Nic Promises

Book Description:

Nic PromisesAfter being separated by distance for three years, childhood friends Nic and Hanna finally reunite. But Nic can tell that Hanna is hiding something. She’s not the same girl who left two weeks before they were supposed to start high school together, and she’s very good at closing herself off from the world. When Nic finally learns Hanna’s secret, he decides that he will do anything to protect her– even if it means hurting the ones he loves most.

 

***Content Warning***

This book contains mentions of child abuse

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Excerpt:

The breeze picked up and swept through the treehouse, sending Hanna’s hair flying into her face. She instinctively reached to pull her hair back, then reconsidered and quickly threw herself on top of the deck of cards that she and Dominic had been playing with instead.

“I think there’s something on your face,” Dominic said, leaning forward to brush a strand of Hanna’s golden hair out of her lip balm. Hanna laughed and pulled away, straightening up the deck of cards as the wind settled.

“Your hands are dirty,” she shrieked. “Don’t touch my face!”

Dominic picked Hanna’s left hand up off the deck of cards and pointed to her dirt-smudged fingers. The treehouse had always been a little dusty, but the recent late-July winds had swept more dirt onto the wooden floor than usual.

“What about your hands?” he teased. He looked up at Hanna for an answer and saw that she was staring wide-eyed at their hands. “What?”

Hanna’s expression softened a little, replaced with a nervous smile.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” she said quietly. “It’s just…”

She laced her fingers into Dominic’s shyly.

Dominic’s heart quickened its pace. He looked down at their hands and then back up to Hanna’s eyes, sunlight streaming in and bringing out the honey color just around her pupil.

Before he could talk himself out of it, Dominic leaned in. Hanna had always smelled a little like flowers and secondhand smoke, and the familiar smell made Dominic dizzy in an unfamiliar way. Just as he was about to touch his lips to Hanna’s, a voice called up to them.

“Hanna, are you up there?” Dominic’s mom called up. The two moved apart quickly, the moment lost. “Hanna, there’s someone here to see you.”

Hanna peeked out the window of the treehouse. Standing next to Dominic’s mother was Hanna’s aunt Charlene.

‘“Who’s that?” Dominic whispered, his hand brushing against the sliver of exposed skin on Hanna’s hip as he leaned to look out the window too. They both shivered.

“I’ll be down in a minute!” she called, her voice strained. She sunk down against the wall, staring at her feet. “Dominic, I need to tell you something. Please don’t be mad at me.”

“What’s up?” Dominic asked, sitting down next to her. He bumped her knee with his and quickly scooted away.

“I’m moving,” Hanna said, looking up with tears in her eyes. “I’m going to Southern California to live with my Aunt Charlene for a little while. Maybe forever, I’m not really sure.”

“Oh,” Dominic replied, shocked. “When did you find out?”

“Right after school got out,” Hanna said, shifting awkwardly.

“I just didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want you to be mad. Please don’t be mad at me. I really did want to tell you, I guess. But I just sort of hoped it would go away.”

There was an edge of panic in her voice.

“I’m not mad,” Dominic said, standing up and dusting off his shorts. He put a hand out to help Hanna up, and before she had even gained her balance, he pulled her into a tight, awkward hug. “Please don’t leave.”

Hanna hugged him back stiffly and pulled away.

“I have to,” she said, rubbing her eye. Dirt streaked across her face. “I’m sorry.”

“Why?” Dominic pleaded. “Why do you have to leave?”

Hanna was silent.

“Hanna, please, you can tell me anything,” Dominic said, staring at the freckles on her nose instead of into her eyes. He was afraid to really look at her. He couldn’t stand to see her so upset.

“Actually, this is something I can’t tell you,” she said, turning away and opening trap door that led out to the ladder.

They climbed down from the treehouse silently. At the bottom of the ladder, Charlene stood holding Hanna’s overnight bag in one hand and a backpack in the other.

“You ready to go, kiddo?” she dropped the backpack to wrap Hanna in a one-armed hug. “Did you say your goodbyes?”

Hanna nodded, tears streaking the dirt on her cheeks.

Dominic walked Hanna to the car, unable to speak. He had been so caught off guard that, even though he know this was the time he really needed to speak up, he could not think of a single thing to say. It wasn’t until Hanna started to get into the backseat of her aunt’s Honda that Dominic spoke up.

“Wait!” he said, shutting the door before Hanna could climb in. He pulled her into a hug again, and this time she returned the hug with full force. She was just barely shorter than him, so he rested his head on her shoulder and breathed in her lilac shampoo. When Hanna finally pulled away, she was crying again, heavy sobs racking her body.

“You’ll call me?” Dominic asked, opening the door for Hanna. It made him feel like a gentleman.

Hanna shook her head. “I don’t think I’ll get a cell phone while I’m there.”

“So you’ll write, then?” Dominic asked. “Or email?”

“I’ll write,” Hanna said, buckling her seatbelt. “Or I’ll finally make a Facebook. I promise.”

Dominic shut the door and watched them pull away, his best friend peering out the back window at him. He didn’t turn away until long after they’d rounded the corner and were no longer in sight.

 

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Star Surfer by Lizz Lund

Star SurferBook Description:

Daydreaming is dangerous.

Especially if you’re Thaddeus McPhee—his fantasies not only doom him to summer school (complete with repeat bullies) they also land him in hostile territory: think alien wars. Seriously.

