ENTICE by Jessica Shirvington


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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Guest Post with Rochele Rosa

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About Anaiah Press: Anaiah Press is a Christian publishing house dedicated to presenting quality, faith-based fiction and nonfiction books to the public. Sign up for our Anaiah Press Reader Newsletter and/or Blogger Blog Tour Signup Newsletter to be entered into our summer giveaway.
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Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Anaiah Press (May 9, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997727888
ISBN-13: 978-0997727883


10) The original idea came to me in 7th grade after watching a TV show that only lasted one season called Kid Nation.

9) I didn’t start writing the first draft until about sophomore year of highschool.

8) A lot of the inspiration came from World War Two and the concentration camps.

7) I played around with the concept of steampunk while writing the book.

6) Don’t ask me how the third war started. I never figured it out.

5) The Nomads are inspired by all of those Discovery Channel TV series documenting the lives of people who live off the grid.

4) Raquelle’s mom is my favorite character in the book.

3) I purposefully never revealed the nationality of the army that attacked them. It’s irrelevant.

2) The first draft was 110,000 words. The book is about 90,000. It was incredibly painful to cut that much.

1) Raquelle was originally going to be named Makayla.


10) “Yet, I’m playing God by choosing to preserve my brother’s life over the lives of others. It’s a guilt I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life.”

9) “I’ve heard of these things. Toys, I think they’re called.”

8) “If we die, the war is lost. The League will have won, whoever they are.”

7) “Facing death daily will be our way of life in a few years.”

6) “We know what war looks like now. Maybe if the cities weren’t sieged they could coddle us into complacency. But not now. Not ever.”

5) “With the war at a full rage, how could any society of people live above ground safely?”

4) “I grit my teeth as I watch our young army march into formation. This must be done. We fight or we die.”

3) “Who are we to tell someone that their life is less valuable than someone else’s?”

2) “Dear God, please send me the biggest guardian angel you have...because I really don’t want to die today. Yeah so, Amen.”

1- “We’re really doing this. We’re going to murder all these people. Kill or be killed. Us or them. Our generation or theirs. Our future or theirs. If we die, we’re martyrs. If they die, they’re pathetic.”

In an underground city devoid of adults, fifteen-year-old Raquelle Granger holds the position of Council Member, and thousands of lives within City Ten rest in her hands. Unfortunately, she only has two years left until she’s supposed to join the adults on the frontlines in a war that never seems to end.

But when the enemy army rolls into the area with drills, intent on destroying the city and taking no prisoners, Raquelle, together with her little brother and childhood best friend, must make a choice—Fight, or die a martyr among the Christian youth.

Nights like these make the war seem like a distant nightmare. The stars swirl in patterns I don’t understand as I stare at them from my perch atop the mountain of rusted and long forgotten machinery. The clashing rings of metal sound off all around as my team of scavengers scour for resources on the ground below. The sound is almost soothing, like a song. If only for a moment, peace washes over me. That is, until the stretch of blue on the horizon reminds me that our time here is limited.

Glancing out at the shadows tumbling around the Graveyard, which expands for miles around the true mountains, I set my shoulders back and stand tall. “Pack it up!”

The early morning sun illuminates the forest stretching across the snow-capped mountainside and the valley we’re in. I tighten the strap of my gun and scale to the ground before pacing behind the six-wheeled wagon. Only a few pieces lie in the back, and I shake my head with a heavy sigh. “We’re not going to make quota.”

“Yes, we are.” My best friend, Faith, smiles with a sense of innocent wisdom as she runs her fingers through her long, black hair. Faith’s blue Medic sash drapes over her shoulder. She shouldn’t be here.

“You have to have optimism.” Faith turns to one of my scavengers. “The engineers need a sprocket rocket spring. Do we have one yet?”

He straightens and salutes her. “No ma’am, but we’re searching.”

She nods dismissively, and he continues his duties.


A boy runs toward me. He stumbles as he runs over uneven gravel, and I step away from the wagon to meet him halfway. I don’t have to see his eager eyes to know that he has found something interesting.

He catches his breath. “I found a couple of relics.”

If we were looters, the relics would be our treasure. We know very little of what the past was like, with the technology they had that was much more advanced than ours. So, I guess that’s why I like being the Head of the Scavenging Department. Occasionally, we find relics, and when someone does, he or she is rewarded with extra rations or precious baked goods, like cookies.

The entire yard freezes, watching the small twelve-year-old. Having only been assigned to the job a few months earlier, finding a relic so soon is unheard of, but he claims that he found two. “Here, ma’am.”

I carefully take the first one from the boy’s shaking hands and sit down on the open tailgate, with him right next to me. One relic is flat, smooth rectangular metal with an engraved apple in the middle. I flip it over, revealing cracked black glass. I dust it off and try to rack my mind with an answer to what it is. “It looks like a mirror.” I turn it back to the side with the apple.

