Title: UpSpark Series: Five Elements #1 Author: Nicole Wells Genre: Upper Young Adult (15+), Inspirational Romance, Speculative Fiction, Magical Realism / Friends-to-Lovers Romance Published: July 25, 2020 Publisher: Indie published Trigger Warning: Suicide
Get ready for an award winning story that reached Amazon’s top 500 for all e-books (over 2 million), now fully revised! Can they find themselves and each other before time runs out? Enya’s dreams of making a difference in the world are devastated the summer after high school when she finds out she has a fatal disease. A cross country road trip to Native American reservations helps her find meaning. But Jacob, her best friend and traveling companion, has longed for them to become something more. Their expedition is just the start of an amazing love and spiritual journey, but a one-in-a-million phenomenon changes everything.
What Readers are saying:“I get the feeling like I’m reading Fault in Our Stars Part 2.” Winner of the Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Award “Everyone who reads this gem of a book will certainly anticipate the second one!” – Deborah Lloyd for Readers’ Favorite “It is a love story of the dreams and stars.” – Oviya Nila Muralidharan, Book Blogger “Romantic, magical and inspiring.” – Bookstagram review “Compelling!” – Bookstagram review “UpSpark is an elegant character-driven drama that will make you sob and smile, but mostly it will instill a sense of gratitude for whatever time we have.” – Amanda Murello for Indies Today “This is one of the most spellbinding stories that I have read.” – Jean R., UK Amazon customer “The sweetest friends to lovers I’ve ever read.” Zoe E., ARC reader
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ExcerptI’M WAITING IN THE EXAMINATION ROOM. I’ve moved from the exam table to the plastic chair at its side. I feel like I have more fortitude here; it’s more familiar and less lonely than being elevated and exposed on the exam table. My mom is still in the waiting room. I didn’t push for her to be here. I mean, Jesus, dad only died a year and a half ago. But I’m grateful. What if it’s positive? I wouldn’t be able to drive myself home after that, and I couldn’t ask a friend. It’s just…too much. Too personal. I also moved to the chair because every move on the table — every fidget, every deep breath — caused that damn paper to crinkle, like a mocking echo of my nervousness or a refrain to my thoughts. Those thoughts circle around and around, only pausing when I wonder how much time has passed. I refuse the temptation to check my phone, but lose the fight to keep my eyes off the clock on the wall. It’s been three minutes. Goddamn, but the brain can think a helluva lot in three minutes. Happy birthday to me. My name is Enya. I’m 18. Newly minted. Just a couple weeks ago, actually. To most kids, that means another degree of freedom — moving out of the house, entering official adulthood, starting the rest of their lives, maybe beginning college. To me, it means I get to take a genetic test. I’ve been waiting my entire life for this test. No, I’ve been waiting my entire life for the results of this test. I can wait a little longer. Another minute passes. Are these my last minutes of freedom or the beginning of freedom? The shadow of a death sentence will either become real or dissipate. My eyes drift to the clock again. Thirty-two seconds have ticked by. I focus on benign facts. Did you know that about 300 million cells die every minute in our bodies? And that we replace about 48 million cells a minute? Or that every few years most of our body has recreated itself? Or that most of our body is made up of stardust? Everything in our bodies originates from stardust, which is still falling and still recreating us. There’s something beautiful in the impermanence of us from the eternity of stars. I wish that thought could bring me the reassurance it usually does. Did you know that I want to be a doctor? I know exactly the kind, too. I want to do Integrative Medicine. Yeah, all that kooky stuff. I love it. I really believe I’ve got my head screwed on a little tighter than my mom does since my dad died last year. I credit my getting acupuncture and homeopathy. People know it works, too. That’s why it’s so popular. I’m gonna be part of the movement that brings it to the forefront. Despite waiting for it, the double rap on the door startles me, and Dr. Yee strides in. I could have chosen a different doctor to tell me my fate, perhaps a genetic expert in a comfy conference room, but Dr. Yee is my family doctor. She’s a special combination of straightforward and kind, and I trust her. She grabs the black, wheeled stool and sits facing me, leaning onto the examination table. There is a computer screen hiding my medical records beside us, but she doesn’t log in. I want her to. I’ve prepared for this appointment by imagining how it would play out, and I used our prior visits as fodder for my fantasy. In my mind, she logs in and shows me what my record says. Sometimes it’s printed out, which usually doesn’t bode well. She stares at me now, and I desperately, unreasonably, want her to show me the computer screen. I don’t want her to tell me directly. Give me a buffer, let the windows to my soul have some privacy. But the only shutters to my eyes are my eyelids, and my face feels frozen, eyes wide. She leans closer and paper crinkles. “Enya, I know you are prepared for any answer. You’ve had extensive counseling.” I have, but I’m not. My dad had Huntington’s disease. It’s a fatal, inheritable disease. His mother had it and he had a fifty percent chance of having it, just like I have a fifty percent chance. My dad decided not to get tested, but I want to know. I had to go through a lot of counseling to get the test since there’s no cure. Huntington’s is not a pretty way to go, but I’d like to fortify myself if I have to. I’m not braced for this like I thought I would be. It’s like when my mom gets her mammogram and freaks out until the test results come back. If there’s cancer, it’s been there. It wouldn’t magically appear on the day of the mammogram. The test just brought the possibility front and center and she’s out of her mind with worry until she gets the results. There’s something in the knowing that makes fear manifest. Ignorance is bliss. So I’m here, willingly giving up my bliss, and freaking out… Because my dad started having symptoms on top of a midlife crisis and ended up killing himself. Knowledge catches up to you; it’s better to be ready. “You are prepared for this,” Dr. Yee repeats. The exam table paper crinkles sound their exclamation point, now like a cheer-leading section, but I don’t need an audience. She’s staring, and I think she expects me to nod. I’m still frozen. “Enya, it’s positive.”
Nicole Wells. In the ethos where herds of story ideas run wild and free, I am known as the Devourer of Books. A voracious predator, I — Okay. I’m a mom of three young children. And I spend way too much time in the fantasy world in my head. But, hey, in this world I’m still supernatural. I channel the powers of my insomnia for good. I’m impervious to kid whining and insults (well, mostly). I have a second sense for cereal disasters and broken toy catastrophes. They call me Mom, which is code for You’re-Awesome-We-Love-You or Stop-Writing-On-Your-Computer-and-Play-With-Me. I’m not sure which. My kryptonite is my pet peeves: water running down my elbows, food stains on papers, and losing the little plastic tethers when you remove the tags off new clothes. So, yeah, that’s me. Your average superhero mom. Oh, and I’ve got three eyes (one in the back of my head). UpSpark is my debut novel, Book One of the Five Elements Series