Welcome to the Fall 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

This is my second hunt, and by now I’m a grizzled veteran.  There are eight mind-blowing YA author teams currently on your interwebs, chock full of cool bonus materials and killer giveaways. I’m part of #TeamTEAL. We are super bad.

SPECIAL NOTE: I’m doing a separate giveaway at the bottom!


Pretty rad, huh? This hunt runs from October 1st through October 4th, beginning and ending at noon Pacific time. All Virals fans must give it a whirl. Prizes! Deleted and bonus scenes! Sneak peaks, including one from me from the new Virals short story, SPIKE, releasing February 2, 2016, in the Virals short story collection TRACE EVIDENCE. It’s out there on #TeamTEAL, RIGHT NOW people. Get looking.

ABOUT THE HUNT: If you’ve never done this before, the scavenger hunt runs like a giant blog circle, one connecting to the next, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team: a signed book from each author in that group! For more information and hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. Get cracking, book sleuths. There’s a whole new world out there. You have three days!

OKAY NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF: For this hunt, I’m hosting JOSEPHINE ANGELINIDSC_9087-print

Between the 2 of us, she’s an excellent author. Josephine is a Massachusetts native who graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and now lives in sunny Los Angeles. She digs shelter cats. Her debut series, Starcrossed, Dreamless, and Goddess, are all international bestsellers and twice won the Reader’s Choice Awards in Germany. She’s a big deal, is what I’m saying, folks. Sounds dope.

Josephine has graciously given you a BONUS SCENE from FIRE WALKER, which just released September 1st, 2015.


Here’s a book description from the author:

Lily is back in her own universe, and she’s ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good. Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves. Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, and heartbreaking thrill ride.

And here’s a description of the bonus material she has gifted to you, in Josephine’s own words:

The first draft of Firewalker, then known as Trail of Tears, had what I called the “Lillian Letters” in it. Part of the problem with writing about multiple versions of the same person across parallel universes, apart from the appalling syntax contortions like “many me’s” and “All the us’s”, was figured out how these two characters would share their backstory with each other.

I wanted Lillian to have memories prepared for Lily, and I didn’t know how I wanted to go about delivering these packets of information. Did I want to have Lily relive the memories, or did I want Lillian to narrate these experiences to Lily, i.e. in the form of a series of mental letters (think “voice over” in movie speak).

Needless to say, all the letters but one got cut from the final draft, but I still think they add something to Lillian’s character development and to the worldbuilding of witch world in general.

So here they are…

Want a look? WAIT. NO. LONGER:

Second Entry: One Day Post Worldjump

I slide out a random-selected tray, carefully break the ice on the bottom of one of the honeycombed-shaped cells, and a perfect little fetus falls into my hand.

We keep the embryos inside an ice-lattice to reduce the risk of infection. They are kept alive by directing heat exactly where we want it—immediately around the developing organism. All of this attention to detail means that creating Woven is a time suck for the crucibles of my Coven, but the natural way is unthinkable. No Woven created by the Covens can ever be made to be fertile again. We made that mistake once before and we’ve been suffering with the consequences ever since.

I scan the nearly translucent-skinned, blue-veined fetus for any developmental anomalies or imperfections. My willstone flares green as my awareness sinks into its body. I see the branching ganglia of its nervous system and trace the pulses of electricity as they fire off in a frantic cascade. Its never felt touch before, and its nervous system doesn’t know what to do with the explosion of information. I go deeper and see the double helix of life. I deem the hereditary material, the nerve functions, and pulmonary system are normal for this strain of Woven, and nod my head to indicate to my attendants that this comb has passed inspection.

It doesn’t struggle as it dies in my hand—it just dies. There are two more weeks before the rest of this crop of winged guardians will be developed enough to live outside the womb-comb, but it is wise to have a witch check them manually every few days, and I recommend you keep a careful eye on this in the future. Mutations are incredibly common in genetically altered creatures like the Woven—an irony that seems fitting to me.

