Kasi Blake learned that writing was her superpower when she was in the third grade. The teacher asked the students to write a short (one-page) story about a pet monster for Halloween. She heard the other kids all saying they were doing vampires and werewolves, so she chose to write about a pet mummy. Her story made the entire classroom erupt with laughter. That’s when she realized words had power. Then when she was in high school she had to write a short story for a class and put it off until the last minute. While talking to friends that morning, she scribbled it out and handed it in. The teacher thought she’d plagiarized it. That’s how good he thought it was, but her friends backed her up. Later in college, her writing ability saved her from a bad grade in history. It was a writing-intensive course.
A simple boy-meets-girl story. Only the boy is a vampire, and the girl is a badass werewolf hunter.
“Kasi Blake has written a winner with this series.” I Heart YA Books
Unhappy as a vampire, Jack dreams of a second chance at mortality. But when he gets it, his real problems begin. His teacher is a werewolf, the girl he’s crushing on is THE hunter, and his brother can’t decide whether to welcome him home or stake him just to be on the safe side.
Then his powers return along with the powers of a werewolf. He has no idea what’s happening to him, but he’d better figure it out fast. According to an ancient diary, he is destined to defeat the alpha werewolf… or die trying.
Bait: Van Helsing Academy
Some are born to be hunters. Others can only be bait.
At sixteen, Bay-Lee finally gets to join her father’s school. Thinking she might get special treatment, the other students resent her, but they have nothing to worry about. She is given the rank of Bait–only good for drawing out monsters so real hunters can kill them–like the other newbies.
When her roommate dies under strange circumstances, Bay-Lee vows to solve the mystery. Someone or some ‘thing’ is killing hunters on their birthdays. She enlists the help of a few new friends and a hostile hunter with amazing green eyes, the one that hates her without cause.
They must stop the killer soon or they will all die. Bay-Lee’s birthday is coming up fast. Will her first year at Van Helsing Academy be her last?
Vampires, Witches, and Ghosts…oh my!! Are you looking forward to Halloween as much as I am? Beyond consuming copious amounts of fun-size chocolate (don’t judge me, it’s Halloween), I always love to get in the spirit by reading a creepy story. For the blog today, I’ve pulled together some of my new favorites as well as a few of my usual October re-reads. Enjoy.
Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
A jaw-dropping mystery about a woman whose life is turned upside down when she finds out that her husband is a serial killer. She and her kids must go into hiding to protect themselves from the cyber trolls that think she knew about his sinister hobby all along.
Lots of creepy cyberspace stalking, an abundance of interesting characters/suspects, and a soccer mom turned survivalist (reminiscent of Terminator’s Sarah Connor), make me love this new series from one of my all-time favorite authors. The next book in the series, Killman Creek, comes out December 12, 2017.
Frenzy by Casey Bond
Vampires verses zombies in an unsettling dystopia where there are more secrets than you can shake a stake at. Frenzy is the first book in the completed series of the same name.
I listened to these on Audible and found myself shouting out loud at almost every chapter end. Relentless thrills, unforeseen twists (how does she dream up this stuff), and drama that makes you cry one moment and laugh the next make Frenzy a must read.
The Vampire Wish by Michelle Madow
Original twist on the usual vampire stories. The vampire kingdom is separated from our own in a magically protected valley. A girl is kidnapped and pulled into the vampire kingdom to spend the rest of her days as a human slave. A chance encounter, changes her circumstances and brings her closer to her only wish, to become a vampire so that she can escape. The Vampire Wish is the first book in the Dark World series. The fifth book, The Vampire War, is slated to release in December/January.
Reminded me so much of my own Midnight Guardian series with the idea of a world of baddies separated from our world by only a thin layer of magic. A great meshing of contemporary and old world. This fresh take on vampires is a new favorite.
Dark & Deadly Things by Kelly Martin
Things go really, really wrong on the Dark & Deadly Things reality ghosthunter TV show’s live episode. The lead ghosthunter’s daughter and the last remaining survivor of the doomed episode pair up to solve the mystery of what really happened that night. Dark & Deadly Things is the first book of the completed Dark Things series.
Fans of Supernatural and The Conjuring/Annabelle movies will love this ghosthunting series. Don’t read it when home alone (trust me). Seriously creepy and imaginative, Dark & Deadly Things is the perfect Halloween read.
Halfway Dead by Terry Maggert
A loveable witch in a cozy, small town meets a stranger looking for some rare trees in the woods (so they say). In the search, the young witch uncovers and rights the wrongs of the past. Halfway Dead is the first book in the Halfway Witchy series. Halfway Drowned is the recently released fourth book in the series.
Forget Glinda and Elphaba, Carlie is my favorite witch. Ever. There I said it. Girl is powerful and smart, while sometimes vulnerable, and she makes waffles. Amazing descriptions make you feel like you are really there with her. Carlie plus a perfect mix of spooky adventure, cozy mystery, and comedy makes this a well-loved book.
Witch Hearts by Liz Long
Before I met Carlie, I met Ruby. Ruby isn’t all-in when it comes to the creepiness, but she is always there for her friends. When her roommate is killed by something that is apparently hunting witches, Ruby sets off to unravel the mystery. Witch Hearts is a standalone novel, even though I’ve personally begged the author for a second one. Many times.
One of my all-time favorite creepy mysteries, Witch Hearts delivers. Ruby is a very realistic character, so well-developed that I felt like I knew her. I found myself forgetting to breath during the suspenseful parts, and the mystery wraps around your brain and has you thinking of it long after you’ve left the page. Always a favorite re-read for October.
Bait by Kasi Blake
It’s not Bay-Lee’s fault that she is classified as “bait”, the lowest cadet level, at the Van Helsing School. Everyone has to start at the bottom. Secrets abound in this great, paranormal coming-of-age story. Bait is the first book in the Order of Spirit Realm complete series.
Fast action, the Van Helsing connection, and Nick and Bay-Lee’s dramatic relationship had me from the start. A monster mash-up with a strong female lead makes Bait a Halloween tradition.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Haunting prose about a boy that grows up in a cemetery filled with ghosts. My recommendation, don’t read it. Well, no, read it, but then also listen to the audiobook narrated by Neil Gaiman. Neil’s voice brings an all new dimension to the entrancing story. One of the most well-worn paperbacks in my personal library, The Graveyard Book is perhaps my favorite book of all time.
Grave Peril (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher
I absolutely adore the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher, which I first picked up on recommendation of another one of my favorite authors, Charlaine Harris. As part of my own Halloween tradition, every October, I make it a point to listen to a Dresden Files book narrated by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). This year, I chose the audiobook for Grave Peril, remembering its super creepy villain, the Nightmare, and its equally creepy spell that wrapped ghostly barbed wire around its victims. More Charlaine Harris Recommendations (always good)
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Coyote skinwalker Mercedes Thompson is tough. She had to be, being raised by werewolves. The Mercedes Thompson series is one of my most loved. Each book is an intense, action-packed mystery wrought with shifter testosterone, faerie magic, and snarky Mercedes. Moon Called is the first book in the ongoing series.
Those are my top 10 for this year. Have any more to add? Do it in the comments below. As for the creepiest one of my books, check out Shadows Rising.
Happy October 10! For the tenth day of the tenth month, the authors of The Society of YA Storytellers are sharing Top 10 lists on just about everything. Part of the fun of Fun Friday is that we get to twist the topic and make it our own. And I plan to do just that.
For this Fun Friday on 10/10, may I present my Top 10 favorite Fun Friday Storytellers posts of all time. Click on the post titles to read them for yourself!
If you missed this one, now is the perfect time to take a look with Halloween sneaking up. Christy’s list is awesome, and may I point out that she is absolutely on her game. One book she mentioned is just now starting to gain big buzz, but she listed it in this post a year ago. She really knows her stuff.
