YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to the Spring 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt!


It's time, once again, for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Are you ready to enter to win lots and lots of books? I thought so! Here's what you need to know: 

Somewhere in this blog post, I've hidden an important number. Collect all of the secret numbers of the authors on TEAM PINK and add them up. (Don't worry—you can use a calculator!) Then, fill out the entry form HEREPeople who have the correct number will be entered to win a copy of every book from TEAM PINK! 

The 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, APRIL 9, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Find out more about the entire hunt—including what other authors/teams are participating—by visiting the YASH home page

Meet the Author!

This time around, I'm hosting Kim Briggs, author of the STARR FALL series. Kim once smashed into a tree while skiing. The accident led to a concussion, a cracked sternum, temporary notoriety as a sixth grader returned from the dead, and the realization that fictionalized accounts are way more interesting than just slipping on the ice.

An unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories combined with a love of travel and happily ever afters led Kim to write her YA novel, Starr Fall, which released in November 2016. The second book in the series, Starr Lost, came out in January 2017, and Starr Gone is coming in June 2017—all with Inkspell Publishing. Kim's novella, Avalanche, is part of the Valentine Kisses Anthology and released February 14, 2017.

About Starr Fall: 

On the run from the Organization, Starr never planned on falling in love.

Starr Bishop's the complete package. A perfect smile, brains to match, and a winning attitude. Boys want to date her and girls want to be her. She's the type of girl you want to hate, if only she wasn't so damn likable. But don't worry, she's not interested in your boyfriend. Boys are one complication she can live without.

When the Organization decides she's not only the model student but also the ideal assassin, Starr'll need a lot more than high test scores and extracurricular involvement to get herself out of that commitment. Dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood is the last person she'd expect—or even want-to come to her rescue. From opposite ends of Webster High's social hierarchy, their lives collide in one electrifying moment. Christian isn't the Goth loner he pretends to be, he's a part Cherokee, All-American boy who wants to be a hero, Starr's hero. Christian makes Starr forget that the Organization is after her, but nothing will stop the Organization from collecting their top recruit.

By the way, the spot for junior class president just became available.

Bonus content: 

Kim's excited to share an excerpt from Book Two, Starr Lost! Enjoy... 




I tried to catch Frank by himself coming into school this morning but that was an epic fail. Between his harem of ex-girlfriends vying for another chance and Little Red attached to his arm, I’ll never catch him alone. Why did Christian ask for him anyway? Mr. Joe Cool Jock is the last person Christian would want to be friends with. Starr’s got to be with him.

I wonder how that’s going. Christian’s always acted as if Starr’s mission in life was to make his existence miserable. A vendetta of sorts. Then I told him what happened to her and he went all Superman.

Oh. My. God. There’s another one of those Jesus Freak grief counselors from that crazy new church in town. Between them and the pigs showing up at school and Beans, I can’t get a moment’s peace.

How the hell do I talk to Mr. Hollywood by himself? Someone like me can’t just go up to Webster’s royal court without violating at least a dozen archaic codes of social interaction, and today is one day I don’t want to draw unwanted attention. Whatever Christian and Starr got themselves into is freakishly colossal, and I won’t be the one to fuck it up.

I follow two basketball knuckle draggers down the hall. I’m almost to homeroom when they split ranks. One lumbers down the stairs to the dungeon—appropriate I know. The other cuts off toward the cafeteria—probably wants to eat a few freshmen in between classes.

Wait a second.

I stop in the middle of the hallway. One person makes the mistake of knocking into me. A claw swipe and a hiss sends the clumsy thumb sucker and the rest of Webster’s peons running for their lives.

I watch the knuckle dragger cut the breakfast line, and it gives me an idea. I rip a flyer off the wall and scribble a message on it. Just as I finish, Mr. Hollywood and Little Red stroll down the hall.

I shove the flyer in his free hand. “Hey, check out this band.”

He winks as he flashes his cheesy smile. I roll my eyes and walk away. We may be on opposite ends of Webster’s social hierarchy, but he never changes.

The morning drags on period after brutal period. Contemporary Issues used to be my favorite class—that is until Starr and Christian disappeared. Now New Lifer Tammy dominates every discussion, including weather updates, with her conservative agenda. I’ve taken to sharpening my fingernails into points. And don’t even get me started about Chemistry with Morris. That should be self-explanatory. Of course, English Lit’s all right. I miss Starr, but One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest sorta reads like my personal memoir.

