YASH Fall 2016

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 2016! 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 signed book from each author on the hunt in my team!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt.  I am a part of the RED TEAM.

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 listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold 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 10/9/16. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I am hosting Jessica Brody on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Jessica Brody is the author of more than twelve books for teens, tweens, and adults including A Week of Mondays, Boys of Summer, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, and the three books in the sci-fi Unremembered trilogy. She also writes books for the Descendants: School of Secrets series, based on the hit Disney Channel original movie, Descendants. Her books have been translated and published in over 23 countries and Unremembered and 52 Reasons to Hate My Father are currently in development as major motion pictures. She lives with her husband and four dogs and splits her time between California and Colorado.
Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author’s book here!
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true…

 

Note from Jessica: Little known fun fact about my latest release, A WEEK OF MONDAYS: it had four prologues. Yes, FOUR. And none of them (not a single one) made it into the final book. For some reason I was like bent set on writing a prologue for this book. I felt like a book about a girl who magically relives the same horrible Monday over and over again, should have some kind of preface. An introduction to the madness, if you will. So I kept trying and trying to get it right. I sent my editor prologue after prologue and finally she just said, “Why does the book even need a prologue?” And as I smoothed my ruffled feathers and prepared to explain to her in an even, measured tone exactly why this book would be completely useless without a prologue, I quickly realized she was right. The book didn’t need a prologue. It could just start on that fateful first Monday, with that fateful first text message.

 

And yet those poor failed prologues still exist. Now, it seems, for no other reason then to have fun bonus content to share on fun YA Scavenger Hunts. So here you go. My favorite of the four failed prologues to A WEEK OF MONDAYS. Enjoy!

 

Prologue

Everyone knows that Mondays are the armpit of the week. This is not a radical new idea. It’s pretty much common knowledge. Mondays are like the dentist appointment that everyone has to suffer through but no one enjoys. And if anyone tries to tell you that they actually like Mondays—or dentist appointments, for that matter—then you should just run the other way. Because this person is either a compulsive liar or mentally unstable. And who needs that in their life?

There’s a reason so many famous songs are written about Mondays. Not Tuesdays. Not Thursdays. Not even an occasional love ballad to a Saturday. Nope. it’s all about the Mondays.

In the eighties, the Bangles called it a “Manic Monday.”

In the seventies, the Boomtown Rats declared quite plainly, “I Don’t Like Mondays.”

But I think the Mamas and the Papas said it best in their famous 1966 song, “Monday Monday.”

“Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day.”

And you know, I really should have listened. I should have heeded Big Mama Cass’s sage advice. Never, under any circumstances should you ever trust a Monday. Just like you should never trust a cheerleader when she promises there are no nuts in her bake sale cookies. (But I’ll get to that later.)

But I didn’t listen. I didn’t heed this advice.

So, alas, there I was on that fateful Monday morning in mid September. I was naïve. I was idealistic. I awoke feeling…hopeful, of all things.

I was an idiot.

In my defense, though, even the Mamas and Papas song starts off fairly optimistic.

 

“Monday, Monday. So good to me.

Monday morning, it was all I hoped it would be.”

 

Of course, then the song—and the day—pretty much takes a turn for the worst. Just as mine did.

Sorry, Bangles. But your Manic Monday has nothing on mine.

Nothing.

In fact, my manic Monday makes yours look like a blissful Saturday in the park.

Oh, Monday, Monday. You most definitely can’t trust that day.

 

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 11. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold 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, Kay Honeyman!

YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016! 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 signed 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 SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM–but there is also a red team, a BLUE team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed 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.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold 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 4/3/16, 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 Deidre Riordan Hall on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of young adult, including the Amazon bestseller, SUGAR, the recent release PEARL and several new adult titles in the Follow your Bliss series. When she’s not writing, she’s probably surfing or in pursuit of magic or both. She also has a healthy case of wanderlust, loves salsa, guacamole, and tortillas, and dreams about learning to play piano.
 
Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author’s book here!
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

 

As seventeen-year-old Pearl Jaeger emerges from a gritty childhood, her uncle sends her to a prestigious prep school with the promise of a second chance. But haunted by her memories and reckless with grief when her mother overdoses, she turns to partying with the burnouts, including shy and sweet Grant. All too soon, she’s spiraling out of control on the heels of her late mother. But between friendships that turn into sisterhoods, the salvation of art, and Grant showing her what it is to trust and forgive, Pearl must close the door on her past or lose love, along with her future.
Pearl Journal intro
Pearl Journal 1
Pearl Journal 2
Pearl Journal 3

 

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Deidre, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 16. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold 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, Jessica Brody!

Book News: Announcing ROSEMARKED!

I’m so glad to be able to share!

From Publisher’s Marketplace:

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The book is currently slated to come out January 2018.

I’m soooo excited about this book, guys. And I’ve been having a blast researching it, from archery and stick fighting lessons to conversations about memory loss with my old classmate at MIT. And I can’t wait to share it with you.

Now I just need to, uh, finish writing it 😛

Complete Creative Writing Workshop Bundle Now Available (Save over 20%)

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My entire Story Writing Workshop is now up on Teachers Pay Teachers!  There are seven lessons total. You can also get the complete bundle for a 22% discount.

CHECK OUT THE SERIES AND DOWNLOAD THE FIRST LESSON FREE!

Lesson One: Introduction to Storytelling (Free download)
Lesson Two: Freewriting and Idea Generation
Lesson Three: Building Strong Characters
Lesson Four: Plot
Lesson Five: Setting and Description
Lesson Six: Revision
Lesson Seven: Book Cover Design

Description and Setting Lesson Now Available

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We’re on a roll!  My lesson plans for Description and Setting are now available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

How do writers bring an entire world to life through simple words?  In this lesson, students learn the secrets of precise and descriptive prose, and how to filter a description through a character’s point of view.  Then they’ll go on to explore their story’s setting and how it affects their characters and plots

Plot lesson now available

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The fourth installment of my Creative Writing Workshop is up on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Lesson four is about plot. What drives a plot and keeps the reader engaged? Students will learn basic plot structure, from inciting incident to climax, as well as tips for organizing everything in between. Then, they’ll draw plot charts for their own stories.

Third Creative Writing Lesson Plan Up

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And the third lesson plan from my Story Writing Workshop is now available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Lesson three is about characterization. Students learn the tips and tricks that make a well rounded character.  Through brainstorming exercises, mock interviews, and character autobiographies, students develop their main character’s life experience and personality. Then after they’ve nailed down their protagonist, students explore how supporting characters complement and challenge the protagonist.  Finally, students learn about the ways  which characters grow and change throughout a story.

Check out the rest of the series as well:

Lesson One: Introduction to Storytelling

Lesson Two: Freewriting and Idea Generation (The writing prompts in this lesson are also available separately as Out-of-the-Box Creative Writing Prompts.)

Lesson Three: Building Strong Characters

Lesson Seven: Book Cover Design

Second Creative Writing Lesson Plan Is Up

This past July, I ran a week long creative writing camp for middle and high school students.  After the camp, I revised my materials and expanded on them for other teachers to use.

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Lesson 2: Freewriting and Idea Generation is now available on Teachers Pay Teachers. It’s all about figuring out what to write. Sometimes the muse is ready to meet us, but other times we have to go look for her. This lesson leads students through eleven writing prompts. After they complete the exercise, they pick their favorite idea and develop it into a rough synopsis.

This lesson can be used as a standalone creativity exercise. Alternatively, students can take the synopsis they write here and refine it with the help of later installments of this series.

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The creative writing prompts in this lesson are also available on their own as Out-of-the-box Creative Writing Prompts, without the lecture material.

Free Lesson Plans From My Summer Creative Writing Camp

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This past July, I ran a week long creative writing camp for middle and high school students. We had a ton of fun, and the students wrote some great stories! After the camp, I revised my materials and expanded on them for other teachers to use.

Lesson one, introduction to storytelling, is now available for free download at Teachers Pay Teachers.  It’s a bird’s eye view of storytelling. Why do we tell stories in the first place? What makes a good story? How do you become a better writer? The lesson uses several well known stories to discuss plot, character, and writing, with the goal of encouraging students to start thinking about stories in a more analytical and intentional way.

Six more lessons to come…

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