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It’s the Fall 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

YA_ScavengerHunt_WebBanner

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!

jennifer tressen

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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Books of 2013: September

Here’s the list of books coming out in September that I can’t wait to read! The list was actually much longer, but thanks to ARCs, I’ve read quite a few of them already (or own them and just haven’t had a chance to read them yet)!

September

10th-The Chaos of Stars-Kiersten White

10th-Fangirl-Rainbow Rowell

17th-The Dream Thieves-Maggie Stiefvater

24th-A Spark Unseen-Sharon Cameron

Happy reading!

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Christmas in New York Part Two

Here’s some more pictures from my trip to Manhattan yesterday, featuring the trees from both Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park. I visit Bryant Park all the time, but have never seen it set up for the holidays before. Vendors were selling everything from clothing to jewelry to kettle corn, and I spent a large amount of time walking from one side of the park to the other.

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Christmas in New York 2012 Part One

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For the first time in a very long time, I visited Manhattan during the holiday season! My day consisted of walking up and down Fifth Avenue, taking pictures of any buildings or store windows I thought looked nice. I’ll be posting the rest of my pictures in the next couple of days, so make sure you check back to see the rest!

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Best Books of 2012

Best Books I Read in 2012

I’ve been seeing these lists pop up on various blogs, so I decided, hey, I read a lot, why not share some of my favorites, too? I’d love to hear what books you enjoyed this year!  (Note-Not all of these books were published in 2012, they just happened to be books I read during 2012!)

Best Book: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (I’d been hearing some buzz about this book, so decided to check it out myself. It was one of those books I found impossible to put down; after one short reading session, I was already over 100 pages in! I actually had to force myself to stop reading because I didn’t want the story to ever end. Also, the Darkling? Hello, new literary crush!)

Best Sequel: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone was my favorite book of 2011, so I was eagerly awaiting the sequel, which did not disappoint! Masterfully written, with a heart-pounding plot, I read this one slowly to savor every moment, every word. There was a bit at the end that scared me; I couldn’t get that scene out of my head for days. I don’t know how this series is going to end, but I certainly can’t wait to see.)

Best New Series: The Diviners by Libba Bray (Um, Libba Bray writing about the 20s? YES, PLEASE. I’m pretty sure I did a happy dance when I learned of this series. I was able to score an ARC at Book Expo, and it was the first one I read out of all the free books I got that day. Evie is a fiercely awesome character surrounded by a stellar supporting cast. The book is long, which I know has scared some people, but believe me, you will not even notice the length. Bring on the flappers!)

Best Dystopian: Insurgent by Veronica Roth (You always worry the second book in a series won’t hold up, but Insurgent was just as hard to put down as Divergent. I love the main couple so much, and reading about their struggles to stay together as the world around them was falling apart had me cheering from the sidelines.)

Best Stand-Alone: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (I had heard about this book, but honestly, I didn’t know anything about the plot. It’s a touching story about two characters who have the same goal: Win the Scorpio races. While I enjoyed the progression of their very believable relationship, it was Corr, the fiery water horse, who stole my heart. The ending, in my opinion, was utterly perfect.)

Best Ending: The FitzsOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper (Also, the best historical fiction I read this year. Set during World War II, this book was full of heartache and happiness. I knew to expect death, I just didn’t expect it to hit as hard as it did. I was very worried how a few of my favorites would end up, but, without spoiling anything, I can say I was very satisfied with their (unexpected!) outcome.)

Best Fairy Tale Retelling: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan (A futuristic retelling of Sleeping Beauty that blew my mind. Everything that I expected to happen, didn’t, and everything that did, surprised the heck out of me. Otto is about the cutest character ever, I should add.)

Best Fantasy: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (I pretty much spent the entire book swooning all over the place. The love interest, my goodness. *fans self* This book was a rarity; when I got to the end, all I wanted to do was turn back to page one and start all over again. I’m in utter agony waiting for the final book, I should add.)

Best Paranormal: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins (I couldn’t believe it when my friend read this in a day, but once I got my hands on it, I could NOT put it down! Sure, it took me three days, but that’s still pretty quick, considering the length. This book was crazy! And I mean that in the best way possible! I had no idea what was happening half the time and I loved it.)