YAPC would like to welcome Phillippa Cameron to the blog today. She is here to share some info and an excerpt from her book Every Move I Have Made. If this looks like a book you would enjoy reading, please go get a copy!
When the phone rings in the middle of the night, Hayley knows it not good news, and she’s right: her boyfriend, Jesse, is missing after a night of fun at the local quarry, and she might have been the last one to see him alive… 17-year-old Hayley is counting down the days to when she can escape from her parents and the life she feels sure she will inherit from them. Her father’s simmering anger at the impotence of his world threatens daily to boil over, while her mother has retreated into herself, never leaving the house. In Hayley’s home, darkness always lurks just below the surface. Hayley has a plan, though, and is determined not to let anyone stop her, and her courage is fueled by the kindness of her two best friends, although not even they know all her secrets. But when the most popular boy in school suddenly turns his attentions to her, she finds herself questioning exactly what it is she wants, until she learns that danger can be found everywhere, not only at home, and even within the boy you love.
Content Warning: Brief, implied rape scene.
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When the phone rings in the middle of the night, you know it’s not good news. No one’s calling to say you’ve won the lottery. Or you’ve got into that Ivy-League college. Calls in the middle of the night mean only one thing.
So when I hear a phone ring and my eyes flash open to find darkness, when I hear footsteps in the hallway and my bedroom door opening, and when I see the outline of my mother appear in my doorway, I know what it means.
“Halina, wake up.”
I push myself into a sitting position. My breathing is shallow, as if I’ve been running.
“Some woman was on the phone looking for her son,” my mother says. “She says you know him. Says it’s your boyfriend.”
“Jesse?” My voice breaks on the second syllable.
Her figure in the darkness shifts, and her voice is flat. “Woke your father up.”
I fumble in the dark for my phone, saying with a dry mouth, “I don’t know where Jesse is.”
My hand finds the phone and I switch it on. The screen lights up my room but doesn’t reach my mother who hasn’t even crossed the threshold.
I look towards her squat shape nearly filling the doorframe.
“We were at the quarry,” I say. “All of us. The boys were swimming. Jesse’s at the quarry.”
“He’s not. His mother says his clothes are still there. But he’s not. And Halina, it’s four in morning. No one’s at the quarry.”
I am wide awake now.
“What do you mean?”
“What do you mean, his clothes are still there?”
A sigh moves through the darkness. “I don’t know, Halina. That woman was pretty upset. Just call her.”
“But what does that mean?” I sort of spit this out, and I feel my mother back off.
“Call her,” she says, and her voice is swallowed up by the darkness as she fades away. My phone vibrates in my hand, then beeps. Half a dozen missed calls flash up, and a text message, and then another, and another. I wince at every flash. Abruptly, the screen darkens and all that is left is a perfectly round light at the top of the phone puncturing the night in intervals. I sit in the dark for a moment. I know I need to call Jesse’s mom but I am paralyzed.
I close my eyes, tightly, until they sting, and I scream – silently – until everything inside me is emptied out and I’m hollow once more.
On the day Jesse Randall spoke to me, he was sitting on the low wall that trails down the front steps of my school. He was wearing a chocolate brown sweater with the hood pulled up over his head, which is why I didn’t realize at first who he was or that he was watching me. When I was four steps above him, he pulled back his hoodie and stared straight at me. My heart fired balls of heat through my chest and up my neck onto my face. And then Jesse Randall said, “Hey, Hayley.”
Before I could stop myself, I turned around. Turned to see who the other Hayley was that Jesse Randall was talking to.
Because it couldn’t be me.
I had been working late in the library again because I didn’t want to go home, and I was the last one to leave but still, it couldn’t be me.
But it was only me there on the steps.
As in, Hey, Hayley.
I whipped back my head so quickly that my hair, plaited down my back, struck me painfully across the face, and I only managed to get out, “Hey,” in return but I hadn’t stopped walking so in a second I was beyond him and then the steps were gone and I was on the sidewalk that led away from the school and away from him, and right before the path turned a sharp left to follow the road, I looked back.
He was still there.
And he was still looking at me.
About the Author: By night, I’m a ferocious reader and writer, knocking out words at every available moment and devouring every book in sight. Luckily for me, by day, I’m a meek and mild librarian with shelves and shelves of gorgeous novels to choose from, and when I’m not selecting the next fantastic book to buy, I’m dispensing books and advice to a giggle of high-school girls.
I love Young Adult novels. And books from other genres too. Any of them. All of them.
The Day We Are Born is the first novel in my Elements series. Every Move I Have Made is the second book, and was published this year. Each novel is a stand-alone book, linked by its connection to one or more of the elements – earth, wind, fire and water. My third book in the Elements series will be out in 2017, entitled One Great Fear In My Heart.
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