Into the Dreaming Imaginative Fiction from Author, Reviewer, and Writing Coach Christine Amsden

Category Archives: The Immortality Virus

New Interview

A new interview went live today…this one with a few questions I haven’t already answered. 🙂 Check it out at Entropy Central.

The Immortality Virus Sequel

This morning, I had a wonderful new review go up at Mommy Reads Too Much. In the review, a question came up regarding possible sequels, and since it isn’t the first such question I’ve received, I wrote up a response. I wanted to repeat my response here on my own blog, because it’s the first time I’ve gotten specific, and I wanted all my loyal followers to know.

Since you brought it up, I will say this about a possible sequel: I have notes and ideas, but I have not begun work on a sequel. I am actually hard at work on the last book in a 4-part urban fantasy series right now. It will be coming out starting in February 2013 (and then come out pretty much back to back). It has stolen my time and attention right now, and if I’m being honest — my heart.

BUT I still have the notes and ideas, and the project I’m working on now won’t last forever. If I do write a sequel, you may be surprised by my approach. I consider Grace Harper’s story to be over at the end of The Immortality Virus, but the world itself was very open-ended. The sequel I envision would take place many years in the future, and the world will have changed such that a small, godlike elite hold the power of eternal youth, while the masses age and die normally. If I can work it right, the sequel should even stand alone (so that the two books could be read in either order).

I hope it isn’t too disappointing that I haven’t started yet, or even have firm plans to start. On the reader’s side, I get the frustration, but on the author’s side, I know I have to write the story that’s in my heart right now, or it won’t be worth reading.

My Reading Addiction Book Tour

My Reading Addiction Book Tour has been scheduled for August. Here are all the stops:
August 6 – Crossroads Reviews – Review/Excerpt
August 7 – Book-A-Holic– Review
August 8 – Bookishly Devoted – Review/Guest Post
August 9 – My Cozie Corner – Review/Guest Post
August 10 – Deborah’s Books – Review/Excerpt
August 11 – The Bookshelf – Review/Excerpt/Guest Post
August 12 – Kimmie’s Bookshelf – Review/Excerpt
August 13 –Tien’s Blurb – Review/Guest Post
August 16 – Andi’s Book Reviews – Review/Excerpt/Guest Post
August 17 – Beth Art From the Heart – Review/Guest Post
August 19 – Whoopeeyoo! – Review/Excerpt
August 20 – Black Hippie Chick – Review/Guest Post
August 22 – FireStar Books – Review/Excerpt
August 24 – One Page at a Time – Review/Excerpt
August 25 – Musings of a Bookworm – Review/Excerpt
August 26 – The Story Factory – Review/Guest Post
August 27 – Workaday Reads – Guest Post
August 28 – Rea’s Reading and Review’s Review/Excerpt/Guest Post
August 29 – Froze8’s Blog – Review/Excerpt
August 30 – Book Lover’s Hideaway – Review/ Excerpt

Virtual Book Tour Kick-Off

The Immortality Virus Virtual Book Tour kicks off today with an introduction from my host:

VBT Cafe Blog

The ebook version of The Immortality Virus will be $0.99 in honor of the tour. (At Barnes and Noble and Amazon.)

The Immortality Virus is Going On Tour

….virtually, anyway.

The  Virtual Blog Tour Cafe is hosting a tour that will take me all over the internet between July 10 and August 6. There will be interviews, guest blogs, reviews, and a few chances to win a free ebook.

July 12 – Interviewed at Mass Musings
July 16 – Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
July 18 – Interviewed on KWOD Radio
July 20 – Review & Ebook Giveaway at Mommy Reads Too Much
July 24 – Review & Ebook Giveaway at Books, Books, and More Books
July 26 – Reviewed at The Self Taught Cook
July 30 – Interviewed by Louise James
August 1 – Review & Ebook Giveaway at Words I Write Crazy
August 3 – Interview & Giveaway at MK McClintock’s Blog
August 6 – Review & Interview at A Book Lover’s Library
August 6 – Review & Ebook Giveaway at From The TBR Pile

The Immortality Virus $0.99 (Ebook)

 

When the cost of eternal youth grows too high, will we give up our chance at immortality?

