Autumn YA Scavenger Hunt!

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My team this year is gold

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 Gold Team–but there is also a rainbow of other teams, all 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 Gold Team, and then add them up.
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, OCTOBER NINTH, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Today, I am hosting Kristi Helvig on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!Dr. Kristi Helvig is the author of Sci-Fi novels BURN OUT and STRANGE SKIES (out now through Lerner Publishing) and the incredible short story Countdown Café, from the anthology TICK TOCK: 7 Tales of Time.
Kristi  is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. She muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog at Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs. Find out more information by checking out her website or find more about Kristi’s book here!


I’m writing this YASH post on the eve of the scavenger hunt, and I can hear a barred owl vocalizing to another owl in that iconic who-cooks-for you call. Owls always amaze me, and somehow when I hear them in the fall, they make me think of people I miss and people I’ve lost. I’m not sure why, but the sound of owls calling comforts me when I’m grieving. In Kristi’s YASH content, she talks about her own personal experience communicating with people from the other side and how it helps her own grieving process.


Inspiration for Countdown Café: A Tale from the Other Side

By Kristi Helvig

I’ve spoken before about the initial inspiration for my short story, Countdown Café, from the speculative fiction anthology TICK TOCK: 7 Tales of Time. It came from stumbling upon a coffee shop across the street from my subdivision that I’d driven by for years, years, before realizing it was there. I found it one day by accident, and wondered how I could have possibly missed a place that was literally across the street. Being a sci-fi and fantasy author, and a huge Twilight Zone fan, I thought it would make for a cool story to focus on a shop that only existed at certain times—for certain people.

What I haven’t really discussed at length is the other element of the story which addresses the connection we have to our loved ones on the other side. Maybe it’s partly that I’m a clinical psychologist, or maybe it’s that I’m open with people about my own experiences, but I can’t tell you the number of people who have told me their accounts of communication with deceased loved ones—including pets. Numerous friends, acquaintances, family and clients who have started out by saying to me, “I’ve never told anyone this story before because it sounds crazy, but…”

I’ve had experiences with ‘the other side’ since I was a little girl, but it has always been a comfort rather than something to be feared. One of the more recent experiences was when I was with my mother several weeks before she died. She was in her bed and I sat next to her, knowing it would be the last time I would see her in this lifetime.

I suddenly felt the presence of my deceased grandmother, my mom’s mother, in the room with us, and it was such a warm and loving energy.

I turned to my mom and said, “Mom, grandma is here.”

My mom, who was so weak at that point, said, “I know. She’s been communicating with me.”

I tried, and failed, to fight back tears and nodded. “I think she’s waiting for you whenever you’re ready. We love you so much, but it’s okay to go. We’ll be okay.”

My mom then told me my dad was not ready and she was worried that he wouldn’t be okay. I had a long, tearful talk with my dad that night, and told him that she was holding on for him, and she needed him to tell her it was okay to go. He admitted he had been telling her not to go, and agreed to talk to her. Shortly after he told her he would be okay, my mother died with him at her side. She has visited me several times since her death, sometimes with messages, but more often, I just feel her presence, especially around my children.

I’ve found that along with inevitable sadness for those left behind, there is also grace and beauty in death, and I wanted to explore that in a story. There have been so many real-life stories about the uncanny closeness of twins, so Countdown Café explores the aftermath of grief when one twin loses the other.

I hope you enjoy it, as well as the other stories by my amazing fellow authors in the TICK TOCK anthology. We feel so lucky to have received the awards and acclaim we have for this anthology. Also, we can soon reveal the awesomely creepy Turkish version of the Tick Tock cover so check for details on that, as well as news on our next anthology coming in Spring 2017. I’m also giving away a signed copy of TICK TOCK at my stop on the blog, so make sure to enter at

Thank you, Kristi, for that amazing story! And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Kristi Helvig, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number corresponds to the number of goats I own: 10. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

I’m also giving away two special prizes.  One for the person who can answer the question mentioned on my exclusive content, which you’ll find somewhere on your YASH travels.  The other prize will be chosen from the comments.  Here is the question I’d like you to answer: what is your Harry Potter patronus and what is your house? Mine is the Siberian cat and I am in Hufflepuff.

