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A Novel by Andrea Cothern
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy
Tags: Series, sci-fi, fantasy, love, murder, aliens, space, secrets, betrayal, YA, first love, teen angst,
Release: March 9, 2012
Editor: Julie Lynn Hayes
Line editor: Antonia Tiranth
Cover Designer: Kaytalin Platt
Life in Blanding’s about as thrilling as watching paint dry. Nothing exciting ever happens. Then the Sheltons move to town, and Beth’s life will never be the same. What’s up with this new family? Their son Robert’s drop dead gorgeous—and he’s got a chip on his shoulder the size of a planet! Lizzy is lively and fun, not like the bossy and demanding Clare, who’s supposed to be Beth’s best friend! Until she sets her sights on Robert, that is! The mystery begins to unravel after an innocuous trip to the museum. Can this be true? Are they really extra-terrestrial visitors? Has Beth fallen in love with an alien? When did her life become like an episode of the X-Files?Getting Robert to tolerate being around Beth is only the tip of the iceberg, as she falls head over heels for the gorgeous outworlder. But that love is threatened by a mysterious man who seems to be after the family. Who is he, and what does he want? And to what limits will he go to obtain his goals? Will Beth end up relocating to another planet to stay with her newfound love, or will she be forced to let him go to save him?
"Beth, no!" She pulled on my arm as I neared the edge. I fell to the ground and gagged, nearly vomiting before I began to crawl.
"Lizzy, he's down there, I put him there, and he’s hurt!" I could do nothing but state the obvious. It was all my brain could handle speaking out loud.
"He's gone. Don't go down there. Get up. Get back to the car! Go. Go." She pointed sternly at the car, standing right in front of me, barring my way. I’d no choice but to turn around and get back in the driver's seat.
“We need to call the police. Or an ambulance! Fire trucks always come out, right?”
“Beth, he’s gone. There’s nothing we can do. No one need ever know we were here."
Mechanically, I drove away from the scene of the crime. Being part of a hit-and-run wasn’t my idea of virtue, but I’d no other choice. No one would believe it was self-defense.
"Oh, Beth. Your head," Lizzy groaned. She fumbled with her pillow, trying to get the case off.
"I'm okay, Lizzy. I think it's already stopped bleeding." I looked into the mirror to check on my injuries, expecting my face to be slashed to bits after that impact. Incredibly, all I’d received was a small cut on my scalp, and Lizzy was unscathed - physically.
"They'll never let me go anywhere with you again," she said with a nervous giggle. "You should let me drive."
"No, I'm fine," I lied.
What had I done?
"I just don't understand how a guy could get that obsessed so quickly," I thought out loud. It didn't seem…normal. As if stalkers could be deemed normal.
"Beth, he's just a creepy guy, and you got rid of him. Let's not mention him to anyone else, okay? It's bad enough he was tailing me. I don't want to have to explain what just happened back there to anyone else."
Wait, tailing? As in, keeping tabs on? But why?
"Lizzy...what do you mean, tailing? Is there something you're not telling me?"
"Beth, I really don't think -”
"Lizzy!" I shouted. I felt I deserved to know, especially after what I had just done.
"Okay!" She took a deep breath before continuing. "My family’s very different from your family."
Okay, I knew that one. What's the catch?
"Look at me, Beth. What do you see?" She turned in her seat to face me full on, pulling her hair out of her face.
I looked closely at her. To anyone who saw her in passing, Lizzy looked completely normal, as a teenage girl should. Her hair was slightly unnatural, but that alone wouldn’t cause any alarm. However, coupled with her eyes…
It had ceased to register to me that her eyes were strange - shimmery and iridescent - they almost seemed to catch the light, to absorb and reflect it.
She was different. Unlike anybody else in the world, I’d once thought. Is that why he was following her? Was her family some government experiment that’d escaped and needed to be reeled in?
I started to panic again.
He could hate me as long as I lived, but I couldn't bear for him to go away; to be taken away…or Lizzy…or Victor. I wouldn't stand for it.
I realized Lizzy was still waiting for an answer.
"What did they do to you?" I whispered. I didn't know if I’d meant her to hear me, but she did, and for a minute I thought she might giggle.
"They didn't do anything to us. This is who we are."
It was time to ask the obvious question.
"Who are you?" My voice wasn't cooperating. I was whispering so softly only very small animals could hear, and then only if they had good hearing aids.
Then it hit me. Their preoccupation with stars. Her knowledge of space travel. The way she spoke about…what was the name of it? With the red sun? In my mind, I knew I needed to ask a different question.
"Lizzy," I spoke slowly, "where were you living before Canada?"
Her sudden, loud laughter caught me off-guard and the car swerved in response.
“What?” I asked.
"I knew you'd get it. Robert always says, ‘Oh, don’t tell anyone, especially Beth, it’s too dangerous.’” She did the funniest male impression when she did Rob’s lines, deepening her voice and moving her arms in a disjointed fashion. “But you get it. I know I can trust you. Remember when Clare was showing us the red dwarf star at the science center? Gliese581, as you call it?"
I’d just been having a flashback of that moment - of course I remembered.
"They thought life might be possible on one of the planets," I recalled.
"On Evelon, it is."
This was true? She wasn't joking? There's a formal name for that planet? How did they live? Why did her family choose to come to Earth?
A million other questions all popped into my head, but I knew she had more to tell me, so I kept my mouth shut and waited for her to continue.
"Evelon is the fourth planet from Gliese - again, as you call it - and the most beautiful place in the universe." She flashed me a smile. "With the exception of Earth," she amended, then paused. I took the opportunity to ask a question.
"Why’d you leave?" I whispered.
She took a deep breath before she answered.
About the Author:
Andrea Cothern lives with her family in Orlando, Florida, and enjoys painting, crafting, reading, and writing in her spare time. She was born in St. Petersburg, FL, but has spent most of her life living in Ocoee/Orlando. She began writing poems and short stories as a young child, and enjoyed English as her favorite subject. Ruby Sun is her first full length novel.
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Customer Reviews:Corkum3 (Sunday, 18 November 2012)
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Elixir is fantasy at its best. Katie Caroll draws us into her world with ease, her well-polished writing style and flow holding us captive until the end. I especially liked the relationship between Katora and her sister Kylene, obviously drawn from real life. I can't wait to read the sequel.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this very charming and witty book to read on the skytrain. But I have to say it was kind of embarrassing. I couldn't stop giggling out loud at Maggie Lyon's humour. People kept looking at me, and I tried my hardest to hold in the laughter, but it was impossible. What a delightful story! What child wouldn't love this. It's a story for 6-10 year olds. It's a great book to read to your children when they're young or by themselves when they're older. If your child likes Geronimo Stilton, they'll fall in love with Dewie the little dragon and his friend Jones the toad. I hope Maggie Lyons will turn this into a series.
Joy Smith pulled me into the story on the very first pages. Fast moving, first I hated Victor, than I love him, than I hated until I loved him. And Marisol with her guarded heart had me hoping throughout that she'd open it again to love.
I loved her descriptions. They created such visuals, I felt I was traveling and discovering Colombia with Victor.
Ms. Smith writes believable, flawed characters that I wound up cheering and caring for on each page. I can't wait to read her next book. Goodreads Reader Review - Five Stars
"...murder, mystery and intrigue..plus did I mention our hero is a witch? Tex and his best friend Olivia are brilliant characters, really well written and I love tex's dad. Can't wait to read more about tex in the future! -Amazon Reader Review
I really enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot of this novel. From Annabelle putting her life in danger when running away from Boarding School where she has lived since the age of five to her tenacious pursuit in finding clues as to her origins.
She is rescued by Roland, who is too much of a gentleman not to help the intriguing young lady. I relished the suspense of the reciprocal desire between Roland and Belle which is thwarted by misunderstanding after misunderstanding and prevents them achieving mutual fulfilment. The reader yearns for the truth to replace the false pretences and for Roland and Belle to overcome each other's prejudices.
Rosemary Morris' major and minor characters spring to life. I sympathised with Annabelle and found Roland charming. Apart from this, Rosemary's great attention to every aspect of the Regency era is impressive.
False Pretences is a ripping read and I look forward to reading this author's next novel. - F.Way- Amazon Review