Title: IF I PROMISE YOU THE SUN
Genre: YA Near-Future Thriller/Romance
Word Count: 89,000
In 2107, two teenagers with starkly different goals threaten to shatter the money-making machine of Nova Vita, an anti-technology cult with the key to unlimited solar power.
Plagued by the OCD linked to her photographic memory, Eve Thomas is already on edge when her brother contracts a disease the cult won’t treat for religious reasons.
Having left Manila’s slums years ago, laborer Mana Aquino’s determined to kill the bishop who made a sacrifice of his sister. He just can’t get anywhere near his prey.
But when Mana learns about Eve’s memory, he realizes she’s the weapon he’s been missing. He offers to smuggle medicine to her brother, if she’ll serve as his human camera, gathering information that could topple the bishop.
If Eve accepts, she’ll commit a crime that could destroy the only home she’s ever known. If she says no, her beloved brother’s as good as dead.
Mama and I struggle to keep my sister in the kitchen chair so the medics can find a vein and fill a vial with her blood.
“Let me go!” Theresa shouts, her arms and legs flailing.
Restraining a furious seven-year-old is no easy task. Miraculously, once the needle’s in, her hazel eyes calm and the thrashing subsides. The thin red stream shooting up into the glass is beautiful. After we release her, I tap the back of the chair four times.
Sarah’s next. Nearly twelve, she’d rather die than act like a baby. She jumps into the seat, jaw clenched and lips mashed together. When the vial’s full, she pivots toward me.
“Sixteen’s too old. They don’t want my blood.”
“Too bad. It’s kind of fun.”
She bounces off as I rock baby David in his cradle. My smallest brother has such pudgy cheeks, I want to gobble him up. In another year, he’ll be old enough to contract the disease.
Josh is the last one. He slides into the chair before anyone notices, then starts the usual barrage: How’s the blood labeled? How’s it stored? Where will it go? I don’t know any other ten-year-olds like Josh. The two women collecting the samples glance at each other.
“Don’t fret,” says the older one.
“But who looks at the samples?
“Josh.” Mama shakes her head. “That’s enough.”
He frowns. There’s no way he’s buying the story we’ve given the kids about why they’re being tested—he knows it’s not for some scientific study.