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It’s the Fall 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

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Welcome to the fall 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt! My name is Melissa Giorgio, and I am part of Team Pink! 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 for 72 hours!

YASH PINK TEAM 2015Go Team Pink!

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 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 October 4th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

All set? Then let’s get this party started!

Today I’d like to welcome author Jennifer Tressen to the blog!

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Jennifer Tressen is a wife, mother and writer. A former actor, she spent nearly ten years in the entertainment industry appearing in commercials, print ads and television shows. It was her love of storytelling that pushed her to the other side of the camera and sent her to film school at Chapman University. Although she entered as a Cinematography major, Jennifer graduated with a degree in Screenwriting after a single required screenwriting class forever changed her path. She found a passion for writing she had forgotten in her childhood. Everything she learned about screenwriting and especially storytelling she attributes to her mentor, the late Blake Snyder.

After several years of writing and editing for producers and other screenwriters her curiosity led her into writing novels. As a huge fan of Young Adult and New Adult literature this is where her pen tends to lead her. However, she does have plans to release a few middle grade fiction and adult novels in the future.

Jennifer is also the current series writer for a soon to be released animated children’s television show ‘Max and Wrigley.’

Castle in the Air - High Resolution

Jennifer’s book featured today is Castle in the Air. Here’s a little bit about it:

The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas has been called “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” largely because of the events of the 1930s when Dr. Norman Baker ran a “cancer treatment hospital” which he called his “Castle in the Air.”

Follow the fictionalized story of Clara, the young, unwed pregnant niece of Dr. Baker who comes to help at the cancer center in exchange for room and board and finds things aren’t quite what they appear to be. Caring for an ill young boy at the center she feels her maternal instincts kick in – something is definitely not right at her uncle’s hospital. But what? Will she be able to piece together the clues in time to save herself and the boy? Or will she be forever doomed to reside in the Castle in the Air, where once you check in…you never leave.

This one sounds spooky! It’s a perfect read for the fall. You can purchase Castle in the Air here, and check out this exclusive, deleted scene Jennifer is sharing with us today!

“Do you believe in ghosts?” Samuel asked. His tiny hand wrapped around a single jack and caught the ball midair with ease.

“My grandmother does,” Clara replied. “And I think my mom did.”

“But do you?” Samuel swooped up two jacks and the ball without even looking.

“I don’t know,” Clara said, a rush of sadness filling her heart and pressing down the already surging weight of her pregnant stomach.

“You should,” he said. “She watches you all the time.”

“Who?” Clara could feel the little hairs on the back of her neck lifting. Her last haircut had been at the hands of her shaky grandmother and she knew long before looking in a mirror that uneven lines and missing clumps were her fate.

“You know.”

Clara studied the boy further. He had the beginnings of frown lines, the markings of entry into adulthood and middle age, not that of adolescence. He was far beyond his single digit years, hidden in the body of a young boy was the mystery of a man time had forgotten.

“Who, Samuel? Who is watching me?” Clara tried to get a response but he was too focused on his game of jacks. Yet when it was time to collect six he stopped, allowing the ball to fall to the ground.

Clara could feel the presence. Turning slowly she saw the frail outline of a woman standing beside the window scribbling her name with her fingertip on the glass pane.

“Theodora?” Clara said softly.

“They are….” Samuel said quietly. “We all are.” Just then the ball began to roll away on its own, out the doorway and into the hall. Theodora turned to look at it. Then her eyes lifted from the ground to the little boy seated a short distance away.

“It’s time,” Samuel said.

“Time for what?” Clara asked. “Are you done playing?”

“Yes. The game is done.”

“Now what shall we do?”

“Prepare.”

Samuel’s single word reply brought on a coldness not typically felt in the early weeks of summer. Clara could feel its reach into the depth of her bones. This chill, its grip, it was familiar.

“What are we preparing for Samuel?” she asked.

“Death,” he replied.

Thanks for this awesome scene, Jennifer!

Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Jennifer, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 12. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the indie team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

And that’s not all! For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card and a swag pack (consisting of stickers from my Silver Moon Saga and a signed 5×7 photo card of The Fading Dusk), check out my Rafflecopter giveaway! The contest is open internationally, and there will be one lucky winner!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Okay hunters, it’s time to be on your way. Your next stop is L.A. Starkey’s blog! As you’re visiting all the Team Pink blogs, be on the lookout for my bonus content; this time I’m sharing a deleted scene from The Fading Dusk.

