Hair in All The Wrong Places

Hair in All The Wrong Places

by Andrew Buckley

Paperback

$14.51 $15.00 Save 3% Current price is $14.51, Original price is $15. You Save 3%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Wednesday, September 26?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.

Overview

Hair in All The Wrong Places by Andrew Buckley

What has he done? What's happening to him? And what on Earth is that smell? For Colin Strauss, puberty stinks. Blackouts, hallucinations, and lapses in memory are the perils of growing up werewolf. Worse than that, Colin worries he might have had something to do with the recent attacks on the townspeople. He may have eaten a person. It doesn’t matter that it’s someone he doesn’t particularly like. What kind of boy goes around eating people? Foolishly, all Colin can think about is how Becca Emerson finally kissed him for the first time. Yep, hormones are afoot. Yikes! But girls will have to wait. Collin better get himself under control before someone else ends up hurt or worse . . . dead.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942664987
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Pages: 237
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Andrew Buckley is an editor for a small press, a professional copy and content writer, and a cohost for a geek movie podcast. He lives in Canada.

Read an Excerpt

Hair in All The Wrong Places


By Andrew Buckley

Month9Books, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Andrew Buckley
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-945107-05-4


CHAPTER 1

Loser


Colin looked directly into the reflection staring back at him from the bathroom mirror and with absolute conviction said, "You are a loser."

His reflection agreed.

Much as he had done almost every day for the last year, Colin evaluated his body. He was tall for a thirteen year old, with lanky limbs and broad pointy shoulders that bordered on skeletal. His face looked to be at odds with the rest of his body with its gaunt features and perpetually dark circles beneath the eyes. Pale skin stood in stark opposition to his unruly dark and stringy hair. Trying to sharpen his vision, he squinted before fumbling with his glasses.

His reflection didn't look any better with them on.

After drying off, Colin got dressed and headed downstairs.

"Why are you dressed like that?" snapped his grandmother from her usual place in front of the TV. She hadn't even looked at him yet, not that it mattered. Colin didn't know what was more disturbing: that despite his grandmother being completely blind, she still watched TV religiously and commented on his clothes every day, or that he still felt the need to defend his choice of clothing to her. He was wearing jeans and an oversized hoodie.

"It's school today, Grandmother. I'm dressed for school," he murmured.

"I know that!" she spat.

Nothing wrong with her hearing, though.

"Do you need anything?" he asked.

His grandmother sipped tea from a china cup. "I can take care of myself, you little ingrate. Get to school. You're going to be late. If you don't get an education, I'll never get your lazy butt out of here."

There was no point in arguing.

"And comb your hair before leaving the house. I don't want people thinking I'm raising a hobo!" she said.

As Colin walked past the living room, his grandmother turned around in her chair and stared in his general direction with gray eyes damaged irreparably by cataracts. Blind eyes followed him as he walked to the door as quickly as he was able. It wasn't until he was outside with the door firmly closed behind him that he allowed himself to breathe again.

Colin's grandmother had always terrified him. He couldn't remember a time when she wasn't blind or cruel. Colin's parents lived in Seattle and over the past thirteen years had managed to have as little to do with their only son as humanly possible. They were young when his mother had discovered she was pregnant, and the following nine months had put a severe dent in their career plans. They were both up-and-coming lawyers at large firms, and as soon as they could be rid of Colin, they'd passed him off from one distant relative to another. Beyond that, they had no parental aspirations whatsoever.

Just over a year ago, after a short stint living with an uncle and aunt in Ohio, Colin had been sent to the small town of Elkwood to live with his only living close relative — his grandmother, Beatrice Strauss.

She hadn't welcomed him, there were no hugs, no loving relationship, just a bitter old woman who spent most of her days parked in front of the TV and commenting on what a disappointment Colin was. He'd tried to help her, but she never wanted it. Despite being blind, she was more than able to get around and take care of herself. The only time she left the house was to attend the monthly town hall meetings to which he was never invited.

