A treat for fans of realistic, gritty dystopia

Big news for fans of Kate Wrath’s books—the third in the series, Eden, is released today. From Outpost Three, down the Mississippi, Eden has reached her journey’s end. Or has she?

Announcing the release of the third book in the E series, Eden, by Kate Wrath:

Cover of Eden

THE THIRD BOOK IN THE E SERIES

Both friends and enemies are keen to get their hands on the information inside Eden’s head—information that could take down the Sentries and change the world. But there are costs that no one realized, and Eden’s not so sure she’s willing to pay them. Refusing to do so could create dangerous problems within the tribe she’s only just come back to.

Eden has her own agenda for learning Lily’s secrets. With hope refusing to die, she’s spurred forward by memories of Oscar and thoughts of finding him again. But Lily’s hold on her is greater than she knows, compelling her to chase after strange clues and confusing visions. With love and longing weighing on her, Eden must determine the reality of her fractured identity in order to decide which path to take. The choices she makes could tear her away from Jonas and Apollon, from everything she’s ever known.

Eden’s future will not be determined solely by choices. Fate has her own cards to play, and they just might take the game.


A few words from Kate….

lint-711890_640Writing Eden was such a joy. I’m deep into this series now, and the main characters are familiar friends. I loved exploring their relationships even further, and also having the chance to bounce them off of new characters in a new setting. Bringing my dystopian world into a tropical climate was also fun, and I especially loved all the intricacies of the new city and the adventure of exploring and coming to understand it along with Eden, Apollon, and Jonas.

The story of the Sentries continues—how my characters have come to pit themselves against the unfeeling robots that enforce order within the dystopian world. But as always, the story is about people. Sure, giant killer robots are exciting, dystopian societies are intriguing, but none of it means anything without the human factor. So the story of The E Series is always about human relationships and how they affect the events. It’s about who we are as people, and how our weaknesses, our strengths, and our deepest desires control the course of human history.

I hope you find a little of yourself inside my stories.


An excerpt from Eden:

It seems unfair that everything I learn only makes me more confused. How do you reconcile these things? The world you knew—the world torn to pieces and reconstructed in a different shape. The self you knew, the torn self. What other things can we rip to pieces? What else can we destroy and recreate? This question weighs on me at so many levels. I’ve lost my place. I don’t know where to begin or end. I don’t even know what I want out of it all.

Morning is stretching through the window, yawning its light-filled mouth. Jonas rolls over onto his side and looks at me. Smiles gently. Touches my cheek. But it’s that smile like Poor thing. She’s so lost. And I am. How is he not lost? How did I whisper these revelations to him in the darkness, and by light, he’s the one who seems fine?

I push his hand away, close my eyes, and roll onto my back. My shirt sticks to my side, sweaty from being beneath me. I imagine drifts of snow, crisp air. My visible breath, like smoke from a fire. I never liked the cold, when I had it. Now I don’t like the heat either. I can’t even make up my mind about that.

Deep breaths. Ninety-nine. Ninety-eight. Ninety-seven. The numbers fall away, and I focus deep within myself. What do I want, when it comes down to it? A fraction of a dream interrupts my soul-searching. A flash of an alligator. It’s that damned alligator again. What the hell?

“Are you OK?” Jonas asks softly, and sighs when I don’t respond. He rolls over and gets up.

I cling to the reptilian vision. A flash of scaly green skin and the unsettling curve of a toothy smile. And nothing. Absolutely nothing. I sigh, too, but I don’t open my eyes. I frown and focus again. Deeper. What really matters?

There’s an easy answer. It’s been there all along. I want to find Oscar. Until I do, I won’t ever really be OK. I’ve been putting it off, wrapped up in so many insignificant things. Worried about pretending to be someone else—why? Worried about Jonas, and some incomprehensible future where Sentries don’t exist.

I have one thing I can hold onto. I fix it in my heart. I’m not going to let this go. Whatever I don’t know, whatever I may not understand, Oscar is real. Oscar matters. And right at this moment, he could be suffering, could be in danger. And I’m sitting around on my ass doing nothing to find him. Vacation. Over.

I open my eyes and climb out of bed. Jonas is in the kitchen, taking out his frustrations on an orange. Slicing it vehemently. I walk to his side and watch as he grabs another and attacks it like he’s cutting its throat. Then I squint at his face. “Are you mad at me?”

He glances at me, and there is definitely anger in his eyes. “No,” he says. “I’m just mad.”

I wait for a moment to see if he means to elaborate, but he doesn’t. So I guess I was wrong that he’s OK. “Do you want to talk about it?”

