It’s a busy time here at Patchwork Press with lots of new releases. Puppet by Pauline C. Harris came out last week, Grimm Memories comes out in just two days and on Friday we’ve got the next book in the Ennara series. Angela is one of our newest authors and we couldn’t be more excited about her next book. Be sure to check out book one, Ennara and the Fallen Druid!

9781927940105

When strange accidents start happening around thirteen year-old necromancer Ennara and her friends, she must search for the mysterious stolen artifacts causing the attacks while learning the highest form of magic–the spells that could prevent the fruition of a terrible prophecy.

Learn more at AngelaMyron.com

(and come on, how amazing is that cover)

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATCHWORK PRESS!

We have a tradition in my family that my mother started and I’ve carried on for my own kids. Birthdays are a big deal and we always pull out all the stops and create a homemade cake for the celebration.

 

The famous unicorn cake for my sisters seventh birthday. Surprisingly, my dad decorated it.

The famous unicorn cake for my sister’s seventh birthday. Surprisingly, my dad decorated it.

I would be the cutie in the blue dress.

I would be the cutie in the blue dress.

Some of my more recent celebratory confections…

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So what better way to celebrate Patchwork Press’s birthday, than an original cake creation? I asked the other members of our fledgling publishing company to contribute favorite cake flavors and ideas and this is what I came up with.

Neapolitan Birthday Cake

Cake

1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs at room temperature

2 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting the pans

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp table salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup chocolate chips, melted

1/3 cup strawberry preserves

1/3 cup vanilla curd

Vanilla Curd

1/3 cup sugar

5 tsp cornstarch

1 vanilla bean, halved, split and scraped

10 oz milk

1 egg

1/3 tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry/Chocolate Filling

½ lb strawberries washed, hulled and sliced into quarters

pinch of salt

½ cup sugar

1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter

4 eggs

1/3 cup chocolate chips

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 stick butter (8 Tbsp), softened

2 cups confectioners (powedered) sugar

1/8 tsp table salt

4 Tbsp milk or heavy cream

¼ cup vanilla curd

Take heart, I’ll be walking you through it.

Vanilla curd first. This is actually an old family recipe that’s really versatile. It can be used for vanilla pudding, ice cream, served warm over blackberry cobbler (my favorite use), or added to cakes.

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Place milk, sugar, vanilla, and egg in a saucepan on medium heat. Whisk together.

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Add a few teaspoons COLD water to the cornstarch, stir until smooth, and whisk it in too. Take the vanilla bean, slice open, and scrape out the insides. Add that to your pot. Cook for ten minutes until thick. It should look something like this.

 

See the lovely vanilla beans speckling the curd? Yum!

See the lovely vanilla beans speckling the curd? Yum!

Set that aside and let it cool. Now to the cake.

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The key to light fluffily cake, is the creaming of the butter and sugar. So put the 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 1 3/4 sugar in a bowl and beat for three minutes on medium high. I have a stand mixer and it makes this process so much easier.

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Next, dry ingredient always go with dry, wet with wet. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir those together.

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In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk and vanilla together.

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We’ll be adding the wet and dry ingredients separately and alternately, starting with the flour mixture. With the stand mixer running slowly, pour in half the flour mixture, let it combine, then add half of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat until everything is together. (Except the chocolate, strawberry preserves, and vanilla curd. We’re getting to that.)IMG_1513

Next, prepare your melted chocolate. Place the chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Take out and stir. Put back in for an additional 30 seconds. The chocolate should be smooth now.

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Here’s where the neapolitan flavors come into play. We’ll be doing what’s called a marbling effect to combine the chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla into one cake.

Divide the batter equally into three bowls. Add the strawberry preserves to one bowl, the chocolate to the second bowl and the vanilla curd to the third.IMG_1524

 

Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by covering them with cooking spray and sprinkling flour into them. Gently tap the pan to spread the flour around. This will keep the cake from sticking.

Carefully, starting with the lightest batter (the vanilla) pour about a fourth of the batter into the center of each of the 9-inch cake pans. Pour the strawberry directly on top of the vanilla, letting the batter fall and spread naturally. Then pour the chocolate, repeating with all flavors until all the batter is used up.

It should look something like this.

It should look something like this.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch.

And while that’s baking… the filling.

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Take your 1/2 pound of strawberries and run through a food processor until chunky. Slowly add the sugar while the food processor is running until you get a smooth strawberry puree.

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Pour your puree, butter, eggs, and salt into the top of a double boiler. If you don’t have one, like me, a glass bowl on top of a pot of water works just fine. Boil 2 inches of water in the pot, place the ingredients over it in the glass bowl. We’re still cooking things, just on indirect heat.

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Whisk the puree for 10 minutes, it should thicken slightly. Add the chocolate chips and stir slowly until they’re completely melted. The mixture should be a good spreading consistency (and completely delicious!)

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In the mean time you should have two beautiful round cakes that have come out of the oven and cooled completely.

See the pretty marbling effect?

See the pretty marbling effect?

*Tip: Remove the cakes from the pan while they’re still warm, but not hot, they’ll comes out easier. If your impatient like me for them to cool, stick them in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

If your looking for a more professional finish to your cake, you’ll need to level the two round cakes. If not, forge ahead with me.

Spread the strawberry/chocolate filling on top of one layer, gently centering the second cake on top.

On to the icing!

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Buttercream is an easy to make, easy to use icing. We’re going to enhance the vanilla flavor and make it our own by adding in the vanilla curd we made earlier.

Cream the softened butter why whipping on medium for several minutes. Again, there are fewer sore arms in the process if you’ve got a stand mixer.

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When the consistency is nice and smooth, slowly add the powdered sugar with the mixer running on low. It will be pretty stiff, which is where the milk comes in. Add that along with the vanilla curd and salt, whip until it is spreadable. You may have to tweak it with a little more milk or powdered sugar to get it just right.

There’s several different theories on getting a well frosted cake. Some say to freeze it, some say do a crumb layer, let it set, and then do another one. I’m not patient enough for either of that, so I just take a spatula and tackle it.

Not too shabby!

Not too shabby!

Here is where I fail almost every time. I cannot really decorate a cake, which is why so many past creations features coconut and fruit on the top. But I came across a new way to do lettering, so what the heck. Let’s try it.

All you need is a ziplock baggie with melted chocolate chips. The words you want to say printed off the computer (script fonts are easiest) and wax paper.

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Tape the wax paper on the table so things don’t slide around. Clip the tiniest corner off the bag. You’re going to use this like piping. With a steady hand, trace the letters in chocolate.

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You can also add sprinkles while the chocolate is still melty. Place in the freezer for about ten minutes so it hardens up. You should be able to peel the chocolate right off the wax paper and place on top of the cake.

*Note: I found this method okay. The chocolate was pretty delicate and kept melting before I could get the whole thing on the cake. I had to keep sticking it back in the freezer.

The finished product!

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Honestly, one of my prettier cakes. I was really curious to see how the marbling turned out.

Looks good enough to eat.

Looks good enough to eat.

And I do keep my own taste testers on hand. This is what they had to say about it.

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Welcome to the family Patchwork Press!

 

 

 

Keeping with Patchwork Press’s amazing birthday bash week. Full of giveaways, awesome posts, and reveals….

B2 Grimm Memories

It has been six months since Quinn and her friends returned home after barely escaping Elorium—but no one ever really leaves the world where fairy tales are born. Not a day has gone by where they haven’t thought about returning to save Jack. Even their dreams are urging them to return to the strange world.

Falling back into the fairy tale world, they find the situation even more dire than the way they left it. Jack has disappeared, and he’s not the only one. Elorium’s citizens are near panic as characters are missing and rumors are spreading about massive creatures roaming the sky. A rising darkness is enslaving the dreamers, and in a land filled with water nymphs and malevolent mazes, it’s hard to find any allies.

Despite the risks of their rescue mission, Fredrick is determined to bring back his grandfather, no matter how personal the cost.

 

I think Erica Crouch has really outdone herself on the covers for this series–and there are more to come! Grimm Memories is tentatively scheduled for release late summer of 2014.

And now, it’s time to give stuff away to thank you all for your support of Patchwork Press this past year!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Happy Birthday to Patchwork Press! We’ve had a wonderful week so far with an introduction to a new member of our team, a cover reveal and giveaway, and a fun video introduction to ‘Abberant’ from our intern, Madeline. If you haven’t checked them out, please do that! We have another treat in store for you. The second book to the ‘Painted Maidens Trilogy’ called ‘The Betrayed’ is in the editing process. Cover reveal will be coming soon. For now, I’d like to treat you all to the first chapter.!cid_80F206F85249440AB5B1B9FDC07EBC5B@Kellie

If you haven’t checked out the first book of the trilogy yet, now is your chance to get ‘The Rising’ for free! All you have to do is comment below – either let us know your favorite mermaid book or your favorite Patchwork Press book. Be sure to leave an email address in your comment so I can contact you with a free e-copy of ‘The Rising’ (sent as .pdf, .mobi, or .epub). Then sign up for our newsletter (http://www.patchwork-press.com/newsletter/) so you’ll be the first to know when ‘The Betrayed’ is available for purchase along with other great Patchwork Press titles!

The Rising by Terra Harmony
Series: The Painted Maidens Trilogy
Published by Patchwork Press Published Fall 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean—and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.

Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

Learn more about The Painted Maidens series on Terra’s blog, or see reviews on the following platforms:

The Betrayed
Book Two of the Painted Maidens Trilogy

Chapter One

After calming her fins, Serena’s natural buoyancy carries her to the surface until her head rises just above the water. The glassy coating that protects her eyes retracts, and The Dry comes into focus—shimmering bronze sand, illuminated in moonlight beckons Serena to come ashore and bury her toes. It is the shadows creeping out from the forest beyond the beach that warn her to stay away.

Serena scans the beach and the Ungainly footprints that pockmark the otherwise pristine surface. As the tide inches higher, the footprints disappear. The wind moves in to decimate what the waves do not reach, blowing granules of sand and blurring the outline of sandaled feet. Her eyes come to rest on a different set of prints–three in total. These are not Ungainly, these have claws—and they are fresh.

The werewolves have already began their patrols, barely after the last of the Ungainlies have left the beach. Each night since the King’s Massacre, one less wolf is spared for the patrols. Serena can’t decide if they are growing tired waiting or doing it to entice the Undine out.

They can’t be that smart, Serena thinks. But the predictability itself gives cause for concern. Werewolves are not predictable.

Like Liam, the one person I though could lead us on a path of peace alongside the wolves. Instead, he turned out to be one giant roadblock, and my twin brother.

Liam sustained injuries during the last battle, but they weren’t life threatening. He must be with his pack now, but the question remains—is he persona non-grata? Is he being punished because of his secret meetings with Serena? Or did they go just as he planned, leading the Undine to war ultimately resulting in the death of their king.

Serena bites her lip, and she can hear Nerin’s voice echoing in her head. A queen does not bite her lip. Serena releases her lip, instead gritting her teeth. There has been a lot of that as of late.

She considers her options, but the truth of it is, the Undine are running out of options. Cordelia is ready to give birth to the only calfling blessed to Society since Serena herself, and she’ll need a place to do it, and she needs to feel safe while doing so. Poseidon-forbid the child enter the world weak and dying. It would not be a good foretelling of Serena’s reign to come. Kelp reaches up to tickle Serena’s fins. She flicks it away.

A queen does not play with her food.

Serena grits her teeth again.

An aged skunk lumbers out of the tree line, and makes its way toward food wrappers left by beach picnickers. It noses through them, not concerned with the shadows at its back.

Would it be out if wolves are still in the area? She trusts the skunk’s nose better than her own; it has survived the forest this long.

Serena’s fins go stagnant once again, until her neck and shoulders rise above the water. The skunk pauses, looking up, but it cannot distinguish her form amongst the waves. He goes back to pawing through Ungainly trash.

Serena moves forward, already eyeing the breaker that will bring her to shore. Bubbles float up in front of her, popping open along the surface. Serena has only a split second to lean back when a golden trident shoots up, piercing the air in front of her. Three sharp barbs come into focus, inches from her nose. In between them, the blurred form of the skunk scurries back into the tree line.

The trident lowers as another Undine head breaches the surface. Serena allows herself to breath, and a small, one-sided smile creeps onto her face at the sight of sea-green eyes. “You again?”

In front of her, Kai smiles back. “You aren’t very good at sneaking out.”

“I made it to the surface this time, didn’t I?”

Kai moves his trident to his side. “Only because you had outside help. You knew the guard on watch couldn’t resist Rayne’s noodled kelp.” He sighs, briefly looking up at the moon, then back to her. “I suppose I’ll just have to take on more watches with the queen.”

Serena bits her lip.

Kai frowns. “A queen doesn’t—”

Serena splashes water at his face with both hands, effectively cutting off his reprimand. The smile is gone from her lips.

He runs his palm down his face and shakes water from his sandy hair. It has grown longer since the Queen’s Guard increased their duties; there has barely been time for them to eat, much less for personal grooming.

Serena moves around him, eyes locked on the shore. In one swift movement, his hand shoots out, grabbing her arm above the elbow.

His grip is tight, painful almost. Serena doesn’t twist away. His touch, however uncomfortable, is a welcome sensation. No one ever touches the queen.

