Archive for the ‘Fun and Games’ Category

Oct

2

2014

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!!!!

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-business-men-green-team-word-image23111392

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.

 

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SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

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.

 

SCAVENGER HUNT POST

Cynthia_Hand_2014

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! 

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

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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!

 

CONTINUE THE HUNT

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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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