They did not write her gently like she hoped. Nothing stood in the emptiness of her home and told her what words to use now, what language was safe. Instead she began to think. Not of her daughter, no, she would have been able to accept that. Sierra found herself thinking about Chuck. About all American football star and first love of her life — because she was old now and there had been so many versions of love. Sierra stood in a house that croaked like a ship on the verge of wreck every time the wind blew and she thought about the warmth of large hands, the sweet of first kisses.
And she thought about how if she had been less picky through her life she wouldn't be so alone, so absolutely without. Chuck would have been great. Or Paul. Or Larry. Or any number of men who hadn't been exactly awful or violent, not like the man she married at all. No. Their crimes had been being boring. Or stupid. Or busy. Busy, like she couldn't wait a few extra minutes a night to get their attention. She'd learned what being alone was really like in her marriage and now she knew better. Now that she had seen Scott walk away and never come back, not even at the end of Molly's battle with cancer, she understood all too well. Molly was gone and Sierra Chastain was utterly alone.
Will I be like this forever? Will it ever end?
She stepped out of her dying home and walked toward the lake, more verb than noun suddenly, and Sierra Chastain walked through the cold river of her backyard. As the water took to her lungs she thought about the kindness of her last love's smile and how much she'd miss him. Not for being best but for being last. A goodbye kiss to life, to this world.
That's all, folks.
Anthologies of novellas and short stories ranging from the first published work to inserts of horror, science fiction, humor and tragedy including the O. Henry Award winning "The Thing in the Third Car". First lingering in the top ten for a month, the anthologies all found themselves rocketing to number one; all three volumes have come to rest happily on top ten year end sellers lists. Every story works itself around the idea of a longing and long lives lived without. A three part series released in 2008, 2010, & 2012 to completion, the Songs of Longing call out over cold winds to anyone and everyone who needs to be reminded they are not alone in their downfalls. And they, too, can find their ways to come to terms. All is well. All is right.
It had been such a throwaway remark about Grandma Lu but suddenly the entire Chang-Kim-Landon clan were thinking over the very simple fact. Grandma Lu hated the smell of rain. A joke they'd uttered to one another in jest and good faith for decades already, for two full generations.
They realized in slow steps they had never taken the time to understand why. It hadn't ever seemed to matter. No one had taken the time to ask or understand much of anything that the matriarch of their blended family had done. Why was her kitchen more of a maze than a display, everything hidden behind something else? Why did she valiant at her windowsill watching over everything and nothing? Why had she never worn an outfit, even for sleep, that hadn't hung off the back side of a door for two days beforehand?
Why had the smell of rain always bothered her?
"She said it smelled old." The sound breaks like a sudden shot through the room. No one had realized how quiet they were being until Chuck began to talk, his bloated hands folding over one another in nervous energy. His voice was steadier than the flesh of him could prove to be and the whole family was grateful for it in that moment, listening to the careful pace of his words. "Not old like age but old, like a thing that was there before you and chased you all your life. We were what, twelve? You remember, don't you, Tommy?" The youngest of Grandmother Lu's kids didn't remember, not a conversation where his mother had ever dared to reveal a secret from her chest. "That weekend! We went to see Fist of Fury? We were eating lunch and it started to pour. I don't think she knew I heard her, leaning against that window in her kitchen back then, but I did. She said smells like that were older than you and your secrets and they would always try to catch you."
Everyone wondered why Chuck could, or would, remember the thought but he didn't bother to expand on it. No one needed to know that it was the first weekend he'd gotten to see Justine in all her thirteen year old glory or the way he'd memorized every detail about the woman and her family he would one day marry. Especially any details about the woman he wanted to grow up to call mom.
As they sat with coffee cooling in their West Coast hands the rain began to fall in West Virginia. Grandmother Lu smelled it and turned away, silver key slipping like new into her rented car. Her secrets weren't going to stop her now. Not when she was finally getting somewhere.
What do you do when you wake up and your mother goes missing? Your grandmother? Lucinda Chang's children find themselves having to face the hard answers to an impossible question in this eerie noir mystery woven into a family drama.
Released in 2014, Grandmother Loves You is Herbert Yu's sophmore effort and proves that this is only the beginning. Topping the national bestseller's list for two weeks in a row before rising back up sixteen weeks later to the number one spot, Grandmother Loves You is a new blend of drama, suspense and the melancholy of mystery. This isn't your typical grandmother knows best story and yet, Grandma Lu comes into every home like every grandmother you've ever known. Her danger, her risks, her triumphs become the reader's own in this phenomenal story.
"Me?" Nothing, she moved to say.
Next to nothing.
I take night walks through Chicago until I'm exhausted. I clean my grandmother's tin tea pot, her mirror and her jewelry, as if she's always ready to walk through the door and take them back once again even though it has been two decades since I saw her last breath.
I read — sometimes twelve books at a time. Everywhere: on the train, drinking coffee, in the kitchen, on the toilet. I buy puzzles by the handful and finish two thousand pieces at a time before frustration makes me destroy them again. Then, I do them over. I feed strays. I order my cabinets and label my spices — in English and French. Sometimes, I take sleeping pills. Sometimes, I take shots. I don't watch television in fear a man who looks just like him will pop up. Gradually, I turn to stone.
"I carry on."
The same, every day. That's the way you survive. Other than that simple thing, I do absolutely nothing.
The debut novel from rising young star Hebert Yu, Dance With The Rain proves a poignant understanding of loss and love beyond the young author's years. A surprising rise to the top of the charts kept the full length novel at number one for four weeks while the love in the pages kept the debut on the charts all through 2011. Tackling problems with death, memories and the ghosts that haunt us in every move we make, Dance With The Rain asks the reader one vital question. What use is your umbrella when you're already wet?
Our shadows vanished into the light, the gloomy light that fell on us like moonlight's cousin recovering from a long fever. The whole world out before us looked like it was covered in the stuff. We weren't sure where the city ended anymore, there on our secret rock, and I'm not certain I would have minded if the world broke apart just then. Because she took my hand in hers and did something I never expected.
For the life of me, I can't remember the words. It haunts me like a faded dream. Sometimes, right before falling asleep, I remember the note she hit, that first note, then it all runs away again. All I can remember is that her mouth burned through the darkness and all I could see was the thousand ways I wanted to kiss her. All I still see are the thousand ways I should have kissed her there. Before it all began.
"We should go somewhere. Anywhere. They won't find us, not if we're real good about it. What do you say, Ev? Could we do it?"
Yes, a thousand times yes. A thousand times yes even now.
Evan Sanders always thought too much. Tabitha Lee — Bibi, to everyone — never liked that about him. Until, one day, it saved both their lives. On a cool Spring day in the middle of their lunch break they watch an eclipse pass over their small town. When the darkness breaks and light comes back new, nothing looks the same. Can they stand together, disconnected from their world, and try to hope for a way to survive?
The first Young Adult novel from Bestselling author Herbert Yu, So, We Run? sets the stage for an adventure that leaves you breathless. First in what's due to be known as The 647 Series, a collection of books about an alternate reality where Earth, known as Planet 647, lives in permanent fog. Released in 2015 it debuted at number one and lingered in the top ten for months, peaking thrice on the bestseller's list and topping the young adult list for a month. A tale of romance, growth, and the true journey to finding your own path, So, We Run? sets the pace for a brand new world that welcomes you as well as it throws you into danger.
Keep Me/Saved are the sequels to the series: Keep Me is told from Bibi's perspective on Earth while Saved is from Evan's perspective on 647. Both were released together in September of 2017.
They pounded at her like they were fists until finally she had enough and she screamed, screamed until her cheeks shook and her eyes trembled with rage and the whole of the temple fell to silence. "ENOUGH ALREADY!" Though her frame made her half the size of the smallest of the warriors in her clan Bibi had never known intimidation. Not here, not in Texas, not even if Death herself came around and tried to make a play. "It's Bibi now, by the way, and I know you understand it so you're gonna have to Deal with that! And I'm not saying we should run around saving everyone I'm saying that I am not going to let you leave billions of Earthlings stuck on a dying planet just because you think they — like, what? Deserve it?"
Outside, the wind blew, kicked up blue dust until it spread into the air and burned a haze of purple against the windows around them. As a young girl — back when her name was Zrikya and settled more in the throat — Bibi had always thought the purple was mystical and stole the birds out of the sky, sent them to another place. She still did, in her heart of hearts, and nothing that her father said with his stern brows was going to kill that.
Even as he threatened to kill the very reason her heart beat these days. "The boy is not our problem." Every note of his voice echoed as final and Bibi knew it, shoulders slouching in sorry defeat as her eyes of light took in the room.
"Hu?" Her voice rose to the high hum of their home, a daughter speaking right to her father before her English snapped back into place. "Where's your beloved warrior? Isn't that at least your concern?"
The highly anticipated sequel to So, We Run?, Keep Me follows Tabitha's journey on Planet 647 as she manages her way through strife, political turmoil and the threat of peril for everything she's ever held dear.
Beyond the golden door was a scarlet furnace, embers burning like a thousand roses. Petal upon secret petal, each blazing with its own ancient fury. El had never seen anything so beautiful, so intensely and so utterly alive. Now, as he reached one grimy hand out toward wonder, a thousand voices began to sing his name ... and dreadful, terrible fear began to nab its way toward the center of his heart. The room grew cold as blackened ice and the air moved heavy as mountain stones.
Elias Rothschild, run. The singing turned to shouting and the screams drowned inside of their own weight. Something was wrong here. He could feel it pulsing in discord like a deep and ugly scratch on the side of his chest. Then, as he turned to run, the heart of the rose opened before him in a bright dazzle of light. The yellow became a sun, a bright and burning center forged out of death he knew then; death fed these roses in their alien grass and now had come time for new meals.
Run! The voice came clearest of them all, Grandma Ruth breaking through the noise and the intoxication to give her grandson one last warning. The fear shattered long enough for El to pull himself away from the furnace of it all, falling straight on his ass as a round of applause began to echo around him, the laugh so familiar that El almost burst into tears as he reached out for his oldest friend.
"Seriously, El, can't you at least die with a little dignity?"
Sixteen year old Elias Rothschild is no different than any other kid his age; he wants his room left alone, a few good movies a month and way less homework. His parents leave him alone and there's always been little room for want in his life, thanks to a sizable inheritence left to him by his grandparents in their final days. There'd only been one duty he had to live by and in their last will and testament it had been vague and absurd: don't let mazikim win. He'd never listened, until one day he stumbles upon something he was never supposed to see. When Elias finds out his world is anything but ordinary and that lose means more than just his death, will he find enough courage to carry out what his family thought he could? Or will he lose himself to something that's becoming greater than himself?
From Hugo Award winning author Herbert Yu, this first forray into horror novels will thrill, excite and terrify any reader — but not without first asking: "what would you sacrifice to save the light?"
Today marks one year since you were last in my arms. It doesn't seem possible. This entire year is still like a dream to me. Disjointed and blurry, so unreal. There are times when I think it really has been a dream. Times when I hear you crying and start toward your room. Other times when I swear I feel you moving inside me, as though you haven't been born yet.
But then I remember, all of it, and I don't think I can stand it any more.
My own mother is making me write this note. I don't know what I would have done without my mother in these months. I wonder if anyone really understands what I'm going through but another mother? Your daddy tries, and I know he must miss you now, so much, but I don't think he can feel this same emptiness.
I'm hollow now. So hollow I think there are times I think I'll just crumble away to nothing.
Part of me wishes I could, but I have your brother. Poor, sweet little boy. He's so confused. He doesn't understand why you're not here.
How can I explain to him, when I don't understand it either?
I know you'll come back to him. You'll have to know we will never stop looking. I pray, every day, that you'll be home to me again some night. Until you are, I pray. That you are safe and well. That you found a way to stop your sins. That you're not frightened anymore. That whoever it is that took you from me is at least kind, and loving; does she rock you in her arms, the way you like?
Are there lullabies?
One day she'll realize, like you, that this is wrong. That you aren't this.
I'm sorry. That I wasn't strong enough to face you and fix you. Sorry, that I turned from you even if it was only for a moment. If I could go back, I'd hold you so close you wouldn't need her anymore. No woman could tear you away.
You're still here in my heart, my baby.
I love you. I miss you.
Yong-Rae folded the pages neatly, slipped them back into the old envelope stained yellow. She put the lid back on the cedar box and set the box on the floor. Leaning over, she switched off her light.
And lay there, in the dark, aching for a mother she barely remembered.