Welcome to the FALL 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!
Hello! I’m Hilary Thompson, and I’ll be your hostess for this leg of the hunt.
I’m a Libra.
I collect shiny things.
I drink more coffee than I should.
My favorite time of the day is when the world is still asleep.
I teach Creative Writing and English at a small-town high school.
You are currently hunting on TEAM PINK!
Looking for my exclusive bonus content? Sorry. You’ll have to keep looking!
Somewhere on this blog hop is hidden an exclusive bonus scene from my Starbright series, which includes JUSTICE BURIED and BALANCE BROKEN, as well as three novellas. The last book, DESTINY RISEN, is being written as you read this! Exciting secrets are waiting for all of you – even if you haven’t started the series yet. But before you go looking for my scene, please check out the author I’m hosting.
(Of course, a few rules before we get too far.)
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE RULES
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on TEAM PINK, and then add them up – don’t worry, you can use a calculator!
HINT: THE SECRET NUMBER IS HIGHLIGHTED IN PINK!
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 MONDAY, OCTOBER 5TH, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize – one lucky winner will receive at least one signed book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast. This contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Monday, October 5th!
There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am part of the PINK TEAM, but there is also a RED TEAM, GOLD TEAM, ORANGE TEAM, BLUE TEAM, PURPLE TEAM, TEAL TEAM, & GREEN TEAM! Check out each team for a chance to win eight different sets of signed 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.
Now that all the technical lovelies are out of the way, allow me to introduce the author I’m hosting!
I am very pleased to be hosting…
Melissa Giorgio is a native New Yorker who graduated from Queens College with a degree in English. She’s always dreamed of being a writer and has been creating stories (mostly in her head) since she was a little girl. Also an avid reader, Melissa loves to devour thick YA novels. When not reading or writing, she enjoys watching animated films, listening to music by her favorite Japanese boy band, or exploring Manhattan. She is the author of the Silver Moon Saga and the Smoke and Mirrors series.
Hilary here: My family visited New York City for the first time this summer – I bet we walked at least 35 miles in the few short days we were there! We had so much fun doing the touristy traps. One of my favorites was the Coney Island Mermaid Parade – definitely an experience!
The book Melissa is showcasing in the YA Scavenger Hunt this season is
THE FADING DUSK
In the gritty city of Dusk, seventeen-year-old Irina makes her living as the street magician Bantheir’s assistant. The job isn’t glamorous, but she loves the crowds, the shows, and most of all, the illusion of magic. But Irina’s world is shattered the night she is arrested and charged as Bantheir’s accomplice to murder—murder by magic.
Real magic, the kind that’s been forbidden since the old wars.
Irina finds the idea of flashy showman Bantheir using actual magic to kill someone laughable, but she’s the only one who sees how ridiculous the claim is. But how can she convince everyone Bantheir is innocent when they’ve already made up their minds? Desperate, Irina must decide who she can trust to help her win her freedom. Is the surly, handsome Captain Leonid telling the truth when he says he believes Irina is innocent, or is he just using her to get to Bantheir? What about Aden, the sweet soldier and longtime fan of Irina’s who claims he’s on her side?
Irina said she wanted to know the truth, but when she stumbles across a dark secret that changes everything, will she be strong enough to survive?
Hilary here: I love books which combine a realistic world with a surge of magic – it’s just the Disney girl in me, I guess. Doesn’t this book sound amazing? Keep reading for the bonus material: Melissa tells me this deleted scene provides background on the main character, Irina, and how her past has shaped who she is today.
TOP SECRET BONUS MATERIAL – RIGHT HERE!
Our story was a common one. We lived on the streets, venturing to Way so we could beg for food. But the soldiers patrolled the border of the slums and Way, divided by a murky brown river with freezing water that was miserable to wade through, forcing any beggars they crossed paths with to go back south. Still, we tried, for the alternative—starving to death—was not an option.
Mother used to sew, mending clothes for anyone who could afford to pay her a few copper pennies, but when she became pregnant, her fingers swelled up and were too stiff to hold the needle, and she lost any jobs she had. I don’t know how she survived—maybe people took pity on a pregnant woman and shared their food with her, but it had to have been difficult. She fought so hard to have me, and to keep me alive.
