Thursday, July 18, 2019

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Sin Soldiers (Fragments #1) by Tracy Auerbach

Title: The Sin Soldiers
Series: Fragments, #1
Author: Tracy Auerbach
Publication Date: July 23rd 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Red compound makes them angry. Yellow exhausts them. Blue drives them into a state of ravenous addiction. The thief Kai knows about the chemically controlled soldiers of the Eastern forces and their savage, deadly nature. When a robbery attempt at Club Seven goes wrong, Kai is captured by a handler and his bestial soldier-boy. She wakes up inside the military base with no idea what happened to her twin brother, Dex.

Things go from bad to worse when Kai is started on a drug and training regimen, and forced to take injections of blue compound. The scientists in charge plan to make her into a working soldier who will mine the mysterious power crystals beneath the desert. Kai becomes a victim of the bully Finn, a handsome but nasty soldier whose years on red compound seem to have erased his humanity. Still, she begins to pity the Seven Soldiers, including the monstrous boy who tried to rip her to shreds at the club. They appear to be nothing more than genetically enhanced, drug-controlled teenagers.

On the outside, Dex and his tech-savvy boyfriend try to crack the soldiers’ chemical code to find a weakness that will break the system. But Kai has already been drawn deep into her new world. Strong feelings for the soldiers she’s come to know have started to cloud her judgment. Can she escape and find Dex without becoming a monster herself?

Kai still had her heart and eyes set on the safety of the city’s distant lights when the snarling soldier dove and grabbed her around the legs. She screamed as she fell, and tried to claw at his arms, but he didn’t seem to notice. His fingernails ripped her skin as he flipped her over and dragged her toward his waiting mouth.

He’s going to eat me alive.

His face was very close to her now, and even in this dim light, she could see that he had the pale skin of a southerner, and ear-length blond hair. She was surprised again by how very young he looked. Then she saw his eyes. There was no humanity in the heavily dilated pupils; only death. His open-mouthed roar exposed a straight line of teeth, with four unnaturally sharp, piercing incisors. Now face to face, she saw that the tiny rings of iris around his pupils were light brown, but the pupils themselves weren’t black the way they were supposed to be. The spot in the middle of the brown glowed with an odd blue tinge that lit his face.

Flinching, she prepared to be ripped apart. Instead, a huge jolt that rattled through her body, from the base of her spine to the top of her head, making her teeth clamp down on a shriek. Her eyes flew open, and she saw that the handler had regained control. He grabbed the chain leash around his charge’s neck and pressed a button. Waves of electricity rocked the giant, sending his body into spasms. Kai breathed a sigh of relief, even as she felt the power surge pass through him and into her own body. The last thing she thought before she lost consciousness was that it was far better to be electrocuted than to be torn to shreds by that monster.

Tracy Auerbach is an author of science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. As an avid reader with a vivid imagination, she chose to study film, English, and education, and went on to teach and write STEM curriculum for the New York Department of Education. This helped to polish her writing skills and ignite her passion for science fiction and fantasy.

Her first scholarly article, published in Language Magazine, was about the value of active, creative learning in science.

On the fiction side, Tracy’s work has been featured in the online literary journal Micro-horror, The Writing Disorder fiction anthology, and the “(Dis)ability” short story anthology, in addition to her novels.

When she is not teaching or writing, Tracy is usually reading or spending time with her family. She lives in New York with her husband and sons.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Brandon Sanderson for high fantasy and epic world-building. Holly Black for all my Fae and magical needs. Naomi Novik for stunning prose and fresh fairytales.

Q: What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
A: J.R.R. Tolkien. His books are very dense, and I tried them for the first time when I was a bit too young, but once I allowed myself to become fully immersed in his world, and to understand its history and mythology, I loved it. I’ve actually read his main works twice, and even read the Silmarillion.

Q: What book or series got you into reading/writing?
A: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It was a read-aloud, read by my second-grade teacher, and it completely sucked me in. I was in Narnia every time she opened that book, and thought all night about what would happen next.

Q: Out of the protagonists you’ve written about so far, which one do you feel you relate to the most?
A: Charlie! He’s such a hot mess of an id-monster, and so driven by his flaws, that it’s hard to not relate to him. I’m always a ‘more, more, more’ person, and never a moderate. Charlie is sort of the embodiment of that, but he means well. He’s perfectly imperfect – very human in a world that is often cruel. I relate to a lot of that.

Q: Where is your favorite place to write?
A: My writing space is the laundry room in my house, where I’ve set up a desktop computer and chair. There’s also a small bathroom and a filing cabinet. I am frequently interrupted by my dog stealing socks or my family yelling for me, or my kids walking in to use the bathroom.

But I still can’t write anywhere else, especially on a laptop. It needs to be my desktop, and preferably in isolation. I love when I’m alone in the house, or when everyone else is sleeping.

Q: How do you select the names of your characters?
A: I usually choose names that seem to work for the characters, and then look up the meanings. In THE SIN SOLDIERS, all of the characters’ surnames are tied into their character or plotline. See if you can catch it! For another book, SONS OF FIRE, that I have coming out next winter, my main character is a fire demon. I looked up names that meant fire and got ‘Aidan.’ That simple!

Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
A: THE SIN SOLDIERS is part of the FRAGMENTS trilogy, so obviously those will be one complete body of work. My other book that’s coming out, SONS OF FIRE, is a standalone. As far as connecting them within the universe, I admire authors like Brandon Sanderson and Leigh Bardugo who do that well, but I’m not there right now.

Q: If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
A: Write because you love it. If you’re in it to write, because that’s what you love, then you’ll never be disappointed. It won’t matter how many rejections or poor reviews you accumulate, because once you’re writing, you’re a writer. You don’t need other people to validate it.

On the flipside of that, don’t forget to be open to taking advice. I’ve scrapped so many books or reworked them entirely because they just weren’t going anywhere. My younger self was a bit more stubborn about that. Listen to your audience! If one of my beta-readers doesn’t like something, I make it a note. If more than one of them dislikes that same thing, I make it a change.
Win a signed copy of The Sin Soldiers by Tracy Auerbach and swag (t-shirt with the book cover, bookmark, and stickers).
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  1. Love the excerpt sounds like an interesting read and the cover is great.

  2. This looks like an interesting read. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I enjoyed the excerpt and learning about this author!

  4. Awesome excerpt! Thanks for the opportunity to win

  5. I think the cover is brilliant!

  6. This cover is fantastic & the excerpt is phenomenal!!