Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Seventeen Blog Tour! (+$50 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway)

Title: Seventeen
Author: Mark D. Diehl
Series: Seventeen #1
Pages: 384
Publisher: Fencetree Productions, LLC
Date Published: October 30th 2013
Format: eBook
Genre: Dystopian
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Corporations control all of the world’s diminishing resources and all of its governments, dividing the world into two types of people: those who unquestioningly obey, and those who die.

Most of the world’s seventeen billion humans are unconscious, perpetually serving their employers as part of massive brain trusts. The ecosystem has collapsed, naturally growing plants have been declared illegal, and everything from food to housing to medicines must be synthesized from secretions of genetically modified bacteria. Only corporate ambulatory workers can afford patented synthetic food, and non-corporates fight for survival in the city’s sprawling, grotesquely violent ghetto known only as the Zone.

Nineteen year-old waitress Eadie challenges the hierarchy when she assists a bedraggled alcoholic known as the Prophet, drawing massive social-control machinery into play against her. The Prophet predicts she’s the general who will lead a revolution, and a few desperate souls start listening. How can she and her followers possibly prevail when she’s being hunted by a giant corporation and the Federal Angels it directs?

~~~Try an Excerpt!~~~
“I know what you did, Sett. There is a Federal Angel with me right now. He wants to talk to you.  He would like to know why you helped some waitress escape after she killed Matt Ricker. Switch to visual. Now.”

He blinked hard and wiped a palm across his forehead. A sickly gray light seemed smeared along the opposite wall, having filtered through the filthy window at the end of the hallway. The floorboards creaked as he shifted his weight.

“Is it true, Sett?” his mother asked. “Why would you get yourself involved in a debacle like that? Why? When everything was going so well for you?”

He stared down at the stained plywood floor, now spotted with teardrops.

“What were you thinking? A waitress? You know better than to go getting messed up with people like that. They’ll drag you right down with them, every time. You come home right now and explain to this Angel exactly what happened; I’m sure he’ll understand. But I’m not going to lie to you. There will still be fallout. Society does not tolerate wretched, uncivilized behavior. I can’t guarantee you’ll be allowed to remain at Fisher.”

“I wasn’t thinking at all, Mother. I was just doing it, all of a sudden.” He sniffed. “She was hurt, and they started it, not her. Nobody else would help. What was I supposed to do? Just let her die?”

“Oh, Sett.” His mother sighed. “Of course you were.”
~~~Ten Things About Mark YOU Don't Know~~~
1. I’m from Iowa City, Iowa, which is home to the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and thus a kind of Mecca for writers. After growing up around all these freaky people scribbling in coffee shops, I swore off writing and promised myself I wouldn’t let that happen to me. I wouldn’t have, either, except that I just felt compelled. I ended up at the University of Chicago, in a graduate program for creative writing, ending up a freaky scribbler, after all.

2. I grew up alone with my crazy mom. My dad was remarried in another town with a family of his own, and I had no siblings. My early academic performance reflected my unstable home life, such that even though my standard test scores were in the top percentile every year, I flunked half of 7th grade and half of 9th grade for failure to turn in homework.

3. I was once chased out of South Korea by my (Korean) girlfriend’s powerful family and the police. Her parents were suspicious of her story one day and had someone follow her, thus learning that she was dating me. Later that evening she found herself in a locked room, with her parents telling her through the door that they planned to arrange a marriage to the first Korean they could find in order to save the family name. She escaped at three in the morning and made it to my place by four, but the police were involved and it wouldn’t be long until they found us. We had no choice but to try and flee the country, but we didn’t have time to wait for the United States to issue her a visa. Within twenty-four hours, we had to be in some yet-unknown third country. (This true story will soon be a book, so stay tuned!)

