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08 March 2011 @ 06:05 pm
'The Mercenary' release + win a free copy!  
Hello, everyone :)!

I surface today from the depth of uni work and frantic writing to announce wonderful news. My first book, The Mercenary, is out today with Samhain Publishing. It is a post-apocalyptic action/adventure set in the UK, between the moorlands, Windermere and London, with steampunk elements and, of course, a core of gay romance.

To celebrate, I'm offering up a free copy to the winner of a little draft. I will randomly select the winner and contact them on Monday the 14th.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment to this post telling me, in a couple of lines or so, what type of character you'd be in a post-apocalyptic world. Would you be the hardcore mercenary? The evil ruler of a city? The vagabond poet travelling between the destroyed cities? The creepy scientist building incredible machines from scraps? Or...

Personally, I'd be the odd, geeky bookman who's in charge of the last, great library that somehow escaped the catastrophe. And I'd have an army of little rat-men to help me manage the place :).
I leave you with the blurb and cover, made by the brilliant Kanaxa.



There are more elusive things than water in this wasteland.

Now that a monstrous London machine has stolen the clouds from the sky, Asher Connor survives by selling his mercenary skills to transport water across York’s wasted moorland. Until his unit is attacked by a pack of Tamer-controlled wolves, and his ingenious mechanical arm fails.

He awakens, surprised to find he’s still alive—and dependent on a charming, attractive, utterly infuriating desert-dweller. The copper-eyed, untamed Gabriel is Asher’s only hope. At least until he reaches a technician who can repair his arm. Reluctant trust turns to desire in the wake of another Tamer attack, and the adrenaline rush locks them in a bond of wildfire lust.

Yet despite Gabriel’s deceptively relaxed attitude, he is dangerously focused. When they get to London, Asher manages to work out only part of the reason. His lover is connected to some kind of underground movement that’s got something big in the works. So big, even quick-with-a-comeback Gabriel is maddeningly tight-lipped.

When betrayal brings the plan crashing down, Asher is plunged into a battle that wasn’t his to fight—and if he doesn’t execute the final stage, Gabriel’s blood could be on his hands.




Warning:
This title contains hot mansex, mild but manly swearing, jealousy possibly leading to yet more hot mansex, ancestral rituals, frightening flying machines, clockwork owls, inopportune admirers and the complicity of odd scientists.


Also, for your perusal, a not very worksafe snippet after the lj-cut...

It happened fast.

The half-unhinged door creaked loudly as it was pushed open and a soiled bandaged figure entered the room, the smoked goggle lenses capturing minute glitters of tarnished light. Asher, crouched behind a massive wooden crate, could see the contours of Gabriel’s shape melt in the shadows behind the wooden door, the merest glint revealing his eyes. The first figure stepped inside, scanning the doorways leading out of the hall, and a second, stouter man followed. They were short, their limbs thick and stocky—

—and Gabriel struck, arm shooting out to grab a handful of bandages and haul the man backward. Asher had the time to place one shot and launched himself at the first figure as it staggered, absorbing the impact of the bullet, hands already reaching through the wrappings for weapons. Asher lurched at the man and clasped his chest with the unreliable strength of his brass arm, aiming to crush ribs. A jerk in the mechanism alerted him of an untimely malfunction. The butt of his gun collided with the man’s skull, then smashed one of his lenses—Asher grunted as he felt the pressure of small hooked weights lodging themselves in his side, stopped by the thick leather vest that wrapped his abdomen. He thrust the barrel of his weapon between the bandages on the stranger’s chest and fired, the recoil shooting up his arm to viciously tear at his shoulder. An unmanly howl resounded in the room as the man clawed at him with thick fingers, one reddened eye rolling wildly behind the shattered goggles. At the edge of his vision, Asher could see a swipe of bright red as Gabriel moved swiftly, his cloak thrown to the side to reveal a gleaming blade clutched in his fist.