When the bell finally releases us, we scamper like Pavlov’s dogs to the cafeteria. A few underclassmen fall victim to a well-placed shove as I barrel down the stairs, but no one dares complain. No one wants an up-your-junk meeting with my Docs.

Your next steps...

Still on the YA Scavenger Hunt? There are two things you'll need to move forward. One: My secret number—42. And two: Your next stop on the Hunt. Head to Claire LaZebnik's website for more great book content and goodies! 

And don't forget that somewhere on the TEAM PINK hunt, you'll find bonus content related to my second book, HOW IT FEELS TO FLY, which came out last year.

Oh, and one more thing: ***GIVEAWAYS!***

First, Kim is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card, plus a signed copy of STARR FALL, to one lucky winner! Here's the Rafflecopter: 

Second, I'm excited to give away signed hardcovers of *both* of my books, plus swag, to one winner! Use this Rafflecopter to enter:

Happy Hunting! 


Welcome to 2017! (Yes, a Bit Late...)

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed that I've been on a bit of a hiatus. This wasn't really planned. Life just spiraled away from me a little bit! For several reasons: 

In case you missed it, I'm pregnant! Baby Girl is due in June. So, the past couple months have been chock full of baby prep (picking out items for our registry, apartment-hunting and then deciding to stay where we are after all, rearranging and redecorating our current place...). Not to mention the brain space I'm already losing to baby worries. It's amazing how time-consuming it can be to think and fret and dream about the tiny human growing inside you! 

Also, I have been writing like a madwoman. I have some friends who have had a hard time doing creative work while pregnant; luckily, I have not been in that boat. I've been both inspired and determined to finish a rewrite of an old project before the baby arrives. Last week, I accomplished Goal One on that front: I sent a complete draft to my agent, to get her feedback. If all goes well, I'll do a revision based on her notes and send it back in May. Keep your fingers crossed for me. :)

Those two things together, plus the occasional freelance assignment, have meant I've had very little time for anything else—this blog included. But that doesn't mean I plan to let this space wither away. In the coming months, keep an eye out for sporadic updates from me. I've also got some pre-scheduled posts planned:

  • I'll be participating in the YA Scavenger Hunt in a few weeks. I love this bi-annual event, which showcases tons of Young Adult writers' newest releases and includes So Many Giveaways. Watch this space for a chance to win a ton of books! 
  • At the end of 2016, the YA Buccaneers (the group blog I'd been a part of since 2014) shuttered for good. We had a fantastic run, but we'd all reached the point where we were being pulled in too many different directions to keep the blog running smoothly. The site is still up, for now, so visit YABuccaneers.com to take a trip down memory lane. Meanwhile, I've rescued some of my old posts, and I'll be re-sharing them here in the months ahead. 

I'll leave you with my Word of the Year for 2017. This is something I've done since 2013, instead of writing down a list of New Year's Resolutions. This single word represents my goal for myself for a given year—physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. In 2013, I chose Patience. In 2014: Momentum. In 2015: Gratitude. And in looking back at 2016, it appears that I meant to share a word, and never actually did. Whoops! 

But for 2017, I've had one word at the top of my brain for a while now: 


Why? It's not only thanks to the phrase "Nevertheless, she persisted," which exploded following recent political events. It's also that the past twelve months have brought me a number of near-misses in terms of selling new books. It's easy to feel discouraged without another contract on the horizon. Are the two books that I have on shelves the only two I will ever publish? NO. I will continue to write and write and write. I will create manuscripts that I love, in the hope that someone else will love them just as much as I do. I will PERSIST. Even when the going gets tough. Even when everything in my life is about to change, with a baby on the way. Especially under those conditions. 

Do you have a word that encapsulates this year for you and your creative endeavors? I'd love to hear it! 


Welcome to the Spring 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt!

It's that time again—time for someone to win a WHOLE LOT of books! Welcome to the Spring 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt. Here's what you need to know: 

Somewhere in this blog post, I've hidden an important number. Collect all of the secret numbers of the authors on TEAM ORANGE and add them up. (Don't worry—you can use a calculator!) Then, fill out the entry form HERE. People who have the correct number will be entered to win a copy of every book from TEAM ORANGE! 

