This bi-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 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 120 hours!
Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are seven contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PURPLE TEAM–but there is also a red team, an orange team, a gold team, a green team, a blue team, and a pink team for a chance to win a whole different set of 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 page.
Here’s how to YASH
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the purple 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, October 8, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Learn more about Cyndy by checking out her author website, or find more about her books here!
As a bonus for you YASHers, here is Cyndy's exclusive content, a chapter Chapter from COILED, prequel of THE DEAD INSIDE & WE CAN’T BE FRIENDS
Backstory: COILED is a young adult memoir. I was a lucky kid: I had books and great teachers, music and imagination, to help me fly above an abusive home life; a school life rife with rejection. This unreleased chapter gives readers a sample of the sweet stuff—the lit, the cool teacher—and the sour.
In the previous scene, my eighth-grade self is swooning, because a girl at my new school, Honor, told me that a boy—a real, true boy!—wants to go out with me. The cheerleaders soon took care of that buzz.
Chapter from COILED
There’s one okay thing about school now: English class. We’re reading this book called Animal Farm, and it’s about all of these animals that live together on a farm. Duh. But the cool thing is, all the animals can talk, and they like, got rid of all the humans. Each of the animals has their rung on the ladder, some above and some below. I don’t know why, but I really get the book.
Mrs. Canaan says it’s about Communism, which is this kind of government where supposedly everyone’s just as good as everybody else, but really there’s only some people that are at the toptop, with their boots on everybody else’s heads. Or like the book says, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” So basically, the animals just care about being better than everyone else. The writer must’ve been from Connecticut.
You know who doesn’t get the book? The cheerleaders. There are three of them in my English class: Jennifer, Jessica, and Tina. Mrs. Canaan is cool, she lets us choose our own seats, so those three sit together in the center of the room. The seat I chose on the first day of school, when I was the first one in the empty classroom, is one seat behind and one to the left of the cheerleaders’. So I get to hear most of what they say. Believe it or not, though, a lot of what they say isn’t so hot. I mean, it’s good to know girls like them have beauty problems, too, but after the fourth hair dryer comment in a half hour, it gets a little old. When they start to talk about something that’s actually interesting—like I once caught a whiff of “party, Friday night”—Jennifer twists toward my seat for a second, then whips back around, slapping my desk with her hair.
“Later, you guys.”
The other two pinch their lips together and look at me without looking. Then they bake in angry silence.
Mostly they keep up a running discussion about how much English sucks, which it really doesn’t. They’re loud enough for Mrs. Canaan to know they’re talking, but not loud enough to be asking real questions. So it’s like they want to complain about how they need help understanding, but they don’t really want help, or to understand. For example. Mrs. Canaan’s talking today about symbolism, how each animal stands for something bigger than itself, like a historical person or an idea or something.
“Look at our protagonist, Snowball,” Mrs. Canaan says.
Hostess Snowballs. I’m having visions of them, of cupcakes all wrapped up in white goo and coconut. And Jessica’s voice has to cut through all this niceness. Loud enough for her friends plus me, she goes, “Snowball? What kind of idiot calls a pig Snowball?”
“Whatsat, Jessica?” Mrs. Canaan calls from across the room, one brow raised into her forehead.
“What? I didn’t say anything.” Jessica’s lip is angled up, Billy Idol style.
Mrs. Canaan isn’t having it.
“Jessica’s like a sleep-talker, only she does it while she’s awake,” she says. “So, the symbolism here…”
Oh, snap! Nobody even hears that symbolism part. They’re too busy laughing. At Jessica. I can’t believe it. I hold my breath and memorize my desk top. Somehow, I know, I’m gonna end up paying for what Mrs. Canaan just said. Jessica has to get her footing back at the top of the ladder, and I’m an easy rung to step on. Her silence, like a shark fin, swims around me for the rest of the period.
And it has to be today that Mrs. Canaan finishes before the bell. Unlike the other teachers, she’s always still going when the bell rings, drawing pictures on the board to connect her words to our brains. But today, her pictures dry up early.
“Alright, guys. I’m gonna give you a break. You can just hang around and talk until the bell rings.”
Oh please, God, no! My stomach tightens in on itself like a sphincter. I try to do the same with my whole body, to disappear into a small black dot. But the shark knows just where I am.
“Cyndy Etler!” Jessica gleams at me, shocking us all by knowing my name. And it really is us all. Her voice is as loud as a foghorn; the whole class hears it. Oh God, leave the ass dot alone.
“me?” The tiny word’s absorbed by the safe white pages of my notebook, which I’m holding up, to shield me from the free time. Lowering the notebook, I try again. “Me?”
“Of course you! Is there another Cyndy Etler?”
She’s using the special cheerleader voice, the one reserved for talking to cute boys, but why is she using it on me? Her mouth smiles pink, but her eyes shoot black. I wonder why her fangs don’t dice up her lips.
You know how wild animals just know, when something terrible’s about to happen? You know how they get really still out of like, respect for it? Big, loud groups of teenagers have the same amazing talent. So I’m sitting here in this flash-frozen classroom, the slow-ticking second hand echoing off the walls. You can see Mrs. Canaan’s back through the pebbly window, but she clicked the door closed when she stepped out. A laugh rises out of her. She’s out in the hall for good.
“Cyndy, didn’t I see Scott Cheeney’s arm around you the other day in the hall?” goes Jessica.
And I mean, she probably did. Me and Scott talked on the phone for the first time Thursday, and we said we’d meet by the gym before first the next day. The gym was my idea. He wanted to start out at the cafeteria, but that would’ve been like learning to swim by getting tripped off the high dive. Anyway, when I saw him at the gym door, he didn’t have as many zits as I remembered. So when he went to put his arm around me, I didn’t side step.
It felt…rickety. Like I was getting a hug from Pinocchio. When I would hug Alice at Christ Church, it felt safe and, I dunno, big somehow. But Scott’s arm didn’t feel like that. I think it felt the opposite. It felt thin and unsafe, if that makes any sense.
Scott marched me down the hall that way, nervous and in a noose. He had his grin on, and I had my limbs locked. Then, when the bell rang for first, my limbs turned into spaghetti. I slithered away from him and revved off to social studies, throwing a little, “Bye, Scott” behind me. Right then, I wasn’t sure if I wanted his arm around me again. Now I know I don’t.
“Um, yeah?” My voice comes out small, like an ant. Something easily crushed.
“So Scott Cheeney is your boyfriend?” Her voice is a foot angled over me.
“Um, yeah?” It cracks. My voice and the ant shell.
“But Cyndy!” Her words are half words, half laughter. “Didn’t anyone tell you that Scott Cheeney is a loser?”
And then God shows up, in the form of the bell, and there’s a rush of bag-grabs and chair-slides. Jessica missed her big prize, the pop of laughter from all sides of the class. Nobody cares about a one-girl attack when the hallway crowds are calling. But still, she won, and she knows it. She pushed herself up two rungs by pushing me and my “boyfriend” down two.
Tearing open my notebook, I scratch some words out:
I don’t want scott for a boyfriend anymore.
Can you tell him
CONTINUE THE HUNT
Well, carry on, YASHers. But don’t forget to enter the YASH-wide contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, and more.
To keep going on the YA Scavenger Hunt, you need to check out the next author: JOSHUA DAVID BELLIN. Good luck!