Category Archives: Young Adult

[Blitz & Giveaway] Sworn To Conflict by Terah Edun

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Title: Sworn To Conflict
Author: Terah Edun
Series: Courtlight #3
Publication date: December 6th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

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Summary:

Ciardis Weathervane fought for the living dead and won. But worse than taking on a mass murderer, was her discovery that she had been deceived by her friends. Now she needs to not only fight a war in the North and survive, but also decide where she stands in the midst of competing sides. A threat to all she holds dear lies in the North and her heart is not the only thing she might lose. A massive army awaits in the mountain pass, surging closer to the gates of the southern lands. Nothing the Algardis army has done so far has dissuaded their march forward and Ciardis finds out that her powers to enhance are needed now more than ever. As she faces her greatest fears on the battlefields and her heart is torn between her love of Sebastian and loyalty to her family, Ciardis must choose her fate carefully. For in her path, lies the destiny of the empire. This third novel continues the story of Ciardis Weathervane from Sworn To Transfer.

Connect With Terah: Author Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Series Order Links:

iBookstorehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/terah-edun/id634533819?mt=11

Are you new to the Courtlight series? Well, you can grab the first book, as well as five other amazing Young Adult books, for less than the price of a Starbucks latte! That’s right, I’m offering Sworn To Raise in a new multi-author YA bundle with six authors from bestselling teen book series! With 155 5-Star reviews and a regular price of $9.99, this Young Adult Paranormal, Fantasy and Romance bundle can’t be beat. So start it today!

From High Action Fantasy To Contemporary Romance, This Six-In-One Author Bundle Has Something For Every Teen On Your List.
Six full-length novels.
Six authors with bestselling romance, fantasy & paranormal series.
On sale for $0.99 – Limited time offer!
 
Alexia Purdy – Ever Fire
Bria Quinlan – Secret Girlfriend
Kelly Walker – Severed Stone
R.H. D’aigle – Shifting
Terah Edun – Sworn To Raise
CL Stone – The Academy

International Giveaway for Sworn To Conflict is below!

Terah is giving away signed copies and swag for the Courtlight series. There are 20 total winners!
 
 
 
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[Blitz & Giveaway] Counting Shadows by Olivia Rivers

Counting Shadows by Olivia Rivers
Duplicity #1
Publication date: June 30th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Two hearts, one kiss…

…Nothing left.

Faye’s soul-mate is everything she should hate—an Angel, an outcast, an enemy. Ashe is just one more imperfection in her life that somehow makes everything… perfect.

Until he’s murdered.

With the only person she loves ripped away, Faye sets out to avenge Ashe’s death. The task seems impossible, until she finds Lor—an Angel who looks nearly identical to Ashe’s killer. Arrogant and hot-headed, Lor is everything Ashe wasn’t. But Lor is connected to her soul-mate’s past, and Faye needs him to find the killer—even if Lor is potentially deadly.

But when Faye discovers that Ashe’s past isn’t as black and white as she thought, she faces an impossible choice: Give up the hunt, and risk the lives of others. Or continue pursuing Ashe’s murderer, and forfeit the lives of everyone in her family—including herself.

 



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18132530-counting-shadows?ac=1


Purchase:

  

AUTHOR BIO:


Olivia Rivers is the author of five novels, ranging in genres from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Romance. Along with being a writer, she’s a freelance digital artist, a literary agent assistant, and a high school student. She’s a nerd at heart, and is a hopeless fan-girl for Doctor Who and Pokémon. Olivia lives in California with a dog who thinks he’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and a kitten who is just generally confused. 

 

Author Links:

 
 
 

 
Excerpt
His black eyes settle on mine, the pain in them a silent accusation. Ashe knows he’s about to die. And he knows I’ve lied about his Fate.
I can’t feel guilt. I can’t feel anything. There’s only my ragged breaths and the tears pressing against my eyes. Ashe steps toward me, even though I’m in the opposite direction of the door. No, I silently beg him. Run. I don’t realize I’m shaking my head until he falters.
“Stop,” one of the guards hisses, even though he already has. “Don’t go near the Lady Faye.”
My heart pounds wildly. “Just count the beats when you get scared,” Ashe told me months ago, as he pressed his palm over my heart. “Remember that I’ll protect you until the day they stop. And don’t be scared anymore.”
I gasp in air. One, two, three, four…
He walks toward me, his face hard with determination.
Five, six, seven…
One of the guards shouts and stabs his spear forward. At Ashe. My Ashe.
My heart stops.
I scream at the guard, telling him to stop, to leave, to disappear and never show his face again. But my words are a jumbled mess, and it’s too late. The spear pierces Ashe’s right wing, drawing blood. Nausea fills me as the red blood mingles with his crimson feathers. I’ve always loved his wings. They mark him as an Angel, the one bit of perfection in my life.
Now those wings are ruined.
Ashe’s eyes never leave me, even as the guard tears his spear out of the wound. I swallow hard. I’ve never stared into his eyes for too long, knowing I’d probably lose myself in all the pain and loneliness in their depths. Now I never want to look away.
“Get moving,” the guard with the bloodied spear growls. He stabs at Ashe again, but Ashe grabs the shaft of the spear before it strikes him. He yanks the spear from the guard and snaps it in two. Ashe allows one of the halves to clatter to the stone floor, but keeps hold of the sharpened end. His gaze slowly sweeps over the four guards with weapons, a low growl rumbling in his throat.
“You can’t do this,” I say, finally finding my voice. “My father would never allow it.”
“Your father orderedthis,” snaps the guard without a spear. He braces for an attack, as do the others.
Then their leader takes a step forward and pushes out a staying hand. “Wait.”
I recognize this leader as Jolik. He was my bodyguard for awhile before Ashe became my Guardian. I’m not sure how many bodyguards I went through—five, six?—but they never lasted long before I excused them.
Jolik nods to Ashe. “Let him say goodbye.”
The weaponless guard speaks up. “He could kill her.”
“He won’t,” Jolik says, shaking his head.
Ashe doesn’t wait for Jolik to change his mind. He drops the broken spear and rushes to me. Cupping my face with one hand, he uses the other to press me against him. Familiar heat radiates off him this close. He tilts my chin up and kisses me so gently, I barely feel his lips against mine. But I can feel the desperation, and as he presses me a little closer, I know this is a goodbye.
The kiss only lasts a moment. Then the guards drag him away, and those threatening tears finally spill. I’m not sure if the tears are angry or anguished. Or maybe just broken.
“You’re right, little sparrowhawk,” Ashe says over his shoulder.  “Everything is going to be okay. I promise.”
I don’t get to respond. The last guard exits my chambers and slams the heavy door closed, leaving me truly alone for the first time in years. I take a shuddering breath, willing the doors to burst open, for Ashe to come rushing back to me.
They don’t. Silence settles over the room, screaming the truth:
Nothing will ever be okay.
 

 
 



 

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[Release Day Blitz & Giveaway] Peaceful Genocide by J.A. Reynolds

Peaceful Genocide by J.A. Reynolds
Publication date: November 25th 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Mitzi and Deuce can recall how many drops of water were on a leaf from a rainstorm five years ago and conversations from last week, month, or year. They have the ability to remember every second of everyday—since birth.

This gift has blessed Mitzi with a history of being sexually assaulted by researchers and abused by her own parents. She trusts no one. Likes no one. Deuce, however, is a high school standout. His gift has made him a superstar on the football field and his memory promises him endless opportunities.

When they both end up at an Alzheimer’s research facility under false proviso, they quickly realize this place isn’t what it seems to be. They endure crazy military-style tests, are forcefully drugged, and complete real-life simulations that haunt them.

Mitzi and Deuce have no idea what the researchers want to do with them or their memories. But one thing is clear: the researchers will go to any lengths to get what they want.




 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18499632-peaceful-genocide?ac=1


 

Purchase:

 

AUTHOR BIO:

JA Reynolds lives in the Midwest with a normal family, raising a normal daughter, with some abnormal pets. It’s extraordinarily ordinary.

Author Links:
Blog:  http://www.jareynoldsbooks.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @jaauthor
Facebook:  
https://www.facebook.com/pages/JA-Reynolds/430107783757165?ref=hl
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18499632-peaceful-genocide

 
Excerpt:

 

A flock of men, twenty or more, strode out of the abyss of night. Deuce could only see flashes of their movement and he hoped the men weren’t armed. He doubted it. Without even speaking, Mitzi and Deuce locked eyes and set out in a dead run into the blinding snow.
People rushed them and Deuce kept his arm out, clothes lining and bumping people out of the way. Mitzi ducked and bobbed, sending people over her back.
“There it is!” Mitzi shouted.
Their run broke into a sprint, faster than Deuce had ever run on any field. Ice formed around the condensation on his nose from his heavy breaths. The helicopter door was open and Paisley was frantically waving them forward. Crashing into the side door of the chopper, Deuce lifted Mitzi inside with one arm.
“Who’s supposed to fly this thing?” Paisley called out.
Deuce cast an eye back at the men closing in on them. “I don’t know.”
“Me.” The hard voice came from Mitzi. Deuce almost fell over in shock. She shook her entire body from head to toe and slid into the cockpit.
“Hurry,” Paisley called.
Deuce watched in amazement as Mitzi flipped on a set of switches, her face glowing red from the lights. She turned a key and the rotor blades whirled to life, whipping the snow up around him. He jumped in and went to slam the door shut. Arms like tentacles shot through the door, grasping and clawing at whatever it could. He couldn’t get it closed. The arms failed and tugged, pulling half a man’s body through the partially open door.
“Mitzi! We need to go up! Now!” Deuce batted away the arms. He opened the door a smidge and slammed it back shut on the man’s frame. He didn’t even make a sound, he just kept coming. His hands were joined by two more. Together their arms tried to pry the door open.
“What do I do?” Paisley squeaked. “How can I help?”
“Mitzi!”
“Stop yelling at me! I’m doing this from memory, damn it. I need a freakin’ second.”
“We don’t have a second.” He kept as much pressure against the door as he could but it was starting to inch backward.
Deuce reached for his gun. “Paisley, can you shoot them?”
Her eyes went wide with fear. She backed away.
“Paisley, remember what I said. It’s not real.”
Her little head shook, her arms waving around her in shock. “I can’t.”
Deuce eyed Ralph sprawled out on the floor. He wasn’t moving.
“Mitzi, I need your help back here.”
Her voice was loud and harsh. “I’m trying to fly a God damn helicopter right now!”
“Paisley. Look at me. Good.” Deuce applied more pressure to the door and kicked at the appendages. The things were like robots. “Do you like to fly?”
She nodded quickly.
“Good. Go take Mitzi’s place. She’ll tell you how to fly. Tell her to come back here or we won’t make it out of here.”
Paisley darted to the front. Deuce heard Mitzi let out a long curse before joining him, Paisley’s gun clutched in her hand.
“Shoot them!” Deuce commanded when she only stared at him straining.
She didn’t. She cocked her hip. “If I don’t hit them, or maybe even if I do, the bullet will ricochet and come back inside here. Do you want a bullet in your stomach?”
“It’s not real, Mitzi. Shoot the damn thing.”
“I’m not taking any chances.” She put her weight against the door, helping Deuce keep it shut. “When we get in the air, we’ll open the door and let them fall.”
Deuce nodded, in no mood to argue.
“Paisley,” she called out. “Put your right hand on the control lever. That stick in front of you. Now put your left hand on the horizontal stick to your left.” She grunted as she put more weight on the door.
Damn, these monsters were strong. The door continued to inch open.
“Got it!”
“Good. Lift the collective control stick—the thing in your left hand. It’ll make us go up. The Cyclic, the stick in your right hand will make us go forward when you press it forward. Make sure we’re up in the air a good ways before pressing the cyclic forward. And don’t press it too hard. You need to keep a balance.”
The roar of the rotors grew louder as the chopper lurched up.
“Hold on!” Mitzi shouted.
They were jostled about as Paisley tried to figure out how to steer the metal monster.
“Uh, how easy is it to crash this thing?” Deuce asked.
Mitzi blinked. “Very. Use the rudders, Paisley—those little pedals on the floor to keep us going straight.”
Deuce’s stomach heaved as the chopper dived to the left. The rotating blades crashed against the concrete outside, snapping the chopper back, wrenching the entire compartment in a jumble. Mitzi’s grip slipped off the door. Deuce snatched her hands and pulled her back. Jeez. They weren’t even that far off the ground yet.
“Get the balance of it, Paisley! Just like I explained. You can do it!”
After several long, bouncing moments, the chopper evened out. The arms still grabbed at the door.
“How high are we Paisley?” Mitzi yelled out. “Check the altimeter.”
“The what?”
“The altimeter. It’s a round gauge that says ALT. There’s a long, white marker on it and numbers one through ten. Where is the marker?
“Two little notches before the one.” Paisley sounded hoarse from all the screaming.
Mitzi nodded. “Good.” She locked eyes with Deuce. “We’re sixty feet up. Open the door.”
Deuce released his hold, allowing the door to whoosh open. The flailing sets of arms kept a firm grip. Deuce tried to pry the hands back, amazed at their strength. The two men were dangling almost six stories up, trying to pulling themselves into the chopper. And they were succeeding.
“Mitzi! Their hands. Help me.”
Mitzi pitched forward, arms out. One of the octopus hands shot out and grabbed her by the ankle. It jerked her off her feet.
“Deuce!”
Deuce didn’t have time to react before the hand ripped her right out of the chopper. “Mitzi!” He flattened himself on the floor and looked over the edge. A piece of the skid had snagged her jacket and she was dangling helplessly.
The two men were still trying to climb into the chopper. Deuce pulled his sidearm out of the holster and fired without thinking, hitting both men in the chest numerous times.  Their hands slipped and they fell into the whiteness of the blizzard below.
“Mitzi! Hold on!” He flipped himself out the door, putting his feet on the skid bar. The wind was turbulent, making his balance shaky. He went down on his stomach and scooted toward the edge of the skid. Mitzi looked up at him. Her eyes were the size of softballs, the whites streaked with red.
“Take my hand!”
She shook her head.
“Take it!” He thrust it toward her again.
Her head fell back, breaking eye contact. He edged closer, but not close enough to snatch her up without her help. She had to trust him.
“Mitzi!”
The chopper rocked right, nearly tossing Deuce off the skid. Even through the roar of the chopper blades, Deuce heard the rip of Mitzi’s coat. He threw his arm just in time. She latched one like it was a lifesaver.
He swung his right arm under the bar, gripping her shoulder with everything he had. The chopper blade whipped air down on him from the left. On his right side, there was a strange uplift.
“Do you trust me?” He asked her ghost-pale eyes.
Her fingers sank into his jacket. “Yes.”
“Let go.”
“What?” Her shriek could no doubt be heard for miles.
“If you let go, I can swing you around on my right. I won’t be able to pull you up on the left, the downdraft is too strong.”
If possible, her face paled even more. Her lips quivered, her nails puncturing the thick fabric of his coat and biting into his skin. He twisted his legs around the skid, giving him more of an anchor.
His eyes caught hers. “Let go.”
She did.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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[Book Blitz & Giveaway] Lost Eden by G.P. Ching


Lost Eden by G.P. Ching
(The Soulkeepers #5)
Publication date: November 18th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Rules. Balance. Consequences. War.

When Fate gave Dane the water from Eden to drink, she did more than save his life. She changed his destiny.

Since the beginning, a compact between God and Lucifer has maintained a tenuous peace, balancing Soulkeepers and Watchers and the natural order of things. Dane upset that balance the day he became a Soulkeeper. Fate broke the rules.

Now, Lucifer is demanding a consequence, requiring Fate to pay the ultimate price for her involvement. God intervenes on the immortal’s behalf but in order to save her soul must dissolve the compact and with it the rules, order, and balance that have kept the peace. A challenge is issued. A contest for human souls begins. And the stakes? Earth. Winner take all.

The Soulkeepers are at the center of a war between Heaven and Hell, and this time, nobody, anywhere, is safe from Lucifer’s reach.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18324346-lost-eden?ac=1

 

 

Purchase:

 

AUTHOR BIO:

 

G.P. Ching is the author of The Soulkeepers Series, Grounded, and a variety of short fiction. She specializes in cross-genre paranormal stories, loves old cemeteries, and enjoys a good ghost tour. She lives in central Illinois with her husband, two children, and one very demanding Brittany Spaniel. Visit her at www.gpching.com and www.thesoulkeepersseries.com.

Author Links:
Website |Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 



 

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[Cover Reveal] The Samantha Project by Stephanie Karpinske

The Samantha Project by Stephanie Karpinske
The Samantha Project #1-3
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

 

 

The Samantha Project (The Samantha Project Series #1)

Seventeen-year-old Samantha has a seemingly perfect life; great parents, early admission to Stanford, and her boyfriend, Colin, quarterback of the football team and the hottest guy in school. But a shocking secret from her past turns her world upside down.

Sam discovers she’s part of a global corporation’s genetic enhancement project. Just as she’s learning what these enhanced genes can do, the corporation decides they want her, and the technology hidden inside her, back.

During a heart-pounding race to flee from her pursuers, she encounters Erik, another person who was part of the experimental project. From the instant they meet they share an indescribable attraction to each other. Together they’re in even greater danger and a rogue scientist discovers a deadly secret lies inside them.

 
 
 

The Golden Couple (The Samantha Project Series #2)

In this action-packed second installment of The Samantha Project series, Samantha and Erik go on a search to find a way to save themselves from the genetic time bomb ticking away in their cells. Along the way, they discover a shocking secret that changes everything.

Although Samantha’s boyfriend, Colin, is back now, she can’t deny her feelings for Erik. It isn’t long before she learns the real reason why she can’t resist Erik. But only after she’s gone too far with him. So far that Colin may never forgive her.

GlobalLife Genetics continues to pursue Samantha and they’ll stop at nothing to get her. Sam still doesn’t understand GlobalLife’s plan for her but she knows it’s something big. And she knows it isn’t good.

 

A Chosen Destiny (The Samantha Project Series #3)

Samantha’s destiny was chosen long ago. At least that’s what she’s told by the people who created her. Her enhanced genes and genetic software were meant to do everything from mold her personality to pick who she falls in love with.

But can destiny be changed? Ever since Samantha learned the truth about herself, she’s struggled to figure out who’s really in charge of her life. Can she make her own choices? Or is her future determined by her genes?

Old enemies reappear and new ones emerge as Samantha and Erik use their powers to fight the people who are after them. But it’s getting harder to figure out who’s good and who’s evil. The enemy they’ve been fighting may not be the one who’s truly after them.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/95061-the-samantha-project
Purchase:

Book 1:
AMAZON – B&N –  KOBO

 

Book 2, The Golden Couple

AMAZON– B&N– KOBO

 

Book 3, A Chosen Destiny

AMAZON– B&N– KOBO 

 

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AUTHOR BIO

After spending years at a publishing company working on other people’s books, Stephanie left the corporate world to write her own books. Although her day job is freelance writing for magazines, she spends the rest of her time writing fiction. The idea for The Samantha Project came from a dream she had of a teen girl being held in a lab. She couldn’t stop thinking about the dream, so she turned that one scene into a much larger story that ended up being a trilogy. Stephanie also writes New Adult romance under a different name. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, cooking, running or watching movies.

Author links:

 

 

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[Book Blitz & Giveaway] The Perimeter by Shalini Boland


The Perimeter by Shalini Boland
Outside #3
Publication date: November 18th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult



The Perimeter, blurb:



In this fractured world, a sinister force is coming for Riley, and the only things keeping her safe are a perimeter fence and the people she loves. As her life is threatened, she must make impossible choices. But help comes from the most unlikely of places, and all Riley needs to know is: who can she really trust?

Meanwhile, a repentant killer searches for peace and salvation, but what he gets is the exact opposite. Now he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life.

The Perimeter is a darkly captivating dystopian tale of adventure, danger, love and redemption that will have you on the edge of your seat and up at night turning the pages to find out what happens next . . .

Outside Series blurb:
Set in the near future, these three heart-stopping novels follow Riley as she overcomes the murder of her younger sister by tracking down the killer across a post-apocalyptic Britain. At the same time, she is forced to take on the might of a twisted regime intent on conquering the nation. The series is packed with action, suspense, drama and dystopian adventure.

Buy Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18632674-the-perimeter?ac=1
Trailer:


 

Contact Info for Shalini Boland

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 About Shalini

 
Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband and two noisy boys. Before children, she was signed to Universal Music as a singer songwriter. Now, writing novels has hijacked her life and she is usually to be found with a laptop welded to her fingers and the house in a permanent state of neglect.
 

Connect with Shaini:
 

The Perimeter Excerpt

The two men were youngish with beards, wearing layers of filthy clothing. One of them had a face-full of piercings – lip rings, eyebrow studs and a hoop through his nose. They were both skinny and hollow-cheeked with deep-set eyes. As they drew closer, I saw pure hostility in their faces and it took all my strength of will not to throw the truck into reverse and gun it all the way home.
‘What’s your business here?’ the man with the nose hoop called out.
I lowered the window a fraction. ‘I’m a friend of Lou’s.’
‘Lou?’ They took a few steps closer, their weapons still lowered.
‘Yeah. Fair-haired girl with two younger brothers. Lives up close to the compound wall.’
‘I know who Lou is,’ nose-hoop replied. ‘What d’you want with her?’
‘She helped me out yesterday. I’ve come to say thanks.’
‘Get out of the truck and I’ll fetch her over.’
‘I’d rather stay inside till she gets here if that’s okay.’
They stopped a few yards away and talked to each other in low tones so I couldn’t hear. By now, several other gypsies had come close to the wire fence to see what was going on. I’d started to cause a bit of a stir – exactly what I hadn’t wanted to do.
‘Out of the truck,’ nose-hoop repeated, aiming his rifle at the windscreen. ‘Slowly. Hands in the air.’
I hadn’t come here for a gunfight, so it didn’t look as though I had much choice. I would have to do as he asked.
 
