Tuesday, April 2, 2019

YA Scavenger Hunt - Red Team

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 (see above)! 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 FIVE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM--but there is also a blue team, a gold team, a green team, 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.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed 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 Sunday, April 7, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today, I am hosting Sharon Biggs Waller on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Sharon Biggs Waller is the Friends of American Writers award winning author of the critically acclaimed young adult novels The Forbidden Orchid, A Mad, Wicked Folly, and the upcoming Girls on the Verge. She writes for magazines about horses, chickens, and farming, and she’s a co-author of The Original Horse Bible.

I've also heard that Sharon once made 5 necklaces using nothing but macaroni and some spare yarn.

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here

17-year-old Camille Winchester attempts to gain an abortion despite the restrictions of Texas law. Together with her friends Bea and Annabelle, Camille sets out on a road trip to solve the problem on her own terms.


Super exciting! Sharon sent us a sneak peek of her next book. Enjoy and then see your link to your next destination below!



Sharon Biggs Waller

Chapter One


My parents named me Freya after the Norse goddess of love and fertility, but I don’t think they chose it for that. Looking like some long-dead Norse goddess didn’t used to bother me all that much because she’s also the goddess of music, which probably accounts for my obsession with music. But last year I overheard my dad tell my mom that he didn’t want to go anywhere with me on his own because people would think he’d gotten himself a hot young girlfriend. After I heard that, I threw all my v-neck t-shirts, my skinny jeans, my summer rompers and sundresses and skirts into the Goodwill box. I spent all my birthday and babysitting money on denim overalls and plaid shirts. I put my hair in a long braid, tied a bandanna on my head, farm-girl style, and called it a day. People think the way I dress is because of my band, but they don’t know the half of it.
My big sister Gudrun says our parents gave us Scandinavian names because they wanted us to stand out. Well…job done. Gudrun stands out, at six feet tall, and so do I, but for a different reason. A couple of weeks ago, one of the math teachers at school, who everyone knows for a fact is a creeper, told me I look exactly like the goddess Freya. The entire class stared at me, and my face flamed like a torch had been held to it.
            “He’s gross,” my friend Stevie
said. “Just ignore him.”
But I can’t ignore him, because what he says is true. I’ve seen the drawings and pictures. Freya the goddess has long blonde hair, so do I. Freya the goddess has blue eyes, so do I. Freya the goddess has big breasts, so do I. Freya the goddess looks like a Playboy model. So do I. So do I. So do I.
            And I don’t like it.
I’d give anything to look like Stevie, petite with short dark hair and fierce brown eyes, and tiny freckles over her nose. No one messes with Stevie. Ever. Which is why she’s our roadie and manager. She can put an obnoxious guy in his place with one flash of the stink eye, which she has perfected since the fifth grade when Brad Woskowski “accidently” threw a dodge ball at the back of her head.
I don’t care what my dad said about me anymore. I don’t want to go anywhere with him either.

In orchestra I’m in the middle of the violin section, which means I sit on the second tier of the orchestra room, and never get solos. Mrs. Mendoza says if I try a little harder, I could be in the first tier, and maybe even have a crack at first violin. But I’m happy where I am, sharing a stand with Stevie.
            Orchestra is first period, and I’m always the earliest in. I like it that way. I like to be the one to snap on the lights and take the drape off the baby grand piano, arrange the chairs and tidy the music stands, which are always left crooked and scattered in places where they don’t belong from last period when marching band has the room. Some wisenheimer always puts the violin section music stands in a cluster near the doors. Ha, ha, funny, as ever. The marching band is in a one-sided prank war with the orchestra. But no one in the orchestra has the desire or the strength to send a return prank.

