Category Archives: Young Adult Books

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

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Paranormal, Young Adult, Horror


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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“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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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 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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FREE YA Halloween 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

Free 10/26 through 10/28/16:

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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!


YA Paranormal Romance Feature and Interview: Luminary by P.S. Meraux @psmeraux

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Young Adult Paranormal Romance Novel


Emily is an every-woman, still waiting to find Mr. Right and fall in love. But she’s unaware that a great tragedy has happened, killing her soul mate and the backup one– two young men that she has never met. Does that mean she’s doomed to a life without true love?
Her super immortal protector, a Paragon and his Luminary companion, work in the shadows and must do something unthinkable. They must retrofit a new soul mate for her. Change the make up of a human’s soul so that he’s her perfect complement in every way. It’s their only option for insuring a soul mate match — which releases much needed magic into the world. Magic that advances the causes of mankind.
Reshaping the precious hallmarks and soul markers is a nasty painful business without guarantees. They must try– if the girl is to have any shot at real happiness.
Emily Wren is focused on school and her budding career. Smart, confident, feisty and too modest to realize her own beauty, she’s never had a boyfriend. If her protector is successful that could all soon change.
But life in the supernatural world, even the secret world of Paragons, is never quite that simple.
Treachery from an unsuspected quarter threatens the super immortal’s plans. Even more baffling– vampires, werewolves, a shapeshifter, witches and a psychic have suddenly developed a not so subtle interest in the love life of the woman. Will she meet her soul mate? Or is something else going on? Is there more at stake than the happiness of one special human?
Read Luminary, for a truly unique perspective on soul mates and the role of coincidence in finding “the one.” Book 1 in the Luminary Saga by P.S. Meraux.

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Appraising her immediate area, she felt the hair stand up on the back of her neck. It was an odd sensation like someone’s eyes were on her. The birds were silent. Birds don’t sing when there’s trouble, she thought.
The odd sensation traveled down her spine, causing her to twitch. Moving her gaze right and left for a long moment, she didn’t see anyone else around. Looking at her arm, she noticed a fresh crop of goosebumps erupting on her skin.
Did rum make one psychic or paranoid? she pondered feebly, her thoughts fuddled.
The brush, foliage and wild shrubbery retained much of their greenery  creating screens in almost every direction her head swiveled, although the ground was covered with dead leaves. Anyone could be hiding behind them and she wouldn’t know it.
Emily did a u-turn, retracing her steps in hopes that it would lead her back to familiar territory. It was getting late enough in the year that it got dark fairly early. The sky was already pretty dim under the trees.
As she headed back on what she hoped was the right route, every little sound seemed to echo around the forest. Muffled shapes seemed to linger in the gloominess behind her, causing her feet to pick up speed while losing accuracy. Glancing over her shoulder one too many times, she stumbled on unseen yet highly exposed tree roots not once but twice. Fortunately she landed without hurting herself, much.
Not the same could be said for the fuzzy feeling in her head, with each jarring trip accelerating her uneasiness and the queasy feeling in her stomach. Getting up yet again, she squinted into the gathering shadows. Were those footsteps? she wondered.
Being lost in the woods, slightly drunk and a little scared, her inventiveness  jumped into overdrive. Was someone or something stalking her? Were there wild animals out here? Pausing to listen. The noise suddenly stopped. Had she imagined it?
She was too young to be logical, yet practical she certainly was. Maybe her brother wanted to apologize and was looking for her. Listening to see if the footsteps repeated themselves, she heard nothing. So much for it being Sam.
It briefly occurred to her that she was being stupid and was actually all alone out here. What if she had to spend the night? Not without a coat, she thought. Growing upset at the prospect she pressed on.
It couldn’t be that much farther, she pondered, facing what she hoped was the right path, plodding forward, just in time to miss the dark figure that suddenly emerged from the trees and loomed behind her.
One moment her feet were moving over the ground, the next they were swinging in the air — as a long arm encircled her body from one side, lifting her up. A leathery, muscular hand clamped down roughly over her mouth from the other.

About the Author:


I mainline coffee and chocolate, worry about the width of my hips and peruse too many cooking magazines. I suspect I wouldn’t fret about one if I didn’t indulge in the other. I’m obsessive about quality, so much so, I keep going back to tweak my earlier books, hoping to make them better.
“Why are your characters flawed?” one reviewer asked.
“Because people are,” I replied. Although I’m very protective of them, hoping beyond measure that they’ll find acceptance. Not ridicule.
As a true ‘GRITS’ (girl raised in the southern United States, former army brat –we moved a lot) people expect me to have bat-shit crazy relatives. The question here isn’t IF, but rather, which side of the family are they on? Needless to say they offer a pool of inspiration into which I liberally dip.
My characters are a bit OCD. Not in the vein of obsessive-compulsive, that would be too a la carte, mine are ‘occasionally crazy or damaged.’ And I think you’ll enjoy them. As someone who understands wrestling with complex issues, it’s easy to share their stories. I myself grew up with an ill mum, so I began creating imaginary friends at a young age to keep me company.
In addition to writing and cooking, I’m an avid mountain climber who keeps up with an assortment of pets. As a life-long globe trotter, I can tell you that I like nothing better than a good story and a road trip. I hope you enjoy this one.
Please let me know what works and what doesn’t. I’m always interested in hearing feedback, reviews, comments, and questions are most welcome. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration. Happy reading.

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Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?

I’d say Stephanie Meyer, author of Twilight, was probably the catalyst (albeit indirectly) for the Luminary Saga in one way. I’d read that the inspiration for the Twilight series came from her dreams. After learning that, I have to admit that I was peeved at my own dreamscape. They’d never provided my sleep with such interesting story-lines.

As an editor my dreams were much more mundane, recycling events of the day from family, friends or work– rather than providing any supernatural love triangles. Less than two weeks after getting ‘angry’ at my dreams for not spawning such creative ideas, I woke in the middle of the night with the strangest image in my mind; a witch, an immortal and an enchanted candelabra were rushing down an amorphous corridor. An animated power cord attached to the candelabra was weaving back and forth creating the passageway as they went.

I jotted a note to myself so that I’d remember it, then got up to pee, before going back to sleep. The next morning when I woke, I found that I remembered the image with great clarity without the note. I wondered about these characters. Where were they going? Why the rush? How had they come to be? What was this world they were in? And the Luminary Saga was born. My formerly perfunctory dreamscape having redeemed itself, fueling a torrent of inspiration. I sat down at my desk and mapped out seven books over the course of a few hours. I could scarcely get my notes for each down on paper quickly enough.

And then I found my own self transformed from editor to novelist. Getting to know each character, letting them reveal their secrets to me as the content of the pages flew out of my fingertips. I think my skills as an author grew with each subsequent novel. It’s been quite a journey. One that I hope readers enjoy.

How many books do you currently have published?  


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

My favorite so far is Beam. It’s the sixth novel in the series. It made me laugh, I think I’ve loosened up as a writer and allowed the natural humor of the main characters to shine through. The characters are growing more comfortable with one another, acting more like themselves, or perhaps it’s just that I know them so well now, it’s much easier to write them.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?

I’m currently working on Flare. It’s the seventh book in the series.  It will be released in 2017.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

It’s a very self satisfying experience, looking at a blank screen ( or piece of paper) and filling it up with this confluence of worlds that I have created. I revise a lot, to make the scenes, conversations, and action in the chapters seem like the reader is right there in the heart of the action.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Not with these books, honestly they’re practically writing themselves. Sometimes I get hung up on how I want to start a chapter, make it engaging. When that happens, I go for a walk or a hike and before I know it, I’m writing the chapter in my head.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?

Yes, I did. I was totally surprised by it and yet in hindsight, there was no other way for Charlie to behave. What I “did” as a result made some of my readers unhappy in my fourth book, Spotlight.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?

David is one of my favorites. He’s been through hell, is a little cynical and yet is still good-humored about life. My least favorite might surprise some readers, instead of saying it’s “the archer,” who really is a bad guy or Howie, another rotten apple. I’d have to say Myling is one of my least favorite characters. She’s not bad in the traditional sense. I mean she’s not a villain but her motives are not always clear…even to me.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?

I think there’s one for each book so far:

In Luminary — probably the scene where Emily gets lost in the woods, or when she’s singing in the car. I got to be a little snarky with her.

In Beacon — the scene amid all the chaos on the Millstone University campus where Emily and David are trying to have a private chat.

In Candlelight –the scene where Wicus has to intervene in the human world. As a super immortal, he’s not used to improvising without magic and finds that he must.

In Spotlight — when Emily and Charlie are dancing outside of the school. She’s growing more mature in that one scene alone. There are some tough lessons learned.

In Blackout — the scene where Myling is instructing Emily on how to use her newly acquired abilities. Of course Emily thinks the Asian woman is off her rocker, until she realizes that some extraordinary changes have happened.

In Beam —  the revelation and argument near the end of the book between Emily and David. She’s very powerful in those pages, really coming into her own.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?

Just write. Don’t second guess yourself. It’s your voice, so it’s just right. Although getting it copy edited by a  second pair of eyes is never a bad idea.

If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why?

Oh, Luminary, of course. It’s the first book in the series. Although each book stands alone. Different characters take the lead in some books, so book one lets you in on who they were in the beginning.

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release,  a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character?

I like Easter eggs. My books are laced with them. They’re my little hidden gems in each of the novels. Here’s one: the name of the next novel is always in the last chapter of the previous books.

The archer will be revealed in Flare. And I’d be interested in hearing the thoughts of readers about just who this notorious villain might be.

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?

The Twilight Saga, The Mortal Instruments, The Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Then There Were None, Harry Potter Series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, The Kite Runner …to name a few. I have eclectic tastes.

What about television shows? Movies?

TV: Mr. Robot, Preacher, Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Supergirl,  The Flash.

