young adult adventure

What’s in a difference?

Author Katrina Jack talks about The Silver Flute Trilogy. What sets her YA Urban Fantasy series apart from other books in the genre? What makes her characters unique? Read on to find out…



As an author of YA urban fantasy, I use some of the criteria that applies to fantasy overall. For example, my characters have a goal or quest they must fulfil in order to achieve their destiny. They have certain powers that help them in their journey. They fight mythical creatures and they combat weird and horrifying enemies who get in their way.

midnight 2

But of course thousands of writers do the same, no matter what genre they write in. So what did I do to make my work different? Well, the lead protagonist in The Silver Flute Trilogy is mute. How did I make him communicate, not only with his fellow characters, but with the readers too? Obviously it was neither practical or desirable to use swathes of description of sign language, apart from the odd gesture. I overcame this by simply not putting inverted comments around his dialogue, but instead…

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Categories: authors to watch, dark fantasy, fantasy, urban fantasy, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy | Tags: , , , , ,

Abomination: Book Review



(Pathfinders Book 1)

By Jane Dougherty

As the end of the world begins, Carla and Tully hurtle through a wormhole five years forward in time, only to find they haven’t missed the Apocalypse after all.

Carla and Tully are picnicking in the quad of their international high school in central Paris when the end of the world begins. They are sucked into a wormhole that spits them out five years later to find that the world is a freezing desolation but still hanging on, waiting for something even worse to finish it off. The something worse turns out to be the Burnt Man and his horsemen. Taken prisoner by the Flay Tribe to their lair in the ruins of a shopping mall, Tully is forced to become a warrior, while Carla joins the other girls as a kitchen slave and comfort woman.

Tully might like the idea of playing soldiers, but Carla knows what is waiting for the girls when the food runs out, and it isn’t pleasant. The supermarket holy man’s vision of the return of the Burnt Man and his demon friends drags Tully back to reality. When the four fiends are reunited, the Apocalypse will really begin. Carla and Tully don’t plan on being there when that happens.

But in this post-Abomination world where only the young and brutal have survived, where food and fuel are running out and the climate is plunging into another final ice age, there is nowhere to run—except down another wormhole, with no idea of what might be waiting for them at the other end.


My Review:

Carla and Tully are there to witness the beginning of the world’s end. When they are sucked into a wormhole that transports them five years into the future, they are stunned to discover a new and horrible version of the world they once knew. A world where violence is a way of life, where strange and terrifying creatures stalk the surviving humans, and where women are treated as lesser beings. They are forced to join a brutal tribe and shoved into the roles befitting their genders. As the story progresses, we learn more about the last five years and how the world they now inhabit came to be. We also learn the worst is yet to come.

Fast-paced and well-written, Abomination is a very strong start to the Pathfinders series. Jane Dougherty has created a desolate, post-apocalyptic world where the worst of human behavior thrives. We meet characters who are courageous, who love and care for others in spite of starvation, fear, and the daily threat of violence. These characters are beautifully drawn and complex. The story also has its share of twists and surprises.

I would recommend this book to teens age 13 and up. Adults will also enjoy the story. I sure did! Fans of dystopian tales and those who enjoy a thought-provoking adventure will love this book. I’m looking forward to book 2.

My Rating:

5 stars

Buy the book:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Finch Books

Watch for book 2 in the series coming soon!!!!




Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book of the day, book review, books, dystopian, dystopian fantasy, young adult, young adult adventure | Tags: , , , , , ,

Book of the Day: The Chosen One (Grimsley Hollow)

Today’s Book of the Day is:


by Nicole Storey

This book is the first in a middle-grade series that features a very unique hero. It’s also #FREE on #Kindle, so grab your copy now before the special promotion ends.


Eleven-year-old Gage Gilbert is autistic, loves Halloween, and has no friends. He longs to share real adventures – not just those conjured in his head.

A mysterious key leads him to Eve, a young witch from another world called Grimsley Hollow. It’s a place where all magical beings live in safety and peace, but their realm is in trouble. Gage is the only one who can save them from a nefarious witch who has taken control.
And the human world is next on her list.

With Eve’s help (along with a potty-mouthed pixy, a trouble-making werewolf, a half-vampire, and a couple of dragons) Gage travels to Grimsley Hollow and together, they embark on a journey that will change them all.

It’s a deadly race against evil, where extraordinary creatures stalk the land under a harvest moon and nightmarish monsters take form.

Gage wanted friends and adventure, but had no idea they would come at such a dangerous price.

Download free on Kindle from Oct 14th through Oct 18th:


Categories: fantasy, free books, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy, young adult paranormal | Tags: , , , , ,

Guest Post by K.C. Tansley

Today, we have a very special guest! K.C. Tansley is here to introduce her new book and to talk to us about her decision to write a novel featuring time travel. Take it away, K.C….

Why I Wrote a Time Travel Novel

by K.C. Tansley

I have always been fascinated by how people’s actions impact each other. Nothing happens in a vacuum. One person’s choice can set off a domino effect across others’ lives. When you trace a consequence back through the actions that led to it, there are always a few places where a few people could have made a different choice and it would have completely altered the outcome.

I wanted to play with the idea that one generation can make a choice that has unforeseen and devastating consequences on another. Time travel was essential to showcase this dynamic in action and have a rich sense of family going back centuries. I think it gave the story a bit of a saga feeling. By having my characters travel 129 years into the past, I could show how the past reached into the present and messed everything up.

What I find fascinating is that even the most researched and thought-out decisions can have a weakness: bad information. There is only so much information available when a decision is being made. Sometimes, what you think is trusted information is actually incorrect, and it brings so many consequences along with it.

We make choices every day. No matter how well thought out they are, the best intentions can lead to the worst outcomes. Sometimes the worst intentions have unexpected results. Many times the effects aren’t visible for years. A decision might seem right for a while. And then the repercussions come around on the next generation. Only then does it become clear that it was a bad choice. A decision made over a century ago can still impact people’s lives today.

In my head, I like to picture all the branches in a decision tree. It’s probably why I often wonder what I would change if I could. So I posed that question to my characters. What if you could go back in time? Would you change things? What if changing things risked your world’s existence? Would you still do it? Those kinds of tough choices show someone’s true nature. And the choices my characters made revealed so much about who they were at their core.

About The Book


She tried to ignore them. But some things won’t be ignored.

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.

But that is all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time and their own bodies before their souls slip away forever.

About the Author:


K.C. Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them.

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days. The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is the first book in her YA time-travel murder mystery series.

As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.

Connect wtih the Author:

Website: http://kctansley.com


Facebook Page:



Buy Links:





Categories: author feature, guest post, time travel, young adult adventure | Tags: , , ,

The Truth About Mud: Book Review

The Truth About Mud by Christina L Rozelle

When an evil crow snatches a beloved medallion, young trolls Thistle and Fane have one more reason to venture outside the Clearing. Driven by a thirst for adventure, and anger at their King for sheltering them for far too long, they decide to search for a way across Mangleblood River. What they find will change their lives for all eternity.

They soon discover that the ties of friendship are breakable, lies are as real as the mud they stand in, and what they thought would last forever, is nothing more than an illusion.



My Review:Thistle has already lost her Nan. She can’t bear to lose her medallion too. She’ll do anything to get it back, even if it means defying the troll-king’s orders and crossing the Mangleblood River. Her best friend, Thane, is willing to help her, but will Thistle’s quest change their lives forever?

The Truth About Mud is a yucky, brilliant, enchanting, muddy adventure that readers of any age will love. For me, it was a page-turning story, and though I’m quite a bit older than the intended audience for the book, I absolutely loved it. Kids and teens will love it too because it’s a clever, intelligent book that isn’t afraid to get a little messy. Thistle is a fantastic character. She’s independent, brave, and while she yearns for adventure, she also yearns for a sense of belonging.

I would recommend this book to everyone! It’s a unique, fun, magical story that I’ll probably read again.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy the Book on Amazon

Categories: action, adventure books, book review, children's adventure books, children's books, fantasy, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Arkaz: Book Review

dbt presents arkaz

Arkaz by Barakat Akinsiku

Genre: YA MultiCultural Adventure

A young princess. A forced betrothal. The quest for survival.

Princess Kaella of Yatz’s serene world comes to a grinding halt when her tiny village is invaded by forces of the Great Sol, an arch rival of Arkaz, under whose rule her village falls.

Fleeing for her life and from a forced betrothal, she teams up with unlikely allies, searches for her kidnapped sister and hopes to bring back help for her village…

Arkaz Cover

My Review: Princess Kaella is on the verge of being betrothed to the man of her dreams, but upheaval in her kingdom combined with a vicious betrayal threaten all her plans. Now Kaella is forced to choose between love and family, between happiness and duty to her kingdom. With the fate of many resting in her hands, Princess Kaella must grow up far too soon.

Arkaz is the first in a series for young adults. It’s based in an ancient African kingdom where evil witches cast spells, where war is a constant worry, and where young women reach marriageable age at only fourteen. When we meet Kaella, she is preparing for her betrothal ceremony in which she will become officially engaged to marry Yassir, the young man of her dreams. Unfortunately for Princess Kaella, other plans are in the works. She has to make a heartbreaking decision in order to save her family, and as a consequence, she destroys the trust of someone she holds dear.

As the first book in the series, Arkaz leaves a lot unfinished. However, I do find the ending satisfactory. It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, so I felt the author found a very good stopping point. There’s definitely more adventures in store for Princess Kaella and her entourage and I can see tons of potential with this series and its cast of characters. At times, some of the characters felt a little one-dimensional to me, but I think this is because the plot moved very quickly, particularly toward the ending. I’m looking forward to learning more about Kaella as she faces the challenges ahead.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-packed book with diverse characters and a unique setting, Arkaz might be just what you’re looking for.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book LinksAmazon  |   Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords  |  Kobo  |  Connect on Goodreads!

Author Information: Barakat lives in Lagos with her husband, twin sons and pretty daughter. An avid writer, she relaxes by reading a good book, watching documentaries and sketching designs. She is the author of The Surrogacy Deal and Arkaz.

