50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Titanborn by Rhett C. Bruno (Review)

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Science Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Hydra
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Pages: 201
Format: Mobi
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About the Book

In this gritty and innovative science-fiction thriller in the vein of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, turmoil on one of Saturn’s moons rattles Earth’s most powerful citizens—and draws one planet-hopping rogue into a fight he never saw coming.

Malcolm Graves lives by two rules: finish the job, and get paid. After thirty years as a collector, chasing bounties and extinguishing rebellions throughout the solar system, Malcolm does what he’s told, takes what he’s earned, and leaves the questions to someone else—especially when it comes to the affairs of offworlders.

But his latest mission doesn’t afford him that luxury. After a high-profile bombing on Earth, the men who sign Malcolm’s paychecks are clamoring for answers. Before he can object, the corporation teams him up with a strange new partner who’s more interested in statistics than instinct and ships them both off to Titan, the disputed moon where humans have been living for centuries. Their assignment is to hunt down a group of extremists: Titanborn dissidents who will go to any length to free their home from the tyranny of Earth.

Heading into hostile territory, Malcolm will have to use everything he’s learned to stay alive. But he soon realizes that the situation on the ground is much more complex than he anticipated . . . and much more personal. (via Goodreads.)

My Rating

4.85 Stars

4 half stars

My Review

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This, as a total science fiction nerd, was a wonderful mashup Captain Mal and Jayne from Firefly, BladeRunner and a little of Mad Max mushed in to add interest. Especially with Earthian’s surviving after a meteorite strike.

The one thing made very prominent by the storyline is how much the alien species was displaced on Saturn. Ringers, as they were called. Humans had arrived to build colonies and gather gases from the rings of Saturn. In doing so, Humans displaced the alien species already living there and spread their illnesses to the species. The Ringer’s seemed to have a very low immunity to human illness. Which is what happened when settlers encountered the Native American’s.
But also, with the way that the world is going right now, this also struck a cord. The feelings from the immigrants and from the countries accepting immigrants was seen in this novel as well.
I do always enjoy when current events can ring true and loud involving stories.

Malcolm is truly the anti-hero. He is a true bounty hunter and rarely cared about anyone except doing his job and getting paid. Except maybe his daughter, who is considered illegitimate, because she was born outside of a human colony.

Then add in the almost cyborg Zhaff (who is actually human) to the mix and you have an interesting team. Especially with Zhaff’s very to the letter way of doing things and annoying everyone in the vincinity. I was pretty sure Malcolm’s eyeballs were going to roll out of his head. It was truly comedic at times.

But that ending! Come on! Now I need to see where the story goes! Sigh.

Where to Buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the Author


Rhett is a Sci-fi/Fantasy author currently living in Stamford, Connecticut. He is represented by Dystel & Goderich out of NYC and his published works include books in the Amazon Bestselling CIRCUIT SERIES (Published by Diversion Books) and TITANBORN SERIES (Random House Hydra). He is also one of the founders of the popular science fiction platform, Sci-Fi Bridge.

Rhett has been writing since he can remember, scribbling down what he thought were epic short stories when he was young to show to his friends and family. When he reached high school he decided to take that a step further and write his first novel. After the encouragement of his favorite English teacher, he decided to self-publish the “Isinda Trilogy” so that the people closest to him could enjoy his early work.

While studying architecture at Syracuse University, he continued to write as much as he could, but finding the time during the brutal curriculum proved difficult. It wasn’t until he was a senior that he decided to finally pursue his passion for Science Fiction. After rededicating himself to reading works of the Science Fiction authors he always loved, (Frank Herbert, Timothy Zahn, Heinlein, etc.) he began writing “The Circuit: Executor Rising”, the first part of a space opera series.

Since then he’s been hired by an Architecture firm in South Norwalk, CT. But that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to work on all of the countless stories bouncing around in his head. He’s also recently earned  a Certificate in Screenwriting from the New School in NYC, in the hopes of one day writing for TV or Video Games.

Connect with Rhett

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

 

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Featured Author · Spotlight Interview

Featured Author: Ash Gray

Wednesday Spotlight

Shh: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

AG: Whenever I’m asked this, I usually go into the I-am-really-a-dragon routine, because I hate talking about myself. And I hate talking about myself because I’ve had a crappy life and I’m sure bringing it up would just bring people down. I can’t even tell you where I grew up because I didn’t grow up in any one place.

Since I’m feeling broody this morning, I’ll share something real and not dragon bullcrap.

Just know that I was born loving stories out of the womb. And that’s not some cliché. My romance with novels began before I could read. My mother read to me every single night, even before I could talk, and I was constantly in front of the tv, and I only looked at things that had actual stories (and maybe the occasional Looney Tunes). I loved stories so much, that I had taught myself to read by the time I was three just because I wanted to be able to access those books without asking an adult to read to me. No one taught me. Not on purpose anyway. So how surprised were they when we were driving down the street and I kept blurting out what every street sign said – no matter how vulgar. I mean, I was three.

My mother told me this story the other day of how I taught myself to walk and actually walked early too. (This is remarkable because I was born with crooked legs and had to wear leg braces on them for a while – yeah, like Forrest Gump.) I was so eager to be in the world. It was like I didn’t even understand I’d only just got there. I also didn’t understand that the world was not for me but for someone else, and that I would spend the rest of my life on the outside looking in, trying to be valued as a human being and acknowledged. Of course, it took several more years to understand that.

Shh: What inspired you to write?

AG: I never wanted to write. When I was a kid, I didn’t yet understand that I was a blind dork with a bad back condition who would never play sports. I wanted to play soccer and tap dance and be a ballerina. People were astonished by how fast I could run. But the older I got, the more my nerdness caught up with me, the further I retreated into books.

Even then, it still never crossed my mind that I could or should write my own stories. I’m not sure who would have read them anyway. I was on my own a lot. Then when I was twelve, my aunt passed away. My mother, who has a degree in journalism and thus values writing highly, handed me a journal and told me to write as a catharsis. She believed writing would help me process what was happening in ways that she couldn’t.

So I wrote. And a bit over twenty years later, I’m still writing.

Shh: What inspired your novel?

AG: Since The Prince of Qorlec is what I’m working on right now (and having a friggin ball, I might add) I guess it’s the series I’ll talk about in this interview.

I was inspired to write book one Project Mothership when I realized how much I loved science fiction and that I should really, really be writing more of it. I came to this realization one evening when I was rewatching the first Men in Black film with Will Smith for the umpteenth time. I started thinking to myself, “Dammit, this is the sort of stuff I love and want to see more of, so why not create it?”

I grew up with movies like Men in Black and Alien and Terminator and even Mars Attacks! I didn’t realize it at the time – I mean, of course, I wouldn’t, I was a kid – but I was very, very lucky to have these science fiction films where people like me were on the screen depicted as human beings and not offensive and harmful stereotypes and caricatures.