 

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[Book Blitz & Giveaway] Drawn by Cecilia Gray

Drawn by Cecilia Gray
Publication date: November 13th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

 

~Synopsis~

Take a journey into the gritty world of political espionage through the eyes – and lies – of one extraordinary girl. A wholly original tale of friendship and betrayal from the author of The Jane Austen Academy series….

Sasha has a secret – that she can make you spill your secret with nothing more than a question. Her strange gift makes her a burden to her foster family and a total freak of nature. Not that Sasha cares. Why should she when no one cares about her?

Then the CIA knocks on her door. They want to give Sasha a new identity and drop her into a foreign country to infiltrate a ring of zealous graffiti terrorists. They want to give Sasha something to care about.

To survive a world where no one is who they seem, Sasha needs to make people trust her. But when that trust blossoms into love, Sasha is forced to decide between duty and friendship, between her mind and her heart, and whether to tell the truth or keep her secrets.

Buy Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17725214-drawn?ac=1
Contact Info for Cecilia Gray 
 
 
 
 
  
 About Cecilia

 
Cecilia Gray lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.

Cecilia has been praised for “instilling a warmth and weight into her characters” (Romancing The Book Reviews) and her books have been praised for being “well-written, original, realistic and witty” (Quills & Zebras Reviews).

Her latest series of young-adult contemporary Jane Austen retellings was named a What’s Hot pick (RT Book Reviews magazine) and is a Best of 2012 pick (Kirkus Reviews) where it was praised for being a “unique twist on a classic” and offering “a compelling mix of action, drama and love.”

She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige.
 

 

Connect with Cecilia:
 

Excerpt:

FBI Field Office, Atlanta, Georgia

 

I’ve studied Chelsea since the FBI teamed us up when I was twelve. She has a move…classic Chelsea. She turns the doorknob and her body stiffens, a metal rod shoved down her spine. As she sets a high heel inside the interrogation room, her southern accent and soft manners are buried beneath a terrifyingly sleek, blond exterior in a perfectly pressed pinstriped suit.

Four years of practice, two custom-cut suits of my own, and I still look epileptic when I try to project that sense of total control. Of I’ve got this. Even though I don’t have her drawl and my posture’s not bad.

I follow Chelsea, stiff as can be, into the room with the bright white walls. Our sicko suspect glances up from the steel table in its center. I flinch at his chilling stare. Flinching already, see. A slow smile bulges his cheeks as he studies me. Attention from a guy in an orange jumpsuit sitting at a steel table—to which he is handcuffed—is what Chelsea would officially term an undesirable outcome. More undesirable—me showing I care. Like she always says, “Don’t let ’em see you sweat, hon.”

No way am I giving this psycho the satisfaction. I suppress a shiver as the air conditioning kicks on with a groan. Tiny goosebumps break out on my forearms, raising the fine hairs to attention. Can’t rub myself warm—that’s a tell. Instead, when Chelsea slides into one of the fold-out metal chairs across from him, I follow her lead and take comfort in her giraffe-like posture in the chair next to mine.

Chelsea tosses a manila folder so that its contents spill across the table. The file details his alleged heinous crimes, the FBI’s efforts to track him, and the blood evidence in his garage that matches that of the latest missing girl—Georgia State art major, vegetarian, and more important to the suits, daughter of a local bigwig. Funny, the things you remember from a file when they have nothing to do with the case, like how she specialized in collages. They’d found cut-up pieces of magazines littered across the desk and floor of her dorm room. The pieces trailed into the hall like flower petals down a church aisle.

The strewn high-gloss photos of his suspected victims—his own personal collage of the young, female, and carved—don’t solicit a cringe from him when I can barely hold down my water and I’ve been staring at them for weeks. My gaze flickers to the one-way mirror—a silent promise: We’re gonna nail this freak.

“I’m FBI Agent Chelsea Tanner. This is my partner. How are you this evening?”

This is normally when a suspect will ask, with understandable outrage, why I’m party to the interrogation because aren’t I, at almost sixteen, too young to be in the FBI? Pinstriped suit or not, I look my age, maybe even a year or two younger because I’ve always been small—childhood malnutrition will do that to a girl.

It’s the suspects who don’t care that I’m in the room who worry me. Like this guy, whose pale eyes flicker to my throat.

I fight the urge to shift, even to clench my fingers tight into a fist. I don’t blink.

“Fine weather we’re having this winter.” Chelsea manages not to smirk at our sitting in a windowless room. Her face is unbreakable. “These are perfect skies for a getaway. Do you have plans for the weekend?”

When he doesn’t answer, she shares our itinerary—a leisurely drive to Savannah to visit her mother at their family wintering home. Yes, that’s a thing. The trip always involves mint juleps and wide-brimmed hats, not that Chelsea shares the finer details. A genteel background rarely earns cred with criminals.

She chit-chats as if he’s not imagining the slice of his boning knife into my neck. The careful incision he would carve against the clavicle, removing the flat bone from the ligaments attached to the shoulder. I don’t need my unique magic to know what’s on his mind. Some things in the case file stick for a reason.

My bone structure fascinates him. His gaze caresses my cheekbones, roams over the bridge of my nose, dips into the hollow of my neck, and brushes the stray dark corkscrew curls that drape over my sternum.

Don’t move. Don’t blink. Don’t even breathe.

“Savannah’s so beautiful this time of year. Any time of year. I go as often as I can. Don’t you think you should make time for family?” The word rolls off her tongue in three syllables, a rare ray of southern shining through her otherwise stiff facade.

Fah. Mil. Lee.

He closes his eyes as though in prayer. When he opens them, his pupils dilate to nearly black and he rubs his thumbs over his knuckles. He does not take the bait.

Come on, Chelsea. You work your magic and I’ll work mine.

That’s our deal. She gets them talking. I make them spill their guts.


 

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[Book Blitz & Giveaway] The Red Sector Chronicles by Krystle Jones

 
 
The Red Sector Chronicles by Krystle Jones
(The Red Sector Chronicles Omnibus)
Genres: Dystopia, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

~Synopsis~


The strength of Sloane’s heart is about to be put to the ultimate test.

After the Eclipse – the night vampires began openly slaughtering human victims – everything changed. Out of fear, the government salvaged what remained of the human population and enclosed them in massive, security-laden cities called White Sectors, while marking the vampire infested territory as Red Sectors.

When seventeen-year-old Sloane McAllister’s twin brother disappears, she seems to be the only one who thinks he isn’t dead, and she vows to stop at nothing to find him. Gathering her courage, she braves the Red Sector to search for clues to his whereabouts. By chance, she encounters Aden, a handsome, charismatic vampire with a hidden agenda. He turns Sloane against her will and whisks her away to his underground city. Enemies quickly become friends as Sloane struggles against her attraction to Aden, and resists her growing loyalties to the creatures that ruined her life.

