Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sentinel by Jennifer Armentrout Tour and a Giveaway:Pure Day

Hi,welcome to a book tour stop for Pure bu Jennifer Armentrout in celebration for the upcoming release for Sentinel,the Final book in the series.AND there is a great Giveaway too!

There is need. And then there is Fate. 
Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon--and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude--or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.


Buy Links:
Barnes and Noble

About the Author

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Here are some questions answered by JLA and by her characters in the book!!

For JLA – Pure has been called Seth’s book.  Did fans reaction to Seth surprise you?  I wasn’t really surprised by the reaction to Pure because I knew that the book focused more on Seth than Aiden.

For Alex -  Knowing what you know about Leon, do you think there was more to him being the one to find you in labyrinth?  Oh, I’m sure there was more to it.

For Aiden -  By far, the zoo was the best scene in Pure.  What did you enjoy most about being at the zoo with Alex?  I loved knowing that I was doing something for her that made her happy. 

For Seth – That whole sleeping issue that you and Alex have in Pure, did you realize what was up or were you just going with it?  I would’ve just gone with it.  But, truth?  I knew what was up.

Now, its time for the Giveaway!Goodluck :)

Spencer Hill Press is giving away a $200 gift card to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository or any indie bookstore of the winner's choice to not only stock up on amazing books, but to perhaps buy a Nook HD or Kindle Fire.

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Don't forget to read Sentinel when it comes out on 2nd November.
Check out all other stops in the tour.
Link to all other stops

Monday, October 28, 2013

Unchosen by Michele Vail Blog Tour and Giveaway

Book Details:

Michele Vail
(The Reaper Diaries #2)
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Fantasy


I thought the worst of my reaper training was behind me… turns out I was wrong. Dead wrong. 

Molly Bartolucci has done a lot of growing up but after being accused of using illegal magic at her school for necromancers, reaper-in-training Molly is treading lightly. As the destined leader of Anubis’s Chosen, she needs to study hard, train harder, and stay out of trouble. 

Uh, right. 

It doesn’t help that she’s feeling more than academic about her melt-your-bones hot reaping instructor, Rath. And if her relationship drama isn’t enough to drive her over the edge, she has to deal with mother issues, nosy little sisters, suspicious friends, and an unnamed force stalking her at school. 

Then her family is attacked, and her bio-dad ends up comatose in the hospital. Now, Molly has to uncover who’s trying to hurt her loved ones—and all without the help of Anubis.
Here is the book trailer for Unchosen:
Book Depository
Here is the first book in the series:

Michele Vail
(The Reaper Diaries #1)
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Fantasy


The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. 

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble....

Book Depository
Barnes and Noble

About the author: MICHELE VAIL

Michele Vail writes young adult paranormal fiction about zombies and reapers. The Reaper Diaries is set in present day Nevada in a world where ancient Egyptian religion and necromancer magic is real and part of every day life. Oh, and there are zombies. Lots and lots of zombies

Michele likes reading, dogs, cats, board games, ghost-hunting shows, and Halloween. She believes in magic, in the impossible, and in the restorative powers of chocolate. Michele lives happily-ever-after with her Viking husband in the Pacific Northwest.

The Reaper Diaries Website

Time for the Giveaway!!

Win (1) $20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

The giveaway is international.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris:Review

Finally,here is my review for Seven Day Fiance!!

Author:Rachel Harris
Published:14th October 2013

Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.

I was given this ARC for an honest review.This is the first book by Rachel Harris that I have read and I will definitely be reading the rest of them.I loved all of her characters but especially Cane.He is your typical bad boy ;with tattoos and a past, but he is sooooo Sweet!!!! Although the theme is one which has already been used like a million times already;The bad boy meets Good girl,it was still very charming due to the fact that it was so talently written.Seven Day Fiance is the story of Cane and Angelle,both of whom have their own secrets and demons to face.A thing I really liked about the book was the dual Point Of View.Another thing that I liked was that that the secrets were revealed early on in the book and the author did not keep the reader in suspense by dragging the book and only revealing everything at the end,which happens in most books.It helped me to understand the characters better and not always be confused about their actions which, believe it or not,happens a LOT.You should definitely give it a try.

Add to Goodreads
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Seven Day Fiance chalenge Week 1:Bad Boys Of Fiction

To celebrate the release of Rachel Harris' new book 'Seven Day Fiance" ,The Flirt Squad is taking part in a 3 week Challenge!Its going to be really fun and interesting:)

This weeks challenge is:

So we're talking about bad boys and why do they apppeal to us?because lets be honest,We all have a favorite bad boy character.You know,I actually love Greek Mythology but my Favorite one is the Myth of Hades and Persephone.Hades is a classic example of a Bad Boy and my other personal favorites are Damon Black and Damon from the Vampire Diaries(Although I didn't really enjoy the books)and of-course Cane from Seven Day Fiance.

I like them if they have a sarcastic attitude but they shouldn't come of as jerks who don't care if they hurt someone.I like it more if they are protective and even a little possessive of their women but they do not take this to the extreme and  do not always feel like they have to keep an eye on the heroine.The story line which I am always willing to read is when the bad boy does not believe in love but ends up letting his guard down and falling in love with the heroine*swoon*.

Nowadays,bad boys are all the trend in YA and in NA.Some are really good but often enough there are those who I just can't tolerate.Sadly the bad boys that appeal to us can only be found in fiction.The real life ones just don't compare and are plain arrogant.

I think that the really feminine parts are the ones that fall in love with them.The heroines are always irritated my their protective attitude but secretly they(and we)really like it ;)There's just something about them that appeals to our most primal instincts.

We should thank the writers who bring us these swoon worthy bad boys so first of all, thank you Rachel!!!

So to conclude I'm on Team Bad Boys, Are You?
Here is a excerpt from Seven Day Fiance:

After kissing Angelle senseless, Cane watched Brady tug her 
onto the dance floor. Jealousy pitched and roiled in his gut, but he 
didn’t look away. He didn’t have to. Despite the ease with which 
the former lovers fell into each other’s arms, Cane knew whose 
bed she’d be in tonight.
Anticipation had him antsy, eager to drag her away before she 
changed her mind. But he wouldn’t rush this. He’d give Brady this 
moment. After all, it had to be hell losing a woman like Angelle. 
And Cane was man enough to share her attention for a few 
minutes. Especially since she wasn’t really even his. 
So it didn’t matter that they looked good together, spinning 
and laughing as their hands formed little windows to stare into 
each other’s eyes. The way their feet pistoned up and down in 
sync, hinting at a shared history, didn’t rankle. And when the other 
couples widened the circle, clapping for the reunion of Cane’s 
woman and her ex, it didn’t even faze him. 
It certainly didn’t have him wanting to punch a hole through 
the post behind his head.

AND HERE ARE SOME PICTURES Since I know you guys love to look at them;)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris:RELEASE DAY LAUNCH and a GIVEAWAY

Rachel Harris' SEVEN DAY FIANCE is finally here! 

You can get it in your hands (well, on your ereader) right now! You don't want to miss this fantastic Contemporary Romance from Rachel Harris. Book 2 in the Love and Game Series, SEVEN DAY FIANCE can be read as a standalone. Check out all of the information regarding this fantastic novel and Rachel Harris below! Then, celebrate Rachel's Book Birthday by entering the giveaway for an ecopy of Book 1, TASTE THE HEAT!

Isn't that cover pretty?? Read on and find out everything you need to know below! 


Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.

Rachel Harris Bio:

Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, where she watched soap operas with her grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading her mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, she still stays up way too late reading her favorite romances, only now, she can do so openly. She firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.

When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, she homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches reality television with her amazing husband. Taste The Heat is her adult romance debut. She’s the author of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES. She loves hearing from readers! Find her

Buy Links:


And now for the Giveaway! Go enter to win! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Prince's Man by Deborah Jay:BOOK BLAST

Welcome friends to the Princes Man Book Blast. Today and tomorrow several sites will be shedding light on a phenomenal fantasy by an amazing author. We ask that you read about the book, meet the author, read the excerpts and check out the links at the bottom so you can purchase this thrilling and captivating story. We appreciate any comments and if you have read the book, please let us know what you loved about THE PRINCES MAN.
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"Thank you for your vision!!"- Apollo
"This world is great. The author designs a logical world with believable rules. She also does not fall into the trap of trying to explain everything. There is much mystery in the design." - Paul B. Bartosik
                                The Princes Man Cover Reveal

ABOUTThe Princes Man
  Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, has been described as ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’ - a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.    Rustam Chalice, hedonist, dance tutor and spy, loves his life, never better than when he’s bedding a gorgeous woman. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.   And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.   Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god - and each other.   They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.   For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.
resized photoABOUTDeborah Jay
      Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.   Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.   This summer will see publication of her debut novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, the first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award. She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published under the name Debby Lush.  

