Lovely Scars by Cassandra Jamison

Lovely Scars by Cassandra Jamison
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Suspense/Mystery, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (246 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Snooping on your boyfriend’s phone is never a good idea. Collins can’t help herself after he unexpectedly commits suicide, but what she finds makes her grateful he’s dead. Collins Carpenter has always been the textbook good girl until her freshman year of college when an unplanned pregnancy with her best friend, Everett, complicates everything. In a desperate attempt to deny her feelings for her child’s father and her jealousy toward his new girlfriend, Collins jumps into a relationship with Brock Webber. Nobody suspects that his good looks and charm masks something quite sinister until after his death, when the things he had been involved in finally come to light. Disturbing and inexplicable events leave Collins wondering if Brock’s spirit is not at rest or if somebody from his past is after her. Somebody who may be closer than she thinks.

Not every man who tries to sweep you off of your feet is going to turn out to be Prince Charming.

Wow, this was scary! I really appreciated the peaceful beginning. It lulled me into a false sense of security before Collins realized that the handsome guy she’d just met wasn’t necessarily who he portrayed himself to be. There were times when I was nearly as shocked as she was by his behaviour even though I’d read the blurb and obviously knew that some unsettling experiences were headed her way. I only grew more apprehensive as the story moved forward and I became less and less sure that my theories about what was going on with Brock were actually correct. Not knowing these things only made him feel more chilling to me.

Collins made a lot of senseless decisions in this book. There were times when I had to stop reading and shake my head because I couldn’t understand why she did so many things that she knew were dangerous or ill-advised. While the plot itself was excellent, I had a tough time connecting to this character because of how little common sense she had.

The romance was beautiful. I desperately wanted the characters involved in it to admit their feelings for each other and find a way to be together. They were perfect for each other in just about every way. One of the biggest reasons why I read this tale as quickly as I did is that I couldn’t wait to find out when or if this might happen. I honestly wasn’t sure what was going to happen with them, and that made it impossible for me to stop reading.

Lovely Scars should be read by anyone who is in the mood for a truly frightening mystery.

June Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ High Summons by Eli Celata


High Summons by Eli Celata
Publisher: Clean Reads
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (180 pages)
Age Recommendation:16+
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

BoM LASR YA copy

Jon Blythe is sick of waiting for his Yoda. After years of hiding his magic, he’s ready to retire from his mortal life, drop out of college, and jump into the world of demon hunters. He just didn’t really expect a bleach blond bookstore clerk with light up toys for weapons. Unfortunately, Jordan is Jon’s only hope. When rogue magic users come to Rochester with a malicious plan, the odd couple strikes out to save the day. Jordan might not be what Jon expected, but between demons and Econ homework, the demons win every time. Wild nights drag Jon further from normal into the world where his father vanished. Maybe he’s becoming an addict. Maybe magic just comes with a price. Either way, he’s hooked.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!!!

May Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Or the Girl Dies by Rachel Rust


Or the Girl Dies by Rachel Rust
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery, Young Adult
Length: Full (168 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 stars
Review by: Stargazer

One school project. One kidnapping. One night they won’t forget. Natalie is an honors student with perfect grades. Victor is a drug dealer with a cryptic past. When a school assignment forces them to work together, things quickly spiral out of control. Victor fails to complete his part of their project, so Natalie hunts him down the night before it’s due. But Victor’s kingpin boss interrupts their study date and drags Natalie down into a seedy underworld where anything can be bought and sold—including her. Over the course of one night—while dodging bad guys and trying not to inhale—Natalie discovers shocking truths about Victor. And she’ll need to choose between preserving her perfect academic future and helping him escape his troubled past. Except one final revelation about Victor may be too much for Natalie to survive.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

April Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Elphie and Dad Go on an Epic Adventure by Hagit R. Oron and Or Oron


Elphie and Dad Go on an Epic Adventure by Hagit R. Oron and Or Oron

Publisher: Self-Published
enre: Children’s Fiction, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Age Recommendation: 3+
Rating: 5 stars
Review by: Astilbe

BoM LASR YA copy

For Elphie, everything is an adventure.

But dad is cautious.

Is dad going to join Elphie on his quest or is the trip to the shop going to be dull and boring?

Join Elphie and dad to find out!

