Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ghostly Encounters

This month I will delve into Halloween/Samhain, giving you an insider’s peek at Ghosts, Witches, and the Beloved Dead. So curl up with a black cat and cup of apple cider. First up:

Ghostly Encounters

In my work as a shaman and psychic, my encounters with ghosts fall on the spectrum from sweet to disturbing. Very few are sweet. Among the nicest spirits are those who attend the bedside of the dying. If they give me their name, I’ll ask the family, “Is there a Margaret who has passed?” Usually the first presence I notice is a towering angel. Minutes may tick by before I sense the less commanding spirits, family or friends. They position themselves near the dying person, whereas the angel stands back. But all are there to guide the new spirit into the Light.

One ghost who desperately needed help with her transition was Maryanne. One of the sweetest, and most heart-wrenching ghosts I have ever encountered, Maryanne had been trapped for decades in the surgery of a closed medical center. As soon as I entered the cavernous building with its warren of connecting rooms, Maryanne rushed up to me and told me her name. I felt her anxious presence beside me as the building’s owner led me to the dark, windowless operating room. It was a relief for all of us when a hand (I can’t remember if it was Maryannne’s mother of grandmother) reached down to guide her out. In gratitude, Maryanne surprised me by aiding me in a few subsequent spirit rescues. I was touched by her assistance.

Not all ghosts are as sweet as Maryanne. I was once stuck in a hotel room where a knife-wielding spirit kept re-enacting a crime she had committed. Fortunately, the knife only existed on the spirit realm. But unlike some ghosts, which I can only hear, or see as a shimmering form, the hotel room ghost was as vivid as a movie. Hard to sleep when an enraged woman keeps coming at you, over and over, with a raised knife!

As we progress through October and the veil between worlds thins, be aware if a departed loved one keeps entering your thoughts. (For me, it is often a particular beloved pet.) Acknowledge them with love, for they are visiting you from the Other Side.

If you prefer your ghostly encounters to happen safely within a novel, I invite you to read my Teen Wytche Saga, Spell Check, Spell Struck, Spell Fire, and Spell For Sophia.


~Ariella Moon
Copyright © 2015 Ariella Moon

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

They like me...they like me not.

NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte. 

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken. 

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.



Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…
Next Door To A Star?

ASE ★ ★


★ ★ EXCERPT ★ ★
The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.

Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.

Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.


Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Operation: Bully Renovation

Don't be fooled by the cartoon cover. Operation: Bully Renovation is a middle grade chapter book about a bully who has a change of heart and sets out to make amends. His former victims are happy to seek revenge!

About the Author:
From the time she was old enough to talk, Katy Newton Naas has been creating characters and telling stories. As a child, they sometimes got her into trouble. She knew she wanted to write books when she won a Young Author's competition as a second-grader for her short story titled, "The Grape Pie." (Don't let its tasty title fool you - it was actually a sad little tale!)

Katy devoured books as a child and young adult, always doing chores and odd jobs in order to make enough money to buy more of them. Though she continues to age, her true literature love is and has always been children's and young adult fiction.

Katy currently teaches
middle school reading and high school English in southern Illinois, as well as children's church. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a bachelor's degree in English Education and a master's degree in Reading and Language Studies. She enjoys her life out in the country with her husband, her two sweet and rowdy young sons, and all her other “kids”: four dogs, three cats, and eight ducks.

She loves creating both realistic and futuristic stories about kids, tweens, and teens, and feels so fortunate to get to work with them every day as a teacher.

Connect with Katy Newton Naas:

Back Cover Blurb:
            Jack Sullivan is Blackwell Middle School’s scariest bully. When students and teachers see him coming down the hallway, they run the other way. He has no friends; he doesn’t need them. School is a waste of his time.
            But after a car accident with his father leaves him in need of surgery, Jack has to have a tissue donor. Strangely, he then begins having memories from events that never actually happened to him – memories of being bullied by bigger, meaner boys. Jack learns he is experiencing cellular memory, which makes him receive the memories of his tissue donor…who just so happened to be a weak, helpless victim of bullying.
            Jack decides he has to make things right. To do that, he offers each of his former victims an apology, along with the chance to choose a way to get even with him. But Jack quickly learns that earning their forgiveness won’t be easy... 