But the vampires themselves are the least of her problems. A war is brewing between the humans and vampires, along with a growing web of deceit and betrayal. And before it’s all over, loyalties will be tested, hearts will be broken, and no one’s lives will ever be the same.

 
 
 

Buy Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/series/68870-the-red-sector-chronicles
 
Goodreads for the Omnibus
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18742623-the-red-sector-chronicles-omnibus-edition?ac=1
 
 
 

Contact Info for Krystle Jones

 
 
 
 

 

 About Krystle

 
Krystle Jones was born and raised in the small, southern town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Reading and writing have been lifelong passions of hers. In addition to being a novelist, she is also an award-winning flutist, and moonlights as a voice actress. Her voice can be heard in the popular online game, Alice is Dead 3.
 

Connect with Krystle:
 

Excerpt:

The Scarlet Dagger *free download!* Or get the whole trilogy for $5.99. *Offer valid through November 25th.*
A sickly yellow school bus, limping on two deflated tires, sat in the middle of an intersection. As I crept alongside it, keeping to its shadow, I caught the outline of a black form moving above me, its hunkered shape slinking along the top of the bus like a cat hunting a mouse.
Adrenaline coursed through my veins as I wheeled around, cocking the pistol, only to find nothing. There was no nightmarish creature waiting to pounce.
My breath grew more ragged as my heart rate sped up, throbbing painfully inside my ears until it was the only sound I heard. In the windows of the bus, my reflection was still aiming the pistol at the roof of the vehicle. Shadows were at my back, save for a flash of crimson eyes.
I drew a sharp breath and dropped to the ground, spinning around on the balls of my feet as the vampire lunged out of the darkness, a rabid snarl erupting from its oversized throat. The gunshot was silent as death, and time seemed to slow as the vampire changed direction at the last second before the bullet hit, tearing a bright red gash into its bared rib cage. The vampire sailed over me, and I followed its path with the pistol, firing again as the creature shrieked and hit the ground. Quick as a shadow, it scuttled out of the way before the bullet hit home, missing its head and blowing a hole in its side, spraying the ground with black blood. The vampire latched itself on the side of the bus, crawling over the roof like a spider before disappearing from view.
I cursed and went after it. The Scarlet Dagger shined brilliant crimson in the moonlight as I unsheathed and raised it into a defensive position, while gripping the pistol in my other hand. My forefinger jittered against the trigger as I paused at the end of the bus, using the dagger as a mirror to see the other side. Only dirt and a scattering of MISSING CHILD posters lay next to the bus.
Each breath I took made my whole body shake, and I willed my heartbeat to slow as sweat dripped from my forehead onto my chest. Something rapidly clucked its tongue a few feet from me, making a low guttural noise, and I pointed the pistol at the darkness, not seeing anything. A bead of sweat dropped into my eye, and I swiped at it as my vision blurred. I glanced at my hand and did a double take, rubbing the sweat drop between my thumb and forefinger. It was warm and much thicker than it should be.
It was also deep red.
Later, I would be grateful I saw that drop of blood, because it was the only warning I had before the vampire tackled me from the top of the bus, catching me off guard and throwing me to the ground. I landed hard on my back, giving my lungs a jolt as the breath was knocked from me. While I lost hold of the pistol, I managed to bring the dagger up swift enough to block the vampire’s gaping jaws. The creature wasn’t very heavy – little more than sagging, purplish skin and fragile bone – but its speed was nearly too quick for my seemingly sluggish human reflexes, and it was all I could do to keep it at bay as it scratched at my arms and snapped its razor sharp teeth at my neck.

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[Book Blitz & Giveaway] Lights of Aurora by Theresa McClinton



Lights of Aurora by Theresa McClinton
(The Stone Legacy #2)
Publication date: November 1st 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

~Synopsis~

After the discovery of her ancient Maya bloodlines, eighteen-year-old Ashley Coreandero is faced with a daunting responsibility. She must protect the stone of Muuk’Ich while Sarian, the underworld general, relentlessly drives her to the brink of insanity.

As the winter solstice approaches, it brings an onslaught of unexpected side effects. Ashley must seize control over her supercharged powers, while dealing with the overwhelming suspicion that her boyfriend, Arwan, is hiding a secret so dark it could destroy them both.

With the arrival of a surprise houseguest, Ashley’s deepest fears about Arwan are confirmed. And when middleworld deities intercede, the group of gifted Maya descendants are confronted with hardships they never saw coming—including an enemy more deadly than they have ever faced.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned—but when that woman has no soul and a taste for revenge, they will need the powers of every surviving ancestor simply to stay alive.

Buy Links:


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18695488-lights-of-aurora

 

Contact Info for Theresa McClinton

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 About Theresa

 
A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa began her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and features articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult paranormal romance.
Since then, Theresa has gotten married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and was repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having stepped foot on the soil of over a dozen countries, traveled to sixteen U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, she will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers
.
 

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Excerpt:

