BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Sarina, Sweetheart by Megan Carney

Welcome! Come in, sit down, get cozy. Move the cats out of your way and prop your feet up. Today I have an excerpt from an NA sci fi novel, "Sarina, Sweetheart" by Megan Carney. At the end of the excerpt there's a tourwide giveaway so sit back and enjoy!

Megan Carney is an author, geek and amateur photographer living in the Twin Cities. She has ten years of experience in the field of computer security. Her previous short story publications include: ‘Flighty Youth’ in the Raritan, ‘Modern Mayhem’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Swing By Close’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Directions’ in the Bell Tower. ‘Swing By Close’ and ‘Directions’ both won first prize in the fiction sections of that issue. The Christian Science Monitor dubbed her self-published photography book, ‘Signs of My Cities’ as having “youthful zest.”

Her non-literary creations include: a robot to clean the bathroom tub, Zim and Gir costumes, No-Dig tomato stakes, StickFriend the bear bag hanger, and a burning coal costume so she could be Katniss for a night.

A classic rock song finishes on the radio, the music crackling from the bent antenna. A DJ interrupts the last guitar chords. “Now that’s a trip down memory lane, folks. Time for some more current announcements. The Grafton County police department is glad to report that the fire at Next Squared Industries is nearly contained. Several employees are still missing, however, and the police would love to have good news for their families. So, please, if you see anyone injured along Route 49, call the police immediately.”
I shiver under the blanket. The announcement can’t be a coincidence. The lab already knows I didn’t die in the fire, and they know I had to walk out on Route 49. They could have published my description and my picture, but they haven’t. Their weapon won’t be a secret if my picture is plastered all over the local news.
The little girl’s parents have probably called 911 already. My shoes and bag are on the floor near me. I sit up and reach for the laces.
“You don’t need to go.” The voice belongs to a man framed in the doorway. He’s good-looking, in a bland, vanilla sort of way. The kind of man you might see modeling khakis in a department store catalog. A long-sleeved shirt is bunched at his elbows. The shirt and his jeans are streaked with black dust. Black like the soot that covers me. I look down to see streaks of black on the worn floral pattern of the couch. I’ve ruined that, too.
He leans against the wall, arms crossed, holding a steaming mug in one hand. “If you’re worried about the police, Mandy wouldn’t let me call them.” His voice isn’t exactly unkind; it’s a mixture of curiosity and annoyance.
Should I believe him? I shrink away as he comes closer.
“I’m Tom, by the way.”
I stare at the hand he holds out in greeting. My curse is airborne. Shaking his hand won’t expose him any more than he’s already been, and it will help me pass for normal. But, by the time I reach that conclusion, the offer of friendship is retracted.
“I heated up some soup for you,” he says. “If you want it.”
I consider the possible universes. If he’s lying about not calling the police, I need to get out of here as soon as possible. If he’s not, I have to stay. It’s not just that I want the soup. Partially cured could mean a lot of things, and I don’t know if they’ll get sick. Three subjects is more than enough to start an epidemic.
The words have to be forced over my dry throat. “How did you find me? When?”
His eyes narrow, and I know I’ve asked the question in the wrong way.

Quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014 contest.

"This excerpt is meticulously crafted and detail oriented. The author seems in absolute control of the storyline and captures Sarina's voice in a chilling and authentic manner. The plotting is clever and we are immediately engrossed in Sarina's terrifying world as a lab rat. The doctors and nurse in the laboratory are given just enough detail to feel individualized and differentiated from one another. There is conflict here in spades and the feeling of a building thriller."

"The strongest aspect of this excerpt is its prose style, which gives Sarina a distinctive and compelling voice without sacrificing readability or narrative pace. The language flows easily, and the exposition is well-balanced to draw the reader into the story without losing the spontaneous, natural quality of Sarina's monologue. There's nothing superficially flashy about the style, but its clipped rhythms give a sense of Sarina's personality: the drive, the quiet arrogance, the mordant sense of humor. Her drive and her sense of humor also keep the excerpt respectively fast-paced and bleakly funny for readers: lines like “I'm not sure which part of my life she's jealous of: the part where I am forced to be a lab animal, or the part where the lab hides their true plans for me” inject the narrative with a dark humor that complements its fast pace and high stakes. It's rare to encounter an unpublished novel with such command of the nuances of first-person narration."

Publisher's Weekly, ABNA 2014 reviews

Her name is Sarina Wocek. Her breath is poison. She was not born out of love.

Twenty-three years ago, government officials traced the budding epidemic of hemorrhagic fever HF186-2A in south Florida to the Wocek family and their adorable six-week-old daughter, Sarina. Her father, Gregory, admitted his role in genetically engineering a biological weapon with pride. She was taken to a lab hidden in a rural area of New Hampshire. She hasn't left since.

Her government keepers could cure her, but they won't. Genetically engineering a child to be a weapon of mass destruction, that's unethical. Refining a weapon of mass destruction that someone else created? That's just being clever.

After twenty-three years of captivity, she escapes. She crosses an ocean to put her father and the lab behind her, but it's not enough. When she sees the first bleeding sore, she knows she didn't leave the virus behind either.

The only way she'll be free is by destroying every trace of the lab. She only has one advantage; she doesn't care if she makes it out alive.

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Format: Kindle
Release Date: March 5, 2015
Buying Links: Amazon*

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL). Prizes provided by the author. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting today, Bea! :)

  2. Interesting cover! Would love to read this!

  3. Thanks for this captivating feature and lovely giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. This book sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Megan @

  5. thanks for the chance!

  6. I absolutely love stories centering around genetics! The premise sounds so interesting, thanks for hosting this great giveaway!! :)

  7. I really enjoyed reading the excerpt!

  8. Really enjoyed reading the excerpt, thank you!

  9. This does sound interesting; a merging of several tropes in a singular voice.

  10. Creative writing style and plot theme-- should be interesting!

  11. sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway.



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