Category Archives: YA

Solving a mystery can be fun by Christina Holt

Sherlock-Small-Text-Transparent-12-peopleChristina Holt has written two YA paranormal novels Second Chance and Vanished  for Lachesis Publishing – both books have an element of mystery to them. It’s understandable since she is an avid fan of mystery novels. Well, who doesn’t love a good whodunnit? But Christina has gone one step further in her quest to solve a good mystery . . .

One of my personal favorite genres to read would be mystery and suspense books. Especially when the story has unexpected turns and keeps you guessing up until the very end. I think most people feel a sense of personal victory when they are able to solve the ending (or figure out the bad guy), before it is actually revealed in the book.

THE LIBRARY (SHERLOCK’S STUDY) from one of the Escape Room Games thegreatescaperoom.com

THE LIBRARY (SHERLOCK’S STUDY) from one of the Escape Room Games thegreatescaperoom.com

I think that is why I got so excited when my husband first introduced me to The Great Escape Room game. (If you haven’t heard of this, you should look it up online to see if there is one near you!). There are several locations in various cities, and each one has different rooms all with unique themes. The staff locks you into a room with a group of friends and you have one hour to solve a series of puzzles in order to unlock the room. They let groups of seven people in at a time, and you definitely want different personalities in your group. The time I went, it worked out  really well, because we had different types of people, some that were very quiet but smart, some that were always looking for all the details everywhere, some that were leaders, some just following directions.

The room we did was called The Heist, and it was all about stolen paintings, and we had to find our way through 3 different rooms in order to find the stolen art work and find where the real art was hidden. If you get stumped, they give you clues along the way. It was so much fun. :)

The next one we are doing is called The Mayflower, and it’s about a serial killer who has been nicknamed The Mayflower because of the ship in a bottle token he leaves by his victims. The discription says that the killer messed up and left evidence which leads to his apartment, which is where the game starts.

It really feels like walking through a mystery novel and you and the people in the room are the characters in the book.

VANISHED COVEROur Deal of the Week is the YA Paranormal VANISHED by CHRISTINA HOLT. ONLY .99 cents! Right here at Lachesis Publishing. Click on this link to purchase.

Award winning author Christina Holt has written two YA paranormals for Lachesis Publishing: Second Chance and Vanished. Her books delve into the supernatural world but are very grounded in what kids and teens experience growing up. Christina recently won the Darrell Award award for her YA, Vanished.

Connect with Christina on her website and on facebook and twitter.

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Filed under COZY MYSTERY, CRIME, DETECTIVE, Lachesis Publishing, MYSTERY, MYSTERY SERIES, THRILLER, YA, YA PARANORMAL

She helps murdered girls cross over. Can she figure out who their killer is before she’s his next victim?

CROSSED-OUT-COVERToday’s Sneak Peek is from the YA paranormal Crossed Out by Kim Baccellia.

What it’s About:

Following the light can’t be that hard, right? So why don’t the dead just do it and leave Stephanie Stewart alone?

However nothing is ever as simple as it should be, as Stephanie learns when her hidden ‘gift’ becomes more than a nuisance, quickly turning unto a liability.

If she can’t learn to trust someone with her secret, the world as she knows it will go to hell. Literally. But if she doesn’t choose wisely, she might just end up learning firsthand how hard it is to follow that light.

Because she’s next on the list to be crossed out.

EXCERPT:

I couldn’t deal with Mom and her holier-than-thou attitude about decorating crosses. If she had any clue why I needed to do this, maybe she’d back off.

I pushed my hair aside and looked down at the wooden beams. My box of Sharpie pens lay close to my side. I had to get the design just right. Roses, or something plainer? It didn’t help that it was so cold in the garage.

Why was it so hard to help the dead go to the other side? It’d be a whole lot easier if they told me what they wanted on their crosses. Dead girl comes, asks for help, and tells me she’s into pink roses. Yes, that would make my job a lot easier.

But one thing I’ve learned is, life isn’t easy. Cliché, but true.

Figures, this was how I’d spend my time on a Saturday – sitting cross-legged on the floor in our garage, worrying about finishing a cross for some dead girl. In a few hours, Mom would drag me to Mrs. Swanson’s house for a sleepover. I didn’t really have time to decorate a cross.

And each time I tried to sketch, thoughts of the meeting drove any thought of the design out of my mind. I mean, how could I even think of helping others – albeit dead ones – when my own life was such a disaster?

I didn’t want to go. But Mom was using the whole sleepover as a way to get me to be around Hillary, whom she thought would be such a good example for me. But I couldn’t tell my mother the truth – I hated Hillary. Yes, we’d once been close, but it wasn’t as if we were BFFs anymore. No, Hillary made sure of that when I was stupid enough to trust her with my secret. A secret that was better left hidden. No one believed the dead could talk to you.

