Kimberly Derting's Blog

November 17, 2016


Back in 2011, I toured with a group of amazing women for the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour. Prior to the tour, Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr came up with the brilliant idea for the authors to contribute to an anthology in order to offset the costs of our tour. The theme for the stories was “road trips.”

At the time, I was still working on the second novel in the Body Finder series, DESIRES OF THE DEAD, and I was getting to know a new character named Rafe. I decided that Rafe needed a backstory, preferably one that would haunt him forever.


And now, that short story, SKIN CONTACT , is available on Amazon for just $.99!


This is your chance to get to know Rafe before he met Violet...

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Published on November 17, 2016 14:19 • 120 views

October 4, 2016




Boo! 

It's that time again--YA Scavenger Hunt time! If you've never played before, you've been missing out! This is the hunt to end all hunts! We've got prizes, fancy YA authors, bonus material, and cool puzzles to solve. 

Did I mention the prizes? Because, you guys...these prizes are AMAZING!!!

If you've made it this far, I doubt don't need to explain how this whole thing works. Just remember that hunt runs from Tuesday, October 4th through Sunday, October 9th. (That's our longest hunt yet, so you can enter ALL of the giveaways!)

So here's how it works:

Each author on the hunt is hosting another author's bonus material (mine is out there somewhere, you just have to track it down), along with a link to the next step of the hunt.

At each step, you not only get access to that exclusive content, but you'll also collect another "clue" for the hunt. (In this case, the clues are number that you'll add up in the end.) Add up the clues and you can enter for our team's prize--one lucky winner will receive all the signed books for that team! But play fast, the contest and all the exclusive bonus material will only be available for a limited time.

I'm TEAM BLUE, but there are SO MANY OTHER TEAMS, which means more prize packs you can enter to win.


Still confused? Don't worry, if you get stuck head on over to the YA SCAVENGER HUNT page for the official rules and instructions.

(Unofficial) SCAVENGER HUNT Instructions :

Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number somewhere. Collect all the author's favorite numbers for TEAM BLUE (these are the "clues" I was talking about), and then add them up (don't be embarrassed to use a calculator!).

Then ENTER to win by filling out the form here. Only the entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Fine Print : 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 much complete the entry form by Sunday, October 9th at noon Pacific Time. Entries without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST

Heather Young-Nichols is a multi-published YA and contemporary romance author and a native of the great and often very cold state of Michigan. She is better known at home and to her friends as the Snarker-in-Chief, a job she excels at beyond anything she could have imagined. She loves many things, but especially cold coffee, hot books, and baseball. But not necessarily in that order.
About Heather's book,  GROUNDED :

Alyssum Bracken sets out in search of Jensen Burkhardt…

After a longtime feud over copper between the Gremalian and the Gobel races, she hopes he has inherited his father’s legendary abilities as tensions rise to a breaking point. But when she finds him in faraway New York, Alyssum discovers she didn’t reach the handsome gremlin first. Aric, a rival goblin, is already ensconced in Jensen’s life.

However, Aric Bramble isn’t the enemy…

Courageously risking exile to save both races from a bloody war, the unlikely trio decide to work together. A forbidden friendship with Aric, a first love with the noble Jensen, while juggling her father, their leader, the prejudice of her people against the Gobel—and Aric’s people trying to kill them all—might be too much for Alyssum to handle.

Jensen’s strength is the one thing keeping Alyssum grounded, but will their relationship be threatened by her friendship with Aric? Will any of them even survive the coming conflict?

Alyssum isn’t sure…but she’s going to try.
Find out more about Heather and GROUNDED here!


EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: 

Today, Heather is sharing a first look at UNITED, the sequel to GROUNDED...exciting!:

