Enjoy your sneak peek of my new YA space fantasy, Fostered Reality (ARC Reader invitation below)

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Light blasted from the glowing jagged line. It was like the universe had ripped. I cupped my hands over my eyes and watched as a round metal object the size of a car emerged. The light must have been some kind of portal. I couldn’t see what was on the other side of it, but I was betting it wasn’t good.

I jumped out of the way, fearing for my life. As I did so, the smooth surface of the spacecraft brushed against the rubber heel of my black sneaker, throwing me off balance and sending me rolling across the rocks and grass. Shockwaves rippled across the ground as the spacecraft crashed into the earth. Soil and fallen leaves flew into the air and rained back down. I covered my head to keep tree limbs from crashing on top of me.

When everything settled, pure instinct took over. I lifted my head from the woodland floor. As much as my body ached, I was determined to get away. I didn’t know what this thing was—and I didn’t want to find out.

I pushed myself up from the ground, fighting through the pain in my bloodied palms and skinned knees. My head was pounding, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I had to get out of here.

I had just gotten to my feet when I heard a gush. A door slid open.

I wanted to run, but I was paralyzed by fear.

I wanted to scream, but my throat went tight.

A figure came forth, taking shape right before my eyes.

I took one step back, and then another. I wasn’t sure what to think. Had someone slipped me drugs? Was I hallucinating? Part of me was convinced this had to be a dream, but the other part of me knew good and well that I was awake.

Ba-boom. Ba-boom. My heart was pounding faster than ever, and it felt like it was creeping up my throat. My breathing grew rapid, and my limbs went weak. Pull it together, Serena.

Gathering my wits, I darted behind the nearest tree, trying to escape the alien being’s line of vision.

I wasn’t fast enough.

“Serena?” the figure called after me.

I stopped in my tracks. Goosebumps rippled down my arms, and blood pumped through my veins.

It couldn’t be…

But it was. I knew it. I recognized that voice.

I peeked my head out from behind the tree to see for myself. It was a boy. He was about my age. He wore a gray uniform with brown lining. It hugged his broad shoulders and muscular frame. His messy hair didn’t quite cover up a fresh wound on his forehead. Blood was still oozing from it, but he didn’t seem fazed.

He caught my gaze, and a swoon-worthy smile spread across his face. “You are Serena, aren’t you?”

I gulped. “Yes.”

“My name is Rion Starsong. I’m here to rescue you.”

How could this be real? It wasn’t possible.

I laughed nervously. “It’s finally happened,” I said to myself. “I’ve gone mad.”

He frowned. “I don’t understand.”

“Of course you don’t. You’re a figment of my imagination.”

Rion held out his palms and observed them. “I look pretty real to me.”

I rolled my eyes. “Great. My imagination made him into a comedian.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but you asked me to save you, didn’t you?”

I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping to return to reality. “This is just a dream. This is just a dream.” Rion was a character in my story. Yes, I’d scribbled down a plea for help, but that was in a fit of frustration. I didn’t expect him to show up. How could he show up? He wasn’t real. Was he?

I opened my eyes again, horrified that Rion was still there.

“Look, I don’t know what’s going on here. I was sent to investigate a beacon—”

“A beacon?” I asked, finding that curious. That was right where my story had left off.

“Yeah. And then I hear a voice—yours—asking me to get you out of here. It was like some sort of portal drew me in, and I ended up here—wherever here is.”

“I didn’t write anything about a portal.”

“Huh?”

I planted my hands on my hips. “How did you know my name was Serena?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. I just knew. Are you in need of rescuing or not?”

I shook my head, digging my fingers into my scalp, burying them in my wavy brown locks that were now tangled with grass. “You’re not real.” My eyes widened with fear. I didn’t know what was happening. I backed away, getting ready to run.

“How can I prove it to you?”

In the distance, the screen door swung open. I whipped my head around and saw Mr. Smith had come back outside to continue his search for me—and, no doubt, to investigate the loud crash. I jerked my attention back to Rion when I felt his strong hands on my hips. “What are you doing?”

His soft lips brushed against mine, and a rush of heat swept through my chest. My eyes fluttered open. I was at a loss for words.

“I told you I was real,” he said. “Do you believe me now?”

I nodded, praying that my cheeks hadn’t turned as red as they felt. I didn’t know if I was hallucinating or what, but that kiss sure felt real to me.

“Now, I’m going to ask you again, do you need to get out of here?”

Mr. Smith called out my name. And now there were others who had joined the search party, too.

What reason did I have to stay here? I was going to be shipped off to who knew where, and I would have to start all over yet again. If Rion was real… if there was a chance for me to escape this miserable life, what was stopping me?

And if it wasn’t real, what did I have to lose?

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I hope you enjoyed the sample! If you liked what you read and would like to read the entire book before it's available on Amazon, click here: https://www.subscribepage.com/ARCteam…

Advance Reader Copies will go out July 15th, and the book will go live on Amazon July 31st. There are no requirements to join my ARC team other than being interested in reading the book. Willingness to leave a review is not required, but it is encouraged. 🙂 It's as simple as that – no questions asked!

Until next time…
-L. Danvers