Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!




Hello! I’m B. Kristin McMichael,

your hostess for this leg of the hunt.


About Me

I have three kids.
I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology.
I love being a mom.
I have been very lucky in my life!

You are currently hunting on

Team Pink!

Team Pink

I have some super secret bonus content of my own floating around the scavenger hunt, but not here! Elsewhere in the scavenger hunt I’ve hidden the first pages of an upcoming novella that takes place immediately before “The Legend of the Blue Eyes”, you’ll be able to get a little bit of Andrew Lucan’s story before he shows up in the book. Don’t run off just yet though, I want you to check out the exclusive content from Author Jennifer Anne Davis.

But, first, a few rules.


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on TEAM PINK, 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, APRIL 5TH, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one signed book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast. This contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Sunday, April 5th!

There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of TEAM PINK but there is also a RED TEAM, TEAL TEAM, PURPLE TEAM, GOLD TEAM, ORANGE TEAM, BLUE TEAM, & GREEN TEAM! Check out each team for a chance to win six different sets 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.


Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I’ll introduce the author I am hosting on this hunt.

I am super excited to be hosting…

Jennifer Anne Davis!

 Jennifer’s Bio:

Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Afterwards, she finally married her best friend and high school sweetheart. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids’ creativity. Her debut novel The Voice was a finalist in the 2014 Indie Book Awards and the winner of the San Diego Book Awards for Best Young Adult Book. The Key (The True Reign Series, Book 1) is a USA Best Book Award Finalist. Her upcoming Reign of Secrets trilogy (Clean Teen Publishing) is due out later this year and her new series, The Order of the Krigers (Month9Books), will be released next year.







This is B. Kristin, I just wanted to pop in here and mention that if you’re looking at a calendar it’s now April, which is month


You should know that if you are keeping track of things, like how important it is that April is 4 months into the year.


The book Jennifer is showcasing in the YA Scavenger Hunt is:

The Key

Here are some details about it:

 Title: The Key (The True Reign Series Book 1)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
Published: November 2013 (Clean Teen Publishing)

Synopsis: Within these pages lie kingdoms with castles and princes who fall in love with fair maidens, but make no mistake−this is no fairytale. His father’s kingdom is on the brink of upheaval and at the center of it all is an ordinary girl who could be the key to its undoing. When faced with the ultimate choice, will he choose the girl he’s falling in love with or the kingdom he has sworn to protect?

An ordinary girl with an extraordinary past… All she wants is to be free. What she doesn’t realize is that freedom comes with a price she can’t afford to pay. She’s forced to accept the proposal of a prince she despises, even though her heart belongs to someone else… his brother.

Seventeen-year-old Rema lives in a brutal kingdom where travel between regions is forbidden, people are starving, and looking at someone the wrong way can mean death. Nineteen-year-old Darmik is the king’s son and Commander of the King’s Army. He spends his days roving the island, doing his father’s bidding and trying to maintain control over the people.

When a chance encounter throws Rema and Darmik together, they share an instantaneous connection, but any sort of relationship between them is strictly forbidden. Darmik’s brother, the Crown Prince, notices Darmik’s interest in Rema and, in a calculated, political move, blackmails her. Faced with an impossible choice, Rema is forced to sacrifice her heart in order to save her family.

As Rema is taken to the palace with the Crown Prince, Darmik confronts the growing rumor that a legitimate blood heir to the throne exists and is trying to overthrow Darmik’s family. In Darmik’s quest to hunt down and kill the threat, he discovers that nothing is as it seems. Locked in the king’s castle, Rema finds herself a key player in a massive power struggle. When Darmik shows up, she’s not sure if she can trust him. The line between friends, enemies, and loyalty becomes blurred. As truths are unlocked, Rema understands that she just might be the key to finding the rightful heir and restoring peace to the kingdom… if she can manage to stay alive long enough.



While the prologue for The Key has always remained relatively the same, I rewrote the first couple of chapters several times. Here is one of the beginnings that didn’t make it into the book (unedited):

Chapter 1

Rema: Seventeen Years Later

The tavern loomed up ahead. There were only a handful of people still in line, waiting to be granted entrance. Squaring her shoulders in determination, Rema walked heavy-footed, trying to emulate the way she’d seen her uncle move. She joined the end of the group, careful to keep her face down. Two people got in line behind her. Rema pulled the hood of her cloak lower, covering her forehead.

