Today I am excited to be a part of the Gambit, by C.L. Renault, blog tour. When I read the summary it sounded like I book I would enjoy reading, and I wanted to help spread the word and introduce this YA dystopian to you, too.
In Earth’s battle-ridden future, humans have evolved. Those with extraordinary skills rise to power and fame. Those without live in poverty.
Sixteen-year-old Willow Kent believed she was normal. But when a genetically-advanced military officer shows up in her village and questions her identity, long-buried secrets begin to emerge. With remarkable skills and a shocking genetic code the Core and its enemies will do anything to obtain, Willow suddenly finds the freedom she craves slipping through her fingers. Greed, corruption, and genetic tampering threaten every aspect of her existence as she’s thrust, unwilling, into the sophisticated culture of the elite Core city. To ensure peace, she must leave the past behind, marry a man she’s never met, and submit to the authority of a relentless officer with a hidden agenda of his own.
Her life has become a dangerous game. How much will she sacrifice in order to win?Get Gambit in paperback or for your kindle today!
A Web of Inspiration
My brain is a spider. Weird, right?
I’m not terribly crazy about spiders, mind you. Especially those gray ones with the hairy legs. Ugh! I almost stepped on one as a child. It was a dark morning, and I was barefoot, and when I flipped on the light, I saw that hairy beast right beside my toes. I’m pretty sure I screamed. And for weeks afterward, I would stand on my bed and lean over, propping my hands against the wall before turning on the light. No way was I going to step on that floor until I knew it was hairy-legged-spider-free.
But when I think of my brain, it reminds me of a spider. Not because they’re venomous and predatory and attack defenseless hobbits carrying The One Ring, but because they spin webs. Delicate, intricate webs that catch the morning dew and sparkle in the sunlight. Meaningful webs, like the ones Charlotte spun for Wilber to save his life.
When people ask me what inspired Gambit, I can’t really give them a quick answer. That’s because my brain is constantly spinning a web of thoughts. A strand here, a strand there, not really looking like much or making sense—until suddenly, they all come together.
It was an episode of Alphas on the Syfy channel that gave me a revelation moment for Gambit. My brain had been doing its normal thing, spinning strands of thought and speculation and wonder. One was about the 2012 Mayan prediction for the end of the world. Another had to do with an article I’d read about the instability of the US economy. Yet another was about the theory of evolution. Others were actively being spun—like the cool, superhuman abilities in the Alphas episode.
And then, somehow, my brain connected the superhuman characters with evolution; and those connected with my wonder at our planet alignment; and then it mixed in my fears about an economy that might be on the verge of collapsing.
A series of “what-ifs” followed. What if the Mayan prediction wasn't about the end of the world, but about a jump in human evolution? What if people all over the world started manifesting unusual abilities? What if those people were treated like celebrities, but then—as they became more numerous—were feared and eventually hunted down? What if those extraordinary people fought back by initiating a global economic meltdown? What if a terrible war followed, and the people with abilities won?
For me, it was one breathless moment. In that moment, my brain connected the strands—and I saw that future in all its darkness and possibility. So I handed it over to my imagination and let the magic begin.
So while I’m not a huge fan of spiders, I love what they can do. I love their dedication, their persistence, and their talent for connecting tiny strands together to create a thing of beauty.
Just like Charlotte.
About the author:
C.L. Denault is a speculative fiction writer who loves dreaming up tales of adventure and intrigue. A former systems analyst, she gave up her nerdy code-writing skills to care for her family (including a son with special needs), and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.
Writing stories and posting on The INFJ Café are her biggest passions, along with drinking coffee and watching sci-fi. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and kids, she can usually be found at a library or tucked away in the shadowy corner of a hip coffeehouse. She’s also been glimpsed sneaking into her garage, late at night, to work on her time machine.
Her debut novel, Gambit, is the first in a Young Adult dystopian series.