Spring 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt


Thanks to all who participated in the Spring 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt! The winners will be announced on the YASH website on April 5. And I’m thrilled to announce that the winner of my personal giveaway of a signed copy of Half in Love with Death is Candy Cassin! Congrats Candy!!

I’m Emily Ross and I’m thrilled to be part of the Spring 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt! The YA Scavenger Hunt was organized by the lovely and talented Colleen Houck as a way for you to gain access to exclusive bonus content from your favorite authors, and win some awesome prizes! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online from Tuesday March 29th through Sunday April 3rd, beginning and ending at noon Pacific time.

Here’s how the hunt works. You will not only get exclusive content from each author, you will also get a clue on each page that you visit in the hunt. The clue will be the author’s favorite number.  Add up the clues for a team, and you can enter to win a grand prize from that team—one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team!

I’m part of team BLUE, and you are currently hunting on team BLUE. To find my favorite number keep on reading.


There are NINE teams and NINE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! There is also a  RED, GOLD, GREEN,ORANGE, TEAL, PURPLE, SILVER, & PINK team each with 20 authors. Stop by the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out more details and see links for all the participating authors.

Looking for my exclusive bonus Dream Cast for HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH? You’ll need to keep hunting. But first, here are the fantastic books you will get if you win the team BLUE  grand prize!


In addition to the grand prize, I will be giving away another copy of my book, HALF LOVE WITH DEATH. Read on for more details.


Directions: You can find my favorite number highlighted in BLUE somewhere on this page. 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 this form 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, April  3rd at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


marissa I am thrilled to be hosting Marissa Kennerson!

Marissa Kennerson received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Before earning her master’s degree in psychology and art therapy, she worked for Wired and Glamour. She loves to cook, read, do yoga, dance, paint and thinks there just aren’t enough hours in the day! She lives in California with her family.  

I am so impressed that Marissa can do all those things and write novels! WOW!

Marissa is featuring her novel THE FAMILY for the YA Scavenger Hunt. I was hooked the minute I learned that it involves a cult and a “boy with a killer smile.” If you’re dying to know more like me …


familybookJust like any average seventeen-year-old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers and sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity…

All one hundred eighty-three of them.

Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Family members coexist with values of complete openness and honesty, and they share a fear of contagious infection in the outside world.

Adam—their Father, prophet, and savior—announces that Twig will be his new bride, and she is overjoyed and honored. But when an injury forces her to leave the Family compound, Twig finds that the world outside is not as toxic as she was made to believe. And then she meets Leo, an American boy with a killer smile, and begins to question everything about her life within the Family and the cult to which she belongs.

But when it comes to Family, you don’t get a choice.

Exclusive Bonus Content

Here’s a sneak peak at Twig and Leo’s Playlist along with Marissa’s thoughts about choosing these awesome songs!

Music was such a huge part of my experience while writing THE FAMILY. I had this lovely, young, innocent, artistic and sadly – victimized – Twig. I felt so passionately that music would be like a firecracker of inspiration for her. It would blow her mind.

Everything was blowing her mind after being raised in an oppressive, abusive cult environment. Music could whisper when she needed it, make her want to jump and dance and bounce and pounce at other times.

Music as healer. Music as poet. Music as intoxicant!

1. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Hazel dares Leo to dance to this POPsicle of song. He accepts the challenge and Twig just about loses her mind. The boy’s got moves, he’s hot and oozes charm. He’s sweet. This song was just also a total guilty pleasure while I was writing. I kind of pumped me up and brought me instantly into the soul of the book.

Imagine Twig riding in a convertible, hair blowing…”Let’s run away and never look back.”

Thank you, Ms. Perry. Something really comes through in this song.

2. Remember the Mountain Bed – Billy Bragg and Wilco

So, I am a Jeff Tweedy anything girl. Jeff Tweedy strung out and skinny, Jeff happy and healthy and all dad making an album with his son, Jeff and his book of poems. You get the picture. And this is Jeff singing Woodie Guthrie’s words. Yes, please.

Remember the Mountain Bed – sigh. It’s just the most romantic, out in the woods, delicious business. My friend Sarah turned me on to it in the 90’s, and I knew it was perfect to describe the mood between Leo and Twig that magical Thanksgiving night in the woods when she decides to go on the surf trip with him. Twig in her vintage YSL on loan from Gran, the moon full and bright, their young love.

3. Mellow Mood – Bob Marley Wailers

The Cohens and Leo were inspired by a family I knew as a teenager in Santa Monica, the Kaufmans. I had moved back to LA with my family after living in a very conservative, small, affluent (Laura Ashley/Pierre Deux) town in Northern California. I thought wearing Gunne Sax was cool when I got back to LA.

Sheila Kaufman and her family introduced me to a new way of experiencing life the way the Cohens do for Twig (on a smaller level for me of course). We would make fresh salsa, AMAZING music playing, swimming in their pool deep into the night and more laughter than I could ever describe. Mellow Mood – just says Cohen. Says Kaufman. It’s what Leo and her family bring to Twig.

4. Side of the Road – Lucinda Williams

This song will rip you in two.

Ms. Williams articulates something so true in this song – it hurts. I had put the lyrics of this book but had to take them out for copywriting purposes.

“If only for a minute or two – I want to see to what it feels like to be without you…” -LC

It’s Twig’s dilemma between the world she has always known –the world she has loved and this new world that is capturing every essence of her young being.

5. Goodbye Girl – The Shins and/or Squeeze – you choose!

When the Shins came out with this version of Goodbye Girl – it just struck this crazy chord with my 13 year old self and my 28 year old self – and the mix was heady. I came up with the Cohen’s musical car game: each family member has to bring a song and its cover to the table and everyone votes. It’s just so Cohen and so fun.

So which do you choose?

6. Appletree – Erykah Badu

Hazel is this sexy, sensual, badass, confident American teen. She’s kind of the antithesis of Twig. (Although they are both big-hearted gals!) Erykah Badu – well she’s like my super hero. This song just oozes cool. It was perfect for Hazel’s song during the Cohen Lip Sync night during the surf trip.

7. Love is Strange – Micky and Silvia

My dad and I were driving one day and he pointed out how adorable and bubbly this song is. Then there was the Dirty Dancing scene. It was just too perfect – Leo and Twig singing this song with one another. I think if the FAMILY ever does become a movie or TV show and they do this scene – I’ll just faint dead away of happiness.

8. Blackbird – The Beatles

Leo gives moments a song. A soundtrack to life. Twig gives people colors. My editor gave the FAMILY a song. There you have it.

Thanks for the listen!

Let me know what you think!

(Emily here, I’m super psyched to see one of my all time favorite songs, Love is Strange, at number 7 on this fantastic playlist. 7 just happens to be  my favorite number-hint, hint.)

If you are as excited to read THE FAMILY as I am you can add it to your TBR list on Goodreads.  And purchase it here!

Find out more on Marissa’s website, Facebook,  and Twitter pages.

And don’t forget my Bonus Giveaway!

I’m offering another giveaway in ADDITION to the the YA Scavenger Hunt contest. Leave a comment about why you want to win and enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a signed copy of Half in Love with Death!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue the hunt by checking out our next author, JODIE ANDREFSKI !

Showing 128 comments
  • Betul E.

    Because I love a good mystery/thriller YA novel!!

  • Whitney Baer

    I am so excited you featured Marissa! I loved the Family so much… I’m off to check out your books now 🙂

    • Emily Ross

      Whitney, The Family sound so good! Can’t wait to read Marissa’s book!

  • Emily Ross

    I love books, but I also think it would really cool to have a book autographed by someone that shares a name with me 😊

    • Emily Ross

      Wow I did a double take when I saw this. Wishing you luck, Emily!

  • Vickie W

    I love historical fiction books!

  • Yamileth Cortez

    Wow, The Family sounds great! Would love to win an autographed copy of your book because I love a good mystery and thriller book!

  • Dominique

    I want to win because I love free books!!

  • Jamie @ Books and Ladders

    This has been on my TBR for a long time and I would love to have a physical copy! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Kirby Boehm

    Half In Love With Death sounds amazing, and it’s so awesome of you to host this giveaway 🙂

  • Veronica Sharpe

    I want to win because it sounds like an amazing book! I love books that focus a lot on the characters and relationships because then they feel so real.

