Promo: The Chains of Their Sins, by Anna Butler

Writing

I have an announcement today, here on my barely-started, mostly empty blog. Anna Butler, an amazing writer whom I’ve known and admired forever, has a new release out today! Check it out, Anna’s writing never, ever disappoints.

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Taking Shield 04 : The Chains Of Their Sins

PUBLICATION DATE : 13 February 2017

About the Taking Shield series

Earth’s a dead planet, dark for thousands of years; lost for so long no one even knows where the solar system is. Her last known colony, Albion, has grown to be regional galactic power in its own right. But its drive to expand and found colonies of its own has threatened an alien race, the Maess, against whom Albion is now fighting a last-ditch battle for survival in a war that’s dragged on for generations.

Taking Shield charts the missions and adventures of Shield Captain Bennet, scion of a prominent military family. Against the demands of his family’s ‘triple goddess’ of Duty, Honour and Service, is set Bennet’s relationships with lovers and family. When the series opens, Bennet is at odds with his long term partner, Joss, who wants him out of the military and back in an academic, archaeological career. He’s estranged from his father, Caeden, who is the commander of Fleet’s First Flotilla. Events of the first book, in which he is sent to his father’s ship to carry out an infiltration mission behind Maess lines, improve his relationship with Caeden, but bring with them the catalyst that will destroy the one with Joss: one Fleet Lieutenant Flynn, who, over the course of the series, develops into Bennet’s main love interest.

Over the Taking Shield story arc, Bennet will see the extremes to which humanity’s enemies, and his own people, will go to win the war. Some days he isn’t able to tell friend from foe. Some days he doubts everything, including himself, as he strives to ensure Albion’s victory. And some days he isn’t sure, any longer, what victory looks like.

Taking Shield 01: Gyrfalcon

Taking Shield 02: Heart Scarab

Taking Shield 03: Makepeace

(2nd place winner, Rainbow Awards 2016)

About The Chains of Their Sins

Shield Captain Bennet arrives on the Gyrfalcon to take up his final year’s posting before returning to the Shield Regiment after his rotation out.

On the Gyrfalcon he faces up to the fallout from Makepeace—ethical, political and above all, personal. Will he be able to accept necessity: that knowing what the Maess are up to outweighs the humanitarian issues surrounding the prisoners he rescued from Makepeace? Can he ride out the political furore that follows the loss of the dreadnought Caliban? How will he cope with an entire year of serving under his father, Caeden? And worst of all, how in the name of every god in the Pantheon can he stand to see Flynn every single day, with the Fraternisation Regs standing between them and keeping them apart?

It will be an interesting year. Bennet can hardly wait for it to be over. Of course, things never really do go to plan…

Book Title: Chains of Their Sins

Series: Taking Shield

Publisher: Glass Hat Press

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Wordcount: c 98,000

Category: Sci Fi, Gay mainstream

(ARCs available)

Excerpt

More Hornets were out of the tubes, racing to catch up; almost everyone, now. Bennet had the Patroklus squadron on visual, little points of light on his left, speeding towards him. He held the Starboard and Port wings in position, waiting for Patroklus to join him, listening to the continuous stream of inter-ship Comms that gave him the intel he needed on everyone’s position. Captain Sergei reported he was in position.

Heads up, boys and girls,” Bennet said over the command line. “Bandits will be here in two minutes. Battlecode comm transmissions only.”

All chatter stopped. Everything around him fell silent. It took him a second to realise that the dull muffled thumping that he felt as much as heard, was his own quickening heartbeat. His eyes never stopped moving—to port, ahead, the scanner, to port, ahead, to starboard, ahead, the scanner, ahead, to port…

His gaze flickered to port-side most. His pilots were out there, tackling the outriders to the first wave of fighters. Nothing much to see. The fighters were drones, with no internal atmospheres to give even the briefest flash of light and heat when they were destroyed. If he saw a flash, it would be one of their own.

Port, ahead, the scanner, port, ahead, starboard…

All advance bandits accounted for,” Kyle said. “No survivors.”

Casualties?”

None. Clean strike.”

Good. Stand by.” Look to port, ahead, the scanner, ahead, to starboard, ahead, the scanner, ahead… “Kyle, you have their left flank. Sergei, their right. Starboard Wing, we’re punching right through these guys to take on the second wave.”

