Monday, July 4, 2016

Interview: Marnee Blake of the Altered series, Plus Excerpts from "Avenged"

Interview with Marnee Blake

First, I wanted to thank Samantha for having me on the blog!  I'm really excited to be here.
1. Which of your Altered/Avenged character's superpower would you choose to have?

If I could have a superpower, I'd definitely want Blue and Luke's power, telekinesis. As a mom, I've wanted to have extra hands more times than I can count. If I was telekinetic, I wouldn't need extra hands! Imagine looking at a room full of toys and just thinking where they should go and whoosh, they're there! Especially if I could hone in on the little Lego pieces I only find when I step on them. Ouch.

2. What would you say your biggest initial inspiration for this series was?

There were a couple of things. First, I read an article (which led to many other articles) about a very well-known private security company that has done mercenary work throughout the world. They appeared to work outside the law, even closing and reopening under different names. It felt so clandestine to me. And I've always been equal parts fascinated and terrified by how far science, technology, and medicine go, walking ethical lines.  The series was born from those two things.

3. What do your sons think about you being a writer?

My family is incredibly supportive. My sons tell everyone about how I have books coming out. I'm not sure they really understand what they're about, but they're happy that I'm happy doing this thing that I love. 

4. Imagine that, like Seth and Blue, you are running from suspected enemies... Which famous person (dead or alive) would you want to be with you?

Oh, wow. Great question!  Um, well, I'm going to assume that these folks actually know as much about getting out of dangerous situations as their characters in movies.  But, Jackie Chan's characters always seem to know how to get out of hard situations, even when he's severely outnumbered. I think my characters would have found his skills and knowledge incredibly helpful.  Will Smith's characters are super versatile, too. That guy's battled aliens and robots and drug dealers, bad guys in every time period and place. And all of his characters make me laugh while fighting against crazy odds. That'd be helpful, too.

A real person? Maybe someone who has mastered the American Ninja Warrior course?  Those folks are serious business.  I bet they'd easily be able to scale walls. LOL

5. Were there any abilities you considered giving to your characters that you didn't wind up using?

I had considered giving them enhanced senses...sight, hearing, smell.  But, I decided not to because I felt like those aren't entirely connected to brain function, and I was trying my best to stay as believable as I could (you know, in the realm of a scifi/paranormal space *grin*).

Thank you so much for having me!  This was a lot of fun!  I'll take any other questions in the comments!

See my Review Here

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Excerpt #1
“You don’t know that. You need to be prepared for anything.”
That had become the mantra over the past three days. Be prepared. Like she’d joined the Boy Scouts without anyone telling her about it.
Prepare for any event. Have an attack ready. Strike as fast and as hard as she could. Fast because speed was her best asset, and hard because she could only count on one opportunity.
She’d asked for his help. He’d reminded her of that over and over. After they’d had their conversation the first day, when he’d explained his reservations about teaching her, he’d thrown himself into her training like a man obsessed.
But not obsessed with her. In fact, since that conversation—after telling her that he wanted more than friends, that he wanted her—he’d been true to his word. He’d been a complete gentleman. He’d been respectful of her personal space, and he’d never spoken of it again, as he’d promised. He’d even reined in his thoughts, for the most part.
His touch had stayed completely platonic, as if they were related or really good buddies. And they’d touched a lot. In fact, they’d spent the last three days wrestling with each other. The more they touched, the more she craved his arms around her.
It was maddening. She’d been the one to draw the line in the sand. Yet, she was the one who wanted to stay in his arms. She was the one who inhaled too deeply when she was pressed against his chest. She was the one who couldn’t stop staring at him.
In that time, she’d only caught something different in him one time. It had been two days ago, the second full day of training. She closed her mind to him when they weren’t practicing, but she needed to hear his thoughts when they were working out so she could learn how to use her power to her advantage.
They’d fallen. He’d gone down on his butt then rolled onto his back, and she’d landed on top of him. His hands had been on her waist. Their faces had been so close she could feel his breath on her forehead. His brain had buzzed with wanting.
It had been an echo of what was coursing through her…the heat, the need to touch him.
They’d frozen like that until he gently but firmly moved her off of him and scrambled to his feet. As he’d moved away from her, she’d see it.
Something like longing.
His jaw tightened, and his brows lowered. Then, it was gone from his mind, replaced by his determination. Always his determination. He drove her on and on, teaching with more patience than she’d ever seen in anyone, forcing whatever was happening between them to the recesses of himself.
But in that moment, she’d wanted to reach for him. She’d had to stop herself from crawling to him. She wanted to wrap her arms around him and place her lips on his perfect mouth.

Excerpt #2
As they loaded into the chopper, Nick’s eyes held hers, intense amidst the activity around them. His message was obviously for her. Texted Blue and Seth, too. They’ll come for us. He kept repeating the words, as if he wasn’t sure she was listening. Or as if he was trying to reassure himself.
She shook her head at him and looked away.
They hadn’t come before, and they wouldn’t come now. But she wasn’t going to ruin this for him. It had been bad enough when her own hopes died. She’d let him hold on to his for awhile longer.
If they were going to escape, they’d need to find their own way out.
When they landed back at the complex, Dr. Fields and his orderly greeted them on the tarmac. As the changed soldiers ushered her and Nick off the helicopter, holding their hands behind their backs, they stopped in front of Fields.
“Kitty, Kitty.” Dr. Fields shook his head, as if he was disappointed in her. “You should know better.” Then he waved a hand at the orderly next to them. Without a word, the man lifted his gun and shot both her and Nick, in quick succession.
As the tranquilizer took effect, she tried to catch one last glimpse of the sky. The sun was coming up, and it had been months since she’d seen it. But her eyes closed of their own volition, leaving her again in the darkness.

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Marnee Blake said...

Thank you so much for having me on the blog!! This was a great interview!! :) And I'm so glad you enjoyed AVENGED!

Happy Reading!

James Robert said...

Thanks so much for the excerpt, interview and the giveaway as well