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A Hero’s Blog Hop– J.C. Nikolaiev

Starting today and ending on July 31st, over 100 Authors and Bloggers are sharing their favourite things about romance heroes–whether it’s a a character post or what we love about romance and men in general.

 Each of the stops will be doing a giveaway. So don’t forget to stop on by the blog hop home page to jump to the other participants’ blogs. So what about the prizes mentioned?

We also have THREE grand prizes. By going to each blog and commenting (with your email address), you can be entered to win one of these prizes as well. That means you can be entered over 100 times to win, if you wanted to. How’s that for winning chances?

Prizes

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

So don’t forget to enter and comment because each entry will let you have a chance to win one of these great prizes. (When you comment, please remember to put in your email address. We need to know how to contact you if you win!)

For my entry, I decided to write a new scene involving my hero from book 1 (Hunting the Shadows). This takes place after the book however, and there are clues within about future books (I count at least 5 clues).

I will personally be giving away a DNA pendant, so don’t forget to enter down below for your chance to win.

*************

Death was never pretty. Despite the glamorization Hollywood liked to paint through shows such as CSI and Bones, murder was messy and it was rarely simple. Neither was it easily solved in a few days.

The woman had been found in an alley, dumped behind a garbage bin as though she was nothing but trash. Local police had already been on the scene when J.C. and Amy pulled up. The call about an unknown woman shouldn’t have flagged the Centre at all, but what had, was the tattoo at her wrist—a double helix that indicated she was part of the Shadow Ops projects.

She was one of them.

And that necessitated the investigation and removal of the corpse. The Council wasn’t going to take the chance of anyone finding out about the program for creating and training psychics.

“Nikolaiev, over here.” Anyone who heard the voice of the woman who’d spoken would have assumed she was soft. Her melodic voice fooled most people, until they had to face her no nonsense, cool shield. She was one contradiction after the other.

She was also in the pockets of the Centre.

J.C. stepped around Amy, dragging his hand lightly along the small of her back before he nodded at Detective Danielle Cochrane. Digging out his badge, he showed it to two officers who let them through. Special Agent J.C. Nikolaiev, Special Cases Unit. The cover allowed him to move around in modern society without anyone questioning who he was or what he was doing. It meant he had access to whatever resources he needed.

“What can you tell us?” Pressing his lips into a thin line, J.C. looked past the yellow ‘Do Not Cross’ tape and the dozen uniformed officers. The alley the victim was found in was off a busy street, beside the Devil’s Playground, a nightclub known for illegal drug trafficking.

“She’s one of yours.”

“You wouldn’t have called otherwise, Danielle.”

“Female. Caucasian. Maybe twenty-two.” She shrugged and brushed blonde and black hair away from her face with her arm. Her gloves, J.C. noted, were stained with blood. “Cause of death is from sharp force trauma to the neck, approximately eight hours ago. I take it you’re bringing the body back with you?”

He nodded. “Thanks. Keep me informed if you hear anything more about this.”

When Danielle turned to talk to the medical examiner, J.C. moved to get a better look at the crime scene. there wasn’t anything special about the locations. Bodies turned up in alleys all the time. The victim probably had been out partying when she’d been killed. To anyone, it probably looked like a random murder.

J.C. wasn’t so sure. This wasn’t the first death he’d been called to in the last few weeks. One was random. Two coincidental. Three…now that was a pattern. And one he didn’t like.

“I’m not picking up any impressions under the violent energy left behind. Whoever did this wiped the area clean.” Amy said telepathically. As always, he felt the heat it left behind, the warmth of her love, even as her presence filled his head.

Stopping a few feet from the body, J.C. turned to face her. “You don’t need to go farther. You can stay here if you want.”

Her pupils dilated as her senses spiraled outward in an attempt to read the area. She’d taken off the leather band from her wrist, the one he’d given her to block the thoughts and feelings of others.  “I’m coming with. There might be something closer to the body.  Right now, the strongest vibes I’m getting is coming from the witnesses who found the body. They’re not telling the complete truth, by the way. They weren’t just passing by. The detective should check the woman’s pockets. She’s trying to hide the drugs in there.”

As far as J.C. was concerned, the murder took precedence. Drugs were too much of a nightly occurrence here and he knew exactly what they could do to a person. They were the least of his worries right now.

“All right. Let’s go check it out, but if you start to get overwhelmed at any moment, I want you to step back.” He stroked his thumb over her naked wrist, a reminder that there were limitations to what they could do.  This wasn’t the first time she’d dealt with murder, but that didn’t matter, death was never easy to be around.

He’d been around it all his life and still he wasn’t used to it.

“I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me, J.C.”

His lips tugged up in a grin. “Let’s get this over with then. Sooner we get her checked out, the sooner we can get back.” J.C. pressed a quick kiss to her lips because at the moment, that was all he was capable of doing. He wanted to reassure her, wanted to shelter her from this, but he knew he couldn’t. He needed her help. So he lingered for a few seconds longer, his heart flipping when she leaned into him and caught his waist.

Reaching into his pocket, he drew out a set of gloves and pulled them on, then went to kneel beside the victim.

J.C. frowned at the twisted, broken body of the woman lying in her own blood. She’d been shoved behind a garbage bin, her body half propped against the brick wall of the club. Bruises marred her arms and darkened her jaw.

