The Fourth Piece (Order’s Last Play #1)
by E. Ardell
Genre: YA Sci-fi/Fantasy
Release Date: July 8th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
Admitting what you are will end everything you know. Embracing who you are will start a war…
Life is great when you’re good-looking and popular…so long as no one knows you’re a vulatto. Being half-alien gets you labeled “loser” quicker than being a full vader. So it’s a good thing Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence can easily pass for human—until the night of the party. Nothing kills a good time faster than three brothers sharing a psychic vision of a fourth brother who’s off-world and going to die unless they do something. But when your brother’s emergency happens off-planet, calling 9-1-1 really isn’t an option.
In their attempt to save a brother they barely remember, Devon, Lyle and Lawrence expose themselves to mortal danger and inherit a destiny that killed the last four guys cursed with it. In 2022, there are humans and aliens, heroes and monsters, choices and prophecies—and four brothers with the power to choose what’s left when the gods decide they’re through playing games.
Book I in the Order’s Last Play series
An Excerpt from Chapter Six of The Fourth Piece
THE NEIGHBORHOOD’S QUIET AT SIX in the morning.
The only people out are joggers and folks walking
their dogs. I nod to them as they pass by panting and
sweating, earbuds secure. I love early morning people;
they don’t talk much. We all have a purpose: workout.
We got no time for keeping up appearances. Mrs. Garner,
a lady who’s always in pumps and nylons at the
damn grocery store, runs in a ratty old sweat suit. Mr.
Taylor, three-piece Armani man, runs in biker shorts and
a tank. I love being alone and not having to slow down
to keep pace with teammates.
I’m miles from my house, running through the suburban
maze known as the Better Side of Town. Houston’s
so big there’s no telling how many suburbs are out
there claiming to be H-Town’s ‘Best Part.’ One day, the
Greater Houston Area is gonna take up half the state.
Every five minutes some new little town gets annexed.
Just last month, the city reigned in another million dollar
neighborhood—though a lot of people protested because
it’s full of aliens.
I still remember the insanity when aliens first started
buying houses in the area. All the humans moved out,
saying the Visitors were bringing down the property value.
But, you know, one thing I can say about Visitors is
that they keep stuff clean. Since the regulars moved out,
that whole place friggin’ sparkles. I like running by it
every now and again.
My sneakers pound the pavement, pat, pat, pat. I
love that sound more than listening to my iPlay. The
sports watch on my wrist tells me I’ve gone ten miles in
forty-nine minutes. My skin’s dry and I’m not breathing
hard; my heart beats slow and steady.
The sun’s not up until seven, so the sky’s dark and
streetlights are still on. A few cars are in the street, and
the red glow from their taillights wash over my tan skin.
The woman staring at me through a bay window makes
me wonder what I look like bathed in red light.
I slow my pace, waving at the woman as she stands
behind open blinds, curtains drawn, holding a mug and
watching. A little smirk crosses her lips and pride flushes
through me. I know that smirk. I grin and make a show
of rolling my T-shirt up over my abs and fanning myself
with it. I pass her window, but I know that cougar’s probably
ogling my ass. A lot of PTA moms do.
I run through the subdivision’s gate. The entry is a
stone playhouse made to look like a miniature version of
the houses in the neighborhood. It’s about six feet tall.
I look around—no cars, no people—and leap onto the
roof of the thing, breathing in deep. Mornings around
here smell like pinecones and flowers from the manicured
trees and gardens winding around the brick fences
that surround various subdivisions. The gardens stop an
inch before the sign announcing the city limits, and wild
grass and weeds take over.
I jump off the roof. My feet hit the grass with a
thump and I run towards the edge of the city. I jog into
the parking lot of a shopping strip with a grocery store,
pawn shop, Chinese restaurant, and a Mom and Pop
donut place. The lights are on inside Silva’s Donuts.
Through the glass door and big windows, I see Monica
sitting on a stool behind the counter, head tilted up, probably
watching the TV mounted on the far wall.
The store’s empty aside from Monica, and the only
vehicle in the lot is her Kawasaki. I’m completely into
college chicks with motorcycles; too bad she treats me
like jailbait. I’m seventeen, the age of consent woman,
come on. The gravel of the parking lot is crispy under
my shoes as I sprint toward Silva’s. A bell over the door
rings as I let myself into the store and a waft of hot sugar
and roasting coffee beans makes my stomach growl.
Monica barely glances at me, but gives me the
“hello” nod. Silva’s isn’t fancy, but it’s clean. The walls
are Peep yellow and the tables are small and round with
white tablecloths. A glass case up front displays donuts,
kolaches, and cheese danishes. I make my way to the bar
and hop up on a stool.
Planting my elbows on the bar’s surface, I grin at
“Hn.” She slips off her stool and goes to the donut
display, pulling out two sausage and cheese kolaches
and dropping them on a paper plate in front of me. After
a beat, a bottle of chocolate milk appears too. “There’s
your breakfast, Champ. How far did you run today?”
I glance at the pedometer. “Fifteen miles.”
“You’re slacking,” Monica says. Her voice is kinda
deep for a girl’s, but it’s nice. Not as sexy as Keelie’s, but
still hot. “How’d your party go?”
I bite into a kolache. “It was okay,” I mumble,
“Must not have gone well if that’s all you got to
say,” Monica says, passing me a napkin.
She sits back down on her stool and I stare at her.
She’s in a tight T-shirt that makes her boobs pop and
low-rise jeans that fit her like a second skin. She’s probably
got on cowboy boots too. Monica doesn’t care how
hot it is; she’s always got on jeans and boots, always
ready to ride.
I set the napkin on the counter and lick sticky cheese
off my lips, thinking about what I want to say to Monica
about the party. Hmm. So, it’s like this, Monica. The party
was going great until I had a seizure and ripped apart
a chair. Oh, and I can’t leave out the part where Lawrie
I grind my teeth. I almost killed that idiot when he
wasn’t dead. I thought for sure when I got down there
and saw him stretched out on the ground that he was a
goner. But then he sat up and clung to Lyle, and the both
of them looked at me like I was as useless as the rest
of the losers standing around watching. And from that
spazz look in Lyle’s eyes, I know he and Lawrie were
probably doing that mind-to-mind telepathy crap.
I didn’t ask Lyle about it because I was afraid I’d
hit him, but if he used his powers to send me that vision,
I would have—God, I don’t know. We aren’t close like
we used to be when we were kids, but he’s still my twin.
“Devon? Devon?” Monica waves her hand in my
“Huh?” I blink and stare at her.
She’s got great eyes, so brown they look black
with thick lashes around them. She doesn’t wear all that
makeup high school girls do and she keeps her black hair
long and straight with red streaks dyed under the bottom.
“Your party?” Monica presses. She pulls the top off
my chocolate milk and takes a swig.
About the Author:
E. Ardell spent her childhood in Houston, Texas, obsessed with anything science fiction, fantastic, paranormal or just plain weird. She loves to write stories that feature young people with extraordinary talents thrown into strange and dangerous situations. She took her obsession to the next level, earning a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine where she specialized in young adult genre fiction. She’s a big kid at heart and loves her job as a teen librarian at Monterey Public Library in Monterey, California, where she voluntarily shuts herself in rooms with hungry hordes of teenagers and runs crazy after-school programs for them. When she’s not working, she’s reading, writing, running writers critique groups, trying to keep up with a blog, and even writing fan fiction as her guilty pleasure.
Blog Tour Organized by: