Genre: Suspense

Spotlight Tour: One Was Lost

Posted October 3, 2016 by Stephanie in Excerpt, Spotlight / 0 Comments

Spotlight Tour: One Was LostOne Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on October 4th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 320
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Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.
Murder, justice, and revenge were so not a part of the plan when Sera set out on her senior camping trip. After all, hiking through the woods is supposed to be safe and uneventful.
Then one morning the group wakes up groggy, confused, and with words scrawled on their wrists: Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Their supplies? Destroyed. Half their group? Gone. Their chaperone? Unconscious. Worst of all, they find four dolls acting out a murder—dolls dressed just like them.
Suddenly it's clear; they're being hunted. And with the only positive word on her wrist, Sera falls under suspicion…

A Letter From The Author

Dear Reader,

It’s hard to believe One Was Lost is finally here.  It feels weird to admit that I’ve been desperately looking forward to scaring you all and keeping you up way past your bedtimes, but it’s the truth.  And now that it’s finally out in the world, I just can’t wait to hear what you all think!  I mean, after you get some sleep of course.  I’m not that impatient.

As a writer with my fourth book hitting the shelves, I can say each new release has its own special brand of excitement.  Each story has elements that you cherish and characters you love.  But One Was Lost wasn’t like any of my other books.  Writing this book was a whole new ball game.

The truth behind One Was Lost is that my father died a few months before I started writing it. He was my inspiration for writing as a child and easily one of my closest friends throughout my life.  Losing him was like having my foundation knocked sideways.  My grief felt oceans deep and I was lost in the roll of every wave. It was brutally difficult.

For anyone who’s met me and knows what a class clown I am, I’ll confess 2015 was one of the least funny years of my life.  Still, when I sat down to write One Was Lost, I knew I had something special.  These characters were speaking to me like characters never had.  This story was at a roiling boil in my head—but, could I really write it?

Doubt plagued me in those first days. Could I still remember how to get lost in a story? Could I get it right when I was still struggling so much? Most importantly, could I still be the writer I used to be?

The answer was quick and a little terrifying.  No.

I couldn’t go back to the writer I was before.  Losing someone incredibly important to you changes you.  There is a new normal you must adjust to, and that new normal doesn’t fade away after the funeral is done and over.

My new normal proved to be a very powerful force in my writing life.  One Was Lost forced me to face fears I might have danced around in other books. I had no choice but to dive more deeply than ever before. My new perspective had me spend more time than usual learning about these new characters.  Trying to understand them.  Hurting with them and fearing with them.

I didn’t just lose myself in One Was Lost, I drowned in it.  I fell so deeply into this book that at times it was difficult to resurface to do normal, mundane not-lost-and-terrified-in-the-forest things.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been more in love with characters in any of my stories, and I’m absolutely sure I’ve never been happier with the way a book has turned out.

It is my dearest hope that you’ll all get a little lost in this book too. Sometimes even the scariest things can bring out strength and goodness we never believed possible. And it is just that reason that One Was Lost is a book I’m so particularly proud of and excited to share with you.

Happy Reading!

Natalie

one-was-lost-image

About the Author

Lifelong Ohioan, Natalie D. Richards, spent many years applying her writing skills to stunningly boring business documents. Fortunately, she realized she’s much better at making things up, and has been writing for teens ever since. A champion of aspiring authors, Richards is a frequent speaker at schools, libraries, and writing groups. She lives in Ohio with a Yeti, a Wookie (her dogs) and her wonderful husband and children.

Author Links: Website || Twitter || Facebook || Pinterest || Instagram

Excerpt

I shriek as the frigid water laps up my thighs. Then—Snap! Pop!—off to my right. Dread spikes through me. Something’s coming downstream. I have to go. Right now.

“Come on, Sera,” Mr. Walker says, sounding breathless.

I rush, feet lurching. Almost there. So close now. I stumble. Lucas grabs my pack and hauls me up, and then I’m snarling at him—“Don’t touch me!”—while Mr. Walker snags one of my straps and half drags me out. Water pours down my pant legs. I’m soaked and freezing.

I take a soggy step, and my boot slips on the muddy bank. Lucas is out too, swearing and scrambling up while Mr. Walker stares across at the girls, hands in his hair, eyes wide with terror.

My knees are buckling, but I grab branches and exposed roots and, finally, Jude’s smooth, dark hand. Once I’m up, I follow him past brambles that snag my poncho. My hair.

“Over here.” Jude points to a vantage point near the path. No earbuds now. He’s wide-eyed and utterly focused on the stream fifteen feet below us. Emily and Lucas are beside him, both shaking.

There’s a tree wedged across the stream. That must have been what I heard. The water is rushing under and over it, pushing it harder and harder. And then it’s loose. I hold my breath as it rolls with the mud-brown river, snapping any­thing in its path.

“The others,” Emily says softly.

They’re lined up on the other side, mud-spattered and white with fear as the log hurtles past, ripping its way through the streambed and releasing a wall of sludgy brown water in its wake. The current surges up the banks behind it, littered with smaller branches and clumps of vegetation. Madison’s eyes track us across the water, finding Lucas and then me.

“They’re stuck over there.” I know it’s obvious, but I say it anyway.

Mr. Walker barks instructions at the edge of the stream. Ms. Brighton nods along, one arm wrapped around each girl, her dark braid coiled around her pale neck like a snake.

“What’s he going to do?” Jude asks.

