Friday, August 26, 2016

Blog Tour- Excerpt + Giveaway: Furious Rush by S.C.Stephens

Author: S.C. Stephens
On Sale: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Trade Paperback: $12.99 USD
eBook: $4.99 USD
Audio: $22.98 USD

The first in an emotion-fueled, New Adult series from the #1 bestselling author of the Thoughtless novels!

Too fast, too furious—and way too hot to handle…

Mackenzie Cox has a lot to prove. Daughter of a racing legend, she is eager to show the world that she has inherited her father's talent in the male-dominated sport of professional motorcycle racing. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonized by her rival team's newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Plucked from the world of illegal street racing, Hayden immediately gets under Kenzie's skin. His insinuations that Kenzie is a spoiled princess who was handed her career fuels her desire to win, and much to her surprise, Kenzie soon learns she performs better when she's racing against Hayden.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense—and strictly forbidden—attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie always does her best to play by the rules, but when her team slips into a financial crisis, she has no choice but to turn to Hayden for help. The tension simmers during their secret, late-night rendezvous, but Kenzie has too much to lose to give in to her desires. Especially when she begins to doubt that Hayden has completely left his street life behind...



“Do you have any idea who this guy is, and why the hell he’s on our track?”
Myles tilted his head as he thought. “Don’t know, but if he’s on the track before noon, your dad must have hired him. The Bennetis know not to break that rule. Not after what happened last time.”
The last time a Benneti stepped foot on our track before they were allowed to, that Benneti had found himself duct-taped to the flagpole in the middle of the track. Naked. Of course, the Benneti team had gotten us back by breaking all the windows in the garage doors. They were still boarded over, since we couldn’t afford to fix them yet. For the sake of our bank account, Dad had ordered every Cox racer not to continue the paybacks, no matter how warranted they were.
Ignoring Myles’s chuckle, I renewed my inspection of the racer. The new rider was fast, and ridiculously good—his setup on the corners was perfectly timed, and he kept his body low, hanging off the bike so that nothing was over the center line but his outside arm and leg; his “triangle of daylight”—the space between his inside knee and the bike—was so beautiful that Dad would probably photograph it and hang it on his office wall. Considering the furious competition at the professional level—races were won or lost by mere seconds—and considering how much time, energy, and resources were spent on training new riders, I wasn’t too surprised this guy was top-notch. With the upcoming racing season so close, any person Dad brought onto our team would be impressive. Dad wouldn’t settle for anything less than amazing; he couldn’t afford to. Yet another reason I was feeling a profound pressure to perform. There was no free ride for Jordan Cox’s daughter; I had to earn my place, same as everyone else.
When number 43 finally finished his set and slowed to exit the track, Myles let out a low whistle. “Not bad. He reminds me of you.” Frowning, I peeked up at him. His dark eyes sparkled with amusement. “No guts, no glory, balls-to-the-wall racing, like you have something to prove every time you go out there.” He raised a dark eyebrow at me, but I remained silent. Having to prove myself was a daily occurrence, and Myles knew that.
The rider exited the track at the same place where we were standing with our bikes. He slowed to a stop directly in front of us, shut off his motorcycle, and removed his helmet. My jaw dropped to my chest, and my eyes bugged out of my skull. No. It was not possible. But the long-dulled desires starting to tingle back to life at just the sight of him told me it was possible. The man who was proudly wearing the number 43 was the same drop-dead-gorgeous man who’d won the street race early this morning. What the hell was he doing here—on my turf—looking for all the world like he belonged?
In the bright sunshine, I could see that his eyes were actually a light shade of green. There was a devious glint in them that silently promised that every day with him would be even more intriguing than the last. Add that to his dirty-blond hair, rugged jawline, perfect bone structure, athletic build, and perfectly full lips that hinted at a treasure trove of untold pleasures, and you got a man who attracted a lot of attention everywhere he went—as I’d witnessed last night by the swarm of groupies surrounding him while he’d been illegally racing.
No way. There was no way Dad had hired this guy!
Hopping off his bike, the stranger ran a hand through his sweat-soaked hair. The shaggy strands were sticking up every which way now, and the chaotic hairstyle was too damn appealing. A small groan slipped from me in my shock. Get it together, Kenzie.
His emerald eyes swung my way, taking me in, and I held my breath and stood a little straighter. Did he recognize me like I recognized him? Did I want him to? Damn it . . . what was his name again? And why the hell did he have to have such incredible eyes? Green with flecks of gold, penetrating and intense, like when he was looking at you—truly looking at you—nothing else around him mattered. I could easily picture him studying the track with that unrelenting gaze. I could also picture him studying my curves with that superheated stare. Goddammit, no. This couldn’t seriously be happening. 


S. C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review- Madame de Sade by Yukio Mishima

 Madame de Sade on Goodreads


In this fascinating all-female drama, Yukio Mishima endeavors to explain the riddle of why the Marquis de Sade's wife, who had remained loyal to her husband throughout the years of his wild debaucheries and during his lengthy imprisonment, decided to sever their relationship once he had regained his freedom. "This play might be described as Sade seen through women's eyes," writes Yukio Mishima in his postface to the drama. "I was obliged to place Madame de Sade at the center and to consolidate the theme by assigning all the other parts to women. Madame de Sade stands for wifely devotion; her moth, Madame de Montreuil, for law, society and morality; Madame de Simiane for religion; Madame de Sans-Fond for carnal desires; Anne, the younger sister of Madame de Sade, for feminine guilelessness and lack of principles...."
Through its subtle dialog and finely drawn human contrasts, 'Madame de Sade' is a convincing evocation of period. Although the Marquis himself never appears in the drama, his presence is all pervasive.

This English text is by Donald Keene, a foremost translator of modern Japanese writing. The photographs are of scenes in the original Japanese production, staged in Tokyo.

Release date: 1971
Published by: Tuttle Publishing
Page numbers: 108


I came across Madame de Sade at a local bookstore when they were having a huge sale. Something about the cover, the title and the synopsis really fascinated me, and so I decided to pick it up. Having sat on my shelf for almost a year and a half, I finally decided to read the book. Madame de Sade is originally a Japanese play written by Yukio Mishimi, and I read the English translation done by Donald Keene. 

The themes that interested me most when I bought his book were the fact that a Japanese writer wrote a play set in France and that it focused on feminism. I was pursuing my French Masters in literature with a research on feminism at that time, so I thought it to be the perfect fit. But even though I didn't get to the book back then, I'm sure I would've enjoyed it just as much as I did now. 

Madame de Sade actually follows Marquis de Sade, who never once appears in the play, but is somehow always present because all the women in it only talk about him. So we have his wife Marquise (translated as Madame for the English readers) de Sade, who is the epitome of a devoted wife until she learns to accept her husband for who he is. And then we have her mother, her sister, their maid, and two more women, who, in my eyes, were the most integral characters. From the summary, every woman of the five important ones represents something and eventually through the course of the play, it becomes very evident. 

I thought that the various themes were taken up brilliantly and uniquely in this play keeping both the individual mind-set and the socio-political scenario of France in the late 1700s in mind. So while on the one hand, there was a more subdued but strict atmosphere during the first two acts; on the other hand, there was also a more casual yet concerned one in the third act which takes place after the French Revolution. While the third act did seem to drag for a bit too long, the first two were very well made and thoroughly enjoyable.

This play is just beautifully done and it shows in the form of the crisp and intelligent writing. My copy also came with a few pictures here and there of the actual theatre performance by an array of wonderful Japanese actresses and that really helped me imagine the play better.  A true portrayal of the way society works, this play, in a subtle manner, gives a great glimpse into the way we are made to think, and that was the most wonderful thing about it. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review- Crème Brûlée by Ramona Sen


A quintessential Bengali anglophile, Aabir Mookerjee, is back from Oxford and can often be spotted basking in the comfort of colonial clubs or pottering around his restaurant, E&B, whose chocolate mousse has been garnering all the attention.

