Category Archives: Young Adult – YA

HooRah!!! Contest, Guest Blog by Jena Baxter, & Excerpt from The Carriage

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WOW!!!  I’ve got a great package today! A very awesome contest with entry details at the end of this blog, a fascinating guest post by the equally fascinating author, Jena Baxter and a delectable excerpt from her new novel, The Carriage. Let’s get started:

The Charm and Truths in Historical Romance

by Jena Baxter

Hello, my name is Jena Baxter, and I write YA fantasy and historical romance.

I never planned on writing historical fiction, but I’ve always loved history, and wanted to write a novel of The Little Matchgirl, that was closer to Hans Christian Anderson’s vision. I guess that’s a little contradictory, but I hadn’t seen past that particular story yet.  I started my research on the time period and studied the story and what he might have seen. Later I learned it was a prompt from a popular calendar someone gave him, but I’ve also read that he meant for it to be a statement of his time.

I’ve always thought it was interesting that Little Matchgirl became a children’s Christmas classic. A young girl is afraid to go home because she didn’t sell any matches. It’s New Year’s Eve and she’s cold so she lights her matches one by one to try and stay warm, hallucinating, until she dies sometime before morning and her grandmother – who is now an angel – takes her to heaven. We see the romance in her visions and the dream of a better life, and forget she’s a lost child on the street somewhere. I’ve written two published novels since then and my Little Matchgirl still hasn’t been written.

The Victorian Era was such a time of hope, but also a time of despair. It encompassed the Industrial Revolution. Many people suffered incredible losses; a few opened factories and made a fortune. Unfortunately, so many people flocked into London that employers could pay less than they should, and many lives fell into poverty. Even children had to work some pretty terrible jobs.

And yet it’s still a period of romance. The language of flowers, courting, dancing, gorgeous dresses and long walks with a hopeful suitor. But a woman had to choose well because who she chose defined not only who she was, but also the comfort of her future. I found a diary entry by a gentleman who said he had everything he needed and it was time to get a wife to care for his home. Forgive me for not being able to give you my sources, in changing computers I’ve lost more than a few things I studied.

We all know about the dreaded corsets. They were uncomfortable and often cut off the air flow so much that women would faint. Men saw them as delicate creatures. They would be too, if they couldn’t breathe, but women have always paid for beauty, whether by cash or disfiguration. What I had never realized was that the internal organs had to go somewhere, so they were pushed up and down, away from the beautifully sculpted waist.

In my recent novel, The Carriage, my main man and heroine have to face a clash of cultures because Alexis is an independent twenty-first century woman. They learn how to compromise to make the relationship work, and my leading man, Ezra is cutting edge for his time.

The facts of the era sound discouraging, and in some ways they are, but time has proven that romance is eternal. From the beginning of time until now, love has always made the difference.

     TOUR GIVEAWAY

     http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc975 

    The Carriage Button 300 x 225 4 $10 Amazon Gift Cards

     1 $20 Amazon gift card  

     2 e-book copies

 

 

The Carriage

Jena Baxter

Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Jena Baxter Books

Date of Publication: February 16th, 15

ISBN: 978-0-9911677-2-2

ASIN: B00TOQNODQ

Number of pages: 214

Word Count: 52,313

Cover Artist: Consuelo Parra

Model: Amber Ornelas

Book Description:Carriage

A teenage girl enters a carriage in Central Park and disembarks in Victorian, England.

Cursed by her sister Brooke, Alexis Powell arrives in the Victorian Era where she meets Ezra, who was recently murdered by an assassin his brother Amos hired. Now a supernatural creature, Ezra sees into Alexis’ mind with a touch and Intrigued by her memories, offers his help only to be rebuffed for his kindness. Alexis runs away, but Ezra is unable to shake off what he saw. He follows her through the streets of London.

Vulnerable after the death of his Father, his brother’s harassment, and Alexis’ many rejections, Ezra decides to stop following her.  Alexis is unable to find work or food. Facing starvation, she steals a tomato and Ezra finds her facing the local magistrate and an angry mob. He pays for her freedom.

Finally accepting the help Ezra offers, Alexis moves into the manor he shares with his brother. Romance blossoms but the bond between Ezra and Amos is worse than Alexis’ relationship with Brooke.

While Ezra and Alexis search for a way to send her home, Amos looks for a way to kill them.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/-2P1NTDmQww

Available at Amazon

Excerpt:

Somehow I was certain I was no longer in New York. The streets were cobblestone, and the buildings wood and brick. A lot of them were broken down, old and shabby. The alleys were filthy and smelled like shit. Exhausted, I looked for a place to hide but didn’t know where to go. When I couldn’t move another muscle, I hid behind a wooden staircase with my back against the wall and fought not to jump at every sound.

I hadn’t meant to fall asleep, and didn’t know how long I’d slept, but it looked close to mid-morning when I opened my eyes and looked around.

