Friday, October 24, 2014

Crypt Keeper by K.A. Young Blog Tour

Molly Maddison grew up in a funeral home that unfortunately backed up to the largest Insane Asylum in the state. Very few understand what happens after death, Molly does. While other children were playing in the park with their living friends, Molly was in the cemetery playing with the dead. To say she is troubled is an understatement.

Now Molly has a new plan, to attempt to lead a normal life, and ban the contact with any of the dead. Realizing that she is madly in love with one of them was never part of that plan. However neither life or death ever go as planned and Molly is called upon to perform her role as the family Crypt Keeper…

Is she up for the task? Only time will tell.

Book 1 in the Molly Maddison series

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“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” ~ Helen Gurley Brown

The alarm blaring on the bedside table woke me out of the dead of sleep. “Ugh,” I groaned, picking up a pillow and chucking it at what I hoped was the general direction of the annoying tones. When the alarm didn’t cease I surrendered, cracking open one eye to read the time. I went from drowsy to full-out panic mode when my mind registered eight thirty-five p.m.“Holy Mother of God!” Flinging the blankets off the bed I vaulted forward, only to find that my left leg was tangled in the bed sheet and I went down knee first onto a kitchen chair. “Idiot, stupid ass monkey piece of shit!” I shouted the instant the pain registered. Wrenching my leg free and shoving the chair aside I sat down on the floor and assessed my injuries. I’d have a nice bruise on my knee and shin, otherwise, nothing serious. Then I remembered I was working on curbing my need to use profanity every other word and snapped the rubber band on my wrist twice, wincing at yet another sting of pain. I’d been reading this self-help book recently that swore by this technique. The wristband bad habit treatment is designed to take you out of your own head and snap you back into reality. The wristband treatment will act as a reminder to those with habitual undesirable occurrences that they need to overcome their bad behaviors. I wasn’t convinced in the method; however, if I ever planned on working with children my potty mouth needed to go.

Standing to my feet, I picked up the chair and walked it back into the dining room where it belonged. I should know better by now. The furniture being moved around the house, the dishes in the bathtub and all my frozen foods set out on the counters to spoil was a common occurrence in my tiny apartment these days. He was mad at me again. They all were. I’d left him…er, them. No, I wasn’t going there. I didn’t move over one hundred miles away to dwell on the past. “Never look back, Molly. The past is a wilderness of horrors.” I quoted my favorite line from the movie The Wolfman. I did, however, replace Lawrence’s name with my own. I would have gone a lot farther if it wasn’t for my younger brother still living at home there. I was always available for him, mostly. All right, I’d been a shitty sister but my intentions were honorable. Thankfully he didn’t have the curse. It skipped him and I was glad.

Suddenly I realized that the alarm was still going off in my bedroom. I made my way back into the room, which didn’t take longer than a few seconds since my apartment is a whopping seven hundred square feet that consisted of a tiny kitchen, living room/dining room combo, a bathroom that I could barely turn around in and bedroom. After shutting it off I began to dress in jeans and a black t-shirt that had Party like a rock star written across the chest. Being a no-frills kind of chick, jeans always seemed like the obvious choice for any and every occasion. I pulled my dark brown hair back into a ponytail and bent down to slip on my chucks.

“You aren’t seriously going to wear your hair like that, are you?” a voice behind me asked. Shrieking, I nearly jumped out of my skin again.

“Holy shit!” Turning around, I faced the intruder and narrowed my eyes at the young woman dressed in leather pants, biker boots that belonged to me and a red tank that read Bite Me! Her hair was dyed jet black with dark green chunky highlights today. The color was always changing but her razored-at-the-chin hairstyle was always the same. She stood there smirking at me with her hands on her hips. “Aren’t you a little too old to continue with these ridiculous pranks?” Not knowing her actual age, she and I had estimated it around twenty-four or so, the same as me.

She rolled her eyes and plopped down on my secondhand sofa that had seen far better days. “After all these years you should be used to it by now. I mean, really Molly, you’re too easy.”

“Jewels, I bruised the shit out of…” I snapped the band on my wrist. “I mean bruised the dickens out of my shin!” The past twelve years we’ve been friends she’d never told me her real name. I assumed it was Julie—hence “Jewels”—but wasn’t certain. I’d asked her a million times over the years, and she’d always reply with the same answer: My old name is as irrelevant as my past. That name died along with that part of my life. I didn’t agree with her; her past was obviously relevant. For the sake of our friendship I’d let it go.

She rolled her caramel-colored eyes and blew a giant bubble in the gum she was chomping on. When it popped she shook her head. “I don’t know anything about that.” She eyed the rubber band on my wrist. “What the hell are you doing to your wrist there? They locked people in solitary for less than that on my ward.”

