Here it is! Here’s the cover for the last Taking Shield book, Day of Wrath.
It was designed for me by Adrian Nicholas, who has created all the Shield covers and made them such a powerful brand. I love this one! It depicts a Maess drone, one of the enemy’s cyborg footsoldiers faced by Bennet and Flynn.
PUBLICATION DAY : 28 JUNE
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.
Title: Day of Wrath
Series: Taking Shield
Necessary to read previous books?: Yes
Wordcount: c 106,300
Category: Sci Fi, Gay mainstream.
eBook Publication Date: 28 June 2018
Paperback: Available now from Amazon or direct from me here
Publisher: Glass Hat Press © 2018
Editor: Val Selby-Wolfe at Scarlet Tie
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Day of Wrath in eBook format is available for pre-order at Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords.
Want to win some loot? Pre-order The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and
(i) I’ll 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.
“ETA three minutes,” the pilot announced.
“Active sensor data?” Jak asked her. “And keep your voice down.”
She gave him a startled glance, her eyebrows winging up, but obeyed. “Complicated, sir. The temple and its surrounding tombs are built from the local volcanic rock, sheathed in something… a form of stucco, perhaps. As you know, igneous rock can cause anomalous readings. I’m picking up about twenty life signs in the unshielded areas.”
“Unshielded?” Jak’s tone was dagger-sharp.
“Those the sensors can penetrate, sir. The desert floor is seamed with igneous rock— there’s evidence of an extinct volcano about five miles west—and the temple is built on an outcrop of very dense basalt. Or something similar to basalt.” The pilot scowled, raising one hand in a gesture of helplessness. “The readings are confusing.”
Basalt flows, being smooth and rounded, were poor reflectors. They deflected and bounced a sensor’s muon particles, making accurate readings difficult even for a telemetry specialist. Interesting that the Maess had established themselves there.
Jak’s slight grimace was more acceptance of the problem than complaint. “Is there a recognisable power signature in play?”
“Not that I can see, sir. But there’s a lot of noise on the data I’m getting back.”
That didn’t mean there wasn’t anything there. Caeden craned his neck to read the sensor board. One of the telemetrists on the Gyrfalcon would make more out of the data, probably much more. But even Caeden, no expert, could clearly see the dulled, impervious layer under the temple. “It might be why the Maess chose to have some sort of base here. It gives a natural camouflage.”
“Shall I go on, sir?” The pilot continued at Jak’s curt nod. “I can’t detect life signs in any of the mastabas. The structures don’t have much in the way of internal voids that I can see, and we’re reading a lot of metal.” She frowned. “Equipment, perhaps?”
“The mastabas are in a classic defensive layout, protecting the centre.” Caeden pointed to the screen. “Those look like power conduits buried in the desert floor—you can see traces in the sedimentary layers between basalt outcrops. If the Maess used the temple, the tombs were possibly adapted to house weaponry and a protective force field net. The conduits would have powered the defence grid.”
Jak’s scowl was a magnificent thing. “Inactive, I do hope.”
The pilot turned back to her controls. “Minimal power level readings. I don’t think whatever is there is powered up. ETA less than one minute. We have clearance to land.”
Minimal, but not entirely dead. On standby, perhaps?
“I suppose they’ve been that way since you drove out the Maess, Caeden,” Jak said. “Closed down or damaged during the fight to retake Thorn.”
Caeden searched his memory. “I don’t remember this place at all. Most of the fighting was around Teos. We knew the Maess had small, subsidiary bases established around the planet, but their main operation was in Teos. How did we miss something this big? How did my people miss it, when we were here?”
BarquePrime came down gently, kissing the flat surface of the landing pad.
Jak barely waited until it touched down before unbuckling his seat harness. “You said it yourself. Natural camouflage.”
“I suppose so.” Caeden could only mentally berate himself for the oversight. “If it was closed down to this low level of power, I can see how it didn’t register.”
“We could have learned so much from that defence grid.” Etienne frowned, one hand pulling at the cuff on the other wrist. It was an unusually overt display. Probably indicative of him having a major crisis. “I am intrigued about why, when the Thorn government did find out about this place—whenever that was—they kept it quiet. This is a major find. Bigger than major. It’s crucially important.”
“Makes us want to ask a few pertinent questions, doesn’t it?” Jak’s fierce eyes were hooded under half-closed lids, but Caeden couldn’t miss their bright cynicism. “I’m with you, Etienne. Why keep this from us?”
Etienne stood as the barque door opened, using both hand to brush down his clothing, readying himself for the meetings to come. “I think, as Caeden said earlier, we are about to find out.”
That’s it now, until publication day. I can’t wait!!