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Thursday, 16 July 2015

☀ Fractured Energy: Energy [3] Lynn Vroman

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Fractured Energy, a young adult science fiction novel by (, Untold Press, 301 pages).

This is the third book in the Energy series.

Check out the book's synopsis and the excerpt below. You can also read the first four chapters on Amazon.

Author Lynn Vroman and Untold Press will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway

Synopsis

When Cassondra took Wilma’s energy, Lena’s mission changed. Only revenge matters now.

For the past year, Lena and her small army have tried to finish what they started, beginning with Earth: close the lines between worlds and end Exemplar’s hold on humanity. Unfortunately, the task is daunting. But unlike before, Lena has no problem pulling the trigger. As soon as her army takes care of threats in Earth, Lena goes back to Arcus—only to find out where the next war will be.

Tarek will do anything to mend Lena’s heart, even while she pushes him away. Only death for a death seems to ease the pain tearing her apart. But as much as he desires to heal the woman he loves, Tarek has to make sure Arcus stays safe from extermination.

After an attack, refugees Tarek has sworn to protect are terrified Exemplian authority will destroy their new home. Not able to defeat Exemplar’s direct assault, only one solution remains—a solution that will more than likely end in catastrophe: take the war to Exemplar and shut down their power source.

Lena doesn’t see disaster for her army—she sees victory and demands to go, refusing to miss a chance to kill more Exemplians.

While Lena hopes to save Wilma’s energy during the impossible mission, Tarek fears Lena will lose more than the war.

If she fails, Lena may lose herself completely.

Teaser: Excerpt

They thought hiding in plain sight a brilliant idea. Set up camp in large cities where thousands of unassuming witnesses kept them safe from open attacks. Perfect, right? Surely, the rogue army wouldn't think to involve innocent people.

Their first mistake.

No matter how big the city or how many people saw us, we had no problem killing Exemplians.

Why?

We had Winston, the mind-scrubbing champion.

Cheveyo, Earth's Warden, believed this was the last nest. We hoped the Exemplian pricks would give up after tonight and move on to another world, another world my small army would follow them to.

But this last trip to Earth… I wanted to make sure they remembered me. I looked toward the sky before opening the café door and turning off my contego suit so the glow wouldn't show through my sweatshirt. Exemplian satellites no doubt pointed in my direction. Whatever. Wouldn't want them to miss the show, anyway.

I tugged my hood lower to cover more of my face and walked in. After stomping snow from my boots, I trudged between tables, dodging internet addicts hunched over their computers. For show, really. The three Guides, a middle-aged man, woman, and a muscle head, sitting by the window knew what I was as soon as the tinkling bell announced my presence, probably before then.

I felt them, too. Their static crinkled in my head so loud, I had to grit my teeth and force myself to walk to the counter. From the mirrored wall behind the clerk, I watched them scrutinizing me over their TracFones and café au laits.

"Puis-je vous aider?" The clerk snapped his fingers in my face and asked a second time when I ignored him to keep staring in the mirror.

"Oh, um…café noir, s'il vous plait."

"Oui."

With any luck, the barista wouldn't ask me anything else. Winston only gave me the "Black coffee, please" line to memorize. While waiting for my order, I pretended to admire the pastries in the glass encasement under the counter.

We'd been tracking them in Quebec for the better part of two months. These nesters were craftier, moving from spot to spot, but still easy to find. That it took us under a couple months to get their schedules down made the Exemplian authority look sloppy.

When the guy handed over the coffee, I gave him a coin. He shook his head, saying a few more things I didn't understand. I shrugged, getting the gist when he wagged the money in my face, speaking much slower. Funny. No matter how drawn out his words were, I wouldn't get it.

I handed him a couple more coins then turned from the register, giving the Guide trio a nervous glance. The idiots were already on their phones–more than likely letting their Protectors know they were on the move–and collecting their stuff to follow. Exemplians thought anyone not born on their world a moron. More than likely, they probably figured I was some clueless recycled Guide, living another life, right here in freezing-as-fuck Quebec.

