Tag Archives: release day!

Release Day! Serpent’s Kiss

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Say hello to Layla. And I want to apologize for not having time to pretty up the links. My internet is hanging on by a thread and I didn’t want to take the time only to find out it’s dead again. So without further delay, let’s hear from Layla!

Thank you for inviting me to your blog and helping to celebrate the release of Serpent’s Kiss, my fifth full length novel release. I must say, the journey into authorship has been an interesting one. I’ve talked in the past about how I got started, playing online roleplaying games and building a storyline and longtime characters into what became Guitars and Cages and the upcoming sequel Guitars and Choices, but I have to say that nothing could have ever prepared me for what being an author truly entailed. Let me say I was in for a bit of a shock that I’m still recovering from in some ways. So without further ado, here’s my list of the 5 things I didn’t know about becoming a published author but wish I had.

1. That I’d spend as much time learning to promote and build a brand as I would getting to write new stories.
2. That people will write reviews on a novel based only on the cover and sample chapter, and you can’t say a word, you just have to sit back and ignore it, or better still, learn not to read them.
3. That it isn’t what you write but how you write it, telling a story isn’t the same as creating a world and inviting readers to live in it for a few hours.
4. That your editor is your friend, you’re beta readers can become your biggest support group, and more than just getting words in the document goes into polishing something. There are many parts and people involved in getting a work out there and each and every one of them should be celebrated.
5. That there would be days when actual writing would have to be set aside for social media. I didn’t even have a twitter account when I wrote the first book, in fact, I wasn’t entirely certain what twitter was, or tumblr or pinterest, and I certainly didn’t have a website. I’ve learned so much about social meeting since my first release, and it’s been truly humbling to have to go to my daughter for assistance more often than not.

Serpent’s Kiss Excerpt

He caught sight of his mismatched eyes in the mirror as he headed to the living room, desperate to put the day behind him. As always, seeing those eyes reminded him of how defective he really was, and not just on the outside, but the inside too. His green eye was blind, save for those moments when it decided to peer into the soul of another and bring their future or past roaring like a waterfall of images through his mind.

The twisted part of him, the cold, sick, sadistic nature that set him apart as much as his stare, loved when those images spelled out pain, misfortune, and death, death was a high that left him without the need for drugs or the bottle gods. What kind of monster fed off the hurt of others the way vampires fed off blood, hell, he was worse than any bloodsucker, at least they spared their victims pain when they could, left them with pleasant, sometimes even erotic memories and licked the wound closed to hide where it had been. Him, he just busted lives open wide, sucking in all that delicious fear, doubt, paranoia, oh god but he loved when he got the paranoid ones, he’d fuck with them for days before allowing the visions to play out the way they were supposed to. Drop them a little hint here, a little clue there, let them know disaster was breathing down their necks and watch as they scrambled to do everything in their power to avoid it. Only there was never anything that they could do.

He was caught between self-loathing and longing for just the right kind of paranoid son of a bitch that might help him forget this day when his eyes landed on his couch. Sitting where he’d planned to drop his ass and rest was a woman with blood diamond scales running down her arms and the brightest ruby eyes he’d ever seen. Crimson lips parted to reveal a pair of brilliant white fangs and her hair was the color of sunsets, all red and orange hues spilling down her back. A pattern of scales ran up her forehead like a widow’s peak, and covered her cheekbones. Her ears were mere slits set against the silver and red prismatic colors and when she turned, he was sure he heard rattling and looked down to see a snake’s tail coiled on his plush leather cushions.

“What. The. Fuck,” he stammered, wishing he hadn’t taken off his gun.

She hissed, like lips peeled back, forked tongue darting out and flickering in his direction kind of hiss and he shrank back, ‘cause however messed up he was, she was way on the other side of normal.

“Your crass words are offensive to my ears,” she seethed, coils uncoiling and snaking toward him.

He took another step back, ‘til the backs of his legs hit the front of a chair and he dropped his ass in the lumpy thing.

“Apologize,” she ordered.

He opened his mouth to tell her to go to hell, but all that came out was a choked wheeze as something squeezed his throat so hard he was seeing red spots and haze.

“You were told to apologize,” a deeper, harsher voice ordered, and Darrell forced himself to focus, to grasp the coils around his neck and pull at the thick weight of them enough to catch a gasp of air.

Serpent’s Kiss Blurb
While searching for their missing sibling, Zaiden and his sister, Kaandhal come across the last pure blooded psy-clairvoyant of their kind. Unfortunately for them, Darian has no idea what he truly is and isn’t much interested in learning, or in helping them locate their brother, Zxex.

A bounty hunter by trade, who’s been all but banished from his family due to his visions, Darian’s a bit cynical about his ability to be of any assistance to them. Never-the-less, Zaiden brings him back to their home Rhumba, where Darian discovers that very little is what it seems.

With plots unfolding all around them and discoveries about his own heritage leaving Darian reeling, he is left with the choice of whether to embrace who and what he is, or spend every moment with them a prisoner on the fringes of their society.

Add in a pesky little bond that only seems to grow the more time he and Zaiden spend together, and several factions looking to gain possession of him and Darian is left wondering if his visions just might be the least of his troubles.

Book Trailer: Buy Links
US Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
UK Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
DE Amazon: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
JP Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
CA Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/

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LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Layla Dorine can be found at:
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005197938547&fref=ts Twitter: https://twitter.com/layladorine
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/layladorine/
Tumblr: https://layladorine.tumblr.com/
Author Website: layladorine13.wix.com/layladorineauthor
Author on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814124.Layla_Dorine

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New Release – Anna Butler Taking Shield 04 : The Chains Of Their Sins!

Taking Shield 04 : The Chains Of Their Sins

PUBLICATION DATE : 13 February 2017

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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)

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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.

Rafflecoptor code:

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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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Release Day for Once Upon a Time in the Weird West!

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Yeehaw, Once Upon a time in the Weird West is out and you’ll want to grab this one faster than a gunslinger clears leather. You can get it from Dreamspinner Press and they’re having a 30% off sale right now so how great is that? So come celebrate with me and my fellow contributors, Shira Anthony, Kim Fielding, Venona Keyes, Jamie Fessenden, Tali Spencer, Lex Chase, Carroll S Poe, Nicole Kimberling, Gin Hale, Astrid Amara & Langley Hyde. Can’t tell you how excited I am for this anthology!

*  photo IMG_1513_zpssmebr8dj.jpg (The hills around Virginia City)

You can find out why I set my story in Virginia City at my post for the blog tour here . I had so much fun writing a steampunk story that I really went overboard with it and had to trim it up (who knows, one day the longer version might make an appearance). In Corpse Powder you have a Jewish doctor, a Navajo airship man and an evil wizard and no end of troubles.

The Territorial Enterprise even made it into the story (though I had to cut the part about Mark Twain for length, pouts) *  photo IMG_1508_zpskdnxtlyj.jpg

Anthology Blurb This isn’t the same old Wild West. The usual suspects are all present: cowboys, outlaws, and sheriffs. There’s plenty of dust, tumbleweeds, horses, and cattle on the range, but there are also magical gems, automatons, elementals, airships… even dinosaurs and genetically modified insects. Roaming among the buffalo and coyotes, you’ll encounter skinwalkers, mad engineers, mythical beings cloaked in darkness, and lovers who stay true to their oaths… even beyond the grave. On this frontier are those at the mercy of their own elaborate devices as well as men whose control of time and space provides a present-day vision of the West. There might even be a dragon hidden amongst the ghost towns and wagon trains.

If you like your Westerns with a splash of magic, a touch of steampunk, and plenty of passionate romance between men, these genre-bending tales will exceed expectations.

Hold on to your hats, cowboys and cowgirls. The West is about to get weird, and you’re in for a hell of a ride.

Blurb for Corpse Powder : Doctor Isaac Adler came to Virginia City, Nevada, to escape the horrors he witnessed during the War between the States. Despite a living in a thriving Jewish community, Isaac’s having trouble finding his faith… and finding work. Just when he’s contemplating leaving the desert, life takes an unexpected turn when the airship Aurora is attacked by pirates and Isaac is called upon to help the wounded.

The ship’s first mate, Tsela “Alexander” Zhani, is also trying to outrun a nightmare, his in the form of the powerful skinwalker who drove him from his Navajo village. Tsela’s friendship with the handsome doctor responsible for saving the lives of his friends gives both men a fragile hope for a better future. But their demons aren’t as far behind them as they thought.

Buy Links Dreampsinner Press
All Romance
Amazon

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And look, it’s already earned one 5 star review here

*All the photos were taken by my Dad when he was in Virginia City this year and used with his permission. Hope they gave you a taste of my setting, just try to imagine it without the cars…

Release day for Love Wins!

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Love Wins is the second anthology Dreamspinner has put out to benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting victims in Orlando and I’m proud to be part of this anthology. It’s a mix of genres from contemporary to Sci-Fi to urban fantasy which mine is.

My story, More Than His Scars, is an urban fantasy short story with my Kept Tears characters, Aaron a disabled veteran and Rhys, a Tylwyth Teg prince. Rhys and Corrine (Aaron’s best friend) along with Rhys’ 200 year old twin sons are trying to help Aaron through the anniversary of losing his arm.

I loved being able to revisit Aaron and Rhys’s world. I love writing those two and I wanted to deal with all that Aaron has lost and what he has gained with Rhys.

You can Buy it here with Dreamspinner or here with Amazon.