Ignoring her reference to her institutionalization period because the mere thought of it made my heart hurt, I answered her question. “I’m trying to clean up my speech. No one will hire a pediatric behavioral therapist that swears every other word. I’d gotta run—I’m late for class. Don’t mess up my boots, they’re my favorites.” Snatching my sling bag off the back of the dining chair I went out the front door, closing it behind me.

The second I glanced back up, Jewels was standing next to me. “I thought you already got your master’s degree. Why are you still taking classes?”

Hurrying into the stairwell I replied, “I still have to take my state licensing exam. Besides, I like taking classes. There is something exceedingly comforting about losing yourself in textbooks.”

“I think this whole thing is stupid. You have a job waiting for you at home—you don’t need to put yourself through all of this.” Jewels mumbled behind me. She’d been pushing this “job at home” idea for the last few months and it wasn’t like her. She’d always been so supportive in the past. After descending five flights of stairs I was exhausted and considered joining some of the girls that I knew ran every morning for a whopping half a second, then reminded myself that I didn’t run.

“It isn’t stupid! You know this is what I’ve always wanted to do.” I continued into the lobby. “Thank you.” I nodded to the guy that held the door open for me to exit just as Jewels shot him a bird.

“Stop that!”

The smiling boy’s face was replaced with confusion. “I beg your pardon?”

“I’m sorry,” I pointed to a non-existent head set on my left ear. “Phone call.” His face relaxed. “Oh, no problem.” Smiling, he waved. “See ya around.” Jewels laughed, as she got a kick out of making me look like a lunatic. Something I should be accustomed to by now. It’s hard to function in a society when you can see and hear things that others cannot. I sometimes feel that I am not made of the same matter as others, and at other times I feel completely normal—whatever that means.

“Look, I have to go do this,” I whispered as I passed groups of students chatting around the campus lawn. Most of them would assume I was on the phone, so I didn’t need to be too concerned,; not like when I used to talk to her as a child. That was an entirely different story all together. “Catch up with me after, okay?” She didn’t say a word, just vanished, meaning she was pissed. Sighing, I continued on to class.

As usual the class had already begun. I slipped quietly into the small room and took a seat in the back. Going unnoticed wasn’t an option at this point. The sandy blond-haired professor with the most intelligent eyes I’d ever seen in my life was already knee deep in his lecture. I’d never forget the first day I saw him. I’d been on the lawn reading when he pulled up in his car. He had some sort of energy about him that caught my eye—well, that and a great ass. He’d made a point to stop and introduce himself to me. I’d nearly choked on my own saliva trying to formulate a coherent reply to the complicated question he presented me with: Hi, how are you today? I’m embarrassed every time I relive that day in my mind.

Professor Damon Night made direct eye contact with me without missing a beat during his presentation. He always made direct eye contact with me and I’d always had a hard time maintaining said eye contact. We’d met only a few times after our first awkward introduction, and after becoming completely-tongue tied around him repeatedly I made the determination that he was a detriment to my almost nonexistent ego. Therefore it had been my mission to avoid him at all costs during after school hours. Despite my efforts he seemed to be everywhere I was—in the library, at the cafés, and he shopped at the same markets. There was an embarrassing cart crashing incident at the market that I tried desperately to forget. Why he affected me in this way was beyond me. Yes, he was an attractive man and I was a healthy, lonely young woman in desperate need of male companionship, I thought while licking my lips as I took in his masculine frame. Strangely his eyes seemed to follow from the long distance separating us, confirming my need to find a boyfriend fast and stop having these fantasies.

Glancing away I whipped out my phone, opened my memo app and hit the record button. When I looked back up he was still staring at me with those dark green eyes that seemed to smolder with desire every time they devoured me. Damn my overactive imagination and my lusty fantasies. They were negatively affecting my brain function.

“He’s one hot piece of ass, huh?” Jewels whispered into my ear from the seat next to mine, then began noisily opening a bag of Walker potato chips, my favorite brand.

To my credit I didn’t jump this time. Looking down at my phone I whispered in the most annoyed tone I could muster, “You know I hate it when you show up in one of my classes. You swore you wouldn’t do it anymore.”

“No, as I recall I promised not to show up at any of your classes during finals, so obviously this situation does not apply.” She shoved a handful of chips into her mouth and nudged me with her elbow “So you hit that yet or what?”

