Scroll down to win $50 in Amazon credit!
We’ve been in Vietnam for ★ 28 ★ days and are leaving to Bali soon for a month of fruit smoothies and ancient temples… here are some travel pictures. I got a lot of writing done this month, and I’m also planning on participating in Camp Nanowrimo and finally getting my vampire dystopia finished (more on that later).
But today I want to share something amazing…
I’m participating in the 2018 young adult scavenger hunt and have the honor of hosting Amy Trueblood. Below you’ll find a never before published deleted scene from her novel Nothing But Sky. Booklist calls it “An exhilarating historical novel with a strong feminist core.” School Library Journal says, “Breakneck stunts and romance lend this novel high action.”
The @YAScavengerHunt starts April 3rd! I’m on #TeamRed. You can start the hunt at http://bit.ly/yashunt
To win the hunt, you need to start at the beginning and visit each author’s website to solve the puzzle. Scroll down for all the rules, which team I’m on, and the next website you need to visit from here.
A Deleted Scene from Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood
The massive buildings along Michigan Avenue cast dark shadows across the sidewalk. Passing cars honked their horns. The jingle of a bell on a passing trolley sang through the city. The Water Tower stood as a white beacon in the distance.
I shouldered past men on the sidewalk. Their heads bent low, briefcases gripped tightly in their hands. Ads for mouthwash, lotion, and laundry soap filled the shop windows. A two-story brick pharmacy on a corner advertised the newest brand of soda pop. The haberdashery next door displayed the latest fedoras, patterned ties, and leather belts. I walked for blocks and couldn’t find a women’s dress shop. I scanned the passing crowd until a willowy woman met my gaze. Her sleek black hair was clipped to her chin. The rich fabric of her red dress skimmed her body, accentuating her figure.
She stopped mid-step and her warm brown eyes studied me. A smile pulled at the corner of her mouth. “Honey, you look lost. Do you need some help?”
“Can you tell me if there’s a woman’s dress shop nearby?” I asked.
She gave me the once over again. The torn lining of my coat hung to my knees. The wrinkles in my hat screamed second-hand. I waited for her to laugh at me, or turn away, deciding I wasn’t worth her time. Instead she flashed me a film star smile.
“You can always go to department store which is just up the street.” She pursed her lips and shook her head. “But you don’t seem like a department store type of gal. May I suggest Landon’s just down the block. A friend of mine works there. They’ve got some wonderful things to fit a woman with a figure like yours.”
She was too polite to say boyish and thin.
“Thank you.” I started to walk away when she moved in-step beside me. “If you don’t mind me asking, are you…are you all alone?”
“Yes,” I said, picking up my pace. All I wanted was directions, not a companion.
“I’m Elsa, by the way.”
“Grace,” I said as we continued down the sidewalk.
Her heels clicked along the cracks. The feather in her hat bounced along with sway of her hips.
“I’m somewhat of an authority on fashion. And Anna, my friend who works at Landon’s, has got quite an eye, too. She looked me up and down again. “Are you looking for something special?”
“You could say that.” I ran my hands through my tangled knots and smoothed down the front of my dress. Next to her I looked like a weathered scarecrow moving next to a screen goddess.
When we reached the store, I stopped in front of its enormous picture window. Four mannequins stood side by side each draped in organza and silk in jewel-tones of sapphire, emerald, and ruby. French lace Mary and Ethel swooned about covered the scalloped hems. Cloche hats adorned with feathers or ribbons sat atop the heads.
A fierce pounding flared in my head. How could I decide which was the appropriate dress for this party? Should I wear green or blue? Should it skim my knees or be floor length?
“Some gorgeous dresses don’t you think?” Elsa motioned to the mannequin draped in a cherry-red satin gown.
“Yes,” I replied no louder than a whisper.
“Would you like me to come in and help you pick something out?”
I paused. How long it would take me to get back to the hotel, track down the boys, and tell them I’d changed my mind? An image of Henry filled my mind. A dark suit hugged his broad shoulders. His hair was slicked back, and a wide smile covered his face. His hand reached for mine.
“Would you like some help, honey?” Elsa repeated.
Letting the image slowly fade away I gave her a simple nod.
“Well then come on; let’s find something that will knock his socks off.”
