2013 YA and MG Time Travel Reading Challenge: September Wrap-Up Post + Review Linky + Giveaway: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Monday, September 30, 2013

I'm so sorry for the lack of an August time travel wrap-up! I got soooooo busy and I wasn't able to prepare for it. Moreover, I just got a job and I still haven't adapted to the busy work hours. But fret not as I have a giveaway for y'all time travel junkies! I love love love ALL OUR YESTERDAYS and here I am so happy to share my love for it with you my dear readers!

All Our Yesterdays (Cassandra Chronicles, #1)
Title: All Our Yesterdays (Cassandra Chronicles #1)

Author: Cristin Terrill
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Date of Publication: September 3, 2013

"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


"With heart-stopping action, adrenaline-rushing scenes, first love, great love, moral dilemmas, sacrifices and time travel awesomeness packed into one captivating and fetching tale, All Our Yesterdays is a tour de force in the time travel landscape. Intriguing and riveting, Cristin Terrill's debut novel is unparalleled in its magnificence. Brilliant is an understatement. It is a stroke of genius."


About Cristin Terrill

Cristin Terrill has a bachelor of the arts degree from Vassar College and a master of the arts degree in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. She currently lives outside Washington, D.C., where she teaches creative writing workshop for kids and teens. ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is her first novel.

Giveaway



Link your reviews here!

{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Guest Post + Giveaway: The Rise of Xosha by

The Rise of Xosha (Legend of Xosha, #0.5)
Title: The Rise of Xosha (Legend of Xosha #0.5)
Author: S. Cu'Anam Policar
Publisher: Satalyte Publishing
Date of Publication: September 6, 2013

A tale of epic proportions.
The Rise of Xosha tells the tale of Xosha's beginnings.
Where Anjyls are mortal pawns,
Dragons rule the skies,
Wolves and elves roam the forests,
and demons lurk below the surface.

Oceanus, the leader of the last hord of dragons in the realms must find his people a new home.
Going only on the word of the odd colored white dragon, Rose, he leads the horde far from their home, over waters that seem to have no end.

Pyre, Oceanus' younger, rebellious brother must come to terms with the fact that Oceanus will never see him as anything more then a welp too young to be of any use.

Jade the youngest of the three has her own thoughts and inner demons to contend with.

Then there's Rose, The dragon with an amazing gift no one will acknowledge. The outcast of her people simply because she's the only one of her color.

One to lead...One to see...One to protect...One to Deceive.
The Rise of Xosha; The story that started the legend.

"not all allies are friends, not all friends are true, and some enemies will in turn be your greatest allies."

***ADVISORY***
This book contains mild to moderate violence, the concept of death, insinuated sexual contact... Not Recommended for Readers under the age of 16

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

Trailer



Excerpt

“They said alliances are needed but to remember that not all who claim to be our allies really are.” Rose replied.

Pyre cut in right after Rose stopped talking. “They also hinted that we have an enemy in the horde.”

Oceanus’ eyes shot open as large and round as discs. “What?!”

Rose shot a glare at Pyre. “Pyre!”

“He needed to know Rose!” Pyre shot back in defense.

“I know he did and I was going to tell him. Just not like this. I wanted to speak more with them on this before bringing it up.” Rose said softly, wondering if her words made any sense to them. From the way they were looking at her, she would guess not.

“I mean. What if they’re wrong? It’s possible you know they’ve been wrong before!” Rose said desperately as Oceanus growled.

Pyre spoke up, voicing Oceanus’ exact thoughts. “They’ve never been wrong Rose. Not once! Maybe you’re the enemy they spoke about.”

“They have been wrong! I only tell you what’s important to the horde! I don’t tell you everything they tell me!” Rose said as her own anger began to build. She was really getting fed up with everyone automatically assuming things concerning her.

Pyre shoved her. His heart cried out as he reverted to his once natural treatment of the dragon he only minutes before had considered his friend. “What have they lied about then Rose?”

Losing the current, she spiraled toward Caprae. She caught a new current right before she would have slammed quite ungracefully into the ground. “They said someone would love me for me! They said I wouldn’t be an outcast once we found Caprae. And for a little while I thought maybe they were right about that too. But they weren’t they were wrong!” She turned and flew off refusing to let the two males see her cry.

“Rose, wait!” Pyre called out trying to fly after her. As her form turned into a spec on the horizon, he stopped with a sigh and hung his head. “I’m sorry…” He muttered as he silently cursed himself for his stupidity.

Guest Post

Cu's Top Ten Favorite Epic Fantasies in no particular order

1) The Legend of Drizzt Series by R.A. Salvatore
2) Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin
3) Middle Earth Series by J.R.R. Tolkien
4) The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan
5) Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
6) Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rawling
7) Earth's Children by J.M. Auel
8) Warriors Series by Erin Hunter
9) Red Wall Series by Brian Jacques
10) The Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Katherine Lasky

About S. Cu'Anam Policar

S.Cu'Anam Policar was born in Brooklyn, NY, but now lives in Washington State. The mother of three she makes time to write, usually late at night. An avid reader, she not only writes but helps promote other authors with blog tours and reviews of their books.

She is Pagan but respects all religions and believes everyone should celebrate their similarities and not care about their differences.

When she has the time, she enjoys playing video games, horseback riding, singing, and writing things other than her Legend of Xosha Series. She absolutely loves to make new friends so don't be afraid to come by and hi on facebook!


Giveaway


Follow the Tour

Fall in Love with Reading $0.99 Sale!

fall in love sale

Each one of the great novels showcased in the sale is from an independent author and features romance from a tidbit to a whole dollop. So go ahead, fall in love with reading this fall by picking up any of these titles from October 1-7th.

Love Exactly by Cassandra Giovanni

Love Exactly
Emma Walker was a writer who'd lost herself to someone else's anger--who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.

Evan Levesque was a rock-god--the one all the woman wanted, but he'd never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.

With just one cup of coffee they'll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan's fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma's checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they'll destroy my soul--Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she's become because of it?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo


Casted by Sonya Loveday

Casted
Jade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. The Triad, are a powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing book, there is nowhere left for her to hide.

With the help of her friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back. But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well.

Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love.

Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide. Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she trust herself and the woman in her mind?


Waterfalls Down by Danielle Rohr

Water Falls Down
What have they done to me here, to cause me to be unable to see beyond my cage?

Three teenagers committed and locked away in a mental institution act on impulse, and manage to escape. Without a plan, money, ore even identification Lynn, Chelsea, and Garret must find their way in a very big, and very predatory world. After a great deal of travel and agony, they find paradise in the form of Yosemite National Park. Battling the elements of nature, as well as mental illness leaves these three broken, and defeated. Will they find the solution that can save them, or will they fight against the current until they grow weak, and become just another statistic?



Mere Enchantment by Alicia Rivoli

Mere Enchantment
A World Like No Other…

When a newly formed group of friends finds themselves fighting for survival, little did they know that was just the beginning.

When Chloe, Megan, Jason and Zach are forced to take cover in a nearby cave from a violent storm they find their new friend Preston there as well. Zach guides the group through the cave but as they go deeper strange things begin to happen and they find themselves separated in a magical kingdom surrounded by unusual people and wizards. Things get even more dangerous as they travel the kingdom in search of the city of Mere and each other.

As their journey unfolds, Preston discovers that the bedtime stories he was told as a child are true and that his rightful place in time must be realized. The kingdom itself has gone under attack as Jacan, a traitor to the crown, forces his armies through the magical borders.

Looking back Preston should have recognized that it was all real. He should have seen the signs. But how could he have known? After all, Jacan was just a villain in a story that took place in a far off mystical land. How could he have imagined that the stories that his father told him as a child were true?

How could any of them have known that their destinies were already written, and that to discover who they really are would take courage that they never realized they had?


American Girl on Saturn By Nikki Godwin

American Girl on Saturn
The summer after graduation is supposed to be that first real taste of freedom - but not for eighteen-year-old Chloe Branson. Just as that breeze of freedom is making its way into her galaxy, her secret-service-agent dad drops a meteor-sized bomb of bad news on her and her sisters. An attempt has been made on the lives of Canadian boyband, Spaceships Around Saturn, during their USA tour, and the guys have to go into hiding ASAP. The only problem? In the midst of the crisis and media frenzy, their dad volunteered to hide the guys...in their house.

Six-year-old Emery is as ecstatic as any self-proclaimed Saturnite would be, but Chloe and her seventeen-year-old sister Aralie watch their summer plans crash and burn like a falling star. The SAS guys aren't happy with the situation, either. Bad boy Jules picks fights with Aralie about everything from his Twitter followers to his laundry, and heart-throb Benji can't escape Emery's fangirlisms for more than three minutes.

But after the super-cute Milo kisses Chloe during a game of hide-and-seek, she finally understands what Emery means when she talks about SAS being "out of this world." If this is what Saturn feels like, Chloe doesn't want to come back to Earth.


First I Love You by Genevieve Dewey

First I Love You
One part Godfather, two parts Emma and a dash of Casablanca mixed together, "First, I Love You" isn't a detective novel, a gangster novel, a mystery, a romance or a family saga. It's a little of all of the above.

Imagine being a detective with a mobster for a father, or a mobster with a straight arrow, good cop for a son. This is a relationship that is tricky on its best day. Add in some well-meaning meddling from a mob princess sister, an arrogant DEA agent, and gangsters running a human trafficking ring and you have a recipe for a book that refuses to follow the rules. Told from the perspective and point of view of each the six main characters this is the first novel in a trilogy about love, loyalty, revenge and redemption.

Omaha Detective Tommy Gates has kept his gangster father at arm's length his whole life. Mickey Downey has spent the better part of the last two decades trying to find ways to get back the son he lost through Witness Protection. Now Tommy has taken an opportunity to work on a Federal Human Trafficking Joint Task Force in Chicago where his father lives. Tommy's sister Kiki and his mother Mary see this as an opportunity to build a relationship between the two. Tommy's new DEA partner James Hoffman sees it as an opportunity to gain leverage over Mickey Downey. Tommy's other partner, FBI Agent Ginny Sommers wants to keep Tommy's family as far from the case as possible. When Kiki and James join forces, sparks fly and it sets fire to a maelstrom of unexpected consequences for everyone involved.


A Construct of Angels by Andrew Toynbee

A Construct of Angels
After accidentally triggering the spontaneous resurrection of a dead student, an ordinarily routine day for York-based paramedic Sara Finn erupts into a series of events that propel her on a terrifying journey, promising to forever change her pragmatic opinions of life and death.

Still haunted by her domineering and abusive stepfather and driven by a life-long search for her missing younger brother, Sara finds herself caught in the crossfire between warring forces, powerful beyond human comprehension, that threaten to plunge civilisation into hellish chaos and eternal darkness.

This, the first in the 'Angels of York' series, follows Sara's increasingly dangerous adventures during the six days that lead up to the September Equinox, a time of increasing darkness. As the population of York is plunged into panic, overwhelming the emergency services, Sara finds her loyalties torn between her newfound companion, now incarcerated within York's largest mental institution, and her sworn medical duties.

Should she lend any credence to his insistence that his purpose on Earth is to prevent an imminent catastrophe? Or that it is being orchestrated from within the city itself?

As her nights are filled with terrifying dreams and she is once again confronted by the memories of her abusive childhood, Sara is forced to accept that only one avenue remains open to her - to put her own life to one side in order to help prevent the rapidly approaching doomsday.


Deer in the Headlights by Staci Hart

Deer in the Headlights
Sweary, Sexy 18+ Romance

How do the Greek gods kill time? Because they're always bored. It's an unavoidable downside of being alive for thousands of years. So, they play games. Games with human players. Remember Shakespeare? Yeah, that was Apollo. Bonnie and Clyde? Aphrodite vs Ares.

It's Aphrodite's turn once again in the rounds of competitions, and she'll defend her domain: Love. She hasn't lost a competition on her turf in over three millennia, and she's not about to start now. Apollo is her first competitor, and he's on a mission to win. If he wins, he'll get a token; a favor that Aphrodite must fulfill. And with that favor, he'll finally get the one woman he's never been able to have.

Aphrodite and Apollo will choose their human players, and if Aphrodite can't get them together before the clock runs out, Apollo will get his way. And she couldn't have that.

Lex and Dean are perfect for each other. They just don't know it yet.

Dean is a perpetual bachelor, and a man-whore. A brooding, gorgeous, rock star man-whore. Lex always has a boyfriend, but she's never let anyone in enough to let herself go. Not really. Not ever. Aphrodite has her work cut out for her, but if she can't make it work, no one can.

But she has more at stake than just Lex and Dean. Apollo killed her mortal love, and that beef has been dragging on for thousands of years. Ares, the douchebag, is forever trying to start a fight, and get Aphrodite into bed. And Persephone, her best friend, is the one person she can confide in, laugh with, and always count on for a healthy helping of bacon when she's having a bad day.

Follow the gods as they fight, laugh, cry, lose love, and gain power. Making a mess with humans has never been so fun.


Snake in the Grass by Staci Hart

Snake in the Grass
It’s Round Two of high stakes Love Connection on Olympus, and this time, everything has changed. For Aphrodite, at least.

Ares is on deck, and Aphrodite is nervous. As much as she loves to hook up with him, she doesn’t trust him as far as she could throw him, which isn’t very far. He’s a big dude. They haven’t been together in a very long time, but she can’t resist him. She never could. Even when every part of her screamed that he was a liar.

Ares has a plan to keep Aphrodite, for good this time. He wants to win the game, but he’ll hold back to get what he wants. He’s sitting on a chance that he’s been waiting thousands of years for, and he’ll do what he has to do to convince her to stay forever.

The only thing that could stop him is the secret that he’s been keeping from her for eons. If she finds out, it will destroy everything.

Kat and Dillon have been through a lot, and everything has been to protect their younger siblings. They have sacrificed everything to make sure their brother and sister are safe. The players are tough and loyal. Fierce and determined. But they become each other’s weakness, even though they fight it, and even though it means danger for Kat and her sister.

If Aphrodite can get the players over their egos and issues long enough to see that they’re meant for each other, the competition will be a piece of cake. One that she’ll eat a la mode, right in front of Ares, if she beats him.


What the Heart Wants by Staci Hart

What the Heart Wants
It's 1984, and Tanaka Katsu is paving his way in the Yakuza. His marriage to Yuki was a business deal, and one that he has paid for with his happiness.

Aphrodite can't stand that he's so miserable, and Hera, the goddess of marriage and monogamy, has a strong hold on Yuki, who will do whatever it takes to get what she believes is hers. Aphrodite won't sit by and watch Katsu's life slip away with no chance at love, so when he takes a trip to Vegas, she'll introduce him to his match.

Kim never thought she'd be in the situation like the one that's coming her way, but what the heart wants is a powerful thing, and one that's impossible to walk away from.


Cover Reveal: Far Too Tempting by Lauren Blakely

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Title: Far Too Tempting
Author: Lauren Blakely
Publisher: Entangled EDGE
Date of Publication: October 21, 2013

Jane Black has written the break-up album of the century, earning her a Grammy, a huge legion of new fans, and the pressure to repeat her success. Sure, the heartbreak from her husband’s unconventional abandonment might have been her inspiration, but it hasn’t done her any favors in the dating department. So when Matthew Harrigan, the toughest music journalist out there, asks for an interview, Jane agrees—as long as her personal life is completely off-limits.

British, gorgeous, and way too tempting, Matthew’s the first guy Jane’s been attracted to since her husband. As she spends more time with him and their relationship heats up, though, so does her writer’s block. How can the queen of the break-up pen the perfect follow-up when she’s seriously in love?

Pre-order from Amazon | B&N

About Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. Her novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He’s Mine, Playing With Her Heart, and Trophy Husband. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.

Stacking the Shelves (29)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September. The month I got broker than broke. Just look at all the books I bought. Well, technically, I'm already broke and I just borrowed money from the folks. Payback's gonna be painful. Haha!

In other news, I got a job this September! Which means I can't read as much and that I haven't read much all of September. Hopefully, I've already adapted by October so I can go back to regular programming. Sorry for the lack of reviews!



For Review


Gifted


Borrowed


Won




Bought




Swag

Thank you to Meredith of Soho Teen, Tina of Abrams and Chronicle Books UK, Louisse of The Soul Sisters, Kai of Amaterasu Reads, Rebecca Berto, Dina Silver, K. Anne Raines, Sophia Bleu, National Book Store, Fully Booked and to my parents for lending me money! Mwahaha!

{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Giveaway: No Angel by Helen Keeble

Friday, September 27, 2013

No Angel
Title: No Angel
Author: Helen Keeble
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of Publication: October 8, 2013

Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for senior year, he discovered that he is the ONLY male student. But what should have been a godsend isn't exactly heaven on Earth.

Raffi's about to learn that St. Mary's is actually a hub for demons-and that he was summoned to the school by someone expecting him to save the day. Raffi knows he's no angel-but it's pretty hard to deny that there's some higher plan at work when he wakes up one morning to discover a glowing circle around his head.

Helen Keeble's debut novel, Fang Girl, has been praised for its pitch-perfect teen voice, and VOYA called it "refreshing and reminiscent of Louise Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series." No Angel brings you angels and demons like you've never seen them-complete with the wry humor of Vladimir Tod, sinfully irreverent romance, and some hilariously demonic teenage dilemmas.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Excerpt

The shiny new sign above the towering wrought-iron gates said St. Mary’s Boarding School for Girls and Boys, which, as it turned out, was wrong by one letter.

“Wait,” I said, staring at the Headmistress with a slow-rising sensation of dread. “You mean I’m just the first guy to arrive, right?”

“If you fail to understand the meaning of the word only, Mr. Angelos, I will have to schedule you for remedial English lessons,” replied the short, severe woman. “But to make it crystal clear, you are indeed the first, sole, singular member of the male gender here.” It was obvious that she considered this at least one boy too many. “I trust you will be a worthy representative of your species. Welcome to St. Mary’s.”

Declarations of outright war had been uttered in friendlier tones. I grabbed my dad’s arm as he came back from the car, carrying the last of my suitcases. “I've changed my mind,” I said, turning us away from the waiting Headmistress. “Don’t leave me here!”

“You were the one who begged to come to your mother’s old school when you found they were accepting boys this year. ‘A way of honoring her memory’, you said.” He dropped my bags in front of the school gates and raised an eyebrow. “Not to mention ‘a heaven of honeys in very short skirts’, as I recall you saying to your friends.”

I flushed. I hadn't realized he’d overheard that conversation. “But I thought there would be at least a few other guys around. Who am I supposed to talk to?”

“Girls?” Dad suggested mildly.

“Ha ha. Seriously, Dad!”

“You want serious?” Dad folded his arms, looking up at me. “It’s cost me a serious amount of money to enroll you here, so I expect you to actually make an effort for once, Raffi. St. Mary’s has always been one of the most exclusive schools in England, and we’re incredibly fortunate that they’re opening up to boys at last. And even more fortunate that they’re allowing you in for just the final year.” His finger jabbed me in the center of my chest. “You will work hard.”

Behind him, the Headmistress’s expression suggested that she personally thought boys were best put to work down dangerous mine shafts.

I scowled down at my feet, stuffing my hands into the pockets of my new suit. “If it’s so fabulous here, then why didn't any other guys apply?” I muttered under my breath.

“Our entrance requirements are extremely strict,” the Headmistress said as if I’d spoken normally. “There was no shortage of male applicants, I assure you. Were it not for your late mother, I would have rejected you along with all the rest. But she was a personal friend of mine, as well as an outstanding member of this institution.” She fixed me with a piercing stare. “I trust you will live up to her legacy.”

“You hear that?” My dad poked me again. “This is your last chance, Raffi. You’re lucky to get into any school, after what happened at your last one. You should be grateful for this opportunity.” In my head, I started reciting the inevitable speech along with him. I’d heard it enough times to have it memorized. “You can’t keep wandering around in a dream, absent-mindedly strewing chaos in your wake.“ 

Honestly, incinerate one lousy building by accident once, and your dad will never, ever let you forget it. “That fire wasn't my fault!“

“Perfectly ordinary toasters do not spontaneously spout four-foot pillars of flame!”

The Headmistress took a phone out of her pocket and murmured into it, “Memo to self: Mr. Angelos is banned from Home Economics.”

My dad was still on a roll. “Your problem, Raffi, is that you’re too unworldly for your own good. You have got to quit goofing off and start paying attention to what’s going on around you-“

His voice droned on, but I didn't hear another word. I was too busy falling in love.

She was tall, only a few inches shorter than myself, but so light and slender she seemed to float on the breeze. Her feet barely made any sound on the gravel as she slipped round the gate and headed for us, her waist-length blonde hair rippling behind her like a cloak. Even though all the girls must have been warned boys were joining them this year, she still did a very gratifying double-take at the sight of me, her summer-sky eyes widening. For my part, it was all I could do not to gawp at her like a total idiot. The instant I saw her, I knew her. She was The One.