It’s easy to get bogged down by negativity and feel like the world is a dark, dark place where you are not welcome and do not want to be – in fact, I feel this way every day, or else I wouldn’t write. But there is evidence that people are at least trying to be decent human beings. I’m not gonna hand out cookies or pat anyone on the back for that because we should all be trying to be good to one another every day anyway. But it’s still great to look back at my childhood and realize how damned lucky I was.

Basically, I realized I wanted to write the things I love, and I love humorous science fiction that is fun and silly and still manages to express some deep and profound truth, even in a lighthearted way. Or sometimes not. We don’t always need to philosophize about pancakes in every dang thing. So I sat down and wrote Project Mothership, which is the story of the last princess of an alien planet who was planted as a fetus inside a human woman so that she could escape the invading aliens who wished to take over her planet Qorlec.

The first book is really funny and lighthearted with some poignant moments here and there. I like to describe it as a cross between Men in Black and Terminator, except the aliens are the good ones (because me love aliens) and the FBI aka men in black and the robots/terminators are the evil ones trying to capture Quinn, the princess of Qorlec.

And because I adore action heroes in science fiction, I’ve always got at least one female action hero, who smokes cigarettes constantly and is sarcastic and tough and wields some kind of big gun. In The Thieves of Nottica, we’ve got Morganith as the action hero. In Project Mothership, it’s Zita, who I enjoy writing so much, I actually brought her back one book earlier than I originally planned. So she’s actually in the second book and meets up with Quinn again. I like to think of her as a cross between Bruce Willis in the Fifth Element (or, hell, Die Hard) and Linda Hamilton in Terminator. The difference between Zita and Sarah Connor is that Zita keeps her humanity. Even though she’s a soldier who’s supposed to be hard and cold, she never goes over the edge. She actually winds up being the person who keeps other soldiers (such as Quinn’s borderline psychotic aunt) from going off the deep-end.

I wanted to give the first book away free during my blog tour just to get people interested in the series. I actually plan to make it permafree once I’ve written at least four books in. I feel like it’s the series I’m going to be focusing the most on in the year to come simply because I love writing it so much.

Shh: What draws you to this genre?

AG: I’ll answer the last two questions together. The genre is science fiction > action adventure. Well, the first two are. The first two books are very action-packed, with crashing spaceships and chase sequences and people suddenly kissing as the fire and smoke are rising (just kidding on that last part).

In the first two books, Quinn is very young, so she’s not sitting around brooding about the universe. She’s got a mission in every book, and it’s not until she gets older that she starts slowing down to look around and smell the daisies. In the first book, she’s just trying to escape the zonbiri, amphibian aliens who are trying to conquer Qorlec, her home planet. In the second book, she’s trying to protect Earth from the zonbiri, who are at it again trying to make humans into mutant soldiers for their war efforts. In the third book, she trains as a warrior and learns what it means to be entirian, her species.

The third book is more quiet and reflective because this is Quinn learning and growing up and falling in love. It’s normally the sort of thing that would be skipped over in a montage if it were a movie, but I plan to use the third book to nerd-out and expand the lore and explore who the entirian actually are. So far in the second book, they are presented as a militant, cut-throat society, where their men are actually oppressed because of a physical disadvantage. They are not presented in a flattering light – which is supposed to be a sort of twist because these are the victims of an invasion by a brutal and more technologically advanced planet. Book three explores this and attempts to make the entirian more sympathetic while still showing they have flaws.

Shh: How did you develop your plot and your characters?

AG: This is a difficult question to answer because I don’t really have a process. I made this guest post recently talking about how to build a character with a character sheet, but in reality, I haven’t used a character sheet in years. I think the point of the character sheet is sort of like training wheels for when you’re just learning – though it can also serve to organize messy thoughts about a character. It has its uses.

As far as Project Mothership is concerned, I just sat down and started writing it one day. Rose was originally a cynical, sarcastic woman (which is why she tells Zita she has no gods), but I realized I hated that, and I went back and made her more soft and sweet. I don’t know why. It’s just the direction I chose to take.

The plot is half inspired by real accounts of alien activity and the young adult science fiction series Invasion America, in which a half-alien prince protects America from his uncle’s planned invasion. I actually didn’t do this on purpose. In fact, I didn’t realize how similar my story was to Invasion America until I found myself thinking one day of how sad I was when the series was cancelled. I remember reading the book that was loosely based on the show and being so miffed that the books were never continued. I guess in a way, I was subconsciously continuing David Carter’s story with my character Quinn Carmichael.

But at the same time, the stories are almost nothing alike. It’s their basic elements – lost prince/princess, fighting the alien invasion, human mother, whacked out aunt/uncle – that are similar.

Shh: What inspired your protagonist?

AG: Quinn’s story was inspired by a documentary I saw once of an alien abduction. Anyone who’s seen the documentary would read my book and instantly realize what I was retelling. I don’t feel like Quinn herself was inspired by anything, not even David Carter. Unlike David, Quinn doesn’t rely on a family heirloom to win her battles. I always thought David Carter needed to lose his handy-dandy glove at least for a while just to prove that he was a capable hero without it (and he did lose it for a while a couple times, but it still wasn’t convincing enough for me).

I’ve been playing with the idea of giving Quinn some alien weapon to defeat the zonbiri, but in the first couple books, she will be fighting without that weapon, just to show what she’s made of to the audience and that it’s her that has the strength, not some alien magic voodoo.

Shh: What inspired your antagonist?

AG: General Phorott hasn’t even made a real appearance in the books yet (I’m still writing toward that part). I can’t say what inspired him right now because right now he is just a name.

The villain of The Harvest, book two of the series, is a scientist named Dr Zorgone who is completely emotionless and cold and casually shoots his own colleagues mid-sentence. He’s been fun to write. He wasn’t inspired by anything that I’m aware of. I just wrote him (and snickered the whole time).

A lot of the villains in this series wound up being male because zonbiri women are so oppressed on planet Kahz, they can’t even progress to a point where they have enough power to be influential villains. But I’ve been playing with the idea of some self-loathing female minions who actually like the patriarchal power structure.

Shh: What was the hardest part to write in the book?

AG: The scenes with Oliver, Rose’s husband. And I think it’s because, after I’d written the first draft of Project Mothership, I went back and realized that Oliver was based on a real person. This was not something I did on purpose, but I’m not going to go back and change it now. Oliver stays. And . . . ha. I guess his inspiration is still on my mind. But you never forget the first person you loved. Even if they didn’t love you back.

Shh: What was your favourite part of your book to write?

AG: All the crazy chases and fight scenes. I can’t say because it’s a spoiler, but the scene in Project Mothership with Zita in the car and the FBI agent who tries to run up on her? I liked that.

