YA Scavenger Hunt


Welcome to the 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 the prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in our team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Red Team

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are nine contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! We are a part of the RED TEAM, but there is also a silver team, a gold team, an orange team, a blue team, a green team, a pink team, a teal team, and a purple team for chances to win different sets of signed 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 we’ve hidden a number. Collect the  numbers of all the authors on the red 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 Sunday, April 3rd, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
(**Before you go, be sure to enter our separate Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of this post. We’re giving away a copy of Mindi’s book, LIVE THROUGH THIS!**)


Today, we are hosting Joshua David Bellin for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Here’s a bit about him: Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since he was eight years old (though the first few were admittedly very short). He taught college for twenty years, wrote a bunch of books for college students, then decided to return to fiction. SURVIVAL COLONY 9 is his first novel, with the sequel, SCAVENGER OF SOULS, set to release on August 23, 2016.
Find out more information by checking out Joshua’s website, following him on Twitter (@TheYAGuy), or check out his book here!

Querry Genn is running out of time. He may have saved his survival colony and defeated a nest of the monstrous Skaldi, but that doesn’t mean he has any more answers to who he is. When he encounters a new colony in the middle of the desert, the pieces of his past begin to fall into place–along with the terrible secrets that have been kept from him all his life. Joining forces with Mercy, a teenage girl with secrets of her own, Querry must fight to save his colony, his friends, and his future.

In the thrilling conclusion to the story that began with SURVIVAL COLONY 9, Joshua David Bellin narrates a tale of sacrifice, courage against overwhelming odds, and the fateful choices that define us for a lifetime.

A note from Joshua:
I like to sketch the physical locations where my stories take place; this helps me keep directions and basic spatial relationships consistent as I write. These maps aren’t drawn to scale, and (since I’m not a professional artist) they’re not as cool as the maps you see at the front of many fantasy novels. But they serve my purposes!
The map from SCAVENGER OF SOULS shows the three principal locations where the novel’s action takes place: a volcanic desert where a strange altar-like rock formation stands; an abandoned military base where a survival colony is quartered; and a canyon where another colony lives. Secrets lie buried in each of these places, and my main character’s quest to uncover them is what drives the action of the novel!

Scavenger of Souls map

*Mini Giveaway! Click the Rafflecopter icon below to enter to win LIVE THROUGH THIS!*
(US Only. Sorry!)

Now don’t forget to enter the large international contest for a chance to win a ton books! To enter, you need to remember the number 14. Add up all the numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have 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! http://beckywallacebooks.com/blog/

Blurb Celebration and Giveaway!

We are so very happy to share some exciting news! THE WAY BACK TO YOU received incredibly kind blurbs from two super-duper talented and all-around awesome ladies, authors Emma Mills and Emery Lord. [Insert ticker tape parade here because OMG.]

We are such big fans of Emma and Emery, and feel so honored that they took the time to read our book. And to say such nice things about it! We are overcome.

Here are the nice things!


“By turns humorous and affecting, THE WAY BACK TO YOU is an engaging story of loss, grief, and the journey back to joy.” -Emma Mills, author of First & Then


It’s rare for a book that makes me cry to also make me laugh out loud. THE WAY BACK TO YOU manages to be utterly truthful about grief: that there is still warmth, humor, and love in the wreckage.-Emery Lord, author of WHEN WE COLLIDED and OPEN ROAD SUMMER


We’re so beyond grateful for their generosity that we wanted to celebrate! So, we’re having a giveaway! There will be three! lucky! winners!, and each will win one of these fantastic prizes:

  • a pre-order of WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord (open internationally)
  • hardcover of FIRST & THEN by Emma Mills (US only)
  • an ARC of THE WAY BACK TO YOU (US only)

All you have to do is click the Rafflecopter link below and enter to win!


Best of luck, and thanks for celebrating with us!!


