Monday, October 20, 2014

#Giveaway ~ Ghost Heart (The PSS Chronicles #3) By Ripley Patton ~ #Review #excerpts


Ghost Heart (The PSS Chronicles #3)
By Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: October 14, 2014

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In the aftermath of a brutal tragedy, Jason and Passion are on the run. Marcus is lost beyond reach, and The Hold is in shambles. If that weren't enough, Olivia Black has been taken by the CAMFers to be used as Dr. Fineman's personal lab rat in his merciless quest to uncover the mysteries of Psyche Sans Soma once and for all. But only if he can break her.

They are scattered.
They are devastated.
They are ruined.

Their only hope is Olivia's stubborn determination to thwart her captors and unlock the secrets of her ghost hand before Dr. Fineman can. Will she finally find the strength within herself to embrace the full power of her PSS?

And will it even matter if Marcus has already betrayed her?



Ghost Heart Buy Links

You can buy Ghost Hold here:

Book One Ghost Hand, is Free:



This series has quickly become one of my all time favorites now.Its intense, suspenseful, and just over all great.

I love the whole concept of the PSS , its a new original idea and love that its something I have never read about before. I love the paranormal genre over all, but feel at times the same things are wrote about with different story's and plot, but basically the same.Not so with this series.
I do not want to spoil  anything for those who had not read the first 2 books, so will keep this short.

I love the characters, and am happy that some questions we had from previous book were answered here, but of course just more questions came-up,  but know in time we will learn it all. This has just the right amount of suspense and some twist we do not see coming too.
I was saddened by a few losses, wont say who, but hate that we lost the ones we did through this series.

This 3rd book to me is the best, as it is alot with series, they build up from each book which makes it even better.

I highly recommend this whole series to any paranormal lovers, has a touch of sci-fi I think too. Its just right.

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

This review is also at Goodreads and Amazon

Note: I did this review for the author, but she has a blog blitz going on, so added the giveaway for that, the blitz info is Here, if you want to check it out. (put on by Lola's Blog Tours)


About the Author:

Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series.

Ripley doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.

You can find and contact Ripley here:






There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Ghost Heart. These are the prizes you can win:
- a set of signed cover posters (US only)
- a $10 Amazon gift card (international)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 Excerpts at bottom of post

Here is info on the 2 earlier books in series

Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles #1)
By Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age category: Young Adult

My Review

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Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.

How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.

Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.


Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2)
By Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age category: Young Adult

My Review

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Olivia Black is back.

Only this time she's not the one in need of rescue.

Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers' list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.

Olivia doesn't expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.




GHOST HEART Excerpt from Marcus's perspective

           I pressed my arm into the cartilage of my uncle's windpipe, pinning him to the door. My other hand found the lock, turning the deadbolt into place. No one was going to come rescue him now, none of his bodyguards or entourage. It was him and me, man to man. I wasn't a defenseless little boy anymore. I was bigger than he was. Younger. Stronger. All the weakness in me was gone. I had saved a life's worth of strength for this one moment.
          "David, no!" Samantha cried, moving toward us. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Passion grab her hand and hold her back.
          "They need to settle this," she said to my cousin. "You need to let them."
          Nice sentiment, but it wasn't going to happen. There was nothing for me and my uncle to settle. I was going to hurt him the way he'd hurt me and Danielle and my parents. I would run him over, leaving him mangled and abandoned beside a road somewhere. I would make him feel pain, endless, insatiable pain.
           "You killed them," I spat into his face. "You ran us into a fucking train, your own family, your own sister."
          "No," he squeezed out, trying to shake his head.
          "Yes!" I pressed my arm even harder into his throat. He didn't get to say no to me. Not ever again.
          "David," Samantha pleaded behind me, "don't do this. Let him explain."
          "There's nothing to fucking explain," I snarled at her, never taking my eyes off of him. "I was there. I know what happened."
His face was turning red and his eyes were bulging a little. He was running out of air.
          Footsteps pounded up the stairwell beyond the door. Someone downstairs had heard the noise, and they were coming to save him. Too bad there was a solid oak door between him and his lackeys. 
          "David, please," Samantha said, laying her hand gently on my bulging bicep. "He's my father."
          I turned just enough to look at her.
Passion was standing behind her, still holding her other hand.
I looked back at my uncle.
I could kill him. It would only take a little longer. He was gasping for breath now, struggling weakly under my arm.
I looked back at Sam, her eyes full of fear and pain, so like Danielle's.
          "Fuck!" I roared, pulling myself off my uncle and pacing to the window, my back turned against all of them. I was too weak. I couldn't do it. Not in front of Sam.  
          My uncle was coughing and hacking, trying to catch his breath.
          There was a loud banging at the door and the knob rattled frantically. "Everything okay in there?" a man's voice boomed. "Mr. James, are you all right?"
          "Yes, I'm fine," my uncle called back hoarsely. It was hardly convincing.
          "Sir, do you need assistance?" the voice persisted.
          "No," my uncle said, louder this time. "I'm fine. Stand down."
          "Yes sir," the voice said, but I didn't hear the guy go back downstairs. He was waiting out there for me. I'd lost my chance, my only chance. My uncle would open that door, and I'd never be alone with him again. I'd never get the satisfaction I'd yearned for all these years.
          I turned and looked at him, a pompous man in an expensive suit. God, I hated him and the look of self-righteous pity in his eyes. How could he pity me when he was the one who'd fucked up my life in the first place?
          "Why'd you do it?" I asked. I couldn't murder him in front of Sam, but I could expose him. It wasn't anything compared to what he'd done to me, but it was still something. "I want to know, really. What's your justification for killing me and my parents? I'm dying to hear it."

