Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt!

March 29, 2012

Ahoy mateys!

Thank you for stopping by.  For those of you who have never taken part in one of these, this tri-annual event was first organized by the amazing Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors, and while at it, win some awesome prizes!

During the Hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, but you also get a clue for the Hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter to win TWENTY signed books, one book from each author on the Hunt on each team! 

I am a part of the YELLOW TEAM...

... but there is also a RED team and a BLUE team. You can enter all three contests--which has a total prize bucket of SIXTY signed books!

But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage to find out all about the Hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter all three!

For my BONUS MATERIAL I have posted the first 2 chapters of DREAMLESS below this post! But in order to access it you'll have to find the password which is posted in one of the YELLOW TEAM sites.


Directions: Hidden within my post is a single letter that is YELLOW. Make a note of that letter!  It's a part of a scrambled phrase. When you go to all the author sites of the YELLOW team, you'll have all the letters you need to enter the contest.

Entry Form: Once you piece together all the clues to the hunt, make sure you fill out the form HERE to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the completed phrase 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 1st, at noon Pacific Time.

Entries sent without the correct puzzle code or without contact information will not be considered.

And now, let's get on with the Hunt.

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Lisa Nowak!

In addition to being a YA author, Lisa is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are.

Here's the cover art for her second book, GETTING SIDEWAYS.

And here's a brief summary of her new book DRIVEN (cover art coming soon), which will be available in May.

"16-year-old Jess DeLand believes in making her own luck. But if she were the type to waste time on wishes there’d be three things on her list. A mom who didn’t drink, a dad who hadn’t deserted her, and a job working on cars. Then Teri Sue Cline, one of the only female drivers at Eugene Speedway, loses her crew chief and asks Jess for help.

A loner by necessity, Jess can’t resist the pull of the racing world, where family is everything, and if you lack one, someone’s sure to take you into theirs. Someone like Kasey McCormick, a woman who owns a restoration shop and may hold the key to Jess’s automotive ambitions, or Cody Everett, a wisecracking teen racer who won’t take no for an answer. And then there’s Teri Sue’s little brother Rhett, who understands why you can’t stop loving your parents, even when they hurt you.

For the first time in years, Jess is surrounded by people who care. The question is, can a girl who keeps her personal life locked up tighter than Richard Petty’s racing secrets, let her guard down enough to risk friendship and her first romance?"

To find out more about Lisa check out her WEBSITE.  Or find more about Lisa's books by clicking HERE!

And now for Lisa's bonus feature, an excerpt of DRIVEN!

Here's a note from Lisa.


Driven is a companion book to Running Wide Open and Getting Sideways, which are currently available at all online retailers. Driven will be available in May. The following is a sneak preview.

Please sign up for my newsletter to be notified of publication: http://bit.ly/LisaNowakNewsletter



by Lisa Nowak

Set up: Jess is furious when Cody accidentally wrecks her friend Teri Sue’s car. She confronts him in the pits and finds it annoying that Teri Sue doesn’t seem upset about the incident. This scene takes place two days later.

When I got to Teri Sue’s after school on Monday, the gloomy overcast subduing my mood, she was already in the barn, knocking dents out of the Camaro’s fender with a sledgehammer.

“Hey, girl” she said. “I got that tie rod end and ball joint you wanted. They’re on the workbench. But how ’bout giving me a hand with this first?”

“Sure.” I rooted through the toolbox, came up with a body hammer and dolley, and got to work.

It didn’t surprise me when Teri Sue started in with a stream of friendly chatter, as if our arguments at the track had never happened. Nothing unpleasant seemed to stick in her head for long.

While we were finishing the fender, the throaty rumble of a big-engined car sounded from the driveway. A Ford Galaxie 500 with oxidized yellow paint pulled up outside the open barn doors. 1965. I know my Fords.

I was too busy admiring the enormous grill and dual headlights to notice who was behind the wheel. Then the driver’s door opened and Cody Everett stepped out, spoiling the picture.

What was he doing here?

Wearing faded jeans, black Converse high tops, and a T-shirt that read Outcast, he sauntered into the barn as if he were six feet tall instead of 5’6”. His dark bangs, which on Saturday had been flattened by his helmet, now arched over his forehead like the tail of a proud rooster. “Hey, Teri Sue,” he said, ducking his head in her direction.

“Cody!” She smiled so big you’d think he was a rock star, blessing us with his very presence.

