YABC Scavenger Hunt: The Special Ones (Em Bailey), Plus Excerpt & Extra Giveaway!
Today we're excited to share an excerpt from Em Bailey's The Special Ones as part of the YABC Scavenger Hunt!
Read on for more about Em and her novel!
And don't forget to answer the question from this post on the Scavenger Hunt form for a chance to win the Grand Prize!
You can find Scavenger Hunt rules HERE!!
Meet Em Bailey!
Em Bailey is an Australian author of many books for children. Her first novel for young adults was Shift, a psychological thriller published internationally to great acclaim, which won the teens' choice Gold Inky Award and was selected as a Notable Book by the Children's Book Council of Australia. Em Bailey lives in Germany with her partner and daughter.
Meet The Special Ones!
Esther is one of the Special Ones: four young spiritual guides who live in a remote farmhouse under the protection of a mysterious cult leader. He watches them around the clock, ready to punish them if they forget who they are—and all the while, broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside. Esther knows that if she stops being Special, he will “renew” her. Nobody knows what happens to the Special Ones who are taken away from the farm for renewal, but Esther fears the worst. Like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape, but after being a Special One for so long will she be able to fall back into her old life and remember who she was before she was “special”?
~ Excerpt ~
I’m peeling potatoes at the kitchen table when Harry and
Felicity return late in the afternoon. Felicity proudly carries
the wicker basket filled with freshly harvested items from the
kitchen garden: radishes, baby carrots, silverbeet. The scent of
outside clings to them.
Harry triumphantly holds up the headless chicken. “Dinner!”
Blood drips onto the stone floor.
“It’s Martha,” Felicity informs me. “She hardly laid any
eggs, so it’s fair, really.”
“Thank you.” I take the carcass and use some string Harry
gives me to hang it up over a pan to let it drain. We had chickens
in the backyard of our old house in the country, but they
were pets. The idea of eating them would’ve horrified me.
Now I find myself thinking of all the ways I can use this small
chicken. The feathers can plump up our pillows. The fat can
be used for cooking. The bones will be boiled to make stock
for soup, and once they’re removed and dried, I’ll grind them
into a powder for my medicines. Nothing is wasted here.
Our followers will enjoy this, no doubt, if the scene makes
it into one of the teaching films. Your life seems so authentic, so
sustainable and honest, the followers write to me. I never correct
them, of course.
Martha’s blood splashes rhythmically into the pan. Funny
to think that I used to be fussy about my food. No gristle, no
fat, nothing that looked too much like the creature it came
from. One lean winter in here and all that changed. Now I eat
everything. Eels from the dam, frogs, grubs. Once I even fried
up a snake that Harry killed on the veranda steps. It’s surprising
how anything can taste good if you’re hungry enough.
Outside the window, the leaves of the eucalyptuses shimmer
silver-white in the late afternoon sun. Felicity slides into
one of the heavy wooden chairs that Harry made the first year
I was here and watches as I sort through the vegetables. The
lettuces are caterpillar-holed but the radishes are red and perfect.
Radishes always grow well here for some reason.
“Any news?” Felicity asks me. She knows that Harry has
been searching for the Lucille, but she isn’t allowed to speak
to him about it. Questions of this nature must be directed to
I take a breath and plaster on a smile, making sure I’m
turned toward the main camera on the wall. “Yes. Good
Felicity sits up straight. “Lucille’s coming back?”
“Yes. Wonderful, isn’t it?”
“I’m glad. Really, really glad,” says Felicity, wrapping herself
in her arms.
The Felicitys and the Lucilles are generally not very close
— the age gap is too big for them to be friends, and the Lucilles
are not exactly the motherly type — but I understand why
Felicity is pleased. It feels unbalanced here when one of us is
missing. Like a table minus a leg.
Now my smile is genuine. “Me too.”
The Special Ones
By: Em Bailey
Publisher: HMH Books
Release Date: July 18th, 2017
One winner will receive a copy of The Special Ones (Em Bailey) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
I've got to read this -- amazing summary and the excerpt just leaves me wanting more. The cover is the creepiest kind of cool.
Oh my gravy, this one sounds so good! Cults?! Yes please! Mysterious and creepy, exactly like the cover makes it seem.