For a moment we stared at each other. Then the girl shook herself, her hair shimmering with the movement. A delicate rose tinted her high cheekbones, but — my stomach dropped into my socks — she didn’t look pleased. A small frown marred her perfect face as she turned decisively away from me. “M- I mean, Headmistress?” Even her voice was perfect, so soft and sweet I half-expected her to break into a duet about kittens and rainbows with a passing bluebird. “Everyone’s ready and waiting.”

“Thank you, Faith,” the Headmistress replied. She lifted a hand, cutting off my dad’s lecture. “Major Angelos, while I am certain your son’s head has not yet been filled with your sound advice, time grows short. I must ask you to make your final farewells.”

“Of course.” Dad put his hands on my shoulders, looking me squarely in the eye. “Now promise me you’ll apply yourself, Raffi.”

“Oh,” I said, staring past him at Faith. “You bet I will.”

“That’s my boy.” To my utter mortification, Dad ruffled my hair, then pulled me in for a hug. “You’ll do fine.”

“Mr. Angelos, you may leave your bags here for now,” the Headmistress said as I disentangled myself as fast as possible. “Faith will escort you to the hall. A last word with you please, Major Angelos?”

“This way,” Faith said, holding the gate open for me. She avoided my eyes, her own gaze lingering on my dad and the Headmistress as they headed back toward his car. “Your dad seems nice.” There was an odd, wistful note to her musical voice. “You’re lucky.”

“I certainly am.” Falling into step with her, I tried out the charming, enigmatic smile that I’d spent the summer practicing in front of the mirror. “Though not because of my dad.”

“Yes, of course we’re all lucky to get to go to a school like this,” Faith said, a little too quickly. She indicated the carefully tended flowerbeds lining the path, and the landscaped woods beyond. I had to admit, it was all very pretty. Also, unspeakably girly. I could already feel my testosterone draining away. “It’s so beautiful here, don’t you think?”

I edged a little closer, trying to keep up my smile while also throwing in a hint of smolder. My face was starting to ache. “Yes, I do.”

“Some of the buildings we use for classrooms are hundreds of years old,” Faith said, in the bright, brittle tones of someone determinedly paddling against a conversational undertow. She lengthened her stride, like a tour guide on a tight schedule. “Look, there’s the main school building. It has many unique architectural features.” I had a horrible feeling that Faith was about to start listing them all. Given that the monstrosity rising in front of us sported everything from Gothic gargoyles to a sort of bonsai skyscraper, she could probably keep going for hours. “It started as a chapel, though of course it’s been extended a lot since then. St. Mary’s used to be a convent, you know.”

I was beginning to feel like it still was one. Faith wasn’t looking at me at all. Time to deploy the big guns. “I know a lot of things, Faith Jones. Especially about you.”

That got her attention. She stopped dead, swiveling to face me. “What do you mean?”

Going for broke, I reached for her hand, gazing deep into her astonished blue eyes as I lifted it to my lips. “I mean that you’re the reason I’m here.”

This was absolutely true. School brochure, page three, full-page picture: “After a hard day’s work, nothing beats a swim in our beautiful outdoor pool!” — Faith Jones. The photographer had captured her rising from the water with her head thrown back and water streaming from her hair, looking like some sort of classic sea-goddess. In a red bikini.

The instant I’d seen that picture, I’d known this was the school for me. And now all my research in the romance section of the library was about to pay off big time. All the wariness had vanished from Faith’s face, chased away by incredulous, breathless hope. Her fingers tightened on mine as my lips brushed the back of her hand-

“Ah, Mr. Angelos,” the Headmistress said from right behind me. “I see you’ve introduced yourself to my daughter.”

Daughter?

About Helen Keeble

Helen Keeble is not, and never has been, a vampire. She has however been a teenager. She grew up partly in America and partly in England, which has left her with an unidentifiable accent and a fondness for peanut butter crackers washed down with a nice cup of tea. She now lives in West Sussex, England, with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a variable number of fish. To the best of her knowledge, none of the fish are undead.

Her first novel, a YA vampire comedy called FANG GIRL, is out 11th Sept 2012, from HarperTeen.


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