2016 New Adult Scavenger Hunt
Hello Everyone! I'm please to announce that we will be participating in the Spring New Adult Scavenger Hunt!! The Hunt runs from Thurs 4/28 @ 12pm EST until Sun May 5/1 @ 12pm EST.
We are SUPER excited to announce that The Syndicate (Timewaves Book One) has a release date: March 1, 2016! In the not-to-distant future, we will send out the pre-order links for the major retailers! So stayed tuned!
As always, thank you all for your support!
P.S. For all of you waiting on Inescapable release news, we promise we'll have more concrete dates coming soon. We are hard at work right now writing the next installment in Talia & Erik's tale.
P.P.S. For those of you who have been asking about Vacant Voices, the third and final book in the Blind Barriers Series, we apologize for not having much updates quite yet. BUT, this too is something we are hard at work on!
This year my writing group (more just a group of friends who all happen to write) has decided to do a short story project. Each month we will be writing a short story based off of a prompt to help us improve our writing. We are posting the stories unedited/unaltered/unrevised--no delete key allowed. In the interest of honesty, I will say that my stories have been spell-checked :) Since I wasn't sure what to do with my stories once I wrote them, besides share them with my writing group, I decided to share them with you guys! Eventually, I MAY expand some of these into full novels. If you really like one of the stories, please let me know! Those stories that you guys are most interested in will be the ones I consider turning into novels and/or a series--starting in 2017. I say "consider" because these stories are written on the fly, with no planning and/or outlining or discussion, so I don't actually know where they are going :)
Here is the first one, based off of the following prompt: The dusty, old book lay on the table just begging to be read.
Daughters of Death
The dusty old book was sitting there, just begging to be read. Cora guessed that the cover had once been red, but the aged leather now appeared brown and cracked. Gold lettering spelled out one word: Liberte. She’d found the relic in her grandmother’s attic two weeks prior, while cleaning out the house after the family matriarch had lost her long battle with cancer. Neither Cora’s cousins or her brother, Nathan, had expressed any interest in the book.
“It’s probably not even in English,” Nathan had declared.
“It’s probably not even readable,” her cousin, Mabel, had added.
Cora agreed with both sentiments, but something about the book called to her all the same. Maybe it was because Nana Rose had been more like a mother to her than a grandmother. She’d raised Cora and Nathan after their parents died in a car accident when Cora was just eight.
“Besides,” Mabel had added, when Cora didn’t immediately throw the book into the junk pile, “how are you going to open it? That is a combination lock, and we all know how loopy Nana Rose could be.”
This too was true. But again, Cora couldn’t find it in herself to throw away any of her grandmother’s possessions, particularly one that had been packed away with Nana Rose’s wedding dress.
“Six digits,” Cora muttered to herself, tapping her forefinger against her chin, just as she always did when in deep thought.
Though the book was old, the lock was new—well, newish, anyway. The gold was smooth and unblemished and gleamed in the late afternoon sun streaming through the window of Cora’s Manhattan studio apartment.
“Okay, so the combination must be something she’d come up with not long before her death,” Cora reasoned, thinking aloud to help workout the problem. She rose from the sofa and began pacing the area in front of her coffee table, where the book lay motionless.
“Birthdays are obvious,” Cora said to the air.
A sharp cackle made Cora stop in her tracks. She whirled around, seeking the source of the noise. Her TV was off. The laptop sitting open on her desk was running a slideshow of pictures of Cora and Nana Rose, which meant the screensaver was on. Cora strained to listen, hoping the sound would come again. It didn’t. But the faint echo of feet scuffling across a hardwood floor was just barely audible.
“Must be old Mr. Cranson in 2B,” Cora remarked aloud.
Mr. Cranson was her next-door neighbor and made an alarming amount of noise for a man pushing ninety. He was also hard of hearing, so his television was always set to max volume.
Cora returned her attention to the book. She picked it up off of the coffee table and turned it over in her hands. Her fingers began to vibrate and her blood began to hum, as though the words inside the leather-bound exterior were calling to her. Slowly, Cora turned the dials on the combination lock one by one, entering Nana Rose’s birthday: 1-1-1-1-1-1, for November 11, 1911. She waited, fully expecting the two portions of the lock to spring apart and reveal the secrets inside. But nothing happened.
“Anticlimactic,” Cora grumbled.
Next she tried her grandfather’s birthday. He’d died before Cora was born, but the love story between Joe and Rose Catrel was epic. Nana Rose had never remarried, let alone looked at another man, after her husband’s death.
Those numbers didn’t work either.
Growing frustrated, Cora tried her own birthday to no avail. Nathan’s birthday also proved a failure.
“Think,” Cora demanded of herself. “This isn’t rocket science.”
Her computer beeped. Cora swiveled her head around to find the password box up on the screen. Dots began to appear in the box, as though someone was trying to enter Cora’s password to unlock the computer. Her heart began to pound. That wasn’t possible, she was alone in the apartment.
Cora stared at the screen, transfixed. The eyeball icon beside the box lit up, and letters replaced the dots. Opposite, it read.
All her life, odd things had happened around Cora. Nothing that couldn’t be explained away by Nathan, a staunch pessimist when it came to all things supernatural, but Cora had always wondered if there wasn’t more too the bizarre occurrences.Or maybe she’d just hoped there was more too them. Like maybe her parents were watching over her from beyond the grave.
Even still, this—invisible fingers typing on her computer—was a whole new level of odd.
“Too many letters,” Cora told the computer, her voice calm despite the flurry of fear inside of her.
In response, the computer deleted the word, typed in a new word: Birthday.
Exasperated, Cora threw her hands up into the air and proclaimed, “Whose birthday? I’ve already tried several.”
This time, it was Cora’s phone that answered her plea for help. Her text ringtone sang out the opening bars of Stairway To Heaven. Which Cora found confusing, since that wasn’t the ringtone she’d programmed in. She grabbed the phone from the charging station and swiped across the screen to read the text.
Sender Unknown: Nana Rose.
That was it; that was the entire message. But it didn’t make any sense. Cora had already tried using Nana Rose’s birthday.
The laptop dinged again, invisible fingers repeating the keystrokes for the first entry: Opposite.
Cora took a deep breath and blew it out through her nose.
Okay, what’s the opposite of a birthday, she thought. Death day. The epiphany came to her with the suddenness of a light bulb switching on. Only, it made less sense than the fact that she was taking advice from an unseen being. How could Nana Rose have possibly used her death day as a password when she hadn’t known when she was going to die?
Or had she?
Cora had always believed that Nana Rose was clairvoyant—how else had the old woman known that her daughter, Cora’s mother, was dead before emergency crews arrived at the scene of the accident? Then there was the time her grandmother had predicted Nathan was going to meet the woman who would become his wife, advising him to “dress smartly” for the blind date and be sure to mention that Nathan was a train enthusiast. Their mutual love of trains was what had sealed the deal, and nine months later Nathan dropped to one knee and asked Meg to be his wife.
Desperation to read the contents of the book made Cora take the hint and run with it. What was the worst that could happen, right?
Her fingers trembled as she entered the six digits: 1-2-1-2-1-2.
The lock sprang open, as did the book itself. Cora stared wonderingly down at the yellowed sheets of velum. At first, the words were indecipherable, written in a language Cora did not read. Then, the inky black scrawl began to glow, turning an electric shade of blue. Startled, Cora fumbled the book like a poorly thrown football. She sank to the floor. Cross-legged, she propped the book between her knees and read the heading at the top of the page.
Dedication: For my granddaughter, Cora Carmichel. She is worthy where others are not.
Had Nana Rose written this book? And if so, when? And what did it mean, “She is worthy where others are not”? Was her grandmother referring to Nathan, the nonbeliever? Or Cora’s cousins? All of who thought Nana Rose nutty as a candy bar?
Just as Cora was about to flip to the next page, the book performed the task for her. The pages flapped as though an invisible wind that Cora did not feel were present in the apartment. Finally, they stopped moving, settling on a page titled, The Daughters of Death. It was enough to make Cora regret her decision to open the lock.
The Daughters of Death? What did it mean? Cora wondered.
The letters began to glow again, enticing Cora to continue reading despite her reservations.
Lyla, the seventh daughter, was gifted the ability of death sight. She alone could say when a soul was due to pass through the veil. She alone could alter lifelines. She alone was worthy of bequeathing her gift upon her descendants. Her power, though most morbid of the seven, was the greatest by far.
Before Cora could read any farther, the pages began to move once again. This time, they stopped on a page headed, The Sons of Joy.
Isaac, the lone son, was gifted the ability of joy sight. With a single touch, he alone could see the events that would prove most joyful in a person’s life. His was a power that could be used for great goodness or great evil, for he alone could decide whether to intervene to redirect the course of a life. He alone was worthy of bequeathing his gift upon his descendants.
Once again, before Cora could read any farther, the book chose not to let her. It stopped for a third time on the very last page.
A millennium will pass before the gifts are united on this plane. The descendants will converge as one into a single sole, and she alone will hold the Power. She alone will decide the fate of mankind in this realm. She will be known throughout the galaxy as Fulcrum. She will be called Esteria.
“I have always told you that you were special, my dear child. You will soon learn how special you truly are.”
The voice was soft and syrupy and reminded Cora of lazy Sundays reading by the fire and big breakfasts of homemade pancakes and smoked sausages. It brought tears to her eyes. She blinked and looked up. Nana Rose, dressed in her favorite pink cardigan and white pants, stood before her. The old woman’s gray curls were expertly styled, as though she’d just returned from her weekly trip to the salon. She was just as Cora remembered her, save the sword strapped to her back.
Nana Rose held out her hand to Cora. Despite the translucent nature of her grandmother, Cora somehow knew that if she took the hand it would feel solid. And it did. Nana Rose pulled Cora to her feet and wrapped her thin arms around her granddaughter.
“This is a burden I would not wish for you, child. But you, Esteria Cora Carmichel, are worthy.”
Hey Guys! Since I love making lists so much, I thought I'd share one with you all--my best of 2015 list :) Not all of the picks were released in 2015 (most weren't), but they were all either read, watched, or played within the last 12 months.
Without further ado, here are our picks!
Winner: Her Story. If you haven't tried it, YOU SHOULD! And then tell us what you think, because we're dying to know what really happened...play it and you'll understand what I mean :)
Runner-up: Forever Lost
Honorable Mentions: The Room 3
Consumes Most of our time (and longest running favorite): Plague Inc. Yeah, that's right, we spend our free time killing off humanity :)
Best TV Show
Winner: Blacklist. James Spader was born to play Raymond Reddington. With a veritable wealth of one-liners and SAT vocab, not to mention creative serial killers, fascinatingly complex criminal masterminds, and a kickass soundtrack, the show never disappoints. Fair warning: It's not for the faint at heart. The violence, while not gratuitous, makes even both of us self-proclaimed horror movie aficionados cringe and look away from the screen at times.
Runner-up: iZombie. Wasn't sure we'd like it when we started watching, but the fact it was created by Rob Thomas was reason enough to give it a try. This show is a must for VMars fans everywhere.
Honorable Mention: The Flash. Much as I enjoy watching Oliver Queen run around shirtless as the Arrow, I feel like Barry Allen and I are kindred spirits, save the whole super power-running-at-the-speed-of-light thing. And Cisco is the best supporting character ever.
Longest Running Favorite/Most frequently re-watched: Veronica Mars. It sucks us back in every single time we see it come up under Amazon's recommendations. And, somehow, the epic love story between Logan and Veronica never gets old. [SPOILER ALERT] Sure, once V gets together with Piz the show sort of loses something, but the movie sets right that egregious error in the season 3 story arc, though I'm sure if the show hadn't been unceremoniously cancelled way before it's shelf-life was over, the writers would have corrected this mistake much sooner :)
Winner: The Giver. Yes, I know that not everyone thought much of this adaptation. And yes we were both hesitant to watch a film based on one of our favorite books EVER. But, ultimately, The Giver was an excellent movie that stood out from the pack.
Runner-up: Interstellar. More than anything this movie was a surprise. Neither of us thought it would be our thing, but we both enjoyed it immensely.
Honorable Mention: Entourage. The movie itself was nothing extraordinary, but watching Vinny Chase and Co. take the big screen was well worth the two hours and $15 we spent for the pleasure of doing so. It gave us the opportunity to spend a little more time with one of our all time favorite characters: Ari Gold.
Winner: The Syndicate. Okay, yes, we wrote it, so that means we are just a smidgen bias. And yes, it will not be released until 2016, but we have never let a technicality like that stand in our way. We are so excited to share Stassi's story with the world! A blend of sci/fi, historical fiction, and romance, with a salting of magic thrown into the pot for flavor, we hope that it will appeal to a wide range of readers who will all, fingers crossed, want to take a trip through the spinning vortex and be transported to the world we have spent the last year living in :)
Runner-up: Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones. Jones' Charlie Davidson series has long since been one of my absolute favorites. Apparently a grim reaper, the son of Satan, and hellhounds running amok in New Mexico make for one truly addicting series. I am currently counting down the days until my pre-ordered copy of book nine appears in my digital library.
Honorable Mention: Storm of Lightning by Richard Paul Evans. This is the fifth book in Evans' Michael Vey series, all of which I have enjoyed. I will say that, unlike the previous books, this one was short and left me feeling a little unsatisfied. The epic adventure of the previous books was missing from this one, and a lot of the story took place away from Michael and his band of merry cohorts. So why did I give this book an honorable mention, you might ask. Well, because I love this series so much that even with these issues, I still wanted to go back, and did go back, and re-read the entire series after finishing SoL, which to me is the mark of a good book :)
Other noteworthy books we read this year:
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I read this book as research for the Syndicate. I figured I'd find it an interesting read, but hadn't thought it would be so engaging. Once I started, I found myself racing through the pages to learn more and more about Hemingway's life in Paris during the 1920's. I even reread several of the more captivating chapters just because.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan. This was definitely a surprise like for me. Ordinarily I wouldn't have picked it up, since it lacks certain aspects that I typically look for in my pleasure reading, like say anything out of the realm of reality or a sadistic killer. I decided to read The Royal We after stumbling across an article online about it being made into a movie that both the mom from Gilmore Girls and the chick who played the Duff were already attached to. Because I love them both, I immediately ran out (to my computer) to purchase the book. And I was so very glad that I did.
We'd love to hear what you all found most entertaining this year! We are always looking for more/better/different ways to procrastinate :)
Happy New Year to all of you! And as always, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, for all of your support!
Love all of us at Sophie Davis Books,
--Hannah, Tabitha, Mary, Phia, Talia, Erik, Lark, Raven, Blake, Asher, Stassi, Gaige, Molly, and Charles!
Happy Holiday everyone!
In the spirit of keeping you all apprised of our progress on things, here's a status update:
- The Syndicate:
I know, it sucks that we had to put this release off! We will have an update of what's happening within a week, so hold right!
- ARC Review list:
Due to an amazingly overwhelming response to our initial call for ARC reviewers, we are closing the list at this time. If people leave or are removed (which will only happen if reviews aren't posted), we will open it up again. Thank you so much for your support!
- 2016 Releases:
I know, every year we put out an over-ambitious hopeful release schedule for the coming year... and this is no different! We are going to work uber hard to try to get all of these books out in 2016, but keep in mind that this is *tentative*! Keep checking back here for updates as we work on the books.
late December 2015: TBA
late February 2016: INESCAPABLE! (Talented Saga #6)
June 2016: Atlic (Timewaves #2)
early September 2016: Vacant Voices (Blind Barriers Trilogy #3)
December 2016: Title TBA (Timewaves #3)
Ambitious? Hell yes! But we're going for it :) Let's all just keep our fingers crossed that our health stays good and there aren't any major catastrophes in 2016.
- Staying connected with you, our awesome readers!
I know we say this all the time, but... 2016 will be the year of videos from us! We haven't figured out specifics (youtube? vimeo? that new one? any advice on making videos and where to post them would be HUGELY helpful), but we're planning to update you guys around once/month live from our crazy world. Comment on this post with reader questions you'd like answered, tags you'd like to see us do, or any other ideas! One lucky contributor will win a free signed book of their choice, just because we love you guys.
And finally: Happy Holidays to everyone! I know this time of year is typically about gifts (I do love shopping for people), but it's also the time of year to go out of your way to do good deeds, use extra kindness, and help out others. Be sweet, muster patience for those who work in retail, be generous with your time, and enjoy the season!
Both Sophies <3
The time has finally come, the Inescapable cover is HERE. Well, sort of. Each day this week, one AMAZING blog will reveal a piece of the cover. Then, on Friday, each participating blog will reveal the ENTIRE cover (it will be on my website as well). If you haven't signed up for the newsletter yet, now is the time to do so. Talia (and possibly Erik :)) will be sending out release day updates and news alerts, including the pre-order links for Inescapable as soon as they are available.
Now, for the first piece of the Inescapable cover puzzle:
So here's a quick update on The Syndicate... we are postponing the release indefinitely. Not because the book isn't done, but because of its potential. Odds are that we will still self-publish it, but we'll keep you posted on the book's status.
What does this mean for the release of Inescapable? Absolutely nothing :) We will still be throwing ourselves into working on it the moment we're finished polishing The Syndicate, and doing NaNoWriMo for it. It is our hope to have it come out at the end of this year, but definitely by the end of January. Again, we will keep you posted!
For all release news and the most up-to-date info, be sure to sign up for my newsletter on the top right side of this page.