Posted in giveaway, Writing, YA books, YAlit

Massive Young Adult Book Giveaway in the works!

The YA Summer Scavenger Hunt (free books and giveaways!)

In June, the Alliance of Young Adult Authors, of which I’m a member,  is sponsoring a massive young adult scavenger hunt. This is a chance to meet some new authors, grab a bunch of free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes! In addition to the $500 grand prize, each of the authors will be offering free books and other prizes.


Each author will be given a special keyword, which will be bolded and all caps like this: BUTTERFLIES.

All you have to do is visit all the author’s sites in this order, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed secret legend here:

>>Enter Secret Legend to Win the Grand Prize<<

There will be one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors will also have smaller giveaways for free books, amazon credit and author swag, so make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they’re offering while you’re on their site for the keyword.


Just go through the “treasure map” above to find the keywords and reconstruct the secret legend. Once you’ve got it, enter for the grand prize HERE. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for other giveaways or free books as you search for the keywords, most authors will be offering their own prizes as well.


  1. Cindy Ray Hale
  2. Katherine Bogle
  3. Melle Amade
  4. David Kudler
  5. A.M. Yates
  6. Alethea Kontis
  7. Stevie Rae Causey
  8. Katlyn Duncan
  9. Debbie Manber Kupfer
  10. Meredith Rose
  11. N.M. Howell
  12. Lara Ann 
  13. K.M. Robinson
  14. J.A. Culican
  15. Heather Karn
  16. Rob L. Slater
  17. Dylan Keefer
  18. Sarah K. Wilson 
  19. L.J. Higgins
  20. Gina Marie Long 
  21. Em Kazmierski
  22. Travis Hall
  23. Heather Young-Nichols
  24. Anna Santos
  25. J.L. Weil 
  26. Jo Schneider 
  27. Rebecca Fernfield
  28. Kristin D. Van Risseghem
  29. Martine Lewis 
  30. Tara Benham
  31. Stacy Claflin
  32. Beth Hammond
  33. Erica Cope
  34. Nicole Zoltack
  35. Char Webster
  36. Sabrina Ramoth
  37. T.J. Muir
  38. Raquel Lyon
  39. Beth Rodgers
  40. S.L. Beaumont
  41. Eva Pohler
  42. Melanie McFarlane
  43. Cheryllynn Dyess
  44. Audrey Rich
  45. Amanda Zieba
  46. Sandie Will
  47. Elle Scott
  48. Angie Grigaliunas
  49. Ashley Maker 
  50. Mandy Peterson
  51. Audrey Grey
  52. Elisa Dane 
  53. Amy McNulty
  54. Melinda Cordell
  55. Monica Leonelle
  56. Claire Luana
  57. Frost Kay
  58. Preeti C. Sharma
  59. Bentz Deyo 
  60. April Wood
  61. Lena Mae Hill
  62. Angel Leya
  63. Wendi Wilson
  64. Wendy Knight
  65. Chogan Swan
  66. Tamara Hart Heiner
  67. Norma Hinkens
  68. Patti Larsen
  69. Megan Crewe 
  70. Jamie Thornton
  71. Jessie Renée
  72. T.A. Maclagan  
  73. Lydia Sherrer
  74. Phyllis Moore
  75. P.D. Workman
  76. J.A. Armitage
  77. K.N. Lee
  78. Angela Fristoe
  79. Rhonda Sermon
  80. G.K. DeRosa 
  81. Erin Richards
  82. Ali Winters
  83. Larissa C. Hardesty
  84. Kristine Tate
  85. Debra Kristi
  86. Bella Rose 
  87. Cortney Pearson
  88. Jeff Kohanek
  89. Kristal Shaff
  90. Rachel Morgan 
  91. Emma Right
  92. C.L. Cannon
  93. Joanne Macgregor
  94. Lindsey Loucks
  95. Farah Cook
  96. Erin Hayes
  97. Jesikah Sundin
  98. Dorothy Dreyer
  99. Danielle Annett
  100. C.J. Ethington
  101. L.C. Hibbett 
  102. Madeline Dyer
  103. Katie John
  104. Nicole Schubert 
  105. Rachel Medhurst 
  106. Tee G Ayer 
  107. May Freighter 
  108. Heather Dyer
  109. Jen Minkman 
  110. J.L. Gillham
  111. Karen Tomlinson
  112. Kate Haye
  113. Megan Linski
  114. Martina Billings
  115. Jo Ho
  116. EE Isherwood
  117. Inna Hardison
  118. Rachel Bateman
  119. Sally Henson  
  120. J.L. Hendricks 
  121. A.L. Knorr 
  122. T.M. Franklin  
  123. Raven Oak
  124. felisha Antonette
  125. Jake Devlin
  126. S.F. Benson
  127. Laurie Treacy
  128. Emily Martha Sorensen 
  129. Leia Stone
  130. T. Rae Mitchell
  131. J. Keller Ford
  132. Kat Stiles
  133. Jessica Hawke
  134. Elyse Reyes
  135. Sophie Davis
  136. Bianca Scardoni
  137. Jenetta Penner
  138. David R. Bernstein
  139. Olivia Wildenstein
  140. Derek Murphy


