Tag Archive | YA

The Achlivan Cycle by Cloud S. Riser

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Series: The Achlivan Cycle
Author: Cloud S. Riser
Genre: SciFi, YA Romance

 

Displaced

Book 1

Displaced 1400x2100_400x600Chevelle Donahue thought going into work would be just like any other boring day at the mall. Sure, there was her annoying co-worker Wicken Sanders, and a promotional visit from teen heartthrob Timber Hudson, to watch and keep her entertained. But who was she kidding? Working retail was lame no matter what happened. A terrorist attack changes everything – an attack from aliens of all things. The patrons are given two options: comply or else. Complying means giving in to a new set of rules and changing her entire life. “Or else” means she has no chance of going home again. She must figure out the truth behind why the aliens are holding everyone hostage. In doing so, she risks her chance at freedom – but by the time she learns what’s really happening, she might not want it.

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Excerpt:

I DON’T KNOW what I was thinking when I chose to escape through the hallway instead of face my enemy. Was I afraid for my life? You bet, but it was more than that. I guess I would have rather been shot down trying to be free than taken hostage. In the end, my actions didn’t seem to make much of a difference in my fate.

The first thing I had to do was push Chevelle out of my mind. Was I disappointed she decided to not come with me? Yes. Did I understand why? Definitely. She was scared. We all were. I had to respect her decision to stay behind and face whatever was ahead of her. Maybe she ended up making the better choice, maybe she didn’t. If I thought too much about her while I was trying to get away, I know I would have caved and gone back to her. I love her. Leaving her behind was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Somehow, I thought if I could get free, that would be the best way to help her.


The halls behind the stores at the mall would make a great setting for a horror movie. The ceiling wasn’t tiled over like the rest of the mall, so if you looked up, you saw all of the insulation and pipe work. Fascinating stuff, let me tell you. The halls themselves had some of the rust from the pipes overflowing onto them, so they have bizarre red tentacles splaying over the sheetrock. That’s not the scariest part, though. No, that award goes to the trash chute. It’s about the size of an elevator and would be a fantastic place to dump bodies. I certainly was always extra aware of where I placed myself anytime I went to throw any garbage away for the store.


My plan was to see if I could get to a stairwell. I figured that since the power was off that meant the cargo elevator would be out of order. Stairs were always the best bet. From there I could get down to the garbage incinerator which was close to a massive truck loading center. Easy, right? Wrong.


The back halls were a lot like a maze. It’s hard to tell just where you’re going with the lights on. With the lights off, it’s even worse. My cell phone put off a good amount of glow for me to work with, but it didn’t hit the higher points of the halls where the signs were. This of course meant I had to work off of memory. I’d been back there enough times to have a good idea of what I was doing, but the adrenaline of the situation was more or less blocking my better judgment and memory. If anyone had asked me my name, I probably wouldn’t have been able to answer, I was that freaked out.


My hands were shaking; my entire body was shaking, and sweating. So badly in fact, that my cell phone fell out of my hands and broke apart. The thing was always a piece of junk anyway.


I got down onto my knees and frantically started to search for the pieces, the darkness enveloping me, suffocating me, and making my isolation complete. If the battery had only popped out of the device, I could fix it and get moving again. My fingers had just wrapped around the casing of the phone when I heard solid footsteps coming my way from in front of me. Then I saw the glowing blue light and the ghostly thin face of its carrier.


Get up and run, or stay and forfeit. Neither option sounded all too great. I’m not a quitter, but I’m also not a coward. If I thought I stood a chance in a fight against the guy, I would have plowed through him, stolen his light, and bailed. The thing is, I’ve never been a fighter. Sure, I come across as tough, but I like to use my brain over my brawn any day. Why? Because it’ll keep me alive longer.


Plus, the guy was pointing a gun at me.


As much as I want to say I’m a noble hero, willing to die for my cause, and all that poetic stuff, I’m not. People who aren’t afraid of death really have a lot of guts, let me tell you. They also believe strongly for whatever they’re dying for. It wasn’t my time. There was a lot I still needed to do, and one of those things was protect Chevelle.


I placed my hands up, staring into the eyes of the man in front of me. There was a softness in his gaze, and that made me a little less afraid. But then I noticed how tall he was. Like, he had to be at least eight-foot-five, and skinny. Lean muscle covered his body, but I’m pretty sure I was wider than he was all the same. It wasn’t normal, natural or…human.


