Tag Archives: Young Adult

#BlogTour – Leveling by J.R. Tague @JR_Tague #AmReading #YA #GoodReads

“I should tell you,” he hesitated. “We can expect some limitations on the reanimation I’ve performed.”

“You mean, like, I’ll still be Max McKay,” I said. A disappointment to be sure, but I could deal with it.

“In order to bring you back, I had to reattach your soul to your body—your dead body.”

I didn’t like where this was going. Images played across my mind of Dr. Frankenstein flipping a switch and watching the eyes of his monster snap open.

“Your point being?”

“Without the soul, the body ceases to be human. It is just a biological machine. All processes and reactions. More like a car than a person.”

Zombie. Once the word flashed through my mind I couldn’t shake it loose.

I looked down at my hands, flexing the fingers open and closed. “But I’m human, right? I still have a body and a soul.”

He looked uneasy for a moment, searching for a way to explain.

“Correct. Technically.” His voice grew soft, almost tender. “While in your mother’s womb, in an incredibly complex process, your eternal soul joined with this body. That union was perfect. Such an action can never again be performed precisely the same way. Once body and soul are separated and reunited, the two will never function quite the same again.”

My brain felt ready to burst from philosophical overload. I needed the bottom line. “So what exactly does that mean for me?”

“Your reanimation is a temporary fix.”


“It is inevitable that your soul and body will separate once more, Max. And when that happens, it will be for good.”

“How long do I have?” I swallowed back the dread threatening to choke me.

“A year or two at most,” he said quietly. “It’s impossible to know.”

His words may have been soft but they hit me hard. “Why even bother reanimating me, then? I’m only sixteen. I’m clueless. No one would even notice if I was gone!”

“I’ve done my job so that you can do yours.” His eyes grew solemn as they fixed on mine. “When next we meet in the in-between realm, I will have to follow protocol. Whether you are ready or not.”

“You should have just followed it from the get-go,” I said. “What difference is a year or two going to make?”

He looked up quickly to meet my eyes.

“Why, it could make all the difference. As a mortal, you should know that better than I.”

“But this is my life,” I said, gesturing around the room. “I go to school and I play games online. Sometimes I have to put up with my family. I don’t know how any of this is going to change in such a short time.”

“Perhaps it’s not the things around you that need to change.”


Max McKay gets a second chance at life when, after a bizarre accident on his sixteenth birthday, he is reanimated as a new breed of thinking, feeling zombie. To secure a spot for his eternal soul, Max must use his video game prowess as well as the guidance of Steve the Death God to make friends and grow up. As if all that weren’t hard enough, Max discovers that he’s not the only zombie in town. As he enlists the help of his new friends, Adam and Penny, to solve the mystery of their un-dead classmate, Max discovers that he must level up his life experience in order to survive the trials and terrors of the upcoming zombie apocalypse. And, even worse, high school.

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Genre – YA

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with J R Tague on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://jrtague.wordpress.com/


#BlogTour – Haunted by @EileenMaksym #YA #Paranormal #Giveaway

Once in the lab, Tara shrugged off her overcoat and scarf, and hung them on a hook inside the door.  While Steven was hanging up his jacket, she  pulled on a white lab coat.

“You can sit there,” she said, gesturing toward a cluttered desk.  Steven sat and pushed aside an odd mixture of magazines: Neuroscience, The Chicago Literary Review, People, Cosmopolitan.

Tara disappeared into a back room, then reappeared, carrying a small black tray that held maybe 20 slides.  Steven noticed a bit of mist curling up from the black plastic into the warm room.  Tara set the tray down, sat, and picked up a clipboard.  She took out a slide, positioned it in the microscope, flipped a light switch, and leaned forward to peer through the eyepiece.

Steven took the Laceys’ number out of his left pocket, his cell phone out of his right, and dialed.  One ring.  Two rings.  Three rings.  Four rings.  He started to wonder if they were home; what he would say if he had to leave a message on a machine.  Five rings.  Six –


“Hello, may I please speak to Mr. Lacey?”

“You’re speaking to him, son.  What can I do you for?”

“My name is Steven Trent, and I’m a member of my university’s Society of Paranormal Researchers.”

Tara turned her head over her shoulder and grinned at him.

He grinned back.

