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The Heritage of Michael Martiniere is a Fall Into These Great Reads pick #scifi #western #giveaway

Title: The Heritage of Michael Martiniere

Author: Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Genre: Science Fiction Western

Book Blurb:

"I'm a young man in an old man's body."--Mike Martiniere.

Clone Michael Martiniere was fated to die to keep his progenitor, Philip Martiniere, alive.

Then Philip's son Gabe rescued Mike at the age of five, whisking him off to the Double R Ranch where he learns about horses, biobots, robotics---and what it's like to be loved by a family. But the toxic physical, psychological, and political legacy of his progenitor continues to haunt Mike. Philip's physical frailties cause clone effects in Mike, from arthritis and osteoporosis to cancer and heart disease. More than that, Philip has imprinted the notorious Martiniere mind control techniques on Mike, in an attempt to force Mike to submit to his will--even after Philip's death.

Can Mike have something resembling a real life and win free of Philip's influence? What will it take for him to banish that toxic legacy of his progenitor--and is it worth the price?


Each day was a gift.

Michael Martiniere was all too aware of that reality; had been since that fateful moment when he was five and his whole world changed. The depths to which he understood his mortality were almost as hard to explain as his intricate family relationships; how his son, grandson, and daughter were older than he was, and his great-granddaughter only six years younger.

But there it was. Like everything else Martiniere, the truth was convoluted and complex, made even more complicated by the fact that Mike was the clone of Philip Martiniere, the late megalomaniac head of both the Martiniere Family and the Family corporation, the Martiniere Group.

One day his world was stark and fearful, ruled by pain, terror, and the dread that he would follow in the paths of his Befores, a sacrifice to the grim-faced old man by whose orders he had been trussed onto a table and his blood taken, three times in all. He’d seen Larry’s still body when he was just barely old enough to understand what death meant. Heard the worry in the voices of the six cyborged brothers meant to guard him.

“It’ll be Michael’s turn soon enough,” Alexander whispered with Eric and Carl when they thought Michael was asleep, that last week when he was so sick, before things changed. “Philip’s getting impatient. The limited amounts of plasma aren’t working. He’ll drain Michael next. This isn’t right. Michael is strong. He’s smart. He deserves better than dying for that foul old man.”

“Can’t we do something?” Carl murmured back. “Can’t we reach Brandon? He was supposed to be one of us.”

Just then the cough Michael was trying to suppress broke free. They fell silent.

Brandon. The one who was supposed to have joined the brothers—but somehow escaped. Brandon could save him.

That last blood draw left Michael sick and weak. The whispers of the brothers as they fussed over him let him know that things were getting desperate. That Philip would take more blood, and leave him…what?

Michael—or Thirteen, as Philip called him, because he was the thirteenth clone—didn’t know. But the brothers did.

Dead, Carl and Eric and Alexander fretted. And the latest clones aren’t taking. They’re failing in utero. That might be the only thing that saves Michael. He’s the last successful clone that Philip made. He may not dare to drain Michael. But at some point he’ll get desperate and do it anyway. We’ve got to find a means to reach Brandon. Maybe Brandon can help us.

And then change happened. One moment they were careening down a mountain road, George’s arm holding him steady while Carl drove as hard as he could. The next moment they skidded to a stop. A woman’s voice barked out a command and George and Frederick froze, unable to move. The van door slid open, and a slender man who looked like Philip, except taller and with darker skin, stood in the doorway. Then he knelt, eye-to-eye with Michael. Michael’s heart pounded with fear when he realized who this man was.

According to Philip, this man was dangerous. But he was the father of the Brandon that the brothers talked about.

I am Gabriel Martiniere, he had said to George and Frederick. The true Martiniere. Your brothers have sworn loyalty to me and are freedmen.

And then, to Michael. Michael. I am Gabriel. This is Ruby. We’re here to take you home with us. A real home.

Gabe. Brandon’s father. And…Philip’s son, who adopted Michael as his own child.

From that moment on, Michael’s life was different. That night in a strange bed, waking from a nightmare about Philip draining him. None of the brothers nearby to help as he sobbed, not sure what was real and what was illusion. Then Ruby crouched beside his bed.

I am your new mother, she said.

Philip says I don’t have a mother, he said.

Philip’s wrong.

That night was the first of many that Michael spent in Ruby’s lap being soothed to sleep as she rocked the bad dreams away. If it wasn’t Ruby, it was Gabe, one or the other rocking Michael and holding him tight until he went back to sleep.

He didn’t need to chew on his hand to muffle his cries any more.

Until he was five, Michael hadn’t known what it was like to be loved by anyone other than the brothers, definitely not what it meant to be part of a family. But after his existence became known to the Family? He was loved fiercely and passionately by the Martiniere clan as one of their own, even if his origin was—different, and his progenitor destructive and the creator of harm to many of the family members.

He returned that love with loyalty.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What’s your favorite thing about autumn:

I really prefer the cooler weather. The bright colors of the turning leaves, the faint cool damp scent of the earth as we turn toward winter and the chance for growing things to rest and renew themselves. The scurry of high clouds overhead that speak of the season of storms. Time to change pace from the frenzy of summer to a more measured movement to get through the snows of winter. Autumn is the promise of preparing for new beginnings, the foundation for the emergence of new life in the spring. As an October baby, it is my season—and I love it.

What inspired you to write this story:

Mike popped up when I was drafting the last part of the third book of The Martiniere Legacy, Realization. Even as I wrote about him in Realization’s epilogue, I rapidly realized that I wanted to explore his life further. What would it be like to be a clone raised by his progenitor’s son—especially since that progenitor had a particularly toxic history? Mike goes on to be a secondary character in another book, Justine Fixes Everything: Reflections on Mortality, and will be making appearances as a digital thought clone in one of my current works-in-progress, The Cost of Power series. He’s been one of my favorite quiet characters.

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card

Open internationally.

Runs September 1 – 30

Drawing will be held on October 2.

Author Biography:

Joyce Reynolds-Ward has been called "the best writer I've never heard of" by one reviewer. Her work includes themes of high-stakes family and political conflict, digital sentience, personal agency and control, realistic strong women, and (whenever possible) horses, frequently in Pacific Northwest settings. She enjoys mixing up science fiction and fantasy with western themes and stories, as well as romance.

Joyce is a Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off Semifinalist, a Writers of the Future SemiFinalist, and an Anthology Builder Finalist. She is the Secretary of the Northwest Independent Writers Association, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, and a member of Soroptimists International.

Social Media Links:


Twitter: @JoyceReynoldsW1 on Twitter

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Sep 21, 2023

The weather is my fave part!


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Sep 13, 2023

Thank you, Joyce, for sharing your book in our Fall Into These Great Reads Bookathon!

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