Juggernaut by Amelia C. Gormley Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

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Hi guys, we have Amelia C. Gormley visiting today with her newest release Juggernaut, we have a short guest post, a great excerpt straight from Riptide, a fantastic giveaway and Tams & Aerin’s reviews. So enjoy the post and leave a comment (with a way to be contacted) ❤ ~Pixie~

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Juggernaut

(Strain 0.5)
by

Amelia C. Gormley

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

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Amelia C. Gormley

Hi, and welcome to the Juggernaut blog tour!

Almost before I was done writing Strain, my mind began trying to fill in the blanks of the world we saw in Strain, trying to piece together what had led up to that point. I decided I wanted to write a story chronicling the apocalyptic pandemic, both the events leading up to it and the immediate aftermath. The result, of course, was Juggernaut.

On the Juggernaut blog tour, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about the world of Juggernaut/Strain/Bane, including several cut scenes from Juggernaut which I felt contained important world-building details that in the end just didn’t fit the flow of the story. I’ll also be sharing a couple sneak previews of the third book in the Strain universe, Bane (coming September 21 from Riptide Publishing) as well as giving away three e-copies of Bane before it hits the shelves!

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post including a way to contact you (email, Twitter, or Facebook.) Each stop along the blog tour that you visit offers you another chance to enter. Be sure to check the Riptide blog tour schedule for a complete list of other stops. The contest will close Saturday, August 15th, 2015 and the winner will be contacted no later than Monday, August 17th. Any entries made without a way to contact the winner will be invalidated, so please don’t forget to provide your email, or your Twitter or Facebook address. Contest is NOT limited to US entries.

Good luck, and enjoy the tour!

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Excerpt

Still aghast at the Reverend Houtman’s faux pas on the McNary show, Nico ended the call with his mother and idly skimmed from one broadcast to the next for the remainder of the drive.

“. . . I think we need to look at the economic conditions that led to these efforts to begin with, Michael. The tenements operate like the mining camps of the late-nineteenth century before unionization forced reform. Employees amount to little more than feudal serfs serving at the mercy of their corporate overlords . . .”

He was about to change the channel again when Darrin called back to him over the intercom, interrupting the congresswoman’s rant. “We’re almost to the cabin, Mr. Costas.”

“Thank you, Darrin.” He smiled and sat up straighter, smoothing his hair and then the fine wool of his suit coat. He switched off the HUD, popped a mint into his mouth, and shifted into the rear-facing seat of the limousine.

The car decelerated with a soft whine and turned off the two-lane mountain highway onto a long, wooded driveway. Five minutes after that, they came to a stop before a cozy, rustic-looking cabin. Nico remained seated as Darrin parked and got out of the car to ring the doorbell. He waited patiently for nearly another ten minutes before a broad-shouldered man with graying black hair opened the door. Darrin escorted him to the limousine and opened the door, then returned to the cabin and emerged with a suitcase, which he stashed in the trunk while McClosky slid into the seat opposite Nico and closed the door.

“Nicolás. It’s good to see you.” A warm smile split the general’s ageless face, and Nico ducked his head at the reminder that this man—the first and favorite of his clients—had known him long before he’d adopted the professional pseudonym Octavio Costas. To the general, he was still Nicolás Fernández.

“It’s always a pleasure, General,” Nico replied with complete sincerity.

“You know you can call me Logan.” As General McClosky looked Nico up and down, Darrin returned to the wheel and pulled the car away from the cabin.

“It wouldn’t feel right, sir.” Nico’s formality in no way diminished his fondness for the general; any more casual form of address just rubbed at his nerves, chafing.

The general gave him a fond look. “Thank you for coming out all this way to meet with me. I wasn’t going to have time, otherwise.”

“I didn’t mind the ride at all. It was relaxing.”

“Still working hard on your thesis?”

“Yes, though, I think I’ll be done with it before the holidays. But of course, my schedule is usually booked fairly tight with clients, so finding time for something other than school or work can be a challenge. A nice afternoon drive in the mountains is a refreshing change of pace.”

McClosky favored him with another warm smile. “And how is Silvia?”

