On March 26th P.C. and Kristin Cast were in town promoting the fifth book in the House of Night series Hunted. Along with interviews with the National Post , the Toronto Star and CTV.ca, the mother/daughter team appeared on Canada AM and did two bookstore signings. I went to the one held at a Chapters store in Burlington, ON.
What an event! Over 400 eager fans packed the store to meet the authors, who answered questions from fans and signed books for almost two hours. Two of the fans that I talked to had driven across the border from Buffalo to meet the authors.
Also on hand at this event were two Wiccans who set the mood by casting a circle giving thanks to the elements, a henna tattoo artist who provided free tattoos to fans waiting in line, and volunteers from a local cat rescue agency- Abandoned Cats Rescue. They brought along several cats available for adoption, and let me tell you, it was very hard not to take one home with me! Only the memory of the very bad reaction I got when I introduced my second cat Mo to Delaney (cat #1) stopped me...
Those unfamiliar with the series might be asking themselves- why cats? In the House of Night series, vampyres have a special affinity for cats and most fledgling have been 'picked' by a cat companion. The main character Zoey has a little orange cat named Nala (little lioness)- who I imagine looks rather like the cutie pictured below. Photos are courtesy of our fantastic Indigo rep (and all around nice guy) David Cuthbertson.
Hunted is even more action-packed than the first four books in the series. The school's High Priestess Nefret has 'gone to the dark side' so to speak, aligning herself with the recently freed fallen angel Kalona and his creepy army of Raven Mockers (rather grotesque bird/human hybrids) and turning her back on the Godess Nyx. Zoey and her friends have escaped from school and are hiding out in the Prohibition-era tunnels under Tuscon. However, when Zoey ventures above ground to confront her human ex Heath, she is attacked and gravely injured by a Raven Mocker. Forced to return to the House of Night to heal, she and her friends have to unravel a mysterious prophecy in order to find out how to defeat Kalona and Nefret. As with all of the books, Zoey is never short of boyfriends and once again has to juggle the hunky-yet-possessive vampyre Erik, the red fledgling Stark (who may or may not be evil), and her human ex- boyfriend Heath. Judging from the screams of the crowd at the signing, the fan favourite definitely seems to be Stark!
The authors were coy about who Zoey will end up with, only saying that the current storyline would continue for at least a few more books, but there was definitely a possibility of a spin-off series (possibly focused on Stevie Ray and the red fledglings ). I guess we will all have to wait to find out more when book six, Tempted, comes out this October!
So onto the contest portion of this posting! While I was at the event, I got one full set of the books in the House of Night series autographed, along with two copies of the new hardcover, Hunted.
If you are a teacher or librarian (Canada only, sorry) and would like to enter my draw to win these books, please send me an e-mail with the subject line 'PC Cast Contest' at email@example.com. You must also provide the full mailing address of your school or library to be eligible. I'll collect entries until Sunday April 26th and will draw one 'grand' prize winner of the full set, and two additional winners of the individual books. Good luck!