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Wednesday 20 July 2016

☀ The Departed: The Departed [1] - Kristy Cooper

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for The Departed, a Young Adult Dystopian novel by (, Olivier, 176 pages).

This is the first book in The Departed series.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below. Read the first two chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

The Departed is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

Author Kristy Cooper will be awarding a digital copy of The Departed by Kristy Cooper (INT), and physical copy of The Departed by Kristy Cooper (INT) to randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


What if someone tried to fake the rapture?

When hundreds of thousands of people disappear in the middle of the night, including sixteen-year-old Gwen's best friend Lana, no one knows why. Some believe they were taken in the rapture, while others are convinced that it can't be true. Doomsday prophecies abound that involve horrifying tales of plague, famine, earthquakes, and more.

At first, Gwen doesn't know what to think. While she is busy mourning Lana, many people around her are getting taken in by the cultish True Believers Temple, including Gwen's dad and her friend Mindy. It is clear that more and more people are going to be pressured to join this church, as it starts taking over the media and the government, gaining zealous followers all over the world.

Then Gwen starts receiving emails from Lana. She claims to have been forced into hiding with thousands of others in an underground compound. Gwen is convinced the emails are real and the only other person who also believes her is Isaiah, her moody crush. Together they resolve to find out where everyone is hiding and help set Lana free.

Teaser: Excerpt

from Chapter 1

     Later that morning on the bus ride to school, I got a message from my friend Mindy. She was showing off a new pair of shoes she was wearing that day. I replied that they were cute and told her that Lana's parents had taken her phone away again that morning.
      "She is always in trouble for something stupid."
      "Yeah, I kinda can't wait to hear what it is this time."
      "Meet at Lana's locker?"
      "Yeah. See you then."
      We usually met at Lana's locker anyway, but it was typical for us to verify our before-school hangout every morning regardless.
      When I got to school, I rushed to my locker and quickly got my books for first and second periods so I could have as much time as possible to hear Lana's story before class started. Mindy was already there because her locker was closer. As usual, her outfit was totally polished and her golden-blonde hair was beyond perfect.
      "Totes adorbs," I told her, gesturing to her entire ensemble as I leaned on the locker next to Lana's. If you were to break the three of us down into typical high school archetypes, Mindy would definitely be the fashionista, Lana would be the jock, and I would probably be the brain.
      "Thanks," Mindy said. "I have to look extra good today. Remember that auditions are after school."
      "Oh yeah. What's the play again?"
      "It's a musical. Grease. I've watched it like 15 times now. I think I have like every line memorized."
      "So you'll be ready for whatever role you get?"
      "I'm going for Sandy Olsson. I don't care what Heather Berkman says. A sophomore should get the lead role if she does the best at the auditions. She says they will give it to a senior because they always do."
      "That's totally ridiculous."
      "I know! The idea is that underclassmen will have future chances to get leads, so it should go to a senior. It shouldn't be about giving everyone a chance, though. It should be about who has the best voice and best acting skills! Also, I obviously look way more like Sandy Olsson than Heather does."
      "Well, they're clearly going to have to rethink that rule after Mr. Weathers sees you perform," I said supportively.
      "It's not even a real official rule anyways."
      The warning bell rang, and I looked up at the hallway clock. "Five minutes to class. I can't believe Lana isn't here yet. Her mom usually gets her here before the buses."
      "Ugh, it's gotta be really bad then. Maybe she's grounded even from school?"
      "This sucks that her parents are such psychos," I said, thinking of the time her father grounded her for two weeks. She had come home a few minutes late and refused to apologize for it.
      "She told me once that her parents have threatened to take her out of school and make her stay home and get homeschooled."
      "Yeah, I know. That would be my worst nightmare."
      "Because you love school so much?" Mindy joked.
      "Shut up!" It was apparently considered funny to make fun of how much I loved school and being graded.
      "Why don't you go study for a test or something?"
      "Why don't you go sing a song that everyone thinks is really boring in the middle of the hallway?" We often teased each other about this type of thing. I was definitely not into musicals.
      "No one is bored by my voice. Ever. If you don't like my singing, then you are one of the five percent of people in this world who do not have the ability to enjoy any type of music."
      "Is that a real statistic?"
      "Yeah, I read it somewhere online."
      "I do, but I know I'm definitely not one of that five percent."
      Mindy looked back up at the clock. "The bell's about to ring . . ."
      "Meet you back here after first period?"
      "Yeah, maybe Lana is just extremely late today? And we'll see her later?"
      "I hope so." I wondered if her parents' punishments went further than just grounding sometimes.
      "Okay, see you in a bit." Mindy turned away to head to her first class of the day. My first class was just a few yards down the hall, so I continued to wait as close to the bell ringing as possible before going into the room. I was holding on to the hope that Lana would still be coming to school before first hour.
      She did not come, and the hall was getting more and more empty, so I finally walked into government class right as the bell rang.
      That was when the third strange thing happened. I had figured that I could get away with coming in a tiny bit late once because I was so serially prompt, but Ms. Gibbons, my government teacher, was still staring at her computer when I walked through the door. She was usually pacing the classroom, eager to make us all be quiet so she could begin her lecture. Instead, the computer was not even hooked up to the projection system, so we couldn't see what she was looking at.
      Like all the other things that had happened that morning, at first I thought nothing of it. I headed for my desk in the first row of the classroom, completely distracted by Isaiah Leonard. He was the boy who sat behind me and another reason I was never late for government class. Today he smiled at me as I took my seat, and I tried to refrain from blushing.
      "You're cutting it close today," he observed.
      I turned around and gazed into his deep brown eyes framed by black, thick-rimmed glasses. "You know me, I like to live on the edge."
      "Yeah, you are totally the most dangerous chick I know." Isaiah laughed sarcastically.
      "I have a reputation. What can I say?" I shrugged.
      Isaiah was obviously in a good mood today. Some days he didn't say anything to me when he came into class, and other times he acted like we were good friends. I couldn't tell if he was just in a bad mood on those days or if maybe he was caught up in his own little world. I was sure I was probably totally overanalyzing it. I know it didn't make much sense, but the moodiness just seemed to make me like him more.
      I turned back around and opened my book bag to pull my textbook and notebook out. I lined up my pens and opened my notebook to the next clean page. Then I looked up and saw that Ms. Gibbons was still staring intently into her laptop, biting her lip nervously. The clock said it was almost five past the hour.
      I looked around the classroom and found a few other students who looked like they were holding back laughter as they looked incredulously at Ms. Gibbons. Everyone had naturally quieted because they expected class to start any minute.
      "Maybe she didn't hear the bell?" I whispered to Isaiah.
      "Yeah, totally weird. Well, I'm not going to complain if we're not doing anything today."
      Then someone made a dramatic cough that seemed to pull Ms. Gibbons out of her hypnotic, computer-induced trance. It was funny that so many people complained that teens were way too addicted to screens, because I knew lots of adults who had plenty of trouble pulling themselves out of the draw of a glowing screen as well. Ms. Gibbons looked up at us with an anxious smile.
      "Sorry, guys. I was reading about some crazy things that are being reported in the news this morning. This looks pretty serious. Has anyone heard about what's being reported?" she asked the class.
      I looked around the class. Most people had blank expressions on their faces. It was embarrassing to admit, but I really didn't check the news that much unless someone posted something interesting in my Twitter feed and I ended up clicking on it.
      I thought no one was going to say anything, but then someone hesitantly spoke up with "There was something about an unusual amount of people being reported missing this morning."
      "That's correct. Right now the news media have collected about 328 stories of people who have been reported missing since last night, and that number seems to be growing by the minute." Ms. Gibbons looked back at her computer. "They are also beginning to collect stories about people missing from other countries as well."
      "Wait, what do you mean missing?" another student asked.
      "No one knows where they are. They are all being reported missing as of last night. Most of the time when people go missing, especially adults, law enforcement doesn't take it seriously until they have been gone for at least forty-eight hours. But this is different . . . because there are just so many people being reported. They are all being reported as having just disappeared in the middle of the night."
      "Who is reporting them?" I asked.
      "Well, family members who saw them go to bed and woke up to find them gone without a trace. They are saying this is so unusual because they all left their wallets and phones. Also, none of their cars are missing."
      "So where do they think these people went?" someone asked. "Sorry, guys, that's all I know. I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this one." Ms. Gibbons paused, biting her lip. "This is just really f-reaking weird."
      A heavy silence fell over the classroom. If Ms. Gibbons was worried, this must be serious. I could tell she had been on the verge of swearing but had caught herself. I found myself looking around the classroom again and saw many other kids doing the same thing. It was like we were looking to each other for some clues or maybe to get an idea about what the appropriate reaction to something like this was. I couldn't think of anything I'd ever heard of to even compare with how strange this all sounded.

The Departed
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About the Author

Kristy Cooper found herself often contemplating unusual what-if scenarios and knew it was time to start writing them down.

She worked as a librarian for years and is now busy raising small children and writing YA novels.

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