After Star Cover Reveal by Ashley Lavering

 

After Star   Cover
Reveal

A Choice
was Made
The
Curse was Broken
Yet
the Wolf Remains

 
After Star
book three in the Curse of the Beast Series by Ashley Lavering:
Tayla’s life changed forever the day
she became a werewolf in James’ pack (aka Beast). Now they must flee their
Wyoming home to escape the increasing wolf hunts caused by Kyle. With
James, her alpha and intended mate, she finds refuge in the remote area of
Crouch, Idaho. 
Now that she’s settled in to her new
home with the man of her dreams by her side, Tayla wonders if she’s finally
found some peace, but it doesn’t take long for enemies to find her. They taunt
her with secrets from James’ past, and revenge stalks the pack at
every turn. 
When James
is severely wounded with an unknown poison, it is up to
Tayla and her best friend, Chel, to solve the mystery of the poison’s
origin and find a cure. Will they be strong enough to handle the truth
they discover and defeat their enemies? Or will time run out and werewolves
die?
(Young Adult Paranormal Romance. A
clean romance with mild violence.)
What
Happens after Happily Ever After?
Find out
July 19, 2014!
Add
After Star to your TBR list on
Goodreads
Special
Surprise!
Check out Ashley’s first two books
in this compelling Young Adult paranormal romance series and retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a werewolf twist.

 
Book One 
Curse of the Beast  
     AmazonAmazon.ukNook 
   


Book Two 

Star Cursed

 Amazon~
Amazon.uk~
Nook

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Cover reveal was made possible by Lady Amber’s Reviews and all her great bloggers! Thank you!

Book Covers by Design by Katt

Layout of the Post: After Star Cover Reveal A Choice was Made The Curse was Broken Yet the Wolf Remains After Star book three in the Curse of the Beast Series by Ashley Lavering: Tayla’s life changed forever the day she became a werewolf in James’ pack (aka Beast). Now they must flee their Wyoming home to escape the increasing wolf hunts caused by Kyle. With James, her alpha and intended mate, she finds refuge in the remote area of Crouch, Idaho.  Now that she’s settled in to her new home with the man of her dreams by her side, Tayla wonders if she’s finally found some peace, but it doesn’t take long for enemies to find her. They taunt her with secrets from James’ past, and revenge stalks the pack at every turn.  When James is severely wounded with an unknown poison, it is up to Tayla and her best friend, Chel, to solve the mystery of the poison’s origin and find a cure. Will they be strong enough to handle the truth they discover and defeat their enemies? Or will time run out and werewolves die? (Young Adult Paranormal Romance. A clean romance with mild violence.) What Happens after Happily Ever After? Find out July 19, 2014! Add After Star to your TBR list on Goodreads Special Surprise! Revealed Pinterest Board Check out Ashley’s first two books in this compelling Young Adult paranormal romance series and retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a werewolf twist. Book One Book Two Curse of the Beast Star Cursed Amazon~ Amazon.uk~ Nook Amazon~ Amazon.uk~ Nook Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover reveal was made possible by Lady Amber’s Reviews and all her great bloggers! Thank you!
Book Covers by Design by Katt.

Playing Rough (Billionaires in Disguise: Izzy, #2) Book Blitz by Blair Babylon

PLAYING ROUGH Banner FB

Lizzy 2 Playing Rough FINAL COVER D 250x350

Be careful whom you submit to.

Lizzy is trapped. Her new Dom Mannix Bonfils and Theo Valencia have bought The Devilhouse. Her estranged parents keep calling, wanting her to quit college to coach Olympic-level gymnastics, the life she escaped at sixteen. Mannix demands that she give up more and more control, and he becomes rougher, more frightening, with her. Her job is gone. Sports reporters stalk her college dorm, looking for the feel-good homecoming story she dreads. Mannix’s sexual power games grow more disturbing every day, and someone tries to shoot them at The Devilhouse, narrowly missing Lizzy. Even though she wants to stay with Mannix, to grow stronger, to be loved, and to fulfill her commitment, everyone is telling her to get out, but they all seem to want something from her. When Theo offers to help her leave, should she stay with Mannix or go back to the prescribed life she thought she had escaped?

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AVAILABLE NOW! ONLY 99c!

“Playing Rough,” Episode #2 of Billionaires in Disguise: Lizzy and the hot-hot sequel to “Falling Hard,” is now available!

Be careful whom you submit to.

Lizzy is trapped. Her new Dom Mannix Bonfils and Theo Valencia have bought The Devilhouse. Her estranged parents keep calling, wanting her to quit college to coach Olympic-level gymnastics, the life she escaped at sixteen. Mannix demands that she give up more and more control, and he becomes rougher, more frightening, with her. Her job is gone. Sports reporters stalk her college dorm, looking for the feel-good homecoming story she dreads. Mannix’s sexual power games grow more disturbing every day, and someone tries to shoot them at The Devilhouse, narrowly missing Lizzy. Even though she wants to stay with Mannix, to grow stronger, to be loved, and to fulfill her commitment, everyone is telling her to get out, but they all seem to want something from her. When Theo offers to help her leave, should she stay with Mannix or go back to the prescribed life she thought she had escaped?

All AMAZON Sites – http://smarturl.it/playingrough 

GOOGLE PLAY — https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=S2mbAwAAQBAJ
Barnes & Noble — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/9781498989541
Smashwords — https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/440120
iBooks / iTunes – Coming soon!

Haven’t read “Falling Hard” yet?
It’s FREE!

Sometimes, falling in love means falling hard.

Lizzy has been drifting, trying to make a life for herself after failing at her life goal that was decided for her when she was five years old. She’s been having a good time in college and working at The Devilhouse, but something is missing in Lizzy’s life, a very obvious something. At a Devilhouse party, she meets Theo, a handsome, bright lawyer who wants to takes things slowly, too darn slowly, and Mannix, an ex-pro-football player with a taste for the disturbing. In this first episode, no one is quite who they seem to be. Romantic and suspenseful, Falling Hard sizzles with sex and explores the power of love to heal the deepest wounds.

All AMAZON Sites — http://smarturl.it/fallinghard
GOOGLE PLAY — https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Blair_Babylon_Falling_Hard_An_Erotic_Romance?id=V31vAwAAQBAJ
Barnes & Noble — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/falling-hard-blair-babylon/1119358223?ean=2940045853286
Kobo — http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/falling-hard-6
iBooks/iTunes — https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/falling-hard-billionaires/id868545179?mt=11
Smashwords — https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/431884

Reader Review:
***** 5.0 out of 5 stars Blair does it again! May 22, 2014

Lizzie Playing Rough continues where Falling Hard ended.

Lizzie has been drifting, trying to make a life for herself after failing at a life goal decided for her when she was just five years old. At a Devilhouse party, Lizzie meets Theo a handsome lawyer, and Mannix, an ex-pro-football player with a taste for the disturbing. When someone starts shooting at both men, Lizzie struggles to work out who the would-be murderer is.

Lizzie #2 takes you into the darker side of Mannix’s life and relationship with Lizzie. Lizzie signs a Dom/Sub contract, ignoring pleas from Georgie to read and amend the contract in Lizzies favour. As Mannix’s scenes become more disturbing, Lizzie remains adamant she will not fail or leave Mannix, mistaking his terms of endearment as love. Theo has not given up on Lizzie, determined to show Lizzie how little Mannix thinks of his subs, while trying to prove to Lizzie, love is more than mere words.

Blair Babylon’s descriptive writing holds so much depth of emotion and her books have such well rounded characters, you cannot help but be pulled into their lives, taking the journey with them, going through a rollercoaster of emotions. Keep the tissues (and chocolate!) handy as you’ll find yourself wanting to hug, shake and scream at Lizzie, Theo and Mannix.

Blair Babylon takes words on a page, a series of books, and turns them into so much more. When you think a series can’t get any better, it does!

FOR AFFILIATE LINKS
Alternate Amazon links in case you want to add affiliate links:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JWTGGVC
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00JWTGGVC?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00JWTGGVC
http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00JWTGGVC?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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 PLAYING ROUGH FB Square D

 

 

A Girlfriend’s Guide to…Cowboys!

Yes! Karia and I are SO planing to go next year…yes I am dragging her ass kicking and screaming to the Cowboy Stadium 😉

Talk Books to Me

Girlfriends Guide to …Cowboys!
In trying to think up a topic, my mind kept straying to all the fun the RT Convention peeps were having in The Big Easy! My sister and I went three summers ago and we LOVED it…especially me! I loved everything about NOLA…I loved the smell, the people, the heat, the afternoon rain showers, the food and especially the walking at night on Bourbon! Given that Angela here at Talk Books to Me lives in Texas (even not too far from Dallas) and would love to bring her books to the big book signing…we have talking about making a sojourn to Dallas for the 2015 RT Convention. Of course, for me one of the huge draws would be Kristen Ashley, so I dorkfully texted her and said, ya, maybe we can hook up in Dallas next year (sort thing)…much to my chagrin, she will be celebrating…

View original post 975 more words

Unspoken Promises Cover Reveal by Gabbie Duran

 

UP3D copy

Book Title: Unspoken Promises (Unspoken Series #2)

Author: Gabbie S. Duran

Release Date: June 11, 2014

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19298511-unspoken-promises

 

Synopsis

“I promise to never let go…”

That was Abigail’s unspoken promise to Matt the night she thought she found her happily ever after. But just as quickly, her promise will be put to the test as Matt’s past returns and threatens to tear them apart.

Abigail may be forced to walk away from the only place she now calls home, unless she can find the strength in her heart to stay and fight for Matt.

With every unspoken promise made to each other, can they learn to push beyond their past, or will they allow it to split them apart?

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About The Author

Gabbie Duran

Gabbie is a Southern California native, who currently lives in Washington with her wonderful husband, two amazing kids and a senior citizen kitty. When she’s not writing you can find her reading or sneaking off for a run. Some might say it’s a crazy life, but she wouldn’t change anything about it.

 Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads Author Page

Start Abigail and Matt’s story here….

UM Amazon GR SWUnspoken Memories (Unspoken Series #1) | Goodreads

She awoke with no memory of who she was, but one clue will lead her to him…

Abigail Adams had it all, she’s a gorgeous supermodel, has a wealthy fiancé, and a career on the rise. But that quickly changes when she wakes up in the hospital not remembering anything. The only memories she does have are not her own, but of a total stranger.

When Abigail discovers that her fiancé has been cheating on her, she leaves him and runs to the arms of the one man she is hoping will give her the answers she seeks.

Matt Garcia is used to playing the field, keeping his heart guarded, but then Abigail Adams unexpectedly shows up at his door hoping he will be the answer she is looking for. Will he finally learn to take a break from his no strings attached lifestyle and show her that she doesn’t need her past, but the future he is willing to offer her?

With every unspoken memory she regains, will she learn to open up her heart to a total stranger, or will she keep it guarded like he does?  

Buy Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble

Other Books by Gabbie

With Me EbookWith Me (Standalone)

Goodreads

What happens when you take a chance one night … make a decision that will change your life forever?

Kasey Wilson, the girl next door, had a crush on the boy next door … Joseph Mitchell was that boy.

Kasey was left with the consequences of her decision when Joseph left her behind, leaving for the Marine Corps. She never thought she would see Joseph again, leaving her to continue on with her life, moving forward.

But fate has a way of intervening …

Joseph Mitchell always lived with the regret of walking away that night, never to see Kasey again. Finally ready to settle down, he’s now engaged to someone else. But when he finds Kasey again, he learns of a secret she’s been keeping, a secret that will change both their lives forever.

Can they finally have the relationship they never had? Or will Joseph be forced to walk away again?

Buy Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

Writing Process Blog Tour

The wonderful Claudia Whitsitt invited me to join this fun blog tour: My Writing Process. I’m super excited to give you a tour inside my head, but first let’s learn a bit about Claudia. Writing from crazy personal experience, Claudia’s written a string of fabulous mystery romance novels: The Samantha Series: IDENTITY ISSUES, INTIMACY ISSUES, and INTERNAL ISSUES. Word is, another novel, THE WRONG GUY is to hit shelves soon! Exciting stuff going on, so be sure to check out her blog: http://www.claudiawhitsitt.com.

What am I working on?

Not going crazy? Just kidding, well, kind of… Seriously though, I’ve a new series slated to come out this summer. DISTRACTION is a New Adult Contemporary Romance. I’m super excited to get Distraction out to readers! Unfortunately, this meant Hope’s Deceit (The Fated, #2)  has been on the back burner, but the story is coming along nicely. I’m hoping to finish HD2 early this summer! *Encouraging messages are always welcome 😉 *

 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hope’s Decree is Young Adult, Paranormal Romance dealing with Greek mythology. Sounds like every other YA PNR out there, right? Or perhaps not… I really wanted something fresh and chose Pandora’s Box. Not too many stories expand on this particular myth. Hope’s Decree is an extension of Pandora’s Box; HD more or less tells what happened after Pandora released a ton of bad juju on mortals. Mix in high school drama, smexy Watcher(s) and bad-ass Rogues, a destiny to fulfill, falling in love and you’ve got one hell of a story.  DISTRACTION is about going after what you want. Taking your own path instead of the one chosen for you. I LOVE Distraction, like so hard. Born and raised in TEXAS, football is a big deal and so Distraction was born. HD took 3 years to finish and Distraction took 2 years. Woohoo, I’m getting faster, eh. O_O *head —> desk*

 

Why do I write what I do?

I write romance and will always write the gushy stuff, because I’m a hopeless romantic. My poor husband, nah, he’s pretty good. Aside from writing romance, I love writing angst, push-pull types of relationships. Why? Because life is about the up’s and down, and coming out better for your struggles in the end. Not everything in life works out the way you plan. You fall, pick yourself back up, and start over. I’m a big supporter in women finding who they are on their own, falling in love but not losing the person they are due to a relationship. Instead, both people work together as equal parts of a whole. <~ I told you, gushy stuff.

 

How does your writing process work?

I have to work with music and I’m a bit superstitious. Like, if I have an idea about what’ll happen next and a song from that particular WIP’s playlist comes on the radio, I then run with my idea. I’m weird like that. I can write just about anywhere. I have three kiddos (not including husband) so I’m used to noise and chaos they provide. I have a few different beverages while I work: coffee, water and sometimes a glass of wine for the emotional scenes. I’m a fly by the pants type of chick. Ideas flow and I write, but I can’t jump to the end. I have to write in order which really sucks sometimes.

Coming up next week:

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Fellow Untold Press author and friend, Lynn Vroman is super sweet and everyone should be sure to follow (okay, stalk) her. With a degree in English Literature, Lynn used college as an excuse to read for four years straight. She writes fantasy, dabbling in literary, both novels and short stories. She and her husband are also busy raising the four most incredible human beings on the planet. Her debut novel, TAINTED (Energy, #1), releases winter of 2015 with Untold Press.  Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website

 

Me

Evan Grace is a Midwesterner and self-proclaimed nerd, Evan has been an avid reader most of her life, but five years ago got bit by the writing bug, and it quickly became her addiction, passion and therapy. Evan’s Starting Over Series: STARTING OVER,  and SECOND CHANCES heats up every page with sexy characters and crazy good dialogue.  Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Gabbie Duran

Gabbie Duran is a Southern California native who lives with her wonderful husband, two amazing kids and a senior citizen kitty. When she’s not writing you can find her reading or sneaking off for a run. Some might say it’s a crazy life, but she wouldn’t change anything about it. Gabbie and I are recent pals who just happen to live in the same crazy town! Super fun and fabulous, Gabbie writes nothing but awesomeness in: WITH ME, and from her Unspoken Series: UNSPOKEN MEMORIES, and UNSPOKEN PROMISES. Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter 

