Friday, March 7, 2014

Author Spotlight #2: Lynne Matson Intro Post and NIL Teaser

SO every month I'm planning on doing an author spotlight! This will include 4 posts from the author of the month and a giveaway. Most of the authors participating will be spotlighted during the month their book releases!! YAY!! There will be a post done each week about the author or their book. 

Today I want to introduce you to the author of March, Lynne Matson!!! She has provided us with an Intro Post and a lovely NIL teaser!!

Intro Post….plus NIL scoop!

Crystal, thank you so much for having me! I’m so excited to be on your blog, talking about NIL.:)

Here’s the synopsis (the long version :D):

On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing Charley remembers is blacking out in an Atlanta parking lot, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley hunts for a way out. She discovers desolate beaches and human remains, but no sign of civilization--until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with hidden dangers, their greatest threat is time.

The short version? Think Survivor meets LOST with dashes of The Maze Runner, TWILIGHT ZONE, and a star-crossed romance.

On to the scoop & the teaser!

As some of y’all may know, NIL was born in Hawaii, on the big island. It was our first real getaway from our four boys, EVER. (Baby boy #4 was 2!). As we left the airport after landing, we drove through miles of ancient lava fields. Broken red rock stretched endlessly on each side, gorgeous and desolate. No roads, no buildings, no people–just the eerie sound of wind blowing over the barren rocks. I remember thinking how much it all looked like an alien planet. And I remember thinking how scary it would be as a teenager, to wake up there by yourself, all alone without a clue where you were or how you how got there, and even worse--what if (because isn’t this every person’s worst nightmare?!)you woke up naked?! NIL was born in that moment. That barren-red-rock visual locked in my head, and that's what Charley sees when she first wakes up in Nil. 

So here’s the teaser. It’s the opening of Chapter Three, when Charley first wakes up on Nil.:)  Happy reading!

Chapter Three
Day 1, time unknown

A sharp pain in my hip woke me. When I opened my eyes, I saw red.
Jagged rocks the color of rust stretched as far as I could see. Boulders as big as buses, small chunks like cars, and a million smaller rocks the size of balls¾golf balls, baseballs, volleyballs, you name it. All were uneven, with weird serrated edges, and all were the same exact shade of burnt red. I lay on a raised outcropping, on my side.
And I was naked.
Outside, in a creepy rock field I’d never laid eyes on before in my life.
I scrambled to my feet, and brushing off grit, I stumbled toward the edge. Spiky gravel covered the rock like sprinkles on a cupcake. That explains the pain in my hip, I thought randomly. I slipped twice but didn’t fall.
My rock, shaped like a mushroom with a fat stem, was mashed against a clump of smaller rocks masquerading as petrified red cauliflower. Using the smaller rocks as stairs, I worked my way down, moving as fast as the prickly rock would allow. At the bottom, I scrunched into the wisp of shade.
Frozen against the rock, I listened.
The only noise came from me. Air whistling in and out of my lungs, blood slamming against the chambers of my heart. The surrounding silence was so vast, so complete, it had a presence all its own: it was eerie, almost otherworldly. And with the desolate red landscape stretching for miles, I felt like I’d woken on an alien planet.
An. Alien. Planet.
I began shaking, violently, with the kind of icy fear I’d felt only once before, when Em and I were t-boned by a drunk driver and I’d seen Em sandwiched behind the wheel, bright red blood running down her forehead, into her closed eyes. She’d turned out to be fine. I couldn’t say the same for myself right now. Stark naked, goodness knows where, wherever here was. My last memory was of scalding heat, burning cold, and pain.
Jerking my head down, I expected my skin to be fried, but it looked fine. All of it, which I could see, because I was naked.
Slowly, I pressed my head back against the rock. The red rock landscape stayed silent, and still. At least the sky was blue. Brilliant, clear blue.
Maybe I’m dead.
I thought I’d passed out, but maybe I actually passed. Did that awful heat mark the entrance into death? Absorbing my God-forsaken surroundings, I abruptly thought, Hell. Hell was a red rock desert, where you woke up naked and alone. I’d always thought Hell was an underground cavern teeming with the moaning damned, but maybe everyone got their own personal Hell, crafted just for them, because mine sure looked a lot like this: no clothes, no people, and definitely no clue.
But it didn’t feel like Hell. And even though I’d skipped church lately, I was a pretty good kid. Sneaking out at night to drink beer on the local golf course with Em was the worst thing I’d ever done, and that really wasn’t so bad. Not bad enough to wind up in Hell anyway. My gut told me I was alive, then my gut told me I should be afraid. Very afraid.
My Em-bleeding-behind-the-wheel fear was back. Was the air thinner here? I couldn’t seem to get enough air.
Around me, nothing moved.
I swept the area, looking for something to tell me where I was, or wasn’t, but all I saw was rock. It coated the ground, hunkered in clumps, and giant piles of it blocked my line of sight. If I wanted to see anything, I’d have to climb. But I knew if I could see past the rock hills, then anything lurking out there could also see me.
Trapped, I thought humorlessly, between a rock and a hard place. Revealing myself seemed like a really bad idea. On the other hand, I couldn’t stay plastered against this rock forever.
Hunching over, I crept toward the largest pile and started up. Scaling the rocks was like walking barefoot over spiky balls from our giant sweetgum tree—uncomfortable, but doable, as long as I watched my step. Near the top, I peeked over the edge. All I could see was more rock. I hesitated, hearing my volleyball coach’s voice in my head. Use your height, Charley. Make it work for you. Okay, well, on the court in a uniform is one thing, outside stark naked was another.
I took a deep breath—and then I climbed. On the summit, I stood, but I couldn’t help covering my chest with one arm and my privates with the other. Feeling like an idiot, I surveyed the broken landscape.
A blue haze rose in the distance, speckled with green. Mountains, I thought, feeling a spark of hope. Green meant life, and more importantly, water. Are there mountains on Mars? I wondered. Then I wanted to slap myself. I didn’t—because that would mean flashing more of my already-over-exposed-self—but I wanted to, because mountains or not, there was no oxygen on Mars, and I was definitely breathing oxygen-filled air. This wasn’t Mars.
But that didn’t mean it was Earth.

--end of teaser—

I hope you liked the teaser of Charley’s POV! NIL was so fun to create; I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it! :) Thanks for having me, Crystal!

SO what did you guys think? Have you read NIL? Or are you dying to read it? Come back next Thursday to check out some Character Sekrits Lynne is going to share!!! ♥


  1. Every time I read something else about NIL I get more excited to read it. That is the worse thing, waking up naked. I'm sure Hawaii is awesome! I'm never been there but I would love to go. There are many places in our planet that seem to be from a different world, our planet is just amazing

  2. Oh, I want to read this book so badly! I read an excerpt before, and it made me very excited! Also, I think I need to go back to Hawaii, to one of the other islands (went to Oahu, and while beautiful, is quite commercial). Quiet sounds like a great reprieve from two kids!

  3. Wow! The teaser has made me more interested in the book than I was already. Seeing a lot of hype is a lot different to actually ~sampling~ the author's work.


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