YA SCAVENGER HUNTWelcome to 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 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!Go to the YA Scavenger Huntpage to find out all about the hunt. There are eight contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM--but there is also a red team, an orange team, a gold team, a green team, a teal team, a blue team, a purple team, and a pink team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!
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 blue 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 3rd!!, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.SCAVENGER HUNT POSTToday, I am hosting Joy Preble on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Bio:
Joy Preble is a Texas Girl who was born and raised in Chicago and a former high school teacher who now writes full time, which means she gets paid for making stuff up. She earned an English degree from Northwestern University, and speaks and teaches widely on writing and literacy at libraries and schools as well as SCBWI, NCTE, AWP and other conferences.
Joy is the author of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE and its sequel, THE A WORD, both from SOHO press. Kirkus hailed THE SWEET DEAD LIFE with "Hallelujah! A paranormal tale of angels...that breaks the mold."
She is also the author of DREAMING ANASTASIA series from Sourcebooks which combines paranormal romance with Russian folklore.
DREAMING ANASTASIA was nominated for a Cybil Award in the Teen SciFi/Fantasy Category in 2009. It was named an ABC Best Book for Children, Teen Category, 2009 and was featured in Justine Magazine.
Joy also has a contemporary mystery/romance FINDING PARIS, from Balzer and Bray and today we are talking about IT WASNT ALWAYS LIKE THIS!
In no particular order, Joy loves guacamole, pizza, banana bread, red wine, books, boots of all shapes and sizes, TV, Movies and crazy road trips so she can see the world. She is also fond of her family and dog, in case you were wondering.Find out more information by checking out Joy’s website or find more about the author's book here! Http://joypreble.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joy.prebleTwitter: http://twitter.com/joyprebleCheck out, IT WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THISON AMAZON http://bit.ly/1LBUezLOr add it to your goodreads pile! http://bit.ly/1U2hslbI just did lol!
EXCLUSIVE CONTENTEXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK AT IT WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THISI am so thrilled to share a little advance peek at my forthcoming IT WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THIS with all of you YASH Spring 2016 participants!! IWALT is part thriller, part murder mystery, part fairy tale. (Think Tuck Everlasting meets Veronica Mars). It’s Emma and Charlie’s epic tale of accidental immortality, star-crossed romance, and a forever-seventeen-year-old girl who won’t give up the search for the boy she loves. Yeah, I know! Everything you love in one book!Hope you enjoy! And hope it inspires you to read the whole thing when it arrives on 5/17/16!
Chapter OneIt was gone. Dried up. The stream. The plants. All of it.“Maybe we’re in the wrong place,” Charlie said, but Emma knew he didn’t mean it.“We’re not.” She pushed her way through the tall grass, not caring what she disturbed. Something sharp poked through her skirt and bit into the tender flesh at the back of her knee. She kept moving. The empty jars in her pockets slapped her thighs.Maybe Charlie was right. Maybe they were just turned around or confused. This was the first time they’d come here alone. Emma herself had been only once, under the watchful eye of her father. Maybe they were lost.But the place was too familiar. She recognized the strange little clearing at the center of the island, only there was no stream. No purple-flowered plants. If the spell or whatever it was—Emma had never settled on the right words for what had happened to them—if “it” faded, she feared there would be no getting it back, not without the plants and the water.At least, that’s how she thought it worked. But she wasn’t certain, was she? That frightened her, too; Emma liked being certain.