Hi guys, we have Erica Cameron popping in today with her new release Assassins: Nemesis, we have a brilliant Q&A with Erica, a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Being orphaned and almost kidnapped in the space of a week sent Blake Marks into hiding. For months, Blake tries to help the Calvers—a family of vigilante bodyguards—investigate the people behind the hit on Blake’s father, Isaac, but then the safe house is compromised. Just as hired thugs storm the house to grab Blake, Daelan Calver dives into the fight, getting them both out alive.
Hiding isn’t an option anymore, but hit squads, under-the-table deals, and international espionage? Blake has no idea how to handle any of it, not even with Daelan’s family there to play teachers. The one thing Blake knows for sure is that there are only two options: keep up with the Calvers or get out of their way.
But even with the Calvers’ help and the glimmer of a possible future with Daelan giving Blake hope, chances of survival keep shrinking. The man who ordered the hit on Isaac may be dead, but his partner is viciously cold-blooded, and her plans could change the course of history. Blake wants to finish what Isaac started, but it’s looking like someone is going to die before this is over. And that someone might be Blake.
Erica Cameron Q&A!
1) What inspired Nemesis?
The Assassins duology has a strange genesis as far as inspiration. A few years ago, I had the idea for a story about the suicide of a college-age girl, an incident that wasn’t what it appeared on the surface. Because of other deadlines, I had to put that story aside for a while. I came back to it for a moment in 2014 when my then-agent and I were discussing what my next project should be. The idea of writing a mystery/thriller still held a lot of appeal (the first original work I ever attempted was in middle school, and it ended up being a 40-page mystery novel loosely based on James Patterson’s books). She wasn’t sold on my original idea, but she proposed a scene—a moment, really. “Start with a girl deciding whether or not to kill someone.” Bit by bit, I developed that idea, and then I pulled in pieces of my first book. Two characters and a plot point, to be exact. From there, all of the inspiration came from a combination of what I had created in Discord and comments from my editorial team at Riptide. Sarah Lyons especially was instrumental in shaping a few key plot points of the book.
2) What was the most interesting research for the book?
So much. For example, did you know that because of the prevalence of massive, intricately connected computer systems (and a kind of stupid lack of security), it’s possible to hack cars? Also, most private jets don’t have the flight range you’d expect them to have. It’s also a little annoying how far actual technology is behind the kind of bugs, cameras, and spy tech we’re used to seeing in movies. I may have stretched our current technological reality a little, but not nearly as much as most movies do. And not nearly as much as I wanted to. 😉
3) How do you write: outline or no?
Most days, I wish I was an outliner. It sounds so nice to be able to envision an entire book and lay out a road map and have a path to follow that makes sense. When I try to work like that, unfortunately, it doesn’t work. I change a lot as I write (mostly because a lot of the character developments don’t occur to me or get placed correctly until I actually get to the relevant scenes. I also tend to make stupid logic leaps when thinking in broad strokes and swipes instead of scene-level detail. Those mistakes cause a LOT of problems in editing if I let them dig themselves too deep into the plot. Bless the patience of my editors on a bad plot day is all I’m saying.
4) What are your favorite causes and/or charities and why are they are important?
Although there are a lot of charities and organizations that are important and deserving of time and funding, there are a few that hold special relevance to me.
Asexuality Outreach is an organization that, well, like their name says, promotes and educates on the asexuality spectrum. I identify as heteromantic asexual, but I never even heard the term until well after I’d been married and divorced. I was 29. Spreading awareness of this section of the orientation spectrum is so important, and there aren’t many people out there willing to do the work.
My other cause is the awareness and prevention of emotional abuse. Like I mentioned, I was married. Over time, the relationship became severely manipulative and awful, but I never called it abusive. I couldn’t until several years later when my therapist explained the definition and existence of emotional abuse. Most portrayals of abuse include physical marks, but the organizations that educate everyone, prevent abuse, and protect survivors are always worth supporting.
5) What do you read in your free time?
I genre jump like crazy. General fiction, young adult of all subgenres, romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery—I mean, honestly, the only genres I tend to avoid are horror and non-fiction. If you visit the FAQ page of my website, I have a list of some of my favorite books and authors.
Etobih-lin, Sea of Japan
Wednesday, July 13 – 0500 India Time Zone
The vicious squall battered the Sea of Japan, roiling the waves and sending high winds screaming across the water. Those waves crashed against the shores of the small, isolated island sitting between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. Wind bent trees and displaced rocks on the island’s tall mountains.
