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It’s the Spring 2016 Scavenger Hunt!

YA_ScavengerHunt_WebBannerWelcome to the spring 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt! My name is Melissa Giorgio, and I am part of Team Green! 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 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 until April 3rd!

YASH GREEN TEAM SPRING 2016

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.

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

Today I’d like to introduce Kimberly G. Giarratano to my blog!

Kimberly

Kimberly G. Giarratano lives in the Poconos with her husband and three kids. Her debut novel, GRUNGE GODS AND GRAVEYARDS, won the 2015 Silver Falchion Award for Best YA at Killer Nashville.

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Isn’t this such a great cover? Curious what DEAD AND BREAKFAST is about?

Despite living in Key West his whole life, 18-year-old Liam Breyer is a skeptic of the supernatural until a vengeful spirit, murdered fifty years ago, nearly drowns him in a swimming pool. Luckily help arrives in the form of pretty — albeit homesick — ghost whisperer Autumn Abernathy, whose newly-divorced mom has dragged her to the island to live and work at the Cayo Hueso, a haunted bed and breakfast.

Although they initially mistrust each other, Autumn and Liam team up to solve the decades-old mystery. But on an island where every third resident is a ghost, dealing with an unstable spirit has deadly consequences. If Liam and Autumn don’t unmask the killer soon, they’re likely to become Key West’s latest haunted attraction.

Doesn’t this sound great? I love a good mystery AND a ghost story! You can purchase DEAD AND BREAKFAST (I love that title!) here!

And now Kimberly would like to share two inspiration boards with you! First, a word from the lovely author:

Greetings, YA Scavengers!

I’m so glad you could stop by on this leg of the tour. My bonus content for you are two inspiration boards for my YA paranormal mystery, Dead and Breakfast. D&B is the story of two 17-year-olds who try to put a vengeful spirit to rest by solving her murder. It’s the first in a trilogy and was inspired by a vacation to Key West that my husband and I took over four years ago. We had been touring the island when I began jotting down notes, realizing that there was a story in these details.

Key West is really an unusual island. It has pastel-colored Victorian houses with intricate lattice work, double balconies, and turrets. Feral roosters, who are protected by the local government, roam the streets. Hemingway’s six-toed cats have procreated in abundance. Key West City Cemetery is a striking metaphor for the island as it’s both creepy and whimsical. Epitaphs read, “I told you I was sick.” Scooters are the preferred form of transportation, followed by bicycles, and one’s feet. The humidity is so thick and oppressive, it’s practically corporeal. And every October, people flock to the island for Fantasy Fest, a ten-day bacchanalian party where clothing is very optional.

The first inspiration board is made up of photos I took on vacation. I didn’t have a smartphone back then so the photos are a little gray as they were taken with an old digital camera.The second board are photos I collected online (royalty free) and are much brighter. The large Victorian on the bottom is Hemingway’s house. As an author, being in the same place where Ernest Hemingway penned his novels is a surreal and inspiring experience.

I hope you enjoy this little virtual trip to Key West and I wish you luck in the hunt. If you’d like to keep up with my writing, including getting notified when Book 2, Ghost and Found, is released, please sign up for my newsletter.

Best,

KGG

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KeyWest2.jpg

I’ve never been to Key West, but it looks lovely (especially that pie!)!

Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Kimberly, and more! To enter, you need to know that I’d love to eat 8 of those pies. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the green team and you’ll have all the secret codes to enter for the grand prize! Good luck!

Before you go, make sure you check out my Rafflecopter giveaway to win a $10 Amazon gift card. There will be one winner and the contest is open internationally.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Contest is over! Thanks for playing!

Now I’m sending you on your way to T.H. Hernandez’s blog! As you’re visiting all the blogs, be on the lookout for an exclusive look at the first chapter of THE BURNING CHAOS, the forthcoming book in my Smoke and Mirrors series!

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Goodbye 2015 and Hello 2016!

I can’t believe it’s almost 2016! Where did this year go? I know I say that every year, but it seems like it was just yesterday that we were dealing with an endless, brutal, snowy and cold winter, and now we’re about to start that fun all over again (I hope not! It’s been pretty mild here so far!).

2015 was the year the Silver Moon Saga ended with The Shadow Stealer. I was very sad to see those characters go and I still think about them often. But 2015 was also the year I got to introduce you to the characters from The Fading Dusk! I’ve been hard at work on the Smoke and Mirrors series this year, between publishing the first book and writing the first drafts to the second book AND a novella I had no idea I was going to write until late this year. I’m currently editing the novella, and once that’s done, I’ll get to start the first draft of the third book in the series. I’m super excited to write that one!

In 2015 I managed to read 100 books! (Okay, no, technically I’m at 99 but I’m going to finish number 100 after I write this blog post.) I finished a few series, started a few more, read some books that I’ve been meaning to read for a few years now, and even managed to read a couple of 2016 releases. My favorites were Six of Crows, Queen of Shadows, Things We Know By Heart, A Darker Shade of Magic, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Saint Anything, Walk on Earth a Stranger, Fans of the Impossible Life, The Wrath and the Dawn, Wolf by Wolf, and This Monstrous Thing. Have you read any of these? What were some of your favorite 2015 reads? What are you looking forward to reading in 2016? I already have a list of books I can’t wait to get my hands on, but I also need to get through books that have been sitting on my shelves for years. I need to avoid the libraries if I ever want to make a dent in my TBR pile!

