Category Archives: Young Adult Books

Featured Fantasy Book: Rhidauna: The Shadow of the Revenaunt by Paul E. Horsman @PaulEHorsman

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Young Adult Fantasy


‘Rhidauna’, the first book of the great fantasy series ‘The Shadow of the Revenaunt’.

The night before his Coming-of-Age, Ghyll and his two friends escape their castle on a clandestine boar hunt that will forever change their lives.
The hunt proves a disaster, and with one of them badly wounded, they return just in time to see their island castle destroyed by macabre warriors from a dragon boat, and by flocks of fire-breathing birds. Ghyll’s eighteenth birthday turns into a nightmare as they flee into the night.

Now begins an epic journey to find out who is trying to kill them – and most importantly, why?

Fortunately, they can count on the help of new friends, including a sometimes overly enthusiastic fire mage, an inexperienced paladin and a young beastmistress who is also a ferocious mountain lioness.
It soon becomes clear that not one but several sorcerers want to kill them. Are those blackrobes really followers of a terrible, long-forgotten organization?

And whose cold hand reaches across the boundaries of space and time to crush weakened Rhidauna?

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Viewpoint of main character Ghyll

Castle Tinnurad lay like an unrecognizable smear in the river. Ghyll stared at what had been his world. Numbly, he tied his horse to a tree, and went down to the river. Their boat was still there, partly filled with yesterday’s rain. Ghyll stepped on board, oblivious of the water sloshing around his feet.

As the boat neared the island, the smear became a smoldering heap of rubbish in the water, strange and unrecognizable.

It was when he stood in the blackened grass, that the realization hit him how complete the destruction was. The mighty old play tree at the water’s edge, reduced to a charred stump of dead wood. The leafless trunks of the poplars flanked the gateway like the planted spears of dead soldiers. Home farm and stables, gone. The bronze gate…

With his hand on Olle’s shoulder, Ghyll stared at the ruins of Tinnurad. There was no gate. There weren’t any walls. All that remained of the castle were a corner of the tower, and stone cairns in an ashy wasteland. So much ash, thought Ghyll. It seemed like everything in the castle had turned into a fine gray pow­der. Everything and everyone… He saw something move and held his breath, but it was a breeze, playing with the dust.

The guard’s here.’

Ghyll looked at where Olle pointed. A cog ship rode at anchor on the other side of the island. Then he saw soldiers, and a large pa­vilion. He felt anger gripping his heart, as if the guards were intruders on his holy ground. Fuming, he marched towards them, with Olle on his heels, until a corporal of the Guard at Gromarthen stopped them with a barked ‘Halt’ and a raised hand.

What are you boys doing here? This island is off limits.’

I’m Squire Denhalf.’ Ghyll felt his anger drain out of him. ‘I … lived here.’

The man turned red with embarrassment. ‘Your pardon, Squire. I thought you’d be at the castle.’ He hesitated, searching for words. ‘We’re collecting the dead. It’s better you shouldn’t look.’

Ghyll looked up. ‘These were my people, Corporal.’

Yes, Squire, that’s good and proper of you. Yet it’s better you don’t look.’

I must, Corporal,’ Ghyll said in desperation. ‘I have to know.’

The man sighed. ‘Then come with me. It’s not a pleasant sight; they’re terribly burned.’

About the Author:


Paul E. Horsman (1952) is a Dutch and International Fantasy Author. Born in the sleepy garden village of Bussum, The Netherlands, he now lives in Roosendaal, a town on the Dutch-Belgian border.

He has been a soldier, a salesman, a scoutmaster and from 1995 till his school closed in 2012 a teacher of Dutch as a Second Language and Integration to refugees from all over the globe.

Being unemployed and economically overage, yet still some years away from retirement, he is a full-time writer of epic light fantasy adventures. His books are both published in the Netherlands, and internationally.

Amazon Author Page

Young Adult Fiction Book Spotlight: The Heir of Claus by J. A. Adkins @rebelscribe

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Fiction/Young Adult Fiction/Action Adventure & Fantasy

the heir of claus

This is not the Santa Claus story you might be expecting.

Christopher Nicholas is an average fifteen year-old teenager…at least he thinks he is. But to be average he’d have to ignore his unique ability to see people’s names above them, or the way he seems to be able to know what is really in someone’s heart. Then, there is the fact that as he is about to turn sixteen, everything he thinks he knows about his life is about to be turned upside down.

Christopher Nicholas is the last surviving heir to a very old and powerful promise. And, he has a choice to make. He can choose to continue to live his life the way he wants as the world around him falls into darkness and a dark and evil force known as Legion achieves their plans to finally take over everything. Or, he can choose to accept who he is as the only one who can stop them and bring light back where only dark exists. He can choose to become THE HEIR OF CLAUS.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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“Umm…what was that,” asked Moe.
Silas’ posture straightened.  A grim and nervous seriousness overtook the relaxed, confident expression he had had on his face.  His eyes stared over my head toward the embattled corner where Alejandra and I first met.  “How certain were you that the door on the wardrobe was latched?”
The question was directed at Alejandra.  I didn’t expect to see fear in the face of the young woman like I did just then.  The color in her cheeks drained a little.  Her eyes were wide and filled with nervous uncertainty.  “Not very,” she answered.
“Were you followed?”
Alejandra shook her head once.  “No.  I…I don’t think so.  The park was abandoned.  It didn’t look like it had been used or occupied for many years.  I followed The Brute’s instructions and waited for an hour out of plain sight before drawing the door that led me here.”
I glanced at Moe.  I mouthed the words The Brute, curious about the random name dropped into the conversation.  Moe could only shrug his shoulders again.
Silas breathed slowly.  “What about between the doors?  Did you see anything?”
“Between them?  No, no.  There wasn’t anything between them.  I didn’t even see a gap or space of any kind to look for anything…”
The floors and walls trembled again.  It felt like the entire floor of the house was being pushed and pulled and then bounced against by something tremendous-a mountain maybe?
“If only that were true,” Silas said as the jarring quake faded.  “Many of the darkest creatures in the armies of Legion came from the corrupted spaces between the doorways.”
“Wait, the what,” I asked.
The hallway rocked again.  The small pieces of decoration on the nearby table slipped to the floor.  Glass shattered somewhere in the cold shadows farther up the hallway.  The plaster on the wall nearby cracked open.  A thin shower of dust rained down from the ceiling.  Each of our breaths caught when we gained our balance then heard the ear-splitting tear and then crash of something heavy and wooden being destroyed.  All of us were looking in the direction of the battle-scarred corner.  Each of use knew the terrible sound we had heard was the sound of the wardrobe Silas had mentioned being ripped open.
“What is happening,” Moe asked softly.
“If I had to guess,” Silas said as the floors and walls shook again.  It lasted longer this time, jumping in intensity for a heart-stopping second.  “…I would say that we’re listening to a very big round peg trying to fit itself into a rectangle.
“Is it going to get through,” asked Alejandra.
More wood exploded somewhere in the room unseen but not far off.
“Yes,” Silas said simply.  His stare was focused solely on the right-hand turn less than a dozen feet away.
“What do we do,” I asked, looking squarely at the old elf.
Silas finally took his eyes off the nearby corner.  He looked only at me.  “We run.”

About the Author:

ja adkins

J. A. Adkins is a guy you probably haven’t met yet. He’s a writer, artist, and retail veteran. Born in Texas, this wandering scribe dreams big, inspired to create new stories and the media to present them with. His hope is to fuel new dreamers and creators, even if that begins one page at a time. You might not know J. A. yet, but you will. Look for J. A. on Instagram: @wanderingblaze or on Twitter: @rebelscribe

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Interview with the Author:

