Top 10 #MustReadBooks by Jus Accardo, Author of Infinity & Omega (The Infinity Division Series)

Infinity (The Infinity Division, #1) by Jus Accardo

Published by Entangled Teen

Published on November 1st, 2016

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Jump dimensions. Find the bad guy. Don’t fall in love.

Nobody said being the daughter of an army general was easy. But when her dad sends a teenage subordinate to babysit her while he’s away? That’s taking it a step too far.

Cade, as beautiful as he is deadly, watches Kori with more than just interest. He looks at her like he knows her very soul. And when he saves her from a seemingly random attack, well, that’s when things get weird.

Turns out, Kori’s dad isn’t just an army general—he’s the head of a secret government project that has invented a way to travel between parallel dimensions. Dimensions where there are infinite Koris, infinite Cades…and apparently, on every other Earth, they’re madly in love.

Falling for a soldier is the last thing on Kori’s mind. Especially when she finds herself in a deadly crossfire, and someone from another Earth is hell-bent on revenge…

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Omega (The Infinity Division, #2) by Jus Accardo
Published by Entangled Teen
Released on August 1st, 2017

One mistake can change everything. Ashlyn Calvert finds that out the hard way when a bad decision leads to the death of her best friend, Noah Anderson.

Only Noah isn’t really gone. Thanks to his parents’ company, the Infinity Division, there is a version of him skipping from one dimension to another, set on revenge for the death of his sister, Kori. When a chance encounter brings him face-to-face with Ash, he’s determined to resist the magnetic pull he’s felt for her time and time again. Because falling for Ash puts his mission—and their lives—in danger.

But there’s more going on in Ash’s alternate universe than either of them knows: a mysterious project called Omega. A conspiracy spanning multiple Earths and revolving around none other than Ash. Its creators would do anything to keep Omega secret…

Anything.

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As a writer, I think it goes without saying that I LOVE books. I’m not tied down to a specific genre. My love spans most of them. But, I do have my favorites. Here’s my list of top ten MUST READS (in no particular order).

  1. Watership Down by Richard Adams – This one is a classic and I think everyone should read it (at least once, but probably multiple times).
  2. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien – Same goes for this one.
  3. The Heavenly Horse from the Outermost West by Mary Stanton – If you love fantasy and horses with action and a bit of romance sprinkled in, then this is for you.
  4. Nightlife by Rob Thurman – Cal Leandros is such an amazingly complicated character. This is one I can read a million times and never tire of.
  5. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong – Another one I can read a million times. Clayton Danvers and Elena Michaels are my TOP fave fictional couple of all time.
  6. The Stand by Stephen King – My husband makes fun of me for this one. Sure, it does run a little long and tends to be a bit wordy in places, but I love it all the same.
  7. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott – There’s really nothing else to say about this one except YOU MUST READ IT. All the feels, guys…
  8. The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith (the original 4) – L.J. Smith was a huge factor in shaping my love of books. The first four books in the series (you know, the ones SHE WROTE) are fantastic.
  9. ANY BOOK by S.E. Hinton – Another top notch lady who was a big part of shaping my literary world. I’ve read all her books dozens of time and can’t imagine ever getting bored with them, no matter my age.
  10. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – This one is probably on a lot of people’s list. Rowling captured me with that first book, the beautiful imagery and sheer imagination, and never let go. Here’s hoping we get more from the Wizarding world in the future!

 

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. Jus is the bestselling author of the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing, as well as the Darker Agency series, and the New Adult series, The Eternal Balance. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

“Maybe you used to be better at it?” I prodded. “I mean, you probably don’t get a lot of time to date while skipping all over creation, right? Maybe you’re just out of practice?”

“I’m not out of practice.” He seethed.

“It’s okay! It’s nothing to be ashamed of—”

For the second time since we’d met, he assaulted me. One second I was having the time of my life pushing his buttons—ridiculously easy to do—the next I was against the wall, Noah’s body covering mine. His lips moved furiously, scorchingly hot and with a level of passion I’d never felt before. His tongue slipped between my lips and despite having told other guys that I hated that, I melted, reveling in the millions of electrical tingles the action sent shooting through my body.

His hands gripped my head on either side. No roaming, no exploration. Somehow it made the whole thing hotter. Like he couldn’t bear to release me in fear that I’d move. That I’d get away and he’d have to stop.

And stop? No. That was a dirty word. A softly whispered sin in the darkest corners of the earth. Stopping this would be a crime of the highest caliber.

Except he did. Stop, that was.

He pulled away just far enough to look me in the eye, not yet letting go of my head. With an extremely satisfied tilt of his lip, he said, “Decent my ass.”

