Tuesday, April 4, 2017

YASH: YA Scavenger Hunt

 
Welcome to this leg of the YA Scavenger Hunt! I'm Sarah Ahiers, author of ASSASSIN'S HEART and the forthcoming THIEF'S CUNNING (June 13th 2017) from HarperTeen.

 
This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck. In the hunt, you not only access exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and enter for a chance of winning 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 for 5 days!

 

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are FIVE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM--but there is also a red team, a gold team, a pink team, and a purple team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!
 
And not only do you have a chance of winning the grand prizes for each team (20 books!) there are also TONS of individual giveaways on blogs, too!


To see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

ALSO!! Do not forget to scroll to the very bottom of my post for a chance to win prizes!


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 blue 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.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST

 

Today, I am hosting Darcy Woods on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

DARCY WOODS has held an eclectic mix of professions—from refueling helicopters for the U.S. Army to recharging bodies and spirits at a spa—but her most beloved career is being an author. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two tuxedo cats (who overdress for everything). The Golden Heart® Award–winning Summer of Supernovas is her first novel and has been translated into five languages.

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here!

Website: http://www.darcywoods.com
Book (which I've read and is wonderful, btws!) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013ZNN1IQ/

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: Deleted Prologue!




As the daughter of an expert astrologer, Wilamena Carlisle knows that truth lies within the stars. So when she discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love. But Wil must decide whether to trust her heart or her chart when she falls for a sensitive guitar player whose zodiac sign points to cosmic disaster.
 

 
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Stories are like iPhones—they have countless versions. They also occasionally get dropped in the toilet, but we’re focusing on the former here. The prologue you’re about to see is from the first draft, SUPERNOVAS Version 1.0. So why was the prologue cut? Because in the earliest versions, Wilamena Carlisle’s (the MC) mother didn’t die. She chose to leave her daughter. 

This alternate opening gives the reader insights into why, and is told from the POV of a very young Wil having her first astrological reading. Take a peek!

