Author Name: Anna Butler
Book Name: Heart Scarab
Series: Taking Shield
Book: Two (series should be read in order)
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7037247.Anna_Butler
Publisher: Wilded City Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Release Date: July 22, 2015
Telnos is an unpleasant little planet, inhabited by religious fanatics in the festering marshlands and unregistered miners running illegal solactinium mines up in the hills. But the Maess want Telnos, and Shield Captain Bennet’s job is to get out as many civilians as he can—a task that leaves him lying on Telnos while the last cutter of evacuees escapes in the teeth of the Maess invasion.
Bennet is listed missing in action, believed dead on a planet now overrun by Maess drones. His family is grieving. His long-term partner, Joss, is both mourning and guilt-ridden.
And Fleet Lieutenant Flynn? Flynn is desolate. Flynn is heart-broken… no. Flynn is just broken
Pages or Words: 97,900 words
Categories: Gay Fiction, Science Fiction
Flynn liked kissing. In fact, Flynn considered himself something of an expert in the art of kissing. He'd tried it in all its forms, from the first tentative pressing together of juvenile lips that had you wondering what all the fuss was about, to the discovery that if you just opened your mouth and, you know, kind of moved everything, your tongue suddenly had a lot more positive uses than just allowing you to articulate clearly and swallow things without choking. Flynn got the hang of it, ran with it, and never looked back.
Soft kisses and hard kisses; kisses that were wet and slobbery with people who didn't know exactly how to hold their lips to get the best and sexiest effect, and wet and sexy kisses with people who did. Kisses that turned the blood to molten lava and kisses that cooled you as you came down. Kisses that inflamed and kisses that soothed; feverish kisses and languid after-sex kisses. Kisses that meant only good fellowship and casual affection, and kisses that were desire incarnate.
Flynn had not only tried them all, he'd made them his own. He was considered by all the relevant authorities to be rather a specialist in the area.
Flynn really liked kissing. He had been gratified by the discovery that Bennet liked it too. Because now he could add slow kisses to the repertoire. Kisses so leisured and intense the world came to a stop while a hot tongue moved over his lips, explored each and every tooth down to the last molar, while teeth pulled at his bottom lip, biting it gently until it was swollen and hot and heavy, and he had to lick his lip to cool it and met Bennet's tongue with his. Only then, would Bennet's mouth close over his and start a real in-earnest kiss that lasted several more centuries. Those were kisses Bennet seemed to specialise in.
Flynn was always willing to take tips from another expert. A man should always try to extend his technique.
From Wilde City Press as an ebook or paperback.
From an Amazon near you (Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk links)
Q & A with author Anna Butler
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Anna Butler, author of Heart Scarab.
Hi Anna, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi! And thank you for hosting me today. I’m delighted to be here.
Heart Scarab is the second of the Taking Shield series, which charts the life and loves of Shield Captain Bennet. Taking Shield is both a sweeping sci-fi story (old school sci-fi with spaceships and lasers, aliens and handsome heroes) and an equally sweeping love story. I should warn you, though, that it isn’t a romance in the sense that it won’t be what most m/m romance readers would expect.
Thousands of years after an alternate-universe Earth went dark, the people of one of her colonies, Albion, are struggling in a war that’s probably unwinnable, against aliens called the Maess. Although humans have been fighting the aliens’ cyborg drones for over a century, they haven’t seen a real, organic Maess. Set against the war, is the love story between Bennet and Fleet Lieutenant Flynn. They meet in the first book, Gyrfalcon, but for various reasons theirs isn’t going to be an easy love. They meet and part several times before the end. In Heart Scarab, Bennet’s return after being declared missing in action, presumed dead, puts intolerable strain on his relationship with his long term partner, Joss, but paves the way for a reunion with Flynn.
As for me, I worked for the UK civil service for many years as a communications specialist, working on everything from marketing employment programmes to running an internal TV service. These days I’m concentrating on trying to make it as a writer, combining my love of old school science fiction and m/m themes. I live in London with my husband and our cockapoo, Molly. We’re currently house hunting, looking for a country retreat.
1) What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process?
It’s hard, when you’ve sent something out into the world, to sit back and wait to see if a publisher bites at it—agonisingly hard, sometimes. You’ve just sent out a piece of yourself, something you’ve poured heart and soul into, and having to wait patiently while it sits in a commissioning editor’s in tray… well, you need the patience of a saint. And if you’re lucky, and they say “Yes, please! Here’s your contract!”, you then have to wait again while you’re in the editing queue. And then you have to wait for publication day. And wait. And wait…
Publishers vary in how they deal with the process of getting a book ready for release. Some, the larger ones, line you up with your editor months in advance of a release date and you don’t feel rushed about getting everything done in time, but even then, when it’s all over, you’re often left hanging around for weeks until the Big Day arrives. Some of the smaller publishing houses are a little more relaxed about timetable, and you can find yourself eyeing the approaching Big Day on the calendar and worrying, as you wait to get the edits, that you won’t have enough time to get through everything.
So far—touches wood—I’ve coped with both scenarios, but it wasn’t easy!
2) As an author, is there one subject you would never write about? What would it be?
I don’t think there is anything I would flat out never write, but there are some topics that are very difficult for me to tackle. Drug misuse is one, and rape. Both make me deeply uncomfortable on a personal level. For reasons. Let’s just say I’ve seen the aftermath of both, and clearing away the baggage that carries is very hard. That said, I’ve written about both back in the days when I was still writing fanfiction. It just wasn’t an easy thing to write. Cathartic, though!
The only other topic that makes me pause is BDSM. It’s not a world I know, and I’d be wary of pulling a 50 Shades and getting it all laughably wrong. I’m a great one for researching my stories, but when it comes to researching Egyptian history, say, I already have a strong knowledge of it that means I’m able to be more critical about what I read on-line as I search. I’d be lost when it came to BDSM!
3) When did you first realize you wanted to write?
I can’t remember not being a story teller, although writing them down came later. I’ve told/written stories since childhood, starting with the adventures of Jimpy, the soft-toy chimpanzee I took everywhere with me. I moved on to fanfiction in early adolescence, with some shamefully Mary Sue stories set in the Star Trek universe where the ‘me’ character lived in wedded bliss with Mr. Spock. I can’t remember what ‘my’ role was on the Enterprise, but I’m sure I saved the day every single time. My one saving grace is that I don’t remember ever giving the insert character a wonderful singing voice, but that’s possibly the only Mary Sue trait she missed!
It’s been a while since I dabbled in fanfiction, but I promise never to write Mary Sue stories ever again!
4) How long did it take to write your book?
Hard one. I started writing the Shield series over ten years ago, in an incomplete form. I wrote a little, went off and did something else, came back and wrote a little more—and I repeated that for years. It was one of those stories that dragged on for ever, and I thought I’d never, ever, really write. Indeed, about five years ago I put it all to one side and left it.
So when I decided I’d try and make a go of writing and try publishing my stuff, I dusted off the Shield ‘scraps’ and thought that I could make something of them. I discovered I really like my two heroes, and rediscovered my passion for writing about them.
Heart Scarab was one of the more complete elements. I rewrote it all over six months late last year.
5) For Fun: Where is one place you’d like to visit you haven’t been before?
Astonishingly, for someone who’s passionate about history, I’ve never been there. My main love is Egyptology, and visiting Egypt and seeing for myself the remains of that wonderful civilisation was one of the highlights of my life. So really, I should get to Greece to see some of the ancient sites where western civilisation essentially was born: Corinth, Athens, Sparta, the Peloponnese.
One day, I hope. It’s on the bucket list, anyway.
About the author:
Anna Butler was a communications specialist for many years, working in UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to running an internal TV service. She now spends her time indulging her love of old-school science fiction. She lives in the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo.
Where to find the author:
Website and Blog
FacebookThe Butler’s Pantry (Facebook Group)
Website and Blog
FacebookThe Butler’s Pantry (Facebook Group)
Tour Dates & Stops: Wednesdays July 22 – November 4, 2015
- a copy of my novella, FlashWired (epub, mobi or pdf) on every stop to one random commentator
- Chance to enter a rafflecopter for
(i) top prize of an Amazon gift voucher (is $50 overdoing it? It makes for a decent prize!)
(ii) second prize, winner's choice of a Heart Scarab ipad cover or kindle cover
(ii) third prize, a Gyrfalcon iPad cover