TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS – Full Excerpt!

TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini

Full Excerpt:

Cold fear shot through Kira’s gut.

Together, she and Alan scrambled into their clothes. Kira spared a second of thought for her strange dream—everything felt strange at the moment—and then they hurried out of the cabin and rushed over toward Neghar’s quarters.

As they approached, Kira heard hacking: a deep, wet, ripping sound that made her imagine raw flesh going through a shredder. She shuddered.

Neghar was standing in the middle of the hallway with the others gathered around her, doubled over, hands on her knees, coughing so hard Kira could hear her vocal cords fraying. Fizel was next to her, hand on her back. “Keep breathing,” he said. “We’ll get you to sickbay. Jenan! Alan! Grab her arms, help carry her. Quickly now, qu—”

Neghar heaved, and Kira heard a loud, distinct snap from inside the woman’s narrow chest.

Black blood sprayed from Neghar’s mouth, painting the deck in a wide fan.

Marie-Élise shrieked, and several people retched. The fear from Kira’s dream returned, intensified. This was bad. This was dangerous. “We have to go,” she said, and tugged on Alan’s sleeve. But he wasn’t listening.

“Back!” Fizel shouted. “Everyone back! Someone get the Extenuating Circumstances on the horn. Now!”

“Clear the way!” Mendoza bellowed.

More blood sprayed from Neghar’s mouth, and she dropped to one knee. The whites of her eyes were freakishly wide. Her face was crimson, and her throat worked as if she were choking.

“Alan,” said Kira. Too late; he was moving to help Fizel.

She took a step back. Then another. No one noticed; they were all looking at Neghar, trying to figure out what to do while staying out of the way of the blood flying from her mouth.

Kira felt like screaming at them to leave, to run, to escape.

Read moreTO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS – Full Excerpt!

TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS – Part 1 Excerpt!

TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini

Part 1 Excerpt:

Cold fear shot through Kira’s gut.

Together, she and Alan scrambled into their clothes. Kira spared a second of thought for her strange dream—everything felt strange at the moment—and then they hurried out of the cabin and rushed over toward Neghar’s quarters.

As they approached, Kira heard hacking: a deep, wet, ripping sound that made her imagine raw flesh going through a shredder. She shuddered.

Neghar was standing in the middle of the hallway with the others gathered around her, doubled over, hands on her knees, coughing so hard Kira could hear her vocal cords fraying. Fizel was next to her, hand on her back. “Keep breathing,” he said. “We’ll get you to sickbay. Jenan! Alan! Grab her arms, help carry her. Quickly now, qu—”

Neghar heaved, and Kira heard a loud, distinct snap from inside the woman’s narrow chest.

Black blood sprayed from Neghar’s mouth, painting the deck in a wide fan.

Marie-Élise shrieked, and several people retched. The fear from Kira’s dream returned, intensified. This was bad. This was dangerous. “We have to go,” she said, and tugged on Alan’s sleeve. But he wasn’t listening.

“Back!” Fizel shouted. “Everyone back! Someone get the Extenuating Circumstances on the horn. Now!”

“Clear the way!” Mendoza bellowed.

More blood sprayed from Neghar’s mouth, and she dropped to one knee. The whites of her eyes were freakishly wide. Her face was crimson, and her throat worked as if she were choking.

“Alan,” said Kira. Too late; he was moving to help Fizel.

She took a step back. Then another. No one noticed; they were all looking at Neghar, trying to figure out what to do while staying out of the way of the blood flying from her mouth.

Kira felt like screaming at them to leave, to run, to escape.

She shook her head and pressed her fists against her mouth, scared blood was going to erupt out of her as well. Her head felt as if it were about to burst, and her skin was crawling with horror: a thousand ants skittering over every centimeter. Her whole body itched with revulsion.

Jenan and Alan tried to lift Neghar back to her feet. She shook her head and gagged. Once. Twice. And then she spat a clot of something onto the deck. It was too dark to be blood. Too liquid to be metal.

*Printed with permission
__________________

About the Book:
Exploring new worlds is all Kira Navarez ever dreamed of doing. But now she has found her nightmare.
On a distant planet ripe for a colony, she has discovered a relic previously unseen by human eyes.
It will transform her entirely and forever.
Humanity will face annihilation.
She is alone. We are not.
There is no going back.