Their second mistake.

The trio had followed me all morning until I gave them the slip fifteen minutes ago. How fortunate were they that I happened to waltz into the very café they were in?

Seriously, total dumbasses.

My heart hurt. Dumbass. Every time I even thought about the word, Wilma's face flashed in my mind. Her little pet name for me when I pissed her off. God, I missed her.

I walked down the busy street at a decent clip, brushing tears away. This wasn't the time. Now, I'd make every single person who followed me pay a little more for her death.

Make them pay over and over...

I turned the corner, off Rue Saint-Jean, away from the crowd shopping for Christmas. Slush soaked through my boots, numbing my toes. The late evening drizzle infiltrated my thick hoodie, too, drenching me from hair to skin. I ignored it, used to physical discomfort, and stopped to take a few sips of my steaming drink, giving the Guides a chance to catch up. Gross. The rest of the coffee landed in a snowbank. Still hated it.

When the fuzz returned, I got moving. Cheery sounds of shoppers and holiday music wafted after me as I strode farther, careful not to go too fast, lest they lose me again.

The streetlamps broken by yours truly a few hours before helped keep them confused, giving me the edge I'd need. Cell phone lights glowed behind me, though not putting much of a dent in the black. Unfortunately, complete darkness didn't hide the fuzz getting stronger in my head, something I had grown to hate yet tolerate. Hopefully their Protectors were close so we could end this soon.

Arrogance happened to be the main weakness all Synod Exemplians had. No matter how many nests we'd destroyed, every single idiot we encountered believed they were smart enough to take us on–once they figured out who we were.

That would be their third mistake.

Exemplians were a quick study, always predictable. After a while, their stupidity bore me. But killing them never got old. Ever.

I stumbled when I turned around, making sure they noticed. Their chins lifted, and they were close enough for me to see smiles on their faces. I loved this part. When they believed their nervous prey finally figured out people stalked her.

Loved it.

I moved faster toward the one unbroken streetlight in front of an alley crammed with industrial-sized garbage cans. The smell coming from the frozen trash was way more pleasant than the fuzz clogging my head. I pretended to talk on my phone, adding a lot of scared flavor to my voice. Stupid Guides ate it up, my fear giving them the courage to come closer.

As soon as they were a few feet in front of me, I slid back my hood and gave them a smile of my own. "Oh, no." One sputtered that a few times, stopping while the two others, though not smiling anymore, kept coming at me.

Fractured Energy - available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk US: purchase from Amazon.com find on Goodreads

The Series: Energy

Tainted Energy [1]

For seventeen-year-old Lena, living in the trailer park with the rest of town's throwaways isn't exactly paradise. Dealing with a drunken father who can't keep his fists to himself doesn't help matters either. The only good thing in her life, other than track, is the mysterious man who visits her dreams, promising to find her.

When a chair burns her arms, Lena chalks it up to stress-induced crazy. Yet as bizarre incidents escalate, even being crazy can't explain it all away... until one day dream guy does find her.

Tarek lost Lena seventeen years ago after she was accused of treason and marked Tainted. He finally discovers her reborn on Earth into a life of suffering as punishment for her crime. However, someone else has already found her... and wants her dead. Willing to sacrifice everything, he fights to keep her safe so she can live the only life she's ever known--even if that life doesn't include him. [4 November 2014, 306 pages]

Excerpt

Nothing annoyed me more than crappy best friends. The type who did stupid stuff, like grab my shoulder and scream right in my ear, “Help me, Barbara!”

I jumped and a cloud of popcorn exploded above us. The kernels remaining in the tub I threw in Zander’s face.

We sat in the back row, Night of the Living Dead on the screen. No emergency exit signs interrupted the darkness, adding a little more to the scare department. But Zander killed the mood as soon as the graveyard scene popped up.

