#BookBlitz “The New Eugenics: Modifying Biological Life in the Twenty-First Century” by Conrad B. Quintyn, Ph.D.

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Modifying Biological Life in the Twenty-First Century

Non-fiction, Science, Biology, Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering,
Medical

Published: May 2021

Publisher: Archway Publishing

 

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 Genetic engineering, although used with good intentions in many cases, upsets the balance of nature in unknown ways. The author considers whether genetic engineering used today to prevent and repair ‘defects’ in all humans (the new eugenics) will exacerbate social injustices and/or lead to a public safety issue.

For instance:

1. In 2012, virologists in the U.S. and the Netherlands genetically engineered avian (bird) flu to be more transmissible between mammals. These scientists argued that virus transmission between mammals enables them to make vaccines to prevent pandemics.

2. In vitro fertilization is being combined with preimplantation genetic diagnosis to design babies (i.e., eye color, larger muscles, height, intelligence, etc.).

3. Scientists have enabled pigs to be organ farms for humans using genetic editing.

If this engineered flu virus accidentally got out of the laboratory (remember, we humans are mammals), it could have caused a pandemic similar to COVID-19. Will designer babies, as they mature, feel a sense of superiority and/or pass on mutations with disadvantageous effects to future generations? Should we ignore the risk of zoonotic (animal) diseases for the potential benefits of reducing the shortage of organs? Increasingly, scientists believe improving the health and safety of humankind justifies
the risk of playing God. Scientific advancement, if not guided responsibly and with public input, can be detrimental to public safety.

Join the author as he considers whether scientists are playing God as well as the risks we face by altering genetics in The New Eugenics.

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 Praise for The New Eugenics:

“The New Eugenics: Modifying Biological Life in the 21st Century by
Conrad B. Quintyn is a non-fiction science book that takes a deep look into
the ethics of gene manipulation and its implementation across a broad range
of fronts…I believe the middle ground is covered well by Quintyn when he
writes, “Technology should be used to help solve problems, as long as
humans do not become slaves to it.”” Jamie Michele of
Readers’Favorite

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“In The New Eugenics: Modifying Biological Life in the 21st Century,
Dr. Conrad B. Quintyn builds a discussion on how eugenics is being used in
the twenty-first century, and along with it are the moral implications and
socio-political debates that it faces…Quintyn also shows us the lessons of
history and even literary works of fiction on the wrongs of the past and the
folly of misguided and unregulated experiments.” Vincent Dublado,
freelance journalist and editorial assistant of The Diplomat digital
magazine (thediplomat.com).

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“This survey of the present and future of genetic engineering sounds a
powerful, persuasive alarm to science-minded readers.” BookLife

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“In this book, the author considers the ethical implications of new
eugenics and asks the question: What are the limits of genetic engineering
and how do we know when and where to draw the line.” Christian Sia of
Readers’Favorite

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“An impressively thorough survey of the development of biotechnology
and the potential dangers it poses.” Kirkus Reviews

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  Excerpt

Chapter 7

Crossing the Rubicon: Therapy versus Elective Enhancement

 pp. 158-161

In this age of light speed advances in biotechnology, particularly genetic engineering, some bioethicists have recalled Nazi doctors and the singular nature of the Nazi “medicine” that they practiced. But many scholars have also invoked horror stories and their fictional characters, such as Frankenstein and his monster or Dr. Moreau and his half-human/half-animal creatures, like yellow traffic lights indicating caution. They also want to emphasize to the public the dangers posed by misguided or unregulated experiments or technology. A good approach is that taken by British science writer Jon Turney, who framed the problem so that everyone can make sense of their relationship with technology: “My premise is that fictional representations matter, that the science and technology we ultimately see are partly shaped by the images of the work which exist outside the confines of the laboratory report or the scientific paper.”[i] Put simply, science does not occur in a vacuum; it
interacts with the greater culture, both shaping and being shaped by public perceptions.

