The Monster Within by Kelly Hashway + GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLITZ}

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side—a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.
She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches. But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. 

The car stopped, and Ethan’s hand slipped from mine. I turned to him, blinking against the fluorescent lights of the gas station. 
“Sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to wake you. I just needed to get some gas and a few things from the convenience store. There’s no food at the cottage. I thought I’d grab some crackers and soda. Stuff like that. I’ll even see if they have black licorice for you. I know you love it.” 
I nodded and started for my seat belt. 
“No. You stay.” Ethan opened his door and stepped outside. I let my hair fall across my shoulders, trying to warm myself against the night air. “I’ll be right back.” 
The trunk opened, and a moment later, Ethan opened my door, handing me one of his sweatshirts. “Here, you look cold.” 
I smiled. “Thanks.” He knew me so well. I watched him walk inside the store and heard the soft click of the car locking again. He wasn’t taking any chances with me. I knew he’d protect me from anything. He’d already protected me from death. He was my every- thing now. I would never see my family or friends again. I had to start over. The thought terrified me, but at least I had Ethan by my side. 
I hugged the sweatshirt to my body. I was too tired to actually put it on, and, this way I could breathe in Ethan’s scent while I kept warm. I inhaled deeply at first, and then my breaths became shallow, which was weird considering how tired I felt. I yawned. Exhaustion overwhelmed me. Apparently it took a lot of energy to return from the dead. 
I leaned my head on the window, hoping the cool glass would keep me awake, but my head spun, making me dizzy. My arms and legs tingled with the sensation of pins and needles. I felt like I had a million spiders crawling all over me. I threw the sweatshirt off me and onto the floor. My arms were bare. No spiders. But the feeling didn’t go away. I panicked. The walls of the car were caving in on me. The air around me was tight, strangling me. 
I searched the convenience store windows for Ethan, but all I saw was a guy in a cowboy hat, and a woman taking her little boy to the bathroom. Where was Ethan? The lightheadedness was getting worse—more intense. My breathing was labored. In a panic, I reached for the door handle. It took me a moment to remember it was locked, but when I finally got it open, I stumbled out of the car into the fresh air. I gulped oxygen into my lungs, hoping it would make me feel better, but it didn’t. 

I was suffocating. Life was draining out of me. I collapsed to my knees, skinning them against the pavement. Wheezing, I crawled forward, trying to reach the convenience store door. Trying to reach Ethan. I needed help. I didn’t know what was happening to me, but it felt like I was dying...again. 

Author Interview + GIVEAWAY: Jen Sanya Williamson - author of Six Strings {BLOG TOUR}

Riley Witt is running out of time.
Battling Alzheimer’s disease, Riley’s grandmother Mary suffers from memory loss, mood swings, and a tendency to wander off.
As senior year approaches, Riley has to face the reality that the one person she depends on most is slowly fading. Making matters worse, when Mary does remember the past, she tells tales of time travel and visions. As Mary’s version of the past gets more confused, Riley knows they are running out of time together.
But when Riley discovers a guitar belonging to a famous rock star at Mary’s house, the truth behind the crazy tales finally comes out.
SIX STRINGS tells the story of Riley’s journey back to 1973 where she enters a world of music, long-lost family, and first love. Her adventure is all about discovering her past, understanding her present, and figuring out how to step into her future.

Jen Sanya Williamson is a graduate of the University of Arizona where she received a BA in creative writing. She spends most of her time with her junior high students, teaching and talking books. When not in a classroom, Jen is writing, watching TV shows from the ‘90s, or cheering on the Wildcats with her husband and children in her adopted hometown of Tucson, Arizona.

Do any of your characters have the same traits as you?
There are definitely some parallels between Riley, the main character from Six Strings, and the kind of girl I was in high school. Like Riley, I have always been a bit of a rule-follower. I was never the type of kid to sneak out past curfew or steal gummy bears from the bulk bins at the store. I was in the school band, but not nearly as talented as Riley. My closest friends in high school were often boys, like Nathan is to Riley. So, there' definitely some experiences I pulled from when writing her character.

When did you start writing?
I have been writing since I was kid. I remember the first short story I wrote was in third grade; it was a story about the tooth fairy. It was a big hit with my teacher. I still have all of the notebooks of stories I wrote during  junior high and high school. Sometimes I go through them, looking at the loopy handwriting, the bright purple and pink pens I would use. It makes me smile.

Do you have a favorite author?
I love too many authors to call one my favorite. John Irving has been influential because he puts such human emotion into stories in which you have no idea what will happen next. I find his stuff thrilling. I adore Edith Wharton. Instead of going to parties in high school, I would be up until two in the morning finishing just one more chapter of The House of Mirth or The Age of Innocence. Raymond Carver is the master of the short story. And I really love young adult writers like Sarah Dessen, Markus Zusak, Walter Dean Myers, and Neal Shusterman.

What are you currently writing?
I am currently working on the second volume of the Six Strings series. Riley is going to find herself in New York City during the 1970s; maybe not the best time to travel back for a cautious rule-follower like Riley!

What or where do you see yourself a year or two from now?
I hope I'm in a similar place: still surrounded by family and good friends, writing, and teaching awesome teenagers.


Starting a new life is never easy, but Alyssa Doe has turned it into an art form. Abandoned by her parents at age ten, six years in foster care has taught Alyssa how to get through life the hard way.
Now sixteen and growing desperate for a stable life, Alyssa finds herself puzzled by her newest keeper, twenty-five year old Jessica Sona. A feisty woman who does not accept no for an answer, Jessica’s insistence and passion for safety, family, and unconditional love begin to break down Alyssa’s walls and bring her hope, a dangerous emotion.
Can such a thing as family and love exist for a girl whose birth name is Doe, or will Alyssa be forever left finding keepers?

Fixing broken computers, wrangling a very spirited little toddler, and creating new fantasy worlds are all parts of the average day for Kristi Strong. While she has called Virginia her home for two decades, her head has rested in two countries, three states, and far too many houses to count. She was more than happy to give up her nomadic lifestyle and settle down with her husband, daughter, cat and chinchilla.

What are you currently reading?
I just finished Dream Slayer by Jill Cooper and absolutely loved it. I'm also anxiously awaiting the release of 42 Hours by Bethany Lopez later this summer.

What is the best part about being an author?
Getting to connect to the readers and touch people. Earlier this year, I was blessed with the opportunity to speak with over 100 high school students about self-publishing, and it is an incredible feeling to be able to tell them that there are so many options out there and see the light in their eyes, especially when I talked about publishing fantasy books. I think it's also really important to share my stories, emotions, and demons as a way to support others who have gone through similar situations, and let them know that they aren't alone.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My biggest advice would be to find a good support group. When I was in high school, I told my teachers/friends I wanted to be a published fantasy author, and they all laughed and said that no one gets published these days (and that was over a decade ago). It wasn't until I was in my mid-twenties that I found a great group of people who support one another and really push to make our writing professional quality, and then will gladly help with the intricacies of self-publishing.

Do you have any mottos?
"Life will always change, but only I can decide how I change" - is my biggest one at the moment, followed by, "Everything will be okay, but you must remember to breath"

Are there any authors who have interested you lately?
I am in love with the Friends and Lovers series by Bethany Lopez and can't wait until she puts out the next books in the series. I am also going through and slowly buying all of Jill Cooper's books, after reading and enjoying 15 Minutes and The Dream Slayer.

The rubber swing creaked as she swung, cold twilight air rushing against Alyssa’s face as she gave Brianna time to find the words to describe her feelings. A creak sounded from the swing beside her, and she heard Brianna take a deep breath.
“I don’t know what to do, Alli.”
“About what?” Alyssa glanced at her, noticing that her friend had dug a small hole in the dirt under the swing, and now sat with her cheek pressed against the chilled metal.
She shrugged, the herringbone pattern of her thick wool coat rising and falling with the motion. “Everything. School. Friends. Life. It’s just so damn hard, and I don’t know why. Sometimes just breathing is such a struggle.”
Alyssa remained silent a moment, pushing her swing back and forth with her feet, trying to find the right words to help.
Brianna wiped away a tear and leaned back in the swing. “You know what, it’s stupid. Just pretend I didn’t say anything. Everything is fine.”
“Hey,” Alyssa gently pulled on the chain of Brianna’s swing to bring her closer. “If it has you this upset, then it’s not stupid. Definitely not nothing, which means it’s something. And you are totally not fine right now.”
“I have no right, none at all, to talk to you about life being difficult.” She gave a bitter laugh that turned into a sob and swatted at another tear that dropped from her eye. “That’s what makes it harder though. I have absolutely nothing to complain about, and yet ...”
“Bri,” Alyssa began.
“No!” she interrupted. “I know it’s true. I have two loving parents in a committed marriage, and a big house, and pets, and a room filled with clothes, and pretty much anything I ever wanted, within reason. I’ve never had to worry about having food to eat, or clothes to wear, or boys touching me without permission. It’s not like I’m rich, and going to be driving a Benz or anything, but I know that when I get my license I’ll have a car to drive and parents who will let me drive it and be able to call it my own.”

Brianna paused, and Alyssa could see the metal chain shaking from the trembling of her friend’s body. She reached out and held out her hand, palm up, in the air next to her. Brianna reached out and took it, linking her fingers with Alyssa and holding tight, as if it were a rope ready to pull her to shore.

St. Blair: Children of the Night by E. W. Skinner (spoiler free book review)

St. Blair: Children of the Night
Sybille Malone lives in an overpopulated Manhattan, Region One, of Global Good 2202. Their society is the fulfillment of utopian ideals developed by the surviving masses of 2100. Seventeen-year-old Sybille is a resident of Dayshift and longs for a Nightshift boy known only as Mark. Distraught by Global Good's restrictive culture, Sybille is desperate until she finds a relic of a past civilization. The discovery of Blair's diary sets off a chain of supernatural events that not only affects Sybille's close relationships, but has Global Good scrambling to find the culprit.

5 of 5 stars
 ★ ★ ★ ★