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R.L. Stine's 'Give Me a K-I-L-L': Read an excerpt

Plus, the exclusive cover art reveal

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Dan Nelken

Famed Goosebumpswriter R.L. Stine is reviving his popular Fear Street series to reignite the terror and imagination in teens. His newest installment is Give Me a K-I-L-L, a thriller following the cheerleaders of Shadyside High. 

In the novel, cheerleading superstar Gretchen Page moves to town to join Shadyside’s cheer squad. Standing in her way is Devra Dalby, a rich, spoiled member of the team. The competition between the girls starts nasty – and ends in murder. Will  Gretchen make the squad? Or will she end up dead?

Check out the exclusive cover and excerpt from Give Me a K-I-L-L, coming April 4, 2017, below:

macmillan publishers

Excerpt from Give Me a K-I-L-L by R.L. Stine

The doorbell rang. Gretchen said goodbye to Polly, tossed the phone onto her bed, and hurried to the front door.

Through the peephole, she saw a boy standing on the front stoop, his face hidden behind a gray hoodie. “Who’s there?”

“It’s me.”

Me?

She pulled the door open. “Sid? Hi. I didn’t expect—”

“Gretchen, are you okay?” He pulled back his hood. His eyes searched hers. “I was worried. I—”

“I feel a lot better,” she said.

She stepped aside for him to come into the house. But instead he wrapped his arms around her waist, lowered his face to hers, and kissed her. The kiss lasted a long time. She gave herself to it. Let all other thoughts leave her mind.

Kissed him. Kissed him… Then pushed him away. Stacy. The name flashed into her thoughts.

Her face felt hot. On fire. She could still taste his lips on hers. She grabbed his hand and pulled him into the living room. Most of their furniture hadn’t arrived yet from Savanna Mills. She tugged him to the couch facing the fireplace. He pulled her down on top of him and they kissed again, another long, lingering kiss.

Again, she broke the kiss and pushed him away. Her heart fluttered in her chest. She felt a rush of emotion, suddenly realized how attracted she was to him.

Stacy. Stacy is his girlfriend. This isn’t right.

But it feels right.

Sid tugged down his hoodie and sprawled back on the couch, tilting his head back, gazing up at the bronze ceiling fixture. “Wow,” he murmured. “Wow.”

She slid to the couch arm. “Did you really come to see if I was okay?”

He nodded. “Whoa. That Devra. I don’t believe her.”

“Do we have to talk about her?” Gretchen said, playing with the end his hoodie sleeve.

“You should have heard her ranting after you left,” Sid said. “She’s really psycho.”

“Huh? You really think she’s crazy?”

“No. I just think she’s a spoiled brat. No one has ever said no to her. Devra always gets what she wants.”

“Not this time,” Gretchen said. “This time, Devra loses and I win the spot on the cheerleading squad.”

Sid smiled. Gretchen saw that he had two tiny dimples in his cheeks when he smiled. He reached for her and started to pull her to him.

But she resisted. “Can we talk about something?” she asked.

He frowned. “You want to talk?” He ran a finger tenderly along her cheek.

“What about Stacy?” Gretchen asked.

Sid let out a long sigh. He pulled himself up straight. “Stacy? Stacy is a long story.”

“Well… aren’t you two going together?”

“Forever,” he said. “We’ve been together forever. Our parents were all best friends. When I was little Stacy’s family lived right across the street from us. Stacy and I played together when we were two years old.”

“Whoa,” Gretchen murmured.

“Yeah. Whoa.” He rolled his eyes. “It’s like we’ve been together forever. We’re even going to college together. We’re going to Wisconsin. Our parents expect us to get married. Everyone in our families expect us to get married. It’s like this great romantic story, only… only…”

“Only what?” Gretchen demanded.

Sid took a breath. He shrugged. “I like her a lot. Seriously. But I don’t want to marry her. I’ve tried to break up with her.”

“Really?” Gretchen studied his face, trying to determine if he was telling the truth.

“Yes, really. I’ve tried to explain a dozen times. Tried to say we should just be friends. But I can’t get through to her. She doesn’t think I’m serious. I mean, I guess she doesn’t want to believe the truth, that I want to break up with her.”

“Everyone thinks you’re the perfect couple,” Gretchen said.

“Everyone is wrong,” Sid said, lowering his eyes. “Stacy keeps acting like everything is perfect between us. You know how gung-ho she is. She’s a cheerleader even when she isn’t being a cheerleader. But…” He shook his head sadly.

Gretchen leaned forward. She placed her hands on Sid’s cheeks and pulled him close. She shut her eyes and kissed him.

The audition… Sid… Things are finally going my way.

He left about ten minutes later. He had to do some shopping for his mom.

Gretchen leaned back on the couch, waiting for her heartbeats to slow. The image of him kissing her, kissing her lingered in her mind.

She felt as if she were floating on air as she picked herself up and made her way upstairs to her room. As she entered, a bell ding on her phone startled her out of her dreamy thoughts.

She picked the phone up from where she had tossed it on the bed. She gazed at a text message on the screen:

YOU COULD BREAK YOUR NECK

All in capital letters. From Devra?

A chill tightened the back of Gretchen’s neck as she read the words again.

The phone dinged again. Another message appeared beneath the first one:

SOMETIMES CHEERLEADERS DIE

Gretchen stared at the words until they blurred. She squeezed the phone so hard, her hand ached.

Is Devra serious? She asked herself. Am I really in danger?

Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books.

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