In Frankenstein, British author Mary Shelley told the story of young medical student Victor Frankenstein, who is obsessed with uncovering the “elixir of life.”[ii] Sharing his unfortunate story with Mr.Walton, captain of the ship that has rescued him from the Arctic ice, Frankenstein remarks:

 Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break
through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. … Pursuing
these reflections, I thought, that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless
matter, I might in the process of time … renew life where death had
apparently devoted the body to corruption.[iii]

Prior to this time, to test his hypothesis, Frankenstein constructs a human body from parts of dismembered corpses and animates it with electricity using lightning. On seeing the corpse come to life, Frankenstein is horrified. Regretting his mistake—“the wretch—the
miserable monster whom I had created”— Frankenstein runs away, rejecting his  creation.[iv] Obviously, Shelley was knowledgeable of the new science of the Enlightenment. And her complex narrative could have been a caution to scientists that they had a moral responsibility to use their science to do no harm and not violate nature. Essentially, she believed that scientists should not use their knowledge to play God.

Another British author, H. G. Wells, told a story with similar philosophical themes, including moral responsibility and violation of nature.7 Wells told the story—through his protagonist Edward Prendick—of the obsessed, immoral, formerly eminent British
physiologist Dr. Moreau whose gruesome experiments in gross anatomy (known
as vivisection in pre-twentieth-century literature) are publicly exposed.8
As a result, Moreau is forced to flee to an island in the South Pacific.
Prendick survives a shipwreck and is rescued by, and becomes a guest of, the captain of a ship. He is subsequently transported to “the island” and, in turn, becomes a reluctant guest of Mr. Montgomery, Moreau’s assistant.9 Wandering alone on the island, Prendick is
shocked when he encounters half-human/half-animal creatures. Eventually, he surmises that Moreau has been performing painful experiments, based on the loud cries he frequently hears coming from Moreau’s laboratory.10
Later, he learns that Moreau has performed experiments to convert humans to animals. However, Moreau makes a point of correcting Prendick, expressing the fact that he (Moreau) has been striving to make a complete transformation of animal to human.11

It is probably not fair to equate these science fiction novels and their flawed characters with modern scientists. As stressed throughout this book, most scientists are honorable men and women working very hard to help humankind and obtain some fame and fortune in the process. But it is interesting that, initially, Frankenstein (like modern scientists) has
honorable intentions: “I entered with the greatest diligence into the search of the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life. But the latter obtained my most undivided attention … but what glory would attend the discovery, if I could banish disease from the human frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!”12 (italics added). And Dr. Moreau, driven by the successes in the final stage of his research, believes that the pain he has inflicted has been insignificant to the final goal: the benefits of the work outweigh the risks.13 These attitudes are common among scientists, and in countries where regulation is lax, some of these scientists might be tempted to cross the line.

There are many therapeutic treatments in medicine, some of which are available to healthy individuals as elective enhancements. As such, the concern is for therapeutic and nontherapeutic enhancements that impact animal and human physiology or genetics. These enhancements, as discussed at the beginning of this book, usher in a new type of eugenics. Ultimately, the concern here is any research (e.g., animal-human hybrids, chimeras, xenotransplantation, organic bioelectronics, gene editing, gene therapy, or
complex chemicals that alter body physiology) that crosses the boundary into the realm of the unknown, invoking the monsters of Frankenstein and Moreau and leading to the questioning of human identity.

The mixing of human and animal genetic material has a long history in biology.14 For instance, the fusion of human and animal cells to create somatic cell hybrids was a technique first used in the 1970s and 1980s to illuminate the interactions between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. At about the same time, the United Kingdom’s HFEA licensed the transfer of human sperm to hamster eggs, thus creating a hybrid, as a diagnostic test for the quality of human sperm.15 Today, scientists argue that the hostility
of the public toard embryo destruction, coupled with the decreasing availability of human eggs, has compelled them to find alternative means, such as interspecies cloning (merging human somatic cells with eggs from other species or transplanting human iPSCs in animal embryos to advance studies in regenerative medicine).16

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About the Author

Conrad B. Quintyn is an associate professor of biological anthropology at Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He earned a B.A. from Baylor University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He
taught at Iowa State University and SUNY Oswego. He was a biological anthropologist for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency located on Hickam
Air Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii. His interests include forensic anthropology, worldwide postcranial variation, evolutionary biology, genetic engineering, medical genetics, the problem of species, and the evolution of human diseases.
 

 

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#FREE “Analog Heart” by Sawyer Black, Avery Blake

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Cascade Labs said it was impossible for a robot to harm a human – it violates the code. But the murders of Bronson Dodge’s wife and daughter proved otherwise. To keep him close and quiet, Cascade Labs gave Bronson a lucrative job that channeled his need for revenge into hunting down robots who’ve evolved beyond their programming.

