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Monday, 23 April 2018

☀ Serpents and Saviors: Project Emergence [2] - Jamie Zakian

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Serpents and Saviors, a Young Adult Sci-fi Thriller by (, Month9Books, LLC, 238 pages).

This is the second book in the Project Emergence series.

Don't miss our interview with author Jamie Zakian.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and the Kindle Cloud Reader Preview below.

Author Jamie Zakian will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Serpents and Saviors 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: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

Synopsis

Lord of the Rings Meets The 100

Joey got separated from her twin brother Jesse when their luxury spacecraft broke apart halfway to Mars.

The terrorists are dead, but so are most of the passengers who escaped a dying Earth for a new life on a new planet. The remaining survivors, the future of humanity, are scattered across the lush planet of Mars.

Joey and Kami are in a mountainous forest, and they’re locked in a power struggle to guide the people. Jesse and Rai landed on the coast, and are desperate to reach their sisters. This new world can be a fresh start, where everyone is equal and class sectors are finally made obsolete, if only Kami would give up her self-appointed position as Commander of Mars.

Both Joey and Kami are willing to die for their beliefs, even sacrificing the lives of those who’ve chosen to follow them, unless cleared heads can prevail before it’s too late.

Teaser: Excerpt


The sun had drifted below the mountain ridge long ago. A chill mingled with the sweet-smelling air, and strange noises echoed from all sides. Joey could feel life buzzing around her. Over the rustle of leaves and croak of night critters, she could hear voices, a crackle of fire, and Kami’s loud mouth barking orders. She would have glanced over her shoulder, taken a peek at what was going on, but … Jesse. His pod could arrive any moment.
      All the bones in Joey’s back cracked as she squirmed against the rock behind her, which had somehow become sharper, harder, and much colder than it had been when she sat against it hours ago.
      Hours. She’d been sitting on a rocky slope, staring up at the sky for hours. Darkness had consumed the land around her, and no other pods broke through the atmosphere of Mars. He wasn’t coming. She’d never see her brother again, never feel the warmth of his smile shining down on her.
      “Joey!”
      A yelp flew from Joey’s mouth at the sound of Kami’s shout, which blasted directly in her ear. She hadn’t even seen Kami kneel beside her.
      “This has gone on long enough,” Kami said, seizing Joey by the arm. “Oh, my God. You’re freezing. Come sit by the fire.”
      “Don’t.” Joey yanked herself from Kami’s clutch. All she could feel was Chuck’s fingers squeezing her skin, even though she saw her friend’s hand on her arm.
      “I’m sorry,” Joey said, but her apology didn’t clear the leery expression on Kami’s face. She should think up an excuse to explain her mini freak-out, but all her thoughts revolved around Jesse.
      She returned her stare to the sliver of moon lighting the dark sky, resuming her pod-watching duty. Kami sat down and nudged Joey aside, leaning against the rock Joey had clearly called dibs on long ago.
      “I’ve always had this fuzzy tingle,” Kami said, gazing up at the star-speckled sky, “in my chest, beneath my skin. It comes from Rai. I’d be an icy shell if he were gone. That’s how I know he’s okay.”
      Heat did sear Joey’s chest. She’d thought it was anger for not sticking to Jesse like glue, but it could be his essence. There was no ache of heart-wrenching proportions, no empty void cleaving her chest, which had to mean her brother was safe. They were twins, one soul split into two bodies. She’d know if he were hurt, if he were gone from her world.
      Joey nodded, hoping it would knock the doom and gloom from her brain. “I just wanna wait a little longer. The other pods should be here any minute.”
      Kami crawled in front of Joey and rose to her knees. “You do know our pod came from that direction, right?”
      Joey followed Kami’s pointed finger to the curved mountain wall behind her. She did a double take when she spotted a second, fuller moon beyond the pointed tree line of the gentle cliff. The sight of two moons, opposite each other amid endless sparkles of stars, was incredible, although not enough to distract her from the irritation brewing in her stomach.
      “You saw me sitting here, staring this way.” Joey rose from the hard ground. She ignored the creak of her stiff bones and the burn of thirst in her throat. Nothing would deter her from glowering at Kami. “Why didn’t you tell me I was looking in the wrong direction?”
      A shrug and a snicker. That’s what Joey got, right before Kami hopped to her feet.
      “I thought you knew what you were doing.”
      “Obviously not.” Joey’s shout amplified to a rumble as it bounced off the large rocks around her. The chatter in the distance died out, letting a symphony of crickets fill the air.
      Joey looked beyond Kami, at the people she’d forgotten to socialize with. They were all huddled around a small fire outside the pod, gawking at her. Scratches and bruises peeked from beneath their torn clothes and fright gripped their expressions, but they stayed together. She was the only one out in the dark, alone, like a weirdo, which made her want to stay by her cozy rock.
      “The fire looks nice, doesn’t it?” Kami jabbed Joey with her elbow, gesturing at the little circle of orange flames. “Betcha never seen one in real life before. Wanna poke it with a stick? The embers crackle.”
      “Nah.” Joey’s words felt like a betrayal to her own body, which so wanted to snuggle with Kami beside the fire, but she couldn’t leave this spot. To walk away now would shatter the last shred of hope she held of ever seeing her brother again. “I’m gonna hang here for a bit longer.”
      The second Kami turned her back, guilt wormed its way into Joey’s gut. She hadn’t seen Mr. Reyes or Sabrina once since stepping from the pod. Sabrina had looked half-dead the last time she saw the woman, and Mr. Reyes seemed completely flustered. They probably needed her help, yet her feet wouldn’t move from their spot.
      “How’s Sabrina?” Joey yelled, which stopped Kami short.
      “Now you care?” Kami turned to face Joey, planting her hands on her hips. “If you wanna know what happened to Sabrina, you’ll have to come over here and find out.”
      A cocky smile spread across Kami’s lips as she slowly backed away. “Oh, and there are giant wolves out here. They love to eat human flesh.” She stopped her backward stroll toward the pod and lifted her finger. “Girl human flesh.”
      Joey crossed her arms, turning her back on Kami. That wasn’t true. The scientists wouldn’t put man-eating animals on a supposed utopia. There was no need for giant wolves, aside from the warm fur of their pelts to make jackets and enough meat to feed an entire family.
      “I’m serious about the wolves,” Kami shouted in the distance.
      Branches snapped beside Joey, and leaves rustled within the woods. She’d never noticed how spooky it was on Mars at night, when all alone, surrounded by shadows that inched closer by the second.
      “Wait up,” she called out, hurrying after Kami.
     
