Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…
She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.
But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.
Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?
Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz. In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she's honored as "the chosen one," the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz's control. But it's not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous "Magic Warble," in its final resting place. She must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen's "zelbocks" before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, and an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.
Some pictures from the book (each chapter has 1 -2 pictures):
The author was kind enough to offer three eBooks. This Giveaway is International and will end on June 6, 2013. a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author:
Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now lives in Western Washington with her husband, Russ and their three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Her other family members are a Chihuahua, named Pipsy and two cats, named Frodo and Fritz. Besides being an author, Victoria is a home-schooling mother of twelve years and an elementary school art teacher of eleven years. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys managing her two older children's Celtic band. She also loves writing, reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and just simply hanging out with her family and friends.
Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. But danger lurks around the corner, forcing her to return to India where she embarks on a second quest--this time with Ren's dark, bad-boy brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the Tiger's Curse. Fraught with danger, spellbinding dreams, and choices of the heart, TIGER'S QUEST brings the trio one step closer to breaking the spell that binds them.
Colleen Houck’s New York Times bestselling Tiger’s Curse series has received national praise with the fourth book, Tiger’s Destiny, debuting September 2012. Colleen is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, she has worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.
Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.
But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.
Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.
The Top 5 Reasons My Heroine Has No Friends*
(*Qualifier: human friends)
1. Zenn Scarlett is the only student in her class. Actually, the only student in her school. She grew up isolated behind the mud-brick walls of the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic in a deep canyon on the edge of a human colony on Mars. At 17, she’s now the only novice attending the cloister’s exoveterinarian training program. Why the student body deficit? The Rift: a total trade and communications embargo with Earth. So, that kinda cuts down on the potential-friends-roster. She fills this hole in her social life by developing an intense empathy for the diverse alien creatures housed at the clinic. Not surprisingly, this has consequences – some that Zenn’s logic and intelligence allows her to foresee, some… not so much.
2. The people who live in Arsia City, the village of colonists a few miles from the cloister, think Zenn has cooties. OK, not cooties, exactly. The thing is, the towners dislike the fact that Zenn spends most of her time around big, dangerous alien animals. That’s what an exovet novice does. The towners think these alien creatures are “unclean, disease-carrying monsters.” In fact, the towners are determined to shut down the cloister and eliminate what they see as the threat of the alien animals being taken care of there. Why the xenophobic ‘tude? Because a few decades ago, the population of Earth was decimated by a mysterious virus. The Earthers, as well as most of the colonists on Mars, believe the propaganda being spread that says alien animals carried the virus to Earth, prompting the embargo. So, I take it back; the towners DO think Zenn has cooties. So, does she? No. There are no such organisms on Mars.
3. Because of the above cootie-misunderstanding, Zenn believes all towners are so deeply biased against aliens that there’s no likelihood of changing their minds. Are they all paranoid about off-world races and creatures? No. Some of them are smart enough to understand there’s no scientific proof that the nasty virus on Earth was carried there by alien animals. But since these people are in a clear minority, and since the xenophobic community members are becoming increasingly militant, this open-minded minority keeps their mouths shut and their smart opinions to themselves. Which only reinforces Zenn’s beliefs about towners. Kind of vicious circle thing.
4. Zenn’s main friend at the cloister is Hamish, an eight-foot-tall, sentient beetle working as the cloister sexton, or all-around handyman (bug). Hamish is bright and personable (insectable). Zenn gets along well with him, and he’s become her primary sounding board about various issues in her life. Unfortunately, he’s both alien and rather spectacularly insectoid, and this only serves to make the towners even less likely to associate with Zenn.
5. Zenn has a rule about making friends outside of the cloister: no friends. Sounds a little severe. But she has reasons: the people in her life that she loved, that she depended on, have left her, one way or another. Plus, when she was younger, she was mocked and ostracized by the towner kids because she was an outsider who consorted with “snot-monsters.” Now, one exception to the usual towner mindset is Liam Tucker, a street-wise, sorta cocky, sorta hunkish boy who is Zenn’s own age and who, lately, has shown some interest in getting to know her. This both annoys and puzzles her. Puzzles because he’s a towner (see xenophobic note above). Annoys because she’s in her very crucial end-of-term testing period in school and can’t afford any distractions. Even a sorta hunky one. Will her no-friends rule survive this annoying-but-oddly-alluring intrusion? Good question. But until this burning issue is resolved: human friend-count: zero.
About the Author
Christian Schoon paid his new-writer-dues as an-house copywriter at the Walt Disney Company, followed by a stint as a freelance script/copywriter in Los Angeles. After moving back to the Midwest, he bought a farm, started volunteering with a group that rescues abused/neglected horses and another group helping to re-hab wildlife: black bears, cougars, coyotes, raccoons, assorted other critters. His animal welfare work, combined with his life-long sci-fi geekery, inspired Christian to write his first book, the young adult science fiction novel Zenn Scarlett.