As for high school: he’s got a weird family birthmark on his forehead that’s hard to hide, he’s flunking out, and everyone else has a special talent except him—unless snoozing in class counts. Especially his friend Nick: he’s an ace student and super focused on being a famous chef. This comparison—which his parents constantly remind him about—only highlight Tad’s under-achiever skills.

That is, until Tad discovers his own secret powers.

Can he use them to save South Embhali? How will he neutralize Gharewl? And what about the butterfly Princess?

Then again, what about his parents’ ‘gifts’? When were they going to tell him about those? Does this mean they won’t get divorced?

And will the senior jocks ever stop terrorizing him in the gym locker room?

From Glen Rock, New Jersey to the planet of Embhali, travel with Tad as he battles bullies, surfs the stars, and saves the day!

Buy Star Surfer:

Amazon

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1
Twilight. South Embhali, Height of the Harvest—during the Full Suns of Tydes

Gharewl cackled as he slurped at the blood pooling beneath the consort’s concussed skull. The poor man lay unconscious beneath his suckered bug foot—one of several. The massive insect had lay waste poor Chebbyrs, who now lay in a heap in the corner: moments ago he’d attempted to defend the Princess and shot his blaster at the monster but clearly to no avail. He must have had his weapon set to stun, Tad reckoned, due to the supposed diplomatic meeting. Gharewl’s violent tossing of Chebbyrs’ torso against the stone wall had set the guardian’s current state to silent: he lay crumpled on the floor like a rag doll.
Gharewl stood over the unconscious man, pincers clacking, and was within moments of slashing open his chest with the bug weapons. Suddenly, the Princess hurled herself at the murderous insect, one arm wrapped around his “neck” while the other pummeled away at his skull with a tightly clenched fist wrapped around her only available weapon: her shoe.
Tad watched in horror as the ghastly creature grabbed her arms and flipped her across his head with no more effort than it would take to toss a towel. He scuttled over to where her body lay, leering at her, then began lapping away at the Princess’ ebbing life blood which flowed freely from the gash on her forehead.
Tad knew he had to act quickly, or risk the certain death of the Princess, as well as Chebbyrs. And possibly Prince Narvos—there was no telling where he had wound up, with the sudden confusion from this unexpected conflict. Also, Tad had heard Gharewl’s final orders to his bug henchmen moments before he clobbered Chebbyrs. “Secure the flood gates! Soon all of South Embhali will be ours!” Tad knew the Prince had to learn this, immediately. The diplomatic meeting had obviously been a ruse.
He shook his head in consternation at the bug king’s despicable treachery. Long ago, Gharewl had launched a hard and long campaign, begging the Princess for permission to immigrate to her planet. He maintained his own world had been destroyed, and his kind had cast about the universe for decades in search of safe haven. Their ship’s supplies coming to an end, the Princess granted the bugs mercy and graciously allowed their settlement on a portion of South Embhali. The permission had been granted not just because of the Princess’ kind heart but in part to her naiveté; she was just a small child at the time and had been newly coroneted.
The years sped forward, with the bug kingdom frequently breaking its propagation treaty to not over-populate its settlements. The bugs now outnumbered the Embhalis easily by a hundred-to-one and the planet’s finite resources of food and water were becoming a sore issue. Along with the limited confines of the current bug settlements, which Gharewl systematically expanded—without authorization.
Which was why the Princess had agreed to meet with Gharewl to discuss these problems diplomatically, at the insistence of Prime Minister Vlek. Tad glanced about the room again and realized Vlek was nowhere to be seen, either. He hoped Vlek had seen the Prince to safety—and would rapidly return with troops and weapons.
In the meantime, there was no one to save the Princess from Gharewl’s massive jaw other than Tad. And while he remembered visiting South Embhali many times before—and assisting with numerous conflicts—he had never engaged in physical combat himself. As best he knew, he could not. To Tad, these events appeared as a dream.
You see, Tad was not an actual being on South Embhali: he appeared to the inhabitants much like an apparition—a spirit. In fact, he could not even shake someone’s hand properly in this galaxy—the startled person’s fingers passed through his palm like beams through a fog.
But, he was visible. And, he had this ‘spirit’ portion of himself to a great advantage on this planet: he could flit from place to place in less than a blink of an eye. Which was how he often helped the Princess and her army.
The giant bug shoved the Princess onto her back. Tad noticed that her eyes did not even flutter; she appeared to be dead. Gharewl leaned over her, his ear-wig like pincers clacking back and forth with evil glee, as he raised his sharp claw and prepared to slit her throat—presumably to drink her blood.
Tad rebelled at the giant pest’s insolence, and yelled with all his might. “Not so fast, beetle breath. Did you forget about me?”
Gharewl spun away from the Princess, as Tad hoped. “Argh! You again! I will dispatch with you now, and feed upon your friends, you… parasite!”
“Parasite? Look who’s talking you over-ripe maggot!”
Gharewl banged against the hard shell of his giant chest with four of his horrible insect limbs. The noise echoed across the chamber like a drum. “Maggot? We feed on these. As you will learn, once I munch on you, you soft-skinned slug. Prepare to die, once and for all!” The horrific creature charged toward Tad, sharpened claw snapping on one limb, the others raised and pincers clacking. Gharewl charged him.
Tad backed up slowly against the wall. The bug galloped, shouting wildly at his presumed success of killing the boy. Tad took a big breathe, waiting until the last possible second as the bug came dangerously upon him. As Gharewl hurtled closer, Tad swore that if the creature had teeth, he could have examined his molars, as he was forced to gaze down that awful cavernous mouth until the last second.
The bug raced at him full throttle. Just as the giant pincers reached out to slash Tad’s neck, Tad blinked.
Tad now stood on the opposite end of the room, next to the body of the Princess.
A look of anger, then horror spread across bug’s mask of a face. The gargantuan beetle realized his miscalculation—too late. Gharewl skidded and crashed head first into the thick, stone wall with a gigantic thud, followed by a sickening squish sound.
His bug body lay silently on the floor.
Tad grinned for a moment at his success. But just as quickly, he frowned at the dire straits of his South Embhali friends: the Princess and Chebbrys still lay prone. Tad ran from one to the other, leaning in close: they both appeared to be breathing, but barely.
He blinked back to the bug’s body: Gharewl was out cold. But surely, this would not last. He did the only thing possible: he concentrated long and hard on the Prince—hoping his thoughts would land him near his objective.
“Tad, you are safe!” the Prince’s hushed voice fell right next to Tad’s ear.
Tad looked around him, and realized he was only in the outside hall, just past the chamber where his friends lay quiet.
“I’m fine. But the Princess, and Chebbrys! They’re in there!” Tad pointed to the thick, wooden door.
“Once again, I’m in your debt. It would have taken us a week to search this place room by room.”
“And our lives, your Highness,” General Falcomb, the Prince’s highest ranking military commander added.
“Agreed. I cannot fathom why my sister granted Prime Minister Vlek’s appeal to meet with Gharewl on his turf, rather than the sanctuary of a military base, as you counseled.”
Tad flapped his arms in frustration. “You can argue with your sister about that later—that is, if she’s not bug juice soon! Gharewl’s in there, with her and Chebbyrs!”
The Prince drew his blaster. “Are they near the door?” he whispered.
Tad shook his head. “No. They’re all out cold.”
“What about Gharewl?” the General asked.
“Him too. I got him to charge me, to try to eat me.”
The Prince looked at him aghast. “But you are not harmed?”
Tad shook his head. “Nope. He ate the wall, instead. But he may not be unconscious for long. He’s got a pretty hard head.”
The General pointed his blaster at the door. “Stand back!” And with that, the door shivered and shook and crumbled into a billion bits of dust.
The Prince ran quickly to his sister, the Princess, as the General rushed to point his blaster at the murderous bug.
The Princess coughed, struggling to sit up, pointing her arm to the General. “Do not… kill.”
“Your Highness!”
“It is my… command.” And with that, she fell back against her brother’s outstretched arms.
“Sire!” the General hissed.
The bug stirred.
The Prince frowned. “We cannot disobey a direct command—as much as we’d like to, especially at this opportune moment.”
Gharewl’s pincers began to move, slowly.
“That said—were you to blast him at the highest setting possible, that would not cause death—but might result in it, given his presumed state of injury…”
“Done.” And with that, the General quickly reset his blaster and stunned the malevolent creature back into unconsciousness. He quickly tapped the communicator button on his shoulder and barked out his orders. “Code Alpha. Fasten on my coordinates. Dispatch Teams Blue and Green to secure our exit. Guide the medics—two injured.”
Outside in the hallway, they could hear the approach of the troops—along with some nearby encounters with Gharewl’s security guards as they clashed in momentary skirmishes.
Four strong medical officers raced in bearing stretchers, and quickly dispatched the Princess and Chebbrys. Other troops rushed before and behind them to secure their escape.
The Prince and the General stood over the body of Gharewl, considering the obvious. Which was when they heard the distant battle cry of the bugs approaching them, the general population now finally aware of the failed diplomatic meeting.
The Prince patted the General’s shoulder. “We will return to fight another day. Come.”
The General sighed. “Yes. But a little insurance, to make sure that day is not tomorrow… and he cannot…” and with that, he re-zapped the now befuddled bug. Gharewl slumped back further.
The Prince grinned, and tipped his chin to Tad. “Again—we are in your debt. But quickly we must leave. As must you. Are you ready?”

