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The Union Series on Sale Now!

Union Series Sale

For a limited time, you can pick up both books in The Union Series for just $0.99 each. Get caught up before book 3, The Uprising, releases late this year. See below for information on the books and buy links.

The Union (The Union Series #1) by T.H.Hernandez

The Union (The Union Series #1) by T.H.Hernandez

About Book 1
Title:
 The Union
Series: The Union Series #1
Author: T.H. Hernandez
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Adventure
Links: Goodreads |  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks |Kobo | Inktera | !ndigo

Synopsis
After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down.

What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.

Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known.

But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.

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The Ruins (The Union Series #2) by T.H. Hernandez

The Ruins (The Union Series #2) by T.H. Hernandez

About Book 2
Title:
 The Ruins
Series: The Union Series #2
Author: T.H. Hernandez
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Adventure
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks |Kobo | Inktera | !ndigo

Synopsis
Heartbroken, grief-stricken, and wracked with guilt, seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor returned to the Union, leaving behind the boy she loved.

Now, she and her friends must find a way to do the impossible – warn the citizens of the Union about an impending rebel attack without alerting the government and risking retaliation against her friends in the Ruins.

When every move Evan makes is thwarted, it soon becomes clear she’s being watched.

Faced with a daily fight to stay one step ahead of her pursuers, she returns to the Ruins.

But life in the Ruins has its own dangers, and soon she’s fighting a different battle – to stay alive long enough to discover the truth.

THE RUINS is the second book in THE UNION series, a young adult romantic adventure set in the near future.

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Author T.H. Hernandez

Author T.H. Hernandez

About the Author
When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in San Diego, California, with one husband, three children, two cats, and one dog. In addition to her day job as a writer and editor, she writes young adult fiction and reads and blogs about books.

She particularly loves the young adult genre with the intensity of teen emotions and the way they’re still figuring out life.

When not writing, you can find her with her nose in a book, playing Plants Vs. Zombies on her iPad, or binge-watching Doctor Who with her kids. She’s obsessed with pumpkin spice lattes, Comic-Con, microbrewed beers, Bad Lip Reading videos, and the San Diego Chargers.

Where to Find T.H. Hernandez
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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In Defense of the Platonic Friendship – The Ruins (The Union Series) by T.H. Hernandez

When Harry Met Sally

“…men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.” Harry Burns.

That’s the premise behind the movie, When Harry Met Sally that plays out with hilarious side-effects. Harry later goes on to clarify that it would work if both of them were in relationships with other people, but otherwise platonic friendships between men and women are not possible.

I call BS. There are some great platonic friendships in fiction. Harry and Hermione (even though JK Rowling now admits she should have had them end up together), Meredith Grey and Alex Karev from Grey’s Anatomy, Watson and Holmes from Elementary. Okay, so maybe there aren’t a lot of examples, but that’s too bad. There should be.

Movies and books are filled with examples of straight/gay opposite-sex platonic friendships, but that’s not what I’m talking about because in those cases, any sexual attraction will never be reciprocated. What’s so great about a platonic friendship with a member of the opposite sex is a perspective you’ll never get from your girlfriends (or guy friends if you’re a guy). And let’s face it, your boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/wife will never give it to you straight if s/he thinks your affection is on the line.

With The Union series, I created several close platonic friendships for my protagonist, Evan Taylor. These include Lisa and Colin from the Union and Sonia out in the Ruins. Evan is slow to trust, so I knew her circle of close friends would be small. In The Ruins, Evan’s friendship with Colin evolves and the two become closer, needing each other in order to survive.

It might seem implausible for two teens with raging hormones to keep their friendship purely platonic, but I believe it’s not only possible, but logical. And I think it’s an underserved demographic in young adult fiction. There are a lot of friends-to-lovers stories out there, but that’s not what Evan and Colin are about. Their love for each other isn’t muddied with sexual attraction and all the pitfalls that can introduce.

I met my best male friend thirty years ago this summer. Our friendship developed over years of spending time together in the same group of friends. We saw each other through dozens of new relationships and breakups, marriages, children, and even a couple of divorces. He was there for me when I needed a place to crash after one of those breakups, and I was his best man at one of those weddings.

We were often single at the same time, and I won’t say we were never tempted to see where things might go, but we never acted on it because the friendship was always more important. And although we’re both more settled now with our respective families and don’t see each other as much as we used to, when we do get together, it’s as if no time has passed. Because that’s how it is with best friends, male or female.
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Cover Reveal – The Ruins (The Union Series) by T.H. Hernandez

The Ruins, Book 2 in The Union Series releases on June 16, 2015! Check out this fabulous cover by award-winning graphic artist and fellow San Diegan, Mark Sgarbossa. And to help celebrate, you can pick up The Union on Amazon for free through Saturday, May 16. See below for details.

The Ruins (The Union Series #2) by T.H. Hernandez

The Ruins (The Union Series #2) by T.H. Hernandez

About the Book
Title:
 The Ruins
Series: The Union Series #2
Author: T.H. Hernandez
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Adventure
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
Heartbroken, grief-stricken, and wracked with guilt, seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor returned to the Union, leaving behind the boy she loved.

Now, she and her friends must find a way to do the impossible – warn the citizens of the Union about an impending rebel attack without alerting the government and risking retaliation against her friends in the Ruins.

When every move Evan makes is thwarted, it soon becomes clear she’s being watched.

Faced with a daily fight to stay one step ahead of her pursuers, she returns to the Ruins. But life in the Ruins has its own dangers, and soon she’s fighting a different battle – to stay alive long enough to discover the truth.

THE RUINS is the second book in THE UNION series, a young adult romantic adventure set in the near future.

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TheRuins_Teaser1

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Excerpt
Lisa opens the door still in her pajama pants and a tank top. Jack’s behind her in nothing but a pair of sweatpants. I raise an eyebrow in silent judgment. How could she have Jack spend the night with Colin here?

“Where’s Colin?” she asks, looking past me.

“What do you mean, where’s Colin? Isn’t he here?”

“No. He never came home last night. I thought he was with you.”

You were with me.”

“No, I mean after we separated. I figured he showed up at your place.” Her cheeks turn bright red.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” My hands ball into fists of anger at my sides. “You can’t really be that…” I bite off the words. It’s not my place to share how Colin feels about her.

“He probably left with one of those girls we saw him with,” she says.

I push into her apartment and find Colin’s duffel bag on the floor where it’s been since he began camping out on her couch last week. “So, he just blew off his train?”

“Maybe,” she shrugs.

“Not likely,” I say, stalking back outside, unease gnawing through my stomach. If all this other shit wasn’t going on, I could chalk it up to Colin getting laid, but I can’t shake the feeling something isn’t right. I’m halfway to Bryce’s before I realize that’s where I’m headed. Hopefully he takes me seriously.

My fast walk turns into a jog as I cover the remaining three blocks and two flights of stairs down to the apartment he shares with Jack. I’ve only been here once before, but I think I remember which one it is. I lift my hand and knock on the pale blue door then pace the small empty concrete porch. Thirty seconds pass before I knock again, louder and longer this time. Still no answer. I’m beginning to think he’s not here when the lock clicks and the door cracks open.

Bryce swings the door wider, and my eyes zero in on a bare chest. My gaze drifts from his firm abs and pecs up to meet a pair of gray eyes, squinted against the morning light. Confusion fills his features as he stares at me.

“Colin didn’t come home last night,” I blurt out, my voice breaking.

His gaze rests on my face for a moment before circling the room, reminding me we’re being monitored. “I’m sure he’s fine, but let me get dressed, and we’ll look for him.”

Stepping inside, I close the door and bounce on the balls of my feet while I wait for him. The place is decorated in neo-classic guy. A fireplace and hearth runs the length of the front of the apartment, and opposite that is a solid glass wall overlooking a weedy, overgrown garden. The limited furniture is a jumble of chairs, a couch, and a couple of mismatched tables littered with empty beer bottles.

Bryce dresses in record time and takes my hand, pulling me outside. He leads the way to the depot to catch a train back to the nightclub. “I want to retrace his steps after we left,” he says. “He might’ve just found some company for the evening.”

“That’s what Lisa said, but I think there’s more to it.”

“It’s no secret how he feels about Lisa. He might’ve just wanted to get away for the night.”

“But his bag is still at her place. He would’ve had to come get it before catching his train.”

The nightclub is deserted with the exception of a handful of staff still cleaning up. Bryce walks up to a lanky guy pushing a broom. “Can I talk to the manager?”

