Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

So yes, it has been quite some time since I posted here with book reviews so I probably will just write my rating of the books and nothing else unless I really feel the need to share something about it.


#19 – Entice

Entice (#2) by Jessica Shirvington  – 4 STARS


#20 Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice

Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson – 4 STARS

#21 Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – 5 STARS

#22 Matched (Matched, #1)

Matched by Ally Condie – 3 STARS

#23 Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper – 4 STARS

#24 Crossed (Matched, #2)

Crossed (#2) by Ally Condie – 3 STARS

#25 Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick – 5 STARS

#26 Reached (Matched, #3)

Reached (#3) by Ally Condie – 3 STARS

#27 The Slap

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas – 3 STARS

#28 Emblaze (The Violet Eden Chapters, #3)

Emblaze (#3) by Jessica Shirvington – 3 STARS

#29 The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling – 4 STARS

#30 I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats

I Could Pee on This by Francesco Marciuliano – 3 STARS

#31 World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

World War Z by Max Brooks – 4 STARS

#32 Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood: The Good, The Bad, and the Scary

Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler – 3 STARS

#33 Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7)

Frost Burned (#7) by Patricia Briggs – 3 STARS

#34 Requiem (Delirium, #3)

Requiem (#3) by Lauren Oliver – 3 STARS

#35 Twice Tempted (Night Prince, #2)

Twice Tempted (#2)  by Jeaniene Frost – 4 STARS

#36 Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – 4 STARS

#37 Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies)

Motherhood Comes Naturally by Jill Smoker – 3 STARS

#38 The Kitchen House

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom – 2 STARS

#39 Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13)

Dead Ever After (#13) by Charlaine Harris – 3 STARS

#40 Betrayal in Death (In Death, #12)

Betrayal in Death (#12) by J.D. Robb – 3 STARS

#41 Seduction in Death (In Death, #13)

Seduction in Death (#13) by J.D. Robb – 3 STARS

#42 Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4)

Inferno (#4) by Dan Brown – 2 STARS

#43 The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

The Unlikely Pilgramage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – 4 STARS

#44 Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)

Clockwork Princess (#3) by Cassandra Clare – 3 STARS

#45 Wedding Night

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella – 3 STARS

#46 The Interestings

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer – 4 STARS

Currently reading: Does My Head Look Big In This?

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

And because it took me a while to get through some books, I am now 7 books behind my goal of reading 105 books. I’d like to say I’ll be kicking it into high gear, but I probably won’t. Things are just too busy with work and kids and kids activities and birthday parties and housework, etc. etc. etc. However, with that being said, I do want to try to reach my goal – if at the very least, exceed my count of 100 from last year. Wish me luck!


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Because I couldn’t think of anything else that started with H that I felt I had something to say – how about an “about me” post?

I’m Heather.

I’ve been married for nearly 15 years to Jon.

I graduated from West Valley HS in Spokane in 1991.

I graduated from University of Washington in 1996 (BA in Political Science and Psychology). I took a year off then went to law school at Seattle University – graduating with honors (yay me).

I have 3 children – Benjamin (born 2007), Ella (born 2007) (yes, they’re twins) and Nicholas (born 2009). We used IVF to get pregnant the first time as we had been trying for several years with no success (and no, it wasn’t stress so please don’t say shit like that- IVF was rather stressful too, FYI). We ended up getting pregnant on our own with Nicholas.

I had a blog called Desperately Seeking Baby that described our time going through infertility and parenting afterwards.

I’ve been working in the legal department of a major company since 2002 (technically 2001 as I started as a temp).

I like to read – though I feel I’m a late bloomer in that respect as for a long time, I didn’t read hardly anything at all except what was assigned to me in school.

I have two cats – Oliver and Sophie – both kitties will be turning 9 this year.


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F is for Fun

This weekend, I have planned:

1) Library Book Sale

2) Ella’s gymnastic’s class

3) Nicholas’s gymnastic’s class

4) Benjamin’s soccer class

5) Church

6) Reading book club book (we meet on Tuesday – can I finish it in time? Great question!)

6) And most of all, some sleep.


Enjoy your weekend!

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In case anyone is still reading this, here is my latest quickie installment into my book reviews. Since I have way too much going on these days, my reviews are not really reviews but just quick thoughts about how I felt about the book. Maybe some day life won’t be so crazy busy. I’m still reading – I just don’t have time for reviews. And to those who sent me their books – I apologize for not getting to your book when I said I would. I do plan to read them.

Let’s see, I left off at book #8 so here is book #9-18.


#9 – The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker – This book was o.k. Part of it I could definitely relate to and feel right along with the narrator, an 11 (turned 12) year old girl. It brought back some memories of the pre-teen years I’d rather forget. I definitely could relate to Julia with feeling alone and the awkwardness of talking to one of the opposite sex. The relationships in this novel are the best part about it. Having a connection to your narrator is definitely a plus.

The other part of it – the slowing down of the earth’s rotation and all that it entails – well, I didn’t really feel what she was going through as much as I would have liked. I have no idea how much of this could occur, but it definitely is a scary thought should it. I wanted something of an explanation though, and we never really got one. And maybe that is because they just don’t know, but still, something would have been nice.

I thought the ending was a little flat and almost seemed like the author wasn’t sure how to end it. I wanted to know more. 3 STARS

#10 – Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford – It was an interesting book to read. I knew, of course, about the Japanese being internment camps, but I hadn’t read too much about what it was like at that time for all involved. Although this is a fiction book, it does offer a glimpse into what it must have been like for those who were of Asian descent, but not Japanese, and also those of Japanese descent and what the internment camps were like and how the Japanese were treated. There is also a love story that lasts over so much time. It is a sweet, but hard book to read (because of subject matter). 4 STARS

#11 – Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick – I read this book after seeing the movie. I LOVED the movie. The book and the  movie are very different, in my opinion. You have the same premise, but the events are different. Anyway, I did enjoy the book despite having the movie playing in my head. Normally, I like to read the book first, but I had no idea this movie was based on a book until the credits rolled. I said to my friends with me that it really shouldn’t come as a shock it was based on a book since everything seems to be these days. Anyway, please do read the book – it’s just as worthy as the movie (though I think I enjoyed the  movie more). 4 STARS

#12 – The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch – I liked the book o.k. I ended up giving it 4 STARS maybe out of a sort of empathy or maybe it was because it definitely hit a little close to home with my mom going through cancer treatments. It definitely made me think that you need to live for the moment and just enjoy your time with your family and friends. You never know when the end will be here. Don’t let the world get you down even if you are battling a terminal cancer. It’s o.k. to be sad about it all, but don’t let it take over your whole life that you can’t just enjoy your time here.

#13 – Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine Harris – It was just eh. Nothing much happened in this book. I was actually kinda bored by it. 2 STARS  I’m still going to read #13 though since it is the very last one and I must know how it ends. Check back in May (or probably later whenever I get around to reading it).

#14 – Rebel Heart (Dust Lands #2) by Moira Kelly – This was a good sequel to the first book in the series. It was suspenseful, heartbreaking and sweet. I look forward to #3. 4 STARS

#15 – Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks – What a sweet and heartbreaking story. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. I haven’t read much books (or any possibly) of books told from the view point of an imaginary friend so this was rather nice to have that different viewpoint. It was fun to read about all the different types of imaginary friends. I don’t think I ever had one growing up but I know that my brother did – I wish I could remember what he called it and what it was – I think it might have been a banana or something. I’ll have to ask. Anyway, 4 STARS!

#16 – Y: A Novel by Marjorie Celona – I’m just not sure about this novel. It was written well. I liked it, but I just couldn’t get over the mom and dad who abandoned this girl and for other events that involved those two characters. And, I guess, because of that, I can’t give it more than 3 STARS, but maybe that is the sign of a good novel so I should give it more.

#17 – Asunder (Newsoul #2) by Jodi Meadows – I really enjoy this series. It just a little bit different from other YA books out there. And the ending to this one, while a bit predictable, was still shocking. I can’t wait for #3! 4 STARS.

#18 – Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai – This was an interesting book.  It was told with poetry. It was actually a beautiful way to tell the story of escaping Vietnam at the end of the war and coming to live in the U.S. 4 STARS.

And currently, I’m reading Entice (2nd book in a series by Jessica Shrivington) and also, The Mouse and the Motorcycle that I’m reading to my kids each night.

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Once again, I’ve fallen behind in my reviews – life is just so busy! So far, I have read 8 books this year and yet, I’m still behind schedule in trying to read 105 books.  I just don’t know if I can reach that goal this year.

In any case – below is the list of books I’ve read this year and my brief thoughts on them.

1) The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier – It was good. I wondered how the kids were able to get away with certain things though. Read for a book club.

2) The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland – It was alright. Predictable, but alright.

3) The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G.B. Edwards – This book took forever for me to read. I was actually a little bored by it but it turned out to be an o.k. book. Read for a book club.

4) Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier – I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first, but I still liked it.

5) Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch – It was funny. I enjoyed it – particularly the times she talks about pregnancy and motherhood.

6) Kisses from Katie by Katie J. Davis – Wow. What an incredible person she is. I definitely recommend this book. I do think you need to be a believer in God to really enjoy this book, but I would recommend for anyone wanting to read the power of the human spirit and their belief in God.

7) Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow – It was alright and a quick read. I think talking about it at book club made me enjoy it even more.

8) The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe – This is a book that I think any book lover would enjoy. This is a book that those who love to read about the loving relationship between a mother and a son would enjoy. Will’s mom – Mary Anne – was an incredible woman. She and her son started this book club when she found out about her cancer diagnosis. My mom is also going through cancer treatments (though a different cancer than  Mary Anne). I told her about this book – I do hope she’ll read it. A sweet, loving, funny book.

Currently reading The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Next up will probably be The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow as my mom keeps asking me if I have it (I borrowed it from her). Then after that, I think I’ll need something lighter – either the last Sookie Stackhouse book or the 2nd Vampire Academy book or maybe something from my to be reviewed pile. So many choices!

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2013 Reading Challenge

I’m going to do something crazy. I’m going to up my challenge to 105. I have no idea if I can do that.  Getting to 100 was a surprise for me. And yes, I did finish 100. I finished the 19th Stephanie Plum book. I don’t think I’ll do a review on that one other than it was about what I expected.

I just finished book # 1 of 2013 – The Chocolate War. Review to come as soon as I can!

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Another book review post

Once again, life has just gotten too busy for me to really do a proper book review so I’ll be combining all of the recent books I’ve read into one big post with itty bitty book reviews.

Book #92 – Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence    Lady Chatterley's Lover

2 STARS – I just didn’t like it. I couldn’t care about any of the characters.


Book #93 – Judgment in Death (In Death #11) by J.D. Robb Judgment in Death (In Death, #11)

3 STARS – It was alright, but I am starting to wonder – are we ever going to learn who her mom is? Those who have read more of this series, can you just let me know that we will at some point find out something!

Book #94 – Zombies of the Apocalypse by Lacy Maran Zombies Of The Apocalypse (A 2012 Undead…

2 STARS – I did not enjoy this book. It just felt incredibly unrealistic. Everything just happened to fit into place.

Book #95 – Xor: The Shape of Darkness by Moshe Sipper Xor: The Shape of Darkness

3 STARS – It was an o.k. book, but I think better suited for a kid around age 10-12 though. My nephew would probably enjoy it.

Book #96 – Unbreakable Love by Angela Carling Unbreakable Love

2 STARS – Another angel book. That’s probably part of why I didn’t like it. And everything you thought would happen in this book does so there isn’t any suspense. I really didn’t even care for the love story either – it just felt like the author was telling us that they are in love rather than making me feel it.

Book #97 – Vampire Academy (VA #1) by Richelle Mead Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

4 STARS – In the beginning, I really didn’t care for it. It just seemed rather silly, but then I started to care about the  main character and could actually feel there was something between her and her mentor (unlike the prior book I read). It was a bit cheesy in parts, but I think I want to continue with this series.

Book #98 – The Paris Wife by Paula McClain The Paris Wife

3 STARS – Is this how Ernest Hemingway’s wife was really like because if so, she really doesn’t have a spine, does she? I thought it was an o.k. book – slow at times, but I thought it was alright.

Book # 99 – Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim Yellow Crocus

2 STARS – I don’t understand why everyone was just so in love with this book on Goodreads. I really didn’t care for the characters too much. It was all a sad situation that they were all in and I felt bad for Mattie at first, but then it seemed for a good long while she forgot about her son. And then I wasn’t clear on the timeline for some of the time.

Currently, I’m reading book #100 – Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich. I continue to read these books – I guess for the low thinking and somewhat entertaining factor.

I am shocked I am going to read 100 books in 2012 – and maybe even more if I manage to get any reading done in the next 10 days (I’m off work which means I won’t be in the vanpool and that’s where I do most of my reading). We’ll see!

The question is – how many books should I challenge myself to read next year?

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This past Friday night, the school were my twins go to school was having a family dance night sponsored by the PTA. Benjamin was very excited to go and it showed when we got there as well as he went into full dance/break-dance mode. I’m not sure where he got the idea to dance on the floor like a break-dancer but he was doing it. He was happily dancing with his friend Ren. Ella had a bit of anxiety about the whole thing as there were a bunch of people there she didn’t know. I tried to get her to dance with her friend Zoe but she went into freak out mode. It wasn’t until my husband got there that we were able to calm her down and have her enjoy the time. Nicholas was also a little nervous about the whole thing and he wanted me to hold him a lot but he ended up having a good time too, I think. I think I’ll look forward to these things more when my kids will be fine with just going to dance with their friends.

Good news! Nicholas is on his way to being potty trained during the day. We still have a bit of rough spots, but we’re getting there so hooray!

Over the weekend we also got to see my sister-in-law and her son  who live in Arkansas. We hadn’t seen them in several years – since before the twins were born so it was an introduction to their cousin that is a few months younger than the twins are. I do have to say it was a bit awkward considering this same sister-in-law defriended me on Facebook because she didn’t agree with me on our feelings toward allowing gay people to get married. I was pro and she was against. Thankfully, WA state passed the law and very soon, gay friends and family of mine can enjoy the same right that straight people have. Hooray for equality! And please if you are against gay marriage, please do not write nasty comments here. If you can say something in a civil manner, then that’s fine – we can disagree, but anything rude or nasty will not be approved.

And now to go alone with the meme of today, I’ve posted the Top 10 Books I’d Love Santa to Bring Me:

1) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford  (I’ve heard about this book from so many people so I’d like to read it)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

2) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier  (Just a book that I feel I must read)


3) Love Story series by Christopher Moore  (I’ve been meaning to read these for quite some time)

Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love...    You Suck (A Love Story, #2)   Bite Me (A Love Story, #3)


4) Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier  (it just sounds interesting to me)

Ruby Red (Edelstein Trilogie, #1)

5) Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (sure it doesn’t come out until next year, but Santa can still bring it right?)

Clockwork Princess (The Inf...

6) Looking for Alaska by John Green (or anything by John Green – loved The Fault in Our Stars)

Looking for Alaska

7) Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (though I haven’t read A Discovery of Witches yet)

Shadow of Night (All Souls ...

8) Spellbound by Cara Lynn Schultz (Just a book that sounds interesting)

Spellbound (Spellbound, #1)

9) The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (loved the first book of this series)

The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2)

10) What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (seems like it could be a good book)

What Alice Forgot

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Time Flies By

Looks like it has been a while since I last posted. Things were very, very busy at work this month and it just now calming down a bit – still have plenty to do – it just isn’t as pressing. And there’s all the ickiness at home too -with plumbing issues and Nicholas (my 3 year old) breaking his two front teeth at the root so they had to be removed. Here’s to December being a lot calmer (yeah, right, what with Christmas right around the corner). Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Since it has been a while since I’ve posted any reviews of the books I’ve read – I’m just going to do some quick reviews here without as much detail to the books as I normally do. I’ll provide links to the books on Goodreads  so you can learn more about the book if you would like.

Book # 84 of 2012The Hangman's Daughter

The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potsch – I enjoyed this book. It was a very interesting and suspenseful read. It looks like there is a sequel so I will definitely be reading it sometime. 4 STARS.  Book bought on Amazon and read for book club.

Book #85 of 2012 –Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran

Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni – It was alright, but it felt lacking in something. Maybe I just wanted more from it – it felt very shallow and not deep enough maybe. I also felt like I needed more about what it was like after 9/11. 3 STARS. Book received from library and read for book club.


Book #86 of 2012 –Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed – I really liked this book. I felt like I got to know her and could understand her in most ways – though in others not so much. I would recommend this book to anyone look for a book about an adventure and trying to find oneself after losing a loved one. One part of the book really got to me – she was talking to a woman who had lost a child and she said that she is ….. but a big part of her was lost the day she lost her child and it isn’t ever coming back. You do change after losing someone you love. 4 STARS. Book received from publisher through Read it Forward program.


Book #87 of 2012 –Tomorrow Land

Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi – This book just was not enjoyable and not at all realistic. Sure it was a book about zombies, but that wasn’t the unrealistic part to me. Just that the character was made into this super woman by her dad and well, the ending which I won’t get into here. I just didn’t enjoy it. 2 STARS. Book received from author for review.

