Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event is 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! Not only that… on this post you 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 until Sunday, October 4th!
And don’t forget to scroll all the way to the end of this post… besides the big contest, you have a chance to win one of three signed copies of THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY right here on this post.
This post in a nutshell:
1). Read how it works in “Scavenger Hunt Puzzle” below. If you’re a veteran, skip ahead!
2). Read about the author I’m hosting and the top-secret bonus material she’s sharing with you.
3). Copy down my favorite number (in ORANGE somewhere on this post).
4). Enter to win a signed copy of THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY right at the end of this page.
5). Go to the next stop on this hunt (link at the end of this post).
6). Add up all the numbers on ORANGE TEAM and enter to win by clicking here.
Want more details on how it all works? Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page. There are a bunch of contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the ORANGE TEAM (muy caliente) –but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team… enter them all for a chance to win a whole different set of signed book.! It takes a few minutes to enter all of them so go ahead and increase your chances of winning.
I am hosting Heather L. Reid on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Heather L. Reid is both American and British and has called six different cities in three different countries, home. Her strong sense of wanderlust and craving for a new adventure mean you might find her wandering the moors of her beloved Scotland, exploring haunted castles, or hiking through a magical forest in search of fairies and sprites. When she\u2019s not venturing into the unknown in her real life, she loves getting lost in the worlds of video games or curling up by the fire with good story. For now, this native Texan is back in the Lone Star State, settling down with her Scottish husband and writing whatever new tales of fantasy her imagination dreams up.
First, let’s just take a moment to pitter-patter over this gorgeous cover, shall we?
And here’s a bit about it: It’s been five weeks, two days, and eight hours since the demons forced Quinn to throw herself into the raging river, since Aaron sacrificed himself to save her, since his body disappeared without a trace.
Everyone wants Quinn to move on, but she can’t, not after a spirit appears to her at Aaron’s memorial, convincing her he’s still alive.
When a mysterious box materializes on the very spot Aaron disappeared, Quinn finds she’s at the center of an ancient prophecy of betrayal, revenge, and sacrifice that takes her to the depths of the underworld to face Lilith—Adam’s first wife.
If Quinn can stop Lilith from unleashing the demon horde Eve, trapped inside the box during the Battle of Eden millennia ago, she will save the human realm and free Aaron from an eternity in torment.
Pretty Dark Sacrifice Deleted Scene
Where are you? Quinn’s frantic cries echoed in the void. Aaron couldn’t see her, but he felt the magnetic draw of her power calling out, a beacon in the dark. Fog swirled around him as he opened his psychic third eye and let his gift reach out into the psychic plane to meet hers, strengthening their bond. It felt good to be in control of this at least. His body might have been weak, but without the fever clouding his ability, his connection to her was clear.
The air around him shimmered, and she appeared before him like an apparition stepping from the shadows. Desire raced through his veins and he reached for her. Her smile lit the darkness, and she ran to him, arms wide, bare feet silently padding against the misty ground. Everything about her felt real, her warm breath on his cheek, her body pressed close to his. Thoughts of kissing the soft pink skin of her lips overwhelmed him, but he resisted.
“How are we here, together, Quinn? I don’t understand.”
Quinn shrugged. “Supposedly, I can communicate with angels. That’s what Azrael says. Are you an angel, Aaron?” Something tickled his memory, something he should be telling her, something important, but his head started to pound every time he got close to the answer. He had so many questions he wanted to ask, so many missing pieces he needed her to fill in, but he wasn’t sure where to start.
“No. You’re not an angel. I’m asleep, and you’re a dream. Some nights I see you drown over and over again, sometimes you just sit on the side of my bed, but you’re always gone when I wake, a blur, nothing but a feeling.” She sat cross-legged and pulled Aaron down beside her. “I like this dream best, where were together and happy, before I let everything go wrong.” Tall grass sprang up around them, her thoughts painting a picture of the night they spent under the stars. “There are so many things I want to tell the real Aaron. But you’re not real. You never are.”
Aaron swallowed a hard knot that had formed in the back of his throat. “How do you know I’m not?” The questions sounded strained on his lips.
“Because you’re dead,” Quinn said, matter-of-factly. Lightning streaked across the sky, and soft rain began to fall, soaking the ground as her tears soaked her cheek.
“Hey, look at me.” Aaron cupped her chin with a hand and forced her to look into his eyes. “I’m not dead. You have to believe.” Not yet anyway, but deep down Aaron questioned the reality of it too. Perhaps she was all in his head, a way of feeling less alone as his heart slowed, then stopped within his broken, useless body. No, he pushed that thought to the side. This was his gift, he recognized the power flowing in and out like psychic waves.
“Then where are you, Aaron? We’ve been looking for you for weeks. Your dad, Josh, they’re going to have a memorial for you on Saturday. You’ve been gone nearly a month. There’s no way you’re still alive.”
A month? That couldn’t be right. Just yesterday he’d been timing Marcus at the pool and changed Quinn’s tire for her. Hadn’t he? No. That was last week. Memories warped and swirled in his head. Today was Homecoming…or was that yesterday? Dread settled on Aaron’s shoulder when she lifted her head and began pulling the long golden grass from the ground.
“You’re a figment I’ve conjured up in order to find closure.” Quinn’s knee grazed his, but the distance between them grew with every word, cold settling all around him. “Or the demons trying to manipulate me because I feel guilty.”
“Demons? What are you talking about? Guilty for what?”
But she didn’t answer, just shook her head and continued yanking the stalks of golden grass from the earth. Fog seeped through the holes left in the ground from her destruction.
“When I wake up, you’ll still be gone.” Quinn flickered, and the stars began to fall from the sky. “Everyone says I have to start moving on with my life.” Her brows furrowed while she braided and unbraided the grass like hair.
“It’s not healthy to hang on to false hope.” Calm detachment settled over her as she worried the plaited stems in her hand.
“I’m not a dream!” Aaron screamed, and Quinn snapped back into focus and looked up at him.
“If you’re not a dream, then tell me where you are!” She yelled back at him. When he didn’t answer, she shook her head and went back to her plaiting, fingers flying up and down the long strands, image flickering like an old movie image where the film had been spliced and re-spliced so many times that there were gaps missing in the movement.
“I can’t tell you where I am because I don’t know where I am!” Aaron pounded his fists on the ground, kicking up particles of fog which danced and swirled around them. “It’s dark. I’m scared, Quinn, really scared. Please.”
Quinn dropped the grass and reached for him, but her hands ghosted through his. Her hair curled around her face, tendrils of smoky fog slipping through his hands as he tried to run his fingers through it. “God, Aaron. Please, tell me where you are and I won’t stop looking till I find you. I won’t give up. I swear, but I don’t know what else to do. What do you want from me?” Tears bubbled over and down her cheeks.
“I don’t want you to give up.” How could he ask her not to give up on him when minutes before he’d been ready to give up on himself. If he could make her believe, then maybe he had a chance. “I am real.”
“We both know you’re not. I can’t keep obsessing over you, Aaron. I can’t eat. I haven’t left my room in weeks. These visions of you, they’re torturing me.” Aaron could feel the thread that bound them growing thinner and thinner as she drew her subconscious away. Aaron’s heart hammered in his chest. Not now, not yet. He wasn’t ready to let go.
“I’m sorry. I have to say goodbye. It’s for the best.”
“No. Wait. I’m not dead. They’re not dreams, Quinn, please. You have to believe me. Please, don’t leave me here.” Fingers met nothing but mist as he reached for her. Then the darkness swallowed him whole.
Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Heather L. Reid, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 7 (SEVEN!! Lucky number!). Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the ORANGE TEAM and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize! I’ve created a handy checklist you can use for the whole hunt, including my number. Click here to download and print it (it’s a PDF). Team Orange checklist (or just note them down on a piece of paper or Notepad on your computer.