Guest Post by Katie McElhenney, author of The Things They’ve Taken

The Things They’ve Taken by Katie McElhenney

Published by Entangled Teen

Genre: YA Fantasy / paranormal


All Lo Campbell wants is to be a normal teenager—to go to one high school, live in one place, and have one real friend. Instead, she travels the country with her mother, chasing the unknown, the “what else” that’s out there…

Until one day, the “what else” chases back.

Determined to rescue her mom from whatever supernatural being took her, Lo will need more help than a badly dressed demon obsessed with country music. She’s going to need a Tracker—and lucky for her, she finds one. Shaw is strong, good-looking, possibly available, and utterly infuriating. Sure, he may have secrets, and his help costs more than a brand-new car, but she’ll have to deal with him if she wants to find her mother—and get her home alive.

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The Things They’ve Taken Road Trip Snack Pack, including:

 * Tote Bag
* Travel water bottle
* Notebook and pen
* Various snacks from Trader Joe’s including several/all (depending) of the following items:
dark chocolate almonds, chocolate covered espresso beans, cheese sticks, crackers, trail mix,
dried fruit, peanut butter pretzels, popcorn, and cookie butter

Click Here to Enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Songs to Break Your Heart To

I’ve never met a person who could break my heart as easily as song can.

In my book, The Things They’ve Taken, our heroine, Lo, has her radio bewitched by a demon to only play songs by Patsy Cline. In the words of the demon who did the rigging, “How are you supposed to learn about love and loss without listening to Patsy Cline?” He has a point.

Some of my earliest memories are of my mother putting on Patsy’s greatest hits record, our house filling up with the sounds of slide guitar and that unmistakable contralto croon. At once strong yet fragile, Patsy had a voice that resonated somewhere inside me in a place I didn’t understand yet. I couldn’t always make sense of the lyrics, but I could feel them. The emotion behind her words began a life-long love affair with love songs—the more heart wrenching the better.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Let Me Leave– Marc Broussard

Anyone can sing about the glorious madness of falling in love, but few can help you through the times when it’s all gone wrong (especially those times when it’s all your fault). (Honorable Mention: Break Your Heart- Bare Naked Ladies)

Misty Blue– Dorothy Moore

I’m an absolute sucker for the time signature in this song.  If aliens invaded earth and only heard this song they would think humans were only put here to slow dance and cry.

(Honorable Mention: These Arms of Mine-Otis Redding)

Morning Song for Sally-Nancy Griffith

The fact that love has ended doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it. A beautiful tribute to memories and hope. (Honorable Mention: I Will Always Love You- Dolly Parton)

Long Ride Home– Patty Griffin

This song will tear you to pieces. Regret, reflection, and the heartbreak of knowing sometimes it really is too late to change. (Honorable Mention: Ghost- Indigo Girls)

Ex Factor-Lauryn Hill

Sometimes love is over and it’s time to let go, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. (Honorable Mention: Neither One of Us Wants to Be The First to Say Goodbye- Gladys Knight and the Pips, Like A Friend- Pulp)

Empty-Ray Lamontagne

A perfect song for rainy autumn mornings when you feel only the heaviness of love and none of its redemptive lightness. (Honorable Mention: Purple Rain- Prince)


Katie McElhenney was born in Philadelphia into a big family of curious kids and patient adults. A voracious reader and unapologetic daydreamer, she knew she wanted to become a writer someday. With the support of an amazing family, great friends, and some truly spectacular teachers she has written short stories, poems, and novels. A solar-powered human, she now lives in Los Angeles and uses the great weather for year-round trips to the beach and long runs (where the best inspiration happens). Find out more about her at

And her social media accounts are:     Website:

Facebook: Katie McElhenney     Instagram: katiemcelhenney





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