Title: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network Book 3)
Author: Mary Ting
Genre: YA Dystopian
Cover Reveal: Michael James Canales
Publication Date: June 30th, 2020
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Allegiances will be tested.
Identities will be revealed.
No one is safe.
While searching for the HelixB88 anti-serum on the black market, Ava uncovers valuable intel that may help the rebels in their fight to bring down ISAN—the location of a hidden facility. But first, the insurgents must find the female citizens unexpectedly displaying powers without use of the Helix serum before ISAN captures them.
As the rebels join forces with other sectors, ISAN plans their destruction by using someone they don’t suspect at the rebel home base. A traitor within.
Now, Ava must make a dangerous decision, one that could risk their capture—or worse.
Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/128c0b31325/
Mary is an international bestselling, award-winning author. She writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers around the world. Her books span a wide range of genres, and her storytelling talents have earned a devoted legion of fans, as well as garnered critical praise.
Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.
Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Being a huge Twilight fan, Mary was inspired to make book-themed jewelry and occasionally gives it away as prizes to her fans.
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1387164074921005/
Told from Rhett’s point of you.
If Ava could see herself, the sight would have stopped her cold. Even Rhett was afraid. The hair on his arm rose. His goosebumps had goosebumps.
Ava had absorbed Mia’s energy. Blue light zapped and crackled not only through her, but around her like an electric storm. She became the lightning and wind, uplifting everything around her. The ground shook, walls trembled, and lightbulbs popped like gunshots. Centered in the brilliant phenomenon, she was Mother Nature about to unleash her wrath.
“Holy mother of all mothers.” Ozzie’s jaw slackened. “Do you see what I see, Rhett?”
“Yes,” Rhett said with a grim smile. “That’s my girl. I hope she gives them hell.”
Mia stood her ground. Rhett gave her credit for courage but she was a fool. Rhett knew Ava would make the right choice, so he didn’t try to stop her.
“Well, what’s it going to be, Mia?” Ava’s voice sounded as grand as her display of powers.
Rhett was learning something new about Ava every time she pushed herself, though he worried she might burst. He had no idea how her ability worked.
“I’m not going to apologize, you freak.”
Oh, no. She did not just say that.
“Uh oh.” Ozzie crouched lower. “Ava hates that word.”
Four massage tables zoomed across the room at a flick of Ava’s finger, boxing in the girls.
“Like this is going to stop me. Pathetic,” Mia spat.
Mia didn’t know when to quit. Ava didn’t want to hurt her, but she kept punching Ava with insults. Rhett had to do something.
Ava’s hands trembled. Her body was shutting down.
“No, they weren’t intended to hurt you, and they certainly won’t hold you in.” Ava shook her thin shoulders. “That was a distraction—this will do the damage.” Ava flicked her index finger. A metal tray flew off the counter like a rocket and collided with Mia’s face, knocking her head to the table. “The table is to break your fall, idiot. I was being generous. What about you, Ella? Want to walk with me or be carried out like your friend?”
Ella blanched and softened her stance, giving the impression of compliance. Her voice squeaked like a frightened mouse. “I was going to cooperate. I swear I was. I’ll walk.”
Poor girl. She shook with her arms crossed over her midsection.
The door slid open.
“Why are you all wet? What happened here?” Naomi cursed, her eyes darting around the wrecked room. “Are you guys okay?”
Ozzie pointed to Ava, gawking at her as if she was a goddess. “She did it. It was pretty awesome.”
Tamara laughed. “I should have been here earlier to see it all. The sounds did not do it justice.”
Reyna smoothed a hand over her face. “We’re in so much trouble. Zen’s not going to like this. It’s a good thing this room had no windows.”
“Well, at least we’re all going down together.” Rhett planted a kiss on his girl and supported her with an arm around her waist. When she’d stopped the bullets at Mitch’s apartment, she’d fainted. “You okay?”
Rhett gripped her shaky hand. So cold. All the warmth flushed out of her when Helix had diminished or had burned out. Or however her power worked.
“Yeah. Just a little lightheaded. At least I didn’t black out. I got a little carried away.”
“A little. Just a little.” Rhett chuckled to lighten the mood.
“Are you and Oz okay?” She examined him. “You’re wet.”
“Oz and I are fine. Do you want a change of clothes? We could try to find—”
“No. Let’s get out of here.”
Rhett was worried about her. How much could her body take?
Ava had practiced every spare second. Anyone else would be wiped out, but maybe someone like her didn’t need a lot of time to recover. If Helix could replenish her quickly, then perhaps it was all good.
“Come on. Someone want to help me drag this lunatic?” Ozzie’s shoes squeaked and squashed through two inches of water as he headed toward Mia. “Yup, Zen is going to flip out. Can we pretend it didn’t happen? Or do one of you girls have the power to put everything back together? Why can’t I have that kind of power? Why am I talking and nobody is answering me?”