Book #88 of 2012 –Peyton Place

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious – I enjoyed this book and could see why it was a banned book of its time. It isn’t so racy now though. It had everything a banned book could want – sex before marriage, abortion, adultery, etc. I definitely want to read the sequel to this book. 4 STARS Book received from library and read for book club.


Book #89 of 2012 –This Is Where I Leave You

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper – This book was alright. It was funny but also a bit over the top. I do want to give this author another try because he does seem to write in a style I enjoy. 3 STARS. Book received from library and read for book club.


Book #90 of 2012 –Once Burned (Night Prince, #1)

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost – I love Jeaniene Frost books. If you haven’t read her stuff , you should go out now and start with book #1 of the Cat & Bones series (though I believe it is called something else). 4 STARS Book received from library.


Book #91 of 2012 –Witness in Death (In Death, #10)

Witness in Death by J.D. Robb – This series is an enjoyable series. It has romance and it has mystery – a great combination, isn’t it? 3 STARS   Book borrowed from friend.


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Hello everyone – be sure to check out this book by Debra Chapoton called Sheltered! See below for more information on this book and on the author!


Author: Debra Chapoton

Debra Chapoton's profile photo

Websites: www.edgeofescape.blogspot.com


Title: Sheltered

Purchase Links:




Debra’s Bio:

Debra Chapoton has taught kids of all ages in her main career as a teacher. She has a BA in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English. She started writing in 2002 and was surprised to find out that the characters quickly take over the action and dialogue in the stories.

Her first YA novel, Edge of Escape, was self-published and then discovered by Piper Verlag Publishing and translated into German. Stalking and obsession get a sympathetic twist in this story of physical and psychological survival.

Her second YA novel, Sheltered, detours into a different genre as she writes about five teens who confront supernatural forces. Two boys and three girls all harbor secrets which make some of them susceptible to demon possession. Embracing all things supernatural might protect them, but are they ready for the consequences?

Chapoton has also written eleven chapter books for middle grade kids and a non-fiction work for adults, Crossing the Scriptures.

When she’s not writing Chapoton enjoys the quiet of the full log home she designed and built with her husband. They live in the middle of 62 acres of beautiful woods in northern Michigan.


Synopsis for Sheltered:

Living together unsupervised, five troubled teens confront demonic forces and are compelled to deal with their problems in distinctly different ways. Paranormal meets psycho meets Goth in this story of a supernatural haunting and budding love.

High school junior, Ben, hacks into his step-father’s real estate holdings and provides rooms in an old two-story house to various outcasts: the schizophrenic kid, the angry Goth girl, and the homeless girl who worships him. When Megan needs a place to live she comes to the rooming house with a different set of problems and the ability to confuse and attract Ben.

One by one strange and mysterious occurrences stretch the teens’ beliefs in the supernatural. How they deal with demons, real and imagined, has tragic as well as redeeming consequences.


Excerpt from Sheltered:


Next Wednesday

Emily knew the precise moment that Ben returned, she felt him in her scars. She watched him carry some things to the house, heard the door close; she smiled when she heard him call out that Santa was here. He did that once before, in early December, insisting that she accept the gift he held out, not wanting her to wait until Christmas to use the mittens he knew she needed.

She went toward her door now, wondered what he had brought, and then heard Megan’s voice below. Oh no, he probably brought something for her. She scuttled back to her nest by the window and stared outside, was still staring fifteen minutes later when she saw them walk down the street, Ben shouldering a shovel, his other hand knotted with Megan’s.

She touched the skin on her arms, lightly at first, making it tingle. The image of Ben with Megan multiplied across her mind in broken mirrors, a repugnant picture that reflected her own self-loathing. She scratched at her scabs, felt the pricks of pain force away the ticklish sensations. She closed her eyes.

When she opened them she saw a figure standing at her door.

“Who–?” she started, but the figment waned to less than a shadow. Still, though, there was something at her door.

She rose slowly and held her hand out.

Its face was more womanly now, friendly, motherly. Yes, she knew this face. Its pearly white skin so shocking against the ruby lips, the stringy hair a match to her own. Her mother.

She stretched her fingers toward the face. The hallucination faded then sharpened. The eyes began to blaze. She drew her hands back to her own face. What’s wrong with me?  The delusion grieved Emily; all around her fluttered a longing.

And a deadly fear.


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