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Marnee Blake: Syfy-romance writing for YA/NA

Posted in Blog Tour/ Features 5th July 2016
by Marnee Blake

Hi there!

Thank you for having me on the blog today. I’m Marnee Blake, and I write fast-paced, action-packed YA and NA romantic thrillers. The Altered Series is a set of syfy romantic thrillers. The second book in the series, AVENGED, released from Entangled Embrace on June 27th.

Unlike a lot of syfy romance books, my series is contemporary-set. These books don’t take place in space or on a distant planet. They’re set on Earth. They deal with topics of science and technology here. I originally came up with this series after I read an article about something called the Transhumanist movement. Transhumanism is defined as “the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.” Like so much research, one click led to another, and soon I’d fallen down the rabbit hole reading about how some think this is bold and courageous thinking, and how others warned about the possible moral and ethical issues that arise from it.

I got the idea of a doctor who develops a drug to expand mental capabilities. The books rose from there.

I think that syfy allows us, as storytellers, to explore the edges of possibility in our reality. We know that space is vast, for instance, and we are curious about what could be out there. I feel like every year brings new developments in science and technology. Fiction gives us a chance to engage with the possibilities.

As for syfy romance… When you go so close to what could be possible, it can be scary. When you’re reading about other worlds, distant lands, or the distant places that humanity could go in our own backyard, there’s fear of the unknown. Love, though, is universal. Romance celebrates the connections, not the distance. So, when we’re going to the edges of what scares us, knowing there is still love there at the core of our humanity, I think that is soothing. It gives us a safe place while we explore what could be.

Tell me what you love about syfy romance.

Thank you so much for having me today!


I’m delighted to be on Marnee’s blog tour. Read more about Avenged here.

Blog Tour: Avenged by Marnee Blake

Posted in Blog Tour/ Features 5th July 2016

Blog Tour: Avenged by Marnee Blake

Blog Tour: Avenged by Marnee BlakeAvenged (Altered, #2) by Marnee Blake
Published by Entangled: Embrace on June 27th 2016
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

Three terrifying months.
That’s how long Kitty Laughton has been at the mercy of the scientist who experimented on her town, killing over a dozen people and giving the rest of them unique powers. But Kitty doesn’t feel powerful, especially when she learns the crazy man plans to test his research on more unsuspecting people. She refuses to let anyone else die, but trapped with no one to help her she’s out of options…that is until sexy and exasperating Nick Degrassi arrives.
Special-ops soldier Nick blames himself for Kitty’s capture, and he’ll do whatever he can to free the quiet beauty, but close quarters and a shared secret bring an attraction that neither of them expected. With the organization that started it all making mercenaries for hire, Nick and Kitty must save themselves and stop a madman…before it’s too late.
The Altered series is best enjoyed in order.Reading Order:Book #1 AlteredBook #2 Avenged

Avenged

Three terrifying months.

That’s how long Kitty Laughton has been at the mercy of the scientist who experimented on her town, killing over a dozen people and giving the rest of them unique powers. But Kitty doesn’t feel powerful, especially when she learns the crazy man plans to test his research on more unsuspecting people. She refuses to let anyone else die, but trapped with no one to help her she’s out of options…that is until sexy and exasperating Nick Degrassi arrives.

Special-ops soldier Nick blames himself for Kitty’s capture, and he’ll do whatever he can to free the quiet beauty, but close quarters and a shared secret bring an attraction that neither of them expected. With the organization that started it all making mercenaries for hire, Nick and Kitty must save themselves and stop a madman…before it’s too late.

Links
Amazon
| B&N | iTunes | Goodreads

About the Author
Award-winning author and RITA® finalist Marnee Blake used to teach high school students but these days she only has to wrangle her own children. Originally from a small town in Western Pennsylvania, she now battles traffic in southern New Jersey where she lives with her hero husband and their happily-ever-after: two very energetic boys. When she isn’t writing, she can be found refereeing disputes between her children, cooking up something sweet, or hiding from encroaching dust bunnies with a book.

Find Marnee on the web at www.marneeblake.com, on Twitter @marneeblake, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorMarneeBlake/.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Excerpt

“You don’t know that. You need to be prepared for anything.”

That had become the mantra over the past three days. Be prepared. Like she’d joined the Boy Scouts without anyone telling her about it.

Prepare for any event. Have an attack ready. Strike as fast and as hard as she could. Fast because speed was her best asset, and hard because she could only count on one opportunity.

