YA Summer Scavenger Hunt

In June, the Alliance of Young Adult Authors is sponsoring a massive young adult scavenger hunt. This is a chance to meet some new authors, grab a bunch of free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes!

RULES

Each author will be given a special keyword, which will be bolded and all caps like this: BUTTERFLIES.

All you have to do is visit all the author’s sites in this order, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed secret legend HERE.

There will be one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors will also have smaller giveaways for free books, amazon credit and author swag, so make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they’re offering while you’re on their site for the keyword.

THE MAP (participating authors)

  1. Cindy Ray Hale
  2. Katherine Bogle
  3. Melle Amade
  4. David Kudler
  5. A.M. Yates
  6. Alethea Kontis
  7. Stevie Rae Causey
  8. Katlyn Duncan
  9. Debbie Manber Kupfer
  10. Meredith Rose
  11. N.M. Howell
  12. Lara Ann
  13. K.M. Robinson
  14. J.A. Culican
  15. Heather Karn
  16. Rob L. Slater
  17. Dylan Keefer
  18. Sarah K. Wilson
  19. L.J. Higgins
  20. Gina Marie Long
  21. Em Kazmierski
  22. Travis Hall
  23. Heather Young-Nichols
  24. Anna Santos
  25. J.L. Weil
  26. Jo Schneider
  27. Rebecca Fernfield
  28. Kristin D. Van Risseghem
  29. Martine Lewis
  30. Tara Benham
  31. Stacy Claflin
  32. Beth Hammond
  33. Erica Cope
  34. Nicole Zoltack
  35. Char Webster
  36. Sabrina Ramoth
  37. T.J. Muir
  38. Raquel Lyon
  39. Beth Rodgers
  40. S.L. Beaumont
  41. Eva Pohler
  42. Melanie McFarlane
  43. Cheryllynn Dyess
  44. Audrey Rich
  45. Amanda Zieba
  46. Sandie Will
  47. Elle Scott
  48. Angie Grigaliunas
  49. Ashley Maker
  50. Mandy Peterson
  51. Audrey Grey
  52. Elisa Dane
  53. Amy McNulty
  54. Melinda Cordell
  55. Monica Leonelle
  56. Claire Luana
  57. Frost Kay
  58. Preeti C. Sharma
  59. Bentz Deyo
  60. April Wood
  61. Lena Mae Hill
  62. Angel Leya
  63. Wendi Wilson
  64. Wendy Knight
  65. Chogan Swan
  66. Tamara Hart Heiner
  67. Norma Hinkens
  68. Patti Larsen
  69. Megan Crewe
  70. Jamie Thornton
  71. Jessie Renée
  72. T.A. Maclagan
  73. Lydia Sherrer
  74. Phyllis Moore
  75. P.D. Workman
  76. J.A. Armitage
  77. K.N. Lee
  78. Angela Fristoe
  79. Rhonda Sermon
  80. G.K. DeRosa
  81. Erin Richards
  82. Ali Winters
  83. Larissa C. Hardesty
  84. Kristine Tate
  85. Debra Kristi
  86. Bella Rose
  87. Cortney Pearson
  88. Jeff Kohanek
  89. Kristal Shaff
  90. Rachel Morgan
  91. Emma Right
  92. C.L. Cannon
  93. Joanne Macgregor
  94. Lindsey Loucks
  95. Farah Cook
  96. Erin Hayes
  97. Jesikah Sundin
  98. Dorothy Dreyer
  99. Danielle Annett
  100. C.J. Ethington
  101. L.C. Hibbett
  102. Madeline Dyer
  103. Katie John
  104. Nicole Schubert
  105. Rachel Medhurst
  106. Tee G Ayer
  107. May Freighter
  108. Heather Dyer
  109. Jen Minkman
  110. J.L. Gillham
  111. Karen Tomlinson
  112. Kate Haye
  113. Megan Linski
  114. Martina Billings
  115. Jo Ho
  116. Brian King
  117. Inna Hardison
  118. Rachel Bateman
  119. Sally Henson
  120. J.L. Hendricks
  121. A.L. Knorr
  122. T.M. Franklin
  123. Konstanz Silverbow
  124. felisha Antonette
  125. Jake Devlin
  126. S.F. Benson
  127. Laurie Treacy
  128. Emily Martha Sorensen
  129. Leia Stone
  130. T. Rae Mitchell
  131. J. Keller Ford
  132. Kat Stiles
  133. Jessica Hawke
  134. Elyse Reyes
  135. Sophie Davis
  136. Bianca Scardoni
  137. Jenetta Penner
  138. David R. Bernstein
  139. Olivia Wildenstein
  140. Derek Murphy

Starts June 1st!

Just go through the “treasure map” above to find the keywords and reconstruct the secret legend. Once you’ve got it, enter for the grand prize HERE. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for other giveaways or free books as you search for the keywords, most authors will be offering their own prizes as well.

For rules, updates or trouble-shooting, make sure to check out this main post which will stay updated.

