Double Trouble–Giving Away Two Books that Give Me the CREEPS (The Good Kind)

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, Community, Contests, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

It’s your lucky day! I’m having a creepy giveaway. I’ve got two books here that will make your hands sweat while you’re reading them. First up is DISPIRITED by Luisa M. Perkins…

Cathy sees things that are invisible to everyone else. Her new stepbrother’s bizarre behavior. A ghostly little boy. An abandoned house in the woods. But she doesn’t see how they’re all connected. And what she doesn’t see might just kill her.


Luisa M. Perkins is the author of Dispirited, published by Zarahemla Books in March 2012, and co-author of the novel The Book of Jer3miah, forthcoming from Shadow Mountain in August 2012.
Past publications include the cookbook Comfortably Yum and the LDS YA novel Shannon’s Mirror. She has had numerous short stories and essays published in print and online. She has been a member of the Whitney Awards Committee for the past two years. She and her husband Patrick live with their six children in New York’s Hudson Highlands.

Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of DISPIRITED…

DISPIRITED is one little creeper of a book and I mean that in the very best of ways. What I loved about it was that Perkins made reality, myth and the paranormal seamlessly blend in a way that captured my attention and made me wonder if there was really a lot more going on under my day to day reality. If you’ve ever had a chill run down your spine for no reason–DISPIRITED will make you wonder if perhaps you weren’t just being perceptive.

Bonus love for this book because Perkins wrote this while living in my area and her writing was peppered with local references making the story even more believable and interesting for me. If you like IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma or a darker story that makes you think AND shiver…DISPIRITED is a perfect choice for you.

The second book you have a chance to win is WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND by Tracy Bilen.

“Don’t even think of leaving…I will find you,” he whispered. “Guaranteed.”

Sara and her mom have a plan to finally escape Sara’s abusive father. But when her mom doesn’t show up as expected, Sara’s terrified. Her father says that she’s on a business trip, but Sara knows he’s lying. Her mom is missing—and her dad had something to do with it. Each day that passes, Sara’s more on edge. Her friends know that something’s wrong, but she won’t endanger anyone else with her secret. And with her dad growing increasingly violent, Sara must figure out what happened to her mom before it’s too late…for them both.

Tracy Bilen is a high school French and Spanish teacher in Michigan where she lives with her husband and two children. Before moving to Michigan, Tracy taught at a ski school for high school students in Vermont (Spanish, not skiing!). In college she spent her junior year abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris where she lived in a dorm run by nuns (and where she had to run down four flights of stairs to take a phone call). She enjoys cross-country skiing and walks in the woods. Her debut young adult novel, What She Left Behind, will be released by Simon Pulse on May 1, 2012.Tracy Bilen is a high school French and Spanish teacher in Michigan where she lives with her husband and two children. Before moving to Michigan, Tracy taught at a ski school for high school students in Vermont (Spanish, not skiing!). In college she spent her junior year abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris where she lived in a dorm run by nuns (and where she had to run down four flights of stairs to take a phone call). She enjoys cross-country skiing and walks in the woods. Her debut young adult novel, What She Left Behind, will be released by Simon Pulse on May 1, 2012.

Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND

If you like Elizabeth Scott, I think you’ll absolutely adore Tracy Bilen. WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND is one of those stories that is morbidly beautiful. It is the harsh reality of a less than ideal life, threaded with moments of love and hope. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from what was unfolding on the pages. I immediately connected with Sara and I adored the healthy relationships in her life. I read this story with a rapid pulse and sweaty palms–praying that the last page would be just as good as the build-up. I wasn’t disappointed.

Oh, and bonus–both books will be shipped to you directly from the authors so you’ll get to have them signed!! What do you have to do to enter this giveaway? Tell me what piece of reality you find scarier than fiction. Or you can tell me the creepiest thing that’s ever happened to you. Or you can just gush about how much you want both of these books. BE SURE TO INCLUDE  YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION IN THE COMMENT SO THAT YOU CAN WIN!

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  1. Is this an international competition? What She Left Behind sounds amazing, I’ve been looking forward to reading that for ages!

