To Die For by Betsy Haynes

To Die For by Betsy Haynes
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (102 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Larkin Quinn can’t wait until her heart transplant surgery is over so she can awaken to the beautiful and fun life she’s desired. But from the moment she opens her eyes, her world is dominated by terrifying nightmares where she is trapped underwater and blocked from reaching the surface. She wakes up each time screaming and drenched in sweat.

She needs to understand what these dreams mean. Are they messages from her heart donor? She fears he is demanding his life back in exchange for hers and wants revenge. Even more frustrating is that no one believes her about the nightmares. Why won’t anyone, not even her boyfriend Paul, help her? Larkin has to figure out what is going on with her new heart before it kills her.

She has someone else’s heart. Does she also have a few of his memories now?

Larkin was a sweetheart. Her anxiety over all of the strange things her body started doing after her heart transplant only made me like her more than I already did. Seeing her panic over every little twinge made her feel relatable to me. It was such a normal reaction to a serious surgery that I couldn’t help but to hope she would find a way to relax a little bit soon while also understanding why it was so hard for her to stop worrying.

There were a few mild pacing issues. I would have preferred to see a little more time spent on the main character’s attempts to figure out the identity of her donor and why he died so young. While I really liked seeing Larkin slowly recover after her surgery, those scenes did take up a large section of the storyline. It would have been the perfect introduction for a novel, but it was a bit disproportionate for a short story. This was the only thing holding this book back from a much higher rating as I enjoyed everything else about it.

By far my favorite part of the plot was the mystery of what happened to Larkin’s heart donor. She had so many clues about his fate, but they weren’t easy to figure out due to all of the hospital rules about what she could and couldn’t be told about his identity. I couldn’t wait to find out if she’d discover how it all fit together or why she kept dreaming about scary things that had never actually happened to her.

To Die For kept me on the edge of my seat. I’d recommend it to anyone who would like a science fiction story about something that a few transplant patients in real life have actually experienced.

The Titans of Ardana by J.S. Frankel

The Titans of Ardana by J.S. Frankel
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (230 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Martin Calder and his girlfriend, Dana—no last name given—are back. Possessing superpowers, Martin joins up with Dana to fight crime throughout their adopted city of Baltimore. Fighting crime on Earth is easy, but when an old enemy from Dana’s world, Ardana, returns to wreak havoc and seek vengeance, it will take more than anyone can possibly give to defeat him. Sometimes, though, giving everything isn’t enough.

Celebrities often really are just like us once you get to know them, but Van and Dana aren’t like most famous people.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this tale was how quickly Martin was introduced to Dana and Van’s big secret. I was expecting everyone to dance around the topic for quite a while, so it was refreshing to see how quickly that extraterrestrial surprise was revealed so that everyone could move on to more pressing matters. It made me wonder what other surprises Mr. Frankel might be hiding up his sleeves, and I couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter so I could discover them.

There wasn’t a lot of character development in this book. While I liked Martin quite a bit, I was surprised by how little he changed throughout the course of the plot. He basically remained the same guy he was in the first chapter despite some pretty scary and unexpected things happening to him. I noticed the same lack of personal growth in the other characters, too. If not for this issue, I would have picked a much higher rating as the storyline itself was exciting and fun.

The romantic subplot was so sweet. Not only did I like both of the characters who were involved in it, I thought they’d make a great couple and hoped that they’d stay together for good. They had a lot in common and their personalities complemented each other nicely. I also appreciated the fact that these characters got to know each other as friends first before either one of them made a move.

The Titans of Ardana should be read by teenage and adult readers who find aliens interesting.

Elektra Chaos by Deanna Roy – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Deanna Roy will be awarding a $20 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.

Elektra never wanted to be the good guy.

She’s a troublemaker and a clever Loki magic thief. Nobody gets in her way. All she has to do is zap people with her electric-magnetic power, and they forget where they are or what they are doing.

But a few days ago in the desert, a magnetic sandstorm did more than blow everyone backward. It switched the polarity of the magic world. The good guys turned bad. And the bad guys like Elektra, well, now their magic only works if they are doing good in the world.

Now the Vor are out to steal more power, making the thieves look like chumps. Elektra will have to fight every bad guy code she’s ever stood for to take down the good guys and save the day.

