About the Book
Title: Wrong Side of the Rift
Author: Libby Heil
Genre: YA Fantasy
Grape can’t unlearn what living in Sortilege Falls has taught her. Magic is real. Vampires live among us. And there’s a portal in her back yard that leads to another world.
A few weeks ago, Grape lived a quiet life with her family in Watts Landing. Now, she’s stuck in Sortilege Falls, searching for a way to rescue her brother from the other side of the rift. She’s connected to Brad through dreams and what she sees terrifies her. Brad is being tortured into performing magic and, even worse, he’s being forced to torture others.
Grape hounds the magic folk in town, seeking a way through the rift. Her mother’s memory’s been stolen. Her new vampire friend refuses to help. Grape must do it all alone. What she uncovers is a whole host of secrets about the town and her own family. And she’s not the only one hunting for answers.
Time is running out for Brad, but it might be running out for Grape as well.
I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.
Fun facts about me: There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true.
Puschcart Prize Nomination for “Grow Your Own Dad” – Published by Mixer Publishing
Semi-finalist Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference – “STUFF”
Honorable Mention The Ohio State Newark New Play Contest – “The Last Day”
The Models have just returned to school. Their otherworldly beauty is gone and so is their power over their fellow students. Some adjust well, some don’t. Grape does her best to protect her friends, but as you’ll see, it isn’t always easy.
Graeson hovered just outside the cafeteria doors. He smiled when he saw her approaching and gave a quick wave.
"I'm starving. Not literally, but you know what I mean," Grape said, thinking of people who were actually starving. She'd forgotten to pack a lunch that morning or any snacks. Her tummy rumbled as she searched her purse for a few dollars.
"I might be able to spare some of my sandwich. I haven't been super hungry lately," Graeson offered.
"What'd you bring?"
"PB and J."
"That sounds like heaven. I'll take whatever you don't finish, but no worries. I have money in here somewhere. And Bam! Found it." Grape pulled a crumpled five dollar bill out of her bag and held in front of Graeson, savoring the small victory.
"Good. I kind of want all my sandwich."
"Can I have a bite?" she asked, now that her mouth was watering for creamy peanut butter and sweet jelly.
Graeson made to answer, but his words were drowned out by a scream from down the hall.
"What the…" Grape said, peering at the backs of students as they huddled into a mass. They swarmed the middle of the hall, circling around a small space. "What's going on?"
"Looks like a fight." Graeson's body tensed. "We should head into the cafeteria.
"Uh-huh," Grape said, but she kept her gaze locked on the crowd.
"Get him, Reggie!" someone yelled.
A book bag flew into the air from the middle of the pack. Grape recognized the Gucci bag. It might not be too long before the twins' aunt made Xavier sell his expensive accessories as well as their cars, but she hadn't yet.
"Crap, come on," Grape said, jogging toward the crowd. She had to push her way to the front. A hefty kid with huge, hulking shoulders held Xavier in a headlock. He punched the former Model in the face, and Grape saw blood spurt onto the floor.
"Hey!" she screamed, stepping forward, not sure what she could do. She tried to grab the guy's arm to stop him from hitting Xavier again, but the kid swatted her away. She tripped backward and landed hard on her rear, sending a jolt of pain through her body.
Anger raged in her belly as her ribs throbbed. Grape struggled to her feet. The giant kid picked Xavier up and held him in the air as if the former Model weighed no more than a child. "Put him down," she yelled, but her voice was drowned out by the crowd. They cheered to see Xavier body-slammed.
Grape heard a low growl and was surprised to find that it was coming from her. She took a step forward, her fists clenched and ready.
Two kids standing in the front row, red-faced from yelling, were shoved aside as Lonnie plowed through them. He landed two quick punches to the big kid's mid-section. The kid dropped Xavier, who landed heavily on his side.
"Ugh," Xavier moaned as Lonnie reached down to help him to his feet.
"Look out!" Grape yelled as the kid raised a ham-sized fist in the air. But he moved too slowly. Lonnie landed a kick to the giant's crotch before the boy could throw his punch. The boy stood still for a moment, his hand still raised. His face slowly turned red as he folded over, falling hard to the ground. Xavier stood and thrust his boot into the kid's stomach.
"You okay?" Lonnie asked his brother.
Xavier grabbed his book bag from the ground. He used the bottom of his T-shirt to wipe the blood from his nose. "I'm fine," he grunted.
Graeson grabbed Grape's arm and pulled her back into the crowd.
"Where were you?"
"Stuck in the back. We gotta go."
Graeson pointed at the teachers rushing toward them. "We gotta go."