He flicked his fingers upward and I stood. Then he circled around me like some kind of bird of prey, nodding every so often. Cuffs appeared in his hands like magic. Yeah, those were for me.

 

 

Invited

Book 2

Invited 1400x2100_413x600It’s been three months since Chevelle Donahue, Wicken Sanders, and Timber Hudson were taken from Earth by the Achlivans – an alien race kidnapping humans in the name of preserving as much of Earth as possible before it is destroyed.

Wicken has been sold to another alien race – The Gorgachan – and their way of life is no where near as peaceful as the Utopia the Achlivans have set up. While he tries to figure out a way back home to his beloved Chevelle, he is caught in the middle of a fight that shouldn’t involve him.

Meanwhile, Chevelle and Timber work together to find a way to bring Wicken back home again, along with how they can save their families back on Earth. Someone on the Achlivan ship is working against them and their happily ever after. Timber and Chevelle must choose between their own desires and doing the right thing – and each must prepare to give the performance of their lives if they’re going to survive.

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Sheltered

Book 3

Sheltered 1400x2100_400x600The exciting conclusion to the Achlivan Cycle!

Timber Hudson must come to terms with the loss of his family and friends while at the same time being tasked with his greatest challenge: saving humanity from becoming mindless drones. It’d be a lot easier if Rumor would keep her nose in her own business and in prison where it belongs.

Meanwhile, Chevelle and Wicken must choose sides. One offers them the chance to rebuild Earth from the ground up, and the other will return them to Sanctuary to be with their family and friends. Neither choice is as black and white as it seems.

And all must face great dangers.

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About the Author: 
CloudCloud S. Riser is a Minnesota native. She has lived in Minnesota her whole life. She will probably remain there for her whole life too. The mother of The Squid, Skyscraper, and two cats, her life is definitely never dull. An adventure she braves with her husband. In order to stay sane, she creates massive amounts of fiction which she has decided to share with the rest of the world for the simple reason of: she is a storyteller.

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AnguiSH by Lila Felix

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Title: AnguiSH
Author: Lila Felix
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: November 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
 

The help-wanted ad on the bulletin board at Ashland’s college was simple enough: mother seeks live-in maid for son. But it turns out Breaker James is a mess in more ways than one. He’s confined to a prison of his own making, crippled by his fear of people and any social interaction whatsoever. Every vibe he’s giving off is begging Ashland to stay away, yet she finds herself strangely drawn to him. Can she coax him out of his darkness and help him overcome the deep trauma of his past to reclaim a normal life?

A contemporary romance perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You, AnguiSH delves deep into complex human emotions and the struggle to move forward from devastating past events.

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Excerpt:

She moved over on the bed, giving me room to get in next to her. I got in. “I’m afraid I’m… God, this is hard to admit.”

Her hand glided down my jaw. “Tell me.”


“I tried—I tried to go out the other day, just for a walk or something. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make it past the damned threshold of the door.”


Her face was pure disappointment, and I knew mine mirrored it. Admitting it to her, I felt like a shadow of a man.


“But you tried, right? That has to count. I mean, you go out with me all the time.” Her voice faltered at the end of the sentence.


“I did try. But I couldn’t go through with it.”


She scooted closer to me and put one hand on my face while she buried her own in the hollow of my neck. “Can you just hold me and forget that there’s something we can’t do? I’d like to hang on to the notion that you can do anything—just for the night.”

 

 

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Author Bio:

Lila Felix is full of antics and stories. She refused to go to Kindergarten after the teacher made her take a nap on the first day of school. She staged her first protest in middle school. She almost flunked out of her first semester at Pepperdine University because she was enthralled with their library and frequently was locked in. Now her husband and three children have to put up with her rebel nature in Louisiana where her days are filled with cypress trees, crawfish, and of course her books and writing. She writes about the ordinary people who fall extraordinarily in wild, true love.

 

 

Forsaken Prince by Andrea Pearson

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Title: Forsaken Prince
Series: Kilenya Chronicles #1
Author: Andrea Pearson
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 November, 2017

 
Forsaken PrinceJacob refuses the role of Forsaken Prince. Until his father and little sister are kidnapped…

When an attractive girl tells Jacob he’s the Forsaken Prince and that an entirely different planet needs his help, he calls her crazy and sends her on her way. But then he discovers dead demons in his house, his mother beaten, and his father and sister kidnapped, and he’s forced to begin a dangerous journey.

