Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt!
This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes in a scavenger 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 book from every author on my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online till Sunday!
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’m on the PURPLE TEAM but there are also teams of five other colors. Enter them all to win different sets of 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.
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.
Chloe and her sisters have lived on their isolated Greek island for centuries, longer than any mortal can remember. They spin, measure, and slice the countless golden threads of human lives. Chloe’s are the fingers that choose the wool, that form the thread, that begin it. She is as young as a girl, and she has lived since the stars were born.
She and her sisters are the three Fates, and they have stayed separate for good reason: it is dangerous for them to become involved with the humans whose lives they shape. So when a beautiful girl named Aglaia shows up on their doorstep, Chloe tries to make sure her sisters don’t become attached. But in seeking to protect them, she discovers the dark power of Aglaia’s destiny. As the human girl’s path unwinds, Chloe finds herself pulled inextricably along—toward mortal pain, mortal love, and a fate that could unravel the world.
We were up late in our room, working with our thread, when we heard something on the first floor of the inn that should not have been there. We paused: Xinot held up a hand; Serena narrowed her eyes. There are not many who could escape our notice, even in the deep of such a moonless night. We heard him, and we knew from the sounds of his movements just exactly what he was doing.
It was a thief. He was sneaking about, searching the public rooms downstairs for coin or luggage. It was a pointless attempt. Travelers would keep their belongings in their rooms; any valuables would be tucked in bed with them. And no innkeeper would store coin out in the open, where any lodger could find it. His treasures would be upstairs as well, and soon enough the thief was climbing to the second floor, feet sliding for the unused bits of the slats, which would not creak.
He was not practiced, for they creaked anyway.
Serena raised her eyebrows at Xinot, who shook her head. There was nothing we could do. I felt a heat running through my skin; the old man who’d taken our pay last night had smiled sweetly at us, and had watched as we entered our room, to make sure it would suit. This thief might not be experienced, but that did not mean he wouldn’t get away with it.
I murmured, “We could wake the others. It’s what a human would do.”
“A human,” came Xinot’s reply, “wouldn’t have heard a thing.”
I glowered at her. She was perched at the end of our bed, her scissors held in one hand, blades pointed up, and the thread in another. It stretched across to Serena, who was seated on the window ledge, and then curled toward me, in the room’s one chair before the fire, my spindle at my feet.
Xinot’s words trembled, flickering along it toward me as she spoke: “We do not meddle in human affairs.”
“We meddled in Aglaia’s.”
It was Serena who said, in a voice so flat it silenced me, “Yes, Chloe, we did. And you know how much good that did.”
We listened as the thief made his way to each of the guest rooms, snatching up discarded clothes, looking about for any unguarded trinkets. He did not find much, but our fellow travelers didn’t have much more. The heat grew in me. Xinot held my gaze, and I was pinned to my chair. There wasn’t a way to turn from Xinot when she wasn’t in the mood to let you.
We thought that he would miss our room completely. It was at the end of one hall, and he had started with the room next door, and gone in the opposite direction, toward the innkeeper’s family rooms at the other end of the building.
He must have remembered it, though, at the last moment, because he hesitated, his hand on the door to the innkeeper’s bedroom, and then he turned and walked back down the hall.
We listened to him come.
“Xinot,” I muttered, “we must convince him to give those belongings back. Serena, they need our protection. No one else is awake. It’s up to us.”
“Chloe,” Serena said, “shut up.”
I was still staring, wondering if I could have heard that right, when the door to our room opened.
A few steps toward us, and the thief froze. There were only coals in our fireplace, and no moon, but the glow of the thread was enough. It would have been enough even if there had been no silent women to hold it. That golden gleam promised a thousand unknown things.
There may have been less mystery in the humans of this world than the one we had known long ago. That didn’t mean such a scene wouldn’t remind them of what they had forgotten. That didn’t mean our thief wouldn’t know at once that here was a trio he had no wish to anger, that much more might happen to him now than simply getting caught.
He was a short, light-haired fellow. He was young; his beard was not yet full. He did not look underfed, so maybe this had been his idea of a joke, or maybe there was an elegant wife at home who relied on these late-night excursions for clothes and baubles.
We did not say a thing; we didn’t have to. He laid his bundle of gatherings at his feet. He backed away from it, his head bowed down but his eyes turned up to watch us, swiveling back and forth. He was not quite sure enough or pretty enough to flatter me, but still I felt a twinge of age-old pleasure at him knowing my strength, my beauty. At him fearing it.
He mouthed one word before he slipped back through our door; we could not hear it, but we saw its shape: Please. Please do not hurt me, maybe, or please do not tell. Then he was gone, though he left our door open.
His bundle sat, benign and lumpy, right in the middle of our floor. What could we tell, if we were to tell? That we were up late this night, and did not hear the thief, and did not scream when he opened our door? That we convinced him of the error of his ways, so that he left his gainings with us, and that we let him go without raising the household to stop him? Or the truth—that we so terrified the poor mortal man with our magic thread that we did not even need to ask?
Serena slipped from her window shelf and walked over to the bundle, carrying the thread in one hand. She prodded the thief’s bag with a foot. It clinked.
“Perhaps,” she said, “we could return these to their owners.”
“Do we know their owners?” I said. We had heard him gathering them from their various rooms, but I could not differentiate the tinkle of an earring from the small clatter of coins.
“The thief was lucky to wake no one,” said Xinot. “Three of us, blundering about in the dark…”
I sighed. We would scarcely blunder, and the dark would cause us no problems. But as silently as we moved, and as unnoticed as we had gone among the humans, we did not belong in this world. A sleeping mortal might sense if one of us sisters appeared in his room. A sleeping mortal was closer, after all, to our mysteries.
It wasn’t as though we would have been in any danger. What could they do to us? Still, if we were recognized, after all our efforts, and if Aglaia heard, or if we were temporarily waylaid on our path—it was simpler to avoid such possibilities.
We went back to our work; there were hours until sunrise yet. Before the inn began to stir, even before the innkeeper’s wife went down to light the fires, we packed our things and brought the thief’s bundle to the dining area, where it would be seen first thing in the morning. We slid through the inn’s front door, one cloaked woman, and then another, and then one more, and we were back on our path as the fields edged into gray and then green, walking quickly toward the sun’s first song.
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