31.1.16

Guest of the Month Club (3): Five 2016 Releases We're Excited For!

http://www.emilyreadseverything.com/
Hello and welcome to another edition of Guest of the Month Club as hosted by Emily from Emily Reads Everything! Today we are talking about our anticipated releases for 2016! I am hosting Book Babe from Booknista where she discusses her five top releases of 2016. You can see my post over on her blog where I talk about five YA contemporary novels I'm looking forward to reading in 2016!
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Feverborn
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Series: Feverborn #8
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: January 19, 2016
Add to Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Chapters | TBD

This is my ALL TIME favourite series! The urban fantasy series to beat all others. Fae, vampires, magical creatures, other worlds, kick butt heroines, and hot alpha heroes. All set in Ireland. I've been waiting for this book. I will devour it in one night. Promise.


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Glass Sword
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Add to Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Chapters | TBD

I read RED QUEEN last year and it was one of my top picks. I've been dying for the sequel. It's a bit of a Game of Thrones fantasy style but YA. Some light sexy romance. I just saw the book trailer and it looks amazing!
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28.1.16

BLOG TOUR: THE GIRL WHO FELL by S.M. Parker Interview + #GIVEAWAY



Hello and welcome to my tour stop for THE GIRL WHO FELL by S.M. Parker. I have a 5* review of the book, plus an interview with the author! There is even an international giveaway for a pre-order of the book. Follow the tour for other interviews, a playlist, and 5 reasons why you should read the book! 

But first, let's learn more about the book...

Title: THE GIRL WHO FELL

Author: S.M. Parker
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse
Publication Date: March 1, 2016

Summary:
His obsession.
Her fall.


High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.


Purchase:
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 5/5 stars

Ask author Shannon Parker what she thinks of THE GIRL WHO FELL and she will tell you it's a dark kissing book. And boy, she's not wrong. But it also has such lightness to it that you just need to experience in order to understand what I mean.


Zephyr is on the fast track to success: good grades, amazing athlete, and the best friends anyone could ask for. But then she meets Alec and gets caught up in a whirlwind romance that takes her by surprise. Throughout the book she has to learn for herself what "true love" really means.



26.1.16

ARC REVIEW: THE YEAR WE FELL APART by Emily Martin

THE YEAR WE FELL APART

Author: Emily Martin
Source: ARC via the Publisher
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary:
In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.


Purchase:
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
 
I'm a pretty jaded person. I've had a lot of bad shit happen to me and it has given me a cynical outlook on life, especially about giving people second chances because they usually just fuck you over again. Sorry, that's life. But. And this is a huge but. THE YEAR WE FELL APART might have changed my mind. It handles the second chances, especially the ones we give ourselves, so wonderfully and perfectly, that I almost want to give second chances a second chance.

Top Ten Tuesday (17): Top Ten FREEBIE

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
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This week's Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie so I am going with...

Top Ten Sidekick/Not Main Characters That Need Their Own Series (or for the original series to be told from their perspective)

Sometimes I feel like I'm not the main character in my own story but rather the side character, which is fine. I do not need to spotlight at all. However, there are some book characters that I don't think received enough (or the right) attention in their own stories and therefore I am telling you today which book characters need their own books! Or origin stories! Or just rewrite the book from their perspective because it would be more interesting that way! So without further ado...

The Silver Trio: Neville/Luna/Ginny from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
I am the biggest Luna fangirl in existence and don't even get me started on my love for Ginny and Neville. I think there needed to be a little less Harry/Ron/Hermoine and lots more of these three. Who are SO BADASS and get so little acknowledgement of it. I would love to have OotP, HBP, and DH all rewritten from their perspective for sure, but the whole series would please me even more.
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The Golden Guard: Baldair & The Gang from Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Everyone who reads this blog knows I love the Air Awakens series, specially Baldair, so OF COURSE I WANT STUFF FROM HIS POV. Like a Golden Guard miniseries maybe? Or just rewrite this series from his perspective. I can even think of the story now: "Baldair noticed Vhalla and Aldrik spending lots of time together but gave zero fucks because he was doing OTHER THINGS" Because I NEED TO KNOW what these other things are.
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25.1.16

BLOG TOUR: HEART IN A BOX by Catherine Stine



Hello and welcome to my stop on the HEART IN A BOX tour by Cahterine Stine, hosted by Chapter by Chapter! 

I have a guest post for you today about the inspiration behind the book, which gives you some good insight into the novel! Keep scrolling to enter a fantabulous giveaway at the bottom of the post. Without further ado, let's learn more about the book...


HEART IN A BOX

Author: Catherine Stine
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Publication Date: December 20, 2015

Summary:
Each heartbeat leads Joss closer a shocking truth that will change everything.


Joss Olstad wins the fight to switch from her private school to a public high to “find her pieces” she lost when the Indian artist father she never knew died. There, Joss struggles with a slutty friend, who flirts with her new love; Indian Culture Club girls who press her on her past, as well as her stoner mother’s lies back at home.  Armed only with her handmade heart boxes that hold private messages, Joss’s search for identity leads her to a scary industrial section of Queens, and a shocking family secret that changes everything.

Purchase:
Hi all,

I’m Catherine Stine, and I’ve written lots of young adult novels. I’m thrilled to be guest hosting at Books and Ladders as part of my Heart in a Box book tour. Readers often like to know what inspired me to write my novels, so I’ll tell you what gave me the idea to write Heart in a Box.

It was a combination of things. Early on, I did a writing prompt, which involved describing a black lacquered box with little roses on it. I got really involved in the fantasy of it being painted by a father as a gift to his daughter who he never knew. Who knows why, because I knew my own dad! Another part of the inspiration was that I lived in New York City’s East Village for a while and there were a bunch of import-export shops there that sold bongs and paraphernalia. I started to wonder what it would be like to have a hippie-come-lately mother who smoked a lot of weed and owned this type of store. And then I kept asking “what if” questions. What if the mom also had a side to her that was very overprotective and so the daughter, Joss had to sneak around? And what if Joss had a biracial boyfriend, who the mom was leery of? This would lead to a series of mom-daughter landmines they would have to figure out ways to navigate through. And of course, I wanted to write a super-sweet romance between Joss and Will.


In the novel, Joss deals with her anxiety and upset through making heart-boxes, which her artist dad made. This act of creating the boxes helps her feel close to him even though she never met him. It is also how she inches toward finding out a huge family secret, which of course, I won’t reveal here. LOL. So, the other part I relate to is in being an artist. I sold my paintings in galleries for years, and I still do illustrations. In fact, the tour prize giveaway includes my hand-painted heart-boxes!
If you do read Heart in a Box, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

Thanks, Catherine
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Catherine Stine writes YA and romance. Her novels span the range from futuristic to supernatural to contemporary. Her YA sci-fi thrillers Fireseed One and Ruby’s Fire are Amazon bestsellers and indie award winners. Her YA, Dorianna won Best Horror Book in the Kindle Hub Awards. She also writes romance as Kitsy Clare. Her Art of Love series includes Model Position and Private Internship. She suspects her love of dark fantasy came from her father reading Edgar Allen Poe to her as a child, and her love of contemporary fiction comes from being a jubilant realist. Visit her at catherinestine.com and subscribe to her newsletter for news of releases, workshops and appearances.

Connect with the Author:


A $40 gift card, 2 hand-painted heart-boxes with secret treasure inside, a signed paperback of Dorianna by Catherine Stine, a signed paperback of Heart in a Box by Catherine Stine, a great YA ebook pack of novels: Tiger Lily by Wende Dikec, When Sorrows Come by Katie M John, and Time Runs Away with Her by Christine Potter.

24.1.16

RECAP: That Time I Drove To Michigan to Meet Susan Dennard and Victoria Schwab!

Photo courtesy of Sarah K!

I am at a loss for words right now 


(probably because I am dead tired, but also because !!!!) If you don't follow me on Twitter, then I shall inform you that I travelled to Livonia, Michigan on Friday to attend the Tor Book event that featured nine authors including Victoria Schwab and Susan Dennard at a Barnes & Noble. 

This was a huge trek for me since I had to cross a border (it actually was pretty simple, just a super long drive). I was DETERMINED to go because I loved A Darker Shade of Magic and Vicious and I was super excited about Truthwitch so I wanted to meet it's creator! I especially wanted to go because I knew I would be able to also meet some amazing bloggers and because Elise Kova was going to be there too! It was like a meeting of all the best people I know in one place. Which for me is pretty convenient. Because it was January and it was a long drive, I roped my dad into making the trek with me just to be on the safe side (I didn't want to end up in a ditch on my own). 

22.1.16

BLOG TOUR: SANCTUARY BAY by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz - Guest Post + #GIVEAWAY

Hello and welcome to my tour stop for SANCTUARY BAY by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz! I have a review and a guest post for you guys, plus a US/CAN giveaway for a copy of the book over on my twitter! I have embedded the tweet for you at the bottom of this post

Before we get started, let's learn a little bit more about the book...


SANCTUARY BAY 

Authors: Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 19, 2016

Summary:
In this genre-bending YA thriller, will Sarah Merson's shiny new prep school change her life forever or bring it to a dark and sinister end?

When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn't sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate's dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay's glossy reputation. 


In this genre-bending YA thriller, Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, Sarah's new school may seem like an idyllic temple of learning, but as she unearths years of terrifying history and manipulation, she discovers this "school" is something much more sinister.
Purchase:
Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz have written many books for teens and middle-grade readers, including the Edgar-nominated mystery series Wright and Wong and the YA novels Crave and Sacrifice. They have also written for the TV shows Roswell, 1-800-Missing, and The Dead Zone. Laura lives in New York and Melinda lives in North Carolina, but really they mostly live on email, where they do most of their work together.

Connect with the Authors:
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4/5 stars

I thought this one was going to be more like SHUTTER ISLAND or X-Men, but I really liked the way that it turned out. I thought there was a bit too much convenience about how it played out but I liked that Sarah and Ethan made it all work to their advantage.

21.1.16

DISCUSSION: My Queen of Contemporary: SARAH DESSEN

I read a lot of books. While my top read genre always seems to be Fantasy, I have a soft spot for Contemporary novels. They were my first love and every time I read one I remember why that genre is so great. Don't get me wrong, I love getting away from reality and sometimes you need a bit more escape than what a realistic fiction or a regular old contemporary novel can give you. But sometimes you need to feel like you aren't alone in situations you come across and there is no better place to find this type of companionship than in Contemporary novels.

The New Kids on the Block

There is a lot of hype and talk about some contemporary authors being the Be All End All of the genre. Their novels are the ones everyone recommends and everyone seems to have read. But I feel like no matter who else comes on the block, Sarah Dessen will always be my favourite author. Full stop. Not favourite contemporary author, just favourite author in general.

I've seen a lot of taglines for soon to be released books say "For fans of Sarah Dessen..." but when I was a teenager (long ago in a galaxy far away...), you couldn't walk into a bookstore without one of the staff recommending you read a Sarah Dessen novel. Typically, they would tell you to read THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER and so that is what my mom bought me when I told her for my 13th birthday that I wanted to read more books. 

 

19.1.16

REVIEW: JUST A FEW INCHES by Tara St. Pierre

JUST A FEW INCHES

Author: Tara St. Pierre
Source: Digital Copy via the Author
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: May 31, 2015
Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary:
All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller.

To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend, the school’s star basketball player. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. And to be noticed by her classmates.

Exercising and dieting don’t work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she’s just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be.

Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems—problems that are growing more terrifying every day.

Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking.

Purchase:
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I liked this one and the message. Girls shouldn't worry about their size or trying to lose a few pounds or waist inches. And that's awesome. I totally, 100% agree. There is way too much pressure from society for females to look a certain way. I also really liked that we saw how Carrie's family and friends were affected and reacting to her predicament. It gave the book a fullness to have reactions and commentary from everyone who was even remotely involved in Carrie's life to feel the effects of her problem.

However, I would have really liked this one to have been half the page length. There was way too much of Carrie's mundane life and not enough of the situation or trying to solve the problem. I liked that she was still able to DO things while searching for a cure or a reversal but it felt like too much. And it seemed weird that she was allowed out of the house or at least not under constant supervision when she got extremely tiny. I honestly feel like once they figured out she was shrinking, they would have been monitoring her every second of every day. Let's be real.

I don't have much more to say about this one. I liked it and I do recommend it. Just prepare yourself for a super long book.

15.1.16

BLOG TOUR: Tales From the Front 03 MORE CLUES + #GIVEAWAY!


When Elise contacted me and asked if I wanted to take part in "something special" to help celebrate the release of EARTH'S END, I said "duh, obviously." I love the Air Awakens series (you can see my review of Air Awakens and Fire Falling) so it was a no-brainer to sign up to help people get excited about the third installment of the series, EARTH'S END. With my post today, you get another piece of the Earth's End puzzle that has been starting to come together. I'll link the other posts below so you can see the other pieces and try to figure out how the beginning of Earth's End will fit into the ending of Fire Falling.

