This is my stop during the blog tour for Scandal by Athena Grayson. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 12 till 25 June. See the tour schedule here.
Scandal (Scions of the Star Empire #1)
By Athena Grayson
Genre: Sci-fi dystopian with romantic elements
Age category: New Adult/ Adult
Release Date: 23 March 2017
They can have anything they want...except a future.
Nothing infuriates Princess Ione Ra more than having someone else take control of her reputation from her, and her old nemesis--gossip journalist Jaris Pulne--is poised to do just that with pilfered pics of her caught in a compromising position with her power-couple partner. As someone who's no stranger to manipulating the markets on her own social life, Ione knows the wrong scandal means social suicide.
For the other half of the power couple, Den Hades, his survival has depended on staying in his powerful father's shadow in order to protect his secrets. But on the very night of his one chance to earn a shot at becoming a Scion--and freedom from his father's ambitions, scandal threatens to tear him from Ione, or worse--force them together before their time.
Damage control turns into danger when their attempts to retrieve the images lead them both into the dark underbelly of the glittering city-planet, exposing secrets of both friends and foes that could lead to more than just social suicide.
You can find Scandal on Goodreads
Excerpt Fool’s Gambit
©2016 Athena Grayson
Denaat Hades held his blade extended, his arm outstretched. He held the lunge on one burning thigh muscle while he stood in near-complete darkness, waiting for the spectacle to begin. The landscape of the party had given way to the evening’s main event—an exhibition duel and bladework demonstration between himself and the Academy’s Blademaster with a twenty-five year record.
Gone were the ornamental topiary plantings that created nooks and alcoves for socializing, and gone was the impressive display of fine foods and the waterfall made from champ-ale bubbling and fizzing over cut-crystal held under pressurized glass until it burst out of the pursed lips of a crystal nymph into glasses for guests. They’d been discreetly cleared away for anti-gravity pods holding comfortable seating for up to a dozen guests. The pods jockeyed for position along x, y, and z axes based on the credit amounts donated by their occupants, except for the single, stationary pod holding his instructors and closest classmates, fixed to the floor at the edge of the ring of drones generating the light field for the dueling area.
Gone also was his shiny, holo-patterned suit and the starsilk shirt beneath it, and the ornamental lights in his hair. His finery—picked out by his class’s style consultant to display his status and wealth—was stuffed into a storage container in favor of light, form-fitting carbon-fiber armor, with a matching face mask. Gauntlets secured to his wrists generated power for the sensors emitting an electro-mesh shield around his body that shifted with the movements of his off hand. His weapon, an elegant blade of wire and light, derived its power from his main hand gauntlet and the glove that protected his hand. Tuned to full, the blade could melt steel or puncture the transparent alloy that made up the dome above his head.
Thankfully, this was an exhibition duel. The blades would sting, but not incapacitate or kill.
He waited, holding his ready position, as the banners came down, displaying his family’s banner, with the twinkling ribbons of support from classmates and other interested parties, and the Academy banner, under which Master Kenndar dueled. Tradition kept the Academy banner free of ribbons, but his neural interface told him the odds of his loss were just under fifty percent. The markets were calling this a close thing and the players in the markets were nothing, if not savvy odds-players.
The lights came up around the ring, plunging the shifting observation cars into darkness as Master Kenndar entered from the other side of the oval. He took his cue to step forward, meeting his opponent in the center of the ring. He executed the formal bow, hand-grip, and blade salute deserving of a worthy opponent and prayed his master’s teachings weren’t wasted. He returned to his ready position to await the chime beginning the match, but not before he glanced towards the stationary box and spotted her in the front row, the lights in her hair twinkling in time with the flashes of crystal on her dress.
Ione wore a small smile of bored amusement, echoing the expressions of probably everyone in the audience, and he knew their thoughts. Yet another Academy student, ready to show off for status and praise, as if the privileges of his born position didn’t already come with their own accolades. His gaze flicked to the VIP box and he saw another bored, slightly amused expression, only he knew this one masked keen interest. As if the man sensed his scrutiny, Invicti Hades lifted one eyebrow and Den heard the words as surely as if they’d been broadcast for all to hear. What new way have you found to disappoint me?
The lurking paranoia he’d lived with for ten years summoned itself to the forefront of his awareness as the lights in the arena changed to a soft blue. The chimes sounded for Ready and Arm, and his blade flared to golden life. Across the ring, Master Kenndar assumed his own ready position. Den felt the eyes of the spectators crawling over him, adding weight to his protective gear. Waiting for him to fail.
The last chime sounded. Engage!
He leapt forward, his awareness extended out to the blade’s end, as he’d been taught and trained by Kenndar to do for ten years. And knew he’d made a mistake.
You can buy Scandal here:
- Google Play
You can also find all the buy links for this book here on the author's website.
About the Author:
Athena Grayson likes kickass heroines, big-brained and sexy beta heroes who aren't afraid of strong women or their own feelings, and stories that turn the genre tropes sideways. If you're looking for something a little unexpected, a little more, and a lot of fun...this is your kinda place.
You can find and contact Athena here:
Interview with Athena Grayson
1. What is your favorite part of this book and why?
My favorite-favorite part is probably the ending, but I can't spoil it! ;D My second-favorite part of the book has to be near the beginning, where the male lead, Den Hades, is in the dueling ring, getting more desperate to impress his father by the second. In the Grand Game played by the heirs of the noble Houses, too much ambition can have far-reaching repercussions. You can read that excerpt here at http://athenagrayson.com/2017/03/the-star-empire-the-scions-are-coming/
2. If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I would probably fix my two main characters up by locking them in a room
but I would take Ione's forbidden best friend, Grassa Iktomi, out with me. We would hack drones and buzz them around high-society parties. Then I would give her a "Cinderella" evening where she got to be the star of the show (she can't right now, for Reasons).
3. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters. It's a brilliant send-up of MacBeth set in Pratchett's satirical Discworld (where he lampoons beloved fantasy tropes and current events with equal vigor) and if I could have created Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick...
4. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Usually my characters are mashups of things real people did, personality types I've met, and the "people in my head" who just start showing up and bugging me to tell their stories. They're not always forthcoming with their tales, either. And some of 'em are outright liars and make me dig for what they're *really* trying to tell me.
5. What made you want to become a writer?
Truthfully, I don't remember ever *not* knowing that I'd be a writer someday. In fourth grade, I made a collage of "what I want to be when I grow up" and "writer" made up most of it. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing, seeing as how my short-lived dreams of being a Roller Disco Queen never got off the ground. (hey, it was the end of the 70's!) I also wanted to go to outer space, but as a tourist. I still have hope...
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Scandal. These are the prizes you can win:
- 2 paperback copies of Scandal by Athena Grayson (US Only)
- 2 $10 Amazon Gift Cards (International)
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway