7 FREE Young Adult Vampire Books by Indie Authors

These are stories about vampire hunters, vampire royalty, and vampire teenagers. Some of these are old favorites and some are new discoveries.

Each one is from an indie author and free to download!

Captured (The Captive, #1) by Erica Stevens

23229220Captured, taken from her beloved family and woods, Aria’s biggest fear is not the imminent death facing her, but that she will be chosen as a blood slave for a member of the ruling vampire race. No matter what becomes of her though, Aria knows that she must keep her identity hidden from the monsters imprisoning her. She has already been branded a member of the rebellion, but the vampires do not know the true depth of her involvement with it, and they must never know. Though hoping for death, Aria’s world is turned upside down when a vampire named Braith steps forward to claim her. He delays her execution, but Aria knows it’s only a matter of time before he drains her, and destroys her. Especially once she learns his true identity as a prince within the royal family; the same royal family that started the war that ultimately brought down humankind, reducing them to nothing more than servants and slaves. Aria is determined to hate the prince, determined not to give into him in anyway, but his strange kindness, and surprising gentleness astonish her. Torn between her loyalties to the rebellion, and her growing love for her greatest enemy, Aria struggles to decide between everything she has ever known, and a love she never dreamed of finding.

Mature YA/New Adult. This book contains some language, violence, and sexual situations. Recommended for ages sixteen and up.

Edited by Leslie Mitchell at G2 Freelance Editing and re-released 2/6/13.
Extended Edition.

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Forbidden Forest (Legends of Regia, #1) by Tenaya Jayne

25915131Born in shame. Cast from society. Shape Shifter/Elf hybrid, Forest must fight for any respect she can get. Targeted in her youth by a vampire noble who placed an illegal slave mark on her, she is forced to obey him, no matter what.

Slipping the grip of her master and abandoning the prejudice of Regia, her native world, Forest takes a job on Earth, guarding the portal, using her skills as a warrior to enforce Regia’s laws. Now, called home for a black ops mission, Forest must put aside her own prejudice to transport the vampire prince, Syrus, through enemy territory in a time of war.

Prince Syrus, mage and master of the Blood Kata, wants Forest more than he’s ever wanted anything. In spite of their mutual mistrust, their attraction cannot be denied. Through the danger of their mission, and the secrets they both keep, it doesn’t matter what they feel. Forest is forbidden.

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Ignite (Midnight Fire, #1) by Kaitlyn Davis

12884001.jpgKira Dawson has the power to burn vampires to a crisp. The problem is, she doesn’t know it yet. The even bigger problem is, she’s dating one.

When Kira Dawson moves to South Carolina, she meets Luke, a blond goofball who quickly becomes her best friend, and Tristan, a mysterious bad boy who sends shivers down her spine. Kira knows they’re keeping secrets, but when she discovers Tristan’s lust for blood and her own dormant mystical powers, Kira is forced to fight for her life and make the heartbreaking decision between the familiar comfort of friendship and the fiery passion of love.

From bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis comes a paranormal romance perfect for fans of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Ignite is the first book in the Midnight Fire series and it is approximately 65,000 words.

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Love & War (The Arcadia Falls Chronicles #1) by Jennifer Malone Wright

17213519A war is brewing between the hunters and the vampires and Chloe is determined to strike against the vampires before they have a chance to attack the hunter community.

While Chloe tries to convince the hunter community, and most especially tries to convince Drew, that they should move against the vampires first instead of waiting for an attack, the group of new friends—Oscar, Alice, Drew, Chloe and Christina—are distracted by news reports of a vigilante who is saving innocent humans against what can only be vampire attacks. Fearing this vigilante will cause unwanted attention that will expose the vampire-hunter community with each person he rescues, the group attempts to discover who this mysterious potential vampire hunter is.

When they catch up with him, the group learns a shocking revelation that might just change everything for everyone in Arcadia Falls, but will have the most profound impact on Chloe herself.

