Title: THE BOY WITH SOMETHING EXTRA
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi Romance
Word Count: 111,000 words
Roman Vallo is a florist with a secret: he can make plants grow. Fast. Overnight, in fact. When he abandons war-torn Earth for the promise of a Utopian world light years away, he falls in love with his guide, a member of the empathic governing race. Roman soon realizes that neither falling in love with your guide nor his own gift can be kept secret for long on a world full of psychics. His ability is soon discovered, and Roman is swept into an evolutionary tug-o-war between the seemingly benevolent host race and the quiet, monk-like race they oppress, both equal in psychic powers.
With each side invested in his progress, Roman must figure out who is telling the truth, and how to protect his future as he becomes both the pursuer and the pursued. In an intense stand-off after a three-night grand masquerade ball, Roman has to choose between the life he thought he wanted and the life he was born to live; both are choices demanding great sacrifice from him, and even greater consequences for the world.
The Boy With Something Extra is an adventurous coming-of-age story about a simple florist whose life becomes anything but simple. This is my first novel, but I recently had a short story published in “Blood Sacraments” (Bold Strokes Books), which was a Book of the Year award finalist by ForeWord Reviews.
Though he was but one of a hundred bodies being shuffled along the gauntlet of handlers, Roman was determined not to give them any satisfaction at his discomfort. He knew it was much worse for the women –he’d much rather deflect their contempt and revulsion than bear their hungry eyes. He could think of no good reason to be put through this dehumanizing catwalk, but the military needed no license, and his government, though compensated handsomely, took every opportunity to shame emigrants for escaping the religious wars. He clutched his elbows to his ribs, avoiding any brushes with the handlers, and marched toward a hopeful future.
Roman raised his eyes to see a line of soldiers marching past him, holding tightly to the cumbersome weapons resting on their unprepared shoulders. The guilt of being spared their fate was tough to swallow, but those thoughts quickly abated when his own uncertain future nagged at his tired mind. Confined to the waiting deck, he sat impatiently on one of the hard terminal benches with nothing but his hoodie to shield him from the nettling drizzle.
He reached into the travel bag for the thick pamphlet he’d been given. Its cover displayed photos of a sunny Mediterranean-looking world awash with soul-quenching color and warmth, and the title "Home. At last." He choked back the memory of his mother’s senseless death to keep from falling apart in the middle of the airfield. He looked numbly at the kind and friendly Nordic-looking faces in the photos, and the name of the planet beneath them: Ganthys.