By Rachel Stedman
Publication Date: December 2014, RRP $21.99
An exciting new YA novel about surveillance, security and personal privacy by the award-winning author of ‘A Necklace of Souls’
“I was at a meal with two work colleagues, Mark and Sharon, and I asked Mark why he wore a medic alert bracelet. And he told me all about Malignant Hyperthermia. It was only later that I thought: what if you could do something with that extra heat. What if you could control it?”
Drawing on personal experience and in-depth research, Inner Fire has a gripping story-line that deals with themes of today such as surveillance, security and privacy.
The female protagonist, Corinne, emigrates from Christchurch to the UK after the earthquake. It is in Devon that the action takes place:
‘Maybe it would be better if I started at the beginning.’ Gran watched me carefully. ‘This ability we have; my mother, me. You. We draw heat along our bodies; anger makes us flame.’
When her friend is assaulted, Corinne Peterson can’t help reacting. But she didn’t think and now her hands are burnt, Gran is coming to look after her and, scariest of all, strange men are watching her house. Could they be terrorists? Secret agents?
It seems that Gran’s idea of a solution is to introduce Corinne to Rowan. Okay, sure, maybe eighteen year old Rowan is gorgeous – but he has his own troubles. And right now, Corinne doesn’t need complications in her life.
But in a world of surveillance and secrecy, complexity is inevitable. And as the tension mounts Corinne realizes – maybe Gran can help her, after all.
Rachel Stedman was an award-winning author even before she was published. In 2012 she was shortlisted for the Tom Fitzgibbon Award, and won the Tessa Duder Award for Young Adult Fiction. Her first novel, A Necklace of Souls, won a Storylines Notable Book Award and was awarded Best First Book at the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards. Rachel has published short stories in Semaphore, Moon-Drenched Fables and The School Journal. She lives in Otago with her husband and two sons.
“We didn’t have a television, but my mother encouraged us to read – deluged us with books, really, so I think without her involvement, I would never have begun to write”.
Reviews for A Necklace of Souls:
“A Necklace of Souls is gripping, dark fantasy that sweeps you up takes you on a wild ride. It has reignited my love of fantasy stories. …”A Necklace of Souls is a story that will stay with me for a long time and I hope that there is more of Dana and Will’s story to come. I think that A Necklace of Souls can stand proudly beside the likes of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, and Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina as a great fantasy story for teens and adults alike. Everybody should go out and buy a copy for NZ Book Month and support this wonderful New Zealand author.”
“In A Necklace of Souls Ms Stedman has created a believable world peopled with sympathetic characters that are true to their motivations. She does not over play the magic nor rely on coincidence. “This was a book that pleads for a sequel as there is obviously more of the story to tell.” Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand
“A Necklace of Souls is the debut novel from RL Stedman, and it’s excellent.
Small confession: I’m always terribly nervous reading books from local authors, or authors I know; there’s that absolute terror of how to say you detested their writing, so my relief at finding even one positive thing to comment on is profound. Thankfully local Dunedin author RL Stedman had me hooked from the first page.” Fangtastic
“I’ve read a lot of fantasy so sometimes it feels repetitive, but this book avoids many of the clichés of the genre. Rather than spoon feeding you every detail you’re required to think for yourself and interpret what isn’t said. This is particularly true of the magic in the book, enough detail is supplied to understand what’s happening without slowing the story down.” Kiwifamilies
Publication date: December 2014
Available from selected stores and online at kobo, ibooks and kindle
‘Don’t worry, my dear. Everything will be just fine.’ Holding her around the shoulder, Mr Patel slipped off her school bag. Deepti didn’t even try to stop him; she just stood there, letting him move her around. He passed me the bag. Automatically, my hand reached out and I took it.
‘You can leave,’ he told me, staring at Deepti. ‘Deepti and I have something to discuss now, don’t we dear?’
‘Don’t touch her!’ My voice sounded weak, afraid.
He said nothing, just turned away from me, as though I didn’t exist, as though Deepti was the only thing in the world to him, like she was his own personal private present.
I held her bag to my chest, fighting for breath. This is not happening. This is not happening.
‘Stop it!’ I could feel my anger, almost taste it on my tongue.
Mr Patel looked at me, his face mildly surprised, as though he wasn’t doing anything wrong. ‘But Miss Jalali and I have an understanding.’ He smiled at me. His skin was olive-gray and his eyes had tiny red veins in them. ‘The last time I caught her lovely hands stealing my stock, I warned her. Didn’t I, Miss Jalali? I told you I would demand payment of you.’
Deepti turned her head away. ‘No! No!’ She struggled against him like a pinned fly. ‘I didn’t. I didn’t. Please let me go!’ She was crying now, really crying.
‘Let her go!’ But my voice sounded small and weak, and he ignored me.
Oh my God. What do I do? Then, quite suddenly, I wasn’t scared – I felt angry. The walls of the grotty shop seemed to pulse in time with my heart. Who the hell did this man think he was? I heard a distant roaring, the sound of fire and heat and red-hot flames.
I shouted, ‘Leave her alone!’
For an interview, review copy, or further information, please contact
publicist Gillian Hughes, Tel. (09) 407 4337 | (021) 944-499 |