Fall Into Fantasy Giveaway 2014 #FIFG14 #giveaway

 Hey everyone!

 It’s  time for the Fall Into Fantasy Blog Hop (#FIFG14) from Oct. 17th-31st.

FIFG large

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Join me and tons of great authors as we welcome the new season with a chance to win some amazing reads!

Including … 

A signed paperback copy of Crux

Crux

Blurb:

She should have run. Now, she’ll have to fight. Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she’s surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host and she grabs some with the idea she’ll be able to buy dinner that night. In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone’s viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich and very out of her league Grey Mathews wants to save her. Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them until she realizes fate didn’t bring them all together. Her heritage did. Now, with only twenty-one days left, she’s got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she’s only just met.

Links: 

Follow me on Titter here: @JulieAReece

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/author.julieareece

 

To Enter… 

Just click below and enter the Rafflecopter giveaways!

FALL INTO FANTASY BLOG HOP RAFFLECOPTERS

 

Leave a favorite  book recommendation in the comments (w/your email)

for a chance to win one of 5 signed Crux bookmarks. :)

Crux-Bookmark-Front-web

You can also win great author SWAG from:

Ash Krafton
Jami Gray
Ronesa Avila
Sharon Buchbinder
M Pax
Debbie Christiana

So cool.

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!!!

imagesCAE20ZK8


WordPress Targeting Authors

Originally posted on Laney McMann:

Hi you guys,

So recently, a lot of writer, author, blogger, and book reviewers have had problems with WordPress shutting their blogs down. Per our terms of agreement, apparently we aren’t allowed to post third-party links (even though WP gives us that option).

This means, as an author, if I link to my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Goodreads, etc … I may be seen as breeching this agreement.

It also means that if I promote a fellow author, which I do often, and include links to their books, it might be seen as a violation.

If I post music videos (something else I do A LOT), I might be breaking contract.

Other book review blogs were shut down over the weekend for linking to external sites like Goodreads.

Several of them.

As with some of my fellow authors, I’m letting you all know this is happening. If you…

View original 298 more words


5th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is here!

So … Boo!

 

Spooktacular Hop

 

My Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Open Internationally

Ends 10/31/14

 

amazon paypal

This year 250+ bloggers are each giving away a prize valued at $10 or more!!  

You’ll have 17 full days to enter all the giveaways.

 

This is such a fun Hop. I love this giveaway and did it last year.

And now for my prizes …

I know, I know, this isn’t horror. 

Still, it’s a great read that I hope you’ll enjoy!

One winner will receive both … 

One paperback copy of:

Looking for Alaska

Blurb:

 Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

And …

 

One ebook copy of:

Crux

Blurb:

She should have run. Now, she’ll have to fight. Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she’s surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host and she grabs some with the idea she’ll be able to buy dinner that night. In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone’s viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich and very out of her league Grey Mathews wants to save her. Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them until she realizes fate didn’t bring them all together. Her heritage did. Now, with only twenty-one days left, she’s got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she’s only just met.

To enter:

I won’t make you jump through ten hoops to enter. :)

Simply leave a comment below about what you’re thankful for this fall. That’s it!

And remember to leave your name and  email address, so I can contact you if you win.

A winner will be chosen at random.

He/She will have 48 hours to answer their email or another winner will be chosen.

Easy breezy.

Good Luck! 

Follow me here: @JulieAReece

or here: https://www.facebook.com/author.julieareece

Check out these other great blogs participating!

Link:

http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=241072

Or I’ve listed them here: 


M9B Friday Reveal: Chapter One of The Night House by Rachel Tafoya and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the first chapter for

The Night House by Rachel Tafoya

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Nighthouse-cover

Bianca St. Germain works at a Night House, a place where vampires like the aristocratic Jeremiah Archer, pay to feed on humans, and she doesn’t much care what others think of her. The money is good, and at least there, she’s safe. Bianca also doesn’t care that the Night House is killing her. All she cares about is: nauth, the highly addictive poison in vampire bites that brings a euphoria like no drug ever could.

