Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Angel Kiss

I can't believe I have not reviewed this book before, I am currently writing a review for the second in the series but for now here is the review from my goodreads account. 
I read this book in a day and I really enjoyed it. Laura's writing is very conversational and really hooks you into the story. The characters are very believable and I loved spending time with Jacki and her new friends. The only problem I had was that the ending came too quickly I could have happily stayed in Avarna for much longer. Laura Jane Cassidy is a name to watch out for in Teen fiction and this debut is a triumph. I can't wait to read the next installment.

My Big Book Challenge

This summer I have set myself a challenge. On top of  the 100 books in the year challenge I have two other challenges; The 10, 10, 10 which comprises 10 books each from three different genres; Fantasy, Historical Fiction and YA and the other challenge which is the psycho crime spree. That's not as gruesome as it sounds but it means reading 10 books which are crime or psychological thrillers. Altogether I have selected fifty books (approx) which I hope to read between now and the end of the summer. I know 4*10 is not fifty but I simply could not keep the choices down to 10 for each category as there are so many books I want to read.

Historical Fiction
The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn
Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
The Girl in the Mirror by Sarah Gristwood
Half of the Human Race by Anthony Quinn
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
The Somnabulist by Essie Fox
After Such Kindness by Gaynor Arnold
Hothouse Flower by Lucinda Riley
The Gallows Curse by Karen Maitland
The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy
The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark
The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
The Seamstress by Maria Duenas

Fantasy Fiction

Storm Glass, Sea Glass, Spy Glass
Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study all by Maria V. Snyder
The Poison Throne, The Crowded Shadows, The Rebel Prince
all by Celine Kiernan
The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea

YA Fiction

I cheated a little with this selection as some of the books are crossover fiction in that they are for younger readers or they are for adults but would appeal equally to teens. Spot those titles if you can.

Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid
The Girl in the Mask by Marie-Louise Jensen
Torn by Cat Clarke
Wolf Blood by N.M.Browne
The Haunting of Tabitha Grey by Vanessa Curtis
Advent by James Treadwell
Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
Poison Heart by S.B. Hayes
VIII by H.M. Castor
A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton
The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo
Cave of Secrets by Morgan Llywelyn
Wonder  by R.J. Pallacio
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
The Book of Summers by Emylia Hall
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Crime/Psychological Fiction

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
The Sick Rose by Erin Kelly
Summertime Death by Mons Kallentoft
Mr Briggs' Hat  by Kate Colquhoun
Every Vow You Break by Julia Crouch
Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
A Cold Season by Alison Littlewood
Blood Money by Arlene Hunt
The Dinosaur Feather by Sissel-Jo Gazan
Torn by Casey Hill
Faithful Place by Tana French

I will also be reading some titles for review but all of these books are from my own collection and will I hope  go some way towards making a dent in the enormous tbr pile.
There are a few books being published this summer which I also hope to read; Tideline by Penny Hancock, The Cornish House by Liz Fenwick and The Changeling by Phillipa Gregory.
I hope to make some headway with this challenge and will keep you all posted about how I get on.

Reviews to follow soon

Apologies for the delay, but these are some of the books I have been reading this month. White Horse was an impulse purchase, Tyringham Park and Dreams were sent directly to me by the publishers. This is how it ends was a proof that was sent to my work and Secrets of the Tides was sent as a gift from the publishers as there were no more proof copies left. Last but by no means least Eighteen Kisses was a book I have been dying to read as it is a follow up to Angel Kiss which I really enjoyed. So more on all these books soon.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Check out this link to get a sneak peek at The Gathering Dark which will be published later this month.

Check out this link for an exclusive preview of Louisa Reid's Black Heart Blue and a Q&A with the author. I'll be reviewing this title later this month.

Sneak Peak at Chapter One
Part 1 of the Sarah Midnight Trilogy
Daniela Sacerdoti

Night Falling
Loneliness makes me
Love breaks me
You’d never think it could happen to you.
You’d never think that one day you’d stand in a graveyard,
rain tapping on a sea of black umbrellas,watching your parents
being lowered into the earth, never to come back.
It’s happening to me.
They said it was an accident. Only I know the truth.
So here I am, standing on the edge of the deep, black holes
dug for them, knowing that they have been murdered;
knowing that nobody – nobody – is ever going to believe me.
I can never give up the fight, this fight that has been handed
down to me, thrust upon my unwilling shoulders. I’d rather be
buried with my parents, my brave mother and father, who
lived and died by the Midnight motto: Don’t Let Them Roam.
My parents were hunters, like their parents and grandparents
before them, and scores of ancestors behind me,
hundreds of years back, fulfilling the same call.

I must follow in their footsteps. I am the only one left to
keep the promise. I am the only hunter left.
I am Sarah Midnight.

Am I to atone
For my father’s mistakes?
Will I fall like he did?
Sarah was kneeling on the cold pavement, before a girl of
about her age.The girl was writhing and moaning, trying to
free herself from Sarah’s grip. Her face glowed feebly in the
darkness, white with fear.
And then the girl’s expression changed. Fear turned into
fury, and a strange sound came from the back of her throat.
There we go, thought Sarah. It’s beginning.
The girl’s eyes started turning black, slowly, slowly, until
they were two pools of hatred. Her skin grew a sickly white,
her hair stiffened and crumbled, blowing away in the night
breeze and leaving a bald, greying skull in its place. Her hands
sprouted claws, her clothes ripped to reveal paper-thin skin
and long, bony limbs.
The stuff of nightmares. Literally.
Because it had been a dream that told Sarah where to find
this girl, and what she had become.Where to find the creature

that had possessed the girl’s body and soul, destroying every
trace of her, and was set to do the same to as many young
women as it could. Sarah had dreamt of the demon in the play
park, waiting, biding its time for a victim to come along –
until Lily appeared. Sarah knew that the dream was telling her
to go, in spite of her fear, and hunt the creature like her parents
would have done. Except she’d be on her own.
Lily’s transformation was now complete, and the creature
was about to free itself. Sarah had to act fast. She closed her
eyes and started calling her power.
My first time, she thought. Just like in my dreams.
For a few terrible seconds Sarah feared it wouldn’t happen.
She feared that the blackwater, the power she had inherited
from her father, would fail her. She feared that her hands
would stay cold, and that she would be helpless, turning from
hunter to prey in the space of a heartbeat.
You should have been here! You should have been here to teach me!
Grief and anger invaded her, and with them came the
release.The blackwater took her like an unstoppable current,
and her hands were flooded with heat. Sarah looked down in
horror, expecting to see her arms in flames. The creature
shrieked under Sarah’s touch, a blood-chilling screech. Its skin
began to weep and dissolve. After a minute or so, all that was
left of the demon was a puddle of dark water, so cold that it
was painful to touch.
Sarah sat back on her heels and exhaled slowly, as if an
enormous weight had been taken off her shoulders. She
looked at her hands dreamily, as if she couldn’t quite believe
what had just happened, what had come out of her. She’d
known about the blackwater for a long time – she’d known

that her father had possessed it, and that she was bound to
have it too. But to feel it happening . . .
That was different.
Exhilarating and terrible, all at the same time.
Sarah shivered in the chill wind. She was drenched in that
strange, dark liquid they called the blackwater, but really was
something else, something without a name. She wiped her
hands on her jeans, slowly, as if in a daze. She was drained,
Her first hunt.
Her parents should have taken her, they should have guided
her, but they’d been killed too soon. So she’d had to do it by
herself. She had to learn, and learn fast. So many times she had
asked her parents to start teaching her . . .
“Back soon, my love.” Her mother’s hair brushed her cheek
softly, as Anne bent over Sarah’s bed to kiss her. The gentle
light of Sarah’s lampshade illuminated Anne’s delicate features
and made her brown eyes shine. Sarah wanted to throw her
arms around her mum and keep her there, keep her home.
“Let me come with you . . .’’
“Sarah, darling, we talked about that. It’s too dangerous.”
“I know!” Sarah’s pale face was flushed with the vehemence
of her words.“But I want to stay with you. I don’t want to be
here on my own . . .’’
“You’re safe.You know that your dad and I saw to that.
Nothing can attack you here.”
“It’s not that. I’m not scared for myself . . .” Sarah hesitated.
Words were failing her. I’m scared you won’t come back, she
wanted to say, but the sentence got stuck in her throat. She

