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).
Enjoy!

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!




48 comments:

  1. My cousin has autism, so I have grown up knowing a lot about it.

    cnhbooksgalore@gmail.com

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    1. My younger daughter has Aspergers. She helped me to plot FADE TO US and then was the sensitivity reader.

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  2. Thanks so much for hosting me, Julia! Happy Hunting, everyone! ^_^

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  3. The way you mentioned your number was awesome! I just had to comment on that :)

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    1. Thank you. I literally was thinking that statement and then...well, perfect!

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  4. I have friends with autistic children but my life hasn't been touched directly.

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    1. It is hereditary, so I have a daughter, 2 nephews, and 3 cousins with autism. They are all amazing.

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  5. We have a close family friend that has a wonderful son with autism. I have been lucky enough to teach him piano. What a blessing for me.

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    1. My autistic daughter couldn't get the hang of piano--but she has a great voice, so we gave her lessons.

      And yes, what a blessing.

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  6. My neighbor has autism and he taught me that patience pays off when trying to get to know who lives around you.

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  7. How has my life been touched by autism? In every single way. I was diagnosed around 3yrs ago at 19 and it was the hugest weight off my shoulders. I now champion for more autistic characters in YA :) I'm proud to be autistic.
    Megan S.

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    1. So glad you know now. My daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers (back when they would still use that term) at age 10--and 12 years later, she calls it her superpower. She's the one who encouraged me to write Natalie in FADE TO US--and, of course, my daughter was the sensitivity reader. I'm proud to be an autism mom!

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  8. Though I know many people with autism and families and love ones that are effected daily my family deals with dwarfism. My father, 2 brothers, 2 nephews, and neice have it.
    Thank you for this fabulous chance.

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    1. Like you, I have a lot of family dealing with the daily effects of a difference, in my case autism--but all over the spectrum. My daughter, 2 nephews, 3 cousins--and several who are probably undiagnosed.

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  9. I have known a few people in my lifetime with Autism, but have not had anyone close to me or my family.

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    1. That's why I love the idea of an autism awareness month; it allows us to learn how wide the spectrum can be.

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  10. Im an autism mom too. My little man teaches me as much as i teach him! Lighting it up blue 365 Not just in April 😊

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    1. I agree. I am so much a better person because my amazing daughter is in my life!

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  11. I have been touched by autism everyday. Two of my children have autism. Everyday is a struggle and blessing in one. They are both so unique and different in many ways. Love them to the moon and back and wouldn't change a thing ❤

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    1. I am with you. My daughter read a short story once about "taking a pill to fix your problems." She asked if I would want her to take a pill to fix her autism. No! Autism is so much a part of her, her identity, her challenges, but also what makes her amazing. Wouldn't change a thing!

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  12. My half sister has Autism. But because she's my half sister, I don't deal with her much. I haven't had to go through everything she and my mom have. (you know, dealing with an autisic child or that child having to go through occupational therapy). I see her so seldom, that I just see the end results and her improvement. I'm not there for the nitty gritty. But I do love supporting, because that's supporting her.

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    1. It's good you can be supportive (even from a distance) for your half-sister. Noticing the differences can help the people who are involved so much every day that sometimes we don't see them.

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  13. I am 34 and just discovered that I have Asperger’s last year. Explains a lot, lol, but does not define me!

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    1. I hear this so often from people who are diagnosed as adults. "It explains so much." You're the same you!

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  14. I haven't really been touched by Autism but I love that you are expressing and celebrating Autism Awareness Month. ;)

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  15. My dad has a friend at his running group who has Asperger's and who has helped my family our with various heavy labor jobs. And this year, in order to raise awareness, the kid's department in my store has a Autism Awareness Month display!

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    1. I love the idea of a display. Every bit of awareness helps.

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  16. To be honest, I'm not sure I've been touched by autism anytime lately. I did do a class in Psychology that covered the spectrum and I'm fairly certain I have a few friends with aspergers but it's not really something that is too present in my life at the moment if that makes sense? Would definitely love to learn more about the spectrum though (I kept my textbook, so should maybe do some "light reading" Hermione-style and go through it again at some point ;D)

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    1. Back in the 1990s, the data suggested that 1 in 140 people were on the autism spectrum. The number now in the US is 1 in 68. Better diagnostics mean that more people are getting diagnosed, but there are other theories too. In the practical sense, that statistic also means that we're around autistics more than we might realize, which is why awareness is so important.

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  17. I taught for 17 years, and so had several autistic students in classes, all different ranges on the spectrum. I am currently a librarian in a high school, and I still get the chance to work with students with autism.

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    1. Do students with autism show any interest in reading books with autistic characters? My daughter never really did, but she doesn't read fiction much (except mine. :) )

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  18. My cousin has autism and it's an eye opening experience on how amazing he really is. Just because he doesn't communicate or learn by traditional standards doesn't mean he's any less intelligent. It's about bridging the gap to understanding the best way to teach, learn and communicate.

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    1. I think they do understand more than we know--and you're right. It's all about finding the key that unlocks understanding.

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  19. My younger brother has autism and I have Asperger's. We're only 22 months apart and he's severe on the spectrum while I'm high functioning. He's a savant artist as well and can draw anything he sees. His favorites though are digimon and stitch. I was undiagnosed until I was in my 20s, but growing up my parents would use some of the techniques they with him with me. I'm his favorite person and he's one of mine. :)

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    1. My daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers at age 10. She's in college now, and a lot of her closest friends are on the spectrum too. But many of them were diagnosed in their late teens and 20s.

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  20. i don't really know anyone with autism, but i have met quite a few people who fall on the very high functioning, asperger's end of the autism spectrum. I can't imagine what it must be like to live with relaly sever autism though. I try to educate myself about a lot of things through reading though, and the last book I read that had anything to do with autism was a fictional middle grade book called Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin. It was a great story that tackled autism honestly and sensitively, and I'm so happy its out in the world to help younger kids learn more about autism

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion for the book!

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  21. My nephew was diagnosed with mild autism. Good thing it was diagnosed early, when he was around 2 or 3. My sister resigned her job to focus on my nephew. After a year in therapy and my sister's dedication and undying support, my nephew is now very very functional. He's in a regular school and excels. He's 11.

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    1. I have a nephew who was diagnosed around 2. He was practically non verbal. But a year later, with intensive therapy, he's speaking now and doing great! Early intervention is so important.

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  23. There is a student at my school is Angelman's condition. He has an aid walk him around to his classes, which are only Arts and Physical Education. He walks around giving out hugs and high fives! He's very sweet, but it's sad to see him unhappy, which he usually is. Even though he most likely doesn't understand what's going on, can you imagine wondering, "Why me?"

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  24. Thanks for being part of the hunt. I love finding new authors.

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  25. Personally my life hasn't been touched by Autism that I can think of at this very moment. My sister worked at a camp when she was in college that had an Autism week and she always had sweet stories about the kids that were there that week. I learned a lot through her work with the kids.

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  26. My better half has as-purgers and my step sons are both on the spectrum we have some challenges but for the most part we r a close nit family who have learned to adjust to all of their needs

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