Tuesday, March 29, 2016

YA Scavenger Hunt!!

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 for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are eight 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, an orange team, a gold team, a green team, a teal team, a silver team, a purple team, and a pink team for a chance to win a whole different set 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.

I’m Sarah Ahiers, your hostess for this stop on the hunt! I’m the author of the ASSASSIN'S HEART series (HarperTeen) and I will give you an extra special chance at the bottom of this post to win some of my books!!


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up. 

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 3rd, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today, I am hosting Emily Ross on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

 Emily Ross received a 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council finalist award in fiction for HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH. She is an editor and contributor at deaddarlings.com, and loves dark mysteries and anything noir. She lives in Quincy Massachusetts with her husband, Dave, and her elusive cat, Beau.


It’s the era of peace and love in the 1960s, but nothing is peaceful in Caroline’s life. Since her beautiful older sister disappeared, fifteen-year-old Caroline might as well have disappeared too. She’s invisible to her parents, who can’t stop blaming each other. The police keep following up on leads even Caroline knows are foolish. The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her sister’s older boyfriend, who soothes Caroline’s desperate heart every time he turns his magical blue eyes on her. Tony is convinced that the answer to Jess’s disappearance is in California, the land of endless summer, among the runaways and flower children. Come with me, Tony says to Caroline, and we’ll find her together. Tony is so loving, and all he cares about is bringing Jess home. And so Caroline follows, and closes a door behind her that may never open again, in a heartfelt thriller that never lets up.
HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH was inspired by the disturbing case of Charles Schmid, ‘the Pied Piper of Tucson.’


Kiernan Shipka as Caroline

Zac Efron as Tony

Amanda Seyfried as Jess

Logan Lerman as Billy

Krysten Ritter as Edie

Are you as interested in Emily's book as I am?


Or check out her Website, Facebook, Twitter

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Emily Ross and more! 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!


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Kate Karyus Quinn!


One last Giveaway!

I will personally be giving out a signed copy of ASSASSIN'S HEART along with a FEAST ON FICTION cookbook! (the cookbook has recipes from YA and NA books, including one from ASSASSIN'S HEART!)

Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

(Winner will be announced Monday, 4/4/16)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 28, 2016

In Which The YA Scavenger Hunt Is Coming

It’s coming. . . March 29th – April 3rd, 2016
It’s the YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016!
This is my first year participating in YASH and I'm on the blue team with the below amazing authors!

  1. Eric Lindstrom
  2. Kate Karyus Quinn
  3. Leah Bobet
  4. Emily Hainsworth
  5. Sarah Ahiers
  6. Sara B. Larson
  7. Alyxandra Harvey
  8. Brendan Reichs
  9. Julie Eshbaugh
  10. Joy Preble
  11. Ava Jae
  12. Marissa Kennerson
  13. Lyn Miller-Lachmann
  14. Tobie Easton
  15. Jodie Andrefski
  16. Brynn Chapman
  17. Lea Nolan
  18. Emily Ross
  19. Vicki L. Weavil
  20. Cate Dean
What is YASH you may ask?

Well, just a chance for you to win a ton of amazing prizes. I'm not even kidding guys. SO many books and swag and other things will be up for grabs, both on individual blog posts and as grand prizes as well.

There's more information here, but don't forget to come back tomorrow!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Fun

Let's get this Friday started with some fun!

Like this! Roll around on the furniture!

Let's go!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday Weird: Enfield Horror

Yay! It's been awhile since I've done a strange creature/monster Wednesday Weird so let's get to it!

Today, we're talking about the Enfield Horror or monster.

In Enfield, Illinois, at about 9:30 pm, in April 1973 Henry McDaniel and his wife returned home where their two kids told them that something had tried to get into the house. They had heard scratching at the door and walls.

Henry attributed it to a dog or maybe a cat, but shortly after that the scratching returned and Henry opened the front door.

It wasn't a dog or a cat, but instead a creature like he had never seen before. He described it as having "three legs on it, a short body, two little short arms, and two pink eyes as big as flashlights. It stood four-and-a-half feet tall and was grayish-colored. It was trying to get into the house!"

