Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Blitz: The Courlight series by Terah Edun

Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun 
Publication date: April 10th 2013
by Amazon Digital 
Genre: YA Fantasy

Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the kingdom. But beneath her kingdom’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a  hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.

Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companion’s Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.

But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.

This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.

Sworn to Transfer by Terah Edun 
Publication date: September 20th 2013
by Amazon Digital 
Genre: YA Fantasy


Eighteen-year-old companion trainee Ciardis Weathervane has won the friendship of the royal heir and saved his claim to the throne. Yet her interference in the inheritance rights leaves more harm done than good. With the death of the Princess Heir, the Ameles forest - the home of the kith, is dying.

The inhabitants of the forest, magic-wielding non-humans, are defiant. They have not forgotten their long struggles nor are they content to watch as the last of their lands perish. As humans begin to die in gruesome deaths, the Emperor dispatches the royal heir to the forests with the solution to the kith concerns.

With enemies closing ranks in Sandrin, Ciardis can little afford to leave the city’s nest of vipers to take on a new task. But she’s given no choice when her loyalty to the crown and courts are called into question.

To keep the Companions’ Guild happy and the favor of the Imperial Court, Ciardis will be tested in frightening new ways, especially when she’s faced with an obstacle that could risk the lives of her friends and the family she never thought she had.

This second novel continues the story of Ciardis Weathervane from Sworn To Raise.


A night wolf came barreling out of the forest, snarling and white teeth bared in the moonlight. It hit Meres—or, rather, it tried to. His sword gleamed as it arced through the air to slice into the night wolf’s chest. The wolf howled in pain and kept coming. Two others emerged from the trees and ranged around their small group, preparing to attack. Meres began to speak, not in the language of humans but in the language of beasts.

He was trying to reason with the wolves. It wasn’t working.

Vana edged forward. “Alexandra, take the one closest to you. I’ll take care of the other two.”

Vana gathered magic and shot the arrow in her bow. It split in two. Not when it hit its target, but before. The split arrow had reformed into two perfect arrows. One arrow angled left and the other angled right to target the two remaining night wolves. Ciardis was expecting the arrows to inflict a small wound on the large wolves. They were the size of horses, with heads as large as oxen’s heads. She didn’t think they’d go down easy. She was wrong.

The wolves were thrown back into the woods. Ciardis heard distinct thumps and yelps as they landed. Without pause, Vana knocked a second arrow as she waited for them to return.

~About the Author~

Terah Edun is an international development professional and author/lover of all things Young Adult Fantasy fiction. She is a native Georgian, adoptive Washingtonian, unrepentant expat currently living in South Sudan, brilliant dreamer, lover of dogs and not-so-closet geek. Her first novel, Red Madrassa, was released on November 8th and her second novel, Sworn to Raise, comes out in April 2013.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Blitz: Eramane by Frankie Ash

Book & Author Details:
Eramane by Frankie Ash
(Eramane Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: Summer, 2013 
by Archway Publishing
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

In the village of Eludwid, seventeen-year-old Eramane Fahnestock goes about her life, cheerfully disregarding a prophecy made to her parents that she would have a great gift. Not yet wed and beset with boredom, Eramane cannot shake the feeling that something exciting awaits her beyond Eludwid. But when she is invited to picnic with a handsome young suitor, Eramane has no idea that her life will soon change forever.

As Eramane prepares for her date, she is suddenly hypnotized by a strange voice that tells her he will be coming for her that night. Unsettled but determined to press forward, Eramane and her suitor, Lebis, head to the woods to enjoy their picnic. As darkness falls on the forest, however, a beast emerges, transforming their beautiful outing into a terrifying scene. Taken captive and carried away to a mountain hideaway, Eramane finds her memories are soon clouded, even as her family frantically searches for her back home.

In this gripping fantasy tale, evil is summoned to the mountaintop, forcing a young woman to discover her magical gifts and exact revenge against a beast determined to destroy everything she has ever loved.


We ride slowly up the hill that leads to the river. Once we top the hill, I lean up to Lebis’s ear. “Let her go!”

“Are you sure?”

Yes!” I confirm.

“She is really fast,” he shouts proudly.

