YA

Even Angels Fall is Out!!

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After suffering an unthinkable loss, Abbey Miller and her family move to Leeds to rebuild their lives and start again, but the pain and grief that Abbey carries with her is impossible to escape.

As she finds herself becoming increasingly isolated from her family, she develops a firm friendship with Lucy, Nathan and Liam, three kids from her new school who introduce her to a brand new and exciting world, far removed from all of her problems.

But will her new friends bring her the light hearted relief she has longed for?

Or will she find herself getting drawn deep into their dangerous and intoxicating world?

Book Title: Even Angels Fall
Author: FL Darbyshire
Genre: New Adult Drama/Suspense
Release Date: August 21, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Excerpt #1

The bright, mid-afternoon sun pours through the open window as the soft, summer breeze makes the trees outside sway together in a gentle dance. Abbey Miller turns her face towards the sunlight and closes her eyes, feeling the warmth on her skin. As the birds sing and the leaves rustle softly in the wind, she allows her thoughts to slowly drift away from her.

“Abbey…?”

She reluctantly opens her eyes and returns to the present moment. Sitting across from her is Dr Morris, with a pen resting in her right hand and a clip board balanced in her lap. She watches Abbey curiously.

“Writing about your experiences, actually putting them down on paper… it has been proven to be an effective tool when coping with trauma. I feel you might benefit from this… you may find it an easier way to communicate?”

Abbey shifts uncomfortably in the large leather armchair. How can she be blamed for not wanting to ‘communicate’ when she is so aware of Dr Morris assessing her every movement, enthusiastically scribbling down more notes because she rubbed her head or cleared her throat. It’s not that Abbey doesn’t trust her. She is clearly good at her job. The many certificates of achievement and qualifications that are framed and mounted neatly on the wall speak for themselves. She is patient and understanding, as all therapists ought to be. She just doesn’t get the point in being here. What difference is it really going to make? Everything that has happened to Abbey in the past 18 months can’t be changed or altered in any way. She can’t take back all the bad decisions she has made. No, there is no point. In Abbey’s opinion, no amount of ‘communication’ is going to make the slightest bit of difference what so ever.

“Would you at least be willing to give it a try? You could write in the form of a story, or perhaps a diary…whatever you find easiest. And then in our sessions we can go through what you have written and discuss it together. Does that sound fair?”

Abbey sighs quietly, nodding in response as Dr Morris flashes a brief, reassuring smile and seemingly satisfied, once again begins to add to her notes. As the sun sets over the beautifully landscaped gardens outside, Abbey sits in her room, staring in frustration at the computer in front of her. It is dark – the only light coming from a small desk lamp that is balanced precariously on a pile of books and CD’s. She watches the cursor flashing at the top of the screen, her mind completely blank. Why on earth did she agree to this? How is she supposed to put her tragic, dysfunctional life into words? She exhales the smoke from her cigarette and twists it into the ash tray, running her hands through her long auburn hair. She looks older than her years. Only 19, yet her pale green eyes reflect the maturity of someone much older, someone who has been through more than the average teenager. Someone, in fact, that has been through more than the average person ever will.

Eventually, she reaches for the keyboard, hesitating for a moment before she begins to type…

‘Have you ever taken a step back and looked at your life?

Are you where you expected to be? Or do you often find yourself wondering ‘how the hell did I end up here?’

I seem to be asking that question a lot these days – and as I reflect on the circumstances that led me to this point I still find it hard to believe.

Trinity and All Saints Rehabilitation Centre is somewhere I never expected to end up.’

Excerpt #2

After a 15 minute taxi drive through Leeds, past the train station and out towards the bottom end of town, they stop at a modern, high rise building on the outskirts of the city next to the water of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. They pay the driver and approach the main door, where Liam presses a button for flat 38. There is a pause, then a click.

“Yeah…?”

Liam leans forward, putting his mouth right up to the speaker as he shouts in a stupid voice.

“EASY BRUVVAAAA…!”

Whoever’s on the other end of the intercom responds in exactly the same way and the buzzer sounds, releasing the door. Lucy rolls her eyes as the four of them make their way inside. They ride the elevator up to the 9th floor and walk down a long narrow corridor that is painted and carpeted in neutral colours. Various pieces of modern art hang on the walls and large free standing vases are placed sporadically along the passage way.

“Wow, this is really nice…” Abbey wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t something this up market.

“Yeah, Alex has a pretty high paying job…” Liam laughs and the three of them glance at each other as if sharing a private joke. Once again Abbey feels a little left out, but at least she is here with them. They have included her by bringing her along tonight and she reminds herself that she should be grateful for that.

As the four friends approach the very end of the hallway and flat number 38, Lucy reaches up to knock, but before she has a chance, the handle turns and the door swings open unexpectedly. Abbey stares, wide eyed and breathless, as everything around her fades into the back ground. Time seems to stand still and in that fraction of a second, her whole entire universe shifts.