Troubles begin when The Mad Hatter opens across town and its attractive young proprietress shows a knack for concocting sweetmeats. Meanwhile, Aabir’s mother and the family priest unite to find him a ‘suitable’ bride. His monosyllabic sister won’t help and his incorrigible friend is too much the flagrant Lothario to be depended upon. Soon, the easily disoriented Aabir finds himself swamped by more ladies than he can handle.

Perhaps the only person who can bring things to a head is his dead grandmother, who watches over the family with an eagle eye from her unearthly abode on the coconut tree.

Hugely engaging, with bountiful laughter, read along to know how Aabir fares, even as he inches closer to the best dessert he can get his hands on and a romance he hadn’t bargained for.

Psst: The reader runs the risk of unappeasable hunger pangs, which is not to be held against this lip-smackingly tasty book.

Release date: August 1st, 2016
Published by: Rupa Publications India
Page numbers: 295


I LOVE desserts, especially anything chocolate so how was I supposed to pass up a book called as Crème Brûlée, right? It was a no brainer. Crème Brûlée by Ramona Sen is a book set in the back drop of Calcutta with a typical bengali family with all its quirks and eccentricities. Credit should also be given here to Urvashi Suraiya for all the cute drawings in the book which made it even prettier. The book mostly focuses on Aabir Mookerjee and his way of dealing with the people surrounding him. It is safe to say that Crème Brûlée was an enjoyable read for me. 

Let's start with Aabir. At first Aabir comes off as an uptight man who is no fun and always bothered with the unnecessary details. As we read ahead we can see that he is all that but he is also so much more than that. His personality has many nuances. Aabir runs an eatery called as E&B or Eggs and Bacon and as a foodie himself he is proud of what he has accomplished with E&B. The chocolate mousse is what E&B is famous for but a new place called the Mad Hatter opens up giving E&B some competition.

I really came to like Aabir and his quirks by the end of the book. Aabir was a character in himself but even more funny were his family and friends. Aabir's mother was hell bent on marrying him and came up with several plans devised to help or rather force him to tie the knot with any girl. Then we have Thakuma, Aabir's dead grandmother who watched over the entire Mookerjee clan from top of the coconut tree. I also really enjoyed the monosyllabic Aatreyee who is Aabir's sister. The servants working for the Mookerjee's also have their own part to play.

Aabir's friend Rana Raina is the one who pushes Aabir to be more outgoing. I loved the bond between Rana and Aabir. They were childhood friends and even if they were complete opposites their friendship was strong. Now with all these multiple threads going on let's not forget the romance. There is some with a certain owner of The Mad Hatter.

I loved how Kimaya and Aabir first started off as friends. Kimaya was very cute with her quirky accessories which never failed to amuse and shock Aabir. There is also the meddling Purohit who has intentions of his own. With so many characters there is a lot of commotion and chaos but always in a good way. With delicious desserts and enjoyable characters Crème Brûlée turned out to be an entertaining read.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Rupa Publications India in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Release Day Blitz- Wait by A.L.Jackson

Wait Release Banner


From NYT & USA Today bestselling author comes a new Bleeding Stars stand-alone novel…
She is his strength and he is her weakness. And this time he won’t let her go.

Edie Evans is gorgeous.
She’s also the definition of off-limits.
But that didn't stop me from sneaking into her room to comfort her at night.
But guys like me? We destroy everything, so it should have been no surprise when I destroyed us, too.
The night I sent her running, I thought I’d never see her again.
Until I saw her standing like a vision in the crowd.

Austin Stone is dangerous. 
He broke my heart and I refused to give him the chance to do it again.
It’s been years since I’ve seen him, and now I can’t do anything but stare at the gorgeous, tattooed man playing onstage. I should run. I know I should. But like a fool, I run straight back to him.
Our desire is overpowering. 
Our need unrelenting.

She is my hope.
He is my weakness.

We should have known a passion this intense would burn us right into the ground.  

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Google Play

"Meaningful. Mesmerizing. Magnificent...5 but should be 10 beautiful, broken, brilliant, and imperfectly perfect stars .” Karen, Bookalicious Babes Blog
"A beautifully written story about broken hearts and unshakable longing, about second chances and third chances and a whispered hope for a happily ever after. Intensely felt on every level, Edie and Austin’s story will own you." Vilma, Vilma’s Book Blog
“Beautiful. Sexy. Dripping with tenderness. I felt the emotion in this story all the way to my toes.” Mia Sheridan, NYT Bestselling Author
“6 Stars - ‪Wait is equally devastating and beautiful! A.L. Jackson has a way of pouring words onto a page that makes you crave every piece of a story.” Molly McAdams, NYT Bestselling Author  

Wait Book Trailer


             Excerpt :

“Shit,” I hissed, bracing myself against the spray of the icy shards pelting from the shower head.
I sucked in a breath, released it between clenched teeth, and forced myself fully under it.
Head dropped and chest heaving as rivers of ice-cold water slicked down my shoulders and back.
But it did nothing to lessen the need. Gave me no sanity or pacification.
Because all I could think about was the girl on the other side of the door.
My girl.
In my bed.
Wearing just her panties and my shirt.
An angel I wanted to dirty.
I always had.
Love was messy like that.
All of my restraint scattered. I gripped my cock. Squeezed the base.My mouth dropped open at the pressure of my hand against my rigid length.
A fool thinking it might be enough.
God, I was a bastard, but there was nothing I could do before I was giving in, leaning forward and bracketing my forearm above my head to hold my weight.
Water pounded down on my head and back while I pounded my fist against my dick.
Trying to keep silent when all I wanted was to moan, teeth digging into my bottom lip as I pictured the girl spread out for me.
My breaths were coming short.
Panted and hard.
I gave into imagining the sounds she would make when I finally got to bury myself in her body.
A soft, soft gasp.
I slowed, trying to convince myself that throaty sound was all in my mind.
Just another part of this fantasy.
UntilI heard the small thump against the wall.
I mashed my eyes closed, like it might hide me.
Conceal the depravity of my actions after I’d just been comforting her hours before.
Heart thrashing, I turned and moved far enough to peek out the small section where the fabric shower curtain hadn’tbeen drawn fully closed.
It was just a little sliver that left me exposed.
But it was enough. When I peered out, I was looking right at my girl pressed up against the wall.
She stared right back at me.
And I wanted to be horrified, my mind scrambling to conjure every weak apology I could summon. Ready to fucking grovel to keep her from turning and running once again.
Because that’s exactly what I expected her to do.
But her expression…her expression clutched mein the center of the chest and sent what little brain function I had left stampeding south.
Red, lush lips were parted, her hand pressed to her hollow of her throat, pupils dilated so big that her hooded, cerulean eyes appeared black. Needy breaths were coming at me from that sweet mouth like a goddamned freight train.
Desire swelled in the confines of the too-tight room.
She pressed deeper into the wall as if it might support her weakened knees.Head rocked back. Thighs squeezing together.
My hand shot to the shower wall to steady myself. “Warning you, Edie, you need to get out of here. Right now.”



A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installments, WAIT and STAY, coming in 2016.

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson - Sign up to receive her newsletter or text “jackson” to 96000 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

 Connect with A.L. Jackson
Snapchat: aljacksonauthor


Monday, August 22, 2016

Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway- Runners & Riders by Jordan Elizabeth

Runners & Riders
Companion to the Treasure Chronicles
A young adult novel of gangs and love in a steampunk world.

Juliet loved growing up at the seaside, although it meant lonely hours chasing after the other beach rats while her mother worked as a seamstress. Juliet never expected her seaman father to inherit a fortune and move the family to New Addison City. Suddenly her mother is a socialite and Juliet is best friends with a strong-willed girl who actually likes her. When Juliet’s new friend welcomes her to the Runners, a gang that has plagued the East Coast for years, Juliet sees it as the opportunity to fit in, learn tricks, and make eyes at one of the hottest members. What the gang does isn’t really wrong…right? She’s used to being a pawn for the Runners, but she starts to question what she sees as harmless fun when the gang uses her to attack a young officer.