I inched away from her. “I didn’t say anything about a man.”
“Honey, you didn’t have to. That love-struck look in your eyes tells me all I need to know.”
Read more or get the book!
The Hunt Continues… join me on the Red Team!
Events like this are a fun way to bring authors and readers together, so I look forward to getting to know my teammates and also introduce my writing to some new readers (if that’s you, welcome!) here’s the full list of books and authors. You can pick a team to root for or play all the teams and rack up prizes. Many of us are also running contests and giveaways, including me (keep scrolling if you like vampires).
I think dividing the teams into colors is a fun idea, and I’m happy to be on the same team as Lisa Maxwell – I read The Last Magician recently and thought it was great. I’ve also had design envy for Julie Reece’s The Paladins, and am obsessed with Jessica Bucher’s Notes of Magic (because I just finished Orpheum, which also has music and magic and Eastern European cityscapes).
I set up a giveaway to win these books + $50, sign up to win!
Click here for YASH rules and entry
>>>To find the next clue in the YA Scavenger Hunt, you need to visit Carly Anne West. <<<
Do you like vampires?
I’m getting close to finishing a vampire dystopia novel that’s been called “Hunger Games meets Shade of Vampire.”
If you haven’t read the first six chapters yet, get them for free HERE for a limited time.
I’ve also published a BRAND NEW sneak peak of the book, it’s on one of my teammates websites so make sure you go through the Red Team’s sites to find it. It’s LONG, I hope you like it!
After the full book is finished, hopefully next month, I’ll delete the free chapters and republish the whole story.
To celebrate the book launch, I’m giving away 10 print copies of the book and 100 ebooks. Someone will also win this awesome vampire hunting kit and a pair of high quality fangs. Click here to sign up!
PS. Here are some of my favorite YA vampire books.
Golden Shears has been giving me grief but I’m getting closer to the end… however I’m really excited about my next three projects, which are all dystopians.
Taste: kind of Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Hunger Games…
Selfie: an apocalyptic thriller where an smart phone app can alter our appearance (and melt flesh off bones)
Prescient: a time travel, post apocalyptic adventure… with zombies (part one is out already but I need to finish it).
Those will all be series, and I actually have THREE MORE dystopian series mapped out for later. I also want to write some more mainstream vampire/werewolf stuff… but I think all my stories will have world-ending consequences, so maybe that’s why this genre appeals to me most (plus, revolution!).
Anyway, in the meantime, I made a list of 14 other dystopian novels from friends of mine – a bunch of them are on sale for 99cents today, so check them out!
“Exciting! Captivating! Couldn’t put it down!” ★★★★★
If you could manipulate reality, would you?
Seventeen-year-old Kaylin has been on the run, hiding her untapped abilities for six years, but rescuing a mysterious guy risks exposing the depths of her power. The manipulative sector groups hunt her kind. Life has never been easy, but resisting is even harder. This harsh, new world will no longer allow her to remain hidden.
In a future where greed and corruption has torn society apart; these relentless sector groups prey on powerful youths to mold the populace to expand their reach. Young people with the ability to shift the mindset of others are high-value targets. War is waging to expand and control this new world. Influencers, as they’re called, hold the key to humanity’s future.
Will fighting back cost Kaylin everything?
On the brink of extinction, being human means more than just surviving.
In Lib’s world, it’s dangerous to deviate from the norm. In fact, for someone who doesn’t live up to the Artificial Intelligence’s standards, it’s practically a death sentence. Lib learns this the hard way when she wakes up in a barren wasteland, with her memories erased, and only one thought lodged in her mind:
“It’s all my fault.”
Lib is a Glitch—an imperfect human component of the utopian world called the Norm. Now she’s thrown out, Lib will be forced to team up with another Glitch, Raj, and the mysterious Rogue Wolf and his clan to survive. Wolf only cares about the survival of his group, but Raj thinks they can hack the A.I. and change the Norm for the better.
Now, Lib will have to decide which path to choose—whether to go with striking loner Raj or stay with Wolf and his tight-knit group. Her heart is drawn to both, but she’s carrying a deadly secret that could jeopardize them all. Will she be able to sa
Block out thoughts.
