Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Survey Time!

I'm getting ready to list my summer workshops (and am also planning ahead for fall) and would like to get some feedback on what you'd be interested in taking. The survey is quick! Two questions. :) Thanks in advance for taking the time to fill it out.

PLEASE NOTE: You may choose as many answers as apply to you.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Monday, April 7, 2014

YA Scavenger Hunt Winner!

The Spring 2014 YA Scavenger Hunt is over, and it's time for me to announce the winner of the giveaway I hosted on my blog! I offered entrants the chance to win either a copy of Defiance or an advanced review copy of Deliverance, winner's choice. I used random.org to choose the winner from the 196 entrants. And the lucky winner is

Ina Warren

Congratulations, Ina! I'll ship out your copy of DEFIANCE this week!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring 2014 YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to the Spring 2014 YA Scavenger Hunt!



Hi there! I'm C.J. Redwine, your host for this leg of the hunt. 


I love long walks on the beach, going to the movie theater, and writing epic fantasy novels wherein I put my characters in the worst possible situations and then sit back and eat cookies while they struggle to survive. If my writing career ever tanks, I'll put on my black cape and be a super hero instead.




On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and  enter it for a chance to win a major prize--one lucky winner will receive at least one signed book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Sunday, April 6th!

You can start right here, or you can also go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or both! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM--but there is also a red team and if you do the red hunt too you'll have a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!




If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, see the full list of prizes up for grabs, or if you get lost along the way, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage. 

Looking for my exclusive bonus content? You'll have to keep searching. Somewhere on this blog hop, I've hidden a poem Rachel wrote to Logan right after he was declared her Protector. Before you go on though, check out the amazing author I'm hosting. But, first, a few rules.

RULES

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!). Hint: the secret number is  in BLUE. 

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 6th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I'll introduce the author I am hosting on this hunt. 

I am super excited to be hosting...


Amy Christine Parker


Amy's bio:

AMY CHRISTINE PARKER writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. Visit her at amychristineparker.com and follow her on Twitter @amychristinepar.


The book Amy's bonus material comes from is ASTRAY, book 2 in the GATED series! (Look at that cover! I totally want this book!)


Here's what the book is all about:

Lyla is caught between two worlds. The isolated Community that she grew up in and the outside world that she’s navigating for the very first time. The outsiders call the Community a cult, but Pioneer miraculously survived a shooting that should have killed him. Are the faithful members right to stay true to his message? Is this just a test of faith? One thing is for sure: the Community will do anything to bring Lyla back to the fold. Trapped in a spider’s web of deception, will Lyla detect the sticky threads tightening around her before it’s too late? She’ll have to unravel the mystery of what Pioneer and the Community are truly up to if she wants to survive.

To start at the beginning of the series, check out Amy's books here.  Chilling and fabulous ... you won't regret it! Here's a peek at GATED, book one in the series:





A fast-paced, nerve-fraying contemporary thriller that questions loyalties and twists truths. 
Appearances can be deceiving.
 Lyla Hamilton is a loyal member of the Community. Her family was happy to be chosen by Pioneer to join such an lovely gated neighborhood. Here, life seems perfect.
But after meeting Cody, an outsider boy, Lyla starts questioning Pioneer, her friends, her family--everything. And if there's one thing not allowed in the Community, it's doubt. As Pioneer cleverly manipulates his flock toward disaster, the real question is: Will Lyla follow her heart or follow Pioneer over the edge?
From the outside looking in, it's hard to understand why anyone would join a cult. But Gated tells the story from the inside looking out, and from behind the gates things are not quite so simple. Amy Christine Parker's beautiful writing creates a chilling, utterly unique YA story. Perfect for fans of creepy thrillers and contemporary fiction alike.

Besides the fact that we're both writers, Amy and I have one other thing in common. We both have extremely fat cats. I don't know how fat Amy's cat it, but I'd be willing to bet my best pair of Iron Fist stilettos that my cat weighs at least 5 lbs more. He is one faaaat cat. You can learn more about Amy (and her fat cat) at her website.

Now, let's get to the epic bonus content Amy provided for the hunt! 

