PUBLICATION DAY Taking Shield 03: Makepeace

PUBLISHED TODAY

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I’m delighted to say that Makepeace, the third Shield book, will be published today by Wilde City Press.

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

 

About 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, knowing the fraternisation 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.

Book Title: Makepeace
Series: Taking Shield
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Wordcount: c 94,500
Category: Sci Fi, Gay mainstream

 

 

Excerpt

The thing, whatever it was, had fallen between two pods. It didn’t move. Unlike the soldier outside, it didn’t kick its legs or drum its heels. It felt nothing. Bennet bent over it, laser at the ready, his shoulders lifting to hunch protectively over his neck. He blew out a soft breath. Thank fuck. Thank fuck.

Not an organic Maess, at least.

Definitely a drone. Possibly a modified EDA? It had the same well articulated hands, the same smooth plasticised skin over the electronics and metal underneath. But the metallic body had a bluish tinge.

The head was different. His first thought was it was translucent, the interior scattered with pinpoint lights. But no. The ovoid was bigger than usual but solid and opaque. Some sort of mesh covered the metal casing, the tiny lights woven into it at varying depths, giving the illusion he could see inside.

Blue lights, the intense sapphire blue of the lights fizzing down the columns into the pods. Whatever this was, it was no ordinary drone.

The lights in its head dimmed. Flickered out.

The thing was deactivated.

It had shaken Haydn out of his previous calm. “What the hell is that?”

T18. Bennet had seen something like this on T18. Just a glimpse. When he’d seen that Thing, the real Maess, surrounded by drones, there had been something else. Something thinner than the usual drones, less bulky. Blue lights were involved, too. The Strategy Unit analysts never had worked out what it was. In the end they’d concluded it had been a problem with his camera, reflecting the lighting inside the base on T18. He’d had no reason to argue.

Well, now he knew it hadn’t been the lighting.

Cover1

 

Buy Links

From Wilde City Press today, and available on Amazon in about a week.

Buy the previous books in the series:

Taking Shield Book 01: Gyrfalcon available at Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk  Wilde City Press  All Romance eBooks

Taking Shield Book 02: Heart Scarab available at Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk  Wilde City Press  All Romance eBooks

 

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16 comments

  1. Woooohooohoooo!! CONGRATULATIONS!

    Cannot wait to start it… Live in France so I have to wait a little more to grab it from AMZ. Hopefully I’ll be able to read it over rhe weekend!

    All the best,

    Like

      • Hello!

        I finished it a few weeks ago and remembered you asked to tell you what I thought… so here I am!

        Be warned…. fangirling time ahead. 😉

        First I have to say I almost had a heart attack when I read the last line… I mean I couldn’t believe you ended it there!! (Okay… I could totally do. I would have too had I been the author… I mean what is funnier than torturing readers??? ;P) So I read the excerpt of book 4 because I wanted MORE. I wanted to know what happened after Flynn went to see Bennet!! I NEEDED TO KNOW !! AND NOTHING!!!! Grrrrrrrrr! I really was NOT happy about that. (Well, only for a few seconds. Of course! Because that chapter from Flynn was the best, really; him wanting to avoid Bennet to realize the guy hadn’t even arrived… it made me smile!)

        To be honest, I was a little worried I was not going to like the book because of the non interaction between Flynn and Bennet (My friend had told me there was no interaction between them and since I LOVE them, I was sad about it and it took me some time to start the book even…). But I did!! The plot was very engaging, it kept me turning the pages and we did get a few chapter from Flynn. Poor guy though, he really broke my heart in this one. He is head over heels in love and hurting because Bennet seems to not care that much… I mean, no contact for 2 years ?? (Also I know it is because Bennet thinks he can’t have Flynn…but still. TWO YEARS!!!). And then the Rosie thing….