The man in Asher’s hold struggled, and he brought his mechanical hand to seize his throat, clutching tightly. The artifact did not fail him. His adversary’s grip weakened within seconds, a harsh wheezing sound coming from his crushed windpipe. The man crumpled, a bloodied foam gurgling slowly from his mouth, and Asher carelessly threw him aside—just in time to see Gabriel’s opponent fall to the ground in a gush of blood, his throat neatly sliced open by Gabriel’s dagger. Gabriel stood, chest heaving, his face and arms splattered crimson with foreign blood. A gash crossed his biceps where one of the hooks had found hold; he stared back at Asher, his eyes blown wide, the hunger of the hunt apparently not yet satisfied.

“You’re good, stranger,” he said, voice strained. He did not move to wipe the blood off his face, did not lower the knife. A somewhat manic grin ghosted his lips, mirrored in his wild eyes. Asher found himself smirking back.

“You’re not too bad yourself,” he replied. Abruptly, the strength of the blood bond they now shared lodged itself in his chest—the brotherhood of killers, the only attachment he’d known in far too many years—and he added, “Call me Asher.”

“Asher,” Gabriel repeated, breathless still. Asher could not suppress the shiver that raked his body, ensnared by the way his name sounded on those full lips. Gabriel looked at him with near-scorching intensity, distant thunderbolts rumbling deep behind his irises. His eyes had darkened to a deep shade of auburn. And then—then he said:

“Fuck me.”

Asher’s mouth went dry. He hesitated, suddenly all too aware of his own body—the heightened awareness that came only from the thrill of a fight, the rush of a kill—blistering energy thrumming in his veins, the heady rush of adrenaline-like stoked embers at the core of his brain. “More could come,” he rasped, his voice suddenly rough. His throat felt tight.

Gabriel’s eyes gleamed dangerously in his blood-spattered face. “Shut up,” he all but growled, an untamed grin curling his lips upward in the most infuriating, enticing of ways. He fixed his eyes on Asher’s as he discarded his cloak and shrugged out of his harness. Slowly, deliberately, he unbuttoned his tattered waistcoat and crumpled it in his hand, throwing it to the floor. He was left in a thin button shirt—its sleeves rolled up to reveal the soft crook of his elbows, the hint of strong biceps.

Fuck me,” he repeated, his mouth a slow sin. His face was sharp and beautiful, pale skin a stark contrast with the dark bloodstains, his eyes smoldering embers staring at Asher from under his tousled locks, provocative, near damn intoxicating—

And Asher was yanking off his own coat, unfastening the thick leather protections that covered his chest. He stripped to a rough cotton shirt that stretched over his muscles, a sleeve ripped to reveal the brass gleam of his arm, a threatening confession in the half-darkness of the room. He grabbed Gabriel’s wrist, gracelessly dragging him close—their mouths clashed together, tongues exploring each other, teeth bared to sink in chapped lips, hot and messy and filthy of all the promises Gabriel’s half-lidded eyes seemed to bear. Asher’s fingers caught in thin fabric as they searched for warm skin—he ripped his hand free and impatiently slid it down the small of Gabriel’s back, past the loose edge of his trousers. His middle and index fingers tucked with ease in the warm crevice between Gabriel’s buttocks, thumb pressing a dimple in the soft flesh of a cheek. Gabriel licked Asher’s lips open and moaned in his mouth, wet and demanding, his taste a cinnamon wildfire seeping into Asher’s bloodstream, sizzling up his nerves to claim his brain, reaching down to his groin—

Gabriel groaned, half in pain, half in fervent lust—a hint of manic laughter twinkling in his eyes as he landed heavily on the crate, his arms not quite fast enough to prevent his chest from smacking against the hard wood. He braced himself with one arm and fumbled one handed with the fastening of his trousers as Asher held him down. The cold weight of the brass arm anchored him firmly as Asher all but wrenched his own garments open. Gabriel’s flesh was firm under his hand, sharp hipbone pressing against his palm as he traced his side, pushing obstructive fabric out of the way before finding a hold—his tanned knuckles a stark contrast where he grasped Gabriel’s fair skin.





The Mercenary is available as an ebook on Samhain's website and Amazon.
 
 
 
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
phoenixemrys.wordpress.com on March 8th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
looks very hot and love the cover. Congrats on the release!
cornelia grey. a festival of fools: icon9corneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you my dear! I'm in love with the cover too - Kanaxa is a wonderful artist :)

Will you be entering the contest? I'd love to hear what character you'd be in a post-apocalyptic world ;)
kinseymill on March 8th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Whoa that's really hot!! Congratulazioniiiiii! :D
Windermere...che meraviglia...
cornelia grey. a festival of fools: icon8corneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
Grazie mia tessora :)! Apprezzo davvero tanto il tuo commento!

Partecipi anche tu al contest? Sono curiosa di sapere che personaggio saresti in un mondo post-apocalittico :)!
Jaseslavetopassion on March 8th, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
Although I think the mercenary is sexy, I would most likely be the poet. :) This is on my wishlist!
cornelia grey. a festival of foolscorneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you for entering ;) I'll draft the winner tomorrow.

Ah, I think I'd have such a crush on the poet... but then being the geeky librarian I'd be, that's not surprising :)
Taurie: MACARONtaurie_2020 on March 8th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
Congratulazioni^*^
Finalmente è giunto il giorno della pubblicazione^^

(Per il tuo quesito direi che il ruolo più in tono con me è quello del "The evil ruler of a city", perché sono sempre Taurie;))
cornelia grey. a festival of fools: icon7corneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC)
Grazie mille Taurina :D!

E sì, ti ci vedo tantissimo come evil ruler ;)! Con un'armata di nazgul al tuo servizio!
Ramona RevisRamona Revis on March 9th, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
Hot cover page looking forward to the whole read.
As to my post apocolyptic ID/function, I envision myself as a Road Warrior with a purpose; Helping rebuilding a small community and making a peaceful place for children to grow up and people to grow old; looking for survivors, training for defense or offence and really NOT excited by the solid, nurturing guys that live in that community.
cornelia grey. a festival of fools: icon6corneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you for entering, Ramona! I'll draft the winner tomorrow and post it on this journal :).

It would be great to have someone take care of rebuilding a community. Perhaps my librarian and his books might join in? :)
suebrownstoriessuebrownstories on March 9th, 2011 06:50 am (UTC)
Congratulations. WOOHOO.

I would be the one bemoaning the lack of internet *g*, finding to keep my family together and forming a tribe.
cornelia grey. a festival of foolscorneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you for entering, Sue! I'll draft the winner tomorrow and post it on this journal :).

Ahahah! I would *so* be bemoaning the lack of proper bathrooms. And toilet paper, of course... ç__ç
E Susan BaughE Susan Baugh on March 9th, 2011 07:02 am (UTC)
Who I want to be in a post-apocalyptic world
As in this world, I would want to be a Librarian.
cornelia grey. a festival of fools: icon5corneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Who I want to be in a post-apocalyptic world
Thank you for entering, Susan! I'll draft the winner tomorrow and post it on this journal :).

Librarians are always the best ♥.
amara_devonteamara_devonte on March 10th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)
Oh, this sound wonderful! Congrats on the release!
cornelia grey. a festival of fools: icon4corneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much, Amara :)!

Will you be entering the contest? I'd love to know who you'd be in a post-apocalyptic world :)
Shannon KesslerShannon Kessler on March 10th, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
congrats on book
In a post apocalyptic world I would like to be the crazy healer that people were not sure they realy wanted to go see, but new could fix them up if they did.
cornelia grey. a festival of fools: icon3corneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
Re: congrats on book
Thank you for entering, Shannon! I'll draft the winner tomorrow and post it on this journal :).

Oooh, I am LOVING the crazy healer. Would it be more scientist-creepy laboratory-frankenstein oriented or some shaman concoting herbal infusions (which then would have the collateral effect of making whoever takes them incredibly horny thus leading to hot mansex happening all over the place)?