Yes!” The excitement in Kyle’s voice was unmistakable.

Ready.” Sergei was more subdued.

We’re ready,” Cruz said, steady as ever. “We’re all ready.”

Bennet took a split-second to watch them get into position, the usual cold clenching around his guts, knowing they wouldn’t all come back. He had the fighters on visual now, a close-packed phalanx of ships, blotting out stars. There had to be more than a hundred of them, with a second wave of at least another hundred, maybe more, behind. A full complement of a battleship’s fighters all stacked up against the little Hornets.

Bennet opened his private comline to the Gyrfalcon. “Ten seconds, bridge. We’re going in.” He only half-heard Quist’s acknowledgement. He’d already keyed into the battle code comline. A deep breath. “All Attack Wings, intercept attackers and engage the enemy. Go!”

Five seconds later the front ranks of Hornets and fighters smacked right into each other.

Buy Links

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZ9QQYQ/

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MZ9QQYQ/

Available for pre-order at Kobo.

Giveaway

$25 (or equivalent) Amazon voucher.
Signed copy “Gyrfalcon”, Taking Shield Book 01.

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About the author

Anna was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She recently moved out of the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London to the rather slower environs of a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside, where she lives with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo.

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Now that’s sad.

Random

Many years ago, I saw a car with a sheet of notebook paper taped up in the back window. On it someone had written George W. Bush does not speak for me. Now, that was back at the point when Americans were supposed to stop eating French fries and eat freedom fries instead. So I thought that was pretty damn neat, and put a modest little statement on my personal website, George W. Bush does not speak for me. I was really happy to take that down eight years ago.

Well, today my personal website has sprouted an innocuous little political statement, right up at the top. Donald J. Trump does not speak for me. It’s pretty sad that it came back, that little statement. And it’s not like my personal website gets massive amounts of traffic. But I feel a tiny little bit better having a disclaimer to show that I’m not an [insert favorite perjorative(s) here] idiot, nor do I like the future that appears to be looming over my poor country.

Seriously, people, is tolerance and hope really all that bad?

Here I Am… Again.

Uncategorized

So I’ve tried, repeatedly, for a while now, to maintain a blog or any other consistently updated presence online. I’ve tried themed stuff. I’ve tried writing for a site with deadlines and expectations, thinking that would keep me on track. I even broke down and tried LiveJournal for a while. But you know what?

I suck at blogging.

So… I’m consolidating. Having one blog for writing and another for 3D art stuff flopped miserably. Now I’m shoving ’em together, and giving them a new face. Expect changes and updates at a snail’s pace. What I envision happening here, which may bear no resemblance to what actually happens here, is a collection of posts about writing, 3D artwork, and randomness. Like the fact that there’s a purring cat on my hand right now, making it really hard to type. Get off my hand, Puff! I’ll try to avoid political horseshit, but who knows if I’ll succeed. Hopefully I will. There’s more than enough political horseshit in the world without me adding my own two cents worth.

Anyway…

In case you don’t know who I am:

Hi, I’m Marie Brown. I write smut. Although I’m moving away from the smuttiness lately, and just focusing on the stories. So I’ll be more accurate and say I write queer speculative fiction. Lots and lots of queer speculative fiction. Every now and then a straight character slips in, but I try not to let them.

I also do a lot of 3D artwork. It’s an addiction. I used to pretend to be a “real” artist, using real-world artistic tools like paper, pencils, pastels, and sometimes even paints. But I got bitten by a cat many years ago and the damage from that messed up my hand something fierce, making “real” art extremely painful. Since I kind of sucked at it anyway, I quit doing it.

And then… along came computer art. I used to come down on the “that’s not art, it’s a program” side of the debate. But then I started doing it. And yeah, I use programs. But wow, what amazing worlds those programs can produce! I am completely addicted. I love the fact that I can get the images out of my head and have them look even better than they started. It’s just so much fun!

If I could quit my job and do nothing but write, make art, and play Skyrim, I totally would.

So there I am. A nerdy, geeky writer, with three cats. Now I’m going to get busy fixing this place up so it’s not a generic heap of blandness.