I also went traveling for the first time in four years! I’m not a huge fan of flying, and it got so bad that I didn’t go anywhere for the longest time. But this year my friend told me to come to Texas in September, and I did it! And I’m glad I did because I discovered flying isn’t nearly as horrible as I originally thought. It was a lot of fun seeing another part of the country, even if it was super hot and humid most of the time! And then after I came back, I went to Boston for the weekend! That was a great trip as well, and I’m so glad I went. As for 2016? Well, my plan is to go to BEA in Chicago in May. I’ve never been to Chicago, so I’m excited for that. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit all the books in my luggage, though. 🙂

So that was my year. A little bit of reading, a little bit of writing, and a little bit of traveling. If my 2016 contains all of that, I’ll be happy.

Have a wonderful 2016!!

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No, I haven’t forgotten about this blog.

WHAT? AN UPDATE? HOW CAN THAT BE?!?!

Yes, I’m fully aware that I pretty much suck when it comes to updating this blog. This is what happens when I’m writing and editing. I tend to forget about things like my blog or my Facebook page. It’s bad but it’s also good because it means I’m busy!

So what have I been up to? Earlier this year I wrote the second book in the Smoke and Mirrors series (I really need to reveal the title of that soon!). It, sadly, was not perfect (not that I expected it to be, but that would have been nice!) and required a bit of editing/deleting/rewriting and all that fun stuff. I wrote the ending three times before I got it right, but guess what? I might go back and change it again! Why? One of the things I like to do to get to know new characters is write short stories from their POVs. In the Smoke and Mirrors series, I introduce new characters in book 2 and even MORE new characters in book 3 (which is still an outline at this point!). Sometimes it’s hard for me to throw a character in the middle of another character’s story (in this case, Irina’s story). I want to know who this other character is, but it’s hard to get inside of their head when I’m writing strictly from another character’s POV. So that’s why they get their own short stories (Phil’s story in A Promise of Magic is a perfect example of this. I wrote that story BEFORE I wrote The Soul Healer, even though it takes place AFTER that novel! It really helped me get a feel for both him and Kain, which is why I didn’t have any trouble writing them in The Soul Healer. I already knew, for example, that Phil was a picky eater and that Kain liked to say foolish things.). I decided in October to write a story from the POV of  a character that will make her first appearance in book 3. It started off as a little project, but now it’s evolved into this much bigger story that’s given me a ton of new ideas for book 3. The only problem is I now have to go back and tweak some things in book 2. I don’t think it’ll be too many changes, though! It’s just a lot of work during the craziest time of the year. I’m hoping once things calm down in January I’ll be able to wrap everything up and polish the short story so it’s ready to be shared soon after I publish book 2. And then I’ll get to work on book 3, which I actually cannot wait to start writing, all because I decided to write this short story.

So that’s where I am, writing wise. I’d been hoping to write two novels this year, but I’m happy with one novel and one short story (which will hopefully not be THAT long, but who knows with me). I can’t make any promises about no longer neglecting this blog and I want to thank everyone who’s still sticking around to read my random rambles. You’re awesome.

Also, The Fading Dusk went on a blog tour! If you’re interested in reading my interviews, some excerpts from the novel, and all the lovely reviews that were posted, then check out this link!

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Blog Interview!

Today I was interviewed by my agency-brother, Seth Z. Herman! Check out the interview to find out more about The Sight Seer, my writing process, and what’s next for the Seer world! And be sure to check out the rest of Seth’s great blog while you’re there! 🙂

And don’t forget, you can still enter to win a signed paperback copy of The Sight Seer (open internationally)! The contest runs until June 28th, don’t miss out!

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Busy Times

I keep planning all these great posts to write, but there’s never any time to write them! I’ve been working on a few, small projects, but they’re enough to keep me occupied! Recently, I sent my agent Novel Number Nine, which she read and sent back with edits/suggestions. I got to write a new scene! Which, at first, I was a little nervous about (“What if I’ve forgotten how these characters speak/act?” I asked myself), but once I started writing, I realized there was nothing to worry about. I’m quite happy with the new scene, too. I also wrote a synopsis, which was ugh, not as much fun as I remembered. Did I once say I actually liked writing them? What was wrong with me? Finally, I’ve been working on a couple of outlines (and by couple I mean FOUR). Writing a few from scratch, tweaking others that were already written… I still haven’t figured out everything, but I’m sure it’ll come to me. Eventually.

I also want to write another entirely new book (or two *coughs*), but that’s nothing new. I always want to write *something*.

And of course I’ve been reading. Books, lots and lots books! I’m super psyched for Book Expo (one month away!), where I’ll come home with even more books!

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To My Fellow Readers.

Lately, I’ve been wanting to read more YA Contemporary. I don’t know where this feeling came from; I think it’s partly series fatigue (as in, I’m in the middle of reading 32098324 series and I just want a stand-alone every now and again, you know?), and partly guilt for ignoring this genre for so long. When I pick new novels to read, I always gravitate towards historical, fantasy, fairy-tales, paranormals, or dystopians. I like magic and swords and all that fun stuff, but it’s time for a change. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about what’s out there, which is why I’m calling for YOU, fellow bloggers, to recommend some titles. Tell me anything because chances are, I probably haven’t read it.

Come on, throw some titles my way!

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A New Beginning.

Just a quick note to let you all know that my lovely agent, Brittany Booker, has launched The Booker Albert Literary Agency! They are accepting queries, so check them out to see if your manuscript matches their interests.

I’ve also been getting quite a bit of traffic thanks to their site, so hello to everyone who’s been dropping by! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about writing, querying, or any of that fun stuff, and I’ll do my best to answer.