Blood Crystal Scavenger Hunt

Over the last three weeks, Blood Crystal has been touring a round of fabulous blogs. Today, we arrive at the final stop.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Isn’t it strange how, when we are waiting, time seems to stop moving. It’s almost as though we are caught in amber, caught between the moments, as though time itself has been freezed-framed and whatever we are waiting for will never arrive (or is that just me?).  The temptation is to give up.

And then, in a pivotal instant, there is the knock of the door, the arrival of a friend, the opportunity we’d hoped for.

Patience is rewarded.

As a writer, we want it all to happen from finishing writing the book, to publishing it, to gaining thousands of readers – but at each step of the journey we find ourselves waiting and in need of patience and persistence.

As a reader, with a great book we enjoy the journey – both inpatient to get to the end and, at the same time, never wanting it to end. Then we can’t wait for the sequel 🙂

At one point in the Blood Crystal, the twins Delvina and Retza head off on a treacherous journey to find help from Zadeki and his kin. They face a number of different challenges due the extreme terrain and their own unfamiliarity with the ‘outside’. At one point they run out of food and it seems they will never reach their goal.

Delvina placed the last of their dried mushroom and slithers of smoked cave fish into Retza’s mug and poured some of the steaming melt water over it. Saliva flooded her mouth at the tantalising smell. She offered the mug to her twin, giving him her own share in mute apology. If there was a source of food in the barren wilderness, neither she nor Retza had been able to find it. He gulped down the broth and then thrust the cup into her hands, half full.

She shook her head. ‘It’s yours.’

‘We both need to be strong.’

Once she swallowed the delicious mouthful, she stood and gathered her gear. Retza groaned and did the same. Ducking her head, she stepped out into the soft grey light that seemed to linger as the sun dipped down behind the jagged skyline. Retza stumped in front of her and took the lead and the full force of the buffeting wind for this shift. She clutched the copy of the instructions the old Scrybe had written out for her. A soft sorrow welled up and brought tears to her eyes. It was hopeless, beyond crazy. Perhaps they should go back.

Is their patience and persistence rewarded? You’ll have to read Blood Crystal to find out.

Last question for the Scavenger Hunt. What is Delvina and Retza’s final meal as their food runs out during their journey?

Scavenger Hunt

Blood Crystal Scavenger Hunt will run throughout the Blood Crystal Blog Tour. Each blog will have a reflection or memory related to themes within Blood Crystal and a related question. The first person to answer all NINE questions  right will win a $50 Amazon voucher. The runner up will receive copies of both Heart of the Mountain and the sequel Blood Crystal.

Please give your answers in the comments below.

Here are the Questions with links to the different blogs to find the clues.

Blog 1 Jeanette O’Hagan Writes: Where do Glow Worms live and what kind of animal are they?

Blog 2 The Vince Review: What mineral used to be mined in the Adelaide Hills town of Callington?

Blog 3 Lynne Stringer: What do the agents need more than Sarah?

Blog 4 Cindy Tomamichel: What is Trajan’s secret fear?

Blog 5 The Write Flourish: What is the name of that underground location which Nola toured?

Blog 6 David Rawlings Author: Who has to go on a perilous journey in Blood Crystal?

Blog 7 Adele Jones Author: What is the name of the mine associated with the pollution of Dee River

Blog 8 Adam Collings:  The formations that hang down from the ceiling of a cave, are they stalactites, or stalagmites?

Blog 9 Jeanette O’Hagan Writes (here): What is Delvina and Retza’s final meal as their food runs out during their journey?

I’m looking forward to seeing your answers.

Comment Winners

Announcing the winners who commented on the different stops on the way. Thank you for everyone who took time to stop by, read and leave a comment. I loved reading through the different comments and found it hard to choose.

One person deserves a grand-prize as she give thoughtful and interesting answers on every single blog. Way to go Nola Passmore.

So without more ado, I’ll detail the winners of a copy of Heart of the Mountain. (If you’ve already have a copy, you can nominate a friend to receive a copy or nominate one of my other e-books instead – The Herbalist’s Daughter, Lakwi’s Lament or Blood Crystal).


Overall winner – Nola Passmore for the most comments – always interesting and entertaining 🙂

Blog stop 1  – this was so hard to choose, but I loved Susan Preston’s answer.

Blog stop 2  – Adam Collings

Blog stop 3  – Badger

Blog stop 4 – Paula Vince

Blog stop 5 – Sally Poyzer

Blog stop 6 – Adele Jones

Blog stop 7 – Linsey Painter (also receives her choice of a book in the Blaine Colton trilogy from Adele Jones)

Blog stop 8 – some great answers & hard to choose, but as others have already received a prize, Christine Dillon (also receives a copy of Lynessa’s Curse by Adam Collings).

