Friday, September 22, 2017

Blitz + Excerpt and Giveaway: Christmas at the Lake by Charlotte Blake


Christmas at the Lake
Charlotte Blake
(Great Escapes, #2)
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Sometimes love gets forgotten …
Hugely successful Lexi Stuart is used to guys pursuing her, but for all the wrong reasons. Sure, she’s beautiful and rich, but the men in her life never seem to want anything more serious than just sex. It’s a stark reality she’s become used to.
As a code writer in Silicon Vally, Adam Hunt doesn’t have to worry about money. And as a heartthrob in general, he doesn’t need to worry about attracting women, either. But when he meets Lexi during a Christmas holiday in Lake Tahoe, he’s floored that she won’t give him the time of day after one wild night together.
Now, this sports bum is about to take Lexi on the ride of her life. All she needs to do is hang on!
18+
NOTE: This STAND-ALONE romance contains very steamy love scenes. All of the books in the Great Escapes series can be read in any order.

EXCERPT:
She knew she should have waited to drive over the pass to Lake Tahoe, but she just didn’t have that sort of patience. The snow was practically a blizzard now, and she pulled off to the side of the road where men waited to put on chains for motorists. She rolled down the window of her Tesla SUV, the crack just wide enough to slip the man a couple of bills.
“Chains are in the back.”
She rolled the window up again, wiping the snowflakes off her leather seats.
She was so ready for a break that she’d ignored the weather warnings and driven up on her own, purposely leaving her laptop at home. Now, if she didn’t get over the pass soon, she’d be sleeping in the car.
The hatch opened, and two men took out the boxes of chains she had stashed there. It was illegal to travel up this road without them; her brother, Jack, had reminded her of this, and she’d sent her assistant out to purchase a pair for the trip.
A frigid breeze blew through the car as the men closed the hatch, making her shiver a little. She pulled out a scarf from her bag and, wrapping it around herself, cranked up the heat.
The men finished quickly with the chains, but the rest of the drive was not quick at all. She had been listening to Christmas music, trying to get into the mood of the holiday. But as the storm increased in intensity, she switched over to the channel broadcasting road conditions.
“Highway 50 is open for the time being, but is expected to close within the hour. Blizzard conditions are expected to worsen for the next twenty-four hours. Motorists are advised to exit off the pass as soon as safely possible to allow snow clearing crews to plow the roads.”
Her wheels had more traction with the chains, but the going was slow, and the whole car vibrated from the rough mountain road.
She tapped her fingernails against the steering wheel, a nervous habit she had when she was stressed. Now she could only see a few feet in front of her. She knew that just off to her right was a deadly drop-off. She squinted at the windshield, trying desperately to keep her eyes on the tire tracks and red lights of the cars ahead.
She drove like this for over an hour. Shoulders hunched. Neck tight. The radio silent now.
Finally, the road started to descend from the mountain, and, just visible below, the lights of South Lake Tahoe came into view.
She drove through the town, signs for ski and snowmobile rentals winking down at her. Finally, the sign she’d been looking for popped out.
Black Bear Lodge
She held her breath as she turned down the uncleared lane, hoping that the SUV would be able to make it to the other side of the narrow drive.
The chains were what saved her. The car plowed through the snow, which accumulated along the front bumper and blew across the windshield. But the chains held traction all the way to the lodge. She pulled the car into the small parking lot, where just four others were parked, each made nearly unrecognizable by the snow piled on the roofs.
She parked, but left the car, and the heat, running. She pulled off her knee-high boots and replaced them with the snow boots she had bought at the last minute. Then came a puffy, silver jacket, which she zipped all the way to the top.
She looked around. No bellhop.
Sighing, she shut off the car and opened the door. The snow was so deep that it went above her protective boots. She trudged along to the back and retrieved her two large suitcases. Trying to roll the bags through the snow was nearly impossible, so she resorted to simply dragging them along. She was lucky; they were both light, one with clothing, one with gifts for her family. Gift cards and candles could only weigh so much.
As she passed through the lot, she saw that none of the cars were those of her family. They must have not made it over the mountain yet. They wouldn’t have unless they’d been right behind her on the drive. The news had told her that the pass was closed now.
She struggled with the suitcases up the steps to the main entrance of the building, spitting out the snowflakes that landed on her lips. By the time she got up the small flight of stairs, she was covered head to foot in heavy white flakes.
Even though she hurried to get inside, it was impossible not to notice that the lodge was spectacular. Long wood beams jutted upward, supporting the great vaulted ceiling. It was a large home, really, run by an older couple as a bed and breakfast. There were only a few rooms, and it was this privacy her dad had wanted when he’d had her book the vacation for everyone. In a day or two, when the storm ebbed, she would be joined by him, her two brothers, their wives, and one niece.
Secretly, she was happy to have a little time on her own before family descended upon her. They always had more questions than she felt like answering.
When was she going to settle down?
Has she been dating?
Work wasn’t everything, you know …
She sighed, her breath blowing out of her mouth like smoke from a cigarette.
Every light in the place was lit, casting a warm glow over the snowy landscape. She didn’t knock, and instead walked right in. Immediately, a gust of warm air washed over her.
“Hello?” she called.
She hadn’t seen them, but two men sat in front of a huge fireplace at the far end of the room. They turned at her voice.
“Hi,” one of them said, getting up and walking toward her.
“Hi,” she said. “Am I in the right place? Black Bear, right?”
“This is it.” He opened his arms.
The front room was huge, even bigger than it looked from outside. A staircase descended from the second floor, curving down toward a ten-foot-tall Christmas tree, its star soaring high above. It was decorated with what looked like family heirloom ornaments. Her own mother had built a collection over the years, and it looked like the owners here had done the same. The tree was a sparkling wonder that seemed to never end. Its scent filled the room, and she took a deep breath in.
“It’s wonderful, isn’t it?” the man said.
“Mmm. How do I check in?” she asked, stomping the snow off her boots onto the mat.
“That’ll be Mary and Edward. They’re the ones who run this place. But I think they might’ve gone to bed already. It’s pretty late.”
She hadn’t noticed the time. It was already past ten.
“Mary left a note for you on the table. Can I help you with your bags?”
“Sure,” she said, leaving them where they stood.
She walked over to the entry table and picked up the note.
Ms. Stewart-
Sorry we haven’t been able to stay up to meet you. Your family’s rooms are in the east wing of the house. Please feel free to choose from the four of them. If you’d like wine or hot cocoa, there is a table close to the fire. Breakfast starts at seven and runs until ten. If you’re an early riser, you’ll also find coffee available at six.
Your father called to let us know that they have been unable to make it over the pass into Lake Tahoe. The roads have been closed, and it may be a couple of days before they reopen.
We look forward to meeting you in the morning.
Mary and Edward Holden
She sighed. “Can you help me upstairs, too?”
“Sure.” He outstretched one hand. “My name’s Adam. Over there is my brother Jake.”
Jake sent a wave in her direction.
She took Adam’s hand. “Lexi. Thanks for your help.”
“Anytime.”
For the first time, she got a good look at him. He was tall and broad, his brown hair cut short. Green eyes, too; her favorite. To her, he looked like he might be good for a fun night. Or maybe a few fun nights.
Yum.