“What time do you call this…?!” The man standing in the doorway asks his question in a deep Irish accent that flows so beautifully, it is almost surreal. He is tall, with dark brown hair that is styled into a slight quiff at the front. He is wearing faded jeans, a grey v neck t-shirt and a set of silver rosary beads that hang just past his chest. He is incredibly lean and toned, with the muscles in his arms standing out in stark contrast to his slender frame. He has incredibly chiselled features with a few days’ worth of stubble and the most piercing, electric blue eyes that Abbey has ever seen.

“We’re not that late! We just had to go pick Abbey up…!” Lucy kisses him on the cheek as she enters the flat and Abbey follows behind, smiling timidly. Her heart is beating so fast it feels as though it is going to explode out of her rib cage. She had never really given any thought to what Alex or the others looked like… she had never asked. So it is a complete shock seeing first-hand how unbelievably good looking he is. Liam enters the flat and Alex shakes his hand, slapping him on the back in greeting. Abbey can’t resist glancing back over her shoulder but she quickly looks away when she sees that he is still watching her. He greets Nathan in exactly the same manner, before shutting the door without once taking his eyes from Abbey’s face. She begins to feel uncomfortable under his constant stare and turns away shyly, desperately trying to control her blushing.

Meet the Author:

FLD

Fay Louise Darbyshire is a 28 year old first time writer from the UK. Born and raised in Leeds, West Yorkshire, Fay finished High School at the age of sixteen and went on to enroll at Leeds College of Art and Design where she studied Media, Film and English.

After graduating into the world of full time employment, her passion for writing remained and she spent several years developing film scripts and screen plays in her spare time, finally deciding to adapt one of her stories into a book in late 2013.

In a recent interview she was quoted as saying, “I love how a book or poem or a piece of writing can affect an audience in different ways, whether it moves them, makes them question something differently or just simply entertains…”.

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Grift by: Jason Mosberg

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Why would a 17-year-old girl pretend to be a high class escort?

Piper is a con artist whose canvas is the city of Las Vegas. She rolls with a crew of young grifters including a card-counting genius, a tourist-hustling pool shark, and a pocket-picking magician. Together, this crew of teenage outlaws live with their mentor Max in the penthouse of a hotel casino. They work hard and play harder. But unlike the others, Piper must balance her hyper-real Vegas fantasy with the reality of raising her 14-year-old half-sister Sophie. Disaster strikes when the Las Vegas mafia kidnaps Sophie and demands a multimillion-dollar ransom. With only five days to piece together the money, the crew races the clock to save her.

 

 

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My Review

Piper is a 17 year old con-artist in Las Vegas living in a top floor penthouse in the Treasure Island hotel near the strip with 4 young con-artists, their mentor and surrogate father, Max, and her 14 year old sister, Sophie.

Piper and the rest of group work for Max by luring tourists from their money using various scams and in turn Max provides a place to live and coaches them in their respective trade. Piper works by exploiting men as a high-end escort. She seduces men into a hotel room and takes their money without providing any service. While her roommates spend their money on whatever their heart desires, Piper saves all her money so she can leave Las Vegas and give her sister a more normal life.

One evening, Piper comes home to a beaten and bloody Max, thousands of dollars missing and her sister kidnapped! The ransom demanded puts the group in a frenzy – can they con enough money to save her?

I enjoyed this book. While I believe the plot in this book, in one way or another, had been done, I was excited to see a twist with the main character being a young female. When I began reading, I had a distinct feeling of reading a fairy tale with the characters coming from nothing, finding Max and then having everything they could ever want. However, that feeling is short lived as the characters join together to bring Sophie home. The story had potential: a strong lead character, a love interest, internal conflict, external conflict, but falls short with supporting character development and overall execution.

The additional roommates and even Max himself fall seem like ghosts, appearing only to help further Piper’s cause of rescuing her sister. Having an illustrated back story for the group would have helped the reader feel the familial relations rather than being told (“show don’t tell.”)

Which leads to my next point, execution. When writing a story with a twist or mystery, it is important to leave proper bread crumbs of foreshadowing and misleading clues to keep the reader guessing. Unfortunately, with this book the plot was a bit transparent.

I still enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations as the group fought to collect $1,000,000 in 36 hours. It was exciting and well thought out. A promising beginning for Jason Mosberg.

-JL

First Time Novelist Publishes Epic Fantasy Novel

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Knowing the future can save her city – but not her heart.

Fifteen-year-old Clio should have never been the Oracle of Sheehan. That power is passed from mother to eldest daughter, and Clio is the youngest of four sisters. But when her entire family is murdered by Mannix, the king’s adviser, Clio is left all alone and heir to a power she never wanted and doesn’t understand.

Hunted by Mannix, Clio seeks refuge in a foreign city where oracles are absolutely forbidden. If she’s found out, she will be sacrificed atop a great pyramid.

Clio has no choice but to win the trust of Riece, an enemy warrior. Despite the growing feelings between them, Clio knows that if he finds out what she really is, he won’t hesitate to kill her.

Clio tries to hide her budding powers, longing only to be a normal girl and fall in love, but the visions she has of Mannix bringing a barbarian army into Sheehan torture her conscience. She alone has the strength and foresight to stop him, but only if she can embrace her destiny and sacrifice everything.

 

About the Author:

Here are five quick things about me:

  1. I’m just starting out so I’m not “the best-selling author” of anything, but…
  2. I did once stand in line to meet Joss Whedon at a comic book signing when I was in middle school and got him to autograph a Buffy the Vampire Slayer poster for me.
  3. I was the flute section leader in my high school’s marching band.
  4. I recently graduated from Princeton University with a lot of people who are a lot smarter than I am.
  5. I’m love Jane Austen so much I’ve taken multiple classes on her books.

 

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Interview with the Author

Emily Wibberley

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

Well, first I would say I realized I had a rather serious YA addiction. When I realized I wanted to write a novel, I knew it had to be YA. The specifics for Sacrificed were inspired by Cassandra from Greek mythology. I kept coming across her in a variety of different sources, and each time I was yearning for her to have more agency. Cassandra is a beautifully tragic figure, and I liked that, but I also wondered what it would be like if a young girl not only inherited prophetic powers but also could actually kick some butt in the process.

How much research did you have to do during the process of writing this book?

Sacrificed takes place in a fantastical world, so I was able to take some liberties with my world-building. That said, I drew inspiration from ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, which required a lot of research on Aztec and Mayan cultures.

When you aren’t writing, what books do you like to read?

Basically anything. I can’t function if I don’t get my hands on a book during the day. Obviously, there’s a ton of YA on my shelves, but I also love to read more “adult” things like A Game of Thrones and Cormac McCarthy novels.

If someone came up to you and asked for one tip on how to become a successful author, what would you say to them?

Being successful at writing involves more than just writing—it’s a business as well. Yes, you have to write everyday, but you also have to market your books. Nowadays, you can’t just be an author; you have to be an authorprenuer.

What’s the worst thing anyone has said about your writing?

“I loved the action. You write like a guy.” My dad said that. He meant it as a compliment.

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My Review

Clio is the youngest of four and the daughter to the Oracle of Sheehan. When a female child of the oracle reaches 16 she then becomes a vessel for the Oracle to use to complete her work. However, to Clio it seems being a vessel also includes becoming cold and inhuman. When Ali, the second youngest, turns 16 Clio begs her mother not to take her sister from her, but unfortunately no one can stop the Oracle.

Loosing Ali, Clio feels starts to feel isolated and she runs to last person she trusts, her childhood friend and Prince of Sheehan, Derik. Meeting him outside the palace, she tells him about her mother and sisters treatment of her and falls asleep with him in a tree.

While asleep, she dreams her mother and two eldest sisters are murdered in their beds and the youngest, Ali, is kidnapped and taken away by men in red capes. Woken by the nightmare, she describes her strange dream to Derik before being interrupted by Mannix, the King’s adviser, searching for the Prince. Wary of Mannix, Derik keeps Clio’s presence a secret and climbs down to address Mannix when he is told his father, the King of Sheehan, has been murdered by the Oracle and her Vessels. Mannix continues saying he has had them killed and the youngest sent to be sacrificed in Morek. Derik makes plans to assume the throne, but learns before his father’s death the King directed Mannix to obtain the throne as Regent King until he feels Derik is fit to rule. This effectively leaves Mannix as the ruler of Sheehan until he decides otherwise.

Hearing all of this, Clio begins to question her family while grieving the loss of her friend’s loss. However, in order to save her sister, she must leave for Morek.

I know it sounds like I’ve given you the entire story, but I haven’t. I promise. This book is just that good!

“Scarafice: The Last Oracle” is very imaginative and intricately woven story. It includes aspects of mystery, magic, romance and fantasy. These elements are put together in an entertaining and magnificent whirl-wind, leaving me to crave more.

To start, the characters in this book grab me right away. Clio begging her mother to spare her sister and only friend, Ali, and losing her despite her effort was a very touching opening to this book.

What is more stunning is the care Emily Wibberley took with plot construction. The impressive amount of research done to bring details into the story and develop the main characters brought this fantastical story to life. As a person who reads new authors, I truly appreciate the thought and effort put into creating this wonderful book.

My only disappointment was Chapter 30 when Clio gets lost watching Riece fight off Manix’s guards. It was wonderful watching the powerful and confident Clio come into her own and embrace her new role as Oracle for the people of Sheehan and yet in this scene she is depicted as a love struck ogling teenager. It leaves me perplexed? What happened to the strong and fearless Clio I know?

The action and adventure in this book is excruciatingly good! I couldn’t look away from its pages and I was constantly finding myself saying “just one more chapter…” Needless to say nothing else was completed the week I took to finish this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone in the mood for a new YA fantasy.

-JL