Undertow This Summer

 

 

Sometimes I call UNDERTOW the Little Blue Book That Could because it keeps landing on lists years after it launched (not that I’m complaining). Of course, then my friends remind me that the sucker weighs close to a pound and is nearly 100,000 words long, so “little” ain’t so little. Pfft – details.

Anyway . . . Undertow is on Monomoy High School’s Summer Reading Celebration. If you are a high schooler at Monomoy, you can reach out to the Ms. Wheaton, the school librarian to sign up for Undertow and get a free digital copy. If you are not part of Monomoy, the Jonathan Bourne Public Library also has Undertow as one of its Beach Buddy Reads for the summer. You can sign-up through the library (from ANYWHERE in the world) and you can download ALL the books on the poster for free via BookFunnel.

Not wanting to leave anyone behind in Undertow’s Summer Tour, (and because all my fans are freakin’ epic and push Undertow out like free sparklers on the Fourth of July), I’ve set UNDERTOW to FREE across numerous digital platforms until August 1, 2018. If, however, you need print copies, the most signed editions can be found shelves at Titcomb’s Bookshop (and those ladies ALWAYS have them in stock).

 

~ MORE  DETAILS ARE BELOW ~

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

BOOK REVIEW: SKY IN THE DEEP by Adrienne Young

MY RATING: FIVE STARS

Gritty and atmospheric, Sky in the Deep is a tale of hereditary hatred, the brutality of old traditions, and the often unyielding mindset of our forefathers.

Set in a fictional realm reminiscent of the age of Vikings, Adrienne Young weaves a tale of two rival clans, both hell bent on murdering one another to honor the will of their gods. Women fight as viciously as men and are equally honored on the battlefield. I applaud the fierce females in Young’s story, but admit that the level of violence in Sky in the Deep will be offsetting to some readers. Such gore and detailed fighting was reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, so I’d advise caution with the younger YA readers.

But I still loved it.

I found the relationship between MC Eelyn and enemy clan member, Fiske, to be a brilliantly done. It’s a slow-burning romance that does not forfeit the reality of who the characters are for the sake of stolen kisses or lustful thoughts. 

While this book has many bloody battle scenes, the majority of the book focuses on the day-to-day life and survival of these rough-hewn people – a fact pointed out by other reviewers as a negative, but I found to be an asset in the story. These slow moving scenes, often tipped in ice and moonlight, allow the reader to peel back the layers of prejudice and anger that the MC harbors and how she evolves.

I had some minor issues with the book (which I hope are addressed in the companion novel that I hear is coming in 2019) – mainly that the Herja are never truly explained and what was with the white eyeballs, the animal sacrifices (or rather the detail in those scenes), and the fact that I do NOT consider this fantasy. But none of those issues stole away the simple fact that I inhaled this book in a single day and loved every minute of it. I am proud to have the hardcover edition sitting on my bookshelves.

Go, buy, and OND ELDR.

 

Book blurb:

OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

 

 

About the Author

YA fantasy author, SKY IN THE DEEP (4.24.18) & UNTITLED (2019) from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

For information on release, appearances, ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content, sign up for the newsletter at https://adrienneyoungbooks.com/

 

MUST READ 2018

So, I know I’ve been AWOL, but hey – I wrote 6 books in 5 years, so my brain is a bit toasted at this point. But fear not, my storytelling brain runs in overtime and I am squeezing in writing time.

To keep you happy while I am busy writing (and to keep your inner book demon fed) I’ve compiled my list for the summer of 2018. Now, these are MY picks – stuff I think will find its way to my shelves if it isn’t already there. That said, you may love them or loathe them, but I think they are worth stalking. Click on a cover and get whisked away to the GOODREADS page for details and where to buy :)

 

Farewell to Undertow Part II

I’m posting a series of YouTube videos about the Undertow series. Below is the first one. Enjoy!

Undertow Series Farewell Part 1

I’m posting a series of YouTube videos about the Undertow series. Below is the first one. Enjoy!

Cute Boys, Dirty Bikes

Melanie Hooyenga drops her second book in The Rules Series with a fearless girl and some dirty boys. How fast can you fall?

