Tag Archives: Young Adult

J.A. Campbell’s Sabaska’s Quest

My friend Julie Campbell and I shared a book birthday this past Tuesday! New-ish author at Untold Press, her other titles are also available there:) So here’s my review of Sabaska’s Quest

sq_coverWhenever I read J.A. Campbell’s books, her characters always remind me the importance of friendship and how living an adventure alone is not really worth it. In Sabaska’s Quest, sequel to Sabaska’s Tale, Anna must overcome more than one battle, and with the help of her best friend, a friendly ghost and her (not big spoiler, here) crush, they travel through dimensions to succeed against the Vanir.

I love strength in Campbell’s worlds, never giving into the easy and keeping our interest by going to and fro this dimension among others. As Anna says, “History is written by the victors,” and not only did this line resound profoundly in our reality, but in others as well.

Another force of this writer: how her characters always feel real, not only by speech but by action, too. Anna is a teen, she acts and sounds like one. Her parents and her classmates also feel realistic — almost too much at times — which isn’t always the case in Fantasy.

Highly recommended for readers of all ages who enjoy a thrill ride… and horses!!

ps I WANT A TRAVELER TO CALL MY OWN!!!

pps For those of you who haven’t yet, grab a copy of Senior Year Bites, Campbell’s take on a vampire girl going through high school and my fav of hers:)

Campbell_authorpic1Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog, Kira, her Arabian mare, Triska, and her Irish Sailor. She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories, the young adult fantasy series, Tales of the Travelers, and the young adult urban fantasy series The Clanless. She is also the editor of Steampunk Trails, an old west steampunk fiction magazine and a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers of America Association.

Advertisements

Happy bday, Hunter’s Trap♥

Pumpkin Spice Latte with a Bday Cakepop... and a mermaid.

Pumpkin Spice Latte with a Bday Cakepop… and a mermaid.

Well, it has arrived: my book. MY. BOOK. I’m so pleased, proud, scared, excited, a little noxious and so much in love. It looks like I wanted, it reads like I wanted, and I’m so happy to let it go on its own, in this scary, scary world beyond my computer.

Go, fly little one, and if you’re to come back, only with specters of black feathers…

Stay spooked,

a♥

AMAZON

SMASHWORDS

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY


Hunter’s Trap Giveaway and Some Important News…

Hunter's trap-FINAL FRONT

Click to enter!!

It’s almost time for Hunter’s Trap’s launch (September 9th, don’t forget) and I wanted to share the excitement, so here’s the link to a Goodreads giveaway with 3 chances to win a paperback of my latest YA horror story. The contest ends on October 10th and is opened to participants living in Canada, the United States and the UK.

Other news worthy of your calendar:  the first of my novella series Girls & Ghosts is to be released in November, date TBA. What a thrill not only because I explore creepy, ghostly worlds again, but these stories feature strong heroines with a purpose other than romance.

And so far, Killer Girls should hit the virtual shelves mid-February…

Stay spooked, folks♥

 


Hunter’s Trap, Cover Reveal

Hunter's trap-FINAL FRONTIsn’t it perfect, folks? I can’t believe how lucky I am to have found not only an über talented cover artist, but someone who caught the vibe of the book. GINA CASEY, you rock♥

My YA horror HUNTER’S TRAP comes out September 9th, but keep your eyes opened on this site and Goodreads, because a couple of contests to win softcovers will stretch from now on to early October.

Happy haunting, everyone…

Seventeen-year-old Dayton Mulligan is stuck looking after his little brother Jeremy when their father goes off on his annual hunting trip. But when Dad’s last phone call ends in a shotgun blast, it’s enough to send both boys out into a blizzard to search for him.

Caught in the killer weather, Dayton and Jeremy take refuge in an abandoned hunting cabin, which isn’t as empty as it first seems. A ghost inhabits its walls and promises to reveal the truth behind their father’s disappearance, but the brothers doubt their host’s sincerity as the spirit demonstrates its hatred for anyone who trespasses on its land.

Far from the safety of civilization, Dayton must swallow his fears, fight for himself and for his family before it’s too late and Hunter’s Trap claims them all, forever.

GOODREADS


Sad Ghost Press

I wrote Hunter’s Trap two years and a half ago, for some new print press opening their doors to unagented authors; it got to the final round but ended up rejected, for reasons unknown. In between the ten queried agents, seven asked for the full manuscript to read; bold, daring and creepy as hell were mentioned attributes, but none of them bit the bait. So I let the book rest, thinking it could always be suggested as a second project in case an agent decided to represent me and asked to read something else that was ready.

