Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

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  • Modern Ink Society Featuring Marissa Meyer

    September 23, 2015


    Marissa Meyer

    A Teaser from FAIREST

    Welcome to the twenty-second session of



    “Don’t be afraid of being different,

    be afraid of being the same

    as everyone else.”

     — Unknown


     Introducing the lovely

    Marissa Meyer


    A Teaser from FAIREST


    her back. White sparks floated in her vision but the mercy of 
    unconsciousness wouldn’t come. Her throat was hoarse from screaming. 
    The smell of her own burning flesh invaded her nostrils. Smoke stung her 
    eyes. Blisters burbled across her skin, and entire swaths of flesh peeled 
    away, revealing raw tissue underneath.
     The pain was relentless, the agony never ending. She pleaded 
    for death, but it never came. 
    She reached out with her good hand, trying to drag her body from 
    the fire, but the bed of coals crushed and col- lapsed under her weight, 
    burying her, dragging her deeper into the embers and the smoke. 
    Through the  haze  she  caught  a  glimpse  of  kind  eyes. A warm 
    smile. A finger curled toward her. Come here, baby sister . . .
    Levana gasped and jolted upward, limbs tangled in heavy  
    blankets. Her sheets were damp and cold from her sweat, but her 
    skin was still burning hot from the dream.
    Her throat felt scratched raw. She struggled to swallow, but her saliva 
    tasted like smoke and made her cringe. She sat in the faint morning 
    light shuddering, trying to will away the nightmare. The same 
    nightmare that had plagued her for too many years, that she could 
    never seem to escape.
    She rubbed her hands repeatedly over her arms and sides 
    until she was certain the fire wasn’t real. She was not burning alive. 
    She was safe and alone in her chambers. 
    With a trembling breath, she scooted to the other side of the mattress, 
    away from the sweat-stained sheets, and lay back down. Afraid to close 
    her eyes, she stared up at the can- opy and practiced her slow breathing 
    until her heartbeat steadied.
    She tried to distract herself by planning who she would be that day. 
    A thousand possibilities floated before her. She would be 
    beautiful, but there were many types of beauty. Skin tone, hair texture, 
    the shape of one’s eyes, the length of a neck, a well-placed freckle, a 
    certain grace in the way one walked.
    Levana knew a great deal about beauty, just as she knew a great 
    deal about ugliness.
    • 4  •
    Then she remembered that today was the funeral. 
    She groaned at the thought. How exhausting it would be to hold a  
    glamour all day long, in front of so many. She didn’t  
    want to go, but she would have no choice.
    It was an inconvenient day for her focus to be shaken by nightmares.  
    Perhaps it would be best to choose something familiar.  
    As the dream receded into her subconscious, Levana toyed  
    with the idea of being her mother that day. Not as Queen Jannali 
    had been when she died, but perhaps as a fifteen-year-old version of  
    her. It would be a sort of homage to attend the funeral wearing her  
    mother’s  cheekbones and the vivid violet eyes that everyone knew  
    were glamour- made, though no one would have dared say so aloud.
    She spent a few minutes imagining what her mother might  
    have looked like at her age, and she let the glamour settle over her.  
    Moon-blonde hair sleekly pulled into a low knot. Skin as pale as a  
    sheet of ice. A little shorter than she would become full grown. Pale  
    pink lips, so as not to detract from the vibrancy of those eyes.
    It calmed her, sinking into the glamour. But no sooner had she  
    tested the look than she felt the wrongness of it.  
    She did not want to go to her parents’ funeral in the garb of a girl-  
    • 5  •
    A tap fluttered at the door, interrupting her thoughts.  
    Levana sighed, and quickly fell into another costume that she’d  
    dreamed up days before. Olive skin, a graceful  
    slope to her nose, and raven-black hair cut adorably short. She shifted  
    through a few eye colors before landing on a striking gray-blue,  
    topped off with smoldering black lashes.
    Before she could second-guess herself, she embedded a silver  
    jewel into the flesh beneath her right eye.  
    A teardrop. To prove that she was in mourning.  
    “Come in,” she called, opening her eyes.  
    A servant entered carrying a breakfast tray. The girl curtsied  
    in the doorway, not lifting her gaze from the floor— which rendered  
    Levana’s glamour unnecessary—before approaching the bed.
    “Good morning, Your Highness.”  
    Sitting up, Levana allowed the servant to set the tray across her  
    lap and tuck a cloth napkin around her. The ser- vant poured jasmine tea  
    into a hand-painted porcelain cup that had been imported from Earth  
    several generations ago, and garnished it with two small mint leaves and a 
    drizzle of honey. Levana said nothing as the servant uncovered a tray of  
    tiny cream-filled pastries, so that Levana could see what they looked like  
    whole, before using a silver knife to saw them into even tinier bite-  
    size pieces. While the servant worked, Levana eyed the dish of  
    bright-colored fruits: a
    • 6  •
    soft-fuzzed peach set into a halo of black and red berries, all dusted with  
    powdered sugar.  
    “Is there anything else I can bring for you, Your High-  
    “No, that will be all. But send the other one up in twenty minutes to  
    prepare my mourning dress.”  
    “Of course, Your Highness,” she answered, although they both knew  
    there was no other one. Every servant in the pal- ace was the other one.  
    It didn’t matter to Levana who the girl sent up, so long as whoever it  
    was could properly stitch her into the sleek gray gown the seamstress  
    had delivered the day before. Levana didn’t want to bother with  
    glamouring her dress today in addition to her face, not with so  
    many other thoughts in her head.
    With another curtsy, the servant ducked out of the room, leaving  
    Levana to stare down at her breakfast tray. Only now did she realize  
    how very un-hungry she was. There was an ache in her stomach, perhaps  
    left over from the hor- rible dream. Or she supposed it could have been  
    sadness, but that was doubtful.
    She felt no great loss at the death of her parents, who had been  
    gone now for half the long day. Eight artificial nights. Their deaths  
    were terribly gory. They were assassi- nated by a shell who used his  
    invincibility against the Lunar gift to sneak into the palace. The man  
    had shot two royal
    • 7  •
    guards in the head before making his way to her parents’ bedroom on  
    the third floor, killing three more guards, and slitting her mother’s throat  
    so deeply the knife severed part of her spine. He had then gone down the  
    hallway to where her father was lying with one of his mistresses and  
    stabbed him sixteen times in the chest.
    The mistress was still screaming, blood spurts across her face,  
    when two royal guards found them.  
    The shell murderer was still stabbing.  
    Levana had not seen the bodies, but she had seen the bedrooms  
    the next morning, and her first thought was that all that blood  
    would make for a very pretty rouge on her lips.


    A huge thanks to Marissa for sharing some a teaser from Fairest! I’m hooked already!  If you’d like to learn more about Marissa Meyer and check out her books, you can go to her website, at

    Also, don’t forget to join Marissa and Colleen for a LIVE CHAT on GOODREADS on September 29th!

    CHBC September


    ~Till next time,

    Linda Louise

    This entry was posted in Events, Featuring Authors, The Modern Ink Society, Uncategorized.

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    Author Bio

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.