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  • Hell Week
  • Written by Rosemary Clement-Moore
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780385734158
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Hell Week

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Written by Rosemary Clement-MooreAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Rosemary Clement-Moore

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List Price: $9.99

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On Sale: August 26, 2008
Pages: 336 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89119-9
Published by : Delacorte Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

“[Teens] will devour Hell Week.”—School Library Journal

Maggie Quinn has battled an ancient demon, faced down psychotic cheerleaders, and saved her best friend from certain death, but nothing can match this. Formal sorority recruitment, otherwise known as rush.

And after facing hellfire, infiltrating sorority rush should be easy. But when she finds a group of girls who are after way more than “sisterhood,” all her instincts say there’s something rotten on Greek Row. And when Hell Week rolls around, there may be no turning back.

“Maggie’s snarky humor and quirky personality keep this novel’s first half light, but the second takes a dark page-turning twist as Maggie is forced to figure out the ancient source of the sisters’ power.”—Kirkus Reviews

Excerpt

Some people think that Texas has only one season, that it's summer all year long. In fact, the Lone Star State does have four seasons: Hot, Humid, Horrible, and Hellacious. But when I decided to road-trip with D&D Lisa to South Padre Island, I didn't think that last one would be so literal.

I shouldn't have been surprised. I'm Maggie Quinn: Psychic Girl Detective. Lisa is an amateur sorcerer. We aren't exactly normal college freshmen. Yet there we were, doing the normal college thing, setting off on a Rite of Passage: Spring Break at the Beach.

An odd choice, since I hate any water deeper than a bathtub, I already have a boyfriend, and if you couldn't tell from her nickname, D&D Lisa isn't the beer and boobfest type. Neither am I. But we'd wanted to take a road trip, and the destination had started as a joke. Then I pitched an article to the editor of the Bedivere University newspaper-who seemed amused by the whole World's Least Likely Spring Breakers angle-and to my surprise, Lisa went along with it.

In the end, our reasons don't matter, except to explain how we came to be cruising down State Highway 77 in the smallest hour of the morning, even though we knew-better than most-what kinds of things go bump in the night.

I flexed my hands on the Jeep's steering wheel and sank lower into the seat. It was a long drive, which hadn't seemed so daunting until I realized how much of it was through landscape so desolately featureless, it made me think Dante must have visited here before he wrote The Inferno.

“If I owned Hell and Texas, I'd rent out Texas and live
in Hell.”

Lisa paused in fiddling with the radio. “What's that about?”

I shrugged. “Something I read once. Like . . . Did you know Velasquez County has more cows than people in it?”

There was just enough light from the dashboard to see her roll her eyes. “Remind me to never go up against you on Jeopardy!”

Under a nearly full moon, the coastal plain was as flat as a silver-gray sea, cut by a black ribbon of highway and a smaller thread of railroad tracks running alongside. Now and then we'd reach a crossroads, where there might be a grain silo, a water tower, or a tiny fruit stand, deserted for the night and only adding to the barren atmosphere.

It seemed like there should be more traffic-other spring breakers, semis on their NAFTA routes, minivans loaded up like the Griswolds' station wagon in Vacation-but since we'd passed Corpus Christi, the signs of civilization had dwindled to zero. We'd passed the last minimart an hour ago, and with nothing on the horizon but more road-and eventually Mexico-I was beginning to regret the twelve ounces of Coke I'd downed to keep alert in the unrelieved boredom.

“You didn't have to come with me,” I pointed out.

Lisa had given up on the radio and plugged my iPod into the adaptor. “Is it so weird to want to do something normal?”

I glanced at her silhouette, arching my brows wryly. “For you? Yes.”

“I'm taking a break from my sorcerous studies. It will be just like the old days, except that instead of sitting around in the caf mocking the jock-headed and lame, we'll be sitting on the sand mocking the drunk, sunburnt, and slutty.” She bent her long, denim-clad leg to an impossible angle and propped her foot on the dash. “Besides, I'm ahead on all my coursework, so what else am I going to do? Sit around and play World of Warcraft all week?”

Our friendship had endured four years of high school, freshman semesters spent at colleges half a country apart-not to mention the forces of darkness. In the past year, one of us had summoned a demon, one of us had vanquished it, and our friendship had nearly fallen apart. Then we'd had to team up to defeat a sorority who had the devil on speed dial. Lisa had saved my life, which went a long way toward reestablishing trust between us.

That's a grossly abbreviated summary of events, of course. The important thing is, Lisa isn't a bad person, though she sometimes thinks she is. Really she's just . . . complicated. Which I guess you would have to be to summon a demon, even sort of unintentionally, in the first place.
So I could see her wanting a break from that for a week. As for myself, a feature article for Bedivere U's Daily Report was just an excuse. My real reason was tiny, pink, colicky, and possessed of a wail like an air-defense siren.

I'd been an only child for eighteen years, and while I didn't mind sharing the bright center of my parents' universe, I'd been completely unprepared for the disruption that my infant sister brought to the house. Lately I spent long hours away on campus, or at my boyfriend's apartment. But with school out for the week, and Justin going out of town, too, I was at loose ends. I would have jumped at a chance for a trip to the moon.