Someone makes a note on her clipboard and we continue on down the row of frosty twenty-foot tall and ten-foot wide stainless steal womb-combs to the next batch of fetuses. On the way I ask about the production of wearhyde, and one of my crucibles gives me the tally for how much has been grown on the skin-looms over the last quarter.
I stifle a yawn. It’s mid-day aboveground, but I’m still exhausted. I have been resting for too long already and I feel that I can no longer avoid my duties as the Salem Witch. I haven’t been down here in the Stacks—the cavernous, subterranean caves dug under the

city to house the engineering of animal products—in weeks. I don’t want my Coven to think I’m shirking my duty. Everyone tries to avoid the Stacks, and no wonder. The stink of disinfectant mixed with the unmistakable hint of blood in the air is enough to make anyone queasy.

This is where we grow the Woven that we use to defend and guard the city and the wearhyde that we can sell cheaply to those who can’t afford plant-based textiles. It’s also where we grow the city’s meat, without the bother of raising the whole animal. 

Parts of each animal are grown inside icy womb-combs—chicken breast without the chicken, pork loin without the pig. But even if the only hearts in the Stacks are the ones beating inside the Woven guardians in their womb-combs, the scent of blood is unavoidable. It smells like a slaughterhouse down in the Stacks, even if there is nothing actually being slaughtered.

The stink is only part of it. I’m sure you’ve already noticed this, Lily, but all witches and crucibles hate to be underground, away from the light and heat of the sun, the moon, and the stars. Because we all hate it so much I must make a show of solidarity with my Coven and force myself to do this, even though I have more reason than most to want to avoid this.

It was the Woven, and my arrogant hope to eradicate them, that started me down the hellish path I’ve been on for the past year. No—that’s not entirely true. Originally, I was trying to help my mother. But I could never blame her for my terrible choices.

My mother’s affliction was getting worse. I watched you struggle with your Samantha, so I know you know what I mean. One day my guard summoned me to the top of the City Wall. Samantha was in her nightgown, and her hair was wild. She was balancing on the very edge of the Wall, threatening to throw herself off if anyone came near her. She was saying that in another world the Wall was not there and that if she squinted her eyes she could convince herself that she was walking on air. She begged me to believe her, to believe that she saw all of these other worlds and that she couldn’t block them out. Then she begged me to help her make the visions stop. I didn’t know what to do. Rowan was with me. He helped me talk her back from the edge. No one was ever more patient with my mother than Rowan was.

Later, after I had cried myself out on his shoulder about my mother’s failing mind, Rowan told me that Samantha talked like some of the Shamans of his people. He said that there was a special kind of Shaman who spoke of other worlds that were similar to ours, but different. He called these Shamans spirit walkers. Then he laughed and said that everyone in his tribe thought spirit walkers were crazy, but I asked for him to find one for me anyway. I was desperate.

I didn’t realize then that I was doing something that had never been done before. To me, having a Shaman come to the Citadel to help my mother was a simple choice, even if it went against centuries of prejudice and racism on both sides. Shamans hate witchcraft. They think it’s an insult to change what the Great Spirit made by transmuting matter and energy. They even refuse to wear willstones. And witches have always maligned anything that came from the Outlanders. They’d laugh in your face if you even tried to suggest that Shamanism was more than a hallucination. But I was different. I didn’t see a painted savage when I looked at an Outlander; I saw one of Rowan’s people. I’m not blaming Rowan for my choices any more than I’m blaming my mother, but I know my love for Rowan brought two different kinds of power—spirit walking and transmutation—together for the first time.

We kept it the darkest of secrets, of course. If my Coven or the Council found out that I had a Shaman at the Citadel there would have been a huge scandal. Rowan and Juliet were the only two who knew.

On our first meeting the Shaman told me that Samantha was a rare thing—a female Shaman—and after just days of training with him my mother was already better. Whether I wanted to believe in spirit walking or not, I couldn’t deny that his teaching was helping her. Then the Shaman told me that I have the gift, too, and that the older I got, the more it would grow and that without training it would take over my mind, as it had Samantha’s.

I was terrified. I didn’t tell anyone, not even Rowan. I was afraid that if anyone knew I would lose my position as the Salem Witch, and at sixteen I was one of the youngest Salem Witches in history. I knew that my Coven would turn on me in a second if they found out, and I was afraid. Pride and fear, Lily. I let them make my choices for me and I started training with the Shaman in secret.

I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I tell Rowan?

You already know it wasn’t because I didn’t trust him. I didn’t tell Rowan because I was ashamed. I can’t tell you how much it hurts to admit it now that she’s gone, but it’s true—I was ashamed of my mother. I was ashamed of the crazy woman with the dirty nightgown and the frizzy hair, and I was ashamed of others thinking that I might become like her. Especially Rowan.

So I hid my training, and even though hiding left little time for me to work with the Shaman, I took to spirit walking quickly. It wasn’t long before I was able to not only leave my body, but to leave my world.

The first time I went to another world it was anticlimactic. Of course, I felt it when I left my world and entered another—it’s a singular experience—but looking around, I could barely tell the difference. I’d used Rowan as my lighthouse to guide me across the universes, and I found him in that other world, reading. Nothing abnormal. Then I noticed what he was reading. It was a book Juliet had written. In this other version of my Salem, my sister was a writer.

I wanted to snatch the book out of his hands and flip to page one, but of course, I couldn’t. Although I’ve loved him for as long as I’ve known him, Rowan is not my blood- relative, and I had not claimed the willstone that hung around this other’s Rowan’s neck. His willstone was just different enough so that this other Rowan and I could not mindspeak across the universes. The infuriating truth is that spirits can’t physically interact with the worlds they walk in. All they can do is whisper inside the heads of their closest relatives—usually never to be heard—and watch.

It was the frustration of knowing that I could never pick up Juliet’s book and read if from the beginning that got me wondering. If I could send my spirit into other worlds— which I quickly came to think of as sending my will—could I also send the power of my willstone into other worlds?

When I asked the Shaman this question, he got a funny look on his face. Like he was both excited and sad. He said there was something he wanted to show me before he answered that. He guided my spirit to a world that was not so different from our witch world—except for one huge detail.

In this other world, they’d found a way to get rid of the wild Woven.

MAGNIFICENT STUFF. Thanks to Josephine for sharing, and be sure to check out the rest of her books. You won’t regret it.

MY BONUS CONTEST: Leave a comment below about this sample — and NEW FOR SATURDAY (TO KEEP IT FRESH): the SEVENTH word from my SPIKE sneak-peek, also included in the #TeamTEAL hunt — and I’ll draw one winner for a complete signed set of Virals books, including an ARC of TRACE EVIDENCE. Sounds good? Sounds good. (ALL CORRECT THURSDAY AND FRIDAY SUBMISSIONS STILL COUNT!)



  1. I love Josephine Angelini’s books. Been waiting to et my hands on this one! Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the chance!

  3. Fire Walker looks awesome! I’ll have to check it out. The fifth word in the SPIKE excerpt is “dead.”

  4. Dead!

    Thank you for hosting Josephine, her stuff is awesome. I’m also looking forward to reading your book!

  5. Dead (such a fun word xD)
    I love Josephine Angelini, whatever she writes I will read it! 🙂

  6. The sample given of Josephine Angelini’s book Fire Walker has great imagery. Everything cascades into one another and it feels as if a movie, perhaps, fills up your imagination. The thoughts are clearly written and the story is greatly portrayed as Lillian is introducing these memories to Lily. Overall, great way to hook the audience and engage them within a new world, or should I say new worlds.
    The fifth word from the SPIKE sneak-peek is “dead.”
    ~Thank you so much for your time and effort to interact with your fans, Brendan Reichs (: Ive been reading the Virals Series for 5 years now, since i was 12 years old and can’t merely thank you enough for allowing people like me these kind of opportunities. Please, by all means, continue writing! I look forward to NEMESIS as well!