Victims of the school’s scariest bully are invited to get revenge…


Jack shoved the head of the writhing boy further into the toilet, feeling a small glimmer of satisfaction as he listened to the muffled screams. He watched the water bubbles come up from the nameless boy’s mouth as he tried to make noise and fought a useless battle, trying to escape the grip of Jack’s large fingers on his neck. Jack continued to hold the boy’s head under the water, waiting patiently for the boy to stop moving. When he did, Jack quickly pulled his head back out of the water, watching the helpless boy gasp for breath and slap the water off his face while tears filled his eyes.
“If you tell anyone what just happened, I’ll kill you,” Jack growled at the boy, giving him his most convincing glare before he casually walked away, leaving the boy crumpled on the floor, drowning in his own sobs.

Jack walked out of the locker room and rejoined the rest of the members of his gym class just as the dismissal bell rang, signaling the end of his school day. He shoved past several students who were heading for the gym doors, ignoring their grunts and protests as he bumped into them from behind. He knew that as soon as the other students saw who was pushing past them they would quickly shut their mouths in fear. No one wanted to make Jack Sullivan mad. No one even wanted to be on his radar. He was crazy. Unpredictable. No one messed with him; no one even looked at him. The scrawny new boy in gym class had just learned that the hard way. A nice swirly would teach him to ask Jack to pass him the ball.

Jack smiled to himself as he walked down the middle of the hallway, thinking about his own reputation. Every boy and every girl that roamed the halls of Blackwell Middle School was terrified of him. It was obvious at all times, even as he made his way out of the building. The other kids intentionally averted their gazes and deliberately moved to the other side of the hallway to avoid any accidental contact. Even the teachers pretended to be engrossed in something else whenever he came into view. He smirked slightly as Mr. Andrews stared at the file in his hand while he passed, never smiling up at him or even glancing in his direction with so much as a nod, though he’d greeted the group of students a few feet in front of him only moments ago. There was no doubt that he brought terror to the hearts of others, both kids and adults.

That was just the way Jack preferred it. He didn’t need friends; he had no interest in any of the idiots that surrounded him in his classes. He hated school, hated the teachers, hated the classes, and hated the structure of it all. He hated the clubs and the sports and even the stupid cardinal mascot that covered the walls of the building. If everyone were scared of him, no one would try to talk to him. He felt invincible as he pushed through the double doors of the front of the building.

Trudging down the sidewalk toward his home, he never looked back at the building he had come to loathe so much. He couldn’t wait for the day when he’d never have to step foot in that hole of a school again. As an eighth grader, he didn’t have too much longer to wait.

He often considered quitting. He would call it an early retirement, he decided. But then he would remember the state’s dumb law that a person has to be sixteen to quit and be left alone. If he stopped showing up now, the feds would get involved and make his life complicated. Not that he was scared of a bunch of low-life feds; he wasn’t. But he knew they wouldn’t be as easy to avoid as his teachers and the students at school. If he could just hold out for a couple more years, he could quit and no one would bother him about any laws. So for now, he showed up most days, keeping the number of days he skipped strategically low so that they would go unnoticed.

As he approached two girls standing together near the end of the block, giggling incessantly, Jack wrinkled up his nose in disgust. He glared in their general direction, laughing on the inside when their annoying high-pitched laughs ceased at once. It was more than fear that the kids felt toward him, he decided. It was respect. And to Jack, respect was the most important thing in the world.

Buy Links: Amazon

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Andy Lewter's Follow-up to Gifted

Fellow Clean Reads author Andy Lewter will soon release the next installment in the Valens Series!

“Through the body, strength and healing prevail.”

After her experience during spring break, Abigail Everett battles to fill the role she inherited as the leader of Valens – people that possess unparalleled strength and dangerous mind powers.

Being forced to choose between what her heart wants and what is right, contending with captivating peer pressures, and nearing the brink of war, she must prove herself worthy. Not only to those who follow her legacy, but to herself.

Will she be able to stop this war before it begins?

Pre-order link:

Also by Andy Lewter:

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tamie Dearen's New Young Adult Fantasy Cover Reveal!

See below for special pricing on both books through August 31, 2015.

Cover Reveal for Alora: The Portal

The compelling story of the young soulmates, Alora and Kaevin, continues...

The adventure begins with Alora: The Wander-Jewel.

Fifteen-year-old Alora has visions.

Only while in the shower. And only of one stranger: a handsome boy with long brown hair, intense green eyes, and the oddest clothes. A boy who vanishes whenever she opens her eyes.
And then one day, he doesn't…
Alora's safe world is soon turned upside-down as she's thrust into another realm where her soulmate waits, magic abounds, and unfathomable evil seeks to claim her.

The epic fantasy continues in Alora: The Portal.

Cover design by

If one of them dies, they both die.

Bound together as soulmates, something compels Alora and Kaevin to abandon the safety of their refuge for the dangers of Kaevin’s realm.

