Sink Blitz and Giveaway



Sink
M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #1)
Publication date: July 31st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Obedience has always been a matter of survival for sixteen-year-old mermaid princess Pauline. Her mother is the tyrannical Queen Calypso, who rules the kingdom of Atargatis with an iron trident. To utter one word against her would mean banishment—or worse—so Pauline bites her tongue and minds her manners. But on the eve of her sister’s merling-shower, all of that is about to change. Confronted with the truth about what happens to the human men who are betrothed to the mermaids of Atargatis, Pauline realizes she can stay silent no more.

Determined to end the queen’s dark tradition, Pauline goes along on a search for shipwreck survivors, secretly planning to free them. But things get complicated when she finds herself inexplicably drawn to one of the men. Before she realizes what’s happening, she has kissed him—and a kiss from a mermaid is not without consequences. Now Pauline will have to risk everything if she is to save the young man and thwart the queen’s dark plans…

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EXCERPT:

My eyes widened, my heart hammering against my rib cage. A fear I didn’t understand tugged at my tailfin, like an anchor had been tied to its end. I sank against the wall of our pirated vessel and watched the chaos as it unfolded in slow motion.

Gene laughed at something my sister said just before it hit him. His smile fell in an instant as soon as the sudden deadening feeling pummeled into his chest. He

dropped the plate and held out his hand. From my experience with Beaked Sea Snake, he was seeing double the fingers.

A fogginess washed over his eyes. He reached out for Fawna for just a second before his arms fell to his sides, limp and useless. Then, his human legs gave out from under him. A loud crack sounded as his knees made impact with the hard floor of the ship.

When he finally fell backward, my sister stood over his paralyzed body with a shameless, cruel smirk that gave me the chills. My mother, hovering well above me, nodded her approval with a warm, glowing pride showing on her face.

I looked around, expecting to see the same shocked expression I wore among my clan. But not one jaw was dropped. Every one of them watched with tense, excited eyes. They looked like bloodthirsty demons from where I was sitting.

“Mother,” I whispered. “What’s going on?”

She didn’t hear me.

“My Queen,” someone shouted from below. “What are your orders?”

Mother took in a long, powerful breath and shouted, “Air him out.”

I gasped, disbelief shuddering through me. “Mother,” I screamed. “Mother, you can’t!”

My protests were drowned out by the unified battle cry that erupted from every member of our clan. Angelique dropped her guitar, dashing for Gene with two other mermaids close behind.

I rushed for him, but Mother grabbed my arm with bruising fingers.

“Let me go,” I demanded.

Even through the screeching cheers below, I could hear Mother’s teeth grinding. “Don’t make a scene.”

I stilled, having every intention to stay put and comply, as usual. But then, I caught a glimpse of Gene’s face. While his muscles were tight and immobile, his eyes were filled with a conscious terror. They pleaded with me from across the ship, begging me to save him.

Before I could stop myself, I twisted my arm out of Mother’s grasp and swam to him, hoping to talk some sense into my sister before she did something terrible.

It was no use. I couldn’t reach them. They had too much of a head start. All I could do was watch as they snatched the helpless human and dragged his lifeless body up, up, and up until…

Bubbles sprayed all around them as they held Gene’s head and neck above water, but kept their own gills safely submerged. Even if he had working legs to thrash and fight with, he would be outmatched. Our tails treaded water in a way a human’s boney appendages couldn’t come close to.

He was in our world, by no choice of his own. We brought him down here against his will, and now that he was a part of it, my mother was sending him back home to die.

The gills would not disappear. They would only struggle for a short while before giving up to the heat of the land above. Gene’s chest moved in and out, in faster but shallower spurts.

I kicked my tail harder. Just as he came into my reach, he took one final gulp of air from his own world, and the movement stopped.

Mother had killed him.

 

Author Bio:

ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.

She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.

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Hunted Fate: Excerpt and Giveaway

Hunted Fate
Jennifer Derrick
(Threads of the Moirae, #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult

Alex and Atropos have taken refuge at an abandoned mountain resort compound. Atropos is a wanted woman in hiding, and the downtime with her soul mate is a nice change of pace. But the peace will be short-lived. The authorities are after her for her role in the attack on the city of Charlotte. Zeus has put a bounty on her head. There’s also a war to prepare for—and if she wins, the gods will be deposed once and for all. But first she needs to track down Gaia, and even that won’t be simple. Gaia resides at the bottom of the ocean, and the humans and gods are already hot on Atropos’ trail…

A heart-pounding romantic adventure where Greek mythology and modern-day life collide, Hunted Fate is the third book in the epic Threads of the Moirae series by Jennifer Derrick.

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Previous books in the series:

Grab book 1 – Broken Fate – for FREE!

EXCERPT:

“We need whoever provides security around here. Or Hades. They’re bound to be the ones who can open this. If we can find them, we can drag them down here and slap their hand on this thing to get it open,” Alex says.

“We need another way,” Sara says, shaking her head. “We haven’t seen a single person since we got here. It’s too time consuming to track them down. And we’ll never get Hades.”

“Anyone know of any other ways to crack a palm plate?” I ask.

“Short of finding a valid fingerprint and going through an awful lot of steps to create a fake finger, the only other way is to break down the software controlling it,” Alex says.

“Are any of you hackers?”

Alex raises his hand.

“You can hack this?” I ask. “I didn’t know you were a hacker.”

“I’m not. But there isn’t a lot to do when you’re stuck at home with a terminal disease or trapped in a crappy boarding school. I taught myself a few things, made a few online friends who were a little shady. Depending on how sophisticated the software is, I might be able to crack it.”

“Would it be controlled from the computer out front?”

“It might be. Or it might be controlled from a central server that’s who knows where. No way to know without looking,” he says.

“That computer is password protected. If you try to force it, you may set off alarms.”

“Then I’ll have to be careful,” he says, heading back to the lobby.

We follow and gather around the desk while he works. The keys clack under his fingers as he mutters instructions to himself.

“Okay, I’m in the system,” he says. “While I’m here, I’m going to shut down those security cameras. No need for everyone to know where we are.”

The TV feed blinks and is gone.

He keeps typing and clicking and muttering. The rest of us sit down on the floor and wait. There’s nothing we can do.

“Huh. That could be tricky,” he says.

“What?” I ask, getting up and going around the desk so I can see his screen. Not that the gibberish there means squat to me.

“The system that controls the fingerprint scanners also controls the card locks. Worse, it’s not separated by floor. I’m not good enough to bring down only one piece of the system. It’s all or nothing.”

“What’s the problem?” I ask.

“It means that the only thing standing between us and whatever is behind

those cell doors is the hope that none of them try the doors. If the inmates figure out the doors are open, then security will be the least of our problems. All of them could walk right out of here.”

“Do it,” I tell him. “It’s not like we’ll be broadcasting the locks are down. No one will notice. Hopefully.”

“Okay,” he says and goes back to pounding on the keys.

After a few minutes, the computer beeps and Alex pushes away from it.

“Done,” he says.

The words are barely out of his mouth when a series of small pops echoes around the room. They sound like they’re both surrounding us and simultaneously heading away from us.

“Aw, shit,” I say. “The locks. We forgot they make noise! We are idiots. Come on,” I say, racing for the doors on the right.

We slam through the doors and pull up in front of door number four. No one is coming into the hall yet. I’m hoping the inmates think it’s a trap and are too intimidated to try their doors. Either that or they didn’t hear the locks release. Please, just let me get out of here before hell literally opens, I think.

 

Author Bio:

Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.

Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website:www.JenniferDerrick.com.

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World Building: Guest Post by JM Sullivan

Hi guys! My name is JM Sullivan, and I am the author of Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles. When Becca asked me to chat with you this month, I was so excited to oblige, and then she told me she wanted some tips on World-Building.

<insert video-tape screech>

Ok, so maybe my reaction wasn’t quite that dramatic, but it did give me pause. See, world-building is TOUGH. There are so many different parts to creating an elaborate world that it can seem daunting to even the most skilled writers.

But here’s the thing: without solid world-building, your story has no legs to stand on. Whether you’re working with fairy tales, science-fiction, horror, or even contemporary, the world you place your characters in has a huge impact on the events and ultimately, the ‘believeability’ of your story. You can have a killer cast of characters, but if your setting doesn’t fit, your reader won’t be able to slip into the tale you’ve so carefully crafted.

So, how can you make sure you’ve built a world readers want to get lost in? While it is a craft that definitely requires practice and finesse, a few simple steps will get you started on some very solid footing. Just remember your ABCs!

