Posted in Geek Out

Young Adult Summer Scavenger Hunt Stop #53

The contest is over!! Thanks for participating!

Welcome to the 53rd stop on the Young Adult Summer Scavenger Hunt! If you don’t know what that is, visit the YA Bookshelf for all the rules. On your quest to uncover the secret short story, you should have visited author Chanda Stafford‘s website before this. After you’re done here, move on to author Melinda Cordell‘s site!

Everyone who’s reading this gets a FREE e-copy of my spooky YA short story, Drowned Silence! This story includes samplers for all of my other current YA work, too.

Click here for your free copy!

Plus, stick around after my exclusive content for a chance to win free copies of all of my books! Don’t like exclusive content or free books? The word you’ll need to continue is MET.

My YA romantic fantasy, Nobody’s Goddess, the first book in The Never Veil Series, went through so many revisions that I have a number of deleted scenes to show. Here’s one of the openings the book used to have. Visit Wattpad or Amazon and compare it to the finalized opening chapter!

First Draft Chapter One to Nobody’s Goddess

I’d known him my whole life, but until one year prior, I had never seen his face. The fact that I could now bask in the fire in his eyes meant he was lost to me forever. Not that there was ever any hope. Not for me.

With my free will to love whom I would, I loved the man who sat beside me in the violet lily-covered hilltop before the woods. And it mattered not.

Still, how many women could say they could hold the man they loved in their arms? Intertwine their arms with his, rest their heads upon his shoulders and breathe in the flowery scent of his shoulder-length black hair?

I suppose if they were like my mother had been, quite a lot. When the time came, anyway.

But I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there had to have been other women like me. The fact that their husbands still walked around with their faces a secret made it impossible to deny.

Had those women loved another? Had they chosen not to love at all? Of those who had foolishly let their hearts take hope in another, as I had, how many even managed to get those men to look their way? To see the woman as anything more than another person in the village, a forgettable face in the background obscured by the goddess whom he loved?

I had to believe that I was the only one. I wouldn’t feel the glares at my back, hear the rustle of whispers as I passed if there had been another.

“Noll,” came a kinder whisper than the type to which I was used, “you’re awfully quiet. Is something troubling you?”

I flinched. And with my hands so tightly wound around his upper arm, I’m sure he felt it.

“No,” I lied. As if speaking the lie aloud could fool my own heart.

Of course, Jurij would not be fooled. Not entirely. He gently pulled apart from my grip and put a few more inches of the grassy hilltop between us. Just a few more inches, but he may as well have put the entire village between us. Not that it wasn’t already.

His face was pained. “I wish you wouldn’t keep secrets from me.”

I scoffed—not at him, but at myself and the inanity of it all. If Jurij knew my secret, he pretended not to know it. I liked to think that it was impossible for him to know it because asking me to speak it aloud would be too cruel. Maybe he couldn’t know. Men were said only to gain a bit of awareness once they got married. And only even then if they experienced the Returning first.

I sighed and let go of Jurij’s arm. If I spent one more moment looking into the flames in Jurij’s eyes, I felt I may burst. I wished he did not look so sad—not for me, anyway. What he likely guessed to be the topic troubling me was something else entirely. How could he know that it was my love for him that pained me? How could he even fathom that I was someone capable of his love?

“It’s getting late,” I said, brushing grass off of the front of my skirt.

Jurij nodded and jumped upward. “Elfriede will be wondering what’s keeping us.”

Ah, yes, Elfriede.

I grabbed the picnic basket that had held a few of Elfriede’s crispels. We walked in silence down the grassy hilltop outside of the woods and back onto the dirt road. In the distance, the mountains that encircled our village completely soared far beyond the fields of crops on the western side of the village. I liked the mountains for the most part. From the north, the south and the west, they seemed to embrace our village and protect us with their jagged peaks. But then I thought of the mountains behind us, the ones that towered above the woods on the eastern side of the village. I felt a cold breeze hit my back, and I trembled. I always tried to avoid looking toward the east. There was something there on which I would rather my thoughts not dwell.

I shoved the idea of the looming eastern mountains aside. Elfriede awaited us.

Elfriede was Jurij’s goddess. Even if I meant something more to Jurij than just another young woman in the village, it wasn’t enough. In fact, it was worse.

But I suppose it could have been worse still, if his curse had chosen anyone but Elfriede. My golden-haired, lovely sister, so pale and oak-fair and delicate in nature that a gust of wind could surely blow her away. My trustworthy sister, who would never think ill of me for spending so much time with the one to whom she had so willingly performed the Returning. For what if he had loved a shrill woman of the village, one who, Returning to him or not, got angry at the mere sight of him with another woman? It hadn’t really happened before—a man spending so much time with and giving so much affection to a non-related woman who was not his goddess—but the way the women scoffed at me, you’d have thought that Jurij was theirs, and my actions were a personal affront.