Authors will post the rules and the full list of participating authors sometime in June, and have their post up and visible on their site/blog, with their keyword, by June 1st. Readers just need to go through the list, find the words, and use the story to enter for the grand prize.

For rules, updates or trouble-shooting, make sure to check out this main post which will stay updated.

Hope to see you on the tour!

Posted in giveaway, Writing, YA books, YAlit

The Spring YA Scavenger Hunt Is On – 100 Books Up for Grabs


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 an awesome Red Team prize pack of books!  

Special Note: I’m running another giveaway at the bottom!


Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are FIVE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt you can see links to all the authors participating, and the full list of prizes up for grabs on the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the RED Team, and then add them up.
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 9th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
I’m excited to be hosting Cat Winters in this Spring’s YASH. Cat Winters is an award-winning, critically acclaimed author of fiction that blends history with the supernatural. Her young adult works include IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, THE CURE FOR DREAMING, THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY, and the forthcoming ODD & TRUE (Sept. 2017). Her adult novels are THE UNINVITED and YESTERNIGHT. She has been named a Morris Award finalist, a Bram Stoker Award nominee, and an Oregon Spirit Book Award winner, and her books have appeared on numerous state and “best of” lists.

Odd & True

 Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

Exclusive Content

My upcoming YA release, ODD & TRUE (Abrams, Sept. 2017), is a tale of two Edwardian sisters, Odette and Trudchen Grey, known as Od and Tru. Older sister Od has always told Tru elaborate stories about their past and insists they’re descended from monster hunters. Tru now realizes that her sister has been using these tales to protect her from the pain of their family’s secrets.


Here’s your exclusive chance to learn a little more about my two fictional sisters. Meet Od and Tru . . .



Nickname: Od

Birthdate: February 28, 1890

Age: 18

Favorite childhood pastime: Collecting legends and monster stories from neighbors and local townsfolk.

Greatest fear: Reality.

Biggest obstacle: The aunt who raised the two girls sent Od away from the family farm when she was just sixteen years old and banned her from seeing Tru ever again.

Biggest secret: Od refuses to tell her sister why she was banished.

What Od wants most: Thanks to her magician uncle’s tarot cards, Od has believed from her earliest years that she’s destined to embark upon an epic quest to hunt monsters with Tru. What she wants most of all is to return to her sister and steal her away from their aunt for this foretold adventure.

What you’ll find in the chapters written in Od’s POV: The truth about Od’s past, starting from the day of her sister’s birth up to the point in time when she returns home to fetch Tru.



Nickname: Tru

Born: January 14, 1894

Age: 15

Favorite childhood pastime: Listening to Od’s stories and drawing pictures to illustrate the legends and folk tales they collected from neighbors.

Greatest fear: Losing her sister.

Biggest obstacle: Tru is a survivor of childhood polio and uses a leg brace, a cane, and a wheelchair. She doesn’t see how she could be destined for an epic adventure.

Biggest secret: For fun, she attempts to read tea leaves to divine the future, and just recently she’s started seeing a strange, monstrous figure in the leaves.

What Tru wants most: Tru longs for her sister to return to her and tell her the truth about who they are and what happened to their parents, whom they haven’t seen in thirteen years.

What you’ll find in the chapters written in Tru’s POV: A hunt for monsters both figurative and real.


Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Cat, and more! Don’t you love the sound of Odd & True? I’ve added it to my TBR!

 To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 11.  That’s right, 11. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Red Team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

Before you go, check out the rafflecopter below to win the They Call Me Alexandra Gastone Audio Book (4 copies up for grabs) and be sure to stop by my blog next week for more #GirlPower YA author interviews and other bookish musings!
And don’t worry, if you win the audiobook in this rafflecopter and YASH (you lucky dog), I’ll send you the sequel, My Name is Milena Rokva, so you’re not doubling up.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


To keep going on your quest you’ll need to visit… Yvonne Ventresca!