A woman in her mid-thirties approaches us a few minutes later, wiping her hands on an apron. She sweeps a chunk of blond hair out of her face with the back of her wrist. “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, I’m Detective Cooper,” Bryce says, flashing his credentials. “We’re looking for a friend. He was here with us last night, but we’re not sure what happened to him.”

She glances between me and Bryce. “Did something happen to him?”

“That’s what we’re trying to find out. Can we take a look at the security feed from last night?”

“Sure,” she says, inclining her head. “Come on back.”

We follow her past the bar and into a small office beyond the kitchen. “Here,” she says, indicating a chair in front of a display screen.

Bryce sits and she shows him how to move through the video files. Bryce locates the one time-stamped from when we were here and forwards through frame-by-frame. I see us leaving for the night and Colin dancing with the girls, getting another drink, dancing some more, then about an hour later, Colin walks toward the exit alone. A guy in a sweatshirt, hood pulled up, hands shoved into his jeans pockets, approaches Colin. They appear to exchange words. Colin nods before following the guy out the front door.

“What the hell?” I ask. “Who was that guy?” Terror sweeps through me, turning my blood to ice. “And where the hell is Colin?”

“I don’t know,” Bryce says, reaching over to squeeze my hand. “But we’ll find him, I promise.”

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The Union (The Union Series #1) by T.H.Hernandez

The Union (The Union Series #1) by T.H.Hernandez

About Book 1
Title:
 The Union
Series: The Union Series #1
Author: T.H. Hernandez
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Adventure
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.

Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known.

But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.

——————————————————–

Author T.H. Hernandez

Author T.H. Hernandez

About the Author
When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in San Diego, California, with one husband, three children, two cats, and one dog. In addition to her day job as a writer and editor, she writes young adult fiction and reads and blogs about books.

She particularly loves the young adult genre with the intensity of teen emotions and the way they’re still figuring out life.

When not writing, you can find her with her nose in a book, playing Plants Vs. Zombies on her iPad, or binge-watching Doctor Who with her kids. She’s obsessed with pumpkin spice lattes, Comic-Con, microbrewed beers, Bad Lip Reading videos, and the San Diego Chargers.

Where to Find T.H. Hernandez
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Illustrator Mark Sgarbossa

Illustrator Mark Sgarbossa

About the Artist
Mark Sgarbossa is an award-winning artist from San Diego, California. A partial list of his clients include Jason Mraz, Target Stores, Tony Hawk, Franz Ferdinand, Major League Baseball, San Diego State University, Snowboarder Magazine, 3 Doors Down, and AC/DC.

In addition to art, Mark is a talented musician. He played rhythm guitar and sang vocals in the indie band The Shirlies as well as playing synth and singing in the live electro duo ROTATOR.

Where to Find Mark Sgarbossa
Website | Email |LinkedIn | Reedsy
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Free Kindle Version – The Union (The Union Series) by T.H. Hernandez

From now through Saturday, May 16, the Kindle eBook version of The Union is free! Pick up book one in The Union Series and preorder The Ruins, book two for just $2.99. The Ruins releases on June 16.

The Union (The Union Series #1) by T.H.Hernandez

The Union (The Union Series #1) by T.H.Hernandez

About the Book
Title:
 The Union
Series: The Union Series #1
Author: T.H. Hernandez
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Adventure/Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down.

What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.

Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known.

But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.

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YA Scavenger Hunt

scavenger hunt

Team PinkI’m so excited to be a part of the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt as part of #TeamPink! If you’re not familiar with this fun event, you’re in for a real treat. Twice a year, once in April and again in October, readers scour the blogs of young adult authors, looking for clues and entering to win a boatload of paperbacks. For all the details, you can checkout the official page here.

If you’ve never participated before, be sure to check it out. This blog hop will not only give you a chance to win some great prizes, but it’s also an opportunity to discover new to you young adult authors.

Straight from the YA Scavenger Hunt page:

The YA Scavenger Hunt is a biannual online event that promotes collaboration between YA authors from different publishing houses, offering fans an opportunity to see the latest and greatest in young adult literature. During the hunt, we showcase exclusive bonus material, give readers access to top secret insider information, and offer fabulous prizes and giveaways for zealous YA fans.

So get lace up your virtual running shoes, stretch out those fingers, and get ready to hunt!
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Amazon Countdown Deal Going on Now – The Union by T.H. Hernandez

From now through February 11, you can pick up The Union for just $0.99. Beginning on February 12, the price rises to $1.99 through February 15 before it reverts back to $2.99.

