Thursday, 31 March 2011

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands

My Thought
I found many good reviews and high rating for this book since I started my "blog-walking" last December. I was so excited when I found out that this book was published also in Indonesia and got more excited since it was translated by my favorite translator. Few days after it was displayed, If I Stay was in my hand.

The story which is It was a quick read. Only took few hours to finish this book. Mia's life seemed so perfect before the incident happened. Look at her family, school, friends or her boyfriend. But I have no problem with all those stuff.

I loved almost all chapters. Especially when It told me about Mia's family. I was looking forward to reading her narration about her cool father, mother, her little brother, Teddy, even friends of her parents. I also liked when she talked about music. I'd love to hear one of song that was mentioned. Her relationship with Adam was also something that I enjoyed.

Sadly, till the last pages, there was not any emotion left. I could not feel when she got confused whether to stay or not. There was no teary eyes. But none to blame because the translation was good. I just did not get what she felt.

However I am not that into this book. I am willing to read the second book, Where She Went. Since I realized I am a big of contemporary book with this theme.

The Cover
I fall for the cover. It is much better than the US cover either the hardcover or the paperback



Editor: Dini Pandia
Translator: Poppy D. Chusfani

Paperback, 200 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Source: bought

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Abandon By Meg Cabot

New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.
Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: April 26th 2011 by Scholastic Inc.

Another series from Meg Cabot. I hope It will be also published in Indonesia just like The Mediator. I also hope that they do not change the cover as they always do. Because this one is gorgeous.

Have any of you got the ARC of this book?

What book do you waiting on this wednesday?
Feel free to leave your link. I'd love to see it.

"Waiting" On Wednesday is a weekly meme that hosted by Breaking The Spine

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Review: 12.21.12 by Killian McRae

Archaeologist Sheppard Smyth has staked his career and the honorable memory of his deceased wife and partner on proving his widely-panned theory: Cleopatra VII, last ruler of Ancient Egypt, was murdered. When a statue of the doomed Queen is discovered in an Olmec excavation site in Mexico, Shep rushes to investigate and, hopefully, find the proof that has evaded him for so long. Soon, he finds himself in the middle of the rivalry between the sexy, enigmatic international thief, Victoria Kent, and infamous rumored Russian mobster, Dmitri Kronastia. Both hold pieces to the puzzle that will finally shed light on Cleopatras death, as they vie for Shep's trust and assistance. As he is drawn further into their world of ancient gods, supernatural powers, and alternative history, little does Shep know that the fate of all humanity may hinge on his ability to discover the truth in between Victoria and Dmitris' fragmented claims and hidden identities. Working to decode the ancient past while attempting to save the future, Shep becomes a common pawn played by forces working to see out a quest older than the pyramids themselves and cloaked by the Mayan prophecy of 12.21.12.

My Thought
Before reading the synopsis, from the title, I thought it would tell me everything about Mayan prophecy. I prepared myself with all those ancient stuff . Many speculation was created. But all things that I put in my mind about this book were totally wrong.Everything that Killian wrote inside is new to me. I was so excited when I found out about what I was going to read. I did not know anything about Sekhmet or any theory behind the death of Cleopatra before I read this book. It was really nice to read such book. It looked like opening new book. I got many new things from it.

In the middle of the book,I got confused. Especially when it narrated about all those god and goddess. It is all because of the lack of knowledge about the ancient history. I was just not ready with all those conspiracies that Killian brought. I could not distinguish between fact and fiction. Luckily, the book still gave me the answer that I was looking for in the beginning of the book.

Each character has their own uniqueness. From the beginning till the last pages, Victoria Kent grabbed my attention. She kept give me surprises. In every chapters I was looking forward to it. I also like Alex with all of his thought.

Unpredictable ending become a point to be remarked.

The Cover
I was totally trapped with all the symbols.

My favorite quote
"A man who has never known himself to have legs will never attempt to walk. Think of whatever you treasure most, of whatever your heart sings for. Take all the passion of that thought and just let it ill you and explode from you"



Author: Killian McRae
Ebook, I,236
Paperback, I, 238 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by Omnific Publishing (first published December 19th 2010)
Source: e-book from the Author for review that become the part of the tour.

