Action packed first book in Rebel series.
Annabelle (16) faces adult dilemmas and a fight for her life. Orphaned at age three when the military took her parents, she’s a tomboy who rebels against her conformist society, which pushes her to become a cop intern to catch escaped boys. Then she’s forced to choose between joining the elite military that took her parents or being torn from her beloved sister and adoptive mom.
The Rebel Within turns our male dominated world upside down. After the Second American Civil War, the Federal Union pursues a utopian society without men by rounding up the remaining males, and enforcing Harmony. Central to their plan is EggFusion Fertilization and Female Mechanized Warriors.
In this world, Annabelle faces a cop intern boss who hates her, a military commander who demands too much, and an amazon bully who won’t leave her alone. She meets a handsome boy who escapes prison. As she tries to survive rigorous military training and hunt for her imprisoned birth mother, Annabelle must choose between capturing the boy and helping him escape, while she wrestles with the consequences of her actions.
***THE REBEL TRAP (259 pages)
Voices in 16-year-old Annabelle’s head aren’t God or signs she’s going mad—yet.
The Rebel Trap sweeps readers into a haunting world with no privacy. Written as a standalone story, it also follows Annabelle’s adventures from The Rebel Within.
Auditory implants and contact cams allow her military commander from the unit that took her parents to watch her 24-7. A boy she helped to escape hacks her implants to plead for her help. She’s forced to be a cop and military spy investigating her police captain as well as capturing escaped boys. Observed constantly, Annabelle has to dance between helping the escaped boy she likes free his brother from a heavily guarded geek institute, her job to capture him, and the feud between her military commander and the police chief she’s expected to spy on.
A pawn in a bigger game, no one believes she can handle this, which may be her greatest asset.
Rebels Divided is a fun thrill ride written as a standalone action story, but also part of the Rebel series, three years later.
The first time Geo sees Annabelle, they meet as enemies and she doesn’t kill him. That’s worth something. Geo (19) is a rugged frontiersman who hungers to see more of the world than the impoverished Outland glen where he and his pa hide from local Rangers. Annabelle (19) is a tough yet fragile tomboy who lost her parents at age three to the Mech Warriors. Then she’s forced to become a Mech.
After the Second American Civil War, the nation divides into two ‘utopias’. The Federal Union enforces Harmony and an all-female society protected by Mechanized Warriors. The Outland promotes rugged individualism, but Thane Edwards holds a monopoly of power with his Rangers. The Union’s Tenn-tucky governor and the Outland warlord conclude a secret deal, pledging Annabelle to the warlord to provide heirs, and putting a bounty on Geo and his pa.
Hunted by military from both sides, Geo and Annabelle struggle to overcome mutual distrust in order to work together to rescue her sister and gain justice for the murder of his father.
About the Author:
Lance Erlick grew up in various parts of the United States and Europe. He took to stories as his anchor and was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future. He studied creative writing at Northwestern University and University of Iowa.
He writes science fiction, dystopian and young adult stories and likes to explore the future implications of social and technological trends. He is the author of The Rebel Within, The Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he flips traditional exploitation to explore the effects of a world that discriminates against males and the consequences of following conscience for those coming of age. Erlick lives in the Chicago area with his family.
WS Momma Readers Nook is so excited to have Lance Erlick the author stop by and answer some questions! Thank you Lance and good luck with the series :)
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When I was eleven, reading mysteries, I imagined that I could write stories like some that I read. I found it wasn’t as easy as some writers made it seem, to me at least. My first attempt was terrible and yet I learned that good writing took effort. After that, whenever I read a story that took me into a new world, showed me something new, or got me to think about things in a new light, I also imagined writing stories like those. Whenever I’ve been away from writing, because life got in the way, I’ve always migrated back, like iron filings to a magnet.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
The first full-length novel I wrote came about after reading a story I thought I could do better. I wanted to create a variation of a James Bond type character, but one who was tough and unfazed by anything except what he had to do. Unfortunately, what I ended up writing was a character who came across as indifferent. No matter how much I tried to breathe life into him, he remained dead on the page. What that taught me was interesting characters must have passion. I’ve kept that in mind as I’ve developed as a writer. By the way, that story will never see the light of day.
What inspired you to write your first book?
What I consider to be my first novel is Rebels Divided. It is actually the third novel in my Rebel series. It came about as a reaction to all the anger in this country. I imagined what would happen if that rage boiled over and divided the country in a second civil war. As I imagined what this world would look like, I was reading about fertility research intended to help infertile couples. To my knowledge, this hasn’t been achieved yet, but the research was a compelling addition to the story I was writing. Basically, it involved taking skin cells from one person, coaxing them into a stem-cell state, and using the resulting cells to fertilize an egg. While it was intended to help infertile men, it raised the question of two women having a biological child together, and then of a society with only women.
In writing Rebels Divided, one character stood out, Annabelle. When I finished that novel, she bugged me to writer her story. That became The Rebel Within, the first book in the Rebel series. Readers then asked me what happened after this novel, and voila, I wrote The Rebel Trap, being released October 1, 2014
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
The Rebel series has been hard to pigeonhole. With young adult protagonists and storylines, I believe it fits well in this genre. It is near-term science fiction, but it doesn’t fit into traditional science fiction tropes of time travel, space travel, artificial intelligence/robotics, or aliens. The series carries varying amounts of thriller/suspense. Because the storylines have gender-conflict themes, the romantic interests in The Rebel Within and The Rebel Trap have Annabelle and a boy she fancies kept at a distance, vaguely like Romeo and Juliette. In Rebels Divided, there is a romantic element to the conflict between Annabelle and Geo.
While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
When I wrote The Rebel Within, I was driven by Annabelle to write her story. I had already researched the world and her character for Rebels Divided and felt I’d gotten to know her pretty well. In reading and in writing other stories, I had experienced getting into a character’s head before, but in this case, she got into mine. I felt I was seeing her world through her eyes and imagining how I/she would deal with what she faced. At first I thought I would find it hard to write from a female perspective. But I had just come off reading Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark, in which she tells the story in the point of view of an autistic boy. I believe she handled the gender difference quite well, and hopefully I have taken something from her writing into The Rebel Within.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
While the Rebel series was not written as a morality tale, I hope it will get people thinking about three things. First, if we can’t learn to talk to each other and mediate our differences, we risk tearing this great country apart. Maybe it won’t be a civil war, but it won’t benefit the people. Second, we are on the threshold of scientific advances that offer great benefits, such as fertility research. At the same time, we need to talk about how we will use these advances. Helping infertile couples is one thing. Using the technology to alter the course of human history by excluding some groups for the benefit of others is another. Third, we can and should argue about whether we have or should achieve gender equality, but before we come down too hard on either side, it pays to walk in another’s footsteps. If gender politics can be judged by any yardstick, I believe it should be by how you would react if your gender were reversed.
What are your current projects?
While I’ve enjoyed writing and sharing the Rebel series, I’ve started a new series that is, as yet, untitled. This set of stories takes place three hundred years after abrupt climate change has led to coastal flooding, expanding deserts, wars, and a Great Collapse. There is a new World Federation, a caste system, and outcasts, including our heroine. I hope to have the first of these novels available in 2015.
(2) $25 Amazon Gift Cards (INT)