Publication date: May 25th 2013
Genre: YA coming-of-age fantasy
Seventeen-year-old Joanna Murphy has lost faith in her life. Vying for her mom’s attention, she’s resentful of her stepdad’s intrusion to their family. Her best friend, Tommy, has no clue she’s in love with him as he dates girl after girl without noticing how it tortures her. The final kicker, though, is God’s sick joke to make her freakishly tall when everyone knows boys prefer petite girls.
Then in a bizarre accident Joanna meets James, a breathtaking teen who appears to her after an unusual falling star sighting. Suddenly, her dream for an alien encounter becomes all too real. But when she finds her life has been made unrecognizable, she’s forced into an explosive study of the original design for her life that just may have her regretting every wish she ever made.
I gape up at him, the fear beginning to course through my veins. “Who are you?”
“A friend.” He answers in an even enough tone, but at the same time, his face begins to glow the color of amber, making him look warm and unusually vibrant. I’ve never known any being able to radiate such a glow. Any being from Earth, that is.
“A friend?” I manage to whisper back before swallowing a gulp. “Are-are you human?” I’m half kidding, but after years of watching realistic science fiction movies and reading a library of fantasy novels, I think I mean the question more than I want to admit. However, he doesn’t answer me. He averts his eyes, blinking rapidly like he’s unsure of the situation.
Again, I’m at a loss of what to think. I thought I asked a pretty straightforward question and he can’t even answer that. By his omission, I have to assume he’s trying to tell me he isn’t human!
Is this really happening? And, more importantly, if he’s not human, then what is he?
My brain pores through a dozen images at once, my chest heaving from the excitement. I flash to movies, T.V. shows, graphic novels, and to my own imagination as I consider what life form James could be. While I try to convince myself I’m jumping to conclusions, that of course this is all a misunderstanding or perhaps an elaborate hoax, something else itches in the back of my mind. That something whispers: Haven’t you always considered the existence of other worlds? Discussed the possibility a hundred times with Tommy?
The answer to both questions is an emphatic yes. I decide right then, despite all reason, I know what James is.
“I think I know what you are,” I remark feebly.
He turns to me with a spark of expectation in his eyes, still glowing, still warm.
“You came to Earth with that star last night, didn’t you?”
Blood rushes to his cheeks, giving him an even brighter supernatural glow, and then I know I have my answer.
“That’s it, isn’t it?” I sit upright, gripping the sheet into my fists. “You’re from another planet. That’s how you have the power to heal.”
He pales for a second, but amazingly, he doesn’t deny it. He flickers his lashes upward like he’s searching the ceiling for his reply. After a moment, he shakes his head of soft curls that brush his neck before redirecting his intense expression back on me. He licks his lips and smiles pensively, but I feel the same need as before to shy away; whether it’s from shock or from a loss of focus I don’t know, but holding his gaze is next to impossible.
My mind is all aflutter trying to come to grips with what I’m being confronted to believe.
“Incredible. I was right all along,” I murmur, commenting to myself. “Aliens do exist.”
*** Interview ***
I’ve alway been a literature fanatic and have a degree in English to prove it. But pesty jobs and paying bills got in the way of my creative time, so it wasn’t until my thirties before I really could sit down and write seriously. I tried my hand at screenwriting and loved it, but when I began to discover the world of young adult fiction, I knew I found my calling to write novels.
About six years ago, I was involved with a local youth group. We were studying Diary of a Teenage Girl by Melody Carlson. The girls in the group also introduced me to the Twilight series. They were pretty early to jump on the twi-hard bandwagon since Stephenie Meyer is practically our neighbor. I know YA fans have varying opinions on this series, but hate it or love it, she pushed me to get going on my own series. Something about her living only miles away from me was truly inspirational.
I’m first to admit I’m a sucker for fantasy and romance. I knew my books would have to incorporate these elements because that’s what I like to read. I’m also currently obsessed with the idea of alternate worlds. Like what would happen if you could change your life to what you think you want it to be. And then, finally, there’s Sedona. A place so unique and amazing, it’s hard to describe. Lucky for me I only live 45 minutes away from this special city.
Sedona is known for its vortexes. I mean, come on. Vortexes? Mysterious supernatural energy? This place was just begging to be the center of a fantasy series. So, The Vortex Series (Rematch and Double Fault with Deuce to be released this fall), is the accumulation of all the above things. I really hope readers will enjoy reading them as much as I loved writing them.
As far as my dream cast for The Vortex Series, an eighteen-year-old Johnny Depp would be the perfect specimen. That dark, wavy hair, depthless brown eyes, and that jaw line! I can’t think of one teenage actor today who could do Trent justice like a young Depp. For Cassie, it would be Mary Ashleigh Green. She needs to be athletic, physically strong, have caramel-colored long hair and have unforgettable, piercing green eyes.
Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.
Books published by Janine include Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy, Rematch and Double Fault—the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released fall 2013.