Monthly Archives: October 2018

Forsaken Genesis by M. J. Marinescu – Blog Tour Book Extract

On Sunday I had an interview with author MJ Marinescu on the best bits of being a writer and today here’s the synopsis and an extract from his book Forsaken Genesis.

Goodreads Link

Synopsis

The world has changed in more ways than one. Most humans live in the safety of the hive cities, massive industrial complexes walled off to the outside world. Yet, the dangers of the wilds are no longer limited to the outskirts. Rumours abound of strange things in the night. Sightings of subhumans and citizens being abducted, whisked off by men in vans or worse. The Department of Control keeps a close eye on the citizens of Avalon but who are they protecting?

Melissa thought the world outside the facility would be safe. Free from the pain and the incessant tests of the men in white coats but what she finds is a world unknown. Fleeting memories call to her like a siren song pleading for her to remember. Can she figure out her strange dreams and the shadowed figure who hounds her in her sleep? She must discover who she is and come to terms with the truth that may have been kept from her for good reason if she hopes to survive in this strange new world.

Author Information

MJ Marinescu has always dreamed of being a novelist. Writing stories from a young age, the author has never faltered from that dream as well as devoting time to fitness and martial arts. Born in Ottawa Ontario, the author now lives in Calgary Alberta and enjoys art, animals, and nature. You can keep up with MJ on Twitter @MJMarinescu or at the official website

Prologue Extract

Johnathan surveyed the scene of the crime, the flashing lights of the Department of Control perimeter drones warning the public to remain at a distance. Another disappearance in a string of similar incidents over the past few months. The difference this time was that he arrived before whoever was covering them up.

“How did you find this one so fast Faye?” Johnathan asked.

“I knew the person involved. There’s something else you need to know, but I wanted to tell you in person,” she replied, a look of concern on her face as she regarded him.

Johnathan scratched his unkempt beard, the stress of the recent mysterious cases beginning to show on him. “Well?”

Faye motioned for him to follow her as she stepped through the laser perimeter. The drones scanned both detectives as they crossed, running their images through the department’s databases. The building was lit only by the shouldermounted flashlights as they headed down the hallways.

Avalon was the first of the industrial hives of humanity, a pinnacle of the modern age, but despite the prestigious title, the city was not immune to squalour and crime. This building, like countless others, was one of the many places untouched by the reach of the city’s everincreasing supervision.

Faye stopped outside what remained of a door. Another of the drones kept watch, reporting everything back to the department where it would be catalogued and filed. “John, look at me. We’ve been partners for a long time. We’ll figure this out, okay, I promise.”

Johnathan looked at Faye, gazing at her into the room. The air hung with the burned solder and copper, but also pine, which seemed out of place. Pushing his way past Faye, he stepped into the apartment. Torn furniture littered the simple room, but most of the area was filled with cybernetic scraps, paint cans, and other hastily abandoned equipment. “Junkers? What does this have to do with our case?”

“Not only junkers, John, they were trying to control the Awakening. Now they’re gone,” she spoke, barely above a whisper.

A chill washed over him as his mind toyed with the possibility. “How is that possible? Wait. You said you knew the person involved? Faye?”

She motioned with her eyes for him to follow as she placed a finger to her lips. Continuing through the room, Faye stepped out onto the landing through the broken window. The city’s neon lights and loudspeaker announcements rang out over the heavy rain and the constant patter of water on metal. A set of rusted fire escape stairs snaked down the side of the building.

Johnathan looked back into the room before following his partner down the precarious stairs. When they reached the bottom, he asked again, “Where are we going?”

“I don’t want the drones to hear, okay?”

He raised his hands in mock surrender. “Okay.”

“I promised her I wouldn’t say anything, but after tonight I have to. It’s Jane.”

The name hit him like a truck. “My Jane? What about her?”

“Look, I investigated this fellow a couple of weeks ago. He was working out of the room upstairs. When I came in, I saw Jane. She was with him.”

“What the hell does that mean? It couldn’t have been Jane. She said she was going to visit her mother in France.”

“I’m telling you, John, it’s the truth. She only told you that she was leaving town for a while because she’s afraid. She told me that she was showing signs of Awakening. She was desperate and trying to find anything that could help, so she turned to the junkers.”

“Son of a…” he trailed off, tapping on his communicator. “Call Jane,” he commanded as the device complied.

“John, stop. I made her tell me where she was staying, but that isn’t the only problem now.”

“Why wouldn’t she tell me?” He pressed the communicator again, disconnecting the call as the voicemail message played. “All right, I’m listening.”

“It wasn’t the Order of the Shield who got here first. It was the Grove.”

“Like the Grove? I thought they were a myth?”

“Well, if my contact is to be believed they’re real. I don’t have any reason to doubt him, and now shortly after he contacted me, he’s gone dark,” Faye said flatly.

“Okay, so the Grove is real if we believe your guy, and he was working on helping the Awakened. The Grove must also be after them, like the Order. The disappearances, the coverups, they must have all been Awakened. This means the government is working with the Order, and if they’re in on it, the department must be too.”

Faye quirked an eyebrow. “Now you see why I didn’t want the drones to hear.”

“This is insane. We sound like conspiracy nuts. I’ve been with the department for twentyfive years. Nothing like this has ever come up.”

“Well, this whole Awakened business is very different from normal problems.”

“True. So, where’s Jane? If she’s mixed up in this, I need to get to her first.”

Faye pulled out a crumpled piece of paper and handed it to him. “Be careful, John. If the department is part of this, you can’t use any of their gear. Don’t even take your car there.”

“Good idea. Thanks, Faye. You can handle the rest of the work here?”

She nodded, then strolled off towards the front of the building leaving him alone in the alleyway. Johnathan read the address on the paper, turned off his communicator and ran off.

~~ * ~~

Jane opened her eyes groggily as the bright, white light of the room assaulted her. She tried to move but soon realised she was restrained on a table. Panic set in as she struggled against the bonds trying to remember how she got here. She was sitting in one of Overdrive’s socalled safe houses. He had set her up temporarily while he worked out the last few things he needed for his cure. A loud crash from the next room woke her up. What would John do? she thought, looking around the room, trying to find any clues.

The room was large and filled with state of the art equipment, better than any she had at the hospital. Some of them she did not recognise but could hazard a guess as to their purpose. Aside from the equipment, the room itself was dull. She glanced around for insight into the area. Thick windows surrounded her. One window revealed a hallway with doctors, or she assumed they were doctors by their attire, walking this way and that, each accompanying a young girl. Patients of some sort, they all wore the same drab robe, ranged in age from five to their late teens, and all walked with the same sleepy demeanour.

From the second window, she could see two men conversing. One man was some sort of chairman if she had to guess. His perfectly tailored suit, slickedback hair, and sunglasses commanded authority and a sense of selfimportance. The second man, another doctor. Judging by their body language, they were speaking about her.

The third set of windows revealed a room similar to the one she found herself in. The same bed, machines, and a girl in her late teens who struggled against her bonds. Her wild mane of dark hair flailing as she did. Unlike the other girls Jane had seen, this girl seemed scared, either the drugs they used to keep the children docile had worn off or were otherwise ineffective. She watched the girl struggle violently while the doctor in the room ignored her antics as he busied himself with something Jane could not make out. It reminded her of a video she had seen as a child. A rabbit restrained, struggling so frantically until it broke its own neck trying to escape whatever tests the doctor had planned.

Her thoughts were cut short as the door to her room opened. She stared as the man in the suit strode off down the hall. The doctor he had been speaking with approached her with a predatory smile, like a child who had been given permission to keep the cricket he captured.

“Sorry to keep you, Mrs. Edwards.”

“How do you know my name? Where am I? What’s going on here?”

“We know a great deal about you, and soon I hope to know more. Please give me a moment while I prepare the serum.”

Jane could hear him moving things behind her but could not see. What little hope she had remaining that this may be an actual hospital died as the stark realisation hit her. Panic once again set in as she struggled against her restraints. The girl in the other room looked at her before the doctor pressed a switch causing the windows to tint.

She felt a sharp pain in her neck from the doctor injecting her, causing the room to spin and his words to fade as she tried to make sense of them. She lay helplessly as he picked up instruments to run his assessment of her. The way he went about his business with casual disregard shocked her, and she wondered how many other people he had done this to. At that moment, she realised the last thing she had told her husband had been a lie and that she was never going to have the chance to tell him the truth.

The blog tour runs until Sunday so do check out the other posts.

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Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend – Release Day Book Review

In case you missed my review of Nevermoor, which was one of my favourite reads of last year you can see it here.

Just as magic under the dust jacket

In this follow up to the magical Nevermoor, Jessica Townsend’s heroine Morrigan Crow, now twelve, has passed the entry trials to the Wundrous Society and is looking forward to beginning an array of exciting classes. However due to her ‘very special talent’ which no one can know about, her teachers, Scholar Mistresses Dearborn and Murgatroyd have other plans for Morrigan and they are mostly boring.

It’s only the conductor of Unit 919’s hometrain, the aptly named Miss Cheery and new teacher Mildmay, who makes exploring the streets of Nevermoor exciting, that save Morrigan from having a completely terrible time. Jupiter is always away searching for missing people, half her unit don’t trust her and then there’s the school bully to contend with.

Her loyal friend Hawthorne and Cadence are both back too, along with the madcap residents of the Hotel Deucalion including my favourite the sarcastic Fenestra.

Halloween returns with a spooky seance, as does the evil Wundersmith Ezra Squall. Will Morrigan escape his clutches this time?

I love this series. If you like Harry Potter definitely pick this up. It’s just as magical, Morrigan faces her own daily battles but is part of a wider battle within her world. Much more of the location of Nevermoor is explored and Morrigan and her friends stumble on some nasty places.

The characters are simply brilliant. So vivid and fun. The only problem with this series is that kids will want to keep reading well past bedtime and adults will want to borrow this whilst younger readers are asleep.

Wundersmith is released today – 30th October making it the perfect Halloween read.

Forsaken Genesis by M. J. Marinescu – Blog Tour Guest Post (Favourite Things About Being an Author)

For the first of my two stops on the blog tour for Forsaken Genesis I’d like to welcome author M. J. Marinescu with a guest post on the best things about being an author.

Hi everyone, today I’m going to go over some of my favourite things about being an author. This is by no means a be all end all list, but it’s just some of the things that I love most about my job.

Being your own boss: As an author, you get to be your own boss (for the most part). Some traditionally published authors do have a boss in a sense, they have a publisher who gives them a deadline or an agent that schedules events and meetings etc., but for the most part, even they are in control of their own day to day activities.

Self-published and Indie-published authors are in even more control of their day to day routines. This can be good or bad for people. It takes a highly motivated and driven person to succeed as a self-published or Indie author. You do not have an agent or publishing house marketing your work, so you need to get out there and do it all yourself. Being able to set your own schedule and pace can be very rewarding.

For me, this isn’t so bad because I love interacting with people, especially fans, not even necessarily my own fans but fans of sci-fi and fantasy in general. I, like many other writers, do have deep running anxiety about “being out in the world” but you need to learn to deal with the butterflies and get out there and spread the word.

Working at something you love: This should probably go without saying, but I love telling stories and sharing them with people. Shortly after I learned to read and write I started creating stories. My first story ever written was about a spacefaring penguin. I remember being so happy and proud of it and bringing it in to my kindergarten teacher. She was even impressed, and we used to read them out to the class. Ever since that day I was hooked.

I know it’s totally cliché to say but if you’re doing something you love you never have to work a day in your life.

Interacting with readers: The best part about writing to me is seeing peoples’ reactions to my stories. Having them fall in love with and/or hate certain characters. Reading fan theories or forums discussing little details most people may overlook. These are the best things about being a writer. There’s nothing better than knowing people love your work, the world and characters you’ve created. If I can make someone’s day a little better through my writing, then I’ve done my job, and without the wonderful fans, I could not do what I do.

Creation! A God am I: I love being able to create worlds and people. Something that I have really noticed lately, in Hollywood especially (sorry to call you out Hollywood) is the lack of original ideas or willingness to take risks on new ideas. We’re seeing this more and more with all the reboots from 80’s and 90’s movies and cartoons and generally predictable movies.

One thing that I enjoy doing is taking ideas and putting my own spin on them. You can see this in my novel Forsaken Genesis. While it’s an “Urban Fantasy” I have taken things and thrown them all together. It’s why I struggle to give my book a genre because it combines so many elements of different ones. Is it Cyberpunk? New Adult? Young Adult? Urban Fantasy? LGBTQ+ Fiction etc. etc.

Being able to let your imagination run wild to create fantastical worlds and places is a wonderful feeling. One word of warning, however, is that to always make sure you have a solid foundation for your worlds and abide by the rules you have created. One of my pet peeves as a fan (and I’m sure I’m not alone on this) is when a writer sets up a world and tells us the rules only to have something come along later and change things on us. Gravity will always be gravity, I don’t expect to wake up one morning, take a step outside and float off into space so don’t do that in your writing either. This may be a bit of an extreme example, but the notion holds true. Your readers deserve better than that so think twice before you do something “against your rules”.

The other thing I love about being free to create the stories I want to tell is that I can do just that. I can tell the story that I want to tell. If you want to see more diversity and representation in movies, art and literature sometimes you need to get out there and do it yourself. I pride myself on having diversity in my stories that doesn’t feel forced. My characters are who they are, period. They aren’t held back by their identity or used as a “token” they are fleshed out beings and I hope people can smile and feel proud and even relate to them.

There’s nothing in the world I would rather do than tell a good story.

So those are some of the things that I love most about being an author. What do you all think? What are some of your favourite things about writing? Let me know in the comments below or if you have any other questions or even if you just want to talk hit me up on Twitter @MJMarinescu. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this, hope you all have a great day and I’ll talk to you soon.

Come back on Halloween to find out more about Forsaken Genesis.

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