Brighton and Leah have been the best of friends since seventh grade. Where Brighton is the quiet one who is focused on school, Leah is the bold and daring one who craves the adoration of an audience. It’s always worked for them, until now.
Heading into their senior year, Brighton is challenged with an opportunity that can change the course of her future. The only problem? She just might have to step out of her best friend’s shadow.
But when Leah doesn’t support the choices she makes, Brighton is forced to reevaluate what true friendship is.
Brighton is changing and exciting doors are opening. A new world of music, friends, and even love are falling at her feet. But it’s hard to enjoy it when Leah’s life is spiraling out of control.
Now Brighton must try to not only save her friendship, but also her friend, before it’s too late.
“Stop looking at me like that,” he said with a sigh as he reached down and squeezed my hand. “I told you, I’m fine. The breakup was mutual. It made no sense to do the long distance thing. I mean, it’s not like I planned on marrying her.”
“I know, but still…”
“Still nothing, Bright. I’m not upset. Actually, I’m really good.”
“Good? Matt, you and Devan have been together for almost a year.”
“Yeah, but we’ve been growing apart for a while. I guess she just figured it was time…I wanted…never mind.”
“What do you mean it was time?”
He placed his hands on my shoulders and slouched so that he was at my eye level and smiled. “Not now, Bright. Okay? But I promise you, I’m fine.”
I pushed off the lockers and slipped my arm into the crook of his, pulling him down the hallway as we searched for our lockers. We planned to share if we were on opposite sides of the school, to make it easier for storage. Granted, the principal frowned upon that sort of thing, but it was harmless.
“I’ve missed you, Matty,” I said, resting my head on his shoulder as we walked.
Matthew Larkin was easy to like as both a crush and a friend. He was reliable, sweet, and easy on the eyes, despite Leah’s claims that he was nothing more than a geek.
TK Rapp is an author living in Houston, Texas with her husband and two daughters.
Prior to writing, she spent over ten years as a photographer and photo editor, specializing in wedding album design. She left photography to pursue her dream of writing a story and it was in 2013, she self-published her first novel, Being There. It was a standalone story about long-lost friends finding each other. She has since written both contemporary and young adult novels.
Rapp grew up in Texas, but has lived in California, South Carolina, and Virginia, all of which serve as inspiration for her writing. With several more works in queue, she doesn’t anticipate stepping away from the computer anytime soon, especially since she makes friends with all of her characters.
by Danny Bell
(The Black Pages, #1)
Publication date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Book one of The Black Pages
Elana Black has the power to make herself fictional. But when she decides to start saving all the people in books and TV shows who die just for the sake of advancing the plot, she quickly learns that she’s not the only one with her powers.
All Elana wants to do is save people. But these others don’t want the stories to change, and they’ll do everything they can to stop her.
If you had the power to change fate… to create a happy ending where there wasn’t one before… would you do it if it meant risking your own?
My fears, by comparison, had always been irrational. The fear that someone will think my nose is weird. The fear that I’d hid in the bathroom too long or too many times and everyone at the party will notice. The fear that even my closest friends would one day leave or decide I wasn’t cool enough anymore. The fear that a group of strangers won’t like me, but then will only pretend to be nice to me, and I’ll never know it. They’d say something awful behind my back, and one of them would tell a lie about me, which would make someone else believe that lie, so they’d repeat it. Then two people would tell the same story, and the third and fourth people would also repeat it and then it would become something different, and soon entire groups of people I’d never met would be poisoned against me before we ever even had the chance to meet, before anyone knew I wasn’t some huge jerk, and—
My heart was pounding just thinking about that scenario. My breaths were hard and shallow, my fingers hurt from where I’d been clutching the steering wheel. At least I’d stopped crying.
My point is, that for as terrifying as my fears were to me, I’d always found a way to get past them and function. Even when I was so afraid that I almost couldn’t move, I could fake bravado. In a bit of irony, the fear of being seen as afraid made me move on as if I wasn’t. To do otherwise would mean to just stop, and I’ve lived that life before. Sometimes days, sometimes weeks, sometimes months at a time… and you don’t get that time back. So ultimately, you were afraid for nothing. If I could impart a piece of advice onto the world, it is that more than the crowds, more than fake smiles and unheard whispers, even more than our own base, loathsome selves, what we should really fear is stasis. Life will always move forward, whether we move forward or not. Even stumbling and flailing about, unable to find your balance and rolling down a hill head over heels is still moving forward. It might not be graceful, but at least you’re not stuck with whatever you were trying to move past.
My name is Danny Bell. I want to tell stories and avoid writing author profiles. I read—when I should be interacting with people, I named my cat after a cat I liked in a book, I’m pretty sure I saw a ghost one time—though I’ll never admit it publicly, I’m too tall for the earth, and I’ve never eaten a vegetable. I lied about the vegetable part. Wait… is someone going to read this?
Daughter of Etheron
by Brandon Young
Genre: YA Space Fantasy
Release Date: April 18th 2017
Summary from Goodreads:
Born the children of the ruling family.
Betrayed by the ones that swore to protect them.
IN A SHATTERED GALAXY . . .
Siblings, Elenah and Teveran are thrust into a secret war of space magicians that will decide the fate of the galaxy.
But a darkness swells in the galactic depths, magicians wielding magic not seen for millennia, and as the struggle for power grows more desperate, the children might find themselves fighting on opposite sides of the conflict.
In a galaxy forged in the debris of a magical explosion…
We enter a war of military might and magic where secret armies collide and an ancient foe threatens to topple the stability of the galaxy. Enter the Saga of the Magicus Eye, a brand new space fantasy epic told in two narrative threads spanning thousands of years:
The Main Sequence is the primary story thread, a series of novels broken up into multiple story arcs beginning with Daughter of Etheron—the first in a trilogy. As the main sequence progresses, we will see reoccurring characters, locations and themes, as well as how they and the galaxy they live in change over generations of warfare and revolution.
Daughter of Etheron is the perfect place to start as it minimizes the learning curve exponentially. In writing it, I knew the story needed to fulfil a number of functions. It had to:
Introduce readers to a brand new galaxy
Establish the state of the galaxy
Have a satisfying ending
Set the stage for something exciting to come
So I came up with the simple story thread of a girl who leaves her homeworld for the first time, so as to put her in the reader’s shoes, with the simple quest of finding her brother—which can be easily accomplished in a 100,000-word novel. Meanwhile, a secondary thread follows her brother as he learns about the more mystical aspects of the galaxy under the tutelage of a powerful magician—which in turn introduces us to another important element of the saga: magic.
The use of multiple viewpoints was a conscious choice made in the early stages of idea development. I specifically chose to include a diverse set of characters (human, non-human, old and young) in order to reveal many different aspects of the galaxy and ensure this novel worked as a strong launching point for the rest of the saga.
However, it is not a necessary starting point…
The Expanded Universe serves as a companion to the main sequence, a series of standalone novellas and short stories designed to expand on characters and events mentioned and starring in the main sequence. The EU is not required reading in order to understand the main sequence, although new readers could potentially start here so as to try a smaller story before delving into the meat of the saga. The first novella was released simultaneously to Daughter of Etheron, and is entitled Rebel and the Aeonseer: a story about the birth of the rebellion and the supernatural creatures that set things into motion. Rebel will be included free with every purchase of Daughter of Etheron, but can also be purchased on its own for the low price of $1.99AUD (or about $1.50USD). I’m also excited about the first short story, A Perfect Doom, releasing later this year for free.
I had a lot of fun writing the first two instalments in the Saga of the Magicus Eye, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride and find something you like within its pages!
About the Author
Brandon Young is the debut author of the Saga of the Magicus Eye. He’s also a musician, gamer, and avid Star Wars fan living in Melbourne, Australia.
Receive a free digital copy of Daughter of Etheron and the first novella in the Magicus expanded universe, Rebel and the Aeonseer! Simply fill-in the signup form to receive monthly updates on the Saga of the Magicus Eye, and automatically go into the draw to be one of ten winners! This giveaway expires at midnight on May 12, 2017 (AEST), with winners being notified that weekend.
Don’t Kiss the Messenger (Edge Lake High School, #1)
by Katie Ray
Publication Date: April 10, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
For most of her teenage life, CeCe Edmonds has been dealing with the stares and the not-so-polite whispers that follow her around Edgelake High. So she has a large scar on her face—Harry Potter had one on his forehead and people still liked him.
CeCe never cared about her looks—until Emmett Brady, transfer student and football darling, becomes her literature critique partner. The only problem? Emmett is blindsided by Bryn DeNeuville, CeCe’s gorgeous and suddenly shy volleyball teammate.
Bryn asks CeCe to help her compose messages that’ll charm Emmett. CeCe isn’t sure there’s anything in his head worth charming but agrees anyway—she’s a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately, the more messages she sends and the more they run into each other, the more she realizes there’s plenty in his head, from food to literature. Too bad Emmett seems to be falling for the wrong girl…
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book involves one fiercely scarred girl who wants the new guy in town, the new guy who thinks he wants the new girl, and the new girl who really isn’t sure what she wants, and the misunderstanding that brings them all together. You’ll laugh, you’ll swoon, you’ll fall in love.
Bryn let herself in through the front door. I had been drowning my sorrows in hot chocolate and An Officer and a Gentlemen. I looked up as Bryn unzipped her coat.
“How did it go?” I asked.
“You broke up?” I tried not to sound hopeful.
“Worse.” She sighed and sat down next to me on the couch. “Emmett told me he loved me. Sober. To my face. Most guys at least text that kind of stuff.”