Henry, not being dumb, slammed the door in the creature's face and ran to get a flashlight and his gun. He shot at the creature four times and would swear later that the first shot hit the creature, which proceeded to hiss at him and flee in long leaps across the yard and to the trees.

Henry then called the police.

The police normally would have dismissed his tale, except for the fact that there were long scratches in the siding of the house and the door as well as tracks, similar to dog tracks except with six toes instead of four. And, on top of all of this, the police had also received a call earlier in the day about a creature matching Henry's description that had attacked a boy, shredding his pants and shoes with it's claws.

The next month, Henry McDaniels would see the creature again. This time the creature stayed away from the house, walking down nearby railroad tracks before it bounded once more into the night.

After this encounter, word got out about the Enfield Monster., attracting monster hunters and tourists from all over, filling the small town with strangers equipped with guns, looking to shoot a monster.
Things quickly got out of hand and the police were overwhelmed, but finally when things died down once more, 4 more people spotted the creature, including a local radio director who caught the creature's cries on tape.

After that, there were no more sightings.

It is interesting to note, though, that in 1941 in Mt. Vernon (only 40 miles away from Enfield) there were reports lasting a year of a strange, baboon-like creature terrorizing people and attacking livestock. The "Mt. Vernon Monster" was reported of being able to leap large distances in one bound, much like the Enfield Monster per Henry McDaniels' report.

There were theories that the creature could have been an escaped kangaroo, explaining the three-legged appearance, but McDaniels swore it wasn't, since he had actually owned a pet kangaroo when he had been stationed in Australia.

Thoughts or theories?

Monday, March 21, 2016

In Which I Bought A New Car

It's the end of an era for me.

I've had my 2003 Sebring for 13 years. I loved it. Loved it so much.

Lots of good road trips

But lately, there have been a lot of repairs. One or two, okay. But new breaks, new bearings, 3 oil leaks. It just starts to add up. And had I known 6 months ago I'd have all these repairs, well, that could have been money I put towards a down payment.

So it was time for a new car.

(and this was super sad. I really, truly loved my car. It was really sad trading it in. I know it's not a real thing with emotions and feelings, but still. I felt guilty. And I get emotionally attached to inanimate things)

Did a lot of test driving. Only had one terribly experience at a Subaru dealership (bad enough that Twin wrote an email to that employee's supervisor and I wrote a review on their FB page (we got apologies on both fronts)) and finally made my decision.

Introducing my new car Bindi!

It's a 2016 Honda Accord. I put in some extra money for a moon roof and leather, heated seats (something that's really, really awesome in cold MN winters) and even though I'm sad about my old car, I already love my new one.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Fun

It's Friday, and instead of Yvie, it's George here today to send you off into the weekend!

Right after I get out of bed

Let's DO THIS!









Monday, March 14, 2016

In Which I Talk Books (part two)(2016 Debuts)

Last week I talked about my top 5 non-arcs that I read in 2015 and today I'm talking about my top 5 2016 debuts I read in 2015 as arcs.
It's not even close to a complete list, since I'm still reading 2016 arcs, and I've read so many great ones. I could literally do weeks and weeks of posts on the 2016 debuts I've read (and, hey! Who's to say I won't do more of these posts (I'm definitely doing more of these posts)) but I have to start somewhere.

So, here we go! (in no particular order)

Cure for the Common Universe - Christian McKay Heidecker (6/14/16)

When I saw this book was about a gamer who gets sent to gaming rehab, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Because I'm a gamer and this book feels like it was written for me.
It's full of wonderful little Easter eggs and jokes that are aimed at all the other gamers out there. But even if you don't know who Leroy Jenkins is, the book is still a wonderful look at what it takes, sometimes to get something you want, and what happens when it turns out it's not what you expected. And also what kind of person you choose to be.

