Published by Swoon Reads on September 19, 2017
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Taken from home and family, all they have is each other.
Isla is kidnapped from a train platform in broad daylight, and thrust into a nightmare when she is sold to a sadistic aristocrat. Locked in a dungeon with a dozen other girls, Isla's only comfort is a locket and the memory of the boy she loves. But as days pass and more girls disappear, she realizes that help is not coming... If they're going to survive, they'll have to escape on their own.
Swoon Reads is proud to present Lydia Albano's debut novel, a powerful story of a teen girl finding strength and hope in even the worst circumstances.
About the Author:
Lydia Albano is a (self-proclaimed) Bunburyist living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she promotes Oxford commas, spends her money on musical theater, and demands the Myers-Briggs letters of everyone she meets. Her debut novel, Finding You, will be released in September 2017, with SwoonReads/Macmillan.
Excerpt from Finding You
I catch my breath and watch as they descend the steps, the prison soundless but for the muffled thuds made by their boots. No one else speaks, moves, breathes.
The stranger is not a prisoner; if anything, he is leading the men. His clothes are fine, velvet and silk, but unflattering: his cravat tight but everything else ill-fitting; a black bombin hat perched awkwardly on his close-shaven head. He walks quickly with jagged steps toward the cell, and I recognize him: Curram’s man, the one who handled the money at the warehouse.
He stops only inches from the bars and looks in at us, his face twisted into an ugly, condescending sneer.
We all shrink back at the same time, as far from the cell door as possible. Someone’s hand clutches mine, small and cold as ice; Eugenia stares at me, trembling. I squeeze her fingers with my own, wishing I could tell her to be strong, that we’ll be all right. But I’m sure we won’t be.
The man is smiling now, his pale eyes raising gooseflesh on my arms. He puts a key in the cell’s lock, turns it, and opens the door.
I can’t back up any farther. The walls feel closer, the cell smaller. Someone starts to cry, and my pulse races in my ears. The man looks like a giant, towering over us with his arms crossed, amusement evident on his face.
He is still as stone except for his eyes, which flick from one of us to the next. I brace myself for him to move, but when he lunges forward, I jump anyway. It’s Eugenia he grabs, yanking her to her feet, pulling her hand out of mine. I’m too startled to hold on, fixated as her hair tumbles forward to cover her face, and it’s as if I’m seeing myself taken away, her skin as white as bone in the shadows.
He adjusts his grip on her arms as she screams for help and thrashes uselessly. He’s bigger, stronger, and I’m frozen in horror.
I hear her cries, and they might as well be mine.
The man’s hat is knocked off his head, and with a grunt, he flings Eugenia out of the cell and to the ground outside.
The soldiers hoist her to her feet; she looks like a porcelain doll, pale and fragile, between them. They drag her up the stairs, weeping and still begging for help, and I sit, unable to move.
The fancy man is still standing in the entrance to the cell, but now he is watching us. He bends very deliberately to pick up his hat, his eyes running over us the entire time. When he places the hat slowly onto his head, he’s smiling.
Then he backs out of the cell and shuts it behind him, turning the lock and hooking his cluttered ring of keys on his belt once more. He turns, climbs the stairs, and is gone.
Eugenia’s screams echo off the walls, or perhaps only inside my head. Fear fills the air, pushing my heart faster and faster. I can’t think about her. I don’t want to imagine what comes next.