The World of JUGGERNAUT: The Corporate Tenements

Juggernaut_500x750This is a post I originally shared during the Juggernaut blog tour when I stopped over at Prism Book Alliance. Some of the posts contained really important and interesting world-building background, so I thought I would share them again after the blog tour was over for people who might have missed them.

Envisioning the Future: The Corporate Tenements

If you follow me on Tumblr or elsewhere, or if you’ve read my book Player vs. Player, it’s pretty obvious that I take an active interest in politics and social justice issues. And one of the issues that keeps coming up in the current political dialogue is the fact that unrestrained capitalism has not turned out to be the positive, freedom-assuring force that it’s packaged and sold to the public as being. But with so much of the world population brainwashed into believing it’s a good thing, its preeminence doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.

So when I envisioned the future world of Juggernaut, my starting point really had to be: what would the world—or at least the United States—look like with capitalism run completely amok?

It actually wasn’t that difficult to imagine, and I took a lot of my queues from the past, before labor regulations and unionization put constraints on employers and ensured fair treatment of workers.

Particularly, I looked to the coal mining camps of the latter 19th century before unionization. It’s hard for us to truly grasp just how completely a company could own a person, but the coal mining operations are one example where employers really did have that much control.

Coal mining towns and camps were often very isolated, and very enclosed. Miners were frequently paid in whole or in part using scrip, or a currency accepted only at the company store. Since prices at the company store were often very inflated, this meant scrip had considerably less value than the same amount of cash would have. Because of their isolation, however, miners had no choice but to buy their supplies at the company store, which kept them in perpetual poverty.

Many miners were responsible for buying the supplies needed to make the mines safe, such as timber for shoring up the walls (which, of course, they would have to buy from the company.) Miners were also paid by the tonnage they produced, rather than for the hours worked. This means that any time they took out of extracting coal to shore up the mine shafts or take other safety measures would reduce their productivity and therefore their income. The company could disavow all responsibility in the event of a collapse, since safety was the miners’ responsibility and the miners had shirked it.

The company also owned the miners’ housing. Which meant any complaints or attempts at unionizing could leave one homeless in addition to being unemployed. Security guards were more to keep union organizers out—with full legal authority to use lethal force if they found union organizers trying to infiltrate the camp—than to protect the miners and their families.

How could one ever become prosperous or get out of poverty under such conditions?

This was the template I used for life in the corporate tenements which are frequently mentioned in Juggernaut.

In the world of Juggernaut, corporate retail and service industry giants and large factory manufacturers have been taking PR dings for the fact that their employees are on public assistance, and one of the ways in which they combat this is to build or buy large apartment complexes in which they would provide employees with company subsidized housing and transportation to and from the workplace. Rent can be deducted from their wages, and credit extended against future earnings if an employee falls behind, keeping employees perpetually in debt to their employers.

The tenements are often run-down, with sanitation, maintenance, and safety problems. Employees who report problems within their apartments will often find themselves accused of damaging the property and will be charged for repairs.

The company store sees a resurgence, in the form of an arrangement where second-run, expired, and otherwise unsaleable goods are made available to employees (again, on credit against future wages if an employee can’t afford groceries that week.) Because transportation to and from the workplace is provided, many employees have no means of getting out of the tenements. Security is provided more for the PR value of keeping crime down within the tenements than for the safety of the employees, and the security forces are private rather than public police, employed by the company and their enforcement is conducted with the interests of the corporation, rather than the employees, in mind. In the insular colonies that the tenements become, the security guards are little more than armed toughs. Disputes are supposed to be handled by the resident superintendent, who also works for the corporation.

By this point in the future, all internet access is via communications satellites and in the tenements that access goes through a company-owned hub. This means any unrest or attempts to organize for better workers’ rights within the tenement can be monitored and sanctioned. Negative reports or documentation of life inside the tenements can be filtered to quash any negative publicity.

News from outside the tenement can likewise be filtered, particularly if it’s going to stir up dissent. This can particularly influence political expression within the tenements; positive information about candidate who will not act in the corporations’ best interests can be restricted, while propaganda for candidates who will serve corporate interests can flourish. Since employees lack transportation to voting sites, as a supposed “service” a proxy system is established—sort of the electoral college writ small—where a representative of the tenement can vote for the entire tenement. That representative is, of course, employed by the corporation.

Being fired or evicted means a negative recommendation from both employer and landlord. This makes finding other employment particularly difficult, and losing one’s job is an effective guarantee of perpetual unemployment and homelessness.

Non-corporate housing is a luxury reserved for the few people who work in industries or institutions where this sort of corporate control can’t in practicality exist. Since the middle class is almost completely gone, the vast majority of America’s workers live under these conditions.

Interestingly—considering how much effort went into world-building this particular concept—both of my protagonists come from privileged upbringings outside the corporate tenements. But they both have views inside the situation, Zach through his work with the homeless and impoverished, and Nico through his mother, who was raised in the tenements and found a way to get herself out.

This is perhaps an exaggerated vision of what the future of America may be, but it’s not a completely implausible one. It’s rather bleak and grim to consider, but it helps explain how there is so little oversight or control of the military R&D operations that resulted in Project Juggernaut. With so large a portion of the voting public removed from any actual position where they can influence things, public opinion would have little to no sway on things such as bioweapons development.

Originally shared over at Prism Book Alliance

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Leftist ableism, misinformation, #GamerGate, and the deliberately constructed decline of critical thought

If you followed me on Tumblr you know that a pet peeve of mine lately has been progressives using ableist language when making their points. You would also know that several times recently, I’ve had to deliberately counter leftist misinformation that makes its way across my dash.

And if you have read Player vs. Player or even skimmed the book jacket, you can probably guess that the GamerGate debacle is something I take very seriously, though that book was finalized before #GamerGate became a thing.

Would it surprise you to know that #GamerGate is a movement comprised of a significant number of left-leaning and leftist libertarian people?

Seen in that light, it makes a certain amount of sense that a great deal of #GamerGate’s rhetoric (even when they’re not maliciously harassing people) defaults to the use of ableist language.

I admit, the last election cycle, I was not aware of the left’s frequent reliance on ableist language. In the years since, I’ve had my eyes opened to a lot of things I hadn’t seen before, and perhaps that’s resulted in a sort of hypersensitivity to it. Mostly, it’s that I find myself time and again having to choose NOT to share articles, opinion pieces, and memes that otherwise make very valid points because of the use of ableist language. Progressives have no problem dismissing right-winger’s as “idiots” and call right-wing ideas “crazy,” “insane,” “lame,” and “stupid.” For a group of people who pride themselves on their open-minded ideas, the left has been extremely reluctant to stop using this language.

Now, of course, we see that a significant chunk of leftist #GamerGaters call themselves libertarians, which is a whole other kettle of fish from actually being progressive. Libertarians are, on the whole, people who like to pat themselves on the back for being tolerant enough not to care about things other people do that don’t personally affect them–such as having abortions or marrying someone of the same sex–but don’t see any reason why they should give up their racism, sexism, classism, transphobia and ableism. They’re conservatives who are minimally self-aware enough to want to avoid the shame of being blatant bigots, but they don’t actually want anything to change, so attempt to slip their bigotry in under the radar with a self-congratulatory veneer of open-mindedness. So there’s that.

When confronted by someone who points out this disconnect, the illusion evaporates and they quickly default to blatant racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism, however. Which is #GamerGate in a nutshell. It’s a bunch of misogynists railing against the notion of change (specifically in the gaming industry and geek culture) while claiming they’re left-leaning because they generously permit women to have abortions. Meanwhile they spew a bunch of sexist vitriol, death threats, rape threats, sexual harassment, gendered slurs, and even deliberately organized campaigns to try to trigger dysphoria in at-risk trans people in an attempt to induce them to commit suicide.

Thus it would be really easy to dismiss them under the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, and give the rest of the left a pass on their more discreet forms of ableism. #GamerGate thinks nothing of using the r-word against people they disagree with–which for the rest of the left is just Going Too Far (though it wouldn’t be if, of all people, Sarah Palin hadn’t pointed it out very publicly–while unironically using the term “lamestream media.”) The r-word is basically a slur so offensive that the rest of the left won’t touch it. Instead, they default to more socially acceptable variations on the theme like “idiotic” and “insane.”

But here’s the thing. The right is neither idiotic nor insane. What they are is a group of people who are lacking in critical thinking skills.

That’s not a congenital deficit (unless it actually is, when taking into consideration people who are severely learning or developmentally disabled.) Critical thinking skills are something that are learned in the course of a well-rounded education, and thus can be acquired by anyone (except for those who literally lack the faculties to acquire them due to the aforementioned disabilities.)

And what we’ve seen for decades from the right–and this includes libertarians whose conceit is that they are “fiscally conservative but socially liberal”–is a concerted effort to deny people a well-rounded education.

They make a college education too expensive to afford without incurring enormous amounts of debt and then refuse to lower the interest rate on that debt.

They cut funding for educational programming on PBS, which poor families often rely on because they can’t afford cable. They cut funding for Head Start programs. They cut school budgets so that there are fewer teachers per student, and cut lunch and welfare programs that enable students to learn better because they’re not going hungry.