The Immortality Virus

Winner of the 2012 Epic EBook Award for Science Fiction AND the 2011 Global eBook Award for Science Fiction

Nook or Kindle
Now $0.99!

Read chapter one

2012 Epic eBook Awards

EPIC’s eBook Awards™, formerly known as EPPIE, began in 2000 to recognize excellence in ePublished works. The eBook Awards are open to all electronically published works: novels, graphic novels, short stories, non-fiction, and poetry.

And in the science fiction category, the the winner is…..

 

 

Here is the list of all the 2012 winners:

Anthology
Dame Topaz Treasures by Carrie S. Masek (sole author), Whiskey Creek Press

Childrens’
What Kind of Turtle Am I? by Donna M. Zappala, Dragonfly Publishing, Inc.

Mainstream
Love, Sam by Linda Rettstatt, Champagne Books

Action/Adventure
No One Lives Twice by Julie Moffett, Carina Press

Erotica
The First Real Thing by Cat Grant, Ellora’s Cave Publishing

Fantasy
The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt, Carina Press

Historical
Tree Soldier by Janet Oakley, Createspace

Horror
Pillar’s Fall by Ben Larken, LL-Publications

Mystery
The Dead Detective Agency by Peg Herring, LL-Publications

Paranormal
Healey’s Cave by Aaron Paul Lazar, Twilight Times Books

Suspense/Thriller
Becoming NADIA by Cyrus Keith, Muse It Up Publishing

Science Fiction
The Immortality Virus by Christine Amsden, Twilight Times Books

Spiritual/Metaphysical
A Mother’s Eyes by Karen S. Woods, Sleeping Beagle Books

Non-Fiction
The Indestructible Relationship by Kimberly Pryor, Self-published

Novella
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye, The Wild Rose Press

Contemporary Romance
River Time by Rae Renzi, Carina Press

Fantasy Romance
Bound: A Faery Story by Sophie Oak, Siren Publishing, Inc.

Historical Romance
Passage to November by Phyllis DeMarco, The Wild Rose Press

Horror Romance
Endless Lust by Lexxie Couper, Ellora’s Cave Publishing

Paranormal Romance
Blacque/Bleu by Belinda McBride, Loose Id, LLC

Romantic Suspense
Absolution by Kaylea Cross, The Wild Rose Press

Science Fiction Romance
Steam and Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape, Carina Press

Spiritual/Metaphysical Romance
Lingering Spirit by Marilyn Meredith, Oak Tree Press

Short Story
Chamber Music by Peter A. Balaskas, Uncial Press

Young Adult
Nightmare Interrupted by Linda Palmer, Sugar and Spice Press

Winner of the 2011 Global eBook Award for Science Fiction

Yes, that’s right, The Immortality Virus has won the 2011 Global eBook Award for science fiction!

Winning something like this is salve for the soul. Writing is often an isolated business, without daily feedback. It takes years to get published and more years for the public to really notice you’ve been published. So each day, the energy to keep going comes from an inner light.

Then, one day, after years of struggles, someone says, “Hey, this is pretty awesome!”

Why yes, yes it is. Oh, wait, you meant the book. 🙂

That’s why we do the cliched thank you thing that everyone does. No, it’s not original, but it is heartfelt.

So, thank you to those running the Global eBook Awards for choosing to honor some of the best electronically published books, and for recognizing that this is the wave of the future.

Thank you to my husband, Austin, for being the most supportive husband an artist could ask for.

Thank you to my parents, for their support and suggestions.

Thank you to my publisher, Lida Quillen at Twilight Times Books, for giving me a chance, and putting her money behind my projects.

Thank you to Codex Writer’s Group, because you’re awesome, too.

