The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher and then bought my own ebook copy. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Girls Are Never Gone

Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh

Book Series: Standalone

Diversity: T1 Diabetes bisexual MC, Service dog, Puerto Rican lesbian side character, F/f romance

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: young adult readers, paranormal, mystery, thriller

Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery

Publication Date: September 7, 2021

Publisher: Razorbill

Pages: 336

Recommended Age: 14+ (romance, slight animal gore, death, Underage alcohol consumption, Slight religion talk)

Explanation of CWs: Just an FYI, the animal gore seen in this book is just from the skeletal remains of other, long-dead animals. The religion talk is also very slight and in passing.

Synopsis: Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Privately, she’s a supernatural skeptic. But publicly, she’s keeping her doubts to herself—because she’s the voice of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, and she needs her ghost-loving listeners to tune in.

That’s what brings her to Arrington Estate. Thirty years ago, teenager Atheleen Bell drowned in Arrington’s lake, and legend says her spirit haunts the estate. Dare’s more interested in the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death—circumstances that she believes point to a living culprit, not the supernatural. Still, she’s vowed to keep an open mind as she investigates, even if she’s pretty sure what she’ll find.

But Arrington is full of surprises. Good ones like Quinn, the cute daughter of the house’s new owner. And baffling ones like the threatening messages left scrawled in paint on Quinn’s walls, the ghastly face that appears behind Dare’s own in the mirror, and the unnatural current that nearly drowns their friend Holly in the lake. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of Arrington, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.

Review: I really liked this book. I thought that the story of all was very entertaining and it definitely provided the Spooks I needed to get into the Halloween spirit. I also liked the bond between all of the girls and I really liked the sapphic romance. I thought that the World building and character development were really well done and the writing was marvelous, although I might be a bit biased because this is one of my favorite authors.

The only real issues I had with the book is that there or two distinct monsters that I felt needed a little bit more development on the page but also the ending was a little abstract in what happened. We don’t have the real motives behind the monsters, which you can argue makes for a really good monster, but we also don’t have a clear cut ending to the story which is kind of giving me hope that maybe in the future there will be a sequel because I need to know. And if you have read this book then you know what I need to know.

Verdict: It was so good.

Sand and Shadow

SandandShadow copy

Welcome to the blog tour sci-fi/ horror Sand and Shadow by Laurisa White Reyes! Read on for more details and a chance to win a $20 Amazon e-gift card!

SandandShadowEbook2Sand and Shadow

Publication Date: September 6th, 2021

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Horror

Seven Survivors.

One Monster.

Nowhere to hide.

Mission Specialist Adán Fuentes awakes from cryo-hibernation to discover that most of his fellow crewmates are dead and the shuttle Carpathia is not where it’s supposed to be. Surrounded by a vast barren landscape, he and the other survivors wonder how they can accomplish their mission, to establish a home for future colonists.

When an unseen creature attacks them, the Carpathia’s crew must turn their attention to surviving and solving the true purpose behind their mission.

Inspired by the 50’s sci-fi flick FORBIDDEN PLANET, SAND AND SHADOW plumbs the depths of the human psyche and the power of its influence. As the Carpathia’s crew’s secrets and flaws are revealed, readers may find themselves compelled to examine their own dark places.

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“Hold it here!” Adán jabbed a finger at the corner of the tent still attached. Tink obeyed, gripping the fabric with his gloved hands. Adán grasped the canvas several feet above Tink. Then he began to pull it, gradually drawing the fabric toward him. It was like trying to haul an anchor up from the ocean floor, the effort requiring every ounce of strength he could muster. He wasn’t sure his plan would work. He was battling a storm that at any moment could snatch him up and carry him off.

“Get me down!” Scott screamed, his voice piercing through Adán’s comm.

“I’m trying! Just hold on!” Adán kept pulling, but he made little headway with the wind pulling so hard in the opposite direction. “Scott, use your hands! Try to climb down!”

Scott started hand-over-hand down the column of living canvas. The distance between Scott and Adán slowly began to shrink. The sand pelted Adán so hard now that he could feel it through his gear.

“The rest of you get inside!” he called out. “It’s too dangerous out here!”

Fess grabbed the heating unit that Scott had dropped and made his way toward the shuttle. Tink held tight to the tent behind Adán.

“Tink! I’ve got it! Go on!”

“You don’t have it,” said Tink. “I’m not leaving!”

“But you have to—” Suddenly, a powerful gust tried to rip the silver tarp from Adán’s hands. The knuckle in his pinky finger snapped in a stabbing flare of excruciating pain, but he did not let go. Scott flipped around in the air, as helpless as a marionette on strings, though he was a good eight feet closer to the ground than he had been minutes before.

Adán tried to hold tighter to the fabric, but the pain in his hand throbbed ruthlessly and had robbed it of its strength.

“Scott! You’re going to have to let go!”

“Let go? Are you insane? This wind will blow me away like a kite!”

“Curl up into a ball! Wrap your arms around your knees and drop to the ground!”

Adán heard Tink’s voice. “This strap is tearing! When it rips all the way, that tarp is taking you with it, Scott!”

“Scott, you’ve got to let go now!”

He did. Scott released the fabric and pulled his knees to his chest. He fell like a stone to the sand below. He hit the ground, his limbs sprawling out in every direction. Then, getting to his hands and knees, he scurried away like a bug just as the tarp tore free from its strap. The silver snake curled and whipped like a flag in a hurricane and then vanished into the darkening sky.

Adán, his back to the wind, dropped to his knees beside Scott. “You all right?” he asked. “Can you get up?”

Scott collapsed into the sand, moaning. Adán felt a wave of relief. Their commander was dazed, possibly even hurt, but he was alive. A few yards off, Tink fought against the storm’s assault. He clutched the transmitter case to his chest and staggered forward one step at a time. The sky was so dark now and the sand so thick that the shuttle looked like nothing more than a broad mass of shadow.

Adán slid one of his arms beneath Scott’s shoulder and hoisted the barely conscious commander into a sitting position. “Dryker, listen to me! We’ve got to get back to the shuttle or we’ll die out here! Get up, Commander! On your feet!”

Scott moaned again, but Adán felt his muscles stiffen as he attempted to get his legs under him. With a bit of effort on both their parts, Scott was soon standing, though he leaned much of his weight against Adán. Adán looked back at Tink, who hadn’t made as much progress as he’d hoped.

“Tink, drop it!” Adán shouted.

Tink shook his head furiously. “We need it to communicate with the other shuttles! They’ll never find us without it!”

Tink’s words came back to Adán broken and staccato. He tapped on his earpiece. The storm had damaged his comm. “Tink? Can you hear me?”

This time Adán heard only static. He looked back to the shuttle, a mere ten yards away. Dema and Fess, clinging to each other, were scrabbling for the hatch lever. Adán looked back at Tink, half that distance behind him. He’d get Scott to safety, he decided, and come back for Tink.

“I’ll be back to help you in a second!” he said, though he couldn’t be sure if Tink had heard him, then he trudged forward with Scott in tow.

The two minutes or so that it took for him to hand Scott over to Dema and Fess felt like hours. He was exhausted and in pain, but Adán turned and headed back out for Tink, now on his knees hunched over the transmitter just four or five yards away.

He had just reached him when Adán saw it—a dark mass rising up from the ground behind Tink. “What the hell is that?” he said more to himself than to anyone else.

Dema’s voice crackled over the comm. “Adán, do you read me? Scott’s okay. A bit stunned but okay. Fess is with him in the common room now. Do you have Tink and Lainie?”

Lainie. Adán had forgotten all about her. But Tink. . .

“There’s something out here!” said Adán.

There was a pause before Dema’s voice returned. “Adán, get out of there. The sensors are picking up something solid, something big!”

He reached Tink and pulled him to his feet. Together, with the transmitter still clutched in Tink’s arms, they staggered toward the shuttle, which they could now barely make out through the thick haze of sand.

“Lainie!” Adán waited a moment for a reply. “Lainie, do you read me?” He shook his head. “The storm’s interfering with the frequency!”

“She was carrying the generator,” said Dema, her words nearly impossible to make out through the static. “She was closer to the shuttle than we were. You should see her!”

