4.1 53
by Cyn Balog

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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

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
There can be a fine line between romantic pursuit and stalking, and Balog's (Fairy Tale) enticing supernatural story of star-crossed love hovers right on the edge. For nearly a century, Eron DeMarchelle has served as a Sandman, lulling his charges to sleep; lately, he's developed a crush on Julia Devine, a teen with a tragic past. Since Eron's service is ending and he will transition back to mortality, he must train his replacement: Griffin Colburn, Julia's recently deceased boyfriend, with whom Julia shared an ambivalent, emotionally detached relationship. Griffin's best friend Bret also develops an unwholesome interest in Julia, aggravating Griffin, who threatens to default on his Sandman duties if Eron doesn't protect Julia from Bret. Griffin's plan backfires when Julia is charmed by Eron. With three guys, living and dead, out to claim her heart, the battle for Julia's fate is decided in her dreams and in the real world. Julia and Eron share a gentle chemistry that will appeal to paranormal romance fans, but readers drawn to the fantasy concept may wish for a more in-depth exploration of the Sandmen's world. Ages 12–up. (July)
Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
Eron DeMarchelle has been a sandman for the last one hundred years. He has charge over three mortals whom he seduces to sleep each night. He's not supposed to feel any attachment to them, but Julia is different. A lonely seventeen-year-old girl, Julia has put up barriers to protect herself from real emotions, a carryover from being kidnapped when she was younger. When her so-called boyfriend Griffin is killed in a car accident she struggles to figure out where she fits and what to do next. Eron, however, is struggling with Griffin himself. Chosen to take Eron's post as sandman Griffin is supposed to be learning his new duties, instead he is busy flaunting his new powers and taking an obsessive interest in Julia to the point of haunting her. It is up to Eron to convince Griffin of his new state of being and warn Julia of danger in his moments of mortality as he slowly transfers back to the human world to finish his life. The promising idea falls flat with a lack of development and depth, particularly with the characters. Griffin is completely unlikable. His interest in Julia isn't much more than lukewarm when he's alive but inexplicably blossoms into obsession with his death. Eron has spent years observing the humans in his charge, yet when he begins to re-join their world he is flummoxed by slang and fashion. While the predictable conclusion comes a bit too quickly and neatly the intriguing premise may be enough to draw readers needing another fix for their paranormal romance needs. Reviewer: Amy McMillan
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—An interesting, quick-paced, and compelling paranormal romance. Eron DeMarchelle has known Julia all her life. As her Sandman, it is his duty to lure her, and his other charges, to sleep each night. Now, Julia's boyfriend has passed away and just when she unknowingly needs Eron the most, he may be unable to help her. Sandmen are contracted for 100 years after their deaths and then they are able to become human again. Eron has begun training his replacement, who just happens to be Julia's ex, Griffin, an impulsive and obsessive young man. As he begins to break the rules trying to stay forever with Julia, Eron must fight to save both her and himself. Julia is a smart heroine surrounded by flawed, yet mostly lovable boys and involved in a star-crossed romance. It's a surefire formula. Told in chapters alternating between Eron and Julia, the story includes some teenage drinking, some sexually mature scenes, and stalking, but it is definitely recommended for public library collections.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an 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.  


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.  

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