupaGurl Books and I were talking and we just HAD to do something else for this series then our reviews so we started brainstorming (well it was Heather who was doing most of the brainstorming) and she come up with featuring the Free Ball that you see in Keystone!
The Free Ball is SOOOO cool and such an awesome, heart attack moment in Keystone! For our Free Ball special, I will be posting the excerpt of the book that the Free Ball is in and then you can go to Heather's blog to find the drawing that her hubby did of the Free Ball!
There’s a man-made storm coming, like a rip in the world, and it’s called the Cusp.
Struggling to fit into the destiny she’s accepted, Nalena Maxwell has been left with one objective: she must find her murdered grandfather’s Memory. Stolen and hidden away by her own father over seventeen years ago, the Memory could be the key to ending the Cusp and destroying the Ianua’s rival community, The Fury.
Driven by each individual’s selfish desires, The Fury has always lacked the loyalty and organization it needs to be an actual force of power.
Someone masterminded the Fury’s massive attack on the Ianua, slaughtering twelve of their thirteen community leaders, the Addos. Now there are rumors that the 13th Cura, to which Nali belongs, has gone to the Fury, manipulating the last Addo in order to control the other 12 Curas.
As the Cusp brings the Fury and their own communities against them, Nalena’s Cura must preserve the Ianua, but finding the key to the Cusp isn’t as simple as it seems.
The Free Ball Excerpt
“THEY’RE COMING!” Robin shouts and this time, Garrett gets the window down. Zane throws himself through the opening, like a super-skinny Superman, landing across Garrett’s lap.
“GO! GO! GO!” he screams at me.
I go. The back end fishtails on the loose gravel, but the car shoots off down the twisty, clumpy drive toward the barn. Another Fury truck loops around and crashes into a car that tries to turn into the drive at the same time.
Zaneen hoots from the back seat, “They’re stuck! They locked up their bumpers and jammed the entrance! They can’t get past the gate unless they’re on foot!”
I won’t look. I stay hunched over the steering wheel and keep my eyes straight on the barn and nothing else. If anything crosses our path, it’ll become part of our wheels.
The sirens on the house and barn suddenly explode in howls. No, more than that. They are louder than any sirens I’ve ever heard. Startled, my hands jump from the wheel to cover my ears and the tires catch on a clump along the side of the road. The car slides sideways and something under the hood buckles up with a crunch. The car lurches to a halt.
“RUN!” Zane shouts, scrambling for the door. “They set off the sensors! They’re coming on foot! Get to the barn!”
The Fury swarm on foot over the jammed gate. They flood over the cars and they rise up from the eastern edge of the field. I have no idea what setting off the sensors will do, other than blow out our eardrums with the alarms.
“It’s an ambush.” Deeta’s voice quivers as Robin pulls her from the car, but once her feet hit the dirt, Deeta bolts like a rabbit up the road toward the barn. She’s a quarter mile ahead of us before we even start running.
But it’s not any better that The Fury mob is about a mile behind us. Some of them were once Alo or Contego, so the distance that’s between us now is going to close up fast.
Garrett dodges a glance at Zane. “We can’t take this many all at once,” he shouts.
“Gonna have to break the bat cave, G.” Zane shouts back. Still, the only way I can hear him over the wailing alarms is to focus the way Garrett’s taught me and even then, the blaring sirens just about drown out every other word.
“Doesn’t matter now.” Zaneen shouts from Zane’s back. “It’s the only way out, isn’t it?”
Garrett grabs my wrist and we pick up speed together.
One glance over my shoulder and I see the Fury closing in on us, like a puddle. Garrett’s hand is like an iron cuff as he pulls me toward the barn. Another glance and I spot a former Alo- it must be, since they’re the only ones faster than us- pulling ahead of the rest and gaining speed.
“The Alo!” I shout, as if Garrett doesn’t know it all ready. But I hope he understands what I mean. And he does. Without breaking stride, he scoops down and lifts a rock off the ground. Still dragging me along with him, he twists and whips the rock. It shoots by my nose, so close that another millimeter would’ve shaved off skin. I watch Garrett’s rock as it whistles a hard, straight line past Zane and Robin, and through the distance separating us from the Fury. It keeps going, like a heat-seeking missile, until it finally smashes into the Alo that was pulling ahead. It gets the guy in the face and he goes down like bricks.
