Monday, August 11, 2014


Mandy Hager is an award-winning writer and educator based on the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand. She has a drive to tell stories that "matter" -- direct, powerful stories with something to say. She won the 2010 NZ Post Children’s Book Award for Young Adult Fiction for The Crossing, the first book in the Blood of the Lamb trilogy.

Into the Wilderness is the second book in the trilogy, and Resurrection is the third.

Hager applied the Page 69 Test to Resurrection and reported the following:
From page 69:
It was well after dark before she and Aanjay were released. When at last Charlie ushered them out of the gloomy cell block Maryam was surprised to find a large contingent of women still waiting outside. They clapped and cheered as Aanjay emerged from the building, rushing in to bury her in welcome.

Back in their hut, Maryam settled down with Ruth to tell her of the decision to seek deportation. Her heart thumped with excitement. At last she could make real her promise to return Ruth safely home.

“I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before,” she said, as Ruth stared at her open-mouthed. “I think I was too scared to trust them, imagining it might be better to do it on my own.”

Ruth’s hands flew to the small mound of her belly, and she spread her fingers over the bump as if to protect it. Her eyes grew glassy as she gnawed at her bottom lip, and Maryam couldn’t read what was going on inside her head.

“Aanjay says they’ll put us on a big boat like the one that brought us here and take us all the way back home.” Maryam tried to sustain enthusiasm against Ruth’s odd response. “Think of it: we won’t have to worry about a thing.”

“Except what they might have in store for our people there,” Ruth muttered.

“What?” She didn’t understand Ruth’s reaction. Isn’t this what she’d prayed for from the start? “They’ll drop us off and leave. The last thing the Territorials want is to make a fuss and let the people of Onewēre know they’re there.”
This comes from the start of Chapter Five and, in many ways, is a pivotal part of this climactic book in my dystopian Blood of the Lamb trilogy. Maryam, along with her friend Ruth, is imprisoned by The Territorials in a detention camp on a small prison island off the coast of what was once Australia. She has finally realised how she can escape – and how to take Ruth with her. Until now her desire to return to her home island of Onewēre has been theoretical, as she had no idea how to achieve this, but now she must face the fact that her return will bring her face to face with the very people who she fled from to escape certain death. But, despite Ruth’s reluctance, Maryam knows she must return: she has the means to cure the disease that has kept her people under the control of the deadly Apostles of the Lamb – and she means to free them even if it costs her life.
Learn more about the book and author at Mandy Hager's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: Into the Wilderness.

The Page 69 Test: Into the Wilderness.

Writers Read: Mandy Hager.

--Marshal Zeringue