The 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, APRIL 3, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

There are NINE contests going on simultaneously this time around, and you can enter one or all! Find out more about the hunt and see all of the authors participating by going to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

And now...to business! 

I'm excited to be hosting Paula Stokes, author of GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE!

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of several YA novels, Including Vicarious, Girl Against the Universe, Liars Inc., and The Art of Lainey. Her first new adult novel will be published in late 2016 or early 2017. Paula loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on Twitter as @pstokesbooks.


Maguire is bad luck. Horrible things happen when she's around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

And here's what Paula had to say: 

Hi YASHers! I had trouble deciding on a scene to share, because as many of you know, I have over 100 pages of cut scenes from Girl Against the Universe. I ultimately decided on a deleted phone conversation between main character, Maguire, and book-boyfriend Jordy.

Maguire is completing a list of seven tasks with the help of her therapist in order to get over her fear that she’s bad luck to people around her. In the earlier draft, she told Jordy she would go out with him only after she successfully completed all of her therapy challenges. This conversation occurred between challenges #5 and #6, but there’s nothing spoilery here.


My phone buzzes in the center console as I pull my mom’s car into the driveway. I cut the engine and glance down at the display. It’s Jordy.

I swipe at the screen. “Hey. What’s up? I just got home.”

“Have you picked a place for our first date yet?” he asks.

“No,” I say firmly. “Because I don’t want to jinx things.”

“Are you actually worried that you’re going to fail? Or are you more scared you’re going to succeed?”

I unclick my seatbelt. “A little of both,” I admit. “I’ve never been anyone’s girlfriend, you know? I’m not sure how all of that works.”

The closer I get to finishing my therapy challenges, the more I realize that my bad luck isn’t the only thing I’d have to worry about if Jordy and I actually got together. There’s his parents and his schedule and the way he makes me feel when we’re alone. It’s intense—a lot to process. What if I’m not ready?

“It works like we hang out and have fun together. It’s that simple.”

My eyelids flutter closed as I think about the kiss we shared at Joshua Tree. It did seem simple in that moment, but since then everything feels different. “Yeah, but are there certain…expectations?”

“What do you mean?” he asks. “Like going to my tennis matches?”

“Um, I’d love to go to your matches, but I meant more like the stuff we do…when we’re alone. You have a lot more experience than I do…” My cheeks start to burn.

“Oh.” He pauses for a second. “Maguire, I’ve spent the last few years feeling pressured from all sides. I’m not going to do that to you. Besides, I’m not in any major hurry. We can do or not do whatever you want. So don’t worry, okay?”

Relief surges through me. My eyes flick open. “Wow, you seriously are a people pleaser,” I tease.

He laughs lightly. “That’s a trait you might come to really appreciate someday.”

My face goes even hotter. “Stop it. I have to go inside eventually and I think you have me set on permanent blush.”

“Are you sitting in your mom’s car, in the dark, thinking about me?”

“Maybe,” I say. “Why?”

“Because I’m just lying here in my room, in the dark, thinking about you.”


Paula: This conversation was cut because I revised the progression of Maguire and Jordy’s relationship, but I was sad to lose the sex-positivity and the way that Jordy reassures Maguire that he’s not going to pressure her.

I’m sharing it for YASH because I think it captures the dynamics between the two of them and shows you a bit of their chemistry. He’s a little bit pushy, but ultimately supportive and decent. She’s crazy about him, even if she spends most of the book afraid to let herself get too close.

Okay—it's Kathryn again: 

Still on the YA Scavenger Hunt? There are two things you'll need to move forward. One: My secret number—33. And two: Your next stop on the Hunt. Head to Elle Cosimano's website for more great book content and goodies! 

And don't forget that somewhere on the TEAM ORANGE hunt, you'll find a sneak peek at Chapter One of my new book, HOW IT FEELS TO FLY, which comes out June 14. To celebrate, I'm giving away five swag packs via the Rafflecopter below! Want some HOW IT FEELS TO FLY goodies? You know what to do. :) 

Happy Hunting! 


