Post Title: YA Scavenger Hunt
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!
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 hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red 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.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I am hosting Yvonne Ventressca on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
About Yvonne Ventresca
Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, the psychological thriller Black Flowers, White Lies was listed at the top of BuzzFeed’s new must-read YA books: 23 YA Books That, Without a Doubt, You’ll Want to Read This Fall. Her debut YA novel about a deadly bird flu outbreak, Pandemic, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Yvonne’s other works include the short story “The Art of Remaining Bitter,” which was selected for the anthology, THE MYSTERIES OF DEATH AND LIFE (Dancing Lemur Press, 2017), as well as two nonfiction books. To learn more about Yvonne, visit her website at YvonneVentresca.com or connect with her here:
Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a mysterious connection. When an eerie handprint appears on her mirror, she wonders if Dad’s warning her of danger as he did once before. Could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible? Or the grieving building superintendent? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her. Soon the evidence points to Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.
Exclusive Black Flowers, White Lies content:
In honor of the YA Scavenger Hunt, here are some fun facts about Black Flowers, White Lies, gathered together for the first time:
1. The original title for Black Flowers, White Lies was In the Dark, but when Yvonne and her editor realized there were several other book by that title, they decided to change it. The new title inspired the cover design.
2. Near the end of the book, Ella meets Gavin at Sybil’s Cave. The real 1841 murder of Mary Rogers by that location inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s 1842 story, “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt.”
3. Yvonne started writing this novel in 2006, but despite many revisions, the plot didn’t quite work. She wrote and sold Pandemic, her debut YA novel, before completely rewriting the story that would become Black Flowers, White Lies.
4. The novel includes several Hoboken ghosts from Arthur’s Tavern, The Brass Rail, and Stevens Institute of Technology. The ghost story set in the PATH station that Gavin tells Ella is actually based on a story from NYC’s Grand Central Station.
5. Like Ella, Yvonne once had her Tarot cards read by a blind man. He predicted that she would write about sports, which hasn’t come true . . . yet. The cards mentioned in Ella’s reading are loosely based on the Strength and the Moon cards.
Excerpt from Chapter One:
I approach Dad’s tombstone with trepidation, then breathe a sigh of relief. No mysterious flowers wilt at his grave as I had feared. Last August, someone left fresh orange lilies for him throughout the month. I never figured out who. Then, in September, the flowers stopped appearing as suddenly as they started. I always wondered, with an odd mixture of anxiety and hope, if I would run into the other mourner— someone else who honored my father. But I never did.
Usually, the ritual of navigating the same cemetery rows, visiting Thomas Darren Benton, and putting a small rock on his headstone calms me. Now, the heat is relentless and sweat trickles down my back as I search for the perfect pebble. It needs to be a nice, roundish one. Despite the lilies left last summer, Dad wasn’t a bouquet kind of guy.
I know this even though I never met him. He died before I was born, so I have no memories of him, only stories from Mom that I’ve heard so many times it feels like I was actually there. I see him beam during his graduation from veterinary school and feel his hand pat Mom’s pregnant belly. I hear him pick my name from the baby book: Ariella, meaning lion, although Mom insists they nickname me Ella. I smell the damp on his clothes from the night he rescued Oscar the kitten from a storm drain and brought him home to stay. These recollections have been cobbled together into my own version of Dad for the last fifteen years.
Today the sky is gray and foreboding, but the occasional burst of wind does nothing to cool me. I finally find just the right rock nestled in a patch of grass and rub off the dirt with my fingers. My friend Jana taught me the tradition of leaving a stone as a way to mark my visits with something more permanent, more enduring than flowers.
I’m the only person who comes to his grave somewhat regularly, other than last summer’s unknown mourner. I don’t think Mom’s been here since her engagement to Stanley, a non-reading, self-absorbed, stubby man. With the wedding only days away, Stanley’s settled into our apartment, but each awkward conversation we have leaves me yearning for the father who painted my room a cheerful yellow, who created a mini-library of animal books to read to his future daughter.
I hesitate before Beloved Husband and Father, rolling the pebble between my fingers, then place it in line with the last one, making it the eighth in a row. I let my hand linger against the cool granite. Next week is Dad’s birthday, August 8. That number has been lucky for me since I was eight years old, when I could have died, but because of Dad’s warning, I didn’t.
The air gusts, whipping strands of hair across my face and scattering the pebbles to the ground. My skin prickles at the eerie timing before I realize that the wind has been stormy on and off throughout the day. Still, it spooks me because nothing has disturbed my markers in months. Until now. It’s almost like Dad is giving me another sign.
And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 5. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the RED TEAM and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, T.A. Maclagan!