Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween Everybody

I hate horror movies unless that have all scares and no funny but I find that I can read about almost anything in a book.

What books do you find scary?
I love reading Stephen King books, his short stories are great and usually pretty darn scary.

One from this collection in particular gave me the weirdest dream.  It's all about this guy riding an exercise bike and looking at maps/painting a road scene on the wall and gauging where he would be in the world.  Of course things get much weirder and creepier as the story progresses.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Literary Loot

Here's my Literary Loot aka cool thing based on a book, that I just received in the mail.

Bought an awesome necklace from Jodie Smith's jlynne1089 shop on Etsy.  A great way to celebrate Across the Universe by Beth Revis, a superb book.  The necklace was a great price too.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bernard the Black Band - Reform Party Recruitment Drive

First of all Broken is a superb book for anyone that loves super heroes or dystopian worlds.  Here's my review.

This is a Black Band, who I've named Bernard, from the world of Broken by Susan Jane Bigelow.  As part of the Candlemark & Gleam Reform Party Recruitment Drive Contest I've decided to show his discovery of this world:

Bernard has bird trouble

Bernard has a sing-a-long

Friday, October 28, 2011

Marvelous Mail of the Week

I was so excited to win this ARC from a contest that Gini Koch had.  :)

I'm very happy that I'll have this ARC of Alien Proliferation to read this weekend because I can't wait to see what happens to Kitty, Martini, and the rest of the characters.

A size comparison: the ARCs are much bigger then their series siblings. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shadow Embrace

Embraced by the Shadows by Mayra Calvani

* Received for review

First of all a definite 5 out of 5 tiara wearing bats for this little story.

Do you ever feel a presence watching you from behind, following you and protecting you.  Could it be that you have a Guardian Angel?  No that’s just your vampire stalker.  This book draws you in and then keeps giving you reasons to read more and more.
I like that the mortal who bonds with a vampire starts to gain little traits that allude to it (i.e. eating nearly raw steaks, unstoppable urge to watch the bloodiest movies and shows to see the gore, and licking raw liver leavings.)
It is interesting how things lead into each other in this book.   It ties everything together really nicely even with a couple of sub plots all going on at the same time.  Oh and the mystery with her mom’s death is done very well, I didn’t even have a clue until the reveal.
I want the clubs and restaurants from that world to exist. If Fangs was located around here I would definitely be a regular.  And that serpent necklace would so have to be mine it sounds so pretty.

This is a wonderful read that will keep you wondering and really draw you into the story.  I liked the unique view of vampire society.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fascinating Faeries

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

* ARC received from Tor|Forge Books

4 out of 5 gnomes 

The Faerie Ring is a great read that's full of intrigue, mysteries, and characters with secrets and something to prove.

Tiki is not an ordinary pickpocket, she used to have a really good life but after the death of her parents and a scary living situation with her aunt, she ended up on the streets.   

When we meet Tiki though she's really confident in what she does and has pretty much created a new family.  She has banded together with Shamus and Fiona, the people that originally took her in and found two more outcasts to help.  

The family situation that Tiki has with Clara, Toots, Shamus, and Fiona shows how dynamic her character is.  You'll find yourself caring about each of them and wanting them to stay together and succeed against all odds.  She's like the mother hen so when Clara who's only four gets sick she knows that she will do anything to get her better. 

There's a love interest but thankfully not a love triangle because that would have been way too many complications.  Rieker, who's name I kept pronouncing like Riker aka the first officer of a very famous starship, is a fellow thief who has some secrets of his own.  He's kind of a Robin Hood like character who slowly shows his true character to Tiki.  It's great that they don't have an instant connection but that it has to grow and they have to learn to trust each other.

There are some coincidental events that come together of course but even if you might guess what's going to happen it still makes for a great read. The story wasn't as predictable as I thought it was at first either.  I had guessed the reverse of what actually turns out to be true about Tiki and her love interest.

The faerie lore is well done, I like it when faeries are unpredictable and don't have the best intentions.  This story has quite the mixture of faeries and I have a feeling that the faeries will be even more prominent in the next book. 

Tiki's a strong character who knows what she wants, to keep her new family together.  To do this though she will have to make some hard decisions.  These decisions are what make up much of the story.  Her driving goal is to make sure that they are all safe and happy and by the end of the book that goal may have just been met, for now anyway.  There's a lot to discover in this story and the characters are left in a situation with a happy type ending.  I can't wait to see what happens next in this world and Tiki's life.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sentence Sneak Peek - The Faerie Ring

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

The first sentence from each chapter of The Faerie Ring, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* ARC received from
Tor|Forge Books

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

"London, December 1871
YOU wouldn't be here pickin' pockets, would you?"

