Tuesday, March 31, 2020

YA Scavenger Hunt

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! 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 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 a short time!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are FOUR contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM--but there is also a red team, a gold team, and 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 blue 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 April 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today, I am excited to be hosting YVONNE VENTRESCA here on my blog as part of the YA Scavenger Hunt! Yvonne is the author of BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES and PANDEMIC (winner of SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award). In addition to her YA novels, Yvonne’s other work includes two nonfiction books and several short stories selected for anthologies, including the newly released middle grade collection, VOYAGERS: THE THIRD GHOST. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing, she loves a good ghost story and studies karate in a haunted dojo. You can learn more at YvonneVentresca.com, where she features resources for teen writers. 

Find out more information by checking out Yvonne's website or find more about PANDEMIC here!
You can also follow Yvonne on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


 About Pandemic 

By Yvonne Ventresca

My young adult novel, Pandemic, is about a teenager struggling to survive a deadly flu outbreak. As I write this post during Covid-19, I’m struck by the eerie similarity of the fictional world I created and the current events we are now living through. 

In the midst of this, it doesn’t feel appropriate to reveal something light-hearted about Pandemic, like a deleted scene or a Pinterest board. So instead I will share this: my main character, Lil, is a survivor. She is sometimes afraid, and her journey is not an easy one. But Lil ultimately triumphs. I hope you will, too. 

Someday, in the aftermath of Covid-19, you might like to read Pandemic. But for now, I’m wishing all the YASH participants health and safety during these tumultuous times.

In PANDEMIC, only a few people know what caused Lilianna Snyder's sudden change from a model student to a withdrawn pessimist who worries about all kinds of disasters. When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Lil’s worst fears are realized. With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak--her journalist father in Delaware covering the early stages of the disease and her mother in Hong Kong and unable to get a flight back to New Jersey--Lil’s town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread fatal illness. With friends and neighbors dying around her, Lil does everything she can to survive. Just when it all seems too much, the cause of her original trauma shows up at her door. Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons. 

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by lots of YA authors! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 11. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue 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, Amy Fellner Dominy! http://amydominy.com/blog/

YASH is now on Twitter and Facebook! You can follow and tweet YASH @yascavengerhunt and the same on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yascavengerhunt.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

My Debut Novel is Available for Pre-Order!

Ever since I was a little girl, it has been my dream to publish a novel. And now, after years of writing and rejection and more writing, after three other novel manuscripts that live in my computer hard-drive... that dream is coming true!

THE BEST WEEK THAT NEVER HAPPENED is now available for pre-order! It is being released in paperback, as an ebook and as an audiobook. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1951710118 

Why is pre-ordering important for authors? (Especially debut novelists like me?) Well, the number of pre-orders tells the publisher, booksellers, and industry as a whole how much desire and interest there is in your book. The first few weeks can make or break a book, and the first novel can make or break an author’s publishing chances in the future.

I would be incredibly grateful if you take the time to pre-order my book!

Read an excerpt of the beginning here: https://www.thenerddaily.com/cover-reveal-the-best-week-that-never-happened/ 

You can help me continue to be a #1 New Release on Amazon!


After her parents' bitter divorce, family vacations to the Big Island in Hawaii ceased. But across the miles, eighteen-year-old Tegan Rossi remains connected to local Kai Kapule, her best friend from childhood. Now, Tegan finds herself alone and confused about how she got to the Big Island. With no wallet, no cell phone, purse, or plane ticket, Tegan struggles to piece together what happened. She must have come to surprise-visit Kai. Right?

As the teens grow even closer, Tegan pushes aside her worries and gets swept away in the vacation of her dreams. But each morning, Tegan startles awake from nightmares that become more difficult to ignore. Something is eerily amiss. Why is there a strange gap in her memory? Why can't she reach her parents or friends from home? And what's with the mysterious hourglass tattoo over her heart? 

Kai promises to help Tegan figure out what is going on. But the answers they find only lead to more questions. As the week unfolds, Tegan will experience the magic of first love, the hope of second chances, and the bittersweet joy and grief of being human.

My friend, the amazing young artist Nicole Ham, created two gorgeous custom paintings for the book's pre-order campaign! Everyone who pre-orders the book will receive a digital print of each of these paintings! 


To receive your bonus goodies + be entered to win the grand prize, all you need to do is forward your proof of purchase and your mailing address to bestweekbookorder@gmail.com.


  • a free ebook of my newly released 15th anniversary edition of 3 a.m.: a collection of short stories, including three new stories 
  • a signed, personalized bookplate 
  • a matching bookmark 
  • two temporary tattoos: an hourglass and a gecko (you’ll understand their significance after reading the book!) 
  •  two downloadable digital prints of custom artwork created by Nicole Ham specifically for The Best Week That Never Happened 
  • all of the above 
  • a gecko charm bracelet (also related to the plot of the book!) 
  • all of the above 
  • a print copy of my newly released 15th anniversary edition of 3 a.m.: a collection of short stories, including three new stories! 
Also, for every copy you pre-order, you’ll be entered to win… 
  • a 30-minute call with me to discuss your writing, talk about how to get published, answer your questions about the book, or whatever your heart desires! 
  • a prize package I’ve created just for you from Hawaii: chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, Ohana Bros addictive kettle chips, the best Kona coffee, and a beautiful mug 
To receive your bonus goodies + be entered to win the grand prize, all you need to do is forward your proof of purchase and your mailing address to bestweekbookorder@gmail.com. 

"This debut novel is captivating and moving. . . A dazzling, emotional story of love, loss, and living in the moment." —Kirkus Reviews 
“A poignant and gripping heart-tug of a page-turner filled with heart and hope. I couldn't put it down. Magic.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe  

"Dallas Woodburn weaves a bittersweet love story between star-crossed lovers—thwarted not only by distance but also by insurmountable tragedy. This captivating, poignant story is perfect for teens on the brink of discovering who they are and what really matters." —Natalie Lund, author of We Speak in Storms 

BOOK TOUR EVENTS (all times listed in PST) 
I would love to celebrate with you sometime this spring! All events will have fun "book swag" like bookmarks and temporary tattoos! 
  • Book Launch: Tuesday, April 21, 7pm, Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore, Berkeley (in conversation with YA author Stephanie Kuehn) 
  • Saturday, April 25: 1-2pm, book-signing at Books on B, Hayward 
  • Saturday, April 25: 4pm, Flashlight Books, Walnut Creek (in conversation with YA author Jennieke Cohen) 
  • Virtual Book Launch: Sunday, April 26, 2-3pm, Zoom Web Meeting (in conversation with YA author Tobie Easton)... Join from anywhere in the world at 2pm on April 26! There will be special prizes, a Q&A, and more! Contact me to learn more
  • Sunday, May 17: 1pm, Orinda Books, Orinda (in conversation with best-selling author & SF Chronicle columnist Vanessa Hua) 
  • Thursday, May 21: 7pm, Chaucer's Books, Santa Barbara (in conversation with Woody Woodburn) 
  • Saturday, May 23: 1-3pm, book-signing at Barnes & Noble, Ventura