Blog Tour: Sanctuary Bay – A Novel by @TwoHeadedWriter – Review+Excerpt+Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Sanctuary Bay blog tour, hosted by St. Martin’s Griffin. Check out my thoughts on this very interesting book, read an excerpt and enter the giveaway to win a copy for yourself!

About The Book


25663880Authors: Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: January 19th, 2016

Genres: Young-Adult, Mystery, Thriller

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country—Sanctuary Bay Academy—it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home and struggling with the memory of her parent’s murder, escaping to the school’s tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn’t sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate’s dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay’s glossy reputation.



Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | B & N | iBooks | IndieBound




Your creepy radar will go off the moment Sarah steps foot on that island. I’m not exactly sure how to give you the goods without giving up the goods. Did that make sense? I had more fun with this than I thought I would going in. I love the premise, but some of the ends didn’t tie up like I expected. Here’s to hoping for another book. This review will go a little something like this……

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The moment Sarah lets her guard down, things start happening. I’m always up for reading about secret societies that involve teens, so it was no surprise when someone went missing. All I could think of was getting to the end of this book, to see what was going on. As far as YA thrillers go, this one is worthy of reading. I say that only because I hope there will be another book to fill in a few plot holes. 

The psychological aspect was a little chilling. 

 Sarah has a perfect memory, so it makes sense for her to be targeted after the horror that she went through as a child. Still, so many questions remain.

Sarah is not really a likable character in the beginning. She’s not exactly a mean girl, but she’s been stomped down by life, so it’s easy for her to feel like certain people have no right to complain. 

I don’t care what your status is in society, everyone goes through things. Sarah had to let go of that “rich people make me sick” mentality. She had to see that, just because life dealt her a bad hand, it doesn’t mean that she can’t be the best person she can be under the circumstances. She’s a biracial girl, trying to see what she can make out of this hard thing called life.

I really like Ethan. He was a little brisk, but he made his point. 

I wasn’t really into the romance here. It felt forced, as just something to throw in the story. There was enough conspiracy in this story to keep me interested. The ending wasn’t wrapped up completely with a bow. There’s more story to be read, and I hope that the authors deliver.

I think fans of the Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant  will enjoy this. Though the plots are completely different, they both have that thrill behind them and will keep you reading until the end. Recommended!



Daddy pressed his finger to his lips, shushing Sarah quiet as he slid the door to the tunnel back on. She wrapped her arms tightly around her knees and pressed her cheek against her arm, trying to pretend she was back in her own room. But it didn’t smell like her room. Even the spicy smell of Daddy’s cologne had faded now that the tunnel was closed. And grayness was all around her. She was almost four, and that was too old to be scared of the dark. But it wasn’t all dark. It was just gray dark.
She tried not to think of monsters crawling toward her. Daddy said there were no monsters. But monsters liked tunnels. They liked little girls.
Sometimes when she was scared she liked to sing the Maggie song. But that was against the rules. She had to be quiet. She had to be still. She had to wait until Daddy or Mommy opened the door and got her.
Thinking about the rules helped. She could almost hear Daddy saying them, as if he was hiding in the tunnel with her. Even though he was way too big. If something bad happens, wait until the room is safe. If you leave the tunnel, put the funny slit- ted door back on. Run fast. Find a lady with kids. Tell her your name is Sarah Merson. Merson. Merson. Merson. Merson. Ask for help.
Her nose started twitching, itching from the thick air. Mak- ing her want to sneeze. But she had to be quiet.
Then she heard Mommy screaming. Mommy never screamed. Were the monsters out there and not in the tunnel?
On hands and knees she started creeping toward the slits of light, heart pounding.
“Kt85L is our property,” a man said. “You had no right!”
Out there. Mommy on her knees facing the hotel room wall. Someone’s legs. A hand reaching down. A silver bird stared at Sarah from a ring on the finger. Stared with a horrible little black eye. The finger pulled the trigger of a gun.
A bang. Her ears filling with bees. Mommy collapsing on the floor. Red spilling out.
Sarah shoved her fingers into her mouth. Quiet. The rule was be quiet.
Shouting. Daddy’s legs running by, out of the room. The bird man chasing. The door banging closed.
Something bad happening.
The room was safe. The bird man was gone. So she had to get out. Mommy was on the floor. Daddy was gone.
She shoved the door and it fell out onto the floor. Near Mommy. Near the red. But the rule was to put the funny door back on. She picked it up and shoved it over the tunnel like Daddy had shown her.
Sarah didn’t want to look at Mommy. She looked out the window instead. The window was always open and there was never a screen. Daddy’s voice came from the hallway, yelling. Screaming.
Another bang.
Sarah pressing her hands over her eyes. Not looking. Not look- ing. Something bad happening.
Daddy was quiet now. Something bad. She had to run fast.
Sarah climbed on the chair under the window. The chair al- ways went under the window. She stuck her legs through the window and jumped down. Now run fast.
She ran fast, looking for a lady with a stroller or a kid her age. A mommy would help her. She would say she was Sarah Merson.
Sarah Merson, and something bad happened.



About The Authors

Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz have written many books for teens and middle-grade readers, including the Edgar-nominated mystery series Wright and Wong and the YA novels Crave and Sacrifice. They have also written for the TV shows Roswell, 1-800-Missing, and The Dead Zone. Laura lives in New York and Melinda lives in North Carolina, but really they mostly live on email, where they do most of their work together.

Website | Twitter | Facebook



Enter to win a finished copy of Sanctuary Bay (Us/Canada Only)

-Must be 13 yrs or older for this giveaway

-Mandatory Entries will be checked, so no cheating!

-Winner has 48 hrs to reply to my email with their mailing information; which will be forwarded to the publisher. If you aren’t comfortable with this method, please do not enter the giveaway. Failing to respond within the given time results in forfeiture, and I will pick another winner. This giveaway ends on 2/8/16. Lekeisha The Booknerd is not responsible for damaged or lost prizes. Goodluck!

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18 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Sanctuary Bay – A Novel by @TwoHeadedWriter – Review+Excerpt+Giveaway

  1. I like the sound of this one setting off your creepy radar! Funny, because when I saw this one I didn’t get that vibe from the cover at all. But you can be sure my interest has just launched through the roof! I saw another review for this one recently that also had good things to say, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for it.


  2. Ooooooh, this sounds really interesting and creepy! While I might not pick it up because creepy books aren’t my thing, your review has me convinced 😀


  3. This sounds interesting! I too enjoy a good book with secret societies so that part definitely appeals to me. But ugh. It annoys me when a romance feels forced in a book since I love my romance in my books. I like that the MC sounds so real though!
    I’ll have to pick it up from the library if I find a copy.
    Great review!


  4. This one sounds like it had its ups and downs but in general was a really creepy book. Sarah doesn’t seem like the best character but hard history can shape people differently. But as you mentioned, she does need to change that mentality a bit. I like the sound of Ethan a lot too! Thanks for keeping the plot mentions a bit evasive in order to avoid giving any spoilers 😉


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