On September 5, 2017, The Forces Within by Stacy Padula rose to the #3 best selling spot on Amazon Kindle for teen books that address substance abuse.

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This paranormal thriller is the 5th book in the Montgomery Lake High book series.


After being trapped inside his own body, unable to communicate with anyone but his own thoughts, Andy Rosetti finally wakes up from the coma that controlled his life for one month. But upon awakening, Andy finds himself and his friends in an unfamiliar setting: a mansion riddled with secrets and supernatural forces. As his friends fall prey to the entities surrounding them, Andy must figure out if the darkness lies within the mansion’s walls or within the people surrounding him.

Available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon





On Sale This Week for Only $3.99 (Kindle)

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$13.00 (Paperback)
Available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon


I am an ENTP and a Christian. I was initially raised Catholic but drifted away from the religion to go off and explore my own theories on life around age 17.

At age 21, I attended a non-denominational Christian church with my mother and was pleasantly surprised by the message—it was so different from what I was accustomed to. The sermon delighted my Ti* and my Si* because the pastor shared something historical from the bible but related it to life today. I then was able to deduct it down to its core principle and walk away with something to apply to my own life: an experiment. Unbeknownst to anyone else, I decided to try this experiment for a little while—study the Bible, apply its principles to my life, see what happens. Well, as most people can understand, this was very odd behavior for a 21 year old senior in college who was the usual party planner for her friends. But I was on a quest for a deeper understanding of life, myself, my worldview. I NEEDED to understand why I was on Earth.

As I read more of the Bible, I started to recognize God at work in the world around me. You can’t recognize someone if you don’t know what he looks like, so it made sense that I hadn’t really noticed him much before. But once I got to know his character by reading the interactions between him and his people in the Bible, I could see him at work in my own life. The lessons I applied to my life from the Bible improved my relationships, finances, and satisfaction.

I also started researching historical facts and artifacts, comparing what I found to the stories in the Bible for validity. I am a math/science tutor who always needs to logically understand something before I buy into it. I learned that there is a lot of scientific and historical evidence to back up much of the Jewish history in the Old Testament. In light of all this, I drew the conclusion that the Bible was God’s guidebook to help humans live fulfilling and meaningful lives.

During my quest, I studied the Bible, history, and other religions in order to make sense of the big picture (indulging in my Si* & Ti* to fulfill my Ne’s* desire for big picture understanding). So, for me, I utilized many parts of my personality type in order to form a relationship (Fe*) with my creator. Personality type hugely plays a role in the way one approaches religion/spirituality. I am fascinated by the unknown, and I look forward everyday to discovering what my loving God has planned for me.

*Ti refers to Introverted Thinking

*Si refers to Introverted Sensing

*Ne refers to Extraverted Intuition

*Fe refers to Extraverted Feeling

See what readers are saying about the

Montgomery Lake High book series on Amazon!

1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A must read! March 5, 2017
Well written with well developed characters – this book is just as good as the first in the series. The suspenseful plot keeps you wanting to turn the page. Very realistic and relatable.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Suspenseful December 22, 2016
Very enjoyable read. The characters are easy to relate to and well developed. The way the author writes makes you feel like you are there in the suspense with Jason and his friends. It keeps you wanting to read more.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Must in homes June 16, 2015
Amazing read for any one but every high schooler could use it
1 of 2 people found the following helpful
Realistic book that any young person can relate to and learn from August 30, 2011
A great read for anyone going into middle school, high school, or even college. This book describes a lot of situations that young adults in our society are faced with on a daily basis and brings to life all of the consequences associated with drug use and addictive behavior. It is entertaining to read and each character is very realistic. Every teenager should get their hands on this book and take the time to read it and also…Read More
2 of 4 people found the following helpful
Believable Characters August 6, 2011
I can’t believe I had this book sitting on my shelf unread for so long! Fast paced, edgy, a page-turner! Now that I’ve read the first book of the series, I am looking forward to reading the second book. Stacy has captured the teenaged angst well in her books. Her characters are believable and I found myself drawn into the story.
Well done!
2 of 3 people found the following helpful
beautifully written August 2, 2011
Well this is a book that I received for review a few months back, it has set in my TBR pile now for awhile as I never found time to get to it. But now that I have read it I can only say that I wish I had gotten to it a lot sooner. I found myself completely attached to this book, I was literally not able to put it down. I would stay up to all hours of the night trying to finish it so that I could find out what was going to…Read More
3 of 4 people found the following helpful
Confronts issues in an honest and real way… February 17, 2011
This book does an amazing job capturing the “realness” that is the adolescent experience. It lays the foundation for parents to start talking with their children about the issues they will inevitably confront in their futures. It is enjoyable, engaging and written in a way that seems pure and honest. The religious overtones are faith-based versus advocating for a specific denomination which makes this book accessible to all….Read More
2 of 3 people found the following helpful
Really brings you back! February 16, 2011
This is a great book! It’s perfect for teenagers because it helps prepare them for all of the experiences that high school brings. The book talks about difficult subjects for teens and shows them how to overcome the obstacles. It’s also great for adults, because it really brings back memories of your high school days! You learn so much about the characters, you feel like you know them and can relate it back to your own life….Read More
2 of 3 people found the following helpful
Montgomery lake February 15, 2011
While reading this Book I was taken back to my senior year in high school, remembering all the mistakes and the good choices I’ve made that year. Montgomery Lake will make you remember your high school days and how it was those days that made and mold you into the person you are now. Ever chapter brings in new challenges and new frustrations as you which you can actually go in to the book and say “what are you doing?!!!”. I…Read More

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July Special!

