Title: The Samantha Project
Series: The Samantha Project Book #1
By: Stephanie Karpinske
Genre: YA Sci Fi
Seventeen-year-old Samantha has a seemingly perfect life; great parents, early admission to Stanford, and a boyfriend who happens to be the hottest guy in school. But Sam's life takes a dark turn when she starts developing powers brought on by her unknown involvement in a global corporation's genetic enhancement project. Now the corporation decides it's time to take Sam back and turn on the genetic switch that will unleash all the powers of her enhanced genes.
During a heart-pounding race to flee from the people who created her, Sam encounters another person who was part of the experimental project. He's been living in hiding for years and now that Sam's found him, she's put both their lives in danger. But they can't run for long. A technological safeguard embedded in their cells ensures that if the corporation can't have them, nobody will.
Samantha. At 17, Samantha learns she’s part of a genetic enhancement project and starts developing the powers that come with those genes. Those powers include the ability to read minds and see future events. The genes also give her enhanced strength, vision and hearing. But Sam will keep developing powers as she gets older.
Erik. He was also part of GlobalLife’s genetic enhancement project but escaped from their lab when Jack, a scientist who was against the project, rescued him. Jack kept Erik hidden until Samantha found him, putting him on GlobalLife’s radar again. He has some, but not all of Samantha’s powers, but he’s had the powers longer than she has so is better at using them.
Colin. Samantha’s high school boyfriend. He’s the popular all-star athlete. Quarterback of the football team. He loves Sam more than anything.
Jack. An expert in computer software and genetic science. He used to work at GlobalLife until he learned what they were doing to human genes. He took Erik from GlobalLife when Erik was just 5 years old and faked his death so GlobalLife would never look for him.
Brittany. The twin sister Samantha never knew about. GlobalLife made her, too. She’s the control in the experiment. But the question is why they insist on keeping her around now that they know Samantha, their experiment, is a success.
Dave. A close friend of Samantha’s parents, Dave is like an uncle to Sam. Dave attended MIT with Jack and is also an expert in computers and genetics. He worked for GlobalLife until just recently, but claims that GlobalLife forced him to work there against his will. He knew about The Samantha Project for years but never told her or her parents.
Allie. Samantha’s best friend from high school. Allie is an only child and comes from a wealthy family. She’s been friends with Sam since they were kids. But as Sam learns more about her past, she starts to wonder if Allie was really her friend all those years.
The Founders. An elite secret society made up of world leaders, high ranking members of the military, politicians, judges and other wealthy influential people. This group funds The Samantha Project and will be the first to benefit from it.
“What is this? Why am I here?” I asked, still feeling like I was half asleep.
More footsteps entered the room. “I think she’s slept most of it off,” I heard Erik say to whoever walked in.
I felt Erik’s other hand on my arm and then felt a prick from a needle. Soon I could feel the grogginess go away and the strength in my muscles return. I opened my eyes and could see normally.
Erik was sitting at my side, still holding my hand. “Ready to get up now?” His smile was so warm and kind that the anger I had prepared to unleash on him was quickly disarmed.
Jack stood behind him, arms crossed, studying my every move.
“Amazing,” he said. “But I can’t quite understand it.”
Erik shot him a glance of annoyance.
“Um, yes. Well, let’s get started then, shall we?” Jack said, sitting on a chair at the end of my bed.
Erik sighed, disappointed in how the old man was handling things. He turned back to me. “I know it may not seem like it, but we’re actually trying to help you.”
I gave him the look that I had heard that line before.
“Sure. You don’t believe me,” he continued. “I wouldn’t believe me either. Someone drugs me and I wake up in some strange place, I’d be pretty pissed.” He flashed a slight smile. “But here’s the deal. We have a lot of stuff to tell you and we’d like you to tell us some stuff, too.” He paused, sensing my hesitation. “If, and only if, you want to. Okay?” He waited for me to shake my head yes.
“I’ll start with the basics.” Erik let go of my hand and sat in the chair next to my bed. “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m a little like you.” I glanced over at him, unsure of what he was trying to tell me. “You see what I mean? Not everyone can do this.”
