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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Release Day Blitz- MY LULLABY OF YOU by Alia Rose




I am so excited that MY LULLABY OF YOU by Alia Rose is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Alia Rose, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for signed finished paperback copy of MY LULLABY OF YOU a bookmark, a bookish beach towel, a beach inspired candle and annotation cards, US Only, courtesy of Alia and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About the Book:


Title: MY LULLABY OF YOU
Author: Alia Rose
Pub. Date: June 16, 2018
Publisher: Plum Anchor Press
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 287
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

For fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, My Lullaby of You is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance about guarded love, complicated families, and the summer that changes everything. 

AMY
It’s the summer after high school. Amy can’t wait to leave her small hometown in North Carolina for the vibrant city of Chicago, where she plans to go to her dream college and hopes to build a stronger relationship with her father.

But as she deals with her mother’s resentment over her leaving and an intriguing yet provoking college student, Amy’s reminded of things she’s tried to forget and forced to face emotions she never expected.

SETH
It’s the summer before the last year of music school. Seth would rather be anywhere else than a small beach town in North Carolina, reopening wounds he thought he’d patched long ago and facing the father he hasn’t seen since his mother’s death.

While on his mission for answers, Seth is drawn to an observant and driven local he can’t seem to figure out.


About Alia:

I've been writing since I fell in love with reading and now the characters in my head refuse to leave me alone. My debut novel, My Lullaby of You comes out in June 2018!

When I'm not writing, I work full time as an architectural designer and enjoy drinking too much coffee, making to-do lists, and traveling.

You can find me rambling about all of the above on Instagram and Twitter.



Giveaway Details:

1 winner will win a signed finished paperback copy of MY LULLABY OF YOU a bookmark, a bookish beach towel, a beach inspired candle and annotation cards, US Only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 15, 2018

Release Day Blitz- DESI (The Greyhounds of Sorrento #1) by Carolee Croft With an Excerpt & $15 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!



I am so excited that DESI by Carolee Croft is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Carolee Croft, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $15 Amazon Gift Card & 3 eBooks of DESI, International, courtesy of Carolee and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


About the Book: 
Title: DESI (The Greyhounds of Sorrento #1) 
Author: Carolee Croft
Pub. Date: June 15, 2018
Publisher: Carolee Croft
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 67

Julia Rossi is a woman of reason. A scientist. Someone who doesn’t take things on faith. When she inherits a house in Sorrento, Italy from an uncle she barely knew, Julia does not actually believe that her uncle was a wizard and that she is the successor to his magical legacy.

Be that as it may, she enjoys a good brain-teaser, and the house comes with a host of supernatural secrets, including a cuddly Italian greyhound who mysteriously vanishes.

Julia starts to realize that she must protect the powerful magic bequeathed to her, though she still doesn’t believe that the incredibly gorgeous motorcycle rider who rescued her from being kidnapped by gangsters is actually a cute little werehound.

This paranormal romance novella is part of a series, but each story in the series can be read as a standalone.

Warning: Contains steamy love scenes and extremely cute greyhounds.

Excerpt:
It was only on my way back from the kitchen that I saw through a partial view of the living room that there was a naked man sleeping on the couch. The curtains were drawn, but I could see the outline of his body in the darkness.

Needless to say, I was startled. I must have screamed quite loudly because the next thing I knew, the guy woke up, just as startled at seeing me as I was seeing him, and sat up on the couch, rubbing his face and peering at me in confusion as if I was the one who had invaded his house.

“Stay back, I have a cup of boiling hot coffee here,” I improvised, though I was merely holding a mug filled with water.

He looked really strong, and in case he was some kind of pervert, I was mentally debating trying to find a better weapon, but when he stopped rubbing his eyes and I could see his face, I realized it was the motorcycle guy. I didn’t feel safe exactly, but now my heart didn’t race as much, and my brain rubbed its metaphorical hands together in anticipation, ready to finally piece together the mystery.

“Hey, I was just sleeping here,” he said. As if that helped clarify things.

He held one hand out defensively, while he grabbed a cushion with the other and covered up his private parts. Not that I could see them in the darkness. Not that I was curious or anything…

“My name is Desi,” he said, “and I’ll explain everything.”

“Desi like the greyhound?” I queried.

“Uh… yes, like the greyhound. I was a friend of your uncle’s, and there’s no need to be nervous. Look, I think we could all use some coffee and some breakfast.”