A tall, broad man with a beard was checking everyone’s black region mark before they were allowed to enter.

“Next,” he bellowed.

The people ahead of her went in and he waved Rema forward, under the glow of the torch. She glanced up at him and said in a deep voice, “I’m here for the town meeting.”

“What’s this?” he laughed, scanning Rema’s brown trousers and wool tunic in the light. “A girl?” He wasn’t buying her disguise as a young man.

She couldn’t draw any attention to herself, so she pretended he didn’t unsettle her. If Aunt Maya and Uncle Kar discovered she had snuck out of the house late at night to attend this meeting, they would be furious. Her aunt and uncle usually went to all of the secret town gatherings. However, when the messenger arrived this afternoon with news of the next assembly, Rema greeted him and took the message, purposely neglecting to pass the information to her aunt and uncle.

“What? You’ve never seen a girl before?” Rema taunted.

“Oh, I’ve seen plenty of women. Just none of them dressed as a boy.” The man scratched his beard. “You know females aren’t allowed inside unless they’re with a man.”

“Thus, the disguise,” Rema waved her arms toward her pants. “Besides, it’s not like there are any soldiers around.” This was, after all, an illegal town gathering.

Rema’s plan no longer seemed like such a great idea. She thought it would be easy to attend the town meeting and speak her mind. She did not fully realize what would happen if she was caught. And going into town alone at night was risky. Her aunt and uncle would never forgive her for putting herself in such a dangerous situation.

The man shook his head and smiled. “Show me your mark.”

Rema lifted her left arm, revealing the black tattoo on the underside of her wrist.

“You have Jarko’s mark. Enter.” He pushed her through the threshold.

Inside the tavern, Rema slipped her arm back under her cloak. All citizens were required to be tattooed on their left wrist at birth with their region’s emblem. In Rema’s case, she lived in Jarko, a farming region. Jarko’s emblem was a curved stalk of wheat with a sword down the center. Uncle Kar said the tattoos were the king’s way of maintaining ownership and control over the people, even went so far as to joke that they were the king’s herd of goats—all branded for the sole purpose of providing for the king.

Rema had never been inside the tavern before. She slid along the wood wall, taking everything in. The place was packed—all the tables full. Most of the people were from the working or merchant class, and were close to her aunt and uncle’s age. There were some younger men who stood in groups around the edges of the room or at the bar. But at the age of seventeen, Rema was by far the youngest in attendance.

The place was loud with everyone talking at the same time and metal cups clanking against the wood tables. Rema moved through the crowd with purpose, trying not to draw any attention. A gruff laugh to her right sounded like Harek, the grain farmer whom her uncle bought feed from. Peering at the table, she saw Harek sitting with several men she didn’t recognize.

Instead of going further into the room, Rema made her way to the perimeter. She kept to the shadows easily since the tavern was lit with oil-burning lamps, and the windows were covered with black cloth. The heat was stifling from so many bodies packed together. And the smell—she tried not to gag from the combination of body odor and ale.

Rema found a spot in the back, a dark corner near the stairs leading up to the tavern owner’s quarters. She stuck one leg out from her cloak so anyone who glanced her way would see her trousers and assume she was a young man.

So far, so good. No one paid her any heed. The man guarding the entrance closed the door with a bang and locked it with a thick, rusty key.

At the click of the lock, everyone stomped their feet and pounded their fists on tables or walls, indicating the start of the meeting. All attention turned to a chair at the front of the room near the bar where a rugged man sat with his arms folded.

Cheering erupted as the man stood up on his chair, smiling. He appeared to be about thirty. His arms were strong and dirty from working long hours in the fields. Like everyone else in the room, his skin was tanned dark brown, matching his hair and eyes.

The man raised his hand, and silence fell across the room. “Thank you all for coming on such short notice.”