The Union (The Union Series #1) by T.H.Hernandez

The Union (The Union Series #1) by T.H.Hernandez

About the Book
Title:
 The Union
Series: The Union Series #1
Author: T.H. Hernandez
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Adventure/Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.

Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.

Release Day – The Union by T.H. Hernandez

So today is the big day! Today is release day for The Union, the first book in the young adult romantic adventure series, the Union. Writing, revising, and editing this book has consumed so much of my free time over the past four years, it’s exciting to see it finally in the Amazon store. Also super scary. I’m sure every debut author worries if anyone else will love their story as much as the they do.

The Union (The Union Series #1) by T.H.Hernandez

The Union (The Union Series #1) by T.H.Hernandez

About the Book
Title:
 The Union
Series: The Union Series #1
Author: T.H. Hernandez
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Adventure/Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.

Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.

Getting Close – The Union (The Union Series Book 1) Releases November 18

Graphic Artist Mark Sgarbossa

Graphic Artist Mark Sgarbossa

It’s a mad dash to the finish line as I wrap up final edits to get advanced reader copies (ARCs) out by September 30. I hired InkSlingerPR to coordinate a blog tour to unveil the cover. I’m so excited about showing it off.

I’m worked with the uber talented, award-winning graphic artist, and fellow San Diegan, Mark Sgarbossa. As always, his work blew me away. Check out his art on Pinterest. I can’t wait to see The Union’s cover pinned up there with the rest of his creations.

I also put the book up on Goodreads so you can add it to your To Be Read list, if you so wish.

World Building – Part 1

IMG_8888Invariably, the first question anyone asks someone writing a novel is, “What’s it about?” not realizing what a loaded question that is.  How do you take an 80,000+ word novel and distill it into a single sentence? This is a problem every author runs into. But a novel is primarily about four things: 1. Setting, 2. Characters, 3. Goal, and 4. Dilemma, although not necessarily in that order.

I set about defining the setting first. I knew the world before I even had my first character. I wanted to set my story in a world after global warming. Imagine what might happen if we can’t stop climate change. If the United States devolved into a second civil war sparked by government regulations to curb greenhouse gasses. And from there, the setting took root and grew.

World building is my favorite part of the writing process. I get to decide how the government works, what sort of dwellings people live in, what careers they have. For me, world building starts not with envisioning the end result, but with following a natural progression from here to there. I did a lot of research, not only on what’s happening now, but on technology that could be used in the future to help us recover from climate change.

I stumbled across this article on Israelis desalinating ocean water to create drinking water, and suddenly, The Union was set at the coasts, hugging a strip around the perimeter of the country. So much fell into place after that decision was made. One article sparked an idea that spawned a whole world building exercise that turned into a novel.

Book 1 in the Young Adult Series, The Union, Coming Soon

I’m almost done with the final draft of the first book in The Union and will send it off for copy edits. I’m excited to finally publish it after three and a half long years.

Here is the synopsis:

 Two worlds as different as night and day. Two boys with nothing in common except the girl they love. One girl with a choice and the fate of millions hanging in the balance.

Privileged 17-year old Evan Taylor wants to do something meaningful with her life. While her fellow classmates line up internships for exciting, but trivial careers, Evan longs to make a real difference. But living in a utopian society presents few options for doing something profound.

When her final year of school ends in disaster, she leaves home in search of her future aboard a cross-country luxury train with her two best friends. She falls in love for the first time and everything appears to be falling into place. Evan’s journey toward self discovery is derailed when she’s kidnapped as leverage in a dispute she doesn’t understand and taken into the Ruins, the devastated mid-section of the former U.S., ravaged by global warming and a brutal civil war, believed to be uninhabitable.

After escaping her kidnappers, she’s forced to trust a wayward family of survivors in the Ruins and soon begins to feel a sense of purpose for the first time in her life. Few people would trade a life of privilege in the Union to grapple for survival in the Ruins, but when romance ignites between her and a handsome, resourceful survivor who convinces her she’s in the Ruins for a reason, she begins to question everything.

Just as Evan finally feels she’s found where she belongs, she stumbles upon a secret that threatens both the Ruins and the Union, forcing her to choose between her two lives and the people she loves in both worlds.