Read the first whole chapter here (PDF format) and keep reading for the chance to win. The following is a short extract from the book:
But from where she stood in the blackness, her back pressed against the brassy wall of an elevator, Lucy Patterson had no way of knowing the scope of it yet.
She couldn’t have imagined, then, that it stretched beyond the building where she’d lived all her life, spilling out onto the streets, where the traffic lights had gone blank and the hum of the air conditioners had fallen quiet, leaving an eerie, pulsing silence. Already, there were people streaming out onto the long avenues that stretched the length of Manhattan, pushing their way toward home like salmon moving up a river. All over the island, car horns filled the air and windows were thrown open, and in thousands upon thousands of freezers, the ice cream began to melt.
The whole city had been snuffed out like a candle, but from the unlit cube of the elevator, Lucy couldn’t possibly have known this.
Her first thought wasn’t to worry about the violent jolt that had brought them up short between the tenth and eleventh floors, making the whole compartment rattle like a ride at an amusement park. And it wasn’t a concern for their escape, because if there was anything that could be depended on in this world—far more, even, than her parents—it was the building’s small army of doormen, who had never failed to greet her after school, or remind her to bring an umbrella when it was rainy, who were always happy to run upstairs and kill a spider or help unclog the shower drain.
Instead, what she felt was a kind of sinking regret over her rush to make this particular elevator, having dashed through the marble‑floored lobby and caught the doors just before they could seal shut. If only she’d waited for the next one, she would’ve still been standing downstairs right now, speculating with George—who worked the afternoon shift—about the source of the power outage, rather than being stuck in this small square of space with someone she didn’t even know.
I also have a spare copy to give away (UK only). Entry is via the Rafflecopter below.
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