...I have a feeling a got a little carried away there... :)
sexy_bartendersexy_bartender on March 10th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
Wow - Your cover is awesome! Congratulations on your release!

My character would be a traveling vagabond with mediocre sword skills but kick butt ninja talents that I use to stay out of trouble and explore/exploit the random people I wander into. I might accumulate a rag tag band of followers as well, all of us enjoying the freedom from the previous daily grind and the edge of danger from starvation and bad guys.

That was fun!
cornelia grey. a festival of foolscorneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for entering, Sexy Bartender! I'll draft the winner tomorrow and post it on this journal :).

I am LOVING the kick-butt ninja talents. I can already picture all sorts of acrobatic chasing going on in the ruins of the destroyed city...
blog.booksontheknob.org on March 10th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
The one with the guns...
... the better to defend my stash of books on how to do things (and survive) without electricity and modern shopping centers.

Karen

kolists a\t gmail dt com
cornelia grey. a festival of foolscorneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
Re: The one with the guns...
Thank you for entering, Karen! I'll draft the winner tomorrow and post it on this journal :).

The one with the guns sounds like a very wise choice :)!
(Deleted comment)
cornelia grey. a festival of fools: icon2corneliagrey on March 13th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you for entering, Synthrax! I'll draft the winner tomorrow and post it on this journal :).

You would definitely be a great character. I think there would be a shortage of educators in a post-apocalyptic world, as opposed to all sorts of crazed improvised prophets stirring up all sorts of new insane superstitions and obscure cults... there would be dire need of someone fighting to keep culture alive.
The Dreamchasernecchan on March 12th, 2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
First of all, congratulations are in order!!!!
I knew, I always knew you'd publish a book one day, and I'm so happy and so unbelievably *proud* of you, right now. It's so... right, to think of you as a published author, selling her books worldwide. It's nice that to see someone as gifted as you get the recognition she so deserves.

As for my post-apocalyptic persona... well, that's quite a big question. Everyday-life me is a dreamer, with fragile health and a big-sis instinct, so it'd be totally plausible for me to end up as a... guardian of something, or someone. Be it knowledge, or simply faith, or just the injured, I'd probably be the one sitting in the dark, talking in hushed whispers as not to disturb the quiet, a book in my lap, peeking out only into the starlight and shying from the harsh sunlight.
cornelia grey. a festival of foolscorneliagrey on March 15th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
Grazie, twinny cara ♥!!! Sai che ci tengo sempre tantissimo alla tua opinione, e il tuo sostegno significa tantissimo per me.

E ti ci vedrei tantissimo come una guardiana, una creatura eterea e notturna... ♥
caitymack on March 13th, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
I like the idea of being a protector or teacher. Maybe someone to keep the kid's safe, with a place to stay and food to eat.
cornelia grey. a festival of foolscorneliagrey on March 15th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
That is a wonderful choice indeed :)
mickieashlingmickieashling on March 13th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'd definitely be the mercenary. Control freak here, lol! I adore your book cover. It's one of the most attractive ones I've seen this year, next to mine, of course:)

I'm crossing my fingers. I'd love to win your book, but I'll buy it regardless. You have me hooked!

Mickie
cornelia grey. a festival of foolscorneliagrey on March 15th, 2011 01:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Mickie! Ah, when Kanaxa sent me the cover I spent quite some time just... sort of staring and drooling ;)

And I'm sure you'd be a great mercenary!
jmhughes on March 14th, 2011 03:36 am (UTC)
Looks like something I want to read!
I'd like to be the Wise woman - the oracle, the seer.
cornelia grey. a festival of foolscorneliagrey on March 15th, 2011 01:34 pm (UTC)
That would be such a wonderful character :)!
kkpete on March 31st, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
My character
I think I would really like to be the Wise woman. Thanks
rlur on February 17th, 2013 11:03 am (UTC)
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( 33 comments — Leave a comment )