“The Shepherd”—A Dark, Contemporary YA Funhouse

[The Shepherd Cover]

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The Blurb
Skate punks, kleptomaniacs, clairvoyant visions and reincarnation…

The Shepherd is unlike any other Young Adult novel you have ever read.
For me, Mike Evans, a skate punk living in a white-trash trailer park, high school blows.

My dad’s an out-of-work drunk. My ex-girlfriend avoids me like the plague. My best friend, Anita, won’t keep her hands off me…then there’s Moses Lake’s champion wrestler. The a-hole is waiting for an excuse to beat my face into the skate park concrete.

Worse, my visions of grisly death are back again, and if I tell anyone what I’ve seen I might actually cause these terrible events to happen.

I’m in way over my head, and Natasha? The girl I rescued from a hit-and-run? The girl who’s stalking me nightly and climbing through my window? There’s something seriously wrong with that girl.

“A young adult, paranormal, romantic, bizarre and addicting story, and I could not put it down.” – Stephanie, The Boyfriend Bookmark

The Shepherd is different, unique, feels real and fresh and does not follow the usual boring and repetitive ingredients that YA books tend to have.” – MissDevora, Lovers of Paranormal reviewer

“Travis has captured the look and feel of high school perfectly, teenage angst, cliques and first loves. I felt like a fly on the wall taking in all the drama of high school again.” – Jackie, Goodreads reviewer

Sharp, witty, dark and gritty, The Shepherd is a paranormal thriller for all ages. Get your copy of this thrilling urban fantasy – paranormal suspense novel from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Travis Luedke.

The Review ★★★★★
Travis Luedke is an interesting writer. You might know him from his “Nightlife Series,” which celebrates vampires. When I learned that he had written a YA novel called The Shepherd, I went into it thinking it might follow the path of many of the other YA titles out there today—modern and edgy, but perhaps a little tame. Boy, was I wrong!

What the author has done is to give the reader something dark and fun. Because the characters are teens, you won’t find only raw, seething emotion just under the surface, but lots of raging hormones that drive them to do things they should have thought better of. Add to that some cool skateboarding swagger and a bloody, paranormal twist, and what you get is a story that you cannot predict. The main character, Mike Evans, is troubled for sure. But those around him don’t make his life any easier. Oh, and wait until you meet Natasha. Yeah, just what Mike needs—a sucker punch straight out of Russia.

What I really enjoyed about this book is the author’s ability to capture the immediacy of the modern teen. His dialogue is sharp, and absolutely rings true. As I was reading the book, I could picture high school students speaking this way—not sounding like TV-based stereotypes. I’m guessing that teen readers will find a lot of realism in this story, and will probably recognize some of their peers in characters like Anita, Justin, Rachelle and Tommy.

If you enjoy stories that send you grinding down a rusty handrail, I recommend grabbing The Shepherd. You won’t be disappointed.

The Shadow Box
Explore The Dark Side of Urban Fantasy – Paranormal Suspense with THE SHADOW BOX from NY Times & USA Today bestselling authors.

***A limited offer at a steeply discounted price – only available until Feb. 2015

Ride the cutting edge of dark fantasy in this unique collection of fast-paced, gritty,  suspenseful thrillers. Filled with black magic, vampire trailer trash, werewolves, sorcerers, assassins, clairvoyants, zombie draggers, and old-school gothic horror, a sure bet for fans of paranormal suspense.

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DARKER THINGS by Rob Cornell
Fifteen years have passed since Craig Lockman worked for a shadowy agency fighting monsters most think exist only in nightmares. A mysterious teen girl arrives at his door with his fiercest enemy on her tail. Now he must protect the daughter he never knew from the dark world he thought he left behind.

MOTH by Sean Poindexter
Social worker Max Hollingsworth is no stranger to monsters. Supernatural or human, he’s faced all kinds. But when he’s called upon to investigate a missing child, he may have met his match.

THE SHEPHERD by Travis Luedke
After saving a mysterious girl from a hit and run, 16 yr. old Mike Evans soon finds his life spiraling out of control. Facing clairvoyant visions of grisly death, Mike struggles to avert disaster and make his way through the chaos.

COUNCIL OF PEACOCKS by M. Joseph Murphy
A band of misfit, half-demon teenagers join the ruthless, immortal Wisdom, to stop The Council of Peacocks. The Council, a secret society of sorcerers, has plotted for centuries, and now the time has come for Activation – a hostile takeover of Earth.

A DEATH DISPLACED by Andrew Butcher
When Nicolas Crystan unexpectedly sees the future, he acts fast to save Juliet Maystone from a fatal accident, unintentionally “displacing” her–giving her the power to see ghosts. Together, they must use their newfound abilities to unravel a mystery more connected to Nicolas than he ever imagined …

BOUND BY BLOOD by Shane KP O’Neill
Vlad Dracula: ruler, tyrant, warlord, and champion of the Catholic faith, is seized by Lucifer in his moment of death and becomes a monster, born of Darkness. Vlad is charged with destroying the institution of the Catholic Church, to help turn man against God so that Lucifer may finally return to Heaven and end all of mankind.

LUNA SANGUIS by Simon Okill
A mysterious woman awakes in an asylum in France, 1925, with amnesia. As her memory is restored she reveals her true vampiric nature and unleashes a bloody nightmare that might destroy all humanity.

TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD by Steven Ramirez
When a contagion decimates the town of Tres Marias, recovering alcoholic Dave Pulaski, his wife, Holly, and a group of armed soldiers and civilians must find a way to survive.

THE LONG WAY DOWN by Craig Schaefer
The death of a porn star leads sorcerer Daniel Faust down a rabbit hole of conspiracy and madness. For the first time, black magic and bullets might not be enough to save him from the brink of damnation.

BLACKJACK by Kristopher Norris
When Vincent Black, a gun for hire, is told vampires are all too real, he thinks it’s a joke. But soon he learns that he is not the most dangerous brand of hunter out there…

Is Teen Fiction Loyal to Teens?

By Travis Luedke

[Travis Luedke]As an author, I write both teen and adult fiction. Though there are many similarities between the two styles and novels, there is one major difference that seems to be missing from some of today’s teen fiction: teenage life and issues.

Teens live in a world dominated by school, peer pressure, raging hormonal drives, bossy adults (parents?) and on many occasions, a highly dysfunctional family setting. Teens are mostly dependent on these family members who may not be very trustworthy or dependable. Teens have all the thoughts, feelings and urges of adults, but they haven’t quite adjusted to that world yet.

Their existence is a purgatory floating between childish carefree abandon and the weight of responsibility and freedoms of adulthood.

These young adults are told to behave, as though children, and yet, at the same time, they are expected to tackle adult tasks like college applications, job hunting, dating, driving, and all the pressures of the real world. It’s no wonder they seem schizophrenic at times. The constant mixed signals are enough to confuse anyone.

Do we expect them to act like adults while treating them as children? Yes, we do.

In the world of teen fiction, there are many novels today that seem to have forgotten what it means to be a teenager.

So, as you scour the shelves for YA/teen novels, ask yourself, how many books have you found that are loyal to teens and the challenges they face? Many of these books are simply a platform for some adult to talk down to teenagers in an attempt to preach adult values and morals.

In writing for teens, please remember that acne-ridden, awkward, voice-breaking, hair-growing time in life when very little made sense, especially if it was coming from a math teacher, but somehow, someway, we survived to adulthood. Remember how it felt when some adult started preaching about making choices and taking on responsibilities, and growing up, and then proceeded to tell you that you cannot have the shoes you want, and you cannot go out past 10:00 p.m., and if your hands ever touch that girl’s ass again, they will be hacked off with a blunt instrument.

In writing my first ever YA novel, I endeavored to craft a story about teens, for teens, a snapshot of that insane, difficult time in our lives when nothing makes sense, but we are expected to understand it all anyway.

About The Shepherd
“Skate punks, kleptomaniacs, clairvoyant visions and reincarnation…”

“…THE SHEPHERD is unlike any other Young Adult novel you have ever read.”

Mike Evans here. Sixteen year old skate punk squatting in a white-trash trailer park with my loser drunk Dad. Seems I lost most of my friends when Dad lost our home in foreclosure. Only Anita stuck by me. Worse, I keep having strange clairvoyant visions of things that always come true.

Then I almost ran over Nadia in my Geo. A passing truck finished the job – left a crumpled heap of skin and bone on the road. I fixed her. Me.

Now this fourteen year old girl won’t leave me alone. I sorta let her sneak in my window when she needs a place to crash.

I have a double life: daytime at school, Anita, skating, and then my nights with Nadia. She’s my secret friend, gives me money and listens to my problems when nobody else will.

My world is spinning out of control. Old friends have turned enemy, my grisly visions of death won’t quit, and Anita’s intentions make my head spin. Even with all that, I’ve got bigger stuff to worry about.

Nadia’s hiding something.

[The Shepherd Cover]

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About the Author
Travis Luedke is a husband, father, and author of Urban Fantasy Thriller, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, and Sci-fi. He is currently catching a 3rd degree sunburn in San Antonio, Texas, and loving every minute of it.

As the author of the Nightlife Series novels, Travis lives very vicariously through his writings. He invites you to enjoy his macabre flights of fancy, but be warned: The Nightlife Series is violent, sexy, and occasionally violently sexy.

You can find Travis at www.twluedke.com, on Facebook, on Goodreads and on Twitter.

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