Tuesday, April 4, 2017

YA Scavenger Hunt (Spring 2016)

Welcome to my stop on the Spring 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a number clue. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our grand prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team (the red team). But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours! 

My name is Sarvenaz Tash and I'll be your host for this leg of the hunt. I'm the author of the John Hughes goes to Comic Con novel The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love (an Amazon Best Book of the Year, YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant YA Readers) and the Woodstock Festival romance Three Day Summer.  And at the bottom of this post I’m also including a separate giveaway for a signed copy of both of those books!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt or to find a full list of participating authors in case you are stuck. There are five contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all. I’m a part of the RED TEAM–but there is also a pink team, a gold team, a blue team, and a purple team for a chance to win a whole different set of books.

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve hidden 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, April 9th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Today, I am hosting author Sara B. Larson!

Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed YA fantasy DEFY trilogy: DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE, and the forthcoming DARK BREAKS THE DAWN. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day (while mourning the demise of naptime) and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction. You can visit her at www.SaraBLarson.com.


On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn onto the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.

Here are the first two pages of DARK BREAKS THE DAWN - the first teaser released online!

An eon of peace, a world of joy,
Until it was shattered, by one foul boy,
A youngling at sixteen, Drystan his name,
For the first blood spilt, came his dark fame.
Banished he was, with followers in tow,
Power taken, as the final blow.
But cursed we were, immortality lost,
For the deeds he did, this was the cost.
Take heed, and follow not his path,
Or curse be restored, and removed, that we hath.
Peace is required, for life to thrive,
Those who seek power, from our shores we must drive.
Balance is required, such a thin knife,
That binds us all, and gives us life.
draíolon nursery rhyme

The jeweled forest blurred into a tapestry of color as Evelayn sprinted away from the castle. She whipped past the trees and bushes as though she was made from the wind that pushed at her back. The sentries unlucky enough to have been assigned to guard her—or, more accurately, to trail her—on these
early morning runs were already falling behind, their harsh breathing cutting across the gray-tinged stillness of dawn.

Good, she couldn’t help but think, as she kicked up her heels and pushed herself even harder. What she really wanted right now was to be alone, something nearly impossible to achieve. Inside the castle, on the grounds, even with just her sentries, she knew her duty. She knew the part she had to play. The queen had taught her well.

But she’d jerked awake this morning after yet another nightmare, only to realize that nothing had changed. Evelayn had found it harder than ever to don the mask that she was usually so adept at summoning. The queen must always appear calm, unruffled. Your subjects will look to you; your actions will determine theirs. Her mother’s words, and Evelayn had lived by them her whole life. After all, she would be the queen one day. Hopefully in the very distant future.

But what kind of queen would she be without her full power?

Evelayn’s lungs burned hot for a moment, her throat went raw with suppressed emotion. Her sentries were no longer visible—or audible—but still she struggled for control. It was all she knew; it was her only defense against the rising panic.

Because it was her eighteenth birthday and nothing had changed.

She hadn’t planned on running today, but after pacing in her room for a few minutes, Evelayn couldn’t stand the silence or the tightness in her belly any longer. She’d pulled her lavender-streaked hair into a
ponytail, yanked on her soft, supple running boots, and splashed water on her pale face. Evelayn had tried not to scowl at the dark circles beneath her violet eyes when she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror.
Too many sleepless nights, worrying about the war. Worrying about her mother.

Queen Ilaria had promised she’d return from the warfront for Evelayn’s birthday and the ceremony that was to take place that night. Evelayn could only hope her mother was going to keep that promise. She didn’t want to see another Draíolon, didn’t want to talk to anyone, except her mother.

Without even realizing it, she’d run north of the castle, skirting the city of Solas, heading for the high ground that would enable her to watch for her mother’s arrival. It was a longer run than normal, and Tyne, her lady-in-waiting, would certainly be concerned, upset even, if she came to Evelayn’s room and found it empty . . . but certainly she was at least allowed this, wasn’t she? A brief escape as she tried to come to grips with the fact that her full power hadn’t manifested—that something was wrong with her. The future queen of Éadrolan.

Click here to to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Sara B. Larson, and 18 other YA authors! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 24. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

To keep going on the red team’s hunt, you need to check out the next author, Kristi Helvig.


Enter below to win a signed hardcover of The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love and a signed paperback of Three Day Summer. (This contest is U.S. only).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sign Up for FREE Personalized 'Three Day Summer' Bookplates & Swag!

Do you have a copy of Three Day Summer and want to know how to get it signed?

I'm giving away FREE personalized and signed bookplates and a bookmark to the first hundred people who sign up. The first 50 people to sign up will also get a temporary tattoo!

Take a look at the bounty:

And your book could look something like this:

Simply fill out the form below with your mailing address, and the name you'd like the bookplate personalized to, and...that's it. I will get the swag in the mail to you within a few weeks!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Partying Like Its 1969: A Launch Week Recap

If you're on this blog, I'm assuming you know that my second novel, and YA debut, launched this week. Three Day Summer is now out in the world and I hope it gives you a fun and groovy summer read!

I had a really lovely, and whirlwind, launch week that started when I realized that some Barnes & Nobles were sneakily stocking the book early over the weekend (how counter-culture of them!). So, of course, I had to go visit.

Look how STUNNING they look on the shelf!
I love that cover more every day...
And then, of course, sign some stock.

Then, on Monday, it was time for the launch party at the one and only Books of Wonder where I arrived to, as usual, a display that would warm the heart of any cynical author.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Three Day Summer party without some thematic swag and food. So floral crowns, flower power tattoos and tie-dyed cupcakes awaited all!

And then, of course, I blabbed for a bit. And signed some books!

The best part was that I had the best view in the house:

And, of course, I was thrilled to see so many people get into the spirit.

That time the culture became the counter-culture...
I am so grateful to Books of Wonder and everyone who came out for the launch. It was such a spectacular night.

And then I spent most of Tuesday celebrating online and responding to all the lovely people who took time out to congratulate me. Three Day Summer trended for a hot second on Twitter and I watched it climb a few Amazon categories:

I would call that a very successful and happy week!

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who made it happen...near and far! You all rock harder than Santana's Woodstock set!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Hop On to the 'Three Day Summer' Blog Tour

Three Day Summer will be released on May 19th! That means that next week you can find it wherever books are sold. Groovy!

For the next two weeks, me and TDS will be going on a virtual blog tour filled with all sorts of insider tidbits on the book. Below is a list of where you can find me every day (I'll update this post daily with the published links).

Monday, May 11
What a Nerd Girl Says
Learn about how I used music to write Three Day Summer plus a giveaway.

Tuesday, May 12
Get my '60s milieu playlist and find out why I put each song on there.

Wednesday, May 13
Mother Daughter Book Club
Here's what I think about some of the challenges of writing historical fiction for teens.

Thursday, May 14
Curling Up With a Good Book
Find out what sparked my initial interest in writing Three Day Summer.

Friday, May 15
The Compulsive Reader
Enter a giveaway for a hardcover copy of Three Day Summer.

Monday, May 18
The Hiding Spot
Read an interview with me plus enter a giveaway for a hardcover copy of the book.

Tuesday, May 19 (Release Day!)
Too Fond of Books
Read a (really fun!) interview with me plus enter a giveaway for a hardcover copy of the book.

Wednesday, May 20
Prose and Kahn
Read a review of the book from a librarian's perspective and enter to win a hardcover copy.

Thursday, May 21
The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Read a review of the book and enter to win a hardcover copy.

Friday, May 22
Word Spelunking
So you want to live in the '60s? Here is further reading, watching, and doing to get you fully into the spirit of the decade.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Upcoming Events

I can hardly believe it but Three Day Summer will be released in just a little over a week! In case you are in the New York City area and want to come celebrate with me, I want to invite you to a couple of upcoming events.

First up is the launch party taking place on Monday, May 18th from 6-8 PM at the one and only Books of Wonder! There will be floral crowns, there will be flower power face painting and--of course--there will be the chance to snag a signed copy of Three Day Summer a day before its release. Hippie attire is encouraged. RSVP here!

Then, on June 3rd, I'll be reading from Three Day Summer along with 7 other fabulous YA authors as part of the monthly Teen Author Reading Night. That's taking place from 6-7:30 PM at the Jefferson Market branch of the New York Public Library and check out the line-up:

James Dawson, This Book Is Gay
Anne Heltzel, Charlie, Presumed Dead
Bill Konigsberg, The Porcupine of Truth
Trisha Leaver, Secrets We Keep
Kate Milford, The Broken Lands
Adam Silvera, More Happy Than Not
Me, Three Day Summer
Will Walton, Anything Could Happen

The panel is moderated by David Levithan. RSVP here!

Will I be seeing you at either of these? Let me know if you're able to make it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New 'Three Day Summer' Reviews and a Giveaway!

I'll make this short and sweet but I'm super thrilled to announce that some lovely reviews have recently come in for Three Day Summer (now only about a month away from release!)

From School Library Journal:
"Extremely charming...This sure-to-be-popular, mesmerizing novel...[is] a real page-turner for fans of romance, music, and the swinging '60s."

From author Tamara Ireland Stone (Time After Time and Every Last Word):
"Three Day Summer will transport you back in time to Woodstock, drown you in incredible music, and introduce you to a couple you'll never forget. It's the perfect summer getaway."

From Publishers Weekly:
In short chapters full of vivid historical detail, Tash takes readers through each of the major acts at Woodstock (the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, among others), plus all of the drugs, mud, and shed inhibitions. As Cora and Michael meander (and sometimes stumble) through the chaos, they evoke the spirit of the festival in their awe for the music, adding their own dash of romance to the free love around them... the author’s love for the era and this defining musical moment shines through.

From Pure Imagination Blog:
The music, artists, and the feelings it inspires are talked about so much that it feels like you are there with Cora and Michael. That was an incredible feeling. Three Day Summer is a short, well paced read. It’s perfect for summer and music lovers. This is such a fun debut.

In other serendipitous news, I recently came across a couple of extra Three Day Summer ARCs. So I will be giving signed copies away to two winners right on this blog! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The contest is open internationally!

Everyone gets one free entry. You can also gain extra entries by leaving a comment on this post about your favorite thing about summer, tweeting about the contest (once per day), following me on Twitter, liking my Facebook fan page, or adding the book on Goodreads.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

'Three Day Summer' Gets a Kirkus Starred Review!

I'm so ecstatic to share this early starred review for Three Day Summer--from the one and only Kirkus Reviews no less!

They write:

Two teens find the 1969 Woodstock music festival a life-changing event.
Michael, 18, knows what he doesn't want—to go to college or be drafted to fight in Vietnam—it's what he wants that confuses him, and would-be doctor Cora, 17, ponders transgressing cultural expectations for girls. Overcoming their inauspicious meeting in the medical tent, the two are drawn together—along with plenty of baggage. Michael drags his feet on breaking up with his hypercritical girlfriend. Cora longs to get over paternalistic Ned, who's broken up with her. Michael's passionate about music but feels like a slacker. Country girl Cora, unlike her brothers, has a nightly curfew and feels torn between her conservative father—proud veteran of two wars—and her anti-war siblings, one fighting in Vietnam. Not all that goes down is benign, but this is no cautionary fable. Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll unapologetically prevail amid the muddy chaos, where strangers feed one another, concertgoers stand in line for hours to use the payphone, and iconic musicians play generational anthems. Against a turbulent backdrop of war, divisive social change, and awful weather, half a million people celebrated peace, love, and music together. Woodstock remains a resonant cultural marker, documenting the brief triumph of hope over experience, and Tash takes ample advantage of the moment. 
A positive portrait of a much-maligned era, this optimistic, exuberant tale is recommended for readers who've wondered why the '60s were so great. 

Isn't that just kick-you-in-your-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic?!

I'm really floored that the book received a starred review, but I'm most excited that how I felt about the story really seems to have come across to a reader. So much of writing is time spent in your head, and I think you can never truly objectively tell if you conveyed exactly what you meant to.

And while we're keeping this post all braggy, I wanted to share one more amazing blurb that Three Day Summer got from bestselling author Miranda Kenneally (Catching Jordan, Jesse's Girl)! Miranda has legions of fans (including me) for her amazingly realistic, complex, and oh-so-swoonworthy YA romances, so you can imagine how much these words meant coming from her:

Three Day Summer is not just a book—it’s an experience! It made me feel like I was at Woodstock surrounded by free love, music, and mud. I loved it—I couldn’t stop reading!

I'm going to sign off before my ego gets too inflated here. But Three Day Summer will be released in just a little over two months (May 19th), so I hope these reviews might have helped whet your appetite a bit! (And also for those of us in arctic regions, given you some hope that summer will actually come again...)