April 23, 2015

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Twisted by Holly Hook

Author: Holly Hook 
Release Date: December 15, 2013

Summary from Goodreads: 

This novel will be released on December 15, 2013.

Sixteen-year-old Allie isn’t like other girls. Instead of spending her summer break sitting around on the beach, she takes the epic vacation of a lifetime.

Tornado chasing.

And she’s not disappointed. Just a few miles from the town of Evansburg, Nebraska, Allie meets her dream of seeing a tornado. In person. She can’t wait to tell her friends back home. Never mind that her parents are going to kill her.

But her dream soon turns into a nightmare, and a strange event leaves her shocked. Confused. When she returns home to Wisconsin, something’s…different. Allie now bears a curse so awful, it could destroy everyone and everything she’s ever known.

With her best friend, Tommy, Allie must return to the plains to find a way to reverse it. She enters a world that she had never imagined, where she becomes a pawn in a fight to save the people of Evansburg from her fate…or to destroy them.

Chapter Two 

"Kind of unusual to get a teen girl in."

It's a man speaking with a faint Southern drawl. He's close but distant in the darkness. I 
can't tell where, exactly. There's not much of me left to think right now.

I’m on my back. Floating.

"It doesn’t matter." This speaker's a woman, with a voice so smooth it might be made of silk.
There's something about it that seems familiar and not in a good way. "It’s another one 
closer to our goal."

"Well, not too many girls go out and chase. Just saying."

Go out and chase. What does that mean?

I groan and climb a couple of steps into consciousness. I'm still lying face-up, but there’s 
nothing under me. No, two people are carrying me. Hands grasp my ankles. Someone else 
has their hands under my armpits. Grass tickles my back. I’m facing the sky.

I manage to open my eyes. They're sore, stinging as the sunlight stabs into them.

A man with a gray beard and overalls has my ankles. He’s walking backwards, carrying me 
along. If I was lying in bed, he’d be at the foot of it. I can’t see the woman, but she keeps her 
arms locked under my armpits, supporting me, keeping me above the ground. They’re 
carrying me the way two people would carry a heavy table.

My limbs ache. Invisible needles poke at every muscle in my neck. I turn my head. Groan. 
The sky's clear, with only a few steamy white clouds moving out. The sun beats down on me,
forcing me to squint. I breathe in. The air's muggy like it's just finished raining.

Or storming.

Oh, god.

The tornado.

I survived and these people must have found me.

I crane my neck back and look up at the woman who has my arms. It’s no easy task.

She's upside down to me, swaying back and forth and making me motion sick. She's way too
thin to be carrying me without breaking a sweat. I can only make out her chin. Long brown
hair hangs over the top of her white summer dress. Something about her makes my insides
crawl. A gremlin way back in the confines of my mind waves its arms and screams at me, but
I can't make out what it's saying.

The rest of me wakes up, and with thoughts of Uncle Cassius.

A fist of terror squeezes my heart so tight that I cry out. I squirm in their grasps. "My uncle,"
I manage. "Have you seen him?"

The woman's chin faces forward. She's ignoring me. She shoots the man a look, but he shakes
his head. "No need," he says.

"Tornado," I say. "My uncle. It got the van. He was in there. Have you seen him?"

Panic takes over and I thrash, not caring if these people just saved my life. "Where is my
uncle? Did you see him? He might have got thrown out of the van. We just got hit by a
tornado. A tornado, for crap’s sake!" Nothing. I kick, trying to loosen my legs from the 
farmer's grip. "Let go. I can walk on my own!”
"I didn't expect her to wake up so soon," the woman says. “I was hoping she wouldn’t.”
I twist my arm. It doesn’t budge from her grip. "Let me down! Where's my uncle?"
Again, no answer. They walk faster and tall grass slaps at my back, poking in through the gap
between my shirt and my jeans. The sun beats down on my eyes. The last of the clouds drift 
away, leaving no cover from its spotlight. A building bounces into the bottom of my vision,
covered in crumbling red paint. Its roof sags on one side. An old barn. I've seen dozens back
home in Wisconsin. This one looks ready to blow down the next time a grasshopper sneezes.
“Are you taking me to the hospital? And my uncle too?”
“Faster,” the woman says.
The barn draws closer. An open door looms dark and empty ahead of me. The musty smell
of hay and dirt assaults my nostrils. They're taking me in there.
These people aren't saving me after all.
They're kidnappers.
There's no other reason for this. They must be psychos like those mutant hillbillies from that
one movie. The barn's going to be full of jars of eyes and noses and all sorts of sharp, scary
farm tools.