Blog Tour Schedule

  1. Julie @ A Tale of Many Reviews - Review - March 1st 2011
  2. Yelania @ The Itzel Library - Interview - March 2nd 2011
  3. Damaris @ Good Choice Reading - Top Ten/Giveaway - March 3rd 2011
  4. Mandy @ Twimom101's book blog - Interview - March 4th 2011
  5. Casey @ Dark Readers Blog - Interview - March 5th 2011
  6. Alisha @ My need to Read - Character post - March 6th 2011
  7. Jules @ One Book Shy of a Full Shelf - Interview/Giveaway - March 7th 2011
  8. Lisa K. @ Baffled Books - review - March 8th 2011
  9. Sarah @ The Book Bee - Character Interview - March 9th 2011
  10. Page @ One Book at a time - Guest post/Interview - March 10th 2011
  11. Michelle @ Hooked To Books - Giveaway/Review - March 11th 2011
  12. Kristin @ My Bookish Ways - Review/Interview - March 12th 2011
  13. Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews - Top Ten - March 13th 2011
  14. Sherri @ Urban Girl Reader - review/Q&A/giveaway - March 14th 2011
  15. Cherry @ Cherry Mischievous - Guest post - March 15th 2011
  16. Bianca @ Sweet Nothings xo - review/giveaway - March 16th 2011
  17. Rebecca @ My Life with Boys and Books - review - March 17th 2011
  18. Megan @ A Trail of Books Left Behind - review/character interview - March 18th 2011
  19. Jennifer @ Ponytails Book Reviews - review - March 19th 2011
  20. Tammy @ Into The Mystic - - March 20th 2011
  21. Lisa @ Bookworm Lisa - Top Ten/Giveaway - March 21st 2011
  22. Tara @ Taming the Bookshelf - - March 22nd 2011
  23. Rachel @ Parajunkee's View - - March 23rd 2011
  24. Melissa @ I Swim for Oceans - review/interview - March 24th 2011
  25. Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - giveaway/interview - March 25th 2011
  26. Christin @ Between the Covers - review - March 26th 2011
  27. Stacy @ Girls in the Stacks - review - March 27th 2011
  28. Ash @ Smash Attack Reads - character interview - March 28th 2011
  29. Aleetha @ bacaan-ally blog - review - March 29th 2011
  30. Ashlie @ Bookish Novelties - review/interview - March 30th 2011
  31. Yara @ Once Upon a Twilight - Review/Giveaway - March 31st 2011
  32. Once Upon a Twilight Author Live chat - March 31st 2011 @ 9pm CT

Monday, 28 March 2011

Winner of Insight by Jamie Magee

The Random Number Generator has chosen two winners and they are:

Elle from Simple Wyrdings; She won the printed copy


Vivien; she won the ebook


I have contacted them and they have claimed it.

Didn't win? Get your own copy of Insight at:

This giveaway is a part of Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tour


Image Credit to p3n1 and Akizo

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Woot!!! Monday is here already. The time does fly.

Last week I read:

I am currently reading :
  • Shadow of The Sun by Laura Kreitzer.
  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer.
  • Just Grace and Terrible by Charise Mericle Harper.
  • The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker.
  • Kat Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgie.

Twelve-year-old Kat Stephenson may be the despair of her social-climbing Step-Mama, but she was born to be a magical Guardian and protector of Society--if she can ever find true acceptance in the secret Order that expelled her own mother. She’s ready to turn the hidebound Order of the Guardians inside-out, whether the older members like it or not. And in a society where magic is the greatest scandal of all, Kat is determined to use all her powers to help her three older siblings--saintly Elissa, practicing-witch Angeline, and hopelessly foolish Charles--find their own true loves, even if she has to turn highwayman, battle wild magic, and confront real ghosts along the way!

I love Kat. She's so cute.

This week I plan to read:
  • Encrypted by Lindsay Buroker
Professor Tikaya Komitopis isn't a great beauty, a fearless warrior, or even someone who can walk and chew chicle at the same time, but her cryptography skills earn her wartime notoriety. When enemy marines show up at her family's plantation, she expects the worst. But they're not there to kill her. They need her to decode mysterious runes, and they ask for help in the manner typical of a conquering empire: they kidnap her, threaten her family, and throw her in the brig of their fastest steamship.
Her only ally is a fellow prisoner who charms her with a passion for academics as great as her own. Together, they must decipher mind-altering alchemical artifacts, deadly poison rockets, and malevolent technological constructs, all while dodging assassination attempts from a rival power determined the expedition should fail. As if Tikaya didn't have troubles enough, her new ally turns out to be exiled fleet admiral, Federias Starcrest, the man who recommended taking over her nation. To trust him could be a mistake; to fall in love with him would be a betrayal to her people, her family, and the fiancé she lost in the war. Those runes cloak more than mysteries, however, and he may be the only one who can help her unravel them before their secrets destroy the world.
  • 12.21.12 by Killian McRae

