Thursday, August 12, 2021

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Under the Milky Way by Vanessa Barneveld

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Under the Milky Way by Vanessa Barneveld. This blog tour was organized by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Under the Milky Way
Author: Vanessa Barneveld
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 10th 2021
Print Length: 400 pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Nothing ever happens in Dawson, Colorado.

Until high school senior Cassidy Roekiem’s mom checks into a “wellness center,” but nothing is wrong with her.

Then people start seeing lights in the sky and missing chunks of time, but the town insists nothing is going on.

And now Hayden, the new boy at school who keeps to himself and is more than a little mysterious, starts to notice her like it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Suddenly, “nothing” is starting to feel a whole lot like something. And everything leads back to Hayden. The boy she’s starting to fall for. The boy with too many dark secrets for his kind heart. The boy she’s pretty sure isn’t human…

In UNDER THE MILKY WAY, Cassidy and Hayden want to forget about their mounting pressures for just one measly night. Despite being dance-averse, they figure going to homecoming will help them blow off some steam. Unfortunately for them, someone is watching every move they make…
I pry the cup out of his hand and tug on his arm. “We’d better do what Billie says. No telling what she’ll do if we don’t get out there. Report us to the dance police, is my guess.”

Hayden stares at the dancing crowd. There’s a range of styles going on out there. Body-locking by stiff-legged jocks. Vigorous arm-waving and high kicks by the cheerleaders. Vague swaying movements from the less coordinated. Tangy salsa in the shadows by a couple out of the chaperones’ eye line.

A few kids are scattered around the bleachers lining one wall of the gym. Misery’s stamped over their faces, making me wonder if they really are here only to get extra credit.

“If you want, we can check out a few dance tutorials on TikTok. Wanna learn how to pop and lock?” I bust into a poor imitation of hip-hop moves.

He spins me twice, then leads me toward the center of the floor. We get bounced around like we’re inside a pinball machine. Smiles glow broadly under the black light. Everyone’s in their own groove. The beat’s frenetic. My pulse accelerates in time with the music. In this cauldron, it’s hard to move.

The crowd pushes Hayden and me closer. He grabs me by the wrists, then starts reeling me in and out before spinning me around three times. A colorful blur races before my eyes as he spins me again. On another part of the dance floor, Lisa and Billie are flailing their arms, oblivious to everyone and everything.

Hayden leads with a fast pace. I keep waiting for one of those teen movie moments, when the music changes to something slow and sexy. When the teen movie couple is left standing with their arms folded, looking around awkwardly, watching everyone else draw together as if pulled by a magnetic force.

None of that happens.

A strobe light flashes, burning right into my retinas at millisecond intervals. White light captures people in funny mid-dance poses as if they’re in a stop-motion cartoon. But in the dark phases, when I should see nothing, faces are odd. Not-so-funny. Large, elongated heads. And black eyes. Big, wide, staring black eyes.

I stop dead.

But still under the spell of the strobe, Hayden doesn’t notice. He goes on dancing the mambo with his eyes closed. Turning my head, I see dozens of figures swaying and moving. Thin, insect-like arms fling in all directions. The kaleidoscope of colors blend into a putrid khaki green.

My skin starts to boil. Thousands of tiny hot needles seem to poke up and down my body like in a stadium wave formation. At the same time, those eerie black eyes all stare intently at me. I blink hard, but that does nothing to clear away the image of those damn eyes.

“Hayden…” I try to shout his name, but it comes out like a whisper from a mouse. With my arms extended out wide, I try to grab onto him. But, inexplicably, I can’t connect with him. My arms go straight through him.

This isn’t real, I insist to myself. It’s got to be a dream. It’s got to be. That’d make sense. Why else would you be out on a date with someone mega-hot like Hayden McGraw?

The strobe light pulses impossibly fast.

Now I can’t move, even if I wanted to. I try to lift my arms. They’re sticks of lead dangling at my sides. My legs are stuck to the floor, too. Heaviness sets in my chest, making it hard to breathe. All the while, Hayden dances on and on.

I try to shout again. “Hayden!”

This time he hears me. His eyelids snap open, and he sees me paralyzed in front of him. He squeezes my shoulders with both hands. I feel the heat and pressure of his touch.

I guess I’m not dreaming after all.

“Cassidy?” Hayden shakes me gently. The moment he speaks, color returns to the dance floor. Those spooky faces and eyes vanish.

Were they even there in the first place?
Australian Vanessa Barneveld lives in a 19th-century house in inner-city Sydney with a 21st-century husband, two eccentric cats and one ghost—all of whom provide inspiration for her spirited novels. In addition to her writing career, she’s part of a crack team that produces closed captions for deaf TV viewers and audio descriptions for the blind. An avid traveler, she enjoys the journeys almost as much as the destinations. She freely admits to being food motivated and will stop at nothing to find the perfect hot chips wherever she roams around the world.

Win a $15 Amazon gift card!

All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, the entries, or the prize. Chapter by Chapter is responsible for everything to do with this giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:


  1. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

  2. thanks great cover, congrats on the release

  3. Thanks for telling me about this book

  4. The book sounds very interesting. I love the cover!

  5. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover and excerpt.

  6. I'm really intrigued by this book. I so want to understand what's happening.

  7. great tour and post. i do like a good scifi story
    sherry @ fundinmental

  8. I love the cover title & genre for this great read!
    Thank you for sharing this.

  9. I love this cover! So unique, and this book sounds great!

  10. Love the cover and the excerpt sounds amazing.

  11. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  12. sounds like a fun one

  13. Thank you for the book giveaway!

  14. Have a great day! Thanks for the giveaway! :)