Archive for November, 2016

Secrets & Shadows Launch!

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It’s launch day for the Secrets and Shadows box set! This young adult collection includes ten full-length fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi novels from award-winning and bestselling authors. Do you have your copy yet? If not, click here.

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I’m thrilled that my newest book, Sunset Empire, is part of this collection. To celebrate, I’m sharing one of my favorite scenes with Elyse and Phantom, which features Fort Stevens State Park on the Oregon coast. Enjoy.

Excerpt from Chapter Five, Social Food Chain:

Mr. Mills led the group into Battery 245 at Fort Stevens. After the dark, unsettling walk through West Battery, Elyse was glad to see the bunker was outfitted with fluorescent lights.

“Battery 245 was built in 1944 to upgrade harbor defenses in World War II,” Mr. Mills explained as he led them down the narrow corridor, which ended in a T. There were a series of darkened rooms with opened doors on either side of the hallway. “The battery was self-contained, with its own power generator, plotting rooms, magazines, and other facilities. It was also designed to be gas-proof in case of chemical attack.” A few students laughed. “Yes, yes—you’re all very clever,” Mr. Mills said, a slight smile on his lips, “but let’s save the gas jokes until we’re outside in the fresh air. Come. On to the mine observation station and the steam plant.”

Elyse followed the other students out of the battery and stopped to read the plaque at the entrance. Hearing a scuffle behind her, she peered into the corridor. Jared and Parker jogged up the corridor, laughing. They were trailed by Leif, Maddy, Jackson, and Ava. She turned back to the plaque, feigning interest as they passed. Something about their hushed snickering worried her. What had they been up to?

She waited until they left, and then slipped back inside Battery 245. Her footsteps sounded overly loud as she walked down the corridor alone. At the junction, she turned a slow circle, studying each of the rooms. Nothing looked amiss, except one of the doors was closed. Not just closed—it was barred shut with a length of rebar. She was certain it hadn’t been before.

She stared at the door and then approached quietly, listening. The silence was eerie. Stomach churning, she grasped the rebar and pulled it loose from the door’s iron handle. Carefully, to minimize the noise, she set it on the floor of the corridor. Then she opened the door.

The boy with the scar sat cross-legged on the floor of the room, holding a cell phone. He looked up and then raised his eyebrows. “Oh. You. Not who I expected.” His bottom lip was busted and bleeding and his left eye was starting to swell.

“Who were you expecting?” Elyse asked. She thought she should feel guarded around him, considering what Lien had said about him being questioned in the Jenna Williams case. But she wasn’t afraid of him.

Phantom smiled, and then winced when his lip split open more. “The owner of this phone.” He returned his attention to the phone and swiped the screen, seemingly ignoring her. Then he glanced up. “What was the most annoying earworm from summer?”

Elyse stared at him. He’d clearly been beaten up, and he wanted to chat about music? Maybe his brain had gotten rattled in the fight. “What?”

“The most irritating pop song this summer. What was it?”

Elyse thought about it. “Tell Me, by Kat Savanna.”

“Never heard of it.”

Elyse laughed. “Yeah, you did. It was all over the net. You couldn’t have missed it.”

Phantom just looked at her blankly. “Maybe if you sang it?”

Elyse shook her head. “Uh, no.”

“Please?” He gave her a hopeful smile. It looked painful.

She crossed her arms. “I’m not going to sing it, but the lyrics were like, ‘Tell me I’m the one, summer’s just begun, tell me, say it’s true, I’m the only one for you.’ You know—total mindless, repetitive crap—gets in your head and you can’t get it out.”

Recognition dawned on his face. “Oh, that one.” He shuddered with mock horror. “It’s awful. Perfect.” He played with phone and then, more to himself than her, said, “Now—just have to change the ringtone…and…done.”

Phantom set the phone on the floor, and then retrieved a leather wallet from somewhere behind him. From the way he studied it, Elyse was certain it didn’t belong to him, any more than the cell phone did. He took out a twenty and shoved it in his jacket pocket. He started to close the wallet, then paused, thinking. Elyse watched, fascinated, as he retrieved a second twenty and stashed that in his jacket pocket as well. Then he closed the wallet, placed it on the floor in the middle of the room, and balanced the phone on top of it. He eyed the two items and then, satisfied with his work, rose to his feet and brushed off his jeans. “Let’s get out of here.”