Gritting my teeth I glanced back up, rubbing the tip of my nose with my hand to conceal my moving lips. “Dammit! How am I supposed to concentrate with you gabbing in my ear the entire time? And no, I haven’t hit that nor do I have any plans to do so. Now shut the hell up!” I whispered in the softest angry tone possible. She made a locking her lips motion, and after throwing away the key she pointed toward my arm. When I ignored her she elbowed me hard, shoving me forward in the seat. Nervously I glanced around to see if anyone had noticed. Thankfully it didn’t appear that anyone had. Before I could let out a sigh of relief the bitch did it again, and this time I nearly fell out of the chair. “Shit!” I shouted loudly. When I sat back up she was gone and the entire room had turned to stare at me.

Snatching my bag off the floor I did the only thing I could do in my current situation: I bolted, nearly hyperventilating in the process. Jewels was standing casually outside the room, dusting the crumbs off her shirt as if nothing was amiss. I would have ripped her a new one if the hall didn’t have other people milling around. Stomping off, I’m sure I had steam rising off my head because I was fuming.

“Don’t be that way Molly—I was only trying to help.” When I didn’t reply she proceeded to bribe me. “I brought you a case of Walker chips from my pop over to the UK last week, the variety pack. They’re in your pantry.” She was upset. I could hear it in her tone; nevertheless, I didn’t turn around. “Come on Molls, don’t be like that. This is hard for me. You and I have always had each other until this whole school thing. I’m trying to adjust, truly I am. Don’t be mad at me—you know I can’t handle it,” she pleaded. Softening, I glanced back at her. She looked so downtrodden that I just couldn’t stay mad. This was hard on her, I knew that, and it was hard on me too. She’d been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember. She’d been there for me always.

Crossing the parking lot, I moved over to a vacant bench and sat. This time of night no one would be out here and I would be able to speak to her freely without the prying eyes and ears of others. Staying mad at her had never been easy. “Did you bring the cookies as well?” I smirked, folding my arms. She grinned and a box of McVitie’s Caramel Biscuits appeared in her hand.

“Of course.” Taking them out of her palm, I ripped open the box and wrapper and took out a biscuit. She plopped down next to me and I extended the box toward her. Smiling, she also took one biscuit as well and we leaned against each other, munching on our snacks.

After swallowing I asked, “How were you trying to help me?”

She reached over and snapped the rubber band on my wrist. “You were cursing like a sailor in there.” I winced. “Oh, right.” “By the way, you do realize that hot ass is really into you?” she said around a mouthful of biscuit, wagging her eyebrows.

“No, he isn’t.” I took another nibble of mine. I couldn’t consume the massive amount of junk food Jewels could without it showing up on my ass the next morning. “Trust me, I know these things and that guy is definitely into you.” Uh oh. I turned and stared at her. “Don’t look at me like that, I haven’t been spying. You know I’m over that kind of shit.” She grinned. “It’s no fun if they don’t know I’m watching.”

“You better be.” I gave her a stern look. “Remember the last live guy you were in love with.” I did the finger quotes when saying the words in love. It lasted for less than two weeks but that had been enough time to do serious damage.

She blew out a breath. “Not this again.”

“Yes, this again. You drove the guy insane with all your writing on the mirrors in his bathroom and leaving little gifts for him. We’re lucky he bounced back after a little therapy. It is unnatural for someone dead to be in a relationship with someone living.”

She narrowed her eyes at me. “You should talk.”

Slumping back next to her I argued, “Why do you think I moved to Atlanta? I’m trying to get on with my life among the living. Besides, it is slightly different with me.”

She snagged another cookie. “True. And that rule doesn’t apply to us as friends.”

As much as I wanted to disagree with her and as much as I wanted her to try to get on with her life on that side, I couldn’t imagine not having her around. We’d been close since the day she’d wandered up onto our property. The poor thing didn’t even know she’d died. And I didn’t have the heart to tell her until weeks later, and it wasn’t until she’d tried to speak to other living kids our age that she noticed something was off. “No, not us as friends.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is not my usual read, and yet I was caught up in the story from the beginning. I loved the humour, the naivety and the characters. I will definitely be reading book 2 so that I know how things pan out for the newly awakened Molly. Her interactions with Jewel, Levi and Damon were all so different, and cleverly described. I found there to be some issues with typos, but I was happy to ignore and get on with the story.

Perfect Halloween reading – but I would suggest fun at any time of the year!

K.A. Young is a paranormal/fantasy romance author that lives with her family in the South. She began writing because her mind was swimming with incredible stories that were begging to be told. Her love for reading began as a small child when she realized that a good book was an instant escape to a mystical land that could be reached anytime and from anyplace.

Connect with K.A.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Crypt Keeper (Molly Maddison #1) by K.A. Young to read and review for this tour.

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