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Stranded Coil by Stephanie Hansen is a Trick or Treat Bonanza pick #yadystopian #halloween #giveaway

Title:Stranded Coil

Author: Stephanie Hansen

Genre: YA Dystopian Romance

Book Blurb:

For Austria, travelling to the Stranded Coil means she gets to see someone she believed was lost. She’s able to do this because she’s an Altered Helix. But doing so takes her away from her first true love, Josh. Josh is working hard to keep their Haunted House family safe on Earth, but seems to fall in love with Austria more with every second they spend together.

Austria and Josh face a devastating challenge, the mysterious appearance of Mutant Altered Helixes, and an enticingly dangerous answer to their questions.

Impulsive, caring, and full of surprises, this teenage love against the odds is well on its way to breaking even…maybe.


Walking to the haunted house in a gloomy state, my first destination is the inventory room. Everyone’s getting dressed when I head to the costume racks and find the outfit I need. I spot Josh by the vanities. He sees me but looks away without saying a word or waving, or anything. It feels like back when Ed had threatened Josh not to talk to me. Only now, I know this silent treatment is Josh’s own decision. That’s worse than before. I walk over to Ceresa and Jack to head to our room together. Ceresa gives me a look of disapproval. Josh must have spoken to her about the scene at the restaurant, or at least his version of events. I don’t want to misinterpret her. Maybe she’s upset about something else.

“Is everything all right, Ceresa?” I ask.

“Don’t worry about it. We can keep our distance from you outside of the job if you’re embarrassed by us. I’d just allowed myself to believe that, after all we’ve been through, you would at least respect us.”

“It wasn’t like that, Ceresa. This whole thing is a misunderstanding. Please don’t be upset with me. I do respect you.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

She walks to the room ahead of us. Jack gives me a confused look.

“Sorry, it looks like Josh talked to the whole group, and a lot of people are upset. I hope you can get this misunderstanding remedied. It feels weird working without people getting along. It feels more like a job when before it just felt like fun,” Jack says with a miserable look on his face.

“I know, Jack. I’ll do my best. Sorry. Now let’s go scare some people.”

I’m so furious with how everything has turned into a mess that I look forward to scaring complete strangers. Jack and I sit in the dark corner that will light up when it’s time for his “hanging.” Ceresa drops to the floor shaking, and Brian shoots himself in the head. I hear gasps from the customers when they believe they’re doomed. Jack and I are next. I fit the noose around his neck. I can feel the customers’ eyes on us. I kick the chair from beneath him, and he begins to convulse. A customer actually steps to him to help, but Ceresa intervenes. She instructs them to run just as Brian starts after them in his chariot and the lit water illuminates their exit. I’m about to leave so I can check in with the guard and make it to the next room in time when I spot Jack still struggling. He’s not acting this time. He really is being hanged, and the convulsions are real. I am lightheaded as I run to him and lift him.

As I’m lifting Jack with one hand and moving the noose off him with the other, shapes appear. They look hazy, like my father did when he conversed with me after I fainted. As Jack is freed I recognize the shapes. It’s Matt and Ed. Guess they’re still with us when we had thought the haunted house was free of them. Jack slumps down, but now Ceresa has joined him and is caring for his wounds. Matt’s shape looks at me and begins talking.

“Looks like your pops isn’t the only one who can make physical occurrences happen in this world while being in the other.”

So Matt and Ed are like us, the ones with the different DNA. Otherwise, how could they be in the Other World? What do they mean by occurrences?

“What are you talking about?” I ask.

“Oh, you don’t remember when your pops busted out all of the haunted house windows trying to warn you there was danger here? Come on, your memory is sharper than that.”

“Okay, but what did you do?” I know the answer before they respond. Jack shouldn’t have actually hung. The hidden wires should have held him up. The convulsions should’ve just been merely an act, but they weren’t.

Ed gestures toward Jack. Ceresa looks at me like I’m out of my mind. Since she can’t see Matt and Ed, she probably believes I am. She doesn’t think much of me now anyway. Jack’s looking at Matt and Ed fearfully. He’s probably coming to the same conclusion I am. We really aren’t safe in this world if there are bad guys in the Other World. Apparently, not only can they kidnap us, but they can harm us physically as well. Great, just what we need.

“We just played with the strings that were supposed to hold the kid up. Looks like they’re not as effective if loosened a bit,” Ed says with a smirk on his face that I wish I could wipe off.

“You wouldn’t want to actually harm him though, would you? Your bosses might not be too thrilled to have his organs go to waste now, would they?” I’m mocking Matt and Ed for making a stupid error. Jack’s one of the ones with special DNA. It was foolish of them to put him in danger.

“We knew he’d be saved. Plus that wasn’t really what we were after,” Matt says.

I’m furious. I wish I could hurt them. Maybe if they’re able to make physical occurrences, I can make one happen to them too. The adrenaline almost makes me dizzy as I go in for the attack. I hear Ceresa say, “What in the world?”

I land on a grassy patch near a beach. It’s so bright I’m blinded. As my eyes adjust, I look around. A bird trots up a stone stairway. I can feel its excitement. I can feel the grains of sands’ love for one another as they cling to each other. A wave hits the beach, and the grains are separated; I feel their longing. I must be in the Other World. One second I had been barreling toward Matt and Ed. The next, I’m in a place I don’t recognize even from any dream. I remember Camille mentioning adrenaline having to do with how she moved to this world. So did Matt and Ed take me or did I come of my own free will? I don’t see them around, so I hope it was of my own accord. Maybe I’ll get back faster because of that. I stand and brush off my costume.

As I begin to walk to the stairs, a bright light makes me shield my eyes. Then I hear his voice. As my eyes adjust again, I recognize the face that goes with the voice. It’s my father. He is real. I run up and give him a hug. He hugs me back. I can’t stop the tears from flowing down my cheeks. He’s really here. I can feel him. He’s hugging me back. Again, he smells of the aftershave he used in life.

“Father. So this is where you’ve been all these years.”

“Yes. I’ve been here watching over you. You won’t want to be climbing those stairs just yet.”

I step back onto the grass. “Why? What’s up there, Father?”

“That’s Heaven. We’re stuck in a middle world here.”

“What? I don’t understand any of this.”

“Do you feel different than you did at home?”

“Well, everything is different here. I felt the sand grains’ emotions.” I also feel something different that I hadn’t noticed before. I feel dizzy, like I’m about to have a fainting spell, but it isn’t bad. It feels like that’s the norm in this world. At home, this would feel strange. Here, I feel dizzy, but not bad.”

“That’s because we are on the Stranded Coil of a Nebula. You see our society is evolving. Some of us ahead of others. One day all of society will live in this world, and we’ll all be a step closer to Heaven.”

“What about the bad guys? They’re here too. Do they get to go to Heaven?”

“I really don’t have all of the answers as I’m still here and have not moved on. Since our DNA pulls more energy through the double helix, we have evolved ahead of others. We’re within a part of space that will still exist when the Earth no longer does. Because of our DNA, we’re able to travel from here to Earth and other places. That’s also why you were able to sense shadows and perceptions unlike anyone else, just as I had.”

“What? This is intense. There are other places?”

“Yes, but first I need to get you to a safe location. As you know, there are people here who would like to harm us.”

“I thought you said you had it under control?”

“I’m sorry, Austria. Their numbers have grown, and I lost control, but we still have something on our side. Let’s go to the safe place, and we can discuss it further.”

“Okay, Father. What do we do? Do we travel here like on Earth or can we orb somewhere or something?”

He smiles as I say this and takes my hand. “Just walk like you would as if you were on Earth.”


I take a step forward, and I swear the sun smiles at me. I take another step forward, and the flowers near the stairway begin to sing. I feel like I’m in a cartoon I saw as a child. I’m walking with my hand in my father’s. I’ve dreamt of holding his hand for years. Is this real? Could it all just be a dream? I think. The wind blows my hair from my face, and I swear I can feel the elation it feels.

“I get to the safe place by thinking about your favorite hiding spot when you were a kid,” my father tells me.

“Oh, the hexagon table we had, right?” I can see it perfectly in my head. I close my eyes and remember how I used to open the doors under the table and climb in to hide. When I open my eyes, I see our house in front of me. The blue shutter on the far-right window’s still loose as it had been years ago. The daisies are still behind the birdbath to the left of the door. The sweet potato vine drapes over the flower bed to the right of the porch. The door’s wide open, and the smell of home-baked cookies wafts out at us.

“Right,” my father says with a smile.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?

Rhaenyra Targaryen.

Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:

With a haunted house setting, Stranded Coil is a perfect read for October.

“It’s one of those books that comes along occasionally that will make you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. For fantasy fans looking for an interesting, three-dimensional, and stimulating read, this would be a great find. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader.” ~Piaras

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card

Open internationally.

Runs October 1 – 31

Drawing will be held on November 1.

Author Biography:

Stephanie Hansen is a PenCraft and Global Book Award Winning Author as well as an Imadjinn finalist. Her debut novella series, Altered Helix, released in 2020. It hit the #1 New Release, #1 Best Seller, and other top 100 lists on Amazon. It is now being adapted to an animated story for Tales. Her debut novel, Replaced Parts, released in 2021 through Fire & Ice YA and Tantor Audio. It has been in a Forbes article, hit Amazon bestseller lists, and made the Apple young adult coming soon bestsellers list. The second book in the Transformed Nexus series, Omitted Pieces, releases in 2022. She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community, so she tries to incorporate that into her fiction.

Social Media Links:

3 Kommentare

16. Okt. 2023

I’m not sure I’ll dress up this year if I do I’ll be a witch or something!

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Rita Wray
Rita Wray
12. Okt. 2023

Sounds like a great read.

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
12. Okt. 2023

Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your book in our Trick or Treat Book Bonanza!

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