Coming Soon!: Moonflower by Angela Townsend

moonflower

Natasha remembers little from her Russian childhood, other than the lingering nightmares of her mother’s tragic death. So when someone close to her hands her a one-way ticket to Russia, along with the deed to her family farm, and then is brutally murdered, she has little confidence about what awaits her in that distant land.

With doubt and uncertainty, Natasha has no choice but to leave her life in America for an unknown future. Once overseas, the terrifying facts as to why she was really summoned home come to light.

Fact one: Monsters do exist.
Fact two: The only thing keeping those monsters out of the world is an ancient mural hidden below her family’s farm.
Fact three: The mural that keeps the evil out of the world is falling apart.
The final fact: It’s up to Natasha to restore it and save the world from a horror unlike anything seen before.

Luckily, Natasha isn’t alone in her mission. Three Russian Knights are tasked with protecting her from the demons as she restores the mural. And leading the Knights is the handsome and strong Anatoly, who seems to be everything Natasha could hope for in a man. Unfortunately, there is one huge problem. Her Knights are forbidden from having relationships with the artists they protect, and Anatoly is a hardcore rule follower. But rules cannot stop the way she feels.

When a horrifying demon breaches the barrier and pulls Anatoly inside the mural, Natasha can’t help but charge, once again, into the unknown—this time to save the man she secretly loves. Now on the demons’ turf, she risks her own life to free the very one who is supposed to be protecting her. Little does she realize that if she should fail, it could mean the destruction of the very last barrier shielding mankind. Will Anatoly refuse Natasha’s help? Or will he finally realize, when love is at stake, the rules will be broken.

COMING MARCH 31, 2014!

 

You can add Moonflower to your list on GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20924104-moonflower

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Chasing Prophecy by James Moser with Giveaway

Title: Chasing Prophecy

Author: James Moser

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Thriller

Ebook available at: Kindle | Smashwords  




Book Description:

Mo is a shy teen who is just trying to survive high school. He has secretly fallen in love with a girl named Prophecy who lives with a group that some call a commune and others call a cult. When she disappears, Mo must find the courage to face the monster that her family has become. Chasing Prophecy is a contemporary coming of age story that is heartwarming, suspenseful, and beautifully written. This book chronicles the adolescence of one boy who must transform himself to save the girl of his dreams.

Kirkus Reviews:

“A stellar read for teens and adults, full of hilarious growing pains, tenderness and a few surprises. Moser’s debut is an unflinching young-adult novel that sees a group of friends tested by bigotry and the illegal machinations of a religious cult. The author serves up an irresistibly wisecracking narrator in Mo Kirkland. Every page ripples with a controlled cleverness. There’s also a rawness to this tale similar to that which many teens face in the real world. Moser can wax rhapsodic about young love, but he shows that he knows how to raise the tension in the second half of the novel.”


Excerpt:

Max leaned over and whispered, “They don’t have any gear.”I looked at their packs. He was right. No rolled-up tents, sleeping bags or cookware dangled from any of the straps or hooks. Just bulging backpacks. Their empty sports-drink bottles were the only clue that they’d known they were about to hike straight up a mountain.

I remember thinking how weird it was that they carried so much weight uphill and none of that weight was soap, clean clothes, or sleeping bags.

Max peeked inside one of their packs. He undid the top pull-cord and pulled out a giant freezer-bag of red crystals. I undid the top drawstring of one of the other backpacks. More bags of the same stuff. I held one up. A bright flash startled us, made us step back. After blinking away the spots, I saw Clean with one arm extended, centering us in another picture he was taking on his phone.

“What’s this?” I asked, holding up a bag of what looked like raspberry Sno-Kone.

“Drugs,” Max said softly.

“It is not ‘drugs,’” said Clean. “It is the salvation of our family. It is the sword we will use to fight off Big Brother, to beat him back from our land, to cut off his hand as it reaches for what is ours. Now put those bags of salvation back, please. I’m sending word of our salvation to my father.” He held the Blackberry closer to his face and I knew he was forwarding the picture to Able back at the ranch.

Big buckets of reality crashed down on me head. Huge bags of drugs brought in from Canada. Hiked over the border in the dense woodsy areas where the Mount Baker National Forest drops to the Canadian Border.

These guys are criminals, I thought.