So heavily augmented that he’s practically a robot himself, Bronson hunted robots for Cascade until he retired. His nanite augmentations are now coming to the end of their life cycle and Bronson’s days are numbered.

But when Cascade engineer Isla Bligh comes to him for help, he decides to take on one last mission that goes against everything he believes: protecting a robot who shouldn’t exist from Cascade’s next generation of hunters.

Ava is a new kind of synthetic human, appearing to be a flesh and blood in every way, but she represents the next step in human-robot evolution. Bronson would’ve gleefully hunted her down himself … before his retirement.

Too bad he’s desperate for money – not to prolong his own pointless life, but to make amends ahead of his death.

Can Bronson overcome his own prejudices and smuggle Ava to safety under the noses of Cascade’s best hunters?

Analog Heart is the gripping new stand-alone SciFi Thriller from Sawyer Black and Avery Blake. And you could be reading it now!

Free for a limited time at all online digital retailers!

Amazon

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#NewRelease “His Secret Heir: Dread Lord’s Fated Mate: A SciFi Alien Romance (Khuldun Warriors Book 1)” by Celeste King and Emma Alisyn

His Secret Heir

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A matebond born in blood and betrayal. An obsessed alien warlord prince who will hunt her across galaxies rather than let her go. . .

CHANDA
I’m just your average gal, a fugitive on the run from the possessive barbarian warlord who tried to claim me as his mate and drag me back to his planet as a blood concubine.

I fled. He isn’t happy.

How was I supposed to know he was a prince?

And since I’m a wanted criminal on his planet, when he captures me, I don’t expect a happy reunion.

One savage warrior prince pissed off at having to hunt me across galaxies? Check.

Two walking, talking secrets I’ve kept from him? Double check.

A mating frenzy I can’t escape, and an enemy who doesn’t want me to have a happily ever after? Yeah, check that too.

Ready for departure? Great, download now.

His Secret Heir is an ultra steamy, slighty dark, sci-fi alien warrior royalty romance for readers who crave enemies-to-lovers, fated mates, and vampire barbarians who won’t take no for an answer. First in the Khuldun Warriors series.

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the steamy scenes may be triggering to some readers for slightly dark themes. Those chapters may be skipped without impacting the overall arc of the story.

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

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#NewRelease “Rescued by Her Relic” by Paulina Woods

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Brandy is a nobody inside The Gate.

Or at least she was until the authorities discovered her grandmother and mother were a part of the Resistance.

Now Brandy is an outcast, banished to the wastelands as an example to any who would dare challenge the government’s authority. But banishment won’t stop her from fulfilling her family’s mission—resending the SOS into deep space that can rescue all of humanity.

Ja’Ivan inherited a dead planet.

As the leader of his clan, his only recourse is to scavenge the universe and steal the resources his people need to survive.

When he takes the Eden portal to Earth, a curious and familiar signal leads him to the one thing he isn’t looking for.

A dying human mate.

If you’re a fan of cyborg romance, strong willed heroines, and space adventure, then this is your book!

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon

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#Featured “Unfrozen” by Regine Abel

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She is ice and fire: the bringer of life

When the penitentiary ship she’s incarcerated in gets sucked into an anomaly, Lydia barely survives the crash onto an alien planet. Only the sadistic experiments performed on her by the prison’s scientist allow her to survive this harsh and dangerous world. The future looks grim until she stumbles upon a magnificent city of ice and its most unusual inhabitant.

Kai is fascinated by the delicate stranger fallen from the stars with the power to bring his hibernating city back to life. She stirs emotions long forgotten by his frozen heartstone. Can she be the salvation of his people or will the trap set by the Creator bring about their collective doom?

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon

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#BookReview “The Visitor (Corrupted Genes Book 1)” by Louvie G. Tucker

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5/5 Stars!

It’s 2109 and Peter Weekly is a timid genmod technician in the country of Nusa. Life in Nusa is perfection personified and rigidly governed. No one breaks the rules because they’re content with life in their utopia of fair-skinned citizens who have everything they want or need.

