Feed Your Kindle–Get in the Mood for Halloween!

Here are some horror or post-apocalyptic young adult titles to get you in the mood for Halloween!  All priced under 4 bucks.  Click on the covers for the Amazon product page.

Sudden Independents by Ted Hill – .99

Jimmy never thought he’d be spending the apocalypse farming in Nebraska and worrying about Hunter. But when the plague killed their parents, along with everyone over the age of seventeen, Jimmy suddenly became head of the household.

Then the oldest kid in town turned eighteen and the plague chased him down. Now Jimmy has one more thing to worry about—and he’s running out of time.

Hunter finds a little girl named Catherine under a cottonwood tree in the middle of nowhere. When Catherine magically heals Hunter’s broken arm, Jimmy hopes he will survive his eighteenth birthday if he can protect her from the horseman responsible for unleashing the plague.


The Scourge by A G Henley 2.99

Seventeen-year-old Groundling, Fennel, is Sightless. She’s never been able to see her lush forest home, but she knows its secrets. She knows how the shadows shift when she passes under a canopy of trees. She knows how to hide in the cool, damp caves when the Scourge comes. She knows how devious and arrogant the Groundlings’ tree-dwelling neighbors, the Lofties, can be.

And she’s always known this day would come—the day she faces the Scourge alone.
The Sightless, like Fenn, are mysteriously protected from the Scourge, the gruesome creatures roaming the forests, reeking of festering flesh and consuming anything—and anyone—living. A Sightless Groundling must brave the Scourge and bring fresh water to the people of the forest. Today, that task becomes Fenn’s.

Fenn will have a Lofty Keeper, Peree, as her companion. Everyone knows the Lofties wouldn’t hesitate to shoot an arrow through the back of an unsuspecting Groundling like Fenn, but Peree seems different. A boy with warm, rough hands who smells like summer, he is surprisingly kind and thoughtful. Although Fenn knows his people are treacherous, she finds herself wanting to trust him.

As their forest community teeters on the brink of war, Fenn and Peree must learn to work together to survive the Scourge and ensure their people’s survival. But when Fenn uncovers a secret that shatters her truths, she’s forced to decide who and what to protect—her people, her growing love for Peree, or the elusive dream of lasting peace in the forest.
A tale of star-crossed lovers, strange creatures, and secretive, feuding factions, THE SCOURGE introduces readers to a rich and exciting new world where nothing is as it seems.


The Outside by Shalini Boland – 3.99

A post-apocalyptic romance thriller.

The world of the future is divided by Perimeters: high-security gated communities where life goes on as normal. If you’re inside you’re lucky, if you’re outside life expectancy takes a nose dive.

Riley is fortunate to have been born on the right side of the fence. But her life of privilege comes crashing down when someone breaks through the Perimeter and murders her sister. She forsakes her own safety to go in search of the killer. Luc decides to go with her otherwise she’ll be dead before she’s past the security gate. But what awaits her outside is more unbelievable than she ever expected.

Cut to the present day where Eleanor’s world is falling apart. This time next year, civilisation won’t be quite so civilised . . .


The Burn by Annie Oldham – .99

The Burn is full of nuclear fallout, roving gangs, anarchy, unreliable plumbing. That’s what Terra’s father tells her. She has lived her whole life in comfort in a colony at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. She hates it. And she would pay any price to leave. But when Terra finally escapes the colony, she finds out her father is right. She finds a group of survivors that quickly become friends, and every day with them is a race for survival. But then she witnesses and commits unspeakable acts, and she must decide where her loyalty lies: with the colony she despises or The Burn, where every day is filled with nightmares.


Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn – 2.99

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden underworld of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.


