We are both delighted and honored to feature author April Zyon on our blog today. Be sure to one-click her latest release, Hacked, and make sure you check out her giveaway at the end of the post! We LOVE you April!!! Happy Release Day!
Holly Smith has always had a certain affinity with computers. By day, she strengthens Internet security for corporations. By night, she’s a hacker. When she hits upon what she believes to be an author’s unpublished manuscript, she finds herself reading about a world where warriors of old wage war against a dark force bent on consuming everything it touches. Then she finds out it’s all true.
Demaratus of Corinth has seen a lot during his lifetime. And while many things prove useful, he finds technology to be a greater hindrance than a help. Sent to find the hacker who managed to penetrate their base’s security, he is stunned to realize who she is to him. As the darkness closes in on them, Demaratus and Holly will have to battle to survive not only the coming fight but the war that is gaining momentum.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYIBZY6/
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01LYIBZY6/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LYIBZY6/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01LYIBZY6/
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/hacked-by-april-zyon/
When Holly woke up next, she felt like she was floating. She was so warm and held close to a tightly muscled body. One of her arms was looped around a neck, she realized at the same moment she clued in to the fact that she was being carried.
“About time you woke up,” a low rumble told her.
When she blinked her eyes open, she was inside of a hallway that reminded her of a high-end hotel. The fact that she wasn’t wearing the hood any longer clicked a few seconds later in her sluggish mind.
“Hey, you.” She snuggled in closer to Demaratus. This was a dream. That’s what it had to be. “I don’t think that I’m ready to wake up yet, DC. I like being in your arms too much.” She yawned. “Three years, two months, and seven days, that’s how long it’s been since I saw you last. Where have you been?”
“Ms. Smith, this is not a dream. You are awake, mostly anyway, at the moment. We are at the base, where you will be questioned. Depending on your answers, you will either get a pass or fail. Be very careful with my boss. He doesn’t like humor, or smartasses, either.”
Why couldn’t the dream Demaratus be the one that she was waking to? The one from her dreams comforted her. He kept her safe and he cared for her and didn’t question her every motive and move. “Sounds like a very dull boy.” Holly smirked. “Humor is good for the blood, keeps it pumping or something like that.” She was scared shitless and her way of dealing with that was by talking. “And I’ve never been good with tests.”
He gave a hum of sound as he continued to stride along the really long hallway. When they reached an intersection, he swung left and headed down a few doors. Finally, he stopped, let her legs drop, and unlocked one using a code she couldn’t see, since he’d moved to keep her view blocked. It didn’t even have sound, so she couldn’t figure it out that way. Pushing the door open, he waved her in, reaching past her to turn the lights on inside what appeared to be a very comfortable and homey apartment or condo.
“This is nice,” she said as she looked around. She walked away from Demaratus to stand before a painting of an ancient Grecian vista. “I’ve dreamed of this place. Tall grasses surrounded it, trees, and the sounds of quiet. I know, odd, but I swear that the quiet there had a sound. How is that?”
“Nothing out in nature is ever truly quiet.” He moved past her up a short hallway and pushed another door open at the end. “This way,” he called to her.
She moved with him, studying things as they walked along. “Where are we, anyway? Who is your boss? This definitely isn’t military. It’s more homey than that. Wait, shit, I didn’t accidentally hack the mob, did I?”
“We’re in my suite of rooms. This is the bedroom. The bathroom is through there, if you were interested in cleaning up. My boss is in a meeting right now but will let me know when he’s free. You probably have about ten minutes.”
“Oh God, I did hack the mob, didn’t I? I really don’t remember doing that.” She was in so much trouble right now. If she had been able to get into one of the family’s systems, then she would never again see the light of day. Crap.
“We’re not the mob.” Rolling his eyes, Demaratus muttered under his breath in that same language he’d used with the blond guy at her place. Ushering her into the bathroom, he showed her where the towels were and a new toothbrush if she felt like cleaning her teeth. Stepping out, he pulled the door mostly closed. “We’re much worse than the mob ever could be,” he added.
“Oh great, you even have the freaking accent,” she grumbled. “Seriously, I haven’t done anything really too bad.” Okay, so she might have put out some crooked companies’ information for the police to find, but she really hoped that wasn’t what this was about.
He was waiting for her in the bedroom when she finally exited. Feet apart, hands behind his back, he was staring right at her. “Feeling better now?” he asked.
“I would feel even better if I knew that I would get out of this alive.” She walked toward him and reached out tentatively so she could touch him. “I feel like I’ve done this before. How do I know your name? I know that I do. You are Demaratus. I’ve dreamed of you for years. Why? You have to know, because I’m clueless on this right now.”