Chapter One
I hit the gas hard enough for the tires to spray the side of the house with gravel. Stone and Kale Bramble didn’t make a peep, allowing me to navigate through the daylight. Which I appreciated. I don’t think I could’ve handled their questions or concerns at this point. Too much had happened and my mind needed time to process it. Life really does change in the blink of an eye or the snap of fingers but we couldn’t let it stop what needed to be done. We had to get to Phoenix, Michigan in time. I wouldn’t allow any other outcome. We had to. If we didn’t, Aric Bramble would die. He might anyway but I had to try to save my best friend.It’d be nice to think since his own Gobel people took him back he’d be safe, but wishing didn’t make it true. Aric had betrayed them by teaming up with the Gremalians. They’d kill him; I had no doubt. But they’d try to get information first. I hoped we’d have a few hours to get in there and get him out. The Michigan countryside, something I once thought of as beautiful and tranquil, had turned ugly, almost leering at me. The environment hadn’t changed. I had. The battle with the Gobel left me exhausted, but the idea of my best friend being executed infused me with adrenaline, which wouldn’t let me stop even if I wanted to. And I refused to think about Jensen Burkhardt, my newly ex-boyfriend, leaving me high and dry, refusing to go after our friend right away with me. Well, fuck him. We were over. I made it quite clear when I told him he wasn’t the man I thought he was then stormed out of the house on the path that led me to Aric’s brothers trying to save him. In a way, I wished I’d never brought him home to Michigan. Harsh, I know, but if I didn’t have Aric to focus on, my heart would be in shambles, wrecked beyond repair. I had to look forward not backward once we got Aric back and ended things with the Gobel. Having Jensen there would make it extremely hard to do. Facing your first love after he broke something inside you wasn’t a walk in the park. Those few seconds before I left the house had been bad enough. Maybe he’d go back to New York anyway.“Alyssum, do you have a plan?” Stone, the oldest of the Bramble brothers asked. By the tone of his voice, he’d likely tried to get my attention more than once already. I didn’t answer. I had no plan. Of course I hadn’t thought through anything, not my style, I guess. My focus remained on getting there in time, and I’d never forgive myself or Jensen if we didn’t.Jensen.I needed to get him out of my mind. For now, heartbreak would have to wait.Kale pushed up from the back seat, wedging himself in between me and Stone. “I know a way in,” Kale said. “No one should see us. We can at least check on Aric and figure out what their plan is. Then we should regroup and come up with one of our own.”“Sounds better than anything I’d come up with right now.” I nodded. This whole thing had thrown me off my game. I’d never really worked well with anger as my only motivator. Anger made me reckless. Anger consumed me and I couldn’t think straight.The brothers glanced at each other like they were having a silent conversation. Probably were; I wouldn’t know. As an only child, I’d never had a close connection to anyone, but I assumed they were thrown off by my lack of ideas and quick agreement. It wasn’t me; and while I hadn’t known them long, they knew me. Like I said, anger wasn’t a good motivator. I’d follow their lead as long as we were doing something.The two of them were out of the car before I’d slammed it into park. At least I remembered to grab the keys before running to catch up. We made the trek toward Phoenix, putting ourselves in stealth mode as we walked soundlessly. No one could see or hear us or we’d lose the element of surprise. It’s bad enough we were doing this as the sun made its way high in the sky. There would be no cover of darkness. The only thing we had in our favor came in the form of the landscape and the fact that the Gobel shouldn’t know we were coming.The dense Michigan forest of the Upper Peninsula completely surrounded the Gobel community. We’d have to use it to our advantage.We walked in silence for a while. I didn’t feel like talking. Unfortunately, the guys didn’t feel the same way. They spoke in hushed tones about things I wasn’t a part of. Fine with me. They gave me the space I needed to lose myself for a bit until we got really close to our destination.Once we heard voices carrying up to us, we stopped talking all together and only communicated through hand gestures like an elite special ops team. It would’ve been more convenient if the Gobel or Gremalian talents extended to mind reading, but no, I got stuck with controlling electricity and they reigned over nature. Still, we understood each other.At first, no one seemed to notice as we boldly walked into town like we weren’t even worried about being seen. It wasn’t the best idea but it was the only one we came up with. We’d just walk right in and hope no one noticed; that’s it. My arm kept brushing against Kale and Stone with every step as they walked close beside me.“Stay close,” Kale whispered. “Aric will have our asses if anything happens to you.”I nodded in return and kept up with their much longer strides. The last thing I ever thought I’d be doing was sneaking into Phoenix with two Gobel by my side to try and break out another Gobel who happened to be my best friend. I probably had grandparents rolling over in their graves somewhere. But not my mom. She would’ve understood; she had understood before one of the Gobel murdered her in our foyer. She knew how much Aric meant to me. With him being taken to be put to death, she would’ve supported my efforts—unlike Jensen.And there he goes messing with my mind again.“Let’s check the jail,” Stone nodded to the left, which is when I noticed we were starting to garner some attention. I totally did not fit in with my lighter hair and blue eyes or that I remained half the size of the smallest person I’d seen yet. I stuck out like a sore thumb. No one came right out and said anything yet, but we didn’t have long until someone would. They also didn’t seem to be sensing me as they should’ve been. I could feel when Gobel were around in the tingling climbing up my spine, and it zapped me like an electric pulse as the entire city of them surrounded me. They should have been feeling me too.The guys decided Kale should scope things out alone since we didn’t think we had much time before someone sounded the alarms. I voted against it. Two to one, what could I do? Besides, they did it in such a way that it wasn’t excluding me or treating me like a petulant child who didn’t know any better. But Kale had been gone for years. It’s possible most people wouldn’t immediately recognize him as a Bramble.Stone and I waited beyond the tree line closest to town. Actually, if I reached my hand out, I could’ve touched one of the buildings, we were that close. Still, we leaned against a tree to keep out of sight until Kale got back. The little walk through their center left me antsy and anxious. No need to tempt the Gobel any more than we already had.It seemed like we sat there for hours without any sign of Kale. Stone started getting jittery and stopped talking altogether. I could tell he worried about his brother. Not having any siblings, being with the Brambles gave me the new experience of seeing family caring about family. My parents loved me, of course they loved me, but with my dad being the leader of our people, the community as a whole took priority over their daughter’s individual needs.Checking my watch, I found almost an hour had passed. Now I started worrying too. If something happened to Kale… I didn’t even want to finish the thought. “What do you think’s taking so long?” I whispered to Stone without taking my eyes off the door I’d seen his brother go through. “Not sure.” Stone looked from me back to the building. “He should’ve been back by now.”“Who should’ve been back?” Kale’s voice scared the crap out of me. We both sprang to our feet and spun to find him standing there looking relaxed against a tree, barely a piece of his dark hair out of place. I wanted to murder him.“What the hell, bro?”I wanted to say the same thing but hadn’t had the time to catch my breath enough to form words. Instead, I got close and punched him in the stomach as hard as I could. Kale doubled over. I’d had training. I knew how to hit. “Christ, Alyssum, what’s that for?” Kale’s words came out stilted but Stone laughed quietly behind me.“You scared the crap out of us. You’ve been gone forever.”“I didn’t want to be followed. I went around the long way. I figured you guys saw me leave in the other direction.”“Well, we didn’t.” Not sure how we didn’t since both sets of eyes had been on the damn door.“Tell me again why Aric likes you,” he said, finally standing straight, a good foot taller than me. Everyone seemed to be a foot taller than me—except my childhood friend Dahlia, Aric’s sometimes girlfriend/friend with benefits. She only towered over by six inches. Being barely over five feet sucked.“If you two are done,” Stone broke in. “Let’s get away from here to come up with a plan. I don’t want any of them feeling her.”We couldn’t argue. Gremalians being able to feel the presence of any Gobel and vice versa could be a pain. Off we went back into the cover of trees and leaves to hear what Kale had found and figure out a way to save my friend. We walked about a mile and half, which seemed to be a safe distance.“Did you find him?” I demanded.“Yeah, I found him. He’s ok.” We settled in a small open area of the trees. Just big enough for the three of us to burrow inside while likely not being seen right away if someone were to come along. “From what he’s heard and what I could pick up… it doesn’t look good.” Kale proceeded to explain about how Aric had already been found guilty of treason long before they took him. He needed to be made an example of what happens if you go against your people. Out of courtesy to their father, a childhood friend of Elliot Moss the Gobel leader, they’d given the family some time to say their good-byes. Kale felt pretty certain they were using it to draw him, Stone and Lake back to town. Who knew from there?“Yeah, Moss doesn’t usually do courtesy.” Stone gave his brother a hard look.“That’s the truth. He must know that she—” Kale pointed at me. “Tends to act quickly. I’m thinking he’s waiting to see if she makes a move.”“Agreed.” Neither brother gave me another look.“Ok, let’s go get him,” I said.“Did you even hear what we said? We need to plan, Alyssum.”“I have a plan.” Starting to pace, I couldn’t sit still for another second. “We go in, I blow shit up and we grab him.”“Great plan,” Stone said with a sigh. “There are people we’d like to try not to hurt.”Before we could continue, we heard voices coming toward us. They were getting closer. We did the only thing we could. We ran. Fast and far until we couldn’t hear them anymore and then the three of us all found a tree to climb. We could see further from up above, although I silently questioned being in a tree around a bunch of people who could control said tree. But whatever. I had complete confidence Kale and Stone would help protect me should the need arise. And I had handy electricity at my disposal, though there wasn’t a lot of static in the air today. Which struck me as weird. Usually we didn’t have an issue finding some kind of energy. I remembered at the end of the last battle with the Gobel, Moss had done something to remove the energy from the immediate area and wondered if the two were related.We waited.No one came but we had to be careful. Even though the bark bit into the sensitive skin on my forearms, I didn’t move a muscle. The guys didn’t either.Stone dropped down first, then Kale. When no one attacked, they gave me the go ahead. Pain shot through my left ankle when I landed, but I couldn’t say anything about it or they’d baby me. I wasn’t about to complain about a little pain. We were up there longer than I’d thought. The sun had set and darkness took over the forest.“Ok, we’ll have to circle around the long way; they knew we were on this side. Let’s get moving.”Look at Stone thinking he’s in charge. I did what he said and followed. As we walked, we went over every scenario we could think of. In the end, we were going to have to use brute force if sneaking in didn’t work. And we’d have to do it in the daylight. Night time would be too problematic. Going in now when they were on guard would be suicide.We got as close as we dared. If the feeling in my legs indicated anything, we’d walked quite a few miles. Which is when the guys suggested we rest up for the big moment tomorrow. Even with as tired as I’d become, I didn’t think sleep would happen. In the last twenty-four hours, we’d battled the Gobel with the rest of my people, I’d broken up with my boyfriend, and we tried to rescue my best friend. If anyone deserved a little time to recoup, we did.Nights in the Michigan wilderness got pretty dark. We could barely see each other. Which meant we had to stop anyway. Luckily, we found a small clearing that allowed the moonlight to cast gray hues across us.“So, you and Jensen are really over?” Kale asked.“Yup.”“Don’t sound so broken up about it.”“I can’t deal with him right now, Kale. He should be here with us.” We locked eyes for the briefest of moments before staring back at the moon. “He should be with me.”“No one’s arguing,” Stone agreed.“But what’s this mean for you and Aric?”“We’re friends.” True. Yes, I liked Aric when I first met him; we went on a couple of dates but nothing more. This wasn’t some weird love triangle, and I resented the idea they thought I’d hop right over to Aric just because Jensen and I were no longer together.
After our conversation, I must have dozed off. When my eyes next opened, the sun had started to reappear.

Man, I am a sucker for sneak previews!
In order to enter the contest for your chance to win you need to know that my favorite number is 4. Add up all the other favorite numbers on TEAM BLUE and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!!


CONTINUE THE HUNT

The next stop on your hunt is author Jennifer Eaton.

Happy H(a)unting!!!!

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Published on October 04, 2016 09:07 • 69 views

August 28, 2016


I’ve been on a romance-y reading binge lately. I don’t know what it is about them, but I can’t get enough.
Oh wait! I lied. I totallyknow. It’s the kissing. And the schmexy times. And the superhot guys who are never wearing enough clothing.
Hell yeah!
So, because I’ve been so enamored, I thought I’d share some of my recent faves (in no particular order) with you guys…you know, in case you were searching for some sexy summer (or anytime, really!) reads:

1.  FALLEN TOO FAR by Abbi Glines
Okay, so I can’t believe I've waited so long to read this, but I literally cannot put it down. I’m not quite finished with it but I. AM. DYING! Will they or won’t they? I think we all know they will, but come on already!!!!
2.  THE DEAL by Elle Kennedy
Holy hockey pucks! This is the first of a series based on the collegiate men of hockey, and these guys could literally melt ice rinks. Elle writes snarky, smart, and superhot characters that will totally have you squirming in your seat!
3.  UGLY LOVE by Colleen Hoover
Hoover is the master of all the feels. I’ve read, and loved, SLAMMED and HOPELESS, but she takes UGLY LOVE to a whole new level of gut-wrenching. Plus, there are sexy pilots with baggage (see what I did there? Pilots? Baggage?). Okay, okay, all joking aside. Download this one. Stat.
4.  ALL CHAINED UP by Sophie Jordan Like Hoover, Jordan is another of my go-to authors. I’ve read her young adults, her historicals, and now I’m obsessed with her Devils Rock series. It’s basically Prison Break (you remember the TV show, with the hunky guys behind bars?), only with a lot more sex. And damn…the sex.
5.  EDGE OF CHAOS By Molly E. Lee
This is like Twister, if Twister were a romance. Lee writes amazing action scenes and even more amazing kissing scenes. She deals with some pretty weighty issues with a deft hand, and manages to steam up the pages while keeping things pretty PG-13.
6.  WAIT FOR YOU by Jennifer Armentrout (aka. J. Lynn)
Armentrout has mastered YA, paranormal, and contemporaries. WAIT FOR YOU is proof that we all need a cookie-baking hottie living across the hall from us. Even better if he wants to do dirty things with you, am I right? Of course I’m right!
7.  THE LOVELY RECKLESS by Kami Garcia
Okay, so I’m messing with you. You can’t actually get this until October, but let me just tell you, you should definitely preorder THE LOVELY RECKLESS. (Or see the end of this post, because I have one to give away!!!)

This is Garcia’s first foray into straight-up romance…and man did she crush it! Street racing, undercover sting operations, and oh-my-god kissing scenes! This is one you can read and then pass on to your (older) teen daughter/sister/neighbor. Or even your mom. Just sayin’
8.  NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE by Sarah MacLean
WHEW! That is a LOT of title! So there was a time when I gobbled up historical romances, didn’t matter which kind—Regency, Scottish highland, pirate ship adventures, I wasn’t choosy as long as there was an accent and a Fabio-esque model on the cover. MacLean’s books satisfy my historical itch. NINE RULES has it all—a girl disguised as a man, dueling, fancy gowns, and a whole lotta kissing! I think it should be a rule that we have to read historical romances while wearing tiaras and sitting on fainting couches.
9.  RULE by Jay Crownover
Unlike NINE RULES, Crownover’s books don’t have fancy gowns. RULE has tattoos and fast driving and loose women. Rule is the hotter than hot, hard-living tattoo artist who cannot be tamed. Except, maybe he’s met his match. I. Love. These. Kinds. Of. Stories. The bad boy who can’t resist the good girl. Seriously, the tension. The angst. The sex. Yes, please!!!
10. BEAUTIFUL DISASTER Jamie McGuire

I haven’t read this one in a while, but if I remember right—and I most certainly do because this book is seared into my brain with its awesomeness—these two went at it like cats and dogs. You know, if cats and dogs had an unholy attraction to each other. There were frat parties and bar fights (lots of fights, really), gambling and drama up the wazoo. And I, for one, could not get enough! These two were destined to be together, they were just the last to realize it.

Okay, so now that I've shared my faves, you can share too...and win!

I have an ARC of Kami Garcia's THE LOVELY RECKLESS and signed copies of the first two books in Sophie Jordan's Devils Rock series, ALL CHAINED UP and HELL BREAKS LOOSE for one lucky winner. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Published on August 28, 2016 07:00 • 125 views

March 29, 2016


If you've never YA Scavenger Hunted before, then you've been missing out! This is the hunt to end all hunts. Prizes, fancy YA authors, bonus material, and cool puzzles to solve. And did I mention prizes? Because, yeah, there are prizes to be had, on an EPIC SCALE!!!

If you've made it this far, I probably don't need to explain how this whole thing works. But I will tell you that hunt runs from Tuesday, March 29th through Sunday, April 3rd. (That's not a lot of time if you plan to enter ALL the giveaways!)

So here's how it works:

Each author on the hunt is hosting another author's bonus material (mine is out there somewhere, you just have to track it down), along with a link to the next step of the hunt.


At each step, you not only get access to that exclusive content, but you'll also collect another "clue" for the hunt. (In this case, the clues are number that you'll add up in the end.) Add up the clues and you can enter for our team's prize--one lucky winner will receive all the signed books for that team! But play fast, the contest and all the exclusive bonus material will only be available for 72 hours.

I'm TEAM RED, but there are SO MANY OTHER TEAMS, which means more prize packs you can enter to win.



Still confused? Don't worry, if you get stuck head on over to the YA SCAVENGER HUNT page for the official rules and instructions.

(Unofficial) SCAVENGER HUNT Instructions :

Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number somewhere. Collect all the author's favorite numbers for TEAM RED (these are the "clues" I was talking about), and then add them up (don't be embarrassed to use a calculator!).

Then ENTER to win by filling out the form here. Only the entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Fine Print : 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 much complete the entry form by Sunday, April 3rd at noon Pacific Time. Entries without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I'm hosting the Kay Honeyman. Kay Honeyman grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and attended Baylor University, graduating with a Bachelors and Masters in English Language and Literature. Her first novel, THE FIRE HORSE GIRL,
came out in January 2013. It was published by Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic. Her next book INTERFERENCE comes out in Fall 2016. She currently teaches middle school and lives in Dallas, Texas.


About Kay's book, INTERFERENCE:

As a Congressman’s daughter in Washington, D.C., Kate Hamilton always pushes to make things right. But when a scandal sends her family to Red Dirt, Texas, she decides to step back for a while. She’ll take pictures for her portfolio. She’ll learn something about football. And most of all, she’ll stay out of politics (including her father’s new campaign), and away from guys (especially after her ex’s betrayal).
But, if Kate’s political skills can be useful in Red Dirt, should she really let them go to waste? After all, her friend Ana Gomez and quarterback Kyle Stone would be a perfect match. Her dad’s election could benefit from a younger perspective. The irritatingly handsome Hunter Price should learn he doesn’t know everything. . . . But Kate’s own feelings for him may teach her the biggest lesson of all.

Friday Night Lights meets Jane Austen’s Emma in this delightful novel about big dreams, big games, and a little romance.

Find out more about Kay, INTERFERENCE and the rest of her books here!


EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: 

Today, Kay is sharing an excerpt from Chapter One of INTERFERENCE:


I dropped three bottled waters and a bag of potato chips on the counter between the cashier and the girl who was yelling at him.“Most boyfriends take their girlfriends out once in awhile.”The cashier picked up his phone and checked the screen. “We go out.”“I need to pay for these,” I said.“We’ve been dating three months, and we’ve gone out twice,” the girl snapped at him.“I don’t have money,” the cashier said.“I have money. To pay for these.” I pushed the bottles closer.“You had enough money to go to Lubbock with your cousin last weekend.”I looked out the window. Mom was still in the passenger seat, digging through her purse. Dad was pumping gas. I didn’t have much time. “I’m kind of in a hurry.”“It’s not like I don’t have options,” she continued. “Gabe called the whole time you were out of town.”The cashier started scanning my items. “Next time, tell him I say hi.”The girl balled her fists. Her purse smacked against the candy rack, sending packages flying as she spun and stormed out the door.The guy didn’t flinch. “Anything else?” he asked me, pulling a plastic bag from under the counter.“I need to use your phone.”“Sorry. No pay phone. There’s one at the gas station two exits east.”I smiled. “No. I need to use your phone.”The guy tipped his chin to the right, an early sign that he was going to say no.“It’s an emergency,” I added.“You’re calm for someone who is in the middle of an emergency.”“I’m very good in a crisis.”He crossed his arms over his chest. “You’re not using my phone.”Refusals were tricky to undo, but not impossible. “Fine, we’ll go a different direction.” I leaned over the counter and locked my eyes with his. “You’re going to let me use your phone because someday your girlfriend will be stranded in some nowhere town and need to tell you something life-changing.” His eyes remained empty. “The test results came in.” Nothing. “She found your dog.”“Tucker?” the cashier said.Bingo. “She needs to call you to tell you that Tucker is okay. She wants you to know where to pick him up. Wouldn’t you want someone to loan her a phone?”“Is your dog in trouble?” the cashier asked.I looked over my shoulder. I needed to move this along before I got caught. “My cheating ex-boyfriend posted humiliating pictures of me online. My school hates me. My parents blame me for Dad’s nose-dive in the polls. And my college future is in the toilet.”“Man, what a week. And now your dog.” He slid his phone to me.I skipped the gratitude and dialed Tasha’s number.

Man, I love sneak previews (and this one looks AH-mazing)!
In order to enter the contest for your chance to win you need to know that my favorite number is 4. Add up all the other favorite numbers on TEAM RED and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!!


CONTINUE THE HUNT

The next stop on your hunt is author Jeff Garvin.

And because I love the hunt (and giveaways), I've decided to give you an extra chance to win by hosting an ADDITIONAL, and completely separate giveaway right here! All you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below, and boom! you're entered for signed set of THE TAKING and THE REPLACED, along with some super sweet swag.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Published on March 29, 2016 12:00 • 167 views

March 6, 2016


If you know anything about me, you might have guessed I’m not a great secret keeper. In fact, keeping secrets makes me want to explode! So for the past few months I’ve been pretty quiet about what I’ve been working on because I’ve had one of those secrets, and rather than risk blurting it out, it’s easier to just keep my giant trap shut.
But all that secret-keeping nonsense is over with, because the news has finally broken:




We have no idea who will be illustrating our picture book babies, but what we can say is that Shelli and I are crazy excited to be working with Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow. And we can’t wait to share our feisty, science-loving girl with all of you!
Because...


+


=

YAY!!!!

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Published on March 06, 2016 08:35 • 82 views

October 7, 2015


Remember that thing where Read For Pixels had a perk where you could pay $400 dollars to be a character in my next (not-yet-announced!!!) book? Well, forget that!