It's Time for the Fall 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

Are you ready to enter to win a WHOLE LOT of books? Here's what you need to know: 

Somewhere in this blog post, I've hidden my favorite number. Collect all of the favorite numbers of the authors on TEAM PURPLE and add them up. (Don't worry—you can use a calculator!) 

Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the entry form HERE. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify to win a copy of every book from TEAM PURPLE. 

The 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 4TH, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PURPLE TEAM, but there is also a RED TEAM, GOLD TEAM, ORANGE TEAMPINK TEAM, BLUE TEAM, TEAL TEAM, and a GREEN TEAM! Check out each team for a chance to win eight different sets 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 page

Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I’ll introduce the author I am hosting on this hunt: Courtney Alameda! 

Courtney Alameda has spent her entire career trying to con and cajole people into reading great books. A veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels for young people. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was hailed as a "standout in the genre . . . [and] sure to please thriller fans" by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novel, PITCH DARK (Fall 2016), is a genre-blending science fiction/horror novel in the vein of Ridley Scott's film ALIEN.

Courtney holds a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. She is represented by the talented John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with a legion of books and a five pound cat who possesses a giant personality. 

Courtney made a video about a paranormal experience she had while researching SHUTTER. Without further ado: 

Oooh, so spooky! I have to confess, I am a wuss about scary situations, so I will not be following in Courtney's footsteps anytime soon... :) 

Here's what you need to know about Courtney's book, SHUTTER: 

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever. 

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before...or die trying. 

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

Still on the YA Scavenger Hunt? There are two things you need to move forward. One: My favorite number—42. And two: Your next stop on the Hunt. Head to Gina Ciocca's website for more great book content and goodies! 

Still with me? I'm excited to be doing a giveaway of my own, as a thank-you for joining the Hunt! Happy reading... 


What's on the Horizon for October?

I can't believe it's fall! I can't believe September's almost over! I have no idea where the time is going. But at least October is gearing up to be an excellent month. Here are a few things you should definitely have on your radar: 

I'm participating in the YA Scavenger Hunt for the second time! Just to refresh your memory, this is the giant online event where a bunch of YA authors open up their blogs for readers to get sneak peeks of upcoming books, read deleted scenes from and learn other tidbits about published books, and enter for a chance to win a WHOLE LOT OF BOOKS. I'm on Team Purple, with 19 other amazing authors. The hunt is running October 1-4, so if you're interested in participating, check back here this coming Thursday to dive in! Each blog post includes a link to the next post and a clue to help you win the grand prize. Go HERE for more info.


The next thing you need to know for October is that the YA Buccaneers are hosting a month-long Fall Writing Bootcamp! More details will be announced on Monday, but I can tell you this: starting October 1, I'll be diving into a new project that I'm a bit nervous about, and I'd love to have other people bootcamping alongside me. Join us for writing and revising prompts, brainstorming sessions, word sprints, and much-needed writer camaraderie! More info will be HERE on Monday. 

Finally, I'm so, so excited to be talking about THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville over Columbus Day weekend, October 9-11. My panel is on Sunday, 10/11, from 2-3:30pm. I'll be sharing the stage with fellow YA authors Helene Dunbar and Will Walton, with a signing immediately afterward. If you're in the area, please stop by and say hello! It's going to be such an amazing festival, with some truly spectacular YA events. For more on the Southern Festival of Books, go HERE.

(And on a personal note, my newest nephew is supposed to be born right around that time, so there is a great possibility that my visit will also include snuggling an adorable baby! Never mind the total adorableness of my other two Nashville-based nephews...) 

It's hard to be mad about how fast the year is moving when there are such good things on the horizon. Stay tuned for more! 


Welcome to the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

Welcome to the 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 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!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt site to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT 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, a gold team, a green team, an orange team, a teal team, a purple team, and a pink team. Each team will be giving away a huge selection of books! 

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

Here's How It Works:

Directions: Somewhere in this post, you'll find my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team from their respective posts, 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 April 5, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

So Let's Get To It!

I am hosting author Colleen Houck on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! A New York Times bestselling author, Colleen is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Her first four novels, Tiger's Curse, Tiger's Quest, Tiger's Voyage, and Tiger's Destiny, were New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, Colleen worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years before switching careers to become an author. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers. 

Find out more by visiting Colleen's website! You can preorder her latest book, REAWAKENED, on Amazon HERE


When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.

And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.

But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.

From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.

Bonus Content From Colleen: 

Hello Tiger Fans! 

I'm so excited to bring not only one fun reveal to the YA Scavenger Hunt this season, but two! This first piece is a never-before-shared sneak peek of my new book REAWAKENED, which comes out August 25th! In this scene my heroine, Lily, and my hero, Amon, are in Cairo looking for clues as to where Amon's two brothers might be buried. It's his job to awaken them so they can help him perform a ceremony to align the sun, the moon, and the stars. 

Soon we came upon a building that had been made over into a club. Techno music blasted and beautiful young people lined up, waiting their turn to get in.
“What is this?” Amon asked.
“It looks like a club. A place where people dance and celebrate,” I added.
“My people dance?”
“Well, yes. People dance all over the world.”
“Then, come, Lily. We will celebrate with them.”
“I don’t think I’m really in the mood.”
“What do you mean? What is a mood?”
“Mood is a feeling . . . like when . . . ugh, it’s too hard to explain.”
Amon peered at me in the darkness, his eyes flashing. He tilted his head, then said, “You do not enjoy dancing.”
“As a rule, no.”
He continued to focus on me, quickly discerning more than I was willing to show outwardly.
“You believe it is a poor use of your time and you are . . . embarrassed.”
He’d pretty much hit the nail on the head. It was strange to have someone pick up on every little thing I was thinking. “Quit analyzing me, Sigmund Freud. I have my reasons and you don’t need to know every little thing.”
Ignoring my statement, Amon continued to address the issue. “Lily, first, there is no possibility that your lovely, soft limbs could move in any way that would cause you shame. Second, there is enough work in the world, Nehabet. What good does it do to excel if you don’t relish in your achievements? There must be a balance. Even a king celebrates. If he did not, how could he rule effectively?
“You must allow yourself to feel . . . joy, Young Lily. You must take pleasure”—Amon pressed his lips to one of my hands and then the other—“in just being alive.”
The irony was that I’d never in my entire life felt more alive than I did the moment Amon kissed my hands. He’d kissed my forehead before, but when he touched his lips to my hands, electricity shot through me. Even though I knew his passion was more about enjoying life than about me, it was still powerful, and there was a part of me that wanted to latch on to that. “All right,” I acquiesced softly. “We’ll dance.”
The inside of the club was dark and warm, but the music was fantastic—techno funk with a wicked beat and a slightly exotic sound. Immediately, I felt out of place since most of the women wore tight little dresses, high heels, and heavy makeup. Amon was leading us to the bar when I shouted above the din, “I’m going to the restroom! I’ll be right back!”
The atmosphere was pulse-poundingly hot, but when I finally found the bathroom, it was an almost frigid contrast. Air-conditioning blew onto the women standing in front of the mirror primping and I wondered if the men’s room had the same feature or if it was specially arranged to keep the ladies happy.
After removing my clunky boots and swapping them out for sandals, I quickly changed into the skirt I’d brought and then plucked at my T-shirt, wondering what I could do to make it look more like I was going to a club than to a farmers’ market. I was standing in front of the mirror frowning, when a girl applying lipstick asked me a question in another language. I just shrugged, lifted the hem of the tee, and made a thumbs-down sign.
The girl pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows, gesturing at herself, and when I nodded hesitantly, she pulled a pair of tiny scissors from her purse. I was even more hesitant then, but she didn’t make a move until I nodded again.
With deft hands she cut the neck out of the T-shirt, making a wider neckline so the shirt slipped off one shoulder. She then took the bulk of the T-shirt hem and tied it in a knot at my back revealing an inch or so of midriff. Finally, she turned me around to gather the hem of my skirt.
I was going to protest her cutting it, but she set down the scissors and wrapped the material around my body, tucking it in at the side so that I ended up with a sarong skirt that stopped just at the knee on one side and about halfway up my thigh on the other. I’d never in my life worn anything that left me feeling so exposed.
As a parting gift, the girl handed me her lipstick and rolled some of her perfume on my wrists and neck. The scent was exotic—a light floral and musk. I freshened my lipstick and fluffed my hair, said a quick thanks, then left the bathroom to seek out Amon.
