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Book Spotlight: Life First by RJ Crayton

Life First by RJ Crayton
RJ Crayton

Life First by RJ Crayton

Strong-willed Kelsey Reed must escape tonight or tomorrow her government will take her kidney and give it to someone else.

In this future forged by survivors of pandemics that wiped out 80 percent of the world's population, life is valued above all else. The mentally ill are sterilized, abortions are illegal and those who refuse to donate an organ when told are sentenced to death.

Determined not to give up her kidney or die, Kelsey enlists the help of her boyfriend Luke and a dodgy doctor to escape. The trio must disable the tracking chip in her arm for her to flee undetected. If they fail, Kelsey will be stripped of everything.

Reviewers are wowed by this book!
"This novel was a poignant, riveting, thought provoking read that had me entranced from page one until the very end of the book. In simple speak, I literally could not put it down.”

-Griffin’s Honey Blog

“I really think RJ Crayton should be expecting calls for film rights because this played out in my mind as I read it like a really great film…. It gripped you like King Kong and would not let go until you had finished the book.”

Awards and honors:
Awesome Indies Approved book (
2014 Readers Choice Award Nominee in the category of Best Speculative Fiction (

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Author Bio:

RJ Crayton grew up in Illinois and now lives in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She is the author of the Life First series of novels, which includes Life First and Second Life. Prior to writing fiction, Crayton was a journalist, writing for newspapers, including the Wichita Eagle and Kansas City Star. Crayton also worked for several trade publications, including Solid Waste Report, Education Technology News, and Campus Crime. Her first novels were published in 2013. The third novel in the Life First series, and a short story collection (Four Mothers), will be released in 2014. Crayton is a monthly contributor to the Indies Unlimited blog ( and a regular contributor to the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies blog ( When she's not writing, Crayton spends her time being a ninja mom (stealthy and ultra cool, like moms should be) to her son and daughter. You can find out more about her at

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“Maybe he’s right, Luke,” I say, a tinge of hope in my voice. “Maybe, if I go willingly, there might be an opportunity for me to escape.”

“No one’s ever escaped from a holding facility,” Luke spits. Then he pauses, reconsiders. “At least, not the way you mean.”

I close my eyes. Suicides. Those have been the only escapees. And that was only in the beginning. Most of the inmates in long-term holding facilities go insane and are kept heavily sedated or straight jacketed. They can’t stand the waiting, the knowing that at any moment, without notice, they’ll be told they’re dying today. That their heart is needed for a transplant to someone who puts life first. That their time here is done. That Life First, the mantra drummed into their heads since childhood, means nothing. The hypocrisy alone would drive one mad, let alone the prospect of being the human parts drawer society reaches into to cure its neediest patients.

OK, maybe Luke has a point. I don’t want to go to a holding facility, even a short-term one. But, we’re running out of options. “Then what?” I plead.

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