Hello, my lovelies, and welcome to the Fall 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!
This event is the brainchild of author Colleen Houck, your chance to access exclusive bonus material from your favorite authors, AND an opportunity to win some huge book prizes! At each stop on the hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from a different author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues and 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.
There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all. I am a part of the GOLD TEAM, but there are also Teams Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Teal, Purple and Pink. At 20 authors per team, that’s 160 books we’re giving away!
For official rules, links to all the authors participating, and the full list of prizes, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favourite number. Collect the favourite numbers of all the authors on the gold team, and then add them up.
Entry Form: Once you’ve totalled the numbers, fill out this form to 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 October 4, 2015, at noon PST. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered. Winners will be announced on October 9, 2015.
THE ACTUAL BLOG POST
With all that administrivia concluded, I am so pleased today to host New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris! Rachel is a Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschooling mom who gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!
Here’s the scoop on her YA novel, The Fine Art of Pretending.
With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.
But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.
You can learn more about Rachel and The Fine Art of Pretending here, at her website.
To go with The Fine Art of Pretending, Rachel wrote a companion adult romance novel, The Natural History of Us (coming April 2016). Today, she’s sharing a sneak preview from that story!
“What do you think are the components of a satisfying, successful marriage?” I ask instead, setting the paper down so he won’t see how badly my hands are shaking.
I avoided the blatantly obvious question, but this one is every bit as pointless. Based on our prior history, it’s almost a given he’ll say there’s no such thing as a successful marriage. Which makes it surprising when he replies:
“Really?” I interrupt with a laugh. “You’re gonna start with honesty? You?”
Justin leans forward, the paper tablecloth crinkling as he rests his elbows on the surface. With the way he stares into my eyes, it’s like he can see straight through to my soul. Maybe Gabi had the right idea hiding behind the menu.
“Yeah,” he answers. “I am. Look, Peyton, I know you don’t believe it, but people change a lot in three years. I’m not the complete asshole you think I am.” I scoff under my breath, and he holds my gaze for another long moment before the thick knot in his throat bobs and he glances away. “At least not anymore.”
A twinge of guilt hits my stomach. Which, when you think about it, is so stupid. He cheated on me! But, luckily, before I can do something even more foolish, like apologize for my well-founded doubts, he turns back and continues.
“Honesty,” he says it again, this time emphasizing the word. He holds up a hand and starts listing components on his long fingers. “Commitment. Telling your wife she’s the most beautiful girl in the room.” He pauses there, three fingers extended, and my hand clenches beneath the table. With a grin, he adds, “Remembering what a lucky bastard you are that she ever chose you in the first place.”
That’s four, according to the tally, and my pulse picks up speed with each uptick.
“Never going to sleep angry.” Five. “Getting all your shit out there before it can build.” Six. “And kissing her every damn chance you get.” Seven.
He leans back, leaving his hands extended in the air, and I just keep staring at his fingers. I chastise myself—stupid heart, he’s not saying these things about YOU!—but the longer the fingers remain up, the longer the moment stretches, the more the air around us shifts. The cool tickle of awareness races up my spine, and as I shiver, chill bumps prick my skin.
Justin’s eyes dip to my arms. The corner of his mouth twitches and as he curls his hands closed, he shrugs. “That’s my opinion, anyway. What about you?”
My opinion? I’m discombobulated.
Before dinner = fully combobulated.
Now = completely and totally without combobs.
“Uh.” My head is void of all thought but I clear my throat, grasping to pull something out of the air. Another trait to list or quality to check that he didn’t already cover.
Since when did the player of Fairfield Academy become a frigging marriage expert?
“Those are good,” I say, stalling as I think about my parents who have, hands down, the most incredible marriage ever. They support each other, they listen, and they make room for daily bouts of silliness. Remembering a few of their more gooberific moments I add, “Laughter.” Justin looks at me. “I think it’s important to laugh with the person you’re in love with.”
He nods as a small smile plays on his lips. “I like that one. You should write it down.”
We’re not just sitting here, dredging up our pain-filled past for kicks. We’re actually supposed to turn these answers in and use them to begin our joint paper. Grateful for the excuse to break eye contact, I grab my oversized purse and dig for something to write on other than the tiny margin of the question sheet or the butcher-paper tablecloth. Usually I’m much more prepared.
And much more combobulated.
I really like the word “discombobulated”. And I love the idea of walking around counting my combobs!
Before you start to count yours, dear reader, you might want to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Rachel Harris, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favourite number is 12. Add up all the favourite numbers of the authors on the gold team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
To continue your quest for the prize, you need to check out the next author, Shannon Grogan. Go go go, and luck be with you!