He stops suddenly and his eyes slice into me. He hesitates, obviously restraining himself. Jonas is always so restrained. Finally, he lets out a long breath and turns back to the orange, more gently. “We have to do this. We have to take them down.”

“…The Sentries?”

His jaw tightens when I say the word. He answers in a level but deadly voice. “Yes.”

I know that look of grim determination. I know how Jonas is when he makes up his mind. Cards begin to fall into place in my mind, a deck that tells our future. I see the beginning of the path. But I’m not sure I want to take it. Too many questions, not enough answers. I have only one answer, and for now, I’m sticking to it.

 

You can purchase Eden on Amazon.


About the Author:

Kate WrathKate Wrath lives in the Southwestern US. Much like other authors, she has both a [family] and a [pet].

[family = three crazy-but-lovable, exceedingly adorable people with longer eyelashes and better sense of humor than Kate]

[pet = lovable-but-crazy giant German Shepherd who seems to be able to read, but pretends not to understand when something is required of him]

Kate is the author of the E series: E (Book #1), Evolution (Book #2), Eden (Book #3, June 13, 2015), and Jason and Lily (prequel, July 23, 2015). She has also written two fantasy novels that are soon to be released.

Kate believes in literature as an art form, world peace, and animal rights, but aspires to write total trash that is full of senseless violence, with characters who eat house pets.

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Guest Author: Kate Wrath

You know Kate Wrath already. If you like dystopian fiction and you don’t know her, it’s about time you did.
And today you’re in luck, because the first volume of Kate’s series is free. Don’t miss it. That would be too silly.

e emblem dystopian

Welcome to Outpost Three: Cracked pavement, rusted metal, splintering boards.

Outpost Three

 

 

 

Slavers and starvation are only the beginning of Eden’s problems…chains-19176_1280

A devastating conflict is coming that threatens to tear her newfound family apart.

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Get your FREE COPY on Amazon April 14-18, 2015.

Chapter 1: Iron Womb

 

I wake up in a box of iron. I know nothing, remember nothing. There is one thought imprinted on my consciousness: You have been erased.

Disoriented, I’m swimming in warm darkness. Tepid air. Tepid metal. The inability to move. Limbs pressing outward, ineffective. My ribcage curled in on itself. No room to breathe. The back of my skull smashed against the box. Neck and spine aching. Heavy limbs. Not enough space. Not enough air. Suffocating. Dying.

Panic.

There’s no way out.

I scream. It’s a girl’s voice. Am I a girl?

Flailing. Pounding. Hot blood under torn nails. Dry, shredded throat. I scream until everything stops.

An eternity later, I awaken in the warm darkness.

It’s happened so many times, I’ve stopped counting. I’ve stopped asking why. Dry snot on my face. Hollow insides. Despair. I decided long ago to give up and die. But it continues. Now I lie still in the dark. Floating. Drifting. Time malfunctions. My body winds down. I’m fading.

 

***

Cold air wisps across my cheek. The touch of death? I open my eyes and shut them as the light skewers my brain. Tentatively, I crack my lids open again. The image sharpens with each blink, a water-blurred lens coming into focus. Brown dirt in a vertical plane bisecting my vision. Eventually I realize I’m laying on my side. My cheek presses into cold earth. My right shoulder is crushed under my body, my limbs sprawled haphazardly. Who knows how long I’ve been like this. I lay blinking, unable to move, strangely fascinated with the colors and textures of the ground. Small stones and twigs rise dramatically out of the landscape from this perspective. Beyond them, only a few paces away, is a concrete wall.

I struggle to upright myself. Three attempts later, I manage to sit up, which I immediately regret. Starbursts chase black spots across my eyeballs. My stomach turns over. Heaviness sits on my chest. Each breath takes the efforts of my entire body. I’m certain I’ll fall over, but it passes, resolving in a dizzy, drifting haze. I blink and cast my eyes around, wondering where I am and how I got here.

Dirty walls of buildings, rusted corrugated steel panels and splintered, rotting boards make up most of my surroundings. An alleyway leads away from this enclosed area. Trash whirls across its opening and collects in a huddle against one wall. More is piled against a building next to a dumpster. A few feet away from me, the bleak grey sky is reflected in a puddle, oily patches on the water’s surface obscuring the shapes of the clouds. I scramble for the puddle on hands and knees, moving faster than I imagined I’m capable of. Thrusting my hands into the dirty water, I scoop it up, and drink. Some of it runs down my chin and neck, soaking whatever garment I’m wearing. It tastes foul, smells of something wrong, but I don’t care. It’s liquid. I drink handful after handful, then sit back on my knees, my shoulders slumping, hands dropping slack to my sides. I pant, then take deeper breaths. I sigh, a long, trembling sigh that releases all the tension from my body. Tipping my face to the open sky– as dark and cold and uninviting as I can possibly imagine it– my heart embraces it as a thing of utmost beauty. Open air, the ability to move– I am utterly thankful for these things.

There’s a noise from down the alley. Fear coalesces out of nowhere, seizing hold of me, compelling my body to move despite its weakness, its stiff joints. I thrust my feet under me and will myself to standing. Reeling against the dizziness, I throw my arms out and widen my stance to keep from falling. I have to get out of here. Now.

I’m only beginning to move when my mind starts translating what I hear. Footsteps. Male voices, low and laughing. There is nowhere for me to go. I force down a scream. My eyes fall on the trash piled next to the dumpster. I hike up the brown shift I’m wearing and wade into the heap of boxes and rags, sharp-edged tin can lids, moldy coffee grounds, greasy bones, and other rotten, rancid things. Sinking down in the filth, I draw it over my head. Something cold and slippery hits the skin of my neck, its stench filling my nostrils. I make myself still, hold my breath. And then the voices are right there, a few paces away from me.

Their cheerful conversation ceases.

“Nothing again today,” one of them says.

There is the sound of a boot scuffing the pavement, then the faint splash of water as it hits the puddle.

A second voice answers darkly, “Matt’s gonna think we’re slacking or something. Take the loss out of our pay.”

What loss? In the silence that follows, I feel my face turning red, my lungs wanting to explode. The sensation of suffocating seizes me again, the sharp memory of metal walls closing me in. I need to breathe. Need to scream. I have to dig down into the fear and extract every drop of willpower to remain still and quiet. The beginnings of a whimper stir in my belly, but I shut them down. Only a moment more. Only a moment.

“Nah,” a third voice finally says. “He knows we don’t miss any. If they haven’t dropped here in two days, we’ll surely get something tomorrow.”

The others make noises of disgruntled agreement, and the footsteps move away, down the alley.

I try to last as long as I can after they’re gone, but they’ve barely left when I lose the ability. Gasping in air, I gag at the smell that assaults me. I launch to my feet, trash falling from my hair and shoulders. Scrambling from the pile, I press myself hard against the wall, farthest from the alley. The ragged breaths I rake in are thick with a stench that clings to me. My back is wet. My skin crawls at its own filthiness.

Forcing my disgust away, I plunge into the puzzle amassing in my mind. These men were looking for something that wasn’t here, though they expected it to be. Something that would be dropped here. Something that would profit them, or the man they work for. What could possibly be dropped in an alley? What kind of coincidence is it that I am suddenly here? Dropped here. Me. They’re looking for me. Slavers.

I repress another scream, clenching my fists, squeezing my eyes shut. The darkness sends my mind involuntarily back to the cube. My body convulses. As my eyes fly open, the words appear in my brain, burned there, like the ones before them: You have been warned. With them, a gate opens in my mind. I can place myself in this world. I know its laws. I know its ways. As for myself– everything that was me– it is gone. Forever. I have been erased.

I run my fingertips lightly over the center of my forehead, exploring the mark there, its edges swollen and raised, my skin tender and stinging with the newness of it. My hand trembles. I take it away from my face to look at it– long, slender fingers. Pale skin. Fingernails blackened with blood. My palms are blue and bruised from pounding against the metal. But it’s a young hand. That’s one strike against me. Please, please, don’t let me be pretty.

I tear into the pile of trash until I find a piece of broken glass. Wiping it with the hem of my shift, I notice my long, shapely legs. Does my face even matter? I tilt the glass in the grey light, repositioning until the surface collects my image. I stare at it– a transparent rendering of myself. Large, dark eyes. Clear skin. Full lips. I hurl the glass away from me with a cry of frustration. It splinters into a thousand shards against the concrete wall.

I’m shaking from my core. My body and mind want to collapse in on themselves. That is the last thing I can allow.

I find myself counting slowly backward from one hundred. Ninety-nine. Ninety-eight. I must calm myself. I must think. Ninety-five. Ninety-four. If I do something stupid now, I’ll regret it, probably for the rest of my life. Ninety-one. Ninety. Eighty-nine. I must form a plan. Eighty-seven. I need food, and shelter. A place to hide until I can regain my strength. Eighty-two. Eighty-one. Anyone who sees me could sell me out as likely as help me. Slavers reward handsomely for pretty girls like me. Seventy-two. Seventy-one. Seventy. Sixty-nine. I need to disguise myself. Need to make myself unappealing. More trouble than I’m worth. Sixty-five.

I stop counting and consider the pile of trash. Before I can balk at the idea, I begin pulling out any rags I can find. There’s a good mess of them, stained with things I’m sure I don’t want to identify. They are damp in places, stiff in others. I find a large piece– it looks like a torn and stained bed sheet– and make a sort of robe out of it. Smaller bits I wrap about my head, catching my hair up in them. As I do, my fingers pause, briefly rubbing one silky lock. It falls just below my shoulders. I hold it in front of my face. Dark brown, the color of coffee beans, or bitter chocolate. I wrap it up tightly in the piss-scented rags, carefully covering the mark on my forehead, then smear my face and pale arms with dirt. At the bottom of the pile I find something sticky and red. I paint blotches on my exposed skin. On my face. On my long fingers. There are slight calluses along my fingertips, running all the way down my pointer finger, and across the top ridge of my palm. I will never know how those calluses got there.

Grief hits me for the first time. But I cannot afford it now. Later, it can come, when I’m away from here. I’ll allow it then. The sorrow curls up inside me and settles down to sleep, waiting for its time. I focus on this moment, this task, checking myself. My brown shift is covered. I cannot see my face, but my hands look positively frightening. Small strips of rags are all that’s left in the pile, so I tie them around my legs, stacking them to make fake pant legs. I add dirt and gunk to my feet, then drape an extra piece of rag over my head like a hood to hide my face. Cocked head. Crooked posture. Surely anyone who looks twice at me will find themselves moving in the opposite direction. I practice a wet, throaty cough to go along with the blotches. When I’m happy with it, I steel myself to move on. I step toward the alley looking a hundred years old. I feel a hundred years old. Yet, I am born today from an iron womb.

 

Text Copyright © 2014 Kate Wrath . All Rights Reserved.

Connect with Kate on her website, Goodreads, Facebook, or Twitter.

 

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Evolution release

You may remember a short while ago I reviewed E by Kate Wrath. Some of you will have since read it. The good news is that the sequel is out today.

Evolution, the second book in the E series, is now available! Get Evolution and E for only 99¢ each during release week, November 12th-19th, 2014.

 

cover of Evolution by Kate Wrath
Outpost Three is still standing… barely. But the deadliest threat it has ever faced is on its way– a violent force that will annihilate every man, woman, and child.

With the Sentries under his control and Grey’s army defeated, Matt is more powerful than ever. Eden is little more than his prisoner, but that line is blurring as her affection for him grows. Now, as the Outpost faces total destruction, Matt must sacrifice the possibility of attaining Eden’s love in the vague hope that her past might hold the key to saving them all.

Eden’s journey will begin to unravel the mysteries of her previous life, reveal dangerous new questions, and change not only the future of Outpost Three, but shape the course of history.

This eagerly anticipated sequel to Kate Wrath’s E begins an epic quest into the dark, dystopian landscape of Eden’s world.
Add to GoodreadsBuy E $0.99Buy Evolution $0.99

Get both books in the E series, E and Evolution, for 99¢ each on Kindle for a limited time only: November 12th- 19th, 2014.

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Connect with Kate:

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Join Kate for the Evolution Release Day Facebook Party:

You’re invited! Come hang out November 12th from 8-12 pm Eastern and celebrate the release of Evolution. Woohoo!

An excerpt from Evolution:

We run down the narrow alley and take the first turn, then another. We keep running, moving. I don’t even notice my surroundings until, at last, we slow to a stop. The smell hits me first—the stench of piss, of something rotten, all condensed into a small space. Breathing hard, we stand in the street and look around us. We’re in a main thoroughfare now, judging from the traffic, but it’s still narrow. I feel squashed, smothered. On all sides, a crowd throngs around us. Most of them are dressed in rags. Hollow faces huddle three or four bodies deep against both edges of the road, dirty, hopeless, and lost. Many of them are children.

I’m scanning their faces frantically before I even realize what I’m doing. “Oscar,” I hear myself whisper. It hits me, and I break off before I can call out his name. Before I can start running again, sifting through the masses of them.

Apollon’s hand clamps onto mine, but he says nothing. He and Jonas are focused on Jacob, who is shaking violently. Tears are pouring from widened eyes down his face. I want to help him, but all I can do is stand here trying not to break down, myself.

“We need to find somewhere to regroup,” Jonas says quietly. “Get out of this mess.”
I cast around for somewhere to go, but as far as I can see, it’s piles upon piles. People, and people, and buildings looming over them. There’s no breathing room. No space. I have to force my breath to steadiness. It’s too much.
There is a commotion on the street ahead, maybe a block away. The ragged masses push away from the center, squashing and trampling each other in the process. We’re caught in a wave of motion and carried backward, but still we try to look. Where the commotion started, there’s a group of figures, similarly dressed in black with blue bandanas. They’re moving down the street toward us.

