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Floored Beyond belief!

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I decided to offer up Star Renegades to an international audience.

I was quite surprised by the response, and I nearly fell off my chair when Renegade Magic broke into the top 5 in Australia and reached a Best Seller rank of 757 in all books. This is the highest I have ever ranked for a full priced book.

I’m thrilled with the warm welcome from the international audiences. I hope everyone loves my quirky little band of space smugglers!

It’s a Really Big day for me!

I have a brand new release!

And I’ve made a huge decision.

I’m so excited to share a brand new series with everyone.

This book has been several years in the making, and it’s book 1 of my first ever 5-book series!

You will not have to wait long for book 2. It’s already in editing and books 3-5 are in the works.

The goal at the moment (Pandemic permitting) Is to release books 1, 2, and 3 this year, with books 4 and 5 following in 2022.

As you guys all know, after losing my job of 25 years due to the Pandemic, I am now a full time author. I have to admit, a LOT is riding on this series.

I hate to think that something as horrible as a Pandemic pushed me to live my dream, but not having a 9-5 job means more time to write, and this is really what I know I was born to do.

So this is it — The first day of the rest of my life, and I’m TERRIFED and EXCITED all at the same time. I hope you guys will enjoy taking this journey with me.

I really appreciate all the support, and Happy Reading!

__________________________________________________________________

The Epic Adventure Starts Today!

In outer space, there is no right or wrong…unless you get caught.

———————————–

Early Reviews are 4.7 out of five stars!

“I love the little rag-tag family on the starship Renegade!”

“This book pulled me in right from the start.”

“Once you start you can’t stop until the end!”

*

And the first review after release is five stars!

“Want to stay up all night reading?  Loved this book and couldn’t put it down! The world building was incredibly detailed but not boring or “in the way” of the story like so many sci-fi books. I stayed up all night with these fun, quirky, and lovable characters, and I swear I got Firefly vibes while reading.

Eaton can definitely write an action-packed, edge of your seat story with characters who have heart. I’d definitely recommend this book, and I can’t wait for the next one in the series!”

What’s it about? I’m glad you asked!

Cal commandeers a smuggling vessel to escape a death sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. When a beautiful galactic law enforcer lands far too close, Cal’s new crew kidnaps her hoping they can prove his innocence.

Hey, what could go wrong?

Dania, a powerful mage enforcer, is on a mission to eliminate a human trafficking ring. When a small team of criminal buffoons grabs her instead, she’s honor bound to exterminate them despite their pleas of innocence.

The Star Renegade crew is guilty and must be punished for their crimes. However, they use their smuggling profits to feed the hungry. Dania will face her own execution for not enforcing royal edicts, but how can she execute people breaking the law for all the right reasons? Especially since she’s starting to have feelings for the renegade captain.

Star Renegades is Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Expanse, Firefly, and Robin Hood.

Jump on board and start your inter-galactic adventure today!

Seriously, guys, thanks for all the support.

Some of you have been with my from the beginning 9 years ago.

Yup, it took this long to make this step.

Deep breaths! It’s time for takeoff!


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Catch up with me on social media!

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Follow-up on Haunting at Weisel Hostel in Quakertown, PA

I originally wrote this post in November of 2015. Five years ago! Wow!

Someone found this article I wrote while doing research on the person the hostel is named after, and contacted me last night wanting to know if anything else ever happened. So, I figured I’d give an update. (It’s not quite as crazy as the first few times, but it is still interesting)

Below is the original post from 2015, if you are interested… and I’ll add my update at the end

____________________________________________________________

Let me start off here by saying that I while I am a very spiritual person, I’m not really one to believe in ghosts. But a few things have happened to me recently to make me wonder.

Several years ago, I started attending writer’s retreats twice a year. If you haven’t been to one, I highly recommend it (but I did have a bad experience once that you can read about here. Make sure you know what you are getting into).

Anyway…

For a few years now we’ve dumped that cabin atmosphere and moved into a big, really old house. The advertising for Weisel Hostel says it is a hundred years old, but from the architecture and the ruins around it, I’d say it is probably closer to 200 years old.

