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City Girl, Country Boy

At the Young Adult Author Rendezvous, we believe in fostering a love for writing in young people. One of our own, LJ Higgins, had the pleasure of judging a teen writing contest in September. We’re going to showcase each of the three winners. Enjoy the first story below.

A bit about the contest:

In September, Calliope, a small town in Central Queensland, Australia, held it’s annual Country Carnival. As part of the Carnival, YAAR Author L J Higgins was invited to judge a writing competition. She was blown away by the amazing entries, and along with two other judges, they chose one winner from each age category.

City Girl, Country Boy

By: Charlie-Cherie Zorzan

“Harper!” My grandmother exclaimed as I got off the train from Perth to Kalgoorlie, a little town in WA that my grandparents call home, “Oh look at you! I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since we last saw you! How are you?”

“Great thanks, grandma, it’s good to see you too.” I smiled to see my grandparents after so long. We lost all connection after my parents divorced, but my Mum decided that it wasn’t fair to my grandparents that they never got to see me, but really, Mums always had a soft spot for my Dad’s parents.

I turned to see my grandad holding my luggage with a huge grin on his face. I ran over and wrapped my arms around him. I didn’t realize until I had finished, but I had started to cry. I couldn’t help it. I loved my grandad; I remembered when my parents used to take me down there every summer, he would read me a story every night and ride the horses with me, and take me in the tractor. That didn’t happen anymore.

“Well, how are you darling?” he said with a smile, “No boyfriends, I hope?” I laughed at that and told him that I was planning to be single for the moment.

“Good,” he grunted, “I better keep my gun on me, just in case. With a pretty face like yours, all them boys are going to be tripping over their tongues.” That little comment made my face turn tomato red. My grandmother chuckled and suggested that we head home.

As soon as we arrived at the little, yellow house I grabbed my bags and ran in, eager to see what had changed. It was mostly the same, with the exception of the spare room which had been repainted my favourite colour, aqua. I smiled, set my bags down and went back out into the kitchen, where grandma announced that dinner was already prepared and that she just needed 10 minutes to heat it up. So, I set the table for three and then poured grandmas homemade lemonade for everyone.

As I was eating my sausages, my grandmother said, “I just can’t believe you’re 17 Harper, you look so much like Conner.”

I shifted uncomfortably, my dad was a weird subject for me because I hadn’t seen him in about 6 years, after my mum won full custody of me when I was 11. It was true though, that I looked like him, we shared the same curly brown hair and bright blue eyes, as well as naturally tan skin. The only feature I shared with my mother was my smile, we both had identical smiles and dimples, with perfectly straight teeth. But the similarities ended there because my mother was fair skinned, had long, blonde hair so straight it looked like she straightened it and soft brown eyes.

“Yeah, I’m told that I look like him often.” With that, I excused myself and went to bed; I was exhausted.

I woke up at about 3 AM to sound of a truck engine roaring and a man cursing. I opened the window and found myself looking down at a muddy mess of a 17-year-old boy, trying to get his truck out of the muck.

“Hey, you!” I called out to him, come to think of it, that probably wasn’t the best decision, but I needed my beauty sleep, “What are you doing?”

“Oh, you know, just hunting elephants.”

I rolled my eyes at that one.

“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m trying to get this stupid truck to start!” He moaned, motioning to a rusted up ute.

Rolling my eyes, I called down, “Do you need a hand?”

“That would be very much appreciated.”

I quickly pulled on my boots and crept down the hall, careful not to wake my grandparents. I reached the door and in a quick motion, I was out of the house.

I made it to the ute and tapped the guy on the shoulder, he turned around, and, well, I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t attractive. He had a mop of messy black hair and navy blue eyes.

He held out his hand and I shook it, “The names Tom, and you are?”

It was at that moment that I realised I had forgotten how to breathe. As though he could read my mind, he smirked and said, “You’re checking me out.”

I turned tomato red and in a desperate attempt to regain my pride, I replied with, “Was not.”

“You were too!”

“Was not!”

“Yeah, you were.”

“I wasn’t!”

“Were.”

“Wasn’t!”

“Were.”

“WASN’T!”

“Were.”

“Was- Ugh, never mind.”

“Anyway,” He said, still smirking at me, “Are you going to keep staring at me or actually give me a hand? I can give you a minute or two to make up your mind if you want, I know it’s a hard decision.”

I blinked a few times and walked over to the back of the truck, he jumped into the drivers’ seat and started the engine. I pushed as hard as I could and we eventually managed to push his ute out of the mud.

He hoped out and smiled at me, “Thanks for that, I really appreciate it.”

“Anytime.”

We stood there in a comfortable silence for a few more minutes until I say, “Well, I should probably head inside.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to disturb any more of your precious rest, I guess I’ll see you around.” And with that, he jumps back into the truck and drives away.

The next morning, I woke up to the smell of bacon on the fry-pan. I jumped out of bed and raced into the kitchen, and there, much to my surprise, was Tom talking to grandad.

“Yeah Geoff, I reckon I could get to that today and maybe I could-” but he paused when he saw me, grandad turned to see what he was looking at and smiled when he saw me, “Ah, Tom, I don’t suppose you’ve met my granddaughter Harper, I told you she was coming yesterday.”

Tom nodded and said that he remembered.

Before I could decide what to say, grandma saved me and called out that breakfast was ready. At the breakfast table, my Granddad told me that Tom helped around the farm because he was getting too old to do it by himself. Apparently, Tom just lived down the road with his parents. Then, my grandmother suggested that Tom should show me around town, I almost choked on my bacon.

“No, its fine, I’m sure Tom is busy today, right grandad?”

“He can take the day off, I’m fine with that.” My grandad was not helping.

“But I was going to work with the horses today Mr. Harris.” Thank god, Tom was actually being useful.

“Then you can take Harper out for a ride, you remember the basics, right sweetie?” Ok, couldn’t grandma tell I was trying to get out of this?

“Then it’s settled, Tom will take Harper out for a ride this morning. Perhaps she can name our new horse.” Granddad said.

That got my attention, “New horse?”

“Yeah, we picked him up at the markets a couple of days ago. He’s young, about a year old, but he’s strong, needs a good rider.” I immediately warmed up to the idea of being with Tom for the day.

So we went outside, the awkward silence following us all the way to the stable. I didn’t know why, but he seemed to relax as soon as he was around the horses.

“What do you think?” Asked tom, spreading his arms wide gesturing to the stables.

“It’s beautiful, just as I remembered,” I replied with a huge grin on my face.

He took me to the back of the stables, where he introduced me to a beautiful light brown stallion with a white nose and legs. He said that this was the new horse and that I could name him anything I want.

“Peanut Butter.” I decided.

“What?” Tom questioned with one eyebrow raised.

I rolled my eyes and replied with, “I am naming him Peanut Butter, Peanut for short. Isn’t that clear enough?”

Groaning in frustration he looked me straight in the eyes and in a really sarcastic voice, said, “I know that, but why?”

I laughed out loud, wasn’t it obvious? As though he sensed he was missing something, Tom let his shoulders sag and frowned.

After I finished laughing, I managed to give him an explanation, “Peanuts coat looks like peanut butter, so he is now known as Peanut Butter.” I smiled proudly, Tom didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm though.

“That is by far the dumbest name I have ever heard in the entire seventeen years and 3 months I have been living in this world. I honestly feel bad for the horse.”

I laughed and in-between my cackling I managed to choke out, “He is Peanut Butter now, not horse.”

“Really, Harper this is ridiculous,” he sighed.

“You’re the one who said I could name him anything I want,” I reminded him.

He groaned and said, “Yeah, but I didn’t think you’d name the poor horse something so dumb.”

“He’s Peanut Butter now. Accept it and move on,” I replied, holding my still aching sides from laughing so hard.

I continued to laugh as Tom continued to grumble as he saddled up Peanut and another horse. He ran me over the basics, just to make sure I knew what I was doing, and helped me on to Peanut. He hopped on his horse and pointed me in the direction we were riding and then we were off.

I held on tightly to the reins as I enjoyed the feeling of the breeze in my hair. I looked at the beautiful scenery as I gained speed. Peanuts hooves kicked up the red dirt, the sun was high in the sky; even the dead grass was beautiful. I rode through the gum trees, laughing uncontrollably, adrenaline running through my veins.

Finally, we stopped at the dam. We tied up the horses and wade knee deep into the water, we laughed and joked, and I honestly enjoyed just being with him. I turned to Tom to thank him for the ride, that I loved every minute of it, but before I could say anything, I realised he was already looking at me with an odd expression that I couldn’t read.

He took a few steps forward and bent down and whispered in my ear, “I had a lot of fun with you today Harper.”

And just like that, he moved away and went to get back on his horse. I followed him in a daze.

The trip back was a blur. All I could think about was the way he was looking at me. Why was he looking at me like that?

“Here,” I almost dropped the saddles Tom handed me. “Put these in the shed while I put the horses away.”

I watched him walk away and then went to the shed and hung up the saddles. Since I had nothing better to do, I went to the stables to see if Tom was done yet.

I walked into Tom brushing Peanut Butter. I come up next to him, grab a brush, and start on Peanuts left side. We worked in comfortable silence for about five minutes before I realised Tom wasn’t brushing anymore. I couldn’t see him anywhere. I turned around to look for him and found him standing in front of me.

“Breathe,” he murmured, as he started to lean forward.

His hands wrapped around my waist. I stood on my tiptoes and looked into his eyes. I swear a saw the trace of a smile on his lips as he continued to lean forward. His lips brushed against mine, ever so slightly, like a butterfly wings brush against a flower. He was about to press his lips to mine but I heard a person in the background clearing his throat.

We quickly pulled away, both our faces were bright red. There, in the entrance, stood my grandad.

He took a few steps forward, his face emotionless. He took a deep breath and finally spoke, “You know Tom, I have a fine collection of guns. Maybe I should show you them sometime.”

“Yes sir, I would very much like that.”

“I could show you now if you want, anything for a mate.”

“I would really like that sir, but I think it would be best for everyone if we went in for lunch. Harpers really hungry.”

“Yeah, I am.” I had to butt in, it was just getting too awkward to stay silent.

Grandad nodded and began walking towards the house, grumbling something about his guns.

 

A few weeks had passed, and I was with Tom nearly every day. One day, while we were eating lunch, Tom invited me to a family bonfire at his house. My grandparents let me go, so Tom went to help his parents set up, while I got ready.

He came round at about 5:00 PM to pick me up. I said goodbye to my grandparents and let Tom lead me to his rusted up ute.

When we arrived, I was full of nerves. I wondered what his parents were like. Would they like me? Why was I even worrying about this, it’s not like I was his girlfriend or anything?

