Monday, December 16, 2013

New #YA Fantasy: BEYOND THREE PATHS by Maureen A Miller



Book Blurb:

Aimee Patterson is coming home...but this time she is not alone.

After spending years in space on an alien ship, Aimee Patterson is finally coming home. But this time she is not alone. Her lover Zak wants to meet her parents, and her friend Raja wants to experience life on Earth. Both get more than they ever bargained for.

Within days of being on Earth, Raja is caught up in an FBI sting operation. She is intrigued by Special Agent Craig Buchanan, but things go horribly wrong. Raja is faced with a dilemma. Save Agent Buchanan’s life or risk revealing her true identity.

It was supposed to be an innocent trip to Earth.... now Aimee, Zak, and Raja are fugitives of the ultimate kind.

Excerpt:

Less than two days after her high school graduation, Aimee Patterson walked her Cocker Spaniel along the pond on her parent’s farm. When Ziggy charged into the woods on the other side, Aimee was paralyzed with indecision. The forest was scary, a dark lair she had avoided since childhood. But she was not a child anymore, and something had caught the dog’s attention. Trailing after him into that bleak stockade...Aimee disappeared from this planet.

She woke up on a spaceship so grand and so far from Earth, never imagining that her adventure in space would last five years. In that time she learned new technology, visited a foreign planet, battled aliens, encountered disease—and cured it. Most importantly, though, she fell in love.

When the adventure was over, Aimee was twenty-two years old and confronted with a monumental decision. Should she remain in the stars with Zak and start their life together, or should she return to Earth to lead a normal existence and comfort the parents who never knew the fate of their missing daughter?

Aimee’s heart yearned for one future, but the burden of responsibility argued for another. The truth was that in order for her and Zak to spend a life together without regrets, they both needed to evolve—to mature.

For five years she did her time on Earth, always looking to the stars at night, waiting for the moment she could reunite with her true love. When that time came, she rejoined the Horus only to discover that Zak was not there. Informed that he had been left stranded on his own planet and presumed dead, Aimee was devastated. 

Foreign planets and even the prospect of death cannot deter a woman in love. Tackling the odds, Aimee mounted her own mission to rescue Zak. Once reunited with her damaged man, she battled at his side against the Korons who sought to annihilate his race. Triumphant, she and Zak reunite with the Horus, but their next stop as a ‘bonded’ couple is Aimee’s home...the planet Earth.

 Only, this time they do not travel alone. This time they have brought someone back with them. The one woman that Aimee can call a friend.

***

Aimee opened her eyes. 

Her body recoiled against the bleak environment.

Murky. Dark. Wet. 

Wet?

With two desperate kicks her head cracked the surface.

At first she thought the Horus had miscalculated and dumped her smack in the middle of the pond on her parent’s property. 
A frantic scan of the area revealed that this was no pond, but rather a sizable lake. 

“Zak!” she cried.

There was no response. There was no sound, save for the distant call of a blue jay and the thunderous pulse inside her ears.

“Raja!” she spun in a tight circle, but the lake was empty and the closest land seemed a hundred yards away.

Submerging again, light filtered through in a strobe-effect as she searched in vain for a sign of Zak. Malicious shadows concealed everything in this netherworld. Gnarled limbs climbed up from the depths, reaching for her. She kicked and screamed, gulping a mouthful of water.

“Zak,” she choked. 

Could they have made it safely to shore already? It was a far better conjecture than the alternative. What if they were not accustomed to water like this? What if the impact was so dramatic it put their alien composition into cardiac arrest?

“No,” she whimpered. 

It simply was not an option to lose Zak—not after everything they had been through together. Not after every obstacle they had overcome. They were bonded. He was her husband now. He was her life, and she would not lose him.

“Zak!” A swarm of gnats took siege on her head. “Raja!”

Part of her wanted to start swimming—but in what direction? If she waded in this spot, then maybe she would have a better chance of locating them.

It had already been five minutes since she first surfaced. Tears now mingled with the mossy residue clinging to her eyelashes. No. No. No. She started crooning. This was not happening. 

How many minutes now? 

Again she dove beneath the surface using her hands when her eyes failed her. Cold water siphoned through her outstretched fingers.

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