Colin was twenty feet from the bus stop when the school bus flew by. The mocking grins of students plastered the bus's back window as it disappeared over the hill. Thankfully, the school was centrally located, which meant he'd be only slightly late.

On his way to school, Colin passed Mrs. Flipple, a kind old lady who walked her tiny, yappy dog, Jinx, each morning, rain or shine. As per usual, Jinx went straight for Colin, yapping in that high-pitched bark that only small, irritating dogs can make. Colin nodded politely to the old lady and held on to a secret hatred for that little dog.

The town was always overcast, and it rained almost every day of the year, which suited Colin's depressed personality. He was thankful he didn't live in a warmer climate as he'd have a much harder time being pale and awkward.

He'd survived the seventh grade at Elkwood School with above-average grades and a below-average number of friends. He was still considered a stranger here. His lack of personality, athleticism, and sense of humor didn't help in the slightest. He wasn't handsome enough to be popular or ugly enough to be ignored. He was just weird enough that students could be heard wondering aloud about him as he walked by. Now in the second week of his eighth grade year, Colin had one sort of friend, one unrealistic crush, and was the constant focus of several bullies who were determined to make his life miserable.

Loser.

He reached Elkwood School just as the second bell rang to indicate the start of classes. On average, each grade at the school contained only twenty to thirty students, and because of a limited number of teachers, some classes taught more than one grade or subject.

As Colin ran up the steps to the main entrance, a dark, looming shape confronted him. He looked up into the face of Principal Hebert.

"You're late again, Mr. Strauss." His voice sounded like rumbling thunder.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Hebert. I missed the bus."

"While I admire your use of a classical excuse, I'd prefer if you'd made an attempt at originality. Had you been more creative, I would not feel the need to place you in detention."

"I'm really sor —"

"But as you're still trying to apologize rather than give me something interesting to work with, I'll be seeing you after school."

Colin studied his feet carefully. "Yes, sir."

"Run along." Mr. Hebert gestured, pushing his hand ahead of him in a forward motion.

Colin made his way into the building and chanced a glance back to see Principal Hebert slowly shaking his head. Hebert was a former marine and rumored war hero who had retired to Elkwood almost ten years ago and although he had absolutely no qualifications had been appointed as the school principal. He was a massive hulk of a man with the sort of physique that suggested he could bend large metal things with his bare hands. Principal Hebert was a firm believer in detention and hard work and often liked to combine the two. Most detentions involved cleaning something. Colin made a mental note that his day was not off to a rip-roaring start.

Can't get any worse.

Colin's day quickly got worse.

He moved down an empty corridor, his sneakers squeaking loudly on the clean laminate flooring before entering the last classroom on the right.

The entire class turned to look at him. Some groaned, others laughed, a few smirked. Mrs. Davenport was the substitute teacher again today for Biology, and she greeted him with a warm smile.

"Good morning, Colin. Please take a seat. We were just getting started."

Colin shuffled over to his seat next to Jeremy Rodson, the only person in Elkwood Colin could refer to as a friend. Everyone liked Jeremy even though he had never really joined one particular group. He played on the basketball team, so the jocks liked him. He was smart and maintained decent grades, so he was accepted by the smart kids. He was a good actor, so the creative types liked him. Colin had met him on his first day, and Jeremy had introduced him to the school. With so many commitments, Jeremy wasn't always around, so Colin was still forced to maintain his unhappy, loner lifestyle.

"No Mr. Winter again?" Colin asked quietly.

"Apparently he's sick," said Jeremy and grinned. "Why are you so late?"

"Missed the bus."

"Detention again?"

"Yup."

"Pay attention, boys," said Mrs. Davenport with a smile. She was flipping through a PowerPoint presentation about pheromones.

As the only substitute teacher in the small Elkwood School, Mrs. Davenport was never short of work. She was also the kindest teacher that Colin had ever encountered. Her presence had a calming effect on the students that Mr. Winter could never manage.