The ABCs of World Building

1. Atmosphere: First, you need to consider the atmosphere of the world you’re crafting. And NO, I don’t mean the mixture of gases that surround the planet your characters inhabit (although, if you write Sci-Fi, that may actually be a valid point to consider). Think about your favorite restaurant or hangout. What do you love about it? Is it the music they play, the lighting, or the vibes you get from the people who frequent it? All that makes up the atmosphere. Your world has an atmosphere too! When you picture the world your characters are in, what do you see? What kind of vibes are you hoping to give your reader? Odds are, if you’re writing a dark story, you aren’t going to want to paint a world filled with sunshine and rainbows. Similarly, the setting of a light-hearted contemporary shouldn’t make your readers want to cringe. A tip I find helpful is creating a soundtrack for my book. I think of the ‘feel’ I want to accomplish and find songs that help me picture it. For example, my Alice playlist was filled with dark, harsh beats and tones by the likes of Halsey, Melanie Martinez, and the Twenty-One Pilots. My Peter soundtrack has a Sci-Fi feel with lots of electronica and techno beats. It helped me to picture the world better in my head and paint it more clearly on the page. What is it you are seeing? How can you make your reader ‘see’ the same thing? Take a second and see how answering these question helps solidify your setting.

* What does it look like? If you were to take a picture of the scene, what would you see?

* What’s the climate/environment like? Is it hot, cold, neutral temperature? Are there seasons, or heavy weather?

* What are the people like? Is it a friendly community, or are they more cutthroat? Is there a reason they act like this?

* What kind of government is there? Is it neat and orderly? Chaos? Somewhere in between? What does that look like?

* How does it sound? Are your characters more likely to hear laughing or crying? Screaming? Is there a predominant accent or many different tongues? How about an anthem that moves the story? What sounds do you associate with your setting and how can you translate them into words?


2. Background: Ok. So you’ve got your picture. You know what you see, what your characters see, and hopefully what your reader is seeing. Now take a second to figure out how your world got that way. Understanding the background to your story can give you a solid foundation to help explain the WHYS of your world building. Sure, you could say that in your world cats have mutated and now everyone rides their pet Persians to work (I mean, you’re the author, it’s your prerogative), but unless your reader understands why, they are bound to have questions. And too many questions will jar them from your story. Picture the world you’ve dreamt up. Now figure out WHY it looks that way. We all know the saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day—what happened in all of the days that made it the fantastic empire it became? The same goes for your world. Think about what happened in the past to make it the way it is for your characters NOW.

* What is the history of your world?

* Have war or religion been a part of your world’s history? What impact have they had on the land? On the country? On individual people?

* What advancements have they made? Are they on the breaking edge of science and technology, or are their lifestyles more primitive?

* Are there any significant historical events that your reader needs to be aware of?

 

3. Characters: Alright. We’re almost done! You’ve got your picture painted, and know how it got that way. Now, you need to know how your characters fit in. Think about the players in your story and imagine them in their natural habitat. How do they REACT to the world they are in? If they are in a dystopian setting, are they only concerned with survival, or are they trying to make it better? Knowing what your character’s feeling are towards the situation they’ve put in will make it easier for you to portray those same emotions to your readers.

* What is your character’s attitude towards the world? Do they embrace it or want to change it?

* How has the world impacted your character? Has it affected their personality or viewpoints in any way?

* Is your character’s viewpoint towards the world drastically different than other characters? If so, why? What makes them feel so strongly about it?

 

It may seem like world-building is an insurmountable task, but in all likelihood you’ve probably considered some, if not all of these aspects of setting. The hard part is putting it together. But, if you remember your ABCs and consider Atmosphere, Background, and Character, you can build a complex setting around your characters that seamlessly draws your readers into an engrossing and believable world they never want to leave.

 

About JM Sullivan:
J.M. Sullivan is a Science Teacher by day, and an author by night. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect for a healthy dose of sparkle and positivity, you can find her on Twitter or Instagram @_JM_Sullivan.

 Author Links:
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Be sure to check out JM’s new debut novel!

Book Synopsis:

ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR QUEEN

Ever since the outbreak of the Plague, life hasn’t been easy, and for seventeen-year-old Alice Carroll, it just got worse. Her sister, Dinah, has contracted the ‘un-deadly’ Momerath Virus and without a cure, will soon be worse than dead. She’ll be momerath.

Alice must leave the safety of the Sector and venture into Momerath Territory to find the antidote – if it exists. Chasing a rumor about a mysterious doctor with the cure, Alice falls down the rabbit hole into Wanderland, where ravenous momerath aren’t the only danger lurking.