He took me into the house and out onto the veranda. There, sitting in a chair, was a middle-aged woman with straight brown hair and navy blue eyes. It was clear that that was his mother, even though they didn’t share many features. He went over and gave her a hug and then introduced us.

“Ah, yes, Harper right? Tom hasn’t stopped talking about since he came back from Geoff’s the day he met you,” she said, smiling at me. “It’s great to finally meet you, I’m Ava.”

I smiled and shook her hand just as a man, a little bit older than Ava, walked up to us. He had black hair and brown eyes. Aside from the eyes, he looked exactly like Tom, that must be his dad. Once again Tom introduced us and the man said he’d heard all about me and identified himself as Toms Dad, Mick.

Overall it was a great night. I spoke to Tom and his parents by the bonfire until about 11:00 PM. I told them that I wanted to be an illustrator, and that my Mum wanted me to go to university and that I hadn’t seen my dad in 6 years. All in all, I felt more at home in front of that bonfire with these people I had just met, then I had since my parents got divorced.

At around 10:00 PM Ava and Mike went inside to grab some more drinks. It was just me and Tom in front of the fire, under the stars.

Tom took a deep breath and murmured softly in my ear, “Your eyes put all those stars in the sky to shame.”

I blushed a deep red and looked down at the ground. He gently put his hand under my chin and made me look up at him. I looked into his navy blue eyes and began to lean forward, he did the same. He pressed his lips to mine, and I’d have to say it was the best first kiss any girl could ask for.

In a few weeks, I had to go home, and I was dreading it. I didn’t want to leave Tom or my grandparents or Ava and Mike, who had become my second parents.

I was preparing myself to go to Toms and talk about what he wanted to do since I was going to have to find a way to make things work. But then, there was a knock on the door, I opened it and speak of the devil, there he was.

“Hey beautiful, listen, I know this is late notice but I’m taking you to the town fair.” He gave me that smile that just made me melt inside and grabbed my hand.

He lead me to his ute and I hopped in. He drove us all the way up to the show ground where the town held its annual fair. It was amazing. I don’t think I had ever enjoyed myself so much in my entire life. We danced and laughed and talked the whole night away. I kissed him over and over again, it was perfect, everything was perfect. But, all good things must come to an end.

“Hey, Tom, listen, I know this a topic we have been avoiding, but we need to talk about this,” I took a deep breath and continued, “The summer will be over in about a week, I am going to be leaving. And before you ask, no, I don’t want to leave, but if I stay my mum will drag me by my hair back to Brisbane.”

“You’re going to be a legal adult soon, why can’t you stay?” he asked, he was upset now.

“I just can’t, ok? I just can’t.”

“But you can!”

“Please don’t make this any harder than it has to be, we can still keep in touch we can still work this out.” I was near tears now.

“No Harper, you’re being ridiculous, you can stay if you want, just stand up to your mum!”

“I’m sorry Tom, I can’t.”

“Fine!” He exploded, “But don’t expect to see me again!”

“Tom! Wait!” But he was gone.

He didn’t come to say goodbye. His parents did, but he didn’t. I was probably for the best anyway, I wouldn’t be able to contain myself if he came, I’d be a sobbing mess on the floor.

I ended up going to university, I got in on a full scholarship. It’s not like I wasn’t smart enough. But that was when things started going wrong.

I started dating this guy called Mark. At first, he was really sweet and supportive, he made me feel beautiful. But then things took a turn for the worst. He slowly started to change me, I became depressed and insecure. He was horrible to me in public. I lost all connection with family and friends, and he embarrassed me in front of people. It hurt, a lot.

Eventually, I got out of the relationship, but it was too late. The damage had been done. I had already dropped out of university for him, I lost all my friends because of him, and my dreams had been thrown out the window.

I was a twenty-year-old girl with nothing, no friends, no plan, no love life, nothing. I packed my bags and got on a plane and flew to Perth. I got on a little train to the small town of Kalgoorlie and went to visit my grandparents. I hadn’t seen them in three years, not because I didn’t want to see them, just because there was at least a ninety-nine percent chance I would see him.

When a saw my grandma and my grandad, I just cried and cried and cried. It felt good to see them, they took me to their little house and just let me cry, they just rubbed my back and let me cry.

The next morning, I took the car and went for a drive. I needed some time to think.

As I was driving, there was a huge bump and before I knew it, I was stuck.  I got out and tried to push the car, but it wouldn’t budge. Cursing, I grabbed my phone to call someone, only to find that it was flat. I was cussing like a sailor, kicking the stupid thing and trying to get it to go. I was in tears by the time a rusted up ute pulled up next to me.

“Excuse, but do you need any hel- Harper?” That voice, it sounded so familiar, I looked up and there in front of me was Tom.

“Tom?” I couldn’t believe it.

All of a sudden his face split into a huge grin and he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me tightly, “Harper! I am so sorry, I’ve missed you so much and I was such a jerk and-”

But he didn’t get to finish his sentence because I was kissing him, and it was like falling in love all over again.

About the author:

Charlie-Cherie Zorzan placed first in the 13-17yr category in the Calliope Country Carnival Writing Competition. She is thirteen-years-old and attends senior high. She is passionate about writing and desires to become a successful author. She also loves to read and enjoys a wide range of genres including action and adventure, history, love, and fantasy. Charlie-Cherie is a very enthusiastic and excitable person and enjoys getting out and being active. She plays netball and does boxing. Acting and drama are also her passion and she has been part of a small drama group for three years.


This post was created by Michelle Lynn

The contest was judged by LJ Higgins

Don’t forget to check out more posts by the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.

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An Interview In Pictures

By Michelle Lynn

This weeks interview in pictures is with Debbie Manber Kupfer!

Let’s get started, shall we?

 

  1. A picture that you think represents who you are.

    deb 1

  2. A real-life picture that could have been taken in the world of one of your books.

    deb 2

  3. If you have a writing companion (pet or child)

    deb 3

  4. Your favorite book of all time.

    debb.png

  5. Your bookshelf.

    deb 5

  6. A picture that represents something you love to do (outside of writing or reading)

    deb 6

  7. Favorite place (Beach, mountains, city, etc.)

    deb 7

  8. Something that makes you smile.

    deb 8

  9. Something that inspires you.

    deb 9

Debbie is the author of the P.A.W.S. Saga and believes with enough tea and dark chocolate you can do anything.

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See more of our interviews HERE.

August-September New Releases

What a great batch of books to close out the summer season!

 

 

heart of destiny8/7 – Heart of Destiny: Book One of The Heart of the Citadel
by Susan Faw

Magic suppressed. Magic exiled. Magic murdered. During the Great Purge, all magic was destroyed and those who could wield it were driven into exile. From that time on, the world of Gaia churned on in relative peace and prosperity.

When the emperor of the central Citadel suddenly dies, his apprentice takes his place. Benevolent and loved, the new emperor is a benign ruler, bridging the age-old conflicts between the provinces. The citadel is a symbolic as well as a physical barrier to maintaining the fragile peace. However, the brazen kidnapping of ten young women shatters the accord, and the councillors of the provinces gather at the Citadel to demand that justice be served. It is a flame dropped into dry tinder. Rife with suspicion and hatred, each province accuses its neighbour of treachery. But the emperor has other plans. He alone knows who is responsible for the kidnapping of the young women, and he has no intention of sharing that knowledge. Where magic is involved, there can only be one conqueror. The fight for ultimate control of magic has begun.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Heart of Destiny HERE


prophecy of darkness

8/13 – Prophecy of Darkness (Legends of the Tri-Gard Volume 1)
by Michelle Bryan and Michelle Lynn

Only magic can save them from what is coming, but first, it must be reclaimed. Twenty years ago, war devastated Dreach. Bloody and cruel, it ravaged the realm and stripped magic from Dreach-Sciene. Without magic, there is no hope. No life. For Prince Trystan Renauld, there is no choice. As his people starve, his enemy prepares for a final showdown that will decide the fate of the realm. Without magical power, he and his people will lose everything. Even with it, they may fail. Against a backdrop of prophecy, curses, and forbidden love, Trystan must reunite the legendary Tri-Gard, keepers of the magic, and find the power he’s always believed was a fairy tale: magic, the very foundation of life. With both sides preparing for battle, it’s a race against time—and against the kind of darkness that can destroy them all. Prophecy of Darkness is an epic adventure to destroy evil. Do you dare to join the Prince and the people of Dreach-Sciene to fight the darkness before everything is lost? Will you help the Princess prove she is more than they think she is? Are you ready to fall in love?

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Prophecy of Darkness HERE

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second sight

8/22 – Second Sight  (Hollows Ground Book 1)
by J.A. Culican

What if you could foresee death? 

Mirela can prophesy the death of whomever she sees. At thirteen, Ela foretold the death of her best friend, only to watch it happen before her very eyes. Ela, now twenty-one, spends her days locked away in her apartment, avoiding the public and the gift she considers a curse.
Until he appears.
Luka Conway is handsome. Charming. And magical. After Ela predicts yet another death, Luka leads her to an underground city hidden beneath Atlanta, populated by empaths, telepaths, and seers. Luka is a Shade, a soldier fighting a secret war against the Wraiths, a deadly group of sorcerers who wish to take over the world. Ela is given no choice; she must prove herself a Shade, and use her powers for the light, or she will be put to death. Resolved to her fate, Ela trains as a warrior, determined to put her curse to good use.
Then Talon Michaels appears. He’s just as dashing as Luka, and even more dangerous. A Wraith, Talon warns Ela that the Shades aren’t all what they appear. Who can Ela trust, if anyone? Should her powers be used for good…or evil? Which should she choose?

Genre: YA/Paranormal

Purchase Second Sight HERE


unexpected mate

8/29 – Unexpected Mate  (Aluna Series Book 4)
by Bethany Wicker

Eden was born a hybrid wolf with both Alpha and Luna powers within her. Now that she’s seventeen, she’s expected to find a mate and prepare to take over her pack when she’s eighteen, as is tradition. But nobody expected it to be Liam.

Liam, the son of Knox and Katie, is the only werewolf born without a wolf. It was an unheard of phenomena until he was born. His twin brother got the wolf gene and Liam is just the leftover. Feeling like an outcast, he never anticipated he’d have a shot at dating Eden, let alone be her mate.

Does Eden have enough werewolf in her for the two of them to lead the pack together? To make things worse, something’s draining their livestock of their blood.

 

Genre: YA/Paranormal

Purchase Unexpected Mate HERE

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eternity begins

8/30 – Eternity Begins  (Liliana Book 3)
by Lauren Mayhew

Liliana Frye is a Custos – an immortal being with superhuman powers. It’s a life that many would love to have, and yet Liliana’s hasn’t been easy. Her powers are greatly desired by Duana, a Custos whose main aim is to steal as many powers as she can to become the greatest of all.

The Book of Custos contains the information that Duana needs to take the powers, but she doesn’t have it. Liliana’s family have the book. Duana has Liliana, along with hundreds of Custos in her crystal ball prisons. It’s only a matter of time before she figures out the ritual, and puts everyone’s lives in danger.

The action-packed final book in the Liliana Trilogy will keep you hooked until the very last page.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Eternity Begins HERE

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immortal magic

9/12 – Immortal Magic: The Hybrid Trilogy Book 2
by G.K. DeRosa

Dying was only the beginning of Aria’s problems.

Now she must overcome the dark urges growing inside her and curb her insatiable appetite. Unfortunately, the one person who can help Aria is the one who betrayed her. Forgiving him might be the only way to get a grip on her wicked impulses.

On top of powerful volatile abilities, a slew of enemies have emerged. Aria’s new powers seem more like a curse, sparking fear and jealousy and marking a giant supernatural target on her back.

With merciless enemies closing in on Aria, one thing’s for sure—she needs to get a handle on her powers, and fast, before someone kills her for real this time.

 

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Immortal Magic HERE

 


 

queens9/22 – Queens  (The Wielders of Arantha Book 2)
by Patrick Hodges

A cosmic game of chess is underway, and the planet Elystra is the board.

Earth pilot Maeve and her son Davin have joined the Ixtrayu, hoping to avert the destruction that their leader, Kelia, has foretold. But will Maeve’s burgeoning Wielding powers be enough to thwart the machinations of Elzor and his lightning-wielding sister, Elzaria, before everything the Ixtrayu have ever known is destroyed in Elzor’s quest for ultimate power?

Queens is Part Two in the Wielders of Arantha trilogy. If you love science fiction or fantasy, then this series will thrill and enthrall you!

 

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Purchase Queens HERE

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sunburner

9/26 – Sunburner (Moonburner Cycle Book 2)
by Claire Luana

Kai, the newly-crowned queen of Miina, finds her reign threatened by a plague of natural disasters that leave death and destruction in their wake. Are the gods truly angry at the peace between the moon and sunburners, or is something more sinister to blame? Kai’s throne and her very life may be forfeit unless she can appease the gods’ anger and her peoples’ superstitions.

Determined to find a solution, Kai and the Sunburner Prince Hiro embark on an extraordinary and dangerous journey to discover the true cause of the plagues. What they find is an ancient enemy determined to plunge their world into eternal darkness — and one desperate chance to save it.

Sunburner, the sequel to Moonburner, is a young adult fantasy that will appeal to fans of Sabaa Tahir, Sarah J. Maas, and Leigh Bardugo.

 

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Pre-order Sunburner HERE

 

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last light

9/30 – Last Light  (Undertow Book 4)
by K.R. Conway

For Eila Walker, a New Bedford night club with questionable morals may be her only safe point in the brewing war between her crew and drug-dealer Lawson Waite.

After managing to wrangle a deal with club maven Maia Moriarty, Eila begins to believe that FAUST may actually work as a solid safe house until she and her friends can figure out how best to track down Waite.

But brutality comes quickly to Faust. In the aftermath, a shocking truth about Lawson Waite is whispered during a death-bed confession on the roof of the decadent club.
The warning is simple: Lawson Waite is no mere man.

Now desperate to kill Waite and stop his time-altering Gabriel Gate, Eila and her crew push the limits of all their abilities in an attempt to finish what Elizabeth started so long ago.

Told through the eyes of three characters,
MJ, the shifter,
Eila, the Lunaterra, and
Raef, the soul thief,
Last Light is one wild ride into the heart of what
makes us human and what lies history has told.

 

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Pre-order Last Light HERE

How I Got an Agent

writing, authors, agent signing

By Christopher Mannino

I have been writing for a long time. Heck, I’ve wanted to be a writer since middle school. I’ve been writing ever since.

The very first book I wrote took ten years. It’s a mess. You’ve never heard of it. It’s shelved on a floppy disk (remember those?) among other places but was never revisited.

Then, during my time in Oxford, I was inspired to write School of Deaths. It took me a year to write, and then I began trying for agents. In publishing, if you want your book published with the big publishers, distributed widely, and making money, you need an agent. The “Big Five” publishers (all subdivisions of just five companies) only take manuscripts from agents, and even then it’s not always a guarantee of publication, much less success. Yet agents are the first gatekeepers in the business.

Getting an agent involves writing a query letter. This is a single page long- a blurb about your book, a paragraph about similar books in the marketplace, and a paragraph about you. It’s an email you send out and know you’ll probably never hear back from. Some agents ask for just this, some for your first five pages. Most agents receive hundreds of email queries a DAY. Of those they receive, they might request pages from 5%, and of those pages, maybe request a full manuscript from an even smaller number. And it’s not just based on the quality of your writing. It’s based on a lot of subjective factors, like the agent’s preferences, if they think they can sell it, does it conflict with other clients they have, and so on. In short, getting an agent is very, very difficult. It feels a bit like falling through mid-air and trying to catch (and hold onto) a single raindrop.

authors, writing, agent signing

After a year of querying, and 130 rejections, I gave up trying to find an agent for School of Deaths. Instead I began querying small presses. 30 queries of publishers later, MuseItUp said yes.

Small press is a form of traditional publishing in between the big guys and self publishing. In a way, it’s sort of like the minor league baseball league. Minor leaguers are pros, and paid to play ball, and some are amazing, but you’ve never heard of them. They’re all hoping to make it into the majors, but to do so they need that scout. With writing, you need an agent.

After Scythe Wielder’s Secret I wrote a sci fi thriller and re-entered the querying phase. Months passed. Nada. I’ve since decided to rework the project.

Then, I had an idea for a book. A series. The ideas kept coming and coming. A world that’d been in night for a thousand years, and now faced a sunrise. A man with a powerful form of magic, and a terrible price. An exciting new fantasy series called Everdawn Rising. I wrote the book, and right away knew something was different. It was without a doubt the best thing I’d written. I decided, yet again, to plunge back into querying. Querying is a SLOW process, I’ll add. Some agents have an AVERAGE response time of 115 days. That’s just to hear back, even if it’s a no. And if they request pages or your full manuscript, you have to wait months upon months.

authors, writing, agent signing

I began querying Everdawn in January. I queried and queried. I became active in the Manuscript Academy, which gave me a lot of opportunities to work with pros. I had skype sessions with agents and not only pitched my book, but got help rewriting my query. I was in a workshop to help revamp my first page and ended up a part of a writing community that’s still wonderfully supportive today. And I worked with editors from St Martins and Tor (two imprints of the “Big 5” publishers) to rewrite the beginning completely. On the advice of an agent, I began “re-querying” – contacting agents who said no months ago or who never responded. I was hopeful, but still not sure. I was ready to enter PitchWars when everything took off.

authors, writing, agent signing

First I got an offer from an agent. I then had to let my outstanding (hadn’t heard from them yet) requeries know. Within hours, I had six more full requests. I eventually got a second offer and it came down to an insane day of phone conversations, nerves, and difficult decisions. After talking to the two agents, however, I knew the original offer was the agent I wanted to stick with.

I am elated to announce that I am now represented by Will Reeve at the Virginia Kidd Literary Agency. Kidd is a smaller agency, but one with an impressive track record in SFF, launching the careers of greats like Isaac Asimov and Ursula LeGuin. This is only one stage in a longer journey. The next step is for Will to work with me editing the book, then he’ll take the manuscript to the publishers and try to sell it to them. Even then, it’s a while before it releases. However, this is a huge step for me and my career as an author.

authors, writing, agent signing


Don’t forget to check out our other posts HERE.

Find Christopher Mannino at the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.

Posted by Michelle Lynn.

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Marked by Fate

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Defined by Their Choices

A collection of 25 Fantasy and Science Fiction YA coming of age novels from New York Times, USA Today, International, Amazon bestselling and Award-Winning authors!!

This action-packed boxset is filled with teen warriors who encounter queens, witches, wizards, werewolves, shifters, angels, and gods. Follow genetically engineered soldiers, cyborgs, and robots discover magical hidden fantasy worlds, encounter mind-blowing dystopian lands, space stations, and galaxies they could never have dreamed existed while traveling through time into uncharted territories. Marked by Fate to complete these deadly and dangerous quests filled with nonstop action and adventure!

iBook Preorder Link Date: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1229491448

Giveaway iBooks Link: http://woobox.com/32f5tp

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Two members of the Young Adult Author Rendezvous have contributed to this set.

Kristin D. Van Risseghem
At the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.
Her website is HERE.

Amalie Jahn
At the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.
Her website is HERE.

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22 Books for $0.99

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Want to stock your e-reader full of fantasy books? Fire and Fantasy includes 22 full length novels, some from bestselling and award winning authors.

How great is that? 

Not only can you get all of these books for $0.99 during the July and August pre-order, but you can be sent TEN other awesome books to tide you over until it’s released.

Seriously?

Yes! AND there’s a giveaway with absolutely NO requirements to enter.

Click on the image below to find out how to purchase and get all of your free goodies.

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Young Adult Author Rendezvous member, Michelle Lynn, is a part of this box set.

You can find her at the YA Author Rendezvous HERE.

See her online HERE.

Find her on Facebook HERE.

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May-July New Releases

So many great new books from our group this summer!!

 

transcendent5/29 – Transcendent (The Descendant Series Book 3)
by L.J. Amodeo

In the anticipated final book of the Descendant Series, tyranny, betrayal and chaos erupt across the realms.

To trust those you believe would never deceive you would be a grave mistake.

In the belly of the beast, Dante will stop at nothing to wield dominant power of all the realms, while the Trinity summons the Circle of Seven to unleash an attack on the beastly Abigarian and Hellion armies. Will Elizabeth allow the forces of the Dark Realm and coven witches to inflict their wrath, or will she find a way to bring to light the Prophecy of the Three, ending Dante’s pursuit of becoming the supreme lord?

Elizabeth, the transcendent child and the legion of angels must fight against the lies, destruction, and chaos of the Dark Realm in an attempt to stop Dante once and for all..

Purchase Transcendent HERE

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tenuous

5/30 – Tenuous (The Astralis Series Book 2)
by K.J. McPike

After the tumultuous months following her sixteenth birthday, Lali Yavari just wants life to go back to the way it was before—before her mother left, before she discovered she could astral project, and most of all, before she met Kai. But the boy she would prefer to avoid pops up in her life again, and this time it’s a matter of life and death. When the unthinkable happens, Lali is determined to use her brothers’ time traveling abilities to make things right. Unfortunately, no one warned her that trying to change the past could result in getting stuck there…

Return to the captivating, unpredictable world of the Astralis series in this breathtaking follow-up to the award-winning XODUS.

