Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield

You don't feel much like living if you can't be yourself...

Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where having any Paranormal power is illegal. Caitlyn is on the run from government troopers, who can enslave, torture, or even kill her, or make her hunt other Paranormals. When Caitlyn settles down in a city, she falls for Alex, a Normal (someone without Paranormal powers), which is dangerous because he can turn her in. And she discovers renegade Paranormals who want to destroy all Normals. Caitlyn must decide whether she's going to stay in hiding to protect herself, or take a stand to save the world.

Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield had me on the edge of my seat the entire book. The last few pages seemed like they flew right by, and Cheryl left just enough questions for me to love to see more of Caitlyn and her friends in future books. Heart-pumping danger fills every page, and the main character was so emotionally engaging that I felt every hardship as if it were my own. There is a small touch of romance in this story that helped to lighten some of the darker subject matter. It was sweet and pure, making my heart go all pitter-patter through every scene with Alex and Caitlyn. The story focuses on the main character, Caitlyn, rather than on the world itself. You know she lives in a terribly hostile environment where anyone who is different is considered a threat. And by "different" I mean anyone that is a “Para:” a person with psychic talents. We don't know why being a Para is illegal, but I loved how Cheryl focused on the characters to drive this book. Caitlyn was a strong heroine with an incredible moral compass, despite having seen her father brutally murdered by Normals as a child. Learning to trust is a very difficult thing for Caitlyn, but she feels an instant connection with two people in her new school. And they show her that equality for the Paras might just be possible in the future.

Caitlyn is a very powerful telepath, and her brother, Daniel, wields just as much power. But after being captured by the government, Daniel changed. He no longer values any life other than that of the Paras. There are three different factions working against the safety of the Paras, and the one her brother is involved with is not sanctioned by the government. They are called “The Authority” and hope to "cleanse" the earth of all the Normal people. But Caitlyn knows that will only do more harm than good. Yes, she wishes to be free of her fear and the oppression by the government, but what Daniel plans is nothing short of a massacre. He has been maneuvering her into this place and time for years, hoping she will join his cause, but when she refuses to hurt those around her, he is willing to have her captured by the very people that he once ran from. His betrayal of Caitlyn was completely heartbreaking, and it began a long time ago leading up to this final showdown.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Book Boyfriend (100)

My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme that originated at The Unread Reader in which we swoon over boys in books!

**Unfortunately this is going to be my last Book Boyfriend post.  The lovely ladies that originally hosted this meme have decided to shut it down.  I continued so I was able round out my posts at 100.**

Lucifer (Luc) Cain
Book: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Series: Personal Demons

He is a demon of pride; three steel bars pierce the outside corner of his right eyebrow. Silky black hair and the blackest eyes ever seen, his voice sounds like warm honey, smooth and sticky-sweet. He smells like cinnamon and his body is tall and lean. He prides himself on being good at his job: tagging souls for Hell, but that all changes with his newest assignment and he finds himself feeling things no demon should ever feel.


I glower at him. “Your name is Lucifer? As in the devil?”

And there’s that wicked grin again. “In the flesh. It’s a common name where I come from.”

I pull myself out of my seat. “Where is that?”

His eyes flash, hungry and eager. “Nowhere you’ve ever been.”

I shift up onto my elbow and kiss her. “You’re the only one who’s ever known who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be. And somehow you love me anyway. I’m not taking any chances with you, Frannie.”

I nod reassuringly at her and smile. She’s so afraid she manipulated me into loving her. It hurts that she can’t see how much more it is now. How big it is. It may have been her Sway that started the ball rolling, but the way she makes me feel…that’s not her Sway. It’s just her.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cover Reveal: Stained by Cheryl Rainfield

Sometimes you have to be your own hero.

Release Date: November 19, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

In this heart-wrenching and suspenseful teen thriller, sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer.

From the author:
Like I did with SCARS and HUNTED, I drew on some of my own experiences of bullying, abuse, and trauma to write STAINED and to give it greater emotional depth. Like Sarah in STAINED, I experienced abduction, imprisonment, periods of forced starvation, mind control, and having my life threatened. And like Sarah, I tried hard to fight against my abuser, keep my own sense of self, and escape. I hope readers will see Sarah's strength and courage, and appreciate her emotional growth as she reclaims herself.

