YA Scavenger Hunt, Featuring Kate McLaughlin

Note: The YA Scavenger Hunt is now over! Thanks to everyone who played and congrats to the winners! I’ll be leaving this post up for posterity, but note that the game is over as of October 4.

Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt for Fall 2020! I’m so excited to be participating again, and to be a part of Team Red! For those of you who might not be familiar with it, YASH is a bi-annual event that 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! On 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 120 hours!

Want to play? Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt website to find out all about the hunt. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! As I said at the beginning of this post, I’m part of Team Red—but there is also a blue team and a purple team, and each team gives you a chance to win a whole different set of books!

Here’s how it works:

  • Find the secret number: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve hidden a special number. Collect the special numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
  • Send in your entry: 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! To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by noon (Pacific Time) on October 4th! Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
  • Fine print: Open internationally, but due to COVID-19, there may be issues with international prize delivery. If the winner lives outside the US, they’ll have the option to receive an ebook instead, or to choose a delayed date for paperbacks if they live in a country where delivery might be an issue. Anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter.

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, make sure to check out the YA Scavenger Hunt website.

In the meantime, let’s get started with the game!

For this grand finale round of YA Scavenger Hunt, I’m pleased to be hosting Kate McLaughlin, author of What Unbreakable Looks Like, which author and advocate Christa Desir called, “Raw, unflinching, and authentic.” Learn more below!


Lex was taken–trafficked–and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again.

After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn’t trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn’t because that’s what feels right. She doesn’t deserve good things.

But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn’t mean it is okay. She’s thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. But first she’ll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love.

You can enter to win a copy of What Unbreakable Looks Like by completing the Team Red scavenger hunt, but in the meantime, grab a copy on Kindle now and start reading!

Special YASH Goodie!

Just for YASH, Kate is sharing her dream cast for What Unbreakable Looks Like. Here’s how she pictures her three main characters:


The fabulous Lauren Ambrose from her Six Feet Under days. I just love her look! It’s not fair that all these years later she still looks like a kid. She embodies the tough vulnerability I feel in Lex.


This one came later to me. I’d already written most of the book before I stumbled upon a photo of young Jason Mamoa and realized he would have been perfect to be the boy who shows Lex that there’s still good people in the world.


In my head, Elsa looks like my niece—after whom she was named. But if I were casting the book I’d choose a young Ana de Armas. She’s got the perfect look for Lex’s little-but-mighty bestie.

Thanks so much for sharing, Kate! You can learn more about Kate McLaughlin and What Unbreakable Looks Like at her website. You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

About the Author

Kate McLaughlin has written many books under several names, but right now she’s trying to keep them to a minimum. She writes characters who refuse to break, and are more gray than black or white.

One Last Giveaway Before You Go!

That’s it from Kate, but the fun is just getting started! After all, have you seen my exclusive reveal yet? Somewhere hidden in this scavenger hunt is the cover reveal for a sequel that I’ve been promising for a long time, and at long last, am ready to share with the world. Dying to know what happens next to 19-year-old Laura and her girlfriend Shailene? The wait is almost over! I’ll have more news for you soon, but in the meantime, enjoy the cover and blurb reveal in the YA Scavenger Hunt!

But in the meantime, if you’re looking for some great, diverse sci-fi that’s actually coming out soon (😉), check out my friend Jamie Krakover’s debut novel, Tracker220! Releasing October 20 from Snowy Wings Publishing, Tracker220 is the story of a scarily plausible near-future reality where computer chips are embedded in everyone’s brains that enable the government to track their thoughts and behavior. But every system has a glitch. Kaya Weiss is that glitch.

When everyone has a brain-interfacing tracking chip, one glitch threatens the entire network. Kaya Weiss is that glitch.

Through thoughts and blinks, Kaya can access anyone or anything on the tracker network. But the authorities monitor everything—where Kaya goes, who she talks to, and what she searches. And without the ability to turn it off, Kaya and her family can’t observe a tech-free Shabbat. To fix the glitch, the authorities slice into her skull to reset her tracker, leaving Kaya to question more than the system’s invasion into her faith.

Kaya won’t be a lab rat again.

Evading the authorities requires some serious tech skills the rogue underground Ghosts can offer. But Kaya’s not sure she can trust them—even if their top tech wiz, Bailen, has interest in her running deeper than her bum tracker. Kaya must decide if gaining freedom is worth losing her tracker’s infinite knowledge—because to take down the tracker network, she must betray the only tech she’s ever known.

With an #OwnVoices Jewish protagonist, action-packed suspense, high-tech conspiracies, and swoon-worthy romance, Tracker220 is one you won’t want to miss. And you can win a copy now! Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let the Hunt Continue!

Did you find my special number? I hope so, because it’s time to move on to the next member of Team Red! You can find the next puzzle at Kristin Jacques’ blog! Thanks for stopping by, and have a great hunt!


  • J Lenni Dorner

    October 4, 2020 at 3:15 AM

    Jamie’s book sounds awesome! I reached out on the website contact form. I interview debut authors on the Operation Awesome blog.

    Thank you for taking part in YASH. I wish this weren’t the last one.

    You Beneath Your Skin By Damyanti Biswas has been the best book I’ve read in 2020 so far.
    I also really enjoyed Van Helsing Academy by Stacey O’Neale and Not Guilty by C. Lee McKenzie.
    I’m super excited about the YA query contest Pass or Pages at Operation Awesome this October.
    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    1. Lyssa

      October 5, 2020 at 5:01 PM

      Thanks so much, J! I’m so glad so many people are interested in Jamie’s book, I know everyone is going to love it. And I feel you about wishing this wasn’t the last YASH! I hope it somehow comes back in one incarnation or other.

      I saw you won the purple team prize! Congratulations! 🎉

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