CHAPTER 2
Friday afternoon.

“Are you ready? Thaddeus McPhee! Are you ready?”
Mr. Law yelled so loudly, he knocked Tad off his chair–literally. The rest of the class laughed and pointed at Tad. Mike Flemming and Carl Blevins, the two jerks who sat in the row right behind him, gave each other fist bumps, laughing and snorting.
“Nice going, loser.”
“What’s a matter? You need another nappie?”
Mr. Law strode across the classroom–which was really a trailer–in less than a nano-second.
“Did you say something, Mr. Flemming?”
“No.”
“Pardon, Mr. Flemming?”
Tad actually heard Mike gulp. “No, sir.”
Mr. Law had a hint of a Southern accent, because he grew up in Texas.
Consequently, this often made his voice sound like an iron fist inside a velvet glove. Tad figured it was just another old fashioned-thing about the guy; he also insisted on calling everyone as “Mr.” or “Miss”–he said it was his way of teaching his students respect. And he was handing out a large, healthy dose of that to Mike and Carl. Which might–or might not–inflict a recriminating payback upon poor Tad once they broke loose from the trailer.
“And you, Mr. Blevins?”
“No! Not a thing!”
“What did you say, Mr. Blevins?”
“Umm…no, sir! No, sir!”
“You got that right. Mr. McPhee, please get up and get back on your chair.”
Tad looked around at the now silent classroom, feeling eighteen pairs of eyes focused on him. If they stared any harder, their gazes would bore laser beams through him. In a way, he wished they could–he’d never been more humiliated. Well, at least not lately.
The beginning of eighth grade began with a rocky start—Flemming and Blevins constantly made fun of his size as Tad quickly found out that he was the shortest boy in his class. PE became a prison sentence, even though he was good at sports. Especially since his personal tormentors convinced some varsity seniors that teasing “shorty” was a terrific past-time—the locker room soon became his weekly nightmare.

