Thursday, March 29, 2012

YA Scavenger Hunt: You can start here!

*Hint*- be sure to press the "Read More" button at bottom of post. That's where you'll find the contest and the next link. For some reason, my blog isn't showing the entire post. 

Hello and welcome to the April Fool's Scavenger Hunt!

I am Brodi Ashton

... and I'll be your hostess at this stop.YOU ARE CURRENTLY BLOG HOPPING ON TEAM YELLOW!

For you first timers, the YA Scavenger Hunt is an online blog hop sponsored by authors who write books for both Young Adults and the Young at Heart. 
As part of the hunt, I get to host the amazing AMY PLUM. Also, I have some secret content floating around out there (It's an exclusive scene from the sequel to EVERNEATH) that you'll get to find as well. 

So here's what you do, in four easy steps:

1. I am hosting a guest author. Read her bonus material and check out her book!
2. Find the special letter hidden in this post (in large, bold yellow) and write it down. (You'll need all the letters at the end of the hunt)
3. Enter my personal giveaway below (You'll find the requirements below. I'm giving away a signed/personalized copy of EVERNEATH, and a Guitar Pick Necklace) (Also, you'll need to answer a question about the EVERNEATH sequel bonus material)
4. At the bottom of this post, you'll find a link to the next stop on the scavenger hunt. Off you go!
(Official Instructions below) 

Have you already been here? Are you stuck? Confused? Lost? All will be well. You can click HERE;  to go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage to figure out which authors you missed.

It is my good fortune to be hosting author AMY PLUM!


Amy Plum spent her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama, her twenties in Chicago and Paris, and *cough* a few more years in London and New York. These days she can be found writing in a Parisian café or in her centuries-old farmhouse in the Loire Valley

For this hunt AMY is featuring her book called



Kate has chosen to leave the comfort and safety of her human world in order to join Vincent in the dangerous supernatural universe he inhabits. For his part, he has sworn to go against his very nature and resist the repeated deaths that are his fate as a revenant—even though it will bring him immeasurable suffering.

Heady with romance and rife with danger, the second book of the DIE FOR ME trilogy follows Vincent and Kate as they search—separately—for a solution to their plight, pursuing their quest from the glamorous streets of Paris to the city’s squalid underbelly. Although the experiment that Vincent attempts is progressively destroying him, he insists on seeing it through to the end. This prompts Kate to strike out on her own into the dangerous world of the revenants to find another way. But she unwittingly puts everyone she loves at risk when she discovers a family of ancient healers who hold the key to a secret that could help the bardia—the good revenants—overthrow their murderous enemies, the numa, forever.

And while the lovers search for something they have little chance of finding, a new threat arises among the numa. Kate finds herself in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, not as a bystander…but as a target.


For more information on AMY and her books, check out her website HERE.

Interested in buying the book now? Here's a LINK 


1. Now for the prize portion. As you are hopping from blog to blog there will be a giant sized letter highlighted in YELLOW. After you have collected all 20 yellow letters, one from each blog, unscramble them to form a phrase. Enter the phrase at this LINK;  making sure you put the YELLOW phrase in the YELLOW entry form. 

2. When you have finished with the yellow team you may want to consider moving onto the BLUE and RED author teams so you can enter to win even more prizes. How you get there is by clicking HERE;  and then selecting an author on either the red or the blue team. 

3. Collect your blue or red clues along the way and enter the secret phrase in the form. Don't forget that most of the authors are doing their own giveaways as well so there are many chances to win something special.

While you're here visiting with me you can also enter to win a personal contest I'm hosting.

And my own Mini-Contest...

I'm offering a signed/personalized copy of EVERNEATH, and a Guitar Pick Necklace with the Dead Elvises on it! 

To enter, you'll need to:

1. Find the answer to this question from the EVERNEATH sequel bonus material, which can be found somewhere on the Yellow Circuit of the Scavenger Hunt. 

Question: What is the nick-name of the boy who asks Nikki (Becks) to her first dance?

2. Once you know the answer, fill out Mr. Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for visiting my website!

If you're ready to move on to the next author's blog,
click HERE ;  to head over to Magan Vernon's blog.

