Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt - Spring 2018

Hello, I’m Julia Day, your hostess for this stop with TEAM PURPLE!

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! So enjoy your stop here and at the other 19 stops on Team Purple. Check out the other 5 teams too, but play fast! This contest only lasts until Sunday, April 8.

First, a little about me.
  • I am an autism mom, and this is Autism Awareness Month. My latest release, Fade to Us, has an autistic main character. I'm giving away a copy as part of YASH team purple. I also have a personal giveaway; enter later in this post.
  • I live in North Carolina, USA, with a couple of daughters, my first husband, and so many computers I won’t even try to count (although most of them don’t work. They’re more like sculptures now.)
  • I am allergic to chocolate, love ice cream, and hate cilantro! 
  • I’m scared of heights, I collect Christmas tree ornaments, and I buy a new pair of earrings from everywhere I visit (except Antarctica. Not a lot of gift shops there).

Next, a reminder about the YA Scavenger Hunt. For complete rules and instructions, you can go to the YA Scavenger Hunt - How to Hunt page.
Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the purple 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 3 April 2018, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Basically, enjoy exclusive content on each stop on the hunt, collect clues, enter personal giveaways, add up the clues (numbers), and return to the YASH site to enter for more prizes.

Here are all of the wonderful books you could win from Team Purple.

Now, introducing my guest author, F.M. Boughan.

F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic."}">F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic

10 Fun Facts About Fairy Tales… and Necromancy – F.M. Boughan

I love fairy tales, in all their inceptions. From Disney’s animated classics to loose retellings to the ancient folk tales that shaped the heart of many of the versions we know today, I find them all fascinating. But most people know that fairy tales didn’t start off as the sweet stuff of modern picture books or as the sanitized versions compiled in Andrew Lang’s “Coloured” Fairy Books. Rather, the weird eeriness – and occasionally downright disturbing elements – goes even further back. Often, readers will ask me “how on earth did you end up mashing Cinderella and necromancy together?”
Well, here’s the thing… they’re both creepy as heck.

Want a glimpse into just how creepy? Here are ten fun facts (fun, alarming… same thing, right?) about the early versions of Cinderella’s story and about necromancy in 15th-century Europe (the same time period as the setting of CINDERELLA, NECROMANCER).

1. The term “necromancy” in medieval Europe explicitly referred to the conjuring of demons, not to raising the dead—in fact, it was thought that the dead couldn’t actually be brought back to life, but that demons could appear to the conjuror in the form of a deceased individual and pretend to be that person. Gives a bit of new perspective to the “I see dead people” meme…

2. After the third ball in the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella (Aschenputtel), the prince doesn’t mess around when it comes to finding the woman he “loves”… he literally smears pitch all over the steps so that her shoes will stick and she won’t be able to escape. Sadly for him, Cinderella has half a brain and simply takes off her shoe when it gets stuck.

3. The title of a real necromancy handbook—which is now lost to history—was The Death of the Soul. Just some light, pleasant afternoon reading, I’m sure.

4. Aschenputtel’s stepmother is a real piece of work—she throws two cups of lentils into the fireplace and tells Aschie that she can go to the balls if she can pick them all out. Good news for Aschie, she has friends in high places. Literally! Her bird friends do all the work for her. And if that last piece of info has you wondering if Cinderella was originally a hedge witch, well… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

5. You’ve probably heard of angel name lists or books? You might have even seen this type of thing sold at gift shops next to birthday cards or on those small racks of gum package sized tomes. Well, turns out medieval necromancers had their own angel name books… except they weren’t angel names. Ahem. They were essentially demon catalogues a necromancer could browse through to find the spirit whose abilities corresponded to his nefarious needs. Handy!

6. In the Aschenputtel version, the famous shoes are made of gold, not glass. And when the prince slips the shoes on the stepsisters’ feet, apparently lover-boy is somewhat lacking in his observation skills. Aschie’s bird friends have to be the ones to say “Hey, dude? That shoe is, uh, filling up with blood…” after the stepsisters cut off parts of their feet—some toes, a few slices of their heels—to make the shoes fit. Talk about dedication to climbing the social ladder, though!

