Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4)

"I tried Grammarly's grammar check free of charge because my brain was about to explode with so many languages! I adviced it before, do not try to learn German, it messes with your English :p"

The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4)
by Julie Kagawa

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal Romance


My name - my True Name - is Ashallayn’ darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…
To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase - a half human, half fey slip of a girl - smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end - a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.
To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.



4 birds!
I really liked this book. Not as much as the previous ones but I think it's a great end for the series.
This book is told from Ash's POV. It's something entirely different and allowed me to get to know him a lot better. It was entertaining, but I found the first half slow. I kept struggling to go on.
The second half was perfect. Full of action and intriguing, fast paced, original and very well written.
One thing I did like through all the book was the great development of characters. That always surprises me about Julie Kagawa.
Each character is very interesting, no matter if it is a MC or just a supporting one, the personality is defined and it shows in every single aspect.
Grimalkin is by far my favorite in the whole series but The Big Bad Wolf surpassed my expectations. Ariella was dull, as expected. But her part was nicely played in the story.
I liked how Ash and Puck's relation unfolded even if it was tough at the beginning.
I never chose a team like everyone else because in Meghan's mind there was never an option but I liked both opposite personalities, the heat and the cold.

I wish we could read something more about Puck.

I adored the part of the trials. Especially the last one. And the end was suitable and fit with the previous installments.
Yes, this is series I would recommend for every fan of YA Fantasy.
If you want to be transported to a magical and mesmerizing, but at the same time scary world, read THE IRON FEY!!!

I hope you liked it!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: Bloodlust

Bloodlust (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's diaries #2)
by Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec, L. J Smith

Genre: YA Paranormal


A new beginning . . .

When Stefan Salvatore's first love turned him into a vampire, his world—and his soul—were destroyed. Now he and his brother, Damon, must flee their hometown, where they risk being discovered . . . and killed.

The brothers head to New Orleans, looking for safe haven. But the city is more dangerous than they ever imagined, full of other vampires—and vampire hunters. Will Stefan's eternal life be forever damned?

Based on the popular CW TV show inspired by the bestselling novels, Stefan's Diaries reveals the truth about what really happened between Stefan, Damon, and Katherine—and how the Vampire Diaries love triangle began.


4 birds!

I am really enjoying this series. Of course, I'm a huge fan of the TV show and that's what caught my attention in the first place.

So far, in these books, we get to read about the things we didn't see in the show. What happened before it begins.

Stefan and Damon are in New Orleans where danger awaits. They encounter a lot of adventures and Stefan meets Lexi.

Lexi's character is amazing , so full of life and refreshing as on tv. She is funny, smart, tough and has a motherly side, always taking care of everyone.

Stefan is different from what we know, but his personality is building and through the end we really get to know his motives.

Damon... oh Damon, he is always going to be misunderstood, he guards himself behind the hate mask (well, at the moment the book is set, he has reasons though!) but deep down we know what's going on in his heart.

Anyway, it's an easy and fast read. The pages just keep turning. It's utterly enjoyable and highly entertaining.

It's a different view, full of action and the writing is very good.

I would recommend it for the fans of the show who want another perspective.

I hope you liked it!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review: Smart Girls get what they want

Smart Girls get what they want 
by Sarah Strohmeyer

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance


Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren't the most popular girls in school, they aren't too worried. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they're missing out on the full high school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge—and they will totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she'll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .


The Book Depository

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


5 birds!

“Maybe we were being a bit unrealistic, but we had this hope that if we could just get into the Ivy League, everything would be set. We dreamed of Gothic libraries and leafy green quads and romantic dorms with fireplaces and guys who were not only cute but also smart and charming, and, quite possibly, British. In college, we believed, we’d finally find our people.” 

This was probably the sweetest book I've read in 2013. I finished it on December but couldn't do my review earlier.

It's just tender.

With an incredibly funny (and of course smart) protagonist and with well built characters that seem real, it just captivated me from page 1.
And for a change, I like them being normal and not the popular girl that falls for the weird guy like in every other book...

