Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Things I Love About Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: 

Top Ten Things I Love About Reading

1) Books are amazing things that transport you to different worlds.

2) You can lose yourself in a book.

3) Books can help you get through tough times.

4) Book characters can be heroes.

5) They're good for writing on top of.

6) They keep you occupied.

7) Books inspire people. 

8) People read different stories in the same book.

9) You can see reality through books. (Aka books CAN BE educational.)

10) Books make my heart sing, letting my imagination spark.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

'Dove Arising' by Karen Bao


Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom:  that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble...

Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.

Phate isn't a bad character. She's pretty interesting. 
Her motivation is great. She is motivated by her family. By the love of her family and friends. She keeps going because of them. I'm surprised by how willing she is to give up her dreams. She's a good sister. If I ever have a sister, I hope my sister is like Phate. 
She's also a tough girl. A tough spirit. I imagine that if she spoke more, she would be really sarcastic. She's quiet at first. Then, she whips out her motivation and becomes this superwoman. She's still human, though. She still bleeds. She has limits. But she tries to hard. She's so motivated. I wish I was that motivated to lose weight! 
Wes. Why are you named Wes? (I don't particularly like when characters use the same name. It's hard to understand at times.) I don't mind him. He's not bad. I like that he's good with fighting. He could help Phate practice. Without Wes's help, she might not have gotten as good as she had gotten. He is quite quick and clever. 
I am lost on something about Wes. Why he does act two different ways to Phate? Distant or all huggy-huggy. I didn't understand that. Was he hurt? Phate barely spoke. There isn't much that happens between them other than sparring. Does he like her? Gasp. What is Wes is acting all childish because he likes her? Ooh...

The plot is okay. It's not bad or anything. 
It has good action. The fight scenes...pretty good. I like them. Phate is a clever girl. She thinks differently. With this, she fights differently. She doesn't always use brute force. In combat, she uses her brain to make ways to get out of situations. Anyways. In training, you'll have combat. The punches. The dodges. You don't always get the chance to avoid things. You sometimes have to take hits. 
The majority of the book is about the training to be part of the Militia. Which can be a bit boring. There isn't a rebellion or anything. (I honestly prefer rebellions. They're interesting.) The things the trainees have to do is interesting. They have to do hand-to-hand combat. Then flight training. Weapons. They learn teamwork and alliances. These are things they might never use. The privates are mostly on the Bases. They just patrol. It doesn't seem like they will ever need to know how to fly a destroyer. 
The drama with her family isn't bad. As a plot point. It's fascinating why they act like they do. Anka doesn't understand. And her brother (whose name I can't even try to spell) is trying to be mediator. And her mother...that's just another story. There are reasons to act certain ways. It's someone's way of acceptance. Seeing how Phate deals with her family is interesting. That's how she accepts her situation in a way.

Oh gosh. The way Karen Bao worded things... Her sentences were really odd. 
The sentence structure was odd. I don't have examples sadly. (Most of them are in the beginning to my recall.) The sentences would trip over themselves. They seemed to skirt the point. It was odd. And hard to read. It was as if they were avoiding the point. 
Either that or they used specific medical terms. Which shows her anatomy knowledge. But gives the reader a hard time. I can't imagine anyone really understanding unless you recently took a biology or anatomy class or if you're a major in one of those medical fields or something along those lines. I'm in a biology course. Sadly, my teacher didn't explain the body systems very well, so I was a bit...confused. 
An example: 'Umbriel's jaw relaxes, while mine clenches so hard that my masseters cramp. (Page 282) Okay. My thoughts. Masseters? I know that's you're...jaw muscles. But still. If I hadn't taken a course on muscles recently, I wouldn't have known. At all. I mean, you can figure out what it is. But that just makes it harder for the reader. Maybe...'my jaw hurts'? Not masseters? As much as I love it when people prove they're smarter than the Average Joe, I don't need a biology lesson. 
Here's another example:'Has my autonomic nervous system exhausted itself, given up on me?' (Page 312) Uh. What's the autonomic nervous system? I don't know. And there isn't any way to understand this sentence's meaning. I don't know what to think. I feel a bit stupid. 
I don't really like the wording of the sentences. I typically can handle it. But this book...was too far. Too much. I couldn't handle it. Karen Bao, we get it. You're smart. I understand. Don't shove it into my face. Especially if I don't understand some of the meanings. 

The ending definitely was a cliffhanger. They just landed. They have to survive. What happens? Will they survive? What about Brother-to-Phate? What about Mother-to-Phate? (Why am I writing Brother-to-Phate? I'm lazy for one. And I know I'll botch the name if I try. Phate is hard as is.) 
I don't think I love or hate this. I'm neutral. I think it's a very...open-ended ending. Anything can happen. Anything at all. The author can make it rain asteroids. Or introduce a new guy who makes Wes jealous. Who knows? Wes could be gay. Phate would be secretly a hooker. You don't know. This ending doesn't give any hints. Which is great for the author. She can write her ending. 
But it's also terrible for the reader. We have to wait maybe a year for the next book. And you don't know what could happen. Anything could happen. You don't know. Everything could turn sour. Or maybe it won't be sour. 

Sunny with a 50% chance of rain

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fangirl Friday: Tickets to BookCon and David Owens?!?!

Fangirl Friday

Tickets to BookCon and David Owens?!?!

Tickets to BookCon

So. I officially have tickets to BOOKCON.

I'm so excited. I can't wait. I just need to get plane tickets and a hotel. THEN I'M THERE. WOOHOO.
If you're going, Tweet me! Maybe we can meet up or something. But no revealing who I am or how old I am or my picture.
Heh heh. 

And Cecil will be there. -swoon-

David Owens

This guy. Tweets. Oh my gosh. My Twitter feed was crazy. 
Go follow him! 

We had such an amazing back-and-forth.
It was so much fun. And he was so nice and funny! Do read his book Panther when it comes out! 

'Gracefully Grayson' by Ami Polonsky


Alone at home, twelve-year-old Grayson Sender glows, immersed in beautiful thoughts and dreams. But at school, Grayson grasps at shadows, determined to fly under the radar. Because Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body.

The weight of this secret is crushing, but leaving it behind would mean facing ridicule, scorn, and rejection. Despite these dangers, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Strengthened by an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher who gives her a chance to step into the spotlight, Grayson might finally have the tools to let her inner light shine.

Debut author Ami Polonsky’s moving, beautifully-written novel shines with the strength of a young person’s spirit and the enduring power of acceptance

This book is diversity for children. It shows a young kid who doesn't feel right in his skin. (I have to use the male pronoun here.) It is for a younger audience. This gives them a chance to adapt to this new LGBT. So this would help condition people to those who are like Grayson. It's for young people. Which is great. It helps them understand, so the future isn't hatred as stated in the books. 

I will use the female pronoun because that's what Grayson would want. Grayson wanted to be female, so I'll treat her as if she was genetically female. In real life, I would say that Grayson is a she. 

Grayson is very brave. She hid her true self. She was truly someone else underneath her skin. Mentally, she was a girl. Physically, she was a boy. She didn't let that completely smother her. She still imagined and pretended. That's never enough. She has been hiding. But that was not right. She needed to break free. She needed to become the person inside. 
And the change that  happens to make Grayson choose the person inside...amazing. She slowly and steadily became who she wanted to be. With friends. And love. She was given a warm home to come out in. She was so lucky. She was lucky to become her true self in a warm place. 
She was true to herself. Which is something I believe in. Staying true to yourself is important. You can't let people smother you. You have to be yourself. You have to be who you want to be. Even if there is hatred. Even if there is pain. You have to be you. 
It reveals a true message. Be yourself. Be yourself. You can't be happy, truly happy, if you're not yourself. You can be happy. You just have to be true.
And Grayson is true to herself. 
Grayson was so young. That's why I think this book is great. It's not a teenager. It's a middle school kid. She is so young. It shows that LGBT happens in everyone not just adults or teens. It happens in these tweens too. 

The story is lighthearted and sweet. It is innocent. It truly shows the middle school kid. Not yet tainted by the teenager livelihood but still a rough time that doesn't contain the harmony of childhood. Middle school kids are stuck. They are in an uncomfortable time period between childhood and adolescence. 
The plot isn't bad. It's not that dramatic. It is a good book to get people introduced to LGBT. It's not harsh and dark like other LGBT books. (Especially for young adults.) We aren't throw into this terrible world. We do have the stairs scene. That was surprising. It does show you the weight on middle school kids' shoulders. That was the only heavy scene. But it was needed. It shows that LGBT people aren't always loved. They are hated. They know it too. And they're brave to stay open and out. And that's what I love about LGBT. 

The ending is good too. It's not a battle. It's a nice ending. A good ending. It's a sweet ending. 
It might not entirely be realistic for every person who goes through the same thing. You don't always get the kind setting. Grayson was so lucky to have that. But as I said, it's a good starter LGBT book. 
The book ends on a high note. Grayson is not who she truly is. Grayson is free of the shackles of humanity. She becomes her true self. And she's happy. That's the most important thing. She's happy. 

Clear skies

Thursday, March 26, 2015

'Red Queen' by Victoria Aveyard


The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Mare is actually a cool character. She is an amazing character. In the beginning, she's calm and a thief. Awesome. She lives in the shadow of her sister a talented seamstresses. Mare isn't talented in anything but using her quick fingers to snatch up coins and watches. (Not yet at least.) She has three brothers missing. She lives in the slums, wallowing in filth and conditions no person should bear. She has to see Silvers parade about their strength on First Friday. But then she experiences having a rippling power. (Okay. How did she not know she had this power? Does it first manifest only in times of trouble? I'm not sure.) She becomes a determined heroine. Determined to save her people the Reds. She is now in the spotlight. It's her turn to shine. She doesn't forget her roots, though. She still cares for her Red family but hesitantly embraces the lavish life of a Silver. Her change from the shadow to the star was great. I enjoyed it. You don't have anything holding you back but yourself. It's only you. You can be the star. You can be the one that everyone looks at. Or you could not. It depends on you. And Mare perfectly displays that ideal. She's also powerful. Her ability? Awesome. I've read enough about the elemental powers. No fire. No water. No earth. No air. Let's get something different. Electricity? Definitely different. 
I didn't care too much for distant and seemingly cold-hearted Cal. I know he has another personality...but throughout the book, I didn't like him. Kind stranger or not. He seemed to always be distant. Emotionally, I mean. I don't like that. He was too distant. He didn't have enough time in the book to have anything special build. 
But Maven...maybe. He had an interesting story to tell. He was a shadow like Mare. He connected with her on that. But he was power-hungry like his mother. He would do anything to be the flame not the shadow. I want to know why. That's the only reason I can say maybe about Maven. Why did he do it? Why? Is it his mother pushing him? Or inner motivation? Was he like this since he was a child? Or did he actually accept being a shadow long ago? I want to know what pushed Maven to be...well...Maven. 

The setting is the thing I loved the best. It was fantastic. And the world building was great. The world was built well. There weren't many cracks. 
The split between Silver and Red. It was definite. Certainly. You could tell the difference. You can see the line. It's a large line. It's an impasse. Really. This reminds me of the time before race equality. Except one side is magical. 
And the magical element. The powers weren't just elemental. It was metal. It was electricity. A whisper. Someone with the power to create explosions. 
This world isn't the same. It looks like the others. But it's magical. And it's fantastic. This world is very different than some of the other fantasy royalty worlds.

The plot. How dramatic. There was so much drama. It was drama not of the level of romance and royalty. It was an action drama. Rebellion drama. 
Gah. The plot twists! Surprising and unexpected. I couldn't expect the one about Maven. Oh man. What a plot twist. I couldn't expect them. I didn't like them. They were shocking. Surprising. I had the wind knocked out of me. 
But it seemed like the plot was skimming over important parts of the story. What I mean by that is that the plot wasn't talking about the 'becoming a princess' scenes but more about the rebellion. Not that I don't love rebellions and their action sequences. It seemed so odd. Wasn't she fumbling? Wasn't she not a natural? She seems to be perfect at it. But doesn't have a lot of lessons. Okay... I don't believe that. 

The ending...not bad. It left questions, though. Like...how are they both bloods? What happened? What about Maven? How did they not kill Shade? Okay. I was lost. 
It was a dramatic ending. A rushed ending too. Things were being thrown at the reader. This happened with the queen. This with Maven. And dodge this! Shade's secret! Dodge the fight. Dodge everything.
It was hard to swallow it. So much happened. 

The romance was the turn-off. When did it form? Why did any of them think it was going to happen? I don't see it. It was an awkward piece of the puzzle. It didn't fit. At all. 
Also. Is that a love triangle? Uh. I don't think so. The boys don't get a lot of love from Mare. Both guys aren't given love or much reason to be given love. 
Cal? Why him? He didn't treat you that well. Sure. The job thing. But it doesn't seem right to place him as a love interest. I think he was pining after Mare. Not the other way around. Mare...she used them.
And Maven? Uh. What's with that? Wasn't she suspicious? Wasn't she suspicious about his willingness to turn? Odd. Very odd. 

Sunny with a few clouds

'Secret of the Sevens' by Lynn Lindquist: Cover Reveal

Secret of the Sevens
Release Date: 06/2015
Flux Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:
Everyone at Singer, a boarding school for underprivileged kids, knows the urban legend of the Society of Seven. Decades ago, the original members of the secret guild for elite students murdered the school's founder and then perished in the fire they lit to hide the evidence. Or so the story goes.

Talan Michaels doesn't care about Singer's past. He's too focused on his future and the fact that he'll be homeless after he graduates in May. To take his mind off it, he accepts a mysterious invitation to join a group calling itself the Sevens. He expects pranks, parties, and perks. Instead, he finds himself neck-deep in a conspiracy involving secret passages and cryptic riddles about the school's history. Even worse, he's now tangled in web of lies someone will kill to keep hidden.

About the Author
Lynn Lindquist lives in a suburb of Chicago with two overly-social sons and a mutt named Slugger who wisely hides under the bed most days. The hordes of teenagers that regularly frequent her house (think Panama City Beach during spring break) provide fodder for her young adult novels and growing anxiety disorder. Ever since her sons broke the Guinness Record for Largest-Rager-Thrown-While-a-Parent-Was-Out-for-the-Night, she enjoys spending her free time at home entertaining friends, cooking, reading, and writing. Thankfully, her favorite things in life are her sons, words, and kids, so she wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is represented by Katherine Boyle at Veritas Literary Agency.   </ div>

Author Links:
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Cover Reveal Organized by:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

'Seams in Reaity' by Alex Siegal: Blitz

Young Adult Fantasy / Thriller
Date Published:</ span> Sept 26, 2014 & December 25 2014

 photo add-to-goodreads-

SEAMS IN REALITY is the first book in the Seams in Reality Series.

As a freshman in a suburban college near Chicago</ span>, Andrew leads a mundane life until he meets a professor named Tonya. She is secretly a master sorcerer, and she invites him into a conspiracy of magic. Only those few who possess exceptional talent may join. A resourceful young woman named Charley has the same supernatural gift. She accompanies Andrew on his journey into a dark profession, and romance quickly blooms between the young apprentices. When Andrew meets Blake, a sorcerer who knew his grandfather, Andrew becomes embroiled in a game of lies and treachery. Blake's thirst for power leaves a trail of casualties, and in the end, only Andrew can stop him.</ span>

 photo add-to-goodreads-

CRACKS IN REALITY is the second book in the Seams in Reality Series.

The Vault is a fortress in the desert protected by the United States Army, and it contains the most dangerous, forbidden secrets of sorcery. Blake, master sorcerer and fugitive from justice, has a plan for robbing the place. He will create a tangled web of lies to trick the Army into delivering the treasure into his hands. He intends to use the stolen knowledge to destroy his enemies and become the most powerful sorcerer on Earth.

Two apprentices are on a mission to kill Blake. Andrew is a war mage, a genius at psychic combat. Charley is a young woman who commands physical sorcery. Their instructor, Tonya, will turn the two teenagers into warriors capable of defeating Blake, if they can endure the extreme mental and physical tests.

Tonya's training is just the beginning for Andrew and Charley. They must discover Blake's hidden objectives, and they don't have much time. A government agency called the Bureau of Physical Investigation has the same assignment, but the agents are unprepared for the dangers they will face. Other surprising threats await the apprentices as they pursue their enemy along a trail of bloodshed.

