Spring 2015 YASH on NOW!

Hello! I’m Maureen McGowan and I’ll be your host for this stop on the YA Scavenger Hunt, aka YASH!

Who am I, you ask? (I’m sure I heard you asking.)

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72 dpi

I live in Toronto, Canada, and I’m the author of two YA series, the most recent being The Dust Chronicles (Deviants (2012), Compliance (2013), Glory (2014)). I also wrote Cinderella, Ninja Warrior and Sleeping Beauty, Vampire Slayer and various short stories. I love reading and writing YA fiction and, even more, I love readers who love it. :) Make sure you check out my bonus giveaway below!


I am a part of the GOLD TEAM! There are 8 teams in total this hunt, each with 20 signed books up for grabs as the major prize. You can enter to win just one team’s books, or enter as many of the contests as you’d like. In total, there are at least 160 signed books up for grabs as major prizes! (8 people will each win at least 20 books!)

TeamBut that’s not all!

Along the way, you’re going to get tons of exclusive content from the authors, and chances to enter bonus giveaways, too.

To find my exclusive content… keep searching through all the Team Gold posts. Each post links to the next stop so you can find your way around the hunt. When you’re done with one team, go to the YASH main page to find a link for the next one. And the next.

As you work your way through the hunt for each team, you’ll find secret numbers. Hint: the secret number on this post is highlighted in GOLD (or as close to gold as I can get…) Add up the numbers for each team, and enter the total for a chance to win at least one signed book from each author on my hunt team!

NB. This contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Sunday, April 6th!

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 April 6th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

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

Cue drumroll…..

On this year’s YASH, I’m happy to be hosting fellow author, Kelly Hashway and talking about her book, THE DARKNESS WITHIN.


Kelly Hashway

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. Hashway is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.


An exclusive excerpt from The Darkness Within to give you a sneak peek at Ethan’s magic going dark:

A tree was directly in front of us. I pushed my feet and right hand against Dylan’s seat. This was the point in Driver’s Ed where the instructor stomps on his brake from the passenger seat. I didn’t have a brake, but my foot didn’t seem to understand that. I chanted louder, as if that was going to make the spell work any faster. I felt my magic growing in strength and threw all of that force behind my words. The car swerved slightly and came to rest only inches from the tree.

“Oh my God. Oh my God.” Shannon was panting, and her knuckles were white from her death grip on the steering wheel.

“Is everyone okay?” I asked, knowing we weren’t. Dylan was bleeding and out cold in the front seat. Shannon was a wreck who apparently could only mutter one phrase, and Ethan… His eyes were locked in front of us. “Ethan?” A chill went through me, starting at my hand, which was still in Ethan’s. No. He wasn’t using his dark magic. I was imagining things. He was shocked and relieved that we hadn’t hit the tree. That was all. It had to be.

Shannon stopped saying “Oh my God” and turned toward us. Her eyes fell on Ethan. “Sam.” Her face lost the little color it had left. “Get out of the car. Now!”

“Shannon, relax. It’s okay. He’s stunned. That’s all.”

“Don’t be an idiot. He tapped into it again. Look at him.”

I stared at Ethan’s face, which was emotionless. “Ethan, look at me. Please. Focus. Fight this.” I touched his cheek. He felt clammy. I was about to say his name again when something moved across the back of my hand. A greenish glow wound around Ethan’s and my hands, tying us together.

“What is he doing to you?” Shannon’s eyes were huge, and she had her seat belt off, ready to bolt. I knew she was thinking about the green snake that had attacked her in the clearing.

“I don’t know. I’m okay, though. It doesn’t hurt.”

“Get your hand out of his before that thing attacks you.” Shannon’s voice squeaked.

I didn’t want to let go of Ethan. I felt so disconnected from him already. I summoned my own magic instead. I focused on sending calming waves of energy at Ethan. I had to calm him down, get him to block the darkness within him.

“Sam.” Shannon’s squeak was worse, but I ignored her, continuing to concentrate on helping Ethan. This had to work. I wasn’t losing him to this magic. “Damn it, Sam!”

