A year ago, two bestselling authors had a dream. No, actually, a strange Twitter conversation about a girl in love with a spaceship.

 

Out of that spun a vibrant, exciting, Guardians of the Galaxy meets Star Wars style adventure, and we can’t wait for you meet Zara Cole and Nadim. In partnership with our publisher Katherine Tegen Books and HarperCollins, we’re so thrilled to present to you a cover sure to launch a thousand epic space journeys (or at least, a three-book series):

 

Jacket copy:

Zara Cole has been in and out of New Detroit’s rehab facilities for treatment of her antisocial disorder. There’s no adjusting Zara’s attitude, though. A painful past has made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in the Zone instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

 

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan–a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

 

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned to along with fellow Honor Beatriz, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time, along with a devotion she’s never experienced before. Yet nothing—not her Honors training or her street smarts—could have prepared her for the dark, dangerous truths that lurk behind the glitter of starlight.

 

Honor Among Thieves is the first book in a daring new sci-fi series by bestselling authors Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre.

An excerpt from Honor Among Thieves:

 

I feel the stars.

 

Energy pulses against my skin, murmuring secrets about this small galaxy, about orbits and alignments and asteroids streaming in space. Impulse makes me want to dive and swim those currents, but I control these urges.

 

I shift my attention to the flutters of life within my skin.

 

Marko glows orange with crimson streaks. He is warm, always the easiest to find. Just now, he stands and stares at the blue-green orb swirling below us. I cannot swim down to see what he remembers of this place. The planet’s gravitational pull would break my bones. But he shows me flashes: smiling faces, a field of flowers, an old woman with eyes like slices of sky.

 

“I’ll miss you,” I tell him.

 

He starts, surprised to hear me, as if he’s ever truly alone. “Me too. It was a good run.”

 

He once told me that it’s strange when we talk; he thinks I should find him as insignificant as he does the bacteria in his stomach. But I have had time to acclimate to the strangers in my system. I safeguard the small voices, as is my privilege and duty. There will be more to my life, but only when I’ve proven myself.

 

The stars sing again, this time in strong, seductive harmony. I resist their melody, but the call is growing stronger.

 

Despite my passengers, I am empty in a way I cannot name. Marko tells me it is because our voyage is over; he calls this sadness. Perhaps I have learned this feeling from him. My first Honor gave me a human name, Nadim, and I have kept it safe, along with the other words and shapes and colors that shade my new existence. Like sadness.

 

I do not like this low orbit, but I must wait. I have been ordered to wait.

 

My new Honors will come.

 

###
About the authors:
 
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.

 

Rachel Caine is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in Accounting, believe it or not. She’s been a corporate communications executive, an insurance investigator, and a professional musician, among many other things, and has a specialty interest in pet lizards. She grew up on the move in a military family, and now lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband, artist/comic historian R. Cat Conrad. She apparently shares a brain with Ann Aguirre, because they like all the same stuff, and as Honor Among Thieves proves, their styles mesh seamlessly. She, like Ann, writes all manner of fiction (including adult suspense), but has a special place in her heart for YA.

 

Between them, they’ve published about 90 novels to date.
Rachel’s website: www.rachelcaine.com
Posted in announcements, books, cover goodness, Rachel Caine, The Honors Comment

As of now, I’m no longer accepting appearances in the US and will not be traveling there in the foreseeable future. Here’s the email I sent, regarding my withdrawal. 

This matter has been ​weighing heavily on my heart since the election in November, and I have ruminated on great length as to what the right decision is regarding my appearance at Utopiacon in June. I’ve always done my utmost to keep my commitments, but after much reflection, I must cancel this particular engagement. It is no reflection on the efforts or welcome offered by you or your staff. I truly wish I could be there.

However, there are two issues that have resulted in my decision not to attend. First, I have been a vocal opponent of 45’s regime, to the level that I fear having my personal electronics searched and seized and being detained on arrival. I also fear vanishing into the bowels of the US and being prevented from returning to my family. These may not be realistic fears, but since I have permanent residency abroad and am pursuing dual citizenship, I really don’t know how I will greeted on my arrival. In fact, even before 45’s election, I have been detained as a suspected drug mule, simply because I choose to live in Mexico. Given the current atmosphere, I am not optimistic about how well I will be treated.

Next, my second concern is this–I may not experience any trouble at all, because I am white, educated, female, and relatively affluent. In solidarity with immigrants and Muslims currently being persecuted, I cannot in good conscience attend events in a country that treats them so. Thus, my decision to withdraw is also political activism. I very much regret disappointing you, your staff, and my readers–when none of you have done a solitary wrong–but I hope everyone will understand my motivations. I am choosing this course after significant soul searching and again offer my apologies, along with profound regret that Hillary wasn’t elected, because if she had been, I’d be there with bells on.

Posted in announcements Comments Off on Announcement: Utopiacon

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!)

Posted in Uncategorized Comments Off on YA Scavenger Hunt: Go, GREEN! Go!

My new series, Ars Numina!

I’ve been teasing you with this revelation for a while, seems like since May or so, which is when the idea first took root.  But it takes time for a project to pass through various stages of completion, and happily, we are there! So without further ado, let me tell you about the secret project I’ve been working on. I haven’t written any romance since my NA series, and I miss it. So I hope you’re eager to read some paranormal sexytimes because I am all over it.

Welcome to the dangerous, delicious world of Ars Numina–with the fae Eldritch, ferocious Animari, and brutal Golgoth fighting for their happy endings. If you love paranormal romance and shapeshifters, this series is for you. The most notable aspect is that there are no human characters. They do exist elsewhere in the world, but these stories are set exclusively in paranormal territories. The books are both futuristic and alt-world, with enough intrigue, passion and action to sate an eager appetite.

The fae Eldritch have inspired elven and fairy lore over the years. They have strange tech and an ancient culture. A long-lived people, they are elegant and inscrutable to other supernatural powers. They also train an order of legendary assassins, known as Noxblades, and their ultimate goal is unknown.  The Animari are shifters with three main groups in power: the Ash Valley pride (cats), the Burnt Amber clan (bears), and the Pine Ridge pack (wolves). There are other shifters, but they are not part of the official alliance, and therefore lack political leverage. The Golgoth are the most feared, known to be brutal and relentless in their drive to conquest, and when they transform, it is into draconian or monstrous reptilian forms.

Tentatively, I have planned a six book arc, each about a different couple. The titles follow:

The Leopard King  (On sale at $2.99 during preorder period and release week only)
The Demon Prince
The Wolf Lord
The Shadow Warrior
The War Priest
The Jaguar Knight

And here is the blurb for book one!

Proud. Imperious. Impassioned.

Until three years ago, those words applied to Dominic Asher, the leader of Ash Valley. His family has ruled the feline branch of the Animari for hundreds of years, guiding the pride through perilous times. Unspeakable loss drove him into seclusion, a feral beast nobody can tame. Now he’s wrecked, a leopard king in exile, and he wants nothing more than to die.

Fierce. Loyal. Determined.

Fortunately for Dom, those words still apply to Pru Bristow, his dead mate’s best friend. She’s had her heart broken too, but she never quits. With the conclave approaching, alliances with the Pine Ridge pack and Burnt Amber clans on the verge of collapse, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to drag their leader back, before his second can start a war.

At best theirs seems like a desperate alliance, but when their mate bond turns hot and fierce, there’s no end to the questions and the doubts. Neither of them expects to fall in love. But sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking for until they find it.

Here’s the cover art reveal!! A thousand thanks to Kanaxa.

tlk_large
thedemonprince_digital_largeHere’s what an early reader had to say about book 1:

“I really enjoyed the story. It was exactly where my current reading glom is. Lots of detailed world building like I’d find in UF but all the romance, sex, and HEA I need. It gave me the same happy feels as Nalini Singh’s Psy Changeling series.”

I’m so excited about this project and hope you are too! Now for the most important part… the first book will be out on…

SEPTEMBER 28!!

