YA Scavenger Hunt

Filed under: Blogging, Check-it-out, Community, Contests, Fun and Games, Reading, Touching the Surface, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

scavenger hunt

Welcome to 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 SIX (yes, you heard me correctly!) contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GREEN TEAM–Go GREEN MACHINE!!!!


But there is also RED, BLUE, GOLD, ORANGE and INDIE teams. Participate in all the hunts for a chance to win different sets of 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: Hidden somewhere below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number in GREEN. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GREEN team, and then add them up and don’t worry if you have to take off your socks and use your toes to keep track. Or a calculator works too.

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 10/5/14, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.




Today, I am hosting Cynthia Hand on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly trilogy with HarperTeen. A native of southeast Idaho, she has graduate degrees in creative writing from Boise State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For the past seven years she has taught writing at Pepperdine University in Southern California. She and her family have recently moved back to Idaho where they are enjoying the fresh air.

Find out more information by checking out Cynthia’s website or find more about THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE here! 




There’s death all around us.
We just don’t pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn’t look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she’s just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that’s all she’ll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there’s a secret she hasn’t told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex’s brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn’t have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

This is the opening segment of THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE:


5 February

First I’d like to state for the record that the whole notion of writing this down was not my idea. It was Dave’s. My therapist’s. He thinks I’m having trouble expressing my feelings, which is why he suggested I write in a journal—to get it out, he said, like in the old days when physicians used to bleed their patients in order to drain the mysterious poisons. Which almost always ended up killing them in spite of the doctors’ good intentions, I might point out.

Our conversation went something like this:

He wanted me to start taking antidepressants.

I basically told him to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

So we were at a bit of an impasse.

“Let’s take a new approach,” he said finally, and reached behind him and produced a small black book. He held it out to me. I took it, thumbed it open, then looked up at him, confused.

The book was blank.

“I thought you might try writing, as an alternative,” he said.

“That’s a mole-skin notebook,” he elaborated when all I did was stare at him. “Hemingway used to write in those.”

“An alternative to what?” I asked. “To Xanax?”

“I want you to try it for a week,” he said. “Writing, I mean.”

I tried to hand the journal back to him. “I’m not a writer.”

“I’ve found that you can be quite eloquent, Alexis, when you choose to be.”

“Why? What’s the point?”

“You need an outlet,” he said. “You’re keeping everything inside, and it’s not good for you.”

Nice, I thought. Next he’d be telling me to eat my vegetables and take my vitamins and be sure to get 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep every night.

“Right. And you would be reading it?” I asked, because there’s not even a remote possibility that I’m going to be doing that. Talking about my unexpectedly tragic life for an hour every week is bad enough. No way I’m going to pour my thoughts out into a book so that he can take it home and scrutinize my grammar.

“No,” Dave answered. “But hopefully you might feel comfortable enough someday to talk with me about what you’ve written.”

Not incredibly likely, I thought, but what I said was, “Okay. But don’t expect Hemingway.”

I don’t know why I agreed to it. I try to be a good little patient, I guess.

Dave looked supremely pleased with himself. “I don’t want you to be Hemingway. Hemingway was an ass. I want you to write whatever strikes you. Your daily life. Your thoughts. Your feelings.”

I don’t have feelings, I wanted to tell him, but instead I nodded, because he seemed so expectant, like the status of my mental health entirely depended on my cooperation with writing in the stupid journal.

But then he said, “And I think for this to be truly effective, you should also write about Tyler.”

Which made all the muscles in my jaw involuntarily tighten.

“I can’t,” I managed to get out from between my teeth.

“Don’t write about the end,” Dave said. “Try to write about a time when he was happy. When you were happy, together.”

I shook my head. “I can’t remember.” And this is true. Even after almost 7 weeks, a mere 47 days of not interacting with my brother every day, not hurling peas at him across the kitchen table, not seeing him in the halls at school and acting, as any dutiful older sister would, for the sake of appearances, like he bugged me, Ty’s image has grown hazy in my mind. I can’t visualize the Ty that isn’t dead. My brain gravitates toward the end. The body. The coffin. The grave.