Inside the Lyohwa Labs research facility on the northwestern edge of Etobih-lin, none of that could be heard. Especially not on sublevel two.
Lab six was a large, windowless room with a door that couldn’t be opened from the inside. Cameras in the corners were positioned to monitor everything, with no blind spots, but at this early hour of the morning, there didn’t seem to be much to watch. Only one woman—wearing a white, full-body, level A hazmat suit—was at work.
Hands braced on a backlit glass table, she stared through her faceplate at the rack of glass vials in front of her, furrows across her forehead. The vials seemed to glow with the light from the table, and the intensely green liquid was vibrant in the otherwise stark white and stainless steel room. Though her gaze jumped between the vials and the tools laid out in front of her, she ignored the alerts popping up on the wall-mounted screen to her left and the beeps of the various machines, all of them labeled LyoLabs.
“They’ll kill you if this works.” The words were quiet, but the distortion of her breathing apparatus gave them an ominous rasp. “Whatever. At least you won’t be here anymore, right?”
However cavalier the words seemed, her hands shook when she straightened and tried to lift a vial out of the rack with a pair of tongs. She took a deep breath, the sound made mechanical by her respirator. Her hands steadied. After lifting it clear of the rack, she turned and placed it in another on the epoxy resin workspace behind her.
Slowly, carefully, she extracted a small amount of the green liquid with a pipette and placed three drops into the brown mixture simmering in a beaker over a lit Bunsen burner. The color shifted as the bright drops swirled and dissolved into the bubbling liquid. From a vacuum-sealed jar on the table, she measured out 0.03 milligrams of an extremely fine powder. When she added it to the beaker, lines of dark blue spread through the mixture like ink, but when she stirred it with a thin glass rod, the solution cleared.
Another alert buzzed through the computer’s speakers. The tone was lower—a grating sound meant to draw attention—but she didn’t spare the screen more than a cursory glance.
The door behind her opened; the hiss of the airtight seal releasing would’ve made that obvious even if the door’s handle hadn’t clicked as it lowered and announced company.
A leanly muscled, olive-skinned guy wearing a LyoLabs security uniform walked into the room, a Colt handgun in his hand. He kept it pointed at the floor.
“I don’t care how impatient you are,” she said without turning around. “There is no possible way for me to make these machines work any faster. Either shoot me, or let me get back to my work.”
“Who else?” she muttered. “It’s not like you assholes let me have assistants anymore.”
He stopped at the wall display that had been flashing a red alert box. When he saw what was written there in bold black-and-white Korean letters, he cursed. When he crossed the room, his footsteps were heavy and quick. “Adila, we have to go. Now.”
“Go. Stay. Come. Work. I’m not a goddamn dog!” She slammed her hand down. The stirring rod clenched in her fist shattered when it hit the countertop. Releasing the broken pieces, she turned. “If you want me to figure this out, leave me alone and let me— Who are you?”
Though the gun-wielding newcomer was dressed as a guard, he looked like he might be twenty at the oldest. He seemed too young to be working there, but his dark eyes searched the room with purpose, and he held his Colt like someone with decades of experience shooting it.
“I’m your ticket out of here if you follow me,” he said. “But the offer won’t be worth anything in about four and a half minutes.”
Adila hesitated only a moment. In a burst of motion, she grabbed a flash drive and jammed it into one of the computers, activating a command to back up the data.
“Time is running out,” the guy warned. “Is that info worth our lives?”
“It’s worth a hell of a lot more than that.” Adila dumped the clear liquid from the bubbling beaker into the sink, then filled the beaker with a solution from a large bottle next to the sink, and poured the rest of the bottle’s contents and all of the green-filled vials down the drain. When the computer flashed Backup Complete, she ejected the flash drive and pressed it into her rescuer’s hand.
After executing a command to format the computer and wipe the drive clean, Adila followed the stranger out of the lab, slowly stripping the hazmat suit as she walked, dropping the pieces behind her.
As the suit fell away, the body underneath it became visible—and the scars that body wore. Old, healed burns from pinky finger to elbow up the side of her left arm. A misshapen bump on her nose that might’ve been a badly treated break. Thin lines were almost hidden in the natural creases of her neck, but they were too pale against her tan skin to disappear completely.
“Annyeong, fuckers,” she said as the door shut behind them.
Read more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/assassins-nemesis (Just click the excerpt tab)
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.
Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, ex-Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.
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