Author LinksWebsite  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


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Categories: #WeNeedDiverseBooks, adventure books, book review, diverse book tours, diverse books, multicultural, multicultural books, young adult, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy | Tags: , , , , ,

Review of The Chosen One: Grimsley Hollow Book 1

The Chosen One: Grimsley Hollow Book 1 by Nicole Storey

Eleven-year-old Gage Gilbert is autistic, loves Halloween, and has no friends. He longs to share real adventures – not just those conjured in his head.

A mysterious key leads him to Eve, a young witch from another world called Grimsley Hollow. It’s a place where all magical beings live in safety and peace, but their realm is in trouble. Gage is the only one who can save them from a nefarious witch who has taken control.
And the human world is next on her list.

With Eve’s help (along with a potty-mouthed pixy, a trouble-making werewolf, a half-vampire, and a couple of dragons) Gage travels to Grimsley Hollow and together, they embark on a journey that will change them all.

It’s a deadly race against evil, where extraordinary creatures stalk the land under a harvest moon and nightmarish monsters take form.

Gage wanted friends and adventure, but had no idea they would come at such a dangerous price.

My Review: Gage is an eleven-year-old autistic boy who has been ostracized by the kids at his school. He has a loving family, vivacious little sis who understands him better than anyone, and a tree house that is his refuge. Gage has a great love for Halloween, horror movies, and the paranormal, but he enjoys the supernatural from the safety of his television. Life is comfortable for Gage, but is life fulfilling?  His lonely, safe existence is about to get a lot more complicated when his tree house is ransacked, a mysterious object appears, and an otherworldly girl shows up. Gage is now keeping secrets from his family and is about to embark upon a dangerous mission. How can an autistic kid save an entire world? Read the book to find out.

I fell in love with Gage and the world of Grimsley Hollow. The author has created a multifaceted world where good wars with evil. Vampires and werewolves battle bajangs and evil witches. This is a world where an ordinary human kid can prove that being a hero is more than swinging a sword or fighting the bad guy. In The Chosen One, heroism is about finding hidden courage, facing your deepest fears, and stepping outside your comfort zone to do something extraordinary. It’s about being a true and loyal friend, even when all you want to do is run home and hide under the covers.

The Chosen One is the first book I’ve ever read which features an autistic hero. Gage’s autism is addressed in an open, honest way educators, parents, and kids will appreciate. His autism is only one of many challenges Gage faces in this book. He’s a well-rounded character who is more than his autism. Yes, autism is part of who he is. It creates certain limitations. In this book, the author has shown us that autistic people are people. Gage isn’t special because of his autism or in spite of it. He’s special because he makes a choice to do something amazing. He chooses to be brave. He chooses to help. He chooses to be a friend. Gage is special because he chooses to be.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys fantasy. It’s classified as middle-grade, but the same adults who loved Harry Potter will enjoy this book as well. It’s filled with spooky adventure and is lots of fun. I can’t wait to get my hands on book two.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy the book on Amazon


Categories: adventure books, book review, children's adventure books, children's books, diverse books, diversity in books, fantasy, paranormal, young adult, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy, young adult paranormal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Boy Called Duct Tape: Book Review

A Boy Called Duct Tape
Author: Christopher Cloud
Published April 2012
Available on Amazon

Pablo Perez is a 12-year-old poor kid without much going for him. His classmates have dubbed him “Duct Tape” because his tattered discount-store sneakers are held together with…you guessed it, duct tape. He can’t escape the bullying. Pablo’s luck, however, changes after he finds a $20 gold coin while swimming in a river near his home. Pablo later buys a $1 treasure map at the county fair. The map shows the route to the “lost treasure” of Jesse James. Pablo can’t help but wonder: Is there a link between the map and the gold coin? He is determined to find out, and he, his 9-year-old sister and 13-year-old cousin hire an ill-mannered cave guide, and begin a treacherous underground adventure in search of treasure.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: Pablo Perez faces a boring summer until he discovers a gold coin at the bottom of a river while swimming with his sister, Pia. When their coin is stolen by the Blood Brothers, Pablo is convinced more coins exist. In fact, he believes the coin is just a sample of Jesse James’ treasure rumored to be buried somewhere nearby. Armed with his sister, his cousin Kiki, and a treasure map from the county fair, he enlists the help of Monroe Huff, a notorious cave explorer. Can they discover the treasure before the Blood Brothers catch up with them? Or, will the dangers Mother Cave has to offer be too much for them to overcome?

As a mom (and a lover of YA adventure stories), I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone age nine and up. The author combines history, geographical descriptions, and adventure. Kids will learn tons about Jesse James, spelunking, and geology without realizing it. They’ll also find heroes they can root for, discover the power of friendship, and learn about what true bravery and self-acceptance means. If you’re on a mission to find a book your finicky middle-schooler will read, buy this book for your son or daughter. If you’re an adult who like a good adventure story, buy it for yourself. I loved it and would give more than five stars if I could.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Categories: authors to watch, book review, young adult adventure | Tags: ,

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