Book Blitz + Giveaway: Living Again by LL Collins

21 de diciembre de 2013

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Book title: Living Again
Author: L.L. Collins

Kayley Carson thought she had it all...married to the love of her life, a great job, and a baby on the way. Then one day, her life changes forever when she loses her husband in a tragic accident. No longer sure how to navigate life after her enormous loss, Kayley clings to her newborn baby, her family, and her friends to keep herself living.

When she meets someone that challenges her belief that she's better off alone, she has to decide if she is capable of letting him in after swearing she was never going to love anyone the same way again.

She's not the only one with a painful past. He is struggling with trust issues after a previous relationship went horribly wrong. After a terrible misunderstanding brings out both of their insecurities, will the painful memories of the past keep them both from living again?

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Kayley took a deep breath and pushed open the door, not ready for what she was about to see but needing to see with her own eyes that her Alex was not there, not coming back. She pushed the door shut behind her, not allowing her eyes to travel the room to find him. She could see the bed out of the corner of her eye and knew he was there, but she wasn’t ready to look. She leaned against the door, breathing heavily. What was she thinking? She couldn’t see him like this. 
Just like that, she felt him. She felt Alex near her, and her knees almost buckled. She couldn’t explain why she felt that way, could never tell anyone why she thought he was there, but she felt his presence like she felt her own. He was part of her soul; maybe that is why she thought she could feel him here, in this room. She slid down the door and sat on the floor, her chin resting on her knees. She now could see the end of the bed and Alex’s feet sticking up under the covers. She stared at them for what seemed like an eternity, trying to get the courage to stand up and see him for the last time. 
Finally, she slowly got up off of the floor. Still averting her eyes, she headed towards the bed that held the love of her life. Her breath came in shallow spurts as she tried to will herself to look at him. Her peripheral vision told her that he was laying there with his arms to his sides and the blanket pulled up to his broad chest. Kayley closed her eyes and stepped closer to the bed, reaching her hands out to grip the railing of the bed so she didn’t run into it. When her hands made contact with the cold metal rails, she sucked her breath in. Open your eyes, she willed herself. Kayley knew that opening them and looking at Alex was a life altering moment. She would never again be the same. She cracked her eyes open, his face coming into view. She willed herself to open her eyes the rest of the way, and when she finally did, she locked her eyes on Alex’s handsome face. He looked- perfect. Peaceful. There was bruising and scrapes on his face, neck, and collarbone, and his head was wrapped in gauze from his surgery, but it was him. Alex. He was laying here just like he was sleeping. His full lips were red, his dark eyelashes fanned across his cheeks. She scanned his broad shoulders and muscular chest and stomach, covered by the blanket but she knew his body like her own. She reached her hand out and touched his hand, briefly, then pulled back, shocked. How could he feel like her Alex, but not be there anymore? She stared at his left hand where the imprint was there of his wedding band, but the jewelry itself wasn’t there anymore. A sob escaped her lips as she realized why- they wouldn’t leave a wedding ring on someone who wasn’t alive anymore. 
Kayley’s body shook as her eyes travelled back to Alex’s beautiful face, the face that she had loved for so long now, she could hardly remember a time in her life without him. That face had kissed her so many times, smiled at her, loved her. She reached her hand out again and caressed his face, his lips, his eyes, his beautiful cheekbones. She leaned her face over him and she swore she could still smell the aftershave that he wore and she loved so much. Tears dripped from her eyes onto his face. She wiped them gently away. She leaned down and kissed his lips one more time. They felt just like him, just like home. Her body shuddered as she rested her forehead on his for one last time.
“Alex,” she whispered. “Why, Alex? Why did they take you away from me? It’s not fair, Alex. It’s not fair! You just look like you are sleeping. Wake up, Alex! Wake up!”

