YA Scavenger Hunt: Go, GREEN! Go!

YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 2016 banner

Edited 4/4/16 – This hunt has ended. Thanks for participating!

Today kicks off the Fall 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt, and there are tons of great prizes to be won. You decide how much effort to put into it, but the rewards will definitely be commensurate with the time you spend visiting various sites and gathering clues.

There are six teams: REDBLUE, GOLD, GREEN, ORANGE, & PURPLE.

YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 2016 Green Team logo

I’m on the GREEN team this time around.
If at any point, you get stuck, check out the How to Hunt page for help.

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! 

YA Scavenger Hunt Green Team

But play fast: this contest will only be online for 5 days!

There are six contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! Either way, it’s up to you. Pretty exciting stuff, right?

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GREEN TEAM and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday October 9th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

I have the pleasure of hosting the talented Paula Stokes.  Let’s get to know her better before I show you the good stuff, okay?


About Paula, in her own words:

Paula StokesHey, I’m Paula. I write stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions.

I got my start writing historical novels for a book development company. Then I wrote a fluffy YA romantic comedy called THE ART OF LAINEY. After that, I wrote a dark and twisty mystery called LIARS, INC. Those two books sold to the good people at HarperTeen, and since then I’ve finished another totally different story called VICARIOUS, which sold as a duology to Tor Teen. Mixing it up keeps things interesting for me. I’ve got seven books out and another four on the way.

In addition to being a writer, I’m also an RN, online instructor, and freelance manuscript consultant. Last year I worked with over 30 clients at Manuscript Critique Services and I’m hoping to work with even more this year.

When I’m not working (rare), I’m kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. I’ve petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant’s trunk as it ate peanuts from my palm. My future goals include diving with great white sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

About VICARIOUS:

Vicarious by Paula StokesWinter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States. But they’ve escaped the past and started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be.

Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you, for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

BONUS CONTENT!

Now, let’s get to Paula’s bonus content. You lucky readers get to check out this exclusive cover reveal of FEROCIOUS:

Intro from Paula Stokes:

I’m super-psyched to share the cover for FEROCIOUS, the sequel to VICARIOUS. I love how this cover keeps the dark and ominous feel of the first cover with the explosion of color across the middle. I love the tiny details, like Winter’s snowflake necklace. Most of all I love the way Winter looks here–focused, determined, fierce.

Ferocious by Paula Stokes

***

KEEP PLAYING

Don’t stop playing! To continue hunting for clues and reading more exciting, exclusive content, click over to Sona Charaipotra’s site. I know she has some delicious goodies waiting.

Finally, this post has been sponsored by the number 88 . (Psst. This is an important clue. Remember it!)

Big Mortal Danger Winners!

First off, congratulations! And thanks to everyone who participated. I hope it was fun. 

Olivia Campbell –  trip or laptop

 Mighta Zerie Nolasco –  manuscript critique

Zairah Divino – flash drive

Lea Krnjeta – branded compact

Lina G – Skype chat

Alyssa Susanna – signed Fierce Reads book prize package

Arnie Arce – movie poster

Chelle Pike – infinity symbol necklace

You can contact me with your shipping information using the link on my contact page. If you don’t get in touch by August 26th, we will draw for a new winner. In the event a grand prize goes unclaimed, then it will be awarded to the next hardest-working person on the roster. 

Let It Go Day

I’m excited to tell you all about an event I’m putting together in conjunction with Harlequin, called Let It Go Day. #LetItGo

In I WANT IT THAT WAY, Ty has to let go of old pain in order to embrace happiness and open his heart to love. We all have past baggage that makes it hard to move forward. So in honor of this, we’ll be celebrating his freedom on September 3rd. 

I invite all my readers (and other authors) to participate by letting go of painful memories and reaffirming your freedom. I can’t wait for the excitement on September 3rd and I hope you’re up for it as well. Right now I can’t share all the details but I hope it’ll be a great, empowering day.LetItGoTeaser

RWA

It was an amazingly awesome conference, probably the best I’ve had so far, but my expectations are pretty high for NYC. So I say “so far” with great foresight.

I hung out with lots of cool people, didn’t see some people as often as I’d like. Altogether, the conference went amazingly well, considering how fast the board put it together.

I’m now in Alabama, doing a writer’s retreat. And that’s going very well. I might actually survive the summer… and all the incipient deadlines. It’s super hot, here, though, so I don’t want to leave the aircon. How are y’all keeping cool?

Sexy back cover copy

[FRONT COVER:]

Sometimes the past can’t be buried….

Hell Fire

A Corine Solomon Novel

Ann Aguirre

National Bestselling Author of Blue Diablo

“I can’t wait to see what [Ann Aguirre] comes up with next.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs

[SPINE:]

National Bestselling Author

Hell Fire

A Corine Solomon Novel

Ann Aguirre

[BACK COVER:]

I’m still a redhead. Before we left Texas, I touched up the roots with Garnier Nutrisse 64-R, and then I had some tawny apricot highlights put in. I guessed that meant I intended to keep this color for a while. Symbolic—I’d made a commitment, at least to my hair.

As a handler, Corine Solomon can touch any object and know its history. It’s too bad she can’t seem to forget her own. With her ex-boyfriend Chance in tow—lending his particularly supernatural brand of luck—Corine journeys back home to Kilmer, Georgia, in order to discover the truth behind her mother’s death and the origins of her “gift.”

But while trying to uncover the secrets in her past, Corine and Chance find that something is rotten in the state of Georgia. Just a few miles away, no one seems to know Kilmer exists. And inside the town borders there are signs of a dark curse affecting the town and all its residents—and it can only be satisfied with death…


Praise for Blue Diablo

“An authentic Southwestern-flavored feast, filled with magic, revenge, and romance, spiced with memorable characters and page-turning action. ¡Muy caliente!”—New York Times Bestselling Author Rachel Caine

“Gritty, steamy, and altogether wonderful urban fantasy.”

—#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Patricia Briggs

“Fast-paced and entertaining.”—Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine

[FRONT SALES – page 1 of 1]

Praise for Blue Diablo

“Ann Aguirre proves herself yet again in this gritty, steamy and altogether wonderful urban fantasy. Outstanding and delicious. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs

“An authentic Southwestern-flavored feast, filled with magic, revenge, and romance, spiced with memorable characters and page-turning action. ¡Muy caliente!”—New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine

“Corine has a great narrative voice—snappy and full of interesting observations on everything around her… [Blue Diablo is] fast-paced and entertaining.”—Charles de Lint, Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine

“The fast and furious pace combined with interesting characters, powerful antagonists and the promise of romance make for a strong first entry in the series.”—Monsters and Critics

“Ms. Aguirre plunges readers into a fast-paced tale where her human characters are enhanced by their extraordinary gifts. Blue Diablo delivers a strong start to the series with a well-defined heroine, intriguing paranormal elements and an emotion filled romance.”—Darque Reviews

“Rising star Aguirre moves from outer space to the Southwest in this new first-person series. With murder, magic and romance, this is an enticingly dangerous journey. Don’t miss out!”—Romantic Times

“The first Corine Solomon urban detective fantasy is a great tale filled with magic, paranormal powers, demons and spirits bound to the necro. The heat between the lead couple is palpable…This is an enthralling romantic urban fantasy.”—Midwest Book Review

And that’s how the book will read. Now we just need art! So what do you guys think?

I feel a serious post coming on

I was just reading some commentary wherein someone said, “White people shouldn’t write X minority.” That’s paraphrased, of course, and simplified, but it’s not the first time I’ve heard that sentiment. I’ve also heard writers express the opinion that they’re afraid to write X minority because they’re afraid of getting it wrong.

Well, hello, Sword of Damocles–aren’t you precious perched above my neck? But that’s okay; I’m going to dare your wrath anyhow.

I disagree with both opinions above, and this is why. You see, assuming that a minority must exhibit certain traits? That’s racial profiling. If these people are fictional, they are my inventions, and if they are my inventions, they cannot possibly be wrong. Do you see how that tracks logically? When I wrote Chance as half-Korean / half-other (and no, I’m not telling you who his daddy is. You must keep reading the series to find out his secret, and OMG, it’s GOOD), he does not come with a packet of pre-existing qualities, like he’s good at math, or a bad driver, or whatever other stereotypes may be. He’s not merely a character of Asian descent; he’s a person. Likewise, I have people of Hispanic ethnicity. That doesn’t mean they all wear hairnets and drive restored El Caminos. I’m not into racial profiling. And sure, some people may find my characters differ from their personal experiences, but I am not attempting to capture the essential (insert minority) experience. I put forth that background, geographic location, and socio-economic status all impact the kind of experience any person has, which contributes to character and development.

For example, my husband was educated in a British-run school system. Therefore, he speaks English with a mild British accent. He lived in LA for many years, so the accent wore nearly away, but the accent is still clear on many words. And he’s Mexican. He is. You would be amazed how many people ask me if he’s a drug dealer. Because clearly since he’s Mexican and successful in his family’s pharmaceutical company, he must be a drug dealer. That’s offensive on so many levels.

There is no universal truth. This is not a quiz, wherein there are only right and wrong answers. I present to you the idea that filling our books with only white people, or Hispanic, or Asians, or black folks is wrong. I try to write books (and worlds) where the population is diverse, both in my Corine series and in Jax as well. Nobody has ever asked me about this, but Jax is clearly mixed; she has caramel skin and light eyes. She’s not accurately depicted on the covers, in fact, but they’re lovely, and anyone who has read the books and the description of her hair knows the truth.

In my first Ava Gray romance, the hero is half Crow and half Guatemalan. I went looking for actors / models who shared that background, and I found Jason de Hoyos. In my mind, this is Reyes. You guys are, of course, free to picture him however you like.

At any rate, I think it’s a mistake to let fear keep you from telling the story you want to tell. Remember you’re the creator, and you aren’t trying to tell a story that offers unilateral truths; you’re just trying to tell a story. I welcome your thoughts.

Winners and the book club post

Jane
Sara M
Flip
Booklover1335

You need to email me at ann dot aguirre at gmail dot com with your names and addresses. Once I have those, I can hook you up.

undoneSo today we are talking about Rachel Caine’s UNDONE. I don’t know if anyone else has actually read it, but here’s the post wherein we talk about it. I’m going to hold my comments until a few other people have noted their thoughts because I don’t want people to feel like they need to agree with me about the book. That doesn’t lend itself to much discussion.

Winner

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The winner of the first ARC contest is: OCELOTT!

Congrats. Drop me a line with your full name and address and I will get this sent right out.

I also have two lovely cover flat, which I’m going to sign and send as consolation prizes. The winners of those are:

Leslee
Sadeeloree

Send me your addresses and I’ll use my special shiny silver pen to sign said cover flats and send them your way.