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YA Scavenger Hunt - TEAM RED
October 1, 2015
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 signed 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 72 hours!
Go to the YA Scavenger Huntpage to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX 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, a gold team, an orange team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed 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.
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
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 (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 Sunday, October 4th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Today, I am hosting Teri Harman on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Teri is the author of The Moonlight Trilogy.
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Amalie Howard!
Now, without further ado, here is your exclusive content which I've read 21 times because it's so good!
Storm Moon, Book #3 in The Moonlight Trilogy
by Teri Harman
Simon Howard felt nothing but coagulated blackness—all around him, inside him.
He tried to move. Nothing happened. He couldn’t feel his body. Panic sliced into the blackness. He tried to open his mouth, his eyes. Nothing happened. What is going on?! He found nothing to see, touch, taste, hear, or smell. All his senses obliterated. There was only the pressing, dense blackness, more of a sensation than an observation.
A soundless plea.
Simon tried to calm the crushing panic, the dizzying confusion, and think logically. Maybe he was under some kind of spell, maybe he was dreaming or unconscious. He carefully moved back through his memories. Concern soon replaced his panic. Something had happened. But the details were slippery, unclear. Focus. Remember. He urged himself.
Watery shadows of memory emerged in the darkness, liquid and nebulous.
A beach. Freezing wind. Willa’s scream. Burning flesh.
Intoxicating, high-flying power sizzling along his hands, under his skin.
Slowly, methodically, Simon gathered the slippery fragments of memory together. The picture they formed . . . his panic and confusion soon solidified into icy realization. Simon’s rare power to heal also gave him the exceptional, fearful ability to control others. He had forbidden himself to use it. He never wanted to be responsible for taking away someone’s free will. But when Archard ripped Willa from his side, hurt her, burning her neck with his lips, with malicious intent to do it again and again, until she lay dead on the cold Oregon sand, Simon abandoned his own promise.
The fiery prison bars placed around him and the Covenant had burned his hands to the bone as he tried to get to Willa. When he couldn’t escape, he’d crossed into forbidden territory willingly. With a few simple words, made indomitable by the strange mixture of cursed magic inside him, Simon saved Willa and the remaining members of the covens. He’d stopped Archard’s plans to control the Powers of the Earth with a Dark Covenant made of the ghosts of dead witches. He had killed Archard with a hand on his chest, a command to stop his heart. Simon now clearly remembered what it felt like to demand the muscle cease beating. A brief moment of resistance and then the tingle of control, the buzz of domination.
The blackness shivered. It was so easy.
And he’d killed Rachel too—snapped her neck with a sweep of his hand.
I killed. Again.
But this time . . . on purpose.
Despite the shame of taking two more lives—even if Archard and Rachel deserved it—there was no denying the sense of release, the thrill of indefatigable strength he’d had when he’d used the True Healer power. It had been . . . liberating. He’d spent months fighting the urge, pushing the power down deep under the surface. Giving in had been an embarrassingly euphoric experience. It could easily be addicting if he allowed himself to do it again.
The memory made the blackness curdle and roil.
But what had happened next? Where was Willa? Where was he?
When Simon had opened the door to the depth of his ability, he’d felt a shift. As if something had invited itself in. He hadn’t noticed it at the time, but looking back he could feel it. A shadow slipping out at the same moment he’d taken control of Archard. Something momentous, fatally serious, had happened, and yet the details were frustratingly vague.
“I happened, Simon.” The quiet voice echoed all around Simon, bringing with it cold, unsettling fear.
Who are you?
“You know me as Bartholomew the Dark.” The voice said, deep, twisted, and burning through the blackness.
Recognition, a cold slap. Willa saw you in her dreams. Where are you? What have you done with her?
“Simon, I am you.”
Simon’s panic flared and confusion deepened. What are you talking about? What did you do?!
“Nothing you didn’t allow me to do. You and I are brothers, our misfit magic so similar. When my soul escaped, I found you. I slipped into your mind.”
The blackness grew eerily still, cold as winter. The cliff. That night on the cliff—it was you. You’ve been in my mind. But how?
“A bit of magic and a plan long in the making. I slipped in and I’ve been here waiting for you to let me in.”
I didn’t let you in. You pushed your way in by killing that owl.
“Yes, but that was only a way in. I was only a passenger until you gave me control when you killed Archard. When you gave into the Darkness of your Gifts, you gave me permission to take over, to sit at the helm. To become you.”
Simon felt damaged, and weak at the sound of those words. Where am I?
“Your soul, your consciousness, is locked in a tiny corner of your mind. You are too strong to erase completely. But perhaps with time . . . Until then, here we are—you and I—sharing the same body. I am in control. You are nothing. I will live your life, love your woman—Willa truly is extraordinary—and use our magic to do great things. All while you watch from your dark corner like an outcast child.”
Raging anger replaced Simon’s fear as the reality of what had happened settled inside what remained of him. You can’t. Leave her alone!
“I can and I have. Willa will never know the difference. I have all your memories, all your knowledge. Everything you’ve ever learned or experienced is now as much a part of me as my own life. Like I said, I’m not only inhabiting your body—I am you.”
Simon wanted to hit something, to pound and rage uncontrollable madness down on Bartholomew. How could this happen? How had he allowed it to happen? All that time—Bartholomew there, waiting.
Willa will know. If she can’t see it or sense it, she’ll dream about it.
“Perhaps, but there are ways to deal with that.”
Simon’s fear for Willa outweighed his own. What would this monster do to her? You’re going to control her? Don’t! Don’t do that to her. It will destroy her.
“I could not believe my luck when I found you, but then Willa, too. Do you know what she is?”
Stop this. Leave her alone.
Bartholomew ignored him. “She’s a Soul Witch, Simon. Do you know how rare and powerful that is? She changes everything.”
Bartholomew laughed at Simon’s impotent command, the arrogant sound echoing through the blackness. “Look, Simon.”
A light flickered, growing brighter and brighter until shapes morphed into the picture of a small bedroom, a bed made up with white linens, charming melon-orange walls, piles of wet, sandy clothes on the floor. The shadows of nighttime turned everything to silver. Willa slept peacefully in the bed, her hair damp, her features smooth and perfect.
Where is this? Where have you taken her?
“Wynter’s mother’s house, in Oregon. I haven’t taken her anywhere—yet.”
A painful ache rocked Simon. He saw Willa as if through his own eyes, but watching from far away with no control over the image. Bartholomew moved closer to her, slipped into the bed behind her, pressing his stolen body against her. He touched her neck, caressing the scar left by Archard’s lips. Simon’s anger became blinding.
Don’t do this. You CAN’T do this! I will fight you!
Simon felt Bartholomew smile.
When the Dark witch spoke next, his words were for Willa, but meant as a stab into Simon’s trapped, helpless soul. “Goodnight, my Willa.”