Tagline: Love is dangerous for Emily, even in her dreams.
Description: Seventeen-year-old dreamwalker, Em, might have to choose—leave her mother forever in the dreamworld or save the life of hot, rebel Gabe.
Emily Dal Monte and her mother, Lily, are special. They’re humans with a glitch in their genetic code that allows them to explore the fantastic, and often terrifying, world of their dreams for as long as they choose to remain asleep. But when Em’s father is killed in a tragic accident and her distraught mother loses herself more and more in the dreams of her crumbling mind, Em is forced to support the two of them the only way she knows how, by writing down her mother’s amazing dreams and selling them as books. Enter Gabriel Sobel, the handsome punk newcomer at Em’s high school who realizes Em is the daughter of his favorite, reclusive author. Gabe can’t figure out why Em keeps brushing him off and makes it his mission to find out what’s really going at the Dal Monte household. He stumbles upon their shocking family secret just as Lily takes a turn for the worse. It’s up to Em, Gabe, and one very nosy book editor to hop from one extraordinary dream to the next to find Lily and convince her to wake up before she loses her mind…and before Em loses her first chance at love.
Tiny shafts of sunlight stream down from the treetops above us, forming small rings that illuminate the red pine-covered ground below. It’s weird how quiet it is here. There are none of the sounds you’d normally associate with a forest, like the scurrying tread of small animals or the soft breeze rustling through the trees. Everything is completely still.
I rest my forehead against the warm bark of the tree and try to calm my racing thoughts. How do I get us out of this mess? Mom and Evan aren’t here with Gabe and me. At least, as far as I can tell, they aren’t here, and we don’t have any time to find them. Evan and Gabe need to wake up now, or they could die. It’s so simple, yet so complicated. Do I save Gabe’s life? Or do I continue to risk killing him and try to save everyone? If I pull Gabe out, I could risk losing both Mom and Evan inside this dream. I have no idea if Mom’s recognition of me was a moment’s clarity, or something more lasting. I might never be able to locate her and Evan again.
A sob rises in my throat. I can’t help it. I’m so tired and overwhelmed, and we’re all so deeply in trouble. Despite my best efforts, the sob escapes, and then I can’t seem to stop another one from bursting out of my mouth. And then another one. Huge, wrenching cries tear through me, and I double over, my face in my hands, as the tears stream through my fingertips.
It’s all just too much.
I hear Gabe come to stand beside me, and before I can protest, he draws me back into his arms. I can’t seem to stop crying. I’m so embarrassed, but I just can’t stop.
His rough fingers catch the bottom of my chin, and slowly he tilts my face up toward his, so we’re gazing into each other’s eyes. My breath hitches, and it’s not just from all the crying.
“I’m sorry, Em,” Gabe whispers, his soft words loud in the silence surrounding us. “But there’s no one I’d rather be with right now than you.”
“Mom,” I whisper softly and give her shoulders a shake. But her eyes remain closed; her lips are half-parted and turned slightly up at the corners as if she’s gazing at something wonderful. Maybe she is.
I sigh and lean in a little closer to her face. “Mom, are you just taking a nap?” I ask in a slightly louder voice and poke her cheek with my index finger. When she still doesn’t move, my temper snaps. “Wake uuuuppp!” I yell right into her ear.
There’s no response.
Great, I’ve lost her again. Feeling in the pit of my stomach that days of loneliness and silence are looming before me, I give up and back away from the bed.
I try not to blame her. Shoot, if there weren't bills to pay, books to write, groceries to buy, and school to attend, I’d let myself get lost in there for a couple of days too. But somebody has to take care of things out here in the real world; somebody has to make sure we stay together.
I tuck the embroidered sheet tighter around Mom’s slender shoulders and bend to brush my lips on her forehead. Her shallow, measured breaths feel like a light wind blowing across my face. She doesn’t stir at my kiss. Her head lays unmoving on the pillow, her white eyelashes fanning themselves over two porcelain cheeks and long, golden hair framing her face like a halo.
I push myself off the bed, the soles of my sneakers making scuffling noises as I drag them across the soft, cream-colored carpet that covers the floor of Mom’s bedroom. It’s not as if I need to keep quiet though — a herd of wild elephants won’t wake her up now, not until she decides she wants to be awake.
And who knows how long that will be this time.
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Author Bio: M. KIRCHER graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Gordon College. She devours YA, science fiction, fantasy, and romance on a regular basis and is immensely happy to pour her time and energy into creating stories for other people to enjoy. Bob Ross and J.R.R. Tolkien tie for her two favorite people of all time.
M. Kircher lives in Connecticut with her husband, energetic son, and new baby girl.
Publisher: Astraea Press http://www.astraeapress.com/
Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi Romance
Amazon Author Profile: http://www.amazon.com/M.-Kircher/e/B00E8AKEGIWattapad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/MelissaKircher