After checking my bag and taking a claim ticket, I scanned the bar. Amon wasn’t there or seated in any of the sections around the dance floor. Deciding he must have gone outside for air, I headed in the direction of the door, then stopped when I heard a ruckus coming from the dance floor that was even louder than the music.
Nudging aside enough women so I could see what was going on, I was shocked, not at seeing Amon in the middle of the crowd or his skin gleaming as if he were under a spotlight but at seeing him dance. I’d expected his style to be exotic and very different from modern dancing, but I hadn’t expected that he would be doing a male version of belly dancing.
Amon had ditched his outer shirt, so the only thing covering his taut torso was the thin white T-shirt, which clung to him so tightly it looked like the seams would burst at any moment.
He turned in a slow circle, abs undulating and pelvis rotating in a way that was sensual enough to be illegal. Amon’s dancing was like a mashup of Elvis and the Chippendales. The human sun god was a stomach-dropping, chest-popping, feet-sliding, shoulder-swaying, hip-rotating, flutter-inducing, liquid locomotive, and I was surrounded by women who couldn’t wait to buy a ticket.
As Amon turned, his eyes took in his admirers and he paused. A huge smile lit his face as he shouted out to the crowd surrounding him, “Thank you, ladies, but my Lily has come. I wish to dance with her now.”
Amon held out his hand and I stepped forward, ignoring the gasps from the women around me. One by one, they turned aside, some good-naturedly, some with jealousy obvious on their faces.
As Amon took my hands and began moving his body again, I jerked awkwardly back and forth in small movements and then leaned close to his ear. “If you think I’m doing what you did, you’re crazy!” I said.
He drew me closer and then turned in a circle, matching each step with the beat. Then he slid his hand down my arm, took hold of my hand, and turned me, too. I was surprised I didn’t miss the beat. By the time a few songs were over, I felt much more confident and was actually having fun. Amon spun me around until I collapsed against his chest, dizzy and laughing.
Eventually, the music changed to something slow. Amon seemed confused at first, and he watched with a curious expression as the other dancers paired off. A woman who’d been watching him before returned and asked him to dance. He shook his head and answered, “I am not meant for you. I am dancing with Lily.”
As she left, I took a step forward, closing the distance between us, and ran my hands slowly up his muscular arms, over his shoulders, and around his neck. After standing stiffly for a few seconds, he relaxed and pulled me tightly against him. Slowly, we began moving together. His hands, splayed on my back, moved inch by tantalizing inch downward until they reached the bare skin at my waist. Wedging me even tighter against his body, he put his forehead to mine. The side of his mouth tickled my cheek.
If I shifted just a bit, I could be kissing him. But I was too much of a coward to make the first move. His hands slid to my hips and then back up to my waist. The tension and nervous energy I felt as his electric fingertips stroked my bare skin was driving me crazy. To distract myself, I stood on tiptoe and asked, “What did you read in her thoughts?”
“Whose thoughts?” he answered in a husky voice. His eyes, a darker shade than I’d ever seen them, glittered as they searched mine. “Ah, the woman who asked me to dance. She hunts for a companion to fill her lonely nights.”
“I imagine most of the people here are looking for that.”
“Yes. But she seeks for something empty. She holds out no hope for love.”
Tilting my head at an angle to see his face better, I asked, “Do you?”
“Do I what, Nehabet?”
“Hold out hope for love.”
Amon paused. His body froze in a way that anyone who’d seen him dance would have thought impossible. He didn’t answer but instead took my hand and said, “Come, Lily. It is time to go.”
He seemed impatient as he waited for me to retrieve my bag. When we stepped outside, I wanted to take a moment to allow the night air to cool my heated skin, but he tugged me along, not giving me a moment to think. We had barely rounded the corner of the club when Amon suddenly stopped and pulled me roughly against him. Before I could even form a question, he murmured some words in Egyptian and we were sucked into a whirlwind.

The second reveal is that I can now share with you the title of book two in the REAWAKENED series. Book two will be called...


If you're interested in a copy of REAWAKENED you can preorder it now on Amazon. You can also enter the rafflecopter on my website for a chance to win one of 12 prizes, including a copy of the book. Good luck!



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