Book Blitz: Arabella Park by Meiling (Excerpt, Book Trailer + Giveaway)
Today, I'm here to post as part of the book blitz for Arabella Park, a YA Mystery by Meiling/Evan Tyler. As part of the book blitz, I have an extract, book trailer and an international giveaway to share. Enjoy!
Publication date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Everyone knows that losing friends is a natural part of the high school experience. It's all a game of musical chairs, really. Yet, what happens when a friend doesn't intentionally "go ghost" but is abruptly taken away?
Kameron, Grayson, Mikey, Yasmin, and Jenna have been thick as thieves from childhood. Rightfully so—they make up the American minority in the German twin city of Arabella Park. When one of the five suddenly turns up missing, the remaining friends must find a way to bring her back while keeping up the facade of leading ordinary small-town lives.
As they search for their missing friend, they discover things about themselves and one another that will catapult them into an explosive climax and the ultimate revelation of who done it.
A multi-faceted mystery told from the alternating points of view of five friends, Arabella Park brings to life what it means to endure the most frightful, profound time of one's life—the teenage years—while being stretched to the limits of what it means to be an adult, even a hero.
I've lived the most ordinary life ever. Thus, I write for my own entertainment and hopefully, one day, the entertainment of millions of others. I'm a guitarist/singer/songwriter and above all, a hard worker. (At least, I'd like to think so.) Not sure what other clever thing I could say, so [insert clever line right here.] :-)
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw3O-7ETOBc
Sitting next to me in the backseat of Michael's car, Grayson looks up from his cell phone for the first time since we started our joy ride. He centers his full attention on the side of my face.
I scrunch my brows. “Why are you staring at me?”
“No reason. Just trying to imagine you with a mustache and full beard."
I dangle my ponytail over my upper lip. "Won't be that hard if I don't wax soon."
He smiles at me, though there's a mismatched expression in his eyes. It's pity. It hasn't left him since last week.
“No, seriously," he says, "I’m just trying to remember what you look like for when you abandon me.”
Grayson made my announcement to Mikey and Jenna as soon as they picked us up in the Mikey-mobile, a refurbished 1989 Dodge Challenger his father passed on to him. Mikey and Jenna applauded my victory, immediately asked if I'd given Mimi the news. Yasmin would presumably be most ecstatic, considering we had plans to take Berkeley by storm together. We are now one acceptance letter short of realizing the dream in its entirety.
Mimi had missed all three of my victory calls. Such news had to be heard, not seen in a text. Further, the ever-jaunty rhythm of her voice would no doubt grow my own excitement.
Mikey insisted on congratulating me by dropping the car's top for the special occasion. I probably would have been more inclined to tell him what an irritation it is having the wind toss my hair into whorls over my eyes if the gesture hadn't been so sincere. Besides, without the lid of the car roof, the scene of the falling scarlet-gold sun on the horizon makes the city that much more picturesque. Downtown Arabella Park, with its gold-themed stores and restaurants can be quite stunning at sunset.
"I don't know what I'm gonna do with you, Kam. You know, there's no way I can get into Berkeley," Grayson continues. "Plus, I don't know if I wanna be known as a West Coast rapper."
“Did you get the news, tio?” Mikey says.
“What…what’s up?” His tone is intensely curious. He hasn't detected Mikey's sarcasm. It's pathetically obvious where his mind is.
“Facebook, Snapchat, WeChat, Skype, FaceTime, G-Chat, Twitter, Google Plus—all forms of media with over a billion users on the planet. There's no way you’re gonna forget what that mug looks like.” Mikey grins at me through the rear-view mirror. "That beautiful, gorgeous Kasparov mug.”
“Okay, cool," Gray says with a shrug. "Now, we can focus on more important things.” He attends his phone once again, scrolling down the screen with a smooth thumb. He slides down in the seat to spread his long, cramped legs, looking up at me to make sure I've caught his humor.
From the side mirror, I watch Jenna roll her eyes. “Guess nothing could be as important as Little Lolo, not even your sister getting into one of the best schools in the country."
“You got it, Eeyore,” he says, using the name he'd given her years ago for the listless tone she often employs.
“Anything for you, Pooh Bear.”
“Well, anyway, I can’t find her on Facebook. Guess her name’s not actually Lolo. We’ll just call her dimples and swags for now.”
“Or we could call her London Griffin since that’s the kid's name," Mikey offers. “She’s in my AP Lit class sixth period. Today was her first day.”
