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I'm Suzanne Lazear, author of the elfpunk THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS which is about dragons, demons, rockstars, and mayhem. The band in the book, The Freakshow, has 5 members, all of them paranormal. I also write the Aether Chronicles series, which is about steampunk faeries.
Welcome, have a cupcake. You can start the hunt here or you can go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage to find out more or if you're stuck. I'm part of the ORANGE TEAM--but there are other teams, all with lots of prizes to win.
Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up. Hint: the secret number is highlighted RED. Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify. Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 9, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
And now on to the author I'm hosting today:
Sam has always known she’d be a professional dancer—but that was before her body betrayed her, developing unmanageable curves in all the wrong places. Lately, the girl staring back at Sam in the mirror is unrecognizable. Dieting doesn’t work, ignoring the whispers is pointless, and her overbearing mother just makes it worse.
Following a series of crippling anxiety attacks, Sam is sent to a treatment camp for teens struggling
with mental and emotional obstacles. Forced to open up to complete strangers, Sam must get through the program if she wants to attend a crucial ballet intensive later in the summer. It seems hopeless until she starts confiding in a camp counselor who sparks a confidence she was sure she’d never feel again. But when she’s faced with disappointing setbacks, will Sam succumb to the insecurity that imprisons her?
This compelling story examines one girl’s efforts to overcome her worst enemy: herself.
Hi, YASH Participants!
My second book, HOW IT FEELS TO FLY, is about a ballet dancer, Sam, whose severe body-image and anxiety issues get her sent to a therapy camp for teen artists and athletes. In this deleted scene, my characters have been learning breathing exercises that they can use to calm their anxiety when they feel stressed out. Unfortunately, the laughter and good energy the characters share in this moment just didn’t work in revisions. As much as I liked it, the scene needed to go.
* * * * * * *
I curl up in Child’s Pose. Spine rounded, forehead on the floor, hands by my feet. I register the room growing dimmer around me, even through my closed eyelids. I hear the shuffling and shifting of people getting into position, how their clothes drag on the carpet, how their movements push the air. But I stay still. I breathe.
I feel a little like a turtle inside its shell, or an ostrich with its head in the ground.
There’s no one but me here, no body but mine, and I am nothing but breath.
My ribcage expands and contracts, expands and contracts.
My legs start to buzz from being folded so tight. I let them buzz.
I think, through the whiteness in my head, This might work.
I wait for a snarky response from my inner voice. None comes.
I allow myself a small smile.
And then I hear a snore. It’s soft, but unmistakable. Someone is definitely asleep.
I’m trying to tune the snoring out when the giggles start.
I roll my head to the left, molasses-slow, feeling the carpet fibers peel away from my forehead. I blink my eyes open, letting the room come into focus.
Zoe is curled up in Child’s Pose a few feet away. And her body is shaking with laughter that she’s trying—and failing—to keep silent. She looks over at me, and I see tears streaming down her face.
“I’m sorry,” Zoe mouths, exaggerating the syllables. To my surprise, she looks like she really is sorry. Or at least, not intentionally trying to cause a disturbance. For once. Still staring at me, she clenches her lips shut, but that only leads to a snort escaping out her nose.
Her snort is matched by another snore from my other side, which is followed by the sound of stifled laughter behind me.
I turn my head. Dominic’s the one asleep. Flat on his back in an afternoon sunbeam, like a cat. Mouth open.
And when I sneak a glance behind me, I see Katie lying on her back, hands on her stomach, looking back and forth between Zoe and Dominic with a mischievous grin on her face. She catches me staring, and her smile grows. “Sam!” she stage-whispers. “You have the most amazing carpet-print on your forehead!”
I push up to my forearms, feeling my face with one hand. My forehead is lumpy.
Now Zoe is laughing out loud. “You do!” she squeals. “You totally do! You look like—like—”
“You look like a Klingon!” Omar blurts from across the room.
“Okay, everyone,” Jim says loudly. “Let’s try to focus on our breathing.”
“Yes, please,” Jenna hisses from across the room, mock-indignant. “I have anxiety to exhale, if you don’t mind!”
The room goes quiet. And Dominic chooses that moment to let out another snore—his loudest yet.
That sets Zoe off all over again. “I’m sorry…I can’t…” She gasps for air. “Can somebody wake him up?”
Jim gently shakes Dominic’s shoulders. But I guess it wasn’t gentle enough, because Dominic sits up like a shot, looking around wildly. “What the—?”
“Nice nap?” Katie asks, giggling.
Jim runs a hand through his dark hair. “Okay, let’s try to refocus. We still have some time left….”
“It wasn’t just Dominic,” Zoe says, still laughing. “I couldn’t stop thinking about curling up like this on the court, with my tennis skirt riding up over my butt.”
Katie giggles. “What if I laid down under the vault? I wouldn’t be in the way.”
“Center ice,” Jenna says crisply. “I could slide to a stop right in front of the judges, and then just lie there. Breathing.”
“To be—” Omar begins in an overly dramatic voice, stopping to take a deep inhale and exhale. “Or not to be?” Another inhale and exhale. “That—” He makes his next breath long and ragged. “—is the question!”
I picture myself in the wings, backstage, in a tutu. Crouched on the floor with the tutu fanning up over my butt—a sparkly tulle half-moon.
We’re all laughing now. And I wonder if everyone else feels how the energy in the room has changed.
For the first time, I feel like maybe we’re all in this together.
Thank you so much for visiting me. There's a deleted scene from THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS hidden someplace.
Please enter my bonus contest where I have some favorite things of my MC, Bitsy, up for grabs. A mini top hat, glitter lip gloss and makeup, fake eyelashes, glitter nail polish (in rockstar pink), and a handmade stocking shaped like a boot.