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1. YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016 is Here!

YA_ScavengerHunt_WebBanner

Hi Scavengers! I’m Kristi Helvig, your hostess for this stage of the hunt and I’m so excited to be part of Team Pink:

Team Pink YASH

Make sure to read this whole post, and then enter to win an extra bonus prize by commenting below!

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 book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: Enter by Sunday, April 3rd, at noon Pacific time.

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 hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the pink 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 March 31st, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST

I’m so excited to be hosting the lovely Amy Rolland on this hunt:

Amy Rolland author pic

A. Lynden Rolland is a former high school English teacher, and she enjoys visiting classrooms, camps, and book clubs to discuss reading, writing and publishing. When she isn’t chasing her young children around town, she moonlights as a writing tutor and gymnastics instructor. Her debut novel, Of Breakable Things, was published in 2014. The sequel, Of Delicate Pieces, released last fall. You can connect with A. Lynden Rolland online through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, or Tumblr.

I loved Amy’s debut novel, Of Breakable Things, and am so excited for this awesome sequel, Of Delicate Pieces, which is on my TBR list!

Of Delicate Pieces Amy Rolland

From Amy:

Hello hunters! I hope you’re having fun with the bonus material and adding tons of books to your TBR piles! The book I’m featuring is Of Delicate Pieces, part two of my supernatural series!
When I was writing the sequel to Of Breakable Things, I wanted the reader to see more of the mind-bending magic of the afterworld. My characters live in a place where walls can breathe, where objects have personalities, and where reality is distorted. It’s beautifully haunting, but the difference between the first book and the second is that Alex, the main character, finally begins to see the imperfections. It’s the afterlife but it’s not heaven, and spirits are not angels. They’ve done horrible things which have affected the foundation of the society they’ve established.

The afterworld is its own character in the series, and my Pinterest board gives readers a taste of what I see when I’m writing.

Follow Amy’s board Of Breakable Things/ Of Delicate Pieces on Pinterest.

Thanks for being on the hunt, Amy–and those Pinterest pics are eerie and awesome! Aside from being a talented author, Amy is also super nice and recently added a sweet baby girl to her family. Hmmm…I wonder if she’ll end up with 7 children someday?

BONUS PRIZE:

TickTock_CVR front-1

Leave a comment below and enter to win a signed copy of the new speculative fiction anthology, TICK TOCK: 7 Tales of Time from Wicked Ink Books which just released 3/28/16. It features 7 sci-fi/fantasy authors, including yours truly, and shows how everything can change in a second…a minute…an hour. I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winning comment so good luck!

Make sure to continue on the hunt by visiting author Julia Embry next! Good luck to all!

 

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2. YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016 Announcement

YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016 Announcement

YA_ScavengerHunt_WebBanner

It’s coming. . . March 29th – April 3rd, 2016. It’s the YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016! You have the chance to win lots of amazing books!

Now that the authors have signed up to participate in this exciting event, we’ve put them into teams of 20 by color. There are nine teams total this round!

Check out the teams below to see which teams your favorite authors will be on and what their featured book will be.

It’s getting close folks!

YASH BLUE TEAM SPRING 2016

YASH-BLUE-TEAM-SPRING-2016-1

Eric Lindstrom
Kate Karyus Quinn
Leah Bobet
Emily Hainsworth
Sarah Ahiers
Sara B. Larson
Alyxandra Harvey
Brendan Reichs
Cate Dean
Julie Eshbaugh
Joy Preble
Ava Jae
Marissa Kennerson
Lyn Miller-Lachmann
Tobie Easton
Jodie Andrefski
Brynn Chapman
Lea Nolan
Emily Ross
Vicki L. Weavil

YASH GOLD TEAM SPRING 2016

YASH-GOLD-TEAM-SPRING-2016-768x768

Colleen Houck
Jessica Brody
Roshani Chokshi
Matthew Phillion
Livia Blackburne
Christine Fonseca
Patty Blount
Lori M. Lee
Lisa Maxwell
Gina Damico
Sarvenaz Tash
Heather Young-Nichols
Lisa Amowitz
Amalie Howard
Pintip Dunn
Carly Anne West
Julie Reece
Dhonielle Clayton
Deirdre Riordan Hall
Brenda Drake

YASH GREEN TEAM SPRING 2016

YASH-GREEN-TEAM-SPRING-2016-768x768

Dax Varley
Jenny Perinovic
Jessie Costin
Robert L. Slater
Sarah Neeve
Tanya Lisle
Katie Hayoz
L.A. Starkey
Michelle Madow
Stacy Claflin
Clara Stone
Kimberly G. Giarrantano
Marilyn Peake
Rachel Shane
T. H. Hernandez
Janet Lee Carey
Jennifer M. Eaton
Melisa Giorgio
Cheyanne Young
Lisa T. Cresswell

YASH ORANGE TEAM SPRING 2016

YASH-ORANGE-TEAM-SPRING-2016-1-768x768
Paula Stokes
Kathy MacMillan
Sarah Jude
Elle Cosimano
C.J. Redwine
Maria E. Andreu
Kathryn Holmes
Daw Kurtagich
Leah Konen
Marieke Nijkamp
Yvonne Ventresca
Melissa Gorzelanczyk
K.C. Held
Sarah J. Schmitt
Rin Chupeco
Amy Christine Parker
Kimberly Sabatini
Austin Aslan
Amy Evans
E. Katherine Kottaras

YASH PINK TEAM SPRING 2016
YASH-PINK-TEAM-SPRING-2016-1-768x768

Stephanie Keyes
Julia Ember
Christopher Mannino
Nina Rossing
Kristi Helvig
Dorothy Dreyer
Dawn Rae Miller
Emily Skrutskie
Catrina Burgess
Karen Kincy
Angela Myron
Kat Ellis
Chanda Stafford
Jessica L. Brooks
Kat Stiles
Amy McNulty
Phillip W. Simpson
Michelle K. Pickett
A. Lynden Rolland
Gillian Bronte Adams

YASH PURPLE TEAM SPRING 2016
YASH-PURPLE-TEAM-SPRING-2016

Faye Bird
Robin Constantine
Amy Allgeyer
Jolene Perry
Meredith Moore
Natasha Sinel
Caroline T. Patti
Erin E. Moulton
Jennifer Brody
Jenny Martin
Joe Beernink
Joshua McCune
Jennifer DiGiovanni
Kate Elliott
Beck Nicholas
Kassy Tayler
Lori Goldstein
Nina Berry
Michelle Levy
Debra Dockter

YASH RED TEAM SPRING 2016
YASH-RED-TEAM-SPRING-2016-768x768

Amy Plum
LH Nicole
Beth Revis
Joshua David Bellin
Kelly Hashway
Victoria Scott
Becky Wallace
Rita Arens
Vicki Leigh
Michelle Andreani/Mindi Scott
Lisa T. Bergren
Kay Honeyman
Lucy D. Briand
Evangeline Denmark
Jeff Garvin
Madeline Dyer
Christina Farley
Kimberly Derting
T. A. Maclagan
Everly Frost

YASH SILVER TEAM SPRING 2016
YASH-SILVER-TEAM-SPRING-2016-768x768

Ripley Patton
Hilary Thompson
Eliza Tilton
Delfy Hall
Annie Cosby
Michael Alan Peck
Dale Furse
Gerard O’Neill
Melanie Hooyenga
Anne Zoelle
A. G. Henley
Deidre Mapstone
Ty Drago
CK Dawn
Lisa Voisin
Kimberly Loth
Jessica Hawke
Meredith Zeitlin
B. Kristin McMichael
Shonna Slayton

YASH TEAL TEAM SPRING 2016
YASH-TEAL-TEAM-SPRING-2016-1-768x768

Adi Rule
Leo Hunt
Melanie McFarlane
Tera Lynn Childs
Wendy Higgins
Krystal Wade
Sharon Biggs Waller
Kady Cross
Lyne Matson
Liz Braswell
Cynthia Hand/Jodi Meadows/Brodi Ashton
Patricia B. Tighe
Dawn Ius
Darren Groth
Sarah Tomp
Amy K. Nichols
Emil Sher
Alexandra Sirowy
Brianna R. Shrum
Ilsa J. Bick

So authors and readers,

SAVE THE DATE March 29- April 3, 2016!

