ONCE Excerpt

Posted on June 3, 2012 by in Blog, Uncategorized, Young Adult

Time is dwindling down! There’s just one month left until ONCE hits shelves on July 3rd. I used to think nothing could rival the first book coming out, but I’m even more excited to share this sequel with you. You’ll learn so much about Eve’s world, about the City of Sand and her connection to the King, about her relationship with Caleb and a future that always seems to elude them. There are some painful truths Eve must come to terms with. Truths about who she is, what she wants, and the restraints placed on her in this new society. It’s hard to say anything about the second book without revealing something, but I did find one choice excerpt that doesn’t reveal TOO much…


This takes place about half way through the book. Eve has seen Caleb inside the City of Sand, and sneaks out of the Palace one night to meet him. Hope this morsel tides you over for the next month!


When I reached the seventh floor a bag sat waiting for me, as Caleb had promised. Inside was a Palace uniform. I changed quickly, pulling the cap over my eyes, and continued down the staircase. The stairs opened into a wide hallway, metal doors on either side. From one of the small windows I could see the Palace mall. The ceilings were painted blue, white spongy clouds stretching out across them. The shops were all closed, one reading TIME & AGAIN JEWELRY in fat letters, another GUCCI RESTORED. A soldier paced the length of the stores, his back to me. Two others stood watch at the revolving doors.

I moved down the wide hallway to the EXIT sign. The knob gave easily. Outside, the air was cooler, the wind covering everything with a fine layer of sand. The route Caleb had marked was just in front of me. Troops were stationed at the Palace’s front entrance and along it’s back. I could see them through the narrow trees, five soldiers huddled together, only occasionally glancing behind them. I took off, ducking behind the fountain, half covered by the high wall of shrubs.

I turned back every now and then to make sure the troops weren’t following me. My insides were twisted and tense. I felt like someone was choking me. Clara had seen me. At this very moment, she could be waking the Palace from the top down, alerting the soldiers stationed on each floor. I kept my head low, calmed by each steady step. I was out, moving through the City, already on my way to Caleb. It was too late. What was done was done.

The streets were dark, the high buildings casting an eerie glow on the pavement. I heard the Jeeps patrolling the other end of the City center. High above me, windows were dotted with light. I crossed the overpass as the map showed, keeping close to the buildings on the other side. Dried-out palm trees lined the narrow street. A few of the buildings still hadn’t been restored. A restaurant sat abandoned, tables and chairs gray with dust.

Every time I heard a Jeep on the street beside me, the map would show a turn, and I would head in the opposite direction, the noise of the engine fading into the background. The building Caleb had marked was nearly a mile east of the monorail, the entrance in an alleyway behind a theater. As I neared it my steps were lighter, my body floating along, every ince of me awake and alive.

The alley was empty, the air thick with the smells of rotting garbage. I entered through a door marked on the map. Inside it was pitch black. I felt my way along the wall and down a narrow set of stairs, into the building’s underbelly. Smoke lingered in the hall. Somewhere, someone was singing. The murmurs of faraway voices swirled around me. I crept along, Stumbling over the last few steps, until I was at the bottom of the staircase, in front of another door.

A woman was on stage, clad in a silver-sequined gown, a three-person band behind her. She sang into a microphone like the one the King had used at the parade. A sad, slow song drifted to the back of the room. A man on a saxophone leaned forward, adding a few low notes. Couples spun around on a cramped dance floor, a woman nuzzling her face into a man’s neck as he shifted his weight back and forth, his hips sway in time with the music. Others huddled in cozy booths, laughing over half-empty glasses.

The walls were covered with painted canvases. One showed the City’s buildings dotted with blood red lights, making each skyscraper look sinister. A massive painting hung behind the bar. Rows of children Were shown in crisp white shirts and blue shorts just like the ones the Golden Generation wore, but their faces were flat and featureless, each one interchangeable with the next. I scanned every person in the room, looking for Caleb at the bar, or in the pack of men huddled by the door. In the back, to the right of the stage, a figure sat alone in a booth. His face was hidden under the brim of his cap. He was twisting something between his fingers, lost in quiet concentration.

The song ended. The woman in the sequined dress introduced some of the band members and made a joke. A few people behind me laughed. I stood rooted in place, watching him play with the paper napkin, How he bit down hard on his bottom lip. Suddenly, as if sensing me there, he looked up, his gaze meeting mine. He stared at me for a moment, his face brightening in a smile.

Then he was up, closing the space between us. As the woman started singing again, he reached me, pressing his face into my neck. He wrapped his arms tightly around my shoulders, pulling me so close my feet lifted off the ground. We stayed there as the music swelled around us, our bodies fitting together perfectly, as though they were never meant to be apart.





15 Responses to “ONCE Excerpt”

  1. Kayla 20 June 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    I love the first book to this sequel! I can’t wait for Once to come out in stores! Reading just this much of the book has gotten me hooked!!! I am so happy to just read this much of the book already, because it seems as if I have been waiting forever after finishing Eve. I really Really REALLY want to read ONCE!!!!

  2. paulina 24 June 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    I really can´t wait to read it! is it going to be sold in Mexico?

    • AnnaCarey 25 June 2012 at 2:46 am #

      Yes! It may be out already. I just got a shipment of the Spanish editions today.

  3. Katie 28 June 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    OMG!!! Eve was so awesome i couldnt put it down. I just read this excerpt ( not sure if i spelt that right) and I CANT WAIT TIL ONCE COMES OUT!!! I’m addicted to this series!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Jo 7 July 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Omg i am done reading Once it was a awesome book, but it was kind of sad and i didnt want one of the sad things to occur. I am just wondering does anyone know if there is a thrid book, and whats its name if there isn’t then the story was kind of incomplete. It was a awesome book iif there is another book, but if not I am kind of upset!

    • AnnaCarey 13 July 2012 at 10:08 pm #

      There is a third book Jo! RISE comes out April 2013.

  5. Sidney 10 July 2012 at 2:53 am #

    Oh my goodness. Please tell me you are letting the next book out soon? I mist know what Caleb, Eve, the King, and Arden’s fate! It is killing me! I finished Once today, the day it got delivered to my phone! It is ripping me apart!

  6. Heather 11 July 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Please remember to NOT give too much information when giving a book review! I have NOT read Once yet and had NO idea if Arden was still alive!! I would have liked to have found out by reading it!!!!

  7. Jennifer 23 July 2012 at 12:07 am #

    Omg. I just finished reading “Once” and it is so amazing it just has to keep going. You can’t just leave us hangin like that. I was wondering if there will be a third book out of the eve trilogy because the journey definitely has not ended after finishing “once”.

    • AnnaCarey 23 July 2012 at 9:04 pm #

      RISE comes out April 2013! Thanks for all the kind words Jennifer. xo

  8. Amber 4 August 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    OMG!!!! Once totally blew my mind, although I’m still in love with the first book 🙂 I can’t wait for Rise to come out!!! I have to ask you something, Anna, whether you’ll tell me or not……….. Is Caleb really dead?? 😮

  9. Amber 4 August 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Btw, I love your style of writing! Very inspiring 🙂 xx

  10. mery 10 August 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    hola! anna necesito saberlo ¿cuando sale el segundo libro de eve en españa? ¿se llamara una vez en español? me lei eve y me encanto no puedo esperar a tenerlo en mis manos

    • AnnaCarey 14 August 2012 at 7:11 am #

      Hola! Lo siento…no lo se. En inglese el libro es “ONCE”…

  11. ホリスター socal 20 August 2013 at 3:49 am #


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