From Wilde City Press as an ebook or paperback.
From an Amazon near you (Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk links)
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.
First, 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.
To be honest, I’m really hosting Shield Captain Bennet, the main character in the Shield series. So, Bennet…
1) What do you find attractive in a man?
Loyalty. Someone to trust. They can be amusing, elegant, sophisticated, daring, brave… doesn’t matter if I can’t trust them.
Ironic when I think back on my years with Joss, where I basically tried to make up to him for my being in Shield (he hated that and wanted me at home all the time) by pretending I didn’t care that he had lots of pretty consolation prizes while I was away on Shield missions. I never asked him who they were, and he never saw them when I was at home. They were just to stop him from being lonely, he said. They didn’t matter.
But if you mean initial attraction, the stop-in-my-tracks, whoa-I-like-him reaction, then I’m as shallow as anyone else and good looks turn my head as quickly as the next man’s. For anything to last, though, that doesn’t really matter.
2) The first thing that went through your head when you saw Fleet Lieutenant Flynn?
He’s all gold. Everything—skin, hair—is tawny gold, a sort of overlay on the brown beneath. Sun-kissed. Leonine, in its truest sense. Even his eyes have gold flecks in the green. He’s half-Macedonian, and the genes have done him huge favours. Huge.
He made me laugh, too. He was funny and subversive on that first day back on the Gyrfalcon, wanting to be noticed. I noticed him. Mind you, with Flynn, as long as you’re breathing you can’t miss him.
3) Do you think you’ll insist the author visits you again?
Oh yes—she will. There’s a long story to tell here and we’re just getting started. Next time around, though, the story doesn’t end so well. What I find on an infiltration job behind Maess lines… . No. That isn’t going to end well for us humans.
4) Before you met Flynn, what was your ideal man?
I was with Joss from just after my eighteenth birthday and we stayed together for nearly nine years after that. He’s older than me, a lot older. When I was 18, I thought he was the most sophisticated and intelligent man I’d ever met. He was so… elegant. That’s the word. Elegant. Refined. I thought he knew everything: how to live, how to have everything he wanted, how to be good-looking and graceful. He knew about things, such as the best places to eat, what wines to drink. I didn’t know that stuff, and I felt such a klutz beside him. But still he saw me. He noticed me. He made me feel important.
I guess, since we were together for so long, Joss was my ideal then. Someone to look up to. I think I was a little bit dazzled, to be honest.
5) You’re going out for dinner. What’s your favorite food?
I’m not sure you have many Albion foodstuffs on your planet, but I’ll try and explain what I’d prefer.
We brought many things with us from Earth when we left it, and we were able to grow most of them here. There’s a kind of cereal, a wheat, that makes a smooth dough we shape and cook, then serve with a little oil taken from the crushed fruits of a tree we call Olea, salt and other spices. I like mine with grated cheese, and to drink a rather gutsy red wine from the Arbuzzo region of Galatia with it. Something very simple like that, rather than smothered with spices like Illurian cuisine, or sauces like the food in Dacia.
Flynn liked kissing. In fact, Flynn considered himself something of an expert in the art. 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.
Meet Anna Butler
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
The Butler’s Pantry (Facebook Group)
Tour Dates & Stops: Wednesdays July 22 – November 4, 2015
Prism Book Alliance
Just Love Romance
Bayou Book Junkie
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
Andrew Q. Gordon
My Fiction Nook
The Hat Party
Inked Rainbow Reads
Emotion in Motion
BFD Book Blog
Jessie G. Books
Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews
MM Good Book Reviews
The Novel Approach
Amanda C. Stone
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
The Romance Review is a great resource for finding good books and they have a number of events for authors to promote their work during the year. They don't sell books and are very active in the romance genre in general. They are holding a Reader's Choice Awards and I'm honored to have four of my books included in the nominations.
There is a list of all the books up to be nominated to continue to the next round. They are organized by sub-genre. Please consider voting for your favorites that are on this list and support The Romance Reviews site.
The links to my books if you'd like to vote for them are:
Electric Candle received a wonderful 4.5 star review for the audio edition from Morgan at the Blogger Girls.
Shifting Chaos is on sale now!
I have listed all the Pre-order links I know of for Shifting Chaos in one spot. They are all located HERE.
Today I welcome my friend and all around nice lady Patricia Logan. She's got an awesome new book out.
Hi Patricia, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
1) Is there a character in your books that you can’t stand? (Antagonist for example) And what makes them someone you don’t like? There is a man in this book who is protesting marriage equality (he is unnamed, though I call him Otis) at the Capitol building in Austin. He’s holding a sign in protest and he speaks out to a reporter against same sex marriage. I hate bigots and hypocrites more than anything and while the country held its collective breath while we waited for the SCOTUS ruling, we saw plenty of them EVERYWHERE.
2) Are there misconceptions people have about your genre? Yes. That it’s written by gay men. Believe it or not, when I tell people unfamiliar with the genre, I get the same questions all the time. A. Why would you write that? B. Are you gay? C. Who wants to read that? And when I explain that it’s primarily written by straight women for straight women because they are our largest consumers, people look at me like I have two heads.
3) Is there message in your novel that you hope readers grasp? WOW. There are several in this one. I cover my support for same sex marriage, my hatred of narrow-minded bigots, the importance in helping your neighbor, the importance of remembering how difficult the fight Native Americans had and are still having for equality and fairness, and my support for animal rescue organizations who do so much for homeless and forgotten and mistreated and abandoned animals.
4) How has your writing evolved since your first book? (If this is your first book, how do you hope it evolves?) It’s gotten a thousand times better. I had a very hard time writing without point of view errors in my early books and I very rarely have even one now. In addition, my grammar, punctuation, and spelling are nothing to sneeze at now. I’ve always been able to plot out stories from start to finish but in the past I needed to outline every scene. My outlines are a lot looser now because I don’t need to stick so closely to them. I realize that sometimes my characters are going to walk off the page and they do. I just roll with it and sometimes they lead me off on a tangent. Finally, I try to write characters into a book with a follow-up book in mind for them now. In the past, I used to write a book and then select a character from it for the next book to give them a story. It’s more planned now.
5) One food you don’t care if you never eat it again. That’s hard because I’m squeamish about certain things so I’ve never tried them to begin with. I’ve never eaten a bug or a snail but most everything else I’ve ever tried, I’d eat again if it was prepared properly. I am moving away from meat, however, beginning to enjoy vegetables as a primary source of my protein. I’ve always loved them, but as I try more and more vegetarian dishes, I’m beginning to appreciate them so much more. I don’t think I could ever give up sea food or shellfish though. I ADORE everything from the sea and am a huge fan of sushi.
“Yoo Hoo! Dell, ya up there, ya sidewinder! Get outa bed or I’m gonna drag that lazy ass out!”
“What?” Pace said, startled awake as he lifted his head from Dell’s chest where he’d fallen asleep in the wee hours of the morning. He wiped his face of drool and stared across the muscled chest he loved, finding Dell’s face. He had one eye peeled open and he didn’t look all too happy by what sounded like Branch’s bellowing from downstairs.
“Fuckin’ ass poor timin’,” Dell grumbled as they both sat upright in bed. Pace knew it would be pretty awful if Branch came bursting into the room with them, lying buck naked in bed. “Guess I’d better find out just what the hell he’s doin’ here.” Pace watched as Dell threw his legs over the side of the bed. He watched his ass from behind, noting the muscled expanse of his back and the thick thighs he loved so much, as the man stood.
“What the hell is he doing here? He and the boys had a show,” Pace grumbled.
“Ya rattlesnake! Ya need me to come up there and put my boot up yer ass?” Branch howled. Pace couldn’t help but chuckle. He loved his brother but he loved the disgusted look on Dell’s face more. Dell walked to the doorway and stuck his head out.
“I’ll be down in a minute, ya jackass… unless ya want to see me in all my nekkid glory!” Dell yelled back.
Pace heard a chuckle coming from downstairs. “Hell naw! Get some clothes on there, scarecrow! Yer movin’ slower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.”
“Oh for Christ’s sake, here we go,” Dell said, glancing over at him. Pace just buried his face in the pillow and laughed.
Meet Patricia Logan
Patricia Logan resides in Los Angeles, California along with her husband, four children, her grandchild and ever increasing number of cats. When not being stage mom, baking cookies, or scooping kitty litter, she writes steamy, award winning, gay erotic romance and tries to lead her readers on a journey of discovery with more than a little angst.
Tour Dates & Stops:
29-Aug Three Books Over The Rainbow, Happily Ever Chapter, Because Two Men Are Better Than One,
Inked Rainbow Reads, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy
31-Aug Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Jena Wade, Divine Magazine, Cathy Brockman Romances
1-Sep LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Ogitchida Book Blog, Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog
2-Sep Bayou Book Junkie, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, 3 Chicks After Dark, Books A to Z, Love Bytes, Emotion in Motion
3-Sep Molly Lolly, Bike Book Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Mikky's World of Books, Up All Night, Read All Day
Welcome to My World