THE SHEPHERD by Travis Luedke
Release Date: September 27, 2014
After saving a mysterious girl from a hit and run, 16 yr. old Mike Evans soon finds his life spiraling out of control. Facing clairvoyant visions of grisly death, Mike struggles to avert disaster and make his way through the chaos.
Skate punks, kleptomaniacs, clairvoyant visions and reincarnation...
THE SHEPHERD is unlike any other Young Adult novel you have ever read.
For me, Mike Evans, a skate punk living in a white-trash trailer park, high school blows.
My dad's an out-of-work drunk. My ex-girlfriend avoids me like the plague. My best friend, Anita, won't keep her hands off me...then there's Moses Lake's champion wrestler. The a-hole is waiting for an excuse to beat my face into the skate park concrete.
Worse, my visions of grisly death are back again, and if I tell anyone what I've seen I might actually cause these terrible events to happen.
I'm in way over my head, and Natasha? The girl I rescued from a hit-and-run? The girl who's stalking me nightly and climbing through my window? There's something seriously wrong with that girl.
Sharp, witty, dark and gritty, The Shepherd is a paranormal thriller for all ages. Get your copy now!
Monday, September 16th
Apart from worrying about Hoodie Girl, who had disappeared for an entire week, I now had a big fat problem with Justin. He was not happy about the video I posted to my Facebook. Though I had called him every day, left voicemails and text messages asking how he was doing, he ignored me.
And then a few days ago the text war began.
Justin: WTF? (What The Fuck) I cant believe U sent that video 2 every 1!
Mike: Sorry dude, it was pretty cool. You screamed like a girl. Did U see all the comments it got on my FB?
Justin: PBIAB! (Pay Back Is A Bitch) Im gonna stomp UR ass when I see U!
Mike: Come on! U got 2 admit that was some funny shit! ROTFLMAO (Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off)
Justin: U better run the next time I see U!
Mike: Sorry Jus, Im only playing around. U posted that pic of me pissing on the roadside and that video when I railed my nuts at the skatepark. What’s the big deal? I’ll take it down.
Justin: Im not playin bitch! Im gonna beat you like the white trash U R!
I tried calling Justin several more times to apologize. He ignored me, the wicked silent treatment.
Silent indifference is pure evil. It means they don’t even care enough to rise to the bait. Silence takes away all your power. I had always enjoyed getting a rise out of Justin. He handled it so poorly. Made for great entertainment.
So, I had stopped by Justin’s house on Northshore drive. I’d never seen him so mad before. I had hoped to calm the situation down. Justin answered the door in a t-shirt and boxer shorts, a scowl painted on his face. “What the hell do you want.”
“I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to be cruel or anything. I thought it was funny. I guess it wasn’t very funny to you.”
“Ha, ha, ha. Really fuckin’ funny. See how I’m laughing? You know what else is gonna be funny? Me and Tommy and the whole friggin’ wrestling team are gonna beat the shit out of you in front of everyone. I’ll be laughing really hard then.”
“Dude, I’m sorry, I deleted the video. I was just playin’ around. Look, you can check my Facebook page. It’s gone.” I held out my cell phone to prove it.
“Gimme that.” He snatched my cell out of my hand and threw it across the yard. “You’re not sorry, but you will be.”
I chased that phone like a dog after a Frisbee. I had saved up for two months to buy that phone. Luckily it landed in the grass, nothing broken. “Asshole!” I had a mind to put a foot up his sore ass.
“Get the hell off my property!” He stood there pointing his finger out to the street, Mr. Righteous.
“You wanna be an ass? Fine! Send your gay wrestler buddies after me. See if I give a shit!” I stomped off.
“Better watch your back Mikey! Moses Lake is a small world!”
“Did they test you for drugs at the hospital? I bet they’d like to know how much of your mom’s Xanax you were on. Butt plug.”
“Go fuck yourself, Mikey. Post that on Facebook.”
He used to be my best friend. We used to tease each other all day long, joking. Nothing was ever really serious. So why was he being so serious?
After stewing on the situation for a day, I decided I didn’t owe Justin anything. And if he was really planning to jump me, why should I be apologizing? And what made him so special that he could treat me this way? So what if he had money, and a nice house on the waterfront. So what if my Dad doesn’t have a dime, and we live in a white trash trailer park.
What gives him the right to treat me like trash when he’s climbing up the side of the damn playcenter high on drugs?
I don’t have very many friends. I can count them on one hand. I was so angry with Justin. I couldn’t leave it alone. They say you shouldn’t text when you’re angry, but I was too pissed off to care.
The text war resumed.
Mike: What up Jus? R U still walkin funny? Maybe U should stock up on the hemorrhoid cream.
Justin ignored me.
Mike: Hey ramrod, what up? A couple extra inches in the pooter? Have U been able to take a crap yet?
Justin ignored that one too.
Mike: I hope this has been an enlightening experience. Im sorry U had to fall on a fence post 2 finally realize U R gay J. R U planning on coming out of the closet now?
He couldn’t let that one slide.
Justin: Stop calling me! Im never talking 2 U again!
Mike: S2BU (Sucks To Be You)
Justin: RUFKM? (Are You Fucking Kidding Me) SFT2M! (Stop Fucking Talking To Me)
Mike: ILT? (It’s Like That)
Mike: Whatever J Hope U get well soon. U don’t want to miss out on the video shoot next week because UR ass hurts.
The group of skate punks we hung out with had planned a skate video shoot for the following week.
Justin: mlm (digital middle finger)
Mike: BIOIYA! (Break It Off In Your Ass)
Our friendship was officially cancelled for the season. And I guess it was serious, Justin missed two weeks of school after his playcenter adventure.
As friends we had been somewhat competitive, especially when it came to filming skate videos. We had constantly tried to outdo each other, to prove who was better. As enemies, the friendly rivalry morphed into a bitter war.
Friends make the worst enemies. They have all that personal, inside knowledge to hurt you with.
About the Author
Travis Luedke is a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, best known for his violently sexy NIGHTLIFE SERIES. Travis can be found catching a third degree sunburn in San Antonio, Texas, while arm-wrestling a bottle of red wine. Though often defeated by merlot and shiraz, he never gives up the fight.
As the author of the Nightlife Series novels, Travis lives very vicariously through his writings. He invites you to enjoy his macabre flights of fancy, but be warned: The Nightlife Series is violent, sexy, and occasionally violently sexy.
Is Teen Fiction Loyal To Teens?
As an author, I write both teen and adult fiction. Though there are many similarities between the two styles and novels, there is one major difference that seems to be missing from some of today’s teen fiction: teenage life and issues.
Teens live in a world dominated by school, peer pressure, raging hormonal drives, bossy adults (parents?) and on many occasions, a highly dysfunctional family setting. Teens are mostly dependent on these family members who may not be very trustworthy or dependable. Teens have all the thoughts, feelings and urges of adults, but they haven’t quite adjusted to that world yet.
Their existence is a purgatory floating between childish carefree abandon and the weight of responsibility and freedoms of adulthood.
These young adults are told to behave, as though children, and yet, at the same time, they are expected to tackle adult tasks like college applications, job hunting, dating, driving, and all the pressures of the real world. It’s no wonder they seem schizophrenic at times. The constant mixed signals are enough to confuse anyone.
Do we expect them to act like adults while treating them as children? Yes, we do.
In the world of teen fiction, there are many novels today that seem to have forgotten what it means to be a teenager.
So, as you scour the shelves for YA/teen novels, ask yourself, how many books have you found that are loyal to teens and the challenges they face? Many of these books are simply a platform for some adult to talk down to teenagers in an attempt to preach adult values and morals.
In writing for teens, please remember that acne-ridden, awkward, voice-breaking, hair-growing time in life when very little made sense, especially if it was coming from a math teacher, but somehow, someway, we survived to adulthood. Remember how it felt when some adult started preaching about making choices and taking on responsibilities, and growing up, and then proceeded to tell you that you cannot have the shoes you want, and you cannot go out past 10:00 p.m., and if your hands ever touch that girl’s ass again, they will be hacked off with a blunt instrument.
In writing my first ever YA novel, I endeavored to craft a story about teens, for teens, a snapshot of that insane, difficult time in our lives when nothing makes sense, but we are expected to understand it all anyway.
Ten books that should be made into films:
The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King – One of those HBO series like True Blood.
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester – An epic scifi-adventure feature film
Under By Treaty by Kayla Stonor – Epic space opera BDSM romance film (It would probably turn out far better than the upcoming 50 Shades Film)
Rogue Genesis (Shimmer In The Dark Series) by Ceri London – Epic military scifi series on Syfy network like Stargate
The Waeld Fae Journals by Christopher Shields – A trilogy of young adult fantasy films (would be awesomely epic)
Anita Blake Vampire Hunter – another one of those HBO series like True Blood.
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught – a hilarious romp medieval adventure romance film
Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons – epic space opera series like Star Trek
Bill The Vampire by Rick Gaulteiri – awesome comedy horror film
And of course: THE NIGHTLIFE SERIES by Travis Luedke – another HBO series like True Blood. At least 6 seasons long.