Grav. Attraction Launch Party – Brain Issues & Excerpt

July 21, 2014

So…brains…

I think a lot about neurological issues. Some of the obsession is personal since my own immune system is trying to eat my brain, but most of it has to do with the astonishing biological mechanism itself.

Some amazing brain facts, you say? Sure, always happy to oblige.

  •  Your skin weighs twice as much as your brain. Yep. Truth. The average brain weighs about three pounds
  • There are no pain receptors in the brain itself. There certainly are in your head, but not your brain.
  • Humans continue to make new neurons and new connections throughout their entire lives in response to mental activity. Exercise your brain!
  • Language learning alters the structure of the brain. Children who learn two languages before the age of five develop much denser gray matter as adults. (Dense in a good way.)
  • Brain waves are more active while you dream than while you’re awake.
  • Research shows that humans carry genes that help protect the brain from diseases contracted through eating human flesh, so it’s more than possible that we used to eat each other.

 

Why all this brain talk? Has Angel finally slipped a gear? No, no, as usual, I have an ulterior motive. My new release, Gravitational Attraction, has as one of its main themes the amazing capacity of the human brain to adapt and to change. Both of the main characters have, each in his own way, a brain that’s his own worst enemy and one of those brains has developed potentially deadly talents.

Brains. Putting the weird in weird science.

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Excerpt:

 

A terrible jolt yanked him from the dark. Shchfteru. Agonized screams. Rage coursing through every nerve. The white… blinding white… imploding suns… the terrible silence…

 

He had no wish to open his eyes again. There had been a face, a beautiful face, but he must have dreamt it in his madness. The silence remained. If he opened his eyes, he would see the cell again, the blood drenched walls, the gray horror of his floating tomb. No. Better to keep his eyes closed and see again those dark eyes set against flawless golden skin.

 

Wait. Sound. The soft sound of even breaths drawn. Not alone. Sweet spirits, I’m not alone.

 

His eyes flew open to find a miracle staring at him from across the room, the same lovely face from his vision. It must have been true. His body felt warmer and no longer as if he might go mad from thirst. Rescue… perhaps. But he needed to be cautious.

 

“Hey.” The beautiful, golden-skinned man spoke, his smile reaching his raindrop-shaped eyes. “You recognize me?”

 

He could only stare, hesitant to believe the evidence of his senses. They had lied to him before in recent days.

 

“You have a name?” The voice rivaled the face in beauty, soft and warm, caressing his exhausted mind. “All right, we’ll start with mine. I’m Isaac Ozawa. And I guess I could just call you the Marduk Rescuee, or maybe Ishmael—”

 

“Ishmael?” The word caught in his dry throat, barely a rasp.

 

“Yeah, you know, the sole survivor? And I alone survived to tell the tale? Oh, never mind. But it would be nicer to have a name.”

 

He swallowed against the rawness, trying for more of a voice. “Turk.”

 

“That’s your name? Turk?”

 

He nodded and watched in fascination as Isaac shook his head, dark hair fanning his cheeks.

 

“Of course it is. No soft sibilants or lingual sounds for you. Oh, no. Nothing but hard, strong sounds. You probably have a last name that would hurt to say.”

 

Turk drew a slow breath, trying to keep up with events. His head ached. “Always… talk so much?”

 

“Only when I’m nervous or pissed off.”

 

“Which?”

 

“Which is it now? Oh, nervous, definitely.” Isaac shifted, head cocked to one side. “Not that strange men usually make me this nervous.”

 

“But… I do.” He forced his attention away from the captivating face. Isaac was in uniform, burgundy with gold piping. He couldn’t match the colors with any unit he knew. Whose hands had he fallen into? “Water?”

 

“Oh, shit.” The beautiful smile fell. “Of course you want water. Damn. Hang on.”

