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 Green 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.
The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.
The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.
When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.
The question is who?
From here, Delphine’s chin-length blond hair—cut to different lengths—and round, perfectly symmetrical face make her look both angelic and pure. Her striking sky-blue eyes show no hint of fear. I can see why she has gained such high status among the others. Without ceremony, she plants the barrel against her head and pulls the trigger.
Click. Not even a flinch.
As the Chosen boy hands it off to me, the raised phoenix emblem on the handle rough inside my palm, and I raise the barrel, I have a what-the-hell-have-I-done moment. It dissipates with the empty click of the gun, along with any other coherent thoughts I might have had. Hands trembling and numb, I hand the weapon back.
Caspian approaches the table. “Delphine, you don’t have to do this.” His eyes cut to me, then back to her. “I think we have all had enough for today.”
In answer, Delphine looks him in the eye and pulls the trigger.
The revolver smells of oil and old gunpowder. The barrel is hard and cold against my temple. Caspian looks my way, shakes his head. The look he gives me is either respect or annoyance.
I’m going with the latter.
My entire body feels weightless. Every fiber of my being is focused on the sharp curve of the trigger nestled in the joint just below my finger pad.
The only thought I can keep inside my head is this will be the fourth shot, and there are five chambers. The chances are high I will die a fraction of a second after I pull the trigger.
But if I don’t die, if I miraculously happen to be alive at the end of my turn, then I will have won. Because the next chamber will house the bullet. And Delphine looks like the kind of girl who would notice that kind of stuff.
Delphine wears a celebratory smirk. She thinks I am hesitating, that she has won. It’s the same look she had as she mangled my head years ago. I cock the hammer, release a long breath, close my eyes, and squeeze the trigger, slowly, slowly, slowly . . .
Little worm, little worm, why do you squirm?
I feel all the nerve endings in my body fire as the vice around my lungs releases and I can breathe again. The revolver tumbles loudly to the table. I open my eyes, focus on Delphine. I want her to see my anger. To feel responsible for murdering Brinley. But mostly, I want Delphine to know there is nothing she can do that will scare me.
That I am not a worm who squirms anymore.
Caspian retrieves the revolver. His calmness tells me he counted too. He must know Delphine won’t do it. Silence swells the air, filling every nook, every cranny as he walks it over to her. The silence has a weight to it. I find myself once again struggling to breathe. The revolver clanks on the table in front of Delphine, the noise splitting the silence like an ax splitting wood.
Delphine turns the weapon over inside her hands. Just like her, it is exquisitely made, impressive and arresting, without a single flaw, and I can’t help but think both were created to be equally admired and feared. Delphine lifts the revolver to her head, using the muzzle to wipe away an errant strand of pale hair. Slippery folds of my jumpsuit slip through my sweaty fingers.
Cla-ack goes the hammer.
One by one, the hairs on the back of my neck lift. A weird, anxious feeling comes over me just as Delphine looks up from the table. Her eyes rivet to mine. Unblinking ice-blue marbles, they carry an unreachable blankness that makes me go cold all over. Confirming my fear is the big, rancorous smile stretching her face into something almost comically wicked.
She is going to shoot me.
AMAZON PREORDER LINK: Shadow Fall.
But wait! There’s more! Would you like to win some cool bookswag for my own book Genesis Girl?
Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Jennifer Bardsley, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 7. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the green team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!