Talia Lyons has one goal at the McDonough School for the Talented: learn to use her Talent as a Mental Manipulator to kill the man who murdered her parents.
Block out pain.
She’ll deal with anything. The brutal physical demands. The emotional toll. Whatever it takes to reach her objective.
Block out friendship.
With only one year left in the program, though, seventeen-year-old Talia is suddenly finding it harder than ever to ignore the rest of her life.
Block out love.
Even worse, she can’t seem to turn off her psychic connection to her first love…or quit thinking about her fascinating new teammate.
Feel only vengeance.
Ian Crane. The man who destroyed Talia’s life. The one she’s determined to eradicate.
It’s time to kill.
There will come a day… when love will mark you as a traitor.
In a society where emotions are nothing and function is everything, Avlyn Lark is just trying to blend in. She’s lucky to be alive, unlike her twin brother Ben who died when they were four. And she’s lucky to have been taken from her biological parents and assigned to a Level Two family. But mastering her emotions? That’s a problem, especially when a rebel bomb blows up a building right in front of her.
Then on Configuration Day, Avlyn’s official transition to adulthood, she starts seeing strange visions. And instead of being placed with a low-level tech company where she could hide away, she’s hired by Genesis Technologies the government firm that monitors every citizen. Now, instead of blending in, Avlyn fears she’ll be exposed for what she really is. If Gen Tech finds out how deeply she feels, it will ruin her life. And if they find out about her secret meetings with a mysterious but handsome member of the rebel forces, her life will be more than ruined. It will be over.
Fans of Divergent, Matched, and the Maze Runner will love this world of dark secrets, intrigue and thirst for a better tomorrow.
War is coming between humans and Arvies, leaving me trapped between two enemies. This time, I don’t think I’ll survive.
The government will stop at nothing to get me back in their clutches. They want what’s inside me—a power I call Venge—and will use my greatest weakness to bring me to my knees.
The Arvies know of my gift, and use my telepathy and their numbers, in an effort to take me out.
My name is Abigail Park, and I promise retribution against those who’ve wronged me, even if it’s the last thing I do.
Sixteen year-old Jinxy James spends her days trapped at home – immersed in virtual reality, worrying about the plague and longing for freedom. Then she wins a war simulation game and is recruited into a top-secret organisation where talented teenagers are trained to become agents in the war on terror. Eager to escape her mother’s over-protectiveness and to serve her country, Jinxy enlists and becomes an expert sniper of infected mutant rats.
She’s immediately drawn to Quinn O’Riley, a charming and subversive intelligence analyst who knows more about the new order of government and society than he is telling. Then a shocking revelation forces Jinxy to make an impossible decision, and she risks losing everything.
2081 and England is broken.
Civil society has collapsed and in the place of government, wannabe warlords and criminal gangs are taking control.
Among the few survivors, Edie and Robin live within a tiny community at the edges of a dying town, struggling to survive, desperate to stay hidden from prying eyes.
Edie’s determination to provide for her family takes her deep inside the forbidden parts of town where disease still lingers and the Snatchers sit in wait.
What she discovers there is a threat far worse. One that will rob her of freedom and the man she loves.
You’d think time-travel would be a useful gift. For cheating on tests and winning the lottery – stuff like that. I might have even enjoyed it… if I hadn’t discovered humanity only had a few more years on earth. Now I’m torn between my present-day crush, whose father might accidentally destroy civilization, and my mysterious savior from the future, who won’t exist if I succeed in saving the world from a zombie apocalypse.
Only I have the power to stop what’s going to happen. But I might need to kill someone to do it. Can I do what it takes to save the world… and do I even want to, if it means losing the one thing I want most?
In a world where addiction is encouraged, one girl must fight to stay clean…
As one of the last Untamed humans left in the world, Seven’s life has always been controlled by tight rules. Stay away from the Enhanced. Don’t question your leader. And, most importantly, never switch sides–because once you’re Enhanced there’s no going back. Even if you have become the perfect human being.
But after a disastrous raid on an Enhanced city, Seven soon finds herself in her enemy’s power. Realizing it’s only a matter of time before she too develops a taste for the chemical augmenters responsible for the erosion of humanity, Seven knows she must act quickly if she’s to escape and save her family from the same fate.