The Arcadia Falls Chronicles is the continuation of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter. Following the format of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter, The Arcadia Falls Chronicles is serialized into several novella-length stories.

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Kindred (The Kindred, #1) by Erica Stevens

23232447.jpgWhat do you do when the one you love is also you worst enemy? Trapped in a destiny she does not want, Cassie finds herself lost and adrift, until he walks into her life, turning it upside down and awakening her in ways that she never dreamed possible.

Cassie is stunned and devastated to learn that she belongs to a long line of vampire slayers known as The Hunters. A murderous rampage by a group of elder vampires has left the Hunter line decimated and the remaining Hunters scattered around the world. With her friends Chris and Melissa’s aid, Cassie struggles to rid the world of the monsters that murdered her parents. Though Cassie knows it is her fate, she chafes against her heritage, and is resentful of the shortened lifespan that has been placed upon her by the circumstances of birth. Struggling to get through every day, Cassie finds herself simply going through the motions of living. That is, until Devon arrives. Tall, dark, and mysterious his arrival turns the school, and Cassie’s life, upside down. Fighting against her fierce attraction to him, and the chaos he represents in her carefully ordered days, she is irresistibly drawn to him. Though worried that what she truly is will place Devon in danger, she is unable to fight her feelings for him. He is the one light, and the only source of hope she has in a world that revolves around death and fear. What she does not know is that Devon has some dark secrets of his own, secrets even more frightening and dangerous than hers. Secrets that threaten to tear them apart forever.

Book 1 of 5

This is a young adult fictional story that includes some language, violence, and mild sexual situations. Recommended for ages fifteen and up.

Cover art by www.EbookLaunch.com

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Revelation (Poison Blood #1) by Neha Yazmin

32875731.jpg“I don’t know what blood tastes like to a human. I’d never even licked a tiny drop of it from a pricked finger, let alone suck on a bleeding cut. The shedding of blood, my own, or anyone else’s, always made me scream or panic in fear and revulsion. Now it’s my only food source.” 

Elisia Dalton, more commonly known as Ellie, is not a typical teenaged vampire. She still has her humanity and conscience. Her human memories and growing pains. And the same distaste for blood.

Still reeling from the secrets she uncovered before she was turned into a vampire by the mysterious immortal Christian, Ellie is also finding it hard to come to terms with what she has become. And the revelations keep coming.

Book 1 of the Poison Blood series reveals why Ellie is not like others of her kind.

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Fanged (Fanged, #1) by Elisabeth Wheatley

Fanged Girl 005Family dating rules were pretty clear—no humans. But the undead heart wants what it wants and Haddie’s high school boyfriend ended up dead because of it. Now her brother Damian is repeating history and the same fate’s lined up for a very non-vampire, Madelyn.

With the girl’s throat on the line, they don’t have many options. Soon all three of them are on the run. Hunted across country by dear old dad’s enforcers, they’ll need help from the humans who hate them most. Assuming they all live that long.

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Review: A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation #1) by Hailey Edwards @HaileyEdwards

13045039Hope dangles by a silken thread. 

Araneae Nation, Book #1

When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.

Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.

Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.

Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, What does dragon taste like? Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

THIS IS WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY FANTASY ROMANCE, YA’LL. Romance novel in a fantasy setting. Why is that so hard to understand?

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to review this series. Bad, bad little blogger me. Regardless, I truly enjoyed this book. I don’t remember why I picked it up, I don’t remember what gave me the final push to hit “download.” I just remember this was a fun series and I read the first two books plus the prequel, then 30% or something on the third book…then what the hell happened? No idea. I’m going to go pick that third book up again, because I remember I loved this one.

The plot:

I was a little confused for the first few chapters—are Lourdes and Rhys temporarily married or what? Looking back, it was explained by Mab, so word of advice, pay attention to Mab. Just in general. She’s hardcore.

