lunedì 2 dicembre 2013

Book Blitz: Return di J.A. Huss + giveaway

Eccoci ad un nuovo book blitz, ideato come sempre da Giselle di Xpresso Book Tours; oggi vi presento il quinto volume di una saga distopica di cui vi avevo già parlato, spero possa piacervi :) Se volete iniziare la serie approfittate dell'offerta del momento: il primo volume, Clutch, è gratuito su Amazon! Non perdete il ricchissimo giveaway alla fine del post ;)

Titolo: Return
Autore: J.A. Huss
Genere: New adult apocalittico fantascientifico
Trama: Three years ago Junco Coot was an insane sniper.  Three weeks ago she was a prisoner being tortured in a morph tank.  Three days ago she was nothing but billions of molecules floating in a sea of darkness.
Today, Junco Coot is the key to saving or ending the world.
Three years ago Raubtier Aves was the captain of the Avian Military.  Three weeks ago he was trying to forget Junco ever existed. Three days ago he was given a gift of eternal salvation.
Today, he will give that gift back.
The Angels are here, the end is coming, the Demons have been released and Lucan has a past that ties it all together.  Seven thousand years of waiting for revenge is over and there’s just one more question that needs to be answered?
Who will be there at the end?

J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label). 
She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.



Tier—Stag Camp

The cage is really a wall of glass that spans the far back corner of the room. Inside is  human­looking nursery. Not as posh as the one Inanna had set up in the Vegas lab. There’s a feeding tube attached to the baby’s stomach and she’s naked.
She’s sucking her thumb.
This is my child.
Mine. And Junco’s.
“Can we go in?” I ask Tessen.
She shrugs. “I wouldn’t, sir. No offense, but she’s killed seven warriors. She could wake up at any moment. We have her drugged via the feeding tube, and we have gas at the ready, the system in this room is well equipped to handle such a child, but—”
I’m looking over at Linny and Subjack as Tessen talks, but I look back to her when she stops. 
“But what?”
“She’s very unpredictable. And dangerous, sorta like Junco, but without all the cute parts.”
I can’t help myself, that makes me laugh. “Cute parts?”
“Well, you know what I mean. Junco is sort of lovable in her own crazy way. And when this baby is like this, she’s very lovable too. But, well, I’ve seen what she can do and if you’re asking for my honest opinion, I’d say no, sir. Stay out of that room until we know more. I have an idea, and we should run it by Junco’s parents. They are, after all, experts in raising a part­demo child.”
Linny’s words come back to me now—Come to us. Do not hesitate. She knew. She and Subjack know what to do with this baby, because they already did it—successfully, I add to myself —with Junco. I look over my shoulder and she’s smiling.
“We’ll leave the baby for now, Tess. Thanks.”
She walks away, but I stay there. Looking down on my little girl. I wish I could see her eyes, but if she opens them now they’ll glow red. And I’m definitely not ready to see the demon in her just yet.
I just want to look at her like this.
A soft and innocent child.
I never thought about a family before Junco came along. And really, it was not until she said she might be pregnant that I considered it. Briefly, just briefly. Because there’s no family for me in the future.
But if I can save this child, make her whole and happy, then the baby would be like a gift.
Something Junco might cling to afterward, if things go well. Something to give her peace and comfort.
A piece of myself, to remember that I loved her, a child to keep in her heart forever.
To replace whatever feelings she has for me.
Because I will be gone.


