Musings of a YA author throwing herself into the fray. Join me on the journey ...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Spring YA Scavenger Hunt is Here!!!!!!

Hi Everyone!
I’m crazy excited to be part of the YA Scavenger Hunt again this Spring.

The amazing Colleen Houck organized this hunt 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 signed 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 for 72 hours! This time, I’m a member of the RED team (the best team, LOL ;) and am hosting the amazing and fabulous Tera Lynn Childs.  She’s a terrific writer and the fun playlist she's contributed fits her awesome, wonderful, fantastic book perfectly!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the Red team--but there is also a blue team for 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, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red 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 DATE, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Today, I'm hosting Tera Lynn Childs on my blog for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Today, I am hosting Tera Lynn Childs on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!  Tera is one of my dearest friends and I am thrilled beyond measure to have her here on my blog :)

 Tera Lynn Childs is the RITA-award-winning author of the mythology-based Oh.My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp, the mermaid tales Forgive My Fins, Fins Are Forever and Just For Fins, and a kick-butt trilogy about monster-hunting descendants of Medusa that includes Sweet Venom, Sweet Shadows, and Sweet Legacy. She has published two e-novellas, Goddess In Time and Pretty In Pearls, and self-published her City Chicks sweet chick lit series. Tera lives nowhere in particular and spends her time writing wherever she can find a comfy chair and a steady stream of caffeinated beverages.

You can find out more about her fabulous book, Pretty in Pearls, from the Forgive My Fins, series here!

As Princess Lily’s emissary, Peri works hard to make sure her best friend knows all the goings on in the underwater kingdom of Thalassinia. The upcoming Sea Harvest Dance means plenty of fun for them, too, including shopping for jewels, trims, and dress making supplies. Peri especially loves the pearls she finds at Thalassinia’s marketplace—and she might be falling head over fins for Riatus, the thoughtful pearl trader who looks like a dashing pirate.

When Lily realizes her friend has a crush, she is determined to help them get together in time for the dance—except her matchmaking efforts backfire, sweeping Peri into dangerous depths and tangled in confusing tides. Should Peri give up on Riatus and find a different date to the Sea Harvest Dance, or will they finally find a way to float along the same current?

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books including Doomed, by me, Tracy Deebs, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 5.

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Amber Argyle.

Have Fun and thanks for playing!!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

YA Scavenger Hunt is FINALLY Here!

Hi Everyone!

I’m crazy excited to be part of the YA Scavenger Hunt again this Fall.  This time, I’m a member of the GOLD team (the best team, LOL ;) and am hosting the amazing and fabulous Eliza Tilton.  She’s a terrific writer and the exclusive content below has me chomping at the bit to get my hand’s on her  book!


Friday, March 1, 2013

New Snippet from Tempest Revealed!!!

Hi Guys,

Since it's Friday and I just finished a final run through of the Tempest Revealed page proofs, I thought I'd put a quick new snippet up for you.  Hope you enjoy :)  And if you're in the area, don't forget to come see me this weekend in San Antonio and Austin.  The times and places are below this post :)

As soon as Mark had disappeared into the crowd, Logan turned to me and, in the smarmiest voice possible, said, “Finally.Alone at last. I thought he’d never leave.”

I laughed. “If by alone you mean in the middle of three thousand people, then yes, we’re alone.”

“That’s exactly what I meant. And since we’re all by ourselves . . .” He nudged me with his shoulder until I got the message and scooted over into Mark’s spot. He followed me, moving until there was an obvious gap between the others and us. With the noise of the game all around us, we might as well
have been in our own little world.

“Since we’re alone?” I prompted, too amused to be wary. This was Logan and I knew he would never say or do anything to hurt me.

“Are you going to tell me where you’ve really been for the last year? Because if you’ve been surfing the North Shore then I’m the biggest Barney on the block. And darlin’, I’m nobody’s Barney.”

It’s true, he wasn’t. Logan knew me better than almost anyone. Lying to him this last year hadn’t been easy, despite all my absences, but I hadn’t had a choice. I still didn’t. I’d already violated Pacific law by telling Mark what I was. Adding Logan to the mix was out of the question.

I started to laugh his questions off, to tell him he was being ridiculous, but the look on his face said he was calling my bluff, even before I offered it. His deep blue eyes were steady on mine, his mouth set in a straight line completely unlike the smile he usually wore. And his body language, his serious, no bullshit demeanor, told me there was only one right answer to this question.