I’m adding the preorder links I have now and will update this post with more as they come from the vendors.

Preorder from Amazon

Preorder from Kobo

Preorder from iBooks

Preorder from BN/Nook

Preorder from 24Symbols

(More links to come)

Feel free to post your thoughts about the series or ask questions. I’ll give away 5 preorders here, too! (Random winners) Since I’m doing this series independently, I request your support, readers. Please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested.

Posted in announcements, books, contest, cover goodness, free loot friday, pimpage, super fat loot, swoon, teh sex, the squee heard round the world, writing 30 Comments

Basically, it’s been a while since I did a book squee post. I used to do this more often, so this is overdue. But here are some titles that I adored in past months. Since the love of books should be shared, I’m now inviting you to share some books you’ve enjoyed recently.

Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

This is amazing fantasy with a fantastic heroine, wonderful worldbuilding, beautiful writing, a sexy hero. Basically, you should be reading this series. I’m currently reading book two.

The Fit Trilogy by Rebekah Weatherspoon

This is a trilogy of novellas, so they’re sexy, hot, and quick reads. I devoured all three in a single evening. This is great to take into the bath with you.

The Suffering by Rin Chupeco

This is book two in a series, so to love this book as much as I did, you’ll need to read The Girl in the Well first. If you like nuanced. atmospheric horror with Japanese influences, you will eat these up like candy.

Serpentine by Cindy Pon

Gorgeous fantasy. The mythology is amazing and the writing even better. Cindy is so talented, and I adored her other books as well. You can’t go wrong reading anything by her, actually.

The Brightest Day (an anthology)  by Kianna Alexander, Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart & Piper Huguley

I loved these novellas, and the best part is that you can easily read one in a night. They’re beautifully researched and written. I found this anthology through a Twitter rec, and I’m delighted I 1-clicked.

The Weight of Destiny by Nyrae Dawn

A heartwrenching romance. It deals with serious issues in a sensitive way. As always, Nyrae writes incedible characters and her world leaps off the page. You should grab your copy right away.

A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai

So hot! If you’re tired of male alpha billionaires, meet Akira. She is the heroine you always wanted, the one you’ve been waiting for. If you’re looking for a steamy romance, search no farther.

Readers, let’s chat in comments. What have you read and loved lately? I’ll be awarding copies of these books to random commenters periodically. Let the book love begin!

Posted in books, contest 8 Comments

It’s giveaway time! I’ve teamed up with several YA authors to bring you a bunch of great prizes.
Ashelyn-Fall-Promo-for-Ann

 

Prizes:

 

2 $40 gift cards

eBook of PERFECT FOR YOU by Ashelyn Drake

eBook of FINE ART OF PRE-TENDING by Rachel Harris

eBook of SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE by Elana Johnson

eBook of ELEVATED by Elana Johnson

eBook of PLAYING WITH FIRE by Sherry Ficklin

One of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY books by Ednah Walters

RITE OF REJECTION by Sarah Negovetich

4 copies of THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY by Lauren Morrill

eBook set of THE DARK BE-TRAYAL Trilogy by Nichole Chase

eBook of TOUCHING SMOKE by Airicka Phoenix

 

There will be a winner for each prize. Yes, that means there are a ton of chances to win! Click on the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

The giveaway is international and will run from November 9th to November 15th. Good luck!

Posted in contest, fun stuff | Tagged Comments Off on Fall Giveaway

You love that title, don’t you? It’s relevant in two ways because 1) this is August and 2) August also means “inspiring reverence or admiration; of supreme dignity or grandeur; majestic.” Wow, suddenly this contest has a lot to live up to. But more importantly, WORD PLAY. There is also a third feature; August is the month I was born, so I’m about to level up again, life-wise. In… 10 days. Which is coincidentally when I plan to wrap up this contest. Okay, it’s not a coincidence at all. 

So basically, here’s the deal. I have a bunch of books on Amazon that are close to 100 reviews. I’m only looking for legit reviews, so don’t post one if you haven’t read the book. You also don’t HAVE to post a review to enter the contest. Simply spreading the word is good too. There will be no prizes directly given for writing or x-posting a review, either. So how will this work, you ask? Well, basically, the more books that pass the 100 mark, the more prizes I’ll give out. Winners will be random, not based on reviews posted. That way, if we stir up lots of word of mouth, I can give away tons of cool stuff. Make sense?

Here are the books that we’re working on: 

Mortal Danger (74)

MortalDanger143x215

As Long As You Love Me (98)

AsLongAsYouLoveMe133x215

Blue Diablo (79)

Blue Diablo cover art

Perdition (79)

Perdition_sm

The Queen of Bright & Shiny Things (47)

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things Cover

Now for some of these books, it may be impossible to make goal. Shiny needs 53 reviews. ALAYLM only needs 2. I’d also love it if you could post reviews for Public Enemies, as that’s my latest release. But I’m not trying to get from 6 to 100 in 10 days.

So, prizes: 

1 book passes 100:

1 signed, personalized set of the series of your choice (by me, 1 random winner)

2 books pass 100:

2 signed, personalized sets of the series of your choice (by me, 2 random winners)

3 books pass 100:

$50 GC to the bookstore of your choice (3 random winners)

4 books pass 100:

Guaranteed ARC of your choice, any upcoming release (of mine, 4 random winners)

ALL books pass 100:

I give away EVERYTHING listed above, plus I do a Skype call for half an hour with you and your closest friends. We can talk about whatever you want. 

 

How do I get in on this? 

 

You can…

  • tweet about the contest
  • make a post about it
  • create a graphic and share it somewhere
  • post a review on Amazon yourself or tell someone that you know likes doing that
  • ask a blogger friend if he or she minds x-posting (just be polite, appropriate and no spamming, please.)

The sky is the limit, really. I’m trying to get the word out about these books, get to 100 reviews where possible (it raises the book in the algorithms and results in more sales), and have some fun at the same time. Whatever you do, report back in comments. Obviously the more times you report back, the better your chances of winning something, because the odds will be numerically in your favor. Please don’t create dummy accounts or post bogus reviews, however. Most important, have fun!  This is my birthday contest after all.

ETA: 

Thanks to everyone who participated. One book passed 100, so I’m giving away one signed personalized series. And the lucky winner is… HEATHER MCFANN. 

Posted in books, contest, fun stuff 29 Comments

PublicEnemies-144x215Public Enemies, Book 2 in the Immortal Game Trilogy, will be out on 8/4/15. I hope you’re excited to see what’s next for Edie and Kian.

As an author, I really appreciate when readers pre-order my books. So, I’ve decided to offer a special thank you to anyone that pre-orders Public Enemies in the form of an early look at Bad Omen Birds, a Harbinger short story.

 

 

 

Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Pre-Order Public Enemies
  2. Fill Out this (very short) Form
  3. GET THE HARBINGER SHORT STORY!!

Pre-Order Here:

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Indiebound | Vroman’s | Book Depository | Powell’s

Also on ibooks!

Blurb:

 

Learn the rules of the game and then play better than anyone else.

Through a Faustian bargain, Edie Kramer has been pulled into the dangerous world of the Immortal Game, where belief makes your nightmares real. Hungry for sport, the leaders are always raising the stakes. To them, human lives are less than nothing, just pieces on a board.

Because of her boyfriend Kian’s sacrifice, she’s operating under the mysterious Harbinger’s aegis, but his patronage could prove as fatal as the opposition. Raw from her deepest loss, she’s terrified over the deal Kian made for her. Though her very public enemies keep sending foot soldiers – mercenary monsters committed to her destruction – she’s not the one playing under a doom clock. Kian has six months, unless Edie can save him. And this is a game she can’t bear to lose.

Posted in announcements, fun stuff, YA | Tagged , , Comments Off on Pre-Order Public Enemies and Get a Bonus Short Story

vanguard-temp-coverIn case you don’t follow social media, I wanted to talk about my new book deal. If you scroll down in that article, you’ll see that I’ve sold a novel set in the Razorland series. This isn’t a sequel in the traditional sense; rather I would call it a companion novel, like the novella I wrote about Thimble and Stone. 

This story will center around Tegan of the Staff aka Doctor Tegan, and the warrior-poet who loves her, James Morrow. Gavin will probably also join their adventures and possibly Millie, the girl who saved the world and didn’t even know it. Szarok may put in an appearance too and maybe one of the small folk. I have in mind this will be an epic sort of river / high seas adventure that will let me show you much more of the world than you saw even in Horde.

But Deuce and Fade deserve their rose-wreathed cottage, so even if they show up, it’ll be as secondary characters who live in Rosemere, like Stone and Thimble. This book is slated for release in Spring of 2017 and I hope you’re excited for it. As for me, I’m nervous about venturing back into this world again, but I’m tremendously chuffed, too–that you loved Tegan and Morrow so much, you begged so hard for their story and their happy ending. 

This isn’t the last story I’ll write in the Razorland world but it is the last one that could be considered dystopian. You’ll understand more as time wears on. 

Feel free to ask questions in comments if you have them, and please admire the lovely temporary cover made for this book by Nospheratt. Isn’t it amazing?! It will grace my site until we have actual art. (To be honest, if you added an arm behind the name plate in a clawed, torn sleeve, I would be THRILLED if that was my actual cover. That’s how great I think this is and so in line with the other books.) 

Oh, and to celebrate this sale, I’ll give away one copy of ANY of my books, released or coming soon. If it’s not out yet, I’ll preorder it for you. So comment away, yes, it’s international, and I’ll name the winner this time next week. 

ETA: BRANDY, commenter # 19, you have won! Congratulations. 

Posted in announcements, books, Razorland, thank you, the squee heard round the world, YA 67 Comments

scavenger huntUpdated 4/6/15 – This hunt is over.

Today kicks off the Spring 2015 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 eight teams: REDBLUE, GOLD, GREEN, ORANGE, TEAL, PURPLE, & PINK.

Team-TealI’m on the TEAL 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! 

Team-Teal-(2) 

But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

There are eight 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 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 Sunday April 5, 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 O’Dell Hutchinson, author of FINGERS IN THE MIST.  Let’s get to know him better before I show you the good stuff, okay?


ODellAbout Mr. Hutchinson, in his own words:
“O’Dell Hutchison was born in a small rural town in Idaho. There were no Redeemers there (that he knows of). After attending college in the Pacific northwest, he found his way to the Houston area. He currently lives in Katy, TX with his dog, Gia. By day, he is an IT Trainer/Instructional Designer. He spends his free time reading, writing, laughing and wishing the weather in Texas allowed for more outdoor activities without dying of heat stroke or carbon monoxide poisoning. He also acts and directs at various theaters around Houston.”

About FINGERS IN THE MIST: 

FIM-CoverSixteen-year-old Caitlyn Foster never believed in the legend of the Redeemers. That was before the trees started to whisper her name. Before a murder of crows attacked the town. Before she and her family came home to find a bloody handprint on their front door, marking one of them as a sacrifice. As Caitlyn’s friends are ripped from their homes, she knows it’s only a matter of time before the Redeemers come for her. Caitlyn has the power to stop the terror, but she’ll have to decide if she’s willing to sacrifice herself to save those she loves.

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

BONUS CONTENT!

Now, let’s get to Mr. Hutchinson’s bonus content. You lucky readers get to check out this exclusive deleted scene from FINGERS IN THE MIST:

Intro from O’Dell Hutchinson:

This was the original opening chapter of “Fingers in the Mist”. When all was said and done, I took a different approach, mainly because it felt as though it was taking too long to get to the action. So, here’s Cait in all her snarky glory, making her way to Highland Falls with a mysterious stranger (who didn’t make it into the final cut of the book). Enjoy! 

Deleted Scene:

If my mother were still alive, she would definitely have a seizure if she knew that I’d hitched a ride with some hairy dude with a naked woman tattooed on his forearm. Then again, it’s because she’s dead that I’m stuck in a jacked up old Ford with Bubba the boozehound, headed to middle-of-nowhereville.

