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CICADA SERENADE

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Sneek Peek:

Their song was majestic. Mesmerizing. I loved to lie spread-eagled in the grass beneath the speckled maples, oaks and willows in the fields, listening to their hypnotic hum, feeling the buzz electrify my freckled skin and ignite the fuzzy blonde hairs on my lanky arms.

It was early May of 2038 and the pharaoh cicadas were sprouting all across the Eastern United States for the first time in seventeen years. Where I lived, a little fisherman-style village called the Wharf in Reston, Virginia, was one of the older neighborhoods in the area, lending itself to a particularly hearty emergence of Brood X. It was astounding to think that these tomato-eyed, jewel-winged, dopey-flying, outspoken little critters were older than me by an entire year. For all but the last six or so weeks of their lives, they tunneled underground as tiny nymphs, feeding on the sap of tree roots. Then, suddenly, in the spring of their seventeenth year, when the soil-temperature reached sixty-four degrees, they surfaced all at once, by the millions, just to sing, mate and die, in rapid succession.

It was wonderfully-tragic in a sort of Shakespearean way, how suddenly their lives blossomed then ceased. They spent nearly two decades waiting, waiting, waiting in the dark, not only silent and blind but virtually alone, for a mere blink of glory at the end—for a single season in the sun, spreading their orange-laced wings for the inaugural time, singing louder than lawnmowers, mating singularly and monogamously, laying eggs in the treetops… then, quite literally dropping dead, falling to the bases of the same saplings that provided their sustenance, giving their bodies back to the soil from which they emerged, fertilizing their home-base for the next generation.

How beautifully heartbreaking it was, yet poignant with purpose. Cicadas never had to wonder what their goals were—it was wired in their instincts. Cicadas didn’t have to worry about dating and breaking up, dating and breaking up, over and over and over again until your heart was nothing but bleeding carnage lying in the dirt. Their paths were simple, clear, obvious. They were guaranteed to find their soulmate in a timely fashion, without the painful rigmarole that plagued the lonely teens of South Lakes High School. Courting was straightforward for them: the males sang their one-hundred-decibel magicicada septendecim chorus, interested females would approach and flick their wings in consent, and that was that—they were a couple. While some cicadas mated more than once, roughly ninety percent stayed loyal to their one true love. It was a real-live Hallmark movie.

It was this awkward, shy, sixteen-year-old, eleventh-grade musician’s dream come true.

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Genre: Imaginative Young-Adult Literary Fiction

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See Samantha Mina's Young Adult Dystopian Spectrum Novel Series >>

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AQUAEARTH

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Available March 2024 in paperback & e-book via
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Synopsis:

On the water-world of Aquaearth, human beings are born as daemons—with gills, webbed feet and lung buds. Occasionally, during puberty, lungs develop to capacity while gills close. These rare air-breathing adolescents are sent to live on the sparse remaining islands. Thousands of years ago, land was plentiful, until eventually succumbing to the rising sea-levels brought about by global warming. Nowadays, life is grueling for the land-dwellers, known as terrestrials, as space and resources grow increasingly limited. Several colonies are forced to flee aboard boats as their homes continue to drown.

Disgruntled and angered, the Terrestrial Counsel, the governing body of the islands, secretly plots to terraform Aquaearth to expand their habitat and extinguish the underwater daemon population by freezing the oceans and developing glacial nations.

At age sixteen, Nile Virescent’s lungs mature but her gills mysteriously do not seal. She discovers that she’s able to survive both on land and underwater. As she struggles to find her place in society, migrating between the seas and islands, she learns of the secret war bubbling beneath Aquaearth’s surface and comes to paradoxically sympathize with and feel rejected by both communities. She and her daemon boyfriend—Cerulean 'Cero' Cellini, heir to the Underwater Empire—embark on a dangerous journey to bridge the gap between civilizations and stop the impending terraforming genocide.

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Adventure

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See Samantha Mina's Young Adult Dystopian Spectrum Novel Series >>

See her Daily Devotional: Why Are You So Downcast? >>

See her Cicada Serenade Young Adult Novel >>

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Why Are You So Downcast, O My Soul? A Daily Devotional

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Available March 2025 in paperback and e-book via:
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Synopsis:

Depression. It's more than just sadness. It's an ache that penetrates the bone. Food becomes tasteless. Sleep becomes a feverish mishmash of insomnia and nightmare. Passions that used to burn bright like a conflagration ebb to mere flickering embers.

It can happen to anyone. It doesn't mean you're crazy. It doesn't mean you're condemned. It doesn't mean you're being punished. And, most of all, it doesn't mean you have to suffer alone.

Why Are You So Downcast, O My Soul? A Daily Devotional offers 365 bible passages and heartfelt encouragements directed toward sufferers of depression. Start your day each morning with a powerful reminder of Christ's healing love.

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See Samantha Mina's Spectrum Novel Series >>

See her AQUAEARTH Sci-Fi Adventure >>

See her Cicada Serenade Imaginitive Literary Fiction Novel >>

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Volume 3: CRYSTALLIZED

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Synopsis:
(Spoiler warning for those who have not read volumes 1 and 2)

When the spectrum crystallizes, the Island of Fire falls back to slavery and oppression. Fifteen-hundred miles away, in the wake of a terrorist attack that slaughtered thousands, the Democratic-Republic of Nuria severs its war alliance with the ice island of Ichthyosis. Without its lifeline and surrounded by a formidable sea blockade, Ichthyosis finds itself more isolated and helpless than ever before.

Meanwhile, the hopes of their peoples, Conflagrian Revolutionary Leader Scarlet July and Ichthyothian Diving Fleet Commander Cease Lechatelierite, are stranded in a dangerous, uninhabited sector of Ichthyosis. Contending with serious battle injuries, subzero temperatures, hostile terrains, gnawing hunger and significant interpersonal conflict, will they make it back to base alive and well enough to salvage the fight?

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The six-novel Spectrum series follows an eclectic cast of young adults fighting to survive and find their place and purpose in the wars plaguing the dystopian, future world of Second Earth. From fantastical world-building, to combat sequences, to geopolitics, to the exploration of a soldier's psyche, to racial and social commentary, to the turmoil and confusion that comes with the teenage years, to forbidden romance, this sextet is a fast-paced, character-driven, sci-fi/fantasy adventure for the Divergent and Hunger Games generation.

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<< Back to Volume 2: Diffusion ("Literature Choice Award" Winner)

See Volume 4: Covalence >>

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LIVING GHOST

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Available January 28, 2023 (Worldwide SMA Syndrome Awareness Day) in paperback and e-book via:
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Synopsis:

When eighteen-year-old college freshman Blanca Rokitansky becomes seriously ill, she and her best friend at Nation's Capital University, aspiring radiologist Russell Brown, are abruptly thrown into a medical mystery enshrouded in controversy. Fighting for acknowledgment of and treatment for Blanca's rare syndrome from a skeptical medical community, Blanca stares death in the face while Russell—a pre-med Presidential Scholar and volunteer orderly at the University Hospital—confronts the possibility of losing his scholarship and credibility before his career in medicine can really begin. The two embark on a long and dangerous journey filled with controversy, confrontation, invasive procedures, mystery and malpractice. For Blanca, finding a diagnosis is just the beginning.

Genre: Medical Thriller

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View a Concept Sketch by the author

Lean more about the True Story that inspired this novel

See Samantha Mina's AQUAEARTH Sci-Fi Adventure >>

See her Young Adult Dystopian Spectrum Novel Series >>

See her Daily Devotional: Why Are You So Downcast? >>

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