It is the day after Aimee Patterson’s high school graduation. College beckons, as does her dream of becoming an engineer. On an early evening walk, her cocker spaniel charges into the woods on the other side of the pond. Aimee trails after him, and in the stillness of that forest the unthinkable happens. She becomes paralyzed and watches in horror as her hands vanish before her eyes.
Waking to the sound of voices, Aimee realizes that she has been kidnapped. Little does she know how far away from home she is, though. In an attempt to flee her captors, she launches from their confines only to freeze at the view outside the window. The sky is black and filled with stars, and in the distance is a familiar blue globe. The planet Earth.
A group of humans forced to flee their planet after an epidemic destroyed their civilization now travel the galaxies in search of an antidote. Retrieving samples of plant life from every solar system, on this occasion Aimee was accidentally seized instead.
Aimee must learn to avoid the advances of an awkward young scientist who seems intent on dissecting her, as her own fascination turns to the exotic young warrior, Zak. Having fallen in love with Zak, she is now torn with the decision to return to Earth or live beyond the stars.
READ A LITTLE “BEYOND”
“What is it, Zig?” she whispered.
At first she saw nothing. The darkness was a void barely penetrated by the waning sunlight at her back. Yet, there was something. A light. A reflection. Something. A hum. Definitely a hum. Not the wind. Not a motor. It sounded like the oscillating fan in her bedroom window.
Aimee squinted. She swore for a moment that they weren’t even trees overhead and that it was the massive underbelly of a giant vessel. A spaceship parked atop the forest, obliterating any sunlight. She rolled her eyes. Space ships and aliens lurking beyond the Patterson property.
“Come on, Zig.” she muttered, kicking herself mentally. “Neither of us belong here. We’re just spooked.”
Ziggy cocked his head and emitted a low growl. For a moment Aimee wasn’t sure whether he was going to dart deeper into the woods or just stand there barking like an insane puppy. But he surprised her. Ziggy, the traitor, took off back towards the pond like a herd of rabid Rottweilers were chasing him.
“Coward!” she yelled, turning to follow. “You could at least wait for me.”
At least she’d meant to turn. She’d also meant to follow. Aimee couldn’t move. If she’d done what she’d meant to do, she’d be walking nice and easy back around the pond, but she wasn’t.
She thought for a moment that her muscles were locked in spasm from the two laps around the track during gym today, but her hands and arms were paralyzed. She tried to clench her fingers into a fist and could feel perspiration bead on her forehead from the effort. She was motionless.
What the heck?
Even her lips could not move to speak those three words.
Light materialized around her as if someone had switched on a spotlight from above. She tried to squint against the vivid assault, but even her eyelids were frozen in place. Instead, all she could do was watch as the light grew brighter, bright enough that she could see through her hands. That freaked her out. Her hands were transparent, and she could see through them to the mottled leaves on the ground below.
The hum intensified and she began to feel lightheaded.
One lurch of her stomach and she felt nothing at all.
HAVE YOU MET MAUREEN?
BEYOND THE BIO
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
MAUREEN: Reading? Writing? The answer would be both, and very often. A prime example would be the days when I used to have to travel for work and I could sit in a crowded airport terminal with a throng of people around me and obnoxious overhead announcements…and tune it all out. That airport, that environment didn’t exist…I was somewhere else. And yes, many times those overhead announcements for my flight were blissfully ignored by me. (blush)
ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
MAUREEN: The first substantial book would have to be Wuthering Heights. What a way to start out. I was so determined though. I sat there with a dictionary and looked up all the words I couldn’t identify. I remember having trouble locating the word, “vexed”. LOL
MAUREEN: Scooby Doo. I still attribute Scooby Doo as the source for my romantic suspense roots. It had it all. Drama. Suspense. That little thing going on between Fred and Daphne.
ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
MAUREEN: “baby” J
ANGI: What do you like about the hero of your book?
MAUREEN: He’s an orphan. Wow, as I’m typing this I just now realize that I have written about two orphaned heroes. The hero in ENDLESS NIGHT is trying to locate his birth mother.
ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
MAUREEN: On the treadmill. Great books make me lose weight because I stay on there longer. I once yelled at Allison Brennan for cramping up my legs!
ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
MAUREEN: The ocean. And giggling babies.
ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
MAUREEN: Super Watermelon Man! You know, there is a romance back story to that. I was supposed to read the story in front of the class, but I had laryngitis. The boy I had a crush on came to my rescue and read it for me! No, we did not end up together…ever…but that crush lasted eight years!
ANGI: What's your favorite movie?
MAUREEN: JAWS. Love it! Can never get enough of it.
ANGI: What is your biggest vice?
MAUREEN: Cheese puffs. When am I ever going to grow tired of them???
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Hey Maureen, you have a very eclectic imagination for your writing. I envy creating a story for whatever inspires you and being able to see it through to “the end.” So can you share what inspired BEYOND and its characters?
MAUREEN’S GOTTA ANSWER: I was a big fan of Battlestar Galactica (the original). Okay, let me be more specific. I was in love with Starbuck. I used to fantasize that he took me away in his Colonial Viper on great adventures in space. Well, what the heck…it might be a gazillion years later, but now fiction gives me the power to live out my childhood fantasies! LOL
UP NEXT FOR MAUREEN
I don’t have the cover yet, but the next release will be the sequel to BEYOND, tentatively titled BEYOND: ZAK’S WORLD, which is due out this coming March.
PREVIOUS RELEASES BY MAUREEN
My romantic suspense roots will show in ENDLESS NIGHT from Carina Press, and WIDOW’S TALE, an RWA® Golden Heart finalist.
MAUREEN will be giving away a Kindle or Nook copy of BEYOND.
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MAUREEN WANTS TO KNOW: Did you have any childhood fantasies?