“My grandpa once said that there was a company with that…uh…” The scavenger stumbles for the right word.

“Logo,” I say. Old writings explain of times where a good logo meant a lot to a business. It doesn’t make sense to me, how a picture could make you rich. There are faded words printed onto it. “iPad.” That’s a strange word.

I set it down at my feet, and he hands me the next item. It’s rectangular too, but chunky, and this one flips open horizontally. There is another black screen and buttons. I press them, but nothing happens. Of course, the relic wouldn’t have power after so long. The word “Nintendo” is pressed into the back side.

“So, what does this give me?” He wrings his hands together.

These are great finds. We don’t usually find technology relics. “Five desserts,” I say, getting out a piece of paper and scribbling the order down. “When you’re done here, go see Rosemary.”

His eyes light up. “Thank you.”

“Don’t tell anyone your reward.” I place the relics in my satchel.

He nods and hops down. The other workers wait patiently for the outcome. I kick my feet in the air. Huh, the drop is longer than I thought. Looking out at the faces in the moonlight, I say, “These are excellent additions to send to The Gathering Committee.”

The Elders in the Gathering Committee will know what the items are. They’ll label and store the items for future generations to enjoy when we have returned to peacetime.

The ever-changing sky tugs at the knot in my stomach. A cool breeze raises goose bumps on my arms. Crossing my arms, I swallow the tension. “Faith, the scouts patrol at dawn. We need to pack up.”

I take a deep breath and glance at my friend’s glassy eyes as she watches the morning light emerge. Not everyone gets to experience the surface.

I reach into my leather jacket and take out a pocket watch my grandfather gave me before the elderly were drafted into the army. The relic was passed down to him from his grandfather, who served in a similar war. I wind it, making sure it keeps in perfect time.

The ground rumbles as a squeal of decompressing air echoes from within the trees. Someone calls out, “Spider Scout!” and everyone takes off into drill maneuvers. Some hold defensive positions while others unload our findings from the wagon into bags. I run across the clearing and grip a giant gear on the ground. With a heave, I lift it high enough for the youth to deposit the precious metal into a chute and then scurry down the ladder. Faith stands beside me, helping me hold up the gear.

A searchlight cuts through the dim light as an eight-legged mechanical beast walks the perimeter of the Graveyard. My heart squeezes.

“Raquelle!” Faith snaps me out of my daze. “They’re all safe. Let’s go.”

I shimmy onto the ladder and slide down, anticipating the impact that rattles my bones. Once on the floor of the tunnel, a lone lantern illuminates my twenty scavengers and their finds. Our heavy breaths echo, and they quietly fidget. Just as I open my mouth to say something, Faith lands beside me with a playful smirk.

“That was close,” she says.

Sometimes I wonder if she’s an adrenaline addict.

“Too close.” I take a breath. “Did we get everything the engineers and mechanics need?”

Harland’s the oldest of the bunch. “We’re missing a few gears and pistons, but we can get them tomorrow night.” He brushes the dust covering his jacket.

I close my eyes as heat grows in my face. “Need I remind you that these parts are to repair the boilers? I don’t want to be the one to tell Section Two they have to go another night without power.” Pebbles drop from the earthy ceiling. I’ll request the mechanics add more support beams for this tunnel.

Harland shrugs with an indifferent sneer. “Not my problem.”

I grit my teeth. Nothing is ever his problem.

Faith places a hand on my shoulder, a silent plea for me to calm down.

I sigh, releasing the bubbling anger. “Rest up, because we need to make quota tomorrow.”

Lamps in hand, they begin to walk through the outer labyrinth of what we call home. Our footsteps echo along the arched tunnel that was carved before our grandparents were born. Every few hundred feet, we pass metal beams embedded into the structure. As I watch them go, my stomach churns and my hands begin to shake. I cross my arms to hide them.

Faith puts a hand on my shoulder again. “I can make the announcement for you.”

I shake my head, fighting the nausea threatening to overtake me. “Thank you, but it’s my turn to deliver the war news.”