 
Terror gripped Jesse and locked his muscles stiff. If Rai weren’t strapped into the chair beside him, he’d probably be shrieking like Lena right now. Since his buddy looked absolutely calm while the entire pod quaked hard enough to rattle teeth, Jesse had to maintain super-chill mode. It wasn’t as easy as Rai made it look. It was as if the guy crash-landed pods onto a terraformed Mars every weekend for fun.
      When bright red flames covered the pod’s thin windshield, blocking the glow of a blue planet, Jesse almost cried out. Except he couldn’t; Rai hadn’t so much as flinched yet, and he wasn’t gonna be the first to break.
      A violent jolt struck the pod, forcing Jesse’s back into his seat. These had to be his final moments. It was more than the whole plummeting-to-his-death-in-a-fiery-ball-of-metal thing that tipped him off. He could actually feel each kiss his mother had ever planted on his cheek, see every smile that graced Joey’s lips.
      “Joey,” he said in a whisper, which was swallowed by the thunderous roar in the air.
      “We’re gonna die,” Lena yelled, voicing Jesse’s thoughts to a T.
      “It’s all good,” Rai shouted as another shockwave struck the pod. “That’s the thrusters, slowing our de—”
      Swirls of fire cleared from the windshield, right before the pod crashed onto a wide stretch of sand. Jesse was flung forward. The wide straps of his five-point harness jerked him to a halt, and stole the wind from his lungs as it ricocheted him back into his seat. He coughed, rubbing his chest, but the soreness remained.
      Once the throb subsided in his temples, he realized the intense vibrations that threatened to break his bones had stopped. They were no longer plummeting from space toward solid ground. They were on the ground.
      “Hell yeah,” Rai hollered.
      Jesse flinched with every excited chuckle that flowed from Rai’s mouth. He couldn’t force his tense shoulders to loosen, couldn’t believe he’d actually survived a high-speed slingshot to Mars in a tiny pod.
      Rai unbuckled his harness. He climbed from his chair and slapped Jesse on the chest. “Right?”
      “Right,” Jesse said as Rai hurried for the keypad beside the pod’s door. He had no idea what he’d just agreed to and didn’t much care. He was alive. And as a bonus, they’d landed on a long sandy beach that glistened in the moonlight outside the pod’s windshield. He was alive, on a tropical beach, on Mars.
      “Crap.” Jesse turned away from the palm trees and shielded his eyes. A gust of crisp, salty air filled the pod when its door slid open, and he tried not to breath it in either. He didn’t want to experience any of this without his sister.
      “What’s wrong?” Lena asked as she followed Rai out the pod.
      “It’s just … Are we at the ocean?”
      Jesse stole glances of a grassy dune just outside the open door as he waited for Lena to come back. He wanted to see more. The dual moons of this planet provided ample lighting, yet he kept his stare on the pod’s metal floor.
      “Yeah,” Lena said from the doorway. “It’s definitely the ocean. Come see.”
      Jitters erupted in Jesse’s body as he rose from his chair. He made it to the center of the pod, and then his legs locked in place.
      “Seriously?” Lena’s perky tone turned snotty in seconds flat. “Don’t tell me you’re scared to step on an alien planet without your sister to hold your hand?”
      Anything Jesse said now would either be crude or condemning. He kept his mouth shut and gaze low.
      “Lame,” Lena said, walking away.
      It would be lame, if it were true. He wasn’t scared to step foot on Mars without Joey, just sad. He’d give anything to have her by his side, to know she was safe. How he loathed himself for sending her with Mr. Reyes. Never again. Joey would never leave his sight again. Of course, she’d have to be in his sight first for that to happen, and finding her without actually looking at the scenery could prove to be a challenge.
      Rai leaned against the pod’s doorway, a soft smile on his lips. “I wanted this to be different too.”
      “It’s not—” Jesse couldn’t backpedal, explain away his sadness, not once he spied the heartbroken expression on Rai’s face. That guy couldn’t be lied to, not about this. “It sucks.”
      “I know.”
      “Joey’s supposed to be here. Mars was our dream, together.”
      Rai nodded. “I know.” He walked inside the pod and sat on the control panel beside Jesse. “I wanted Kami by my side when I first saw an ocean, but ended up with Lena.”
      Jesse tried not to laugh, but Rai looked like he just ate an entire tube of synthetic lemon paste. It felt great to chuckle. Almost all the tension lifted from his body, until Rai slugged his shoulder.
      “It’s not funny,” Rai said, even though he snickered. “She’s probably drowning right now.”
      “You let Lena go in the ocean?” Jesse ran past Rai, who just shrugged.
      “I ain’t her keeper,” Rai said, as Jesse burst out the pod’s skinny door.
      A gust of cool air flowed over Jesse’s skin, and slowed his steps. The endless abyss of dark water, which glistened under the blue moon, almost stopped him short in the thick sand he waded through. If not for the overwhelming desire to touch the waves that rushed onshore, he would’ve become frozen in a state of awe.
      This mass of water was so big it seemed to reach the inky, star-lit sky. There was no color to the eternal ocean, no blues and greens as promised in the UNE brochures. Except for one small circle. A few feet out into the swaying sea, a bright blue glow lit the gentle waves. Jesse crept closer, until warm water seeped through the sides of his shoes. He squinted, as if that would help him see the object floating amid a luminescent shine.
      “Lena, is that you?”
      “Come in.” Lena’s voice echoed over the sound of gentle waves slapping the beach, along with her giggle. “The water feels great.”
      “What’s that light?”
      The longer Jesse stared, the more his eyes adjusted to the low moonlight. He could now see Lena’s blond hair and pale skin clearly as she bobbed in the swells. She took a deep breath, then disappeared beneath the surface.
      Jesse rocked in place. He stared at the patch of glowing water. Each second that passed subtracted a point from his bravery meter. He should jump into the unknown, save the girl, but the largest pool of water he’d been submerged in thus far was a bathtub. The infinite ocean in front of him looked a lot deeper than a bathtub.
      Lena popped back up above the dark waves, which allowed Jesse’s heart to resume its regular semi-panicked patter.
      “It’s fish!” Lena yelled. “They’re circling my toes. You gotta see this.”
      In time, Jesse would swim with the glow fish of Mars, but not with Lena or Rai. Anything awesome would have to wait until he found his sister, even if that took fifty years.
      “No,” Jesse shouted. “You come out. It’s dangerous. You don’t know what kind of creatures live in there.”
      “Actually, I do.” Lena swam toward Jesse, setting the water aglow around her. “And it is dangerous.”
      Lena wrung her long hair as she walked from the water, oblivious to the fact she was completely naked. Jesse strained to tear his gaze from her bare chest. The muscles in his neck trembled, that’s how hard he tried not to look, yet his stare wouldn’t part from the nude woman who walked toward him.
      An elbow jabbed Jesse in the side. “Stare much,” Rai said, partaking in his own little gawk session.
      Only after Lena shook out her tangled hair did Rai grab her clothes off the sand. “Get dressed,” he said, tossing the threads at her chest. “We’re not starting a hedonistic society.”
      Jesse cleared the visuals of boobs from his brain, which triggered a swarm of frantic thoughts to flood in. His pod had been the last to depart the Raven. Everybody else should already have landed, but he didn’t see any bonfires to signal a homecoming party.
      “The other pods?” He looked around, but only shadows lurked in every direction. “Can we use your radar to locate them?”
      “My battery died, and I don’t have a power cord.”
      Lena snickered as she pulled on her shirt. “There are no outlets, genius.”
      Rai grumbled, Lena shivered, and Jesse’s stomach growled. This wasn’t how he expected a Martian landing to go. There should be a welcome center, with snacks, people, electricity.
      “We can’t just stand here all night,” Jesse said. “And Lena must be cold. Her hair’s soaking wet.”
      “Lena should’ve thought about that before she jumped into the ocean in the middle of the night.”
      Lena crossed her arms. “Don’t be a loser, Rai.”


Serpents and Saviors
Available NOW!

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The Series: Project Emergence

Emergence [1]


An ancient Hopi myth says people arrived on tiny silver pods that fell from the sky.

But the truth is far more terrifying.

258 teens are sent from a dying Earth to a terraformed Mars as part of the Emergence Program, mankind's last hope before solar flares finish off their planet and species. Among the brave pioneers are 16-year-old Joey Westen and her twin brother, Jesse.

After only minutes in space, something triggers a total ship lockdown.

With the help of their roommates, the Matsuda twins (notorious hackers and shady secret-keepers), Joey and Jesse stumble onto an extremist plot to sabotage the Emergence Program.

But Joey and Jesse didn't travel to the deepest pits of space and leave their mother behind to be picked off in a high-tech tin can. They'll lie, hack, and even kill to survive the voyage and make it to Mars.

[Published 14 March 2017, 300 pages]

About the Author

Jamie Zakian is a full-time writer who consumes the written word as equally as oxygen.

Living in South Jersey with her husband and rowdy family, she enjoys farming, archery, and blazing new trails on her 4wd quad, when not writing of course.

She aspires to one day write at least one novel in every genre of fiction.

Follow Jamie Zakian:

Visit the author's blog Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads Visit the author on Instagram

Giveaway and Tour Stops

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Serpents and Saviors by Jamie Zakian – a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Follow Serpents and Saviors's tour at:

April 16, 2018 – Diana’s Book Reviews
April 17, 2018 – Maiden of the Pages
April 18, 2018 – Twirling Book Princess
April 19, 2018 – Alotabooks13
April 19, 2018 – Bri’s Book Nook
April 20, 2018 – Rockin’ Book Reviews
April 23, 2018 – BooksChatter
April 23, 2018 – Mythical Books
April 24, 2018 – Stacking My Bookshelves
April 24, 2018 – Lisa Loves Literature
April 25, 2018 – Chapter by Chapter
April 25, 2018 – Ya Chit Chat
April 26, 2018 – BookHounds
April 27, 2018 – Wishful Endings

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