Are you ready?

Are you sure???

Here we go! Amy is giving us a sneak peek at the first chapter of ASTRAY, which doesn't hit the shelves until 8/26/14! I'm super excited to read it!

Warning: if you haven't read GATED yet, there are spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.

CHAPTER ONE

I tug on a pair of Cody’s jeans and his baggiest sweatshirt. Pulling my hair into a tight bun and covering it with one of his baseball caps, I check the mirror one last time and try to find some speck of courage in my expression, but my face is all pale terror.

Can I really do this?

I try a few guy-like slouches. With any luck, once Cody finishes giving me a fake beard and I cover my too shapely body, I’ll be believable enough as a guy to fool Pioneer, the Sheriff, and anyone else we run into. I don’t want anyone other than Cody to know that I’m there. I’m not sure I can face Pioneer otherwise.

I hurry out of the bathroom. Cody looks at me and smiles. I have to look away because I’m unnerved enough right now. I can’t deal with the circus that happens in my stomach whenever he looks at me like that.

“Not bad. You’re not dude-like just yet, but we’ll fix that.” He grabs my hand and pulls me downstairs and then into the basement. We tiptoe to the far corner where Cody keeps all of his monster projects and make up tools. He pulls over a metal stool and I perch on it. My hands land in my lap and I rub my thumbs across my jeans. I breathe in and out.

“Ready?” Cody’s all shiny eyed and eager. I’ve just given him a way to practice what he loves. I’m his personal special effects project this morning. Oh who am I kidding? I’m his personal project in a lot of ways. He doesn’t seem to mind, but it’s bothering me more and more. Who wants to be the most broken person in the room all the time? That’s why I’m going to the hospital today, to start repairing the damage that Pioneer did to me. Seeing him again is the first step.

“Yeah,” I say. I watch as he picks up what looks like a tube made out of dark brown hair and unrolls it. He holds it up to my face and compares it to my real hair color.

“Close enough.” He’s not really talking to me as much as himself. He cuts off a few inches of the hair and fans it out between his fingers before laying it across the table beside me. I glance down at the Wolfman head he’s been working on and the severed limbs beyond it. It’s realistic enough that most people would probably get grossed out just looking at it, but I don’t. Once you’ve seen real blood and gore the fake stuff isn’t all that believable, no matter how good it is.

Cody leans over and grabs the TV remote off of the table. “This’ll go faster if you watch something,” he says as he turns on the TV and hands me the remote. I’m pretty sure that he’s not worried about me being bored. He’s trying to get me to stop thinking about Pioneer. The only problem is that ever since I left Mandrodage Meadows, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him. When I close my eyes he’s there. I’m back in the stable reliving the moment right after I shot him. I see the blood blooming across his dingy white shirt all over again. Sometimes I think I can even catch the coppery scent of his blood in the air. And the blood of my best friend, Marie. Pioneer slit her throat so he could “send her to be with the Brethren in a better place”. There isn’t a TV show that can compete with those memories. Still, I scan through the channels.

Suddenly, like my thoughts conjured him up, Pioneer’s face fills up the screen. It feels like my heart freezes up. He’s staring right at me. I turn up the volume.

“Alan Cross, who now calls himself Pioneer, along with his followers spent the last ten years isolated in an apocalyptic compound.”

Cody grabs the remote out of my lap—I must’ve dropped it, but I don’t remember it falling. “That’s enough of . . . ”

“No, wait! I . . . I need to see this,” I say even though part of me wants to cover my ears and squeeze my eyes shut. If I can’t deal with seeing Pioneer on a television screen how can I expect to do it in person?

Pioneer’s face fades and a new image of the hospital flashes across the screen. Gathered on the sidewalk just outside the entrance are my friends. They’re huddled together on their knees, their hands upturned towards the sky—every one of them in the exact same position. They smile at the camera. The look on their faces . . . it’s eerie how happy they seem. My stomach roils and I have to swallow to keep from gagging.

“ . . . his followers say that they will continue to show up at the hospital until Pioneer is released.”