Gigi, Neerja and Bea have been friends since the sand box, they are overachievers, they are straight A students and they are happy with their lives because they think that all the effort and being serious will pay off when they get to college.

The 3 of them admire Neerja's sister and want to be like her, a super genious that was accepted at Princeton with a full scholarship. But one day, they find Parad's (Neerja's sister) school yearbook and they notice that there was nothing personal written there. Nobody knew she even existed.
That, in addition to not being consider for the "hot - o - meter" the boys had in their locker room made them think about what they were doing.
And that's were the real story begins.

I simply love it, that's why I'm having trouble expressing it on a review.
It's such a beautiful friendship they share, and they are so loyal to each other that I was giggling every 5 seconds.

The love story is sweet even if at some point I wanted to slap them for not seeing the right guy for them! 

Anyway, nice story, fantastic characters, beautiful writing and fast pace. Perfect!

Cover: Mesmerizing! the picture, the colors, everything!

Favorite quote:

“This is probably the advantage of being stupid. Stupid people just do. We tend to overthink. If we could eliminate the “over” and just think, then we could do, too. Only we’d be smarter doers because we’d be thinkers.”

Favorite characters: Gigi and Mike

Will I recommend it? Definitely

Alternate cover:

I hope you liked it!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: Pretties (Uglies #2)

Pretties (Uglies #2)
by Scott Westerfeld

Genre: Dystopia


Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong.

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun -- the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom -- is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life -- because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive.




3.5 birds

Well, I've been wanting to read this book forever since I finished the first one in the series.  (that I absolutely loved)

I was so excited and now I'm a bit dissapointed. I liked the book. But I was not thrilled about it.  

The first half of the book was a little slow but the second one has a nice pace.

The story starts a few weeks after the end of Uglies. Now Tally is pretty and she is surrounded by a lot of pretty friends. Peris is there and so is Shay. I found their behaviour annoying hehe but of course, they are "pretties" now, it's what they do! 

There are new characters such as Zane who is her new crush and he is intriguing. Actually I think he was one of my favorites and the one that made the book good.

Shay was utterly annoying, resentful and honestly, she is so envious that I don't understand why Tally even bothered with her. 

But regardless my personal opinion on the characters I believe they were nicely created and with defined personalities.

The world building as always is remarkable. Westerfeld has a gift for that.

I liked the way Tally's past caught up with her and how the events after they take the pills unfolded.  There was a lot of action involved and I enjoyed that.
I'm not so sure if I liked the things the different characters did to stay "bubbly" but nonetheless, they make total sense.

I would have liked to see more of David. More interaction between him and Tally. 

The end... well... taking the name of the 3rd installment into account, it's not too difficult to imagine but I would have liked something else. It felt rushed.

So in Tally's words I would say this book was a mix of "bogus" moments with "bubbly making" ones :)

Of course, the good moments, make me wanna read the sequel :p


Alternate Cover:

I hope you liked it!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hereafter by Terri Bruce

Afterlife  Book One
Terri Bruce

Genre: Paranormal/Contemporary Fantasy
Date of Publication:  January 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9913036-0-1
ISBN: 978-0-9913036-1-8

Number of pages: 369

Book Description:

Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex...well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.

Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn’t much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option—preferably one that involves not being dead anymore. Can she wipe the slate clean and get a second chance before it’s too late?


