Friday Fun (7)

Follow Friday

The wonderfulness of Parajunkee @ Parajunkee's View and Alison @ Alison Can Read host this weekly soiree each week! They feature a specific blogger in the book blogger community and ask a question for you to answer! You get to discover a bunch of new blogs, and get a bunch of new followers!

 The rules are simple:
Create a post like this one.
Visit Parajunkee and Alison and follow them.
Leave your name and blog link on their blogs.
Visit the other people on the list.
Leave them a comment saying hi.
Follow them.
They follow you.
More followers!

What hyped up book do you think was worth all the talk?
I'm agreeing with Parajunkee on this one, The Hunger Games, was totally worth reading.

 The Friday 56

 The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda @ Freda's Voice.  The rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.

Then hop over to her page and link up!

 This week's book is:

Black City (Black City, #1)Black City
Series: Black City #1
Author: Elizabeth Richards

The quote:
"'Don't worry, he's not going to bit you,' Day says.
'Not unless you ask real nice.'  I show a glimpse of fang."

Until Next Time



Book Tour - The Blemished Review & Excerpt

Welcome to The Blemished book tour!  Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the book!


YA Dystopia
Date Published: August 20, 2012
The Blemished (Blemished #1) The Blemished

Author: Sarah Dalton
Series: Blemished, #1
Publisher: Sarah Dalton (self-published)
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: received for review for blog tour
Format: e-book
Pages:  328 
Order here: links at bottom of page


A beautiful world comes at a price...

In a world filled with stunning clones Mina Hart is Blemished. Her genes are worthless and that
takes away her rights: her right to an Education, her right to a normal life and her right to have a

Mina keeps a dangerous secret which she never thought she could share until she meets Angela
on her first day at St Jude's School. But their friendship is soon complicated by Angela’s adoptive
brother Daniel. Mina finds herself drawn to his mysterious powers and impulsive nature. Then
there is the gorgeous clone Sebastian who Mina is forbidden from even speaking to…

The Blemished is a frightening take on a fractured future where the Genetic Enhancement
Ministry have taken control of Britain. It will take you on a ride filled with adventure, romance
and rebellion.


I love dystopians so much!  And this one was, after reading the description, sounding really good.  And it was!  I instantly got caught up in this story.  Its clear right away the tensions between the GEMs and the blemished.  The blemished are those people with genetic illnesses or predispositions for diseases.   In order to stop these things from continuing, the Ministry requires the blemished women to go through a surgery at 16 that takes their ability to have children.  it is also illegal for those that have not yet received the surgery to have children.

The GEMs are clones:  perfect, genetically made babies that are beautiful and illness free.  The blemished are forbidden from having contact, even conversations, with the GEMs.  And the GEMs make it clear that they are superior.  We first meet Mina, the main character, with her head being flushed in the toilet by the GEMs.

I like Mina.  She accepted her fate in public,being a good little blemished girl, while questioning everything that goes on, particularly regarding her special powers.  She didn't sit around whining about her life like it seems a lot of female main characters do these days.

Overall, the book was great.  There was a good story line, a great main character, great supporting characters, action adventure, romance, rebellion, and so much more!  Definitely a book worth reading!

Enjoy this excerpt!  It wonderfully depicts the emotion in this story!


