Title: THE STARS FELL SIDEWAYS
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 62,000
Alison Arroway takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. She has to, or she won’t get paid. Alison is a stunt double for pampered teen actress Pomegranate and when the director takes the shoot to Portugal, Alison is anything but thrilled to be rooming with Pom. But getting to hang around teen hearthrob Erik? Now that’s a plus.
Erik invites both girls on a sunset boat trip and Alison manages to have a decent time. Until the storm hits and the boat is shipwrecked on a small island, leaving Erik missing and the boat captain dead.
In the morning light, Alison and Pom find themselves on the lost island of Atlantis. Only one problem: now that the girls know the secret of the island, the Atlanteans don’t want them to leave. They're stuck with corsets, full-skirted dresses, and the strange steam-driven contraptions that are just a way of life for the islanders.
When a plot by the ruthless army Captain to take over the island and declare himself General over all emerges, an underground group promises to return the girls to the mainland if they can help stop him. They'll go through a mountain, literally, to find the Book of Blue, a book that will explain how to make ‘the stars fall sideways' in order to save the day and earn their freedom.
In 2008, I completed an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and have a short story published in Lit by New Writing North in conjunction with Newcastle University. Also, several works have been published in Blackberry Winter, the annual chapbook of Rochester College where I earned my BA in English and Professional Writing.
Where did the casting director find this guy? Villians-R-Us?
I grunted as I hung from the Technicolor cliff, my fingers barely holding on to the plastic edges fifteen feet above the soundstage.
“See what happens when you mess with me?” Captain Aragno said in a bad imitation of Jack Black. Aragno laughed again and stomped away. I watched his saggy belly sway above the ridiculous codpiece as he strutted down the back ramp and over to the nearby table. He took a quiet drink from a large Nalgene bottle and winked at me.
Ew. He really was awful.
Refocusing on the ledge, I started swinging my legs up, trying to get a foothold.
At a training day about a year ago, my father took me to the Navy SEAL training grounds in North Carolina and we worked on dangling techniques.
“Keep your arms slightly bent,” he had said. “Try to pump if you can, keep that blood flowing.”
I had been hanging for nearly five minutes now, and my muscles were definitely burning. I pumped my arms like Dad had taught me and I swung again, barely missing my foothold.
“Need a break?” The director said from below me.
“No!” I yelled back, voice shaking with the effort. Good thing I'm not miked. I heard they're using something by the Czech Philharmonic for the soundtrack. I made sure to keep my face away from the cameras.
Pull it together. Pull. It. Together.