Available For Pre-Order on: (hardcover)(well, it says you can get an email when avail) (kindle) (hardcover) (ebook) (hardcover) (ebook)

The Book Depository


Books a Million

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (132)

Books I read last week:
Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Rivals and Retribution by Shannon Delany

The book I’m reading now:
Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where having any Paranormal power is illegal. Caitlyn is on the run from government troopers, who can enslave, torture, or even kill her, or make her hunt other Paranormals. When Caitlyn settles down in a city, she falls for Alex, a Normal (someone without Paranormal powers), which is dangerous because he can turn her in. And she discovers renegade Paranormals who want to destroy all Normals. Caitlyn must decide whether she's going to stay in hiding to protect herself, or take a stand to save the world.

Books that spark my interest this week:
Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh
The Accidental Human by Dakota Cassidy

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rivals and Retribution by Shannon Delany

Rivals and Retribution:
Jessie Gillmansen is in trouble again and she's in for the fight of her life--and Pietr's! With Marlaena’s dangerous wolf pack putting more pressure on the Rusakova family, change is inevitable and when it comes, it brings a heavy price that forces Alexi into action to save his youngest brother's heart, head, and life. In the stunning conclusion of this celebrated paranormal series two werewolf families fight for control of the small town of Junction, control of each other and--most elusive of all--control of themselves.

Shannon Delany began this series with a bang, but by the end I felt it just…fizzled out, leaving me feeling unsatisfied. The first three books grabbed me and pulled me immediately into the world of danger, werewolves and the Russian mafia. Unfortunately with the introduction of the new pack and the constant changing point-of-views, Shannon lost some of my affection for the series. I was kept interested enough to continue on with the next two books. But this final installment of the 13 to Life series was rather disappointing: it felt rushed and at the same time it felt like it would never end. Shannon gave her readers very little of the relationships between the Rusakova siblings like she did in the beginning of the series, and the strong feelings between Pietr and Jessie were glossed over and barely a part of this book. Many of my questions were left unanswered, and the story jumped around so much that there were times that I found myself re-reading a paragraph or two just to make sure I hadn’t missed something.

I really didn’t like the scenes of residual memories Jessie suffered due to Derek’s “parting gift” when he was killed. As Jessie becomes trapped in these memories, they show the reader past events that explain some of the present events, however, I found them to be aggravating because of their childish tones. The lack of any real rivalry between the two werewolf packs left a huge hole in this story, stripping it of some much needed tension.  But I think what bothered me the most was that Delany used a werewolf concept from another popular series. Yes, I understood why, and why it worked in this book, but it bothered me just the same. In fact, I nearly put the book down, but I pushed onto the conclusion so I could finish the series.

Sundays with Sarah (26)

To find out more about Sarah and this feature go here.

Welcome back everyone to another Sundays with Sarah.

This week, I've been asked to talk about "ME" and my creative abilities, designs I do as well as my new production company TACHYON PRODUCTIONS LLC.

So let us start with "me". I first studied Theater and Film production at MacEwan University back in 1995 and later on received a diploma from MacEwan University in Design for Digital Media Arts and then worked towards a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta. She continued her education further by taking an animation course through the State of Florida University (College of Motion Picture) and later studied animation and literary arts with the Walt Disney Company, where she worked as a media and design consultant for various projects from 2007 till 2009 and later became an associate producer of story and script development for film and television from 2009 till present. Now I run my own multimedia, film/video and creative arts Production Company.

In my spare time I am a credited writer having published over 15 books ranging from Sociology, Parenting, Children's Books and more. My favorite genre for writing is fantasy and parenting. I also enjoy cooking, painting, photography and more. I have always been a creative individual. So now I've taken my creative talents and have turned them into the creative services of my business, TACHYON PRODUCTIONS.

