This weekend I welcome author HS Stone to the blog with his YA Sci -Fi books, Beyond New Eden, and In the Hands of Children

    Welcome to YA author H S Stone

 Even before he could read, H.S. Stone wanted to write a book. Fascinated by the stories that seemed to leap from his kindergarten teacher's books, he went home and wrote his own book, with illustrations and bound by staples. Of course, since he didn't know how to read or write yet, the book was full of gibberish.
    Undaunted, H.S. eventually mastered the ABC's and continued to write throughout his grade school years, adolescence, and into adulthood. Despite earning a degree and working in a field not related to writing, he continued to pursue his writing passion.
    Numbers Plus Four, a collection of five short stories, was H.S. Stone's first publication. He has since published a Middle Grade novel, George and the Galactic Games, and two Young Adult books, In the Hands of Children and Beyond New Eden.
    H.S. Stone lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Find HS Stone online:

    Eve 142 has lived her entire life in the domed city of New Eden, home to the only surviving humans after the War. Like all of the inhabitants of New Eden, Eve 142 is a clone. Together with the other clones, dubbed the Adams and the Eves, she leads a safe, predictable existence. However, Eve’s life changes when she causes a tragic accident to befall one of the Adams. As retribution, she and her counterpart, Adam 142, are banished from New Eden.
    At first, Eve 142 considers their punishment a death sentence because she grew up believing the world outside the dome was uninhabitable. She is wrong. Forced to live in the Wastelands, Eve and Adam discover many new truths about the outside world and, more importantly, the truths about themselves.

    It was my turn to strap the basket onto my back. The wood and plastic container was lighter than it looked and didn’t hinder my movement in the least. I walked around the tree until I found a spot with a cluster of apples. With Adam 142’s help, I leaned the ladder against the trunk near my destination.
    Watching Adam accomplish the task gave me more confidence. With quick steps, I climbed the ladder, eager to show that I was as good as my partner. Thanks to my genes, I wasn’t afraid of heights, and neither were any of the other Adams or Eves. Near the top, I held onto a rung with one hand and began pulling apples with the other. Eight apples were within easy reach, but after I plucked them, I discovered that the others were farther away than they appeared from the ground.
    I took two more steps up to the top of the ladder. Grasping the top rung with my left hand, I reached for another three apples. Then I shifted my position, now using my right hand to hold onto the ladder, and I was able to pick two more.
    I looked around, gauging the distance to my next target. There were two apples next to each other just beyond my reach, which would make fifteen. I tried to stretch out with my left arm, then with my right, but the fruits lay inches from my fingertips.
    Taking my supporting hand off the ladder, I leaned out and grabbed a branch. Eve 135 said that we couldn’t go back down the ladder, but she didn’t mention anything about climbing along the branches.
    “Be careful!” I heard Adam 142 caution from under my position.
    Mindful of letting my basket of apples tip too far, I inched my body along the branch. The first apple was finally within reach. I held onto the red and golden globe and yanked. The apple popped free from its stem. I forgot to twist and pull. Not ideal, but I still got the apple.
    In my awkward position, I found it difficult to reach behind me to put the apple in the basket. I couldn’t just drop it behind my back because the basket’s opening had shifted to the side. I twisted around to locate the basket, and that’s when my grip faltered.
    Suddenly, I found myself in freefall. I heard three voices shout “Eve!” and “One Forty-Two!” and then the ground knocked the breath from my lungs. I struggled to keep my eyes open, but the image from my prone position kept spinning.
    Disorientation was quickly followed by pain as my arm and back screamed in agony, my nerves finally sending their report of the impact to my brain. I feared that I had broken my arm or worse. The sensation was foreign to me. I couldn’t think of a time when my body hurt so much. I clenched my teeth and felt awareness slip away as my body tried to protect itself from the pain.
    Curiously, my thoughts turned from my own well-being. I tried to remember if a clone had ever suffered a life-threatening injury or died prematurely. I didn’t want to be the first.
    Before I lost consciousness, I told myself, Clones always live to age seventy-five

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The H5N1 virus was the deadliest disease in the history of mankind. Not only did it spread rapidly, reaching every corner of the globe, but it also resulted in an inconceivable 100% mortality rate among adults. Within a month, almost every human being became a victim of the virus.
    All that remains of humanity is a handful of "immune" children. Except that they aren't truly immune. The virus lurks in their bodies, ready to strike when they reach maturity.
    Kyle, Hannah, and Amy are three immune kids who find themselves thrust into a lonely world after losing the people they have known and loved. No longer able to rely on the company, wisdom, and experience of adults, they must survive in the harsh post-pandemic world with only a handful of other immune children. But the trio soon learn that dying from H5N1 isn't the only thing they have to worry about.

    “It’s Friday night,” Pratima said, sitting on the sofa next to her husband. “Let’s go out for dinner or catch a movie, something to help you relax.”
    Sanjeev didn’t feel like going out, but he also knew that if they stayed at home, she would fuss about his condition all night. “All right, let’s go.”
    They decided on dinner at a Chinese restaurant in the Embarcadero Center, a brisk twenty minute walk from their condo. The brief time outdoors rejuvenated Sanjeev, and for a brief moment, he felt as healthy as a horse, but as they waited for a table in the restaurant, lethargy overtook him again. The smell of Chinese cooking, usually a pleasing aroma, made him nauseous. Sanjeev touched his forehead and found it surprisingly warm.
    Fortunately, a table opened up for them quickly. Once seated, Sanjeev felt better again, although not completely. He finished only half of his vegetarian stir fry. When Pratima asked about his lack of appetite, he blamed it on eating a snack after he landed, a lie that she didn’t question.
    After dinner, they walked to the movie theater, also situated in the multi-building complex of the Embarcadero Center. Sanjeev began to cough. It was a light cough that didn’t produce any phlegm, so he ignored it. He took a few deep breaths and felt marginally better.
    Of the four movies showing, only one appealed to both of them. Sanjeev settled into his reclining seat, and minutes into the movie, he fell asleep. He continued coughing sporadically, sometimes waking himself up. Once he caught Pratima eyeing him with apprehension. He patted her hand and smiled to reassure her that nothing was wrong. Her focus returned to the screen, and he drifted off to sleep again.
    When the movie ended, Sanjeev woke up refreshed from his nap. He continued coughing, but he barely noticed it. When his wife asked, he waved away her concerns, arguing that he didn’t feel sick.
    They strolled along a different path back to their condo which took them along the waterfront. Pratima slipped a hand into his. He hesitated, fearing that he would pass along his disease to her. No, holding hands couldn’t hurt, he told himself. He gripped her hand more tightly but kept looking at the San Francisco skyline.
    It was past eleven when they got home. Even with the hours of sleep he received on the airplane, Sanjeev was tired again. He showered and got into bed. Pratima went into the bathroom to remove her makeup and wash her face. By the time she re-entered the bedroom, her husband was asleep.
    He coughed once but didn’t wake up. She suspected that he was getting sick. Sanjeev was a relatively healthy man, but the strain of traveling and working had undoubtedly taken its toll. Who knew what bug he might have picked up in Bangalore, or, just as likely, on the flight home? Airplanes were nothing more than flying Petri dishes, a friend had described to her, and Pratima agreed.
    She slipped into bed next to him. She wasn’t too worried about catching a disease from her husband. In their four years of marriage, one of them had gotten sick on several occasions, but only once did the other also suffer the same ailment as a result. As long as she got plenty of rest and took her vitamins, Pratima was optimistic that she would avoid falling ill. With the weekend coming up, there was even a good chance that Sanjeev would get over his illness in time to go to work on Monday.
    She kissed her husband on the forehead and rolled over to face her side of the room. Pratima fell asleep believing that everything would be all right.
    There was no way for her to know that Sanjeev would be dead in two weeks. Additionally, she, along with everyone in Sanjeev’s office, and most of the people at the restaurant and movie theater would die in less than a month.