Copyright © 2017 by Rochele Rosa

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

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Praise for BAD GIRL GONE

"Gr 8 Up—Paranormal romance meets murder mystery in this YA tale. Echo Stone wakes up alone in a cold, dark room. This is her home now, she is told—a place called Middle House. Echo and a group of other children and teens were sent here one reason: they were all murdered. And now they all must find their killers and seek vengeance in order for their souls to be set free. Mathews uses this elaborate setup to take the protagonist on a posthumous journey of self-discovery. As Echo revisits her family and friends, she sees not only the pain that her death has brought them but also the ways in which her behavior, while she was alive, hurt people. In addition, she struggles to let go of her devoted boyfriend, Andy, even as she develops feelings for Cole, another Middle House resident. For all of its high stakes, this work has a decidedly unhurried pace; Echo spends as much time contemplating past choices as she does hunting her killer. Her efforts to help other children get their revenge add action to the narrative, but scenes in Middle House itself, when Echo and her friends have to come to the aid of their imperious leader, Miss Torvous, feel oddly out of place and distract from the larger story. VERDICT A good addition to any YA murder mystery collection." —School Library Journal, Bobbi Parry, East Baton Rouge Parish School System, LA

"A 16-year-old discovers that she is a ghost and resolves to solve her own murder with the help of her new friends and their supernatural powers.Echo Stone experiences a rude awakening in a strange place she comes to learn is Middle House, an "orphanage" for ghosts of murder victims. The kids Echo meets there are "in-betweeners," stuck in a sort of purgatory until they resolve their issues, starting with the question of who murdered them. Bewildered but determined to find answers about her own death, Echo joins the ragtag band of ghostly teenagers, each endowed with unique powers in death, to participate in hauntings of their murderers and exact revenge. Bit by bit, memories of her life before death come back to her as she starts to piece together and investigate a list of suspects, coming to terms with her own actions in the process. A lackluster love triangle among Echo, her former boyfriend, Andy, and ghost love interest, Cole, feels tacked-on, frequently invoked but inorganically developed. Echo's voice is stilted and histrionic throughout, and the melodramatic turns of events feel forced and scripted. Most characters seem to default to white, though one is described as dark-skinned and another is implied to have mixed Asian heritage. Weak character development and monotonous plotting eclipse an otherwise intriguing premise." —Kirkus Reviews

"Bad Girl Gone will keep you guessing! It sucked me in and didn't spit me out until I'd turned the last page." —Iggy Azalea

A recently deceased girl must solve her own murder in order to escape purgatory in Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews.

Sixteen year-old Echo Stone awakens in a cold sweat in a dark room, having no idea where she is or how she got there. But she soon finds out she’s in Middle House, an orphanage filled with mysteriously troubled kids.

There’s just one problem: she’s not an orphan. Her parents are very much alive.

She explains this to everyone, but no one will listen. After befriending a sympathetic (and handsome) boy, Echo is able to escape Middle House and rush home, only to discover it sealed off by crime scene tape and covered in the evidence of a terrible and violent crime. As Echo grapples with this world-shattering information, she spots her parents driving by and rushes to flag them down. Standing in the middle of street, waving her arms to get their attention, her parents’ car drives right through her.

She was right. Her parents are alive—but she’s not.

She’s a ghost, just like all the other denizens of Middle House. Desperate to somehow get her life back and reconnect with her still-alive boyfriend, Echo embarks on a quest to solve her own murder. As the list of suspects grows, the quest evolves into a journey of self-discovery in which she learns she wasn’t quite the girl she thought she was. In a twist of fate, she’s presented with one last chance to reclaim her life and must make a decision which will either haunt her or bless her forever.­­­­

When I tried to remember exactly how I came to be lying in the cold black room, my mind couldn’t focus.

I could feel myself slowly climbing upward, clawing my way out of the clutches of a nightmare. This was usually a good feeling, because you knew you were just dreaming, and the nightmare was over. Except this time it wasn’t. My hands felt clammy. I gripped the sheets until I knew my knuckles must be white. Help me, I thought. Somebody please help me.

I had no idea where I was, and for a terrifying second I couldn’t even remember who I was. But then I remembered my name. Echo. Echo Stone. My real name is Eileen. When I was a toddler, I waddled around repeating everything my parents said and they called me “Echo,” and it just stuck.

Remembering my name and how I got it kick-started my brain. I knew who I was. I remembered that I was sixteen years old and lived in Kirkland, Washington, with my mom and dad. It was all coming back to me. Mom was a dentist and Dad taught middle school English. Good, I could remember parts of my life. But I was still in a dark, cold room and had no idea how I got there. I held back a scream, my chest tightening. Don’t lose it, Echo, keep it together, I told myself. Calm down, think good thoughts.

I pictured Andy, my boyfriend. Six feet tall, broad shoulders, blue eyes, and long golden-brown hair. He loved to feed me cookie bites and called me his rabbit. I called him Wolfie. Sometimes he got the hiccups for no reason at all and usually laughed them away. Thinking of Andy momentarily made me feel warm inside, even though the room was freezing.

Where was I? I was shivering and yet also bathed in sweat, my skin slick with it. I clutched for my trusty Saint Christopher necklace. But it wasn’t there. Mom gave it to me to protect me when I traveled. Would it protect me now? I would never have lost it. The chain must have broken. And then I had an ugly thought. What if someone had ripped it from my neck? I shuddered. Where are you, Andy? I need you!