For more information go to www.yash.rocks

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3. Cover Reveal and Giveaway for Wicked Ink Books!

Happy 2016 to all! I hope the start of your year has been amazing so far. I’m so excited to share my newest book publishing adventure with you, and give you a chance to win a Wicked prize pack! This is the inaugural newsletter of Wicked Ink Books. In this issue: who we are, cover reveal, preorder link and a GIVEAWAY. Read on…

Wicked Ink Books was conceived by a group of Denver-based authors over a few glasses of wine during a writing retreat in Breckenridge, Colorado. We thought, We all write speculative fiction. Let’s publish a series of themed anthologies together.

Today, we’re thrilled to reveal the cover (by talented cover artist Steven Novak) of our 2016 anthology, TICK TOCK: SEVEN TALES OF TIME, featuring seven stories of adventure, mystery, horror and romance.

A serial killer returns years later to finish what was started, by Corinne O’Flynn.
A coffee shop offers a respite for the cursed, by Kristi Helvig.
A hangover masks the horrors of the previous night, by Rebecca Taylor.
A princess’s wedding gift comes with a price, by Sue Duff.
A locked apartment door hides a chilling secret, by Shawn McGuire.
A girl wakes up in an asylum and must survive and escape, by Wendy Terrien.
A young woman must protect the past to thwart a thief from the future, by A.G. Henley.

All it takes is a second… a minute… an hour for everything to change.

If you can’t wait another minute to have it, you don’t have to: pre-order below (paperback version coming soon!) Release date is March 28th.

Preorder Tick Tock: 7 Tales of Time

Want a chance to win a Wicked Prize Pack? A $100 Amazon Gift card and a copy of Tick Tock: 7 Tales of Time signed by all 7 Wicked Ink Authors. Do it below and best of luck!


Contest by Rewards Fuel.

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4. Why I Still Write Query Letters

Why I Still Write Query Letters

I was on an author panel at the 2015 Denver Comic Con this summer and mentioned that though I was thrilled with my agent, I missed writing query letters. Another author agreed with me, at which point mega author Jim Butcher turned to us and said “I think there’s something wrong with you.” That may very well be the case—I personally think that’s true for all writers—but I still adore queries. It’s part of why I gave away tons of free query critiques in celebration when I got my agent, and why I now offer query critiques as a service on my website.

Amalie Howard and Me

         (Author Amalie Howard and I at Denver Comic Con)

          So why do I still write a query letter before I start each book? Aside from the sheer fun of it (I’m not kidding so I guess there is something wrong with me), whether I’m writing a sequel or a standalone, the query gives me a rough outline of where I’m going and tells me whether the book has all of the elements it needs to come together. As a former panster, the query used to serve as my sole outline before diving into the actual writing. Now that I’ve incorporated a little more planning into my pants-ting, the query is still the first thing I create before I even do a general outline. A great query gives you the essence of the book and highlights the core conflict and stakes that are at risk. My editor for BURN OUT liked my query so much that he ended up using most of it as the book jacket copy. So even though I’m traditionally published, I’m starting to dabble in indie publishing (post coming soon about an exciting collaboration and new book in 2016), and a query is a great tool for creating compelling cover copy.

Also, if you’re struggling with the query, it’s a good indicator that there’s an issue with the story itself, and you’ve saved yourself a truckload of time by starting with the query rather than writing the whole book and THEN figuring out there’s a problem.

Here is the original query I sent for BURN OUT which got multiple offers from agents. It’s not perfect but incorporates the basic elements I emphasize when I provide query critiques.

 

Dear _______,

BURN OUT is a sci-fi YA complete at 60,000 words. The book can stand alone but is planned to be part of a trilogy. I hope you will consider it for representation.

When the sun begins to burn out years ahead of schedule, most people end up dead. They’re the lucky ones. Seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds, one of Earth’s last inhabitants, soon discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone—her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun—one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.

When family friend, Markus, arrives with hired guns to take the weapons by force, Tora’s fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father’s request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.     

I went on to provide a brief paragraph about myself but as I had never been published and had no awards, etc., it was very, very brief. :)

What I’m Working on Now:

After completing a short story for a cool project coming in 2016, I’m now working on a YA Thriller that I’m really excited about. And yes, I keep the query for this new manuscript open in a tab on my computer and refer back to it periodically as I’m writing. I’m still not a huge outliner, so this one page document keeps me on track and lets me know if I’m wandering too far from the main conflict. I’d love to hear from you as to whether you love queries or have a more love/hate relationship with them, and if you still write them even after you’ve published a book. If you simply want to validate that there is something wrong with me, keep that to yourself. 😉

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5. The Badass Reads Giveaway is Here!

BADASS IMAGE
20 YA AUTHORS + 25 BOOKS UP FOR GRABS =ONE BADASS SUMMER

 #BADASSREADS

The awesome (and badass) author Bethany Crandell has organized a huge summer giveaway and it is officially ON! I’ve heard from a lot from readers that they love how badass my main character Tora is from my BURN OUT series, so I was honored when Bethany asked me to participate. You can see all the books below that you can enter to win. Good luck and enter by August 31st!

7 PRIZE PACKS INCLUDING:

IT’S A MAD, MAD WORLD PRIZE PACK 

SPLINTERED, UNHINGED and *ENSNARED (*AUDIO BOOK) AG Howard 
PLUS an UNTAMED postcard w/three paragraph sneak peek!!!

 

AGAINST THE ODDS PRIZE PACK 
LANDRY PARK, Bethany Hagen
DEFY, Sara B. Larson
GATES OF THREAD AND STONE, Lori M. Lee
NIL, Lynne Matson

 

THE USUAL SUSPECTS PRIZE PACK

PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG, Anne Blankman

MURDER COMPLEX, Lindsay Cummings 

LIARS, INC., Paula Stokes (hard copy) 

 

SAND BETWEEN MY TOES PRIZE PACK

NO PLACE TO FALL, Jaye Robin Brown
SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS, Bethany Crandell 

PLAYING NICE, Rebekah Crane 
THE SUMMER AFTER YOU + ME, Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

 

GRITTY BOYS OF SUMMER PRIZE PACK 

TAP OUT, DARE ME, PRESS PLAY 
Eric Devine

 

SPELLS, SPIRITS and SWOONS, OH MY! PRIZE PACK

INTO A MILLION PIECES, Angela V. Cook
ASPEN, Rebekah Crane
THE ONE THING, Marci Lynn Curtis (hard copy) 
DAUGHTER OF CHAOS, Jen McConnel   
OF BREAKABLE THINGS, A. Lynden Rolland

 

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU PRIZE PACK

EXTRACTION, Stephanie Diaz (hard copy)

BURN OUT, Kristi Helvig
ANOMALY, Tonya Kuper

 

ALL BOOKS WILL BE SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR!

