Hello, all! My name is Kate Corcino, and I'll be your guest blogger today. I am thrilled to be here to share an excerpt from my first novel with you.
A technical definition of Spark Rising might be that it is an SFR Galaxy Award-winning, genre-bending futuristic fantasy that melds elements of science fiction romance with urban fantasy for a non-stop adventure. Personally, though, I tend to babble with excitement when describing it. That's because somewhere along the way, someone told me to write what I love, so I did.
Agent Alejandro Reyes has spent half his life searching for the perfect weapon. He's finally found her... Spark Rising
All that’s required to ignite a revolution is a single spark rising. Two hundred years after the cataclysm that annihilated fossil fuels,T 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. ***
As you can see from that blurb, Spark Rising is a fusion of science fiction, urban fantasy, romance, dystopia, superpowered love interests, and a hint of a spy thriller. I hope I'm not alone in being excited by this genre melting pot.
My heroine and hero, Lena and Alex, share the spotlight in this dual point of view novel. The romance is what I describe as a long, slow burn. After all, there's a revolution brewing. These are two people who might be fascinated by each other, but certainly aren't even sure they like each other.
Of course, all that changes the more time they spend together... Below, you can read a snippet of their first meeting, from the opening of the book. I hope you enjoy it!
from SPARK RISING
“Nothing says ‘Home, Sweet Home’ like an abandoned gas station.”
The words came with a muffled snort from one of the two men following Lena. He probably hadn’t meant for her to hear them—probably—but the rich, husky tone of his voice carried them to her. Lena rolled her eyes, her back still to the client and his assistant. “Does my home offend you, Mr. Reyes?”
She kept her tone even and pleasant. It took effort. A lot of effort.
“No, no,” he answered from behind her. “I’m just trying to understand what would make someone see this place and say, ‘Now this…this is the place I want to call home.’” He paused. “Miss Gracey,” he added, mimicking her formality.
She could hear his amusement. It was nothing she hadn’t heard from other clients before. As far as she was concerned, he could keep trying. She highly doubted he’d get it.
When she’d arrived at the ancient gas station nine years before, she’d been fifteen and full of rage, fear, and pride over making her escape from a life of hiding in the city.
The empty building still stood firm against the onslaught of the world. Buckled, collapsed pavement at the far end of the lot showed where the tanks below ground had ignited during the cataclysm two centuries before. The void was filled with sand pushed by the wind—a shifting, fatal trap for the unwary. A tumbleweed bounced across the rubble of the road, smashing against teetering pump fourteen, shedding thorns and seeds as it rolled off again.
The desolation was a reflection of Lena’s grief. She’d staked her claim on the station and carved her home out of drifted sand and weeds. She didn’t expect those who lived in the comfort of a relo-city—surrounded by people and walls to keep the world at bay—to understand why it mattered to claim a corner of the wild as hers alone.
The cities that had grown out of the post-disaster relocation centers were the last hope of those clinging to the old ways. They were willing to give up a lot to live in safety. She knew safety was relative.
Now her client, and the assistant who’d powered the electric vehicle to get him out here, sized her home up as they followed her inside. The visual examination of the home she’d built for herself, the life alone, was typical of every client, every time.
This time the examination, and the judgment it implied, rankled. She spun around, mouth opened to snap at them. She stopped.
Alejandro Reyes had removed his antique sunglasses, and his dark eyes were focused on her. She tried to escape the intensity of them by looking down, but that was a mistake. Instead of a heated gaze, she caught his wide-chested, lean-hipped body as he slid closer to her like one of the big cats of the desert, stalking prey.
He’s not a hunter, Lena. Just another indolent client looking for a black market charge to make his easy life easier.
I hope you enjoyed this taste of the novel. I love to hear from readers (and potential readers). Feel free to visit me at http://www.katecorcino.com or https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKateCorcino or drop me a line at katiecorcino[at]gmail.com
If you’d like to keep reading, Spark Rising is available in paperback form through both Amazon and Barnes&Noble online.The e-book version of Spark Rising normally sells for $3.99, however, it is still listed at its sale price of 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or iBooks.
Have an amazing day! Whatever you choose to read, I hope it will include the multiple universes worth of adventure and love that can be found in Science Fiction Romance!