Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Welcome to the Fall 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt!!!

Hi y'all! I'm Lynne Matson, author of the NIL series, a newly completed trilogy about a mysterious island where teens have exactly one year to escape--or they die. (The Nil series in a nutshell? A deadly version of Survivor meets LOST + tons of feels.) 

Welcome to the home of the #NILtribe! :) *passes coconut cup*

What is this hunting magic you ask? 

The YA Scavenger Hunt (organized by the talented Colleen Houck) gives readers exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors + the chance to win amazing prizes! In this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt--a secret number. Add up the numbers and enter to win the prize--a signed book from each author on my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 5 days only! 5 days of awesome! The hunt ends this Sunday Oct 9th at noon PST!

Wait--BACK UP. Did I just say you can win A SIGNED BOOK?

Actually you can win DOZENS of signed books! AHHH! And more on individual authors pages, like mine!:)

I know, right?:) So let's get to it!

How to start:

You can start right here or go to the YA Scavenger Hunt home page.
And....you're currently hunting on Team Orange!

Let's focus for a second on the goodness that is Team Orange:


How to Play:

Okay, here's the deal:

1). You're going to have do some math.

Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number in Orange. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the ORANGE team and add them up (Use a calculator- we won't judge!)

2.) And fill out a 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. I KNOW! THE RED TAPE! But it's a must!:)

3). And be legal...and on time!

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 Sunday, Oct 9, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information won't be considered.:(

Okay lovelies! Ready? Three...Two..One...SCAVENGE!


I'm honored to host the lovely...

Ilsa J. Bick

About Ilsa:

Ilsa J. Bick is a child psychiatrist, as well as a film scholar, surgeon wannabe, former Air Force major, and an award-winning, best-selling author of dozens of short stories and novels. Her work spans both established universes such as Star Trek, Battletech, Mechwarrior Dark Age, and Shadowrun and her original work includes the critically acclaimed ASHES Trilogy, Drowning Instinct, and, most recently, her DARK PASSAGES series: White Space (long-listed for the Stoker) and The Dickens Mirror. 

Forthcoming are “Bearwalker” in HWA’s YA anthology Scary Out There (edited by Jonathan Maberry) and her novella “Chimera” in Pangea II (edited by Michael Jan Friedman).
Currently a cheesehead-in-exile, Ilsa lives in Alabama with the husband and several furry creatures. On occasion, she even feeds them. 

Find Ilsa at www.ilsajbick.com, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@ilsajbick), or Instagram (@ilsajbick). 


About the book:

Multiple Bram Stoker Award–winning author Jonathan Maberry compiles more than twenty stories and poems—written by members of the Horror Writers Association—in this terrifying collection about worst fears.

What scares you? Things that go bump in the night? Being irreversibly different? A brutal early death? The unknown?

This collection contains twenty stories and poetry, all by members of the Horror Writers Association and including such renowned YA writers as R. L. Stine, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Ellen Hopkins about what they fear most: mermaids, ghosts, personal demons, and a lot more.

All of which just goes to show . . . it is scary out there.

(Note from Lynne: Can I just say how perfect this book is for October? SCARY INDEED).


It's time for the TOP SECRET exclusive scoop that llsa shared with me. Her words... about cultural appropriation, Ojibwe monsters, and more. Enjoy!