“‘Cause you talk too much, Ozwald.” Rhett grabbed Mia’s other arm and hauled her up with Ozzie’s help.
Ozzie’s mouth scrunched together into a pout. “Ozzie. It’s Ozzie or Oz.”
How Rhett loved to mess with him, and Rhett knew Ozzie liked it, too, since he did the same to Rhett. It was the way they were.
Told from Ava’s point of view.
“Go,” I said to Reyna.
I shot one of the newbies with my Taser just as she aimed her weapon at Reyna. Ozzie shot the other one.
The newbies dropped and convulsed. Two down, three to go.
“Oz, go,” I ordered, but I heard a swish in the air, one after the other. Not the sound of Taser pellets, but something far more dangerous. A rain of bullets.
We jumped apart to dodge them.
Thanks to Helix, I heard Payton command Justine to put her gun down because Novak wanted me alive.
“Ava. Get Oz.”
Reyna’s panicked voice sliced through me like a razor blade. I whirled to find Ozzie hanging by one hand off the roof. His fingers were slipping. My pulse lurched, and I acted without another thought.
“Oz. Hold on.” I grabbed his arm and hauled him up halfway.
I pushed a button on his belt and flung the hook around the rope, a few yards from us and set him free. Ozzie’s eyes were thankful, and then full of concern as he soared backward.
Knowing Novak wanted me alive gave me an advantage. It also meant he knew I wouldn’t die from HelixB88 and had only meant to kill Brooke. Sadistic psycho.
All right, Justine. I can play, too.
“Justine, you should teach your soldiers some manners. Don’t they know not to shoot unless you give the order?” I clucked my tongue. “Oh, wait. You’re not the lead. You were so sure of yourself. What happened? Did your daddy deem you incompetent and unfit, like the rest of us did?”
“Shut up. Shut up.” Justine materialized out of the shadows and fired a Taser, unwisely abandoning her shield.
With exact aim, I countered each pellet coming toward me with one of my own. They collided like mini fireworks. Finally, she stopped.
“How can you do that without Helix?” she snarled. “And how are you alive? What about Brooke? I hope she’s dead.”
It took every fiber of my willpower not to attack, but I had the rock and time was running out.
Don’t take the bait, Ava. Keep it together. Think of Brooke.
“She’s not dead. So you can give your daddy my regards.”
“Payton, do something,” Justine screamed. “Don’t just stand there.”
Payton, who seemed to have frozen when he saw me, at last held up his Taser in a trembling hand. “You’re surrounded, Ava. Your team is on another roof. You have no help.” Payton inched closer, his two-member troop left beside him. “ISAN guards are waiting for you below. They have your glider surrounded and the kids.”
His words sounded rehearsed, or maybe it was nerves.
Had he said, kids?
He might be playing me, but how would he know about Momo and her friends? Hopefully Rhett would …
No, no time. I had to solve the situation now.
“Fine.” I looked over my shoulder at my crew and then back to Payton. “I’ll surrender peacefully if you let my friends go.”
“No, Ava,” Naomi bellowed.
I ignored her. She was new to our band and didn’t understand I would never yield unless my teams’ lives were at stake. And they were not.
“Put your Taser down, Ava.” Justine could have fried an egg on her bright red face.
From her toothy grimace, she didn’t know whether to gloat or sulk. Perhaps both.
I dropped my Taser and stood there with my arms crossed. “Come and get me.”
“That’s Ava? The Ava?” The pretty-faced newbie’s voice cracked with fear as she approached.
The three assassins came in a straight line.
Justine glared at the newbie. “Shut up, Tessa. She’s not unbeatable. She’s not God.”
“Wait.” I raised a hand.
“Why?” Payton’s fist went up and halted his unit.
I yawned and stretched my arms to the cloudy sky. “For this. You never knew about Tamara’s hobby, did ya? She never misses.”
I had given Tamara instructions in case of such an incident. Never hurts to over-plan.
Two daggers tore through the air from the other roof. One speared the newbie’s biceps with a fountain of blood, and the second skewered Payton’s hand, knocking his Taser over the edge. Both clutched their bleeding wounds while Justine’s eyes widened.
“Don’t piss me off again or I’ll ask them to target you next time. And this is for Brooke.”
Willing the strength of Helix, I sprinted to Justine and landed a solid punch in her face. Bone cracked like a beautiful song, and then she smashed into the stairway wall, leaving an imprint in the cracked cement before she flopped down.
I flew across the rope, my squad cheering blissfully in my ears. But my satisfaction died when I spotted the few dozen ISAN guards Payton had mentioned below.
It seemed Novak didn’t trust Payton’s unit to bring me in. And Payton’s words had been no bluff. Or maybe he’d been warning me.
Payton, whose side are you on?