THE HUNT IS OVER. WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON!
Thanks everyone for participating <3
Hey guys! I’m Nadine Nightingale aka Dini, your hostess for this part of the hunt. I’m the author of Karma , the first book in the Drag.Me.To.Hell. series, published by the Wild Rose Press. It’s a paranormal romance about Amanda Bishop (a stab-worth, infuriating, and arrogant witch), and Alex Remington (a righteous, honest, and caring hunter). They used to have a thing, but that was before he learned she’s a witch and tried to kill her. Eighteen months later, he’s back in her life and they have a deal; she’ll help him save his brother and he’ll disappear from her life for good. But karma can be a real bitch…
Welcome to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt ! This biannual event promotes new adult authors and offers a great opportunity for fans to see the latest and greatest in new adult literature. At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive bonus material from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt, and a chance to enter giveaways for fabulous prices.
How to hunt:
Pick a team! Since you’re reading this you did the right thing and picked #TeamOrange. Okay…okay…#TeamGreen & #TeamPurple are equally awesome.
Read this post! I have the honor to host the lovely Eleanor Lloyd-Jones who is going to share a sneak peek from her second novel Scattering Elephants.
Look for my lucky number & write it down! You’ll find it at the end of this post and I’ll make sure you won’t miss it. Make sure to enter the extra Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of the page for a chance to win a $10 Amazon GC.
Click the link at the bottom of the post so you can continue the hunt within that same team. Repeat all steps until you have visited all the authors for one team. Add up the numbers that you collected from all the authors of one team (if your a mathematical failure like me, I suggest using a calculator).Visit ENTER HERE and submit your entry. You must submit your entry before Sunday, October 30th at 12 p.m. US EST.
Got it? All right, let’s hunt!
Today, I’m hosting the lovely Eleanor Lloyd-Jones on my website for the New Adult Scavenger Hunt!
Raised in a little village in North Wales, a fierce love of books and reading was instilled in Eleanor by her parents from a very early age, and she has vivid memories of reading secretly under the blankets with a torch for hours after lights out, often getting caught! She was blown away by The Borribles Trilogy – Michael De Larrabeiti at nine years old, and it was then that she fell head over heels with idea of imaginary worlds.
A persistent and professional daydreamer, something she still prides herself on being, she spent most of her early childhood inside her own head making up stories or scenarios, climbing trees, building dens or doing anything arts and crafty. Music also played a huge part of her young life. Growing up on The Beatles, U2 and Status Quo, her obsession with Top of the Pops and vinyl twelve inches grew into a love affair with music that has only grown and expanded over time: there is rarely a moment where music is not playing in her life, and in turn, rarely a time when she is not singing, even if it is in her head!
She had always thought she would write a book some day – it has been an ambition for as long as she can remember – and has always been told that she ‘has a way with words’. Over the years, she’s dabbled in the odd piece of prose, helped friends to write letters and résumés and prides herself on her hilarious lyrical genius when composing poems for friends birthdays! Life, however, got in the way and her dream was stored on the back burner as she put herself through university and started a family. It was only when she was nearing the ‘forty’ milestone that she decided it was time she got some of the ramblings and chatterings in her head down on paper.
A creative, guitar-playing mum of one boisterous, but pretty damn cool boy, she classes herself as a Yorkshire gal now after moving to Leeds when she was eleven. Eleanor works full time as a teacher, but grabs every spare minute she can to write; be it on the train, lunchtimes at school or foregoing sleep for an extra hour or two in the evenings. Her hope for the future is for people to fall in love with her characters as much as she does. Not a big ask really!
To find out more about Eleanor, you can keep in touch with her in all of these places:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/eleanorlloydj
Facebook Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eljelephant
Eleanor’s debut novel was Housing Elephants (blurb can be found on Goodreads and on her website) and she is currently working on the next book in the story, a continuation of Billy and Eve’s story. This is a work in progress, but here is a snippet of what is to come…
Scattering Elephants by Eleanor Lloyd-Jones © 2016
All Rights Reserved
Unedited and subject to change.
