Publication date: June, 2013
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
If everything about you changes, what remains?
Seventeen year-old Ruby, long-pledged to the much older Stiles from the Fireseed desert cult, escapes with only a change of clothes, a pouch of Oblivion Powder and her mute little brother, Thorn. Arriving at The Greening, a boarding school for orphaned teens, she can finally stop running. Or can she? The Greening is not what it seems. Students are rampaging out of control and as she cares for the secret Fireseed crop, she experiences frightening physical changes. She’s ashamed of her attraction to burly, hard-talking Blane, the resident bodyguard, and wonders why she can’t be happy with the gentler Armonk. She’s long considered her great beauty a liability, a thing she’s misused in order to survive. And how is she to stop her dependence on Oblivion to find a real beauty within, using her talent as a maker of salves, when she has nightmares of Stiles without it?
When George Axiom, wealthy mogul of Vegas-by-the-Sea offers a huge cash prize for the winner of a student contest, Ruby is hopeful she might collect the prize to rescue her family and friends from what she now knows is a dangerous cult. But when Stiles comes to reclaim her, and Thorn sickens after creating the most astonishing contest project of all, the world Ruby knows is changed forever. This romantic fantasy set in 2099 on earth has a crafty heroine in Ruby, and a swoonworthy cast, which will surely appeal to the YA and new adult audience.
1. Finally Stiles eases his grip. My arms throb. I’m sure there are bruises wherever his palms have dug in. Why isn’t he sleeping? I gave him five times the dose I give myself when I need Oblivion. Stiles lowers me toward the mattress and one of his hands goes to untie the red curtain. It billows down around us, to the rhythm of the wind. I tense up, every muscle flexed to run. The powder’s not working!
2. Somehow with this stranger, I’m filled with unexpected lightening. “You’re from that desert cult,” he remarks, as if he knows everything about anything.
“How do you know?” The lightening fades.
He says, “Those flower brands on your wrists. There’s talk about your people, down in Chihuahua. How you think the flower is god, think it lives in the sky.”
“Does the flower god sit on a throne like a king?” Laughter escapes him.
3. I’m proud of my skills. But I only dare reveal a tidbit. “I make potions.”
“Like that stuff you sniff up when you think I’m asleep?” Bea’s warm blue eyes turn to chilly cat slits, which frighten me.
“Don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I think you do,” she retorts, but softens inexplicably. “We all have our vices.”
I’m too shocked to protest. “Um, really, what’s yours?”
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Catherine Stine writes YA, New Adult and middle grade fiction. Her YA futuristic thriller, Fireseed One, illustrated by the author was granted a Bronze Wishing Shelf Book Award and an Indie Reader Approved notable stamp. Her YA Refugees, earned a New York Public Library Best Book. Middle grade novels include A Girl’s Best Friend. More and more, she’s enjoying writing speculative tales. She teaches literature at the School of Visual Arts and creative writing at the Philadelphia Writing Conference and in her own ongoing NYC writing workshop. Catherine earned a double focus MFA in Creative Writing at the New School.
Visit her at www.catherinestine.blogspot.com and at www.catherinestine.com.