Thursday, March 29, 2012

YA Scavenger Hunt

Hi! I just finished a draft of UNEARTHLY #3 yesterday, so I've been hiding out writing for a while, but this is the greatest excuse ever to come out of my writerly cave! It's 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 TWENTY signed books, one 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 THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter all three! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM--but there is also a red team and a yellow team. You can enter all three contests--which has a total prize bucket of SIXTY 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 within my post is a single letter that is blue. Make a note of that letter! It's a part of a scrambled phrase. When you go to all the author sites of the blue team, you'll have all the letters you need to enter the contest.

Entry Form: Once you piece together all the clues to the hunt, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the completed phrase 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 April 1st, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct puzzle code or without contact information will not be considered.

I am also going to hold a little contest of my own, in honor of this occasion. I will give away an Unearthly prize pack, which includes: A Team Tucker/Team Christian patch, whichever you prefer, a bunch of Unearthly temporary tattoos, some signed bookmarks and signed bookplates, plus a signed copy of Hallowed. All you have to do is follow me on twitter, facebook, or subscribe this this blog. Leave what you did in the comments, 1 entry per thing, and I'll announce the winner when we announce the winner of the hunt. Good luck!


Today, I am hosting Lisa Burstein on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! I've never met Lisa before, but she sounds like my type of writer! And she's a Northwestern girl! Woohoo! (I'm from Idaho and my husband is from Oregon, very near Portland, so I cheered when I read Lisa's bio. Which is right here:

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Pretty Amy is her first novel. She never went to her senior prom.
Find out more information by checking out Lisa's website or find more about the Pretty Amy here!
Now on to the exclusive content. Lisa was generous enough (and we are lucky enough!) to get a sneak peak the Pretty Amy, which won't be out until May 15. Woohoo! Here it is! I'm excluding an excerpt here, and then you can follow the link before to read the rest of the section! Don't forget to look for the BLUE letter.

Here's the description of the book:

Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.

Sounds awesome, right? I can't wait to read it! So here's the first peek:

Unfortunately, I am only myself. I am only Amy Fleishman.

I am one of the legions of middle-class white girls who

search malls for jeans that make them look thinner, who

search drugstores for makeup to wear as a second skin, who

are as sexy and exotic as blueberry muffins.

I am a walking, talking True Life episode. Your highschool

guidance counselor’s wet dream, and one of the only

girls I know to get arrested on prom night.

When my mother dropped me off at Lila’s, rather than

running like hell the way I usually did, I sat next to her in our

minivan and waited for a speech. The speech mothers give to

their only daughters on nights when those daughters are all

dressed up and the mothers look all wistful and teary.

I assumed she was building up to it, was working through

exactly what she was going to say so it would be perfect. I

knew from TV that she must have practiced in the mirror, but

maybe, faced with having to say all those things to me, she’d

frozen up. I could understand that.

When I saw Lila peek out to see who was sitting in her

driveway, and then felt my phone vibrate with a text that I

knew must say, WTF R U DOIN?, I figured I had waited long


“So this is it…,” I said. My mother stared at Lila’s small,

birdsh*t-gray house and bit at what was left of her nails. After

I’d started hanging out with Lila and Cassie, my mother

gnawed at her nails the way a baby sucked her thumb. “…my

senior prom,” I continued.

Maybe she was overwhelmed. Her little girl was all grown

up. Her ugly duckling had finally become a swan.

“I don’t want to ruin this for you, so I’m choosing to hold

my tongue.”

My mother loved using old-time folksy sayings. Hold your

horses. The early bird catches the worm. The penis with two

holes puts out the fire faster.

All right, fine, I made up that last one.

She had been holding her tongue for a while now. When

yelling at me about my “degenerate” friends hadn’t helped,

she went for the semi-silent treatment.

Stupid me for trying to get her to talk.

“There’s something very wrong with this, Amy,” she said.

She meant that Lila’s boyfriend, Brian, had arranged a

date for me. My mother had never met this boy. I had never

met this boy. It may have seemed wrong to her, but I was used

to Lila bringing the boys. And, it was still my senior prom. It

was still my night, and she couldn’t even have a special, sappy

moment with me.

“I want to tell you to have a good time, to enjoy every

moment, to be safe, but I know you won’t listen anyway. I

know you’ll do what you want to do.”

She was talking to herself again.

My mother’s favorite hobbies were talking to herself

and bitching. Though I suppose those were hobbies for most

mothers, my mother honed them like skills. If bitching were

karate, my mother would be a black belt.

I looked down at my dress. It was strapless and light blue

to bring out my eyes, which weren’t blue, but raccoon gray,

and picked up whatever color I put next to them. The bodice

was tight and shiny, like what a superhero might wear, and the

skirt flared out and fell just below my knees. When my mother

had seen it hanging on the bathroom door earlier tonight,

she’d said it looked trampy, which made me even happier that

she hadn’t been there when I picked it out.

She also hadn’t been there when I got my shoes and clutch

purse dyed to match. Sure, she had given me money, but she

hadn’t been there. Not like I would have asked her to be there,

but she hadn’t offered, either.

“Thanks for the memories,” I said, opening the door.

Her only job tonight was to tell me I was beautiful, that I

was her beautiful baby girl all grown up, but she couldn’t even

do that.

“I can’t help the way I feel,” she said, like some self-helpbook

junkie. Well, not like one—she was one. For Chanukah

last year she had gotten me an itchy sweater and Chicken

Soup for the Daughter’s Soul. The inscription had read, FYI.


Loved that! And here's the link, if you'd like to peek some more:
username: prettyamy
password: prettyamy1

Here's the next stop on the hunt: Laura A. H. Elliott

Don't forget to enter your entries in the comments below to qualify for my special UNEARTHLY prize pack, as well.