Purchase Tenuous HERE

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torn by blood

5/31 – Torn By Blood (The Iron Series Book 4)
by J.N. Colon

She’s not safe from the darkness. She’s not safe from him.

Kory is now a full time student at Amarose Academy and a whole new set of dangers surround her. Her parents’ secrets are beginning to unravel, revealing a web of lies so thick and twisted she’s not sure who the real enemy is. And to make matters worse, her broken heart is leaving her vulnerable to Kye’s darkness lurking around every corner. Taunting her. Tempting her.

As Kory struggles with her conflicting emotions and Rex tries to prove he’s worthy of her trust again, chaos erupts in the ferrum world, threatening their very existence. She must decide where her loyalties lie even if she doesn’t have all the answers.

Nothing is as it seems and when Kye’s ultimate goal is revealed, will Kory’s connection with Rex be enough to save her? Or will she let the darkness win, dooming not only Rex but the entire world?

Purchase Torn By Blood HERE

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phantom light

6/12 – Phantom Light: A Phantoms Novella
by Jessica Hawke

“If you hold onto this world hard enough, you’ll get a grasp on it. But it will get a grasp on you, too, and you won’t be able to decide anymore that you’re ready to go.”

When Valerie Young wakes up from a horrific accident to a world gone gray and cold, she wants to believe anything but the truth of what happened. But as she struggles to accept the dreaded d-word, time is slipping away for her to move on to the afterlife. When she realizes her younger sister has been irreparably altered by the accident, Valerie must choose between a chance at peace and the cold reality of existence as a restless spirit.

 

Purchase Phantom Light HERE

 

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summertime

6/30 – The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon: Summertime
by Ellen Buikema

The Chameleons’ vacation is off to a bumpy start. Frankie, the family fish, causes trouble on the plane. Papa gets lost driving in the mountains trying to find Mystery Lake, where Frankie is sure mermaids lurk.
When the family returns home Charlie’s old friend, Tamika, visits him and meets his new friends. At a summer soccer game, Boris sees Tamika and is smitten.

These multicultural stories are intended for second and third grade students as well as advanced first graders to read independently. Children ages three through nine will enjoy the antics of the characters in the Charlie books. To the author’s surprise, these books are being enjoyed by a wider audience than expected.

Reading the series helps children develop empathy and cultivate insight into their lives. The stories cover situations children typically encounter like getting lost, moving, starting a new school, making friends, family vacations, working in a team, and dealing with bullies using a positive method.

The animals possess human characteristics. Charlie Chameleon takes Frankie the fish wherever he goes. If the fish in Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat represents the Superego, Frankie, one of the feistier characters in the series, is all Id. Frankie wants everything, and he wants it right now.

Each chapter ends with one or more activities for children and parents or teachers to do together, related to the actions in the stories.

 

Purchase Summertime HERE

 

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beyond the sanctified

7/14 – Beyond the Sanctified (The Sevens Prophecy Book 3)
by Amalie Jahn

The Sevens Prophecy
(With Regard to the End of Days)

“There will come a day when seven psychic children of the light and seven psychic children of the dark will be born. From the moment of their birth, strong powers will be in place to bring the seven light together and the seven dark together to form two separate but equally powerful groups. The first seven to gather all in one place will seal the fate of the world – dark for hell, light for heaven. At that point the seven deadly sins will take over the world or cease to exist.”

Although Mia and Thomas have successfully unified six of the seven light psychics foretold of in the ancient Sevens Prophecy, it’s not enough to seal the fate of the world for the light. Now the only way to conquer evil is to prevent the dark psychics from gathering. But tracking them down is proving more difficult than they first anticipated and time is running out, especially now that the dark psychics are coming after them.

As both sides of the prophecy gather, which group will ultimately decide the fate of the world?

Pre-order Beyond the Sanctified HERE

 

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revolt

7/18 – Revolt: Book Four of the Resistance Series
by Tracy Lawson

To Deny Freedom is to Deny the Human Spirit.

Fugitive Resistance fighter Tommy Bailey has come out of hiding to help rescue Careen Catecher from the clutches of the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense, where she’s been held and interrogated for information about the rebel group. The OCSD is poised to launch the Cerberean Link, a security device that will put all minors under constant surveillance under the guise of protecting them.

Fearful that OCSD director Madalyn Davies’s bid for control won’t stop there, the Resistance puts its own plan in motion to sabotage the Link and oust Madalyn from the directorship. Just when everything seems leveraged in the Resistance’s favor, treachery, lies, and long-held secrets threaten to derail it all.

Will even a life together on the run be impossible for Tommy and Careen? Or will the Resistance’s efforts convince the public to put their fears aside and demand freedom?

Pre-order Revolt HERE

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the conclave

7/21 – The Conclave (The Converters Trilogy Book 3)
by Tenille Berezay

Having escaped the dangers of The Keep, Desiree is determined to free Blake. But when a government-enhanced converter goes rogue, the ensuing battle for power, control, and lives makes Blake’s rescue a secondary mission. As Desiree struggles to overcome past demons and new, stifling expectations, she faces converters more powerful, dangerous, and desperate than ever. To protect those she loves, redeem the convergence, overtake The Keep, and honor the Conclave, Desiree will have to redefine her future.

THE CONCLAVE is the intense, action-packed final book in the Converters trilogy; the conclusion of Desiree’s journey.

 

Pre-order The Conclave HERE

 

March-May New Releases

So many great new books from our group this spring!!

 

into-shadow

3/1 (RE-RELEASE) – Into Shadow (Shadow and Light Book 1)
by T.D. Shields

She’s nineteen. The President’s daughter. They want her dead.

Poppy’s father may be the President of the North American Alliance, but that just makes her a target for those wishing to topple the regime.

Barely escaping with her life, she must travel across a country ravaged by war and climate change to seek safety amongst a people who only recently opposed her. There she must use every skill learned from her military upbringing to survive terrifying beasts, deadly plant life, and lawless gangs before finally finding a group willing to accept her.

But her peace soon proves to be illusory. It’s not only the government that wants her dead now.

Into Shadow is the first book in the young adult dystopian Shadow and Light series. Fast-paced with great world-building and a strong female protagonist, T.D. Shields has created a book all lovers of young adults dystopian novels will enjoy.

Purchase Into Shadow HERE

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moose-in-the-shower3/2 – A Moose in the Shower
by Elysabeth Eldering

If you were a moose, where would you hide? Where could you hide? Could you hide at all? A moose is in our shower. That’s what Mama said. Now, I have to find it. I’ll look everywhere, even under the bed. What I’ll do when I find it, I don’t know, but I’m going to search and search until I can’t search any more.

Genre: Kids/Picture

Purchase A Moose in the Shower HERE

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umbrae3/1 – Umbrae (The P.A.W.S. Saga Book 3)
by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Step into the Shadows of Umbrae …

Miri’s world at P.A.W.S. in St. Louis is falling apart. First, Danny is accused of stealing her opapa’s charm. But before he can defend himself, he mysteriously disappears. Miri seeks Josh for help and advice, but he too has gone missing.

Then Lilith has a vision – Miri dragged away by wolves. Miri needs answers, answers that she feels sure are hidden in the blank pages of the book of Argentum.

With the help of Lilith, she travels to the ancient city of Safed. There, with the aid of a mystical rabbi and an outspoken werecat, her omama’s story is slowly revealed. And Miri uncovers something else, a world hidden deep beneath our own – the labyrinth of shadows also known as Umbrae.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Umbrae HERE

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paranormal painless3/8 – Paranormal Painless: A Supernatural World of Stranger Things (A Young Adult Ghost Story)
by Shannon Rieger

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Join Christian Moore in his paranormal world of stranger things. Bewildered by an unexpected, peculiar package and disturbed by its accompanying antagonistic spirits, English teacher Christian Moore is shaken from his carefully crafted, cocooned existence and catapulted into the shocking reality of an unpredictable, haunted and sometimes evil world.

With his own safety and sanity at stake, he must learn to embrace the paranormal when he is confronted by the serial killer of innocent children. To survive, Christian forms unlikely alliances with once feared intruders from the supernatural realm, as well as, a mysterious man with unique insight and abilities.  Just when he thinks he has solved the mystery of his chilling visions, he is propelled into a tomb of water where he is forced to unravel the heartbreaking history buried for years within the confines of those same walls.

While helping the unfortunate, trapped souls, he is compelled to examine his own traumatic past and to risk everything he knows for a life truly worth living.

Will Christian Moore learn why the children haunting his home were murdered? Will he survive the visit from the serial killer? Will he make peace with his past and learn to love better, and therefore, live better?

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Genre: YA/Paranormal
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Purchase Paranormal Painless HERE
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angel factor3/14 – The Angel Factor (The Cure Series Book 2)
by Tania Hagan

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Genesis Weatherby has been living the life of a fugitive for over three years. Genny, Nat, and their two children have found some comfort in the remote mountain village of Fieldmont, Oregon, where Chosen members, as well as their sympathizers, live inside a forgotten government bunker.

The Genetic Operations Division (GOD) has just named Genny and Nat as their primary targets in the organization’s war against Original births. More importantly, they’ve blamed the couple for the alarming number of cancer cases in recent years.

When the GOD-created deadly Angel virus strikes close to home, Genny devises a dangerous plan to stomp out GOD once and for all.

But, will Nat and their friends go along with her idea? Will Genny be able to live long enough to carry out her dangerous mission? Where can she run when everyone in the world thinks she’s their enemy? In the end, will she really know who’s on her side?

With the fate of the entire planet resting on her shoulders, Genny has to make some life-altering decisions that might lead to the destruction of her entire family. Or, is it already too late for everyone?

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Genre: YA/Dystopian
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Purchase The Angel Factor HERE
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skipping-forward3/14 – Skipping Forward
by Bethany Wicker

What if you could skip forward in time, but never back?

Molly Jacobs has always wished for more time in life. But for Molly, time doesn’t work the same as it does for others because she suffers from time skipping. At least, that’s what she calls it.

From the age of seven, Molly discovers her ability to jump into the future. But it doesn’t come without a price. With each time skip, memories of those seconds, minutes, or hours of her life are lost.

Molly never cared until Rhett enters her life. Now, time has meaning, and as they grow closer together, pieces of their time together disappears. Molly needs to learn discipline and control, before she loses the essence of her life.

Genre: YA/Sci-Fi/Time Travel

Purchase Skipping Forward HERE

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knew it all3/31 – We Thought We Knew It All
by Michelle Lynn

Much can happen in ten years. People change. Life occurs; death ensues. Secrets are kept; truth prevails.

