Saturday, March 31, 2018

YA Scavenger Hunt! Fun! Prizes and More

Post Title:  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 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 page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX 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, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of 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.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. 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 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 4/8/2018, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST



Today, I am hosting JACOB DEVLIN on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!  

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here! JACOB DEVLIN right here!

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT from JACOB DEVLIN's BOOK
~ See Below ~

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, LM Preston, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 8 . Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

YASH EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY
T-SHIRT and RACKCARD for INSATIABLE DARKNESS



CONTINUE THE HUNT


Author

JACOB DEVLIN

When 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.

BUY ON AMAZON 

In the aftermath of the great battle that left Wonderland in ruins, Crescenzo DiLegno and his two best friends have reunited with their families in Florindale, but the war wages on in every kingdom. The Order of the Bell is scattered, presumably left to the mercy of Queen Avoria, whose grip on the New World grows tighter every day. Cities have already fallen, the shadows have spread, and a fortress of nightmares has appeared in the heart of New York City. Determined to take back his home and restore order to the worlds, Crescenzo must rally all the people he's met from his adventures, from the troubled prince to the rebellious Lost Boys, and storm Avoria's castle of illusion. The Carver's war against the wicked Ivory Queen brews to an explosive finale, but dark secrets about her true nature have yet to emerge, and not everybody will be prepared to survive them.

DELETED SCENE FROM THE HUMMINGBIRD


Note from Jacob: This scene was originally written into chapter two of the first draft of the book, and it introduces a twist on a story you may know. There was a lot to trim down to bring the word count under control, and unfortunately, the “sword in the stone” subplot didn’t quite make the cut! (Pun intended.) Nonetheless, it was fun to get all these characters together for some levity and shenanigans. Happy hunting, and thanks to LM Preston for hosting me on YASH this season!



Merlin cleared his throat and wove his fingers together. “Tonight you behold the enchanted Cornerstone, a training exercise granted to the Order of the Bell. Long ago, I bewitched the entity you see before you to guard a weapon that can turn the tides on the war against Avoria, given that it can cut through shadows with its internal light. You would be correct in guessing that there is, in fact, a sword inside this boulder. By the end of the night, it will belong to he, or she, who is worthy of claiming it and releasing it from the Cornerstone. This individual shall claim a spot among the Order’s high elite, along with Augustine, Sir Jacob, Captain James, Hua Mulan, and myself. We will of course have a turn as well, purely for our own merriment.”

Excited murmurs erupted in the theatre again.

“That doesn’t even seem possible,” Crescenzo marveled. “You can’t pull something out of a rock like that. There’s gotta be a catch.”

“You’re right, ragazzo!” Geppetto, Crescenzo’s grandfather, leaned forward and gave Crescenzo a knowing gaze. “You can’t pull a sword from a rock—your shoulders would sooner walk off your torso—but one of us may have the chance to set it free.” He patted the leather sheath in his belt, where he kept his carving knife.

Crescenzo and his father promptly looked down at their own sheaths.

“We can carve it out,” Crescenzo said excitedly.

Rosana scowled. “That’s not fair.”

“Come on, Pop,” Crescenzo’s father scolded. “That would be cheating.”

“Ah, but did he explicitly state that the sword must be pulled on muscle alone?”

As if Merlin had heard him, he added, “The sword may be freed using any means necessary, but it will not matter what you do. The Cornerstone is impervious to trickery. It will yield only to the individual prescribed by Lady Fortune.”

Crescenzo sighed. “Is Lady Fortune, like, a real person? It’s not much fun that she’s already decided everything that’s ever about to happen. It makes me feel like our efforts aren’t worth it.”

“Shh! Don’t you say that,” Rosana said, her green eyes almost perfect circles.

“Why?” Crescenzo grinned. “Am I gonna anger a fictional old lady in flowy, star-speckled robes with a crystal ball?” His mind shifted to Madame Esme, and suddenly he didn’t feel bold anymore.

“Didn’t Madame Esme tell Zack you were going to die in Wonderland?” Rosana arched an eyebrow. “You’re living proof that destiny isn’t set in stone.”

“Then one of us needs to yank that sword out so Violet will take us seriously.”

“Form a line,” Merlin instructed. “And each of us will have a go at pulling the sword from the Cornerstone. Remember what I’ve taught you all. Focus. Breathe. Align your mind and heart with your body. Don’t be shy! And please, ladies first!”

Crescenzo dragged his feet all the way to the line, securing his spot at the end behind his father, his grandfather, and a couple hundred other people who wanted to test their might—or their destiny—with the sword in the stone. The line wrapped in a full arc around the amphitheater, and Gretel took the first pull.

She looked tiny, her short, skinny legs marching up the three steps in the Cornerstone, and her miniature arms reaching up and out just to touch the handle. With a little help from her brother, she wrapped her fingers around the sword and gave it a few good yanks. Crescenzo thought he might at least see it wobble like a loose tooth, but there was hardly any indication that the sword and the rock were separate objects at all. When Gretel gave up, she skipped away and rubbed her hands together, which were raw and pink from vigorous gripping.

Crescenzo watched the same results unfold in different ways. Snow White, demure and calm, only tugged three times before she shrugged it off and said it wasn’t worth her time. Violet put on quite a show zapping the rock with her wand and casting all sorts of incantations in the hopes of either summoning the sword, destroying the rock, or strengthening her own body, but the sword didn’t budge for her.

The night wound on. Alice, Tahlia, Crescenzo’s mother, and the rest of the women of Florindale took their turns. All the people of the town seemed to hold their breath when Mulan approached the Cornerstone with a serene, collected look on her face.

“It’s over,” Crescenzo’s dad whispered. “She’s a legend.”

Mulan seized the handle, jerked, and even went so far as to do a full tumble over the over side of the rock in an effort to propel the blade out with her momentum. When she admitted defeat, Merlin announced that the women had all taken their turn, and Hansel began the efforts for the men.

Overall, Crescenzo found the events thoroughly entertaining. Some people sang to the Cornerstone, hoping to charm the blade out of its slot. The dwarves formed a train and tugged on each other’s waists, with Garon at the head trying to pry the handle out of the rock with a pointed pickaxe. “Pull!” he cried. “Heave, you idiots!” When his fingers slipped off the pickaxe’s handle, the dwarves fell like dominoes.

Crescenzo’s dad slid out of line and nudged Alicia. “Does watching this remind you of anything?”

Rosana’s mom put a hand to her lips, evidently concealing a grin, and nodded. “I was just thinking the same thing.” She smiled at Enzo. “It’s funny how life goes in circles.”

Crescenzo crinkled his brows. “What are you talking about?”

“The night we took Avoria’s mirror,” his dad recalled. “If you can imagine me as a little boy, yanking on a big mirror frame and trying to separate it from its pedestal, and Pietro and Alicia and Wendy all forming a chain behind me as we screamed ‘Pull!’ And here we are again, for almost the exact same reason. Only our kids are involved. What have we done?”

“Hey,” Crescenzo scolded. “No sad faces. We’re gonna fix all of this, and I don’t wanna hear any differently. Got it?”

“Who are you and what have you done with my son?”

Crescenzo shrugged. “I don’t know, but it’s almost your turn to pull.”

It was true; the line had dwindled down to seven and the rest of the townsfolk were collapsing onto the amphitheater seats, muttering that they didn’t care for the sword or want such an “infernal burden” on their hands.

Fear crept down into Crescenzo’s fingertips. Did he really want the responsibility of wielding the weapon that could slay shadows? He looked around. It’s gonna be me. Of course it would. And what would that mean? As much as he wanted to fight, he didn’t really want to get close enough to the Ivory Queen to stab her with a sword, especially because nobody knew just how much she could do from afar. And what could he do that Violet couldn’t? Or Mulan?

Two more stepped out of line, leaving Crescenzo, his father, his grandfather, and a pair of pirate brothers who had been a part of the original movement against Avoria and joined Crescenzo in their exodus from Wonderland.

Before he knew it, it was his turn to approach the sword. The air thickened, and Crescenzo noticed that Merlin and the rest of the group were looking at him with a strange blend of sadness, wonder, and hope. So it would have to be him, after all.

“Well, Sir Enzo.” Merlin laid a hand on Crescenzo’s shoulder. “You are the last to try the Cornerstone. May the light be with you in this moment.”

“Good luck, my son,” Crescenzo’s mother said.

Crescenzo stepped up on the Cornerstone and took a deep breath.

He wrapped his hands around the handle and narrowed his eyes. Here goes nothing. He rocked back onto his heels and pulled.

Come on, he thought. Violet’s watching. My girlfriend’s watching, too.

His veins bulged up on his arms and his fingers turned pink. But the sword did not yield.

Crescenzo tried to wiggle it from side to side. He might as well have tried to wiggle his house out of its foundation.

“Come on!” Crescenzo gritted his teeth and gave the sword a strong jerk, throwing all his momentum up and back.

“Use the knife, boy!” Geppetto cried. “Carve like I taught you! Free it from its prigione!”

Crescenzo took his knife and dug it into the rock. The gift of The Carver. Free the energies within. To his surprise, the knife plunged cleanly and simply into the mineral, like digging into a tub of butter.

Gasps burst from the crowd, and sweat beaded down Crescenzo’s face.

Crescenzo carved around the sword as if he were working on a jack-o-lantern. Dust and bits of dirt spilled onto his boots.

“He’s doing it!” Merlin cried. “Stars, he’s doing it!”

Crescenzo reached up and tried the handle again, determined to loosen it from the rock.

A hot crimson light pulsed around the Cornerstone. A gravelly voice whispered to him: “You are not my master.” The ground jolted his toes, and the Cornerstone threw Crescenzo into the air, knife and all.

Whumph! Crescenzo collided with the bottom step of the amphitheater, feeling a searing pain shoot through his arms and legs. For a terrible minute, silence and black spots swallowed his consciousness, but when the spots cleared away, his parents and Rosana stood beside him. The sword handle taunted him from afar with its shining rubies, and to Crescenzo’s bewilderment, the Cornerstone became whole again. It was as if his knife had never touched it.

“Enzo!” Rosana cried. “Can you move?”

After a slow turn of the neck and a gentle shake of the elbows, Crescenzo nodded. “I’m fine. That rock definitely hates me, though.”

“I—I don’t understand!” Violet exclaimed. “Someone should have freed the blade!”

Crescenzo’s relief turned to disappointment. Violet had seen him fail. She would never let him fight now.

“Are we sure everyone has tried?” Augustine asked.

“We are missing some people,” Rosana pointed out. “What about Jacob? Cinderella? Jinn? What if it was meant for one of them? Pietro?”

Merlin shook his head. “They all tried in private before they left.”

“So everybody has tried,” Tahlia said. “What a joke.”

A longing, defeated sigh sounded from Crescenzo’s side, and Snow White slumped down on the steps beside him. “No. Not everybody.”

Crescenzo followed Snow’s line of sight to the Woodlands, and he understood exactly who she was thinking about. He had almost forgotten all about the prince.

Snow laid a soft hand on Crescenzo’s leg. “Will you please go talk to him, Crescenzo?”

“I’ve tried before.” Crescenzo frowned. “What can I do?”

“Get him out of the house. Carvers free their sculptures from that which imprisons them, right?” Snow continued. “Inside all that fear, shame, and anger, my husband is still in there somewhere. Please, set Liam free.”


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! 
Hop along to Kathleen's blog for the next clue

To find out more and continue the hunt, click here:Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page



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1 comment:

tashia jennings said...

Thank you for this fabulous chance!!