Liz’s questions are structured in a way that turns the typical interview on its ear. When a question begins with “Let’s say you’re thrown into the Hunger Games…” you know you’re in for an entertaining read. Heather’s responses are hilarious. Then again, what else would you expect from someone who speaks in hashtags. 😉 Love you, ladies!
Laura shares an embarrassing moment from her own life, then one from one of her characters. We can all relate, but what puts this in the number one spot for me is that her post included some words I’ll never forget. These are some of the most beautiful and insightful words I’ve ever read, “A perfect stranger’s kindness is usually what meets my embarrassment every time. I guess fast friends are formed in the intimacy of being vulnerable, being human. And for every time I’ve wanted to disappear when I’ve been embarrassed, I’ve been given a measure of magic too.”
Today I’m celebrating the release of my Society sister Kasi Blake’s newest novel, Warrior (Order of the Spirit Realm, #3). Kasi is taking the reins over my blog today to give you the scoop, so without further ado…
This is the third book in the Order of the Spirit Realm Series. If you haven’t read them, start with BAIT. It is free at most online ebook vendors such as Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.
This book begins two years after HUNTER ended. Bay-Lee is fighting a Devil Tree while her mentor and boyfriend, Nick Gallos, watches from the sidelines. Things are tense between them. She wants to amp up their relationship, but Nick has put on the brakes. He’s got one foot out the door, and she doesn’t know what to do about it.
WARRIOR brings about closure and change, some good and some bad. Together, Nick and Bay-Lee will take on the werewolf pack that killed her mother, face their twisted pasts, and face a friend turned enemy.
Quotes from WARRIOR:
Bay-Lee: You never told me I wasn’t supposed to kill it. You told me I couldn’t kill it.
Nick: I should have known you’d take that as a challenge.
Keisha: Oh, don’t play Miss Innocent with me, girl. It was your idea for me to trade places with Nick’s banshee, but you’ve been wearing a pouty face ever since.
Bay-Lee: I don’t have a pouty face.
Keisha: Sure you don’t.
Bay-Lee (after knocking Keisha down): You hit on my boyfriend, so I thought I should hit on you.
Little girl: There’s a monster in my closet.
He added, “Reapers aren’t supposed to care.They don’t have compassion or love inside of them.”
“But you’re still human.”
“Because of you!” It sounded like an accusation instead of gratitude. “I haven’t lost my humanity because I still have you. His facial muscles tightened. “I can’t keep living like this.”
Nick threw the talisman down and stormed off, heading for the castle.
She scooped the talisman off the ground. It was precious, even if it was malfunctioning. Without it Nick wouldn’t be able to stay with her. She ran until she caught up with him. Slipping it into his hand, she begged him to keep using it. “At least until we find something else. Please.”
The purple half-circles beneath his eyes attested to his lack of sleep and made her want to cry. She cringed when he slipped the thing around his neck. Asking him to live like this was horrible, but she couldn’t let him go, not yet.
It’s Fun Friday again for The Society of YA Storytellers. This week’s theme is “Host a Storyteller”. I had the privilege of matching up authors this week. Since I stepped out this week to facilitate the matches, I thought I’d showcase them all!
Here’s my Best of “Host a Storyteller”:
Heather Hildenbrand tells Liz Long that she’d pick Stefan over Damon because “…I reallly don’t want to have to worry about whether my boyfriend killed anybody today. Seems kind of exhausting.” >Read full post here
Christy Sloat shares a look at the Visitors Series on K.C. Blake’s blog. >Read full post
K.C. Blake gives a sneak peek at Warrior, Order of the Spirit Realm #3 coming this summer >Read full post
Liz Long admits that given the choice of facing Mordor (Lord of the Rings) or Death Eaters (Harry Potter), she’d chose Death Eaters because “that means I’m not being chased by Orcs.” >Read full post