    Even if it’s not open internationally, I’ll still tell you the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me! I don’t really believe in ghosts, but when I was about eight or nine, we went on holiday (I’m from Australia, so nothing’s really that old) to this beautiful house by a big river. I swear that house was haunted though – random things kept happening – even my Mum and Dad said they heard footsteps when all of us kids were asleep, banging pipes, flickering lights – all that stuff that Paranormal Activity is made out of! I still remember I was in a room by myself and the door opened and I saw a shadow pass through the room – but that was it! Scared me stiffless, it did, and I refused to sleep in that room any longer!

    I just love that my ghostly experience happened in Australia, while when I lived in one of the most haunted cities in the world (Edinburgh, Scotland) absolutely nothing happened!!! 😀

    thegirlinacafe (at) gmail (dot) com

    • Hmmm I’m not sure, since the authors are each sending individually. I’ll find out for you though…Luisa? Tracy? And I think that’s hysterical how Scotland was a dud LOL!

  2. What piece of reality that I find scarier than fiction… the dark side of human nature. Okay, that was kind of a vague answer… so, I’ll say the Burger King mascot, The King (he’s not fiction to me). He just pops out of nowhere, offering a BK product.

    Dispirited and What She Left Behind sound great! I love Elizabeth Scott, so I’m definitly going to have to read What She Left Behind. Thank you for the giveaway! 🙂

  3. You’re very welcome and I agree with you vague answer and admit I’m a little scared of the BK guy…that head! *shudders*

  4. I find out well after I got married that the place where we had the wedding is haunted, which in retrospect made total sense. While all us girls were getting dressed in our special prep room, all of a sudden one of the windows (we were on the second floor) started to fall out of its frame. Instead of crashing to the ground, the window got stuck and hung out of the frame at an impossible angle. I think the ghost caught the window!

  5. Scarier than fiction? All the recent “zombie” attacks that have been in the news. I mean, drugged out people actually chewing off each other’s faces? *shudders* What could be creepier than that?

    Both books sound fantastic! But I will recuse myself from the contest on the grounds of being your agency sistah. 🙂

    • You win!!!! The “Zombie” attacks take the cake! But recuse is noted LOL!

  6. The bed and breakfast where we spent our wedding night was haunted. While relaxing in the bath tub after a long day I suddenly got the feeling that there was a small child on the other side of the curtain, my new husband was downstairs waiting for our luggage so I stayed put and just waited until the feeling past. The next morning when we got a tour of the building we were told about the 5 year old that had drowned in the reflection pool in the garden and had been spotted playing in the garden by guests. This home was also used in the TV miniseries “Rose Red” by Stephen King.


  7. First of all, I like creepy stories – and second of all, Zarahemla published it. What more could I possibly want? I’ll go on my list.

  8. I’m retiring at the end of August after 32 years working at BYU Football and am ready for some culture in my life, not just sports. Since I am entering an entirely new realm, I think I’m ready for some new literary realms. They both sound terrific and now I’ll have the time to read them.



    • Shirley-congrats on the retirement. Sounds like you deserve to enjoy it and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy anything than with books. (((Hugs)))

  9. What is creepier than creepy? My step-father and let me tell you why. He was abusive, won’t say more than that. Here is the scary and true part: the night Ted Bundy was executed, I was watching the interview he gave, and as I was sitting there I happened to be in a position on the couch so that when a position he shifted into made me seem to be able to see right into his eyes. A cold chill ran through me and I said out loud, “OMG! My dad has the same exact eyes of Ted Bundy.” No one disagreed with me in that room.

    The books sound great.

    • Awwww Debra—so sorry you’ve had those “eyes” in your life. I hope things are better for you now and all your creepy stuff comes from books and movies. (((hugs)))

  10. I would really like to read these books. Much of reality is scarier than fiction.


  11. The creepiest thing that ever happened to me…hmmm. Also being from Australia its difficult to find a place that has a creepy aura (ridiculous really when you consider how long the Aboriginals were here before us and the bloodshed….moving on) but I went on a school camp to Tasmania when I was sixteen and visited Port Arthur.
    For those who don’t know Port Arthur was one of Australia’s largest penal colonies and home to one of the worst mass murders in our post-colonial history. Quite nasty really. You can feel bad vibes everywhere – so of course they took 40 teenagers on the ghost tour by night.

    The worst part of it is the solitary confinement wing. The guards would not speak and everything was muffled in cloth so you wouldnt even hear footsteps.
    Then there was a room that had two doors to enter through and no windows, vents or anyway for sunlight to come through. We popped in during the day and it made me want to cry.
    Walking past at night there were nasty shadows creeping towards us and dancing around the light of our lantern. Girls cried and one guy fainted and had to be taken to hospital.