Mr. Winter was a jerk. It wasn't just Colin's opinion but more of a collective agreement throughout the entire school, including the teachers. An uptight individual in his late thirties, he had a particular hatred for students, teaching, other teachers, and did I mention, students? A few years ago, Mr. Winter's entire family — wife, parents, grandparents — had been killed in a car accident, and rumor had it that the insurance settlement had been sizeable. The rumor quickly proved true when Mr. Winter started travelling the better part of the school year.

"Pheromones indicate the availability of a female for breeding." Mrs. Davenport was met with a round of sniggers. "Well, it's true," she said calmly. "All animals excrete pheromones, and they can indicate a variety of things. Anything from sex to marking territory, and it can even act as a defense mechanism."

"Colin, you should get yourself some pheromones," said Gareth Dugan from behind a textbook. His cronies laughed in honor of their leader's display of wit.

Gareth was a bully with scraggly hair and a troubled complexion. Having been raised on a farm on the outskirts of Elkwood, Gareth had always struck Colin as being quite large for his age. Gareth didn't like Colin, but then, the feeling was mutual.

"Why would I need pheromones?" shot back Colin. "Your smell already overpowers everything in the room."

That probably wasn't smart.

The entire room agreed with him by sitting in absolute silence.

"That's enough," said Mrs. Davenport and cheerfully continued to describe other chemical factors that trigger social responses.

Colin dared a glance back to see Gareth glaring at him like a lion eyeing an injured antelope.

Gareth would inevitably seek revenge. Colin didn't need a chemical factor to trigger a social response. All he had to do was open his mouth.

He tried his best to concentrate on his textbook, opened at random, but his thoughts remained fixed on how to save himself a beating Jeremy, who remained happily oblivious and completely free of any such dealings, leaned over enthusiastically.

"Did you take a look at Tori yet? Classic Tori outfit." He grinned and subtly tilted his head backward. Having developed earlier than any other girl in school, Tori was the blond bombshell of Elkwood. Okay, she was more like a small nuclear explosion. To aid the raging hormones of teenage boys, she made a habit of wearing low-cut shirts complimented by extremely short skirts.

Mrs. Davenport turned to the whiteboard, and Colin glanced back three rows on the right to see Tori conveniently perched on the edge of her stool wearing a short powder-blue skirt and knee-high boots.

Colin's eyes followed the curves of her body upward until he realized she was looking directly at him with a wry smile. He blushed instantly, but the awkward moment was suddenly interrupted as a textbook smashed into the side of his head, sending his glasses skittering across the desk and onto the floor.

The class laughed as Colin slipped from his stool and crawled around in front of the desk, searching for his glasses.

Mrs. Davenport whirled around, spied Colin on the floor, and asked, "What was that? Colin, what are you doing?"

"Sorry, Mrs. Davenport. Just looking for my glasses."

The bell rang before any further interrogation could be made, and the class headed for the exit. Colin still couldn't find his glasses.

Ironic. If I was wearing my glasses, I'd have no trouble finding them.

The side of his head was throbbing from where the textbook had struck him. No doubt Gareth or one of his minions to thank for that.

Colin stood and came face-to-face with Becca Emerson, his heartbeat doubling in speed.

"I found your glasses," she said, handing them over.

"Uh, thanks, B-Becca."

The rest of the class had cleared out. He put on his glasses, and she came into focus. Around his height with fiery red hair and pale skin, Becca displayed a standoffishness that made most people avoid her. She wasn't developed like Tori, but neither were most cover models. Becca was a little like Jeremy in that she didn't associate with any one group, but where he belonged to everyone, she tended to avoid all people. Her dad was some sort of government worker, which translated to "spy" to most middle schoolers.

Becca always wore dark makeup and dark clothes making her look paler than she actually was. She maintained high grades, avoided large groups, and Colin had loved her since he first saw her. It was, of course, a secret love because there was no way he could ever work up the nerve to do anything about it.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

Oh, that voice.

"Uh, yeah. Just another head wound. Probably won't be the last." He attempted a half-hearted grin.

They awkwardly stared at each other as Colin's mind raced for something smart to say.

What do I say? You're gorgeous? Want to share a slushee? Marry me?