Author Bio:
I am happy to call the San Francisco Bay Area home, where I lives with my husband, two kids, one dog and three cats. I started writing at an early age, but have only been writing novels for the past five years. I love the idea of love conquering all, and that is what drove me to begin the Great Escapes series, where the reader follows couples meeting up in exotic locations around the world. In this series, each book is a stand-alone, and each can be read in any order.
But readers, be forewarned, there is a healthy amount of steam in these books!
Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy Great Escapes! 


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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tour + Review and Giveaway: Rook by J.C. Andrijeski


Rook
J.C. Andrijeski
(Bridge & Sword: Awakenings #1)
Publication date: April 22nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
From USA TODAY bestselling author, a psychic warfare alternative history set in a gritty version of Earth. Contains strong romantic elements – a book in the Bridge & Sword World. Apocalyptic. Psychic Romance. 
“You are the Bridge…”
Allie Taylor lives in a world populated by seers, a second race discovered on Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century. Psychic, hyper-sexual and enslaved by governments, corporations and wealthy humans, seers are an exotic fascination to Allie, but one she knows she’ll likely never encounter, given how rich you have to be to get near one.
Then a strange man shows up at her work –– then another –– and pretty soon Allie finds herself on the run from the law, labeled a terrorist and in the middle of a race war she didn’t even know existed. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious and uncommunicative Revik, Allie discovers her blood may not be as “human” as she always thought, and the world of seers might not be quite as distant as she always imagined.
When Revik tells her she’s the Bridge, a mystical being meant to usher in the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction––Allie must choose between the race that raised her and the one where she might truly belong.

