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 Orange Team –but there is also a red team, a gold team, a blue 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.
Today, I am hosting Tori Rigby on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!Tori Rigby grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio, considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Tori had penned her first, full-length screenplay.
If she couldn’t be a writer, Tori would be a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.
Tori also writes as Vicki Leigh, and you can find her at www.booksbytori.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @booksbytori
Because I Love You
Eight weeks after sixteen-year-old Andie Hamilton gives her virginity to her best friend, “the stick” says she’s pregnant.
Her friends treat her like she’s carrying the plague, her classmates torture her and ridicule her, and the boy she thought loved her doesn’t even care. Afraid to experience the next seven months alone, she turns to her ex-boyfriend, Neil Donaghue, a dark-haired, blue-eyed player. With him, she finds comfort and the support she desperately needs to make the hardest decision of her life: whether or not to keep her baby.
Then a tragic accident leads Andie to discover Neil’s keeping a secret that could dramatically alter their lives, and she’s forced to make a choice. But after hearing her son’s heart beat for the first time, she doesn’t know how she’ll ever be able to let go
On Adoption: A Personal BECAUSE I LOVE YOU Story
Many times now I’ve been asked what inspired my YA contemporary, BECAUSE I LOVE YOU. It’s true that the novel is partly about teenage pregnancy, but there’s a deeper underlying theme that was the real reason I wrote the book: Adoption. So, why did I choose to write a book on this topic?
Because I’m adopted. Here’s my personal story.
I was adopted when I was just three days old. My parents, a home builder and a homemaker, had been trying for seven years to have children and had been unsuccessful in doing so. They tell me the moment they held me in their arms, they just knew they were meant to be my parents. Instantly they loved me like I was their own. But growing up adopted isn’t easy.
My parents both have brown hair, and my dad has blue eyes. I actually look a lot like them, so it comes as no surprise that many people assumed I was lying when I said I was adopted. In the 80s, adoption wasn’t yet a common thing, and it didn’t help that I was adopted by parents of my same race.
Other people would almost make fun of the fact that I didn’t know my ancestral background or my family’s medical history. Doing family trees at school was always awkward, and every time I spoke with a nurse at my doctor’s office, I had to remind them that I didn’t know whether or not I had the possibility of cancer.
But my biggest struggle was with my identity. I didn’tknow where I came from, and for some strange reason, that bothered me tremendously.
I remember creating imaginary family trees, pretending I came from a huge family with several brothers and sisters. I’d dreamed about being a celebrity’s kid, and that one day I would reunite with them, and their connections would get me movie deals. I escaped into book worlds and movies and lived vicariously through character after character, searching for a sense of identity. And I remember being annoyed that my biological parents hadn’t kept me. Was I really that unlovable?
In Ohio, we had closed adoptions back in the 1980s. That means that medical records of adopted children are sealed. Kids can’t just look up who their parents were, and the biological and adoptive parents have zero contact. So, I had no hopes of ever finding my birth family, but on my twenty-first birthday (the age you have to be in Ohio to request information about your birth), I still contacted my adoption agency about finding my birth parents.
And to my absolute surprise, two months later they’d made contact—and my mother wanted me to call her.
It wasn’t long after that I spoke with her and even met her in person, and after lots of questions and learning about what my life would’ve been like had I remained with my biological family, I clued in to the real reason my parents had placed me for adoption: they loved me. They couldn’t afford to raise a fifth child, and they wanted me to have a chance for a life full of opportunity.
As for the parents who raised me as if I wastheir own: they’d accepted me as their child and never treated me as anyone but their blood.
In both cases, they had placed my needs before their own. And what truer form of love is there?
And so it was because of my experience and these emotions that I wanted to write BECAUSE I LOVE YOU. This book is for those children out there who, like me, are growing up adopted or with families who aren’t their own. Those who know that blood doesn’t make a family but are still searching for identity. You are loved far more than you know. And you you should be proud to be super unique. It’s not very often someone can say they were loved by two sets of parents.