Dora’s Jinx Release Blitz- YA Fantasy

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Dora’s Jinx


A Standalone Young Adult Urban Fantasy
By

Boom Baumgartner

Published

by
Untold Press http://www.untoldpress.com

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Blurb:

Dora Behn might as well have been born invisible. She could wear bright colors and dance the Macarena in the middle of class without so much as a glance. It’s not that she’s antisocial, just no one other than her family seems to even notice she’s there. This would naturally put a damper on her romantic life… If she had one to begin with.

Everything changes on her sixteenth birthday when a talking cat appears and tells her she is a witch. For Dora, nothing could be worse. No one dated crazy cat ladies!

Things go from bad to worse when the other witches’ familiars go missing, including her aunt’s. Dora’s magic may be the only thing that can prevent the total destruction of the sleepy town of Kinderhook. But to save her friends and family, Dora must learn to embrace who and what she is. She just needs to figure out what that means.

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*About The Author*

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Boom Baumgartner

Influenced from a young age by greats like David Bowie, Boom likes to add a little bit of glam to everything she does, from playing the ukulele to writing novels. When she’s not turning out stories about witchcraft and werewolves, she is a staff writer for ScienceFiction.com. You can find her other musings at LovingTheAlien.net

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~Excerpt~

Dora’s foot tapped against the yellow linoleum floor, her eyes moving back and forth between the clock and the calendar. The two stood in a stubborn standoff to see which could move the slowest.

The seconds ticked in an agonizingly slow rhythm. On the down beats, she looked at the calendar, the birthdays of all the students in Madame Djoat’s class scrawled in each block. Dora’s name was added with a different color pen as if it were an afterthought. Well, Dora’s French name, Donatienne, was added in with a different color pen, in any case.

Since the beginning of school she’d watched Madame Djoat cross off each day on the calendar, and sing “Bon Anniversaire” to each and every student, eager to have her turn. As her birthday drew nearer, she found it harder and harder to pay attention in class. She had already failed one pop quiz on the masculine and feminine articles for vegetables, and she wasn’t listening at all while they memorized the articles for fruits.

“Stephen! Quel est l’article correct pour ananas?” Madame Djoat pointed to the right side of the classroom.

Next to Dora, Steve jumped as he shoved his arm across his notebook, covering up a drawing of stick figures jumping off cliffs with his elbow. Apparently Dora wasn’t the only one fantasizing about other things in French class.

“Um, what?” Steven swallowed audibly.

Madame Djoat stomped her foot. “Stephen! Quel est l’article correct pour ananas?”

“I, uh… I don’t…”

Finally, she translated. “What’s the correct article for pineapple?”

“Um, I don’t know.”

“En français.” She crossed her arms.

“Oh, er, je ne sais pas.” Steve scratched the back of his head and looked over to his friends for help. The other two boys kept their eyes resolutely on their desks. Breath hitched in Dora’s throat as a thought occurred to her. If she diverted attention off him, maybe he’d notice her.

Shakily, Dora raised her hand. Sweat beaded on her neck, and her heart beat hard against her chest. Maybe he’d be so grateful he’d ask her on a date.

But Madame Djoat moved on. “Ça, Josephine. Connaissez-vous l’article? La ou le?”

Frowning, Dora put her hand down. She shouldn’t have been surprised Madame Djoat ignored her. As far as the school–no, the entire town of Kinderbook–was concerned, she was a witch, and even if she wasn’t one now, she was going to be one eventually.

Used to it, Dora shrugged it off. It would be different soon. When they sang “Bon Anniversaire,” Madame Djoat would ask “Quel âge as tu?” and Dora would proudly say, “Seize.”

Or at least, she thought it was seize. She quickly flipped to the back of her textbook in the dictionary section and looked for the word “sixteen.” She was right. Seize.

No one ever became a witch after sixteen.

“Madame Djoat,” a loud voice echoed around the room.

Dora whipped around to look over at Melanie Haan, the actual witch of Kinderbook High. Her right arm was waving in the air.

The rest of the class lazily turned their heads toward the speaker while Madame Djoat glanced up and down the lines of desks, trying to find who spoke. Melanie wore a bright pink sundress with fluorescent purple stockings and pink Chucks. It was impossible to miss the girl, yet it took a few moments for Madame Djoat to see her.

“Yes…” Madame Djoat went over to her desk and glanced at the clipboard with their seating charts, her finger trailing down the row.

“Oui, Joan.”

Melanie’s French name, Joan, seemed a little bit strange. Wasn’t the image of Joan burning at the stake precisely the sort of association Melanie would want to avoid, seeing as she was actually a witch?