"Okay, well have a good day," said Becca, and left.

Smooth, Strauss. Very smooth.

Not the most suave guy at the best of times, Colin managed to be even less so around Becca. How would he ever be able to ask her out, let alone have an entire conversation with her if he didn't even manage to open his mouth?


* * *

Having made it to last period unscathed, Colin was busy staring at Becca as the minutes on the clock clicked by while he planned his escape. He would have to move fast, get out of the school, and off the grounds. He'd skip the bus altogether —

"Wonder what Hebert's going to have you do for detention today? My money is on cleaning the gym floor," said Jeremy.

Detention!

"I'm so screwed."

"It's not that bad, just cleaning."

"Not that," groaned Colin. "Gareth got detention in third period."

"Well at least you'll have company," said Jeremy unhelpfully.

The bell rang, and Colin's heart skipped a beat.

"Just once Jer, just once I'd love to be as oblivious as you are."

"You got detention today, Colin?" asked Becca.

Colin almost dropped his books. He hadn't noticed her approach. "Uh, yeah. I was late today."

"I know. I was there."

"Right."

"I was wondering if I could talk to you. Alone. I can walk you to your detention."

"I've got to run anyway. Catch ya later." And with that, Jeremy bounced off.

"Y-yeah, of course," said Colin. This was new territory. Other than the occasional passing pleasantry, Colin had never had a full conversation with Becca. They walked down the south corridor toward the detention room at the back of the school.

"I know it hasn't been easy for you," said Becca without looking at him. "It must be strange to move here. Most people are born here these days."

"Uh, yeah, I've heard that. No one ever moves to Elkwood."

"The people here aren't open-minded. They only know what they know. And who they know. This probably isn't making any sense."

"No. I mean, yeah. Well. No, no it's not."

Becca turned to him. Her eyes were a deep hazel color, he'd never noticed before. She put a hand on his shoulder, and suddenly his insides were on fire. It was only a moment, but Colin felt as if she was looking through him.

Colin was way beyond his comfort zone and didn't know what to do. Was he supposed to say something? Did she want him to kiss her? Or was he misunderstanding her? When it came to reading girls, he was dyslexic. On the flipside, Becca Emerson was actually touching him! With her actual hand! But then she took her hand away and for a moment looked sad.

"I'm sorry, Colin. I thought maybe ... but no." She sighed. "I don't know if you'll ever be able to see things clearly here."

Colin had no idea what she was talking about; he was still reeling from her touch and for once actually managed to say something. "Maybe you could help me?"

Did I just say that?

What was he thinking?

"I have to go. My dad will wonder where I am. Good luck in detention."

And just like that, she was gone.

The ominous voice of Principal Hebert floated down the hallway. "Nice of you to join us, Mr. Strauss. Are you going to just stand there, or do I need to drag you into detention?"