Review:
4 stars

J.C. Andrijeski is a new author to me, and for the first book that I've read by her - I'm excited to say that I really enjoyed this sci-fi novel. The plot of this novel was very complex, and interesting, and kept me hooked as I turned every page. There were moments where the pacing slow-downed, but I felt overall, it was exciting and original.

I did like getting to know the characters in this novel, but I felt like there was not a lot of character development occurring throughout the book. I felt like I would have liked the characters more if that had been the case - hopefully they will grow in later books.

I also, personally, would have enjoyed more background and history to the world - which is such an intriguing and different world than the one that we live in. But that didn't take away from the overall experience I have from reading this book.

I would highly recommend. It was a great read - full of action and excitement. I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series.

Author Bio:
JC Andrijeski is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes paranormal mysteries and apocalyptic fiction, often with a sexy, romantic and metaphysical bent. JC has a background in journalism, history and politics, and loves martial arts, yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, painting… and of course reading and writing. She grew up in the Bay Area of California, but travels extensively and has lived abroad in Europe, Australia and Asia, and from coast to coast in the continental United States. She currently lives and writes full-time in Bangkok, Thailand.
To learn more about JC and her writing, please visit jcandrijeski.com.
If you want an email when JC’s next book is released, as well as special giveaways, offers to read books early and other prizes, join her newsletter, THE REBEL ARMY, at: http://hyperurl.co/JCA-Newsletter
JOIN NOW and you’ll get a FREE BOOK! 


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Cover Reveal: Being Alpha by Aileen Erin


Being Alpha
Aileen Erin
(Alpha Girl #7)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: February 13th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
For the first time since Tessa met Dastien, life is quiet. The evil witch, Luciana, is six glorious feet under, St. Ailbe’s is closed due to human trespassers, and people are finally getting used to the fact that supernaturals exist in the world. It seems like the perfect time for a honeymoon.
Tessa and Dastien’s trip to the Caribbean is turning out to be the honeymoon that fantasies are made of—sunset cruises, long walks on the beach, and every romantic cliché you can imagine. She couldn’t be happier. So, when a local man turns up inexplicably dead on the beach, Tessa brushes it off. Not every bad thing that happens in the world is a supernatural mystery to be solved. And when Sebastian—one of the Council of Seven Alphas who rule all the werewolves—appears on the island, she thinks it must be a coincidence. Everyone needs a break now and then. Even council members. Right? Besides, Tessa is beyond determined to not let anything get in the way of her romantic vacation.
But when Dastien goes missing, the honeymoon is most definitely over. Tessa can’t ignore the signs anymore. Something huge is going on. And whoever messed with Tessa’s mate is in for a rude awakening. Because if there’s one thing fighting rogue witches and werewolves has taught her, it’s how to be Alpha.

Author Bio:
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass. 

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blitz + Trailer, Deleted Scene, and Giveaway: Between You and Me by Lynn Turner


Between You and Me
Lynn Turner
(The Wild Rose Press)
Publication date: September 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Love at first sight strikes Seattle Scientist Finnegan Kane at the worst possible moment, paralyzing him as he’s pitching his cutting-edge idea to powerful New York venture capitalist Emanuela Monroe…
Finn survived the crash that killed his parents when he was sixteen. Twenty years later, his smart devices are about to redefine what it means to be disabled.
Emanuela makes dreams come true for a living, but still longs to fulfill her own. Despite Finn’s stunning secret, she thinks his idea might be worth the risk…and he’s determined to show her that he is, too.






