Taking Shield Series by Anna Butler Recap Tour & Cover Reveal, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hi guys! We have Anna Butler stopping by today with the recap blast for Taking Shield, we also have the cover reveal for her upcoming Taking Shield instalment Day of Wrath, we have a great excerpt, Anna’s giveaway and Shorty’s reviews so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~

Day of Wrath

(Taking Shield 05)
by

Anna Butler

In less than a week, Bennet will finally return to the Shield Regiment, leaving behind the Gyrfalcon, his father, his friends… and Flynn. Promotion to Shield Major and being given command of a battle group despite the political fallout from Makepeace the year before is everything he thought he wanted. Everything he’s worked towards for the last three years. Except for leaving Flynn. He really doesn’t want to leave Flynn.

There’s time for one last flight together. A routine mission. Nothing too taxing, just savouring every moment with the best wingman, the best friend, he’s ever had. That’s the plan.

Bennet should know better than to trust to routine because what waits for them out there will change their lives forever.

Release date: 28th June 2018
Pre-order:
 Amazon US | Amazon UKKobo | Smashwords | iTunes

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Excerpt!

from Day of Wrath 

As Bennet angled over to starboard, Flynn gave his own Hornet a metaphorical boot in the backside, and tagged along faithfully at Bennet’s port wing. He stayed close and tight. Pity the ensigns weren’t there to see how it was done. With finesse. Panache. And sheer, mind-boggling talent.

The Hornet’s navigational computer helpfully overlaid a representation of Aglaia with the usual spherical latitude-longitude grid, pulling the planetary data from the database. At least they had the figures for known planets logged and stored and the nav-com didn’t have to make it up. Which it could, of course, by designating the poles with an arbitrary north and south label, locating the equator, and inventing an arbitrary prime meridian to work with. According to legend, the system originated on Earth before man took to the skies, so old it was invented for sailing ships. Given Earth was ten thousand years gone, Flynn put a lot of emphasis on ‘legend’. Their flight navigation systems were built on bloody folklore.

Madness.

Still, at least he couldn’t get lost.

He followed Bennet into a high orbit along Aglaia’s equator, skimming along for a moment before going down into the atmosphere. And by skimming, he meant they bounced along like stones skipping over water before they burst through into a storm system. A big storm system. The air roiled in great waves and billows, buffeting the Hornets, and lightning cracked and sizzled off their hulls. The flow of the clouds was fierce, the turbulence greatest at the boundaries between cloud layers. And the winds! More than fierce. They were a howling, raging, relentless savagery that threatened to overwhelm even the Hornet’s engines. The Hornet bucked and balked against the winds, and it took every ounce of skill Flynn possessed to fight her into obedience, to keep her flying in the direction he wanted. He couldn’t rely on relaxed experience here. This was active, constant readjustment to make her respond. He dropped back a trifle, giving Bennet and himself room to ride out the bucking and bouncing. He wasn’t so much flying through Aglaia’s skies, as cavorting through them.

Gods, it was fun! 

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Anna Butler!

The award-winning Taking Shield series comes to an explosive conclusion in the fifth book, Day of Wrath, to be published on 28 June 2018.

First that cover. Designed by Adrian Nicholas, who’s been responsible for creating the Taking Shield brand, this cover features a faceless drone, one of the cyborg soldiers sent against humanity by the Maess:

Anna : what you, dear reader, might expect from the Taking Shield series 

Gay literature is a growing genre. And the biggest element of that, just as it’s the biggest element of literature generally? Romance. Love, hearts, kisses, and happiness. M/M romance, in particular, is booming.

Now then, if I’m reading a romance, I have certain expectations. I want to see two people attracted to each other, overcoming some obstacle to being together, being faithful and loving. And at the very least, the book must close with a Happy-For-Now ending even if the story can’t quite make it Happy Ever After. En route they can have all sorts of things happen: murders, mystery, mayhem. Doesn’t matter. What matters is they’re together and I can put the book down feeling good about the outcome.

But this is where things get a little sticky. Because if you’re looking for pure romance, then I have to confess that the Taking Shield series won’t deliver it. Shield isn’t romance. It is a love story—a very deep and, at times, intense love story—that covers five or six years of interstellar war and billions of miles of space travel. This is a classic space opera. All the staples of old school sci-fi are here: big spaceships, infiltrations of enemy bases, cool Shield suits, and lots of people running around shooting their lasers.

And it has two men in love. Oh wait. Not as old school as all that, then.

Across the whole of the series, there are two main story themes, intertwining with each other: the war against the Maess and, set against that, the relationship between Shield Captain Bennet and Fleet Lieutenant Flynn. The Maess war and everything Bennet has to do there gets equal billing with the slow unfolding of his relationship with Flynn.

So something of a niche appeal, here! But if you like sweeping sagas and big love stories where the obstacles the heroes face are big and sweeping too, I do hope you’ll give Bennet and Flynn a try. They aren’t perfect, but a couple of guys with all their warts and faults, all their brilliance and intelligence, all their courage and loyalty and great hearts, all their beauty and all their ugliness—and they love each other. They love each other a great deal, despite every parting, and every reverse and upset in their relationship. And now, at the end of the series, perhaps they’ll get their chance.

Do come on the adventure with them. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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Taking Shield series!

About the series 

Taking Shield started out as a simple set of ‘what if’ questions. What if, in some AU universe, Earth’s been a burnt out dustball for the last ten thousand years? What if there’s a riff on the Exodus and remnants of humanity escape, but led by Pharaohs? What if the new world they found, Albion, is at war with an enemy no one has ever seen? What if the hero is a member of Albion’s special forces and the Military Strategy Unit? What if he finds something that seriously threatens Albion? What if he falls in love with a Fleet pilot and has his life turned upside down?

Earth’s a dead planet, dark for more than ten thousand years; lost for so long no one even knows where its solar system is. Her last known colony, Albion, has grown to be regional galactic power in its own right. But Albion’s 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.

The Taking Shield series charts the missions and adventures of Shield Captain Bennet, scion of a prominent military family. Over the Taking Shield 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.

More info and background on the Shield Universe at Anna’s website 

Note: the novels are not standalones and should be read in order.

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Taking Shield 01: Gyrfalcon 

— Earth’s last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy. In the first of the Taking Shield series, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence. A dangerous job, and Bennet doesn’t need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his father—or with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down. He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war. What he doesn’t expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget. 

Available FREE at Payhip | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes

Taking Shield 02: Heart Scarab 

— Shield Captain Bennet is on Telnos, an unpleasant little planet inhabited by religious fanatics and unregistered miners running illegal solactinium mines. It’s about to be about to be overrun by the Maess. Bennet’s job is to get out as many civilians as he can, but the enemy arrives before the evacuation is complete. Caught in a vicious fire fight, Bennet is left behind, presumed dead.

His family is grieving. Joss, his long-term partner, grieves with them; lost, unhappy, remorseful. First Lieutenant Flynn has no official ‘rights’ here. He isn’t family. He isn’t partner or lover. He’s just broken

Available at Payhip | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes

Taking Shield 03: Makepeace 

— Returning to duty following his long recovery from the injuries he sustained during the events recounted in Heart Scarab, Shield Captain Bennet accepts a tour of duty in Fleet as flight captain on a dreadnought. The one saving grace is that it isn’t his father’s ship—bad enough that he can’t yet return to the Shield Regiment, at least he doesn’t have the added stress of commanding former lover, Fleet Lieutenant Flynn and knowing the fraternisation regulations will keep them apart.

Bennet’s new mission takes him behind the lines to Makepeace, once a human colony but under Maess control for more than a century. The mission goes belly up, costing Albion one of her precious, irreplaceable dreadnoughts and bringing political upheaval, acrimony and the threat of public unrest in its wake. But for Bennet, the real nightmare is discovering what the Maess have in store for humanity. It’s not good. It’s not good at all.

SECOND PLACE WINNER 2016 Rainbow Awards for Best Sci/Fi Futuristic book

Available at Payhip | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes

Taking Shield 04: 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.

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…

FIRST PLACE WINNER 2017 Rainbow Awards for Best Sci/Fi Futuristic book

THIRD PLACE WINNER 2017 Rainbow Awards for Best Gay Book

Available from Payhip | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes

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About Anna!

Anna Butler author picAnna 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.

Website and Blog | Facebook | The Butler’s Pantry (Facebook Group) | Pinterest | Twitter | Sign up for Anna’s quarterly newsletter

Giveaway!

Want to win some loot?

Pre-order Day of Wrath at a digital store (Amazon, Kobo, Nook etc) and send a copy of the email confirmation (or a screengrab of it) to annabutlerfiction@gmail.com and

(i) Anna will send you the first chapter and some deleted scenes by email. The deleted scenes will be exclusive until the end of the year;

(ii) the first twenty to respond will get a little bag of Taking Shield loot; and

(ii) your name will be entered in a draw to win one of seven signed first edition paperbacks of Taking Shield 02: Heart Scarab. Winners will be announced on publication day.

Review

Title: Gyrfalcon

Series: Taking Shield, 01

Author: Anna Butler

Genre: Sci-Fi

Length: Novel (333pgs)

Publisher: Glass House Press (23rd January 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Earth’s last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy. In the first of the Taking Shield series, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence.

A dangerous job, and Bennet doesn’t need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his father—and with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down. He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war.

What he doesn’t expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget.

ISBN: 9781370118519

Product LinkPayhip | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: The first thing about this book you should know is that it is not a romance book. Yes there is a couple in it but because of Bennet’s work they are apart for the most part. This story is about a colony fighting against an alien whose sole purpose is to wipe out humanity, one world at a time.

The aliens themselves are called Maess. By the descriptions of them they sound like cyborgs. Very deadly with means of protecting itself and the bases they have put up in different worlds.

Shield Captain Bennet’s job is to infiltrate a main base of the Maess and destroy it. Without being detected. There are many characters introduced throughout that help Bennet during his mission.