Shh: Are you a full time or a part-time writer? If part-time, what do you do besides write?

AG: I’m a full-time writer, but I still do other things. I used to think I could paint. I also used to sew little teddy bears and make dolls. I was thinking one day I might start giving away teddy bears and dolls as swag for my books. If only I had enough talent to make dolls of my characters. That would be so cool.

Shh: What are you currently reading?

AG: I’ve decided to start reading, even more, science fiction. If I’m going to write it, I should be learning from my masters. So – after angrily trading in some copies of Constantine’s work – I grabbed some Isaac Asimov and am currently reading I, Robot. I’m still trying to get my hands on more Ursula K. Le Guin. I live down the street from two privately owned bookstores with huge amounts of books. It’s only a matter of time before I’ve got more science fiction on my shelves alongside the epic fantasy.

Shh: Who would you say are your favourite authors?

AG: I don’t know anymore. When people ask me that, I draw a blank. It’s because I just came from being an English Lit major, where I learned that most of my favorite authors are actually jerks, and even after earning my degree, I’m still learning that the ones with the greatest talent are some kind of bigot in some horribly twisted and disturbing way.

The authors I grew up loving, who haven’t let me down yet (or can’t because they’re dead) are Daphne du Maurier, Clive Barker, Ursula K. Le Guin, Dostoevsky, Herman Melville, Shirley Jackson, Mercedes Lackey and I’m sure there are more but I can’t think of them.

Shh: How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?

AG: The Idiot by Dostoevsky, the story of a pure and good soul corrupted by a dark world.

Frankenstein was brilliant. And yes, misogynists. Mary Shelley – a woman – wrote it all by her onesy. And she didn’t “try too hard” and she didn’t write it to prove anything because – gasp! – women write books because we love to, not to impress men. Our lives don’t revolve around you!

Moby Dick is often blasted for its encyclopedic nature, but there are some truly beautiful passages. One of my favorites: “Our souls are like those orphans whose mothers die in bearing them: the secret of our paternity lies within their graves, and we must go there to learn it.” In other words, we can not know about death or “god” or an afterlife until we’ve died and it’s arrogant to pretend we do know. These words became more significant for me when I had a near-death experience and saw the light. Yeah. The whole trip.

Ursula K. Le Guin is amazing and I love A Wizard of Earthsea. My book The Seaglass Stair is heavily influenced by it.

Hmm. Let’s see. One more book . . . It would probably have to be The Thief of Always by Clive Barker, who is the king of horror and fantasy to me and always will be — unless he – like my other favorite authors – does something to prove he is anything less than a decent person and then I will have to sadly abandon him. So far, so good.

I abandon authors who are toxic because, more often than not, their venom is aimed at people like me and I can’t support authors who express hatred for me. May seem illogical to some people – amazingly enough – but to me, it makes perfect sense not to worship people whose bigotry contributes to systematically hurting me socially and economically. Yes, words have that power. You can’t be a writer and not understand that. So while everyone else is free to “separate the artist from the art” I can not.

Shh: What are your future projects, if any?

AG: After I finish my two series A Time of Darkness and The Prince of Qorlec, I plan on writing several spin-off books based on my short story collection Tales of Talithia. I might even start on it as I’m writing the other series because the spin-off books will all be standalone but based on the same world.

And because I’ve been actively trying to enter the publishing world for ten years, I have an entire pile of old novels that still need to be published. So polishing, revising, and rewriting those will be future projects too.

Shh: What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

AG: I am always lurking in the rafters of Goodreads, so if you want something from me, the best way to call the dragon out of the cave without getting singed is to contact me through my Goodreads. I’ll get your message in an email and get back to you. You can also access my Amazon page from there and download all my books through that.

Shh: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

AG: Avoid eating people with bone marrow disease. Oh wait, you said “authors” not “dragons.” (Good advice for dragon’s, take note dragon readers out there! – Shh, I am Reading.)

I usually shy away from giving people advice because who the hell am I? I’m just some self-published slushpile reject. But here’s the best advice I can give.

If you want to develop your skill as a writer, read. Read for hours and hours every single day if you can. And read good things. Things that are written well. Things that are freaking fantastic. It’s the easiest and most inexpensive way to learn. In fact, it’s the best way to learn. All the best writers were readers first. Why? Because they learned from the masters.

Connect with Ash

Goodreads | Amazon | Patreon

 

Book Tour · Giveaway · Spotlight Interview

Premonition Blog Tour


Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Publisher: CMG Publishing
Publication Date: July 19, 2017
Pages: 266
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About the Book

For fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent…this exciting new science-fiction romance series, filled with twists and turns, will take you for a wild ride! 

When Riley heads off to boarding school for a summer work-study program, she knows it’ll be demanding. What she doesn’t expect? To be thrust into an intense physical training program described as special, exclusive and worst of all–top-secret. She signed up for tuition assistance, not to be held in a secret government facility for boot camp…

Welcome to The Division, the government agency that’s so classified, most United States senators have never heard of it. 

The Division wants Riley bad, but she can’t figure out why. Skeptical of what she’s being told, Riley’s determined to uncover the truth. Boot camp is intense, physically and mentally draining. The upside? One of her new teammates is the cutest boy ever. Watching Finn hit the gym wearing a tank top doesn’t suck–although sometimes his brooding attitude does. But when training forces Riley to confront her tragic past, even Finn’s big biceps aren’t enough to make her want to stay…

Beware: The Division isn’t something you just walk away from. You better run. 

Riley realizes her capabilities and strengths are greater than she’d ever imagined. But she also learns she wasn’t just chosen for this special program…

She was made for it.

Author Interview

Q: Wow, you’re interviewing yourself…how pompous!

Right? It’s to tell people more about the series, lol. Although I should admit that I normally talk to myself a lot, so this isn’t much of a departure.

Q: Tell us about “The Division” – it’s a bunch of teenagers with psychic powers, right? How did you get inspired?

Everyone on the team has psychic powers, yes. I was watching “Stranger Things” on Netflix and I WAS SO PSYCHED they were testing poor Eleven for psychic powers. But I was also like, YEEHAW! Because I LOVE psychic powers, and I can’t remember the last time I saw or read something that included them. I’ve always been obsessed by the concept, and there’s so many variations of powers, so many incarnations it can take… Anyway, after watching that show and having that reaction, I thought, other people must love this stuff, too, I can’t be the only one. So I wanted to give us all more!

Q: Tell us about the main character, Riley Payne.

Riley is a ‘normal’ girl dealing with a lot. Her father and sister died in a car accident and her mother started drinking heavily after it happened. She just wants to get out of her house and go to boarding school, but she gets more than she bargained for when she abruptly gets recruited into a secret agency…

Q: The ‘secret agency’ is The Division, correct?

