Sunday, November 29, 2015

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: The First Last Boy by Sonya Weiss

I'm excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Sonya Weiss' The First Last Boy!  Check out the awesome book and giveaway details below:

The First Last Boy by Sonya Weiss
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Genre:  New Adult Contemporary

Sex was the plan. Falling in love wasn't.Eighteen-year-old Montana "Tana" Shaw has a plan for her life and she follows it to the letter. That includes losing her virginity to her best friend, Ryan Collins before she leaves for college. He's wild, tattooed, and oh-so-tempting. She never meant to fall for him. But when Tana learns that Ryan's past is responsible for her family's heartache, she's not sure her heart or their relationship can survive.

Ryan Collins is the foster boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He's scarred, no good, and knows with a past like his that he shouldn't get involved with Tana even if the sparks are hot enough to drive him crazy. But when the past rears its ugly head, he'll become the guy he hates in order to save the girl he loves.

I loved this book from the very first page.  The characters leaped off the page to me, and their chemistry was evident from the start.  But let me assure you.  This wasn't insta-love.  It was longtime friendship with denied sexual chemistry that both parties had ignored from the beginning until finally Tana decides she wants to lose her virginity to the person she trusts the most, her friend Ryan.  When you throw an idea like that into a great friendship where both people have been trying to ignore feelings, you end up with feelings.

This was a great relationship based story, but also had a wonderful external conflict too.  Ryan's past involves some pretty bad people, and he has to figure out a way to keep that from touching Tana.
Only, he can't.

Both of these characters were amazing to me in different ways.  I lovd Tana for her sweetness and spunk, a combination you don't see often.  I loved Ryan for his sexy, sweet, and caring side that he works so hard to keep people from seeing, but also he's got that reckless but brave and selfless side that just makes you fall in love with him.

There was a wonderful mixture between external and internal conflict in this story, as well as romance.  The romance had my toes curling.  The book was very fast paced to the point where I looked up and it was over before I knew it and I was wishing I had some more.  Excellent book!!

Buy Links


About the Author

Sonya Weiss is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and author. She's addicted to great books, good
movies, and Italian chocolates.

She's passionate about causes that support abused animals and children. Her parents always supported her bringing stray animals home although the Great Dane rescue was a surprise.

Author Links


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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Review: The Healing Power of Sugar by C.L. Stone

The Healing Power of Sugar by C.L. Stone
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Arcato Publishing
Genre: Mature Young Adult Contemporary

It’s been a week since Sang has attended any classes at Ashley Waters, and since then, everything has changed. Her school schedule has been turned upside down, and now, thanks to her absences, the school counselor, Ms. Wright, has suspended her. The fear of school officials getting further involved and looking to contact her parents has Sang and the boys forced into their best behavior. It seems that the once perfect student, Sang Sorenson, is now one of the school’s worst, and without explanation, because she needs to keep her lips tightly sealed. Academy secrets are becoming hazardous to keep.

The more that Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North try to protect her, the more inevitable her downfall seems to be. They do their best to make sure Sang stays in school and when she returns to classes, try to help her get back on the straight and narrow—she can’t afford to screw up anymore.  But then fate deals out a setback that cripples the whole team, and they need to make a move, it turns into a risky one. There’s no way to predict the outcome. If they fail, the boys may lose the job they were sent to do, and worse, they may even lose Sang.

Everything gets more difficult when it’s revealed there might be a traitor amidst the group. Desperate to fix things, Sang needs to stop the group from spilling secrets and find out the truth. And why all fingers seem to be pointing to Luke. The Academy, Magnanimous

This was a very interesting installment to one of my favorite series of the past year.  We got to see more of Luke in this story, which was great.  Luke is one of the characters I've felt has kind of melted into the background in recent books, so it was nice seeing him front and center and being the object of the story this time.

I love the mystery that the author created around look this time, and I have to admit, she had me questioning a lot of things I thought I knew about Luke.  This was a nice twist, and a nice opportunity for development.  All of the characters has had some amazing moments of complexity throughout the series, but this one really gave Luke some depth, and allowed Sang to see some new sides to him that she might not have seen before.

