(Null City Book 2)
by Barb Taub
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Steam Punk
Publisher: Taliesin Publishing
Date of Publication: December 5, 2013
Cover Artist: James Caldwell
Hope flares each morning in the tiny flash of a second before Lette touches that first thing. And destroys it.
Her online journal spans a decade, beginning with the day a thirteen-year-old inherits an extreme form of the family ‘gift’. Every day whatever she touches converts into something new: bunnies, bubbles, bombs, and everything in between.
Lette’s search for a cure leads her to Stefan, whose fairy-tale looks hide a monstrous legacy, and to Rag, an arrogant, crabby ex-angel with boundary issues. The three face an army led by a monster who feeds on children’s fear. But it’s their own inner demons they must defeat first.
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• Amazon, all worldwide sites
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If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Laundry Woman. ZAP! POW! Holy clean undies, Batman!
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Both of my parents passed away recently, within two months of each other. I'll always be grateful that I was able to share my first book with them.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
As a digital book, Don't Touch is guaranteed to be 100% calorie and cholesterol free, but still leave you satisfied (although in fifteen minutes, you may crave the sequel...).
Since chocolate = oxygen, I think we can subtract that from the food groups. That leaves the green stuff I had in the south of France. You have to understand that I come from the US Midwest, where haute cuisine involves jello or mayo. (Or, with alarming frequency, both.) France was a religious experience for my tastebuds. One day we stopped at a little restaurant and I pointed to the set menu. The first thing they brought was a glass sphere clouded with steam. When it was opened, I realized that somehow they had used dry ice to ‘smoke’ the green stuff inside. I took a tiny bite. Can you imagine tasting something that’s a combination of the best chocolate and wine and sex you’ve ever had? You can? Well, I’m sorry but that’s just weird and I’m not going to be coming to dinner at your house. But this stuff was an absolute mouth orgasm. The only thing preventing me from licking the insides of the globe was the presence of the other diners, and even that wouldn’t have stopped me if they hadn’t taken away the globe (despite my begging). I tried to ask the waiter what I’d eaten. He turned over the menu and I thought he pointed to a small paragraph on the back. Since I don’t speak French, I took a picture with my phone. When I got back to our hotel, I looked it up in Google Translate. Apparently, my mouth nirvana was “The Ladies Bathroom is the third door on the left and down the stairs.”
What book are reading now?
This is a different genre for me, but my sister raved about The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, so I've just started it.
What’s your favorite season/weather?
Living in the north of England where winter means short cold days and long nights, I'm a sucker for spring, and I search for each little hint that the days are getting longer, spring bulbs blooming, and maybe... just maybe... I can take off at least one of my sweaters.
What was your favorite children's book?
I loved books that came in long series – Mary Poppins, All of a Kind Family, the Shoe books. But the one book I loved most of all was a huge volume my mother brought back from a trip to some exotic place (Minneapolis? Milwaukee?). A collection of fairy tales from around the world, it had the most gorgeously fantastic illustrations, and probably inspired my writing today.
Beach or Pool?
I grew up in California. Pools are a given. Beaches must be earned. So beach, of course.
What is one book everyone should read?
Pride and Prejudice.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Book 3 of the NullCity series, of course. The series will take a much darker turn, and I'll put some favorite characters through hell. Because I can. (Mwa-hah-ha!)
From Lette Simoneau’s LiveJournal Blog
WORST. Day-After-Birthday. EVER.
LiveJournal, January 20, 2003 by LetteS
Yesterday was my birthday (13!) so Mom said I could start this LiveJournal blog if I keep it private. But I never thought I would start my first post by saying that this morning at 6:15AM I found out I am a freak.
After all the birthday presents and cake, last night when I got into my (brand new!) loft bed I was a normal, neurotic (isn’t that a great word?) angst-filled (I had to look that one up too) new teenager. Then my alarm went off this morning. I woke up, and I could feel colors. Through my fingertips.
Yeah, I know: so freak. My fingers were touching my new quilt, and even though my eyes were still closed, I could feel vermillion, titian, and bittersweet. Who knew those were even words, let alone colors? I walked around my room with my eyes closed and fingers out. Dresser? Sienna brown. Mom’s evil cat George? Atrous black and niveous white. Walls? Glaucus blue (which sounded a lot better as “tropical lagoon” on the paint chip card).
Lamest. Superpower. Ever.
LiveJournal, October 28, 2012 by LetteS
—Lette’s Birth Date Calculator: 22 years, 9.2 months
Stefan came back to the little table covered with the remains of our feast. “Lette.” He picked up my gloved hand and wrapped his own around it. I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. He. Held. My. Hand. “You and I know what it’s like to try to live with what you’ve inherited from your family. If I do what they want, my life will be spent literally eating the energy from frightening and punishing children. Their fear and their pain will keep me alive.”
He reached for my other hand. “But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can go to Null City, together. We can turn our backs on what our families have made us, and we can have a good life. A human life.”
No longer twinkling, his blue eyes pleaded with me. “Come with me, Lette. We can rescue each other.”
I shook my head. “My parents…”
“Lette.” His whisper was warm, dark, full of sin and promise. “You’re young. Beautiful. You have to have wondered…imagined someone kissing you. Touching your bare skin. Making love to you. Giving you babies. That someone could be me.” He leaned in, and his lips touched mine so softly I could barely feel them. Then I did feel—little kisses on my forehead, nose, in lines down my cheeks, tasting my lips. My hands couldn’t feel his skin, but his warmth came through my gloves. His tongue brushed the seam of my lips and, when I opened my mouth, curled around mine for a moment while his lips pressed harder. Then he pulled back and laughed a bit. “You’re allowed to kiss back, you know.”
“I don’t know how.”
“Lette, you deserve love. Come with me to Null City. I know we’ve just met, but we have something in common. There has to be a reason we were brought together. Maybe we’re meant for each other. Lette—please. Please rescue me.”
He leaned in again, and this time I leaned forward too. Now that I was barefoot, we were almost the same height. My hands came up to his shoulders, and then I ran one gloved finger along his lips. My own lips were touching what my fingers could never know—bristles from his day-old beard, soft eyelids and spiky lashes flat against his cheeks, the surprise of his earlobe, the swirl of his dimple, back to lips that opened for me. I opened my own mouth, and he tasted like turkey, and apple cider, and something I couldn’t name. My hands went to his hair to pull his head closer. Stefan yelled and pulled back. When I opened my eyes, he was cradling the place on his head where I’d hit him with the cat food cans.
In a former life, Barb Taub wrote a humor column for several Midwest newspapers. Now living in an English castle with her prince-of-a-guy and the world's most spoiled AussieDog, she enjoys translating from British to American, travel, and collaborating with daughter Hannah on the main volumes of the Null City series.