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Friday, May 24, 2013

Book Tour - Spotlight: DIRECT CONTACT by Ninette Swann

About the Book:
Julie Gladwell has a secret. Acting as chief attendant for the New Government’s procreation program, she rears girls to carry the emperor’s heir. Only a few are chosen for the program, called “The Special Ones,” and they are given no names, only numbers. They see no one but authorized personnel until their twenty-first birthday. Which is usually when they die. Direct contact is forbidden. As she cares for these girls, no one ever suspects who she actually is.

Scientist Malcolm Odin hated his job and hated himself. Put in charge of the entire human engineering program, the experiments and suffering he witnessed made him sick. Still, it paid the bills and kept him living comfortably in Terrecina. He knew of far too many who’d fallen through the cracks, living on the earth below. The Level People, they were called.

When he confides his unease to Julie, she lets him in on her secret and into her heart. What starts as fancy ends in revolution, but how will they choose between their fellow man and each other?


About the Author:

Ninette Swann is a journalist turned novelist who writes her books from sunny Florida in between parenting, freelancing, editing and going to grad school. She writes all genre of romance, including contemporary, thriller, suspense, and dystopian. Her books include Hit and Stay, Body Combat, Finding Home, Just the Messenger and Direct Combat.

You can reach her through her pages at:,,and


“Twenty-seven,” Julie barked, “wake up. We’ve got earlier mornings from here on out, and I’ll need you dressed and ready by five a.m. for the next two weeks.”

When Anna raised her head, Julie’s heart broke a little for the poor girl. She was about to have the worst two weeks of her life, and if they were all lucky, those weeks would stretch into the worst months of her life.

“Julie, what are we—”

She cut the girl off. “No time. Put your garb on, and we’re going to the baths.”

Accustomed to doing what she was told, Anna acquiesced with no more questions.

Julie tugged her along the still-darkened corridors to the familiar steam room. She mixed the herbs meant to cleanse Anna’s mind with her back to the girl. She gazed instead around the steamy room. Water vapor lingered from the previous night’s baths, and Julie interrupted her ritual to flip the switch, turning on the loud motors. Most baths were meant to weaken memory retention, quell rebellious, independent thought and “cleanse” the girls’ minds by opening them up to suggestions from the emperor. Conversely, this concoction George had taught Julie to make would do the opposite. The girl needed her full faculties to make a clear decision. She needed to understand the gravity of the mission they were about to undertake. If Anna—Julie couldn’t help but call the girl by the name Malcolm had given her—didn’t want this for herself and for the world, they couldn’t in good conscience make her help them. Julie hoped the girl would choose freedom. Of all the current Special Ones, Anna held the most promise for leadership and insights.

“This is going to be a bit different,” Julie said. “Do not be afraid. Open your mind and your spirit to what comes.”

“Julie, is this…” Anna paused. “Did the emperor order this?”

“That’s not your business,” Julie said sharply, guilt and trepidation washing over her. She hoped they were doing the right thing. “The emperor is meeting with Twenty-six in an hour’s time. He’ll meet with you next week.” Julie paused. She turned to look the girl in the face, Anna’s childlike features made even more innocent in the gauzy air. “Do you trust me?”

Anna nodded. “Of course.”

“Good,” Julie replied. “Then fully trust me. You have a grave choice on the horizon. These treatments will help you make your decision with the background information the others did not have the luxury of receiving.”

“What do you mean? The other girls?” Anna shivered. 

Julie nodded. Anna knew the price for being a Special One. Should the serum fail, she would die. The girl had told Julie she had made peace with that long ago, being bred to understand her fate and acknowledge the honor of dying for her master. One had to be special to be chosen to carry the seed. Anna would live up to her duty. None of that changed the fact that they both knew. Anna could very well be dead in two weeks’ time.

“Yes, the other girls. A few chose our path on their own,” Julie answered. “The others perished, despite our efforts to save them.” 

She blanched at the lie. It was too soon to reveal the girls’ true fates.

“Who do you mean by our?” Anna asked, the steam clearly starting to overcome her senses.

“Never you mind. You’ll find out soon enough. The scientist has faith in you. Of all the girls, perhaps you really are the Special One.” 

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