  • Cassandra Tennison

    Free books rule, always. YASH is the greatest time of year! As I’m adjusting to adult life (graduated from college in May), I’m finally able to carve out time in my schedule to read consistently and I’m AMPED about it! (Sidebar: your blog layout is ON. POINT.)

  • Ramona Price

    I love a good murder mystery! Half In Love is going to be so interesting to read!

  • Melissa Paschal

    It looks like an awesome read! thanks for the opportunity!

  • Sharon Berge

    Sounds like it is right up my alley!

  • Paige O.

    Half In Love With Death sounds great, so I would love to win a copy!

  • Karen Woodard

    I’d love it because I love a good mystery…..

  • Dalziel

    I’d never heard of it until today but boy I am glad to have now!

  • Zairah Divino

    I have been reading a lot of books that didn’t have much of an impact on me, and I’m looking for new reads that will evoke violent reactions from my inner fangirl. 😀

    • Emily Ross

      Haha! I hope your inner fangirl is pleased!

  • Vanathi Bala

    I love the cover. This is my first time taking part in YASH and I’m so excited.

    • Emily Ross

      YASH is so much fun. Wishing you luck!

  • Megan S.

    I would absolutly love to win beacuse the cover is beautiful, the plot sounds fantastic and I’ve heard so many wonderful things. Thank you so much for the giveaway! 🙂

    • Emily Ross

      Thanks so much Megan. Wishing you luck!

  • Angela

    Because I’d love to read the book! It sounds great.

  • Ashfa

    The cover is sooo attention grabbing!

  • Ashley Martinez

    This sounds good! I love thrillers

  • Stephanie Wang

    i love all books!

  • Valentina B.

    This is awesome book. Sounds interesting and I believe my daughter will love it. Thank you so much for hosting this lovely #YASH.

  • Gabi Schumacher

    Because it’s historical fiction AND a thriller, and what could be better than that combination? 😀

  • Nicole Hoefs

    The cover looks amazing, and the summary sounds even better!

  • kathryn potter

    Wow, this sounds like a really good book, I will have to add it to my TBR list! 🙂

  • Bethany Fetzer

    I love new books.

  • Elisa Hutchings

    Thank you for the giveaway and for participating in YASH!

  • Samantha D

    The title really caught my interest. 🙂

  • Gabriella Morales

    I’ve never heard of The Pied Piper of Tucson and I live here. Intriguing!

    • Emily Ross

      It’s a really fascinating case. It did take place a while ago but it stills comes up in the news sometimes. I had fun looking at old photos of Tucson when I did my research.

  • Elisa Panjang

    I’ve read the book description and I’m attracted to it.

  • Tiffany Webb

    Um Your book sounds awesome! I love trying to solve mysteries along with the characters. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Thais Pampado

    Thanks for participating in YASH and for the extra giveaway!

    I’d love to win your book because I’m really curious to know more about the story! The book’s been on my wishlist ever since the last YASH.

  • Michelle I. Mason

    Your dream cast intrigued me, as did the description. I’d love to read HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH!

  • Tatiana sola

    Half in love with death has already a brilliant gorgeus title I wish I would’ve thought of that, really who’d want to pass on that??

  • Stephanie Halcomb

    This story line sounds really intriguing and I want to read more about it!

  • Katherine Burns

    Because this book sounds so amazing, and I’m definitely eager to read it ASAP. Thanks for the giveaway, and good luck to everyone!

  • Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    I really just think the story sounds like a unique one and I’m very interested in finding out if that’s true!

  • Stephanie

    I love a good mystery/thriller and knowing that its based on a true story makes me want to read it even the more.

  • Kayla Tirrell

    It looks so good! I need it!

  • Pam Mandigo

    It sounds very intriguing is why I would like to read it.

  • Lauren Stoolfire

    It sounds like a fantastic read, and I would love to share it with the teens at my library! 🙂

    Thanks for taking part!

  • miki

    i love a good mystery and teh fact it’s inspired by a truestory make it even more interesting.
    i hope it’s open to international though as it wasn’t precised, thanks

  • Ruby @ Ruby's Books

    I love murder mysteries and I adore books that are based on real life events. I didn’t know about Charles Schmid. I hope the giveaway is open internationally. Thanks for participating in the YASH.

