**Visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Deadly Destination tour with Veronica Wolff & enter for a chance to win one of four copies of Blood Fever**
Deadly Destinations takes place at the dark, treacherous and scary North Brother Island. North Brother Island first appeared in Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange Trilogy and continues in Starling, the first book in a new trilogy that will be released on August 28, 2012. Thanks to Harper Teen, one lucky winner will receive a copy of Starling!
Welcome to a Nightmare…
There is a place. An unobtrusive little vine-covered bump of land rising up out of the East River in New York City. It lies due north of Rikers Island Penitentiary, just beyond the sweep of searchlights out across the black-glass water. It is off-limits to the public—there are severe penalties for trespassing—and it should be. It is a place whose history is steeped in sadness and sickness and sorrow. And yet, it is also strangely beautiful. Almost… Otherworldly.
It goes by the innocuous and innocent-sounding name of North Brother Island. It is anything but those things. It is, however, real. And weird. Now… there are a lot of real, weird places that make it into my stories. But none, with the notable exception of Central Park, that have twisted themselves so deeply into my brain while I was writing them.
Situated in a stretch of the river known as the Hell Gate straight—a treacherous Bermuda Triangle of Horrors, both natural and, if you ask me, supernatural—North Brother Island is a place best avoided at all costs. If you’re mortal, that is.
Just ask Kelley Winslow from my WONDROUS STRANGE series. She has strong opinions on the place.
Or, more recently, ask the Fennrys Wolf, from STARLING. He has bad memories of the place. Or… he would. If he had any memories at all, that is…
To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here is Kelley’s introduction to this most Deadly Destination (From the pages of TEMPESTUOUS):
A hand reached into the carriage to help her alight.
“Hello, Princess,” Bob the boucca said. “Welcome to North Brother Island. Or, as I like to call it… Hell on Earth.”
Stunned, Kelley followed Bob up a crumbling staircase and into a looming gothic building that had obviously been left to rot for decades. The whole structure was draped in a thick tangle of creeping viney growth. Once inside, Bob led her through wide, institutional hallways, piled with drifts of trash. Sickly, greenish light filtered through broken windows. The scent of decay clung to peeling paint and crumbling plaster on the walls.
“What is this place?” she asked quietly, uncertain whether Bob would deign to answer her. I gave Mabh his name, Kelley thought. He wasn’t going to forgive her for that. She wondered just how much trouble she was in. “You called it North Brother Island?”
“I also called it hell. And for a lot of poor doomed souls, it is.”
As they walked, the half-dozen Black Shuck that had accompanied Kelley on her journey stalked along on either side of them, like an escort. Kelley hugged her elbows against the chill spring breeze. Almost every pane of window glass had been shattered but she still couldn’t see much. The view was mostly obscured by thick, woody vines. “Are we in the Otherworld?”
Bob snorted. “This place is nowhere near the Otherworld. But it is rife with magick. Rotten with it, I should say. North Brother Island—a fairly innocuous name for a place that has seen more than its share of horrors down through the years—lies in the East River. Just above that mortal penal colony.”
“That’s the one.” Bob nodded. “This place here is off-limits to the general mortal populace. Has been for years. Ever since they shut down the sanatorium.”
Kelley felt an uncomfortable shiver run up her spine as she gazed around at her bleak surroundings. “Creepy…”
“Oh… I’m sure it didn’t always look like this. Before the mortals decided to build this facility to quarantine their smallpox victims, it was probably lovely and pastoral.”
“Smallpox!” Kelley gaped at the boucca. “I thought you said it was a sanatorium.”
“That was later. First it was infectious diseases. The pox, tuberculosis… typhus.” Bob grinned wickedly at the look on Kelley’s face. “Yes, indeedy. North Brother Island—before it was forgotten—was somewhat infamous. The name Typhoid Mary ring any bells? She was a ‘guest’ here for a few decades.”
Kelley felt her throat tightening. She couldn’t catch typhus. Could she? No. Of course she couldn’t. She hadn’t really ever been sick a day in her life. She was Faerie. She didn’t get sick.
In the same way that Auberon doesn’t get sick?
“And then, of course, when they turned the hospital into a treatment centre in the fifties for poor unfortunate heroin addicts.” Bob turned a corner, where he gestured Kelley up a staircase to the second floor. “Place is full of the unquiet shades of those who passed here. The sick, the addicts, the victims of the General Slocum disaster back in 1904…”
“A steamboat ran aground here. Over a thousand dead…”
“It’s a storied little thirteen-acre lump of dirt, this island.”
Kelley’s skin was virtually crawling. She stood halfway up the stairs, paralyzed at the thought of all the horrors the place had played host to.
“Come on, now,” Bob said grimly. “We mustn’t keep the Queen waiting.”
Is it any surprise, then, that having played a key role in my first trilogy—set in a New York where the real-world and the fantastical mix and mingle—this “storied little thirteen-acre lump of dirt” will make its way into the pages of my STARLING trilogy, set in that very same siren-song of a city?
I’m willing to bet that the Fennrys Wolf and Mason Starling are going to wish it hadn’t…
(You can check out this Pinterest pin to see one of the abandoned buildings on NorthBrotherIsland here.)
Lesley is a writer and actor living in Toronto, Canada. Captivated at a young age by stories of mythology and folk lore, past civilizations, and legendary heroes, she developed into a full-fledged Celtic Mythology Geek, steeped in stories of the Otherworld, Faeries and King Arthur. Lesley went on to earn a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Toronto specializing in Shakespeare and Arthurian literature.
For almost three years, Lesley hosted weekly late-night movie marathons on the nationally broadcast television show, SPACEBAR, as the Waitron-9000, a sparkly holographic waitress with an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure B-movie trivia. She is also a founding member and principal performer with Tempest Theatre Group.
Want to read more from Lesley Livingston?
This giveaway is provided by Harper Teen
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Starling by Lesley Livingston
Available August 28, 2012 from Harper Teen
About this Book:
“Love is just the beginning… of the end.”
Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.
As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?
Readers who fell in love with Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange trilogy and those who love Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series will be captivated by the sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action of Starling.
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