In Clinton D. Harding's debut novel "Our Monsters", Jon Graves and his friends escaped their parents and the military, leaving behind the only home they'd ever known, the small town of Carpenter. But their freedom is short lived as they find themselves in more danger than before they left Carpenter.
"Bad Monsters"—the second book The Our Monsters Chronicles, released March 2014—picked up where its prequel ended. Jon and his friends are on the run and hunted and by General Mauser and his military dogs. Jon can practically feel them breathing down his neck, as the jaws of the military dogs snapping at his heels.
Blood is spilled, friendly and not, and now Jon must answer his friends' questions sooner than later, or risk one of those friends dying. He's just not sure he's the person to be deciding their fates or if he, Alice, and George are fully prepared to walk away from their normal lives.
A farm in northern California may serve as salvation to this scared, but brave, group of teenagers. However, can they trust the inhabitants they find there, who themselves have a history with Carpenter? If Jon can talk his way past the shotgun in his face, he might just discover what he and his friends need; answers about the history of Carpenter, the hybrids, the powers the teens borrow from their hybrids and who are the true monsters. In all this confusion and danger, Jon may also find a young woman who can help heal the wounds left by Mikaila when she left him and the group.
Pick up "Bad Monsters", the second installment in The Our Monsters Chronicles, is now available and can be found in e-book and paperback form at major online retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords.
"Bad Monsters" introduces many new characters. Enemies to harry the teenagers and their hybrids toward trouble. Allies to provide sanctuary and answers.
Two new characters are a father and his daughter, Dr. Tobin Booker and Devonne Booker. When one of the teenagers' and hybrids' number is mortally injured during a skirmish with the Carpenter Army unit hunting them, the group has no choice but to look up an old colleague of Dr. Rush's to ask for medical aid. They get more than they bargain for when they arrive at the Booker Farm and veterinary clinic and find themselves staring down the barrel of a shotgun.
Is Dr. Booker friend or foe? Jon, George, and Alice will need to decide if they can trust the veterinarian. The allure of a quiet place to rest and the attention of the veterinarian's daughter Devonne—a smart, witty, snarky teenager—will cloud Jon's judgment and threaten to misdirect his and his friends' course.
Jon had two women in his life during the events of the first book "Our Monsters". Mikaila was the girl-next-door. She was the heart of the misfit group until her departure at the end of the book. A best friend to Jon. Cute. Gentle. Nurturing. Jon could never see her as anything more than a confidant, someone to watch his favorite movies with, to laugh, and to joke. Mikaila desired a relationship with Jon but he could never let go of her as his best friend, despite the strange feelings he had when he saw her go out on a date with another classmate. Then there was Alice. The one-night-in-heaven desire of every high school boy. Every boy's not-so-secret wet dream. So high on the trophy self, Jon would never think of reaching for Alice. Seductive. Sassy. Popular. Sharp tongued. Queen of high school. Broken. (More on Alice in another article.)
Devonne is somewhere between Mikaila and Alice. She is beautiful. Quick witted. Fearless. And a female nerd. While Mikaila would challenge Alice's superior attitude, trying to make peace while chiding her, Devonne is tough as nails and will challenge Alice with witticism and a quick tongue. She is new and exciting to Jon, someone who shares no backstory with him, and she is the first girl who will show Jon outward affection rather than dance around their friendship. Her presence will irritate Alice and rub her the wrong way. Drama and conflict... yes!
Her father is another story. While Devonne will come into conflict with Alice over the position as queen bee, her father and Jon will have a hard time trusting each other. Jon and his friends may bring a storm to the Booker farm. And the veterinarian and his daughter are running from their own ghosts. Visitors are not what Booker is looking for or wants. He has his secrets he's running from too. Secrets that will affect the futures of Jon, his friends, and the hybrids. Booker is also an adult, a parent, and adults are hard for Jon and his friends to trust. Their own parents kept secrets from them, why should they trust this man? Booker doesn't like Jon either, especially when his daughter is making googly eyes at the teenager.
Jon has many decisions to make in "Bad Monsters". New characters—friends or foes?—only add to the complexity of his options. Believe me, there are other new characters besides the Bookers too. Those that would spare but use the teenagers and hybrids and those who would capture them. Jon better decide which are which soon.
Who are these new characters? You've briefly met the Bookers, read "Bad Monsters" for additional introductions.
When Clinton D. Harding is not busy wrestling and taming wild Scottish Terriers in wilderness of Oxnard California, he's using a magic pen he pulled from a stone to craft new worlds filled with fantastic beasts and evils that need fighting. He is also the author-publisher of The Our Monsters Chronicles, a YA series of novels that combines fantasy/sci-fi elements with horror chills. For more information about Harding and his creations visit his website, like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or become a fan at Goodreads.
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