"TIKI jolted awake."

"TIKI pushed aside the board hanging from a single nail and slipped into the abandoned clockmaker's shop that adjoined Charing Cross Station."

"THE distant whistles and roar of the steam engines coming and going in the station woke Tiki the next morning."

"WHERE'S the ring, Leo?"

"TIKI'S lungs burned as she neared Mr. Lloyd's shop, the ring heavy in her pocket."

"TIKI heaved a sigh of relief as she sat on the bench in King's Cross Monday afternoon."

"RIEKER stood as Tiki jumped to her feet."

"TIKI was exhausted by the time she returned to Char-ing Cross."

"IN theory, the idea was simple, but with only four days to put the plan into action, it was the details that pre-sented the challenge."

"THE day of the masked ball at the palace dawned cool and clear."

"TIKI sat on the hard wooden seat and stared out the small window as they passed the Queen's Park."

"OH, well..."

"THANK you, Leo, for that timely diversion."

"SEVERAL days later, Tiki stood in Mr. Potts's book-store, browsing for a new book to borrow."

"THAT night, Tiki woke to what sounded like a cat-fight out in the alley."

"STEAL the ring again?"

"RIEKER was gone the next morning, almost as if he'd never been there at all."

"LEO rode low over Diablo's neck, enjoying the wild rush of wind against his face."

"THE day was dark and cold, like an echo of the emo-tions that warred inside her."

"ARTHUR, you've returned," Leo cried as he hurried into the library."

"TIKI burst through the door, her sides heaving as she tried to catch her breath."

"TIKI was out in the station early the next day, waiting for Rieker to appear."


"THERE you two are."

"LEO tightened the cinch on Diablo, ignoring the snort of protest from the big horse."

"IT was just past midnight when Tiki hurried through St. James's Park."

"THE next afternoon, Tiki slipped out of their room and hurried through the alley away from Charing Cross."

"WILLS is mine."

"THE words dropped like stones into a still pond, a wave of emotion moving like ripples across the surface of Rieker's face."

"LEO stood up in the stirrups to stretch the muscles in his legs that were beginning to fatigue."

"TIKI paced around the room again, her fingers tap-ping a nervous rhythm on her crossed arms."

"IT was dark when Rieker returned."

"LEO stared at Wills over his cards."

"TIKI stood hidden among the trees in the center of Grosvenor Square."

"AH, Larkin, another surprise," Rieker said."

"IN that same heartbeat, they were back in Rieker's room."

"I THINK I'm going to be sick."

"AT Rieker's insistence, they all piled into the carriage and rode back to Grosvenor Square."

"TIKI stood in the regal opulence of the Blue Drawing Room in Buckingham Palace as Queen Victoria ad-ressed Rieker."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Interview with Kiki Hamilton, author of THE FAERIE RING

I'm very happy that I got to interview Kiki Hamilton, the author of The Faerie Ring
Bibliognome: What was your inspiration for The Faerie Ring?

Kiki: I was just writing a story that I wanted to read.  I wasn’t aware of any faerie stories set in Victorian London and the idea intrigued me… so I started writing….

Bibliognome: Which character did you think was the easiest to write for and why?

Kiki: They were all pretty easy to write – I had a good sense of who they were – but I have to say both Tiki and Rieker surprised me a number of times.  Still lots to find out about those two.  And maybe a few of the others as well….

Bibliognome: What Fae/Fairy lore do you prefer?

Kiki: I love it all and I like being able to take threads of some of common mythology and weave it into something new.

Bibliognome: What author do you enjoy reading the most?

Kiki: I really love JK Rowling and Harry Potter.  REALLY love it.  I also like Dan Brown, Harlan Coben and Megan Whalen Turner.  I like having a mystery that I’m trying to solve while I’m reading.

Bibliognome: What word is your favorite to say or write?

Kiki: MAGIC. It makes me smile just typing it!

Bibliognome: If you had a gnome character, what would you name them?
Kiki: Gnorish.

Bibliognome: What's the best part of the writing process for you?

Kiki: I love the first draft.  Just letting the story spill out of my head onto the page and being surprised by what my characters do and the mysteries that are revealed.  I LOVE that part.

