Blog Tour Excerpt : THERE WILL BE LIES

Today, on Tales of the Ravenous Reader I will be sharing and excerpt from Nick Lake's THERE WILL BE LIES. This thrill ride of a read will have you consumed and utterly fascinated until the very end and even then you will not be able to stop thinking about it. Just read the excerpt provided and you will totally understand what I am talking about.
  There Will Be Lies

By Nick Lake
Printz Award-winning author of In Darkness

Similar to Nick Lake’s Michael L. Printz Award winning novel In Darkness, in his incredible YA thriller There Will Be Lies, Nick tells a story of a coming of age incited by tragedy and violence.

From the first words of There Will Be Lies, you will be hooked:

I’m going to be hit by a car in about four hours, but I don’t know that yet.

The weird thing is, it’s not the car that’s going to kill me, that’s going to erase me from the world.

It’s something totally different. Something that happens eight days from now, and threatens to end the world.

My name is Shelby Jane Cooper – is, was, whatever.

I’m seventeen years old when the car crash happens.

This is my story.

When Shelby is hit by the car, before she can recover, her mother drags her out of a hospital and on a mysterious road trip. She says that everything’s fine. But it becomes pretty obvious to Shelby that in fact nothing is fine—and that everything she’s been told, everything she knows about herself, is a lie. And there will be more lies before she finally discovers the shocking truth.

At times a page-turning thriller and at others an evocative fable, There Will Be Lies is compelling and surprising, weird and beautiful. This emotionally charged thrill ride leads to a shocking ending that will have readers flipping back to the beginning.

