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It Wasn't Always Like This (Hardcover)
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In 1916, Emma O'Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging--as do the Ryans, her family's business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she's in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O'Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder--Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.
On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the founding members of the Church of Light and their descendants. Over the years, a series of murders--whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her--indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma's hope for finding the boy she's certain is still out there . . .
About the Author
Joy Preble lives in Houston with her family. She teaches and lectures widely on writing and literacy, and is the author of the Sweet Dead Life series, the Dreaming Anastasia series, and Finding Paris. Visit her online at joypreble.com or follow her on Twitter @joypreble.