A decade has passed since Callie and Jamie exchanged goodbyes. At the time, they didn’t realize it might be their final exchange, and they’d disappear from each other’s lives. But that’s exactly what happened. Now, Callie finds herself at a crossroads. Caught between her current life and the longing for her past, she must decide what is best for her.

Jamie has worked hard to make something of himself — to prove his father wrong. Life as an Army Ranger isn’t easy, but it’s who he is down to his core. When everything starts to crumble, he receives news from home that makes him think about his life. Earlier, he vowed never to set foot in Gulf City again. Now, there’s no reason he can’t go home.

Except there is… And her name is California McCoy.

Genre: YA/Contemporary/Romance

Purchase We Thoughts We Knew It All HERE

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moss forest orchid3/31 – Moss Forest Orchid (Silver and Orchids Book 1)
by Shari Tapscott

What happens when a feisty adventuress, a lord looking to make his own way in the world, and a handsome sea captain set out to find Kalae’s rarest and most valuable flower?

Trouble — and lots of it.

Lucia needs a job, and she needs one fast. Looting dragon caves hasn’t proven profitable lately, and she’s tired of waiting tables. Her business partner usually finds the work, but Sebastian isn’t speaking with her, and Lucia’s getting desperate.

Luckily, Lucia finds a simple request posted on a community board. All the man wants is an orchid. Nothing to it.

Except the flower only grows in a montane cloud forest in Grenalda… And Lucia must take a ship through sea serpent-infested waters to get there… And her new helpful friend—the one and only, dashing Captain Avery Greybrow—just might be a pirate.

At this rate, Lucia’s not sure if she’ll ever reach the orchid. But she’s determined to try.

Genre: NA/Adventure/Romance

Purchase Moss Forest Orchid HERE

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angels & arrows3/31 – Arrows & Angels (Enlighten Series Book 0)
by Kristin Van Risseghem

OBSERVE. LEARN. BUT DON’T INTERVENE.

Kieran’s job of being a guardian angel is straightforward: observe and learn—and don’t intervene in their lives. But then he watches as his first charge dies at the hands of evil while he does nothing to help.

Overcome with grief and doubt, Kieran flees back to the safety of heaven. With guidance from his mentor, he learns all he can about the Battle of the Fallen and the creation of evil itself. With renewed determination, he vows he will save the Ordinaries in his care.

The rules of being a guardian angel have not changed, but Kieran has. Returning to earth, only Kieran knows how essential it is to find and protect one 17-year-old girl. The girl who can thwart the Devil’s escape from his prison and the start of Armageddon.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Angels & Arrows HERE

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the other queen4/1 – The Other Queen (The Inheritance Series Book 2)
by Rebecca Jaycox

One world. Two girls. An evil determined to destroy them both.

Reggie has escaped the dark mage, Andrius, and finally made it to her guardian, Rhys. But if she thought things would be easier, fate has other plans.

Her father’s situation is more dire than she first thought, and she learns her mother and best friend are being held hostage by Andrius.

Her dreams are being haunted by the Black Queen, a bizarre, terrified girl begging for Reggie to save her. With her loved ones’ lives hanging in the balance, Reggie and her friends race to devise a plan to defeat Andrius. And the Black Queen could provide the key to breaking the dark mage’s hold on the Other.

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Steampunk

Purchase The Other Queen HERE

 

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my lame life4/17 – My Lame Life: Queen of the Misfits
by Jen Mann

My name is Plum Parrish, I’m fourteen, and I’m pretty sure I’m invisible. Not like super power invisible, more like loser invisible. There’s a big difference. I live with my dad who doesn’t realize that a job transfer to Kansas is not a promotion; my s’mother who thinks journaling, cheesy inspo slogans, and mani-pedis can solve my problems; and my twin brother Pax who is so perfect I’m convinced we share absolutely no DNA. Unfortunately, I’m not invisible to them. I love them, but they embarrass me on the daily. Honestly, they would probably say the same about me, because I’m weird, sarcastic, and just a lot. My best friend is ghosting me, and my other best friend is a teacher. The move to Kansas is my opportunity to reinvent myself and embrace my a lot-ness (yes, that is too a word). Sure, I will literally have to battle a live bat, a Queen Bee, and my unruly hair, but I will find my tribe and own who I am.

Genre: YA/Contemporary

Purchase My Lame Life HERE

 

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pawns4/20 – Pawns (The Wielders of Arantha Book 1)
by Patrick Hodges

Seven hundred years in the future, the Jegg – a powerful alien race – invade Earth, wiping out half of the Terran Confederation.

In a hidden base under the Sahara Desert, a team of scientists works to mount a resistance against the invaders. Their plan is to fit an Earth ship with Jegg folding-space technology, and travel to the other side of the galaxy to find a mysterious energy source… one that could help them defeat the Jegg.

But just before departure, catastrophe strikes. Only two of the crew survive and make it to their destination: the team leader’s wife Maeve, and her teenage son Davin. What they find on the distant planet will forever change both the future of their family and their planet, as they enter a race against time… and against impossible odds.

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Purchase Pawns HERE

 

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magic bound4/30 – Magic Bound: The Hybrid Trilogy
by G.K. De Rosa

Dying isn’t the worst thing that could happen at seventeen, right?

Growing up on the streets of New York City, I imagined my death probably about a thousand times. Getting hit by a stray bullet, ticking off an angry drunk, or even stepping off the sidewalk too quickly and getting run over by a yellow cab. But this… this was something I would never have imagined, not in a million years.

I’m Aria Negrescu, and my name is pretty much the only thing in my life that turned out to be true. I was the poor little orphan girl who grew up bouncing around from foster home to foster home, each worse than the one before.

But all of that changed one night when I met him.

Now an unstoppable hunter wants to kill me, and if I’m going to survive I have to discover who I really am. And that means trusting a mysterious stranger I know nothing about. A whole supernatural world exists right under my nose, and I’m about to become a part of it. Whether I like it or not.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Magic Bound HERE

 

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stark5/2 – Stark (Aluna Series Novella)
by Bethany Wicker

After being turned into a hybrid werewolf, Stark became bonded to Lena. Always connected, Stark struggles to contain his emotions, especially considering he’s mated to Kayla.

Being linked to two girls is exhausting, even more so when he has feelings for both. Kayla is his mate, but Stark can’t shake Lena from his mind. Can he manage to come to terms with his emotions before he loses Kayla forever?

Stark follows a fan-favorite character, Stark, through the third installment of the Aluna Series: Hybrid.

 

Genre: YA/Paranormal

Pre-Order Stark HERE

 

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utopia5/6 – Utopia (Secrets of Aurora Book 1)
by LJ Higgins

In a single moment, Aurora’s life is forever changed…

The floating city Utopia, is all sixteen-year-old Aurora has ever known. Along with three other cities, it is home to the only survivors of the cataclysmic events that ended life on Earth sixteen years ago.

After witnessing her mother’s gruesome murder, Aurora finds herself on the run from the very people who are meant to protect her. With the help of her best friend, Fletcher, Aurora must find the truth behind her mother’s execution and why she is being hunted.

Someone wants the facts to remain hidden, but Aurora won’t stop until each hurtful truth is revealed. When her search takes an unexpected turn, nothing can prepare her for the answers that prove her entire existence has been built on a lie.

The floating city Utopia, is all sixteen-year-old Aurora has ever known. After witnessing her mother’s murder, Aurora finds herself on the run from the very people who are meant to protect her. Someone wants the facts to remain hidden, and nothing can prepare Aurora for the answers that prove her entire existence has been built on a lie.

Genre: YA/Dystopian

Pre-Order Utopia HERE

kj-mcpike

Author Spotlight: K.J. McPike

By Michelle Lynn

 

What are the titles of your work and can you tell us a bit about them?

The first book in my Astralis series is XODUS, and it tells the story of Lali Yavari, a girl who discovers she can astral project. She then goes on to use her newfound ability to bargain with a questionable boy who claims he can find her missing mother. The next book is Nemesis (book 1.5) that tells the events before, during, and just after XODUS from said questionable boy’s perspective.

Who’s your favorite character from your books?

It’s always hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to, I would choose Kai. (Yes, Kai is the aforementioned questionable boy.) I love that he challenges Lali’s black-and-white view of the world and makes her reevaluate right vs. wrong in certain circumstances. I hope he makes readers think twice, too.

kj-mcpikeI’ve never quite read a book like XODUS. That’s huge in a world where everything seems done to death. How did you decide to write about astral projection?

Aw, thank you! Astral projection is a subject that has always fascinated me. Growing up, my mother talked about astral projection a lot, and I latched onto the idea when she mentioned that some people claim they have been able to talk to deceased relatives while projecting. I never quite managed to do it myself (though I tried so hard!), but when the inspiration for XODUS hit and I decided I wanted to write about a bunch of siblings who have various abilities, astral projection was the first one that came to mind. Thanks, Mom!

I won’t give anything away, but in XODUS, the two main characters who everyone expects to fall in love have some major hurdles that may leave the reader not rooting for them until the next book. Most authors want you to immediately fall in love with the characters. Was this a hard decision?

It wasn’t a hard decision at first because it was how the story originally came to me, and I didn’t really picture it going any other way. But when I really started obsessing about the market and what readers seem to love about other books in the genre, I started to second-guess myself. Who doesn’t love two soul mates coming together in a relationship that is undeniably meant to be? But that wouldn’t have been true to my characters, and I think it would have taken away from the story. One of the major themes of the book centers around morality and understanding circumstances, and a major part of Lali’s growth is linked to that. So I kept the story-line as it was, for better or for worse. Here’s hoping readers will forgive me.

The second book in the series is written in quite a unique way. Can you tell us about that without giving any spoilers?

The second book Nemesis—which is technically book 1.5 just to complicate things—was my way of letting Kai have his say. I think his character is easily misunderstood, and when reading from Lali’s perspective, it’s easy to look at him as she does instead of seeing exactly where he’s coming from. Though his actions are questionable from the outside, I think most people in his position would make similar choices. My hope is that readers of Nemesis will recognize the tricky spot Kai is in and question how far they would be willing to go for their own families.

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Were there alternate endings that you considered?

Not with dramatic differences. I struggled with where exactly to end the story, but the major events were pretty much always going to go the way they went. Sorry if that’s a boring answer!

What authors have inspired you to write?

I will forever be in awe of J.K. Rowling and her incredible ability to connect with so many different types of people through her writing. She’s also incredible at world building and planting seeds that seem small at the time but then become huge plot points later. I loved writing before those books came out, but when I decided I wanted to write a book of my own, I definitely had in mind how much I loved reading the Harry Potter series and how I wanted my writing to make reading that enjoyable for someone someday.