But there was another reason why my affection for Jurij irritated the villagers, I knew. I just didn’t like to think of it too often.

A gust of wind blew up from behind us, rustling through my skirt and knocking loose one of Jurij’s smooth black curls. It bounced absently against his cheek. Jurij didn’t move to readjust it. He walked forward, his face fixed toward home, a glow of sunshine spreading warmth throughout his features.

Against my better judgment, I reached over to brush that loose lock of hair behind Jurij’s ear again. My fingers glided across the pointed edge, and I felt a rush of hot blood spread from my hand to my toes. I shivered.

Jurij snapped out of his daze and gave me a smile. Without pausing, he removed his cloak and slipped it over my shoulders. Then his gaze returned forward and his pace quickened.

“Thank you,” I murmured. I gripped the cloak around my shoulders so tightly I swore my fingers would start to bleed. I tore my eyes from his features and focused instead on the dirt on the ground.

But his face was impossible for me to forget. It’d only been a year since I saw him—truly saw him—for the first time. I had been so happy… And yet his face made it so much harder. I supposed his features were no more or less remarkable than any of the men’s faces I could see, but somehow they came together in just the right way. Perhaps because I had been projecting my love onto that face for years, ever since we were kids, and Jurij was always hidden from me behind one mask or another. Perhaps back then, I thought the impossible might come true.

“Jurij!” called a sweet voice on the wind.

“Elfriede!” echoed Jurij back. His feet practically turned into wings, and he closed the final distance between us and my front door before he could even let out another breath.

But it probably had become impossible for him to breathe until he found his way to her embrace. Literally, even more so than figuratively.

They kissed. A thousand snowy mountaintops would have melted under the light of that one kiss. It was as if they had been parted a lifetime instead of just a short while. To them, it probably felt as long.

On deeper thought, Jurij’s goddess being Elfriede was the worst possible outcome. Something sharp stabbed my stomach every time I thought of how much she deserved him. And frankly, he deserved her. I was the only one not deserving—of either of them.

“Good evening, Noll,” said Elfriede as I finally managed to catch up to Jurij with my mere mortal legs.

“Good evening,” I mumbled. I wouldn’t let my eyes do more than flicker up at them, still intertwined in their embrace. I shuffled through the doorway and into the kitchen, dumping the picnic basket on the table with a little too much force. I tore off Jurij’s cloak and hung it on the back of my chair.

If Elfriede or Jurij had heard the commotion, neither said a word. They both entered, and Elfriede returned to the fire, where I saw she had been cooking a large pot of stew for dinner. Jurij slinked behind her, his steps echoing hers. He put his hands atop her shoulders and peered into the stew as she stirred it with a ladle.

“Smells divine, my love,” he purred before kissing the top of her head.

“Thank you,” said Elfriede. A blush leaked onto her cheeks.

Every moment with them was excruciating.

I had to stop myself from stomping as I made my way to the cupboard to put away the picnic basket and grab the table settings. After all, I was almost seventeen, hardly young enough to get away with such repugnant behavior. Not that even kicking and screaming in the middle of the table would tear those two away from one another. But at least the thought of doing just that was enough to loosen the tense feelings in my shoulders and make me grin.

“Will you be joining us for dinner, Jurij?” I asked with as much serenity as I could summon to my voice.

“Yes, thank you.” He had both arms wrapped around Elfriede across her shoulders.

I took a deep breath. I have a choice in this matter. He doesn’t. I can do this. I can let go.

I absently placed bowls and spoons for four people at the places at our table. I felt a brief jolt of pain as I set Jurij’s setting down next to Elfriede’s, but for once it wasn’t for my foolish feelings. It was for my mother, who once occupied that seat, and the loss of whom nearly drove my father to madness a few years ago. If a man were truly immortal until he experienced the Returning, and the loss of his goddess was enough to kill a man as the stories claimed, why was my father still among the living?

“Ah, good evening, Jurij,” said the very man who had occupied my thoughts. I glanced up to see my father in the doorway. For a moment, a trick of the light perhaps, his figure seemed as dashing and as tender as I remembered him from my childhood. But he took a few steps more into the room, stumbling his way to his chair, and I saw him for what he was: a shade of my father.

Father had the same features he always had, but they were muted somehow. His strong, dark chin poked through a rough, unkempt black and gray beard. His curls drooped and stuck out in all directions, although somehow the pointed tips of his ears made a slight appearance through the wild tangle of knots. His eyes, they sparkled, but in a different way than they once had. The flame in those eyes burned as lightly as a candle in its final few moments before the wick withered away.

And perhaps that’s exactly how I could think of my father.

“Good evening, Gideon,” said Jurij. He tore himself from Elfriede long enough to come and put his hand on my father’s shoulder. “How was Vena?”

