YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to the Fall 2014 YA Scavenger Hunt!! UPDATE: The Scavenger Hunt is now CLOSED.

This tri-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!

5188387Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out more about the hunt. This time around there are SIX 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, gold, green, orange and indie team as well for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

Looking for my bonus content? Keep searching! Somewhere along the way I’ve hidden a deleted scene from THE OPAL CROWN, the sequel to THE PRINCESS IN THE OPAL MASK, which releases on October 28th! Before you go on though, check out the amazing author I’m hosting. But, first, a few rules.

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 RED TEAM and then add them up.

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, October 5th at noon Pacific time. Entries sent without the correct number or contact information will not be considered.

Sound Good? All right, let’s get ready to rumble!

Scavenger Hunt Post


Today I’m hosting the fabulous Jennifer McGowan. Jennifer was born in Ohio, grew up in Montana, and studied in Paris. She fell in love with the Elizabethan era as a college student, and is now an unrepentant scholar of that period, happily splitting her time between the past and the present. An RWA Golden Heart Award winner and multiple finalist, Jenn is the author of Maid of Secrets, Maid of Deception, and the Maids of Honor e-novella A Thief Before Christmas. She lives in Ohio. Visit her (and the Maids of Honor) at JenniferMcGowan.com.

Exclusive Content

About MAID OF DECEPTION:BeslDmWCQAA40Bb-e1391525070802

Elizabethan glamour and intrigue abound in this heart-pounding follow-up to Maid of Secrets, which Kirkus Reviews called “lively and fast-paced” with “plenty of action and plot twists.”

Beatrice Knowles is a Maid of Honor, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s secret protectors. Known for her uncanny ability to manipulate men’s hearts, Beatrice has proven herself to be a valuable asset in the Queen’s court—or so she thinks. It has been three weeks since the Maids thwarted a plot to overthrow the Queen, and Beatrice is preparing to wed her betrothed, Lord Cavanaugh. However, her plans come to a crashing halt as rumors of a brewing Scottish rebellion spread among the court.

Beatrice’s new assignment is to infiltrate the visiting Scottish delegation using her subtle arts in persuasion. The mission seems simple enough, until the Queen pairs Beatrice with the worst of the lot—Alasdair MacLeod. Beatrice cannot help but think that the Queen is purposefully setting her up for failure. But Alasdair could be the key to unlocking the truth about the rebellion…and her heart. Caught in a web of ever-more-twisting lies, Beatrice must rise up among the Maids of Honor and prove what she’s known all along: in a court filled with deception and danger, love may be the deadliest weapon of all.


Today Jennifer has graciously offered to share with us a deleted scene. Without further ado, here it is!

Deleted Scene from… Maid of Wonder, a Maids of Honor novel:

~this scene details the Maids defending a small group of Travelers (the nomadic people who eventually were referred to as “gypsies”, given the –incorrect– assumption that they were Egyptian due to their dark skin).~

“We cannot let them be harmed when they have no one to defend them,” Jane says. She reaches up to rebind her hair into thick plaits. At her side, Meg is doing the same.

“They have others to defend them,” Beatrice snaps. “Stefan Bihari has always defended his own!”

“Bihari!” A memory flashes in front of my eyes. Another forest, several weeks back. Another place. Beatrice’s home in Northampton, Marion Hall. The Great Labyrinth. The music, the dancing—it all comes rushing back. “They are Travelers!” These men and women are outlaws in England. They have journeyed all over the continent from Egypt, but they find no lasting welcome here, and precious few households suffer them to live on their lands. In fact, to give a Traveler rest is to risk beheading. Beatrice’s family took that risk, at great potential cost to them. But her home is days away, and these people—these people. . . I remember something else. “They gave me the obsidian stone!”

Beatrice turns just as Anna pushes forward. “Stefan Bihari is not with them,” Anna says, squinting into the bright sunlight. “These aren’t his people.”

