Sunday, September 25, 2016

Spotlight: ONE WAS LOST by Natalie D. Richards—Excerpt + Giveaway

TOUR PRESENTED BY SOURCEBOOKS
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One Was Lost
by Natalie D. Richards


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…

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 Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
 Pub Date: October 04, 2016
 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
 Purchase: Amazon • B&NKobo • iBooksIndieBound

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“Everyone, quiet. We need to move.” Mr. Walker’s voice is tight. Something’s wrong. But he’s halfway across, and the water is still below his knees. It’s moving quickly, but it seems OK. So why is Mr. Walker scanning the horizon like a soldier?
When he’s on the other side, he relaxes. “All right, let’s move. You’ll get to test those waterproof boots here. Emily, you first. Then Jude and right down the line.”
I stumble to the edge of the stream, rocks slipping and scatter­ing under my boots. Jude’s next to me, earbuds in and his chin tipped up like we need a reminder that he’s better than us.
Emily begins to cross with Jude behind her. Then me and Lucas and the rest of the group after. I can’t help but think about what we must look like, this conga line of plastic-wrapped hikers splashing its way through the river. 
Jude gasps ahead of me. Before I can ask, cold water gushes over the tops of my boots, then past my ankles. I stop when it reaches my knees. It’s higher. We’re not even halfway across.
Lucas splashes up from behind, rising over me. “Need me to carry you?”
I don’t dignify the question with a response. Behind me, Hayley and Madison shriek. I turn to see a glimpse of all three of them, Hayley on her butt in the water and Madison and Ms. Brighton rushing back for her. The girls are laughing hysterically.
“We’re almost halfway,” Lucas says, ignoring them. “Keep going.”
“Should we help?”
“They’re fine. Move.”
“Stop playing around back there! Get them up, Ms. Brighton,” Mr. Walker barks, then more softly to the ones climbing out, “Good job, Emily. Jude! Earbuds out!”
Mr. Walker looks downstream, and his expression hardens. “Sera, speed up now.”
I look up and wish I hadn’t. I don’t like the urgency in his tone any more than I like the rushing sound of water I hear off to the east.
“Is that rain?” I ask because I want it to be rain. Or hail. I want it to be anything other than what I already know it is.
Mr. Walker’s eyes flick upstream, his face going pale. “It’s flooding,” he admits.
My hope snaps like a rubber band. Fear billows out in its place, making me woozy.
“Sera, move!” Lucas says, prodding my backpack.
“I got it!” I snap, plowing ahead.
Hayley screams again behind us. They’re all three shouting. Something about a shoe. Someone’s stuck. Mr. Walker is yelling at Emily and Jude to back up, back up! And then the rain changes, the shower shifting into a driving roar with drops so hard they feel like sand spraying down. Everything is garbled. Muffled. Fear pushes the hair up on the nape of my neck.
We’re not going to get across.
“Go, Sera!”
Lucas. His voice right behind me, his wide hand just under my backpack, urging me forward. I stumble, spreading my arms wide for balance.
“Lucas, help!” Madison’s cry filters through the rain, but Mr. Walker shakes his head.
“No!” he bellows. “Move, Lucas! Ms. Brighton, pull Hayley and Madison back to shore!”
The water is moving quicker and higher, and my boots are sucking down into the mud at the bottom. The current pushes back at me. Steps turn into half steps. Quarter steps.
“Forget her shoes!” Mr. Walker screams. Someone’s coughing back there, but I don’t look, though I can hear their garbled cries. They’re struggling.
“I can’t get her!” Ms. Brighton’s voice is suddenly young and small, nothing like the serene woman from before. This is scared little kid voice. “Help! Hel—”



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After years as a professional paper-pusher, NATALIE D. RICHARDS decided to trade in reality for a life writing YA fiction. She lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her husband, three children, and a ridiculously furry dog named Yeti. This is her third novel. Visit her on Twitter @natdrichards or at nataliedrichards.com.






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Continue on for the giveaway! ~

VIDEO BOOK REVIEW: A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride + Giveaway

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Title: A Million Times Goodnight
Series: None
Author: Kristina McBride
Pages: 304
Pub Date: July 05, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press/Skyhorse
Book Source: publisher via edelweiss
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars




**POSSIBLE SPOILERS**


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