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Giveaway & Excerpt: Scion of the Sun by Nicola Marsh

Sixteen-year-old Holly Burton’s unremarkable life is shaken to the core when a vision of the mother she never knew has her questioning everything she believes.
Eager for answers, Holly enrolls at a boarding school for highly gifted students in Wolfebane, New Hampshire. When she accidentally transports to a parallel existence and discovers she has a whole other life waiting for her, confronting a dark and ancient evil seems the least of her problems.
With the help of Joss, a sexy alpha warrior sworn to protect her, and her new BFF, the equally swoon-worthy Quinn, Holly faces her fears and an unlikely adversary in a showdown that is worse than anything she could’ve possibly imagined…

AMAZON USA      AMAZON UK     AMAZON AUSTRALIA 

 

USA TODAY bestselling & multi-award winning author Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and spooky, supernatural fiction for young adults.
She has published 64 books with Harlequin, Amazon and indie, and sold over 7 million copies worldwide. She currently writes women’s fiction for Amazon’s Lake Union Publishing. SAVING SARA released August 1st 2016 and became a #1 romance bestseller in the UK & Australia! RESCUING ROSE, the sequel, released October 4th, 2016. She also writes steamy romance for the upcoming Harlequin Dare series, with SWEET THING releasing March 1st, 2018.
Her first mainstream contemporary romance, BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD released to rave reviews, including a nomination for RWA’s RBY, Romantic Book of the Year 2012. Her first indie-pubbed contemporary romance CRAZY LOVE released September 2012, a Barnes & Noble bestseller, and was nominated for a 2012 ARRA award.
Her young adult fantasy SCION OF THE SUN won the National Readers’ Choice Award for Best YA novel in the USA.
She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a 2013 RBY and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, is a multiple finalist for awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.
A physiotherapist for 13 years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two young heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, barracking loudly for her beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team, and her favourite, curling up with a good book!

 

I always thought cults were for crazies.

Until I joined one.

Let me clear up any misconceptions. I’m not crazy. A freak, but not crazy. Which is why I’m here. Freaks R Us. A boarding school for the intellectually gifted tucked away in the back streets of Wolfebane, New Hampshire.

Intellectually gifted? Yeah, right.

We have a pristine lake surrounded by majestic mountains. We have lush green fields that turn into fabulous groomed ski trails in the winter. We have upscale restaurants and thriving businesses and fancy homes—city pizzazz with small town coziness. We even have our very own homegrown C.U.L.T.

The Clique of Unique Luminary Telepathies.

When the average person searches this place on the Internet, the home page reads Co-Ed for Unified Learning and Teaching, a New Age school for the hippest of the hip. It appears to be a rambling English manor, sandstone and massive latticed windows and French doors, surrounded by a cottage garden gone wild.

All very civilized for a place of learning, but what I’d learn would scare the crap out of me.

“Going in sometime this century?”

I glared at Colt, sitting smug in his beat-up Chevy, eager to get rid of me. I’d been thrust on his family, Nan’s only neighbors, when she got carted off to the hospital. I hated staying with his uptight family as much as they hated having me.

“Nah, think I’ll hang with you a bit longer. It’s so much fun.”

He pointed at the door. “Get out.”

I didn’t budge. Colt didn’t scare me. C.U.L.T. did.

“I had no choice staying with your folks. What’s your excuse?”

His expression turned stubborn.

“How old are you anyway? Nineteen? Twenty, tops?”

“Twenty-one,” he gritted out. “Too old to be babysitting dorks like you.”

“Dork? That’s mature for a guy tied so tight to mommy’s apron strings he’s still living at home.”

His hands clenched on the steering wheel and I jiggled the door handle. The door opened on the third try.

“If you were this smart-assed with your Nan I’m not surprised she had a stroke.”

Low blow. That’s what it felt like, like he’d kicked me in the guts. His words inspired the same nauseating feeling I’d had when I’d told her what I’d seen. When she’d uttered five mysterious words—she took the wrong one—and keeled over.

“And she’s in a long-term coma?” He drove the boot in harder. “She’d probably do anything to stay away from you.”

I grabbed my backpack, slung my messenger bag over my shoulder, and slammed the door. I couldn’t get away from him fast enough. It wasn’t what he’d said as much as the possible truth behind it.

He leaned across the bench seat and leered out the window. “Enjoy the lock-up. It’s a perfect place for psychos. You’ll fit right in.”

“Screw you.”

Colt gave me the finger, gunned the engine, and squealed away from the curb, leaving me standing in front of my prison.

Wolfebane High had sucked, but boarding school? Fine for my favorite fictional characters who thrived on girl power. Me? I wasn’t the kickass heroine so much.

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Giveaway & Excerpt: Forsaken by Connie Ann Michael

Title: Forsaken

Author: Connie Ann Michael

Release Date: May 23, 2017

ISBN: 9780997727890

Eighteen-year-old Oli cannot remember life outside the barrier, a life before the oil spill that poisoned human kind, killing half the population and infecting the other half until they deteriorated from the inside out, forced to walk the earth as Screamers. It’s a dangerous new world in which barely anyone makes it past the age of twenty, and Oli’s time is running out.

Studying the Bible, Oli searches for words to help restore faith in a lost world, and when she receives a message from God telling her to leave the barrier, she knows what she must do. There’s only one problem: Her best friend, Coi, doesn’t believe her, and he’s showing the first signs of infection. But before she can convince him to leave with her, the Governor quarantines Coi and orders his execution.

Oli risks it all to rescue Coi, and they set out to find sanctuary away from the safety of the compound, not knowing who or what will get to them first: the Governor, the illness, or the Screamers. When they stumble upon a group of uninfected humans hidden among the rubble of an apartment building, they think they’ve found their salvation. But not everything is as it seems, and their enemies are closer than they thought.

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Choice of A Powerful Voice by Penelope Powell or 1,000 Stolen Moments by Connie Ann Michael ebook

Go here for an awesome giveaway!

A new resident of Montana, Connie Ann Michael grew up in a close family on the outskirts of Seattle. Drawn to the Lord she’s followed her calling of service and has taught for twenty-six years, currently the fifth grade teacher at Crow Agency Public School, on the Crow Reservation. Connie loves her family and is lucky enough to have two grown boys. Living with her husband and two dogs in Big Sky country, Connie enjoys any activity that takes her outside and is working hard to overcome her fear of being eaten by a bear to enjoy more hiking trips in the mountains.

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I’d worked in the garden all day, digging up dry, hard dirt in an attempt to thin out weeds that were indistinguishable from the edible plants. I sat back on my heels and looked around at the others digging with sticks and crude tools bent from scraps of metal. I thought back to a history book I’d found in the school across the street from where our tiny speck of civilization sat. The pictures of the cities were faded, but the grandeur couldn’t be dulled. The sun shone from the great heights of the buildings like stars guiding people through their lives. Lives that were full and held the hope of growth and diversity. Lives that were lost, and lives I would never know. I devoured news from the past. I’d read every book I could find until the day the Governor took over and sent the Guard in to gather them all and burn them in a huge bonfire to show us the past no longer mattered.

Only the future mattered now. The future he would make for us.

I’d hidden a few of my favorite books and then ripped out pictures that spoke to me of what could be once more. I had them in my pockets until the day one fell out and the Guard, a group of empowered teenagers doing the dirty work for the Governor, found them. My arms were bound to a table in the middle of the compound, and my hands were hit with a switch twenty times before I was left as an example. My transgression—hope—was the first of the rules scratched on to the wall of rules. Of course, it said act of defiance.

Defiance of what?

Defiance of a rule that took the past and left it there?

I kneeled at the table until dusk when my friends, Bliss and Coi, were allowed to release me. I was expected to continue my duties in the garden the next day as if my hands weren’t sore, swollen, and bloody; as if nothing had transpired.

Take your punishment and step back into the predictable path of your life.

I was much more careful after that and folded the photographs until they were small squares and hid them among my possessions, only giving myself the luxury of carrying one hidden deep in my pocket. After more than ten years behind these fences, we had little to show other than a belief system that was the backbone to salvation slowing being taken from us. Even though I didn’t agree with rules outlined and constantly being revised without question or input from those living under them, this was the only home I’d known since arriving when I was nine.

It was desolate and dying a little more every day, but it was a refuge for those of us who refused to give up a chance of survival. We paid for our residence through tedious chores that never seemed to get us closer to breaking the barrier between survival and living. Every day we woke to the monotonous tasks, doing what needed to be done to earn our place and not be forsaken into the abyss of death waiting outside our fences.

Most days, I found my refuge in the skeleton of a school just outside the safety zone of the chain link. A place once filled with knowledge and guidance but now a shell of a world left far behind.

Dusk had settled, along with a light drizzle. I’d left my tools in the shed after my chores and had spent the last hours of daylight in the school with History books and the Bible I had hidden deep in the bowels of a dilapidated classroom. I’d found loose pages in a pile of trash that listed the nine things needed before a world was considered a civilization; a written language, a belief system, a stable food supply, government, art, ways to improve life, a social structure, lasting settlements, and a trade or economics. If this list was accurate, we had a long way to go before we were considered anything more than a group of young people camping in the middle of what used to be a sports field. I began to cross over the make-shift bridge the Guard had strung between the school and the rickety guard tower they’d erected. I usually slipped through the gate to walk the short distance across the road and through the doors of the school, but I’d waited too long and the path back to the barrier was filled with the infected, the screeching noise of their breathing, earning them the name Screamers, floated up from the road below. I stopped, daring to look down at the small space between my feet and the dozens of clawing fingers reaching up in the small chance they could snag my pants or a shoelace and bring me to my death. I inched forward, hearing the deep rasp of a cough before I saw the figure waiting on the other side of the bridge. I glanced up at the clouds, darkening as they filled with the poisoned rain they would tease us with. A wetness that wouldn’t bring life but instead kill the small plants we nurtured and damage the health of the young who eagerly drank from the barrels before the water was purified.

The cough came again, and as I neared the other side, the tall figure of my best friend, Coi, emerged.

“Bliss missed her work duty for the day,” his words came out quickly.

“I’ll find her.” I didn’t wait for an explanation, there wasn’t time. I needed to find her before Bliss’s punishment became a new revision on the wall of rules.

Coi grabbed my arm, stopping me. “I was sent after her. She’s at the fence but won’t come back with me. I can’t stall the Guard long.”

“I told you, I’ll get her.” I stomped down the stairs and took off at a run.

It was her first absence in months, so the punishment would more than likely be a warning. I prayed it would be a warning and nothing more, but I needed to make sure if she was doing anything more than missing work that I got to her before anyone else did. I needed to know she was okay and keep her that way. It didn’t take long to find her. The barrier wasn’t that big.

“Missed you at the garden today,” I said quietly, walking up behind her. Bliss was eleven, and I’d practically raised her even though I was a kid myself. She was sitting on the ground watching a small group of Screamers milling around a pile of… of something I didn’t want to know what it was. The barrier was surrounded by trees that, at one time, I was sure provided a cool shade from the sun. Now the needles were red with what looked to be the same fate as us. The school we’d settled in was away from a town I assumed lay out past the trees. I’d always thought it was why it was chosen in the early years… for its seclusion. No one alive today had ever gone farther than the school across the broken road. Very few buildings lay further, a long patch of runway from what use to be an airstrip, but legend had it the large metal buildings housed a mass of those who died from infection, and going that far from the barrier was listed on the wall of laws, so no one I knew ever ventured that way.

“There’s plenty of people to clean the gardens. You don’t need me,” she muttered. Her fingers were laced into the metal links of the fence, her eyes glued to the slumped figures across a small dirt patch.

“It’s best we leave them to…”

“To what?” Bliss questioned. Her mood concerned me. Bliss was the happy one. The one whose real name I couldn’t even remember. We all called her Bliss because of her never ending cheer.

I looked at the ground, the water collecting in rounded mounds over the caked earth, not yet soaking into the tightly pressed dirt, and wondered the same thing. It was best we let them be. It was best we left them to do whatever it was they did without anyone watching. “I don’t know, Bliss, but you don’t want to watch them.”

Bliss turned to me. “Our existence means nothing if we don’t honor the dead.”

I tried not to flinch at her words. “Honor the dead?”

“They were just like us until their luck changed. I don’t think they mean to hurt us. They want to survive… so do we.”

I looked at a woman who stood swaying slowly back and forth on the other side of the barrier. Her face was unrecognizable, but even with clothes in tattered strips and covered in mud, I knew who she was. This woman had been the last of what would be considered an adult in our small community of safety. I sighed again and understood what had kept Bliss from her work. The woman had been Bliss’s aunt.

I didn’t want to argue the fact that their need to survive was futile seeing as they were as good as dead, infected with a sickness that if there was a chance of a cure, we certainly didn’t have any way of finding it, but I also didn’t want to agree with her. The Governor had been in control for a few short years, and words used when discussing the methods he had for removing those who questioned him had to be chosen more carefully these days.

Bliss stared out into the growing darkness. “She didn’t do anything wrong.”

“She questioned,” I said quietly.

“And is that so wrong?”

I shook my head no, but in my heart I knew it was dangerous to question the Governor and his methods. I understood his need to control us. In the beginning, there was no organization and mistakes were made that we continue to pay for today.

“She told the guard she was too sick to work. She snuck out when they were watching the gate.” She glanced up at me. “She was with child.” Her big eyes blinked and a tear fell. “I would have had a cousin.”

I opened my mouth to respond, but words had left me. I wasn’t sure where to start on the list of disturbing questions her words put in my head. The biggest being why she thought her aunt had had a choice in her exile. Finally, I said, “I’m sorry.”

“It was her terms not theirs.” Bliss let out a long breath, releasing her negativity. “Tell me something good.” She wiped at her cheeks with one hand. Her knuckles whitened as she gripped the fence tighter with the other. I placed my hand over hers. When darkness fell completely and the Screamers became frenzied for food, they would come for something as small as a finger. Even the smallest scratch from their infected nails could cause the infection to spread.

“You’re here for a reason. If you weren’t supposed to be here, you wouldn’t be,” I said.

The rasps of the Screamers were getting louder as the sky became fully dark and the rain began.

“Please, Bliss,” I whispered. “Please. Come to dinner with me.”

One of the Screamers came to us, head cocked to the left, jaws chomping at nothing. Bliss took a step back, finally letting go of the fence.

The vacant eyes of the walking corpses drew me in. Many called them lost souls, but they weren’t. These were empty shells of people. People who’d been loved. I’d spent many hours looking into the weeping, yellow eyes of the sick, trying to understand. But when there is nothing in them, there’s nothing to find.

“Please,” I said again.

Bliss didn’t divert her eyes from where they stared. “You can go, Oli.”

“No. Come with me.”

She turned and met my stare. “I need her to know I’m here. I’ll survive for her, and I want her to get strength from that.”

I pressed my lips to her temple. “I love you, Bliss. But you can’t be found here. Illness is the only excuse for absence. You can’t stay.”

Reluctantly, she agreed and returned with me to the large building where dinner was waiting. The Screamers rarely returned to the barrier. Her aunt had slipped away in the morning. Escaped, we told ourselves. Trying to find others and then return with a great flourish to tell us the world had returned just a few miles down the road. It was best we kept those dreams alive. It was better than the alternative, the one where the Guard led her into the vacant world outside our walls without even a simple weapon. No one who left ever returned. The Guard made sure of that, and I highly doubted it was her aunt. This was just a woman wearing the same dress who happened upon us. I looked down at my own clothes and wondered if this was an outfit I wanted to wear while I walked the earth as a Screamer.

 

Guest Post, Giveaway & Excerpt: The Generation of the Last Hour by Rochele Rosa

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.

Release Date: May 23, 2017     ISBN: 978-0-9977278-7-6

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Choice of A Powerful Voice by Penelope Powell or 1,000 Stolen Moments by Connie Ann Michael ebook

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1) How Far We’ve Come by Matchbox Twenty
2) Get Out Alive by Three Days Grace
 3) Never Surrender by Skillet
4) Fighter by Christina Aguilera
5) The Cup Song by Anna Kendrick
6) Do You Your Enemy by Green Day
7)Stand in the Rain by Super Chick
8) Feel Invincible by Skillet
9) Let’s Start a Riot by Three Days Grace
10) Survivor by Destiny’s Child

 

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.

 

“Raquelle!”

 

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.”

Author Links:

Website:http://blessednotstressedbookworm.wordpress.com/

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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.

 

LOVE IN THE FRIEND ZONE by Molly E. Lee

LOVE IN THE FRIEND ZONE by Molly E. Lee

Release Date 8/14

Published by Entangled Teen

Genre: YA Contemporary

The only thing worse than not being able to tell your best friend you’re head over heels in love with him? Having to smile and nod when he enlists your help to ensnare the girl of his dreams.

Braylen didn’t even want to go to Lennon Pryor’s epic graduation-night party, but when Fynn begs her to be his “wingwoman,” she can’t deny him. Talking up her BFF—how he’s magic behind a camera, with a killer sense of humor and eyelashes that frame the most gorgeous blue eyes in the history of forever—is easy. Supporting his efforts to woo someone so completely wrong for him? Not so much.

Fynn knows that grad night is his last shot before leaving for college to find true love. And thanks to Bray, he gets his chance with the beautiful Katy Evans. But over the course of the coolest party of their high school careers, he starts to see that perhaps what he really wants has been in front of him all along. Bray’s been his best friend since kindergarten, though, and he’d rather have her in his life as a friend than not at all.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two best friends whose sexual chemistry is off the charts…if only they’d succumb to it.

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Molly E. Lee is an author best known for her debut novel EDGE OF CHAOS, and as a fourth year mentor at Pitch Wars – a program which connects promising writers to established authors in the community. Molly writes New Adult and Young Adult Contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.

Website:http://www.mollyelee.com

Twitter: @MollyELee

 

Review & Giveaway: Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief by Rosie Somers

Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief by Rosie Somers

Most sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t know where museums keep their rarest jewels (the basement) and they really shouldn’t know that vans make the worst getaway cars. But for Marisol Flores, a life of jewel thievery is a birthright handed down from generation to generation, even if she didn’t ask for it. So when a rival thief targets Mari and her mother, Mari’s more than happy to flee to the anonymity of bustling New York City.

Blending in is a dream come true for Mari, but keeping her former thieving ways a secret gets way more complicated when handsome Will Campbell sets his sights on her. She can’t help but like his terrible puns and charming grin…but when her past catches up with her, it’s not only her life—and her anonymity—that’s at stake.

Will could be the next target.

Heat surges through me. I lean into Will, memorizing the feel of his body leveled against mine. The life of a thief is a solitary one; I’ve never been this close to a guy before, and the situation is made all the more complicated by the strength of my attraction to him.

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This was a fun, fast paced read and an entertaining take the on “new girl at school” plot.  The book starts with Marisol and her mother stealing jewels, chased by rival thieves, and a daring, narrow escape.  It’s a great beginning and example of the life this family leads. Events cause them to take cover, so they hide in NYC, and Marisol tries to blend in to the latest of a long line of schools.  Her acclamation to the new school goes well, as she is focused on having a typical high school experience with friends, clubs, and boys.  These things come easy to her, and she soon settles in.