Seeing what Garrett did, Robin drops down and scoop up rocks in mid-stride too. On both sides of me, rocks start flying and when I focus on the sound, I hear thud after thud after thud as they hit their targets. I join in too and maybe it’s just that there’s so many of them, but it’s surprisingly easy to hit them.
The Fury’s Alo buckle and drop behind us, widening the gap. The Fury Contego don’t try to protect them. Instead, they trample the Alo that aren’t useful as human shields anymore.
Deeta reaches the barn doors first and Zane cups his hands around his mouth to shout at her, “Open ‘em Deeta!”
Deeta probably gets the crazy arm gestures that follow, more than the words that are lost under the howl of the sirens. The Alo don’t have our focus, but she figures out what Zane wants and throws her body against the barn doors. They slide open.
But even if we get to the Free Ball, I don’t know how we’ll make it work. Zane had said before that someone’s got to work the controls on the ground to make that happen. And that means someone’s got to stay behind.
It’s all scrambled up in my head as we hurtle into the barn. There’s no time to stop and ask. Garrett spins me up against one of the harnesses and his hands move at lightening speed, fastening me in. Then he’s gone. Deeta buckles in beside me and I’m hanging there beside her and the empty harness that I assume is Garrett’s.
“It’s only scary the first time!” Deeta shouts to me and she gives me a quivery, unsure smile with a thumbs up before peering back out the door at the advancing Fury.
The ball shakes as Zaneen and Robin jump into the other harnesses. Through the open barn door, the Fury is only a couple yards away and coming at us like a storm cloud. All I can do is hang here, listening to Robin shout to Zane, as Zane and Garrett shout to each other, against the white-noise of the alarms and the Fury’s feet, pounding the ground. Garrett’s harness still hangs empty.
Please…I beg in my head. Please, let this work!
The podium scrapes across the dirt floor and then Zane and Garrett knock it over, kicking it in. The wood crunches and splinters fly up in the air. Through the open door, I can almost make out which are the Fury men and which are the women. In seconds, I can distinguish stuff like hair color and clothes and curled fists.
“They’re coming!” Deeta shrieks and I scream Garrett’s name.
“Go!” Zane yells over all of it. “Once I nail this, we’re gone!”
Garrett speeds toward me from the podium. Behind him, Zane brings his foot down on whatever it is that will make us gone.
Then my eyes are jerked shut in their sockets as the roof explodes like toothpicks. We shoot into the sky and my stomach goes whooooooooooooooooooooop.
The air is so cold as we rocket up that it feels like it’s cutting my face open. I hear Garrett…I hear him, but he doesn’t sound right. I open my eyes. His harness is still empty. He’s hanging near my feet with his arms laced through the Free Ball’s structure.
I shriek his name. Garrett’s hair is blown back as he looks up, struggling to hang on. Every muscle and bone seems right on the surface of his face, straining. It’s taking everything he’s got to hang on.
Then he looks down and I follow his legs to his ankles. I nearly choke. Dangling in the air, over the tiny dot of the barn we left on the ground, is Zane, clutching Garrett’s left ankle. The wild force of air, as we continue to zoom upward, flaps Zane around like a t-shirt on a laundry line.
And I see what the problem is. Garrett can’t let go of the ball to grab Zane or he could lose his grip all together. And Zane is too far below the Free Ball to get a hold of it himself.
“Hang on!” I shout and I feel around for the buckles that Garrett fastened around me. All at once, Deeta and Garrett are shouting No! Don’t! Stop! It’s not like I want to wiggle out of the harness, but I know Zane won’t be able to hold on forever.
My field orbs around me, but my body doesn’t move on its own. I guess I’m not wired to automatically protect my fellow Contego while dangling off a Free Ball, but it doesn’t mean I can’t move myself. Because, while it may be true that I’m probably a lot more coward than warrior, this isn’t about bravery.
It’s about looking Zane in the eyes as he flounders at Garrett’s ankle and seeing how neither of them can do anything about this on their own. This is about living the rest of my life knowing I might’ve been able to help, but didn’t even try. So, it’s not bravery that steadies my fingers enough to unfasten the final buckle. It’s being too big of a coward to face the guilt.
Don't Forget to Check out Heather's Blog to see the Free Ball!!!