Honourable mentions to Lynne Stringer and Cindy Tomamichel  🙂

And a big thanks to my wonderful blog hosts – Paula Vince, Lynne Stringer, Cindy Tomamichel, Nola Passmore, David Rawlings, Adele Jones and  Adam Collings. Please, check out their blogs for some great content 🙂

Until Next Week

I’ll announce the Scavenger Hunt winners next Friday – so you still time to enter, but remember the first two to get the all the correct answers wins.



Blood Crystal Blog Tour

Unlikely Heroes

Superheroes are all the rage on the big screen. Super-heroes have super powers, snazzy suits, impressive physiques and side-kicks. They laugh in the face of danger, amaze us all with their stunts and tricks, and despite the super-villains they are pitted against, they always save the world – or the cosmos.

Do you remember Susan Boyle when she first walked on the stage. No one took her seriously, no one thought she could sing – until she opened her mouth and the world gaped. Often we are so fixated on image that we miss the substance. In real life – heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They don’t necessarily have perfect figures, flawless hairdos and the latest fashion sense or the coolest technology.

The twins, Delvina and Retza, may not look like your typical heroes – but I think they are. In Blood Crystal, they undertake an epic journey across a hostile landscape to save their realm. They dare to attempt what others are too afraid to, they have the grit to keep going and faith that they will find answers. They care what happens to each other and the people they know.

Can you think of some unlikely heroes? What do you admire about them? What can you learn from them?

YA Fantasy Adventure in the lost realm Under the Mountain – Book 2

The underground realm is under attack from mad Overseer Uzza and the Crystal Heart is failing. As things become desperate, Twins Delvina and Retza must brave a treacherous journey to seek help from Zadeki and his people.

Will they find the answers they seek before it’s too late? Is the blood of Uzza’s children the only way to restore the Crystal Heart? What are the twins prepared to do to save their realm and those they love from certain destruction?

Blood Crystal is the second novella in the Under the Mountain series. Like most of my fiction, it is set in the world of Nardva. Available from Amazon, or Kobo, Nook and other retailers.

Blog Tour

A few days ago, we launched Blood Crystal – sequel to Heart of the Mountain.  Over the next couple of weeks – Blood Crystal will be featured on a different blogs as part of the Blood Crystal blog tour.

There will be –

Reviews of Blood Crystal

Interviews of both me and maybe even a character


Competitions &  Scavenger Hunt.

Opportunities to win:

Throughout the blog tour there will be many opportunities to win prizes.

Comment below

Comment below on this post (and on any of the posts in the Blood Crystal Blog Tour) – the best comment (imo) will win a copy of Heart of the Mountain: a short novella.

Heart of the Mountain on Amazon

Scavenger Hunt

Blood Crystal Scavenger Hunt will run throughout the  Blood Crystal Blog Tour.  Each blog will have a reflection or memory related to themes within Blood Crystal – and a related question. The first person to answer all NINE questions  right will win a $50 Amazon voucher. The runner up will receive copies of both Heart of the Mountain and the sequel Blood Crystal.

Follow each post on the blog tour to find the questions & list your answers in the comments on the final blog post of the tour on 28 July. There will also opportunities to win prizes at each blogspot.

Glow Worm Caves

In my twenties I stayed at Lune River Youth Hostel south-west of Hobart. Apart from a pet possum that would scamper up guests’ legs to reach their heads, the Youth Hostel was close to some famous glow worm caves (in the Hastings caves area).

Getting to the caves involved driving into the bush on dusk, stopping at the side of the road as the sun set behind the horizon and them hiking in 20 minutes to an abandoned site, using old railway lines as a guide for part of the way. As the light faded, we secured our miners lamps and jumped down to a creek (or small stream) and followed it as it disappeared under the hill into the spacious caverns. We walked some distance in, staying in the main cave, and switched off our lights. Slowly above us the cave roof filled with bright stars in swirls and clusters denser than the milky way in the middle of the outback – glowing lights produced by a colony of insect larvae. Did you know that glow worms only found in Australia and New Zealand?

After we had enjoyed the wonder and beauty of their magical lights, we clambered out from under the mountain, up from the creek bed and walked back through the bush to the road in the dark. Glow worms are small, seemingly insignificant – yet produce inspiring beauty as they shine in the dark – perhaps unlikely heroes.

It was an amazing experience, one which I drew, on along with a visit to the deep underground mines in Mt Isa, when writing Heart of the Mountain and Blood Crystal.

Question for the Scavenger Hunt:

Where do Glow Worms live – and what kind of animal are they?

Next Stop

The next stop on the blog tour – is Paula Vince. She will be giving her review of Blood Crystal  If you haven’t discovered it yet. Paul gives thoughtful, entertaining and intriguing reviews – including a fresh look at our favourite books through lists – in the Vince Review. Check it out here.

Blog Tour Schedule