Liz Coley’s internationally best-selling psychological thriller Pretty Girl-13 has been published in 12 languages on 5 continents and has been recognized by the American Library Association on two select lists for 2014 including Best Fiction for Young Adults.
The new Tor Maddox series, including prequel short story Disarmed, and three novels Unleashed, Embedded, and Mistaken represents “the lighter side” of Liz.
Liz’s other publications include alternate history/time travel/romance Out of Xibalba. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and numerous anthologies.
Liz lives in Ohio, where she is surrounded by a fantastic community of writers, beaten regularly by better tennis players, uplifted by her choir, supported by her husband, teased by her teenaged daughter, cheered from afar by her two older sons, and adorned with hair by her cats Tiger, Pippin, and Merry.
INTRODUCING Tor Maddox, a heroine for our times
“I know that one day, I’m going to have to live in the real world. I’d like it to be a decent one.” - Tor
Book I Tor Maddox: Unleashed
When sixteen-year old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one question—if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the truth and taken action?
Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again, she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one, that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighborhood, that she’d spend her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would become a mission to save them all.
Book 2 Tor Maddox: Embedded
Life has been way too quiet for Tor Maddox since her fifteen minutes of CNN fame. Then agent-in-training Rick Turner reappears with what sounds like a simple assignment—to embed herself as his eyes and ears in her own high school. When she agrees to keep tabs on high school state swim champ Hamilton Parker for the Feds, she is plunged into the deep end of a sinister plot. Knowing that freedom, justice, and lives are at stake again, Tor jumps in feet first, but has she gotten in over her head this time?
When observe and report becomes kiss and tell, Tor’s first mission may blow up in her face.
Book 3 Tor Maddox: Mistaken
Grab a flotation device and welcome aboard for more shenanigans, villainy, and romance.
Eight leotards and a ball gown—that’s what Tor Maddox packed for her summer ballet intensive in New York. Pity she never arrived. Kidnapped once by the good guys and once by the bad ones, Tor finds herself involved in a high seas adventure featuring princesses and pirates, a wedding ring, and the guy she thought she’d never be allowed to see again, junior man-in-black Rick Turner.
Tor’s employee ID badge promises: “Your Fantasy Starts Here.” It couldn’t be more mistaken.
Scenes from a Life: The Fossil Site
When I was two and he was four, he threw rocks at me. Not very hard, and not very well. By the time I was seven, we were best buddies, in separate schools, but on weekends inseparable. At ten he moved far away, and we became loyal pen pals bordering on boyfriend-girlfriend at a very safe distance. And by thirteen, our starter romance had splintered (see SFAL: The Bet). The magical years I spent with Bruce were the seven to nine years for me (nine to eleven for him), and we were bound by boy things—cap guns, Creepy Crawlers baked in a Mattel Thingmaker, comic books, monster movies, and dinosaur dreams.
I imagine the girls of today (not to mention the parents) watching our past freedom through a timescope would shudder. They would see me walk alone, age seven, over a mile to my friend’s house and home again—alive and unkidnapped. They would see me and Bruce collecting the gunpowder out of a roll of caps and heating it with a magnifying glass until it exploded. They would see me climbing to the top of a thirty-foot tree without knee pads or helmet or safety line to read a Peanuts comic book. They would see us baking a liquid plastic goop in an electrically heated metal mold (without adult supervision) to make lizards, spiders, and skeletons—some deliciously and incredibly edible (and therefore eaten). They would see us head off, alone, armed only with toothbrushes, to a nearby park and head through the sagebrush down into a secluded canyon, along the dried streambed, through the licorice plantation (our name for the wild fennel), and up the face of the sheer sandstone cliff hiding ancient scallops—the Fossil Site.
While we perched and scraped carefully at the edges of shells to free them, we dreamed of finding a dinosaur femur. Then the whole skeleton. We imagined fame. And what we would call our find. Of course, the cliff face was from a long ago sea, so our odds of finding land-based dinos were rather long. Then we talked about the Saturday Morning Monster movies we loved—Them, Zontar Thing from Venus, and of course the Godzilla movies. And that led to a weird moment of truth as we recalled one particular movie scene—the reunion of Adult and Baby Godzilla, arms stick straight out and waving as they embraced with happy roars. Bruce and I were moved to recreate the scene, arms flapping and reaching for each other. Suddenly, from the canyon rim, we heard laughs. We’d been seen by some other kids. We both blushed bright red at the idea that they might think we were actually hugging each other.
For all our freedoms, the one we didn’t have was that of expressing affection openly. Girls couldn’t hug each other for reasons that were never mentioned aloud. Boys and girls couldn’t hug unless they were “going together.” And no one said, “I love you” unless a proposal of marriage was sure to follow. We had the freedom to play, wander, invent, discover, build, destroy, help ourselves, hurt ourselves, and throw ourselves into danger. We lacked the freedom to show and share what was in our hearts. It’s a new world, and we are fossils.
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