Wednesday, 24 June 2015

SPECTACLE by S.J. Pierce (Release Day Blitz) @XpressoReads



Spectacle by S.J. Pierce
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis:
***This is currently a web series!!! I’m releasing a chapter at a time on my website at www.sjpiercebooks.blogspot.com. You can read there or go to Scribd, download their app, and read there.***

Hunger Games meets Avatar meets Gladiator in this spellbinding new Young Adult Science-Fiction web series by bestselling author Susan James Pierce.


Fear can make you a target…
Two hundred years after the Great Disaster, the day earthquakes ravaged Earth’s landscapes, humanity has finally regrouped and is working toward a better future. But in New America – one of three small, remaining landmasses – the threat of overpopulation makes a better future seem bleaker by the year.
Mira (Mirabella) Foster and her parents are citizens of New America, and with the threat of starvation and disease looming on the horizon, a new discovery threatens to push everyone to the brink of chaos: blue markings develop on people’s skin. Markings that are distinctive of a humanoid alien race named Changers that secretly sought refuge on Earth years ago. Markings that allow them to camouflage their skin, but also make them feared, and eventually, targets of violence.
Mira’s dad is one of them.
Anger can make you a spectacle…
Banished to a treacherous, uninhabited island, a newly orphaned Mira and her kind struggle to survive and settle into a new way of life. Her main priority becomes seeing to Jackson’s care, her friend with Muscular Dystrophy, and tending to her garden as a way of distracting herself from the pain of losing everything she loved. But just as she’s adapting to this new life, their Elders approach her with a plan to insert themselves back into New America to uncover a conspiracy. A conspiracy, they believe, that includes the presidency and landed them on the island, costing many Changers their lives, including her parents’.
In a world where staying on the island means a possible untimely death, as does risking her life to uncover a horrible secret that might one day set them all free, which one will she choose? And if she chooses to help, can she tame her anger over their mistreatment long enough to make sure their plan goes off without a hitch? Because, after all, the last thing her kind needs is to make spectacles of themselves, and as she knows all too well, both anger and fear have a perilous knack for destruction.


Purchase:
All proceeds from pre-orders are going to a local kid named Brayden who has Muscular Dystrophy.

 ABOUT BRAYDEN


Brayden is a smart and witty twelve-year-old boy, who loves video games and sports of all kinds, especially football, but the only thing holding him back is that he has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He was diagnosed on April 1st, 2010 with the disease, which will one day (possibly sooner than later) put him in wheelchair fulltime. His mind is sharp as a tack, but his little body is giving out daily; the more tired he gets, the more frequent the falls. Luckily he hasn’t broken any bones (yet). He will one day need a tracheotomy to be able to breathe and speak, and his lungs and heart are muscles that will give out just as easy as his arms and legs. Most boys with this disease will not live into their 20’s, and the disease claims lives daily. To help Brayden in his journey with DMD, S.J. has pledged to donate all of her pre-order proceeds to Brayden’s family.




Spectacle Excerpt, Chapter Two



Following the scent of cheese toast and eggs, I stop short when I see my mom standing in the kitchen doorway, her hands fidgeting with the frayed hem of her apron, a tight smile on her face. I don’t like the way she looks at me – worried and afraid and about to cry all at the same time. “Mirabella, dear,” she says, almost whimpers. “Daddy and I need to talk to you.”
Heat crawls over my skin, flushing my cheeks and leaving gooseflesh on my arms. Dread squeezes my lungs. “Okay,” I manage, but it takes me a minute to remember how to walk. Mom doesn’t move out of my way.
I notice the radio isn’t on again. Dad usually listens to it for his morning news.
She kneels to look me at me on my level, and I know now something really bad must have happened… or is happening. Yet again, the rings around the moon were right.
“Everything’s okay,” she lies, reading my worried expression, “But I want to warn you about your father before you see him.”
My eyebrows draw together. Warn me?
I hear dad shifting in his chair, and he grunts nervously. My chest clenches tighter. All I want is to see him. To know what’s going on. I can’t fathom what she would have to warn me about.
“His skin is… different than before.”
“Different?”
“Yes, baby,” she soothes. “And whatever you do, please don’t scream. You know how thin these walls are.”
I muster a nod.
“Okay,” she says, clasping my hand and straightening, “It’s time.”
She leads me into the kitchen, my heart racing, eyes snapping right to my father. He’s sitting with his face behind his hands, his elbows resting against the tabletop. The skin on his arms and hands look the same to me – smooth and the color of coffee with milk. Still normal. I breathe a sigh of relief.
“Is she looking?” he asks through his hands.
I answer for her. “Yes, daddy.”
He lets out a long slow breath – a brooding sigh.
“Show her, Grant,” mom pleads.
Moments pass. He sighs again and slowly moves his hands away. Behind them, blue marks, starting at the corners of his eyes, branch out in a rough, jagged pattern - like webs of blood vessels, but more defined - over his cheekbones and stopping along his jawline. Smaller patches curl around his temples. It almost looks like a butterfly, almost beautiful, like these odd markings are meant to be there. Like someone had painted them for fun. I would assume this is all a joke had my mom not been acting so weird.
I look up to her questioningly. Why would this have made me scream?
Her hand meets her chest, and I can tell she’s relieved I didn’t freak out, but not all the concern is gone from her eyes. At least she’s smiling normally now.
“So you aren’t afraid?” she asks.
“Why would I be?”
Her lips press tight. She throws a nervous glance at my father.
“Because these are permanent,” he says. “And they’ll get worse.”




Spectacle Excerpt, Chapter Four



I must have passed out because I awake with a start, cradled in a strong man’s arms. Not my dad. This man smells like pine trees and lemons, his touch cold and unfeeling as he carries me down a hallway. “Mom,” I croak out, my voice far-off. My ears buzz like mosquitos are living inside them.
The man says nothing.
I look for her but don’t see her. I try and squirm free, but he holds me tighter. “Mom!” I cry. “Where’s my mom?”
“Shhh,” he says, more scolding than soothing, “You’ll see her soon.” I obey because he scares me. And because he wears a uniform like the others.
I notice we’re not in the same building as before. The stark white walls, florescent lights and bleach smell tells me we’re in a hospital. A nurse scurries by with a man on a stretcher, and my anxiety swells. I want to wiggle again, but I don’t. A whimper escapes. Where are my parents? I want my parents….
The man takes me into a room where a doctor awaits. She sits on a stool beside a bed just big enough for someone my size. Her eyes roam over me concernedly.
Why would I be hurt?
Gunfire, I remember, and my whimpering turns into a full blown sob.
“She bleeding anywhere?” the doctor asks over my wailing.
He shakes his head, and with more care than I thought he was capable of, he places me on the bed beside her.
She waits for my cries to ebb and looks as though she wants to cradle me, but she doesn’t.
“Where’s… my mom…” I say between broken breaths.
Like the man, she doesn’t give me an answer, though I can tell she’s dying to so it’ll comfort me. “Lie back,” she soothes. Her red hair shines and is cut at an angle against her neck. Freckles splay across her nose, and there’s kindness in her eyes.
I lie back as instructed and work on getting myself together. While her cold hands poke and prod, I stare at the ceiling, tears dripping onto the paper covering the bed. It crinkles as I relax under her touch.
I think of Jacks and Luxxe and their moms. Are they here too? Maybe when the doctor is done she’ll let me see them.
Maybe everyone’s okay.



Spectacle Excerpt, Chapter Five



I lie in my bed and stare at the ceiling. Dad covered them with glow-in-the-dark stars for my tenth birthday. I think of leaving for the mountains and I’m filled with a mixture of agony and relief. In a way, I don’t want to leave this place; memories of my father, as painful as they can be, are everywhere and it’s all I have left of him now. But in another, I want to start fresh, even if we have to live in huts or caves or whatever they’re planning on doing. The thought unnerves me a little, like any unknown thing, but it’ll be good for mom to leave here and be around others. And I’ll be able to see Jacks and Luxxe more; I desperately need their company.
A knock on the front door startles me. It was too loud to be Jacks or Luxxe. A man shouts through it, but I can’t make out what he’s saying from here. Our dog is going wild.
Mom stirs on the couch and I wait to see if she’ll get it.
The man shouts again, and her feet patter my way. She finds me erect on the bed with my covers wrapped around me in a cocoon. Her eyes are huge white saucers, and she presses her finger against her lips to keep me quiet before she shuts my door and sprints away.
Alone in my room, I hide inside the space between my bed and the wall and snatch a book of Robert Frost poems on my nightstand, hugging it close for comfort. To distract myself, I try to recite The Road Not Taken but can’t focus enough to do so. My heart gains speed as panic courses through me. Whoever is on the other side of the door has her worried. Are we in danger? I’ve never wanted my dad more than I do in this moment. This isn’t right. He should be here to protect us. If I wasn’t so scared, I’d pay more attention to the anger writhing inside me. I hope whoever took him from us is dead. I hope they’re gone for what they did.
The man shouts louder this time and bangs three times on the door. I still hear our dog, but where’s mom? I don’t hear mom!
After an eternity, she shows up again with a bag slung over her shoulder and points to my cracked window. She wants to escape. But where would we go? I nod silently and stand, slipping the book into my waistband.
 A loud bang rattles our apartment, and the living room door hurls into the kitchen. Splinters of wood lie in its wake. In one swift movement, mom snatches me by the arm and heaves the window open the rest of the way.
The thumping of loud boots fills our apartment, and to keep from screaming out, I bite my tongue so hard it bleeds. The men in uniforms, they’re here for us.



AUTHOR BIO:
Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare time to writing Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-fi novels.

Please visit www.sjpiercebooks.blogspot.com and sign up for her mailing list or subscribe to her blog if you'd like to hear when new books come out! Coming soon:

Iris (Novella: The Captivated Series) Available now!!!

Fight for Me (Book Two: The Captivated Series)

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