The women walking by were wearing long, full dresses, and big feathered hats. The men’s pants were more form fitting, not the jeans they usually wear. Some of the children running around were barefoot and downright filthy, looking as if they had been rolling in mud or playing with charcoal. I cringed when I saw a boy carrying a rat by the tail. Everything was straight out of a Dickens novel. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see little Dorrit, or Ebenezer Scrooge waltz by any minute now. I rubbed my nose with the palm of my hand. What the hell was I going to do?

This obviously wasn’t real, so I must have fallen in with a role playing community of some sort. My mother and father used to play dungeons and dragons. Maybe this was the same thing, but in the extreme.

Something slammed into my back. I screamed and turned at the sound of a woman yelling at me. The broom in her hand whooshed down again, just missing my face.

“Whoa. Hey, stop!”

What was wrong with these people? I couldn’t understand a word she said, so I ran. She chased me, swinging the broom until I left the alley.

I stopped to catch my breath, smoothed my clothes, and approached a woman in a long brown dress with a white bonnet and black boots. She stared at me like I was some sort of freak. Uh … she was the freak, not me. Maybe the men would be friendlier, but not one of them would stop. Then I saw the man that crashed into me yesterday across the road. He looked a little different, wearing a brown suit, and an odd piece of material similar to a scarf around his neck, with a top hat. He was actually still attractive in the weird clothes. Dodging carts and vendors, I made a bee-line for him. At least he wouldn’t chase me with a broom.

JenaAbout the Author:

Jena Baxter has always loved history and time travel. She liked to read, and often wrote poetry as a stress inhibitor while growing up. But like other writers, she dreamed of writing a novel. So she enrolled at the UCLA Writer’s Extension, to gain the confidence and skill to move forward.

Today Jena has a YA Fantasy novel, as well as a YA Paranormal Romance novel online and in print.

www.jenabaxter.com

http://jenabaxterbooks.blogspot.com/

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/jenabaxterbooks

https://www.facebook.com/jenabaxterbooks

https://twitter.com/@jenabaxterbooks

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8103907.Jena_Baxter

http://www.amazon.com/Jena-Baxter/e/B00M4YF352

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Ruth Fox’s Bridges Trilogy: Across The Bridge Of Ice, Book 2

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Tour Giveaway 

5 copies of the eBook, The City of Silver Light, Book 1 in The Bridges Trilogy

ENTER HERE

EXCERPT:

The Worst Thing in the Word

There’s a doctor in Outpatients who looks like Count Dracula. Pale skin and black hair pulled back into a bun so tight she can’t even blink. I swear all she needs is a black cloak and a pair of bloodstained fangs.

‘You need to take things more slowly, Keira,’ she says to me every time I go in to see her. I think it’s a threat.

See, I’m not a good patient. I’m impatient. I find it hard to sit still, which is not good when you’ve got a broken ankle. Most of the time I’m doing stuff I’m not supposed to, like, you know, walking. And … well, falling down the front steps.

‘I am taking things slowly,’ I tell her.

I resist the urge to pick at the neatly folded sheet covering the bed underneath me. Being in this room, with all the neatly arranged equipment and dark furniture, always makes me feel antsy. It probably doesn’t help that I haven’t slept properly in ages. I keep having dreams about ice. It crackles all over the house, and into the trees, and across the grass and the streets before everything turns white. But as much as I hate seeing doctors, I definitely don’t want to be sent to a psychologist, so I’ll keep those dreams to myself.

Icecover‘I didn’t fall on purpose.’

Mum speaks up. ‘I keep telling her she needs to take it easy. But every time I turn my back, she’s out of bed making cereal or playing with the dog. And now this …’

I feel sorry for my mum. She works long hours running the Cassidy Heights Bakery, and has to be up at four o’clock most mornings. Not to mention the accounts, bills, sales targets, and production quotas she has to meet. Having me home from school has only given her more to worry about.

When a blizzard hit our little suburb of Cassidy Heights two weeks ago, I kind of got lost walking back from my friend Jake’s place. I tripped on a kerb and went for a slide on my butt. Yeah, it wasn’t exactly my shining moment. Volunteer rescue workers from the State Emergency Service found me eventually, but by the time they called my mum, she was already beyond panic.

The weather system that caused the freak snowstorm has broken up now – according to Chanel Seven News and Weather, that is. Of course, there still haven’t been any satisfactory explanations about what exactly caused it. I can just picture the meteorologists at the Weather Bureau scratching their heads. And me, I was kind of planning to get an A+ on my science project about predicting the effects of an arctic winter in a desert country, but I’ve kind of left my partner, Jake, in the lurch while I’m spending all this time recovering.

‘Well, we’ll see what these new x-rays show us.’ Doctor Dracula waves a sealed yellow envelope. ‘Then we’ll know whether you’ll be able to head back to school. Bet you’ll be excited to see your friends again.’ She rips open the envelope, tipping a couple of plastic sheets into her hands.

I give her a withering stare. Why do adults assume that school is some fun place where you get to hang out with your friends? It’s totally not like that. Teachers spend all their time getting you not to talk, not to sit next to your friends, and not to waste time socialising. I hate school. I hate the rules and regulations.

‘All I really want to do is get back to soccer practice.’

‘Hm,’ says Doctor Dracula. She sticks the x-ray pictures on a lighted board. It’s an ominous ‘hm’, a sound that means there’s something bad here.

I look at my bones. The inside of people’s bodies is pretty interesting. I mean, all those little bits and pieces that join together to make us work. It’s kind of fascinating what living beings are made up of.

‘What’s “hm”?’ I ask.

Mum leans forwards, her brow crinkling.

‘What we have here is a non-union,’ says Doctor Dracula. ‘The gap between the broken edges of the bone was a large one, and that fall you took probably pulled it further out of alignment. The bone isn’t healing the way it should.’

‘What does that mean?’ Mum sounds worried.

‘Well, we might be looking at an operation. We’d need to insert a bolt to keep the bone in place while it heals.’

‘That sounds drastic.’ Mum’s voice is shaking a little.

‘It’s a relatively simple procedure, and certainly not uncommon. But I won’t lie to you. There can be complications.’

‘Complications – like what?’ I ask.

‘Well, Keira, you may have some pain in that foot for the rest of your life. Also a certain weakness. The bones will never heal as strongly as they were before they were broken.’

‘But that won’t matter, right? I mean, it’s not like I won’t be able to walk or anything.’ My own voice is shaking a bit now.

‘Of course you’ll be able to walk. But you may find it difficult or painful to run. You might be restricted in more strenuous activities.’

Slowly, very slowly, it’s dawning on me. ‘What about soccer?’

She purses her lips. ‘We won’t rule anything out at this stage, of course. But I’d like to schedule the operation as soon as possible. Mrs Leichman, we’ll need you to fill out some forms …’

I don’t hear anything else. My mind is ringing with thoughts. What if, what if … what if I can never play soccer again?

‘I’ll see you on Thursday, Keira,’ says Doctor Dracula.

I nod, resigned, and grab my crutches to follow Mum out of the office.

Across the Bridge of Ice

The Bridges Trilogy

Book Two

Ruth Fox

Genre: Fantasy,  YA

Publisher: Hague Publishing

Date of Publication: 31 January 2015

ISBN: 9780987265296

ASIN: B00Q20I4YQ

Number of pages: 175 pages

Word Count: 55,00

Cover Artist: Ruth Fox

Book Description:

In ‘The City of Silver Light’, Keira Leichman spent the night lost in a wild snowstorm that struck Cassidy Heights. But what really happened that night? Not even Keira can be sure. What she does know is that she’s been having strange dreams since the accident, and now she’s stuck with a broken ankle and the possibility of never playing soccer again. That is, until she finds Jake’s telescope, and is drawn across the Bridge of Ice to Shar.

Now Keira is marooned in the City of Silver Light with Daniel, Jake’s younger brother, with no way to get home. But that is the least of their worries, for the secrets they discover in Shar are more dangerous than Kiera could ever have imagined. And the fate of both their worlds are in their hands.

Amazon      iTunes     Kobo

Nook    Google Play     HaguePublishing

About the Author:ruth

Ruth completed a Bachelor of Arts/Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing in 2006. Her other published works include “Monster-boy: The Lair of the Grelgoroth”, Book 1 of the Monster-boy Series, and “Sand Dog”, an illustrated picture book for younger readers. Both are available from Amazon.com.

Ruth has been an avid reader her entire life and, inspired by the books that engrossed her as she was growing up, she aims to create stories that can draw readers in and enthral them for days or weeks. She writes every day and lives in Ballarat, Victoria, with her partner, her cat, and an ever-expanding library of books.

Twitter: @_ruthfox_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RuthFoxAuthorandArtist

Website: http://thewordsandpictures.com/

 

WOW . . . oh, WOW!!! Cover Reveal for UNHINGED, Book 2 The Haunting of Secrets

unhinged2 (2)

Unhinged

The Haunting of Secrets

Book 2 of the Trilogy

Shelley R. Pickens

Genre: YA, mystery, paranormal

Publisher:  Fire and Ice

Imprint of Melange Books

Date of Publication:  March 2015

Word Count: 62,364

Cover Artist:  Caroline Andrus

Book Description:

Being normal isn’t always a good thing, especially if it ends up killing you.

Aimee, the sixteen year old girl who can see your every memory with just one touch, is fresh out of the torture room after risking everything to capture a killer.

Despite her instinct to avoid contact with others, she tries her best to find a new normal at school – perhaps even a boyfriend. But for those who are cursed, happiness and normality aren’t easy to obtain. A bizarre illness is spreading like wildfire through the school causing those around Aimee to lose their sanity before falling into a coma. Slowly, all the people she loves succumb to this strange disease.

Alone and terrified, she must use her curse to find a way to save her family and friends. As she delves deeper and deeper into their memories, she realizes a delusional person from her childhood named David is the bigger threat that could end up destroying her. Despite the danger that surrounds her, she struggles to solve the puzzle before it’s too late to help those she cares for the most.

But as David moves closer to eliminating her, one puzzle still remains. Will she be able to save herself?

Book Trailer for Book One: http://youtu.be/cQvKX0rb-Zg

Book 1 The Haunting of Secrets Available on Amazon  BN   Goodreads

Unhinged Book CoverExcerpt:

Preface

THE END IS ONLY THE BEGINNING

He drew me here to this house in the middle of nowhere to die by his hand. I’ve never liked guns, but they sure do seem to like me. In fact, I’m staring down the barrel of one right now. The clarity of mind you have knowing that death is coming for you any second is astonishing. There are so many things I would have done differently; yet so many memories I wouldn’t trade for the world. Funny hearing myself say that. For me, memories have never been something to cherish; they were always something to fear. I have absorbed so many memories in the short sixteen years of my life that it is hard for me to figure out which ones are real and which ones are borrowed. Needless to say, few of them are good. Knowing what I know of the people in this world, I should welcome death. But I don’t. I have a reason to live now: Logan. He’s the reason I haven’t gone insane; the reason that I came here tonight to willingly give up my life so this insane asshole pointing his gun at me can feed his delusions of grandeur.

He tells me that this is my fate: to die by his hand. That’s the funny thing about fate; people think it’s written in stone. They believe the age-old adage that you must ‘accept’ your fate. But that just isn’t true. It’s simply a way for people to accept the things they can’t change. If something good happens then fate ‘lent you a hand’. If something awful occurs, then fate was ‘cruel’. Yet either way, the fates I believe in aren’t left to chance. I believe you make your own fate; that life is fluid, ever changing and what you make of it is completely up to you. So tonight, if I have to die to save the ones I love then that is what I choose–no one else. But who says I have to go down easy? If I go down, so does he. Tonight, I will look fate straight in the eye and tell her to go to hell.

About the Author:author

Shelley Pickens is a Spanish teacher by day and a novelist by night. She’s been in love with everything paranormal since she can remember. After years of teaching high school students, she decided to take her firsthand knowledge of young adults and apply it to her passion for creative writing and fantasy. When not teaching or writing, Shelley likes to spend time with her husband and two beautiful children in Atlanta, Ga. Her escape from reality is her love of complex thriller and science fiction TV series like Supernatural and Sleepy Hollow. In her spare time she is an avid watcher of little league baseball. THE HAUNTING OF SECRETS is her debut novel.

Website: www.shelleypickens.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shelleypickens

 

 

Troubled Spirits by Teri Lee – A Creepy Good Read

Tour Giveaway

5 ebooks copies Troubled Spirits

♥ ENTER HERE ♥

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REVIEW:

I don’t typically read YA books although I may change that behavior after sinking my chomps into Troubled Spirits by Teri Lee. I enjoy ghost stories and decided to past the YA genre, hoping the writing would not be too juvenile. It wasn’t. Ms. Lee serves up a fun, “spirited” tale for readers of any age. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun.)

The story centers around Annie, a young girl forced to change schools and move to a new city after her father dies. She doesn’t really believe in ghosts until she meets Harmony, an amateur paranormal investigator. When they venture to an old abandoned school, a dark entity attaches itself to Annie and soon makes its evil intentions known.

Of course, there’s a sweet romance and sub-plot involving a boy named Drew, and a few guilty feelings that Annie must resolve along the way.

All in all, this was a creepy good ghost story once it picked up the pace. The author offers solid writing, well developed characters and some snappy dialogue, as well as adding a bit of mystery for the reader to unravel.  Which leads me to ask . . . “What’s next, Teri Lee?”

Troubled Spirits

Teri Lee

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Date of Publication: August 21, 2014

ISBN: 1612964028

ASIN: B00NJ523TE

Number of pages: 220

Word Count: 64,000

Book Description:

Annie Waters hates birthdays. At least she hates her birthdays. Because every year her mother told the story of her grandmother’s ghostly appearance in the delivery room. But the worst birthday was her sixteenth–the day she killed her dad.

Forced to move to Shady Cove, Maine, Annie is drawn deep into the world of the supernatural by her new friend, Harmony. Now, tormented by an angry spirit, Annie has only nine days to unravel the secrets of the Caldwell School or join the spirit world herself

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/2fr-K7A9Bog

Available at  Amazon    AmazonUK    BN   Smashwords 

Google Play    Kobo

Excerpt:TroubledSpirits  cover - Copy

Annie ran her finger along the edges of the worn brown cover. It was divided into four sections. In the top left corner were lines swirled together. Annie brushed her fingers across the raised lines. “Wind,” she whispered. Then, she slid her fingers over to the next corner, touching the raised flames, and whispered, “Fire.” She continued, moving her hand to the bottom right corner, resting her fingers briefly next symbol. “Earth.” And finally, she moved to the final corner. “Water.”

