Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Blog Tour: Evolution: ANGEL By S. A. Huchton @riznphnx @GHBTours #Giveaway #Playlist #CharacterBios #TopTens

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Title: Evolution: ANGEL
Series:The Evolution Series #1
Author: S. A. Huchton
Genre: New Adult Superhero Romance
Expected Release Date: March 6th, 2014


Candace Bristol has always been obsessed with comic books, but in a world where the nightly news often mirrors these inked stories, her dreams of becoming a real superhero could actually come true. After being rescued by members of the government's AdvaNced Genetic EvoLution (ANGEL) Project four years ago, getting recruited for this elite team is all she's wanted.

Now 18, she's finally reached her goal after years of study and physical training, but little could have prepared her for life as a genetic experiment. As though coming to terms with her new ability to manipulate water isn't tough enough, she never expected to be swept off her feet by one of her fellow recruits.

With genetic alteration, the threat of physical and mental instability hangs over every superhero like a shadow. When one of their own tumbles over the edge of madness, Candace will have to choose between protecting the world, and saving the one who holds her heart.

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Character Bios:

In Evolution: ANGEL, the main character, Candace Bristol, is a HUGE superhero fan. She's a walking, talking encyclopedia of all things related to the ANGEL Project, from the tech specs on the superfast shuttles they use, to the superheroes themselves. In fact, she has a nearly complete set of all the ANGEL Project collector cards, of which she is very proud. I asked her if I could take a peek at them to pass on some stats, and she graciously sent me the requested information… as she didn't want me touching her cards and boxing the edges. *rolls eyes*

Here are some of her favorites:

Name: True Clemmons
Age: 23
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Years of Service: Four
Assigned Team: Pavo Team (West Coast)
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 135 lbs.
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Ability: True Clemmons commands the power of air. Her signature attack is a miniature tornado that devastates any enemy within range. Solid, pressurized walls of air serve as her defense, and she can launch herself up to 100 feet vertically.

Name: Amir Jones
Age: 23
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Years of Service: Four
Assigned Team: Pavo Team (West Coast) - Team Leader
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 194 lbs.
Eye Color: Hazel
Hair Color: Brown
Ability: Amir Jones manipulates sound pressure waves. Able to deafen a man with a flick of his wrist at over 100 yards, he can easily stun or permanently neutralize any opponent. His organizational skills, battle-tested strategies, and cool-headed calculation are the cohesive force of the Pavo Team.

Name: Trevor Ching
Age: 22
Hometown: San Mateo, California
Years of Service: Three
Assigned Team: Orion Team (West Coast)
Height: 7'2"
Weight: 347 lbs.
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Ability: Trevor Ching lends his remarkable superstrength to the northwestern United States defenses. Also gifted with heightened senses, what he lacks in speed, he compensates for in anticipation of his opponents moves.

Name: Marissa Hayden
Age: 23
Hometown: Ithaca, New York
Years of Service: Four
Assigned Team: Aquilla Team (East Coast)
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 128 lbs.
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Brown
Ability: Marissa Hayden's superspeed makes her an excellent first responder in any crisis. She has been clocked at sustained speeds over 45 mph. With a boost in strength as well, Marissa shines in disaster recovery, lending quiet calm to chaotic situations.

I also asked Candace for her stats, but she refused the request, citing that the information was still classified until the ANGEL Project's Public Relations department released it to the press. Sorry. I tried. Apparently the Freedom of Information Act doesn't apply to superheroes.

Top Tens:

Top Ten Favorite Literary Heroines

It's no secret to anyone that I'm a fan of strong women, especially in books. Granted, there is a place for weaker female characters (the world has plenty of those, too), but my favorites are always the women willing to fight for themselves, those they love, and what they want in life. Honestly, I don't want to read an entire novel about a woman bemoaning her life but not doing anything about it. So, if you're like me in that respect, you might know some of the characters on my Top Ten Favorite Literary Heroines List.

10. Anne Shirley (Lucy Maud Montgomery - "Anne of Green Gables")

Undoubtedly one of the first female characters in literature many women remember from their childhoods (at least from my age range and those who came before me), is spirited, red-headed Anne Shirley. Orphaned, adopted sight unseen because the couple thought she was a boy, and faced with the very real possibility of getting shipped off at any moment, Anne stares down fate and keeps her wits about her. She dives into every task with gusto and determination, and really doesn't take crap from anybody. She's straight-shooting and independent (which carries through to later books), and really a pretty decent role model for young girls, as far as the fictitious sort goes. Anne's books fall alongside the Little House on the Prairie books in my memory, but Anne's spirit always propelled her to the front of the line when I was younger.