Archaeologist Sheppard Smyth has staked his career and the honorable memory of his deceased wife and partner on proving his widely-panned theory: Cleopatra VII, last ruler of Ancient Egypt, was murdered. When a statue of the doomed Queen is discovered in an Olmec excavation site in Mexico, Shep rushes to investigate and, hopefully, find the proof that has evaded him for so long. Soon, he finds himself in the middle of the rivalry between the sexy, enigmatic international thief, Victoria Kent, and infamous rumored Russian mobster, Dmitri Kronastia. Both hold pieces to the puzzle that will finally shed light on Cleopatras death, as they vie for Shep's trust and assistance. As he is drawn further into their world of ancient gods, supernatural powers, and alternative history, little does Shep know that the fate of all humanity may hinge on his ability to discover the truth in between Victoria and Dmitris' fragmented claims and hidden identities. Working to decode the ancient past while attempting to save the future, Shep becomes a common pawn played by forces working to see out a quest older than the pyramids themselves and cloaked by the Mayan prophecy of 12.21.12.

I will be so busy this week. I hope I can finish them all. Because many books are waiting.

Win one of three ebook of The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker. It ends on April 1st. Click here to enter.

How about you? What are you reading?
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is weekly meme which is hosted by Sheila from One Persons Journey Through a World of Books

Sunday, 27 March 2011

In My Mailbox #9

It's always nice to attach the pictures of the book that I get every week. Thanks to this meme.

 In the tradition of the loveable but flawed heroines from Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicholson Books, Kathleen O'Dell's Agnes Parker novels, and Lois Lowry's Anastasia Krupnik books comes Elizabeth Cody Kimmel's Kat Roberts. All Kat wants is to be normal, or at least to look that way to students at her new school. But her mother is a medium, and not the kind that fits in between small and large; Kat's mom is the kind of medium who sees spirits and communicates with them. And, even worse, Kat has just discovered that she can see spirits too. In fact, she seems to be the only one capable of helping a spirit at her school cross over successfully. The question is can she do it without needing to switch schools herself?
In this the first of three SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL books, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel brings humor, heart, and a little supernatural charm to the trials and tribulations of finding out who you are and who you want to be--all while surviving the seventh grade

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of happiness, family, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless adventure story in the classic tradition of The Wizard of Oz. In the Valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli spends her days working hard in the fields and her nights listening to her father spin fantastic tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon. Minli’s mother, tired of their poor life, chides him for filling her head with nonsense. But Minli believes these enchanting stories and embarks on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man of the Moon and ask him how her family can change their fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.  Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

Three of them are translated by penerbit Atria. Thanks to Ida Wadji who has sent these books for me. *heart*

also got some ebooks. I won them from giveaway. Thanks to all the authors and blogger who hosted the giveaway.

A Modern Witch - Debora Geary

Can you live 28 years without discovering you're a witch?

Lauren is downtown Chicago's youngest elite realtor. She's also a witch. She must be - the fetching spell for Witches' Chat isn't supposed to make mistakes. So says the woman who coded the spell, at least.

The tall, dark, and handsome guy sent to assess her is a witch too (and no, that doesn't end the way you might think). What he finds in Lauren will change lives, mess with a perfectly good career, and require lots of ice cream therapy.

Across The Galaxy-Heather HildenBrand

Most teenage girls have teenaged problems, like what to wear to prom and did I remember to shave my legs before gym? Seventeen year old Alina has all those problems, and a whole lot more. The list does tend to get longer when you’re an alien. An alien empress, to be exact.

Number one on Alina’s problem list is her desire to fit in and feel accepted, without having to hide any part of her true self; something she’s never quite been able to do on Earth. Also on that list are the Shadows, a race of dark and ugly monsters that attacked her home planet ten years ago, killing her parents, and still search for her now, to wipe out the last survivor of the royal family.

