Category Archives: Young Adult Books

Young Adult Science Fiction Feature: Age of Order by Julian North @jnorthauthorAOE


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Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian


age of order

Release Date: 2/6/17

Inequality is a science. Giant machines maintain order. All people are not created equal.

Daniela Machado is offered a chance to escape the deprivation of Bronx City through a coveted slot at the elite Tuck School. There, among the highborn of Manhattan, she discovers an unimaginable world of splendor and greed. But her opportunity is part of a darker plan, and Daniela soon learns that those at society’s apex will stop at nothing to keep power for themselves. She may have a chance to change the world, if it doesn’t change her first.

Age of Order is a novel that explores the meaning of merit and inequality. Fans of the Hunger Games, Red Rising, and Divergent will enjoy this world of deception and intrigue, where the downtrodden must fight for a better future.

“Both YA and adult readers will be transfixed by this novel” — Kirkus (Starred Review)

FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

A gunshot pierced the night.

A hollow ring echoed in its wake. The sound was familiar: the bullet had struck the impenetrable armor of an enforcement drone. The noise declared that anyone within earshot should flee the tattered streets. Most of the denizens of the barrio heeded the warning. A few did not. I joined the tide of those that ran.

The machine rolled onto the avenue like a wolf among sheep. Flashing globes scrutinized the scene beneath the drone’s rotating turret, an artificial gaze seeing, recording, targeting. Caterpillar-tracked wheels dragged the metal monster’s alloy chassis across the cracked asphalt, its bulk brimming with spray guns, antennas, jammers and the devil knew what else.

“You are ordered to clear the streets and return to your homes,” commanded a reverberating voice. “The Five Cities Protection Authority has authorized the use of corrective force to restore calm to this area.”

Another machine appeared behind the first, a bitter twin of its companion. A dozen rays of light flickered from the monstrosities, forming a latticework of ominous crimson. A beam grazed my back. It caused a hint of heat on my spine, but a torrent of terror in my heart. The warning was clear: We know who you are, Daniela Machado. You are dead if we wish it.

I ran faster, cutting in front of the ragged shell of a man galloping beside me. He was a dweller of the barrio: hopeless eyes, gaunt arms, and a torn, sleeveless undershirt. I dashed across the street, putting his body in the path of the finder beam that had glued itself to my backside. I felt guilty about it. But people needed me. That was life in my part of the Five Cities.

“Puta,” he shouted when he realized what I’d done. He reached for my mane of ink-dark hair, its mass woven into a tight tail behind my head, but only his fingertips brushed against me. I was always fast—faster than anyone else on my school’s track team. Faster even than the boys. Long legs and a lean frame helped.

I dashed towards the dilapidated collection of storefronts hugging the fringes of the worn avenue, the rusted metal gates firmly closed, lean-to homes piled on their concrete roofs. Makeshift cardboard dwellings crowded the sidewalk. I ran for one of the lightless alleys between the buildings. Lurkers lived in those narrow corridors as surely as rats lived in the sewer, but I’d rather face them than the machines. I leaped towards the darkness.

A finder beam latched onto me as I sailed through the air, the comparative safety of the alley as tantalizingly close as candy in a shop window. I imagined the tight little dot on my leg, hot and hungry. I could almost touch the alley wall. But not quite. The hulking metal slave fired.


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About the Author:

julian north

I’ve been writing since I could grab a pencil (remember those?) Then I had kids. Not much time for writing anymore. Until they started school… in New York City. I’m not from here, and the tumult of that experience inspired me. AGE OF ORDER grew from frustration, anger, and hope. Now I write what I’m feeling, and let the rest flow from there. Join my mailing list at www.juliannorth.com to recieve a free short story set in the same world as AGE OF ORDER.

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Young Adult Fiction Feature: Ndura. Son of the forest. by Javier Salazar Calle @Jsalazarcalle


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Young Adult Fiction


ndura

Chosen as best young adult fiction novel for 2014 in Spain!

When a common normal person, anyone of us, suddenly finds himself or herself in a life-and-death situation in the middle of the forest, would he or she know how to survive?

This is the simple dilemma that is offered to the protagonist of our story, who, returning from a relaxing holiday in Namibia on a typical photographic safari, is involved in an unexpected extreme survival situation in the Ituri forest, in the Republic of Congo in Africa when the plane he was in gets shot down by rebels. A place where Nature is not the only enemy and where survival is not the only problem.

A classic scented adventure which makes this book the perfect place to escape reality and feel within you, the anguish and despair of the hero while facing the challenges he is presented with. This book smoothly blends emotion and tension when faced with the challenge to survive, but also the psychological degradation of the protagonist throughout the story and an in-depth study on the environment, the animals, the plants as well as the people, that the author carried out. It also teaches us that our perception of where our limits lie are usually wrong, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.

This novel comes highly recommended.

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About the Author:

javier calle

Javier Salazar Calle was born in Madrid on July 29, 1976. He is majored in Business Administration and Computer Engineering and has always worked in the banking world. When he was younger he mostly wrote short stories, but later moved on to the world of micro-stories, several of whom , including some poems , have been published in various contests.

“Ndura. Son of the forest” is his first book (voted best young adult fiction for 2014), his second book was “Use LinkedIn as if you were an expert” and he has just published his thrid book “Sumalee. Stories of Trakaul”, a drama one with detective and romantic plots.

He is characterized by the versatility of the topics he addresses and by the prior meticulous investigation labor he carries out before writing his books.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jsalazarcalle
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JavierSalazarCalle_escritor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jsalazarcalle
LinkedIn: http://es.linkedin.com/in/javiersalazarcalle

Javier Salazar Calle nació en Madrid el 29 de julio de 1976. Licenciado en Administración y Dirección de Empresas e Ingeniero Informático, siempre ha trabajado en temas relacionados con la banca. De joven se dedicó a escribir sobre todo relatos cortos, pero pronto pasó al mundo de los microrrelatos, varios de los cuales, incluidas algunas poesías, han sido publicados en diversos concursos.

“Ndura. Hijo de la selva” es su primer libro (elegida mejor novela juvenil de 2014 por el periódico El Economista), el segundo es “Usa LinkedIn como si fueras un experto” y acaba de publicar su tercero, “Sumalee. Historias de Trakaul”, un drama con tintes policíacos y románticos.

Se caracteriza por la versatilidad de las temáticas que trata y por la cuidadosa labor de documentación previa que hace en sus obras.


Mystery Feature: In the Graveyard Antemortem by Stephen Stromp @StephenStromp


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Mystery, Suspense, Horror, Young Adult


in-the-graveyard-correct

“An engaging, creepy mystery packed with emotion and heart. A fun novel with just the right amount of darkness.” - Scream Magazine

Winner of Amazon’s reader-powered Kindle Scout program. Seventeen-year-old Lisa Jacobs is determined to solve her father’s gruesome murder. But before she can investigate in her own small town, she is forced to spend the summer with her Uncle Clayton, the owner of Grand Hallow–a massive funeral and mortuary operation the size of a small city. Her move to Grand Hallow only deepens the mystery as she begins to suspect the strange and chilling occurrences there are linked to her father’s death. With the help of her acid-tongued best friend and deadbeat brother, Lisa must unravel the secrets of Grand Hallow–before it’s too late. In the Graveyard Antemortem is a mystery/suspense novel with a healthy dash of horror.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

Without warning, I felt a hand grasp my shoulder. “It’s the morgue,” said a deep voice directly behind me. Startled, I spun around to see a man who looked remarkably like my dad. The resemblance took my breath away. He smiled cautiously. It was my dad’s smile, the one that formed into a mischievous smirk no matter if any mischief was in fact intended. He had his same soft facial features, his salt-and-pepper hair, and his hazel eyes. It was uncanny. It was as if I were looking at my father all spruced up for a graduation or wedding, wearing a suit and clean-shaven. Only it wasn’t him. Just some pieces of his DNA. He held out his hand. And as I shook it, life came back to my stunned lungs. “Hello, Lisa. I’m Clayton.” He cleared his throat apprehensively. “Your Uncle Clayton.”
“Hello,” I replied meekly. “Thank you for all of this. I mean, taking care of my dad’s funeral.”
“It’s the least I could do,” he said while wringing his hands.
“You’re telling me,” snapped Tina. “A room next to the morgue?”
“I do apologize about that. If you and your friend would be more comfortable—”
“It’s fine,” I assured him. He adjusted his collar and looked down the hall behind him as if someone were watching from the shadows. He was pleasant, yet seemed preoccupied, his eyes shifting every which way. It could’ve just been his nerves. I imagined he was just as nervous meeting me as I was meeting him. Yet it also could’ve been because he was simply incredibly busy with the responsibilities that came with running such an enormous and complex place.
“So.” Tina couldn’t help herself. “Why did you want Lisa here so bad? She was just fine in Ruthsford, ya know.”
“Tina!” I protested, secretly wanting to hear his answer.


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About the Author:

stephen-stromp

My stories tend to have a dark twist. And I like to mix different genres depending on where the story takes me. I wrote a short novel titled ‘Cracking Grace,’ a dark fantasy that explores relationships, loss and spirituality. ‘In the Graveyard Antemortem’ is a mix of mystery, suspense and horror. Join my email list at www.stephenstromp.com to keep up-to-date on my new releases.

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Young Adult Book Feature: FunGirl by Sheila Michelle


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Teen/Young Adult, Mystery, Mystery/Suspense


fungirl

Felicity Gains lives up to her name. As a 17-year-old high school senior, she has the world at her feet, and to her this means that she has everything to gain in her own selfish, conceited world, and does whatever she has to do to keep having the two things that are the most important to her — fun and attention, as well as living in the moment now. But she likes to have fun at other people’s expense, and always strives to get the kind of attention she feels that she’s entitled to at whatever cost, and that includes not caring about who she hurts in the process because she accepts no responsibility for what she does, and doesn’t listen to her best friend Erin, who tries to talk to her about her illicit behavior and the consequences of it — but it’s useless.

Felicity is a self-proclaimed fun girl and is beautiful but not too intelligent, and definitely unapologetic about what her idea of fun really is. And even though she wants everyone to see her as this type of girl, everyone who knows her — and even those who don’t know her — will never see her this way, and because of this, she has the real reputation of being a type of girl that no girl would want to have her name associated with. But since she only cares about herself and not how she treats others, she gets herself into too many incidents to count, but there’s one incident that she may never get out of, and two restless cops are in a race against time to see who could be involved in this particular incident before it’s too late, and they have too many suspects that Felicity has caused nonsense to and too many motives to count. But most of their suspects are using two interesting words that describe Felicity’s character, and this really has them thinking about this whole investigation. But then the investigation takes a turn in a way that no one is expecting, and foreshadows an outcome that no one saw coming as some wonder what really happened.

FunGirl is the first book in the FunGirl series.

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Excerpt:

Erin Tillman, Felicity’s best friend: “Why wouldn’t he be serious about things, Felicity? He knows that not everything is fun and games, and I think that’s a good thing. One day, we’re all gonna have to grow up and face the not-so-fun times way more than the fun times. We can’t live our lives just striving for fun and attention all of the time because that can only go so far.”

“It can go as far as someone would want it to go,” Felicity said. “I’m living in the moment now. I’m not even thinking about a year from now. This is the time to have fun. This is the time to want attention. Why the hell would I wait until I’m too old to have fun and get attention? Let’s face it, I’m not gonna look like this twenty, thirty years from now so I wanna take advantage of how it is for me right now.”

“I can understand that, Felicity, but it’s the way you go about it.”

“And what way is that?”

“Your need for attention and having fun is bringing more negativity to it than anything, you have to admit that.”

Felicity glared at her as she sipped her soda; she put it down. “And how is it negative, Erin?”

“It’s negative because you wanna have fun at other people’s expense. You like to flirt with guys who have girlfriends, and love it when these girls get mad. You want this attention from these guys and they think that you really like them and they wanna get to know you more, but then you tell them that you have a boyfriend so that’s not possible.”


