Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Science (Fiction) of Love by Aubrey Watt + Giveaway!

As the second week of the thrilling Insatiable Reads Book Tour comes to a close, I want to celebrate the release of Paragon with the lovely Aubrey Watt!

Today, Aubrey will be sharing how she merged science fiction and romance in her newest book, as well as a special sneak peek! Stay tuned for a chance to win a print copy of Paragon too! Readers, please help me welcome Aubrey to the blog.

The Science (Fiction) of Love: How A Smart, Sexy Protagonist Falls in Love with an Android in Paragon



I was inspired to write Paragon after reading the book Wired by Douglas E. Richards and falling in love with the character of Kira. Although I mostly write erotic romance, I wanted to tell an story about a smart, sexy protagonist. At the same time, I was waist-deep in philosophy, reading about the hard problem of consciousness in cognitive science while taking Stanford's online class in artificial intelligence. From this unlikely combination the character of Chal Davidson was born. She is a neuroscientist who helps to create an android prototype at a secret military base. Alan (the prototype) must learn everything from the beginning—how to talk, how to feel, and especially how to love.

Although 
Paragon has its share of science fiction thrills, the second half of the story focuses on the budding romance between the two main characters and the curiosity that drives both of them. This is a love story about discovering passion, and as Alan learns how to love, Chal begins to discover, albeit reluctantly, the passion that is hidden inside of herself. Her academic curiosity has launched her career at the expense of her real world relationships, but she has never been comfortable exploring her own emotions. Alan forces her out of her shell and into the real world.

Science fiction, and science fiction romance in particular, digs deep at the heart of human conflict and emotion. What does it truly mean to be human? What does it truly mean to love? In this book, I hoped to get at some of these major issues in philosophy and neuroscience while developing Alan and Chal's romance. I remember reading The Left Hand of Darkness for the first time in high school and being blown away by Ursula K. Leguin's portrayal of sexuality and love in an alien world. In a science fiction setting, authors can develop a completely different context for human emotion.

At its very best, science fiction romance can change the way we view the world and the humans who inhabit it. I only hope that 
Paragon can add in some small way to the universe of new and strange love stories in this genre.

Okay... I'm totally hooked. Who's with me??? Here's a little about the book...

Paragon
Aubrey Watt

Page Count: 252
Release Date: 3 March 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace (self-published)
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Thriller, Futuristic

In the middle of the Arizona desert, a hundred feet underground, the United States military is illegally developing the first emotionally sentient android. Classified top secret, the mission has failed to successfully awaken the first two androids created in the lab.

When brilliant neuroscientist Chal Davidson is called in to assist, the third android is just hours from being awakened. By the time she realizes the vast implications of her work, it's too late to stop the prototype's development. Torn by her moral and scientific responsibilities, Chal is even more confused by the emotional connection she is starting to feel with the newly-created man. The only hope she has is escape—for her and the android—and time is running out...
Click "read more" for a little taste, as well as a giveaway!


He floated now in the tank, attached with an IV to the liquid that would wake him from his unconscious rest. It was remarkable how much he looked like a normal human. Chal knew that, physically at least, he was as human as she was. It was just a matter of making sure his mind could weather the transition into consciousness. His dark hair waved in slow motion in the water. She watched him, for the first time taking in his appearance.

Alan.

He was handsome, and this was something that she had not prepared herself for. His body was perfect, chiseled and lean, and his facial features were decidedly masculine, dark eyebrows slanting across his brow, an aquiline nose.

His naked body bobbed slightly in the saltwater, and Chal adjusted the padding around the sides, not wanting him to bump his head on the tank walls. She moved slowly, carefully, but her hand accidentally touched the prototype's limb. She let her fingers move on his skin. He felt warm to the touch, and Chal let his wet skin glide under the pads of her fingers.

Smooth. Like a baby. Yet full-grown, a man already on the outside. It was strange, and as Chal examined him she felt a mixture of emotions surge forward under her skin. Curiosity surpassed all of the rest, but it wasn't a clinical curiosity as it had been in the past. Every animal she had worked with had been on the very low end of the Freitas consciousness spectrum. The difference between a baby rat and a full-grown rat had more to do with size and mobility than with intelligence. They could both run mazes, after all. But a human man is so different from a human infant that Chal trembled at the thought of waking the prototype up.

Her hand traced the line of his shoulder, his neck. She was curious who he would be once he woke up. Would he be a conscious person? Really? His mind would be an infant's, although not for long. She would have to remember that, to make a point of remembering.

His face was calm as her hand made its way up to his cheek and rested there. Chal's fingers stroked the skin at his temple absentmindedly.

What will you think when you wake up?

About the Author


Aubrey Watt has fallen in love with at least three androids in the past, and can often be found with a science fiction book in one hand and a romance book in the other. Although her stories are eclectic—some contemporary and some historical, some funny and some dramatic, some realistic and some fantastical—she always tries to make them interesting and fun to read! You can find her online at:



Aubrey and her newest futuristic sci-fi romance, Paragon, are currently on virtual tour with 15 other awesome romance authors as part of the Insatiable Reads Book Tour. From March 4th-31st, readers will be invited to enter for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite, free books, and other fun goodies. Readers will also be able to participate in author chats, get insights into writing and publishing romance, and collect story swag.

This week, Aubrey is touring with Liliana Rhodes, Tabitha Conall, and Malia Mallory.


To enter the giveaways and meet the other writers, you can follow the tour on the following sites:


Giveaway!


OMG! Not only is the android sizzling hot (LOOK at that cover!), but the actual science behind Chal's studies—and her romance—sound riveting. She seems like a kickass character, and I can't wait to see how the android romance turns out! Thank you so much for joining us today, Aubrey!

One lucky Books à la Mode commenter will get the chance to find out what android love is like. To whomever it turns out to be: ya lucky bitch! To enter, all you have to do is answer this question:

What's the strangest kind of hero you've ever fallen in love with?
I wanna hear what you've got! We want thoughtful, relevant responses, here... comments only consisting of "I don't know, but thanks for the giveaway," "Vampire," and the like, will not be eligible for the contest! Vampire??? Really, guys, really? //?? Y'all are way more interesting than that.

In fact, the commenter with the best or most convincing response—judged by both Aubrey and me—will take home the prize. So make your words count!

Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends March 31st at 11.59 (your time).
Open internationally! Woohooo!
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
Although I do select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Please show your gratitude and follow Aubrey or the tour in some way, as she has been generous enough to provide this fabulous prize.
Good luck!