I looked at him confused. Not do what? I thought. This guy is cute but not at all good at explaining things in clear and simple terms.
“So you think I’m cute, huh?” I looked up to see him smiling. “And by the way, I think my explanation is very clear. You just need to pay attention.”
“I AM paying attention!” I said loudly. And then it hit me. My voice had filled what had been a silent room. Nobody had spoken for at least a minute. Erik hadn’t said anything. And yet we were having a conversation. A two-way conversation—without spoken words. He could read thoughts! That’s why he said we were alike.
Title: The Golden Couple
Series: The Samantha Project Book #2
By: Samantha Karpinske
In this action-packed second installment of The Samantha Project series, Samantha and Erik go on a search to find a way to save themselves from the genetic time bomb ticking away in their cells. Along the way, they discover a shocking secret that changes everything.
Although Samantha's boyfriend, Colin, is back now, she can't deny her feelings for Erik. It isn't long before she learns the real reason why she can't resist Erik. But only after she's gone too far with him. So far that Colin may never forgive her.
GlobalLife Genetics continues to pursue Samantha and they'll stop at nothing to get her. Sam still doesn't understand GlobalLife's plan for her but she knows it's something big. And she knows it isn't good.
A few minutes later, a black limo pulled up. “A limo!” Brittany yelled. “Oh my God! I’ve never been in a limo! I’ve gotta see this!” She ran outside and into the limo.
“Brittany! Wait!” I ran after her, followed by Erik. We poked our heads into the limo and found her already seated at the far end. Erik and I stepped in to grab her. “Brittany, get out,” I yelled at her. “You don’t even know—”
The door slammed shut behind us. “Erik, open the door,” I said, pulling on Brittany. “The wind must’ve slammed it shut.”
Erik went to open the door but it was locked. He pressed the unlock button but it didn’t work. I tried the door closest to me. It was locked, too. We both tried the remaining doors. All locked. Then just outside the limo we saw a man in a dark coat and hat who appeared to be the driver.
I banged on the side window to get his attention. “Hey, we need to get out! There’s two other people back there!” I pointed to the airport building.
The driver saw us but didn’t react. We watched as he walked to the front of the limo and got inside. Erik pounded on the piece of dark glass that divided us from the driver. “Wait! We need to wait for two more people!”
The driver ignored him and started driving away from the airport with the three of us trapped in the back.
“Erik, make him stop!” I screamed. “This is the wrong car! They didn’t even ask for the code word.”
Erik banged even harder against the glass divider. “Hey! Stop! Let us out!”
Brittany and I kept trying to open the doors and windows but they were all locked. We heard a loud bang and looked back to see a bright, fiery light in the dark night sky. It was coming from the airport building. Part of the building had exploded, leaving fire and plumes of smoke in the air.
I moved closer to the back window. “Oh my God! Erik, look!”
“What the hell? This can’t be happening!” Erik beat on the glass again, trying to get the driver’s attention. “Who are you? Let us out! I swear I’ll break this thing!” But the glass wouldn’t break. It didn’t even crack. If we still had our abilities, Erik would have broken the glass without a problem. But now both he and I had normal strength, which wasn’t enough to help us.
“They’re in that building!” I screamed. “Colin and Jack are in there! We have to go back!” Brittany and I pounded on the back and side windows.
Erik sat back. “You can’t break it, Sam. It’s reinforced glass.”
I stopped, frozen in disbelief as I watched the airport get farther and farther away. “It was a set up. The whole thing was a trap.”
Title: A Chosen Destiny
Series: The Samantha Project Book # 3
By: Samantha Karpinske
Samantha's destiny was chosen long ago. At least that's what she's told by the people who created her. Her enhanced genes and genetic software were meant to do everything from mold her personality to pick who she falls in love with.
But can destiny be changed? Ever since Samantha learned the truth about herself, she's struggled to figure out who's really in charge of her life. Can she make her own choices? Or is her future determined by her genes?
Old enemies reappear and new ones emerge as Samantha and Erik use their powers to fight the people who are after them. But it's getting harder to figure out who's good and who's evil. The enemy they've been fighting may not be the one who's truly after them.