Mr. Lacey chuckled.  “This is about that article in the Register, isn’t it?”

“It is, yes.”

“Thought so.  My wife warned me about this; she said that if we had the story published in the paper, chances were we’d attract more than just potential buyers.  I wasn’t too concerned about it, though – figured any publicity would be good publicity at this point.”  He chuckled again.  “You wouldn’t want to buy the house, would you?  It’s really a spectacularly good bargain.”

Steven smiled.  “As a college student, I’m afraid I’m not in the market.”

“Ah, well; I had to ask.  So, Mr.…what did you say your name was again?”

“Trent.  Steven Trent.”

“Mr. Trent.  You haven’t called to buy my house…unfortunately…so, what can I help you with?”

“Well, we here at the Society were wondering if you might be willing to allow us to investigate the property.  Usually, when we get reports of ongoing hauntings, the houses are occupied, which limits what we can do; most people don’t want us tramping through their house at all hours.”
“I can imagine.  What sorts of things are involved in these investigations?  You’re not going to break windows, are you?  Scratch up the wood floors?  Tear down the vintage wallpaper?  Or otherwise lower the value of our property?”

“No, no worries,” Steven answered, amused.  “We won’t damage anything.  Basically, we spend some time in the house – ideally overnight.  We have cameras that take regular pictures, as well as some that take infrared shots; we take a number of pictures throughout the house.  Then, we use instruments that measure electromagnetic waves and temperature changes.  And that’s pretty much it.”  Steven didn’t mention Paul.  Even though the Laceys believed in ghosts, he figured they might balk at the idea of using a psychic in their house.  Bringing up the subject had the tendency to make people’s opinion of the Society of Paranormal Researchers go from “odd but credible” to “who the heck are these wackos, and how did they get my number?”

“Well…” Mr. Lacey said, “I’ll have to run it by the wife, of course, but I don’t see why not.  The house is just sitting there empty anyway.  It would be interesting to know a bit more about the scientific side of the things we heard and saw for 20 years.  Say,” he said, his voice becoming more serious, “what do you do with all this information?  You won’t publish it in the paper or anything like that, will you?”

“Not unless you want us to – more publicity, right?  We’ll write up a report with everything that we find, including copies of all the photographs.  We’ll keep one copy of it for our files, and we’ll give you a copy to do with as you wish.  Heck, if you wanted to, you could give it to anyone who asks about the haunting when they come to see the house.”

“That’s a great idea,” Mr. Lacey said.

“We’ll even make you a few copies, if that helps.  And if we ever want to use it for any future publication of any kind…an article for a journal, a book, whatever…we will get your permission in writing first, and you can have your names changed and the actual location of the house obscured, if you wish.”

“Sounds pretty good.  Tell you what: let me go ask the missus.  Can I call you at this number?”

“Sure thing.”

“Great.  Let me go talk to Susan; she’s right out back.  I’ll give you a ring in a moment.”

“Great; talk to you then.”

Steven hung up and turned toward Tara.

She was bent over the microscope.  “So,” she said without looking up, “that sounded like it went well.”

“He’s clearing it with his wife as we speak.  I definitely think he’s up for the idea.”

“Certainly sounded that way.”  She sat up, made a few notes on her clipboard, then looked back into the microscope, adjusting the focus knob. Steven’s phone buzzed. Tara smiled.  “You’re on, Mr. Trent.”

“Cute,” he smirked, then answered the call.

A few minutes later, Steven had the name and number of the Laceys’ realtor, as well as some more information about the haunting.  Aside from the moving furniture, Mr. Lacey and his wife had seen lights moving up and down the stairs and had heard scratching on their bedroom door.  They knew nothing of the origin of the haunt, however, and had learned to live with it, even coming to regard it, in a strange way, as their child.

Steven noted all of this, thanked Mr. Lacey, and flipped the cell shut.  “Well, there you go: we have permission to investigate.”

Tara lifted her head.  “Good job.”

“Thanks.  How’s the research going?”

“Slowly.  I’m on slide number five, and I have to get through all 22 now, since I can’t refreeze them.  Would you mind hanging out while I finish up?  It might take an hour or two, but after that we can go to the library.”

“Luckily, I have some Plato with me…”  He pulled a beaten-up copy of The Republic from his bag.  “And if I want to sound at all intelligent in class, I should probably actually read it.  Because, y’know that whole learning-by-osmosis thing?  Doesn’t work.”

“Don’t I know it.” Tara turned back to her microscope and put the next slide in place.

Steven sat and looked at her for a long moment, noticing how her red locks fell down her back over the white lab coat.  Then he shook his head and opened his book.

As Tara went through her slides, Steven read about political theory in ancient Greece –  looking up every once in a while to glimpse her cascading hair.


Tara Martin – exceptionally accomplished neurobiology major with a troubled past. Steven Trent – confident political science major with an irresistible attraction to Tara. Paul Stratton – history major who is able to hear spirits. Together, they make up the Society for Paranormal Researchers at their prestigious New England University. When they’re not in class or writing papers, the three friends are chasing their passion….ghosts.

When the group learns of a local retired couple trying to sell a house they claim is haunted, they decide to investigate. As the clues unfold, a familiar spirit interrupts their investigation and Tara finds her life in danger. Can her friends save her before it’s too late?

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Genre – YA paranormal, NA paranormal

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Eileen Maksym on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://eileenmaksym.wordpress.com/


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#YA #SciFi Excerpt from Doubt (Among Us Trilogy) by Anne-Rae Vasquez @write2film

SERENA BENT OVER TO KISS her father good night.  He barely moved, his eyes glued to his iPad, reviewing his notes from his consular meetings that day.

“Good night, Father.”

He mumbled something that resembled “Good night,” kissed the top of her head, and returned to his notes. She straightened herself, turned, and walked out of the sitting room. Ever since the riot that devastated downtown Manila and the reports of hundreds of people who went missing a few weeks ago, her father had stayed past office hours at the consulate every night.

Her thoughts raced as she walked down the long dark corridor. Due to the blackouts in the city, everyone had to conserve electricity by keeping the lights off as much as possible. The huge three-story house was intimidating in the daytime but even spookier at nighttime. Built in 1926, the maids said that the house was one of the oldest in Quezon City, which, according to legend, the ghosts of the Filipino prisoners who were tortured and killed in the rooms throughout the house during the Japanese occupation, still wandered the hallways.

Suddenly, Serena felt a hand on her left shoulder. Parts of her wanted to start running, but instead, she froze in her tracks. The spicy scent of “Gucci pour Homme” cologne enveloped her nostrils. She must have sprayed that scent on thousands of male customers last summer at her part-time job during the “Shangri-la Plaza’s Back to School” promotion. Definitely, not a ghost.

“Don’t be scared, Serena. We need to talk,” a deep, strong voice whispered in her ear.

This clown was about to learn he was messing with the wrong girl. All she needed was an opening and her training would kick in. She continued walking down the hall. The stranger pressed his hand into the small of her back.

She squinted to see her reflection in the twenty-foot mirror at the end of the hallway. Her short, dirty blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, revealed her pale white skin. Her pink cotton pajamas made her look like a bewildered child and not the confident twenty-two-year-old she was known to be among her circle of friends.

As they walked closer towards the mirror, she could faintly see the outline of her captor; his hooded jacket hid his facial features. Possibly six feet tall, his frame overshadowed her mere five-foot-two inches of height. She made mental notes, so if he got away after she disabled him, she’d have all the details to give to the police.

“Let’s go inside your room.”

It was more of a request than a command.

Why did he sound so familiar? Who was this person? She opened the door into the darkness of the room. Her hand reached out for the light switch, an automatic reaction. He grabbed her hand and held it tight.

“Keep the lights down for now.”

The streaks of pale moonlight streamed through the open window onto her bed.

Serena tried to think. She could have easily caught her captor by surprise and kneed him in the groin or better yet, gouged his eyes out if she wanted to. Having taught self-defense classes at Global Nation for the past two years, she was not about to lose her advantage of her hidden talent until she ascertained what kind of weapon he carried.

“Have a seat on the bed.”

Unsure of what his intentions were and yet as equally curious, she sat down on the corner of her bed, obeying his request. Her gaze moved up his dark pants and up his jacket until it reached his face. He raised his arm. She held her breath anticipating a blow, but realized he was only removing his hoodie from his head.

Before she could react, he sat down beside her and removed the backpack from his shoulder and lowered it onto the bed, keeping it close to him. He fumbled for a minute and brought out a square object. He placed it onto his lap and then opened it. The bright light from the laptop caught her by surprise and forced her to rule out robbery, rape, or kidnapping as a motive. He had to be the lamest intruder on the planet.

Unable to contain herself, she jumped up and said in a loud voice, “What is this? Who the hell are you?”

He turned to her, his blue eyes piercing into hers. His lips curled into a smile, like a child who had a secret to share.

“Harry…Harry Doubt. Nice to finally meet you in person, Serena, or should I say, Lioness? I have a mission for you. Many Philippine citizens have ‘disappeared’ or have gone missing in the last year.”

“Are you nuts?” Serena sputtered. “You don’t break into peoples’ houses and say, ‘Hi, I have a mission for you.’ I want you to leave.”

Serena stood, pointing at the door.

“Perhaps I went about this the wrong way,” Harry said with a sigh.

“Ya’ think?”

Harry reached out to shake her hand in an attempt to introduce himself. Serena grabbed it and made a swift classic “ippon seoinage” judo move, disabling Harry with a one-arm shoulder throw to the ground. She pinned her foot over his throat and twisted his arm. That teaches you a lesson.

“So talk to me. What’s this about?” she asked.

“Manila, Global Nation,” Harry managed to choke out. “Disappearances.”

“So? Tell me something I don’t know. Global Nation has been offering help to the local police and army to investigate the disappearances.”

She pushed her foot even more firmly on his throat.

“In my front pocket of my shirt, there’s a flash card. Take it.”

She reached for the flash card while keeping an eye on him.

“We need you to find out what is on your father’s computer. We have information that GN is involved.”


Do you love shows like J.J. Abrams’ Fringe and read books like Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones?

“Doubt” mashes fringe science, corporate espionage and paranormal encounters to catapult you into an out-of-this-world experience.

At 21 years old, Harry and Cristal are fresh out of university with their PhD’s. Labeled all their lives as being ‘weird’ and ‘geeky’, they find true friendships with other outcasts by playing online virtual reality games.

Harry Doubt, a genius programmer and creator of the popular online game ‘Truth Seekers’, has a personal mission of his own; to find his mother who went mysteriously missing while volunteering on a peacekeeping mission in Palestine. His gaming friends and followers inadvertently join in helping him find her; believing that they are on missions to find out what has happened to their own missing loved ones. During Harry’s missions, Cristal and the team of ‘Truth Seekers’ stumble upon things that make them doubt the reality of their own lives. As they get closer to the truth, they realize that there are spiritual forces among them both good and evil, but in learning this, they activate a chain of events that start the beginning of the ‘end of the world’ as they know it.

Doubt is Book 1 of the Among Us Trilogy. Among Us is a book series which delves into the world of the supernatural and how it intersects with the everyday lives of seemingly ordinary young people as catastrophic events on earth lead to the end of times. Among Us weaves the theme of a young man and woman, who while not fully understanding their ‘abilities’, are drawn together in their desire to find out the truth about the world they live in which is similar to themes used in J.J. Abrams’ TV shows Fringe and Lost.

What readers have to say…

As a big fan of the show Fringe, this book appealed to me tremendously. The writing was well done, and the way the “supernatural” forces were introduced was great.

A good, clean read for any age.

It was an excellent story that I’m sure both adult and teen urban fantasy fans will enjoy. You don’t have to be a gamer or know one to identify with the characters. They’re very well developed and definitely feel like people. I would definitely recommend it to a friend and I’m really looking forward to the second book.

…the novel is written in such a languid style, it moves on effortlessly and absorbs the reader into the story completely. Although the story itself revolves around the online gaming industry, one does not have to have an in depth knowledge as it is ably explained and discussed within the plot line.
OMGosh! I just finished reading “Doubt” INCREDIBLE! I couldn’t put it down.

˃˃˃ >>> Depth and Substance mashed up with Fringe Science. Will entertain young and old alike.

This book is intended for mature young adults and new adults. Ages 16 to 45 +

˃˃˃ >>Inspired by real Truth Seekers Aaron Swartz and Harry Fear

The main character Harry Doubt was inspired by Aaron Swartz, internet prodigy and activist, co-founder of the Creative Commons and Reddit, and Harry Fear, journalist, documentary filmmaker and activist whose coverage of the conflict in the Middle East was seen on UStream by millions of viewers.