"What are you doing?" I yell, hoping that someone, anyone can hear me way out here. My
throat burns with the force of my screaming. “Did you see anyone else where you found me?”
The barn blocks out the sun and I'm in darkness.
“Uncle Cassius!”
There’s no light except for pinpricks that shine through the old walls and a circle of blue sky
at the peak of the barn's roof. I blink and my eyes adjust. The floor's clean, perfect concrete.
All the hay’s been swept up against the walls. No bloodstains. It doesn’t reassure me as much
as I want, though.
"Lay her down," the woman orders. It's clear she's in charge here.
They lift me higher. The roof gets closer for a second. They move me to the side and set me
back down. My back meets a table with a cloth on it. Or a slab. I’m not sure. I’m still looking
up. The woman keeps her grip on my arms, pushing down tight enough to keep me from 
breaking away. The man does the same with my ankles. They’re holding me down to some
kind of altar or slab or something. The hole in the ceiling lets a beam of light down. It lands 
on my chest, forming a ring of light on my Wild Weather T-shirt. Or is it a target?
I bite my lip, keeping the screams in. I can't let them know I'm scared. It's what psychotic
people want when they do this stuff. I have to keep my cool and find a way out of here.
"Okay," I say, trying to collect myself. "Why are you holding me here? In case you haven't 
noticed, I just survived a tornado and my uncle's missing. I want some answers."
The woman looks down at me, keeping her elbows locked and holding down my arms. She's
strong, way stronger than she should be, and her face is smooth and sharp in a way that's 
borderline creepy. It almost looks like a mask. "You're about to join the family that you've 
always wanted."
The words stun me into silence. They make no sense. These people are nuts. Insane. I have 
the family I want.
And if I don’t get out of here, my parents will remember me as a liar. I’ll leave them with
nothing but pain and betrayal. And Uncle Cassius--

"I need to find my uncle. Now!" I glare up at the woman, making my neck cry out in pain.
 She stares down at me with eyes that match her hair color. Her face is unreadable, blank.
Something's very familiar about her. "I need to call my mom and dad. Why are you holding
me here?”
The woman blinks. "Because you're drawn to the fury of nature.”
"So what?" I thrash against their grips. "Why do you even care? Let me out of this disgusting
A million awful possibilities race through my mind, all of them the stuff of nightmares. I stare
at the circle of light above me, praying for the barn to come down on my captors' heads,
praying for anything to happen.
"Be quiet," the woman orders. She closes her eyes. Mutters something. Bows her head down
in reverence.
Wind snaps through the barn. The hole in the roof darkens from robin's egg to gray-blue,
then to black. It grows in size, taking up more and more of the roof. The shingles vaporize
before my eyes, flying away and breaking into millions of pieces until nothing's left above
me but a ceiling of thunderstorm. Clouds roll and push against each other, aimless, so close
that if my arms were free, I might be able to stand on the table and brush them. The air 
roars and trembles.
"What--" I start.
A paralysis steals over my body, freezing me, turning me to stone. The clouds above begin
to twist. They're in the barn with us, blocking out the world above. My heart races, and for a
moment I'm back in that van, floating, flying.
The dam holding back my terror breaks and I let it all out.
"Uncle Cassius!" I look side to side in the vain hope that he'll be there, running in to get me
out of this, but only darkness closes in. The old man grits his teeth, holding down my legs
The woman does likewise, eyes closed so tight her face wrinkles.
"Somebody!" My screams echo off the walls.
The clouds above spin faster, tightening, forming a cone that points at my heart. A roar fills
the barn, threatening to tear it apart. It’s the same roar I heard on the other side of my

It's a miniature tornado, but it's somehow more terrifying than the one that chased the van.
It descends, hungry, spinning faster and faster. The strength of the sky drains straight 
towards me.
The funnel of rage lingers inches above my heart as if making a decision.
I scream.
And scream.
The cone slams into my chest.
My body lurches. The storm drives its way in, building the pressure inside me and sucking
the breath from my lungs. My captors release my arms, but it's too late. The clouds grow 
lower, the tornado shorter, as it all forces its way into me, down my arms to my fingertips,
my legs to my toes. The storm rages inside, pushing against the borders of my body. I close
my eyes, willing it to stop, wanting to scream but unable--
My body trembles. I lift my arm and it flops to my chest. They’ve let go of me. I can move
now. Run for it. I open my eyes, catching a glimpse of the hole in the roof once again, and
try to stand.
Instead, I fall. Concrete meets me. All the strength's gone from my body. I gag. Heave. My
stomach rolls. The world fades, turning gray and darkening to black.
"What did you do to me?" I manage, slipping away.  
A hand grabs the back of my shirt. "Very soon," the woman says. "You'll know."
Holly Hook is the author of the Destroyers Series, which consists
of five young adult books about teens who are walking disasters...
literally. She is also the author of the Rita Morse series, a young
adult fantasy series still in progress, and After These Messages, a
short ya comedy. Currently she is writing Twisted, a spin-off of
the Destroyers Series due out in December. When not writing,
she enjoys reading books for teens, especially ya fantasy and
paranormal series with a unique twist.

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