Tachyon Productions in partnership with GraphixGirl Studios LLC (Now TACHYON PRODUCTIONS LLC) is full service creative arts agency, located in Edmonton, Alberta Canada that specializes in graphic design, animation, photography/photo-manipulation, audio/video production, web design, web content management development and more. Created and operated by the talented Sarah Mallory King (aka "GraphixGirl", aka "ME"), I provide unique twists on everything from graphic design, visual communications, web development and more which allows me to provide my clients with imaginable, creative visuals and stunning imagery for all your creative and logistical needs. Tachyon Productions is available to all types of clients who need to market their idea's, services and or products through various forms of visual communication. In addition to the services we provide for our clients, Tachyon Productions has also recently started creating our own short films, feature length productions, commercials and corporate promotional videos.

 So, Why am I so creative? Why do I love the graphic and motion arts?

Well part of it is because I am also autistic. I have an exceptional amount of creative talents and have turned this "disadvantage" I have and turned it into an advantage to help others. I enjoy being creative not just as a means of therapy or, fun but as a way to communicate into words and images what I can't say in the other latter.

So, now I share my talents and skills with everyone, from schools, to individuals, large corporations to well other authors in doing their design work for their covers. Even my own Facebook profile covers.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy some of my artwork and if anyone out there needs graphic design work done feel free to give me a shout or ask Amy for my contact.

Have wonderful week.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Bookish Wants & Gots (35)

My Bookish Wants & Gots is a feature over at The Book Vixen. I list the books I want - which can be old, new, or upcoming releases - and the books I recently got.

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz
Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.

Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Forgotten Fridays (44)

I invite and welcome anyone interested to post their own Forgotten Friday and join in the fun! I feature a book that I have read and have forgotten how much I enjoyed it. Some books might recent reads and some might be older reads, but I hope this helps these (sometimes forgotten) books earn a spot on your own TBR pile!

Phantom: The Story of His Life by Susan Kay
First Published: October 1990
A child is born... his mother's only gift is a mask. Precocious and gifted, he will live friendless and alone. Taunted and abused, he will flee, only to find himself caged again--as a freak in a Gypsy carnival.

A brilliant outcast... the world is his home. Filled with bitter rage, he will kill to escape, becoming a stonemason's apprentice in Rome... a dark magician at the treacherous Persian court... and finally the genius behind the construction of the Paris Opera House and the labyrinthine world below.

Lacking one thing only: a woman's love. Cloaked in secrets, his power complete, he will see the exquisite Christine and for the first time know what it means to love. Obsessed, he will bring her to his eerie subterranean world, driven to possess her heart and soul.

A haunting story of power and darkness, of magic and murder, of sensuality and betrayal, and ultimately, the unforgettable story of a man and woman and the eternal quality of love.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Theme Thursday (82)

Theme Thursdays

Theme Thursdays is a fun weekly event hosted by Reading Between Pages that will be open from one Thursday to the next. Anyone can participate in it. The rules are simple:
  • A theme will be posted each week (on Thursdays)
  • Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
  • Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
  • It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
    Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”
This will give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.

**Unfortunately Kavyen has not been online recently, I can only hope that she is well and that everything is ok.  I am going to continue to post my own "themes" in order to keep the meme going.  Feel free to join me.**

This week’s theme is – BUMP (nudge, prod, poke, etc)

She nudged my knee with the toe of her boot.

Rivals and Retributions by Shannon Delany

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Book Boyfriend (99)

My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme that originated at The Unread Reader in which we swoon over boys in books!

Book: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Series: Personal Demons

He’s a powerful angel—in fact he’s a Dominion, a protector from the Second Sphere. With incredible sky-blue eyes and a voice that is as smooth as music. Chin-length, platinum waves surround his gorgeous face, and he smells like snow and summer at the same time. His usual attire, include jeans and a tight white T-shirt that shows off his tan and some serious muscle definition. He believes in the fight of good verses evil and wants to protect human souls from being "tagged" for Hell.


He smoothes a tear away with his fingertips and gazes down into my eyes. He wraps his hand around the back of my neck, cradling my head, and brings me to his shoulder, burying his face in my hair. I let him hold me for a long time, feeding off his energy. I’ve never felt anything like it, but it makes me warm all over. If you asked me right now, I’d have to say I believe in love, ‘cause that’s what this feels like: pure love.

He wraps a hand around the back of my neck and leans in. At first, I think he’s going to kiss me, and that aching tingle explodes low in my belly as I realize how much I want him to. But his cheek brushes past mine and he whispers, “Tell me what to do to change your mind.”