His gaze dropped to where her hand rested on his chest, and he shook his head. “Until this morning, I’ve never seen you before. You seem to know me, but I’m sorry to say that I know absolutely nothing about you.”
“Oh.” She moved back a step, allowing her arm to drop. Holly shoved her hands into her pockets and walked back to the painting on the wall. She forced down the hurt that she was feeling. She had no reason to feel hurt. It was silly, in fact. Instead, she needed to concern herself with getting out of there and going home. Where she would be alone again. Right, that holds so much appeal to it. Not.
She felt him at her back a moment later, the heat of him along her spine. “You seem upset by that. Why?” he asked her in a curious tone.
“Because I’m a stupid, stupid woman,” she admitted and closed her eyes again. “Ignore me. This hasn’t been the best day.” She sighed. “Being taken from my home at gunpoint isn’t exactly what I call stellar.”
“You were over my shoulder, not at gunpoint. Though the bit about it not being a good day, I won’t argue with. Definitely not how I’d originally planned to spend it.”
“Yeah? What did you have planned?” she asked. It was the craziest thing, the way that he calmed and relaxed her. It was almost like the man had an inside track into her mind. “My day was going to be like any other. I would do what I needed to do for my job, which happens to be finding the flaws in large corporations’ firewalls, and then I was going to work on my latest project. Some unknown author has stuff together for an awesome series of books.” She frowned, turning to look up at him. “Although I haven’t finished all of the books yet.”
“They were not files for an author or a book. You shouldn’t have posted the site, either. We’ve taken it down temporarily, until we can find a way to disable it permanently and wipe all the information you put up on the Net.”
“What do you mean it wasn’t an author’s research? Was it for someone’s thesis paper, maybe? And how could you have taken my site down?” Then again, the alarms had started to ping, which was what she had been about to look into when the Marines had rung her bell.
“It wasn’t for any paper, book, or article. It was never supposed to see the light of day, until someone decided to stick her nose where it didn’t belong and appropriate it. The information in the files is top secret, classified, and cannot ever be viewed outside of this base. One of the Marines is relatively knowledgeable about computers and introduced a virus, I think he said, to the site. It’s down until the Web administrator can attend to it.”
A classical piece of music began to play. Digging into his pocket, Demaratus pulled out his cell and, with a glance to the screen, put it to his ear. “Yes? On our way.” He hung up. “He’s ready to see you now.”
“Damn, that means I’ll be sleeping with the fishes tonight.” She wrapped her arms around her body once more. All of this over manuscripts that she had found online. She couldn’t seem to reconcile why in the world someone’s novels would get her in so much trouble with the United States Marines and these men that seemed to operate as some branch of the government. The worst part was the fact that not only was her dream man real, he hated her. Taking a deep breath, she nodded and stepped even farther away from Demaratus. “Okay, take me to your leader.” She couldn’t believe she had said that and not giggled.
He lifted a brow at her words and shook his head. Putting his hand on her arm, he guided her out of the rooms and back into the hallway. He led her through the place, up an elevator, then down another long hall. Knocking on a door, he pushed it open when a gruff voice called out to them. Demaratus steered her into an office, where an even larger man stood next to a desk and stared at her without any expression.
“Oh crap,” she whispered as she gazed at the huge man. “I’m so dead.” She had known that this day would come. She knew one day she would hack someone’s system and they would find out, but she hadn’t expected to be so young when she died. “Hello,” Holly said with a small wave of her hand. “I don’t like to swim, so I would really rather not sleep with the fishes, please.”
“What the fuck is she talking about?” The big guy turned his death-infused stare to Demaratus.
Time marched on, as it always does, and she forgot her childhood dream of becoming an author and instead focused on what she had to – creating a career for herself.
As the endless waves of time passed the shores became less rocky and more sandy, a place where she could find an even foot. That and Microsoft invented Word. Hallelujah.
This is where April began her journey into the written world, the world that her imagination had been ceaselessly creating for her entire adult life.
Now she has been given a chance to let her literary wings unfold and fly, thanks to the amazing publishers with Evernight Publishing and Secret Cravings Publishing.
Now its time to let the dream take flight and watch it soar!
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Thank you Christina and Nice Ladies, Naughty Books, for having me on your blog! I appreciate you for allowing me to share my book with your readers.
As you well know I’m doing a giveaway as well.
As part of the release for Hacked I’m giving away the following:
First Place: $50 USD Gift Certificate* + 1 Free eCopy of HACKED
2nd Place: $25 USD Gift Certificate*
3rd Place: $10 USD Gift Certificate*
* Winner has choice between Amazon, All Romance eBooks, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Bookstrand, Evernight or Smashwords
So, the word that you would need to email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org from this blog is: