Today I’m hosting Rosanne Rivers on her blog tour in honor of the release of her new book, After the Fear! This means you get to read an excerpt and enter to win a copy of the book. Exciting, right? I know I’m excited. After the Fear looks like it’s right up my alley, and as soon as my current fiction-fast is done with I’m going to be reading it.
So, without further ado….
You have not attended a Demonstration this month.
In Sola’s city, everyone obeys the rules. Stay away from the trigger cameras and regularly update your Debtbook, and you just might survive. But having to watch the way criminals are dealt with—murdered by Demonstrators in the Stadium—is a law Sola tries to avoid. When a charming Demonstrator kisses her at a party, however, she’s thrust into the Stadium and forced into the very role she despises.
Armed with only natural resourcefulness and a caring nature, Sola narrowly survives her first bout. Her small success means she’s whisked off to a training camp, where she discovers a world beyond the trigger cameras and monitoring—a world where falling in love with a killer doesn’t seem so terrible.
Yet life as a Demonstrator has no peace. Sola must train her way through twenty-five more Demonstrations before she can return home to her father. At the end of each battle, only one survivor remains.
Sola could face anyone in the Stadium . . . even a loved one.
Coral takes up nearly all of my thoughts on the walk home. One moment I’m annoyed with myself for hurting her, the next I’m annoyed with her for tainting the memory of my first kiss. By the time I scan into the flat, I’ve decided I’m actually annoyed with Dylan for turning me into the kind of girl who over thinks everything.
That’s weird. Dad’s briefcase is in the living room. He’s meant to be at work.
I peek into his room, then mine. Nothing. A faraway digger makes me jump, and I let out a half breath/half laugh to myself. I always creep myself out so easily. I’m actually relieved to hear a noise from the kitchen, because a noise that’s definitely someone is better than a creak which could be someone.
‘Why didn’t you answer me?’ I ask, rushing into the last room of the flat.
Three people crowd my kitchen. I bounce back from the threshold, as if I’ve hit an invisible wall. Mr Winters stands by the door, tall and gangly with his hands held behind his back. His grey face almost matches his white coat. The other two are surly-looking men I don’t recognise, but their Liaison uniforms unite all of them against me. One eyes me greedily, his arm resting on my kitchen counter.
A sticky bubble forms at the back of my throat. Mr Winters holds a finger up to silence me, although I hadn’t even opened my mouth to speak. He motions toward the digiscreen with a flick of his bony hand.
It’s fixed on my Debtbook profile. My picture grins into the room. There’s a new status underneath my name, but I can’t read it. I glance at Mr Winters and something catches the light in his hand. From in between his curled fingers protrudes the long stem of a needle.
Everything slows, although I know it happens quickly.
I back away and hit the screen. The black dots of text shuffle and sharpen. Mr Winters moves behind me. I read the words.
Sola Herrington has been chosen to help pay the Nation’s Debt.
About Rosanne Rivers
Rosanne lives in Birmingham, UK and considers it one of her favourite cities, second only to Rome. She delights in writing for children and young adults and hopes to bring readers to an unfamiliar yet alluring setting. Rosanne was inspired to write when she read the Harry Potter books, and at age fourteen, she wrote romance fanfiction on just about every pairing you could dream up from the HP series. She currently lives with her partner and two bunny rabbits and is working on a post-apocalyptic adventure book for middle grade readers.