Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Be A Character In My Next Book!

Remember that thing where Read For Pixels had a perk where you could pay $400 dollars to be a character in my next (not-yet-announced!!!) book? Well, forget that!

Read For Pixels just made it a gajillion times easier! How, you ask?

E-A-S-Y. All you have to do is go to this link and create an account (or log in if you're already an Indiegogo member), donate $5 to this AMAZING cause, and then start referring your friends. The person with the most referrals wins!

What did I say? Easy.

For more information, click here.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and spread the word!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I love this time of year--crisp leaves, hot lattes, football, and, you guessed it, the YA Scavenger Hunt!

If you've made it this far, I probably don't need to explain how this whole thing works. But I will say that this is the biggest round-up of YA literature in town and you definitely don't want to miss it. The hunt runs from Thursday, October 1st through Sunday, October 4th. (That's not a lot of time if you plan to enter ALL the giveaways!)

So here's how it works:

Each author on the hunt is hosting another author's bonus material (mine is out there somewhere, you just have to track it down), along with a link to the next step of the hunt.

At each step, you not only get access to that exclusive content, but you'll also collect another "clue" for the hunt. (In this case, the clues are number that you'll add up in the end.) Add up the clues and you can enter for our team's prize--one lucky winner will receive all the signed books for that team! But play fast, the contest and all the exclusive bonus material will only be available for 72 hours.

I'm TEAM RED, but there are SO MANY OTHER TEAMS, which means more prize packs you can enter to win.

Still confused? Don't worry, if you get stuck head on over to the YA SCAVENGER HUNT page for the official rules and instructions.

(Unofficial) SCAVENGER HUNT Instructions:

Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number somewhere. Collect all the author's favorite numbers for TEAM RED (these are the "clues" I was talking about), and then add them up (don't be embarrassed to use a calculator!).

Then ENTER to win by filling out the form here. Only the entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Fine Print: 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 much complete the entry form by Sunday, October 4th at noon Pacific Time. Entries without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today, I'm hosting the amazing Aprilynne Pike. Critically acclaimed, #1 New York Times best-selling author Aprilynne Pike has been spinning tales since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found out running; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Aprilynne lives in Arizona with her husband and four kids; she is enjoying the sunshine.

About Aprilynne's book, EARTHRISE (Earthbound #3):

Even with the power to create and destroy at will, Tavia Michaels couldn't save her parents. She couldn't save the boy she's loved for countless lifetimes. She barely managed to save herself from the treachery of supposed friends. So how can she save the world from a deadly plague--and the immortals spreading it? As the events of EARTHBOUND and EARTHQUAKE reach their thrilling conclusion, no one is safe--Tavia least of all!

Find out more about Aprilynne, EARTHRISE, and the rest of her books here!


Aprilynne is sharing a deleted scene from EARTHRISE (along with an explanation from Aprilynne):

***This is one of those scenes that I needed to write for me, but in the end it slowed down the narrative a ton. This is a deleted scene from the final book of the Earthbound series, so all appropriate spoiler warnings that go with a piece of any last book in a series are hereby applied.;)***

We all nod soberly, then turn and follow the tech out the door and through a series of hallways. I try to keep track based on the blueprints I studied, but my head is still fuzzy from just waking up, and I give up and focus on making sure my mind is alert instead. I conjure up a bowl of trail mix and shove a handful in my mouth, then offer it to Benson who rolls his eyes at me.
I keep chewing, and the chocolate chips wake me up with their sweet sugar taste. By the time we reach a set of double doors I’ve also downed a bottle of orange juice and am feeling much more myself.
And ready to pull off something spectacular if necessary.
The tech doesn’t stop—hardly even slows down—as he throws the doors open and strides through them. The buzz of conversation stops instantly at the sight of us. We’re surrounded by about fifteen people, maybe half in lab coats, the other half in business suits, and an aura of authority is nearly tangible in the air.
I’m oddly relieved when I find Dr. Martin’s face amid the sea of visages, and I focus on her familiar features as the group slowly take their seats around a huge conference table. Dr. Martin stands at the head. “Thank you for coming on such sudden notice. I have news that is truly going to change the world and I’ll need everyone’s help.” She takes a short breath, but doesn’t leave them in suspense. “We have a vaccine for the Kentucky Virus.” She pauses and I can tell by the quirk at the side of her mouth that she wants to smile, but she must be battling a mix of shock, terror, and surely more than a sliver of self-doubt.
The conference room practically explodes into a flurry of voices and Dr. Martin has to hold both hands in the air and chant, “Please, let me explain, please,” several times before the group settles down.
“Our guests came to me this morning with what I thought was an outlandish claim that they had a vaccine, but their … their science was very persuasive and I have, of course, run my own tests here at the clinic, to confirm all of their claims. These people,” she says, gesturing vaguely toward our group, “were vaccinated approximately three days ago and I took blood samples, and my team has tested them repeatedly over the last five hours using every strain of the virus we have samples of. Every single one was repelled.”
And at that there’s a deafening silence. Heads turn to us and I wish that Dr. Martin had claimed the discovery for herself, but I realize that even she, in her position of power, wouldn’t be able to convince the doctors in her own clinic that she developed a new vaccine they hadn’t even heard of, overnight. She can take the credit on a world-wide scale, but the doctors in this building are going to need to know the truth.
Part of the truth.
Dr. Martin continues on before the frenzied murmurs can return. “I’m certain that, as doctors and scientists, you all have questions about the vaccine, but we will have years in the future to study it. What I would really like to do in this meeting is figure out how we can get this vaccine distributed as quickly as possible.”
“Dr. Martin,” a man with lightly graying hair says, speaking up before the others. “I just need to ask, are you sure? Are you certain?”
Dr. Martin swallows hard, then looks up and meets the man’s eyes. “It’s a fair question, Dr. Stephenson. Twenty minutes ago I called my husband. I asked him to leave work and go get our two children out of school and bring them here to me. The second—the second—they get here, I will be inoculating them myself. That, Dr. Stephenson is how confident I am.”
Her eyes leave the now-silent man and circulate the room. “I’ve brought our lead lab tech, Michael Hansen, along because I think every person in this room should receive the inoculation right now. Then I’ll then be sending him to every staff member and patient in the building, with a personal memo from me, requesting permission to inoculate them as well. I want this vaccine out in the world, and I want it done yesterday.”
Dr. Martin turns to me and says softly, so the rest of the room can’t hear her, “I should have asked this before you entered the room—do you … have more vials of the vaccine?”
“Dr. Martin,” I say quietly—this isn’t the time to pick a fight, but she needs to understand—“I am the vaccine.” I open my hand where she can see it, but not any of the other clinic staff, and create five 50mL vials filled with the milky fluid.
“Thank you,” she says, laying her hand over mine and taking the vials. I feel the depth of her gratitude settle deep in my chest and, for the first time, I believe we can win.
“Michael,” she says, addressing the tech, “you have the syringes?”
Michael lowers his clipboard to show a box of slim syringes—hardly the width of a pencil—and a stack of alcohol swabs. Dr. Martin walks toward where he has laid them down on the table, and she’s already rolling up her three-quarters length sleeve.
“It’s a very traditional vaccine, with an intramuscular delivery,” she says, and I hear a quaver in her voice, though I can’t tell if it’s from fear or excitement. “Anyone with the qualifications to inject any kind of vaccine can do it.” Dr. Martin cleans a patch on her upper arm, then fills the tiny needle. “5CC’s, just like the TIB. Poke, push, done,” she says, sticking herself and depressing the plunger as she speaks.
A gasp sounds from the near-silent group and I can see Dr. Martin’s fingers trembling as she recaps the syringe, hands it to Michael, then presses a tissue to the injection site. But when she turns to the group, she’s beaming. “I should be immune within twelve hours.”
Silence reigns. Silence and tension.
Then Dr. Stephenson begins to clap and within seconds the entire room is clapping.
Dr. Martin quiets everyone down again and says, “As we discuss what to do, Michael will circle the room and offer the vaccine to each of you. You do not have to accept it,” Dr. Martin says solemnly, leaning forward over the table. “You weren’t there with me in the lab where we performed rigorous testing, over and over again. You might need more convincing. But I am convinced, and I’m going to move forward with this.”
But most of the doctors are already shedding their suits and lab coats and rolling and pushing up their sleeves.
As Michael silently approaches the first doctor, Dr. Martin speaks again. “I need to impress up on each of you the importance of the secrecy of this meeting. When you leave these doors, the official stance of the Mayo Clinic is that this vaccine was developed in-house, here in Phoenix, and that we had a massive break-through in the last few days. But in this room, it is important that you know the truth. The vaccine was brought to me by this young woman, and she has informed me that there is an criminal organization that will stop at nothing to prevent this vaccine from getting out.”
I suck in a breath. She believes me.
“Who would want to stop a working vaccine from being widely distributed?” pipes up a man from the back, echoing the same question Dr. Martin asked me this morning.
“Who do you think?” Dr. Martin says calmly. “The same organization that created the virus to begin with.”
The man lets out a snort of disbelief. “You’re talking about biological warfare.”
“Damn straight I am,” Dr. Martin says, barely over a whisper.
The entire room is deathly silent.
“The trick, I think,” Dr. Martin continues in a regular voice as though the interruption had never occurred, “will be getting supplies out to every hospital, doctor, or drug store out there in secret, and then spreading the word that people can come and get it from more locations than anyone can target before the majority of the immunizations are already given out.”
“For free,” I blurt out.
Heads turn to me.
“I … we can fund the operation in its entirety if necessary,” I say, my voice strong despite the shivers wracking my legs. “But the vaccine must be available at no cost, to anyone who wants. Poor, rich, black, white, young old, it can’t matter.”
“How fast can we create the vaccine?” another doctor pipes up from the back. “That is frequently the most difficult aspect of vaccine distribution.”
“We can make as much of it as you need, as fast as you can send it out. Trust me.” My voice is steady, but I’m quaking inside at the thought of expending that much energy. It will be exhausting, but I feel like the last few weeks have been good practice for me.
“If that’s the case, I don’t see why we can’t simply overnight ship it wherever is necessary,” he says.
“That might work for the first batch,” Thomas replies, stepping forward and drawing attention away from me so I can retreat back to my wall.
I shouldn’t have stepped forward to begin with. We could have discussed cost later. I’ve got to remember to stay quiet and keep off everyone’s radar.
“This all sounds a bit … like a conspiracy theory,” a man near the front says. “No offense,” he adds, his tone surprisingly genuine.
“None taken,” Thomas says. “We’re asking you to swallow a hell of a lot in a single day. Here’s something I’ve been considering.”
With a tricky bit of sleight of hand, Thomas moves as though reaching into a deep pocket, and simultaneously creates a large map of the world that he rolls out on the conference table. Luckily, everyone’s attention is so focused on the map they don’t realize there’s no place on Thomas’ person large for such a map to be concealed. I just shake my head and peer over the table beside Thomas.
“Let’s say Chicago, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Orlando, Philadelphia, Cincinnati. One cargo plane completely full of vaccine to every city. They need to land within hours of each other and trucks have got to be waiting to take them and go to every major hospital. Hospitals can distribute them to doctors’ offices. But it has got to be fast. One press release nationally to let people know they can go to their local doctor’s office, hospital, hopefully drugstores like Walgreens and CVS. Emphasize that it will be free.” Thomas straightens. “Hopefully we can get several million people immunized before anyone can mount an attack.”
“An attack?” says one doctor, holding a cotton ball against his arm from his inoculation. “You make this sound more like a military operation.”
“It will be,” Thomas says grimly. “The hope is that we can get much of it underway before it has to be.”
“Then why not go to the government?”
Thomas lets out a bark of a laugh. “Please. And introduce all of the red tape and check and balances that would entail? A doctor can ask forgiveness instead of permission. The government, not so much.”
“Although,” Alanna says; her voice always quiet now. It’s such a relief after her awful facade. “If there is trouble—which there almost certainly will be—the government may feel motivated to step in and help.”
“Which is fine,” Thomas says, nodding. “But the most important thing right now is speed.”
Thomas does an enviable job of fielding questions about the operation that was all his idea, not mine, and I let myself fade into the background. I want as few people as possible to realize that I’m involved at all. But after a few minutes, Dr. Martin steps over to me. “You’ve hardly said a word,” she says softly. “Isn’t this your project?”
“You could say that,” I reply, also keeping my voice low. “This morning I stepped forward because I needed to convince you with no scientific evidence whatsoever. Desperate times and all that.” I turn my eyes to her. “You must understand, Dr. Martin, without me there is no vaccine. You needed to know that, but no one else does, if possible. If they find me, they will kill me. And if they kill me, everyone in the world who has not yet been immunized against the virus will die.” My eyes bore into hers with every ounce of force I can push behind them. “As far as anyone besides you is concerned, I’m just a quiet, average teenage girl who happens to be the girlfriend of a brilliant doctor’s son,” I say, gesturing vaguely at Thomas and Benson who look more like a father-son team now than ever before.
“You’ve …” Her voice trailed off and she clears his throat and looks out over the heads gathered around the conference table instead of at me. “You’ve challenged everything in my life that I thought was truth and fact. I’m afraid to even mention the things I have seen you do. I’d lose the credibility with my peers that I’ve spent years building up.” She turns back to me. “I suppose what I’m saying is that I have no choice but to believe the things I’ve seen. But I’m as anxious as you to keep it all a secret.”
I let a half smile cross my lips at the strange agreement that one of the best doctors in the world and the most powerful goddess in existence have just come to.

Man, I love deleted scenes!

In order to enter the contest for your chance to win you need to know that my favorite number is 4. Add up all the other favorite numbers on TEAM RED and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!!


The next stop on your hunt is author Christina Farley.

And because I love the hunt (and giveaways), I've decided to give you an extra chance to win by hosting an ADDITIONAL, and completely separate giveaway right here! All you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below, and boom! you're entered for signed set of THE TAKING and THE REPLACED, along with some super sweet swag.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 11, 2015

International Literacy Day (a few days late!)

This past Tuesday was International Literacy Day, and in support of their cause here are some statistics put together in a really cool infographic by the very literate folks over at Grammarly.

Some of these numbers are pretty shocking...

  Literacy Day

Check out the International Literacy Day site to find out how you can help!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Do Some Good and Get Some Cool Stuff...

This Sunday at 6pm PST I'll be baring my soul. Okay, maybe not my soul, but I'll be taking part in something that means a lot to me when I do a Live Google Hangout for the amazing Read For Pixels campaign to end violence against women.

As a survivor of childhood abuse, I totally get why this cause is so important. But, to be honest, even if I hadn't been abused, I'd rally behind it. I have friends...I have daughters...I'm a woman

And in support of this cause, I (along with some other pretty incredible authors) have offered some pretty cool perks you can claim

Wanna be a minor character in my next book? (And you guys know the things I do to my characters...don't be surprised if I kill you off!)

Want a critique of your work or query letter? (But prepare yourself! I'm not shy when it comes to (constructive) criticism--you have your mom for warm hugs and to hang your work on her fridge!)

Or do you just want a huge bundle of signed books (including the very first, hot-off-the-press copy of THE COUNTDOWN), along with swag, a Body Finder tote bag, etc? 

You can get any or all of these things on the Read For Pixels IndieGogo page

And, if you want to hear more about me, my books, and ask me questions live, then join the live Google Hangout this Sunday, September 6th at 6pm PST!!!

Let's do this!

Friday, August 28, 2015


Copyedits for the final book in The Taking trilogy just landed in my inbox, and we officially have a title:

So now we're counting down to THE COUNTDOWN (yeah, I just said that!), coming May 10, 2016!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

#YAThrillerHunt Starts Today!

Hi and welcome to #YAThrillerHunt, a fun way for you to get to know some new authors! All you have to do is visit each author's Instagram page, follow them, and tag a friend. 

That's it! 

Two winners will receive an autographed copy of EACH book featured in the graphic. This is U.S. only and we’ll draw two winners on July 18th. Here are the participating authors. 

Lindsay Cummings: @authorlindsaycummings
Delilah Dawson: @delilahsdawson
Kimberly Derting: @kimberlyderting
S. E. Green: @segreenauthor
Ellen Hopkins: @ellenhopkinsauthor
Lynne Matson: @lsmatson
Victoria Scott: @victoriascottya
Lynn Weingarten: @lynnweingarten

Good luck!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#BooksArentDangerous (Only 7 More Days!)

#BooksArentDangerous is the brainchild of authors Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, who in lieu of heading out on a costly tour to promote their new book DANGEROUS DECEPTION, opted instead to campaign to put books in the hands of kids-in-need.

But here's the deal, they need your help!

How, you ask?

Easy! Simply post a selfie to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook of you with a book...any book, with the hashtag "Books Aren't Dangerous." Like this:


(See? Even someone over 30  40  not-a-teen, like me, can do it.)

But don't forget the hashtag. And the selfie. And the book. Help put books in the hands of these kids!

So get out there and post...only 7 days left, you guys!!!