The truth.

Have a great Friday :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Booksignings this Weekend!!!

Hi Everyone :)

I'm thrilled to announce two booksignings I'm involved with this coming weekend.  First off, I'll be on a panel and doing a signing with the awesome Mary Lindsay, Jordan Dane and Emily McKay in San Antonio at the La Cantera Barnes and Noble.  That signing is set up for 12 o'clock on March 2nd.

Then I'll be signing in Austin, at the Lakeline Crossing Barnes and Noble, Sunday, March 3rd at 2 p.m.  with Mari Mancusi, Mary Lindsay and Emily McKay.

I'll be signing Soulbound, Doomed and the Tempest series,  at each bookstore, so stop by and see me.  I 'll have lots of fun swag and some cool stories to tell.  And chocolate.  It's not a booksigning without chocolate ;)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Books I'm Loving

Hi Everyone, sorry for the delay in announcing Friday's winner but I have been sick, sick, sick :(  So, with no further ado, the winner of the prize pack is Grace!!!  Email me at to claim your prize.

Today, I thought I'd do a quick post about books I'm absolutely loving right now, so here goes:

Homeland by Cory Doctorow: If you read nothing else this month, read this book.  Or, it's predecessor, Little Brother.  Cory is an amazing writer and he has the knack of creating conflicted characters who are truly, deep-down good even when they are terrified.  Seriously-- this is one of my favorite series.  EVER.

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando:  I fell in love with Tara's writing when I got an ARC of The Dreamland Social Club right around the time that Tempest Rising was hitting the shelves.  When I saw her second book on the shelves the other day, I picked it up with a huge squee of delight-- and ran home to read it as fast as I could.  The story of a kick-ass senior scavenger hunt, it's a lot of fun and yet very reflective as well.

The Farm by Emily McKay: Have to put this on here because it's SUCH A GOOD BOOK.  Yes, Emily is a dear friend of mine and yes I would pimp her book even if I didn't like it, but honestly, this book is amazing.  Interesting, well-written, with some great edge-of-your-seat thrills.  And Carter.  OMG, Carter.  Enough said.

Hope these books help get you over the whole middle of the week doldrums.  Happy Wednesday!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Let's Have Some Fun Today!

Hi guys,

Thought I'd shake things up a little bit today, with a few snippets from my books and a fun giveaway.  But before we get to that, I'm going to be at the Fresh Fiction Teen Event in Dallas this weekend with a ton of other YA authors.  Come see me if you get the chance :)

From Tempest Revealed:
“You wanted to walk,” I told him, making sure not to touch him as I stepped away from Mark.  “So let’s walk.”
Kona nodded, then led the way down to the water. As soon as my feet touched the surf, my power welled up inside of me.  I could feel it pushing up against the walls I used to cage it, pouring through cracks in my defenses until my entire body felt like it was burning up.
I glanced down, realized with a sinking heart that I was glowing, the phosphorescence that allowed mercreatures to see each other when deep in the ocean spinning out of my control.  Usually I could tamp it down when I was on land, lock it away deep inside myself, but tonight that seemed to be beyond my command.  Like so much of the rest of my life.
I looked behind me, saw that Mark was staring at the purple luminosity that surrounded me.  I told myself that it was a good thing, that visual reminders of how different I was could only help convince Mark that we weren’t right for each other.  But knowing all that didn’t keep my stomach twisting sickly.
“What’s wrong, Tempest?” Kona asked snidely.  “Mark not so down with your mermaid side?”
“Mark and I are just fine, thank you.” 
“Yeah, I can see that.”  He turned away, looked out at the ocean and I regretted the churlish words.  I had no business rubbing my relationship with Mark in his face.  Not when I knew how much it hurt him—and not when he had done nothing but try to make my whole transition to being mermaid easier for me.
“Look, I’m sorry,” I told him.  “I didn’t mean—”
He made a dismissive sound low in his throat.  “It doesn’t seem like there’s much you do mean.  Right, Tempest?”
“What are you trying to say?” 
He just stared at me, his enigmatic silver eyes swirling with a mixture of rage and power and some other emotion I couldn’t begin to identify. 
I sighed in response, frustrated with him and the entire situation.  “Fine, if you aren’t going to answer me, can we at least talk about whatever it is you want to discuss?  You came all this way to say it, so it must be important.”
He was quiet for so long that I started to think he wasn’t going to answer me.  Then he said the two words I’d been fearing since I first saw him towering above Mark and me on the beach. 
“Hailana’s dead.”
From Doomed:
“We’ve got to do something.  We can’t just sit here!” I whisper loudly.
The mother screams again and I’m out of the car before I can think twice about it.  But then, so is Theo.  Even as I do it, I know it’s a bad move, know we’re probably going to end up getting hurt, but I can’t just sit here and do nothing while those bastards hurt whoever they want.
“Stop it,” I yell, charging across the highway towards them.  Maybe if we’re lucky, more people will step up.  They can’t stand against all of us.  “Leave her alone.” 
The two men turn to glare at me, and I freeze under their stares.  I can’t help it.  I’ve never seen such dead eyes in my entire life.  There will be no reasoning with them, no talking them out of leaving her alone.  I don’t even have a weapon.
Their gazes rake me from top to bottom, and I feel the chill all the way down my spine.  Eli was right.  They’re not going to be content to just hurt me.  Still, I won’t back down, won’t show fear.  Like with any wild animal, it’s the kiss of death.
            I know Theo’s right next to me. I can feel the warmth radiating from his body.  Behind us, Eli is rummaging in the car for something—I don’t know what.
            “Don’t worry, darlin’,” one of them says in a mockery of a Southern drawl that makes my skin crawl.  “There’ll be plenty left for you when we’re done with her.”
            He comes closer and Theo grows even tenser, though I didn’t know that was possible.  He thrusts me behind him, stands up to his full height of six foot eight inches.  And just watches, his face as blank and intimidating as ever.  I know he’s scared, can feel the fine tremor shaking him, but he doesn’t back down an inch.
            “Isn’t robbing them enough?” Theo asks.  “Get what you need and move on.”
            The second man points a pistol at Theo, cocks it.  A scream wells up inside of me, an apology for putting us in this situation.  Already the other men have finished whatever they were doing up ahead, and are coming towards us.  We need to get back in the car before they reach us, but it’s already too late.  I know it is.
            There’s no way they’re going to let us just walk out of here. 
            “Why don’t you get back in the car, son?  You don’t want to tangle with us.”  This from the man with the gun.
            “I’m already tangling with you and you need to let that woman go.”
            “What I need is to let Mike here shoot your oversized ass.”
            An older man fumbles out of the car behind us.  “Leave those kids alone!” he shouts.
            “Really, Grandpa?  Are you going to stop us?”
            Two more men get out of their cars and join us.  “You’ve got what you wanted.  Now leave us alone,” the first one says.
            The two bikers exchange a look, like they know things are getting out of hand.  Eli’s behind me now, and he grabs my shoulder, tries to shove me back towards the truck.  “Get in, Pandora.”
            Believe me, I want to.  But standing here, watching these assholes figure out that things aren’t going to be as easy as they expect them to, makes me understand the power of numbers.  And the power of speaking up.  I’m not going to hide until they turn around and leave that woman, and these people, alone.
            “Look, I’m going to give you one more chance,” the biker with the gun growls.  “And then someone’s going to die.”  He waves the gun around, pointing it at all of us in turn before focusing it on me.  “My friends are almost here.  Get back in your cars and you won’t be hurt.”
            I know he’s right, can hear the other members of his gang running towards us, cursing.  I don’t look, though.  I can’t.  I’m spellbound as I stare down the barrel of the gun pointed right at my chest.
            “Leave us alone!” someone else yells.  And I can see it in the way the gun shifts, feel it in the hate emanating from the man pointing it at me.  I’m about to die.
            I start to drop to the ground at the same time Theo broadsides me, knocking me halfway to hell and back.  I hit the ground hard, Theo on top of me, just as four shots ring out.
Now for the giveaway: Leave a comment about your favorite book so far of 2013 and be entered to win a bunch of fun Victoria's Secret bath stuff (shower gel, bubble bath, lotion, make-up) and an autographed copy of Emily McKay's The Farm, Ivy Adam's The International Kissing Club and one of my books (your choice).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Another Soulbound Excerpt

Here's another tidbit from Soulbound.  Remember to leave a comment to be entered to win a signed copy of Doomed and a gift card from BN or Amazon!

I turn, keep walking. A cab drives by, its For Hire sign lit up, and I tell myself to hail it. To climb in and let it speed me home. It’s the smart thing to do, the safe thing, as both the rain and the wind are picking up. And yet I can’t bring myself to do it. The same electricity that made it impossible for me to sit still in the theater makes it impossible now for me to do anything but keep walking.
Lightning splits the sky, lighting up the desolate street and scaring the crap out of me. I don’t know how a street can look worse when it’s illuminated by lightning than it does in the eerie glow of a very few streetlights, but somehow this one does. It doesn’t help that Cesar Chavez, while bustling during the day, is all but deserted at this time of night—the occasional car my only company.
I start to run, which is really more of an awkward jog in Lily’s high heels. Part of me is terrified that I’ll slide on the slippery street and plunge headfirst into the path of one of those few cars, but I’m even more terrified of the lightning that is exploding all around me while thunder rumbles nonstop in the background.
I know I need to get out of the rain, know this kind of lightning could be deadly. But somehow all the logical parts of my brain—the parts that should be in control of my decision making process—are shorting out at once. Instead, I can’t do anything but continue walking, following the inexorable pull down this street toward goddess only knows what.
I cross side street after side street, huddling against buildings and under awnings when I can get the shelter. More than once a cab slows as if to pick me up, but I wave it on. I don’t understand how I know this, but where I’m going no cab can take me.
Finally the compulsion drags me to the right. I cross the street and start up Pleasant Valley toward the lake. And just that suddenly I know where it is I’m heading. To Town Lake.

I just wish I knew why.
I see it, up ahead, and I know I’m right. Especially when my entire body starts to pulse with the need to hurry, the need to be there now.
Strangely, it’s the urgency that sets me off, that makes me remember. When I do, the true fear sets in, a living breathing nightmare inside of me that feeds on the knowledge and chokes the very air from my lungs.

And still I don’t stop.
I’m almost to the lake now and I stumble off the sidewalk, head for the grassy knoll that sits a few feet from the water. The ground is soaked from the storm and my heels immediately sink into the earth until every step is a challenge. I wince at the sucking sound that comes every time I pull my foot out of the earth, then cringe more every time I put it back down and the earth draws it under.
Like it isn’t bad enough I walked out of the Paramount with no explanation to Lily, no text, nothing. When she finds out I ruined her Jimmy Choos, she’s going to kill me. Slowly and with great relish.

But even that can’t make me turn back. Nothing can. The water is calling to me and there’s nowhere to go but forward.
I try to stay on the balls of my feet to protect the shoes as best I can, but the grass is too slick and the heels too high. Besides, they’re the only things that give me purchase as I stumble off the grass and onto the running path that goes around the lake.

I’m under the bridge now, trying to take what little shelter it provides. The rain is slashing in at an angle, slamming against me despite the coverage. Still, it’s better than being out in the full force of the storm—and at least I’m less likely to be struck by lightning.

I pause, take a second to brush my drenched hair back from my forehead and rub a palm down my face to squeegee the rain from my eyes. I expect to feel a wave of relief, but the chest-clenching drive to get to the water doesn’t let up. This isn’t where I’m meant to stop. Hiding here under the bridge isn’t enough. I take a step closer to the lake. And then another.
As I do, the wind caterwauls through the place, stirring up the sickly cloying smell of guano. Though the bats haven’t migrated back from Mexico yet, years and years of the stuff layers the area, creating a stench that not even the storm can chase away. Usually the scent makes me ill, but tonight it doesn’t repel me the way that it should. Though I’m having trouble breathing through my nose, I have no urge to flee. Instead, I want to go closer.

I need to go closer.
Grabbing on to a tree branch, I use it to steady myself as I creep down the slope to the water’s edge. The fear is bigger now, nearly all-consuming. Not for myself, not about what will happen to me, but for what’s drawing me in. For what I might find down here under this bridge. I don’t know what I’m doing down here, don’t know what spell I’m under that has brought me here. But something has and somehow I don’t think it’s for the midwinter view.

Unable to bear the suspense any longer, I drop to my knees by the edge of the water. Muck squishes under my jeans, causing me to slide a little as I bend forward to peer into the lake. I don’t see anything, despite the lights stationed every few yards on the running path, and I fumble for the flashlight on my key chain.
I shine the small beam at the water, then jump when I see my reflection on the surface. For a second, I’m surprised that it’s bright enough to see anything shining off the rippling water, even if the reflection is little more than a pale oval and tangled fan of short, black hair. Except the longer I look at it, the more I realize the mirror image is all wrong. It’s upside down and her eyes are closed. No, not a mirror image I realize as the water smooths out. Not a reflection at all. The face I see in the lake belongs to someone else entirely.