She’d asked for his help. He’d reminded her of that over and over. After they’d had their conversation the first day, when he’d explained his reservations about teaching her, he’d thrown himself into her training like a man obsessed.

But not obsessed with her. In fact, since that conversation—after telling her that he wanted more than friends, that he wanted her—he’d been true to his word. He’d been a complete gentleman. He’d been respectful of her personal space, and he’d never spoken of it again, as he’d promised. He’d even reined in his thoughts, for the most part.

His touch had stayed completely platonic, as if they were related or really good buddies. And they’d touched a lot. In fact, they’d spent the last three days wrestling with each other. The more they touched, the more she craved his arms around her.

It was maddening. She’d been the one to draw the line in the sand. Yet, she was the one who wanted to stay in his arms. She was the one who inhaled too deeply when she was pressed against his chest. She was the one who couldn’t stop staring at him.

In that time, she’d only caught something different in him one time. It had been two days ago, the second full day of training. She closed her mind to him when they weren’t practicing, but she needed to hear his thoughts when they were working out so she could learn how to use her power to her advantage.

They’d fallen. He’d gone down on his butt then rolled onto his back, and she’d landed on top of him. His hands had been on her waist. Their faces had been so close she could feel his breath on her forehead. His brain had buzzed with wanting.

It had been an echo of what was coursing through her…the heat, the need to touch him.

They’d frozen like that until he gently but firmly moved her off of him and scrambled to his feet. As he’d moved away from her, she’d see it.

Something like longing.

His jaw tightened, and his brows lowered. Then, it was gone from his mind, replaced by his determination. Always his determination. He drove her on and on, teaching with more patience than she’d ever seen in anyone, forcing whatever was happening between them to the recesses of himself.

But in that moment, she’d wanted to reach for him. She’d had to stop herself from crawling to him. She wanted to wrap her arms around him and place her lips on his perfect mouth.

Review

‘Avenged’ might not make a whole lot of sense if Blake’s first novella ‘Altered’ isn’t read first. Even if it feels as though I’ve been waiting for this book for a very long time, I found my memories about what really happened in ‘Altered’ fuzzy when the ARC of ‘Avenged’ finally dropped into my lap a year later. Thrust straight into the action from the first chapter, we’re told in bursts about what had happened in the previous months or weeks – not quite enough to put the whole picture together – but the full story isn’t quite ever revealed, as though it has been assumed that anyone who begins ‘Avenged’ has already read its prequel. I found myself having to go back and get to know the motley crew once again, which hindered my enjoyment of the story simply because of the prerequisite knowledge I needed to have to fully enjoy this one.

But relished it I did, nonetheless.

The subject matter here itself isn’t given a too much of a spin on the super-soldier and illegitimate enhanced drug testing bit that I find myself completely floored by it. But ‘Avenged’ made me a happy camper for pretty much the same reasons ‘Altered’ did: the sharp clarity of Blake’s prose, the romantic tension amidst the unrelenting action and the all-round decent main characters who aren’t afraid to say what they wanted without the slew of emotional trickery simply because there is really something bigger to fight against in an ongoing arc of a story that grows curvier and longer by the minute.

Kitty and Nick made a believable pair despite what might look like instant love, I appreciated the author’s effort to develop a connection that went beyond the physical, bound as they were by their circumstances. In short, there isn’t a dull moment, even if things sometimes skim the sharp but slippery slopes of believability at times especially when it ends in some way that echoes the shenanigans of any X-men movie over this past decade and more. More than a ‘kids trying to control their new powers’ story, ‘Avenged’ makes me hopeful for what might come after already.

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four-stars

Blog Tour: Dusk by Maureen A. Miller

Posted in Blog Tour/ Features 1st July 2016

Blog Tour: Dusk by Maureen A. Miller

DUSK

As a young girl, Amanda Newton witnessed the brutal murder of her parents. As an adult she is targeted by their murderer.

Beautiful. Reserved. Mysterious. Amanda Newton, the CEO of BLUE-LINK, epitomizes control with her adept handling of the global company. But that control is threatened with a series of attacks against her.

Ray Gordon, a former Navy SEAL is looking to open his own security firm. One more contracting job with BLUE-LINK would complete the funding. When he is hired to protect Amanda Newton, the Ice Queen herself, he never bargained on falling for her.

Amanda has something her attacker wants. He has waited over twenty years to claim it, and he will destroy anyone close to her to get it.

…but he’s met his match in Ray Gordon.

This is a standalone novel. You do not have to read the others in the series.

Buy Links:

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Duskseries

What is BLUE-LINK?
BLUE-LINK is a fictional global company run by the enigmatic, Amanda Newton, a woman whose signature accessory is a blue diamond ring. The company is designed to assess risk for start-up entrepreneurs in foreign countries. Each book in this series is standalone and features the romance and danger encountered by the employees and associates of BLUE-LINK.

Excerpt:

Amanda sat at her office desk with her arms crossed atop the mahogany surface. She glared at the oversized monitor facing her. A grid of six faces stared back, some diffident, some determined. In the upper right-hand corner, Claudia Eichmann from the Berlin office knit her copper eyebrows together as she spoke over the others. Her words were a split-second behind the movement of her lips due to the video conferencing software.

“You are the head of this company. The backbone. The heart. What if something were to happen to you?”

An imperceptible flaring of Amanda’s nostrils might disclose her heavy sigh. “Each of you is fully capable of running BLUE-LINK. You are directors. You are the heart and backbone of your branch. You are my panel of advisors, and I only surround myself with skilled personnel.”

“We appreciate that,” Claudia continued, “but I am sure I speak for the others here in saying that we’re certainly not your equal. None of us would have wanted to take on that Eclipse lawsuit. At the end of the day, it is your company, and you are the one personally vested.”

Several heads bobbed in agreement.

“You need personal security,” Benjamin Forsyth from Australia inserted. “Not a seventy-five year old man.”

Amanda bristled at the attack on George.

“There is nothing sinister behind the assault in the alley,” she countered. Or the attempted break-in. “It’s simply a consequence of being affluent.”

“You are indifferent to your power,” Gerald Williams from Los Angeles chided, “recklessly walking the streets−stopping at the pub on occasion.”

That the ebony-eyed man in the center panel was correct didn’t detract from her need for freedom. She walked a narrow line and she knew it.

One flick of the power switch to the monitor would eliminate their censure, but it would not fade the echoes of their points. She respected this panel. They wouldn’t be facing her right now if she didn’t.

“You recently used a security contractor with that Eclipse Line mess. He seemed very capable and very discreet,” Gerald from LA said. “We suggest that you bring him into the office for a consult. If you don’t speak to him directly, we just may−”

“You’ll call him in on my behalf,” Amanda quickly tested. Her cheeks burned, but her demeanor remained a practiced blend of glacial elegance.

Gerald’s shoulders came into view as he shrugged. “We have a vested interest in your well-being.”

Amanda drew in a long breath and stared down at the reflection of the sun off her diamond ring. It cast a thousand microscopic prisms skittering across the polished wood surface.

“I’ll take your suggestion under advisement. Allow me to confer with the police before I make any rash decisions.”
“Rash?” Claudia from Berlin hefted a burnished eyebrow. “This is not rash. This is something that should have been addressed long ago. To us you have always seemed larger than life.” The eyebrow fell. “But perhaps you are a tad human after all.”

About the author

mm

USA TODAY bestselling author, Maureen A. Miller’s first novel, WIDOW’S TALE, earned her a Golden Heart nomination in Romantic Suspense. Working in the software industry for fifteen years in a job that required extensive travel, Maureen chose to write during those lengthy airport layovers—escapism at its best. She is currently in the middle of a 3-book Romantic Suspense series featuring SHADOW, MIST, and DUSK.

Recently, Maureen branched out into the Young Adult Science Fiction market with BEYOND and the BEYOND Series. She is having fun keeping her head in the stars!

When she’s not writing, Maureen enjoys supporting other authors. She is the founder of www.JustRomanticSuspense.com, and its offspring JUST sites.

…Okay, that’s the official third-person bio. Now let me tell you the real story. I’m an avid Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan, basically a rare breed. I will eat anything with mozzarella on it. I’m still mourning the fact that Buffy is gone. I write because I like the power. In life we have so little control. In writing we have all the control.

I truly believe that I was a soul singer in my former life, which is interesting because I can’t sing. But man, I can do a mean lip-syncing rendition of Midnight Train To Georgia! 🙂

If I haven’t scared you away by now, you can find out more about me at www.maureenamiller.com.

Where to find Maureen

Find Maureen at her website,  FacebookTwitter and Goodreads

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