TIMELINE

Authors will post the rules and the full list of participating authors sometime in June, and have their post up and visible on their site/blog, with their keyword, by June 1st. Readers just need to go through the list, find the words, and use the story to enter for the grand prize.

 

Iniquitous by Bianca Scardoni

Oh. My. God.

Okay, I’m going to be honest here. It’s been a long time since I read Invidious, book 2 of The Marked Series. Just shy of eleven months. Now, I read A LOT of books. Hell, I’ve written two books since I read it. I also have a terrible memory, so I can honestly say when I started this, I had no idea what happened in Invidious. I only remember that I loved it. Continue reading

The Blood Bound Series by J.L. Myers

Oh. My. God. I love THIS ENTIRE SERIES so much!
All four of these books make up an intense, imaginative story that keeps you on your toes from beginning to end. My emotions ran the gamut, from excitement to depression, disbelief to shock, anger to tears of pure happiness. So basically— I had all the feels.

I love every character in this series. The good, the bad, the bad that want to be good, the bad that have so much fun being bad. They are well-developed, interesting, thought-provoking beasts that had me second guessing my every prediction. And, for the record, I was usually wrong.

The amount of effort put into weaving this tale is evident. It’s so complex, so intriguing, with no detail left dangling at the end. Every question was answered, every mystery solved, every problem these characters faced was resolved beautifully. And the world-building… ah, exquisite!

Love, true friendship, commitment, redemption- this series has it all. I wish I had the power to make this series into a movie. It would be amazing. I highly recommend this  entire series, to readers who enjoyed Vampire Academy, The Mortal Instruments, and Twilight. You’re gonna love it.

Check out these amazing vampire books here.

Suppressed: Chapter One

Hello beautiful readers!

I’m so excited for the upcoming release of Suppressed! A young adult paranormal romance with witches and mermaids, Suppressed opened a whole new world to me and my writing. Not only are there new characters and a new world, I also wrote it in the first person for the first time, which was as scary as it was exciting!

The book is still with its editors, but I’m going to jump the gun here and share the first chapter with you! Keep in mind that some things may change slightly and any typos will be fixed before the book releases on May 16th! Let me know what you think!

Enjoy! Continue reading

Suppressed Cover Reveal

Hello wonderful readers!

I am so excited to announce that my latest novel, Suppressed, is now available for preorder and will be releasing on May 16th! This is a new story, with new characters- different from my previous work, The Shadowed Series, but not too different.  🙂 Like my previous work, Suppressed is steeped in the supernatural, ripe with teen angst and romance… there just aren’t any shifters. At least, not in the same sense.

In my excitement, I decided to make the preorder price only $0.99. I’m not sure how long I’ll leave it at that price, so jump on it now!

So, without further ado………. Continue reading

Molluscum Contagiosum: What finally worked after months of trial and error

In mid-2016, I noticed a couple of flesh-colored bumps on my 8 year old son’s knee. I didn’t think too much of it. I thought they were just bumps- like an ingrown hair or a wart. In October, I noticed there were more… a lot more. He had several on each knee, one on his bicep and a few on his big toe.

I took him to the doctor and got the diagnosis- molluscum contagiosum- a viral infection that causes these bumps. There’s no cure. The only treatment they could offer was to burn them off- a very painful procedure that can cause scarring. My son said thanks, but no thanks. He’d wait it out.

That’s when the doctor informed us the infection could last 6-8 months. In the meantime he had to keep the bumps covered so his brother wouldn’t catch it. This meant long pants, long sleeved shirts and socks at all times. No swimming in our backyard pool. No sharing or even reusing towels.

My son was devastated at these restrictions, so I set out to get as much information as possible and to try everything I could to get rid of these hellish bumps so he could be free to do the things he loves.

I’m sure, if you’re reading this, you’re on the same path I was, trying to find anything, ANYTHING that will at least shorten the time frame. Here, I share my journey with you and reveal what did and didn’t help.

First, I paid $32 for a tiny bottle of Zymaderm. (Hint: it’s cheaper on Amazon, but I wanted to start it that day). It seemed to help, at first. Two or three of the bumps on one leg went away, and I got really excited. The problem was, that while those few little bumps were fading, double that were popping up elsewhere. More surrounding his knees, in his armpits and down his chest. And to make matters worse, after those few initial bumps, none of the rest had any change. Overall, this medicine failed.

Next, I had a friend make me blend of essential oils that seemed to help when her son contracted the virus. I don’t know everything that was in it, but the main oil that she thought helped was Thieves, a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils. Applying this to his bumps daily did nothing. This medicine failed.

Next, I tried pricking a bump with a needle. I read that busting the core (the thick, white/yellow center) would allow blood to get in and actually form antibodies that would fight the infection and get rid of the bumps. My son screamed the second the needle touched him. Fail.

Then I tried rubbing alcohol (I read somewhere that it will fight the infection and…you know the rest). I applied it to the bumps twice a day. At night, I saturated a piece of cotton ball with alcohol and apply it to a bump or two, placing a bandage over it to keep it in place overnight. Sometimes, the bumps would appear smaller in the morning, giving me hope. But they didn’t go away. Fail.