I remember it being cold, and my belly always ached with hunger, but she worked tirelessly to keep me happy. We played pretend; usually we were princesses, waiting for a handsome prince to come sweep us off our feet. She told me fantastic stories about how I would rise up one day, find myself a rich husband, and all three of us would move to Rise, where we would live happily ever after. I ate this up, wishing, knowing, believing this would come true.
Ah, to be young and innocent again.
When I was four, things took a turn for the worst. A terrible plague swept through the slums, killing everyone in its wake. We kept indoors, hunkered down in an abandoned warehouse, waiting for it pass. But it was impossible not to go outside, not if we wanted to keep eating. Mother forbade me from leaving, doing the begging and scavenging for food on her own. She must have contracted the disease during one of those trips; as soon as she realized she was sick, she sent me away.
“Go to Way,” she had said as she fastened the lark necklace around my neck. “Find a kind person to take you in. Survive, Irina. You must survive.”
I had fought with her, begging her to let me stay, but she wouldn’t have it. Using the last of her strength, she yelled at me to leave. It was the first time she had ever raised her voice to me and I fled the warehouse in tears.
I did as she instructed, heading north. I had to sneak through using one of our secret routes, to avoid being seen by the soldiers who now heavily patrolled the borders, preventing anyone from the slums from accidentally spreading the plague to Way or Rise. Then I wandered through the streets for what seemed like hours, lost and alone.
My feet ended up bringing me to Bantheir, who was in the middle of his very first performance. I watched, utterly transfixed, as he made coins appear from thin air, casted “spells,” and told fortunes. The assembled crowd was small, but when they left, they were all smiling. Eventually, it was just me and Bantheir standing the courtyard. He was cleaning up, and I was silently watching. Finally, he looked up and smiled. “Did you enjoy the show?” he asked kindly.
I nodded, but then I remembered my mother and my lip started trembling. I began crying, my tiny frame wracked by heavy sobs.
Bantheir put down his magic wand and rushed over. “What’s wrong?”
In halting sentences, I told him everything. Bantheir watched, his brow creased in concern. When I finished, he pulled out a white handkerchief. “Dry your eyes, little one,” he instructed.
I did as he said, gasping when the white fabric changed to an array of colors once it became wet. Delighted, I began vigorously rubbing at my face, trying to eliminate all of the white. Bantheir watched, smiling the entire time. “You’re a real magician!” I gasped.
He winked, but before he could answer, more people entered the courtyard, inquiring about the magic show. They had just heard about it from their friends and wanted to see Bantheir’s magic for real. When one young woman saw me, she asked Bantheir, “Is this your daughter?”
Watching me carefully, he pursed his lips. “No, she’s my assistant.”
And that’s how it had been for the past thirteen years. Bantheir performed, and I assisted. He never pretended to be my father, and I never pretended that he was. We never talked about that fateful day, or why he decided to adopt me, but I thought about it often. Bantheir was, in a way, my savior. Who knew what would have happened to me if I hadn’t chanced upon his magic show? Maybe, like my mother, I would have died in the streets, alone. Bantheir had sent someone to the warehouse, but it had been too late. The plague had claimed her as well. Ironically, not long after that, the plague vanished; she may have been one of its last victims for all I knew. The border patrol eased up, but I never returned. Nothing but death awaited me in the slums, and I would never, ever step foot in there again. Way was my home now. Bantheir my family.
Hilary here: Whew! That was intense! I can’t imagine being that mother, needing to send my own tiny daughter into the streets alone.
If you’re as intrigued as I am, you can now add THE FADING DUSK to your TBR list on Goodreads.
Are you excited for this book? Here’s where you can find it:
Buy THE FADING DUSK here!
And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Melissa, and many more! To enter, you need to write down my favorite number (listed above in pink), find all the other numbers on TEAM PINK, add them up, and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
Thank you so much for visiting my website! While you’re here don’t forget to enter BOTH of the bonus contests I am running – one is exclusive for the YA Scavenger Hunt, and one is a special birthday giveaway – I’m turning 35 this month!
For an extra bonus entry in my YASH giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post and answer the following: Would you stick up for your boss if they were accused of murder? I’m looking forward to reading your answers!
Have fun! Click the pictures below to enter each giveaway.
Good luck everyone! Keep your sights in the stars…
Ready to move on to the next leg of the hunt?
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