But when Bianca meets James, a reclusive empath who feels everything she does, for the first time, she considers a life outside of the Night House and a someone worth living for. But Jeremiah has decided to keep Bianca for himself; he won’t allow her to walk away.

As she allows her feelings for James to grow, she struggles to contain nauth’s strong hold on her life. If they are to have a future, James must make her see what she’s worth, what she means to him, before Jeremiah and nauth claim her for good.

add to goodreads

Title: THE NIGHT HOUSE
Publication date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Rachel Tafoya

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

Enjoy Chapter One! Happy Reading!

The Night House
Rachel Tafoya

 

Bianca

It’s been one day since I last had nauth.
A chill is starting to set into my bones. As some giant carelessly spills orange and red over the sky, I hurry back to the Night House. This tiny black pillowcase that I call a dress is tighter than it should be, and I’m in heels that force me to walk on my toes. I never took ballet, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been walking on pointe since I came to Philly.
When I reach the building, the sun is long gone. My boss, Finn, waits behind the black double doors. I can’t see him, but I can feel him—or maybe I’m just used to his grimace greeting me. My shoes click against the stone steps. I love that sound. Sometimes I spend my days just listening to everyone walk by. The click, thud and slap of shoes are the real soundtrack of the city.
But the Night House is quiet.
Finn opens the door for me with a scowl. He could be beautiful like the others, if he tried, but he is the laziest vampire I have ever met.
“Bianca St. Germain.” His voice is bored, as usual. “You’re late.”
“Figured you’d rather I take my time than break my ankle in these shoes.” I breeze past him. The chilly night air follows me in, pawing at my back like a neglected pet.
“I can fix ankles,” Finn is still facing the door like I haven’t moved. “Your pitiful lack of manners, however … ”
I shrug him off. “It’s a couple of minutes, cut me some slack.”
“This isn’t high school, Bianca. You’re not a teenager when you’re in here.”
“Sorry, I’ll start investing in stocks or something. That’s what old people do, right?”
He huffs in my direction as I feel my way around the darkness. The whole place is pitch black until the thin hallway forks. To my left, pale blue lights beckon the customers. I go right, through the heavy curtain that leads to the girls’ rooms. Vampires with their night vision don’t need guidance, but I’m fairly certain every girl has tripped at least once down here.
The doors are nearly invisible except for the strips of space at the bottom where they don’t quite reach the floor. Those spaces cast light on my feet as I teeter past on these impossible heels. They’re new, and I’m still breaking them in, but I’ve never felt this tall before.
I hear scuffling and shifting behind those doors. The other girls hide in their rooms all day. They don’t understand why I still crave the sunlight, why I don’t make my room my little home and never leave until I’m called. That’s what Finn wants me to do, what the girls think I should do, but I would rather sleep on the cracked unyielding sidewalks of Philly than in the Night House. I would rather be homeless than call this place home.
When I find my room, I turn the knob and bump my hip into it. It opens with a groan. My door has been broken for at least three months. Finn keeps saying he’ll fix it, but he couldn’t care less and we both know it. Still, I keep bugging him. I can’t give up that easily.
My room is like two closets that had the walls knocked out between them. A bed is nestled in the corner. Most of my important stuff is underneath there, like sketchbooks, novels and accessories to hide my scars. One wall is dominated by a large mirror with huge lights, like an actress might have for her dressing room. Though I’m sure an actress would have working lights. I slump into the folding chair and rest my fish-netted legs on the dresser. Makeup and various beauty tools—eyeliner, lipstick, blush—lay scattered over it. This is the only time I can bear to look at myself. Right before I become another person.