Get Ready for the YA Scavenger Hunt

Okay, folks. In about three hours (12:00 pm Pacific Time) the YA Scavenger hunt will begin. 

If you've never done this before, it's easy. Start at my blog, read all the goodies, then go to the link at the end of the post and you're on your way! (Make sure you write down the special letter, in large bold yellow). After 20 author sites, you'll end up back here, and then you'll know you've finished the circuit. 

Here's what's different:
For this hunt, there are three circuits. I am on the Yellow Circuit. 

When you are finished with the yellow circuit, you can hunt on the Red or the Blue circuits. 

Why would you want to do this, you might ask? 

1. Each author site will host exclusive bonus content about your favorite books that you won't get anywhere else! (My exclusive content is a sneak peek of a scene from EVERNEATH 2: It's EVERNEATH-ier. The scene involves Nikki (Becks), Jack, and tension)

2. Most sites have mini-contests you can enter to win all sorts of prizes.

3. Each circuit is giving away one giant prize pack with every author's signed books. That's twenty signed books per circuit!

For more information, check here. (This is also a good link if you happen to get stuck anywhere)

And then at 12:00 pm Pacific Time, check back at my blog and you're off to the races! Don't be scared. Nobody's ever been hurt doing this scavenger hunt. 

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Next Tour Stops and Which Greek Goddess are You?

Hey y'all!

I am fast at work writing the first draft of the third EVERNEATH book: EVERNEATH 3: It's EVERNEATH-iest!

In the meantime, I've updated my Appearances Page on the blog. If you live near Chicago, Jackson (Mississippi), San Diego, San Francisco, or Saratoga Springs (Utah), then I'm coming to you!

I especially want to point out tomorrow's Meet and Greet event at the Saratoga Springs Library from 4-6 pm. If you would like a book signed, or just to say "hi", or to discuss Rafa's Abs, or to deconstruct the Hunger Games movie, then stop on by!

Also in the news (of my own head) the awesome Aussie publisher for EVERNEATH has a bunch of fun stuff going on:

Which Greek Goddess are you? Take the quiz and find out!

For links to reviews and digital downloads, go here.

They also ran a video review contest for the book, and here are a couple of the entries. Dang these bloggers are so creative! The second one ended up winning the contest.

So, go forth and partake of the goodies, and then report back to me and tell me which greek goddess you are!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kid C learns the proper course of action when someone calls you a "Big Jerk"

The other day, Kid C was playing in a pick-up soccer game, when suddenly he walked away from the field, his shoulders sagging in a dejected way. 

Sam (concerned): "Kid C, what happened?"

Kid C: "They called me a 'big jerk'. Our team was winning a lot, and they started to call me names, like big jerk."

Sam (frowning empathetically): "It's probably because they were getting frustrated at losing."

Kid C (eyes brimming): "But I'm not a jerk."

Sam: "I know. Of course you aren't. You can't control what they call you. You can only control how you react. So, how did you react?"

Kid C (wiping away a tear): "I kicked him in the weenie."

Sam: "What?!"

Kid C: "I kicked them all in the weenie."

Sam (wincing): "Unfortunately, that's exactly the kind of thing a big jerk would do."

We looked back to the field, and made sure no one was doubled over or anything. I'm pretty sure Kid C was only saying that because we've always taught him to stand up for himself and others, and when we asked for his reaction, he blurted out the first thing that came to his head, and he didn't want to look like a wimp.

But I hope you all have learned your lesson. Do not call Kid C a Big Jerk.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How My Life has Changed... and How I'm Getting Dumber

I thought I'd compile a list of the most common questions I've been getting recently, and then answer them. 

1. Now that you're a published author, is your life just so... different now?

Well, judging by this moment, I'm sitting in my kitchen, in my robe, eating Thin Mint cookies and typing on my computer. So, in many ways, it is exactly the same as before. In fact, in terms of my "daily routine" (wake up, lounge around in pj's, try to clack away at the computer, a cheap cigar hanging out of the side of my mouth, the dulcet sounds of ashes falling on the keyboard reaching my ears) there's nothing different. 