According to my last counselor, the only way that could happen is through serious Steven Spielberg special effects.

When I admitted to seeing one of my dead friends, he didn’t freak. No, he did something worse. He ended up suggesting to my parents that I needed to see a doctor – for serious psychological help. I mean, only crazy people see the dead.

And, I hate to say this, but the anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants don’t keep them away. Sometimes I wished the drug cocktail could just erase them. It sure would make my life a lot easier.

Sighing, I decided to go with pink roses. What girl didn’t like pink?

A sudden coldness permeated the garage. Jeez did Dad forget to close the back door again?

I pulled my hoodie tighter. Working in near darkness was bad enough without the drop in temperature.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

I dropped my black Sharpie.

Over in the corner of the garage loose papers and dust whirled around – a funnel growing larger and larger.

A light shone next to Mom’s holiday plastic boxes, illuminating some Christmas ornaments, tinsel, and wrapping paper.

“Stephanie…careful….”

The childish voice grew louder. A chill went up my back. I know that voice!

I blinked once and when I opened my eyes I saw the girl. Her long dirty blond hair was clumped into two pigtails, and her bikini top and cut-off Levis brought back memories of the YMCA pool three years ago where I‘d spent my summers.

Allison!

Omigod! I pushed the wooden cross aside. A tingling sensation burned through my whole body. Once I helped a dead person cross over, that was supposed to end the whole rescue scenario. The bright light appeared and poof! Well, not this time.

I scooted away, over the rough, cold pavement. This didn’t make sense. Though I was used to visits from the ―other‖ side, having Allison reappear scared me. I didn‘t know what to do.

“Allison, why are you here?” My voice broke.

She took a step toward me. Her lips trembled. “Careful…danger….”

Danger? Did that mean her murderer was out of prison? Just the thought of that perv touching or killing someone else made me want to hurl.

“No… another….”

Someone else?

“Allison, what are you trying to tell me?” I slowly got up off the ground. “Is the guy who killed you, out?”

Allison shook her head. It still freaked me out how much the dead looked like us, not fuzzy or semi- transparent like they show on TV. The ones I helped still looked the way they had when they‘d been killed, complete with all the blood and stuff.

Yet here was Allison. She should be in Heaven singing in one of those heavenly choirs Mom always talked about.

I bit my hangnail, ripping it off. I couldn‘t deal with this. Not now.

“Careful….”

The wind picked up, tossing loose papers everywhere. None of this affected Allison.

I had so many questions to ask her. I missed her. I knew she‘d understand me, even when others – including my mom – were clueless.

“Allison, what‘s it like to be…?”

The wind howled drowning out her answer. And just as quickly, Allison left.
I felt as if something had punched me in the stomach. I pushed back the sickness threatening to escape.

What was going on? But even worse, I didn’t know what to do. One thing had been made perfectly clear. The rules had all changed and no one bothered to give me the new players’ guide.

Like what you’ve read? You can get Crossed Out at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon, Barnes and NobleKobo, or iTunes.

Connect with Kim Baccellia on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow us on twitter.

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Filed under Book Promotion, Lachesis Publishing, YA, YA PARANORMAL, YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Spooky vs. Scary and What’s Love Got To Do With It? by J.D. Spikes (YA paranormal romance author)

J.D. Spikes explores her fascination with the paranormal in her writing.

J.D. Spikes explores her fascination with the paranormal in her writing.

At its basest, the difference between spooky and scary is simple: spooky evokes a more emotional response while scary a more physical one. Spooky runs a shiver up your spine, perhaps makes you glance over your shoulder, but you continue on, drawn through the mist into the eerie darkness, the need to know overpowering your sense of risk. Scary pounds your heart, propels you into fight or flight, forcing you to scramble through the wet blanket of fog in a near-blind panic until you are safely away from the danger.

Halloween-loversSpooky draws people together. The heroine and hero need to stay close, and have each other’s back. They must talk about the peculiar events surrounding them, investigate the threat and find ways to beat it . . . together. Scary splits people up. Blood-pumping and heart-stopping, scary shouts ‘every man for himself’, and warns you to proceed at your own peril. Alone.

What exactly does any of this have to do with love? Everything, if you adore paranormal romance like I do. The chill of the story’s paranormal element joins the thrill of the hero and heroine’s attraction to mirror the scary realization of hearts on the line. Time travel, ghostly whispers, bumps in the night – mere shadows of the adventure falling in love brings.

So grab your favorite paranormal romance novel and your favorite guy. Love is in the air, and both are damn good reasons to hang on.
SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVERHappy Valentine’s Day.

And BOO!

You can get your copy of The Possession by J.D. Spikes right at Lachesis Publishing or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or ARe

You can get your copy of the Sisters of Spirit Anthology (featuring J.D. Spikes’s at Lachesis Publishing and on Amazon.com, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).

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Filed under HORROR, HORROR BOOKS, Lachesis Publishing, PARANORMAL, PARANORMAL ROMANCE, SUPERNATURAL, SUPERNATURAL ROMANCE, YA, YA PARANORMAL, YA Romance

Are You Scared Yet? Hunting Ghosts and Writing About Them by J.D. Spikes (aka JD Spikes YA paranormal author)

J.D. Spikes explores her fascination with the paranormal in her writing.

J.D. Spikes explores her fascination with the paranormal in her writing.

The invisible world has fascinated me for as long as I can remember.

Not the once a year Halloween treats, though they added to my cache, but stories that spoke to questions of my heart, like why some of us saw shapes emerge from the corner’s shadows and some did not. Why some of those shapes are merely imagination and tricks of the light and some—maybe not so much. Why some people can easily laugh either off and go on their way, and others of us start on a quest to find answers.

In my younger years KATIE JOHN by Mary Calhoun was everything I was thinking and held the hope I had that maybe it really WOULD be a ghost and not sounds wafting up through an antiquated intercom system, since I didn’t have an intercom system. In my older years I learned it could be a ghost, but others, with less belief in the invisible world, would still try to find a physical explanation for that ‘bump in the night”. And I would continue to look for answers.

I am now a paranormal investigator. Many of you have a common understanding of that title but seeing it on TV and walking through it are two very different things.

Yes, I’ve been a member of a local ‘ghosthunting’ group. It has since disbanded, but I learned so much being a part of it. The members were dedicated to sifting out the truth. We used everything at our disposal to provide both the client and us with an answer or a starting point to work from. That is the basis of every legitimate group out there.

"A ghost hunter taking an EMF reading (Electro Magnetic Field), which proponents claim may be connected to paranormal activity." (source, Wikipedia)

“A ghost hunter taking an EMF reading (Electro Magnetic Field), which proponents claim may be connected to paranormal activity.” (source, Wikipedia)

So I will now tell you this: What you see on TV and think is ‘so cool’—shakes your core when you’re there. When you listen to a playback and hear a voice or voices speaking, and you know you were RIGHT THERE and never heard it? It changes your life more than any prior experience you couldn’t document. Because now you have proof.

That makes you want to learn more.

So, yes, I love writing about the paranormal, the invisible world, and how it ‘might’ affect . . . anyone. I will write about what could be out there and how it might choose to interact with us. I will study the invisible world and I will write about it. Because in the end I think sharing the knowledge, even that chill down the spine that unites us in fright as it goads us forward, will lead us closer to the truth. The reality of our world. A truth I need to know.

Have you experienced the invisible world?

You can get your copy of The Possession by J.D. Spikes right at Lachesis Publishing or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or ARe

Connect with J.D. on her web site and on facebook

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Filed under Lachesis Publishing, PARANORMAL ROMANCE, SCARY BOOKS, YA, YA PARANORMAL, YA Romance

It’s Halloween season so let’s hear from a spooky YA paranormal author . . .

CROSSED-OUT-COVERToday’s Q and A (Round 2) is with Lachesis Publishing author Kim Baccellia. Kim writes YA paranormal with a mixture of humor, sass, and spookiness. Her book Crossed Out (book 1 in a series) follows a teenage girl who can see dead people and has to get them to cross over. But an evil force is trying to stop her from doing this.

What was your favorite book as a child and why?island of blue dolphins
 
ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS by Scott O’Dell had to be my all-time favorite book.  Why?  I was drawn to the story of a lone survivor set on an island.  Based on a true story, this story fascinated me about twelve-year-old Karana’s survival after the tragic loss of her people.

Who was your favorite teacher growing up and why?

Hands down my fifth and sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Clements.  She was tough but also empathic.  She’s also the teacher that encouraged my writing and told me she expected great things out of me!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Why?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer but it wasn’t until later that I decided to follow my own advice that I gave my first grade students on pursuing their dreams. At age 40 I went back to college and took a number of creative writing classes, including a poetry class.  I based my first book EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA on my experiences with my bilingual students and my own search for my ‘Mexican’ roots.

Who in the writing/publishing world do you admire and why?

Wow, there’s so many!  I love Malinda Lo, who has been a huge proponent for a cause I’m very passionate about—diversity in children/YA books. Diversity in YA was founded in 2011 by authors Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo. Marlene Perez who taught me that excuses are not acceptable and to seize moments with your writing. Linda Singleton who has been so supportive and encouraging of my own writing career.

coffee4Tell us about your daily writing routine – what do you typically do every day?

I homeschool my eighth grade son, so I have to schedule in writing.  Twice a week, when I drop him off at his charter student center, I go to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf off of Seventeen Street in Santa Ana, California, and write.  I grab one of their iced tea lattes. Love the atmosphere too. The other days, I schedule in my writing and just do it.  I have a Playlist from iTunes that I listen to while writing.
What is your favorite snack or guilty pleasure food that you (may or many not ;) indulge in when writing?

Mine has to be iced tea lattes, diet Dr. Pepper with lemon slices, nuts (love almonds), and of course chocolate. Dark chocolate is my favorite.

What does “writing voice” mean to you? Describe your own writing voice.

Voice sets the tone of a story. Someone once told me my voice is more ‘chick’ lit. I think I have a fun, younger voice. I also do have an edgier side that will be seen in a current project I’m revising right now.

What do you want to accomplish in the next five years in your writing career?
I hope to have a couple more books out by then. I also still plan on querying for an agent as I’d love to see my books in different countries with titles in those languages. I’d love to see one of my books translated in Italian and Spanish! I’d love to do a booksigning at ALA, and or BEA. I hope to be speaking at more conferences, including IRA-International Reading Association-on my passion on getting more books with diversity out there to children. I also hope to write a romantic historical.

Photo courtesy of http://blog.ningin.com/

Photo courtesy of http://blog.ningin.com/

Halloween is around the corner – given that you write books with spook factor – what is YOUR favourite scary book and movie of all time?

I still think CROSSED OUT is PERFECT for this season!  My character Stephanie sees dead girls and makes talismans that reflect their essences in order to help them to the Other Side. My favorite movie has to be THE RING. Not the English version but the original Japanese one. Scared the crap out of me!

Photo courtesy of Party City.com

Photo courtesy of Party City.com

What/who are you going as for Halloween this year?

I’m think of decorating my face up to celebrate El Dia de los Muertos, (Day of the Dead) which is a huge day in Mexico.  It’s November 1st, the day after Halloween.

Follow Kim Baccellia on twitter, facebook and check out her website.
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Filed under Lachesis Publishing, YA, YA PARANORMAL

Sneak Peek Monday: Crossed Out by Kim Baccellia (YA Paranormal)

CROSSED-OUT-COVERToday’s Sneak Peek is from the YA paranormal Crossed Out by Kim Baccellia.

What it’s About:

Following the light can’t be that hard, right? So why don’t the dead just do it and leave Stephanie Stewart alone?

However nothing is ever as simple as it should be, as Stephanie learns when her hidden ‘gift’ becomes more than a nuisance, quickly turning unto a liability.

If she can’t learn to trust someone with her secret, the world as she knows it will go to hell. Literally. But if she doesn’t choose wisely, she might just end up learning firsthand how hard it is to follow that light.

Because she’s next on the list to be crossed out.

EXCERPT:

I couldn’t deal with Mom and her holier-than-thou attitude about decorating crosses. If she had any clue why I needed to do this, maybe she’d back off.

I pushed my hair aside and looked down at the wooden beams. My box of Sharpie pens lay close to my side. I had to get the design just right. Roses, or something plainer? It didn’t help that it was so cold in the garage.

Why was it so hard to help the dead go to the other side? It’d be a whole lot easier if they told me what they wanted on their crosses. Dead girl comes, asks for help, and tells me she’s into pink roses. Yes, that would make my job a lot easier.

But one thing I’ve learned is, life isn’t easy. Cliché, but true.

Figures, this was how I’d spend my time on a Saturday – sitting cross-legged on the floor in our garage, worrying about finishing a cross for some dead girl. In a few hours, Mom would drag me to Mrs. Swanson’s house for a sleepover. I didn’t really have time to decorate a cross.

And each time I tried to sketch, thoughts of the meeting drove any thought of the design out of my mind. I mean, how could I even think of helping others – albeit dead ones – when my own life was such a disaster?

I didn’t want to go. But Mom was using the whole sleepover as a way to get me to be around Hillary, whom she thought would be such a good example for me. But I couldn’t tell my mother the truth – I hated Hillary. Yes, we’d once been close, but it wasn’t as if we were BFFs anymore. No, Hillary made sure of that when I was stupid enough to trust her with my secret. A secret that was better left hidden. No one believed the dead could talk to you.

