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  • Sleepless
  • Written by Cyn Balog
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  • Written by Cyn Balog
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  • Sleepless
  • Written by Cyn Balog
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Written by Cyn BalogAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Cyn Balog

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List Price: $8.99

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On Sale: July 13, 2010
Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89493-0
Published by : Delacorte Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tags for this book (powered by Library Thing)
young adult (11) fantasy (10) sandman (8) romance (6) paranormal (6)
young adult (11) fantasy (10) sandman (8) romance (6)
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Eron DeMarchelle isn't supposed to feel this connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce his human charges to sleep. Though he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to do so. After all, becoming too involved in one human's life could prevent him from helping others get their needed rest.
 
But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia, a lonely girl with fiery red hair and sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. In the past, Eron has broken rules to protect Julia, but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't reach her. Eron's time as a Sandman is coming to a close, and his replacement doesn't seem to care about his charges. Worse, Julia is facing dangers she doesn't recognize, and Eron, as he transitions back to being human, may be the only one who can save her. . . .
 
Even once they've become human again, Sandmen are forbidden to communicate with their charges. But Eron knows he won't be able to forget Julia. Will he risk everything for a chance to be with the girl he loves?
 
Cyn Balog's follow-up to Fairy Tale has more wit, more supernatural delights, and more star-crossed romance! Teen girls will love this story of a Sandman who falls in love with his human charge.
 


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt

Griffin Colburn knew something was wrong the moment he slid into the driver's seat.  

It was a twinge. Nothing more. He shook his head, blinked. Pushed it off.  

His Mustang started fine, like always. He revved the engine a few times, like always. He always said it was to keep it from stalling, which it sometimes did in cold weather, but really he loved to feel the power behind the car. It was old, but still fast and dangerous.  

He wouldn't know how dangerous, though, until that night.  

As he backed out of the driveway, Julia blew him a long, exaggerated stage kiss, as if he were shipping off to war. As if she knew she'd never see him again. Then she wiped some nonexistent tears from her eyes and pretended to sob hysterically into her hands. His headlights illuminated her slight, pale body, crowned with long reddish hair. She squinted in their glow and then smiled toothily, like a preschooler.  

He fed a Sinatra disc into his CD player and grinned back at her, then listened as Ol' Blue Eyes crooned, "Someday, when I'm awfully low." The tinkling of the piano keys drowned out the screeching of his tires, and as he began to sing along, he felt it, fiercer now. It started in his temples, trailed behind his eyes, the momentary shiver that comes somewhere between wakefulness and sleep. Twinge. Twinge. For a second, he felt as if he were falling. He blinked again, gripped the steering wheel to steady himself.  

Twinge.  

This time, he squeezed his eyes closed, only for a moment. In that moment, the image of the beautiful young woman appeared.  

Whoa, he thought. Too many late nights. He sat up in the driver's seat, stretched his spine. Usually when his mind wandered, it went to NFL playoffs. Or to the scantily clad, Playboy Playmate type of beauty. And yet, when he blinked again, he could see her, as plainly as if she were sitting in the passenger seat next to him. She was dressed in the pink silk of a fairy-tale princess, braiding her black waist-length hair. When she batted her heavy lashes, a slow smile spread on her face.  

Then her eyes focused on him. Shark's eyes, two emotionless black buttons.  

He shook his head, rubbed one temple with his free hand, checked the seat beside him again. Nothing but his baseball glove and a grease-stained fast-food bag. I definitely need more sleep, he thought as he sped out of the neighborhood. He was halfway down Peasant when he felt a slow, warm caress run up his neck, down his chest--twinge. His whole body lurched forward. It was almost like he skipped forward a few moments in time. He must have driven right through that stop sign on Peasant, because he couldn't remember coming up to it. Instead, he found himself on Main Street, at an amber light, which normally he would have sped through, but sensing something was off, he slowed. Suddenly--twinge--he blinked and it was green again, without ever having turned red.  

"What the . . ." He gripped the wheel tighter.  

He thought about turning back, but only for a second. Griffin Colburn didn't have a reputation for spinelessness.   Just a few more minutes. Just a few more minutes and I'll be in bed. He pressed down on the accelerator, thinking of home.  

He blinked again. Twinge.  

And she was there.  

This time, clearer.  

Beckoning to him.  


From the Hardcover edition.
Cyn Balog

About Cyn Balog

Cyn Balog - Sleepless

Photo © Angela Pursell

My grandfather, Orlando Bianco, was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, quiet Italian. Yes, those do exist. But like the stereotypical Italian who prefers a good glass of red wine with his pasta and gestures way too much with his hands, he had a fiery temper. He’d lounge in his rocker on the front porch of his home on Seventh Avenue in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and I remember him getting upset more than once when I’d leave for the evening wearing pants that were much too tight for his liking.


Sometimes it’s hard to believe our grandparents were ever our age. I explored this generation gap in my novel, Sleepless. Eron is a Sandman who died in 1910. He is very much like my grandfather. In fact, Eron’s history is taken from a story my mother told me about my grandfather’s past, one I never knew while I was traipsing about town in those too-tight pants. My grandfather had come over to this country from Italy with his mother when he was only a few years old. Neither of them spoke English. A marriage had been arranged in Newark, New Jersey. My grandfather was brought into a family with several stepsiblings, none of whom was happy about the arrangement. They ignored him on good days, treated him horribly on bad ones. 


I was told that he left school in sixth grade. That he worked for a jeweler. That he met my grandmother and married very young. That he eventually started his own successful oil company and bought that seaside home. That he was also quite the adventurer before he resigned himself into that rocking chair on the front porch. I knew him as the guy who saved everything, even large jars of pop-up turkey timers in the garage, in case he could find another use for them. Who thought most TV was trash and would only watch Lawrence Welk and Golden Girls reruns, at wall-shaking volume. But he had this whole other life before I came around, one that I never knew about until he was gone. I think maybe if I had learned more about him, I would have understood that he was a product of his time. That actually, when you looked at it through his eyes, through his experiences, all of his weird behavior made sense.


If there’s one memory I have of my grandfather, it was one night when the whole family was together, playing a card game called Michigan Rummy for pennies. The old wisdom was that if you want luck, you needed to walk around your chair, clockwise, three times. After the cards were dealt, my grandfather looked his over, sighed, then silently threw his cards down and started walking around his chair. He was such a practical person so that was my first indication of how even the people closest to us can surprise us. No, my grandfather didn’t have a very happy youth, and his life was one in which the things that mattered most were seemingly insignificant, like pop-up turkey timers and the clothing choice of his granddaughters. But maybe, I realize now, they’re not so insignificant. And maybe, wherever he is now, he’s finally reaping the good fortune of that walk around the chair.


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