Meet author Janine Caldwell

Like stories involving time travel with a twist of romance? Then come discover The Vortex Series, a YA fantasy romance unlike any other. Here are the official blurbs of the first two books, plus a sneak peek of the final book in the series.

Trent Astor is many things—orphan, runaway, musician. But what’s most extraordinary about Trent is that he’s a time traveler. His supernatural gift sends him on missions to the past to save unsuspecting victims from harm. However, when he fails to save the life of a young girl, his life changes in ways he could never have dreamed.

At eleven-years-old, Cassie Moore suffered through a horrific shooting. Tragically scarred from the ordeal, the once promising tennis prodigy was forced to throw away all hope of a future in tennis. Now, as she begins her senior year of high school, the past continues to haunt her. She struggles to find herself, her self-esteem at an all time low. If only she could resolve the past, she might be able to move on with her life. She never imagined that could be possible until she meets the gorgeous new student in her PE class.

DOUBLE FAULT is the 2nd book in The Vortex Series where Cassie and Trent’s problems have only just begun. As they fight through the repercussions of creating a parallel world, other dangers are lurking. After years of running, Trent and his orphaned sister, Lorelai, sense the dangerous and power-hungry Dr. Fox is close to discovering their whereabouts.

While Cassie fears for Trent’s life, her tennis career hangs in the balance. Caught between her old and new life, she watches her world slowly crumble until it’s a tragic portrayal of all that she used to know. But worse yet, if her secret is revealed, she might lose what’s most dear to her heart.

DEUCE - The epic conclusion to The Vortex Series is coming this Fall! Add it now to your Goodreads TBR list and be the first to read how it all ends for Cassie and Trent.

Deuce (The Vortex Series, #3)

In an instant everything changes for seventeen-year-old Cassie Moore. Together she and her time-traveling boyfriend, Trent Astor, battle to survive their next impossible challenge. As they navigate through a third parallel world in which Cassie begged Trent to create for her, the two soon discover no world can be made perfect.

And while they fight through their new circumstances, the universe may just have its own agenda for them both.

With DEUCE, the 3rd and final book of The Vortex Series, Janine Caldwell combines fantasy and romance to create a compelling love story of integrity and sacrifice.


A cyclone, a black hole, and an earthquake of epic proportion. Add to that my shock and, well, I’ve pretty much summed up the hell I just experienced. There I am one moment ecstatically kissing my boyfriend, imagining all is right again in my world, and the next I’m whirling in the dark, gasping for air, while some invisible giant hand squeezes the bejeezus out of me.
“They’re not daydreams, they’re flashes!” Those were the last chilling words Trent screamed at me and then . . . Poof! Gone in a blink is the boy I love. Ripped from my hands before I could ask him why his eyes were flashing with terror in the middle of our sweet reunion. My body, previously rooted outside my tennis club’s locker room, was hijacked and thrown into a horrific virtual roller coaster. Death, I thought surely, was the only possible outcome.
Is that torture a sampling of traveling through time? Because, as insane as the idea is, I think that’s precisely what I just did.
But how can that be? I’m not a time traveler. That burden falls on Trent. Has his supernatural power suddenly become contagious like mono? That would be just my streak of luck. Or maybe he somehow accidentally transported me along with him. It’s never been done before, but I guess there’s a first for everything, even if it does defy everything we know about his powers.
Afraid to open my eyes, I grope around me, hopeful Trent’s body is near and waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately, I only come up with handful of dirt, fingering objects that resemble sharp, dry needles.
“Trent?” I croak. “Are you here?”
I swallow a bitter taste in my mouth. A cocktail of fear mixed with panic. My mind races through questions as fast as my heartbeat. Where am I? Am I alone? What exactly has happened to me?
Ready to at least face wherever it is I am, I attempt to crack open my eyes. Immediately they begin to water, blurring from dizziness. The world rocks around me. Moaning, I reach for my head and tuck into a ball, willing the spinning to stop. I can’t think. All I can do is breathe. The deeper I fill my lungs, I learn, the better the recovery. The heavy cool air smells like pine and damp woods, which is both soothing and terrifying.
Slowly, with careful movements, I manage to shift around onto my hands and knees. I think it’s progress, but then, before I can choke it back, I vomit. When that wave of nausea ends, another comes charging through me. I vomit again and again, ejecting my insides like an exorcist. My muscles from feet to neck are clenched so tight, aching with the slightest movement.
After one last exhausting cough, my stomach calms down. The dizziness ends as well. I chance opening my eyes and this time I’m able to keep them open, a sense of being more steady and grounded to the earth resonating through me. Sinking back onto my heels, I take in the scenery. I’m awestruck by the view of a grand forest. A very green and heavily wooded one. Diagonal beams of light filter through an array of giant oak, redwood and pine trees, warming my face and highlighting the layer of mulch I just polluted with my filth.
I’m stunned, mortified that I really did travel to some other place. My gaze roams around me still clinging to the hope of finding Trent, but as far as I can tell I’m all alone. My throat tightens at the thought—alone in a mature, wild forest. God only knows what year it is or for what purpose I’ve been sent here.
I hang my head in my hands. Wow, am I sincerely debating what year it is? I’ve truly lost it now. Never in my wildest imagination could I foresee something this insane happening to me. But as I take another gander at my current forest setting, I can’t deny I’m no longer home in Pleasanton, California.
Although there’s nothing remotely left in my stomach, the harsh reality doesn’t stop me from a surge of nausea. All I want to do is huddle back into my ball until I can wake up from this nightmare. A sob escapes from my mouth, echoing into the vast forest before its swallowed up by thick layers of bark. Tears threaten to fall until I sniff and force them to retreat.
No! This blubbering has to stop. There’s no point in being sorry for myself. Wallowing in self-pity will not get me home any faster. That’s right. Get up and do something, Cassie. Don’t wait for someone else to rescue you, because this time it looks as if you’re on your own.
I take a moment to regroup, coaxing a strength to arise in me. I consider everything I’ve learned about time traveling. If my instincts are correct and I can make sense of all this, then I have to start accepting the facts. Somehow I’ve miraculously become a time traveler like Trent. A flyer through time. How this happened is another question to debate later. But just understanding this much means I’m probably the only one who can get myself home. Me. To play this game and win, a mission has to be met before I’ll be given a ticket back to the present. It’s the only way.
Freshly determined, I straighten my spine, now eager to figure out this puzzle. In the next moment, an arctic breeze cuts through my skin and I’m promptly reminded of what I’m wearing, or not wearing as the case may be, for an adventure galavanting through Sherwood Forest. My yellow tennis dress looks practically neon compared to the surrounding russet and emerald hues. It’s of little warmth and even less protection from lethal branches. By the angle of the sun and the increasing shadows it’ll be dark soon, too. The notion causes me to involuntarily shudder.
Using the aid of a nearby boulder, I claw my way to my feet. It’s an improvement from crawling on all fours, but I have Bambi legs, wobbly and feeble. With stiff fingers, I rub at my bare arms and bump into Trent’s leather cuff, too big to fit around my wrist. I forgot I had slid it on at the tennis match to show Trent proof I remembered him. It seems suiting I would have it in my possession now and certainly comforting to have a piece of him with me. My necklace he gave me for Christmas, regretfully, is tucked safely away in my locker back at the club.
A tad more inspired by the bracelet, I start to trek through the forest at a pace even my Grandma Bertie could’ve kept up with. Of course, I have no idea where I’m going. It’s trunks, leafy bushes, and speckled boulders as far as the eye can see. I’ve yet to find any sign of other people, which makes trying to save someone a real conundrum. And besides the occasional squawk followed by a fluttering of wings high up in the trees, there’s no sign of animals either. I should probably be grateful for that, but the eerie silence is creeping me out. The isolation is pricking at my nerves. I have zero supplies unless you count the extra hairband I have in my pocket, which I don’t. No food or water, no shelter. I can’t even think about what I’ll do if I have to stay the night out here.
As I roam, teeth chattering at the dropping temperature, I contemplate what Trent would do on one of his missions. Probably not wig out like I just did. I’m sure he’s above that by now having years of completed missions under his belt, but hey, this is my virgin jump so I’m going to give myself a break.
Hmm . . . let me see. I suppose Trent would think back to his flashes. Yes, that’s it! He explained once these spontaneous, uncontrollable flashes are visions conjured from . . . well, I don’t know where from. From some supernatural force he can’t fully explain. A spiritual dimension of guides championing his missions perhaps. These images play through his mind to give him clues of the misfortunate he’s been summoned to save. As I told Trent, I thought I was only vividly daydreaming these last few weeks. Apparently not.
Before I begin to pick through my brain for images that might help me figure out what I’m doing here, a lone wolf howls a hundred or so yards away. Then another howls until a chorus of haunting wails sends an icy chill through my bones.
Come on! Seriously? Did it have to be wolves? It couldn’t have been a horde of gentle bunnies or a herd of harmless, grass-eating deer?
I’m about to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction of the howling when a human scream pierces through the forest. With that scream reverberating through my mind, time stands still. I suddenly become hyper aware of my surroundings. As if I can hear the blood surging through my veins, sense the microscopic particles floating on my fingers, see the forest breathing in and out. Soon a flash of a panicked child in harm’s way burns through my brain, clear as water and impossible to forget.
Got it. It’s not even a question now. As warm adrenaline courses through my veins, I’m reminded I’ve seen this kid before in what I thought were meaningless daydreams. An instinct planted somewhere deep in my core assures me I’ve been sent here for him.
With no more time to ponder I start galloping, weaving through the thick brush. I leap over boulders and swipe away at any branch blocking my path as if I’ve been raised in the forest and know how to command my way through it. It’s easy to ignore the thrashing on my naked skin, distracted by the thousands of sharp tingles invading my nerve endings. It’s an odd sensation. Like I have a fever, even though moments ago I was shivering from the cold.
When I reach a small clearing I find a young boy, a raccoon hat on top of his head. My heart stops. He’s sitting on the ground with at least five sandy gray wolves snapping and circling him. He not only appears to be in horrible pain, but beyond terrified by these beasts inching closer. I can understand why. These wolves are not your fluffy Hollywood specimens, but real savages—scrappy, ravenous-looking. Backed up against a tree, the boy continues to pull at his bloody leg with desperation, but can’t seem to free himself. It’s caught in something. A metal animal trap of some sort. In the meantime, his only weapon is a long branch he periodically strikes in the air, but it has little effect of scaring the wolves away. 
As I hunch down behind a patch of shrubbery, my heart caught in my throat, I rack my brain for what I’m supposed to do next. This is so beyond my expertise. I’m a high school tennis player for Pete’s sake, not Davy Crockett. Think, Cassie! What would Trent do?
I scan around me, searching for anything that might help distract the wolves from wanting to gobble up this poor kid, but there’s nothing! Just rocks, spiky foliage, and a few dead yet sap-spattered pinecones. I’m debating whether I should take off my tennis shoes to chuck at the beasts when I hear the boy scream in a way that makes my stomach lurch. It sounds like a wolf has moved in near enough to nip at him. If I don’t hurry up and do something, they may all start attacking him at once. Then it’ll be too late to stop their eating frenzy.
Wait a minute. Rocks!
Without hesitation, I seize a few jagged rocks the size of my palm that my eyes previously swept past. I spring out from behind the shrubbery with my ammo, ready for battle. A primitive roar spews from a deep-rooted part of my spirit drawing a couple wolves away from the boy. With superhuman strength, I launch the handful of rocks at them until I nail one between the eyes. It yelps and stumbles before shaking its head in a daze. This gets the rest of the pack’s attention. They reassemble, growling as they tentatively move away from the boy and face my direction.
Oh crap. This can’t be good.
The wolves advance as one unit, creeping toward me, stalking me with their raised tails and shackles. Their orange irises are directly fixed on mine appearing as feral as their unruly coats. Their razor-edged teeth are barred, columns of foamy drool spilling out the corners of their black gums.
A fit of trembling wracks my body, my mouth as dry as the dusty forest floor. Way to go, genius. Just what do you plan to do now? Sure, you prevented the boy from being attacked, but by way of offering your own flesh for them to feed on. Nice. Some time traveler you are. One mission and you’re already finished!
I’ve lived through a few nail biters—being held at gunpoint by a lunatic scientist and plummeting to my most certain death in a hot-air balloon mishap, for example—but at the moment, feasted on by wolves is ranking up there as the most horrifying. The pack is dangerously close now, growling at me from deep in their chests. They’re pushing me back out of the clearing, cornering me against the same dense patch of shrubbery I was hiding behind. In another second my plan is to turn around and sprint like Usain Bolt, but already doubtful I can outrun them. They’ve got to be familiar with every nook and hollow in this blasted forest. There’s nowhere I can hide they won’t smell my human scent.
As I continue to cautiously step backwards, one eye steady on the wolves, my foot catches on a root. I trip and land on my backside with a painful thud. So much for running. My vulnerable position excites the wolves. They look moments from pouncing, leaning back in their haunches, licking their chops at their easy prey. A scream escapes from my lungs.
I’m sorry, Trent. I really did try. I love you.

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Janine Caldwell's books on Goodreads

reviews: 27
ratings: 43 (avg rating 3.67)

Rematch (The Vortex Series, #1)
reviews: 20
ratings: 26 (avg rating 4.50)

Double Fault
Double Fault (The Vortex Series, #2)
reviews: 11
ratings: 20 (avg rating 4.15)

Apryl Baker

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