I am very pleased to be working with AuthorsOnTheWeb and Deb Shapiro & Company to help promote Elizabeth Norris’ new novella, UNDONE, which bridges the gap while we wait for her upcoming novel UNBREAKABLE (the sequel to Liz’s 2012 debut, UNRAVELING).
If you're not familiar with UNRAVELING, which debuted in April 2012 from Balzer + Bray, here's a refresher:
Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.
And that was before she died...and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.
Quite a few of my lovely friends enjoyed this book. Some notable reviews include those by Christina from A Reader of Fictions, Millie from MillieDsWords, and Kristina from LadybugStorytime. I have not yet read UNRAVELING myself, however, a read and review are forthcoming on BlookGirl within the next month!
And now, for the Book of the Hour! UNDONE became available electronically via Balzer + Bray on March 5, 2013, and contains three stories from Ben’s point of view. One story is a prequel to UNRAVELING, where readers get a chance to find out more about Ben. Another story is set during UNRAVELING, as Ben realizes he loves Janelle. A third story is set in between UNRAVELING and UNBREAKABLE. Below, you'll find an intriguong teaser excerpt from UNDONE. I hope it convinces you to start on this exciting series! Click on the cover to add it to your GoodReads.
BEFORE SHE KNEW ME
The first time I opened a portal, it was an accident.
It was nine days after my birthday at a joint party with one of my best friends. It was at his house. We played games in his backyard, ate ice-cream cake, opened presents, then challenged everyone to a video game tournament. My brother was older though, and he had an advantage. I ended up knocked out quickly, as did three of my friends.
Once we were out, we got bored, so we went in search of something else. We just didn’t expect to find what we did. In the basement, instead of old board games, we found his father’s home lab, and the locked door didn’t keep us out. We knew it was where he kept his failed experiments and we wanted to check them out.
One of them wasn’t as failed as we thought, and after messing with the wires, the motor flared to life, connecting to a laser beam, and a portal opened in front of us: a huge black hole that rippled like it was made of oil. We dared one another to touch it, but no one would step up.
I don’t know who it was who shoved first, but it happened. Somehow, I tripped and fell. And I brought two of the three of them with me: through the portal.
We ended up in another world. In the ocean.
The second time we opened a portal, it was different.
It was because of a girl, and it changed everything.
It all started with a fight.
It was the first Thursday in March of my sophomore year. I knew because I kept track of the days and months and years that passed since we’d fallen through.
It had been an uneventful day. I skateboarded to Eastview, got to first period on time, made an appearance in my first class, ditched my second one to hang out with Eli and a couple guys while they got high behind the football stadium, and then made it through my last two. At the end of the day, I headed to It’s a Grind for the afternoon coffee that would get me through work.
I didn’t usually frequent the unofficial campus coffee shop. It backed up to the school parking lot and was always crowded, which meant long lines and a high probability of getting sucked into a conversation with someone from class. I didn’t do conversation well. I didn’t know what to say to most people. It was hard to know what to talk about when my mind was usually on things they wouldn’t understand.
I usually stopped at a gas station or something because I didn’t have any coffee shop loyalties. I just wanted something strong and convenient and preferably cheap. That day, though, my foster parents had been out of coffee, and I spilled the cup I’d bought on the way to school when a group of freshman girls knocked into me before first period. The caffeine withdrawal combined with my fourth period world history class had given me an unbearable headache.
If even one thing had been different: if my foster parents hadn’t run out of coffee, if those girls hadn’t knocked into me, if I had ditched world history… I wouldn’t have been there, and things might not have worked out the way it did.
When the fight broke out, I was trying to place my order. I’d only been in one real fight myself. I was more of a keep my head down and stay out of trouble kind of guy. So I didn’t see how it started.
“Small black coffee,” I ordered.
The words had barely left my mouth when the door jingled open and some guy I didn’t recognize leaned in to shout to one of his friends. “Dude, get out here, there’s a cat fight!”
For a split second, the conversations halted. Just about everyone else turned to the door and froze, straining to see behind him to the parking lot where the “cat fight” was allegedly taking place. My muscles tensed. Most of the fights near or on Eastview’s campus involved Eli. He had always been the get right in the middle of it kind of guy, and I was his best friend, which made it my responsibility to make sure he didn’t kill someone by accident. Or get killed himself.
Then I remembered he caught a ride with Reid in the new car fifteen minutes ago, and if this was a cat fight, it would be girls going at it, not guys. Thankfully Eli usually stayed away from that. Satisfied he couldn’t be involved, I forced my shoulders to relax.
If Eli wasn’t beating someone up, I didn’t really care. I looked at the girl behind the cash register and offered her my two dollars.
I didn’t even look up when the guy behind me said, “Oh shit, that’s Brooke Haslen.”
“Small black coffee,” I repeated to the cashier.
She unfroze, took my money, and asked, “You want me to leave room for milk?” all without looking at me.
I shook my head, about to repeat “just black” when I heard it.
It was more a yell than a scream, I guess. It might have even been a word, but it was to far away and too muffled to be sure.
But I recognized the voice.
It was the same one I heard six years ago, when she pulled me half drowned out of the ocean.
It was a voice I’d know anywhere.
I've gotta say, having not yet read UNRAVELING, that teaser makes me want to start the series now! If you've already read UNRAVELING and you're awaiting anxiously for UNBREAKABLE, hopefully this novella will satiate you for the time being. And speaking of UNBREAKABLE, I would be remiss in my duties as a Blookie if I did not tell you about a great opportunity from Books of Wonder! They are currently running an exclusive pre-order opportunity—readers can pre-order a signed copy of UNBREAKABLE and get swag as long as the order is placed prior to April 23rd. It's open to all!
So, what say you, dear reader?
Have you read UNRAVELING?
Are you looking forward to UNBREAKABLE?
Let's discuss! Leave some comment love below!
Please be sure to visit Elizabeth on the web at ElizabethNorrisBooks.com and LizNorris.blogspot.com as well as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, GoodReads, and Pinterest.