Julie’s face fills up the screen. She grins widely at the camera. “He’s alive! Pioneer should’ve died, but he didn’t.” She looks over at Mr. Brown who is standing nearby and he beams at her.

The man holding the microphone gestures to the way she’s sitting. “You’re all kneeling. Why?”

Julie laughs, a high pitched tinkly one that sounds nothing like the laugh she does whenever she finds something truly funny. I hate it. “We kneel because we want to show Pioneer our obedience and renewed faith.”

The interviewer tries to look serious, but he’s having a hard time.

Julie looks at him and her mouth twists. Her grin turns into a smirk. “You’ll remember this moment—when you refused to see the miracle of his survival. On earth’s last day you won’t be mocking us anymore. You’ll know he was right—that you’re gonna die.”

“Totally deluded, the idiot,” Cody shakes his head angrily and taps hair onto my chin. I don’t look at him, because I don’t know what to say. I believed in Pioneer once . . . does that make me an idiot too? I bite my lip and try to focus on the screen so I won’t cry.

“ . . . they have begun to share their message publicly on YouTube through taped sermons Pioneer gave in the last ten years.”

Footage of Pioneer standing in front of our old clubhouse pops up. I suck in a breath. I can see myself in the background. This past me smiles as Pioneer walks towards her and holds out his hand. I watch as she leans her cheek into his palm. My heart starts to hurt. Even though I don’t want to, part of me misses that girl and her belief. I haven’t felt sure about anything at all since I left the Community. My mouth tastes sour and I look away, up at Cody. Has he spotted the old me?

“The end is coming isn’t it?” I watch as my parents, my friends and past me nod and clap.

Cody lets out a disgusted sigh and I stand up and lunge over the table to hit the TV’s power button, getting beard hair stuck to my shirt in the process. I slam back into my seat and hold my head in my hands. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that past me was nodding right along with everyone else . . . or the fact that present me still has an inexplicable urge to. My brain feels like it’s split in half and past me and present me haven’t decided who’s in charge yet. Maybe seeing Pioneer today is a mistake. Maybe it’ll tip the balance in past me’s favor. I start to shake, I can’t help it. I am suddenly overcome by nerves.

“We don’t have to do this, you know. I could go by myself and tell you all about it afterwards.” Cody studies my face. He touches my cheek with his fingertips. They’re warm. I move away almost by reflex. It isn’t because I don’t want him to touch me. Pioneer always told us to steer clear of Outsiders and my body still hasn’t figured out how to make disobeying him a regular habit. I guess this means that past me still has the upper hand. It makes me want to punch something.

If my recoiling from his touch bothers Cody, he doesn’t show it. Instead he picks up more hair and starts filling in my beard.

I don’t know if I should apologize or just ignore what’s just happened. After a moment of silence I choose ignoring. “I need to see him. Make sure.” I don’t finish this sentence. I’ll just sound weird. After I shot him twice in the chest, almost exactly in the heart, I was sure he would die, but he didn’t—even after lots of complications. I can’t seem to stop myself from wondering if maybe he really is what he says he is. How else could he have survived it all? If I can’t see Pioneer as a man I’ll never get rid of the part of me who still wants to believe in him.


***

Love it! If you think this series is exactly what you've been looking for, head here and grab your copy of GATED so you can get started on this fabulously chilling read soon! 

Before you head to the next stop on the Scavenger Hunt, guess what? I'm offering a bonus prize to one lucky entrant! I'll be giving away the winner's choice of a copy of DEFIANCE, the first book in my trilogy, or an advanced review copy of DELIVERANCE, the final book (comes out 8/26/14).

Simply fill out the entry form below and leave a comment on this post answering the following question: If you were the hero/heroine of a fantasy novel and you were facing a villain with an army of assassins and a fire-breathing dragon on his side, what would your weapon of choice be?

*Contest is open internationally. Winner will be drawn Monday, April 7 by 8:00 a.m. CST. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. No purchase necessary. Incomplete entries will not be considered. Please note that the entry form has 5 questions. Scroll down on the side of the entry form to answer them all.

Be sure to check out the next stop on the Hunt after the entry form!




The next stop on the Hunt is here! Go forth and scavenge!

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