LINKS: Make sure to add THE PRINCES MAN to your "To Read" list on GoodReads   Website:   Facebook   Twitter   Amazon


At the second ring of the bell, Rustam knocked on the door to Halnashead’s study. He glanced uneasily up and down the empty corridor. Where were the guards? Perhaps Halnashead had sent them away to protect Dart’s identity, but the back of Rustam’s neck prickled, and that was a warning sign he never ignored. He slipped his small dagger from its wrist sheath, and eased the door open. The room was mostly in darkness, with just a row of candles flickering on the front edge of the prince’s substantial desk. There was someone behind the desk, though Rustam could not make out who stood there.
            Wending his way between the high backed chairs and ornate tables that cluttered the main floor space of the study, Rustam trod as lightly as he could with his injured leg, balancing on the balls of his feet, prepared to dive for cover at the slightest hint of trouble. He held the walking cane poised in his left hand like a javelin ready to throw, the dagger nestling coldly in his other palm. His eyes roved the room for signs of a third person. If that was Halnashead behind the desk, then Dart could be anywhere. And if it wasn’t…
            With a rustle of ivory silk, the figure behind the desk sat down, bringing her face clearly into the candlelight. Rustam stopped in confusion, hastily lowered the cane to a more conventional position and made a small bow. “Your pardon, my Lady. The prince asked me to meet him here…”
            Rustam’s voice trailed off as the Lady Risada Delgano vas Domn laughed; a resigned, self-mocking sound.
            “My Lady?”
Risada shook her head. “Ah, Chalice. I suppose it had to be you, with your pretty face and your courtly manners.”
            The study door opened, and Rustam spun around. Silhouetted against the light from the corridor was Halnashead’s bulky figure. The prince shut the door and strode across the room. “Splendid,” he said, rubbing his hands together. “I see you two have met at long last.”
            “What?” blurted Rustam, his famed manners deserting him. “You mean—”
            Lady Risada vacated the prince’s chair, and moved around the desk, preceded by her exotic perfume. Rustam’s breathing became rapid, though whether in response to the heavy scent or the lady’s proximity, he wasn’t sure. Halnashead sat down and beamed at them.
“Dart, meet Charmer. Charmer, meet Dart.”
            Rustam looked pleadingly at Halnashead. “You’re joking, surely? You must be. She can’t be Dart; she’s—”
            “What?” cut in Lady Risada. “A woman?”
            “No! Well, yes. I suppose so.” Rustam shifted uncomfortably, his mind reeling as it tried to adjust to the concept of a noblewoman as a player. Female servants on occasion, yes. But a lady?
            He glanced aside at the lady in question. She stared coldly back.
            “Please, please!” Halnashead drew their attention. “I want you two to get on with each other. Does it surprise you so much, Rusty?”
            Rusty?” echoed Lady Risada derisively.
            Taken aback by the lady’s obvious animosity, Rustam considered the prince’s question. “I suppose it shouldn’t. With her court position, the lady has access to all levels of nobility. Certainly a great asset to your Highness.”
            “And don’t you forget it, dancer boy,” muttered Risada.
            Halnashead frowned. “Be nice, Risada. Rustam is my most skilled agent.”
            “Most skilled womaniser, you mean!”
“Risada, enough.” Halnashead did not raise his voice, but his displeasure was clear. The corners of Rustam’s mouth quirked up, but he quickly dropped the smirk when the prince scowled at him.
            “You will get on with each other. This is a serious matter and you are both professionals; I expect you to behave as such. Now sit down. This could be a long meeting.”



Saturday, October 5, 2013


NAME:Identity X
AUTHOR:Michelle Muckley
GENRE:Sci-fi thriller

Ben is a research scientist.  He finds the cure for genetic disease in a serum called NEMREC.  He celebrates with his best friend Mark and returns home to his wife Hannah.  When he returns to his laboratory he finds that his research and his staff have disappeared.  When he tries to leave the laboratory somebody tries to shoot him.  He flees, and he manages to escape.  But when he tries to contact his wife she cannot be reached.  He has to work out who he can trust in an attempt to find his wife and his son Matthew, all the while dodging mysterious agents who seem to want him dead.  He has lost his wife, his son, and the chance to save his son’s life with his genetic research.  Identity X is the story of his fight to take these things back.