DELETED SCENE:
Christmas Eve
Finn removed the large gift box he’d hidden in Emanuela’s closet and set it on the bed in front of her. He sat at its edge, his obvious anticipation of her opening it almost as great as hers. “Happy Christmas Eve, Emmi.”
She smiled and, at his nod, lifted the lid. “Whoa.”
She reached in, carefully lifting the model house from the box. It was alabaster in color, and the detailing was incredible. She recognized the floor-to-ceiling windows at the south end and gasped, turning it to admire the familiar wrap-around deck. There were grooves indicating the planks of wood the deck was made from, and exterior lighting just like the ones on the house Finn rented in Penn Cove. She fingered the tiny fibers that made up the rigid parts of the house.
Her eyes narrowed. “You printed this?”
He nodded again. She giggled at his body language. He was as still as a log, his ears perky, eyes bright–If he’d had a tail, it would have wagged.
“Finn?”
“Take the roof off. Have a look inside.”
She lifted the ends of the roof and it came completely off. Inside was a perfect replica of the interior, each room complete with removable furnishings and detail equally as stunning as the outside—like the natural granite of the free-standing fireplace in the living space and the logged walls of the bedrooms. Perfect—except there seemed to be extra space.
She frowned. “I don’t remember that being there.”
He grinned, crinkles appearing at the corners of his eyes. “That’s because it isn’t there yet. Turn it again, but this time go slow.”
Her head jerked to the side, but she did as instructed, turning the model until the front of the house faced her again. There, just out front, was a tiny signpost that read “Sold.”
She yelped. “Oh my God! When? I thought he wasn’t selling?” Her voice grew higher and squeakier with each question.
He shrugged. “I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
“Finn!” She smacked him impatiently.
He laughed, lifting his shoulder against her assault. “My offer was more than fair—well above market value. I could tell he wanted to keep it, but after I told him it held sentimental value for me—and that he could buy a house almost anywhere with what I was offering—I convinced him to sell.”
She could have cried. She loved that house, but was resigned to living somewhere else, convincing herself that anywhere with Finn would be home. Maybe it was selfish, but she’d been heartbroken at the prospect of someone else living there, getting to watch the sunrise—their sunrise—every morning.
She pointed to the extra space again, her voice barely above a whisper. “And this?”
“A bigger office, a den, a pool—whatever you want, Emmi.”
She slid the model to the side, enough to clear the space between them, and beckoned him to her with her finger. “I’m so happy,” she whispered against his lips.
“That’s all I want.”


Author Bio:
Lynn Turner inherited her writing gene from her mother, who created fantastic tales about witches, invisible worlds and talking animals, and read them to her children at night. Lynn isn’t as great with the voices as her mother, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
She discovered romance far too young, when a mission to find a young adult fantasy title led her to historical romance. She spent hours skimming those sumptuous pages, drinking in the vivid descriptions of settings and clothes, feisty heroines and looming lords, and poetic language. (She may or may not have enjoyed the PG-13 bits too, tucking a new title beneath her pillow at night).
She enjoys character-driven narratives most, and anything that transports her someplace else. Passionate about food and travel, she features healthy doses of both in the stories she crafts. Above all, she is dedicated to writing inclusive stories that explore what it means to be imperfectly human.
When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling, dreaming of traveling, or watching old Samantha Brown travelogue videos and wishing she had her job. She and her husband share their home in California with their two extraordinary children, and hope to add a little furry one to the family very soon. 


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blitz + Teasers and Giveaway: Vixen's Lead by Tate James


The Vixen’s Lead
Tate James
(Kit Davenport, #1)
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
I want vengeance so badly that I can almost taste it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. So, I did what any privileged, adopted boarding school girl would do. I slapped on a secret identity and became an internationally renowned thief, known as The Fox. Nobody knows me. Nobody can catch me.
Or so I thought…
It turns out; I have what they want. Special abilities. And trust me, these abilities are coveted–and dangerous. Now, I don’t know who to trust or where to go. Peril lurks on every corner as I try to uncover my past and origin. Teaming up with unlikely allies may be my only chance at survival or my biggest mistake. Only time will tell.
I’m Kit Davenport and this is only the beginning.




Author Bio:
Tate James was born and raised in the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand) but now lives in Australia with her husband, baby and furbaby.
She is a lover of books, red wine, cats and coffee and is not a morning person. She is a bit too sarcastic and swears too much for polite society and definitely tells too many dirty jokes. 


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Monday, September 18, 2017

Blast + Excerpt and Giveaway: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz


Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

Autonomous features a rakish female pharmaceutical pirate named Jack who traverses the world in her own submarine. A notorious anti-patent scientist who has styled herself as a Robin Hood heroine fighting to bring cheap drugs to the poor, Jack’s latest drug is leaving a trail of lethal overdoses across what used to be North America—a drug that compels people to become addicted to their work.

On Jack’s trail are an unlikely pair: an emotionally shut-down military agent and his partner, Paladin, a young military robot, who fall in love against all expectations. Autonomous alternates between the activities of Jack and her co-conspirators, and Joe and Paladin, as they all race to stop a bizarre drug epidemic that is tearing apart lives, causing trains to crash, and flooding New York City.











Praise for AUTONOMOUS


"Autonomous is to biotech and AI what Neuromancer was to the Internet."―Neal Stephenson



"Something genuinely and thrillingly new in the naturalistic, subjective, paradoxically humanistic but non-anthropomorphic depiction of bot-POV―and all in the service of vivid, solid storytelling."―William Gibson



"This book is a cyborg. Partly, it's a novel of ideas, about property, the very concept of it, and how our laws and systems about property shape class structure and society, as well as notions of identity, the self, bodies, autonomy at the most fundamental levels, all woven seamlessly into a dense mesh of impressive complexity. Don't let that fool you though. Because wrapped around that is the most badass exoskeleton--a thrilling and sexy story about pirates and their adventures. Newitz has fused these two layers together at the micro- and macro-levels with insight and wit and verbal flair. Moves fast, with frightening intelligence." ―Charles Yu, author of How to Live Sagfely in a Science Fictional Universe



"Annalee Newitz has conjured the rarest, most exciting thing: a future that's truly new ... a terrific novel and a tremendous vision." ―Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore



"Holy hell. Autnomous is remarkable." ―Lauren Beukes, bestselling author of Broken Monsters



"Everything you'd hope for from the co-founder of io9 ... Combines the gonzo, corporatized future of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash with the weird sex of Charlie Stross's Saturn's Children; throws in an action hero that's a biohacker version of Bruce Sterling's Leggy Starlitz, and then saturates it with decades of deep involvement with free software hackers, pop culture, and the leading edge of human sexuality." ―Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Walkaway.


Excerpt:

The sub’s cargo hold was currently stacked with twenty crates of freshly pirated drugs. Tucked among the many therapies for genetic mutations and bacterial management were boxes of cloned Zacuity, the new blockbuster productivity pill that everybody wanted. It wasn’t technically on the market yet, so that drove up demand. Plus, it was made by Zaxy, the company behind Smartifex, Brillicent, and other popular work enhancement drugs. Jack had gotten a beta sample from an engineer at Vancouver’s biggest development company, Quick Build Wares. Like a lot of biotech corps, Quick Build handed out new attention enhancers for free along with their in-house employee meals. The prerelease ads said that Zacuity helped everyone get their jobs done faster and better.

Jack hadn’t bothered to try any Zacuity herself—she didn’t need drugs to make her job exciting. The engineer who’d provided the sample described its effects in almost religious terms. You slipped the drug under your tongue, and work started to feel good. It didn’t just boost your concentration. It made you enjoy work. You couldn’t wait to get back to the keyboard, the breadboard, the gesture table, the lab, the fabber. After taking Zacuity, work gave you a kind of visceral satisfaction that nothing else could. Which was perfect for a corp like Quick Build, where new products had tight ship dates, and consultants sometimes had to hack a piece of hardware top-to-bottom in a week. Under Zacuity’s influence, you got the feelings you were supposed to have after a job well done. There were no regrets, nor fears that maybe you weren’t making the world a better place by fabricating another networked blob of atoms. Completion reward was so intense that it made you writhe right in your plush desk chair, clutching the foam desktop, breathing hard for a minute or so. But it wasn’t like an orgasm, not really. Maybe it was best described as physical sensation, perfected. You could feel it in your body, but it was more blindingly good than anything your nerve endings might read as inputs from the object-world. After a Zacuity-fueled work run, all you wanted to do was finish another project for Quick Build. It was easy to see why the shit sold like crazy.
But there was one little problem, which she’d been ignoring until now. Zaxy didn’t make data from their clinical trials available, so there was no way to find out about possible side effects. Normally Jack wouldn’t worry about every drug freak-out reported on the feeds, but this one was so specific. She couldn’t think of any other popular substances that would get someone addicted to homework. Sure, the student’s obsessive behavior could be set off by a garden-variety stimulant. But then it would hardly be a medical mystery, since doctors would immediately find evidence of the stimulant in her system. Jack’s mind churned as if she’d ingested a particularly nasty neurotoxin. If this drug was her pirated Zacuity, how had this happened? Overdose? Maybe the student had mixed it with another drug? Or Jack had screwed up the reverse engineering and created something horrific?
Jack felt a twitch of fear working its way up her legs from the base of her spine. But wait—this shiver wasn’t just some involuntary, psychosomatic reaction to the feeds. The floor was vibrating slightly, though she hadn’t yet started the engines. Ripping off the goggles, she regained control of her sensorium and realized that somebody was banging around in the hold, directly behind the bulkhead in front of her. What the actual fuck? There was an aft hatch for emergencies, but how—? No time to ponder whether she’d forgotten to lock the doors. With a predatory tilt of the head, Jack powered up her perimeter system, its taut nanoscale wires networked with sensory nerves just below the surface of her skin. Then she unsnapped the sheath on her knife. From the sound of things, it was just one person, no doubt trying to grab whatever would fit in a backpack. Only an addict or someone truly desperate would be that stupid.
She opened the door to the hold soundlessly, sliding into the space with knife drawn. But the scene that met her was not what she expected. Instead of one pathetic thief, she found two: a guy with the scaly skin and patchy hair of a fusehead, and his robot, who was holding a sack of drugs. The bot was some awful, hacked-together thing the thief must have ripped off from somebody else, its skin layer practically fried off in places, but it was still a danger. There was no time to consider a nonlethal option. With a practiced overhand, Jack threw the knife directly at the man’s throat. Aided by an algorithm for recognizing body parts, the blade passed through his trachea and buried itself in his artery. The fusehead collapsed, gagging on steel, his body gushing blood and air and shit.
In one quick motion, Jack yanked out her knife and turned to the bot. It stared at her, mouth open, as if it were running something seriously buggy. Which it probably was. That would be good for Jack, because it might not care who gave it orders as long as they were clear.
“Give me the bag,” she said experimentally, holding her hand out. The sack bulged with tiny boxes of her drugs. The bot handed it over instantly, mouth still gaping. He’d been built to look like a boy in his teens, though he might be a lot older. Or a lot younger.
At least she wouldn’t have to kill two beings today. And she might get a good bot out of the deal, if her botadmin pal in Vancouver pitched in a little. On second glance, this one’s skin layer didn’t look so bad, after all. She couldn’t see any components peeking through, though he was scuffed and bloody in places.
“Sit down,” she told him, and he sat down directly on the floor of the hold, his legs folding like electromagnetically joined girders that had suddenly lost their charge. The bot looked at her, eyes vacant. Jack would deal with him later. Right now, she needed to do something with his master’s body, still oozing blood onto the floor. She hooked her hands under the fusehead’s armpits and pulled his remains through the bulkhead door into the control room, leaving the bot behind her in the locked hold. There wasn’t much the bot could do in there by himself, anyway, given that all her drugs were designed for humans.
Down a tightly coiled spiral staircase was her wet lab, which doubled as a kitchen. A high-grade printer dominated one corner of the floor, with three enclosed bays for working with different materials: metals, tissues, foams. Using a smaller version of the projection display she had in the control room, Jack set the foam heads to extrude two cement blocks, neatly fitted with holes so she could tie them to the dead fusehead’s feet as easily as possible. As her adrenaline levels came down, she watched the heads race across the printer bed, building layer after layer of matte-gray rock. She rinsed her knife in the sink and resheathed it before realizing she was covered in blood. Even her face was sticky with it. She filled the sink with water and rooted around in the cabinets for a rag.
Loosening the molecular bonds on her coveralls with a shrug, Jack felt the fabric split along invisible seams to puddle around her feet. Beneath plain gray thermals, her body was roughly the same shape it had been for two decades. Her cropped black hair showed only a few threads of white. One of Jack’s top sellers was a molecule-for-molecule reproduction of the longevity drug Vive, and she always quality-tested her own work. That is, she hadalways quality tested it—until Zacuity. Scrubbing her face, Jack tried to juggle the two horrors at once: A man was dead upstairs, and a student in Calgary was in serious danger from something that sounded a lot like black-market Zacuity. She dripped on the countertop and watched the cement blocks growing around their central holes.
Jack had to admit she’d gotten sloppy. When she reverse engineered the Zacuity, its molecular structure was almost exactly like what she’d seen in dozens of other productivity and alertness drugs, so she hadn’t bothered to investigate further. Obviously she knew Zacuity might have some slightly undesirable side effects. But these fun-time worker drugs subsidized her real work on antivirals and gene therapies, drugs that saved lives. She needed the quick cash from Zacuity sales so she could keep handing out freebies of the other drugs to people who desperately needed them. It was summer, and a new plague was wafting across the Pacific from the Asian Union. There was no time to waste. People with no credits would be dying soon, and the pharma companies didn’t give a shit. That’s why Jack had rushed to sell those thousands of doses of untested Zacuity all across the Free Trade Zone. Now she was flush with good meds, but that hardly mattered. If she’d caused that student’s drug meltdown, Jack had screwed up on every possible level, from science to ethics.
With a beep, the printer opened its door to reveal two perforated concrete bricks. Jack lugged them back upstairs, wondering the entire time why she had decided to carry so much weight in her bare hands.

Copyright © 2017 by Annalee Newitz


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annalee Newitz is an American journalist, editor, and author of both fiction and nonfiction. She is the recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship from MIT, and has written for Popular Science, Wired, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. She also founded the science fiction website io9 and served as Editor-in-Chief from 2008–2015, and subsequently edited Gizmodo. As of 2016, she is Tech Culture Editor at the technology site Ars Technica. Her books include Pretend We're Dead and Autonomous.

Photo Credit: Annalee Newitz






GIVEAWAY:

Friday, September 15, 2017

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Everlast Series by Juliana Haygert


Destiny Gift
Juliana Haygert
(The Everlast Series #1)
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal
Her gift will bring light to a world of darkness…
In 2047, the world exists in permanent darkness. Nineteen-year-old Nadine, a student at NYU, works hard to better her family’s life in the harsh conditions. When she starts having strange visions of someone named Victor, she tries to ignore the flashes, afraid she might be going insane.
But when she bumps into a very real Victor, her entire world shifts. Her visions taking a turn for the worse, Nadine is bombarded with prophecies of eerie fates, unfamiliar gods, sharp-clawed demons… and instructions. Along with the reluctant Victor, she finds her path entwined with yet another man, Micah, who may be able to shed light on her dark revelations.
Directed down an unbelievable path of magic and mayhem, the three must unravel clues from the visions in order to restore an ancient creed. The chance to bring sunlight to the world again is in Nadine’s gift, but only if the evil forces behind the darkness don’t manage to stop her first.
If you like Urban Fantasy Romance with Post-Apocalyptic elements, you’ll love this action-packed story about destiny, self-discovery, and love. Destiny Gift will entice fans of Lauren Kate, Cassandra Clare, and Kim Harrison.


Soul Oath
Juliana Haygert
(The Everlast Series #2)
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal
Her soul will restore life after death…
It’s been three months since the events that changed Nadine’s life, and she’s finally starting to put the pieces back in some semblance of order. But she knows this new normal cannot last. Until Victor and Micah find the scepters that will restore them to their true forms, their human bodies will require her healing touch. It’s only a matter of time before the men return to wreak havoc on her world again.
As if to prove her right, Victor shows up, a swarm of demons on his trail. After turning him away, Nadine is forced to flee to safety, unwilling plunged right back into the chaos of the mystical world. Despite her attempts to keep her family out of the battle, the unthinkable occurs, and her only hope lies in the oath she forces Micah to make.
Confronted by her greatest fear, Nadine finds a new motivation. Vengeance. And when seeking revenge, no risk is too great, including her own life.


Cup of Life
Juliana Haygert
(The Everlast Series #2.5)
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal
He will live forever, but his existence will mean nothing without her.
Not even a god can break a soul oath. Refusing to accept Nadine’s imminent death, Micah goes on a perilous journey to discover a way to change her terrible fate. A legend about a cup holds the key, but the price to get it may be more than he is willing to pay.
A short novella from Micah’s point of view about his attempt to use love’s light to break through death’s unforgiving darkness




Everlasting Circle
Juliana Haygert
(The Everlast Series #3)
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal
Her fight against darkness will only delay death…
With the last battle fast approaching, the time to gather allies for an army is running out. As are the number of days left in Nadine’s life.
Despite Micah’s insistence that they find a way to stop Nadine’s impeding death, she chooses to focus all her attention on strategies to win the war instead. With a new hero, a new god, and new abilities, she starts to believe they might actually have a chance to lift the never-ending veil of darkness. Until a betrayal throws a wrench into their carefully made plans, setting them back to square one.
Lost and angry, Nadine contemplates giving up, but her warrior spirit won’t allow her to admit defeat. Her time on this Earth might be ending, but she has too much to accomplish before she dies. Against all odds, Nadine will keep fighting to win the war… even if it takes until her very last breath.

Author Bio:
While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting--but equally gratifying--life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.
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