What age were you when you started writing?

I started writing stories when I was about ten, shortly after my family purchased a word processor. I thought typing was the coolest thing ever, and I spent countless hours whipping up crazy stories about environmentally conscious whales working to clean up the ocean and baby dinosaurs wreaking havoc on unsuspecting families. I also thought it was super cool to make all my characters’ names rhyme, so yeah…probably not my best work.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

All the time! It’s the worst, but I try to force myself to write anyway, even if what I’m writing has nothing to do with my current work in progress. For me, the key to beating it is to write through it.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

I try to work with outlines, I really do. It’s just that I’m terrible at it. Even if I manage a coherent outline, I will inevitably change everything as I start writing. Planning and I just can’t get along.

Do you ever get sad when you realize that the characters that you’ve created aren’t real?

What do you mean they aren’t real?! Hehe, I do feel a very strong attachment to my characters, despite the mean things I do to them in my writing, and I have been known to talk about them as if they are real people. But deep down, I have accepted that they aren’t real. I think…

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

My biggest challenge with XODUS was letting it be done. It took me nearly three years to write it, and I am incapable of reading something I’ve written and accepting it. I always want to change things. Eventually, someone had to pry it out of my hands and tell me to stop obsessing, but it was so painful!

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

The main thing I would change about my publishing journey is that I would have studied marketing and begun building my author platform sooner. I didn’t do either of those things until after XODUS was published, so now I’m trying to play catch up.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

My upcoming book is called Tenuous, and it is the official book 2 of the Astralis series. In it, Lali and her siblings end up in trouble of the time traveling variety. *cue maniacal laughter*

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Write every day, and read every day. Both are equally important. Also, join at least one YAAR logo 2good writing group where you read each other’s work and give each other honest feedback. The groups are great for keeping you accountable and for bouncing ideas off people who truly understand the writer struggle.

 

Do you have any strange writing habits?

I’ve been told that I write in strange positions. For some reason, I always seem to feel more comfortable with one leg propped up, and when I’m doing the standing desk thing or curled over my laptop on the sofa, that can get pretty interesting. My boyfriend went on a kick where he would sneak pictures of me writing in my crazy positions, and once he’d collected enough of them, he decided to share them with me. It was then that I realized my problem.

What others are saying about K.J. McPike:

“I loved how the book could make me hate a certain character and then root for them and sympathize with them at the same time.” 

“I really enjoyed XODUS. It was well-written, cleverly plotted, and full of twists and turns.”

“I am in love with the style in which K.J. McPike writes. The story and wording has a way off pulling you right in from the get go making it very hard to put down. So good in fact, I had it read in two days.”


Want to learn more about this wonderful author? She has a website!

Check out K.J. McPike’s page on YA Author Rendezvous HERE!

Find here on Facebook HERE!

Learn more about the YA Author Rendezvous HERE!

January – February New Releases

by Patrick Hodges

Several great books to tell you about coming out soon!

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swords-stilettos12/16 – Swords & Stilettos (Enlighten Series Book 1) by Kristin Van Risseghem

Zoe Jabril needs to devise a kick-ass plan to save the world ASAP. Otherwise, Armageddon starts the day she turns eighteen—and if that happens, everything is going to hell. Literally.

She could be any other 17-year-old attending parties and checking out cute guys—except she discovers her best friend is a Guardian Angel and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, both sent to protect her from the demons who want her dead.

Now Zoe has to deal with growing feelings toward the Nephilim, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her. And she’s under constant attack from Demons, trying to stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite Angels, Nephilim, Fairies and Werewolves to battle evil. Then she has to control newly found talents if she’s to prevent the devil from escaping Hell.

** This title used to be called: The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos. **
** Age Appropriate: Middle School; age 10+ **
** This Series are considered to be ‘clean’ books **

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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elven-alliance1/7 – The Keeper of Dragons: The Elven Alliance (Keeper of Dragons, Book 2) by J.A. Culican

The fates have spoken.
Cole and Eva are the Keeper of Dragons – the only ones who can save all true beings from a time of fear.
Uncontrollable power.
Cole finds himself unstable, unpredictable and volatile. He has no control of the tillium-fairy magic he stole from the farros. Out of options, the dragons turn to a once ally – the elves – for help. Curious about the dragon who wields both dragon and fairy magic, they accept – but on their terms only. The dragons must submit to Prince Gaber and his rules.
A new enemy.
Queen Tana continues to haunt Cole’s dreams, as a new enemy shows his face – another fallen enemy with a bigger agenda than the farros-fallen fairies; an enemy stronger and smarter; an enemy with an army that could destroy all true beings. Enter King Eldrick of the eldens-the fallen elves.
Sometimes evil wins.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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dark-fire1/16 – Dark Fire  by Bethany Wicker

Kyler Yates has grown up in the elemental society all her life. Her mother, an advocate for human relations, wants her to start attending a human school for her last year. Kyler, unlike her mom, wants nothing to do with humans so why would she try to be friends with them?
Remy James grew up in the human world and has been taught that elementals are terrible, selfish people. It’s only proven true when he meets Kyler. She’s condescending and cold-hearted, but there’s something there that makes Remy want to get to know her.
Can the two of them get over their differences and give in to the pull that keeps drawing them together?

Genre: YA/Fantasy

 

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all-the-while1/17 – All the While (The Senior Semester Series Book 3)  by Gina Azzi

Consumed with grief for her twin brother Adrian’s death, Maura Rodriguez is spinning out of control. To cope with Adrian’s loss, she numbs her pain with bottles of vodka and sex with random men.

Harboring guilt over his best friend Adrian’s death, Zack Huntington is yearning for a past that no longer exists. Reaching out to the familiarity and comfort an ex-girlfriend offers, Zack aims to recreate what once was but can never be again.

When their worlds collide while running on the trails along Boathouse Row, Maura and Zack find comfort in each other and in the memory of their shared connection—Adrian.

An unlikely friendship brimming with undeniable attraction blossoms into an unexpected romance. While Maura and Zack struggle to heal, to forgive, to accept, they also learn how to let go and allow themselves to fall in love, a truth they’ve both known but resisted all the while.

Genre: NA/Contemporary

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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dark-legends1/17 – Dark Legends by J.A. Culican, G.K. DeRosa and 18 other authors

This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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train-i-ride1/24 – Train I Ride by Paul Mosier

 

A beautifully poignant debut perfect for fans of authors such as Rebecca Stead and Sharon Creech and books like Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish. When Rydr travels by train from Los Angeles to Chicago, she learns along the way that she can find family wherever she is.

Rydr is on a train heading east, leaving California, where her gramma can’t take care of her anymore, and traveling to Chicago, to live with an unknown relative. She brings with her a backpack, memories both happy and sad, and a box, containing something very important.

As Rydr meets her fellow passengers and learns their stories, her own story begins to emerge. It’s one of sadness and heartache, and one Rydr would sometimes like to forget. But as much as Rydr may want to run away from her past, on the train she finds that hope and forgiveness are all around her, and most importantly, within her, if she’s willing to look for it.

Genre: YA/Contemporary

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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soul-sanctuary1/27 – Soul Sanctuary (Book Two of the Spirit Shield Saga) by Susan Faw

A temple awakened. The forbidden mountain stirs.The dead are missing.

Snatched from her home by a Primordial Seeker, seventeen-year-old Avery is imprisoned by the people she intended to serve. In a desperate bid for freedom, she escapes, only to find herself racing against time to save those who seek to use her.
Driven by jealousy, the lust for power and the stain of ancient crimes, conflicting factions struggle to gain control of the magic of a Spirit Shield. Avery must dodge all who cross her path, for each group vies to control her actions.
Aided by the mythical creatures of her native land, she discovers that a true Spirit Shield is much more than a simple priestess. She must fight for control of the souls of the world, and in doing so must face her worst fear of all: family.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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Late February – Action Figures Book Six: Power Play by Michael Bailey

One of our super-heroes is missing.

It took a devastating attack on Kingsport to reunite the Hero Squad, but their reunion proves short-lived after Lightstorm vanishes following the battle, leaving the team without its most powerful member at the worst possible time.

Damage Inc. is back and more dangerous than ever, thanks to the mysterious mastermind known only as the Foreman arming them with enough firepower to take on the Hero Squad — but for what sinister purpose? The Squad is determined to find out, but the answers could cost them dearly.

Psyche takes center stage for this game-changing chapter in the Action Figures saga, which includes the bonus short story, Action Figures – Live Free or Die.

This is when everything changes!

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October – December New Releases

by Patrick Hodges

Several great books to tell you about coming out soon!

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9/27 – The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot: Assassins Brawl by Michael Bailey

strongarmYou’re invited to the wedding of the year! In lieu of gifts, the bride and groom humbly ask that you do not try to murder them.

After barely surviving Habbatarr the lich-lord and the Dead City of Hesre, Derek Strongarm and Felix Lightfoot and their companions are ready for some well-deserved rest. All they want now is good food, cold beer, a warm bed, and maybe a few days without someone trying to kill them.

And then they encounter a damsel in distress and, well, so much for that idea.

The damsel in question is the Lady Alyssa Spendle, a spoiled noble promised to Lord Paradim as part of a brokered political marriage, and the distress comes in the form of a determined group of kidnappers looking to make a quick profit off Alyssa’s ransom.

Derek and Felix learn there’s much more to this plot, and the heroes soon find themselves entangled in a vast conspiracy that threatens to topple a kingdom and take them down with it in the process.

Get ready for another wild adventure with Strongarm and Lightfoot as they fight for their lives against backstabbing thieves, cutthroat mercenaries, the crime lords knows as the Seven Jewels, and the mysterious assassin Ruined Isys.

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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10/20 – The Longest Night Watch, Volume 2: A Charity Anthology for the Alzheimer’s Foundation featuring Debbie Manber Kupfer

longest-night-watchA year ago, a group of authors got together to pay tribute to Sir Terrence “Terry” Pratchett, a fantasy genre giant and a sufferer from Alzheimer’s. They formed “The Longest Night Watch,” and, not content with one anthology, went on to enter writing team competitions and plot a follow up volume. And they found other like minded authors, bringing them into the Watch. The book that you hold in your hands is the culmination of fun and of reflection, a celebration of speculative fiction and an introspective into the lives and minds of Alzheimer’s patients and their families.

 

 

Genre: Gen. Fiction/Anthology

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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11/12 – The Keep (Converters Book 2) by Tenille Berezay

the-keepAfter a pardon from the convergence, Desiree returns to the protection of home. But safety is an illusion and her family is shattered by the violent retribution of a desperate enemy. On the run again, Desiree struggles to keep those she loves from a host of gathering threats—debilitating doubts, manipulative converters, dark technology, and a murdering madman. To save them all, Desiree will need more than her ability to convert, she’ll need to redefine her strength.