14.1.16

TWO FOR THURSDAY: Serpentine by Cindy Pon and Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins #T4T

 

Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday! #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that will tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
Scroll to the bottom for a giveaway of both of these amazing reads!


This week, #T4T presents to you:


SERPENTINE is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.

Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.

When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.

“Vivid worldbuilding, incendiary romance, heart-pounding action, and characters that will win you over–I highly recommend Serpentine.” Cinda Williams Chima, best-selling author of the Seven Realms and Heir Chronicles fantasy novels

“Serpentine is unique and surprising, with a beautifully-drawn fantasy world that sucked me right in! I love Skybright’s transformative power, and how she learns to take charge of it.” ~Kristin Cashore, NYT Bestseller of the Graceling Realm Series


“Serpentine’s world oozes with lush details and rich lore, and the characters crackle with life. This is one story that you’ll want to lose yourself in.” ~ Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of Legend and The Young Elites

12.1.16

ARC REVIEW: OTHER BROKEN THINGS by Christa Desir

OTHER BROKEN THINGS

Author: C. Desir
Source: ARC via the Publisher
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 12, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
Nat's not an alcoholic. She doesn't have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like get in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.

Unfortunately her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.

But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat’s life and things start looking up. Joe is funny, smart, and calls her out in a way no one ever has.

He’s also older. A lot older.

Nat’s connection to Joe is overwhelming but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she's been desperate to forget.

Now in order to make a different kind of life, Natalie must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.
Purchase:
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I feel like a weight has been lifted from me because, it too, was really well done. I mean, it was a pretty tough fucking read. Natalie goes through some SHIT man. But it was also enlightening and I have a lot of feelings about how she figured her shit out because it wasn't pretty, it was actually pretty messy. But isn't that how life is? And I just want to say that it really rocks when authors don't try to make life, hard times, good times, etc. seem better than they are. That's so important! And this book is definitely not going to be for everyone, I get that. Hell, I wasn't sure it was for me. But it is so emotionally packing that I do recommend at least giving it a shot before writing it off completely.

11.1.16

BLOG TOUR: WORLDS OF INK AND SHADOW by Lena Coakley

Hello and welcome to my stop on the WORLDS OF INK AND SHADOW blog tour! 

Along with the information about the book, and a wonderful giveaway, I also have a review of the book for you! Keep scrolling to see what I thought of this novel and then enter to win yourself a copy!


WORLDS OF INK AND SHADOW

Author: Lena Coakley
Source: ARC via the Publisher
Publisher: Harper Collins Canada
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.

Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ juvenilia, Worlds of Ink & Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families.
Purchase:
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was really excited to sign up for this tour and be able to read and review this book because I love the Bront
ës. I don't have an intimate knowledge of their lives, but I know enough that even without the author's note at the end, I knew what was happening. Although, I would suggest reading that first if you are unsure about the lives of the Brontës because it gives you just that much more information to make some of the details fall into place throughout the novel.

8.1.16

BLOG TOUR: THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE by Darynda Jones EXCERPT

Hi everyone and welcome to my spotlight on THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE by Darynda Jones! I have heard so many good things about this book and am excited to share more information about the book with you, including an excerpt! 

Check out the information below and let me know if you are adding this one to your TBR in the comments below...

Title: THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE

Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson Series
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 12, 2016

Summary:
In a small village in New York Charley Davidson is living as Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her-even from her new and trusted friends-the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.
Purchase:
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Remember, it’s never too late to give LSD a shot.

—T-SHIRT

I stood beside the booth and poured coffee into a beige cup that had the words FIRELIGHT GRILL written across it, wondering if I should tell my customer, Mr. Pettigrew, about the dead stripper sitting next to him. It wasn’t every day a dead stripper accosted one of my regulars, but telling Mr. P about her might not be a good idea. He could react the way I did the first time I saw a walking corpse a little over a month ago. I screamed like a twelve-year-old girl and locked myself in the bathroom.

For seven hours.

I admired the rascally old man, a decorated war veteran and retired NYPD detective. He’d seen more action than most. And with it, more atrocity. More depravity and desperation and degradation. He was a tough-as-nails, real-life superhero, and I couldn’t picture any situation in which Mr. P would scream like a twelve-year-old girl and lock himself in a bathroom.

For seven hours.