About Carolee:

Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own versions of the perfect fairytale. No matter whether the story takes place in Ancient Rome or on one of the moons of Jupiter, romance always beguiles and charms us with its fairy tale magic. My first inspiration to sit down and write came from watching the movie The Princess Bride.

This was a “modern” fairy tale with plenty of action, humour, and of course, true love. I resolved that my stories should have the same light-hearted, fun, and romantic spirit.

As for real life… I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. Currently, I am obsessed with greyhounds, but I live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. I guess this means my perfect dog is still a fantasy, and I hope it is a story yet to be told…

Thank you for stopping by! Please leave a comment or a question about anything on this site.

Join Carolee's newsletter for news.



Giveaway Details:

1 winner will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card, International.
3 winners will win an eBook of DESI gifted via Amazon, US Only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Cover Reveal- RENEGADE by Mallory McCartney With An Excerpt & Giveaway!



Today Mallory McCartney and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive content for RENEGADE, her new Adult Fantasy Romance which releases July 3, 2018! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!

On to the reveal! 


Title: RENEGADE (Black Dawn 0.5)
Author: Mallory McCartney
Pub. Date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Formats: eBook
Pages: ?
Find it: Goodreads

See where Black Dawn Rebellion was born in this prequel!


Title: BLACK DAWN (Black Dawn #1)
Author: Mallory McCartney
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Pages: 352
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and bringing Emory back she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.


Exclusive Excerpt!

Exhaling, the prince took him off guard as he lifted his eyebrow. “What I don’t understand is how the Faes have achieved such loyalty. What did they do?”

He chewed his bottom lip as he hopped over a fallen tree trunk. He looked to Marquis. “They were the dreamers in a time when culture, creativity, and equality were being butchered. The Academy was the foundation of that dream, for desolates, for the people with weaker abilities. For everyone. The people of Kiero followed Roque because they can’t fear him, they can only admire him. How brave he was for standing up to his father, for breaking free of his reign to start his own.”

Marquis chewed his lip. “It sounds like you have a different opinion of him.”

He threw out his hands. “I was born at the Academy. Raised in the Academy. Who am I to doubt the intentions of the Faes? They are practically family.”

Shrugging, Marquis cooed, “Sometimes it is the ones closest to us that betray us first.”

About Mallory:


Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops. 










Giveaway Details:
One lucky winner will receive an eBook of RENEGADE, International.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Blog Tour- EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN by Jessica Redmerski An Excerpt & Giveaway!


Hey everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN by Jessica Redmerski! 

I have an excerpt to share with you today! And make sure to enter the giveaway below!


Haven't heard of EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN? Check it out!



Title: EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN
Author: Jessica Redmerski
Pub. Date: August 28, 2017
Publisher: Jessica Redmerski
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 656
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonTBD
Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about. 

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana. 

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?
Now on to the excerpt!

EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN JESSICA REDMERSKI COPYRIGHT 2017

EXCERPT #1: “I’LL WAIT FOR YOU.”



“One more night,” I said, not looking at her. “Give me one more night and I’ll get you out of this city.” All I could see in front of me was the scenario: I’d wait until very late, after most of the city was sleeping, and then I’d dress her in my military clothes, make her pin up her hair underneath a cap, strap a rifle to her shoulder, a backpack full of goods on her back, and set her atop the mare waiting at the stables.
“But there’s nothing for me anymore,” Thais said, wiping away the lingering tears on her cheeks. “There’s nowhere for me to go, and no one waiting for me there if by some miracle I make it alive. My mother and father are dead. My sister”she looked up at me, and although I didn’t meet her gaze, I could feel her eyes on memy whole family is dead, and this world is dead and my soul is dead and everything that was once good and beautiful and right, is dead.”
I looked at her then, her words stirring me.
“That’s not true,” I said, and got up from the chair and crouched in front of her. “You may be the only good thing left in this world, and I’ll be goddamned if I let your light fade.”
Tears tumbled down Thais’ cheeks.
I took the gun that had fallen from her hand, tucked it into the back of my pants.
“Promise me you won’t try anything,” I said as I went toward the door. “Promise me on your sister’s soul, that you’ll stay in this room and wait for me.”
“Where are you going?”
“To get your supplies.” I placed my hand on the doorknob. “Don’t open this door for anyone.” I opened it to blackness; the candles that had been lit in the hallway had burned down.
“Wait,” Thais called out, and I stopped.
She stood up on wobbly legs.
“You said to get my suppliesare you sending me away alone?
I thought on it for a moment. I’d never had any intention of going with her. I couldn’t. Not if I was going to keep others from following her.
“No,” I finally said. “You’re not going alone. I’ll go with you, at least until I can get you somewhere safe.”
“Is there anywhere safe, Atticus?” Her voice was soft, hopeless, and hearing her say my name like that did something to my heart. “Do you know where you’re taking me?”
I sighed. And I looked at the wall.
“Yes,” I lied, and then stepped out into the hallway.
Just before I closed the door I added, “Promise me.”
Thais nodded.
“I promise,” she said. “I’ll wait for you.”




About Jessica:
J.A. (Jessica) Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television and film by actor and model William Levy.



Giveaway Details:

5 winners will receive signed paperbacks of EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN with bookmarks and post cards (United States and Canada only).
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Tour Schedule:


Week One:
6/1/2018- Here's to Happy EndingsReview

Week Two:
6/4/2018- Savings in SecondsReview
6/5/2018- Peaceful OblivionReview
6/6/2018- BookhoundsInterview
6/7/2018- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
6/8/2018- Vylithylia ReadsReview

Week Three:
6/11/2018- A Dream Within A DreamReview
6/12/2018- paseandoamissculturaReview
6/13/2018- Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview
6/14/2018- Rainy Day ReviewsGuest Post
6/15/2018- Perspective of a WriterReview

Week Four:
6/18/2018- Fall Into BooksExcerpt
6/19/2018- Infinite Lives, Infinite Stories - Review
6/20/2018- HauntedbybooksReview
6/21/2018- Literary ChaosSpotlight
6/22/2018- BITTERSWEET ENCHANTMENTExcerpt

Week Five:
6/25/2018- Dani Reviews ThingsReview
6/26/2018- Sincerely Karen JoReview
6/27/2018- Book-KeepingReview
6/28/2018- Ziggy's Reading Corner- Excerpt
6/29/2018- The Desert BibliophileReview

Monday, June 4, 2018

Blog Tour- NEVERWORLD WAKE by Marisha Pessl An Excerpt & Giveaway!


Hey everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for NEVERWORLD WAKE by Marisha Pessl! 

I have an excerpt to share with you today! And make sure to enter the giveaway below!


Haven't heard of NEVERWORLD WAKE? Check it out!


Author: Marisha Pessl
Pub. Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 336
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD
Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her six best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim—their creative genius and Beatrice's boyfriend—changed everything.

One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft—the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world—hoping she'll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.

Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions. Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers--and at life.

Now on to the excerpt!

Excerpt copyright © 2018 by Wonderline Productions LLC. Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.
CHAPTER 1

I hadn’t spoken to Whitley Lansingor any of themin over a year.
When her text arrived after my last final, it felt inevitable, like a comet tearing through the night sky, hinting of fate.

Too long. WTF. #notcool. Sorry. My Tourette’s again. How was your freshman year? Amazing? Awful?

Seriously. We miss you.

Breaking the silence bc the gang is heading to Wincroft for my bday. The Linda will be in Mallorca & ESS Burt is getting married in St. Bart’s for the 3rd time. (Vegan yogi.) So it’s ours for the weekend. Like yesteryear.

Can you come? What do you say Bumblebee? Carpe noctem.

Seize the night.

She was the only girl I knew who surveyed everybody like a leatherclad Dior model and rattled off Latin like it was her native language.

“How was your exam?” my mom asked when she picked me up. “I confused Socrates with Plato and ran out of time during the essay,” I said, pulling on my seat belt.

“I’m sure you did great.” She smiled, a careful look. “Any thing else we need to do?
I shook my head.

My dad and I had already cleared out my dorm room. I’d returned my textbooks to the student union to get the 30 percent off for next year. My roommate had been a girl from New Haven named Casey who’d gone home to see her boyfriend every week end. Id barely seen her since orientation.

The end of my freshman year at Emerson College had just come and gone with the indifferent silence usually reserved for a goingoutofbusiness sale at a minimall.

“Something dark’s abrewin, Jim would have told me.

I had no plans all summer, except to work alongside my parents at the Captain’s Crow. The Captain’s Crowthe Crow, its called by localsis the seaside café and ice cream parlor my family owns in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, the tiny coastal village where I grew up.

Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Population: You Know Everyone.

My greatgrandfather Burn Hartley opened the parlor in 1885, when Watch Hill was little more than a craggy hamlet where whaling captains came to shake off their sea legs and hold their children for the first time before taking off again for the Atlantic’s Great Unknowns. Burn’s framed pencil portrait hangs over the entrance, revealing him to have the mad glare of some dead genius writer, or a world explorer who never came home from the Arctic. The truth is, though, he could barely read, preferred familiar faces to strange ones and dry land to the sea. All he ever did was run our little dockside restaurant his whole life, and perfect the recipe for the best clam chowder in the world.

All summer I scooped ice cream for tan teenagers in flipflops and pastel sweaters. They came and went in big skittish groups like schools of fish. I made cheeseburgers and tuna melts, coleslaw and milk shakes. I swept away sand dusting the blackandwhitecheckered floor. I threw out napkins, ketchup packets, salt packets, over21 wristbands, Dels Frozen Lemonade cups, deepsea fishing party boat brochures. I put lost cell phones beside the register so they could be easily found when the panicstricken owners came barging inside: I lost my . . . Oh . . . thank you, you’re the best!” I cleaned up the torn blue tickets from the 1893 saltwater carousel, located just a few doors down by the beach, which featured faded faceless mermaids to ride, not horses. Watch Hill’s greatest claim to fame was that Eleanor Roosevelt had been photographed riding a redhead with a turquoise tail sidesaddle. (It was a town joke how put out she looked in the shot, how uncomfortable and buried alive under her platetectonic layers of ruffled skirt.)

I cleaned the barbecue sauce off the garbage cans, the melted Wreck Rummage off the tables (Wreck Rummage was every kid’s favorite ice cream flavor, a mashup of cookie dough, walnuts, cake batter, and dark chocolate nuggets). I Cloroxed and Fantasticked and Mr. Cleaned the windows and counters and door knobs. I dusted the brine off the mussels and the clams, polishing every one like a gemstone dealer obsessively inspecting emeralds. Most days I rose at five and went with my dad to pick out the days seafood when the fishing boats came in, inspecting crab legs and fluke, oysters and bass, running my hands over their tapping legs and claws, barnacles and iridescent bellies. I composed song lyrics for a soundtrack to a madeup movie called Lola Andersons Highway Robbery, drawing words, rhymes, faces, and hands on napkins and takeout menus, tossing them in the trash before anyone saw them. I attended grief support group for adolescents at the North Stonington Community Center. There was only one other kid in attendance, a silent boy named Turks whose dad had died from ALS. After two meetings he never returned, leaving me alone with the counselor, a jittery woman named Deb who wore pantsuits and wielded a threeinchthick book called Grief Management for Young People.

“‘The purpose of this exercise is to construct a positive meaning around the lost relationship,’ ” she read from chapter seven, handing me a Goodbye Letter worksheet. 
“‘On this page, write a note to your lost loved one, detailing fond memories, hopes, and any final questions.’ ”

Slapping a chewed pen that read TABEEGO ISLAND RESORTS on my desk, she left. I could hear her on the phone out in the hall, arguing with someone named Barry, asking him why he didn’t come home last night.

I drew a screeching hawk on the Goodbye Letter, with lyrics to a madeup Japanese animated film about a forgotten thought called Lost in a Head.

Then I slipped out the fire exit and never went back.

I taught Sleepy Sam (giant yawn of a teenager from England visiting his American dad) how to make clam cakes and the perfect grilled cheese. Grill on medium, butter, four minutes a side, six slices of Vermont sharp cheddar, two of fontina. For July Fourth, he invited me to a party at a friend of a friend’s. To his shock, I actu ally showed. I stood by a floor lamp with a warm beer, listening to talk about guitar lessons and Zach Galifianakis, trying to find the right moment to escape.

“That, by the way, is Bee,” said Sleepy Sam. “She does actually speak, I swear.”
I didn’t mention Whitley’s text to anyone, though it was always in the back of my mind.

It was the brandnew waytooextravagant dress Id bought but never taken out of the bag. I just left it there in the back of my closet, folded in tissue paper with the receipt, the tags still on, with intention of returning it.

Yet there was still the remote possibility I’d find the courage to put it on.

I knew the weekend of her birthday like I knew my own: August 30.

It was a Friday. The big event of the day had been the appearance of a stray dog wandering Main Street. It had no tags and the haunted look of a prisoner of war. He was gray, shaggy, and startled with every attempt to pet him. A honk sent him skidding into the garbage cans behind the Captain’s Crow.

“See that yellow saltbed mud on his back paws? Thats from the west side of Nickybogg Creek, announced Officer Locke, thrilled to have a mystery on his hands, his first of the year.

That stray dog had been the talk all that daywhat to do with him, where he’d beenand it was only much later that I found my mind going back to that dog drifting into town out of the blue. I wondered if he was some kind of sign, a warning that something terrible was coming, that I should not take the much exalted and mysterious Road Less Traveled, but the one well trod, wideopen, and brightly lit, the road I knew.

By then it was too late. The sun had set. Sleepy Sam was gone. I’d overturned the café chairs and put them on the tables. I’d hauled out the trash. And anyway, that flew in the face of human nature. No one ever heeded a warning sign when it came.
My mom and dad assumed I was joining them at the Dreamland Theater in Westerly for the screwball comedy classics marathon, like I did every Friday.

“Actually, I made plans tonight,” I said.

My dad was thrilled. “Really, Bumble? That’s great.” “I’m driving up to Wincroft.”
They fell silent. My mom had just flipped the Closed sign in the window, and she turned, wrapping her cardigan around herself, shivering even though it was seventyfive degrees out.

“How long have you known about this?” she asked.

“Not long. I’ll be careful. I’ll be back by midnight. They’re up there for Whitley’s birthday. I think it’ll be good for me to see them.”

“That’s a long way to drive in the dark,” said my dad.

My mom looked like I’d been given a prognosis of six weeks left to live. Sometimes when she got really upset, she chewed an imaginary piece of gum. She was doing that now.

“Part of the grieving process is confronting the past,” I said. “That’s not the point. I

“It’s all right, Victoria.” My dad put a hand on her shoulder. “But Dr. Quentin said not to put yourself in stressful situations that

“We’ve established that Dr. Quentin is an idiot,” I said.

“Dr. Quentin is indeed an idiot,” said my dad with a regretful nod. “The fact that his name is onehalf of a state prison should have been a red flag.

“You know I don’t like it when you two gang up on me,” said my mom.

At that moment, someonesome redfaced weekender in seersucker shorts whod had too many stouts at O’Malligan’s tried to open the door.

“We’re closed,” my mom snapped.


That was how I came to be driving my dad’s ancient green Dodge RAM with the emphysema muffler fifty miles up the Rhode Is land coastline.
Wincroft.

The name sounded like something out of a windswept novel filled with ghosts and madmen. The mansion was a sprawling collection of red brick, turrets, gardens, and crow gargoyles, built in the 1930s by a Great White Hunter who’d supposedly called Hemingway and Lawrence of Arabia his friends. He had traveled the world killing beautiful creatures, and thus Wincroft, his seaside estate, had never been lived in more than a few weeks in sixty years. When Whitley’s weird exsecondstepdad, Burtcommonly called E.S.S. Burtbought it in foreclosure in the 1980s, he gut renovated the interiors in an unfortunate style Whitley called if Madonna threw up all over Cyndi Lauper.

Still, it wasn’t unusual to open a chest of drawers in the attic, or a musty steamer trunk, and find photographs of strangers gripping rifles and wearing fox furs or some weird piece of taxidermya ferret, red frog, or rodent of unknown species. This gave every visit to Wincroft the mysterious feel of being on an archaeological expedition, as if all around us, inside the floors, walls, and ceiling, some lost civilization was waiting to be un earthed.

“We are our junk,” said Jim once, pulling a taxidermy lizard out of a shoe box.
Leaving the interstate, the road to get there turned corkscrewed and dizzying, as if trying to shake you. The coast of Rhode Islandnot the infamously uptight Newport part, with the stiff cliffs and colossal mansions smugly staring down at the tiny sailboats salting the harbor, but the rest of it was rough and tumbledown, laidback and sunburnt. It was an old homeless beachcomber in a washedout Tshirt who couldnt remember where hed slept the night before. The grasses were wiry and wasted, the roads salty and cracked, sprouting faded signs and faulty traffic lights. Bridges elbowed their way out of the marshes before collapsing, exhausted, on the other side of the road.

I still had their phone numbers, but I didn’t want to call. I didn’t even know if they’d be there. All these months later their plans could have changed. Maybe I’d knock and Whitley wouldn’t answer, but her ex second stepdad, Burt, would, E.S.S. Burt with his toolong, curly gray hair; Burt, who a million years ago had written an Oscarnominated song for a tragic love story starring Ryan ONeill. Or maybe they would all be there. Maybe I wanted to see the looks on their faces when they first saw me, looks they hadn’t rehearsed.

Then again, if they didn’t know I was coming, I could still turn around. I could still go join my parents at the Dreamland for His Girl Friday, afterward head to the Shakedown for crab cakes and oysters, saying hi to the owner, Artie, pretending I didn’t hear him whisper to my dad when I went to the bathroom, “Bee’s really come around,” like I was a wounded racehorse they’d decided not to euthanize. Not that it was Artie’s fault. It was the natural reaction when people found out what had happened: my boyfriend, Jim, had died senior year.