I think the age is an important detail for what I’m about to discuss.

Now remember — I am not the type of person to scream “ghost”. I’m not even sure I’m screaming “ghost” now. But during my two hour drive home today, I found myself piecing things together.

Let me preface a little of this saying I LOVE shows like Ghost Hunters. I find the whole idea of it all, and the science behind ghost hunting very interesting. Especially when they debunk things and find out it is animals in the attic, or faulty wiring, or some sort of radio waves in the house. I find all that more believable than an actual ghost. Even when they record something and play it back, I rarely can hear what they say is a voice from beyond… so call me a hostile witness, because I don’t believe any of this.

But you be the judge.

The first time I stayed at Weisel Hostile in Quakertown, PA, I slept in the bottom bunk in the women’s dorm between the two windows. Now, You need to understand that this is a house built out of stones and mortar. I an sleeping in a bed pushed up against an outer wall, between two original windows. And it is November.

I woke up in the middle of the night freezing. I mean, not just cold… I mean, run out in the snow with bare feet kind of cold. I thought my feet were going to fall off. I was so cold I couldn’t even move. There were five other women sleeping in that room. No one else was cold, so I figured it was just because I was between the two windows, so the next night I piled on the blankets and was fine.

I remembered that experience, though.

The next time I went, I got there early and scoped out the bed right next to the radiator. I also had an extra blanket to go over my feet, and I had big wooly socks to sleep in.

All was right in the world! Nothing happened at all the second trip.

Fast forward one or two retreats. Again, everything has been fine for at least two trips. Nothing happened. I always have lots of blankets and layer when I go to sleep.

This time I am in the common room. I am busting out my word count like nothing! I am on such a roll that I’m afraid to stop. Slowly but surely, everyone else goes to bed. But there I was, still busting out words at 2:00 in the morning. (I am estimating that time. I know it was really late.)

Anyway… I am working at my laptop, and someone walks into the common room from the hall, past the two easy chairs, plops down on the couch next to the fire, and stares into the glowing embers. I stop typing, and am about to look up and say “You can’t sleep?” and I realize there is NO ONE THERE.

I stared at the empty couch.

After a minute, I decided I must be more tired than I thought. I packed up my computer and went to bed, saying “goodnight” to the empty seat by the fire, just in case, but laughing all the way up the stairs.

I really didn’t think too much about this. The whole thing just turned into a funny story I would tell the group now and again. Because, seriously, I know I was just really tired and seeing things.

But after this weekend, I am seriously wondering.

This is what happened:

I got to the hostile early and scope out my bed by the radiator (This has been “my spot” since the one freezing night)

The hostile is strangely warm. The fireplace is broken, so they must have had the heat pumping like crazy. It was almost hot when I went to bed. Remembering how cold it can get, I still wore pants, shirt, and socks to bed, but I didn’t bother with the extra blanket on my feet, because the heater was making the bed a toasty paradise. So, off I went to sleep.

In the middle of the night, I woke up FREEZING. Had someone turned off the radiator? I reached over and touched it. Nope. Still warm. So why was I so cold? My feet actually hurt. I thought about my fuzzy jacket laying across the top bunk, but I couldn’t get myself to move enough to go get it. You know how it is… tired and all… so I just braved it out and eventually went back to sleep.

That brings us to last night.

Now… No one is allowed to say I’m crazy. Ya hear? Because I am sure there is a logical explanation for what happened to me that has nothing to do with freak temperatures, or vision problems.

This is what happened…

I go to bed, and since it is so freakishly dark in the middle of the woods, I leave the light on in the hallway (probably mistake number one)

I then hung my laptop bag off the top bunk at the foot of my bed (mistake #2)

I remembered the freak cold in the middle of the night, so I grab an extra blanket and put it over where my feet will be. Despite the temperature being fine, I wear my sweats, two shirts, socks, and also my fuzzy jacket to bed. Hey, I was ready this time!

So, ready for a night in the arctic, I eased down into my bunk and cuddled in with my kindle.

Now, I have to admit mistake #3.

I was reading Death Becomes Me by Elizabeth Holloway… and the freaking GRIM REAPER is chasing the main characters, and there is this little girl with no eyes… so I am probably in a bad frame of mind to be sleeping in a somewhat unfamiliar place.

Anyway, as I’m reading, I see a shadow at the base of my bed. I stop and look, but the shadow is gone. I laugh at myself, because I know it’s the laptop bag.

Suddenly I realize my feet hurt. They’re cold? I’ve only been here for a few minutes. I check the radiator. It’s cuddly warm. I guess there is a draft from the window again. I go back to my reading. The shadow pops up again.

Why the heck did I hang my laptop there? I totally know that is what I keep seeing.

I thought of getting up and turning out the light in the hall, but then if I had to go to the little girl’s room in the middle of the night, I’d probably kill myself. So I left it on.

Three more shadow sightings, but I just ignored it. It was my imagination. I knew it was. I am, after all a logical, adult. I’m not afraid of things that go bump in the night.

The funny thing was that I really wasn’t scared. I never thought ghost. Not even for a second.

When I turned my Kindle off, and laid my head down to sleep, I didn’t even check the foot of my bed. I never even thought of looking under it.

I’m serious… I was not thinking supernatural, paranormal, or ANYTHING like that. I just closed the scary book that I was reading, cuddled into my pillow, and closed my eyes.

Now, I want to say I only closed my eyes for a second. I’m willing to say it was longer than that. I want to believe I fell asleep. In a way, I do believe I fell asleep. I just would be lying if I did not say that I don’t THINK I fell asleep.

I THINK I had only closed my eyes for a second.

Now remember … I am not a nut case.

Someone tried to push me out of the bed.

Yes. Physical. A push. I moved. Someone pushed me.

I gasped out loud and my eyes popped open to see who it was, and I was facing the wall. Only about six inches between my body and a few feet of two hundred year old stone and mortar.

I looked toward the center of the room, expecting there to be someone there, messing with me.

The room was empty, except for my roommate at the far side of the room, sleeping soundly.

Being a logical person, I decided I must have fallen asleep for a fraction of a second. Strange, though, that I have never had that kind of experience (being “pushed” awake) anywhere else. I did, right then, at least consider the possibility of a ghost. Especially since I was freezing.

Was I afraid? Oddly enough, no. I’d slept in that very bed at least six times. Nothing had ever happened. If it was a ghost, they were probably just messing with me. After all, I sleep in that bed twice a year. Maybe they feel like the know me?

I remembered a ghost show that I watched once where a woman said the ghost in her house would hide her keys, but return them if she asked. So I cuddled back to my pillow, closed my eyes, and said aloud, “I’m really tired. Please let me go to sleep.”

And that was it.

Except one more strange thing. I don’t know how long that I did sleep, but I woke up later really hot. I had to take my jacket off.

So, there you have it. That’s my story.

When I told my roommate the next day. You should have seen the look on her face. “Weren’t you scared?”

And honestly, I really wasn’t. I never felt threatened.

Will I sleep in that bed again?

YES!

The more I think about it, I definitely will. If there is something there, it left me alone when I asked it to. If there is something there, I don’t think it is anything to be afraid of.

For the record, I really do think I was just punchy when I saw the person by the fireplace.

And I really do believe I fell asleep for a fraction of a second, and dreamed that someone pushed me.

Other than the house being old and drafty, I don’t know how to explain the off and on freezing cold (that no one else seems to experience.)

Funny. I just laughed at myself for even typing all this out, when it is late and I need to go to work tomorrow… But I find this fascinating.

So, go ahead and make fun of me in the comments. I’m making fun of myself.

I still don’t really know if I believe in ghosts. But I might give him/her a gender-neutral name and make sure I say “goodnight” next time so I don’t get a shove for ignoring him.

Have you ever experienced anything strange like this?

_________________________________________________________

UPDATE:

This is a cut and paste of the email I sent back to the person who contacted me and asked if anything else ever happened…

I went back Weisel Hostile several times. I was always the first person there. I always chose the same bed I got pushed in. Since I was alone, I’d make the bed, talking out loud: “Hey, I’m back, how have you been? Remember, I’d like to sleep tonight!” Silly things like that “Just in case”. I still don’t really believe, but hey, why not?

The only other thing that happened was in a group setting probably three years ago. We were all sitting around the fireplace, having s’mores. I was right up against the sweltering hot fire, and suddenly I was freezing cold. It had to be 80-85 degrees near that fire. I was shaking with cold and could barely move.  Again, I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, but I realized that I had sat in the very seat that the phantom person had sat in that I had seen that first night. (Probably five years previous)

Being a rational person, I sat there again the next night, and no problem.

Unexplainable? No, of course not.

Weird? DEFINITELY.

I have not been to the hostile in a few years. The fireplace degraded and is unusable, so the group decided to meet elsewhere for the retreats. However, I would go back, if given the chance. But I would still probably say “hello” when I got there. Maybe also say hello next to the fireplace.

Hey, you never know.

–Jennifer

Normal will look different after all of this.

Hey, things are nuts. I get it.

A little over a month ago, things were fine. There was a virus on the other side of the world. It was infecting a lot of people. This has happened before, right?

Then it started to spread. Everywhere.

Then all of the sudden a lot of us started working from home. No big deal, right? It was only for a few weeks.

Then more of us ended up home. More time passed… was it days? I think it was, even though it felt like so much longer.

Then things started closing, and people got furloughed.

Then people started losing their jobs permanently. And when all that started to level out, a second wave of people lost their jobs.

It’s hard to get food where I am. Well, you can get food, but if you want brown rice, you might have to get white. Groceries cost more, because you have to buy whatever they have. Toilet paper is gold. So is frosting, for some reason. And Yeast. Sometimes milk.

You have to wait in line sometimes to get into grocery stores. You even have to wait in line in a cue to shop from home on grocery websites. Lots of things you can’t even get online, or even picked by a personal shopper. If you do go to a store, there is a new law that you have to wear a mask. It you don’t have a mask, you need to tie a scarf around your face.

Inconvenient, yes, but this is because of a horrible truth.

People are getting sick and dying. Lots of people.

Hospitals can’t keep up. New York has freezer trucks in parking lots to store the dead. People have to say goodbye to loved ones over the phone, if they get to say goodbye at all.

Not cool. Not cool at all.

And all of this started a little over a month ago. It seems a little surreal now, like we are lost in time. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever be that same. Normal will look different after this, and I have no idea what that will look like.

For now, I look at the positives:

  • I’m spending more time with my kids.
  • They are not complaining about the food, because they understand every meal is a blessing now, and nothing can be wasted.
  • So far, we have managed to keep the virus out of the house.
  • We are all healthy.
  • We have a home.
  • I know my kids are as safe as I can get them, even though we live in an epicenter
  • Hopefully, we will soon see some unemployment money. (I’m confident we will)

No matter what, things could be worse, and I try to look at the bright side of things wherever possible.

We will get through this.

How, I don’t know… but I have to believe that things will get better. And maybe when this is all over, we will have learned a lot as a nation, and as a world, and we will know what to do the next time we are faced with a pandemic.

If you want to read something…

Anyway, for those of you who’d like to read, I’m lowering the price on most of my books to $.99 for a while. And I’m also dropping them all into Kindle Unlimited for those of you who want to take advantage of Amazon’s 30 days free offer, or their three months for $1.99 offer.

If you read on any other platforms, email me and I’ll try to help you out if I can.

Hunker in and stay safe, everyone. As my mother always said, “This too shall pass.”

I sure hope she was right.

[Hugs]

–Jennifer

Take me to Amazon to see all the books on sale and free in Kindle Unlimited!

 

 

Court of Thorns and Roses Box Set Giveaway! Super Easy Entry!

