Followers of the Owl by @Mghernandez110 s a Fall Into These Great Reads pick #ya #yalit #giveaway
Title: Followers of the Owl
Author: M.G. Hernandez
Genre: Young Adult
A girl and a boy, haunted by their past, must battle their personal demons to fight the evil hiding in plain sight. Eighteen-year-old Dee Bailey works hard on her personal brand. She's intelligent and passionate about her community. To her peers, she's a great friend and everyone's favorite social butterfly. But when alone, she's terrorized by a secret that leaves her cowering to the floor. Until one night, a mysterious girl in white appears on the manicured lawn of her family's vacation home. She follows the robed figure into the woods with no clue that she's about to change the course of her future. Meanwhile, Brandon Cuenca is drowning in the weight of his self-sabotage. Mourning the death of his girlfriend, he throws himself deep into a world of drug binges and questionable life choices—until the news of another disappearance of a Wakefield teenager forces him to set his problems aside. The victim was the third girl abducted in their social circle. But when a chance encounter lands him in her path, he learns that bringing her home is more complicated than finding her. What happens when the missing doesn't want to be found? Followers of the Owl explores greed, avarice and the human need to find light in the darkness
People trust me with their happiness; they shouldn’t. If they could see Mercy with her damp curls matted to her scalp, face drenched with blood, they would reconsider their friendship with me.
She shuffles closer to my crouching form in the handicap bathroom stall we share. I close my eyes to escape from her hard stare, drilling holes into my skull, reaching my brain, hoping she’ll get the answers to why I let her go. Eviscerated her. Murdered her.
Mercy would’ve been five. She would’ve been a spitfire, and she would’ve been blowing her birthday candles today. Instead, she mocks me, seethes in front of me as I cower in the corner, sitting on the filthy tile, praying she’ll go away. She’s extra angry tonight.
The sounds of cheers and excited stomping on bleachers reach my ears. I peek up, relieved that Mercy no longer occupies the same space with me. My hand rubs the skin over my heart to calm it. “Get up, Dee,” I tell myself.
Hands pushing up off the ground, I shoot up to rejoin my friends. It’s the Wakefield High School football game, and they’re honoring my parents during halftime.
I readjust my plaid button-down shirt and straighten my crop top. I stare at my hand with disgust and push off the stall so I can wash them. As I scrub my palms, I glance at myself through the mirror. My black curly hair graces my head in a high ponytail. I have my favorite hoop earrings, and the highlighter on my cheeks is giving. But my eyes, hazel and wide, look spiritless. Thank God for my luscious and expensive lashes that distract my friends from their true state of despondency.
I reach into the pocket of my Citizens of Humanity jeans and extract my coin purse. A pill drops onto my shaking palm, and I pop it into my mouth with the promise that it will dull the sharp edges of my emotions. Ativan does a body good.
“Get a hold of yourself.” I shrug off my unease, plaster my face with my megawatt smile, and head for the door.
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What’s your favorite thing about autumn:
Leaves changing colors and the cool weather. Sweater season and warm socks season.
What inspired you to write this story:
I wanted to write something out of this world and creative but with deeper content. This book touches on patriarchy and greed but also showcases people’s strength and resilience.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.
Runs September 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on October 3.
M.G. Hernandez is currently based in Honolulu, but spent her developing years in Bay Area, California. She has her bachelors in social welfare from University of California, Berkeley and a masters in social work from University of Hawaii, Manoa. Her passion for advocacy and the community led to her lifelong journey as a social worker. It’s this career path that made her fully aware of the human condition, its strength and resilience in the face of adversity. These qualities are often found in the characters she creates in her work.
If she’s not reading novels or dreaming about plots to write, she’s hanging out with her beach-loving husband, two amazing teenage sons and three grumpy guinea pigs.
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