Prologue
   
The air clouds with burning sage, making my eyes itch worse than all my mosquito bites put together. Sage, purple tablecloth, and Mama’s words—those are the things I’ll remember, even if time has a way of putting holes in the rest.
My future doesn’t look like much sitting on a card table. After all, it’s just a piece of paper. But this paper means something.
Actually, I think this paper means…everything.
“What do you see, Mena?” Mama asks, eyes sparkling in the candlelight. 
“Um…” The tip of my tongue always pokes out when I’m thinking hard. I taste leftovers of a grape juice mustache. Dragging the back of my hand across my mouth, I stare at the paper with its funny scatter of shapes. I’ve seen Mama’s books and drawings, but never an actual reading. It’s more exciting than when I won the jar of gumballs for reciting the alphabet backwards. “A chart! Like the ones you read for people.”
She nods; her earrings tinkle. “Not just any chart. This is your astrological chart, Wilamena. Your birth chart.”
“And it shows where all the planets were in the constellations the very minute I was born,” I announce proudly.
Mama holds her finger to her lips giving me a look of warning.
“Okay,” I whisper back. I’m being too loud. The tiny, forgotten room on the third floor with its stacks of sealed boxes and dusty sheets is made for keeping secrets. I am not. But I will try.
“Your sun is in Aquarius.” She taps the outer circle over a pair of zigzaggy lines. “Meaning you are a truth-teller and seeker of life knowledge. Truly, a free spirit.” Her gaze falls to my glittery, swinging feet. “But we don’t need the stars to divine that, do we?”
I’m wearing my silver sandals and ballet tutu. It has glitter too, which is how I knew they matched so well. I grin and shake my head. “What else does it tell you?”
“You’ll make friends easily,” she continues. “It’s your affectionate and charming nature that endears you to others. Although,” her forehead crinkles, “your tireless need for independence may also cause you to push them away.”
My eyes widen. “Oh, no, I won’t push. Gram says that’s for people whose fists are bigger than their brains.”
Mama tries to smile, but the corners of her mouth are too heavy. The sad face isn’t new. Sometimes when it got real bad she’d stay in her bedroom. It didn’t matter that I banged on the door till my knuckles turned red. Gram always told me to leave her be, but how in the name of Orion’s Belt was she gonna eat if she didn’t come out? So…I pushed crackers under the door. Then we had the ant problem. Next time I’d use Fruit Roll Ups.
The wind gusts through the round window beside us, blowing up the curtain like a great green balloon. Mama closes her eyes, turning her face to meet it. The breeze lifts her hair, long and dark and soft as the silky edge of my favorite blanket. “Hear that? That’s the voice of the north wind.”
I close my eyes and listen, but I don’t hear the voices she does.
I’m not sure I ever will.
Mama is gypsy and princess rolled into one. Her dresses are full of color, not seeming the least bit sorry for standing out. And her eyes know things. Secret kinds of things. I wish on every dropping star to be as beautiful and magical.
She takes a breath. I scoot closer in case magic or beauty can be caught like cooties.
“Mena, do you remember when we went on that faraway adventure? And how we had to go because the stars lined up in a very, very special way?”
Mostly, I just remember Gram was madder than a shaken-up nest of hornets when we came home. But I don’t dare say that. Instead, I nod.
“Well, sometimes we must follow our own path. Even if it takes us to far away places. Even if,” her eyes water, “even if others don’t understand why.”
“I like going places.”
“You will.” She clears her throat and points to a symbol that’s a two and a four sorta squished together. “See this? Jupiter is in Sagittarius. Your thirst for understanding the world will take you many places.”
“What’s the squiggles over here?”
Angling the paper she replies, “Yes, the Fifth House. The center for love and relationships.” Her squint is followed by a frown.
“Love?” I hiss. “Ick! Why would anyone want to know about love? I’d rather kiss a pig than a boy.”
She rolls the chunk of amethyst on her necklace between her fingers. “You won’t always feel that way.”
“Hmph.” I scowl and cross my arms.
Mama’s eyes soften as she returns to deciphering the forks with crosses and swirly lines and dots. “They’ll pursue you anyway. It’s the magnetism you possess—this distant glamour that attracts them.” As she speaks, her voice turns funny. Maybe Mama’s about to have one of those “spells” Gram talks about when she thinks I’m not listening.
Her breath comes out in a quiet whoosh that calls the goosebumps to my skin. “One by one…they will lose you. In their need to hold you tighter and tighter,” her fingers curl into a fist, “you will be forced to cut yourself free. Wilamena!” Mama suddenly grabs my wrist, causing me to flinch. My panic grows. I twist in her grip. Her eyes are seeing things I can’t, and her ears are hearing sounds I don’t. “Wilamena, you are air. He is water. Beware of Pisces.”
“I w-will.” I yank my hand away, rubbing my wrist.
“Because he will pull you to the ocean floor so slowly, you won’t realize until…there is no air left inside you.”
Thunder rumbles. My heart is pounding and my stomach feels sick, carnival ride sick. “Mama?” Her blue eyes have an empty stare like my Amelia doll. “M-mama?” I say louder with a shake of her arm. It flops on the table.
I swallow. It’s hard to breathe, like something squeezes me from the inside. This is not my mama. This is not my mama.
The angry thunder rattles the pictures braced against the wall. Candles flicker. Shadows crowd the room, crawling up to the ceiling.
I dart around the table, tugging harder at her arm. “Please,” I beg, “I-I don’t like this. Come back, Mama! MAMAAA—”
Thunder crashes and the sky explodes with lightning.
I scream.
“Mena?” Her eyes flutter before they find me. “I’m here.” She pulls me to her chest. Her breath is bumpy on its way in and out. The amethyst digs into my shoulder as she holds me. I squeeze harder anyway. “I’m right here, sweetheart.” She kisses the top of my head and rocks me. “Don’t be scared. Shh.
Her sunny yellow dress is balled in my fists; my heart thumps three beats to her one. She runs her hand through my hair. My heart finally begins to slow, until we are almost matched—beat for beat.
Almost…
Then she pulls away.
The door bursts open, flooding the room with light. Gram’s face wads up in fear. The fear is replaced by something with harder edges. “What have you done? You promised you wouldn’t!” The anger from the thunder now shakes in Gram’s voice.
Mama stands, smoothing her dress, hand clutching mine. “Nothing. The storm startled her. Right, Mena?”
I pull in my lower lip and nod at the floor. But Gram reads fibs the way Mama reads stars.
“Dammit, Grace.” Gram never cusses. Something’s very wrong.
“I’m taking her to bed now. Let me at least tuck her in.” She gives my arm a soft tug. We shuffle past Gram, who’s barely able to hold the storm inside her.
Mama doesn’t make a peep while I get ready for bed. I wonder if Gram has scared the words right out of her. So, I’m careful to brush my teeth extra clean, and my hair extra smooth. She’s always said I have pretty hair—hair as black as the gaps between the stars.
It isn’t until my man in the moon nightlight is on and I’m snuggled deep under the covers, that Mama finally speaks. “I love you, Mena.” She cups my face. “Don’t…” Her throat sounds sticky, gummed up with peanut butter. “Don’t ever forget that.” She presses her lips to my forehead.
“Mmm, love you, too,” I mumble. My eyelids are so heavy. I work to pry them back open.
She’s moved from my bed to stand at the window, staring out at whatever pictures the night is showing her. She hugs herself, head hanging forward. “I’m sorry, I can’t. Please,” she chokes, “forgive me.” The north wind blows in smells of wet grass and echoes of soft words. “I’m so sorry…”
I’m too tired to ask why. My eyelids have drifted lower and lower, until the sliver of her is gone altogether. Just as I almost reach my dreaming place, I hear the door click shut.
I never see Mama again.
 

 And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 35! Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!



CONTINUE THE HUNT

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Amalie Howard!


Now! Here is an extra giveaway, courtesy of moi, Sarah Ahiers!

Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a THIEF'S CUNNING arc and a FEAST ON FICTION copy!



 
 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

64 comments:

cleemckenzie said...

Loved the cell phone comparison to stories. So true. Thanks for the great excerpt.

Megan Summers said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful giveaway!
Rafflecopter name: Megan S.

Stephanie Kaye said...

Thanks for the extra giveaway! I love the cover to Thief's Cunning!!

Leah said...

I'm about to start Assassin's Heart!

Angie Bailey said...

Thank you! This is fun!

Caroline B said...

Love the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Natasha D said...

Thanks for the chance to win!

Aisha said...

Thank you for this giveaway!

Jerricka said...

Thanks for all the chances to win your books!

Valerie said...

Thanks for the giveaway! your book looks so interesting!

Elisa Hutchings said...

Thanks for the giveaway :)

harini vasan said...

Thanks so much !

John Smith said...

Looks like a good book! Thank you for the contest!

Thais Pampado said...

Thanks for participarting in YASH, it's been a lot of fun!!
(I hope intl entries are ok for the extra giveaway!)

Sue Holmes said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

CassyKlisch said...

I think it's so cool how different a finished draft can be from the first draft. I'm experiencing this with my own writing as well. I think it's so cool how writers can change a whole story by hitting the delete key and typing something else.

Betul E. said...

Thank you for being part of the hunt!!

Anna T said...

Love the cover 🙂

Crystal Collier said...

Hey! I saw you on another blog and decided to pop over. What a FUN giveaway. Now I need to go check out your latest release.

Holed Up In A Book said...

thank you!!

Ashfa said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Melissa Paschal said...

Thanks so much for the bonus giveaway and for being part of the hunt! I love the hunt and getting to know new authors and discovering new books that I would not have otherwise been exposed to.

Chrystiana Silva said...

This is my first time doing YASH. Thank you for the hunt!

Caitlin Kling said...

Thanks so much for participating in YASH! I love getting the chance to discover new authors!

Elayne C said...

I love YASH, and I'm so glad you participated!

ElementalWolf said...

Hi glad to be here with you!

Jennifer Cate said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Lily M. said...

I would love to be able to read Thief's Cunning :) thank you so much for this opportunity :):)

ashley poteet said...

Thanks four sharing and for the side giveaway!

Katherine Adams said...

Thanks so much for participating in YASH, I love discovering new authors to read.

Maud Grefte said...

I love the cover <3

Kristia said...

Thank you for the giveaway!:)

Penny said...

Thanks for participating in YASH and for the extra giveaway.

Danielle H. said...

Thanks for hosting Darcy Woods! I love the hunt!

Shai Villanueva said...

I am so excited for Thief's Cunning! Hoping to win!

VeraFranks said...

The cover for Thief's Cunning looks so cool!

Diana said...

Thank you for being a part of the YASH.
Thank you for the extra giveaway!!!!

Raffle name: Artemis Giote

Angela Zhang said...

Love YASH and thanks for the chance! 😍

Erika 15 said...

Thanks for joining the YASH

Patrick Peek said...

Thief's Cunning looks very interesting!

Ariana Salinas said...

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to win some of your books! I hope your career as a author continues to blossom!

Courtney said...

Thanks for the awesome chance!!

Vicky Icky said...

Love YASH and the bonus deleted prologue :)
~Vickie

Paige Smith said...

Thank you for the giveaway! :)

Chelsea Hunter said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

magicseal said...

Thanks for participating in YASH!

A Hopeful Star said...

so many good books!

Rhi said...

Love YASH. Thanks for participating!

Liliana E. said...

Thanks for participating! :)

Fiza Halliwell said...

I'm absolutely loving this hunt, thank you so much for being part of it!

Destiny Carroll said...

I love YASH so much!!!

Ells said...

Thanks for an extra giveaway. :) Amazing extras!

Ayanami Faerudo said...

Thank you for the giveaway!

Brianna Clay said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

swimwriteliv said...

Thanks for being a participating author!

Lynanne Carroll said...

Thank you so much for participating in the Hunt! Thief's Cunning sounds fantastic. :)

Rachel McKay said...

YASH is so much fun!

Kassie Petersen said...

Thanks so much for the chance to win! I love hearing about new books and your are on my "want to read" now! Thanks for participating in the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Carie said...

I love YASH!!! :D

Cassie said...

"Sometimes they get dropped in the toilet." That line killed me! Thanks for doing a bonus giveaway!

Bicycle Built For Two said...

Thanks for being a part of this! I know it is lots of work. I look forward to this every time. It's so much fun!!!

Gabs @ My Full Bookshelf said...

Thanks for this giveaway. I really enjoyed Assassin's Heart.

Liezl N. said...

Thank you for joining the YASH and for the giveaway. ❤❤❤

Yun-A said...

YASH is so much fun! I love how you compared stories to iPhones.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...