I entered the classroom. It felt wrong. The chairs were arranged differently – pushed together into a circle. The rest of the Blemished girls stood around unsure of where to sit and why the strange arrangement. In the centre of the circle was a single chair as though one of us would be the focus.
“Everyone take a seat except Miss Hart.” Mrs Murgatroyd’s voice made me jump. There was a hard edge to it, even colder than usual. I shivered. “Miss Hart, I believe there is a place for you in the middle of the circle.”
With shaking legs I stepped through a gap between two chairs and made my way to the centre. I turned and eyed each of my classmates in desperation while Mrs Murgatroyd looked down at me with a strangely tense smirk on her face. It was as though she was mentally battling with an inner conflict. It made her look frightened and cruel in equal measure. With my chest feeling tight and my breathing coming out in rasps I took my seat in the circle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Angela’s concerned face.
“For today’s lesson I needed an example, which is why you see Miss Hart at the centre,” said Mrs Murgatroyd as she slowly walked around the outside of the circle. “Today’s lesson is about boys. You see, there are some among you who seem to have had some experience in this area. Isn’t that right, Miss Hart?”
“I… I… suppose,” I stuttered.
I tried to rein in my emotions, to concentrate and be in control. I couldn’t use my gift in front of all these people. It would be too obvious. I glanced down at my hands hoping that she wasn’t going to beat me in front of the class. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Billie shaking her head and remembered what she had said in the garden.
“Angela Dixon?”
“Yes, Miss,” Angela replied with a shaky voice.
“Tell the class how a good Blemished girl should behave around members of the opposite sex,” Mrs Murgatroyd instructed.
“Not to look at them directly. Modestly,” Angela recited.
“That’s correct.” Mrs Murgatroyd never stopped her laps of the chairs with slow paces and her hands folded behind her back, the picture of control. “And why is that?”
“Um, we don’t want to give them the wrong idea,” Angela replied quietly.
“That’s correct,” said Mrs Murgatroyd. “You are not here to mate. Your genes have been proven unworthy. You are here as servants to the GEMs, which is your rightful place. And if you are lucky and behave appropriately for a Blemished then you may even get a job. Now Angela, could you tell me one more thing? How should a Blemished girl behave in the company of a male GEM?”
“W… we shouldn’t talk to them. Or look at them. Unless we are spoken to,” she answered quietly.
“Excellent,” Mrs Murgatroyd said. “Now, class. I would like you to answer together. Should you talk to a GEM boy?”
“No,” said the class in unison.
 “Should you reveal your hair to a GEM boy?”
I didn’t join in the chant. At this point the tears began to roll slowly down my cheeks and my lips trembled so badly I couldn’t open them.
“Should you let a GEM boy touch you?”
“And how about you, Miss Hart? Should you let any of these things happen?” Mrs Murgatroyd moved into the centre of the circle and bent low to speak to me. I felt her hot breath on my cheek.
I shook my head feebly in answer.
“Yet you did. Didn’t you?” She yanked at my headscarf and began to unwrap my hair. Her pointed nails scraped on the back of my neck and her rough fingers pulled my head back and forth. “Do you think you are better than everyone else in this room?”
“No,” I said hoarsely. I could barely see through my tears now. I shut my eyes against the stares of my peers.
“Then why do you act like it?” she said cruelly. She grabbed my hair and pulled my head back. “You bring everything on yourself, Miss Hart. When will you learn your place?”
On the last word she yanked my head back even further and pulled a pair of scissors out of her jacket pocket. The rest of the class gasped. I stared at them – wide-eyed. For a horrible moment I thought she might stab me, but then she did something almost as awful. With a ghastly smile on her face Mrs Murgatroyd cut chunks out of my hair; big, uneven, ugly chunks. I watched in horror as the long strands fell to the floor. 

Author Bio:

Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult.

Sarah mainly writes speculative fiction for a Young Adult audience and has had pieces of short fiction published in the Medulla Literary Review, PANK magazine, Apex Magazine and the British Fantasy Society publication Dark Horizons. Her short story ‘Vampires Wear Chanel’ is featured in the Wyvern Publication Fangtales. The Blemished is her first full-length novel.

Contact Links:

twitter @sarahdalton

Purchase Links:


The Flight

Lucy jumped for her phone lying on the desk.  “New E-mail” the screen read.  She sighed and set the phone down.  Why hasn’t he texted me yet?  It was the first time that Steve had left to go somewhere without her.  Even though it was just more training, Lucy’s heart had fallen when he told her had had to go.  She was a constant worrier and this trip didn’t help.
The plane ride down had gone fine.  The drive to the base had gone fine.  Even the training had gone fine.  Everything had gone fine, until today.  Steve had texted her that morning up until his class had boarded the plane.  That was 12 o’clock.  It was now 6 o’clock and she still hadn’t heard anything. Maybe his mom has heard something.
She dialed the familiar number, the one she had called so many times before.  Susan picked up on the second ring.
“Steven?  Is that you?”
“Well that answers my question.  Guess you haven’t heard anything either?”
“Oh, Lucy, it’s you.  No I haven’t heard anything.  I was hoping you had.”
“You don’t think anything is wrong do you?”
“I’m sure everything is fine.  They probably went for dinner after the plane landed.  He’ll be back soon.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right.  I’ll talk to you later.”
Lucy felt no better than she had before when she hung up.  There hadn’t been word from Steve or anyone else on Facebook, even though the one man in his class was constantly checking in at places.  She sat back down at her desk and booted up her computer again.  The first thing that came up was her internet browser, already opened to Facebook.
She browsed her News Feed, looking for something to calm her nerves.  She clicked on the last post Steve had posted before getting on the plane: “Heading home to my amazingly beautiful fiancé.  Don’t worry baby, I’ll be home soon.”  Lucy smiled to herself, despite the fact that she was still worrying.  She was still getting used to that word.  It had been seven months since Steve had proposed, but it still felt like it had just happened the day before.