Read For Pixels just made it a gajillion times easier! How, you ask?

E-A-S-Y. All you have to do is go to this link and create an account (or log in if you're already an Indiegogo member), donate $5 to this AMAZING cause, and then start referring your friends. The person with the most referrals wins!

What did I say? Easy.

For more information, click here.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and spread the word!






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Published on October 07, 2015 10:05 • 177 views

October 1, 2015

I love this time of year--crisp leaves, hot lattes, football, and, you guessed it, the YA Scavenger Hunt!

If you've made it this far, I probably don't need to explain how this whole thing works. But I will say that this is the biggest round-up of YA literature in town and you definitely don't want to miss it. The hunt runs from Thursday, October 1st through Sunday, October 4th. (That's not a lot of time if you plan to enter ALL the giveaways!)

So here's how it works:

Each author on the hunt is hosting another author's bonus material (mine is out there somewhere, you just have to track it down), along with a link to the next step of the hunt.


At each step, you not only get access to that exclusive content, but you'll also collect another "clue" for the hunt. (In this case, the clues are number that you'll add up in the end.) Add up the clues and you can enter for our team's prize--one lucky winner will receive all the signed books for that team! But play fast, the contest and all the exclusive bonus material will only be available for 72 hours.

I'm TEAM RED, but there are SO MANY OTHER TEAMS, which means more prize packs you can enter to win.



Still confused? Don't worry, if you get stuck head on over to the YA SCAVENGER HUNT page for the official rules and instructions.

(Unofficial) SCAVENGER HUNT Instructions :

Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number somewhere. Collect all the author's favorite numbers for TEAM RED (these are the "clues" I was talking about), and then add them up (don't be embarrassed to use a calculator!).

Then ENTER to win by filling out the form here. Only the entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Fine Print : 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 much complete the entry form by Sunday, October 4th at noon Pacific Time. Entries without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I'm hosting the amazing Aprilynne Pike. Critically acclaimed, #1 New York Times best-selling author Aprilynne Pike has been spinning tales since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found out running; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Aprilynne lives in Arizona with her husband and four kids; she is enjoying the sunshine.


About Aprilynne's book, EARTHRISE (Earthbound #3):

Even with the power to create and destroy at will, Tavia Michaels couldn't save her parents. She couldn't save the boy she's loved for countless lifetimes. She barely managed to save herself from the treachery of supposed friends. So how can she save the world from a deadly plague--and the immortals spreading it? As the events of EARTHBOUND and EARTHQUAKE reach their thrilling conclusion, no one is safe--Tavia least of all!

Find out more about Aprilynne, EARTHRISE, and the rest of her books here!


EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: 

Aprilynne is sharing a deleted scene from EARTHRISE (along with an explanation from Aprilynne):


***This is one of those scenes that I needed to write for me, but in the end it slowed down the narrative a ton. This is a deleted scene from the final book of the Earthbound series, so all appropriate spoiler warnings that go with a piece of any last book in a series are hereby applied.;)***
We all nod soberly, then turn and follow the tech out the door and through a series of hallways. I try to keep track based on the blueprints I studied, but my head is still fuzzy from just waking up, and I give up and focus on making sure my mind is alert instead. I conjure up a bowl of trail mix and shove a handful in my mouth, then offer it to Benson who rolls his eyes at me.I keep chewing, and the chocolate chips wake me up with their sweet sugar taste. By the time we reach a set of double doors I’ve also downed a bottle of orange juice and am feeling much more myself.And ready to pull off something spectacular if necessary.The tech doesn’t stop—hardly even slows down—as he throws the doors open and strides through them. The buzz of conversation stops instantly at the sight of us. We’re surrounded by about fifteen people, maybe half in lab coats, the other half in business suits, and an aura of authority is nearly tangible in the air.I’m oddly relieved when I find Dr. Martin’s face amid the sea of visages, and I focus on her familiar features as the group slowly take their seats around a huge conference table. Dr. Martin stands at the head. “Thank you for coming on such sudden notice. I have news that is truly going to change the world and I’ll need everyone’s help.” She takes a short breath, but doesn’t leave them in suspense. “We have a vaccine for the Kentucky Virus.” She pauses and I can tell by the quirk at the side of her mouth that she wants to smile, but she must be battling a mix of shock, terror, and surely more than a sliver of self-doubt. The conference room practically explodes into a flurry of voices and Dr. Martin has to hold both hands in the air and chant, “Please, let me explain, please,” several times before the group settles down.“Our guests came to me this morning with what I thought was an outlandish claim that they had a vaccine, but their … their science was very persuasive and I have, of course, run my own tests here at the clinic, to confirm all of their claims. These people,” she says, gesturing vaguely toward our group, “were vaccinated approximately three days ago and I took blood samples, and my team has tested them repeatedly over the last five hours using every strain of the virus we have samples of. Every single one was repelled.”And at that there’s a deafening silence. Heads turn to us and I wish that Dr. Martin had claimed the discovery for herself, but I realize that even she, in her position of power, wouldn’t be able to convince the doctors in her own clinic that she developed a new vaccine they hadn’t even heard of, overnight. She can take the credit on a world-wide scale, but the doctors in this building are going to need to know the truth.Part of the truth.Dr. Martin continues on before the frenzied murmurs can return. “I’m certain that, as doctors and scientists, you all have questions about the vaccine, but we will have years in the future to study it. What I would really like to do in this meeting is figure out how we can get this vaccine distributed as quickly as possible.”“Dr. Martin,” a man with lightly graying hair says, speaking up before the others. “I just need to ask, are you sure? Are you certain?”Dr. Martin swallows hard, then looks up and meets the man’s eyes. “It’s a fair question, Dr. Stephenson. Twenty minutes ago I called my husband. I asked him to leave work and go get our two children out of school and bring them here to me. The second—the second—they get here, I will be inoculating them myself. That, Dr. Stephenson is how confident I am.” Her eyes leave the now-silent man and circulate the room. “I’ve brought our lead lab tech, Michael Hansen, along because I think every person in this room should receive the inoculation right now. Then I’ll then be sending him to every staff member and patient in the building, with a personal memo from me, requesting permission to inoculate them as well. I want this vaccine out in the world, and I want it done yesterday.”Dr. Martin turns to me and says softly, so the rest of the room can’t hear her, “I should have asked this before you entered the room—do you … have more vials of the vaccine?”“Dr. Martin,” I say quietly—this isn’t the time to pick a fight, but she needs to understand—“I am the vaccine.” I open my hand where she can see it, but not any of the other clinic staff, and create five 50mL vials filled with the milky fluid.“Thank you,” she says, laying her hand over mine and taking the vials. I feel the depth of her gratitude settle deep in my chest and, for the first time, I believe we can win. “Michael,” she says, addressing the tech, “you have the syringes?”Michael lowers his clipboard to show a box of slim syringes—hardly the width of a pencil—and a stack of alcohol swabs. Dr. Martin walks toward where he has laid them down on the table, and she’s already rolling up her three-quarters length sleeve.“It’s a very traditional vaccine, with an intramuscular delivery,” she says, and I hear a quaver in her voice, though I can’t tell if it’s from fear or excitement. “Anyone with the qualifications to inject any kind of vaccine can do it.” Dr. Martin cleans a patch on her upper arm, then fills the tiny needle. “5CC’s, just like the TIB. Poke, push, done,” she says, sticking herself and depressing the plunger as she speaks.A gasp sounds from the near-silent group and I can see Dr. Martin’s fingers trembling as she recaps the syringe, hands it to Michael, then presses a tissue to the injection site. But when she turns to the group, she’s beaming. “I should be immune within twelve hours.”Silence reigns. Silence and tension.Then Dr. Stephenson begins to clap and within seconds the entire room is clapping.Dr. Martin quiets everyone down again and says, “As we discuss what to do, Michael will circle the room and offer the vaccine to each of you. You do not have to accept it,” Dr. Martin says solemnly, leaning forward over the table. “You weren’t there with me in the lab where we performed rigorous testing, over and over again. You might need more convincing. But I am convinced, and I’m going to move forward with this.”But most of the doctors are already shedding their suits and lab coats and rolling and pushing up their sleeves.As Michael silently approaches the first doctor, Dr. Martin speaks again. “I need to impress up on each of you the importance of the secrecy of this meeting. When you leave these doors, the official stance of the Mayo Clinic is that this vaccine was developed in-house, here in Phoenix, and that we had a massive break-through in the last few days. But in this room, it is important that you know the truth. The vaccine was brought to me by this young woman, and she has informed me that there is an criminal organization that will stop at nothing to prevent this vaccine from getting out.”I suck in a breath. She believes me.“Who would want to stop a working vaccine from being widely distributed?” pipes up a man from the back, echoing the same question Dr. Martin asked me this morning.“Who do you think?” Dr. Martin says calmly. “The same organization that created the virus to begin with.”The man lets out a snort of disbelief. “You’re talking about biological warfare.”“Damn straight I am,” Dr. Martin says, barely over a whisper. The entire room is deathly silent. “The trick, I think,” Dr. Martin continues in a regular voice as though the interruption had never occurred, “will be getting supplies out to every hospital, doctor, or drug store out there in secret, and then spreading the word that people can come and get it from more locations than anyone can target before the majority of the immunizations are already given out.”“For free,” I blurt out.Heads turn to me.“I … we can fund the operation in its entirety if necessary,” I say, my voice strong despite the shivers wracking my legs. “But the vaccine must be available at no cost, to anyonewho wants. Poor, rich, black, white, young old, it can’t matter.”“How fast can we create the vaccine?” another doctor pipes up from the back. “That is frequently the most difficult aspect of vaccine distribution.”“We can make as much of it as you need, as fast as you can send it out. Trust me.” My voice is steady, but I’m quaking inside at the thought of expending that much energy. It will be exhausting, but I feel like the last few weeks have been good practice for me.“If that’s the case, I don’t see why we can’t simply overnight ship it wherever is necessary,” he says.“That might work for the first batch,” Thomas replies, stepping forward and drawing attention away from me so I can retreat back to my wall. I shouldn’t have stepped forward to begin with. We could have discussed cost later. I’ve got to remember to stay quiet and keep off everyone’s radar. “This all sounds a bit … like a conspiracy theory,” a man near the front says. “No offense,” he adds, his tone surprisingly genuine.“None taken,” Thomas says. “We’re asking you to swallow a hell of a lot in a single day. Here’s something I’ve been considering.”With a tricky bit of sleight of hand, Thomas moves as though reaching into a deep pocket, and simultaneously creates a large map of the world that he rolls out on the conference table. Luckily, everyone’s attention is so focused on the map they don’t realize there’s no place on Thomas’ person large for such a map to be concealed. I just shake my head and peer over the table beside Thomas.“Let’s say Chicago, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Orlando, Philadelphia, Cincinnati. One cargo plane completely full of vaccine to every city. They need to land within hours of each other and trucks have got to be waiting to take them and go to every major hospital. Hospitals can distribute them to doctors’ offices. But it has got to be fast. One press release nationally to let people know they can go to their local doctor’s office, hospital, hopefully drugstores like Walgreens and CVS. Emphasize that it will be free.” Thomas straightens. “Hopefully we can get several million people immunized before anyone can mount an attack.”“An attack?” says one doctor, holding a cotton ball against his arm from his inoculation. “You make this sound more like a military operation.”“It will be,” Thomas says grimly. “The hope is that we can get much of it underway before it has to be.”“Then why not go to the government?”Thomas lets out a bark of a laugh. “Please. And introduce all of the red tape and check and balances thatwould entail? A doctor can ask forgiveness instead of permission. The government, not so much.”“Although,” Alanna says; her voice always quiet now. It’s such a relief after her awful facade. “If there is trouble—which there almost certainly will be—the government may feel motivated to step in and help.”“Which is fine,” Thomas says, nodding. “But the most important thing right now is speed.”Thomas does an enviable job of fielding questions about the operation that was all his idea, not mine, and I let myself fade into the background. I want as few people as possible to realize that I’m involved at all. But after a few minutes, Dr. Martin steps over to me. “You’ve hardly said a word,” she says softly. “Isn’t this your project?”“You could say that,” I reply, also keeping my voice low. “This morning I stepped forward because I needed to convince you with no scientific evidence whatsoever. Desperate times and all that.” I turn my eyes to her. “You must understand, Dr. Martin, without methere is no vaccine. You needed to know that, but no one else does, if possible. If they find me, they will kill me. And if they kill me, everyone in the world who has not yet been immunized against the virus will die.” My eyes bore into hers with every ounce of force I can push behind them. “As far as anyone besides you is concerned, I’m just a quiet, average teenage girl who happens to be the girlfriend of a brilliant doctor’s son,” I say, gesturing vaguely at Thomas and Benson who look more like a father-son team now than ever before.“You’ve …” Her voice trailed off and she clears his throat and looks out over the heads gathered around the conference table instead of at me. “You’ve challenged everything in my life that I thought was truth and fact. I’m afraid to even mention the things I have seen you do. I’d lose the credibility with my peers that I’ve spent yearsbuilding up.” She turns back to me. “I suppose what I’m saying is that I have no choice but to believe the things I’ve seen. But I’m as anxious as you to keep it all a secret.”I let a half smile cross my lips at the strange agreement that one of the best doctors in the world and the most powerful goddess in existence have just come to.



Man, I love deleted scenes!
In order to enter the contest for your chance to win you need to know that my favorite number is 4. Add up all the other favorite numbers on TEAM RED and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!!


CONTINUE THE HUNT

The next stop on your hunt is author Christina Farley.

And because I love the hunt (and giveaways), I've decided to give you an extra chance to win by hosting an ADDITIONAL, and completely separate giveaway right here! All you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below, and boom! you're entered for signed set of THE TAKING and THE REPLACED, along with some super sweet swag.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Published on October 01, 2015 12:00 • 96 views

September 11, 2015


This past Tuesday was International Literacy Day, and in support of their cause here are some statistics put together in a really cool infographic by the very literate folks over at Grammarly.

Some of these numbers are pretty shocking...



  Literacy Day

Check out the International Literacy Day site to find out how you can help!



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Published on September 11, 2015 12:47 • 47 views

September 4, 2015


This Sunday at 6pm PST I'll be baring my soul. Okay, maybe not my soul, but I'll be taking part in something that means a lot to me when I do a Live Google Hangout for the amazing Read For Pixels campaign to end violence against women.
As a survivor of childhood abuse, I totally get why this cause is so important. But, to be honest, even if I hadn't been abused, I'd rally behind it. I have friends...I have daughters...I'm a woman
And in support of this cause, I (along with some other pretty incredible authors) have offered some pretty cool perks you can claim
Wanna be a minor character in my next book? (And you guys know the things I do to my characters...don't be surprised if I kill you off!)
Want a critique of your work or query letter? (But prepare yourself! I'm not shy when it comes to (constructive) criticism--you have your mom for warm hugs and to hang your work on her fridge!)
Or do you just want a huge bundle of signed books (including the very first, hot-off-the-press copy of THE COUNTDOWN), along with swag, a Body Finder tote bag, etc? 

You can get any or all of these things on the Read For Pixels IndieGogo page
And, if you want to hear more about me, my books, and ask me questions live, then join the live Google Hangout this Sunday, September 6th at 6pm PST!!!
Let's do this!

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Published on September 04, 2015 11:17 • 76 views

August 28, 2015

Copyedits for the final book in The Taking trilogy just landed in my inbox, and we officially have a title:




So now we're counting down to THE COUNTDOWN (yeah, I just said that!), coming May 10, 2016!!!



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Published on August 28, 2015 13:40 • 249 views