Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Fall 2019 YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome 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 my team in the hunt! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 120 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are FOUR contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am part of the GOLD TEAM—but there is also a blue team, a red team, and a purple team. You can enter for each team to win a whole set of different books, plus a $50 Amazon giftcard!

Yeah, I know my fans are probably shocked that I'm not on the blue team. I didn't get to pick my team, but I'm so excited to be part of this fabulous contest that I don't even care! (Well, not too much. 😉)

And don't miss my personal BONUS GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a copy of my novel After Me or a $25 Amazon giftcard!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, want to see links to all the authors participating, or want to see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Somewhere below, you'll find my favorite number in bold gold. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GOLD TEAM, 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: Contest is 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, October 6th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Hello, YASH Hunters! If you're looking for Colleen Houck's bonus material, you're in the right place! Take it away, Colleen!

All right, zealous readers. I've been telling you that I'm revealing not one but two special projects during this season of the YA Scavenger Hunt. For the past few hunts, I've been giving you sneak peeks of a book I finished writing last year. It's a sci-fi and, so far, it's a stand-alone. Well, we're finally going to be releasing that book in the spring of 2020. It's called Terraformers. 

Here's the WIP description.

Deadly toxins can be hidden inside the most beautiful flowers. That’s what Astra Meador’s famous biophysicist mother taught her.

As her mother’s apprentice, Astra has developed skills in botany, chemistry, medicine, and, most importantly, in keeping secrets. In fact, keeping Astra’s secret was the reason her family decided to leave the Earth and join a terraforming mission to colonize a distant planet called Crillain IV. But when Astra wakes early from hypersleep, she discovers that her mother never made it onboard, her father died in transit and his body has been ejected from the ship, and she suspects that she’s not the only one awake.

When the ship finally lands and she’s reunited with her brother, Nash, Astra hopes to settle into a new life, especially when she meets the charming young engineer, Jax, and is recruited by the mission commander to train alongside his handsome son to be a future leader of the small colony.

Then Astra learns that she’s not the only one with a dark secret.

As both young men contend for her affection, Astra searches for answers, trying to determine who to trust. But with theft and murder occurring in the colony along with the sudden disappearance of her beloved brother, Astra can’t listen to the whisperings of her heart, especially when someone or something else on the planet is whispering to her mind even louder.

The second project is one you've all been waiting on for a long time. Tiger's Dream is finally going to be produced as a special edition in hardback! Technically, there are going to be two books. Because it's so large, we are splitting it into a Part 1 and a Part 2 with bonus material added to each. Both of these will be available for purchase on November 12, 2019. 

Here's a sneak peek at the revamped covers! 

Part one will include a prelude and part two will have a bonus chapter titled, "A Space Between," written in Anamika's perspective. This bonus chapter includes glimpses of all your favorite characters. Here's a little teaser.

Still wrapped in my thoughts, I stumbled into the group of swaying dancers and froze in place. I watched them dance slowly around me, not even noticing when couples phased right through my body. Women’s arms were twined about men’s necks without hesitation or fear. They even seemed to enjoy the closeness and the men’s caresses.

A couple passed me and I recognized Nilima. Unlike others, she didn’t appear to be enamored with her dance partner. She maintained what I considered to be an appropriate distance from him, though he appeared to be making every effort to draw her closer. His obvious attempts to force her to comply disturbed me. I frowned, ready to intervene. Why was she allowing this? She should knee the man in the groin. Or slap him, at the very least.

The song ended and she took her leave after giving the man a tight smile, returning to Ren’s side.

“That one was a bit handsy,” she said.

He glanced up, eyeing the departing figure. “Let me know if he continues to bother you.”

Nilima raised an eyebrow. “I can handle it. Thanks, though. Might stick close to you the rest of the evening, if you don’t mind. As long as I don’t throw you off your game.”

Ren quirked his head. “Ah, game. As in hunting. I like that one. Not to worry, Nilima. The prey here is so easy, a hunt isn’t even necessary. They just fall right into my lap.”

Just then a young woman walked right up to Ren and said, “Why aren’t you just the most gorgeous thing? Aren’t you going to ask me to dance, sugar?”

As the girl took hold of Ren’s arm, he turned back to Nilima. “See?”

Though he smiled, I could see it didn’t reach his eyes. Nilima sighed, shook her head and rubbed her arms. “Why are men such idiots?” she mumbled under her breath. Then, aloud: “Time for some ice cream.”

“I don’t know,” I muttered, trailing behind her. “But if ice cream is what Kelsey and the boy who cares for cows were eating earlier, I will have another serving with you.”

There you have it. You got not one, not two, not three, but FOUR super special, top-secret pieces of info. For those of you wanting to get your desperate little hands on the collector's edition hardbacks, you're in luck. I will be giving away a signed set to a very special Colleen Houck fan. Just head over to my website and enter the Rafflecopter. But, be warned, I will be testing your tiger loyalty to win this highly sought after prize. 

If you haven't read my books yet, that's okay. I still have an amazing giveaway for you too. There's a second contest for new readers. You can choose from either Reawakened, Tiger's Curse, or The Lantern's Ember. Enter the Rafflecopter on my website for a chance to win. Good luck, readers!

Wow! Thanks, Colleen. That is truly some awesome exclusive content!

Thanks to everyone for visiting today, and don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by meColleen HouckElle Scott, and many more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 77. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the GOLD TEAM and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author—Elle Scott!



My featured book in the hunt is After Her, Book Two in the Unfinished Series. How would you like a chance to win an autographed copy of Book One—After Me? Or how about a $25 Amazon giftcard? All you have to do is like my Facebook Author Page or follow me on Twitter or Bookbub between now and Sunday, October 6th. Your name will go into the drawing once for each like or follow. Two lucky winners—one for the book and one for the giftcard—will be drawn at random. Winners will be announced here and on my Facebook Author Page on October 7th. Good luck, and thanks for playing!  

~Stay true to yourself and your dreams will come true!
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Sunday, June 09, 2019

No Exorcism Requested

I fell in love with Gothic Romances when I was about thirteen. I read every one I could get my hands on as fast as I could finish them. I adored the dark secrets hidden within the walls of the towering mansions and behind the eyes of their brooding masters, much like the naïve young heroines in the books. 

Years later, I was thrilled when my friend and writing buddy, Carrie Dalby, told me she wanted to read some Gothic books for research. I loaned her a few of mine and soon discovered that my friend had been possessed by the demons of Gothic fiction. And what an epic possession it has turned out to be! Book 2 of her 8-book Gothic series releases on Tuesday. Read on to find out more about it, and how to enter the GIVEAWAY! 

The Possession Chronicles Book 2

Buy it HERE.

During the spring of 1906, Magdalene Jones is hired to be a companion to Ruth Melling at Seacliff Cottage, the Mellings' second home on Mobile Bay. Magdalene's simple country upbringing is no match for high society banter and a manor hour infested with demonic activity. Alexander, the Mellings' bachelor son, and Magdalene find themselves oppressed by demons playing upon their lusts. Claudio De Fiore—a young Italian deacon training to become a priest--and newly arrived from Scotland, Douglas Campbell, seek to protect Magdalene from the evil within the walls but they themselves might be part of the trouble.

Carrie Dalby, a California native, has lived in Mobile, Alabama, since 1996. She’s published several non-fiction articles in national and international magazines, served two terms as president of Mobile Writers Guild, worked as the Mobile area Local Liaison for SCBWI from 2012-2017, and volunteers with Metro Mobile Literacy Council’s annual Young Author events whenever possible. When Carrie’s not reading, writing, browsing bookstores/libraries, or homeschooling, she can often be found knitting or attending concerts.

Carrie’s two young adult novels are Fortitude (historical) and Corroded (contemporary). Fortitude is listed as a “Best History Book for kids” with Grateful American Foundation for its historical accuracy and being an engaging read for fifth through tenth graders.

Her current project is a historical Gothic family saga for adults, The Possession Chronicles. The first book in the series, Perilous Confessions, released in January 2019 from Bienvenue Press and the second book, Murmurs of Evil releases June 11, 2019.

$10 Amazon
Follow the blitz HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

~Stay true to yourself and your dreams will come true!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 08, 2019

YASH Winners!