Bibliognome: What are you writing currently or percolating in your mind to write soon?

Kiki: I have already written the next book in THE FAERIE RING series and my editor is taking a look at it.  I just finished a YA contemporary story called THE LAST DANCE that was SO much fun to write. My agent is looking at that.  At the moment, I’m about halfway through a alternate history YA story set in Victorian London 1895 that I’m tweaking (when I have time!) and I do have an idea for another YA fantasy that I’ll work on soon.

Bibliognome: Anything else that you would like to let people know?

Kiki: I’d just like to thank everyone, the blogging world in particular, for the kind and wonderful support you’ve shown to me and THE FAERIE RING during my debut year.  It has really been a fantastic experience and I’m grateful for every bit of it!!

Quick Questions:
1.) Fairy of Fae?   Fae or Faerie….. or course. :-}
2.) ring or bracelet? Ring – so much power there
3.) silver or gold? Gold – same thing – it’s alchemic powers are legendary
4.) Starbursts or Skittles?  Uh…M&M’s – where’s the chocolate choice??
5.) pen or pencil? Pen – who needs to erase?
6.) Fiction or Nonfiction? I do like both, actually, but if I had to pick-Fiction

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Colossal Cover

Check out this awesome cover for Alien Diplomacy the 5th book in Gini Koch's Alien series.

Cover art by the great Cover Artist: Daniel Dos Santos
I love how badass kitty looks on this cover and I really wonder what's going to happen in this book.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Marvelous Mail

Got some great mail this week :)

Was very happy to win Tempest from LibraryThing This looks like a great story, can't wait to read it and see if it's good.

Received my signed copy of Broken this week.  I love this story and really wanted a print copy.  Donated through to fund the printing/receive a copy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Awesomely Authentic Alice

stories from:

Kaye Chazan
Amanda Ching
Hilary Thomas
C. A. Young

Featuring Lewis Carroll

* ARC read/received from the publisher Candlemark & Gleam

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
5 out of 5 gnomes

I've never actually read this story before.  I was surprised how much of the Disney movie was just like it was in the story.  Surprisingly I think I like the original story better then the Disneyfied cartoon.  I just seems better put together and more dreamlike then the movie.  Alice is much more determined in the story then I thought she would be.  Her curiousity is both good and bad and she's really not afraid to speak her mind.  A truly classic story that I'm very happy to finally have read.

What Aelister Found Here by Kaye Chazan
5 out of 5 gnomes

Wow, now this is a short story that really packs a punch.  It's the kind of story where I'm really not a hundred percent sure what just happened.  It's definitely re-readable and will have you going back and scouring for all the details you might miss the first time.  I love all of the different twists and turns and how dreamy everything feels.  This is a quite the take on the whole Alice in Wonderland story.

House of Cards by Amanda Ching
5 out of 5 gnomes

Intense, really intense.  This story will leave you rotting for a character that you might not expect to be rooting for.  I love the chronology of this story and how the pieces all slowly come together.  There's a sense of foreboding throughout the story.  A much darker tone then I thought it was going to be at the start, it just has so much depth to it and lots of little details to discover.

Knave by Hilary Thomas
4 out of 5 gnomes

I like the noir like quality of this story.  Having all the well known characters be a part of a rough kind of mafia style world is fun.  There's a big mystery to solve when a new girl comes to town causing trouble.  Jack Knave may have just met his match and because of this he might just lose his head.

The World in a Thimble by C. A. Young
4 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes

Lovely creepy poem at the beginning of the story.  More about just an ordinary guy trying to discover who he really is.  It explores the whole saying, "are you a man or a mouse?"  This is a great version of a never ending Wonderland, it has fantastical elements but it's also about being able to stand up for yourself and be who you want to be.

5 out of 5 gnomes overall for the whole collection.  These stories are beautifully written and are chock full of surprises.  The stories go in unexpected directions that you'll find yourself gladly going along with.  There are different tones, settings, and characters but they all form one stupendous collection that is a truly great homage and re-imagining of a classic story.  I loved this (re)vision concept of Candlemark & Gleam's and can't wait to see what the next collection is.

Wonderful Winners!

Congrats to the winners 
Here's the magical marble picking jar. :)

International Winner: Daniela

Winner of Blood Drive: Sariah

* I will email the winners and they will have 3 days to respond, if they don't I'll draw a new winner.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sentence Sneak Peek - (re)Visions: Alice

(re)Visions: Alice has stories from:

Kaye Chazan
Amanda Ching
Hilary Thomas
C. A. Young

Featuring Lewis Carroll

The first sentence from each chapter of (re)Visions: Alice, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* ARC read/received from the publisher Candlemark & Gleam
* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

"Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice “without pictures or conversation?”

"Curiouser and curiouser!”

"They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bank—the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable."

"It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back again, and looking anxiously about as it went, as if it had lost something; and she heard it muttering to itself “The Duchess!"

"The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice."

"For a minute or two she stood looking at the house, and wondering what to do next, when suddenly a footman in livery came running out of the wood—(she considered him to be a footman because he was in livery: otherwise, judging by his face only, she would have called him a fish)—and rapped loudly at the door with his knuckles."

"There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head."

"A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red."

"You can’t think how glad I am to see you again, you dear old thing!’"

"The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back of one flapper across his eyes."

"The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled about them—all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack of cards: the Knave was standing before them, in chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a trumpet in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in the other."


What Aelister Found Here by Kaye Chazan

"4 June, Year of Our Lord 1888
The boy has managed, so far, to displace himself four meters off the ground."

"Six sturdy boughs higher, and a considerable amount of effort later, Aelister begins to wonder just how tall the tree grows."

"Three places,” Aelister’s mother proclaims, as the doctor doubtless did before her."

"Eight hours later, Aelister is climbing again, but this time the direction, though vertical, is down."

"Aboard the train, it is more crowded than Aelister expected: He finds himself in the company of some rather boisterous old ladies in terrifying hats, framed with silver mice running rampant through shimmering silk flowers, or feathers in colors so bright as to doom a bird as soon as it took flight."

"But upon arrival at Euston Railway Station, there is so much more to see."

"King's Cross Station looms even larger than Euston, and even as the buildings grow and grow, Aelister cannot help but see it as more of a trap over a gaping hole in the ground."

"Two kinds of sound fill Covent Garden: the kind that stops and starts, and the kind that does not."

"Four nights a week, the Duke is about, at parties or meetings or the devil knows what."

"As for the rules,” the Duke explains, later that day when the Mistresses Milliner and March have gone home with Aelister’s unfinished clothing, “come, boy, sit down."

"Leaves have been added to the dining table, so now it stretches all across the room, even if all the men are gathered at one end for playing."

"Going to bed is difficult after that, no matter how tired Aelister is, from talking and smiling and losing at cards."

"Morning brings with it a spectacular headache, the likes of which Aelister has never felt, in his head or anywhere else on his body for that matter."

"Over time, which Aelister has rather lost track of, he stops thinking about his house and his mother and his money in the country at all."

"Rain makes Covent Garden considerably worse."

"Three—no, four moves later, Aelister’s king is in check."

"You again!"

"Exceed, the headache seems to say, exceed!,"

"Twenty-four faces stare blankly at Aelister, and not a one of them is real, and all of them are mounted on pikes."

"Eighty-nine, he tries, by himself in the hansom, on the way home."

"Running up the stairs is no effort at all."

"Pieces fly across the board this time, as if both of the players already know how the game will proceed."

"September is already partway over, and most of the children of London are going to school."

"The night passes quickly, and the morning more quickly than Aelister would like it to, especially since the Actor isn’t there."

"Over at the Duke’s house in Islington, the chess table stands as they left it."

"Very few things can make a boy run as fast as Aelister runs now, very few indeed."

"Aelister wakes on a thin springy bed, as stiff and unyielding as the ones at school, and then he remembers he doesn’t go to school and doesn’t want to."

"Leamington nears, and the first signs of autumn are showing on the very edges of the leaves."

House of Cards by Amanda Ching

Across the pasture, down the road, the gravedigger whistled as he made his way from his cottage to the grounds."

"The cheese cat on the cutting board had been picked at and nibbled on, starting with the tail, and as Mary Ann carried the next load of dishes to the sink, she glanced at the disembodied head grinning at her."

"As the birds all departed in squawking and general disarray, Alice cast about for someone to implore, but all that was left was a flurry of molted feathers and a few half-eaten comfits."

"The Queen of Hearts smacked the Knave’s hand."

"Who are you?"

"The Queen tried not to run as she made her way across the flat expanse of green."

"There hadn’t been any more ground-shaking, but that didn’t mean that there wasn’t a right mess to clean up."

"The Queen picked up her petticoats and rushed down the winding path, past the mome wraths and along the way to the edge of the forest."

"The sun filtered through the curtains of the day room."

"She could smell the pepper before she even saw the house."

"When given a choice between a mad Hatter and a mad Hare, Alice wasn’t quite sure what would be preferable."

"Mary Ann finished the last of the dishes and wondered how two little girls could make such a mess."

"The Queen wasn’t far down the path when the leaves began to shake, even though there was no wind."

"So he comes down when I’m out and you didn’t see fit to say anything, did you?”

"There was no point in going further."

"This was the third time she’d sicked up this morning."

"The hob was cleaner; perhaps it was new."

"She'd eaten the chicken and the eggs, and was saving the stotty for when she really needed it, as hungry and desperate as she was."

"The Queen stomped into her privy chamber in a foul mood."

"Oh, c’est l’amour, l’amour, l’amour,” the King whispered into her temple."

"Wake up, Alice, dear!”

"My notion was that you had been
(Before she had this fit)
An obstacle that came between
Him, and ourselves, and it.”


Knave by Hilary Thomas

"I didn't know the answers,” he says—just keeps saying it, half out of his mind with fear."

"Maybe I should back up a little bit; give you some context."

"You want to find someone in this city, you talk to me."

"Harry March used to be the numbers guy for the Queen."

"The minute I step into my building, I get the feeling that something’s not right."

"I lean against the faded brick wall and light up a cigarette, just a regular joe taking a smoke break in a regular alleyway."

"Now, I’m not the kind of person to waste his time thinking about a woman—never have been and never will be—but there’s something about Alice that won’t leave me alone."

"For all that I give Kingsley shit, he knows how to throw a fucking party."

"I wake up with my face against cold concrete, and an ache in my head that tells me I’m not the one who put it there."

"After the fight, Duchess crawled off somewhere to lick his wounds, the Rabbit reinstated at his side."


The World in a Thimble by C. A. Young
"The world in a silver thimble,
A girl's most precious thing."

"The crowd at Blue Monday was thick for a Thursday afternoon, and the line to the counter was long."

"Some time after midnight, the trill of his cell phone woke him."

"The city was peaceful as he biked into the arts district."

"The bed frame practically bounced and a cloud of dust puffed up from the long-disused coverlet."

"Alone, Toby tried to get his bearings."

"The path was dark and narrow, and the weird flat disc of a moon that shone in the Wonderland sky wasn’t as much help as it might have been."

"The forest was just as dark on the other side of the boards, but the trail opened out into a large, round clearing, ringed with striped canvas tents."

"Being a mouse changed a man’s perspective."

"The sky had begun to lighten by the time Toby reached the edge of the forest."

"When Toby burst out of the foliage and onto the road, the first thing he did was to run back in and wait."

"As far as Toby could tell, the city didn’t have a name."

"The shadows in the alley were deeper now as the afternoon sun dipped lower and oranger toward the horizon."

"The dark blue velvet curtain that hung at the end of the corridor was worlds apart from the one Toby remembered from The Amazing Brandy’s traveling show."

"I tell you what, boy,” the cowboy said. “You sure gave us one hell of a run.”

"The sewing box was ancient, and the flowery fabric that covered it was threadbare and worn."

"The tunnel was narrow enough that Toby’s whiskers brushed the edges of it on both sides as he hurried down into the pitch blackness."

"The room was familiar, somehow."

"The afternoon light through the front windows was blinding."

"Toby jolted bolt upright from his spot on the bench."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday - Head Rush

"Waiting On"  Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

This week I'm waiting on... 

Head Rush by Carolyn Crane

* According to Crane's site the release dates for the book are: "October 25 audio book; December 6 in ebook;  mid 2012 print."

I can't wait to read the final book in the Disillusionists trilogy especially after the end of Double Cross.  The characters are great, the story has probably has one of the best love triangles, and it is getting insane (in a good way).  If you can't tell I'm a little fanatical about this series and was worried that the third book might never happen but now that it is I'm very excited.  I'll probably buy the book in all three formats.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Timely Truth

 Truth by Julia Karr

* ARC read via Around The World ARC Tours
* Book will be released January 19, 2012

4 gnomes out of 5 gnomes

This was a great sequel, I liked it even more then the first book.  The characters grow a lot and there are more dire choices made.

