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Monday, November 17, 2014

Release Day Blitz Hellish Haven by L.K. Below




Hope: A Shining Beacon

My grandmother passed away shortly before my fifteenth birthday. I wasn’t as close to her as I wish now that I was, despite living in the same house for over a year. I always thought I had time. I was fourteen; I would figure out a way to approach her, to talk to her about her past without feeling awkward, like I was intruding. Later. Always later.

That January was hard, on my mother especially. I missed school, and because of it, I ended up having to write three exams on the day of my fifteenth birthday. One of these was for Drama class…a class I regretted picking due to my stage fright. But the last thing I wanted to be was a disappointment -- to my mother or myself. I held up the lure that after I made this last presentation, I wouldn’t have to step into the spotlight again (ha!). Once I finished my exams, I had a birthday to celebrate.

Everybody needs something to spur them towards an end goal, even when that goal seems out of reach. It doesn’t have to be as large-scale and all-encompassing as the war in my newest book, Hellish Haven. Sometimes it can be something small. The lure of a day off at the end of an exhausting work week. Whatever it is, hope is a powerful thing.

One of the best motivators is a celebration. It feels like a reward for all your troubles in getting there. Whether it’s a lunch at a nice restaurant celebrating a recent achievement, or even a holiday.

I set Hellish Haven in December for a reason. They face a years-long war in which they’ve made no progress defeating the enemy, the government taking away all freedoms -- including freedom of thought by means of brainwashing and drugs heightening the susceptibility to suggestion. More than that, Grant and Miguel have recently had to face the crumbling of their family when Grant’s wife, Eva, is captured by the enemy. That beacon keeping them carrying on is that Christmas will come.

And surely, if nothing else, Christmas will bring a miracle. Something to be thankful for.

The first time Eva returns to them, they are overjoyed. Young Miguel attributes it to Santa granting his Christmas wish early. Grant doesn’t analyze it too deeply, he doesn’t wonder how exactly she managed to escape from an all-but-impenetrable holding facility. He holds onto that hope that she is alive, that she is safe with him once again.

Right up until Eva is recaptured by an enemy who shouldn’t know her location.

Hope is a powerful motivator. It can keep you moving forward when you would rather give up. But hope, in itself, cannot craft results. If you never put in the hard work to earn your promotion, you will never have that celebratory lunch. Nothing will happen if you wish for it. You have to also take steps toward achieving it.

That is a lesson Grant has to learn for himself. It’s a lesson I had to learn from my three-exam birthday. I could have used my grandmother’s passing as an excuse and let my grades slip. I didn’t. I aced my exams and had good reason to celebrate that accomplishment at the end of the day…along with all the other hard work I’d put into school over the past year.


Hope, having something to look forward to, can guide the way. But you have to propel yourself in the right direction.
Hellish Haven
L.K. Below

Genre: Dystopian Romance

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.,
Lyrical Press Imprint

Date of Publication: November 17, 2014

ISBN: 9781616506254
ASIN: B00NJ0VL6A

Number of pages: 72
Word Count: 33,718

Cover Artist: Renee Rocco

Book Description:

Two lives. Two realities. But only one truth.

The Senator reigns all-powerful in a manifested picture-perfect world. No worries. No wars. Only the unspoken threat of oblivion if you step a toe out of line. On the other side of the divide, the rebels face a debilitating war against an invulnerable robotic army. Every day is a struggle to earn back their freedoms. Freedom to feel. Freedom of speech. Freedom of thought.

Sergeant Grant Baker is pivotal to the war effort. But ever since his wife’s abduction, he’s been walking around in as much of a daze as the Senator’s brainwashed citizens. Then Eva reappears—without memories of him or their son. And he’s willing to do anything to keep her. Even if it means jeopardizing the war.

Eva doesn’t know which side to believe. Her predictable life as a single nurse, or the man claiming to be her husband. All she knows is she needs to discover how to end the war, quickly. If she doesn’t choose sides soon, she may lose the man—and the life—she never knew she wanted.

Available at Kensington Books  BN  Kobo Amazon iTunes


Excerpt
Acting as vanguard for the injured squad, Grant turned a corner and froze. A hulky man carried a limp woman over his shoulder.
Grant automatically reached for his gun. Even if they weren’t yet across the divide, he couldn’t stand idle as a man accosted a woman. Or worse. He aimed the rifle at the criminal. “Set her down nice and easy.”
The man froze. He glanced over one meaty shoulder, his unshaven mouth set in a scowl.
“Set her down, or I’ll shoot.”
A gold tooth flashed as the criminal grinned. He hurled the small woman at Grant and dashed for the slim space between two buildings.
Grant moved without thinking. His gun clattered to the ground as he lunged forward to catch the woman before she split her head open on the sidewalk. He grunted as he caught her with her weight against his bruised forearms. He shot a flickering glance her way. A riot of brown curls obscured her face. He set her gently on the ground.
He dashed for the opening the shady figure had disappeared into, but saw no sight of the man. The delinquent was long gone.
Ashland panted as he jogged to Grant’s side. “What happened?”
If Grant never heard that question again, it would be too soon. He shook his head wearily. “Mugging, I guess.”
“They still have those here? I thought the Senator brought an end to violence.” Ashland drew sarcastic quotes in the air as he spoke.
Grant didn’t bother to answer. He turned to the woman and where his squad was now gathered. A horrified private glanced from the woman to Grant and back again. “What do you want us to do with her…sir?”
If they left her, the Senator’s people might find her and stick her back in the pen with the rest of their brainwashed sheep. Then again, that same goon might double back to continue what he started.
He crossed to the woman and crouched to lift her into his arms. Her tangled hair fell away from her face. He nearly dropped her. “Eva?”
Frantically, he pressed his ear to her chest. Her breathing was shallow, but her heartbeat steady and strong. He clutched her tighter. He couldn’t believe it.
He’d found his wife.


About the Author:

L.K. Below wrote Hellish Haven to bring her love of Orwell’s classic 1984 into the modern day…or near future, as it turns out.

She reads as obsessively as she writes and likes to Tweet about both at @LBelowtheauthor.




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1 comment:

L. K. Below/Lindsay Below said...

Thank you for having me here today!