“I know the answer,” Melanie said. “I mean, je connais le response. It’s le. I mean, c’est le.”

“Bon. Correct,” Madame Djoat affirmed briskly. Then she moved on to the next fruit. “Next! Pomme!”

About the time pomegranate came up, Dora zoned out again. Melanie reminded her of what it was like to be a witch. It was hard to get anyone’s attention at all; something Dora’s aunt had said had to do with a natural defense mechanism.

People treated Dora as if she were microscopic–there, but not worth noting–because they thought she also might be a witch. After all, it ran in the family. Even her mother was surprised that two days before her sixteenth birthday a cat still hadn’t shown up.

After all, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a witch must have a familiar, and that the familiar be a cat. The fact that a cat hadn’t appeared meant that Dora wouldn’t end up a spinster cat lady like her Aunt Pamelia, or her Great-Aunt Calixta.

The class would not be singing “Bon Anniversaire” until the end of the period, and Dora contented herself with daydreams about Steve. In them, his confused expression would turn to her, suddenly have purpose, and he would grin at her like she had seen him do with other girls in the hallway. After her birthday, maybe he would ask her out.

Sure, he hadn’t said more than two words to her since elementary school, but Dora dared to dream.

If Steve didn’t ask, maybe someone like John or David would. Neither of them had really spoken to her either, but Dora was confident that once suspicion of her latent witchdom dispersed, she would be able to catch one of their eyes.

She dreamed up dates in nature parks and laughing at clothing on mannequins at the shopping mall. Then she dreamed up castles and dragons, putting different faces on the prince, until Madame Djoat projected the lyrics to “Bon Anniversaire” on the screen and commanded everyone to sing.

Dora grinned, and sat up straight. Sure, her birthday was actually Sunday, but still, they were going to sing to her, and as far as they cared, it would be her birthday. Oh, and Steve’s. But she didn’t really care about his birthday. Not right now, anyway. She would worry about it if they started dating.

“Bon Anniversaire, nos vœux les plus sincères…” the class sang.

When they finished singing, Madame Djoat smiled and looked at Steve.

“Stephen! Quel âge as tu?”

“Um, sixteen. I mean, seize.”

“Bon Anniversaire!”

“Thanks, I mean, merci.”

“All right, class! À demain! No homework this weekend!”

Dora sat at her desk, shocked, her big moment disappearing like a bubble being popped. The rest of the class shuffled around her, putting their things away in their bags and laughing as they went out into the hallway.

When everyone had left, and Madame Djoat started prepping the room for the next class, Dora slowly put her stuff away. Leaning over to shove a book in her backpack, something bright pink caught her attention. She closed her eyes, and opened them again. The bright pink hovered in her periphery.

“Hey, Dora.” Dora looked up to see Melanie smiling at her. “Bon anniversaire.”

Weakly, Dora smiled, trying not to meet Melanie’s eyes. “Yeah, um…thanks.” Then she crammed the last of her things in her bag and escaped. Of all the people to notice her, it just had to be the witch of Kinderbook High.

 

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Summer Break Blues Release Blitz and Giveaway

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A Young Adult Urban Fantasy Novel

Summer Break Blues

The Clanless, Book 2
By

J. A. Campbell

Release Date November 30, 2015

By
Untold Press

eBook: 3.99
Purchase on Amazon

Add to Goodreads

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Blurb:

I survived my senior year of high school despite being turned into a vampire. Summer break should be a snap. No getting up early or making excuses why I can’t make it to class or hang out with my friends.

I had hoped to put the events of last year behind me. Unfortunately, the Sidhe won’t let me. Nobody holds a grudge like they do, especially when you kill one of their own. They’re intent on making my life miserable and considerably shorter. When Ann’s parents vanish while vacationing in Maine, we head out to find them. Of course, the Sidhe follow and I manage to capture the interest of another vampire. One who wants answers as to what makes me different. Answers I don’t have and that might just get me killed for good this time.

Dealing with supernatural attacks while trying to find Ann’s parents keeps us on our toes but as long we’re together, we can handle anything. At least until things really start to fall apart.

* Click on Image to Purchase Senior Year Bites, book 1 *

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Author Bio

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J.A. Campbell: Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor.She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult fantasy series Tales of the Travelers. She’s a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers of America Association and the editor for Steampunk Trails fiction magazine.

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Excerpt

“Casey Tam,” Principal Reed said into the microphone.

The girl next to me scooted out of the rows of seats and hurried up to the stage. She wore a huge smile as she turned to wave after he handed her the diploma.

“Megan Taylor.”

I can do this. I took a deep breath, trying to steady my nerves. Walking out in front of everyone was tough, knowing most of them actually watched me. It was harder ignoring the panic surging through me and demanding I hide, but I managed to smile and wave at my mom while I accepted my diploma. I didn’t run as I left the stage, though I wanted to. Relief washed through me once I stood with my friends, Steph and Ann. The relative anonymity of the crowd helped. I don’t sweat, but I wiped my hands on my gown anyway.

Steph gave me a worried look. “You doing okay?”

I laughed quietly. “Is it obvious?”

Ann grinned. “Yes.”

I rolled my eyes. A last minute rainstorm had allowed me to attend my high school graduation, but rays of sun peeked through the clouds and made me even more uncomfortable than the crowd did.

Finally, it was over, and we were able to leave the auditorium. Steph, Ann, and I stayed together and waited in the hallway for our parents to catch up. I tried to ignore the flowing crowd of people I’d known for years, focusing my gaze on the floor and hoping no one would try to talk to me. Unfortunately, even after several months of being a Vampire, I wasn’t comfortable around them. I still felt like they knew something was wrong with me.

It was irrational–if most of the people in my class even bothered to give me a second glance, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I’d mostly kept to myself before becoming a Vampire, and now I only hung out with Ann, Steph, and the guys–who we were supposed to be meeting at the Steak ‘n Shake later.

Our parents pushed through the crowd and joined us in our corner with big smiles plastered on their faces. Though we’d already endured countless pictures, Mom took several more.

“We’re so proud of you three,” she said, apparently sensing my annoyance.

“I know. Sorry.” I can do this, I repeated to myself. I can get through the attention.

She gave me a hug.

“Okay, we’ll let you go, then. I know you have plans, but don’t stay out too late,” Steph’s mom said.

“Yes, Mom.”

They congratulated us one more time before filing out with the stragglers. We waited, not ready to brave the parking lot yet.

“So, it’s summer,” I said after a minute of silence.

Steph laughed. “Master of the obvious there, Meg. What’s up?”

I scuffed my feet, staring down at my black robe. “I don’t know, well…it’s over. High school. Now we have to go to college. And well… I still don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.”

“You are going to the college here with me and Steph, and it will be like high school, only with less parental supervision.”

“Ugh.” I hoped it wouldn’t be just like high school.

Ann giggled. “Well, hopefully we can avoid some of the events of high school.”

“Yes, please.”

“I agree, but really, Meg, I think you’re worrying too much. College isn’t easier than high school, but I think the living arrangements will be. We’re in the same dorm. We might even be roommates.”

I groaned. We wouldn’t learn the living assignments until right before we moved in. I prayed whoever was in charge took note of our requests.

“Don’t worry about it now, Meg. It’ll work out. Besides, we have two and a half months of freedom to enjoy.”

“Yeah. Sunny freedom.” I glanced at the slowly brightening sky for emphasis.

“So we’ll have a lot of sleepovers. Ann is staying with you for a couple of weeks. I’ll stay, too, or we can go to my house. Ann’s parents even said we could stay at their place, as long as we didn’t have any wild parties.” Steph grinned.

I couldn’t help smiling. “Yeah, us and our wild habits.”

“Exactly,” Steph said.

“All right. I’ll stop worrying about it.” I’ll try, anyway.

“Good. Now, let’s go.” She pulled a mirror out of her purse and checked her hair and makeup. Steph didn’t need makeup to look beautiful. She was tall, athletic, and had great strawberry-blonde hair hanging just past her shoulders, pale creamy skin, and cute freckles across her nose.

“Anxious to see Gary?” Ann tilted her head. She was shorter than me and Steph, slightly plump, with mousy brown hair. Her eyes were a lovely hazel, and the eye shadow she wore today made them look green.

Steph blushed, shoved her mirror back into her purse, and hurried out the door.

Ann and I traded an amused look before following her to my Jeep. “How’s Alexander?” I lowered my voice, as we walked.

Ann sighed. “He is fine and trying to return, but his family and the rest of the Seelie are not very happy with him right now. He said not to worry.”

My gut clenched. Not happy with him probably meant not happy with me, too. I was more than partially responsible for the events upsetting them.

“It will be okay, Meg. It really will.”

I let her squeeze my hand and tried to believe her. In a way, it was okay. Ann was alive, and to save her life I would do it all over again, even the becoming a Vampire part. It didn’t stop me from worrying though.

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