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Amid Stars and Darkness: Review and Giveaway

Rating:

Amid Stars and Darkness
Chani Lynn Feener
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 4/5

Book Synopsis:

Delaney’s entire world is thrown into chaos after she is mistaken for Lissa Olena, an alien princess hiding out on Earth in order to escape an arranged marriage.

Kidnapped by the princess’s head bodyguard, Ruckus, and imprisoned in an alien palace, Delaney is forced to impersonate the princess until Olena can be found. If she fails, it will lead to an alien war and the eventual enslavement of the entire human race.

No pressure or anything.

Factor in Trystan, the princess’s terrifying betrothed who is intent on unraveling all her secrets, and her own growing feelings for Ruckus, and Delaney is in way over her head.

Get lost Amid Stars and Darkness, in this YA sci-fi romance from debut author Chani Lynn Feener.

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Book Review:

This book is probably one of the cutest books I have ever read. Feener pulls you in from the beginning with an amazing problem: Delaney’s body has been turned into that of an alien princess and the princess’s body guard, Ander Ruckus, takes Delaney from Earth, thinking she is the alien princess, to bring her back home. Of course by the time he realizes his mistake they are already across the stars and almost to his world. As they near the planet Ruckus realizes how he needs Delaney to at least pretend she is the princess in order to keep a war from happening. She agrees to help, but of course, nothing is ever that easy. Someone wants to kill the princess Olena. But who has ordered the hit?

Do I have you reeled in yet? Doesn’t this book sound like a must read?

What can I say about this book besides it’s so damn cute?  As I write this review I’m finding it hard to explain how awesome this book is because of all the cuteness that is wrapped up in a perfect package for a star-cross love story. There’s mystery, suspense, futuristic coolness, a love story that makes your toes curl and leaves you wanting more. Ruckus was perfect for the main love interest. I was drawn to him instantly with his protectiveness and noble demeanor. As for Tristan, Olena’s betrothed, I love how he was all rough edges and coldness. As the story continued I found myself more and more intrigued with Tristan, the alien prince. And I’m very eager to see how this interesting love triangle plays out.

Feener has given us a true charm with her first book of the Xenith trilogy. Amid Stars and Darkness is a must read for anyone looking for that super cute love story that makes you smile when you least expect it and leaves you wanting more and more. I am very much looking forward to Feener’s sequel to Amid Stars and Darkness. Be sure to check it out!

Author Bio:

Chani Lynn Feener has wanted to be a writer since the age of ten during fifth grade story time. She majored in Creative Writing at Johnson State College in Vermont, and graduated in 2012. To pay her bills, she has worked many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, telemarketing, order picking in a warehouse, and filling ink cartridges. When she isn’t writing, she’s binging TV shows, drawing, or frequenting zoos/aquariums. Chani is the author of Amid Stars and Darkness and the teen paranormal series the Underworld Saga, originally written under the penname Tempest C. Avery. She currently resides in Connecticut, but lives on Goodreads.com.

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Gybe: Promo

Gybe


Kristi M. Turner


Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction


Release Date: August 28th 2016



 

Summary from Goodreads

Nicole is an 18-year-old, juvenile delinquent who desperately wants to take control of her life but must find a way to overcome her own self-sabotage and a judge who won’t easily let her escape her past. She keeps food on her plate and clothes on her back by stealing. It is far from the life she wants, but she has known little kindness in her life and, therefore, gives little back. When Judge Newton charges her for the first time as an adult, Nicole recognizes a separating path: She can stay on her path to destruction or she can accept the unexpected generosity of the Kutcher family, whose house she is charged with burglarizing.

Child psychologist, Cynthia Kutcher, believes she can help Nicole confront her anger and build back the self-worth she lost when her father abandoned her to a drunken uncle after her mother’s death. 
Along the way to building a more valuable life, Nicole meets Keagan, an affluent young man with whom she begins an often overwhelming love affair despite the conflicts their disparate pasts bring.


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About the Author

 

Kristi M Turner lives in Alabama where she enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

She is a lover of music and a Netflix addict. Her favorite place to be is sitting in the sand on a beach, any beach. She is currently working on her second novel starring Bailey and Jay.

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One Broken Day Promo and Giveaways

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One Broken Day
by Melissa MacVicar
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: May 18th 2017

 

Summary:

After a notorious school shooting leaves her a shadow of the girl she once was, seventeen-year-old Lizzie Beringer moves to Nantucket Island. There, Lizzie vows to hide her identity as the shooter’s sister. All her efforts to fly under the radar, however, are complicated by her P.T.S.D. and the attention she receives from two competing boys. While fending off the not-so-subtle advances of popular athlete Michael Wickersham, she must also deal with her growing feelings for her shy lab partner Gage Pike. Gage may act like he’s all wrong for her, but the pull between them is undeniable.

Under the threat of discovery and the possibility of testifying in a televised trial, Lizzie fights to keep her secrets and start her life over.

One Broken Day is a brilliantly imagined story exploring the ways we are all broken and at the same time, offered redemption in the most unexpected of places.

 

 

Excerpt:

Lizzie

My brother should be dead. Death was what he wanted, and his death might have made everything that came after that day less painful. After succeeding in so many terrible things, however, he failed to complete this one final act.

Despite these harsh words, I do not take the possibility of his death lightly. Even now, when the thought of it enters my mind, I resist it, and immediately following the shooting, I hated myself for it. My insides ached, and my head throbbed. He was my brother. My baby brother. I was supposed to love him, not wish him gone from the planet.

Standing in his room before we left for Nantucket, I considered what to take. I wanted something of him. A talisman. An object from the scene of this crime, my own personal family tragedy, that would allow me to remember him as the boy he was before. The boy who laughed at sitcoms on Nickelodeon and swam in the pool with neon green floaties. The boy who called me Wizzie. The little brother who couldn’t possibly be locked up in a jail cell for murdering four people.

The room itself was not special—double bed, blue walls, built in book shelves stripped of their contents. Boxes littered the floor, filled with the personal items that populated Thomas’ life.  Out his windows, the picturesque view of the pool and the fir trees beyond was still lovely.

I forced myself to try to see it as a stranger, like someone who only heard about Thomas on the news. Were there clues in the paint color? The books he read or the framed poster of Tony Hawk? No matter how hard I searched, no answers to my infinite questions were revealed. Nothing there explained what happened to us.

I spotted it then, atop a pile of books in a still open box. The horseshoe. I forgot all about it until that moment, but I knew instantly it was what I’d been looking for. We both received one on the vacation at the dude ranch with Dad although I had no idea where mine was anymore. On that trip, we rode horses and square danced and ate all our meals together.  Good times. We had some good times. The rust speckled piece of metal, satisfyingly heavy in my hand, was my proof.

Turning to leave, I caught a glimpse of Thomas’ cork board. Removed from the wall, it leaned against the side of a box near his old desk. Weird drawings of scary faces, death metal concert leaflets, and a few pictures of a scowling Thomas were pinned haphazardly across it. In one corner, however, an unexpected pop of color peeked out.  Without thinking, I reached to expose it.

Thomas—a four-year-old Spiderman, me—a six-year-old Cinderella. We both smiled as we clutched our bags of trick-or-treat candy. With a little effort, I unpinned it from the board and gazed down at our grinning, childish faces. When exactly had Thomas stopped smiling for pictures? When was the precise day and time that occurred? That was the day I should have known. I should have noticed. I should have realized that something was not right with my baby brother.

 

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About the Author

Melissa was born and mostly raised on Nantucket Island, and she currently lives there with her husband and two teenage children. When not being a wife and mother and teaching writing to seventh graders, she enjoys binge watching shows like Big Little Lies, House of Cards, and Outlander. Despite the rumors to the contrary, she does not actually wish she was a teenager again, nor does she see ghosts like the main character in her first novel, Ever Near. She does, however, love to hear from readers so send her a message on social media or at her email: melissa.macvicar@gmail.com

 

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Nostalgic Rain: Excerpt and Giveaway

Nostalgic Rain: Galaxies Away
by A.S. Altabtabai
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 1st 2017

Summary from Goodreads

What seventeen-year-old Leland finds in the abandoned basement of his house is something he will never forget.

Leland lost his father when he was seven. Since then, he has successfully adapted to the awful life of being a student, the man of the house, and a father figure to his two younger siblings. All of that changes when he and his best friends stumble upon a secret in his deserted basement, and fall into another dimension with three moons, foggy woods, and an ancient castle-Oremanta.

Learning who he really is, how he came to this remote planet, and the shocking, ugly mystery of Oremanta aren’t as bad as the quest he finds himself obligated to complete-killing someone he never thought he’d meet in Oremanta to save everyone.

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Excerpt:  

Chapter One

Voices

The ceiling, barely visible in the dark room, greeted Leland. He didnt know how long hed slept, but that didnt matter much. It was summer. A thump resounded in the atmosphere, and it mixed with the squawking of birds and the chirping of grasshoppers. Leland rose from the sweat-soaked sheets of his bed and went to the window overlooking their small house garden. The sky was a mixture of red, orange, and yellow on one side, where the egg-yolk sun rose, and black on the other. In between the two, various degrees of blue adorned the horizon. Its dawn.

Be it summer, spring, winter, or autumn, all dawns in Temblewood City were cold. Leland put on his red hoodie, the one he got last year on his sixteenth birthday from Jennifer, his best friend, and stomped down the wooden abodes creaky stairs. Lelands heavy-lidded brown eyes skimmed the familiar dilapidated furniture of the living room, but he didnt dare complain. It was his grandfathers house, and he had lived here with his mother and two little siblings for ten years now since his father had died.

Today, he didnt want to drink coffee. Drinking coffee meant staying awake and alert for a long period, and he didnt want any of that. He wished he could sleep for the rest of this summer. Instead of coffee, Leland headed to Jaimes Café, a place more popular than Starbucks in Temblewood City, and bought a cup of hot chocolate. The cup was so hot he had to wrap it with two layers of napkins.

This summer was different from the last. Last year, hed seen Jennifer and Dylan almost every day. Hed gone hiking and horse riding and fishing, and hed camped on Mount Lamen, which wasnt a good ideathey had ended up lost for two days with cops searching for them. But now he was running from everyone and everything. Jennifer and Dylan were calling every day, and hed been creating excuses to be alone. But he missed them. A lot. The most awful thing in life is changing into someone worse but not realizing it.

Leland sat on a wooden bench not so far from Jaimes Café and gazed at the road, which was gradually getting more crowded with cars and people. A young man wearing a black suit and a red tie sat beside him. The man, who genuinely smelled good, scrolled down his phones screen, checking his Twitter timeline. Yeah. Thats what normal people do. They work and they socialize and they live. Leland missed that. Fear can paralyze ones mind and create thousands of fake barriers.

A raindrop fell on Lelands cup. He stared at the gray clouds in the sky, and an army of a million other drops flooded the ground. Thats why he hated Temblewood. It would rain any time of year, and Leland despised rain. He knew it was going to be a bad day. All rainy days are bad. The day his father died had been a day of heavy rain and dark memories he wished he could forget. But that was impossible because it was impossible not to have rain throughout the year. And every time it rained, a powerful resurrection of that day occurred.

Leland realized the suited man beside him had left at some point during his deep and useless thinking session. It seemed Leland was the only one on the street now. He put the hoodie cap on and walked underneath shop awnings on his way back home. Now that he thought about it, Leland hadnt learned much from his absent father.

But there was one sentence that kept ringing in his head. Leland wasnt even sure how or when or why his father had told it to him: The more you feed your fear, the more you become imprisoned by it.

***

Karla and Fred giggled and ran in the corridor. Theyve grown up really fast. I cant believe theyre starting to write and read already. Karla opened the door wide and nestled between Lelands arms. She curled and made herself comfortable in his hands.

You cant touch me now! she told Fred, sticking her tongue out.

Youre cheating! Fred replied, his palm on his waist.

Hey, you two, Leland said. Youre supposed to be in your beds now, arent you?

Were waiting for Aunt Abbey! Karla said. Mom said we can stay up late tonight.

Leland had totally forgotten that. His aunt, Abbey, was coming back to Temblewood from Todland, a city five hours away by plane. She worked as a nurse there. The last time hed seen her was a year ago when she came for New Years Eve. Shed brought them two bags of Made-In-Todland-Only candies. Leland hoped shed bring them again this time.

Lelands room was the smallest in the house. In one corner was his bed and in the other was a desk and a bookshelf with many Xbox games and a few novels. The only good thing about the room was the window that overlooked the street.

Fred toured Lelands room. He flipped the pages of a book he could barely carry and then dropped it when the doorbell rang. It was more of a noisy croak rather than a musical sound.

Abbey had arrived.

***

Lelands grandma, glued to her usual spot on the worn rocking chair shed bought right after Lelands birth, glimpsed him for a moment and then rolled her eyes back to the TV.

Where have you been all day? she complained, switching channels. Your aunt is here, for Gods sake.

On the table in the living room sat a cake with Welcome Home written on it. The living room was lit by an old, handcrafted chandelier, but it did its job quite well. Leland hugged his aunt. She hadnt changed much.

Hows everything? Leland asked.

Perfect! She replied, taking a bite of her cake. Everything is too perfect!

Great. Im glad. He took a seat beside her. Fred and Karla were on the ground playing rock, paper, scissors. His grandfather, Richard, was listening to the news, his ears touching the radios speaker.

What about you? Abbey asked.

Im fine, Leland replied, faking a smile.

No, hes not, Lelands mother said, cutting cake for Fred and Karla, pretending not to care much about the issue. Somethings wrong with him. He hardly leaves hisvroom.

Lelands face flushed. He felt stupid for not realizing his mother must have felt something was wrong with him. This meant Dylan and Jennifer, his friends, likely also noticed.

No, its just—” Leland said, attempting to fake an excuse.

Is he always alone? Abbey asked.

Almost, Maria, Lelands mother, replied.

And hes not eating a lot?

Yes.

Lelands heart raced. Theres no way Abbey would know what hed been through lately. Shed been away, and he made sure no one knew.

And he doesnt talk much? Abbey asked.

Yeah. Only a little, Maria answered.

Abbey clapped her hands and cried, Hes in love!

All eyes turned toward Leland. But he was relieved. She knew nothing after all. Leland pretended her assumptions were correct. He gazed down and said nothing in reply.

Theres nothing to be ashamed of, Leland. Weve all been through this before, Aunt Abbey said, and then her voice dropped to a whisper. And dont chicken out. Women hate that.

Leland didnt know how to reply, so, rather awkwardly and loudly enough that everyone stared at him again, he said, I like her.

Okay. Thats enough for today. Leland had paid his social dues and now he had to leave. Embarrassed, Leland said, I gotta go.

And he went back to his room.

***

Leland collapsed into his bed with Les Miserables in his hand. Hed bought it a month ago from Harrys Bookstore, a local shop at the end of the street. Leland read a book or two per year, but he wished he could dedicate more time to reading. He read some pages then put the book on the bedside table. With the lights on and the window opened, Leland dozed off without realizing it. Deep in his sleep, Leland woke up, sweating and trembling in fear. His breath quickened and his heart hammered against his chest. It had happened for the fifth time this week.

Voiceshundreds of thousands of throatswhispered in Lelands ears and mumbled words he couldnt understand. And it seemed he was the only one hearing them.

For Gods sake, what the hell is going on?

About the Author

Medical student, writer & travel passionate.

Author Links:

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Fiery Passion: Excerpt


Fiery Passion (The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles #3)
by Alec John Belle
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: September 2017

Summary from Goodreads:

After the unexpected events at the end of Shadow People, Heather, Hayden, and their friends are trying to move forward with their lives. While trying to hunt down the new vessel of the Darkness, and trying to avoid a very complicated relationship, Heather thinks she can keep everything under control.

Until she’s taken by a demon named Ziminiar.

As Hayden, Kadin, Philip, and Kristen try to find their friend, Heather unravels many truths about the world she lives in, the core of her being, and the true origins of the Monster Hunters. 
In the third installment of The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, secrets will be exposed, relationships will be tested, and the ultimate betrayal will leave fans breathless.

Because in a world where demons exist, nothing is ever as it seems.

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon

 

Excerpt:

The sun disappeared as clouds rolled through the sky, creating an overwhelming darkness that I could find no words to explain. Lightning flashed in the sky, reminding me of Kadin.

I let out a scream when men started falling from the sky—big men, wearing suits of armor and wings outstretched for all to see. When they landed, the ground shook beneath them.

They were Angels.

The townsmen pulled their arrows back, shooting at the Angels, but within seconds, the they pulled out their weapons—giant swords that gleamed in the dark. I watched in horror as one of the Angels swung their weapon, beheading a man in seconds. More Angels fell from the sky, chasing after the women.

“What the hell are you doing?” I wasn’t entirely sure why I shouted, but I couldn’t watch the attacks happen trying to do something to stop it.

Right after I said it, one of the Angels looked at me—smiling a mischievous smile—and said, “You have a lot to learn, little Neph.” Although I couldn’t make out his features, that smile couldn’t be forgotten.

Other books in the series:

                                         

                                                                                                     

 

About the Author:

Alec John Belle resides in Carson City, NV, where he is currently attending high school for his senior year. At the age of 16 he wrote his first novel, Before I Break. His hobbies include reading, writing, and obsessing over Pretty Little Liars. He writes about tough topics that many are too afraid to talk about like suicide, homosexuality, self harm, bullying, mental illness, among other teenage issues, and he often blends these ideas with the paranormal. Despite writing such topics, he is a very cheerful person who enjoys looking for the best in life, while trying to help others do the same.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

 

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Chasing Evaline: Excerpt and Giveaway

I am so excited that CHASING EVELINE by Leslie Hauser is available now and that I get to share the news!
 
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Leslie Hauser, be sure to check out all the details below.
 
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book and swag courtesy of Leslie and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:
Title: CHASING
EVELINE
Author: Leslie
Hauser
Pub. Date: July 11,
2017
Publisher: Pen Name
Publishing
Pages: 300
Formats: Paperback,
eBook
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High
School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with
album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989,
this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of
her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her
mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.

Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s
one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the
only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with
help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music
enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.

The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no
road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers,
tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the
four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to
try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the
present.
Excerpt:
 
They say music is the key to the soul. Or maybe it’s the heart. I can’t
remember exactly what my mom said that day she danced into my room with a new
record for me to hear. I was only in the fourth grade, but I became a believer.
I remember so vividly how the drums rattled deep within my chest and the lyrics
I didn’t even understand seemed to whisper secrets meant only for me. The song
lingered inside me for days. My mom swooned and told me that’s why music must
be shared.
So when I saw the desperate school blog post calling for a volunteer DJ
at tonight’s Back to School Dance, I jumped at the chance. The music my friend
Matt and I plan to throw into the mix is a giant master key. I just hope it
will open the teenage hearts in this musty gym and linger inside them long
after the last balloon deflates. This music is important to me.
 
I nudge Matt, whose face is glued to the computer screen at our DJ table.
A vibrating speaker to our left thumps out music, so I yell into his ear, “Is
the set list ready?”
 
He tilts his head toward me. “Geez, Ivy. I just plugged in the flash
drive.”
 
“Okay, sorry.” I step away. He sweeps his blond hair out of his eyes and
returns his focus to the computer.
 
I pace behind him, a nervous left followed by an excited right and back
again. The musical brilliance of the greatest guitarist of all time will soon
weave through these bodies and drift into every ear. My heart floats up with
the blue and yellow balloons hovering like a latex fog.
 
My hand strums on my thigh while Matt continues to fuss with the
computer. Near the gym entrance, Principal Henry stands with Narc 1 and Narc 2,
and a wave of yawns travels across them. The newbie freshmen line the walls and
cluster in groups. The scene resembles a casting call for an acne medication
ad.
 
The dull atmosphere isn’t helped by the annoyingly synthetic pop
noise blasting through the speakers. After I offered our free DJ services to
Karen, the Dance Committee Chairperson, she gave us a mix of music tracks to
play. She was grateful to have saved some precious dollars for this year’s
prom, but 
 
I’m not sure she trusted two no-name juniors to get the job
done. 
 
However, after listening to thirty minutes of her set list, I’m seriously
questioning the cool factor of the popular crowd. Karen’s mix features some of
the worst radio music of all time. Every song is a mere echo of the previous
one—peppy beats and vacuous lyrics about hook-ups and partying. I can’t even
tell if the voices belong to boys, girls, or machines. 
 
I tap Matt’s shoulder. “Are you almost finished?” I nearly have to
scream.
 
“Yeah. I’m just making sure we have the songs in the right order.” He
turns around and leans toward me. “Ivy, you really want to do this?”
 
I smile at him and hope he doesn’t see all the tiny cracks waiting to
splinter. “We’re just sharing some great music. It’ll be fine.”
About Leslie:

I am a YA writer and
middle school teacher. I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree
in Educational Administration. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently
reside in Los Angeles, California, with my dog Mr. Darcy.
When I’m not
living in fictional worlds inside my head, I run all sorts of distances,
torture my body at CrossFit, and DVR entirely too many television shows. I
dream of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning
a cookie delivery service.
My debut
novel CHASING EVELINE releases in 2017 from Pen Name Publishing.
Giveaway Details:
(1) Winner
will receive a finished copy of CHASING EVELINE & Swag, US Only.
Ends on
February 9th at Midnight EST!