About the Author: Lizz Lund loves Lancaster. Since 1999, she’s been having a terrific time here and thinks everyone else should, too. She is a newlywed and head-over-heels about her chef husband; she made him move from New Jersey, too. Star Surfer is the first in the Thaddeus McPhee series. Lizz grew up in Glen Rock, New Jersey and still hasn’t recovered. She holds a BA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University, but has never learned to waitress.

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The Shattered Cosmos Series by Chucho Jones and Gentry Race

Aliens.
Time Travel.
Pulp Space Opera

Oliver Hawke, a boy genius tormented by seizures and his self-centered hot rodder uncle Leon, find themselves front and center in an alien conspiracy. When the town’s flight school is attacked, it’s up to them and their ragtag band of friends to uncover the truth. But what good is a bunch of kids against alien tech and god-like powers?

Filled to the brim with zany characters and pulse-pounding peril, this genre-bending sci-fi series will take your money, punch you in the face, and leave you with flowers.

Buy Invaders of Tomorrow’s Sky

Amazon

Aliens.
Time Travel.
Supernatural.

After the cosmic catastrophe of the alien mothership, Oliver and his family get lost in time. Now they must trust F.A.M.I.L.Y. from 2166 led by the Omnimaiden in order to be ready to fight their new Faceless foe. But when these misfit heroes try to make it safely back to their beloved 1956, they find themselves against vampires and werewolves in the wild wild west.

Filled to the brim with zany characters and pulse-pounding peril, this genre-bending sci-fi series will take your money, punch you in the face, and leave you with flowers.

Buy The World Ahead (New Release!)

Amazon

About the Author: Gentry Race has worked as a VFX artist at DreamWorks, Laika and Evil Eye Pictures. He Gentry Racecontinues to follow his passion, exploring the creative aspects of life by any medium that allows him to.

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The Bird Queen’s Book by T.L. Frances

The Bird Queen's NookWhat would you do if you found a mysterious book written in a secret language?

Thirteen-year-old Denny’s life is far from easy. He’s at the bottom of the food chain at school, he works a mind-numbingly boring student job at his uncle’s shredding store, and, on top it all, he has to try out for the school basketball team—and let’s just say basketball’s not his strong point.

But one day, he finds an ancient book in an indecipherable language. Could it be a secret code? Or maybe even… magic?

As Denny starts spinning a fantasy tale around the book, the real world begins to fade from view. It won’t be long before his problems catch up with him, crashing down one by one…

Thrilling, moving, and funny, The Bird Queen’s Book is an inspiring story of friendship, loss, and a boy trying to find his place in the world.

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The Year Santa Stubbed His Toe by William H. Hayes

The Year Santa Stubbed His ToeThe Man in Red really exists.

If you are one of the people in the world that say Santa is just a myth, you are simply and completely wrong. Many tales have been told about the Man in Red. Some true—some as true as two-headed unicorns with wings living in the city of Atlantis … this tale is true.

A year not so long ago, Santa was ready to take his yearly pilgrimage on the night before Christmas when disaster struck—he stubbed his toe, twice. The toe ballooned to nearly triple its normal size. He could not make his yearly run by himself; he needed help. So on that fateful night, he enlisted four of his best elves, along with his reindeer, to help him make his deliveries around the world: Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, South America, and North America.

Although the reindeer made this trip with Santa every year, his elves had not been away from the Pole in many years, if ever; they had no idea what they would encounter on this journey. However, the deer and the elves knew what was at stake. It was well known at the Pole that Santa needed to make all deliveries to the world on Christmas Eve or he would lose the gift of being Santa—the rules were very clear.

So … with a magically altered 24 hours, four elves and four bucks set out on a journey fraught with mishaps, misplaced presents, and some misbehavior in an attempt to save the Man in Red.

**On sale until Dec 15! 99c until 12/11 and $1.99 until 12/15.**

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Book Promo Feature–The Girl on Rusk Street by Penny Carlile

YAPC would like to welcome Penny Carlile to the blog. She is here to share some info about her book The Girl on Rusk Street. If this is a book you would like to read, please go get a copy!

Book Description:

Girl on Rusk StreetWhen Lucille Harris, a beautiful young widow, moves into the vacant house on Rusk Street in Marshall, Texas, the lives of ten-year-old Bobbi Rogers and her two best friends are turned upside down.

Neighbors begin to gossip when Lucille accepts a teaching position at all-black Bishop College and married neighbor Jim Tressell starts helping her with her garden.

Bobbi takes piano lessons from Lucille, and they become friends. She also likes Jim because he’s nice to Lucille. When Lucille is murdered, all eyes turn to Jim who has no alibi. Only two people believe he’s innocent–his brilliant but inexperienced lawyer Rufus Cornelius and Bobbi.

Set against the backdrop of the 1960 presidential election and the early days of the civil rights movement, The Girl on Rusk Street is a look back at what is sometimes called a “simpler time”–and it serves as a reminder that simpler times were often anything but simple.

Buy the Girl on Rusk Street:

Amazon

Excerpt:

A large tan car that looked like a tank pulled up behind the moving truck.
Katie, Law and I looked at each other. Must be the new neighbors. We sat down on the curb to watch.
The car door swung open, and a tall woman with long red hair stepped out. She was wearing a white sundress, brown sunglasses and red high heels. Her red lipstick matched the red and yellow scarf she had tied around her hair.
“Who’s that?” Law asked.
“She’s really pretty,” said Katie.
“She looks like a movie star,” I told them.
The two men opened their doors and climbed out of the moving truck. The lady with red hair said something to them and pointed at the house where the Fowlers used to live.
“She must be the new neighbor,” I said.
“How can you tell?” Law asked.
“She’s tellin’ them where to put stuff. See.”
The lady was talking to the movers. They had unlatched the back door of their truck and were starting to unload a wooden table and chairs. I could see lamps, rugs, a mattress and a big piano inside the truck plus stacks of cardboard boxes.
“I don’t see any toys.”
“Me either,” said Katie, disappointed.
“Let’s go talk to her.” I started across the road.
“We might bother her,” said Law.
“I bet we won’t.”
Katie walked beside me. Law followed a few steps behind.
The tall lady saw us and turned around.
“Hey,” I said and gave a little wave from below my waist.
“Hello,” she said with a big smile. “Do you children live around here?”
“In that house with the pink shutters,” I said and pointed toward my house.
Katie said, “I live in that big white house.”
Law was acting shy, but he finally spoke up, “Across the street. Right there.”
“Oh, I love magnolia trees! Is that your house with those beautiful trees?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“What nice manners you have, young man,” she said as she smiled at Law. “My name is Lucille Harris, but your mothers will probably want you to call me Miss Lucille even though I’m only twenty-five.”
“I’m Bobbi,” I said and gave her another little wave. “She’s Katie, and he’s Law. Are you movin’ in the Fowlers’ house?”
“If that’s who lived here before me, I am,” she laughed. “These nice men have been waiting for me to let them in.” She waved to them, and the men smiled back at her. “I guess I better open the door.”
She seemed to glide up the front walk to the door. I had never seen anyone in person like Miss Lucille Harris. She was beautiful. Her skin was very white, and her wavy hair was the color of a fire engine. She took the scarf off of her head. I could tell that the men moving furniture from the truck to her house thought that she was pretty, too. They were staring at her. We followed her to the porch.
“You have any kids?” Katie finally worked up the nerve to ask.
“Oh, honey, I don’t,” she said. “It’s just me. I had a husband, but….”
She stopped in the middle of the sentence like she had forgotten something. Then she said, “My husband died. I came here to teach at the college. I better get to work helping these nice gentlemen. See you around,” she said and waved to us over her shoulder.
“No kids,” Katie said.
“I think maybe she’s a movie star. We never met a movie star before,” I told them. “Let’s go to the fort and watch.”
By late afternoon the movers closed the doors of their truck, climbed back in the cab and drove away. From our fort we could see Lucille Harris through her kitchen window. The window was open, and she was humming as she unpacked a box of dishes.
“Bobbi! Supper!” called Mama.
“See ya tomorrow,” I said to Katie. Law had already left. He was bored watching our new neighbor, so he had gone home to feed Alvin.
“I’m comin’, too,” said Katie as she fell in step with me. “That’s a really big piano for such a little house.”
“I’m gonna ask Mama to bake Miss Lucille a pie. She likes to bake pies for people.”

About the Author: Penny Carlile was born in Marshall, Texas, and grew up, not coincidentally, on Rusk Street. She Penny Carlileand her husband now divide their time between Marshall and Naples, Florida.

Carlile earned her bachelor of arts in English and speech from Baylor University in 1973. She taught junior high school before she co-founded a direct sales company with her husband. Her first book, Points from Penny, was a collection of inspirational messages for the company’s salespeople.

The Girl on Rusk Street is fiction, but many of the events in the book are straight out of Carlile’s own childhood.

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Touch of Ice

YAPC would like to welcome Aleah Raynes to the blog today. She is here to share some info about her book Touch of Ice. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go pick up a copy!

Book Description:

Tough of IcePrincesses are supposed to be loved and pampered, not thrown into a slave camp.

Ice fairy princess, Ayla Vaskell, is stripped of her elemental powers, her wings are bound, and she and her sisters are searching for a way out of slave camp their uncle placed them in after killing their father and mother. When all hope seems to be loss, Dain and his three friends show up with promises of escaping.

Ayla and her sisters are leery at first. No one could be trusted. Yet, Dain and his friends proof their worth and gain their trust. Not once, but twice. But, escaping the camp puts them all on a quest none of them are fully ready for.

Ayla and Dain are given dragon’s blood incased a frozen tear. The tear is essential to the Oighear Kingdom’s ecosystem and must be returned. However, the tear is melting and without her ice magic, Ayla fears she will fail her first mission.

Only together can they overcome the obstacles standing in their way to complete each quest and reclaim the Vaskell Empire.

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About the Author: Aleah Raynes is the new adult & young adult pen name for USA Today bestselling author Lia Aleah RaynesDavis. I thrilled to be venturing into the YA worlds. As Aleah I’ll write tamer stories of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary geared toward ages 13 and up. Please note that my new adult stories will have age restrictions of 16+ due the age and maturity of the characters.

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Book Promo Feature–The Mysterious Box from Dark Ridge by Nathan Rhodes

YAPC would like to welcome Nathan Rhodes to the blog today. He is here to share some information about his book The Mysterious Box from Dark Ridge. If this looks like something you would enjoy reading, please go pick up a copy! This book will be on sale Sept 8-15

Book Description:

The Mysterious Box from Dark RidgeJoe is an eighteen-year-old who works hard as a coal miner. He lives alone and rises early with the sun to enjoy the beauty around him. He lives a simple life, until one day there’s a terrible disaster in the mine. He survives the chaos but, finds a box buried inside the broken walls of Dark Ridge Mine #1. Joe takes this box home, opens it…and wakes up three days later. This costs him his job and as he soon discovers the box has strange powers and so much more. This discovery leads him to elicit the help of his crazy Uncle Ulus, who is not so crazy after all, and it leads him to the lovely Cassandra. She’s not just pretty and kind, but there’s something “magical” about her, too. Throw in some intergalactic bad guys with superpowers, an underground shelter, and the metamorphosis that’s happening with Joe every time he places his hands or eyes on that mysterious box, and buckle up for the ride of the twenty-first century..

Buy The Mysterious Box from Dark Ridge:

Amazon * Createspace

Excerpt:

I got ready to meet Cassandra. It was six and I need to get to the boutique. I thought of my dear friend and stepped through the curtain. I arrived there right behind Casandra as she walked into a crowd of people.
The crowd had gathered around a TV located in the front of the boutique. I watched as she walked up as close as possible to the TV.
What’s going on? I got closer. Then I overheard a newsman on the TV say, ‘More breaking news has just came into the newsroom. Let’s go to reporter Andre Wilks who is reporting live from the scene. Andre, can you hear me?’
“Yes, thank you John. We have just learned that NORAD has dispatched yet another squadron of fighter jets to the mountains over Eastern Kentucky. These planes are being dispatched for a twofold mission. The first leg of their mission is to help in the defense of the small mountain Town of Coal Mountain. The second leg is to help capture or bring down the foreign aircraft that are terrorizing this mountain town. This is investigative reporter Andre Wilks CMNN
Action ten news.”
I couldn’t believe what I saw on the TV. Two F-16 fighter jets were chasing three funny looking spaceships in the skies above Coal Mountain. The newsman on the television had the boutique buzzing with excitement.

As I walked up, I looked at Cassandra and said, “Hi. I’ve been looking forward to our date tonight.”
Cassandra didn’t greet me with a loving look, or a soft kiss to my cheek. She acted and appeared to be distance as she said, “Hi, how was your day?”
Then the reporter broke in again. “This is John Wallace Action Ten News. Our investigative reporter Andre Wilks has a live interview with one of the pilots that have been chasing the weird looking spacecraft over
Coal Mountain. Let’s see if we have that feed now.”
“Thank you John, I’m standing here with one of the brave pilots, Captain Travis Ward who has spent the last few hours chasing these strange looking aircraft in the skies above Coal Mountain.”
“Captain, would you care to tell our viewers what kind of aircraft these are? Are they Russian, Chinese, or North Korean?”
Captain Ward stared into the camera. “In my twenty-plus years of flying I’ve never encountered an aircraft comparable to those things up there. They toyed with us several times. At one point, I had my F-16 at Mach two when the aircraft I was chasing streaked off out of sight. I looked around in the skies everywhere for it and suddenly it appeared again right behind me. How it did that I don’t know. His actions showed me that he had no intentions of engaging our planes in combat or getting in a dog fight, but the maneuver also made it obvious that our planes
were no match for what he had.”
“Captain Ward, are you saying that our enemies have faster and better planes than we do?”
“No!” the captain answered. “I’ve never seen technology like what those aircraft were using on this planet anywhere.”
“Is the U.S. Airforce going to be able to bring this situation under control before a deadly accident happens in the skies above Coal Mountain?”
“Listen, we have to be smart about this. If they have the technology to build aircraft like that, what type of weaponry are they carrying? If we don’t go about this correctly this could escalate rapidly into a very serious situation.”
“There you have it and you heard it first on this station. This is investigative reporter Andre Wilks CMNN action ten news reporting live from Coal Mountain. Now back to the studio.”
“Thank you, Andre. Stay tuned. As developments warrant we’ll break in and bring you more details. For now this is John Wallace CMNN Action Ten News.”
“I wonder if Uncle Ulus was watching that. Those were some crazy looking aircraft. They were so fast. It looked to me like they’re from
another world. I’d about bet on it.”
“I’d love to hear and learn more about them,” Cassandra said as she walked away from the TV.
“If I know Uncle Ulus, if he heard that report he’s asking his friends in the military a whole lot of questions.”
I looked at Cassandra and asked, “Are you ready? There’s a restaurant I know that you would really enjoy that I’d love to show you.”
“Really,” she asked.
“Can we take your little Miata? I’d love to drive it with the top back up through the mountains in case those neat looking aircraft come flying overhead once again.”
“Sure, we can take my car. Where are you taking me tonight?”
“Well, the place I had in mind is my favorite pizza place in the whole world. They make the best pizza pie. It’s located on top of one of the highest mountain peaks in Coal Mountain.”
“What’s the name of this restaurant?”
“It’s called, the Hitching Post. It’s been in business at that location as an Inn or restaurant for over 200 years. Back in the day, everyone in the mountains rode horses. Customers would tie their horses up to the hitching post out in front of the restaurant before they went inside to eat. That hitching post has become its trademark down to this day. So the name Hitching Post has stuck to the restaurant for over two hundred years.”
Cassandra didn’t seem quite herself today. She was quiet, hardly saying a word on our ride up to the Hitching Post. We arrived and went inside. I asked the hostess if she would seat us over by the big windows so we could oversee the scenic beauty of the valley. We got seated and the waitress came to our table and took our order.
“Bring us the house special, please. A pizza with everything on it but no green peppers.”
I enjoyed being with Cassandra and this setting made it even better. “What’s on your mind? Don’t you like it up here?”
She took my hand and looked deep into my eyes and with a sincere voice said, “It’s beautiful up here. I also loved the ride up the mountain. It was beauti—”
Cassandra’s words were interrupted as the entire room shook from the sounds of an F-16 fighter jet that roared overhead close to the roof of the restaurant. It was chasing one of those aircrafts once again.
The waitress walked up with our food and asked, “Wow! Did you see that? That was so cool! What kind of aircraft can travel that fast?” She
smiled and walked away.
I started eating my pizza. I looked over and noticed that Cassandra was just sitting there, picking at her pizza. Her mind was a thousand
miles away. “Is the food bad? Do you feel OK?” I asked.
She looked up at me with those green eyes, took my hand again and said, “I want to be completely honest with you, Joe. I care for you, but I don’t want our friendship based on lies and false stories. Please don’t be upset at me but I haven’t been completely open with you. There’s a lot about me that you should know.”
“What? Have you found someone else that you’d rather be spending time with?”
“Joe, you are the only true friend I have. There’s no one else but…before I say anything else, could we find a private place to talk?”
“Why?”
“I don’t feel comfortable sharing my feelings with you out in the open in this restaurant in front of total strangers. We need to speak openly and honestly with each other about everything. I want you to be completely honest with me and I will do likewise.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

From the Author: I was born on January 29th. In my early teens I wrote my first manuscript about a Space Odyssey. Nathan RhodesEveryone who read it loved it but, the manuscript was lost. I don’t know what happened to it. Many years have passed by since then but, that experience has inspired me to start writing again. I published my first book in 2015,”Murder Seen through the Eyes of a Child.” Now I can say how much I’ve really enjoyed writing my latest release, “The Mysterious Box from Dark Ridge.”

Those early writing seeds that were sown long ago have definitely spouted up once again. I hope everyone who reads one of my books really enjoys them. l wish I could hear from every reader, that would be great!

Connect with Nathan:

Website

Book Promo Feature–The Whizbang Machine, Tunney’s Curse by Danielle A. Mann

YAPC would like to welcome Danielle A. Mann to the blog today. She is here to share an excerpt and some info about the second book of the Whizbang Series, Tunney’s Curse. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go get a copy!

Book Description:

Tunney's Curse“Tunney’s Curse” finds Elizabeth Yale clinging to life. Her plan to save the Whizbang machine has backfired. As her grandfather, Jack, feverishly works to save her, the Whizbang factory begins to topple down around them. Narrowly escaping, the pair realizes the Whizbang machine is missing. Jack and Elizabeth must follow the clues Elizabeth’s deceased father, Jesse, left behind to unravel the secrets of Tunney’s Curse and stop it once and for all. This must be done before Elizabeth’s mother’s 40th birthday—which is mere days away. As they dig, they are sent on a wild chase into the dark underbelly of the Netherlands, into the city’s canals looking for a sunken ship, and through the private chambers of a Queen. Each new secret exposed only deepens the mystery of Jack and Elizabeth’s family’s past. The ultimate questions remain: will they gather the clues and stop the curse in time? Or will someone fall to the curse once and for all?

Buy Tunney’s Curse:

Amazon * B&N

Excerpt:

A single wisp of smoke traced up my nose and clung to the back of my throat. My lips parted, breaking the Whizbang machine’s electric kiss of death. My heart drummed out the rapid beat of fear, reminding me I had changed history. I had beaten Tunney’s vloek. I could feel it. I was alive, trembling, and soaked in perspiration.
Still, somewhere in the back of my mind, I wished I hadn’t listened to my father’s pleas and had welcomed death with open arms. It would have been simpler in the long run. I held still and waited for a sign, for someone, a sound, a clue as to where I was, anything. None came.
“Hello?” I whispered. “Mom? Grandpa Jack? Hello?” My eyes peeled opened, blinking away the haze of a dusty fog, and then gently shut. “Where am I?”
The stench of hot char hit my face, bringing with it a raw dirtiness that sent my body recoiling. Wrenching my shoulders forward, I violently wiggled against the heaviness covering my chest. The tops of my fingers trailed across the thick roughness, weaving in and out of the gaps, trying to identify what was holding me down. My lungs seized, panicking. I was trapped.
“Grandpa Jack?” I screamed.
An explosion cracked in the air. Steel moaned above my head as if my words had awoken it. The weakened floors above me began to bow and pancake into one another. Wood popped and crackled as flames flickered and turned everything it touched into white ash. The last few days and hours hit me all at once. Debris showered down, striking with a deafening thud.
“Dear God,” I said, trembling. “Jack!”
A slight scoff left my lips. I was wrong. The vloek wasn’t done with me yet. The machine’s rantings echoed in my head as the factory shook with all its might.
Family secrets are the darkest and most deadly of curses. Deadly. History is not right. Correct it. Correct it, Elizabeth Royal.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

About the Author: Danielle A. Vann started her career as a television news writer at the tender age of 18. With aDanielle A. Mann passion for writing Vann committed to learning every aspect of the newsroom as she worked her way up to reporter and anchor within two short years. After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma she took an anchor position in Louisiana. Her career as a reporter and anchor earned her an Associate Press Award. Her book genres span a wide-range from children’s books with two highly reviewed series, award-winning YA fiction, and five star non-fiction title. The first book in her YA series, “The Whizbang Machine”, was a finalist in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Writing Awards (Nov. 2016). It placed 2nd in the North Texas Book Festival writing contest (April 2017), earned a Literary Classics Seal of Approval (December 2016), placed runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival (May 2017), and won the Silver medal in the International Literary Classics writing contest, and won the Amsterdam Book Festival for Young Adult. Book 2, “Tunney’s Curse” has won GOLD in the International Literary Classics writing contest, Runner-Up in the New York Book Festival, and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval ahead of its release date of August 1st.

Connect with Danielle:

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest

 

Book Promo Feature–Between by Cassidy Robinson

YAPC would like to welcome Cassidy Robinson to the blog today. She is going to share an excerpt and some info about her book Between. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go get a copy!

Book Decription:

BetweenAfter 3 failed attempts to find the right high school, 17 year old Katherine Steelback and her parents decide on Halman Preparatory Academy. Halman is Fulton, Ohio’s most elite private school, but to Katherine it’s just an over-sized dollhouse filled with life sized Barbie and Ken dolls. The semester gets off to a rocky start as soon as Katherine meets school founder, Roger Halman’s step-children – Wade and Jade Halman. Jade is the most admired and feared girl in the school and Wade is her more laid back, super handsome brother. When Wade and Katherine become fast friends, Katherine finds herself facing negative attention from classmates vying for Wade’s attention while also dealing with Jades’ attempts to sabotage the friendship. As Jade and Katherine butt heads, they both learn a few things about themselves and each other.

Buy Between:

Amazon

Excerpt:

After searching for another ten minutes, I walked out onto the balcony tired from walking around the whole house. I looked down at the scenery below for a while and decided to stay where I was hoping he’d find me. I was alone. I rested my hand on my cheek. The breeze blew on my face loosening my curls. I searched the sky in hopes of finding a shooting star. I just needed one wish to come true. I let out a heavy sigh.
“There you are,” a voice from behind said. I turned around and Wade leaned on the side of the doorway. “So you got invited after all.”
I nodded. He walked over towards me and leaned against the rail. “Your friend told me you’d be up here.”
I looked around and we were still alone. “Well, here I am!” I said.
“Are you having fun?”
“I guess. I haven’t done much yet. I haven’t been here that long.”
“Oh.”
We looked up at the sky. “I like this view,” I said.
“Me too,” he commented. My heart just kept pounding.
“This house is so big. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a party like this. It’s insane.”
He held his gaze on me for a minute. “Then you should come to my house. It’s huge. I could host a party for everyone in town to attend.”
I laughed. “So you’re bragging now?”
“Only if it impresses you.”
The conversation suddenly went into a new direction. I saw where he was going. I turned facing him. “It is.”
We both stared into each other’s eyes, cutting off all our surroundings.
“I know what you said, Kat.” He moved closer. My heart rate increased again.
“You do?” He shook his head slowly, tucking in his lips. I couldn’t find my breath anymore. His hand fell on top of mine gently wrapping his fingers around it. Our smiles disappeared and my eyes grew bigger. I had seconds to prepare myself for the next move.
“I’m glad you said it, too.”
I tried to speak, but I only stumbled over my words. “W-What about you?” He knew what I meant.
“You already know I do.”
And in what seemed like half a second, our lips were connected to each other’s; gently pressing together, creating the memory that meant “A night to remember.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

About the Author: From a young age, Cassidy was exposed to many aspects of cultural arts. Writing at an early Cassidy Robinsonage, Cassidy discovered her passion for creating imaginative stories; from short children’s stories to full- length novels, it was an outlet meant to be apart of her life. After completing her first novel, she set out to become apart of the publishing industry and couldn’t be more excited to be a new author.

Cassidy is currently attending school in Boston for music composition with an intended minor in English. After graduation, her passion for writing music and stories will continue, and the ultimate goal is to see a story on the big screen.

Connect with Cassidy:

Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads