Thursday, October 3, 2013

Young Adult 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 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 one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM--but there is also a red team  and a blue team for chances to win a whole different set of twenty 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.



Scavenger Hunt Puzzle

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold 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 August 5, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Scavenger Hunt Post

Today, I am hosting Rita Arens on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Rita Arens

Rita Arens is the author of contemporary young adult novel THE OBVIOUS GAME (InkSpell Publishing, 2013). She is also the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology, SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK (Chicago Review Press, 2008), and the co-editor of food anthology ROOTS (Open Road Media, 2013). For playlists and excerpts from THE OBVIOUS GAME, visit and click on Young Adult. Rita is currently working on her second young adult novel.

Find out more information by checking out the author website

Buy the book from here!

"Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, dependable Diana. Which is why most people didn't notice at first.""

Fifteen-year-old Diana Keller accidentally begins teaching The Obvious Game to new kid Jesse on his sixteenth birthday. As she buries her shock about her mother's fresh cancer diagnosis in cookbooks, peach schnapps and Buns of Steel workouts, Diana both seduces athlete Jesse and shoves him away under the guise of her carefully constructed sentences. As their relationship deepens, Diana avoids Jesse's past with her own secrets -- which she'll protect at any cost. Will Diana and Jesse's love survive his wrestling obsession and the Keller family's chaos, or will all their important details stay buried beneath a game?

Exclusive Content -

My novel is called THE OBVIOUS GAME, and it's written in first-person from the point of view of 15-year-old Diana. Evelyn is Diana's mom, and their relationship is pretty rocky throughout the book. My exclusive content is part of chapter one written from Evelyn's point of view. Here it is!

The Wigs

It was all I could do to get home from the store. When I walked in the door, I knew something was wrong. I heard Amanda’s voice in my room. Diana’s been friends with Amanda since they were little, and I can’t stand that girl.  When they were seven or eight, Amanda convinced Diana to use my good sewing shears to make paper dolls when the regular scissors were sitting right there on the table. I can’t decide which of them makes me more angry: Amanda for pushing every boundary or Diana for not putting up a fight.

I worried about my wigs. I couldn’t believe how much those things cost. I looked up a semester of tuition at the University of Iowa the other day. It’s $940. The wigs cost almost half that. It made me sick on top of the sick I felt from the chemo.

I just wanted to look normal, not like the freak I felt like inside. I could barely drive, I was so tired.

Please not the wigs.

I paused, my hand on the doorknob. And then I heard Diana: “Amanda! You idiot!” My heart sank.

When I walked into the bedroom, I saw them standing there, one of my wigs in the sink filled with water and what looked like hair gel. Three months of college, soaking up pink goo. I hadn’t even had them for a week.

Diana’s face was terrified. She knew how mad I was, knew how mad I would be, but yet something didn’t make her stop that little wench Amanda from ruining my new hair.

“What are you doing?” I tried to keep the shake out of my voice. I wanted to appear larger, not weaker. I wanted to loom as large as I did when they were in first grade and I caught them with their hands in the Halloween candy bucket. When they looked at me with real respect instead of scorn.

“Diana was just showing me your wigs. They’re beautiful.” Amanda’s smile widened. I could tell she thought she was fooling me, which infuriated me even more.

“Why is that in the sink, Amanda?” Maybe there was an explanation, a good one. I tightened my grip on the gallon of milk in my hand to keep from throwing it at Amanda.

“Diana said you could style them because they’re made of human hair.” Somewhere inside, the anger exploded into ball of betrayal that spread out to every inch of my insides. My feet seemed to root to the ground, and all my energy evaporated. Getting through the day took everything I had. Getting mad used it up early. I didn’t have anything left for either of the girls. I just wanted them gone. Both of them.

“Get out.”

Amanda looked alarmed. Good. Maybe for once something got through her thick skull.

“Call your mother, Amanda. You’re going home.” I heard her running down the stairs, probably as eager to get away from me as I was to have her away. I turned slowly to face my only daughter. “How could you, Diana?”

I could see in Diana’s face she understood what she’d done, how I felt. So why didn’t she stop Amanda? When was she going to learn to stand up for herself, for me? When would she stand up for her sick mother?

“I didn’t tell her to do it, Ma.”

“It doesn’t matter. You let her. That is my hair.” I leaned on the words, trying to make her understand those wigs weren’t wigs. They were my dignity.

“She’s hard to control, Ma,” Diana said softly, ducking her head.

I turned to the hairless dummy head on her dresser, pulling the wig off my head. I set it on the dummy and turned to face Diana. She didn’t know I’d shaved my head, and when she saw me without my wig, she turned away, and I thought I saw fear. She used to look at me like I was her universe. How much had cancer taken? How much was left to take?

“The world is hard to control, Diana,” I said. “If it were easy, I wouldn’t look like this.” I grabbed her shoulders, stopping just short of shaking her senseless. I wanted to shake her and shake her until she understood what I felt, the helplessness, the ugliness, the uselessness. A mother who could barely get herself off the bathroom floor. I needed to know she could take care of herself until I could take care of her again. “You have to take responsibility for your part in it. You’re not a little girl anymore.”

Diana just stood there, her face turned from me, and I realized she wasn’t going to hug me, wasn’t going to process any of it. She was in shock. And I felt ashamed. She was just a child, my baby. I wanted to wrap her in my arms and rock her worries away. But that would take energy, and I didn’t have any left to give.

“Get out,” I said, instead. As she rushed out the door, I collapsed on my bed and sobbed, not sure if I was crying for her or the mother I couldn’t be, the one who would've known what to say.

Enter the Contest

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Cynthia Hand, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 17. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

Continue the Hunt

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Click here!

Enter The Extra Boundless Giveaway

In honor of this special event, I'm going to give away 2 extra signed copies of Boundless. Just follow the directions in the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Mary H said...

Thanks for being part of the #YASH, Cynthia! Love your books!!

Mary @ Mary Had a Little Book Blog

Unknown said...

I love your books!! Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

purpleshadowhunter said...

FYI~ my 13 yr old son absolutely loves your book covers. I've never seen him or any boy for that matter, gush over a book cover.I love Unearthly Series!!!

Carla C. said...

Hi Cynthia! I've entered your giveaway but I'm an international scavenger hunter, I'm not sure if I qualify.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cynthia, love your books to bits and haven't got Boundless yet. Would love to win, so i've entered. I'm from the UK so not sure if I qualify. Love Kellie xxx

Kassiah said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I love your books so much!! #TeamJeffrey lol

Kassiah from Swoony Boys Podcast