The middle of the book is the only part I had a few issues with – the behavior of a few characters seemed out of whack with what has been established, and I found it distracting. “Why is her Mon doing this?” “Why is Will cool with that?” There is a bit of ebb and flow to get to the end – but it is a great finish!  Much like the beginning, it is fast paced, suspenseful, and unexpected.  Overall, I enjoyed this book and the writer’s storytelling.  Just a few hazy areas of “huh?” sprinkled in the middle, but still a great book.

Rosie Somers is a beach-going book addict who’s been crafting stories since before she learned her ABCs. When she’s not busy trying to bring the characters in her head to life on paper, she can be found volunteering with local animal rescues, crocheting funky hats for her friends, or eating herself into the poorhouse at Chipotle. Her fondest dream is to one day own a goat.

Author Blog: rosiesomers.blogspot.com

Author Twitter: @prosyrosie

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Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8281027.Rosie_Somers

 

Goddesses Can Wait (Myths and Mayhem #2) by Kim Baccellia

No More Goddesses (Myths and Mayhem #1) by Kim Baccellia

Published by Zumaya Thresholds

Published May 28th, 2013

Genres: YA/Fantasy/Mythology

 

Jordan Lake discovers an ancient bracelet in her grandmother’s house and uncovers a family mystery that links her favorite actress, Audrey Hepburn, a romantic movie, and an aunt she never knew. Jordan hopes the bracelet will bring her love. Instead, it brings one nightmare after another, unleashing Hathor, the Egyptian love goddess, who decides it’s fun to mess with the McKnight High School social scene. Jordan holds the key to vanquish Hathor, but will she figure out what it is in time to save her school, one of her best friends, and get a date to the Valentine’s Day dance?


Goddesses Can Wait (Myths and Mayhem #2) by Kim Baccellia

Genre: YA Fantasy

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Goddesses-Can-Wait-Myths-Mayhem/dp/1612712975/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498859791&sr=8-1&keywords=Goddesses+Can+Wait

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Jordan Lake, a fifteen-year-old Audrey Hepburn-olic who’s a magnet for goddesses, has a chance to go to Paris with her grandmother and BFF Selena Garza. Even though she senses something is off, she decides to make the trip.

But when she kisses a cute Parisian boy a la Roman Holiday, she switches bodies with Aphrodite and is sent to the Greek netherworld. She must enlist the help of the Greek god (in more ways than one) Ares then complete seven trials set by his sister Artemis in order to return home.

Except time is running out, and if she can’t get Aphrodite back to the Eiffel Tower by midnight, she’ll be stuck in Greek mythology forever.

 

My fingers brushed against the wooden box. I pulled it out. A slight tingle vibrated through my fingers. Not unpleasant, still it felt as if I’d shocked myself. I gasped, dropping the box.

I winced, fearing I’d broken it. What would my grandmother do once she found out that I not only brought it overseas but now had damaged it? For all I knew it was invaluable.

I scanned the area, freaking out big time. Then to the corner I recognized the familiar woman on the mosaic top. Relieved, I bent over to pick it up and almost dropped it again. The blond woman blinked at me.

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When writing Goddesses Can Wait, Kim Baccellia watched almost all of Audrey Hepburn’s movies and learned to love this famous icon after watching and reading all she could about her. Two of her all-time favorite movies, Roman Holiday and Funny Face, are the inspiration for Jordan’s trip to Paris. What teen girl wouldn’t love to have a romantic moment on the Eiffel Tower?

A member of RWA, Kim is currently putting the finishing touches on a YA multicultural thriller. She lives in Southern California with her husband and son.

My website: http://www.kim-baccellia.com

Excerpt: The Right Brother by Tammy Mannersly

Invited by one brother, tempted by the other… 

Former Australian playboy Blake Davenport knows his billionaire brother, David, is capable of anything to ensure he gets what he wants. But manipulating his young daughter’s beautiful teacher into marriage is unacceptable.

 

Gwen Deveraux is grateful for the invitation to spend Christmas and New Year’s with her beloved student’s family, especially when her handsome host is so eager for her company. After surviving a broken heart, she is finally ready to give love another chance.

But, who with?

The illustrious David Davenport whose real motives seem hidden behind charm? Or his roguish brother, Blake, who has tempted her heart and body from the very moment they met?

 

“I am waiting for an answer, Miss Deveraux.”

Her hands slipped from his face, but he grabbed them before they fell.

“Lost for words, are we?”

Under his challenging stare, all her prior bravado had left her. She nodded. “I can’t believe you’re serious?”

“And why not? Why should I not take the opportunity to fight for you when you are so quick and willing to offer yourself to my morally bankrupt brother? What kind of gentleman would I be just to sit back and watch you sacrifice yourself to the wicked wolf? No, Gwen, I won’t accept your friend request. I choose to throw my hat in the ring. I am not one to back away from a challenge, especially not one I know I can win.”

