Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Hello hunters! Welcome to the Hellfinder Scavenger Hunt where your job is to find or borrow or steal (just kidding, don't steal) as many of the 20 items listed below as you can. Why THESE particular items? Because they all feature in the story in one way or another.

Reminder, this hunt goes for 12 hours and if there is a tie for the highest number of items, I will award multiple prizes, so there's no need not to read all of the (admittedly tedious) rules below. Apologies for the long rules—I did this in the past and it was kind of chaotic so I am trying to keep it very organized and clear.

Grand prize for the Scavenger Hunt will be a signed paperback of Hellfinder and your choice of 2 other signed Paula Stokes books, for a total of 3 books! And if you've already pre-ordered Hellfinder, I'll throw in a 3rd signed Paula Stokes book and a signed bookplate instead of the Hellfinder paperback if you want. Availability depends on my current supply of books, but I definitely have brand new copies of Hidden Pieces, Liars Inc, Vicarious, and Ferocious, as well as some used copies of Girl Against the Universe if you prefer a swoony contemp. Sorry, this one is US only because I can't afford to send books overseas anymore.

  • The contest goes from 12:10PM Pacific to 11:59PM Pacific on 8/29/23
  • This contest is US entrants only. You must be 13 or have a guardian’s permission to participate.
  • There are 20 total items to look for in the hunt, and I am asking you to put up to 5 items in each picture, for a total of up to 20 items and 4 pictures.
  • No picture should have more than 5 items.
  • The only way you will post fewer than 4 images is if you have zero items from one of the sets.
  • Please put all items on floor and photograph them from above so I can identify them clearly.
  • Please photograph all items on the same background—carpet or floor. See my examples below.
  • You cannot use AI or digital editing to generate any of your pictures.
  • The items must all by physical items. You cannot print out images for any of them, including the map, Northern Lights, and volcano items.
  • There’s very little wiggle room—you can’t use chocolate chips for the chocolate bar, a cupcake for the cookie, a sweatshirt for a sweater, etc. If you have questions you can post a comment or email me and I'll try to respond within 2 hours, but the answer is probably no.
  • I am the final judge of what counts and what doesn’t. It’s possible I will make a decision you disagree with. It is possible I will make a bad decision, as I am human and prone to errors. My decisions are final word. Please remember this is just a fun contest and even if you didn’t win, you also didn’t lose anything, right?
  • You must post your images on social media with the caption listed below to enter.
  • I honestly don’t think the prize of 3 of my books really warrants cheating, but people do surprise me, so if you are the winner but I think you may have used AI or editing or took someone else’s picture, etc., I reserve the right to ask you to provide extra images to verify your entry.

Please post your 4 pictures before 11:59PM Pacific time on 8/29/23 on FB, IG, or Twitter (sorry i will never call it X) with this caption:
I entered the #Hellfinder release day scavenger hunt. I found [number of items you found] out of 20 items. Hellfinder is a YA adventure novel by @pstokesbooks that takes place in Iceland.

Okay, now for the items!

  1. A cookie
  2. A mysterious-looking rock that is at least 5cm by 5cm
  3. A sweater
  4. Tea (loose, bag, or in the cup okay)
  5. A backpack


  1. A map (of anywhere)
  2. A salt shaker
  3. A rock band T-shirt
  4. A full-sized or bigger chocolate bar. Must be rectangular (Sorry. No Reeses, M&Ms, etc).
  5. Something with the Northern Lights pictured on it (post card, magnet, coffee cup, hat, shirt, travel guide, etc. Must be a physical item and not a drawing or copy/printout)

  1. A journal (smaller notebook or composition book okay)
  2. A book featuring devils or demons
  3. Ski goggles (sunglasses do not count)
  4. A helmet
  5. A metal chain (okay if it has a charm on it)

  1. A first aid kit
  2. A cut out paper snowflake, like you probably made in grade school. Since this is the only item in the hunt you can make yourself, I’m going to be a stickler and say it has to have 6 points like a proper snowflake. Again, you can't print out an image. You gotta get crafty if you want this point.
  3. A slingshot
  4. Something with a volcano pictured on it
  5. A pair of crampons (I will accept the more suburban variety like Yak-traks).

Here are my example images. Try not to have other items in your pictures, but cats are gonna cat, so no points off for a photobomb :) And here's my caption:

I entered the #Hellfinder release day scavenger hunt. I found 15 out of 20 items. Hellfinder is a YA adventure novel by @pstokesbooks that takes place in Iceland.

Did you participate in the hunt? I hope you had fun and did not trash your living space the way I did trying to set up these pictures in 10 minutes after oversleeping. Now go drink that tea and eat that cookie. You've earned it :)

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