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14 March 2011 @ 09:34 pm
The Mercenary draft winner + reviews  
Hello, beloved readers / authors!

As promised, it's time to announce the winner of the free copy of The Mercenary. I have asked for the collaboration of one of my handsome Colombian flatmates, who picked up from the orange cereal bowl...

Csi Librarian, who commented on my Blogpost entry saying: I would want to be a mad scientist-librarian with a mechanical/clockwork army of mice. Or scarab beetles. They could spy for me and hunt for books in the wastelands.

Dear Librarian, I'll send your copy as soon as I finish typing this entry. And I'll thank the handsome Colombian for you ;)
A warm thank you to everyone who entered ♥!





In other news, I've received my first reviews for The Mercenary, and I'm very happy with them.

The very first one I received (I couldn't have asked for anything better :) is a lovely 5 stars review by Mary on Goodreads:
(...)I truly loved Gabriel; this is a young man who can take care of himself...and Asher exceedingly well. He is an adrenaline junkie, a capable fighter, and someone who does what he needs to in order to save his people. He has an explosive chemistry w/Asher; their sex scenes are scorching (insert nosebleed here), and their relationship-while not defined, felt that it had the beginnings of something more.(...)


This is a wonderful read. Short at less than 67 pgs. the author managed a well written story. Saved only by chance when he comes under attack, Asher is invited to join Gabriel on his journey home with the incentive that Asher's damaged arm (think Will Smith in I, Robot) will be repaired.

Once there, Asher discovers that this little home town has some secrets-with Gabriel at the center of them. His interest is piqued and so he finds himself trying to discover just what is going on; especially when his feelings for Gabriel seem to be turning into something deeper than just simple lust.

Then his fears turn into reality and he must find a way to save Gabriel before it's too late.

I truly loved Gabriel; this is a young man who can take care of himself...and Asher exceedingly well. He is an adrenaline junkie, a capable fighter, and someone who does what he needs to in order to save his people. He has an explosive chemistry w/Asher; their sex scenes are scorching (insert nosebleed here), and their relationship-while not defined, felt that it had the beginnings of something more.
But as much as I loved the guys, my hero is Athena-she is so cute and very brave.

Definitely will look forward to more from this author.





Then I found this lovely one from elisa_rolle:
(...) What I probably liked the most is that, even if the starting point is quite violent and the two men start their relationship from the sex, the story and the relationship soon move towards the romance; true, they are still involved in dangerous situations, and they still need to fight, but even if the sex is still good, it’s somehow softened by the love that is clearly blossoming between the two.



The Mercenary is a mix of many themes, post-apocalypse future, fantasy, the more trendy steampunk but above all romance: yes, because even if fighting and flying and another action staring for f and continuing with u and c and k, these men are also men in love and so there is also loving and kissing and yes, also being jealous.

What Asher is expecting from life right in that moment is basically nothing: stranded in the middle of nowhere and wounded, he is only waiting for a merciful death; instead he obtains Gabriel, that like the angel with the same name, becomes at the same time savior, guardian but also the main source of all his trouble. As soon as they are together, Asher is immediately involved in a fight, and he has the chance to witness that Gabriel is no angel at all; and another proof is when, still dirty of their enemies blood, Gabriel pretends to be f**ked by Asher, right there, right now, no questions or hesitation.

That Asher likes Gabriel is pretty clear, what Asher probably doesn’t like, but he cannot avoid, is to fall in love with the other man; at the same time teasing and encouraging him, I think that Gabriel obtains exactly what he wants. The jealous Asher is a touch of romance to this novella that I liked, as I liked also the little steampunk details scattered here and there, like the clockwork owl Athena, the artificial arm of Asher, the flying machine of Gabriel and so on. Together with the steampunk setting there is the post-apocalypse world, that more or less reminded me of a middle ages village, with the big manor, the local inn and so on.

What I probably liked the most is that, even if the starting point is quite violent and the two men start their relationship from the sex, the story and the relationship soon move towards the romance; true, they are still involved in dangerous situations, and they still need to fight, but even if the sex is still good, it’s somehow softened by the love that is clearly blossoming between the two.






And finally (I am being spoiled!) a brilliant 4 stars review by Bembo:
(...)A quite short story, set in this desolate, lawless and violent future world, in a very different society, is a touching love story, a love between two very different souls, the mercenary and the rebel.



Most of Britain is a hot desert wasteland where water is more valuable than gold; in Yorkshire Asher lies wounded in the debris following an attack. He wakes to find a unfamiliar young man gazing down on him, Gabriel, his rescuer. Gabriel, beautiful, charming, almost flippant, and to Asher very irritating, takes him to his remote community in Windermere, and on the way passionately demands Asher is intimate with him, that Asher take him. Once they reach Windermere Asher's wounds are tended. Asher also begins to realise there is much more to Gabriel, and that he in involved in something much bigger.

Garbriel takes Asher with him to the walled city London where it becomes clear that Gabriel is involved in some sort of plot, possibly connected with the Apparatus in London that monopolises the country's water supply. But Asher still is not taken into Gabriel's confidence, and to make matters worse it seems that Gabriel is also being intimate with one of his fellow conspirators, inflaming Asher's jealousy and causing a rift in their relationship.

But then a betrayal changes everything, Gabriel's life is in danger, and it is left to Asher to try to save him, but the rescue mission seems certain to be suicidal.

A quite short story, set in this desolate, lawless and violent future world, in a very different society, is a touching love story, a love between two very different souls, the mercenary and the rebel.





What can I say? I am very very happy. But, despite the appearances!, I am managing not to spend my time hanging around Goodreads like a vulture waiting for new reviews ;) I finished recently a short story that I submitted to Dreamspinner Press (that one came out, as we say in Italian, as smooth as oil - it just poured onto the page by itself. Why don't they do it more often, I wonder?).

So now, happily ignoring my homework for university, I went back to happily typing The Stray, which is The Mercenary's prequel, for Samhain Publishing. It will be another novella and I'm just past the 24'500 mark. I reckon I might be able to keep it under 30'000 if I keep myself in check... I seem to like long things (stories, people! Stories! What were you thinking?) ;).

Thank you again to all who entered the draft, and I look forward to hear your comments if you decide to read The Mercenary anyway ♥.