GHOST HEART Excerpt from Olivia's perspective

When I came to, I wasn't back in my cell. I was still handcuffed to the chair in the interrogation room with Dr. Fineman and Anthony. I was slumped over the table, my hair wet with blood from the blow to my ear. It wasn't crusting though, which meant I'd only been out a few minutes.
          "Welcome back," Anthony said, grabbing my hair and lifting my head up, leaving a brownish-red smear on the table where it had been. "No time for naps. We're not done with you yet."
          My head was spinning, and I felt like I might throw up. If I did, I would aim for the doctor.
And that's when I noticed the new guy in the room. He was a CAMFer soldier, an older guy I didn't recognize with a prominent scar across his right cheek, running from eye to chin. I did the best I could to pretend he wasn't intimidating, but he was. I had a bad feeling the torture was about to ramp up a notch. Great. Something to look forward to.
          "This is Major Tom," Dr. Fineman introduced him, smiling. "And he has somewhat of a bone to pick with you."
          Really? Major Tom? Was that his real name or was he just a huge David Bowie fan? Either way, I was pretty sure I'd never met the guy. And if he was out to get me, he should probably get in line.
          "You see," Dr. Fineman said, "The Major had a reputation as one of the best knife fighters on this continent. I say 'had' because it was somewhat ruined when you stole a knife from his person and used it to stab three of his men."
           Shit. This was the guy who'd been carrying me the night of the Eidolon. I hadn't seen his face because I'd been slung over his shoulder. But I had reached straight into his back with my ghost hand and pulled out a knife, the same knife that was now sitting on the table in front of me. My eyes flashed to it.
          "Yes," Dr. Fineman said, smiling at me. "Now you understand." He turned to Anthony. "Let's have the other hand for this," he directed.
Anthony fumbled at my flesh hand, unlocking the handcuffs. Then he yanked my left arm onto the table, pinning my hand palm-up.
          I didn't struggle. It wouldn't do any good. Anthony had proved many times he was stronger than me. Still, sometimes I could outsmart him if I was patient enough. He wasn't the brightest crayon in the box. For example, he'd just forgotten to recuff my other arm to the chair, and my ghost hand was now tucked in my lap, hidden under the table.
          Dr. Fineman picked up the knife, turning it in his hands. Then he lowered it gently, setting it in my open palm, handle-first.
          I was never willingly going to do what they wanted me to. They were going to have to force my hand every inch of the way.
          Anthony squeezed my wrist even harder as Dr. Fineman closed my fingers around the knife.
           Suddenly, I was standing at the door, huge and looming, looking at the pitiful, bloody, minus girl. No, at me. I was looking at me.
          "She's in my fucking head," I—he—Major Tom said, stumbling back toward the door. "I can feel her there. I can feel where she is."
          "Hold your ground," Dr. Fineman barked at me—no, him. I wasn't him.—and I held steady at the door, remembering my training and honoring my rank. This little bitch wasn't going to embarrass me a second time.
          What the fuck? That hadn't been my thought. It had been his thought in my head.
          I looked down at the knife in my hand and tried desperately to unclench my fingers, but Dr. Fineman squeezed them even harder around it. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

#Review ~ Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2) By Ripley Patton ~ #Paranormal #Thriller

Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2)
By Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age category: Young Adult

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Olivia Black is back.

Only this time she's not the one in need of rescue.

Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers' list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.

Olivia doesn't expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.

About the Author:
Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series.

Ripley doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.

You can find and contact Ripley here:


You can buy Ghost Hold here:

Book 3 Ghost Heart here:
Book One Ghost Hand, is Free:



I loved this book. It was even better than the first one, which I also loved. Love how Olivia is still stubborn but feisty as usual. In this book learns more about herself, PSS as well as the CAMFer's, the Hold and the others around her. She is still unsure on who she can and can't trust, which just makes it all that more confusing and complicated. Many things are not quite what they seems, and these twist in the story are really interesting and keep you reading.

We also get some new characters that have interesting PSS and powers. I love how we get more info on the characters we already know. I was surprised at some of the things Passion  has had to go through. I actually really got to liking Jason as we learn more about him.

This book was suspenseful and packed full of action with many secrets and some steamy romance and betrayal that will shock you. There is a major cliffhanger so you may want to have the 3rd book, Ghost Heart, on hand as you will want to keep reading.
This series is one I highly recommend for anyone looking for something a little different and pull at your heartstrings.

5 out of 5 stars for me.

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

This review is also at Goodreads and Amazon

(at bottom of post is info on the other 2 books in series.)
Chapter One
ALMOST TO CIVILIZATION
I had never been so happy to see a barn in my life. Yes, it looked like it was about to fall over, which had me questioning the wisdom of storing all our worldly belongings in it, but the squat red building had a roof and four walls, luxuries I hadn’t seen in over two weeks.
As our ATVs pulled up, their trailers rattling behind them, I moved my hand from Marcus’s waist and yanked my bandana over my mouth to keep from inhaling the cloud of dust that billowed around us. I still hadn’t gotten used to the constant grime of camp life, the way my clothes held a layer of dirt, like Pigpen from the Peanuts cartoon, or the grit I could always feel between my teeth no matter how many times I brushed them. They didn’t show you that in the movies; that the life of a fugitive was filthy and sweaty, especially in the middle of an unseasonably hot Indiana October.
Marcus cut the engine of our wheeler and, one by one, Yale, Jason, Nose and Passion cut theirs too. We’d replaced Jason’s stolen ATV fifty miles outside of Greenfield and gotten one for Passion while we were at it. I don’t think I’d truly grasped the reality of Marcus’s million-dollar trust fund until I’d seen him pay cash for those ATVs. But I hadn’t missed the pained, quickly-masked look on his face as he handed it over. It was blood money, paid to him in a settlement for the untimely and accidental death of his parents, but it was money we desperately needed.
Marcus had offered to get me my own ATV as well, but I preferred to ride with him. I was a crap driver; that was the reason I’d given. But really there was just something about wrapping my legs around a thrumming motor while slipping my arms around Marcus’s waist that made the hundreds of miles of dust and dirt-eating worth it. Even so, I was really glad to be back to civilization.
Marcus pulled off his helmet, and I lifted mine off too. He looked over his shoulder at me, and we smiled at one another, not needing to say anything. We were here. We’d made it to Indy without any apparent pursuit by Mike Palmer or the CAMFers.
Well, we’d almost made it. We still had about thirty miles to go, but this was where we’d trade in our wheelers for a comfy rental van. We’d lock away all our camping gear and dirt-stained clothes in the barn and disguise ourselves as wealthy suburban teenagers. This was where the mission to save Samantha James really began.
I slid off the vinyl seat, set my grimy helmet on it, and stretched my legs. My ass hurt, as usual, but I’d learned not to complain about it. It seemed there was nothing in the world teenage boys liked more than making sore ass jokes.
Marcus, still straddling the wheeler, dug in his pocket for the key that would unlock the padlock on the barn door. That was something else he’d picked up in the town where we’d bought the ATVs. The key, the use of the barn, the promise of a van waiting for us with certain forged documents and supplies inside of it—he’d arranged it all in the space of a couple hours.
But he hadn’t found the key yet, and I could feel the mid-day sun beating down on me, so I strode forward and sank my ghost hand into the lock. It made a satisfying click as it popped open.
“Thanks,” Marcus said, coming alongside me. “You’re sure handy.”
“Ha ha, very original,” I said, poking him in the ribs with my elbow.
As Marcus and I pulled the heavy barn doors open, the others joined us, and we all entered the vaulted, slat-lit interior of the barn. It smelled musty inside, with a slight sweet undertone of rotting hay.
“You’re sure our stuff will be safe here?” Jason asked.
“Pretty sure,” Marcus said, “But if it isn’t, we’ll buy more. Anything personal you should bring in the van though, in case we don’t make it back.”
In case we don’t make it back. There was a subtle message in that statement for all of us. We’d been outrunning danger for weeks, but now we were charging straight into the thick of it, and none of us knew exactly what that would look like, or what the ultimate outcome would be.
I looked around at their faces, these boys who had once been my rescuers. Was this how they’d felt when they’d been just outside of Greenfield preparing to come get me? This calculated fear? This tingle of excitement and anticipation?
My eyes fell on Passion, and she stared back at me, her pale face almost glowing in the darkness of the barn. Was she afraid or excited? I had no idea. She was a complete mystery to me, a mystery I’d spent weeks avoiding, despite the fact that we’d been living in the same camp.
It hadn’t been that hard to keep my distance. She had her own tent and I’d shared Marcus’s. She tended to keep to herself, just like I did, so we’d mostly encountered one another at meals or around a low fire on the nights Marcus had deemed it safe enough for one.
The first week after she’d joined camp, Nose had paid her a lot of attention, but she hadn’t given him any encouragement, and eventually he’d backed off. She hadn’t been mean or anything. And when he’d asked me if I thought it was his PSS Nose or the ski mask he always wore to cover it, I told him I doubted it. Passion wasn’t like that. She was always nice to everyone. Too nice. Annoyingly nice.
So, if she was that nice, why did I have a problem with her? I had no good reason.
A couple of days ago, Marcus had taken me aside and said, “Don’t you think it’s time you two hashed this out?” But that had made me want to talk to her even less. Honestly, Passion had every right to dislike me, not the other way around. I was the one who’d yanked something out of her soul, used it for myself, and then handed it over to the bad guys. She probably thought I was a complete bitch.
And maybe she was right.
“Let’s unload the stuff from the trailers into the barn,” Marcus directed the guys. “But set aside the personal stuff for Olivia and Passion to pack into the van.”
“Speaking of the van, where is it?” I asked.
“It should be out back,” he said.
We all exited the barn, circled around to the back, and there it was gleaming in the sun like a golden chariot—an extra-long, brand new, white passenger van with bucket seats, tinted windows and a gray leather interior.
It was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen. My butt could already feel that padded seat. My face craved the cool, dustless breeze of the air conditioner.
Marcus opened the back doors of the van, and started passing out duffle bags for each of us containing a change of new clothes and our fake IDs. Mine said that I was Anne Clawson, seventeen, and Passion was playing the part of my cousin, Mirabelle Clawson, also seventeen, who’d come to live with us after her parents’ recent and messy divorce. Anne was my middle name, and Mirabelle was Passion’s. Marcus said it was always better to play close to the truth. It made the lies easier to remember.
I tried not to be disappointed that the clothes in the duffle weren’t my style. Apparently, Anne Clawson, a rich girl with rich parents, didn’t have my dark sensibilities. At least there was a new pair of black leather gloves to help hide my ghost hand.
But the clothes and the cousin thing weren’t the worst of it. Not even close. The worst part was that Marcus would be playing the role of my older brother, Clayton Clawson, a twenty-one-year-old pre-med student. The story was that our parents were away celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary in the Mediterranean while Clayton orchestrated the family move to Indianapolis. Yeah, my boyfriend was going to pretend to be my brother. I was really looking forward to that.
As for Jason, Yale and Nose, they were a little too ethnically diverse to fit in to the Clawson family. So, they’d be hiding out in the house Marcus had rented for us, running security detail, and laying low. Still, they’d get new clothes and fake IDs casting them as three of Clayton’s college buddies, just in case.