The story follows the romance novel arc very well while at the same tossing in monsters, venomous warriors, soulmates, and some truly original world building. I think the world building was one of the most remarkable aspects. I’ve never encountered spider-based paranormal creatures before and it was an exciting twist.

The characters:

Lourdes has that “duty” thing going on. Actually, both main characters do. And I love it. Despite that, she and Rhys have an attraction that teeters on insta-love, but I thought her reluctance compensated for it. The revelation about Rhys saving himself for his soulmate was what finally sold me on the book and launched it into the 5-star realm. I JUST LOVE THAT, OKAY.

Yes, there were other characters, but who cares about them? Several have their own books. Yes, they’re great, but go read it yourself if you want to know. Geez.

I thought this book was amazing and I really need to get back to reading the series. If you’re like me, a sucker for unique worlds and “wait for marriage” heroes, you should, too.

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Cover Reveal: The Temple of Tarkoth (Argetallam Saga, #4) by Elisabeth Wheatley

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Janir Caersynn Argetallam is the girl who destroyed armies for the boy she loved, but winning the war was half the battle. Returning to a homeland she can’t remember, Janir is the most despised hero the country has ever known. Even after saving Brevia, hatred of her magic-stealing powers makes her an outcast.

A noblewoman’s kidnapping sends her on a rescue mission into the heart of the distant Tathansian forests. There it becomes clear a trap has been set not only for Janir, but for the man who raised her. Love and loyalty are tested. Oaths are broken and dark secrets revealed. And to save the people she loves, Janir may be forced to betray them all.

Coming September 9, 2017

Is There Too Much Sex in Young Adult Books?

 

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I have complex feelings about sex in Young Adult books, targeted to teens in the 14-17 range.

On one hand, teens in the 14-17 range have sex. It happens. We should definitely talk about and acknowledge teen sexuality. Teens need to be educated about sex and, more importantly, safe sex.

I’m just not convinced Young Adult books are the place for that education.

For starters, Young Adult books don’t portray the most healthy relationships. Overwhelmingly, the story involves a girl going out with an older boy/man. (In the paranormal genre, the age gap could be centuries.)

We are normalizing the “trophy wife” archetype in high school.

There’s also the recurring “first and forever love” scenario. Happily ever after is one of the most admirable things people can strive for, but odds are that your first love won’t be your last.

I have seen way too many people I know, especially women, make bad choices and stay in bad relationships because of the “first and forever love” mentality. While we’ve been getting better the past few years, it still isn’t uncommon in Young Adult books for characters to give up opportunities—studying abroad, taking a job, accepting a scholarship offer—to be with a partner.

Don’t EVER give up on your dreams to chase a high school flame.

Another problem is expectations. My own sex ed in high school wasn’t the most comprehensive. (I know I’m not the only one.) Young Adult books paint the idea that finding a romantic partner will solve everything. Falling in love will fix all your problems and make you whole. It will also cure all your mental illnesses and help you overcome every emotional trauma in your life.

Spoiler: it doesn’t.

When I got a boyfriend, I was still me.

I had the same mental illness and the same baggage. I also had the same dreams, ambitions, and values. I learned a lot from being in a relationship, but he didn’t fix me. Nor do I think it was fair to expect that of him.

Almost every YA book had me thinking my first kiss would be life-changing. I can laugh about my naiveté now, but I wonder if my high school reads should have glamorized romance less. Specifically, the physical aspect.

The biggest thing I feel Young Adult authors forget is that regardless of what kids are or should be doing at that age, they are still kids. Why are we having them casually hook up and/or date seriously in these stories?

In most states, these 14-17 year olds can’t even legally consent to sex. 

Am I calling for censorship? I am hoping that YA authors will start writing more thoughtfully without needing censorship. I don’t believe for a second anyone means harm, but intent and result are two different things.

Young Adult books aren’t the only problem. There’s blame to be shared in our general media, culture, and schools’ sex ed programs. This is a huge problem with many parts and Young Adult books are often one of those parts.