“Then even more so should we keep away!” Beatrice retorts. “This is not our fight.” Far below, we see one of the men reach out and push a boy to the side. An older woman quickly steps forward and earns a backhand to the face for her troubles, then the man follows the woman as she stumbles away. The move seems to be the turning of the tide—the men surge forward to throw the women to the ground, and—

—And we are over the side of the wall.

Our dresses are day gowns, made of sturdier wool than our court finery, and we have been taught enough to be ready for any challenge. Still, Anna and Beatrice have some trouble with the wall, and we spend precious time directing them down to the point where they can make the drop without risk to ankle or knee. As soon as we are all on the ground, we turn, Meg and Jane to the fore, and Beatrice, Anna and me following behind. Anna is actually the last of our loose group, as she works best when she can see everything at once.

We race through the forest, our quarry only a quarter-mile off. By the time we arrive, however, great damage has been done. Children are silently beating at the fires set by the attackers, who are now busy trying to subdue the women. The women themselves are doing their level best to help each other, but they are not trained for combat, and though they outnumber the men, a few of them have already crumpled to the ground.

What strikes me most about this battle, however, is its comparative silence. The children do not scream, the women do not cry out. This is a crime that no one will stop—for the Travelers are not citizens of England, they are not citizens of any land. They do not merit the Queen’s favor.
The men are likely villagers, and as such they serve the Crown. They do merit the Queen’s favor.

But not ours.

“Stop!” Anna hisses, pointing to a pile of discarded silks as we pause at the edge of the clearing. We gather them up—beautiful scarves and embroidered kerchiefs, tossed aside like rags. Quickly we tie them around each other’s faces, so that we look. . .well, we look ridiculous, but at least there is no way we could be identified. There are six men, and five of us. Very good odds, except for the children.

And so it is the children that I am to help, even as my fellow Maids rush forward. I am not tall or strong, but I am quick and have a character that young people trust—even with my face wrapped like a brigand’s. I catch up a hatchet and start hacking away at the section of wagon that has been set to blaze, grimly appreciating the foresight of the Travelers. The wood of this wagon is wet. It smokes but does not blaze out of control. The children catch on quickly to what I am doing, only their fear and confusion prevail. They begin attacking me, tiny hands pulling at my hair and clothes.

“Fly!” I shout. “Find your brothers!” For these are only girls and small boys. There will be older brothers, somewhere. There have to be.
Startled by the command in my voice, the children scatter. I swing the axe again and again, seeing nothing but fire and smoke. I work my way down the wagon, interrupting the path of the flames, knocking sections of burning wood into the dirt. Sweat stings my eyes. I hear a scream and I turn—

The world around me has turned into a nightmarish landscape.

The Maids have run at the men in two pairs—Meg and Jane, Beatrice and Anna. One of the men is already down, the others are made of hardier stuff. Our clothes betray us all as women, and as such the men feel an unfounded confidence. They are thinking with their fists, believing their greater size and muscle should win the day. And ordinarily, they would be right. Worse, we’re hampered with our skirts—well, not all of us, it seems. I stare at Jane. Beneath her proper bodice and sleeves, her skirts have been unlaced and torn away, the padding as well, leaving her only in her shift, which looks two sizes too big for her body, and oddly shortened and slashed besides. Not that anyone usually sees one’s shift, but. . . It seems to be working for her, as she is able to use her feet and her legs as well as her hands. It seems that Meg no sooner sets up a combatant, then Jane attacks, her boots driving into guts and groins, her knife flashing out. Beatrice and Anna have a different strategy, toppling their men to the ground and pinning them, using the incredible bulk of their skirts to help subdue the attackers while they knock them senseless.

I see all of this in a sudden sweep, and then I’m turning, and there is a man in front of me. Two men, in fact, and I bring my axe around, planting my feet. The men take one look at me, and at the scuffle, then one of them gives a high, sharp whistle. I blink, and realize this man’s clothing is ragged but brightly colored beneath his short cape, his skin nut brown.

The Maids roll away from their quarry even as the men rush in, and we all assess this new threat—but there is no danger here. These are the escorts for the women and children, and they have larger problems than us. They must get their wagons and their people away from here, fleeing deeper into the forest until they can repair what the villagers have damaged. They must leave their groaning assailants on the ground, and pray those worthies only saw five women attacking them from out of the trees. If the villagers think they were beaten by mere maidens, they may choose to avoid discussion of this matter entirely. It’s the Travelers’ only hope of getting away.

