Tag Archives: YA paranormal

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

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.

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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

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

A ghostly couple haunts a teenager working at her aunt’s light house

Secret Journals Posession 1400x2100In Today’s Fun Friday book review Christina Holt reviews the The Possession, (YA paranormal) by J.D. Spikes

The Possession is a delightful YA novel. It is the story of two young teenagers, Daphne and Zach, and their destined relationship. It has the perfect combination of ghostly tales mixed with the story of first love, all centered around the tragic history of a forbidden couple that was ripped apart by the town’s racial differences.

I was intrigued with The Possession from the title and cover alone, and the story that followed did not disappoint. The first chapter started strong and held my interest up until the very last page.

The characters were likable and genuine, and the author paints a beautiful picture of the overall setting. Although I am not an expert in Native American culture or the paranormal, I feel the author did a wonderful job with the details from both aspects.

Please note: This book is not suitable for younger readers, as some references are of a sensual and romantic nature.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Daphne Wentworth is almost seventeen, definitely a red head, and most likely the tallest girl in her class, which is awkward to say the least when it comes to dating boys in her school. But she doesn’t have to worry about school for the next two months since she’s spending the summer at her aunt Dwill’s lighthouse in Maine.

What she does have to worry about is seeing ghosts in the lighthouse cemetery, having strange dreams, and hearing the voices of star-crossed lovers who lived two-hundred years ago. And then there’s a local boy named Zach Philbrook who works for her aunt. He’s too gorgeous for his own good. He’s also very tall, with midnight black hair, and the most beautiful indigo blue eyes Daphne has ever seen.

Zach is treated like an outcast by the local teens in town. He’s Micmac and therefore not “one of the gang”. Daphne can’t help being drawn to his strength, especially considering that he’s had to live his entire life dealing with ignorance. But the local teens aren’t the only trouble-makers in town. As Zach and Daphne get closer, the lighthouse ghost lovers begin haunting them. When Daphne and Zach try to figure out how to fight them, the spirits get bolder and more dangerous.

So how do you protect yourself from something that isn’t really there?

You can purchase a copy of The Possession by J.D. Spikes at Lachesis Publishing at our special 9th anniversary price 50% off!

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

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Two teen boys find a missing girl in the YA paranormal VANISHED by Christina Holt

VANISHED COVERVANISHED by Christina Holt  (Lachesis Publishing) Reviewed by J.D. Spikes

VANISHED by Christina Holt is a teen novel full of youthful angst, surprising turns and interesting paranormal concepts. The main protagonist is a 13-year-old boy. He shares the stage (point of view) with his 15-year-old brother about half-way through, and that brings to the table the siblings’ relationship as well as the mystery underway. Ms. Holt’s bio puts her firmly in Science Fiction, and I suppose the time travel (time transfer, actually) component of VANISHED is within that genre, but I feel she pushed beyond that with VANISHED.

In truth, it reminded me of the old Disney movie “Watcher in the Woods” (a fave I still watch) and Galaxy Quest (the Omega 13 component) . . . a ‘family’ group with a crisis and the black sheep outsider who ends up leading the way.  In the spirit of Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time”, and Lemony Snickets’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, VANISHED plants its lost souls into a mystery they have to solve to find their way home.

Though labeled Young Adult, I believe this story would appeal to Middle Grade readers as well.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

VANISHED: Ten years ago, Emily Miller went missing when she was only five years old. Everyone in town thought she had either drowned in the lake near her house, or had been kidnapped. Some even whispered that her father, Frank Miller was responsible. No one suspected the old boathouse behind the Miller property, except Emily’s father. Frank Miller knew what had happened to his little girl. He knew the boathouse had her. Ten years later, thirteen-year-old George Morgan wanders into the same boathouse and discovers a magical secret. At first he’s thrilled. He reveals his secret to his fifteen-year-old brother Eddie, thinking it will bring them closer together. After all, George and Eddie used to be best friends, before they moved to town, and before Eddie started hanging out with a bunch of older boys—the same boys who make it their mission to bully George on a daily basis. But, when Eddie tells his friends about the boathouse, everything starts to go wrong. Suddenly the cool, magical secret of the boathouse isn’t a secret anymore, and the mysteries of the past come back to haunt them, putting their lives in great danger.

To purchase a copy of VANISHED at Lachesis Publishing click here.

To purchase a copy on amazon click here.

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