The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin – 2.99

Everything is in ruins.A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.So what does Araby Worth have to live for?Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Review: Paradise Kiss Vol 1 by Ai Yazawa

 

Title:  Paradise Kiss V 1

Author:  Ai Yazawa

Publisher:  Vertical

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Yukari is a spirited high school senior in the process of studying for her college entrance exams. Sadly the prospect of subjecting herself to a meaningless dull life leaves her feeling depressed about the future.  In a bout of frustration, Yukari begins to ignore her courses and she begins to hang out with a group of fashion design students. But what Yukari doesn’t know is that this circle is known as Paradise Kiss, and they are run by a pair of young designers already making their mark on the Asian scene. Furthermore, while her life is going to soon change, it will not be due to the elite political or commerce based future her family may have hoped for, instead her life may eventually be set in a world of high fashion, with her strutting down the catwalk as the face of Asian fashion!


Review:

How lovely to see Paradise Kiss back in print after so long!  This series,  Peach Girl, and Marmalade Boy  are directly responsible for my love of graphic novels.  During the hey-day of the US manga craze, there were so many wonderful books being released that it was hard to keep up with them all.  There was also a lot of garbage hitting store shelves, in such an overwhelming wave, that buyers couldn’t keep up.  Then the recession hit, and it was bye-bye to several of my favorite publishers.   CMX’s demise hit me the hardest, because DC’s imprint had licensed some unique titles, and many of the series that I followed were being released by them.  When Tokyopop shuttered, I actually became so discouraged with comics that I started reading prose books again.  Am I bitter that I will never see the end of I Hate You More Than Anyone or Kamui?  Am I upset that Silver Diamond and Demon Sacred were never competed?  You betcha! That’s one reason why I was so happy to see ParaKiss back in print with a new publisher.  This is a timeless story of a high school girl’s coming of age, with fun characters and gorgeous illustrations.  It deserves to stay in print, and since it’s been ten years since it was last published, there is a brand new audience out there just waiting to discover it.

One thing that I love about Ai Yazawa’s storytelling style is how she sprinkles humor into her plot when events get emotionally intense.   There is so much drama, drama, drama, which I love, and then all of a sudden there is this marvelous little blast of humor – either a joke from one of the characters or a humorous visual to ease all of that tension, just a little bit.  It is more evident in NANA (speaking of which, what happened to NANA?), but there are small glimpses in this first installment of Ai Yazawa’s classic romance.  I enjoy the contrast to the heart-stopping tension, and look forward to seeing how she’ll maneuver her characters from emotional trauma to eliciting an chuckle from the reader. 

In ParaKiss, Yukari is a high school senior with a lot of her mind.  She is cramming for her college entrance exams, and she doesn’t have time to get involved with a bunch of weirdos from the local fashion school.  Once she meets charismatic George and is caught under petite Miwako’s charm, she has no choice but to model for their fashion show.  There is so much change in Yukari from the opening chapter,  where she is risk adverse and single-mindedly intent on her studies, to the end of this volume, where she is fabricating lies for her parents so she can spend more time with her new friends in their basement studio.  She is finally starting to assert herself, and to reject her mother’s stranglehold over her.  Finally, there is something that she cares enough about to fight against the carefully planned path her parents have laid out before her.  Is it in her best interests to get caught up in the lives of these creative and impulsive people?  Probably not, but the rush of being with them is intoxicating, and she’s not willing to let it go.

George is so far over her head that I worry for Yukari.  He is jaded and worldly, while she’s lived a very sheltered life.  No friends, no boyfriends, few connections outside of her family.  George is like a blazing torch, and she is drawn, against her will,  to his brilliance.  As I read the book this time around, I sympathized more with her confusion over her feelings for George.  She’s not accustomed to expressing her feelings or hanging out with a guy, and everything that George does sets her world on end.  He is intense and self-confident, and he rushes head-first into everything that life has to offer.  Yukari isn’t prepared for a guy like George, and now that she’s caught his attention, she isn’t sure how to keep it fixed firmly on her.  All of the emotional ups and downs of that first relationship are intensified by George’s vivid personality.  She doesn’t stand a chance against him, and I kept wondering if he was just dicking around with her from the moment he met her.

I love the art.  Ai Yazawa’s delicate, detailed character designs are distinctive and beautiful.  The clothing is also stunning, but how can you possibly have a story about fashion designers and have everybody wearing ugly clothing?  You can’t, and the clothing take on a life of their own.

If you enjoy drama and that pulse-pounding confusion of first love, give this series a shot.  If you enjoy comics with beautiful clothes and beautiful characters, give this series a shot.  If you are interested in manga and haven’t read any of it yet, this is a good, short (3 volume) title to get you started.  It’s still as pretty and as moving as it was 10 years ago.  As always, Vertical’s presentation is top notch, with a new translation and a bigger, bolder trim size than the previous version.

Grade:   B+

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Kelley Vitollo, Author of Lucky Break and Giveaway!

Kelley Vitollo is the author of Lucky Break, a new release from Entangled Publishing’s recently launched Bliss imprint.  Kelley dropped by the virtual offices to introduce herself, and she brought along a copy of Lucky Break for one of you to win!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Kelley Vitollo] Mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, reader, writer, romantic, sensitive, friendly, emotional, determined, likes fun. Feels very lucky.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Lucky Break?

[Kelley Vitollo] It’s a friend to lovers story about two best friends, who don’t talk for a few years, because Sidney left for Hollywood without saying goodbye. She thought she was following her dreams. Kade knew she was his dream and when Sidney comes home for a short visit, sparks fly, even though they both know it isn’t smart. It’s basically about two people finding their friendship again, falling in love, and discovering who they are and what they want in life.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Kelley Vitollo] The book started with Sidney. I had the first scene of the book in my head. I knew she was a down-on-her-luck actress who had to go home again. Kade grew from there. I wanted a friends to lovers story because my hubby and I were best friends before we fell in love. Once I had Sidney and Kade, the story just grew from there.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Sidney?

[Kelley Vitollo] Determined, confused, loving.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Kade would never have on the menu at Lucky’s?

[Kelley Vitollo] Oh! That is a hard one! Umm… nothing too frilly. Kade is a small town, simple guy, so none of that fancy stuff. Maybe nothing with Hollywood in the title since it’s what he almost lost Sidney to. LOL. Other than that, I think he would be pretty open :)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Kade had a theme song, what would it be?

[Kelley Vitollo] Your Everything by Keith Urban

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Sidney’s most prized possession?

[Kelley Vitollo] Probably her antique sewing machine.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Kelley Vitollo] Oh, another good question. I’m a huge fan of Lucy Monroe and Toni Blake. They both write emotional books with men I can’t help but fall in love with.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Kelley Vitollo] I’m really simple when it comes to writing. I’m not one of those authors who has to have music or anything like that. I’m usually writing with Dora the Explorer going in the background, so as long as I have my laptop, I’m good. I do really love writing at the bookstore or coffee house though. I find it relaxing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Kelley Vitollo] It’s actually a YA novel called, Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. For adults books I recently read Holly Lane by Toni Blake and really enjoyed it. I’m also a huge JR Ward fan.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Kelley Vitollo] Wow. That’s hard. Honestly, I would probably have to say Harry Potter. As a teen, even though I loved writing, I didn’t read much. Harry Potter started my reading again. Then, when I became a stay-a-home mom for the first time, I found romance and immediately fell in love. The first one I picked up was A Soft Place to Fall by Barbara Bretton.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Kelley Vitollo] I’m a huge reader. I have to read every day. I love spending time with my kids and husband. Going to the bookstore, dinner or movies with a friend. I like to scrapbook, though I don’t do it as much as I’d like to.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Kelley Vitollo] I’m on Twitter @KelleyVitollo, at my website http://www.kelleyvitollo.com/ or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Kelley-Vitollo/377170388965628

Thank you so much for having me!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Thanks to Kelley and Entangled Publishing, I have  a digital copy of Lucky Break for one of you to win! Just fill in the widget below to enter. Extra entries for following. Open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can order Lucky Break from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below