Category Archives: free

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: A Sin Such as This by Ellen Hopkins

A Sin Such as This

by Ellen Hopkins

Love Lies Beneath Series, Book Two

Book Description

In this gripping follow-up to Love Lies Beneath, #1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s “fabulous, sex-filled masterpiece of mystery and romance” (Library Journal, starred review), beautiful, wealthy Tara Lattimore’s story continues when her sinful past threatens to derail her current marriage—and her sanity.

Tara thought she was finally settling down when she married the handsome Dr. Cavin Lattimore. Just as she was willing to overlook his gambling habits, she discovers his secret meetings with Sophia, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend and his son Eli’s occasional girlfriend. Life gets even more complicated when Tara’s niece, Kayla, starts hooking up with Eli. In a matter of weeks, Tara has reluctantly gone from rich, single San Francisco professional to Lake Tahoe housewife managing her niece’s whiplash moods, while resisting her stepson’s tantalizing sexual advances.

Adding to the family drama is her younger sister, Melody, who’s having a serious marital breakdown, which means she might know something about her husband Graham and Tara’s brief dalliance years ago. As Tara’s fragile trust in her family teeters, timed with the arrival of certain people from her past, she also can’t shake the feeling that someone’s watching her. Baiting her.

Tara has always considered herself a tough, self-made woman after surviving a childhood defined by poverty, abuse, and neglect. For years, she suffered from the sins of others. She committed a few of her own. Now she wonders if the misdeeds of her past are about to catch up with her—and if she can ever outrun them.

 

About the Author

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of thirteen young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative.

Connect with Ellen
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Purchase Links
Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

 

One commenter will win a copy of the book! Tell me if you have read the first book in the series.  US/CAN only.

 

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SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Surface Tension by Mike Mullin

Surface Tension

by Mike Mullin

YA Contemporary

Book Description

After witnessing an act of domestic terrorism while training on his bike, Jake is found near death, with a serious head injury and unable to remember the plane crash or the aftermath that landed him in the hospital.

A terrorist leader’s teenage daughter, Betsy, is sent to kill Jake and eliminate him as a possible witness. When Jake’s mother blames his head injury for his tales of attempted murder, he has to rely on his girlfriend, Laurissa, to help him escape the killers and the law enforcement agents convinced that Jake himself had a role in the crash.

Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall series, delivers a gripping story with memorable characters and all-too-real scenarios.

About the Au

Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really glad this writing thing seems to be working out.

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. His debut novel, Ashfall, was named one of the top five young adult novels of 2011 by National Public Radio, a Best Teen Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and a New Voices selection by the American Booksellers Association. He is represented by Kate Testerman of kt literary.

WEBSITE: http://mikemullinauthor.com/
TWITTER: @Mike_Mullin
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4445700.Mike_Mullin
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mike.mullin.author/
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/mikemullinauthor/

 

PURCHASE THE BOOK

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

 

–Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

– 3 Winners will receive a Copy of SURFACE TENSION by Mike Mullin.

 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger

Tell Me No Lies

by A.V. Geiger

YA Thriller

Book Description

Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she’s finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat… That’s safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.

TELL ME NO LIES (Follow Me Back Book #2) is available for preorder.
About the Author
A.V. Geiger is an epidemiologist who spends far too much spare time on social media. By day, she studies women’s psychiatric and reproductive health. By night, she can be found fangirling, following people back, and photoshopping the heads of band members onto the bodies of unicorns. Her writing career began with celebrity fan fiction, and her work draws extensively on her own experiences with online fan culture. Her original teen fiction has received millions of hits on the story-sharing website Wattpad, ranking as high as #1 in the mystery-thriller genre. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and twin boys.
PURCHASE THE BOOK:
FANTASTIC NEWS!! We have an awesome E-Book Sale for A.V. Geiger’s FOLLOW ME BACK running from MAY 7th until 11:59 pm (PST) on May 18, 2018 JUST FOR $1.99!
KINDLE | NOOK | iBOOKS

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

– 1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of TELL ME NO LIES (Follow Me Back #2) by A.V. Geiger.

– 1 Winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon/PayPal Gift Card.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Fairies of Sadieville by Alex Bledsoe

The Fairies of Sadieville

by Alex Bledsoe

Fantasy

Book Description

Charming and lyrical, The Fairies of Sadieville continues Alex Bledsoe’s widely-praised contemporary fantasy series, about the song-wielding fairy descendants living in modern-day Appalachia.