Nina has some hard decisions to make and more to learn about the world.  She knows that the government is corrupt and full of lies but in this book she finds out how far the corruption goes.

Nina is trying to become more proactive and self-reliant, which is great to see.  She's moving forward and wants to make a difference.  It's hard to do this though being only sixteen and the known daughter of the person who was probably the biggest threat that the government has known.

I like her sister Dee more in this book.  She becomes a much more capable and strong character.  Her bad decisions are made mostly due to the fact that no one lets her know the whole truth.  That's the part that really drove me crazy, it feels like she could handle the truth but nobody will tell it to her.  In this way she's kind of like Nina was in the first book.  I don't like how in the end she's still the character who's the most in the dark about their situation.  Since the title of the book is Truth, I wish more characters had learned the truth.

This story does have a love triangle but it actually works very well.  I don't think I've ever been so happy to have a love triangle in a book.  Having one lets Nina explore her feelings more and lets her see all her options.  I personally hope she ends up with the new love interest, he just seems more well rounded and better suited to what she's looking for.

There are even more problems for Nina to overcome as she tries to keep what's left of her family together.  I figured out one of the mysteries early but it was still a strong twist.  The final twist is crazy though, I didn't think it would end like it does.  The ending sets up what should be a very promising finale because you're left wondering if this society can truly change for the better.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sentence Sneak Peek - Truth

Truth by Julia Karr

The first sentence from each chapter of Truth, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* ARC read via Around The World ARC Tours
* Book will be released January 19, 2012
* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

"I was contemplating what would happen to me if anyone discovered that I'd killed Ed when Mr. Haldewick's voice broke through my brooding."

"Derek, Mike, and I headed to Mickey's for lunch."

"When Dee and I got home, Pops was sitting in his favorite chair, his prosthetic leg propped up against the side table, his crutch lying on the floor next to it."

"It was the last day of school before Holiday break."

"When I got outside, Wei was waiting for me."

"Halfway home I was lucky enough to snag a trans and got there faster than I'd thought possible."

"The nurse would allow only one of us at a time in the cube, so Harriet and Dee stayed in the waiting room."

"It was freezing outside, and dark."

"To me, Wei's house was the most beautiful place I'd ever been."

"I hopped off the trans and looked across Michigan Avenue at the front of the Art Institute."

"By the time we got back to our old apartment, Chris and his friends had already packed and moved most of our things to a storage unit."

"When we got back to our new home, I put Gran and Pops's things in the room they would eventually share."

"Before I click us all on together," Wei said, "I need to warn you . . . Paulette Gold is one of the Sisterhood."

"On the way to Soma, my head was full of thoughts about Pops, Gran, and the writ."

"Sal and Wei followed me outside."

"You awake?"

"A few hours later, Dee peered around the door of my room."

"Once inside, the same reception bot as before performed the obligatory weapons and ID scan."

"I was so busy congratulating myself on not messing anything up, I ended up on the local rather than the express trans."

"Later, Mrs. Jenkins invited Dee and me into her study."

""It was nice not having to worry about school for a while."

"I woke up the next morning surprised I'd slept so soundly, especially considering what was in store for the day."

"On the way home we stopped at Metro."

"I left Dee in the kitchen, absorbed in her newfound fascination with cooking, and headed over to Harriet's."


"I'd expected Dee to be the one bounding out of bed at five a.m., not me."

"After dinner, Angie and Leo offered give Miss Maldovar a ride home on their way to Leo's folkd."

"There was nothing like an Alert with breakfast."

"I'm going out with some friends for a bit," I told Dee."

"You can't wear that, Nina."

"I was busy cataloguing a shipment of early twenty-second-century performance-art chips when Martin joined me."

"Between Wei, her mother, and Dee, I didn't have much of a say in how I spent New Year's Eve day."

"When I got home, it was fifteen minutes to midnight."

"Sleep turned out to be a cure for nothing."

"How about a cup of coffee?"

"Nina, wake up."

"Thankfully, when I got home, Dee was in the kitchen and didn't see me come in."

"First day back to school after Holiday, and Mr. Haldewick gave us a pop quiz."

"What are you doing?"

"Derek, Mike, and I were in our usual booth at Mickey's having lunch."

"When the adrenaline had finally worn off, and the veljet was far away from Chicago, my shoulder started throbbing, and my eyes got heavy."

Epilogue - "I've been in the GUI for almost a month."