The wave of people suddenly backlashes from the other direction, and we’re pushed the opposite way from before. We manage to finally see why. On our opposite side, there’s another group of people. These are dressed primarily in white. One of them, clearly a leader, wears a purple doo rag and carries what might be the biggest gun I’ve ever seen. He raises it toward us.

Cover reveal: Evolution by Kate Wrath

If you’ve read E, the first book in Kate Wrath’s dystopian series, you’ll have been hoping she wasn’t going to keep us all waiting too long for the next installment. Well, it’s almost ready and here’s the proof.
I have to add that Kate sent me this post all ready to go, with all the links and the flashing lights and stuff. I salute her—that is some technical achievement 🙂
Best of luck with the preorders, Kate, and congratulations on your techy and business iniitiative!

Cover Reveal

Cover of Kate Wrath's Evolution

Outpost Three is still standing… barely. But the deadliest threat it has ever faced is on its way– a violent force that will annihilate every man, woman, and child.

With the Sentries under his control and Grey’s army defeated, Matt is more powerful than ever. Eden is little more than his prisoner, but that line is blurring as her affection for him grows. Now, as the Outpost faces total destruction, Matt must sacrifice the possibility of attaining Eden’s love in the vague hope that her past might hold the key to saving them all.

Eden’s journey will begin to unravel the mysteries of her previous life, reveal dangerous new questions, and change not only the future of Outpost Three, but shape the course of history.

This eagerly anticipated sequel to Kate Wrath’s E begins an epic quest into the dark, dystopian landscape of Eden’s world.

Click to preorder.Connect with Kate:

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Book review: E by Kate Wrath

http://www.amazon.com/E-Kate-Wrath-ebook/dp/B00K4EOTT0

The opening of E drops us straight into a nightmare worthy of Room 101. When the torment stops, the bleak reality of life in an outpost kicks in. Outpost of what? Who knows. This is a story full of unanswered questions, not questions that interrupt the story, but the kind of questions we ask because this appalling world is so fascinating.
The action takes place in a very circumscribed area and focuses on a limited number of characters, giving it the quality of a play. Bit players enter the stage and leave, while the storyline progresses at a relentless pace. We walk the same few streets to the same destinations, in an oppressive atmosphere of fear, beneath the inhuman gaze of the sinister Sentries.
The story is told through the perceptions of Eden, a random name she gives herself based on the letter E marked on her forehead—when she comes to her senses in a filthy alleyway, she has no recollection of who she is, what was her life before, or what she had done to be put in the box. What the box is exactly, why it is, and who operates it is shrouded in mystery like so much of this world. All that really matters to us is all that matters to the inhabitants of Outpost Three—even more narrowly, to Eden. Existence is dependent on the whim of the local power broker, gang leader, Mafia boss, and civil order is maintained by the Sentries, peace-keeping robots, who deal out instant justice.
However skin-creepingly nasty the opening scenes are, things get gradually worse, more terrifying and hopeless. I think hopelessness is the defining sentiment of this world. The one and only view of the greenery beyond the wall of the Outpost is tied up with the massacre of a deer closely followed by the massacre of the hunters. It is hope that Eden hangs onto, fragile and tenuous as it is, when she burrows her way into a small nucleus of warmth, a surrogate family. She has nothing, not even a character. She has to rebuild her whole persona while trying to stay alive in the hostile environment she discovers at the same time as the reader.
Because we are so intimately attached to Eden what doesn’t impinge upon her survival or her emotions drops out of the narrative. This heightens the dramatic tension, focusing directly on one character, her feelings, physical and emotional. I came to like the character of Eden as she built it up, piece by piece, and found that I never passed judgement on her. Whatever she did, it always seemed like the right thing to do. It is a tribute to Kate Wrath’s talent of characterisation that despite Eden’s obvious courage, her ‘family’s’ solidarity and strength, and not one but two big, handsome men to look out for her, that terrible sense of impending doom never lets up.
Despite the awfulness of Outpost Three, I enjoyed this book a great deal. The writing is never uneven. It is sparse and stripped down to the essentials, but the author chooses her words with great care to create a world and characters very much in three dimensions. E’s story should appeal to anyone who has enjoyed Melvin Burgess’s Bloodtide. It is dark and bloody and leaves the reader with no illusions about the basic inhumanity of humankind.

Amazon UK link