“Huh?” asked Father absently. Often you had to ask a question more than once before he had any idea you were talking to him.

Vena,” I reminded him, referring to the tavern’s barkeeper. Of course. Who else would my father see in town? No one else drank before dinner, so my father alone practically kept Vena and her husband Elweard in business while the sun was still up.

“Oh, fine, fine.” Father’s eyes glossed over, and I swore the flicker of light was extinguished for a moment. I sat down in a panic.

“Father?” I asked, reaching my hand out to cover his, which was shaking on the table.

He said nothing. But after I squeezed his hand, he turned to look at me, the smallest of smiles edging onto his lips. The light flickered. It was still there. Of course it was. But only just.

Jurij picked up my father’s bowl and then my own and brought them over to the fire. I tore my eyes from Father’s and watched as Jurij and Elfriede worked in perfect harmony, one ladling the stew and the other holding the bowls out to receive it. It was my turn to feel a squeeze on my hand. I turned back to my father and offered him the same tentative smile he had given me.

“Vena asked about your wedding,” said Father as he redrew his hand. For a moment, my heart nearly stopped.

“And what did she want to know?” asked Jurij jovially. He returned to the table and put the stew bowls in front of Father and me.

I felt a rush of relief. Of course. Their wedding.

Father smiled, his face almost as warm as it had once been, his eyes almost growing brighter with a small spark. “How much ale you’ll need for the festivities, of course!”

Jurij shook his head, but I noticed the smile on his face lacked much of the life shown in the grins he gave to Elfriede. Or even the ones he gave to me.

“Oh, Gideon,” laughed Jurij as he grabbed the empty bowls for himself and Elfriede. “You know we only want a few bottles at the most.” He paused a moment as he slid soundlessly next to Elfriede. Even from the table, I could see the lines burrowed deep between her brows.

“Or maybe none at all,” whispered Jurij. Elfriede plopped the stew into their bowls with a little less tenderness than was her custom.

My father’s face fell. “I’ll be on my best behavior. I promise you.”

No one spoke.

Father and I sipped from our stew for a few moments longer, and Jurij sat down next to us, placing the bowls on the table and picking up his own spoon.

Elfriede lingered back at the stew pot for a few minutes longer, stirring and stirring. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her dab her cheek with her apron.

“Noll,” spoke Elfriede tentatively. I allowed myself to turn my head to see if she was finished composing herself. She seemed a bit less troubled, and she stirred the stew with a little too much interest. Oh, no. I knew what type of question was coming. “Would you be willing to help Albin deliver the bread to the castle?”

I drummed my fingers on the tabletop. “I didn’t think the bakers were so busy they couldn’t spare a few dozen members of their tremendous family to deliver bread to his lordship.”

“Noll, please help Albin deliver the bread,” interrupted my father. He tried to take a sip of his stew, but his hand shook, and the stew slid off the spoon and spilled onto the table. Whether because he had now likely gone a short while without his bottle, or because he could barely contain his rage at me, I could not be sure.

He only managed to truly seem among the living these days when it came to rejoicing in Elfriede’s Returning and lamenting my unspoken opposition to my own.

I glanced out the window. Albin, the baker’s youngest son, stood in front of our house next to his cart full of bread. Father had no doubt come straight with him from the village and had let Elfriede know ahead of time that they both would be coming.

I did the only thing I could. I bolted out of the door, past Albin—no doubt fuming with impatience under his ugly fox mask—and ran straight into the woods.

There was one thing worse than a foolish heart loving a man it could not have and watching that man be so in love with your sister. And that was realizing that you could never love the man who was yours—but the whole village expected you to perform the Returning with him anyway.

***

Before you go, consider entering my own mini Rafflecopter giveaway! I’m offering a bunch of my books in e-book form! (Mobi or Epub)
 
  • One e-copy three-pack of NOBODY’S GODDESS, NOBODY’S LADY, and NOBODY’S PAWN, the complete trilogy (my YA romantic fantasy The Never Veil Series)
  • One e-book copy of BALLAD OF THE BEANSTALK, my YA romantic fairy tale fantasy
  • One e-book copy of FALL FAR FROM THE TREE, my dark YA fantasy
  • One e-book copy of JOSIE’S COAT, my YA sci-fi novelette

Click here to enter the giveaway!

Posted in Geek Out

YASH Team Gold Stop

YASH is over! Thanks for playing!
Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online through Sunday, April 9th!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are multiple contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM–but there are several other teams you can check out for a chance to win several different sets of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

 
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold team, and then add them up. (Don’t worry, you can use a calculator!)
 
Entry Form: 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.
 
