First Published: 10 May 2012
Finished Date: 8 August 2015
Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life – and she’s going to have to keep it.
Lying on Lucy Silchester’s carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation – to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she's been ignoring itand it needs to meet with her face to face.
It sounds peculiar, but Lucy’s read about this in a magazine. Anyway, she can’t make the date: she’s much too busy despising her job, skipping out on her friends and avoiding her family.
But Lucy’s life isn’t what it seems. Some of the choices she’s made – and stories she’s told – aren’t what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory – unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.
This book was was pretty good! I liked the messages in this book. Like, its just that sometimes we get caught up in things and we neglect our own life. And sometimes we just stay comfortably in our own little rut, and I think this reminds us to step out.
I loved seeing how when Lucy started to tell the truth about things, her life started to slowly fall back into place. Of course, real life isn't that perfect. But I think it was heartwarming to see her slowly fix her life and get things back where they should be.
I enjoyed the different characters in this book, but I did want more of certain people. I felt that many characters were there as fillers and I would have appreciated more character development for the secondary characters. Perhaps one reason was that there were simply too many characters. Still, I liked Lucy's friends, and I loved Riley (her brother). Their interactions were really cute and it was lovely to see how they really loved each other, despite growing up in the type of household they did.
One thing I would have liked was more of the romance. I mean I totally wanted them to get together, its just I feel like there wasn't enough about him (not saying the name so I don't give any spoilers accidentally!). And yeah, I wanted to see how they would really work together.
But I guess eventually the message of this book was about how Lucy put her life back on track. Perhaps she didn't have a direction or a passion, but maybe we don't always need that. Maybe the first step is just getting your life back in order.
First Published: 24 Oct 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Finished Date: 6 Aug 2015
She has just two weeks. Two weeks to teach him how to fall in love – with his own life.
Adam Basil and Christine Rose are thrown together late one night, when Christine is crossing the Halfpenny Bridge in Dublin. Adam is there, poised, threatening to jump. Adam is desperate – but Christine makes a crazy deal with him. His 35th birthday is looming and she bets him she can show him that life is worth living before then.
Despite her determination, Christine knows what a dangerous promise she’s made. Against the ticking of the clock, the two of them embark on wild escapades, grand romantic gestures and some unlikely late-night outings. Slowly, Christine thinks Adam is starting to fall back in love with his life.
But has she done enough to change his mind for good? And is that all that’s starting to happen?
I don’t know what to say. But Cecelia Ahern has written a book that just touches my very heart. I can’t exactly say why or how, but I love how she dealt with such a big issue. I loved how she didn’t try to sugarcoat it, but just gave it to us plainly and simply. I can’t really say how much I love this book; I can’t even point out my favorite scenes. It’s like every scene in the book (at least, those involving Adam and Christine) was written in a way that it was amazing on its own but it had to all be put together because they all fit like a jigsaw.
Christine’s determination was impressive. I saw how she wasn’t happy, but she chose to live on and keep trying to fix the problems. And then we see Adam, who is so different from her. It was a very interesting pairing, but it just worked. I loved seeing how Christine was always so positive and trying her best to feel alive, that it just changes the people around her. Some people are just born with a sense of happiness emanating from them, and I think Christine was one of them. She might not have been happy herself, perhaps even depressed, but the way she always looked for the best in things makes one inspired to find that little spark of positivity too.
Sure, there were some story arcs that weren’t fully explored, or that seemingly made no sense. But life is like that, isn’t it? Sometimes it makes no sense. I think that’s the beauty in life sometimes. Its just so random and random things just happen, but you have to find the joy in them.
This story was truly heartwarming. I really enjoyed seeing how they both slowly fell in love – with each other, and with life. It was beautiful how as she tried to heal him, she got healed too. That through the imperfections and the brokenness, they healed each other along the way. And I loved how in this book, love wasn’t a crutch that they leant upon to somehow magically fix themselves, but love here healed and subtly showed them the way to fix things.
This was truly an amazing read, and I’m honored to have the chance to read it.
Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.
What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too.
Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.
With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters,Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender's Game and leave them breathless for more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Twenty-one-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her debut novel, Extraction, when she should've been making short films and listening to college lectures at San Diego State University. When she isn't lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fan-girling over TV shows.
All her life Thalli thought she was an anomaly. Now she must use her gifts to fulfill the role she was called to play: Revolutionary.