I was born in the town of Warwick in 1981. It is a small historical town in the heart of England, and I was the fifth child born into a family of boys. I developed a huge interest in the written world from a young age, and with more than a little help from Roald Dahl found quite the taste for anything gross and gory. Home now is Limassol, a city on the southern Mediterranean shores of Cyprus.  Winters are spent in the mountains, summers are spent at the beach, and pretty much all hours between are sat at a computer where I am writing the next novel, or reading somebody else's.

Q and A
What inspired you to write your first book?
From the first time I said to myself I want to write a book, I had been procrastinating very well and doing a lot of thinking, but not much else!  A lot of thinking that didn’t get me very far, until one day an idea popped into my head which was something along the lines of, how far would a person go to preserve their own life at the cost of those around them?  It got me thinking about what is precious to people, and what is so important that they would betray those close to them, or ignore their moral code.  From this one thought, The Loss of Deference was born.
What books have most influenced your life most?
When I am asked this question the book that always comes to mind is The Beach by Alex Garland.  For months afterwards I couldn’t settle in my job, and all I wanted to do was give it all up and go travelling.  The fact of having a mortgage however stopped me!  Also, Gerald’s Game.  It was the first Stephen King book I read and from that point on I wanted to be a writer.
What are your current projects?
I am currently writing a book set in Bowness on Windermere in the Lake District, UK.  It’s my favourite place in the world.  It is about a woman who has many psychological issues and how she is dealing with them with her less than perfect husband and the death of her father.  But unfortunately for her the problems reach further than her mind.  I have just finished the first draft.  It need a heck of an edit!
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here is a little bit from Identity X.
He waited before he spoke again, unable to focus on anything but the burgundy pool of blood forming underneath the waist of the dead shooter.  “Why did he want to kill me?”
“Because you are already dead, Ben.  There are no options left for you.  They will kill you.  They will not stop until they do.  They have hundreds of these men, and each one of them will die before they give up their duty,” she said, looking at the body on the floor, “and four of them are standing next to me right now.”  Ben looked up at the men at his wife’s side and contemplated in what possible reality his wife would be flanked by four assassins.  “You are going to walk out of this station with me, and you will get into the van parked outside.”
“If I don’t?”
“Then we will kill you here and now.  I will do it because you will leave me with no other choice.  If you come with me, if you trust me, I will protect you.”
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
For me editing is always the biggest challenge.  I think as I write, which always means that story changes and develops and needs adjustments afterwards.  The first book was difficult to write because I was working full time with an on-call commitment at the time.  Finding the hours was tough.  Right now the challenge is that I can hear the Disney Channel in the background in Greek, which when I’m not concentrating just sounds like blah blah blah.  
What advice do you have for writers?
It is really important as a writer to practice your craft.  By this I mean write consistently, and do it as frequently as you can.  Ideally I think you should write each day, even if it’s only for a short while, but sometimes this isn’t practical.  Reading is just as important, and I love to do it.  It is like research and for me if I am not reading I feel my writing is more sluggish.
From a practical point of view for somebody who wants to test their skills in the world of publishing, the best advice is to polish whatever you want to publish to the point when you cannot possibly stand to read it anymore, and until you believe it is as good as you can possibly make it.  Then make a choice between traditional and self publishing, and just go for it.  And whichever you choose, make sure you are tough enough to stand rejection and criticism.  I have experienced both, and it is essential to ride through it if you want to succeed.  Professional writers are after all, the amateurs who didn’t give up.  I heard that recently.  I can’t remember who said it, but I think it sums up the journey perfectly.
Chapter One
Sixteen eyes gazed back at him, twelve of them through heavy rimmed glasses.  They stood there silently waiting for him to speak whilst clutching their plastic cups, shuffling first left, then right.  Graham was still holding his pipette, his fingers poised and willing, trained for nothing but repetition and tedium.  Even in a moment of glory Ben could see that he was desperate to get back to his workspace.   Alan was pulling up a stool, rubbing the base of his back like a woman in the third trimester of pregnancy who had reached her daily limit.   Ami stood behind them, her open lipped smile full of reassurance, and she was staring at Ben as if they were the only people in the room.  Right now he was the centre of the world.  He was the centre of Ami’s world.  It felt good to have her approval.
Phil finished pouring the cheap champagne into his own crumpled cup before tipping the remainder of the bottle, which seemed to constitute little more than froth, into Ben’s.  He stood nonchalantly at Ben’s side ready for the celebratory cheer, the empty bottle swinging low.  As he nodded to Ben to speak, a quick come on, we’re waiting, a bizarre image of Phil crept into Ben’s mind.  He visualised a young Cambridge University student with smooth wrinkleless eyes, but behind the same thick rimmed lenses that he wore today.  The imagined face was youthful, yet was still topped with a balding scalp, only partially covered by the long hairs that had been left to grow from just above his left ear.  So ingrained was the image of the aged Phil, it was impossible to conceive a true and faithful representation of the young genius that he must surely have once been.  It was like he had always been old.
“Well, it has been a long four years,” Ben began, pausing for breath after almost every word.  It was hard to concentrate over the distracting sound of his wine as it fizzed about in his cup, and the whirring of the air conditioning rattling along above him.  His eyes were tired and gritty from the dry atmosphere.  It was seven thirty at night and he had been here for over twelve hours already today.  He had known by late morning that today would be the day.  When the first results came back, he knew it had worked.   As he gazed out from behind his own glasses to see them all waiting for him to say something momentous, all he really wanted to do was knock back his bitter and overly carbonated fizz and get out to the bar with Mark.
The truth was that he didn’t know what to say to them.   He felt an uncontrollable need to find something meaningful and poignant to say; to mark the life changing occasion with something that would never be forgotten.  He had to find something inspiring.  Something that would cause each of the scientists before him to regale their families with the story, who would in turn tell the tale to their friends, before soon enough the story would travel with the same inertia as a meteor through space.  He felt the weight of all great men before him who had stood on the same precipice of achievement, isolated in the solitary moment before the world learns what has been accomplished.  All that kept coming to his mind were the fuzzy static heavy words of Neil Armstrong as they were beamed back from the moon all those years ago.  People still spoke about that moment, even kids like Ben who were born years after the event.  It was impossible to forget the significance of that first footstep.  There was no person in the world that would forget that name, that moment, or those words.  His success today may not have the same intergalactic stretch from one celestial body to the next, and would perhaps be more quietly celebrated, but he felt the same sense of weightlessness.  This moment was the joy.  This moment was his, just before the curtains are drawn to reveal the expectant audience.  Stood there in his lab coat and shoe covers in front of a sea of tired faces, he felt as overwhelmed and excited, he imagined, as the first man to step foot on the moon.
“We have done it together.  This is our success, and it will change the world.  Raise your glasses.”  Ben held up his plastic cup, and a series of hands rose up before him, including Graham who had finally relinquished his pipette to the bench.  
“Here’s to us.  And here is to NEMREC.  We did it.”  They all nodded their heads, their plastic cups in the air in muted celebration before knocking the liquid back.  He saw a couple of smiles, and several of them patted their nearest colleague on the shoulder, in a display of professional appreciation and admiration.  If he could have done so without automatically assuming an air of inflated self importance, he would have patted each of them on the back himself, and thanked them for their individual efforts.  Instead he settled on a submissive handshake with each, as the formal line of scientists disintegrated into a casual crowd.  He wanted to emphasise the joint effort today.  He knew in the whirlwind of media attention and fervent celebration that would surely ensue in the days to come that it would not be his team appearing on the television.  Nor would it be them who would be whisked away, by business class no doubt, to the next conference for genetic research that he was certain he had read was going to be a six day stint in Dubai.  It would be Ben Stone.  Revolutionary Scientist.  The one that cured genetic disease.  He rolled his self-awarded title around in his head enjoying the way it sounded and getting drunk not on the alcoholic drink, but the dizzy heights of accomplishment.  It sounded good.   Seeing that during his momentary lapse into daydream the rest of the team were either finishing up at their work benches or had already discarded their lab coats and were back in their own clothes, he took a step towards his own office.
