Wednesday 21 June 2017

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - Shattered Minds: A Pacifica Novel by Laura Lam

Shattered Minds
A Pacifica Novel
Author: Laura Lam
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (June 20, 2017)
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Sold by: Macmillan
Language: English

Book Description:
She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons

Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug ‘Zeal’. Now she’s heading for self-destruction – until she has a vision of a dead girl.

Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping project, causing her violent compulsions. And this girl was a similar experiment. When Carina realizes the vision was planted by her old colleague Mark, desperate for help to expose the company, she knows he’s probably dead. Her only hope is to unmask her nemesis – or she’s next.

To unlock the secrets Mark hid in her mind, she’ll need a group of specialist hackers. Dax is one of them, a doctor who can help Carina fight her addictions. If she holds on to her humanity, they might even have a future together. But first she must destroy her adversary – before it changes us and our society, forever.

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“Riveting.”F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author

“A multilayered, suspenseful thriller, False Hearts explores themes of identity and power in a breakneck plot that keeps the pages turning.” ―Ilana C. Myer, author of Last Song Before Night

“An ingenious premise, and Laura Lam executes it flawlessly. Gritty and wise, your own pulse will be racing as you get caught up in this exciting tale.” ―Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues

“A taut futuristic thriller, set in a San Francisco where everybody is beautiful... and nobody is exceptional. Two unusual sisters are caught in a war for control of a society that quietly suffocates its outsiders, rebels, and the damaged. Taema and Tila are all three, and their strange past and unique bond make False Hearts a difficult book to put down.” ―A. M. Dellamonica, author of Child of a Hidden Sea

“A smart debut from someone who's clearly got what it takes.” ―Peter F. Hamilton, author of the Commonwealth Saga


Carina awakens with a gasp and bites down a curse.

An alarm bleeps in the Zeal lounge. The clock on the flick- ering wallscreen tells her she’s woken two hours earlier than she should have. The room is small and close, a little grimy. All it contains is a Chair, the Zeal machine, and its body monitors. Carina paid extra for a private room with money she doesn’t have to spare.

An orderly buzzes the door and steps in, his white lab coat stained about the cuffs. “700628,” he says, confused. “Why are you awake?”

“Your guess is as good as mine,” Carina replies. “Put me back in.”

The orderly shakes his head. His hair is short and buzzed, and he’s thin enough that she can see the shape of his skull beneath his skin. “If you’ve been booted out early, there’s a reason. Something’s off. It’ll need to reset, and you should stay out of the Zealscape for at least twelve hours.”

Carina knows something is off—that last dream of the girl
on the table wasn’t hers, and couldn’t have been. It felt . . . unfinished, somehow. Like there should be more. Between that and not getting her proper fix, she wants—needs—to go right back in.

She gives the orderly a look that makes him pause. “Reach in my left pocket,” she says. Her wrists are still restrained, to stop her from lashing out in the dreams and hurting herself.

The orderly reaches into her pocket, his hand grazing her hip bone. He takes out a handful of credit chips. Enough to buy himself a very nice vat-grown steak dinner at a restaurant downtown.

“Put me back in,” she says, her voice low. The white-clad orderly only knows Carina as 700628. He doesn’t know her name, who she used to be, what she used to do before she lost it all to Zeal. He knows enough about what she does in her dreams that his eyes skitter away from hers.

He knows Carina wouldn’t mind killing him. Slowly.

The orderly shrugs. “Your call, I guess.” He preps another syringe.

Carina has to be reminded of her body while she waits. She lies back on the Chair, its plastic covering crinkling. She smells and hasn’t showered in almost a week, hasn’t eaten in two days, and lost her third tooth yesterday (was it yesterday?), spitting it out into the sink. She can’t remember if she washed it away or if it’s still there.

Zeal addiction is not for the faint-hearted.

She stares at the top of the orderly’s head. Quicker, quicker.

He restarts the machine, the air filling with the comforting whirs and clicks she knows so well. He plunges the needle into the crook of her arm, one more mark out of many. She’ll have to get a vein port put in soon. As the Zeal takes hold, her eyes roll up into her head.

“Sweet dreams,” the orderly says, voice flat, already turning away.

Though she yearns for her own personal heaven and hell in the Zealscape, as she does every time, a little part of her hopes she’ll never wake up.

It’d be so much easier that way.

About the Author
Laura Lam was born in the late eighties and raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams.

After studying literature and creative writing at university, she relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, a boy she met online when they were teenagers and he insulted her taste in books and she insulted his right back. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. She is now a dual citizen, but at times she misses the sunshine.

While working a variety of jobs from filing and photocopying endlessly at a law firm to library assistant to corporate librarian, she began writing in earnest. Her first book, Pantomime, the first book in the Micah Grey series, was released in 2013, which was a Scottish Book Trust Teen Book of the Month, won the Bisexual Book Award, was listed a Top Ten Title for the American Library Association List, and was nominated for several other awards. Robin Hobb says “Pantomime by Laura Lam took me into a detailed and exotic world, peopled by characters that I’d love to be friends with . . . and some I’d never want to cross paths with.” The sequel, Shadowplay, followed in 2014, as well as several the Vestigial Tales, self-published short stories and novellas set in the same world. The third book in the series, Masquerade, will follow in 2017.

Her newest book is False Hearts, a near-future thriller released in June 2016 by Tor/Macmillan and in three other languages. Peter F. Hamilton calls False Hearts “a strong debut from someone who’s clearly got what it takes.” Another thriller, Shattered Minds, will be released in 2017.

She is still hiding from sunshine in Scotland and writing more stories.

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  1. The only place I remember would be going to my room. It was a nice place to be. I'd clean or listen to records.