ORIGIN. DESTINY. FATE. How far would you go to unravel the truth?
Trattora is the adopted daughter of the Chieftain on a primitive frontier planet. Velkan is an indentured serf who has never known a day of freedom. Forced to flee a terrifying invasion by Galactic Pirates, they find themselves thrown together on a ramshackle mining vessel that harbors more than one dark secret. Fate and chemistry combine when the pair’s matching birth bracelets lead them to a shocking discovery about their true lineage. Stakes rise when they uncover the classified Expulsion Project, and the devastating sacrifice their birth families made to spare their lives. Determined to save them from liquidation, Trattora and Velkan plunge headlong into a frantic race against time and space to take down the genocidal self-actualizing software that now controls large swathes of their home planet.
But will they navigate the treacherous dealings of the seedy Galactic underworld in time to rescue the families who loved them enough to let them go?
200 years after the world ends, their future begins.
In 2157, a mysterious gas known as Variant spreads across the globe, killing or mutating most organic life. The surviving humans take refuge in an underground city, determined to return home. But after generations of failures and botched attempts, hope is beginning to dwindle. That is, until a young scientist makes a unique discovery–and everything changes. Suddenly, there’s reason to hope again, and it rests within a group of genetically engineered children that are both human and Variant.
Terry is one of these children, modified and trained to endure the harsh conditions of a planet he cannot begin to understand. After years of preparation, Terry thinks he knows what to expect. But the reality is far stranger than anything he can imagine–and what he will become is far more dangerous.
Get The Amber Project on Amazon!
Not Every Girl Can Be Katniss Everdeen
Her father never taught her to hunt or survive in the wild.
No. Her dad was a scientist.
Her battle is with a parasitic virus and it’s good that she knows a thing or two about labs.
The world needs her data before it’s too late. There’s just one problem…
…she’s three hundred miles away from the people that can do something about it and in the post-crisis world getting there is harder than you’d think.
How far would you go to save your friends?
When Chase finds survival gear hidden in the attic of his boarding school, he realizes Ashwood Prep isn’t what it seems. Thrust into a conspiracy that is centuries old, he can choose to run or stand up and fight.
After an earthquake cuts the school off from the rest of the world, Chase has to figure out who’s a friend, who’s an enemy, and if there’s really any difference at all. As the world starts to collapse, trusting the wrong person can have deadly consequences. Caught between his classmates and the professors’ schemes, he can’t afford to choose wrong. It would all be a lot easier if Taylor and Maya weren’t pulling him in opposite directions.
Is it really the apocalypse? Or is it something much worse?
A sensible young nobleman, Leaf Watson, and his sister, Willow Oak, live a rustic medieval life rich in traditions and chivalry. Sealed inside an experimental biodome since infancy, they have been groomed by The Code to build a sustainable community devoid of Outsider interference.
They are unwitting pioneers on a path toward confined interplanetary homesteading.
Life within their walled garden is predictable and peaceful until the unthinkable happens. With his dying breath, Leaf and Willow’s noble father bequeaths a family secret, placing an invisible crown of power on Leaf’s head. Grief-stricken and afraid for their lives, the siblings defy their upbringing by connecting with Fillion Nichols, a punk hacker who, unbeknownst to them, is linked to their lives in shocking ways. Their encounter launches Fillion into a battle with his turbulent past as he urgently decodes the many secrets that bind them together, a necessity for each to survive.
“Stay on guard. Be aware of your surroundings. Notice the nuances. Cover your tracks. Always be prepared. Question everything. This is how you stay alive, Joy. This is how you keep the ones you love alive.”
The words of sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery’s late father, Zephyr the Magnificent, urge her onward in this quest for truth and freedom, with the allusion that all is not as it seems in Bygonne.
Faced with the exhausting task of building mechanical trees that produce the precious oxygen they breathe, the Greenleigh orphan slaves piece together clues about the existence of a possible forbidden paradise beyond The Wall. To find the truth, shatter the illusions, and free the children, Joy must entrust the aid of an unlikely ally who harbors dangerous secrets.
Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet. Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint has made her extremely valuable and upon graduation Blanca, and those like her, are sold to the highest bidders.
Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeal’s are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable. By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.