Learning to Swear in America - Katie Kennedy (7/5/16)

Oh man, I loved this book so much. It's about a Russian boy, who's a genius and is brought to America to help solve a crisis. The crisis is, of course, an asteroid heading straight towards earth.
So right away I was invested because I love potential disaster stories and an asteroid heading towards earth is right in my wheelhouse. But then Yuri is so wonderful. And funny. And I rooted for him so hard right from page one. I've been talking up this book a lot and can't wait to get my own copy.

Enter Title Here - Rahul Kanakia (8/2/16)

I feel like I've been talking about this book for forever, but it doesn't come out until August (sad face). But there were so many things I loved about it. On the surface it's about a girl who, in a bid to get into Stanford, tries to write a YA novel for a literary agent, and has to change how she's living her life in order to inspire her book. And all of that's true. But it's so so SO SMART. There are layers of meta stuff going on in this book (the book is the book Reshma is writing) and more than once I laughed out loud at something that took me utterly by surprise. On top of that, Reshma is a hard character to "like" which I love because there's so much BS about how teen girls in YA novels have to be "likeable" but even though she does things which would be easy to dismiss her as someone terrible, I still rooted for her from page one.
I cannot wait till this one comes out so I can tell all my friends to read it.

Shallow Graves - Kali Wallace (1/26/16)

I love horror. I grew up reading Christopher Pike. I write horror short stories. I read adult horror when I can (see Bird Box). So when this arc arrived, I was so excited to dig in. And not only was I not disappointed, I was delighted and surprised on multiple levels.
Shallow Graves is about Breezy, a murdered girl who wakes up in a shallow dirt grave a year after her death. And she sets out on a path to try and find answers as to how she can be alive (sort of) again and what happened to her.
Another book I read in almost one entire sitting, there are monsters and creatures in this that are creepy and wonderful and twists and turns that kept me guessing.

Where Futures End - Parker Peevyhouse (2/9/16)

This was one of the first 2016 arcs I read, and at first, I wasn't sure I would like it. On the surface it's a novel that's actually 5 short stories that are semi-related. It isn't normally something I read, and therefore I thought I might not like it. But I was utterly wrong.
Each story is amazing. I literally could have read a full novel of each of them. And any time I finished one of them I told myself there was no way I would like the next one as much. But then I would. And I just kept turning the pages, unable to stop reading.
It's kind of a strange book, but strange in all the best ways in that it caught me off guard, surprised me, kept me guessing, which is a hard thing for a book to do. And I hope every takes a chance on it too.

How about you? Any books you've read that took you completely by surprise?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Fun

Friday! And we're so close to spring I can almost smell it.

it smells like this

So let's get this started!








Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday Weird: Potamsky Crater

In 1945, in Irkutsk Siberia, a geological discovery was made that still baffles scientists today: te Potamsky Crater, also sometimes called The Eagles Nest because of it's convex shape and round mound in the center
The current theory of the crater's strange shape is a meteorite strike, but if so, it's shape is unlike any other meteorite strike and no evidence has been found to otherwise support the theory.
The crater's edge stands 80 meters tall and 150 meters wide. The depth around the mound in the center is 10 meters.

The crater was discovered by Vadim Kolpaknov and since then many expeditions have been made to sample the site, including one in 2013 but because of the remoteness of the area, there weren't enough people living in the area to remember how the crater could have come about.

Some other theories include that the crater was a gulag (though there were never any in the area) or that it was a slag heap (though, again, not enough people living nearby to create one.)

Which pretty much just leaves two thoughts: meteorite strike or volcano.

But the area is not a volcanic region which pretty much rules that out. Plus, scientists think the crater is relatively young: formed between 100 and 500 years ago.

It's possible the crater could have been a result of the Tunguska meteorite, which fell in the region in 1908 and whose crater was never found. But of all the numerous samples collected, none have been meteoric.
On top of that, scientists suspect there is something buried with a high iron content and ferromagnetic materials about 100-150 meters below the surface. Possibly a meteorite or another dense object.
And if all that isn't weird enough, let's put the cherry on top. The crater is considered to be "alive". That is, it's shape constantly changes by rising and falling. And, apparently nearby trees tend to grow abnormally fast.

Thoughts or theories?

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