  • Pamela Price

    Sounds interesting 🙂

  • Hannah Pastore

    I read the word “love”! Which means I would LOVE to read this!

  • Rose

    It sounds like just the kind of book I could get totally absorbed in!
    (Hope the giveaway is open internationally…)

  • Amy Cox

    I would like to win a copy of HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH because it sounds interesting. I am a fan of stories that are inspired by actual events.

  • Rebecca

    I want to win because this sounds like a really cool book that I would totally love! It’s definitely on my to-read list! 🙂

  • Diane Paterson

    I’d love to win a copy of this book.

  • Champagne Millin

    I love reading new books, and the hard copy is always better than the e book

  • Ashley Rogers

    I love to read and definitely need more books in my life (: I want to win the copy because I am selfish and want all the books I can get my hands on (;

    • Emily Ross

      I want all the books I can get my hands on too 🙂

  • Emily

    It sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it!

  • Judy Cox

    This is a book that I know I will enjoy reading. This is also a new author to me and I love finding new authors and books that are new to me.

  • Nicole Johnson

    I am so eager to read your books specifically this one because it has been on my TBR for a while! Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Erika Joy Lopez

    I want to win a copy of HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH because I haven’t read it yet and I’ve heard that it’s a good one. Hope I can get my hands on a physical copy of that book soon. Thank you for this additional giveaway! 🙂

  • Melissa Robles

    Ah, I want to win because new book to hug and sniff!!!

  • Roz May Balidio

    Because it sounds soooo intriguing!

  • Syra Maloles

    Because i love trying new genres!

  • Nicole Anaya

    I want to win because I love meeting new authors and this would be a great way to get to know your work 😀

    • Emily Ross

      Awesome! I love connecting with readers.

  • Isabel

    Your book looks so cool! And now I want to read The Family as well!

    • Emily Ross

      I want to read The Family too!

  • Ashley White

    I love a good thriller!

  • Minju Chung

    The title of your book is so intriguing!!!

  • Jennifer Bishop

    Your book looks really cool and I think one my teens at the library would simply love to win it as a summer reading prize! I’m definitely adding it to my TBR pile!

  • Artemis Giote

    It sounds great! Love mysteries and the characters are very very interesting and I am really curious what happened to them.
    Thank you for the chance!!!

  • bn100

    sounds interesting

  • Emily Huff

    I love books and the plot sounds amazing!

  • Gabriella Morales

    This sounds so good!

  • Penny Olson

    The title alone has me hooked. It sounds great.

  • Jo Anne V

    wow, who wouldn’t want a copy of this book — that title totally intrigues me and reading the blurb suck me right in and I so want to read the whole story — this is also my favorite genre — so keeping my fingers crossed I am the lucky winner

  • Harri

    This sounds great!! Thank you! ♥

  • Ruzaika Deen

    The title itself captured my attention- and I do so love a good thriller 🙂 Thanks for this lovely giveaway!

  • Liana Nuksa

    So excited:)

  • Baggins

    I’d like to win because I love a good thriller and your book sounds right up my alley. So if your giveaway is international, please count me in. Thanks!

  • Tuan Van Rillaer

    First, because it obviously sounds amazingly good. Also because I love reading and it might just be the type of book I love. And last because it would look magnificent on my book shelf.

  • Kat Stiles

    Because I love discovering great YA fiction from authors new to me 🙂

  • Brygitt Pfaff

    I’ll be honest, the first thing that caught my eye was the book cover. I know it’s whats on the inside that matters, but if the cover is good looking, I’m way more likely to pick up the book and read the back to see if it catches my interest. And this book sure does sound interesting!

  • Elin

    It sounds so great. Would love to read it! 🙂

  • Emma A

    It sound like it might be about a kidnapping story, which I love to read.

  • Melanie Valente

    I’ve never read something set in the 1960’s and it looks so interesting! I love a good mystery!

  • Hannah Mac

    It sounds really interesting and exciting!