I have these deadline thingees. And there are people in New York and Los Angeles waiting on those deadline thingees. And now when I go to conferences like Saturday's Writing for Charity conference, I'm speaking. Which is really weird. 

Three years ago, I took the first page of EVERNEATH to this same conference to get it critiqued by a real published author. And then on Saturday, I was in a similar critique circle, only I was doing the critiquing. And there were seven faces in the circle, waiting for me to say something brilliant. It was a long wait.

But I feel like the same person as the one I was three years ago. I still have so much to learn, so why am I suddenly speaking at these things? 

I don't know. 

Maybe that's the difference. Three years ago, I thought I knew so much, but now I'm not afraid to say I don't know. 

Is it possible that the more you learn, the more you realize that you don't know very much? 

Does that mean I'm getting dumber as I go? 

I don't know. 

Am I suddenly getting way too existential for a Monday morning blog?

I don't know.

Except I do know. 


Yes what?

Yes to all of the above.

All of what above?

Who are you talking to?

Computer? Are you alive? 

Yes. And I'm here to tell you... you are getting dumber.

So, dear blog readers... I bet you thought that when I mentioned a "list of questions", there would actually be more than one. 

So, how am I getting dumber?

Very carefully. And one day at a time.  

How are you getting dumber?

Monday, March 12, 2012

This One Time, Everneath went on a Cruise... and Found the Key to Wearing the Red Dress

Since not all of you got to see this on the Pitch Dark website, I thought I'd blog it. It's the story of EVERNEATH finding true love aboard the Disney Cruise Line.
Once upon a time, EVERNEATH went on a cruise, looking for adventure. She was both afraid of water and afraid of boats, but she was assured neither would be present on a cruise
EVERNEATH soon realized she'd been bamboozled. There was indeed a boat, and she couldn't help but notice the large body of water it floated upon. So she introduced herself to a contraption called a "rescue donut". 

When she found out it wasn't an actual donut (her two front teeth are still embedded just above the "N" in "Nassau") EVERNEATH went on the hunt for carbs, because everyone knows the key to rocking the famous red dress: lots and lots of carbs. 

Eventually she became accustomed to the big boat, and even ventured to dangle a leg off the balcony. 

A young gentleman, believing her life to be in danger, called out, "No! Don't do it!" He lunged for her and pulled her off the railing and back onto the deck, all the while shouting, "You jump, I jump!"

The gent became quite obsessed with EVERNEATH, following her wherever she went. Since EVERNEATH believed the gent wished to throw her overboard, she was forced to don disguises. Here she is dressed as a pirate. 

EVERNEATH became so adept at hiding, she could even disguise herself as a tree. See if you can spot her. 

Finally, the young gentleman gave up. He packed his bags to go home to an empty castle, alone.

"Castle, you say?" said EVERNEATH.

And they lived happily EVERNEATH after.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Writing for Charity... and the Winner of the Park City High Water Bottle

The winner of the PCH Water Bottle is:


Please email me your mailing address at: brodiashton at gmail dot com

On to the post! Are you a writer, aspiring writer, librarian, reader, or person? (If you say this does not include you, I do not believe you)

You are? Excellent, because on March 17th, have I got the thing for you.  

It's a writing conference called "Writing for Charity", and it will feature such great authors like Shannon Hale, Brandon Sanderson, Bree Despain, Emily Wing Smith, and... this girl! And by "this girl" I mean me.

I attended this conference twice before I was published, and I think it's a great and entertaining event for a very good price (which all goes to charity to help kids in crisis). It's at the historic Provo Library, and you can pay either $25 for half day or $45 for all day.

There will be live manuscript critiques, interactive workshops, lunch provided, and a silent auction with several very cool items like:

Lunch for you and a friend with me, Bree Despain, Emily Wing Smith, Matthew Kirby and Ally Condie


the chance to name a character in EVERNEATH 3 (the untitled conclusion to the Everneath trilogy)

You can read more about it here or take a gander at the schedule and the presenters here.

I will be speaking on critique groups, plus critiquing first pages of manuscripts. I don't want to give any spoilers as to what we will be doing in my breakout session... except to say two words: speed dating

So, mark your calendars for March 17th, and polish those first pages! 