Back in the underground State against her will, Thalli is no longer the anomaly she was before. She has proven herself to be a powerful leader aboveground and returns with information that Dr. Loudin needs to complete his plan of uniting the world under one leader: himself. But he, too, has information. A secret he has kept from Thalli her entire life. A secret that, once revealed, changes everything about the person Thalli thought she was.
Hoping to help Thalli rise up against the Scientists, both Berk and Alex join her underground, but their presence only brings more trouble for her. Now Dr. Loudin knows just the leverage to use on his captive, and she is forced to choose between the two of them. Is her first love her true love? Or does Alex ultimately claim her heart?
Unsure of everything around her, including her own identity, Thalli doesn’t know where to turn. She knows she needs the Designer, but he seems further away than ever. What she does know, though, is that if she doesn’t do something to stop Loudin, the fragile world aboveground will be lost once and for all.
In a world where everyone is gifted, be it in dancing, lightning-bringing, or death-giving, Ever is born…all-powerful.
For this gift, she is kidnapped and trafficked at birth. Fifteen years later, Ever still hasn’t seen even a glimmer of her powerful gift. Locked in an abandoned mall in New York City, she’s fighting to survive her captivity, her brutal guards, and the other gifted kids in her cell. She would do anything to escape.
Fox is gifted with time manipulation. Like Ever, he hasn’t come into his gift yet; like Ever, he hates the mall; and like Ever, he longs to be free. But there’s one thing he values above his freedom—it’s Ever’s love…
…yet, when the two make a desperate attempt to escape, this attempt proves so dark and twisted that it just might destroy Ever’s love for Fox.
“A thrilling story…a must-read for the adventurous of heart!” —Gina Henning, author of Going Pecans
“…genuinely original and engaging…” —Jeanne Dallman, author of The Hour of Separation
“…unique voice…unique world…unique premise…” —Jon VanZile, editor of Dragon Tree Press
Helen Rena loves reading and writing novels. And short stories. And flash fiction. She has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, and a vast collection of books and green bottles. She is still not sure why green bottles. She lives in Southern Oregon with her husband and two children. Please visit her at helenrena.com.
The green cement floor under my feet wasn’t doing anything. I mean, I wasn’t sure what exactly was supposed to happen, but Sinna was looking down at the floor with so much focus. Presently, he raised his eyes at me, and since I’m blind but have this highly fortunate ability to see what the people around me are looking at, I saw the object of his gaze: myself. Together, Sin and I surveyed my short figure, my pale, heart-shaped face, and my hopelessly tangled white hair. Sinna sighed as if I were somehow wrong for what we were doing.
“Ever, I can’t,” he said finally. “It’s too dangerous.”
I made a funny pleading face. I wanted to joke, to ask him how a nightmare could be dangerous. It was just a hallucination. A waking vision that temporarily blocked out one’s reality. And if Sin succeeded in making it for me now, he’d be able to make one for our guards later. We could be free in half an hour! But I suddenly choked up. The room around me—the cold cement walls the color of gangrene, the ugly kidney-shaped wooden counter, and the piles of books, magazines, newspapers, and journals (for this room used to be a mall bookstore)—all of it began to suffocate me. I had to get out of here. I had to be free. How I wished I could make Sinna feel this crushing need!
He squeezed my shoulder: he understood. Then, sounding like the Collegiate Thesaurus he’d used for a pillow for the last several years, he said, “Very well, Ever-Jezebel. Do you recall what I have imparted to you not three minutes ago?”
I nodded and made my voice sound deeper to show Sinna that I was quoting him, “Ever, you ought to remember three things. First, if you notice that something, even the tiniest and most insignificant detail, deviates from the nightmare we have agreed upon, please stop me. Second, even if everything does go according to the plan, but you feel that you wish to be released from the nightmare, please stop me. Third, once in a nightmare, you will not be able to see through my eyes, and fourth, knowing that it’s not real is not going to help you in there.” I switched to my own voice, “Did I get it right?”
The sounds of steps and whacks came from the back room, where Sinna’s girlfriend was teaching my boyfriend a new method of killing people. By breaking their necks with the edge of a palm. I only hoped Demi wouldn’t kill Fox because that girl was freakishly strong.
Sinna chuckled. “Yes, it was all correct, although I do not believe I sounded even fractionally this excited. However, let’s proceed. An ocean. Blue and warm. With a school of fish that looks like the one on the cover of the Marine Atlas.” The last words he muttered quietly under his nose, clearly to remind himself of what I’d requested to see in a nightmare.
He backed away from me…a few steps…then a few more…then all the way to the massive steel door that stood between us and freedom. He stopped there, and again, we watched the dusty green floor by my feet.
Suddenly it quaked.
Yes, right under my feet.
The snapshots I was getting through Sinna’s eyes vanished, but somehow, impossibly, improbably, I was still seeing the floor by my feet. It quaked once again.
On its third quake, a coffin-sized segment of the green floor in front of me ballooned up. In perfect silence, it wriggled and jerked from side to side, as if something large was pushing our floor from beneath.
My heart sang with excitement: it was happening, it was here, the miracle that would set us free.
The bulge gave one last shuddering twitch and then, still silently, cracked open. A gush of clear, cold liquid shot straight up out of the hole, wetting my chin, my nose, and a lock of hair that had slipped out of my ponytail. As I wiped my face, wondering why the liquid smelled of rubbing alcohol, the water spurt hit the ceiling and came back down, this time soaking me head to toe, and I couldn’t believe it was just a vision. My skin felt wet. My hair and dress clung to me as if they were truly soaked, and the only word I could use to describe this fluid was “real.”
More water came through the crack in the floor, and then more still. Only it didn’t spread—it stayed around me in a large circular puddle. I hopped up and down in it.
“I’m loving this!” I told Sinna, not sure if I would get a response—he hadn’t specified if we’d be able to talk while I was inside a nightmare. But I did hear from him: he chortled and said, “Just don’t attempt to swim in this reservoir, Ever. It’s not real.”
The water kept on rising. Soon it touched my chin, and I hastened to press my lips together, which wasn’t easy because I was grinning so hard. Then I had to pinch my nose shut. Since I was a bit late on that, a little water trickled down my throat, and it tasted exactly like the tap stuff I drank every day. So…not a salty ocean after all? But no matter, it was still a fun nightmare.
In a world where a gifted few can manipulate reality with their minds, two great nations—Calchis and Orion—employ these psionic powers in a covert war for global superiority.
In the heart of Calchis, a powerful young psion named Aaron Waverly is kidnapped, and forcibly conscripted. To the north, in the capital, a plan is hatched to decimate Orion, to be carried out by the ruthless operative known only as “Agent.”
In Orion, fresh recruit Stockton Finn comes to terms with his incredible new powers, and learns firsthand how dangerous they can be. Meanwhile, officers Nyne Allen and Kay Barrett navigate the aftermath of their shattered love affair, oblivious to the fact that Calchis draws ever closer to destroying the tenuous peace.
Finally, in the arctic land of Zenith, Calchan archaeologist Faith Santia unearths a millennia-old ruin. This lost temple might just hold the hidden history of psionic powers, as well as hints of a deeper mystery . . . that could shake the foundations of all mankind.
Born and raised on Long Island, NY, Dan grew up immersing himself in fantastical worlds. While other kids dreamed of being astronauts and cowboys, all he ever wanted was to be a novelist. Now, he’s living his dream.
He ran toward the edge of the cliff.
The sun beat down upon him as his limbs pumped. Earth crunched beneath his feet, and a breeze blew across his black-stubbled scalp. His breathing was calm, meticulously measured.
When the ground slipped away, he felt only anticipation.
Plummeting, the man inhaled. Power flooded into him, thrilling, delicious. He reached out with that power, warping reality with an energy born from the depths of his being. Suddenly . . .
He winked out of existence . . .
And then reappeared at the base of the cliff.
Ahead lay a farmstead, awash in noontime light. Past its assorted buildings—barns and silos, stables and chicken coops—a field of wheat swayed like the hair of some sleeping giant.
It would burn soon.
Through his years of service, he’d been called many things: “raven;” “hellhound;” “black-hearted bastard.” There was but only one epithet that mattered—the one he’d earned with blood and devotion.
He was “Agent.”
A man with no name. A man who owed his nation everything.
Just then, he spotted his quarry—a teenage farmhand named Aaron Waverly. The boy had power—strong power, according to the readings.
Agent dashed toward the farm; dry winds kicked dirt and debris over his steel-toed boots. The expanse of greenery blurred past. He moved swift as a shooting star, his power saturating him with speed and strength.
When Waverly turned and saw, it was too late.
Agent teleported behind Waverly, and struck once, at the base of the farmhand’s skull. The young man collapsed, and Agent caught him, slung him over his shoulder.
A frown split the crags of Agent’s face.
Before him stood a girl, no more than sixteen, a pitchfork clutched in her fingers. She was a pretty thing, her blonde tresses tied back in a ponytail, her face darkened by hours in the field. She was an innocent. Agent did not relish the thought of ending her.
“Run,” he said.
“I’ll scream,” she said, her eyes flitting to the silenced pistol at his side. She hesitated.
He laid a hand on the gun. “Run,” he repeated.
He drew his weapon and shot her in the back of the head.
She pitched forward, hit the ground, dead. Blood spread in a widening pool around her. Waverly groaned, eyelids flickering. Agent holstered the gun and looked at the girl. Killing civilians was distasteful, but she had seen him. He’d had no choice.
Now, time to go.
Agent stepped toward the nearby barn, and pressed his palm against the red-painted planks. He sent his power into it, and a ripple spread through the wood, like a pebble striking the surface of a pond. Furrows of heat fanned out from his fingertips, crackling furiously.
He turned away and teleported to safety.
Back atop the cliff, he paused to watch his handiwork.
The barn exploded. Eruptive force flattened surrounding buildings and rocked the landscape. Screams broke out below, the sound carried on the wind. Again, Waverly stirred on Agent’s shoulder.
Agent smiled, and was gone.
Most cops get to deal with living criminals, but Agent Kirsten Wren is not most cops.
A gifted psionic with a troubled past, Kirsten possesses a rare combination of abilities that give her a powerful weapon against spirits. In 2418, rampant violence and corporate warfare have left no shortage of angry wraiths in West City. Most exist as little more than fleeting shadows and eerie whispers in the darkness.
Kirsten is shunned by a society that does not understand psionics, feared by those who know what she can do, and alone in a city of millions. Every so often, when a wraith gathers enough strength to become a threat to the living, these same people rely on her to stop it.
Unexplained killings by human-like androids known as dolls leave the Division One police baffled, causing them to punt the case to Division Zero. Kirsten, along with her partner Dorian, wind up in the crosshairs of corporate assassins as they attempt to find out who – or what – is behind the random murders before more people die.
She tries to hold on to the belief that no one is beyond redemption as she pursues a killer desperate to claim at least one more innocent soul – that might just be hers.
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.
He is also fond of cats.
Awards: Prophet of the Badlands (excerpt) – Honorable Mention – Writers of the Future
“Nice kid, that Samir.” Dorian glanced at the boy. “They should at least let him grow up before they put him to work.”
“He’s learning mechanic skills; it’s more like tech school.” Kirsten shrugged. “You remember Heather?”
“That other astral sensate? Yeah I think I saw her once; didn’t she move to the East coast?”
“Yeah… They sent her out into the field when she was thirteen. They said they had no one else strong enough. So stupid, they wouldn’t let her carry a weapon either.”
“Would you let a thirteen year old have an E90?” Dorian clucked his tongue. “Still, they shouldn’t have put her out there. I’m surprised command gambled with lives like that. Why didn’t they send you?”
“That was Burckhardt’s call.” Kirsten frowned. “I was only six then. They had no idea who I was.” Her gaze fell off to the side. “I wish they did…”
He laughed, trying to cheer her up. “I bet they’d have sent you instead of her if they did.”
The absurdity of it carried with it a nugget of doubt. If they needed a ghost destroyed, Deputy Director Burckhardt just might have considered a six-year-old Kirsten to do it. Her combination of psionic gifts created a rare and dangerous weapon against astral beings.
I’m not sure he would have cared, even if I didn’t know how to use the lash back then.
Her words rode upon a fake chuckle. “Yeah, I guess they would have.”
The car banked around the side of a gleaming skyscraper, coating the building with a flickering shimmer of blue from the emergency lights. Faces appeared in the windows as people looked over, curious at the sight of an all-black police vehicle.
The coffee slid out of the cup holder during the turn, but floated up into the air and leveled off before it could burst open in her lap. She grabbed it as fast as she could move her hand, but Dorian had already levitated it out of harm’s way.
“Thanks for that.”
“Hey, we’re still cops. Wasting coffee is a class-A felony.”
They exchanged a laugh, and soon she came in for a landing in the parking lot of the hotel.
Division 1 patrol cars dotted the area around two immense armored assault vehicles pulled right up to the steps. On the roof of each A3V, a Division 5 trooper kept a hatch-mounted 30mm cannon trained on the door. They looked quite disappointed at not having been given a chance to use them.
Kirsten killed the bar lights and hopped out, letting the door sink closed behind her as she walked up the steps through the crowd of police. Most of them moved with haste out of her path or looked away to avoid eye contact. Where someone else might have gotten a power trip, she felt a stab in her chest as the label of “outcast” sunk in deeper. Terrified faces turning away sent her gaze to the ground and made her feel alone in a swarm of people, wondering if mother had been right.
Kirsten fed the destination to the autopilot and hit the bar lights. From the air, the starport area resembled a square valley in the city. Zoning laws prevented the construction of anything over five stories for several miles in all directions to minimize loss of life in the event of a crash. The main terminal had the shape of a twenty-story chocolate chip made of white plastisteel and studded with millions of little lights.
Square fire containment walls sectioned off landing pads capable of handling everything from small inter-coastal craft to large shuttles used to carry passengers up to hulking interstellar vessels too ponderous to breach the atmosphere. Between the landing pad walls ran thousands of pipes and wire conduits.
21-47 meant a hostile manifestation. For it to be called in implied a non-psionic saw an apparition. Flashing lights littered a pad cordoned off by the starport security team and a few Division 1 cops who arrived seconds ahead of her. She circled around to bleed off altitude and came in low over the wall.
Her car cleared the barrier and settled onto a pad near a Mars shuttle. Two hundred feet long, the craft’s bell-like silhouette turned crimson from a coating of Martian dust, and the vapors of recent use still wafted from the engines. Near the right rear landing strut, a dark-skinned man in a grey jumpsuit hung suspended in a coil of silver fueling hose, screaming. The nozzle dripped luminous blue liquid that boiled upon contact with the ground.
Kirsten scrambled out of the car and ran over to him. Dorian paused to hold up a hand at the Division 1 cops by the entryway, warning them to stay back―but they ran past him as if he did not exist. Kirsten sensed spiritual energy in the hose, but saw no entity holding it. Her eyes found only a pair of shadows gliding along through the darkest point of the yard.
Oh, shit. If they are checking him out this could be dangerous.
Kirsten looked around. “Ok, where are you?”
“I’m right here,” shouted the suspended man. “Get me the hell down.”
“Sir, please stay calm. I’m trying to do that.”
“I’m held up in the bloody air by a bloody hose full of Cryomil, and she tells me to be calm. One little spark and I’m a samosa.”
“I’m surprised you even bother telling them to stay calm.” Dorian pointed. “I got this guy, check the splat by the nose gear.”
She trotted to the front while Dorian wrestled with the hose. The man wailed at her as he swayed back and forth, slipping free as Dorian strained against the force imbued in the serpentine line. The man slapped to the ground on his chest, shot Kirsten a terrified look, and ran off.
At the nose end, a wide pattern of blood spattered out from under the front landing cushion. A crumpled glove peeked out from beneath.
Kirsten cringed. “Damn. It landed on someone. He’s probably angry.”
“Damn right I’m pissed.” The sound folded in on itself like speech through a metal tube.
Kirsten crept forward. “Who’s there?”
A thirty-something man with scruffy brown hair sat up out of the landing gear, clad in a formerly-dark grey jumpsuit now black with blood. His helmet hung around his neck in a mass of cracked material like a stepped-on egg.
“What the hell are those?” He flailed at the drifting shadows.
“They are just watching, but I don’t think they have much interest. Of course, you might have changed their mind if you killed him.”
“Sanjay did this. He did not follow the safety protocols.”
“Do you think Sanjay wanted to kill you?”
The man fidgeted, his face a flurry of emotions. Speech started and stopped several times.
“You’re angry, and that’s perfectly understandable given the situation, but it looks like an accident.”
“W… What do those things want?”
“Well, if you were a bastard in life they take you where you belong. If not, they sensed your rage and came to see what they smelled.” Her voice softened. “Do you have any family or any friends you want me to pass any messages on to?”
He looked down at the tarmac, fury faded to sadness. “No.”
Dorian slipped behind, putting her between him and the Harbingers.
After a few minutes of reassuring talk, the ghost trudged off with his head down, muttering about the importance of the safety checklist. Halfway to the gate terminal, he vanished in a grey-silver cloud of light. Audible murmurs regarding procedure lingered for several seconds.
“Another lost soul ferried into the light. Nice job.”
Tour wide giveaway
Open internationally - Ends July 14th
--Signed copy of Division Zero + 25$ Amazon gift card
My name's Victoria and I love to read! And I guess no matter how busy I am, I'll always find time to read because you can't stop a passion, can you? I love netball, especially shooting, there's just something so peaceful about it, isn't there?
I started blogging in 2011, around November. I've fallen in love with it. Blogging about books just is so fun. Of course, I haven't been the most active of bloggers due to school:( Hopefully that will change now that I'm finally free!
But above all, I love my Lord Jesus Christ, my Savior. I've put my trust in Him. Because I know that no matter what, He will never forsake me nor leave me.
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