Clean waved at our tents, sleeping bags, and the rest of the food. He said, “You guys should just chill for a day, catch your breath, eat, drink, and sleep. No fires. We’re way off the trail and we’re nowhere near the spot where people hang-glide, base-jump or wall-climb. I put all the dehydrated food pouches in the blue backpack—soups and chili and fruit. A whole bottle of water purifying tablets. It’s not tons but it’ll keep you fueled til you’re back home. Thanks to you, the hard work is done.”

“Thanks, bruh,” said the leader of the other team. The three of them were leaning into the rock and leaning into each other. They must have done that on the way up, at night, to stay warm.

Clean motioned us to the other end of the rock. He said, “We leave in half an hour. Drink all the water you can, then fill up one small water bottle each. Remember to add an iodine tablet. No one can get sick on the way down. And,” he said, pausing to reach into his pack. “We wear these on the way down.” He pulled out green and tan camouflage floppy hats and t-shirts that matched the backpacks our visitors had carried.

“What about . . .” I started to say.

Max took a deep breath, dropped his chin and stared at the ground. He understood before I did that the Vision-Quest was over. We’d come to exactly this spot because this was the mission Able and Clean had planned for us all along.

Clean said, “We’re carrying it back down to the trailhead. We’re taking no food. We ate less than 24 hours ago and will be able to eat again before we go to sleep, after we get home. We have water. It’s downhill for us so we should make the car before dark. I have a small thing of sunscreen. Other than that, all we need is some guts.”

Max’s face was angry. I was just plain numb. There was nothing else to say.

Half an hour later, Clean hugged his three companions goodbye. We stayed on the southern end of the ledge, teetering under the heavy packs, just nodding politely to the other crew. We started down and did not talk. The backpacks carried the same weight but since I’m smaller than Clean and Max, I struggled more. I panted and stumbled a few times. We reached the tree-line in a couple hours.

Max and I kept trading WTF looks.

I thought, What is Kazzy doing right now? Does she have backpack of drugs, too? Did she know about this? Of course she didn’t know. The day before she looked so lost and confused. As lost and confused as anyone in the dining hall. If she had drugs on her back, she was as surprised as we were.

God, I wanted to hold her and I wanted her to hold me back. I’ve never wanted to hold someone so much. I thought of the squeeze she’d given me as she left the school bus.

The school bus. Right. They’d chosen a special ed. school bus to bring us in and out because it would hide in plain sight. No cop would pull us over for a small reason.

Max suddenly said, “Shit.” He kicked a tree, nearly fell from being off-balance under the heavy pack, steadied himself, unstrapped, and dropped his pack on the ground. He looked at me, then at Clean. “This is illegal. It’s not what you said we’d be doing.”

Clean moved quickly toward Max. I dropped my pack to the ground and took a long step toward them–to break up the fight before it got started. Clean’s eyes darted to mine. He put his finger to his lips.

Max put up his fists but Clean was already past him.

Clean took two long steps down the path, to the bend in the next switchback. He looked back at us—eyes on fire. He pointed sharply at us and then up into the woods.

We pulled on our packs and labored up the rocky hillside, grabbing at pine trees and brush. Glancing to our right, I saw Clean doing the same. We reached a spot thirty feet off the trail, level and dense with ferns. From the trail we heard a rustling and the unmistakable clip-clopping of horseshoes. We dropped down in the ferns, shimmied out of our backpacks and kneeled down in the dense mossy soil.

A forest ranger on horseback came into view. As he brought the horse to a stop, it sniffed at the air, looked our way and froze. I knew it had smelled us. We turned to Clean. He put one finger to his lips and stared daggers at us.

The ranger wore an olive green, short-sleeved shirt and cargo shorts. He had a walkie talkie clipped to his belt and a satellite phone in his hand. The saddle held a canteen, knapsack, and a long leather sleeve with a shotgun handle sticking out. As he turned around, I saw a handgun holstered at his side. The guy looked straight ahead, spoke into his satellite phone, dismounted, whispered softly to the horse, and stroked its mane.

I looked back at Clean and what I saw told me that the Bethlehem family had changed forever. The fingers of one hand were spread toward us, commanding we remain still and silent. His other hand held a gun. The lines on his face were calm. He was not afraid.

The ranger turned his back to us, lowered his hands, undid his belt buckle, moved his legs apart, looked to the sky, began to whistle. Clean gently clicked off the safety. The horse heard it, darting its eyes in our direction, snuffled, pawed at the ground restlessly. The man turned back to the horse, whispered, went back to whistling.

