by Sherilee Gray
Publication Date: February 8, 2016
Dead Rock, Texas, 2037
Raleigh Williams made a promise to his brother before he died, that he’d scatter his ashes on Mars. Desperate to leave a life of bad memories behind and start over in the Martian colony, Raleigh fully intends to keep that promise. But his plans are thwarted when a meteor near-misses him in the desert, and Raleigh finds in its crater not debris or even a spacecraft, but a man covered in swirling scars and with no memory of who he is. At least he looks like a man—a man Raleigh can’t seem to keep his eyes off of—but whenever they touch it ignites a memory swap between them.
Raleigh agrees to help Meteor Man piece together his life through their cosmic connection. But the memory share goes both ways, and Raleigh becomes inexplicably entangled with a guy who is everything he needs—everything good that Raleigh is not—but might not even be human. As their minds and worlds collide, reality unravels and Raleigh must face a painful truth, one that could shatter his dreams of finding love, reaching Mars, and fulfilling his brother’s last wish.
Excerpt from SCARDUST:
I’m floating, borne on cresting waves of technicolor, wrapped in a nebula of neon. My thoughts scatter, my whole being atomized and cast in a myriad directions like that time I snapped Madison’s friendship bracelet and sent the beads skittering across the kitchen tiles. Only this time it’s not beads, but numbers. Ones and zeroes bouncing through the firmament.
Memories race past me in a blur of snapshots. Some I recognize, most disintegrate as soon as I reach for them. Time expands, thick as taffy, pulling me apart, further away from myself until I can’t stretch any more and a scream rips from my throat as I snap back toward the center. An explosion, brighter than any Fourth of July fireworks, fills my vision and knocks me to the ground.
I wake up who knows how long later with Bear licking my face. Dizziness coils around my head and a rash of tingles coats my skin. What the hell just happened? I’m lying in the middle of a crater radiating outward in concentric ridges. I expect a rock, a piece of space junk or some chido intergalactic artifact to have fallen from the sky, but lying right beside me is the beat up body of a guy. He wasn’t there before the light show. I would’ve noticed someone sprawled butt naked in the scrub.
For several long moments I stare at the bloodied figure, the wind blasting sand over both of us. Bear moves first, sniffing and licking at the naked corpse. Still feeling frayed around the edges, I haul my ass out of the dirt. My heart’s pounding hard enough to crack my ribs as I inch over to the body smeared charcoal and rust.
“Easy now.” I nudge Bear as he bashes his nose into the guy’s shoulder. A thick crust of blood gloms the side of his face from jaw to eyebrow. I brush away his hair to get a better look. He groans as I press two fingers against his neck in search of a pulse. Thank God he’s still alive.
ABOUT SUZANNE VAN ROOYEN
Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.