4. I ended up in law school by default. My wife and I arrived in my hometown of Iowa City with less than ten dollars between us. We realized that the university system would qualify us for student loans, university housing, and other benefits, so we applied to graduate school right away. I applied concurrently to the University of Iowa College of Law, College of Dentistry, and College of Business (MBA) programs, planning to go wherever I was accepted. I got into all three, and then I thought I could be the first guy ever to have attended all three programs simultaneously, but the dental school refused. The law school and the MBA program had a joint degree deal, but the first hour of orientation at the business school had us building towers out of note cards and learning to cooperate. I split for the law school, where at least I didn’t have to pretend to like everyone.

5. I was once homeless in Japan for a few weeks.

6. My favorite subject in law school was corporate law. I used to sit in lecture and daydream about all I could get away with if I had a corporation. Believe me, in skilled hands, a United States corporation is like a license to print money, a get out of jail free card, and a cloak of invisibility, all rolled up into a nice little package.

7. I’m great at fixing broken things. My father never taught me how to build a birdhouse or do handyman stuff like a lot of guys’ dads did. My skills are not conventional. But I have a knack for repairing objects and machines, using their original parts, making them at least function again without any new components and often without tools. I might bypass a broken switch so you have to plug in a lamp to turn it on, or fashion a dial from a piece of plastic from the radio’s side, but I will find a way to make it work.

8. I was injured fighting a raccoon when I was four.

9. I am a founding board member (1 of 3) of Think LOCAL! Community Networking, a non-profit organization which seeks to bring neighborhoods together and support small business. It is now a multi-state organization with over 1500 members. I also founded and currently lead a networking group for creative people in the Portland, Maine area called Loosely Affiliated Local Artists (“LALA”).

10. I have adopted and spent years caring for rescued animals, mostly reptiles, which I believe are the most neglected of pets. Each type of reptile has its own needs for heat, humidity, water, diet, ultraviolet radiation, pH, substrate, and more, and two different types rarely can share the same habitat. People buy them because they’re small and cheap, not understanding that the animals will suffer without monitoring all the various inputs, or especially the fact that they grow and live a long time. A little green turtle you get for $10 at the pet store might soon grow to the size of a football and need a $200 tank, and many live for 40 years. A mature tortoise may be as large as a truck tire and have a lifespan of 80 years or more. The little tadpole you buy in a kit so your kid can watch its metamorphosis might grow to into a frog the size of a grapefruit and live 15 years, requiring a habitat with controlled humidity and live insects every day. Please tell your family and friends that reptiles deserve a healthy life like any other pet.
~~~Meet Mark!~~~
Mark D. Diehl writes novels about power dynamics and the way people and organizations influence each other. He believes that obedience and conformity are becoming humanity’s most important survival skills, and that we are thus evolving into a corporate species.
Diehl has: been homeless in Japan, practiced law with a major multinational firm in Chicago, studied in Singapore, fled South Korea as a fugitive, and been stranded in Hong Kong.
 After spending most of his youth running around with hoods and thugs, he eventually earned his doctorate in law at the University of Iowa and did graduate work in creative writing at the University of Chicago. He currently lives and writes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

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  1. The excerpt. I always love getting a snapshot of a book! I do appreciate that you want to better the lives of some of the most neglected critters out there, Mark. (Though to be honest, I will never let anyone bring a snake into my home -- a Bearded Dragon is fine though. I'm more into the furry mammal pets.)

    1. Hi, Glenda!

      When you're used to other reptiles, snakes are no big deal. They have the same little faces, but no limbs and no claws. Think of them as swaddled infant lizards, and you'll be fine. Of course, bearded dragons are easy to love.

  2. I think a guy who fought raccoons from such a young age must have definitely put some serious action into this book!

    1. I never thought of it like that before, K.C! Maybe so. No raccoons in this one, though. Nature has been eradicated by the time of "Seventeen."

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!
    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  5. I like the blurb. Sounds like life today :) I have never read a dystopian novel, would be a chance from what I normally read now. Thank you for the chance to win.

  6. I liked all of the interesting facts!

  7. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  8. The 10 things I did not know about Mark

  9. i like how you do the "meet the author" segment.. very clever great book blog!

  10. Looks like a great read. I like the excerpt. Thank you for the nice giveaway!

  11. Its great to see a preview- and a giveaway is awesome!

  12. I like the Excerpt.