I opened my eyes as wide as I could. It was pitch black. My pounding heart told me, This isn’t some nightmare—it’s real. I hugged myself and breathed deeply, trying to calm my nerves. My shoulders were tight. I rubbed the sheets beneath me. The ones at home in my bed were soft. These were stiff and coarse. I was somewhere completely and painfully foreign. In my head I was talking to myself in a rapid voice, my fear voice: What is this?—what is this?—what is this?

Someone nearby was crying. I had a knot in my stomach and my throat hurt, like I’d screamed for hours. My head hurt, too, and I guessed I must have fallen, or maybe something heavy fell on me. I explored my scalp, gently at first, then more bravely, moving my fingers, searching for a lump. I found nothing … no lump, no holes. My skull was intact, though my long auburn hair felt tangled and greasy. I inhaled through my nose, searching for familiar scents. Mom’s cinnamon rolls, Dad’s aftershave. But nothing smelled even vaguely familiar, and the odors that didfind my nose were horrible. Smoke. Vinegar. Sulfur.

I reached for my bedside lamp—but my fingers touched something damp and stringy. Oh god. The knot in my stomach tightened and I yanked my hand back. I willed my eyes to adjust to the dark, but as I blinked, strange pulsing figures leapt out at me. It must have been my mind playing tricks. Right?

I took five good, long breaths, sucking in through my nose and exhaling through my pursed lips, just like my grandma Tilly taught me years ago. But five breaths weren’t enough. So I took ten, and finally my heart rate slowed from a galloping panic to a steady, cautious thudding. Soon I was able to distinguish shapes. Was that a girl in a bed next to mine? Her hair was impossibly thick and long, spilling down her back. Her sweaty hair. That’s what I must have reached out and touched. My heart returned to its punishing rhythm, a fist clenching and unclenching in my chest. The nearby crying stopped. But then it was replaced by something worse, a ripping sound, like bone being cut by a rusty saw. And then a gurgling … followed by a low, feral growling noise. Faraway cackling laughter. What the hell was going on?

I was terrified and breathing so loud I was afraid I’d wake up the sleeping girl. Something told me I should lie still and keep my mouth shut. Stupidly, I ignored it. My voice was raspy, my throat aching…

“Mom? Dad?”



The words sounded weak in the stony silence that followed. My ears strained for the comforting sound of my parents’ familiar footsteps—but I was met with more cruel noises drifting through the blackness.

I heard a faraway clock ticking and an odd whimpering, and then a cough. But it wasn’t Mom’s or Dad’s cough; it was the cough of a child—a girl, I think. I desperately wanted this to be a nightmare. So I closed my eyes and tried to float back to sleep. But the terrifying sounds continued: the soft, almost melodic crying; the rhythmic, persistent coughing; the howls and metallic noises; the rushing water. I couldn’t take it. I opened my eyes again.


An echo from the darkness. Distant. Haunting. Mocking.

“Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?”

I sensed something under my bed. The hair on my neck prickled. I imagined dangling my fingers over the side of the mattress, envisioned them being latched onto, bitten by some creature that would drag me down into its fetid pit. I held my breath and listened. There it was. Someone, or something, was breathing beneath me.

I slid to the edge of the bed and then slowly lowered my head, my irises widening. I peered into the shadows—and saw a pair of feral eyes peering back at me. Acid panic flooded my veins as I jerked back, thinking, Please don’t kill me. If you touch me, my boyfriend will hunt you down and beat the living shit out of you!

I heard a rustling sound, then footsteps. I saw the creature leap out from under my bed. Its eyes found me, then it scampered out of the room, on two legs I think, a flash of white. It looked human, but it could have been something else. Whatever it was, thank god it was running from me. Or wait! Maybe it was going to gather more of its kind and they’d come back for me in a pack. My skin crawled. Get out!

I couldn’t stay in this room. I had to get up and move. My bare feet hit the cold, wood plank floor. I took tentative steps into the shadows. A floorboard creaked beneath my feet and I froze. My eyes had adjusted to the darkness and I could make out shapes. Up ahead I saw a shallow pool of light. I moved toward it.

I walked slowly, taking tentative steps, my eyes darting back and forth. The hallway felt like a perfect place for an ambush, so I was alert, my muscles taut.

I passed a closed door on my right, another on my left. I caught a scent of smoke. I heard a splashing sound, as if someone was taking a bath right above my head. I kept my gaze fixed on the pool of light that was spilling out from under a large door at the end of the hallway. As I drew closer, I could see that the door was built from thick oak planks and looked like it weighed a thousand pounds. On it hung a thick brass ring. On my right was a tall, old grandfather clock, ticking away like a metronome but with no hands to tell time with. It made me afraid and angry. What was I doing in a place with a clock with no hands?

I stepped closer to the thick door. My stomach tightened in fear. Something was terribly wrong. I was lost, adrift, not only in the wrong place, but I felt as though somehow I was the wrong me. I was jolted by a terrible thought. What if I never saw Andy again?

I raised my hand to grasp the knocker but stopped. Because I felt someone behind me.

“I wouldn’t do that if I was you,” said a voice, barely above a whisper.

I turned and saw a slight boy, thin as a reed with long, snowy hair, eating a red candy apple. The hair on the nape of my neck rose.

“Wow. You’re a pretty one,” he said.

I might have blushed. I’d never thought of myself as pretty. My nose is crooked, and ever since someone told me my eyes were too far apart, I’ve been convinced of it.

“Want a bite?” he asked, holding out the apple.

Too bewildered to speak, I shook my head no. My shoulders began to tighten.

“Peeking at me under the bed like that … you scared me,” he said.

His hair was so white I figured that must have been what I saw as he dashed from the room. “You were under the bed?”

He nodded, took another bite out of the apple. He was utterly strange looking. He looked damaged and sad.

“Where am I?” I asked.

He ignored the question.

“I’m Mick. Sometimes my own room scares me. So I sleep under other people’s beds. You freaked me out. That’s why I ran. Did you enjoy it?”

Did I enjoy what? I was about to ask him when the heavy door opened on hinges that creaked like the gates of hell, bathing the hallway in harsh light. Mick with the white hair took off, leaving a trail of wet footprints. WTF?

I shielded my eyes from the light and peeked up through my fingers at a tall, broad-shouldered woman dressed in what looked like a cross between an old nurse’s uniform and a nun’s habit. Her hair was black with a shock of silver cutting across one side. She appeared vaguely avian, had sallow skin, and for a moment peered at me curiously, like she thought she knew me or something. Then she stared at me like I was a cockroach. I wanted to ask her what was going on but the words were stuck in my throat, clogging my windpipe. I somehow remembered to breathe. I could feel beads of sweat forming on my upper lip.

“Can you tell me—” I croaked, but she raised one of her talon-like hands. I shut up and locked my shaking hands under my armpits.

“You’re new here. You don’t know the rules. So I won’t discipline you. This time. But rule number one is No Wandering the Halls Alone at Night. Now go back to bed!”

The last thing I wanted was to go back to that bed. But her voice was commanding and stentorian and she looked like she could kill me with a flick of her wrist. I had to do what I was told; I was too afraid to do anything else. I backed up into the darkness and found the room and lay down but was way too afraid to sleep.

Sleep claim me now—help me escape this madness.

My dad always told me if I wanted to sleep I should think of good things, things that made me happy. So I remembered a time with Andy. I was fourteen. It was a warm spring day and his father wasn’t home. He was shooting baskets in his driveway. I was leaning against an old oak tree, trying to appear nonchalant. The ball bounced off the back of the rim and he jumped for the rebound but missed it. So the ball rolled right to my feet. I thought, Did he plan that? He came trotting over with his sexy lopsided grin and warm, friendly eyes.

“Hey, neighbor.”

I hated it when he called me that. It sounded so generic. I picked up the ball.

“Um, I suppose you want this back…” Man, I was soooo smooth.

“I’m not in any big hurry,” he said.

He was flirting. With me! My heart skipped.

I was like a frightened filly and, ball in hand, I bolted past him, dribbling a few times before flinging the ball at the hoop. It was either the best or worst shot of my life, depending on how you looked at it. The ball missed the entire backboard and hit the garage dormer window. A sickening crack ensued.

“Nice shot.” He was smirking as he approached.

“God, I am so sorry, I’m such an idiot, I’ll pay for it, I’m so stupid, I shouldn’t have done that, I flunked gym class, my brain is a big bag of mush and I just…”

He took me in his arms. Was he going to?—yep, he just flat-out kissed me. An explosion rocked the earth. Or at least it felt that way. When he stopped kissing me, he was grinning again.

“It worked,” he said.

“What worked?”

“Me kissing you.”

“Wha … what…?”

“It shut you up,” he said.

I was shocked and hurt and flabbergasted and my mouth opened wide. He kissed me again, presumably to keep me from babbling like a lunatic. When the second kiss was over, he smiled and touched my cheek.

“I was kidding before, about shutting you up,” he said. “I like the sound of your voice.”

“Thank you,” I croaked.

“You’re a good kisser,” he said. “Where’d you learn to kiss like that?”

“Um, from you, I think, just now.” I was telling the truth. Up until this point, the vast majority of my kisses had been planted on puppies and stuffed animals. This was way new territory.

“Don’t sweat the window,” he said.

He grabbed the ball and dribbled.

“We’ll have to do this again sometime,” he said.

“I … don’t want to break another window.”

“I was talking about the kisses.”

* * *

Remembering that day with Andy had worked. I relaxed, exhaustion took over, and I was pulled down into a sleep that engulfed me like a wave. My last conscious thought was that I was glad I was falling asleep because I couldn’t wait for this insane nightmare to be over.

Copyright © 2017 by Temple Mathews

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Vlog Post with Paula Stokes

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Photo Content from Paula Stokes

Paula Stokes is the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious and Girl Against the Universe. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.
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Series: Vicarious
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (August 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 076538096X
ISBN-13: 978-0765380968

Praise for VICARIOUS

"Combining elements of sci-fi and mystery, Vicarious is an expert blend from an author gifted with the ability to jump genres and stick the landing every time." ―Paste Magazine

“A total mind-bending thrill ride, with a heroine who’s as smart as she is strong. Readers will love Winter!”―Lindsay Cummings, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zenith and The Murder Complex

"Reading Vicarious is like tiptoeing across a field of landmines. Blindfolded. Stokes delivers enough adrenaline to make readers beg for mercy.”―Victoria Scott, author of Titans and Fire & Flood

"An action-packed thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end--I couldn't put it down!"―Kristi Helvig, author of Burn Out and Strange Skies

"Vicarious by Paula Stokes is a fast-paced thriller that grabs your attention on page one and doesn't let go. The main character is a fresh take on the usual heroine in YA novels."―Julie Bond, Sales &Marketing Manager/YA Specialist, Read Booksellers

“This is the thrill ride you’ve been waiting for all summer.”―PopCrush

“Pulse-pounding adventures and high-tech blend masterfully with romance, intrigue, and current issues, making this book completely captivating for any audience."―VOYA, starred review

"Stokes delivers fans of suspense a story full of twists and turns...The author admirably handles graphic and disturbing material in a subtle way."―School Library Journal

“A powerful kick-ass girl caught up in a high-tech, twisty mystery…Buckle up, this thrill ride travels at breakneck speed.”―Justine Magazine

"Smart twists and turns...smart sci-fi worldbuilding. Complementing the mystery is a slow-burn love story between Winter and Mexican-American Jesse Ramirez, a fellow stunt artist. Their relationship is tender and complicated, with enough tension to sustain itself and enough heat to pop when things pay off."―Kirkus Reviews


Namdaemun Market is both the oldest and largest market in all of Korea. Jesse rests one hand on my back as we exit the subway station and head toward the nearest gate. Tall buildings, both traditional and modern, line the busy streets. Vendors crowd the sidewalk selling dumplings, noodles, and dried fish. Korean flags, with their bright red-and-blue yin-yangs, flap in the breeze above their carts.

We reach Gate Five and turn into the market proper. Tibetan prayer flags hang from wires that stretch across the path. Saturday is a prime shopping day and people are streaming in and out. It’s chaos, but at least the crush of bodies provides a little shelter from the cold. I take Jesse’s hand so he doesn’t get swept up in the quick-moving shoppers. He scans the rows and rows of market stalls selling everything from squid jerky to T-shirts to electronics.

“This place is huge,” he says.

“Better selection than the subway station, and the prices are good.” I pause just inside a stall while Jesse checks out some military surplus gear. There are displays of camouflage pants and tops along with duffel bags and other army items—most of it American. I wonder if the soldiers sell their excess stuff before they get discharged.

The shopkeeper hurries over and speaks to me in Korean. I tell him Jesse is just looking but then ask him if he sells knives. I need to replace the ones I left in Los Angeles.

“Only these.” The shopkeeper leads me over to a case of folding pocketknives, most of them small enough to fit on keychains. “Anything else requires a permit.”

Jesse comes up behind me. “Looking for new knives?”

“Yes, but they only sell pocketknives here. Bigger knives require a permit.”

“Baz can probably hook you up.”

“True,” I say, but I’m only half listening. Across the crowded market aisle, in a booth selling pots and pans, a woman wearing a black wool jacket and a green scarf seems to be staring at me. She’s also wearing a pair of wide sunglasses and a paper surgical mask, making it impossible to determine what she looks like. My heart starts pounding and I have to tuck my hands into my pockets to hide the fact that I’m shaking. What if she works for Kyung? What if he already knows that we’re here?

“Winter?” Jesse has picked up on my sudden change of mood. “You okay?”

“Come on.” I keep my eyes trained on the woman as Jesse and I leave the stall, but she turns her attention to a display of rice cookers and makes no move to follow us. I toss a glance back over my shoulder as we turn the corner onto a main aisle of the market, but the woman has disappeared from view. Stopping at some large square bins that run down the middle of the market rows, I quickly pick out some clothing to replace the stuff I left behind in Los Angeles.

As the clerk is putting my purchases in a plain black bag, I feel a prickling sensation. Sure enough, I catch a glimpse of a splash of green in my peripheral vision. I turn, ever so slightly. It’s the same woman. She’s looking down at her phone as she stands in line at a food cart, but I swear I felt her eyes on me a second ago.

“I think we’re being watched,” I murmur, just loud enough for Jesse to hear.

Copyright © 2017 by Paula Stokes

Paula Stokes returns to the world of Vicarious in this sequel, a high-action psychological thriller with a protagonist out for vengeance.

When Winter Kim finds out that her sister is dead and that she has a brother she never knew about, only two things matter―finding what’s left of her family and killing the man who destroyed her life. Her mission leads her from St. Louis to Los Angeles back to South Korea, where she grew up.

Things get increasingly dangerous once Winter arrives in Seoul. Aided by her friends Jesse and Sebastian, Winter attempts to infiltrate an international corporation to get close to her target, a nefarious businessman named Kyung. But keeping her last remaining loved ones out of the line of fire proves difficult, and when all seems to be lost, Winter must face one last devastating decision: is revenge worth sacrificing everything for? Or can she find a spark of hope in the darkness that threatens to engulf her?

You can purchase Ferocious at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Paula and TOR Books for making this giveaway possible.
3 Winners will receive a Set Copy of the Duology {VICARIOUS+FEROCIOUS} by Paula Stokes..

August 14th Monday JeanBookNerd VLOG & EXCERPT
August 14th Monday The Forest of Words and Pages REVIEW
August 15th Tuesday CBY Book Club EXCERPT
August 16th Wednesday Crossroad Reviews REVIEW 
August 17th Thursday Mary Had a Little Book Blog REVIEW 
August 17th Thursday BookHounds YA VLOG 
August 18th Friday Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW & VLOG 
August 18th Friday Rainy Days and Pajamas EXCERPT

August 21st Monday Bibliobibuli YA REVIEW 
August 22nd Tuesday The Literati Press REVIEW 
August 22nd Tuesday Literary Meanderings VLOG 
August 23rd Wednesday Here's to Happy Endings REVIEW 
August 24th Thursday A Dream Within a Dream REVIEW & VLOG
August 24th Thursday Reading for the Stars and Moon REVIEW 
August 25th Friday Movies, Shows & Books REVIEW & EXCERPT 
August 25th Friday Painted Words REVIEW

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

{Nerd Blast} The Keep of Ages by Caragh M. O'Brien

Series: The Vault of Dreamers Trilogy (Book 3)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (August 29, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596439424
ISBN-13: 978-1596439429


“A sharp novel about the ways in which everyone can be manipulated, either through editing or one's own desire to go the easiest path.” ―BCCB

“Like O'Briens Birthmarked trilogy, this dystopian, sci-fi, psychological-thriller hybrid raises ethical and moral questions about science. This might have been a difficult story to pull off, given the environment, but with a likable narrator who is thoroughly unimpressed with herself, it works . . . this should have wide appeal.” ―Booklist

“Fans looking for a science fiction novel that is not heavy on the science fiction or who want something vaguely dystopian will enjoy this title.” ―VOYA

“A mixture of science fiction and contemporary fiction, this novel is an interesting addition to both genres.” ―School Library Journal

“A fast, satisfying psychological thriller . . . The sudden cliffhanger will polarize readers.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Like viewers of The Forge Show, readers will want to keep watching Rosie.” ―Publishers Weekly

Official Nerd Blast for The Keep of Ages by Caragh M. O'Brien

This is a Nerd Blast, you will post the promotional info we provide you with, including the giveaway. No reviews required. Please mark your Calendar.


In the fast-paced, high-stakes conclusion to Caragh M. O'Brien's Vault of Dreamers trilogy, Rosie travels to a derelict theme park to shut down dream mining once and for all.

Driven by fear when Dean Berg kidnaps her family, Rosie Sinclair strikes out across the country to rescue them. When an elusive trail leads her to Grisly Valley, the contaminated ruin of a horror theme park, Rosie has to consider that Berg may once again be manipulating her every move to make her fearful, priming her for a final, lethal dream mining procedure. As Rosie struggles to outmaneuver Berg, she unearths the ultimate vault of dreamers and the hint of a consciousness more powerful and dangerous than any she's imagined before. Faced with unspeakable suffering and otherworldly beauty, Rosie must discover how to trust her mind, her friends, and reality itself.

Propulsive and deeply speculative, The Keep of Ages concludes the Vault of Dreamers trilogy with stirring possibilities for what it means to be alive.

You can purchase The Keep of Ages at the following Retailers:

Book Nerd Spotlight
Photo Credit: Tomy O’Brien 2014

Caragh M. O’Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS series, both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. O’Brien was educated at Williams College and earned her MA in the Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University. Her young adult science fiction has been honored by the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, the Amelia Bloomer Award, the Junior Library Guild, and numerous state reading lists. A former high school English teacher, she now writes young adult novels full time from her home in rural Connecticut.
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Signed Book Sunday: The Sorceress by Michael Scott

JBN Signed Book Sunday
Signed Book Sunday is Meme run by JeanBookNerd.


We are all in this community because of our common interest in reading. The books and stories have become somewhat a piece of us. Whether it be the meaning behind the stories or it has become associated to a period of a time in our lives, books have become more than just entertainment for our imagination.

Books are our gems and they become more of a treasure when they are signed by the author. Now that book has become more personal. It provides valued stories as to when the author signed it and the conversation that was engaged during the signing. These moments are unique and were only experienced by you. Having our favorite books signed is a testament to our love for reading.

Signed Book Sunday will be an outlet for us to showcase books that we have collected over the years with that once special scribble claiming that it was touched by the author. Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun. 

Show your signed books to others and see what others have collected through the years.

To participate, use the Signed Book Sunday Button (Above) and link back to JEANBOOKNERD with photos of your treasured Signed Books, Comics or Graphic Novels. You may provide details of your one of a kind experience or perhaps a moment that made a lasting impression. Share your Signed Book Books now and learn story behind other's signed books.

Book Three in the New York Times bestselling series.

Nicholas Flamel's heart almost broke as he watched his beloved Paris crumble before him. The city was destroyed by Dee and Machiavelli, but Flamel played his own role in the destruction. Sophie and Josh Newman show every sign of being the twins of prophecy, and Flamel had to protect them and the pages from the Dark Elders.

But Nicholas grows weaker with each passing day. Perenelle is still trapped in Alcatraz, and now that Scatty has gone missing, the group is without protection. Except for Clarent—the twin sword to Excalibur. But Clarent’s power is unthinkable, its evil making it nearly impossible to use without its darkness seeping into the soul of whoever wields it.

If he hopes to defeat Dee, Nicholas must find an Elder who can teach Josh and Sophie the third elemental magic—Water Magic. The problem? The only one who can do that is Gilgamesh, and he is quite, quite insane.


A New York Times Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
An Indie Next List Selection
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
An IRA Young Adult Choice Book
An IRA Children’s Choice Winner

“[A] riveting fantasy . . . fabulous read.” —School Library Journal, Starred

“Readers will be swept up.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

“Fans of adventure fantasies like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series will eat this one up.” —VOYA

“An exciting and impeccably thought-out fantasy, well-suited for those left in the lurch by Harry Potter’s recent exeunt.” —Booklist

You can purchase The Sorceress at the following Retailers:

Author Spotlight
Photo Content from Michael Scott

Irish-born Michael Scott began writingover twenty-five years ago, and is one of Ireland ‘s most successful and prolific authors, with one hundred titles to his credit, spanning a variety of genres, including Fantasy, Science Fiction and Folklore. He writes for both adults and young adults and is published in thirty-eight countries, in over twenty languages.

He is considered one of the authorities on the folklore of the Celtic lands and is credited with the resurgence of interest in the subject in the mid-1980’s. His collections, Irish Folk & Fairy Tales, Irish Myths & Legends and Irish Ghosts & Hauntings have remained continuously in print for the past twenty years and are now included amongst the definitive and most-quoted works on the subject.

His horror novels, Banshee, Image, Reflection, Imp and Hallows are considered cult classics of the genre and draw heavily upon his encyclopaedic knowledge of folklore.

In the United States , the first two volumes of his fantasy trilogy, Silverhand and Silverlight, were published to exceptional reviews, Publishers Weekly declaring “This shows how good fantasy can be.”

Whom The Gods Love, a ground-breaking dark-fantasy set in the hitherto unexplored world of ancient Etruria before the rise of the Roman Empire and The Merchant Prince, an historical fantasy set in the Elizabethan era, give an example of his breadth of writing. The Irish Times called him, “The King of Fantasy in these Isles.”

Michael Scott is an accomplished scriptwriter and headed up the drama department in Tyrone Productions, the creators of Riverdance. He has written for the stage and screen and also created and scripted documentaries and drama for television. He has also scripted high profile events such as the Special Olympics which were held in Ireland in 2002 and the Irish Film and Television Awards.

The Alchemyst was published by Random House in May 2007, followed by The Magician (2008), The Sorceress (2009), The Necromancer (2010) and The Warlock(2011). The final book in the series, The Enchantress, will be published in May 2012. Translation rights have been sold into 38 countries.

Praised for his “unparalleled contribution to children’s literature,” by the Guide to Children’s Books, Michael Scott was the Writer in Residence during Dublin’s tenure as European City of Culture in 1991, and has featured in the 2006 edition of Who’s Who in Ireland as one of “the 1000 most significant Irish.”

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