“No! Please! Not now!” I said aloud to myself. I’d never been stopped for speeding before. And I couldn’t be stopped now. GlobalLife had connections with the police. The cop would look me up in his database and I’d be back in GlobalLife’s custody within the hour.
“Calm down.” I continued to talk to myself. “Maybe he’ll just give me a ticket and leave.”
I slowed the car and pulled over. My hands were shaking as I waited for the officer. Escape scenarios began playing in my head in response to the stress hormones being released in my blood. It was one of my abilities, but it wasn’t always that helpful. The scenes showed me different roads to take in an attempt to get away. But the last thing I needed was a police chase.
I took a deep breath to calm myself. It didn’t work. As the officer approached the car, I heard his thoughts.
“Stupid teenage drivers. She looks to be around 16. Probably just got her license. Bet she’s one of those rich kids from The Academy. Taking Daddy’s fancy car for a spin.”
“You were going 81 in a 55, young lady,” the officer said as I rolled down my window. “License and registration.”
I kept my head down. “I have to get it in the glove compartment. Is that okay?”
“Go ahead.” The officer let out a long sigh as he crossed his arms and stared down at me. “So do you go to The Academy?”
“Um, no. I don’t know what that is.” I reached over and opened the glove compartment. It was filled with papers. I started searching for the registration.
“It’s that private school. Just up a few exits from here.” The officer leaned down and poked his head through the window. “Nice car you got. Is your daddy one of the execs at that research place?”
“I don’t know what place you’re talking about.” I found the registration and handed it to him. It had Owens’ name on it. Once the officer saw Owens’ name, I knew he’d be suspicious. Some teenage girl driving a well-known billionaire’s car?
The officer didn’t look at the registration. Instead he kept talking to me. “You know, that research place that does something with genes? It’s a big corporation. GlobalLife something.”
I tried to act normal. “Um, no. I’ve never heard of that place. Is it around here?”
“It’s down in White Plains. But a lot of the bigwigs who work there like to live out here in the country and send their kids to The Academy.” He paused. “License, please.”
I froze. I didn’t have a license! It was sitting in my bedroom back in Minnesota. My mind began racing so fast that I developed a massive headache. How could I be so stupid speeding like that?
“License, please.” The officer repeated the request as he leaned down closer to me. “What’s the problem? You don’t have one? You’re driving without a license?”
I said nothing and stared straight ahead.
He sighed again. “Okay, then. You’ll need to come with me. Your folks will have to come get you at the station. Gather your things. I’ll be right back.”
The officer returned to his squad car. My headache intensified as my mind tried to hear what he was thinking. But I heard nothing as he walked away.
“Please, please just let me go,” I whispered to myself as if doing so would somehow help. “I’m begging you. Let me go. Just forget this ever happened and go away.”
My head now felt like it was splitting into pieces. I closed my eyes and tried harder to hear the officer’s thoughts. I still couldn’t hear anything.
I opened my eyes again. The bright sun made the pain in my head even worse. I checked my mirror to see if the officer was still in his car. But the police car was no longer behind me. I looked out the front window and noticed an expensive black car with dark tinted windows. Had another car been pulled over? Or did the car belong to someone from GlobalLife?
I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I knew this wasn’t going to end well. I decided I had to at least try to escape. I reached down to turn the keys in the ignition, but something didn’t look right. Then I noticed the dashboard was different. It had all kinds of equipment attached to it. I quickly realized that I was sitting in the front seat of the police car. The black car in front of me was the one I’d been driving. How did I get in the police car? I looked to my left and caught a glimpse of myself in the side mirror. But it wasn’t me! It was the officer!
About the Author
Stephanie is a freelance health writer by day and novel writer by night. She's been dreaming up stories for as long as she can remember but finally put a few down on paper (or ebook) with her YA trilogy, The Samantha Project. She's currently working on a new adult romance series that’s coming out soon! When she’s not writing, she’s reading (usually YA/NA romance or a mystery thriller), cooking something really good, or running (to burn off the calories of whatever she cooked that was really good).