And a big thank you to the readers out there who have been willing to give a new, relatively unknown author a chance, especially those who have left feedback on goodreads or their blogs. I get a goofy little smile on my face every time I see that someone has read and enjoyed my book.

Summer Vacation, Book Tour, and Website Upgrades

I haven’t posted in more than a week because we took a vacation. Half of it was spent right here at home, relaxing and taking the kids to the pool — not to mention staying away from the stifling heat of my upper-floor study.

Well, I’m baaaack. I read a few books last week, so I can get ahead on my reviews for once. I’m teaching a writing workshop this month, which usually inspires me with new writing tips.

***

Also, this week I’m doing another virtual book tour, thanks to Positively Published!

First stop: A new EXCERPT at Speaking Without Interruption.

***

My husband upgraded Word Press this week, which, for some reason, means that Google Friend Connect no longer works. I’m sure my brilliant geek will figure something out (although he muttered something about brilliance not helping when it’s someone else’s code).

The Immortality Virus Prequel Scene

This is not a scene from The Immortality Virus, but a special extra scene that takes place 200 years earlier. I just wrote it for a bit of fun…hope you enjoy!

St. Louis, 2250

Alexander Lacklin knew he needed to quit his job, but he also knew work was scarce – even for someone with his reputation. A farm in Iowa was courting him, but the farms were beginning to make his skin crawl. Their contracts for indentured servitude looked more and more like slavery.

“It’s not ready for human testing,” Alex told his boss for the hundredth time. “We’ve barely had enough time to begin the animal studies.”

“Your reports said there were no side effects,” Maxwell Brice said, his normally pale, pointed face turning an interesting shade of crimson. That usually meant he had already made his decision and no longer wanted to hear arguments.

Alex ignored the silent warning. “I said there were not short-term side effects. No immediate side-effects. That is not the same thing as no side-effects! Two weeks of animal trials is hardly enough to consider such a dramatic change in every human’s diet.”

“It’s not that dramatic. People have been eating soybeans for centuries.”

“I’m not sure these are soybeans anymore!” Alex stood up, his wheeled office chair flying back. “I’ve said all of this if you’ve read the reports. I’m not ready to risk human lives on this.”

“You’re risking them anyway,” Maxwell said. “People are starving out there. There’s not enough food.” He didn’t mention last week’s deadly food riots in Washington, D.C., in which over a thousand men, women, and children had lost their lives. He didn’t have to. They both knew what was at stake, but Alexander also knew that whatever food source came out of this lab, it was only a temporary solution. Even if the cheap meal bar could sustain human life, it couldn’t keep up with the ever-increasing population. It also tasted like cardboard, but Alex knew that was a moot point.

Besides, the mutated soybean plant was now so unlike a soybean he wasn’t sure it deserved the same name, let alone the assumption that any and all dietary effects would be similar. For all he knew, it would sterilize the entire human race – which, despite the fact that they no longer aged, would be a disaster.

“I’m not signing off on it,” Alex said. “And you’re not putting my name on that thing.”

“I could fire you,” Max said.

Alex shrugged, supremely unconcerned. “I’m sure your boss has more useless grandchildren he can hire to replace me.”

“All right, then I’ll just have to demote you.”

“What?” Alex stood still, staring at his now nearly purple-faced boss in shock.

“I’m giving Ben the role of head researcher. He’s already agreed to sign off on human testing.”

“You can’t do that!” Empty words, Alex realized, even as he said them. Max could – and had.

“I’ll expect you downtown this afternoon to help us screen the test subjects.” With that, he turned and strode from the office.

Alex sat down, feeling numb. Almost unconsciously, he dialed his wife’s phone number.

“What do you want?” Susan asked, sharply.

“I just needed to talk to someone.”

“Did you miss the part where I’m filing for divorce?”

He hadn’t. He only hoped she would change her mind, and realize that he had been correct. Abandoning the human race by leaving with a colony ship would have helped no one save a handful of wealthy people with enough money to escape the planet before the population went from insane to ludicrous. They said the colonists were heroes, pioneering for the sake of the human race, which could only be true if there was any way for the rest of the human race to follow. There wasn’t. There just weren’t enough ships.

“They’re starting human testing,” Alex said.

Susan was quiet for a long time.

“Susan?”

“I’m sorry, Alex.” She sounded like she meant it, too, and for a second he heard the woman he had fallen in love with, rather than the one who had abandoned him when things got too hard. “I wish I could do something, but I can’t, and I need to move on with my life. So do you.”

She hung up, leaving Alex with a hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach, but also a renewed determination.

An hour later, he joined the research group downtown, on the old courthouse steps not far from the Arch. Flyers had been handed out to the thousands of homeless people living under bridges, in condemned buildings, and in trash cans – they weren’t hard to find these days. The flyers offered food in exchange for volunteering in a research project, and they had turned out in droves. They filled the once-manicured lawns, now overgrown with weeds. They even filled the dried up fountain as they crammed in, elbow to elbow, each hoping for anything that would fill their empty stomachs.

Alex used his badge to push through the throng, noticing the hungry eyes of the people who stepped aside, as if they thought he might have food on him. More than one person brushed their hands against his pockets as he moved forward, and he sensed if he had anything in them, it would have been long gone. Luckily, he had been fitted with a state-of-the-art portable computer chip embedded into his skin, removing the need for him to carry money or I.D.

At the stairs of the courthouse, things were worse. Even with his badge, he had to push his way in, and the angry glares and mutters that followed him inside told him they all found him suspect.

“Where’s the food?” More than one person shouted, as if they were afraid the entire thing was some kind of sick ruse. Perhaps it was.

The research team was assembled at the top of the stairs. Ben, with a big smirk on his cherubic face, reveled in handing out orders, while the other members of the team looked from Ben to Alex in confusion.

“Now that Alex has had the courtesy to show up,” Ben said with as much disdain as he could manage, “we can start.”

Ben picked up a bullhorn, and began to talk to the crowd, telling them about the wonderful new food bar that provided a day’s worth of nutrition. That was debatable, since most of the monkeys they had used in the animal trials wanted at least three.

The crowd stirred restlessly, their murmurs making Ben’s announcement difficult to hear. He told them he could only take applicants in good health, and that each test subject would receive a week’s worth of nutri-bars.

When he finished, Alex took the bullhorn.

“What are you doing?” Ben hissed.

“Telling them the truth.” Alex pushed past the man, who was two centuries younger than Alex, with all the cockiness of youth. He stepped onto the platform and raised the bullhorn.

“What they’re not telling you,” Alex said, with the volume turned to maximum, “is that these bars have not been tested.”

Murmurs began sweeping through the crowd, a low buzzing that began to fill Alex’s ears, but he pushed on.

“We don’t know if they’re safe. We don’t know if they’ll kill you.”

The murmurs grew louder, now beginning to sound more like a swarm of angry bees.

“I urge you not to volunteer for testing, until we know they’re safe.”

Above the buzzing came first one angry shout, then another. Alex couldn’t hear the words, but he sensed the tone – they were mad. These people had been pushed around enough, and they weren’t going to take it any more.

Finally, Alex heard a clear question above the shouts and murmurs. “So is there food or not?”

“I think we may want to move,” Tom, the second most senior member of the team said.

Indeed, the crowd was surging forward, at first a few, and then all of them. The researchers exchanged looks, and then all of them ran inside the building, taking refuge in a room on one side of the hallway, behind the boxes and boxes of food.

What followed could only be called a stampede. The hungry people poured through the grand front hallway, tearing open boxes and grabbing as many nutri-bars as they could carry before running off with their prizes. As the boxes emptied, fights erupted, leaving men, women, and children bloodied or dying. Those who fell were trampled.

Finally, Alex couldn’t take it anymore. He turned away from the glass window and buried his face in his hands.

“I’m going to make sure you get fired for this,” Ben hissed in Alex’s ear.

Alex didn’t look up. “You don’t have to. I quit.”