Chris Leibig’s 2016 PenCraft award-winning novel Almost Mortal ended with defense attorney Samson Young, having just learned that his client Camille Paradisi had risen from the dead after being brutally shot to death in front of the Bennett County Courthouse, agrees to represent her and the other descendants of the Fallen Angels in their plea for redemption. In this sequel, Almost Damned, Sam seeks to keep his commitment. But how? Samson Young is a criminal defense attorney with an office in contemporary Washington, DC. He is struggling to handle several legal cases that seem to be mysteriously interconnected. The intense opening court scene sets the stage for drama and suspense that keeps the reader guessing until the last page.
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Astrid Sims is a new girl in town. The Gotten, by Rob Tucker, is a young adult novel that introduces a precocious thirteen-year-old British girl into the world of pre-teen boys. Set in the 1950s in a small Mid-west town, Astrid’s intimidating personality, intellect and boldness set her apart from the other girls. She self-assuredly inserts herself into a clique of four boys, Ray Kern, Eddie Devito, Steven Tilman, and Clement Petersen. Although they resent her for including herself in their social circle, she ingratiates herself by contributing a doorbell to the boys’ tree fort. She says the bell is magical and introduces a game she called, “ring if you dare.”
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Astrid impresses the boys with her world of imagination by installing the doorbell on their tree fort. She starts a rumor that if a person rings the bell with a question in mind, the bell will provide an answer. Does it really have that power?
Suddenly the boys and Astrid disappear, causing chaos in the small community. The police, news media, and parents become involved in searching for the boys and Astrid. Rumors fly. They question if she is a witch who has control of the future?