Rules: 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 April 9th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
 
 
Today, I’m hosting Selene Castrovilla on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
 
Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of eight books, including The Girl Next Door and Melt, Book One in the Rough Romance Trilogy. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. Jacqueline Woodson calls her “a writer to watch.”
Visit Selene on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram
 

The tables are turned with a vengeance in this tour de force love story. Nearly a year has gone by since MELT ended. Now it’s Dorothy who is fragmented and lost, while Joey keeps the promise he had made her to better himself—even though she’s gone. When he learns of a devastating decision, Joey races to find Dorothy before it’s too late. Truth, consequence, repercussion and modern medicine collide as pieces converge in this psychological, thrilling story which begs the question: Can love really conquer all?

Buy SIGNS OF LIFE on Amazon!

 
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

YASH is over!!

 
 

To enter the Gold Team giveaway, you’ll have to know that my secret number is 11! To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the site of the next author,  Matthew Phillion!

 
Before you go, consider entering my own mini Rafflecopter giveaway! I’m offering a bunch of my books in e-book form! (Mobi or Epub)
 
  • One e-copy three-pack of NOBODY’S GODDESS, NOBODY’S LADY, and NOBODY’S PAWN, the complete trilogy (my YA romantic fantasy The Never Veil Series)
  • One e-book copy of BALLAD OF THE BEANSTALK, my YA romantic fairy tale fantasy
  • One e-book copy of FALL FAR FROM THE TREE, my dark YA fantasy
  • One e-book copy of JOSIE’S COAT, my YA sci-fi novelette

(If you already have the prize you win, you’re welcome to select another one of my books as a substitution.)

Click here to enter my Rafflecopter giveaway!

 

Posted in Geek Out, Reading, Uncategorized

My Reads for 2016

A few years ago, I started a tradition of listing all of the books I’ve read (not including manga or graphic novels, of which I’ve read a lot!) as a sort of memento of the fictional worlds I’ve been to throughout the year. I don’t keep my Goodreads profile updated with all of these reads because I don’t feel right doling out public criticisms of books as an author myself. This year, I decided to include the client books I’ve read as well (but only revealing the names of the books that have been announced, of course) because they should certainly count toward my total!

I know there are a few days left in the year, but I’m only halfway through a long book, so I won’t be reading any others!

  1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – started in 2015
  2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – started in 2015
  3. A Madness So Discrete by Mindy McGinnis
  4. There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane
  5. Watched by Sharde Richardson
  6. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  7. Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? by Lemony Snicket
  8. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  9. Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell (novella)
  10. Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer
  11. Winter by Marissa Meyer
  12. The Whispering Echoes by Melissa Giorgio
  13. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  14. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
  15. This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
  16. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne
  17. Spinning Thorns by Anna Sheehan
  18. What Doesn’t Kill Us by Stephanie Henry
  19. The Story of Us by Stephanie Henry
  20. C-Vac by Stephanie Henry
  21. Book by client
  22. The Descendants and the Missing Guardian by Melanie McFarlane
  23. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  24. Book by client
  25. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
  26. Book by client
  27. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  28. By the Icy Wild (Mortality Book 3) by Everly Frost
  29. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (still reading into 2017)
Posted in Geek Out

YASH Team Purple Stop

ya_scavengerhunt_webbannerhalloweenTHE HUNT IS OVER! THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING! Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online through Sunday, October 9th!
team-purple

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are multiple contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PURPLE TEAM–but there are several other teams you can check out for a chance to win several different sets of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the purple team, and then add them up. (Don’t worry, you can use a calculator!)
 
Entry Form: 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.
 
Rules: 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 9th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
marilynpeake2small
Today, I am hosting Marilyn Peake on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Marilyn Peake is the author of both novels and short stories. Her publications have received excellent reviews. Marilyn’s one of the contributing authors in Book: The Sequel, published by The Perseus Books Group, with one of her entries included in serialization at The Daily Beast. In addition, Marilyn has served as Editor for a number of anthologies. Her short stories have been published in seven anthologies and on the literary blog, Glass Cases. AWARDS: Silver Award, two Honorable Mentions and eight Finalist placements in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, two Winner and two Finalist placements in the EPPIE Awards, Winner of the Dream Realm Awards, Finalist placement in The National Indie Excellence Book Awards, and Best Horror Award in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards.

Author Website:  http://www.marilynpeake.com

Newsletter Sign-up: http://www.marilynpeake.com/newsletter.html

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Marilyn-Peake-Author-1649249058685297/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marilynpeake

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Peake/e/B00LZV77Q8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1475136947&sr=1-1

Blog: http://marilynpeakeauthor.blogspot.com/

 
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

ebook-cover-for-shade-by-marilyn-peake shadeShade: Girl on a hero’s journey, going from smart-ass to badass.

Thanks to her offbeat mother, Shade’s full name is Galactic Shade Griffin.  Having a name like that while being the new girl in school is pretty much catnip for bullies.  The summer before Shade’s junior year of high school, her mother breaks up with yet another boyfriend and moves them once again to a new town.