Her words hit my heart like arrows. I slumped deeper into the couch, aching from the blow. I had been disillusioned enough to think that one day he would confess those words to me.
Tuba walked in the room and one look at me was enough to catch her up on the conversation.
“He said these weeks were torture to be away from me,” Bryn complained. “He said he had to taste the words that come out of my mouth. He actually said that! What the hell, CeCe?”
Tuba looked over at me. “Looks like we have a budding Danielle Steele on our hands,” she said. Bryn just stared between us, completely missing the reference.
“It gets worse,” Bryn said. “He told me he first fell for me because I was beautiful, but then he said none of that even mattered anymore. That my thoughts are more beautiful than anything and that’s what he loves most about me.”
I looked up at Bryn.
“He said that?” I asked.
She nodded. “That really pissed me off,” Bryn continued. “So I asked him what he would think if I was ugly and he told me he wouldn’t care.” She huffed and stuck her hands on her hips. “That is the biggest line of B.S. I have ever heard. Guys totally care about looks.”
Tuba nodded, slowly. “Yeah, but they care about other things, too.”
“Looks are most important,” Bryn shot back.
“But they’re not the only thing that’s important,” Tuba argued.
I was barely listening. Was it true? Did he really mean it? He loved her more for her mind than her looks? It didn’t take a rocket scientist to fill out the answer to the equation, then, on who he was in love with.
“So, he likes you for your mind, and it’s a problem?” Tuba asked.
“I’m proud of the way I look. I like being noticed. The way he wants me, it’s too much pressure.”
I sighed and ran my hands over my face. Bryn looked over at me.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m so sorry, Bryn. It started off so harmless, just some texts. Then it became something more. I couldn’t stop. It felt so good to be desired for once, it was like a drug.”
I held up my hands in defeat. Finally, I came clean.
Bryn’s mouth fell open with realization. “Oh my God, CeCe. I can’t believe I didn’t see it. This whole time, you’ve been falling for Emmett.”
“You’re in love with him,” Bryn stated. She fell down next to me on the couch.
“That’s not—no, I’m not,” I stammered.
Bryn slapped her hand over her mouth as another idea took hold. “Oh my God. Emmett is in love with you!”
I shook my head, denying the words and throwing them back.
“No, he loves you. He wants you. He could never think about me like that. It was your face that he fell for, not mine.”
“Oh my gosh, CeCe. This is such a mess.”
“He’s still your boyfriend, Bryn,” I said. I swallowed because I knew my next words were a lie. “We can fix this.”
Katie Ray (also known by her previous author name, Katie Kacvinsky) writes teen and new adult fiction novels. Her books have been nominated for YALSA awards, and First Comes Love was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her screenplay, A High Note, was a semifinalist in the Austin Screenplay Competition in 2015. She currently lives in Ashland, Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and a slightly insane dog.
by Heather McKenzie
(The Nightmusic Trilogy #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.
Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver – a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart – until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya’s world unravels when she’s kidnapped.
Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya’s father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that’s what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run…
An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless.
With every shifting of the breeze, my heart sped up. Every shadow made me jump. The small campfire crackled and smoked, playing with my vision.
“It’s him, isn’t it?” Luke said quietly. “Your fiancé… you think he’s out there somewhere?”
“Yes. My father would have sent him.”
“Because he will stop at nothing to get me back.”
“But the sky has been quiet for a while,” Luke said softly.
I looked up. There hadn’t been the sound of helicopters this morning, even though the sky was clear now and vibrant blue above the treetops.
“Do you really love this guy?” Luke asked softly, and I heard him hold his breath.
I forced my head to nod. “Yes.”
“Then you have my word that I won’t hurt him,” he said.
I adjusted the blanket and stayed by his side while he fell asleep. On the edge of my nerves, I kept a watchful eye on the bushes and the gun ready in my hands.
Interview with Heather McKenzie, by Dwight Bueckert
What genre/category is SERENADE?
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Romance Thriller and Suspense
April 17, 2017
Please describe what the story is about in one sentence.
When the teenage daughter of a corrupt billionaire falls in love with her kidnapper, she fights to stay alive in the Rocky Mountains while her devoted bodyguard vows to stop at nothing to get her back.
Briefly, what led up to this book?
SERENADE is my first novel. Leading up to it was a career in music.
What was the time frame for writing this book? Tell me an interesting detail or two.
Writing SERENADE took about four years. I had a good idea of what I wanted to write, but I had no idea how to write it. I researched writing tips and advice from other authors, and wrote and re-wrote the manuscript at least twenty times– the first draft was 210,000 words! I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was absolutely determined to get this story out as best as I could, so I kept at it, and in the end I just had to go with what felt right to me. I think that worked.
What was your biggest learning experience and/or surprise throughout the publishing process?
