YA Scavenger Hunt! Oh yeah, smell it!

Welcome to the time of the year when the sweetest of all essences scent the air. Crisp fall leaves, pumpkin spice everything, and–thanks to YA Scavenger Hunt!–the inky aroma of freshly printed books!

So where have you landed in the greatest booklover’s hunt of all time? Good news! You are currently well on your way to finishing the Orange Team challenge!

And isn’t orange perfect for this time of year, just a stone’s throw from Halloween! Bwahhahahahaha! *evil rubbing of hands*

[In fact, I love All Hallows’ Eve so much, I’m joining with 50+ poets around the country this October for “THE POEMING!” We’re each writing a new found poem every day of October based on a Stephen King novel. That’s another story, but if you’re in interested, you can check it out here.]

And is DREAM BOY (the book I’m giving away for #YASH) all Halloweeny, you ask? Well, the tagline IS…


… so yeah, you could say so.

dream-boy-cover-300.jpgIt’s true that DREAM BOY has some creepy stuff (those suffering from ophiophobia, beware!), but mainly it’s a fun and somewhat funny story about teen Annabelle Manning and her friends in a small fictional town in southwestern Virginia, where the boy from Annabelle’s dreams just happens to show up in her chemistry classroom.

Not only am I giving away a copy of DREAM BOY through the scavenger hunt, but you could also score an super DREAM BOY T-shirt (like the ones below) by entering this special giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Madelyn and Mary, coauthors of Dream Boy, all tee-d up!

What is the YA Scavenger Hunt? 

It’s a fantastic way to get a huge pile of FANTASTIC FREE books sent to your very doorstep! Plus you can find exclusive bonus material from some of your favorite authors as you follow the steps of the hunt!

Author Colleen Houck came up with YASH over a decade ago. Here’s how it works:

There are six contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the ORANGE TEAM — and you can win a book from each of twenty different amazing authors by following the hunt.

That’s right–TWENTY authors means TWENTY books–all for you!


But that’s not all, you can also enter any of the other YASH contests to win books from the Blue, Gold, Purple, Green or Red teams!

How does it work? 

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the orange 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, Oct. 9, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Wait! Didn’t you say something about EXCLUSIVE CONTENT? 

Why yes, I did! Today, I am hosting Jacob Devlin, author of THE CARVER, for #YASH, and he has some great stuff for you!



Crescenzo never would’ve thought his father’s figurines were modeled after real people, but when his loved ones start vanishing from his life, he must unite their real life counterparts and seek their aid to save his family.


jacobdevlinWhen Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.


Pietro Volo
Fan Cast:
Chris Pratt
Image result for chris pratt
“By the way, you’re the son of Pinocchio, Kid, and I’m Peter Pan. Wanna stop for some McDonalds?”
Bio: Peter Pan got tired of being a kid, and today he’s a goofy, pizza-loving adult living just outside of Richmond, Virginia. Adulthood has mostly been good to him, giving him a loving wife and a healthy son. Unfortunately, they’ve been missing for a couple of years, leaving him feeling utterly alone.
Songs: Lost Boy by Ruth B, The Idea of Growing Old by The Features

Fan Cast
: Jeremy Renner
Image result for jeremy renner hansel
“You’ll understand if I have some reservations about moving into houses in the woods. They don’t exactly evoke the sweetest memories for me.”
Bio: It wasn’t so long after his famous encounter with the candy house and the Witch of the Woodlands that Hansel’s favorite person, his dear sister, vanished without a trace. He vowed that day that he would do anything to find her and get her back. Anything.
Song: Dark Necessities by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Crescenzo (Enzo) DiLegno
Fan Cast
: Logan Lerman
Image result for logan lerman
“There’s some really weird stuff going on, and I don’t understand any of it, but you’re casually walking acting like my dad didn’t vanish into thin air!”
Bio: Nobody ever said being fifteen was easy, but Crescenzo is in a particularly weird time in his life. His mom has been out of the picture for a few years, and all his dad wants to do is carve figurines. Oh, and by the way, he just learned that his dad is Pinocchio. That could probably take some getting used to…
Song: There’s a Place by The All-American Rejects

Snow White
Fan Cast:
Zooey Deschanel
Image result for zooey deschanel sketch
“I mustn’t give up hope. I know he’s still alive somewhere.”
Bio: In a world apart, Snow White is freshly awake and quietly settling into her “happily ever after.” She’s found a potential home owner to take over her cottage and she’s ready for her fresh start with her husband. But there are strange things going on in the Woodlands, and soon, she may have to rescue the prince who recently saved her life.
Song: Strange and Beautiful (I’ll Put a Spell on You) by Aqualung

Prince William Chandler Arrington (Liam)
Fan Cast:
Brett Dalton
Image result for brett dalton
“I’ve a lovely wife to return to, and you three are the ones who are going to take me back to her.”
Bio: Prince Liam effortlessly befriends almost everyone he meets, but unfortunately, he’s just as passive as he is charming. He’s never one to strike back in a sword fight or go after a dragon, but everyone knows that would certainly change if Snow White were ever in danger…
Song: Guerriero by Marco Mengoni (Note: This song is in Italian, but you can follow the English translation here!)

Rosana Trujillo
Fan Cast: Ariel Winter
Image result for ariel winter
“I had it under control. I could’ve saved myself, thank you very much.”
Bio: They call her THE GIRL IN THE RED HOOD, but don’t be fooled by her choice of accessories. Rosana is actually the daughter of a girl you know from a different tale, and yet Rosana’s own story is just as strange. She’ll search from the depths of New York’s tunnels to the tops of its buildings until she figures out where her mother disappeared to…
Song: Alive by Sia

Pino DiLegno (Pinocchio)
Fan Cast: Raoul Bova
Image result for Raoul Bova
“These carvings are the key to putting everything back to normal. But … they’re useless unless someone goes out and finds these people.”
Bio: The next-door neighbor and best friend of Pietro Volo, Pino grew up to be a bit of a dreamer, much to the resentment of his fifteen-year-old son. Enzo would prefer that Pino get out into the world and search for Carla, his missing wife, but Pino insists that the most important thing he can do for Carla–and the world–is keep carving…
Song: Dream by Imagine Dragons

Princess Violet
Fan Cast: Danielle Panabaker

“May the light be with you.”
Bio: The fairy guardian of Florindale has quite a resume under her wings. She is directly responsible for turning the puppet Pinocchio into a real boy. She assembled the legendary Order of the Bell together. But has she actually done more harm than good in her mysterious past?
Song: Icarus by Mythos

Hua Mulan
Fan Cast:
Yunjin Kim
Image result for yunjin kim
“I’d use this time to restore my honor if I were you, because I won’t be coming back alone.”
Bio: The great woman warrior of China has seen it all. As one of the original five members of the legendary Order of the Bell, Mulan has sworn to defend the enchanted realms of Florindale from all and any dangers. Whether it’s dragons, giants, or evil queens, call on Mulan. She’s got your back, and she is not to be messed with.
: Towards the Sun by Rhianna

Queen Avoria of Florindale
Fan Cast: Famke Jannsen

“I’ve just woken up, and I must say I feel quite rested.”
Bio: This segment has been flagged for unauthorized distribution of illegal and hazardous data. It has been removed by order of Lord Dominick Bellamy of Florindale.
Song: See What I’ve Become by Zack Hemsey, Broken Mirrors by Rise Against

Bonus Tracks:

Shadows by Lindsey Stirling
Children by Escala
Dustland Fairytale by The Killers

Bonus Material from THE UNSEEN:
The sequel to THE CARVER is slated for release by Blaze Publishing on 5.9.17! Please enjoy this small teaser of the cover for THE UNSEEN and a tiny excerpt of what’s to come!

“The next poor souls to stumble into Wonderland . . . the children . . . shake them up a bit, will you? Break them.”

What’s next? 

Keep going in the Scavenger Hunt! There are ***101 *** reasons why!

Before leaving, though, I want to send a shout out to Adi Rule, author of THE HIDDEN TWIN, for hosting my special content (a sneak peak at my recently completed manuscript, THE UNFORTUNATE ONE).

