High school senior Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered. He’s having a bad day…and he doesn’t even know it.
Shayne thinks he’s a typical teenager at a college prep boarding school on Earth. He couldn’t be more wrong. The girl he likes is keeping secrets–which doesn’t work too well when Shayne begins to hear her thoughts.
Danielle knows she can’t fall for Shayne. It would never work out between them. For one thing, she’s lying to him about who she is. She’s responsible for his kidnapping. That tends to cramp a relationship. Besides, she’s leaving his planet in a few weeks.
At least, that was the plan…
Bio: Victorine Lieske lives in the midwest with her husband and four children. She graduated from BYU Idaho and now manufactures rubber stamps in her home. Her first book, Not What She Seems, made it on the NYT's best seller list.
Shayne slammed the car door and sprinted up the walkway, a gym bag slung over his shoulder. The late afternoon breeze tossed leaves across the pavement as he stepped up to his mother’s house. The larger sun had already set; the second cast long shadows across the lawn. He slipped his key into the door and turned the knob.
Mom, he telepathically called out, I’m home.
Her usual greeting didn’t come as he entered the house. The smell of something burning made him cough and he covered his nose with his arm.
“Mom!” he yelled. “What’cha doing? Are you trying to burn the house down? You don’t have another crush on a fireman, do you?”
Still no answer.
Shrugging, he threw his bag on the worn couch and stalked into the kitchen. The smell almost gagged him. He opened the oven. Smoke poured out. He grabbed a hot pad and pulled out a black, smoldering mound. Shaking his head, he tossed the pan on the stovetop and turned off the oven. If her head wasn’t attached she would leave it somewhere and then wonder why she couldn’t scratch her nose. He smiled. That was his mom.
He clicked on the holographic television, flopped down on the couch and stretched his long legs out in front of him on the coffee table. A bright yellow piece of paper caught his attention and he picked it up. In his mother’s flowery writing, it said, “Have you asked a girl to the dance yet?”
With a roll of his eyes he tossed it back on the table. Nice one. His mother should know by now that dancing wasn’t his thing. Besides, who would he ask? She meant well, but every time she tried to get involved in his love life, or lack thereof, it kind of made his skin crawl.
A soda commercial played and he put his hands behind his head, trying to relax and not think of anything in particular. The television screen went blank and a split second later a reporter standing in the street came on. The wind blew her short hair as she spoke.
“Terror is ripping through the community here in Hailsburg this afternoon with city-wide reports of sudden disappearances.”
Cold fear gripped Shayne’s stomach.
“Hundreds of people have been taken,” the reporter continued, turning to look at a vehicle behind her. “This driver was even taken while stopped at a cross walk.”
He reached out in his mind, feeling for her thought signature. She wasn’t anywhere nearby. His hands shook and he felt sick. No, please, not his mother. With his father gone, she was all he had left.
Closing his eyes, he flexed his mental abilities. He allowed his thoughts to glide over the city. Sifting through the orchestra of voices, he tried to find hers, like picking out a single instrument. She wasn’t there. He reached farther, now noticing the distressed thoughts of others across the country. It wasn’t just in Hailsburg; people were missing across the continent. He focused, rubbing his temples, but it was no use. His mother wasn’t anywhere.
Interview with Victorine Lieske
What will readers like about your book?
It's a clean young adult romance with some science fiction elements.
Why did you self publish?
I was actually offered a contract with a publisher but turned it down because the royalty rates were better going it alone.
What is your writing process?
I try to write each day. Sometimes I need to get away from the house for a while to write, so I go somewhere quiet.
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
It usually takes me five or six months to write a first draft. But I tweak as I go, so the first draft usually is pretty tight.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
I wondered what it would be like if we found out we weren't really from Earth, and that our memories had been erased. That thought is what started the wheels turning.