“This is real.” Three small words on a film canister found by graduate students Justin and Veronica, who discover a long-lost silent movie from more than a century ago. The startlingly realistic footage shows a young girl transforming into a winged being. Looking for proof behind this claim, they travel to the rural foothills of Tennessee to find Sadieville, where it had been filmed.

Soon, their journey takes them to Needsville, whose residents are hesitant about their investigation, but Justin and Veronica are helped by Tucker Carding, who seems to have his own ulterior motives. When the two students unearth a secret long hidden, everyone in the Tufa community must answer the most important question of their entire lives — what would they be willing to sacrifice in order to return to their fabled homeland of Tir na nOg?

Justin put his arm around her shoulders. “It must’ve meant a lot to him, to have such a tangible way to remember her.”

Veronica wiped her eyes. “I’m just so glad they won’t be thrown away.”

“Me, too,” he agreed, and kissed her cheek.

“Excuse me,” a new voice said behind them.

The English department chair, Dr. Coffin, stood in the door. He was in his sixties, dressed casually, and looked over the neat stacks Justin and Veronica had already sorted. “You’ve made some headway.”

“A little,” Justin agreed.

“I appreciate you doing this. If we’d had to pay an archivist to start from scratch, all this material might’ve sat uncatalogued for years. Just sorting it into basic piles saves us a great deal of time and money.”

“It’s a pleasure to do it,” Justin said.

“Do you agree?” Coffin wryly asked Veronica.

“I do,” she said. “I loved Doc Adams.”

“We all did,” he said sadly. “He’ll be impossible to replace.”

“Any word from the faculty search committee?” Justin asked.

“No, with the school’s budget like it is, his position may stay empty long enough for you to claim it.”

“Hopefully not. The students deserve better.”

“The students always deserve better,” Coffin said. “But the men who hold the purse strings over in Nashville don’t see the profit in studying things like folklore. And to them, if there’s no profit, there’s no value. And that reminds me, Mr. Johnson: come see me tomorrow, so we can get you set up with another masters committee advisor. Does eight o’clock work for you?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then I’ll leave you to your work. Thanks again.”

When he’d gone, Veronica said, “Do you think that’s true? That the only things that matter are ones that turn a profit?”

“I think he’s right that the people who control the money think that way.”

She shook her head. “Then you and I will never make a living.”

“Sure we will,” he said, and pulled her into a kiss. “Me with a degree in folklore, you with one in parapsychology, we’ll be rolling in it.”

“My degree is actually in psychology, you bum,” she said against his lips. “So at least I’ll be able to get a job.”

“Then you can support me until my research makes us rich.”

When they broke the kiss, she said, “I need a break,” and looked for someplace to sit down. The desk chair was filled with a stack of papers, so she chose what looked like a solid pile of magazines. As soon as her weight settled on it, though, the slick covers slid out from under her and she fell to one side with a surprised yelp.

“Graceful,” Justin said as he helped her up. “Been sitting long, or just reading about it?”

She looked down at the magazines, frowned a little, and said, “Hey, look.”

From the very bottom of the pile she lifted a metal lockbox. It was gray and featureless except for touches of rust on the corners. She placed it on the desk and tried to open it.

“Locked,” she said. “Wonder what’s in it?”

“Probably something personal,” Justin said, and turned back to his work.

“Wait, you’re not curious?” Veronica said.

“Of course I’m curious, but I imagine we’ll find a lot of curious things before we’re done. We’ll make that the start of the ‘curious’ pile.”

Veronica looked down at the box. It was big enough to hold a stack of notebooks, and clearly had something inside, but that something was not heavy the way papers or text would be. And it rattled when she shook it.

Copyright © 2018 by Alex Bledsoe

 

About the Author

ALEX BLEDSOE is the author of the Eddie LaCrosse novels (The Sword-Edged Blonde, Burn Me Deadly, Dark Jenny, and Wake of the Bloody Angel), the novels of the Tufa (The Hum and Shiver, Wisp of a Thing, Long Black Curl, and Chapel of Ease), and the Memphis Vampires (Blood Groove and Girls with Games of Blood). Bledsoe grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He now lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Enter the captivating world of the fae in Alex Bledsoe’s Tufa novels:

The Hum and the Shiver
Wisp of a Thing
Long Black Curl
Chapel of Ease
Gather Her Round
Sadieville

 Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodreadsAMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY6 Winners will receive a Copy of THE FAIRIES OF SADIEVILLE by Alex Bledsoe.Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Monsterland Reanimated by Michael Okon

Monsterland Reanimated

by Michael Okon

YA Paranormal

Book Description

After Monsterland has been destroyed, the entire world is thrown into chaos. Wyatt Baldwin and his friends must go beyond the boundaries of their small town to reestablish contact with the outside world. During their journey they discover a new threat released from the bowels of the defunct theme park. The danger of werewolves, vampires and zombies pale in comparison to an army of relentless mummies, Vincent Conrad’s reanimated monster and the menace of a life-sucking ooze they call The Glob.  Will Wyatt and his friends survive when they reenter the scariest place on earth?

 

 

About the Author

Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

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2 winners will receive a signed finished copy of MONSTERLAND REANIMATED, US Only.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

 

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Hooper by Geoff Herbach

Hooper 

by Geoff Herbach

YA Sports/Contemporary

Book Description

From Geoff Herbach, the critically acclaimed author of the Stupid Fast series, comes a compelling new YA novel about basketball, prejudice, privilege, and family, perfect for fans of Jordan Sonnenblick, Andrew Smith, and Matt de la Peña.

For Adam Reed, basketball is a passport. Adam’s basketball skills have taken him from an orphanage in Poland to a loving adoptive mother in Minnesota. When he’s tapped to play on a select AAU team along with some of the best players in the state, it just confirms that basketball is his ticket to the good life: to new friendships, to the girl of his dreams, to a better future.

But life is more complicated off the court. When an incident with the police threatens to break apart the bonds Adam’s finally formed after a lifetime of struggle, he must make an impossible choice between his new family and the sport that’s given him everything.

MY THOUGHTS:

3.5 out of 5 FLEURS DE LIS


Hooper
by Geoff Herbach
3.5 STARS

From the moment I started this book, I knew that I was going to like the main character. Adam Reed (aka Sobieski) is a sophomore in high school and is a basketball phenom. His height may have been God given, but for every other part of the game, he has worked relentlessly to better himself. Adam has a passion for the sport that you can really feel coming off the pages of this novel.

Adam might be great at basketball, but the other parts of his life, he’s more uncertain about. He only has one friend, he is adopted and has only been living in the US after coming from Poland a few years ago. He also struggles with anger problems and the fact that no one at school seems to care about him except when he’s scoring on the court.

Being a high schooler is tough enough, but when you add these problems on, you can see why Adam often feels so overwhelmed and complicated.

This was a very fast read for me. I can tell that not only does the main character love basketball, but so does the author; I had to skim my eyes over passages detailing plays and such, because I simply don’t know that much about the game. Those in love with the sport will appreciate the attention to these details, though.

You really can’t help but feel for Adam. Born in Poland, he ended up in an orphanage after the death of his mother and being abandoned by his father. Even though this sad part of his life has been over for years and he is now being lovingly cared for by the woman who adopted him, Adam still has violent, irrational dreams and flashbacks, and they lead to him cutting himself off from people.

I wish the book would have explored a bit more into getting Adam some help for the issues he’s still wrestling with from his childhood. When he finally does open up to someone, he feels simultaneously worse and better. He’s clearly dealing with emotional issues and anxiety, and I think young readers will recognize these signs in themselves; that’s why I wish it would have been addressed more.

The romantic angle was kind of flighty to me, but maybe I don’t know much about teenage love anymore since I am now in my 30’s. The girl seemed to run hot and cold, and in my opinion Adam goes too easy on her, but OK. Like I said, maybe I just don’t know how relationships between teens are these days.

I think many teens will relate to this book because it deals with problems like having to choose between two vastly different friend groups, how much time you should devote to the things you love, and keeping your priorities straight when you have a lot on your plate. Young basketball fans will devour this book for the game passages, and others still will like the humor. Hooper has a lot of sides to offer.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Geoff Herbach is the author of the award winning Stupid Fast YA series as well as Fat Boy vs the Cheerleaders. His books have been given the 2011 Cybils Award for best YA novel, the Minnesota Book Award, selected for the Junior Library Guild, listed among the year’s best by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association and many state library associations. In the past, he wrote the literary novel, The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, produced radio comedy shows and toured rock clubs telling weird stories. Geoff teaches creative writing at Minnesota State, Mankato. He lives in a log cabin with a tall wife.

 

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram

PURCHASE THE BOOK:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

 

 ONE lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Hooper by Geoff Herbach.