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

March Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Trouble Returns by Nancy Oswald


Trouble Returns by Nancy Oswald
Publisher: Filter Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full (207 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 5 stars
Review by: Aloe

BoM LASR YA copy

Trouble Returns is the third installment in the Ruby and Maude Adventure series.

Eleven-year-old Ruby is in an unbelievable amount of trouble. Trouble in school, trouble with the Sisters of Mercy, trouble with her cat named Trouble, and trouble with Pa after he proposes to the school principal. In 1896 Cripple Creek, Colorado, Ruby narrowly escapes death, and her donkey, Maude, steals the story with an unexpected surprise.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

January Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Just Another Quiet Little City by J.S. Frankel


Just Another Quiet Little City by J.S. Frankel
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (234 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

BoM LASR YA copy

Magic is in the air, and it makes the rules. Teenagers Gabe Common and his girlfriend, Millie Themmes, have settled in Angels Camp, California. As a high school dropout with little education and no future job prospects, Gabe is forced to work as a sideshow attraction with Millie at his side. They spend their days taking people on airborne excursions, and Gabe longs for some stability in his life.

However, all things have to change, and change they do when the magic returns with a vengeance. As with Chumsville, their former residence, most of the citizenry of Angels Camp disappear with no rhyme or reason, leaving only fifteen survivors behind. And the changes from human to something else happen once more, this time with frightening speed.

An old friend, Gil Perkins from the FBI arrives as a liaison, and then the army takes over. However, they have another plan in mind, and they imprison Gabe and the other survivors and use them as guinea pigs, trying to copy their powers.

Gabe needs answers, and the answers lie in Chumsville, a small community in South Dakota. He and his friends stage a breakout and make a perilous journey back to where it all started. Once there, Gabe and Millie learn the secret of why the magic happened and have to fight for their very survival.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

Just Another Quiet Little City by J.S. Frankel


Just Another Quiet Little City by J.S. Frankel
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (234 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

BoM LASR YA copy

Magic is in the air, and it makes the rules. Teenagers Gabe Common and his girlfriend, Millie Themmes, have settled in Angels Camp, California. As a high school dropout with little education and no future job prospects, Gabe is forced to work as a sideshow attraction with Millie at his side. They spend their days taking people on airborne excursions, and Gabe longs for some stability in his life.

However, all things have to change, and change they do when the magic returns with a vengeance. As with Chumsville, their former residence, most of the citizenry of Angels Camp disappear with no rhyme or reason, leaving only fifteen survivors behind. And the changes from human to something else happen once more, this time with frightening speed.

An old friend, Gil Perkins from the FBI arrives as a liaison, and then the army takes over. However, they have another plan in mind, and they imprison Gabe and the other survivors and use them as guinea pigs, trying to copy their powers.

Gabe needs answers, and the answers lie in Chumsville, a small community in South Dakota. He and his friends stage a breakout and make a perilous journey back to where it all started. Once there, Gabe and Millie learn the secret of why the magic happened and have to fight for their very survival.

Gabe’s adventures have only just begun.

My favorite part of this story was seeing how much the main characters had changed since the first time I met them. Gabe’s character development was particularly strong. He learned a lot from his previous experiences in Chumsville, and it showed. To give one example, I really enjoyed seeing how much his confidence in his own abilities had grown. It sure was nice to see him change in this way.

There were some mild pacing issues. I definitely appreciated the fact that the narrator paused early on to quickly summarize what happened in the first instalment in this series, and I’m glad it was written that way. With that being said, there were some times later on in the plot when the narrator’s interjections interrupted the current storyline. I would have preferred to have more attention paid to what was going on in Gabe and Millie’s lives in those sections. This is a minor criticism of an otherwise wonderful tale, though.

The cast of characters was very large, so I was glad to see Mr. Frankel spend as much time as he did introducing and reintroducing all of them. I had a pretty easy time keeping track of everyone because of this. It was fun to see how the original characters from Just Another Quiet Little Town reacted to the new people they met this time around. I’m glad that they were given as many chances as they were to get to know more folks in this universe. Including so many different types of people made such a big impression in my mind of just how complex this world truly is. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next in it because of all of the fascinating characters I’ve met in it so far.

This is the second book in a series, but it can be read on its own or out of order.

I’d recommend Just Another Quiet Little City to anyone who loves modern fantasy.

Spine Chillers by Q.L. Pearce – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews YA welcomes Q.L.Pearce. Leave a comment for a chance to win an ecopy of Spine Chillers.