“Come.” Samyel gestured, indicating that they should follow him. “We must go.”
“Go? Go where?”
“Away. Inside. Or they will see.”
“Who will see what?”
The dark glasses revealed nothing as he stood impassively for a moment. “Everyone.”
Samyel was attracting a lot of attention. The crowd moving around them was giving him a wide berth, and he was the focus of a lot of strange looks, which just confirmed that he wasn’t dead—people could see him. Irene knew that it looked like a seven-foot tall man in a trench coat and dark glasses was talking to himself in the middle of the sidewalk. It wouldn’t be long before the cops came to investigate.
Irene gestured for Samyel to lead the way. “Fine. Let’s go.”
Irene heard another choke of protest and glanced at Jonah. There was a silent exchange of mouthed words, pantomimed gestures, and angry, exaggerated looks.
“Don’t be crazy,” Jonah hissed. “You can’t go with him!”
“You’re the one that always wants to stop and talk to every weirdo we meet,” she countered. “And what do you mean ‘you’? We’re both going.”
“Uh uh,” Jonah said. “This is your idea. If you get murdered, I’m not saving you.”
With an exasperated look, she motioned for Jonah to follow and set out after Samyel, who was nearly out of sight. Jonah reluctantly followed. Irene gave him a wry look as they trailed, side by side, a few feet behind Samyel. “You know, at some point, we’re going to have to talk about your propensity for picking fights with people bigger than yourself.”
“What’s propensity?”
“A really bad habit that you should stop.”
Jonah’s expression turned unreadable for a long moment, as if he was debating with himself, and then he looked away, stuffing his hands in his pockets and bowing his head to stare at the sidewalk as they went.
“I’ve changed the password, by the way, so you can’t do that again,” he said darkly.
She grabbed his arm, pulling him to a halt. “Jonah, listen to me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate you trying to protect me. I do. Even when it’s annoying and misplaced, like with Ernest. You’re the bravest, sweetest guy I’ve ever met, but I’m dead. You’re not. I’m already probably going to Hell for dragging you along on this adventure. Don’t add being the cause of your death to my list of crimes, okay?”
The tips of his ears had turned pink and his head was down, shoulders hunched. Then, to her surprise, he suddenly looked at her, his eyes inquiring as he searched her face. She didn’t know what he was looking for, but he was gazing at her so earnestly that she blushed.

Welcome author Terri Bruce :

For people who haven’t heard of Hereafter, make a brief description.

On the surface, Hereafter is a story about a woman who dies and finds herself stuck on Earth as a ghost, and how she learns to deal with all that comes with that—the emotional baggage of dying before you’ve really lived, the regrets, the letting go and moving on, figuring out how to navigate the afterlife, etc. However, Hereafter is really a story about friendship, self-discovery, and learning to forgive yourself.

What does your family think of your works?

Very sadly, my mother died in 2009, before I became published. I have no doubt she would have been thrilled, but not sure she would have liked the swearing in my books. :-) Everyone else is wildly supportive and seems to like the books, which is a good feeling. However, there is one drawback: when I was writing the love scene in the sequel to Hereafter (which is due out May 1st), I kept thinking, “My father is going to read this.” That made something already kind of awkward and uncomfortable (I’m not good at writing the love scenes – I just start laughing the whole time) even more awkward and uncomfortable!

Are you an early bird or night owl?

None of the above? LOL! I like to joke I’m only good between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. I’m not a morning person—at all—and I like to be in bed by 10:00 pm so I can read for a while.

Name a book you wish you had written.

All of them! LOL! Seriously, I always think everyone is a better writer than me. I especially wish I could write lyrically like Erin Morgenstern in The Night Circus or could write a fresh and engrossing story like The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger or could write a book of devastating beauty and tragedy like The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle or The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

What do you do, besides writing?

I work full time as a grant writer for a non-profit organization. So I get to write for both my day and my night jobs. Grant writing is a different kind of writing, more analytical at times, more marketing/audience focused at time, which is nice. It’s a different facet of writing, using a different part of the brain.

Do you have any hobbies?

Way more than I have time for! I love to crochet, bake, make stained glass, and horseback ride. I’m hoping to learn how to knit, do glass fusing, and learn to do flamework (glass bead making) sometime in the near future.

What are you reading right now?

I’ve been waiting for Cobweb Forest by Vera Nazarian. It’s the third book in the trilogy, and I’m dying to know how it all ends. I’m going to download it tonight!

Name your favorite books.

Too numerous to name but among my favorites are T.H. White’s Once and Future King and Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. I reread them both once per year, usually around my birthday. I also love Pride and Prejudice, The Three Musketeers, Jane Eyre, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, and The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle.

Best reward as a writer?

When someone tells you they liked your work. There is no better feeling in the world!

Biggest trouble you faced as a writer?

The “spot o’ trouble” I had with my publisher last year (2013). That was pretty awful. I’m just now getting back on track with the re-release of Hereafter and hope things are smooth sailing from here on out.

 How do you react to a bad review?

I don’t really believe there is such a thing as a bad review. I don’t like every book I read, so I don’t expect that other people will, either. If someone doesn’t like my book, I feel bad, because I want to be universally loved and adored (who doesn’t?!), but for me, I focus more on the positive reviews. As long as there’s one person out there that liked what I wrote, then I’m going to keep writing.

Do you review others’ books? Are you nice or are you mean? :P

I do not officially review books. As an author, it seems weird to be publicly critiquing others’ work. However, when I do share my thoughts on a book, I try to be fair and factual—this is what I liked, this is what I didn’t like. I would never purposely be mean nor would I ever attack the author’s character, intelligence, talent, etc. There’s a saying, “love the sinner, hate the sin.” Well it’s the same with critiquing a book—an author is not their book. A book can be dumb, but that doesn’t mean the person who wrote it is dumb. One book doesn’t represent the entirety of their talent or personality (it’s kind of like acting—the character is not the actor and vice versa). Conversely, just because a book is brilliant or moving, don’t assume the author is brilliant or even a nice person :-) You have to separate the two and treat them like two separate entities, because they are.

Do you like singing or dancing? Does music inspire you?

I love both and am horrible at both. I am completely tone deaf. I tend to listen to music and sing along with it while I cook, and one of my cats used to claw my leg and howl to get me to stop. Apparently, my singing even offends cats.

What are your favorite TV shows?

I have a hard time finding good, engrossing t.v. shows—too many seem like they have a concept for the show, but not really a narrative storyline mapped out from the get go with an exit strategy (how it all ends), so they get in over their head, get really convoluted, and start making stuff up that makes no sense, and it all falls apart. Battlestar Galatica, Heroes, Fringe—all examples of shows I really loved that fell apart (to me, at least) at the end. The narrative just didn’t make any sense (Doctor Who, a current favorite, is starting to fall into this category, too).

Farscape is probably my all-time favorite show. Man, I loved that show. I was so sad to see it go. Sherlock, Game of Thrones, Treme, and Doctor Who are all current favorites (poor Treme is wondering how it got on this list! :-)).

Favorite movies?

Babette’s Feast (so sad!), The Inspector General, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Mummy…so many good ones!

 Favorite food? Do you cook?

I do cook (and bake)—quite a lot. It’s just my husband and I, so I often bring food into work and feed the people there. Really, I should have been someone’s little old Italian grandmother. As for favorite food, well, that’s hard to say. There’s so many that I like. But I rarely say no to any form of cheesecake. And I love crème brulee!

What thing you wish you could stop doing and you can’t?

Stress eating!

Do you have a nice relationship with your fans?

My fans are ridiculously, insanely, over-the-toply awesome people and I adore them. Seriously, since becoming an author I have met the nicest, kindest, most supportive, most generous people, and I feel so humbled by them.

 Amazing interview! TYVM Terri! You made me giggle with the love scenes thing :)

Help celebrate the re-release of HEREAFTER back into the wild at the Online Release Party January 21st from 12:00 pm EST (noon) to 12:00 am EST (midnight). Join Terri and over a dozen special guest authors—including Alma Alexander (“The Secrets of Jin-Shei”) , Gail Z. Martin (“Chronicles of the Necromancer”), Barbara Ann Wright (“The Pyramid Waltz”), and Jennifer Allis Provost (“Copper Girl”)—for games, giveaways, and other shenanigans. 

So please stop on by and bring your friends—the more merrier! 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Wasteland (Flight #2) Excerpt and Giveaway

Wasteland by Lindsay Leggett 

(Flight #2) 

Published December 7th 2013

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult


Wasteland, the next book in the FLIGHT trilogy, takes place a few months after the ending of book one.

Trapped in a cell and experimented on, Piper Madden’s only hope is remembering Asher. Then, Elder Corp President Rupert Elder gives her new orders: to be a leader in a war against the Harpies. Without a choice, Piper must obey Rupert’s commands or suffer from paralyzing and painful Nanomachines. But the war is just beginning, and Asher has gone missing. The resistance is slowly building, and the upcoming war will be larger and bloodier than anything seen since the Devastation that ruined the earth. Throughout all of this, Piper remembers the time before she ran to Ichton, when David was alive and her hope in Elder Corp was still strong.




Light shines on me, and I groan as shocks of pain spread behind my eyes. I realize I’m lying in the corner of the cell, curled up into a ball. My hair is knotted and dirty, and almost all of the red dye has now faded. I squint toward the light, seeing only a dark figure smudging its bright rays. 
As my eyes adjust, so does the outline of Rupert Elder. His suit is ebony and spotless, and gold earrings capture his ears. He’s alone, and shuts the cell door behind him, leaving us in momentary darkness before the cell’s faint lighting flickers on. 
He stares down at me, an arrogant grin across his lips. He has me exactly where he needs me; weak and pumped full of whatever he’s had his techs administering into my system. My arms are covered with tract marks and bruises from the large needles. I hate what he has reduced me to, but I am losing my will to keep moving. 
Just remember him. Think of how he is fighting for you. Fight for him.
“Piper Madden,” Rupert drawls. He crouches down to my level and runs his fingers across my cheek. I shudder involuntarily. His hands are cold as ice, and his breath stinks of stale cigar smoke. His many rings glint in the fluorescent light. 
“What do you want from me?” I gasp. My voice is sparse; my mouth is dry. I can’t even scream as he lifts me from my armpits and drags me up onto the bench where I usually sleep. He drops me on the far corner and then seats himself, swiping his pants as if he were infected just from touching me. 
“I just wanted to show you some of the new initiatives the Hunter program has begun,” he says, his voice shallow and cheerful. He pulls a small tablet from his pocket, presses a button, and it lights up. It’s a portable vid-screen, I realize. Must be new technology. I can’t help but wonder how many citizens now own one, the Corp monitoring their every move, their every transaction. 
Rupert slides his thumb along the screen, then presses down. A video pops up onto the screen, and he holds it in front of me for me to watch. 
At first I just hear voices; the usual sounds of rush hour in Central, but then the video comes into focus, and the voices turn to chants and vicious shouting. The video was taken at one of the town squares. The area has been cordoned off, and in the middle of the intersection, there were two people chained to large metal posts.
But then the camera zooms, and I realize that the figures are not people; they’re Harpies. Their wings have been pinned around the posts, and their eyes are listless, broken. One of them looks to be a child. Tears spring to my eyes, pulling from the last dredges of hydration I have left. The young one is a little girl, looking up to the fake sky in search of some kind of rescue. A rescue I know never came. 
The chanting grows louder; the people of Central throw bits of rubble at them. Then Rupert appears. In the video he is dressed as he is now, only with a microphone set clipped onto one of his jeweled ears.
“My dear people of Central. In front of you I have brought the enemy. The ones who wish to kill and eat your children. The ones who threaten your lives every day. But we will not let them frighten us. We will show them how strong we are, that we can bring them down. Who is the superior race?” he shouts.
“Humans!” the crowd launches back. My teeth are clenching, but I can’t take my eyes away.
“Let us prove to the Harpies that Elder Corporation has the control of this world. We will rise and take over the planet, just as we were meant to!” he growls. The crowd grows rowdier. 
Two Hunters march into the square in full Hunter dress regalia; stiff jackets with the Elder crest. They wear helmets, so I cannot tell who they are, but they look young. New. Malleable. Both are carrying large guns. They stand before the Harpies, who do not protest, who are not vicious or feral, but who tremble with fear. 
Then there is fire. Everywhere, flames as the Hunters discharge their weapons. The flames are tinged red, diluted with augmented Hunter blood. After a few moments the Hunters back away, and once the fire subsides, all that is left of the two Harpies is ash. 
My stomach turns, and I fight the urge to gag.
“You’re sick,” I spit at Rupert. He raises his eyebrows.
“Oh, really? I was under the impression that you were the one who was sick; your mind, torn apart by anguish and a disgusting affair with a monster. I am a savior to these people, Piper. I protect them. All I’m doing is giving them proof that they are safe,” he says. 
And there is nothing that I can even say, because I know that is what the people believe. Everyone believes Elder Corp. What other choice do they have? To them, life is perfect here. They may live underground, but they want for nothing. They have their holo-sky and their Pure Air generators and lab-grown food, and now, they have Harpy executions, to remind them that the only reason they live in this utopia is Elder Corporation. 
“Why don’t you just kill me?” I say finally. Rupert furrows his brows for a moment, and then bursts out laughing, his chuckle ringing hollow from the cell walls. 
“I would never kill you, Miss Madden. You are far too valuable, don’t you see?” he replies. 
I don’t see. What use am I to him trapped and broken? 
“What have you done to me?” Fear pervades my voice as I say this, as I look over the bruises from so many needles. He’s been experimenting on me, I know this. But what is his plan? What does he expect me to become?
“You will see, soon enough. Now get up. Your muscles have been wasting away. You look like you’re on your last legs from radiation poisoning. I thought you were stronger than that,” he commands. 
I try to stand, but my body is slow to obey me, and my muscles are weak. Rupert stands up and reaches his arms over, forcing me off the bench and onto the ground. My face lands first; blood drips from my nose.
“Now stand, Hunter.”
I try my hardest not to groan as I push myself up. Blood flows from my nostrils over my lips and off my chin. I grit my teeth, the metallic taste of my own blood filling my mouth. Once I’m upright, Rupert pushes me into the cell wall, and I slide down to the floor, the blow causing me to lose my wind.
I refuse to let him beat me. I can hear Asher’s voice in my mind, telling me to be strong, telling me not to break, because I’m better than that. 
I stand up, faster this time. I clench my muscles, expecting another blow, but instead Rupert just grins. If I could right now, I’d punch that stupid smile from his mouth.
“You never fail to disappoint, Piper. You shouldn’t even be able to breathe from the amount of drugs in your system. I couldn’t be more proud,” he says. 
I glare at him.
“What are you doing to me?” I say again, fiercer this time. 
He walks slowly toward me, menacing and somehow comforting at the same time. He lifts his hand to my face, and I turn away, but he strokes my cheek softly, lovingly. 
“I’m making you stronger. It might seem like hell now, but when the procedure is over, you’ll be the best Hunter the world has ever seen,” he whispers. His breath on me is toxic. 
“After all of this, why me? I’m not a Hunter anymore,” I say. He steps back, only the hint of a smile left on his face.
“I’ve never lost faith in you. You have always been… like a daughter to me,” he says. 
He gathers his things, and I keep my body pressed against the wall. Before he leaves, he turns back to me. 
“I want you to work on your strength, every day. The stronger you get, the closer you will be toward gaining your freedom.”
The word echoes from his lips and reverberates throughout my body. Freedom. Is there such a thing?
He leaves, closing the door behind me. Soon my next meal will come; I’ve lost count of what time it is, so every meal is the same. Then Evan will come and administer the drugs, and my world will reset. 
But what Rupert said doesn’t leave me. I can almost taste fresh air on my tongue; real fresh air, damp and drizzling from the sky. 
And even though my body aches and my face is bloody, I start to work it, to gain back the strength I have lost. If it means freedom, I would do anything. But in the back of my mind, I know that this freedom will come with a steep price, and I need to be ready to pay it, or flee. 


Nearly every writer struggles to put together information about themselves, perhaps because we’re so used to detailing the lives and ways of others. For the most part I am a writer, editor, photographer, and all-around artist living in the wilds north of Toronto, Ontario. I thrive on the juxtaposition of beauty and grit, enjoy urban crawls, indie everything, and time well-spent in the woods.

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