Intense at times, fast paced and well written. The descriptions of space and the battles were amazing. I found myself on the edge of my seat the further the story progressed. Too many things happen in this book to put them all in this review but all in all it’s a great read.

Title: Heart Scarab

Series: Taking Shield 02

Author: Anna Butler

Genre: Sci-Fi

Length: Novel (396 pages)

Publisher: Glass House Press (23rd January 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Shield Captain Bennet is on Telnos, an unpleasant little planet inhabited by religious fanatics and unregistered miners running illegal solactinium mines. It’s about to be about to be overrun by the Maess. Bennet’s job is to get out as many civilians as he can, but the enemy arrives before the evacuation is complete. Caught in a vicious fire fight, Bennet is left behind, presumed dead.

His family is grieving. Joss, his long-term partner, grieves with them; lost, unhappy, remorseful. First Lieutenant Flynn has no official ‘rights’ here. He isn’t family. He isn’t partner or lover.

All he is, is broken.

ISBN: 9781370139811

Product Link: Payhip | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: This is the second book in the Taking Shield series. I loved the entire book. It was heart stopping at times and yet heartbreaking at others.

Bennet is sent on a mission that goes horribly wrong. But before that Joss, his longtime partner wants him to quit the military. I really felt for Jose, understanding his need for his partner but at the same time I understood Bennet’s position.

This book provides plenty of action and adventure among a well written story that takes the reader on a deadly mission. I was on the edge of my seat reading this book and holding my breath at times. It’s truly a wonderful story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Tough some things were confusing I still figured out what the author was trying to say.

I really liked the detailed descriptions of Telnos, even though it did not sound like a good place to be I imagined what it actually looked like. One of the things I did not like was the possibility of a relationship with a woman in a future. I sincerely hope this is not the case as I only read m/m.

Overall it was really good tale of adventure and danger set in a sci-fi world, though there was not much sci-fi.

Great read.

Title: Makepeace

Series: Taking Shield 03

Author: Anna Butler

Genre: Sci-Fi

Length: Novel (328pgs)

Publisher:  Glass Hat Press (23rd January 2017)

Heat Level: Nil

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Returning to duty following his long recovery from the injuries he sustained during the events recounted in Heart Scarab, Shield Captain Bennet accepts a tour of duty in Fleet as flight captain on a dreadnought. The one saving grace is that it isn’t his father’s ship—bad enough that he can’t yet return to the Shield Regiment, at least he doesn’t have the added stress of commanding former lover, Fleet Lieutenant Flynn and knowing the fraternization regulations will keep them apart.

Working on the material he collected himself on T18 three years before, Bennet decodes enough Maess data to send him behind the lines to Makepeace, once a human colony but under Maess control for more than a century. The mission goes belly up, costing Albion one of her precious, irreplaceable dreadnoughts and bringing political upheaval, acrimony and the threat of public unrest in its wake. But for Bennet, the real nightmare is discovering what the Maess have in store for humanity.

It’s not good. It’s not good at all.

ISBN: 9781370237296

Product Link: Payhip | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: Captain Bennet is on a mission to rescue humans that are being held against their will. The problem is all the political red tape that comes with it. I gotta say this was a fascinating story. 

You have Bennet and his problems; on top of that you have unrest and upheaval thrown in the mix. So much is going on that at times I was confused but it all came together nicely as the story progressed.

Stunning battles scenes, harrowing confrontations and a well-balanced array of other things in the mix. This book will have you on the edge of your seat, holding your breath. It captures you from the start and does not let go until the end. 

The ending seems to be setting up for another book. I loved how the setting was in this book. This is a greatly detailed and invigorating story.

This was truly an amazing read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Anna Butler - The Chains of Their Sins CoverTitle: The Chains Of Their Sins 

Series:  Taking Shield 04

Author: Anna Butler

Genre: Science Fiction, Soap Opera

Length: Novel (368pgs)

Publisher: Glass Hat Press (February 13, 2017)

Heat Level: Nil

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: 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 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..

ISBN: 9781370504466

Product Link: Payhip | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: There was a lot of tension in this book from Bennet and Flynn. It was thick enough at times to suffocate. Though they planned to be just friends considering Bennet is Flynn’s superior and only the captain for a year, that didn’t mean the feelings were not there. I felt sorry for them.

Bennet had his plate full dealing with memories from all sides. The Maess were quiet for the most part but that did not mean their end result was gone, as in case with the colony of those saved from the Maess. It broke my heart at what had been done to them.

There is a lot going on in this story from political unrest to trying to figure out what the Maess is up to. It was a lot to take in and absorb. I’m still trying to make sense of some of it as I felt at times it was way too drawn out considering the book is over 300 pages long. 

I was not impressed with the fact that so much time was spent on Bennet’s sister. I mean I thought this was an m/m book. Yet she is all throughout. I realize she plays a role but I felt her part was overdone. There were no sex scenes in this book and there was no end as it ends on a cliffhanger of sorts.

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