Dream Cast:
Kayley-- Kate Bosworth

Ben- Luke Guldan

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Jason Mraz- I Won’t Give Up
Jason Mraz- Lucky
Hunter Hayes- Wanted
Hunter Hayes- Cry With You
Florida Georgia Line- Stay
Maroon 5- Sad
Phillip Phillips- Gone, Gone, Gone
Labrinth- Beneath Your Beautiful
Brad Paisley- Then
Blake Shelton- God Gave Me You
Blake Shelton- Mine Would Be You
Kelly Clarkson- Standing In Front of You
Tim McGraw- My Little Girl
Tim McGraw/ Faith Hill- It’s Your Love
Faith Hill- There You’ll Be
Rascal Flatts- What Hurts the Most
Rascal Flatts- Bless the Broken Road
Justin Timberlake- Mirror
Heartland- I Loved Her First
Lady Antebellum- Need You Now
Lady Antebellum- Ready to Love Again
Lady Antebellum- As You Turn Away
Dave Matthews Band- You and Me
Celine Dion- Alone
David Guetta & Usher- Without You
Daughtry- Start of Something Good
Adele- One and Only
Garden State- Let Go
Jason Derulo- Marry Me

Chantel Kreviazuk- Feels Like Home


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Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Delirious by Suzannah Daniels


Readers fell in love with Stone and Dara’s story in DANGEROUS, and their romance continued in DEVIOUS. DELIRIOUS is the third and final book of their love story. Its anticipated release date is January 2014.

After a long engagement, Stone and Dara desperately want to be wed. But a lot can happen in four years.

People come. People go. People change.

When their commitment to each other is put to the test, they will have to decide where their loyalties lie.


Suzannah Daniels has had an affinity for words for as long as she can remember. She grew up in North Georgia with four brothers, so she learned at an early age to admire snakes and motorcycles. When she wasn't pestering her brothers, she could usually be found reading or writing.

She has an Associates Degree in Electrical Engineering, but her passion is writing.

She is the author of Viking's Embrace, a historical romance, and Ghostly Encounter, Book One of her Ghostly series (young adult paranormal romance).

Currently, she lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband and her teenage daughter. Her son lives nearby. The family pets include a Lab mix, a Basset Hound, a Shih Tzu, and a sweet, little kitty.

She loves to hear from her readers. Her email address is


Book blitz + Giveaway: Insanity by Cameron Jace

Insanity by Cameron Jace
Publication date: December 20th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.


Excerpt from chapter 1

The writing on the wall says it's January 14th. I am not sure what year. I haven't been sure of many things lately, but I’m wondering if it’s my handwriting I’m looking at.
There is an strange key drawn underneath the date. It's carved with a sharp object, probably a broken mirror. I couldn’t have written this. I'm terrified of mirrors. They love to call it Catoptrophobia around here.
Unlike regular patients in the asylum, my room is windowless, stripped down to a single mattress in the middle, a sink, and bucket for peeing--or puking--when necessary. The tiles on the floor are black-and-white squares, like a chessboard. I never step on black. Always white. Again, I'm not sure why.
The walls are smeared with a greasy pale green everywhere. I wonder if it's the previous patient's brains spattered all over from shock therapy. In the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum, politely known as the Warneford hospital, the doctors have a sweet spot for shock therapy. They love watching patients with bulging eyes and shivering limbs begging for relief from the electricity. It makes me question who is really mad in here.
It's been a while since I was sent to shock therapy myself. Dr. Tom Truckle, my supervising physician, said I don't need it anymore, particularly after I stopped mentioning Wonderland. He told me that I used to talk about it all the time; a dangerous place I claim I have been whisked away to when my elder sister lost me at the age of seven.
Truth is, I don't remember this Wonderland they are talking about. I don't even know why I am here. My oldest vivid memory is from a week ago. Before that, it's all a purple haze.
I have only one friend in this asylum. It's not a doctor or a nurse. And it's not a human. It doesn't hate, envy, or point a finger at you. My friend is an orange flower I keep in a pot; a Tiger Lily I can't live without. I keep it safe next to a small crack in the wall where a single sun ray sneaks through for only ten minutes a day. It might not be enough light to grow a flower, but my Tiger Lily is a tough girl.
Each day, I save half of the water they give me for my flower. As for me, better thirsty than mad.
My orange flower is also my personal rain check for my sanity. If I talk to her and she doesn't reply, I know I am not hallucinating. If it talks back to me, all kinds of nonsense starts to happen. Insanity prevails. There must be a reason why I am here. It doesn’t mean I will easily give in to such a fate.
"Alice Pleasance Wonder. Are you ready?" the nurse knocks with her electric prod on my steel door. Her name is Waltraud Wagner. She is German. Everything she says sounds like a threat and smells like smoke. My fellow mad people say she is a Nazi; that she used to kill her own patients back in Germany. "Get avay vrom za dor. I an coming in," she demands.
Listening to the rattling of her large keychain, my heart pounds in my chest. The turn of the key makes me want to swallow. When the door opens, all I can think of is choking her before she begins to hurt me. Sadly, her neck is too thick for my nimble hands. I stare at her almost-square figure for a moment. Everything about her is four sizes too big, all except her feet, which are as small as mine. My sympathies, little feet.
"Time for your daily ten-minute break," she approaches me with a straitjacket, a devilish grin on her face. I never get out. My ward is underground, and I take my break in another empty ward upstairs, where patients love to play soccer with a hedgehog’s head.
A big muscled warden stands behind Watlraud. Thomas Ogier. He is bald, has an angry-red face and a silver tooth he likes to flash whenever he sees me. His biceps are the size of my head. I have a hard time believing he has ever been a 4-pound baby.
"Slide your arms into the jacket," Waltraud demands in her German accent, a cigarette puckered between her lips. "Slow and easy, Alice," she nods at warden Ogier, in case I misbehave.
I comply obediently and stretch out my arms for her to do whatever she wants. Waltraud twists my right arm slightly and checks the tattoo on my arm. It’s the only tattoo I have. It’s a handwritten sentence that looks like a thin arm band from afar. Waltraud feels the need to read it allowed, “’I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.’” I was told I have written it myself while still believing in Wonderland. “That Alice in Wonderland has really messed with your head.” She puffs smoke into my face as she mocks me.
The tattoo and Waltraud’s mocking is the least of my concerns right now. I let her tie me, and while she does, I close my eyes. I imagine I am a sixteenth century princess, some kind of a lucky Cinderella, being squeezed into a corset by my chain smoking servant in a fairy tale castle above ground, just about to go meet my Prince Charming. Such imagery always helps me breathe. I once heard that it was hope that saves the day, not sanity. I need to cool down before I begin my grand escape.


Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters      I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV - it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales.      I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.

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Fallen by Julie Morgan

20 de diciembre de 2013

Lisa Adams wants what every other woman wants: The perfect job. The perfect home. The perfect guy. When she receives the opportunity of a lifetime, Lisa has no idea what she’s actually signed up for. Her boss, who is tall, dark and incredibly sexy, starts making advances towards her and she’s having a hard time telling him no. Lisa begins seeing things that are scaring the Hell out of her. Nightmares are leaving her frightened.

Then there’s this new guy that’s come into her life. He brings a new light into the darkness that threatens to claim Lisa. He’s mysterious, heartwarming and kind. Not to mention the most beautiful man she’s ever met. But something with him seems to be off.

Faced with love, seduction, sacrifice and deceit, Lisa will find herself being pulled in two directions; one pursues her to claim her soul and the other will sacrifice everything to save her.

Walking towards the bathroom she moves between people as the music continues to beat against her body. Her eyes glance over to the dark corner again. A young couple slip into the empty seats as Lisa turns her head back towards the bathroom. Grasping the door handle, she pulls it open and steps inside. As the door closes behind her, the music is muffled to a bare minimum. The bathroom is a bright contrast to the dark club. The lights are bright and white walls are trimmed in black with black floral and paisley shapes. The bright lights reflect every imperfection as the women stand before the mirrors adjusting their makeup and outfits.

All the stalls are closed and the noise level is loud. Crossing her arms over her waist she stands and waits her turn. A short, slender brunette girl turns to look at Lisa with a smile, "nice dress." Lisa smiles, "thank you." The brunette makes her way out of the bathroom then pushes the door open, allowing the music to fill in the area just before it closes and cuts it off again. "Oh this is my jam!" screams a voice. A few of the girls push their way out of the bathroom as the music fills again, just before it's muffled once more.

"Finally." One of the stalls open and Lisa ventures forward, stepping inside and closing the door. Lisa thinks of the red eyes she thought she saw at the table just outside the door. "Maybe I didn't see anything," she tells herself.

Using the toilet, sounds of the girls inside the bathroom begin to die out. Quickly, they all begin to leave as the sounds of the music fades in and out a few times before Lisa is left alone in the bathroom. Finishing up, she raises a foot to flush the toilet.

A smell touches Lisa’s nose, something that smells like sulfur. Wrinkling her nose, the smell reminds her of the sulfur springs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Hearing a growl, Lisa freezes in place and her heart skips a beat. The smell of the pungent sulfur grows stronger as she

hears the growl again. But this time, it's deeper and closer. Panicking, she stands there frozen, unsure of what to do.

On the other side of the door, a creature steps away from the wall. The image resembles a human shaped bubble; the clear substance begins to solidify. The figure begins to shift in color to a tall, hooded man. The hood is pulled down enough to cover his features, providing a shadow over his face. He snarls as he stretches his arms out, cracking his neck.

Feeling a force like a wind blow through the bathroom, the first stall door slams open. His low voice growls, "Come out, come out, wherever you are.” Lisa gasps. “I know you are in here." He sniffs the air then snarls. "I can smell you." His voice is dark, sadistic. Tones of growls and struggled breathing fill the air. If fear were a language, he was the creator.

Lisa begins to shake. Not knowing what else to do, she pulls the pumps off of her feet, then steps barefoot upon the toilet seat to hide herself. Looking up, she sees a vent in the next stall, not that it would help her escape. Looking back down, her heart begins beating faster as panic rises in her chest.

She feels the wind again as the next stall slams open. Tears begin to threaten her eyes. Swiping at her eyes, Lisa dares to peek over the top of the stall to see a black hood covering the man's head. He's tall and carries a thick build. She can see part of his chest exposed. His tan skin and toned chest is thick with muscles and dark chest hair. "Lisa,” he hisses on the s as a serpent's tongue slips through his lips, tasting her presence in the air. “I know you're in here. Come on out.” He chuckles darkly, the sound low and almost hypnotic. “Let’s play."

Lisa places a hand over her mouth to keep herself from screaming. Her stall is next. Her heart is beating so fast, she has no idea what she can or will do. Suddenly, a warmth engulfs her. Another hand covers over her mouth and muffles her scream. An arm wraps tight around her

waist, gripping her against his body. Her back pressing against a tall body, panic sets in as Lisa begins to flail.


This book its just OMG i cant even describe how much i enjoyed it and i have to say i normaly DONT read paranormal books because sometimes this kind of books disappoint me but  also i have to say when i was Reading this book i inmediatly love it.
the story was well written and the carácter well developed
this book isnt just one genre, i mean this book has EVERYTHING wich is so great i never read a book like this, it keep me guessing and saying 'omg whats going to happen next' or 'Jesús i cant believe this just happened', there were not a lot of sex scenes but the ones there were HOT, steamy and hot I LOVE IT!
i recommend this book is so easy to read!!
you'll love it! how many books do you know that mix steamy romance with a battle between good and evil!?
the book #2 its definitly in my wishlist!!:D
thankyou to Julie Morgan who provide me this arc in Exchange for an honest review.

Author Bio:
Hailing from Burleson, Texas and growing up in the country with big tractors and bon fire parties, I would day dream about far off lands, hoping to one day get inside their worlds.

Always having a love of books and paranormal stories, I finally took the leap to begin writing with encouragement from my husband. Having worked in IT my entire career and finding my way to Central Florida, I spend free time writing new stories, putting together puzzles with my daughter or reading her children's stories.

I am involved in Autism research and Autism awareness. To find out more how you can help, check out:

Guest Post
A little about me.

I grew up on a farm in Texas. We lived out in the country on a LARGE plot of land about an acre, if I recall correctly. We had all sorts of vegetables. My father grew a grape vine and a few fruit trees then gave his hand at making wine. Well he added too much sugar and he ended up making a very strong brandy, that to this day, one sip will knock you on your booty! LOL! It's going on 30 years of being aged so the older, the stronger!
Soon after high school I relocated to Denver, Co and went to college, receiving my degree in computer science. I've been in IT ever since. I moved from Denver, back to Texas for about a year, then traveled the mid-west, to the north-east then settled down in Central Florida after meeting my husband. We'll be married 9 years come February. We have a little girl together. She's the light in our dark world.

What inspired you to write.
I used to always keep a journal of thoughts and would sometimes create little short stories of creatures an animals that didn't exist. When I watched The Lost Boys for the first time, I discovered the paranormal genre and never went back! I love everything there is about this genre; from vampires to werewolves, to angels and demons. Even stuff in between. My favorite author to read in this genre is definitely Charlene Harris! I'm a HUGE fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books and wrote fan fiction from True Blood for 3-4 years.
One day, the story of Fallen came to mind and I wanted to bring my characters to life. I plotted out the story and two months later, I had my book!

I also plan to write a story in sci-fi around war, human mutations and the miltiary. I also have a new adult story lined up to write. Paranormal is definitely my go to genre, but I enjoy just about anything honestly. My favorite YA author is probably Jillian Dodd. Favorite New Adult is AL Jackson. Favorite erotica by far is Kendall Grey!


Book Blitz + Giveaway: Break my Fall by JT Cameron

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When Leah’s ex-boyfriend Kevin betrays her in a horrifically public way, she leaves town to spend her last summer of college in a place where no one knows who she is, what happened to her, and what she did to make herself so vulnerable. All she wants is a little peace of mind and some good surfing so she can regroup before returning for her senior year. After his own tragedy a few years ago, Drew developed an entirely new and unique outlook on life and became a risk-taker, daring and dangerous, everything Leah wanted to avoid. But a chance encounter forces her to let Drew into her life, little by little, secret by secret. He’s smart, funny, persistent, hot, and makes money in a rather unconventional way. They share a mutual fascination and attraction, until her past with Kevin complicates her present with Drew, making Leah question her future. Just as her life seems to be spinning out of control, Leah learns that sometimes you save someone by letting them save you. (New Adult romance)


 Drew put his hat on and pulled it down just enough to where I could still see his eyes. He finally answered, and it wasn’t what I expected at all. “You’re the first girl I’ve ever seen surfing around here. I mean really surfing, not just messing around. That interested me. That’s why I talked to you those times. Because you were different. Like me. You’re a risk-taker, but something’s holding you back. Something happened to you. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you mostly keep to yourself. That’s why you have those walls up.” I felt my eyes narrowing in anger. I didn’t like this at all. Everything he was saying was true. And it pissed me off. I slid off the seat and stood. “I have to go.” I started walking toward the door and I had just picked up my surfboard when he said, “Leah, wait. I’m sorry.” I turned around. He got up and moved toward me. “It’s raining like crazy, it’s still windy. At least let me drive you home. I looked out the window and saw that it was still quite blustery. Walking home with this surfboard wouldn’t have been much fun. And it was only a short distance, which meant I wouldn’t have to put up with him for long. I pushed the door open and started to walk out. “Okay. But stop psychoanalyzing me.” He held the door open for me. “Done.”

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Book: Break My Fall Author: J.T. Cameron Genre: New Adult


Book Blitz: Monsters in the Dark by Pepper Winters

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We are thrilled to present to you International Best Selling Author Pepper Winters and the Monsters in the Dark series.
Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1)
Words CAN.NOT describe what a beautiful, emotional, gut-wrenching, soul-searching kind of read Tears of Tess was for me. ~ Jacqueline's Reads
“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect. Then it all changed. I was sold.” Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility. For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world. But lusty paradise is shattered. Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror. Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold. Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?  
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Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2)
Wrenching,emotional,terrifying and triumphant...a dark and suspenseful page turner! ~Jona, Goodreads
I have simply fallen in love with these characters, and their beautifully tragic story. ~Lauren, Goodreads
“All my life, I battled with the knowledge I was twisted… fucked up to want something so deliciously dark—wrong on so many levels. But then slave fifty-eight entered my world. Hissing, fighting, with a core of iron, she showed me an existence where two wrongs make a right." Tess is Q’s completely. Q is Tess’s irrevocably. But now, they must learn the boundaries of their unconventional relationship, while Tess seeks vengeance on the men who sold her. Q made a blood-oath to deliver their corpses at Tess’s feet, and that’s just what he’ll do. He may be a monster, but he’s Tess’s monster  
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Coming Soon in early 2014 - The conclusion to Quincy and Tess' Story
Twisted Together (Monsters in the Dark #3)
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“After battling through hell, I brought my esclave back from the brink of ruin. I sacrificed everything—my heart, my mind, my very desires to bring her back to life. And for a while, I thought it broke me, that I’d never be the same. But slowly the beast is growing bolder, and it’s finally time to show Tess how beautiful the dark can be.” Q gave everything to bring Tess back. In return, he expects nothing less. Tess may have leashed and tamed him, but he’s still a monster inside.
About the Author
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  Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex. She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. Her debut book Tears of Tess is followed by Quintessentially Q and Twisted Together. You didn’t think Q could stop so soon, did you? Her other two titles, Last Shadow and Broken Chance will be coming soon.  
Connect with Pepper
Blog | Twitter: @pepperwinters | Facebook | Email: | Goodreads

Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Cure by Stephanie Erickson

The Cure by Stephanie Erickson 
Publication date: November 14th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

“One life will make the difference.” Macey Holsinger has been hearing that promise her whole life. But it hasn’t saved anyone yet, not even her little brother.