A moonlit walk in the forest changes everything. She is discovered, by more than one being from her galaxy, and has to run for her life with a Shadow close on her trail. Her new protector – a talking wolf – whisks her to the safety of his planet, to regroup and maybe figure out a way to destroy the shadows. Unfortunately, Alina soon finds she’s only traded one danger for another.

A Chance For Charity - S.L Baum

A new family has just arrived in the isolated mountain town of Telluride, Colorado. Welcome the Johnstons – Jason (a doctor), Rachel (a designer), and their niece Emily (a current High School Senior). Emily has lived the life of a quiet loner in the past, trying to go unnoticed. But with Telluride being such a small and welcoming town, she finds a group of friends at school almost immediately. When Emily meets Link (another new transplant in town) her world turns upside down.

She doesn't understand why she feels a magnetic pull toward him, or why she unknowingly lets her guard down around him. Link is just as confused by his own need to be with her. Emily knows she is playing with fire. She should be doing whatever she can to keep herself isolated, to keep Link from getting too close. Danger has a way of finding Emily’s family – that is what keeps them on the move. They arrive in a new town every few years – it is safer that way.

Because… Emily isn’t really Emily… her real name is Charity – and Charity has an even bigger secret. Charity and her family are not like other people, they have “skills” that mere mortals cannot begin to comprehend. Before long, Charity is struggling with the reality that her two lives are coming closer to each other with each passing day. Soon Link will find himself wrapped in a supernatural world that he never knew existed – and discover that mortals are not the only beings that walk this earth.

Icarus Rising - David N. Pauly

In Nostraterra, the wars between the allied races of Elves, Men and Dwarves have ended; the Dark Lord Magnar has been overthrown. The Great Peace is suddenly shattered when Alfrahil, Crown Prince of Eldora is nearly assassinated. The King suspects his younger son Daerahil's lust for the throne has taken a dark and deadly turn, ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Is Daerahil the architect of this terrible plot or is he an unwitting pawn on someone else's chessboard?

In the forests of the Elves, it is whispered that Elven Prince Ferox plans to seize the lands of Nostraterra for himself. Aiding Daerahil and his allies, Ferox hopes to fuel a conflagration which will consume Eldora, leaving the lands of Nostraterra his for the taking.

Meanwhile, the Dwarves are wracked by deep divisions as the Flame Priests vie for supremacy, desiring to usurp all Dwarven power into their religion of segregation and hatred for other races. Secular Dwarf lords fight against the growing powers of the priests, trying to hold their kingdoms intact; preventing war from breaking out anew.

In their distant refuge of Platonia, several pacifist Gracies are called from their pastoral home, embarking upon a great journey to aid the Magi, Oracle to the races. Transporting the last survivors of an ancient sentient race to the Magi's Emerald Vale, the Gracies are waylaid by craven foes who seek the magic of these last ephemeral beings. Will they succeed, or will the magic of life itself be forever lost?

So What you have in your mailbox?
Please free to leave the link.I'd love to see them.

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren

Guest Post : Swept Away By Marsha Canham

Swept Away is an action/adventure/romance set in Regency England. A body has been washed up on a deserted beach. He is half dead, badly beaten, and when he wakens, he has no memory of how he came to be there or why he is being charged with treason. To the lovely Annaleah Fairchilde, her frustration at having been sent to the seaside to live with her dottering old aunt for several weeks ends the moment a feverish and delirious Emory Althorpe opens his eyes and whispers: They have to know the truth before it’s too late.

What follows is a story filled with adventure, mystery, spies, kidnapping, treachery, and most of all, romance. Toss Auntie Flo into the mix, a character who was one of the most fun to write, and hopefully the reader will be…Swept Away.

A brief excerpt:
Ramsey reached out awkwardly with his stiff arm and snapped his fingers at one of the redcoats who in turn produced several sheets of paper out of a leather dispatch case. He handed one to Florence first, then to Anthony. Barrimore barely glanced at it before waving it away with a small frown, at which time it was passed to Anna. She took the sheet and braced herself before looking down, and considering it was only a rough sketch in smeared black ink, it bore a startling likeness to the man lying upstairs. The hair was wilder, embellished by the kind of braids depicted in stories about pirates. The eyes were close-set and mean, and more licence had been taken etching the scar in his eyebrow; far from being the slim nick it was in reality, the artist suggested it dragged across his brow and distorted the entire temple.
But it was him. It was Emory Althorpe, and the huge blocked letters beneath his picture declared he was wanted for Treason! Sedition! Piracy! Murder!
Anna glanced at Florence, who was studying the sketch as if was of no more importance than the evening menu.
“Have you seen anyone like that in the vicinity, Miss?” Ramsey asked. “Privates Dilberry and Ward may be able to help with additional information, as they were familiar with the rogue in his youth.”
One of the soldiers touched a forelock. “Aye. I know’d ‘im, Miss. Big man, ‘ee is. Stands near seven feet tall, wi’ a scrint eye, all scarred-like, an’ shoulders this wide.” His comrade nudged him on the arm and he amended the distance between his hands, increasing it beyond Broom’s impressive bulk. “Aye, more like this wide.”
“In absolute honesty, sir,” she said, addressing Ramsey, “I have not seen anyone who would match that description.”
“Nor is she likely to,” Lord Barrimore said dryly, “since there is some doubt as to whether he is even still alive. A report received in the foreign office stated there was some trouble in the harbor at Rochefort shortly after Bonaparte’s surrender and he was killed by one of the general’s own men.”
Colonel Ramsey shook his head, obviously not convinced. “He has been reported dead before only to appear like a bad dream some months later. I have heard nothing that would convince me this time is any different and until I see an actual body, I will not believe it.”
“You sound as if you have been looking for him longer than a few short weeks,” Florence said.
“I have had a personal interest in following his career these past three years or more,” Ramsey admitted. “The man is as elusive as smoke and twice as hard to catch.”
“Then I bid you the best of luck in your hunt, Colonel. Wild geese have never appealed to me, personally.”
“Too gamey by far, Auntie,” Anthony agreed, dropping the warrant sheet on the table beside him. “Especially if they have been dead for over a month. Was there anything else, sir? Any other bogie men we should be on the lookout for?” “I’ll not take up any more of your time,” Ramsey said, bristling slightly at the sarcasm. “Be advised, however, that there will be increased patrols along the coast roads and at every toll booth on the turnpikes leading in and out of Torbay. If you are planning to return to London any time soon, you might want to spare yourself any unnecessary aggravation by allowing for the additional delays.”
With that, he nodded curtly at Florence and Anna, and, after snapping his fingers again at his two men, stalked out of the room, following Willerkins down the hallway.
“Such an unpleasant man,” Florence said after a moment. “But can it be true? Is that dreadful little French general coming here to Torbay?”
“It has been in all the newspapers, Auntie,” Anthony said. “But of course, you would have no reason to read one. Not to worry, however. Barrimore, tells me there is more than enough room in his berline coach to carry you home to London with us. We shall consider it an adventure, shall we?” He leaned forward to rest his hand patronizingly on her knee. “A grand adventure to London town.”
Florence looked like she wanted to give his shin a sharp whack with her cane, but she smiled sweetly instead. “How thoughtful of you to worry about me, Nephew, but I do not often venture out of the house these days. My poor bones are so brittle, I fear even a brief journey in any manner of moving vehicle would likely crack my spine in two. No, no. It is kind of you to worry after my safety, but sadly, I must decline your offer.”
“But you heard what Ramsey said. Disregarding for the moment the rabble that will be swarming to the coast to catch a glimpse of Bonaparte, one should not be so cavalier in dismissing the possibility of a dangerous criminal being on the loose.”
“Pish. I knew Emory Althorpe when he was a boy, and if he has retained half the common sense he had back then, I should think Brixham would be the last place he would come. Not when there would be a very good chance he would be recognized, and certainly not with a reward on his head worth twenty times what most of the fishermen hereabout will earn in their lifetimes!”
“Nevertheless,” Anthony argued, “I cannot say I am comfortable with the notion of you being so far out of town. It could take hours for one of these creaking old servants to fetch help if it was required.”