This time, they move into a dilapidated old house where Shade has an entire attic bedroom to herself—at least until she discovers it’s haunted by the ghost of a teenaged boy named Brandon Yates.  When Shade’s best friend goes missing, her life becomes even more complicated.  With the help of Brandon who’s struggling with his own issues in the world beyond, Shade faces the question of whether or not she has what it takes to become a true hero.

Although this novel deals with a number of serious issues—drug and alcohol abuse, cutting, and disturbing world events—it’s primarily a novel about a teenaged girl finding out who she really is and that she’s capable of so much more than she ever thought possible.

SHADE is a YA Paranormal Mystery novel.  It was a Finalist in the 2015 National Indie Excellence Book Awards, Young Adult Fiction Category.

Purchase on Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Shade-Marilyn-Peake-ebook/dp/B00JC15NSC/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Purchase in Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Shade-Marilyn-Peake/dp/1497527813/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1475141935&sr=1-1

Both the new (left) and the old (right) cover are so eye-catching, don’t you think? *-* Marilyn has a message before she shares her exclusive content!

Hi, everyone!

This is my second time participating in the YA Scavenger Hunt and I’m delighted to be here!  This month, I’ll be publishing Shade and the Skinwalkers, Book #2 in my YA Paranormal Mystery series.  In Shade, the first book in the series, the main character, a spunky teenaged girl named Shade, hears and sees her first ghost.  In Shade and the Skinwalkers, she comes face-to-face with some things she finds difficult to accept.  She discovers that she’s a ghost whisperer who can see and hear many ghosts.  She also discovers shapeshifters, including the evil skinwalkers.  Here’s a brief summary of Shade and the Skinwalkers and an excerpt describing part of Shade’s first day in a new school after her mother moves them to a trailer park in Roswell, New Mexico.  It was not a particularly good day.

Also, I’m hosting a Giveaway on my website as part of this YA Scavenger Hunt.  I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card along with a Kindle or paperback copy of Shade and the Skinwalkers.  (Kindle or paperback format is totally up to the winner.)  You can sign up here: http://www.marilynpeake.com/giveaways.html

Best Wishes,

Marilyn Peake

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Me with some outer space aliens at the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico. I’d wanted to go there for a long time and thoroughly enjoyed myself!

 

p1010485e
Everything is outer space aliens in Roswell. Here, I was talking with an alien who was calling home. 🙂

Brief Summary of Shade and the Skinwalkers (Book #2 in the Shade Series):

Shade’s mother moves them once again to a new town.  Ashamed of what she did in their previous town, she ignores how hard it was for Shade to make friends there and drags her off to a remote trailer park on the outskirts of Roswell, New Mexico.  Shade encounters Kai Zahnii, a disheveled teenaged girl, crying outside the trailer next door.  Destiny, it seems, has placed Kai in her life.  Kai reveals the true depth of Shade’s ability to speak to ghosts.  She also introduces her to skinwalkers, shapeshifters who practice unspeakable evil.

 

THE SCAVENGER HUNT IS OVER, SO THE EXCERPT IS GONE! I HOPE YOU’LL STILL CHECK OUT MARILYN’S BOOKS!
dsc_4000e
This is a photo I took of one of the lakes at Bottomless Lakes Park, the one in which an important scene takes place in Shade and the Skinwalkers.
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the site of the next author, Robert L. Slater!
 
Before you go, consider entering my own mini Rafflecopter giveaway! I’m offering a bunch of my books in e-book form! (Mobi or Epub)
  • An e-copy two-pack of NOBODY’S GODDESS and NOBODY’S LADY, the first two books in my YA romantic fantasy The Never Veil Series (for readers new to the series; if you’ve already read them, I’ll send you NOBODY’S PAWN instead!)
  • An e-book ARC copy of NOBODY’S PAWN, a few weeks before it comes out (if you win and you’ve never read the other two books in the series, I’ll send you those as well!)
  • An e-book copy of FALL FAR FROM THE TREE, my dark YA fantasy
  • An e-book copy of JOSIE’S COAT, my YA sci-fi novelette

raffle

Click here to enter my Rafflecopter giveaway! (It’s Over!)

 

purple-team-yash-fall-2016

 

 

Posted in Geek Out, Reading

My Reads for 2015

Another year just flew by! It was my big YA debut year, too, and although I don’t feel like my life has changed drastically, I’ve been floored by the readers who’ve taken the time to reach out to me–thank you! I hope it’s just the start of a longer book writing career.

