Welcome to my stop on the YA Scavenger Hunt! My name is Lori, and I’m as pleased as the Eleventh Doctor with a bowl of fish fingers and custard that you’re here.
On 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 until noon PST on Sunday, October 5th!
Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page 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 BLUE TEAM, but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a green 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.
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue 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 October 5, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Today, I have the exclusive pleasure of hosting Danielle Paige!
Danielle Paige is a graduate of Columbia University and currently lives in New York City. Before turning to young adult literature, she worked in television industry, where she received a Writers Guild of America award and was nominated for several Daytime Emmys. You can follow her on Twitter @daniellempaige.
“I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still the yellow brick road, though—but even that’s crumbling.
What happened? Dorothy.
They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.
I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I’ve been trained to fight.
And I have a mission.”
And now, take it away, Danielle! 🙂
Indigo looked at the dancing girl on her arm. But it wasn’t just the ink that was moving. She was shaking just a little. Which wasn’t at all like her.
She hadn’t even flinched a few months ago when the tattoo artist rested a dozen magical needles on her arm and let them go. She knew it was magic, but she her curiosity almost outweighed the searing pain. Watching those needles know exactly where to go, watching them paint the story of Oz so far on her skin, Indigo hadn’t even shed a tear. Okay, maybe just the one. But right now, standing in front of her house alongside her fellow munchkins, she was facing something a lot scarier than needles.
Indigo never knew that pink could be so creepy. But there Glinda was, proving her wrong in all her glittering, terrifying, pink glory. Her pink ball gown was swirling in a breeze that seemed to only be blowing for her. Her pink skin glowed in the unusually hot Oz sun. And her unnatural smile was wider than ever. Her smile reached for her eyes. Permasmile forced a smile on your face no matter how you really felt. .
Glinda was lining the munchkins up for a Happiness Opportunity. Since the Happiness decree, “happiness” in Oz meant something very different. Something that was maybe the opposite of Happiness.
Dozens and dozens of neighbors and schoolmates joined the line, which began where Glinda was standing and extended in front of the main stretch of pastel domed houses. Some joined the line slowly and reluctantly. Others still believed that Glinda was still Good and they were smiling and chatting as if everything was fine. Indigo looked at the disparity between those who believed in Glinda and those who didn’t. Everything wasn’t fine.
Indigo knew munchkins were known for their cheerfulness and occasional tendency to burst into song. The cheerfulness thing wasn’t true for every munchkin, but the singing did happen more often than Indigo liked to admit. Indigo’s songs were a little bit darker than everyone else’s. But there had been a lot less singing since Dorothy and Glinda came to power and Indigo really doubted anyone would be singing today. Indigo grabbed her best friend Rafe’s hand and pulled him to the very end of the line. They could still see Glinda but somehow she felt safer further away from that smile.
Indigo craned her neck and searched the line for her mom’s familiar apron and her dad’s jaunty little green hat that he insisted on wearing. She sighed relief at seeing neither. Mom had said something about errands when Indigo wasn’t applying attention; Maybe whatever they were doing would keep them away long enough to miss whatever Glinda was planning.
Beside her, Rafe gave Indigo a look that said, pull down your sleeve. Another look. Because what if Glinda saw.
Indigo left her leather sleeve where it was. A small act of defiance. But in Oz the smallest act could be the difference between life, death, or really, really bad punishment.
Rafe cast another worried look over her. Indigo did stand out in line. Most munchkins favored colorful costumes in cottons and silks. And Indigo was wearing head to toe black leather. Glinda might poof her out of existence based on her outfit alone.
“Your participation means the world to Princess Dorothy and Queen Ozma, and to the Happiness of our fair land,” Glinda said curtseying to the munchkins as if she were serving them and not the other way around. Indigo could see in the faces of some of her neighbors that it was working. They believed her.
Indigo snorted, and Rafe nudged her. Glinda swiveled her head in their direction.
Indigo froze for a beat, but Glinda blinked and turned her 1000 watt smile back to the center of the crowd. Indigo looked at Rafe’s profile as he pasted on a smile for Glinda. Maybe it was the fear? Maybe it was the perfection of the slope of Rafe’s nose? But what happened on their last trip to the tattoo parlor suddenly popped into her head.
Rafe had always gone with her when she got her tattoos. He had sworn he was just going as a spectator. But in the end she’d convinced him to get something of his own. Something that meant something. He got a monkey’s wing on one of his biceps. He said it was because it was the best looking. But Indigo wanted to think that deep down he believed in what the Wingless had done, cutting off their wings to be free. Or maybe it was some other reason. Maybe for Rafe, her childhood friend, it was something more, and maybe it meant he would follow her anywhere she wanted to go.
Rafe looked like he was going to bolt when he sat down in the artist’s chair.
“You’ve braver than you think. We all are.” Indigo told him and kissed him just as the needles went in.
It was just a peck but she was pretty sure that Rafe never felt those needles—oor at least he didn’t mind as much.
“Now hold each other’s hands and we will travel together,” Glinda ordered in her lilting voice taking her out of her memory.
Travel? There was no time to relive kisses when Glinda wanted to take them somewhere else. Indigo thought about the rumors she’d heard about Glinda and Dorothy. And about what she’d seen herself. The road of yellow brick had started to crumble. The trees had stopped talking. Dorothy and her friends weren’t good anymore. Some of the Winged had become the Wingless to get away from Dorothy. What did Glinda want munchkins for? They had no magic. What could she make them do?
Where?” the word escaped her lips and Rafe turned in line toward her. Glinda floated up above the crowd to get a better look. Indigo and Rafe stood perfectly quiet and still for a beat and Glinda sank down again.
“Where, doesn’t matter my dears,” Glinda sing-sing-songed. She’d heard Indigo.
How could it now matter? How could she take a whole village in the middle of the day without telling them where or why?
“What matters is that we are all going to be very Happy. And each one of you will play a role in that. All you have to do is hold hands and I will take care of the rest.”
Indigo looked on in disbelief, as one by one, Indigo’s neighbors took each other’s hands. As the hand holding wave got closer to where Indigo stood, a thought seized her and she turned to Rafe.
“We have to get out of here,” she whispered to Rafe. They shouldn’t be going anywhere with Glinda. She and Dorothy were changing Oz in the name of Happiness, but every day everyone was a little less happy. Indigo had never been the cheerful type. She wasn’t a hundred percent sure of what happiness was, but she didn’t want to be part of Glinda and Dorothy’s version of it. And she didn’t want Rafe to be either.
“Rafe,” she said gently this time.
He shook his head.
Mr. Petti-fours who was standing next to Rafe reached out his hand.
Rafe hesitated and looked back at Indigo.
“You’re braver than you think,” Indigo whispered.
Rafe shook his head and took Mr. Petit-fours’ hand.
“This isn’t the time to brave,” Rafe said, his eyes pleading as he reached out to her.
If not now, then when?
Indigo didn’t take Rafe’s hand; instead, she ducked behind him, out of sight, and headed back to the road of yellow brick.
“You’re braver than you think.” She whispered again. This time to herself.
Wow! Talk about a whirlwind excerpt! 😀
Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Lori M. Lee, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 12. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
Somewhere in this hunt, I’ve hidden my own exclusive content. Once you find it, come back and answer the following question to be entered to win a copy of GATES OF THREAD AND STONE.
QUESTION: Kai recalls something that Irra said to her. What is it?
To continue on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Amanda Sun!