He brushed back tangled, bloodied hair from a face that was narrow and pale. Sightless brown eyes stared at nothing in particular. Whoever she was, she wasn’t familiar to him. J.C. glanced down at the tattoo that inked her wrist. Lifting it up to the dim light from the street lamps, he studied the marks—her identification number and the small symbol that indicated she’d been part of the Finders division—specialists involved in tracking children with the potential for psychic ability.

“Her psychic energy has been drained. Like the others. There’s nothing left.” Amy whispered. “I can’t feel anything.”

“How can someone do that?”

“I don’t know.”

Touching his fingers to the blood, J.C. focused his mind to see into the molecular structure of the woman’s genetic code. Tried see who she was but there was nothing. The blood had lost its memory of the host.

“What’re you doing?”

He blinked his mind free and shot a look over at Amy as she pressed a hand against his shoulder lightly. Although pale, she was holding her own.  “I was trying to read her molecular structure but it’s denatured. I can’t get a reading.” Pulling a knife from his pocket, he eased the blade out and pressed it against the woman’s wrist at the tattoo. “I’ll have to remove the chip. If we’re lucky, it won’t be erased.”

All the specialized agents had a chip embedded under their skin. It hosted their personal information, just in case identification was otherwise made impossible. Only the Centre had the encryption code to read it. Pressing his blade against her skin, he made an incision.

“This is the third victim. It’s starting again, isn’t it?”

He caught the flash of the chip and removed it. “Yeah,” he murmured. “It is. Someone’s after the psychic agents again.”

*************

Amy has spent her entire life in isolation. Locked away in the Centre, a secret government facility where children with extraordinary abilities are raised as highly skilled fighters, she longs for a normal life. A life where being around people doesn’t overload her sensitive telepathic mind. A life where she can’t see through the eyes of a murderer as he hunts his next victim…

J.C. Nikolaiev was a top researcher, but when his conscience got the better of him, he tried to destroy his work and free his subjects–and was imprisoned as a traitor. To save himself and prevent more people from dying, J.C. must catch the  serial killer stalking the halls of the facility. But his only leads come from a woman whose thoughts have invaded his mind…

Finally out of the psych ward, Amy joins forces with J.C. to find the killer before he closes in on them. Can their growing attraction withstand the truths they uncover?

You can get book 1 in the Shadow Ops project here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, KoboCarina Press, Audible.com

Stop by the blog hop home page read about the romance heroes  and the love of romance heroes of other authors and/or bloggers.

UPDATED: THE WINNERS ARE SUSAN W AND SHANNA ROBERSON

Medically Electronic Skin

Something that didn’t come out in Hunting the Shadows is that all the agents are hooked up with one of these electronic skin patches that monitors the health of the person during certain periods of stress. Recently, a scientist reported about the development of such a sci-fi-ish innovation at the 243rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

So what is it? It’s like a temporary tattoo that diagnoses health problems (and maybe even delivers treatments) wirelessly. The patches are about the thickness of a human hair and apparently the wearer won’t even feel it on their skin. However, despite their size, the electronic circuits can transmit data to the patient’s cell phone and to the doctor’s office. The patches were developed not only to be flexible, but also stretchable to move with the natural motions of the skin. In order to make the silicon-based wafers used for electronics bendable, they had to use very small pieces in a wavy pattern.

“We had to structure the system in a strategic way that would avoid any strains or stresses that would crack or fracture these tiny bits of silicon.”– John Rogers

The patches are then transferred to the skin just like a temporary tattoo, with water and a backing that peels off. While the early versions wore off a day after or as soon as they got wet, the newest ones use a modified spray-on type bandage over the patch to protect the circuits from water and wear and tear.

Our newest patch can measure muscle activity and stimulate the muscles. That’s useful for rehabilitation after an accident or long periods of bed rest or even for helping people move prosthetic limbs more easily.” And with plans to add Wi-Fi capabilities, electronic skin could also send information back to a physician.

Not only will it be noninvasive, it will be able to monitor the patient in their daily routine instead of during the often, stressed period while at the hospital for tests.

Journal Entry– J.C.

One of my patients fell sick today. She’d been recovering and I thought the setback wouldn’t affect her, but I was wrong. Her body is failing and I don’t know how to help. I’m doing what I can but it’s been days and she isn’t getting better. She just keeps getting worse…

Damn it.

This shouldn’t be happening. Who the hell gave the Council the right to play with lives this way? She didn’t deserve this. Even guinea pigs are treated better. It’s disgusting what they’re getting away with and no one has the power to stop it.  But one day their luck is going to run out. It has to. We can’t keep living like this.

–J.C. age 27

 

 

Journal Entry– J.C.

I’m losing my mind.

There’s no other explaination for the voice I’m hearing. I don’t know who she is, but surely I’m stressed enough to be hearing things that don’t exist.  It has to be a ploy from the Council and I can’t let them play me. I won’t.

They can’t know what I’m planning.

I’ll keep aware of the situation, but I’m not going to let them manipulate me like this. But who is she? There are no telepaths at the Centre. That is, if she really is real and not just a figment of my brain. I’ve run tests, but so far, I haven’t been able to get any conclusive results. How does one test for a telepathic hacker?

An increased neuron activity in the communication centre of the brain? I’ll figure out who she is. One way or another. If I’m going crazy, I’ll deal with that. Somehow. For now, my focus has to be on work and that’s more important than…whatever is going on in my head. I can put up shields to block her and for now, that’ll have to do.

– J.C. (age 26)