Kai loosens his fingers, one by one, then lets go all together. He reaches down and yanks up, dragging a plucked kelp stem with him. Serena moves back, watching as he winds the brown seaweed into a tight ball around his fist. His eyes don’t leave her face.

Once done, Kai grips the ball with his other hand, turns toward the shore and takes aim. The wet ball of seaweed arcs in the air. The tail becomes loose and hisses as it vibrates back and forth. The whole thing lands with a splat on the sand, just in front of the tree line.

Not seconds later, a furry muzzle emerges, sniffing at the kelp.

Serena’s breath catches in her throat.

That damn skunk would’ve been the death of me.

The wolves have been there all along. Another muzzle shoots out, baring his teeth and forcing the other one back into the shadows. This muzzle is black, indiscernible from the dark forest besides the shiny nose and gleaming, white teeth.

Serena remembers those teeth well, tearing into the kings neck, then ripping away pieces of his beautiful, rainbow tail – the last of its kind. Alaric, first of the wolves, is out tonight. Could be that he is there every night, patrolling the shores and keeping the Undine at bay.

Serena and Kai exchange a glance as the wolves slip back into shrouded shadows. Serena nods at Kai; it is all the thanks she will give, and even that much is wholly unnecessary according to the Queen’s Guard. Kai returns the nod anyway.

“Summon Cordelia to the Great Hall,” Serena says. “We need to talk.” She turns away, preparing to dive.

Kai’s hand on her arm stops her once again. “After I escort her majesty safely back to the kingdom, of course.”

Serena glances at his hand, then back to his wild green eyes. “Of course.”

 

Happy Monday! Monday? Happy? What?! Well, you’ll have to take my word on it because this is indeed a very happy Monday! We are now only eight days away from Patchwork Press’s first birthday, and we are so so excited! One year! Can you imagine? Well, some of you can because you’ve been here with us since the beginning. But whether you were here from day one or saw your first PWP book last week, we want to say thank you for enjoying the ride with us so far.

We have a lot planned for the coming week… a lot! And we hope you’ll keep checking back for all these announcements and giveaways. They kick off tomorrow with the one and only, Erica Crouch.

But for now… Our first surprise comes from one of our interns, Madeline.

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Betsy is a junior at Towson University studying Theatre and Film. She is very passionate about acting and writing as well as reading! She is part of a film fraternity on her campus called LKT where she stars in several short films as well as helps produce and write them.  She is also a huge fan of Disney films and high action films such as Inception and Pacific Rim.

She participated in the 2013 Spring Advantage Disney College Program where she worked at Walt Disney World at Fantasmic! and the Haunted Mansion. She plans to eventually return for a Professional Internship  or an Entertainment role. She has a Youtube channel dedicated to talking about her experience about the DCP as well as a Booktube vlog.

She is working on her first novel which is temporarily titled Mudskippers. The date of completion is TBD. Some of her favorite books include Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, the Door Within and 1984. She joined Patchwork Press with the intention of learning more about the book publishing industry and what it takes to turn a manuscript into a published novel.

Social Media:
Twitter- www.twitter.com/betsyyb
Tumblr- www.comicbookactionsidekick.tumblr.com
Youtube- www.youtube.com/theatregeek4life
Goodreads- www.goodreads.com/comicbookactionsidekick.com

Wow, what a year! We just wanted to take a few minutes out of your holidays to say thank you and send our well wishes to all our readers as we move into the new year. This year has been a wild ride, and we can’t wait to see what’s coming for us next. Every one of us is already working on books for next year, as well as a collaborative project well on the way. There’s no doubt that it’s going to be a lot of fun and very, very bookish.

Patchwork Press officially started up at the beginning of May and already we’ve grown so far beyond what we initially imagined for our little, book-loving team. Seven months, fives authors and an ecclectic selection of books ranging from short story collections to full novels. And we couldn’t have done any of it without you, the readers. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you all so much for reading our stories this year, and we can’t wait to continue to share our love for all things YA with you in 2014!

Thank you again and have a very happy new year!

– The Patchwork Press family

179031161

Well, Erica Crouch has done it again–delivering a stunning, must read piece of fiction that is. Entice is out today and we highly recommend you pick it up from your digital retailer of choice A.S.A.P! Not only does this prequel novella flesh out Pen and Azael’s story, but it also hints at what could be in store for them in Incite, the final book in this wonderful series (due Spring, 2014).

Entice by Erica Crouch
Series: Ignite #1.5
Published by Patchwork Press Published November 19, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 136
Goodreads 
Synopsis: With the aftertaste of Heaven still strong, Pen and Azael cloak themselves in their new demonic destinies, fighting for Lucifer against the angels. Pen, warring against former friends turned vengeful enemies, still struggles with defecting to Hell. But in one short battle, they go from forgotten to famous, thrust into the spotlight where she has no room for uncertainty.

Suddenly top-tiered demons, they’re tasked with seeing through hell’s new agenda: corrupting man. But tarnishing Eden isn’t as simple as they thought it would be, especially when they’re forced to work with another team of demons who are trying to claw their way up the ladder of power.

download

About Erica: Erica Crouch is from the always colorful city of Baltimore. Currently, she is studying English and Creative Writing with a specialization in Fiction at Southern New Hampshire University. She is the cofounder and head of editorial services at Patchwork Press. Her debut novel, IGNITE, was published June 2013. The e-novella sequel, ENTICE, is due November 2013, and the last book in the series, INCITE, is expected Spring of 2014. Along with the YA series Ignite, she is working on publishing a New Adult series, titled the Undying series, with the first installment, CUT, due 2014. When Erica isn’t writing, she’s reading an overwhelming stack of books, watching an obscene amount of Netflix, and procrastinating.

Exciting news today! Patchwork Press is partnering up with Inaccurate Realities, an upcoming YA genre fic magazine. They’re in the midst of an IndieGoGo campaign, so we’ve offered up some bookish perks to help sweeten the pot and get people involved. So, first off… let’s hear the official pitch from the website.

Inaccurate Realities is a brand new literary magazine for young adults and the young at heart. There is no denying that people of all ages are now reading YA, but when we looked around we noticed a significant lack of publications focusing on YA short fiction – especially genre fiction. Our emphasis here are Inaccurate Realities is on speculative fiction, in all its forms. Science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, horror, dystopian, steampunk, cyberpunk, alternate history and everything in between. We are a quarterly magazine and are looking for fresh and exciting Young Adult short fiction from writers of all ages.

Awesome, right?! The Inaccurate Realities team is currently looking to raise $1250. Donations from this campaign will be split into three parts…

1) Payment for the writers and artists who contribute to Inaccurate Realities

2) First run printing costs

3) A Launch Party in Toronto

So, what are the prizes, and how can you get involved? You can get copies of the magazine, ebooks from Patchwork Press, a blog tour, and more. And if you’re a writter, they are currently taking submissions, which you can learn more about on their website.

Check out Inaccurate Realitie’s IndieGoGo campaign HERE and donate to help this wonderful project get off the ground!

The Best Book Ever Hop
Hello, hello!
So… who doesn’t like free books? Well, today Patchwork Press is taking part in the Best Book Ever Hop hosted by I’m A Reader, Not A Writer & The Best Books Ever. Patchwork Press is a new publisher of young adult, new adult and middle grade titles and we have a lot of great books on their way over the coming year. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to poke around our website and get to know us a little better.
As for our Best Books Ever category… these fall all across the board, but all in all, we’re indies at heart!
Now, onto the prizes! One winner will get all three of the following ebooks in the format of his/her choice. Happy reading!
17875224Ignite by Erica Crouch: Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed.
As Hell prepares for war – spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army – the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice.

With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark.

Follow the White Rabbit
Follow the White Rabbit by Kellie Sheridan: For centuries, Wonderland thrived as the domain of beautiful bedlam and unapologetic madness. It was a place like no other. All it took was one girl slipping in through the cracks of the universe to start chaos spiraling toward order. In the 150 years since Alice’s visit, the realm has become tainted—almost normal. Rabbits in waistcoats and playing card minions are little more than creatures of myth, and Wonderland is literally falling to pieces.
For Gwen, Rose, and Lucky, Wonderland is home, and yet they know little of its former glory. When the Alice prophecy resurfaces, they’ll have one chance to use Wonderland’s own legends to bring a little mayhem back into their reality. For she who controls Alice controls the fate of Wonderland.

MortalityMortality by Kellie Sheridan: After surviving a deadly plague outbreak, sixteen-year-old Savannah thought she had lived through the very worst of human history. There was no way to know that the miracle vaccine would put everyone at risk for a fate worse than un-death.
Now, two very different kinds of infected walk the Earth, intent on nothing but feeding and destroying what little remains of civilization. When the inoculated are bitten, infection means watching on in silent horror as self-control disappears and the idea of feasting on loved ones becomes increasingly hard to ignore.

Starving and forced to live inside of the abandoned high school, all Savannah wants is the chance to fight back. When a strange boy arrives with a plan to set everything right, she gets her chance. Meeting Cole changes everything. Mere survival will never be enough.

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