And then, things happened, things that made me realize that maybe I don’t always play well with others, maybe I do have a tendency to want things my way, and maybe I want more creative control over my books. And why shouldn’t I want it all? Ten years of working hard, getting cramps from twisted fingers for luck, sacrificing a virgin every full moon spells for someone else to change my writer’s life… until I got fed up and decided to take charge.

It’s not easy letting go of my traditionally published dream: seeing my name printed on a hardcover, going on an in-store book tour, having a team backing me up if I fall, that kind of thing. It also comes with having no say over your cover design, editing to other people’s directions, and once again, being told what to do. I’m a rebel, it’s anchored within me to always question authority, to always wonder if I could have done it better by myself, with my own means, with nobody else controlling me.

ghostSo I founded Sad Ghost Press – an adequate imagery reflecting the main theme throughout my books. I’m scared, I’m a tad melancholy and a lot excited, because on September 9th, 2014, HUNTER’S TRAP will hit the virtual shelves and be available for people to read. My way, the way I want it. There will be a blog tour, giveaways, Skellies and Ghosties and paperbacks to win, and I can promise you this: this book, my first self-published novel, will be all me ♥

 


Halloween + Coffin Hop = Girls & Monsters Giveaway♥

coffinhop

It’s no secret: autumn is my favorite time of year, especially because of Mother Nature lashing out her brightest colors before killing everything for winter. And then there’s Halloween, the celebration of the Dead and the Un-Dead. So pretty the skulls and spiders adorning the neighborhood, the pumpkin grins and the skeleton dances, so inspiring for future stories to come.

And so I want to spread the dark joy of scaring people, of making people squeal in disgust and hide in fright by giving away a signed copy of my collection of dark tales for young adult, Girls & Monsters, as well as The Monsters Collection of Skellies. Of course, I won’t be celebrating alone, so please visit my fellow Coffin Hoppers blogs and websites for other scares and goodies by clicking the sexy zombies, up above.

Coffinhopgiveaway*Girls & Monsters Giveaway*

1st prize winner gets a signed copy of Girls & Monsters plus The Monsters Collection of Skellies, made by moi.

2nd prize winner gets a digital copy of Death By Drive-In, an anthology featuring short stories written by 24 horror authors/Coffin Hoppers.

To participate, click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beginning on Octobre 24th and ending on Halloween at Midnight (east), the contest is international, the winners will be picked by ramdom.org, and the prizes shipped the next day. Good luck♥


The Perfect Cast

So many times I’ve come across the question if you could cast your own characters for the movie version of Girls & Monsters, who would it be? that before starting my thriller for young adult KILLER GIRL, I asked myself: who would I want to cast as my characters? Then I found this poster and almost died under the weight of inspiration.

First, I had to go with one of my favorite actors of all time (and near neurotic devotion): Gary Oldman. Our relationship (one-sided, needless to say) started with Sid & Nancy. Raw, brutal, addicts in love, he got me the second I laid eyes on him… and he looked so much like Sid Vicious that I had to remind myself this wasn’t a documentary but the fictional rendition of the Sex Pistols’ bassist final days. Then, there was Dracula (my one and only) and Harry Potter (oh, to bear the name Black) – The Professional, Romeo’s Bleeding, Immortal Beloved…so many, too many to even remember. And for Killer Girl, he’s my nemesis, he’s my monster: a man named Barnaby who turns kids into killers. Perfection.

Growing up, I wanted to be Winona Ryder. Oh no, not only because she played Mina (Dracula, again. I see a theme, here), Lydia in Beetle Juice or Kim in Edward Scissorhands, but also because she dated Johnny Depp and Christian Slater and was so beautiful and talented. Obsessed by her big doe eyes and that porcelain skin, I so wanted to be her… until what happened happened and the glass around her world shattered, a little. But fear
not, she’s back, she’s creepy (hello, Black Swan) and she’s my Kate: broken, fragile, but never a victim. A reunion with Oldman in my imaginary movie? Yes, please.
Then there’s my kick-ass girl lead: Roe: not afraid to shout about what’s right and wrong, she’s ready to take down the world, especially Barnaby. So I’m thinking Elle Fanning (with the help of Black #1) just because she’s pretty but not candycoated sweet… and she could go dark in the blink of an eye (I’m talking about her soul, now). Also, there’s something about her that screams ‘don’t make me say it twice’ that’s just alluring to me – no Disney or rainbows, but rain and darkness, just the way I like it.
And now I need YOU guys to help me pick my pretty boy, Dev: sensitive but not a wuss, he’s a fighter with an edge – as in you don’t want to mess with him, ever. I’ve settled for black hair/grey eyes combo, but I can’t find anyone matching that description. If you do, please step forward, and who knows, I might thank you in the acknowledgements. ♥

