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“Hi, I’m Lara Morgan. I’m reading from Genesis, the first book in my Rosie Black Chronicles.
Rosie sluiced warm river water across her find, rubbing at the mud.
A dark blue, round-edged box made of lightweight metal emerged. There were four silver buttons, each the size of a fingernail, on the front, and stamped into the centre of the lid was the raised design of a half-sun with the rearing figure of a horse and rider rising above it.
“What is it?” Juli traced the sun with her finger.
“Don’t know.” Rosie frowned. There was something familiar about it, but she couldn’t quite grasp where she’d seen it. She tipped the box upside down, searching for a handle or opening mechanism of some kind, but there were no indents, no keypads or slots, only the silver buttons. She turned the box over again and something clinked inside. They looked at each other. Juli’s eyes widened. “I wonder–”
She didn’t get to finish as a branch cracked behind them and someone said, “What are you two doing here?”
They scrambled to their feet and turned around, Rosie hiding the box behind her back.
A boy with dark hair twisted into a mass of dreadlocks was watching them. Rosie’s insides lurched as she guessed he had to be a Feral. He was about her age, or a little older, it was hard to tell. He wore a pair of filthy jeans with holes in the knees and a stained beige T-shirt over a spare muscular frame. He had a small, slightly flat nose and blue eyes, a colour so bright and clear they seemed odd in his dark dirty face. He was good-looking, in a grubby, bad boy sort of way. If you liked that type.
He also had a knife slung around his waist in a fabric sheath. He stood with his weight resting on one hip, snapping a twig between his fingers.
Rosie tried to appear confident, despite her thudding heart. “We were just looking around,” she said. “We were about to leave.”
“That your boat I saw, is it?” The Feral’s gaze was sceptical.
“No, it’s mine,” Juli said, “and you can’t have it.”
The Feral smirked at her. “How are you going to stop me?”
Rosie sent her a furious look and shook her head as Juli opened her mouth to retort. She shut it again and the Feral smirked some more.
“What’ve you got there?” He nodded at the arm Rosie was hiding behind her back.
“Nothing,” she said quickly.
He raised his eyebrows. “I’m not stupid, you know.”
“Really, it’s nothing,” Juli cut in, “but I’ve got some food and fresh water in my pack. You can have that.”
Crap. Rosie almost groaned aloud. Why did she have to say that?
The Feral’s smirk disappeared. “I don’t need your charity.” He snapped the rest of the twig, tossing it away, and Rosie felt real fear constrict her throat.
“Wait.” She held out her free hand. “It’s not charity, really. That’s not what she meant. Take the pack – we just want to go home.”
“Too late now,” he replied and began to walk towards them, his hand on his knife.”
ABOUT LARA MORGAN:
Lara Morgan grew up in the hills of Perth, Western Australia. She has worked in the arts, at a newspaper and, once, a car wash but all pale in comparison to being a writer which allows her to work in her pyjamas. She is the author of the Twins of Saranthium fantasy trilogy and the young adult series, The Rosie Black Chronicles and usually lives in Geraldton, WA with her husband – unless she’s somewhere else.
“I completed a Professional Development Residency at Varuna for one week in December 2007.” Lara Morgan
Awakening:The Twins of Saranthium Book 1. 2008
Betrayal: The Twins of Saranthium Book 2. 2010 Pan Macmillan Australia
Genesis: The Rosie Black Chronicles 1. 2010 Walker Books Australia
Equinox: The Rosie Black Chronicles 2. Nov 2011
Agent: Clare Forster, Curtis Brown Aust, PH:0393879673
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