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YA Scavenger Hunt

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 120 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are seven contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM–but there is also a blue team, an orange team, a gold team, a green team,  a purple team, and a pink 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. You can also enter my personal giveaway below.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red 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 October 8, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST

Today, I am hosting A.G. Howard on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Find out more information by checking out A.G. Howard’s website or find more about the author’s books here!

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

The Splintered Series is getting a collector’s box set! It will be available in October 2017 from my publisher, Amulet books. For those who don’t know about this trilogy, it’s a spinoff of Alice in Wonderland in which Alice Liddell’s great-great-great-granddaughter faces the dark, seductive (and at times violent and gruesome) side of Wonderland’s whimsy, and ends up discovering herself in the process. For my exclusive content today, I wanted to share some insight into my publishing journey with a behind-the-scenes look at a deleted scene from SPLINTERED.

Selling my Alice in Wonderland adaptation wasn’t exactly smooth sailing in the early phases. I left my first agent after finishing the manuscript, because she suggested I keep the story in the human realm, and replace the Wonderland characters with humans named Dormouse or Hatter, etc. … She thought a contemporary parallel to Alice in Wonderland, without an actual fantasy world, would sell better. In my heart, I knew there was something special about this warped Wonderland setting and creatures, and I couldn’t bear not to give them a chance. So I found another agent who believed in Splintered‘s fantasy world without reservation, the wonderful Jenny Bent. Jenny sent it out on submission, but then it seemed we might never find our right fit. We received almost two dozen passes from publishers before finally getting our first yes, which led to a burst of interest from other publishers and going to auction.

Want to know what turned the tables? Several editors commented that the story took too long to get going. So, my agent suggested cutting down the beginning. I dove in, determined to make my story shine, and deleted three chapters from the first 1/3 of the book, which is the equivalent of about 1,200 words. Something so simple resulted in my story finally being bought and becoming part of a NYT and INTL bestselling series. To date, it’s been translated in 12 countries, which is something I never would’ve anticipated or predicted with the rough start we had. ?

Now, I’d like to share one of the chapters I had to cut from the original manuscript. To set it up for you, the scene when Alyssa first steps through the looking-glass originally took place at a London museum while she was on a trip with her classmates. There’s even an extra character named Eli who never made it past the cutting phase. I was able to file down a significant amount of wordage by merely keeping Alyssa in her Texas hometown for that pivotal moment.

For those who have read my series, you might have fun watching for similarities from when Alyssa steps through the mirror in her bedroom, because I was able to repurpose some of the same prose and descriptions into that setting, although I hadn’t utilized the full use of her key necklace in this earlier rendition. And some of you will recognize Jabberwocky’s Mousetrap which was later moved to another chapter. I also found places for some of the other descriptions throughout the rest of the series (the storage room in UNHINGED borrowed heavily from the London museum’s basement, for example). This proves no word is ever wasted, and for all you writers out there, don’t delete them. Make a “cut excerpts” file. I do that for every book I write now.

For anyone who hasn’t read my SPLINTERED books, this content isn’t too spoilery, but it could be confusing. If you’re still game, all you need to do is follow this link to read the original chapter 7.

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And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, A.G. Howard, and more! To enter, you need to know that (one of) my favorite number is 9. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

CONTINUE THE HUNT

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out E. Katherine Kottaras!

 

LOST CROW CONSPIRACY giveaway

As a thank you for stopping by, you can enter my giveaway for a signed ARC of Lost Crow Conspiracy

 

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Announcing YASH (YA Scavenger Hunt) Teams!

For all of you who love finding new reads, I have just the thing for you. The YA Scavenger Hunt is coming. If you’ve never heard of it, the hunt runs twice a year in the spring and in the fall. During the hunt we showcase new and upcoming YA releases, give out tons of prizes, and release special bonus material. Sound interesting?

This fall we will have one hundred forty authors split into seven teams of twenty. Each team is assigned a color. The blog hop begins Oct 3rd and runs through Sunday, Oct 8th. It’s easy to play. All you have to do is either start on my blog or head directly over to the YASH website. There you’ll find a list of all the authors participating as well as an answer sheet you can print off to gather the info you’re hunting for and to keep track of any bonus contests you may have entered.

Are you ready to see all the books featured this season? Here they are!

 

 

And I am on the Red Team! I’m so excited to be part of this.

 

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Blood Rose Rebellion Preorders

If you have preordered Blood Rose Rebellion and are interested in a preorder gift (thank you, btw!), please send proof of the preorder to bloodroserebellion@gmail.com by 3/28/17 to receive a print of a map I drew, along with a signed book plate and bookmark.

International okay.

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Animated Cover

Just in time for New York City Comic Con, my publisher has released an an animated cover for my book!

You can see instructions on how to download the app version on Random House Kids’ Instagram.

Or just enjoy this:

 

 

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Launching the Class of 2k17: Book Your Adventure!

The Class of 2k17 launched today and I’m thrilled to be part of it (last year’s class includes recent NYT best-sellers Evelyn Skye and Roshani Chokshi, as well as some of my most anticipated 2016 releases: Erin Summerill’s Ever the Hunted, Traci Chee’s The Reader, Jessica Cluess’s A Shadow Bright and Burning, and Tara Sim’s Timekeeper).

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To celebrate the launch, we’re giving away four copies of Class of 2k16 books and a fun tote bag: full details on the website, where you can enter the giveaway!

This year’s theme is “Book Your Adventure,” and we think most readers can find something to suit their taste.

Books are, after all, my very favorite kind of adventure.

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Machinations Release Day

Today is the release day for the debut novel of one of my writing friends! We’ve been through the trenches together–querying and submissions–and it’s so thrilling to see her dream come true! Read on to find out more about her story–I’m currently reading it and it is vivid, tense, compelling (especially for fans of sci-fi and near future stories).

Machinations_Stone

Perfect for fans of Robopocalypse, this action-packed science-fiction debut introduces a chilling future and an unforgettable heroine with a powerful role to play in the battle for humanity’s survival.

The machines have risen, but not out of malice. They were simply following a command: to stop the endless wars that have plagued the world throughout history. Their solution was perfectly logical. To end the fighting, they decided to end the human race.

A potent symbol of the resistance, Rhona Long has served on the front lines of the conflict since the first Machinations began—until she is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong. Now Rhona awakens to find herself transported to a new body, complete with her DNA, her personality, even her memories. She is a clone . . . of herself.

Trapped in the shadow of the life she once knew, the reincarnated Rhona must find her place among old friends and newfound enemies—and quickly. For the machines are inching closer to exterminating humans for good. And only Rhona, whoever she is now, can save them.

Praise for Machinations:

“A tension-filled story of loss, loyalty, and forgiveness, with abundant Terminator-style shoot-em-up scenes and a snarky, kickass female warrior. I inhaled it!”

Jennifer Foehner Wells, bestselling author of Fluency

“This violent, bloody, romantic tale is full of awesome mechanical foes and authentic characters you love or hate, like real people . . . The nuances of the title promise more than meets the eye, and the prose delivers.”

Perihelion

“An SF techno-thriller with heart and soul.”

Alex Bledsoe, author of The Hum and the Shiver

Machinations is an action-packed SF thriller loaded with fantastic characters and gut-wrenching emotional twists. [. . .] The prose is stunning, the action is non-stop.”

Linnea Sinclair, RITA Award-winning author of Gabriel’s Ghost

Machinations is a thrilling fusion of action and heartbreak, with quick pacing, rich characters, and a one-of-a-kind story. A great debut.”

G.T. Almasi, author of Blades of Winter

 

Order your copy of Machinations today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hayley Stone_author photo_2_resize

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Hayley Stone has lived her entire life in sunny California, where the weather is usually perfect and nothing as exciting as a robot apocalypse ever happens. When not reading or writing, she freelances as a graphic designer, falls in love with videogame characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in German from California State University, Sacramento.

Machinations is her debut novel from Hydra/Random House. Its sequel, Counterpart, releases October 11th, 2016.

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Pitch Wars!

Pitch Wars

This year, the lovely Erin Summerill and I (Rosalyn Eves) are co-mentoring for Pitch Wars. This is my second year as a mentor and Erin’s first, but we are so thrilled to be working together!

I’ll get to why we’re awesome in a minute. First, what we’re looking for:

Wish List

Both of us are big fans of speculative fiction, particularly fantasy. We love it in all its iterations: historical, contemporary, other world. We’re looking for immersive world-building, vivid characters, and a good romance is always a plus. We’re even open to a futuristic fantasy that doesn’t reek of dystopia (like Susan Ee’s ANGELFALL or Vic James’ upcoming THE GILDED CAGE). Some fantasy authors we enjoy: Sarah Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White, Marie Rutkowski, Megan Whalen Turner, Maggie Stiefvater.

We’re also looking for clever fairy tale retellings or reimaginings (like Roshani Chokshi’s STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN, or Marissa Meyer’s CINDER series).

In terms of sci-fi, we like light sci-fi (more driven by characters than by technology), particularly where there is a good romance or a satirical touch. For example: Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman’s ILLUMINAE, Megan Spooner and Amie Kaufman’s THESE SHATTERED STARS, Lois Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series, etc.

We’re also suckers for a well-drawn historical novel (think Stacey Lee’s YA novels). If your novel makes us think of POLDARK or NORTH AND SOUTH (the BBC version), there’s a good chance we will like it.

We’ll also accept lighter contemporary novels with a healthy side of romance (Stephanie Perkins, Kasie West, Darcy Wood). We’ll consider more serious contemporary novels as well, provided that the voice is striking.

Regardless of genre, voice is KEY. We’re looking for characters we can root for and want to spend time with. Plot holes, we can work with. Manuscripts that don’t have a voice we connect with are a much harder sell.

More than anything else, we’re also looking for a mentee who is willing to work hard–who isn’t afraid of multiple revisions or revising extensive chunks of the manuscript. (When I was a mentee in 2014, I wound up cutting 27k words and adding 24k during Pitch Wars. More extensive revisions aren’t unheard of. This isn’t for the faint of heart.)

What we aren’t looking for:

No horror: we’re both wimps. We can handle some horrific scenes, but we won’t be taking straight-up horror novels.

We’re also not looking for novels that are especially dark, either in the issues they handle or the level of violence. Similarly, we’re not interested in graphic sex scenes. (Some sex and violence is fine, as long as it contributes to the plot).

In addition, we won’t take on a novel over 100K. With only two months to work on your manuscript (and both of us have deadlines and day jobs), we won’t have time to work through a longer work.

http://geek-and-poke.com/

Finally, if you know either of us in real life, we strongly encourage you to submit to other mentors. There are lots of great mentors, and we’d rather not be put in the unenviable position of (possibly) rejecting a friend. It’s also harder for us to be objective about your work.  (NB: this does not include people we’re friends with on social media!)

Why You Want to Work with Us

Erin has a terrific eye for what works and what doesn’t work in a book. She’s interned with a respected literary agent, and so she has a good sense for what sells and what will catch an agent’s attention. She’s also kind and terrifically funny and basically someone you want as a friend anyway.

Rosalyn is a professor in her day job: she spends a lot of time teaching students to write, which means she has lots of experience giving feedback. Last year, she mentored two manuscripts, both of which had multiple requests (here and here), and both of whom are now agented (though only one with the Pitch Wars manuscript).

We share the same agent, Josh Adams, and our debut novels (both fantasy!) are coming out shortly after Pitch Wars. Erin’s EVER THE HUNTED (HMH) comes out December 2016, and Rosalyn’s BLOOD ROSE REBELLION (Knopf/RH) comes out March 2017.

 

 

 

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Cover Reveal + Giveaway!

I’m giving away an ARC of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION over at Mundie Moms, as part of my cover reveal for my debut!

Guys, I am so excited for this book–this is a dream that has taken years, and the cover reveal makes it that much more real.

I love what Knopf has done with the cover. I love how eye-catching the colors are. I love the symbolism in the roses breaking from stone, and how the roses suggest both the femininity and strength of my main character, Anna. I hope you love it as much as I do!

BLOOD ROSE REBELLION R3 V5.indd

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ARCs are coming!

My lovely editor (Michelle Frey) and her lovely assistant Marisa DiNovis sent me a copy of the ARC for BLOOD ROSE REBELLION.

In a convoluted turn of events, I’m stuck 3 hours away from home waiting on a car part (don’t worry–it’s not too terrible and I’m at my parents’ house). But my husband sent me pictures and I am so excited for this!

I can’t, of course, show you the cover yet (official reveal next week! Stay tuned . . .), but I can show some sneak peeks at the ARCs.

ARC title page     arc back

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A retrospective on 2015

Sometimes in publishing I think it’s easy to look at how far you are from others, how far you might be from your own goals, and forget to appreciate how far it is that you’ve come. I know I’m often guilty of that.

So I’m grateful for a little caesura of quiet at the end of 2015 to look back at the year.

I didn’t read as much as I had hoped–but I read some exceptional books: Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap, Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, and some wonderful upcoming 2016 debuts: Julie Eshbaugh’s Ivory and Bone, Kathryn Purdie’s Burning Glass, Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel Sands, Heidi Heilig’s The Girl From Everywhere, and so many more.

I hit some writing milestones too: after signing with an agent in December of 2014, I sold my first book to Knopf in February. So there were a lot of firsts this year: first book deal, first contract, first (and second) debut group (as I was bumped from 2016 to 2017), first edit letter, second edit letter, etc.

contract

Signing my contract with Knopf/Random House

Outside of these milestones, I’ve revised one novel twice, and drafted two others (thanks NaNoWriMo). But more than that, I’ve met so many wonderful people in the writing community–beyond all my expectations. One huge benefit of getting bumped is getting to know debut authors from two groups, and I’m ending 2015 feeling blessed by these opportunities.

At a recent launch for Sara Larson's ENDURE

At a recent launch for Sara Larson’s ENDURE

It hasn’t all been perfect. There have been times during revisions when I’ve been convinced I wasn’t a good enough writer to do the work needed of me. Somehow, it still got done. There have been times when the wait to publication has seemed almost unendurable. (Though I’m coming more to see the extra time as a gift). There have even been times (more than I’d like to admit) when I’ve felt envious or discouraged of authors who have accomplished more than I have by my age, whose books are coming out before mine, who are getting more buzz, etc.

But the truth is, those aren’t the things I want to focus on. That isn’t the person or the writer I want to be. I write because the stories mean something to me–and I hope someday they’ll mean something to someone else too.

Neil Gaiman has some wonderful end of year wishes for writers. You should read them. I’m no Neil Gaiman (though the very best compliment I’ve ever received from an agent considering my MS was that it was Neil Gaimanesque), but here is my wish for anyone reading this.

I wish that in 2016 you will be gentle with yourself. That you will surround yourself with people and places and words that make you happy, that make you feel valued. I wish you will write the words that matter to you, and not just the ones you think you ought to write.

I wish you will read books not just because they’re “improving,” but because they make something in you sing.

I wish you will find friends in the writing community who tell you sincerely that you are brilliant–but who also tell you how to make your work shine.

I wish you the courage to write things that are hard, to tackle books that are too big for you, to write things that scare you.

Mostly, though, I wish you happiness. Because I don’t believe good art comes from suffering–rather, I think art needs to have a secure harbor from which to launch.

(I wish these things for me too.)

What wishes/hopes do you have for the new year?

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