Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: So, A Scientist and a Knight Walk Into a Lab...

...and then realize you can't drink lab grade ethanol.

Today as part of the Blogger Book Fair, I'm hosting L. Blankenship. Actually, that's not quite right: Joanna Lyon, the heroine of my novella Lyon's Legacy, is hosting Anders, a knight in Blankenship's Disciple books, in the organ cloning lab where she works. Can two people from such different backgrounds understand each other, let alone keep the lab in one piece? Keep reading to find out; sample links and a Rafflecopter giveaway are at the end.

 As we eavesdrop on them, Joanna (or Jo) has just asked Anders what it means to be Blessed by Saint Woden:

Anders: Saint Woden saw the makings of a knight in me, on my Blessing-day, and gave me a knight's gifts: anticipation, to know where the enemy's sword will go, and speed to beat him there. As I'm of Woden's bloodline, there was little surprise that he took me for a disciple. (tips his head, considering Joanna) You know what it means for your blood to be the bridle they fit you with, it would seem? How have you fought the bit?

 Joanna (looks up "bridle" and "bit" on her handheld before responding):I refused to become a musician the way my uncle wanted me to. Instead, I studied science. If you weren't a knight, what would you rather be?

 Anders: What else is there to be, aside from what the saints ask? They defend their disciples, and in turn we defend them. It's true I've wished I could ride to some small barony and take post as a simple garrison knight --  (drifts a bit closer, curious about the vat-grown kidney on the workbench beside her.) You're a physician? Of some sort. (a smile) What does that require of you?

Joanna (sighs) It requires more education and credits than I have. But I will get my doctorate, no matter how long it takes. What kind of training did you need to become a knight?

Anders: (with a shrug) Swords and shields, lances and horses. Child's play at first and then the honest work. (draws his sword, twirls it over one hand and it's back in the sheath in a blink) I meant to ask what is expected of you, as a scientist, what duties? You have no saints, but none escape duty. 

Joanna: (mutters under her breath) We don't have saints, but we do have devils. (to Anders) Be careful with that sword; you might break something. My job at Golden Helix is to make sure the organs we grow for transplant are healthy and suitable for use. What I want to do once I get my Ph.D. is to study genetics. (checks an organ and adds more nutrients to the solution) So, do you ride from place to place, or are you stationed at a castle?

Anders: I'm a sergeant of the Prince's Guard, and Master of Horse -- and you tend to your... (eyes the disembodied kidney) pets. Which would be a quiet life to lead, perhaps, so where do you find your... pleasures? Or do these 'devils' keep you alert?

Joanna: (Puzzled) Pets? What pets? I don't have any pets. These organs are for other people who need them. Work and study keep me too busy for hobbies. But I take it you have some of your own?

Anders: (puzzled) You do nothing but work? Truly? Even the saints don't expect so much duty from us. Surely you have time for a drink with a friend or two, now and then. (sidling a little closer, arms folded across his chest)

Joanna: (pointedly trying to ignore this man encroaching on her personal space): 
What's your biggest accomplishment so far, and what do you want to do with your life?
Anders: (adding a twist to his smile) I'm the first to win the jousting tournament for three years running, and then... (his smile fades down to a pinched mouth) No, not that. I married. Better than I had any business to. It made my mother happy, and it (a determined frown) proved her husband wrong about me. I mean to prove them all wrong. I'll do right by Kate, and be a good father to her baby. What would you prove yours wrong about? 
Joanna: My uncle thinks I'm meant to be a great musician because my great-grandfather was one, but I hate performing. Why would people think you can't be a good husband and father?
Anders: They see only what they wish -- the king's bastard, whose existence torments the poor queen, who fucks every girl to cross his path -- (turns away, angry, but offers Joanna a polite bow) Your pardon, m'lady. It's little to do with you. Or me, in truth. (he pauses for a moment) You've no love of music, then? This quiet life is what you wish? (he looks around the lab, the softly whirring machines.) Where do you find your... pleasures?
Joanna: I don't care about f-bombs; I drop them all the time myself. But pleasures? Fun? (returns to work for a few minutes) I visit my sick mother every two weeks, but that's hardly a barrel of laughs. And my last boyfriend--how long ago was that?--he only wanted me for one thing....
Anders: (leans against the bench again, within arm's reach of Joanna, and gives her a moment to finish but she doesn't) Whereas you would be wanted for your wisdom, for your skills. What manner of drink would you meet a friend for? If your... (with a glance at the organs in their vats) odd pets give you leave to go. 
Joanna: Well, Anders, it's not every day I get to chat with a knight in shining armor, but my handheld's telling me my supervisor is headed this way, and I don't think she'd appreciate having you here. Take care of that family of yours. (sigh) And maybe someday I'll meet my knight in a nice white lab coat.

Anders: (with a polite nod before he leaves) Good day to you, fräulein.
Disciple, Part III back cover

Kate fought for her place as a healer in the war’s front lines. Serving her homeland has been her goal since her magical gifts earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the kingdom’s greatest healer. She believes she’s prepared.

But nothing’s simple when defending a besieged capital city — or her heart.

She loves the prince, who means to protect her even though his duties as a knight keep him on the battlements, fighting the enemy’s monstrous army.

Kate’s husband is the one who checks on her, lingers over dinner, and slowly but surely charms her. She’s all too aware that her beloved prince threatened to kill him if he touches her.

As the enemy thunders against the city walls, the kingdom needs more from Kate than just her healing magic. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.

Kate believed she's ready for a war. She isn't.

DISCIPLE, PART III will be available on September 1, 2013!

DISCIPLE, PART I and PART II are available now.
There are samples and goodies at L. Blankenship's book blog.
Sample PART ISample PART II

To buy the books, click here.

General book blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know that author! Cool the third book will be out soon.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

It's a small blogging world, Alex!

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