Saturday, October 22, 2022

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Neverdying (Neverdying #1) by Shanti Hershenson

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Neverdying by Shanti Hershenson. This blog tour was organized by Lola's Blog Tours. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as an interesting guest post from the author about the hardest thing about being a teen author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a paperback of the book. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Neverdying
Series: Neverdying #1
Author: Shanti Hershenson
Publication Date: June 30th 2022
Print Length: 436 pages
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Romance
If you could live forever, would it be a gift… or a disease?

A doctor created a genetic mutation meant as a gift to society—to those at random in future generations who were born with it: Immortality. But the risk of overpopulation and questions rising about the imbalance of only few being Immortals brings the ruthless President Wilde to a different stand—a facade of peace and equality whereas Immortals are executed daily—thus creating the ruination of the United States… and the world soon after.

Scarlett Caldwell is a girl of many mysteries—but along with that, she’s an Immortal. Having run away from a very young age and forced to forget the part of her identity that could get her assassinated, she turns to very few of her friends and spends the majority of her days hiding in the Immortals Legion, a compound for Immortals in hiding. But times are changing and tensions are only growing—Scarlett knows she can’t stay hidden forever. When she encounters an unfairly attractive Exterminator who, despite seeming rigid, has an amusing thing or two to say, she is left absolutely livid. But beyond that, beyond all the parts of him that she hates, there’s a secret. And Scarlett will do anything to unravel it.

Cain Hawkins is an Exterminator, a member of the country’s new authority specially trained to hunt down and exterminate the remaining Immortals. He truly believes that being an Exterminator is what he is meant for—despite what he may or may not know. And when a skirmish with an Immortal on the street leaves him questioning every last bit of himself, he will have to rise to stand with his president and failing country, or run from everything he was conditioned for. Besides, Cain has a secret: He is an Immortal too.

Their first encounter is far from the last, for an opportunity rises for the two to (unwillingly) work together. Already, they are left with a spark—a spark of hope for a future where Immortals are not prosecuted. And no matter if Cain sees the spark or not, the question still remains: How long will it be until a single spark ignites a fire?

TUCK EVERLASTING meets STAR WARS in this compelling and romantic novel by 14-year-old author, Shanti Hershenson.

I discovered I had the disease when I was in the seventh grade, when it was fine to be anything but normal, when people were never checked or hunted, when everything was both at peace and on the brink of chaos.

But mostly, when news of the disease had not yet surfaced on the Web—or anywhere else.

I discovered there was a problem with my health—if one could even call it that—on what was supposed to be a delightful weekend trip to the mall. We went only because a store or two was on clearance—little did we know, it would close days later due to a mandatory closure caused by… well, me. They don’t know that, though.

My realization was brought down upon me with the impact of a sports car—a car that moved too fast down the street and did not notice a scrawny twelve-year-old, shopping bags stuffed in each hand, dashing across the scorching asphalt.

My friends had dispersed and gone their separate ways. I was the only one from our group left at the intersection. I was to be picked up across the street and taken to a home that I cherished.

A home that I never saw again.

With the excitement of my newest purchases resonating in the form of a laugh spilling from my lips, I began to dash across what I thought to be a desolate road.

A road that was supposed to be down for construction.

A road that bridged the mall from the upmost parking structure.

The moment I reached the halfway point on the street, I heard a sound. A grueling, painful sound. Before I could even register the horror I was hearing, I saw it—a fancied, sleek sports car that moved too fast to spot anything in absolute, let alone myself.

And then it happened—the car slammed into my body so quick and painless I thought I was dead. But I wasn’t.

I tumbled over, scrapes collecting on my skin. There was no pain. There was no blood. There was almost nothing at all. My arms bent in ways I didn’t know were possible, though it did not feel as permanent as one would think. I was dizzy, the sun being the most of my worries. Its rays beat down on my helpless, confused body.

The screams came next—a boundless symphony of sounds that came both from the bewildered onlookers, and, myself, too. I screamed without knowing what I was doing. I screamed because it was horrifying, because a miracle had ensued that, at the time, seemed nothing short of impossible.

I recall the splintering sound of police cars in the distance, fear building up inside my frame. I sat up, inspecting the tremulous crowd of onlookers with eyes that stung. The police drew closer. The crowd grew tighter. But I was okay. I swore that I was okay and alright, but I didn’t feel that way.

I was horrified for reasons I couldn’t begin to dissect.

The sound hitting my ears suddenly felt thick, as though I were underwater. But I heard the words from the onlookers, from the police—the very people who were supposed to protect me.





And then one, final word that meant hardly anything to me at the time (but would, of course, later).


I stood up. I brushed the dust scattered across my sweater which was already stained with sweat. There was no blood, to my further surprise. I did the one thing that would’ve broken the heart of any twelve-year-old—that shattered mine into a million disintegrating pieces.

I ran.

I ran from the words, from the thoughts and theories circulating in my brain.

I ran from the monstrosity of what I felt. From the confusion.

I ran and hid for the years when things were uncertain, when the buildings transformed and built up, when there were no longer houses and instead apartments and sleek office buildings. I ran when the information about the disease was no longer thought of as a conspiracy theory, but a fact of reality, and when my alleged death was no longer marked as accidental. I ran when I found out there were more of them—of us—when the word disease was associated with one more.

Shanti Hershenson author picture
Shanti Hershenson's first two novellas were published when she was in the sixth grade, although her writing journey started long before then. Ever since she could hold a pencil, marker, or crayon, she was creating stories. They started from pictures, mere scribbles, and eventually, turned into captivating tales.

The Hardest Thing About Being a Teen Author
by Shanti Hershenson

I believe that, just like any career, and at any age, there are difficult things. However, being a teen author certainly comes along with its own set of hardships. Sure, it’s moderately challenging to balance school and writing, and coming up with new ideas that I actually like can cause me to feel unmotivated—but that all can be solved. That is temporary.

What is a natural part of creating anything, really, is the reception from readers, the reaction from the public—so, critique, reviews, comments on TikTok, and everything under that umbrella. Being a teen author, I’ve received a variety of reactions, and while the vast majority of them have been positive, a handful have not been so.

I’m going to take you back to seventh grade for a moment. My seventh-grade math teacher, in a lesson about finance, asks me in front of the entire class what I want to be when I’m older. I tell him that I’m already a published author, and that is what I want to do, to which he tells me that I’m not going to make enough money, and that someone else will have to support me financially for the rest of my life. The class erupts into laughter.

I’ve found that comments from people who haven’t read my books don’t bother me as much anymore. I’ve had people approach me at events and flat-out tell me that they think I’m a fraud, and I’ve experienced a number of comments on TikTok that share the same thought. I even had one comment state that they were going to buy one of my books simply to burn it, although that managed to make me laugh (I mean… if they post it on the internet, it will be a fabulous marketing opportunity).

Returning to seventh grade—or, the summer between seventh and eighth—I experienced an increase in reviews, and with reviews, came an overwhelming amount of positivity, and at the same time, negativity. After my most popular novel, You Won’t Know Her Name was released, I received my first review that actually contained words: a four-star review stating that the book was good, but could’ve been better.

Looking back on it now, the review itself was great. However, my thirteen-year-old self saw it as a failure, and, while I’m hesitant to admit it, cried about it for at least half the day. I’ve learned now that four-star reviews are nearly as wonderful as five-star reviews, and even three-stars can be decently positive at times.

Still, my first written review was frightening enough that it evoked a sense of anxiety every time I checked Amazon or Goodreads. I don’t quite believe that this is exclusive only to teen authors, though given that I was thirteen years old at the time, my reaction was definitely more severe.

What I realized quickly, however, is that the positivity outweighed the negativity tremendously. I receive them more and I read them more—most of the negative ratings I’ve received on Goodreads don’t say much.

And no matter how many people I’ve had accuse me of being a fraud—that I’ve somehow lied about the amount of books I’ve published, or that someone secretly writes them for me—have always been greatly outnumbered by the people who believe my story and have read my books.

Despite the fact that I’ve learned disbelievers and haters are a part of my career, I still do think it is one of, if not the hardest thing about being an author at my age.
Win a paperback of Neverdying by Shanti Hershenson - five winners, US only!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Lola's Blog Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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  1. Sounds really interesting and intriguing! Thank you for sharing!

  2. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.