Sex sells, but I think it’s being oversold. There have to be boundaries and we’ve pushed it too far.

Review: Revelation (Poison Blood, #1) by Neha Yazmin

32875731“I don’t know what blood tastes like to a human. I’d never even licked a tiny drop of it from a pricked finger, let alone suck on a bleeding cut. The shedding of blood, my own, or anyone else’s, always made me scream or panic in fear and revulsion. Now it’s my only food source.” 

Elisia Dalton, more commonly known as Ellie, is not a typical teenaged vampire. She still has her humanity and conscience. Her human memories and growing pains. And the same distaste for blood.

Still reeling from the secrets she uncovered before she was turned into a vampire by the mysterious immortal Christian, Ellie is also finding it hard to come to terms with what she has become. And the revelations keep coming.

Book 1 of the Poison Blood series reveals why Ellie is not like others of her kind.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

3 out of 5 stars

I haven’t rated a book this low in some time and it really sucks, but I have to keep in mind the whole “honest review” bit. I feel that this was more of a first draft and could have been much better. Had the author elected to revise it once or twice, it might have been an easy 4-star or 5-star read, but I’m assessing it “as is.” More character development would have fixed the book.

The plot:

One good thing, the plot did not ramble. It was clear from the beginning where the story was going and it stayed on track. There is not anything in the plot that I can point to as an error. Most of my issues had to do with characters and their interactions.

The characters:

Like I said, most of my problems were with the characters. Ellie seems inconsistent, running away at what seemed a small provocation to me (not enough foreshadowing of her parental resentment) then returns to her family months later what seemed rather easily. She goes from sheltered girl who’s never been kissed to casually and confidently walking from a one-night stand in less than a week. That made no sense to me.

Christian’s motivations were less unbelievable, just because he is a vampire. But he still expresses some hints of remorse and vampires allegedly don’t experience that.

The first two novellas in this series are free and I have the second one, but no real desire to read it at the moment. I may eventually, we’ll have to see.

Ellie’s mother takes the whole “vampire” thing rather easily, joking with Ellie hours after Ellie returns months after her disappearance. And then there’s the human guy we meet at the end. That just…that reeked of insta-love.

I think Yazmin has an imagination and the makings of a good story here, it was just not fully assembled from my perspective. I do think she’ll be able to work out these kinds of character difficulties when she becomes more experienced. Regardless of this book’s state, I think her storytelling has potential and certainly hope she will keep at it.

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Why Do We Love Vampires?

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Vampires are the fad that always comes back. They might go out of style in art and literature for a while, but they always come back.

Writers and readers have fallen in love and back in love with vampires again and again. I’m no exception. But why?

After a few literary criticism classes, I’ve learned storytellers and readers have a fascination with what we fear and what we want. The thing is, vampires represent both.

1. What We Fear

  • DeathDying is the only way to become a vampire. For humans, vampires are the only thing to top us on the food chain.
  • TorturePain is an integral part of vampire lore. The pain of being fed on, the pain of the transition, the pain of a vampire’s hunger. It’s terrifying.
  • PowerlessnessVampires are powerless to stop their blood-sucking urges and humans are just as powerless to fight back.
  • LonelinessAs Stephen King said, “Alone is the most awful word in our language and hell is only a synonym.” Vampires are typically isolated to some extent and their aching for companionship is something we see again and again.

2. What We Want

  • ImmortalityWho wants to live forever? Quite a few people, actually. Our fear of dying makes the prospect of immortality a kind of Holy Grail. Who wouldn’t at least consider that offer?
  • PleasureFrom the euphoria for a vampire during feeding to the heightened intensity of sexual experience, vampires can feel pleasure on entirely new levels. It’s all intensified and compounded.
  • PowerVampires may not be able to stop their urges, but good luck keeping them from what they want. Strong enough to move buildings and charismatic enough to charm the pants off just about anyone, vampires are the ultimate apex predator.
  • PassionVampires experience everything IN ALL CAPS. Because of their heightened senses, the world is an exciting place. They do nothing in halves. When they love, it’s all-consuming. When they hate, centuries-long blood feuds ensue.

