Romiette and Julio
When Romiette Cappelle and her best friend, Destiny, decide to order The Scientific Soul Mate System from the back of Heavy Hunks magazine, they're not sure what they're getting into. But Destiny, a self-proclaimed psychic, assures Romi that for $44.99 plus shipping and handling, it's the only way they're ever going to find out who their soul mates really are. If nothing else, maybe Romi will get some insight into that recurring dream she's been having about fire and water.
But they never expect that the scented candle and tube of dream ointment will live up to their promises and merge Romiette's destiny with that of Julio Montague, a boy she's just met in the "cosmos" of an Internet chat room. It turns out they go to the same high school, not to mention having almost the same names as Shakespeare's famous lovers! Sweet-scented dreams of Julio have almost overtaken Romi's nightmares...
...when suddenly they return, but this time in real life. It seems the Devildogs, a local gang, violently oppose the relationship of Romiette and Julio. Soon they find themselves haunted by the purple-clad shadows of the gang, and the fire and water of Romiette's dream merge in ways more terrifying — and ultimately more affirming — than even Destiny could have foreseen.
Romiette, an African-American girl, and Julio, a Hispanic boy, discover that they attend the same high school after falling in love on the Internet, but are harrassed by a gang whose members object to their interracial dating.
Read a brief excerpt here!
Sharon Mills Draper, born in Cleveland, Ohio, has been writing and teaching for over twenty years. She has always encouraged in her students a love of learning through literature and a respect for excellence in writing.
Her literary recognition began when, as a challenge from one of her students, she entered and won first prize in the 1991 Ebony magazine Literary Contest, for which she was awarded $5,000 and the publication of her short story "One Small Torch." That story is now chapter one of Forged by Fire. She is also the author of the Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs series of books for middle readers. Her first novel for Atheneum, Tears of a Tiger, was the recipient of the first Coretta Scott King Genesis Award, and her second novel, Forged by Fire, won the Coretta Scott King Award for 1997. Visit the author's website, www.sharondraper.com