9. Kevralyn Tainharsdatter (Mickey Zucker Reichert - The Renshai Chronicles)

She falls a little further down on this list, because she has a few cringeworthy moments of TSTL, but there's no denying the strength and determination of Kevral in this series. She loves as passionately as she fights (and, uh, two different men, at that), and wins her place as a female warrior in a predominantly male culture. She's so badass, a freaking GOD helps her father a child to save her from rape and losing all ability to bear children in the future. I don't know about you, but I don't think my ego would ever deflate after getting that kind of recognition for being awesome.

8. Keepsie Branson (Mur Lafferty - Playing For Keeps)

I wouldn't have a complete list without at least one superhero in it. You may not have heard of this one, but honestly, I can't recommend it highly enough. Keepsie is not a superhero in the traditional sense. Her only ability is that she cannot be stolen from. That is to say, once something is hers, nothing can physically take that away from her. All of her life, Keepsie hasn't been counted as much more than second rate, but events unfold within the story that make her (and her other second rate super friends) key players in protecting the city (and, by extension, the world). What I like most about Keepsie is her transition from virtual nobody to how she embraces her inner strength and loyalty to her friends, and realizes that no matter how small you are, you can make all the difference when it comes to saving the day.

7. Alexia Tarabotti (Gail Carriger - The Parasol Protectorate series)

Both smart, fearless, and rational, Alexia may not have a soul, but she still has heart. Her deductive reasoning skills propel her to sit on an advisory council for the Queen of England, and her wits and stubborn streak win her the heart of a nobleman and Alpha Werewolf. She's also not the least bit squeamish about whacking a nogoodnik with her parasol for their poor manners or, heaven forbid, wasting perfectly good cake.

6. Josephine "Jo" March (Louisa May Alcott, "Little Women")

Maybe it was a sign of what was to come later, but Jo is probably one of my favorite literary characters ever. She's a writer. She's smart. She's independent. She's kind. When I grow up, I want to be Jo March for realsies. She's grounded in reality, yet retains the ability to dream and imagine. She's brilliant.

5. Daenerys Targaryen (George R. R. Martin - A Song of Fire and Ice (a.k.a. - Game of Thrones)

I hesitate to use this one, because, while she fits with the literary fictional characters I'm using for this list, I, admittedly, have not read these books. I don't care if that makes me a bad geek, I love that show and I love Dany. If you're not a GoT watcher/reader, Daenerys is the last of the line of nobles that were dethroned in a bloody revolt. She was born en route to exile, and got stuck with a really yucky brother that sees her as goods to trade in order to restore himself to power. She's married off to a barbarian (for real. Conan has NOTHING on Drogo), but the tables turn when she and her husband develop an actual relationship. While this is not good news for her brother, it's the beginning of Dany's rise to complete badassery and her current moniker of Mother of Dragons. Like REAL dragons. But while she's not beyond slaughtering her enemies, she only fights when the enemy is too stupid to realize how smart she is and how screwed they are, or when an injustice is in sore need of correction. She could be both a feared and loved ruler, because while her punishment is swift, it is also just. Basically, I love her, and won't be a bit surprised if GRRM kills her off. Because that's kind of his thing. WHY MUST HE TAKE AWAY THE THINGS I LOVE? *sob*

4. Lady Jessica Atreides (Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson - The Dune Saga)

There are many, many of these books in this series, but one of my favorite moments is the installment titled House Harkonnen (Herbert/Anderson). I actually met Mr. Anderson at DragonCon last year and bought a copy of this one (which he signed), and thanked him personally for renewing my faith in Science Fiction as a place for women, too. Lady Jessica is ordered to produce a female heir with her husband (she has that level of control over her body, so this is well within her means), but because she's actually fallen in love with Duke Atreides, she willingly gives him the son he desperately wants. She goes against everything she has been taught and trained for, bucking the very system responsible for her existence, to give a gift to the person she cares about above all others. Also, she can kill you with her brain, probably, so there's that too.

3. Katniss Everdeen (Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games series)

I don't need to tell you much about who Katniss is, because there aren't too many people left that don't know. One of my favorite parts of the trilogy is in the third book, Mockingjay, and the discussion between Peeta and Gale about which of them will be her choice. It's easy. It will be the one she can't live without. Katniss is a survivor, but will also do everything in her power to help those around her survive as well. Some may see that reflection on her character as cold or calculating, but real people make choices about their relationships in exactly this way every single day, whether or not it's consciously done.

2. Hermoine Granger (JK Rowling - Harry Potter series)

Unless you live under a rock, I don't think I have to explain why Hermoine is amazing. The Brightest Witch of Her Age is precisely that, and serves as a constant companion, advisor, and friend to those with the good taste to know what a treasure she is.