THE KEEP is the dramatic sequel to THE CONVERGENCE; a continuation of Desiree and Blake’s story.

 

Genre: YA/Sci-Fi

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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11/15 – The Mentor, a Wish, & an Angel by Kristin D. Van Risseghem

Kieran’s job of being a guardian angel is straightforward: observe and learn—and don’t intervene in their lives. But then he watches as his first charge dies at the hands of evil while he does nothing to help.

Overcome with grief and doubt, Kieran flees back to the sfety of heaven. With guidance from his mentor, he learns all he can about the Battle of the Fallen and the creation of evil itself. With renewed determination, he vows he will save the Ordinaries in his care.

The rules of being a guardian angel have not changed, but Kieran has. Returning to earth, only Kieran knows how essential it is to find and protect one 17-year-old girl. The girl who can thwart the Devil’s escape from his prison and the start of Armageddon.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

 

 

 

 

August – September New Releases

by Patrick Hodges

Several great books to tell you about coming out soon!

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7/27 – Dreams (New Beginnings Book 3) by Michelle Lynn

dreams mlMoving on is the hardest thing she’ll ever have to do.

Taylor Scott sees the world differently than she did a year ago. She’s no longer the love-sick teenager, quick to smile and full of joy. Now she’s the broken college student just trying to get through the day without letting her feelings overwhelm her. It isn’t until she meets Josh that pieces of herself she’d lost start falling back into place and she can finally see that it’s okay to be happy again.

Josh Walker is a professional athlete who has always avoided distractions. His career is just getting started and he works harder than anyone else. Hockey is his life. It’s the only thing that makes sense to him. When a new coach joins the team, it’s his daughter that threatens to complicate everything. He wants to help her. Needs to help her. But when he needs her to do the same, he finds out what she’s really made of.

No one ever told him that the hardest part of his hockey career wouldn’t have to do with hockey at all.

Genre: NA/Romance

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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7/31 – Wilder Destimy by G.K. DeRosa

wilder legacyThe life of a Guardian is a dangerous one, and with everything Celeste has lost in the past year, will she find the strength to continue on?

Battling the growing evil inside her proved to be Celeste Wilder’s most formidable challenge—and the fight isn’t over yet. As her Guardian skills continue to strengthen and tangle with the power of the Albsurori ring, new and old enemies emerge to conspire against her and the Constantin brothers alike.

When news breaks about an attempt to free Brazen, the rogue Alpha, Celeste must rely on unlikely allies, causing her to question the loyalties of everyone around her. With Alek looming continuously in the background and Brazen’s foreboding final words to her, there seems to be no end in sight to the struggle.

To top it all off, Roman has always remained by her side, but the discovery of another Wilder family secret may threaten their future forever.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Order on Amazon 

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8/10 – Unexpected Rewards (Not Every Girl #2) by Jane McGarry

unexpected rewardsOlivia Davenport is looking forward to her future. After all, Prince Liam has pro-fessed his love and King William has promised her a reward for her role on a recent mis-sion. She fully expects to continue her knightly training while enjoying a blossoming ro-mance with her Prince. The King, however, has other ideas, appointing her as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Helen.

Thrust into unfamiliar territory and left to fend against the malicious women of court, Olivia feels awkward and confused. With the help of her new friend, Kat, and her sister, Anne, she tries to find her footing among the courtiers, their protocol, and the added complication of Jocelyn Crawford, a lady who has her eyes set on becoming Liam’s bride.

When, a disturbing prophecy puts the safety of the King in question, fear spreads through kingdom. Intrigue abounds at the palace with an enigmatic witch and a strict Friar at the center of the controversy. Olivia must use her training and instincts to unravel what is truly going on in order to protect the King. Through it all, she questions if she will ever be able to fit into Liam’s lifestyle or if their relationship is not meant to be.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase on Amazon HERE

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8/19 – Type X (Project W.A.R. Book 2) by M.A. Phipps

type xNo matter what I do, no matter what steps I take to avoid it, I’m always playing right into somebody’s hand.

Playing the role I was destined for.

Two years have passed since her willing return to the DSD, and Wynter Reeves is no longer the timid girl who only wanted to blend in. Strong, confidant, and in control of her once debilitating powers, the world trembles at her feet while news of what she’s capable of spreads like fire among the State’s enemies. As the death toll rises and Dr. Richter further warps her into a weapon of war, Wynter is forced to embrace the daunting reality of what she’s become. With the remnants of her humanity hanging on by a shoestring, she must choose between the one sacrifice that could lead to her salvation or the dark path of destruction from which there can be no return.

Torn between two sides of a war she never asked for, will Wynter find her freedom, or will she be doomed to remain a monster forever?

Genre: YA/Dystopian

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8/23 – Locksmith’s Journeys (Locksmith Trilogy Book 2) by Paul Briggs

Locksmiths JourneysLachlan Smith knows when the world ends.

He doesn’t know how.

When 12-year-old Locksmith found a portal to a hundred years in the future, he discovered a world where no human had lived for decades. Now Lock and a small group of his family and friends are exploring the ruins of the future to learn its secrets. At the same time, they’re trying to keep those secrets from the world of the present… all while maintaining the semblance of a normal life.

The more they find, the more they realize that if they’re going to prevent the end of the world, they can’t do it by themselves. But who can help them? And who can they trust with the portal and the power it represents — the power to reshape the future… or destroy it?

For Locksmith, new discoveries, hard choices and dangerous journeys await.

Genre: YA/Sci-Fi

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9/20 – Daughter of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret Book 3) by Christopher Mannino

daughterTwo years ago, Susan Sarnio was brought to the World of Deaths.

Fighting sexism and bullying, the first female Death helped reinvent the College. Now, her friends journey deep into the heart of enemy territory, hoping to rescue her.

Ancient secrets come to light. The horrifying truth behind Susan’s arrival in the World of Deaths is at last revealed. War erupts between Dragons and Deaths, and the fate of three worlds hangs in the balance.

The epic conclusion to The Scythe Wielder’s Secret.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Pre-order from Amazon HERE

 

May – July New Releases

by Patrick Hodges

Several great books to tell you about this month!

 

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5/22 – The Legend of the White Peacock (Legends from Around the World Book 1) by Kristen Iten 

white peacockEnter the jungle with a young Indian girl, as she braves the night in search of a magical bird of legend. It will take all of her courage to break with tradition, and realize her secret wish.

Sometimes the best things in life are not free, but who will pay the price? Find out in this story of compassion and sacrifice.

If you are a fan of Disney style artistry, you will fall in love with the illustrations in this book! Inspired by traditional Indian art, the illustrations in “The Legend of the White Peacock” will take your breath away. This book is sure to be enjoyed by your intermediate reader, as well as the entire family!

 

Genre: Children/Geography & Cultures

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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5/23 – War of the Networks (The Network Series Book 4) by Katie Cross

war of the networksNever Underestimate the Power of a Desperate Witch

With the Central Network entrenched in war and teetering on the brink of destruction, eighteen-year-old Bianca Monroe is determined to defeat Mabel’s powerful Almorran magic by finding the Book of Light.

During an attempt to save a burning orphanage, Bianca finds herself caught in a trap. Mabel kidnaps her, taking her to the hot sands of the Western Network where things are not as they seem. Mabel is more dangerous—and unhinged—than she’s ever been before.

War of the Networks is the fourth and final book in the thrilling fantasy collection The Network Series. It’s a gripping tale about compassion, forgiveness, and surviving against all odds.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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5/31 – Magic in Clearview (Xavier #4) by E.M. Cooper

magic in clearviewAs the final battle draws closer, Xavier seeks the beekeeper of Clearview and guidance from the ledger. From Griswold College to every corner of Clanarde, the threat from demons and the Darklaw grows.

In the back of Xavier’s mind, Father Augustine’s final warning causes him to doubt and question all the angels he has ever encountered. At the same time Xavier’s closest friends face stunning revelations about their heritages, while another must come to terms with a devastating experience.

 

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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6/1 – The Last Nine Winters of Cade Finley: A Sirens of Falkeld Novella by Julie Tuovi

last nine wintersAidan Finley dreamed of marrying the girl with the red hair who stole his heart as a lad. He dreamed of a family and growing old together in a cottage atop Muireall’s wind-swept cliffs.

But Aidan didn’t know what swam beneath the island’s dark, fathomless waves.

He never realized what fragile things dreams can be.

After a storm ravishes the island one summer day, he finds a creature caught beneath a rock in a cave. His choice to save her will alter his world forever—for even dreams aren’t safe from the siren’s song.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Order on Amazon HERE

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6/24 – Woven Peril (The Aylosian Chronicles Book 2) by Jeffrey Collyer

woven perilThe Guardian’s forces may have left the forest, but they haven’t departed from Michael’s mind as he struggles to learn what his enemy will do next. Torn between feelings of guilt and love, he must now push ahead to find mythical halls deep in the earth, where secrets from the distant past are spoken of, and new riddles unearthed.

Entering dark paths, Michael must learn to use his growing power if he is to discover that which will save the land, at the same time as trying to protect those now under his care from new and deadly monsters sent to hunt him.

And all while he struggles to understand mysteries surrounding his mother.

Woven Peril is the thrilling second book in the Aylosian Chronicles, and continues the epic tale in a world of unusual magic and unique creatures. If you enjoy stories with a combination of action, tenderness and thoughtful wisdom, the Aylosian Chronicles is sure to be a series you’ll enjoy.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Pre-order on Amazon HERE

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7/1 – Gather the Sentient (The Sevens Prophecy Book 2) by Amalie Jahn

gather the sentientWhat if a group of psychic strangers came together to save the world?

There will come a day when seven psychic children of the light and seven psychic children of the dark will be born. From the moment of their birth, strong powers will be in place to bring the seven light together and the seven dark together to form two separate but equally powerful groups. The first seven to gather all in one place will seal the fate of the world – dark for hell, light for heaven. At that point the seven deadly sins will take over the world or cease to exist.

After Mia is rescued from the trafficking ring’s basement brothel, she and Thomas begin putting both their lives and the pieces of the Sevens Prophecy together, but quickly discover there may be little hope for the light psychics.

Little do they know that the powerful forces alluded to in the prophecy are already working to bring the light psychics together. Unfortunately, they’re bringing the dark psychics together as well.

As both sides of the prophecy gather, which group will ultimately decide the fate of the world?