Lucan—Amelia Habitat

Tier defied my order to kill Junco when I saw she was unstable. And then Junco defied everyone. And they came home together. My son delivered to me the one being in this universe who could kill me. It was like an offering. I was stunned. Junco made me very uncomfortable. She looked me in the eye when she spoke. She brushed off my commands like they were requests. She decapitated Fledge members, both friend and foe alike, and she gave up her life for my son.
And she is so, so sweet when she’s calm and still.
How badly do I wish that I had more calm and still moments with Junco?
I might’ve fallen in love with her sitting in my living room watching her play a piece on the piano, so oblivious to the world she never even knew I’d entered the room, even though I came home by the front door that night.
Then I started telling her things, and then she started telling me things. Very, very personal things. And I’m just not sure how I’m supposed to feel about a young woman who was created to kill me, but stole my heart instead. I hate the way she was raised. I hate that she was trained. I hate the fact that she’s never had anyone keep their word and stick by her side.
All of this bothers me. It keeps me restless when I should be relaxed, it keeps me tense and angry, and makes me rage when I’m in private and I think about it too long.
Amelia stirs and brings me back to the present. I lean down into her neck and kiss her just below her ear. She sighs in her sleep.
I love Amelia in a different way. I don’t want to make another Amelia when this is over.
I’m not sure I have the desire to spend the time required to fashion another companion. And not because I’m lazy, but because I feel in my heart that Amelia is a soul and she can’t be replaced.
Even if I used the same programming, made the same body, that woman would not be my Amelia.
Because souls are not interchangeable.
So what choice do I have? This last task must be done.
I kiss her lips now and she wakes enough to respond to my advances. She rolls over and turns into me, resting her head on my chest.
How long have I waited for this perfect woman?
How long have I waited for my Seven?
My fingers caress the soft pale skin of her neck and this makes her sigh. She’s still half asleep, her breathing less slow now, her heart rate picking up as she sheds her slumber. My palm rests against her windpipe and I kiss her again.
“I love you,” I whisper.
I squeeze, causing her to open her eyes for the last time and look up at me in confusion.
I want to let go of her, take her in my arms, and plead for her to forgive me.
But I don’t. I crush her neck and in a few seconds it’s over. Since she is the entity which controls this entire habitat all the lights go out and all the environmental life support machines cease.
Her perfect body, limp.
Her perfect mind, gone.
I would rather kill her myself than let my father take her as a punishment in my cycle.
Because that’s what love is.



Ashur—On Ship, Orbiting Earth

Tier says he loves Junco but I just can’t imagine that he does. I can’t. How could he? How could he love her and be able to sacrifice her for Lucan? It makes no sense to me. I’d choose Selia over Lucan every time.
But Tier is so focused on his fucking job, he pushes Junco away. While Selia and I were falling in love these past two years, Tier was trying to forget Junco ever happened. He pretended she never existed. He never said her name. He never secretly watched the screens when Kadian was reporting on her back in the Band.
He never once—not once—looked for her.
We knew where Junco was. That’s not the point. The point is, if that was Selia in that tank out in the desert, I’d have fucking taken over that lab and sat next to that damn tank for every second she was in there. I’d have made sure she wasn’t conscious during the change. Just the thought of Selia having to experience the pain of a morph without a virtual to distract her makes me want to choke.
If I was Tier, and I loved Junco, I would’ve done all those things.
And since he didn’t, and since Lucan didn’t either, then all that shit that happened to Junco in the tank was part of the plan.
And maybe I don’t really like Junco these days, but she was a friend once. I pictured myself with her back on Amelia during Fledge. She has that effect on people—she vibrates with a hum that calls to people. She’s got her own frequency, Arel used to say. Like she’s broadcasting a message that says, Come to me. Be with me.
But no one can be with her—because she is singular. She is above everything. She has no attachment to her Siblings, not like the rest of them do to each other. They are a team in and of themselves. Junco is the Seventh wheel. The odd one out. She has no partner. Moju has Soli, Tukker has Esta, Sariel has Irin.
But Junco has no one.
I suppose that’s what Gideon was. Junco’s pseudo­partner. He’s a Seven, after all. Gideon and Lucan were very tight during Junco’s captivity. Gid helped Lucan kill all kinds of people.
They were like Team Death incarnate. So Gid also shared some of Junco’s childhood while he and Lucan were bonding over the kill. And Lucan shared that with the 039.
Gideon was a handler, not a partner. And yeah, I’m sure he’s got an attachment to Junco, but from the way Lucan tells it, he’s focused on the job he needs her to do.
Why couldn’t Gideon be our Seven? I’m sure he’d be more than happy to complete the mission.
But he’s not. Junco is.
Junco is hard­nosed and yet emotional in every wrong way possible. She’s small, but she fights like a rabid prairie lion, kills best friends, mothers, fathers, and anyone else who gets in her way. She’s better trained than most of my Aves warriors and she can shoot someone between the eyes from four thousand yards out. She’s part machine, part human, part avian and every bit of her is High Order.
Junco is dangerous. She is not good—in fact, she is probably evil. She is insane. She is unpredictable. She is angry, and sad, and defiant.

And she is our only hope.


Junco—The Stag

“Junco?” Tier whispers next to my ear. “Junco? Ya awake, darlin’?”
I tuck my head into my chest and whisper, “No,” so softly, even I barely hear it.
His arm slides underneath me and then pulls me towards him. He lets out the longest sigh I’ve ever heard and then kisses me on the back of the head. “I love you, Junco.”
My chest hitches as the tears build. “No, you don’t. You’re going to leave me.”
He stays silent and this is when it all becomes real for me. He’s leaving. I’m not sure where he’s going or how it will happen, but he’s leaving. He’s not staying, there’s no happy ending for me.
“Junco, listen—”
“No,” I say back quickly. “I’m tired of listening to all the bad things people want to tell me.
I’m done listening. I wish I’d never come out of the Pillar. I wish I was dead. I wish someone would slice me into little bits and make it all go away. I wish my parents had killed me as a child. I wish I’d just let Matthew do it on the sniper range. I wish—”
“I wish I could stay, Junco.”
I say nothing. It’s the final straw for me. To have Tier admit that he’s leaving and there’s no way to stop him is the end of my sanity. I pull away from him and slide over to the wall.
“When I was a boy I lived in the clutch with Ashur.”
My interest picks up with this sentence.
“It was a small clutch, just us.” His chest shakes a little with a small laugh. “We’re twins, did ya know that?”
“I could sorta tell. You know, since you actually look almost identical.”
“Yeah, but not enough to be mistaken for one another, though, right? Not twins like that.
We’re twins in that we’re Lucan’s made sons.”
“What’s that mean?” I ask with a sniffle to try to get my nose under control.
“We were engineered by Gib. One of many warriors who are made special. But I was the one picked out of the womb. Me. Ashur was chosen for something else, I’m not sure what. He has no idea what I’m doing here, I have no idea what he’s doing. Lucan makes it that way on purpose, just in case the High Order comes and tries to see our minds.”
He stops to let me think about this for a few seconds.
“But I’ve always known, Junco. I was never lied to, or forced, or asked to give more than I was willing. I’ve always been willing. This is my one true purpose, to save Lucan’s life, to end his punishment cycle, and to give this world a second chance once it’s all said and done. And I never knew that you’d be so… so… well, lovable. I’ve had”—he stops to think of a word—“girls. I’ve had that, but I’ve never had anything like you. I never even knew these feelings were possible. I
love my brothers, and I miss Braun so much it hurts me inside to think about him. So I suppose that’s the closest I’ve come. But when you walked away from me out there in the mountains, I thought I died, Junco. That’s how much it hurt to watch you disappear. And then I had this little spark of hope, for the briefest of moments when Arel said you dissipated Inanna. I thought, She’s coming back, it’ll be OK.”
I swallow and then turn to face him. His eyes are a little bit watery and his mouth is just one long frown. I reach out and touch his lips and then lift my eyes to meet his. “I’m sorry,” I whisper softly.
“I know how you feel, Junco. Because that’s how I felt when you left. I understand that it hurts so much you just want to lie down and die.” He stops again and his eyes dart back and forth between mine. “But you just have to trust that Lucan knows what’s best.”
I turn away angry. “Fuck Lucan. He’s only out for himself. He used me, he’s using you!” I
turn back. “He’s using us, Tier.”
Tier nods. “Yes, Junco. He is.”
I whimper a little as the tears build up so fast they are rolling down my cheeks before I can stop them. “Then why are we doing this?”
“Because I gave him permission, Junco. He’s planned for this day for thousands of years.
He’s got an end beyond the ending in mind and you just have to have faith.”
“But that end beyond doesn’t include you?”
Tier shakes his head. “No, darlin’. It doesn’t.”
“Why?” I whine. “Why do you do it then?”

“Because Junco, there are more important things in this universe than me.”
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