About the Author</ span>

Alex Siegel grew up a math and computer geek. At the age of twenty-five, he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell. He continues to make a good living as a software developer in Chicago. In his late twenties, he took up creative writing as a serious pastime with the intention of eventually making it his career. This goal has been elusive, but failure is not an option. In 2001, his wife gave birth to triplet boys. People often ask him how he still finds time to write. In 2009, he began the Gray Spear Society series, and he hopes it will be his key to literary fame.

Author Links</ strong>

Purchase Links</ span>


Giveaway</ strong>
$10 Amazon Gift Card



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

'Panther' by David Owen


Life isn’t going terribly well for Derrick; he’s become severely overweight, his only friend has turned on him, he’s hopelessly in love with a girl way out of his league, and it’s all because of his sister. Her depression, and its grip on his family, is tearing his life apart. When rumours start to circulate that a panther is roaming wild in his south London suburb, Derrick resolves to try and capture it. Surely if he can find a way to tame this beast, he’ll be able to stop everything at home from spiraling towards disaster?

Panther is a bold and emotionally powerful novel that deals candidly with the effects of depression on those who suffer from it, and those who suffer alongside them.

Note: This book really affected me. And I'll reveal more about myself than I ever have before. I hope my truth doesn't deter you, dear readers. Thank you for reading. 

Derrick is someone I related to. I am someone who is conscious of everything I do. My weight is always with me. I can't stand my weight. (The fact is that I'm at a perfectly normal weight.) I preach the importance of not judging yourself. I'm such a hypocrite. I had a certain connection with Derrick. There are things we have in common. If I let go and forgot my restrictions, I would wear a XXL. Why? I can't help but eat at times. This is similar to what Derrick goes through. He controls the uncontrollable by eating. It's the only way he can control his life. Which is quite fascinating. Control is only in your mind. Control isn't actually there. Unless we're talking about controlling other organisms. It's the thought of control. The thought that you MIGHT have control. 
With the shit happening in his life, there is a reason Derrick needs control. I can see that. 
And as he spirals downwards, you feel the madness attacking you. You feel it crawling on your skin. The thoughts of the Beast. The obsession with his 'love'. (That was actually really creepy.) He was obsessed. I feel that this reflects his inner demons and their war on his mind. It definitely shows something is wrong. I hate to agree with Tamoor...but it did look like Derrick was going crazy. I'm not sure why. Stress? Ridicule? I don't know. But I know you can't always explain everything. 
Derrick is fascinating. We don't see much of his life from before everything happened. I know this, though. He was very different. Physically. Mentally. Things really spiraled downwards for him. 

And the metaphor with the Beast. Gah. That was beautiful. Truly.
I loved it. It really gave tangible form to depression. You could swallow it easier.
The Beast is a hunter. It pounces on its next victim. It consumes your mind. You have to catch it, throw it out. It is the perfect metaphor. Not just for depression. For the madness within oneself. For the craziness. For the inner turmoil. I loved that. It was amazing. 
Things like depression are hard to understand. They're intangible unlike a tumor. You can't touch it. Medicine doesn't always work. Surgery won't help. (Don't dare suggest lobotomy. That makes things worse.) You don't know how it is unlike it's affected someone you care for or if you have it. It's like a virus floating along. (Gah. Bad simile...) David Owen gave depression a body. A host. Something people could have and hate or want to get rid of in Derrick's case. And it also gives Derrick a chance to become obsessed. (With ridding it/depression from his family.) 
Such a wonderful metaphor. 

The plot...not bad. The beginning is a bit dull, but as the story progresses, you see how much drama this book contains. 
The beginning. A bit boring. It sets the stage. A depressed sister who tried to end her life. A tired mother. A father who left. An overweight main character. All set somewhere in England. (London? I think it's London.) It's near the end of the school year. Summer is coming. We have Derrick who is trying to be in control. And we have him skipping class after an embarrassing recording. (Wow. What was that about? What was he doing? I'm not sure.) We have the scene being set. Not the most interesting thing of all. 
The middle of the book reveals so much more. Derricks starts to spiral. He starts the hunt. He skips even more! The middle is dramatic. But not as dramatic as the end. (That ending...) We see Derrick spiral. It's so sad that he spirals further. 

I was surprised by the ending. Really. I didn't expect it. Wow. Who knew? The story seemed to hint at Derrick NOT gaining self understanding. And that's what I thought. I thought, 'Okay... Not going to end on a high note? Alright. Screw happy endings.' While it would be wrong to say this had a happy ending, I won't say that it was the worst-case scenario.
And how dramatic was this ending? On a scale of one to ten with one being the lowest and ten being the highest, this ending was a fifteen. I've read drama before. Indeed. That's what happens with most contemporary. (Because you can't have too much action in real life.) I was thrown. Everything of importance happens in the ending. Wow. Just wow. I was breathless reading it. Not the good or bad kind of breathless. Just breathless.

David Owen. Thank you for writing about this. This isn't just how depression affects the person with it. This is about his or her family. Friends. Teachers. Classmates. It shows how depression affects everyone.
And the way you wrote it... The way you portrayed depression seemed to echo reality. It was practically real. I feel like this is amazing. Correctly representing something shares the truth. Just writing about it is one thing. Correct representation is another entirely.
Thank you for writing this. 

Sunny with a few clouds

'Bittersweet' by Michele Barrow-Belisle: Book Blitz

Bittersweet (Faerie Song Trilogy, #2)
Release Date: 03/24/15

Summary from Goodreads:
To save the Faery world and her mother’s life, Lorelei sacrificed everything, and the dangerous bargain she made in Nevermore had lasting repercussions. Now safely back in her own world, Lorelei seems the same to her highschool friends and her supernatural boyfriend. Yet love across dimensions is complicated, especially when an invisible Veil between the two worlds—the only bridge that links the pair, is sealing, threatening to separate Lorelei and Adrius forever.

Determined to find a solution, Lorelei resorts to using her new found powers. But when her friends succumb to the same mysterious illness that nearly took her mother’s life, Lorelei can’t help but wonder if her own dark magic is responsible. Still, the nightmares from Nevermore continue their icy hold. Someone from Adrius’s past arrives, determined to destroy Lorelei’s world starting with those closest to her, and Lorelei is forced to choose between her family and friends and a love that was ill-fated from the start. 
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Buy Links:</ span>

Book One:
(cover linked to Goodreads)

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & Noble│</ span>Kobo Books│</ span>iBooksSmashwordsAmazon CAAmazon UK

“So what’s your plan, Lorelei?” He had a tight grip on my hand as we headed toward the 

abandoned building.

I stopped walking and looked up at him. “Well, for starters, I need to go in alone. And 

before you protest, I have to remind you of what Peterson said. That might be why he was a no-
show last time.”

“I don’t care what he said. There’s no way I’m letting you go in there alone.”

“I’ll be fine. Really.”

He huffed. “I’ve heard that before.”

“I have to do this. It’s the only way.”

He wasn’t happy about it, but he gave a reluctant nod and released my hand. “I’m giving 

you five minutes then I’m coming in after you.” 

I didn’t tell him, but it gave me a great deal of comfort knowing that. I stepped over the 

broken glass doors, through the haze of dust into the place I was going to find my great aunt. But 

unlike our last visit, this time, the front desk wasn’t vacant. A pair of amber eyes gleaming in the 

dim light peered at me, moving steadily closer until a full unsightly form appeared.

I froze. This wasn’t just any derelict.

“Mmm. Something yummy,” it said in a low hiss. 

A goblin? Here, in my world. This was a first. I stared, blinking to refocus in the dust 

he’d stirred with his movement. Until now, the only supernatural beings who’d entered my world 

were Adrius and Zanthiel. And of course Venus. But they were all here because of me in one 

way or another. This was different. Goblins and other lower creatures weren’t supposed to be 

able to pass through the veil. Yet here one was, staring me down while black froth dripped from 

its jagged teeth.

I stepped to the side to evade him, but the creature skirted around me, so I couldn’t pass. 

His glamour would have fooled most into believing he was human, not an attractive human, 

but human nonetheless. I could see otherwise. With the costume of magic stripped away the 

gangly creature resembled the goblins more than it did the fey. He had the body of a human 

male, but something about his appearance... his black pupilless eyes, the pasty shade of his 

skin, the overpowering stench of rotting leaves... Perhaps he was once a normal human and had 

been tortured and twisted for centuries into something nearly undefinable. He wouldn’t be the 

first, nor the last. Unless Peterson’s people got their way and they managed to eradicate the co-
mingling of fey and humans. I didn’t want to think about how they planned to pull that off.

