YA Scavenger Hunt

scavenger hunt

My name is Cidney and I love blackberry pie, brussel sprouts, and big fat novels! Probably in reverse order to that listing. I write novels about kick-butt girls who can turn invisible or fly rockets and the boys they kiss (too spoiler-y) crush on.

Welcome to the 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 recieve one signed book from each author on the hunt on 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. I am part of the INDIE TEAM, but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, and a blue team where you have a chance to win a whole different set of signed books! If you’d like to find out more, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the fave numbers of all the authors on the INDIE 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.

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 complete entry form by October 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.



Today, I am hosting RaShelle Workman on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! RaShelle Workman is the author of the popular Blood and Snow series. She loves to reinvent fairy tales teens and adults can sink their teeth into. Her stories include vampires, werewolves, witches, aliens, and creatures of her own creation.

I asked RaShelle a few questions, and I learned that she likes to start her day with a little water with fresh squeezed lemon. For fall TV, she’s most looking forward to Modern Family (which I have got to start streaming….) and if you asked her to choose between pie and cake, she’d go with cake. Cheesecake! So we could definitely do dessert together!

She’s a precocious thing, too: I started writing when I was seven, but RaShelle wrote her first story at age six. I’m pretty sure I was still figuring out how to spell at that point! I asked where her ideal vacay spot is, and RaShelle said: Turks and Caicos. Mmmmm…. Sun and sand! 

Now that you know a bit more about RaShelle, I’m thrilled to present the gorgeous cover of her novel, A Beauty So Beastly, (buy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble) along with a short description. Below the description, you’ll find bonus content for RaShelle’s upcoming 2015 release, The Gargoyle Realm, which is a brand new story that takes place in the Blood and Snow world.


“For your vanity, your cruelty, and your cold unfeeling heart, a curse I leave upon you . . .”

What happens if the beauty is also the beast?

The stunning Beatrice Cavanaugh is considered American royalty. She has everything except the ability to love. Cursed on her eighteenth birthday, she becomes more beastly than ever, having a newfound craving for raw meat, and an undeniable yearning for the night. Bitterness is her only companion.

After accusing a maid of stealing, a disgustingly kind and exquisitely handsome guy named Adam shows up asking Beatrice to drop the charges against his mother.

Infuriated by his goodness, Beatrice vows to break him. Destroy him. Make him hurt the way she hurts. So she agrees.On one condition: Adam must take his mother’s place as a servant in the mansion. Because Beatrice won’t stop until he’s more beastly than she is. “


Bonus Content: The Gargoyle Realm
By: RaShelle Workman

Coming 2015.

Add it to your Goodreads by clicking HERE.

Half gargoyle and half human, Cole is transported from the human realm into one ruled by gargoyles. Captured, he’s brought before the Emperor who casts him into a dungeon.

There’s another down there with him. A young woman named Mara. Their mutual suffering and captivity leads to friendship, which might become more. But first Cole needs to find a way out. And then he needs to convince his biological father that he wants nothing to do with his birthright.

From The Gargoyle Realm:

Life is all about lies. From an early age we instinctively lie to our parents if we do something wrong. As we grow older we lie to friends so that we don’t hurt their feelings. In adulthood we lie to our spouse, our children, coworkers, even random strangers. That’s life.

I know because I’ve seen it. In foster homes, the parents would lie about why they were giving me back, the siblings would lie about stealing my stuff, and friends would lie about why they couldn’t play with me anymore.

Naturally I began to lie as well.

Until Adam Henry found me. It’d been one of the best days of my life. He opened up the world. Showed me more than I could’ve imagined, including the existence of supernatural creatures. He even taught me that I’m one of them. A gargoyle. Well, at least half gargoyle. That’s what Mr. Henry, or as I like to call him, Professor Pops thinks anyway. But, vampires? Werewolves? Fairies? Trolls? Elves? Unicorns? They all exist as well. And more.

When I first met Professor Pops he told me there were seven realms. That’s a lie. Turns out there are many more. And I’m in one of them. Sucked into this realm from the human one.

It’s much different from the human one. I’ve been walking for what feels like days. There is a sun. I’ve seen it. But it seems very far away. And there are three moons. They are huge. The sky never gets very bright, nor does it get super dark. It pretty much stays the same all the time.

The land isn’t much better. It’s been mountain after mountain of craggy rocks. I haven’t seen any vegetation. Not even a weed. Nor have I seen any animal life. I’d begun to wonder if I was the only living creature in this realm until I saw a bird fly overhead yesterday. I immediately changed course, heading in the same direction.

At night I sleep on the cold, hard ground. During the day I walk.

I don’t need food and water as often as normal humans, but I’m hungry. And thirsty, which means I’ve been in this realm quite a while. The rocky trail I’ve been traversing has taken me nearly to the top of a mountain.

As I crest the ridge, I stop. There’s a city below.

Warm light shines through rock windows. Directly across from me is an enormous body of water. But what really catches my attention? There are hundreds of giant birds flying around the city. It’s as though they have overrun the streets and air. Over to my left is a gigantic rock castle built into the side of the mountain. There are three spiky spires. The center one is the tallest and nearly reaches the mountain top. The city sits along the coast and the bright blue water twinkles in the moonlight.

I’m so busy watching the happenings below that I don’t notice the happenings above.

“Well, well. What do we have here?” A large male gargoyle drops to the ground in front of me.

My body begins to change, my skin getting harder, and my eyes.

“Looks like he might have some gargoyle in him,” a female adds, dropping next to him. Three more land behind them.

The male squints, scrutinizing. “Perhaps.”

I’m not sure how to react. Of course I’m surprised, so I take a step back. But I’m also thrilled to see others like me.

Okay, that’s kind of an overstatement. They don’t look human, the way I do. They are what gargoyles should look like. Their skin is dark gray, their eyes completely black. But what I can’t stop staring at are their wings. They’re gigantic and fold at their backs. And while their skin is boring gray, their wings are vibrant. The male who spoke first has deep green wings. The female next to him has wings the color of a sunset, vivid orange at the top, near her shoulders, changing to an orange-gold and finally a bright yellow. They’re beautiful.

The male is wearing a pair of black pants, but the material is strange, shiny and smooth. The female is wearing the same pants and a top, like a bikini.

All five have the same color hair—black, like mine.

“I wouldn’t eat it,” one of the gargoyles from the back said.

“Hey,” I say when the female steps forward.

She takes a deep breath. “He stinks, Edge.”

“Doesn’t look right either,” one of the gargoyles from the back says.

It’s weird that I understand them because the sounds coming out of their mouths don’t match the words I hear.

“Maybe it’s stupid,” another female says as she steps around the one called Edge and pokes me in the arm. “Squishy.”

I pull back, feeling my skin get harder.

“Can we eat it?”

Edge snorts. “We’ll take it to our Emperor, see what he wants to do with it.” He reaches out to grab me. But I turn and run. It just feels like the right thing to do since I have no weapon.

Edge catches up easily. Flying above me, he snatches me up and locks his arms around mine as he carries me off the mountain. We don’t fly over the city, which would’ve been the fastest route but skirt it, flying along the edge.

“You three continue with guard duty. See if there are any more like it.”

“Yes, liege.”

“Raya, fly ahead, and let our Emperor know we’re coming.” Edge barks the order.

“Yes, liege.” The female with the setting-sun-wings takes off across the city to the castle. I watch as she lands, walks past two guards, and enters through a big archway. We continue to fly at a slower pace, keeping to the border. This close to the water I can smell the salt and the brine. I can also smell the scent of some kind of meat cooking.

The birds I thought were overtaking the city aren’t birds at all, but gargoyles. The city is brimming with them. I’d never seen so many. Males. Females. Children playing tag. It feels like I am home.

Edge drops me at the opening of the castle. The guards standing on either side grab for their swords.

“Put those away. It can’t hurt us.” Edge grabs the back of my shirt and yanks me up.

I want to curse the way I’m being handled, but instincts honed through years in the foster system tell me to keep quiet and do as I’m told.

Edge pushes me through the arch and along a rock path to another entrance where two more guards stand.

“Open up,” Edge commands.

The one on our right obeys and the large rock door is pulled open.

Inside lights glow from above. It takes a moment before I realize it isn’t electricity, but fire. There are chandeliers hanging from the ceiling above and stone braziers with fire burning in them sticking out from the walls a little above eye level.

The entryway is plain. Rock everywhere. Directly ahead are stairs. “Up you go.”

They turn and turn and turn as we climb and I wonder why he didn’t just fly us to wherever we were going.

“It’s a sign of respect,” Edge says, as though reading my mind.

I don’t respond. We’ve arrived at another door with two more guards. It’s opened and Edge ushers me inside. The gargoyle called Raya is standing next to a high back chair made of solid rock. Sitting on the rocky throne is a gargoyle. He wears a gray crown on his head, his arms rest on the armrests and he has on pants similar to Edge’s. He is shirtless, but is wearing a large robe of the same black material as his pants over his shoulders.

“What have you brought me, Edge? It’s a scrawny thing.” The Emperor leans forward resting his chin on one of his fists.

Edge bows and shoves me forward until the light from the window behind the Emperor’s chair strikes my face. “My Emperor, we found it at the top of Thea’s Ridge.”