        When Bennet asked her to marry him I died! No, really. I did! Thankfully, Rosie was smart enough to REFUSE. But you really got me worried for a sec. Because I was convinced the Rosie I got to know thorough the first books would have fight for Bennet like she did since the beginning. Of course, we didn’t want that since Bennet is Flynn’s. And Rosie had to *disappear*. I also think Rosie’s decision was because deep down she always knew she would always have been “second choice”. I think she knows Bennet loves Flynn and he is with her because he can’t be with him. (Also, I hate to say this but even after that, I am not that fond of Rosie. Just saying… ;P)

        Bennet. Damn, he killed me. He seemed so undecided…dinners with Joss and then the Rosie thing (hell, he even thought about quitting to stay with her! *wide eyes*)!
        Okay, I know I am not being fair with him since I think deep down he is afraid of his feelings for Flynn, mostly how to be on the same ship without being able to be together but still he was driving me nuts. (I also think Bennet has a big heart and it is hard for him to let go of people because he thinks he os going to hurt them while in fact those people need space to heal and stop hurting).

        The whole Makepeace mission was heartbreaking and I really can’t wait to see what’s next! (I also hope we’ll hear from Warwick again! I do want Bennet’s father to punch him! *insert evil grins here*)

        I love Cruz. She was amazing because the Natalia thing could have been awful. Flynn shouldn’t have flirt with her but then when I discovered it was to hear about Bennet, it killed me even more (And of course he learned that Bennet was living with Rosie! *sadface*). Natalia does seem to have set eyes on him though but I’m pretty sure nothing will happen now, right. RIGHT?? (Please don’t let anything happen between them! I would die. For real!)

        Oh, I also love Liam… he makes me laugh ! And I really hope we’ll hear more from him too.

        Amazing book…not sure I can get over that last scene tough. And I hope we will get the continuation of that last scene in the next book !! Actually, I think you should start book 4 with that scene! 😉

        Sorry about my rambling… the only thing you have to remember is I LOVED THIS BOOK and CANNOT WAIT for the next installment!!

        Even if I think book 4 is really going to be the end of me…. They’re going to be on the same ship and not going to be able to be together !! Because clearly Bennet will not act and Flynn will not act either… regulations !! Also, regulations exist to be broken ! Am I right, or am I right?? 😛
        (Damn, I’m pretty sure I remember reading on here that nothing would happen… Guess I am going to suffer as much as them!)

        All in all, amazing series. And I cannot wait for their love story (and I am quoting you here : Gyrfalcon – indeed, the whole Shield series – isn’t a romance story, but it is an intense love story. I adore Bennet and Flynn and I hope you will, too.) to unfold. I am IN LOVE with them and want them HAPPY.

        Thank you!

        Like

        • Hello!

          Sorry to take some time to reply – your comment fell into moderation ( I have it switched on to stop the spammers) and I thought I’d cleared it, but hadn’t. Which seems horribly ungrateful of me because I LOVED your feedback, and I was so pleased to get comments that were so thoughtful and substantial.

          I am delighted you enjoyed Makepeace, despite there being no Flynn and Bennet. And despite that ending – my editor told me that as an editor, she loved it; as a reader she wanted to *kill* me! Still, I hoped the fact that you got a bit of Flynn at the beginning of book 4 reassured you that they do indeed meet up again.

          You’re right that Bennet and Flynn didn’t have contact because they didn’t see how it could work out for them, and a clean break would be best. That was, of course, Bennet’s reasoning, and Flynn gritted his teeth and went along with it.

          Rosie would love nothing more than getting Bennet for life, but she’s far too smart not to realise that she wouldn’t really be getting Bennet at all. He does love her, but not with the intensity of what he feels for Flynn (or once felt for Joss). She’d always be second best, and she’s too proud for that. It took a lot for her to walk away, but being both that strong, and that clear sighted about herself and Bennet, was admirable. We won’t see her again in the series, and I quite miss her.

          Book four has more tension between Bennet and Flynn, because (as you say) those darn regulations. That and the fallout from Makepeace really starts to bite, at both the personal level for Bennet as he slowly starts to piece together what was going on, and the political level, where Caeden is more involved than Bennet is. There are some interesting wider things going on too, with various disaffected settlement planet governments starting to pull away. So lots of fun and games there. All I can say about book 4 right now is that it’s with my publisher and I’m waiting on the contract, so it won’t be out this year. Early next, I expect.

          In the interim, I’m going to be self publishing three short stories that are sort-of part of the Shield universe, set at the time of Earth’s destruction (so ten thousand years earlier). They aren’t exactly happy stories, although the last one ends on a hopeful note, but I’m love my heroine, Li Liang. Keep an eye open for that little anthology, Passing Shadows, sometime around Christmas.

          Thanks again for the comments. I really do appreciate them!

          Anna

          Like

          • So Happy to hear from you! And very excited about your shorts!! (and intrigued about your heroine!).

            Hmm… I did notice you didn’t say if something was going to happen between our boys despite the regulations. No need to say that I would LOVE that! (A girl can dream, right??).

            You didn’t mention Natalia either and I am not sure if it is a good thing (I’m pretty sure my heart coud NOT handle something happening between Flynn and Bennet’s sister).

            All the best,
            Carla

            Like

  2. Hey There!

    Read book 4 and decided once again to share my thoughts… hope you don’t mind! 😉

    So about our boys… I swear they almost killed me. But one thing I really loved was that they talked. Well, Flynn actually did all the talking… Bennet not so much. Grrrrrr.

    I really think Bennet at the beginning of the book thought he could stay one year and just keep going… and then he realized that he could never get what he really wanted and just decided to put walls around his heart without really caring about Flynn’s feelings. And that was the part I hated about Bennet. When at the end of the book he didn’t tell Flynn he was going to be transferred (because he fucking pushed it!!) I was devastated. Poor Flynn. Always left behind.

    One thing I did like was that you never played with misunderstandings… I really don’t like it when authors use misunderstandings fo ages.

    I also was happy to see the book let us know what happenned when Flynn went to see Bennet in his quarter at the end of book 3. I really thought we were not going to get answers. And even if, of course, it wasn’t what I expected (they didn’t kiss !!!), I really liked that they could talk… until they said that going out with girls was ok. I mean WHAT THE HELL ???? So when that reahead entered the picture, I was miserable! Thank god Cruz noticed Bennet was jealous and she put some sense in Flynn’s head! And even if I get why you chose to do that, I mean Bennet needed to realize that Flynn was ‘the one’ I didn’t like it one bit. Thank god it didn’t last long.

    I particularly liked that Flynn asked about Rosie and that Bennet replied honestly. Same thing when Bennet wondered about his sister and he got a reply for Flynn right away. Yeah, I really liked the honesty between them and that they tried to make things work between them… as friends since nothing could happen. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Even if they were not together and that most of the time they were driving me crazy, It was really nice to see them interacting. I also liked that things got better between Bennet and his father.
    I was sad about Felix but that scene at the end of the book was EVERYTHING!
    I LOVED every part of it, loved that Bennet realized he had been selfish and loved that Flynn FINALLY kissed Bennet! More than the kiss it was the fact that for once Flynn was the one to decide something about them, decide that only for 1 minute he was going to stop pretending. I LOVED THAT. And loved that Bennet was the one falling in line this time with what Flynn had decided. I love Flynn.

    I also loved that Bennet told Flynn he was going to do better during the weeks they have left… but that’s something I’m not sure we’re going to see in the next book. I hope so but I’m not sure. Also since book 4 started right after book 3 I kinda hope you’ll do the same with book 5! *fingers crossed*

    Now about the only thing that bothered me…nothing seems to lead our boys toward a happy ending, I mean, Flynn stays where he is, Bennet is going back to Shields. So WHAT?? Can we really hope they’ll end up together some day? I mean it’s been five years already! How many years do they have to wait yet?? (Also I remember reading somewhere in your blog that this series was an EPIC love story so I do know they will!)
    That is the only thing staying on my mind. We don’t know and they don’t know and it doesn’t seem to me they will really try to be together… i mean is Bennet just going to leave and hope that some day they’ll cross path again? Or is he going to leave and make promises? Are they going to make promises to each other? Are they going to communicate during their time appart? Are WE going to see this or is book 5 starting when they are already apart???
    That is the part driving me nuts right now.

    All in all it was an amazing book and I really can’t wait for the next installment. I need more Flynn and Bennet in my life and need to know what happens next. I really love this series!

    Thank you Anna!

    Carla

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for such long, detailed feedback. i love it! And I’m over the moon that you liked Chains and are sticking with my boys to the bitt… I mean, the end.

      You are spot on about Bennet. He took the decision from the off that he couldn’t afford to let Flynn in, and poor old Flynn glumly went along with it, until, well, he’d had enough. Bennet was being horribly selfish and self-regarding, although he couldn’t see it quite like that (of course! We’re all blind to our own faults), but going behind Flynn’s back about his transfer back to Shield was a real betrayal. How he didn’t think that through with more of that vaunted intelligence is beyond even me! I wanted it to be Flynn’s epiphany: for him to realise that he’d given in too much where Bennet was concerned, and he was worth a great deal more than that. And really, Bennet isn’t the only one with burdens.

      Book 5 does indeed start immediately as 4 finishes, and it will bring everything to a head before Bennet has the chance to rejoin Shield. And that’s really all the hint I can offer without giving away the plot entirely! I’m about 28k words in with a loooong way to go, and I think I’ll be lucky to get it ready for Christmas, but that’s currently my aim. Again, watch this space or FB and I’ll make announcements there and through my occasional newsletters.

      Thank you, Carla. I really appreciate your comments. I can’t tell you how much!

      Like

      • “I wanted it to be Flynn’s epiphany: for him to realise that he’d given in too much where Bennet was concerned, and he was worth a great deal more than that. And really, Bennet isn’t the only one with burdens.”

        I also hope Bennet realized he can’t just go and leave Flynn behind this time (I’m pretty sure he did…).

        “Book 5 does indeed start immediately as 4 finishes, and it will bring everything to a head before Bennet has the chance to rejoin Shield. And that’s really all the hint I can offer without giving away the plot entirely!”

        OMG!! I am SO relieved and happy right now! I already have all this ideas in my head and I really can’t wait for the next installment!!! Hurry up!! 😛

        I don’t have FB but I follow and check your website/ blog regularly!

        Thank you for the reply.

        Like

      • “I wanted it to be Flynn’s epiphany: for him to realize that he’d given in too much where Bennet was concerned, and he was worth a great deal more than that. And really, Bennet isn’t the only one with burdens.”

        I also hope it was Bennet’s epiphany too!! Hope he realized he can’t just go and leave Flynn behind. I would diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!

        “Book 5 does indeed start immediately as 4 finishes, and it will bring everything to a head before Bennet has the chance to rejoin Shield. And that’s really all the hint I can offer without giving away the plot entirely!”

        OMG! OMG! I am SO relieved and excited right now! Please hurry up! 😉

        I don’t have FB but I follow your website/blog and check them regularly!

        Thank you so much for your reply.
        Have a good week!

        Like

        • I thought my first reply didn’t work since I didn’t see it when I checked… so I posted another one. And now I can see both are awaiting moderation. Sorry about that!

          Like

          • Sorry about that, Carla. I took an unexpected week off from the internet, from writing, from just about everything… it was great to decompress a bit. I’m afraid that mean your comments sat there for a few days.

            As for book 5, I’ve just finished chapter 8…

            All the best!

            Like

  3. oh and I also read your free short…. and I LOVED it!
    That first scene where Kit starts THE list and keeps adding ‘just like Kit’ is just hilarious. I really liked John and Kit. Well done!

    Last but not least, I just saw Rafe and Ned were going to get their sequel soon!! *Happyface*
    I CANNOT WAIT!!

    Have a good day!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • oh, i’m glad you liked John and Kit! I realised that there would be almost a year with me publishing very little, so it made sense to look at the hard drive and see what was kicking about. I freely admit Kit and John are gap-fillers, but I still spent a great deal of time on those little stories to make them as good as they could be. They aren’t my usual thing, obviously, but they made for a great palate cleanser.

      As for the next Rafe and Ned – watch this space! The cover reveal happens on 05 October, with the chance of winning some loot and entering a prize draw.

      Like

  4. No worries!
    I wish I could take a week off from the internet! I guess I’m too addicted… twitter will be the death of me.

    Chapter 5 already? It’s ALMOST done then!! ;P *excited*

    Like

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