Genre: Mystery/Paranormal

Available for Pre-order on Amazon HERE

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7/8 – Audette of Brookraven (The Eldentimber Series Book 4) by Shari L. Tapscott

audetteThe Final Chapter in The Eldentimber Series

When Audette pictured her wedding day, she never imagined leaving her intended at the alter. And though Irving, a prince with a reputation for trouble, never cared to picture the grand event (and had rather hoped he could somehow avoid it altogether), he certainly wouldn’t have imagined being abandoned.

But when Audette receives a cry for help from the mysterious, secret order she leads, the princess doesn’t think twice about jilting Irving. With her brother and closest friend at her side, and her loyal order of knights anxiously awaiting her arrival, Audette travels to the distant island kingdom of Ptarma, not once expecting Irving to follow her.

But that’s exactly what he does.

Now, trapped together until the ships sail again in spring, Audette must learn to get along with the infuriating prince if she’s to track down the darkness that’s wreaking havoc in the night. For in the shadows, the dark beast of legend looms, and only together will they have a chance of defeating it…

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Pre-0rder on Amazon HERE

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7/19 – Ignite (The Resistance Series Book 3) by Tracy Lawson

igniteThe Greatest Risk Is To Take No Risk At All

Nationwide food shortages have sparked civil unrest, and the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense’s hold on the people is slipping. The Resistance’s efforts to hasten the OCSD’s demise have resulted in disaster, with Tommy Bailey and Careen Catecher taking the blame for the ill-fated mission in Tommy’s home quadrant, OP-439.

Both teens struggle to survive the circumstances that force them into the national spotlight—and this time, they’re on opposite sides. On the run and exiled from his fellow Resistance members in remote BG-098, Tommy makes his way to a Resistance safe house in the capital. The OCSD is preparing to monitor all under-eighteens with the Cerberean Link, a device that protects them against hunger and sickness and can even locate them if they’re lost. Tommy’s now living in close quarters with Atari, an operative who has been assigned to sabotage the Link. But does Atari plan to use it for his own purposes?

Through it all, Tommy refuses to believe Careen’s loyalties have shifted away from the Resistance, and he’s willing to assume any risk to reconnect with her. Will they be able to trust each other when it matters most?

Genre: YA/Dystopian

Available for Pre-0rder on Amazon June 19

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7/27 – Kiss Me Goodnight in Rome (The Senior Semester Series Book 2) by Gina Azzi

kiss me goodnightWhy did Mia Petrellla ever make such a drastic life change? Spending the fall semester of her senior year in Rome is a huge leap outside of her comfort zone and she’s a nervous wreck. But then something unexpected happens.

During her first hours in Rome, she meets Lorenzo Barca, a charming Italian waiter with deep blue eyes and a devilish wink.  From their first encounter, Lorenzo catches Mia off-guard with his piercing gaze and friendly banter. Maybe her adventure abroad will be more surprising, and less nerve-wracking, then she thought?

Lorenzo Barca is fed up and done wasting his time waiting tables at his family’s restaurant when he could be living his life. The life he should be living. The life he wants to be living. And it doesn’t include serving loud American tourists espresso. Until one of those American tourists turns out to be a sweetheart with chocolate eyes and a beautiful smile.  Soon, Mia Petrella has Lorenzo not only showing up for work, but looking forward to it.

Mia and Lorenzo build a friendship that blossoms into love, but they both hold back as Mia’s departure date and the transition to a long-distance relationship is inevitable. When Lorenzo makes a series of shocking discoveries regarding his family, his future, and Mia, their bond threatens to snap, shaking them both to the core.

Can Mia and Lorenzo trust each other enough to build the future they both desire?

Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance

Available for Pre-order on Amazon HERE

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April – New Releases

by Patrick Hodges

Several great books to tell you about this month!

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2/27 – Twisted by Elizabeth Montgomery

twistedWho could’ve known one pair of shoes could cause so much trouble.

Dee’s lost the sparkly red heels, and when she befriends a witch to help her find a way home, she finds herself down the rabbit hole. With the veil between Wonderland and Oz torn wide open, things go awry.

The flying monkeys are loose in the Kingdom, Hatter is lost on the sun-colored brick road, and betwixt a battle of the worlds, the Red Queen seeks power, but all Dee wants is to go home.

 

Genre: YA/Paranormal

Link to the Book on Amazon HERE

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3/14 – The Lost: Tales of the Ablockalypse Book 2 by David H. Scott

the lostSteve was destined to be a hero. Or maybe he wasn’t. To be honest, he wasn’t sure anymore. But since the monsters won’t stop spawning and attacking his village, he finds himself forced into the role. Along with his friends, his dog, and an impossibly red dragon, he is determined to bring peace to all block-kind.

Genre: Middle Grade/Fantasy

 

 

 

Purchase The Lost HERE

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4/1 – Tales from P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer

tales from pawsCats and Wolves and Tegs – Oh my!
Meet Alistair, Ramora and Griddlebone in three stories from the world of P.A.W.S.

 

 

 

 

 

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Pre-order on Amazon HERE

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4/13 – The Passage, a Dance, & a Little White Dress (Enlighten Series Book 2) by Kristin D. van Rissegham

passageIt’s been a week since 17-year-old Zoe Jabril found out her best friend is a Guardian Angel, her boyfriend is a Nephilim, and a fellow classmate is a Fairy. What makes Zoe so special? She’s destined to unify Enlightens to battle evil—that is, if Demons don’t kill her first.

With “Project: Enlightens Unite” underway, Zoe learns the history of the area wolf pack and realizes she’s in a race against time to get her newly discovered talents under control. Despite struggling to fight a mysterious attraction to her new neighbor, rescue her boyfriend from Demons, and travel into Fairyland to convince the Summer King to join the fight, Zoe must still attend high school classes so her nosy parents don’t suspect anything is out of the ordinary before Demons can mount another attack.

Zoe will need all the help she can get, from the most unlikely of sources, if she’s to save her boyfriend’s life and prevent the Devil from escaping Hell on her eighteenth birthday.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Available for Pre-order on Amazon HERE

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4/30 – Mourning Memories (Liliana Book 2) by Lauren Mayhew

mourning memoriesSECRETS. LIES. DECEPTION.

Having managed to free herself from Duana’s prison, Liliana Frye still needs to find her family. Samson, her brother, her fiancée Asher and best friend Justin have waited 174 years to see her again, but she still doesn’t know exactly where they are.

A letter from her father reveals secrets about Liliana that will undoubtedly change her world. She begins to realise why Duana so desperately wants to steal her powers and is determined to never let her complete her aim to become the most powerful Custos the world has ever seen.

New friends are made, old friends return and Liliana needs to decide who she can trust.

Genre: YA/Paranormal

Available for Pre-order on Amazon HERE

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March – New Releases

by Patrick Hodges

Several great books to tell you about this month!

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2/20 – Battle of Green Isle (Xavier Book 3) by E.M. Cooper

Battle of Green IsleIn book three of the Xavier fantasy series, Xavier Jones and his best friend and guardian angel, Gabe are released from the dungeons of St Griswold College. They must find a way to reach Green Isle where Mortimer and his men are fighting those intent on conquering Clanarde—demons, gargoyles and the Darklaw. In the quest to fulfil his destiny, Xavier discovers the first secrets of the mysterious Celestial Ledger and witnesses a horrifying event in the grounds of St Griswold College.

The Xavier series is set in the year 3016 and war is raging on Kepler, a planet settled by travellers from Earth 500 years earlier. Angels, demons and wraiths are battling in the night skies over the island of Clanarde. In a dystopian landscape left ravaged by the Great Atomic War 300 years ago, men, wizards and the original island’s inhabitants fight with gargoyles, shape shifters and the Darklaw using everything from physical combat to old magic. At the centre of the battle, young Xavier Jones fights his inner demons while trying to fulfil his destiny to save the children of St Griswold College.

Genre: MG/Fantasy

Visit E.M.’s Amazon Author Page HERE

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2/21 – Dark Winter: Last Rites by John Hennessy

Dark WinterThe final chapter in the Dark Winter series.

What would you risk losing, in order to win?

As the Crescent Moon set on that last day of winter, the residents of Gorswood realised that the horrors that had been contained in the woods for so long, had finally risen, and were coming for them.

With the fate of Romilly, Beth, and Gorswood’s greatest ever witch uncertain, an age-old evil senses its time has come, threatening to cover the inhabitants of Gorswood in a new and never ending terror.

Even if the newest owner of the Mirror of Souls is to prevail, at what cost will her victory be?

Meanwhile, the last rites on a long dead demon need to be performed. But her spirit resides in the most terrifying place of all, meaning that a choice will have to be made.

A choice that will affect the entire world…..

Genre: YA/Horror

Link to the Book on Amazon HERE

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3/7 – Sophie’s Different (James Madison Series Book 3) by Patrick Hodges

Sophie's DifferentMiddle school is all about fitting in. It’s about not standing out. After all, kids can be cruel.

Sophie Devereaux doesn’t fit in. She and her two best friends, Marissa and Michelle, are seen as misfits. Things only get worse when Sophie runs afoul of Alexis, the most popular girl in school.

Ayden Saunders doesn’t fit in. Tragedies in his life have caused him to retreat into the shadows, where he watches his classmates from afar and fantasizes about being a superhero.

When Ayden overhears a plot to ruin Sophie’s life, he knows he can no longer sit on the sidelines. The two of them soon discover, to their amazement, that life is not about fitting in, it’s about being true to who you are.

Genre: YA/Contemporary

Visit Patrick’s Amazon Author Page HERE

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3/15 – Griddlebone (Tales from P.A.W.S. Book 3) by Debbie Manber Kupfer

 

GriddleboneThe werecat flexed his claws, as he waited in the shadows. Griddlebone wished he could rescue them all, but his orders were clear. He could only take one …

A short story from the world of P.A.W.S.

 

 

 

 

 

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Visit Debbie’s Amazon Author Page HERE

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3/25 – Choices by Michelle Lynn

PromisesDo you promise you’ll always be here for me?

It was a game they played, only it wasn’t a game. Maggie Marks held on to Elijah’s childhood promises as a way of escaping a life that was far from perfect. Elijah Lugo was her neighbor, her best friend, her family. He was everything her parents refused to be, everything she needed. He was her first kiss and a witness to more of her father’s drunken rants than she could count. He was there at her wedding and then held her when it all fell apart. Elijah was in love with her, but she was afraid loving him would eventually mean losing him too.

They were no longer kids, pretending everything would work out in the end.

When Maggie’s father reenters her life in an unexpected way, revealing long held secrets, her world is turned upside down and she will need Elijah more than ever.
A story of friendship and family. The promises you make and the ones you keep.

Genre: Romance/Contemporary

Visit Michelle’s Amazon Author Page HERE

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