  7. I read the first book in this series by Josephine. I liked it and want to read the others but I think I will need to do a reread first. Thanks for the sample. It’s got me in the mood to continue. THE

  8. WOW! That’s really generous! Thanks for doing this!

  9. I’m kinda in love with Josie, so that excerpt was awesome! Also, the word was dead!

  10. Dead 🙂
    I am so looking forward to reading the next book in her series!
    Thank you for participating!

  11. Love love this! I can’t wait to buy the second book of the series. I just finished the first one and I’m really looking forward to read more. 🙂

    And thank you for doing this giveaway 😀

  12. The fifth word is DEAD.

    This hunt sure is fun and thank you for participating.

  13. A bit of a struggle to understand what was going on since I never read the first book. But from the words she used, I assume there is a lot of action and lots of people ending up DEAD!

  14. Dead.

    Although I have not read any of Josephine’s books yet, after reading this I am definitely going to check them out!

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  15. AHH it makes me want to reread her book again. <3

  16. I haven’t read any of Josephine’s books yet but I do own a few. I didn’t read the sample because I don’t usually because i like going into books not knowing anything about them. Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Thank you for this giveaway, a really great price!
    The fifth word is “Dead”!

    Have a nice weekend! <3

    • The fourth word is “Clearly”! Don’t know if this is necessary, but it’s better to be on the safe side! 😉

  18. Dead! Thank for the bonus giveaway, and I loved the content!

  19. Dead. Thanks for the content, makes me want to find the series.

  20. Dead.
    All of these books sound so great! I can’t wait to read some of these. Thanks for the chance!

  21. The fifth word is Dead! Thanks for the giveaway!
    I love the YA Scavenger Hunt 🙂

  22. Fire Walker looks awesome! I love the cover. The fifth word from Spike is dead.

  23. DEAD!!!!

    Love her writing. She is a great author.
    Thank you for the chance.

  24. I have wanted to read both of these series for a while now!

  25. Also the fifth word is dead

  26. The fifth word in the Spike excerpt is Dead. Love the Virals series, by the way. Great bonus content – I am really “fired up” to read Fire Walker!

  27. I love Josephine’s book, but haven’t read Fire Walker yet.
    The fouth word is “clearly”
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. *Dead*

    I loved the Starcrossed series by Josephine Angelini and can’t wait to read her new book.

  29. Oh you’re too nice but the fifth word is “dead.”

  30. I am a part of a club that gets to read galleys for some of these books, and we got Trial By Fire last year; and I LOVED it!!! I anticipated the sequel, and recently got my hands on it… and Fire Walker did not disappoint. A lot of trilogies’ second novels don’t measure up to the first ones, but this one did. I really enjoyed it, and am wringing my hands waiting for the next one… alas, no spoilers. 😉

    Oh, and the fifth word in the sneak peek for SPIKE is “dead”.

  31. Thanks for the sample. Think I’ll need to check it out ☺

  32. I haven’t read any of Josephine Angelini’s books yet :/ I like to start a book not knowing anything about it so I didn’t read the sample, but I did add Fire Walker to my TBR list!
    The 4th word in your sneak-peek is ‘clearly’ but as it is still Friday and not yet Saturday I’m worried that I still need to put the 5th word so here it is – ‘dead’
    Can’t wait to read these!!

  33. The word is: Dead.
    Thanks for participating in YASH. This is how I pad my To Be Read list with amazing books.

  34. oooh creepy Fire Walker sounds fantastic. and the fifth word in Spike is dead. Love Virals!!