Also, remember that you need to make a note of the secret number (101) before you leave this page. Leave a comment below, too, and let me know how the hunt is going!

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, check out the next author–Julie Eshbaugh, author of IVORY AND BONE!



#ThePoeming… So It Begins

This October, I’m joining with 50+ poets across the country for THE POEMING–a found poetry event featuring new poems posted each day, based on the novels of Stephen King.


So, what is found poetry, anyway?

In the most basic sense of the words, a found poem involves taking something found in a text that exists in the world and using it for a poem. Obviously, such an endeavor can come about in many different forms. Here are some of the ways a writer might “find” a poem in a text (some of which I’ll be using for #ThePoeming over the next 30 days):

  1. The Frame – Take a bit of text exactly as it appears in a text and break it into lines.This is often a technique I use to create found poems out of text that has no literary intentions to begin with. I might take, for example, a few sentences from the instruction manual for a power drill and break them into lines. By doing this, I am essentially putting a bit of everyday text and putting it in the “frame” of a poem. Sometimes for me, this form is really about heightening different meanings hidden in the text through the use of line breaks. At other times, it’s about creating a new way of hearing our everyday language by framing it as poetry.
  2. Remix – Select words, phrases, or sentences from a text and use them in any order to create a poem. You can physically cut up the page to do a remix (though some people call that sort a “cut up”) or excerpt bits without cutting.By having defined and finite source material (a tiny word bank), I often find myself stretching meaning in ways I find pleasurable and surprising. I enjoy seeing what colors I can come up with when I’m given a limited palette. Also, I can’t just fall back on my old tricks as a writer when I write a remix. I often have to find new structures to incorporate the words I’m given.

    Some poets are very strict in the way they remix poems, using only the exact words found (as would be required in a cut-up poem). Others allow for alterations (shifts in verb tense, making a plural word singular or vice versa, repetitions or words beyond what is found in the original text).

  3. Mash-up – Select words, phrases, or sentences from two or more texts and use them in any order to create a poem. Often this works best if at least one of those texts is presented in something close to its original order.The poem above is a mash-up of Williams’ famous poem and a random line from King’s The Regulators. The humor here is most obvious when you know “This Is Just To Say” is about eating plums. By sneaking in the line from King, I’ve made the poem (at least in my mind) about eating people. The mash-up here functions as something close to parody, but a mash-up can be used to create different effects, depending on the source materials. For example, I could take the statement of the rape victim in the Brock Turner case and mash it with lines from the court proceedings or the judge’s decision to create a political poem.
  4. Erasure – Erase parts of a text to reveal a poem that can generally be read in the same order as it appeared in the original. Erasure can be presented as a black-out poem or re-typed (or both). Sometimes in blackouts, poets will create visual cues (almost like a flowchart) to suggest the flow of the poem, allowing the poet to present the poem in a somewhat different order than the original.You can find some gorgeously presented blackouts on Pinterest. Here are some pretty sloppy blackouts I wrote a while back:

    I could also retype them and present them as an erasure poem. Here’s a sample of what the one on the left might look like retyped:

    Before I Went Away

    She had never known the true name.
    There is no need for thinking, my sister.

    When it was necessary to utter lies,
    the truth allowed her to call herself

    anyone: your sister,
    his voice, his ancestry, eyes,

    a compliment, her teachers,
    their pupils, her friends,

    such words.

  5. CentoFound Poetry Review describes cento as poetry which “unite lines from other authors’ writings into a new poem. The original lines remain intact; the main intervention comes in arrangement and form.”To be honest, I’ve never felt compelled to take lines from a poem or lyric bit of prose and rework them. To me, found poetry is about finding poems in text that’s not already poetic. I enjoy blackout that uses literary texts as source material, and I enjoy poems that quote a line or two of a source poem as either a launching pad or ending point for a poem that is mostly original (see conversation poems, below).

    The idea, though, of reordering a poem to make another poem doesn’t really interest me.

  6. Conversation poems – Mix bits of found text (literary or not) with your own original lines to create a poem that moves between the two. Often poets distinguish found bits from original but putting one or the other in a different font or in italics.Mary Szybist’s “Annunciation in Nabokov and Starr,” for example, mixes lines from Nabokov’s Lolita and Kenneth Starr’s investigation of the Clinton/Lewinsky affair, The Starr Report with original lines.
  7. Golden shovels – This form creates a sort of back-loaded acrostic (using words instead of letters). Basically, you select a line from a poem, isolate each word in that found line, and then use each of those words in order as the end words for each line of your poem.Terrance Hayes invented this poem with his poem “The Golden Shovel.”

    You can find more complete instructions for form here.

  8. Isolations – Select a single word or structure to “follow” throughout a body of text, isolate it, and present those isolations.For example, one of the poems I’ll be posting this month selects all the dialog from a single chapter of The Regulators. Another isolates every time a proper name is mentioned in a set of pages and presents each in order, with a few words that follow each presentation. (If the name occurred in the subject of the sentence, I would generally select the words up to the verb. If the name occurred in the predicate, I would generally select words to the period.)

    I’m also considering creating a poem that tracks a single word through the entire novel (though I haven’t done that yet, so who knows?).

    This form creates a sort of “condensed” experience of the text. It also, in some ways, suggests a sort of literary analysis of the text.

  9. Found + form – Use any variety of found poem to create a work in form. For example, a remix sestina or an erasure ghazal.These are hard. The only ones I’ve tried have been remix haiku.

What other forms am I missing? Add your comments below.

Advice for debut authors #15eradvice

Today Twitter did something awesome — as Twitter is known to do. A bunch of authors offered up their best advice for the newly published under the hashtag .

Here are a few goodies from that conversation:

And the best advice I got when I was heading into the wild world of public authorship:


YA Scavenger Hunt – with a visit from Karen Bao

Team TealWelcome to YA Scavenger Hunt TEAM TEAL! 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!

There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of TEAM TEAL–but there are a bunch of other teams that will give you a chance to win a whole different set of books!

In this hunt alone, you could win a set of these 20 books!


dream-boy-cover-300.jpgI’m really psyched that DREAM BOY, which I co-wrote with my good friend Madelyn Rosenberg, is in such great company!

DREAM BOY is about the consequences of your own imagination, lethal high heels, and epic kisses. It was a really fun book to write, as Madelyn and I mixed romance and suspense in a story that centers on one of my favorite subjects–the weirdness of dreams!

“Eerie, twisty, fast and funny, Dream Boy will forever change the way you see your dreams – and your nightmares. An exciting, imaginative look at what might happen when people from the corners of your mind suddenly show up in your real life.” – Lois Metzger, author of A Trick of the Light

But wait! I promised exclusive content, didn’t I? Plus that elusive NUMBER that you need to participate in the hunt! Read on!

Today, I am hosting Karen Bao!


Here’s what Karen says about herself: “My childhood in New Jersey was full of music, books, stargazing, and buggy science ‘experiments’ on the playground. As a high school senior, I wrote Dove Arising when I should have been doing my homework. I now study environmental biology at college in New York City, soaking up inspiration for future books.”

Check out Karen’s website or find more about Dove Arising!

RisingCoverPhaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom: that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble…

Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.

Exclusive content: Click here to explore the world of DOVE ARISING.


Karen’s favorite number is Phaet’s favorite number. Oddly enough, it’s also my favorite number and the number of contests in the YA Scavenger Hunt. It’s also the number of times my daughter re-recorded the voice-over for the Dream Boy book trailer, trying to get it just right: 8!

Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the TEAM TEAL and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

Directions: 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, Oct 4th at noon Pacific time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, L.H. Nicole!

(You can also check out Victoria Strauss, who will be hosting an exclusive video from me!)

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt.

The Book You Carry with You

“What’s the book?” I asked them. “Something you read when you were really young, but you still carry inside you?”CaptainUnderpants

The answers were as varied at the faces looking back at me–Because of Winn Dixie, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, Junie B. Jones, The Boxcar Children, Walk Two Moons, Goodnight Moon, Captain Underpants, The Jumblies, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and of course Harry Potter.

Goodnight Moon(One young woman even showed me her Potterhead tattoo–three stars in the shape of a triangle on her ankle, same as the illustration at the top of each page in the American edition. Talk about being imprinted by a book!)

It was the first day of our special topics course on contemporary kid lit at small liberal arts college in Virginia, and after the endless (but necessary) syllabus review, we had only a few minutes to talk about what really matters–the difference books make in the lives of children, the difference books have made in our own lives.

I grew up in a house packed with books, shelves lined with Wallace Stevens, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Sean O’Casey, and a complete set of the 1898 Nations of the World.

But there were only a half dozen picture books in the house (if that).

Small RainI remember Small Rain, a 1943 book of verses by Jessie Orton Jones, being the sort of book an adult might think a child should like, but I never particularly did. It was full of words like “knoweth” and “thou,” and I distinctly recall feeling that I was neither as good-hearted nor as gentle-natured as the be-freckled kids in the illustrations.

Who were these kids? I thought. I’ve never joined a spontaneous, ragtag community band! I’ve never held hands with five of my closest friends and danced around an apple tree! 


Space Witch Don Freeman

Then there was Space Witch by Don Freeman, which was half awesome, half terrifying, and a third half uncomfortably weird.

I recall being equally disturbed by the way Tilly’s chin jutted out and the fact that all the illustrations were colored an eerie blue. SpaceWitch

My favorite was probably It Looked Like Spilt Milk, I think because my mom always got excited when we read it together. If she liked it so much, I figured I should, too.

Spilt Milk

spilt-milk-story-pages Oh, look, a bunny!

But for many years of my childhood, there was never THAT book — the one I wanted to read forever, the one I couldn’t put down.

And then this happened:


Just imagine! My previous exposure to children’s books had consisted of prayers and pointing at clouds. Ann Bishop, you and Ella Fannie saved my soul!

Here was a book full of goofy elephant pictures, absurd humor, and even a tiny flip-book on the lower corner of each page! I checked it out from the school library EVERY WEEK of my 3rd grade year. Seriously. EVERY WEEK. We were allowed one book, and it was the only one I needed.

Q: Why do baby elephants need stilts? 

A: To kiss giraffes.

Q: Why did Ella Fannie sit on a blueberry pie? 

A: She couldn’t find a chair.

Q: Why did Ella Fannie say “Baaa, Baaaa”?

A: She was learning a foreign language.

I sometimes think that if someone wants to get to know me, I should just hand them a copy of that book. I’m not saying anything as poetic or profound as “we are the books we love.” But there’s a good chance that if you aren’t willing to laugh at nonsense and you don’t get a tad bit excited by the prospect of a sub-plot (even one carried forth by a flip-book), I’ll likely annoy you in some unspeakable way within the first ten minutes of our association.

Books stay with us, whether we remember them or not. I wrote some poem in college (maybe after?) which included the image of breaking off fingers and eating them as peppermint sticks. I had, as I wrote those lines, the halo-y sense that some repressed memory was emerging–which, in that the memory involved edible fingers, was impossible. Even so, I knew the line was connected somehow to my childhood fears. Perhaps my original fear.

What a strange imagination I have! I thought as I read those lines back. And so I thought for a dozen years.

But it turns out it wasn’t my imagination at all. It was P.L. Travers’!

After my daughter turnmp-hanging-stars-webed six or so, I picked up Mary Poppins–a book I was certain I had never even held in my hands–and began reading it aloud to her. There I found, as you who have read Mary Poppins already know–Mrs. Corry, the scary old candy shop owner who breaks off her fingers and offers them as peppermint treats for children.

Since it seems all but impossible that two people would independently think such an odd thing, I’m relatively certain that someone, somewhere in my toddling stumble toward consciousness, read me Mary Poppins. Or at the very least, a chapter.

I would have sworn to the moon and back that I’d never heard a single word of the book. And yet, there she was within me all those years–Mrs. Corry and her ghastly fingers. Just waiting for her moment to step into the light.

Cover Reveal – The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude and #Giveaway – “A chilling tale that resonates with dark beauty”

Check out this super-spooky cover from horror author Sarah Jude for THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS (coming May 3, 2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).


Two girls: one with a secret, one with a promise that she’d uncover it.

Welcome to Rowan’s Glen—a place full of old fashioned superstition and secrets. Twenty-five years back, a teenage girl was murdered after being crowned queen at the Glen’s May Day celebration, and outsiders have regarded the isolated farming community with suspicion ever since.

But that was before Ivy Templeton was even born. She’s lived in Rowan’s Glen for all of her sixteen years, and feels safe there with the company of her free-spirited cousin Heather, and their friend, Rook, son of the sheriff.

Until . . . animals start showing up dead, clearly from unnatural means. Dark omens seem to appear everywhere Ivy goes. And Heather, who used to tell Ivy everything, is sneaking off after dark with a mysterious lover.

Ivy worries her cousin could be in danger—especially after Heather is elected queen of the May Day celebration. When Heather goes missing, Ivy must come to terms with the fact that she never knew her beloved cousin—or Rowan’s Glen—as well as she thought she did.

Readers looking for horror, romance, and suspense will find it all in this chilling tale that resonates with dark beauty.

Sarah Jude Author photoWho is Sarah Jude?

Sarah Jude lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath whenever you passed a graveyard or a bridge spanning water. Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and ghostly apparitions. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and three dogs.
You can find her on Twitter here.

And best of all, there’s an awesome giveaway at Young Adult Books Central.

One international winner will receive a prize pack that includes:

  • a signed ARC of THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS (when available in September)
  • a handmade ivy leaf pendant

One US winner will receive a prize pack that includes:

  • a signed ARC of THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS (when available in September)
  • swag
  • a handmade ivy leaf pendant
  • a custom herbal loose tea blend called Sleep-Away-Sorrow designed to promote relaxation
  • a sustainable, reusable muslin tea bag

You can enter the giveaway here.

And while, you’re at it, add THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS to your TBR list on Goodreads or pre-order a copy.

READ or WRITE ANYWHERE Summer Reading Campaign! Mystery Photo & Giveaway

It’s just about that time again. The first flash of a firefly, the tinkle of the ice cream truck…

But just because summer is coming doesn’t mean we should stop reading and writing. That’s why I’ve teamed up with the YA Chicks and many participating authors on a global campaign to encourage readers, writers, students, and teachers to share pictures all of the places—both ordinary and extraordinary—where they are reading and writing.

And, if you’re looking for A MONSTER GIVEAWAYto get your summer, started, good new! YOU’VE HIT THE MOTHER LODE!

I, for one, will be giving away a copy of my beloved DREAM BOY.


But wait! That’s not all! For teachers, I’ll also be giving away a 20 minute Skype session and, for writers, a query critique.

In fact, every author participating in this campaign is giving away books, critiques, swag and/or Skype visits. Pretty awesome, right?


So are you ready to guess where I’m writing?

Drum roll, please…


Can you guess where I am? Here are some clues to get you started:

  • I’m writing outside an eatery in the Star City of the South.
  • The restaurant’s doors first opened in 1930.
  • It is one of the few places in the U.S. where you can order “chile” instead of “chili.”
  • If you ask for ketchup there, the server mocks you for wanting “sissy sauce.”
  • A fictionalized version of the restaurant appears in Chapter 19 of DREAM BOY.

Once you’ve figured out where I’m reading/writing (author: choose one), head over to the YA Chicks site and:

  • Officially enter the giveaway by inputting each author’s name and your guesses about our locations. Every author location you guess correctly increases your chances to win.  
  • For even more chances, post a picture of yourself reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). 

For writer prize packs:

  • Post pictures of yourself writing in a fun location on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere. Then follow the directions on the Rafflecopter giveaway to let us know you did it.
  • For even more chances, gather your writer friends together and post a group shot with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). And hey, since you’re already together, why not host a write-a-thon?

For teacher prize packs:

  • Post pictures of your class reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).
  • Then let us know you did it when you enter the Rafflecopter. If you don’t have a Twitter or Instagram, you can email your picture directly with the picture pasted directly into the email (no attachments–we won’t open them) AND the subject, “Read or Write Anywhere.”
  • You can also check out the YA Chicks Read or Write Anywhere lesson plan, available here

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and READ OR WRITE ANYWHERE!