Sitting in the back of the van, Billy pulled his feet towards him, pressing the flats of his soles together, and lolled his head back against the cold metal. Guitar cases and drum sticks lay at his feet and a lazy smile pulled at the corner of his mouth. The sound of the traffic rushing past wrapped around his head and, staring out of the window, he watched the blur of coloured lights from cars and street lamps.
From somewhere in the darkness, an arm swept forwards offering him another toke on the giant spliff that had been passed around for the past ten minutes. It would be his turn to roll soon, and he wasn’t entirely sure his fingers would work nimbly enough to manage it. He reached over and took the joint, pulling on it deeply and filling his lungs to capacity holding the drug laced smoke there. This was a different feeling to that of the burning of cigarette fumes that he used to crave so badly; that burning in his chest that would whip his thoughts away for a few seconds. This feeling was smoother and ran the length of his body, oozing into every vein, every capillary, leaving him relaxed and carefree. This was the feeling he needed to forget it all, to bury every ounce of pain he was carrying around with him, every single day.
Some of it was released as he poured it all out on stage, night after night, crooning till his heart ached of lost love and painful goodbyes, but this time of day, when the rush of adrenaline had subsided and the high of the crowds had filtered into the night, this was the release that helped him sleep at night. They were on week five and there were at least three left before the tour was officially over.
Aside from his fears of alcohol and how he might react with a skin full of it, the idea of dealing with hangovers that he had witnessed his father battling with had always been enough to put him off drinking. Not anymore. The last few weeks, the heartache of home had been too painful to bear without some sort of numbing effect.
Billy had slipped into the gigging lifestyle smoothly and comfortably on the surface. He was making all the right noises at all the right times, nodding and laughing with the guys, but it was the drugs and alcohol that were keeping him afloat.
That and the performing.
The nightmares would wake him sometimes, but he was able to push them aside lazily and return to his foggy, thoughtlessness with his bloodstream bubbling with marijuana.
Leaving was supposed to fix things—to make things easier… so he continued to tell himself that, lest he crumble under his own mistake.
His lids lifted heavily from his eyes at the sound of Matt’s voice. “Hmm?”
“Get rolling. We’re pulling up in a minute to get snacks before we park up for the night.” Matt handed him the tin of weed and a packet of giant Rizzla. Billy nodded and took them from him, watching in a cloud of haze as Matt and Greg jumped out of the back of the van before it even screeched to a halt.
“Get me a can of coke or something,” Billy shouted through the open van doors with little conviction, unsure if he had even been heard. As he turned his head to watch out of the window again, a vibrating in his pocket had him reaching inside of it to pull out his phone. It took him a few seconds to focus on the display, but his face contorted into a grin when he saw Dobo’s name flashing across it.
“Dobo, my man. How goes it?”
“Hey, Bill. How you doing?”
“I’m good, man. Pulling up for the night soon. Tonight’s show was fucking awesome. Rammed it was. Chicks all over the place.”
The line went quiet except for Dobo’s breathing, and Billy closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. There was no fooling his best mate: this bravado wasn’t necessary at all.
He took a deep breath. “How is she?”
There was more silence and Billy waited patiently as Dobbo gathered his thoughts.
“She’s ok, Bill. Considering. I haven’t seen much of her this past fortnight, but I know Rach has been there for her. I popped round two nights ago, but Rae wouldn’t let me in, so I just left them to it.”
Billy nodded, a pain searing through his chest as he tried to block out the images of Eve that came flashing to the forefront of his mind. There was nothing to say really, so he sucked in another breath and changed the subject. “So when are you going to get your arse down here to watch me play, eh?”
“Soon, bud, soon. I promise. How long have you got left?”
“About three weeks I think. But there’s talk of us staying longer, so who knows at this stage. If I’m honest, I am just living day to day. I’ll let you know more once we have things finalised though. You’d better book that train ticket, dude.”
“I will. Listen, I’ve got to go. Mum needs some help with the garden in the morning, we are digging a fucking pond or something. God knows why, but she’s been watching Alan Titchmarsh on YouTube and has gotten herself some crazy landscaping ideas. Need to get some sleep cos it will be manual labour tomorrow.”
Billy chuckled and smiled to himself at his memories of Mo and her kindness. “Ok, buddy. Speak to you soon. Take care and…” He trailed off, unsure of what it was he wanted to say.
“I know, Bill. I will. I promise.”
The line went dead and Billy stared blankly at the empty screen for a few moments before tucking his phone back into his pocket.
A clattering of metal and high pitched screeches had him almost screaming out as the lads came barging back inside the van, thumping their fists on the sides and howling like werewolves as they charged past it.
“You fucking idiots! Frightened the life out of me.”
They all laughed and Matt slapped him on the back as he handed him a litre bottle of coke.
“How much do I owe you?”
“Nah, call it a bonus! You’ve been awesome these last few weeks. The crowds love you, so call it a ‘thank you’ for warming them up for us.”
Billy felt himself beaming from the inside out. It was praise and moments like this that reassured him he was doing exactly the right thing for himself. And that’s what the trip was all about—it was about doing stuff for him. He’d spent so long shouldering ever other fucker, and this was his time. It was time to shine as Billy Taylor the man, not Billy Taylor the son, or Billy Taylor the carer—it was time to shine as Billy Taylor the independent man who needed to put his life back together. And that’s what he was doing. Or at least it was what he was telling himself he was doing.
The engine roared to life and the guys headed out to a spot they had been using to park up and sleep in the van. There wasn’t much room for them all in the back, but they had become accustomed to sharing the small space. It wasn’t ideal, but that was kind of half the fun. They all had sleeping bags, and the floor was lined with a couple of old duvets to soften it up a bit. They took turns to sleep in the front seats, which although were a bit more secluded, were not comfortable in the least, and, without the body heat of the others, could get really fucking cold. It was Billy’s turn in the front that night, and as he crawled out of the back, sleeping bag under his arm, his thoughts once again turned to home and in particular to Eve.
The last time he had seen her was as she ran into the station, a bunch of balloons wrapped around her wrist, her face pale and worried. He knew Dobo thought he’d already gone. Truth was, he deliberately didn’t get on the train he was originally planning on. He’d needed to gather some thoughts together and he had a feeling that she would come looking for him and needed to see her just one more time.
He’d been sitting in the window of the coffee shop that sat above WHSmiths and he’d watched as she fell to her knees.
That was the moment his heart had broken in two for real.
He’d looked on as Dobo took charge of the situation, and as soon as Rachel had appeared on the scene, he knew it was okay for him to go. It was okay for him to leave her because she would be fine. She would be loved and she would be looked after. The phone call he had just shared with Dobo only moments before was a reassurance that she was still in good hands and he hoped that would be enough to help him get to sleep for the night.
He opened the passenger side door and stood to the side as Jason slid out to join Matt and Greg in the back.
“Sleep tight, sweetheart.” Jason pulled Billy into a hug as he passed him, and the lads laughed as Billy squeezed Jason’s shoulder.
He claimed the passenger seat, slamming the door behind him and felt down the side of it for the lever to tilt it back. It didn’t lie completely flat, but it was enough that you felt like you were at least half lying down. He glanced over at Dylan who sat steely in the driver’s seat, a cigarette hanging from his mouth, his eyes squinting at the outside. Billy was a little apprehensive where Dylan was concerned. He couldn’t quite read him and that made him nervous. He was the drummer for Eboracum Rain and he was intense. He was a man of few words and rarely got involved when the guys were goofing around or doing drugs.
“Night, dude.” Billy gave him a sideways glance. Dylan barely moved. He sucked harder on his cigarette and nodded, his eyes never leaving the windscreen.
Rachel sat with her legs tucked underneath her on the sofa, flicking aimlessly through the channels on the television. She’d ordered Eve to go to bed two hours before and hadn’t heard from her since so was holding out hope that she’d managed to drift off to sleep. Living with Eve in the last few weeks had become a delicate dance of avoidance tactics: avoid any discussion that might be misconstrued as molly coddling, or love, or life… or anything that wasn’t related to mundane household tasks or uni work. It was tiring, but Rachel was stubborn and decidedly determined to get her best friend back on track.
Her phone chimed and a text message from Dobo flashed on her screen.
How is she?
It was pretty much the same message as she got from him most days, and her reply would be almost identical to the one she sent him the night before.
Broken. But I’m not giving up.
Rachel and Dobo were like chalk and cheese, and if she was to be completely honest about him, he infuriated her. He was like a lost puppy half the time: a bit dopey, always there, and never with the right thing to say. If there was a way for Dobo to put his foot in his mouth, you could be certain he would find it. He had taken it upon himself to call round as often as he thought would satisfy his job role as ‘chief carer’. That’s the role Billy had given him when he left, even though Rachel was quite adamant that she was the chief and only carer that Eve would ever need. It wasn’t that she didn’t like Dobo. He was harmless. It was that he was just under her feet all the time whenever he was around. It seemed obvious to Rachel that Dobo would be a constant reminder to Eve that Billy was no longer around, and she was getting to the point now where she felt she needed to pull him aside and ask him not to visit anymore, or at least not so often, or not for a while. She had no idea how long it was going to take Eve to heal from the shit storm that had whisked its way into her life over the past couple of months, and having Dobo around couldn’t possibly be contributing to the process.
I know. I’ll pop round tomorrow at some point. Night.
Rachel sighed and contemplated telling him there and then that it wasn’t the best idea, but she couldn’t bring herself to. She threw her phone to the end of the sofa and got to her feet, walking to the kitchen to make herself a drink.
Whilst pottering around, the sound of the stairs creaking had her watching the kitchen door for the arrival of her best friend.
Eve pushed open the door and padded across the tiles to where Rachel stood pouring hot water into a mug.
“Hey, lady. Can’t sleep?”
Eve shook her head gently and lifted her mouth into a tight smile.
“Please.” She pulled her cardigan around her and folded her arms across the front, leaning against the counter as she watched Rachel make tea.
“Want some sugar in this?”
“Yeah go on. Push the boat out.”
The girls smiled at each other and Rachel handed Eve her mug. “There’s a film starting soon. A comedy I think. Fancy curling up with me? Might help take your mind off not sleeping and relax you a bit?”
Eve nodded and looked Rachel in the eye. “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry? What the fuck for?”
Eve shrugged. “Just for this. The whole thing.”
“Give over, y’lunatic. You’re my best mate. Nothing to be sorry for. Come on.” She nudged Eve and led the way back into the living room where the girls curled up on the sofa together. Eve lay her head on Rachel’s shoulder and watched the television screen as it flicked from one mindless programme to another, Rachel searching for the right channel.
The opening credits were just starting to roll and the pair of them adjusted their eyes in silence to take in the blockbuster movie that promised side-splitting laughter.
Laughter is the best medicine: that’s what they say. Well that’s all well and good if you can laugh. What if you can’t? What if your laugh has gotten lost or been locked away and you have forgotten where the key is? That best medicine isn’t available to you then, is it?
Eve woke up with a crick in her neck, the television still on and Rachel snoring lightly in her ear. She sat up and manoeuvred herself out from underneath her friend, trying her best to not wake her. Checking the clock above the mantle piece, she sighed, rubbing her hands over her face.
It was the same every night. It had been the same every night since that day. She would fall asleep out of pure exhaustion at strange hours of the day only to wake, alert and with her mind whizzing only a few hours later. This cyclical nightmare didn’t seem to want to stop. The more sleep she missed out on, the more exhausted she became, but the less she slept because her tired brain would play tricks on her, wake her at ungodly hours and quite frankly prolong the horrific reality of her situation.
Eve’s university lecturers had been understanding when she had made the phone call to tell them that she needed some time to herself.
Despite staying away from the place, keeping busy had been the only answer. She continued to draw at home, her art still the one thing that kept her going in all circumstances, but keeping busy with a pencil in her hand was a repetitive activity every day. The only thing she could see in front of her was Billy. All she wanted to draw was his face, his eyes, in case she forgot what he looked like. So as much as Rachel was doing her damnedest to help Eve forget about Billy and move on, all her efforts were counteracted and erased as soon as Eve put pencil to paper. One step forwards, three steps backwards. There were days where Rachel coaxed her out of the house and they would go for a walk, or grab a spot of lunch somewhere, careful to avoid places that she thought would remind Eve of him. Little did she know that Billy was the only thing that filled Eve’s mind, regardless of where they were, despite what was going on around her. Rachel in fact had no idea that Eve was reminded of Billy ever second of every day.
The truth was, Eve was a shell of her former self.
The need to run and hide was gone now. Since her mother’s revelation, everything she had ever known had fallen into place, and she no longer needed to run from the things she had forgotten. Instead, she wandered around aimlessly with no purpose. She was completely lost, and so were her emotions.
She managed the odd smile when Rachel was around, who had this uncanny ability to keep her grounded whenever she was near her, but without her, Eve would merely go through the motions of staying alive. She would remember to shower and eat, albeit only morsels. She would remember to hoover the carpets and wash the dishes. She would sit in front of the television and watch the news or stare out of the window.
Grabbing the blanket from the arm of the chair, Eve covered Rachel up and walked quietly into the kitchen to put the cups in the sink, refraining from switching the lights on so as not to disturb Rachel. At three am, the house was still dark, but Eve had done laps of the place so many times at that time in the morning, she was able to move around without a problem. Shoving her hoodie over her head, she opened the back door and stepped out into the cool night air, sitting herself down on the step.
She gripped her phone tightly in her hand as she raised her eyes to the inky sky, wishing that everything that had happened could be erased, rubbed out, like her drawings could. Glancing down, she swiped across the screen and scrolled to Billy’s name. There were voicemails and text messages from him saved, and Eve now knew them all by heart. Listening to his voice crooning in her ear was the only way she could get through each day. Reading his words that told her how much he loved her was the only way she was able to carry on going through the motions.
Every single night, she bottled out of calling his number, and every night became just another discarded and lost opportunity to try to get to him. Every single night, she closed her eyes after re-reading his letter that was now worn and tattered, and hoped that time would speed up until the day where his heart would be mended and would be ready to find hers again.
It had taken her a little while, but she understood the meaning of the whole thing now: she was at peace with it. Even though her heart burned every time she thought of him, even though she couldn’t bear her life without him, she understood… and she knew he would come back for her. It was just a matter of time.
So she waited.
And while she waited, she lived her life on the edge of something intangible, something neither here nor there. She lived in the dark with the dripping of the kitchen tap when then house was still. She woke up with the owls and took comfort in the stars, and she sang a song from her heart to Billy’s heart—a song that would eventually bring him home.
Now that was pretty awesome, wasn’t it? Well, I’m hooked.
Congratulations! You survived my weirdness and endless chatter, got to read an exclusive excerpt from Scattering Elephants by Eleanor Lloyd-Jones, and damn well deserve a reward. And let’s be honest, what could be a better prize than a ton of books by many other awesome authors? To win them you need to know that my lucky number is 14. Add up all the lucky numbers of the authors on #TeamOrange and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!