Horse Crazy Kid = Horse Crazy Author

My friend Julie Campbell is one prolific writer: she just published a series of novellas about a ghost-hunting dog, and now her full-length novel Sabaskia’s Tale is coming out today!! I was really touched by the story’s sensitive voice and endearing characters, and wondered why Julie loved horses so much ♥

Sabaska's Tale eBookAnne, thank you for having me here today. I’m going to talk a little about my love of horses and my Sabaska and the inspiration for my novel.

I don’t actually know how the horse bug bit me, but it did. As long as I can remember I’ve been riding horses. My parents let me do pony rides and trail rides as a kid and as soon as I got big enough they let me take lessons relatively frequently. There’s a barn close to where I grew up and I learned to ride English-style on Saddlebreds. I took lessons until I got to high school and then I got too busy and horses kind of went on a back burner. However, when I went to college in Colorado they came flooding back into my life. There were horses everywhere and I was going crazy that I couldn’t ride. Finally I found someone with a few too many horses and she let me ride with her, and learn from her and that’s where I met Sabaska.

She was basically half wild and barely trained. As I worked with her, teaching her that people were kind of cool, and learning from both her and my friend what it was to train a horse, I fell in love. Eventually I decided it was time to have my own horse and I wanted Sabaska. I bought her and moved her closer to my home so I could work with her every day. Progress went quickly. Sabaska had an eager and willing mind and she enjoyed doing things with me. I discovered endurance racing and decided that was the sport for us. This discovery set me and Sabaska on hundreds of miles of trails and adventure, which inspired this story. Sabaska was an amazing horse, as you’ll discover if you read the novel. A lot of her personality comes through in the fictional Sabaska. She was brave and bold and I couldn’t have had a better companion. One day while we were out riding I realized it really felt like we were in a different world and this sparked a story idea. What if I really was traveling to a different world? I wrote this book knowing it was the book I wanted to read when I was a kid, but didn’t exist. Hopefully it will find its way into the hands of horse crazy teens and inspire them to fantastical adventures on their own horses.

I lost Sabaska in 2012 to colic, but our adventures live on in these stories. She’ll never be replaced, but she gave me so many valuable gifts and lessons and the joy of having that special bond with a horse that I’ve never seen matched with any other creature.

 

***

Sabaska’s Tale
Series: Tales of the Travelers

By J. A. Campbell

Genres: Fantasy +  Young Adult, Horses

Published: July 5 2013

Untold Press www.untoldpress.com

Word count: 63 000

Pages: 224

eBook Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sabaskas-Tale-Tales-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00DSOCNWS

Amazon Smart Url: http://bookShow.me/B00DSOCNWS

Goodreads– book link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18134649-sabaska-s-tale

Sabaska's Tale GiveawayPromoBlurb:

To Anna, horses were more than a fascination, they were everything. Luckily, she had the opportunity to spend every summer on her grandmother’s horse ranch in Colorado. Life was perfect, until she received the devastating news that her grandmother had been tragically killed. Anna knew she was the only member of her family who could take over the ranch and hopefully find new homes for her grandmother’s beloved Arabians.
Anna wasn’t alone for long. Her grandmother had hired a local teenage boy to help tend the horses for the summer. Anna didn’t stand a chance against Cody’s quiet charm and the two rapidly become friends. However, even with the responsibilities of the ranch, Anna quickly discovers the secrets her grandmother had been hiding and a legacy that sends her on an adventure she never thought possible. An adventure in the saddle of a horse that wasn’t a horse at all. Sabaska, her grandmother’s favorite Arabian, was a Traveler; a magical being that could travel between worlds. With Anna at the reins, they find themselves trapped in a fight against evil with the highest of stakes… Their very survival.

 

Campbell_authorpic1Author Bio:

J.A. Campbell

Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor. She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult urban fantasy series The Clanless.

Find out more about Julie at  www.writerjacampbell.com  and follow her on twitter @Pfirewolf

Blogs: http://writerjacampbell.wordpress.com/blog/

http://phoenixfirewolf.livejournal.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/J.A.Campbell.Author?ref=tn_tnmn

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/j-a-campbell/35/535/b25

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4708012.J_A_Campbell