The most incredible experience was working with the editors. I got a massive dose of education during the process and they were kind enough to explain their reasons for the edits. I was in class every time I sat down at the computer and was in awe over the wealth of information they shared with me. My biggest surprise was the dedication from my publisher to assist me with anything I needed. I had been used to trudging it out alone in the music business for years, and their desire to help make SERENADE a success, and answering all my crazy questions and offering such great advice, was amazing. I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t doing this all on my own.
What inspired you to write SERENADE?
I was in my local bookstore one afternoon with my daughter and watched as she searched the Teen/Young Adult section in frustration. She didn’t want vampires, or witches, or dystopian worlds, she wanted a modern day adventure with characters that felt real. So, being the doting mother that I am, I started writing her a book. One month into the process, I was quitting my day job and focusing entirely on learning how to write. I fell head over heels in love with this avenue of storytelling. Being a musician gave me many life experiences to pull from, and my love of Stephanie Meyer’s work fueled the passion to forge ahead and get the story on paper. A love triangle, the romantic setting of the rocky mountains, the art of survival and a character whose strength builds with each page… it all began to come to life every time I sat down to write. I realized when I completed the first manuscript, that what I was essentially trying to get across to my daughter –through the magic of reading– was the understanding of true love; what it feels like and how you know when you’ve found it. And, I am happy to say, that my knowledge of that is born of my own, real, experience.
How did you come up with the title?
I wanted to keep the books in the trilogy with music related names, as it is called The Nightmusic Trilogy. A serenade is a piece of music played at night. It is romantic and supposed to woo a prospective lover… in the book the main character rests her head against the chest of the man she is falling for and his heart beat is music to her ears. It is her own, perfectly written, SERENADE
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I have tried to touch lightly on the effects of chemicals on our bodies and bring to light the correlation between what we do to the earth, and how it ends up affecting us. I also want show readers what is true love, real and healthy and how you know when you’ve found it – which is based off my own experience.
How much of the book is realistic?
I tried to make the book feel like it could actually happen. The characters are completely fictional, but the setting is not. Caves and underground hot springs and the castle in the mountains? All real. The Death Race that takes place every August in Grande Cache? Real.
What book are you reading now?
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It’s fantastic!!
What are your current projects?
I have just finished book one of a new series of adult fiction that I am very excited about. It is about to enter the editing process. I am also close to finishing NOCTURNE, the second book in the Nightmusic Trilogy. Next up, book three!
Where are you from?
Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA! I was born in the city, then moved to an acreage just outside it and lived an absolute fairy tale childhood in my own ‘castle’ until I left to join a rock band and play professionally. Eventually I moved back, got married there, and got to watch my children have the same amount of happiness as I did in my childhood home.
Where do you write from?
I tiny little bedroom I claimed as an office when my kids moved out, with books galore, guitars, a piano, countless empty coffee cups, and three dogs sleeping at my feet.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Sitting for countless hours every day. I gained about fifty pounds and think I broke my butt at one point. But it was worth it.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
Apparently I am obsessed with smells…?!?!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you love it, it’s good. Take opinions with a grain of salt–trust your gutt.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I am still actively involved in music, writing and being loud and aggressive with my band on weekends and recording whenever I can. It is my first love, and I can’t let go! I also teach classical piano and voice to youngsters one day a week, which is an incredibly rewarding experience. When I need peace and quiet– which is often– I paint.
Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.
Rise of the Branded
by Scott Keen
(Scar of the Downers, #2)
Publication date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pursued into the wild by the soldiers of Ungstah, former slave Crik and the other freed Downers encounter the magical and terrifying nature of their world. They face spectral Shepherds, man-eating Rukmush, and the ancient giants of the earth. When two of their group are captured, Crik is distraught and powerless.
Meanwhile back in the city, Durgan, former Captain of the King’s Guard who allowed Crik and his friends to escape from Ungstah, is now a Downer, one of the Branded. Amid the murmurings of an uprising among the Branded, Durgan just wants to be left alone to search for his missing son. But in the process, he discovers how dark the powers of Sulfus the king truly are. Durgan must take a stand in the coming war between the Branded and the powerful armies of Sulfus.
To kill any hope of escape for the city’s Branded, the army comes after Crik and his friends to make an example of them. The answers for Durgan, Crik and freedom for all Downers lie hidden in the dark recesses of the Northern Reaches, in the treacherous places Crik and his companions are about to enter.
Durgan stopped and whirled around, and found another Downer, not as pale or thin, standing in the entranceway to the street. Clenched in his hand was an iron rod with a tip sharp enough to pierce flesh. Durgan eyed it and, without a weapon of his own, felt vulnerable. He knew he would have to get through one or both of the men to make it out of the alley alive with the bread still in his possession. Even if he gave the loaf to them, however, there was no guarantee they would let him walk out of there. Not waiting for another Downer to arrive, Durgan spun on his heels and barreled toward the pale Downer. He ran him over and knocked him into the wall with a thud! The Downer, dazed, slid to the ground, and Durgan burst out of the alley into the broad daylight.
The other bigger Downer chased after him, swinging the iron stake in his hand. “Get him!” he cried. “Don’t let him go!”
Several more Downers, who must’ve been hiding in the alleys, appeared and began chasing Durgan. He wound his way through the people now crowding the street, skirting around those who just stood and watched. After a few minutes of running, Durgan realized there was no way he would be able to lose them. There were too many. I’m going to have to face them, he thought, and I’m going to have to do it alone. He needed a weapon though, something that would give him a chance.
Up the street, Durgan noticed a small opening between the buildings. Once he reached it, he slid his body in the gap and began shimmying through the crevice. The space was so tightly enclosed, his nose grazed the bricks as he inched along. He moved as quickly as he could, and just as he was about to come out of the other side, he heard the voice of the pale Downer.
“Now we’ve got you,” he snarled. “You’re running out of places to go.”
Durgan forced his right foot out of the gap, but as he brought the left one up, it became wedged. He crashed into a puddle. His hands, face, and hair were drenched. He pushed himself up and pulled on his foot with such force he could feel the skin scrape off as he wrenched it free. It sent him back into the puddle with a piece of the brick. A loud cackle ricocheted through the alley.
“You’re not moving fast enough,” taunted the sickly Downer.
Standing up to run, Durgan felt pain surge through his leg. The Downer was right. He wasn’t moving quickly enough. He was out of time. This was where he had to make the stand. Bending down, he fished through the puddle and pulled out the piece of brick. He had his weapon.
“If you think you’re ready,” said Durgan, water running down his sleeve. “Come on through.”
The pale, sickly Downer, who had a lone trail of blood dripping down his head, paused. A look of hesitation flashed across his face.
“I’m waiting right here for you,” continued Durgan. “As soon as that ugly head of yours pops out of that alley, it’s going to taste brick. What’s the matter? You don’t seem so brave anymore.”
“I’m just waiting as well,” said the sickly Downer, now smirking.
“For us,” said a voice from the other end of the alley.
Durgan twirled around and saw the group of Downers, the one with the iron spear standing in the front, brandishing it.
“So this is how it’s going to be?” said Durgan. “One against a dozen.”
“This is how it is in the Waste,” said the sickly Downer. “In my kingdom.”
Durgan ripped off a thin piece of his shirt and wrapped it tightly around his hand, securing the brick in his palm.
“Whoever wants to be first let them come,” offered Durgan.
The Downer carrying the sharpened iron rod cautiously approached. In a sudden move, he jabbed the iron rod straight at Durgan, who grabbed the tip and pulled, bringing the brick hard into the Downer’s face with his other hand. The Downer collapsed into the puddle and didn’t move. Durgan didn’t dare lower his eyes to pick up the spear.
“Who’s next?” he asked, trying to appear calm. If only they knew how badly his heart crashed against his chest.
“Everyone,” said the sickly Downer. The smile was gone from his face.
The rest of the Downers rushed toward Durgan, who began swinging the brick. He heard the jaw crack in one Downer and the nose on another break before he was struck and brought down hard against the street. He saw nothing but stone and felt nothing but pain as hands and feet punched and kicked at him. His vision darkened. He could tell he was about to pass out.
“You see?” said the sickly Downer, whose voice sounded tinny and distant. “I am King of the Waste.”
Durgan screamed in pain as the iron rod pierced his body and struck the stone street beneath him.
Scott grew up in Black River, NY, the youngest of three children. While in law school, he realized he didn’t want to be a lawyer. So he did the practical thing – he became a writer. Now, many years later with an MFA in script and screenwriting, he is married with four daughters, two of whom he home schools.
At First Blush
by Beth Ellyn Summer
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: April 4th 2017
Who would have thought that a teenager could have a successful career creating makeup tutorial videos on YouTube? For Lacey Robbins, this dream has been her reality. An up-and-coming YouTuber, she has thousands of fans and can’t wait for the day when her subscriber count reaches the one million mark. And when she is offered a high school internship at On Trend Magazine, she figures that this could be the make it or break it moment.
But sometimes your dream job isn’t all that it seems. Her editor is only interested in promoting junk products, and her boss in the Hair and Makeup department introduces her to the larger world of makeup artistry, making her wonder if making tutorials online is all she is meant to do. To top it all off, when the magazine’s feature subject, musician Tyler Lance, turns his broodingly handsome smile her way, falling for him could mean losing her fans, forcing her to make a decision: her YouTube life or her real life?
Fans of Zoella’s GIRL ONLINE will fall right into the world of this YA DEVIL WEARS PRADA and stay hooked from the first blush to the last glossy kiss.
Beth Ellyn Summer writes contemporary young adult fiction that somehow always includes the following elements: fame, makeup, and television. She graduated from Long Island University with a degree in Print and Electronic Journalism. Interning for Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon was the highlight of her college years. When she’s not writing, Beth can be found swatching eyeshadows, solving Wheel of Fortune puzzles, and playing with her adorable cat, Penny Belle. Beth lives on Long Island in a cookie cutter town that, in an ironic twist of fate, doesn’t have a single decent bakery.
The Perfect Tear
by Connie Lansberg
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: November 11th 2015
Summary from Goodreads:
Eleanor, a timid orphan, is a Singer. Her songs keep nature in balance, but when they are stolen from her the grey mist descends, and her world fails to thrive. This timid orphan is forced into a course of action she never asked for, nor envisioned.
Eleanor grapples with crippling self-doubt and fear until she learns these are far more perilous than the physical dangers she faces moment to moment on her terrifying, puzzling and often funny search for The Perfect Tear, a crystal which contains the Third Vibration and able to heal the land. She is horrified to discover that she must defeat an inter-dimensional being or become his accomplice in the destruction of she loves.
But Eleanor is no savior, just a simple girl with strong instincts and she must learn to trust them. Just like the notes of a song must form connections to create a melody, Eleanor must discover the connections needed to create the harmony required to truly save her world.
Eleanor, a timid orphan with an extraordinary musical gift has just turned sixteen. She has no clue to her real purpose, but she refuses to become a subservient old maid, like the miserable nuns she grew up with. Eleanor knows Mother Superior has no intention of letting her leave–her songs are the only thing keeping the grey mist at bay. Her best friend Audrey begs her to run away with her but where would they go? The world outside the Abbey is barren and dangerous. Eleanor finally decides to take her chances and in the act of running away, meets her destiny. The girls find themselves in a strange land full of unknown dangers where they are met by an ethereal creature, Tsera, who gives Eleanor a choice. Go home to Edward, the boy she loves, never to sing again and wait until her world dies or, risk everything to find The Perfect Tear, a crystal that contains the Third Vibration and the only thing that will stop the destruction of her world.
The wind hit Eleanor with a great force. She staggered back, bumping into the wall of the quarter gallery. She had always loved the elements—wind, rain, lightning, and thunder—but always with solid the earth beneath her feet. Here, they were all at the mercy of the storm.
She kept her back against the gallery wall and watched the men struggle with the main mast. The rope had come loose and whipped about like a wild animal. Audrey clutched the railing. Her mouth moved but Eleanor could hear nothing above the shrieking of the wind. Audrey needed to come back to their quarters. She was in danger. Eleanor’s heart pounded. She knew nothing of the sea, but she could feel its power and knew Audrey was too brave for her own good.
Eleanor left the safety of the wall and headed toward Audrey. She pitted herself against the wind. It tore at her dress and whipped her hair around her face, stinging her cheeks.
Edward motioned for her to go back. He looked frantic. She peered over her shoulder to see Bella at the top of the stairs. Why wouldn’t they go below deck where it was safe? She yelled for Audrey to come away from the railing, but Audrey couldn’t hear her over the shrieking winds. Eleanor had to get to her.
The tempest roared past her ears and brought with it another sound. The resonance made her blood freeze. Eleanor felt her body stiffen, and a sense of foreboding took over.
Her gaze darted about, and the hairs on her arms stood up. What was happening? The very air felt different, and the sound, low and ugly, grew louder until she could no longer hear the wind. A small moan escaped her lips. Something was happening. Something bad was about to take place, and she needed to stop it.
In the space of one breath, the wind halted, the rain stopped falling, and the sea grew still. Eleanor raised her head and reached out her hands as if preparing to ward off a blow.
A long-necked creature rose from the sea and towered over the ship. Eleanor pressed her hand to her throat and tried to scream, but the sound stayed trapped within her.
The clouds disappeared, and the serpent glittered in the full moonlight. It was magnificent and terrifying. It opened its mouth and roared. Eleanor shivered.
The ship, lifted from beneath its hull by a massive wave was tilted portside. Eleanor hit the deck hard as Bella skidded by, and she managed to grab the frightened animal. With Bella under one arm, Eleanor slid forward until she was able to fling her arm around the mizzenmast. Audrey hung onto the railing with a terrified look on her face and Eleanor could see she was at risk. The men clung to the main mast, but Edward lost his grip and skidded toward the ship’s railing.
The serpent roared again. It bent its enormous head toward the deck, toward Edward, and the scream inside her finally escaped. This monster was as tall as the barn from which she had jumped all those years ago. She dragged the comb from her hair and pointed it at the fiend. “STOP.”
A beam of liquid light flew from the comb. Within the stream, she could see smaller, pulsating circles of bright silver. The beam grew in size until it split, forming a web around the monster. It acted as a net. It created a barrier between the ship and the demon, thwarting its plan to devour Edward. Its roar was terrifying.
The ship leveled, and the serpent vanished. John raced to Edward’s side and pulled him to safety. The silence was like a thick cloak, and Eleanor stared in wonder at the sparkling net, which hung in the night sky.
She set Bella down and tried to calm herself. Edward was safe. They were all safe for now. Her breath came in bursts. She needed her heart to stop racing. An arm slid around her and she leaned into the support.
Audrey squeezed. “What are those little silver balls of light?” Her voice was soft and full of wonder.
They all stared at the sparkling lights, like tiny stars hung in the night, connected by the web of light.
Eleanor peered up through heavy lids. Her heart finally slowed its frantic pace, but she felt strange as if part of her was suspended in the night sky. She found it hard to move her limbs. She knew what the little balls of light were.
She struggled to speak. “Songs, my songs. Those I have sung and those I have yet to sing–they kept the garden awake.”
Audrey gazed at the wondrous sight and nodded. Eleanor lifted the comb and pointed it at the glistening net. She must call them back for she could not bear the emptiness inside, as though her soul had gone missing. She took a deep breath and readied herself to receive them.
“Not this time.” The voice inside her head reverberated throughout her body. Eleanor froze. The giant serpent reared its head from the sea. With no sound, it opened its mouth wide. The creature swallowed Eleanor’s net of light and all her songs with it.
Eleanor screamed and doubled over, clutching her stomach, and she heard Audrey gasp.
Edward raced toward her. “Eleanor.”
The long tail of the serpent slipped onto the deck and curled around Eleanor. It dragged her to the railing. Bella jumped on her skirts and bit down. Audrey flung herself at the tail. In an instant, Eleanor, Audrey, and Bella were swept overboard.
About the Author
Connie Lansberg is a singer/songwriter and now author based in Melbourne Australia. She’s had her original songs placed in some of Australia’s best loved TV shows that play around the world and The Connie Lansberg Quartet is a fixture in the Melbourne jazz scene. Her most recent original musical project is Tsera’s Gift, written especially for The Perfect Tear and she performs these songs throughout Melbourne. This is Connie’s first novel and the movie is coming. The record will be out soon.
Connie has received several grants from the Victoria Council of the Arts for the development of mobile phone games that she created.
Connie joined the Melbourne Writers Group in 2010 to work on ideas and scripts and during this time the idea for The Perfect Tear began to develop and take shape. She continued her education by taking scriptwriting classes at the Australian Film and Television School in Melbourne. She has two more stories to complete The Perfect Tear Trilogy and is hoping to have the second book finished in 2017
“The first thing anybody tells you about this business is to say what makes you unique and different, but I couldn’t and the very idea of it never sat well with me and after much deliberation, I finally realized why.
Because, I’m not unique or different-I’m exactly like you and I love that. We each have a unique filter through which we interpret the world, and with this filter in place, I write stories and songs and you might find them surprising or intriguing or confronting, you may relate or you may not. They may make you laugh and sometimes, even cry.
You may or may not understand what I’m trying to say and you may not understand me, however, rest assured, once we get past the filters, at our core, we are wonderfully and beautifully, exactly the same.”
The Piper’s Price
by Audrey Greathouse
(The Neverland Wars #2)
Published by: Clean Reads Publishing
Publication date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult
Peter is plotting his retaliation against the latest bombing. Neverland needs an army, and Peter Pan is certain children will join him once they know what is at stake. The lost boys and girls are planning an invasion in suburbia to recruit, but in order to deliver their message, they will need the help of an old and dangerous associate—the infamous Pied Piper.
Hunting him down will require a spy in in the real world, and Gwen soon finds herself in charge of locating the Piper and cutting an uncertain deal with him. She isn’t sure if Peter trusts her that much, or if he’s just trying to keep her away from him in Neverland. Are they friends, or just allies? But Peter might not even matter now that she’s nearly home and meeting with Jay again.
The Piper isn’t the only one hiding from the adults’ war on magic though, and when Gwen goes back to reality, she’ll have to confront one of Peter’s oldest friends… and one of his earliest enemies.
Gwen closed her bedroom door behind her, but other than that, she did not touch her house. With Foxglove’s diffused light from the purse, she flew through the hall and down the stairs, slow and silent. Eerie nostalgia crept up her spine as Gwen floated by, an intruder in her own home.
A moaning mew startled Gwen, and she almost fell out of the air before she caught herself. Out of the darkness, a tabby cat came padding toward its estranged owner.
“Hi, Tootles,” Gwen whispered, reaching down to pet the orange house cat. He purred as she scratched him behind the ears. Foxglove stayed safely in the pixie purse, out of the feline’s reach. Gwen shushed the purring cat, but felt as though she should apologize for her absence. Poor Tootles probably had no idea what had happened to the two happy girls who used to shower so much love on him.
Gwen continued downstairs, but didn’t put her foot down on the carpet until she had closed the door behind her in her father’s office.
She clicked the light switch on, acknowledging Foxglove’s buzz of concern. “If we don’t find something in five minutes, we’ll get out.” Her voice stayed hushed. “He works for the Anomalous Resources division. He might have information that’s valuable to us.”
At no point in her life did Gwen think she would ever steal from her parents. However, whenever she conceptualized the idea, it looked like sneaking money out of her mother’s purse or raiding the wine shelf for an experience getting drunk. She had never imagined she could—much less would—try to steal information about fairylands from her father’s office.
She scanned the papers on his desk for anything of significance, but didn’t dare touch them for fear of adjusting them in some noticeable way. After that, she went to the file cabinet between his two massive bookshelves. If he had brought anything interesting home from work, it would be safely tucked away.
She opened a metal drawer and started paging through the folders, most of them organized by date. After a minute of this, it became apparent that magic was a very small part of her father’s job. Magic was just another line item integrated into adult reality for him. Nothing interesting in his work folders appeared until she came across a file with a single document: a fifteen-page report titled Proposed Distribution of Neverland’s Resources.
Gwen pulled it out and laid the unstapled pages on the floor. Too excited and apprehensive to read it, she only noticed a variety of keywords that seemed pertinent to her interests. She whipped out her phone and began snapping pictures of the pages, effectively scanning the document to read through later. Foxglove snickered from the purse, thrilled with this find. She tucked it back in its unmarked folder and continued searching to the back of the file cabinet. She found another document, Planned Resource Use for The Invasion of Neverland, and snatched it out of the file. Before she could start photographing it, the office’s phone started to ring.
Foxglove screamed; it was a tiny noise, overpowered by the phone’s ring. Gwen shoved the document back into the file cabinet and closed it, less worried about noise now that the phone was ringing. She turned off the office light, trying to figure out where she could hide. The office was right underneath her parent’s bedroom… they would certainly hear the phone. They still had a home line and a telephone console capable of conference calls for when her father telecommuted. This was a work call, at three in the morning.
She heard groggy footsteps hurrying down the stairs. Where could she hide? There was no furniture that could effectively cover her from any angle.
The door opened, but Gwen was already above it, her back pressed against the ceiling.
Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University’s online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot. You can find her at audreygreathouse.com
SeQuence Aligned (The Heart of the Ocean #2)
by Lorraine M.L.M.
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
Release Date: February 1st 2017
Summary from Goodreads:
Alessia and Dante’s love has blossomed. Their Sequence of Hearts is sturdier than ever, but the shield that protects Tuscania is weakening and an invasion is imminent. Everyone knows Alessia’s new-found power is the key–especially Alessia. Unfortunately, the energy inside her is unstable and expediting her training could have devastating consequences. But that’s exactly what must be done.
Whisked away to a secluded training facility, Alessia is forced to put aside all distractions, including Dante, to fully focus on the Sequence of Peace.
But power always comes at a price. When Dante falls deathly ill, Alessia abandons her training to go to him, but she never makes it. Instead, she’s kidnapped and dragged outside the shield where she’s more helpless than she was back on Earth. As the captive of a vengeful madman, Alessia has only her wits and her will to save herself and the world she’s come to cherish.
Summary from Goodreads:
Alessia Appleton is desperate. She’s desperate to silence the voices inside her head, but being committed to an island asylum has only made them worse. Still, at least there’s the ocean. Water is the one thing that blocks Alessia from hearing the thoughts of those around her. Complete submersion is her only relief. So, when she gets the chance to escape her wardens and the voices, Alessia takes it. She dives into the sea and a giant wave drags her under.
When she comes to, one thing is clear–either Alessia’s completely lost her mind, or she’s not on Earth anymore.
Instead, she finds herself in a world with two moons, a complex undersea society, a long-lost grandmother, and a drool-worthy young man named Dante Erajion. However, it doesn’t take long for Alessia to realise that a new world comes with all kinds of new rules and new problems. In Zeneshia sequence takes precedence over chance, and Alessia’s arrival has set off the Foretold Sequence of Hearts, shifting the future to a dire series of choices between Life, Love, and Death.
Shortlisted for the 2015 Love Stories New Talent Award
Lorraine M.L.M writes young adult romantic fiction. Her love for reading prompted her passion for writing. She loves all genres of romance but has a special and inherent interest in Fantasy/Romance in particular uplifting and thought provoking fiction. Her YA Fantasy/Romance debut novel, SeQuence was shortlisted for the 2015 Love Stories New Talent Award.
When she’s not writing, she can be found gazing into the distance thinking about writing.
If you would like to keep up-to-date with news of her forthcoming releases, you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/b-3fXn