The disease has claimed countless lives in the last hundred years, and the government is working hard to find a cure through human testing. Testing that has killed nearly as many people as the disease.

At sixteen, Macey has better things to think about than saving lives and submitting to any rule other than her parents’. As a budding artist, she has her whole life ahead of her, at least until she faces her own testing.

Questions plague Macey. Questions that make everyone else nervous. How can death be justified with more death? What’s the point of all this?

Answers evade her until she’s left with only one question: How much will she sacrifice in the name of the cure?


“I gladly sacrifice my life for the good of others. One life will make the difference, 

and that life could be mine. For this reason, I’m devoted to finding the cure.” I said 

the words out loud, but I wasn’t thinking about them. A couple of squirrels chasing 

each other held my attention more securely than the pledge we’d been forced to say 

since kindergarten. By tenth grade, the thing had lost all meaning. 

I sat back down among the rows of desks, still eyeing the squirrels. I folded one 

of my legs under me and let the other one swing. At five foot three, I wasn’t the 

tallest member of my class, but I wasn’t the shortest either. My violet eyes followed 

the dance of the squirrels while I toyed absently with a lock of my jet-black hair. 

My teacher was blabbing about our latest reading assignment, but those dang 

squirrels were so cute I couldn’t focus on her. 


I turned to face her. She was one of the younger members of the faculty, but 

dressed to try and fit in. Her loose-fitting floral print blouse was tucked into her 

high-waisted navy skirt. She stared at me over half-glasses perched at the end of her 

nose. I imagined she referred to them as spectacles and liked to put the end of them 

into her mouth while pondering literary stuff.

“Hmm?” I asked. 

“Care to answer the question?”

I glanced out the window to curse the squirrels, but they were gone. “Could you 

repeat the question?” 

She half-smiled as she leaned against the front of her desk, knowing she’d caught 

me. “Certainly. Why do you think Billy has a stutter?” 

“Oh jeeze, I don’t know. I didn’t understand a single page of this book, Mrs. 

Whitehead.” A few snickers escaped from some of my classmates. “Hey, guys, don’t 

throw me under the bus here! I couldn’t have been the only one who didn’t get 

anything from this!” A few faces turned to Mrs. Whitehead and nodded. “Look, I 

know this was the shortest thing we’ve read so far, but it was all moon language 

to me. Quite frankly, I hated it and think it was a waste of time.” I nodded to 

accentuate my point. 

A couple of kids clapped, but soon it died down under Mrs. Whitehead’s 

unceasing gaze. The bitter taste of regret worked its way to the back of my throat. 

It burned a little like a vurp. 

Mrs. Whitehead frowned. “Fair enough. Let’s go over it, then, and maybe you’ll 

get more out of it.” 

Even after talking about it for the next hour, I still didn’t get it. I mean, Mrs. 

Whitehead seemed to find Billy Budd very enlightening, and if all that was in there, 

great. I didn’t see it. Sometimes I wondered if people overanalyzed a book. Maybe 

the writer didn’t really mean all that stuff, and you saw something that wasn’t meant 

to be there, ya know? In this case we’d never know. Melville had been dead over 

two hundred years, so asking him wasn’t really an option. 

When the bell rang, I gathered my things quickly, hoping to escape the classroom 

without confrontation. With her gaze burning a hole in the back of my head, I kept 

my eyes glued to the floor. I was pretty sure her spectacles magnified her stare, 

the way the sun’s heat is more intense through a magnifying glass. I reached up to 

scratch my scalp, making sure she hadn’t given me a bald spot. I rounded the front 

row of desks and, by some miracle, made it out into the hall where I disappeared 

among the sea of bodies. 

Once I was a safe distance from Mrs. Whitehead’s room, I leaned against a row 

of lockers. One of these days you should really learn to hold your tongue, I thought. I 

took a deep breath, checked the top of my head one more time, and continued on to 

my next class: History.


Let's see. What do you want to know about me? I love apocalypse movies like 2012 (which is probably why my first book is sort of apocalyptic), I love to read, I love my fur babies, my husband and my family.

I'm a graphic designer by trade, but hoping to some day be able to write full time.

Dan, my husband, and I are brand new parents and loving life!

As far as writing goes, The Blackout was my first published novel, but I've been writing for quite awhile. I won honorable mention in the 72nd Annual Writer's Digest Competition for a short story junior year of college, so that was...awhile ago anyway. Although I published a scholarly paper senior year, fiction writing has always been my passion. Can't wait to see what's next!

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