Tuesday, April 4, 2017


* Enter to win a MIDDLE GRADE BOOK BUNDLE! Ends April 10th!
* Enter to win a YA SCI-FANTASY BOOK BUNDLE (45 books!) Ends April 10th!
* Enter to win a $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD! Ends April 18th!


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! 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 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are eight contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PINK TEAM--but there is also a red team, an orange team, a gold team, a green team, a teal team, a blue team, a purple 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.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the PINK 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 APRIL 9th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

A LITTLE ABOUT ME: I live in Southern CA, I am the author of ten books, I teach English at College of the Canyons, and I am the mother of 5 children. Did you catch that I have 5 kids???


Today, I am hosting GRETCHEN MCNEIL on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Gretchen McNeil is the author of the standalone YA horror novels POSSESS, TEN (a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times) and 3:59, as well as GET EVEN and GET DIRTY, part of her mystery/suspense series Don't Get Mad, all with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins. In 2016, Gretchen will publish two novels: RELIC, a YA horror novel, with HarperCollins/EpicReads Impulse on March 8, 2016, and in the fall, I'M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, her first YA contemporary, with Balzer + Bray. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

Find out more information by checking out Gretchen's Blog HERE. And you can order her book HERE.


SUMMARY: Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She's starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it's time to use The Formula for herself. She'll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn't all it's cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she's messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?


Some people—and I’m not naming names—but “some people” (notice my air quotes?) might consider me to be just a teensy bit of a control freak. 

Which is total b.s.

Mostly b.s.?

Okay, fine.  It’s completely true.

I mean, I know how it looks: Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has some difficulty loosening her grasp.  But it’s not a personal problem, and labeling me as a “control freak” (maybe I should lay off the air quotes?) implies some deep-rooted sense of inadequacy and overpowering self-confidence issues that are only soothed by micro-managing my friends’ lives. 

But the truth is, I’m doing them a favor.

Do you remember us freshman year?  You probably don’t.  Spencer, Gabe, Valerie, and I were invisible: marginalized, picked on, ostracized.  We were just faceless nerds to you, mirroring your own fears of not fitting in. 

If that had been the worst of it, we could have survived.  We had each other; it wasn’t the worst of all possible worlds.  But then Gabe got his ass kicked after gym class one day, and everything changed.
But we couldn’t let it continue for four long years of high school.  No freaking way.  We had to come up with a plan to make things better.

And by “we” I mean “me.” 

When my friends asked for my help, begged me to problem solve the horror that was our high school social lives, I morphed into problem solving mode, using the one thing I’m really, really good at.  Math.  And I came up with The Formula (trademark pending.)

            (1) Find the niche. 
            (2) Play the role.
            (3) Fill the void.

Applying The Formula, my friends’ lives were transformed. 

Spencer, the quiet artist, labeled “gay” despite no evidence of homosexuality, was teased mercilessly in the locker room for being undersized and nonathletic.  Gabe, who actually was gay and not exactly hiding it, routinely got his ass kicked due to an unstoppable flow of witty comebacks and a loudly professed penchant for table top role playing games.  Valerie, the Jersey transplant who was too tall, too loud, too brash and always accidentally offending someone, found herself completely shunned.   

The Formula worked for all of them.

It helped them find a way to fit in, to use their strengths to fill a socially acceptable need, to craft their high school personae in such a way that you’d never remember the wimp, the geek, and the blabbermouth that they had been, and only see them as the important, irreplaceable cogs that they had become.

It sounds super awful when I lay it out like that: asking my friends to change their personalities to fit in.  What kind of Machiavellian sociopath does that?  But they’d asked for my help, and I gave it.  And sociopathic or not, I was trying to protect them from the misery that had been freshman year.
It worked for awhile.  But I screwed something up along the way.

And I don’t know if I can fix it.


And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, LAURISA WHITE REYES, and more! To enter, you need to know that my special number is [5]. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the PINK 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 the next author, JENNIFER M. EATON!

1 comment:

  1. I've been eyeing I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Girl for awhile, definitely moving up my TBR list. Great exclusive content.