(The Essential Elements, #1)
Publication date: February 27th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Valerie Moore was a beautiful, headstrong girl with below-average social skills and above-average anxiety (including a flair for over-analyzing).
With her mother long deceased, and her father recently deployed, she ends up being sent to live with her eccentric aunt in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. But, being a Navy brat had made her into a bit of a loner, and making friends certainly wasn’t her strongest suit. As if the life of a typical teen wasn’t hard enough.
But Valerie soon discovers she’s not a typical teenager. Not by a long shot.
SECRETS are revealed…
…About her family, about her newfound friends and relationships, and about her whole world… Things that have been kept from her for her entire life…
But the biggest secret of all is revealed when Valerie discovers that she has Elemental powers, and a chain of inexplicable and irrevocable events unleashes throughout the little town…
“Jesus,” Avvie muttered, astounded. “Even Valerie’s whipped. You two are just… the vision of complementary excellence. My god.” She eyed her boyfriend with mild interest. “Benjamin, you should be taking notes.”
“I am,” he protested without glancing up.
“Not chemistry notes, relationship notes!” She flicked him in the head with her pencil.
Holden glanced at me, but never said a word. I was kind of hoping he’d deny it and save me the embarrassment, but he was enjoying it way too much. We weren’t together, and we certainly weren’t whipped! He knew that! Someone had to clear it up.
So I tried.
“Avvie, listen,” I began timidly, “it’s not like that.”
“Of course not.”
“Seriously, we’re not ‘whipped’. We’re not even-”
“Of course not,” she stressed more determinedly, then smirked. Oh, for goodness sake!
“Avenelle! Holden and I are not-”
Again with her all-silencing hand. “Let’s play a game, shall we? It’s called ‘I Heard.’ It’s where I tell you a rumor that’s been going around about you, and you tell me if it’s true or not. Ready?” But she didn’t wait for my response. “I heard that Holden snuck a bouquet of roses into your locker this morning. True or false?”
I sighed and began the lab experiment, heating the first of five metal wires. “True.”
Avvie smirked. “I heard that you’re going to his game this evening.”
“True.” I wished the damn flame would heat faster.
“I heard that he specifically asked you to wear his number.”
I rolled my eyes. “True.”
“I heard that Holden kissed your hand after class yesterday.”
My eyes darted to hers in a panic. “People are seriously saying these things?”
She shrugged. “It’s a small school, Valerie. If one person sees it happen, everyone does. True or false?”
I recorded the temperature and color of the flame, then grabbed another wire. I glanced at Holden, but he just looked amused. “True.”
She leaned across the lab table and lowered her voice. “I heard Mr. Branson caught you two making out outside of his classroom this morning.”
“False!” I hissed before checking to see that no one else heard the accusation. Not that it mattered, if that was the rumor going around, anyway. “Holden and I have never kissed.”
Avenelle sat back in her chair with a plop. “Shame.”
This chick seriously fed off of gossip and emotions. She was like a pack of piranhas chasing the blood, never relenting until there was nothing left of the poor wounded animal.
I glared at Holden. “Seriously? No backup?”
He opened his mouth defensively, then closed it. “What do you want me to say, Val? I agree with Avenelle; it’s a damn shame we weren’t making out in front of Branson’s room this morning.”
Elle Middaugh is a newly published author, born in the sticks outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania. After moving around the east coast a number of times, she now lives in her hometown with her husband and three children.
Reading has been a favorite past time since Elementary School and choose-your-own-adventure books. Writing has been her dream since Middle School when she first began penning her own material. Being published is the most awesome achievement in her writing career so far, but she hopes for more exciting landmarks and stepping stones in the future!
She’s a proud Navy wife; a frazzle-brained mother; a homebody who dislikes cleaning; a fan of tennis, and fitness in general; a lover of hot tea, mountain dew, and all things fiction; and she’s a bigger My Little Pony fan than her children.