“We can get changed in the barn after we get everything loaded,” Marcus said, handing the last duffle bag to Yale.
And then we got to work, like the well-oiled machine we’d become. The packing was easy compared to setting up and tearing down camp every day. Marcus had us store the guns and ammo deep under the back seat in case we got pulled over, though, according to Jason, Indiana had some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country, which was the argument he gave for refusing to put his away.
“Jason,” Marcus said. ”You’re not going to need it in the next thirty miles.”
“You don’t know that,” Jason said, gripping his gun more tightly. It was useless trying to talk Jason out of anything. We all knew it, so I wasn’t surprised when Marcus let him keep the weapon.
After we all got changed, the last thing to go into the back of the van, carefully wrapped in a blanket, was my father’s painting, The Other Olivia. Yes, it was singed around the edges, but it was all I had left of him. It was all I had left of anything, the sole belonging the CAMFers hadn’t destroyed when they’d burned down my house and chased me from my home town.
As Marcus shut the back of the van Nose called out, “Shotgun!” and ran around to the passenger side door. Then he and Jason proceeded to fight over who should get to sit in the front. Jason’s argument was that he was carrying a gun; therefore he should get the shotgun position by default without ever having to call it. Nose countered that Jason’s gun was technically a hunting rifle, not a shotgun, therefore his argument was invalid and Nose should get the front seat. Marcus pointed out that neither a guy in a ski mask nor a country boy armed with a rifle were probably the best choice for most-visible front seat passenger, and I began to understand why he’d gotten a van with darkened back windows. In the end, he assigned Jason and Nose to sit all the way in the back. Yale and Passion sat in the middle, and Marcus drove with me riding shotgun.
I started nodding off almost as soon as we turned onto the highway. Under normal circumstances, I was a drowsy passenger. One of my dad’s nicknames for me had been Sleepy Gonzales, because I’d always fallen asleep so fast in the car whenever we traveled. And these weren’t normal circumstances. I’d slept like crap for weeks, and I hadn’t sat in a comfy, cushioned, leather anything for way too long. It just felt so damn good. Camp life had definitely worn on me more than I’d realized.
I was just beginning to drool against the window when Marcus suddenly swerved off the interstate onto a dirt road.
“What the hell?” I asked, gripping the dash with my gloved hands and glancing frantically in the side view mirror, expecting to see a caravan of CAMFers in hot pursuit.
“Just a quick stop,” Marcus said, avoiding my gaze.
When we passed an old wooden sign that read Warren Gun Club, I stared at him until he looked at me.
“We all need to know how to protect ourselves,” he said, glancing back at the road. “Not just Jason.”
I wanted to argue, but I really couldn’t. I had always disliked guns, but I’d disliked seeing Marcus get shot in Greenfield while trying to save me even more. The CAMFers tended to come well-armed, and who knew what kind of opposition we were going to face in Indy?
Marcus pulled the van up to an old farm house, a long low building next to it stretching into the endless fields of rural Indiana. Just as he shut the ignition off, a large man in dirty coveralls came out of the long building, shotgun in hand, moving toward us.
“As soon as I close my door, lock the van,” Marcus said, handing me the keys, “and get in the driver’s seat. Don’t get out, under any circumstances, unless I tell you to. And, if something goes wrong, drive away.”
“Wait!” I said, but he was already out, slamming the door behind him.
He walked slowly around to the front of the van, arms out to show he had no weapon.
The guy with the shotgun was advancing on him, and two more guys had come out of the farmhouse, guns in hand.
What the hell was Marcus doing? Everything about these guys screamed CAMFers, but that made no sense. I had no idea what was going on.
“Fuck,” I said, clicking the button on the key ring to lock the van. The little chirp it made was completely at odds with the adrenaline and fear surging through me. I looked back and saw the shock on the others’ faces as they peered out the windows of the van. So, he hadn’t told anyone about this little stop. Well, he wasn’t the only one who could bark orders.
“Jason, I need you up here, right now, with your weapon,” I said, sliding across to the driver’s seat and putting the keys in the ignition. “Nose, can you reach the other guns?”
“I can try,” Nose said, diving down to rummage for them.
Jason slid into the seat next to me, rifle in hand, and I tried not to show my surprise that he’d actually listened to me.
“Let them see it,” I told him, “but don’t point it at anyone. Yet.”
Jason nodded and made his rifle as visible as possible.
Outside, Marcus had moved further away from the van, but he was still in front of it.
The three gun-toting country boys were nearly upon him, and I cracked my window just as the one in the front said, “You David?”
What the fuck? Why would Marcus give these guys his real name? He always went by Marcus, and he’d obviously gone to the trouble of getting us all fake IDs, including himself. Why not use his new identity? What was he thinking?
“I’m David,” he confirmed, “and we’ve come unarmed, as specified.”
“That one has a gun,” Shotgun said, gesturing at Jason.
Marcus turned and looked at us, frowning. He turned back and said, “It’s not loaded. I emptied it myself this morning.”
I looked at Jason, and he looked at me. Then he yanked open the chamber of the gun and showed it to me. It was empty.
“Do you have any ammo on you?” I asked him.
“No,” Jason shook his head, looking more pissed off than I’d seen him look in a long time: and he usually looked pissed.
“Nose, any luck with those guns?” I turned to the back of the van and Jason turned with me.
“I can’t reach them,” came Nose’s muffled voice in response.
Shit. We were screwed. Jason and I both turned and looked back out at Marcus.
“How do we know you’re who you say you are?” Shotgun asked, his buddies grunting in Neanderthal agreement behind him.
“Come and see,” Marcus said, gesturing Shotgun forward.
At first, I didn’t understand. I thought Shotgun was just getting a better look at Marcus’s face or something. He walked up to him, his gun held up between them, and gestured at Marcus’s chest with it.
Marcus reached down and began to unbutton his shirt.
Jason went stiff in the seat next to me. You could have heard a pin drop in that van. No, you could have heard a feather drop. This could not be happening. Marcus didn’t reveal his PSS chest to anyone. He hadn’t even told me about it until I’d seen him come back from the dead and, at that point, he’d pretty much had no choice.
I jammed the keys into the ignition of the van and turned it on. I thrust the stick into drive and, with one foot on the brake and one on the gas, I revved the engine.
Marcus paused in unbuttoning his shirt and glanced at me, looking annoyed. Then he turned back, resuming his little striptease.
Shotgun and his buddies were eyeing me, but they couldn’t seem to keep their eyeballs from straying back to Marcus.
They were all right there in front of me. I could take them out like bowling pins. Yes, Marcus might get hurt in the process, but probably not fatally, and he could always reboot. The hillbilly brothers might get off a shot or two, but Marcus wasn’t a complete idiot. I had noticed earlier the tiny little labels on the van’s windows indicating they were not only tinted, but bulletproof.
I revved the engine again.
Marcus unfastened the last button of his shirt, and it fell open.



Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles #1)
By Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age category: Young Adult

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My Review at Goodreads

Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.

How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.

Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.


Ghost Heart (The PSS Chronicles #3)
By Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: October 14, 2014

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Blurb:
In the aftermath of a brutal tragedy, Jason and Passion are on the run. Marcus is lost beyond reach, and The Hold is in shambles. If that weren't enough, Olivia Black has been taken by the CAMFers to be used as Dr. Fineman's personal lab rat in his merciless quest to uncover the mysteries of Psyche Sans Soma once and for all. But only if he can break her.

They are scattered.
They are devastated.
They are ruined.

Their only hope is Olivia's stubborn determination to thwart her captors and unlock the secrets of her ghost hand before Dr. Fineman can. Will she finally find the strength within herself to embrace the full power of her PSS?

And will it even matter if Marcus has already betrayed her?





Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Time's Edge (The Chronos Files #2) by Rysa Walker ~ #Review ~ Excerpt ~ #Timetravel

Time's Edge (The Chronos Files #2)
by Rysa Walker
publication: October 21st 2014 by Skyscape
ASIN B00K2GMMKI

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To stop her sadistic grandfather, Saul, and his band of time travelers from rewriting history, Kate must race to retrieve the CHRONOS keys before they fall into the Cyrists' hands. If she jumps back in time and pulls the wrong key--one that might tip off the Cyrists to her strategy--her whole plan could come crashing down, jeopardizing the future of millions of innocent people. Kate's only ally is Kiernan, who also carries the time-traveling gene. But their growing bond threatens everything Kate is trying to rebuild with Trey, her boyfriend who can't remember the relationship she can't forget.

As evidence of Saul's twisted mind builds, Kate's missions become more complex, blurring the line between good and evil. Which of the people Saul plans to sacrifice in the past can she and Kiernan save without risking their ultimate goal--or their own lives?

About the Author:
RYSA WALKER grew up on a cattle ranch in the South. Her options for entertainment were talking to cows and reading books. On the rare occasion that she gained control of the television, she watched Star Trek and imagined living in the future, on distant planets, or at least in a town big enough to have a stop light.

Timebound, the first book in the CHRONOS Files series, was the Young Adult and Grand Prize winner in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. A CHRONOS Files novella, Time's Echo, is now available exclusively on Kindle, with an Audible version scheduled for release in early June. Time's Edge, the second book in the series, is scheduled for release in October of 2014.

Author Links


If you have not read book one, Timebound, Stop now, this will have spoilers for book one, and you have to read book one to be able to understand this one. This is part of an ongoing storyline in a series.

I have been extremely impressed with this series , since I first started book one, then read Times Echo, a novella. This one is just as exciting if not more than the first. Kate is torn between  2 men, one who loves her (Kiernan) , but she doesn't remember (other timeline that got changed) and Trey, who she loves, but now due to Kate "fixing" a timeline, he doesn't remember her. She has to try to do what is "right" before the Cyrists unleash their wrath on the world.( her grandfather changed history to bring this cult into power and plans to "cull" anyone who won't follow).

This love triangle is not the usual sort at all. The alternant timeline that she was deeply in love with Kiernan is one she doesn't remember. (you can read about that part and the alternate timeline from Kiernan's point of view in a novella Time's Echo) Trey I did like in book one, they fell in love, but now Kate gets to know how it must feel for Kiernan, since she doesn't remember their love , now Trey doesn't remember her at all.

This was all very interesting, but was really only a fraction of the story. Kate jumping around time with Kiernan trying to collect up Chronos Keys was really interesting and kept you on the edge of your seat.

I wont say much more so you can discover this complex plot yourself. One word of advice, pay attention to the time stamp at the start  of the chapters, it will really help you keep  the time travel all straight for you.

I highly recommend this series, and look forward to book 3.

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

You can find this review at Goodreads as well.

Excerpt
Chapter One
Dallas, Texas
November 22, 1963, 12:05 p.m.
A pungent whiff of rotting fish hits my nostrils before my eyes open. I guess the stench explains the cats that wandered in and out of my field of vision each time I previewed this jump site over the past few days. Two of them, a scrawny orange tabby and a longhaired white cat with a torn left ear, hiss and watch me warily from the top of the large gray Dempster Dumpster directly behind me. A hand-lettered sign on the front reads “School Book Depository Use Only,” but the fish bones and vegetable scraps around the bin suggest that at least one local restaurant owner either can’t read or doesn’t care.
The awful smell is undoubtedly why CHRONOS made this a stable point in the first place. No sane person would willingly venture within a hundred feet. A historian or two appearing out of nowhere would be noticed only by the cats.
I scan the faces in the photograph one last time and then tuck both the picture and my CHRONOS key under my sweater as I hurry down Houston Street. Turning at Elm, I head toward the R. L. Thornton Freeway Keep Right sign. A crowd is starting to gather along the road. The motorcade is only about ten minutes away, which means this jump is cutting it much too close for comfort, but the minutes leading up to the shooting are the only time I can predict with anything close to certainty where my grandparents will be.
There are no fewer than seven stable points within a five-block radius, a testament to the enduring power of conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy’s assassination, even in the 2300s. I’ve tried three of those stable points already, and at this precise moment, three other versions of me are walking toward Dealey Plaza—one from Market Street, one from Main Street, and one from Record Street. The Kate on Main Street is even wearing this same sweater and blouse, with the silly Peter Pan collar, but about a minute from now, she’ll get hemmed in by the crowd, and at twelve thirty, when the shots ring out in the plaza, she’ll be a full block away. The other two Kates won’t find Timothy and Evelyn Winslow either.
As I near the plaza, which is really just a small park with a white pergola perched on top of the hill, a young couple and two small boys stop in front of me. The older child, who is maybe four, has a tight grip on the skirt of his mother’s red jumper. The littlest guy is sitting atop his dad’s shoulders, both chubby hands grasping the collar of the man’s plaid shirt. The boy leans his small blond head backward to view the world upside down and looks surprised when he sees me a few feet behind him.
His dad is nodding toward a triangular patch of grass in the median area across Elm Street. 
“But . . . maybe we should just stay over on this side, Bill?” The woman appears to be in her early twenties, and her voice is squeaky-high, with a heavy southern drawl. “Over there, we got two streets to worry about them runnin’ into traffic. If we stay here, they can play on the grass while we wait.” 
The dad swings the toddler from his shoulders in a smooth, practiced arc and sets him down on the infamous grassy knoll. He catches my eye as he stands up and gives me a shy grin, looking a bit like a shorter-haired version of the young Elvis Presley. A shiver runs down my spine. I’m not sure why, and then I realize these people are the Newmans, the family from the images and videos I’ve been studying online, who will soon have a front-row seat to the assassination. They’ll be swarmed by the media after the shooting, dozens of reporters snapping photos as the parents lie on the grass, their bodies shielding the kids from the chaos.
I’ve apparently stared for a moment too long, because Newman and his wife exchange a confused look. I give them a nervous half smile and then push past, hurrying toward the concrete steps that lead up to the pergola. 
A picket fence and some large trees camouflage the much less picturesque view of a packed-dirt parking lot behind the plaza. Most of the trees are still green, even in late November, but a few are beginning to shed their reddish-gold leaves. Three or four people are walking around near the fence. I keep reminding myself to just look for the powder-blue Ford Fairlane. Still, I can’t help but notice a young guy with a thin mustache looking out over the grass embankment and staring intently toward the street, his left leg twitching slightly. He’s leaning against the fence and smoking a cigarette. It’s too warm for the jacket he’s wearing—could that bulge in his pocket be a pistol? And that shaded space between the tree and the fence could definitely hide a rifle . . .
I shake my head, pulling my attention back to the more important issue, and finally locate the car that I glimpsed briefly from the sidewalk on my last jump, just before shots filled the air and ended any chance I had of getting close to the plaza. The Fairlane is parked about twenty-five yards away, behind a dirty red truck with a flat front tire. 
There are many powder-blue 1959 Ford Fairlanes on the road in 1963, so this might be another dead end. I shift my path to the right, hoping to slip around the truck and a few other cars so that I can approach them unnoticed from the back of the lot. Assuming my grandparents are even in the car, and not hanging out over near Zapruder, photo-bombing his home movie. Or up on the sixth floor of the Depository, watching for Lee Harvey Oswald. We’re putting a great deal of faith in Katherine’s memory of a brief conversation with Evelyn nearly fifty years ago.
Connor oohed and aahed over the images of this “classic” car when we were researching the vehicle online, but I’m sorry—cars from this era are major eyesores. The tail fins alone have enough metal to make a Prius or two. Aesthetics aside, however, I’m currently kind of fond of the fins, because they provide a bit of extra coverage as I move around the car in full crouch mode. 
There are two people in the car, but they’re so entwined that I can hardly tell where one begins and the other ends, let alone be sure if they resemble the picture my dad gave me. If it is them, I know that this steamy embrace is mostly a cover. They’re hoping the guy at the fence, or any other potential “second shooter,” will ignore a young couple making out in the parking lot and they’ll have front-row seats for history as it happens. They probably aren’t even breathing heavy. But there’s still something distasteful about sneaking up to introduce yourself to someone who may be your twenty-five-year-old grandmother when her shirt is half undone and your grandfather has just made it to second base. 
I pull out my CHRONOS medallion. The picture and my phone are in my other hand. While I’d never be able to pick up a signal in 1963, the phone will still play the videos that Katherine and Dad recorded to support my story. 
I debate for a moment whether to tap politely on the window. Her hair is the same dark copper as the woman in the Polaroid, however, so I decide to just go for it. With a quick tug on the chrome handle, the door of the Fairlane swings open. I’m in the backseat, holding up my CHRONOS key like a police badge before they realize what’s happening. 
Evelyn casts a furious glare at me in the rearview mirror and immediately starts buttoning up her sweater. Timothy looks back, and I have the odd sensation of seeing my father’s “angry” face, fifteen years younger and maybe ten pounds heavier. Dad’s really mellow, so I’ve only seen that face a few times—the occasion I remember most clearly was when I was maybe five years old and tried to see if the laser in a DVD player will heat up a Pop-Tart. (It won’t.)
“We. Are. In the middle. Of research.” He jerks his head angrily toward the guy at the fence. “That man might be James Files and—”
“And maybe he’s the second shooter. Yeah, I know, and I’m sorry. One of you can keep watching if you want.”
Evelyn slinks down in the seat so that she can keep her eyes pointed at the guy without being too obvious. “I’ve never seen you at CHRONOS,” she says, “so I’m guessing you’re from one of the earlier cohorts? Or later maybe?” 
I hand the photograph to Timothy. It shows the two of them a few years older, laughing. He’s holding a dark-haired little boy high over his head. A partial view of the passenger side of this powder-blue Ford is in the background. 
“It depends on your perspective, I guess. I’m Kate. I’m your granddaughter. The little guy you’re holding in that picture is my dad.”