The past couple of years, I’ve posted a list of all the books I read (not including graphic novels and manga, of which I’ve read many) on this blog to celebrate New Year’s. Why do I do this and not post every book I read on Goodreads? I feel weird publicly assigning grades and criticizing other people’s novels as an author, especially since if I don’t love something, it might just be my own tastes, you know? This is a way for me to celebrate how much I’ve read each year.

  1. Split Second by Kasie West
  2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  3. The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  4. Monk and the New Lieutenant by Hy Conrad
  5. The World We Live in by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  6. The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  7. No Life But This by Anna Sheehan
  8. Ransomwood by Sherryl Jordan
  9. The Fading Dusk by Melissa Giorgio (second time read through for proofs)
  10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  11. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  12. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  13. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
  14. Smoke and Mirrors #2, sequel to The Fading Dusk by Melissa Giorgio (reading ahead of time as her editor)
  15. Dexter Is Dead by Jeff Lindsay
  16. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  17. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  18. The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet by Kate Rorick and Rachel Kiley
  19. Cress by Marissa Meyer
  20. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  21. Naruto: Kakashi’s Story by Akira Higashiyama
  22. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  23. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  24. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – still reading
  25. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – still reading

Each year I’ve read fewer books, but I did spend a lot of time reading graphic novels and manga I’m not counting on this list–over 100 volumes, in fact!

Posted in Geek Out, Writing

Guest Post: Erin Latimer, Author of Frost

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Today I’m hosting a spot on the tour for Erin Latimer’s YA novel, Frost! We met because we once shared the same agent, and we both love YA novels. She’s the one who convinced me to sign up for Wattpad (@AmyMcNulty), so I asked her to share some of her experiences with the site.

Below is her Wattpad story:

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I joined Wattpad four years ago, on the recommendation of a friend who’d found some pretty great success over there. I started posting a story that had received quite a few rejections from literary agents, figuring the only other thing I could do with it, was put it in a drawer somewhere. And that seemed like sort of a waste.

Those first couple months I was shocked that people were actually reading it. That they cared enough to comment. That they wanted more!  It was wonderful to have people read my writing.

I remember when I hit two thousand followers. I was so excited, I’d been clocking every single comment and new follower, and that seemed like a huge milestone for me. I also remember hitting nine thousand. For some reason those are the two numbers that stuck in my head, the ones I got really excited about.

My first fan letter was shocking. I opened my email and there it was, in my inbox. Someone who had not just commented, or “followed” me, but taken the time out to find my email and write an entire letter about how much they liked my story. I was completely floored. And hooked for life.

Heck, even my first nasty comment was a big thing. I had enough people reading that there were some that DIDN’T like it. To me, that was still something.

Four years on Wattpad have led to lots of amazing things. I’ve become a featured author, and part of the Wattpad “Star” program. Harlequin twitter chats, and periscope sessions with Hachette books. And most of all, one of my best-loved stories, Frost, accumulated over ten million reads.

It was released August 25th with Patchwork Press, and without Wattpad, it wouldn’t exist.

So do I recommend Wattpad?

Yes. I bet you saw that one coming.

I recommend it not only to writers looking to build a platform, but also to readers. It’s a great place to find hundreds of stories for free, and to bond with your favorite writers. Wattpad is a wonderful mix of stars (like Felicia Day, John Green, Beth Revis and Lauren DeStefano) and unknown authors just starting to break out.

Sign up and post that story that’s been languishing on your desktop, or those snippets of poetry you’re not sure what to do with. Or just open a new Wattpad page and start writing from scratch. There’s no greater motivation than readers commenting on each chapter as you go.

And if you do sign up and you have questions, or you just want to say hi, feel free to drop me a line. I’m @ELatimer over on Wattpad, and I’d be happy to hear from you.

 

latimerErin Latimer is a young adult fantasy writer who was born and raised in Victoria, BC and recently moved to Vancouver. She writes books, makes silly vlogs about writing and reads excessively.

Her book FROST is being released by Patchwork Press on August 25th, 2015. FROST is a YA fantasy based on Norse mythology, about a teen who accidentally freezes the first boy she kisses and discovers her family tree is weirder than expected.

For more about Erin, check out: http://www.erin.patchwork-press.com/

Buy FROST today!

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Megan Walker’s touch has turned to ice. She can’t stop the frost, and the consequences of her first kiss are horrifying.

When her new powers attract attention, Megan finds herself caught up in an ancient war between Norse giants. One side fuelled by a mad queen’s obsession and an ancient prophecy about Ragnarök, the other by an age-old grudge. Both sides believe Megan to be something she’s not. Both sides will stop at nothing to have her.

Fire or frost. It’s an impossible decision, but she’ll have to act soon, because the storm is coming.