With that, Blake dragged her into his strong arms, trapping her against the hard, bare muscles of his chest. His lips covered hers in a possessive and passionate kiss. Instinctively, Gwen melted into his arms, but soon, sense returned. She broke their embrace and pushed free of him. His smirk in return was both triumphant and charming.

Gwen panted heavily, breathless with a heady mixture of lust and fury. She glared at him, assessing him from a safe distance. “You, sir,” she told him as she fought to catch her breath, “are the wolf. And it’s you I’ll have to learn to keep my distance from.”

Blake’s laughter in response only incited her anger.

“I’d like to see you try,” he told her.

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Tammy Mannersly is an Australian author based in Brisbane, Queensland. She loves writing romance, has a fondness for animals, is crazy about movies and enjoys a great Happily Ever After.

Her passion for writing started from a very young age and lead her to complete a Bachelor Degree in Creative Industries majoring in Creative Writing at Queensland University of Technology.

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Excerpt & Giveaway: Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle

Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle

Release Date: 7/10/17

Published by Entangled Teen

It’s not chemistry between Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson that made them agree to fake date. With her parents trying to set her up with an annoying student golf coach, and intentionally single Sam’s family pressuring him to bring a date to his brother’s wedding, they could both use a drama-free summer.

So it’s not his muscular arms and quick wit that makes Tinka suggest they tell everyone they’re both taken. Definitely not. And it’s not butterflies that makes a kiss for appearances during the lake party go on way too long—so long that Sam wishes it were real.

But Tinka keeps people at arm’s length—she’s always been second best, even to her parents. And her relationship-for-show could crush everything when she realizes she’s done with fake, pretend, and second-best.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains bikinis at the lake, a lot of making out in dark theaters, and a meet-cute you’ll read twice.

 

 

The sliding glass door whooshed open behind them. Their opportunity for escape was lost. Tinka spun around as the guy headed toward them. He was carrying three bottles of water and had put on a T-shirt, a faded movie tee, over his mesh shorts. Jaws. A story about a terrifying shark that kills people. The guy handed a bottle to Tinka. “Take a seat.”

Ready to flee at any moment, she perched next to Jane on the bench, where the hot, sticky varnish stuck to her legs immediately. Tinka unscrewed the cap, which gave off the familiar rip-pop sound that proved the bottle had not been tampered with. Tinka tilted it back; and as the cold water coated her parched throat, she forgot for a moment she was about to be murdered.

“This is a gorgeous house,” Jane said.

The guy knocked back his water, then screwed the cap back on. “Thanks. I like it.”

Tinka decided to play civil. “Do you do all the landscaping yourself or do you have a crew that helps you?” He smirked at Tinka, like she was the most curious thing he had seen in a while. “We have a crew, but I noticed a few spots on the bushes that needed trimming.”

She nodded. “If you need to get back to work, don’t let us stop you. We wouldn’t want you to get in trouble with your boss.”

“My boss?” He was still grinning at Tinka with those dimples as he kneaded the plastic on his water bottle. “You mean my father?”

“Your father owns the landscaping business?”

“My father owns the house. I’m Sam. Anderson,” he added for good measure. “I live here.” He gestured toward the back door.

Jane dropped her face into her hands. “Oh my God, Tinka.”

Tinka spun toward her, pointing. “Oh my God nothing, Jane. You didn’t know he lived here, either.”

“I did so.”

“How?”

Jane waved her hand to indicate Sam and the flirty smile reappeared on her face. “He has a way about him.”

“He has no way about anything. No offense.” Tinka nodded to Sam.

“None taken.” Knitting his brow, Sam lifted his hat and ran his fingers through his curly brown hair. He had hazel eyes with friendly crinkles on the corners that didn’t disappear even when he frowned.

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Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072V24Q1J

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34389398-artificial-sweethearts

Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled TEEN, 2016) and the North Pole, Minnesota young adult romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). She writes about TV and pop culture for the ChicagoNow blog, Hammervision, and lives in Chicago with her family. She enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television.

Connect:

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Sneak Peek at Vi Keelan’s newest

 

The first time I met Caine West was in a bar.

He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out.

When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight—telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass.

You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend–smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married.

He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he’d done.

Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant.

Only it turned out, the man I’d just told off wasn’t the right guy.

Oops. My mistake.

Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology.

I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right?

That’s what I thought…until I walked into class the next morning.

Well, hello Professor West, I’m your new teaching assistant.

I’ll be working under you…figuratively speaking.

Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing—working under Professor West.

This was going to be interesting…

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The class was completely empty. I wasn’t even sure he knew I was still in my seat. If he did, he was good at ignoring me as he packed up his laptop.

“Contrary to the rumors you’ve probably heard, I don’t bite.”

I jumped when he spoke. Now that the lecture hall was no longer filled with students, the acoustics of the large space bounced his deep voice all over the walls.

I stood and began my walk of shame down to the front of the classroom. There was no doubt I owed the man an apology, even if he wasn’t a professor—a professor who would be my new boss for at least the next fifteen weeks. I wanted to kick myself in the ass for not apologizing last night before I left the bar. Now it would seem like I was only doing it because of the situation I was in.

Which was true, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t want it to seem that way.

I took a deep breath. “I’m so sorry about last night.”

His face was unreadable. “I figured you might be, right about now.”

“I obviously thought you were someone else.”

“So I assumed. You thought I was the asshole. The one with the big dick, was it?”

I shut my eyes. For the last ninety minutes, I’d replayed the entire exchange from last night over and over in my head. I thought I’d remembered everything I said, but apparently I hadn’t. When I reopened my eyes, Professor West was still watching me. His stare was pretty damn intense.

I started to babble. “My friend Ava went out with this guy Owen for a month or so. He was full of shit from day one, but she didn’t see it. Actually walked up to her when she was leaving work one night and said, ‘Do you mind if I walk you home? My mother always told me to follow my dreams.’ She fell for it, the entire act, from the first day. Then one Saturday, he was supposedly out of town on business, and she was across town running errands for her mother. She took a shortcut through Madison Square Park on her way back from the grocery store and ran into him. He was with his wife and kids.”

“And you thought I was him, apparently?”

I nodded. “She came in during my shift and started drinking Long Island iced teas. When Owen walked in, she pointed to where he was standing and said he was the one in the blue shirt.”

“And we were both wearing blue shirts, I take it?”

I couldn’t help but smile, thinking of Ava last night. “Actually, no. Ava’s not much of a drinker. Turned out she was more sloshed than I thought. Owen’s shirt was brown—not even black that could be mistaken as navy or something.”

I saw Professor West’s lip twitch.

“Anyway, I’m really sorry. I barely gave you a chance to speak, and then when I realized what had happened, I was so mortified I didn’t even stop to apologize.”

“I accept your apology for last night. Even though you shouldn’t be approaching a man in the hallway to tell him off alone, your intentions were admirable.”

I should have shut up and been grateful he’d accepted my apology. Should have. “Why can’t I approach a man in the hallway?”

He leveled me with a stare. “Because you’re five foot nothing in a loud bar, and no one would have heard you if I’d dragged you into the men’s room and locked the door.”

I folded my arms over my chest. “I can take care of myself.”

“I didn’t say you couldn’t. I said you shouldn’t put yourself in those situations.”

“But you insinuated that I couldn’t by making that statement.”

He zipped his leather bag closed. “Ms. Martin, I just accepted your apology for calling me an asshole last night. Would you like me to retract that acceptance?”

God, I really was an idiot. Being around this man seemed to turn me into a psychopath. “No. I’m sorry. I acted like a jerk, and I’d like to start over, if that’s possible.”

He nodded. “Everything prior to this morning is forgotten.”

“Thank you.”

“But this morning is not. I won’t accept lateness. Don’t let it happen again.”

I swallowed. “It won’t.”

He lifted his worn, brown leather laptop bag over one shoulder. “Meet me here at five tomorrow. We’ll go over the syllabus and the classes you’ll teach, as well as my grading rubric.”

That was smack in the middle of my shift, but I’d figure something out. “Okay.”

“Are you done for the day?”

“I am. I actually have to get to work. I’m covering Ava’s shift because she isn’t feeling too well after last night. We both work at O’Leary’s.”

“You waitress there?”

“Waitress, bartend, occasionally tell off patrons.”

That earned me a full smile from Professor West. God, he should do that more often. No, forget that. He definitely shouldn’t.

“I’ll walk out with you.”

We walked through the halls together and out to the parking lot. When we arrived at my car, I stopped. “This is me. So…five o’clock tomorrow?”

Professor West looked at my beat-up old Subaru. “You’re parked in a spot reserved for the Provost. You got a parking ticket.” He squinted. “Actually, it looks like you have two parking tickets. Was your inspection expired or something?”

Crap. “Umm…no. I keep an extra ticket in the glove compartment and stick it on my windshield when I’m forced to park illegally.”

His brows shot up. “Inventive.”

“Obviously it doesn’t always work.”

“Obviously.”

“They need more parking. When you’re late, it’s impossible to find a spot.”

He studied me. “Lateness is a frequent occurrence for you, I take it?”

“Unfortunately, it is.”

“Then I should clarify something I said earlier.”

“Oh, no, that’s not necessary. I won’t be late for your class.”

He took a step closer and leaned in. “I’m glad to hear that, Ms. Martin. But that’s not what needs clarification.”

I swallowed. God, he smells good.

“Earlier I told you I didn’t bite students.” He smiled, and I felt the wickedness from it shoot down to some interesting places. “I don’t. But I make no promises about not biting feisty TAs.”

 

★★★★

We hope you enjoyed this extended preview!

 

 

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Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than 1.5 million books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in sixteen languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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