A Shimmer of Angels


Writing a novel is a journey the likes of which no one can truly be prepared for. It’s so much more than sitting at a desk alone. So, in honor of that, there are a few (dozen) people I’d love to thank.

First of all, I have to thank Georgia McBride for falling (pun intended) in love with this story and believing in it enough to take a chance on it and on me. These words would not be on this page, and this story may never have been shared with so many if not for you.

To my incredible editor, Mandy Schoen, who is, simply stated, a genius. Our long, back-and-forth e-mails helped keep me sane, and your incredible insights kept me afloat and pushing forward. Thank you for understanding my twisted characters and finding ways to make them shine (and lose their $#!*).

I also want to thank Courtney Koschel, Rachel Bateman, Ashlynn Yuhas, Brittany Howard, and Kelly P. Simmon. And to all of the Month9Books family, including the generous, talented, amazing up-and-coming Month9Books authors whose books I can’t wait to get in my hands and devour: thank you.

I couldn’t go on any further without thanking my mom for loving me so fiercely and showing me how far a hard-working woman can go in life. Even though we live so far away now, no distance will ever be too great for us. (P.S. so sorry for those pesky teenage years, but without them I wouldn’t be so dead-set on writing for Young Adults.)

Thanks Dad, for taking care of me, always being there, and for passing on a seriously unique (and sort of messed up) sense of humor.

And, of course, Randy, for encouraging me to take that big step and finish my first novel, for pushing me when I need it and letting me work when and where ever the muse strikes. Thank you for being my rock. You truly are the love of my life, and I still can’t believe how lucky I am.

To Lesley Jones, my unbelievably awesome, go-to writerly friend who is always there when I need an ear no matter how busy you might be. For all the e-mails, chats, brainstorming sessions, hours of gaming and giggling, and most importantly the crazy cat-lady silliness. Never, never change, and keep reaching for the stars.

I’d also like to thank my fabulous critique partner, Katee Robert, for helping me along on this crazy writing journey, and for letting me share in those thrilling, smexy stories of yours.

Terry, Danny, and Katie Gripton, my second family, for taking me in so long ago when I felt lost, and for letting me keep coming back (and not just for a summer or two).

My dear Andrea Creighton, the truest, most dedicated friend any girl could ask for—the kind that freaks out (in a good way) when you tell her you’re going to be published, and inspires me to be sillier every day.

A huge thank you to the readers. Without your extreme good taste, I wouldn’t be here in this amazing position. To my blog and Twitter friends, my breaks revolve around you and your crazy antics. To everyone I may have forgotten, and everyone to come, thank you, thank you, thank you.


Lisa M. Basso

Chapter One

Doctor Graham said I was in remission the day he signed my release papers, and I believed him. God knows, I wanted to believe him. Armed with three prescriptions and an outpatient schedule requiring weekly visits with a counselor, I’d left, because anything was better than that place.

The thing about beliefs? Even the strongest can be shattered by the simplest of things.

Hallucination-free for six months now, I should have expected it wouldn’t last. And judging by the golden-haired boy across the street—the one sporting the curved wings—remission had just become a fond and distant memory.

I squeezed my eyes closed. Please don’t be real. Please don’t be real. My heart sputtered and cold disbelief coiled around my lungs, reminding me that pleading never worked. So I sucked in a breath and opted for common sense instead. Angels don’t exist. They never had. Dr. G had made me see that during our therapy sessions. And yet, three months, twelve days, and fifteen hours after my release, there they were. Again.

I used to see them all the time—winged beings, walking around. They were the cause of my frequent, thirty-day stints at the Sunflower Serenity Mental Health Clinic—or the SS Crazy, as I called it—over the past three years. But they were just