“I’m not here for you. I’m looking for someone.”

“The one they call Camilla, yesss?”

I stared hard at the creature. What did he know about all of this?

“So, which room is she being held in?” I tried to sound persuasive, authoritative... but 

that was a mind-altering device best left to the elves. I was more than capable of fending off a 

goblin, but finding one here in the back alley had thrown me more than a little. Plus I wasn’t 

exactly armed. But we had agreed, I’d go to meet with him, before we knew the him I’d be 

meeting was a goblin from the Unseelie Shadow Court. He’d claimed to know of Camilla’s 

whereabouts, and I needed to find her. I needed to get answers about what was going on once 

and for all, and with any luck find a way to prevent the veil from sealing. And if things went 

according to plan, I’d be able to break the curse binding Adrius to Venus and free everyone from 

her wrath.

“I’ll tell you which room whelp, after I gets what I’s wants.”

I pulled out an envelope of bills. Not even sure how much Adrius had put in there. 

Enough to make most human miscreants salivate he’d said dryly. Not sure what a goblin would 


I had practiced enough spells with Abby to know I could conjure one to weaken this 

creature, but I had to be in touching distance. Not the best plan. I stepped back, trying to stay out 

of his reach, but my back hit a brick wall behind me. To my left there was a chain link fence and 

the locked door of the warehouse to my right. He glided toward me, moving steadily closer until 

his chest pressed against mine. 

Glancing at the envelope with eyes as black as tar he sneered. "What I want, is you," he 

said urgently. “Just need a lil taste, lovely.” 

I sucked in a gasp of air. “You don’t want me,” I assured him, shoving at his caved-
in chest. “Even goblins find me unsavory.” Craning my head to the side I searched wildly for 

something, anything to double as a weapon. 

“I’ll make it quick.” He sniffed me, then licked my face, running his sandpapery tongue 

up my cheek. “I can be gentle,” he hissed as I shoved against his chest. I brought my leg up to 

knee him in the groin, but his hand snaked down to push it back in place. Curse their superhuman 

strength. The foul stench of him made it hard to get any air, and the more I struggled, the less 

oxygen I had. 

“Ah-ah, I thought we agreed this was going to be nice.” 

His knee slid between my thighs. Panic raced through me. I started to call for help, but 

his hand slapped over my mouth, slamming the back of my head against the brick. Splinters of 

pain shot through my head. I squeezed my eyes shut, to dull the ache. I bit down hard on his 

fingers, nearly gagging from the bitter taste. He hissed and pulled his hand away from my mouth 

and clamped it around my throat.

“Listen, just let me go and you won’t get hurt,” I rasped through his charred fingers 

choking off my air. “You don’t want to hurt me. Let go and you can have what you want.”

I felt something stir beneath my skin. A slow simmer that grew to a raging boil in a 

flash. With a burst of force, I put my hands on its throat. The creature began to cough, choking 

and sputtering black phlegm. He staggered back away from me. I ran toward the door, but he 

recovered and flew in front of me to block my path. “I will hurt you,” I said. My voice sounded 

dark, foreign, and when I spoke I felt cold winds swirl around us. 

The goblin didn’t seem to notice. “Shhhhh, sweet one,” he cooed, burying his pointed 

nose in my hair, and sniffing me again. “Mmmm...” Gobs of saliva dripped over his chapped 

lips. “It won’t hurt at all.” 

“That’s where you’re wrong.” Adrius’ voice filled the darkness and he plunged a flaming 

blade into the goblin’s back. “It’s going to hurt a lot.”

About the Author
Michele Barrow-Belisle is chocoholic author and artist living in southern Ontario, Canada with her super-sweet husband, brilliant son and a ridiculously affectionate cat. Often told by teachers to stop dreaming and get her head out of the clouds, Michele still spends much of her time lost in make-believe worlds, populated with fascinating and occasionally terrifying characters. Her passion for fantasy extends beyond her writing into her clay figure sculpt-ing, creating miniaturized replicas of the paranormal beings she writes about. Michele is as passionate about reading as she is about writing. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found sculpting tiny fairy desserts in polymer clay. She also loves mocha lattes and watching fireflies at twilight. Did we mention she loves chocolate?

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