Title: Defying the Stars
Genre: YA Romance/Sci Fi
Word Count: 64,000
When sixteen-year-old Virginia Sawyer moves to the backwoods of Upstate New York, she’s drawn into the town’s obsession with the Swifts. Untangling the mystery behind the cult-like family is a harmless pastime, until she meets the eldest son, Alvin.
The marks on Alvin’s arms look like constellations—like she could read her future in them. When she finds out what fate—and Alvin’s father—have in store for him, solving the mystery behind the marks becomes critical.
Alvin says she’s come to Ashwood for a reason, but the Swifts find fate in everything: what they eat, when the sleep, how they think, and when they will die.
The date is set.
The time is fixed.
The Swifts are preparing to leave this earth. But there is one thing they didn’t foresee: Virginia and Alvin have fallen in love, and there’s no way on earth she will let him go.
Three months before the world ended, at least for the Swifts, I was on the living room floor trying to catch a signal on my Grandpa’s old police scanner.
“Virginia, you won’t get that thing to work.” Dad sat at his desk, pencil poised.
“Ye of little faith.” The machine hissed as I gave the antenna a swift jerk.
“It’s about thirty years old.”
I whacked the box with the flat of my hand. “What do you expect me to do? Read law books all day? We don’t have a computer. I don’t even have a cell phone.”
“You don’t have anyone to call.”
I yanked the plug from the wall and lifted the radio.
“Where are you going?”
I shut my bedroom door and wiped my eyes to make sure I wasn’t crying. I knew it was stupid, but it wasn’t my fault I didn’t have friends. This was the fourth time we’d moved this year. And it was September.
I set the radio on my windowsill and picked up my favorite book. I reread all the physical descriptions of the love interest. Dark, brooding eyes. Strong jaw. Throbbing temple, always with the throbbing temples. I knew it wasn't very sophisticated, but I liked to objectify men because it made things more even.
“Hey baby, I’d like to throb your temple.” I brushed the antenna, then moved it slowly, deliberately, until it looked like it was poking a hole in the sky. “Come on, talk to me.”