About the Author:

Sheila Michelle is a full-time writer and writes both young adult and adult commercial fiction. She’s a Wisconsin native and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Young Adult Horror Feature, Guest Post, and Interview: Revenge, Lust and Voodoo by Dina Rae @haloofthedamned


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Paranormal, Young Adult, Horror


revenge-lust-and-voodoo

Release Date: 9/29/16

Lucien Nazaire is an old Haitian priest with a checkered past. He longs to find the perfect apprentice to carry on his life’s work of black magick. He hires Jake, a neighbor boy, to help him with odd household jobs and then takes him under his wing.
Sixteen year old Jake LaRue lives with his abusive uncle. Voodoo becomes the perfect solution to get him out of a helpless situation.
Henry Novak, an autistic teen and Jake’s only friend from school, becomes obsessed with Haiti and the dark arts. He wants to be included in Jake’s Voodoo lessons.
The newly learned magick gives both boys the power to manipulate those they hate and lust. But their dreams soon unravel once the Voodoo spells wear off.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

“You’re a God-damned slut!  Whore!  How could you?  He was touching your…All over!” Pete bellowed.
“How dare you!  You’re the one who told me to get up on the stage and make some real money!” Leah screamed back.  T.J. tried playing mediator, but his slurred words were ignored.
“But then a lap dance?  You waste no time, you little cunt!  Kinda like you’ve been stripping since you started working there and lying about it!”
“If you weren’t such as lazy drunken slob then maybe I wouldn’t have to work!  Someone has to pay for things around here.  You sure ain’t…”
Oh no!  Smackdown time! thought Jake, too afraid to move.  He hated it when his uncle got like this.  These violent moods were usually alcohol induced.  The familiar sounds of slaps, thuds, cracks, and painful moans were on the other side of his bedroom door.  He heard Rhianna’s crying in the background.
“Rhi, go back to bed.  Mommy’s alright!” yelled T.J. who was trying to calm Pete down.
Jake rolled out of bed and army crawled to the doorway.  Looking through the opening that separated the door from the carpeting, he saw Leah’s head bloodied.  She lay limp on the floor.  Pete stopped hitting her.  His whole demeanor changed.  With a wolfish expression, he began to unbuckle his belt.


About the Author:

dina rae

Dina Rae brings an academic element to her novels by weaving research and history throughout the stories. Big Pharma, Big Agri, Big Conspiracy is Dina’s first nonfiction work.
Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and dog outside of Dallas. She is a Christian, avid tennis player, movie buff, teacher, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories. She has been interviewed numerous times in e-zines, websites, blogs, newspapers, and syndicated radio programs. When she is not writing she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Stephen King, Brad Thor, and George R.R. Martin. She also enjoys reading about religion, UFOs, New World Order, government conspiracies, political intrigue, and other cultures. Revenge, Lust and Voodoo is her newest paranormal, YA novel.

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Interview:

Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?  I started writing seven years ago.  After I finished my first book, I couldn’t stop.  Five novels and one nonfiction later, writing has become a big part of my life.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?

I’m very proud of all of them.  I like to put a lot of research and history into them.  It’s always fun to learn new things and hope my readers take away something that they didn’t know before reading the books.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?  Yes.  I am writing The Sequel, a sequel for my novel The Best Seller.  It’s a sci-fi alien/Nazi/time traveler novel that will come out this spring.

What do you enjoy most about writing?  It provides an escape from everyday life, which is exactly how I feel about reading.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?  Yes, all the time.  I loosely plan my stories and then just let it fly.  Sometimes the characters as well as the plot go to places I hadn’t seen before.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?  In Revenge, Lust and Voodoo I particularly like Jake.  He is a poor foster kid who gets jacked around all of the time-a target for Voodoo and other dark cult-like religions. I also love Lucien, the Voodoo priest.  He’s a selfish son-of-a-b but has a good side to him as well.  He’s complicated.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?  I loved writing one of the revenge scenes that involved Jake’s abusive uncle.  Not to give the story away, but he gets what he deserves.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?  Don’t expect to get rich.  So few writers do.  Write for the craft of it, the fun of it, and the escape of it.  If it’s something you truly love, you can officially call yourself a writer.  My biggest tip is this-just because you wrote a book doesn’t mean you’re done.  Promotion is just has much work, but I love doing radio.

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?  I love Jim Marrs, Dan Brown, George R.R. Martin, Brad Thor, George Orwell, and Stephen King.

What about television shows? Movies?  I love Homeland and Game of Thrones.  American Horror Story is also pretty awesome.  My favorite movies are The Matrix, I, Robot, The Omen, Star Wars, Pulp Fiction, Devil’s Advocate, The Perfect Murder, and The Notebook.  There are so many more.  A good movie is just a good movie.

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?  There are so many fantastic books out there.  The Stand (King), Brave New World (Huxley), and 1984 (Orwell) are probably the most thought-provoking books that I’ve read.  I also was moved by the Left Behind Series (LaHaye and Jenkins).  Politics and religion fascinate me.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say? Escape, imagination, creativity, therapy, obsession, compulsion, dream, ambition, accomplishment, and insanity!

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers? Enjoy Revenge, Lust and Voodoo!


Guest Post by Dina Rae:

With the so-called zombie apocalypse approaching, one must be educated about the different kinds of zombies before prepping for defense. First, there is the most common and believable-the human that turns into a zombie because of mental collapse, disease, infection, and/or radiation. They stagger around dazed and confused and cause panic to others. Then there is the man-made monster kind or the kind Hollywood and horror authors like me tend to capitalize on.

Zombie interest continues to fascinate the world. Jeffrey Dahmer drilled holes then poured acid down his victim’s heads in hopes of creating his own zombie. His madness didn’t work. Can man make his own zombie? Are these monsters real?

According to Wade Davis, author of The Serpent of the Rainbow, zombies are real. They are a product of the Voodoo religion. He was originally hired by a pharmaceutical company to find out about the drugs Voduists used in their death rituals. He believed that datura also known as zombie’s cucumber was a plant that could medically make one who ingested it appear to be dead for a certain length of time. Sounds like the stuff Juliet Capulet used to fake her death. Could Shakespeare have known about the magical zombie-making plant?

Datura or sometimes Cimora, a close relative of Datura’s, eventually wears off but leaves the victim in a state of confusion, highly susceptible to the art of persuasion. Presto! A zombie slave is at the captor’s disposal. Mr. Davis didn’t just find his datura flower, but witnessed zombie phenomena as he immersed himself within the Haitian culture.

revenge-lust-and-voodoo

Revenge, Lust and Voodoo is a unique blend of paranormal, romance, and fantasy. Besides The Serpent and the Rainbow, I read volumes of other Voodoo material and watched hours of TV specials. Some of the terms I learned can be found below:

Bokor: A wizard who practices black magic, a zombie maker.
Loa: deity/spirit
Ghede Family: A family of loas known as the spirits of the dead. Three barons rule the family. Baron Samedi is the loa of resurrection. Baron Kriminel is the most feared loa associated with cannibalism and souls. He’s honored on The Day of the Dead. Baron LaCroix is the loa of the dead and sexuality.
Poppet: Voodoo doll
Ti-bon-ange: “little good angel” The part of the soul that represents a person’s individuality.
Gros-bon-ange: “great good angel” Part of the soul that is collected into a reservoir of the Cosmos or spirit world.
Baka: Voodoo spirits in animal form.
Loup Garou: werewolf
Djab: a devil
Dessounin: Death ritual that separates the gros-bon-ange from the body.
Bizango Society: Secret society of Vodouists. They have Freemason-like qualities such as aprons, secret handshakes, oaths, hierarchy, and symbols. Legend states they change into animals at will. They are known for stealing black cats and boiling them to death for Voodoo services. They drink each other’s blood from a human skull chalice.

Revenge, Lust and Voodoo is available for 3.99 on Amazon.

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