The soulmates arrive in the midst of a raging battle as Stone Clan warriors defend their capital, an attack made more deadly by the pervasive evil of her father. Alora and Kaevin face mortal danger as they fight against man and magick to preserve Kaevin's home and heritage.

For Alora's father will have her allegiance. Or her death.

Praise for Alora

"...I have to admit - I wish the book had not ended! ...The romance is sweet rather than steamy making this a clean read for young adults, but the action and adventure is thrilling enough to keep any age reader turning pages..." Today's Visions

"I found Alora to be a breath of fresh air in the YA fantasy genre! ... A YA fantasy with characters you will adore and cheer for, Alora is a book I would recommend to any of my friends!" Books Are Sanity

Alora: The Portal is available on Amazon for the special pre-order price of 99¢ through the August 31 release date! As a bonus, Alora:The Wander-Jewel will be FREE on August 30 through August 31!

Find Tamie Dearen on her website, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter.

Excerpt from Alora: The Wander-Jewel

Alora fought the urge to beat on the tile wall. He’d disappeared again. Who was this
boy she kept seeing? Why did he only appear when she was in the shower? He seemed so
real, and she could have sworn he looked as confused as she felt. As if he was trying to
figure out who she was, as well. Was he a figment of her imagination? His eyes were so
unusual. They were green. Not an ordinary green, but a deep, intense jade, the color of
her aunt’s emerald ring. He was really cute, although he wore his wavy brown hair a little
long for her taste. Yet she could only see his head—never his clothes or the background.
Today he’d tied his hair back in a ponytail. Surely the fact he’d changed his hair was
significant. Wouldn’t a figment of her imagination have his hair the same every time?

She peeked around the shower curtain at the clock on the bathroom counter. It was
five a.m. on a Saturday, and she had chores to do, feeding the horses and letting the
chickens out. But it was winter, so she had plenty of time to spare before the rising sun
tolled the beginning of her responsibilities. Living on a ranch in the backcountry of
Montana meant cold winters, lots of work, and little time for leisure. It was the only life
she’d ever known, and she usually enjoyed it, despite the heavy work involved.
But right now, she wanted another stab at seeing that boy. The image was always so
fuzzy. If only he wouldn’t disappear when she opened her eyes. She couldn’t summon his
visage at will. He didn’t come every time she closed her eyes in the shower; it seemed to
happen when she was relaxing and letting the water beat down on her head and shoulders.
Maybe, if she were soaking in the tub, she might see his image again.

She pushed the curtain back, put in the stopper, and turned the faucet on full blast. As
an afterthought, she added bubble bath, filling the tub with fragrant suds. Soon the bath
was full, with aromatic bubbles foaming on top. She eased into the soothing water,
closing her eyes at the blissful caress of the heat on her tight muscles. And she waited.
Anticipating. Would he come? She tried to stay alert, but the relaxing warmth seeped into
her skin, lulling her to sleep.

Awakening with a start in the cold water, disappointment formed a knot in her
stomach—he’d never appeared. She released some water down the drain and added hot
water, swirling it around until the temperature was comfortable again. She had five more
minutes before she had to abandon her bath to start her workday. She lay back down,
sinking below the water with her eyes closed, swishing the fresh water over her skin to
remove the bubble bath film, her face floating above the surface to breathe.

He appeared. She held her breath, clamping her eyes shut tight, trying to hold the
image as long as possible. Though the apparition was still slightly blurry, she could see
all of him, head to toe. She took advantage of her increased perception, thoroughly
studying his image. She almost clapped her hands when her mental measurement
estimated his height at over six feet. At five feet ten, she was taller than most boys her
age. But she scolded herself for examining him as if he were a potential boyfriend. He
wasn’t even real. His clothes were made of supple-looking brown leather. The attire was
odd—held together with ties and toggles rather than buttons or zippers. The fit was close
enough that his well-formed muscles were evident. She noted his long hair was tied back,
as it had been earlier. She could only see the front of him as he stood frozen, stock-still,
with his mouth agape, his jewel-green eyes wide and... moving. His eyes were moving, up
and down, as if he were scanning her body as she had done. And it occurred to her if she
could see all of him, he might be able to see all of her.

She gasped, opening her eyes to dispense with the specter. But his image remained,
now sharp and clear. And he seemed to be standing in her bathroom. She cowered under
the water, attempting to hide under the few remaining bubbles. His eyes dropped down to
her navel, and as they widened, he whispered, “Wendelle?”

Lunging for her towel on the floor, she screamed at the top of her lungs. Hastily
covering herself and preparing to leap from the tub, she looked up, only to discover the
vision was gone—if indeed it had been a vision.