“Don’t forget, drinks at Simpson’s tonight,” he called, as he saw a couple of them nod in enthusiasm.  Ami nodded too.  “Eight thirty, I’ll be there.”  He turned and opened the door to his office, and sat down into the green leather chair.  It was always darker in here, although in theory there were the same number of lights as the main laboratory.  He knew because he had counted them last winter when one day he could barely see to read at his own desk, and he had indeed established that based on an equivalent floor space in the main laboratory, there were four recessed lights, just as there were above his desk.  The trouble in here was that there were so many papers and so many books that the light literally got sucked into the heaving mass of a lifetime of research.  Every surface had been utilised to hold some item of importance, including the uncomfortable looking couch that had on occasion formed an impromptu bed when he realised that the time to catch the last train home had passed him by.  It lined the only wall that wasn’t covered by a bookcase that stretched all the way up to the ceiling.  He had read every page of every book in here.   He had spent the majority of his life either huddled over a test tube, or with his head buried in a book.  He established his life’s path from the very first day that he learned of his family’s unfortunate trait.  It was the day that his mother had sat him down when he was fourteen and explained the basis for his father’s mood swings and how they would likely get worse, until one day when they might not be able to recognise the man they knew anymore.  Until then, Ben had been happy to play the role of a teenager.  He offered up no complaint when passing his time casually with his friends, racing his BMX around the park across the purpose built ramps to perfect his bunny hop bar spin trick.  But the day that she sat him down to talk, that changed everything.  
Consumed in his daydream he hadn’t seen Ami approach, and when she tapped her knuckles on the glass door she startled him.  As he looked up from his desk he saw the cascading mass of jet black hair, released and flowing like a waterfall across one shoulder, pooling in the crevice of her elbow.  Her eyes were set as endless jet black saucers, so different to the Ionian blue of his, and her skin was the perfect shade of honey.   When she joined the team just over a year ago, he could barely believe his luck.  He motioned with a smile and a quick wag of the fingers for her to open the door.  In a single fluid motion, she pushed the door ajar, and leant like a ballerina into the arabesque en l’aire, curling the top half of her body around the half open door.
“We are all leaving now, Ben.  We’ll see you there?”  Her hair fell casually forwards, spreading the scent of dried rosebuds across the office that reminded him of his own mother in a disturbing and yet somehow pleasant and familiar way.  Ben wondered if he looked as foolish as he felt in her presence when it was just the two of them.  He sat himself upright, his chair creaking as he shifted his weight around uncomfortably, pulling in the nearest research journal and leafing through the pages in an effort to look casual and unflustered.  
“OK, yeah. I’m right behind you, just finishing off here.”  He motioned to the research journal and glanced down at the page.  He noticed that he had undesirably opened the journal at a location that detailed a new stem cell treatment for erectile dysfunction.  An article complete with diagrams.  He caught her glancing down at the journal, and he closed the cover, hoping that she hadn’t deciphered the subject matter.  “I just need to make a telephone call.”  Erectile dysfunction.  Of all articles I had to open it there.
“Shall we wait?  It’s not a problem.”  She either hadn’t seen, or was too polite to joke at his expense.  He was grateful for either possibility, with a heavy preference for the former.
“No, go on ahead.  I’ll meet you all there.”  She smiled with pursed lips and tucked her chin in.  It made her look cute and sexy at the same time.  She closed the door behind her with her perfectly manicured hand.  He lent back in his chair, adjusting his position to watch her cross the laboratory floor until she closed the far door behind her.  He wondered if she swung her hips like that on purpose, or if when he looked away they would rest into a more natural rhythm.  He took the offending journal, shook his head in disgust and tossed it with revulsion into the waste paper bin.  He kicked his chair out from under the desk and put his feet up on top of the papers.  Resting his head of thick blond curls back onto the top of the chair he took the arms of his glasses in his fingers and slid them from his face.  He could barely believe that all his years of work, and all of his effort had culminated in this solitary moment.  He was surrounded by brilliance in his laboratory, and his team was made up from the best of the best in their field.  Yet now, when it was quiet and he was alone, when he should be revelling in the glory of his achievement it was impossible not to go back to that day and that life changing moment when his mother explained to him what a genetic disease was.  He would have loved to pick up the telephone, dial her number, tell her one simple thing.  He would tell her that he had done it.  That nobody else would suffer, and that their past would never be repeated.  He glanced over at the telephone, playing her long since redundant number over and over in his head.  He could see the answering machine flashing on the far side of his desk and it brought him back to reality.  There were three messages. Swinging his legs back down he propelled himself forward and hit the play button, leaving thoughts of his mother in the past where they belonged.  The first was from a supplier of gene chips to let him know that Monday’s delivery would be late.
“I don’t think we need to worry about that now,” he laughed to himself.   The second was from Hannah, asking him what time he expected to be home.  Her words sounded bitter, and he could hear her mumbling to herself as she hung up the telephone.  He wouldn’t let it spoil the moment though, and he put her message to the back of his mind.  The final message was from a Mr. Saad.  This wasn’t the first message he had left, and Ben still had no idea how he had managed to get hold of his direct telephone line.   The familiar and gravelly accent needed no introduction.
“Hello Mr. Stone.  I do hope you will do me the courtesy of returning my phone call this time.  I want very much to discuss your research with you.  I am able to offer a very substantial contribution to your funding which I know that you will need very soon.  My personal contact number is....”
“No thank you.”  Ben hit the delete button before he finished listening to the message. He had done it.  The compound had been shown to work.  NEMREC was ready to go.  It was only a matter of time before support from a large pharmaceutical developer would roll his way.   He had a month until the National Genetics Conference, and that was more than enough time to collate his results into something presentable.  After that, the funding and everything that came with it was virtually guaranteed.  He could almost feel the heat of the Dubai sun on his face.  He wondered if any sponsor might let him take an assistant, but with the same speed he considered it he reminded himself of the inappropriateness of his intentions.  He stood up from his chair and grabbed his jacket from the coat stand.  He had no windows in this office but he could hear the falling raindrops as they fell onto the flat metallic roof above.  He made his way towards the door and from the corner of his eye he caught sight of the thick brown wooden photo frame on the edge of the desk.  It had been gradually pushed to the side over a period of time by an ever increasing volume of paperwork.  He picked up the photograph with both hands and held it closely to him but angled it so that he could see it.  Staring back at him was the past, another time and another life it seemed to him now.  It was his own eight year old face, smiling and happy, pressed up against the face of his father.  His father’s hair in the photograph had already started to turn grey, and he was close to forty five years old.  The first signs had already started.  He was always restless, and to Ben he seemed jerky, even at eight years old when he should have been too immature to notice.  He always seemed irritable and he kept forgetting things.  It was when he had asked several guests during the ongoing fourteenth birthday celebrations why they had come to his home, and if it was only to bring in the dirt from the garden in the tread of their shoes that his mother had sat Ben down to talk to him.  It had been quite a scene, after all.  Seeing this photograph reminded him that it wasn’t the celebration, the glory, or the admiration on Ami’s face that he was looking for.  He didn’t need the all expenses paid trip to Dubai, as nice as it might be, especially if he got to take an assistant.  He didn’t need the nod to significant and overwhelmingly important prizes.   All the recognition he needed was here in the eyes of his ageing father.  He tapped the photograph with the back of his fingers.
“We did it Dad.  We did it.”  He sat the photograph back down on the desk, clearing away a selection of papers to place it centrally, and where tomorrow he would see it again.  He picked up the telephone and tapped out his home number.  Hannah answered, and the annoyance in her voice regarding his recurrent lateness was tangible in her short staccato sentences.
“Yeah, I’ll be late.  I’m finishing up at the lab.”  He paused briefly to listen.  “Just waiting for the machines and the final run.  I’ll be home by ten thirty.  Yes, you too.  See you later.”   He hung up the telephone and grabbed his briefcase.  He glanced at the piles of handwritten notes on his desk and considered taking the latest of them with him.  Instead he agreed with himself that he deserved at least one night off and so left them undisturbed.  He made for the door and turned off the lights, and as the air conditioning units slowed to a halt he could hear the rain louder as it pattered down onto the roof.  He was close to the underground station but doubted he would make it without getting soaked through. He rummaged around in the coat stand for a would-be luckily left umbrella, but it proved a futile search.  Instead he grabbed his raincoat from the hook and threw it across his shoulders, wriggling his arms into the sleeves.   He pressed the button and the entrance door slid open as a quick shot of air squeezed out from the pneumatic mechanism and he made his way downstairs towards the chill of the early spring rain.


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(ISBN-10: 1490431446  / ISBN-13: 978-1490431444)

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