By the time the Travelers think to look up again, the Maids of Honor are long gone.


Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a ton of signed books by me, Jennifer, and many more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 8! Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize! But before you go…

The Opal Crown by Jenny LundquistExtra Giveaway!

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of  THE OPAL CROWN as well as a copy of THE PRINCESS IN THE OPAL MASK, here on my blog. Simply enter the rafflecopter giveaway below, and I’ll post the winner next week!


Action, romance, sibling rivalry and court intrigue combine for a page-turning read in this sequel to The Princess in the Opal Mask, which VOYA called “engaging and action-packed.”

Only One Princess Can Wear the Crown . . .

The-Princess-in-The-Opal-Mask-238A year after her betrothal to the Kyrenican prince, no one has suspected that Princess Wilha has been a decoy—and that Elara, her secret twin sister, has been pretending to be Wilha all along. Back in Galandria, their kingdom is deteriorating, and returning home could bring peace—or add fuel to the slow-burning fire.

When their father, the king, mysteriously dies and Elara and Wilha’s younger brother, Andrei, claims the Galandrian throne, he reveals the girls’ deception. Viewed as traitors, they realize they are now fighting for their lives—and for their country.

In Jenny Lundquist’s concluding sequel to The Princess in the Opal Mask, Elara and Wilha must decide who will become queen. Or rather, who will become the next savior for their people.

Pre-order THE OPAL CROWN Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for stopping by! To keep going on your quest, you need to check out the next author, Page Morgan.

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108 Responses to YA Scavenger Hunt

  1. How do we enter here on your blog to win the copies of The Opal Mask? I’m very excited for this series, but haven’t been able to get ahold of it yet!

    • Lisa- Enter the Rafflecopter above. I’m sorry about that, there was an issue with the coding earlier this morning when you were trying to get in, but it should be resolved now.

  2. Ashley says:

    I never heard of the YA Scavenger Hunt before stumbling across this post. This may be eating my free time over the next couple of days!

  3. Jess Kidding says:

    I actually say a tweet from Julie Cross and started hunting immediately! : ) thank you for participating and the extra giveaway!

  4. Artemis says:

    My best friend told me about it. Thank you for participating and the extra giveaway!!!

  5. Alex says:

    I heard about the scavenger hunt through twitter and it’ been great!

  6. Rebecka says:

    I heard about it a few years ago on one of the book-blogs that I follow, been stuck even since! 🙂

  7. Erin P says:

    I heard about it back in 2011 when I first started blogging. I’ve been coming back every year, but sadly have no won anything yet. Hoping that changes this year! Thanks for the awesome giveaway! Can’t wait to read your books!

  8. Zitmarie Mestre says:

    I heard from Jennifer Armentrout

  9. I first heard about YASH through a blogger friend. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  10. Kristia says:

    When I became a fan of Colleen Hook I’d seen it mentioned on her blog. Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

  11. Vivien says:

    I’ve been playing for a few years. Don’t remember how it started, but love it!

  12. Tawney Bland says:

    I heard about it from some of the authors! I remember seeing it go on last year and thought I would love the join it next time. Well, here I am!

  13. Jacklin Updegraft says:

    I first heard about it from Colleen Houck’s facebook page. I’ve been participating for the past three years! I love this idea it’s awesome and so much fun!

  14. Brian says:

    First heard about it from a fellow blogger, I saw them mention something about it and this is my first one!

  15. Sajda says:

    thanks for the giveaway! I heard about it through Twitter!

  16. Rachel says:

    I serendipitously stumbled across YA Scavenger Hunt when looking at Colleen Houck’s website a few years ago.

  17. MaríaT says:

    I first heard about it from Beth Revis’ Twitter. I’ve been participating for the past three years. Thanks for the giveaway

  18. Alex U. says:

    My sister told me about it. Thank you for the giveaway!