Adán and Tink continued trudging forward. Then just to right of the shuttle hatch, they spotted something square and black half buried in the sand at their feet. It was the generator tipped onto its side, but there was no sign of Lainie.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Laurisa White Reyes is the author of the SCBWI Spark Award winning novel The Storytellers and the Spark Honor recipient Petals. She is also the Senior Editor at Skyrocket Press and an English instructor at College of the Canyons in Southern California.

Laurisa White Reyes | Skyrocket Press | Facebook | BookBub

Giveaway: $20 Amazon e-Gift Card

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Blog Tour Schedule

September 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight)

Lunarian Press (Spotlight)

September 7th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight)

Breakeven Books (Spotlight)

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight)

September 8th

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight)

@bookaholic__reviews (Review)

Musings of a Final Girl (Review)

September 9th

Jessica Belmont (Review)

Rambling Mads (Review)

@dreaminginpages (Review)

September 10th

PoptheButterfly (Spotlight)

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight)

The Faerie Review (Review)

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

National Library Card Sign-Up Month

Hey bookies! September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month and I actually got to get mine renewed lol. I don’t use a library a lot, but I support them and one day when the tbr pile at my house is low I’ll visit them. But, if you’re not a library card holder and you’re in a country that has them readily available to the public, here’s some reasons why you should get one:

Light Inside Library
#1: Books! If you don’t/can’t/will not buy books (no judgement, do what makes you happy) then a library is a great place to get them at with no cost to you. Pick up whatever is striking interest in you and borrow it!
Women Sitting on Chairs Inside a Room

#2 Community! Libraries host a ton of community building efforts in between their shelves. The one I have a card for hosts everything from reading circles, training classes, yoga sessions, tutoring sessions, clubs for books and games and more, and outreach programs. Every library I’ve ever been to has had nothing but friendly staff to help with anything I needed.

Person Typing on Computer Keyboard

#3 Computers! Computers are there for more than just letting kids game (although you can use them for that too!). Libraries have computers there for anyone to use. They’ll help those who don’t have computers or wifi enabled phones fill out job applications, buy essential items, or fill out documents only accessible via desktop computers. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, libraries opened their doors to those who lost their homes and belongings so they could use the computers to fill out essential federal documents in order for them to get aid.

Assorted-title Movie Case Lot

#4 Movies! A lot of libraries, if not all of them, have various forms of media available to everyone and movies are one of them. You can rent movies, some of them having fairly new releases, and use them instead of the local Redbox that charges you $1.99 and then says you didn’t return the movie when you clearly did (no I’m not salty, I don’t know what you’re talking about…)

Woman in White Shirt and Denim Jeans Carries Skate Shoes and Tote Bag

#5 No Discrimination. Libraries are free because they offer access to everyone regardless of who you are. They don’t charge and even when you have overcharges or anything like that, most of them will still accommodate you with your needs and wants. If they don’t, there’s always another one within a days journey.

Positive black boy doing homework in copybook

#6 Promoting Literacy. Libraries strive to help you develop the skills you need to survive and thrive in a global society with the ability to read and use computers. According to “according to a study conducted in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Education and National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S.—14 %—cannot read. 21% of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19% of high school graduates can’t read at all. The implications of these statistics are alarming, indicating that many adults cannot identify a specific location on a map, complete a job application or an insurance form, understand the instructions on a medicine bottle, or effectively help their children with homework.” Libraries also advocate for your right to read and your right to reader privacy as a core ideal of libraries is the belief that there is a freedom of information to all and a freedom to privacy in knowing that information.

Pile of Folders

#7 Maintaining records. While most people don’t think that you won’t need to know about that one thing in the newspaper from 4 years ago or about some old dude from 1843, some old information is and can be vital to many people for different reasons. The ability to look up these random records in libraries has helped solve cold cases, helped kids with reports for school when that information wasn’t available online (yes that happened to me), and has helped people who were looking for information on their family. While is great at telling you who you’re related to, they probably don’t have information about WHO they actually were unlike libraries do.

Facade of old building on sunny day

So, what’s stopping you today? Go out and get you a library card. You’re doing more than just reading a book you can’t find in stores when you do.