There are nine puzzle contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all. The contest is live between October 4 and 9, and this hunt is open internationally! To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 9, at noon Pacific Time.
I am part of the PURPLE TEAM.
If you want to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and the full list of prizes up for grabs, at the YA Scavenger Hunt page.
SCAVENGER HUNT GUEST
I am excited to host JULIA EMBER for this YA Scavenger Hunt!
Julia’s debut YA fantasy UNICORN TRACKS was published in April this year by Harmony Ink Press. It’s an absolutely riveting story:
“After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.
Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study Unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.”
“The concept was so fresh and original, and the characters were adorable and rich. With shades of The Monstrumologist and The Abyss Surrounds us, I highly recommend Unicorn Tracks!” – Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere.
“Beautiful YA Romance full of excitement and adventure. Kara and Mnemba’s romance is healing and hopeful and lovely to read.” — Suki Fleet, author of This is Not a Love Story, Foxes and The Glass House.
EXCLUSIVE #YASH CONTENT FROM JULIA!
Raising and Rehabilitating the Orphaned Unicornalis Kardunn by Kara Harding
Due to the actions of poachers and increasing urbanization, Nazwimbe’s unicorn population has been declining for the past decade. Despite the joint efforts of wildlife parks, safari companies and conservationists, the unicorns are dying faster than they are breeding.
An unfortunate side effect of the declining population has been a rise in the occurrence of orphaned foals. Often these wandering young ones become separated from their mothers during when construction encroaches on the unicorns’ natural habitat or left alone when its mother dies. The question on many an animal lover’s mind is: what should you do if you come across one of these babies? Is it possible to successfully raise a baby unicorn and then rehabilitate it in the wild?
While many people dream of keeping a unicorn as a long term pet or riding animal, these graceful and elusive creatures belong in the wild. Adult unicorns are antisocial creatures who prefer to dwell alone or with a selected mate. Furthermore, when spooked they can exhibit a type of aggressive battle frenzy, which makes them unsuitable for riding or farm work. Unicorns can only be broken for physical labour under extremely cruel and inhumane treatment and this cannot be encouraged. However, baby unicorns make captivating companions and do not develop their more fearsome attributes until after adolescence.
As many know, unicorn newborns can range greatly in physical size. Along among animal species, the Nazwimbie white unicorn can choose to shorten or lengthen its gestation period in response to environmental conditions. The foal may arrive at any time between four and eighteen months in gestation. All critical development occurs in those first months, but an early born foal may be very physically small. Physically small individuals should be kept warm and indoors initially, not in a barn with horses.
A newborn unicorn can be fed on a combination of mare’s milk and added, pureed fruit. Unicorn milk is extremely sweet and many newborns will not take to horse’s milk without the addition of fruit or honey, even though it provides everything they require for nutrition. The foals should be nursed five-eight times daily, dependent on appetite. You should continue to give your foal this combination until they reach approximately 250lbs in weight. For the average foal, this is usually about six months. Foals born very early may need to be nursed for up to a year, while those born late may only require a month or two.
While it is nursing, your foal will desire constant companionship. When you cannot be with the creature yourself, we recommend a goat or small pony as a surrogate companion. Many horses are afraid of the unicorn foals due to their growing horns. He will also require constantly grooming, to stimulate the loss of his baby hair to be replaced by adult hairs. It is essentially that your foal is cared for by a small and select group of people.
Unlike horses, unicorns are extremely adept at distinguishing between ‘known’ humans and the concept of ‘strangers’ without ever becoming truly socialised to human as a species. However, the further you expand your baby’s social group, the less his instincts will function.
Once the foal reaches the required size for weaning, you should move it and its companion animal outside into a paddock. This is because if the unicorn is housed indoors beyond this point, it may grow too attached to life inside and fail to develop proper foraging skills. You should feed your unicorn baby by dispersing fruits among the grasses, as well as tree leaves. Make games out of this in the paddock and hide the items as well as possible. Your baby will also eat grass, but by hiding its favourite treats, you will teach it to forage more effectively.
After the foal is sufficiently weaned from milk onto foraging, you should no longer touch it. This can be a heart-breaking and difficult period for caregivers, but as long as your foal has bonded sufficiently to its animal companion, it will be fine. After a further period of four weeks, you should move your foal and its companion into separate but adjoining paddocks. As the foal grows older and moves towards puberty, its natural desire to seek out seclusion will begin to take over and it will gravitate towards its former companion less and less.
When the foal’s horn starts to turn silver, you can tell it has entered adolescence. At this point, the paddock should be left open. Over the following months, your foal will gradually begin to branch out and explore. It will often return in the evening for a month to the safety of its paddock, but excursions will grow longer and more spaced out.
After three months, the paddock can be repurposed. Your unicorn has made its home in the wild.
Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 13. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the PURPLE TEAM and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
Before you leave, don’t forget to enter my own Rafflecopter giveaway (opens in new window) where you can win signed paperbacks of FJORD BLUE and my debut novel SUPERMASSIVE – and last but not least a signed copy of Julia Ember’s UNICORN TRACKS!