Update: Comment box is now working!

Continue your YASH hunt you’ll need to visit the next author, Rachel Davidson Leigh!

And don’t forget to



Posted in Uncategorized, YASH

68 Responses to Autumn YA Scavenger Hunt!

  1. Beautiful story of inspiration.

  2. Jordan W says:

    Slytherin. Or Slytherclaw if we’re doing hybrids. My patronus is a fox.

  3. Aylea Stephens says:

    My house is Gryffindor and my patrons is a kingfisher.

  4. Cynthia Powers says:

    Marsh Harrier for patronus. Hufflepuff for house.

  5. Katrina says:

    I’m Ravenclaw and a dolphin patronus.

  6. Megan S. says:

    My house is Hufflepuff and my patronus is a Heron. 🙂

  7. Tia says:

    My house is Hufflepuff and my Patronus is a Hedgehog!

  8. Amy says:

    My house is Slytherin and my patronus is a blackbird

  9. Dana Bartelt says:

    1)It’s sung by a peg legged sailor on the docks while she is headed towards the Osprey.

    2)Gryffindor & Weasel

  10. Kynlee says:

    Im a slytherin and my patronus is a lion

  11. Isabel says:

    I’m a Hufflepuff and my patronus is an otter!

  12. Megan C. says:

    According to Pottermore my house is Ravenclaw and my patronus is a dolphin!! 🙂

  13. Rebecca says:

    I did the quiz and my results are:

    Patronus House: Badger
    Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw

    Saucy Sailor is sung by the peg-legged sailor on the docks.
    Thanks for joining in YASH. Congrats on your upcoming book and first ever contemporary, sounds amazing!

  14. Katherine Paschal says:

    I am House Ravenclaw and my patronus is a fox. Thanks for the hunt!

  15. Nicole says:

    I’m a Hufflepuff, and my patronus is a dolphin 🙂

  16. Lauryn says:

    My patronus is the majestic and beautiful white tiger and I was accepted into the house of Ravenclaw.

  17. bn100 says:

    Gryffindor, fox
    it’s sung by the peg-legged sailor on the docks

  18. Delia Chavez says:

    Sung by a peg legged sailor at the docks while she is headed towards the Osprey.

    Pottermore says Patronus Ocicat and house Hufflepuff

  19. Bube says:

    Saucy Sailor is sung by the peg-legged sailor on the docks.
    Pottermore website is super cool 🙂
    Patronus House:Ibizan Hound
    Howgarts House:Hufflepuff

    I have your books on my wish-read list,looking forward to read 🙂
    Thank you for the amazing opportunity and fantastic YASH post 🙂

  20. Karen Woodard says:

    I am a Ravenclaw with a weasel patronus!

  21. Lily M. says:

    Hi!! Thank you so much for this opportunity 🙂 🙂 my house is Ravenclaw and my patronus is a Tonkinese Cat 🙂

  22. Katherine says:

    I am Slytherin and my patronus is the fox!

  23. Lina says:

    I am proud to be from Gryffindor 🙂 and my patronus is Osprey!! Thank you for joining the hunt!!

  24. Natasha says:

    A peg-legged sailor on the docks sings it

    I’m a Slytherin and my patrons would be a wolf

  25. Martina says:

    I´m Slytherin <3 And my Patronus is wolf. Even when Pottermore says it´s robin but I can´t relate with it 😀 So wolf 😀

  26. Stephanie says:

    My patronus is a wolf and I am in Slytherin!

  27. Rayna says:

    I’m also a Hufflepuff, and my Patronus is a Marsh Harrier.

  28. Gabrielle says:

    I’m apparently a brown hare and I am a Ravenclaw!

  29. Theresa Snyder says:

    Sung by a peg legged sailor at the docks while she is headed towards the Osprey

    I am a Gryffindor and my patronus is a goshawk!


  30. Cassandra says:

    Slytherin and swift! Thanks for doing a bonus giveaway!

  31. Emily S says:

    I’m a Ravenclaw with a mountain hare patronus.

  32. Julie says:

    Ravenclaw house, and my patronus is a sparrowhawk

  33. Caitlin says:

    I’m a Hufflepuff and my patronus is a calico cat!

  34. Crystal Craig says:

    My patronus is a Wild Rabbit and my house is Ravenclaw.

  35. Kayl says:

    *Saucy Sailor was sung by a peg-legged sailor on the docks while heading to Osprey.
    * I belong to the Hufflepuff house and my Patronus is a chow dog. 😀

  36. Zara Arshad says:

    House: HufflePuff
    Patronus: A Rabbit

  37. Sabrina says:

    I am a Gryffingor and my patronus is a crow!

  38. Kestrel Jones says:

    1. I’m a Hufflepuff through and through. According to Pottermore, my patronis is a wild bore…I’m not sure how I feel about that one.
    2. Saucy Sailor is sung by a peg-leg sailor on the docks.

  39. Irene says:

    I haven’t been on Pottermore since forever ago! My house is Ravenclaw, but I have yet to find out what my patronus is. I’d like it to be…a hedgehog, maybe? 😛

  40. Bethany Fetzer says:

    My house is Hufflepuff and my patronus is a basset hound.

  41. My house is Ravenclaw and my patronus is a Piebald Stallion 🙂

    Thanks for the extra giveaway!

  42. S.N. says:

    My patronus is a wolf (like Tonks), and my House is Ravenclaw.

  43. karen chappell says:

    Mine is a black Leopard, and im from Ravenclaw.
    Great question! Thanks!

  44. Nicole Wetherington says:

    My house is Hufflepuff and my patronus is Crow!

  45. Baggins says:

    My House is Slytherin and my Patronus is a White Mare. 🙂

  46. I’m a Slytherin and my patronus is a Sphynx Cat!

  47. Shannon Fay says:

    the song is sung on the docks bny a sailor with a peg leg.

    and i think my patronus wouldn’t be anything crazy, just an ordinary housecat, but i think i would be in gryffindor

  48. Mine is a Ragdoll Cat and I’m in Gryffindor!!

  49. Tiffany Webb says:

    1. House: Hufflepuff and the patronus quiz on pottermore would not load for me 🙁
    2. Sung by a peg-legged sailor at the docks while she is headed towards the Osprey.

  50. Elizabeth Fleet says:

    My patronus is a Dapple Grey Stallion (literally screamed because my favorite animal is a horse) and my house is Ravenclaw 🙂

  51. My patronus is a red squirrel. Havent tried my house though… to scared.

  52. Caitlin Kling says:

    I’m in Slytherin and my patronus is an Adder….I’m nervous about what all of that might say about me…. 😉

  53. Paige O. says:

    I’m a Hufflepuff and my patronus is a dolphin.

  54. Valerie Lawson says:

    House is slytherin and patrons is a black and white cat. 🙂

  55. Grace says:

    I am a Ravenclaw and a fox terrier!

  56. Debi Tonks says:

    My patronus is a beagle which is surprising considering I’m allergic to dogs and not a dog person at all. I’m in Gryffindor.

  57. Vickie says:

    My patronus is a horse and i’m in hufflepuff!

  58. Hannah Mac says:

    Mine is a dolphin and i’m in Griffindor!

  59. Sneha Mohite says:

    I’m in Gryffindor. Haven’t taken my patronus test yet.

  60. Calla says:

    I’m a proud Gryffindor! And I’ve taken the patronus test twice (probably because I’m obsessed) and I got a robin my first time and a bat my second time!Thanks for participating in YASH!

  61. Maud G says:

    I have a Siberian Cat as a Patronus too! I’m Ravenclaw but I used to be sorted in Gryffindor… So I did a combination quiz and it said I’m a Ravendor which I think fits me perfectly 🙂

  62. Erin Nation says:

    Hufflepuff and my patronus is a White Stallion

  63. Erin Sheets says:

    #yash was so much fun!!! Thank you!!