Posted: July 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person

Only $2.99 on Kindle


($11.50 Paperback)

Friday night–a night that marks the start of the weekend, a night to party in Montgomery. Chris Dunkin and his closest friends are no strangers to the party scene. They have the in with the seniors, and they know all the best party spots in town. This Friday night appears to be no different until Chris makes a decision that will change the course of his life forever. 

The Right Person is the debut novel in The Montgomery Lake High Book Series, which follows a large cast of personalities as they navigate the social waters of high school. 

An Amazon Best Seller March & December 2016


Written by Elizabeth Harvey of Needham, MA (Class of 2017)

Chris: Chris is a compassionate young man, but has always been an unintentional troublemaker since the 7th grade. Chris’s parents both work a lot and frequently travel, leaving Chris in the care of his older cousins who love to party. Because of his parents absence and his family’s actions, Chris became a teen-age alcoholic who abused various hard drugs. He would never intentionally hurt someone, but his addictions became destructive for the people he cared most about. Chris was searching for something to give him fulfillment in his life and make up for the emptiness he felt without his parents being present. Chris had been missing for a long time, but with the help of Courtney and God, he is able to find himself again and re-learn how to enjoy life while sober. It took a while for him to be set free from his demons, but once he did, he became an example of the positivity that spirituality has in a teenager’s life. Chris is now secure, consoling, and humble due to his newfound strength and belief in God. Chris serves as an inspiration and is a very positive example for the reader. I wish Chris was able to see earlier on how destructive his cousin Taylor’s behavior was, but I think it was necessary for his development for Chris to hit rock bottom in order to understand just how big of a problem he actually had. I really love how Chris is able to stick firm with his beliefs and still have respect for other’s choices whom he may not necessarily agree with.  

Courtney: Courtney comes from a world of privilege, being the Mayor’s daughter she has not had to endure many difficulties in her life in that respect; but she still does have her demons. She is still trying to find herself and relies on others for validation of her self-worth. Like most teenage girls, she desperately wanted to be popular and this desire consumed her life and made her lose sight of the girl who wore no makeup and was kind to everyone. Her insecurities also played a major role in why she gave into peer pressure and began getting involved with partying and became focused on her looks—losing the light that she used to radiate. Because of her sheltered lifestyle, Courtney felt a strong desire to rebel and with this rebellion strayed farther from God. She became very disrespectful to her parents, especially towards her mother, and had little care for others. Fortunately, Courtney begins to rekindle her relationship with God and everything suddenly hit her like a ton of bricks. She learned how to be humble and the value of God in her life. She understands that she is no better or worse than anybody and that popularity doesn’t mean anything to God. I really respect Courtney’s evolution and the fact that she was able to admit that she was not a good person and can remedy that, eventually returning to her real friends: Marielle, Julie, Chantal.

Jason: Jason comes from a wealthy family where perfection is expected, especially when it comes to school. He craves love and turns to drugs and alcohol in order to replace the lack of affection he receives at home. Jason is too smart for his own good and because he is so gifted he easily becomes bored and seeks out challenges, which is where he gets into trouble. He is extremely charismatic, quick-witted, and everyone seems to love him. Despite all of this, partying has consumed his life and he acts very destructive towards himself and others around him. He also feels a lot of pressure to keep his image intact and has the ability to flash a fake smile in order to keep the fun times going. Jason lacks confidence and believes he is worthless. Additionally Jason has never been secure in his faith due to the fear from when he was younger that a priest would molest him and as soon as he heard this he felt like everything he had grown up believing was a lie. He is very broken, but after Andy’s accident has begun to reaffirm his faith and is finally ready to once again let God into his heart.

Chantal: I really love the character of Chantal for her consistency and everlasting kindness towards her friends and even people she doesn’t like. She is a genuine person who is honest, loyal, and is not comfortable with the party scene. Her faith is unwavering, but she has struggled with her attraction to both Jon and Andy and what that has meant for her relationship with God. It is hard for her to let people in sometimes due to the betrayment she suffered from her sister, but she always chooses kindness and forgiveness over revenge.

Cathy: Cathy’s insecurities and shyness took over her life and completely destroyed the person she used to be. Her faith has been stripped from her due to her anxiety over socializing, especially with boys, and this led her to overcompensate and become the ultimate manipulator. She began changing after dating Jason in order to fit into his world and became the socialite of the friend group. Cathy carries a lot of pain around with her and this causes her to act ruthless to others, including her sister who she envies.

Bryan: Bryan is a good guy who treats everyone with respect and kindness. He is not that comfortable with partying, but has definitely been involved. I see him as someone who is good at balancing fun, school, and responsibilities and does not have strong addictions such as Chris and Jon even though he has been around that type of stuff before. Bryan is madly in love with Courtney and wants to protect her at all costs and ends up being a very safe and healthy relationship for her.

Jon: Jon has a strong belief in God, but because he is friends with both Jason and Chris, he fell into the partying scene. He stood out from the rest of the boys because his faith was so strong and he actively tried to make friends in his youth group who would hold him accountable in his Christian path. Insecurity took over his life and he relied on temporary pleasures in life to fulfill him and caused him to have a harsh tempor. He desperately wants to please everyone in his life and always tries to be a good friend, even if that ends up hurting himself more. He is also dealing with abandonment issues that stem from his father leaving MA, and this greatly contributed to his involvement with drugs and alcohol. I really admire his love for Chantal and his desire to do right by himself and God.


Written by Elizabeth Harvey of Needham, MA

Jason has been at war with himself for a long time. He has such a strong void in his life and he knows that something is missing and he hates that feeling. Jason relies on drugs and alcohol to cope with the missing piece in his life: God. Throughout the story there is a fierce battle over Jason’s soul and because he has so much potential, he is the perfect target that Satan seeks out and tries to lead into darkness. Jason seeks out challenges and fun, but because of who his friends and family is, this meant partying. The misconception that Jason developed in middle school about Priest’s molesting children completely destroyed him. Everything that he grew up knowing was changed in one day, leaving Jason confused and angry. He couldn’t understand how God could allow something like that to happen and this forced him to draw away from religion completely. It took a huge event of Andy’s coma to open Jason’s eyes to the power of prayer.

Jason’s desires began to shift when he started praying and Andy’s accident was an important wake up call in his life that most likely saved him from ruining his future. He has to relearn about the power of God, which is very difficult especially when a majority of your friends only care about when the next party is. Once Jason accepts Christ as his savior, he slowly realizes how beautiful life and relationships can be when they are not clouded with darkness.


This review was written by Elizabeth Harvey, a teen from Massachusetts:

This story is a perfect example of the battle between darkness and light. In the first half of the story, the mansion is perceived as being haunted or possessed with the spirits of Leslie’s relatives who have passed. All of the characters encounter darkness while searching for Chantal and each interaction depicts the individual spiritual warfare that each person goes through in Andy’s dream.The characters who have the most amount of spirituality are attacked by darkness, but lean on their faith to ensure their safety. Chantal is greeted by an angel in her sleep that surrounded her with a blinding light in order to protect her from satan. The Lord uses Chantal and for this she will be blessed by Him. While looking for Chantal, Jon remains calm and resorts to praying. When he mentions religion Katherine begins to grow nervous and panics; she believes something is possessing her.  

In Montgomery, Andy wakes up from a coma and finds himself on bad terms with God. He does not want to pray with Chantal and is struggling to know who he is. While Andy is still in the hospital, Jason visits him and asks for forgiveness. This is a huge step in the healing process for Jason’s overwhelming guilt that he felt for what happened and was a component in his road to sobriety and spirituality. Meanwhile, Chantal is overwhelmed that Andy is awake and she doesn’t want to be around him. God is always Chantal’s top priority, but it is not Andy’s, and Chantal cannot be with someone like that. Katherine finally realizes who her friends truly are, which is foreshadowed in Fallen Lake. Her discovery of the power of God helped lead her into the light and she was able to see everything much clearer.


The Forces Within is a story that explores the power of spirituality and the battle that many teenagers go through when faced with tough decisions. The story focuses on life after Andy Rossetti wakes up from his coma and what his recovery process looks like, including the recovery that those closest must go through as well.

The Forces Within begins in Fallen Lake, a small New England town, where Leslie’s family owns a Mansion. A group of friends decides to go there for a weekend, but as soon as their trip begins, it is apparent that supernatural forces are at work. The story allows the reader to better understand the characters that they met in the previous MLH books and reveals the truth in who each person really is.

I recommend The Forces Within to all teenagers, especially those who are currently struggling with identity and social pressures. It would be useful to read the other books in the MLH series before reading The Forces Within to fully understand the characters and their relationships to one another. The story is filled with suspense and drama, something that kept me glued to each page. High school is a time for teenagers to discover themselves and this story does a great job of describing some difficulties that are very relatable, and how to get through those daunting situations.

– Elizabeth Harvey of Needham, MA (Class of 2017)

I never planned to write a supernatural thriller, but it was within me, and when I sat down at the keyboard, it is what came out. I had many strange things happen to me while working on this book, and perhaps someday I will write one about my own supernatural experiences. This video trailer was created by our intern to capture the theme of the novel. “The Forces Within” is the 5th book in my Montgomery Lake High series, but it can be read apart from the series with little confusion. — Stacy Padula

After being trapped inside his own body, unable to communicate with anyone but his own thoughts, Andy Rosetti finally wakes up from the coma that controlled his life for one month. But upon awakening, Andy finds himself and his friends in an unfamiliar setting: a mansion riddled with secrets and supernatural forces. As his friends fall prey to the entities surrounding them, Andy must figure out if the darkness lies within the mansion’s walls or within his own soul.