True story: I’m having dinner with a woman who runs an art shop.  She mentions she sells mezuzahs.  Does a booming business, in fact, because so many people think they’re so pretty. 
 I’m kinda, well, surprised.  This lady’s not Jewish and there’s no big Jewish population where I’m living now.  So I’m understandably curious.  Like . . . who’s buying mezuzahs?  (And I was curious because when I was looking for a place to live, I must have seen four or five houses with mezuzahs.  They weren’t in the right places or where mezuzahs are supposed to be, and I knew the folks weren’t Jewish.  I mean one mezuzah was even surrounded by stylized crosses.) 
 Well, according to this woman, a mezuzah is a good luck charm.  A mezuzah blesses the house, keeps the Angel of Death at bay, and . . . well, I think there was one other thing in there, but I think I stopped listening right around then because I was getting kind of hot.  Like wtf?  I do remember asking if she sold the scroll that goes with a mezuzah.  Of course, she had no idea what I was talking about.
 For those of you who aren’t Jewish, a mezuzah is an amulet: a box—sometimes very fancy, sometimes not—containing certain Torah verses—sometimes written on a kosher scroll and other times not—that’s supposed to be affixed to the doorpost of every Jewish home.  Very observant Jews use them throughout their house (well, everywhere except closets and bathrooms), but the vast majority has them on their front doors.  A mezuzah marks the house as belonging to a Jew.  The amulet has nothing to do with the Angel of Death.  It’s not a good luck charm.  It’s not a way of blessing a house, though observant Jews say a blessing when they hang one.
 Like I said, I got a little . . . well, annoyed.  What I objected to was this woman taking a religious symbol that, you know, has real meaning and turning it into kitch and profit.  Actually, what I said to her was that this is like me buying a crucifix to put up in my house because, gee, I just love the way Jesus hangs.
 So . . . you know . . . we’re not friends.
 I was reminded of that episode, though, when I thought about what I wanted to share in terms of bonus stuff about my story “Bearwalker,” that appears in the splendid anthology, Scary Out There (and edited by the even more splendid Jonathan Maberry).  Originally, I’d thought to share stuff about Ojibwe legends and monsters and myths, but then I figured anyone could look that up.
 Instead, I want to talk about why I used this particular Ojibwe story and what that was like; how it felt to incorporate another culture’s mythology into a story.
 Now, I’ll be honest with you: I was pretty nervous about this.  Oh, not when I started writing but later, after all that hubbub about J.K. Rowling and what Navajos saw as her cultural appropriation of what they consider to be a living tradition.  In essence, people got pissed because she rewrote a Navajo legend into her fictional universe.  If you missed it, you can read all about that little to-do here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/mar/09/jk-rowling-under-fire-for-appropriating-navajo-tradition-history-of-magic-in-north-america-pottermore.
 Well, after all that, I was, like, whoa.  Too late, though; “Bearwalker” was done, gone, oh-so-outta-here.  Then, too, I thought, Oh, take a breath; you’re not J.K. Rowling.  No one’s going to think twice about your itty-bitty story. Still, given how hot I got about a ditzy lady selling mezuzahs for fun and profit, I kind of understood the objection . . . and I kind of didn’t. 
 Because get real: People appropriate culture all the time.  What do you think hoodoo is?  Or Louisiana voudon?  Or Santeria?  Or Hanukah bushes?  You know those little gris-gris bags you can buy in New Orleans, the ones that have bones and crystals and who-knows-what inside?  Well, first off, they’re not voudon; they’re not hoodoo.  Gris-gris bags were—are—Islamic in origin because many of the first slaves, who hailed from West African, were Muslim.  (Betcha didn’t know that either; if you’re interested take a look at Diouf’s Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas.) Most gris-gris were small leather amulet pouches that might contain stones or charms or bones but always held folded bits of paper upon which marabouts—essentially, practitioners of Islamic-based magic—inscribed certain Qu’ran verses and, sometimes, other mystical symbols.  Gris-gris could be protective or curative; warriors wore them into battle with the belief that they wouldn’t be wounded.  Still other gris-gris were put into water; once the ink dissolved, a person would drink or wash with it, the idea being that the magic released into the water would cure whatever ailed or troubled you.  (That, by the way, is an old Kabbalistic belief, too: write a spell, dissolve the ink in water, then drink it.  You might be cured or, if you were, say, an adulterer, your belly might blow up and you’d die. There were even things called demon bowls, particularly widespread in Aramaic times, that were inscribed with gibberish and which, when a spell was dissolved into water, were supposed to trap and drown the demon.  This survives in an altered form in the Latino community concerning the Mal de Ojo, or the evil eye.  If a kid’s sick, you take an egg, pass it over the kid, then put the egg in a bowl and leave that under the bed for the night.  Next morning, if the egg’s cooked, the kid has Mal de Ojo.  This is a real thing, too; I know because I saw kids in my clinic whose parents performed the ritual hoping that would get rid of what ailed the kid.  Since they were seeing me, the ritual obviously failed—but the belief is strong.) 
 So, you see, it really becomes a case of whatever works for a culture.  Gris-gris are an amalgam of Islamic traditions that, in turn, sprang from early Kabbalist mystics, who grew out of an Aramaic tradition common to the region. 
 In other words, cultural appropriation ain’t new and it’s certainly nothing about which anyone needs to feel apologetic.  I don’t believe that J.K. Rowling published a scholarly piece claiming that her wizard-world was real.  It’s a story, but—oh my goodness—the furor reminded me of how touchy a subject religion and culture can be.  (Just think about The Satanic Verses and how long Salman Rushdie was forced into hiding after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 or the violence done in Paris just a few years ago after cartoonists satirized Muhammad. (http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/01/08/375662895/from-threats-against-salman-rushdie-to-attacks-on-charlie-hebdo.)
 And yet, because of my own experiences, I do understand.  To me, it’s a matter of degree.  Look, no one is going to mistake J.K. Rowling for a cultural anthropologist.  She writes stories for grins and giggles and makes about a trillion dollars worth of profit.  But it’s fiction, folks, and works that cast deities and mythologies and traditions and remake them into something different isn’t a crime just as it’s not a crime or illegal for this art-shop lady to sell mezuzahs as good luck charms and feed people some baloney about the Angel of Death.  That’s like getting all torqued because a gris-gris bag doesn’t contain verses from the Qu’ran.  (Although do I find the mezuzah thing a touch insulting?  Sure.  I mean, honestly, I do wish this ditz would get her story straight.  The one in Exodus—you know, that one about the Angel of Death passing over the homes of the Jews, which were marked with lamb’s blood—isn’t remotely related to what a mezuzah’s about.  If she’s too lazy to do a Google search, she could just watch The Ten Commandments.  I’m telling you: after Charlton Heston came down from Mount Sinai, I don’t think that guy smiled once.)
 In other words, once your culture or religion is out there . . . it’s not yours.  There is no ownership here; that’s like saying that only Christians can write about Jesus; that if you want the real skinny on Moses, only a Jew will do; that Navajos are the only people qualified to write or talk about skinwalkers.  Cultural icons are there for people to use as they please, and no one needs permission to do so. Might that piss you off?  Of course, and I’m not advocating that people should be disrespectful.  But no one can claim ownership of ideas or of any culture or religion. 
 Still, when I chose to use the Ojibwe equivalent of what the Navajos call a “skinwalker,” I tried to be careful—and by that, I mean respectful.  (You won’t believe the number of people who tried to change the spelling to Ojibway, Ojibwa, or, even Chippewa.  I’m not sure there’s a right way, considering that many Ojibwe call themselves Anishinaabe, but I chose the most contemporary spelling.)  I am the first to admit that I wasn’t slavish, but I checked a lot of primary sources on Ojibwe mythology, magic, religion, and the Midewiwin.  I got into a tussle with a Simon and Schuster copy-editor who wanted to change “sorcerers” to “shamans;” I pointed out that, no, for the Ojibwe, sorcerers was a very specific term referring to Ojibwe midé shamans who practiced black magic.  I even supplied references.  I mean, if you’re going to insist on certain words, make sure you can back up why. 
 Now, why did I turn to the Ojibwe at all?  Well, easy: The story’s set in Wisconsin and not far from where I once lived, there were several Indian burial mounds.  A lot of Wisconsin towns and rivers bear native, somewhat bastardized names.  There are a slew of reservations; go up Lake Superior way and you’ll find ancient petroglyphs and pictographs and contemporary sites that are still revered by the Ojibwe who live there.  That tree I talk about near the end of  “Bearwalker” is a real thing.  In the end, the legend and this particular monster fit perfectly with the story of guilt and darkness and vengeance and how some people are beyond redemption that I wanted to write.
 I hope you agree and enjoy that story. 
 On the other hand, if you don’t . . . say nothing.  Life is hard enough. ;-)
*end of YASH bonus material**


Somewhere on this hunt I've hidden my favorite quotes from NIL ON FIRE!:) So go! Scavenge! But don't forget to enter the Team Orange contest for a chance to win heaps of signed books, including a hardback of NIL ON FIRE!!! To enter, you need to know that 10 may be the best number EVER. I'm not kidding. My birthday is on November 10th and I can eat at least ten Thin Mints in less time than it takes to enter the giveaway below (this last one may or may may not be true.;D. Okay, fine. TOTALLY TRUE. Confession: I love Thin Mints.) Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the ORANGE TEAM and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

To keep going on your quest for world domination the hunt, check out the next  Team Orange author, Jessica Khoury!


To say thanks for stopping by my blog, I'm giving away a signed copy of NIL plus a #NILtribe tote, T-SHIRT + swag pack! Enter below! Good luck!


Okay fine. #arrow fangirl guilty but HOW PERFECT.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 3, 2016


Tomorrow... it’s ON:

Check back tomorrow for a change to win ALL THE BOOKS!

Stay tuned....

In the meantime, for more information (or to start the hunt tomorrow OR if you get stuck) here’s the official website: http://www.yash.rocks/p/stuck.html

(Psst: I’m Team Orange!)

I <333 seeing NIL ON FIRE
all cuddled up next to my friend Sara’s ENDURE!:) 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Matson Monday Musings

Hello lovelies!

I haven’t blogged in a while...I’ve been busy with my family and friends and writing! :) But when I checked my blog today, it looked so sad and forlorn that I thought I’d do a quick post about all things #NILtribe!:)


Swag/Winnings/STUFF: All preorders and #WinNIL winnings and basically winnings for every contest I’ve ever run have been mailed. Woohoo!:)

Books: I have a complete trilogy in the world!:) It’s still mind-boggling for me, and a little unreal. Keep an eye on Wattpad in the months to come...I’ll be posting some extras leading up to the release of the paperback of NIL ON FIRE.

