YA Scavenger Hunt, Fall 2018!

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 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX 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, an orange team, a red team, and an indie 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 , at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Today, I am hosting SL Beaumont on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
SL Beaumont is the author of the young adult romantic mystery saga, The Carlswick Mysteries. She lives in beautiful New Zealand with her husband, three teenage sons and an enormous fluffy cat. Her passion for travel has seen her take many long haul flights from New Zealand. Her love of history helps determine the destination and the places she visits are a constant source of inspiration for her. She is a Chartered Accountant by day, having worked in London, New York and Auckland, and an author by night.

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author’s book here!


How awesome is this?  Ms. Beaumont is giving away the prequel novella to her series The Carlswick Mysteries. The prequel is called Sophie’s Journal and the Bookfunnel link is (download for free, no e-mail required):

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Courtney Brandt, and more!  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 enter, you should know how much I love the number 17.  It’s my birthday, and St. Patrick’s Day, so it’s always been lucky to me (hopefully it will be lucky to you as well). Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Blue team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


To continue on your numerical hunt for a jackpot of books, you’ll want to check out the next author on Blue team, the marvelous Amalie Howard.

Also,  just because the Blue team is so fantastic, here’s all the books you could win!

Book review: Heist Society.

Noticing a theme here, are we?  😉

For the next of my heist research novels, I turned to (what else?) YA.  When writing UTROL earlier in the year, I briefly debated knocking ten years off everyone’s ages, but there’s far too much suspension of disbelief that would need to take place for that to read in any realistic format.

Like The Heist, it took me a sold two efforts to get into the book — as in, I put the book down for over a month — something that really surprised me.  Because really, the hook of any heist should be something of a page turner.  Especially in the YA genre.  In this instance Kat (Katerina Bishop) comes from a family of n’er do wells, who have been conning and running schemes for years (it’s mentioned she was on a job when she was 5, which seems like very poor parenting).  Everyone needs an origin story, but we only get bits and pieces of Kat’s before she leaves the school she’s attending (where she escaped to get away from a life of crime).

Things I liked?  Go big or go home.  Why shouldn’t there be a teen with more or less unlimited wealth?  Why shouldn’t 15 year olds regularly interact with grown men and crime bosses without hesitation?  Why can’t a group of kids knock off a major museum?  Why wouldn’t they visit (what felt like) 17 countries in a week?  Who needs adult supervision?  Ahem.  In reality, there were a few terms and ideas I picked up for UTROL,  and I loved how the group had chemistry, and lots of inside jokes/events that we, as the audience, are never given any further details on.  Character development was a bit meh, but there were plenty of fun moments, even if the pacing at the start was a bit difficult to get into.  Similar to Ocean’s 11, what works is that we know no one will be killed.  This is a heist with high stakes, but not everything on the line.  I have threats in my own manuscript, but as of now (spoiler alert), I’m keeping everyone alive.

Stuff that needs work?  $7.99 feels high for a book that can be read in one or two sittings (even if it took me 9 or 10).  $4.99 feels much more in line.  Within the book itself, the ‘twist’ was one I saw coming a mile away — and was based on a  decision that felt WILDLY out of character for our protagonist.  Also, as mentioned above, there is simply a bit to much suspension of disbelief to really ground the book.  Ms. Carter, I think you could’ve done better.  Given the feedback on Amazon/Goodreads, I seem to be in the minority, with most readers enjoying the novel.

 Unfortunately, while there are other books in the series, given their price point, I’m not in any particular hurry to pick them up.  I like Kat as a protagonist, but I’m not really invested in her life.  Damn not having a library.

Have you read the series?  What do you think?