Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! 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! On 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 GREEN TEAM--but there is also a red team, a blue team, a gold team, an orange team, a pink team, and a purple 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.
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 green 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 DATE, 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 Melissa Chambers on for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She serves as president for the Music City Romance Writers and is the author of the Love Along Hwy 30A series, the Before Forever series (YA), and Courting Carlyn (YA).
Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here!
Vaughn Yarborough is ready to trade the fame and glory of the international junior pro tennis circuit for college and a more settled life. First stop: spearhead a summer camp for underprivileged kids. The girl who’s agreed to run it with him has Vaughn more intrigued by the minute, but with the strict no-fraternizing rules, he’s got to figure out how not to fall for her.
When the boy Carlyn Sadowski has crushed on for years asks her to work with him for the summer, she has to pinch herself. When his world-famed coach offers her training for free, she can’t believe her luck. He could actually help her follow in her mother’s footsteps by playing college tennis. But when she finds out the catch is she’s got to convince Vaughn to go pro, Carlyn will have to decide between her dreams and the boy currently stealing her heart.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book features a super-hot sports star, the shy girl looking to grow her confidence on and off the court, and late-night shenanigans that would make your camp counselor blush.
“Stop it, you’re going to drop it!” I shout at Vaughn.
“I can’t help it. I’ve hit a rock or something. This pole won’t go into the ground.”
“Here, let’s take the flag off the pole and then you can…you’re smooshing it!” I yell. “It’s getting all wrinkled.”
“I’ve almost got it. Here, come here and help me with this.” He nods toward something, but I can’t tell what.
“Help you with what?”
“This, do you not see this right here?” he asks.
I peer around his shoulder to get closer, and he goes in for a kiss.
I pull away with a stifled smile. “Will you quit that? This is the American flag. It’s sacred.”
He cups my cheek and pulls me in for another kiss, which I am all too glad to get.
I pull away slightly and widen my eyes. “Will you stop?”
“I can’t help it. I haven’t kissed you in almost twenty-four hours.”
“Oh, the humanity.”
“Exactly.” He goes in again.
I nudge him. “We have got to get this flag up before more campers get here. It’s the last one. Focus.”
“Mmm hmm.” He kisses me again.
“On the flag,” I say.
“Oh, that. Of course.” He grins as he lifts the pole and shoves it back in the ground with one last push.
I rest my hands on my hips. “It was that easy all along?”
He wraps the flag around the two of us. “I’ve got to take my action when I can get it.” He kisses me again, and I kiss back this time without argument.
Vaughn’s walkie leaks static. “Vaughn. Do you mind letting Carlyn out of your grasp for just a quick sec? Fred is heading up from the lake.”
Vaughn grins at me. “Copy that, Nancy.”
I scoot out of the flag just in time to find Fred clomping through the tree line. “Supposed to be 85 and sunny all week,” he says. “Couldn’t have ordered up better July 4th weather.”
“Yes, sir,” Vaughn shouts. Fred looks down at something, and Vaughn pinches my butt as Fred walks by. I jump, and Fred looks over with a wonky eyebrow. I give him a pleasant smile, and when he heads into his house I turn to Vaughn. “You are going to pay.”
“Sounds like fun. Bring it on.”
HOW TO CONTINUE HUNTING
Don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Melissa Chambers, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 7. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the green team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out Mindy McGinnis!
I’ve wrote in public for almost five years, and one of the questions I often receive is: How do you complete a story? While I wish there was a magical answer for that question, there isn’t. Instead, I offer these suggestions:
1. JUST KEEP GOING. This is, by far, the single most difficult thing I deal with. I’ve started numerous stories and have met tons of characters, but out of all them only five books have been completed (and one short story.) Why? Because I quit. I came to a part of the story I despised, or in some cases I grew to dislike the main character. With thorough revisions, those things can change. The key is to keep going. If you don’t like your main character, put him/her in a situation that changes their views. If you don’t like the part your writing, skip to a scene you do want to write and tackle the despised part later. GET THE STORY FINISHED. Everything you don’t like can be adjusted afterward.
2. GET AWAY FROM DISTRACTIONS. I’ll admit, I’m a huge procrastinator. For example, I’m supposed to be working on a novel as I write this. Truth is, sometimes I don’t want to. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, painting my fingernails, they’re all distractions I’d rather do than write. But distractions won’t finish your story. If you listen to music, put a playlist on and put your phone in a drawer. If you’re like me and can’t control your urges to scroll your Twitter feed, put your phone in a drawer and get away from the internet. Basically, put your phone up (unless you must have it out.) You can also paint your fingernails later. Save that for a relaxing evening or a reward for finishing your scene.
3. KICK WRITER’S BLOCK IN THE BEHIND. Ah the dreaded writer’s block. It has plagued many writers, but few have prevailed. Just kidding, many have prevailed. Here’s how you can to:
- Go for a drive. I do some of my best writing while I’m driving to my mom’s house.
- If you’re stuck on a scene, think about what you would do. How would you react? What would you say? Most characters have a piece of you in them. Use that to your advantage.
- Listen to music and focus on the lyrics. The first story I ever wrote came from “Just a Kiss Goodnight” by Lady Antebellum. The story was unexpected and derived totally from that song. Song lyrics are powerful and they strike people in different ways. Find a song that resonates with your story and use it to channel a scene.
- Take a shower. Like driving, this is one of the places I do my best writing. I also head-write while blow-drying my hair. What can I say? It works.
- Go for a walk. This is dual-advantageous. You get to clear your mind and let the inspiration flow, and you also get time out of the house and away from the computer. It’s a win-win.
4. REMEMBER IT’S JUST THE FIRST DRAFT. I recently researched how well-known stories changed between the first and final draft. I was astounded to discover that even the most loved and cherished tales of our generation (Harry Potter, The Hobbit) changed. That was eye-opening. If the greats had to revise, should I really expect my story to be perfect on the first go-round? NO. The point is to finish the story. Nit-pick it later.
5. JOIN A WRITING COMMUNITY. This is crucial. I joined an online writing community in 2012. Had I not, I wouldn’t be published. I say that because the reader’s feedback and support was the primary driving force behind me finishing my first story. People relied on me for updates, and were interested in my characters. While I look back at that story and cringe, at the time I couldn’t let those people down with a half-concocted tale that would never be finished. I can always do the revisions when I have time, but at least it’s done. That’s the goal, isn’t it?
The take away from this is get the story done. Quit criticizing your writing. Quit picking apart plot points. Every writer will deal with the same issues. GET THE STORY FINISHED, then you can scrutinize.