My name is Martine Lewis and I’m brand new to the publishing industry.
My first book, Crossing the Barrier, comes out March 22, 2016 and is a Young Adult Coming of Age Contemporary Romance with a touch of Paranormal. It is book one of the Gray Eyes Series, which will have six books.
High school student Malakai Thomas, star wide receiver of the varsity team, collides with band member Lily Morgan on his way to football practice. As days go by, Malakai cannot get the petite clarinetist out of his head.
Lily Morgan can feel everyone’s emotions. She loses her ability to shield herself against them the day Malakai runs into her. Now she must try to maintain her sanity in the emotional jungle that is high school, as well as deal with her growing feelings for Malakai.
Can Malakai get over the social stigma and his own internal struggle to be with Lily? Is Lily’s secret too big to accept, even for him?
As soon as Malakai made his way into the school, he was surrounded by people who just had to talk to him. After the message he had left his father earlier that morning, all he wanted was to surround himself with his closest friends.
But none of them were around.
After rushing through the crowd, he finally made it to his first classroom, AP English. As he walked in, he was surprised to see Lily sitting along the wall, the third desk from the door, her head bent over a book. He walked to the empty desk behind her and sat. As he leaned forward, he smelled her. And she smelled so, so good: green tea, the same kind his mother used to brew when he was young. It created a longing in him, a longing to see his mother but at the same time, a longing to take Lily in his arms and never let go. He just wanted to kiss her until his head spun. He had never felt so strongly about a girl before; he had never wanted to kiss a girl that badly before, and he didn’t know what to make of it.
But before he could do anything, he had to know her.
“Hey,” he said, gently touching her shoulder.
This simple touch sent a warm and fuzzy feeling up his arm. It was almost as if her soul had caressed his, as if his soul had in turn rejoiced at her nearness. Malakai was about to reach out to touch her again when she turned, her gray eyes meeting his. They were as wonderful as he remembered, and he couldn’t help himself; he smiled.
She was beautiful. In fact, Malakai thought she was prettier than all the cheerleaders and Zoe’s clique combined, and they were supposed to be the finest girls in school. Her long brown hair was fastened in a ponytail that morning, and her delicate face was makeup free except for a pink lip gloss, which favored her complexion. She wore a black school polo shirt and jeans.
“I…I was wondering if you were all right,” he said quietly, slipping his hands under his legs to prevent himself from reaching out and touching her again.
Malakai hoped he wasn’t making a complete fool of himself with his pathetic line, but then she smiled. He was fascinated by her straight white teeth and her pink lips. Somehow, he caught himself thinking if angels did exist, they would look just like her.
“Yes, I am. Thank you for asking. Bumped into anyone else lately?” she asked, a glint in her eyes.
“No,” he answered, looking at his desk, a small smile on his lips. So far, so good, he thought as he glanced up at her. If she was attempting humor, he must be doing something right. “I try not to make a habit out of it, you know. It would cost me a fortune in magazines, and I would have to get a monthly parking pass at the hospital.”
Lily laughed, something real and true, and Malakai was reminded of wind chimes in a breeze. It was the most amazing sound he had heard in a long, long time.
“Thank you for the magazine. I really liked it.”
“I’m glad you did.”
And he was—a lot.
Before he could say anything else, Wes entered the classroom and, walking like a bull, made his way to the desk next to Malakai. He let his bag drop loudly to the floor and plopped onto the chair, the legs scraping the floor.
Of course, someone would have to pick this exact moment to interrupt a conversation Malakai actually enjoyed and had looked forward to, and that someone had to be a person he barely recognized anymore.
“Hey, bro,” Wes said, turning to Malakai. “Missed you in the parking lot earlier.”
Malakai frowned. “I didn’t know you had AP classes.”
“Yeah! I decided to show everybody football players aren’t only muscles,” he said with a grin.
“Can you actually pass this class?” Malakai asked before he could stop himself.
“Dude, why wouldn’t I pass? I mean, it can’t be that hard,” he added, looking at Lily.
Malakai’s blood was pounding in his ears. The last thing he wanted was for Wes to pick on Lily or any of the band members, for that matter. The old Wes would never have done something like that; he would have only ignored them. But this new Wes, who hung out with Zoe? Who knew?
Malakai glanced toward Lily, but she had turned around and resumed her book, no longer listening to them. Disappointed his conversation with her was over, he turned back to Wes and listened to him drone on and on about Zoe, again.
I also have the two first chapters posted on my website. They can be found on Goodreads or here: www.martinelewisauthor.com/excerpts
I know a lot of indie published stuff out there is just not up to par for publication. I have done everything in my power not to be in that group.
This book has gone through a Legal Review (by a real attorney) and a paid Critique in August, a Development Edit in September, two rounds of Copy Edit in November/December, and two rounds of proofreading in January and February.
The book cover was designed by Mayhem Cover Design.
The photo on the cover was taken by professional photographer John E. Faught and I own exclusive rights to it (so they are not going to be found on another book!!!!)…
All that to say, I am taking this very very seriously.
I am currently addressing my Development Edit comments for Book 2, and I will be revising Book 3 in April before sending it to legal review and betas in May.
I hope I have picked your curiosity and you will consider reading my work.