“She’s in your class? Dude….” That was a dude of sheer wonder. “Did she say anything about the lunch battle thing? Was she impressed? You think she’s interested?”
“I think she doesn’t know you from a can of paint,” I say because bitterness, like heartbreak, is the friend that'll never leave your side.
“Yeah, but did you see her face at the end of the battle?”
Jenna smirks. “I’m sure she was just taken aback by your incredible linguistic abilities….”
Mikey makes a dumb, stuttering sound, contorting his face, thus imitating Grayson as he watched London Griffin effortlessly steal the crown off his head at lunch. Jenna and I crack up. Grayson takes it in stride, returning to his Facebook search.
Like a fiend, I return to thoughts of Robert. His brown eyes used to be so kind. He had the kind of face that inspired immediate trust. So, I actually believed him when he said--
“Shit!” Mikey's car jerks, thrusting me out of my thoughts.
“Ooh, Mikey said a bad word," Grayson mocks.
Jenna turns to Mikey, holding her stomach, breathless. “Did we get a flat or something?”
“Turn the wheel, pull over to the shoulder,” I command.
“I got it.” Mikey wrestles with his steering wheel, the car slowly crunching and dragging over the black asphalt.
“Just pull over,” I insist.
“Shut up, K!” Mikey yells. After managing to get the car onto the shoulder, he turns back to face me, not meeting my eyes. “Sorry.”
His apology embarrasses me. “Whatever. Just check the trunk for a spare.”
Mikey opens his door and heads for the trunk. Grayson follows behind, not wasting the opportunity to hop out over the side of the convertible. I make my way to the boys' side, while Jenna stays in the car, anchored by the baby. Mikey wrestles with the trunk's old lock. When he finally manages it open, the three of us take a reflexive step back, faced with the startling contents of an otherwise pristine space.
A slight wind dances one of the contents out of the trunk. It is a single type-written paper that turns cartwheels in the air until Grayson reaches for it, suspending it between his fingers.
He flattens the paper, then holds it out to allow Mikey and me to read it over his shoulder. Our collective silence layered over the sound of traffic, we digest its meaning, a meaning made clearer by the other contents:
A bundle of straight, black hair stuck to the trunk carpet with blood
A silver ring tarnished by the same blood
“What’s going on?” Jenna hollers out of the window. She manages to raise herself from the car, toddling toward us. “Guys, what’s up?”
Annoyed by our silence and not yet having stolen a glance inside the trunk, she snatches the note out of Grayson's hand and acquaints herself with the staggering situation the three of us have just been confronted with.
I have her. I cannot make it plainer. I will not attempt to. You will carry the burden of gathering belief.
I trust that you will doubt the evidence. All Catholic school children have doubts.
If you must, test the DNA of the blood evidence I have so kindly left you. I don't know how you will do so without informing someone about what you have found in the trunk.
Here is something you should not doubt: I will chop Yasmin's body to little pieces and eat them over the course of several meals if you tell ANYONE about what you have found. Anyone means anyone.
As your Bible so clearly states, the power of life and death is in your hands. I recomend that you choose life. Life is so much better than death, isn't it? A life like Yasmin's deserves to be lived to a ripe old age. I trust that you will agree with me. More than that, I hope we can work out a deal that will ensure Yasmin's safe return.
Now, to the question that is on all of your minds: What do I want? I don't know the answer to that presently. I will let you know that soon enough. In the meantime, prove yourselves trustworthy enough to hold a secret. A life depends on it.
GIVEAWAY - ENDS OCTOBER 12TH 2017
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Thrax (Angelbound Origins #4) by Christina Bauer
Today I'm here to post for the Thrax blog tour, which is the 4th book in the Angelbound Origins YA series by Christina Bauer. I'm excited to be able to share with you a guest post as well as a pretty awesome International giveaway! Without further ado, let's get into it!
by Christina Bauer
(Angelbound Origins #4)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:Myla Lewis has married Prince Lincoln, and now they’re expecting! All the after-realms rejoice. Myla should be happy too, but she has a serious problem. The day after their honeymoon ended, Myla’s real husband disappeared.
The man who’s sharing her bed is an imposter.
Myla tries explaining about “Evil Lincoln,” but no one will listen. The reason? People think that Myla’s supernatural pregnancy is making her cray cray. Mostly because that’s what Evil Lincoln is telling everyone, and that man’s a great liar. What a creep.
There’s no way Myla will take this lying down, though. She’s going to rescue her man, and she has a pretty good idea where he’s being held. With her best friend, Cissy, along to help, Myla sneaks off to Earth. All she has to do is blend in with the humans, avoid Evil Lincoln, and find her real man before the baby arrives. How hard can it be?
