Welcome to the Fall 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt!

If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you’re taking part in the YA Scavenger Hunt, five days of hunting on YA authors’ blogs with the ultimate goal of winning a giant prize.
And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a little recap:
During this hunt, you’ll get access to exclusive content from each participating author, hosted on another author’s blog. (Look for an excerpt from Gray Wolf Island and my inspiration board on Amalie Howard’s site.) You’ll also get a clue—hint: it’ll be a blue number—for the hunt at each blog stop.
Add up the clues, and you can enter to win the big prize: One lucky winner will receive one book from each author on my team! But play fast. This contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 120 hours!
For all of the nitty-gritty details—including a list of prizes and participating authors—head to the YA Scavenger hunt page. There, you can find out about all of the teams. I’m on Team Blue, but there are six other teams hosting their own giveaways. You can enter one or all!

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Directions: You’ll notice that I’ve hidden my favorite number in this post. (Hint, it’s in blue.) Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the Blue Team, then add them up.
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, Oct. 8, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

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Today I’m hosting Betsy Cornwell, the New York Times bestselling author of Tides, Mechanica, and Venturess. She graduated from Smith College and was a columnist and editor at Teen Ink before receiving an MFA in creative writing from Notre Dame, where she also taught fiction. After grad school, she ran away to Ireland to live with the fairies, and she now resides in a small cottage on the west coast with her horse-trainer spouse. To learn more, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Betsy’s latest book is Venturess, the sequel to her Cinderella retelling Mechanica. Here’s a bit about the book:

The young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy-tale happy ending. She’s free of her horrible stepfamily, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await them as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries–and for themselves.
Add Venturess to your TBR on Goodreads. • Purchase the book here.


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In the novel writing course I teach here in Ireland, I tend to go on and on about discipline, about how much of the writing process means showing up even when you’re not inspired, even when writing is the opposite of fun.
…That said, I probably had more fun writing Venturess than I did with either of my two previous books. I knew enough about my own writing process by then that, while I still dealt with the same doubts and insecurities, I was able to see them coming and work around them in more effective ways. I knew the mental tricks to play on myself to get myself to write, and even to enjoy writing (most of the time!).
Plus, Venturess is a steampunk fairy tale, and it’s hard for me to think of two genres that are more fun to play with than those. It’s also a novel that exists in a world I had already built in my Cinderella retelling Mechanica, so I got to play around in that alternate-universe Victorian England and its colony, Faerie, without worrying about a lot of the logistics that come with making up a setting in the first place.
I make a playlist for every rough draft as I write, and I think the songs I chose for Venturess reflect exactly how much fun I had with this book. You can find an expanded playlist here, but these are the songs that were most important to me as I set the feminist fantasy-adventure tone.
And yes, there are two Ingrid Michelson songs. She was kind of my patron saint for this project.
1. Ingrid Michaelson, “Wonderful Unknown”

2. Cloud Cult, “You’ll Be Bright (Invocation Part 1)”

3. John Spillane, “Passage West”

4. Seth Glier, “The Next Right Thing”

5. Josh Ritter, “Change of Time”

6. My Brightest Diamond, “I Have Never Loved Someone”

7. Ingrid Michaelson, “Afterlife”

I also probably had way too much fun, and definitely procrastinated too much, making this Venturess inspiration board. It all counts as research, right?


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In order to enter the contest for your chance to win you need to know that my favorite number is FIVE. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team (did you find mine, yet?) and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize.
On top of that grand prize, you have a chance to win a different and totally separate giveaway! Fill out the Rafflecopter info below to win a copy of Gray Wolf Island!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Ready to keep hunting? Visit the next author: Caitlin Sangster.
Q: If you had the funds, what would you bury for future treasure hunters to find?