Friday, October 4, 2013

Cover Reveal: Enhanced by Courtney Farrell


Michelle was born into the Institute’s eugenics program, where doctors breed people like livestock. One powerful man decides which children grow up, and which disappear. Culls are dumped in the slum outside Institute walls, and those kids never come back. Michelle has survived every purge, and she’s about to win a luxurious life as a breeder. When her brother and her boyfriend are both mysteriously culled, despite their high scores, she goes over the wall to find them. Alone in the ghetto, she’s in trouble until handsome, streetwise Dillon stakes a claim to her. She’s mortified because the Enhanced see Norms as little more than animals. But the doctor is using the missing boys in a twisted experiment, and she needs Dillon’s help to stop him. Michelle must rescue the boys, but a plague is spreading, the doctor is after her, and Dillon isn’t thrilled to help her find her lost boyfriend.


The little redheads shifted uncomfortably. Finally, one looked up at the teens. "Don't tell," she pleaded. "We just come here sometimes to look for-"
"They were both here too," interrupted her sister, elbowing her. "And there's no rule-"
"Shhh!" Sylvia cut them off. "Look."
Far away, men appeared in the alley. They moved slowly, keeping to cover when they could, like predators. Rosa walked along the top of a pipe with her baby on her hip. She climbed down and looked inside it, then nervously checked the dark mouths of other pipes.
"Euuw," Michelle murmured, as Rosa crawled inside one of the dark holes. "There've got to be spiders in there. Why would anyone….”
But then they saw why. As Rosa backed out of the hole, careful not to bump her baby's head on the rim, she dragged a large black duffel bag from its hiding place. She slung the long strap over one narrow shoulder. It looked heavy. With the baby on one hip and the bag on the other, the girl used the rim of the pipe to pull herself up. She moved off slowly, away from the oncoming men.
"She doesn't see them," said one triplet.
"She's baiting a trap, just like last time," said another.
"No, she's alone. Plus she brought the baby, and she didn't last time. She wouldn't use her baby as bait."
"A trap?" asked Sylvia, sounding concerned. "For who?"
"For the tattooed men," Sara answered. "The mean ones who…"
An awkward silence fell. The little girl tried again. "They…they catch women, even little girls sometimes, and…"
"Rape," Jennie said bluntly. "That's the word for it. Rape."
"Oh my God," Michelle said, meeting Sylvia's eyes. They both automatically looked out the window. Rosa hadn't made it very far.
The little redheads looked stricken. Two of them stared down their sister. "I know, I found it in a book," Jennie said defensively. She glared like it was all her sisters’ fault. "They'll get those men, those girls will, just like last time."
"Jennie, she's alone, take a look for yourself," exclaimed Susan. "Don't be daft!"
"What?" Sylvia asked. "They got the men how?"
"They sent one girl in alone," Sara said. "But they hid all around her. She limped."
"Faking," a sister interjected. Sara nodded.
"Then when the men attacked, they shot them, from their hiding places."
"With arrows, and they threw big rocks," Jennie finished.
"There was blood everywhere and one girl…"
There was a long pause.
"And lots of the men were hurt too, and three or four of them didn't get up when the others ran away," Sara said. “They were dead."
"Dead." Jennie echoed. "Definitely dead. Served them right.”
In the alley below, the men were coming closer. The little mother worked hard, boosting the bag over pipes and clambering after it with her baby. After a while she took to setting the boy down and tossing the bag over each pipe, then carrying him over. The men spread out and began to move faster.
"They're coming! Go! Go now!" shrieked Jennie out the window. Rosa looked up in surprise and spotted the girls at the window. The she whipped her head around and saw the men. They were far away, but closing, moving a lot faster than she could over the obstacles. Rosa dumped the bag in the mouth of the nearest pipe, grabbed her baby, and took off as fast as she could.
"Shut up, Jennie!" Sara screamed, punching her sister’s shoulder. She was hysterical and making a lot of noise herself. "The guards will hear you, they'll come, and then what? The gate, the gate, just like our-"
Susan grabbed Sara’s wrists. "Shut up, please, please!"
Michelle and Sylvia just stared, not sure what they were talking about. Outside, Rosa was about even with the window and losing ground fast. The baby slowed her down and she wouldn’t leave him. The men encircled her, cut off her escape. She looked up, searching for a way up the wall, and found none. Rosa bent down, whispered in her baby's ear, and dropped him at the entrance to a pipe. He was afraid and wouldn't go in alone. She pushed him in, but he crawled back out. His cries echoed weirdly off the tall metal wall.
The men came closer. Against thirteen of them, Rosa had no chance. She yanked a metal pole out of the rubble and brandished it, swinging it at whoever came closest. A short, powerfully built man closed in and grabbed for the pipe. She faked high, and then slammed him in the knee. Screaming, he went down. The others tightened their circle around her, blocking her escape. The baby crawled underfoot, getting in the way while his mother tried to defend him. Rosa caught one more with the pole, right in the head, but then the others swarmed her, grabbing arms and legs and throwing her down on her back. Michelle screamed, forgetting the guards, forgetting everything except the horror in the shadows.
Sylvia ran across the room and slammed her hand on a red button that Michelle hadn’t noticed before.
"What the hell," Michelle started to say, but then a computer panel slid open, lit with a yellow glow.
"Ramirez, Sylvia Eve," Sylvia screamed into the screen. A red dot appeared. Sylvia leaned in, pressing her eye to the retinal scanner.
"Condition?" The computer voice sounded utterly calm.
"Emergency! Open panel!" Sylvia cried.
"Authorized, Ramirez, Sylvia, emergency intrusion alert," the computer responded coolly. A panel slid back, exposing an array of sleek weapons on the wall. Sylvia grabbed a long rifle and thrust it into Michelle's hands, then took another for herself.
Sylvia clicked over a little red button on Michelle's rifle. "Safety's off now. It's loaded. Put the laser dot where you want the bullet, pull the trigger. It'll recoil. Make short bursts."
"Are you out of your mind?" Michelle had never even seen a real gun before, let alone used one.
Sylvia got right in Michelle's face. "Look. Outside. Now."

Author Bio

Courtney Farrell was once a molecular biologist, but her habit of daydreaming destroyed far too many experiments. As it turned out, writing down the movies behind her eyes was a lot more fun than lab work. Courtney is the author of fourteen nonfiction books for young people, mostly on social and environmental topics. She lives with her family on a Colorado ranch where they support a barn full of freeloading animals, including a fat draft horse and a bunch of crazy chickens. Enhanced is her first novel.




  1. Interesting cover, title, and book premise! Thank you for sharing this, Yvonne. :)


Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog! I always love reading comments and getting to know my readers!

After some careful consideration, I've decided to become an award-free blog. Although I appreciate and am honored by each and every award I've received, your comments and friendship are enough award for me. Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness.

Due to way too many spam comments, I disabled the Anonymous User comments. We'll see if this works, otherwise I'll have to go back to word verification.