Starseed by Liz Gruder


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Kaila’s mind split in panic. Help, she called telepathically. Help me!
She yanked her wrist, trying to free her hand, but Wade restrained her wrist like a manacle.
Instantly, Jordyn appeared by Kaila’s side. “What are you doing?” Jordyn shouted, as he quickly assessed Wade holding up Kaila’s four-fingered hand and everyone laughing. His hazel eyes turned to solid black.
“Oh my God,” someone said, seeing Jordyn’s eyes.
“Shut up!” Jordyn commanded. “All of you. Animals!”
Jordyn’s eyes went wider and blacker. Wade snarled as he pulled back his fist to swing. Before Wade could punch, Jordyn thrust his head forward, slamming an invisible force at Wade who went flying into the air, his back crashing against the wall.
As Wade crumpled to the floor, Jordyn leaned over him, saying, “May you have your worse nightmare.” Jordyn stared at Wade, commanding, “Look at me. Look at me!” Wade couldn’t look away from Jordyn’s entrancing eyes. A moment passed. Then Wade held his ears and screamed. Wade squeezed his eyelids shut, his face twisted in agony. His scream was so shrill, penetrating, and filled with terror that all the students backed away.
The students in the hall stared, unable to process what they’d just witnessed.
Mrs. Bourg pushed through the crowd. “Jordyn,” she said. “Suspend time. Now!” Jordyn’s eyes again went solid black. He peered intently at the students assembled in the hall. Each person froze like a statue. Jordyn didn’t put Kaila under the spell. One girl stood with her mouth open, her eyes wide with fear. Another guy had stopped with his hand over his mouth. Another held his foot in the air, stopped mid-run.
“I am concerned about you, Jordyn,” Mrs. Bourg said, arms akimbo. “Every day I see more emotion.” She motioned to the suspended students in the hall. “This is a terrible mistake. Do you understand?”
“Some of these humans piss me off.”
“I don’t care!” Mrs. Bourg shouted. “We are on their turf and are not to be discovered.” Mrs. Bourg wagged her finger at Jordyn. “You are becoming infected. You do as I say, you understand?”
Kaila held still so as not to draw attention to herself. She held her breath, her heart pounding like a jackhammer.
“Sure, I’ll listen,” Jordyn said. His eyes again transformed from hazel to solid black. As he stared at his mother, Mrs. Bourg’s face went limp. She froze, her finger stuck in the air. “And now,” he said. “You will listen to me. You are a human. You were a carrier of me as an embryo. But that is all. You are not my ruler, and we are sick of taking orders from you. You will have no memory of this. You will remember that you walked through this hall to the office and that is all.”
Jordyn put his hands on his hips on his silver overalls; he walked around the hall, surveying the frozen students. A girl’s eyes bulged, her mouth open, revealing her braces as she was paralyzed mid-scream. “And the rest of you,” Jordyn said, “will only remember that Kaila tripped. Wade caught her, and it was a moment that you will barely recall. It was nothing. In fact,” he added, “you all thought Kaila looked beautiful today and that she is one of the hottest girls in this school. You will tell her so.”

by Liz Gruder
ISBN: 978-1937178291
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Published: February 2013

SUMMARY: Kaila Guidry has always known she is different. When she meets Jordyn Stryker at school, she finds out just how different.
Jordyn was born and raised far from Earth, a starseed, one of six new students sent to Louisiana's Bush High to learn human ways. But Jordyn didn't count on meeting someone like Kaila.
When Kaila is pushed to her limit by high school bullying and cruelty, Jordyn awakens her to a new reality—and to love. But to prove herself, Kaila must look the other way as the real purposes of the starseeds unfold.
As the horrific plan behind the starseed visit to Earth moves inexorably forward, Kaila and Jordan, caught in an impossible love, must determine where their true loyalties lie.

Starseed Praise:
"You know from the opening paragraph that something very strange is going on… We see Kaila try to live the life of a normal teen, and we see her "otherness" pull her back into an increasingly tangled web of questions, deceit, and hidden intentions. Liz really shines as a writer, lining the closets and drawers of everyday life with spine-chilling suspense that springs out at you when you least expect it. Starseed is an entertaining read. I highly recommend."
--Patricia B. Smith. Author “What the Animals Tell Me” and “Fifty Shades of Santa” (clean romance fiction)

"Liz Gruder’s characters come alive through youthful, spunky narrative, and her headstrong heroine, Kaila Guidry, elicits a reader’s encouragement from the first page. Fans of Amanda Hocking will find themselves similarly transported into Gruder’s exploration of the dark sides of faith, love, higher dimensions, and, of course, high school." --Jadie Jones, young-adult fantasy author
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Liz Gruder
As a youth, Liz Gruder saw a series of UFOs with her best friend while riding bikes. Ever since, she’s held a fascination for the stars. An avid reader, she used to hide under her covers and read with a flashlight. She has degrees in English and Psychology from Tulane University, a nursing license and a yoga certification. After going through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Liz realized how short life is and is now slowly fulfilling her bucket list: she’s been to the Egyptian pyramids (totally awesome and thought provoking) and is now teaching yoga and writing speculative fiction. Starseed is her debut novel.
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