Larsen Davis isn’t afraid to stand up to those who bully him, but in a two-against-one situation at Mystekal High, it’s never easy. When classmate River Dalworth witnesses the abuse and intervenes, the two seniors become good friends. Larsen explains that he’s fighting another battle at home: his own mother, Raylene, bullies him for being gay.
When Larsen meets River’s mother, Arielle, and learns she is overseeing the renovation of the Desert Theater, he shares his dream for a career on stage. Soon, Arielle offers Larsen a job as her assistant, but Raylene is dead set against the idea of her son doing what she considers “gay work.” After Raylene gets a new boyfriend, Reggie, the bad situation at home worsens and Larsen has no choice but to leave.
Now working at the Desert Theater, Larsen feels the unearthly presence of someone in the long-abandoned theater. Meanwhile, as the theater nears completion, a talent show is scheduled for opening night. As it becomes more evident that the theater may have a ghost, it also comes to light that someone may be sabotaging the renovation and the show. Is the ghost real or just the handiwork of someone with a grudge?
Opening night at the Desert Theater sets the stage for a crime, never-imagined reunions, long-awaited explanations, and otherworldly miracles.
River was just leaving school for the day when Gina caught up to him. “Hi there, River.”
“Oh, hi, Gina.”
“I was just wondering …”
“What? If I’m as good-looking close up as I am from a distance?”
Gina giggled. “Well, maybe.”
Just as River was about to respond, Larsen appeared at his side. “Sorry to interrupt. I was wondering if I could speak to you for a minute. Before you head home.”
Gina looked disappointed. “Guess I’ll talk to you another time, River.”
“Sure thing.” River turned to Larsen as Gina walked away. “Let’s go outside and hang a left. I think they spray for bullies there.”
“Ha! I think they do. Thanks, Riv.”
As soon as they walked around to the side of the school, Larsen leaned against the wall and exhaled. “Man, it’s been a bad day.”
“I’m really sorry about Jax and Antonio.”
“They cornered me right after Ms. Carrow’s class.”
“Sucks, dude. Sorry I wasn’t there.”
“Listen, River. I wanted to thank you for standing up for me. People rarely do. I wasn’t so sure Jax wasn’t going to punch you out.”
“I wasn’t worried.”
“I really appreciate what you did. I just don’t want you to get caught up in my nightmare.”
River shook his head. “No. It’s everyone’s nightmare when nobody stops bullies.”
“I sure wish more people felt like you did. Wish they had your courage. I should be able to stop them without any help.”
“Reinhardt’s a big guy. Antonio is a body builder. We all need a little help now and then. Just try to go home and chillax.”
Larsen looked down and kicked the dirt. “Home. That’s a joke. I’m gonna tell you something, Riv, because I know I can trust you.”
“You can. What’s up?”
“Let’s just say that being at school is better than being at home most of the time. And considering I’ve got two jerks bullying me, that doesn’t say much, does it?”
River looked dumbfounded. “School is better than home? What’s going on?”
“I’ve got a mother who’s the biggest bully of them all.”
“Your mom bullies you for being gay?”
“That’s about right.”
She is the author of five novels. Her first-published book, Crooked Moon (General/Literary Fiction) was published in 2008. Her first-written, second-published book, Squalor, New Mexico (General Fiction/Literary Fiction) was published in 2009. Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! (Women’s Fiction/Chicklit), was published December 1, 2011.
In October 2013, Lisette’s fourth novel, Mystical High, book #1 in a YA paranormal trilogy, The Desert Series, was published. In November 2014, her fifth novel, Desert Star, book #2 in The Desert Series was published.
In January 2013, the author edited and published a book of her mother’s poetry (written 50 years earlier) called My Way to Anywhere by Jean Lisette Brodey. The author’s office website is: lisettebrodey.com. In addition to information about her books, Lisette blogs, hosts guest bloggers, and interviews fellow authors on a weekly basis.
The Kindle edition of Desert Star is available for $2.99. The paperback edition will be published in the near future, and Desert Star will soon be available at other major e-tailers. Also, don’t forget to check out Mystical High, the first book in the series, now only 99c!
You can find Desert Star (Book 2 of the on Desert Series) on Amazon.
Also available by Lisette Brodey: Mystical High (Book 1, The Desert Series)