I’m super excited about this Court of Thorns and Roses Hardcover box set giveaway! I’m one of six YA fantasy authors sponsoring this Sarah J. Maas giveaway. All you have to do to enter to win A Court of Thorns and Roses (Hardcover) box set AND a coloring book is subscribe to one or all of our newsletters!

Click an image below to get started, and GOOD LUCK!

 

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8685820e64/

GOOD LUCK GUYS!

Back from vacation, and how about some fun free reads?

Hey, guys. It’s been a while because I’ve been crazy writing! I have so many irons in the fire it’s not funny.

I did take a vacation. Yay! This is me zip-lining at Wonder Works in Myrtle Beach, SC, USA after spending a few hours walking and climbing through an obstacle course five stories in the air! Great time with my three teen aged boys.

But now it’s back to writing. I am happy to announce that my NA Science Fiction romance is almost ready for editing. Yay! The title is tentatively Lost in Starlight.

Death Witch, my young adult reaper story is going into editing next.

And the biggie everyone is waiting for… my YA fantasy series Whispers of Sorcery book three is almost done. These will be edited back to back for rapid release.

This is writing retreat month, and I am seriously considering setting everything aside and seeing if I can write an entire novel in a week. I know, it’s crazy, but I’d love to know if I can do it.

“But Jennifer,” you’re thinking… “If you could just focus that energy, you’d have that fantasy series out by now!”

Well, yes, you’d be right about that. My muse has been all over the place. I’m working on focusing, really I am, but I find I write better when I work on the project my brain feels like writing at the time. Unfortunately my muse and I are not on the same timeline. Does anyone else have that problem? Just me? Gah!!!!!

Anyway, while you are waiting, here are some fun free and discounted book promotions that I am participating in, including the super fun Christmas in July promotion, featuring all Christmas themed books. Yay!

Happy reading!

 

It’s the Cover Reveal for INVADED!

You Guys!

I’m so excited (and maybe a little nervous) to reveal the cover of my new novel INVADED.

Why nervous?  Well, INVADED is an extremely different novel for me.

In many ways it is soooooo me—

 

Action packed? CHECK.

Romance? CHECK.

All the feels? CHECK.

Out-of-this-world plot? DOUBLE CHECK.

 

But this isn’t my typical light-hearted story. This is a paranormal serial killer murder mystery that takes place in present day.

This puppy is NOT light in any way, shape, or form. It also isn’t a quick read. This is a 460-page monster book. (Well, monster for me. It’s nearly double the size of my normal books.)

And this novel is meant for adults. This means adult content. Please expect all the intense imagery and a emotion you’ve come to expect from my stories, but from a very adult angle. Some of the scenes may be disturbing— I mean, SERIAL KILLER, get it?

So, if you are okay with an adult read, and you enjoy a good thriller, I hope you love INVADED. This is a book that SCREAMED to be told. (Pun only partially intended.)  Sneak peek of the first chapter below the cover reveal!


 

Four people. Two bodies. One nightmare.

 

INVADED COVER

The day Tracy Seavers dies, Detective John Peters arrives on the scene of the car accident to find she has miraculously walked away. An impossible conclusion, had the same thing not happened to him five years before. John suspects Tracy is now host to an alien entity with incredible healing power, and sometimes sinister needs.

John wants Tracy almost as much as the entity inside him yearns for the new alien hiding within the beautiful brunette. The last time John got involved with another host, though, it ended in disaster. So Tracy is off-limits, no matter how much he and his entity want to wrap themselves around her. Instead, he throws himself into the ultimate distraction: finding the serial killer stalking their town.

When both John and Tracy start having blackouts, and new evidence points to an entity as the killer, John has to admit that now even he is a suspect; and the only other alien in town lives inside Tracy. Unless he can find another.

The South Jersey Slasher strikes again tonight. The clock is ticking—and Tracy is missing. Again.

If you love the emotional connection of Jennifer L. Armentrout, the alien possession in THE HOST, and the dark intrigue of Criminal Minds, you’ll die for INVADED.


 If you read on Kindle, you can preorder your copy here from Amazon.com.