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Growing up, I was fascinated by all things spooky. The Florida island where I lived was ripe with possibility when it came to ghosts and monsters. Along the shoreline, mangrove trees atop their tangled roots looked as if they might start creeping around by themselves. They still haunt my dreams.

My friends and I were convinced that an empty home at the far end of the island was haunted. The yard was a mass of overgrown trees and bushes. The old man who owned the place would sit in a rocking chair looking out the window near the front door. The story was that he died in that chair. Although there was always a light on in the living room after dark, no one lived there and the drapes were tightly drawn.

One Halloween night we drew straws to see who would go to the front door and knock. I came up short. I remember telling myself I could do this as I crept up the walkway. I noticed that the drapes were open slightly at the lit window. I was afraid, but also thrilled. I peeked in. There was a man sitting in an easy chair reading a newspaper. I gasped and he turned in my direction. I never ran so fast! And it was hard to run in a homemade mermaid costume.

I didn’t tell my parents about my adventure. The odds are that there really was a living person in the house, a relative of the owner perhaps, or a real estate agent waiting to show the property. I’ll never know. But I was hooked.

In the nineties there was a boom in scary stories for young readers. I poured my childhood memories and love of the eerie and creepy into a collection of tales called Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs. It expanded into a series that sold in the millions. To this day I receive emails from grownups who tell me about how the stories scared them when they were kids.

Spinechillers: Hair-raising Tales is for a new generation of tweens and teens. The stories are for those who like to snuggle under the covers and read by flashlight.

The town of Saltlick Bluff is famous for an urban legend. Does the spirit of a young girl wait on a misty cliff-hugging highway for her ride to the prom?

In the house on Beech Street a terrible tragedy occurred. Now neighbors won’t look at the place as they pass. Those who live nearby draw their blinds and shutter their windows after dark. What are they afraid of?

Hale Hallow Woods seems sinister and menacing even in the light of day. Does a thirst for revenge beat near its dark heart?

The answers lie within these pages, just waiting to send a chill up your spine!

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Tyler squinted toward the edge of the wood. The boy in the dark suit stood watching him. He closed his eyes and opened them again. The boy was gone, but there was a soft clicking sound behind him. Slowly he looked over his shoulder. Two or three dozen crows were perched in the tree branches. They took to the air in a cloud of beating wings. Falling to the leaf strewn ground, Tyler covered his face expecting to be attacked. Glancing up he saw that the woods were empty. He rolled to his feet and ran.

His home was silent when Tyler finally collapsed on his bed and buried his face in the pillow.

“What’s wrong with me? I’m seeing things.”

“There’s nothing wrong with you,” someone said from the doorway. Tyler sat up, his heart pounding.

“You’ve seen him. Haven’t you?” Tyler’s grandfather said. “I never thought he would go after you. I’d hoped that after all these years…I never should have come back here.”

“What are you talking about?” Tyler asked. He had to curl his hands into fists to stop them from trembling.

“Andrew Buckner,” the old man answered. “I was about your age when it happened. Andrew Buckner was a frail boy. We…my friends and I made fun of him.” He looked down in shame. “We had a club, called ourselves the Champions. We wore a club pin…a super hero with a cape. It was a stupid thing out of a cereal box.”

Tyler’s grandfather opened a small leather box he’d been holding. Resting on the white satin lining was a plastic pin.
“Andrew wanted one of these more than anything in the world.”

Raindrops pattered at the window. In the yard beyond Tyler could see the boy standing by the hedge.

“We told him he would have to pass a test…demonstrate his bravery by sneaking into the museum at night. He had to go to the top floor and get one of the small stone gargoyles outside near the balcony railing. It started raining sometime during the night.”

Tyler caught his breath. Andrew Buckner was at the window. It was raining harder, but Tyler could see the boy’s blurred image. His pale white hand was pressed against the pane. His eyes burned with anger.

About the Author: Q.L.Pearce is the author more than 120 books for young readers, from picture books to YA, as well as film tie-in books for the Fox animated film Titan AE and the Universal animated series Land Before Time. Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala Sa (Carolrhoda Books, with co-author and illustrator, Gina Capaldi), received several awards including a Carter G. Woodson Book Award gold medal from NCSS and a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award gold medal. Her fiction includes the popular middle grade series, Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs (Price, Stern, Sloan). Q believes strongly in the value of scary books for young readers. When asked what credentials she has which qualify her as an expert in this area she replies, “I was a child once. That was very scary.”

