Mar 31, 2015

Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

It's finally, finally spring. Why I moved to a state filled with ice and subzero temperatures, I'll never know. Regardless, I have two reasons to celebrate these days: the snow is slowly disappearing, and it's time for the Spring YA Scavenger Hunt. This is an event created by Colleen Houck as a way to give readers access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors and a chance to win some very amazing prizes.

Not only will you get exclusive content from authors (I made a SO CLOSE TO YOU character playlist for all you music lovers), but you'll also get a clue on each page. Add up the clues and you could qualify to win 20 signed books from all the authors participating. But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

To make it even more awesome, there are eight contests going on at the same time. I'm part of the ORANGE TEAM.

But there are also blue, pink, gold, red, green, teal AND purple teams for a chance to win a whole different set of 20 or so signed books. Make sure to stop by the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out more details and see links for all the participating authors.

Scavenger Hunt Puzzle

Directions: Somewhere in this post I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the orange team, and then add them up.

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the entry form 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, April 5th at noon Pacific Time.

(NOTE: Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.)


For this hunt, I have the pleasure of hosting Marissa Kennerson:

Marissa Kennerson received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Before earning her master’s degree in psychology and art therapy, she worked for Wired and Glamour. She lives in California with her family. 

Here's Marissa's novel, THE FAMILY:

Just like any average seventeen year old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers and sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity… All one hundred and eighty three of them. Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. The Family members coexist with the values of complete openness and honesty, and a shared fear of contagious infection in the outside world. So when Adam, their Father, prophet, and savior, announces that Twig will be his new bride, she is overjoyed and honored. But when an injury forces her to leave the grounds, Twig finds that the world outside is not necessarily as toxic as she was made to believe. When she meets Leo, an American boy with a killer smile, she begins to question everything about her life within the Family, and the cult to which she belongs. But when it comes to your Family, you don’t always get a choice.

Cults and cute boys? I'm intrigued. To order THE FAMILY, CLICK HERE! And to find out more about Marissa and her books, click here.

For her exclusive content, Marissa is sharing a playlist for her novel:


Twig and Leo’s Playlist

Music was such a huge part of my experience while writing THE FAMILY. I had this lovely, young, innocent, artistic and sadly -  victimized – Twig. I felt so passionately that music would be like a firecracker of inspiration for her. It would blow her mind.

Everything was blowing her mind after being raised in an oppressive, abusive cult environment. Music could whisper when she needed it, make her want to jump and dance and bounce and pounce at other times.

Music as healer. Music as poet. Music as intoxicant!

1. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Hazel dares Leo to dance to this POPsicle of song. He accepts the challenge and Twig just about loses her mind. The boy’s got moves, he’s hot and oozes charm.  He’s sweet. This song was just also a total guilty pleasure while I was writing. I kind of pumped me up and brought me instantly into the soul of the book.

Imagine Twig riding in a convertible, hair blowing…”Let’s run away and never look back.”

Thank you, Ms. Perry. Something really comes through in this song.

2. Remember the Mountain Bed – Billy Bragg and Wilco

So, I am a Jeff Tweedy anything girl. Jeff Tweedy strung out and skinny,  Jeff happy and healthy and all dad making an album with his son, Jeff and his book of poems. You get the picture. And this is Jeff singing Woodie Guthrie’s words. Yes, please.

Remember the Mountain Bed – sigh. It’s just the most romantic, out in the woods, delicious business. My friend Sarah turned me on to it in the 90’s, and I knew it was perfect to describe the mood between Leo and Twig that magical Thanksgiving night in the woods when she decides to go on the surf trip with him. Twig in her vintage YSL on loan from Gran, the moon full and bright, their young love.

3. Mellow Mood – Bob Marley Wailers

The Cohens and Leo were inspired by a family I knew as a teenager in Santa Monica, the Kaufmans. I had moved back to LA with my family after living in a very conservative, small, affluent (Laura Ashley/Pierre Deux) town in Northern California. I thought wearing Gunne Sax was cool when I got back to LA.

Sheila Kaufman and her family introduced me to a new way of experiencing life the way the Cohens do for Twig (on a smaller level for me of course). We would make fresh salsa, AMAZING music playing, swimming in their pool deep into the night and more laughter than I could ever describe.  Mellow Mood – just says Cohen. Says Kaufman. It’s what Leo and her family bring to Twig.

4. Side of the Road – Lucinda Williams

 This song will rip you in two.

Ms. Williams articulates something so true in this song – it hurts. I had put the lyrics of this book but had to take them out for copywriting purposes.

“If only for a minute or two – I want to see to what it feels like to be without you…”  -LC

It’s Twig’s dilemma between the world she has always known –the world she has loved and this new world that is capturing every essence of her young being.

5. Goodbye Girl – The Shins and/or Squeeze – you choose!

When the Shins came out with this version of Goodbye Girl – it just struck this crazy chord with my 13 year old self and my 28 year old self – and the mix was heady. I came up with the Cohen’s musical car game: each family member has to bring a song and its cover to the table and everyone votes. It’s just so Cohen and so fun.

So which do you choose?

6. Appletree – Erykah Badu

Hazel is this sexy, sensual, badass, confident American teen. She’s kind of the antithesis of Twig. (Although they are both big-hearted gals!) Erykah Badu – well she’s like my super hero. This song just oozes cool. It was perfect for Hazel’s song during the Cohen Lip Sync night during the surf trip.

7. Love is Strange – Micky and Silvia

My dad and I were driving one day and he pointed out how adorable and bubbly this song is. Then there was the Dirty Dancing scene. It was just too perfect – Leo and Twig singing this song with one another. I think if the FAMILY ever does become a movie or TV show and they do this scene – I’ll just faint dead away of happiness.

8. Blackbird – The Beatles

Leo gives moments a song. A soundtrack to life. Twig gives people colors. My editor gave the FAMILY a song. There you have it.

Thanks for the listen!

Let me know what you think!




Continue the scavenger hunt by CLICKING HERE for the next author. Also, lately I've been dreaming of the number 11. I think the universe is telling me something...

In the spirit of the hunt, I'm also giving away a full set of the So Close to You trilogy. Enter below to win signed copies of So Close to You, This Strange and Familiar Place and Find Me Where the Water Ends + bookmarks. US only!

Good luck to all who enter and happy hunting!

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