 

Turk eased his head back to the bed, waiting. Something pinned his hands and feet. In his weakened condition, he had little hope of breaking a magnetic or even a physical barrier. Isaac came back into view, water bottle in hand. A sharp, electric jolt ran down Turk’s spine when an elegant, golden hand slipped behind his head to help him drink. He had no business thinking about those hands.

 

“Better?”

 

“Thank you.” Why did he have to be so kind? It would make what he had to do so much harder. He closed his eyes on a sigh, gauging the remaining strength in his wasted body. “Back hurts. Need to…”

 

“Stupid restraints,” Isaac muttered. “They should’ve at least left you one hand free so you could shift a little.”

 

He chewed on a sensuously full lower lip, considering, as Turk watched in helpless fascination. Isaac’s jaw clenched as he seemed to come to a decision. He reached over and pressed the pad to unlock Turk’s left wrist.

 

The moment he regained movement, Turk lunged. He seized Isaac by the throat, applying enough pressure to constrict his airway.

 

“What unit? What battle group? Whom do you serve?”

 

Isaac’s fingers scrabbled at his hand, his eyes wide and desperate. “Don’t… please…”

 

“Who are you?”

 

“Not… military,” Isaac choked out, his coloring edging up from pink to crimson.

 

“Liar,” Turk growled. “Implant. Fighter pilot. Behind your ear.”

 

“Ex-Altairian… fleet…” Isaac gasped, struggling to pull away. He was strong but not large enough to break Turk’s grip. “Bad… implant. Discharged… this is… commercial ship… courier…”

 

His eyes rolled back and his body went limp as if someone had stolen his bones. Turk let him slide to the floor, his heart racing. With his free hand, he unlocked the rest of his restraints and rolled to peer over the edge of his bed. Isaac lay crumpled on the decking, the shadows of his thick, black lashes caressing his cheeks.

 

No insignia, no rank designation, a courier ship… what have I done?

 

 

About the Author:

 

Angel Martinez, millionaire heiress and international woman of mystery…what? Why are you laughing so hard? *sulks* Fine. Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a short, middle-aged mom who happens to write between evil day job duties and mom duties. She lives in northern Delaware with her hubs, son, and two cats and someday wishes to build a utopian city on the moon. (It’s a dream, all right?)

Website: http://angelmartinezauthor.weebly.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Angel.Martinez.author

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1010469.Angel_Martinez

 

 

 

Gravitational Attraction’s Universe – it’s a strange galaxy out there

July 21, 2014

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ESTO - the Eridani Sector Treaty Organization was born from a desperate rebellion against a despotic plutocracy. A far-flung confederation of planets, ESTO’s original intent was to build a republic where humans could be free, autonomous individuals. Original intents are often difficult to maintain. Suspicions and ambitions lead to border wars and bureaucratic neglect.

In the post-war galaxy, paranoia and xenophobia color every action. A few brave individuals reach out, though – to other races, other worlds, to those unlike themselves.

These stories follow the heroes who struggle to change minds and win hearts, to redefine how humans will fit in a universe where we are no longer alone.

There are currently three novels and two short stories in the ESTO Universe – Gravitational Attraction was the first of these to take shape in my brain and make it onto paper.

Taken in chronological order, (according to the timeline in that universe) the stories are:

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Prisoner 374215

Amazon

While the cell is sparse and cold, at least this one has a bed. The figure resting there is too thin; too still, the prominent bones the result of long starvation, the stillness the product of too much anguish and abuse. He watches, though. An anxious, intelligent mind still occupies this frail and failing body, one that watches and wonders about the new guard occupying his cell each night.

 

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Vassily The Beautiful

Vassily Belikov, composer and pampered son of privilege, suffered neurological damage in the accident that killed his father. Resentful of his invalid status, he lives as a recluse, dependent on his mother, until the day she brings home a new husband with two sons of his own.

His mother’s kidnapping leaves him at the mercy of his amoral stepfather. Fighting addiction, fear, and physical shortcomings, he’s forced to seek out the criminal mastermind Baba Yaga for a replacement part. While she agrees to a deal if he beats his addiction, paranoia infuses her household. Drawn to her fierce youngest son, certain his actions are carefully measured, Vassily must find the courage to face his fears and his desires if he expects to survive.

