Timely Encouragement {Dust Treasure Hunt Results}

Hey, friends. So I went on a virtual treasure hunt last month in support of Kara Swanson’s sophomore book, Dust, which is a Peter Pan retelling of sorts. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and there were lots of interviews and fun blog articles along the way. The neat thing about this treasure hunt was that everyone who participated would win something. That’s completely rare in anything other than peewee sports.


There was also a grand prize pack for the person who was first to put in the quote from Dust that was pieced together along the way with each blog article’s clue.
Here’s the announcement as delivered by Kara Swanson on her Instagram page:
Y’all, I cannot believe I won! I’m hardly ever first at anything, especially when there are prizes to be won. This is so exciting for me and coming at a really great time. I’ve had some lower back pain for three straight weeks, and participating in this treasure hunt brought a smile to my face on days when smiles seemed hard to come by. Winning instantly made me cry and praise God, because it was the exact encouragement I needed when the pain had shifted into my hip and was eight times more painful than my back had been at any point. (My nerves have been ragged lately, so I’m not at all surprised at the tears.)
To more completely understand just how amazing it is that I won, let me explain what happened on the final day of the hunt. I stayed up till 1:00 a.m. Central (my time zone) the night before the day we were supposed to put the quote we’d found in the given form. I had the right link and refreshed the page at midnight, 12:30, and 1:00, but the page wasn’t live yet. So I went to bed and prayed about it, that if I was supposed to get my entry form submitted early enough to have a shot, that God would nudge me awake and remind me why I’m awake so early.
Y’all, I am not a morning person. I’m a night owl, so getting up early, early is super hard for me.
I figured I would miss it, honestly. But I had a small thread of hope to cling to, and I fell asleep fairly quickly for once.
Then I woke up way before my 8:00 alarm. I was wondering why in the world I was being awakened with its still being dark outside — and then it hit me! The Dust hunt! So I said a quick prayer of thanks, checked my phone and found the website still wasn’t live and that it was 5:55 a.m. So I crawled out of bed and got my computer to the right page and refreshed every few seconds. I timed what would end up being my last refresh to wait until the clock rolled to 6:00 a.m., and the page went live!
I quickly put in my quote and contact info and double-checked my address and zip code and hit submit.
Then I commented on the page and said how much I appreciated the tour and how it came at a really great time to encourage me and everything. Honestly, folks, this hunt was the encouragement I needed to keep my chin up on the days the pain was extra high.
By the time I got my comment submitted, someone else had already gotten a comment in saying they’d submitted the form. My first thought was, “Wow, this person was fast!” My second thought was, “I’m generally an average-speed person, so this other person might have beaten me to posting the form.”
And then the results weren’t posted for a full week.
A full week!
Oh, the suspense!
But late last night, on the one night I thought about not checking my IG feed and stories… I had a gut instinct that I should go ahead and check it. So I started with my own stats, which I’ve been watching like a hawk this summer. (I have a goal of reaching 250 followers by the end of August, but I’m not sure if I’ll make that. But I did hit 100 a couple of weeks ago. Yay!) Last night, I hit my highest number of followers yet at 105!!! I’m super excited, y’all!
{By the way, if I hit 250 followers at my Instagram by the end of August, I will be giving away one of my favorite books from this calendar year. I’ve read heaps of good ones, so no matter which one ends up being the prize, the winner will be in for a great read. Have you followed me yet?}
When I checked Kara Swanson’s IG stories, I saw the beautiful slideshow, which I shared above. Boy, was I shocked and amazed! I actually got my form in first. It’s not even twelve hours after I saw that, and I’m still stunned.
And I’ve been thanking God all morning for giving me this boost of encouragement right when I needed it the most. He is so good that way. Whether it’s a prize pack or a kind word or the exact verse of Scripture that He knows will resonate within my heart, He always delivers encouragement when I need it.
He can do that for you too, if you’ll be on the lookout for how He works in your life. If you seek Him with all your heart as a treasure you long to find, then you will find Him. (Luke 11:5-13)
My prizes will be in the mail soon, and whenever I get them, I’ll take some pictures and share them with y’all, because I’m really excited and have to share that joy with somebody. Why not my devoted reader friends?
Have you pre-ordered Dust yet? It releases in beautiful hardcover and electronic copy on July 21, so you still have some time to order it to have it delivered as soon as possible after the release date. (I pre-ordered my copy as soon as the hardcover link was available, so I’m not suggesting anything I’ve not already done.)
Friends, thank you for letting me gush and explain and share. My excitement and joy about this surprise blessing cannot be contained.


I’m also excited for everyone else who won the bookmarks, character cards, artwork, and signed bookplates. Those are such amazing prizes, and it’s going to be fun for everyone who gets a pack to enjoy.


I’m also grateful to Kara Swanson and all the bloggers along the tour for hosting such an amazing event. I’ve never seen a treasure hunt blog tour that offered a prize pack to every person who correctly submitted the quote from the book. That is inspiring, and I hope to be able to do something like that someday. You know, when one of my books is available to readers.
Yep, I’m taking notes!
What types of prizes would you enjoy in a giveaway prize pack?
Have you ever won anything? If so, what was it?
{I’m taking notes on your thoughts too, so share your ideas in the comment section. Remember that if you’re on Instagram, give me a follow to help me reach that giveaway-triggering 250.}
Photo Credits: The screenshots are from Kara Swanson’s Instagram stories. The book cover and prize pack photos are from the Dust Treasure Hunt blog tour.

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