    It was terrifying but awesome in that adrenaline pumping way. I’m going on the Melbourne ghost tour soon. Yay, haunted bookshop!

    alex @ raidingbookshelves dot com

    • Wow Alex–I can relate. I had a chance to visit Auschwitz in Poland. Walking through the concentration camp was something I’ll never forget. It was heart wrenching and almost beyond my ability to comprehend.

  12. Is it wrong to say that I’d like to visit Auschwitz? I’m so curious about places with such strong layers of history that you can feel them.

    • I don’t think so at all…I think it’s important to see everything about the world we live in. <3

      • Not strange at all. I also would like to visit Auschwich, as well as Normandy. I have been to Nauvoo and to Carthage and there you can feel all sorts of emotions that are not yours, but of those who used to live there; to be in the same room where the Prophet and his Brother were murdered, ESP looking down from the window to the spot where Joseph lay dead. I lived in the South for nine years, have driven through Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentiucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and the state that effected me was Mississippi. As I drove in the early evening hours, I noticed myself feeling sad, feeling emotions I couldn’t name, and I turned off the radio to pay attention towhat was going on. It only took a minute, but I realized it was in the air and in the trees, and coming from the ground. A sorrow that was talking to those with ears that could hear. Like me. Voices from the past of slavery, share cropping, denial of civil rights, lynchings. It was all there, testifying to a long history where no amends could be made. What I felt that night driving through Mississippi, is what you would feel at Auschwich if you open yourself up.

        • I think the world is so much richer if “we’re” plugged in. <3 I totally get what you're saying.

  13. What She Left Behind looks deliciously, mysteriously, creepily fabulous!
    Nothing particularly scary has ever happened to me (well, I live a singularly uneventful life), but once I watched this really scary movie called The Fourth Kind at my friend’s house. Now when you hear about aliens you think “oh, aliens aren’t real. They’re made up!” But this movie is based on true events, which made it very, very scary to me. I’m now officially scared of owls (that comment probably makes no sense, but if you read the wikipedia summary on it, you’ll understand my fear!).

    • I’m going to have to check that out! Granted–I try to stay away from scary movies because they freak me out LOL! But the two that have given me HORRIBLE nightmares were Willy Wanka and the Chocolate Factory (the original) I had chocolate pipe nightmares LOL! And Silence of the Lambs *shudders* It was a love/hate relationship.

  14. Spiders and ticks. They are little bits of reality that TERRIFY me. I don’t even get ticks – what purpose do they serve? At least spiders help control the insect population, but what good do ticks do? None. They’re creepy little things that suck your blood and give you diseases . . . ick. They’re just disgusting!

    teddycavygal at yahoo dot com

  15. These books sound FANTASTIC! I love love love creepy books.

    The creepiest thing that ever happened to me? Okay, this completely true, and really scary…when I was 14, my neighbor killed his parents, very brutally. In the morning, there was blood outside our door where he had run past our house while trying to make his escape. (Luckily, the voices in his head told him to give himself up, and he was captured later that day).

    Slightly on the better side of creepy? I was working in a school one summer, while the school was empty. Just me and one other girl…we walked past a particular classroom several times without trouble…and then suddenly, there was music coming from inside it. Creepy, old, wordless music. Inside, there was an old radio, sitting on the middle of an empty shelf, totally out of place. My co-worker walked to the radio, and pulled it straight out of the wall. It was seriously creepy!

    • Gahhhhh how awful!!!! The writer in me wants to sit down and ask you a zillion questions. And the music….

  16. umm as silly as it is, something that’s scarier in reality to me is clowns. why are they always so happy? with those big smiles and crazy hair and yeah just way too creepy!! i can’t think of anything creepy happening to me which of course means as soon as i post this something is going to happen : ) also i just really really would love to read these books! i love most anything creepy, as long as it doesn’t include clowns!!

    ame1184 at gmail dot com

    • I agree with the clown thing and can say there are NO clowns in either book. And how do they all fit in that little car???

  17. LOL! I love reading previous comments! I totally agree with Alica Marie with the whole clown thing, but with me it’s dolls that super creep me out. I mean seriously what is up with their scary vacant eyes, I am super creeped when their eyes roll around. *shudders*
    Thanks for the giveaway!:D

  18. The scariest reality is being trapped with your head underwater. The creepiest experience I had was a nightmare about a big snarling dog breaking through my bedroom window and biting my leg. When I woke up in a sweat, I could still feel his teeth in my skin. yoshirley at yahoo dot com

    • I’ve had some dreams that have been “real” like that–an uber freaky feeling!!!!