“Steve!  Wait up!  Geez, why are you going so fast!  We’re supposed to be taking a leisurely stroll, not running a marathon!”  Lucy laughed as she ran to catch up to him.
“I know, but… just come on!  We have to get there now!”  Lucy sighed as she continued to jog through the park.  She didn’t even know what was going on, but she had never seen Steve so excited and nervous.  “We’re almost there.  I promise, just a little bit farther!”
“But why do we have to run if it’s just a little farther?”
“Because you took too long to get ready before we left his morning!”
“Why do we have to be there at a certain time anyway?
“I…we…uh…you’ll see!  Hurry up!”
Lucy shook her head but kept up.  This was obviously important to him and she was interested about it herself.  In the two years that they had been dating, Steve had always been extremely laid back. He was starting the county police academy in two weeks, something he had dreamed of for as long as she could remember, and he wasn’t even this excited the day he got in.
“Does this have something to do with the academy?  I’m kind of tired of academy stuff.  I just wanted to relax these next two weeks and not think about it.”
“This has nothing to do with the academy, I promise!  Wait!  Okay, stop here! We’re here!”
Lucy stopped abruptly and finally looked around at where they were.  All around them was gorgeous white roses.  She didn’t know how she didn’t notice the smell before she saw them.
“Steve, where are we?  What are we doing here?”
“Okay just wait.  Come here.  Yes, right here.  Okay just stand there and…almost time…okay…now!”
As Steve said “now,” thousands of butterflies flew into the air, as if they were released from one hundred cages in a circle around them.  Lucy gasped at the sight of the beautiful creatures flying into the air.  She turned, taking in the sight.  As she came full circle, she saw Steve down on one knee, a ring box in his hand.
“Lucy, you have stuck by me for over two years.  We’ve been through so much together, that I don’t even know where to begin.  When things got rough, you didn’t give up, even when I was the one making it rough.  I love you more than anything in this world, and I can’t imagine starting off my life with anyone but you.  Will you please do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
Lucy could say nothing as tears formed in her eyes.  She thought back to all the wonderful things that had happened between the two of them, and all the bad things that had happened.  She thought about the fact that this was all she had wanted since their very first date.  She swallowed the lump that had risen into her throat and spoke the word he wanted to hear.

“I don’t wanna close my eyes, I don’t wanna fall asleep cause I miss ya baby, and I don’t wanna miss a thing.”
Lucy snapped out of her memory, lunging for her phone lying on the desk.  It read “incoming call”, and she snapped it open before reading who it was from.
“Steve?  Steve is that you?  Where have you been?  Why didn’t you call me sooner?”
“Ma’am, I’m looking for Lucile Holloway.”
“Um, this is her.  Who is calling?”
“This is Sergeant Frost from the Jefferson County Police Department.  Are you familiar with a Steven Polk?”
“Yes, he is my fiancé.”  Lucy tried to keep her voice steady, even as the tears formed in her eyes and the lump rose in her throat.
“Ma’am I’m going to need you to come to the police station right away please.  We need to sp-“
“I know why you’re calling.  Just tell me.”  Tears were now streaming down her face.
“Ma’am I would really rather do this in person.  Please if you would just come to the station-“
“Just tell me!”
“…Your fiancé was aboard Southwest flight 327 to Birmingham International Airport.  From what we can tell so far, the plane hit a patch of severe thunderstorms.  It is unclear at this time what exactly happened, but unfortunately the plane did not make it back to Birmingham.  We have found the wreckage and search crews are currently working to locate any survivors.  I am sorry to have to tell you this, but your fiancé was among the bodies already found.  I’m sorry, but your fiancé has passed.”
Lucy dropped the phone as she dropped to the ground.  She heard the Sergeant calling to her from the speaker, but did nothing to answer him.  Instead, she stared at the picture of Steve that she had hanging on her wall from the day they were engaged.  The white roses and butterflies can be seen in the background, but the truly beautiful thing was Steve’s smile.  He was so excited and happy, like nothing in the world could bring him down.
At that thought, Lucy doubled over and began to sob.  She pictured his smiling face, not daring to let it leave her mind.  She never wanted to forget his face.  She clutched her bulging stomach, and to the thought that she at least had a piece of him left.

Lucy awoke to a baby crying.  Disoriented, she reached her arm over to wake up Steve.  Feeling only cold sheets, she woke up fully, realization hitting her like a bullet to the heart.  She checked the clock and saw that it read 3 o’clock.  Walking down the hallway and into the nursery, Lucy saw the baby lying in the crib, having his regular early morning fit.  She picked him up and cradled him in her arms, rocking him to calm him down.
“Shhhh.  Its okay, sweetie.  Everything’s going to be okay.  Calm down, Steve.”


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