Movies: Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War, Come Hell or High Water, Pete’s Dragon  and I know I’m in the minority here but I actually liked The Legend of Tarzan. I’ve been a fan of Alexander Skarsgard since True Blood.

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?

Probably ‘To Kill A Mockingbird.’ Reading that book opened my eyes to many inequities and injustices — I remember looking at the world differently. I think it made me want to peel back the layers of society to see why people do the things they do.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say? 

If coffee’s in the cup, I’m writing. Whiskey? I’m published.

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.

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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 Paranormal Romance Feature and Interview: Rise by Luis Almonte @Trifecta_Series

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

YA Paranormal Romance Fiction, YA Fantasy, YA Coming of Age

rise-trifecta-seriesTrifecta Book 1

Fifteen-year-old high school sophomore Alexia Wick is an ordinary girl, with extraordinary abilities. She attends the prestigious South Haven Academy for the Gifted and Talented, but unknown to the other students, she is an Alerium witch. The daughter of a High Priest and Priestess, Alexia must learn to navigate the pressures of high school, all while preparing for one of the biggest competitions of her life- the Annual Trials.

Skill, stamina, and loyalty will all be tested in Rise, the first installment of the Trifecta Series. In this debut contemporary fantasy novel, magic gets real as Alexia trains for the Annual Trials, which pits teen against teen, by focusing on her craft and pushing her magic and spell casting abilities to their absolute limit. When the handsome and confident Kaleb moves into town, he offers Alexia a welcome distraction from the Trials, but a dark secret could soon tear them apart.

In the trials arena, friendships will be put to the test, fears will be confronted head-on, and powerful spells will be unleashed. When Alexia is confronted with the ultimate game of chance, and is torn between her first real love and the allegiance that binds her to her coven, will she buckle under the weight of the pressure … or will she rise to the challenge?

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It was a slow death.

When I cast the spell three days ago, I knew it was a calm, methodical killer. Its parasitic nature ate the victim, or mark, from the inside out. Often, it was too late before they even knew something was wrong. It crept coldly like a flu, dragging the victim down with an aching fatigue. No one could ever stand a chance against the raw power of turning the body’s own systems against itself. That was the beauty of it.

Some spells require the caster’s energy to power it, but not ravenous. The spell simply sparked a series of changes in the immune system, causing something similar to an autoimmune response. The body begins attacking itself and within a day, systems start to fail. By the end of day three, there’s little left of the mark. If you can catch it in time, a reversal could be cast to calm the immune system’s attack response and boost tissue healing. Ravenous is nothing like anything I’ve cast before.

In fact, because of its very nature, it was prohibited and sealed by the covenant long ago. A handful of spells, such as ravenous, will attack or even kill you, if they aren’t cast perfectly. Anything even slightly out of alignment in the ritual can cause immediate, fatal consequences. But these are extraordinary circumstances. War looms on the horizon, weaving through every thread of our lives. I can’t help but pray the dice roll in our favor.

My breath clings to the air, hanging in a soft cloud, as the people in Red Square hustle past quickly, intent on their destination.

Ahead of us, St. Basil’s Cathedral touches the sky with its voluminous, candy-colored domes. I slow near a vendor’s stall as I notice my brother taking a couple of photos of a family in front of a large copper statue. Tourists, I snicker to myself. They’ll be lucky if one of those pictures is in focus. We learned early on that Ryan has a way with cameras . . . and it isn’t a good one. The lesson has never stuck, though. He’s always managed to talk his way into being the family photographer no matter how many times we swear he’ll never be allowed to again.

One of us should have spotted our mark, Anatoli, by now. A couple of days ago we were tipped off that he has what we’re looking for. I scan the crowd, trying to do as I was taught and look at the sides of things, their outlines and shapes. The best way to spot an aura is to almost let your vision go lax, unfocused. It shouldn’t be this hard to find him. After all, a cursed vampire emits an aura unlike any other creature on earth.

My heart beats rapidly as I make my way through the square. Time isn’t on our side. The covenants are at war with each other, and the vampires have the upper hand for the first time. Exactly four days from today, the new year will be rung in by a full moon, and there might just be enough time to call upon the Order to put a stop to this war before it begins. That is, if we can find what we’re looking for.

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About the Author:


Almonte is an author and poet who resides in New York with his spouse and two dogs. Rise is his debut novel, and is the first installment in the Trifecta Series, a young adult trilogy that is setting the literary world on fire!

He is an alumnus of New York University, where he studied leadership and management. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, entertaining, and reading. He is also an avid poker player. He attributes much of his success to his family, and is looking forward to writing the follow-up installment in the series.

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Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?
I began writing Rise over a year ago.  Writing my first novel has been a deeply personal journey, marked by very good moments and some frustrating ones as well.  I was fortunate to have a good team around me including editors, beta readers, and graphic designers, and all have contributed to the success of this novel.

How many books do you currently have published? Just one for now, but it is the first in a trilogy.  Looking forward to writing the second book in the series, Reign.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write? The Annual Trials has been my favorite scene to write.  It is intense, fast-paced, and vivid.