Thirty-two-year-old Peter lives in a state of constant anxiety. It’s his job to ensure couples have the perfect children of their dreams who will fit into Nusan society. He also strives to be the perfect Nusan, but life always feels off. He thinks the couples vain and selfish for the modifications they want in their children. He fears his actions and thoughts could betray him and cause the deporters to come for him.

But even more than that, Peter fears the Susans who live in the country south of Nusa.

He’s never seen a Susan. Few people have, but the dark-skinned, barbaric people are a constant threat to the people of Nusa.

At least that’s what their government tells them.

However, when Peter and his fierce, rule-breaking friend, Sasha Deen, encounter a Susan, he’s not only shaken… and embarrassed at the depths of his fear, but also his confusion. The Susan, Aetius, isn’t an ignorant barbarian, but intelligent, reasonable, and possesses what appears to be superhuman abilities.

If the Nusan government is so wrong about Susans, could they be wrong about everything else?

The Visitor is sharp, smart science fiction! Though a bit slow in the beginning, it soon picks up and becomes a page-turner. Peter struggles with indecision and fear for most of the read, but Sasha is a strong, straight-forward woman who does not suffer fools easily, and Aetius is a man out of time and space who just wants to go home.

Though ninety years into the future, the parallels with present-day issues are obvious, and Peter Weekly represents the common man who wants to live his life on his own terms without pretense or prejudice.

Good writing, good plot, good characters! Definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!

Enjoy!

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Nusans don’t cause trouble. Peter is a good Nusan. Single, annoyed with his best friend’s constant blind dates, and comfortably provided for with his job as a genmod technician, he spends his days telling expectant parents what their unborn children will look like. For a fee, he can modify physical and mental traits.

To ensure Nusa’s perfect society, however, it is law that all babies must be born with white skin, an IQ 120 or above, and without any illnesses or disabilities. These modifications are free of charge. It’s the law. And good Nusans obey the law. The people of Susa, however, are known to be troublemakers.

Thank goodness the dark-skinned Susans all live south of the border, in Susa. The closest Peter ever has to come to a dangerous Susan is either on the silver screen being vanquished by a heroic Nusan hero or on the news as deporters — the force charged to keep Nusa safe — prepare to send them south to Susa.

That is, until a dark-skinned visitor is suddenly inside the four walls of Peter’s quiet existence. Snarky. Irreverent and without any regard for the rules, the stranger should be a Susan but is he? Why is he claiming to have fallen from the stars?

Everything Peter knows is suddenly in question and even his status as a good Nusan is under threat as deporters seek him out on suspicion of a capital crime. Has Peter caused trouble?

Life as Peter has known it is fragile. Can he survive long enough to learn the truth? And will he even want to believe it once he finds it?

Purchased Links

AMAZON UK  

AMAZON US  

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#BlogTour “The Visitor (Corrupted Genes Book 1)” by Louvie G. Tucker

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Nusans don’t cause trouble. Peter is a good Nusan. Single, annoyed with his best friend’s constant blind dates, and comfortably provided for with his job as a genmod technician, he spends his days telling expectant parents what their unborn children will look like. For a fee, he can modify physical and mental traits.

To ensure Nusa’s perfect society, however, it is law that all babies must be born with white skin, an IQ 120 or above, and without any illnesses or disabilities. These modifications are free of charge. It’s the law. And good Nusans obey the law. The people of Susa, however, are known to be troublemakers.

Thank goodness the dark-skinned Susans all live south of the border, in Susa. The closest Peter ever has to come to a dangerous Susan is either on the silver screen being vanquished by a heroic Nusan hero or on the news as deporters — the force charged to keep Nusa safe — prepare to send them south to Susa.

That is, until a dark-skinned visitor is suddenly inside the four walls of Peter’s quiet existence. Snarky. Irreverent and without any regard for the rules, the stranger should be a Susan but is he? Why is he claiming to have fallen from the stars?

Everything Peter knows is suddenly in question and even his status as a good Nusan is under threat as deporters seek him out on suspicion of a capital crime. Has Peter caused trouble?

Life as Peter has known it is fragile. Can he survive long enough to learn the truth? And will he even want to believe it once he finds it?