Yes. It’s a secret cell of teenagers who were genetically engineered with psychic gifts. They work for the American government to combat domestic terrorism.

Riley thinks they’re nuts, of course. Until she unlocks her powers, then she’s blown away by what she can do.

Q: As the series goes on, you get into genetic engineering, fated love, eco-terrorism, loyalty, isolation, human nature, climate change…some pretty heavy themes. But would you describe the series as a difficult read?

I don’t think so, but certainly some parts were hard to write – like about Riley missing her dad and her sister. I still cry when I read those parts. And in the second book, an eco-terrorist is introduced, and some terrible things happen in the book. So yeah, there’s definitely a heaviness to some of what the characters are dealing with. But they’re teenagers, and their youth is sort of a tonic against everything they’re dealing with. They still care about their friends. They still want to hang out, tell stories, joke around. They are still very interested in falling in love. I think my writing style is naturally light and breezy, so it’s sort of a counterpoint to the storyline. If that makes sense, lol.

Q: What’s your favorite part of this series?

Riley and Finn’s relationship. They have so much on their plates, and they’re so young, but they genuinely care for each other in a way that makes me ache.

Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?

I have three large, unruly boys who like to play every sport and eat as much food as possible. When I’m not at my computer, I’m busy carting them around and grocery shopping. But I also love to relax with a great book or television show – I am currently completely obsessed with Riverdale, OMG!!!

Thanks for having me! Happy reading!!!

Where to Buy

Amazon

About the Author

Leigh Walker lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. She has a degree in Journalism and a law degree. 

She’s never been to the Naval Shipyard prison in Kittery, ME, but she’s driven by it…and boy, is it creepy!

Leigh has lots of books planned for The Division Series. She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to email her at leigh@leighwalkerbooks.com.

Connect with Leigh

Website | Goodreads | Facebook

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Santa Muerte Blog Tour


Genre: New Adult Folklore, Science Fiction
Publisher: Story Merchant
Publication Date: January 11, 2016
Pages: 256
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About the Book

Lucina Stone blends Mexican folklore with modern technology and time travel in this seductive new series where the lines between right and wrong, protagonist and antagonist, truth and fiction, love and lust, and life and death have never been more blurred.

THE YEAR IS 2030. IN A DRAMATIC, final attempt to free her inner demons, twenty-year-old Daniela Delgado tempts fate and winds up on a strange farm in 1923. With an olive complexion due to her Mexican/Italian heritage and a fresh pixie cut, she is mistaken for a “boy of color.” Her only shot at survival now is to play it cool, pose as “Danny,” and figure out how to get back home to her two, loving moms.

And then she meets Daphne—an abused, motherless farm girl in desperate need of freedom and a friend. Having escaped Daphne’s father, the two of them are now roaming the streets of New York City disguised as a young aristocrat and her male servant. They’re running out of money, and ideas. And Daniela thought living in 2030 was tough.

But her solar-powered smartphone works. And there’s someone within range. She pings them. A selfie of an attractive male comes in with the text: I’m Lain. Who the f— are you? Even in that moment, Daniela knows this can’t be safe, but what are her choices? They meet Lain at a speakeasy on the Lower East Side. When Daniela reveals her last name, Lain says the only Delgado he knows is Anaya—the head of the Santa Muerte Coven of witches in Merida, Mexico. And then he hints that Daniela is a liar, even though she rocks a man’s three-piece suit like no woman he’s ever met. And as for her tattoos? Don’t get Lain started….

Despite the intrigue, Daniela adds Lain to the list of folks Daphne and she must outrun to stay alive. But as they plan their trip to Mexico, they soon discover that list is much longer than they thought. And they uncover a few other things, too, about Daniela’s true identity….

Excerpt

No one noticed she was like one of those zombies on the old TV shows that
walked around aimlessly, moaning, hoping to be put out of its misery. She was
praying someone would just stick a knife in her head, allowing her blood and
brains to ooze out slowly, painfully, gruesomely, until everything in her
conscious mind faded to black. There would be no more thoughts, no more
worries.

But no one did that. No one noticed her decay. Daniela became a master at
hiding it all. These women gave birth to her, nurtured her, loved her more than
themselves and each other. If they didn’t notice this shit, who would? Maybe it had been going on for too long.
Maybe that was the problem. These feelings had been around since her eyes
turned a deep hazel green, since she was able to reason and understand that she
was different.

Where to Buy

Amazon

About the Author


Stone, a Latina young adult book author from Morris County, New Jersey was the 2016 winner of two awards of the prestigious International Latino Book Awards for Best Sci/Fi novel and Best New Author. Santa Muerte- The Daniela Story (Story Merchant Books Press, 2016 release) tackles diversity in science fiction and fantasy by using folklore and culture.

Connect with Lucina

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Book Blitz · Book Tour · Excerpts · Giveaway · Xpresso Book Tours

The Mercenary Book Blitz

 
Genre: 
Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: August 25, 2017
Pages: 213
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About the Book

She’s a prisoner of the Imperial Forces. He’s a nomad with a private mercenary army. Can a desperate girl’s risky gamble and a fierce warrior’s love turn the tide of war and alter the balance of power in their slice of space?

In a distant corner of the galaxy, Quadrant Five burns in the flames of a deadly war. The Budheya people are one of the worst affected. Once the most advanced civilization in the quadrant, they now struggle under the cruel yoke of Ketaari occupation.

Saakshi
Imprisoned by the Ketaari Imperial Forces, a young Budheya girl is sent to a distant space station to work in an alehouse. For a girl who has known only hardship in her short life, things could be worse. Until an old foe walks into the alehouse.

Zoran
Zoran is Hadari’Kor – notorious across star systems for their prowess in battle. Their fierce reputation allows them to retain their independence, even as others are forced to choose sides in the war. Drawn to a weary-eyed server girl, Zoran is forced to confront age-old traditions and question his role in the war.

The Prisoner & The Mercenary
Alone, friendless and far from home, Saakshi makes a desperate gamble to trust a formidable and enigmatic stranger whose hot gaze haunts her dreams. The fallout from this improbable pact reverberates across space. As a relentless enemy hunts her, Zoran must fight to protect Saakshi through a minefield of shifting alliances. When passion ignites amidst the embers of a smoldering war, will a warrior’s quest for justice bring a mighty Empire to its knees …

Author’s Note : A spirited and resilient girl, a fierce warrior with a conscience, a fiery passion that flares amidst the debris of a deadly war and a love that will alter the fate of an entire quadrant forms the tale of The Mercenary, a standalone story that sets the scene for The War Chronicles – a collection of SciFi Romance & Space Opera tales with romance, swashbuckling adventure & a sprinkling of action.