            I’m carrying the last of the stands over when Stevie runs in holding five tickets over her head. “I got them, I got them, I got them!” She runs around the room waving the tickets over her head.
            I intercept her as she does a lap by the piano. “What? How?”
            “I am the best manager in the world. I basically sat with my phone, hitting page refresh for a solid hour before I got in. Folk Fest, here we come!”
            Folk Fest is held every spring in Chicago’s Griffith Park, and tickets sell out fast. Most are gone in a couple hours. Stevie’s tried for the past two years to get tickets and we’ve never gotten them. Folk Fest is like going to heaven. Every single band we love in one place over a weekend. And this year my favorite band, The Guys, is playing on the main stage.
            Stevie slides on top of the piano and fans the tickets out like a deck of cards. “Pick a ticket, any ticket,” she says.
            I choose a ticket from the end of the fan. Stevie printed them from her computer, and Stevie-like as ever, carefully cut out each one. “Did you tell the others?”
            She shakes her head. “Not yet.” She nudges me with her foot. “I wanted to tell you first. Look at the date.”
            I look at the ticket. “You got them on my birthday?”
            She grins. “Happy early birthday!” She pumps her fists in the air; the remaining tickets flap. “First one of us to hit seventeen. It must be celebrated, and what better way than Folk Fest.”
            “Off the piano, Miss Peck.” Mrs. Mendoza is coming down the slope, her baton in hand. She waves it at Stevie like a magic wand. “Off, off, off. The PTA did not sell banana bread and brownies and chocolate chip cookies for a solid two years running so you could have a glorious place to sit. This is not the Fabulous Baker Boys. Nor is this is a cabaret.”
            Stevie groans and slides off the piano. “Sorry, Mrs. Mendoza.”
            “Now what is all this screeching about?”
            “Folk Fest tickets,” Stevie says, holding the remaining four tickets out. “The Scapegoats, Bonnie and the Clydes, the Bathtub Virtues…”
            Mrs. Mendoza’s eyebrows rise higher at each indie folk band name Stevie names.
            Stevie saves the best band, and our favorite, for last: “And even The Guys.”
            Mrs. Mendoza sets her music portfolio and baton on a stand and raises it up to shoulder height. “The Guys was a popular band when I was in high school. Don’t tell me they’re making a comeback now.”
            “Those vintage bands are the best,” Stevie says.
            Mrs. Mendoza cringes. “Vintage? Really? Is that what we’re calling them?”
            “But there is a best part,” Stevie says, pushing herself back onto the piano and immediately sliding off when Mrs. Mendoza shoots her a look. “I entered Freya and the Vanir into the local band lottery.”
            “A ton of bands enter that,” I say. “I doubt we’ll get in.”
            “Someone has to get it,” Mrs. Mendoza says. “It might as well be your band, girls.”
            A rush of adrenaline shoots through me. We’ve never played in front of a crowd as big as Folk Fests’ and the thought of it scares me and thrills me at the same time. “How many songs do we get to play?” I ask.
            Stevie takes out her phone. “Um…” She scrolls through the page. “Five. Two have to be original; the rest can be covers. We can totally do that.”
            “We barely have two original songs finished.”
            “Early Days is already finished. And we just need to work on Over the Meadow.
            “Let me know if you need a place to practice. I can arrange one of the rehearsal rooms for you,” Mrs. Mendoza says.
“Really?” Stevie says. “That would be great. Finley’s dad is getting sick of us taking over his garage.”
“Yes, really.” Mrs. Mendoza waves her baton again. “Now stop pestering me and go to your seats.”
Stevie and I walk to our stands and take out our violins. “What songs do you think we should do,” Stevie asks. “I mean the covers?”
“So Jolene, for sure.” Dolly Parton’s song is the first song my band learned, and it’s really popular with crowds. “Landslide.” I rosin my bow, thinking. “Maybe one of the traditional folk songs, like Blooming Heather?”
“Sure, we can put people to sleep if you want.”
“Oh, ha ha. It’s a great song!”
“We have to do a They Guys number since they will be there,” Stevie says. “Road and the Rushes?”
I want to do a The Guys song more than anything, especially since the lead singer, Henry Holcomb, will be there. But everyone will have heard him sing Road and the Rushes and I don’t want to sound like a bunch of fangirls covering his biggest hit. I tuck my violin under my arm. “Yeah, maybe. But the harmony on that song is really hard. But I think if—”
A paper airplane soars between us, hits our sheet music and falls to the floor. I twist around and see Brett Morgan twirling his bass and grinning. I turn around in my seat. Brett must have prepared his idiot attack before he got her; he has a bunch more plans on the rim of his music stand. When I sit straight I see Annie looking at me. “What?”
“I’m telling you he likes you.”
I arrange the sheet music and kick the airplane onto the riser below. “He can keep liking me. I have no plans to like him back, got it?” Brett is okay, but he’s too friendly and I’m not sure how I feel about that. He never comes out and tells me what he wants, and that makes me feel uncomfortable. The whole middle school throwing-crap-at-my music stand and the goofy bass twirling trick makes my stomach hurt. This is high school, for crying out loud.
“Me-thinks the lady protests too much.” I know Annie is kidding me because she really doesn’t like Brett either. It’s her way to smooth things over by putting a funny spin on it. If she knew how much he bothers me she’d probably punch him in the face.
“Funny,” I say.
The late bell rings just as Patience and Annie run into the room, late as usual. Patience’s western boots scuff and slip on the tile as she run-walks into the instrument room to get her cello. Annie slopes over to the bass section at the back, yawns and stretches and takes her place next to Brett. She picks up her bass and wraps her arms around the neck. Her eyes are half-closed. Patience scurries to her seat carrying her cello in one hand and her bow and music clutched in the other. Mrs. Mendoza watches her progression, baton frozen in the air.
Patience settles into her spot at first cello and clangs around dropping her bow and pulling out her cello’s endpin. She whispers to her stand partner, Sam Lennox. He points at the music sheet with his bow and Patience pulls her glasses off her head, puts them on, and squints at it.
Stevie snorts. “If those two are late for Folk Fest I’ll kill ‘em.”
“You know Annie is the one who made them late.”
“Well, I’ll start with her first,” she whispers.
The first violin, Jen Anderson, plays an A and we all tune our instruments to the note. I’m trying to catch Patience’s eyes so I can mouth Folk Fest tickets to her but Sam looks up instead. He bows his head solemnly, and turns his attention to his music, like the perfect gentleman from the 1800s that he is. I nod back and turn my attention to the music, letting myself fall into Mozart and the thought of playing on the local stage at Folk Fest.
After class, Stevie wrangles Annie and Patience into the instrument room.
Annie lies down on the floor and closes her eyes.
“You really do need to get more sleep,” Stevie says.
Annie holds her hand up in an okay sign, eyes still closed.
“Typical bass player,” Stevie says. “Listen up, women.” She jumps up onto an empty space on the counter between two viola cases. “I got Folk Fest tickets, but before you get excited and start hugging and kissing me and promising me your first born children, you’ll love me even more—I entered us into the local band lottery.”
 “This is so fabulous,” Patience whispers, so as not to wake Annie. “I’m texting Finley. She’ll die. I’m telling you.”
“Tell her to remain on the earth until after Folk Fest. We need her drum skills, for sure,” Stevie says.
“Stevie says we can do five songs, two have to be original,” I say.
A paper airplane flies through the door and lands on Annie’s face, pointy end first. She sits up. “What the hell?” She grabs the plane. “That hurt, asshole!”
Brett is standing in the doorway, his hand still raised from shooting the airplane.
“Seriously?” Annie rips the plane to bits. “How old are you?”
“It didn’t hurt!” he says. “Take a joke, seriously.”
“Beat it, Brett,” Annie kicks the door prop away and starts to shut the door, but Brett slaps his hand on it. “What the hell?” she says.
“Did I just hear you ladies say you’re playing on the local stage at Folk Fest?” His eyes are wide under a long swatch of brown hair. “That’s…like serious.” He comes into the instrument room.
“You were spying on us?” Patience says. She snatches up a bow and holds it out. “Don’t come any closer.”
“Dude, relax,” Brett says. “The instrument room is a common space. I have every right to be in here. It’s like my first amendment right or something.”
“Okay, first of all, we aren’t ladies,” I say. “We’re women. And second of all, you are a bass player and basses aren’t stored in the instrument room. Third of all, if you were coming in here you wouldn’t have thrown your dumb airplane at us.” I want to slap him right across the face and watch my handprint form on his smug face.
An arm reaches in from the doorway and grabs hold of Brett. We all watch open-mouthed as Brett’s hauled out of the room by his sweatshirt hood.
“Hey, hey,” he says, his feet peddling backward.
Sam Lennox steps into the room, nods to us. “Apologies,” he says, and pulls the door shut.
Annie stands up. “Did you see that?”
I nod.
Annie goes to the door and peers out through the little window, standing on her tip-toes. “Wow.” She looks at Patience. “Did you know he was like that?”
She shakes her head. “He doesn’t speak during orchestra unless it’s about music.”
I go to the window next to Annie and peek out, but Sam is gone. And so is Brett. Next to the door is a crumpled pile of paper airplanes. 

Don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Sharon Biggs Waller, 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!


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to read blood spell! Stumbled over your book on Erin Cashman's page and it sounds terrific. That's the second Cinderella book I've stumbled upon today (but I think the other one isn't on YASH its just by an author participating) and both sound good! But this one too! It's funny because I don't like Cinderella, but I have 2 Cinderella (Geekerella and an MM book Cinderfella) that I loved or really liked, and now I have two more potential Cinderella books that sound amazing! Of the two I discovered today, I'm excited to read yours more (SHHH, sorry other person whose book still sounds good). I'm just sad that I only discoverd this today and didn't have a chance to enter your rad Pre-Order giveaway.


People who comment are made of awesomesauce with a side of WIN!

YA Scavenger Hunt - Red Team

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author  Colleen Houck  as a way to give readers a c...