The Third Lie's the Charm (The Liar Society)

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9781402285936: The Third Lie's the Charm (The Liar Society)
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Praise for The Liar Society:

"A page-turning, pearl-clutching mystery!"―Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead

"A book for mystery lovers everywhere...will suck you in and leave you hanging until the very end."―RT Book Reviews

Katie Lowry knows she could've stopped Alistair from doing something stupid if only she'd picked up the phone. Now she has to live with the guilt. She's sick of the lies, sick of the secret societies that rule life at Pemberly Brown Academy. But there's only one way to take them down: from the inside...

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About the Author:

LISA and LAURA ROECKER are sisters-turned-writing-partners with a passion for good books, pop culture and Bravo programming. Not necessarily in that order. Lisa has always been a phenomenal liar and Laura loves to write angsty poetry, so writing for young adults seemed like a natural fit. The sisters live in Cleveland, Ohio in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn't agree to a duplex. To learn more about The Liar Society series check outwww.theliarsociety.com

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

I missed Liam.

It had been two months since he saw me kiss Bradley Farrow. Two months since I told him I needed space. Two months since I started spending all my time with Taylor and Bethany in hopes of finally being inducted into their secret society, the Sisterhood.

Two months and I still missed him.

My finger hovered over his name on my cell phone. Maybe if I called him now I could make him understand why I hadn't returned any of his calls or texts. At first I was just angry. So angry with him for not understanding why Grace was so important to me. Why I needed to be the one to bring down all those who had a hand in killing her.

But the anger had faded and time apart provided clarity. It wasn't that Liam didn't care about Grace. He just cared more about me. He wanted me to be safe and happy.

It would be selfish to call him. Selfish to string him along. Selfish to expect him to wait around while I worked on ending the Sisterhood once and for all.

Like a sign from Grace, the moment I put down my phone, the chanting began from outside my window.

"In vetus amicus novus, numquam vinculum sororum refrigescet." "New friend into old, the bond of Sisters will never grow cold."

I recognized Taylor Wright's soft voice, her words lifted on the spring breeze, floating through the crack of my open window. When I looked down into the darkness, Grace's pearls dangling around my neck, twelve girls stood like ghosts in front of the thick trees that lined our backyard. The breeze licked at the hems of their gauzy white robes, and each carried a candle, the flames spitting.

I eyed the phone, silent and still on my desk, and felt the pull in both directions. One phone call to Liam to explain myself couldn't hurt. Maybe that closure would be a good thing for both of us.

But the chanting outside was growing louder. My time was up. I had to decide.

Involving Liam at this point would only complicate things. I had to accept my official initiation into the last remaining secret society of Pemberly Brown Academy without any strings attached. And my attachment to Liam was long and tangled. There would be time to unravel our feelings after the Sisterhood was destroyed. After Grace was avenged.

Just as I was about to leave the room, my phone exploded on my desk like a battle cry.

It had to be Liam. It was a sign that I shouldn't join the Sisterhood. A sign that it was time to move on or at least try to work things out with him. Things had been a mess with us in the fall, and now it was time to choose Liam.

Grace. Liam.

Liam. Grace.

Liam.

But lately I'd begun to understand that the choice wasn't really between Grace and Liam. The choice was between grief and life. I could answer the phone, ignore the girls on my lawn, and go back to a normal life. No crazy societies involved.

I slipped back through my bedroom door to the ringing phone, to a new beginning.

But it wasn't Liam. It was Alistair Reynolds.

Part of me wanted to cry, the tiny part of me who wanted to go back to the girl I'd been before, the girl without some crazy vendetta against a secret society. I could almost feel Liam slip between my fingers, just out of reach as always. In his place was the ghost of my best friend, urging me toward the Sisterhood. And if I was being completely honest, I wasn't ready to let her go. Not yet.

I briefly debated ignoring Alistair, but I knew he'd just keep calling me back. Ever since the Sisterhood had destroyed the Brotherhood, Alistair's sole reason for being, he'd been more persistent than ever. He'd come to terms with the fact that the Brotherhood was dead, but that didn't mean he was ready to let the Sisterhood continue to rule our school. Alistair was one of those spoiled, little rich boys who instead of simply crying over spilled milk knocked over everyone else's glasses too.

"What?" I whispered, ducking my head as though the movement could soften the sound even more.

"Is that how you answer all your calls?" If there was some kind of Richter scale for how much you wanted to punch a person, Alistair would fall between one of those awful media-whore reality-television boyfriends with swoopy hair and a marf (man-scarf) and Ryan Seacrest.

"I'm kind of busy. Talk fast or I'm hanging up." By this time, I'd made it downstairs and could see the girls' phantom-like forms through our French doors. Thank God my parents slept like the dead.

"You've gotta meet me at the Heart tonight, Kate. It's important." I was so shocked to hear genuine emotion in his normally smooth voice that it took me a minute to identify it as fear. Alistair Reynolds was scared.

"As much as I'd love to hear what's gotten your Burberry briefs in a twist, I'm going to have to take a rain check." The regret in my voice was real. I still wasn't sure what to do about the girls waiting for me outside.

"Kate, I'm serious. I can't tell you on the phone, but you have to meet me. It's urgent. Life or death."

"I can't. I really wish I could, but I have a life-or-death situation of my own over here." I stood on my tiptoes and peered through the glass, wondering how long the girls would wait for me.

Okay, maybe it wasn't exactly life or death, but at the same time, it felt that way for me. I had to join the Sisterhood so I could end it. The wars between the Sisterhood and Brotherhood had gotten out of control. The secret societies had been vying for control of Pemberly Brown Academy since the '50s, and they didn't care who got hurt. They'd killed my best friend, Grace. And just because the Brotherhood had been wiped out didn't mean I was done.

And then maybe once I'd fought all my battles, I'd finally be able to fight one for myself and win Liam back.

"Look, I'm begging you." Alistair wasn't giving up. "Please, Kate."

"Can't. Bye." I felt zero regret hanging up on Alistair's pleading voice. There was no time and I couldn't afford to pass up this opportunity. And even if I didn't have initiation tonight, it wasn't like I owed Alistair Reynolds anything. He was a big part of the reason Grace was dead. He'd have to figure out his own crap like the rest of us.

I unlocked the door to my backyard and opened it slowly to avoid a creak, slipping through like a whisper before noiselessly shutting it behind me. I turned around to face my future, Grace's pearls heavy at my neck, the cold spring air filling my lungs.

This was it. My moment of truth. No going back now.

"Numquam sororis vocationi ignotum. Teneat manum tuam." "The call of the Sister shall never be ignored. My hand is yours to hold."

My tongue tripped over the foreign words, and my stomach dropped when the wind picked up and snuffed out all of the tapered candles in one swift gust of air. I was greeted with soft smiles and quiet murmurs of congratulations. They had no idea that a traitor was among them. My eyes caught on Taylor's bright blue ones peering out from beneath her white hood.

I was like a neon-haired Trojan horse, and they were finally going to pay for what they'd done to Grace. Eat your heart out, Helen of Troy.

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