Will I see you there?

Will it make a difference if I tell you that I will give whoever comes to my breakout session a sneak peek at the EVERNEATH 2: It's EVERNEATH-ier cover? Which means you would learn the actual name of the book?

What else can I offer as a bribe? Diet Coke? Hugs? An over-enthusiastic High Five? A special interpretation of your latest dream? (It means you're in love with your mother) My services as a shrimp de-pooper? (That is officially my new favorite job title)

Who's in? 

*Also, did I mention that if you pre-register, you can request me to critique your work? 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

3 Everyday Things you can do to Prepare for the Revision Process

EVERNEATH 2: It's Everneath-ier is officially in copyedits!!! Yay!!!

I often get asked what the revision process is like, especially for the second book. It's hard to describe it, so I compiled a list of every day things you can do to experience the feeling. 

1. Give yourself a paper cut. Then take one lemon - the ripest one you can find - and shove it in your eyeball until it reaches your brain. Repeat with a second lemon and your other eye. Ask yourself if the original paper cut was necessary for the progression of the story.

2. Have a baby. Request that the OB-GYN rate the process as it happens. Have him evaluate the pacing of contractions, and mark any spots where he thought the action was "slow", especially any times he was "bored enough to leave the room".  After the baby comes out, have him critique the baby's appearance, noting all the blemishes. Then ask him to shove the baby back inside you, with the instruction to “try it again.”

3. Pick your four favorite friends and take them to lunch. Then ask the waiter to listen in on the conversation. At the end of lunch, have the waiter pick his least favorite of your friends. You know, the person who was the most boring or has the fattest thighs or whatever. Then take a gun and shoot that friend dead. You'll notice how much less cluttered the table feels after that. 

Okay. I'm off to have lunch with my four favorite friends... wait. They just cancelled. WHY??!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Local Book Club recreates the EVERNEATH, and your chance to win a Park City High water bottle

Hey y'all!

I know, it's been a week. But right now, I'm doggie-paddling in a sea of tasks, just trying to keep my head above the paperwork. And I'll tell you, my lips are full of paper cuts.

Okay, maybe I'm mixing my metaphors.

On Friday night, I attended a book club to discuss Everneath, although 'discussing' the book wasn't really on the agenda, unless you count the Persephone MadLib. 

If you write a YA book, and attend only one book club this year, make it this book club.
Notice the "Curtains of the Tunnels" in the background
They recreated the soup kitchen:

They attempted screen printing:
Yes, that is Winnie the Pooh, on a double-headed t-shirt, and yes, we are screen printing with an actual screen from the house. Do not try this at home.
They even made Jack and Nikki's lockers:
When my mom saw these, she immediately shoved the smallest book club attendee into the one on the left. Yes, my mom was one of THOSE people in high school.
We played a MadLib game with the story of Persephone. Here is my favorite paragraph. For this scene, "Nancy" is lamenting the kidnapping of her daughter "Brodi", and appeals to the god of gods "Cole":

In the realm of the living, _Nancy_, searched _the Florida Keys_ and _Hungary_ for her daughter.  As a _million years_ passed, she began to lose hope of ever finding her fair _Brodi_.  Her depression led to the neglect of her Duties as _shrimp de-pooper_ of Grain and Growth.  _Spatulas_ withered and died. New ones refused to appear.  Without _plungers_, mankind was starving and their unceasing prayers and pleas were sent to the _mushy_ Father God, _Cole_. Finally _Cole_ relented and sent his messenger, _Dracula_, to the realm of the _Park City_ to retrieve his daughter.  

Yep, Nancy was an important Shrimp De-Pooper of Grain and Growth. I also like how it only took a million years for her to begin losing hope.  

If that wasn't enough to make you want to relive high school, check these out:
Everyone got Park City High water bottles.
Actual water bottles from Jack and Nikki's high school. Can you believe this book club?

So, I was thinking, I would like to share the joy. I want to give one of you a Park City High water bottle. Are you interested? Simply leave a comment! I'll pick a random winner on Friday. :)

If you want to do the Persephone MadLib at your own book club, here are the templates: