YA Scavenger Hunt 2014!

3 Apr

The giveaway for a signed The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls and The Year of Shadows is now CLOSED.

The winner is . . .


Congratulations, Cindy! I’ll be emailing you shortly. Everyone else, thank you so much for participating in the YA Scavenger Hunt and for visiting my blog!


Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt!

This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM–but there is also a blue team for a chance to win a whole different set of twenty-five signed 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 homepage.


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry 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.
Rules: 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, April 6, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today, I am hosting Jennifer Tressen on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Everybody say, “Hiiiii Jenniferrrr!”


Jennifer Tressen is a wife, mother and writer. A former actor, she spent nearly ten years in the entertainment industry appearing in commercials, print ads and television shows. It was her love of storytelling that pushed her to the other side of the camera and sent her to film school at Chapman University. Although JenniferTressen_oldheadshotshe entered as a Cinematography major, Jennifer graduated with a degree in Screenwriting after a single required screenwriting class forever changed her path. She found a passion for writing she had forgotten in her childhood. Everything she learned about screenwriting and especially storytelling she attributes to her mentor, the late Blake Snyder.

After several years of writing and editing for producers and other screenwriters her curiosity led her into writing novels. As a huge fan of Young Adult and New Adult literature this is where her pen tends to lead her. However, she does have plans to release a few middle grade fiction and adult novels in the future.

Jennifer attributes her love of reading and writing to her mother who always reminded her of the power of literacy. Besides telling her and her siblings that they could do anything they wanted if they knew how to read and write, she said, “You can go anywhere in a book. You can be anyone.”

Find out more information on Jennifer by checking out the author website, and find out more about her book here!


Paige Thorton, a sweet overachieving high school senior only has one month to come up with ten thousand dollars to pay for college, but her family mortuary has no business. Desperate to escape her little town and go to her dream school, she decides to take matters into her own hands and drum up some clients. Soon “accidents” begin happening to local residents. However when her boyfriend, Brock Harrington, the rookie hotshot cop begins to investigate things get hairy. Will Paige be able to pull it off in time or will she be doomed to forever sleep in the morgue?


And now, for the exclusive bonus content from Jennifer Tressen:

Bonus Chapter: “Harvard Law Has a New Case To Solve”

For three long years Paige Thorton had worked tirelessly to pay for college. She had done so well at her internship with the Cambridge Police Department’s homicide investigation bureau that they offered her a part time position going over cold cases and retesting evidence with modern techniques.

Thank goodness for all those AP tests. Paige had thought while reflecting on her time in the undergraduate program. Entering Harvard she had enough credits to qualify for sophomore status. A big savings.

However even after all that work; tests, studying, papers, the police department and “extra gigs,” today was the moment of truth. If she didn’t get into Harvard Law nothing else would matter. That was the reason she had come to the school in the first place, it was a known fact the Law School gave preference to graduates of the alma mater.

Paige tapped her toe nervously against the polished wood floors. They must have been cleaned recently as her shoes squeaked ever so slightly with each touch of pressure.

Why must they do it this way? This is clearly a waste of school resources.

This year a new policy had been instated regarding school notifications for acceptance into specialized programs, it required a one on one meeting to receive the news.

I should be studying for physics.

There were still a few weeks left in the school year and with six finals to study for, Paige had been careful not to waste any time over socializing at school functions and parties like her best friend had. Shelby Harrington was dismissed from school the prior spring for poor test performance.

Too many jungle juice jam sessions.

Paige remembered the two times she had followed Shelby to one such party consisting of wannabe musicians and lots of alcohol. It was forgettable and yet memorable at the same time. She only went a second time because she was already so intoxicated from a study session turned drinking game that she didn’t even realize what she had agreed to.

Don’t worry, just breathe.

The heavy mahogany door opened.

“Paige Thorton,” a voice robotically called.

“Here,” Paige managed in a choked up voice. “I mean, yes. Coming.”

Paige scurried to pick up the brown Juicy Couture side bag Shelby had given her as a birthday present the year before. Although designer bags weren’t her thing she had to admit it really did have a place for everything. She also felt like the bag made her fit in more amidst the crowd of fashionable, wealthy students roaming the expansive campus.

Walking into the closet of a room, she found the robotic voice belonged to a small woman, no taller than the average middle school boy, dressed in a pinstripe pencil shirt and white ruffled collared shirt folded up so high it looked as though the polyester might eat her chin off.

“Please have a seat.”

Paige did as she told. The woman opened a manila folder and smacked her lips together.

“While you have a near perfect record and the panel found your personal essay to be a stellar combination of powerful arguments and emotion, I’m sorry to inform you that you were not accepted into the school of law for the fall term.”

Paige’s heart sank. The weight of her feet alone was pulling her into the ground. It couldn’t be true. She must have heard incorrectly. She had worked too hard for that answer. Harvard Law was her only dream.

She raised her eyebrows and tried to hold back tears. She hadn’t cried since…


The thought sent a chill down her spine. All the sacrifices she had made. All the time. All the people she had…

Accidents. She reminded herself. Accidents.

“But…” she searched for the words in the sea of confusion. “How?”

The ruffled woman closed the folder. Placing her hands on top of it she looked at Paige.

“As we have stated before, it’s a very competitive program.”

“I’m aware. But…”

Paige was at a loss for words. What could she say to change things? Was there a typo in the admissions packet she had overlooked? A misused word? There had to be a reason she had come this far only to fall short of her goal.

In that moment it hit her that she had never known this feeling before.


Being foreign, she didn’t know how to begin the recovery process. As she sat frozen for a second the small woman reopened the folder and glanced down the page, using her finger as a guide.

“It does say here that you’re high on the waitlist though. So there’s still a chance.”

Paige sat up a bit, her back extending to a point of pain.

“If another student drops out, or decides to attend another program or…”

“Or?” Paige asked, hanging on every syllable spoken from the woman’s mouth.

“Or if something else happens, you know, unforeseen.”

That was it. That was the magic word. Unforeseen. Paige knew all about unforeseen and accidents and all matters of unfortunate events. Her face relaxed as she looked at the woman, taking in her creased forehead and raised upper lip.

“How far down the waitlist am I?” she asked.

“Um, let me see.” Her unpolished fingernail trailed across the page.

“So there are seven other people ahead of me who will be given the spot…should one open?” she asked for clarification.


Paige smiled.


Paige rose and effortlessly grabbed her heavy side bag. Her spirits renewed, she had the strength of ten men.

“Just perfect.”

With that she turned on her heels and headed out of the office. The mousy woman watched her leave, dumbfounded.

“No one’s ever been that happy with a rejection.”

Returning to her stack of papers she shook her head.

Outside the room Paige was already plotting.

“Seven people. That’s nothing.” She smiled again. “Harvard Law, here I come.”

And DON’T FORGET to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Claire Legrand, Jennifer, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 47. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize . . .


. . . including an ARC of Winterspell!!!



AND. If you comment on this post, you’ll be entered into my own, INTERNATIONAL contest to win a signed copy of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls and The Year of Shadows!

To enter to win the above–signed, personalized–books, comment below and tell me: What’s YOUR favorite number, and why? (For example: My favorite number is 47, because it’s an inside joke in the Star Trek universe, and I am a big ol’ Trekkie.)



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

Press THIS BUTTON to tweet about the YA Scavenger Hunt:

On Creativity, Perseverance, and Tumblr

7 Feb

First, I wrote a post yesterday about creativity and perseverance.

I posted this on Tumblr as a message to all the creative types out there who might find themselves struggling, discouraged, or otherwise frustrated.

Since I didn’t post it here on my blog, I wanted to direct you that way, if you’re interested. So here it is!

Second, a note to all my blog subscribers and followers:

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be retooling my website into something new and different. I’m very excited about this! I’m working with a fabulously talented web designer who’s going to help me create a new look for my soon-to-be older YA audience, while still maintaining the whimsy and fun of my current blog.

If you want to keep following my posts, I suggest you follow me on Tumblr. Once the new website is up, I’ll no longer be using this blog. The bulk of my online presence will continue to be on Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and my Facebook page. I will, however, eventually be recycling some of my favorite posts from this blog on Tumblr.

That’s all from me for now! I hope you’re all doing well.

Winner of the 12 Days of WINTERSPELL Giveaway!

7 Jan

First of all, an effusive thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about my 12 Days of Winterspell teasers these past couple of weeks!

I’m UNBELIEVABLY excited about the months away still but let’s just revel in the anticipation shall we? upcoming release of Winterspell, and it’s been a blast to share even tiny glimpses with you!

Without further ado, the winner of the GIGANTIC BOX OF BOOKS (pictured below), selected randomly from commenters on each 12 Days of Winterspell post, is . . .


Congratulations, Heather! I’ll be emailing you soon.


To everyone else, thank you so much for commenting, getting excited, and spreading the word, and rest assured — there will be many more Winterspell-centric giveaways, contests, and goodies in the months to come!


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