Elyse put her hands on her hips. “So…I take it you’re a pickpocket?”

Phantom gave her a sly smile. “Something like that. But the way I see it, dude locks me in here, the least he can do is pay for my cab ride home.” His smile widened to a vulpine grin. “And dinner.”

“You’re not going back to school?”

He frowned, and Elyse got the impression she’d asked a dumb question. “I can’t very well show my face on the bus if I’m supposed to be locked in here, can I?” he asked. “Kind of ruins the mystique.”

Elyse had no idea what he was talking about. “Your lip is bleeding,” she said.

“Is it?” He wiped at it absently, and glanced at the blood on his fingers. “I’ve had worse.” She found herself staring at his scar and looked away quickly.

“You’d better run along,” he said, dismissing her with a wave of his hand. “Being seen with me will do nothing for your social standing.”

Elyse planted her feet. “I don’t care about stuff like that.”

“You should.” Phantom stepped around her, out into the hallway.

Elyse wondered why he would care about her social standing, but didn’t say anything. Instead, she followed him into the corridor and asked, “Why do they call you Phantom?”

He grinned. “For one, I’m pretty good at getting out of bad situations.” He pushed the door closed and secured it with the rebar.

It didn’t look quite right to Elyse, so she adjusted the metal bar so the door looked exactly the way it had when she’d encountered it. “And? What are the other reasons?”

But he just smiled and shook his head. “Some other time. Thanks for the rescue.”

 

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Stay tuned for more news about Sunset Empire. It will soon be available as a single paperback!

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2016


Secrets & Shadows, Part 3

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Just a few more days until the release of Secrets & Shadows! If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, you can do it here. 

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Today I want to introduce three more of the wonderful authors whose books are included in this young adult box set: USA Today Bestselling Author Kristin D. Van Risseghem, International Bestselling Author Sophie Davis, and International Bestselling Author Siobhan Davis. Check out their books and give them a follow!

Kristin D. Van Risseghem 

USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small town along the Mississippi River with her parents and older sister. Currently, Kristin lives in Minnesota with her husband and two Calico cats. She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and she probably has way too many of both.

In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women’s Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold! Her book, Swords & Stilettos, is included in the Secrets & Shadows box set.

Here’s a description of the book:

swords-and-stilettosZoe Jabril needs to devise a kick-ass plan to save the world ASAP. Otherwise, Armageddon starts the day she turns eighteen—and if that happens, everything is going to hell. Literally.

She could be any other 17-year-old attending parties and checking out cute guys–except she discovers her best friend is a Guardian Angel and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, both sent to protect her from the demons who want her dead.

Now Zoe has to deal with growing feelings toward the Nephilim, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her. And she’s under constant attack from Demons, trying to stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite Angels, Nephilim, Fairies, and Werewolves to battle evil. Then she has to control newly found talents if she’s to prevent the devil from escaping Hell.

Connect with Kristin on her website, www.kristinvanrisseghem.com.

Sophie Davis

“Sophie Davis” is the pseudonym for two best friends, roommates, and now writing partners. The pair met at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law in 2005 and instantly bonded over their love of great books and bad horror movies. After they graduated, when one longed for the ability to read minds so she wouldn’t have to study for the bar exam, a Saga was born. When the Talented Saga went on to be an internationally bestselling series, the girls decided to throw caution to the wind and follow their shared life-long dream of being writers.

The duo currently lives in Washington, D.C. with a poodle and a rescued mutt. The pups are their faithful companions–with frequent social media appearances–as the girls navigate the world of Indie Publishing. Their book, Talented, is included in the Secrets & Shadows box set.

Here’s a description of the book: 

talentedBlock it out.
Impossible for Talia Lyons. When you’re a Mind Manipulator, it’s hard enough to block the thoughts of others, let alone your own.

Block it out.
The pounding, siren-ready world Talia inhabits as she trains with her fellow Hunters. The physical demands. The emotional toil.