Epsom salt bath. Fail.

Apple cider vinegar. Fail.

Next, on the advice of another mom with experience in this matter, I bought regular tea tree oil at the store. The bottle said it was for aromatherapy uses only, but by this point, I was desperate. My son was contemplating enduring the pain and scarring and asking me if I’d consider taking him in to have them burned off.  So, I bought the aromatherapy tea tree oil and started applying it to the bumps twice a day. Slowly, a few of the bumps started coming to a head. This meant that the core came up to the skin surface so my son could pluck it out. He wouldn’t let me touch them, because this does hurt, a lot. The problem was, he was getting an excema-like rash around the bumps. His skin was scaly and red.

I thought I’d found the cure. The one thing that was going to put an end to my son’s torment after months of daily treatments with one terrible smelling concoction after another. I mentioned it to my friend Michelle, who’s face immediately contorted in horror when I told her I was putting the tea tree oil on my son’s skin.

She told me it was synthetic, not pure, and that it was probably burning his skin. I light bulb went off- that’s why he was getting all those dry, red patches. I was literally burning him. That’s real parent-of-the-year material, right there. FAIL!!!!!!

Michelle made me promise not to put that stuff on him again, and said she would make me a blend of real essential oils to help. I was skeptical. I mean, I’d tried an essential oil blend already and it didn’t work. But, being desperate as I was, I readily agreed.

She gave me this blend in a tiny spray bottle and advised me to spritz it on and spread it around with my fingers at least twice a day. That was on Friday, February 17th, 2017. As of Monday, February 27th, my son was molluscum-free. 

What I mean is, after applying this blend (that actually smells good!) for less than 10 days, every bump my son had came to head so he could pluck it out. The bled and looked like sores for a few days, then healed up. No new bumps formed during the use of it, either. My son was literally dancing around the house while I cried after plucking out the core of the last bump.

He can wear shorts. He doesn’t have to wear socks to bed. He’ll be able to swim when summer hits.

For those of you searching for a remedy, I wanted to share, so I got the recipe from my friend. Here it is:

(These are DōTERRA essential oils.)

melaleuca

on guard

frankincense

arborvitae

Just add a drop of these into a small bottle with coconut oil as the base.

Here is her website where you can order these oils or you can contact her on Facebook if you have any questions.

Good luck on your own journey. I hope this helps!!

Wendi

What Lies Inside by J.L. Myers

Wow. What a ride this book took me on. I was gifted a copy of this book by the author and, when that happens, you never really know what you’re gonna get. I am so glad I took a chance on What Lies Inside.

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I loved it, and I do mean LOVED, from beginning to end. I loved the characters, I loved the plot. I loved the fact that as I read, I felt transported into Amelia’s world and it was seamless. I could feel and relate to each of her emotions and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next.
Ty…Ty is an amazing character. I fell in love with him just as quickly as Amelia did.

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The best part, for me, were the surprises. I’m usually very good at figuring out what’s going on and predicting the ending. With this book, I was just as confused as the main character, sifting through the clues, trying to figure out who the real bad guy was. I suspected it was this character or that and, in the end, I was partially right, but it was so well-written that I could’t figure out the why or how of it. The reveal kept me enthralled til the very last page.

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I must admit, I immediately bought book 2. I can’t wait to get started and see where the story goes from here.
Great story, great characters, amazing imagination. If you’re looking for a vampire novel with a different sort of twist- try this one! You won’t regret it!

10 Amazing YA Shifter Romance Books

I love shifters! There’s something amazing about a character whose life is split into two parts. On one side, they’re attempting to live a normal, human life and on the other, they’re a beast, savage or otherwise, trying to control their baser instincts.

I wrote a young adult shifter romance book because it’s what I love. It’s what I obsess over. It’s what floats my boat. The book doesn’t have to solely focus on a shifter, just so long as there’s one stuck in there somewhere it’ll make me happy.

Here are some of my all time favorite YA paranormal romance novels that include shifters (in no particular order): Continue reading

Updrift by Errin Stevens

Updrift is a great love story and introduction to this series about sirens, community and the strong ties that bind them. I loved the characters and their relationships with each other. The story has romance, suspense, humor and drama, all woven together expertly to make you feel everything deep inside- and really care about them all, even the ones with suspect character traits and who make terrible, selfish decisions.

The first third of the book was a little tedious for me. There was a lot of descriptive backstory, starting when Kate and Gabe were children, then flitting from one milestone to the next- sometimes out of order, it seemed- until they were in high school and basically separated from each other. The pace picked up from there, moving through those years then on, finally reuniting them and starting the suspenseful intrigue part of the story.
I was riveted, hardly able to put it down as Kate and Gabe established their true relationship, faced adversity, and withstood the try tests of their love.

Overall, this is a solid and entertaining story. I’d recommend it to readers who like mermaids, paranormal romance- or any other kind of romance- and sweet, true love stories.

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