In short, vampires are just too cool not to be around forever. From a storytelling standpoint, they represent so many wants and fears, even opposites at the same time. I can’t think of any other mythological creature that has this level of duality.

It’s creepy, come to think of it.

Why do you think people love vampires?

Review: The Mourning Cloak (Taurin’s Chosen, #1) by Rabia Gale @RabiaGale

Kato Vorsok is a man deserted by his god. A failed hero living in exile, he wants nothing to do with his old life.

Until the night he encounters a wounded mourning cloak—a demon that can walk through walls, dissolve into mist, and spear a man’s heart with a fingernail.

She calls him by name. She knows his past. She needs his help.

And she is his key to redemption.

Mourning Cloak is a fantasy novella.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of  5 stars

I have never had so much fun at a car dealership. I read this in the waiting room and I was hooked. I love novellas, I love sci-fi/fantasy, and I love redemption stories. It was the perfect storm and I’m so thankful I took a book recommendation for once. There is an incredible degree of world-building done in this novella. Ms. Gale manages to convey so much in such a short space without the info-dump prevalent in fantasy. I’m using this book as a reference for writing settings in the future.

The plot:

The thing I love about novellas is they’re too short to be long winded. The Mourning Cloak never has an unnecessary chapter, scene, or line of dialogue. The story takes us along quickly and surely and then BAM! Plot twist. It was very well done and I was definitely impressed.

The characters:

Kato is a war hero who didn’t win the war. Living with the ghosts of loss and failure, he was a complex and layered, bitter, but still with a desire to help people. That is what ultimately drives him to help a monster. His development and healing over the course of the story was beautiful.

It was pretty obvious who the Mourning Cloak had been…and then it wasn’t and then it was. I was thrilled by the plot twist and also her POV sections. It was heartrending to see how becoming a Mourning Cloak had damaged her psyche and all the ways she continued to suffer.

But there was redemption for them both with complex interactions between them and all the other characters. IT WAS AMAZING.

In other words, I have a new author to watch and have downloaded Ironhand to my Kindle. I definitely recommend!

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5 Reasons to Read YA Books as an Adult

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As someone who devoured Young Adult books as a young adult, I went through a period where I wasn’t sure if that love would carry over. I’m graduating college in a year and well out of the YA genre’s age range. However, I have friends who are adults and still read YA. Some didn’t even discover YA until they were adults.

So why would adults want to read about people in High School and college? We all have our reasons, but I’ve thought of a few.

They’re Easier to Follow

Young Adult books don’t have the same tendency toward wildly complicated plots. Not to say YA books can’t be complex, quite the opposite. They have a less brutal storytelling format that caters to the overworked, stressed minds of teens and adults alike.

They’re Optimistic

Because YA books generally follow people between the ages of 14-18, there’s a sense of hope even when addressing darker themes. From what I’ve noticed, there’s a greater focus on growth and healing. While adult books certainly explore both, they’re not an integral part of the genre.

They’re Clean(er)

Some YA books can have gratuitous violence, profanity, and sex, true. However, there are still certain expectations on how much you can have and what you absolutely cannot have in YA. Rape scenes, for example, are something I’ve never encountered. YA books have dealt with the topic, but the stories focus more on the aftermath and results than the act itself. The same is generally true for other traumatic events as well.

They Aren’t Eregiously Pretentious in Their Articulation

People in YA talk more like regular people and the descriptions read less like regurgitated Shakespearean sonnets. To be fair, this is a huge generalization and most Adult authors do a great job, but when it comes to literary fiction and “serious” books…look out.

They Keep You Young

YA books are, at their core, about people learning their place in the world, exploring existence with its many faucets. The thing is, you should never stop exploring existence. The world is too big and complicated and beautiful. You have 80 years or less to drink it in. Seeing the world through young eyes helps remind us.

