I'm Sara B. Larson ------>
I'm the author of the YA Fantasy DEFY!
(The sequel is coming out in early 2015--stay tuned for more details!)
(For more info on DEFY go here)
Now on to the reason why you're here--the YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-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 (Mine is the first scene in DEFY told from Marcel's point of view instead of Alexa's!)...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 signed 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!
YA Scavenger Huntpage to find out all about the hunt. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM--but there is also a red team and a gold team for a chance to win a whole different set 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 home page!
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
Below, you'll notice that somewhere in this post is my favorite number (in blue!). Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue 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 to 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, APRIL 6, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
I'm also hosting a personal giveaway at the bottom of this post where you could win a signed copy of DEFY, plus an awesome swag pack (and an extra little treat)! So make sure to stick it through to the end!
Now on to the fun!!
Today, I am hosting the lovely, awesome:
Jessica Spotswood! Jessica is the author of the Cahill Witch Chronicles: BORN WICKED (2012), STAR CURSED (2013), and SISTERS' FATE (August 2014). She grew up in a tiny, one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where she could be found swimming, playing clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or - most often - with her nose in a book. Now Jess lives in Washington, DC (Where I hear they have at least 21 stoplights) with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. She can be found drinking tea, teaching writing workshops for teens, or - most often - with her nose in a book. Some things never change.
About STAR CURSED: With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.
Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.
In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.
TO BUY THIS AWESOME BOOK GO HERE!!!
I just love Jessica--she's one of the nicest, most giving authors I've ever met. (Even though we've only "met" online...so far. Hopefully someday in person!) And now, for your bonus content!!
(Warning: this bonus content contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the ending of BORN WICKED. It is the very end of BORN WICKED, rewritten from Finn's point of view.)
"Miss Catherine Cahill," Brother Ishida booms. "Come forward to declare your intention before the Lord."
Cate rises from her spot in the Cahill family pew and approaches the dais. Whispers slither through the church; she's not due to declare an intention just yet, and the suddenness of the announcement has caught our neighbors by surprise. I catch the name McLeod and clench my fists. Of course they'd think it's him. He made his own intentions clear enough; he's come back to Chatham to court her.
But she doesn't want McLeod, I remind myself. Perhaps he could give her more in the way of money, prestige, protection--
I cut off those thoughts. Stare down at my new black cloak and the silver ring of the Brotherhood on my finger. Not anymore, he can't. And he couldn't love her more.
Ishida drones on about the seriousness of declaring her intention while I shift impatiently on the hard wooden pew. Sitting in the front row with all the other Brothers will take some getting used to. They all grinned at me and shook my hand this morning. Welcomed me as one of them. Brother Winfield commended me on taking my mother in hand. It looks good, closing the bookshop. The sort of thing a devout man would do. The men around me think I've finally seen wisdom and fallen in line.
Self-loathing crackles through me. But Cate's worth it and more.
She steps up onto the dais, beautiful as ever, and I flush with heat, remembering her slim body pressed against mine. It still seems incredible. A few weeks ago, I thought her proud and prim and standoffish. Now I can't imagine my future without her.
She holds herself tall, but her face is pale and drawn, and there are blue shadows beneath her eyes. Did her sisters raise a fuss about her marrying me? They'll come around. I'll show them how much she means to me. Marrying me, she'll stay here in town; I won't take her away from them like McLeod would. And I'll share the heavy burden that's plagued her since her mother died. Keep her safe. Make her laugh. I'd never judge her for what she is. I know she thinks I love her despite it, but her magic is part and parcel of her, just like her blond hair and pointy chin.
"Catherine Cahill, what is your intention?" Ishida asks, and I prepare myself for a swarm of congratulations and back-slapping.
She does not hesitate. "In the hearing of the Lord and all those who witness my words, I offer myself to the Sisterhood," she says, her voice clear and unwavering.
No, I must have misheard - misunderstood. But no one's offering congratulations. And Cate - she isn't smiling. She's staring out over the congregation with her mouth set like a straight pin. I gape at her, willing her to meet my eyes.
After what seems an eternity, she does - and her hand flies to a small cut on her cheek.
Someone hurt her. They're forcing her - the Brotherhood - no, that doesn't make any sense. That manipulative governess of hers, then. She must have tricked her into it. Threatened to expose her as a witch - or her sisters. I reach for the pistol tucked into my boot. I won't let her throw her life away like this. She's already sacrificed too much. I've sacrificed too much.
I don't think of the Brothers' guards standing at the back of the church or the hundreds of our neighbors between us and the doors. I don't think, period. I only know I've got to get her out of here -- but Cate shakes her head as if she can sense what I'm thinking. Her eyes - the gray blue of a summer thunderstorm - are still fixed on me, and she looks - defeated.
"Catherine Cahill, the blessings of the Brotherhood are upon you," Ishida says. "You may go in peace to serve the Lord."
She bows her head. "Thanks be."
The congregation echoes her and then everyone is standing, stretching, gossiping, greeting one another. I shove past the Brothers around me. That governess of hers has already snaked through the crowd to Cate's side. Is leading her down the side aisle. I dart through an empty pew just in time to hear, "The carriage is waiting."
Good Lord. They can't mean to take her away now, today, without so much as--
Cate looks over her shoulder at me, then back at the governess. "Could I have five minutes? To say goodbye?" she pleads.
My jaw clenches. This isn't her own choice. It can't be. Less than twenty-four hours ago, I asked her to be my wife. Gave her my mother's ring. She said yes. What's changed?
"I don't think that's wise, do you? Why prolong the inevitable?" the governess asks, with a tiny, insufferable smile. I've never done violence to a woman, but Lord help me--
"May I go home to gather some of my things, at least?" Cate begs, and it is begging. I can read the shame of it on her face. This woman is in charge, controlling the situation, controlling Cate. But how? Why? We had a plan. She could - should have -- come to me; we could have figured this out together.
"Your sisters and I can take care of that for you," the governess says. "We'll send them soon. Come, Cate. No stalling."
I reach out, catching at Cate's wrist. It's not proper, but the hell with proper. She was meant to be my wife.
I feel her tremor at my touch. "Goodbye," she chokes out, but she won't meet my eyes. Hers are fixed on the wooden floor as she fumbles in her pocket and then grabs my hand. Presses something cold into my palm. Closes my fist around it. Her hands, ice-cold, linger on mine, but only for a second. Then she steps away.
I glance down at the object in my palm. My mother's ruby ring. She's given it back. She's given it back, and now she's leaving. Going to New London to lock herself up in the guise of a nun and study the magic she hates. To become a weapon for people she doesn't trust.
I don't understand it. I loved her enough to forswear myself to the Brotherhood. Enough to let my mother close the bookshop that was my father's dream. I went through with my end of the bargain, and now--
Could she have changed her mind? I don't want to think it. It's a good deal easier on my pride to imagine that they're forcing her, that they've threatened her sisters. But Cate's a witch, and a powerful one at that. She can erase people's memories. Why isn't she fighting back?
"Cate," I say, my voice hoarse. "Why?"
She doesn't answer. Doesn't even acknowledge the question. Simply stands there, frozen, her eyes still trained on the wooden floor.
"Come along," that hateful governess says, taking her arm and leading her down the aisle.
Cate's sister Maura comes running up. "Let me go instead. Please, Cate, don't leave me here with her."
With who? The governess? Cate looks at her sisters, and it's then that I know it for certain. This isn't what she wants. She might leave me, but she'd never choose to leave Maura and Tess.
"You'll have Tess," she tells Maura, and the way she holds herself, so tall and straight and determined - it's brave. Brave and misguided. There's got to be some way around this. "Look after each other."
Then she walks down the aisle and out the door and out of my life.
Only - no. I watch as Maura sobs, heedless of our neighbors' gawping. As Tess wraps a comforting arm around her. As Cate disappears into a carriage out front.
This isn't a permanent goodbye. Cate might be too frightened to fight back, but I'm not.
How awesome was that?!?! Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Jess!!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author--the incredibly funny and wonderfully talented Jaye Robin Brown! CLICK HERE!