Or try to win a copy in HUGE Rafflecopter giveaway!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Geek Out

BookCon 2015 and Another Visit to NYC

I made my first trek to BookCon on Saturday, May 30th, 2015. It was the day of my first signing as an author (mostly–I’d attended a local writer fair a week earlier, but that didn’t really count) and the day I got to meet a lot of awesomely supportive Month9Books authors and staff after talking to them online for so long. It was also the only day this trip that I got to hang with my fellow YA author, bestie and beta reader Melissa Giorgio, as she was busy attending BEA (lucky!) half the time I was there and working the rest.

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It wasn’t my first rodeo as far as a book-only convention goes. I’ve twice gone to ALA’s conference when it was in Chicago. (Although I’m not a librarian, the show floor tickets are available to the public.) I think I was expecting it to be more like that, with ARCs flowing like water to all who pass by, but apparently that’s more of a BEA thing. There were ARCs and free books to be had, but they were much scarcer or you had to play a spin-the-wheel game to only get one per booth (although that made the whole thing kind of fun). Then again, I didn’t even arrive until early afternoon. I’d heard the morning was crazy crowded, but there was plenty of room to walk through the convention center by the time I got there.

There were events and signings going on throughout the day, and I should have gone to more, but I mistakenly (?) thought they’d be packed! The one event we did try to go to, a YA/kids fantasy panel with Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce, did fill up while we dared to leave the area for a few minutes, so we wound up having to listen from nearby and were mostly unable to see them.

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There were a lot of pretty booths to look at, and I loved being a part of all of the book lovers’ energy and excitement. My signing was the last one Month9Books was doing on Saturday, and by that time (5:00, an hour before the show floor closed), a lot of people who had been there had left the building. Plus, I was a new author. A number of people came, but perhaps not as many as had come to earlier signings. I was genuinely excited to meet the new readers, who were (I think) mostly drawn in by my book’s fabulous cover design. One of my editors (whom I met for the first time) even said she met an eager reader earlier in the day who was really looking forward to my signing, which made me awestruck! I tried to be friendly to everyone who stopped by, although I know I can be awkward in social situations. (Shout-outs to Melissa and my boyfriend for sitting nearby and being my cheerleaders!)

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While I signed, I met Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicki, authors of the incredibly popular Branded and Hunted, and they were super friendly and each got a copy of my book–and gave me signed copies of theirs! After the con, I met up with a few other Month9 authors and staff and enjoyed a dinner with the likes of A. Lynden Rolland, Donna Galanti, Elizabeth Holloway, Natalie Decker, Lindsay Leggett and Annie Cosby. (There were more at the dinner–including author/publisher Georgia McBride, but we sat in two separate groups and I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to the others.) It was my first time eating in a “diner” in NYC, and they served delicious food–and a lot of it. We talked about BookCon experiences (although some hadn’t attended yet, as they were signing Sunday), writing and general get-to-know-each-other stuff.

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I did a number of bookish things this trip–my boyfriend’s and my 8th trip to NYC together. (He has family there we visit, although they weren’t even in town this trip, but we got to housesit for them.) We tried to keep the spending to a minimum, so we did a lot of free and cheap things. Looking at books is always free. (Buying them… Not so much, ha.) We visited The Strand, and I bought Magic Under Glass and an adorable cats-and-books tote bag. We also toured the NY Public Library and saw plenty of nifty things.

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On Tuesday, June 2nd, we attended Adam Silvera’s launch party for his debut, acclaimed book, More Happy Than Not. (Lauren Oliver was the moderator, and there were a number of other authors, agents and editors milling about! I stood next to Alex London in the line to get Silvera’s autograph, although I was slow to recognize him and almost too chicken to ask him if I was right, ha.) It was the most crowded I’d ever seen a Books of Wonder event, as he has a lot of fans already (and he used to work at the store). Luckily, my boyfriend and I got there early, so we got front-row seats when the vast majority of people there had to stand! Not only did I get Silvera’s autograph (and gave him my business card–even though I felt embarrassed talking to him about my own writing), I managed to run into Oliver on her way out and asked for her to personalize the signed book of hers I’d bought there, and she kindly obliged. (I did talk to her a bit about my own writing, too.)

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I also went to Japanese bookstores as I do every time I visit NY: Kinokuniya (both in Manhattan and near Mitsuwa in New Jersey) and Book Off! We also went to Nintendo World almost every day to collect Street Passes, and we saw a live taping of The Nightly Show one night, which was so fun.

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See more of my trip pictures at my FB page and on my (new) Instagram!

Posted in Geek Out, Reading

My Reads for 2014

Another year down, and less than a year until Nobody’s Goddess releases! We announced the deal this past January, but I actually knew as far back as September 2013 that Month9Books was interested and I had to sit on the news. I’ve been so excited about the release that it seemed like it would take forever, but the year has flown by. This year it’s gotten a new title and a cover (although I haven’t been able to share that with you yet) and has gone through a few more revisions. I also managed to write both sequels to it (one’s been turned in to my publisher and has begun revisions, one’s still a draft), which are due out in 2016 and 2017.