Sneak peek at INVADED

Chapter 1

Detective John Peters squatted beside a bloodstained patch of sand. He tuned out the news helicopters circling the bridge overhead. The overturned tractor-trailer and the smashed blue sedan straddling the guardrail above would make for a decent headline, but they always wanted more. He could feel their cameras zooming in, looking for the body they’d been promised. But deceased accident victim, Tracy Seavers, was no longer there.

“Dead girls don’t just get up and walk away.” The off-duty EMT, first on-scene, folded his arms. “I’m telling you, that girl was lightyears past CPR.”

The odor of diesel engines carried on the late-summer breeze as another firetruck arrived on the bridge. Circumventing the body’s last known location, John blotted out the noise and concentrated on the conundrum at hand.

“There was nothing I could do for her.” The EMT shaded his eyes, squinting at the collision scene above. “I heard the other girl screaming, so I climbed the hill to see if I could help.”

John nodded. The roommate, Laini Hanson, was damn lucky she’d stayed in the car. Too bad Seavers hadn’t done the same.

He crouched in the space between the impact-site and a pink, size-nine loafer lying sideways in the sand. A trail of footprints led into the trees where a few uniformed officers directed doe-eyed interns on search and rescue procedures.

John sighed, surveying the reckless clusters of college students as they left holes in their search patterns any seven-year-old could avoid. If they hunted for their keys like they searched for a missing person, they’d never get out of their goddamn houses in the morning. But he couldn’t be particular about personnel when there were so few cops left in the district.

The detective in him hoped one of them would shout they’d found the girl. That’s what every cop wanted: a clean wrap-up. But this wasn’t going to be so simple, especially with this team.

John walked beside the prints: one foot bare, the other displaying the zig-zag pattern of the lost pink loafer. The steps were narrow, the un-shoed foot dragging with a possible limp. He glanced up to the bridge, where a tow truck started to haul the sedan off the guardrail.

The EMT was right. Chances were slim Seavers survived a twenty-six-foot fall, especially after being hit head-on by an eighteen-wheeler. But if the woman hadn’t walked away on her own, someone had taken a great deal of effort to make it look like she had.

His phone vibrated. John glanced down at the screen. He only followed one informational feed—the one he wasn’t supposed to have access to. The message wasn’t much of a surprise.

 

PAC Southern NJ.

Live accident scene intersection of 295 and Locust.

Police/News. File 39740. Code One.

 

John gritted his teeth, wishing he could get his hands on File 39740, but unless he gave up being a detective and joined the FBI, an all-access pass to government secrets wasn’t coming any time soon. The only certainty was federal agents were on their way.

Bastards.

His gaze returned to the EMT as John slipped the phone back into his jacket pocket. This guy’s testimony didn’t matter anymore. Tracy Seavers’s disappearance wasn’t a crime or even an elaborate hoax. This…this was something else.

And now it was a race to see who’d find Tracy Seavers first.

John moved toward the trees as his partner, Art, dismissed the EMT. The breeze shifted the canopy, casting spotty shadows over the teams mulling through the brush. Their search patterns were too concentrated. Yes, Seavers was hurt, but she had a head start on them. They needed to move deeper into the woods.

Art jogged up alongside him. A shirttail had come untucked from his pants. “We joining the search already? You don’t want to grill anyone first?”

John shook his head. “Saw everything I needed to see.”

“So, you think someone took her body?”

Someone definitely took her body. The question was, where did they go with it?

The roiling in his chest quickened.

Calm down. She couldn’t have gotten far. We’ll find her.

John stopped walking and rubbed his chin as two canine squads entered the woods. The dogs lowered their tails and walked in circles. One barked and headed into the forest before stopping and spinning around a tree. It was going to be a long day for those guys. Like the EMT pointed out, Dead girls don’t just get up and walk away.

The guy had no idea how right he’d been.

John drew in a deep breath and expelled it slowly, soothing his disquiet.

This had happened before. Once. Five years ago.

But that time, John had been the dead person who got up and walked away.

 


 

INVADED COVERI hope you loved the first chapter of INVADED.

If you read on Kindle, you can preorder your copy here from Amazon.com.

Yes! Please shoot me to Amazon to preorder INVADED!

 

Print will be available from your favorite retailers any day now.

 

Book Cover

Special freebie for you guys!

While you are waiting for all the thrilling goodness of INVADED, here’s a free thriller read from the amazing

Kory M. Shrum.

“Startling character turns (including a double cross or two)…psychological damage, and sufficient material to ignite a series.” —Kirkus Reviews

Check it out here! https://dl.bookfunnel.com/p0hguhfjhl

 

Thanks, guys. You are the best!

Alien Kisses!

—Jennifer.

It’s the #YASH Young Adult Scavenger Hunt GO TEAM PINK! How about winning a boatload of paperback books?

Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt!

 Hello there happy hunters! I am Jennifer M. Eaton, the Author of the FIRE IN THE WOODS Series. Welcome to my humble home. Well, sort of, anyway.
__________________________________

Click a book for the chance to win!

Click for your chance to win! $9.99 box set

Click a book for the chance to win!

Who doesn’t like a few extra giveaways?
Click for a chance to win.
(No Newsletter signup required.)
The Fourth Element Trilogy: Boxed Set by [Ross, Kat]

Click for your chance to win!

_______________________________________
While you are here,
Be sure to pick up your free book at the end of the post.
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 until April 8!

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 PINK TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, a blue team, an orange 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 PINK 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 April 8, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
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Bonus Content: Fatal Heir Sneak Peek and Character Sketches

Sneak Peek of Fatal Heir:

34311774Tan came home one day with red, rheumy eyes and a cough bigger than he was. Since he was my favorite playmate, it wasn’t long before his illness crawled inside of me and made a home in my lungs.

Tan died two days later, and I knew I wasn’t far behind him.

The sickness sapped my strength and twisted my mind. I was accustomed to the noise of my brothers, but now Tan was gone, and the others were banished from our room.

The silence drove me crazy.

When I could manage to speak, I talked to Tan. His body had already burned, but I still saw him every night in our room when the lamps burned low enough. We made plans for all the mischievous things we would do once I joined him in death. I asked him all about what it was like to be dead and pretended that he responded. The spirits never spoke to me, but I didn’t mind. It was good to have someone to talk to.

If I was too disoriented to speak, I would stare at nothing and listen to the frail beating of my own heart. I would lay in bed for hours, watching lights dance along the ceiling, wondering if they were real or imagined.

It was in the midst of these fevered dreams that I met The Man. He was the most peculiar man I had ever seen. His skin was the color of stone, a brown-ish gray that reminded me of the dark sandstone buildings of the marketplace. His hair was a brilliant shade of red that I had only ever seen before on a bird’s wing. It was cut so short it stood up on end. His beard was maintained like a work of art, shaved into swirls of bright red that stood out against his dark skin. A mask of brightly colored makeup framed his eyes and curled down onto his cheeks.

When I turned my head toward him, he met me with a frown.

“You are dying,” he informed me.

I nodded and pointed a trembling finger to the corner where Tan stood, staring solemnly at me.

“Tan says I can play with him again when I die.”

The Man snorted. “Tan will have to wait.”

He looked down at the glass decanter he held in his hands. I followed his gaze and watched with exhausted curiosity as he pulled pieces of leaves and little bottles of dark liquids from a pouch. He poured them into the larger decanter, swirling the ingredients in one direction, then the other. He dipped the bottom of the bottle into the flame of a candle he had set on the table beside my bed.

Despite the imminent peril of a stranger in my room at night, I was rather comfortable in The Man’s company. I felt no fear. I was so close to death that it made no difference whether it was the stranger or the fever that killed me.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Birch bark.”

“What’s it for?”

“It will make you feel better.”

“How?”

The Man pressed his lips together in irritation. He didn’t answer.

“How?” I asked again.

“Rest, Izayik.”

“Who’s Izayik?”

“You are.”

What a strange man. Maybe he was lost and thought he was tending someone else.

“That’s not my name,” I said.

“Of course. What do they call you here?”

“Don.”

“Don,” The Man repeated. He shook his head with an amused smile.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“Your name.”

“My name is not funny!”

“It’s just so plain.”

“That’s a mean thing to say!”

The Man swiped his little finger over the lip of the decanter and licked the liquid from his skin. He looked up as if reading messages written on the ceiling. After a moment of contemplation, he added a gray powder.

“What’s that?”

“Ground dragon bone.”

“Dragons aren’t real.”

“Not anymore, but their bones are still here.”

“Dragons were never real.”

The Man was silent a moment before asking, “Who told you that?”

I frowned. “No one. I just know. I’ve never seen a dragon before.”

“Your world must be pretty small if you only believe in the things you’ve seen.”

I was mystified. I fell asleep with the memories of Tan’s voice drifting like a mist through my dreams.

“Wake up.” The Man’s harsh tone jolted me from my feverish sleep. I had no idea how much time had passed. The sun had not yet peeked over the horizon, but a bluish morning light invaded the dark corners of my room. Tan was no longer standing in the corner.

The Man’s little fire had been extinguished, the candle stowed away. He held the decanter out to me, jiggling it impatiently. I struggled to sit up.

“Drink it,” he said. “It could save your life.”

I squinted at the blackish liquid. It looked like swamp water mixed with boogers and smelled like the manure of our old cow, Gussie.

“I think I’m okay dying, sem,” I said.

The Man grabbed me by the hair. His touch burned my scalp, but I was too surprised to cry out. He shoved the lip of the glass decanter against my mouth and forced me to drink. The potion was the single most disgusting substance I had ever tasted. It was somehow a mixture of licorice and salt and tar, and it writhed down my throat with the consistency of six-day-old pea soup. I struggled and gargled and choked, but The Man was relentless. He forced me to drink the whole bottle. When he released me, I collapsed onto my blankets, feeling too abused to cry. The back of my head ached where his skin had touched mine. The Man held the empty decanter up to his face. He smiled at me.

His smile reminded me of a wolf about to consume a helpless lamb.

“Good boy,” he said. Then my father opened the bedroom door, and The Man disappeared right before my eyes.

*   *   *

My fever broke an hour later, and by midday, I was eating solid food. Within two days, I was back out in the gardens with my siblings. Mum declared it was all a miracle, but I knew the truth. I knew that my recovery was the work of The Man. He had come to my room the night before and forced me to drink his disgusting concoction, but he had saved my life.

This was not the last I would see of The Man.

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About L.C. Ireland:

Leslie Colleen “L.C.” Ireland is an Arts Specialist in Ogden, UT. By day she works as an educator and arts advocate for public elementary schools. By night, she writes plays and young adult fantasy novels. She currently lives in Ogden, UT with her husband and cat, Mystique.

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Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books from me, Jennifer M. Eaton, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 17. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Pink Team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Click here to shoot over to the fabulous Dax Varley!

Freebie Friday! Free E-Books – Great Beginnings and Fantasy February

Today I’m offering two great freebie opportunities for two very different audiences.  Great Beginnings is a sampler of Christian Books

Fantasy February offers a bunch of fantasy books for all ages.

Either promo is sure to introduce you to more great authors, and you can’t lose with a free book! Enjoy!

 

Planting Literary Seeds: Growing a Community

Literary Debauchery

Growing a writing community isn’t easy. You start slow, you start small. A few writers gather in a dusty library room or a small corner of a bookstore. Maybe you trade manuscripts, or read passages aloud. Or you exchange personal stories of rejections, maybe even an acceptance or two. With luck, the group grows. More people join. Newbies, pros. All looking for someone who understands.

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The great thing about life is that you never know where a path may take you. The best case scenario? Small intimate gatherings swell to large groups. Members exchange hard-won wisdom, new markets, more rejections, but even better, more acceptances.

As a long-time member (and currently president) of the South Jersey Writers’ Group, I have seen new members come through our doors, perhaps a little nervous, eyeing us up like prey wandering into a room full of predators and I have to laugh a…

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