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Genre – Young Adult, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Thriller

Rating – G

More details about the author

Connect with Anne-Rae Vasquez on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://amongus.ca

#YA #Mystery – Steps Into Darkness by Ben Woodard @benswoodard


Explosions, sabotage, caves, deadly warnings and a dangerous red-haired man.

Imagine The Hardy Boys meet Tom Sawyer. Add a layer of teen angst and excitement plus a mysterious group trying to stop a new dam while stirring up racial tensions.

That’s STEPS INTO DARKNESS, the next book in the Shakertown Adventure Series by Ben Woodard.

Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace again makes plans to escape the small town in the 1923 Kentucky countryside. The town that won’t let him forget his past, when a horrific event changes his mind. He teams with his cousin Will and young FBI agent Rick Sweeney to try to solve a perplexing mystery. Attempts on the boys’ lives and a bewildering list of suspects keep them on edge and confused. An old man gives them a clue that leads to a false accusation and embarrassment until they discover the real villain, and then wish they hadn’t.

STEPS INTO DARKNESS is a fun, page-turning thriller with a hint of romance that delivers adventure and mystery while exploring the fears of a teen living with a frightful memory.

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Genre – YA/Mystery

Rating – PG – 13

More details about the author

Connect with Ben Woodard on Facebook and Twitter

Website http://BooksByBen.com

#YA #Excerpt Devolution by Peter Clenott @PeterClenott


Along a path which ran through grass more than double his height, Scallion quickened his pace as though the moon could not wait. After a while he could feel the swifter air that flowed across the Mamba River carrying with it the odors of the distant world and the humans who inhabited it. He could smell fish and crocodiles and antelope and lion but nothing filled the air with such stench as the humans. The girl. She was different, always had been. She smelled like a chimpanzee. She smelled like family.

Scallion slapped a few last branches out of his way before his padded feet touched the pebbled surface of his beach. Here, unencumbered by branches, leaves and vines, the night sky beckoned the chimpanzees into a world of light and darkness, myth and magic. Bedecked in black with a speckling of white lights and a wounded lunar eye, the night was watching her children’s ceremony. Across the water a glow of another kind lit up the grassy flatlands. Burning lights. Hundreds of them. Pots boiling. Meat cooking. Fire rising into the sky. Humans. Invaders.

Pop! Trying to ignore the human noise, the young chimpanzee moved along the border of the beach and the forest until he came to a small cove. A row boat had been pulled up onto the shore years ago and left unattended on the rocks. Scallion stopped at the boat, whose owner had long since been lost to the crocodiles of the river, and, turning to face his family, he raised his hands, beckoning them in the fashion of a teacher to be seated. When they were and when Scallion was satisfied that he had their attention, he turned back to the boat and climbed inside.

The floor of the craft still wore streaks of red sheltered in places from the rain. An oar lay on the bottom, the one the girl had been using the day her mother died. Scallion had been a witness to everything, how a crocodile had broken the surface of the river to grab the boat’s unfortunate occupant. Now he gazed at his audience before bending over to dig in the collection of sand at the bottom. After a few scoops, his hand touched something hard, his buried treasure. He gripped it with strong fingers, looked once again at all of those intrigued eyes, then lifted the object high in the air.

Flynn had purchased the book for his daughter. She would come down to this very beach to read to her friends the tales of a man with a yellow hat and of his companion, a chimpanzee, like Scallion, who was very curious.

Scallion’s lips curled back to expose his teeth in a wide grin. Excited panting and hooting filled his ears as his family prodded him to tell them everything he remembered.

He waited for a hush. Oh, how he wished the girl were with him now. How do you really tell about a girl? How do you explain her importance? How even in the most frightful of moments she could speak in a way that took away all fears. Scallion had tried to do these things many times before without her. But the world was changing. Humans had invaded their land, and the two-legged father they had relied on all their lives was missing.

Scallion tried to cheer and comfort Pan and Cream, Black Bart and Scopes, but he longed for the old days and for the girl with the black hair and the eyes dark as the night. Their sister. Their teacher. The girl the chimpanzees called Talk Talk.


Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Young Adult

Rating – PG

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Peter Clenott on Facebook & Twitter

Website www.peterclenott.net