Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Rules of Time Travel by Meradeth Houston

Time travel has consequences...especially for love.

Okay, so it's a rare thing when my monthly post here on Lightening Quick Reads lines up exactly with my release day for my next novel, TRAVELERS. So I'm sharing a little excerpt today, of summertime on the beach, despite the fact that my cute little puppy is curled up next to me :)


With three books open and spread out around me, a sheet full of notes, and my phone locked in my bathroom to keep myself focused, I vowed to get my homework done. As I struggled to work through another math problem, my eyes drifted to the photo framed on my desk. The one I couldn’t quite bring myself to remove, even if seeing it made my throat tighten.

Hot tears rolled down my cheeks and dotted my paper with little puckered wet drops. In the picture, Henry, Joan, and I were laughing, our heads tipped back, wrapped in a three-person hug in the brilliant sunshine. Henry’s amazing body—the product of the swim team—stood out in the photo like something off the cover of one of the magazines they hid at the back of our local bookstore, the kind Joan and I used to sneak back and dare each other to peek at.

Friends since birth, the twins and I did everything together. It only seemed natural that Henry and I would end up together, and Joan hung out with us more often than not—at least when she wasn’t busy with some extracurricular activity or her obsession with environmental activism.

When Henry came over to help my study, my parents strangely didn’t have problem with the two of us spending many late nights working together. And kissing. Lots of kissing. I liked to think my parents never caught on to how he helped me study that.

While I would have given up every painting I’d ever completed for the chance to kiss Henry again, that wasn’t what I missed the most. I missed sitting on my bed with him—talking, laughing, and watching movies. We used to catch old horror flicks, the kind that were so awful they were funny. We’d watch them with the sound off and supply the voices and storyline ourselves. I would laugh so hard I’d almost pee at the way Henry made himself sound like a sour old guy. Then we’d curl up, tangle our arms and legs, and let the world beyond my room just disappear. I’d fallen asleep like that countless times, so comfortable and so confident in how we felt about each other. In those moments, nothing else mattered.

I missed that most. Every time I thought about him, my heart ached.

As I studied his unflinching gaze, his eyes captivated me. I saw now what I couldn’t see then—the sadness creeping in. The knowledge that he’d never spend another afternoon with us at the beach. Even as a Traveler, especially as a Traveler, his clock ticked down so fast. Too fast.

I often thought about trying to Travel back to a time before his death to talk and visit with him, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’d said my goodbyes, and for now, I needed to keep moving forward.

Even if I sometimes wondered how I could possibly manage life without him.

The test answers rested under my notebook, and I pulled them out. Maybe things would turn around now. If Joan managed to get back to semi-normal, maybe we could help each other. Maybe I could keep myself together.

But for now, I kissed my fingertip and pressed it to Henry’s face in the photo. I whispered a soft “love you” and tried to return to my homework.

Sienna Crenshaw knows the rules: 1) no time traveling beyond your natural lifetime, 2) no screwing with death, and 3) no changing the past. Ever. Sienna doesn’t love being stuck in the present, but she’s not the type to to break the rules. That is, she wasn’t the type until her best friend broke every one of those rules to keep Henry, her twin brother and Sienna’s ex-boyfriend, alive.

Suddenly, Sienna is caught in an unfamiliar reality. The upside? Henry is still alive. The downside? Sienna’s old life, including the people in it, has been erased. Now, Sienna and Henry must untangle the giant knot in time, or her parents and all the rest of the Travelers, will be lost forever. One problem: the only way to be successful is for Henry to die... (Goodreads)


Meradeth's never been a big fan of talking about herself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about her:

>She's a Northern California girl and now braves the cold winters in Montana.

>When she's not writing, she's sequencing dead people's DNA.

>She’s also an anthropology professor and loves getting people interested in studying humans.

>If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she's terrified of heights.

Find Meradeth Houston online, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Amazon, Goodreads, and of course her blog!

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