Spark Rising by Kate Corcino Publication date: December 15th 2014 Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
Synopsis:All that’s required to ignite a revolution is a single spark rising.Two hundred years after the cataclysm that annihilated fossil fuels, Sparks keep electricity flowing through their control of energy-giving Dust. The Council of Nine rebuilt civilization on the backs of Sparks, offering citizens a comfortable life in a relo-city in exchange for power, particularly over the children able to fuel the future. The strongest of the boys are taken as Wards and raised to become elite agents, the Council’s enforcers and spies. Strong girls—those who could advance the rapidly-evolving matrilineal power—don’t exist. Not according to the Council.Lena Gracey died as a child, mourned publicly by parents desperate to keep her from the Council. She was raised in hiding until she fled the relo-city for solitary freedom in the desert. Lena lives off the grid, selling her power on the black market.Agent Alex Reyes was honed into a calculating weapon at the Ward School to do the Council’s dirty work. But Alex lives a double life. He’s leading the next generation of agents in a secret revolution to destroy those in power from within.The life Lena built to escape her past ends the day Alex arrives looking for a renegade Spark.
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In this scene from Spark Rising, written from Alex’s point of view, Lena and Alex are finally building an uneasy friendship to go with their alliance. She still thinks he is pushy and unethical, willing to do anything for his cause. He still finds her maddening and unpredictable, and wishes she’d devote herself and her abilities to their cause. They’re both distracted by the chemistry neither will admit. Still, she’s giving him the lessons he needs to turn his own Spark ability into a weapon. If only he could master them…
She rose and stood with her arms crossed, waiting.
He focused, grateful for the shift in mood. Instead of trying to affect the Dust inside the body, as she did in her attacks, he’d try for the Dust attracted to the outside of her. Perhaps the Dust living inside was simply too protective of their very strong host? He breathed out and reached with his mind.
Nothing happened, exactly like all the times before.
“Um.” She wrinkled her brow. “Did you start yet?”
Alex groaned in frustration. He dropped his gaze to the ground at her feet, not wanting to see her expression after the latest failure. Push, dammit!
A flash of light and heat arced out in jagged white light from the ground. It threw Lena off her feet, over the bench and to the ground.
He stared, slack-jawed for a bare second. In two long steps he crossed the clearing and hopped onto the bench looking down at her.
She wheezed in an attempt to reclaim her breath.
He jumped down to her side, hands moving over her head and neck, and then down her sides, to be sure she was otherwise okay. She projected such a huge persona he was shocked at how fragile she felt under his hands.
She batted at him weakly.
Once he’d reassured himself she wasn’t broken, he wrapped his hands around each of her thighs and pulled up her legs to inspect her feet.
The indignity of it helped her find her voice. “Get off of me!”
“Lay still! I could have hurt you!” He barked the words, guilt and dismay making his voice harsh.
She wasn’t. Her voice came as a weak thread of air. She sounded breathless, small. She pushed his hands away, and then pushed at him as she sat up. He crouched at her side, refusing to give way. His heart still pounded.
With a faint grunt of disgust, she scooted herself back from him. She brushed the worst of the gravel and dirt from her hair with her fingertips. When she finally looked up at him, she seemed to freeze for a moment at whatever she saw in his face. “Reyes. Alex. I’m fine.”
He propped one elbow on his knee in front of him and rubbed his mouth with the back of his hand. His eyes closed then opened on a gust of air. “Dust, Lena. I could have hurt you.”
“Yeah.” She agreed. “You could have.” Her voice changed, and he could hear the sly grin under her words. “You really could have.”
The mischief on her face was contagious.
“I did it.”
“You did something.” She wiggled a bit and then made a move to rise.
He jumped to his feet to help. His pull and her slight weight made her sail up into his side. He wrapped his arm around her to steady her.
She grinned up at him, mouth opened to make another wise-ass remark, no doubt.
He focused on her mouth just a beat too long.
She closed it, biting her lower lip. That wasn’t a great help.
She stared back up at him, her eyes wide and her body very still. Before Alex had a chance to process the movement or talk himself down, his body shifted, turning to fully face her. He slid his other hand up to cup the back of her head, lifting her face as he lowered his.
Just a taste. One taste. I have to know.
AUTHOR BIO: Kate Corcino is a reformed shy girl who found her voice (and uses it…a lot). She believes in magic, coffee, Starburst candies, genre fiction, descriptive profanity, and cackling over wine with good friends. A recovering Dr. Pepper addict, she knows the only addiction worth feeding is the one that follows the “click-whooooosh” of a new story settling into her brain.
She also believes in the transformative power of screwing up and second chances. Cheers to works-in-progress of the literary and lifelong variety!
She is currently gearing up for publication of Ignition Point and Spark Rising , the first books in the Progenitor Saga, a near future dystopian adventure series with romantic elements, science, magic, and plenty of action.
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