The Strange Helper Theory of Game of Thrones + Giveaway

Photo by Mas3cf

Have you noticed the recurrence of a certain type of character in the series Game of Thrones? This person—or
creature—might have magic powers, or unusual strength, skill, or stature—and appears in the story primarily to aid a more major character. This character type is what I’ve come to call the “strange helper”—strange in the sense of unusual, extraordinary, or exceptional. Here are just a few examples.


  • The dragons Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion, who help Daenerys Targaryen


  • The wolves Grey Wind, Ghost, Shaggydog, Summer, Lady, and Nymeria, who help the Stark children


  • The red priestess Melisandre, who helps Stannis Baratheon and later Jon Snow


  • Faceless man Jaqen H’ghar, who helps Arya Stark


  • Stablehand Hodor, who helps Bran Stark


  • The three-eyed raven (both the animal and the person), who also helps Bran Stark


  • The druid-like Children of the Forest, who help Bran and company


  • The wights, zombie-like creatures, who help the White Walkers


  • The resurrected Mountain, who helps Cersei Lannister

What are some other examples of strange helpers in Game of Thrones? Share your ideas in a comment!

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This Month’s Giveaway

Aurora wolf

To celebrate the start of summer, I’m giving away this adorable Aurora plush toy wolf. This giveaway is open to residents of the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.


Celebration Giveaway!

To celebrate The Warlock and the Wolf‘s recent Nautilus Gold Award, I am giving away this very wolfy keepsake book box. It measures 10.25″x7″x2″, the perfect size for hiding secret keys or a healing stone. Refer your friends for extra entries!

*This giveaway is open only to residents of the United States. All you non-Americans, please check back in June for a new giveaway you can enter!


You can see the full list of Nautilus award winners here. I’m especially looking forward to reading the winning books in the Animal/Nature and Adult Fiction categories.

The Warlock and the Wolf Wins Nautilus Award

Nautilus seal

I’m excited to announce that The Warlock and the Wolf was chosen for the 2015 Nautilus Award in the Young Adult Fiction category!

This award program focuses on “exceptional literary contributions to spiritual growth, conscious living, high-level wellness, green values, responsible leadership and positive social change as well as to the worlds of art, creativity and inspirational reading for children, teens and young adults.”

The formal announcement will be made on Nautilus’s website in a few days. I can’t wait to see who the other winners are and add them to my reading list!


Spring 2016 Scavenger Hunt


The YASH is over! Whew! It was very exciting. I hope you all had a great time. I know I did!


Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are nine contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the SILVER TEAM—but there is also a red team, an orange team, a gold team, a green team, a teal team, a blue team, a purple team, and a pink team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page. Plus, I’m offering a bonus giveaway at the end of this post!


I am excited to be hosting . . .

Meredith Zeitlin!


Meredith Zeitlin has written two books for young people (so far), plus articles for Ladygunn and Marie Claire. She’s also a voiceover artist who can be heard on commercials, cartoons, and TV shows (want to know more about that? Go here: She lives with two adorable feline roommates in Brooklyn, NY, and loves talking about herself in the third person. All of which, you have to admit, is pretty rad.

Find out more by checking out Meredith’s website or find out more about the Meredith’s book here!


The book Meredith is showcasing in the YA Scavenger Hunt this season is:

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me

About the Book

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, happily hanging out with her two best friends and planning to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father, David. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for the remainder of the school year so he can work on an important new story, she’s devastated—he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona’s mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks… but no thanks.

In the tradition of Anna and the French Kiss, Zona navigates hilarious escapades, eye-opening revelations, and unexpected reunions in a foreign country—all while documenting the trip through hard-hitting newspaper stories… in which she and her once-in-a-lifetime adventures are the main subject.

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When my first novel, Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters, came out, I wrote a really fun guest blog revealing which of main character Kelsey Finkelstein’s adventures were based on real, totally ridiculous things that happened to me. I had so much fun—and got such great reactions—that I thought I’d do it for the new book! Of course, you’ll have to follow Zona’s journey Sophomore Year to know what each “incident” refers to—I can’t give everything away here!

“The Ice Cream Cone incident” : Happened to me in college. The perpetrator was a guy in my dorm. I wish I handled myself as cooly (pun intended!) as Zona does…

“The Nightclub Incident” : I had just graduated from high school and was traveling in London. The man who saved me from the obnoxious clubber was named George, and is one of my heroes to this day. I’ve treasured that story for years, waiting not just to include it in a book, but to have the character experiencing it get to say the perfect last line: “I’m adopted.” I WISH I had thought to say it in the actual moment!

“The Geese Incident” : When I was researching *SY* I stayed in a place exactly like *Pro-Yia-Yia*’s house and the geese on the property were terrifying. They didn’t chase me when I was in the shower (poor Zona!) but they definitely gave me a run for my money. In fact, I was so scared of getting bitten that I abandoned all my toiletries rather than cross into their territory to retrieve them before I headed for Athens!

“The Happening Incident” : My host family in Heraklion—on whom the characters of *Thios* Theseus and *Thia* Angela are based—took me everywhere Zona goes during that part of her journey, including the super random world-famous mandolin concert. Emmanuelle—my host—really did call the mayor when the location got changed!

“The Lilena Incident” : I had a close friend go through something very similar when I was young, and it affected me very deeply. I really did make that phone call, and it was incredibly hard and scary. I included it in Zona’s story because I hope there are readers who will find themselves more able to have a tough conversation, and put a friend’s safety before their own comfort.

Cryptic enough for you? I hope you’ll check out the book and see what it all adds up to!

Delfy here—lots of gems in Meredith’s post! I too have met some scary geese. They are not to be trifled with!

You can now add Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me on Goodreads! And grab it at any of these retailers:

Kindle button  Kindle UK button   Kindle Canada button   Nook button   Kobo button

A question for readers: If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose? Let us know by leaving a comment.

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Meredith Zeitlin, and more! Add up all the secret numbers of the authors on the SILVER team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize. I’ll see you at the next hunt in October, 6 months from now!

P.S. I’m giving away a wolf! See below for details.


Mina stands up for animals.

But can she stand up to her parents’ killer?


Find out in The Warlock and the Wolf!

During the hunt, this fantasy adventure is on sale for only 99 cents!

Grab it at any of these retailers.

Kindle button   Kindle UK button   iBooks button   Nook button   Kobo button   Kindle Canada button

Bonus Giveaway

Enter for the chance to win this adorable wolf by Wild Adventures Cuddlekins!

Cuddlekins Wolf

This giveaway is open only to residents of the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and the Netherlands. Residents of other countries will be disqualified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author!

YA Scavenger Hunt

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It’s coming. . . March 29th – April 3rd, 2016

It’s the YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016!

Now that the authors have signed up to participate in this exciting event, we’ve put them into teams of 20 by color. There are nine teams total this round!

Check out the teams below to see which teams your favorite authors will be on and what their featured book will be.


  1. Eric Lindstrom
  2. Kate Karyus Quinn
  3. Leah Bobet
  4. Emily Hainsworth
  5. Sarah Ahiers
  6. Sara B. Larson
  7. Alyxandra Harvey
  8. Brendan Reichs
  9. Julie Mayhew
  10. Julie Eshbaugh
  11. Joy Preble
  12. Ava Jae
  13. Marissa Kennerson
  14. Lyn Miller-Lachmann
  15. Tobie Easton
  16. Jodie Andrefski
  17. Brynn Chapman
  18. Lea Nolan
  19. Emily Ross
  20. Vicki L. Weavil


  1. Colleen Houck
  2. Jessica Brody
  3. Roshani Chokshi
  4. Matthew Phillion
  5. Livia Blackburne
  6. Christine Fonseca
  7. Patty Blount
  8. Lori M. Lee
  9. Lisa Maxwell
  10. Gina Damico
  11. Sarvenaz Tash
  12. Heather Young-Nichols
  13. Lisa Amowitz
  14. Amalie Howard
  15. Pintip Dunn
  16. Carly Anne West
  17. Julie Reece
  18. Dhonielle Clayton
  19. Deirdre Riordan Hall
  20. Brenda Drake


  1. Dax Varley
  2. Jenny Perinovic
  3. Jessie Costin
  4. Robert L. Slater
  5. Sarah Neeve
  6. Tanya Lisle
  7. Katie Hayoz
  8. L.A. Starkey
  9. Michelle Madow
  10. Stacy Claflin
  11. Clara Stone
  12. Kimberly G. Giarrantano
  13. Marilyn Peake
  14. Rachel Shane
  15. T. H. Hernandez
  16. Janet Lee Carey
  17. Jennifer M. Eaton
  18. Melisa Giorgio
  19. Cheyanne Young
  20. Lisa T. Cresswell


  1. Paula Stokes
  2. Kathy MacMillan
  3. Sarah Jude
  4. Elle Cosimano
  5. C.J. Redwine
  6. Maria E. Andreu
  7. Kathryn Holmes
  8. Daw Kurtagich
  9. Leah Konen
  10. Marieke Nijkamp
  11. Yvonne Ventresca
  12. Melissa Gorzelanczyk
  13. K.C. Held
  14. Sarah J. Schmitt
  15. Rin Chupeco
  16. Amy Christine Parker
  17. Kimberly Sabatini
  18. Austin Aslan
  19. Teri Harman
  20. E. Katherine Kottaras


  1. Stephanie Keyes
  2. Julia Ember
  3. Christopher Mannino
  4. Nina Rossing
  5. Kristi Helvig
  6. Dorothy Dreyer
  7. Dawn Rae Miller
  8. Emily Skrutskie
  9. Catrina Burgess
  10. Karen Kincy
  11. Elizabeth Holloway
  12. Kat Ellis
  13. Chanda Stafford
  14. Jessica L. Brooks
  15. Kat Stiles
  16. Amy McNulty
  17. Phillip W. Simpson
  18. Michelle K. Pickett
  19. A. Lynden Rolland
  20. Gillian Bronte Adams


  1. Faye Bird
  2. Robin Constantine
  3. Amy Allgeyer
  4. Jolene Perry
  5. Meredith Moore
  6. Natasha Sinel
  7. Caroline T. Patti
  8. Erin E. Moulton
  9. Jennifer Brody
  10. Jenny Martin
  11. Joe Beernink
  12. Joshua McCune
  13. Jennifer DiGiovanni
  14. Kate Elliott
  15. Beck Nicholas
  16. Kassy Tayler
  17. Lori Goldstein
  18. Nina Berry
  19. Michelle Levy
  20. Debra Dockter


  1. Amy Plum
  2. LH Nicole
  3. Beth Revis
  4. Joshua David Bellin
  5. Kelly Hashway
  6. Victoria Scott
  7. Becky Wallace
  8. Rita Arens
  9. Vicki Leigh
  10. Michelle Andreani/Mindi Scott
  11. Lisa T. Bergren
  12. Kay Honeyman
  13. Lucy D. Briand
  14. Evangeline Denmark
  15. Jeff Garvin
  16. Madeline Dyer
  17. Christina Farley
  18. Kimberly Derting
  19. T. A. Maclagan
  20. Everly Frost


  1. Ripley Patton
  2. Hilary Thompson
  3. Eliza Tilton
  4. Delfy Hall
  5. Annie Cosby
  6. Michael Alan Peck
  7. Dale Furse
  8. Gerard O’Neill
  9. Melanie Hooyenga
  10. Anne Zoelle
  11. A. G. Henley
  12. Deidre Mapstone
  13. Ty Drago
  14. CK Dawn
  15. Lisa Voisin
  16. Kimberly Loth
  17. Jessica Hawke
  18. Meredith Zeitlin
  19. B. Kristin McMichael
  20. Shonna Slayton


  1. Adi Rule
  2. Leo Hunt
  3. Melanie McFarlane
  4. Tera Lynn Childs
  5. Wendy Higgins
  6. Krystal Wade
  7. Sharon Biggs Waller
  8. Kady Cross
  9. Beth Kephart
  10. Liz Braswell
  11. Cynthia Hand/Jodi Meadows/Brodi Ashton
  12. Patricia B. Tighe
  13. Dawn Ius
  14. Darren Groth
  15. Sarah Tomp
  16. Amy K. Nichols
  17. Emil Sher
  18. Alexandra Sirowy
  19. Brianna R. Shrum
  20. Ilsa J. Bick