  • Karin S

    Because it sounds like an intriguing book! would love to read this book 🙂

  • Rebecka J

    I want to win because ever since I read about the book, I can’t stop thinking about it! It sounds really aesome and I would love to get my hands on it. 🙂

  • Emmie Engqvist

    I love to read books and yours seem pretty interesting and I can’t afford to buy many books and I can’t force the library to buy me books all the time…

  • Nicole Wetherington

    I love the title and have been interested for a while in it!

  • Stacey Kym

    I’d love to win because I am such an avid reader I can go through a full paperback novel in 1 DAY! And I am currently running out of books! ARGH!

  • Joycedale Chapman

    The title is what for my attention, the story sounds great

  • Vanessa Deneen

    The book sounds amazing and I’d love to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Yuliya

    I love books1

  • Theresa Snyder

    I want to win because this book sounds just amazing!!! My kind of read!!!

    thanks for the giveaway!

  • Sneha Mohite

    The book sounds interesting !! I’d love to read it! Thank you for the chance!

  • Kellani Arnold

    Thank you for the giveaway. I’d really like to win so that I have a chance to read the book c;

  • Angelica Leon

    It’s as simple as i really wanna read it!!!

  • Molly Lynch

    I would love to try this book out! It sounds really interesting. Thanks!!!

  • Brianna Clay

    The books sounds great! I love the cover and a good mystery so I am excited to read it!

  • Carolyn

    The blurb sounds interesting, but when I read heartfelt thriller, it just really made me want to read HiLwD. So, thank you for being part of YASH and giving us the chance to win it!

  • Khayzelle Cayabyab

    Hi, Ma’am! This is the first time I heard about you, I’m sorry. I guess I was just hiding in my own bubble or busy living under a rock that’s why I don’t get to know you, yet. Which is also why I would love to win your book. Reading a book gives the reader a chance to at least know a small detail about the author.

    Hope you’re having a lovely day! Thank you for the chance, Ma’am! 🙂

  • Cindy C.

    I’d like to win because the books sounds very interesting and with intrigue. It would be great to read it. Thank you! :3

    • Cindy C.


  • Debi Tonks

    Main reason I want to win is because I’ve never read it. I’m typically a fantasy girl, but I’m intrigued and ready for a new genre of YA. I believe this book would give me a something new to read and love!

  • Heather Dowell

    The book sounds amazing

  • Lizzie

    I’ll know for sure why I want to win when I win and read HIWD. 🙂 Thank you for this lovely giveaway. 🙂

  • Capri H.

    I can’t wait to read this book! It sounds amazing!!

  • Yun-A

    The background behind the book is fascinating and I want to read the entire story.

  • Jen S

    I recognize the cover and remember being intrigued by it. It looks good 🙂

  • Kassiah

    It sounds interesting 🙂 Thanks for participating in the hunt!

  • Faith Y.

    This book really intrigues me! (That’s not a super unique answer xD but it does!)

  • Beatrice S.

    I love mystery/thrillers!!! I love how mystery keeps me reading and reading.

  • Annie Sullivan

    It sounds so intriguing! The cover is gorgeous and the idea is so far from anything I’ve read recently that I can’t wait to read it some day!!

  • Merisha Abbott

    Because it sounds amazing!! Love love the cover!

  • Christina (Ensconced in Lit)

    I want to win this book because I loved your bonus content, the blurb, and who you’d pick for each characters. In particular, the character Edie fascinates me since you picked Kristen Ritter for the role. The whole premise sounds fascinating and I’m wondering if the boyfriend has something sinister going on…
    As a side note, I have already bought and read The Family and enjoyed it very much 🙂
    Best, Christina @ Ensconced in Lit

    • Emily Ross

      Thanks Christina. As soon as I found that photo of Kristen Ritter I knew she would be perfect for Edie. And this rarely happens, but Zac Efron looks exactly how I pictured Tony while I was writing the novel. Glad you liked The Family. It is on my TBR list!

  • Lillie Moss

    I’d love to win because your book sounds like something I’ve never read before, dealing with something that I didn’t even know would be published in the literary world!

  • Carie

    I’m interested to read something in that time period – haven’t read much set in the ’60s. I also LOVE mysteries/thrillers!! 🙂

  • Erin Webster

    I love being introduced to new authors!

  • Cindy

    I would read it for the title itself!

  • Candy Cassin

    It sounds like a good book that I would love to have.

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