Happy Hunting!

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An Epic and Bookish Weekend!

September has been a busy, busy month for me because I went on not one, but TWO vacations. Yes, that’s right. After four years of staying close to home, I went away twice in one month. Earlier in the month I went to Texas for the first time to visit one of my best friends (and maybe someday I’ll write about that trip!), and this past weekend I went to Cambridge, Massachusetts! I’ve been to every New England state (we did a lot of road trips when I was a kid!), but I’ve never been to Cambridge (or Boston) before.

I took the train from NYC to Boston, which was an adventure in itself. It was very crowded and I couldn’t find a seat, so I spent the four hour trip in the dining car! It was a little uncomfortable, but not horrible. And the view was gorgeous!

215Manhattan. *_*

218Too bad the leaves weren’t changing colors yet!

Once I arrived in Boston, I met up with my friend Molly! We’ve known each other since high school, but the last time we saw each other was in Japan back in 2008! Now that she’s only four hours away (or one hour by plane!), we’re hoping to see each other more. Molly took me to my hotel and after I checked in, she showed me around MIT (her genius husband is a grad student there).

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014Crazy building!

015Not sure if you can tell from the picture, but those are all cranes.

023A really cool sculpture made out of numbers and math symbols.

022There’s a dome at the top of this building.

030And this is the inside of it!

225The view from my hotel room.

After the tour and dinner, I met Molly’s husband (he wanted to know how I’m able to write books, and I wanted to know how he can write complex math equations all over his multiple white boards. XD), and then Molly and I left for Porter Square Books. Mackenzie Lee, author of THIS MONSTROUS THING, was having her launch event there and I was super excited to meet her and get a copy of her book. At the event I met Molly’s friend, Melissa, who kindly saved us seats in the front row! Molly made this awesome, “I ❤ OLIVER” poster for Mackenzie, and Mackenzie’s face lit up when she saw it.

228Mackenzie!

The event was so much fun. Mackenzie explained her love for Mary Shelley and Frankenstein and read a passage from her book, which is being bumped to the top of my to-read pile! After the event we did a selfie with some props:

 tmt3(From l to r-Me, Molly, and Melissa.)

There was a huge turnout, so it took a bit for us to get our books signed. It was so nice finally meeting Mackenzie! We also signed a copy of TMT for Mackenzie (like her own personal yearbook), which I think is a great idea. After chatting for a bit, we went back to my hotel, but first Molly took me to the roof of her apartment so I could see the beautiful view of the city and the Charles river.

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The next morning was the Boston Teen Author Festival! They had an amazing lineup of authors this year; as soon as I saw who was coming, I knew I had to go. And I’m glad I did because the day turned out to be one of the best ever!

Melissa very nicely drove us to the Cambridge Public Library, and after we parked, we went to get Starbucks when Melissa spotted a whole group of YA authors across the street, who were also going to Starbucks! Inside, I approached Becky Albertalli (author of SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA. If you haven’t read this book yet, DROP EVERYTHING AND READ IT!) and introduced myself. She was super sweet and we had a very nice conversation (she introduced me to David Arnold, author of MOSQUITOLAND). And then we ended up walking back to the library with the authors AND riding the elevator with them. Doing things with authors turned out to be the theme of the day, actually!

241The library! (Look at that sky!)

243I’m not actually sure what this building was used for, but it was next to the library and very pretty.

045All of the authors!

First the authors talked and answered questions from the moderator, and then they split up into smaller panels. There were four panels, two at the same time, and luckily Melissa and Molly wanted to attend the same ones I did, so we didn’t have to split up.

240The Author Friendships and Crit Groups Panel (Adam Silvera, David, and Becky were fooling around in the beginning XD)

245The Craft Panel

btaf1In between the panels we did a selfie with Adam Silvera (author of MORE HAPPY THAN NOT) and Becky Albertalli. No big deal. XD This was our silly faces selfie, btw. We did do a normal one, too!

After the panels was the signings! I brought my copies of SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING from home for Leigh Bardugo to sign (She’s already signed my copy of SHADOW AND BONE), and her line was so long! But she talked with each reader and we chatted for a bit (she wanted to know who my favorite character was, and I told her the Darkling.), which was nice. After that I rushed to Becky’s line, and had her sign my copy of SIMON, yay! We talked again and I picked up some SIMON swag, too!

The event was winding down by then, and I found Molly’s friend Nicole (who became my friend after we met at BEA this year!), and we chatted while we waited for Molly and Melissa to finish getting all of their books signed. We left, thinking the day was over, but then this happened:

btaf5Riding in the car with Leigh Bardugo. (Melissa not pictured because she was driving!)

Because Leigh’s Uber was nowhere to be found, we ended up driving her to Porter Square Books so she could sign SIX OF CROWS stock! An epic ending to an epic day. As Molly said, we basically won at the Boston Teen Author Fest.

252My haul from the weekend (well, two I brought from home, but the rest I got there or from Molly!).

I left the following day, and it was a much calmer ride, thankfully. I didn’t have to sit in the dining car, for one!

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268Cambridge is very pretty, but my heart will always belong to NYC.

It was one of the best weekends ever. I’m so glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone, got on that train, and went. And now I have a new pile of books that I can’t wait to read!

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2014 Recap and Bookish Goals for 2015

I can’t believe it’s almost 2015! Where did this year go? It definitely had its ups and downs, and I’m hoping 2015 is a much more peaceful one for everyone.

In terms of writing, I more or less wrote two books. I say more or less because I technically started THE SHADOW STEALER in 2013, and I also wrote 1/3 of A PROMISE OF MAGIC in, oh, I don’t even know, late 2012? But let’s just say I wrote two novels in 2014. I also published two novels! THE SOUL HEALER came out in April, and A PROMISE OF MAGIC was an early arrival, publishing in November (instead of January!). As for 2015, besides publishing THE SHADOW STEALER (February 27th! Less than two months away!), I hope to start and finish two brand new manuscripts. I’m not sure if this will actually happen, but as long as I finish at least one manuscript, I’ll be happy. I’m a little nervous starting something brand new that doesn’t involve Gabi and company because it’s really hard to let those characters go. But at least I can visit them whenever I want to in Tomodachi Life, right?

As for reading, I didn’t read as much as I did in 2013, probably because I spent almost the entire year writing/editing/revising THE SHADOW STEALER! I wanted to read 100 books, but I missed that goal by five measly books! (If you count rereading THE SHADOW STEALER at least five times and beta reading, then yes, I read over 100 books!) My favorite book of the year was HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas. I waited for over two hours to get an ARC of it at BEA and it was worth it, oh my goodness. I loved it from start to finish, and I can’t wait for the next installment! In 2015 I’m going to try to be better about reading the stuff I own. I go to the library a lot and always end up with five or more books to read, which is ridiculous because I have three years worth of BEA books to read! So I’m going to ban myself from going to the library unless they have something I really, really need to read (which is basically every book ever). I already made up a list of 2015 books I want to read (and when they’re published), but I also made up a list of older books that I’ve been wanting to read but never got a chance to. A few are series that are complete now, so if I can get all three books in one library trip, I can binge read the series, which is something I love doing. I didn’t put too many books on that list, less than twenty, because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I’m interested to see how I’ll do in completing that list. Guess we’ll find out a year from now! Oh, and something else I’ve wanted to do for the longest time is reread the entire Harry Potter series. But it’s so hard to reread something when there’s so many other new things to read. But I really need to make time for this series! It’s been too long!

Other than that, I hope to attend more book events (I’m definitely going to BEA for its final year in NYC. And hopefully I’ll remember to buy NY Comic Con tickets before they’re sold out! I totally forgot this year and wasn’t able to attend.) and blog about them, of course. Unfortunately a lot of the events are at night on a weekday, and I can’t go, but I always keep an eye out for a weekend ones!

Do you have any bookish goals or resolutions for 2015? If so, good luck and to everyone, Happy New Year!

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Fierce Reads Event 9/19/14

Yesterday I was back at Books of Wonder for another fun author event!

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The Fierce Reads event featured authors Ann Aguire, Caragh M. O’Brien, Marie Rutkoski and Emmy Laybourne. Emmy Laybourne was also the moderator, and she started things off by having each of the authors talk a little about their books. Next, she asked the audience members trivia questions about the authors, and the winners received ARCs! Finally, the authors answered questions from the audience. There were some great questions, and I especially enjoyed hearing the authors talk about how they deal with negative reviews for the first book in their series while trying to write the second book (the short answer? Don’t read the reviews!).

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Amy McNulty was with me, and we chatted with Caragh M. O’Brien and Emmy Laybourne while they signed our books and gave us some neat free swag. We had a wonderful time and I can’t wait for the next book event!

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Debut Spotlight: First Time Authors for Teens Event 9/14/14

On Sunday I had a chance to attend Books of Wonder’s Debut Spotlight: First Time Authors For Teens event, featuring Adi Alasid, Isabel Gillies, Katherine Howe, Amanda Maciel, and Amy Zhang. First each author introduced him or herself, and then they talked about their books. I always love hearing about how authors come up with their ideas. After they spoke, the audience asked questions. Since two of the books dealt with bullying in high school, many of the questions centered around that. Some of the authors agreed that high school was the worst experience of their lives, while others said they loved it. They were also asked if they would be friends with their main characters, and Amy Zhang, whose character is a bully, promptly answered, “NO.”

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After they finished answering questions, the authors signed books for their readers. It was a quick but fun event, and I’m happy I went. I’ve read some but not all of the books featured, and I’m definitely going to read the rest soon!

I will be attending another event at Books of Wonder this week. This Friday they’re hosting the Fierce Reads event, and I’ll be going with Amy McNulty. I’m very excited for that one!

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BEA 2014

Happy June! According to WordPress, this blog turned two. I can’t believe it’s been two years already!

I also can’t believe that another BEA has come and gone. Yep, for the third year in a row, I was over at the Javits Center surrounded by books and book lovers. I ended up with forty-eight new books (that’s the same amount I got last year!) that I can’t wait to read. Want to see what I got?

day1Day One-I thought my arms were going to break carrying all of this! (7 of these are signed)

day2Day Two-9 of these are signed!

day3Day Three-Just one signed this time

I’m excited because a lot of these are YA contemporary, which I’m definitely in the mood for right now! There’s something about the summer that makes me want to read contemporary novels. But what do I read first? Usually I pretty much grab whatever book catches my eye and go from there, but sometimes I have a hard time choosing! I’ve seen my friends make lists of what to read during which month, and I’m going to try that method out. I’ll let you know if that works for me! I hope to get through a large chunk of them this summer since I’m in a huge reading mood and haven’t had a chance to read much this year, but it all depends on how my writing and editing goes with the final two books in the Silver Moon Saga! Last week was spent writing the last story for the second novella, and after I finish that, it’s time for another read of the final book. I have my work cut out for me, but I hope to be done by the end of the month or early next month!

It’s always sad when BEA is over, since I pretty much spend the entire year looking forward to it. But after three days of trekking to the Javits center, dealing with crowds, and carrying bags stuffed with books, it was nice to come home and relax! Now I’m literally surrounded by books (my bookshelf is full, so I have piles on my desk and dresser) and it’s amazing. I love it.

By the way, I joined Instagram, so feel free to follow me to see more BEA pictures. And dessert. I like posting pictures of desserts!

I will probably be quiet again, especially with all the writing and editing I have planned, but I do make an effort to update both my Facebook author page and my Twitter on a daily basis.

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NYC Teen Author Festival 2014

Yesterday I was in New York City for the huge signing event at Books of Wonder. From 1 pm to 4 pm, readers had the chance to meet sixty YA authors! It reminded me a little of Book Expo, but much more contained. That’s not to say it wasn’t crowded! I saw so many readers walking around with stacks of books to be signed, and the shelves were literally empty. How many times have you heard that people no longer buy books? Or that young adults don’t read? Well, guess what? That’s not true!

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I got a copy of The Unbound by Victoria Schwab, which she signed for me as we chatted about sequels and Comic Con (I had previously met her at Comic Con 2013, which is when I got The Archived!). I’m really excited to have both books signed (with matching bookmarks, also signed!). When I go to book signings, I usually only get one book in a series signed, so my collections aren’t, well, complete (Seriously. I’ll have book two of this series, book three of that series. It’s bad, and I definitely need to start filling in the holes.). It’s nice to finally own a matching set! Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend any of the other NYCTAF events, but I’m glad I was finally able to make it to the big signing at Books of Wonder this year!