Welcome to the Fall 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt!


About Your Host

Maria Alexander

I’m Maria Alexander, your host for what’s possibly your spookiest scavenger hunt stop. I’m an award-winning author of suspenseful supernatural short stories, books, and poetry.

My breakout YA novel is called Snowed. It’s about Charity Jones, a teen skeptic and engineering prodigy who learns that, not only should she believe in certain Christmas myths, she should be afraid of them…



When I’m not writing, I’m a real-life samurai-in-training. I study Shinkendo, which is Samurai swordsmanship. Yes, I know how use a real katana!


How to Play

The YA Scavenger Hunt is a great way to win a copy of my book Snowed and many other great YA books. Here’s how:

  1. Pick a team and follow them. There are eight teams, which means there are eight contests going on simultaneously. You can enter one, some, or all! I’m on the PURPLE TEAM, but there are also RED, ORANGE, GOLD, GREEN, TEAL, BLUE, and PINK teams. Hunt all the numbers for each team for a chance to win that team’s set of books. To see the full list of prizes up for grabs, visit the YA Scavenger Hunt Prize page. 
  2. Somewhere on this page I’ve hidden my favorite number in purple. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the PURPLE TEAM, and then add them up.
  3. Once you’ve added up all the numbers, fill out the entry form to officially qualify for the grand prize for PURPLE TEAM. Repeat for each team color as you wish. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 9 at noon Pacific Time.
Rules: The hunt is open to anyone, anywhere. If you’re below the age of 18, you must have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Here are all the amazing books you might win if you add up and submit the numbers for PURPLE TEAM.

I have the distinct pleasure of hosting:

Emily Skrutskie

Emily Skrutskie
Emily is six feet tall. She was born in Massachusetts, raised in Virginia, and forged in the mountains above Boulder, Colorado. She holds a B.A. in Performing and Media Arts from Cornell University, where she studied an outrageous and demanding combination of film, computer science, and game design. Her short fiction has been published by HarperTeen, and her debut novel, The Abyss Surrounds Us, is now available.

About Her Book

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup and teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. Santa Elena has no idea what she’s in for.

Title: The Abyss Surrounds Us
Release Date
: 2/8/2016
Genre: YA Science Fiction
ISBN: 0738746916

(Maria here. I am very much a piratical type. Like most pirates, my philosophy is simple. I believe the answer to The Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is 42.)

Emily’s Bonus Material

In Emily’s own words, read more about her book, The Abyss Surrounds Us, which was just released in February 2016.


If you’re a fan of The Abyss Surrounds Us, you’re probably mad at me. And I totally understand. I’ve spent an entire year making uncertain, nonspecific promises that a sequel was coming. But here’s the thing — the sequel is coming. And soon (as soon as soon can be in the world of publishing). I can’t specify more than soon, but I’m just saying — it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

So to prepare you, here’s a little list of things to expect:

  1. More pirates. In The Abyss Surrounds Us, we never met another crew beyond the Minnow. But thousands of pirates sail the NeoPacific, and in the sequel, we meet plenty more of them.
  2. More sea monsters. Just as many more pirates sail the seas, many more sea monsters swim them. The Reckoners we met in the first book were pretty cool, but in the sequel we’ll see some of my favorite creatures in the series.
  3. Some new friends. One of them might be a prince. Named after an obscure Brooklyn Nine-Nine character.
  4. Some old ones. It is a sequel, after all.
  5. More salty pirate language. Honestly I think there’s around four times more profanity in this book. Ah, the perils of spending too much time around sailors.
  6. Swift’s last name. A hint: she shares it with a popular superhero.
  7. A certain captain’s backstory.
  8. An embarrassing eating contest.
  9. Some new tattoos.
  10. Equal footing. In the first book, Cas and Swift didn’t stand on the same ground. Now they do. Though it causes no shortage of problems, it also removes a certain set of obstacles, and the benefits are… reaped.

I know, I know. It’s the cruelest of teasers. But before you know it, it’ll be 2017 and the sequel to The Abyss Surrounds Us will be in your precious hands!

Emily’s book and its sequel sound amazing, don’t they? Here’s how to stay in touch with Emily and her news.
Visit her website.
Follow her on Twitter.
View her Instagram photos and Pinterest boards.
Check out her groovy Tumblr.
“Like” her author page on Facebook.
Follow her on Goodreads.

Did you find my number? GREAT! Now proceed to the next scavenger hunt stop, which is at Jennifer Jenkins’ blog.

Want to enter a separate drawing for another chance to win a copy of Snowed? JUST GO HERE.

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