Junior year’s looking up for sixteen-year old Mike. Her new BFF isn’t a sadistic control freak, her boyfriend adores her, and she’s learning to bike in the mountains without decapitating herself on a tree.

Well, almost.

When she meets a group of riders who welcome her into their pack, she feels like she’s finally found where she belongs. One particular rider—a boy with an amazing smile and an even more amazing ability to see what she’s truly capable of—gives her the confidence to go after what she wants: her own life with her own rules.

There’s only one problem—he’s not her boyfriend.

Just as things seem to be falling into place, her parents put on the pressure to figure out her future—one that doesn’t include riding. Mike soon realizes that having everything isn’t that great when she’s not the one choosing it. She needs to decide if she’s going to continue to be a follower or step out of the shadows and find her own trail.

 

BUY LINKS

Print: https://www.amazon.com/Trail-Rules-2/dp/1984240587

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Trail-Rules-2/dp/1984240587

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-trail-rules-melanie-hooyenga/1127920278

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-trail-rules

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/793788

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/author/melanie-hooyenga/id714226093

 

AUTHOR BIO

Multi-award winning young adult author Melanie Hooyenga first started writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to that age group. She has lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Mexico, but has finally settled down in her home state of Michigan. When not at her day job as a Communications Director at a nonprofit, you can find Melanie attempting to wrangle her Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband Jeremy.

 

You can learn more about Melanie here:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Newsletter

Music and Magic

Texas author Jessica Bucher takes readers on a vibrant, sumptuous ride into the heart of a city filled with music and darkness.

 

Enchanted city. Old magic. New threat.

 Taq, a young fiddler, comes to Prague with dreams of joining the Bohemians—a band of immortal, magic-wielding street performers. With a mission to right past wrongs, things don’t go as planned when he meets the beautiful performer, Katia. Now, he must decide if revealing his secret is worth losing her heart.

 Katia has spent one hundred years chained to the city, broken-hearted and silent,

waiting for her chance to be free. But with an impending threat on Bohemia itself and a mysterious newcomer, peace is starting look farther than ever. Now she must decide if she should trust Taq or put her faith in the one who broke her heart—the tyrannical Magistrate of Bohemia.

Curses can be broken, but at what cost?

 

BUY HERE

 

AUTHOR BIO

Jessica Bucher is a Young Adult author living in Texas with her husband and children. Her first book, The Hereafter, was published in 2016. When she’s not writing, editing, or chasing her kids, she can be found scrolling through Facebook or planning her next travel adventure.

Get to know Jessica more and join her Facebook launch group by clicking HERE.

Follow updates and exclusives by subscribing HERE.

 

 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jessica-Bucher-260006790777606/?ref=bookmarks

Facebook Reader’s Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/217434652136824/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JessicaB_writer

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/JessicaB_writer

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/div4lv

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/jessicabucher

 

Undertow Series Q and A

L to R, authors Meg Kassel (Blackbird of the Gallows), K.R. Conway (The Undertow Series), and Alex Lidell (The Tides Series) at Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts

As I count down the days to the Daybreaker release, I thought I’d answer some questions I’ve had over the years related to the series and writing in general.

 

When you first started writing Undertow, did you know how the series was going to end?

HA! Not really. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure it was going to be a series at all, but when I realized that the story was doing well, I knew I wanted it to be a series – there was life left in the characters and their ridiculous journey. And I had a general idea of where I wanted to go with the story, but it has evolved several times. I listen to the characters – they tell me where they are headed and I follow. I’ve followed them for more than 600,000 words.

 

Do you have a favorite character?

What sorta cruel question is THIS? It’s like picking a favorite child, LOL.  I can tell you, as a writer, I love writing MJ – especially in Last Light and Daybreaker. That said, I love writing all the characters, but the greatest challenge has been Raef. He battles inner demons more than the others and bringing that constant struggle to his POV without making him irritating is not easy.

 

Limited edition postcard for True North Launch.

 

Was Rillin always planned?

Yup. Next question. Stop drooling.

 

 

 

 

 

Are there scenes that are tougher to write than others?