According to my last counselor, the only way that could happen is through serious Steven Spielberg special effects.

When I admitted to seeing one of my dead friends, he didn’t freak. No, he did something worse. He ended up suggesting to my parents that I needed to see a doctor – for serious psychological help. I mean, only crazy people see the dead.

And, I hate to say this, but the anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants don’t keep them away. Sometimes I wished the drug cocktail could just erase them. It sure would make my life a lot easier.

Sighing, I decided to go with pink roses. What girl didn’t like pink?

A sudden coldness permeated the garage. Jeez did Dad forget to close the back door again?

I pulled my hoodie tighter. Working in near darkness was bad enough without the drop in temperature.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

I dropped my black Sharpie.

Over in the corner of the garage loose papers and dust whirled around – a funnel growing larger and larger.

A light shone next to Mom’s holiday plastic boxes, illuminating some Christmas ornaments, tinsel, and wrapping paper.

“Stephanie…careful….”

The childish voice grew louder. A chill went up my back. I know that voice!

I blinked once and when I opened my eyes I saw the girl. Her long dirty blond hair was clumped into two pigtails, and her bikini top and cut-off Levis brought back memories of the YMCA pool three years ago where I‘d spent my summers.

Allison!

Omigod! I pushed the wooden cross aside. A tingling sensation burned through my whole body. Once I helped a dead person cross over, that was supposed to end the whole rescue scenario. The bright light appeared and poof! Well, not this time.

I scooted away, over the rough, cold pavement. This didn’t make sense. Though I was used to visits from the ―other‖ side, having Allison reappear scared me. I didn‘t know what to do.

“Allison, why are you here?” My voice broke.

She took a step toward me. Her lips trembled. “Careful…danger….”

Danger? Did that mean her murderer was out of prison? Just the thought of that perv touching or killing someone else made me want to hurl.

“No… another….”

Someone else?

“Allison, what are you trying to tell me?” I slowly got up off the ground. “Is the guy who killed you, out?”

Allison shook her head. It still freaked me out how much the dead looked like us, not fuzzy or semi- transparent like they show on TV. The ones I helped still looked the way they had when they‘d been killed, complete with all the blood and stuff.

Yet here was Allison. She should be in Heaven singing in one of those heavenly choirs Mom always talked about.

I bit my hangnail, ripping it off. I couldn‘t deal with this. Not now.

“Careful….”

The wind picked up, tossing loose papers everywhere. None of this affected Allison.

I had so many questions to ask her. I missed her. I knew she‘d understand me, even when others – including my mom – were clueless.

“Allison, what‘s it like to be…?”

The wind howled drowning out her answer. And just as quickly, Allison left.
I felt as if something had punched me in the stomach. I pushed back the sickness threatening to escape.

What was going on? But even worse, I didn’t know what to do. One thing had been made perfectly clear. The rules had all changed and no one bothered to give me the new players’ guide.

Like what you’ve read? You can get Crossed Out at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon.

Connect with Kim Baccellia on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow us on twitter.

Leave a comment

Filed under SNEAK PEEK MONDAY, YA, YA PARANORMAL, YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Top 5 Reasons to Read YA Paranormal by J.D. Sikes

I’ve decided to tackle this post in the spirit of David Letterman on his late night show. Without further ado, here is my Top Five List of reasons to read YA paranormal:

66829645.         Ghosties & Creatures & Scares. Oh, My! (and yes, I do have flying monkeys J)

4.         CHILLS!  DRAMA!  CREEPY ADVENTURE! (And all of it at teen hormone life-or-death fever pitch).

3.         If you have a teen, a great conversation starter about the grey areas in life and things that go bump in the night. If you are a teen . . . DITTO.

2.         Reading into the night. With one small lamp. And a lot of shadow gathering in the corners (Go ahead – allow yourself a delicious shiver here).

And the No. 1 reason to read YA paranormal?

  1. THE AUTHORS!!

immortals-beginning-200Stephanie Meyer (Twilight)

Christina Holt (Vanished)

Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy)

Marley Gibson (Ghost Huntress)

Alyson Noel (The Immortals)

Dax Varley  (Sleepy Hollow)

Meg Cabot (The Mediator)

AND ME! JD Spikes (Secret Journals)

Secret Journals Posession 1400x2100And so on, and so on . . .

What are your Top Five Reasons?

You can get your copy of The Possession by J.D. Spikes right at Lachesis Publishing or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or ARe

Connect with J.D. on her web site and on facebook

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

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Filed under Lachesis Publishing, PARANORMAL, PARANORMAL ROMANCE, YA, YA PARANORMAL, YA Romance, YOUNG ADULT FICTION