3 reasons to Read In The Beginning: Dark YA Retellings of Biblical Stories

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Hi everyone,

I’m happy to be a part of the blog tour for In the Beginning: Dark YA Retellings of Biblical Stories. Today, we get the privilege to hear from Lori Palmer, one of the eight great authors that make up this intriguing anthology. I’m excited to hear three reasons why everyone should read this book, so without further ado, I’ll let Lori take it away!

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Hi, Melissa,

I’m thrilled to be here today on your lovely blog to represent Month9Books’ IN THE BEGINNING Anthology. So, why should you snag your copy as soon as the book releases on October 25th? You definitely should, and here are three reasons why:

#1 – The stories, of course!

Eight authors, four established and four new, have come together to weave some amazing tales based on familiar Bible stories, with a dark YA twist. These stories come to life in new and exciting ways, and, oh, the power and emotion they contain make the anthology such a compelling read. I have loved reading each of the stories contributed by my fellow authors in the anthology and can’t wait for the book to be shared with all of you on release day!

Here’s the link to view a summary of the eight stories included in the anthology and to add IN THE BEGINNING to your Goodreads to-read list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25946627-in-the-beginning.

#2 –  The Month9Books team

Everyone from the Month9Books team, from the publisher Georgia McBride, to our editor Laureen Cantwell, has worked tirelessly to create a high-quality product. Laureen’s superb edits helped me fulfill the potential of my story, and I can see those same results in each story included in the anthology.

#3 – Check out the gorgeous cover! Doesn’t it pique your interest to read the stories within?

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Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

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That is a gorgeous cover, Lori! I’ve already added the book to my Goodreads shelf, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for joining me!

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Lora Palmer

I’m a YA writer and avid fan of fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and dystopian stories. My debut novel THE MIRRORMASTERS, a YA sci-fi/fantasy, is now available from Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press). I live in beautiful Bucks County, PA, with my wonderful husband and our mischievous cat. In my spare time, I sing in a praise band, Chalice Sounds.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

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In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales

Publication Date: October 25, 2016

Publisher:  Month9Books

 

In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.

IN THE BEGINNING, ed. Laureen Cantwell and Georgia McBride

Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements
A troubled orphan named Habakkuk dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to mind-breaking evil until his master’s zealous defiance of the king’s law seals their fate.

Babylon by Nicole Crucial
Far above the earth, in Second Eden, where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer, the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she’ll fulfill her destiny, she and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live.

Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays
A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world will be shaken.

The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson
Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he’s meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.

The Deluge by Marti Johnson
A non-believer shares the story of Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness, and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom.

Condemned by Elle O’Neill
Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life.

First Wife by Lora Palmer
In a first-person retelling of the saga of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah’s sister Rachel.

Emmaculate by Christina Raus
Based on the story of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.

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Link to Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/blog-tour-schedule-in-the-beginning-dark-retellings-of-biblical-tales-anthology

Audiobook Review: After the End by Amy Plum

I’m a fan of Amy Plum’s Revenants series, so I had high hopes for this book.

The beginning intrigued me, and I enjoyed the mix of the sci-fi apocalyptic world with magic and romance. I liked that Juneau was headstrong, and did everything she could to search for her clan, even though she felt betrayed.

As the story went on, the pace didn’t pick up as much as I had hoped it would, but it was interesting enough to keep on listening to see what happens. I was disappointed by the ending. The cliff hanger isn’t what bothered me though. I just felt like not enough had been resolved. I’m on the fence about picking up the second book.

Overall, I’d give the book 3.5 stars. I would consider it slightly better than average, and probably would have rated it a 4 right up until the end. I thought it was pretty unique, so if you’re looking for a mashup of different YA genres and something a little out of the ordinary, this one might be for you.

Happy Release Day to In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales!

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in-the-beginning-coverToday, I’m celebrating author Sharon Hughson’s YA debut in the anthology In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales. As someone who has already read other wonderful stories by this author, I can honestly say I’m looking forward to checking this one out, too! Sharon is one of eight authors in this book, and this is the blurb about her story The Demon Was Me:

Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he’s meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?!?

There was one thing I was curious about. As someone who also writes in multiple genres, I was wondering what Sharon loves about writing YA. I got back an interesting and insightful answer. :)

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From Sharon:

I have been reading YA since my oldest son learned to love Harry Potter and Eragon. Working in a reading classroom at the middle school expanded how much YA I read. I had to be able to talk books with my students, right? I love writing YA because I was that girl who carried a book to every class and read by flashlight under my blankets. The idea that I might write something that impacts a teenager on the cusp of becoming an adult gives me goosebumps. Books saved my life when my parents got divorced (I was 12). I pray my stories will offer the same hope to those who read them.