I start with the lips. Blood red, the way they like it. Then I frame my eyes in black so that the green pops. I don’t need to do anything to appear pale. That one comes naturally. But I smooth my face with lotion and foundation, and then add rosy cheeks. When I unravel my scarf, I have to close my eyes. That way, when I open them, I can pretend it’s someone else’s neck covered with scars. Some crazy girl with her makeup on. The scars are nearly invisible, thanks to Finn and his healing blood, but I can still see clumps of white scar tissue, just a shade paler than my skin. I hate not being able to cover my scars with anything—makeup doesn’t taste good.
When I am done with makeup, I change out of my dress and tights and heels and put on an awful old corset. Each girl has at least one old-fashioned outfit because sometimes vampires prefer to live in the old days. We all have different specialties. My friend Alex is all about the 1950s. I got stuck in the 19th century.
Tonight, I have an appointment with Jeremiah, and he’s very old and very proper but he’s not above throwing a tantrum if I’m not perfectly in period. Jeremiah is a regular here. For a while, he used to switch between the girls until I showed up. He’s something of a collector, and when he found out I had AB negative, he became my regular. Apparently AB neg means something, or that’s what Finn told me anyway. It’s tricky having the same guy come by all the time because you start to know each other. That doesn’t make it easier. I wish they were all strangers. Unfortunately, I know Jeremiah very well.
So I put on this musty old dress with frills and lace and after it’s on, I am a dusty layer cake. I hate Jeremiah, but he pays nicely so I always get a tip from him. That means a new sketchbook, or maybe I’ll treat myself to a cupcake.
Finn knocks on my door even though it’s open. “Jeremiah is here.”
I stifle a groan and meet his gaze.
He gives me a once over. “Fix your hair.”
“One hundred strokes, right?”
“He’s in the Fire Room.” Finn leaves before I can say anything else.
I pick up my paddle brush and make my hair as flouncy as I can, but it’s thick and heavy and sits the same way no matter what I do to it. It could take hours to make my hair salon styled. Besides, it’s fine the way it is. Maybe not 1800s fine, but Jeremiah will have to deal. It’s not my hair he comes for, anyway.
I step out of my room, and I feel like I walked out of Sense and Sensibility. I like Jane Austen. She writes happy endings.
I hate Jeremiah.
The hallway takes me past all the doors which start to open, like night-blooming flowers. Alex flashes a smile. Her hair is full of curlers. Jessie tries to zip up her dress by herself even though we all know she can’t. Yvonne runs between her room and Jordan’s, trying to decide which shoes to wear. Both pairs are ugly.
I take the back way into the lounge, away from the front doors. One of Finn’s guys waits by the entrance. He is even less animated than Finn, which is hard to accomplish. He’s probably well paid with some name like Tank or Gunn. We both pretend this isn’t awkward, and he lets me through.
Yet another hallway lies ahead. Another thick set of curtains separates the lounge from the rooms, but I can see a bit of the blue lights on the other side. There, one of the luckier girls gets to pretend she isn’t vamp food in order to be the hostess, taking names. There, vampires sit idly on a long winding couch, tapping their feet, waiting their turn, while they ignore their thirst. There, Finn handles all the customers and tells them to be patient while the girls get ready. Then we can sneak into the rooms and appear like we’ve been there all along. We’ll ask sweetly, “What took you so long?” and they’ll blame Finn, but they’ll thank him later.
Inside the Fire Room, creatively named for being the only room with a fireplace, is where it starts. My hunger. It is different from the vamps’. It is a void, embedded deep in my veins, which can never be filled.
Nauth.
The word echoes in my head and sends chills down my spine.
I want it.
I want it now.
But I must be patient and distract myself by taking in the decorations in the Fire Room. It really seems like it was transported straight from some Victorian’s living room. From the stiff baroque curtains and the velvet couch, to the unused silverware sitting on the dark wooden table, I blend right in.
This is one big show for the vampires. The whole Night House feels like a movie set. I am an actress. Finn directs us. Still, I know it’s real. So I face the fire and let it warm my skin as I wait for everything to get too close.

 

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Rachel Tafoya

Rachel Tafoya studied creative writing while at Solebury School and was published in their student run literary magazine, SLAM. She attended a writing program for teens at both Susquehanna University and Denison University, and the Experimental Writing for Teens class and Novels for Young Writers program, both run by NY Times bestselling author, Jonathan Maberry. Rachel is the daughter crime author Dennis Tafoya.

 

Connect with the Author: Tumbler | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Secret of the Souls Tour and Giveaway! @TerriRochenski @JTaylorPub

 

 Have ya’ll seen this series yet?

(And don’t forget the giveaway at the bottom of the post!)



 
 Secret of the Souls, the second and final installment of the Pool of Souls series is finally here!

Yay!!!

Pool of Souls #2
By: Terri Rochenski
Release Date: October 6, 2014
Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing
Target Reader: Adult
Keywords: Fantasy

 Blurb:

Thrust out of their homes by a human High Priest on a vengeful mission, the Natives of Derlund no longer have a place to call their own. One escaped capture, however, and now she, Hyla, is the only one who can save her people.

For, Hyla, though, saving her nation isn’t her ultimate goal—returning to the Pool of Souls is. Becoming its Guardian and preserving their faith is her heart’s desire. The perils of her current journey, though, could leave her unable to fulfill that dream.

To find her way back to the Pool, Hyla must live among dangerous, powerful humans willing to defend the Natives, and must submit herself—her Talents—to them. While her protection is paramount, plots to end Hyla’s life will push her to her physical and emotional limits.

On the edge of sanity, her courage tested, and convictions nearly broken, Hyla’s final test of loyalty to her faith comes with the death of one she could have loved.



Purchase Links:

 

If you haven’t read the first book, now is the perfect time to start.

It’s only .99 from now until October 17th!





Escape.

That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason. 

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on. 

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.

Forever.

Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.




Tour Schedule

GIVEAWAY!!

Grand Prize:  Grand Prize – Signed copies of EotS & SotS, EotS notebook & pen, and SotS mug

Second Prize:  2 nd Prize – Ecopie of EotS & SotS
Enter Rafflecopter:

A Rafflecopter Giveaway 



No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Terri Rochenski.


Secret of the Souls: Release Day Blast and Giveaway!

For all you fantasy lovers out there, I’ve got a special treat.
And if you haven’t heard of this series, yet, you can start with the first book for only .99! Don’t wait!
Secret of the Souls, the second and final installment of
the Pool of Souls series by Terri Rochenski is now available!


Pool of Souls #2
By: Terri Rochenski
Release Date: October 6, 2014
Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing
Target Reader: Adult
Keywords: Fantasy
Thrust out of their homes by a human High Priest on a vengeful mission, the Natives of Derlund no longer have a place to call their own. One escaped capture, however, and now she, Hyla, is the only one who can save her people.

For, Hyla, though, saving her nation isn’t her ultimate goal—returning to the Pool of Souls is. Becoming its Guardian and preserving their faith is her heart’s desire. The perils of her current journey, though, could leave her unable to fulfill that dream.

To find her way back to the Pool, Hyla must live among dangerous, powerful humans willing to defend the Natives, and must submit herself—her Talents—to them. While her protection is paramount, plots to end Hyla’s life will push her to her physical and emotional limits.

On the edge of sanity, her courage tested, and convictions nearly broken, Hyla’s final test of loyalty to her faith comes with the death of one she could have loved.



Purchase Links:

 

 


~~~oOo~~~



In celebration, Eye of the Soul, Pool of Souls #1, is on sale for only .99 cents from now until October 17th!




Escape. 

That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason. 

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on. 

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.

Forever.

~~~oOo~~~



Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.




Tour Schedule

GIVEAWAY!!

Grand Prize:  Grand Prize – Signed copies of EotS & SotS, EotS notebook & pen, and SotS mug

Second Prize:  2 nd Prize – Ecopie of EotS & SotS


Enter Rafflecopter:


A Rafflecopter Giveaway 



No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Terri Rochenski.


Friday Chapter Reveal: A Murder of Magpies by Sarah Bromley

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the first chapter for

A Murder of Magpies by Sarah Bromley
presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

A-Murder-of-Magpies-Cover

Winter in Black Orchard, Wisconsin, is long and dark, and sixteen-year-old Vayda Silver prays the snow will keep the truth and secrecy of the last two years buried. Hiding from the past with her father and twin brother, Vayda knows the rules: never return to the town of her mother’s murder, and never work a Mind Game where someone might see.

No one can know the toll emotions take on Vayda, how emotion becomes energy in her hands, or how she can’t control the destruction she causes. But it’s not long before her powers can no longer be contained. The truth is dangerously close to being exposed, placing Vayda and her family at risk.
Until someone quiets the chaos inside her.

Unwanted. That’s all Ward Ravenscroft has ever been. To cope, he numbs the pain of rejection by denying himself emotions of any kind. Yet Vayda stirs something in him. He can’t explain the hold she has on him–inspiring him with both hope and fear. He claims not to scare easily, except he doesn’t know what her powers can do. Yet.

Just as Vadya and Ward draw closer, she finds the past isn’t so easily buried. And when it follows the Silvers to Black Orchard, it has murder in mind.

add to goodreads

Title: A Murder of Magpies
Publication date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Sarah Bromley

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

Enjoy Chapter One! Happy Reading!

Chapter One

Vayda

Disaster came as a boy in a Catholic school uniform. That boy was my brother, Jonah.

We’d seen disaster, somehow crawled out from the ruins, and lived. It didn’t just happen, all explosive and bombastic so we knew everything changed. A real disaster began with a spark of fire that rose in the air and snuffed out. When the ash landed, it was still hot enough to burn, and from that ember, everything we knew went up in flames.

It happened before. I had reason to fear it would happen again.

My fingers drummed on the time-scarred armrest of a chair in Monsignor Judd’s office. Someone had etched a cross into the wood five, ten, maybe twenty years ago. A saint’s stare bore down on me from the stained-glass window; no comfort lay in his face, only my guilt for not knowing the saint’s name. Outside the office, Monsignor stood, fingers steepled, while the heating vent blew the draping of his cassock. His ear angled to the young nun whispering with him over the manila folder of Jonah’s permanent record. Curls snaked from her nun’s habit, and her eyes slid to watch me. Dull, dark. Nearly dead.

My hands grew warmer. I forced my breathing to slow. Calm down, Vayda girl. Nothing to get worked up over yet.

Not easy when I was a human magnet for emotion.

Slouching in his chair, Jonah fidgeted with a hole in his blue trousers. I always thought he’d blow our cover someday, but that didn’t mean I was ready for it. A bruise purpled his cheekbone. His heat, a mix of emotion and energy, radiated to further prickle my hands until they were scorching. I needed to cool down, put everything on ice to stabilize Jonah and myself. I exhaled in hope of a cold breath. My twin’s fury was more than I could absorb.

You outdid yourself this time. I pointed the thought to his mind like a laser. Do you honestly think fighting with Marty Pifkin is worth all this trouble?

He avoided eye contact, naturally. That didn’t mean he didn’t listen. Silent to all but me, he answered, Dati’s already gonna read me the riot act. Don’t give me any grief, especially since I was defending you.

Defending me from Marty Pifkin of all people. Let it go. What’s done is done. I didn’t know whether to give my brother a good wallop upside the head like our mom would have or pray we’d skate on by. Keep at it, Jonah, and people will notice what you can do. Throwing a desk without using your hands isn’t exactly wisdom for the ages.

Why don’t you keep that in mind the next time you lose it and break all the light bulbs in the science lab? He swiped a rogue strand of long, dark hair from his face. You lack subtlety and finesse, Sis.

Subtlety. Finesse. Words sixteen-year-old boys knew ohso-much about. I choked on a laugh and lowered my eyes to the ratty, blue Chucks I paired with my Catholic school plaid, wool skirt, and tights. Even if it wasn’t my school uniform, I wore dresses most days. I could move my legs and didn’t feel so caged in.

Brushing away the glass dust on my thighs, I ignored the blood drying on my hands and clasped them together. They were less dangerous that way.

The door to the office lobby opened. The new nun resembled a black dandelion seed as she glided into Monsignor’s office. She was followed by the head priest and my father. The scent of wood dust clung to him. Most parents visiting St. Anthony of Padua High School rolled in wearing suits or golf attire, and then there was Dad with his Fat Tire shirt and varnish-splattered jeans—evidence he’d been working on a restoration when called to the school. Even if the fight between my brother and Marty hadn’t already strained my mental barriers, I still would’ve noticed Dad’s disappointment.

Dad lived by so-called cardinal rules. Looking at Jonah, there was only one rule I thought: There’s a devil on every man’s shoulder, whispering in his ear. Only he decides if he’ll throw salt at the devil or feed him his soul.

“What happened, Magpie?” Dad asked, a Georgia-born drawl buttering his voice as he checked out the cuts on my hand.

“Broken glass, Dati,” I answered.

“You ought to be more mindful, don’t you think?” His question had nothing and everything to do with breaking glass.

Monsignor cleared his throat. “Sorry to have you back in my office so soon, Mr. Silver.”

“Twice in one week is overkill.” Dad stood behind Jonah and me, a hand on each of our shoulders.

“I’ve spoken with our new staff psychologist, Sister Polly Tremblay.” Monsignor introduced the new nun. “She was hired this year after Dr. Fernandez took a position in Madison. Our newest Sister is a licensed practitioner, educator, and bride of Christ.”

Dad raised an eyebrow. “Is she now? That’s all so very impressive, Sister. Do you go by Sister Polly or Sister Tremblay?”

The nun blinked twice, no emotion registering on her face.

“Sister Tremblay. Polly is from my past life.” Monsignor grabbed the manila folder from the nun’s hands and hurried through his words. “Sister Tremblay has acquainted herself with Jonah’s file and feels he may benefit from some sessions with her. If I may be frank, Mr. Silver, your family came to Wisconsin two years ago, but of the people I’ve spoken with, no one really knows you. Certain appearances are important, especially for an institution such as St. Anthony’s. I’m sorry to have to say anything in front of your children, but you must all be aware of the situation I’m in while I’m deciding Jonah’s punishment.”

“You’re a widower running an antiques business,” Sister Tremblay added.

“What’s that got to do with anything?” Dad snapped.

“The adjustment period after moving, especially when grieving, can be prolonged. In that regard, two years isn’t very long at all,” Sister Tremblay answered. “Teenagers often cope by acting out. If you’re as busy as I suspect—”

“I’ve got time for my kids,” Dad argued. “Always.”

The heating vent blasted more hot air into the office. My brother burned with frustration, and my shoulders tightened. I cracked my knuckles, all too aware of how the lights dimmed.

Monsignor Judd let out a sigh. “Sister Tremblay is only suggesting that talking to someone away from family could be good for Jonah.”

There was no “outside the family.” There never was. Hard to make friends and get past the New Kid stigma when we were either cooped up at home or at Dad’s shop under his watch. No wonder our classmates thought we were weird—we were.

The hairs on the back of my neck stiffened. I shifted in my chair for a better view into the lobby where another boy waited to talk with Monsignor. The hair curling near his jaw was the color of liquid cinnamon dashed with espresso, and a wire tethered an iPod to his ears as he held an icepack to his bottom lip.

Jonah’s sort-of friend, Ward.

He averted his eyes from mine.

My hands grew hot while the overhead lights flickered, drawing everyone’s attention to the ceiling. Dad’s grip pumped my shoulder.

Jonah stretched his legs. “I’m not hanging out with no damn shrink. Marty Pifkin’s got everyone wrapped around his finger.”

“Here we go again,” I muttered. “Jonah, stop it.”

“That guy is a creeper, and—”

I glanced to Dad for sympathy. “Marty asked to compare answers on our homework and Jonah lost it.”

“—he was bothering Vayda,” my brother talked over me.

“Guys like that shouldn’t be talking to her. He’s gadje. I didn’t throw the first punch, didn’t ask for Ward’s help. I barely know the kid.”

Monsignor waited until Jonah and I both quieted down.

“What’s gadje?”

Jonah gave Dad a pleading stare. We never let others knowthe meaning of words we’d grown up with, but Dad confessed,

“To some, it means outsider, though you could say we’re the outsiders here.”

Monsignor gave a reluctant nod. “Marty claims Jonahthrew a desk. That’s not behavior that will go unpunished.”

“And the physics lab? Every light was broken.” Sister Tremblay crossed her arms.

I sank into my chair and hid behind my hair. No one could avoid those dull eyes. I wanted out of the office. Now.

The Flickering of the lights grew faster. I shuddered, not cold, but burning up. The poster of a kitten clinging to a clothesline while cheering “Hang in there!” obviously didn’t relate to how fragile my grip was when so many emotions flooded a room. Usually I kept it together with mental barriers to deflect the constant flow of others’ feelings, but so much tension…

“You’re seriously suggesting a couple of kids broke every light bulb just like that?” Dad’s voice rose. He gestured to the palsied lights. “Y’all would be better off hiring an electrician before the school burns down.”

The room skewed left, and my vision blurred, head dizzied. Too hot, cluttered. My hands—I shut my eyes. Monsignor and Sister Tremblay had to be staring, but I couldn’t worry about them.

Energy. Rising.

Crack!

A fracture drove down the length of the fluorescent light above the desk. Sister Tremblay yelped and snatched Jonah’s folder to her chest.

“Hell of a power surge.” Jonah’s black eyes searched for a way into my mind. Not gonna let him in, not this time. He was worried, but nothing was wrong, nothing at all, except that I felt like I could pass out.

“Vayda, go get some fresh air,” Dad ordered. “You’re flushed.”

Monsignor dismissed me, and with the expected curtsey before hoisting my backpack onto my shoulder, I cracked my knuckles one last time to diffuse the energy swelling in my hands. I stepped out of the office, out of the glow of the stained-glass window, and paced near the chairs where Ward waited. Jonah started this whole mess. Marty had done nothing to me—this time. Marty never listened until Jonah made him. Ever since that first fight, Jonah had his anger centered on Marty. Anything Jonah felt, I felt ten times worse. When he was happy, he was very happy, but when he was angry, he was furious.

Mom had been the same way.

“I promise you won’t go belly-up if you hold still.” Ward’s voice was deep, raw honey. His head rested against his chair, his left eye cracked open, watching me.

I gave him a weak smile. I liked his voice.

Ward had been at our school only since Monday, and already the social boneyard where Jonah and I roamed had claimed him. After we transferred in following Christmas break nearly two years ago, we tried blending with the nameless, faceless uniforms, but it wasn’t so simple. The other students never warmed to us, and we hadn’t to them. We weren’t from here, didn’t look or act like them. We were among the Avoided, but, as of yesterday, we had a shadow. A gadje shadow.

“How’s your hand?” Ward asked. I glanced to my brother and father talking to Monsignor. That Jonah hadn’t chased off Ward was a tacit tolerance of him. “A few cuts. I’ll live.” I twisted my black hair, skimming my hips. “You hardly needed to play the white knight. Marty’s not much of a dragon, more like a salamander.”

“Maybe I like fighting salamanders.”

Chipped, gray polish colored his nails. Artsy in an I-don’t give- a-damn-I’ll-wear-it-if-it’s-clean way. If Monsignor noticed, that’d earn Ward a detention or two.

“Listen, gadjo.” He didn’t deserve social devastation all because of my cavalier brother. He needed to back off from us. While he still could. “Marty won’t bother you if you don’t bother him. Tangling with him will never be forgotten.”

His mouth twitched, neither a grin nor a frown. “I don’t scare easily.”

He slipped on his headphones once more. Must be nice to be so untouched, unfazed. Must be peaceful.

“Hey,” I called. He lifted one side of his headphones. “What are you listening to?”

“Music.”

Smart ass.

Thud! A chair had overturned in Monsignor’s office and rocked ever so slightly. A chair no one had been sitting in. Dad’s muffled voice came fast as he pulled Jonah by the arm. From the dark expression on his face, we were in for a major talking to.

“We need to leave. Now,” Dad said as he steered Jonah out of the office.

He whisked us past the sanctuary where our footfalls echoed on wood floors polished by nuns until glistening. The school was a dour extension off a century-old Catholic parish. The walls in the language arts wing were painted rich blue, the Virgin’s color. Hung between classrooms were carvings from the Stations of the Cross, thick with dust except for Christ’s gaze, which followed us and knew my family’s secrets and sins.

Outside was better. Riding in the car, the windows lowered to allow in the

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Sarah Bromley

Sarah Bromley lives near St. Louis with her husband, three children, and two dogs. She likes the quiet hours of morning when she can drink coffee in peace, stare into the woods behind her house, and wonder what monsters live there. When she’s not writing or wrangling small children, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders.

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