Oh, good grief, yes. Complicated fight scenes are structurally difficult and often require the most rewrites. But some of the toughest scenes emotionally were what I call “one takes” – they are literally the exact same in the published book as the first time I typed them. I believe that visceral moments in books are often best written in a dark frame of mind so that the writer can let their agony pour onto the page, unadulterated. It’s also how I grow gray hairs.

 

 

Do you have a favorite scene?

No, but I think Cruel Summer (the novella) has some of my best “literary” writing. I find that readers and librarians often reference lines from that book more than others. It was the first book that I’ve ever written that was more quiet and thoughtful than the others. It was this intimate look at three people, all carrying burdens and doubts. And even though all three characters (Kian, Ana, and MJ) have supernatural aspects, those abilities take a far backseat to the very human issues in the book. I’ve been told by abuse survivors that Cruel Summer is tough to read because it is darkly accurate and deeply heartbreaking. I did write the book with a sensitivity reader making sure that I stayed true to the mindset of Ana Lane. It’s a small book that holds a special place in my heart.

 

 

 

Now that Undertow is over, do you have any new stories you are writing? 

I’m always writing, often in my head. I’m playing with several story ideas right now – its a matter of which characters speak loudest and which ones I see clearest. Whoever stands out, gets written. The boys of the Hell Cat book stand out sharply to me at the moment. Below is a working piece of the manuscript:

 

Not many people traveled anymore either, and though the security was tight at the airports nowadays, stuff got missed. Last month alone, two jets were blown from the sky, the bombers having replaced their own teeth with dentures that activated crystalized explosives in their mouths. One plane managed to land, with only a few lives lost, but the other hit a church in rural Kansas, killing nearly half the occupants and a pastor who was painting the building with a few volunteers.

And, yeah, people still celebrated birthdays, had BBQs, and went to the movies (though there was always a police presence or embedded Legacies at any event that involved a bunch of people). Even the Super Bowl managed to go off without a hitch, thank God.

But that was the problem with the Terror War we were fighting – the hits came out of nowhere. There was no pattern, just pure carnage. A statement, made by the enemy, that said they intended to kill us. Every one of us.

I knew the ATTF also covered hundreds of specialized black-ops teams who were trained to infiltrate and take out terror cells, but the enemy had gotten smarter. Faster. We were still playing catch up while people died.

I clenched my gun in my hand, frustration and anger sliding through me as Mr. Martin’s old house came into view. Why didn’t he help when the bombs hit Westfield? Why didn’t he run for the building and pull kids out before they burned alive?

He did nothing that day, and I hoped the bastard was paying a high price in the Netherworld for being a coward and an asshole. The papers said he’d been dead three weeks before the mailman noticed the smell and found his body decaying in the living room of his rundown house. They said he died of a brain aneurysm, and I took some satisfaction in the knowledge that the mice may’ve chewed on him a bit before the police removed his body.

We stopped at the border between the orchard and Martin’s overgrown front yard that led up to the house. Trig and Will looked over the sagging roof and rotted front porch as I sighed. “Fuck. I guess we gotta check it out.”

The guys gave a resigned nod, and we wove our way towards the house, the tall grass brushing over our elbows and sliding between our gun holsters and buckles. “I swear, if I’m covered in ticks by the end of this night, I’m blaming you,” muttered Trig, glancing at me.

“Why me?” I demanded.

Trig shrugged. “I don’t know – you’re an easy target and the one that said we had to check out the woods. Works for me.”

I flipped him off just as we reached the front porch. Will stepped up first, testing his weight against the questionable floorboards which protested loudly. He glanced at me and winced. So much for the advantage of a sneak approach – the house was destined to give us a way.

J moved around one side of the house, and I mirrored him on the other side while Will worked his way towards the front door. I glanced through the windows, many edged with cobwebs and a variety of moths, some of who met their end by a hungry Charlotte or two. Inside, shadows fell over much of the house, the moonlight filtering into the space from the windows. In the darkness, I accidentally stepped into a window well and something squeaked near my boot, causing me to leap back from the house.

Damn rats.

Trig rounded my side of the house just in time to see me dodge out of the cellar’s window ditch, and he smiled as I rapidly scanned the ground. “Don’t step on Mickey,” he warned with a chuckle, walking past me. I muttered a curse, following Trig, and the two of us wandered back to the front to where Will was waiting for us.

He stood on the porch, his back to the front door, and smiled. “I looked in the front windows, but didn’t see anything weird, so I tried the front door and . . . voila!” Will’s hand twisted on the tarnished brass knob and the door clicked, the hinges groaning loudly as the weight of the door caused it to drift open.

“Holy crap, it’s not locked?” I asked, floored.

Will shrugged, “Not like Martin could do a damn thing about it, since his last departure was in a body bag.”

 

When is Daybreaker coming out?

March 10th! Details are below!

 

Michael Bailey jumps into Issue Seven

Welcome to the world of Michael Bailey. This superhero-addicted, anti-adult has generated quite the following with his ACTION FIGURES series. His newest book, known as The Black End War, just came out!

Get your cape on and grab a copy!

On Earth, Carrie Hauser is a hero.

But on the far side of the galaxy, she’s just another soldier on the front lines of an interplanetary war.

Carrie has barely recovered from thwarting an alien invasion of her home town when she’s whisked away to the heart of the Kyros Alliance and pressed into service with the Vanguard, a cosmic peacekeeping force dedicated to defeating the terrorist network known as the Black End.

Surrounded by hostile extraterrestrials, including among her teammates in the Vanguard, Carrie finds herself in for the fight of her life against an unstoppable force hellbent on spreading chaos and destruction — and if the Kyros Alliance falls, Earth could be next.

Get ready for the wildest ride yet in the Action Figures saga!

BUY HERE:

Authors Michael Bailey (L) and Kim Savage (R) at the Cape Cod Teen Writers Conference.

AUTHOR BIO

Michael has been a working writer since 1998 when he simultaneously (and at the same time) sold his first freelance article to Renaissance Magazine and landed a job as a staff reporter for the Enterprise Newspapers. During his 15 years with the Enterprise, Michael served as editor for the paper’s region section and senior political reporter, and was the paper’s first blogger. His political and current events blog, Snark-Infested Waters, delighted and annoyed readers until 2013, when Michael left the paper to pursue his fiction writing career.
Over the years Michael has contributed several more articles to Renaissance Magazine and other local publications, and has since 2004 been a staff writer for two New England-based renaissance faire production companies: Pastimes Entertainment and the Connecticut Renaissance Faire.

Michael is the author of the Action Figures young adult series and the humorous fantasy series The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot.

He currently lives in Worcester with his wife Veronica, their bulldog Beatrix, and four cats.

The Dragons are Here

J.A. Culican’s Dragon series is complete! To celebrate, the first book in the bestselling series is on sale for $.99 through March 2!

 

Moody Dragons. Snarky Elves. Fierce Mermaids. And two unlikely heroes who are fated to save them all.

A mystical calling.
On his 18th birthday, Cole learns that he is a dragon fated to save all that was deemed true.
Destiny.
Cole’s life spirals into an uncontrollable battle for life or death. First, he learns that his family isn’t really his own and his birth parents are dragons. With that legacy comes a special calling; devoting an eternity to protecting all true beings from creatures bent on controlling the Earth and bringing an end to dragons.
Danger.
As the newly-minted Prince of Ochana, Cole is also the Keeper of Dragons and his first task is to keep the nefarious farro-fallen fairies-at bay. With no formal training, no control of his mahier-dragon magic, and fear like he’s never experienced before, will Cole be able to reach outside of his human side and embrace his destiny in time to defeat the farros?
Full Series now AVAILABLE! CLICK BELOW TO BUY!
AUTHOR BIO
J.A. Culican is a USA Today Bestselling author of the middle grade fantasy series Keeper of Dragons. Her first novel in the fictional series catapulted a trajectory of titles and awards, including top selling author on the USA Today bestsellers list and Amazon, and a rightfully earned spot as an international best seller. Additional accolades include Best Fantasy Book of 2016, Runner-up in Reality Bites Book Awards, and 1st place for Best Coming of Age Book from the Indie book Awards.

J.A. Culican holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Niagara University, in which she has been teaching special education for over 11 years. She is also the president of the autism awareness non-profit Puzzle Peace United. J.A. Culican resides in Southern New Jersey with her husband and four young children.

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