Tuesday, October 4, 2016



It's that time again--YA Scavenger Hunt time! If you've never played before, you've been missing out! This is the hunt to end all hunts! We've got prizes, fancy YA authors, bonus material, and cool puzzles to solve. 

Did I mention the prizes? Because, you guys...these prizes are AMAZING!!!

If you've made it this far, I doubt don't need to explain how this whole thing works. Just remember that hunt runs from Tuesday, October 4th through Sunday, October 9th. (That's our longest hunt yet, so you can enter ALL of the giveaways!)

So here's how it works:

Each author on the hunt is hosting another author's bonus material (mine is out there somewhere, you just have to track it down), along with a link to the next step of the hunt.

At each step, you not only get access to that exclusive content, but you'll also collect another "clue" for the hunt. (In this case, the clues are number that you'll add up in the end.) Add up the clues and you can enter for our team's prize--one lucky winner will receive all the signed books for that team! But play fast, the contest and all the exclusive bonus material will only be available for a limited time.

I'm TEAM BLUE, but there are SO MANY OTHER TEAMS, which means more prize packs you can enter to win.

Still confused? Don't worry, if you get stuck head on over to the YA SCAVENGER HUNT page for the official rules and instructions.

(Unofficial) SCAVENGER HUNT Instructions:

Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number somewhere. Collect all the author's favorite numbers for TEAM BLUE (these are the "clues" I was talking about), and then add them up (don't be embarrassed to use a calculator!).

Then ENTER to win by filling out the form here. Only the entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Fine Print: 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 much complete the entry form by Sunday, October 9th at noon Pacific Time. Entries without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Heather Young-Nichols is a multi-published YA and contemporary romance author and a native of the great and often very cold state of Michigan. She is better known at home and to her friends as the Snarker-in-Chief, a job she excels at beyond anything she could have imagined. She loves many things, but especially cold coffee, hot books, and baseball. But not necessarily in that order.

About Heather's book, GROUNDED:

Alyssum Bracken sets out in search of Jensen Burkhardt…

After a longtime feud over copper between the Gremalian and the Gobel races, she hopes he has inherited his father’s legendary abilities as tensions rise to a breaking point. But when she finds him in faraway New York, Alyssum discovers she didn’t reach the handsome gremlin first. Aric, a rival goblin, is already ensconced in Jensen’s life.

However, Aric Bramble isn’t the enemy…

Courageously risking exile to save both races from a bloody war, the unlikely trio decide to work together. A forbidden friendship with Aric, a first love with the noble Jensen, while juggling her father, their leader, the prejudice of her people against the Gobel—and Aric’s people trying to kill them all—might be too much for Alyssum to handle.

Jensen’s strength is the one thing keeping Alyssum grounded, but will their relationship be threatened by her friendship with Aric? Will any of them even survive the coming conflict?

Alyssum isn’t sure…but she’s going to try.

Find out more about Heather and GROUNDED here!


Today, Heather is sharing a first look at UNITED, the sequel to GROUNDED...exciting!:

Chapter One

I hit the gas hard enough for the tires to spray the side of the house with gravel. Stone and Kale Bramble didn’t make a peep, allowing me to navigate through the daylight. Which I appreciated.
I don’t think I could’ve handled their questions or concerns at this point. Too much had happened and my mind needed time to process it. Life really does change in the blink of an eye or the snap of fingers but we couldn’t let it stop what needed to be done. We had to get to Phoenix, Michigan in time. I wouldn’t allow any other outcome. We had to. If we didn’t, Aric Bramble would die.
He might anyway but I had to try to save my best friend.
It’d be nice to think since his own Gobel people took him back he’d be safe, but wishing didn’t make it true. Aric had betrayed them by teaming up with the Gremalians. They’d kill him; I had no doubt. But they’d try to get information first. I hoped we’d have a few hours to get in there and get him out.
The Michigan countryside, something I once thought of as beautiful and tranquil, had turned ugly, almost leering at me. The environment hadn’t changed.
I had.
The battle with the Gobel left me exhausted, but the idea of my best friend being executed infused me with adrenaline, which wouldn’t let me stop even if I wanted to. And I refused to think about Jensen Burkhardt, my newly ex-boyfriend, leaving me high and dry, refusing to go after our friend right away with me. Well, fuck him.
We were over. I made it quite clear when I told him he wasn’t the man I thought he was then stormed out of the house on the path that led me to Aric’s brothers trying to save him. In a way, I wished I’d never brought him home to Michigan.
Harsh, I know, but if I didn’t have Aric to focus on, my heart would be in shambles, wrecked beyond repair. I had to look forward not backward once we got Aric back and ended things with the Gobel. Having Jensen there would make it extremely hard to do. Facing your first love after he broke something inside you wasn’t a walk in the park. Those few seconds before I left the house had been bad enough. Maybe he’d go back to New York anyway.
“Alyssum, do you have a plan?” Stone, the oldest of the Bramble brothers asked. By the tone of his voice, he’d likely tried to get my attention more than once already.
I didn’t answer. I had no plan. Of course I hadn’t thought through anything, not my style, I guess. My focus remained on getting there in time, and I’d never forgive myself or Jensen if we didn’t.
I needed to get him out of my mind. For now, heartbreak would have to wait.
Kale pushed up from the back seat, wedging himself in between me and Stone.
“I know a way in,” Kale said. “No one should see us. We can at least check on Aric and figure out what their plan is. Then we should regroup and come up with one of our own.”
“Sounds better than anything I’d come up with right now.” I nodded.
This whole thing had thrown me off my game. I’d never really worked well with anger as my only motivator. Anger made me reckless. Anger consumed me and I couldn’t think straight.
The brothers glanced at each other like they were having a silent conversation. Probably were; I wouldn’t know. As an only child, I’d never had a close connection to anyone, but I assumed they were thrown off by my lack of ideas and quick agreement. It wasn’t me; and while I hadn’t known them long, they knew me. Like I said, anger wasn’t a good motivator. I’d follow their lead as long as we were doing something.
The two of them were out of the car before I’d slammed it into park. At least I remembered to grab the keys before running to catch up. We made the trek toward Phoenix, putting ourselves in stealth mode as we walked soundlessly. No one could see or hear us or we’d lose the element of surprise. It’s bad enough we were doing this as the sun made its way high in the sky. There would be no cover of darkness. The only thing we had in our favor came in the form of the landscape and the fact that the Gobel shouldn’t know we were coming.
The dense Michigan forest of the Upper Peninsula completely surrounded the Gobel community. We’d have to use it to our advantage.
We walked in silence for a while. I didn’t feel like talking. Unfortunately, the guys didn’t feel the same way. They spoke in hushed tones about things I wasn’t a part of. Fine with me. They gave me the space I needed to lose myself for a bit until we got really close to our destination.
Once we heard voices carrying up to us, we stopped talking all together and only communicated through hand gestures like an elite special ops team. It would’ve been more convenient if the Gobel or Gremalian talents extended to mind reading, but no, I got stuck with controlling electricity and they reigned over nature. Still, we understood each other.
At first, no one seemed to notice as we boldly walked into town like we weren’t even worried about being seen. It wasn’t the best idea but it was the only one we came up with. We’d just walk right in and hope no one noticed; that’s it. My arm kept brushing against Kale and Stone with every step as they walked close beside me.
“Stay close,” Kale whispered. “Aric will have our asses if anything happens to you.”
I nodded in return and kept up with their much longer strides. The last thing I ever thought I’d be doing was sneaking into Phoenix with two Gobel by my side to try and break out another Gobel who happened to be my best friend. I probably had grandparents rolling over in their graves somewhere. But not my mom. She would’ve understood; she had understood before one of the Gobel murdered her in our foyer. She knew how much Aric meant to me. With him being taken to be put to death, she would’ve supported my efforts—unlike Jensen.
And there he goes messing with my mind again.
“Let’s check the jail,” Stone nodded to the left, which is when I noticed we were starting to garner some attention.
I totally did not fit in with my lighter hair and blue eyes or that I remained half the size of the smallest person I’d seen yet. I stuck out like a sore thumb. No one came right out and said anything yet, but we didn’t have long until someone would. They also didn’t seem to be sensing me as they should’ve been. I could feel when Gobel were around in the tingling climbing up my spine, and it zapped me like an electric pulse as the entire city of them surrounded me. They should have been feeling me too.
The guys decided Kale should scope things out alone since we didn’t think we had much time before someone sounded the alarms. I voted against it. Two to one, what could I do? Besides, they did it in such a way that it wasn’t excluding me or treating me like a petulant child who didn’t know any better. But Kale had been gone for years. It’s possible most people wouldn’t immediately recognize him as a Bramble.
Stone and I waited beyond the tree line closest to town. Actually, if I reached my hand out, I could’ve touched one of the buildings, we were that close. Still, we leaned against a tree to keep out of sight until Kale got back. The little walk through their center left me antsy and anxious. No need to tempt the Gobel any more than we already had.
It seemed like we sat there for hours without any sign of Kale. Stone started getting jittery and stopped talking altogether. I could tell he worried about his brother. Not having any siblings, being with the Brambles gave me the new experience of seeing family caring about family. My parents loved me, of course they loved me, but with my dad being the leader of our people, the community as a whole took priority over their daughter’s individual needs.
Checking my watch, I found almost an hour had passed. Now I started worrying too. If something happened to Kale… I didn’t even want to finish the thought.
“What do you think’s taking so long?” I whispered to Stone without taking my eyes off the door I’d seen his brother go through.
“Not sure.” Stone looked from me back to the building. “He should’ve been back by now.”
“Who should’ve been back?” Kale’s voice scared the crap out of me.
We both sprang to our feet and spun to find him standing there looking relaxed against a tree, barely a piece of his dark hair out of place. I wanted to murder him.
“What the hell, bro?”
I wanted to say the same thing but hadn’t had the time to catch my breath enough to form words. Instead, I got close and punched him in the stomach as hard as I could. Kale doubled over. I’d had training. I knew how to hit.
“Christ, Alyssum, what’s that for?” Kale’s words came out stilted but Stone laughed quietly behind me.
“You scared the crap out of us. You’ve been gone forever.”
“I didn’t want to be followed. I went around the long way. I figured you guys saw me leave in the other direction.”
“Well, we didn’t.” Not sure how we didn’t since both sets of eyes had been on the damn door.
“Tell me again why Aric likes you,” he said, finally standing straight, a good foot taller than me. Everyone seemed to be a foot taller than me—except my childhood friend Dahlia, Aric’s sometimes girlfriend/friend with benefits. She only towered over by six inches. Being barely over five feet sucked.
“If you two are done,” Stone broke in. “Let’s get away from here to come up with a plan. I don’t want any of them feeling her.”
We couldn’t argue. Gremalians being able to feel the presence of any Gobel and vice versa could be a pain. Off we went back into the cover of trees and leaves to hear what Kale had found and figure out a way to save my friend. We walked about a mile and half, which seemed to be a safe distance.
“Did you find him?” I demanded.
“Yeah, I found him. He’s ok.” We settled in a small open area of the trees. Just big enough for the three of us to burrow inside while likely not being seen right away if someone were to come along. “From what he’s heard and what I could pick up… it doesn’t look good.” Kale proceeded to explain about how Aric had already been found guilty of treason long before they took him. He needed to be made an example of what happens if you go against your people. Out of courtesy to their father, a childhood friend of Elliot Moss the Gobel leader, they’d given the family some time to say their good-byes. Kale felt pretty certain they were using it to draw him, Stone and Lake back to town. Who knew from there?
“Yeah, Moss doesn’t usually do courtesy.” Stone gave his brother a hard look.
“That’s the truth. He must know that she—” Kale pointed at me. “Tends to act quickly. I’m thinking he’s waiting to see if she makes a move.”
“Agreed.” Neither brother gave me another look.
“Ok, let’s go get him,” I said.
“Did you even hear what we said? We need to plan, Alyssum.”
“I have a plan.” Starting to pace, I couldn’t sit still for another second. “We go in, I blow shit up and we grab him.”
“Great plan,” Stone said with a sigh. “There are people we’d like to try not to hurt.”
Before we could continue, we heard voices coming toward us. They were getting closer. We did the only thing we could. We ran. Fast and far until we couldn’t hear them anymore and then the three of us all found a tree to climb. We could see further from up above, although I silently questioned being in a tree around a bunch of people who could control said tree. But whatever. I had complete confidence Kale and Stone would help protect me should the need arise. And I had handy electricity at my disposal, though there wasn’t a lot of static in the air today. Which struck me as weird. Usually we didn’t have an issue finding some kind of energy. I remembered at the end of the last battle with the Gobel, Moss had done something to remove the energy from the immediate area and wondered if the two were related.
We waited.
No one came but we had to be careful. Even though the bark bit into the sensitive skin on my forearms, I didn’t move a muscle. The guys didn’t either.
Stone dropped down first, then Kale. When no one attacked, they gave me the go ahead. Pain shot through my left ankle when I landed, but I couldn’t say anything about it or they’d baby me. I wasn’t about to complain about a little pain. We were up there longer than I’d thought. The sun had set and darkness took over the forest.
“Ok, we’ll have to circle around the long way; they knew we were on this side. Let’s get moving.”
Look at Stone thinking he’s in charge.
I did what he said and followed. As we walked, we went over every scenario we could think of. In the end, we were going to have to use brute force if sneaking in didn’t work. And we’d have to do it in the daylight. Night time would be too problematic. Going in now when they were on guard would be suicide.
We got as close as we dared. If the feeling in my legs indicated anything, we’d walked quite a few miles. Which is when the guys suggested we rest up for the big moment tomorrow. Even with as tired as I’d become, I didn’t think sleep would happen. In the last twenty-four hours, we’d battled the Gobel with the rest of my people, I’d broken up with my boyfriend, and we tried to rescue my best friend. If anyone deserved a little time to recoup, we did.
Nights in the Michigan wilderness got pretty dark. We could barely see each other. Which meant we had to stop anyway. Luckily, we found a small clearing that allowed the moonlight to cast gray hues across us.
“So, you and Jensen are really over?” Kale asked.
“Don’t sound so broken up about it.”
“I can’t deal with him right now, Kale. He should be here with us.” We locked eyes for the briefest of moments before staring back at the moon. “He should be with me.”
“No one’s arguing,” Stone agreed.
“But what’s this mean for you and Aric?”
“We’re friends.” True. Yes, I liked Aric when I first met him; we went on a couple of dates but nothing more. This wasn’t some weird love triangle, and I resented the idea they thought I’d hop right over to Aric just because Jensen and I were no longer together.

After our conversation, I must have dozed off. When my eyes next opened, the sun had started to reappear.

Man, I am a sucker for sneak previews!

In order to enter the contest for your chance to win you need to know that my favorite number is 4. Add up all the other favorite numbers on TEAM BLUE and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!!


The next stop on your hunt is author Jennifer Eaton.

Happy H(a)unting!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. Reading it looks attractive. So when there is a new chapter !!!
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