Fall 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt- #TeamRED

Fall 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt- #TeamRED

THE WINNERS OF MY DAILY GIVEAWAY ARE….Samantha D, Rebecka, Penny, Trisa, Casablanca Eve, and Kester. Congratulations! Make sure you check your inboxes. A big thank you to EVERYONE who participated.

Here we go again…. It’s officially the FALL 2017 YA SCAVENGER HUNT EXTRAVAGANZA!

This is one of my favorite events of the year. The YA Scavenger Hunt is back and we have SEVEN outstanding YA teams;  that is a combined 140 YA authors. There are giveaways galore and some bonus material from all of us I know you are dying to get your hands on. Once again, I am on #TeamRED with 19 other authors whose novels will knock your socks off.

Check out those book covers! It doesn’t get any better than this. This hunt will run from October 3rd to October 8th, beginning and ending at noon Pacific time.  Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are seven contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all!

ARE YOU READY TO GET STARTED? For this hunt I am hosting  #TeamRED author Yvonne Ventresca. Yvonne’s blog can be found here. ​Yvonne grew up in the suburbs of Long Island, New York. She majored in English and Computer Science, an unusual combination, but when she was stuck on a literature assignment she could debug her programs, all 33 of them, and when that got boring she could write an essay.  Yvonne’s latest YA psychological thriller, Black Flowers, White Lies (Sky Pony Press, 2016) won an IPPY gold medal for National Young Adult Fiction. Her debut novel, Pandemic, (Sky Pony Press, 2014), won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Yvonne’s other work includes two nonfiction books and various short stories, including “The Art of Remaining Bitter,” which was selected for the anthology, Mysteries of Death and Life (Dancing Lemur Press, 2017).


You can learn more about her at YvonneVentresca.com, where she also features resources for teen writers, or connect with her here: Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads  

Seriously, Yvonne is one stellar author and you definitely need to check her out!
All right, you all know I love a good PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER and Black Flowers, White Lies sounds amazing! If you don’t believe me read below and find out for yourself.


Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a mysterious connection. When an eerie hand print 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.


We were lucky enough to snag some exclusive content from Yvonne about Black Flowers, White Lies.  


Novel Evolution: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Black Flowers, White Lies
By Yvonne Ventresca

My latest novel, Black Flower, White Lies, started as a mystery about a teen girl, Emma, searching for her mother who had disappeared. The story was set in Hoboken, New Jersey where Emma lived with Mom and worked in their family-owned bookstore. The original premise was that Emma was reluctantly psychic, but she needed to use her abilities to rescue her mother, even if she didn’t quite believe in the supernatural.

Despite multiple attempts, I couldn’t get the plot, the voice, and the mystery to come together.  Eventually, I opened a new document and started from scratch. The story remained set in Hoboken, and her mother still owned a bookstore, but Emma got a fresh beginning as Ella. I brainstormed other possible story scenarios. What if the mother was no longer missing, but instead her relationship with Ella became strained? With this change of thinking, other ideas came as well. Instead of being a skeptic, Ella believes in ghosts, but her best friend and Mom do not, causing further conflict. I changed one of my original characters, a charismatic stepsister, into Ella’s new stepbrother. This meant another rewrite, but sparked more creative changes, resulting in less of a mystery and more of a psychological thriller.

In the final version, I focused on the relationship between Ella and her stepbrother, her belief in a mystical connection to her dead father’s spirit, and unexplainable events that make Ella question her perception of reality. Instead of rescuing her mother, the way I originally planned, Ella needs to save herself. Over time, Black Flowers, White Lies transforms into Ella’s journey of strength and self-belief, and I ultimately found the heart of the story.

The novel by numbers: 

Hours it took to write Black Flowers, White Lies: The version of the novel that was acquired by Sky Pony took 383 hours to draft. (This doesn’t count the number of untracked hours spent on previous versions.)

Words in Black Flowers, White Lies: Approximately 54,000

Hours spent revising Black Flowers, White Lies since acquisition: My best guess is 168 hours. I didn’t do a great job of separating revising and proofreading time from other post-acquisition tasks (like marketing efforts).

Number of shelter cats mentioned by name in the story: 10

Time spent on social media (including asking friends for names of their cats to be used for shelter cats in the story):  I have no idea! This is one area I stopped tracking because the “social” time tends to get merged with book promotion and research tasks.

Readers who enjoy the book: A large number, I hope!

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.

That was some cool exclusive content!  To buy Black Flowers, White Lies you can go to any one of the links here: Indiebound | Amazon | B&N | AmazonUK | BAM


Please proceed to the next #TeamRED stop: Marieke Nijkamp




  1. Thanks for hosting me during the YA Scavenger Hunt!

  2. I loved reading the excerpt! the 7th word is ‘I’

  3. The seventh word is “I”

  4. Thanks so much for the giveaway! The seventh word is “I’! 🙂

  5. I

  6. The 7th word is “I”.

  7. The 7th word is”I”.

  8. Thank you for hosting a giveaway. The seventh word is ‘I’. I am very excited to read your book.

  9. The seventh word is ‘I’. Can’t wait to read this!

  10. 7th word is I!

  11. Seventh word is “I”

  12. Thanks for being in the YA Scavenger Hunt! I love finding new books to read! The 7th word is “I”! 🙂

  13. The 7th word is I, thank you so much for this opportunity :):)

  14. The 7th word is I. Thank you so much for this opportunity :):)

  15. The seventh word is “I” Thanks for being in the YASH hunt. 🙂

  16. The 7th word is “I” if I’m counting right. Starting to get late at night and had a long day.

  17. Hola! The 7th word I spotted is “I”, but thank you for participating in this year’s YA Hunt!

  18. The 7th word is “I”

  19. The seventh word is “I”.

  20. The 7th word of the excerpt is ‘I’

  21. I enjoyed the excerpt! The 7th word is “I”.


  22. the seven word is I … thank you for this great peek into another worderful read

  23. The excerpt was amazing! So excited to read the second book when it comes out 😀 The seventh word was “I”, thank you so much for the giveaway opportunity!

  24. I 🙂

  25. 7th word is ‘I’

  26. I

    Can’t wait to get to red it!

  27. The 7th word is “I”.
    Thank you for the chance!!!!

  28. The seventh word is “I”
    Thank you for the chance????

  29. Thank you for hosting a giveaway. The seventh word is “I”

  30. The 7th word is “I” Thank you much

  31. YASH has been fantastic so far! The seventh word from the excerpt is ‘I’

  32. 7th word is ‘I’.

  33. 7th word is I.

  34. The 7th word is “I.”

  35. ~I~ would like to thank you for participating in this amazing scavenger hunt and for your additional giveaway!! Also the 7th word is ~I~

  36. The 7th word is I.

  37. The seventh word in the Genesis excerpt is “I”. ^_^

  38. The 7th word is I. Thank you for the chance!

  39. I’ve read Nemesis and I find the plot very intriguing. I won a copy of the book last Scavenger Hunt – Summer 2017 .The seventh word is “I”.


  40. The seventh word is “I.” Thanks for hosting a bonus giveaway!

  41. The 7th word is I 🙂

  42. The 7th word is”I”.

  43. I was the 7th word

  44. I is the 7th word.

  45. The 7th word is “I”.

  46. I

  47. Thanks for the hunt fun. The seventh letter is “I”. Have a most delightful weekend!

    Shelly H

  48. “I”

  49. The seventh words is: I.

  50. the seventh word is “I”

  51. it’s “I”

  52. The seventh word is “I”

  53. “I ” am really glad you partipated in YASH.

  54. The word is “I” 🙂

  55. thanks for participating in this year’s scavenger hunt!
    the 7th word is “I”

  56. Thanks so much for doing a bonus giveaway! The seventh word in the excerpt is “I” 🙂

  57. ” I” (that’s the 7th word) want to thank you so much for participating in YASH. I love discovering new authors and books!

  58. Thanks for the giveaway and for participating in the hunt! I love doing these scavenger hunts. The seventh word is “I”.

  59. The 7th word from the Genesis excerpt is “I”.

    I was really excited to see that you were participating in YASH!

  60. Thank you for participating in this YASH and hosting this giveaway! *IIIIIIII* really appreaciate it!
    (the magical word is “I”, clever idea for an entry <3)

  61. The 7th word – “I”
    Thank you!

  62. I
    Thank you for this opportunity!

  63. The 7th word is “I” thank you c;

  64. I
    Thank you!

  65. The 7th word is “I”

  66. Does “I” count as a word in this case?

  67. The seventh word is “I”

  68. The seventh word is ‘I’ , I believe. Man, I love yash!

  69. The 7th word is “I” 😀

  70. The seventh word is I

  71. Thanks for hosting. The seventh word is “I.”

  72. ‘I’ (the 7th word)’m crossing my fingers!!!

  73. The seventh word seems to be “I” 🙂

  74. The seventh word is “I”! Thanks for the giveaway!

  75. the 7nth word is I

  76. Hi ! Thanks for this chance !
    The7th word is “I” !

  77. The seventh word is “I”!

  78. “I”
    Thanks for the generous contest!

  79. I loved Nemesis! Cannot wait to read Genesis.
    The 7th word is “I”.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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