“Is the music okay, miss? You can change the station if you’d like, or I can turn it off.” Bubba is nothing if not polite. Then again, aren’t most serial killers? That’s how they rope you in. Still, I’m not worried. Bubba seems more like a Teddy Bear than a Ted Bundy, and even if he does try to skin me, I won’t go down without a fight. I may look small and fragile, but I can cause some major damage if I need to.

“The music is fine,” I say with a wave of the hand. It’s actually not fine — it sucks, but it’s his truck. He can listen to whatever he wants, even if his taste in music consists of some whiny-voiced redneck crying about his lost dog–or wife–one of the two. 

“What’s your name again?” 

I should warn Bubba against allowing someone in his truck when he doesn’t even know his or her name. He should have asked this question before he offered me a ride. I may look harmless, but for all he knows, the slim brunette with high cheekbones and heavy lashes he picked up is actually a killer ninja. Of course, I’m not, but he doesn’t know that. You can never be too careful in these situations.

“Brenda,” I lie. I’m not stupid. Unlike him, I learned all about stranger danger in school.

“Nice to meet you, Brenda. I’m Daryl. You can call me Daryl.” He laughs at his lame joke, and I smile in response. He pops the tab on a can of Pepsi and offers it to me, but I decline. He takes a swig and sticks the can between his legs. “Where are you going again?” 

“Highland Falls.” 

“Is that a real place?” he asks, as if I’d just told him that I’m headed to Narnia.

“Yes, it’s a real place.”

“Never heard of it.”

“Not many people have.” I glance at my iPhone, and shriek when I see that I finally have service. “Can you stop the truck for a minute?”

“Why?” He slows down and navigates the creaky old Ford onto the shoulder of the highway.

“I finally have service. I need to try my dad again. I’ll just be a second.”

I climb out of the truck, so he can’t hear my conversation, and hit the speed dial button. On the fourth ring, the answering machine picks up. I hold the phone away from my ear so I don’t have to listen to my stepmother’s sickeningly sweet greeting. I’d already left three messages from the bus station. Where are they? My dad was supposed to pick me up two hours ago. 

“Hey, it’s Cait. Again,” I speak low so the D-man can’t hear me from his truck. “Umm, where are you guys? You were supposed to pick me up two hours ago. Anyway, I’m on my way, so if you haven’t left yet, don’t bother. I hitched a ride with someone. By the way, his name is Daryl, and he drives an old white Ford. License plate number D46WW5. You know, in case I end up dead or something. By the way, he thinks my name is Brenda. This may come in handy if there’s an interrogation or something.”

That last part will send my father into a frenzy, as it should. This is his fault. If he’d been at the bus station, I wouldn’t have had to hitch it in the first place.

“Everything okay?” Daryl asks as I climb into the truck.

“Car trouble.” I’m getting good at this whole lying thing. “They said to thank you for driving me. My dad will totally give you gas money for your troubles.”

“It’s no trouble. I was headed this way anyway.”

We drive for another hour, and I have to force myself to stay awake. After the four-hour bus ride, and two hours at the station waiting for my lame-ass dad, I’m tired and bitchy, and I need a nap. Just as I’m about to nod off I see our exit up ahead. 

“You need to get off here.”

“You sure?” He slows down and takes the exit, the truck bouncing over uneven pavement. “There’s nothing out here.”

I point at the sign ahead of us, which reads “Highland Falls 15 Miles”, with an arrow pointing to the left.

“I’ve driven this highway I don’t know how many times and I never would have guessed there was a town out here.”

He’s not the only one. Highland Falls isn’t exactly the world’s most happening place.

He hangs a left, navigating the truck under the highway overpass, taking the two-lane road up the mountain. I find myself grasping the “oh shit” handle as he speeds along the twisting highway, the tall pine trees flying by us in a blur.

“Does my driving scare you?” He must have noticed my white knuckles and shallow breathing.

“It’s just that there are a lot of deer out here.” This is actually true. I’ve spent almost every summer here for the last eight years, and there’s always someone who crashes their car trying to avoid a suicidal Bambi.

“I didn’t even think about that,” he says, slowing the truck to a more reasonable speed.

Just as I release my grip and settle back into my seat, he slams on his brakes, practically throwing me through the windshield.

“Damn. They must have had some bad storms out here. If I didn’t know better, I might think a tornado tore through.”

I follow his gaze and see fallen tree branches lying across the road. The further he drives, the thicker the mangled trees become. He swerves around them, barely dodging a fallen pine tree that blocks our lane. I look to my right to see the river rushing by us, angry and with a purpose. The water almost reaches the side of the road. I’ve never seen it that deep.

The truck crests the top of the next hill, and as we make our descent toward the bridge, I see why my dad didn’t show up today. Water flows over the bridge, and several large pine trees lay in front of it, blocking it off.

“There’s no way we’re going to make it across that bridge.” Daryl is great when it comes to stating the obvious. “Is there another way into town?”

“No, this is it.” I cannot be stuck out here with this guy all night.

Daryl stops the truck just before the first fallen tree and opens his door. I grab my purse and follow him, praying for a cell phone signal, happy to see one tiny, hopeful bar when I click my phone on. Rather than try my dad again, I hit the speed dial button for the only other person I can think of who might help me. Unless he’s still mad at me over what happened the summer before last. 

“Trevor? Hey, it’s me, Cait.” I’m so relieved to hear his voice I could cry. 

“Cait? … are you?”

Damned crappy reception.

“Can you hear me? I’m at the bridge. I’m trying to make it into town.”

All I hear is static on the other end of the line.

“Trevor? Are you there?”

Daryl watches me as I pace back and forth. He’s kind of starting to freak me out a little bit.

“… washed out … get past …”

“I can’t hear you. You’re breaking up. If you can hear me send some help. I need to get into town. Hello? Trevor?”

Three short beeps punctuate the end of the call and I stuff the phone into my pocket.

Daryl leans against the hood of his truck, scratching his beer belly. “You could ride to Cool Rock with me and get a room there. Maybe the road crew will have this cleared up in a few days and then your parents can come get you.”

“I don’t have money for a room.” All I have in my wallet is a twenty and a couple of fives. If my mom were still alive I’d have a credit card I could use, but those days are long gone. Besides, Cool Rock is at least a two-hour drive in the opposite direction, and I’m already over Daryl. “You can go ahead and go. They’ll be here soon.” 

“How are they going to get to you? They can’t cross that bridge. It’s going to take them at least a couple of days to clear out all these trees, and they can’t even begin to do that until the water recedes.”

“What are you, the road whisperer or something?” I know I probably shouldn’t be a smart ass right now. This guy was nice enough to give me a ride, and I’m still not convinced he’s not a serial killer; I probably shouldn’t piss him off.

“I work for a road crew. I see this a lot.” My bitchy attitude doesn’t seem to bother him. He just shrugs and runs a hand over his smooth, bald head.

“Seriously. You don’t have to stay. I’m fine.” I take a seat on the trunk of the fallen tree in front of us and stare at my phone.

“I can’t leave you out here. I’ve got a daughter of my own about your age, and I’d be beyond pissed if I knew some guy had just dropped her off in the middle of nowhere.”

“I’m fine. I can take care of myself.” Why is he so insistent that I leave with him?

“I can’t let you stay here.” He sits next to me and places a hand on my knee. “It’s not safe.”

“My friend is coming for me.” There’s a burning sensation in my stomach, and my skin begins to tingle, a response I’m all too familiar with — a response that never leads to anything good.

***

KEEP PLAYING

Don’t stop playing! To continue hunting for clues and reading more exciting, exclusive content, click on to JEN MCCONNEL’s blog. 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!)

PS – Go look for my exclusive content, too! I have a new music video for The Queen of Bright & Shiny Things for you. Happy hunting!

Posted in contest, YA, YA Scavenger Hunt | Tagged , , Comments Off on YA Scavenger Hunt: Go Team Teal!