I love that that the overall storyline appears to be progressing on one front.  It feels like things are about to come to a head, and I am looking forward to seeing how they work it out.  I would have liked to have seen more progression on that front throughout this book, but I do know the author is slowly building us toward the overall story's big complex.

The taste of romance in the story was good, although I felt that it didn't progress as much as I've come to expect from prior books.  Don't get me wrong though!  There is romance, and I did enjoy it.  I just wanted more of it.  But I know it's coming.  Just from reading the excerpt from the back of the book, I have a feeling that the next book is going to center around one of the guy characters I've been waiting on since the beginning.  I'll look forward to seeing his reactions, and to see how Sang's new purpose plays out.

I know...that was a very vague review, but I be more specific without ruining the other stories for anyone who hasn't read it.  All in all, this was a good installment to the series and I am very, very, very much looking forward to the next book!!

Tempting New Tales

Tempting New Tales is my weekly post where I share what new books I managed to acquire this week. Credit goes back to the Stacking the Shelves weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  

Okay, so I did a little better on my posting this week.  I actually posted all but one of the items I had intended to post.  Progress!!  I actually got a new job, and once I serve out my notice at my current one, I should be able to have more time again for blogging, because I won't be working in a sweatshop. Thank heavens!!  

Below is my breakdown of what was posted last week, and what I'll be posting in the coming week. 

  • Review: Curse of the Sphinx by Raye Wagner.  Post here.
  • Holiday Giveaway and Discussion Post: Out of all that happened to you this year, what are you most thankful for? Did I say Giveaway!!  Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card! My holiday present to you!! Post here.
  • Review: The Healing Power of Sugar by C.L. Stone.  Post later this morning.

Here's what to look forward to next week:

  • Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: The First Last Boy by Sonya Weiss 
  • Review: Bound by Donnielle Tyner
  • Review: Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch
  • Temping Future YA Releases: December 2015
  • Review: Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Now, on to the new bookshelf items.  Here's what I got this week!

Have you read any of these yet?  What did you get this week?  Leave a comment!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Holiday Giveaway and Discussion Post!

So this is a rather special discussion post because I'm combining a Thanksgiving Day discussion along with a special Holiday Season giveaway.  Between November 26, 2015 and December 26, 2015, I'll be holding a special giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card as a present to one of my lucky followers. So let's discuss first, and then stick around below for the giveaway details!

My Discussion Topic This Week - Out of everything that's happened to you this year, what are you most Thankful for?

Have you ever had one of those years where so much good happened to you that it's hard to pick just one thing to be thankful for?  I had a year like that in 2015.  To name a few things:

  • I had a brand new grandbaby named Gabriel Alexander and got to be a part of the delivery with my daughter.
  • After 7 months out of work, I got a new job
  • My husband and I celebrated 14 years of marriage and 15 years together
  • My daughter found a career for herself, which in turn blessed me
  • We paid off our car
  • After discovering that my new job made me horribly unhappy from the first day, and I've been working in a sweatshop that's kept me from having any sort of home life, including blogging, I just got offered a new job.

And there were several more.  But out of all that, the thing I am most thankful for is that I have all my family around me still.  Everyone is still here, still in good health, and still the rocks of my life. 

What about you?  What are you most thankful for this year?  Let's discuss....


I want to offer a $25 gift card as a Christmas gift to one of my followers.  Open to U.S. entrants..  I'll announce the winner right after the entry time frame closes.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: Curse of the Sphinx by Raye Wagner

Curse of the Sphinx by Raye Wagner
Release Date: August 11, 2015
Genre: YA Contemporary/Mythological Fantasy

How long can a monster stay hidden in plain sight?  Seventeen year-old Hope Nicholas has spent her entire life on the run. But no one is chasing her. In fact, no one even knows she exists. With her mom, she’s traveled from town to town and school to school, barely staying long enough to meet anyone, let alone make friends. And she’ll have to keep it that way. It’s safer.