C H A P T E R 5
I go in and the AC settles around me like a cocoon of coolness. I
have a tingly feeling that I get when there are books all around me.
The library! I know it’s geeky but I love it. Just sitting between the
shelves of books, reading— it’s the safest feeling.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved the place. Mom used to
bring me here, ever since we moved to Scottsdale, would read me
stories from the kids’ section, mostly fairy tales. I’d sit on her knee—
she’d be cross- legged on the fl oor— and she’d tell me about princesses
and curses and old crones making magic spells, and little
girls who could outwit wolves.
It was like a doorway into another world. Just, you know, a doorway
that smelled a bit like old ladies. Now, still, I love coming here to
read, while Mom’s working. I’m safe here, inside, with the books—
she knows where I am, and so neither of us has to worry. And
anyway, I can just pick up a book and be anywhere I want, even if
we don’t ever physically leave Phoenix.
Although . . .
Although, there is another reason I love the library.
There is the Boy too.
I don’t see him at the desk as I come in, and my stomach clenches
with disappointment. I walk farther into the library, not really aiming
for anything in par tic u lar. At the rear, there’s a Native American
section. It has a colorful rug on the fl oor, photos on the walls
of people dancing, wearing masks. A drum sits on a shelf.
I’ve never been in this part of the library, fi ction is more my
thing, but on the table in the middle, there’s an open book. I stroll
over, meaning to pick it up and put it back on the shelf. When I get
close, I glance down at the page. I see a line that says:
If Coyote crosses your path, turn back and do not continue
your journey. Something terrible will happen—
But just then I sense movement behind me and I turn. It’s the boy,
Mark, and he reaches past me to snare the book, fl ips it shut with
one hand— and smiles at me as he puts it back on the shelf. It says
Navajo Ceremonial Tales on the cover.
Hi, Shelby, he says.
Hey, I told you don’t do that, I say, my heart racing. Don’t sneak
up on me like that.
Sorry, he says. My bad.
He’s from somewhere in South America, I think. He has an accent,
a different cadence to the way he moves, a different rhythm to his
hands. Not that I care: he’s pretty much the only person I’ve spoken
to properly, apart from my mom, since I used to play with a girl in our
old house in Albuquerque— the one other place I remember living—
when I was five years old, giving tea parties to our dolls in the dust
of the backyard. So he could speak entirely in curse words, and I
wouldn’t mind.
I mean, I love my mom. But she is pretty literally the only person
I ever speak to. It’s nice to have a change.
His name is Mark, but I suspect it isn’t, really. He looks like a cross
between Tyler the werewolf from The Vampire Diaries and Bradley
Cooper— he has this whole hot Latino thing going on, but with easygoing
charm laid on top of it like smooth turf over bare earth.
Mark leans against the shelves.
Cue angelic music. Cue the end of Shelby Jane Cooper.
Not literally, though. That comes later.
Mark has this tattoo, I think it’s a dog, just above his collarbone,
and when his top shirt button is undone as it is now, you can see it. It’s
meant to make him look badass, obviously, but it’s kind of cute. And
his neck muscles, I can’t even.
I can’t. Even.
I notice then that one of his hands is behind his back. He takes
it out, and there’s a book in it.
For you, he says.
I take the book. Thanks, I say. You think I should read this one
He looks uncomfortable. It’s not the library’s. It’s a gift, he says.
I look at it. Grimm’s Fairy Tales, in hardcover. It looks old.
They’ll blow your mind, says Mark.
Wow, I say. Thank you. No one’s ever given me a book before.
Apart from, like, my mom. As soon as I say this, I think, wow, super
lame thing to say to a boy. At the same time, I’m thinking, where am
I going to hide this from Mom so she doesn’t know I’ve been talking
to a boy? I’m a bit old for fairy tales, I say. Don’t you think?
No one is too old for fairy tales, says Mark.
Yeah, that’s what my mom says. She loves them. She’d still read
them to me now if she could.
Mark smiles. These are not like the fairy tales your mother told
you, he says. They’re the originals. They’re dark.
DARK? I ask. What, like, Cinderella is a serial killer?
No. Like her stepsisters cut off their heels and their toes, to try
to make the slipper fi t.
I raise my eyebrows. That was NOT in the version Mom told me.
Oh, okay, then, I say.
After that we talk for a bit about what I’ve been learning with
Mom, and he tells me some books he thinks I should look at that
relate to some of the topics. Says again that I should start thinking
about college, about what I could major in. I ignore him. My mom
doesn’t even like me to walk on the street on my own. She isn’t going
to let me go to college.
But, you know.
I do think about majoring in En glish lit.
As I’m thinking, Mark gets called away by someone who’s looking
for something.
Thanks for the book, I say as he heads away to hunt.
He turns and says something that I don’t understand, in another
language, maybe.
I read a bit longer, but it’s nearly eight and Mom has a cab
booked for me, so I head outside and nod at Mark as I leave— he’s
talking to a different patron now, and he smiles back at me. Something
twisty happens inside me when he does that. I mean, sure, he’s
a year or two older than me. But the guys at the batting cages never
made my stomach lift like he does.
As I’m approaching the door, he’s suddenly beside me. I don’t
know how he did that; it’s like he teleported. I stop abruptly.
Listen . . . , he says. Things are . . . starting to happen. Do you
think you could meet me, later? My shift ends in a half hour.
My heart stutters. I can’t, I say. Sorry.
I really am sorry— I mean, there’s a part of me that wants to. A big
part. But I’m not stupid: he’s a man and much stronger than me, and
if I meet him somewhere alone, somewhere that isn’t a library, he
could overpower me, he could do anything he wanted to me. He’s hot
and he’s kind and I like him, but he’s still a man.
He’s still dangerous.
So I lower my eyes like my mom does and I turn away from him,
just catching his frown out of the corner of my vision. But I don’t
turn back.
Outside, the automatic door closes behind me and my cocoon
vanishes, and the heat rushes into the vacuum, like air into lungs,
and in fact the heat is in my lungs, so it’s outside me and inside me
all at once.
Ugh. Sometimes I feel like I’d like to have some cold in my
bones, like Mom, to carry around with me in Arizona.
I go out onto the sidewalk, and walk to the spot where the cab
will pick me up. I glance at my watch— it’s about four minutes before
she’s due to arrive, and she always arrives when she’s due.
I stand there for a moment, holding the book. I don’t know how
I’m going to explain it to Mom. I guess I’ll just say it’s from the library
and hope she doesn’t look inside and see that it doesn’t have a stamp.
I look at my watch again. Three more minutes, and then Mom
will be there to take me home.
But no.
That doesn’t happen.
What happens instead is:
A car, which is actually a Humvee, and as it will turn out is
being driven by a driver considerably under the influence, bounces
up onto the sidewalk, takes out a trash can, slows just enough not to
kill me instantly, then collides with my body hard enough to throw
me ten feet through the air.
Lying there, on the concrete, I don’t feel any pain at first. I am
on my side and there is a warm trickling feeling all over my leg
which doesn’t seem to forebode anything good, though I can’t just
now remember how I got to this position.
I am facing the library, or at least the gap between the library
and the next building, which I think is a software company. In the
cool dark shadow between the buildings, I see two eyes, gleaming.
A coyote steps out and toward me, right there in the dusk. I’ve
never seen one before— I know people do at night, especially in
North Scottsdale, but he’s my first. I sense that it’s a he.
He, the coyote, comes closer and sniffs at me. He’s beautiful—
this wild thing, here in low- rise suburbia. Like walking into a
bedroom and seeing a tree growing in there. His fur is red like
sunset, his eyes are shining and telling me something that I don’t
know how to read, but there’s a kind of light of intelligence in
I think: of course, it’s not a dog, Mark’s tattoo. It’s a coyote. I
don’t know why I thought it was a dog.
I stare at the coyote. There’s a crackle about him, almost a halo,
like his life is running at a voltage different from other living creatures.
Like he’s magic. I could really believe that. Then I believe it even
more, because the coyote speaks directly into my head, or that’s what
it feels like.
There will be two lies, it says. Then there will be the truth. And
that will be the hardest of all.
There’s something weird about the way the coyote says this, like
the words are somehow inside my head, echoing, but I can’t put my
fi nger on it. It’s like grasping a slick frog—it squirts out of my hands.
Then something startles him and he backs away, turns skittishly,
almost falling over, and runs back into the shadow where he
And it’s like he was never there, and I feel bummed about that.
This is all wrong, anyway, I think, remembering the book in the
library, the open one. You’re meant to see the coyote BEFORE the horrible
thing happens to you. Not after.
I roll a bit and look up and see the moon, pale in the still- light
sky, looking down on me like a parent looking down at a sick child.
This is— I think.
And then blackness.
About the author:

Nick Lake is the highly-acclaimed author of In Darkness, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award, and Hostage Three, which received three starred reviews and was named a Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Boston Globe Best Book of the Year. He is also the Publishing Director for fiction at HarperCollins Children's Books UK. Nick lives near Oxford, England. Visit him online at and on Twitter at @NicholasLake.


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