I can’t even begin to pull up happy.

“Focus on the firsts and the lasts,” Dave instructed. “It will help you remember. For example: About twenty years ago I owned an ‘83 Mustang. I put a lot of work into that car, and I loved it more than I should probably admit, but now, all these years later, I can’t fully picture it. But if I think about the firsts and the lasts with that car, I could tell you about the first time I drove it, or the last time I took it on a long road trip, or the first time I spent an hour in the backseat with the woman who would become my wife, and then I see it so clearly.” He cleared his throat. “It’s those key moments that burn bright in our minds.”

This is not a car, I thought. This is my brother.

Plus I thought Dave might have just been telling me about having sex with his wife. Which was the last thing I wanted to picture.

“So that’s your official assignment,” he said, sitting back as if that settled it. “Write about the last time you remember Tyler being happy.”

Which brings me to now.

Writing in a journal about how I don’t want to be writing in a journal.

I’m aware of the irony.

Seriously, though, I’m not a writer. I got a 720 on the writing section of the SAT, which is decent enough, but nobody ever pays any attention to that score next to my perfect 800 in math. I’ve never kept a diary. Dad got me one for my 13th birthday, a pink one with a horse on it. It ended up on the back of my bookshelf with a copy of the NIV Teen Study Bible and the Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Beauty and all the other stuff that was supposed to prepare me for life from ages 13-19—as if I could ever be prepared for that. Which is all still there, 5 years later, gathering dust.

That’s not me. I was born with numbers on the brain. I think in equations. What I would do, if I could really put this pen to paper and produce something useful, is take my memories, these fleeting, painful moments of my life, and find some way to add and subtract and divide them, insert variables and move them, try to isolate them, to discover their elusive meanings, to translate them from possibilities to certainties.

I would try to solve myself. Find out where it all went wrong. How I got here, from A to B, A being the Alexis Riggs who was so sure of herself, who was smart and solid and laughed a lot and cried occasionally and didn’t fail at the most important things.

To this.

But instead, the blank page yawns at me. The pen feels unnatural in my hand. It’s so much weightier than pencil. Permanent. There are no erasers, in life.

I would cross out everything and start again.



Thanks, Cynthia!!!!! And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Cynthia Hand, and at least 7 or maybe more than SEVEN fabulous authors! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is. Have you figured it out yet? Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!




To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next GREEN Team author, Alyxandra Harvey!!!
Spread the word by Tweeting #YASH

And before you go…BONUS CONTEST!!!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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128 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. To answer your question, there are sooo many for the green team. They would be Jen Nadol, Mary E. Pearson, Beth Revis, and the list goes on.

    Thank you for joining YASH and for the awesome giveaway you have! I have been joining ever since! I am excited every hunt to meet new authors. Much love! x

    • I know! There are a ton I want to read too!!! Thanks so much for being part of #yash

  2. There are so many books on that list that I want to read! But for now I will go with Beth Revis because I just read Across the Universe and loved it 😀

    • Beth is awesome! A great choice!!!! Thanks for stopping by. :o)

  3. It’s tough but I so want to read Call me Grim.

  4. That’s kind of hard but I’d go with Beth Revis’ THE BODY ELECTRIC. The synopsis intrigued me a lot.

  5. I would like to say all but for now I will leave you with one… The Kiss of Deception it’s sounds amazing:)

    • Can’t go wrong with kissing AND deception. *wink* Thanks for stopping by the blog today!!!!

  6. I’m dying to read Bree Despain’s, but after reading this post, I really want to read this one too!

  7. I want to read Beth Revis, Mary E. Pearson, this one and so many others! Thank you for the giveaway

    • My pleasure. Thanks for participating in #yash!!!

  8. Lark rising and the vault of dreams look amazing! As well as your book of course! 🙂

  9. Hard to say which book I’m looking forward to when it seems like I’m adding the entire Green Team to my wishlist! The Vault of Dreamers, This is How It Ends, Lark Rising are some of the books that got my interest.

