Hello and happy Friday 13th! Because my life is amazing, today I have the honour of sharing with you all the cover reveal for Lauren James’ The Next Together. I can’t wait to see this gorgeous thing in real life.
As well as the cover, you’ll find an exclusive extract from the book under the cut. The Next Together is clever, epic, romantic, genre-bending and often funny – prepare to fall in love. Thanks to Lauren and Walker Books for letting me be a part of the excitement!
Part 5 of the exclusive extract from The Next Together by Lauren James
“What’s your name?” he asked, looking her up and down. His eyes lingered on her labcoat collar, which was decorated with badges and beads, but he didn’t mention it.
“Kate,” she said brightly, trying to convey a more normal aura.
His eyebrows rose at her answer in what looked like surprise. She wasn’t sure why her name would be surprising.
“Matt,” he replied. “Matt Galloway.”
“Hi, Matt, nice to meet you. Welcome to Biology, etc., etc. I know you from somewhere. Have we met before?”
Or instead of being normal she could just act like his own personal stalker. That worked too.
“We haven’t met before. I would have remembered.” He blushed and then stammered, “I mean, I haven’t even been to this country before. I moved here for university.”
She eyed him speculatively. He must be particularly intelligent to have got permission to study abroad. Since Scotland had gained independence from England after the last world war, almost twenty years ago, it had been practically impossible to get permits to study internationally.
Hmmm. He didn’t seem like he was lying. Where did she know him from?
She should probably get back to work and give him a week or so to settle in before she began to torment him further by actually chatting to him, or doing something equally terrifying like nodding to him in the corridor. It was obvious he was completely overwhelmed by her raw sexuality − or that was what she was telling herself, anyway, and no one could prove otherwise. But she couldn’t look away. There was something … familiar about him.
He made no attempt to continue talking, just looked at her, nonplussed. Kate was afraid to continue any line of conversation in case he actually died from the blood rushing to his face, but the silence was awkward, so she eventually said, “Why are you transferring over to biology, anyway?”
“There weren’t as many explosions as I was hoping for in chemistry.” It sounded like a prepared response; he’d probably been asked that question a lot recently.
“Well there aren’t nearly half as many giant octopuses as you’d want in biology either, sorry.”
He grinned. “Shame. How’s the physics department here?”
She could sense him eyeing her, and she tried not to feel self-conscious. Her grandmother had once described her as a perfect Pre-Raphaelite beauty, which she took to mean that her figure was a little too soft around the edges to conform to twenty-first-century perceptions of beauty, and her hair was a vivid shock of red. Sometimes people at school had teased her for being ginger, but she’d always loved her hair too much for it to bother her.
Either way, she was secure in her body image a lot of the time, but it didn’t stop her feeling self-conscious, especially when there was a cute boy looking at her like she was the most interesting thing he’d seen all day.
“I’d give the physics lot six out of ten. There aren’t enough brunets,” she said.
There’d been a disappointing mixers event in freshers’ week.
He grinned and Kate smiled back, then she said, “I hear their MRI research rivals Cambridge’s, though.”
“I’ll look into that, then. If the octopi don’t work out.”
“I’m sure they will. No sea monsters today, though. We’re testing fertiliser effects on the development rates of bacteria cultures.”
“Sounds a lot easier than chemistry labs. I had to bring an acid to boil. On my first day.”
“Ouch. Well, I’ll look after you today.” She handed him a pair of latex gloves. Their hands touched, just slightly.
>First contact established in time-landscape 2039
Kate shuddered, closing her eyes for a moment. She felt a little strange.
To read the next exclusive extract from The Next Together, go to http://awordshaker.com/
The Next Together publishes in September 2015 (Walker Books) and can be pre-ordered now.
About The Next Together
How many times can you lose the one you love?
For Matthew and Katherine it is again and again, over and over, century after century. Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. But why do they keep coming back? How many times must they die to save the world? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different…
About the author Lauren James
Lauren James is a scientist by day, writer by early hours of the morning. She graduated in 2014 with a Masters degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. She now lives in the village of Berkswell, West Midlands. You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James, which she mainly uses to fancast actors as her characters and panics about all of the overly ambitious plans she has for her PhD, or her website at http://lauren-e-james.tumblr.com.