“Devoted to you, as always, sir.” Nico grinned, settling back against the soft leather. “She sends her regards and hopes you’ll be able to come by and see her sometime soon. She also asked me to assure you that the usual precautions to make the transaction untraceable are all in place.”

“Excellent. I might be able to arrange a visit sometime next month. Worst-case scenario, I definitely wouldn’t miss her midsummer celebration.” McClosky reached for his briefcase and pulled it into his lap, popping it open. He withdrew a memory card and handed it to Nico. “This is the man. You’ll find all the information you need and a picture so you’ll be able to spot him. He’ll be staying at the hotel after the convention tonight, and he’ll be in the bar looking for companionship. All you need to do is make sure he has a smile on his face in the morning for our meeting with the joint chiefs. I very much need this recommendation to go my way.”

“And should subtle hints and pleasing smiles not work?” Nico’s hand drifted almost unconsciously to the vial of oil in his pocket.

“You have my permission to use whatever means are at your disposal.” McClosky knew exactly what was in that vial. Hell, he’d provided it specifically for occasions such as this.

Nico took his HUD glasses from his bag and put them on, then slotted the card into them and fell silent, perusing the file. His intended mark looked like an appealing enough man. He’d certainly entertained far less attractive clients. He ejected the card and handed it back to McClosky, folding and putting away the glasses. “As usual, I can’t guarantee his vote, or recommendation, or whatever you’re after from him, but I can certainly guarantee he’ll have a smile on his face and he’ll be feeling reasonably amenable.”

“I have every confidence in your abilities.” The general nodded and relaxed in his seat, his knees parting. Nico slid out of his coat and laid it on the seat beside him before slipping to his knees on the floor of the limousine. McClosky reached out to stroke the side of Nico’s face as Nico reached for the fly of his uniform. “It’s been too long, my boy.”

“It’s always a pleasure, sir,” Nico repeated, smiling, and dipped his head to suck the general deep into his mouth.

He’d lost track of the number of people—male, female, and all points in between—he’d pleasured, but McClosky would always stand out from the masses. When Nico had declared his intention to work for his mother’s escort agency once he turned eighteen, Silvia’s first order of business had been to hire one of her best rentboys to tutor him. Then, for his first job, she’d booked Nico for a week with McClosky. That engagement had been something of a graduation, and it had taught Nico more than six months with his “tutor” had.

He supposed he would be in love with the general if he were idiotic enough to fall in love with anyone at this point in his life and career. There was an edge of danger to McClosky, despite the fact that he was always very proper and courteous outside the bedroom. Nico suspected that people who dealt with McClosky on a daily basis would say he was not a good man, that he was firmly convinced that the ends justified the means, but moral ambiguity had a certain appeal.

Pushing all that aside, Nico refocused his attention on the cock in his mouth, on the general’s groans, taking him deeper, working him with tongue and lips and throat, using every bit of skill he’d acquired since that first week-long engagement. McClosky shuddered and came down Nico’s throat. Nico rocked back on his heels, smiling as he wiped the corner of his mouth. McClosky’s fingers gently petted his hair, and Nico closed his eyes in pleasure at the touch. He wondered if the general noticed he was doing it.

“Will you be going straight to your town house in Arlington, sir?”

McClosky nodded, tucking himself away and fastening his trousers before he dug through his briefcase for a tablet and his own HUD glasses to plug into it. “Yes. Though, of course, you’re welcome to have Darrin drive you into DC if you need.”

Nico discreetly pressed his own unattended cock into a more comfortable position in his trousers and moved back into his seat. Clearly McClosky had too much going on to make this more of a mutual encounter, and Nico wasn’t here for McClosky’s pleasure this time, anyway. The blowjob had simply been a freebie. “Thank you, sir, but I’ll take my own car. I know it’s not likely anyone will notice me stepping out of the limousine and trace it back to you, but why take the chance?”

“Very well. If the secretary doesn’t attend to your accommodations tonight, take a room and add it to my bill.”

Nico contained a frown. He’d really hoped the general might invite him back to his house after he’d done his job. “As you wish, sir.”

One corner of McClosky’s mouth tipped up, and his eyes passed over Nico slowly from behind the projection goggles. “Will you be heading back to Princeton in the morning?”

“I have no reason to remain in DC, but I certainly have the availability. You told my mother that the secretary can be a little rude when he plays with his toys, so I don’t have any clients scheduled for a few days.”

“I told her that in the hopes that she would send someone else for the job. I wouldn’t want to see you hurt.”

Nico licked his lips, smiling slowly. “I don’t mind some wear and tear. You taught me to enjoy that, if you recall. Though, it has been a while. I find I rather miss it.”

“Well, then, I hope the job doesn’t disappoint.” The general’s eyes darkened, his nostrils flaring slightly. “But just in case, come back to the Arlington house after you check out tomorrow. There’s no reason you can’t stay there a few days to recuperate. I’ll leave instructions with Peter to let you in if I’m not home yet.”

A tingly surge of anticipation seized Nico’s nuts and squeezed gently. His ass clenched almost greedily as his hands gripped his knees. “Like I said, it’s always a pleasure, sir.”

###

Having dinner guests had become a nearly nightly event since the reverend had thrown his hat into the political ring. Strategists, consultants, fund-raisers, and donors all seemed to converge upon the Houtman’s Indiana home, an overdone—to Zach’s eye, at least—mansion in the country, surrounded by corn and soy fields. They all seemed to have an agenda, and very little of that agenda appeared to have anything to do with the Lord. His father assured him that their motivations were irrelevant, but Zach couldn’t accept that God’s work was being done by people whose only interest was earthly power and wealth.

Not for the first time, Zach wished he’d stuck to his guns and gone to seminary. But by the time he was getting ready to choose his major in college, his father had been laying the groundwork for establishing the Righteous Word Party and moving Houtman Ministries into the political arena. The reverend had insisted that Zach could do far more good studying political science and marketing, working as an aide and adviser to the RWP than he could as a pastor. It hadn’t been the work Zach felt called to by God; he’d wanted his own ministry, perhaps do some missionary work in the tenements or inner cities. But the reverend had been relentless. He’d painted a rosy picture of Zach shaping a movement to redirect the government toward principles according to Christ’s teachings, principles of charity and compassion. The actual party line had been quite a disappointment.

Zach would be expected at dinner. He wasn’t sure why his father insisted on it, since his input as one of the RWP’s political advisors—which was his official title, though more often than not he just held the reverend’s notes—was uniformly disregarded.

With a reluctant sigh, Zach concluded a brief, silent prayer for patience, a necessity before these dinners. Then he adjusted his tie, straightened his glasses, and made his way toward the den where his father’s colleagues were enjoying a drink.

“. . . instant polling shows a strong response to your appearance on McNary’s show this morning,” said George Welshman, a media consultant so greasy Zach needed a shower after shaking the man’s hand. Welshman had no principles, much less anything as powerful as ethics or morals. All that mattered was winning and getting his consulting fee. If Zach truly had the influence his father had promised him, firing Welshman was the first thing he’d do.

“It’s as I’ve been saying all along,” he continued. “The harder you come out swinging, the more impact you’re going to make. Building momentum right now is crucial.”

“That all depends on the kind of impact you want to make,” Zach replied, coming to a stop in the doorway. He felt his father fix him with a narrow-eyed look for interrupting, much less contradicting, the consultant, but he refused to meet it. “What sort of momentum is a negative impression truly going to build?”

Welshman waved the question off with a negligent flap of his hand. “Doesn’t matter. At this point we’re after brand recognition. Maurice could go on the talk shows promising drugs and orgies for everyone who votes for him and it wouldn’t matter what he said so long as the voters remembered his name once he declares his candidacy.”

A low chuckle rumbled from across the room, and Zach’s stomach twisted. Jacob was sitting next to their father, practically beaming at being admitted to the inner circle. The avarice in his smile made Zach uneasy, as always. He’d tried for years to reach out to Jacob, tried to counter that sense of entitlement and superiority and model humility and compassion for his younger brother. But Jacob’s spite was just too strong, and Zach didn’t have the energy to be the voice of reason in his father’s campaign and be continually rebuffed by his brother.

“We need to keep hammering this prostitution business,” another voice added. Zach glanced over to see Bishop Karl Craven nursing a tumbler of whiskey. “The liberal media is determined to make a tragedy out of those bombings. We need to focus people on the positive side of these acts.”

“Positive side?” Zach blinked incredulously. “I wasn’t aware there was a positive side to wanton slaughter.”

The bishop’s mouth pulled into a tight, disapproving line. “The targets of those bombings were panderers and whores.”

“Yes, they were, but when Christ came upon the adulteress about to be killed, He invited anyone without sin to cast the first stone. He told her to go forth and sin no more. He didn’t tell His apostles to firebomb her home.”

His father’s gaze bore down on him, making his chest tighten. Sweat beaded on his forehead, but he refused the silent command to back off.

Jacob jumped in before the reverend had a chance to dress Zach down. “No one wants to see God as some toothless old geezer who lets sinners traipse off with only a stern lecture.”

Zach smiled tightly. “I’m fairly certain that only applies to children who have inflated ideas of their own self-importance.”

A ruddy flush darkened Jacob’s acne-marked cheeks. A rash retort twisted his lips, but their father laid a hand on his arm before he found his voice.

“Enough, boys.” He stood and gave them each a quelling look, the fury in his pale blue-gray eyes carefully masked until his back was to the room. His voice was perfectly modulated, just the right tone for patronizing affection. “Despite his blasphemous phrasing, Jacob is making much the same point I made to you earlier, Zacharias. Clearly you’ve been working too hard lately and the stress is beginning to tell. We can do without you at dinner tonight. Why don’t you go check in on your youth group, see how they’re managing since you retired?”

Being summarily dismissed was as infuriating as being required to attend in the first place. Having the reverend use his youth group as an excuse to get rid of him—the same youth group he’d made Zach sacrifice to free up more time to work on the campaign—was the final insult. Zach glowered at his father for a moment before he spun on his heel and strode from the den and toward the front hall.

“I’m going downtown,” he threw over his shoulder. “If anyone needs me, I’ll be helping out at the Center Street Shelter.”

For more excerpt click here: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/juggernaut  (Just click the excerpt tab)

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About Amelia

Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.

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Giveaway!

Three e-copies of Bane before it hits the shelves!

(To enter to win, leave a comment on this post including a way to contact you (email, Twitter, or Facebook.) Contest is NOT limited to US entries)
Any entries made without a way to contact the winner will be invalidated, so please don’t forget to provide your email, or your Twitter or Facebook address.
(The contest will close Saturday, August 15th, 2015 and the winner will be contacted no later than Monday, August 17th)

Review

Juggernaut_500x750Title: Juggernaut

Series: Strain, 0.5

Author: Amelia Gormley

Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi

Length: Novel (378 pages)

ISBN: 9781626492820

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (August 10th 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4 ¼ Hearts

Reviewer: Tams & Aerin

Blurb: They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rent boy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

Product Link: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/juggernaut

Tams Review: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Nico Fernandez is the son of the most powerful Sanctioned Madam; he is also her most valued employee. Nico sees how the people who don’t have the opportunities he has suffer and he truly wants to help any way he can. Poverty is prolific and Nico is spared that type of life, until he unwittingly helps a family friend, also a sometimes lover, unleash the virus that now plagues humanity.

Zach Houtman is the son of the most powerful Zealot in this post-apocalyptic world. As a former minister turned politician, his father spouts nothing but hate and venom at anyone that doesn’t conform to his ideals and beliefs, including his own son. Zach turns a blind eye for years, until his father pushes him too far. Zach and Nico become companions due to circumstance. They become lovers by choice. But the society and the unholy virus that is slowly wiping out humanity has other plans for these two, that is, if they survive.

Juggernaut shows us how the plague in the story Strain started. Gormley paints a vivid picture of a society on the verge of breaking down, even before the virus takes hold. War, poverty, lust, greed and a thirst for power pale in comparison to the Juggernaut virus that turns man against each other. Society is already on the verge of breaking down, even before the virus. When you have a base reality of people who are hell-bent on destroying each other, playing God usually backfires, and that’s exactly what happens here.

I thoroughly enjoyed this look back into the history of the Jugs. How they came to be the super soldiers and protectors they are. You’ll not only learn how the Strain started but you get to see a little bit of the reasoning behind certain aspects of Strain that you may have questioned or misunderstood. The relationship between Nico and Zach was a little too simple for my taste, especially if you’ve read Darius and Rhys’s story prior to this one. But I’m very excited to see what Gormley brings to the table with Bane, the next book in this series.

If you like dystopian stories then this is a must read for you. It’s one of my favorite genres, so when new books release in the genre I’m usually standing on top of the buy now button waiting for them. The story itself, the world this is set in is very post-apocalyptic and though it’s not as prevalent in this book, it has a zombie edge to it as well. If you haven’t read Strain yet, you won’t be lost. But if you think that was a cliff hanger, go straight to Strain to answer some of your questions.

Aerin’s Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Amazing Hearts!

I know some people wonder whether they can read this book if they haven’t read Strain, and the answer is YES! I haven’t read Strain myself, and I didn’t feel like I missed anything. There were no characters that I wondered about, or any feeling that there’s something hinted at that happened in Strain and I’m not going to figure it out in Juggernaut. This is by all means a standalone novel. WARNING!!! This novel ends with a cliffhanger the size of Europe, so you’ll need to read the next book, which will come out this fall. However, some characters in the next book, who are going to play an important role, are the MCs from Strain, so you’ll eventually have to read that as well.

This novel and the concept it is based on is truly mind-blowing. And also scary; I can totally imagine this as a possible event in our future, because I wouldn’t put it past greedy humans to try to create the perfect soldier, without taking into consideration the consequences. This book is raw and very angsty, there’s a lot of emotional turmoil that both MCs go through, and while they find temporary solace within each other, their love story is not a traditional one. There’s not a lot of sex for a book as long as this, but the little there is, is sweet and passionate and everything I could want. Too bad we didn’t have more of it. 

There’s not much I can say about the challenges Nico and Zach face without spoiling the book for you, but be prepared to feel emotional pain while reading this. No, there’s not unnecessary drama, but sometimes the choices the MCs have to make for themselves and for the rest of the humans alive, are not ones that guarantee a happy ending for them. I loved both characters to pieces, I can’t say I have a favorite, and that’s very rare for me. They’re both amazing in different ways and complement each other perfectly.

I hope in the next book they’ll be able to find a way to be together and be happy, because they both deserve it and because I really NEED TO SEE IT! I was very disappointed to reach the end, hoping for some smiles and a happy ending, only to get there and be left in shock at how it ended. Had I known there was a cliffy, I wouldn’t have picked this book up until the next one is released.

Also as a warning, the beginning of this book is a bit graphic and involves a “rape”. It’s not exactly a rape in the traditional sense because Nico allowed it to happen, but it wasn’t something he wanted or liked, and I’m not sure he could’ve stopped it had he wanted to. It’s very graphic, painful to read, so be warned. If you can’t handle it, then maybe skip that part when you get to it.

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Check out the other blogs on the blog tour

August 10, 2015 – TTC Books and More
August 10, 2015 – Cup o’ Porn
August 10, 2015 – On Top Down Under
August 10, 2015 – Sinfully Sexy Books
August 11, 2015 – Love Bytes Reviews
August 11, 2015 – The Jeep Diva
August 11, 2015 – MM Good Book Reviews
August 12, 2015 – GGR-Review
August 12, 2015 – Rainbow Gold Reviews
August 12, 2015 – Natural Bri- Pursuits of Life
August 13, 2015 – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
August 13, 2015 – Prism Book Alliance
August 14, 2015 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy
August 14, 2015 – 3 Chicks After Dark
August 14, 2015 – All I Want and More
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9 thoughts on “Juggernaut by Amelia C. Gormley Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!”

  1. Thanks so much to Aerin and Tams for the lovely reviews and to MM Good Book Reviews for hosting my tour! If anyone wants to chat about the books, ask me questions, anything, feel free to do so, I’m monitoring comments and will be checking back for further contest entries. I have everyone who has commented so far entered into the drawing for Bane. good luck!

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