How many books do you currently have published?
I’ve self-published 4 books.  Three of them are novellas and one, The Heir of Claus, is a full-length novel.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?
My favorite book to write so far has been the The Heir of Claus.  It actually started off as a story I didn’t want to really write but became a project that continually tested the limits of my imagination and story-telling abilities and surprised me every day as the plot unfolded in new ways I hadn’t forseen.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?
I am.  I’m currently working on the sequel to The Heir of Claus, called Heart of Ice.  I hope to have it ready for release by the end of 2018.  But my next release will be a second edition of another book called AN EPIC!…or Something as well as its second volume.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
What I enjoy most about writing is the creation process itself.  Fleshing out ideas and seeing how they develop is so much fun.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
I do get writer’s block.  It tends to happen when I’m overthinking a concept.  I can see the idea in my head, but can’t figure out how to translate it onto the page.  I tend to deal with it by going back and re-reading previous chapters to re-sync my narrative voice, etc.  I listen to music, or sometimes just step away and go hiking or go see a movie.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?
I have, in both Heir of Claus and my other major project, AN EPIC!…or Something.  In AN EPIC!…, that story is being told by myself and a few other friends.  I have very little control over the characters and can be surprised by the direction my co-writers take them.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?
My favorite character is probably Christopher from The Heir of Claus.  His personal conflicts are easy to identify with.  He’s flawed and just trying to figure things out while trying to balance his personal expectations and the expectations of the world around him.  He’s a hero, but he’s also not one.  My least favorite is probably the main character from the first book I self published, The Dangerous Life of Arthur Gale.  That character and book need a lot of attention and care to get them to a level I’m much more satisfied with.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?
My favorite scenes to write are any of the scenes with Christopher and his aunt in the The Heir of Claus.  I think about the dynamics of a mother/son relationship and the extra strain of it being a mom who isn’t a mom and son who isn’t really her son.  I think about my mom a lot when I write those scenes, are good times and bad, as well as all the sacrifices she made for me and the family.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?
The main lesson I have learned is persistence.  You just have to keep going, even when you feel like you’re up against that mental and physical wall.  The biggest obstacle holding you back is yourself.  A little bit of writing everyday goes a long way.

If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why? I would recommend The Heir of Claus to start with.  It is a fun and fairly fast-paced book that I think has something for everyone, from struggling to understand belief and religion to dealing with teenage angst in a strange new time.  Plus, it’s the first in an exciting five book series.

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?
I love reading both fiction and non-fiction.  Lately, I have been reading more non-fiction, especially books on early American history. But I also love reading the Disc World novels by Terry Pratchett and the Michael Vey books by Richard Paul Evans.

What about television shows? Movies?
My favorite TV shows include Seinfeld, Arrested Development, Battlestar Galactica, and Stargate SG-1.  My favorite movies include Contact, the Dark Knight Trilogy, and the original Ghostbusters.

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?
There are two, actually: The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan and Strength to Love by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.. The Demon Haunted World was a book I first picked up in high school and taught me a lot about to intelligently and honestly question the world around me. Strength to Love is such an enlightening and up-lifting book. I re-read it regularly.

Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions?
Not yet. But that is something I’m looking to change over the upcoming year.

Young Adult Romance: The Seer: Deadly Fairy Tales, Book 1 by Elizabeth Marx @emarxbooks

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If you’re a fan of young adult literature, especially romances, see the following book to read this fall!

Young Adult Romance


Fairy tales aren’t supposed to be deadly, but anything can happen on Halloween night in Salem … even a human sacrifice.

When a supernatural beast murders a sixteen-year-old girl, her soul is reawakened as an OtherWorldly being. Now, as the Seer, she is destined to serve the Order, even as she craves retribution. Invisible, isolated, and confused, she rejects her calling and seeks solace in the one thing she believes is real: her connection to Locke … only he can’t see her, or feel her presence.

Determined to find some way to warn Locke of the danger he’s in the Seer sets out to discover the truth behind the clandestine Order. Unfortunately, those who are like her fear her, and only one acknowledges her existence—Tristan, a Guardian sentenced to defend the Order at all costs.

Soon Tristan discovers something sinister, something that cannot only destroy the Seer, but every witch in the Order.

To protect the one she loves and regain the life she lost, the Seer must join forces with Tristan and save the thing responsible for taking her away from the world to which she desperately wants to return.

Deadly Fairy Tales is a paranormal young adult urban fantasy romance series set in Salem. Books in the series are as follows.
The Seer Book 1
All’s Fair in Vanity’s War Book 2
Something Greedy This Way Comes Book 3

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Marx writes deeply emotional romances that take her readers on a roller coaster ride between desire and despair. Often described as hilarious, heartbreaking, and heartwarming, she’s not afraid to tear you apart just when you think you know what’s going to happen. Because let’s face it, a happily ever after has to be earned.

Elizabeth resides in Chicago with her husband, girls, and two cats who’ve spelled everyone into believing they’re really dogs.

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She loves hearing from readers, contact her at or

See more Halloween reading suggestions on our 31 Nights of Haunted Reads Master List!

Fire and Ice Book Promos Presents....

For Young Adult Readers: 8+ Books To Read This Halloween

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If you’re a reader searching for Halloween-themed books featuring a young adult hero or heroine, then your search is officially over! See the suggestions below for our Halloween must reads, as these young characters encounter ghosts, paranormal creatures, supernatural entities, and other scary things that go bump in the night.

I Was a Teenage Ghost Hunter by Brian K. Henry


Moody sixteen-year-old barista Devin Mulwray is doing his best to ignore bizarre manifestations at his job in the chilly Northern California town of Arcata. Already teased about his recurrent ‘phase-outs’, the last thing he needs is to get pegged as a guy who sees ghosts. It doesn’t help his state of mind that his boss is a sarcastic slacker, his single dad is always on the road with clients and local occult fan girl Nayra is spreading ‘ghost boy’ rumors about him online.

But when violent paranormal activity badly spooks teens at an abandoned estate, Devin’s pushed into investigating by his eccentric friends Clive, a budding composer, and Rex, a tech head excited by ghost hunting gadgetry. At first reluctant to get involved, Devin’s encouraged when Emily, one of the more empathetic girls at Grey Bluff High, is impressed with his daring.

Together the friends explore the creepy Rousten manor. But as the only person able to perceive the manifestations, Devin soon finds himself going one-on-one against a powerful spirit who attacks the locals and infiltrates Devin’s own dreams.

Devin must face his fear of confronting the spirit world and get to the bottom of the hauntings before the specter unleashes more havoc on him and his friends.

Wattpad readers loved I Was a Teenage Ghost Hunter. Here is a sample from fans who read the book when it was featured on Wattpad:

“Best ending ever!!! I loved it, you’ve done a seriously great job and it was such an awesome read. I really love Devin and everything about this book :) ” Bookworm177

“Done reading this last night, and it was awesome! What a spooky story indeed. Clive and Rex’s bickering moments were also funny!…You have my 30 votes. :) ” – Chemister

“amazing story I enjoyed it very much…and it kept a mystery element till the end :) thank you for uploading it! keep up the good work! :) ” – Sriparnaman

“Thanks for the awesome book. I love ghost stories and I count this as one of the best that I read. Please do write another. :D ” Robby_Lao

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Devin was left by himself. Could anyone possibly have a weirder batch of friends? Nayra and her obscure historical obsessions, Rex and his habits of jumping to conclusions and spreading stories and Clive with his snobbish attitude, urbane comments and difficult music. And what kind of friends were they, anyway, always bringing up the last things he wanted to hear about? He sighed and stared ahead, but immediately knew he’d made a mistake.
The white figure in the walnut tree was clearer than ever.  It formed a fluttering dress and a soft hood of some delicate fabric. Under the hood were the blowing strands of a woman’s hair. She turned and for the first time Devin could see that, not only was there a figure, but the figure possessed a clearly delineated face.
The woman’s head included an uncanny pair of lips, blanched a deathly white, and the lips were mouthing some comment.
Despite himself, Devin leaned forward, as though trying to hear. Hear something that clearly couldn’t be there.
She opened her mouth repeatedly, making a rounded shape, but he couldn’t make out what the accompanying sound might be. Then a techno ringing intruded on his ears.

Cherish by Norma Huss


It’s the annual Local History cemetery visit and sophomore Kayla wishes that strangely dressed teenage ghost would go away. Instead, it’s Kayla who disappears into the 1946 life of a teen who will die in days.

Andrew is a pal who claims a crush on the student teacher, but has eyes for Kayla until she starts acting in a totally weird way—and chasing her best friend’s steady.

Finally, there’s Cherish, a spirit who has waited for this opportunity to live a new life in a new century. This time, she plans to win.