“Yes! Yes! I am sure! Let her go!” My excitement reassures him, and he gives his beautiful horse the command. Kelwyn does not hesitate. She lunges and we gallop down the hillside into the meadow. The mare runs so fast that the wind whistles as it passes my ears. The flowers part as we trample through them. Insects fly in all directions to avoid our sudden and unstoppable intrusion. The moment engulfs me, and I let go of Lebis to put my hands out. I lift my head to the sky and inhale all of the smells from the earth. I feel the sun trying to kiss my skin, but it cannot keep up with us. I squeeze Kelwyn tightly with my legs; her slender physique enables me to hold on tight. I wish that this moment of freedom will last forever.

My moment of enjoyment is short-lived, as the image of the beautiful man I saw earlier revisits me. But I decide immediately that I want to dwell on this moment, my moment with Lebis, his magnificent mare, and the beautiful meadow. I open my eyes and in an instant the image is gone, replaced by my beautiful surroundings. I lean forward and put my arms around Lebis’s waist, gently latching on to him. He looks back to me, and I see a smile come over him before he can turn away.

“There it is!” Lebis shouts. “Just beyond the tree line!” Kelwyn slows her run to a trot, then to a walk. “We will have to walk her in. She gets a little spooked by the shadows. Once we are in, she will be all right,” Lebis says, pulling back on her reins. He dismounts, drops the reins, and offers his hand to me. I slide down the side of the horse and land on the softest, greenest grass I have ever seen. As I look around, I realize that I have never been to this part of the river before. Usually my family goes to the waterfall by the cliffs. Here, though, the river runs through the forest, very secluded and peaceful.


Frankie Ash is the author of the YA novel Eramane, COMING SOON! She holds a B.A. in English and resides on the east-coast somewhere between “Will it ever be warm again?” and “The summers here are too short!” She is currently writing book #2 of The Eramane Trilogy, to be published in 2014.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fangirling Dexter: Should Harry Have Read Dexter Fairy Tales?

Okay. When I decided to fangirl Dexter it felt risky. I've read all the stuff about branding and how authors should create a recognizable image that will help connect readers with their stories.

But Dexter is a show about a serial killer and I write fairy tale/fantasies.
But I love Dexter, its been my guilty pleasure for years.
And it's the LAST SEASON.

Seems (some part of me) was bursting to share my passion for the show. So I threw myself into it, hoping, somehow, somewhere along the way it would all make sense (and I wouldn't have to delete the posts hindsight). Because when I wrote the first post A Sympathetic Serial Killer… Right… (Some part of me) was still asking myself, why are you doing this?

Dexter is your secret.
And although I was really enjoying the season, and really enjoying writing my Dexter posts, it continued to not make much sense to me until about mid-August. When it came to me: Delivered in  a dream… not really (although I do have things delivered in my dreams… DRAGONS!) what my final Fangirling Dexter post was going to be about, I was like, oh yeah.

This is how it all comes together.

Should Harry Have Read Dexter Faiytales?

I've been reading The Uses of Enchantment, The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales (UE) by Bruno Bettelheim since April of this year (according to Goodreads.) It's taking this long to read, not because the book is so long, only 309 pages, but because it's so dense. Each paragraph is an idea to consider, absorb, and test against my own personal reality. Because as I wrote in my blog post about fairy tales, Good and Bad Have Long Tails…, when I was young those enchanted tales held out hope for a future where the truth might be set free, and I might be able to breathe.

Uh-huh. Fairy tales mean something to me. Sometimes its hard to verbalize how deep they go, even though I'm a writer. There are places in me that simply don't want to speak. But those places see and they hear and they act. Those places comprehend the theories of which Bruno Bettelheim writes.

A little bit about Mr. Bettelheim. He was born in Austria in 1903 and was exposed to the psychoanalytic theories of Freud as a teenager. Fascinated, he pursued the study of Freud's works, became acquainted with Anna Freud,  and underwent his own psychoanalysis. However, in March of 1938, Germany invaded Austria and Bettelheim spent the next year in the concentration camps, Dachau and Buchenwald, where he witnessed fellow prisoners being arbitrarily killed. Perhaps due to his training, he developed an analytic awareness of the psychological effects of terror, the terror that was wielded by the SS to, in Bettelheim's words, change the prisoners permanently into passive subjects without any resistance or without any ability to resist the Nazi system.