  19. Yun-a K. says:

    Thank you for doing YASH. I’ve been following the Scavenger Hunt ever since the second round when one of my favorite authors, Josephine Angelini, participated.

  20. Jen says:

    I’ve been participating the last couple years. I always almost miss it!

  21. Bube says:

    Last year through blog 🙂
    Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

  22. Eleanor Weber says:

    I heard about the hunt from Ali Alsaid!

  23. Maggie says:

    I somehow stumbled upon the hunt a couple of years ago when I was surfing the internet for some new YA books. 🙂

  24. Melissa says:

    I heard about the hunt from someone on Twitter a while back. Since then, I mark the dates in my calendar for the hunt I love it so much!

  25. Jordan says:

    I’ve been participating for years. I don’t remember how I heard about YASH lol.

  26. kara says:

    The hunts are too fun! I actually messed up on a team, because I was reading so much, haha. I see a lot of the authors like the numbers 7 and 13.

  27. Parneet says:

    Hi! Thanks so much for participating in the Hunt and the giveaway! I’ll be sure to check out your book and review it on my blog!

  28. I first heard about the YA scavenger hunt several years ago on Twitter and have been playing ever since 🙂 I’ve found a ton of new books and authors because of it!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  29. Laura C says:

    I heard through the YALSA Hub 🙂

  30. Mandy R says:

    I am pretty sure I saw a bunch of tweets about it and decided to check it out.

  31. I’ve participated in the hunt since Colleen Houck first introduced it. I love learning about new authors and books. I can’t wait for The Opal Crown!

  32. Tia Jenkins says:

    My good friend Belle told me about it the other day and I knew I had to participate 😀

  33. Katherina Barney says:

    How I first heard about YASH? I honestly can’t remember. I’ve been hunting since it first began. It might have been threw an email of an author I like or on Facebook. Wish I could remember, probably going to haunt me until I do!!

  34. Arlene says:

    I first heard about the YASH on Colleen Houck’s blog after I read her Tiger’s Curse series. Thanks for the extra giveaway!

  35. I first heard about YASH on Colleen Houk’s blog, after reading her Tiger’s Curse books!

  36. Katherine Adams says:

    I stumbled across the hunt last year when looking up Colleen Houck’s website

  37. I am so excited for Maid of Deception, I have such a love and fondness for historical fiction, especially if it’s written really well and the deleted scene was no exception. Thank you, so much for being so kind and generous enough to host your own little giveaway in conjunction with this wonderful event that showcases so many wonderfully talented and gifted authors. 🙂

  38. Cassie says:

    I got introduced to YASH from a friend, and now we’re all playing this year! It’s great fun; thank you for the awesome giveaway!

  39. Kelly says:

    I heard about the YA Scavenger Hunt through Tera Lynn Childs newsletter 🙂

  40. Delia Chavez says:

    I heard about the scavenger hunt on Jennifer Armentrouts site

  41. Oh, jeez, I think I first heard about YASH a few years ago via Twitter? Thanks for the giveaway! LOVE these covers!

  42. Baggins (Kim Waters) says:

    I heard about YASH when it first started. I always try to take part, as I enjoy learning about so many authors and new interesting books. Plus the giveaways are always a fun bonus! 🙂


  43. Sean says:

    My friend told me all about it on her twitter.

  44. Von P. says:

    It was back in 2012 when I started blogging and I’ve been anticipating this event every year.

  45. Stephanie Raines says:

    <3 YASH!

    • Stephanie Raines says:

      I heard about YASH through an email sent to me from Cynthia Hand’s Writing Angels 🙂

  46. Aditi says:

    I actually stumbled upon the Website via Twitter- where someone (details are a bit hazy) I’m following tweeted saying the he/ she was SUPER excited for YASH!

    Thanks for the BRILLIANT giveaway!

  47. Arnie says:

    Heard it from some authors I am following!

  48. Breenah says:

    I just started following a few book blogs and they tweeted about YASH and I was intrigued.

  49. miki says:

    i first heard about it from a friends since then i have been suscribed to teh website as not to miss any edition

Comments are closed.