What do you get when you combine the writing of Kristi Strong with the digital talents of Elizabeth Sharp?
A brand new cover of awesomness!
Finding Keepers is Kristi Strong’s first Young Adult novel, and first non-fantasy novel.
Starting a new life is never easy, but Alyssa Doe has turned it into an art form. Abandoned by her parents at age twelve, four years in foster care has taught Alyssa how to get through life the hard way.
Now sixteen and growing desperate for a stable life, Alyssa finds herself puzzled by her newest keeper, twenty-five year old Jessica Sona. A feisty woman who does not accept no for an answer, Jessica’s insistence on safety, family, and unconditional love begin to break down Alyssa’s walls and bring her hope, a dangerous emotion.
Can such a thing as family and love exist for a girl whose birth name is Doe, or will Alyssa be forever left finding keepers?
The rubber swing creaked as she swung, cold twilight air rushing against Alyssa’s face as she gave Brianna time to find the words to describe her feelings. A creak sounded from the swing beside her, and she heard Brianna take a deep breath.
“I don’t know what to do, Alli.”
“About what?” Alyssa glanced at her, noticing that her friend had dug a small hole in the dirt under the swing, and now sat with her cheek pressed against the chilled metal.
She shrugged, the herringbone pattern of her thick wool coat rising and falling with the motion. “Everything. School. Friends. Life. It’s just so damn hard, and I don’t know why. Sometimes just breathing is such a struggle.”
Alyssa remained silent a moment, pushing her swing back and forth with her feet, trying to find the right words to help.
Brianna wiped away a tear and leaned back in the swing. “You know what, it’s stupid. Just pretend I didn’t say anything. Everything is fine.”
“Hey,” Alyssa gently pulled on the chain of Brianna’s swing to bring her closer. “If it has you this upset, then it’s not stupid. Definitely not nothing, which means it’s something. And you are totally not fine right now.”
“I have no right, none at all, to talk to you about life being difficult.” She gave a bitter laugh that turned into a sob and swatted at another tear that dropped from her eye. “That’s what makes it harder though. I have absolutely nothing to complain about, and yet …”
“Bri,” Alyssa began.
“No!” she interrupted. “I know it’s true. I have two loving parents in a committed marriage, and a big house, and pets, and a room filled with clothes, and pretty much anything I ever wanted, within reason. I’ve never had to worry about having food to eat, or clothes to wear, or boys touching me without permission. It’s not like I’m rich, and going to be driving a Benz or anything, but I know that when I get my license I’ll have a car to drive and parents who will let me drive it and be able to call it my own.”
Brianna paused, and Alyssa could see the metal chain shaking from the trembling of her friend’s body. She reached out and held out her hand, palm up, in the air next to her. Brianna reached out and took it, linking her fingers with Alyssa and holding tight, as if it were a rope ready to pull her to shore.
About Kristi’s Novels
While Finding Keepers is her first Contemporary Young Adult novel, she also has three books currently published in her New Adult Fantasy series, the Land of Kaldalangra.
The Lady of Steinbrekka
(The featured fantasy book in the 2014-2015 LCPS Battle of the Books competition)
Rhea Aralia lived an uneventful life in Virginia, until the fateful night of her kidnapping. Taken to a strange realm of destruction, despair, and mysterious people with dark secrets, the young woman must learn a new way of life to survive.
With the help of her new companions, Rhea discovers the courage to defy the tyrant King Verikhan and his heir, the cleverness to deceive the court, and the power within herself to transform this world of darkness into one of beauty and hope.
Will Rhea triumph over those who seek her destruction, or will she be forever lost in the darkness known as Kaldalangra?
It has been two years since the reign of the tyrannical King Verikhan has ended, and the realm of Kaldalangra flourishes.
Nyssa has taken her place as Queen of the realm, with her secret love, Sebast, now openly at her side. She rules with a fair hand, striving for justice and prosperity for all of her people.
Rowan and Rhea travel the realm, spreading peace and healing wherever they go. In Kylassame, they have formed a strong bond with friends and spread deep roots in the community.
The people of Kaldalangra are joyful, and life in their world is better than ever before.
But a string of tragedies has the ability to bring Rhea to her knees, and with her, the entire realm. While Rowan struggles to recover the village of Kylassame from a devastating crime, Rhea’s faith in her own strength weakens, with dire consequences.
Re-enter the world of Kaldalangra, and join the adventure as Rhea and Rowan endeavor to continue upon their chosen destiny.
In the land of Kaldalangra, one woman stands at a crossroads
Sabina de Nespa has known a life of freedom and peace, thanks to the actions of her heroic parents. As a child of royalty, she has kept her intentions pure and her heart guarded, always aware that the crown of the realm may one day rest upon her brow.
When two strangers stumble across her path, she finds her peace shattered as dangerous family secrets begin to emerge, along with a malignant force that threatens to destroy her entire world. These men have the ability to help her rise to brilliant heights, or cause a devastating plunge into darkness.
It is now up to Sabina to continue her parents’ legacy of honor, courage, and strength through adversity. With the fate of Kaldalangra upon her shoulders, she has vowed to follow the path of righteousness, or die trying.
About the Author:
Fixing broken computers, wrangling a very spirited little toddler, and creating new fantasy worlds are all parts of the average day for Kristi Strong. While she has called Virginia her home for two decades, her head has rested in two countries, three states, and far too many houses to count. She was more than happy to give up her nomadic lifestyle and settle down with her husband, daughter, cat and chinchilla.
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