Sarah cannot escape the deadly Ludus—a mind-body dissociation game where bodies and souls don’t always merge after the game is over.
Sixteen-year-old Sarah Parker’s healing touch can bring beings back to life, provided they haven’t crossed over. Until now she’s managed to keep her gift a secret, but somebody seems determined to expose her and get her back into St. Mary’s Orphanage. Four years ago, Sarah was an orphan at St. Mary’s who’d lost hope of ever being adopted and faced the gruesome Ludus, a mind-body dissociation game, until Ida showed up. She’s lived a dream life since then, but Sarah senses something is amiss. She has pretty much settled into her “new life” when cracks appear in her comfort zone. The last thing Sarah wants is to return to St. Mary’s.
When Marcus David, her boyfriend, is accused of murdering a student and Ida is attacked shortly thereafter, Sarah’s deepest fears materialize. She loses Ida and Marcus in one breath and returns to St. Mary’s. There’s no escaping the Ludus and the wrath of her newfound enemies. As Sarah readjusts to St. Mary’s, she learns the orphanage holds crucial secrets to her past.
I skip breakfast and leave for school before Ida’s even up. I’m rushing down the hall, anxious to catch a glimpse of Marcus when I run into someone.
“I’ll survive,” a husky male voice replies.
My gaze travels past the solid muscle I rushed into and into a classically beautiful face that could have been ripped right off the pages of Teen. He’s hot, and he knows it.
“Armando Perez.” He holds out his right hand and smiles, expecting me to shake it and swoon.
He’s gorgeous, but I’m not going to show him I think so. “Sarah Parker.”
“Pleasure’s all mine.” He takes my hand, raises it to his lips, and kisses it.
His spontaneous gesture stuns me—I almost ignore the sudden shiver creeping up my spine. “I have to get going.”
“See you around, Miss Parker.”
I run before he says anything else.
Pri is engrossed in conversation when I join her and Andy. “You guys should’ve been there.” Pri gestures dramatically. “O rocked.” Andy and I are sitting on the ledge of the fairy fountain. Marcus hasn’t arrived yet.
“What exactly rocked? The crowd? The music?” Andy pops a Smartie into his mouth.
“Everything. The crowd isn’t the usual losers only after the spotlight. Last night totally amazed me.” She tilts Andy’s box of Smarties into her mouth. “I swear I felt totally in my element at O. Antoinette introduced me to the coolest people.”
“Will Antoinette help me find a boyfriend there?” Andy asks.
“She can if you’re into goths, vampires, and zombies.”
“I’m into anything that loves me as I am,” Andy says, stifling a grin.
Pri rolls her eyes. “O isn’t a joke, Andy. It’s a happening place if you’re after a rocking evening.”
“Who’s planning a rocking evening?” Marcus smiles at me before greeting Andy and Pri.
“Me. Andy’s desperate for a boyfriend,” Pri says.
“Nothing wrong with that.” Marcus grins and winks at Andy.
“Yeah. But O isn’t exactly a place for casual relationships.”
Marcus hangs on to Pri’s every word. I had no idea he was into O at all. “Exactly what goes on there?” He’s more curious than his voice lets on. I can tell from the way his gaze never leaves Pri’s while he waits for her answer.
1. What is the easiest thing about writing?
I love writing and for me it’s as easy breathing. Creating the story in my head is the easy part. Getting the thoughts to flow out my fingers is the tricky part.
2. What is your favorite book and why?
My current fave is Fallen by Lauren Kate. It’s the first fallen angel book I read. I love the world she crated, the unique darkness and the entire atmosphere in her book.
3. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Twilight because Ms. Meyer reignited a love of YA books worldwide. I’d also love to have written the Percy Jackson series because my nephew loves it.
4. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The last hug between Marcus and Sarah. Too much info would make this a spoiler but the last hug was a poignant moment.
5. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring authors?
Write, write, write. Approach publishers such as Lycaon who have open calls because it is the best way to develop our career.
6. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I would have approached Lycaon Press sooner.
7. What has been the most surprising thing about the journey of writing books?
My editor, Haleigh Rucinsky, can read my mind despite the miles between us. The art team amazes me each time they nail a book cover perfectly even though I have a hazy image of what the cover should like.
8. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Life. Minor characters in other books and my nephew. He’s 12 and has an amazing way of inspiring me.
About Sheritha Singh:
Sheritha writes between studying, working, dreaming, eating, and pretty much anything. While in school she dreamed of having her writing published, and now that her dream has come true, she has moved onto the next item on her bucket list—meet and marry the ultimate book boyfriend. Sheritha loves hearing from fans. Please tweet @Shersinghzn.