The Spring 2019 YA Scavenger Hunt is in the books, and it was FABULOUS

Congratulations to all the winners, especially the RED TEAM winner—Jeremy Cook! A copy of my novel After Me will be on its way to you this week.

And now—drumroll please—the winners of my personal giveaway!

Amber Curtis is the winner of my True Blue Trilogy!

And Carol Coutts-Seipka is the winner of the $25 Amazon gift card!

Thanks so much to EVERYONE who entered and followed me on Facebook, Twitter and Bookbub!

~Stay true to yourself and your dreams will come true!

See all my books on my Web site
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Monday, January 07, 2019

Some Obsessions Are Good Things

Between the ages of 13 and 15, I was obsessed with Gothic Romances like the one pictured above. I read every one I could get my hands on as fast as I could finish them. I adored the dark secrets hidden within the walls of the towering mansions and behind the eyes of their brooding masters, much like the naïve young heroines in the books.

I eventually moved on to other genres, but I never forgot those countless hours spent reading the books of Phyllis A. Whitney, Dorothy Eden, and Victoria Holt. So I was thrilled when my friend and writing buddy, Carrie Dalby, told me she wanted to read some Gothic books for research. I loaned her some of mine, including The Winter People. Before long, I realized that my obsession hadn't gone away, it had merely been dormant for about 40 years. And not only was it back with a vengeance, it was apparently contagious because Carrie had it even worse than I did! Perilous Confessions, the first of her 8-book Gothic series, releases tomorrow.

Read on to hear from Carrie herself about her induction into the Gothic cult—er, I mean club.

Take it away, Carrie!

*Hands Carrie the sparkly blue microphone.*

Thanks for hosting me today, Joyce. To start off, let’s rewind to fall 2015. I was finishing up editorial rounds for my second young adult novel with my editor, Sean. After working on two projects with me—a historical and a contemporary—he left several comments in the document encouraging me to try something new. His first notation of Great line. You ever want to try your hand at horror, I think you’ll do well was laughable. His second one, Serious horror chops here, was more difficult to ignore. Then his response to my reply in the next cover letter—that original Gothic horror did have Christian overtones to it—made me curious and start to ask myself some questions.

Do I even read horror? Would I have any idea what to do? I can’t do slasher, what else is there?

So I did what any writer does when faced with the unknown: research and ponder. In my studies, I found the subgenres of horror as well as the roots of the genre itself—Gothic. Me writing Gothic? I rarely even wear black! But I found that beyond the Gothic subculture of vampires/paranormal, there is a vast literary history that pre-dates most romances, mysteries and what we now call horror novels, and it’s GOTHIC.

Also, while pondering my reading habits, I found that I had unknowingly been drawn to Gothic literature since childhood. All those Betty Ren Wright ghost stories I checked out from the elementary school library and the Christopher Pike teen horror novels I read in middle school were Gothic in nature. I latched onto Nathaniel Hawthorne in high school—also Gothic. And even my first published novel, Fortitude, could be labeled Southern Gothic. I may wear more earth tones than black, but my literature tastes are dark.

I realized that while horror by itself might be too much for me to attempt, I knew I could tackle Gothic. I wanted to read a few more things in the genre to help confirm my understanding as I began drafting my first manuscript, so I asked my critique group friends for recommendations. Joyce brought me a stack of Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney Gothic romance novels. Whitney’s The Winter People (see above) and Holt’s Curse of the Kings were two of the first I read. From there, I branched out and found mid-century favorites Dorothy Eden and Frances Parkinson Keyes. With those two authors, I discovered Gothic family sagas after I unknowingly began to write one. And I also acquired an obsession for collecting Gothic novels. Here’s a sampling of only six of the Gothic authors I’ve amassed.

So the result of my reading history and newer discoveries is The Possession Chronicles—an 8-book historical Southern Gothic family saga series with romance and horror elements. Perilous Confessions is the first book in the series and releases in digital and print formats on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 through Bienvenue Press. If you enjoy Gothic reads, I hope you’ll give it a try. To find out more about me and my books, please visit my Website.

Buy Perilous Confessions here.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Carrie!

You can also find Carrie all over the Web (She's everywhere! She's everywhere!)


~Stay true to yourself and your dreams will come true!

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