Block it out.
The secrets that Talia’s boyfriend is hiding. Talia’s unbidden feelings of frustration and annoyance toward her teammate, the Casanova of the compound. The wondering why she cares what he thinks.

Block him out.
Ian Crane. The man behind the bloodshed marring Talia’s memories of her murdered parents. The man she’s determined to kill.

Block it all out. Focus.

Talented is an emotional raw, Dystopian Romance about the life of a girl with extraordinary psychic powers, and what happens when a heart is torn between love and rage.

Connect with them on their website, www.sophiedavisbooks.com.

Siobhan Davis 

Siobhan Davis writes emotionally intense young adult fiction with swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and tons of unexpected plot twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages beyond bedtime! She is the author of the Amazon bestselling True Calling and Saven series.

Siobhan’s family will tell you she’s a little bit obsessive when it comes to reading and writing, and they aren’t wrong. She can rarely be found without her trusty Kindle, a paperback book, or her laptop somewhere close at hand.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in human resource management.

She resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons. Her book, Saven Deception, is included in the Secrets & Shadows box set.

Here’s a description of the book: 

saven-deceptionThe truth doesn’t always set you free.

I’ve fallen hard for an alien, but he’s harboring secrets. Massive secrets that threaten the very essence of humanity. How can I give him my heart when his race plans on taking my future?

Sadie Owens has been slowly dying inside. Bit by bit, piece by piece, day by day. Trapped in a life she hates, she relies on only one person–herself.

Despised by her family and betrayed by an unscrupulous government, Sadie dreams of a different life. When she is chosen to participate in the government’s new social experiment, she is ecstatic at the prospect of spending six months in Thalassic City, the shiny new city under the sea.

Immediately drawn to Logan Chandler, Sadie is captivated by the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes. Logan seems to embody everything that has been forbidden, but he isn’t all he appears to be.

Confused over Logan’s true intentions and concerned with best friend Jenna starts transforming in front of her eyes, Sadie partners with newcomer Jarod in a bid to uncover the government’s real agenda. The truth is more shocking than anything she could ever have imagined.

When Sadie finally understands why the Saven walk among us, will it be too late to save her heart and the human race?

Connect with Siobhan on her website, siobhandavis.co.uk.

Thanks for reading!

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2016


Secrets & Shadows, Part 2

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I’m continuing the countdown to the release of Secrets & Shadows, coming November 30. If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, you can do it here. Today I want to introduce three more of the amazing authors whose books are included in this young adult box set: New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Susan Stec, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Laxmi Hariharan, and International Bestselling Author Kelly St. Clare. Check out their books and give them a follow!

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Susan Stec

From driving a food wagon onto construction sites during her hippie days (peace, love, and a sparkling marijuana-induced smile) to working as an investment banker, Susan Stec finally found her niche, writing what she loves to read: fantasy and horror. She lives with her husband (who is perfectly normal) and three King Charles spaniels (also normal) on 50 acres of woods, fields, and streams in upper Michigan. Her book about fairies, The Other F Word, will be included in the Secrets & Shadows box set.

Here’s a description of the book:

Even with wings, you can’t fly away from fate.
 

the-other-f-wordWhat would you do if you found out everything you’ve ever known was a lie?Amidst bullying, homework, and friends being injured, the fairy, Dekram, and her friends discover something strange going on with their classmates. On the advice of Dekram’s father, they begin to investigate. When they find students sneaking into the human world, it’s obvious there’s more to the story than they realized.

Drugs. Destiny. Destruction. Nothing is as it seems, but one thing is for certain: Dekram’s whole life is about to change.

Connect with Susan on her website, thegratefulundead.blogspot.com.

Laxmi Hariharan
 

Laxmi Hariharan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Her stories intersect paranormal action-romance with mythology and are set in a near dystopian future. Her book, Chosen, the second book in the Many Lives Prequel Series, will be included in the Secrets & Shadows box set.Here’s a description of the book:


His family is being held for ransom by a deadly mastermind.
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Vik never should have left his family, but when his father brings his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same.Vik thinks things will be better now that he’s gone. He’s met the love of his life, his future looks bright, and then everything is shattered.

Now, his family’s life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them.

Connect with Laxmi on her website, laxmihariharan.com.

Kelly St. Clare

When Kelley St. Clare is not reading or writing, she is lost in her latest reverie. She can, quite literally, drift past a car accident while in the midst of her day dreams, despite the various police sirens and chaos.

Books have always been magical and mysterious to her. One day she decided to start unraveling this mystery and began writing. Her aim: to write stories she would want to read. 

A New Zealander in origin and in heart, Kelly currently resides in Australia with her soon-to-be husband, a great group of friends, and some huntsman spiders who love to come inside when it rains. Their love is not returned.

Her book, The Retreat, is included in the Secrets & Shadows box set.

Here’s a description of the book:

the-retreatEarth was ruined. Humankind destroyed. And it’s old news.

Romy’s life is simple–for a genetically enhanced space soldier: pick up space junk with her four friends, and stave off the invaders fixated on stealing Planet Earth.

It isn’t much. But it’s temporary–only another 850 years to go, give or take. Then the 4000 space soldiers can reinhabit their beloved homeland once more.

When her crew tangles with a gulp-worthy alien mothership, Romy’s return to Earth is brought forwards at hurtling pace. And what she finds on the ground defies everything she’s been told.

Strength comes from the unlikeliest of quarters.

As does leadership.

…As does betrayal.

Connect with Kelly on her website: www.kellystclare.com.

Thanks for reading!

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2016


Secrets & Shadows, Part 1

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Secrets & Shadows launches November 30! Today I want to introduce you to three of the amazing authors whose books are included in this box set: USA Today Bestselling Author DelSheree Gladden, USA Today Bestselling Author Angela Fristoe, and International Bestselling Author Rhonda Sermon. Check out their work, give them a follow, and don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Secrets & Shadows!

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DelSheree Gladden

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree Gladden and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing, and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist. DelSheree has several bestselling young adult series, including Invisible, which was part of the USA Today Bestselling box set, Pandora. The Date Shark Series is her first contemporary romance series, and the first book in her upcoming new adult series, The Ghost Host, will be included in the Secrets & Shadows box set.

Here’s a description of the book:

ghost-hostEveryone thinks Echo Simmons is crazy, but being The Ghost Host isn’t just a YouTube hoax like people think. It’s the only way to control the ghosts haunting her…at least until the FBI shows up asking questions.

The first eighteen years of Echo Simmons’ life have been less than ideal. On more than one occasion her parents have considered committing her. They don’t believe she sees ghosts or that they harass her on a daily basis. So when a rogue ghost begins tormenting her, they’re the last people she’s going to tell. Her best friends Holden and Zara are doing their best to help, but ghost attacks are only the beginning of Echo’s problems.

Handling the ghosts by giving them a voice on YouTube through her webshow has been her saving grace—even if her parents think it’s all a hoax—but that gets a little complicated when the ghost of Madeline Crew reveals a little too much about her previous life and the FBI shows up at her door wanting to know how she gained access to long-buried government secrets.

It just keeps getting worse from there. Madeline’s message to her great grandson sparks a strange connection between Echo and Malachi, which leads to Georgia, secrets, mistakes, love, lies, and life changing revelations.

Connect with DelSheree on her website, DelShereeGladden.com.

Angela Fristoe

Angela grew up in Alberta, Canada. She dreamed of becoming the next Dian Fossey or Jane Goodall, until she realized she wasn’t all that keen on the outdoors or animals. Instead, she went into education and focused on elementary education and helping struggling readers. Her passion for writing grew gradually after being ignited by The Hunger Game and Twilight crazes. Angela lives on Vancouver Island with her family, where she is pursuing her Masters degree while continuing to write and serve as an instructional coach. Her award-winning book Waken, book one in the Woods of Everod series, will be included in the Secrets & Shadows box set.

Here’s a description of the book:

wakenConfronting the truth could kill her.

After years of abuse and eventual abandonment, Janie wants to forget her parents ever existed. Moving to her mom’s hometown of Everod doesn’t make that easy. Then she meets Tristan. The emotions he ignites within her are almost enough to make her ignore all of the weird things he says. Almost enough to ignore the way the entire town seems ready to pounce on her as if she were fresh meat.

Almost, though, isn’t enough when Janie finally discovers what the town is hiding. The people of Everod have been waiting for Janie and if she hopes to survive, she’ll need to confront the truth of who and what she really is.

Connect with Angela on her website, AngelaFristoe.com.

Rhonda Sermon

Rhonda Sermon lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband and two children. Her debut young adult urban fantasy novel The Midnight Society was a finalist in the Young Adult category and overall runner up in the The Strongest Start 2012 Contest hosted by TheNextBigWriter.com.

Rhonda was determined to write a book which teens and their parents would all enjoy reading. A book filled with adventure, magic and history. Not only does Rhonda’s book offer abundant action and suspense, but it also tackles the themes of family, friendships, first love, betrayal, sacrifice, loyalty, the devastation of war, fighting for the greater good, and promises to leave readers thinking hard about what truly matters in life. Rhonda has created believable and engaging characters. There are interesting and unexpected plot twists from beginning to end. Nothing and no one is as they seem.

On the good days, she adores writing, on the challenging days, it’s still awesome. Her two ragdoll cats can often be found helpfully walking over her keyboard, chasing her mouse or generally complaining loudly about the lack of priority their needs are being given.

The Midnight Society was originally released as Timesurfers, and will be included in the Secrets & Shadows box set.

Here’s a description of the book:

midnight-societyHer life is a carefully manufactured lie. It’s kept her safe and hidden until now. Witness protection has a protocol for every threat – except magic.

Fifteen-year-old Cate is seeing things. A ridiculously charismatic boy just appeared out of thin air, disarmed a bomb at a busy bus stop and then vanished again. Everyone around her was oblivious because they were frozen like statues the entire time.

Cate has stumbled into an invisible war in a realm filled with dark magic and time travel. She is now being stalked by not one, but two dangerous wizards.

When her brother disappears, a terrified Cate is forced into the brutal world where she must risk her life to search for him. Can she overcome the devastating and potentially deadly betrayal to find him?

Connect with Rhonda on her website, www.RhondaSermon.com.

Thanks for reading!

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2016


Big News!

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BIG NEWS! Sunset Empire is being published! It will be included in a new young adult box set, Secrets & Shadows! It releases on November 30.

The box set contains paranormal, urban, science fiction, and fantasy novels from ten amazing authors. Check out the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?

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Here’s the description and the author line up for the set:

Packed with fairies, witches, shifters, ghosts, space soldiers, deadly magic, gritty dystopian worlds, complicated relationships, and the ultimate swoon worthy love interests, follow ten badass heroines with remarkable powers and gifts as they face extraordinary challenges and decisions with potentially deadly consequences. They will stop at nothing to protect everyone and everything they love. They are fierce!

With over a million words and more than 700 combined four and five star reviews, this is your ultimate young adult collection of mesmerizing paranormal, action-packed urban fantasy, enthralling time travel, gripping dystopian and captivating space operas from 10 Award-Winning, New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling authors!

USA Today Bestselling Author DelSheree Gladden
USA Today Bestselling Author Angela Fristoe
International Bestselling Author Rhonda Sermon
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Susan Stec
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Laxmi Hariharan
International Bestselling Author Kelly St. Clare
Award-Winning Author Kristin D. Van Risseghem
International Bestselling Author Sophie Davis
International Bestselling Author Siobhan Davis
Award-Winning Author Melissa Eskue Ousley

The boxset is now available for pre-order, on SALE for only 99 cents, which is a crazy low price for ten books.

Pre-order here: http://amzn.to/2fuiyZs

Sunset Empire will be released at a later date as a paperback. Here’s the cover, designed by the incredibly talented DelSheree Gladden (who is one of the authors in the box set).

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I’m so excited to share this with you all! Stay tuned for opportunities to get an advance reader copy of Sunset Empire for read and review.

Also, if you’ve not yet read The Sower Comes, the third book in the Solas Beir Trilogy, now’s your chance. There’s a new giveaway on Goodreads. It ends November 16.

Thanks for reading!

 

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2016