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A Matter Of Faces
(From the Cabin For Two Series)

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All Romance

A data privateer crash lands on a barely habitable moon where he’s rescued by a research scientist who refuses to show his face. Though suspicious and paranoid by necessity, Rhodi finds himself drawn to the soft-spoken man behind the mask.

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Gravitational Attraction

A mysterious distress call draws the crew of the Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting ship. Empty, except for the gore-spattered corridors and one survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his responsibility, offering him kindness and warmth after the horror he experienced.

Turk longs for Isaac, a desperate, hopeless ache he’ll always carry with him.

But Turk’s brain harbors dangerous secrets, a military experiment gone wrong. When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac to convince Turk to become the weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the Hermes crew’s ingenuity, the enigmatic Drak’tar’s help, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.

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Sub Zero

Amazon

Major Aren Dalsgaard’s newest assignment is to investigate a series of murders on the frigid planet, Drass, where relations between the Treaty settlers and the natives have taken a nasty turn. A linguist and trained xenologist, Aren should be the ideal Special Investigations officer for the assignment. So what’s the problem? Drass is where he died, more than a hundred and twenty years ago.

Sent by his family to the chigyel city, Nyachung finds himself confronted with a murder charge, racial prejudice, and a cryo-revived investigator who claims to be a hero from his grandmother’s generation. Major Dalsgaard could be crazy or he could be lying, but the sincerity in his spring-green eyes disturbs Nyachung more than anything else he encounters in the foreigners’ city.

Now, confronted with mysterious black boxes and a beautiful yet evasive young man as a prime suspect, Aren hopes he can solve the murders before his fierce sexual attraction to Nyachung gets the better of him…

 

All the ESTO stories can be read individually – but, yes, I did write Gravitational Attraction first. It’s the original, the blue print. Start there if you haven’t started these books yet. :)

Gravitational Attraction Launch Party

July 21, 2014

Hi all! Angel Martinez here, stealing the blog today!

My science fiction novel, Gravitational Attraction, releases today – 7/21/14 – and I’m super excited. Stay with me for all sorts of SF goodness and maybe even a giveaway along the way ;)

 Gravitational Attraction

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A mysterious distress call draws the crew of courier ship Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting troop vessel–empty except for the blood and gore spattered corridors and a lone survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the handsome, traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his personal responsibility, offering him the kindness and warmth he needs after the horror he experienced.

Isaac knows firsthand what it’s like to be different and an outcast, and this cements their bond. Once a promising pilot, Isaac was left with a damaged body when his brain didn’t meld with the high-tech implant needed to fly fighter ships. Turk’s brain is no better. The result of a military experiment gone wrong, his natural abilities have been augmented to a dangerous degree.

When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac and uses him to convince Turk to become the cataclysmic weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the ingenuity of the Hermes crew, the help of the enigmatic Drak’tar, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.

Don’t forget the discount code: Martinez0720

Good at the Dreamspinner website until the end of Tuesday for this release!

THE BREAK-IN Release Party: Goodnight Excerpt from Aidee

June 18, 2014

Hi!

Well, it’s been fun, but I’m signing off for the night. I hope you all entered my Rafflecopter giveaway. If not, click here.

To send you off, here’s one more excerpt from my new novella, THE BREAK-IN. I hope you enjoy it.

worth excerpt

 

THE BREAK-IN Release Party: Thoughts on Time Travel

June 18, 2014

Hi!

It’s Aidee again, back to talk about Time Travel (since my story THE BREAK-IN features time traveling characters).

Time Travel holds a special place in my heart. It’s perilously close to being something that I just don’t believe in and yet something I want to believe in.

Scientifically, we can look into the past right this moment and see things happening decades, centuries, millennia ago. Just look up at the stars. That light had to travel all the way across the galaxy to get to us and it originated a while ago.

We also have photo, video, and fossil records to tell us about the past. All of those things can allow us to travel back in time in our imagination.

But what about the future?  We only have predictions and science fiction for that. There’s no real way to travel forwards in time right now or physically backwards. And if we did, would we somehow be able to kill our own grandfather and then negate our own existence? Or would we split off from our original timeline and be creating a new one, one where our grandfather wasn’t really our grandfather, and yet we were still born?

wormhole

My favorite theory of time travel involves wormholes (fun fact – my favorite form of space travel is also by wormhole). Since a wormhole can connect two very specific places in spacetime, theoretically, you could pick both the place and the time that you arrive at–instant time travel.

Of course then you have the whole noodle effect (or spaghettification) that you have to go through to pass into and back out of a wormhole. Due to the gravity inside the wormhole, you’ll be stretched out like a long spaghetti noodle by the time you arrive. But you know, if I’m taller, I’ll be able to reach the shelves at the top of the cabinet.

Okay [rubs hands together] who’s up for Italian?

 

THE BREAK-IN Release Party: And Now For An Excerpt From The BREAK-IN

June 18, 2014

I thought you might like a short excerpt from my novella, THE BREAK-IN.

gun excerpt

There’s also a Rafflecopter giveaway. Check it out!

 

 

THE BREAK-IN Release Party: Five Quirky Things about Forbes and Oliver

June 18, 2014

Hi!

It’s Aidee, again.

My characters, like me, are a little quirky, a little unique. Here are some things you might not know about them despite reading their first story “The Applicant” and the new novella, THE BREAK-IN.

Five Quirky Things About Dr. Forbes Pohle

1.  Forbes prefers to wear pants, not jeans. This probably has something to do with how he was raised. He was often put on display by his parents and therefore didn’t have a lot of casual playtime.

2.  Forbes finished his undergraduate college degree at 14 and had his second graduate degree at 18. He described attending classes as sitting next to giants who looked at him as if he was the experiment instead of whatever the instructor was cooking up in the front of the hall.robot

3.  Forbes has an unfortunate habit of building his friends instead of making them. He has always been more comfortable interacting with a robot or even a computer than interacting with humans. That is not to say he’s not competent at social interaction. He is quite adept at securing research grants and contracts to fund his work.

4.  Forbes’s house is located outside the city, not rural, but beyond the suburbs. It’s a very large house with its own attached laboratory. It also has a garden that he pays landscapers to keep for him. In the center of the garden is a fountain with a bench beside it where he likes to sit and think at dusk.

5.  Forbes still has a teddy bear robot shaped dent in his blast chamber door from when Future Oliver first time traveled back to meet him.

Five Quirky Things About Oliver Lennox

1. Oliver likes to dress in hacker chic: black t-shirt, hoodie, black jeans, red Chuck Taylors and black nail polish. But he’s not averse to wearing a leather jacket hand-me-down when he’s out on his motorcycle in the Fall and Winter.

2. Oliver’s favorite color is black (as evidenced by the clothes choices he makes) because he thinks of black like a rainbow. It’s what you get when all the colors are mixed together. One of his favorite childhood memories is of making a cake with his mom and being allowed to frost it himself. He added all the different food colorings in the bowl with the white icing and it made black frosting. It was the best tasting cake he ever ate.

3. Oliver has a tattoo of Newton’s gravity formula on the inside of his hip. He first read about Sir Isaac Newton in a partially torn children’s book that he found at the Hill Lake Farm Residential Center.

gravity

4. Oliver lost both his mother and his stepfather in a car accident when he was a teenager. It was very late and his stepfather was tired when he lost control of the car and slammed into a concrete barrier. Oliver still wonders if his stepfather had been drinking that night.

5. Future Oliver has used Forbes’s time travel device more than the one time that Forbes is aware of. This will come back to bite both of them in the future.