“I am fine. We are all of us fine. There is a young boy--Blisterbottom--in the house who runs like the wind and we have Willerkins. He was a member of the King’s Royal Guard back in the ‘45 and is still a crack shot. Indeed, the locals--not to mention the field mice--are quite terrified of his prowess with a blunderbuss.”
Anthony looked dubious. “Mother will not be pleased when we return home without you.”
“Your mother will survive the disappointment, I am sure.”
“Both disappointments,” Annaleah said, “for I am not leaving either.”
“What?” Anthony had started to lift his tea cup but stopped. “What did you say?”
“I said...I am not leaving either. I am staying here with Aunt Florence.”
She might well have said she was taking up a gun and turning highwayman for the look he gave her in return. And were it not such a serious breech of parental authority she was proposing, she might have laughed out loud.
But this was no laughing matter. Whether he was guilty or not, she could not leave Florence alone in the house with a notorious criminal. Moreover, she had not changed her opinion of Winston Perry, Lord Barrimore and she knew if she left Widdicombe House and
drove back to London with him, her fate would be sealed. Her engagement would be announced, the marriage date settled, the banns read.
“Not leaving?” Anthony said again. “What nonsense is this?”
“I...I cannot leave,” she insisted. “Not while Auntie Lal still needs me. And if she is refusing...or unable to leave here...then it is my duty to remain.”
Anna hastened to her aunt’s side and settled beside her in a soft swirl of white muslin. Taking up one of the gnarled hands, she gave it an imploring squeeze. “I know you are determined to put forth a brave show for my brother and Lord Barrimore, but I could not live with myself if I left you alone, knowing that you are in such terrible pain.”
“Pain?” Anthony frowned at his aunt. “You are in pain Aunt Florence?”
“I am?” Florence looked from Anna to her brother. “I am. Well, not so much that you would notice.”
“There, you see,” Anna declared. “She would never tell you so, but dear Auntie can barely walk from one chair to the next without assistance. Her legs are so weak why...why she nearly took a dreadful tumble just this morning, and would have fallen head over heels down the stairs had I not been there to catch her.”
“My dear child, you exaggerate.” The canny blue eyes narrowed into their wrinkles. “I will have you know, it has been nearly a whole week since the last time my feet went up in the air. And the pain is not so very dreadful; my ankle can almost bear the weight.”
“The doctor said you were not to overtax yourself.”
“He did? Oh, of course he did. And you have been such a help to me, dear child, hovering about like a lovely little butterfly, at my elbow day and night to attend to the smallest request. But I should not impose further upon your sweet nature. Not if your dear mother wishes you to return home.”
“It was my dear mother who sent me here to help you and I shall remain here to help you for as long as you need me.”
“Anna,” her brother protested. “Mother’s concerns are genuine--”
“Her concerns were equally genuine when she hastened me out of London on a moment’s notice.” Anna said, conscious of Barrimore’s eyes boring into the back of her neck. She had wondered exactly what he had been told with regards to her abrupt departure from the city but because she doubted it was anything near the truth, she gambled it was more than likely her elderly aunt’s health that had been used for an excuse. “Can you not see I am still needed here? How cruel and cold a person do you think me that I would simply walk away and leave our aunt alone and helpless in her pain?”
“I have Willerkins to help me,” Florence said in a brave, quavering voice. “And Ethel, of course, though it is sometimes difficult to tolerate the smell of chicken that always clings to her.”
“You do not have to rely on either Willerkins or Ethel, Auntie. I am here, and here is where I shall remain.”
“I do not want to be a burden on anyone, even for the short time I have left.” Florence took up a crumpled lace handkerchief and touched it to the corner of her eye as she offered up a watery confession in Anthony’s direction. “The doctors, you see, have already said it will be a true miracle if I live to see another Michaelmas Day, not two full months hence. They apply leeches and open my veins every time I have a spell, but...the relief is only temporary.”
“You have spells?” Anthony asked, clearly concerned.
“Spells,” Florence nodded solemnly. “And then there is the chaos in my bowels. It erupts at the most inopportune moments.”
“I see. Well, ah, I suppose I could send Mother a post, explaining the situation.” He glanced around the room, at the aged furniture, the dark walls, the musty shadows and shuddered visibly. “Naturally,” he added with no attempt to conceal his reluctance, “I shall remain as well to offer what assistance and comfort I may.”
Florence dabbed her eyes again and smiled. “You are more than welcome of course. There are at least a dozen empty bedrooms that have not been used in, oh, several years. But I am certain a few hours with soapy water and carpet brooms should make one or two of them presentable. And as long as it does not rain at night, you gentlemen should be quite comfortable. The bats, as your sister has discovered, are not so very great a problem if you remember to keep the curtains drawn and rags stuffed in the window sills. And you, sir--forgive me, but I have quite forgotten your name--?”