7. Some grimoires contained love spells for necromancers who wanted to perform “tricks” to make their intended fall in love with them like… holding fire in one’s shirt. Or making a giant flame explode in someone’s face. Or magically causing someone to strip. I… have a feeling that these didn’t quite work as intended.

8. Hey, remember those bird friends I mentioned? By “friends” I meant “minions of revenge,” because when it’s time for Aschenputtel and the prince to get married, our heroine seems to be doing the noble thing by forgiving her stepsisters and allowing them to be bridesmaids at her wedding… except that the birds swoop out of the sky and peck out her stepsisters’ eyes in revenge. Ah, family.

9. While blood was indeed a common “sacrifice” used in a conjuring to summon a demon, one manuscript from Prague had a spell that told the necromancer to offer coal, bread, cheese, three shoeing-nails, barley, and salt as “presents” for the demons. I mean, blood sounds great and all, but who wouldn’t take bread and cheese instead? Much tastier.

10. Here’s the thing about fairy godmothers—Aschenputtel’s FG wasn’t a fairy, or even a person, or anything, really. Aschie actually was her own FG to begin with, in the sense that she planted a twig (a gift from her father after a business trip) on her mother’s grave, watered it with her tears, and it grew to become a magic tree that granted her every wish. So why she didn’t just wish herself into winning the prince in the first place—or, you know, ask for better circumstances for herself that didn’t involve a possessive, trap-setting fiancé—is a mite perplexing. (Actually, it’s not, considering the source material. Thanks, patriarchy!)

If you have any favorite fun facts about fairy tales (or, uh… ancient magic or weird historical practices!) go ahead and share those in the comments below!

About Cinderella, Necromancer by F. M. Boughan...

A young woman’s discovery of an ancient, hidden necromancy manual gives her the strength and power to fight back against her abusive, controlling stepfamily. Ellison wants to teach her stepsisters a lesson by learning how to use the necromantic tome she discovers in the secret passages of her father’s mansion. Despite her new and terrible secret power, her world begins to crumble as her younger brother falls incurably ill, the house staff begin to disappear, and her stepmother tears away all of Ellison’s material connections to her father and late mother. 

Ellison is forced to spend her days as a servant for her stepmother and stepsisters, who threaten her brother’s life if she refuses. Even making the acquaintance of kind, attractive Prince William when she sneaks out to visit her mother’s grave does nothing to lessen the blow when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend an unexpectedly announced palace festival—but what she can do is fight back by secretly conjuring spirits to take revenge. As her stepmother’s cruelty grows, Ellison’s control over the spirits weakens and soon Ellison must face the question: Is her stepmother is the true monster…or is she?

Thank you to F.M. Boughan for joining us today! Here's where you can BUY THE BOOK. You can also find her on social media. (and here's a quick peek at the cover of Cinderella's Inferno!)

One last thing before you go...

As I mentioned earlier, it's Autism Awareness Month. One of the heroines in FADE TO US is autistic. I have a personal giveaway of one copy of FADE TO US, choice of print or e-book. Enter in Rafflecopter below.

You'll answer a question about my favorite "team". (Hint: the color of my YASH team.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, I guess that's it for this stop on the hunt. No, wait. I've forgotten to include the number 34 somewhere. Better go back and fix that.

Click here to go to the next stop on the hunt!

Miscellaneous on Tuesday

The YA Scavenger hunt begins at noon Eastern time on April 3. Stay tuned!

Want to connect with me on social media? You can find me on:

I also have a newsletter. It comes out every 2-3 months and includes information about book releases, giveaways, sometimes exclusive content (like deleted scenes), and books I'm reading and love. Join here!

Monday, April 2, 2018

It's World Autism Awareness Day!

My fellow author & autism mom Sabrina Jeffries and I are talking on Facebook about how autism has touched our lives.

Read the post, watch the video, and a comment. Each comment gives you a chance at one of 3 prizes. Also, we're donating $10 for every 50 comments. Drop by and tell us "How has autism touched your life?"

Friday, March 30, 2018

April is Autism Awareness Month

April 2 (Monday) is World Autism Awareness day, and April is Autism Awareness Month.

I'm an autism mom, the mother of an amazing daughter with Aspergers. Along with Sabrina Jeffries, a fellow author and autism mom, I will be hosting a conversation about autism on my Facebook page on World Autism Day. Join us Monday! Read the post, watch the short video clip, and leave a comment about how autism has touched your life.

I will also be participating in the spring 2018 YA Scavenger Hunt from April 3 - 8. I'm one of 20 authors on Team Purple. Check back here on April 3 for rules, exclusive bonus content from some of your favorite authors, and the chance to win books!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Small world--and Let Us Know

My favorite restaurant is named for a famous Beatles landmark. I go there at least once a week to eat and write. The waitstaff put my order in when I walk through the door.

Recently, a new waitress was being trained. We were being friendly, chatting about various things, when the senior waitress said--"Elizabeth is an author." The new waitress smiled and nodded and went away to check on my order.

When she returned, we had this conversation.

HER: are you Julia Day?
ME: yes, that's one of my pen names.
HER: you're my niece's favorite author.
ME: Wow, that's great.
HER: I took her to B&N and told her to pick out any book she wanted. So she got yours because she loved the cover. She took it home and read it and now she loves your books.
ME: Do you know which book? One came out just a few days ago.
HER: she's read both. She had her mother order the next one immediately.

I'm sharing this story for two reasons.

One, because that's just frickin' cool. Talk about a small world! I'm not that well-known. My author career has had only modest success (extremely modest.) Knowing that someone reads and loves your books is fuel to write more.

Two, it reminds me to encourage readers to speak up. Whenever you meet your favorite authors, tell us you enjoy our books. Send us an email; we all have contact forms on our websites. Leave us reviews (like Amazon), especially for the modestly successful authors. Let us know that you're enjoying what we write!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Author events in February

I've participated in more author events in February than any other month since my first book was published 4 years ago.

It's been so much fun! Of all the things I love about being an author, writing the stories is the best, and talking with readers is a close second.

I attended a book festival (which included a short talk in the nearby community library.) I also presented twice at regional libraries in our county system.

And I discovered an interesting paradox.

The talk at the community library had a lot of attendees--which is lovely to see. People came! They laughed at the appropriate times and asked questions. It was great.

I didn't have so many at the regional libraries--three attendees each. But they engaged with me. They didn't merely ask questions; they held a conversation. They told me about what they like to read. Sometimes, they told me about what they like to write.

So now I know that...
- Big crowds are good for my commitment to press on. They encourage me to keep writing. To keep publishing.
- Small crowds are good for my writer's soul. They remind me why we all do it--for the love of stories.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Happy birthday to FADE TO US!

Fade to Us is out there!

From the reviews:

“Warm and sensitive, Day’s deft depiction of difficult sibling and blended family relationships will make you laugh, cry, and sigh. A wonderful book!" --New York Timesbestselling author Sabrina Jeffries

"Day (The Possibility of Somewhere) weaves a quiet tale of love, friendship, sisterhood, and family; she takes time to carefully develop her characters, allowing readers to fully understand their perspectives…. an emotional and touching conclusion." --Publishers Weekly
"In her carefully intentional treatment of Natalie’s neurodiversity, Day depicts Natalie as capable and intelligent via both Brooke’s observant first-person narration and her own dialogue. The book does not shy away from the cruelty and misunderstanding that many on the autism spectrum face. Both Natalie and Brooke are strong, well-developed female characters. A book for readers who like romance that flourishes against the odds and characters who learn and grow." --Kirkus

"A fast-paced and engaging story of family drama and first love." --School Library Journal

Julia Day's Fade to Us is a story about found families, the bond of sisterhood, and the agony and awe of first love.
Brooke's summer is going to be EPIC― having fun with her friends and a job that lets her buy a car. Then her new stepfather announces his daughter is moving in. Brooke has always longed for a sibling, so she’s excited about spending more time with her stepsister. But she worries, too. Natalie has Asperger’s--and Brooke's not sure how to be the big sister that Natalie needs.
After Natalie joins a musical theater program, Brooke sacrifices her job to volunteer for the backstage crew. She’s mostly there for Natalie, but Brooke soon discovers how much she enjoys being part of the show. Especially sweet is the chance to work closely with charming and fascinating Micah--the production’s stage manager. If only he wasn't Natalie's mentor...
When her summer comes to an end, will Brooke finally have the family she so desperately wants--and the love she's only dreamed about?

Buy links: