I'm honored to be a stop for the blog tour for Rachel Carter's second novel in her So Close to You series, This Strange and Familiar Place. I have yet to read this series (so I'll point you in the direction of Jamie's review), but I'm really fascinated by the subject that Carter chooses to tackle in her books. Today, I'm pleased to share this intriguing excerpt + a giveaway too! (Thanks for having me Rachel!)
This Strange and Familiar Place by Rachel Carter
Series: So Close to You #2
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
These are the things of which Lydia is now certain:
The Montauk Project has been experimenting with time travel for years.
The Project’s subjects are “recruits” from across time. Recruits like Wes, Lydia’s ally, friend, and love.
The Project is now responsible for the disappearance of two members of her family....
And they’re coming for Lydia next.
This thrilling sequel to So Close to You explores how far we’ll go to save the people we love—and what happens after you change the future.
The sky is turning twilight gray. We’ve been sitting on this bench for hours, just listening to the cars below and watching the Hudson River, which spreads out beyond the highway—the slow moving boats, the bridges that spark silver in the sunlight, and the green cliffs that make up the shoreline of New Jersey.
I haven’t wanted to move, because I know that the minute I do everything becomes real again and I have to accept the choice that I’ve made. Wes seems to sense this, and he sits quietly next to me. Not talking, but just…there.
“We should go back to the squat,” I finally say. From somewhere in the park I hear the sound of a child shrieking. I can’t tell if it’s laughter or fear. “I need to open that disk. It’s the only lead I have left for discovering why my grandfather disappears. […].”
Wes doesn’t say anything. He appears to be thinking about something hard, although I’m not sure what it is.
“Are you ready to go?” I ask.
“I have a better idea.” He abruptly takes my hand and pulls me up from the bench. He moves quickly down the concrete path of the park, and I struggle to keep up with him.
Up ahead, I see a playground tucked into the trees. It has a large jungle gym, a set of rusted swings, and a fountain in the middle. Even though it’s late and the park is empty, the sprinkles are still on. The water sprays everywhere, shooting high up into the air and bouncing off of the concrete ground.
Wes tugs me forward, leading us into the gated area. “The disk!” I shout, and I have just a second to toss it onto a bench before Wes picks me up by the waist and spins us both into the falling water.
I shriek as it soaks through the fabric of my dress. It is freezing cold, but the city air is hot and stale, and so I raise my hands up high, feeling the water glide down my skin.
Wes sets me on the ground. His hair is plastered to his forehead, and I smile up at him through the drops of water that cling to my eyelashes. He smiles back and reaches for me, but I turn on my heel and run toward the jungle gym. I can hear him chasing me as I leave the fountain behind. I am almost to the tall wooden structure when he catches me, sliding his arm around my waist again and spinning me in a circle.
We are both laughing when he finally lets go of me. I pull my dress away from my body. It is soaked through.
Wes moves to stand in front of me. “Better?” He whispers, pushing my wet, tangled hair away from my cheeks.
“Lots,” I reply. He grins at me. The energy coming from him is so strong that he seems to be vibrating with it. He flings back his hair and uses both hands to push it away from his face, and I look at him more closely. There is something…off about his features. His mouth is too wide; his eyes are too bright. My smile fades, but he doesn’t notice.
“Wes,” I say slowly. “Are you feeling okay?”
“I feel great. Alive.” He looks down at me. His movements are jerky, so different from his usual grace. “Want to stay here for a while?”
I push away the feeling of dread that’s growing inside of me. “Yeah. I do.” Maybe this is just Wes’s way of learning how to open himself up to another person. There’s bound to be a little awkwardness in the beginning. I’m probably worrying for nothing. But the image of his shaking against the chipped sink flashes through my head.
“Come on,” Wes says. He leads me back toward the water. It feels colder this time, on the bare skin of my arms, and I shiver under the falling stream.