by Laura A. H. Elliott
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TRANSFER STUDENT is the latest novel from Laura A. H. Elliott and will release on Amazon and Barnes and Noble March 20th.
Here’s a little bit about the novel and excerpts written from RHOE & ASHLEY’s POVs when they starjump for the very fist time. Be sure to read to the end to enter to win the EBOOK GIVEAWAY and other weekly prizes!
Two Worlds––Two Teens––One Wish
Geek Rhoe and Surfer Ashley would never be friends.
Even if they lived on the same planet.
But, they’ll become so much more.
Earthling Ashley’s world revolves around winning daily popularity contests at Beverly Hills High School and surfing competitions with sweet scholarship prizes that will finally help her break free of her control-freak mother. Ashley never loses. Ashley never wishes on stars. But that changes when her senior class takes a field trip to the Griffith Observatory where Ashley’s conflicting feelings about her predatory best frenemy, Tiffany, throws Ashley’s carefully-crafted Queen of B.H.H.S. title under the bus.
Meanwhile on planet Retha, Rhoe misses his dad, loves his mom’s home-cooked Glechy crag with a side of Ory sauce, is desperate to heal his sick brother and wants more than anything to win The Retha New Invention Competition. He and his best friend Yuke have worked for the past two years constructing the teleporting telescope Rhoe started building with his dad before an accident killed him. Rhoe’s never kissed a girl. Rhoe’s hero is the eccentric physicist, Ramay. But that changes when the telescope teleports Rhoe across the universe with an unintended side-effect. Ashley and Rhoe transfer––swap lives––when they make the same wish at the same time.
Popular-surfer-turned-boy-geek alien Ashley must handle life on Retha as Rhoe complete with webbed feet, low-gravity, and an obsession with Yuke, all the while being hunted by Rethan spies and resenting her hairy, flat chest. Boy-geek-turned-popular-surfer Rhoe must fit in at Beverly Hills High School as Ashley, compete in The Laguna Beach Invitational without becoming shark food, dodge boys’ affections, cool his preoccupation with Tiffany’s lips and his new body, and find the healing rocks he believes will save his brother’s life.
If only it were that simple. Some wishes can’t come true. Some have to. How far would you go for someone you love?
EXCERPT : STARJUMPING
“Let’s party, my salty sista. Where to?” Sean says, draping his towel over his head. He peeks out from under it as he unzips his wetsuit just below his belly button with a Tommy-Burger look in his eye. He frees his arms of the neoprene and shakes his blonde hair. It freezes in the-I’ve-just-been-surfing-and-its-my-life look every other surfer sports at Zuma. Sean towels off his guns first, works his way to his six-pack, wraps the towel around his waist and slips out of his wetsuit.
He’s hot, but friends aren’t supposed to notice. I love, absolutely love, watching Sean dry off almost as much as watching him walk away in his butt-sculpting jeans. But we’d only taken a few waves. I can’t believe he’s done already. He isn’t acting like himself at all.
I look to the waves trying to decide on celebration plans. The sunset casts an orange-purple glow to the sand. The beach sparkles in spots. “This’ll do,” I say. The waves crash even calmer than a few minutes ago.
“But we don’t have anything to celebrate with,” Sean says taking a few steps closer.
“We have each other.” That came out wrong. Or, did it? He’s so smoking hot backlit by the sunset.
Sean holds my hand and says, “Let’s go find a spot on the beach.”
We tuck our boards under our arms and I feel like I’m floating on the sand on our walk down the beach, into the sunset. My sweet ride still pumps my blood. Still makes my head rush. Sean and I pass one lifeguard tower after another and wave at our friends who keep watch over the locals and the tourists. We started coming out here on our own in middle school. We had our moms or dads or nannies drop us off at tower number eight. We’re way past the lifeguard towers now, headed to Point Dume.
We snake up by the sandy cliff and plant our boards in the sand. A queasy kind of sickly feeling comes over me when we sit for a long time without saying a word. Awkward.
I never feel awkward.
How is it people stay friends after they’ve done it?
Sand grinds between Sean’s hand and my thigh. “For old times sake?” he whispers.
Sean presses his body against mine and he gently works on laying me down in the sand. I want to do it. Remember it this time. Grains of sand settle into my hair when he kisses me, easy, slowly as if he’s asking me with each kiss how far he can go. My body replies and his tongue plunges into my mouth. His hand moves over my thigh. I arch my back wanting him to stop but our next kiss is sweet, perfect. I’d forgotten how Sean tastes of jasmine and sunshine. A shooting star fades then falls into the Pacific. I shrink in his arms.
“What’s the matter?” Sean asks all out of breath.
There really is no way to describe the look on the face of a guy who’s just realized he isn’t going to get laid. Sort of blank, but begging.
“I’ve got to go,” I say.
Sean looks out to sea.
“It’s not you. It’s me,” I say. Lame, but it’s true. I like Sean. We surfed the seas of ex-lovers so well since last summer. I don’t want to screw that up. I grab my board and try to walk fast through the sand but end up stumbling.
“Where are you going?” he asks.
“The observatory,” I say, focused on my black SUV on PCH.
“Why?” Sean’s fast on my heels with a thanks-for-pelting-me-with-sand tone in his voice.
I wish Zuma wasn’t a freaking mile wide. For the first time in his life, Sean’s all chatty. The combination was about to drive me crazy when I finally hit the asphalt.
I open the door to my Range Rover. “I need to see the stars.”
“What’s wrong with right here?” Sean points to the sky.
I unzip my wetsuit, step out of it, throw it in the back and pull on my wife beater. Sean’s eyes go wide when he gets an unexpected boob show. I slam the rear door down and hop in the truck, turning on the ignition.
Sean jogs to his pick-up, a few cars behind mine.
When I pull out onto PCH, he isn’t far behind.
The horrible Westside traffic is much worse than the Hollywood crawl up to the observatory. Every time I think I shake Sean, I check the rearview and he pulls up right behind me. But I lose track of him in the observatory parking lot. I have Parking Karma. Sean never does. Only when I walk across the observation deck do I realize I’m barefoot. Thus the stares. Flip-flop steps come up from behind. Sean stands beside me. He cares about me. Or is confused by me. Or wants to see my boobs again. Or can’t get enough of me. Whatever it is, I’m glad I’m not alone.
He stares at Los Angeles.
“Nice view huh?” I ask.
“Amazing. I like the beach,” he says, super-snarky.
There are only two people on the planet I can throw my thoughts to. Sean is one. Dad is the other. And right then I realize that Sean and I will be more than high-school friends, we’ll be forever friends. Sean takes my hand and we walk up to the heavy bronze doors of the observatory. It’s almost as packed as it was on The Field Trip from Hell.
The line for the telescope is longer than I expect. I overhear someone in back of us talking about the new moon. The time when the sky is darkest, the stars the brightest. Thus, the crowds.
When it’s my turn, Sean looks like a parent when their kid is about to take their driver’s test for the first time, a sort of you-can-do-it-but-I’ll-be-here-if-you-get-the-DMV-Officer-From-Hell look. I give him a little smile and bend down to look into the eyepiece. My eyelashes brush across the lens. Things are blurry at first. I blink a lot. Stars sparkle but one is brighter than all the others, a gigantic canary diamond set in the sky. It seems to twirl and flashes like it’s trying to say something, to me. I think of my Aunt Jenny. I make my very first wish upon that beautiful, very hypnotic star.
“Save me from myself,” I half-beg, half-whisper.
I peer through the eyepiece, wanting to see the star twinkle to seal the deal, to make my wish real. But, the only thing I see is a violet bug-eye staring back at me.
Sparks fly around the eyepiece of the telescope like static electricity wiggles over my tanned skin on Santa Ana nights. The sparks float off the telescope, crawl over my face and down my neck, pulsing some kind of energy through me. My heart sinks to my feet, but I’m not standing anymore. I don’t feel solid. It’s like I’m bits of light. All jumbled up. The sparks pull me through the lens somehow and I roll over and over myself until I spill out on the other side into the night sky.
I’m somehow very small but feel so very large. I look down on the observatory from my spot in space, through a long, getting-longer tunnel. And I see Sean standing there, behind me. I’m still bent over the telescope. And then Sean disappears into a white light. And I think I’m going to hurl. What happens when a person sees herself? What happens when a person hurls in space? I breathe deep. But breathing feels wrong, like I’ve taken in too much air for my lungs.
I float in a sea of stars. I’m an Ashley wave the stars take on some kind of moonlight ride. And it’s creepy, but it’s so beautiful I hardly freak out. I look everywhere, all at once. Space is eye crack.
Tingles prickle across my see-through skin, my bones whiter than the rest of me. I’m back together again but look like I swallowed an ultra bright light bulb, make that a marquis. I launch into the universe but can’t feel my heartbeat, even though I’m super-freaked out and super-cold. I’m so alone.
I’m never alone.
I’m lighter. Free of my body, but stripped of it too. I hold my hands up to my face, but my arms and hands are only streaks of white light. So are my legs. The freaking yellow stars pulverized me. Maybe I’m dead. Great, my first wish killed me.
Through the still open door I watch Yuke and Xanny climb onto his jett. Xanny wraps her arms around Yuke. She leans into his back and lays her cheek on his spine. Her beautiful long black hair falls over Yuke’s neck. As they speed out of sight, tickles swarm the spot where her hair fell over my hand.
Xanny and starjumping are all I can think about. And since I can’t have one I focus on the other. I pick up my goodbye note to Mom.
I get to my peds, hobble to the telescope and peer through the eyepiece. I take a deep breath and make a wish I’ve been too scientific to make until now, “Save me from myself.”
A prime, delicate eye stares back at me, the color of gaic leaves. A girl’s eye. I shiver in its black-rimmed lashy gaze.
My body melts into something other than flesh and blood, something bright like starlight. My body disintegrates. It particulates into tiny pieces, held together by a small breeze that whirs around me, such as I am. But soon the breeze turns into a gust. The gust blows my little bits of light through the telescope and launches me into the cosmos. And just as I think the wind is at war with me, it happens.
I feel Dad. Just like I did when he would walk into our house. Just like I did when he would call my name. That same feeling. And I remember what his voice sounded like. “Dad! Where are you?” I shiver among the stars, searching from side to side, above and below. “Dad? We’re doing it! We’re starjumping!” I shout into space as I soar among the stars. The universe is dark and cold.
Dad was wrong about the dead lighting the starjumper’s way. My light scatters. Every illuminated piece of me shivers.
I speed past clouds of violet and spires of gold gases churning green helix patterns. My light gathers again in an intense way.
I’m warmer then hotter as I fall out of space. Inside the empty spaces of another body, I expand.
My bones collapse under the weight of my skin. Two strong hands catch me under my arms.
“I gotcha Ash, hang on.”
“Is this Earth?” I say.
“Yeah. That peek at the stars melt your brain?” he says.
“Huh?” My voice sounds strange, wrong. “Ow!” Sharp colored claws at the end of my fingers scratch my arm when I try to get free. They must be some type of weapon.
“Ashley?” the boy says. His tone soothes.
I glance at the questioner. His peds are bound in straps, the webs between his toes are missing. The strange bindings some sort of punishment.
“Who are you?” I blurt before thinking better of it. I glance around the room. All the people here have bound or covered peds.
“Same guy I’ve always been, Ash,” the boy says. He takes a step closer to me. “Same old Sean,” he says, putting his arms around me.
He has the love spark in his eyes, the spark Xanny has when she looks at Yuke. He loves….this body.
“You could say thank you,” he says.
Whatever that means. I don’t like to speak because the sound of this voice, a female voice, make this single heart inside this body pound like I’ve never heard before. I finger a long trail of hair gathered at the back of my neck. I drape it in front of me.
It’s certainly spun by the sun.
I click my claws on the floor. I like the sound they make. Tick-tick-tick. I ignore the guy and have already forgotten his name.
Mr. Friendly grabs a hold of me and says, “You’re welcome. All right little-miss-head-case, let’s get up off the floor. I’ve got to get you home.” He grips my arm too tightly. I poke my palm with one set of my finger weapons. Nice and sharp.
I’m not really dizzy but I can’t move right. I breath deeply hoping to restore my equilibrium. In and out. But the air is so thick, I almost choke on it. My chest heaves. Its beautiful, so light-skinned, so round. I place my hands over them and give them a squeeze. I squeeze them again.
With every step I feel like I’m crushing the bones inside this body. The walls beside me are covered with pictures of star systems I’ve never seen. I stumble closer to them. But the alien beside me pulls me back to his side.
At every stop on the tour a TRANSFER STUDENT ebook will be given away!
That’s 21 ebooks!
You’ll receive your copy three days before its release.
Here’s how to enter to WIN A TRANSFER STUDENT EBOOK! Just follow @Laurawriting and tweet: [leave a comment here with your link]
STARJUMP on LEAP DAY! Transfer Student Blog Tour & Giveaway starts 2DAY! @Laurawriting #teenreads #scifi #romance #ya http://wp.me/P1J9jx-bs
THAT’S NOT ALL:
This week all comments are entered to win some great swag too! THIS WEEK’S SWAG: GROOVY NASA TRAVEL MUGS, signed bookmarks, and MORE! Check out the weekly swag here.
THIS WEEK’S GIVEAWAY OPEN UNTIL MARCH 5! 6PM PST. This week, 2 swag winners will be picked. Open internationally!
Laura loves writing about enchanted road trips, birthday gifts that are out of this world, and alien romance while eating lots of popcorn. She’s the author of Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale inspired by her life-long love of a little-known town, Avenal, CA, and her equal love of enchanted teenage road trips. 13 on Halloween is the first book in the Teen Halloween Series. 14 on Halloween, book 2 in the Teen Halloween series, will be released in the summer of 2012.
To find out where in the world Laura is and more about her upcoming books...
visit her blog Laurasmagicday
and friend her on Facebook
if Twitter is your thing she's @Laurawriting
or, drop her a line at elliwrite [at] yahoo [dot] com
Laura is a plume carrying member of THE PARANORMAL PLUME SOCIETY !
Guest post by Laura A. H. Elliott, author of Transfer Student for Transfer Student blog tour - check it out for more details and goodies
© 2012. All rights reserved.
by Laura A. H. Elliott
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