Sudden Death of the Love of Your Life wasn’t supposed to happen to you as a teenager. If it did, though, it was helpful if  it was due to one of the Top Three Understandable Reasons for Dying as a Kid: A. Car accident. B. Cancer. C. Suicide. That way, after you selected the applicable choice, the nearest adult could promptly steer your attention to the range of movies (many star ring Timothy Hutton) and selfhelp books to help you Deal.

But when your boyfriend’s death remains unsolved, and you’re left staring into a black hole of guilt and the unknown?

There’s no movie or selfhelp book in the world to help you with that.

Except maybe The Exorcist.

If I was a noshow tonight, my old friends would come and go from Wincroft, and that would be that. Not showing up would be the final push of that old toy sailboat from my childhood, the one shove that would really send it drifting out toward the middle of the lake, far from the shoreline, forever out of reach.

Then I’d never find out what happened to Jim.

I kept driving.

The twisting road seemed to urge me onward, yellowed beech trees streaking past; a bridge; the sudden, startling view of a harbor where tall white sailboats crowded like a herd of feast ing unicorns before vanishing. I couldnt believe how easily I remembered the way: left at the Exxon, right on Elm, right at the stop sign where you diced with Death, rundown trailers with strungup laundry and flat tires in the yard. Then the trees fell away in deference to the most beautiful kiss of sky and sea, al ways streaked orange and pink at dusk.

And there it was. The wroughtiron gate emblazoned with the W.

It was open. The lamps were lit.

I made the turn and floored it, oak branches flying past like ribbons come loose from a ponytail, wind howling through the open windows. Another curve and I saw the mansion, the win dows golden and alive, all hulking red brick and slate, crow gargoyles perched forever on the roof.

As I pulled up I almost laughed aloud at the four cars parked there, side by side. I didn’t recognize any of themexcept for Marthas Honda Accord with the bumper sticker honk for general relativity. If pressed I could, with little trouble, match the other cars with their respective owners.

I had changed so much. From the look of these cars, they had not.

I checked my appearance in the rearview mirror, feeling im mediate horror: messy ponytail, chapped lips, shiny forehead. I looked like I’d just run a marathon and come in last. I blotted my face on the roll of paper towels my dad kept in the door, pinched my cheeks, tucked the loose strands of dark brown hair behind my ears. Then I was sprinting up the stone steps and rapping the brass lion knocker.

Nothing happened.

I rang the doorbell, once, twice, three times, all in one crazy, deranged movement, because I knew if I hesitated at all I’d lose my nerve. I’d sink, like some lost boot caught inside a lobster trap, straight back to the bottom of the sea.

The door opened.

Kipling stood there. He was wearing a chinlength pink wig, blue polo shirt, Bermuda shorts, flipflops. He was extremely tan and chewing a red drink stirrer, though it fell out of his mouth when he saw me.


“Good Lord, strike me down dead,” he said in his cottonplantation drawl.




About Marisha:
Marisha Pessl grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and now lives in New York City. Special Topics in Calamity Physics, her debut novel, was a bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. It won the 2006 John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize (now the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize), and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review. Her new novel, Night Film, comes out August 20, 2013.

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Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of NEVERWORLD WAKE, US Only.
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Tour Schedule:


Week One:
6/1/2018- YA Books CentralExcerpt

Week Two:
6/4/2018- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
6/5/2018- Bookish LifestyleReview
6/6/2018- Tea With Mermaids- Review
6/7/2018- Trendy Simple LifeReview
6/8/2018- A Dream Within A DreamReview

Week Three:
6/11/2018- Books Coffee and RepeatReview
6/12/2018- NerdophilesReview
6/13/2018- Life of a Literary NerdReview
6/14/2018- Jena Brown WritesReview
6/15/2018- Once Upon a TwilightReview

Week Four:
6/18/2018- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
6/19/2018- Book-KeepingReview
6/20/2018- A Gingerly ReviewReview
6/21/2018- Cindy's Love of BooksReview
6/22/2018- RhythmicBooktrovertReview

Week Five:
6/25/2018- BookHounds YAReview
6/26/2018- Under the Book CoverReview
6/27/2018- Smada's Book SmackReview
6/28/2018- HauntedbybooksReview
6/29/2018- The Cover ContessaExcerpt

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