“Nothing, rich boy,” Lucas says. “There’s not a damn thing he can do tonight. Can’t even call for help because there’s no signal anywhere with this rain.”

“What will happen to them?” I ask.

“If they listen to Mr. Walker, they’ll go set up camp on that ridge. We’ll stay here for the night, probably farther up the path. Us here, them there. Regroup in the morning if we can.”

I whirl on Lucas. “What do you mean if?”

“You expect us to believe he’s just going to leave them?” Jude asks.

“That flood isn’t going anywhere soon. And I don’t give a shit what you believe,” Lucas says to him. “Since someone has to set up our tent again, I need to find a clearing.”

Lucas storms away, and my eyes drag back to the stream. Three girls with arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders. The river gushes along, a monstrous evolution of what I just crossed, swallowing the bridge inch by inch.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Not like this at all.

Stephanie
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Excerpt Tour: The Cabin

Posted September 22, 2016 by Stephanie in Excerpt, Giveaway, Spotlight / 3 Comments

Excerpt Tour: The CabinThe Cabin by Natasha Preston
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on September 6th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 336
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There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent in this new thriller from Natasha Preston, author of The Cellar and Awake.
When Mackenzie treks to a secluded cabin in the woods with six friends, she expects a fun weekend of partying, drinking, and hookups. But when they wake to find two of their own dead and covered in blood, it's clear there's a killer among them.
As the police try to unravel the case, Mackenzie launches her own investigation. Before long secrets start to emerge, revealing a sinister web of sins among the original seven friends. The killer is still free. Every one of them is a suspect. And Mackenzie starts to realize that no one is innocent…

About the Authornatasha

My name is Natasha, but most people call me Tash or Tasha. I don’t mind either. I was born in England and have lived in small towns and villages out in the countryside ever since.

My husband, Joseph, is the most supportive person in my life. Without his love, help and patience I wouldn’t be where I am today. And this website wouldn’t exist! I’m a proud mummy to an amazing little boy who is my whole world.

At school I drifted through, achieving average grades. I fell into administration and receptionist jobs, thinking that I couldn’t really do anything else.

In 2010 I stumbled into writing completely by accident. I was searching the ‘app store’ and came across Wattpad – an amateur writing site. For the first few months I just read, but then I decided to type out some of the ideas swirling around in my head. I’m so glad I did because I love creating new stories.

Writing gave me an escape and Wattpad gave me the confidence I lacked.

Author Links:  Website || Twitter || Facebook || Goodreads

Giveaway

1 Copy of THE CELLAR by Natasha Preston (US & Canada Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt

I closed my eyes. When you open your eyes, you’ll see something different. With my heart in my throat, I cracked one eye open. The image didn’t change. There was so much blood. Courtney and Josh were still lying motionless on the floor.

Megan let out a high–pitched scream that didn’t sound like it belonged to a human.

This isn’t real. I’m dreaming. I have to be dreaming.

“Courtney,” I whispered again, my voice drowning in a sea of Megan’s sobs and screams. “Josh!”

They didn’t answer. My mind reeled. How? Who? Why? My body was ice–cold from the shock. My fingers gripped the counter, nails digging into the wooden countertop. I couldn’t move. I was frozen in place. I couldn’t look away.

Oh God. Oh God. Do something! Help them!

Aaron dropped to his knees. His arms hovered over Josh as if he wanted to touch him but was too scared. “Shit,” he spat. “Someone do something! Call an ambulance!”

It looked too late for that. Courtney’s once–red lips were a pale pink, and her skin was dull and gray. A stream of dried blood stretched from her ear to the floor.

My pulse drilled.

They’re dead. They’re dead! No, no, no, no!

I dropped to my knees, ignoring the bickering over what to do going on behind me.

This isn’t happening.

Courtney’s eyes were closed, just like she was sleeping. Maybe she wasn’t dead. Maybe my best friend had a chance. If I could get her to open her eyes, she would be OK. Everything will be OK, I repeated in my head on a loop.

“Court, wake up.” I reached out and brushed her red hair from her face. She hated when her bangs fell in her face like that. Where was help? “We need an ambulance right now. Someone call for help. We need help,” I rambled. Someone had to wake her up. “She needs help. Someone help her! Please! Oh my God, help her!”

I heard someone drop beside me. “Kenzie?” It was Megan. “She’s gone, Kenz. We need to… I don’t know.” She pulled my arm. I thought my legs would collapse, but somehow I had the strength to stand.

“Who did this?” I sobbed, pressing my hand to my mouth, gagging. Stop looking! I didn’t want to see this terror, so why couldn’t I stop looking?

Kyle spun around. “She’s right. Where is he? Or they?”

Dread settled heavy in my stomach. Were their killers still in the house?

Blake gulped, staring at his brother’s face. Josh’s eyes were still open but had rolled back slightly. He looked how I always imagined a dead body would look. “Where’s who?” he whispered.

“The bastard who just murdered our friends!” Aaron spat in reply.

They wouldn’t still be here, surely? No one was stupid enough to do something this horrible and hang around. They couldn’t be. But what if they are?

“We need to go,” Megan said, tugging on my arm. Yeah, we do. “Come on. It’s not safe. Someone was here. We need go. Now.”

Stephanie
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Mini Reviews [1]

Mini Reviews [1]

Posted April 29, 2015 by Stephanie in Review / 3 Comments

So, there have been some books that I have read in the past year or so that I just forgot to write a review for. There are also others that I either DNF’d or just don’t have enough to say for a full size review. So, for those books I will be putting them into […]

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