YA Thrillers

These are all stories published under Barbara Joan Russell, which is my pen name. My first love is romance, so I rarely add books to this list.

Just to note: These are NOT edgy teen books. They are more in line with the kind of YA stories I read back in the early 1990s. So if you’re looking for something where the teens do drugs, have sex, or engage in other themes that seem to be popular these days, these are not the books for you.

The Dimensions Trilogy

(Thriller with a Twist of Fantasy)

Secrets (Book 1)

Secrets Ebook Cover

Raven, Montana is a small town, secluded from the rest of the world, where nothing exciting ever happens. But high school senior, Jessica Riley has never felt like she lacked anything. Well, that is, except for that one special boy who can make her life complete.

When she meets Steve Montgomery, the newcomer, the void she always experienced with her past boyfriends is finally filled. With Steve, she has everything she’s ever wanted.

There’s just one small problem…

Steve didn’t come to Raven to fall in love. He came to escape a dark past, something that didn’t originate in this world but has a definite hold on it…and on him. As much as he longs to be free from it, it’s followed him, and it’s about to threaten anyone who gets close to him.

And unfortunately for Jessica, he cares about her a little too much.

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Stalker (Book 2)

Stalker ebook cover

Raven, Montana is a small town where nothing exciting used to happen. But forces from another world are pressing in, and those forces will make Raven anything but boring…

Jessica Riley now knows Steve Montgomery’s secret. She knows why he says they can’t be together. And logically, it makes sense. But one thing she’s learned from her past relationships is that true love is rare. It’s something that only happens once in a lifetime. So when someone finds it, they need to fight for it. And she’s determined to fight for Steve, no matter what the cost will be.

While Steve loves her, he can’t let her risk everything just to be with him. She doesn’t understand how dangerous his father is. His father has plans. Dark plans. Plans that don’t include Jessica. And he’ll stop at nothing to get his way.

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Showdown (Book 3)

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Raven, Montana, a place once thought to be boring, will send Jessica Riley and her friends into another world where the rules are vastly different than the ones they’re used to…

Steve Montgomery has finally given his father what he wants. He has joined his father into the Seventh Dimension where his father is determined to establish his reign.  But Jessica is just as determined to get Steve back, and her friends have agreed to help her.

As soon as they get to the Seventh Dimension, Steve’s father sends them all through portals that will take them to different words, worlds they could never have imagined in the quiet and safe town of Raven. Worlds of magic. Worlds where time doesn’t have any meaning. Worlds where anything is possible.

And it’s up to each one to find their way back to the Seventh Dimension before Steve’s father will have his way. Because if he succeeds, then Steve will be lost forever, and Jessica can’t allow that, no matter what challenges she has to face.

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You’re Next

(This is Standalone Novella is a Thriller)

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I saw a murder. One of my classmates killed another student.

And I made a tragic mistake. I didn’t tell anyone right away. I didn’t tell my mom. I didn’t tell any of my teachers. I didn’t even tell the police. I was so scared that I kept it to myself. By the time I got the courage to say something, no one believed me.

Only one person believes me. And he’s the one who killed her. If I could go back and change anything, it would be that I would have told everyone right away.

Because by keeping quiet, I’ve given the killer an advantage. I’ve given him time. Time to come up with ways to hide his crime. Without a body, there is no evidence. And everyone thinks the girl is on a family vacation.

Now the killer is coming after me, and he’s determined to keep me quiet…forever.

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Body Swap

(Short Story that is a Thriller with a Fantasy Twist; it was originally featured in The Very True Legends of Ol’ Man Wickleberry and his Demise – Ink Slingers’ Anthology under the name Ruth Ann Nordin)

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When Justin agreed to go on a high school camping trip, he thought it might be a chance to get to know the cute girl, Riley, better. But Brandon won’t leave her side. And worse, as soon as Brandon notices that Justin has an interest in her, he and his jerk friends chase Justin and Justin’s friend, Craig, deep into the forest.

Just when Justin didn’t think things could get any worse, Craig ends up missing. Never mind the fact that it’s dark and spooky and he’s all alone. He can’t go back to the camp without Craig. So he sets out to find his friend, and when he does, he’ll end up having to make a deal with an old man who was thought to be dead.

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