Is this the new reality, or will Kayla, armed with only her cell phone, find her way home before she dies Cherish’s death?

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Chapter 1

I’m getting truly sick of finding all the former Mayor Thompsons’ gravestones every October and hearing the story of how the first one named our town after himself. I’m getting even sicker of ghosts. I mean, what is Halloween without sheets flapping from trees pretending to be ghosts? But that’s not the kind of ghost I’m talking about.

Dani taps me on the shoulder. “Is she here, Kayla?”


“Where? What’s she doing?”

I nod in the ghost’s direction. I don’t want to point. Does that make sense? Being careful not to point at a ghost because it might bother her? “She’s sitting over there under that tree. Her skirt is spread all around her like some kind of fan.”

“And she always looks the same? Wow! If I were a ghost, I’d get tired of wearing the same stuff all the time.”

“I don’t really want to talk about her.” But I think about her anyway. Back when I was in first grade I thought she was a lady, but by fifth grade I could see she was a teenager. Now I just wish she’d go away.

A Town Bewitched by Suzanne de Montigny


It’s tough for Kira, growing up in the small town of Hope as a child prodigy in classical violin, especially when her dad just died. And to make matters worse, Kate McDonough, the red-haired fiddler appears out of nowhere, bewitching the town with her mysterious Celtic music.

Even Uncle Jack succumbs to her charms, forgetting his promise to look after Kira’s family. But when someone begins vandalizing the town leaving dead and gutted birds as a calling card, Kira knows without a doubt who’s behind it. Will anyone believe her?

This phenomenal story will lure you into the magic of the bewitched town and make
you care more about the main character than you ever have before. Author –Madeleine McLaughlin

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The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out by Alexander S. Brown


Halloween. A holiday that inspires memories, excitement, and a little bit of fear in everyone. A single day where all the ghosts and ghoulies come out to play and sometimes its hard to tell which of the creepy crawlies are human and which ones truly rise from beyond seeking unsuspecting souls. Author Alexander S. Brown explores all the wonderfully terrifying possibilities Halloween has to offer in THE NIGHT THE JACK O’ LANTERN WENT OUT! Brown delivers new tales of terror in this collection laced with just enough nostalgia to make us all hope Halloween comes sooner…and stays far enough away that the monsters don’t get us!

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It’s so simple to burn cornhusk dolls. You light a matchstick, apply it to the doll and within minutes, the thing is up in flames. The material is so flammable, you don’t need anything else to encourage the fire. Just light a match, touch it to the doll, and the doll is no more. In my final moments, I wish I would have never made the cornhusk dolls, because now fire won’t even destroy them.
Days ago, I was a mother of a happy daughter. My heritage is from the Cherokee bloodline. My husband was also of Cherokee descent. We would still be together today living, laughing, and loving, if he hadn’t been killed two years ago in a railroad accident. Until his death, we envisioned ourselves with multiple children. We would watch them grow old and produce children of their own. I think back on all of our dreams and realize dreams aren’t meant for everyone.
All I had left was my Sena, my child of seven years. I think about how my husband hoped one day to survive the poverty of the 1930’s. Although he never saw that day, I hoped Sena would be able to see this country advance. She would grow, marry, and have children of her own. She would be able to live the dream I was denied. Again, dreams aren’t meant for everyone.

Haunted Hijinks: A Family Plotz Adventure by P.S. Witte


Life can be a little topsy-turvy when your family owns and operates a haunted house year-round, but it is never boring! Teenage twins Victor & Ivy Plotz are fearless; they’ve grown up around mummies, ghosts, possessed toys & giant aliens, and they know every nook & cranny of the mansion, from each mechanical monster arm to every 3-D apparition. However, all bets are off when the house’s “brain” takes a direct lightning hit and all the haunted employees go rogue.