couldn’t put her fear into words. “I need to learn. I’m a
Midnight too. I’ve never used the blackwater. I don’t know
how to . . .’’
“The time will come. I promise. Soon.”
“If my gran was alive, she would have taught me!”
Anne took a deep breath.“Yes.Yes, she would have.”
“But you won’t!”
“We’re protecting you, Sarah. Enough now.You’re delaying
us.” James, her father, had walked into Sarah’s room, a hard
look in his eyes. His big, tall frame was silhouetted against the
door. His tone was clear: there would be no more discussion.
When her father spoke, Anne listened. Always. Sometimes
Sarah wondered if her mother had ever had a will of her own.
“Mum . . .” Sarah called. But Anne had followed James, and
she hadn’t looked back.
It was another lonely night for Sarah, listening out for her
parents’ footsteps, wondering when she would be allowed to
embrace her rightful inheritance.Wondering what she would
do if they didn’t come back.
Wondering what the blackwater felt like . . .
“I’m sorry, Lily,” Sarah whispered to the girl lying dead on the
ground. At least Lily had been the creature’s last victim.
Sarah stood up. She picked up the scarf that had fallen in the
fight and wrapped it around her neck, a slash of white against
her black coat, her hair blowing long and soft in the breeze. She
turned away and started walking home. For the last time.
Because tomorrow she’d have to pack, leave her house, the
memories of her parents and everything she knew, and move
in with her aunt and uncle.

Sarah turned the key in the door and let herself in. She
took off her coat and scarf and hung them up, carefully,
arranging them on the peg as if everything depended on
them hanging straight. She took her shoes off too, and walked
onto the wooden floor of her immaculate hallway. She
bent down to wipe an invisible stain, and then again, just to
make sure.
Once in the kitchen, she started wiping all the surfaces with
a cloth, painstakingly, taking great care not to miss a bit. She
was so tired that her arms were shaking, but she had to do it.
She had to.
Her stomach started rumbling. She was hungry, but she
knew she wouldn’t be able to swallow anything. The knot
she’d had in her stomach since her parents’ death hadn’t
allowed her to eat properly for days.
Shadow came to greet her, brushing herself against Sarah’s
legs with a slow, soft purr. She was completely black but for a
little white paw, and her eyes were a deep, golden amber. Sarah
had come home from school one day, two years before, to find
her sitting on their doorstep. She was just a kitten, but she had
a look of defiance, as if to say I’m meant to live with you, you
can’t turn me away. Sarah had opened the door, and the kitten
had walked in as if she’d owned the place. She started following
Sarah everywhere, and because of that, James suggested
calling her ‘Sarah’s Shadow’, which was eventually shortened
to Shadow.
“Sarah! Where have you been? I was worried sick!” Aunt
Juliet stormed into the kitchen in her dressing gown and
“Out. I needed air.” Sarah refused to look at her.

“Air? It’s past midnight!”
Sarah ignored her.
A defiant, impossible teenager, thought Juliet. As if she
didn’t have enough worry with her own daughters, now she
had to look after this difficult, passionate, wonderful girl.
Because that’s what Juliet thought of Sarah: that she was
wonderful. Sarah had no idea, and Juliet would never have
said. But Juliet also felt it was her duty to guide Sarah, shape
her, mould her – and that’s why their relationship didn’t stand
a chance, because Sarah would not be guided, let alone
moulded into something she wasn’t.
Juliet had a good heart, really, and she meant well. But she
could never understand Sarah fully, just like she had never
understood her own sister,Anne.
“You can’t go wandering around alone at night.There are
bad people around, surely you know that!”
Bad people, and plenty of other . . . things, thought Sarah, wiping
the already perfect kitchen table. Memories of the hunt came
flooding back. Lily’s terrified face, the terrible heat of the
blackwater in her hands . . .That’s how the rest of my life is going
to be. Dreaming and hunting, until one day something will get me,
like it got my parents.
A lifetime of dreams. Her own private torture, one that she
could never escape.
They had started when she’d turned thirteen, like it usually
happened to the Midnight girls. She’d dream of creatures that
tormented, hurt, killed innocent people; and in the visions she
was there, sometimes as a witness, sometimes as the victim. It
was Sarah’s duty to write it all in her dream diary, down to the
last detail, so that her parents would know what and where to

hunt. Now that her parents were gone, it was up to her to
interpret the dreams.
It had never been difficult. Her dreams had always been
detailed, precise, reliable. But since Sarah’s parents had died,
things had changed. Her dreams had become unpredictable,
confused. The information they gave had become muddled,
the setting surreal: places she had no idea where to find, places
that didn’t belong to this world. Sarah was in the dark. Her
only guide was her Midnight instinct, albeit weakened by
grief and fear.
“Thank goodness you’re going back to school soon. A bit
of normality.Well, if anything can be normal again,” Juliet
added with genuine sadness.“When you come and stay with
us, no more going out like this without telling me exactly
where you’re going and when you’re coming back.”
Sarah threw the cloth across the room in a fit of anger.
“I’m not coming to stay with you! I’m staying here! This is
my home!”
Juliet looked at her with tenderness, but Sarah misunderstood.
To her it looked like pity, and Sarah couldn’t bear to be
“I know, darling, I know . . .” Juliet put out her hand to
touch Sarah’s shoulder. Sarah pulled away.
“I’m so sorry that all this had to happen to you. I wish you
could stay in your own home, really I do. But your parents
decided that you can’t live alone until you turn eighteen, and
frankly I agree with them.We’ll look after you. There’s no
other way.You can’t go against your parents’ wishes; you’d lose
this house, you’d lose everything. And anyway, you couldn’t
possibly defy their last wish . . .”

Sarah felt her eyes well up. She thought of her home, her
wonderful grey sandstone villa. She thought of her room,
painted a light, silvery grey that shimmered in the sunshine
and in the moonlight . . . the long, white voile curtains flowing
in the breeze every time she opened the window . . . the view
from her room, the vast garden, and beyond it, the moors and
hills, purple with heather, wild and windy. She thought of her
parents’ room, their chaotic den with clothes and books all
over the floor . . . how upset it always made her, whenever she
walked in, to see everything so . . . out of control. She thought
of her mum’s mirrored console, where Anne used to brush her
long black hair – the beautiful hair that Sarah had inherited.
So many times Sarah had sat at that console, playing with her
mum’s make-up and perfumes.
Most of all, Sarah thought of the basement, now locked
shut. The secret room where Anne and James kept their
weapons, and their maps, and the books nobody was supposed
to see.Where her mum kept the herbs and stones and candles
and all the mysterious items she used for her spells and
charms, one of which Sarah was now wearing around her
neck, hidden from view: a small red velvet pouch filled with
pine needles, a tiny garlic clove, and a pink quartz. A protection
No charm has worked for them though, Sarah thought bitterly.
How on earth could she have explained those things, if
somebody found them, if she wasn’t there to guard them?
How on earth could she get rid of them? Bury them in the
garden, or burn them in a big bonfire? Her parents’ lives,
turning to ash, turning to nothing. Sarah couldn’t let this

She had to find a way to stay in her home.
“By the way, your cousin called for you today.” Juliet’s voice
interrupted her train of thought.
“My cousin?”
“Harry. He was calling from London. I never met him.
Fancy missing your own uncle’s funeral.”
“They hadn’t spoken in years,” Sarah answered in a small
voice. Her dad and his brother Stewart had fallen out many
years before – Sarah had never been told why.A few years after
the rift between the brothers, word had come through that
both Stewart and his wife had died, leaving Harry to be
brought up by distant relatives in New Zealand. He was
fifteen.Anne and James got a card once in a while, but neither
party had made much effort to keep in touch. Sarah suspected
that the argument had been very bitter, to create such distance
between the Midnight brothers.
“Well, he said to check your email. Sarah, you’re soaking!
What happened to you?”
“It rained. At the play park.”
“You were at the play park? In the middle of the
Sarah took a deep breath. “I’m tired. I’m going to have a
shower and go to bed.”
“You’ve had no dinner. Eat something, at least!” But Sarah
had already gone up the stairs and into her room.
She threw herself on the bed, followed by Shadow, who
curled up at her feet. Sarah loved feeling Shadow’s soft pink
nose against her own, and the cat’s whiskers brushing her
cheek softly.
“It’s just us now, baby, just us,” Sarah whispered into her fur.

She needed a shower. She dragged herself to the bathroom,
while Shadow remained at a safe distance from the water,
perched upright on the window sill, her amber eyes glowing
in the semi-darkness of the room.
Sarah closed her eyes under the water flow, letting it wash
away the blackwater, the adrenaline, the fear. She emerged half
an hour later, wrapped in a towel, her long black hair dripping,
and sat cross-legged on her bed, trying to keep the duvet
as straight as she could. She switched her laptop on.
One new message.
Hello Sarah, your cousin Harry here. You probably
don’t remember me, you only saw me once, when you
were still a baby. Your parents and mine had their
differences and didn’t speak for a long time, but Uncle
James and I had started writing to each other in the last
few months. How cruel that they had to go now, when
we had just started getting closer. You must be going
through hell. I know what really happened to them. We
need to talk. I’m coming back to Scotland. I’d be grateful
if you could put me up for a bit.
Take care,
Sarah’s heart skipped a beat. He knew! She wasn’t alone in that
terrible knowledge, in knowing why her parents had died so
horribly. There was, after all, another Midnight to share the
burden. And maybe if Harry came to stay, she wouldn’t have
to move out.

Feeling that something important might have happened,
Shadow jumped on Sarah’s bed and sat beside her, looking at
the screen.
“Of course, Harry,” whispered Sarah under her breath, her
fingers moving quickly on the keyboard. “Of course I’ll put
you up for a bit.” She smiled, for the first time since . . . since
it all happened.
Dear Harry,
They’re throwing me out of my house because my
parents decided I can’t stay here on my own. Come
ASAP. Stay at least until I’m 18. .
Sarah stroked Shadow’s fur a couple of times, and a new
message popped on the screen.
I’m at the airport. See you in an hour.
At the airport! He’s already here! Sarah’s heart began to beat
faster. She felt a glimmer of hope, at last. She dried her hair
quickly, threw on a pair of leggings and a T-shirt, and went
downstairs to the kitchen. She was suddenly hungry, properly
hungry, like she could actually eat.
Sarah loved cooking; it was her refuge. She was brilliant at
baking, and she often made cakes and scones for her parents,
to restore them after a night spent hunting. She kept all her
cookery books neatly on a shelf in the kitchen, and poured
over them, reeling in the domesticity of pasta making and

chopping and slow-cooking, when all around her was chaos
and fear.
Trying to be as quiet as possible – she didn’t particularly
care if Juliet was woken up, she just didn’t want the hassle –
she took flour, oil, salt and yeast out of the cupboard and
arranged them on the kitchen table. She mixed and kneaded
and moulded, loving the feeling and the smell of the dough in
her hands.There, the perfect Sarah-sized little pizza. Now she
had to clean everything up, or the mess would have made her
too anxious to swallow anything.
When she’d finished, she poured some milk for Shadow,
which the kitten barely touched (she was a good hunter, and
had had plenty to eat earlier, while Sarah was hunting too) and
waited for her pizza to be cooked. Ten minutes later she
devoured the whole thing down to the last crumb. She hadn’t
realized how hungry she really was. That pizza was her first
proper meal in weeks.
Sarah was chewing the last morsel when the doorbell rang.
She cleaned her fingers and her mouth quickly and sprang to
her feet. Could it be Harry, already? She stood behind the
kitchen door. She wanted the chance to look at him for a
minute before he saw her.
She heard Juliet dash down the stairs, probably to check if
any unsuitable friends of Sarah’s were visiting the house at that
time of night.
“Hello. I’m Harry Midnight.” A deep, vibrant voice with
the hint of a New Zealand accent.“You must be Juliet.Thanks
for looking after Sarah. Now you can go.Well, get dressed
Sarah stifled a smile.

“Chop chop. Don’t worry. I’m family.We’ll look after each
other.”The amusement in his voice was palpable.
“There is no way I’ll leave her alone with . . . with you!”
Juliet cried out, as soon as she regained the ability to speak.
“No, I suppose not.Well, we can talk about it tomorrow.”
Sarah took a little step forward, still hiding behind the door,
to try and catch a glimpse of him. He was tall with blond hair
and light-blue eyes, so clear that they almost shone.The whole
Midnight family was fair, blond and blue- or green-eyed –
Sarah had inherited her black hair from her mother – but in
spite of his colouring, Harry looked quite different from James
and Stewart. He had stronger features, with a long, straight
nose, a soft-lipped mouth, and his most striking trait: those
eyes, big, expressive, full of life. And a sharp light in them, a
light that said don’t come too close, like a warning. He was
wearing a blue hooded jacket, and jeans that had seen better
times – he looked like someone you wouldn’t mess with,
someone who could look after himself.
Sarah decided she’d seen enough. She ventured into the
corridor. Her heart was jumping out of her chest. Her future
depended on this man.
“Harry,” she whispered. Her voice sounded uncertain, but
her gaze told a different story. She was looking straight into
Harry’s eyes.
She’s strong, he thought at once.
The pale complexion, the small nose and mouth, the way
she kept her chin slightly raised in a gesture of pride and
defiance; and those eyes, impossibly green. She was a Midnight
through and through.

Harry’s gaze was so intense on her, it suddenly felt too
much. “Come on. I’ll show you to your room,” she said
brusquely, to break the spell.“We can talk upstairs,” she added,
throwing an imperceptible glance at Juliet. Harry understood
at once.
They walked upstairs, followed by Shadow, past Juliet,
ignoring her as if she’d been a coat hanger. Like a flash, Juliet
was on the phone to Trevor. Her voice was drifting from the
hallway, and Sarah and Harry could hear bits of what she was
“Like he lived here! As if this was his house! I know, I know,
he’s family. I know there’s nothing I can do . . . OK. OK. I’ll
sleep on it. See you tomorrow.”
Was she making the right decision? To let this long-lost
cousin into her house, into her life? She had no choice. Her
parents had left her no choice. Sarah felt a wave of anger
towards them. She didn’t like to feel that way, and did her best
to shake off the uncomfortable feeling, as if it had never
appeared; but a distressing memory kept pushing itself to the
forefront of her mind.
The spotlights in Sarah’s eyes were blinding as she walked
onto the stage of the Royal Concert Hall. She couldn’t see the
audience; it was just a sea of black, row after row of heads,
barely discernible. Sarah had waited for that moment forever. It
was her first proper performance.
The best music students from secondary schools in the
whole country had been selected to accompany some famous
artists in a Christmas concert. When her teacher told Sarah
that she’d been chosen, she couldn’t believe it. She was so

excited, and so proud, that even her cleaning and tidying
routines had relaxed a little. For a few weeks she was uncharacteristically
talkative, chatting away about rehearsals,
and how friendly the musical director was, and how they
were supposed to wear their school uniforms, and how the
BBC was going to cover the event . . . On and on she
went, telling her parents everything, every week coming home
from rehearsals with a spring in her step and a smile on
her face.
The Christmas concert was on a Saturday.Aunt Juliet drove
her into town, with her cello in its purple case and her ironed
uniform arranged carefully on the back seat. Aunt Juliet had
insisted on going with her to keep her company and help
steady her nerves. Sarah had wanted her mum to go with her,
but, her parents explained, it was just not possible. They had
things to see to, and said so in a way that left no doubt as to
the nature of those things. Of course they’d be at the concert,
though.They wouldn’t miss it for the world, Sarah could be
sure of that.
When the moment came to go backstage and leave friends
and relatives behind, Sarah threw one last anxious glance
among the little crowd, hoping to see her parents walk
through the glass doors. At that moment, Aunt Juliet’s phone
started beeping. Sarah’s parents were running a little bit late,
but they would be there in half an hour.
Plenty of time.There was still nearly an hour to go, before
the rest of the audience arrived and everyone was settled.
They’d be fine.
Sarah’s hands shook with nerves and excitement as she
walked on stage, the lights making her hair shine blue-black,

and colour rising to her face as she sat with her cello. She
couldn’t make out anything beyond the stage, but she knew
that her parents would have arrived by now, and were sitting
watching her.The thought was warming her heart, and filling
her with pride. She couldn’t wait to show them what she
could do.
The singers and fiddlers and harpists and accordionists
followed one another, and Sarah felt the happiest she’d ever
been. She couldn’t know how many people among the
audience were admiring that beautiful girl with the long black
hair, playing the cello with such passion, such precision. She
flew through her parts without making a single mistake, and
then it was time to stand up, and drink in the cheering and
the clapping, and smile shyly when the artists turned around
and gestured at them, the music students, with more clapping
rising from the audience to celebrate the new talent, the boys
and girls who’d played so well.
There was a flurry of congratulations, and hugs, and
bouquets of flowers as everybody’s friends and families were
allowed backstage. Sarah scoured the little groups, looking for
her parents.
Aunt Juliet was there, and she was smiling, but her eyes
looked strange.
“Well done, my love! You were amazing!”
Sarah kept looking over Aunt Juliet’s shoulder.“Where are
Mum and Dad?”
Juliet looked at her for an instant, as if searching for the
right words.
But by then, there was no need to say anything. Sarah knew
they hadn’t come.

Harry and Sarah sat in the guest bedroom and talked for a
while, carefully, uncertainly. Sarah wasn’t sure how much she
should say, and kept the conversation formal, like a cautious
dance. All the while she looked into those impossibly clear
eyes, and felt afraid. Soon, exhaustion caught up with her. She
wished Harry goodnight and went to bed, too tired to worry,
too tired to think, but still finding the nervous energy to
arrange the duvet around her the way her own private ritual
demanded. She was soon out like a light, drained with grief,
with the hunt, and with the relief that maybe she wasn’t going
to have to leave her home.
But it was the troubled, unquiet sleep that brought her
the visions.
Sarah was standing in the dark. She could make out two
bodies lying on the ground, motionless, and a semi-circle of
dark figures standing around them. She recognized the bodies:
they were her parents’. Her stomach lurched. Beside them
stood a boy not much older than her, with hair so black that
it was nearly blue, and a face as pale as the moon. And
someone else: a tall, blond man with something in his hand . . .
a dagger, a silver dagger. The man’s face kept changing, his
features kept blurring.
“Look at him, Sarah.”
A woman’s voice. A voice dripping with hatred.
Sarah turned round to see where the voice was coming
from, and she saw a woman with a face full of sorrow. She had
startling, angry blue eyes and high cheekbones, framed by
wavy dark-blond hair. She was beautiful – or she would have
been, had she not looked so enraged and so full of pain.

“Who are you?” Sarah asked.
“You’re alone, Sarah,” the woman replied, and smiled a
menacing smile that changed her lovely features and made Sarah’s
skin crawl.With the corner of her eye, she saw that the blond
man had raised his dagger, and was walking towards her . . .
Sarah woke up soaked with sweat, and freezing. She reached
out for her lamp and switched it on with trembling hands.At
once she gasped, and sat up in fear.
There was someone standing beside her bed.
“It’s OK, Sarah. Whatever you saw, it was just a dream,”
whispered the figure, shrouded in semi-darkness. He was tall
and blond. Like the man in her dream.
Sarah’s heart missed a beat. She breathed in deeply, trying to
keep herself calm.
“What are you doing in my room?”
“I heard you screaming.”
“You weren’t sleeping?” Her voice was shaking. She
“There won’t be much sleeping for a while. I’m watching
over you.”
“Am I in danger?” Sarah knew the answer already.
Harry leaned over her, and brushed a lock of damp hair
away from her face. She realized she was trembling all over,
like a leaf in the wind.
“Sarah, I wish I could reassure you and say that everything
will be fine, and that there are no monsters under your bed.
But you are a Midnight. I know you’re brave and strong, and
I have to tell you the truth.You’re in terrible danger, and you
can’t trust anyone.”

No, I can’t trust anyone, thought Sarah, remembering
the man in her dream walking towards her with his dagger
I can’t trust anyone, including you.

Follow Sarah Midnight on Facebook and Twitter
to see exclusive preview material.
Part 1 of the Sarah Midnight Trilogy
will be published 17th May 2012
Dreams will be available from Amazon, Waterstone’s, WH Smith
and all good book shops. Also available as eBook.
RRP: £7.99 ISBN: 978 184502 370 6
e-mail with Dreams Reading
Group title to be entered into a prize draw for advance copies!
First published 2012
by Black & White Publishing Ltd
29 Ocean Drive, Edinburgh EH6 6JL
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 12 13 14 15
ISBN: 978 1 84502 370 6
Copyright© Daniela Sacerdoti 2012
The right of Daniela Sacerdoti to be identified as
the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance
with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
This novel is a work of fiction.The names, characters and
incidents portrayed in it are of the author's imagination.Any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities
is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form,
or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or
otherwise, without permission in writing from the publisher.
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available
from the British Library.
Typeset by RefineCatch Ltd, Suffolk
Printed and bound by Nørhaven, Denmark

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Tell the Wolves I’m Home is the story of geeky teenage loner June Elbus who is grieving the loss of her beloved uncle and godfather, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. The story takes place in the late 1980s when fear about A.I.D.S. and discrimination towards those who suffered from it was at its height. June is a wonderful character; a fourteen year old who seems both knowing and naïve all at once. Readers are sure to warm to her as she has that typical teenage characteristic of being both thoughtless and over -thinking everything.
Through her we learn about her Uncle who was kind and caring and gradually the strained relationships within her family and the secrets which have been kept hidden are revealed. June develops a secret friendship with Toby; Finn’s “special friend” and together they remember and grieve. Many people will find this book resonates with them dealing as it does with love, loss, family and secrets. A wonderful book.
Here is a link to my review of Tell the Wolves I'm Home on Lovereading, scroll to see.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Harper Fiction

Harper Fiction have quoted my review of The Underside of Joy on their Facebook page

We've had a fantastic review of début novel THE UNDERSIDE OF JOY from Lisa Redmond, our Bookseller at Waterstones, Drogheda:

"Halverson’s tight and seamless plot and heart wrenching story will entrance and delight fans of Douglas Kennedy and Anita Shreve but her light touch and warm characters will also appeal to fans of Jodi Picoult and Adriana Trigiani.

I have no doubt that Halverson will be an international bestseller and I have already cast Amy Adams as Ella (even though she’s too short) and Cameron Diaz as Paige. I look forward to many more fantastic books from Seré Prince Halverson in the future."

Thank you Waterstones!