Author: Kelly Risser
To Be Published: July 1st, 2014
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count: approx. 98,000
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Age Recommendation: 13+
Synopsis: How can one day go so very wrong? One minute Meara Quinn is making plans for how she will spend the Summer before her senior year and the next she’s finding out that her mother’s cancer has returned and they are moving away from the only home she’s ever known.
Now every day is a struggle as Meara is trying to cope with her mother’s illness, being forced to move to another country to live with grandparents—whom she thought disowned her mother—and having weird visions of a father who was absent her entire life. Top it all off with one whopping secret that everyone seems bent on keeping from her, and Meara has the perfect ingredients for a major melt down.
The only things keeping her from coming unglued are some new friends and Evan—the son of her mother’s childhood friend—who seems to know Meara almost better than she knows herself.
Together with Evan and her friends, Meara embarks on a new journey to unlock the secrets that will not only tell Meara who she is, but what she is.
I felt a stab of guilt for how much Evan consumed my thoughts. My mom needed me. She was struggling with her health. I made a promise to myself to be there for her going forward.
I more or less confessed as much to her on our drive to Halifax the next day. Mom patted my knee. “Meara, you’re a teenager, and Evan is your first real boyfriend. I’m happy for you.”
“No buts. Why do you think I brought you here? If something happens to me…”
“Let me finish.” She gave me one of her mom looks. “If something happens, you will be surrounded by people who love you.” She looked at me over the top of her sunglasses. “You are happy, right?”
I nodded and smiled at her. “I am.”
When we got to the clinic, a quick glance around the waiting room told me Ula wasn’t here. I wished she were. Hearing my mom’s contingency plan made me feel weepy. I wanted a friend to talk to, someone who was going through almost the same thing. Flopping down next to Mom, I picked up the latest copy of Peoplemagazine. I quickly buried my nose in it, not wanting my mom to see my tears. Too late.
“Meara, are you okay?”
I looked up at her. “You’re asking me? Shouldn’t I ask you that?”
Her hair was falling out. I noticed a few days ago. She kept it pulled back under a wide headband, but it was thin and wispy, not thick and wavy like usual. That was part of the reason for the haircuts. Mom was getting hers cut short.
“I’m fine,” Mom said. “I’m going to beat this. I did it once, and I can do it again.”
She smiled at me. I knew she was trying to be brave. I returned the gesture, wanting to be brave, too. Deep inside, though, I worried. She was getting so thin. This morning when I hugged her, I could feel all the bones in her back.
The nurse called her, and she stood. I jumped up and hugged her, afraid to let go. “I love you, Mom.”
She kissed my cheek. “Love you, too, kiddo. I’ll be back soon.”
As I watched her follow the nurse, my only thought was that I wanted things to be as they always had been between us. Everything was changing. Our relationship, our family, was something different, something new. There were my grandparents, Lydia, Katie, and most importantly, Evan. They had changed my life, in more ways than one. Thinking about all of them, I appreciated all that my mom had done for me, moving us here. I was determined that the rest of the afternoon would be just about Mom and me. With all that she was going through, I was determined to make it a happy memory.
About the Author
She’s often found lamenting, “It’s hard to write when there’s so many good books to read!” So, when she’s not immersed in the middle of someone else’s fantasy world, she’s busy creating one of her own. This world is introduced in her first novel, Never Forgotten. Never Forgotten, a YA/NA Fantasy, will be released by Clean Teen Publishing in the Summer of 2014.
Kelly lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. They share their home with Clyde the Whoodle and a school of fish.