Bumbling thief, Virgil, is drawn to the Plotz mansion after reading an article about their extensive and valuable art collection in the half of the house the family lives in. Trying to prove that he has the chops to be a proper thief, he breaks into the house without realizing the other half is a haunted attraction, nor that his movements are being tracked by more than one entity. He is about to have a very, very long night…

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“The twins raced their scooters up and down and around the hallways, laughed and sped over the bug bots and any other obstacles in their way. Not far away, Virgil was on a mission. He walked determinedly down a hallway, but it looked a little different than his previous visit. The carpet had changed to a darker blue and the wallpaper had become a light, yellowish-green with large blue cornflowers. The wall trim was butter yellow. Virgil slowed down, confused.
“Whoa! Someone must’ve forgotten about this hallway. For about twenty-five years. Maybe they use it for storage.”
He continued down the hall and stopped at a door that resembled a hotel room. He tried to open the door but it didn’t budge. He held his goggles over his eyes to study the door.
“Number two thirty-seven? Is this a hotel, too? Did i miss the other rooms?”
Virgil’s gaze scanned the area and he approached a shelf on the wall. He picked up a matchbook from the shelf and read the cover.
Virgil studied the cover, turned the matchbook over, then put it down, puzzled.
“Strange thing to have in a hallway. A matchbook. It’s gotta be trash. There’s lots of junk in here, even papers all over the floor. These people are pigs. Oughta clean up once in a while. Might have people check in if it was clean. Filthy idiots.”
Virgil crouched and shuffled through the crumpled papers piled on the floor. He picked up a piece of paper, stood, and read it through his goggles as he walked.
“What’s this say? All work and no play makes Jack a…”
As he passed a wall sconce, a small sensor flashed at the bottom. Two juvenile voices sounded faint through the built-in speakers. Virgil barely heard it.
“Come and play with us.”
Virgil stopped to look around, but couldn’t find the source of the sound. It was eerie. He continued on and looked through his goggles again. A blue Big Wheel toy, knocked on its side, rested near the wall. Dark droplets of some kind formed a path that led around the corner. He walked slower and slower, then heard the voices again, but this time they were louder.
“Come and play with us.”
Spooked, Virgil looked over his shoulder and walked faster and faster. They were children’s voices and they got louder and more insistent.
“Come and play with us. Forever…”
Virgil jogged down the hall.
“…and ever…”
He broke into a full out run. The twins laughed, sped around the corner, and rode their scooters in a zigzag pattern. They met Virgil who ran into the same hall. They all froze, stared at one another, and screamed.

Helens-of-Troy by Janine McCaw


“The Gilmore Girls meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Fifteen year old “Goth-Chic” Ellie has a lot of explaining to do. She’s just moved to the small town of Troy, fought with her uptight mother Helen, met the boy of her dreams and found a dead body on her sexy “new-age” grandmother Helena’s porch

But Ellie’s not alone. Helen is hiding something. Helen knows all about the kind of eerie dreams her daughter is having, the dreams that show the whereabouts of the missing children of Troy, because she’s had them herself. But she’ll never admit it. Not while Ellie’s sex-crazed friend Ryan is safely behind bars for the murders. Helen knows what it’s like to be attracted to dangerous men.

Then there’s the little matter between Helena and Gaspar BonVillaine, the teenaged vampire. Now that he’s caught Ellie, he doesn’t know whether he wants to kill her or turn her to the dark side and keep her forever. Helena should have finished him off when she had the chance.

To survive the vampire feeding frenzy surrounding them, mom Helen needs to come to terms with her own insecurities and deal with the gifts she has. Helena must learn to ground herself for the good of mankind and more importantly her own family. And Ellie has the toughest choice of all. Ellie must decide whether it’s time to let her own childhood go and become the woman she is destined to be, one of the ageless and timeless “Helens of Troy”.

Author Janine McCaw (Olivia’s Mine, Feb. 2006,) has written this 100,000 word novel, the first in a fantasy series about “the Helens”. The three generations of gatekeepers will take the reader on a trip to a realm mere mortals fear to visit alone, and they’ll make her want to stay a while.

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SEER: The Ghosts of Gray Fable Kindle Edition
by Eli Bloom


Fifteen-year-old Grace “Gray” Fable can speak to the dead. When her dad moves from Los Angeles to be with his mysterious girlfriend, Gray must attend notorious Willowbrook High School, the scene of a mass shooting five years earlier. When she meets the ghosts of those who died that tragic day – including the school shooter himself – she must uncover a dark secret to lay the victims to rest, and find peace for their families before it’s too late to stop another tragedy.