    • The Green Team bows down to your awesomeness!!!

  10. There are sooo many great books in the green team I don’t know which one to choose. Maybe something I’ve only just seen, The Fire Horse Girl. Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

    • I love #yash it gets so many books in front of so many new readers. ❤️

  11. I love Cynthia Hand SO much! I can’t wait for her new book!

    • So want to read her book too!!! Super intrigued.

  12. Awesome

  13. Loving the Hunt this time around! Finding so many new authors to read!!! I think I’m looking forward to reading The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien the most. Thanks for the Giveaway!

    • I know—it’s crazy!!! Thanks for playing!!!!

  14. The bit where Lex says its ironic to be writing about not wanting to write in a journal

  15. I am loving nearly every book/author that I come across on the hunt. If I had to choose, the one that I’m most looking forward to on team green is Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway.

  16. I really want to say all of it! I’m really looking forward to that book!
    As far as books in the Green Team that I desperately need, I really want to say all of them, but if I were to choose…
    The Last Time We Say Goodbye, The Body Electric, your book, and Falls into Shadow. But there’s so much more that look so interesting!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Oh, I want to read so many! The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien looks particularly good 🙂 Thanks so much for the giveaway and participating in YASH!

  18. Honestly, there are just too many great books in the YASH lineup this year, but on the green team, if I really HAD to pick, I would go with Mary E. Pearson’s The Kiss of Deception.

    • I know!!!! I’m lusting for books in all the teams :o)

  19. I loveddddd the extra material from Cynthia Hand’s book. I love her style it’s honest and the emotion is spot on.

  20. I loved Carragh O’Brien trilogy and I’m dying to get my hands on The Vault of Dreams 🙂

  21. A huge Cynthia hand fan!

  22. I’ve loved reading all of the excerpts and I would love to get The Body Electric and Vault of Dreamers

  23. Elizabeth Holloway’s Call Me Grim!

  24. The part where she’s struggling to be able to reconcile the analogy of her dead brother to a car. It’s so real, because people make weird analogies when it comes to death. It’s really odd!

  25. I would like to read anyone of the books I could get my hands on. They all look just that good and reading is my number one favorite past time in the world. Well, unless you count eating and sleeping, than it becomes number two because the the other two are tied for first.

  26. I really liked that the main character is a girl who’s good at math! Thanks for the giveaway =]

    • Isn’t that a nice change of pace. I love the smart girls!!!!

  27. Of course, it would have to be THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE. I have loved all of her other books and cannot wait for this one.

  28. I’m really excited to read Amalie Howard’s new book. And the cover is so gorgeous too!! Thanks for being part of YASH 🙂

  29. I love the voice and immediate personality of the protagonist, Lex. Sounds like someone I want to read more about!

  30. I really like the character of Lex.

    Thanks for the giveaway!! 🙂

  31. I like how the book starts, with Lex writing in her journal. 🙂 And I love YASH! The Green Team has awesome authors, and although I already read Drowned by Nicholla Reilly, I was excited to read her bonus content. I need more from her.

    • Thank you for being a part of #yash too!!!! ((((hugs)))))

  32. So I liked the entirety of Cynthia’s bonus content, but the VOICE. That was a huge standout. Thanks for the giveaway.

    • The voice cut straight through–making it a must read for me.

  33. I really want to read Drowned by Nichola Riley!!

  34. I think it’ll have to be either The Last Time We Say Goodbye or Falls the Shadow… there are just so many great books on this team! Awesome giveaway 🙂

    • I agree!!! I love discovering so many new books and authors. Wish I had more time to read!!!!

  35. I’d do anything to have Kiss of Deception in my hands right now!

  36. My favorite part of the excerpt is when Lex is describing how things in her life were, when her brother was still there as well!

    • 47 days is such a short time to digest that kind of a loss. That’s what got me.