Colin entered the room, noting the other attendees. Two students, Micah and Nathaniel Cross, otherwise known as the goth twins. They were pale with black tattoos, long black coats, tight black clothing, and permanent frowns plastered across their faces. Gareth sat with his feet up, smirking at Colin.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Hair in All The Wrong Places by Andrew Buckley. Copyright © 2016 Andrew Buckley. Excerpted by permission of Month9Books, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Hair in All The Wrong Places 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
carlhackman More than 1 year ago
Andrew Buckley is one of those authors who, when you've read one of their books, you know you will read everything they write. Hair In All The Wrong Places met and even exceeded my expectations. I read the novel in two sessions and only put it down the first time as I had a school visit. Colin, a lanky weed of a kid whose reflection in the mirror agrees that he is a total loser, is sent to his grandmother's house because his parents couldn't be bothered to look after him. For most kids this would be a devastating occurrence, but for Colin it turns out to be the best thing that could ever have happened to him. Admittedly he is almost immediately bullied at his new school, nothing new there, but then he gets bitten by a werewolf when trying to run back to his parents; no idea why after the way they treated him, but there you go. This turns out to be a positive event in his life and his new found strength and muscle growth are quite appealing to him. The increase in his sense of smell is also a boon, sometimes, as there are some things he can smell that I'm sure he would rather not. The tale that follows is a fun read and will keep you pretty much enthralled throughout the entire novel and I have no hesitation in giving it five stars. I could have said more in the review, but any more would probably involve spoilers or me wittering on until I'd practically written out the entire novel :)
alterlisa More than 1 year ago
OMG! Such a fun read. Love, just love the title. A very fast read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love mysteries, especially murder mysteries and the fun twisty ride through this book was awesome. Werewolves are my fav shifter and I'm always interested to see how an author handles this world. My granddaughter will be given a copy of this book as she's grown beyond the R L Stine books and I can't wait to discuss this story with her.
hmweasley More than 1 year ago
I was excited to read this book because it sounded like such a fun werewolf book. As someone who really loves stories about werewolves, it had been far too long since I had last read one, so it was only natural that I would be excited about this book. While I know we are talking about a book where the main character turns into a werewolf, I had difficulty believing some of the elements of the plot (going into more detail would be too much of a spoiler), which did pull me out of the story at times. That being said, this is a middle grade novel, and I don't think the vast majority of the target audience would find the same details as unbelievable. For that reason, I don't view it as that big of a deal. The book was fun enough that I didn't think I should care about more unbelievable aspects of the plot, it was an enjoyable story. I just had to suspend my disbelief for a bit and accept what was happening. That was the kind of book this is, I think. I can easily imagine middle grade readers getting a lot of enjoyment from the book. It seems like the perfect story for any middle schooler who wants to read about werewolves and other supernatural creatures. I received this book for review through Chapter by Chapter Book Tours.
VoluptuousBDiva More than 1 year ago
This book had everything I love. An underdog, paranormal elements, action and first love. Right from the start I was hooked and found it extremely hard to put down. Colin is a self proclaimed loser who lives with his grandmother after being bounced around from one family member to another and only has one friend, Jeremy. He crushes on Becca and is bullied by a trio of friends but one night an unexpected event occurs and Colin will soon realize that not everything is as it seems. I love when an author excites my sense from the very beginning and keeps me enraptured in the plot along side fun and life like characters. This is a FANTASTIC read that I feel would be enjoyed by many age ranges and I cannot wait to read more of this author's books. {I received an eARC when I signed up and was selected to host the book tour. I made no guarantee of a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are unbiased and my own.}
JeepinJaime More than 1 year ago
Cole's life basically sucks. Shuffled from place to place by his parents, who are too concerned with jobs and money to care for him, he finally ends up living with his grandmother. She is blind and cruel beyond words, always taking any opportunity to make him feel worthless. The town they live in is tiny, one of those "everyone knows everyone" types. And everyone knows he is an outsider. Kids at school are terrible to him, with the exception of his one friend Jeremy. And Becca...beautiful, goth Becca, who seems to have a crush on him FINALLY! But things are about to go from bad to just plain strange for Cole. One evening after school, and another beat down from the bullies, Cole has had enough. He decided to take his late grandpa's car and go find his parents, beg them to let him stay. He never makes it though. Out of nowhere, a creature attacks the car and he ends up in the woods, in pain, with strange images flowing through his mind. Yet, when he wakes up, he is at home in bed. Thinking it was all a dream, Cole heads to school. All seems normal.... until it just.... IS... NOT!! Hair in all the Wrong Places is a highly entertaining, adventurous story with a ton of humor, a little bit of romance, and mysteries abound. I had a blast reading this book, as I thought I would with a title as perfect as this one! There is never a dull moment. and it was interesting trying to anticipate all the twists and turns. Cole is a great character, one who deserves a huge pat on the back. I rooted for him from the get-go. This book is so unique, truly, which is something that I highly appreciate. And look out for the twist at the end! I don't care how old you are, I think this is a book pretty much everyone could enjoy. Go ahead and give it a shot. And before I forget, the beginning is a letter to readers, and it was the PERFECT way to start this book. Automatic hook!