What I see in his eyes—what he’s trying to hide behind that amused expression, maybe even from himself—is that he’d willingly give up his wings for her.

He steps behind the scoreboard. “Just because you’re no longer a threat to her soul, don’t think I won’t be watching. Give me an excuse, and I’ll smote you on the spot.” And then he disappears—gone as if he was never there.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Taken by Storm:
Bryn knows first-hand that being the alpha of a werewolf pack means making hard decisions, and that being human makes things a thousand times worse. She's prepared to give up her humanity, but the wolf who promised to Change her is waiting - though for what, Bryn doesn't know. Still human, she must take her place in the werewolf Senate, the precarious democracy that rules the North American packs. Standing side by side with werewolves who were ancient long before she was ever born is enough of a challenge, but Bryn soon learns that the Senate has been called to deal with a problem: the kind of problem that involves human bodies, a Rabid werewolf, and memories that Bryn, Chase, and the rest of their pack would rather forget. With bodies stacking up and political pressure closing in from all sides, Bryn and her pack are going to have to turn to old enemies and even older friends for help - especially when it starts to look like this time, the monster might be one of their own.

Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is the final book in the Raised by Wolves trilogy. And I can honestly say that I have not loved and hated a book this much than I can ever recall. I loved this book because the writing, emotional engagement and storytelling were amazing. And I hated this book because in the end everyone was somehow hurt or seriously damaged emotionally. This book was a lot heavier and darker than the previous two novels in the series; and this was the first one where Jennifer made me cry, blubbering into a tissue as I continued to turn the pages.

While many of my questions of Bryn’s life were answered, there were so many new ones that came to light and continue to remain unanswered. There was still a lot of mystery that surrounded Chase, but the one thing that never changed was his unconditional love for Bryn. The hint of Devon’s love for Bryn—his romantic feelings rather than his loyalty—was introduced in Taken by Storm, but it was left with an inadequate, open conclusion where as readers we are left guessing the final outcome. Throughout this trilogy Jennifer brought each and every character to life for me, and that remained a high point in this book, but the tragic twist in the last of the story really made it difficult for me to understand just what the author was thinking. And I was left with a big, huge WHY??? on my lips.

Everything Callum has been grooming Bryn for her entire life has come into play or is just beginning. And the secrets he continues to keep from her will irrecoverably change her life and everything she has ever known. Bryn was such an incredible heroine that I fell in love with during Raised by Wolves, and I feel her story hasn’t been completely told yet and I can only hope that Jennifer will continue writing more, even if it is some sort of spin-off series. 

Cover Reveal: Radiant by Christina Daley

About the Book:

Mary is part Vietnamese. Carter is a complete jerk. Normally, they don't talk much.

But when Mary's in an accident on the way to school one morning, Carter nearly dies saving her life. The doctors say his chances of living are slim, and Mary's feeling the full weight of survivor's guilt.

However, Carter's back at school in a matter of days, as if nothing had happened. Although, he is a little "glitchy," and he's developed a sudden and intense interest in Mary. She thinks he's suffering from major brain trauma from the accident. Or that he's been possessed.

As it so happens, Carter really is possessed. And the thing controlling him is having the time of its life learning to be human.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters, RADIANT is a funny and heartfelt story about being human, being in love, and being healed.

Availible for purchase February 12, 2013.


A voice called to her. It seemed close, and it was getting louder as the pain got sharper. "Hey? Hey! Are you all right?" it asked.

Mary blinked several times before she could finally see again. She was in the middle of the street. The cars had stopped and people on the sidewalk were staring.

"Are you all right?" the voice asked again. It was coming from a man wearing some type of uniform.

"What…?" Mary tried to say more, but her voice suddenly stopped working.

"Careful," he said as he helped her up. "Looks like you can move all right. Here, let's get you out of the street."

He helped her over to the sidewalk. "Stay here. Someone's calling the paramedics." And then he was gone.

Mary sat there, still in a daze. She started noticing familiar stuff all over the ground—an open book bag, books, folders, unused tampons, a shoe, and an apple with one bite mark. Her eyes followed the trail of debris to a brilliant red sports car, half of which was smashed in by a city bus.

What had happened? Mary studied the whole scene, trying to puzzle together the pieces. Then it dawned on her. The car had hit her. Not intentionally. She had run in front of the bus without knowing it. It was about to hit her, but the car had gotten in the way first. It had saved her life.

Mary thought about looking in the car. Then her feet sorta moved without her meaning them to, and she made her way to the passenger door. She recognized the person inside. Carter. She knew his last name, but she couldn't think of what it was. He was slumped over the seat with blood oozing all over his face. His eyes were shut.

Mary knocked on the window. The tears in her hand stung.

No response.

She beat the window with her fist.

Still nothing.

Mary stared. She couldn't believe it. On any other day, she wouldn't exchange two words with this guy. Just yesterday, he nearly mowed down an elderly couple while driving out of the school lot. Mary had secretly wished he'd be taught a lesson. But she didn't mean this.

She tried the door handle, but it was still locked. Suddenly, Carter's eyes flickered opened. He looked straight at her.

Mary gasped and pressed her face against the window.

Carter's eyes closed.

She stared at him, waiting for him to open them again. Waiting for any sign of life. But he was still like he was before.

Hands suddenly took hold of Mary, pulling her away from the car. Her feet moved on their own again. Someone was yelling "Miss" a lot. Parts of her brain found other noises too, like sirens, voices, beeping, and other things. The hands directed her to sit on something hard and cold.

"Miss? Can you hear me? Can you tell me your name?"

Mary didn't answer. She still hadn't found her voice, and her mind was fuzzy, too.

"Is that her bag there? Does she have a driver's license?"

A different person spoke. "No license, but I found a student ID. Her name's Mary Phan. She's seventeen and a junior here at Lewis Prep."

Mary heard a third voice. "I just talked with some of the kids on the sidewalk. One of them said her mom's a nurse at the memorial hospital."

"Find out how to contact the mom. Anyone see what happened?"

"Cops are questioning witnesses right now. Looks like she ran in front of the bus. It would've nailed her if that sportster hadn't gotten in the way."

"Anything on the bus or the driver of the car?"

"Everyone on the bus looks fine. The car belongs to a kid named Carter Maxwell. Also a junior." A sigh. "I wouldn't hold my breath. He looks really bad in there."

Mary tuned out everything else. All sights. All sounds. The only thing she could see in her mind was Carter staring at her.

Also, stop by on February 21st for an interview and giveaway with Christina Daley!

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (131)

Books I read last week:
Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Maggie’s Dad by Diana Palmer

The book I’m reading now:
Taken by Storm:
Bryn knows first-hand that being the alpha of a werewolf pack means making hard decisions, and that being human makes things a thousand times worse. She's prepared to give up her humanity, but the wolf who promised to Change her is waiting - though for what, Bryn doesn't know. Still human, she must take her place in the werewolf Senate, the precarious democracy that rules the North American packs. Standing side by side with werewolves who were ancient long before she was ever born is enough of a challenge, but Bryn soon learns that the Senate has been called to deal with a problem: the kind of problem that involves human bodies, a Rabid werewolf, and memories that Bryn, Chase, and the rest of their pack would rather forget. With bodies stacking up and political pressure closing in from all sides, Bryn and her pack are going to have to turn to old enemies and even older friends for help - especially when it starts to look like this time, the monster might be one of their own.

Books that spark my interest this week:
Lost in Time by Melissa de la Cruz
Steamed by Kaite MacAlister

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sundays with Sarah (25)

To find out more about Sarah and this feature go here.

Welcome back everyone to another Sundays with Sarah.

This week I want to talk about something very serious that has been affecting and inflicting a lot of my friends. Over the past few weeks I've been helping youth and other teens with issues from depression to suicide to family issues to more. Unfortunately one thing I have found si that they are all 'cutting' themselves as a means of dealing with the pain they are facing.

What Is Cutting?

Well let me start off with a bit of a story, first of all, names have been changed to protect the individuals. Emma's mom first noticed the cuts when Emma was doing the dishes one night. Emma told her mom that their cat had scratched her. Her mom seemed surprised that the cat had been so rough, but she didn't think much more about it.
Emma's friends had noticed something strange as well. Even when the weather was hot, Emma wore long-sleeved shirts. She had become secretive, too, like something was bothering her. But Emma couldn't seem to find the words to tell her mom or her friends that the marks on her arms were from something that she had done. She was cutting herself with a razor when she felt sad or upset.

Injuring yourself on purpose by making scratches or cuts on your body with a sharp object — enough to break the skin and make it bleed — is called cutting. Cutting is a type of self-injury, or SI. Most people who cut are girls, but guys self-injure, too. People who cut usually start cutting in their young teens. Some continue to cut into adulthood.
People may cut themselves on their wrists, arms, legs, or bellies. Some people self-injure by burning their skin with the end of a cigarette or lighted match.
When cuts or burns heal, they often leave scars or marks. People who injure themselves usually hide the cuts and marks and sometimes no one else knows.

Why Do People Cut Themselves?

It can be hard to understand why people cut themselves on purpose. Cutting is a way some people try to cope with the pain of strong emotions, intense pressure, or upsetting relationship problems. They may be dealing with feelings that seem too difficult to bear or bad situations they think can't change.
Some people cut because they feel desperate for relief from bad feelings. People who cut may not know better ways to get relief from emotional pain or pressure. Some people cut to express strong feelings of rage, sorrow, rejection, desperation, longing, or emptiness.

There are other ways to cope with difficulties, even big problems and terrible emotional pain. The help of a mental health professional might be needed for major life troubles or overwhelming emotions. For other tough situations or strong emotions, it can help put things in perspective to talk problems over with parents, other adults, or friends. Getting plenty of exercise also can help put problems in perspective and help balance emotions.

But people who cut may not have developed ways to cope. Or their coping skills may be overpowered by emotions that are too intense. When emotions don't get expressed in a healthy way, tension can build up — sometimes to a point where it seems almost unbearable. Cutting may be an attempt to relieve that extreme tension. For some, it seems like a way of feeling in control.

The urge to cut might be triggered by strong feelings the person can't express — such as anger, hurt, shame, frustration, or alienation. People who cut sometimes say they feel they don't fit in or that no one understands them. A person might cut because of losing someone close or to escape a sense of emptiness. Cutting might seem like the only way to find relief or express personal pain over relationships or rejection.

People who cut or self-injure sometimes have other mental health problems that contribute to their emotional tension. Cutting is sometimes (but not always) associated with depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, obsessive thinking, or compulsive behaviors. It can also be a sign of mental health problems that cause people to have trouble controlling their impulses or to take unnecessary risks. Some people who cut themselves have problems with drug or alcohol abuse.

Some people who cut have had a traumatic experience, such as living through abuse, violence, or a disaster. Self-injury may feel like a way of "waking up" from a sense of numbness after a traumatic experience. Or it may be a way of reliving the pain they went through, expressing anger over it, or trying to get control of it.

What Can Happen to People Who Cut?

Although cutting may provide some temporary relief from a terrible feeling, even people who cut agree that it isn't a good way to get that relief. For one thing, the relief doesn't last. The troubles that triggered the cutting remain — they're just masked over.

People don't usually intend to hurt themselves permanently when they cut. And they don't usually mean to keep cutting once they start. But both can happen. It's possible to misjudge the depth of a cut, making it so deep that it requires stitches (or, in extreme cases, hospitalization). Cuts can become infected if a person uses non-sterile or dirty cutting instruments — razors, scissors, pins, or even the sharp edge of the tab on a can of soda.

Most people who cut aren't attempting suicide. Cutting is usually a person's attempt at feeling better, not ending it all. Although some people who cut do attempt suicide, it's usually because of the emotional problems and pain that lie behind their desire to self-harm, not the cutting itself.

Cutting can be habit forming. It can become a compulsive behavior — meaning that the more a person does it, the more he or she feels the need to do it. The brain starts to connect the false sense of relief from bad feelings to the act of cutting, and it craves this relief the next time tension builds. When cutting becomes a compulsive behavior, it can seem impossible to stop. So cutting can seem almost like an addiction, where the urge to cut can seem too hard to resist. A behavior that starts as an attempt to feel more in control can end up controlling you.

How Does Cutting Start?

Cutting often begins on an impulse. It's not something the person thinks about ahead of time. Shauna says, "It starts when something's really upsetting and you don't know how to talk about it or what to do. But you can't get your mind off feeling upset, and your body has this knot of emotional pain. Before you know it, you're cutting yourself. And then somehow, you're in another place. Then, the next time you feel awful about something, you try it again — and slowly it becomes a habit."

Natalie, a high-school junior who started cutting in middle school, explains that it was a way to distract herself from feelings of rejection and helplessness she felt she couldn't bear. "I never looked at it as anything that bad at first — just my way of getting my mind off something I felt really awful about. I guess part of me must have known it was a bad thing to do, though, because I always hid it. Once a friend asked me if I was cutting myself and I even lied and said 'no.' I was embarrassed."

Sometimes self-injury affects a person's body image. Jen says, "I actually liked how the cuts looked. I felt kind of bad when they started to heal — and so I would 'freshen them up' by cutting again. Now I can see how crazy that sounds, but at the time, it seemed perfectly reasonable to me. I was all about those cuts — like they were something about me that only I knew. They were like my own way of controlling things. I don't cut myself anymore, but now I have to deal with the scars."

You can't force someone who self-injures to stop. It doesn't help to get mad at a friend who cuts, reject that person, lecture her, or beg him to stop. Instead, let your friend know that you care, that he or she deserves to be healthy and happy, and that no one needs to bear their troubles alone.

Pressured to Cut?

Girls and guys who self-injure are often dealing with some heavy troubles. Many work hard to overcome difficult problems. So they find it hard to believe that some kids cut just because they think it's a way to seem tough and rebellious.

Tia tried cutting because a couple of the girls at her school were doing it. "It seemed like if I didn't do it, they would think I was afraid or something. So I did it once. But then I thought about how lame it was to do something like that to myself for no good reason. Next time they asked I just said, 'no, thanks — it's not for me.' "

If you have a friend who suggests you try cutting, say what you think. Why get pulled into something you know isn't good for you? There are plenty of other ways to express who you are.

Lindsay had been cutting herself for 3 years because of abuse she suffered as a child. She's 16 now and hasn't cut herself in more than a year. "I feel proud of that," Lindsay says. "So when I hear girls talk about it like it's the thing to do, it really gets to me."

Getting Help

There are better ways to deal with troubles than cutting — healthier, long-lasting ways that don't leave a person with emotional and physical scars. The first step is to get help with the troubles that led to the cutting in the first place. Here are some ideas for doing that:

1. Tell someone. People who have stopped cutting often say the first step is the hardest — admitting to or talking about cutting. But they also say that after they open up about it, they often feel a great sense of relief. Choose someone you trust to talk to at first (a parent, school counselor, teacher, coach, doctor, or nurse). If it's too difficult to bring up the topic in person, write a note.

2. Identify the trouble that's triggering the cutting. Cutting is a way of reacting to emotional tension or pain. Try to figure out what feelings or situations are causing you to cut. Is it anger? Pressure to be perfect? Relationship trouble? A painful loss or trauma? Mean criticism or mistreatment? Identify the trouble you're having, then tell someone about it. Many people have trouble figuring this part out on their own. This is where a mental health professional can be helpful.

3. Ask for help. Tell someone that you want help dealing with your troubles and the cutting. If the person you ask doesn't help you get the assistance you need, ask someone else. Sometimes adults try to downplay the problems teens have or think they're just a phase. If you get the feeling this is happening to you, find another adult (such as a school counselor or nurse) who can make your case for you.

4. Work on it. Most people with deep emotional pain or distress need to work with a counselor or mental health professional to sort through strong feelings, heal past hurts, and to learn better ways to cope with life's stresses. One way to find a therapist or counselor is to ask at your doctor's office, at school, or at a mental health clinic in your community.

Although cutting can be a difficult pattern to break, it is possible. Getting professional help to overcome the problem doesn't mean that a person is weak or crazy. Therapists and counselors are trained to help people discover inner strengths that help them heal. These inner strengths can then be used to cope with life's other problems in a healthy way.