When her mother is brutally ripped away from her, Hope’s life shatters. Is this the fulfillment of Apollo’s curse, murder from the shadow monsters of the Underworld, or have the demigods finally found her? Orphaned and alone, Hope flees again, but this time there’s no one to teach her who to trust—or how to love.

Set in a universe where mythology is alive and well in the modern world, Curse of the Sphinx irresistibly blends action, suspense and romance.

Wow!  I totally was not expecting this book. The author gave me a copy in exchange for an honest review, and I figured I'd be a little into it, considering the fact that it's mythology-based, which I love. But I got a lot more than I was anticipating with this book.

The story is set in the modern world where the Greek gods rule, and it's a known and accepted fact by everyone.  Although it did take me a few chapters before I caught on to the fact that the whole world knows about the gods, demi-gods, and their monster creations.  But it didn't detract from my enjoyment. It was just made more clear as time moved forward.

I loved the characters in the story, especially Hope.  She is cursed to become a sphinx in a certain time frame... from what I could tell, it seemed like a monthly thing.  The curse and its reasons, the beginning of it, etc... wasn't exactly explained, but this is only the first book, and I anticipate that more will be revealed as the series progresses.  And I'm looking forward to having those pieces revealed.

Hope was a character that had to learn to rely on herself pretty early when she loses her mother.  I love that she was independent and strong.  She takes care of herself, is responsible, and she learned all this the hard way.  I loved the character growth here and the journey that she goes through.  There were times that I felt so badly for her,and how she must bear this burden alone, and worry about what could happen to herself all alone.

Then there's Athan.  He was a bit of an enigma in a way because although he was sweet and kind, and kind of sexy, he also had his moments of anger.  I'm intrigued by his story because I think there's more going on behind the surface with him than he has revealed.  So I'm looking forward to getting to know him even better, and getting to see the romance progress in this story.

The author did a really good job with the way she chose to organize the story, utilizing time frames before and after different moves her mother and she made, and before the next time she will change. It could have been confusing, but the author did a great job with it.  I love the mythology, love the romance, and I love where the story is going.  When the ending finally came, I found myself really wishing that the second book was already out.  Can't wait to read it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tempting New Tales

Tempting New Tales is my weekly post where I share what new books I managed to acquire this week. Credit goes back to the Stacking the Shelves weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  

If you follow my blog, you know I've only been able to post about once a week lately.  I've been working a lot of late hours at work, including on Saturdays, and at those times when I've actually been home, I haven't felt like doing much of anything.   Yes, I'm working on getting another job and am real close.  In the meantime, please bear with me.  I'm going to try to post more often and get back into the swing. To that end, this is my Tempting New Tales post... and it has been some time since I've done one of these.

Below is my breakdown of what was posted last week, and what I'll be posting in the coming week. 

I'm doing this a little different since I've been posting so sporadically, I'm starting with the first post I put up since the last Tempting New Tales I did.  

  • Discussion post: What do you do when life interferes with your blogging? Post here.
  • Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy. Post here.
  • Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch. Post here.
  • Review: Falling for the Wrong Guy by Sara Hantz. Post here.
  • Review: Worth it by Linda Kage. Post here.
  • Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Return Once More by Trisha Leigh. Post here.
  • Blog Tour and Review: Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn. Post here.
  • Review: Paper Thin by Jennifer Snyder. Post here.
  • Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Abby and the Cute One by Erin Butler. Post here.

Here's what to look forward to next week:

  • Discussion Post: Out of everything that's happened to you this year, what are you most Thankful for?
  • Review: Curse of the Sphynx by Raye Wagner
  • Review: Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Giveaway: Special Holiday Giveaway!
  • Review: The Healing Power of Sugar by C.L. Stone

Now, on to the new bookshelf items.  Here's what I got this week!

Have you read any of these yet?  What did you get this week?  Leave a comment!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Abby and the Cute One by Erin Butler

I'm very excited to be taking part in the blog tour for the last Backstage Pass installment, Abby and the Cute One by Erin Butler.  Check out the awesome book details below!!

Abby and the Cute One (Backstage Pass #5) by Erin Butler
Release Date: November 16, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

He's cute. He's famous. And he could ruin everything... Every member of Seconds to Juliet has a girlfriend-except for Nathan Strong. Now the band's manager is leaning hard on "The Cute One" to play the role of the band's heartthrob. With the band's sales in decline, it's up to Nathan to keep the fans' fantasy alive.

The plan is to stage a fake relationship and a fake breakup, and then let the fans fight to be the one to mend Nathan's broken heart. Just one problem. There's another girl in the picture-one Nathan can't stay away from. In private, Nathan's stealing kisses with the band's new opening act, Abby Curtis.

If they're caught, no one wins. Abby will be fired, and the band might not recover the success they need to survive. But even with the pressure mounting, Nathan and Abby can't stop themselves from stealing one more touch, one more kiss. And it's only a matter of time before it all falls apart.

I've been a big fan of the Backstage Pass series since the very first book, and have thoroughly enjoyed each installment.  I've been eagerly anticipating Nathan's story, because he's the one I felt like I knew the least about. He's more quiet, the youngest, and hasn't really taken center stage, so to speak, in the overall plot so far.  This book didn't disappointment.

I loved Nathan immediately.  He's so sweet and cute.  I hated the situation he now finds himself in.  All the other guys in the band have girlfriends, so the pressure is on for him to be the "dateable" one, the one people still have a chance with.  Thus, he has to go on dates with celebrity girls he isn't even interested in.  I know this happens in real life.  You know all those celebrity marriages that occur and last a year or less?  They were probably PR setups.  I felt really bad for Nathan because of this situation, for him to have to hold the entire bag when what he really wants is a more simple girl, down to earth.  He finds that in Abby.

Abby was so sweet, talented, and what I thought was a perfect match for Nathan. They meet very early in the story,and they had what I would describe as a "meet cute".  I won't spoil it for anyone, but I will say that I was on board with their romance from the first few pages.  She's got a YouTube following and is auditioning to be the opening act for Seconds to Juliet.  Only problem is, once she's there, she's pretty much forbidden ground for Nathan in all respects.

I loved the conflict in this story, the way PR people try to dictate a celebrity's every move.  And I loved the romance.  I can't go into more detail without ruining something for those who haven't read it.  But the author did a fabulous job giving this book depth inside a cute story, and for ending out this great series with a wonderful installment.  Loved it.

Buy Links


About the Author

Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with
books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she loves to read. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially fangirls over a sigh-worthy romance.

She lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. Preferring to spend her time indoors reading or writing, she’ll only willingly go outside for chocolate and sunshine—in that order.

Author Links

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review: Paper Thin by Jennifer Snyder

Paper Thin by Jennifer Snyder
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Genre: New Adult Contemporary

Fate has always seemed to mock Charlotte Montgomery, continuously dangling the man of her dreams just out of reach. It isn’t until Charlotte receives word her older sister Emma is getting engaged that she feels fate’s teasing has hit a new high.

Once she begrudgingly decides to return home to the tiny town of Parish Cove, curious to find out who has captured her sister’s heart, fate suddenly seems as though it may have tossed her a bone. The problem: Charlotte forgot one simple thing…Fate has never been her friend.

Emotions run high. Happiness will be shattered. And tragedy will strike, leaving everyone feeling paper thin.

It's hard to know what I can say in this review without revealing too much of the story.  I'll start with characterization and work my way from there.

At first, I have to admit I didn't immediately connect with Charlotte.  She seemed kind of desperate and a little selfish at first.  It didn't take long though for me to discover that she was fairly self-aware, and when a character who has some glaring flaws can understand herself and know what her own faults are, it really helps to redeem them as a character for me.  More on that later.

