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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

April Zyon's Hacked!



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 When she hits upon what she believes to be an author’s unpublished manuscript, she finds herself reading about a world where warriors of old wage war against a dark force bent on consuming everything it touches.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.

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“Oh, someone is being very naughty,” Holly said as she saw the flag pop up to alert her that someone had tried to get into her system. “Not so easy, is it, sunshine?” She backtracked the hack and laughed. “Oh, you are so close. Wait, this is where the files came from…” She hummed, a sucker in her mouth, as she let her fingers fly.
She also put in an order for pizza. After all, a woman has to eat, right? She swiveled in her chair and grinned once the hack was complete. “There, hope that whoever you are, you like furry porn, you asshat.” She didn’t like anyone touching her systems. It irritated her like mad.
When the doorbell rang, she looked at the screen and frowned. Well, that’s not pizza. She opened the com and asked, “Who are you, and why are you here?”
“United States Marine Corps, ma’am. Could we have a word, please?” the one in front answered. He was holding up identification and in full dress blues as he stared into the camera. He didn’t look all that surprised that it was there. In fact, the guy looked bored, if anything at all.
“Huh, I don’t know if I talk to Marines. You see, I dated one back in the day, and he went all gung ho and left me high and dry.” She lied through her teeth as she began to dump her systems and delete the files on them. “You are also a redhead, which, sorry, but I can’t trust redheads, so I’m going to have to pass on the whole having a word sort of thing.”
Something hard pressed to her temple. “Lift your hands away now.” The warning was low and chilling with the added pressure of whatever was against her skin.
Another person moved around the room. Then, coming into her view, he yanked the power plugs from the wall, effectively stopping her purge. “Don’t blow her head off yet. The boss still needs to have a talk with her.”
A growl sounded from behind the weapon. “Let the Marines in. They’re the ones that wanted this crap.”
A faint frown flitted over the other man’s face, but he nodded slowly. He went to the door and pulled it open. “She was attempting to do something to her systems. I pulled the plugs on everything here, so hopefully something will still remain from her antics.”
One of the Marines, not the one who had been on camera, moved in closer to her desk as he looked at everything. “We’ll have to make sure we don’t plug anything in until I’ve got a better idea of what she’s done.”
“You’re just no fun. I haven’t done anything bad,” she grumbled, crossing her arms defiantly over her chest. She looked sideways at the man holding a gun to her head and gasped. “It’s you. I don’t understand. You’re just a dream.” She couldn’t believe it. The man she had dreamed of most of her life stood there before her. A man who had comforted her when she had been a child and helped her embrace her gift for all things electronic. “How can you be here? You aren’t real.”
The man with short blond hair gave a laugh and said something in a guttural language to him. He responded in the same language, she was guessing, with something that sent the one in front of her into a fit of laughter.
One of the Marines moved closer and smiled. “Hands behind your back, please.” He spoke in a tone that told her it wasn’t a suggestion.
“Not on your life. I would rather have them in front of me. If you wouldn’t mind, that is.” She shifted, then added, “Besides, what do you want with me? I haven’t done anything.” Too bad.
“It actually wasn’t an optional thing, ma’am.” He took one of her wrists and pulled it behind her back, securing it with what felt like zip ties. “The other one. Or do I need to wrestle you for it?”
Reluctantly, she gave her other hand to the man and said, “I want to call my attorney right now. I get one phone call, right?” She was at the point now where she was starting to get scared and that was not good. She did bad things when scared, like shorting out anything electronic in her sight.
The gun finally lowered. “You are under the mistaken impression that you are under arrest. You are being detained until further notice, as a security risk. Which means no calls and no attorney. As of this moment, you cease to exist unless we say otherwise,” the big guy who’d held the gun to her head said, stepping back right before something was tossed over her head. The man she had been seeing in her dreams all of her life. He was the man with the dark and dreamy eyes. The man who had stood tall against forces clad in ancient armor, leather, and swords and held them off. He was a man who had defended with honor and more. He had saved her sanity in more ways than one, and she didn’t understand it at all.
After her hands were zip tied, a dark hood was pulled down over her head and cinched beneath her chin. In the next moment she was hoisted off her feet and over a broad and hard shoulder, to be jostled around as she was carried off. The upheaval had her nearly vomiting. “Seriously, big and studly, doing this is going to make me puke down your back.” Well, at least inside of the bag. Since she couldn’t see anything now, she was doubly terrified. “Why in the hell have I been dreaming of you all my life?”
She had blurted out that last question without meaning to, so she changed tracks. “You can’t do this to me. I’m an American citizen, and I have rights, you ass.” She wiggled. “And the moment that you broke into my place, cameras began to record you, so in five minutes you’re all hitting the Net as America’s Most Wanted.” Oh yeah, I can do that. Nice, lovely fail-safes are awesome.
The sudden stop made her stomach lurch. “If that happens, you will never be freed. What you did has international security ramifications as it is. Either stop it, or we burn the place to the ground,” her captor told her. She was flipped off his shoulder, the hood ripped away, and her back slammed into a wall with his hand at her throat. “You’re already in enough trouble as it is. Do not compound it with this stupidity. Stop it now, or I’ll do something that is guaranteed to test the limits of your control over your stomach contents.”
“I can’t do anything with my hands bound behind my back.” She gazed up into his deep brown eyes and licked her lips. “I’ve seen you on the deck of ancient Greek ships. I’ve watched you on horseback. Who are you?” She’d had the weirdest dreams of this man, and this wasn’t the time or the place to discuss them, but she couldn’t stop herself from asking.
She saw the look of shock in his eyes. It was only the smallest flicker of that expression but it was there. “Who I am doesn’t matter.” Spinning her around, he cut her bonds before whirling her back again. “Stop it, now,” he snarled at her. He drew the gun again and cocked it before pressing it to her thigh. “If I think you’re making it worse, I’ll put a bullet through you. It won’t kill you, but it will fucking hurt. Are we clear?”
She rolled her eyes and looked at the redheaded Marine. “You know, talking to you is looking better and better,” she muttered. “I’m not planning on making it worse, but I’m also not going to let you guys wipe me out of existence, either. So we need to get that fact straight right now. You could start by telling me why this fuss and grumble. Why in the world would the Marines show up at my doorstep?”
She glanced back at the man with the long, dark hair, the man she couldn’t seem to stop staring at. “And you. You aren’t a Marine, but you do have a military background, so talk to me. Who are you guys?”
“Quit digging your hole deeper with him,” the blond replied. He wasn’t a Marine, either, but the way he held himself also suggested some form of military training. “Do what he told you to, and quickly, before he gives in to the urge to shoot you. He’s not having a very good day, and your lies only made this situation all the worse.”
“I’m not lying, just telling it like it is.” She shrugged. “I’m just trying to figure out who the hell he is.” She was feeling things that she shouldn’t feel, not for someone who had held a gun to her temple and now her leg.
Walking back to her front door, she hit some buttons on a keypad hidden on the wall. “There. Cameras aren’t recording, and the feed won’t go live. Well, that is, it won’t go live unless I turn up dead somewhere. I have a program that will find my dead ass, too.” Well, she hoped, at least. “Or, if I don’t check in on it in three days. So there, you boys have three days to tell me what this is all about. I haven’t hacked anything that would require the military to come at me, so talk. Please,” she added as an afterthought.
“You did lie,” the big blond said. “When you answered the door, you were lying. The rest doesn’t matter, as it has nothing to do with what you went and got into. Pack it all up, boys. We’re going to need it back on the base. Hopefully by then D will have gotten over his upset or shot her. Either way, the boss is waiting for her in some form or another for interrogation.”
Her arms were yanked behind her again and secured. The hood went back over her head, despite her protests, and she was up and over a shoulder. This time, they didn’t stop until she was tossed into what felt like a vehicle seat, buckled in, and the door slammed at her side.
Demaratus. That was his name. She knew it. She had treasured those moments with him when she slept. But the real man and the dream man were two different beings, and she wasn’t so sure she liked the former very much. “I don’t like the dark.” She wasn’t trying to get out of the hold of the seat belt, but she needed them to know. “I can’t breathe.” It wasn’t a lie. She was starting to freak out.
Other doors opened, and the car shifted as more people climbed in. “Quit squirming around,” Demaratus ordered, his voice deep. He was next to her. “Why are you panting like that?” he asked, sounding vaguely confused.
“I’m claustrophobic and afraid of the dark.” No lies. Just brutal truth. “You know that, though.” He had seen her through so many dark times, well, the dream him, at least. “I don’t like this. Please, just take the bag off my head? I feel like I can’t breathe.”
“Lady, I have no idea who you are beyond the name the Marines gave us about fifteen minutes before they rang your doorbell.” Still, he rolled the bag up in a way that let some light in and allowed her to breathe easily, but she still couldn’t see where she was going. And they were moving, she realized suddenly. “Don’t attempt to throw the hood off, or I’ll put you on the floor and hold you there.”
Holly was confused, something she rarely was. She had dreamed of this man. She even knew his name. Sure, in her dreams he had been from ancient times, so that couldn’t possibly be this man, but somehow she knew he was. She knew that this was the man who had kept her company when she was a child, knew that he was the one who’d kept her sane when she had ventured into electronics. This man was the one that had her pulling back and into herself, but he didn’t know her. She didn’t move. She didn’t do anything but gulp greedily at the cool air around her.
“Slow your breathing. There’s no reason to suck it in like it’s going out of style,” he said beside her.
“Five minutes,” someone up front announced.


About The Author

Having been a lover of the written word all her life April has always wanted to expand her horizons and write something that could be shared with the world. Only one thing held April back, the fact that the letters and numbers mixed and jumbled more often than not. Diagnosed with Dyslexia when she was eight years old April had to work her butt off just to be able to keep up with the other kids in reading and writing, so her love for fictional writing was tossed to the wayside for the moment.
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 Allyson, 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 from Allyson's blog is: 

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