Monster House Books is celebrating the launch of THRAX by placing all Angelbound books on sale!
Landing Page URL: http://wp.me/p7Tzb3-2L5
Guest Post by Christina BauerTop Ten Things You Don’t Know About Being A Writer On The Autism SpectrumBy Christina Bauer , a writer on the autism spectrum
There’s a saying about those who are on the autism spectrum: “If you look normal, they ignore your deficits… And if you DON’T look normal, they ignore your gifts.” When I was young, i was a hand-flapping kid who talked to myself. A lot. Back then it was the early seventies, so there weren’t a lot of options for children like me. My parents debated about sending me to some kind of asylum. No lie. I worked hard to blend in and I think it’s made me a better writer and person. Today, I’m here to tell you the top ten things I’d like you to know about folks like me.
10. Every time someone asks me: “how do you [FILL IN THE BLANK]” it cracks me up, because I want to ask the opposite, as in how do you NOT [FILL IN THE BLANK]. Example: how do you do so many things at the same time? Me: How do you NOT doing so many things at the same time? Don’t you get so bored you want to punch yourself in the face?
9. We are not individuals. We are a macro organism called the human being. (I know this sounds weird, but bear with me here.) Most people are connected in that they think along the same lines. I’m not saying that you vote the same way or whatever, but that you experience the world in a similar manner. We’re all connected in ways we don’t even think about, only I think about it because I’m disconnected a bit (more on that later). And honestly, I think that’s part of the plan, too.
8. People who act in openly strange manners (flapping hands or whatever) are NEVER NEVER NEVER the ones you need to worry about. It’s always the sociopaths who act so perfectly that they play into your dreams and then drag you into the black vans of life. Truth.
7. My primary way of understanding the world is through sound, while most ‘typical’ people are visual. This is a huge difference in how I’m wired and it changes everything for me in that I don’t care how people look so much as the content of what they say. Trust me, this isn’t always a joy. Case in point: I like reading romances about one-night stands, but I couldn’t have one in real life. Well, not unless we talked all night first and I knew his stance on about a million issues. And the guy made me laugh. But then, it probably wouldn’t be a one night stand.
6. Most people on the autism spectrum can’t lie. Like really, seriously, can not. We’re loving and loyal, only we can often look and act differently. You will never have a better or more true friend, although he/she WILL always tell you if those jeans make your ass look too big.
5. I have to study human nature in order to understand how non-spectrum folks think. It’s a job. It also makes me a better writer, so there’s that too.
4. Under stress, I can’t look people in the eye. Instead, I’ll look at the space right between your eyes. It fools typical people into thinking I’m making eye contact without overwhelming me. A lot of us have to do stuff like that because typical folks aren’t very flexible in terms of their interaction. I’m actually paying a lot closer attention if I’m not looking at you, because I’m listening and I get a lot more information from your voice than your eyes. But I gave up that battle a long time ago. Between the eyes it is!!!
3. A lot of people won’t believe I’m on the spectrum when they first meet me. Then, they get to know me and about six months down the road go: “how the hell is it that you do what you do?” In most cases, “what I do” is juggle a dozen huge projects at once, build crazy worlds in my books, or predict the future (more on that later.) Then, I tell them I’m on the spectrum and they get it. Lately, I’ve been testing out telling people earlier (hence this article). We’ll see how it goes.
2. My gift on the spectrum is to take in tons of information and then predict the next 4-5 things that will happen in a complex system. This can be a curse or a gift, depending on the situation because either 1) I’m predicting sunshine and rainbows, which everyone wanted to believe anyway or 2) I’m predicting something yucky and everyone dismisses it. For the second option, I can explain how everything will go down, often in painstaking detail, and most people still won’t believe it. Mostly, I just go ahead and act based on what i know and then people act like it’s magic when it works. See #3.
1. My son is on the autism spectrum and he presents very differently than I do. He is far less ‘hidden,’ at least at this stage of his development. He’s also the most open, loving, and joyful soul you could ever meet. In my opinion, just because he may not have a high-paying job someday or father a bunch of kids doesn’t make his future any less bright. Every day that he breaths and smiles, he brings happiness and purpose to those around him. Few ‘typical’ folks can claim the same, even after a long and ‘normal’ life.
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates
Stalk Christina on Social Media – She Loves It!
Web site: http://monsterhousebooks.com/authors/cbauer
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
I just wanted to say a big thank you to Christina as it was a pleasure to share your book on my blog!
Cover Reveal: The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr
I'm here to share with you the cover for The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr, a YA Mytery/Thriller novel. Let's get into it!
The Cutting Room Floor
by Dawn Klehr
Publication date: October 13th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Synopsis:Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley
Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she’s publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.
Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn’t know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez’s web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives
Dawn Klehr is the author of the young adult thrillers: The Cutting Room Floor and If You Wrong Us.
She began her career in TV news and though she’s been on both sides of the camera, she prefers to lurk behind the lens. Mostly, she loves to get lost in stories –in film, the theater, or on the page – and is a sucker for both the sinister and the sappy. She’s currently channeling her dark side as she works on her next book.
Dawn lives in the Twin Cities with her funny husband, adorable son, and naughty dog.
As always, let me know in the comments below your thoughts on the cover for The Cutting Room Floor. Congrats Dawn and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy when it's released!
Book Blitz: Carry Me Home by Jessica Therrien (Excerpt + Giveaway)
Today I'm posting as part of the book blitz for Carry Me Home, a YA Contemporary Thriller, by Jessica Therrien. I have an excerpt to share with you as well a pretty amazing international giveaway.
Without further ado, let's get into it!
Carry Me Home
by Jessica Therrien
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult
“A riveting page-turner… Jessica Therrien broke my heart into a million pieces — and then put it back together again. This book will haunt and uplift readers long after they turn the last page.”
-KAT ROSS, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea
CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her, Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.
* * *
Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.
They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.
But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world.
Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.
Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.
Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. Her trilogy has been translated and sold through major publishers around the world, such as Editions AdA (Canada), EditionsMilan (France), and SharpPoint Press (China).
Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica is the author of a kid’s picture book called, The Loneliest Whale. Her award-winning stories can also be found in a published anthology of flash fiction.
Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two young sons. She is working on an a YA suspense thriller series and a middle grade fantasy series.
“You ready for this, Guera?” he asks.
It’s a test, Guera. Only thing I can say is you’re allowed to fight back. Take ‘em out with everything you got.
I’d heard of people being jumped into a gang before, maybe it was Rosa who told me about it. As the girls start to descend from their spots around the room, slowly closing in like encircling wolves, I know what’s about to happen.
The realization takes hold in my chest, a quick plunge of the heart into an icy lake of fear. I back away slowly out of instinct, ready to run, but there’s nowhere to go. The sound of their skittering feet is the first thing I hear before they come at me. Me against all of them. Me against Rose Tattoo and Cigarette Twins. Me against the jealous novias. Ten sets of eyes glinting with the thrill of a fight. I flinch and turn my back to avoid the fists, but they’re all around me. One of them catches me by the shoulders, holding me in place as the other girls hit the back of my skull. My head flies forward, chin to chest.
At first I don’t know whether to swing or cover. I reach up to protect myself, but there are too many points of contact. The rush of adrenaline is intense. It blocks the pain, but there is a fiery need in me to get away. I try and kick or punch, feeling one or two connect, but the girls are everywhere. An elbow slams against my temple. My head splits and my ears ring. I go down.
Every infinite minute of being the enemy feels like it’ll never end.
Someone’s shoe stomps my thigh. Others strike my ribs. I heave and gag until I can’t breathe. But that kind of terror turns me into a resilient kind of crazy. The kind of rabid-mad that is born of desperation. I scrape and flail until I’m on my feet, pulling hair and swinging my fists, making contact with whatever I can. I don’t realize I’m screaming until Toño calls them to a stop.
It ceases the moment the girls hear his voice, and I’m left there shaking and crazed, my breath dragging in and out of my lungs in a feverish effort to return to its normal rhythm. I pant and cry, as softly as I can, but it’s hard to deny my body the relief of all-out sobbing. My head hurts. My brain smashes against my skull with the pulse of too much pressure. I taste blood in my mouth, though no one has touched my face. Now that it’s over, the pain of it all rushes to the surface and makes me want to vomit. I feel like I could die.
Why am I here? Why am I doing this?
“She’s in,” Toño says, and the cheers of the group shock my senses and make me tense up.
They all rush me, and at first I’m terrified it’s about to start again, but instead they hug me and pat me on the shoulder all at once. Each hand on my back or squeeze around the shoulders rocks me with pain, but they’re so happy. Their laughter and cheering is contagious, it flows into me, filling me with a strange sense of pride and belonging. I can’t help my smile when I see their encouraging faces. I even start to laugh.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
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