“It doesn’t matter,” Charlie said. He grabbed her shoulder from behind and spun her around, pulling her close, arms encircling her waist. “You were still right. We need to run. Emma . . . we can manage without the plants. I love you.”Even in the swampy heat, he looked the way he always did; that was the root of all their troubles. Tall and angular, with broad shoulders and taut arms, jaw neatly defined. Brows thick and cheekbones etched high. A wild thatch of hair that never stayed put. Brown eyes blazing with a stubborn streak, yet with a hint of that sweetsilliness he saved for Emma alone, and a sparkle she’d convinced herself nobody else could see.He’d wanted to run even before now. In this moment, she could see him glancing skyward unconsciously, consumed with the desire to fly from this place. That desire had brought them here. She’d done this for him.On her right side, not ten feet away, the grass waved and shifted. She felt more than saw a small alligator slither by. Caught a glimpse of a coal-black eye between the tall green blades.Emma tried not to panic. The gators were the least of her worries.Two days earlier, Emma had rushed to the aviary and wrapped her hands tight around Charlie’s. “Simon,” she gasped. “He . . . he . . .” How even to start?Something both horrifying and miraculous had happened to her baby brother. They could no longer hide what they’d become. They had to leave St. Augustine. Now.“What is it, Em?” Charlie held her close, his eyes searching hers. On their perches, the hawks quieted, as if overwhelmed with the same concern. “Is something wrong with Simon?”“I was supposed to be—to be watching him,” she stammered. “But you know how he gets.” She didn’t have to elaborate. Simon was a two-year-old toddler, had been for over three years now. He would be a two-year-old toddler forever. Perpetually curious and naughty and needy, all of which Charlie knew full well. “He got into the benzene while I wasn’t looking. I guess it was the sweet smell, like soda pop. Daddy must have left it out on the kitchen counter after stripping the paint on the wall that—”“Slow down, Em,” Charlie soothed. “Just tell me what happened.”“Nothing.” Her voice trembled. “That’s the trouble. My brother drank half the bottle. Should have burned his insides. He should have blisters or be vomiting. Something. That stuff is poison, Charlie. But nothing happened. I watched him. Maybe he looked a little green for about a minute . . . that was all.”Tears stung her eyes, but she trained her gaze on Charlie to calm herself. His stillness was a gift, never more so than at this moment.“He’s fine,” Charlie said soothingly. “That’s all that matters.” But they both knew things weren’t fine. Simon’s throat hadn’t burned, but the world felt like it was burning, consuming her with it.So she’d done what a girl had to do under such circumstances. When life itself stopped making sense, she’d come up with a plan.First they'd steal a skiff from the harbor. Row to the island. That part of the plan had worked.But the second part, the part that mattered, had gone up in smoke. They’d brought jars to dip in the stream, but the clear water had vanished without a trace. They’d brew more tea from the plants, but the plants had vanished as well, leaving only nettles and swamp grass in their absence.As for the last part of the plan—running—that they could still do.Emma had thought the escape would be joyous. Liberating. Their parents, both hers and Charlie’s, were drowning in paranoia, unable to think or act sensibly anymore. But who knew what or how grown-ups thought, anyway? They were all crazy, the good ones, the bad ones, the dangerous ones. She and Charlie would finally be free of the worry, free of all the hateful whispers. They would be together. That was all that mattered.Except the stream and its plants and the world itself had chosen not to cooperate. She felt as if the island were playing a cruel practical joke, or worse, punishing her for the sin of wanting to run off with the boy she loved. Three years they had been together. But it wasn’t three years at all; it was nothing. Time was meaningless once you discovered you’d drunk from a Fountain of Youth. How stupid Emma had been, thinking that if they could just get away from their families, they could stop treading water and hide for an eternity.Now Charlie pulled her to him again, kissing her over and over until she was dizzy from it. “It’s okay,” he insisted. “We’ll figure something out—” All at once he stiffened. His hands fell from her body. He sniffed the air. “Smoke. It’s . . .”“The Church of Light,” she finished with him.Under different circumstances, this would have struck her as impossibly romantic: their habit of sharing the same thoughts, of ending each other’s sentences. And now the sudden, wary anger in Charlie’s eyes echoed the thought that squirmed in her brain: if something was burning, Glen Walters and his followers had lit the fire.They were running again even before Charlie’s fingersthreaded through hers.Chapter TwoDallas, TexasPresentEmma pried open one eye. Her head was splitting, her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. She felt like she had licked the bottom of a dirty shoe—after the shoe had been dragged through a puddle of bourbon. She eased up on an elbow. The room tilted, her stomach giving a sickly lurch.She wasn’t alone in bed. There was a guy next to her. Snoring.Vaguely she remembered having bought street tacos outside the bar from a girl with an Igloo cooler. At the time, it seemed like a solid idea. Emma had many solid ideas when she was drunk. The tacos, involving a meat substance of unknown origin, did not seem so solid at the moment.Her reason for being at that particular downtown Dallas bar wasn’t scoring high points, either. Another dead end, it turned out. But Emma kept at things, because you just never knew. Cold trails turned warmer. Hopes bloomed, well, hopefully. Things happened. People came and went.Girls disappeared on their way home and later turned up dead.There had been a rash of kidnappings and murders, or at least Emma saw it as a rash, given her, well, uniquely expansive view of time. It was a decades-long rash, a near century-long rash. Crimes spread apart by a dozen years and thousands of miles, not close enough together in any reasonable sense for the cops to see a pattern—and who could blame them?But recently, there had been a subtle uptick. That first girl, Allie Golden, in Rio Rancho, north of Albuquerque, four years ago. Then six months back, one outside of Fort Worth. Karissa Isaacs, twenty years old. Both living near Emma, their deaths following her as she moved east. Both kidnapped and poisoned and dumped.And now the third in four years, right here in Dallas. Elodie Callahan, just sixteen.There might have been more. Emma guessed there were more. She would like to think she was certain about that; she still prized certainty. But she’d learned many lifetimes ago that certainty was a luxury. You could shrug off the pattern, chalk the atrocities up to coincidence. A long time ago, Emma had tried that very thing.Or you could leap into the fray and see where it led you. Move to Dallas. Poke and prod. Hone your investigative skills. See if the pattern was indeed what you feared.Now, in the much-too-bright light of yet another day, on the cusp of yet another new year, Emma pressed her knuckles to her aching eyes. The tacos were about to make a messy reversal unless she got herself under control. Her commitment to staying off the grid? Blown to hell and back. Emma O’Neill had let herself surface once again and now she was paying the price.So were the dead girls.And the guy, snoring—Mason, maybe? Mike?—legs tangled in her comforter, mouth hanging open—well, he had to go.“Shit.” She elbowed him, hard, in the ribs. “Wake up. Get out.”She smoothed her hands over her rumpled red minidress. Right now it felt like one of those old burlap sacks her father had used to store feed in St. Augustine. Between the tacos and the bourbon, it didn’t smell much better.At least the dress was still on her.Mason/Mike was shirtless, but he was still wearing his pants.If they’d done anything, they could have only done so much. She hoped.“Mmphff,” he mumbled. Then belched.Jesus.“Out,” Emma said, rising, pulling herself together. “You. Rise and shine. Go away.” She wasn’t always this inhospitable. But Mason/Mike was an error in judgment, not company. Emma didn’t mind company. She did attempt to avoid errors in judgment, but over time, over history, they were inevitable. The trick was to act fast and stay pleasant about it.He opened his eyes—blue, bloodshot—and grinned at her. “How the hell do you still look so good?” he drawled.Matt. His name was Matt.“Habit,” she told him, pushing harder now until he rolled off the bed and hit the floor with a thump. She didn’t need a glimpse in the mirror to know they were both right. Emma O’Neill might be a tad rumpled and head-throbby right this second, but that would fade soon enough. A hangover would never make a dent in the overall picture. Toxins of any kind didn’t have any real effect beyond an initial jolt or agroggy wake-up. Even toxins less pleasant than questionable street tacos. Hadn’t in longer than she preferred to remember.Matt sat up, rubbing his backside. “Now why’d you go and do that?” He scratched the side of his face. His gaze was bleary. He was cute—thick blond hair and a stubbly chin—but pasty under his tan.He’d looked better last night. They all had.Emma thought of her friends, Coral and Hugo. Well, mostly Coral. Coral Ballard. The girl who looked like the other girls. The girl who looked like Emma.End sampleAnd don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, BRYNN CHAPMAN, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 2. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!CONTINUE THE HUNTTo keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Lyn Miller Lachmann http://bit.ly/25gSySNIf you sign up for Brynn’s Newsletter—go to www.brynnchapmanauthor.com you will be registered to win a free audiobook download of your choice from Brynn’s List.Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest
An island off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida