Monday, July 01, 2013

Book Blitz [Excerpt + Guest Post] - The Spiral Arm by Peter Boland

Hi everyone! I am very excited to share and be able to participate in the book blitz for Spiral Arm by Peter Boland! This is my third time doing book blitz!

I'm very thankful and thrilled! I had a great time preparing this post! An excerpt that sounds so intriguing - I can't wait to read the book - plus, a guest post is included in this post.

The Spiral Arm by Peter Boland
Publication date: May 21st 2013
Genre: YA Dystopia


Wren Harper lives on an overcrowded Earth on the brink of apocalypse. There are just too many people. The answer lies 600 light-years away on Kepler; a planet more than double the size of Earth. For decades humans have been fighting another race for its control. Earth’s armies are depleted. So now 15-year-old cadets are sent to fight, trained along the way in vast combat ships. But why has Wren been chosen? She's small and geeky and not a fighter. Will she survive Kepler? Or will the training kill her first? This is a debut novella-length episode in a series full of cliffhanger endings.


“Put that down,” a firm voice says behind me.

I drop the gun immediately and swing around to see a stern-faced doctor who wears a white coat over his uniform. He’s flicking through his com screen.

“Harper, Wren. Park yourself on the bed,” he says. I sit down and place my uniform next to me and opt to sit on my hands to stop them shaking.

“Don’t do that,” he says, “I’m going to need them.”

“Sorry?” I say, uncomprehending.

“Your hands. Hold them out. I’m going to be removing your domestic com chip and replacing it with a military one. An upgrade, if you like.”

I nod.

He takes my left hand and feels around near my wrist until he’s located the chip underneath my skin.

“Ah, there it is.” Then he takes one of the guns, the larger of the two and places the nozzle over it. “You might feel a little scratch.” He pulls the trigger and I hear the air pressure building in the gun, until suddenly there’s deep thud. I feel the chip being ripped from my skin. Pain spreads across the top of my hand like a giant bee sting. I bite my lip to stop from screaming. He takes the gun away and I can see a small tear in my flesh. Almost immediately he picks up the other gun and places it over the same spot. There’s a build up of air again and then a higher pitched thud. I feel the cold metal chip as it’s rammed into my hand. The pain has just increased ten times. I will not scream. I will not scream. I try controlling my breathing, taking slow breaths in and out. This helps a little. My hand feels like it’s been knifed all the way through. But it’s okay, I think I can keep a lid on it. Just.

He takes another gun-like object and waves it back and forward over the hole in my hand.

“This is a cellular accelerator to plug up the hole I’ve just made,” he says, as if he’s a plumber fixing some pipework. There’s a pins-and-needles sensation across the back of my hand. I watch in wonder as thin layers of skin build up, closing the wound. First pink and fleshy, then white and smooth, until there’s just a pale patch where the hole was. My head starts to swim so I concentrate on a spot on the floor, focusing to stop myself fainting.

“Right, now the other one.”


“You need a chip in both hands.” He tells me casually.


“In case one hand gets blown off during battle.”

My day keeps getting better and better.

Author Bio
After studying to be an architect, Pete realised he wasn’t very good at it. He liked designing buildings he just couldn’t make them stand up, which is a bit of a handicap in an industry that likes to keep things upright. So he switched to advertising, writing ads for everything from cruise lines to zombie video games. After meeting his wife Shalini and having two boys, he was amazed when she sat and actually wrote a book. Then another and another. They were good too. Really good. So he thought, I’ll have a go at that. He soon realised there’s no magic formula. You just have to put one word in front of the other (and keep doing that for about a year). It also helps if you can resist the lure of surfing, Taekwondo, playing Lego with the boys and drinking beer in front of the TV.

{ Guest Post }

The future ain’t what it used to be.

Phew, it’s hard work writing about the future. Much harder than writing about the past or the present. Writing’s difficult enough at the best of times but when you have to invent a believable futuristic world, that’s quite a big ask. I’m jealous of historical and contemporary novelists. Okay, I’m sure they have to do a ton of research, but I bet they don’t spend days thinking up futuristic gizmos. And it’s getting harder. You can’t just stick in flying cars and jetpacks. People want to see something new.

Today, some cybernetics are already starting to creep into society. So for the Spiral Arm it wasn’t a massive leap to think that in the future, the internet would be implanted in our hands in the form of a ‘com chip’. The chip would also project a holographic screen above our wrists so we could browse the net and message people - the ultimate in computer portability. I wish we had them now, it’d be a lot easier than fiddling around with a smart phone or carrying a laptop.

Language, like technology, also evolves. So you need to come up with new futuristic phrases. You can’t really use ones we use today, otherwise it destroys the illusion of being in the future. On the other hand, inventing new language can be difficult to pull off, as it can sound unfamiliar and just plain odd. For the Spiral Arm I compromised. Awesome is something everyone says these days, so what would they say in years to come? Beyond awesome of course!

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Thank you and happy reading, everyone! :)

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