He flashed a grin that rivaled one of his uncle’s, yet had its own distinctive bad boy edge. It didn’t impress me. I’d seen his type in action. They flirted with the homely girls to get their hopes up, and then laughed about it with their buddies behind their backs. Why did all the good looking ones have to be such arrogant jerks?

Maybe if we ignored him, he’d go away. I sank down beside the car to begin dismantling the steering linkage. That tie-rod end needed replacing, and it sure wasn’t going to replace itself.

“Looks like you’re getting her back together,” Cody said, nodding toward the Camaro. He leaned against the barn doorway, hands jammed in his pockets.

“Yep.” Teri Sue went on smiling. What was that all about? If she had any sense, she’d run him off with a tire iron.

I finished loosening the nut on the tie-rod end and dropped the wrench in the dust with a thud. “Teri Sue,” I said, trying to reel in her attention. “I need the pickle fork.”

“Sure thing.” She got it from the toolbox and slapped it into my outstretched hand.

“Thanks.” The word came out sharp, causing Teri Sue to raise an eyebrow. Well, what did she expect? There was work to be done. This was no time for chit-chatting with the competition. “So ... you were running pretty good Saturday night,” Cody said, facing Teri Sue, but cutting a sideways a glance at me. “Yeah, until you slammed into her.” “Jess!” Teri Sue’s eyes flashed a warning. “Cody apologized for that.” “He wouldn’t have had to if he hadn’t done it to begin with.” And what was he looking at, anyway? “Well, as far as I’m concerned, that’s water under the bridge.” She beamed at him, and he granted her a lazy grin in return. Good Lord, if she got this friendly with a guy who spun her out, what was she going to do when someone stuffed her in the wall?

I wedged the pickle fork between the tie-rod end and center-link. The hammer felt dangerous in my hand as I slammed it against the end of the tool, popping the joint loose with a single blow.

“It’s nice to know you can channel your anger,” Cody said. I nailed him with a poisonous look. He might’ve kept the smirk off his lips, but I could see it in his eyes. For a moment, I let myself savor the idea of chucking the hammer at him. He raised an eyebrow at Teri Sue, and she shrugged. Great. One brief conversation in the pits, and now they were best buddies. I hoped this wasn’t heading where I thought it was heading. The last thing I needed was Teri Sue hooking up with him.

“So ...” Cody said, rocking forward on his toes, impervious to the waves of loathing I was sending in his direction. “You guys wouldn’t happen to have a gear puller for a pitman arm, would you?”

He could not be serious. In what demented universe did he think we’d fall for such a feeble line? “Yeah, sure,” I said waving a hand toward the back of the barn, “It’s right over there by the welding equipment, just this side of the paint booth.”

“Jess!” Teri Sue gasped.

I ignored her and turned to face Cody head on. “I should think if anyone was going to have something like that, it would be your sponsor. This isn’t exactly a Winston Cup garage we’re running.” Too late, I realized it must sound like I was belittling Teri Sue’s shop. Fortunately, she was so exasperated she failed to notice.

“Why are ya givin’ him such a hard time?” she demanded, hands parked on her hips and feet planted wide. “If I’m not mad, why should you be?”

It struck me that I was being entirely too vocal. Raising a fuss would only draw out Cody’s visit. “Forget it.” I said, getting up to grab the new tie-rod end off the workbench.

Teri Sue sighed and shook her head. Grasping Cody by the wrist, she dragged him outside, where their conversation resumed in low tones peppered by occasional laughter.

Good. Now maybe I could get some work done. I tried to lose myself in the rhythm of replacing the part, but something kept compelling me to glance toward the doorway of the barn.

Whenever I did, I caught Cody grinning at me, his dark eyes taunting. What did he have to grin about? And why did he keep staring at me? I swiped at my cheek with the sleeve of my sweatshirt. Did I have grease on my face or something?

It was nearly dinnertime, and I’d single-handedly repaired the steering and removed the upper control arm, when Cody finally found it in himself to leave. Teri Sue stood in the doorway, waving as if he were a favorite relative departing after the holidays.

Once the Galaxie had growled away, she turned to face me. She didn’t have to say a word. The mile-wide smile made it clear what was going on.

“Next thing I know you’ll be going out with the guy,” I said, wiping my hands on a grease rag and throwing it at a box near the door.

“I dunno about that.”

“Oh, come on.” I cocked my chin, annoyed that she was so intent on playing the clueless role. “Couldn’t you tell he was blatantly flirting with you?”

Teri Sue laughed. “Wake up, Jess. It’s you he likes.”


While you're here, be sure and enter my contest to win a signed, advanced reader's copy of my novel DREAMLESS, the second book in the Starcrossed Trilogy, as well as a signed copy of STARCROSSED!

In order to enter you must do the following:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As always, my giveaway is International.  :)

Ready to go to the next website in the Scavenger Hunt?

Then click HERE!



March 23, 2012

For those of you who got that "Dreamless, Chapters 1 and 2" email by mistake-- OOOPS!  I was testing my blog for the upcoming YA Scavenger Hunt.  I'm not exactly savvy, savvy?  And I did something or other when I thought I had erased it.  Long story short, I accidentally sent it out to all of you. It's not the first time I've sent emails I thought I had erased.  *gulp*  Anyway, sorry for the mix up.  But think how excited you'll be when you actually get the real deal?

The YA Scavenger Hunt starts the 29th. Over 60 YA authors will be participating, meaning you'll have a chance to win close to 60 books!  For more information here's the LINK.


And the winner of the DREAMLESS ARC is...

March 16, 2012

Camille Oliveras

Congratulations, Camille!!!!

And... the winners of the Dreamless bookplates are:

Emily Ragsdale

Anna Dase

Congratulations!  Email me your address and I will get your prizes out to you asap.

As you've probably guessed already, funny blew sexy out of the water.  Almost all of you, even the ones that said they wanted a sexy guy, said he also had to be funny or it wouldn't work.

(Note to self... make sure the lead guy you're writing is funny... and swoon-worthy.)

I bet you're all wondering where I stand on this.  Here's how I look at it-- I'm the funny one, darn it.  What I really need is someone to laugh at my jokes.  I guess that would mean a sense of humor is implied, so humor is never totally off the table.  But if I had to choose, give me the hottie who thinks I'm hilarious and I'm set for life.  Lucky for me my husband is sexy AND funny so I don't have to worry about making tough choices like that (and, yes, he pretty much always laughs at my jokes).

Anyway, thank you so much for your feedback. Your comments are such a big help to me.  I'll be asking you all to riff on other topics as my story progresses.

Also, be sure and mark your calendars.  The next YA Scavenger Hunt is set for March 29th. For those of you who don't know what the YA Scavenger Hunt is and would like to find out more, here's a LINK.

A total of 60 YA authors are participating in this one, which means you have a chance of wining 60 books from some of your favorite writers!

I will personally be giving away copies of STARCROSSED AND DREAMLESS, as well as a very special treat for all my StarHearts.

I'll be posting more details in the days to come.



Dreamless ARC Giveaway!

March 14, 2012

Just a quick reminder. The deadline to enter is tomorrow.

Good luck!


DREAMLESS ARC Giveaway! Funny vs Sexy

March 6, 2012

You all know that I'm working on a new series.  It's part of the reason I've promised you blog entires, but can't seem to get it together long enough to riff on a topic for 500 words.  Lame, I know, but right now what I really, really need (apart from your undying patience) is your feedback.

I'm outlining some new characters and, for any of you that are familiar with my process, outlining characters means that I write these ginormous character bios that start from before birth, and include everything from first day of school in fifth grade, to what he/she wore to homecoming.

I'm bananas like that.  And the penalty for spending so much time with your characters is that you fall in love with all of them.

This is where you come in.  I've got two guys.  And I sort of love them both. I had to boil it down to the essentials and I decided that my indecision was based on a pretty fundamental question.  Do I prefer a serious, smoldering kind of guy, or do I prefer a funny man?

So, here's my question!  Would you pick funny over sexy?  What's more important in a guy in the long run-- the ability to make you laugh, or the ability to make the little hairs on your arm sit up like an adoring puppy dog?


But it's not like I'm asking you to work for free.  Leave me your honest opinion and you might just win an ARC!  ;)

The 1st place winner will receive a signed ARC of DREAMLESS...

... along with a signed DREAMLESS bookplate!

2nd and 3rd place winners will receive signed STARCROSSED Swag!

In order to enter simply do the following:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline to enter is Thursday, March 15th. The winners will be announced on Friday, March 16th.

Thank you and good luck to all!! :)