Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt! On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one signed book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Sunday, April 9!
You can start right here or you can also go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage to find out all about the hunt. There are FIVE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or both! I am a part of the PURPLE TEAM–but there is also a red, blue, gold, and pink team and if you do those hunts you’ll have a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!
If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, see the full list of prizes up for grabs, or if you get lost along the way, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.
Looking for my exclusive bonus content? You’ll have to keep searching. Somewhere on this blog hop, I’ve hidden a exclusive VIOLET GRENADE excerpt. Before you go on though, check out the amazing author I’m hosting. But, first, a few rules.
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. Hint: the secret number is highlighted in PURPLE.
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 9, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I’ll introduce the author I am hosting on this hunt.
I am super excited to be hosting…
Professional by day, book nerd and fantasy champion by night, Susan is a masked crusader for the fantastical world. Championing mythical rights, she quells uprisings and battles infidels who would slay the lifeblood of her pen. It’s all in a night’s work, for this whirlwind writer. Welcome to the quest. I am thrilled to announce that book one of the Spirit Shield Saga, SEER OF SOULS is a DANTE ROSSETTI Awards for Young Adult Fiction 2016 Finalist!
And here’s what the book is about:
The time for hiding is finished. The dead are restless. She is COMING…
Twins Cayden and Avery Tiernan have grown up in isolation on the fringe of the realm. Gifted with forbidden skills, they hide their growing magical powers. Ancient prophecies speak of the ones with the power to depose the queen.
To protect her throne, Queen Alcina scours the land for evidence of magic, while the darker force she serves threatens the land with chaos. She is not the only huntress however. Primordial seekers discover the twins first but before they can escape, the death of a queen’s guard puts the entire village in jeopardy. To save their town, the twins flee, only to be dragged toward an unknown destiny.
Guided by her gift, Avery senses lies and treachery where others see only truth. Dare she trust her instincts? For Cayden, an irresistible voice whispers to him. Does it belong to the souls of the dead and are they calling him home?
Find out more information by checking out the author’s website, or you can buy her book here!
And now for the exclusive content!
A deleted scene fromTHE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS
Originally, THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS opened with Bitsy cutting off her braid, symbolically trying to free herself from her past. However, as nice as it was, especially the part with Aiden, we needed to get to the action. Also, I wanted to refocus the story onto the band and Bitsy’s mission, not her past. So, I started with the concert instead, which comes right after these two scenes. I hope you enjoy this cut scene.
Snip. Snip. Hack. My insides constricted at the sound of scissors cutting through my strawberry-blonde, waist-length braid. Not caring how uneven my hair turned out as long as it covered the nape of my neck, I pumped the orange handle of Jules’s good scissors.
The importance lay in the singular act of off hacking the braid; as if doing so would sever me from my past. A past that haunted my nightmares.
I refocused on the scissors in my hand, my nails painted a bright, sparkly blue. Taking a deep breath, I continued. Hack. Hack. Snip.
One strand at a time I freed myself from the braid, from my past. Last night’s nightmare, one in a string of many, was the final straw. As I cut I whispered I am free; I am free.
“What the hell, Bitsy.” Jules, my best friend and front-woman of our cirque noir punk band The Freakshow, strode into the back room of the tour bus. We’d claimed this room as girl territory.
Stopping mid-hack, I gazed into her brown eyes, so giant they dominated her face, and were fringed by obscenely long, black lashes.
“I need to cut it off. Now.” My voice reverberated with desperation as I stood in the middle of the tiny back room of the tour bus, scissors in hand, staring at my best friend.
Her manicured eyebrows rose, but her oval face held no judgment. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” I nodded to punctuate my decision.
“All right, then. We’ll make it look cute for the concert tonight.” She tossed her long black hair over her shoulder.
We’d be in Reno soon. Maybe. I’d lost track of all the cities we’d come from and were going to on our tour. This week, the USA. Next month, the world.
The Freakshow, our crazy cirque-noir punk band, had skyrocketed from nobody to stardom in only a few years. They were the talent. I was the ringmaster—eternal roadie, security, and chief fangirl—and happy for it, since I was good at it.
Hack. Hack. Hack. The blades didn’t move, stuck on the thick strands of my braid as I tried to finish. I glared at the offending scissors, like doing so would make them sharper.
“I’ll do it.” Jules grabbed the scissors out my hands, sat me down, and resumed cutting. In a few efficient snips, the strawberry braid fell to the floor in a soft whoosh.
A pang of sadness shot through me like lightening as I stared at the lifeless plait, curled up like a snake on the floor. Years. That braid represented years of my life.
How many I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know my exact age. But I’d never cut my hair before. Ever. It had even survived the fire.
“Why the change, not that I mind?” Jules fluffed my hair, frowning at it. She’d been after me for years to cut it off. Therapeutic, she’d said.
Was it? I continued to gaze at the forlorn braid on the floor. No, I didn’t feel different—not more liberated, nor less haunted.
I exhaled heavily. “Because I can. I’m an adult and I can do whatever I want.”
Not that Sally, my adopted mom, would have ever stopped me from cutting it.
“Damn straight.” Jules trimmed the uneven ends. “We’re adults. You can cut it off, keep it short, grow it long, you can even dye it. You can do whatever the hell you want.”
This was our first really big tour and our first taste of true freedom, well, freedom that lasted longer than a summer.
Yep. “I want to dye it blue.”
She nodded. “Something nice and bright. We’ll get some dye in Reno.”
Snip, snip. Tiny bits of hair fell to the floor as she continued to even it up.
Snipping more strands, Jules frowned. “A pro should do this, they’d make it cuter than I can. I can barely cut wrapping paper, let alone hair.”
“You’re the cute one.” I laughed. Smoking hot, Japanese, half-Siren, petite Jules attracted just about everyone. Men. Women. Humans. Fae. Trouble. She was barely an adult and already unstoppable. Also, she was my best friend. Fun. Silly. Useless to argue against.
“We need to burn the hair.” Jules grabbed the broom and swept the hair into a pile.
“Seriously?” Fire and I weren’t friends. Jules, being half-fae, had odd superstitions. Actually, our whole band had weird superstitions. There’s a reason why we’d named ourselves The Freakshow. We were misfits, every single one of us. Which was why we got along so well. Why we were a family.
“Seriously. As soon as we stop. Really, you don’t want this much hair getting into the wrong hands.” Jules held up the dustpan.
“Okay.” My nose wrinkled at the thought. Hair could be used in bad magic? I had magic, but it didn’t need hair. Then again, what did I know? I wasn’t even sure what I was.
Standing on some hotel balcony in Reno, the summer sun beating down on us, Jules and I watched my hair burn in the hibachi we kept on the bus for impromptu barbeques.
The flames can’t hurt me; the flames can’t hurt me. Saying this over and over was all that kept me from going inside, far from the flames and the unhappy memories they brought.
“Next stop shorts and tank tops.” Jules’ grinned at me.
“Never.” I kept my tone playful, but I meant it. My eternal jeans, boots, and long-sleeves were an ongoing source of teasing. From everyone. If they knew why, they’d stop.
But that meant talking about it. As close as we were, there were some things I just couldn’t bring myself to talk about. There were all things we couldn’t talk about. Another reason why we got along so well.
I held out my platform-boot clad foot. “I was thinking of possibly wearing sandals, since it’s summer and all. Maybe we can go shoe shopping?”
“Sandals? Really? That’s a big step. I’ll even buy you a pair.” Aidan, one of our band mates joined us on the tiny balcony, in his crisp jeans and ironed t-shirt, hair neat and trim. He played bass guitar, wrote most of the songs, and was the brains of the band.
Aidan was also Sídhe, a bona fide elf, one of the high fae. White blond hair offset eyes bluer than I’d ever seen giving him a look of ethereal man-beauty. You could envision him with pointed ears—which he hid with magic unless “pretending” at Renaissance Faires or the steampunk conventions I dragged him to. I wasn’t sure if he was bright court, dark court, or neutral, but I sort of got the idea he was slumming here with us in the human realm. He was also the most mature-acting of all of us…but I wasn’t certain he was the oldest.
Given we were all non-human, or part non-human, for us age was relative.
“Don’t forget, we have promo to do,” Aidan added in his Irish brogue.
I could listen to him read the dictionary with that accent. I’d never had a big brother, but if I did, I’d like him to be just like Aiden.
“Right, promo shit.” I sighed. Everyone always wanted a piece of the band—magazines, radio, TV, whatever. Even when we’d just started people took notice, which was probably why fame happened so quickly.
Of course, we had a siren for our front woman.
People also liked our youth. Regardless of what our IDs said, most of us were barely adults by our respective species. If even.
“Want to hit the tables?” Aidan added.
I was pretty good at cards. Actually, I was good at the science behind winning at cards. I gazed at the fire. Going. Going. Gone. Nope, not feeling different. “Maybe, but first, Jules and I have a date with a bottle of blue hair dye.”
How awesome is that excerpt?! I want to stare it without blinking for 8 hours.
Thank you so much for visiting my site! While you’re here, don’t forget to enter the bonus contest I am running exclusively during the YA Scavenger Hunt. I’m giving away a preorder of VIOLET GRENADE!
Ready for the next stop in the hunt? Click here!