Jonathan Montgomery vowed to end the Runners after they murdered his family. He joined the Riders, an elite police force dedicated to stopping the Runners’ crime spree. They have put him in New Addison City, but rookie mistakes follow Jonathan as he struggles to accomplish his goal, until a young woman feeds him inside information to bring down the Runners.

Between murders and secrets, Juliet will need to find her strength to help Jonathan, before the founder of the Runners crawls up from the sewers amongst her inventions to burn down the city.

RUNNERS & RIDERSis available nowon Amazon from Curiosity Quills Press.
Check out early reviews on GoodReads!

Can’t wait to read the next installment in the Treasure Chronicles world?  Check out the first chapter:
A figure ducked behind the work shed where the glow of the back porch gas lamp didn’t reach.Jonathan shielded his eyes so he could see more clearly through the bedroom window, but the backyard lay still.The white sheets the maid had hung fluttered in the evening breeze.
His uncle would have a ghost story to tell about those.
Another dark shape bolted across the yard; this one crouched in his mother’s flower garden.It might have been one of the boys from school come to throw pebbles at the pale blue siding until Jonathan sneaked out, but they seemed too tall for eleven-year-olds.The one in the flowers crept closer to the house.
Movement in the woods drew Jonathan’s attention farther across the yard, where two more shapes lurked.They had to be grown men.He gulped as he crawled away from the window to the hallway where the light from the living room glowed up the stairs.
“Found you.”The maid grinned from his parents’ bedroom, a stack of table linens in her arms.“When we play hide-and-seek, you ain’t supposed to come out till I call for you.We gotta practice the rules again?I was gonna come looking soon as I put these cloths away.”
He grabbed the railing.“There’s people out in the yard.”
Her eyes widened before she clicked her tongue.“Ain’t nobody out in this cold.I’m dreading my own walk home.Bless your father if he gives me a ride.”
“I saw them.There had to be ten, at least!”Jonathan took the stairs down two at a time.
His uncle sat in front of the living room hearth, the fire crackling to stave off the autumn chill, with Jonathan’s sister nestled in his lap.“The old king rose up tall as that old oak out by the water pump, and he waved his scepter as if he was a wizard.”
“Uncle Henry,” Jonathan interrupted.“There are people out back.”
“What’s that?You get to bed already?”
“What?”His uncle never made them sleep as early as his mother did; they usually got to stay up until their parents came home from the opera house.
“You must have had a nightmare.”Uncle Henry chuckled, and the little girl giggled from his lap.
“No, I saw them.They were slinking through the yard.”Jonathan pointed toward the rear of the house.His uncle would appreciate “slinking,” as if the word had fallen from one of those mystery novels he read them.
Uncle Henry glanced at the clock on the mantle.“Your parents shouldn’t be much longer.It must’ve been them you saw.”
“There were a bunch of people.Lots of them.Fifteen at least!”Jonathan’s heartbeat increased.Some of the natives – those Bromi warriors – from out west might have crept across the country.Pirates might have invaded from the sea.His parents whispered about those when they read the newspapers.
“Fifteen, huh?Well, you keep an eye on them for me.If they come too close, we’ll build a fort around the house.”Uncle Henry adjusted the pink afghan wrapped around the toddler.
The doors were locked, but the enemy might break through the windows.Jonathan’s father kept the guns sealed in a case, but he did have an emergency pistol in a box under his bed.They’d be proud if he protected his family.
As Jonathan reached the top of the stairs, someone knocked on the front door.He froze, one sock-clad foot on the landing and the other on the top step.Pirates and natives didn’t knock.They invaded; they were evil.
The maid swept past him, lifting her ankle-length brown skirt.“I hope that’s my dear papa come with the pony cart.He won’t let his little girl walk home in the frost.”She winked at Jonathan, but he gulped.She wouldn’t know to be afraid.Even though she played games with him, she was sixteen, old enough to think the world was perfect.Only he knew enough to find danger in shadows.
“If that’s your father, invite him in for some coffee,” Uncle Henry called.
“Will do, sir.”
Jonathan crouched beside the railing and clutched the rungs.If he bent his head enough, he could see the front door.The maid wiped her hands on her apron before she opened it.
“Oh, hello.Can I help you?”Her final word fell away in a scream as a man shoved her inside.His black coat buttoned to his chin and a black knit cap covered his head.
Jonathan’s own scream strangled in his throat.
“This the Montgomery residence?” the man barked.Three more men shoved into the foyer, all of them dressed in full black.The tallest of the bunch seized the maid by the shoulders and slammed her into the wall.
“Y-yes, sir,” she stammered.
“What’s going on here?”Uncle Henry burst in from the living room while two more assailants stepped inside.Jonathan’s sister started to wail.
One of the men drew a handgun from his belt and aimed it at Uncle Henry’s chest.“Where’s the laboratory?”
“Get out of this house,” Uncle Henry said.Jonathan had never heard him speak with such calm finesse, the laughter gone from his voice.
Jonathan’s hands trembled where he gripped the polished wood.His uncle would handle everything.Take that, bad guys.
“Well now,” the attacker drawled, “that wasn’t the answer I was looking for.”
“How about you, girl?,” the man yelled at the maid. “Take us to the lab.”
As soon as the man released her, she sank to the floor, her shoulders shaking with sobs.
The man crouched in front of her to grip her chin.“What’s your name, girl?”
“You the scientist’s daughter?”
Jonathan stiffened.Uncle Henry would protect them, and if Jonathan needed to, he could leap over the railing onto the man’s back.
“N-no, sir.I’m just the maid.It’s a common name here.Rose.We have that rose festival and all.We have the famous rainbow-colored rose.”
He slapped her across the face and jerked her to her feet.“Shut up, bitch.Get us to the lab or you won’t be making no more noise.”
“You’ll release her now.”Uncle Henry lunged forward, and a crack split the air.He staggered, rasping, and dropped to his knees. Blood appeared on his chest, the circle growing, morphing into something that dripped and twisted without pattern.
“Mack, what was that?You shot him.”One of the men chuckled.
“No,” the maid shrieked.
Jonathan squeezed his eyes shut.Perhaps he had fallen asleep waiting for Rose to find him.It had to be a dream.Uncle Henry is fine. Were all fine.
When he opened them, his uncle lay on the hardwood floor in a pool of red paint. Red paint. No, not paint. Blood.
The men stomped through the house toward his father’s laboratory off the kitchen, and the maid’s sobs mingled with his sister’s cries.He had to protect his sister.He’d get the pistol, grab her, and he’d run for the neighbor’s farm.
Jonathan ran for their bedroom, the door still open from when the maid folded away the tablecloths.With only the light from downstairs, he crawled to the bed and lay on his stomach to reach the box.Nothing should have invaded his perfect house, with its two chimneys and dark blue shutters, with the flower garden and those ghost sheets flapping on the line.
He pulled out the box and flipped the hook on the lid to remove the pistol.He’d seen his father polish it, but he’d never known it could be so heavy.How do I hold it?
A door slammed below him.He would have to point the gun and pull the trigger, like what the villain had done to his uncle.The bullet would save him and his sister.It would save the maid.If he found her, she could use it better.
He crept back downstairs, but the commotion came from the laboratory.Glasssmashed and heavier things crashed.Another gunshot seared through the house.
Jonathan ran for the armchair where his uncle had left the toddler.“Rosamund, be quiet.”Her pale hair stood out against the seat’s green velveteen.“Please, Rosamund.”
“Well now, who’re you?”
Jonathan twisted around and did his best to aim the silver weapon at the man lounging in the doorway.He couldn’t be much older than the maid; how could someone so young do such evil?Jonathan couldn’t picture the boys at his school shooting anyone with anything more than a slingshot.
“Get out.”Jonathan’s voice squeaked.
The young man chuckled.“I reckon you’re the man of the house now.Good luck with that.”
“Get out!”Jonathan pulled the trigger.
The pistol clicked, but no bullet ripped through the villain.Jonathan cocked it again, his heartbeat echoing in his ears.
The man laughed harder.“That thing’s out of bullets, kid, but don’t worry, we’re leaving.Runners don’t mess with kids.”
Jonathan pulled the trigger again, but only that click answered him.Tears burned his eyes as he threw it down.
Runners.Next time he met one of them, he’d have a pistol full of bullets.
Jonathan rested his elbows on his knees and sighed.The sun shouldn’t be so bright and the few leaves that had begun to change to gold shouldn’t glow so much.At least the crimson leaves fit his mood.
He gazed at Rosamundas she sat beside the few marigolds that hadn’t given up on summer, petting her kitten’s gray head. She looked so happy, with her hair in two short braids.They’d let him dress her in white – black made him shudder now.
The Runners wore black.
“What do you suppose will happen to the house?”Mrs. Rogers’s voice danced through the open kitchen window.Airing out the rooms wouldn’t help banish that lingering stench of blood.
“I don’t know,” Miss Lea answered.He’d always loved his teacher, but she hadn’t said much more than a few sentences, as if she didn’t know how to console.
“I don’t suppose anyone will want a house where two murders took place.Shame, since this place is so pretty.Biggest home in all of Rosedale.”
Jonathan scrunched his eyes shut.How could they stand next to the laboratory where the maid had been shot?How could they even bear to be inside?
“All for that invention,” Mrs. Rogers continued.“You really think a motor for a ship is worth all the trouble they went to?”
Trouble.As if murdering his parents in their steamcoach on the way back from the opera house counted as trouble.Trouble meant forgetting to study for a spelling test.
 “Who knows what those Runners think.”
“Blasted Runners. Don’t they care about the suffering families?Couldn’t they have spared all those folks?”
Jonathan clenched his hands into fists.He’d hunt them down.They couldn’t take his family away and laugh about it.
Miss Lea mumbled something he couldn’t hear.
“Are you going to keep the two mites?”Dishes rattled.Jonathan’s mother had never trusted Mrs. Rogers; he had a feeling he would never see those porcelain plates again.
Who cared what happened to the belongings?
“The neighbors will take him now that their daughter’s so far away.The Ashers are good folk.”
Jonathan jerked his head up.The neighbors, that old man and woman who never smiled much?Why would they want the Montgomery orphans, as Mrs. Rogers had dubbed them?He expected they’d live with Miss Lea since they didn’t have anyone else.
Miss Lea is nice enough; she’ll take care of Rosamund.
“It might do that old Rider a favor having some sprites around,” Mrs. Rogers said.“Come help me wrap up these teacups.Wouldn’t they look darling in my china cabinet?”
Jonathan plodded to the water pump to see if he could spot the neighbors’ barn through the trees.Riders hunted down the Runner gangs that plagued the east coast.If he got to live with a Rider, he might learn some tricks.
Jonathan sneered.
Runner beware, for the mark of the Rider will shine.


Jordan Elizabethbecame obsessed with steampunk while working at a Victorian Fair.  Since then, she’s read plenty of books and even organized a few steampunk outfits that she wears on a regular basis (unless that’s weird, in which case she only wears them within the sanctuary of her own home – not!). Jordan’s young adult novels include ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, COGLING, TREASURE DARKLY, BORN OF TREASURE, GOAT CHILDREN, and VICTORIAN. RUNNERS & RIDERS is her fifth novel with Curiosity Quills Press.  Check out her website for bonus scenes and contests. 
In honor of RUNNERS & RIDERS, enter for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Contest runs from August 22 to September 1.

All winners will be notified after verification of entry at the end of this promotion.  Prizes have been supplied by and the responsibility of delivery are solely that of the author and/or their representatives. Blogs are not liable for non-delivery on the part of the author. No purchase necessary.