 
Ashley readied herself on the mat in the dojo, dressed in her mom’s old training gear. She crouched while Peter circled around her.
Renato, Hawa, Tara, and her mother stood on the sidelines watching and coaching her through the movements while Jayden and Tara sat on the sidelines. She had never practiced hand-to-hand combat before, but Renato insisted she should learn how to defend herself in case she ran into another situation where her abilities didn’t work.
“Be sure to stay balanced and light on your feet,” Renato instructed. Ashley leaned forward on the balls of her feet as she pivoted to keep Peter in sight.
Peter charged toward her with an aluminum training knife clenched in his hand. Her stomach jumped and she threw up an electric shield. Peter smacked into it and flew across the mat.
Tara stood from her chair and gasped when Peter skidded to a stop. He peered up at Ashley. “No powers, Ashley.” He groaned as he stood. “That’s the whole point of this.”
She lowered her hands, and her shield instantly dropped. “I am so sorry.” She extended her hands toward him. “I got scared, and it just happened.”
Peter tilted his head side to side, stretching his muscles, and then snatched the training weapon off the floor. He gripped it in front of him. “Okay. We’ll go again.”
Ashley nodded and crouched into a fighting stance, distributing the majority of her weight on the balls of her feet to move more quickly. “Okay. Ready.”
Peter charged again.
Ashley leapt to the side and glanced at Renato for instruction. “What now? What if I can’t move out of the way?”
“Then the next course of action should be to subdue your opponent using non-lethal force. We do not kill unless it is our last option.”
Before Ashley could respond, Peter charged at her again, this time wielding the knife in his opposite hand.
Her stomach clenched and she threw a kick that landed right between his legs.
Peter doubled over on the mat.
Josephine laughed. “Well, he’s down.”
Peter rolled on the floor, cupping his groin with his hands. Ashley crouched beside him, hovering her hands over his body. “Oh my God, Peter. I’m so sorry.”
Tara rushed over and knelt beside him. She shot Ashley a glare. “Are you trying to kill him?”
Ashley stood and backed away. She looked at Renato. “I suck at this. Can we stop?”
“Absolutely not.” He stepped forward. “But perhaps it is time for Peter to take a break.”
Tara gripped his arm and helped him get to his feet, guiding him to the closest chair.
Ashley hung her head. “I can’t believe I did that.”
“All right,” Hawa said as she stripped off her jacket and dropped it to the floor, grinning while she approached Ashley on the mat. “My turn.”
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Ashley asked. “I think I hurt Peter pretty bad.” She bit her lip as Tara activated an ice pack.
Hawa glanced over her shoulder and smirked. “Priceless.”
Ashley sighed. “All right.” She turned her attention back to training. “What next?”
“Transporting isn’t just about moving fast,” Hawa said. “It’s about seeing everything around you in as much detail as possible while moving too fast to be attacked. You will pick out details others can’t, and then use your knowledge against your opponent.”
“I didn’t see details when I was running through Moscow.”
“No offense, but that’s because you suck at transporting.” Hawa stretched her legs as she elaborated. “You were moving fast, but not fast enough. Once you hit that sweet spot, you’ll see a whole new side of your ability.” She gestured to Ashley with a wave of her hand. “Come on. Charge me as fast as you can. No holding back.”
Ashley glanced at her mom, who stood beside Renato.
“Okay.” She turned back to Hawa and crouched like a sprinter on her mark. “Ready?”
Hawa stood casually with her arms crossed. “Just go.”
Ashley burst toward Hawa with all of her strength. It seemed like a split second before she had to screech to a stop so she didn’t crash face first into the mirror lining the back wall. Ashley spun to see Hawa behind her on the other end of the mat.
“You didn’t even see me move, did you?” Hawa asked.
Ashley shook her head.
Hawa glanced around the room. “There’s not enough space in here. We need to move outside for this part.”
“But it’s raining,” Renato said. “Are you sure it is a good idea?”
Hawa shrugged. “A little rain never hurt anyone. Besides, it’ll give her some practice in less than ideal conditions. It won’t always be sunny and dry when she needs to transport.”
“I think we’re gonna stay behind,” Tara said, still nursing Peter.
Peter nodded, his cheeks flushed and the ice pack resting between his legs. He gave her a thumbs up. “I’m good,” he grunted.
Ashley sighed, then turned toward Renato. “I feel so bad.”
Her uncle suppressed a smirk. “He’s a healer. He will be back to new by tomorrow morning.”
She was thankful for that, but it didn’t make her feel any better.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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[Blitz Post & Giveaway] Supernatural Six by Allie Burton, Brenda Pandos, Elle Casey, Juli Alexander, L.G. Castillo, Tawny Stokes

 
Supernatural Six by Allie Burton, Brenda Pandos, Elle Casey, Juli Alexander, L.G. Castillo, Tawny Stokes 
Publication date: November 1st, 2013
Genres: Supernatural, Young Adult
 
 

~Synopsis~

Secret powers, genies, mermaids, angels, vampires and demons. There’s something for every paranormal enthusiast. Supernatural Six brings you six novels from six authors who know how to raise the stakes and tame the darkness.

____

Duality by Elle Casey (New York Times Bestselling Author) – Malcolm’s had a problem for as long as he can remember. No matter where he goes or what he does, he leaves misery in his wake. But then Rae shows up in his life, and everything changes. Darkness cleaves to light. Anger yields to joy. The question is whether she’ll be his salvation or his destruction.

Three Wishes by Juli Alexander – Not every seventeen-year-old girl works part time granting wishes, but when you’re a genie, you have obligations. Jen finally gets a shot as a drummer in her brother’s band. Just when it’s looking good for her, Leo Fuller shows up, and this bad boy genie’ s after more than just her drummer gig.

Atlantis Riptide by Allie Burton – Teen runaway Pearl craves anonymity, but when she saves a toddler from drowning she draws attention to her special water skills. Unknown to her, a war rages under the ocean and each side wants to use her powers for their cause. Pearl must choose her own destiny—ignore the churning seas or swim into battle.

Lash by L.G. Castillo – Banished angel Lash seeks to redeem himself by protecting Naomi, a woman who has lost her faith. But when danger threatens — and his passion for her swells — will he choose his cherished home or his heart?

The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos – Julia Parker would trade her ability to feel others emotions in a heartbeat, especially half the boys in school. When a vampire hunter rescues her before she’s devoured by a bloodthirsty stalker, Julia discovers no one is safe. Unsure how to help, she seeks the advice of a psychic, only to find out she alone is the key to stopping the madness, problem is it’ll require her rescuer’s life.

Static by Tawny Stokes – Salem, a teenage groupie for the punk band Malice, gets more than she bargained for after a night of partying with the band–a headache, a stomachache and a sickness that’s turning her into something inhuman. Only Trevor, the roadie, can help her navigate her new world of danger, darkness, and love.



Buy Links:

This pack includes 6 novels by 6 authors at a special sale price of only $0.99, regular price for all these stories is $16.79, you save $15.80.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18740351-supernatural-six?ac=1
 
 
About the Authors:

Excerpts:

From Duality by Elle Casey
 
My name is Malcolm.  For as long as I can remember I’ve brought nothing but misery to those around me.  Pain.  Sadness.  A loneliness so bone-deep it smothers any thoughts of joy or hope that might try to seep in from reality.
I don’t do this on purpose.  In fact, I’d do anything to change it, this effect I have on people.  Some kids might think they want to be an agent of darkness, so they dress up in black clothes and dye their hair and do drastic things to their wardrobes, shocking people with their angry, outlandish attitudes.  But if they were to walk a day in my shoes, they’d change their minds in a second.  They’d join the Latin club and study hard and do everything they could to make their parents proud.  No one truly wants to be me; they just think they do.
            I call myself that – the agent of darkness – but I don’t really know what I am or what my problem is.  What I do know is that it’s real and it’s nothing I can control …
            …I’m just Rae.  And for as long as I can remember, I’ve had this problem.  It follows me everywhere like a faithful dog at my heels.  People who get near me become happy. Too happy.  They become so full of joy, they eventually get to the point that they can’t not be around me.  And in their need to be close, they get too close.  They smother me.  They scare me.  They become a danger to everyone.
Or at least, that’s what my dad thinks.  The problem is, he suffers as much as the strangers do from the effects of being in my presence.  He thinks he’s just being a protective, loving father, but I know the truth.  He’s under my thrall.  He can’t be without me, just like my mom can’t.  Just like the kids at my last school and the one before it and the one before that one…
The only thing keeping my parents from homeschooling me on an island in the middle of nowhere is my threat that I’ll leave them.  It’s a threat I have to reissue every time they pull me from another school.  Eight times in the last three years, I’ve stared my parents in the face and warned, “If you don’t enroll me in a public school somewhere, I’m going to disappear and you’ll never see me again.  Ever.”
And so they enroll me, because they have no choice.
            Neither of them wants me to leave.  In fact, they both believe they’d die if I ever did.  It’s been a burden of mine that I’ve been unable to shake, try as I might, since I was old enough to understand what was going on.  I hate to say this even just to myself, but one of these days, I am going to leave.  I’m going to disappear forever and never look back.
 