The pages beneath the cover began to glow and Annie pulled her hand away. When the glow faded, she once again reached for the book. Her hand trembled as she opened it. The handwriting on the yellowed pages was clean and crisp as if it had been penned that very day. She read it out loud. “Book of Spells.”

“Wow,” Drew said. “How did you do that?”

“I don’t know.” Annie looked up at the picture of Melinda. The sadness was gone from her eyes and, for a second, Annie was certain the beautiful witch nodded at her. She looked over at Drew.

“Did you see that?” Drew asked.

Annie nodded and turned the page. To preserve fruit was written at the top, followed by a list: cattail root, rosemary and salt, and then written below it were five lines:

Fruit from the earth

Warmed by the sun,

Fed by the rain

Keep your flesh whole

For the lips of the man

The next page was titled To repel biting insects, followed once again by a list and lines. Annie shivered when she saw the next spell – to punish one’s enemies. She quickly turned to the next page. Suddenly the pages of the book began to flip on their own power. When the pages finally stopped, and she read the words: To banish an evil spirit. She sank into the chair and buried her face in her hands.

Drew dropped down on one knee and rested his hand on the edge of her chair. “What’s the matter, Annie?”

Annie drew a shaky breath and let the events of the past days tumble out. She told him everything. And not just the ghost stuff. She told him about Harmony and Logan, and Mike and Callie, and feeling like a fifth wheel. She watched his face as she spoke, waiting for him to laugh. But he just listened, never taking his eyes off her, and with the exception of the occasional nod of understanding, he didn’t move. She had his undivided attention.

When she finished, she took a shaky breath and wiped away the single tear that trailed down her cheek. “You probably think I’m crazy, don’t you?”

“I think you’ve upset a dangerous spirit.”

Annie breathed a sigh of relief. Drew believed her.

“It’s no accident that Melinda opened the book to this page,” Drew said. “We need to copy this spell down.”

“I didn’t bring anything to write with,” Annie said. Before she’d finished speaking, a piece of parchment, a quill pen and a bottle of ink appeared on the table. Annie jumped out of her chair and backed away from thetable until she reached the wall at the other side of the room. “Where did that come from?” she cried.

Drew took a few steps toward her with his hand held out. “It’s Melinda. She’s just trying to help you.”

Annie looked from Drew to the portrait. “But—but—the paper—the pen–they just appeared—out of nowhere!”

Drew stayed where he was, still reaching out to her. “You don’t have to write the spell down, Annie. Not if you don’t want. We can just leave right now.”

Annie shook her head. “No.” She took a deep breath and stepped forward. “I need to do this.” Her legs shook as she returned to the chair and tentatively reached for the pen. It was smooth and solid. She dipped it into the ink and brought it to the parchment, leaving a trail of black drops on the paper as she silently copied the spell from the book. She didn’t dare read the words aloud.

Annie glanced out the window. The sun was sinking below the tops of the trees. Long shadows reached across the clearing.

Drew followed her gaze, then checked the ink to be sure it was dry. He folded the parchment and tucked it into the pocket of his jeans. “It’s going to be dark soon,” he said and headed toward the door.

As Annie followed him across the room, the leaves that had scattered across the floor earlier suddenly swirled up into a miniature wind funnel and moved past her and out the door, leaving the floor once again clean and neat. At the doorway she turned back to the portrait. “Thank you, Melinda,” she whispered. Then she shut the door and walked with Drew along the stone path.

When they reached the little gate, Drew pushed it open and stepped aside. Even after she passed through, he stood there still holding the gate open, looking down at her. “I’m glad we did this today,” he said.

Annie glanced down at her feet, then back up at him. “Me, too.”

He closed the gate behind them. “I’d like to help you with this ghost business.” He stepped closer to her. “If you’ll let me.”

Annie barely managed to nod. The world spun around her, then faded away as she lost herself in his deep brown eyes. And in that moment, all that mattered to her was Drew. She lifted her face to him as he leaned closer, his eyes locked with hers. But instead of kissing her, he brushed the back of his hand against her face and whispered, “Promise you won’t do anything without me.”

Annie’s skin tingled beneath his fingers. “I promise,” she said.

And then the spell was broken as Drew stepped away. “Well, we better getting going,” he said and started across the field.

author photoAbout the Author:

Teri Lee is the author of Troubled Spirits, a YA paranormal novel. Growing up in Maine, Teri spent hours exploring in the woods with her friends dreaming up places like ‘Land of the Lost’, ‘Trouble Hill’, and ‘Paradise’. If she wasn’t in the woods, you’d find her lost in a book. And today not much has changed. She’s still dreaming up imaginary places, getting lost in a book, and sometimes lost in the woods. When she’s not writing you’ll find her saving lives and rescuing splinters in the ER.

Blog:  www.Terileeliving.com

Amazon:  www.amazon.com/author/terilee

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/author.TeriLee

Website: http://www.teri-lee-author.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23116240-troubled-spirits

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeriLee_author

Get Your Zombie Fix with Ace Antonio Hall’s “The Confessions of Sylva Slasher”

GIVEAWAY

3 – $10 Amazon Gift Cards

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Confessions of Sylva Slasher

A Zombie Novel

Ace Antonio Hall

Publisher:  Montag Press, April 2013

Genre: YA Horror

Book Description:

THE LOVE OF HER LIFE BECOMES THE DEATH OF THEIR LOVE

Sylva Fleischer is a teenager who works as a necromancer for a living. Wanting to get away from raising the dead for police investigations and demanding grieving families for a while, she goes on a cruise for spring break. Her vacation from the dead is short-lived when passengers on the ship turn into flesh-eating zombies. These are not the same simple-minded harmless zombies she raises and can control, so Sylva and her friends are trapped on the Pacific Ocean. Their only escape comes from a guy Sylva thought was dead: Brandon. It just so happens to also be the anniversary of his death, and she’s still hurting from his loss!

Why didn’t he call to say he’s alive? All those tears … for nothing.SylvaCover

Sylva doesn’t normally hold grudges, but when someone plays with her heart they have to pay. However, with the fate of the human race on the line, Brandon convinces Sylva to join him in a secret mission, yet she can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding something.

It didn’t take long for her suspicions to hold true when it’s revealed that Brandon has been romantically involved with the very enemy he now wants her to destroy. To top that brutal betrayal, the villainous female would rather kill Brandon than let Sylva have a chance to patch things up between them. Sylva is not the kind of girl to walk away from love without a fight, but with a strange virus threatening extinction of human life, she shoves her own feelings in her back pocket to face her greatest nightmare, and that nightmare starts with something that is eerily growing right inside of her own mind and body.

When The Heart Bleeds, Sometimes Your Friends Are All You’ve Got

Available at Amazon

Praise for Ace Antonio Hall and Confessions of Sylva Slasher

“A treat for Buffy fans—but 100% Ace Antonio Hall’s own twisted vision. Breathes new life into the living dead; run, don’t shamble to get a copy.”

—Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the WWW trilogy

“In a vast sea of zombie tales, Hall’s tale is more than a cut above. He brings the entire genre to heel and treats us to one Hell of a ride.”

—Art Holcomb, writer of Professor Xavier & the X-Men vs. The Avengers, Marvel Comics

Excerpt Chapters 1 & 2

PART ONE SILVER KISSES

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.— I Corinthians 15:21

Chapter 1

YEAH, THE WHOLE STINKING PLANET WANTED ME DEAD, and they got their wish. I tried to move but couldn’t. Not with a broken back. Breathing slow, uneven, I stared into the undead woman’s eyes that dripped an ominous glare down onto my helpless body.

Maybe if I hadn’t gotten dreamy eyes for this really cute guy (I mean jerk), the weight of the human race wouldn’t be sitting on my shoulders. I would’ve easily given my life so my best friend, Emily, wouldn’t die. Too late.

The full moon draped around the undead woman’s shadow that climbed up my broken body like ghosts of death. The island soil, thirsty for moisture, welcomed my blood. Terror wrestled me into a stone cold chokehold—I forgot how to scream. The scent of rotten corpses gripped my nostrils. A horde of the walking dead moaned and hovered over me like starved coyotes as the undead woman crept forward on all fours to kill me, again.

Chapter 2

Several hours prior:

I HATED THAT I COULDN’T TELL REALITY FROM MY NIGHTMARES. Maybe, just maybe I spent one too many nights raising the dead. My parents named me Sylva Fleischer, but most people knew me as Sylva Slasher (I’ll get to why later). I made a pretty cool living as a necromancer for The Silver Kisses Aerial Ash Scattering Company. We raised zombies for mourners to say their last goodbyes. A lot of times we did it for police investigations, occasionally for corporate disputes, and then we cremated the deadheads and scattered the remains over Hawaii’s beautiful waters. As a matter-of-fact, some guy from the military base in Honolulu kept leaving messages on my cell phone that he wanted me to raise some dead soldier for a case they were investigating. But I had other plans. Look, I just turned eighteen, so if I wanted to ditch some lame colonel for something way more hella-fun, I would. What? Can’t a girl have priorities?

Twilight peeked over my shoulders as I looked for my friends while aboard the Sea Queen a.k.a. The Ship of a Thousand Corpses—the best freaking zombie-themed cruise in America. Imagine being in one of those magnificent hotels in Las Vegas during spring break; the golden elevators, escalators, walkover bridges, restaurants, and stores, filled with tons of thrill-seeking college kids and adults. You could call the Sea Queen one of the world’s best luxury hotels but on water.

A woman hired me to do a raising on the ship. Emily, and her boyfriend, Beckham, or Flip as he liked to be called (Hawaiian-born and Japanese-descended like Em), were going to help me. After I finally got dressed, I saw Emily’s wacky picture that she posted on Facebook and her bitchy complaint that she and Flip were waiting on me (I’m always fashionably late) in the bar on the Nightwalker Deck. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a clue where to go. The captain was escorting me up, but some kind of urgent call came in and he dashed out of the elevator speaking radio codes into his walkie-talkie.

One of my all-time fave videos, Sweet Dreams, played on the inside of the elevator doors via a hi-tech projector system. I loved it that I could watch a music video (albeit, one I’ve seen a kazillion times) inside of the elevator. A volume control knob sat beneath the red emergency button. Marilyn Manson crawled out of the rundown fireplace wearing black boots, a dirty tutu, and a torn bodice that showed off his skeletal bare chest. Alright, that’s enough. I turned the sound down so I could briefly gather my thoughts for the raising.

The elevator doors eased open. I stepped out, immediately folding my arms and shivering. I wore a black mid-riff tee shirt, tight leather pants, and some five-and-a-half inch knee-high Gothic boots. I sighed, berating myself for not wearing a warmer top. The ship’s fake fog blanketed the air so I could barely see anything. Already late, I didn’t want to waste any more time so I stopped to ask a person dressed like a zombie nun for directions. She sat on the bench in front of the ship’s THEATRE UNDER THE STARS, rocking back and forth. A broken dog leash dangled in her hand. The closer I got, the more I realized her hunched feeble posture.

“Lady, are you okay?” I asked.

She didn’t answer but kept rocking. Her abrupt movements made her wimple flap around her neck and chin. I glanced up at the speaker mounted on the wall above us, creeped out by the spooky organ music streaming out into the foggy air.

The lady made a gurgling sound.

“Miss, hey? Are you okay?”

Her head lifted slowly. The yellow rays from the moon crept into the shadows under her headdress. I stepped forward slowly, swallowing unease.

A name spilled out of my mouth, slow, whispered. “Malena?

I remembered admiring the blind woman’s seeing eye dog when we embarked the ship. I couldn’t resist petting her wolfdog. Emily and Flip were so occupied looking for their tickets that they didn’t even see Malena and her dog.

She made another gurgling sound. I took a step back, peering into her cloudy-white eyes.

“Um, okay, I get it,” I said. “You were hired by the ship to scare people. Right?”

I swayed a little to the left as the ship went over choppy waters. The blind woman stared past me with a vacant stare, and then her head rolled over to her right shoulder.

“Hey—hey—hey. You’re not okay,” I said, extending my arm, ready to catch her if she fell off of the bench.

Was she having a seizure?

Malena muttered something. Saliva ran down her mouth and dripped down her chalky white face.

“Are you having a allergic reaction?” I glanced to my right, then left. “Maybe I should get the ship’s doctor.”

Her body started to convulse and she dropped the dog’s leash on the deck’s floor. She moaned, curling up into a ball on the bench.

“Okay—okay—okay, I’m going to get help,” I said, taking a quick step toward the stairs. “But, uh, shoot, I don’t want to leave you alone.”

A sign directly above her read nightwalker deck maze; another, near the elevator lifts, pointed to the bathrooms. Someone had to be coming by, any second. Another gurgling noise came from the blind woman. She coughed and blood spurted out of her mouth. I shielded my eyes with the back of my hand and something wet splattered on my forearm.

“Oh, my God, Malena! You’re, you’re hemorrhaging.”

I wiped her blood off my arms, onto the side of my top and pulled out my iPhone to call 911. No reception.

“Somebody, help. Call 911!”

I heard someone giggling and saw shadows approaching me through the fog. Two Asian girls, maybe in their late teens, dressed in shredded jeans and pink tee shirts passed behind me.

I gestured to them. “Can I use either one of your phones to call 911? This lady is totally sick!”

“Nice try,” one of them said, revealing the braces on her teeth. “But you only try to scare us.”

“No, please, really. Are you getting reception out here? I’m not getting reception.”

They laughed and pointed at the bench. “Maybe she pull your leg,” the same girl said.

I turned around and glared at an empty bench.

Where did she go?

The girls giggled and walked toward the bathroom, shaking their heads.

“What a moron,” the other one said.

“Miss? Miss, where are you?” I called out, a little irritated by those stupid girls who didn’t believe me. I looked toward the bridge then back at the girls. “Where did she go?” They ignored me and went into the bathroom. Seriously?

“Maybe I am a moron,” I said, under my breath. There were a few droplets of blood on the bench, but I couldn’t find a trail showing me which way she went. She could’ve only gone but so many places—the elevator lift, the stairs, across the bridge (which she didn’t because I would have seen her), overboard, or into the Nightwalker Deck Maze.

If that old, blind lady thought I was going to play her game and follow her into the maze, she had another thing coming. Whatever. Time to do this raising and then try to have some fun for a change.

I took one step and the thought of Malena sent a chill creeping down the nape of my neck. Where did she go? Aw, Who cares? I shook it off, folded my arms, again, and walked toward a bridge that led to the highest deck on the ship.

Someone screamed. I turned quickly, and blew out a long breath as a wolf man in tattered clothes chased a screaming girl across the bridge and through a door. Music blared from out of the place and I knew that Emily and Flip would be in there. That must be the bar, Lipstick Zombies.