What was her problem? Couldn’t she see I was in the middle of a spell to save Ethan?

Creaking and the sound of wood splitting made me jerk my eyes open. The enormous tree in front of us was shaking. Literally shaking, despite its monstrous size. “What’s happening?”

“Ask your boyfriend. I have a feeling he’s behind this. Look at him.” Shannon unclicked her seat belt and started her own spell.

She was right about Ethan. He was focused on the tree. His stone- cold face was nearly unrecognizable. How was this happening? He was going to bring the tree down right on us!


“That’s not going to work.” Shannon reached across Dylan and pushed his door open. He sat up in his seat.

“Dylan, are you okay?”

“He’s under a zombie spell. He can’t answer you. I ordered him to get out of the freakin’ car. Now, you do the same.”

“What about Ethan? I’m not leaving him to get crushed.”

Shannon was out the door already, but she paused and looked at me. “I’ll try a zombie spell on him, but there’s no guarantee it will work. He’s doing a hell of a spell of his own right now. I may not be able to break through.”

“Try it.” I pried my hand from his. His grip was so strong, but Shannon’s spell was weakening him slightly. The tree continued to creak and sway. Some of the limbs came crashing down around us. I jumped with each thump and shake of the ground.

“It’s not working,” Shannon said, her face twisted in pain. “I’m giving this every ounce of strength I have.”

“Go. Get out of here.” I couldn’t let her die. Ethan was my esponsibility. I grabbed him and tugged him toward the door. He barely moved and stayed focused on the tree. My thoughts swirled with stupid idea after stupid idea. Nothing was going to move him. He was determined to crush this car with him inside. It made no sense. “This isn’t happening!” I pulled myself onto his lap, putting my face in his and blocking his view of the tree. “Ethan! Look at me! Look at me!”

“Sam, get out! The tree is coming down!” Shannon ran, but her eyes stayed locked on me.

I turned in time to see the tree falling on the car and hear the crunch of metal.


Samantha Thompson thinks she’s finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she’s part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches. Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives, things couldn’t be better. What could go wrong? The more Ethan uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. Can Sam find out what’s wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever?

Isn’t that a gorgeous cover!!!!

For some reason I can’t think of a clever way to embed the secret number, so I’m just going to spit it right out: 38!

Please enter my Bonus Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The next stop on the TEAM GOLD YASH is the fabulous MEGAN SHEPHERD

Happy Hunting and tell all your friends about #YASH


Meet Glory

Get to know the heroine of The Dust Chronicles

I was tagged by my good friend, the fabulous author, Barrie Summy, in this fun “Get to Know Your Character” blog meme.

Here goes…

Meet, Glory, the protagonist of The Dust Chronicles!


1.) What is the name of your character?


2.) Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

She’s completely fictional. (If you know a 16-year-old girl who can kill with her eyes, please e-mail me.)

3.) When and where is the story set?

The story is set three generations (80-100 years) after the earth was partially destroyed by a series of asteroid strikes, which also triggered volcanos and earthquakes and left the earth covered by dust that killed most humans and altered the DNA of others.

I don’t specify exactly when this disaster struck, (in the stories, they talk about time before and after the dust), but let’s say I imagined the apocalyptic event to be within the next couple of decades. Soon. :)

4.) What should we know about him/her?

Glory was orphaned when she was 13, before she knew that she had special powers. Her powers make her a “Deviant” inside the domed city she grew up inside. If her powers are discovered, she’ll be tossed outside the dome (expunged) to either die from the dust, or be tortured by these horrible monsters called Shredders.

She’s very conflicted about her power, because father was a Deviant and was expunged after he killed her mother. As if that weren’t enough, Glory also has to protect and hide her younger brother, who’s not only a Deviant, but paraplegic.

Because she’s must keep so many things secret, and because of what her father did, at the beginning of the story, Glory doesn’t trust–anyone. Which leads her to make some bad decisions early on. But over the course of the trilogy, as she grows and learns, she becomes stronger and wiser and a very powerful young woman.

5.) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Her brother is discovered by the Comps (the defacto police in their corporate-run city) and risks being expunged. Glory believes that her boyfriend Cal turned them in. To escape, she has to trust a terrifying boy, Burn, whose Deviance is dangerous, and who claims that her father is still alive.

6.) What is the personal goal of the character?

Glory’s main goal in the first book, Deviants, is to keep her brother safe. In later books, her goal changes, but it would be spoilerific for me to say here. :)

7.) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The three novels in the series are: Deviants, Compliance, and Glory.

There are also prequel short stories, published under the title, The Dust Chronicles Origins 

8.) When can we expect the book to be published or when was it published?

The novels were published in hardcover, audio and kindle formats in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The first two books were released in paperback in 2014. (With the gorgeous redesigned covers you can see above.)

You can order the novels and/or short stories from Amazon, your favorite online retailer, or ask your local bookstore or library to order them in!

Amazon.com  Amazon.ca  Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com.au

It’s time for another YASH!!!

The huge YA Book Scavenger Hunt where you can win up to 125 books!!!!!!

This time, there isn’t just one team or two or even three teams. This time we have 6, that’s right, I said 6 YASH teams which means more prizes, news, and fun for all you readers out there!

Here are all the books you can win! The winner of each “Team” gets all the books in that group. And there will be lots of bonus giveaways, too!

There are so many books here I don’t even know where I would begin. I hope you all are as excited as I am!

The YA Scavenger Hunt begins at noon pacific time on Thursday, October 2nd and runs through Sunday, October 5th. That means to get through the entire hunt you’ll need to go through 1.5 teams per day!

Leave a comment below to tell me which team you are the most interested in checking out!

You can start the Gold Team Hunt right here on Thursday.

New to YASH? There’s more info here: http://yascavengerhunt.blogspot.ca/ and how to hunt instructions here:  http://yascavengerhunt.blogspot.ca/p/how-to-hunt.html
















There are so many books here I don’t even know where I would begin. I hope you all are as excited as I am! The YA Scavenger Hunt begins at noon pacific time on Thursday, October 2nd and runs through Sunday, October 5th. That means to get through the entire hunt you’ll need to go through 1.5 teams per day!

Leave a comment below to tell me which team you are the most interested in checking out!

Cover Reveal!

Now that the YASH is over, I’m excited to officially reveal the new covers for the Dust Chronicles trilogy!!

And the bonus giveaway is ongoing until Monday night!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


New e-book covers for the whole Dust Chronicles Trilogy!


Order Deviants


Order Compliance


Preorder Glory

Full paperback covers for Deviants and Compliance:





Hardcover jacket for Glory




Preorder Glory

I’d love to hear what you think!!!!


The Power of Pure Joy and Positive Friends

Recently, my awesome friend, Debbie Ohi, aka InkyGirl, aka @inkyelbows had an amazing opportunity. I was privileged enough to have been “in on the secret” from the start and although I don’t think I was much help to her, I was beyond honored that she asked for my help, and my insides were buzzing with excitement for the entire month before she got her good news.

Debbie, is providing illustrations for the new cover designs of Judy Bloom’s fabulous middle grade classics!!! And also illustrations (interior and covers) for three of her chapter books!!!

So exciting!!!

And reading Debbie’s joyful post announcing the news and describing her audition process, I’m reminded why I love Debbie (as if I needed any reminders). And why I so appreciate having positive people in my writerly-life.

So much in publishing can be disheartening. We all pour our hearts into, and work so very, very hard on projects that never go anywhere… And Debbie is no exception to this. She’s had heartbreaks too. But her pure joy that’s so evident in this post says it all.

Please join me in congratulating Debbie!!!!!


By far the best film I’ve seen so far this TIFF.

In other news…

Compliance is a finalist in the Golden Leaf contest!

And today, Deviants hit #11 in the kindle store!  And #1 in a whole whack of categories. Very excited and grateful.


The release date for DEVIANTS is fast approaching! I can’t believe it. It will be out three weeks yesterday!

To celebrate the release, I’m doing a Goodreads giveaway.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Deviants by Maureen McGowan


by Maureen McGowan

Giveaway ends November 09, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

For those of you who might live in Southern Ontario… I’m participating in a pre-Halloween Bash at the Chapters on Stone Road in Guelph this Saturday.  435 Stone W, Guelph, ON N1G 2X6

Here is a hilarious promo video that the store did for the event.

I’ve also planned a launch party to be held on Saturday, October 27th. And have fabulous plans to do a group YA Apocalypse Tour with other authors, including Megan Crewe, Lesley Livingston, Leah Bobet and Cheryl Rainfield starting October 30th.

More on those events in a later post!

TIFF 11 Review

I am going to start posting reviews of all or most of the 32 films I saw… but for now, I thought I’d post an overall review of this year’s festival. I know. Exciting, right?

Weather:  A

This is more important than you might think. The weather wasn’t absolutely prefect, but while it was kind of hot and humid near the beginning (if you got stuck in a line in direct sunlight) and kind of nippy later in the week (waiting in a line at night), it didn’t rain! (more than sprinkles) and was overall neither too hot nor too cold. Yay. With all the waiting in lines involved in the festival, this is key. A few of the days were downright gorgeous early fall days.

Ease of Festivalling:  B-

Yes, I made up a new verb. Sue me. I decided to fork out the big bucks to be a contributing member this year. While this didn’t mean I got all my picks, I did get 29 out of 30.  The only one I didn’t get was A Dangerous Method (got Anonymous instead) and based on what I’ve heard people say… it wasn’t that great, anyway. Or at least not as great as everyone expected with the Fassbender, Mortensen, Cronenberg combination. Although rating on imdb is quite good I see…

All of my trips down to the box office went smoothly — picking up book, dropping off picks, picking up tickets, buying a few single tickets, exchanging a ticket… That members and donors line is AWESOME.
On the other hand, I was annoyed that there were even more premium screenings this year. It was hard to pick films to see in the evenings the first weekend because so many of them were off limits for picks with passes and coupons. I think the festival should add some kind of pass or coupon booklet where you can pre-select a certain number of premium films… I don’t like buying a Gala pass (hate seeing movies at Roy Thompson Hall) and found the Visa Screening Room disappointing, too, because you end up with no choice… But why not a 10 coupon book or 5 coupon book for premium screenings… In my perfect festival world, I’d have a 30 film pass where I could pick up to 5-10 premium screenings within my 30.

Health:  B+

Okay, this is a pretty personal one, but also important. Back when I used to buy a 50 Film pass, I got a cold every year. I haven’t become ill the last couple of years because a) I no longer try to go to 9:00 am screenings. That’s just crazy. And b) I make sure I eat better than I used to and drink lots of water. But this year I got a monster zit on my nose, the likes of which I’ve never seen before… So not an A worthy health year. :)

Line Buzz: C

I noticed that now that everyone has a blackberry or iphone in line, no one talks anymore. Nor are they as likely to chatter with seatmates once seated in the theatre. I miss that. Although I do admit to checking my e-mail and reading on my kindle in lines and in my seat while waiting for screenings, too. Next year I vow to talk to more people (assuming I go again). I’ve met so many cool people at TIFF over the years and missed that this year. It’s fun to hear what everyone else loved and compare notes on films you saw in common. Plus, I get kind of strange when I go 10 days without much human interaction. Scary really. And the big zit didn’t help.

Overall Experience:  C+

The festival just isn’t as exciting as it used to be. Maybe I’m getting jaded, but I think it has to do with the fact I couldn’t pick any of the premium screenings and most of the “red carpet” events were deemed premium. Also, I somehow picked quite a few films this year that didn’t have a Q&A, even though it was a first screening… and didn’t have any of those great surprises when the director or actors show up at a next day screening. I miss that.

Films: B-

I will talk about each film later, but basically I didn’t have many that totally blew me away. :( And talking to the few people I did talk to in lines (and eavesdropping) most people felt the same way. That it was kind of a m’eh year for films. Maybe that’s why the People’s Choice was a Lebanese musical... Although I do hope winning that award will mean the film gets a general release. I don’t remember a time when the TIFF People’s Choice award didn’t go on to be a box office success…

More later. :)