 

 

Leading Her Witness Cover Reveal with Cheryl Ann Smith

Title: Leading Her Witness
Author: Cheryl Ann Smith 
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: October 13, 2014
Publisher:  Tulip Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s Tours
Synopsis:
Goons, deadbeats, and murder: A tenacious process server’s unconventional techniques get her into loads of trouble. So much so that her boss jokes that he keeps the coroner on speed dial just in case. Still, most of Andie Dixon’s job is pretty tame if she doesn’t count snapping dogs and homeowners squirting her with garden hoses. That changes when she serves papers on a notorious crime boss and puts her life in real jeopardy. But despite this close call, Andie will not let threats keep her from doing her job. She puts the matter behind her until a hunky U.S. Marshal tracks her down and solicits her help to find the fugitive. Again. At first Andie adamantly refuses, but eventually agrees when she’s swayed by the Marshal’s persistence and rather dreamy brown eyes. However, when crime boss Sammy Gilroy, finds out she’s back and close on his heels, he threatens to make her disappear for good this time.


A fan of romance fiction since the dark ages, author Cheryl Ann Smith loves to throw her heroines into danger, just to see what they’ll do. Her dream of publication came true in 2011 when the first in her historical romance series came out with Berkley Sensation. And just this year, she sold a new contemporary series to Tulip Romance, thus allowing her to mix her crazy sense of humor with suspenseful elements to write about process server, Andie Dixon, the kick-ass heroine Cheryl has always wanted to be.
Cheryl lives in Michigan with her family, two cats and a very hairy dog. She enjoys outdoor adventures and traveling, when she has the time, and hopes to make her first visits to Europe and Australia in the very near future.

The Luthier’s Apprentice Release Day Blitz

Title: The Luthier’s Apprentice
Author: Mayra Calvani       
Genre: YA Paranormal FantasyHosted by: Lady Amber’s Tours
Promo blurb:
Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), one of the greatest violinists who ever lived and rumored to have made a pact with the devil, has somehow transferred unique powers to another…  
When violinists around the world mysteriously vanish, 16-year-old Emma Braun takes notice.  But when her beloved violin teacher disappears… Emma takes charge. With Sherlock Holmes fanatic, not to mention gorgeous Corey Fletcher, Emma discovers a parallel world ruled by an ex-violinist turned evil sorceress who wants to rule the music world on her own terms.
But why are only men violinists captured and not women? What is the connection between Emma’s family, the sorceress, and the infamous Niccolò Paganini?
Emma must unravel the mystery in order to save her teacher from the fatal destiny that awaits him.  And undo the curse that torments her family—before evil wins and she becomes the next luthier’s apprentice…


Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to nonfiction to paranormal fantasy novels. She’s had over 300 articles, short stories, interviews and reviews published in magazines such as The WriterWriter’s Journal and Bloomsbury Review, among others. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now resides in Brussels, Belgium.
Connect with the author on the Web:

Purchase links:


The Luthier’s Apprentice
Chapter One
Brussels, Belgium
Present day
Sixteen-year old Emma Braun got off the school bus and strode down Stockel Square toward her home. She glanced up at the October sky and wrapped her wool scarf tighter around her neck. Heavy dark clouds threatened a downpour.  
As she passed a newspaper stand, the headlines on The Brussels Gazette caught her attention:
ANOTHER VIOLINIST VANISHES!
Emma stopped. For a moment she could only stare. She dug into her jacket pocket for coins and bought a copy.
The newspaper article left her stunned. Not only because three well-known violinists had gone missing in the last several months, but because the latest one was her teacher, Monsieur Dupriez.
The news story seemed so hard to believe, she stopped at the next street corner to read it one more time.
It was the last week of October, and the shops and homes were lightly adorned with Halloween decorations. Pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns sat on doorsteps. Witches, broomsticks, and black cats hunkered down in windows and shops. Just last evening, Emma had sauntered along this street with her best friend Annika, unconcerned and looking forward to Halloween. Now, everything had turned dark and ominous.
The strange incidents she had experienced for the past two weeks added to her stress.
At first she had thought they were a string of coincidences, but not anymore. While scowling at obnoxious Billie Lynam during school recess, for instance, she wished he would fall flat on his face… and half a minute later, her wish was granted. On various occasions she guessed people’s thoughts before they spoke. And yesterday, on her way home from school, she accurately guessed the meal her mom had left on the table for her.
Was she some kind of a psychic? If so, why now? People didn’t develop powers like these overnight. Did they?
She hadn’t told her mom about her new abilities yet; only Annika knew. Maybe she would tell her mom today, after she shared the news about Monsieur Dupriez.
As Emma approached her home, she quickened her step. By the time she reached the door she was almost running. She raced into the hallway and dropped her book bag on the floor.
“Mom!” she called, looking in the kitchen, then in the living room. The house was silent. “Mom!” she called again, racing up the stairs to the bedrooms. Entering her mother’s room, Emma found her sitting very still on the bed with a crumpled letter in her hand.
When her mom saw her, she hastily put the crumpled piece of paper into her pocket and rose from the bed. Her arched brows were furrowed with anxiety.
Emma momentarily forgot the newspaper article. “Are you okay, Mom?”
“I’ve just received some unsettling news,” her mom said. “I must make a trip to see your Aunt Lili. She’s ill. She…I don’t know how long I’ll be gone.”
Aunt Lili? Emma frowned. More surprises. Emma had never met her mom’s eccentric only sister, who lived alone in the Hungarian mountains secluded in an old chateau surrounded by dark woods—or so her mom said. Though again, her mom hardly ever mentioned her.
“What’s wrong with Aunt Lili?” Emma asked. “Can’t I come with you?” She had always been intrigued by her mysterious aunt.
“No. You’ll stay with Grandpa. You enjoy working with him, don’t you?” Her brown eyes met Emma’s before turning away, and though her voice sounded matter-of-fact, Emma detected a trace of ambivalence.
Emma sighed. She loved violin making with a passion, but Grandpa was a bitter taskmaster. No matter how much she tried to please him, she never could. Maybe that’s why her mom often seemed so reluctant about her apprenticeship.
“I’d rather go with you,” Emma said. “Plus, next week is holiday.” All Saints holiday week—or Toussaint, as they called it here—almost always coincided with Halloween.
“That’s out of the question. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. Besides, you can’t miss your violin lessons, not with the Christmas competition at the academy coming up soon.”
“I’m not so sure about that,” Emma said gravely, extending the newspaper.
Her mom took it. “What’s this?”
“This is why I came running up the stairs.”
Her mom read the headlines. She gasped and looked at Emma. When she finished reading, she sat on the edge of the mattress and stared into space. “Oh, my God…” she whispered.
Emma sat next to her mom. “It says Monsieur Dupriez disappeared in his study. The doors and windows were locked from the inside. The police don’t have any explanation. How can this happen? It’s not logical. It’s not humanly possible.”
“No, not humanly possible…”
“Just like the other three—that German violinist, the French one, the American. Nobody has explained their disappearances. Who would want to kidnap violinists?” When her mom didn’t answer, she began to gnaw at her fingernail.
As if by reflex, her mom pulled Emma’s hand away from her mouth.
“Sorry,” Emma mumbled. “I’m just worried about him.”
“Poor Madame Dupriez. We must visit her. She must be in quite a state.”
“Can you call her now?”
Her mom sighed. “I will. In a moment.” She looked at Emma, her features softening. Gently, she smoothed Emma’s glossy chestnut locks and side fringe away from her face. “Don’t worry, everything will be fine. You mustn’t be afraid.”
“Afraid? Why would I be afraid?”
“I mean, about Monsieur Dupriez.” Her mom appeared flustered.
“I’m not afraid. I’m worried, and angry. I want to find out what happened to him. Without him, I don’t even want to take part in the competition.”
Monsieur Dupriez had been Emma’s teacher since she was four years old. But more than teacher, he was her mentor.
“You will do your best at the competition—with or without Monsieur Dupriez. Do you hear me?” her mom said. Then her voice softened. “Listen, darling, I know how close you are to Monsieur Dupriez, but you cannot allow his disappearance to destroy your chances at the competition. I’m not asking you to win, only to do your best. You have great talent, a gift, and your duty is to use it to the best of your ability. Never forget this. Monsieur Dupriez would never want you to forget this.”
“You still haven’t told me what’s wrong with Aunt Lili,” Emma said, changing the conversation. “Why must you go to her now, after all these years?”
Looking into Emma’s face, her mom hesitated, as if unable to decide what—or how much—to say. “You know she’s always been ill, a recluse. She…” She rose from the bed and walked to the window, then opened the curtain. It had started raining, the drops pelted against the glass. “This time it’s serious. She may die.”
Emma couldn’t help feeling a twinge of suspicion. She hated distrusting her mom, whom she loved more than anything in the world, but this time her mom was lying. Emma trusted that feeling, another of her freaky new abilities. She felt an overwhelming urge to chew her fingernails, but tried to control herself. For her mom, a violinist’s hands were a work of art.
“But what’s wrong with her? What kind of disease does she have?” Emma insisted.
“Her heart is very weak.” Her mom turned away from the window to face Emma. Her voice was laced with impatience.
And again Emma thought: She’s lying.
“Please don’t worry about it,” her mom went on in a lighter tone. “I’ll try to come back soon.”
“How soon?”
“As soon as I can manage.”
“Grandpa is always in such a nasty mood,” Emma complained.
“Well, that isn’t news, is it?” Her mom stared down at the floor, as if absorbed by her own thoughts. After a pause, she added, “He’s old and his back always hurts. You know that.”
“I love Grandpa, but he’s so freaking…” She tried to come up with the right word. Bizarre.  Instead she said, “Mysterious. You know, with his violins.”
Her mom looked at Emma and frowned, as if waiting for her to say more.
“You know what I mean, Mom. With that room at the top of the stairs. The one that’s always locked.”
Her mom’s features hardened. “He keeps his most valuable pieces in there. You must never disobey him. He would be very disappointed.”
“Who said I would go in there?” Emma asked, trying to sound innocent. If there was something she intended to do, it was going inside that room. Once she’d almost been successful. For some crazy reason, Grandpa had forgotten to lock it one day. But the instant she touched the doorknob, he had called her from the bottom of the stairs, his wrinkled features twisted into a mask that had left her frozen. He had appeared enraged and afraid at the same time.
“When are you leaving?” Emma asked, shaking off the past to focus on the present issue.
“As soon as possible. Tomorrow, probably. I’ll get the plane tickets today.”
“Mom…”
“Emma, please. If you’re going to complain or say anything negative, I don’t want to hear it.”
Fine. Obviously, this wasn’t the best time to bring up her new psychic powers. She headed to the door.
“Where are you going?” her mom asked.
“To my room.”
“I’ll call Madame Dupriez to see if we may visit her after dinner. In the meantime, I want you to pack. You’re moving to Grandpa’s tomorrow.”
In her room, Emma dragged her suitcase from the top shelf in the closet and set it on the floor.
“Hi, Sweetie,” she said to Blackie, her rabbit. “Want to get some exercise?” She opened the cage door so Blackie could hop out and roam about her room. Blackie was housebroken, and smart as a cat—or close to it.  
She stared at the elegant taffeta gown hanging from her wardrobe door, a strapless design a la Anne Sophie Mutter she’d already bought for the upcoming violin competition.
She sighed.
Slumped on the bed, Emma wondered for the umpteenth time about Monsieur Dupriez’s strange disappearance.
Where could he be?