Most people never have to introduce themselves to their own parents or grandparents, but I seem to be making a career out of it. Three months ago, I sat across from my dad at a picnic table and tried to convince him that I was his daughter from another timeline. Then I chased two different versions of Katherine, my maternal grandmother, around the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. I gave the same introduction to her on both occasions in order to prevent her murder and my subsequent total lack of existence. If I ever meet my other grandfather, Saul Rand, I’ll have a full set— but I really hope I never encounter him face-to-face. He’s the reason I’m in this mess to begin with. And if his people find out I’m interfering, all hell is going to break loose.
Timothy glances from the picture to me, then back to the picture, before passing it over to his wife. She looks at me in the rearview mirror for a moment, then turns her gaze back to the guy at the fence. “She has got your eyes, Timo.” 
I can tell he’s still annoyed, but his face softens a bit. “So, what’s up, Kate? Unless CHRONOS rules change pretty dramatically in the next few decades, you’re not supposed to be here. No interaction with family, right?” 
Evelyn sighs. “Let’s just go back to the stable point. We can check out this guy on the next jump. We should get back to CHRONOS, and so should she.”
I’d like nothing more than to get out of this parking lot, since we’ve got only a few minutes before someone here, at the School Book Depository, or both will fire at the black Lincoln Continental convertible carrying JFK and Jackie. But I feel a bit guilty. They’ve been working on this puzzle for months. 
“If you really want to know whether that’s James Files, you need to keep watching. You won’t be able to make another jump. CHRONOS is gone.”
They both turn and stare at me for a moment, then Timothy cranks the ignition and shoves the gearshift into reverse. “If that’s true, we need to get out of here while we still can. We’ve got bigger problems than figuring out which thug killed Kennedy.”
The first route he tries is cordoned off for the parade, but two blocks over, the congestion clears up pretty fast. None of us talk until the car crosses a bridge a few blocks away. Evelyn keeps glancing across the backseat at me, her face conflicted. The light sprinkling of freckles across her nose looks a bit like my own, but otherwise, I look much more like my mom’s side of the family. Aside from the green eyes, which were clearly passed down to Dad from the man in the driver’s seat, and a fading scar on my neck just below the right jawline, which is a recent acquisition, I’m pretty much a dead ringer for my aunt Prudence. That complicates my life considerably, given that she’s playing for the other team.
“What happened?” Evelyn asks. “We knew there was something going on when that guy dragged Shaila into the jump room. I told Timo the jump felt wrong. I twisted my ankle when we landed at the stable point on Wednesday and that just never happens.”
The car turns off the road into a small parking lot. A dark orange rectangular sign—A&W Ice Cold Root Beer—juts out from the top of a low building.
Evelyn’s eyes narrow. “And why are we stopping here?” Timothy pulls the car up beneath the orange-and-whitestriped awning, near a cluster of picnic tables arranged in the center. “I’m hungry and thirsty, and I suspect this is going to be a long talk. From what Kate’s saying, we can’t wait and eat when we get home, can we? What do you ladies want?”
She rolls her eyes. “Not hungry, Timothy.” 
I just shake my head. Timothy shrugs, then gets out of the car and walks over to the building, where a middle-aged man in a white paper hat slides open the window to take his order.
“If we’re stuck here long, he’s going to gain forty pounds,” Evelyn says. “He’s gone up two belt notches since we started researching Kennedy. I don’t know how people live past fifty on this diet.”
I give her a weak smile but say nothing. It won’t matter how many chili dogs he eats. Keeping his cholesterol low won’t stop the log truck from hitting their station wagon in 1974. Neither of them will survive, and Dad will wake up in the hospital two days later, a five-year-old without a family. And I can’t say anything that might change that path, since it’s the one that produces me, and, as Katherine is fond of saying, I’m the new last best hope for Earth. Or at least for the majority of its population.
“So, how long are we—” she begins, and then holds up her hands. “Never mind. Wait until he’s back, or you’ll just have to say everything twice.”
We sit there for a few moments, and while we wait I hit the “Video” button on my phone and start to record. I get a few seconds of Evelyn watching Timothy with an affectionate but still totally exasperated look on her face. Then he walks back to the car, holding a metal tray with three tall frosted mugs and a couple of chili dogs piled high with cheese and onions. He taps on Evelyn’s window with his knuckle. She turns the window crank. “You’re the one eating these things, so why don’t you put them on your side? They stink.”
He ignores her, attaches the tray to her window, and then heads back around the car to the driver’s side. Evelyn waits until he’s seated and then hands him the chili dogs, her nose wrinkled in disgust.
“Ev is vegan,” Timothy says. “I am, too, usually, but hey—when in Rome, right? I just treat these trips as a vacation from vegan.” He takes a big bite out of the first dog as Evelyn passes a root beer back to me. I kind of agree with her about the chili dogs, but the root beer—I don’t know if it’s the frosted mug, the crushed ice, or the lack of high-fructose corn syrup, but it tastes a lot better than the stuff I’m used to drinking. 
I raise my eyebrows in silent question, and Evelyn nods. “Go ahead and start, Kate. I think we’ll be able to hear you over his chomping.”
“Actually, it might be easier to let Katherine tell you.” I navigate to the video that we made at Katherine’s house, turning the screen toward Timothy and Evelyn. I’ve seen it at least a dozen times, and I know it by heart. We spent a full week trying to figure out how much we could say without endangering the timeline. 
“Evelyn, Timothy,” Katherine begins. “It’s been a long time.” 
Evelyn draws in a sharp breath through her nose. When they saw her a few days ago, Katherine was around their age, midtwenties, with long blond hair. The woman on the screen is in her sixties, and her gray hair, although a bit longer than when I met her, is still very short due to last year’s chemo treatments. She’s sitting in the library, at a desk near the window. 
“I don’t know if you’ve tried to pull up headquarters, but you won’t be able to reach anyone. It’s just a black void. My jump took me about six years ahead of you. 
“I know you’ll want to try your keys, if you haven’t already, and I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t take this on faith, either. But they won’t get you back to HQ. It’s been more than forty years, and I still get nothing but black with a bit of static mixed in. 
“So . . . the emergency protocol is in place. I’m sure you know better than I do where the closest CHRONOS safe-deposit box is. Once you get your new identities—” 
Evelyn holds up one hand. “Switch that off. Now.”
I pause the video.
“She’s saying that we’re stuck here, Timo. Just like I was afraid of when my diary vanished. When I couldn’t pull up HQ.” Her face is pale. Timothy reaches for her hand. 
“But if the keys don’t work, if CHRONOS is gone, how did you get here?” he asks me.
I glance down at the video. “Maybe we should let Katherine finish? She can tell this better than I can.”
I push “Play,” and Katherine’s voice continues. “—you’ll need to get on with your new lives. In case you’re wondering, it was Saul in the burqa with the knife to Shaila’s throat. He caused the explosion. And . . . a few hours before that, he killed Angelo.”
Tears well up in Evelyn’s eyes as Katherine continues. “Richard and I had just found Angelo’s body and asked the jump coordinator to call security when Saul burst in, dragging Shaila in front of him, and told them not to cancel the jump. He took Shaila’s spot— based on what we know now, I’m pretty sure he’s landed sometime after 2020.
“Saul’s hope was that destroying CHRONOS would allow him to jump from one point in time to the next, without being forced to return to HQ after each jump. But he miscalculated. He can’t use the CHRONOS keys any more than we can, but he’s learned the same thing I did. The CHRONOS gene passes on to our children and our grandchildren. I was pregnant with twins when I arrived in 1969. One of the girls, Prudence, had an accident with the key when she was fourteen. She’s been with Saul ever since. The other daughter, Deborah—well, I introduced her to this guy.”
Dad moves into the picture, with me at his side. Katherine and I argued for hours over whether this was a good idea. She said no, absolutely not, and initially Connor sided with her, but I won him over to my point of view. Timothy and Evelyn would probably believe me either way, but would they be willing to turn over their CHRONOS keys? I thought that plea would be much more effective coming from their son. 
“Mom. Dad. If I could use the CHRONOS key, I’d have come myself.” Dad choked up a tiny bit when we recorded that part, and we had to restart the video a few minutes later. He barely remembers either of them, and he would love nothing more than to have taken my place. “It kind of glows when I touch it, but I can’t operate it.” 
He puts his arm around me and gives my shoulders a squeeze. “So anyway, I’m sending Kate, in my—” 
Evelyn reaches out for the phone and touches the screen to pause it, as she’d seen me do a moment ago. “Timo and I—we’re not around whenever this is, are we?”
“You know I can’t tell you that . . .”
“You don’t have to. It’s written all over his face.” 
Damn it. Katherine was right. And as much as I love Katherine, I really don’t like it when she’s right.
“And,” she continues, “if we were around, you’d be showing a recording of the two of us explaining all of this, not Katherine.”
That’s true as well, and it makes me feel better about pulling Dad into the video. They would probably have figured it out either way. I push “Play” again, and Dad continues. “—place. Things are kind of crazy now. This Saul guy has set some things into motion that I don’t fully understand, but Kate says he’s planning to wipe out a good chunk of the population. So we’re trying to do an end run around his people and collect these keys before they can.”
Katherine leans back in. “I think Kate can answer any other questions you might have. The reality is simple—you can’t use the keys, and if you keep them, Saul’s people will try to take them. I’m really sorry—I wish I was able to give you better news, to tell you that this was just a temporary glitch and CHRONOS would have everything patched up shortly, but you’d find out soon enough anyway.
“You’re going to hear from a much younger version of me in a few years. It would be best if you don’t mention Kate’s visit to her . . . mention it to me, that is. It could . . . complicate things even more than they already are. Take care, okay?” 
The video stops there. We had recorded a few minutes more, but Katherine thought that Dad saying goodbye might tip them off about future events, so she had Connor cut that section. 
Evelyn grabs the phone from me and pokes the screen a few times, but nothing happens. “How do you reverse this stupid thing?”
“Should I go to the beginning?” 
“No. Just back to—” Her look is raw and vulnerable. “What’s his name, Kate? What is my son’s name?”
“I can’t. You know I can’t tell you—”
“Oh come on, Ev. Give her a break. You know his name. He’s Alphonse, after your dad. We’ve discussed this half a dozen times. And if he’d been a girl—wait, he is named Alphonse, right, Kate?”
“You know I can’t tell you that.” I begin rewinding to where Dad starts talking, trying to keep my face neutral, so that nothing I do influences their decision. But it’s hard to keep from grinning at how close Harry Keller came to being named Alphonse. 
I find the spot on the video and push “Play” again as I hand it to Evelyn. She pauses it before Dad can start talking. She doesn’t say anything, just stares at the screen.
After a moment, her expression shifts to a tight, almost angry look, and my heart sinks into my stomach. If this doesn’t go well, Katherine won’t exactly rub my face in it, but she will almost certainly find a subtle way to remind me that she was against Dad being in the video. This jump was supposed to be a sure thing. Before Saul, Prudence, and their Cyrist underlings managed to reset the timeline, these two keys were in our possession. Kiernan said they were relatively easy to get, but he doesn’t know the specifics because that other version of me, his Kate, Other-Kate, KatePast, whatever you want to call her, handled that jump before they met. And I have no clue what that Kate did, because in every sense that matters, she’s not me.
“I’m not sure if Katherine knows,” Timothy says, “but this was supposed to be a five-day trip. Everything around Dealey Plaza is going to be locked down and cordoned off, so we can’t get back to the stable point until around noon tomorrow at the very earliest. I’m not saying I don’t believe you. We’ve known something was wrong since Ev’s diary disappeared. She tried to send a question to HQ, and instead of getting an answer, it just . . . kind of . . . evaporated.”
“Katherine said that happened to her, as well.” 
“But,” he continues, “even though I do believe you, Katherine was right. I don’t think we should give up these keys until we know for certain there’s no return trip. I hope you can understand that?”
I nod. We’d kind of expected this. 
“You’re not going to be able to get out until then, either, Kate. I mean, unless you came in from a stable point outside of Dallas, you’re stuck—”
“I can actually leave from right here,” I say. “I have to arrive at a stable point, but I can jump to another point from any location. It’s what Saul was trying to set up for himself, but it didn’t work.”
Evelyn is still staring at the frozen image of Dad with his arm around me, tears streaming down her face. I’m not sure if she’s even listening.
“What does he want, Kate?” Timothy asks. “Why did Saul do this?”
A few months back, I asked the same question of Katherine and Connor. The only answer they had for me then was that Saul wanted power, all the power he could get. And while we have more information now, that’s still the gist of it. 
I shrug. “He wants to play God. To decide who lives and who dies. To create his version of paradise, where only those who see things his way get to stick around.”
We’re all silent for a moment, and then I ask, “Where should I meet you tomorrow? And when?” 
Evelyn turns toward me halfway through the last question, like she’s just remembered I’m in the car, and hands me back the phone. She pulls her CHRONOS key from underneath her sweater and blouse and yanks the chain over her head, almost throwing it at me. 
“Just give her your damn key, Timothy! We’ve tried to reach HQ five times already. There’s no reason to think we’ll get a signal tomorrow.” Her voice softens a bit as she looks at me. “You don’t need to come back, Kate.” 
“Thank you, Evelyn.” As I’m stashing her key in the pocket of my sweater, something occurs to me. “Um—if I should happen to show up again and start asking questions, double-check my eye color, okay? And look for this.” I pull back my hair a bit and turn my right cheek toward her, revealing the relatively new and, thankfully, fading pink scar on my neck. Aunt Prudence might be smart enough to wear green contacts, but she doesn’t know about my encounter with H. H. Holmes in Chicago. “If you don’t see the scar, it’s not me, and you can’t tell her anything. She’s with Saul.”
Timothy pulls the CHRONOS key from his pocket as he unfastens the little clip that attaches it to his belt loop. He holds the glowing blue circle level in the palm of his hand and stares at the hourglass in the center, watching as the sands flow back and forth. 
“What color is it for you, Kate?” he asks.
This seems to be the CHRONOS equivalent of chatting about the weather. Everyone sees the light at the center of the medallion differently. “It’s blue,” I reply. “Like an impossibly bright sky.”
A sad smile touches his lips. “Really? Me, too. It’s pink for Ev.”
I smile back at him and then glance over at Evelyn. “Dad can only pick up the light occasionally, but when he does, he says it looks pink to him. So, I guess he gets that from you.”
Her bottom lip quivers a bit. She reaches over and places her hand on the side of my grandfather’s face, a face so much like that of the son they’ll never see grow up. 
“Timo, that life is over. Just give her your key so she can get back home. And get rid of that stinking chili dog. We’re not on vacation anymore.”