1. Meg Murray (Madeleine L'engle - "A Wrinkle in Time")

A Wrinkle in Time still remains one of my favorite books of all time, even though I first read it in the fourth grade. I re-read this whole series of books a few years back, and they still hold up. I think what I love about this character most is how REAL she is. She's uncomfortable in her own skin, but that doesn't stop her from protecting her younger brother from the rest of the world that doesn't understand how special he is. What makes her so real is that she's like most people, strong when it's the most critical, but not without shortcomings. She can't do everything she wants to do yet, but it's left to her to figure out how to make it happen, and she does, refusing to give up. Not only is she compassionate, but she's smart on top of it, and uses her brain AND her heart to save the people that matter to her the most.

So that's my list, as best as I can manage. I'd like to think that someday one of my characters will make this list for someone else, as I think the world needs more Hermoines and Keepsies in it, so that's what I write. I know real women like these heroines. I know men like them as well. What makes them rise above the rest is not really their gender, but their humanity. Their ability to overcome obstacles while holding on to the people they love, and remembering that, no matter who you are or where you came from, everyone can become the hero that saves the day.


There are quite a few songs that spoke to me when it came to writing this series. Some are very specific to scenes, but others carried across the three-book series thematically.

1. Poison & Wine, by The Civil Wars: Youtube photo youtube_32.png

This is one of two songs that covers the series. This one is more about the romantic relationships of the characters, but there's a line in it, "Your hands can heal, your hands can bruise," that really jumped out at me. Everything a superhero does is magnified and the smallest mistake can have drastic consequences. Their actions, while they may save people, can also mean death if they choose incorrectly.

2. Radioactive, by Imagine Dragons: Youtube photo youtube_32.png

Now here's a song for my superheroes in general. One of the "tropes" of comic books is the exposure to chemicals and radiation being responsible for a character transforming into this being with mythical powers. My superheroes use this method, but the difference is that rather than "stumbling" into it, the ANGELs have signed up for this program willingly. They work hard to pass the tests they go through before they're allowed into the Project. Once they're in, they face a series of treatments that includes system saturation of a drug followed by doses of gamma radiation to kick off the genetic transformations. So, truly, they are radioactive. Also, this song rocks.

3. Without a Word, by Birdy: Youtube photo youtube_32.png

With all the relationships in this series, there's a struggle with trust issues as each character deals with their own pasts and tries to reconcile that with who and where they are now. Candace spends a good amount of time trying to earn that trust with everyone she comes into contact with, especially with the person she loves above all others.

4. Wait It Out, by Imogen Heap: Youtube photo youtube_32.png

I'm just gonna leave this here. I'm hesitant to say much about why this song is important as it's hard to do without giving spoilers. But, if Evolution: ANGEL were a movie, this could be the song for the closing credits. There's definite sadness, but, to me, there's a spark of hope as well.

5. In the Next Room, by Neon Trees: Youtube photo youtube_32.png

If Wait It Out is the song for the closing credits, here's the song for the cut scene. As these books went on, Maroon 5 and Neon Trees sort of took over my playlist, and this song is going to make a lot more sense once books two and three are available in a few months. Though, with the bonus scene included at the end of Evolution: ANGEL, it's probably not a stretch of the imagination to see where I'm going with this tune.

So that's a peek inside my musical inspiration! I assembled a playlist on Spotify for the whole series, so if anyone would like to see more, they can find that here:  photo Spotify-128.png

About The Author:

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A geek of all trades, Starla Huchton has been crafting stories in various genres since 2007. Her first novel, THE DREAMER'S THREAD was released as a full cast audiobook podcast, becoming a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. After releasing short fiction of steampunk, noir fantasy, and other varieties, she released the first three books of the Sci-Fi Romance ENDURE series in 2013. All three books of the EVOLUTION series will be released in 2014, as well as a Steampunk Fantasy novel, MASTER OF MYTH (the Antigone's Wrath series, book 1), which was the first place winner of the Crested Butte Writers' contest, The Sandy, in 2012.

When not writing, Starla trains three Minions, a black lab, and a military husband whilst designing book covers for independent authors and publishers at Designed By Starla.

Author Links:

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Giveaway: (US Only)

*All packs include ebook and print copies of Evolution: ANGEL

Prize Pack #1

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Movies: Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, X-Men First Class Batman, Flash, and Superman Figures (because no one should have to watch movies alone!)

Prize pack #2

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Avengers backpack
Avengers notebooks
Iron Man & Captain America figures
Spiderman pencils
Spiderman holographic sticker

Prize Pack #3

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Wonder Woman journal, pens, and caped coffee mug
The above giveaway is DOMESTIC ONLY.


An e-copy of Evolution: ANGEL.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh my god! I LOVE Keepsie. She was a great character, and the whole crew. :D Great superheroes. :D

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