INTL, 13+, ends May 14th, 2018.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Anna Undreaming by Thomas Welsh

Anna Undreaming

by Thomas Welsh

Urban Fantasy

Book Description

Anna is a student surviving the city, and she lives by a simple credo, “Never play their game; their game is always rigged.” For every man she has ever known, it’s a saying that has served her well.

That all changes on the night of “The Big Storm,” when Anna is slipped a date rape drug. Though she saves herself and her best friend, Anna is lost to the dark heart of the city and finds herself hunted by The Night Collectors. Unsure if these monsters are real or hallucinations, Anna nonetheless fights them as best she can. The battle attracts a stranger—Teej—who saves her using powers she cannot understand. He explains that she is an Undreamer and possesses the same powers, and in the future, he will not be the one to save her. She will save him.

But Anna is not yet ready to join Teej and stand against The Dreamers. She has difficult decisions of her own to make. Decisions she has always run from. She still has her partner’s suicide letter. It remains unopened. She still wears his ring, though she can’t seem to remember his face.

Anna learns of The Dreamers – artists so preeminent in their respective fields that they can paint, dance, sew or sing new realities – and as she travels through their creations, she learns that there’s as much beauty in the world as there is horror. With a complex conspiracy at work within the community of Dreamers that threatens to undermine reality itself, Anna will have to look deep within herself, and eventually have to face the horrors of her own past, to save her old world as well as her new one.

Anna Undreaming is a dark urban fantasy, and the first book in the The Metiks Fade trilogy.

About the Author

Hi there! My name is Thomas Welsh and my first novel ANNA UNDREAMING is a dark urban fantasy story that was released in March 2018. It is the first entry in the METIKS FADE trilogy. You can buy it here.

I am 37 years old and live in Scotland, and I started writing fiction early last year. I was the winner of the Elbow Room fiction prize for my short story “And Then I was Floating” and I’ve also been published in a few other short story collections, including 404 Ink and Leicester Writes. I received an honourable mention in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction award and my story Suicide Vending Machine will soon be featured on the Pseudopod Podcast.

I have been published in You Died – a book about Dark Souls – and I also write about games, music and film. You can find my work on Kotaku, Unwinnable Magazine and GlitchFreeGame. For my games writing, I was inducted into the fellowship of BAFTA.

I love Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Roger Zelazny and dark fantasy stories where women save themselves!

Website | Twitter | Facebook |

Instagram | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

PURCHASE THE BOOK

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1 winner will receive a finished copy of ANNA UNDREAMING. US Only!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

 

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix

The Summer of Broken Things

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

YA Contemporary

Book Description

From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes a haunting novel about friendship and what it really means to be a family in the face of lies and betrayal.

Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

Margaret Peterson Haddix weaves together two completely separate lives in this engaging novel that explores what it really means to be a family—and what to do when it’s all falling apart.

About the Author

Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois.

She has since written more than 40 books for kids and teens, including Running Out of Time; Double Identity; Uprising; The Always War; the Shadow Children series; the Missing series; the Children of Exile series; the Under Their Skin duology; and The Palace Chronicles. She also wrote Into the Gauntlet, the tenth book in the 39 Clues series. Her books have been honored with New York Times bestseller status, the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award; American Library Association Best Book and Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers notations; and numerous state reader’s choice awards. They have also been translated into more than twenty different languages.

Haddix and her husband, Doug, now live in Columbus, Ohio. They are the parents of two grown kids.

WEBSITE
TWITTER
GOODREADS
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM

PURCHASE THE BOOK:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

 

– 5 Winners will receive a  Copy of THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS by Margaret Peterson Haddix.  

ENDS: APRIL 30, 2018

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!

 

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: This is Not the End by Chandler Baker

This is Not the End

by Chandler Baker

YA Contemporary/Sci-Fi

Book Description

I wonder if for the rest of my life, I’ll be haunted by beautiful days.

On one cloudless, radiant summer afternoon, Lake Devereaux lost everything. The car crash claimed the lives of her best friend and boyfriend, the people who had become her family after her own fell apart. But she doesn’t have to lose them both.

The development of resurrection technology has changed the world. Under the new laws regulating the process, each person gets one resurrection to be used or forfeited on their eighteenth birthday. Mere weeks away from turning eighteen, Lake faces an impossible choice.

Envisioning life without one of the people she loves most is shattering enough, but Lake carries an additional burden: years ago, under family pressure, Lake secretly—and illegally—promised her resurrection to someone who isn’t even dead yet.

The search for answers about her future draws Lake more deeply into the secrets of her past until she begins to question everything about those closest to her. Betrayals and hurts both new and old threaten to eclipse the memories she once cherished.

Then Lake meets a boy unlike anyone she’s encountered before, who unflinchingly embraces the darkest parts of her life . . . and who believes that all resurrections are wrong.

Which path is the right one? And how can Lake start to heal when she can’t move on?

 A TOP TEN feature is when I ask an author to name their Top Ten of anything in some particular category!  Here’s Chandler’s answer for…
Top Ten Favorite Fantasy Worlds:

Harry Potter; Star Wars; Blade Runner – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep; Hobbit; Game of Thrones; Handmaid’s Tale; Enders Game; Slaughter House-Five; The Road

 

About the Author

Chandler Baker got her start ghostwriting novels for teens and tweens, including installments in a book series that has sold more than 1 million copies. She grew up in Florida, went to college at the University of Pennsylvania and studied law at the University of Texas. She now lives in Austin with her husband. Although she loves spinning tales with a touch of horror, she is a much bigger scaredy-cat than her stories would lead you to believe.

You can find Chandler as the books contributor on the YouTube channel Weird Girls.

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 1 Winner will receive a Copy of THIS IS NOT THE END Swag (Signed Copy and Stickers) by Chandler Baker.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Sneaking Out by Chuck Vance

Sneaking Out

by Chuck Vance

Chased Series, Book One

Book Description

Could you sleep next to a murderer?

Luke Chase—yes, that Luke Chase, a modern hero ripped from the headlines—didn’t mean to get caught up in Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to hook up with the hot new British girl at St. Benedict’s, and if that meant sneaking out to the woods after hours, then so be it. But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would go down for it. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to find the true killer.

For fans of “A Study in Charlotte” and boarding school lit, “Sneaking Out” (book one in the “Chased” series) immerses readers in the privileged prep school world, with a mystery that exposes the dark side of life on a residential high school campus.

By the grace of God, he had fled the cabin in the woods that his kidnappers had locked him in for two days. He’d taken off in the early hours of the morning when the moon was filmy and the sun just a promise. But not before he snuck into the cabin, holding his breath, praying his abductors wouldn’t wake up, to grab some necessities for his escape into the dark woods. He had been well trained by his grandfather and knew what he needed to survive. He had stolen the thick wool sweater that he found dangling on a hook by the entrance and the large black-handled knife he had discovered in the top kitchen drawer. Luke had sifted through the cabinets, desperate to find any other portable provisions. A coil of rope, and a plastic bag into which he poured some household cleaning powder that he located under the sink. Ammonia. He had read about it in one of his grandfather’s military books. Ammonia can hide human scent.

And so like Hansel and Gretel, Luke left his own version of a bread trail as he moved through the woods. He would run for approximately half an hour before slowing for ten minutes and sprinkling ammonia to conceal his scent. The slobbering, sharp-toothed attack dog that his captors kept tied to the front door would have a harder time finding him now. He preferred his running escape to slowing down. It was when he was still enough to hear his heart beat that he felt the pounding sense of fear commingled with claustrophobia. He was angry. Why had he been torn away from his family? Was it all for money? But what made him the angriest was that they had made him view the woods, so poetic and magical for his entire life until that point, as something sinister and fearful.

He only realized he was hungry when he stumbled upon a patch of teaberries. He knew they were edible, and so he would plop down amidst the spicebushes and other shrubs and eat the sticky berries until they stained his fingers a light pink. He’d take a second to watch the salamanders slither under the rocks, and remain motionless enough to hear the rustle of skunks and other wildlife make their way through the thick brush. Fortunately, there were natural springs in the woods, and when he would come across one, he’d slurp as much water out of the palm of his hand, water that he’d scoop up fervently and drink until he couldn’t. Then he would continue on. There was never a second where he wasn’t aware that he was being hunted.

 

About the Author

Chuck Vance is a pseudonym for a bestselling writer of both adult mysteries and novels for young adults. Vance attended boarding school in Connecticut and graduated from Columbia University. Vance has lived in New York, Moscow, London, Paris and Los Angeles and is frequently on the move.

Website | Goodreads

PURCHASE LINKS:

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1 winner will receive a finished copy of SNEAKING OUT & a $30 Amazon GC, US Only.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER