{Excerpt/Giveaway} H2O and H2O: THE STORM by Virginia Bergin

  This week, Virginia Bergin releases THE STORM, a sequel to last year's debut H2O. 

To celebrate, Sourcebooks Fire, Virginia Bergin, and I are sharing an excerpt and giving away a fun gift basket!

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: H2O
Author: Virginia Bergin
Release Date: Oct. 7, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

It's in the rain...and just one drop will kill you.
They don't believe it at first. Crowded in Zach's kitchen, Ruby and the rest of the partygoers laugh at Zach's parents' frenzied push to get them all inside as it starts to drizzle. But then the radio comes on with the warning, "It's in the rain! It's fatal, it's contagious, and there's no cure."
Two weeks later, Ruby is alone. Anyone who's been touched by rain or washed their hands with tap water is dead. The only drinkable water is quickly running out. Ruby's only chance for survival is a treacherous hike across the country to find her father-if he's even still alive. 

Author: Virginia Bergin
Release Date: Oct. 6, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

"I'll tell you a weird thing about apocalypses - a thing I didn't even know until I was in one: they seem pretty bad, don't they? Well, take it from me: they can always get worse."
Three months after the killer rain first fell, Ruby is beginning to realise her father might be dead . . . and that she cannot survive alone. When a chance encounter lands her back in the army camp, Ruby thinks she is safe - at a price. Being forced to live with Darius Spratt is bad enough, but if Ruby wants to stay she must keep her eyes - and her mouth - shut. It's not going to happen. When she realizes what is going on - the army is trying to find a cure by experimenting on human subjects - Ruby flips out . . . and makes an even more shocking discovery: she's not useless at all. The Storm begins . . .

 Now, take a peek at this excerpt:

by Virginia Bergin


In the morning, the Spratt wakes me up with breakfast. I’d have been pretty grumpy about that because I was sound asleep, but he brought a spectacular selection of items. I couldn’t have stacked up that tray better myself: as well as Les Pastries Fran├žaise there’s Le Full English Breakfast: fried everything and a pile of baked beans.
He sits and watches me cramming food into my face like a cavewoman. Part of me wants to ask about where, precisely, all this stuff comes from, but mainly I just feel like I don’t want to hear it—­haven’t I seen enough already to know that while I have suffered Apocalypse Max, these people have been living in Apocalypse Lite?
I was wrong; survival is a competition, and these people are winning—­which reminds me, about twelve hours later than a nicer (nice?) person would have thought of it:
“Hey, what happened to the Princess?” I manage to ask between glorious great mouthfuls of eggs and bacon.
I may need to remind you that the Princess was this mute kid the Spratt found—­or rather she found him—­after the rain fell. An Asian kid, maybe Indian, I’d guessed. Age unknown, name unknown. Tiny, beautiful, heart-­woundingly sad. Mute with fright (we reckoned), but never silent…least of all on the subject of me. The Princess didn’t like me, not one bit. I tried to be kind; I did try. I just shouted a lot. It was a stressful time.
“That Welsh family took her. They had to. What do I know about looking after a kid?”
“You did OK,” I say, cramming in fried bread. And then I think the thought that goes with that thought. “What happened to my dog?” I ask, stabbing a sausage. I mean Saskia’s dog, the Darling Chihuahua.
“They don’t let animals in here, Ru,” says Darius.
There is this awful silence during which I can no longer face eating that sausage. Not that I think Darling got turned into one. These people are spoiled, but they are surely not monsters. Just coldhearted abandoners of small, innocent dogs and…
“Or people like me.”
“Ru…” says Darius.
I amaze myself that I am the one to say it, but the thought comes to me, cutting through the snuggly hug of food and sleepiness as sharp as a surgeon’s knife: “I’m not going to be able to stay here, am I?”
“We can talk about that later,” he says.
While seeming not to be an answer to my question, that is an answer. It isn’t a very specific one though, because it’s not clear to me who’s going to kick me out first: the British Army, the Spratt—­or me. Am I capable of doing that? Am I capable of trying to walk out of this place with bravery and dignity? (Once I have finished breakfast, obviously.) (Or maybe tomorrow, if I lie low and the Spratt doesn’t get too pushy.)
“I think, if you leave—­” says Darius.
“When. It’s ‘when,’ isn’t it? Not ‘if.’”
“I want to come too. I mean—­if that’s OK with you.”
I do sort of feel I could faint or something, so massive is the storm of conflicting stuff in my head. This is a conversation I never ever thought I’d be having in a place I never ever thought I’d be—­physically, emotionally, mentally, you-­name-­it-­ly. (Have I told you before how much I hate apocalypses?) There is only one way to deal with this, and that is to push it all back onto the Spratt.
I amaze myself for a second time—­and I haven’t even finished breakfast.
“Yeah,” I say, “and what about your job, Darius? What about working twenty-­four/seven to save the planet?”
He’s quiet for a moment, then, “Maybe they can manage without me?” he says.
Uh. I shake my head. The truth is harsh. “It’s me they can manage without.”
“But maybe I can’t, Ru,” he says.
I feel like I want to cry. “Yeah, you can,” I tell him. “Just pretend we’re back at school.”
I get that in quick—­so quick. To him, I was a clueless snob. To me, he was the subnerd of subnerds. If the rain hadn’t fallen, I don’t suppose we would ever have even spoken.

Still curious?
The cover design for this series is AWESOME.

I'll be posting it for you to see next week,
so stop back!!!

Virginia Bergin learned to roller-skate with the children of eminent physicists.

She grew up in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, in a house tied to her father’s job. Her parents, the children of Irish and Polish immigrants – and one Englishwoman – had moved from Liverpool to the south of England in search of work.

Virginia studied psychology but ruined her own career when, dabbling in fine art at Central St Martins, she re-discovered creative writing. Since then she has written poetry, short stories, film and TV scripts and a play that almost got produced – but didn’t.

In between and alongside more jobs than you’ve had hot dinners, she has worked as a writer on TV, eLearning and corporate projects and has 22 broadcast and non-broadcast TV credits, from children’s favourite Big Cat Diary Family Histories (BBC) to the award-winning series Africa (Tigress Productions for National Geographic). Most recently, she has been working in online education, creating interactive courses for The Open University.

She has lived in North Wales, London and Bristol. In May 2015, she moved from a council estate in Bristol to live in rural Somerset, somewhere between Taunton, Chard and Ilminster. Her nearest neighbour is a horse.
You could win...

This fun gift basket!