Bettelheim was released from the camps in 1939 and went to America, where he became the Director of the Orthogenics School for disturbed children in Chicago. Although there is controversy about his work, specifically his theory of the etiology of autism, he seemed to possess an uncanny understanding of children and their interior lives. He always attributed his ability to empathize with disturbed children to his own experience of terror in the concentration camps.

Watching the documentary, "Bruto Bettelheim: A Sense of Surviving," one gets a sense of  just how disturbed the children admitted to the Orthogencis were: homicidal, suicidal, psychotic, severely delinquent, and mute. To be eligible for admission a child had to have sought treatment elsewhere and have had the treatment declared a failure. One of the students, now a functioning adult, describes his state of mind when he entered the school as a child of ten. I had detailed, specific fantasies about murdering and dismembering woman. Very disturbing stuff.

How did Bettelheim's treatment of the most disturbed work? From the introduction to UE, my main task was to restore meaning in their lives. Then he goes on to identify parents and caregivers as having the primary impact on a child's ability to find meaning, with cultural heritage following. Accordingly, he believed that literature carried such information best. However, Bettelheim was not satisfied with much of the literature written and published for children because it fails to stimulate and nurture those resources the child needs most to cope with difficult inner problems.

Bettelheim believed fairy tale symbolism constellated a child's imagination in a way that helped the child make sense of their interior life and imbue it with meaning. Rather than being told what to feel, believe, and think a child could take from the fairy tale the developmental lessons that suited their personality and current circumstances. This could happen in three ways:

1. Justice. Fairy tales acknowledge the dark side of human nature: the wicked witch, the evil stepmother, the corrupt father, the ridiculing elder brothers. The child is given an indirect route to experience his own feelings about being treated wrongly, unjustly, and callously by the world of adults around him. When the children in fairy tales outwit the adults who terrorize innocent children, the child can imagine, one day, justice will triumph in his world as well.

2. Faith. Most fairy tales involve the hero leaving home. Whether they are sent out, pushed out, exiled, or run away, the children in fairy tales must grow up. Identifying with the hero's journey, children learn there is power to be gained by facing adversity, achieving competence, and gaining wisdom.

3. Hope. Because of the Happily Ever After/HEA, the child experiences hope that he too can find his way in the world: To run his own kingdom—his own life—successfully, peacefully and to be happily united with the most desirable partner who will never leave him. And it's the hope that is important, because hope allows us to trust the future and as Bettelheim points out, not trusting the future really means not trusting oneself.

Whew. Back to Dexter.
What would have happened if Harry had read the traumatized Dexter fairy tales? Maybe "Beowulf" for starters. We can imagine feelings of terror and rage flooded the psyche of Laura Moser's traumatized son as he sat in that bloody shipping container—abandoned—for days. As we saw, in Season One, when Dexter does a face plant at the crime scene especially prepared for him by Brian, those memories have been repressed and disconnected from the conscious urges of Dexter's Dark Passenger. Could a symbolic tale of a man slaying a beast devouring an entire town have assuaged the unconscious roots of Dexter's need to kill?

Or was The Code really the only answer?

What about "The Beauty and the Beast"? Could Dexter's psyche have called forth a life-affirming force as compelling as his Dark Passenger? And if it had, would he have needed Hannah?

Interesting questions.  Personally, I believe in the unconscious. I believe in the journey of drawing up as much from our depths as we can manage. And I believe in fairy tales. But I don't think Dexter is a fairy tale, because I don't think there's going to be a Happily Ever After. Sob. However, by externalizing Dexter's struggle with his Dark Passenger, the show has created an incredible entertainment vehicle that allows us to get as weighty as we want with its meaning.

As you can see, I've leaned towards heavy.

Thank you Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, James Remar, David Zayas, C.S. Lee, Lauren Velez, Julie Benz, Erik King, Yvonne Stahovski, Sara Colleton, Scott Buck, the writers, directors and the rest of the cast and crew that have made such an amazing show that I have loved watching for 8 seasons!
(I actually got tears in my eyes when I wrote that! No wonder I'm fangirling!)

And to close it all out… how about that Dexter-themed GIVEAWAY I've been promising!

Enter to win Dexter: The Complete Final Season
Scheduled to be released on November 5th
or a $40 Amazon Gift Card.

Fangirling Dexter Pick of the Week: Dexter Wrap-up Podcast 8.11 Monkey in a Box with writers Wendy West and Tim Schlattmann and actress Yvonne Strahovski.

And in case you missed the rest of the Fangirling Dexter posts:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Treasures of Depth Psychology

I'm reading Persephone Returns by Tanya Wilkinson Ph.d. It's so wonderful. It's like eating all the candy and cake and ice cream that I want without ever getting fat or full. So really, it's not junk, it's completely nourishing, soul-filling, and oh, so delicious.

It's been a long time since I've indulged in any Jungian inspired/depth psychology books. I used to read them all the time, even though some of the concepts were hard for me to grasp. Archetypal defense systems. The negatively constellated numinosum. The omnipotent apocalyptic God subpersonality. Yep. As a lay person, with zero psychological training, some of it was just beyond my ability to truly comprehend. Also—often—I'd love the first few chapters and then the books would devolve into  an analysis of an analysis of an analysis. Although very Jungian, very abstract stuff and, for me,  not very fulfilling.

I like my depth psychology connected to the body. Affect. When it becomes too much of the mind—logos—it just loses me. Wilkinson has not only kept everything connected to the body in Persephone Returns, she's made it about being connected to the body. Her main theme is the Victim Psyche. By contrasting the Hero Mythology with that of the Goddess Persophone, she illustrates the stranglehold the Hero has on the modern-day psyche—to our detriment.
Descent is necessary for us all. Jung would say that, more eloquently, with an entire book. Well, probably about twenty-nine entire books. A lot to slog through.

Wilkinson makes her case in a single nice neat one, about eight chapters. Why we must descend and claim our crowns in the Underworld. (If you've read any of the books in the Daughter of Light trilogy, you're probably starting to click to Melia's journey, it's very much a journey of trying to be the hero and failing miserably because she's not connected to the power of her chthonic—love that word—: archetypal  underworld energy.) After discussing the Hero and Persephone, Wilkinson continues on to illustrate her points with fairytales, (oh, be still my beating heart!) "The Beauty and the Beast" and other lesser known ones.

Persephone Returns is an accessible window into the treasures of depth psychology and I highly recommend it if you're ready to make your own descent… and discover the liminal within you.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jane Eyre… Is She a Fairy?

I become curious about Gothic Romances, go to the Amazon Best Seller page for the genre, and download several of the top books. What a mixed bag. I finish one book, stop reading a second, and am more than half-way through Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.
I don't know why I always confuse Jane Eyre and Amelia Earheart, but I do. In the past, whenever I've come across the novel or name, Jane Eyre, I've always thought, oh, yeah, that's the chick who flies airplanes. Apparently, Eyre and Earheart are homophones in my mind. Shoulder shrug. Palms to the ceiling. Look, I have no excuse, it's just what happens. But Jane Eyre hangs out in the top 20 Gothic Romances, so for $0.99 I'll check it out.

OMG. That opening scene is so fantastic. Funny, in a grim way. Sad. Devastating. I have to re-read it. John Reed throws the book… AT HER HEAD. And so Charlotte Brontë reels in another reader. And by the time I reach Jane's exit interview with Mrs. Sarah Reed, I've join the swelled ranks of those who've come before me—thousands of ghostly readers (dead and alive) lined up through time fist-pumping "Our Jane."

Because she kind of becomes "Our Jane." The heroine who finds her voice, and at such a tender age. To be able to deliver so severe a tongue-lashing—and with such clarity—at ten years old. Would that have been me, I dream. (Maybe others do too. Uhmhum.)

Look, the book is old. Orphanages, rigid social classes, gender stereotypes, and tedium abound. The best bits are Rochester's claims that Jane is a fairy, some creature from Elf-land. And of course, there's that nod to Beauty and the Beast…

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fangirling Dexter: Does Everyone Have a Dark Passenger?

Of course they do!

I answer yes unequivocally, without hesitation, and with absolute conviction. Jung and Freud would agree, except they would call it The Shadow or the Id, respectively. The religiously inclined call it Sin. With all those names and widespread acknowledgment, my bet is the Dark Side—those socially and morally unacceptable impulses we strive to keep a lid on—is universal.