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1. Misfortune Teller

“That closet would be a good place to hang yourself,” I said. I was six years old.

“Okay,” my dad replied, leaning over the bed to tuck me in. He didn’t seem overly concerned, or even fearful; he just looked at me with a kind of puzzled love. Which I’d take, because there was something nice about puzzled love.

“She’s nice,” I said.

“Who is?” he asked.

“The woman who lives in the closet.”

Ever since we’d moved into the apartment a couple months before, I’d seen stuff moving in the closet. I think she was testing me to see how afraid I’d get. It should have been terrifying, but it wasn’t. Part of being able to see ghosts is the ability to cast aside some of the eeriness and abject fear. At six years old, I hadn’t yet learned I was supposed to be afraid. Maybe all closets had a visitor, I thought at the time. Which might have been incredibly naive, but maybe all people should be open like this, because there are a lot of dead people out there, waiting to talk.

She seemed as much a part of my bedroom as the color of the walls. Ghosts are like wild animals, and if that twig crunches in the forest, it’s not because they’re trying to freak you out: they’re just walking around. So I wasn’t fearful. The hangers moving about seemed no different than if they’d been blown by the wind, or a live hand. What did I know about death and the afterlife at 6? I didn’t even know what “hanging” was. I had never heard of suicide. I’d just heard a voice in my mind saying, “I hung myself,” and then I saw a woman suspended in my closet like clothing. She was only there for a split second, and I went back to getting ready for bed; sort of sad that she wasn’t there anymore. More concerned that she’d never come back than she had been there at all.

My dad looked over at the closet, partially to humor me, but also with a little fear that he might see something. I think he believed that little kids could see things that adults couldn’t.

“Which closet?” he asked, as if one closet was less creepy than the other.

“The one on the right,” I answered. There were two closets with my desk in between, littered with drawings. I wasn’t very good, but I enjoyed it.

“Then we’ll shut it,” he said, and promptly shut both doors. The room felt instantly quieter.

I couldn’t read what he was thinking (that skill would come later), but I could read his mood, and he was all right with me telling him about the dead lady hanging in my closet. He’s not completely sane either. A writer of horror and sci-fi and stuff I’m not allowed to read yet, even at 15. He just thought an imagination, even a dark imagination, was a sign of intelligence, so he was fine with it. Which is probably why I didn’t lose it completely throughout my childhood. Note to parents: accept your kids, especially the weird ones.

My dad gave me a hug, said, “Night, Gray,” and kissed me on the forehead: the ritual. Then he left the room, and I was alone in the dark.

The closet door slowly opened again.

“You can come out now,” I said.

The Town Halloween Forgot, The Curse of Willow Creek by K. A. Hambly


A Young Adult Novel

Sometimes Halloween is all trick, and no treat.

Danny Hallows is no ordinary fifteen year old. After his parents’ divorce, he relocates to a small Welsh town called Willow Creek where he accidentally sets off the beginnings of a 600 year old prophecy. Discovering his family are related to the last witch of the 1656 witch trials in Wales, he is faced with protecting his family’s legacy and saving Halloween from the dark sorceress Morwenna,

Can Danny stop the prophecy before it’s too late?

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The Madman of Lake Mongawonga by Eric Mosher


Fledgling vampire hunters David Gale and Arvid Johansen are taking a few days off to relax at a leadership camp they received an invitation to. They expected campfire stories and trust falls and a little vacation from the undead. Instead, it looks like one of the local legends has come to life when campers start disappearing. Add in a beautiful vampire with a grudge against them and it looks like this will be one sleepaway camp they might not walk away from.

Buy this book now at:

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They all looked up and saw John’s fireplug frame trembling as he huddled against the wall and pointed at the window.

“What is it?” Dave asked, pausing the movie so he could hear the explanation and also so he wouldn’t miss anything.

“There’s something out there,” John said, his voice quavering with fear. He looked like he was a step away from pulling the sheet over his head for protection.

“You’re going to have to be more specific than that. Is it a wolf? Is it a bear? Is it a ghost?”

“It was a person.”

“Like a pervert or a killer?”

“I don’t know. His face was all scarred and he was just glaring in the window at me.”

“Well that doesn’t sound good at all,” Dave said with a nervous sigh. “Perverts and monsters are always ruining my fun.”

He got up from his spot on the bed next to Arvid and Alanah and approached the window with great caution. Slowly he walked up to the wall alongside it and then pressed his back to it before leaning over, lifting the curtain and sneaking a peek out.

There was nothing out there. Anymore, at least. Just tree branches rustling in a breeze. He wasn’t about to go and check to be sure, not without knowing what the hell it was and if he had the right weapons for the job. Also, it was dark and he didn’t have a flashlight. Movies had ingrained in him that going outside to investigate was always a bad idea.

“It’s gone now, whatever it was.”

Need more Halloween reading recommendations? See the 31 Nights of Haunted Reads Master List!

YA Horror Feature: Girl Clown Hatchet by Mav Skye

Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

If you’re looking for a genuinely chilling tale featuring a young adult heroine, you’ll love Girl Clown Hatchet by Mav Skye!

Horror, Suspense


This is what I know about fear. Fear changes you. Fear rules your life. Fear drives you crazy.

It does all these things until you conquer it. If you do not conquer fear, it will conquer you.This is what I know now, to conquer the beast one must become the beast.
I wish I could forget everything that has happened this summer. No one is who I thought they were. Not even me.
My name is Chloe Sevenstars. I’m your average Native American teen living out the American dream in a trashy trailer court with my elderly mother. Well, average other than the fact that I’ve been stalked by a clown my entire life. Mr. Jingles carries a hatchet, waiting the right moment to use it on me. Everyone thinks I’m crazy. They are probably right, but I’m tired of being afraid.

I won’t run anymore.

Even if I have to get a hatchet of my own.

Girl. Clown. Hatchet.


Fans of Stephen King’s best selling horror book It and Pennywise will love this haunting clown story.

Free on Kindle Unlimited

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About the Author:

When Mav Skye isn’t turning innocent characters into axe murderers, refinishing old furniture, chasing around her spring ducklings, or reading the latest horror novel, she’s researching true crime, missing person cases, and grizzly murder scenes. She adores puppies, pirates, skulls, red hots, Tarantino movies and yes, Godzilla. Especially Godzilla.

Fantasy Book Spotlight: The Book Knights by J.G. McKenney @jgmckenney

Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Fantasy (Arthurian, YA, Dystopian)

the book knights

From the award winning author of EON’S DOOR comes an Arthurian tale like no other.

When her parents are condemned to death by Morgan Fay for the crime of reading, Arti Penderhagen becomes a fugitive. Hunted by Mordred, the sadistic police captain who recites poetry to enhance his physical strength, Arti escapes to the Isle of Avalon, a sanctuary for outlaws. There she meets an old librarian named Merl who tells her about the Grail Tome, an ancient book in Morgan Fay’s possession that can alter the course of history. Can Arti steal the book in time to save her family?

THE BOOK KNIGHTS is a fantasy adventure in which knights wield words as weapons, librarians are wizards, and books can change the future.

Free on Kindle Unlimited

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As the firestorm raged, her mind floated away from the horror. She was a young child again, sitting on her father’s lap, following his finger as it traced words on the page. She giggled and squirmed with excitement as the story unfolded, peeking ahead, eager to find out how the tale would end. Her mother leaned toward her from the adjacent chair, her smiling face awash in the light of the reading lamp. This is our secret, Arti. You can’t tell anyone. She could hear herself answer, I promise.

When the story was done, she reached across with her tiny hand and closed the book’s cover. She smiled up at her parents expectantly, waiting to say the ritual words together. And they lived happily ever after.

From somewhere in the cloud of her delirium, Arti Penderhagen heard the books on the shelves call to her, drawing her back to the present. Words echoed from their pages, guiding her hand along their bindings, showing her the way out.

About the Author:

jg mckenney

For his first novel, EON’S DOOR, J.G. (John) McKenney received the 2012 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award, and was also a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. John’s fascination with fantasy and adventure began at a young age when he discovered works like THE HOBBIT and THE CALL OF THE WILD. That early love of reading has matured into a need to tell stories that transport readers into worlds full of wonder and enchantment.

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