Posted in giveaway, YA books, YA Spy, YAlit

Contest Blast for They Call Me Alexandra Gastone + Giveaway

I mentioned this a while back but just in case you missed it…

Introduction for the contest:

Books can show us visions. Have you ever found your mind beginning to imagine the characters you meet within the pages? Have you experienced a film projector of scenes in your head as you read about the girl who travels to the fifth dimension, or the boy who’s trying to graduate from being a wallflower? When you read, your mind naturally creates images, almost like watching a movie. Why not turn those images into a reality by making a movie poster?


Full Fathom Five and T.A. Maclagan are hosting a movie poster design contest to celebrate the release of T.A.’s debut, They Call Me Alexandra Gastone, a novel heralded by Booklist as “An intricate, debut spy thriller…” The contest will run from July 7th to August 15th. Images can be sent to


One winner will receive a $100 gift card to the retailer of their choice, a book from FFF’s list of authors, and Alexandra Gastone swag! All participants will be featured on T.A. Maclagan’s blog and tumblr and the winner will be featured on the Full Fathom Five website! Artists may use any medium from crayon to photoshop.


Call Me Alexandra Gastone
Release Date: 05/20/15
Full Fathom Five Digital
226 pages

When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real?


Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high school, get into Princeton, work for the CIA, and serve her great nation.


She was told the plan back when her name was Milena Rokva, back before the real Alexandra and her family were killed in a car crash.


Milena was trained to be a sleeper agent by Perun, a clandestine organization from her true homeland of Olissa. There, Milena learned everything she needed to infiltrate the life of CIA analyst Albert Gastone, Alexandra’s grandfather, and the ranks of America’s top intelligence agency.


For seven years, “Alexandra” has been on standby and life’s been good. Grandpa Albert loves her, and her strategically chosen boyfriend, Grant, is amazing.


But things are about to change. Perun no longer needs her at the CIA in five years’ time. They need her active now.


Between her cover as a high school girl—juggling a homecoming dance, history reports, and an increasingly suspicious boyfriend—and her mission in this high-stakes spy game, the boundaries of her two lives are beginning to blur.


Will she stay true to the country she barely remembers, or has her loyalty shattered along with her identity?

Praise for They Call Me Alexandra Gastone:“An intricate, debut spy thriller…readers will keep turning pages, and the surprise ending will have them anxiously awaiting a sequel.” —Booklist

“…the intersection of action, espionage, and drama makes for solid…entertainment: readers will gladly sit back and watch Alexandra navigate the obstacle course that comes with playing her role too well. It’s a strong debut for New Zealand author Maclagan.” —Publisher’s Weekly

 “Death-threats, global takeover, double-agents, hidden files and a blown cover—by the time you get to the shocking conclusion of this cliff-hanger, you won’t know who to trust…” Girls’ Life

About the Author
T.A. Maclagan is a Kansas girl by birth but now lives in the bush-clad hills of Wellington,
New Zealand with her Kiwi husband, son and four pampered cats. With a
bachelor’s degree in biology and a Ph.D. in anthropology, she’s studied poison
dart frogs in the rainforests of Costa Rica, howler monkeys in Panama and the
very exotic and always elusive American farmer. It was as she was writing her
‘just the facts’ dissertation that T.A. felt the call to pursue something more
imaginative and discovered a passion for creative writing. They Call Me
Alexandra Gastone
is her first novel.
You can find her online at:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in giveaway, Writing, YA books, YA Spy, YAlit

Top 10 Butt Kicking Females that Influenced Alexandra Gastone + Giveaway

Hey everybody! So my book is out in the world now which is beyond surreal for me! To continue my celebration, I thought I’d  count down the butt kicking women that influenced the character of Alexandra Gastone, the heroine in my novel!

So here goes…

Counting Down the Top 10 Butt Kicking Females that Influenced the Character of Alexandra Gastone

10. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman was on when I was a kid and was my first introduction to bad ass female warriors. I loved pretending to be her and given that my obsession with such women remains, I know she had an impact on me and because of that on Alexandra.








9. Echo on The Dollhouse

You’ll no doubt realize that I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan by the time you get to the end of my list, as another of his heroines make an appearance. Echo comes in at number 9 because of her journey toward self-discovery. At the start of the show, she’s a doll without an identity. She can be anyone she’s programmed to be. But then her old identity starts to seep though. I’m very intrigued by notions of identity and in how people come to be who they are. Alexandra’s exploration of her identity is a pivotal component of They Call Me Alexandra Gastone.








8. Boomer from Battlestar Galactica

I’m a huge BSG fan and one of my favourite characters was Boomer. In many ways, her struggle against her inner Cylon, mirrors Alexandra’s struggle with being a spy.








7. Claire Bennett from Heroes

Although undeserved, the cheerleader stereotype is such that very few would expect a cheerleader to be physically indestructible like Claire Bennett in Heroes. It’s what made her character so fun (at least in the first season anyway). Similarly, I made Alexandra a cheerleader, because few would expect a cheerleader of being a bad ass spy. I love playing with stereotypes and the misconceptions they cause.









6. Elizabeth Jennings from The Americans

Although I’d written my first couple of drafts of Alexandra Gastone before The Americans hit the airwaves, I found that my later drafts were influenced by the show in general, and Elizabeth Jennings, in particular. Elizabeth is a Russian sleeper agent living the U.S. during the 1980s and she is a caring mother to two very American kids while also being a stone cold killer, who wouldn’t hesitate to kill an innocent bystander in order to protect her cover. I found the dualism of her life to be very intriguing and it influenced my perceptions of the dualism in Alexandra’s life.








5. Sydney Bristow from Alias

In the first season of Alias, Sydney juggled her spy life with having a serious boyfriend and being a graduate student. I loved that idea of having to balance a super sexy spy life with more mundane things like homework, finals and maintaining a relationship. As a high school student, Alexandra has to maintain just such a juggling act.








4. Nikita from La Femme Nikita

In the late 1990s version of the show, Nikita was falsely accused of murder and recruited into Section One to be trained as a spy and assassin. A spy’s life is a tough one and when you’ve had that path chosen for you, things can get very interesting. Like Nikita, Alexandra didn’t choose to be a spy.








3. Veronica Mars

I’ll be a Marshmallow forever and always! Although not much of a physical fighter, armed with a taser and her wit, Veronica was still a force to be reckoned with. I love girls that aren’t afraid to be smart and Veronica was one of those just like Alexandra.







2. Buffy Summers from BTVS

If Wonder Woman got me interested in butt kicking women and made me fantasize about being one myself, Buffy Summers pretty much sealed the deal. While Wonder Woman was cool for just being able to go up against the guys and win, Buffy was even more intriguing because her character was so multidimensional. She may have had to face the Hellmouth a time or two, but she also had real teen girl problems – boy issues, mom issues, homework issues, mean girl issues. And she faced them all with snappy dialogue that was bar none some of the best on TV.










1. Evelyn Salt from Salt

Evelyn Salt comes in at number 1 because she is the inspiration behind They Call Me Alexandra Gastone. In the movie Angelina Jolie plays a Russian sleeper agent and there’s perhaps a two-minute flashback segment showing her spy training as a child and then her insertion into the United States. She’s maybe ten years old at the time of her insertion and we see nothing of her life again until she’s an adult. It’s this tiny little flashback sequence that served as my inspiration. What must her life have been like as a teenage sleeper agent? That story is the one I explore in They Call Me Alexandra Gastone.










To celebrate Alexandra’s release, I’ve put together what I hope you’ll think is a great giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Giveaway Image

Posted in giveaway, Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YA Spy, YAlit

They Call Me Alexandra Gastone Mood Board and Giveaway

Alexandra Gastone Mood Board

In honor of my book’s birthday (woot, woot), I put together the mood board above. I’m a very visual person, so compiling image collages is so my thing!

The They Call Me Alexandra Gastone Blog Tour launches today and in honor of the tour, there are some kick ass prizes up for grabs. It’s a tiered giveaway, with prizes unlocking at different milestones. The more entries, the more prizes up for grabs! Tell your friends!

May 20th LuLo FanGirl REVIEW
May 21st Wholly Books TEN’S LIST
May 22nd Swoony Boys Podcast REVIEW
May 24th iFandoms Collide REVIEW + TEN RANDOM THINGS
May 25th Curling Up With A Good Book SPOTLIGHT
May 26th Her Book Thoughts REVIEW
May 27th Blissful Book Reviews REVIEW

Blog Tour Giveaway Image









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