Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Valentine's Blog Event: Exclusive Scene - Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

So you may or may not have seen my excited tweet the other day to Tera Lynn Childs. She sent me an exclusive (ie. brand new, never before seen) scene from the Fins world and I melted into a puddle right then and there! I only read the series last November but I'm absolutely excited for the release of the third book, Just For Fins

If you haven't read Sweet Venom, also by Tera, you must! My favourite book of hers of all time ') Also eagerly anticipating the sequel to that this year!

A huge thanks to Tera for writing this for the event, injured neck and all! What a champ <3

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Worth Waiting For

"Where are we going?"

I wrap my arms tighter around Quince's waist as he speeds up.

He turns his head to the side. "It's a surprise."

I'm tempted to tickle his side—except that I don't want to wind up in a ditch if he jerks in response… he’s very ticklish. I already know it's a surprise. That's what he said when he pulled up in front of school after news team and said, "Have I got a surprise for you."

Because I love him and trust him, I hadn't asked more questions. I tightened my backpack straps, settled in behind him on Princess, and have been holding on for the ride ever since.
But it's getting to be a pretty long ride.

"Come one," I beg. "Give me a hint."

He shakes his head. "We're almost there."

I sigh and rest my cheek against his shoulder. If I know anything about Quince, it's that he can keep a secret. I mean, he hid his feelings for me for three years and I never suspected a thing. Now I'm just glad that things finally worked out and we're together.

I give him another tight squeeze.

"Here we go," He says.

I peer over his shoulder as the motorcycle veers off to the right, pulling off onto a grassy patch on the side of the road. There are lush green trees all along the road—thick and dark green. Through the trees I can barely make out a thin sliver of white sand on the other side. A beach. A very private beach. Not at all like the open, wide, public beach in Seaview. This is more like a secluded cove.

"What is this place?"

Quince lifts off his helmet. "My mom used to bring me here as a kid. It's my favorite spot on land."
I climb off the bike and hand my pink helmet to Quince. While he stores both helmets in the storage compartment under the seat, I wander a few steps toward the tree line. I can make out a faint path leading through the trees.

A moment later, Quince joins me.

"What's that?" I nod at the basket he’s carrying.

"This," he says, holding it up to inspection, "is the best part."

He doesn't explain. Just takes my hand and leads me toward the path. We walk, hand in hand, through the trees. It smells moist and fresh—like earth. Like land, like Quince. The opposite of the sea.
When we emerge onto the beach, I feel like I’m in paradise. Pristine white sand with no shells or kelp or anything at all littering the surface. I've only ever seen beaches this untouched farther south in the Caribbean.

"It's beautiful,” I whisper.

"I know."

Quince leads me to a spot out of view from the path, where there is nothing but sand, trees, sea and sun. And us. Just us and the nature around us.

"Wait here," Quince says.

He moves a few feet away and sets down the basket. Then he opens the top and pulls out a pretty blue blanket. I watch as he spreads the blanket out over the sand, his muscles bunching under his black tee. I sigh. Then he starts pulling other things out. Cans of pineapple Fanta. Plates. Soy sauce. Chopsticks.

"Chopsticks?" I ask.

He winks at me.

When he has almost everything out of the basket he finally waves me over. I sit down next to him on the blanket and look around at the elaborate spread he's laid out.

"This is wonderful," I say.

"Wait ‘til you see the crowning glory."

H reaches once more into the basket and pulls out a big, flat takeout container with a clear plastic lid and a red plastic bottom. I recognize that container.

"Is that what I think it is?"

Quince nods. "The kyukyoku platter from Mushu. I know it's your favorite."

I scowl. Quince really went all out with his. The secluded spot, the elaborate picnic, the sushi that I know he doesn’t really like. "What's the occasion?"

He shrugs casually and pops the top on a can of Fanta. He takes a sip.

"Are you breaking up with me?"

"What?" he says, choking on his drink. "No, of course not."

"Then why the extravagant setup?" I shake my head. "It's not like it's our anniversary or anything."

Quince shrugs, blushing. "It kind of is."

"What?" We've only been dating a couple of weeks, twelve days I think—although it's kind of complicated to pinpoint the exact date, what with the bond and the severing and a whole bunch of other variables. Still, this isn't like a landmark number, as far as I can calculate.

"Three years ago today,” he says, looking me straight in the eyes, “I knew I loved you.”

I blink. A lot.

I know he had feelings for me—from the very beginning—but love? I thought that had taken time.

“What do you mean?”

“You probably don’t remember,” he says, leaning back on his elbows. “We had American History together freshman year.”

“I remember.”

“You sat right behind Shannen,” he continues. “I sat right behind you.”

I can picture it like yesterday. He spent the whole year poking at my neck with the eraser end of his pencil. It drove me crazy.

“Three years ago today,” he says with gentle smile, “Shannen forgot her assignment at home.”

“Oh my gosh,” I say. “I remember that day. It has to be the only time she’s ever forgetting her homework. She was totally panicked.”

Quince nods. “You took out your assignment, erased your name at the top, and wrote her name in its place.”

“I—“ I shake my head. “I kind of remember that.”

“That’s when I knew,” he says. “I saw the goodness in your heart, the loyalty and selflessness in that moment, and I knew I loved you.”

I don’t know what to say. Something that had seemed so simple at the time—Shannen had helped me with the assignment anyway, so it was hardly fair for her to get a zero—had meant something so important.

I lean on my side next to Quince and trace my hand on his chest.

“I’m sorry it took me so long to figure things out,” I say. “We could have had so much more time—“

Quince catches my hand and pulls it up to his mouth. He presses a soft kiss to my palm. “You’re worth waiting for, princess.”
Beaming, I lean forward until our lips are a whisper apart. “So are you.”

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Wasn't that sweet, guys?! *swoons* Quince is so loveable. Are you in love with Tera's books or what?

If you're looking for another exclusive scene like this that'll melt your heart, be sure to check out the one Claire LaZebnik did for her Epic Fail couple! Brodie has a great character post by Rhiannon Hart (Blood Song) today so look out for that too ;)

*sniffles* It's February 29th! If you know how to read a calendar, you'll know this is the final day of the Valentine's Event. No more special posts! Oh, how I've had fun reading all of your comments and bugging Brodie every step of the way. Even when drafting posts got ridiculous after midnight and manual comment logging broke my fingers....I had a blast <3

Next week, Brodie and I will be saying our final thanks and announcing all of the winners for our giveaways! We have a ton of those, plus some character battles still open so be sure to get your votes in before they end at the beginning of March! Links to all past posts, giveaways and battles can be found here. We really hope you've all had fun :) Cheers!

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