Website

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

December Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Gargoyle Redemption by Isabel Castruita

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Gargoyle Redemption by Isabel Castruita
Gargoyle Redemption Trilogy – Book 1
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (163 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 stars
Review by: Orchid

BoM LASR YA copy

18 year old, Shinka Fox moved to California to pursue her music career, her mother Bru Fox is a famous artist traveling the world. Infatuated with a boy named Abel Lapis at her new school Shinka is surprised when the young man always seems to be around when she’s in trouble. A group called the Hunters is out to kill Shinka. But Abel has a secret, he’s a gargoyle. Will Abel rescue Shinka in time or will the Hunters reach her first?

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

Top Five Favorite Recipes by Teri Polen – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Teri Polen will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Top Five Favorite Recipes

For my top 5 favorite recipes, I polled my family and received the answers I’d expected. They each have their preferences – but these are also among my favorites.

Every Thanksgiving, my oldest son asks for Nestle Toll House Pie. If you’re a chocolate lover (which I am), you can’t go wrong with this one; however, if you’re health conscious, you might want to skip it. But once a year won’t kill you. With two sticks of butter, chocolate chips, nuts, and brown sugar – this one’s addictive.

When it comes to recipes requiring yeast, I’m about as cursed as they come. Pizza dough heavy enough to be classified as a weapon, bread that I gave away as door stops for Christmas gifts – you get the picture. But I came across a recipe in Cooking Light years ago for Grilled Flatbreads with Tomatoes and Basil that uses a package of yeast and it’s never failed me – miracles do happen. We like to have it as an appetizer in the summer with home grown tomatoes (not mine – I couldn’t grow any if my life depended on it) and fresh basil (that I can actually grow). Add in some garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar – I’ve never had any complaints.

My most requested dessert recipe also came from Cooking Light, but you’d never know it’s light – Tiramisu Anacapri, a variation of traditional tiramisu. Lady fingers, a package of vanilla pudding, Kahlua, instant coffee, cocoa, and Cool Whip – this has been a favorite of ours for years. I don’t drink coffee, but it’s not overwhelming in this dish.

I’m actually making this one tonight for dinner – Crunchy Ranch Tortilla Chicken. Chicken tenders sprinkled with dry Ranch dressing mix, dunked in an egg and milk mixture, then rolled in crushed Ranch Doritos and baked – it’s a little heavy on the prep time, but I always get my son to help.

I got this recipe from a friend years ago –so simple, but I’ve been asked for the recipe every time I’ve taken it somewhere – Baked Cream Cheese. I’d probably eat a brick if you slathered cream cheese on it. Only three ingredients – a tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls (you only use half of it), 8 ounces cream cheese (box, not the whipped kind), and dried (or fresh) dill. The cream cheese is wrapped in the crescent roll dough like a present, brushed with egg yolk, then baked and transformed into yummy golden goodness.

I’ve enjoyed sharing these family favs with you today – and if anyone wants the complete recipes, I’d be happy to provide them. Thanks so much for having me on Long and Short Reviews YA and helping promote Sarah!

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Squatting down to sort through the box, my elbow nudged one of the balls and it bounced across the floor a couple of times before I stopped it. When I picked it up to toss it back in the box, I noticed a splotch of red on one side. It was glistening, like the spot was wet, and after running my finger across the ball, I brought it closer for a sniff.

I knew that smell. With the multitude of soccer injuries I’d received over the years, the copperish tangy aroma of blood was all too familiar. Wait – blood? Was Eby injured somewhere up here? But I’d looked around and knew for certain he wasn’t here. Had I stepped on something and cut myself? When I looked down to check my feet, that’s when I saw it. A circular pool of blood on the floor about a foot in diameter. How had I missed this? It hadn’t been here when Finn and I were looking around last night. One of us would have noticed this.

So how did blood get here in the past twenty-four hours?

Then I felt it. Frigid air wrapped itself around me, like it was a living, breathing entity, causing me to gasp. When I let out a shaky exhale, I could see my breath. In a 90 plus degree attic. My gaze shot down to the floor where the blood had been.

It was gone.

About the Author:Teri Polen loves horror, sci-fi, and fantasy books and movies. She fangirls over The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.

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