I walked over the bridge, glancing back every few seconds for Malena. The instant I crossed halfway over, I heard the music thumping behind the bar’s door. When I saw the neon sign, I got a little excited. Maybe with a little partying, I thought, I’d feel better and forget about everything that sucked in my life—for a while.

CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL? HERE’S A PREVIEW TO

SKATEBOARD XOMBIES, SEARCH FOR THE CRYSTAL COFFIN:

On a normal school day in Lunyon Canyon, California, teenage necromancer, Sylva Fleischer, bickers with her teacher in class over an unfairly graded paper. But when the principal announces that all teachers should lock their door and not let any students leave class, the entire school is trapped in a world of terrifying zombies that not only bite with their teeth, they bite with their minds.

Since all life on Earth faces extinction at the hands of the perilous undead, a guardian of a secret society of vampire monks saves Sylva, her friend, Half-Pipe and her family, and lead them to an alternate world. And that’s when the real terror begins … on a planet full of every imaginable type of undead creature that ever lived … Including those telekinetic zombies!

Ace_jump_in_tuxedoAbout the Author:

Ace Antonio Hall is an actor, former music producer, and ‘retired’ educator with accolades as a Director of Education for the Sylvan Learning Center and nearly fifteen years experience as an award-winning NYC English teacher. He has a BFA degree with a concentration in screenwriting and has published poetry, short stories and fiction in magazines, anthologies, newspapers and novels.

Inspired by his father, Chris Acemandese Hall, who penned the lyrics to the Miles Davis jazz classic, “So What”, sung by Eddie Jefferson, and his sister, Carol Lynn Brown, who guest starred in the 1970’s film, “Velvet Smooth”, Ace spawned his creativity into developing the beloved but flawed teen character, Sylva Slasher.

6793512_origAce was the Vice President of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (2009-2011), and continues to head the Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror (ScHoFan) Critique Group as Co-Director of critique groups within the society. He is also a member of LASFS and the International Thriller Writers.

On April 14, 2013, Montag Press published his YA zombie novel Confessions of Sylva Slasher. His next release, Skateboard Xombies, is coming out later this year, and he has already begun working on Skateboard Xamurai for the third installment in his Sylva Slasher series.

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SONG MAGICK – A Magical YA Fantasy

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Song Magick

Elisabeth Hamill

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: Fire and Ice Young Adult

ISBN: 1612358675

ASIN:  B00JW4OSA8

Number of pages: 304

Word Count: 104K

Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus

songmagickcoverBook Description:

In a realm where magic was thought to be lost, young bard Telyn Songmaker is able to cast powerful spells with her music. Exiled from home in the violent aftermath of her song magic gone awry, Telyn endures a solitary freedom…unaware of the price on her head.

Bound to the Wood by blood and by oath, Mithrais is dispatched to protect her by the dying sylvan gods he serves. Only Telyn can perform the dangerous counterspell that may save them. But love may be the most unpredictable magic of all…

Available at Smashwords  FireandIceYA  Lulu  Amazon  BN

EXCERPT:

“Vuldur wants me dead, not another warden,” Telyn shouted, her voice hoarse and broken. She drew her sword. “If you desire a trophy, you’ll have to work for it.”

The lightning ripped open the sky once more, and The Dragon saw her then, a slow smile crossing his lips, the emotionless grey eyes showing nothing behind them but death.

He straightened, replacing the blade he had drawn, and Telyn saw that Mithrais’ arrow had found its mark. The broken end protruded from The Dragon’s ribs, the leather jerkin dark and stained with blood. He extracted the shaft with his free hand without a sound or grimace of pain, and dropped it to the earth at his feet. He moved away from Mithrais even as Telyn advanced, drawing her dagger in her left hand and dropping into a fighting stance within a blade’s reach of the bounty hunter.

“You have led me on a merry chase,” The Dragon said, his voice surprisingly soft and gentle. He continued to move sideways with catlike indifference, his startling white hair lifted on the wind that whipped through the trees. He regarded the forest giants with that odd, flat gaze before turning it to Telyn. “I never thought a bard would be so difficult to catch.”

“You’ll find them hard to kill, as well,” Telyn said fiercely.

“I think not. You are only human.” He coughed suddenly, bright blood staining his lips, and touched his fingers to his mouth, regarding the crimson smear with interest. “I have enjoyed this hunt, but it seems it will be my last.” The bounty hunter raised his eyes to hers. “I have never taken apart a woman before—at least, not for money. Perhaps we will die at the same time.”

About the Author:hamill

Elisabeth Hamill is a nurse by day, fantasy novelist by night. In seventh grade, she had “Famous Author” inscribed under her name on her yearbook cover – an aspiration that, while delayed, was never forgotten! Her first published work, SONG MAGICK, saw its first draft finished during recuperation from cancer treatment and surgery, and is the fulfillment of that lifelong dream of being an author.

She lives in eastern Kansas with her family, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.

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