Are you an adult YA reader? What are some of your reasons for reading YA?

Review: Cage of Darkness (Reign of Secrets, #2) by Jennifer Anne Davis @AuthorJennifer

33893388.jpgWhile traveling to Fren, Allyssa and Odar are hijacked by a ruthless assassin who divulges a stunning secret that changes everything.

Trying to come to terms with this newfound revelation, Allyssa is taken to Russek and delivered into the hands of a malicious and twisted royal family. She finds herself an unwilling pawn in a risky political game that will either end with her death or the annihilation of her beloved kingdom. Unsure of where the lies end and the truth begins, she must survive the brutal family and escape the fortified castle, all the while coming to grips with her feelings for Odar.

In a kingdom filled with darkness, Allyssa enters a game where one wrong move means death, secrets hide around each corner, and it will take every ounce of cunning she has to survive.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

4 out of 5 stars

It only took me three months to read this, right? No biggie. Not shameful at all. That’s entirely on me as this was an absolutely fantastic book, though I thought there were a few problems.

Mainly, I thought the author underestimated herself in conveying emotions. It was a “show, don’t tell” issue in some scenes where a character’s feelings/intentions were displayed very well, but we still had Allyssa put it to words in her head. If those sections had been cut, I wouldn’t have had any problem rating this a full 5 stars. (Goodreads and Amazon don’t let you rate in halves, so I try to do my own ratings accordingly.)

The plot:

Book #1 ended with an ambush/murder/kidnapping and the action picks right back up. Romance, torture, betrayal, and a tangled web of duties and deceptions. This series continues to have the same feel of the True Reign series whilst being its own and I’m loving it!

The characters:

Allyssa does some interesting growing, realizing that her responsibilities to her kingdom are much bigger than what she wants. She matures a lot, especially with what she goes through in Russek. It was amazing to see how much she grew, but also sad. No one should have to age 10 years in a few weeks. My poor baby.

I really didn’t like Odar in this at all. Even before we get to the twist at the last quarter of the book, I was starting to dislike him. I mean, planning to let the princess of Emperion marry his squire in a deception? What the hell, dude? Never mind the unrenounced, misogynistic bastardry of his homeland, Fren. And the whole “don’t spare my feelings” debacle. Jerk. To be honest, he started irritating me most once Kerdan turned up.

I want to marry Kerdan. It’s hard for me to explain why without dissolving into besotted blubbering, but we have a duty-driven badass loved by his soldiers while struggling to do the right thing. How can I not love him? At one point, it was like “Odar who?” Not to mention Kerdan has never actually lied to Allyssa (unlike SOME PEOPLE). I’m sorry, but it’s so freaking true.

Soma, Shelene, Jana, and Eliza were just…raw evil. I prefer my evil medium rare or at least blanched, but this is middle YA, so I didn’t count off for that. I’m not sure why, but I found the final scene with Odar and Shelene highly disturbing. Usually, I’m not bothered by violence in books, but…I don’t know. Still, that was probably my favorite scene with any of the step-royals because it was the most humanizing.

I’m super excited for book #3 this fall and it looks like my favorite character from the True Reign series will be coming back. YES. Just give me Nathanek and Kerdan bantering for a whole book and I can die happy.

Read my review of Cage of Deceit (Reign of Secrets, 1#)

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100 Subscribers Birthday Giveaway!

Subscribers to my newsletter just hit over 100 and I turn 22 this week. To celebrate, I’m doing a prize pack giveaway!

I have a copy of The Key of Amatahns (signed), bookmarks from Intisar Khanani (signed), Chloe Jacobs (unsigned), and Kelly Walker (unsigned). Not to mention a vampire eReader tassel and a $10 Amazon giftcard!

Winning is simple, just sign up! The winner will be selected from all newsletter subscribers by random.org at noon CST on Monday, July 24th. If I can’t contact the winner within 72 hours after selection, another winner will be chosen.

Subscribe for a chance to win!

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