Character Valentines

Dearest Readers,

The events in The Way Back to You begin shortly after February 14th. But it’s the first Valentine’s Day since the death of Ashlyn, best friend and girlfriend of our narrators, Cloudy and Kyle. So we thought it would be more fun to share something from the previous Valentine’s Day—something from when Ashlyn was still alive.

What we have here are a note Cloudy and her (then) ­boyfriend Matty were passing back and forth during class, the eCard Ashlyn created for Kyle, and the eCard Kyle sent to Ashlyn in response. We hope you’ll enjoy! (And for more context, of course, we’ll love it if you check out The Way Back to You coming May 3, 2016!)


Michelle & Mindi

P.S. You can click on each image below to enlarge it. ♥

C&M-Valentine (1)

Valentine for Kyle (1)

Ashlyn Rose This picture reminded me of you for some reason. He just needs some mittens. I'm looking forward to hanging out. I'll pick you and those Junior Mints up at 5.Love Kyle (1)

Giveaway + YOU ARE HERE + Scavenger Hunt

Heya! Thank you for stopping by the joint website of Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott!

Here’s a bit about us, in case you’re new around these parts: “Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott are novelists from opposite coasts who met through an online Young Adult Writing class. For years, they critiqued each other’s manuscripts, and then they wrote an entire book together—all while exchanging thousands and thousands (oh, and thousands) of emails, texts, and Tweets. Michelle lives in New York City, and The Way Back to You is her first novel. Mindi lives near Seattle, Washington, and her books are Freefall, Live Through This, Violent Ends, and The Way Back to You.”  

This post is part of the 2016 YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt (January 25-27), so if you’d like to check out fun author content and fabulous bookish prizes, please look for the bolded code word within this post, and follow the link at the bottom for the next stop.

We are also featuring a YOU ARE HERE photo by author Kim Culberton, and we’re hosting a giveaway for an ARC of our novel coming out from HarperCollins on May 3, 2016, THE WAY BACK TO YOU! So please take a look, read the stuff, and enter our giveaway.

Did we mention that you should enter our giveaway? You should! You should! 😉



Photo credit: Kim Culbertson
Place: Squaw Valley, CA

I took this photo at the top of the Emigrant chair lift at the Squaw Valley ski resort in Northern California. It’s of my daughter taking a break between runs to look out at the view. I love this picture and I chose it because its vibe is the heart of my YA novel The Possibility of Now. I need moments like these to encourage me to “stop and smell the alpenglow” as we say in my family. I’m a forward motion sort of girl. I drive yoga teachers crazy with my fidgeting. So taking time to notice the small moments each day doesn’t come naturally to me. I keep photos like this one around my house to remind me to practice doing it.”

authorpicAbout the Author:
KIM CULBERTSON is the award-winning author of the YA novels Songs for a Teenage Nomad (Sourcebooks 2010), Instructions for a Broken Heart (Sourcebooks 2011), Catch a Falling Star (Scholastic 2014) and The Possibility of Now (Scholastic 2016). Much of her inspiration for her novels comes from the work she’s done as a high school teacher for the last eighteen years. In 2012, Kim wrote her eBook novella The Liberation of Max McTrue for her students, who, over the years, have taught her far more than she has taught them. Kim is currently at work on her fifth YA novel (Scholastic 2017) and lives in Nevada City with her husband and daughter.

24647866About The Possibility of Now:
Mara James has always been a perfectionist with a plan. But despite years of overachieving at her elite school, Mara didn’t plan on having a total meltdown during her calculus exam. Like a rip-up-the-test-and-walk-out kind of meltdown. And she didn’t plan on a video of it going viral. And she definitely didn’t plan on never wanting to show her face again.

Mara knows she should go back, but suddenly she doesn’t know why she’s been overachieving all these years. Impulsively, she tells her mom she wants to go live with her estranged dad in Tahoe. Maybe in a place like Tahoe, where people go to get away from everyday life, and with a dad like Trick McHale, a ski bum avoiding the real world, Mara can figure things out.

Only Tahoe is nothing like she thought. There are awesome new friends and hot boys and a chance to finally get to know Trick, but there is also still massive amounts of schoolwork. Can Mara stopping planning long enough to see the life that’s happening right now?


And now, if you’d like to take a MOMENT to enter our giveaway (U.S. only, please) for an advanced reader’s copy of THE WAY BACK TO YOU, just click the Rafflecopter logo below!



For your next stop on the Scavenger Hunt, visit K.C. Held‘s site!

We Picked Up the Phone!

by mindi scott

In 2012, Michelle wrote on this blog about how she and I communicate together regarding our joint writing projects. (Summary: We use G-chat, email, and texts non-stop.)

The method we’d never used? THE TELEPHONE.

And, in fact, the only times Michelle and I had spoken on the phone together at all ever were during conference calls with our agent and/or editor.

On December 4, 2015, everything changed.

Yes, on that day, Michelle and I opted to discuss with our voices all the final edits we’d each decided  in advance would need to to submitted back to our publisher from the Proofread First Pass Galleys. IMG_5365

After combined total of about five hours on our headsets, one accidental hangup, and one dead battery, we got it all done!

It wasn’t terrible; it was fun, actually. We learned that we each pronounce the name “Devynne,” (a minor character from The Way Back to You) differently, which we’d never have learned from textual communication. I don’t know about Michelle, but I might be up for Conducting Writing Business by Phone again one day. Maybe.  😉

Author for a Day . . . or Something Like That

By Michelle Andreani

As you may have seen, Mindi and I turned in our pass pages recently. (This means TWBTY is one step closer to being a book-book! YAYAY.) Picking up and dropping off the pass pages gave me the privilege of visiting the HarperCollins offices and our editor, Alex Arnold — which was something in a long list of somethings that have made this Author Business seem real. (Because I have to say, 99% of the time, it does not feel real.)

So, yeah! I went to HarperCollins! To meet an editor! And not because it was a job interview! I was like an author in the movies. And I had this vision of strolling up to the security desk and being all, “Good day, I’m here for HarperCollins. The fancy book publisher. To meet my editor. Because I’m an author. Of a book.” But that didn’t happen because, while the security desk man was very good at his job, I don’t think he cared why I was there? Also, to be honest, he has probably seen authors like Ann Patchett and Gail Carson Levine and The Pioneer Woman breeze through that lobby, so a big shot, I am not. And anyway, saying all of that in my own head was enough.

The Harper offices are basically a utopian society built by readers. THERE ARE BOOKS EVERYWHERE. I snapped some photos, because hugging the bookcases would have been inappropriate.


IMG_2586    FullSizeRender (8)

While there, I got to chat with Mindi’s and my editor, Alex Arnold! Alex’s guidance was a big part of TWBTY, so chatting all things Cloudy and Kyle, getting some inside info, even just seeing all the fun stuff she has in her workspace — it was all so lovely! And hopefully I behaved well enough to be invited again?


So, while I’m maybe a Real Life Author every day now, it certainly doesn’t feel real. Except on some days, when it kind of goes out of its way to prove that it is. 🙂

Where We Are: A TWBTY Timeline!

by Michelle Andreani

It’s been awhile since we’ve updated you on all things THE WAY BACK TO YOU. And so many things have happened! (That’s our excuse for being so bad at the updating. Things happening!) (We’re sorry.) But water under the bridge! We thought the funnest way to share what we’ve been up to is a photo timeline. So, please join us and here we go.

Sure, we wrote TWBTY on our computers, but so many thoughts, and starts, and details went into our character journals. Cloudy and Kyle really came to life in them. This is Mindi’s, packed full of Kyle Knowledge!


While we relied on the internet (and our new best friend, Google Maps, specifically) for research, sometimes we needed to take matters into our own hands. Literally. When I was having a tough time rewriting a scene set in Santa Monica, CA, I drew my own version in my journal. And it helped that scene a ton!  (Map not to scale.)

FullSizeRender (4)

Writing and revising TWBTY was fun and lots of work and exciting and sometimes miserable. The misery was courtesy of this guy:


*hates you*

Then! Finally! In June 2015, our draft was complete. And a couple months later, it was copyediting time. At that point, TWBTY was still all electronic, and it looked like this:

Copyedited TWBTY

November arrived sooner than expected, and along with it, pass pages! With those we were able to go through a hard copy of our story; one that was starting to look like a real book! And it required Post-Its. A lot of Post-Its.

FullSizeRender (6)

A lot of Post-Its






FullSizeRender (5)

Hi, Arm silhouette!

Hi, Arm silhouette!


And that’s where we are with TWBTY. I told you a lot had happened! Now we’re gearing up to share Cloudy, Kyle, Arm, and co. with all of you.  We hope you’re ready to meet them after all this time. 🙂

Author Photos!

by mindi scott

Before Michelle came to Washington to visit me this summer, we got  a few price quotes from local photographers, and then set  an appointment to get photos of us together for  The Way Back to You‘s marketing needs.

We quickly learned that as stressful as it was to select a photographer, that had been the easiest part.

Because what in the world were we going to wear?????

We each spent countless hours online, looking for outfits and reading reviews. We wanted our clothes to coordinate, but not necessarily look like we’d coordinated on purpose. You know how it is.

We communicated with a ModCloth stylist. We set up a secret Pinterest with tons of options. We made collages of our favorite dresses positioned side by side. We ordered items. We returned items. IT WAS A PROCESS.

Here are a few selected-at-random shots of us taken by the lovely Brandy Stockwell while we’re wearing our carefully-selected dresses (and cloud necklaces!) from ModCloth. (In case you wondered, our photo shoot was at Flaming Geyser State Park. Also? Anytime Michelle looks taller than me, it’s an illusion! Haha.)
MnM Author Shoot-2447MnM Author Shoot-2469 MnM Author Shoot-2435MnM Author Shoot-2420MnM Author Shoot-2413MnM Author Shoot--2MnM Author Shoot-2423

How It Started

Me with Michelle - March 2014

Photo by Dwayne Scott. March 2014

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been over three years since Michelle and I started brainstorming for the story we’ve been writing together. As you might have seen yesterday, our book is going to be published by HarperCollins, perhaps in late-2015 or early-ish 2016! (Edit: It will be summer 2016.) And if you haven’t, please check out Michelle’s post. We are so excited about this!!!!

I thought it would be fun to share Michelle’s and my original correspondence about the story that would become FAR FROM US, so I’ve pasted below two days’ worth of emails from 2011. Some of what we discussed in these first emails didn’t come to be at all (like our two narrators not loving the girl who died), but a lot of it will be in the book in some form. For extra context, here’s a one-sentence pitch Michelle and I put together very recently:

FAR FROM US is a dual narrative of heartbreak, hijinks, and healing, in which two grieving teens, Cloudy and Kyle, who have avoided each other for the past year, spend their mid-winter break traveling, along with a stray kitten, through Oregon, California, Arizona, and Nevada to see the organ recipients of Cloudy’s deceased best friend, who was also Kyle’s girlfriend.

FYI: These emails are unedited. Michelle’s are in black and my responses are in blue. The conversation ends abruptly because all the emails that followed are incredibly lengthy and detailed; we’d decided at that point that we were really going to write this. It took a while to start it, though, because I was on deadline with my second novel for all of 2011. 🙂


From: Michelle Andreani
To: Mindi Scott
Sent: Fri, April 22, 2011 6:26:47 AM
Subject: RE: Does this sound stupid?

Hey! I know you’re in the middle of your first draft right now, so sorry to bother you! 

But I had an idea on the ride up to work and wanted to share it before a) I forgot it, and b) before I thought about it anymore, only to find out it’s stupid. (I think the subject line of this email is perfect, btw.)

So, this is it: A girl whose best friend/sister/boyfriend/parent/miscellaneous loved one has died, and she somehow goes to find the people who received this loved one’s donated organs. Wouldn’t that be an interesting road trip??

Is that gross?! Or creepy? Or too sentimental? 

Okay, sorry again. Back to work!


Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 11:38:26 -0700
From: Mindi Scott
Subject: Re: Does this sound stupid?
To: Michelle Andreani

Ha, I’m so glad we’re able to keep using this subject line!

I don’t think it sounds stupid! It sounds like it has the potential to be very, very emotional. I think it’s more along the lines of sentimental than gross or creepy, but it wouldn’t have to be TOO sentimental. There are all sorts of possibilities as far as who she will encounter, who (if anyone) will go with her, and what sorts of revelations she’ll have along the way!
From: Michelle Andreani
To: Mindi Scott
Sent: Fri, April 22, 2011 11:57:18 AM
Subject: RE: Does this sound stupid?

Thanks for the input! I have no intention of writing this any time soon (besides, saving the road trip for OUR story, woo!). I just wanted your opinion 🙂Hope your writing is getting done!
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 12:03:49 -0700
From: Mindi Scott
Subject: Re: Does this sound stupid?
To: Michelle Andreani

See, and when I read this idea, I was thinking, Hey! I wonder if we could use this for Claudia and Kyle. But then I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want you to feel like you’re being held back from working on any stories that strike your fancy on account of me! 🙂
From: Michelle Andreani
To: Mindi Scott
Sent: Fri, April 22, 2011 2:48:35 PM
Subject: RE: Does this sound stupid?

Hahaha! Well, as soon as I thought Road trip!, I of course thought of our story, but I didn’t want to say anything because what if you hated this organ donor nonsense?? 

PS: I think Claudia might be Stormy again, because I’ve since had interactions with a Claudia I didn’t care for…

Continue reading

We Have News.


So. Um. I’m not really sure how to do this. Because I’ve never done anything like this before.

Never ever.

Because I’ve never had a book deal before.

AND WE HAVE A BOOK DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Us, all week.

Our book, FAR FROM US, is going to be published.


It’s true! About a week ago, super agent Jim McCarthy, Mindi, and I accepted a deal with Alexandra Arnold of Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins).


PM Deal

And in case you don’t feel like clicking, here’s what it says:

Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott’s FAR FROM US, a dual narrative in which two grieving teens take a road trip across the Southwest after their friend is killed in an accident and along the way chart a journey of loss, hope, and love as they discover the ways that she lives on even after her death, to Alex Arnold at Katherine Tegen Books, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World).

Eep! Eeeeeeeeeeep!



Are there words that even exist for this?! (I guess that’s not the most impressive thing, announcing a book deal and then being unable to string together some sentences, huh? Yeesh!) But still! It all feels so very surreal, something I haven’t quite wrapped my head around yet, even after years and years of dreaming up a moment just like it. (I was even in my pajamas when it happened – just like I always imagined!) Of course, those were the same years and years of telling myself to take it down a notch, Michelle, it might never happen.

But it did.

It happened. IT’S HAPPENING!!!!!!!


Night cheese, Snuggie happy!

Mindi and I are so, so happy to work with Alex, who has shown such enthusiasm for FFU, and we are so fortunate to have her behind our book! And we’re really excited to join Katherine Tegen Books, the home of so many fantastic stories — including Veronica Roth’s Divergent (MAYBE YOU’VE HEARD OF IT), and another of my favorites, Hilary T. Smith’s Wild Awake.

We are very lucky.

And I feel like the luckiest person ever to have had Mindi in my corner all this time. Without her endless support, crazyyyyy talent, and all-around general wonderfulness, I would not be writing this. And a bazillion thank-yous to Jim, who took a chance on me, was ever encouraging, and fought for FFU all the way.

(Is this where I thank other people? What happens next?? Did I talk about how surreal this is?! My brain is all jumbly!)

A dream come true. That’s all I can think to say about it.

Except that I am bursting with gratitude and excitement and happy-nausea!

This will be my first ever First Book. And I (and we) hope you like it. 🙂