“Barrimore,” said the marquis by rote, looking even more appalled than Anthony, if that was possible, at the prospect of rags and bats.
“I knew a Barrimore once. He used to steal the oranges out of the children’s Christmas boxes. He was the butler, I believe, or perhaps the was so long ago, the faces all crowd together...but of course he would have been your grandfather’s age, and I dare say your grandfather was not a dustman, was he?”
“No, madam. He was not. Nor would I would dream of imposing upon your hospitality at such a trying time as this. Fairchilde,” he snapped. “A word, if I may?”
Anthony sprang to his feet at once. “Of course. Ladies, you will excuse us a moment?”
He offered a brief bow and retreated with Barrimore to stand before the window.
Anna bowed her head and her lips barely moved. “I am so sorry, Auntie, but I did not know what else to do.”
“There is no need to explain anything to me,” Florence murmured. “Would I be mistaken in presuming to guess Lord Barrimore is the paragon your mother has chosen for your future husband?”
Anna tilted her head up, her huge blue eyes shining with confused emotions. “She insists he is a fine catch.”
“Mm. No doubt he is rich, titled, handsome and she has told you that you should be grateful he has even deigned to consider you a marriageable prospect?”
“A thousand times,” she agreed dully.
“And you have said no a thousand times and so she has sent you here to me as your punishment?” Florence’s hand tightened over hers. “Only say the word and I shall send Willerkins to fetch his fowling piece.”
“I...just need some time to think,” Anna said.
“Then you shall have it. And a wise choice, all things considered,” Florence winked, obviously enjoying the conspiracy, “for in truth, the blind old fool damned near shot his foot off the other day endeavoring to clean a pistol for Broom.”
As anxious as she was about her own situation, Anna had not entirely forgotten their other ‘guest’. “Mr. Althorpe is awake, Auntie. We spoke for a few moments and--” she cast a cautious glance over her shoulder to ensure the men were far enough away not to overheard-- “and he claims he does not remember anything.”
“He does not know how he came to be on our beach?”
“He does not know anything,” she reiterated. “Not where he is, or who he is; nor can he remember anything about his...his activities before he washed up on shore.”
“How extraordinary. I have never heard of such a thing. Well, no, that is not exactly true, for I have heard of it--a sailor once claimed to have lost all memory after suffering a high fever at sea, but I suspect it was more because his wife in Plymouth discovered he had a wife in Portsmouth. You say he remembers nothing?”
“He did not even know his name.”
“How extraordinary,” Florence murmured again, leaning back in the chair just as the men rejoined them.
“Barrimore has suggested a brilliant compromise,” Anthony began, “if it meets with your approval, that is. He says he has often stayed in Torquay while tending to his business affairs and knows of a perfectly respectable villa overlooking the bay. We would be but five miles away, close enough to respond to any emergency should one arise yet far enough not to inconvenience you with our presence. In the meantime, I shall dispatch a post to Mother at once, explaining the situation, begging her leave to remain in attendance a few days more.”
Florence responded with a dotty smile. “You do not have to rush off right away, do you? You will stay to lunch, will you not? With my teeth falling out at such an alarming rate, I usually have little more than a bowl of mashed turnips and soup, but I have no doubt Mildred could catch a grouse to boil for you.”
“Ah...” Anthony caught a glare from Barrimore’s eye, “no. No, thank you, Auntie. As it happens, we partook of a rather large breakfast this morning. And we really should see to the post for Mother. The sooner sent, the sooner received.”
Florence raised her hand to accept Anthony’s buss. Over his head, she smiled at Lord Barrimore. “It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, my lord. I trust we will have occasion to meet again.”
He took her hand and bowed over it, but did not trouble himself to feign the smallest smile. “I shall not draw a happy breath until we do, madam.”

    Marsha is the author of sixteen Historical Romances and one Contemporary Romance.She has won multiple awards for swashbuckling romance, including a starred review from Publishers Weekly touting the sizzling pirate adventureThe Iron Rose as one of the six best mass market books for the year. A USA Today Bestselling author with a loyal readership, many appreciate her use of history, action, and adventure to place the reader right into the heart of the story.

If you want to know more about Marsha Canham, you can visit her website, her facebook , twitter, and her blog, Caesars Through the Fence

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#SS2014: The Riddle

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