Purchased Links

AMAZON UK  

AMAZON US  

~~~

Author Bio

Louvie G. Tucker lives and works in the Pacific Northwest with his wife. Born Louvie Tuckerin Buffalo, New York, he’s called various U.S. states, Japan, and China home at points in his life. When he’s not working in cyber security, he enjoys rock climbing, staying up to date on current events, keeping up with his Japanese language skills, and riding his bicycle. He is currently working on the second book in the Corrupted Genes series.

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#BookReview “Reprobation (The Reprobation Series Book 1)” by Catherine Fearns

Reprobation cover

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4/5 stars!

Science and religion have a tenuous relationship in real life and it doesn’t get any better in fiction.

When a murdered young man is found tied to a cross, the suspect list is wide open. A religious fanatic? Crazed serial killer? Unpaid drug dealers?

DI Darren Swift—leading his first major case—and DC Colette Quinn are two sharp investigators that put together a stellar team and dig deep to break the case, but it’s the unlikely pairing of a conflicted, Calvinist nun and a jaded, cynical, foul-mouthed, metal musician that keeps this read moving.

Even before Helen Hope’s tragic history was revealed, I liked her. Pragmatic and practical, the eschatologist was able to see a bigger picture than her life as a nun and question her own actions and judgment.

And the woman thought nothing of taking a risk.

After Swift and Quinn question Helen about the religious implications of the murder site, Helen searches on her own and finds startling similarities between what the police told her about the crime scene and Total Depravity, a Norwegian metal band led by Mikko Kristensen.

When Helen and Mikko team up to find answers, each of their belief systems is challenged leaving both to wonder if they know themselves at all.

Swift is intent on following a drug angle in the murder case, but Helen finds someone is mixing the concept of predestination with junk DNA and genetic markings—does it get any better than that?

Reprobation is spot on with religious detail and the hard science of gene therapy without being high-brow and boring. Characters are well-developed and memorable and will put you firmly on the side of good… or evil. Mikko is my favorite character because he will say anything to anyone. Not for shock value–okay, mostly not for shock value–but, because that’s who he is.

Plot twists are well-planned, perfectly timed… and foreshadowed. Pay attention!

As much as I enjoyed this read and the details, it loses a star because, for me, there were times it was too detailed.

Most chapters end with a situation, plight, or dilemma that had me in a hurry to get to the next page only to be met by deep, detailed descriptions of the locale and/or the historical references connected to it before getting back to the story. Extremely frustrating and took me out of the story each time.

Still, despite that, this is a smart read with a fresh plot that will challenge readers on several levels.

The ending is satisfying but wide and vague, leaving the door open for another adventure with Helen and Mikko?

I hope so, and soon!

Enjoy!

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Are you one of the elect?Reprobation cover

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime.

When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker.

Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell.

Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery.

KINDLE UNLIMITED

Purchase Link: mybook.to/reprobation

 

 


#BlogTour “Reprobation (The Reprobation Series Book 1)” by Catherine Fearns

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Are you one of the elect?Reprobation cover

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime.

When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker.

Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell.

Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/reprobation

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Author Bio

Fearns

Catherine Fearns is a writer from Liverpool. Her novels Reprobation (2018) and Consuming Fire (2019) are published by Crooked Cat and are both Amazon bestsellers. As a music journalist Catherine has written for Pure Grain Audio, Broken Amp and Noisey. Her short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Toasted Cheese, Succubus, Here Comes Everyone, Offshoots and Metal Music Studies. She lives in Geneva with her husband and four children, and when she’s not writing or parenting, she plays guitar in a heavy metal band.

Social Media Links – Twitter: @metalmamawrites

Facebook: Catherine Fearns

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“Alpha” by Tiya Rayne

Alpha cover

Alpha

by Tiya Rayne

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Genetic Engineering/African-American

99¢ at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

Morgan Downs’ life is unexceptional. She’s stuck in an abusive loveless marriage and often made to feel inferior by her parents because of her speech impediment. Although as bad as her life is, she never expected to be kidnapped from her home and taken to a private military base to become a test rat for a science experiment. But things change when Morgan meets Alpha. She should be afraid, he isn’t quite human after all. Alpha is a genetically enhanced super soldier, and Morgan has been captured to bear his offspring. Yet, Morgan finds that Alpha isn’t the real monster behind those confined walls. They are both captives of the insane scientist, Dr. Ryder Strong.

 

WARNING: This book contains some graphic scenes of violent acts. Readers please be advised.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Amazon KU