Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Blog Tour: Love Is The Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson (Excerpt)


Published September 30th 2014 by Arthur A. Levine Books

Goodreads Synopsis:
From the author of THE SUMMER PRINCE, a novel that's John Grisham's THE PELICAN BRIEF meets Michael Crichton's THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN set at an elite Washington D.C. prep school.

Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-League future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC's elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.

Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virus--something about her parents' top secret scientific work--something she shouldn't know.

The only one Bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history.



Bird wakes up.
     The walls aren’t white, but close, the color of a cracked egg. She turns her head on the pillow and looks through a window to the street below. Deserted, not a single car parked on the side, and she stares at that until a solitary tank grumbles down the road, guns steady.
     Her head aches. She raises her arm to feel it, and sees a needle taped down to the vein in her elbow. She tries to count the stitches on her forehead and concludes ten or eleven. A hospital. But the silence of the room, the hush in the hall, the jarring rattle of a tank outside —.
     “What happened?” she says, and finds her voice rusty but func-tional. It has never been particularly melodic. She tries to remember. It’s like trying to follow a conversation in a language you barely speak — whatever meaning lies buried there, she can’t reach it.
     Outside, the sun turns orange and limp violet, silhouetting the bare branches of the trees lining the street. Something about those branches makes Bird sit up and push her hair away from her forehead.
I need a relaxer , she thinks, feeling the dense, wiry curl at her roots. How long has she been here? There are flowers on the side table — white and pink lilies wilted around the edges and swimming in cloudy water. A note hangs from the vase but she doesn’t read it. She wants to believe they’re from her parents, but she knows they aren’t. Her head aches with the effort of not thinking about him.
     She looks back out the window. The trees still had their leaves at the Robinsons’ party. Yellow and red and brittle brown. 
     And so Bird remembers the last thing she can.

It goes like this —
     Coffee was in the basement doing lines. Paul was upstairs with the Robinsons and their guests, capital-N networking. He wanted a national security internship this summer, and there were at least two senators and one highly placed government contractor drinking martinis who could help him. Bird had known the second she saw Coffee smoking by the mailbox outside that she would make her excuses, but for now she filled the slot that Paul expected: supportive girlfriend, enjoying the party. 
     “I think that guy over there is with the Washington Post ,” Paul said, and nudged Felice. “Weren’t you saying the other day you were thinking about journalism?”
     Felice looked up from her phone and glanced over. “Isn’t he the film critic or something? Honestly, you’d think Pam Robinson could get some better guests. I mean, Bob Woodward is a family friend. I haven’t decided what direction I want for this summer, but if it’s journalism, I’m sure my dad can just call Bob.”
     “Bob Woodward, like from AP US History? Deep Throat?” Paul said.
     Felice smiled gently and combed her fingers through aggressively blunt-cut bangs. “My dad is very well connected.”
     “My dad knows Adrian Fenty,” Charlotte said. She glanced at Bird as she said this, her look a soap bubble of pride that popped under Felice’s dismissive shrug. 
     “What’s he, the old mayor of DC? I mean, great for your dad, but the local political scene is low rent.”
     Paul jumped to Charlotte’s rescue. “You really think that, after 8/16? That terrorist flu is practically a pandemic. Venezuela has oil money, a rogue government, and biological WMDs — they’re a world threat. And the most important people in the world live here. Local politics are national politics.” Bird stepped closer to Paul and squeezed his hand, though she felt a jolt of some repelling force she didn’t want to name when he continued, “And that makes it a very good time for me to get in the game."

Check out the rest of the excerpt via Pinoy Book Tours!

 Author of Love Is The Drug:
Alaya Johnson graduated from Columbia University in 2004 with a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures. She lives in New York City. 

Author Links:
Website || Twitter || Facebook || Goodreads

Tour Schedule:

September 30
Maricar of blackplume - Review

October 1
Kyla of Carmel and Kyla - Excerpt

October 2
Nicole of The Twins Read - Review

October 3
Biena of Library Mistress - Excerpt

October 4
Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again - Excerpt

(Blog Tour is hosted by Pinoy Book Tours.)

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