Bane by Amelia C. Gormley Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

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Hi peeps, we have Amelia C. Gormley visiting with the blog tour to her newest release Bane, we have a great excerpt, a fantastic giveaway and Tams & Aerin’s reviews, so enjoy the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~

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Bane

(A Strain Novel)
by

Amelia C. Gormley

The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

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Amelia C. Gormley

Hi, and welcome to the Bane blog tour!

I don’t think it’s any secret that a lot of readers, in the wake of reading Strain, wanted more of Darius and Rhys. Already by that point I was brainstorming the pre- and peri-apocalyptic story that would become Juggernaut, but the further along I got on that, the more I realized the situation Zach and Nico were in couldn’t be resolved in the timeframe of Juggernaut. They needed developments that would only make sense to happen after the events of Strain. The plot also required Rhys to have matured a great deal since the end of Strain. Altogether, it gave me a beautiful opportunity to bring closure and an HEA ending (or at least as close to one as you get at the end of the world) for both sets of protagonists.

Thus we have Bane.

Over the course of the Bane blog tour, I’ll be sharing a free post-Bane short story, Refuge. How far post-Bane? Well, you’ll have to read and see. Some developments that happen in Bane are referenced, but not in any great detail, which means the reader should only encounter a few very broad, non-specific spoilers. Obviously, though, it will be best enjoyed if you’ve read Bane already (and Bane, of course, is best enjoyed after Juggernaut and Strain.)

Refuge introduces us to three new characters, Kal, Billie, and perhaps my favorite, Zeus. It’s a completely sex-free story, so you’re safe reading it at work. If my nebulous thoughts on how to continue the Strain universe ever take shape, it’s very possible a lot of material in this short story will be folded into a larger plot with Kal and Billie as the protagonists, and if that happens, you’ll find the smut there.

Each day, at least one stop on the blog tour will contain a section of the story. These segments may end or begin a little abruptly or clumsily at times, as I tried to split them in such a way that no one section would be to long and cumbersome for a single stop on the blog tour. In its linear form, it would simply be a five chapter story. By the end of the tour, all the sections will have been posted. If you need to catch up, you can check out the blog tour page (linked above), or my website, or the “Extras” tab on the Bane product page at Riptide for sequential links to all the posts.

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Excerpt

From Bane

The path Darius’s and Schuyler’s people took through the rubble also led them past the burned-out skeletons of some old employee-housing tenements. The sight of them made Rhys shudder. Within those massive complexes lay thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of corpses. People who had been denied the opportunity to quarantine themselves and had wound up wasting away inside their own bodies from the Beta strain, or waiting to starve to death or be cannibalized by revenants.

Sometimes it seemed that the whole world was haunted, but if there were any places that were truly, actually inhabited by restless and vengeful spirits, it would be the tenements.

“Creepy, aren’t they?” Xolani asked, startling Rhys. He’d been so absorbed in staring at the charred remains of the buildings that he hadn’t heard her approach.

He nodded. “Looks like they had a fire when they were sealed off by the National Guard.”

“Not quite,” she said. He glanced sideways to see Xolani’s lips tighten, the scar down her cheek growing pale. “When the military government at Cheyenne Mountain first established a quarantine for the survivors, they were put in those buildings. Predictably, though, all it had done was enclose the uninfected population with the infected, and when they decided the plague was beyond containment, they firebombed the buildings rather than risk anyone getting out.”

“What?” Rhys gasped. “But . . . how did the civilians rise up and overthrow the military government, then?”

“That was the second wave of survivors to arrive. The military government got smarter about how to quarantine them, put them in pens on an old fairground and delivered rations there. It was still a squalid setup. There was no climate control.” Xolani shook her head, her mouth twisting in disgust. “People were dying of heat stroke in summer and freezing to death in winter. The latrines were badly dug, the water supply was compromised, and the rations were barely enough to survive on. But believe it or not, it was an improvement.”

Rhys took a moment to study her. Xolani could be bitter about the plague under the best of circumstances, but the closer they’d journeyed to Colorado Springs, the worse she’d become. In fact, she’d been violently opposed to Rhys answering his summons in the first place.

“You don’t know what it was like, Rhys.” Her husky alto was rougher than usual, and he thought he saw a sheen in her eyes as she stared fixedly at the tenements. “We didn’t know what they were doing to us when they gave us the nasal spray. If we had, I’d like to think we would have refused, but we’d probably have faced court-martial, so maybe not. But once we started noticing the Alpha changes, they briefed us medics. I was there when they fed us a line of bullshit about what the virus was supposed to do, and I could tell from the way the R&D brain trusts dodged my questions that corners had been cut in the testing process.” She turned her bleak gaze to him. “We weren’t chosen for Project Juggernaut because we were the Army’s elite forces. We were chosen because if it went wrong, we were expendable. They could terminate us and try again.”

She growled, a feral sound Rhys had only heard her make once before, when she’d snapped Jacob’s neck.

“And then the fuckers brought us in to put down a rebellion by the few civilians who’d managed to survive the death and destruction we had caused.”

“You didn’t cause this,” Rhys murmured, reaching out to squeeze her shoulder. “You know that.”

“I don’t think any of us know that, Rhys.” She huffed a soft, bitter chuckle. “Not truly.”

He stood there at a loss for what to say to comfort her, but after a moment, she straightened, and he watched the Xolani he knew reappear.

“C’mon, kid. Let’s catch up with the others.”

Rhys fell into step beside her, his longer legs easily keeping up with her brisk pace. As they walked, Xolani began speaking again, her voice as steady and brusque as ever. “Listen, Rhys, I don’t know who the scientists studying the virus here are. After the overthrow, when we were exiled from the Clean Zone, there weren’t many scientists left to speak of. A couple of the Pentagon R&D types had made it to Cheyenne Mountain, including McClosky himself, but they were tried and executed for their roles in bringing about the plague. I tell you, the thing that pissed me off most was that we were exiled before the trials, so I never got to see those fuckers die.”

“What are you saying?” Rhys adjusted the straps of his rucksack, watching their surroundings. He thought he could see the first hint of the perimeter fence in the distance. “You think the researchers might not be qualified?”

“I don’t know.” She grimaced. “A number of scientists were among the survivors the Jugs have recovered and brought back to the Clean Zone for the last ten years. We’ve known that since the Clean Zone announced the formation of the DPRP about six or seven years ago, when they asked us to relay our observations of the virus in the field. That’s why I wrote that report about you after we realized you hadn’t been infected, despite your exposure. I knew you would be of great interest to them because if you are immune, rather than merely asymptomatic, it might help them understand this thing.”

“But?”

“I don’t trust them.” Xolani stopped abruptly and faced him. “Don’t believe anything they tell you. If you don’t like what they’re saying, if you get so much as an uncomfortable feeling about anything they’re doing, come to me immediately.”

Rhys blinked. “What do you think they could do to me?”

“I don’t know. But knowing what I do about the Bane virus, if I were a scientist completely lacking in scruples and I found someone who was immune . . .” She looked away and began walking again, leaving Rhys to scramble to catch up. “The first thing I would do is imprison you to harvest your immunoglobulins and produce a crude antiserum.”

“What’s that?” Rhys asked, frowning.

“It’s a serum containing your antibodies. It’s not a vaccine; it wouldn’t teach someone’s immune system to make its own antibodies. So it wouldn’t be a practical solution for widespread inoculation, as the passive immunity would only last a few months and then everyone would need to be injected again. Depending on how much serum we could harvest from you, you might not naturally produce enough blood to cover the whole population.” She shot the words at him in a rapid-fire torrent, rattling off the possibilities. “So I’d probably give you the maximum doses of drugs to accelerate your blood production, which wouldn’t be good for you long term, and you’d feel like shit. In the meantime, I’d be trying to isolate the antibody and synthesize it. I doubt the DPRP has the technology or expertise to do that effectively, though. I’d also look into seeing if your immunity was genetic, and if it was, I’d harvest your sperm to begin inseminating as many people as possible.”

“You really think they’d try to do all that?” Rhys swallowed hard, stopping her and asking her to face him with a hand on her bicep. “Xolani? Do you really think that’s a possibility?”