Excerpt

He swam towards the shore, wading out of the water to where she sat watching him. Saakshi watched her large warrior arise unhurriedly from the tranquil lake, the water spearing off his hard body causing his myriad colorful tattoos to gleam brightly on his gray skin in the light reflected off the plasma torches. He shook his head gracefully, sending an arc of water off his dark hair. The scattered droplets hung over him like a short-lived halo around his large muscled frame. Saakshi stared at him, frozen in place and unable to take her eyes off him. In that moment suspended in time, to the young Budheya girl gazing up in awe at her warrior, it felt as if the Pura herself had sent him for her – her own personal guardian angel charging in when she’d needed him the most.

“Like what you see?” inquired the husky voice she remembered so well from before.
Saakshi flushed, looking away from those molten dark eyes.
He came down gracefully on one knee beside her, gloriously unselfconscious in his nakedness.
“I do, too. Like what I see, that is” he said scratchily, his voice like sandpaper.
He used a large finger to gently nudge her chin until she met his eyes.
“You have me at your feet, tseriya. I hope you will show mercy.”

Lost momentarily in the burning eyes and mesmerized by the husky voice, Saakshi realized dazedly that he seemed to be kneeling before her. She scrambled up with a muffled sob to throw her arms around him, smothering his face and neck with little kisses.
“Tseriya” he asked, a hint of uncertainty in his voice. “Why are you crying?”
“I’m just so happy that you came back” she sobbed into his neck.
“Of course, I came back” he reiterated in some confusion, trying to dislodge her from his neck to meet her eyes. “Why wouldn’t I?”
“I thought you were off doing more important stuff now that I was safe with the Alliance” Saakshi hiccupped into his neck, resisting all his attempts to get her to meet his eyes.
“Tseriya” he cajoled. “I could never stay away from you.”
He cupped the back of her head with one hand.
“Tseriya” he said urgently. “Haven’t I proved already that I cannot stay away from you? That is what I cannot forgive myself for.”

It was the note of despair in his voice that finally got through to Saakshi. She loosened her clasp around his neck to lean back and scan his expression. A callused finger brushed away her tears carefully as they spilled over from her eyes but Saakshi barely noticed the tender gesture.

“Forgive yourself? What do you mean …” she trailed off uncertainly.
He said nothing, but what she saw in the dark eyes had Saakshi straightening her spine.
“You helped a stranger who came to you for assistance. You could have chosen to walk away. Without you, the Unta-Golar …” she stopped mid-sentence, her words cut off by the large finger Zoran laid gently across her lips.
The expression on his handsome face shuttered right before her eyes.
“I’m no hero, Saakshi” he said steadily. “I shamed myself – I took advantage of a young and desperate girl.”

It was Saakshi’s turn to lay a gentle finger on his lips to prevent him from further self-reproach.
“No” she shook her head forcefully. “Nothing happened between us that I did not want. Believe that if you believe nothing else, Zoran Hadari-Begur-Kor.”
She withdrew her finger from his lips. He remained silent but did soften enough to allow her to see the regret and despair in him.
“You came for me every single time” she reiterated a tad desperately. “When no else did.”
Zoran shook his head, clasping her hand to plant a soft kiss in her palm.
“Yes” he acknowledged. “But I also took advantage of you.”
Saakshi shook her head vehemently, desperate to make him believe that she had never felt coerced into an intimate relationship with him.
“You … you loved me like no one else had, Zoran” she whispered, shyness and embarrassment forgotten. “I was drawn to you, even before I went to you. I just … I was too inexperienced to know it.”
His expression twisted subtly at her soft admission. “I was not.”

Where to Buy

Amazon

About the Author

An avid reader all her life, only recently has Petra allowed her own imagination to run riot. She loves to travel, loves the outdoors and reads everything she can get her hands on, time permitting. Her taste in books is very eclectic – she tends to like stories with vivid and quirky characters that have elements of fantasy, adventure, romance and mystery interspersed together. A good book for her is one that makes the reader think long after it has been finished and set aside. And, one that draws the reader back to it, again and again.
To share the tales that have lived in her imagination for so long is a labor of love and a lifelong dream come true for her.

Connect with Petra

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$25 Amazon gift card + signed copy of The Mercenary

 

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50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book Reviews · Curiosity Quills Press · Thursday Book Reviews

Static Mayhem by Edward Aubry (Review)

thursday


Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Format: ePub
Pages: 303
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About the Book

A year after the world was thrown into magical chaos, Harrison Cody takes part in an expedition to learn the cause. What his team finds is an unfathomable enemy, who intends to finish what was started and wipe out every remaining survivor. Harrison is the key to stopping it, but doing so will come with an unbelievable sacrifice, one he might not be willing to make.

My Rating

4.50

4 half stars

My Interview

I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

After reading “Prelude to Mayhem”, I couldn’t wait to delve back into New Chicago, to see where Dorothy, Mitchell, Harrison and especially Glimmer are in their adventure of finding each other, and settling into their new roles.

However, this story had less of Dorothy’s point of view and it focused more on Harrison and Glimmer, and this new adventure that they take with the New Chicago team.

Harrison, while kind-hearted and well-meaning, he is a little bit clueless. Although he tends to be really aware of how people perceive him and Glimmer, which is adorable watching them defend their relationship.
I did notice that Harrison had some oblivious insensitivities going on. But many of the characters, especially Apryl, had no problem pointing out he was being a giant jerk to people.

I love Glimmer. Seriously. Because she is so full of snark, insane intelligence and she gives her whole heart to everything and everyone.

But ugh, this book gave me so many feels! Bring some tissues, you might need them.

Where to Buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | B&N

About the Author

Edward Aubry is a graduate of Wesleyan University, with a degree in music composition. Improbably, this preceded a career as a teacher of high school mathematics and creative writing.

Over the last few years, he has gradually transitioned from being a teacher who writes novels on the side to a novelist who teaches to support his family. He is also a poet, his sole published work in that form being the sixteen stanza “The History of Mathematics.”

He now lives in rural Pennsylvania with his wife and three spectacular daughters, where he fills his non-teaching hours spinning tales of time-travel, wise-cracking pixies, and an assortment of other impossible things.

Connect with Edward

Curiosity Quills Press | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 

Book to Movie Reviews · Book Tour · Giveaway

Joined Blog Tour

 
Genre: 
YA/NA, Sci-Fi, Romance
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Pages: 536
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About the Book

Duty and prophecy get in the way of everything.

All I ever wanted to do was read my books, play my sports, and help people. Life and prophecy had other things in mind.

Helping people is what I do; as an empath and semi-frequent telepath, I can easily sense and understand people’s needs and emotions. Sometimes even before they do. Being able to read everyone’s thoughts and feelings all the time can drive me crazy with anxiety, but that moment when I can finally make someone’s life better makes everything worth it.

Unfortunately, I’m also the next in line to rule the galaxy, I’m the only diplomat most planets will listen to, assassins try to kill me on an annoyingly regular basis, and a much-vaunted Prophecy has decreed that I’m going to die. Oh, and someone blew up my home planet.

Kind of a lot to deal with, right?

Too bad I just got another problem: a big, irritating, overbearing bodyguard with serious anger management issues.

And I think I’m falling for him.

Excerpt

It was a rather startling revelation to note that planet wide destruction was, objectively speaking, gorgeous.

I couldn’t even be bitter about it; bitter was a bland and wise emotion, one that involved thought and careful consideration. I had no such coherence. All I had was awe and fear, in no particular order, all blended together like a merry go-round that had spun out of control.

I was well aware that I was in shock. But really, how were you supposed to react when the sky was throwing volcanoes at you? Was there a rulebook for this sort of thing? I’d been trained in all sorts of political and diplomatic scenarios, but this was hardly any of those things. I even knew quite a bit about interstellar law, which was pretty good for an eleven-year-old. But genocide… genocide was new, even for a galaxy as screwed up as ours was. A species here, a race there, but never a planet. Did the word genocide even apply when a whole planet was being eradicated? Did we need to invent a new word for what was being done to my home? Somehow planetocide sounded ridiculous and insufficient. But then, I doubted a word would ever exist that could quite convey the present situation. Language just didn’t have that kind of depth.

Emotions, though; images, feelings… that could do it. Except my species was the only one in the galaxy capable of sensing another’s emotions, but that wouldn’t matter much once this destruction was over. Words would be all that were left.

Where to Buy

Kobo | Amazon | iBooks

About the Author

A Pacific Northwesterner by birth and disposition, Mara has lived in Washington DC, Oregon, Japan, and most recently the beautiful Pacific Grove, California, before returning to her roots in Seattle. By day she teaches history to unsuspecting teenagers, and by night she writes books and travels to far-flung places. She loves to be with animals, read, play sports, and drink more London Fogs than is likely good for her.

Connect with Mara on Facebook: Facebook

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Book Tour · Book Tour Wednesday · Giveaway · Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Prepared Book Tour & Giveaway

Prepared
by Courtney Konstantin
Genre: SciFi. Dystopian, Thriller
 
She thought she was prepared for the end of the world… until it
actually came.
Alex Duncan is a mother, a sister— and the daughter of a doomsday
prepper. She always thought her father was insane, raving about an
apocalypse she never believed in, but when a plague hits the United
States and the dead no longer stay dead, Alex discovers heeding her
deceased father’s advice is what will keep her family alive. Before
he died, Alex’s father created a compound in Montana just in case
situations like this arose.
Hell has arrived on earth.
The dead walk, hungry for human flesh. Living in a highly populated city
like Las Vegas makes the reality of the plague imminent to Alex. With
little time to spare, Alex must make split-second decisions to
prevent her family from being devoured. Facing the end, Alex has
three goals.
Escape Las Vegas. Get to the compound. Survive.
As the outside world crumbles and grows darker, Alex faces adversity
from not just the infected, but the uninfected as well. Government
assistance is nowhere in sight, and rumors fly that the nation’s
only solution to the growing plague is execution.
Not everyone will outlast the plague. Doomsday is here. Will Alex be up
to the challenge, or fall, and rise again as one of the undead?
An exciting apocalyptic thriller that’s intriguing, mysterious, and
horrific, Prepared is the debut novel of upcoming author Courtney
Konstantin. Stay up all night to read this terrifying tale of
pandemics, zombies, and government secrets by one-clicking today!
Releases Sept 1st!
Read the first two chapters free!
 
 
As a child, Courtney always had aspirations of being a writer. She
participated in journalism in school. At home, she wrote short
stories, poetry and filled diary pages. Somewhere along the line
becoming an adult took priority over her writing and she went to work
in business operations.
Now as a mother to three beautiful children, she tells them all the time
to follow their dreams, be whatever they want. Those lessons reminded
her how much she loved writing. She finally opened the door to making
writing a real priority in her life. 
Living outside of Portland, Oregon she loves the green and beauty Oregon offers. When
she’s not matching wits with her children, her crazy Siberian Husky
or her bi-polar cats, she enjoys binge reading, hikes and touring
wineries. Courtney and her husband, the love of her life, enjoy
traveling the world whenever they can get a free moment. And
cruises….she loves cruising. She’s especially fond of life,
laughter and sarcasm – and she’s excited to share all of that and
more with her readers!
 
 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 
 
 
 

 

Book Tour · Book Tour Wednesday · Excerpts · Giveaway · Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Serengeti Book Tour & Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Science Fiction, Adventure
Publisher: Severed Press
Publication Date: June 21, 2017
Pages: 360
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Black Ops—the intelligence arm of the Meridian Alliance Fleet came calling with an offer Henricksen couldn’t refuse: a ship—an entire squadron of ships, actually—and crew to command. A chance to get back to the stars.

Too bad he didn’t ask more questions before accepting the assignment. Too bad no one told him just how dangerous this particular skunkworks project was.

They call the ship the RV-N: Reconnaissance Vessel – Non-combat, Raven for short. A stealth ship—fast, and maneuverable, and brutal as hell. On the surface, Henricksen’s assignment seems simple: train his crew, run the RV-Ns through their paces, get the ships certified for mission operations and job done. But an accident in training reveals a fatal design flaw in the Raven, and when an undercover operative steals classified information from a Black Ops facility, the Fleet Brass cancels the tests completely, rushing the faulty ships and their half-trained crew into live operations. On a mission to recover the Fleet’s lost secrets.

Out of time and out of options, Henricksen has no choice but to launch his squadron. But a ghost from his past makes him question everything—the ships, their AI, the entirety of this mission, right down to the secrets he and his crew are supposed to recover.

Where to Buy

Amazon | Severed Press | Barnes & Noble

Audiobook available 10-17-17

 

Hecate’s probes slid through the sea of wrecked ships, searching for signs of life. Any life—human, AI, anything that survived the massacre that occurred here, deep in unsettled space.

Assuming anything did survive.

A sobering thought, and one that consumed Henricksen. Drew his eyes to the floor-to-ceiling windows wrapping the front of Hecate’s bridge. To the stars and devastation, hoping, praying to spot something out there, and finding naught but despair.

Death and wreckage everywhere he looked.

“Farrow,” he called, half turning. Flicking his fingers at the fair-haired woman working the station to his right. “What’s the word?”

“Checking.”  Farrow bent her wrists, exposing the comms ports sunk into her flesh, trailing cables connecting her to the panel in front of her. “Wasteland,” she reported, voice dreamy, blue eyes hidden behind the Comms visor covering her eyes and forehead, wrapping across her ears. “Some kind of interference…” She winced, adjusting a tiny dial near her temple. “No one sending, though. No one picking up, as far as I can tell.”

Well, that’s certainly ominous.

Henricksen frowned, eyes flickering to the windows. “Scan. What’s out there?”

“Nothing, sir.” Duclos twisted in his seat, shaven head painted in the multi-colored lights flashing across Scan’s panel, long nose looking even longer in the low lighting around him. “Few blips now and then, but I can’t get a solid reading.”

“Meaning?”

“Radiation,” Hecate cut in, serene, AI tones drifting from the overhead speakers, camera swiveling to point Henricksen’s way. “It’s confusing the probes’ sensors. Messing up the scans.” A twitch of the camera, taking in Farrow. “Possibly Comms.”

Henricksen grunted, thinking. “Any chance it’s natural?”

“Doubtful. No planets nearby, and the closest star is still light years away. Sensors aren’t picking up any solar particle events.”

Ship then. Or weapons. Manmade in either event.

Henricksen didn’t like it. Not one bit.

“And the blips?”

“Could be anything. A byproduct of the radiation itself.”

“Wonderful,” he grunted. “Just fucking wonderful.”

Didn’t come across radiation often these days. Ships still used radiological weapons—Fleet ships included, at least the larger ones, like the Dreadnoughts—but nuclear drives were old beyond old, bordering on ancient. Phased out a couple of centuries ago in favor of the fuel cells and plasma drives more modern ships carried.

Radiologicals complicated things. Turned this simple little recon mission they’d been sent on into something altogether different. Radiation—enough radiation for the probes’ sensors to pick up on—likely meant contamination, a complication Henricksen most definitely did not want to deal with.

He stared through the bridge’s windows, considering the messed they’d found outside. Lifted his eyes to Hecate’s camera sitting just above them, one of dozens scattered across the length and breadth of her warship’s body—her eyes on the crew, on everything going on around the ship. “Whaddaya wanna do?” he asked her, because this wasn’t his decision. He was captain—her captain—and in charge of the crew, but not Hecate’s master. Nor she his, either.

Hecate considered the question before answering.

Not entirely her call, this time. Technically Seychelles—the grey-skinned, smooth-sided Valkyrie cruiser behind them—was in charge of this mission, granted authority over the entire operation by Brutus himself. Hecate and three of her disc-shaped Aurora brethren detailed to go with her, backed up by a handful of Titans—sharp-sided and sinister, bodies shaped like four-pointed spearheads.

Ten ships in total, sent walkabout on a reconnaissance mission. Ten Fleet cruisers deployed to find out what the hell had happened to those vessels out there. And why no one knew anything had happened until it was entirely too late.

“No sense leaving the probes out there,” Hecate decided, camera adjusting, zooming in on Henricksen’s face. “Not sure there’s all that much they can do.”

“’Spose not,” he murmured, dropping his eyes to the windows, considering the drifting wreckage outside. “Fuck it. Recall ’em, Duclos.”

Duclos glanced around, blinking in surprise. “But the probes, our orders—”

“Know my orders, Duclos.” Henricksen favored the crewman with a flat-eyed stare. Lean face all planes and angles, turned harsh and angry in the bridge’s sparse light. Like all the crew, he dressed in Hecate’s midnight blue uniform, torch and keys patch a silver twinkle on his shoulder, nothing but the insignia pinned to his collar to set him apart from any of the others.

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Buy:
AmazonAmazon AudioSevered PressBarnes & NobleAudible

J.B. Rockwell is a New Englander, which is important to note because it means she’s (a) hard headed, (b) frequently stubborn, and (c) prone to fits of snarky sarcasticness. As a kid she subsisted on a steady diet of fairy tales, folklore, mythology augmented by generous helpings of science fiction and fantasy. As a quasi-adult she dreamed of being the next Indiana Jones and even pursued (and earned!) a degree in anthropology. Unfortunately, those dreams of being an archaeologist didn’t quite work out. Through a series of twists and turns (involving cats, a marriage, and a SCUBA certification, amongst other things) she ended up working in IT for the U.S. Coast Guard and now writes the types of books she used to read. Not a bad ending for an Indiana Jones wannabe…

Connect with J.B.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

I’ve got some cool fan art post cards to offer 🙂 , $10 Amazon

 

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

 

Book Tour · Book Tour Wednesday · Excerpts · Giveaway · Silver Dagger Scriptorium

H.A.L.F. Book Tour & Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Publisher: Boadicea Press
Publication Date: August 24, 2017
Pages: 376
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Alien predators attack Europe. A deadly virus spawns an epidemic. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.

In this heart-pounding finale of the award-winning H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. For months they‘ve fought for their lives. Now they battle to save us all.

Tex and Erika are fugitives again, running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges from the ordeal changed in body and mind but with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from destroying those he has come to love.

Erika Holt seeks a respite from the constant threats to her life but she’s not about to give up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the galactic highway used by the predatory M’Uktah, she grows closer to her troubled half-human companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Jack?

Jack Wilson, with his new friend Anna Sturgis, is determined to put an end to the Makers’ schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, an anti-viral that could save millions from an alien virus has been stolen.

As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.

What Others are Saying about H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS:

“The latest satisfying addition to the H.A.L.F. series has something for everyone: exciting action scenes; great, complex love stories; fascinating new aliens; and relatable teen characters fighting to save the world and find their places in it.” ~Alyssa H., Content Editor, Red Adept Editing

Author reading excerpt of H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS, accompanied by photos and music that inspired the story.
http://bit.ly/ORIGINS_Excerpt

1

ERIKA

Raindrops pelted the windshield of the rust-bucket truck Erika had borrowed from Ian’s dad. Nearly an hour had passed since she’d seen the lights of the last police car recede in her rearview mirror, but her fingers still shook as she turned on the windshield wipers. They were little help. The spittle of rain turned the dusty windshield into a muddy mess, and the sun-rotted rubber of the wipers streaked the glass.

The jacked-up truck tackled the harsh terrain of the desert like a pro. The police cars were no match for barrel cacti and creosote bushes as large as small cars. The local Ajo police that had tried to stop them likely didn’t know that they were chasing a human-alien hybrid that had escaped, again, from a secret underground lab controlled by the clandestine organization known as The Makers. The Makers had surely spun the lies necessary to convince local law enforcement that Tex was a dangerous fugitive. Ironic. The lie had become the truth. Erika and Tex were, in fact, fugitives on the run and again fighting for their lives. It was like déjà vu all over again.

Erika’s bottom was bruised from bouncing on the seat. Her wrists ached from gripping the wheel. After nearly an hour of rough riding, they hit a two-lane road going east. Erika was heading to New Mexico, where her Aunt Dana, her father’s sister, lived. Without complications, they would get to Aunt Dana’s in about eight hours. If she’ll have us.

Tex had been quiet but awake as Erika navigated the bumpy ground. Once they reached the smooth pavement, he tucked his knees to his chest, hugged his arms around his legs, and became a silent egg-shaped blob on the seat next to her. Erika had seen him withdraw into himself before, but he was even more quiet and still than usual.

Erika wished he’d have stayed awake longer. She wanted to pry answers out of him. She had questions about his time with the Conexus, when he had been linked directly to their hive-mind collective. Ever since Dr. Randall had unhooked Tex from the Conexus, he was acting distant and short-tempered. Erika wondered what had really happened to him during his time with the Conexus. And what did he mean when he spoke of struggles for humans to come and the knowledge he got from the Conexus? She hoped he would answer these questions and more when they got to Aunt Dana’s.

The dribble of rain became a hailstorm. Peanut-sized ice balls pinged the metal roof of the truck. Within minutes, the hail turned into a deluge. Erika turned the wipers to full blast, but that only smeared the windshield faster. The Tex blob remained eerily quiet and unperturbed.

Erika’s swollen right eye, a gift from one of the Makers’ guards during their escape from the school, made it difficult to see. Both eyes were heavy with fatigue. She blinked rapidly and shook her head, trying to clear the drowsiness. She switched on the radio, and raucous Tejano music blasted. She wasn’t a fan of the accordion-heavy genre. The ancient truck speakers distorted the sound, making it nothing but noise to her ears, but at least the booming music helped keep her awake.

Erika had never been much of a life planner. Her current situation of living day-to-day did not bother her as much as it might have irritated some people. She was focused on her current task, getting Tex safely to a location where he could heal. She’d help him find a place to stay hidden from the Makers and Sturgis. She wasn’t sure what came after that. Just stay awake. And alive.

Tex didn’t stir or acknowledge the radio. Is he dead? She poked at him with a finger. “Tex? You okay?”

With his head still to his knees, his voice was muffled but cool and even. “I am alive if that is what you mean.”

“You’ve been so quiet. With the escape back there at the school, the dogs, and now the rain… I was just hoping that you’re all right.”

Tex raised his head slightly and turned toward her, his large eyes peeking over his arm. “I have been through worse.”

The understatement of the century. She’d been through worse, too: the days of fever she endured after the Conexus gave her the virus, the long hours of watching Ian wracked with pain when she could do nothing but watch him inch toward death, weeks of hunger and thirst. She had been forced to take the lives of others or lose her own, and she had watched her mom breathe her last breath. They’d all been through hell and back.

Tex’s indifference was still better than silence between them. The tinny horns and the beat of the music stopped abruptly.

The radio announcer broke in, speaking in Spanish. “There has been a massive terrorist attack in Europe. The entire continent is without power. Communication systems are down. Though reports are sketchy, US authorities state that the attacks appear to be focused on London and Paris.”

Erika’s chest tightened. For a moment, she forgot to breathe. “He said that communication systems are down in Europe and there’s been a massive terrorist attack. The terrorists hit London and Paris.”

Tex unwound his arms from around his legs. “I understood what he said.” He sounded condescending, as though everyone could understand Spanish as well as English.

“Oh. I just assumed that—”

“You assume a great many things.”

Erika didn’t know what he meant, but she was more worried about what the heck was going on in Europe than her traveling companion’s surly attitude. The radio announcer spoke of the apparent sophistication and coordination of the attacks. He stated that the terrorists had clearly used an advanced technology that took out the power grid across Europe. Terrorists with advanced technology? Could the Makers be behind this?

Continuing in Spanish, the announcer said, “The US has raised the terrorist alert level to high and has closed all borders, effective immediately. There are reports of disruption to GPS and cellular service in the United States, indicating possible destruction or interference with multiple satellites.”

“Just what we don’t need. First, the virus to deal with, now terrorists run amok.”

“It is not a terrorist attack,” Tex said with total conviction.

“You just heard the guy say it’s a terrorist attack. He said the report came from NORAD.”

“Then this NORAD fellow is wrong… or lying.”

During her time at Casa Sturgis, Erika had lost most of her faith in the authorities. Getting locked up in an underground city run by crazy government scientists and black-budget military would do that to you. Even if The Makers were behind AHDNA, that didn’t negate the fact that, somewhere along the line, some important people were very corrupt. Maybe even a lot of people.

Where to Buy

Amazon

Other Books in the Series

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Natalie is the author of the award-winning science fiction series H.A.L.F., and The Akasha Chronicles, a popular young adult fantasy trilogy with over 2 Million reads on Wattpad. She lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen daughter, and two cat overlords.

Natalie spends her time writing, reading, geeking out over nerd culture and cool science, and meeting readers and fans at book festivals and comic cons throughout the western United States. Natalie appears frequently on radio, podcasts and vlogs such as The Speculative Fiction Cantina, Front Row Geeks and iHeart Radio.

Connect with Natalie

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Amazon | Goodreads

In celebration of the release of ORIGINS, the third and final book in the H.A.L.F. series, all pre-order customers have the opportunity to receive the following exclusive goodies:

A full-color, digital book extra, Lost Chapter and Cut Scenes. This book contains the author’s commentary on cut scenes as well as photos illustrations. This book is only available to pre-order customers.
A video retrospective of the H.A.L.F. series, complete with “soundtrack” for the series, an author interview, and tons of photos and illustrations documenting the series.

INSTRUCTIONS:

It’s simple to obtain the goods. All a customer has to do is:

Buy the book in any format. Digital, paperback, hardcover, or audiobook, and at any retailer.

Email a copy of the receipt (again, in any format—photo, screenshot, email receipt, etc.). Email the receipt to: half.origins.book@gmail.com

That’s it. The author or her representative will follow-up and send the customer the awesome goodness of free gifts!

Additionally, every pre-order customer that avails themselves of the pre-order giveaway will automatically be entered into the ORIGINS Launch Mega Giveaway and have the chance to win the following:

GRAND PRIZE: 1 Winner will receive the following: $100 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Hardcover copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded book swag, including metal bookmarks, complete set of H.A.L.F. Character Trading Cards®, keychain, and buttons + non-branded, retail swag themed to the book. Retail value of this prize is $240+

 

FIRST PRIZE: 1 Winner will receive: $25 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Paperback copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded swag (as listed above) + non-branded swag. Retail value of this prize is $75+

10 Runner-Up Prizes: 10 Winners will receive: A gifted copy of Amazon Kindle version of an eBook of the reader’s choice from among Natalie Wright’s published, single-book works (Emily’s House, Emily’s Trial, Emily’s Heart, The Deep Beneath, The Makers, or ORIGINS). Retail value of this prize if between 99¢ to $3.99 (depending on book chosen and price at the time gifted).

 

Rafflecopter for Mega Giveaway
(runs 8/24 – 9/15)

Enter Rafflecopter Here!

 

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!