About the Author:
Christopher Paolini was born in Southern California and has lived most of his life in Paradise Valley, Montana. He published his first novel, Eragon, in 2003 at the age of nineteen, and quickly became a publishing phenomenon. His Inheritance Cycle—Eragon and its three sequels—have sold nearly 40 million copies worldwide. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is his first adult novel.

Blog Tour: Snakeskins – Book Excerpt

Snakeskins by Tim Major

Synopsis:
Caitlin Hext’s first shedding ceremony is imminent, but she’s far from prepared to produce a Snakeskin clone. When her Skin fails to turn to dust as expected, she must decide whether she wishes the newcomer alive or dead.

Worse still, it transpires that the Hext family may be of central importance to the survival of Charmers, a group of people with the inexplicable power to produce duplicates every seven years and, in the process, rejuvenate. In parallel with reporter Gerry Chafik and government aide Russell Handler, Caitlin must prevent the Great British Prosperity Party from establishing a corrupt new world order.

Book Excerpt:

The images were almost entirely black, with only faint sources of light that illuminated the handful of figures. In the first photos the people were all in one corner, as if the photographer had been far away, or as if he or she hadn’t known quite where to point the camera. The people were arranged in a semicircle.
Despite herself, Gerry bent closer. In each successive picture, the figures grew in size. The photographer must have been sneaking towards them, hidden in the darkness.

All but one of the figures had their backs to the camera. Gerry realised that she recognised the woman facing the camera, standing before a fire in an ornate iron brazier. Her build was slighter than the people around her. Her shoulder-length hair shone white.

Read moreBlog Tour: Snakeskins – Book Excerpt

RUIN’S WAKE Blog Tour – Book Excerpt

Today, we have a book excerpt from Ruin’s Wake by Patrick Edwards on this stop of his blog tour!

The City
They saw more signs of fighting as they got closer to the center of the great wheel. The backdrop to their cautious, darting route was a jumbled multitude of burned-out vehicles, pockmarked walls and the acrid tang of cordite. They passed a ground car, flattened under heavy treads and still on fire. The wall behind it was perforated in several places, the distinct patina of plasma fire coruscating around the edges.

Not far down the road a Factor’s checkpoint had been torn open by an explosion. Bodies lay in a jumbled heap, one man hanging over the crumbling lip of the crater, his legs a bloody crush of bone and torn flesh. A little further on a row of troops in stained army uniforms lay against the wall where their execution had taken place. Cale saw the look of fear still painted on the face of one of them, the hole in his forehead absurdly neat. The military had not been prepared for this.

An enormous pounding shook the earth and they dove for the safety of an alleyway. Threading through its narrow darkness, they found their way through to the other side, the close walls channeling the echoes of gunfire until it sounded as if the battle was on top of them.

At the other end they came upon a dun expanse: one of Karume’s state parks. A section of trees had been toppled by an enormous battle tank that squatted at the end of its ripped-up trail like a monster of steel and smoke in the center of the lawn, its turret sweeping the area.

They took cover behind a powered-down skimmer truck just as a war-walker erupted from the other side of the park, its massive feet churning up great chunks of grass as it closed on its prey. It was a patchwork of parts, unpainted ceramic plate showing through the soot that coated it, engines roaring as it brought its weapon arms to bear. The ground tank fired but missed, the concussion from the shell knocking the walker – but not toppling it – before obliterating two floors of a building. The walker dug ruts in the turf as it skidded to a stop, centered itself, then fired both cannons at once. The tank split open like a fruit as the heavy shells ripped into it; there might have been screams, but they were quickly swallowed by the howl of superheated air and metal. The walker made sure its prey was dead, then took off in the other direction.

FearlessWomen Tour: Book Excerpt: The Fated Sky

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The Fated Sky Excerpt

Now I faced the wall, running a Fibonacci sequence to try to calm down. At least I didn’t throw up anymore. Usually.

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 . . .

Behind me, Parker paced in tiny circles, shaking his hands as if he were trying to get blood back into them. An assistant with a clipboard waited by us, one ear covered with a giant earphone, as if he were at Mission Control.

. . 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765 . . .

The man with the clipboard leaned next to me and whispered, “You’re on.”

Onstage, Jack Paar said, “Please welcome my next guests, Colonel Stetson Parker and Dr. Elma York.”
I turned away from the wall in time to see Parker snap his genial smile into place. He gestured for me to lead the way. “Ladies first.”

My smile felt brittle and plastered on. Crinoline shushing against my legs, I strode out into the lights and the wall of applause. Beyond the banks of lights and cameras, real people sat in the auditorium. Beyond them, millions of people sat on the other side of television sets.
. . 10946, 17711, 28657 . . .

Mr. Paar shook my hand and then Parker’s, and we went through the requisite smiling and waving to the audience before we were seated on matching leather chairs next to his. A silver microphone stood on the floor between Parker and me, and I had to cross my legs carefully to keep from hitting it with my pumps.

With a tug on one of his signature ties, Jack Paar leaned over to us as if we were the only people in the room. “Thank you both so much for joining us. I tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over being five years old. I know it’s obvious, but I just need to say it . . . You’ve both been to the moon?”

Parker laughed. He really does have a good laugh. “I can’t believe it either. There are days when I have to pinch myself.”

“And, Dr. York . . . You live on the moon, is that right?”

“Yes, I live in the lunar colony about six months out of the year.”

“That must be fascinating.” Jack Paar leaned closer, smiling with all the fidgety interest of a child. “What’s it like?”

“More like Earth than you might think. I pilot one of the transport ships, ferrying geologists and miners out to various sites. I have a regular route, so it’s not much different from being a bus driver, really.”

Beside me, Parker chuckled. “Don’t let Dr. York sell her-self short. Piloting one of these ships requires a lot of skill because of mascons.”

Jack Paar raised his eyebrows almost to his hairline. “Mass cons? Is that a convicted mascot?”

Bless him for making me laugh, even if it was a poor joke, or I would have gaped at Parker’s compliment. “Mascon is short for mass concentration. There are local heavy spots on the moon where the rocks have more density, so it causes the ship to dip unexpectedly.”

“Wait—there are really spots where there’s more gravity on the moon?”

I nodded. “Here on Earth, too, but it’s so slight that you wouldn’t notice it. It’s one of the reasons we can’t automate a ship around the moon, because the math is too complicated for a mechanical computer that’s small enough to fit on the spacecraft.” Not that anyone wanted to hear about math. My job was to extoll the virtues of the Mars program. “But the lunar colony does give a taste of what our Mars colony will be like. It’s much the way living on the frontier must have felt for early Americans.”

THE FATED SKY Summary:
Mary Robinette Kowal continues the grand sweep of alternate history begun in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars.

Of course the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, but there’s a lot riding on whoever the International Aerospace Coalition decides to send on this historic—but potentially very dangerous—mission? Could Elma really leave behind her husband and the chance to start a family to spend several years traveling to Mars? And with the Civil Rights movement taking hold all over Earth, will the astronaut pool ever be allowed to catch up, and will these brave men and women of all races be treated equitably when they get there? This gripping look at the real conflicts behind a fantastical space race will put a new spin on our visions of what might have been.

About Mary Robinette Kowal:
Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the historical fantasy novels Ghost Talkers and the five books in The Glamourist Histories series. She is also a multiple Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncanny, Tor.com, and Asimov’s. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and over a dozen manual typewriters.

About #FearlessWomen:
Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”
Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.
Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) will be using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation – and get reading!

FearlessWomen Tour: Book Excerpt: The Calculating Stars

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CALCULATING STARS Excerpt

In the East. At the euphemism, the saleslady’s eyes widened and her brows peaked with pity. “Oh— you poor dear.” And then curiosity followed, like a predator drawn to blood. “Where were you?”

“The Poconos.”

Mrs. Lindholm pulled out a navy blue dress from the rack and held it up. “She doesn’t have anything except the clothes on her back.”

A middle-aged white woman appeared from between the racks of clothing. “You were really there? You saw the meteor?”

“Meteorite. A meteor breaks up before impact.” As if anyone cared about scientific accuracy. I think this might have been the last time I corrected someone. “Meteorite,” for whatever quirk of the English language, sounded almost cute. “But no, we were three hundred miles away.”

THE CALCULATING STARS Summary:
On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.

Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

About Mary Robinette Kowal:
Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the historical fantasy novels Ghost Talkers and the five books in The Glamourist Histories series. She is also a multiple Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncanny, Tor.com, and Asimov’s. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and over a dozen manual typewriters.

About #FearlessWomen:
Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”

Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.

Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) will be using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation – and get reading!

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