What's very individual is how aware/conscious we are of those pesky little desires.

Now, I'm all into depth psychology and that's pretty much what Dexter is. What's so wonderful about Dexter is his awareness/consciousness of his inner darkness.
In fact, he's so aware that he's given it a name: The Dark Passenger. And he tells us about it in those impeccably written and delivered voiceovers: how it drives him, what it craves, and how he feeds it. What is even more fun is how he recognizes the darkness in others. As someone who is very clear about his own dark urges, Dexter's got X-ray insight into what others hide. This plays out in the series in two psychologically delightful ways.

Every season, Dexter has a major nemesis. It's usually the first kill of the season, the first homicide the department has to investigate. Dexter, the unassuming lab geek, blood spatter expert in his pastel button downs and hush puppies (are those hush puppies?) is called to the scene and meets someone else's Dark Passenger via forensics.
Initially, he's attracted to and/or intrigued by the clues the killer has left behind. His fascination swells as he begins his covert/unofficial/on-the-side investigation into this particular deviant. What's so cool is we, the audience, aren't just privy to the normal-homicide-investigation-analytics of your typical cop show, we get the bonus view of the Dark Passenger's analysis.

Let me stop right here and say motive is often the most CLICHE aspect of PLOT in many of the shows I watch. You can almost see the actors' and actress' groping through cheesy lines of "Why they did it." Not Dexter. From the incubation of Dexter's ravaged psyche to the events that feed every other character on the show, including the killers, I have to give the show 5-stars on developing their characters' motives. You're always left with a feeling of believability. Yeah, this is what drives them. Detailed backstories that aren't too convoluted. Whether its Hannah, Trinity, even Deb, Angel, and Quinn—and most recently, Dr. Evelyn Vogel, there's a feeling of reality as to this is what made these characters who they are.  It helps that the show has SUCH INCREDIBLE ACTORS AND ACTRESSES delivering the lines: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, Charlotte Rampling…

Okay, so that's the first level of insight we get from Dexter's Dark Passenger. The second one is his insight into us Normal Folks, i.e. non-killers, those of us whose Dark Passengers aren't inclined to murder. Heres' a quote from Season 1.01 that puts a big grin on my face:

Dexter is on a date with Rita. They've gone to a crab shack.

"Needless to say I have some unusual habits, yet all these socially acceptable people can't wait to pick up hammers and smash their food to bits. Normal people are so hostile."

Here Dexter is genius in giving us insight into ourselves. By openly sharing his Dark Passenger with the audience and its insights into other killers and normal people, the show creates a safe, creative, entertaining space for us to explore, acknowledge—perhaps, confess—become (more) conscious/aware of our own Dark Passengers.

Kind of cool, huh?

Of course in Daughter of Light, Umbra is humanity's Dark Passenger. (Can't wait to see how that's going to turn out!) I started writing the series and developing the concept of Umbra in June 2008. Dexter, Season 1, aired in 2007. Although it crossed my radar, my ego/superego completely rejected a TV series about a serial killer. When I finally broke down and watched it (see A Sympathetic Serial Killer… Right...) we rented at least the first two seasons from Netflix and marathoned them. I vividly remember the sun rising as we watched Lila's last moments in Paris. I can't remember if it was the third or fourth season we had to begin watching real time. But as I was already obsessed with depth psychology and the issues of "inner darkness," the slick genius of the show immediately hooked me. I gained even more respect for the series after reading the books, because the TV writers really balanced out Dexter's darkness with his Hero/Light/Ego side through his struggle to connect with others.

Which brings us to the final season—Hannah—and Dexter's struggle to become Whole.
Some viewers are put out that Hannah is the final catalyst in Dexter's inner battle. They want it to be Deb. The paradox is, without Dexter and Deb, there would be/could be no Dexter and Hannah. And while enduring bonds are the stuff that makes us human, I'd argue it's true love—the romantic experience of the irreplaceable other—that catapults us into the light of our best selves.

So… Will he? Will he? Will he?
Will Dexter become Whole?

Three more episodes to find out what happens in this epic story about integrating dark and light.

Fangirling Pick of the Week (there's two!):
Michael C. Hall on the Daily Show
Review of Dexter 8.09 Make Your Own Kind of Music by Gracie

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Guest Post: Meradeth Houston, author of the SARY SOCIETY

A while ago, I had the opportunity to meet author Meradeth Houston on Twitter. We ended up talking about churros and things that are yummy! I thought her SARY SOCIETY series sounded intriguing. Somewhere along the way we decided it would be fun to exchange guest posts and settled on the topic of Spirituality. So here we are, and here is Meradeth! (If you'd like to visit her blog, and check out my blog post, please do so here.)

Thanks so much for hosting me! It’s always fun to get to meet other authors, and especially their readers .

My series, Sary Society, is made up of Colors Like Memories, The Chemistry of Fate, and the forthcoming Surrender the Sky, and deals with a type of being I made up. Well, maybe not entirely made up—they have some similarities to guardian angels, but are a bit different Basically, the main characters in my books are the souls of children who die before taking their first breath. They are offered the chance to come back to earth as a Sary, or someone who helps those who are thinking about taking their own life. They blend into society and keep a low profile, but hide their true identity—especially their wings.

With creatures like the Sary, it’s hard to avoid any sense spirituality. Plenty of other questions are mentioned here and there—like what happens after death. It’s kind of an integral part of the story. And for me, there’s some influence from my own beliefs that creep in here and there. I do mention light and dark being present after death, and the penalty for taking one’s own life in my series is pretty steep. Personally, I wasn’t raised in a religious household, but became pretty active in church throughout high school and college. I don’t find myself in a structured religion today, but some beliefs still stick around.

So, what does that mean in writing? For me, it’s striking a very careful balance of keeping some elements of spirituality that goes along with my characters, but working hard to ensure it’s not overbearing or preachy. At least, that’s what I’m striving for!

I can think of a lot of books lately that have to handle this same issue: The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare has angels, demons, and nephilim in it, but she avoids much (if not all) discussion of any kind of deity in her stories. Also, Angelfall by Susan Ee is another case where angels and demons exist, but there’s kind of a black hole with any kind of ruling god or gods in the picture (anyone else as excited as I am for book 2?!?). The Fallen series by Lauren Kate kind of took the other route, bringing God, angels, and the devil into the picture in the classical sense (not to give away too many spoilers!).

I’d rather error a bit on the side of the former examples here, just because I think that makes the book more accessible to a wider audience. But that does mean I don’t dig in as deep to some of the thornier issues of where my characters come from, or what their role really means (though, I definitely know myself, I just don’t talk about it!).

I’m curious what you all think: is it better to give a whole lot of background on a world, even if it’s pretty religious, or leave things a little more open ended so it’s more accessible? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

~About Meradeth Houston~
Meradeth’s never been a big fan of talking about herself, but here are some random tidbits about her:
>She’s a Northern California girl, but now lives and teaches anthropology in Montana.
>When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
>She’s been writing since she was 11 years old. It's her hobby, her passion & she’s so happy to get to share her work!
>If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.
~Find Meradeth~


“They are everywhere, can be anyone, and are always the last person you’d expect.”

When Tom stumbles across his grandfather’s journal, he’s convinced the old man was crazier than he thought. The book contains references to beings called the Sary, immortals who are assigned to save humans on the verge of suicide. They certainly aren’t allowed to fall in love with mortals. Which the journal claims Tom’s grandfather did, resulting in his expulsion from the Sary. As strange as the journal seems, Tom can’t get the stories out of his head; especially when he finds the photo of his grandfather’s wings.

Tom’s only distraction is Ari, the girl he studies with for their chemistry class.

Ari has one goal when she arrives in town: see how much Tom knows about the Sary and neutralize the situation. This isn’t a normal job, but protecting the secrecy of the Sary is vital. If Tom is a threat to exposing the Sary to the public, fate has a way of taking care of the situation, usually ending with the mortal’s death. While Ari spends time with Tom, he becomes more than just an assignment, but how far can a relationship go when she can’t tell him who she really is? When she finds out just how much Tom actually knows about the Sary, Ari is forced to choose between her wings, and her heart.

THE CHEMISTRY OF FATE is a companion to COLORS LIKE MEMORIES and is set before the latter takes place.


Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.

Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.