The Emperor’s black eyes grow big and he sits up straight. “Everyone out! And close the door.”

Edge goes to take me out, but the Emperor stops him. “No, leave it. I want to have a word alone.”

Edge and Raya leave. I hear the door close.

The Emperor stands. Crouches as he moves toward me. “How did you find this place?”

I open my mouth, about to speak when he strikes me with the back of his hand. My head snaps and I’m sent flying until I smack against the wall. I let out a howl and roll to my hands and knees.

The Emperor crouches beside me. “You came from my seed, but you are not my child.” He grabs my neck and lifts me into the air. “More human than gargoyle.” He spits in my face. “You will rue the day you chose to return to The Gargoyle Realm.”

Purchase A Beauty So Beastly on Amazon or Barnes and Noble for just $2.99.

Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by Colleen Houck, Cidney Swanson, RaShelle Workman, and more! To enter, you need to know that Cidney’s favorite number is 4. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Indie Team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!



Win a signed copy of RIPPLER from Cidney Swanson!

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To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! (Jen McConnel)



Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

This is one giveaway hop I’m so happy to have heard about! My shelves are groaning. They’re double-stacked. Frankly they’re a little peeved with me. So: I’m going to fill a medium flat rate box with as many books as I can and ship them to a lucky US winner. These are some of the possible books. (I think about 5-7 books fit in one of those boxes.) If you win, I will ask you to choose two “for sure” titles you want and then I will surprise you with the rest.

Use the rafflecopter below to enter–good luck!
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Does Life Imitate Art or What?

Apparently it does. At least, NASA is hoping to take a page from an important bit of the SAVING MARS story.


If you’re my age or even a bit younger, you probably remember when Halley’s Comet last came to call. At the time, there was a mania for sending a craft into the tail of the comet to find out what we could of its composition. The US, rather than missing out, chose to divert an existing satellite (used to observe solar phenomenon) into the tail of both Halley’s and the Giacobini-Zinner Comet. However, the scientist who “stole” the satellite promised to try to return it in the future.

Fast forward thirty-one years to the present day. Apparently, the sun and the earth and the satellite formerly grabbing comet data are now in positions such that the satellite can be returned to its original task.


No one working in the space industry today knows how to talk to the aged satellite. Even the hardware required has been dumped in favor of upgraded equipment.
Sound familiar?

I was so tickled to hear about this, and of course I am hoping they can pull an Ethan Jaarda and get that satellite back where they’d like it to go! Check out the article here (especially the diagram showing the orbital maneuvers necessary to get the equipment out to the comets!)

Anybody else have a “life imitates art” moment to share? I’d love to hear it!

Happy St Patrick’s Day: Kindle Fire HD Giveaway

A giveaway of 2 Kindles!!

The first one is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter in the rafflecopter.

Kindle Fire HDX March

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7″.

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)


Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)


Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)



Giveaway Sponsors:

I Am A Reader
Feed Your Reader
Inspired Kathy
Ripple Effect Romance Series
Author M.A. George
The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something year Old Girl
Meredith & Jennifer’s Musings
Owl Always Be Reading
Author Jennifer Laurens
Bonnie Blythe’s Pure Romance
Bella Street’s Weird Romance
Author Jennifer Faye
Good Choice Reading
Reviews from a Bookworm
Barbara Silkstone
Rae Z. Ryans, Author
The Stubby Pencil
Author David Pandolfe
Hallowed Ink Press
Author Louise Caiola
The Reporter and The Girl
More Than a Review
Kathryn Jones
Once Upon a Twilight
Author Jason Parent
Author Amanda Tru
Author Cidney Swanson
Paige W. Pendleton
Claudia Burgoa
P.M. Richter – author
RoAnna Sylver
Tigris Eden
The Bloggers Nest
J.L. Weil
The Cheap Ebook
Luthando Coeur
Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke
Author Alecia Stone
Rebecca Talley
Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Simple Wyrdings
Tressa’s Wishful Endings
Paranormal book Club (PBC)
Author Stephanie Faris
Author Inger Iversen
Author Theresa DaLayne
Where The Broken Lie by Derek Rempfer
Bound 4 Escape
Author Laura Diamond


Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here:



Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″.

Ends 3/31/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Do You Write Stories or Observations or Both?

This past weekend, I was a presenter at the first annual Wordcrafters in Eugene conference where we were very focused on craft. (Where I also got the Best Swag Ever: a spa robe!)


When I prepare for workshops or intensives, I often find myself revisiting some of my old writing, which leads me to ponder my writer-ly habits and traits.

When I was a kid, I wrote stories.  Lots of stories. They had inciting incidents, escalating events, a climax, and a resolution. I didn’t know these terms back then, but I read lots of books, and reading taught me this particular order of events was a satisfying one for readers.

Then, when I grew older and took creative writing classes and joined critique groups, I wrote description. Carefully, lovingly observed descriptions of the natural world, anatomies of conversations as they really happened, observations involving all five senses.

I don’t want to make it sound like either of these types of writing was more important than the other. In fact, it strikes me that both are valuable. For a teller of tales, it’s critical that you learn how to accurately describe the world around you or the world you imagine. And it takes lots of practice. Maybe this is the equivalent of practicing scales for a pianist or vocalist? On the other hand, most of us who want to hear someone playing piano won’t listen to a skillful demonstration of scales.

So, as a writer, I have to get really good at description. I have to practice it. I have to understand it. But, in the end, I have to tell a story, too. 100,000 words of description does not a novel make.

So that got me curious: Anyone else have this experience of having written stories first and then switching to writing description?

VISIBLE Now For Sale at All E-tailers


Just a quick post to let you know Apple and Kobo have joined Amazon and Barnes and Noble in making VISIBLE, Book Four in the Ripple Series, available as an eBook. If you are waiting on the paperback, that should be coming in about four weeks. (Hopefully by St Patty’s Day!)

VISIBLE picks up where Unfurl left off, so you should read books one, two, and three of the Ripple Series before diving in.




New Ripple Title Coming (Very) Soon!

If you have read about my writing habits, you know I like lots and lots of revision. I also find it super helpful to step away from my stories in between drafts. Over the course of a year and a half, I have a lot of “down time” during which I set my manuscripts aside to age.

This year (and a half), I did something fantabulous with all that downtime: I wrote a whole ‘nother book! I am so very pleased to announce that the Ripple Trilogy now has a companion title. Okay, it’s a read-after title.  But it is full length and it is publishing just in time for Valentine’s Day.  *Squee!*

visible ms

VISIBLE, A Ripple Novel, tells the story of Gwyn and Christian in the days after Unfurl ends. If you aren’t already on the New Release List, you might want to sign up now!  I can’t tell you how excited I am about this story, and I can’t wait to hear what you think. (Yes, that is the actual first page from one of the late revisions of VISIBLE.)

Next week: Cover Reveal!

Are we excited yet???

**Mars fans who are holding your breath: so am I. Actually, I’m working like crazy to get it finalized for release this Spring.**

RIPPLER News I’m Excited About!

This is just a quick post (and giveaway!) to let you know 2 things:


1) Rippler has been included in a 6 e-book Box Set for just .99 including best-selling authors SM Reine and Sarra Cannon! Woohoo! (And yes, they still pay us authors!) If you like your fantasy heroines edgy, you can pick up copies at these e-tailers:


Barnes & Noble


2) Rippler, Chameleon, and Unfurl have received paperback face lifts! I love the new matte covers.


To celebrate these two things, I’m giving away a signed copy of RIPPLER (US only) in all its matte-cover glory!
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Empty These Shelves!


dreaming hop

The bookshelves, they are groaning once again. With the daughterling’s week-long vacay in the hospital (see Jan. 4 on timeline), I didn’t get some end of year cleaning done. I figure this blog hop is the perfect opportunity!

Enter below to win a combo of 5 paperbacks/hardbacks (my random picks) from my groaning shelves (US) or your choice of one of my ebook box sets (INTL). Blog hop ends January 24th. Good luck!

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Who Wants to go to NASA?

Me! And I did, too! And today’s Chinese launch of a rover to the Moon reminded me it was high time I blogged about my recent visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the launch of MAVEN, the probe traveling to Mars to figure out where all the water on Mars went to. I applied as a guest of @NASASocial, which you should totally check out if you are interested in space or going to see a launch some day yourself! https://twitter.com/NASASocial

But really, pictures do such a great job of telling a story, so here are a few of my trip to NASA:


We got to hear presentations from some of the NASA women behind MAVEN!


I got to hang out at the countdown clock. That would be the same clock that counted down the Apollo missions!


And then, they let me be the launch director and say, “All systems go!” (Okay, so, just remember at this point that I make stuff up for a living.)


And then it was out to the launch site itself. Or as close as it was safe for us to get…


The launch was stunning. Even the birds thought so. (You have to love how a couple of them are all, “Dude, this happens all the time. No big.”)

Maven launches10933173944_579fc6fd06_c

And finally, some cool artwork that I found inspiring AND a copy of a dictionary in the flight control room alongside the flight manuals. Oh, yeah, baby!


And that was my trip to NASA.

Any questions?

Ask ‘em below for a chance to win cool stuff!
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