After the ranger and horse were safely out of earshot, we stepped over to Clean.

Max said, “What are you doing with a GUN???”

I added, “Yeah, and what were you gonna do if he saw us?”

Clean looked calmly at me, snapped the safety back on, and returned the gun to the waist-band against his lower back. He clicked on his walkie talkie, adjusted the volume and channel, and said, “Redemption Team One to Redemption Team Two. Redemption Team One to Redemption Team Two. Anyone out there chillin’? Over.”

A long pause, and then the crackling response, “Chillin’ like Bob Dylan. Thought you guys were gone. Over.”

Clean said, “We just ran into Steve’s Big Brother. You remember Rick, right? Over.”

A longer, crackling pause.

“Copy that. Long time since we’ve seen Rick. He by himself? Over”

“Affirmative. Over.”

And the longest, crackling pause yet.

“How long til Rick arrives for dinner? Over.”

“He’s probably not coming to your house, but if he does go that way, it’ll be at least an hour. No more than two. Over.”

“Copy that. If you seen him again, tell him sorry we missed him and we’ll catch him next time. We’re running late and we’ll be gone in ten minutes. Over.”

“Sounds like a plan. Sorry about the fast turnaround. I know you guys are tired from the trip. From the long drive all the way from California, I mean. Over.”

“Copy that. Catch you guys next time. Over and out.”

“Copy that. Over and out.”

Clean switched off his walkie talkie and clipped it onto his belt.

“Look at me,” he said. “Everyone take a drink of water and pee if you have to. We are not stopping for a few hours, until we get to the parking lot. I will walk on point. That means I’ll be by myself about fifty feet ahead. There will be NO talking, so I can hear what’s ahead. You watch where you’re walking and you watch me. I put my hand up, that means stop. I point, and that means you have five seconds to go wherever I’m pointing.

“We run into someone and can’t hide in time, you just do exactly what I do. We’ll say hello all friendly-like, but you keep your heads down and you do not slow down no matter what. I will go first. I’ll pause, I’ll make some small talk for ten seconds while you pass me, and then I’ll bring up the rear after the two of you are down the trail a bit. I will catch up on my own so don’t look back. We don’t look back and we don’t stop no matter what.”

We nodded.

“Say it so I know you understand,” he said.

“Don’t look back,” Max said.

“Don’t stop, no matter what,” I said.

About the Author:
James Moser has always loved stories in all forms. He is in his fourteenth year of working with high school students. The author’s goal was to write a book that would inspire even his most reluctant readers. Young adults have always inspired him. As such, he wanted to show teenagers transforming themselves to overcome obstacles, which is what he watches them do, every day.

Moser has a B.A. in English and a Master’s degree in Secondary English Education. He lives in Seattle with his beautiful wife and eight year old son. When he’s not reading and writing, or thinking about reading and writing, he’s watching way too much television while snacking on frozen treats from Trader Joe’s. Man, those things are good.

Where to find James Moser:


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Guest Book Review: The Gift by Jonathan Lynch

the gift

File Size: 493 KB
Print Length: 276 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN: B008H5GTMI
Seventeen-year-old Michael decides to end it all one day. He feels he has nothing to live for. His life at school is a misery because of a gang of bullies; he has never kissed a girl; and his diary, in which he documents all his troubles, seems to be his only consolation. However, when he tries to commit suicide with pills washed down with alcohol, he wakes to find himself alive with no trace of pills, alcohol, or his suicide note. There is, however, a note telling him he will receive a visit from a stranger, offering him a chance at a new life. He can have all he desires, based on a handshake and a promise. This chance—aka the Gift—comes with a price. In 66 years’ time, Michael must do the strange visitor a small favor. If he accepts, then he cannot break this bargain. Michael reasons that 66 years is a long time. What can possibly go wrong? His life is transformed when he changes physically and mentally to a state of almost-perfection; his mother wins a vast fortune; and he begins a relationship with the girl he always worshipped from afar. But the man in black returns sooner than expected and demands his price.
What an interesting read! This book is a YA paranormal thriller with wide appeal. Author Jonathan Lynch has a gift for description, and knows how to turn up the tension. My only criticism here would be that in some very exciting scenes, the descriptions tend to slow down the pace. The characters are well-drawn and believable, especially Michael. The reader can really identify with him. The plot moves in and out of various people’s lives, drawing dark threads together as the mysterious stranger works on his own (otherworldly) agenda. Can Michael escape the fate he has chosen for himself? When dark forces conspire to claim the blood price, can Michael break this deadly pact? Reminiscent of the legend of Faust, who surrendered moral integrity for power and success, the story also throws up interesting questions of good versus evil; what is truth, and what things are beyond price. The book ends in a fascinating way, and I’m sure readers would love a continuation. Recommended.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-ebook/dp/B008H5GTMI/

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

The Horrible Huckleberry Hex by Alani M'echel Weathers

The Horrible Huckleberry HexAre you ready for a spooky story?  Cross Goosebumps from R.L. Stine and a bit of Scooby Doo, and you’ll come close to what you find in The Horrible Huckleberry Hex by Alani M’echel Weathers.

Eleven-year-old Jordan Davis, jumps in Aunt Desiree’s van to go on his first camping trip with his younger brother and twin sisters:  Danny, Tiffany and Celeste.  Little does he know that this camping trip will soon take a dangerous turn.

After setting up camp, the family hikes down a trail where they discover an ancient oak tree decorated with huge, juicy berries.  Jordan soon discovers, however, that there might be more to those berries than them being huge and juicy.  When he bumps into his friends, Kevin and Lei, they warn Jordan that those berries shouldn’t be consumed, especially by adults. 

Jordan and his friends must race against time as they try to save Jordan’s siblings, and themselves, from an ancient curse that might doom them all!

Some of you might be too young to remember, but in the 90’s, Nickeloden aired a show titled, Are You Afraid of the Dark?.  A group of friends belonging to “The Midnight Society” would meet at a secret location in the woods and one member would share a scary story with the rest of the group.  The Horrible Huckleberry Hex is similiar, except for young Jordan Davis and his family, it’s not a story, it’s really happening and it’s frightening. 

The entire story is told from Jordan’s point of view and he is the only narrator, sharing the story and sometimes addressing the reader, which instantly connects that reader to the story.  I would also compare it to Goosebumps by R.L. Stine because of its hair-raising action, and Scooby Doo deserves some mention because of the hilarious antics that this adventure creates.  Weathers did an amazing job of combining all these elements, an ancient curse, and a diverse cast of characters to come up with a huge winner.

This book should be on every middle grade reader’s wish list.  With a captivating and engaging storyline, a touch of humor, and several yummy-looking recipes The Horrible Huckleberry Hex by Alani M’echel Weathers is sure to thrill everyone who reads it!

 

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Infinity Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 0741453282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0741453280
  • SRP:  $9.95


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    Doorman's Creek by Lea Schizas

    doormans_creek-1Suspense, action and betrayal in the most evil of forms–Lea Schizas has packed all this and more into her young adult paranormal thriller, Doorman’s Creek.

    Fifteen-year-old Kyle Anderson and his friends, Shawn and Bradley, set out to explore a cave they stumbled upon by Doorman’s Creek. They certainly don’t expect what they find–a human skeleton and Kyle’s eerie feeling that they are not alone.

    Against his parents’ wishes Kyle, Bradley, and Shawn return to the cave to uncover what they think are the remains of one or two girls who disappeared ten years ago. When Kyle is struck with some kind of seizure, Shawn and Bradley pick him up and run for their lives. At the hospital Kyle tells his father, Richard, what happened at the cave and provides information about the visions he saw during his episode of incapacitation. Richard, a detective for the local police force, begins to investigate the unsolved case of the missing girls–which he had worked on ten years ago–and how it might tie into the recent disappearance of another young woman.  What none of them knows is that they might just have put themselves in the path of a serial killer.

    Doorman’s Creek by Lea Schizas captured me from beginning to end. I literally could not walk away from this story, reading it in one sitting. Lea Schizas did a superb job of keeping the action moving along at a quick pace, making the transitions between chapters smooth and seamless. Schizas drew real characters who I connected with and cared about and whose emotions were so real that I felt my heartbeat racing when they were scared. The backstory was just enough and never dulled the present day action. Schizas created the perfect young adult paranormal thriller.

    Suspense-filled, action packed and full of surprises, Doorman’s Creek by Lea Schizas will draw you in deeply and not let you go.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: eTreasures Publishing 
  • ISBN-10: 0974053740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974053745
  • SRP: $7.99 (U.S.)