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I hope you liked looking into a little bit of the history behind Forbes and Oliver. Is there anything you’d like to know? Favorite meal? Cats or Dogs? Zombies or Vampires?

 

 

Release Day Party – THE BREAK-IN by Aidee Ladnier

June 18, 2014

Hi!

I’m Aidee Ladnier and I’m so excited to be on the Dreamspinner Blog to celebrate the release of my very first standalone title, THE BREAK-IN.

I’ll be here for a few hours, posting goodies and answering any questions you might have about my roboticist and his favorite wayward programmer.  Leave a comment. Don’t be scared. :)

This is actually the second story of mine that includes Forbes and Oliver, but it’s definitely a standalone story. In the first story, “The Applicant”,  a young Forbes met an older and wiser Oliver, who he thought was applying for a research assistant position. In THE BREAK-IN, Forbes is now the old and wiser of the pair, with a young Oliver again at his door but this time trying to rob him. How will Oliver get past Jeepers the robot cat, and why does switching sides look so attractive when a hot roboticist is involved?

The Break-in

Blurb:  Ten years ago, roboticist Forbes Pohle received a visit from time-traveler Oliver Lennox. “Wait for me,” Oliver said. Now a decade has come and gone, and Oliver has returned. However, Forbes never dreamed Oliver would reappear as the point man for a gang of technology thieves breaking into his lab. He finds the younger Oliver just as sexy and even more annoying; still, he must convince him their happily-ever-after is meant to be—but he only has the time it takes his robotic cat Jeepers to thwart the thieves to do it. After waiting so long, he could lose everything in the span of seconds.

Don’t forget to enter my Rafflecopter giveaway!

 

 

Harmony Ink New Release: February 13, 2014

February 13, 2014

Valhalla by Ari Bach

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

In 2330, war is obsolete and only brilliant minds are valued. Branded as a useless barbarian, Violet is about to learn the world needs her. Valhalla by Ari Bach, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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2nd Edition

Violet MacRae is one of the aimless millions crowding northern Scotland. In the year 2330, where war is obsolete and only brilliant minds are valued, she emerges into adulthood with more brawn than brains and a propensity for violence. People dismiss her as a relic, but world peace is more fragile than they know.

In Valhalla, a clandestine base hidden in an icy ravine, Violet connects with a group of outcasts just like her. There, she learns the skills she needs to keep the world safe from genetically enhanced criminals and traitors who threaten the first friends she’s ever known. She also meets Wulfgar Kray, a genius gang leader who knows her better than she knows herself and who would conquer the world to capture her.

Branded from childhood as a useless barbarian, Violet is about to learn the world needs her exactly as she is.

Length: Novel (330p.) | Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Lesbian | Release Date: February 13, 2014

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-719-6 ) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-718-9)

Harmony Ink New Release: February 6, 2014

February 7, 2014

Lessons on Destroying the World by Gene Gant

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Three days after dying, Micah awakens with godlike abilities. New friends ask him to impose Biblical rule, but he opposes the idea. Lessons on Destroying the World by Gene Gant, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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Micah McGhee has struggled all his life against prejudice and abuse. Forced to drop out of school after the death of his mother, Micah works full time to support himself and his alcoholic father. One night, on his way home from a party, Micah’s hard life ends when he’s beaten to death by a street gang.

Three days later, Micah awakens with godlike abilities granted by the alien device that resurrected him. His work helping the downtrodden and performing miracles soon earns him worldwide attention—including the notice of conservative Reverend Vaughn Titus. Micah’s friends, devout Christians Antonio and Monica, along with Reverend Titus, urge Micah to use the power of the artifact to impose Biblical rule on the world. But Micah is all too familiar with how Christian law treats LGBT people, and he opposes the idea. When Antonio, Monica, and Reverend Titus gain access to the device, Micah must risk everything to stop them from forcing their religion onto everyone on earth.

Length: Novel (200p.) | Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Transgender | Release Date: February 6, 2014

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-793-6) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-792-9)