Since Rema was schooled at home and rarely ventured from the house, Aunt Maya provided detailed descriptions of all prominent figures not only in Jarko, but the entire kingdom. Rema didn’t recognize this man from her aunt’s accounts.

“Cantor,” the guard positioned next to the door yelled, “the governor of Jarko has announced that the king is raising taxes.”

The room erupted in an uproar. This was the second time this season that their taxes were increasing.

Cantor raised his hand and everyone quieted down. “I know how you feel. That’s why we’re here. We can’t afford to give King Barjon any more than we already do.”

Rema scanned the faces of the people in the room. An elderly woman in a faded blue dress grabbed the hand of the man sitting next to her. The people at Harek’s table shook their heads in despair. A man covered in dirt, his shirt torn and ragged, sunk to the floor, his pale face falling into his hands.

“So what do we do?” asked a man wearing a blood-stained apron. “Not pay the increase?”

“But then the army will march through our fields and destroy everything!” a skinny woman with wrinkled skin hanging from her cheeks spoke this time.

Cantor rubbed his temple. “I suggest we petition the king. In the meantime, we’ll find a way to help one another so we can meet our quotas.”

Rema’s hands were sweaty from both the heat and excitement. This was the reason she was here—to speak her mind. Rema stepped forward, away from the wall, keeping her head down and her voice low to sound like a young man.

“Have we not already petitioned the king?” she asked.

Chairs scraped the wood-plank flooring as everyone turned to face Rema, who stood in the back of the room hiding among the dark shadows.

Cantor replied, “We have, but maybe this time he’ll listen.”

“Don’t be a fool,” Rema said, trying to keep her voice from shaking. “The king only cares for himself and not about the people he rules over. If you truly want to make a difference, we must band together.”

“And what exactly are you suggesting?” he asked.

She took a deep breath, trying to focus the adrenaline coursing through her body. Taking a step forward, into the light, Rema said, “Our small town is not enough. We must send messengers to other towns. We must all join together. If everyone refuses to pay the additional taxes, what choice will the king have?”

Rema kept her head tilted down, the hood low, concealing her identity. She had finally spoken her mind and voiced ideas most people must have thought of but were too afraid to suggest.

A young, pregnant woman seated toward the front asked, “But what if the king sends his army to our region to slaughter us all?”

Cantor replied, “That is a choice we all need to make. We can continue to allow the king to take everything from us, and starve to death while he lives in luxury, or we can do what this lad suggests and band together and fight. In either case, we have a choice.”

The room erupted in chaos. Rema decided to exit before people questioned who she was.

Sliding back into the shadows against the wall, Rema headed toward the rear exit, hoping it was unlocked. She heard words like, “rebellion,” “fight,” and “stand,” shouted from the heated crowd. It felt exhilarating.

This side of the tavern was more crowded than she expected. Rema pushed between people, careful to keep her head down. A cool breeze drifted over her warm body, making her skin prickle. She stood still, glancing left and right. Nothing appeared suspicious. She moved around a group of men and continued on toward the exit.

Something brushed against her leg, making her jump though nothing was on the ground near her. Pressing her body against the rough wall, Rema searched for anything or anyone out of place, something that had triggered her intense desire to leave the tavern.

Was someone watching her? Dropping all pretense of stealth, she shoved her way straight to the back exit, stumbling through the threshold and into the chilly night air. When the door banged shut, she was greeted by silence.

The back of her neck tingled in fear. A thick, heavy fog floated just above the ground. The dirt road leading to her horse farm was barely visible. The unseen forest towered on either side of the road. Walking quickly, she tried not to panic. Her horse, Snow, was tied to a tree just ahead, but through the dank haze, he couldn’t be seen.

Next time she’d have to ask Bren to take her. Of course he would probably argue to no end why attending a secret town meeting wasn’t a good idea. And she’d never get him to see her side. No one ever took her seriously. No one ever took women seriously. Just because she was a girl didn’t mean she couldn’t have a valid opinion.

As the fog thickened, Rema could only see three feet in front of her. She hoped Snow was okay by himself. Her horse wasn’t easily spooked—one of the reasons she loved him. But then again, Snow hadn’t been out in the middle of the night in fog such as this before.

A cool breeze blew over Rema’s body, reminiscent of the same sensation she’d had inside the tavern. Was someone watching her? She spun around, but couldn’t see anything except for the thick, white mist drifting through the air. Rema moved to the edge of the road, knowing Snow had to be nearby. Not that she’d be able to ride him in this weather, but his eyesight was better than a human’s, and she’d feel safe next to him.

A branch snapped and Rema froze.

“Who’s there?” she demanded, keeping her voice as low and masculine as she could.

An owl hooted.

She was probably just being paranoid—unless a thief lurked in the forest. Everyone should either be at home in bed, or inside the tavern at the meeting. Rema hoped no one was out there watching her in the middle of the night. Pulling her cloak tighter around her body, Rema hurried up the road, keeping her ears attuned to Snow’s nickering. The only sound was the dirt crunching under Rema’s boots and her own heavy breathing.

Another cool breeze brushed against her body and Rema stopped. She stared in front of her, wishing she could see through the white fog. As if hearing her thoughts, the fog parted, revealing a black cloaked figure a few feet away.

“What is your name?” A reverberating voice asked, thick and overbearing, forcing a chill down Rema’s spine.

The man’s head was tilted down, preventing her from seeing his face concealed inside the dark fabric. Rema couldn’t answer.

He took a step closer, the fog dancing around the cloaked figure. Rema searched for something she could use as a weapon—a branch—anything.

“I heard you speak inside. I want to know who you are. Who do you work for?”

“No one,” she replied with a forced bravado. “I spoke my own mind.”

“Are you a woman?” he asked, a tinge of astonishment to his husky voice. The man took another step toward Rema, and she automatically backed up.

“What’s your name?” he asked again.

Rema shook her head, refusing to answer.

“Let me see your band,” he demanded.

The band, a four inch brown leather strap worn on a citizen’s right wrist, identified the wearer’s name, age, family name, and their spouse’s identity. It was yet another way for the king to tag and keep track of his subjects.

Rema did not want to listen to this man who she didn’t know, but she also didn’t want him to take her to the authorities claiming insubordination. Women had no choice in the matter. When a man, no matter who that man was, demanded to see a female’s band, she had to adhere to his command.

She lifted her right arm, holding it suspended in the air. The man stepped toward her, closing the distance between them. He took hold of her hand with care. As he read the information, his thumb gently traced the edge of the leather. The gesture was strangely intimate, and Rema pulled free.

“Tabitha, seventeen, niece of Kar and Maya, not yet married or engaged.”

Rema didn’t respond. She wanted to tell him that she didn’t go by Tabitha, but there was no need to divulge such personal information.

“Do you attend these meetings often?” he asked, his face hidden beneath the hood of his cloak.

“No. This was my first.”

“Why did you come?” he asked.

“I wanted to see what one was like.” And she wanted to know if anyone would take her seriously. What was the point in her education if she never had the opportunity to use it? But she couldn’t tell him that. The lower class, and women in general, weren’t afforded an education.

The man was almost a foot taller than her, and she glanced up, wishing she could see his eyes. How was he looking at her? What was he thinking? His head tilted to the side, like he was trying to see under her hood. Rema was sure he could see part of her face, and she felt naked before this strange man.

“You better get home.” He turned and walked into the woods, the fog closing in on the space where he just stood. Rema shivered as she headed up the trail in search of Snow.

Chapter 2


Darmik glanced back in time to see Tabitha turn and walk away. The thick fog wrapped around her body, concealing all traces of her existence. At first he thought he’d found a potentially dangerous person, but now he wasn’t so sure. Although she spoke well and made valid points in the meeting, Darmik didn’t think she was a real threat to the crown. Nevertheless, he’d ask one of his soldiers stationed in Jarko to keep an eye on her.

His men were located just north of here. Darmik made his way deeper into the forest until he came to the small clearing where his men stood in a loosely formed circle. He pushed the hood of his cloak off his head as he greeted his men.

“Did you get the leader’s wife?” Darmik asked.

“Yes, Commander,” the corporal replied.

Sitting in the center of the circle was an older woman with a black cloth bag over her head, her hands bound behind her back.

Darmik squatted in front of her and removed the fabric with one swift pull.

“Are you Cantor’s wife?” Darmik asked in a harsh, demanding voice.

The woman nodded. Her body was shaking and dirt covered the side of her thin linen dress.

“Do you know who I am?” he asked. His men remained standing in the circle, keeping watch for trouble.

Her eyes met his. “I know who you are. You’re Commander of the King’s Army,” she whispered. “What do you want with me?”

Darmik moved closer to her, their faces only inches apart. “You are the wife of a man who’s about to be arrested for treason.”

“No, please!” she shouted. “I’ll do anything.”

That’s what Darmik assumed she would say. “Anything?” he asked, leaning back, putting some space between them.

“Yes, anything. Just please don’t hurt my husband.” She glanced at the soldiers surrounding her.

“I want these town meetings to stop. There will be no more gatherings like tonight. Are we clear?” Darmik removed his dagger from his boot.

The woman’s eyes widened as she dug her heels into the dirt, trying to scoot away from him.

“But I don’t organize the meetings. I just come because of my husband.”

Darmik hated to threaten an innocent woman, but these secret town meetings had to stop, and the easiest way was to threaten the leader’s wife. “Then convince your husband to end them. Otherwise, I’ll come for him myself in the middle of the night, and you’ll never see him again.” Darmik pointed the dagger towards her chest.

She nodded. “Of course. I’ll see that they stop.”

“And then there will be no more talk of treason where your husband is concerned.”

“Yes, thank you,” the woman’s voice cracked.

Darmik stood and moved behind her. He leaned in close and whispered in her ear, “I’ll be watching. One word against the king and your husband is as good as dead.” He sliced her binding and her hands fell to the ground.

“Corporal,” Darmik turned to the soldier on his right. “See that she finds her way home.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And are the rest of my spies back from the town meeting?”

“Yes, Commander. Everyone is accounted for.”

“Good.” Darmik turned to address his men. “Everyone else, prepare for departure.”

His squad of twenty men gathered their gear and prepared to ride back to the First Company.

A soldier brought Darmik’s horse to him.

“Was anything else procured at the town gathering after I left?” Darmik asked.

“No, Commander. The people just talked about what that boy suggested. But they don’t plan to take any action. The town’s people are too afraid to try.”

Darmik thought of Tabitha. He had also thought she was a young man inside the tavern. But then when he spoke to her on the road, he realized she was a girl of only seventeen. Not many young women had the courage to dress as a man and attend a secret town meeting unescorted.

The fog hung heavy over the squad of soldiers, making it difficult to see one another.

“Good,” Darmik said. “Then let’s get out of here.”

“Commander,” another soldier spoke. “I heard a piece of information you might find interesting.”

“Continue,” Darmik instructed, mounting his horse.

The soldier cleared his throat. “A town’s person mentioned that they had seen Prince Lennek arrive and that he’s staying with the governor.”

This was the first Darmik had heard anything about his brother being in the area. Darmik had no desire to see Lennek, but if his brother was in Jarko, then Darmik needed to discover why.

“Change of plans,” Darmik said. “Make camp for the night.”


Still not satisfied with the beginning, I changed it one more time into what it is today. If you haven’t read The Key, you can download the ebook anywhere ebooks are sold for FREE!

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/iCJUH6
B&N: http://goo.gl/RVYOlV
iTunes: http://goo.gl/rUV779
Smashwords: http://goo.gl/1SXVmP



B. Kristin again, don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Jennifer Anne Davis, and many more! To enter, you need to write down my favorite number, find all the other numbers on TEAM PINK add them up, and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

 Thank you so much for visiting my website!

AND… I just want to let you know that my series starts are both on sale for $0.99 each at Amazon. Venture into my YA paranormal world of the night humans in “The Legend of the Blue Eyes“, or if you’re up for a sweet college romance that kicks off a time-travel series, check out “Carnelian“, book one of The Chalcedony Chronicles, also at $0.99 for a limited time!

Good luck everyone!

When you’re ready to check out the next author on the hunt, click the link to go to Dax Varley’s page.