Elektra Chaos is the final book in the Magic Mayhem trilogy.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Elektra’s classmates always backed away when they saw her in the halls.

This didn’t bother her in the least.

She knew why they did it. People who annoyed her sometimes got blinding headaches. Or felt confused, like their thoughts were scrambled. Every once in a while, they lost all memory of the last few minutes.

Elektra could do these things to them.

And she often did.

Today was no different. Everyone moved aside as she passed. Even the eighth graders got out of her way, intimidated by a short, blond ten-year-old. She had to laugh.

Nobody was the boss of her.

Elektra twirled the pink feather fastened in her hair as she walked by the door to her math class. The bell would ring any second, but she didn’t care about being late.

If the hall monitor stopped her, Elektra would simply make the woman forget what she was doing until Elektra was out of sight. Of all the magical kids in school, Elektra was sure she had the best powers.

And now she had a new one.

About the Author:

Deanna Roy is the six-time USA Today bestselling author of middle grade books, women’s fiction, and college romance. She wrote Elektra Chaos for her daughter Elizabeth, who was diagnosed with epilepsy at age six.

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Into Shadow by T.D. Shields – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding the first book (ebook) in three YA series: Into Shadow by TD Shields; Awaken by Michelle Bryan; and The Other Inheritance by Rebecca Jaycox to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

She’s nineteen. The President’s daughter. They want her dead.

Poppy’s father may be the President of the North American Alliance, but that just makes her a target for those wishing to topple the regime.

Barely escaping with her life, she must travel across a country ravaged by war and climate change to seek safety amongst a people who only recently opposed her. There she must use every skill learned from her military upbringing to survive terrifying beasts, deadly plant life, and lawless gangs before finally finding a group willing to accept her.

But her peace soon proves to be illusory. It’s not only the government that wants her dead now.

Enjoy an Excerpt:
We sped through the streets, taking turns recklessly fast as we tried to lose the bikes on our tails. As we flew around yet another corner, one of the bikes caught up to me and slapped into the back of my bike. It wasn’t a particularly hard collision, but it popped my bike loose from the mag-lev rail, and I went skidding sideways across the pavement. When the base of the bike hit the curb at the edge of the road, I was flung over the handlebars to land in a crumpled heap on the cracked sidewalk.

All I could do was lie there, staring blankly at a weed growing inches from my nose as I tried to catch my breath. From the corner of my eye I saw Sharra slow and look back, trying to decide if she could help me. Then she leaned low over the handlebars and shot off into the dark streets, leaving me behind.

A million small aches and pains made themselves known as I rolled slowly to my knees. I didn’t bother to get up any further than that. I was completely surrounded, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to move fast enough to break loose from all of these people and retrieve my downed bike. Instead, I waited in silence to see what would happen next and watched for an opportunity to escape.

About the Author:

After writing stories in her head for the last 30+ years, Tara finally decided to take a stab at writing them down to share them with others.

Tara has a husband, 4 kids, and 5 cats to care for along with a full-time job and contract work on the side, so finding time to write is the biggest challenge. Since her most productive hours are from 12-5 a.m. anyway, Tara usually gives up sleep in favor of writing.

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February Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (253 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 4 stars
Review by Aloe

BoM LASR YA copy

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first installment of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.


Researching Glimmer by Rayna Noire – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rayna Noire will be awarding a Kindle Fire (US only) or $50 Amazon GC (international) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Researching Glimmer

When I decided to research 1915, I assumed everything would be the same only earlier versions. I found out if something has been invented doesn’t mean it is in common use.

Strange Things I Didn’t Know About 1915

1. Electricity wasn’t a given in homes. Most people in rural areas didn’t have electricity.
2. Even though automobiles were in existence, few people owned one.
3. Printed fabric was an extreme luxury. Most people would embroider designs on the dresses. Stripes could be woven into material, but it would be a long process.
4. Women conspired to marry well since being a wife and mother was the general expectation.
5. Aluminum foil was brand new on the scene.
6. Most people didn’t have a phone, television, or radio in their homes.
7. Women who became pregnant outside of marriage often ended up in the nunnery.
8. During the war, women were allowed to work outside the home.
9. England voluntarily started its own rationing system, which meant people limited their consumption of meat, sugar, and gasoline to help the soldiers.
10. Early bombers carried the bomb in their laps and dropped it over the side of the aircraft when they reached their target.

Everything I take for granted was not there in 1915. Even the language was more formal than it is today. It’s harder to write about a time I’m unfamiliar with, but it’s important to be accurate. Research takes longer, which explains why it is quicker to write in the current time. Research also functions as a great learning experience.

For seventeen years, the convent walls kept Meara Cleary from the secret of her own parentage. A bearded stranger claims she’s his niece and promises to take her home. Before he can, a cataclysmic event thrusts her into a war-torn world.

Meara vows to journey to Ireland to find her uncle, unaware of how perilous a journey it will be. Her Druidic father guides her through dreams, explaining her magical heritage. Her dead parent can’t help her with the intricacies of village life, especially when she catches the eye of the very engaged Braeden.

A whirlwind composed of equal parts menace, romance, and revelation sweep Meara across the continent while gathering allies and enemies with equal speed. Her intent to return to her family turns into a fight to survive her own destiny.

Read an Excerpt:

Meara glanced back the way she had come realizing nothing looked familiar. How far had she’d wandered from the path. The rustle of movement and the snapping of nearby sticks sped up her heartbeat. A week ago, she’d panicked, sure, someone had followed her only to have a deer wander into the clearing, but this time two large shadows grew out of a nearby underbrush. People. She hadn’t expected this. Could they see her? One gestured in her direction and said something in a guttural language she couldn’t comprehend. The other answered in the same tongue. By the time, it took her to realize the men were after her, one had slipped behind her and grabbed her arm, pinning it painfully behind her back.

He spoke, as his companion reached out for her hair. “Kriegsbeute“

Meara twisted, knowing at an instinctual level she needed to get away from these strangers. The man holding her captive laughed, then muttered something before releasing her arm. She stumbled away recognizing an opportunity. A quick glance back showed the two of them being attacked by the bobbing lights. An occasional yelp assured her the attack was painful. They must be some type of glowing bees.

One hovered in front of her. Follow me. The musical voice sounded in her head. Besides the strangers behind her, there was no one else here. Certainly, no one with a voice as clear and bell-like that it reminded her of a raindrop or dew glistening on a flower. Somehow, this bobbing light placed the voice inside her own head. Her impulsive foray into the woods had landed her into a situation she didn‘t know how to handle. The shimmering light blinked, indicating a need to hurry.

About the Author:

Rayna Noire is an author and a historian. The desire to uncover the truth behind the original fear of witches led her to the surprising discovery that people believed in magick in some form up to 150 years ago. A world that believed the impossible could happen and often did must have been amazing. With this in mind, Ms. Noire taps into this dimension, shapes it into stories about Pagan families who really aren’t that different from most people. They do go on the occasional adventures and magick happens.

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Critique Groups by Julian North – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Julian North will be awarding a $50 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.

Critique groups

I don’t have a formal critique group. I’ve never attended a writing workshop. I doubt I ever will. That mostly has to do with my introverted personality. Also, I don’t particularly enjoy writing short stories or specific works for critique purposes. I don’t like criticizing other people (or “critiquing” them). Oh, and writing isn’t my day job either.

So, how do I improve my craft?

Mostly by making mistakes and having them pointed out to me. For my recent dystopian novel, Age of Order, I relied on a core group of beta readers who suffered through multiple drafts. Each one of my readers has their particular strengths and quirks. My wife is actually my most brutal critic. She gets everything first. She reads painfully slow (English isn’t her first language). She doesn’t even need to tell me when she doesn’t like something. I know because she falls asleep. Which she did reading the first chapter of Age of Order. Twice. It’s been substantially revised since then, I promise!

Another of my readers is a native Spanish speaker who helps me with my use of Spanish—although he’s rather disappointed in my efforts. I recently read the Brief Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao at his insistence so that I might gain a better understanding of how to use Spanish slang to communicate cultural flavor. I’ve got some ideas for the next book, but mostly I’m still in awe of Junot Diaz’s writing. I’ll never be able to do what he did in those pages.

Finally, there is my editor. She’s simply awesome. She’s was the most enthusiastic reader of the story; she questions the characters, thinks about the narrative, story arcs, dialogue. She sends me spreadsheets that I don’t understand. But each time I take her advice on something, it’s better afterwards, and I’ve learned something new.

So, I guess you could say I don’t belong to a critique group, but I’m surrounded by one.

What if the people who thought they were better than you… really were?

In this world, inequality is a science. Giant machines maintain order. And all people are not created equal.

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

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

Enjoy an Excerpt:

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

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

A correction pellet sliced through the fabricated leather of my sneaker and bit into my flesh. The force of the impact was enough to screw up my balance too. I landed on one foot instead of two, falling forward. Chewed-up concrete surged towards me. I sacrificed my right palm and left elbow to protect my head, and the viser strapped to my left forearm.

I scrambled to my feet and ran down the alley, my jaws clenched, but the pain wasn’t what was bothering me. I told myself that my shoe had blocked a lot of the pellet. That I probably hadn’t gotten hit with a full dose. That what was coming wouldn’t be that bad.


About the Author: I’ve been writing since I could grab a pencil (remember those?). Then I had kids. Not much time for writing anymore. Until they started school… in New York City. I’m not from here, and the tumult of that experience inspired me. AGE OF ORDER grew from a diary of injustice. Now I write what I’m feeling, and let the rest flow from there. I hope you enjoy it.

Please visit my website at and join my book club to receive a free short story set in the same world as AGE OF ORDER.

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Rebel Storm Rider by Jennifer Macaire

Rebel Storm Rider by Jennifer Macaire
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (87 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

When intergalactic herders Carl and Ruby Cadet find a Raider baby in a wrecked spaceship, they decide to keep her as their own daughter. Raiders are considered the scourge of the galaxy and the Federation, never having captured a Raider alive, demands they give her up. When Carl and Ruby refuse, the Federation declares them outlaws and sends Raider hunters after them.

The hunters have been given an order: capture the baby alive but eliminate Carl and Ruby if necessary. Despite the danger, the young herders decide to go rogue and flee. Their only hope of saving themselves and the baby Raider will be the space-travelling horses, and the mysterious Horse Passages.

The best way to stay out of trouble is to never stop travelling. Will Carl and Ruby move fast enough to evade the hunters?

Ruby has always been my favourite character in this universe, and this tale only gave me more reasons to love her. It was so much fun to compare her more assertive personality with the fairly timid girl she was when I first discovered the Horse Passages series. While I don’t know if the author is planning to write more about Ruby in the future, I’m sure hoping she will. There is so much more I’d like to learn about Ruby.

There were some pacing issues. The storyline moved quickly in some scenes and slowly in others. As someone who has been loving these books so far, I would have been happy with either pacing style. It was jarring to switch between them, though, and I do wish that the narrator would have picked one of them and stuck with it.

The plot development was great in this tale. I appreciated how much time the author spent exploring how The Federation operated and what it was like to live as a nomadic horse herder. Including so many details about these parts of the plot made it impossible for me to stop reading. I simply had to know more about the worlds that Carl and Ruby moved between!

This is the third part in a series, but you don’t have to be familiar with the first two instalments to enjoy this one. It works well as a standalone story.

Rebel Storm Rider should be read by anyone who is in the mood for an adventure.

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Was Published by Amanda Meuwissen – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amanda Meuwissen will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Things I wished I knew before I was published

1. You can’t please everyone

This is something we all struggle to learn, not because we don’t already know, but because it affects us anyway and it is such a tough thing to slough off. You’re a published author, you’ve had the book professionally edited, typeset, with a cover you love, promoting it as best you can…and you still get negative reviews. It’s not that you don’t know to expect this, it’s that it feels like a blow every time and you have to remind yourself of this fact – you can’t please everyone. There’s a fine line between constructive criticism that you can internalize to improve for your next book, and people who just don’t like your work and never will. Separating those and moving on to the next positive review is so important. As an author, you have to grow a tougher skin, especially at the start.

2. You are your own marketer

I think people who have yet to be published have this idea in their heads that as long as they get accepted by a publisher, at that point their hard work has paid off and they can sit back and let the publisher do the work to make them successful. NOT TRUE. Some people might think that, well, maybe not for smaller publishers, but surely with the Big 5—NOPE. Still not true. Unless you magically become the next JK Rowling and are already famous, books do not sell themselves, and publishers do not market for you. You are your own marketer and you need to do the work to get your name and your titles out there. Have a website, have social media, engage, write things other than your books, look for where your audience hangs out, do signings and conventions, do everything, and don’t expect for one second that anyone else will do it for you.

3. You have to spend money to make money

This sort of ties into being your own marketer, but successful marketing costs money. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but you need to be aware that some budget should be spent on blog tours, conventions, purchasing books you might want on hand not provided by the publishers (as most don’t give you more than a single copy). You will spend money on a release and you need to plan for that, but if done right, you should make that money back on the first month of sales. There are exceptions, like buying the URL for your website adds additional cost, certain conventions you try won’t pan out, buying boxes of books might not always sell initially, but it’s a learning curve. You just need to be ready to spend a little no matter who you published with.

4. Be ready with your next book immediately.

Maybe most of you are like me, where as soon as you get one idea out of you, you likely already had the next one percolating, and the one after THAT. So moving from one book release to already being in the midst of writing your next one should be easy. If you want to be a successful writer, this is important because it keeps you top of mind with your readers. It means they’ll constantly be looking forward to your next book. If you’re forgotten, it’s easy for people to miss that next release, and you want to gain momentum over time, not lose it. If you just have one or two books in you and that’s all you plan to produce, fair enough, but if you want to write and write and write, DO IT, and always be ready with that next idea. One book a year is entirely doable.

5. Participate in NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month saved me as a writer. As someone who has regularly written stories for close to two decades, it may surprise you that I hadn’t heard of or participated in NaNo until very recently (I’ve done it twice now). If you don’t know, it’s the month of November each year where writers dedicate themselves to writing 50k words. It might be the entirety of a novel, or maybe just the start if you write lengthier pieces, but it is still a grand undertaking, because it translates to over 1600 words a day. That’s easy when you think of one day, but doing it every day for 30 days straight is a challenge. When I first participated in 2015, it rejuvenated my passion to write every day, because for that month I had to, and when it was over, I didn’t want to stop. You don’t have to write 1600 words every day forever, but write something, and NaNo is a great way to get started. It’s also how I’ve kickstarted my last two novels, this release I’m promoting today, and the one I’m currently editing. If you worry about being able to get a novel written a year, try NaNo next November. It is a lifesaver.

Emery Mavus just wants to survive his senior year of high school. Becoming a vampire complicates things. So does a bizarre mentor, a group of vampire hunters, and an unexpected, new attraction for his openly gay best friend, Connor. An occasional uncontrollable hunger for blood might be the least of his worries.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

It was a trick. Emery had made it all up, knowing that the details would lead Connor to vampires. These were just Halloween fangs. Connor wasn’t really hypnotized into submission; he was just stunned, believing his own crazy imagination. He’d longed for years to have Emery this close, after all, crowding him into a corner, lips descending. He’d just imagined them descending a little closer to his mouth, though his neck wouldn’t be so bad…

…if not for the sharp sting, the breaking of the skin and rush of blood sucked out of him so fast he felt dizzy, and then—wow.

It didn’t hurt at all. It felt like Emery was tucked into his shoulder intimately, fully aware of the pleasant buzzing he caused in Connor’s gut every time they touched. Connor had dreamed of this, imagined it just like this, and felt lulled by Emery’s body being so close, and the way he shivered feeling those lips on his skin. He almost thought he heard Emery’s soothing voice whispering affirmations he’d always wanted to hear.

“Em…” Connor breathed out, barely audible.

The room was dimming, but he felt cozy where he was. His arms were limp and heavy as he lifted them to pull Emery closer, feeling the soft fabric of the sweater against his somewhat numb right palm. He pulled tighter, twisting flesh and plastic fingers alike in the fabric, pulling…with the faint sense that he should be pushing instead.

“Em…” he choked out like a whimper, like he was crying. Why was he crying? This was everything he’d ever wanted…

About the Author:Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed major from St. Olaf College in Creative Writing, and has been posting content online for many years, including maintaining the blog for the digital marketing company Outsell. She spent a summer writing screenplay script coverages for a company in L.A., and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cats, Helga and Sasha (no connection to the incubus of the same name).

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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.