  37. Therapists! Hilarious! Always trying for the journals…

  38. I really want THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE it sounds amazing!!

  39. All of them i’m green with envy to read. They all look so awesome!!

  40. Almost all of them, but The Body Electric tops the list

    • Too much fabulous–never a bad thing–just slightly overwhelming LOL!

  41. Beth Revis’ book!!
    Thanks for the chance!! *-*

    • Beth is amazing!!!! Thanks for topping by–I appreciate it.

  42. Best part: what she thinks when therapist wants her to take medication.
    Book that I am wishing for:into the fire – only chosen because I love the cover:)

    • Cover love is a powerful thing–can’t deny it! :o)

  43. I really want to read The Last Time We Say Goodbye!

  44. When I saw the Green Team’s books, honestly, the book I wanted to read most was Touching the Surface. It has been on my to-reads list for so long. I just want it! I’ve already read The Kiss of Deception too, and that was amazing! All of them look so good though, and all the cover art is phenomenal.

    • I am going to hug you so hard you stop breathing. Be prepared….

  45. Everyone seriously!! But I have had The Body Electric on the TBR for months!

  46. You mean besides Touching the Surface? I would have to say The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson.

    Although, reading your exclusive content I have to say reading a book where Elliott is in love/share this deep connection with a four year old would be an interesting read. He could be an old-soul in a child’s body trapped and Elliott, being his soul mate, is the only one who could free him. Or it could be a Benjamin Button type love where they knew each other when he was a old man and continually fell for each other. Or even pull from Twilight when a werewolf meets the love of his life (I’ve forgotten the term) and he would stay a wolf until she is old enough and be her protector until he/she got older. Though the first option peaks me interest the most. Thanks for hosting and sharing!!


    • I love that it made you ponder. <3 Thanks for jumping into #yash with both feet!

  47. “This is not a car, I thought. This is my brother.”

    I almost laughed on this part.

  48. Falls the Shadow by Stephanie Gaither

  49. I’m excited about Cynthia Hand’s book!! It sounded AWESOME 🙂

  50. There are SO many good books to choose from! But I think I’m most excited for THE BODY ELECTRIC by Beth Revis. 🙂

    Thanks for the awesome extra giveaway!

  51. I want to read Caragh M. O’Brien’s book. 🙂

    • It looks wonderful too! I keep saying that but I mean it!

  52. Cynthia Hand’s new book! It sounded so good!

  53. In the segment from The Last Time We Say Goodbye I liked most the little detail of pink journal with a picture of a horse because I would’ve loved that kind of journal when I was a kid.

  54. I’M SUPER EXCITED TO READ “The Kiss of Deception” which I have on my shelf already- but haven’t read :(- and “Into the Fire”, the cover is gorgeous

  55. There are so many books that I’m dying to read on the Green team!
    I’m going to go with Mary E Pearson’s book though 🙂

  56. maybe Kay Honeyman’s book
    Fun hunt #DOONLOVE

  57. What GREEN Team book are you green with envy to read?

    I don’t know anyone! So I want to read all!

    • The only logical answer LOL! My top pick is Cynthia Hand because I love this bonus material sooooo much!

  58. I am GREEN with envy to read “The Vault of Dreamers” from the GREEN Team, but I want to read all of the books on this team also! 🙂

  59. All! But maybe The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien.

  60. I most want to read Kiss of Deception in the green book category.

  61. Call me Grim and Touching the Surface!

  62. I liked the humor in among the sadness clear in the bonus material. And it definitely makes me want to read the whole story. I once started an online journal as an outlet of sorts. I didn’t keep up with it though I occasionally think about starting it up again.

    • It grabbed me too. I blog which often functions as a journal for me. Let me know if you start back up. <3

  63. I’m so excited to read The Last Time We Said Goodbye. The bonus material was wonderful – bittersweet really. Thanks for the giveaway and being part of YASH!

  64. Yay! I won 🙂 so excited! Thank you very much I can’t wait to start reading.

    • I’m excited too!!! Owe you an email but I’m a bit behind. Gaahhhh!!!

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