“You promised to watch, now watch.” I chucked the popcorn tub at him when he wouldn’t stop laughing. “Fine, but my hands are stayin’ in my pockets this time.” He rubbed the tiny crescent-shaped marks on his left hand. “I have no idea why you watch these things. You can’t sit through one without a week of nightmares.”

“Not true. The Ring was just extra freaky.”

“Ah, and so were The Shining and Paranormal Activity…” His southern accent rolled off his tongue like sap from a maple tree. “I think you like bein’ afraid all the time.”

I hated it when he was right. “Shut up.”

Fear triggered the fight-or-flight mechanism in our brains. The signal that proved we still wanted to live. That was my theory, anyway.

Maybe I was a masochist, but I did like experiencing the fear. It ensured the numbness hadn’t completely taken over. Numb could be good. A takeover, though…not so good. Zander shoved that logic in my face and smeared my nose in it every time I decided to make sure fight or flight still worked.

“All right, but when you’re lyin’ in that floating bed tonight, don’t expect dream guy to save you.”

“Don’t worry.” I slumped in my chair, focusing on the screen. During a weak moment, and after a couple stolen beers from Dad’s case, I told Zander about Him–my dream guy with gray eyes and dimples. He acted odd afterward, especially when I admitted what Him always promised: I’ll find you.

Yeah, Him was what I called my imaginary guy. No one ever accused me of being creative. Point was, for the last month Zander decided to make a joke of it. I’d never told anybody about my dreams, and I guess I should’ve kept it that way.

Hey, self, remind me again why Zander held the bestie slot? Oh, right. He was the only one who applied for the position.

The next hour we watched in silence. I’d seen this movie at least ten times already, and so his concern of me mauling him never happened.

About the time Barbara annoyed everyone in the house with her relentless Where’s Johnny question, Zander’s constant slurping and ice-crunching crawled under my skin. “It’s empty.”

He took one last noisy sip and stood, blocking my view. “I’m gonna get a refill. You want one?” “No. Christ!” I bent and twisted to see around him while he countered every move with a grin. I didn’t want to admit it, but that grin always caused my brain to cloud. Hell, having him within a ten-foot radius caused a huge case of head fuzz. But to be clear, I wasn’t the only mountain dweller who found that smile, or that accent, hot.

“Suit yourself. Be back in a sec.” He gathered up some empty wrappers and went out the door, creating a quick flash of light in the room.

Once he left, it didn’t take long for the dark to fold me into its arms as the moans on the screen grew louder. When a particularly menacing zombie ate Barbara, I let out a tiny yelp–even though I knew it was going to happen. My face heated, and I looked around, happy no one witnessed.

I’ll go with coward for $500, Alex.

Sinking deeper into my seat, I watched the whole house get taken over by zombies, my heart pounding and the hairs on my arms standing at attention. Two minutes alone and I was already freaked out.

I gripped the armrests, stealing a glance at the exit. My nails dug into the plastic. Leaving was the obvious remedy, but my legs refused to walk toward the door.

A zombie eating black and white brains filled the screen.

Screw this.

I was out of there whether my legs were ready or not. Yes! Fight or flight still in perfect working order.

Zander was right. I had issues.

I planted my feet on the cement floor and tensed to run. As I hopped up, my arms refused to come with me. I made the mistake of looking down.

What the…?

The armrests curled around my hands, the plastic ends separating into thin, spider-like fingers. I screamed, trying to yank my hands away, but the armrests became stronger, forming rows of fingers that encased the whole length of my arms, burning them. Tears flooded my vision, the pain branding my skin.

Panic turned into terror when the theater filled with whispers that brushed through my hair like wind and hit me in the face like an open palm. The whispering slipped into my throat when I opened my mouth, gagging me while it pushed me back into the seat. I struggled as the chair sucked me in and gasped for enough air to yell, the sound coming out as a grunt.

My head stayed glued against the seat, my scalp searing as I tried to yank it free. Then the movie stopped playing. Total darkness swallowed me, the blackness stealing the last drops of my courage. No matter how hard I tugged, my arms refused to pull free. I strained to turn my head toward the exit, but it stayed nailed to the chair. All I could do was look forward and try to relax my arms to stop the burning.

The whispers grew quieter, and the hold it had on my head weakened when I stopped moving. I cleared my throat. “Zander!”

My arms loosened a fraction.

“Help me!”

Lost Energy [2]

Last spring, Lena discovered who she was.

Now all she wants to do is move on--and find a way to be with Tarek, the new Warden of Arcus and the love of her life. Even though worlds separate them now, she holds onto the hope they'll be together again. Until then, Lena focuses on being truly happy for the first time in her life...this life. She has new friends, an apartment free from her abusive father, and the chance to live a normal life.

But for Lena, the past never stays gone.

A woman from another lifetime reveals Cassondra, Exemplian's new authority commander, is seeking revenge against Tarek for killing her brother. There is only one way to end this new threat...

This time, it will take more than Wilma to keep the monsters away. It'll take an entire army-an army who remembers Lena from her past life, and who might just want her dead, too.

Lena's past will shape her future more than she could ever imagine. [3 February 2015, 344 pages]

Excerpt

Closing my eyes, I struggled to relax as I sunk into the bed. The fight was useless–the excitement I felt every night at this exact moment never abated.

Like clockwork, I heard him.

So, I'm saddled with Wilma for a while.

I smiled, Tarek's rich voice swelling my heart, tingling my spine. Didn't matter what he said; he could've been talking about the hibernation practices of snails.

She's not all bad, bitching about the animals, mostly.

A gap wedged into the conversation after that–something he had a habit of doing. How I missed those annoying pauses.

She said you're doing better against Farren. Remember what I told you about him. Don't forget the bum right knee. Play a little dirty, and you'll get him on the ground in no time.

I snuggled deeper under the covers, hugging the same pillow I held every night–the one that still wore his shirt–thinking about apples and lilacs.

Wilma said you're happy. He chuckled. Complain too much, but happy. I could almost feel his sigh against my ear as it echoed in my brain. I miss you.

"Miss you, too." That part of the one-sided conversation I always said aloud, willing him to hear it, know it.

As usual, he changed the subject to something lighter. My giant always made me smile…even when he was worlds away. I guess Zander's still driving Teenesee crazy. He won't stop asking questions. Wilma avoids him when she goes. She says he complains more than you.

The tears started to well, and no matter how hard I tried to stop them, they'd come. They came every night.

The river hasn't raged in weeks. Even the squid are behaving for the most part. Wilma only had to kill one this time.

Tarek told me once that his mood controlled the environment. He'd spent the better part of his time trying to rein in his emotions to make the place better. Wilma said our midnight talks helped.

It's cold as hell in the castle, regardless how high I build the fire. Pause. But I finished the place in the woods, close to the bank. I'll sleep here tonight; Wilma can sleep on the floor.

I imagined the cabin by the bank, imagined us there together, surrounded by the vibrant colors.

I'm going to let you sleep now. Wilma's banging on the door. She's not finished harassing me, I suppose. Be safe… I love you.

Tears dripped on the pillow as I hugged it closer to my heart.

"Love you, too."

About the Author

Born in Pennsylvania, Lynn spent most of her childhood, especially during math class, daydreaming.   The main result that came from honing her imagination skills was brilliantly failing algebra.

Today, she still spends an obscene amount of time in her head, only now she writes down all the cool stuff.

With a degree in English Literature, Lynn used college as an excuse to read for four years straight.

She lives in the Pocono Mountains with her husband, raising the four most incredible human beings on the planet.

She writes young adult novels, both fantasy and contemporary.

Follow Lynn Vroman:

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