From Three Wishes by Juli Alexander
My brother shrugged. “That was before we found Leo.”
“Leo?” I’d never met anybody named Leo before. It wasn’t something your mother chose, unless she was in love with Leo Dicaprio. Leo was a name you chose to call yourself if you wanted to be cool. He was probably Leonard. Leonard was not cool.
“Dylan found him. He’s great.”
I crossed my arms over my chest as I looked over at the guy. Dylan and Derek were obviously distracting him so Ian could run interference with me. Leo had a broader, more mature frame than the other guys. From the back, I’d have guessed he was older. He turned as if feeling my gaze.
Oh, yeah. He looked good from the front too. Masculine was the word that came to mind. Dangerous. The slight shadow on his jaw indicated that unlike my brother, Leo had to shave every day. He wasn’t high school hot. He was college hot. My pulse jumped despite my dislike for the guy.
I took a step in his direction, determined to get to the bottom of this. How had he shown up out of the blue at just the right time to steal my drummer gig?
His eyes met mine and I froze in mid step. His blue eyes held a flash of green glow in their depths. Just like the glow in my green eyes.
Leo wasn’t just another drummer. He was another genie.
My first thought was to tell my brother and have him toss Leo out on his rear end. Ian couldn’t see the telltale glow in Leo’s eyes because Ian wasn’t a genie. Despite being a jerk about the Armpit Hostages, Ian would do anything to protect me. But before I could make a move, Leo walked over to me. He held out his hand to shake mine as if being all polite.
I took his hand and heat shot through me. Was that a jolt of genie power? I probably shouldn’t have touched him. Hopefully our contact hadn’t set off any alarms at the U.N.I.V.E.R.S.E. headquarters. I knew next to nothing about safeguards against genie fraternization.
In a disturbingly deep voice, he murmured, “Give me a chance. Meet me in the backyard after practice. I’ll explain everything.” Then he looked me straight in the eyes and the glow expanded as he said, “It’s life or death.”
I knew I was being a fool to let him distract me, but somehow I couldn’t help it. This guy hadn’t risked going to the house of a female genie just to play alternative rock in my brother’s band. I couldn’t imagine what had brought him here, and I was dying to know.
 
From Atlantis Riptide by Allie Burton
The sea otter twirled around behind me. His cold snout bumped me on the back.
“Are you trying to tell me something?” The question sounded so stupid leaving my tongue. I’m mean, come on, talking to an animal?
He swam back in front and nodded his head up and down. Yes.
I reeled back and caught my breath. I was talking to a sea otter.
The otter ducked under and swam around me in a circle. Then, he lay on his back and used his paw in a “come here” motion.
I ducked under and swam in a circle around him. He circled again, and so did I. We were swimming in a constant figure-eight pattern under the water.
Unbelievable. I was playing with a sea otter. My spirits soared. My smile widened. Like being a five-year-old at a playground, I’d made my first real friend.
Not that the otter was a human friend, but it counted. Didn’t it?
Following for a bit, I stopped when I realized he headed to shore. “I don’t want to go back yet.” I wasn’t ready to leave the comfort of the water and return to my lonely tent.
The sea otter shook his head fast in an agitated motion. Even his furry face appeared upset.
“Can’t we play longer?” I remembered reading about sea otters and how they played. Slipping and sliding and diving. Turning and twisting underwater, kind of like I’d done earlier.
He did the “follow me” motion again. Then his eyes grew wide and his whiskers twitched.
I twisted around, but saw nothing. The fog had rolled closer to shore, but the stars and the moon still gave off a little light. A small motor boat sounded in the distance.
I faced him again. “What’s wrong?”
The sea otter was gone. My furry friend had left me.
Alone, again.
An ache tore through my chest and I sniffed. “That’s okay. I’m used to being by myself.”
The water around me swirled. Waves gathered in a big circle, expanding out in further and further concentric loops. The pattern repeated with more strength and velocity. Like a toilet being flushed, the water pooled into a vortex.
My body caught in the current. I couldn’t move out of the circle, surrounded by a ring of water. My tummy churned with the motion. My gaze glazed over watching the water go round and round like a hypnotist’s trick.
A strange sensation sucked at my toes. The feeling continued up my legs to my hips. I kicked and clawed but the water tugged like a ginormous vacuum at the bottom of the ocean.
Panic spurted through me, exploding in my flaying arms and legs. I kicked. I stroked. I screamed. Nothing helped. My super strength wasn’t helping at all. I couldn’t fight this weird force.
I knew about the dangers of swimming alone. Knew about dangerous ocean currents. Knew the rules.
But they didn’t apply to me. I was different.
And so was this force that had me in its grip.
My heart began a pointless race against disaster. None of my other limbs could move. I couldn’t get free.
As I went down, I remembered dreams of being dragged under the ocean. The people in my dreams looked normal, nice. Not a faceless, evil suction. Terror froze every one of my muscles. I couldn’t struggle, couldn’t swim, couldn’t even think.
Could this be a deadly riptide, or something even more ominous? Irony struck. How could I drown when I could breathe underwater?
 
Lash by L.G. Castillo
“Naomi, about what happened back there.” Lash took a step back and brushed a hand through his hair. “I, uh, I crossed a line that I shouldn’t have.”
“Oh.” She turned away. She should have known better. She was just a mission for him to accomplish.
“I got carried away in the heat of the moment.”
“Yeah, yeah. I get it.” She waved him off.
“We’re still friends, right?”
“Yeah…friends.” She could barely say the word. There was no expectation that they were or would ever be a couple in the romantic sense. She admitted that she liked him and being friends was a good thing. But why was it so painful?
Bear trotted to her, wagging her tail, and Naomi picked her up. Bear gazed at her with sad eyes, sensing her heartache and licked her hand.
The bed sank and Naomi felt him behind her. She couldn’t let him see her like this, like some love-struck teenage girl who just found out the quarterback of the football team only liked her as a friend. She had to be strong.
“Are you crying?”
She bowed her head glad the shadows hid her face. “No.” Good. Her voice sounded strong instead of the driveling mess she felt like.
“Turn around.”
“No.”
“Let me see your face, Naomi.” He moved closer to her.
“Go away.”
Bear barked, warning him to keep his distance.
He reached around her, brushing her arm as he patted Bear’s head. “Please.” His warm breath blew on her neck.
The tenderness in his voice tore at her and her eyes grew wet. She took a couple of breaths, calming herself before she spoke. “I get it. I’m a job for you, and you felt sorry for me.” She stroked Bear’s fur. “I’ll be fine.”
She took another deep breath, placed Bear on the floor, and took a pillow off the bed. She couldn’t stay in the same room with him. It was too much. She liked him better when he was being a smartass—that she could handle. She needed to get back to the bathroom to be alone. Maybe she could sleep in there. The bathtub didn’t look too bad in spite of the dark ring around it and the questionable green stuff on the walls.
Lash grasped her hand and she bit down on her lip, fighting back the strong feeling that bubbled up inside her. She felt herself weaken as she sank back down on the bed, keeping her head down. Don’t make me look at you. I’ll break if I do.
Gently, he placed a hand under her chin and lifted her face to his. His eyes swam with tenderness. She couldn’t hold back anymore and she closed her eyes.
 “My beautiful Naomi. Please don’t cry.”
Soft lips pressed against her forehead and lingered, her breath caught at the heat of his touch. The roughness of his chin grazed her skin as he moved to her eyelid and kissed it and then to the other. Her chest rose and fell as his lips slid down to her cheek, her nose, and then the other side of her face, chasing away the tears.
His nose glided along her cheek and paused over her mouth, hovering, his frantic breath lingering with hers. She was afraid to open her eyes. Afraid of what she’d see when she looked at him. Then his voice, so soft, as if he was speaking from inside her mind, whispered, “Naomi.”
She opened her eyes and her breath hitched at the raw emotion on his face. The wall he kept around his soul, his true self, disappeared. This was the real Lash—vulnerable, sweet and passionate.  She couldn’t deny the truth that was sitting in front of her, tugging at her, consuming her. She loved him.
“Fight me.” His voice rasped as a hand swept over her hair. “I shouldn’t be doing this. I don’t want to hurt you.”
His words warred with the longing on his face. He wanted her as much as she wanted him. Then she realized what he was asking of her. He was an angel. He was on his way home. After tonight, she would never see him again. The thought crushed her. In the back of her mind, she knew there would be an end. He couldn’t be with her forever. The end was soon, and this may be their last time together. Tonight, she’d follow her heart, even if it meant her heart, her soul, would be left bleeding in the end. If all they had was one night, one moment—she’d take it.
“You won’t.” She leaned in, her mouth brushing lightly over his lips.
He quivered. “I can’t stop myself anymore.”
 