(paperback unless otherwise stated)

*Giveaway is US ONLY*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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6. Dear Teen Me

The lovely ladies, Emily and Erika, over at Dear Teen Me invited me to write a letter for their blog. For those who aren’t familiar with this awesome blog, authors write letters to their teen selves. I’m a pretty private person and it’s the most personal thing I’ve ever written (or will ever write).  Check out the link above for my letter and thanks so much to Dear Teen Me for having me over there! Happy Friday!

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7. 2015 Denver Comic Con Highlights

I can’t believe the 2015 Comic Con is over! It was super exhausting but incredibly fun. It’s not every day that Lou Ferrigno hugs you, you know? I mean, how can you not love being in a place with costumes like this:

Spaceballs

Or signing books with awesomesauce authors like Amalie Howard!

Amalie Howard and Me

Or having your kids attend their very first Comic Con!

Comic Con booth

Or being told that the Barnes & Noble booth of Comic Con sold out of your book! Luckily, they found more copies for the next day!

Barnes and Noble Booth

I was lucky enough to be on some amazing panels with authors like Dan Wells, Jim Butcher, Amalie Howard, Sherry Ficklin, Tyler Jolley, Stant Litore, Gail Wagner, DelSheree Gladden, Stephen Graham Jones, Sue Duff, and many more. I met so many fantastic people from fellow authors to fans, to fellow sci-fi nerds, and I already can’t wait for next year! But first…I need a nap. ;)

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8. 2015 Denver Comic Con Highlights

I can’t believe the 2015 Comic Con is over! It was super exhausting but incredibly fun. It’s not every day that Lou Ferrigno hugs you, you know? I mean, how can you not love being in a place with costumes like this:

Spaceballs

Or signing books with awesomesauce authors like Amalie Howard!

Amalie Howard and Me

Or having your kids attend their very first Comic Con!

Comic Con booth

Or being told that the Barnes & Noble booth of Comic Con sold out of your book! Luckily, they found more copies for the next day!

Barnes and Noble Booth

I was lucky enough to be on some amazing panels with authors like Dan Wells, Jim Butcher, Amalie Howard, Sherry Ficklin, Tyler Jolley, Stant Litore, Gail Wagner, DelSheree Gladden, Stephen Graham Jones, Sue Duff, and many more. I met so many fantastic people from fellow authors to fans, to fellow sci-fi nerds, and I already can’t wait for next year! But first…I need a nap. ;)

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9. It’s Time For #ReadorWriteAnywhere

read or write black
Summer is about to begin and I’m trying to get as much writing done as possible before the kids are out of school!

But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we should stop reading and writing. I’ve teamed up with the YA Chicks and many participating authors on a global campaign to encourage readers, writers, students, and teachers to share pictures all of the places—both ordinary and extraordinary—where they are reading and writing. This is open to all readers/writers of both middle grade and young adult books!

You can also take part in…
A MONSTER GIVEAWAY!

I’ll be giving away a copy of my new release STRANGE SKIES:

strange skies
Plus, there’s more! Every author participating in this campaign is giving away books, critiques, swag and/or Skype visits. Win a critique of your first chapter or fabulous YA books!

So are you ready?

Drum roll…

Denver Nature and Science Museum

Here are my 5 clues:
1. This place is in the capital city in Colorado.

2. There is a fabulous planetarium here which helped inspire my BURN OUT series.

3. Aside from the T-Rex in this picture, there are currently unicorns, mermaids, and dragons in this place.

4. I would normally do my writing or reading in the cafe area of this place, but the T-Rex made for a cooler picture.

5. My kiddos love coming here, and are especially captivated by the gemstone exit.

Can you guess where I am?

Once you’ve figured out where I’m reading, head over to the YA Chicks site and:

Officially enter the giveaway by inputting each author’s name and your guesses about our locations. Every author location you guess correctly increases your chances to win.
For even more chances, post a picture of yourself reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).

For writer prize packs:

Post pictures of yourself writing in a fun location on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere. Then follow the directions on the Rafflecopter giveaway to let us know you did it.
For even more chances, gather your writer friends together and post a group shot with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). And hey, since you’re already together, why not host a write-a-thon?

For teacher prize packs:
Post pictures of your class reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). Then let us know you did it when you enter the Rafflecopter. If you don’t have a Twitter or Instagram, you can email your picture directly with the picture pasted directly into the email (no attachments–we won’t open them) AND the subject, “Read or Write Anywhere.”

You can also check out the YA Chicks Read or Write Anywhere lesson plan, available on their site.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and READ OR WRITE ANYWHERE!

#ReadOrWriteAnywhere

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10. My Top 5 Fave Scenes from STRANGE SKIES

The awesomely fantabulous (yes those are words) Jaime Arnold hosted me today on her Two Chicks on Books blog where I dish on my 5 favorite scenes I wrote in STRANGE SKIES. It’s the last day to enter to win both BURN OUT & STRANGE SKIES so hurry over there!

Also, I’m still immensely grateful for the reviews coming in this week for my book. Here’s a snippet of reviews below and thank you so much for all your support. Readers rock!

“The sequel to 2014’s Burn Out proceeds at breakneck speed…ever- increasing stakes and a solid cliff-hanger ending will have thriller fans hanging on every word.” — Booklist review

“Wow! What a fantastic second book if I’ve ever read one. I loved Burn Out and Strange Skies keeps up the Sci-FI goodness that Kristi Helvig executed in the first book. It was fast paced and explosive…Kristi Helvig is definitely on my top list for authors of Sci-fi.”— Library of a Book Witch review

“An action-packed and sexy sequel to Burn Out. I can’t tell you how much I love how snarky this book is. It has really sarcastic moments that I just find charming and hilarious. If you haven’t already picked up this trilogy, do it now!” — review from Brittany’s Book Rambles

“STRANGE SKIES was a thrilling, heart-pounding sequel that you don’t want to miss…if you like thrilling dystopians with action and adventure, and a fight for survival, with an awesome cast of characters, then STRANGE SKIES should definitely be your next read, as it does not disappoint!” —Addicted Readers review

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11. My Top 5 Fave Scenes from STRANGE SKIES

The awesomely fantabulous (yes those are words) Jaime Arnold hosted me today on her Two Chicks on Books blog where I dish on my 5 favorite scenes I wrote in STRANGE SKIES. It’s the last day to enter to win both BURN OUT & STRANGE SKIES so hurry over there!

Also, I’m still immensely grateful for the reviews coming in this week for my book. Here’s a snippet of reviews below and thank you so much for all your support. Readers rock!

“The sequel to 2014’s Burn Out proceeds at breakneck speed…ever- increasing stakes and a solid cliff-hanger ending will have thriller fans hanging on every word.” — Booklist review

“Wow! What a fantastic second book if I’ve ever read one. I loved Burn Out and Strange Skies keeps up the Sci-FI goodness that Kristi Helvig executed in the first book. It was fast paced and explosive…Kristi Helvig is definitely on my top list for authors of Sci-fi.”— Library of a Book Witch review

“An action-packed and sexy sequel to Burn Out. I can’t tell you how much I love how snarky this book is. It has really sarcastic moments that I just find charming and hilarious. If you haven’t already picked up this trilogy, do it now!” — review from Brittany’s Book Rambles

“STRANGE SKIES was a thrilling, heart-pounding sequel that you don’t want to miss…if you like thrilling dystopians with action and adventure, and a fight for survival, with an awesome cast of characters, then STRANGE SKIES should definitely be your next read, as it does not disappoint!” —Addicted Readers review

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12. Strange Skies Is Here!!!!

It’s finally here!!!! You can grab a copy of STRANGE SKIES today! Where, you ask? Well, how Amazon or your fave local bookstore? Plus, if you get it today, I’m mailing you a signed bookmark…just send your addy to my contact page or email me at kristi (at) kristihelvig.com. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it, and feel free to email your thoughts when you finish—I love hearing from readers. Thanks so much for all your support! :)

strange skies

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13. Strange Skies Is Here!!!!

It’s finally here!!!! You can grab a copy of STRANGE SKIES today! Where, you ask? Well, how Amazon or your fave local bookstore? Plus, if you get it today, I’m mailing you a signed bookmark…just send your addy to my contact page or email me at kristi (at) kristihelvig.com. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it, and feel free to email your thoughts when you finish—I love hearing from readers. Thanks so much for all your support! :)

strange skies

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14. Friday Fun: Reviews of STRANGE SKIES and Giveaway!

STRANGE SKIES is out in a few days!!

excited4

The Rock Star Book Tour continues, so check out these links for a chance to win both BURN OUT & STRANGE SKIES! Beth at Curling Up With A Good Book said, “Strange Skies has everything that I love in a sequel…the introduction of new characters, continuing breath-taking romance, and unimaginable secrets that are revealed in the perfect moment.” Read the whole review and enter to win here. Over at Such a Novel Idea, I answer what I’d pack if I were leaving Earth for good (hint: you know chocolate is involved)!

Alicia at Addicted Readers says that STRANGE SKIES is “…action-packed sequel that kept me on my toes and flipping the pages faster then I could read them.”  Another review came in this week from someone who isn’t on the official tour and I have to include it here because the entire review made me smile. Brittany’s Book Rambles called STRANGE SKIES: “An action-packed and sexy sequel to Burn Out. It keeps the same fast-pace that started Tora’s journey and it seems that these characters can never catch a break. Tora continues to be a badass and I love her so much. This book is officially released in 7 days and I’m already dying for the third book.” Brittany asked me to do a Q & A over on her blog and I will do another giveaway there so stay tuned.

Over on my Facebook author page, I’m counting down to the release of STRANGE SKIES with one fun fact per day: some facts so far involve how a Matt Damon movie caused me to have to change my planet name and the song that inspired the series, so check it out for more fun facts and a giveaway next week! And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter on the right for special giveaways and news on what I’m up to next! HAPPY FRIDAY!

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15. Friday Fun: Reviews of STRANGE SKIES and Giveaway!

STRANGE SKIES is out in a few days!!

excited4

The Rock Star Book Tour continues, so check out these links for a chance to win both BURN OUT & STRANGE SKIES! Beth at Curling Up With A Good Book said, “Strange Skies has everything that I love in a sequel…the introduction of new characters, continuing breath-taking romance, and unimaginable secrets that are revealed in the perfect moment.” Read the whole review and enter to win here. Over at Such a Novel Idea, I answer what I’d pack if I were leaving Earth for good (hint: you know chocolate is involved)!

Alicia at Addicted Readers says that STRANGE SKIES is “…action-packed sequel that kept me on my toes and flipping the pages faster then I could read them.”  Another review came in this week from someone who isn’t on the official tour and I have to include it here because the entire review made me smile. Brittany’s Book Rambles called STRANGE SKIES: “An action-packed and sexy sequel to Burn Out. It keeps the same fast-pace that started Tora’s journey and it seems that these characters can never catch a break. Tora continues to be a badass and I love her so much. This book is officially released in 7 days and I’m already dying for the third book.” Brittany asked me to do a Q & A over on her blog and I will do another giveaway there so stay tuned.

Over on my Facebook author page, I’m counting down to the release of STRANGE SKIES with one fun fact per day: some facts so far involve how a Matt Damon movie caused me to have to change my planet name and the song that inspired the series, so check it out for more fun facts and a giveaway next week! And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter on the right for special giveaways and news on what I’m up to next! HAPPY FRIDAY!

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16. Rockstar Book Tours STRANGE SKIES Kick Off!

rockstar book tour

I’m so excited to announce the start of the Rockstar Book Tour for STRANGE SKIES hosted by the amazing Jaime Arnold at Two Chicks on Books. Check the link for the list of dates, and we’ll kick off today with an interview I did over at Dark Faerie Tales in which I answer how long I’d last if I were in Tora’s position (hint: not that long). Huge thanks to all the awesome bloggers who signed up to help with the release of STRANGE SKIES! Enter to win BURN OUT and STRANGE SKIES on the tour…and sign up for my newsletter for an extra chance to win a signed copy of both books!

 

 

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17. Rockstar Book Tours STRANGE SKIES Kick Off!

rockstar book tour

I’m so excited to announce the start of the Rockstar Book Tour for STRANGE SKIES hosted by the amazing Jaime Arnold at Two Chicks on Books. Check the link for the list of dates, and we’ll kick off today with an interview I did over at Dark Faerie Tales in which I answer how long I’d last if I were in Tora’s position (hint: not that long). Huge thanks to all the awesome bloggers who signed up to help with the release of STRANGE SKIES! Enter to win BURN OUT and STRANGE SKIES on the tour…and sign up for my newsletter for an extra chance to win a signed copy of both books!

 

 

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18. Countdown to STRANGE SKIES

I can’t believe it’s almost April 28th which means this:

strange skies

is almost here! I’m doing a countdown over on my Facebook author page, where I’m sharing a fun tidbit each day leading up to the release. Today, I mention a similarity I have with my main character, Tora. I’ll also be giving away prizes so check it out!

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19. Advanced Copies of STRANGE SKIES Up for Grabs

Hola!

I was originally going to do a Top 7 post this week, and I’m moving it to next week because something amazing happened today. Kat Kennedy from Cuddlebuggery organized an amazing 60+ blog tour in support of #LastListEgmont for today, March 2nd. Check out various interviews and guest posts by yours truly as well as other Egmont authors. We are blown away by the generosity and pure awesomeness of Kat and all the bloggers who participated. To highlight just a few, Jade at the BedtimeBookworm asked me the hardest part of writing a sequel, Shannon at ItStartsAtMidnight asks me what kept me (mostly) sane during the sequel drafting and she’s doing at INTERNATIONAL giveaway of STRANGE SKIES, and Erin at TheBookNut asks about my writing rituals and is also doing an INTERNATIONAL giveaway of STRANGE SKIES. If you follow me on Twitter (you are, right?), then you’ll see the other interviews and giveaways as I tweet them. Good luck and see you next week for my Top 7 post.

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20. SPRING 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors!

Hello Everyone!

I’m so excited to be part of the 2015 Scavenger Hunt and want to introduce the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors!

We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am going to be a part of #TeamTeal! The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days.

If you’ve never been a part of the hunt before you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website.

Not only will I be hiding an exclusive never-before-revealed sneak peek of STRANGE SKIES, which doesn’t release until April 28th, but I’m giving away an extra cool prize on my blog: a paperback copy of BURN OUT and an advance hardcover of STRANGE SKIES! You don’t want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days.

And now, here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up)

Blue Team 1 Pink Team

Team Gold (2)

Team Green

Team Red 1

Team Teal (2)
Team Orange

Team Purple 1

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21. Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

scavengerhunt450-1

It’s here—welcome to the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!!! 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! It ends at noon on April 5th.

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all—160 books total!! I am a part of the awesome TEAL TEAM:

Team Teal (2)

but there is also a red team, a blue team, a gold team, a green team, an orange team, a purple team, and a pink team. That’s a lot o’ books to win!

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: Somewhere in this post, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the TEAL 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 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
http://amyplumbooks.com/wp-content/themes/Amy-Book1/images/amy-events-feb2015.jpg
Today, I am hosting fabulous author, Amy Plum, on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Amy Plum is the author of DIE FOR ME, a YA series set in Paris. The first three books—DIE FOR ME, UNTIL I DIE, and IF I SHOULD DIE—are international bestsellers, and have been translated into thirteen languages. The fourth and fifth books are digital novellas, entitled DIE FOR HER and DIE ONCE MORE. Amy’s newest series is a duology: AFTER THE END and UNTIL THE BEGINNING.
Amy grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she can be found on most days either daydreaming or writing (or both) in a Parisian café.
Find out more info about Amy by checking out her website or buy Amy’s books here.
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
http://www.amyplumbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/finalcover.png

Amy Plum, international bestselling author of the Die for Me series, delivers a heart-pounding adventure perfect for fans of Michael Grant, Veronica Rossi, and Alexandra Bracken. Until the Beginning brings this duology to a stunning and captivating conclusion. Juneau has been searching for her people and for answers . . . and she is about to find both in the exhilarating sequel to After the End, which Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series and The Young Elites, called “Wonderfully riveting.”

When Juneau’s clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people’s gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles’s cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau’s people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people—and herself—Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.

Amy’s bonus material today is an exclusive interview with Miles Blackwell of AFTER THE END and UNTIL THE BEGINNING. Enjoy!
Interviewer: Hi Miles. It’s so nice to have you here today. Please take a seat and help yourself to the cookie tray, water, whatever you’d like.
Miles: Smiles broadly. Thanks for having me.
Miles takes a bottle of water and spends a few seconds perusing the offerings of the cookie tray before choosing-chocolate chocolate chip. He settles in his chair and looks around at the room, which is completely empty except for two chairs and the refreshment table.
Miles: So what is this place anyway?
Interviewer: It’s a place away from time and space. A neutral place.
Miles: Like that pure white space in the Matrix where Laurence Fishburne shows Keanu Reaves how to fight?
Interviewer: Exactly.
Miles: Looks around at the nothingness and nods. Cool.
Interviewer: In the real world, the events in AFTER THE END and UNTIL THE BEGINNING have already happened. But even I don’t know where you came from to join us today.
Miles: Starts to say something.
Interviewer: Don’t tell us. No spoilers please, even for me.
Miles: Smiles. Gotcha.
Interviewer: Okay. First question. Why do you think it is that Amy Plum’s readers are considerably less impressed with you than with Jules Marchenoir or even Vincent Delacroix from her DIE FOR ME series?
Miles: Stares at interviewer. Excuse me?
Interviewer: Ignores his astonishment and looks down at notes. I have a few examples here from Goodreads, if you’d like. Let’s see: Jenna says, “JULES! Ma chérie. Mon amour! Your heart needs fixing and maybe I can help!”
CrazyBookReader says, “I looove Jules!!!! Like a lot!! If Kate doesn’t want him, can I have him??”
Bungle Midnight Reads says, “Oh Jules! How I love thee, let me count the ways.”
Interviewer looks up at Miles, who sits there dumbfounded. Interviewer looks back down at her notes.
As for Vincent, Janel says, “Vincent is so romantic!!!” Interviewer looks up at Miles. That was with three exclamation points.
Noel says, “VINCENT!!!!” This time with four exclamation points. “He’s so amazing! Plus he’s SMEXY!”
Miles: Gobsmacked. What the hell is SMEXY?
Interviwer: Disregards Miles’s comment and continues. Inger says, “Vincent is so perfect! I mean come on! Vincent All The Way!!”
Miles: Shifts uncomfortably in his chair. Okay, enough examples. I get it.
Interviewer: As for you, let’s see…Brandi of Brandi Breathes Books says, “I didn’t connect with Miles, he didn’t show me his heart or anything to make me relate to him…”
Miles: Interrupts. Holy crap! Has no one ever heard of character growth? There are TWO BOOKS. Count ‘em. TWO. And honestly, I’m happy that Amy didn’t make me perfectly loveable from the very first chapter. My excuses to Vincent and Jules, but THAT’S JUST NOT REALISTIC. Actually no excuses at all to Vincent and Jules. Those guys can keep going around showing their hearts and being all relatable. I’m fine being myself. Takes a big bite of cookie.
Interviewer: Okay, how about this one? Tabitha of Bows & Bullets Reviews says, “Miles is a normal dickheaded teenage boy. He’s done some stupid things and is altogether too cocky for his own good, but he’s a good guy, hiding deep (very deep) under that asshole exterior.”
Miles: Chokes on cookie and starts coughing.
Interviewer: Walks over to hit him on the back and hands him his bottle. Are you okay?
Miles: Takes a long swig of water and clears his throat. Interviewer returns to her seat. Miles leans over to catch his breath and ruffles his hair back with one hand before looking up at the Interviewer. So this is a place out of time and space where you can toss any old offensive quotes at your interviewee without shame?
Interviewer: Smiles. Yes.
Miles: Shakes his head in dismay. Okay. First of all, those guys are French. Which gives them automatic sex appeal. I’m sure they totally play up those stupid accents and do all sorts of Frenchie things like complimenting girls on their clothes and spouting pretty words and romantic poetry and giving them flowers at every possible occasion. But get them off the pages when the author’s not looking, and I’m sure they leave their dirty underwear lying around on the floor and don’t replace the toilet roll and have farting competitions or whatever.
Interviewer: Do you leave your dirty underwear lying around on the floor?
Miles: Never. Crosses arms. Looks intently at cookie plate.
Interviewer: So you think readers prefer these guys to you because they’re French and the author made them unrealistically romantic.
Miles: Well, that’s a starter. But also, Amy made them perfect from page one. Okay, maybe not perfect, but …how would you say it in romance book terminology? “An element of sexy dangerousness?” “Flawed in a way that makes the readers’ hearts melt?” To be quite honest, I agree with Tabitha. When AFTER THE END starts, I’m a bit of a shit. Lifts hand to mouth. Am I allowed to say shit in a YA interview?
Interviewer: I think Tabitha already burst the clean-interview bubble with her colorful review. Plus I’m against censorship. Say anything you want.
Miles: Smiles, relieved. Cool. Okay. It’s not like it was my choice or anything, but Amy Plum just happened to start the book when I was at my least charming. Which totally puts me at a disadvantage when you weigh me against those French zombie guys.
Interviewer: Are you, Miles Blackwell, comfortable using the word zombie in a negative sense? Stares at him intensely.
Miles: Didn’t you just specify no spoilers?
Interviewer: Sly smile. I stand corrected.
Miles: So anyway, when the first book starts, I’m getting kicked out of school just months before graduation.
Interviewer: Would you like to tell us why?
Miles: Sheesh! Don’t hold back with the hard questions.
Interviewer: I won’t. Thanks.
Miles: Fine. I had been ‘behaving badly,’ as the school faculty put it. Brought alcohol and drugs to school. Drugs being pot, okay? Not like crack or anything.
Interview: Bringing illegal substances to school.
Miles: Yes. And then I cheated on an exam. And all that together got me kicked out. So my dad forced me to work in the mailroom at his pharmaceutical company as a kind of punishment, and when the book begins I’m doing that and spending the rest of my time playing video games since I’m banned from leaving the house besides for work.
Interviewer: I agree. Couch potato? Mailroom job? That’s not a very sexy way to start a book series.
Miles: Right?
Interviewer: So why don’t we skip ahead a bit, and you can tell us how you met Juneau.
Miles: Oh, come on!
Interviewer: This is your opportunity to prove yourself, like I said. So just be honest.
Miles: Okay. Speaking really quickly. I tried to kidnap her in order to impress my dad who had his men out searching for her.
Interviewer: That is honest. But I’m afraid it’s not helping your case much.
Miles: I said I TRIED to kidnap her. And then I got to know her. And I changed my mind and ended up playing chauffeur as she had me drive her halfway across the United States with her pet raven, who by the way shat in my back seat. Not that I haven’t forgiven him, but still…
Interviewer: Okay. Let’s back up a step. What is up with all this bad behavior? I have to say, at this point I’m siding with Brandi. I wouldn’t be relating to you much either.
Miles: You know what it’s like to be an eighteen-year-old guy?
Interviewer: No, I don’t. Points to chest with pen. Boobs.
Miles: You can say boobs in a YA interview?
Interviewer: I can. Being the owner of said boobs.
Miles: Looks embarrassed. Okay. Let’s stay away from body part conversations. You’ll have to take my word for it. Being an eighteen-year-old guy is hard enough. And before you say it…I know Vincent and Jules are the same age as I. But you see…they really AREN’T. They’re really like a century old, which is freaking weird…
Interviewer: Raises eyebrow. Is there a reason you feel so strongly about the topic of immortality?
Miles: Mimics Interviewer’s eyebrow-raising move. Spoilers.
Interviewer: Shrugs. Touché.
Miles: What I mean is, those guys had decades to learn about life. To understand who they are. To come to terms with their place in the world. I’ve had eighteen freaking years, and the last two were spent alone with a father who cares more about his work than his family.
Interviewer: What happened two years ago?
Miles: Suddenly looks like a vulnerable little boy. Speaking in a voice so low it’s almost a whisper: That’s when my mom abandoned us after trying to kill herself. Lowers his head to cradle it in his hands.
Interviewer: Is silent for a while. That sheds a different light on your…behavior.
Miles: Wipes his eyes. Looks back up. Takes a sip of water. Sighs. Listen. I’m not looking for pity here. Just saying I was in a completely different situation than they were. Anyway, there I was at the beginning of Book 1 wallowing around in my suck-filled life when suddenly I find myself with this girl who is unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. At first I think she’s crazy. And then she infers that she’s magic or something and I KNOW she’s crazy. And then she tells me her own messed-up story and I feel a bit bad for her and I let down my guard. And then she drugs me, makes out with me, reads my mind, and steals my car.
Interviewer: I’d like to just clarify something in that timeline. You were not, in fact, under the influence of the oracle drug she gave you when you initiated that make-out session in the tent.
Miles: Hesitates. No. Not officially.
Interviewer: Good. I’m glad that’s clear.
Miles: The only reason I’m telling you this is to explain that we had a rough beginning. But then things happened. And I began to see Juneau for who she really is.
Interviewer: Which is?
Miles: Blows out puff of breath, and then looks interviewer straight in the eye. Juneau is one of the strongest people I know. She has an almost suicidal sense of loyalty and responsibility toward those she loves. She is magic. Or not really magic…it’s this whole earth magic, Yara, communicating with nature thing that she has a gift for.
But that isn’t even slightly the most important thing about her. She is like…
Miles looks around the room, as if searching for words, finds them, and then puts the stare back on the Interviewer. Juneau is like a force of nature. She swept me off my feet, pulled me along in her wake, and forced me look at myself for who I really was. She made me decide whether I was going to choose to use the strength inside me—strength I didn’t even know was there—to become a force for good like her, or wimp out and return to my sad little chicken-shit life.
 Interviewer: And you chose…?
Miles: Are we talking seriously now, or is this still just a lighthearted YA interview about book boyfriends?
Interviewer: At this point, I couldn’t be more serious.
Miles: Sits straight up in his chair, and suddenly he no longer looks like the typical swoony teenage boy. He drops his casual act and there’s something almost noble about him. Okay, then. Look me in the eyes and tell me how you think I chose.
Interviewer: For once, speechless.
Miles: A corner of his lips rises slightly, and there is a light in his eyes that wasn’t there before. Of course I could tell you. But that would be a spoiler.
Interviewer: No, no. I think it’s pretty clear. Can I ask one last question?
Miles: Shoot.
Interviewer: Puts her pen and pad down on the floor and leans in toward him. Do you consider yourself a man in love?
Miles: Gives a cryptic smile and then stands up. I’d love to stay and chat, but there’s someone I need to get back to. Starts to leave. Then stops and turns back to face the Interviewer. No, wait. I’m going to answer that question.
He looks down at his feet, takes a deep breath, and looks back up at the Interviewer. When I wake up my first thought is of her. Every moment I spend with her seems like a gift. One I don’t deserve, but one I would fight to keep. I spend my time thinking of ways to make her happy. When I make her smile, I feel like I’ve flipped the switch that turns the stars on. And when I make her laugh, it’s like I singlehandedly created springtime.
Interviewer: Picks jaw up off the floor. Clears throat, and presses hand hard against chest in order to speak. Miles Blackwell, what was that you were saying before about the French having an unfair advantage by using pretty words? Because that sounded suspiciously like poetry to me.
Miles: Opens a door that suddenly appears, and turns to face the Interviewer with a good-natured grin. I’m ready to take on those French ladies’ men any time they want. As far as I’m concerned, Vincent and Jules, it’s time to bring it. We’ll let the readers decide who’s the best man.

Thanks, Amy…and Miles. :) Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Amy Plum, and more! Oh, did I mention yet that I love Cadbury mini-eggs SO much that I could eat 11 of them at once? Anyway, I digress—add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the TEAL team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize! And check below for an extra contest where I’m giving away a signed paperback of my YA sci-fi novel BURN OUT, plus a signed hardcover of the upcoming sequel, STRANGE SKIES!

CONTINUE THE HUNT
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Page Morgan!
Extra giveaway: Enter here for an extra prize of signed copies of both books in my YA sci-fi series, BURN OUT and STRANGE SKIES!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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22. Countdown to STRANGE SKIES

I can’t believe it’s almost April 28th which means this:

strange skies

is almost here! I’m doing a countdown over on my Facebook author page, where I’m sharing a fun tidbit each day leading up to the release. Today, I mention a similarity I have with my main character, Tora. I’ll also be giving away prizes so check it out!

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23. Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

scavengerhunt450-1

It’s here—welcome to the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!!! 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! It ends at noon on April 5th.

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all—160 books total!! I am a part of the awesome TEAL TEAM:

Team Teal (2)

but there is also a red team, a blue team, a gold team, a green team, an orange team, a purple team, and a pink team. That’s a lot o’ books to win!

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: Somewhere in this post, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the TEAL 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 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
http://amyplumbooks.com/wp-content/themes/Amy-Book1/images/amy-events-feb2015.jpg
Today, I am hosting fabulous author, Amy Plum, on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Amy Plum is the author of DIE FOR ME, a YA series set in Paris. The first three books—DIE FOR ME, UNTIL I DIE, and IF I SHOULD DIE—are international bestsellers, and have been translated into thirteen languages. The fourth and fifth books are digital novellas, entitled DIE FOR HER and DIE ONCE MORE. Amy’s newest series is a duology: AFTER THE END and UNTIL THE BEGINNING.
Amy grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she can be found on most days either daydreaming or writing (or both) in a Parisian café.
Find out more info about Amy by checking out her website or buy Amy’s books here.
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
http://www.amyplumbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/finalcover.png

Amy Plum, international bestselling author of the Die for Me series, delivers a heart-pounding adventure perfect for fans of Michael Grant, Veronica Rossi, and Alexandra Bracken. Until the Beginning brings this duology to a stunning and captivating conclusion. Juneau has been searching for her people and for answers . . . and she is about to find both in the exhilarating sequel to After the End, which Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series and The Young Elites, called “Wonderfully riveting.”

When Juneau’s clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people’s gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles’s cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau’s people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people—and herself—Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.

Amy’s bonus material today is an exclusive interview with Miles Blackwell of AFTER THE END and UNTIL THE BEGINNING. Enjoy!
Interviewer: Hi Miles. It’s so nice to have you here today. Please take a seat and help yourself to the cookie tray, water, whatever you’d like.
Miles: Smiles broadly. Thanks for having me.
Miles takes a bottle of water and spends a few seconds perusing the offerings of the cookie tray before choosing-chocolate chocolate chip. He settles in his chair and looks around at the room, which is completely empty except for two chairs and the refreshment table.
Miles: So what is this place anyway?
Interviewer: It’s a place away from time and space. A neutral place.
Miles: Like that pure white space in the Matrix where Laurence Fishburne shows Keanu Reaves how to fight?
Interviewer: Exactly.
Miles: Looks around at the nothingness and nods. Cool.
Interviewer: In the real world, the events in AFTER THE END and UNTIL THE BEGINNING have already happened. But even I don’t know where you came from to join us today.
Miles: Starts to say something.
Interviewer: Don’t tell us. No spoilers please, even for me.
Miles: Smiles. Gotcha.
Interviewer: Okay. First question. Why do you think it is that Amy Plum’s readers are considerably less impressed with you than with Jules Marchenoir or even Vincent Delacroix from her DIE FOR ME series?
Miles: Stares at interviewer. Excuse me?
Interviewer: Ignores his astonishment and looks down at notes. I have a few examples here from Goodreads, if you’d like. Let’s see: Jenna says, “JULES! Ma chérie. Mon amour! Your heart needs fixing and maybe I can help!”
CrazyBookReader says, “I looove Jules!!!! Like a lot!! If Kate doesn’t want him, can I have him??”
Bungle Midnight Reads says, “Oh Jules! How I love thee, let me count the ways.”
Interviewer looks up at Miles, who sits there dumbfounded. Interviewer looks back down at her notes.
As for Vincent, Janel says, “Vincent is so romantic!!!” Interviewer looks up at Miles. That was with three exclamation points.
Noel says, “VINCENT!!!!” This time with four exclamation points. “He’s so amazing! Plus he’s SMEXY!”
Miles: Gobsmacked. What the hell is SMEXY?
Interviwer: Disregards Miles’s comment and continues. Inger says, “Vincent is so perfect! I mean come on! Vincent All The Way!!”
Miles: Shifts uncomfortably in his chair. Okay, enough examples. I get it.
Interviewer: As for you, let’s see…Brandi of Brandi Breathes Books says, “I didn’t connect with Miles, he didn’t show me his heart or anything to make me relate to him…”
Miles: Interrupts. Holy crap! Has no one ever heard of character growth? There are TWO BOOKS. Count ‘em. TWO. And honestly, I’m happy that Amy didn’t make me perfectly loveable from the very first chapter. My excuses to Vincent and Jules, but THAT’S JUST NOT REALISTIC. Actually no excuses at all to Vincent and Jules. Those guys can keep going around showing their hearts and being all relatable. I’m fine being myself. Takes a big bite of cookie.
Interviewer: Okay, how about this one? Tabitha of Bows & Bullets Reviews says, “Miles is a normal dickheaded teenage boy. He’s done some stupid things and is altogether too cocky for his own good, but he’s a good guy, hiding deep (very deep) under that asshole exterior.”
Miles: Chokes on cookie and starts coughing.
Interviewer: Walks over to hit him on the back and hands him his bottle. Are you okay?
Miles: Takes a long swig of water and clears his throat. Interviewer returns to her seat. Miles leans over to catch his breath and ruffles his hair back with one hand before looking up at the Interviewer. So this is a place out of time and space where you can toss any old offensive quotes at your interviewee without shame?
Interviewer: Smiles. Yes.
Miles: Shakes his head in dismay. Okay. First of all, those guys are French. Which gives them automatic sex appeal. I’m sure they totally play up those stupid accents and do all sorts of Frenchie things like complimenting girls on their clothes and spouting pretty words and romantic poetry and giving them flowers at every possible occasion. But get them off the pages when the author’s not looking, and I’m sure they leave their dirty underwear lying around on the floor and don’t replace the toilet roll and have farting competitions or whatever.
Interviewer: Do you leave your dirty underwear lying around on the floor?
Miles: Never. Crosses arms. Looks intently at cookie plate.
Interviewer: So you think readers prefer these guys to you because they’re French and the author made them unrealistically romantic.
Miles: Well, that’s a starter. But also, Amy made them perfect from page one. Okay, maybe not perfect, but …how would you say it in romance book terminology? “An element of sexy dangerousness?” “Flawed in a way that makes the readers’ hearts melt?” To be quite honest, I agree with Tabitha. When AFTER THE END starts, I’m a bit of a shit. Lifts hand to mouth. Am I allowed to say shit in a YA interview?
Interviewer: I think Tabitha already burst the clean-interview bubble with her colorful review. Plus I’m against censorship. Say anything you want.
Miles: Smiles, relieved. Cool. Okay. It’s not like it was my choice or anything, but Amy Plum just happened to start the book when I was at my least charming. Which totally puts me at a disadvantage when you weigh me against those French zombie guys.
Interviewer: Are you, Miles Blackwell, comfortable using the word zombie in a negative sense? Stares at him intensely.
Miles: Didn’t you just specify no spoilers?
Interviewer: Sly smile. I stand corrected.
Miles: So anyway, when the first book starts, I’m getting kicked out of school just months before graduation.
Interviewer: Would you like to tell us why?
Miles: Sheesh! Don’t hold back with the hard questions.
Interviewer: I won’t. Thanks.
Miles: Fine. I had been ‘behaving badly,’ as the school faculty put it. Brought alcohol and drugs to school. Drugs being pot, okay? Not like crack or anything.
Interview: Bringing illegal substances to school.
Miles: Yes. And then I cheated on an exam. And all that together got me kicked out. So my dad forced me to work in the mailroom at his pharmaceutical company as a kind of punishment, and when the book begins I’m doing that and spending the rest of my time playing video games since I’m banned from leaving the house besides for work.
Interviewer: I agree. Couch potato? Mailroom job? That’s not a very sexy way to start a book series.
Miles: Right?
Interviewer: So why don’t we skip ahead a bit, and you can tell us how you met Juneau.
Miles: Oh, come on!
Interviewer: This is your opportunity to prove yourself, like I said. So just be honest.
Miles: Okay. Speaking really quickly. I tried to kidnap her in order to impress my dad who had his men out searching for her.
Interviewer: That is honest. But I’m afraid it’s not helping your case much.
Miles: I said I TRIED to kidnap her. And then I got to know her. And I changed my mind and ended up playing chauffeur as she had me drive her halfway across the United States with her pet raven, who by the way shat in my back seat. Not that I haven’t forgiven him, but still…
Interviewer: Okay. Let’s back up a step. What is up with all this bad behavior? I have to say, at this point I’m siding with Brandi. I wouldn’t be relating to you much either.
Miles: You know what it’s like to be an eighteen-year-old guy?
Interviewer: No, I don’t. Points to chest with pen. Boobs.
Miles: You can say boobs in a YA interview?
Interviewer: I can. Being the owner of said boobs.
Miles: Looks embarrassed. Okay. Let’s stay away from body part conversations. You’ll have to take my word for it. Being an eighteen-year-old guy is hard enough. And before you say it…I know Vincent and Jules are the same age as I. But you see…they really AREN’T. They’re really like a century old, which is freaking weird…
Interviewer: Raises eyebrow. Is there a reason you feel so strongly about the topic of immortality?
Miles: Mimics Interviewer’s eyebrow-raising move. Spoilers.
Interviewer: Shrugs. Touché.
Miles: What I mean is, those guys had decades to learn about life. To understand who they are. To come to terms with their place in the world. I’ve had eighteen freaking years, and the last two were spent alone with a father who cares more about his work than his family.
Interviewer: What happened two years ago?
Miles: Suddenly looks like a vulnerable little boy. Speaking in a voice so low it’s almost a whisper: That’s when my mom abandoned us after trying to kill herself. Lowers his head to cradle it in his hands.
Interviewer: Is silent for a while. That sheds a different light on your…behavior.
Miles: Wipes his eyes. Looks back up. Takes a sip of water. Sighs. Listen. I’m not looking for pity here. Just saying I was in a completely different situation than they were. Anyway, there I was at the beginning of Book 1 wallowing around in my suck-filled life when suddenly I find myself with this girl who is unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. At first I think she’s crazy. And then she infers that she’s magic or something and I KNOW she’s crazy. And then she tells me her own messed-up story and I feel a bit bad for her and I let down my guard. And then she drugs me, makes out with me, reads my mind, and steals my car.
Interviewer: I’d like to just clarify something in that timeline. You were not, in fact, under the influence of the oracle drug she gave you when you initiated that make-out session in the tent.
Miles: Hesitates. No. Not officially.
Interviewer: Good. I’m glad that’s clear.
Miles: The only reason I’m telling you this is to explain that we had a rough beginning. But then things happened. And I began to see Juneau for who she really is.
Interviewer: Which is?
Miles: Blows out puff of breath, and then looks interviewer straight in the eye. Juneau is one of the strongest people I know. She has an almost suicidal sense of loyalty and responsibility toward those she loves. She is magic. Or not really magic…it’s this whole earth magic, Yara, communicating with nature thing that she has a gift for.
But that isn’t even slightly the most important thing about her. She is like…
Miles looks around the room, as if searching for words, finds them, and then puts the stare back on the Interviewer. Juneau is like a force of nature. She swept me off my feet, pulled me along in her wake, and forced me look at myself for who I really was. She made me decide whether I was going to choose to use the strength inside me—strength I didn’t even know was there—to become a force for good like her, or wimp out and return to my sad little chicken-shit life.
 Interviewer: And you chose…?
Miles: Are we talking seriously now, or is this still just a lighthearted YA interview about book boyfriends?
Interviewer: At this point, I couldn’t be more serious.
Miles: Sits straight up in his chair, and suddenly he no longer looks like the typical swoony teenage boy. He drops his casual act and there’s something almost noble about him. Okay, then. Look me in the eyes and tell me how you think I chose.
Interviewer: For once, speechless.
Miles: A corner of his lips rises slightly, and there is a light in his eyes that wasn’t there before. Of course I could tell you. But that would be a spoiler.
Interviewer: No, no. I think it’s pretty clear. Can I ask one last question?
Miles: Shoot.
Interviewer: Puts her pen and pad down on the floor and leans in toward him. Do you consider yourself a man in love?
Miles: Gives a cryptic smile and then stands up. I’d love to stay and chat, but there’s someone I need to get back to. Starts to leave. Then stops and turns back to face the Interviewer. No, wait. I’m going to answer that question.
He looks down at his feet, takes a deep breath, and looks back up at the Interviewer. When I wake up my first thought is of her. Every moment I spend with her seems like a gift. One I don’t deserve, but one I would fight to keep. I spend my time thinking of ways to make her happy. When I make her smile, I feel like I’ve flipped the switch that turns the stars on. And when I make her laugh, it’s like I singlehandedly created springtime.
Interviewer: Picks jaw up off the floor. Clears throat, and presses hand hard against chest in order to speak. Miles Blackwell, what was that you were saying before about the French having an unfair advantage by using pretty words? Because that sounded suspiciously like poetry to me.
Miles: Opens a door that suddenly appears, and turns to face the Interviewer with a good-natured grin. I’m ready to take on those French ladies’ men any time they want. As far as I’m concerned, Vincent and Jules, it’s time to bring it. We’ll let the readers decide who’s the best man.

Thanks, Amy…and Miles. :) Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Amy Plum, and more! Oh, did I mention yet that I love Cadbury mini-eggs SO much that I could eat 11 of them at once? Anyway, I digress—add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the TEAL team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize! And check below for an extra contest where I’m giving away a signed paperback of my YA sci-fi novel BURN OUT, plus a signed hardcover of the upcoming sequel, STRANGE SKIES!

CONTINUE THE HUNT
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Page Morgan!
Extra giveaway: Enter here for an extra prize of signed copies of both books in my YA sci-fi series, BURN OUT and STRANGE SKIES!

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24. SPRING 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors!

Hello Everyone!

I’m so excited to be part of the 2015 Scavenger Hunt and want to introduce the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors!

We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am going to be a part of #TeamTeal! The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days.

If you’ve never been a part of the hunt before you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website.

Not only will I be hiding an exclusive never-before-revealed sneak peek of STRANGE SKIES, which doesn’t release until April 28th, but I’m giving away an extra cool prize on my blog: a paperback copy of BURN OUT and an advance hardcover of STRANGE SKIES! You don’t want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days.

And now, here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up)

Blue Team 1 Pink Team

Team Gold (2)

Team Green

Team Red 1

Team Teal (2)
Team Orange

Team Purple 1

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25. Advanced Copies of STRANGE SKIES Up for Grabs

Hola!

I was originally going to do a Top 7 post this week, and I’m moving it to next week because something amazing happened today. Kat Kennedy from Cuddlebuggery organized an amazing 60+ blog tour in support of #LastListEgmont for today, March 2nd. Check out various interviews and guest posts by yours truly as well as other Egmont authors. We are blown away by the generosity and pure awesomeness of Kat and all the bloggers who participated. To highlight just a few, Jade at the BedtimeBookworm asked me the hardest part of writing a sequel, Shannon at ItStartsAtMidnight asks me what kept me (mostly) sane during the sequel drafting and she’s doing at INTERNATIONAL giveaway of STRANGE SKIES, and Erin at TheBookNut asks about my writing rituals and is also doing an INTERNATIONAL giveaway of STRANGE SKIES. If you follow me on Twitter (you are, right?), then you’ll see the other interviews and giveaways as I tweet them. Good luck and see you next week for my Top 7 post.

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