New books! I am writing all sorts of fun, new things! No official word yet, but stay tuned.:)

What I’ve read lately & loved:

SMASH & GRAB by Amy Christine Parker

What I’m reading next: NIGHT SPEED by Chris Howard

Stoked for: all things pumpkin

Song on my Playlist I can’t get enough of: Heathens by 21 Pilots

Favorite new IG account to follow: Mutant 101

TV Show I need to watch: Stranger Things

TV Shows I’m watching: None, really. I read instead.:)

Thing I Need to figure out: Tumblr. For some reason, it mystifies me.

So what’s new with you? What are you reading? What have you loved? What’s your new song?:)


Monday, July 25, 2016

NIL REMEMBERED is realllllllll!

Happy summer, #NILtribe!

I’m so excited to announce the release of NIL REMEMBERED!

What, you say? Another Nil story, you say? YES!:)

Before I get into details...here’s the cover:

Isn’t it cool? Does the cover give you a clue?

So here’s the deal: In NIL UNLOCKED, Skye’s dad give her a journal. It’s handwritten, full of doodles in the margins, and it belonged to Skye’s uncle who went to Nil in the 1980’s. This same journal pushes Skye to believe that Nil is a real place, that Nil really exists. And, it leads her to find vital clues in both NIL UNLOCKED and NIL ON FIRE...clues that turns into critical answers.:)

And now, for the first time, we’re publishing the journal in its entirely--plus illustrations!!!!

Here’s the official synopsis:

My name is Scott Bracken, and this is my journal. 
Scott Bracken has been home for 28 days, but nothing is the same. A month ago, he escaped from Nil, an island of wonder, beauty, and incredible danger. Now, back in his old life, no one believes Scott's story. To deal with his present, Scott must relive his past—whether he wants to or not. 
Introduced to readers in Nil Unlocked, here, for the first time, is Scott's journal in its entirety. Delve deeper into the world of Nil—before Charley and Thad, before Skye and Rives—and discover the truth.

Ahhhh! I’m SO excited!

Also, I’m so honored to have Jay C. Spencer as my illustrator on NIL REMEMBERED. Jay is a massively talented artist who lives in Canada, and he was one of my crit partners for NIL. His input was invaluable in making Thad authentic, and to have the chance to work with him on NIL REMEMBERED was incredible. I couldn’t have brought Scott’s experience to life without him. So thank you Spence!:)

And.... here’s the super cool part:


Right now, NIL REMEMBERED is free to download from any authorized, legal, ebook retailer.:) So go! Enjoy! Happy reading!

Also,  keep an eye on my Wattpad account. I’m posting lots of Nil series extras in the coming weeks. Deleted scenes, excerpts, plus a new Thad novella coming soon! Here’s the link: https://www.wattpad.com/user/LSMatson


Friday, June 24, 2016


I'm SOOOO excited!

I'm heading to ALA in Orlando today, and I'll be there all weekend!

Here are the dates/times I'll be signing:

Sat, June 25th 
10 to 11:30
1:30 to 3

Sun, June 26th
9:30 to 11
2 to 4

Come see me!!! Can't wait!


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Nil trilogy is complete!

It's here!!!!

NIL ON FIRE is out today!

Now you can find out ALL THE ISLAND secrets!:)

Join me for a Twitter party TOMORROW night at 8:30 pm EST!

And, I'm going on tour! Come see me in Jacksonville, Tampa, Thomasville, GA & more!

July events: Vero Beach & Gainesville....details coming soon!

Above all, thank you to my readers for making this day possible. The #NILtribe is AMAZING. NIL ON FIRE is for you!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Anniversary Post...and NIL ON FIRE COUNTDOWN!


Having a May 31 release date is really cool for me, because I think (yes I'm totally biased and completely unreliable lol) that the Nil series is a perfect summer read. So grab you favorite beach towel, an umbrella if you like, a cool glass of water, and head down to the sand...

and tomorrow you can take NIL ON FIRE with you!:)


(Note: Today is the last day to enter the NIL ON FIRE preorder contest. Details are here.)

Overall, this weekend has been made of awesome. It's Memorial Day Weekend, a weekend that is full of feels for me, because 21 years ago this weekend I got married to the love of my life!

Here's us, 21 years ago:


And us celebrating just last year:

Steve has been my rock and biggest fan when I started writing, and he still is.:) I wouldn't have the Nil trilogy without him. He's my best friend, lover, partner in every awesome adventure, and the best dad ever to our four sons. Life is richer when you love the people you're traveling with!:)

And...now? This weekend will always mark the end of the Nil series for me! Because tomorrow, THE FIRE IS HERE!

NIL ON FIRE, the last book in the Nil trilogy, releases tomorrow!

This week's teaser:

So happy almost release day for the #NILtribe, happy anniversary to my hubby, and happy almost summer to everyone!:)

One day until the Nil series is complete. Who's ready?:)