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And now, I can’t lie–I’m pretty psyched to share an exclusive excerpt from Sharon’s story below. Check it out, then go straight to Goodreads to add it to your TBR List. Or better yet, head right over to one of these places and grab a copy!

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Happy Book Birthday, Sharon!

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            The demon moved through the dim corridors of town. We had nearly reached the end of the street when a man slightly smaller than me cut across our path. My fingers snagged his shirt collar and yanked him to a stop.

“Hey!” Coffee-colored eyes flashed in his sun-darkened face.

Our fist crashed into his nose. Blood spurted. Excitement flooded my mind, sending our heart galloping wildly in our chest. Our hand smashed the underside of the stranger’s pointy jaw. Pain flared through every bone in that hand. I hardly registered the ache in my fist through the haze of the demon’s fury and glee.

Inhio sighed. He relished the adrenaline rush of violence as much as the delicious pie and soft bread. The food and beer turned to stone in our stomach.

Stop. There’s no reason to hit him.

Heedless of my desires, the demon continued battering the man’s face, stomach and back. The stranger’s blood turned my fist red. When my hand released the man, he staggered and fell against the side of the cabin. Groaning, he slumped to the ground.

Euphoria from the fight whirled in my head with the alcohol buzz. I tried to resist the demon’s joy. Mind-numbing waves of ecstasy circled like buzzards around a carcass.

 

 

Stamford Author Night

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Hey there! I’m excited to share an upcoming event with you! I will be at the Barnes & Noble in Stamford, CT on Friday November 4th at 7pm. I will be hanging out with other local authors and signing copies of Collide. If you’re in the area, I would love if you stopped by!

In case you’ve never visited this particular store, here’s the address:
Stamford Town Center, 100 Greyrock Pl #115, Stamford, CT

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Audiobook Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve heard many people talk about Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series, and I had her on my TBR list for some time. When I participated at the Stamford Barnes & Noble B-Fest activities, a small crowd played trivia related to YA books and one of the questions was about this series. There were a few young readers present who gushed about how much they adored her books, and this caused me to bump it up higher on my list than it was before.

Yes, B-Fest was in June and it’s now October. What can I tell you? I’ve got a huge list of books I want to read, and not nearly enough time in the day (or night) to devour them!

Anyway, on to the review…

I really enjoyed this book. Celaena was an interesting female character who started off strong and grew even stronger by the end. Even though she was an assassin, I thought that the author did an excellent job of still making her seem like a vulnerable young girl at the same time. There was a nice mix of mystery and intrigue as well. I kept wanting to see how this would end, so I found myself sneaking in times to listen to it when I normally wouldn’t—with my headphones on while I was cooking dinner, waiting an extra minute to shut the engine off after I parked just to get a teeny bit more of the story in edgewise. I could name other weird things I did to try to finish this audiobook faster, but I’ll spare you from the minutia. I give this book five stars.

The narration for this story was good. Each character’s voice was distinct and easy to tell apart. Also, in places where there was a heightened sense of danger, or a stronger emotion being conveyed (whether it was sadness, anger, frustration, etc.), the narrator carried it through in her delivery.

I fully intend to check out the next book in the series, and I also saw a somewhat recent announcement about this getting made into a TV show. I have a feeling that this type of story will translate well, and I look forward to when it comes out.

October Giveaway Time

Hi there. My name is Melissa and I have a slight problem. I seem to enjoy giving away copies of my book! This is my third Goodreads giveaway to date. It brings me joy to give people things, so why not make my day and enter for a chance to win a signed copy of COLLIDE?!?

You can enter anytime between midnight on Sunday, October 2nd through midnight on Friday, October 14th. But, since you’re already here, why not give this widget a clickety-click and go for it. It’ll only take a second if you already have a Goodreads account.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Collide by Melissa J. Crispin

Collide

by Melissa J. Crispin

Giveaway ends October 14, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Good luck!!!

My latest release: Drained

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I have a new short story that was recently released with Roane Publishing. It’s a paranormal short story called Drained. Want to know the best part of all? It’s free! Yes. That’s right. FREE.

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Go here and grab a copy today!

And now for some backstory…How many of you have ever had a horrible boss? Can I see a show of hands? I know I’ve had one, and I’m sure I’m not alone. In fact, a former one of mine is the one who inspired this story. She shared the same knack for killing plants as Melanie did, too. You know what they say… when life hands you lemons, write stories about how your boss is secretly a demon who lives to make you suffer!

I hope you download this story and give it a chance. In addition to my own story, there are a number of other free reads Roane offers by some other talented authors. If paranormal isn’t your thing, maybe you can give one of their stories a try. You’ve got nothing to lose, since they won’t cost you a penny. Here’s the link: http://www.roanepublishing.com/category-s/138.htm

Have a great Saturday! I need to get back to writing. Book 2 in the Collide series isn’t going to write itself. :)

 

Audiobook Review: Partials by Dan Wells

This book was suggested to me by Audible based on my past purchases. The blurb seemed compelling and I hadn’t listened to a YA dystopian in a little while, so I decided to give it a whirl. As I got into it, I found the premise to be interesting, and I liked that the story stayed deeply rooted in the science fiction aspect of things.

The writing contained vivid descriptions that made it easy for me to visualize the world Kira was living in. In the beginning, I thought her plan to cure the virus was over-optimistic, but I gave it a pass. This is YA after all, and a young character always has more to learn, so I shrugged it off and kept on listening. Kira does experience a series of hiccups and a number of difficult challenges which kept me wanting to know what happens next.

There’s a plot twist that I kind of anticipated, but I wasn’t sure how the author was going to pull it off. I thought it was nicely done, and the action continued to build up until the end.

This was another story narrated by Julia Whelan. She did a great job as usual. I suspect one of the reasons Audible recommended the book to me is because I’ve liked a lot of her other work.

I would sum this up as a solid story with good narration. I give it four out of five stars. I’m curious about where the series is headed, and I plan to put book number two on my TBR list.

Cover Reveal: One Summer with Autumn by Julie Reece with Giveaway

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Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

One Summer with Autumn
by Julie Reece

Be on the look out for this upcoming release from
Swoon Romance!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

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Seventeen-year-old Autumn Teslow arrives at her father’s job fair knowing she’ll never measure up to the perfect image of daddy’s little girl—her twin sister.

Wearing anger management issues like a second skin won’t help Autumn win her dad’s approval for the big trip she’s been planning—or meet his condition that she successfully complete a summer internship for college.

Autumn’s cool unravels when her sister lectures against disappointing the family again. And when a young, bearded guy steps through the crowd to settle the growing argument between siblings, Autumn lashes out, dubbing him a “Duck Dynasty wannabe.”

At Nineteen, Caden Behr is clueless as to why his man parts are threatened by the fearsome girl before him. He’d only come to find an intern for his recreational equipment company, not break up a girl-fight between two sisters.

Unfortunately, the only candidate left is the girl who just told him off. Without her, he’ll never prove to his CEO mother that he’s ready for more responsibility.

Autumn and Caden agree that if they can keep from killing one another, they can use one another to get what they want and then never have to see each other again. Which is what they want.

Until it isn’t.

Because despite her best efforts to scare him off, and his fading desire to push her into the lake, they’re beginning to enjoy the time they spend together. But pride is a hard habit to break. And if neither will admit their changing feelings, they could lose a whole lot more than one summer.

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One Summer with Autumn
by Julie Reece
Publisher: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Available for Purchase:
Amazon

 

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As a child, Julie’s summers were about horseback riding and fishing, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all. She struggled with multiple learning disabilities, and spent much of her time gazing out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) she fought dyslexia for her right to read and won.

Afterward, she invented stories where powerful heroines kicked bad-guy butt to win the hearts charismatic heroes. And then she wrote one down…

Writing ever since, Julie weaves southern gothic, contemporary, fantasy, and young adult romances. She enjoys sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. Her writing is proof a dream and some hard work can overcome any obstacle.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest |Tumbr | Instagram | Goodreads

 

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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

 

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Say what?? Another Goodreads Giveaway for Collide!

Happy Monday, peeps! Last month, I gave away a signed copy of Collide on Goodreads. I enjoyed it so much, I’ve decided to have another go around.

Enter for your chance to win a signed copy of Collide between Aug 29th and Sept 9th. Click on the link below. Good luck!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Collide by Melissa J. Crispin

Collide

by Melissa J. Crispin

Giveaway ends September 09, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway