Tuesday, January 29, 2013

AUTHOR CHALLENGE 2/2013: “IS THERE INTELLIGENT LIFE OUT THERE?” – by YA author, Melissa Pearl



Today’s brave author stepping up to the second author challenge for this year on my blog is YA author Melissa Pearl, best-known for her Time Spirit Trilogy. I challenged Melissa to, using characters from one of her books, write a little something about forms of intelligent life from her characters’ point of view. Well, one thing I can say for this courageous lady is that she didn’t hesitate to step up to the challenge. So, from her Mica and Lexy Series, here is what she has for you. Enjoy!


IS THERE ANY FORM OF INTELLIGENT LIFE OUT THERE?

"Do we really have to do this?" Lexy's pointy little nose wrinkles.
"Lexy, you promised." I give her arm a squeeze and put on my pouty face.
"Mica," she whines. "I don't want to."
I force my bottom lip out further and even try to make it quiver just a little bit.
Letting out a groan, she rolls her eyes and pushes my face away from her.
"You're going to be the death of me."
"Love you."
"Yeah, whatever." She tries to glare at me, but can't hold it and breaks into a smile. "If we're caught, this is all on you."
"Deal, but we're not going to get caught." I creep out the door and yank on Lexy's arm, forcing her to follow me.
"Mica, it's you. Of course we're going to get caught!"
I flash her a cheesy smile and she just shakes her head again. I can always count on my Lexy. She's choca-block full of best-friendy awesomeness and I don't know what I'd do without her.
We stumble our way through the dark room, banging into the sofa and muffling our giggles. I open the back door and gasp as the chilly air reaches in and whistles through my pajamas.
"Quick, put these on."
I start flinging warm clothes at Lexy, unhooking jackets and hats from the coat hooks on the wall. Reaching for a pair of my dad's thick wool socks, I lay them at her feet then find a pair of gumboots that will fit her.
"You know we're on lock down right now, right?" She zips up the jacket and shivers. "If my mum finds out about this, she's going to serve us for dinner."
I shove my foot into my gumboot and giggle. "And my mum will eat us."
At the mention of my mother who likes to refer to herself as "cuddly", Lexy starts to titter. The image of my mother tucking a big napkin under her flubulous chin and digging into a plate of Mica and Lexy casserole has my stomach trembling with giggles.
Everytime we look at each other a fresh wave takes us. We shush ourselves as we finish putting on the warm attire.
The cool night air helps me get control of myself and I turn to Lexy with a sober expression as I hand her a torch.
"They have been so paranoid lately. It's painful."
"Yeah, well, it's kinda justified. Last time they let us roam free we got chased by druggy gunmen and you nearly lost your leg."
"Hey, you were the one who got kidnapped."
"Exactly my point." She shines the beam at my face.
I squint my eyes. "I know it was scary for everyone, but I wish Mum would stop fussing so much. It's making me feel claustrophobic." I shove my spare hand into my jacket pocket.
"Is that why we're tramping across your farm in the middle of the night?" Lexy sniffs and buries her chin in the top of her jacket.
"Oh right!" I glance at her with a grin. Hoping she'll love this awesome idea as much as I do. "Okay, so you know Suzy MacIntosh?"
Lexy crinkles her lips.
"You know the girl with like seven dimples on her face."
She nods. "Mica, she has four."
"Did you count the one of her chin?"
"Yes."
"And her eyebrow?"
"I think that's a scar."
We climb over the gate into the eastern paddock.
"Oh, it kinda looks like a dimple."
I land with a thud in the damp grass and lead the way to the back of the property.
"So, your point?" Lexy prods me in the back.
"Oh yeah, so ok, in Art class today she told me that she swears she saw a bright light in the sky and when it fell there was this explosion of light."
"Okay." Lexy frowns.
"Like here!" I point to the ground. "On the farm. My farm, Lexy."
"How did she see that?"
"She was driving past or something." I wave my hand submissively. "Anyway, I thought maybe we might have some visitors from, you know... out there." I point to the stars, my eyes alight with excitement.
"What?!" Lexy's shoulders slump then she tips her head back and kind of does that fake crying-talking thing. "Mica! I could be asleep right now!"
"Oh come on, Lex." I wrap my arm around her shoulders. "Where's your sense of adventure?"
"I left it in my sleeping bag on your bedroom floor! My nice, cosy, warm sleeping bag."
I ignore her dry tone and spread my arms wide. "What if we did find aliens? How cool would that be? Imagine if it was like Roswell. Who knows, we might discover some pretty hot extra-terrestrials in need of assistance."
Lexy stops and tips her head to the side. "We already have boyfriends, you moron... and I'm finding that one is plenty."
I smile then let out a sappy sigh. "Yeah, one is more than sufficient, if you know what I mean."
Lexy's nose wrinkles. "I sometimes think you forget the fact he's my brother. So gross and please stop wiggling your eyebrows like that."
I do stop, but I can't wipe the smile from my face. I have the hottest boyfriend on the planet! I wonder what he'll think of me finding aliens?
Lexy gasps. I spin around and shine my torch at her.
"Did you find something?"
"No," she mumbles, wiping her boot in the grass. "I just stood in a cow pat."
"Don't worry about it." I shrug. "Those are Mum's gumboots, anyway."
"Oh, that makes it better. Thanks."
I giggle at her sarcastic tone then turn and keep walking. The cool air is beginning to seep through my jacket, but I'm determined to keep looking for a little longer.
We search around the back paddock for what seems like ages, but find nothing more than the odd dent in the ground, no metal, no hot aliens... nothing.
"Can we please go back now?"
I glance up at my bestie with a glum smile.
"I guess so. I was really hoping for something." My lower lip sticks out in a pout then I shrug. "I guess there are no signs of intelligent life out here."
Lexy shines the torch right in my face, giving me a pointed look. "None that I can see." 



BOOKS by MELISSA PEARL

Title: “Forbidden Territory
Series: (Mica and Lexi, #1)
Published: July 1, 2012
Genres: YA Action, Thriller, Romance

SUMMARY

Mica and Lexy have been best friends and next door neighbors since they were eight years old. They share everything and have no secrets from each other until... Tom arrives on Mica's doorstep - a gorgeous exchange student from England. And Lexy is smitten.

Suddenly both girls are keeping secrets. Mica is hiding news about Tom's English girlfriend and Lexy hasn't got the heart to tell her best friend that her brother Eli, the guy Mica is mad on, thinks of her as only a friend.

After a massive fight, the girls decide the best way to mend their friendship is to spend some quality time together. And what better way than to go camping away from their parents and why not invite along the guys they are crushing on.

So the four teenagers embark on a geo-caching expedition into New Zealand's native bush expecting a long weekend filled with flirtatious fun; instead secrets are exposed as they stumble across a hidden marijuana crop and its gun-wielding watchmen. Forced apart they spend the next forty-eight hours racing blindly in opposite directions as they fight to find each other before the hunters do.

PURCHASE LINKS



Title: “Golden Blood
Series: (Time Spirit Trilogy, #1)
Published: February 27, 2012
Genre: YA, Time-travel

SUMMARY

Gemma Hart never knows when her father is going to whisk her back in time. Her toes start tingling and she has a few minutes to find a secret haven where she can disintegrate and appear in another time and place. While “across the line,” her training and skills are put to the test as she completes a mission that will change history for the lucky few her father has selected. 

Gemma's parents are adamant that secrecy is paramount to her family’s safety. If people knew what they were capable of, they could be "used and abused", as her mother always says. Afraid she might accidentally utter the truth and break the ancient oath of her people, Gemma spends her school days as a loner. Only one thing can throw her sheltered life askew... Harrison Granger.

Harrison never expected to talk to the strange Hart girl, but after a brief encounter he can't stop thinking about her. He begins a campaign to chisel away her icy veneer and is met with unexpected consequences. As he slowly wins this girl over, he enters a surreal world that has him fighting to keep his newfound love and his life.

PURCHASE LINKS



Title: “Black Blood
Series: (Time Spirit Trilogy, #2)
Published: April 1, 2012
Genre: YA, Time-travel

SUMMARY

Gemma's parents have put enough rules around her relationship with Harrison that she feels like she's living on parole. But she wins one battle—a summer job working for Harrison's step-father. It is the perfect chance to spend the steamy, hot Florida days with her boyfriend. It's also a great distraction from the cellphone hiding in her underwear drawer—her only contact with Gabe, the mystery man who's stalking her. 

When she confronts Gabe, he tells her that her parents are not who she thinks they are, and Harrison has the gall to believe him. Surrounded by conflict, Gemma doesn't know what to believe, and it takes a trip back in time for her to glimpse the sickening truth. 

Thanks to her parents, she returns to the present to find the love of her life no longer exists. His family line was broken and now, so is she.

This betrayal forces her to seek out Gabe. Setting aside her fear of the truth, she must trust this man and learn what he can teach her... otherwise, she'll never get her boyfriend back.

PURCHASE LINKS



Title: “Pure Blood
Series: (Time Spirit Trilogy, #3)
Published: April 23, 2012
Genre: YA, Time-travel

SUMMARY

It is only a matter of time before Gemma's parents find out she traveled through time to bring Harrison back into existence. The fear of being found out is a heavy weight on her shoulders, but she refuses to give up on everything she's fought for. Harrison is worth the risk.

The couple draws closer together as they battle opposing forces from all sides. They stay strong until Gemma's parents welcome an exchange student into their home. Simeon, a gorgeous Californian, is as smooth as coffee and, supposedly, a fellow time spirit. Gemma's parents expect her to take him everywhere and, of course, fall in love with him. After all, he is the boy they have chosen for her. 

No longer able to sneak off alone, Gemma must watch every step as she waits for the inevitable nightmare to catch up to her. Her parents ultimate goal is to get that last necklace and open the box hidden in their safe. If they do, Gemma knows her entire world will unravel.
As the danger mounts, Gemma must decide if she has the courage to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the ones she loves and stop to her parents' destructive plans.

PURCHASE LINKS



Title: “Betwixt
Published: November 5, 2012
Genre: YA, Romance

SUMMARY

Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well. 

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it's too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?

PURCHASE LINKS


ABOUT the AUTHOR


Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan... not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. "Best. Year. Ever!!" She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November, 2011. 

"I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love."

AUTHOR LINKS

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