The other characters in the story are her mom, who has Alzeimers, her sister who is getting married, and the fiance.  Twist of fate indeed.  At first, as I said, Charlotte comes across in a negative way to me because she works so hard to avoid having anything to do with the care of her mother, leaving it all to her older sister.  With time, though, I began to see her in a new light.  She's hurt by the effects that the disease has on her mother, and has a hard time seeing a mother who doesn't always remember her.  Not everyone can handle that in the same way.  Then there's the matter of her sister's fiance.  All I can say about that is that fate can be cruel indeed.  At that point, I really started to sympathize with Charlotte.

Then the author took things to an entirely new level and I was shocked by the turn of events in this story.  Then toward the end of the story, she shocked me again!  I could believe some of the things that happened so unexpectedly in this story, and through it all, Charlotte's character grew, changed, grew strength and impressed me.

This was not your typical New Adult contemporary.  There's a bit of romance, but it was not really a factor for me.  The most important part of the story was Charlotte, the issues going on around her, and the growth she experiences as a result.  It was a journey of self-discovery, and a heartbreaking one.

The author did a really good job handling some very sensitive subjects in this story.  The writing was very good, engaging, and the entire story left me with a poignantly sad but hopeful feeling.  It wasn't at all what I was expecting, but I'm definitely glad that I read it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Blog Tour and Review: Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

I'm very excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn.  Check out the awesome book details below!!

Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Imagine a world where your destiny has already been your future self. It's Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she's eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they're meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist. Or in Callie's case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.

I've been on a huge, reading winning streak lately, and this latest book in my list kept the good luck going strong.  I love a good dystopian that's unique, and this one definitely offered something different from the run of the mill stories I've read.  When you turn 17, you receive your future memory, a memory that tells you where your life is going, or reveals a penultimate event that sums up your future. In Callie's case, the very worst thing possible is revealed. She kills her baby sister.  From that moment on, she's trying to figure out what could cause her to perform such an act on someone she loves so much.

I loved Callie as a character immediately.  She's determined to change her future, to not reveal it to those trying to torture it out of her.  What she goes through, and what she's willing to endure to prevent that memory from coming to pass was admirable and sad.  Then there's Logan...a guy she's had a crush on for years but hasn't spoken to until now.  He helps her escape, takes her to a place where it's possible to start a new life.  But is it really a life when your very existence is to keep yourself so hidden and controlled that you don't really live.

What transpires from there is a mystery that must be solved, a journey that must be undertaken to determine how and if things can be changed.  It was suspenseful and exciting.

The author did an amazing job introducing the characters and creating complex ones that pulled at your sympathy.  The science was interesting and very well woven.  The story was suspenseful, exciting and unique, and the writing was fast-paced and kept me completely sucked in until the end. And what an ending.  This made me want to read book two immediately.  This was another winner that I loved!

Pre-Order Book Links:

About the Author

When my first-grade teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I replied, “An author.” Although I have pursued other interests over the years, this dream has never wavered.

I graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. I received my J.D. at Yale Law School, where I was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. I published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,” and received the Barry S. Kaplan Prize for best paper in Law and Literature.

I am represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. I'm a 2012 Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. I'm a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

I live with my husband and children in Maryland.

Author Links

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Return Once More by Trisha Leigh

I'm very pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Return Once More by Trisha Leigh!  This tour is being coordinated by YA Bound Tours.  Check out the exciting book and giveaway details below!

Return Once More by Trisha Leigh
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Time Travel

If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you? Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love. If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?

Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance. Or would you have the strength to watch him die?

But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.

Oh my!  This book had it all.  This was one of those stories that sucked me in immediately and kept me in suspense until the very end.  There were so many elements I loved about this story that it's hard to know where to start.

First, there was the cast of characters.  They were all so well-developed, but I loved Kaia from the very beginning.  This isn't a Katiniss type girl.  She' normal, with normal hangups, a normal teenage girl's faulty decision making, but with an underlying core of strength and feistiness that you just couldn't help but love. She lives in a world where time travel is possible and commonplace, where everyone has a destined "True" love that was made for them.  You had to suspend disbelief a little at this point, but if you can suspend it enough to believe and go along with time travel, you shouldn't have a problem with the "True love" choosing either.

As a typical teenager, Kaia has the curiosity that has her seeking out her True.  I'll admit that there is insta-love in this book, which I usually hate. Yet, because of the nature of this story, and the concept of everyone having a True, it wasn't something that stopped me from enjoying the story.  In fact, in this particular case, the whole story kind of hinges on it, so it made it acceptable and even necessary.

Kaia's True was, well.... I loved him.  Perfect indeed.  As the summary says though, his life is threatened.  If you had the ability to save your true love from danger, what would you do?  I can't really blame Kaia for any of her actions. I encouraged and rooted for her.

This book had absolutely everything you could want.  Great concept, amazing, well-conceived and complex characters, time travel, a romance that gave you goosebumps, suspense and intrigue, and an ending that will leave you dying for the next book.  The author did an amazing job weaving all of this together, making her science believable, and making you love her characters.  This was a keeper, and one I would re-read. Loved it!!

About the Author

Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her
favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies, reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.

Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who are numerous, loud, full of love–the kind of people that make the world a better place. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories–made up, of course, but true enough in their way.  Trisha is the author of THE LAST YEAR series and the WHITMAN UNIVERSITY books. She’s represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

To learn more about Trisha Leigh, please visit her at  If you enjoy New Adult books or a good contemporary romance, please check out my pen name, Lyla Payne!

Author Links



A man stepped forward, draped in the same off-white, purple-striped toga as the rest of the room. A senator of Rome, a nobleman. My brainstem tat spit out the answer into my mind before the question fully formed—Tillius Cimber.

My heart climbed into my throat, lungs struggling with oxygen. It was happening.

“You were going to consider my petition to return my brother from exile,” he said, too loudly. The words vibrated on the taught strands of anxiety in the air, bounding off the stone walls and crashing into my ears, easily translated by my tattoo.

It was hard not to wince, but that would shake my face. I’d been distracted enough today, wandering into the portico, and my tendency to be sidetracked did not endear me to the overseers or our Elders. My family had endured enough disgrace in the past few years without my adding to it by being a space cadet. I was two Level-1 sanctions away from the Elders notifying my parents. After what happened with my brother, they might die from shame.

“I’m still considering it,” Caesar replied, his tone dismissive.

My lungs ached with unspent air. They struggled to call out, to warn him. Policy forbade any interaction, of course, and the brainstem tat did more than provide me with handy dandy information—it insisted I follow contemporary custom. It saved me a ton of studying but the downside meant occasionally losing control of my own limbs. It had forced me into an absurd curtsey on more than one occasion, once nearly toppling my giant wig right onto Marie Antoinette’s feet at a ball.

There was no way to change the scene that began to unfold in front of us, anyway. No way to nudge it a different direction without setting off unknown effects that might reach all the way to Genesis in 2560. I squeezed Analeigh’s hand tighter as Caesar shook off Cimber.

He barely took a step before another senator, Casca, stabbed him square in the neck, the blade sinking all the way to the hilt.

The almost comical surprise on his face slid quickly toward resignation as Brutus attacked him next, his blade strong and true as it sunk into his old friend’s heart. The betrayal in Caesar’s eyes sent a sizzling chill down my spine but no words passed his lips. He did not single Brutus out as more important than the others, despite the infamous line in Shakespeare’s version of these tragic events.

In fact, though he struggled and fought, Gaius Julius Caesar spoke not one more word as nearly sixty grown men surrounded him with daggers, each intent on taking their part of the blame—or the credit—by plunging their own weapon into flesh.

Sarah’s face turned pale, chalky, as the scene descended into a melee. Men stabbed each other instead of their target. Their leather shoes slipped in crimson puddles dotting the floor, more than one of them slipped, and Caesear disappeared inside a crowd of thrusting blades. The coppery, slick odor of spilled blood clogged the air, coated my tongue. I swallowed, and it stuck to my throat.

It seemed like it went on forever, but in reality, he bled out in mere minutes. Just a man, after all. Not a god.


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