The past couple of years, I’ve posted a list of all the books I read (not including graphic novels and manga, of which I’ve read many) on this blog to celebrate New Year’s. Why continue to do that now that I have a Goodreads account? Well, I don’t always post what I’m reading there—unless I feel especially passionate about sharing it with you all. As a soon-to-be published author myself, I feel weird about assigning grades and criticizing other people’s novels, especially since if I don’t love something, it might just be my own tastes, you know? This is a way for me to celebrate how much I’ve read each year.

  1. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (I was reading it at the end of 2013 and finished it in early 2014)
  2. When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket
  3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  4. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
  5. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
  6. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
  7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  8. Monk Helps Himself by Hy Conrad
  9. Monk Gets on Board by Hy Conrad (my bf and I discovered there were more Monk books by a new author, yay!)
  10. Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel
  11. A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
  12. Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock
  13. The FitzOsbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper
  14. Life, A.D. by Michelle E. Reed
  15. The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper
  16. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  17. The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones (her last book! ;-;)
  18. 18 and 19. The Shadow Stealer by Melissa Giorgio (twice, a few months apart—not out until early 2015, but I beta read 🙂
  19. (See above)
  20. A Promise of Magic by Melissa Giorgio (a novella, but easily as long as a novel!)
  21. Monk Is Open for Business by Hy Conrad
  22. File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents by Lemony Snicket
  23. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (which I read after loving the TV series *hearts*)
  24. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Kate Rorick
  25. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling
  26. Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
  27. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  28. Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs
  29. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  30. In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis
  31. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  32. Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga
  33. Shouldn’t You Be in School? by Lemony Snicket
  34. My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins et al.
  35. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  36. Split Second by Kasie West (still in progress)

Not as many as last year, but I’m still happy with my progress!

Posted in Geek Out, Reading

2014 NYC Books of Wonder Visit (Fierce Reads)

A year ago I posted about my first Books of Wonder event in New York City, and now I can post about my second. My boyfriend and I try to visit NYC every year to see some of his family. Coincidentally, my best friend Melissa Giorgio, whom I’ve known since before I even met my boyfriend, is a local, so I get to visit her each year, too! (We met through old-fashioned handwritten letters a long time ago, believe it or not. And we’re both writers who beta for one another.)

This year I was in NY in time for the Fierce Reads stop there. Like last year, I hadn’t read any books by any of the authors showcased, although Melissa and our mutual friend, book blogger and writer River, love a number of their books so I’m quite familiar with them. Ann Aguirre, Caragh M. O’Brien, Marie Rutkoski and Emmy Laybourne were there to discuss their books, writing in general and random, amusing trivia about them. All of the books seemed marvelous, but I limited myself to two paperbacks, which I got autographed. I love hearing YA authors speak. They’re always entertaining and have such great things to share about writing. If I’m ever lucky enough to give a talk about Nobody’s Goddess, I hope I can speak as well as they do!

 

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Posted in Geek Out, Reading

My First Books of Wonder Event

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Every few months in the past year or so, my NY bestie and fellow writer Melissa tells me about going to YA author events at Books of Wonder, an independent children’s bookshop in Manhattan. So when visiting NY this year, I half jokingly asked her if the bookstore would have an event when I’d be there, and they did!  I hadn’t heard of a single one of the authors there. Melissa had only heard of/read one book of one, but we figured, why not?

The guests who showed (I think one may have canceled) were Patrick Ness, Robin Wasserman, Alex London, and Gene Luen Yang. Before the event (because I feel weird taking pictures of people without their permission, heh):

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I browsed some of the books by the authors we’d see and wasn’t sure which I wanted to buy. Melissa bought one to get signed for a friend. We got seats at the event and waited. And it was so fun! Even my non-YA-author-reader boyfriend had a nice time. Seriously, they were all incredibly funny, and I think I could never in a million years be as entertaining if called on to give a talk. (I’m worried about future signings apparently, ha.) The authors were also good at pitching their books to the point where I wanted ALL THE BOOKS. I settled on buying three… But I wished I could buy them all. ;-;

The authors were all nice, but I was too chicken to say much other than their books sounded great… (And point out to two of them I didn’t have a nifty post-it with my name on it like everyone else–but that was rectified by the time I saw the third one.) Mr. Ness asked if I’d just bought the book there, and I said yes and admitted I’d never read ANY of his books, and he said not to worry, I hadn’t been spoiled much (a fan in the audience asked what she even admitted was a spoilery question 0-0) and he hoped I enjoyed it. The other authors seemed like big fans of his, so I’m sure his writing is awesome!

It was a fun way to spend an afternoon, and I definitely recommend that anyone in Manhattan keep an eye out for future events!

My goodies:

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