Lisa clicked through my playlists, looking dissatisfied with the selection. “You're going to have fun this week, right?”

I glanced at her doubtfully. “Surrounded by the drunk and disorderly? We are going to study the natives, not to become them.”

“Which does not preclude having a good time. You're not going to be all goody-two-shoes?”

“What does that mean?” Since I had already taken the unprecedented step of lying to my parents about our departure time in order to avoid the “Two girls driving alone at night” speech, I really didn't appreciate being called a killjoy.

“Don't get pissy. I just don't want you to mope around because Sir Galahad isn't there.”

“Sir Galahad” is my boyfriend, Justin. He and Lisa had started off on a bad foot, though they've since reached a kind of détente. Lisa, in her D&D terminology, says that Justin is a Lawful Good Paladin. She doesn't always mean it as a compliment, but it's absolutely true, so it's hard to take offense.

“Just because I have a boyfriend doesn't mean I require a guy to be happy. And if I ever do, just shoot me.” Needling me was Lisa's way of breaking up the monotony of the drive, but that didn't stop me from getting defensive. “Besides, it's good to have some time apart.”

“You're sure?” She prodded me like a bug under a microscope. “It doesn't irk you he's spending the week with this buddy of his?”

The only thing more provoking than Lisa in a good mood was Lisa in the throes of boredom. “Why should it irk me?”

“It's your first school break as a couple.” She was fishing, and I was determined not to take that bait.

“Henry's been his best friend since forever. They're going to hang out and do guy stuff. It's not any different than you and I going off to do girl stuff.” I shot her a look.
“Not that I can remember why that seemed like a good idea.”

“Because we're best friends.” Lisa unplugged my iPod and replaced it with hers. The screen cast her face in a cool glow, at odds with her devilish smile. “And when I take over the world, I'll appoint you to a place of distinction in my Council of Evil.”

“Can't wait.”


From the Hardcover edition.
Rosemary Clement-Moore

About Rosemary Clement-Moore

Rosemary Clement-Moore - Hell Week

Photo © Silver Screen Photography

Maggie Quinn: Thank you for letting me interview you.

Rosemary Clement-Moore: I’m just glad that the character of my novels is a journalist. It means I don’t have to write about myself, which can be so awkward.

MQ: Right. Awkward. Like that Starfleet Academy sweatshirt you’re wearing.

RCM: Only inside the house, I swear. I’m a closet nerd.

MQ: I guess I don’t need to ask if you were popular in high school.

RCM: Like you, I wasn’t part of the “in crowd,” but I had friends and activities. My grades weren’t as good as yours, though, because I was always writing stories when I should have been doing my algebra homework.

MQ: So, you’ve always wanted to be a writer?

RCM: While other girls were having runway shows with their Barbies, mine went on fantastic adventures in space or battled evil overlords to free their kingdoms (of which they were all princesses in disguise).

MQ: In other words, you were always weird.

RCM: I prefer “eccentric and creative.”

MQ: But you have a master’s degree in science–how did that happen?

RCM: The usual. A pessimistic but convincing guidance counselor who said, “But what’s going to be your day job?” So, I picked something that sounded interesting, then loaded up on electives. My transcript is all over the place, and I had a blast learning new things. Researching my books is like staying in school forever, but without as many final exams and keg parties.

MQ: Speaking of jobs, you have a really random collection of hobbies and skills.

RCM: I’m a fifth generation Texas rancher on one side, and a first generation American on the other. Being the child of a cowboy and a city girl contributes to my weirdness. I can ride, shoot, sail, tie knots, pitch a tent, and build a campfire and then cook on it. I can also serve high tea, embroider and sew, tap dance, and sing random selections from Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. I love history, archeology, literature, ballet, musical theater, horses, and dogs. Plus the whole sci-fi/fantasy obsession.

MQ: Did you always want to write for teens?

RCM: That’s just how it turned out. I enjoy stories about discovering your talents, and how you’re going to use them to save the world, sometimes literally.

MQ: Yeah, what’s up with that? Monsters and demons? Evil cheerleaders? Do you keep yourself up at night?

RCM: Well, I don’t believe in literal monsters and demons, just figurative ones, which are even more frightening. It’s scary to realize that horrific things like the Holocaust or 9/11 or the Virginia Tech shootings aren’t caused by supernatural forces, but by human beings. Giving evil a face and defeating it in fiction is very satisfying.
The good/evil line isn’t as clear-cut when it doesn't involve automatic weapons. Sometimes the little decisions–kind words over hateful ones, unprompted generosity, honesty when no one is watching–are harder than the big obvious ones. But I think they’re just as important, which is why my characters are often faced with the choice of doing the easy thing, or doing the right thing.

MQ: Way to bring things down. Let’s lighten it up a little. Why give up your glamorous job as a youth theater director for writing books?

RCM: Well, you don’t have to worry about a special effects budget in a book. You can do whatever you want. You can also go anywhere, be anything or anyone–the same things that appeal to me about drama, except I don’t have to stay on a diet, and I get to work on the couch, wearing my Starfleet Academy sweatshirt. Though the puppy in my lap does make it hard to type sometimes.

MQ: I have to say, your dog, Lizzie, is probably the cutest dog on the planet.

RCM: How nice of you to agree with me!

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