Now Jacob must team up with Aloren to find a magical key and stage a rescue with a tight deadline, all while making decisions that affect not only himself but hundreds of thousands of his subjects in this new world. Can he figure out his new magical powers fast enough and will he and Aloren reach Jacob’s father and sister before time runs out?

Forsaken Prince, Kilenya Chronicles Book One is an edge-of-your-seat story of fantasy, adventure, and exciting twists and turns. Grab your copy now to begin the magical journey!

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Excerpt:

      The lights inside Jacob’s home were off. That wasn’t normal. Mom always kept lights on. She would rather pay an elevated electric bill than live in a dark house.
      Jacob flipped the switch. Nothing happened. He stepped inside, and something crunched under foot. He looked down. He’d stepped on broken glass. Jacob glanced around the room. All the bulbs had been shattered—the lamp near the front door, the overhead light, and the lamps on the shelves by the piano. Nothing else was broken.
      His heart did a little flip, and foreboding settled over him. What had happened?
      “Mom? Dad?”
      No answer.
      He stepped into the kitchen. Everything there was broken—not even the battery-operated clock on the wall was still ticking.
      Jacob’s breath caught when he spotted blood all along the edge of the counter.
      “Dad! Mom! Amberly!”
      In a rush, he searched the rest of the first floor, then bounded up the stairs. He didn’t get far before stumbling to a halt. A huge body was sprawled across the top of the staircase. Jacob gasped, stepping back involuntarily, and nearly fell down the stairs before catching himself. It wasn’t human. It couldn’t be. No human looked like that.
      He clung to the railing, staring at the dead beast. What the crap was it? The thing was huge. Humanoid, with stubby, muscular legs, massive arms, and four fingers on each hand. The wall all around it was splattered with blood and marred with spray from a shotgun.
      The creature wore dark leather pants. It wasn’t wearing a shirt, and Jacob nearly wretched as he stepped up the stairs and saw a huge gaping hole in the thing’s chest. More blood slicked down the stairs and pooled beneath the beast.
      The entire thing was covered everywhere with very short hair. Spikes jutted out from the lower jaw, coming to sharp points about two inches from the chin. The eyes had rolled back in the head, the lids open.
      Jacob stumbled up the stairs, trying not to touch the creature or its blood. Were there more of those things in the house? Was he in danger? And where were his parents?
      His breathing came in pants and gasps. His dad’s shotgun lay in the hall near the top of the stairs. Shells—some empty—were scattered across the floor. Jacob grabbed the gun and several of the shells, fumbling to load the weapon in case he needed to defend himself.
      Someone whimpered, and he rushed down the hallway. He passed another one of those beasts, this one missing a head. His stomach flipped. He refused to look at the gaping neck.
      “Hello?” he called out, clenching the shotgun. “Mom?”
      His parents’ room was empty. He barely glanced into his and Matt’s separate bedrooms before pausing in the doorway to Amberly’s. A familiar figure huddled on the other side of the princess bed, and he gasped.
      “Mom!” Jacob rushed to her side, dropping to his knees. He set down the gun and placed a hand on her shoulder.
      She jumped, shrinking against the wall, her hair falling over her face.
      “It’s me! It’s Jacob. Are you okay? What happened? What’s going on?”
      Mom slumped in relief and sobbed. “I’m so sorry.”
      He gently pushed her hair away from her face, then startled. She was covered in blood. Bruises were blossoming across her cheeks and neck.
      “What’s going on?” he repeated.
      “We tried . . . to protect you . . .”
      “Where are Amberly and Dad?”
      “They—they took them.”
      “They who?” Jacob asked. He pulled out his phone to call 911.
      “The Lorkon.” Mom’s eyes cleared as she concentrated on her son’s face. “They sent their servants. Your father and sister have been taken. You must go get them!”

 

All books in the Kilenya Chronicles series:

Forsaken PrinceEmber Gods

Forsaken Prince
Book #1

Ember Gods
Book #2

 

August FortressRise of Keitus

August Fortress
Book #3

Rise of Keitus
Book #4

 

Eyes of the SunGolden Symbol

Eyes of the Sun
Book #5

Golden Symbol
Book #6

 

 

About the Author:
 
Andrea PearsonAndrea Pearson is an avid reader and outdoor enthusiast who plays several instruments, not including the banjo, and loves putting together musical arrangements. Her favorite sports are basketball and football, though several knee surgeries and incurably awful coordination prevent her from playing them.

Andrea graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor of science degree in Communications Disorders. She is the author of many full-length novels (the Kilenya Series and Mosaic Chronicles) and several novellas. Writing is the chocolate of her life – it is, in fact, the only thing she ever craves. Being with her family and close friends is where she’s happiest, and she loves thunderstorms, the ocean, hiking, public speaking, painting, and traveling.

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This is my stop during the book blitz for Forsaken Prince by Andrea Pearson.
I hope you enjoyed reading.

The book blitz runs from 8 till 10 November.

See the tour schedule

 

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Winter’s Siren by Krystal Jane Ruin

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Title: Winter’s Siren
Author: Krystal Jane Ruin
Publication date: November 1st 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

WSFor the last five years, Fawn has been the star soprano of a secluded opera house, forced to sing for her kidnapper.

His daughter, Devi, waits patiently in the shadows, hiding a face so horrible that no one who’s seen it will look at it again.

As Fawn plots her escape, whispers spread through the shaded corridors of dark sorcery, warning her that she must flee by the next opening night.

But when Fawn draws close to the exit, it’s Devi who’s standing in her way, leading Fawn to suspect that Devi has something to gain if she fails.

(a dark reimagining of Swan Lake)

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Excerpt:


      The musicians set up in the orchestra pit and start warming up. The off-key kaleidoscope of music rises into the warm and stuffy air. I stand on the back edge of the stage, watching dust motes drift down from the rafters.
      The first rehearsal. Time is dwindling much too quickly.
      The urge to run for it is imprinted on my bones. But my jailer waits for me nearby in the darkness, like always. I know from experience how quick he is.
      Muted footsteps sound from behind me. I spin around and force a wide grin on my face, expecting Dillion. I find Andrew instead, and my forced smile melts into a real one.
      “You’re here.” I scan the shadows behind him, but there’s no sign of Devi. He came alone. Good. I was afraid he might have run off to spend some time with the little monster. “I missed you at dinner. I hope you can join us next time.”
      He returns my smile with a warm one of his own. “I can certainly try.” His eyes roam the backstage area. Parts of old sets are tucked away close to the walls, collecting dust. Parts of new sets sit drying in the middle of the room. The thick scent of latex paint sticks to everything.
      “Where did you run off to earlier?” I ask. “I am sorry to have scared you away.”
      His smile starts to fade. “You didn’t scare me. I just . . . worry about her.”
      Irritation punches me in the ribs. “Yes, I worry about her as well. She’s so guarded. It’s so hard to get close to her.” My throat tightens. Why do you even care?
      A haunted look passes through his eyes. “Yes, it is.” He clears his throat. “Is this the first official rehearsal? Are you excited?”
      Excited is not a word I would use about anything pertaining to my life. “Yes, very much. I love the new music. It’s so emotive and beautiful.”
      “I can’t wait to hear it.” His gaze flickers past me to someone on the stage.
      I turn and see Dillion standing on the other end, surrounded by singers and dancers, watching us, his expression guarded. He nods when he catches us staring and turns to say something to the dancer closest to him. They both laugh.
      “You and Dillion seem like you’re getting along well.” Andrew’s gaze shifts back to my face.
      I wave his comment away. “Yes. Viktor wants me to make him feel welcome and special. It’s all very shallow, though.” I watch him closely and decide to test the waters on his end. “I’d much rather spend that time with you.”

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Author Bio:

KrystalJaneRuinKrystal is the author of supernatural and paranormal fiction, living in the Tennessee Valley with a collection of swords and daggers. When she’s not hoarding stuffed pandas, hourglasses, and Hello Kitty replicas, she can be found in YouTube hole or blogging about books, writing, and random things at KrystalSquared.net.

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Q&A’s with Krystal Jane Ruin:

What inspired you to write Winter’s Siren?

Usually, this is the hardest question ever, but I love fairy tales, I love retellings, and I love the theatre: ballet, musicals, opera. My love of theatre directly influenced the direction of this story. You don’t want to know what it looked like before.

 
Why paranormal and what other genres are you interested in writing?

I’ve always been drawn to dark stories. Some of my first memories are of me trying to scare myself for some reason. Haha. My writing tastes have always been a lot more narrow than my reading tastes. But I would like to experiment with some dark historical fantasy and supernatural horror. I might talk myself into trying another high fantasy story one day.

 
Are you a plotter, pantster, or hybrid writer?

I often pants the beginnings of stories or pants my outline as I write, but I always have a clear plan and direction I’m going in. That said, I have to have a finished outline at some point. It helps me remember little details better, and I write faster with one, as well.

 
What is your mutant power?

Freezing everything! Don’t ask what for. I have a long-standing fantasy of water manipulation, and I would just love that. In my head, it’s like a cross between Ice Man and Storm. Ice Storm anyone? No?

 
If you could live in any novel, which one would you choose and why?

Is it weird if I say I want to live in Middle Earth? I read The Hobbit a long time ago, but I’ve only recently watched all the movies, and I’m obsessed with them! I hate the thought of giant spiders and trolls and orcs, but I wouldn’t leave Hobbiton anyway, and I think I’d love it there. Also, no creatures there. Bonus. (I mean, if Gandalf was with me, I might  be talked into going on an adventure.)

 
If you were a teacher, what subject would you teach?

Shakespearean Drama! But I’d also be happy to do plain Shakespeare or plain Drama. Either one of those would be most up my alley. If a class existed that was dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, I’d also be interested in that.

 
What three movies would you take to a deserted island to watch over and over again for a year?

Easiest question ever. The Little Mermaid, Clueless, and The Craft. They are my favorite top three movies of all time, but I feel sorry for anyone who knows me after returning from such a trip. I have a really bad habit of quoting movies, and I’d likely have them all completely memorized by then.

 
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Dragonfriend by Marc Secchia

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Title: Dragonfriend
Series: Dragonfriend Series Book 1
Author: Marc Secchia
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy

DragonFriend-Final2_400x600Stabbed. Burned by a dragon. Abandoned for the windrocs to pick over. The traitor Ra’aba tried to silence Hualiama forever. But he reckoned without the strength of a dragonet’s paw, and the courage of a girl who refused to die.

Only an extraordinary friendship will save Hualiama’s beloved kingdom of Fra’anior and restore the King to the Onyx Throne. Flicker, the valiant dragonet. Hualiama, a foundling, adopted into the royal family. The power of a friendship which paid the ultimate price.

This is the tale of Hualiama Dragonfriend, and a love which became legend.

 

 

 

Series Note:

Dragonfriend is a YA fantasy novel set in the same world of the bestselling dragon adventure series Shapeshifter Dragons and Shapeshifter Dragon Legends. It can be read in any order alongside Aranya, Shadow Dragon and The Pygmy Dragon. Awesome dragons, epic stories and deep dragon lore abound in this unique series set in a world of volcanic islands above the clouds.

 
Gold Award winner – 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards

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Excerpt:

When the Orange Dragon fixed his burning eye upon her, however, the Human girl realised her mistake. This was no friendly visitor. A scar twisted the left side of his muzzle into a permanent half-sneer. The power of the Dragon’s sallow gaze reminded her of none other than Ra’aba, the way his brow-ridge drew down and his lip peeled open, revealing a jaw stuffed with gleaming fangs, any one of which could have skewered Lia and served her up as a kebab without a second thought.

Did recognition writhe in her belly? Was this the spirit of Ra’aba, reincarnated in Dragon form?


“Ah, so the dragonets spoke truly,” rumbled the Dragon, swinging his muzzle toward her, flame licking around his huge, flaring nostrils. His voice was as dry as air simmering over the caldera, crackling with f

ires as though he concealed a bonfire in his throat. “Here’s how it works, Princess. Run. Scream, if you’d like. I’ll give you a count of three.”
Hualiama made a wordless squeak of dread.


“Run.” The Dragon made a shooing motion with his forepaw. “Go on. It’s more amusing for me.”


Terror exploded from her belly in slow motion, burning the pathways of her body. The sense of his evil was so palpable, she knew the Dragon saw her as nothing more than a loathsome insect to be crushed b

eneath his heel. It was possible to die from fright. She was the prey. The Orange Dragon was the predator, and nothing in the Island-World could protect her from such a creature. Doom stalked her upon wings the colour of molten lava.

“One.”


She jerked back.


“Two …”


Hualiama’s feet seemed possessed of wings of their own. She had never fled so fast, but the monster out there provided more than enough motivation. An agile left-right dance-step took her into their chamber. She sprinted flat out. Air hissed past her ears. The Orange Dragon’s monstrous challenge, the full-throated roar of an adult male on the hunt, shook the cavern.


“Three!”

The Orange Dragon pounced, his paws crashing down near the cave entrance, the shock conducted through sand and rock to her fleeing feet. The air sucked away from her lungs; Lia heard a rising thunder of fire, a crackling and sizzling sound as a wave of heat rolled over her back, as superheated as any volcanic eruption. Fire-reflections dazzled from the crystals embedded in the cavern walls. Lia dived headlong into the cool pool. The world flared orange. Rolling over underwater, she gazed up through the ripples at a torrent of Dragon fire, roiling and billowing above the pool with fatal brilliance, as though she stared into the heart of the twin suns.

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About the Author:

marcMarc is a South African-born dragon masquerading as an author, who loves writing about dragons and Africa, preferably both at the same time. He’s the author of 23 fantasy books in 3 languages (2 more languages coming this year – watch this space!), including 8 rip-roaring dragon fantasy bestsellers. Dragonfriend won a Gold Award for Fantasy in the 2016 IPPY Book Awards.

When he’s not writing about Africa or dragons Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there’s nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.

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Sandgirl’s Dream by Chrissy Moon

author pic with sandgirl kitHi, everyone! I’m Chrissy Moon, and I am very excited to tell you about my fourth novel release, my first in two years!

It’s called Sandgirl’s Dream, and it’s the sequel to my teen fantasy book, DayDreamer. Written as a standalone, it can definitely be read without reading its predecessor.

What was really fun for me in the creation of this book was taking the main characters from DayDreamer and rounding out their personas. I crafted layers to their backgrounds as well as that of their parents, and it can get pretty intricate. There’s so much selfishness and jealousy in Greek mythology that I pretty much had this vast playground to work with.

I have to say that this book isn’t as happy-go-lucky as DayDreamer. It’s still suitable for teens and pre-teens. It’s still devoid of cursing, adult situations, and drugs, and still has an overall light and sometimes funny tone to the narration. But this time around we see that some of our main characters aren’t always perfect or even good, which makes them a little more complete in my eyes.

As always, I enjoyed writing about Kayla’s adventures, and I hope you have fun reading it!

 

Sandgirl’s Dream

Moon-God-2-SANDGIRL-Cover-Final-A17-year-old Kayla lives in a town of cryptic identities, old mythological family backgrounds, and hundreds of secrets. Like most teens in Idyllwild, California, Kayla is Lyzicc – a human-looking child of two mythos beings, and a generation away from the darkness and magic of ancient lore.

Her mother, a former siren who sang men to their death – as well as her father, Der Sandmann of folklore – are inexplicably sucked into a sand sculpture one morning, leaving Kayla worried and confused.

Hale, the boy she’s seeing, and his fraternal twin, Collin, invite her to stay with them in their vast underground kingdom during her parents’ absence.

Added to this is an estranged best friend, an adopted little sister with a secret even she doesn’t even know about, a possibly-insane mythos grandfather (Father Time), and the fact that her new boyfriend’s mother wants to kill Kayla because of an ancient pact, you can bet her junior year in high school will finish with heartache, enchantment, and maybe even love.

Release Date: October 26th, 2017

Excerpt:

      One of the biggest slaps to the face that afternoon was that, after my parents’ disappearance and learning they were probably just taken by relatives for an emergency meeting, and after the mind-numbing education of the difference between Hades and the Ante-Kingdom, we still had to go to school. Well, at least according to Hale.
      At this moment though, I was experiencing a different sort of challenge. I was struggling with that uncomfortable question we all have to face at some point in our lives.
      Which direction should I burp in?
      I didn’t see a whole lot of solutions to my little problem, but I’d just have to improvise.
      We’d stopped by a fast-food place on the way to school when we saw that we probably wouldn’t get back in time for lunch. Feeling especially thirsty and hungry that day, I asked for an extra large soda, and to show off in front of the guys, I finished it in less than 5 minutes.
      I don’t know what in the world made me think that guzzling down a carbonated, sugary beverage at the speed of light would impress them. I don’t even think they noticed, so all it really did was make me terribly uncomfortable for my first class of the day, which was fifth period.
      Anyway, to make matters worse, I wasn’t in Government anymore with Howard Strayke, a great teacher and friend who couldn’t care less if you talked while you worked or cussed out loud, since he himself had been known to drop f-bombs during lectures. That semester had ended and my many classmates and I were now in Economics. There was a teacher shortage so we had to merge into one giant student lump for that class.
      I didn’t have anything against the idea of an economics class. I understood that it was important to learn how to handle money, or something. But my econ teacher was Mr. Jolston, and he was the opposite of Mr. Strayke in so many different ways.
      First, he was one of those teachers who was so strict and controlling, he wrote everyone’s names on their test sheets and gave them to us that way, instead of passing out blank test sheets and have everyone write in their own name, like we’d all been doing since we were kindergarteners. He was the kind of teacher who would tell us where exactly to place our backpacks and what items were allowed on our desktops. When we raised our hands to participate in class, our arms had to be sticking straight up with our hands flat and not curled, and our other arm had to be on top of our desks.
      Collin got in trouble when he flat-out asked the teacher, “Will we also need your express written consent to scratch our own butts?” Only he used a more colorful word in place of butts. Mr. Jolston had kicked him out of the class for the rest of the day, but as far as the rest of us in class could tell, that was more reward than punishment.
      Little bubbles of air kept wiggling up my throat every couple minutes as I sat in class now, trying my best to look like I was paying attention. So far, I’d been successful in swallowing these belches away, but they kept coming back with a vengeance. At times like this, I was very happy that I was in the back where at least not everybody in the junior class could see me or in this case, smell me.
      Still, there was someone sitting directly in front of me and kids sitting all around me. Mr. Jolston managed to fit about 40 desks inside his room and have ample space between rows, but as I’ve learned, regurgitated air that contained the combined smells of cola, hot dogs, and stomach acid can unfortunately travel pretty damn far.
      “Now, it seems as though nobody discussed the subject of investment to my satisfaction in yesterday’s homework. I won’t lie – I’m disappointed. To highlight this matter for you all, I’ve made another work sheet for homework tonight, and this time I want more discussion from each of you.”
      There were a lot of groans, which made Mr. Jolston frown, and at that point, the groans promptly stopped.
      I put my head down on the table and released a tiny burp toward the floor, figuring that was the only place it would remain undetectable. I waited a few moments, my ears sticking out like antennae, listening for sounds of disgust from the people around me. Satisfied that I hadn’t been found out, I slowly picked my head up and tried to pay attention in class.
      Oh god. Another little gas bubble was already shooting its way up my esophagus.
      “Ms. Isbethrie?”
      God, no. Not now.
      He nodded at me, which for him was almost the same thing as a smile. He didn’t have a reason to hate me yet, as I don’t typically mouth off to a teacher unless I have a perfectly good reason to. “Mr. Howell doesn’t seem to know, so I’m hoping you can save the day. What’s the difference between a bond and a share?”
      I immediately glanced at Miran Howell, who looked flustered and a little embarrassed. Miran was super nice and extremely cute, but he had some days that made you think he’d fallen out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.
      Of course, I had my dull moments, too.
      “Uh…a bond is something that you…get…from a bank. Like a loan?” I tried to swallow down a burp, praying I would at least be half-correct in my response. More importantly, I hoped Mr. Jolston would take his eyes off me and leave me to belch in peace.
      I heard a laugh being stifled, and looked out of the other corner of my eye to see Ellington stuff his fist in his mouth, trying not to crack up. Then he shot his hand up in the air to volunteer to answer the question.
      Mr. Jolston sighed. Ell was definitely brilliant, close to genius I’d say, but our teacher didn’t like him because of his tendency to cause trouble. He didn’t like any of the guys, to be honest. If I were fearless, I would tell Mr. Jolston to stop picking on the guys just because he was jealous that he was obviously never cute, popular, or maybe even liked very much at all.
      I watched Mr. Jolston’s inner turmoil as he apparently struggled with the choice of letting Ell answer the question correctly, or torturing more students who obviously didn’t know the difference between a bond and a freaking share. After a moment, he sighed again and said,       “Yes, Mr. Burke?”
      Ell put his hand down. “A bond is when the government borrows money from you. It can take up to 30 years but you will get your money back regardless. A share is when you invest in a company, so the money you get depends on how well the company does, which is obviously riskier than a bond.”
      Mr. Jolston pursed his lips together in acceptance. “Thank you, Mr. Burke.” He walked around for a moment with his hands behind his back. “I think it’s pretty obvious that most of you are not learning anything or living up to your potential. Now, listen carefully, class. Do a lot of reading tonight in your textbook and convince me in your homework that you understand the review questions at the end of the chapter.” He paused to look at Miran, then glared at me. “This means you, Ms. Isbethrie.”
      I nodded and opened my mouth to respond, but a deafening belch punched out of me instead.
      Everyone laughed. I put my hands over my mouth and gasped, looking at Mr. Jolston and terrified as to what he was going to do. “I’m sorry! I meant to say, yes…Mr. Jolston.”
      His head moved a little bit as if he’d chuckled, but it didn’t show in his face. “Thank you for that…enlightening speech, Ms. Isbethrie.”
      I bit my lip and slouched down in my seat. When all eyes were off me, I grew bold and looked up at Hale, but as usual I could only see the back of his blond head. I wondered how this little incident would affect any future conversations about me that he would have with his friends.
      Hale’s friend: Hey, Hale. I want to tell you about my new girlfriend. She has almond eyes, soft brown skin, hair that smells like a summer breeze, and a singing voice that’ll knock your socks off. Aren’t you seeing a new girl too? What’s she like?
      Hale: Oh, you mean Kayla? She’s real gassy. Thanks for asking.
      So many times I wished I were more feminine – shorter, for starters. Being clumsy didn’t help either. I’ve seen those dainty girls who walked around school as elegantly as if they were accepting an Academy Award. Tripping on your own feet and falling butt-first on the cold hard ground wasn’t quite the same.
      And lastly, this gassy stuff has got to go. I’ve had enough of it. My mom used to tell me it was my food choices that did it.
      Oh. My mom. I missed her already.

 

DayDreamer

DAYDREAMER cover smallKayla’s sixteen and a half. And she’s Lyzicc. That means her birth parents are ancient mythos creatures who’ve been hiding out on Earth. She has no idea who they are. All she knows is that she has a strange new power that shows her the daydreams of others. Two of the cutest guys in school are competing for her attention. Hale is Lyzicc and is pretty tight-lipped about his background. Collin comes from a family whose dark obsession with the Lyzicc Community keeps Kayla guessing about his true intentions. Join Kayla as she hunts for the truth about herself and tries to survive high school at the same time!

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Author Bio:

Filipino American Chrissy Moon is passionate about learning languages, American history, and ancient civilizations.

A mom to a grown son as well as an 8-year-old son, Chrissy loves absorbing stories of all kinds, whether they’re from television or video games, and ranging greatly in genre.

Referred to as ‘bubbly’ by her author pals, she loves reading her friends’ fiction books as well as nonfiction related to women’s rights and civil rights.

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Chrissy Moon has written two adult novels and her short stories are included in a number of anthologies.

Sinister Souls & Dead Things by Martina McAtee

Sinister Souls & Dead Things by Martina McAtee - COVER REREVEAL

Title: Sinister Souls & Dead Things
Author: Martina McAtee
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

 
SSDT FrontSeventeen-year-old Ember Lonergan has made her pack a promise: To go after their enemies before their enemies can come for them. It was a bold statement that she has no idea how to back up. She hasn’t mastered driving on the highway, much less how to take down a hostile system of government. What’s worse, half her pack is crazy, and the other half is broken…possibly forever.

But none of that matters anymore. Ember isn’t just Ember anymore. Ember and her cousins are the prophesied Trinity, foretold to take down the druids and break the curse that’s plagued witches and reapers for centuries. The Oracle has been gathering their allies—laying the groundwork for their return—for decades, but all of that work is destroyed in an instant when Ember’s betrayed by somebody she thought she could trust.

Alliances are crumbling. Humans are missing. People are dying. The High Inquisitor has arrived. Witches have taken over the school, and they are instituting new policies every day.

Their new message is clear:

If you fight for the Trinity, you burn with the Trinity.

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Author Bio:

MartinaMartina McAtee lives in Jupiter, Florida with her teenage daughter, her best friend, two attack chihuahua’s and two shady looking cats. When she isn’t writing young adult books about worlds with reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures she’s reading or watching shows that involve reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. Her debut novel Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things released in August of 2015. Her second book in the Dead Things series, Dark Dreams and Dead Things, will release July 15, 2016.

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Books available in the Dead Things Series:

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Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

Book 1

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Dark Dreams and Dead Things

Book 2

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