  35. The word is “dead” thanks for the chance, I love her books. And her hair. So jealous!

  36. The word is DEAD! Dying to read this! I just started the Viral Series!

  37. Thanks for participating in YASH. DEAD! Love Josephine Angelini’s work.

  38. Thanks for being part of the hunt. I just brought the first book in the virals series last month and am looking forward to starting it. Thanks for the sample from Josephine 🙂

  39. I remember reading the Virals books quite a wile ago and loving them. And excerpt was deliciously creepy- ugh, being grown from things! The fourth word is clearly: The fifth word is dead.

  40. The fourth from spike is Dead, thanks for the chance!

  41. This Hunt is so much fun… and the word is dead!!! xD

  42. The seventh word is flower. Thanks for the chance!


  43. What an interesting concept. Would very much like to read her books.

    The seventh word from the Spike excerpt is flower.

  44. The seventh word from the Spike sneak peak is flower!

    Thank you so much for this giveaway!

  45. The answer is flower! And thanks so much for the extra giveaway:)

  46. 7th word is Flower! 😀 Thank you so much for participating in YASH and for the bonus contest!

  47. The seventh word from the Spike sneak peak is flower!

    I’m super excited for this give away!!!!!

  48. Loved the first book in her series! Can’t wait for Fire Walker! 😀

  49. The bonus material is interesting – but I’m slightly confused. I’ll read the book before this one so I’ll understand it better – can’t wait 🙂

    Seventh word is flower

  50. dead
    I can’t wait to read all of the Virals books!

    • oops the seventh word was flower

  51. This excerpt made me really curious about the world this story is set in, and I definitely might have to look into reading the books! Just the excerpt has left me with so many world-building and story questions!
    The seventh word from the Spike sneak-peek is ‘flower.’

  52. The seventh word is “flower.”

    This excerpt is makes me wanna die cuz now I have to go to B&N to get this book — thanks for the bonus material and the giveaway!

  53. The seventh word is “Flower” 😀 This whole scavenger hunt is really exciting!

  54. Thanks for taking part in YASH this year! I love seeing all the different authors I haven’t yet had the chance to read along with many authors whose work I admire.

    *The seventh word is “flower”.

  55. Thank you so much for participating in the YASH and for writing!! I like the attempts to shake it up ;)! The seventh word is flower. I liked that the beginning of the excerpt lead into something unexpected (well…at least I thought so haha).

  56. I haven’t read anything by Ms. Angelini yet, but I have her on my To Read list. The sample was really good, so I would like to try one of her books soon.

    • Also: flower

  57. was interesting

    • tray

  58. Flower! And I would love to read these books!!!

  59. Seventh word is flower. Haven’t read this author before, but I love reading new stuff.

  60. The 5th word is dead. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I love your series and the sample from Josephine made me want to go and read her book now. I can’t wait to see her soon and read it!

  61. the 7th word I found was “flower” – I’ve not read the Virals books, so I’m a bit confused as well. I’ll definitely have to check it out! Thanks for the chance!

  62. The seventh word is Flower!
    I love the cover of Firewalker and really looking forward to reading it.

  63. AHHH! Book 2 is out! 😀 I adored the first book, Trial by Fire, and I was sad to find that at the time, book 1 was the only one out. I’m not a patient reader 😛

    The seventh word is ‘flower’ in your excerpt. Really like how you’re playing off of your mom’s already established world of Temperance Brennan. I’m a reader who always has this desire to get more and more knowledge of a character’s world, and this creates that depth while playing to a younger audience. Looking forward to checking Virals out!

  64. “Dead”

    Awesome giveaway, hope I win! 🙂

  65. Saturday’s word is Flower.

    And great Excerpt Josephine! I want more!!

  66. The seventh word is Flower! I LOVE your books 🙂

  67. The seventh word is Flower! I just found about your books and I honesty love it. I will read them for sure. It’s on my TBR list. Thanks for the chance to win this awesome prize. Hope you’ll have a nice day!

  68. flower is the 7th word

    That preview is great. I love the cover!

  69. The sample really made me want to get by hands on the book , it really kept my attention and left me wanting to continue reading:)

  70. It’s dead. Really cool sneak peek. I want to read that series now.

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