Friday, June 23, 2017

SPOTLIGHT POST: 'TERRENCE: A LOVE STORY' by Alice Rachel | Xpresso Book Tours



Note: I'm signed on this tour for a review, but that will come tomorrow. For now, enjoy this spotlight post about a new LGBT book by Alice Rachel!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Favorite "Unlikeable" Protagonists



Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top 5 favorite "unlikable" protagonists.

June 21st: Favorite "Unlikeable" Protagonists
-- People always tear down "unlikeable" protagonists. But tell us the ones you pulled for!





5. Bella Cullen (nee Swan) from Twilight - So many book critics, haters, even fans of the Twilight series seem to think less of Bella as a protagonist. They think of her as weak, normal, boring, safe, timid. But although she is very shy and keeps to herself, I think that she is the most human protagonists who doesn't try to change anything about her personality, especially for her vampire husband Edward Cullen. She's stubborn, intelligent, intuitive, selfless, kind, and tries so hard to make everyone else around her happy, even though it kills her inside. And the movies only intensified those good qualities about her.

New Moon, the second book in the series, makes you realize how human she really is, because how else would a young girl feel if her boyfriend, her first real boyfriend, regardless of the whole vampire/supernatural thing, leaves her? You'd expect her to feel devastated!! Her turmoil of just the loss of him, her nightmares, seeing him everywhere, not eating, not sleeping, barely has any friends because almost all of her friends were from the relationship with Edward. She couldn't even say or think his own name for awhile because it was just so painful. But when she saved him three times throughout the series --- in New Moon during the Volterra scene; Eclipse when Edward got caught by Victoria and Riley; and in Breaking Dawn when she used her shield to protect him --- she finally realized where she belongs. Not just with Edward, but with a new family.

Sorry that this segment is so long haha! I just am so defensive when it comes to Bella, and Twilight in general. There are bad protagonists out there, but Bella is definitely not one of them.



4. Daniela from Santa Muerte - I hardly talk about this book because it had so many issues in it, especially the main protagonist Daniela. But as much of an issue she is, looking back, I realize she's not a terrible character. She's just misguided, lost, scared, trying to keep it all together just like the rest of us.



3. Tris from Divergent - Tris went from a good female main character, to naïve, annoying and just plain dumb. But I don't find her dumb, I find her passionate. She did her best to use her Divergent-ness to save her loved ones, even if it cost her her life. It's endearing, especially when in most YA cases, the main female character only thinks of herself.



2. Hazel Grace Lancaster from The Fault in Our Stars - I initially wasn't going to put Hazel Grace right after Tris, being that they were played by the same actress, Shailene Woodley. But since she does have superiority complexes, is stubborn, pretentious and kinda annoying. However, she is very selfless and doesn't complain about her cancer. In fact, she almost embraces it. She uses the terminal disease as a way to protect her loved ones, so that if/when she does die, they'll have something to remember her by. It's quite endearing.



1. Clary Fray from Shadowhunters/Mortal Instruments - I haven't read TMI in a minute, but I did remember how Clary was annoying and elitist to a lot of readers. To me, I didn't think she was that annoying. How would you react to find that your mother lied to you about your whole life for 16-18 years, that you're apart of a world that you didn't even know existed? And then you fallin love for the first time with this hot, sexy Shadowhunter named Jace Wayland. But then come to find out that your Jace is your brother, then isn't!!! You'd be pretty unbearable too! But I think she's cool too. I like her more on the show than the movie.

So those are my top 5 favorite unlikable protagonists. Who are some of yours? Leave comments below.




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Tweet: It's not that these characters are unlikable, they're just misunderstood. #T5W #top5wednesday https://ctt.ec/2Uo17+ @poetrybooksya
Thanks for reading! :) ♥

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

*School Assignment*: Officer Jeronimo Yanez Acquitted from Murdering Philando Castile. What Happens Next?

In this November 2016 photo, Philando Castile's mother Valerie
when her son's killer was charged with manslaughter. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Note to my subscribers: No, I'm not hacked lol. This is yet another blog post I'm writing for my journalism class, this time about the verdict of Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was involved in the shooting of Philando Castile in July 2017. Read below for more information. Let me know your thoughts about the case in the comments below.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

PART 2 *School Assignment*: Effective Delivery of Major News Story


In this Saturday, June 3 2017, photo provided by Thrive Images' Amy Thierney, actress Tracee Ellis Ross speaks at Step Up's Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Behind, left to right, Ross' Black-ish co-stars: Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Marsai Martin, Miles Brown, Anthony Anderson. (AP Photo)


In Variety’s Tracee Ellis Ross Speaks Words of Wisdom to Young Women at Step Up's Inspiration Awards, television, radio and social media are used as major dissemination channels for the story.

*School Assignment*: Effective Delivery of Major News Story

Caption: In this Saturday, June 3 2017, photo provided by Variety's Rob LaTour, actress Tracee Ellis Ross speaks at Step Up's Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Behind, left to right, Ross' Black-ish co-stars: Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Marsai Martin, Miles Brown.


For my subscribers/usual readers: I know this isn't my normal, regularly scheduled book blog post, but things are being pushed back for this assignment I'm doing for school. I'm a Communications major and for my Journalism class, I have to make a blog post about the story of Tracee Ellis Ross, star of ABC's Black-ish, and her cast --- Anthony Anderson, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin --- at the 2017 Step Up's Inspiration Awards in Los Angeles.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Books for Hufflepuffs!!


Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top 5 books that best represent our Hogwarts House.

June 7th: Books For Your Hogwarts House
-- Show your Hogwarts House Pride, and tell us the top 5 books that represent your house!


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

COVER REVEALS: OPEN WOUNDS and WEATHERED SOULS by Inger Iversen | Xpresso Book Tours


Open Wounds: Abel & Hope
Inger Iversen
(A Love Against the Odds Novel)
Publication date: June 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
If you could see your life from inception to your death, would you change things or would you let your death play out as fate intended?
Abel is in search of only two things. A stable job and a safe place to lay his head at night after a mistake that cost him eighteen months of his life. As if fate had plans made only for him, Abel is offered a complicated job, and a chance to redeem himself to his old boss.
And then he meets her…
And Abel adds another item to his list—Hope.
At twenty-six, Hope has only ever slept with one man, and at her boss’s unsolicited advice, Hope plans to forget the abuse and degradation she suffered at her ex’s hand by seducing and bedding the next man she meets. Only, after Hope finds a promise of death at her doorstep, her plans are derailed and only chance at staying alive rests on the dedication of her new bodyguard and her own sheer will to live the life she deserves.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

#ArmchairBookExpo Day 3 - 'Diversity' and 'Dream Dining'


Armchair Book Expo continues with Day 3's prompts and posts, in conjunction with the Book Expo America event in New York City.

introduction/welcome post: here it is!

Day 2: What Readers Want & Collaborate: here it is! 

Today's prompts are Diversity and Dream Dining. I'd started these posts on Instagram earlier today, but here's a continuation of those down below.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

#ArmchairBookExpo Day 2: 'What Readers Want' and 'Collaborate'


Armchair Book Expo continues with Day 2's prompts and posts, in conjunction with the Book Expo America event in New York City. If you missed my introduction/welcome post yesterday, here it is!

Today's prompts are What Readers Want and Collaborate. I'd started these posts on Instagram earlier today, but here's a continuation of those down below.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Fandoms I'm No Longer In

Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top 5 fandoms I'm no longer in.

I changed this to fandoms I was never in or grew out of, that a lot of people seem to indulge in. Sorry if this is your fandom, it's just my opinion! ♥


#ArmchairBookExpo: Welcome Post/Introductory Questions


Hey guys! Here's a new post I'll be doing for a few days, called Armchair Book Expo! It's supposed to represent the 2017 Book Expo America, but for online bloggers and book fans. This is my first year participating in Armchair Book Expo, and I'm so excited to dive on in to this new adventure!

Armchair Book Expo lasts from May 31 – June 2, in conjunction with the physical BEA in Javits Center, NYC.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Favorite Minor Characters



Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top 5 favorite minor characters.

May 24th: Favorite Minor Characters
--Minor characters are less than a sidekick or a side character (but not in our hearts!) Everyone will have a different definition of what makes a minor vs a side character but just as an example, I'd consider Ron and Hermione side characters, while Lavender Brown, Oliver Wood, and Dean Thomas are minor characters. Results may vary so don't get tooooo caught up in it :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY #35: Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017


Hosted by Jamie, Jana and Lauren of BrokeandBookish.com, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly book meme that presents top ten lists on Tuesdays that promotes favorite bookish themes.

This week's theme:

May 30: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Summer Reads

Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top 5 Summer Reads:

May 17th: Summer Reads
--The weather is heating up (for half of the world), so what books remind you of summer and are your quintessential summer reads?


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY #34: Things On Our Reading Wishlist


Hosted by Jamie, Jana and Lauren of BrokeandBookish.com, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly book meme that presents top ten lists on Tuesdays that promotes favorite bookish themes.

This week's theme:

Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist (topic originally done January 2014) -- things you want to see more of in books -- tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Favorite SFF Cover Art #BooktubeSFFAwards



Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top 5 Favorite SFF Cover Art. This topic coincides with the Booktube SFF Awards.


TOP TEN TUESDAY #33: Theme Freebie - Powerhouse Covers!!


Hosted by Jamie, Jana and Lauren of BrokeandBookish.com, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly book meme that presents top ten lists on Tuesdays that promotes favorite bookish themes.

This week's theme:

Cover Theme Freebie: literally anyyyything about covers....top ten covers that scream Spring, ten books with ice cream on the cover, ten books with blue covers, etc. etc. THIS ONE COULD BE REALLY FUN and I can't wait to see how creative your lists are!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Authors I Want to Read More From



Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top 5 authors I want to read more from.

~oOoOo~

April 26th: Authors You Want to Read More From
--Talk about some authors that you've only read one or a few books from, and you NEED to read more!
    


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY #32: Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book



Hosted by Jamie, Jana and Lauren of BrokeandBookish.com, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly book meme that presents top ten lists on Tuesdays that promotes favorite bookish themes.

This week's theme:

April 18: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book (topic originally done back in 2013 as top ten words/topics that will make me instantly want to read a book) -- so yeah basically any topic or theme or ANYTHING (ie if X person recommends it) that will make you instantly want to pick up a book. My list will likely be called Jamie-bait because there are soooo certain things you can say in a summary or a review that will just instantly draw me to it!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Top SFF Books on My TBR

Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top 5 science-fiction/fantasy books on my TBR list. This is also a #BooktubeSFF Awards babble crossover topic.

April 5th: Top SFF Books on Your TBR *Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic!*
--Talk about the science fiction and fantasy books you want to read ASAP!

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5. One Wish Away (Djinn Empire #1) by Ingrid Seymour - This is more fantasy than science-fiction, but it's Ingrid, and I adore her work, so I'm excited to read this at some point.

Summary:
Faris is a Djinn with a secret and Marielle the first master to give him hope. Will she be the one to break his curse? There is no telling. All he really knows is she's ONE WISH AWAY from breaking his heart.

When Marielle was little, she used to believe Grandpa about his wish-granting Djinn. But now that she’s older, her beliefs have changed, and things like lousy ex-boyfriends and alcoholic fathers have become her reality.

Life isn’t done shattering her truths, though, and when Grandpa dies and the Djinn he warned her never to trust shows up at her doorstep, the world becomes a dangerous, magical place she never knew existed. Reeling for her once-normal life, Marielle soon realizes there’s no going back—not when she’s become part of a mortal conflict between two spell-bound Djinn. Faris—her handsome slave. And Zet—his vengeance-hungry brother. They both want something from her. One, her love. The other one, her life.

Now she’s afraid she will die in love.

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4. Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo - This world sounds so intricate and so much is going on, but I still want to at least try it lol.

Summary:
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy. 

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3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - Basically the same reason as #4 lol.

Summary:
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done - and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first. 

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2. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir - I've heard so many things about this book --- good, bad, fangirling and all --- and I really want to read it!!

Summary:
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

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 1. Enigma by Tonya Kuper - Y'all don't know how goshdarn excited I am for this book to pop out July 4!!!! This is the second book in Tonya's Schrodinger's Consortium series, and I can't wait to see what Josie and Reid are up to next, now that Josie is still learning to use her Oculi powers.

Summary:
The highly anticipated sequel to Anomaly will be released the summer of 2017!

Worst. Road Trip. Ever.

Escaping with Reid Wentworth should have been fun, but how can I enjoy it when I just (accidentally) killed someone, my mom and brother are in danger, and the Consortium is trying to enslave humanity? (Yeah, they aren’t fooling around.) So feeling something for Reid Wentworth was not part of the plan. Trying to help unite the Resistance against the Consortium means I can’t be distracted by hot boys.

The Resistance secret hideout isn’t exactly the rebel base of my dreams. A traitor there wants me dead, but we have no idea who it is. And with both the Resistance and the Consortium trying to control me, the only one I can trust is Reid. If we’re going to have any chance of protecting my family, controlling my unstable powers, and surviving the clash between the Oculi factions, I’m going to have to catch this traitor. By using myself as bait. 
____________________

So those are my SFF TBR additions for #BooktubeSFF Awards. What are some of your own choices? Leave them in the comments below.

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Thanks for reading! :) ♥

Thursday, March 30, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Future Classics



Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top 5 future classics:

March 29th- Future Classics
--Let us know the books you think will be considered classics one day!



Image result for room emma donoghue

5. ROOM by Emma Donoghue - I've only seen the movie twice and read half of the book, but the movie had more of an effect on me than the book. A 5 year old's perspective on his life in a very small, secluded place he calls Room, with his mother, who was kidnapped and abused by Old Nick. I don't want to spoil, but the movie was so profound in how a mother will do anything to protect her child, and how a young boy's life is turned upside down just by being outside. Kids should have that right to be kids, and this book/movie shows that he had a good life.
Image result for hunger games

4. THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins - We're already living in the Districts right now, and the POTUS is worse than President Snow, so it's a no-brainer that this series will be a cult classic one day. If it isn't already.

Image result for fault in our stars

3. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green - I've seen people say that they think this book will be a classic too, but to be honest, I don't really see it. If anything, it's a very good book and movie, but a classic? Not really sure. I don't even know why I added it to this list lol. Maybe because Hazel and Gus are two halves of YA's best cancer-ridden couples?
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2. THE TWILIGHT SAGA by Stephenie Meyer - Regardless of what you think of these books personally, the plot, the romance, the fantasy, you can't deny that these books mostly brought us into the YA book community. I'm especially grateful and hope the day that Twilight will be considered a classic.
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1. HARRY POTTER SERIES by JK Rowling - Do I need to say anything else? I'm surprised that HP isn't a classic already!! This series expresses nothing but friendship, bravery, honesty, truth, wise old men, growing up, and becoming your own hero. So much needed in a classic series.

So those are my choices for future classics. Let's discuss your choices in the comments below!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY #31: Top Ten Authors I'm Dying To Meet


Hosted by Jamie, Jana and Lauren of BrokeandBookish.com, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly book meme that presents top ten lists on Tuesdays that promotes favorite bookish themes.

This week's theme:

Top Ten Authors I'm Dying To Meet / Ten Authors I Can't Believe I've Met  (some other "meeting authors" type spin you want to do)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

'OF GLITTER AND GOLD' GIVEAWAY by Sherry D. Ficklin: ENTER to Win a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box!!


Of Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Anthology
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 27th 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Set during the flamboyant anything-goes era of 1920’s America, these three tales are filled with intriguing characters and rich imagery from the time period—with flappers, jazz music, gangsters, and lavish wealth. Escape to a different decade today with the compelling stories of the Canary Club Anthology.
Novelette 1- Gilded Cage
Masie, the flaxen-haired daughter of notorious bootlegger Dutch Schultz, returns home from boarding school to find her family in crisis. Her mother is dangerously unstable, her father’s empire is on the brink of ruin, and the boy she once loved has become a ruthless killer for hire. To keep her family’s dangerous secrets, Masie is forced into a lie that will change the course of her future—and leave her trapped in a gilded cage of her own making.
Novelette 2- All That Glitters
A dame with brains, moxie, and killer curves, June West isn’t your average flapper. She’s managed to endear herself to the son of one of the most powerful gangsters in New York, earning herself a spot in the limelight that she’s always longed for. With the infamous playboy at her side, June has become accustomed to living the high life. Lavish parties, expensive clothes, sparkling jewels—nothing is beyond her reach. But when her carefully woven web of lies finally catches up with her, she must make an impossible choice… come clean about her past and risk losing everything, or find a way to bury her demons—once and for all.
Novelette 3 – Nothing Gold
Dickey has been down on his luck since the day he was born. Flat broke and sick of being looked down on, he meets young socialite Lillian at a wild party. The connection is like a strike of lightning. From a wealthy New York family, this debutante is everything he’s been told he can never have—and the only thing he wants. Determined to win her, he knows the only way to get her parents approval is with cold hard cash. So when a shot at the biggest score of his life comes around, he just can’t refuse…
NOTHING GOLD EXCERPT:
It’s easier than I imagined to sneak into the party. The music is so loud and the crowd so enormous that no one sees me wind my way through the shrubs on the outskirts. The massive estate is far enough away from the city that I had to hitch a ride to get here, and I’ll have to time my exit just right to make the train back to Manhattan.

Brushing off my secondhand suit coat, I enter the party via the back patio. A wide pool is filled with people, most still in their fancy evening wear. My eyes slide past them, searching for the one person at this shindig that I know. I scan past butlers with white gloves holding silver trays covered in champagne glasses, past gleeful dames in short skirts with blood-red lips, and past gents in their glad rags I can tell with one glance cost more dough than I make in a year working at the mill.

When I finally see him, his pinstripe suit, matching fedora, and red pocket square, he’s standing atop the massive staircase on the ledge overlooking the party. Deacon Brewer, the reason I’m here tonight. His hands are stuffed in the pockets of his trousers as he chats up a fella I don’t recognize, along with the dame hanging off his arm. Plastering on an easy grin, I wind my way through the people, helping myself to a glass of bubbly as I head for the stairs. The stone steps are covered in gold confetti, the whole place practically dripping with it. Long, red velvet drapes hang from arched windows, and leafless branches painted gold and draped with crystal beads sit in tall vases in every corner. Nothing has been left un-gilded.

I shake my head at the audacity. Might as well have a neon sign—someone, please rob the joint.
Deacon sees me coming and dismisses himself from his conversation, welcoming me with an open hand.

“Dickey Lewis, glad you could make it, boy,” he offers warmly.

As if I had a choice.

“Of course, Mr. Brewer,” I respond with more warmth than I feel. Truth is that I’m in deep to Deacon after a few bad bets at his club last month, and he opted to make me work it off rather than take it outta my hide. I suppose that makes him clever, but I can’t help the gnawing feeling that this is a debt I may never fully repay. “What’s the score?” I ask, lowering my voice.

Draping an arm across my shoulders, he walks me through the glass doors and into the house. Still crammed with people drinking, dancing, and generally wrecking the joint, he pulls a cigar from his vest pocket with his free hand.

“Upstairs in the den is a lovely Monet, behind which is a very large safe. Cash, some baubles, and a bankbook are inside. I don’t care about the rest; you take what you need. But the bankbook needs to find its way into my hands tomorrow morning by eight am.”

I take a deep breath, rolling my tongue over my teeth before answering, “How am I supposed to get into the safe?”

He barks a deep laugh, slapping me on the back. “Guess you’ll have to get a little creative. Just get in, get out, and don’t let nobody see ya, got it?”

All I can do is nod and watch him swagger away. Sure, I’ve boosted loot before, but always simple jobs, smash and grabs. Nothing like this. What have I gotten myself into this time?
Still, whatever else is in there is mine for the taking, I tell myself. Could be a big pay day, judging by the looks of the place.

I wander casually through the house, trying to look as if I belong while also counting the number of cops and guards watching the area. It’s not as many as I expected. I grab a dark-haired dame by the waist, offering her a charming smile and asking for a dance. We Charleston together for two songs, finally stopping to imbibe more champagne. When I ‘accidently’ stumble into her, she spills the contents of her glass on my jacket, fumbling a wide-eyed apology.

Waving her off with a smile, I hand her my glass, “You take this, and I’ll go find a place to wash up.”
“You could always take a dip in the pool, honey,” she says, batting her eyelashes.

Beside her, a gentleman points up a secondary set of stairs near the front door. “Washroom is up there, I think.”

I mutter a thanks and a promise to return, then make my way up the stairs, continuing to stumble around as if drunk, occasionally opening a door to find a couple necking or a room full of folks smoking the Indian hop in long pipes.

Finally, the thumping of the music fading below me, I make my way to the library. Beyond that, I find the only locked door on the entire floor. Digging into my pocket, I pull out my lock kit, a simple flattened iron jimmy and a hooked pick. Sliding both in the lock, I slide them back and forth, listening for the mechanism inside to release. It doesn’t take long and the door springs open, allowing me to step inside and close it quickly behind me. It’s dark except for the glow of a single lamp atop a massive oak desk, behind which is a tall arched window overlooking the front of the estate. From this spot, I can see the cars lined up along the circular drive, partygoers coming and going in wild abandon. Pulling the pocket watch from my vest, I wipe my fingers across the cracked glass face, checking the time. Only thirty minutes until the train. If I miss it, it’ll be two hours before the next one. Not the end of the world, unless someone notices the lift before I’m gone. That’s a long time to stick around with a pocket fulla stolen goods.

I glance around me, the blood chilling in my veins. Every wall except the one with the window is covered in framed paintings. And I have no idea which one is a Monet.

Scrambling, I begin lifting each, checking the wall behind for any sign of the safe. Finally, on the opposite wall from where I started, I find it. Carefully lifting the heavy canvas free, I set it on the floor and turn my attention to the wall safe. It’s not large, about the size of a bread box with a spinning combination dial in the center. Unsure what else to do, I pull the pocket knife free from my trousers and flick it open, trying to wedge it between the door and the frame. As soon as I do, I know it’s going to be futile. The thing is heavy steel; no way my knife is gonna bust it open. Putting it away, I begin spinning the dial at random, praying I’ll get lucky.

I’m so flustered I don’t hear the door open or the footsteps from behind me until it’s too late.

“It’s my birthday,” a voice offers, making me spin, hands balled into fists to fight my way free from the room.

The dame is tall, her garnet-red hair rolled into bouncy curls and pinned in a messy heap at the back of her neck. Her dress is green, almost the same color as her eyes, and it hugs her slender frame as if it were a second skin. Even the long strings of pearls twined around her neck seems completely natural, not just a decoration but an extension of her. I take a breath, blinking, momentarily stunned. She drapes one hand on her hip, her entire body listing to the side as she points to the safe.

“The combination,” she repeats. “It’s my birthday.”

Finally recovering my voice, I stammer. “I was, uh, just…”

The corners of her mouth turn upward. “Breaking into my father’s safe?”

I don’t know what to say. I feel her in the room, the way one might feel the air change right before a storm, a heaviness that settles in, leaving my soul with a sense of foreboding. My instincts battle inside me. Do I grab her and tie her to a chair, or do I flee? The weight of her gaze makes it impossible to think clearly.

“Relax,” she says, raising a glass I hadn’t noticed her holding to her lips and taking a slow drink. “I’m not calling the guards if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Oh? You’re just gonna let me crack this safe and walk away with whatever’s inside?”

She shrugs. “It’s not my money. What do I care?”

I lick my lips, sizing her up. A spoiled little rich girl who wants to stick it to Daddy. I’ve seen a few of those in my day. I can work with this—if I can get my head back on straight. It’s not like me to get so flustered by a dame, not even a high-quality one like this.

“Besides…” She sets the glass on the desk and saunters toward me. “It’s not like we don’t have enough.”

I catch a hint of her perfume in the air when she brushes by me, lavender and something else I can’t quite place. Taking the dial in her hand, she spins the knob until the door finally clicks, then she steps back, giving me a go-ahead gesture.

I hesitate, flicking glances at the bare skin where her neck meets her shoulder, at the creamy whiteness of her skin, before settling my eyes on her face. “What’s your name, doll?”

She looks down, sheepishly at first, but then raises just her eyes to look at me with an expression of bold defiance. “I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.”

I swallow, considering her offer. She’s already gotten a good look at me, enough to rat me out to the cops. The look on her face is one of challenge, I realize. She’s daring me to trust her.

“Dickey,” I say, pulling the flat cap off my head and holding it over my heart as I bow to her. “Dickey Lewis, at your service, Miss?”

“Lillian Rose Duke,” she answers. “But my friends call me Lilly.”

Replacing my hat, I grab the safe handle and twist, pulling open the heavy door. Grabbing a large wooden box first, I hold it out to her. Moving back, I grab two stacks of fresh bills and stuff them in the pockets of my suitcoat. Finding the bankbook last, I tuck it into the back of my pants before pulling my shirt and jacket over it.

I spin to Lilly, watching as she upends the box, spilling jewelry onto the desk in a pile. She picks through it, finally just scooping it all into her hand and sauntering over to me. Getting so close I feel the warmth of her, she grabs the lapel of my jacket, sliding the gold and stones into the inside pocket.

“Give these to your girl, Dickey Lewis.”

She releases my lapel, but doesn’t step away. Instead, she leans forward. Thinking she’s going to kiss me, I straighten in anticipation, but she just trails her fingers along my collar until she’s cupping the back of my neck.

“I ain’t got no girl,” I admit, my heart pounding behind my ribs.

“Well, isn’t that a shame?” she says, her lips a hair’s breadth from mine.

Unable to resist, I close the final distance between us, clutching her by the waist as I urge her lips to mine. I’ve never tasted gold before, but I imagine this is what it would be like—champagne, honey, and nerves of steel. When she finally pulls away, I’m gasping. Tugging tugs the white linen handkerchief from my pocket, she wipes my face, then hers, of her smeared lipstick before returning the hankie to its place.

“I hope to see you around, Dickey Lewis.”

With that, she spins on her heel and heads for the door, listening for a moment before pulling it open and stepping out. The room is instantly colder, the air thinner. I can finally breathe, can think.
As I slink from the party and disappear into the shadows, making my way down the street to the train station, I can’t force the sight of her from my mind, or the taste of her from my lips.

Even if it takes every penny in my pocket and every breath in my body, I will see Lillian Rose Duke again.



Author Bio:
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Favorite Angsty Romances



Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top 5 favorite angsty romances. Most of the angsty romances I read are from Twilight fanfiction, but they still have the same amount of heartwrenching angst!! If I manage to find some actual books that have the same thing, I'll add those too.


5. A Deep Slow Panic by myonlyheroin - I just finished reading the final chapter of this fanfic and it's so good and the beginning is so sad. It's what the Twilight Saga: New Moon would have been like if Edward had came back 2 years later.

Summary:
NM AU—It has been two years since I left her behind. Two years to the exact date. My chest rises and falls in fast succession as her heart beat thundered against my ears. She's here, I'm here and dark anxiousness sets in. Will this be our final undoing?


4. Sharp Left Turn by FyreByrd - I don't remember all of this fanfic, but I do remember crying over it. The feels, man...

Summary:
In an instant your life can take a sharp left turn. Can you find the strength to lose it all and gain the unknown? Lives will be shattered, including your own.


3. Yes by GeekChic12 - This isn't really angsty, but there are moments in the story where Edward and Bella have breakdowns individually, which are really sad to read about. Plus, Edward has Asperger's Syndrome, and he deals with a lot of bullying, which is hard to read.

Summary:
 "He talks to me sometimes. I mean, it's usually sort of one-sided, but… every once in a while, he'll make eye contact with me, and I feel like I've won the lottery or something." A boy most people overlook. A girl who sees just how amazing he is. All human. High School. Dedicated to lellabeth.

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2. Sing for Me by Gracie Madison - A forbidden romance between an angel of light and her guardian. Angst is fully loaded up until the last couple chapters.

Summary:
Madeline Noel fled war-torn Heaven to hide within the mortal world, but the blessing that could protect her from evil is the holy realm's forbidden power.
As a talented soprano for the Eden Theatre Company, Madeline hides among prima donnas and tone-deaf flutists. Her perfect voice may entertain audiences, but a careless laugh may shatter glass, and her greatest scream can kill. To control her unrestrained voice, the angels forbid Madeline from embracing the emotions that strengthen her song. Anger. Fear.
Love.
The demon-hunter Damascus vows to defend Madeline from Hell’s relentless evil, but he cannot protect her from her own feelings. Though they deny their dangerous attraction, her guardian becomes her greatest temptation.
Surrendering to desire may awaken the gift suppressed within Madeline’s soul, and neither Heaven nor Hell will allow such absolute power to exist.

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1. The Twilight Saga: New Moon - The saddest of all the Twilight books. Edward leaves Bella, and sinks into a hardcore depression. Terribly sad. When I first read the book, I cried for days. I didn't even know he comes back at the end lol. After Bella saves his dramatic ass for showing himself in front of the humans in Italy. You can tell I'm still salty about this even though they get back together in the end lol. But it's still full of angst and sorrow.

Summary:
I knew we were both in mortal danger. Still, in that instant, I felt well. Whole. I could feel my heart racing in my chest, the blood pulsing hot and fast through my veins again. My lungs filled deep with the sweet scent that came off his skin. It was like there had never been any hole in my chest. I was perfect - not healed, but as if there had never been a wound in the first place.

For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella could ever have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning... 

~OoOoOo~

So those are my top 5 most angst-filled romances. I'd love to know your choices in the comments below.

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