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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

☀ Shadow of Deception: The Kazumi Chronicles [1] - Sophia L. Johnson

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Shadow of Deception, a Young Adult Science Fiction novel by (, Outskirts Press, 362 pages).

This is the first book in The Kazumi Chronicles series.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below.  Read the first three chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

Author Sophia L. Johnson will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).


Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Synopsis

2153, Toronto, United Nation of North America (UNNA)

A horrific plane crash kills all five hundred and forty-two passengers except one. Kazumi emerges from the wreckage physically unscathed but has lost all her memories. Her miraculous survival has the whole city buzzing but all she wants is to go home, wherever home is.

After waiting a month in the hospital with no one to claim her, Kazumi is deemed homeless. She is about to be sent to a nearby teenage shelter when the nurse she grew to trust ushers her down a mysterious path, one that promises safety and maybe even the chance to recover her memories. With no better options available, Kazumi takes her chance and finds herself in the headquarters of the Sarcomeres, a secret society of genetically advanced humans hidden deep inside the Rocky Mountains. The Sarc’s heightened physical abilities and high-tech gadgets are not the only things that fascinate Kazumi. Finnegan O’Riley, a fellow Sarc she meets along the way also gets her heart racing. When Kazumi discovers that she possesses the genetic potential of a Sarcomere, she jumps at the chance to train with them, not knowing the death defying tests that are involved.

Meanwhile, a centuries-old nemesis of the Sarcomeres begins to stir in the dark, setting their dark plans in motion. Just when Kazumi thinks she can help protect her new found home, past memories surface to threaten her new identity. She soon realizes that layers of deception run deep and everyone has a secret agenda, including herself.

Who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself? One wrong decision could bring forth consequences worse than death.

Shadow of Deception is the gold medal winner at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award.

Teaser: Excerpt

Prologue


      “Mommy!” little Kazumi sobs while trying to wipe off her mommy’s blood. “Daddy . . . where are you?”
      Squatting among the trees on the side of a narrow country road, Kazumi smudges her tiny hands on the damp grass hoping to clean off the yucky red stain.
      “Run my angel . . . be strong, don’t look back . . . just run!” Remembering her mommy’s words, Kazumi wipes away her tears, leaving streaks of red on her rosy cheeks.
      She was running; until she was out of breath, until she rolled off the hill and scratched up her knees pretty bad. The fall was the most painful thing she has ever experienced. If she were at home, she’d be crying a river. Mommy and Daddy would lovingly tend to her injury while singing her favourite song. But she is all alone now and needs to find help.
      She slowly stands up, wincing at the sharp sting, and begins to march forward again. She knows that Mommy would be proud of her.
      She looks back in the direction of her burning house and sees nothing but tall trees and thick branches. Suddenly the image of trees turning into brown, wrinkly monsters reaching out for lost children fills her head. With a loud squeak, Kazumi covers her ears to block out the howling of the tree monsters and runs toward the open road.
      Just as Kazumi stumbles onto the unpaved road, she sees a big black car with black windows driving toward her in the distance. Frantically, she waves her hands in the air, trying to get the driver’s attention. Then she remembers how short and tiny she seemed when standing beside Daddy’s car. She wonders if the big black car would even see her. So she desperately jumps up and down in the middle of the road with the hope that the driver would help her mommy. The pain in her knees all forgotten.
      “Help! Please help!” she yells as loud as she can.
      The black car screeches to a stop right in front of her. She looks up slowly and realizes this car is much bigger than her daddy’s. Suddenly afraid, Kazumi backs up several steps and the earlier enthusiasm has vanished.
      A man steps out of the car, wearing big sunglasses even though it’s an overcast day. The man is quite short compared to Kazumi’s daddy. And there’s something in his expression that makes her want to hide behind something, anything that can protect her.
      The man kneels down so he’s at Kazumi’s eye level and says, “What’s your name my dear?”
      “Um . . .” Kazumi was never shy, but this man scares her. All she can do is stare at her dirty shoes. “Where are your parents?” asks the stranger.
      The mentioning of her parents reminds her of her mission and a rush of courage overcomes her fear. “Please . . . help my mommy.”
      “Tell me what happened.” The man says calmly.
      Kazumi takes a deep breath and begins recapping the incident, “I was picking flowers in the garden, then our house exploded with fire. It was very very loud and hurt my ears. Then I found Mommy lying on the ground with, with lots and lots of blood.” She extends her palms for the man to inspect, worry that he won’t believe her.
      “Oh, that’s most unfortunate.” The tone in the man’s voice changes. Kazumi cannot figure out if he’s happy or scared like her. He takes off his sunglasses, revealing a pair of eyes that Kazumi finds funny-looking. They are small and far apart from each other.
      “Can you help my mommy? Pretty please?” she whispers.
      “Of course,” the man stands and holds out his hand. “But you’ll have to come with me.”
      Kazumi stares at the stranger’s big hand with her grayish green eyes. She knows she’s not supposed to talk to strangers, never mind going with them. But she’s desperate.
      “I can show you where Mommy is,” she says as she reaches for his big, warm hand.
      “Sure my dear. I would love to see your mommy and daddy . . . or what’s left of them . . .” the man trails off. Kazumi doesn’t quite get what the man is saying. It doesn’t matter. She found help.
      After securing Kazumi in the back seat, the man drives off in the direction of the burning house.

Shadow of Deception
Available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from Smashwords

About the Author

I had my first adventure at the age of nine when I flew halfway across the globe all by myself, not knowing a word of English. I was lucky my parents didn’t decide to cheap out and ship me as a parcel instead. But all jokes aside, it was because of financial and physical limitations that I had to fly to Canada solo. It was a great adventure for a nine year-old girl to be honest; aside from the puking, the starvation due to inedible raw vegetables and smelly goo of which I later found out were called salad and cheese. But I made it. I reunited with my parents and soon welcomed my baby brother to the world.

Twenty-five years later, I have a beautiful daughter of my own and a loving husband. We all live in Toronto, enjoying the cultural diversity the city offers. The only adventures I get to have nowadays is by living vicariously through my characters.

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