Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, October 30, 2015

the real enemy - Into Darkness by Hayley Barrett

Fifteen-year-old Alexandra Spencer’s life was not supposed to turn out this way. She was not supposed to go on trial for a crime she did not commit. She was not supposed to be found guilty. And she was not supposed to be sent to Elder Grey Detention Centre, a place of horrors many don’t survive.


Published: August 17th, 2015

Fifteen-year-old Alexandra Spencer’s life was not supposed to turn out this way. She was not supposed to go on trial for a crime she did not commit. She was not supposed to be found guilty. And she was not supposed to be sent to Elder Grey Detention Centre, a place of horrors many don’t survive.

She is however, supposed to be the daughter of the wealthiest, most influential man in the post-apocalyptic New Zealand city of New Phoenix.

But apparently, she isn’t.

Shell-shocked and struggling to understand why she is no longer a member of the city’s ruling family, Alexandra is torn from her privileged life by the churlish young guard, Will Metcalfe, and forced to trek for three weeks through deadly wilderness to her place of imprisonment. Her journey with Will is a constant battle for survival, where she is never sure who is the real enemy. It is also journey into the truth about the safe and lavish world from which she has been cast. Through Will, she learns of a mutant race called Drifters living in the wilderness who are being preyed upon by New Phoenix’s guards—Drifter’s blood being a life saving cure-all elixir for the city’s inhabitants.

As Alex struggles to cope with her new life in Elder Grey, an act of friendship ends in tragedy. When someone she thought was an enemy pulls her from her despair, Alex discovers that old friends cannot be trusted, prejudice is another word for fear, and trust, not blood ties, make a family.

Author's Interview

Did you enjoy writing Into Darkness? 
I loved every part of writing that book. I thought about it solidly for the two years it took to write, and I was constantly coming up with ideas to make it better. The sequel however (the book I’m currently working on) has been much harder to write. 

What does your family think of your writing? 
I think they are quite proud. My eleven year old is desperate to read Into Darkness but there is one scene which I don’t really want him to read (it’s not graphic, but as his parent, I don’t think it’s suitable), so I haven’t let him…yet. The rest of my family have read it, including my Mum who doesn’t really like to read, so that must mean something good! 

Where do you get ideas for your books? 
Ideas usually come to me as I write. I always start with a plan in mind, but often my characters have other ideas and the scene ends up going somewhere else entirely. Sometimes I write a scene then when I’m doing something else entirely I’ll get a better idea and end up rewriting. 

Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Ha! Yes, all the time! I always hate my first draft, but I try to use what I can and rewrite the bits I don’t like. When I first started writing, I thought everything I wrote was amazing…now it’s the opposite. 

What are you currently working on? 
I’ve almost completed the sequel to Into Darkness, and I’m also very close to completing a novella told from the point of view of one of the minor characters from both books. Once those are done, I have plans to write something with a more historic feel to it – with any luck, I’ll start on that prior to Christmas.
(author's material)

Will tried to speak, but no sound came from his mouth. He looked at me as if he wanted an answer, but I couldn’t know what he’d asked me. He touched the top of my arm, his lips moving but not his vocal chords. This time when I didn’t answer, he shook me by the shoulders. 

I wriggled free, hating his hands on me after what Eton had been about to do. Will tried to speak again. His lips moved. Alexandra. I understood, but he wasn’t making any sound. He threw me a spare shirt from his pack and I vaguely recalled mine was ruined. Worse than ruined, it had a rip down the centre. I took his shirt, but couldn’t move my eyes from the ghastly sight of Eton’s fatal wound, let alone think about getting changed. 

Will shook his head, and closed his eyes for a second. When he opened them, I swear he said, “I’m sorry, Alexandra.” 

Then he slapped me. 

Everything came back into sharp focus—the river babbling, birds singing, sand flies buzzing around my face, and the fact that my shirt was wide open. I quickly pulled Will’s light blue guard’s shirt over my head, and registered for the first time the faintly metallic smell of blood. 

“Alex,” said Will. “Are you okay?” 

“You hit me.” I touched the place he’d marked my cheek, as if that was the worst thing that had happened to me in recent minutes. 

“I had to do something to stop you screaming.” 

“I wasn’t screaming.” Someone had been though—perhaps it was me. “Is he dead?” 

Will nodded once, and then crouched over Eton’s pack, his dark curls falling onto this cheek. He riffled through the contents, intent on finding something within. 

“You killed him?” I could hear the rising panic in my voice. “You killed Eton?” Will didn’t answer. “Why?” 

“To stop him, of course.” He spoke quietly, radiating silent anger.

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About the author:
Hayley Barrett began writing in the aftermath of the devastating Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 as a way of escaping from the ongoing terror of the natural disaster. Not totally happy with her efforts, in 2012 she commenced a novel writing course. Into Darkness, her first novel, is the result of the course and two years hard work.

Hayley lives in Rolleston, ten minutes south of Christchurch, New Zealand, with her husband and three children. When she isn’t driving her kids to their sports practices, games and other after school activities, she enjoys playing squash, relaxing in the sun and reading. Most days she wishes there were more hours available to spend writing. 

Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Fee Roberts said...

It sounds so intriguing. I love post-apocalyptic stories.

Jan Lee said...

Sounds like somewhat of a thriller. I do love a good thriller and a good mystery :)

doreen lamoureux said...

I would love to read this baby. You have really awesome books on your site. Thanks.

Rebecca said...

Yup! This one's gonna be really, really good! Excited to read it! Thank you!

rebeccaniehaus at mail dot com

Unknown said...

Sounds utterly amazing! Can't wait to read it!

Esha Indianwriter said...

Sounds interesting and nice blog

Stephanie LaPlante said...

This book sounds very interesting!

Dan Denman said...

I like the cover and excerpt of the book. I think that I would like the characters in this story.

Danielle merkle said...

Great excerpt, thank you for the giveaway!

Jolanda said...

This book sounds good.