The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos
Darkness enveloped me as I forged deeper into the woods. I tried to keep my thoughts light and happy as my heart pumped a little faster. The setting could have been a scene right out of a horror movie, a genre which I faithfully avoided. I knew one day I’d be in a similar harmless scenario that would only terrify me by fueling my over-active imagination.
On the other hand, walking with someone, like a cute boy, would make this whole scary ordeal into a romantic dream. I shifted my focus to imagine myself walking hand in hand with him. Maybe he’d stop, look into my eyes and I’d get my first kiss.
The rustle of a fern next to me broke my happy thoughts. I froze, stopping in the middle of the trail. With wide eyes, I searched for the source. I held my breath, straining to listen for what seemed like an eternity, as the noise of pounding blood filled my ears. I was ready to run if something jumped out at me.
Nothing happened, so I took a little step sideways. Still nothing, so I tried another step. Something launched itself out of the bush towards me. I shrieked and shielded my eyes as it flew by my face.
My legs folded underneath me and I balled my arms around my head. The last thing I wanted was a bat or some flying insect to nest in my hair. The air couldn’t come into my lungs fast enough as I tried calming myself down, suspecting every second I remained in this panicked state, precious years were coming off the end of my life. I listened and heard nothing further.
Mentally, I encouraged my legs to straighten, but they were still frozen and starting to shake. My effort to soothe myself wasn’t working. I took a few more deep breaths.
You’re just being paranoid. You’re alone and you know it. Nothing in this forest can harm you. Just get home.
My thoughts comforted me; my heartbeats subsided to a normal rhythm in response. I opened my eyes to focus on my surroundings. The cricket’s soft chirping encouraged me to stand up and keep going. The walk home was really no big deal. I knew this path by heart. Ahead was the suspended foot bridge that spanned the creek and I’d be home.
Courage replaced fear as I stood up, dusted myself off and spotted the bridge’s lantern through the trees gently swaying in the breeze. It softly beckoned to me, welcoming me in the darkness.
Over time, the creek’s erosion created a large ravine that wrapped around the great redwoods of the forest. The cliff sides were covered with ferns, ivy and moss, making perfect homes for little birds and other animals—the same animals that were scaring the living daylights out of me.
“If you don’t bother me, I won’t bother you,” I whispered.
I gently stepped onto the time-weathered bridge, causing it to shudder and creak. The last thing I needed was my presence alerted. I tried my hardest to keep my shoes quiet as I walked across, but it still moaned in protest.
Between the wood slats, I could see the moon brightly reflecting off the water’s edge, rippling brilliantly in the current. The gentle flow of the stream echoed in the caverns, softening the noises I made. But when the wind picked up and ruffled the ferns, it swayed the massive bridge.
My heart began to beat faster as the bridge loudly groaned under the wind’s strain. Fear took over as I bolted the rest of the way across, panting for air on the other side. An animal, startled by my sudden wild movements, scurried into the brush. I jumped.
It’s just another animal, Juliadon’t freak out!
 
Static by Tawny Stokes
Coming out of a strange and eerie dream that I couldn’t quite remember, I rolled over onto my side to try and get comfortable. Once Chloe left at around nine, I fell asleep and I’d been in and out of consciousness ever since. I think my mom checked up on me when she got home from work, but I couldn’t be sure.
Unable to get truly comfortable I’d been tossing off the covers and rolling up into them alternatively. I didn’t know whether I was hot or cold.
Now, I was definitely cold. Not wanting to open my eyes, I reached blindly for the covers. If I dared open them then I might consider staying awake. Being awake meant thinking, and I really didn’t want to do much of that any time soon. Yet, I couldn’t find the damn covers.
Slitting my eyes to half-mast, I raised my head to search for the covers. But they were long gone.
About eight feet below me.
Gasping for breath, I tried to dig my fingers into the ceiling stucco. Anything to anchor me. My heart pounded in my chest and I was dizzy and light-headed. I wasn’t one for heights. Vertigo settled in, and it looked like the room was spinning in a circle below me.
“OhmyGod. OhmyGod. OhmyGod,” I chanted over and over again hoping that somehow it would save me from the harsh reality that I was stuck on the ceiling and not tucked safely into my bed on the ground.
Although technically, I wasn’t stuck. I could move.
Carefully turning onto my stomach, I reached for the light fixture. My fingertips just brushed it. Taking a deep breath, I sort of bounced/shimmied across the ceiling to get closer to the light.
Thankfully, I didn’t sleep naked. I could just imagine how it would look if someone walked into my room and saw a naked girl stuck to the roof. I’m sure it wouldn’t be all that pretty of a sight. Well, maybe for a guy it would. Being seen in my tank tap and boy’s glow in the dark Sponge Bob boxer shorts was bad enough. Plus I imagined rubbing against the hard stucco on the ceiling wouldn’t feel all that pleasant on my body.
I grasped the light fixture in both hands and wondered how the hell I was going to get down. I had no idea how I got up here, or why, but really all that mattered was putting my two feet back onto solid ground. Everything else had to wait until that glorious thing happened.
I could call out for my mom, but I imagined she wouldn’t be too calm seeing her daughter floating along the ceiling. Besides that, she’d definitely take me back to the doctors. Since floating was definitely not on any symptom list of diseases known to man, going to the doctors wasn’t going to do me any good anyway.
No, this was something else. Something unnatural. Something even supernatural.
Images of actor Tobey Maguire crawling up a brick wall in the first Spiderman movie came to mind. I lifted my hand and inspected my fingertips for tiny barbed hairs. Although I had no delusions of grandeur of becoming a superhero, I pondered the notion that maybe I’d been infected with something noxious or alien. But then that just spawned images of zombies running through London streets circa the movie 28 Days Later. It was a stupid notion.
Yet, I had died earlier this week.


 
 
 

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Filed under Allie Burton, Brenda Pandos, Elle Casey, Juli Alexander, L.G. Castillo, Supernatural, Synopsis, Tawny Stokes, Young Adult