“I don’t know, Rhys.” She sighed, tugging her silver-shot braid over her shoulder and fiddling with it. “I don’t know these people. It’s possible this new civilian government hasn’t gone corrupt the way every other government seems to, but . . .” She shrugged. “You know that if they try, we’ll fight them. We’ll get you back.”

“Can you do that without risking the civilian population? I mean, if you’re wounded and there are civvies around . . .”

Xolani licked her lips. “Probably not. But if that’s the sort of corrupt shit they pull, I’m not sure we’d care. Not after everything they’ve already done to us. We’ve dealt with being exiled. We understood the why of it, even if we don’t like being denied a home with the rest of humanity.” Her mouth pressed into a tight line and she folded her arms over her chest. “We’ll bring them the survivors we find to help grow the population, and we’ll even share information about the virus when we see it in action. But we won’t put up with them making one of our own a lab rat.”

“But—” Rhys looked down, shuffling his feet “—if it’s the best way to prevent another outbreak, can I really refuse?”

“Aw, Christ, Rhys.” His gaze snapped back up when she groaned loudly. She closed her eyes, a pained expression on her face. “Look. For once, just once, can you not be so fucking self-sacrificing? I know it’s who you are. You’ll always think of the greater good before yourself. You’ve been doing it since the day we found you. But think about Darius and what it would do to him to lose you. And to the rest of us. You’re our brother. We need you, kid.”

His eyes began to burn, and he quickly leaned forward, pressing a kiss to her scarred cheek. Xolani gawped in surprise, but Rhys turned and began walking again before his blush could incinerate him on the spot.

His cheeks had cooled by the time Xolani caught up. “You’re not getting out of this that easily. Promise me you won’t play the heroic martyr.”

“I promise,” he said, his throat tight. “I won’t let them take me from you.”

For more excerpt click herehttp://riptidepublishing.com/titles/bane (just click the excerpt tab)

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About Amelia

Amelia C. Gormley published her first short story in the school newspaper in the 4thgrade, and since then has suffered the persistent delusion that enabling other people to hear the voices in her head might be a worthwhile endeavor. She’s even convinced her hapless spouse that it could be a lucrative one as well, especially when coupled with her real-life interest in angst, kink, social justice issues, and pretty men.

When her husband and son aren’t interacting with the back of her head as she stares at the computer, they rely on her to feed them, maintain their domicile, and keep some semblance of order in their lives (all very, very bad ideas—they really should know better by now.) She can also be found playing video games and ranting on Tumblr, seeing as how she’s one of those horrid social justice warriors out to destroy free speech, gaming, geek culture, and everything else that’s fun everywhere.

You can find her self-published Impulse trilogy almost anywhere ebooks are sold, and check out her catalog of Riptide Publishing releases at their website.

Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook | Goodreads

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Giveaway!

Anyone who follows along on the tour will qualify to win store credit at Riptide

To enter the drawing, 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.

(The contest will close 9/26/15. 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.)

Review

Amelia C. Gormley - Bane _600x900Title: Bane

Series: A Strain Novel

Author: Amelia C. Gormley

Genre: Dystopia/ Military

Length: Novel (279 pages)

ISBN: 9781626492844

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (September 21st 2015 )

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4 ½ Hearts (Combined)

Reviewers: Aerin & Tams

Blurb: The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

Product Link: http://www.riptidepublishing.com//titles/bane

Aerins Review: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

I admit I’ve still yet to pick up Strain and read it, and while I was afraid it will prevent me from enjoying Bane, since Strain is the setting for Bane and is totally connected with it, I felt like I got to know enough about Rhys and Darius for me to avoid feeling like I’m missing something important. This book focuses heavily on the relationship between Darius and Rhys, and let me tell you those two are so incredibly hot together. I’m happy I didn’t get to read Strain, because it saved me from reading about Rhys being passed around for all the soldiers to fuck, even though there was a reason for that. I enjoyed Darius’s possessiveness when it came to Rhys, and the sex those two had was smoking hot!

Bane also catches up with Zack and Nico, the main characters in JUGGERNAUT, but their relationship is not as intense as that between Rhys and Darius. I found Zack tiring and frustrating, he annoyed me with his Fate multiple times…yeah I know, what a horrible thing for me to say. Not that I have something against his fate in God or anyone else’s, but does it have to be mentioned constantly throughout the book? Yes, I got it, God is telling you to stay without Nico and be miserable, now STFU!

I liked the whole plan for finding a cure, the antidote for the mutated alpha strain, even though in the end it didn’t work like it was supposed to. I also liked that this story was told from multiple povs; it allowed us to better understand why the characters chose to do what they did, and the feelings they had about the situation they were in.

The ending was pretty unique and the idea was very interesting, but I’m not sure I understand exactly how the air in Russia is different from the air in the US, to the extent where it created such a tragedy. Great series if you’re looking for a great sci-fi/dystopian theme.

Tams Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Bane is the grand finale of the Strain series. The two worlds that were created in Strain and Juggernaut collide with one common goal… to take out Littlewood and McClosky and save one of their own from their twisted machinations. The clean zone scientists have learned that Rhys is immune to all three strains of the virus. What’s worse is that the sexual predator and deviant, Littlewood controls the clean zone, and Rhys is exactly the type of victim Littlewood longs for. Rhys and Darius along with their team of Jugs team up with Zach and Nico and devise a trap for Littlewood, using Rhys as bait. But when it backfires they have to scramble to try and uncover the location of Littlewoods lab before Rhys becomes his next victim. 

I have really enjoyed all the books in this series. Gormley created a pretty sick and twisted world in the wake of the Juggernaut virus that wiped out the majority of humanity. The survivors have to learn to live together, work together and trust one another or they may wind up dead, or worse, suffering from the Rot. Rhys is probably my favorite character of this series, he’s very young and naive when the series starts, and his innocence is shattered in an attempt to save his life. An odd sort of love story bloomed from the violence that ensued in that first book. In Bane, readers will get to see a different side of Rhys, a stronger side, a man that is willing to do anything to save his misfit family and the man he loves. Being so young and innocent and forced to submit to some pretty horific things, Rhys was sort of shy and withdrawn. As time progressed he started to beg for the pain, thinking that that pain made him human. Now his love for Darius has come full circle, for Darius as well, and Rhys learns that what he needs is just Darius.

Nico and Zach have been through the ringer as well, though their journey was not quite as disturbing as Rhys and Darius’. In an effort to protect Zach from what he is, Nico has basically left Zach alone for a decade. Chance meetings and stolen moments over the years are all these two have. Nico is willing to walk away from Zach and their love if it will keep Zach safe and alive. Unfortunately, the decision is taken from them when Zach is exposed. 

It was interesting to see how the two different groups had to learn to work together and trust each other if they hoped to find Rhys and then to save Zach. Bonds were formed, friendships and trust grew stronger, but none of those things are enough to combat the Rot. I also really liked the way Gormley wrote each relationship completely different. Rhys and Darius, and Zach and Nico. Each couple is a human/Jug pairing and each couple is vastly different from the other. The one thing they had in common was their passionate, unwavering love for one another. 

Definitely a must read in my opinion, but I will warn you, it’s a dark dangerous world in the Strain universe. The characters are devious and disturbed at times, the plots are strange and twisted, and the sex is down right raunchy, but addictive! 

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Check out the other blogs on the blog tour

September 21, 2015 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
September 21, 2015 – My Fiction Nook
September 21, 2015 – On Top Down Under
September 21, 2015 – Cup o’ Porn
September 22, 2015 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy
September 22, 2015 – The Jeep Diva
September 22, 2015 – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
September 22, 2015 – 3 Chicks After Dark
September 23, 2015 – GGR-Review
September 23, 2015 – MM Good Book Reviews
September 23, 2015 – Sinfully Sexy Books
September 24, 2015 – Prism Book Alliance
September 24, 2015 – Love Bytes Reviews
September 24, 2015 – Butterfly-o-Meter
September 25, 2015 – Rainbow Gold Reviews
September 25, 2015 – Smart Girls Love Sci-Fi Romance
September 25, 2015 – TTC Books and More
September 25, 2015 – Booklover Sue
Publisher - Riptide Publishing Banner

7 thoughts on “Bane by Amelia C. Gormley Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!”

  1. I’m so in love with this stories…also i loved the cover of each of the books. I can’t stop thinking of Nico all day. Realy great characters all of them

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