  19. First off, thank you so much for the giveaway! Both books sound amazing but personally I think I’d enjoy reading Dispirited more because What She Left Behind is a little too realistic in the sense that, as unfortunate as it is, there happen to be abusive fathers in the world. I don’t really believe in ghosts so Dispirited seems more… fun? Sorry, I can’t come up with the word I was looking for. :/ Has that ever happened to you?

    Hmm… an event scarier than fiction would probably be what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jews in the concentration camps during World War II. And the secret project that was the predecessor of the above (I think it was called the T4 program but it’s summer now so I can forget all my history aha ;)) where they perfected the technique of silent, mass murder in the gas chambers on mentally disabled German children that were deemed “unworthy to live”. I mean imagine being led, unsuspectingly, into a “shower room” and then suddenly the doors bang shut and something is pumped in. Every breath you take sears your throat, choking you as the poison works through your system. The men, women, children all around you begin to realize what is happening and start clawing frantically in a desperate fight to survive despite the utter hopelessness of their situation. Screams that waste the unpolluted air they need but that can’t be held it. That type of death would be horrible.

    Another scary thing would be the Cold War because during that time people lived in constant fear of nuclear warfare. Each side feared that the other would detonate the weapon first and so they would be compelled to detonate their weapon and thus destroy the world in a nuclear war. Also, just the capabilities and effects of the atomic bomb (as demonstrated when the United States dropped a bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) are scary. I remember my history teacher once told our class how this one civilian was wearing a checkered pattern shirt and after the explosion, the radiation burned the pattern into her skin. .__.

    Basically, I think the capability of a human to commit such atrocities and still be able to live with themselves is the scariest thing of all. And when people start to lose their humanity in a fight for survival (I didn’t really expand on this but this comment is kinda long so I didn’t want to bore you any longer :)).

    Clearly, I’d have to agree with the people who commented above: reality has the tendency to be scarier than fiction.

    Thanks for reading, >.^

    • Shannon–I remember the fear of growing up in the Cold War and doing drills at school and always wondering when “it” might happen. I have to say one of the very first WTH moments I had as a kid was watching a show about the Berlin Wall. My jaw hit the floor when my dad explained that it was REAL. I could hardly wrap my mind around it. Yes, the things we do to each other, consistently and without remorse are some of the most horrific things–

      Thank you for sharing so thoughtfully. (((hugs)))

  20. I loved the book Dispirited! It was very scary and I would love to win a free copy. I’d also love to win the other book! I haven’t read it yet, but the cover is very intriguing and I’m always up for a great story!

  21. I absolutely find the recent ‘zombie’ attacks in the news absolutely terrifying. The dismemberment and mailing of the body parts. This is news, and it scares me. I never thought I’d hear of people actually doing this!!


    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  22. To me the scariest reality is what the government is trying to do to women in the US right now!

    The books do sound awesome and I would love to win!!

    Email: marthapao(at)live(dot)com

  23. I’m always looking for a scary read.

    My wife is Stephanie Humphreys, author of “Finding Rose” and “Double Deceit” published by Walnut Springs Press. She frequently reviews books. Check out her web page and click the BLOG to see reviews.

    I’m certain she would also read this book and review it for you if I win the book.

  24. I love scary reads! I’ve been wanting to read What She Left Behind for quite some time.
    When I had watched Boy in Striped Pajamas, I was so sad at the end that I ended up googling about the Nazis and Jews and I was horrified by the truth. It scares me that how ruthless and unfeeling humans can be.

    I’m sometimes also scared by the extent of human contempt and anger. Today, I read a news about some teenager killing his mother for not for refusing him money for gambling and a boy killing his aunt with a pair of scissors. Sometime ago, a teen with his friends killed his own grandmother and orchestrated it in a way that it looked like robbery. And then a 10 year old kid in Ohio who shot his mother with a .25 caliber? That is shell-shocking.
    Sometimes, fiction does seem scary than reality.

    AW here’s my email: priya.1dt@gmail.com
    I hope I win 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway BTW

    • I agree Priya–and sometimes we are so desensitized to it. Even scarier.


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