They construct curricula that neglect accurate and truthful education on the subjects of history and social studies and science. They are outright antipathetic to arts programs, despite the fact that scientific studies have repeatedly proven that children who receive arts education do better in most or all “core” subjects, particularly math, which then impacts the ability to learn science.

They continually, in ways both implicit and explicit, deride being educated or anything that smacks of “intellectualism,” dismissing it as being elitist.

It has repeatedly been demonstrated that educated people overwhelmingly tend to vote left. This is because educated people are people with sound critical thinking skills. They can look at the problems facing society, deconstruct what has created those problems, and promote rational, logical solutions that are backed by sound science. People without critical thinking skills tend to vote based upon emotion, scare tactics, and buzzwords, things that the right is very good at and relies on hugely in the absence of genuine solutions to our problems.

(Golly, that sure makes it look like the right’s attempts to prevent people receiving an education look like a well-choreographed, decades-long campaign to create a populace largely incapable of critical thought, doesn’t it?)

Which is why you get people outraged about Planned Parenthood is “selling baby parts” (which doesn’t happen) and then railing about their tax dollars paying for abortions (which also doesn’t happen.)

It’s why we can somehow pin all our fear of terrorist violence on Muslim people despite the fact that white American men are vastly more likely to carry out terrorist attacks on American citizens. It’s also why we can simultaneously scream to the high heavens that it’s unconstitutional to deny those white American men easy access to firearms but perfectly constitutional to detain, brutalize, and carry out invasive searches of Muslims and/or black Americans who have done nothing more illegal than buying an airline ticket or failing to obey a minor traffic law (if even that.)

It’s why people can convince themselves that a college-bound high school graduate who committed absolutely no crime is a “demonic” thug who deserved his own murder but the policeman who murdered him is a hero who deserves a million dollars in crowdfunding money.

It’s why the people who hold the vast majority of financial and political and media power in the US can unironically contend that they’re being oppressed because someone says “happy holidays” or suggests that they shouldn’t appropriate non-white cultures.

Which brings me the second subject I raised way up there in the first paragraph. In addition to the left’s not-so-subtle default to ableism, I’m seeing repeated instances of misinformation crossing my dash. Not nearly as many–or nearly as blatant–as the right, of course, but it’s very insidious.

Like this post from a couple days ago. A point of misinformation in the middle of an otherwise well-thought-out and factual argument is a rotten able that will taint the whole barrel.

Some may argue that, in a society that has deliberately been denied the ability to think critically, relying on appeals to emotion, buzzwords, and outrage generated on false premises–as opposed to accurately educating people about the issues–is the only way the left can win. But are we really still progressives if we do that?

TL;DR–if you pride yourself on being progressive but default to ableist language to further your agenda, you’re behaving no better than the sexist troglodytes of #GamerGate. And if you consider yourself progressive but you resort to tactics which bypass the requirement for critical thought (and would fail the test of critical thought if applied) you’re no better than FOX News.

Either way, knock it off.

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Enter to win an early copy of BANE on the JUGGERNAUT blog tour! @BookReviewsMore @3ChicksAftrDark @AllIWantnMore

It’s the final day of the JUGGERNAUT blog tour!

You can still comment on all the the posts for a chance to win an early copy of BANE until August 15th, so if you’re chomping at the bit for the next book, stop by and strike up a conversation about JUGGERNAUT or the STRAIN universe in general.

You really don’t want to miss today’s stops in the tour. Over at Book Reviews and More by Kathy I share some thoughts on my inspirations for what the end of the world looks like, and some notable differences. I share an excerpt from JUGGERNAUT over at 3 Chicks After Dark, and at All I Want and More Books I discuss a major setting for some of the action in JUGGERNAUT, the quarantine camps.

Thank you so much to all the amazing blogs that have hosted my tour this week. See you in September for the BANE blog tour!

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On day 4 of the JUGGERNAUT blog tour, learn more about life before the end of the world! #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

Today I’m over at Prism Book Alliance with an article about an important part of life before the Bane virus wipes out most of humanity: economics and the living conditions of the masses. I’m also stopping by Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents with more chances to enter to win a copy of Bane before it hits the shelves. Come join me!

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Day 3 of the JUGGERNAUT blog tour! More deleted scenes! @LGBT_Reviews @ScottBFLL #postapocalyptic #mmromance #RiptideBooks

Today is the third day of the JUGGERNAUT blog tour, complete with more chances to win one of three pre-release copies of BANE.

I’m over at Rainbow Gold Reviews today with a deleted scene from Juggernaut, and with another deleted scene over at Gay Guy Reading and Friends. I’ll also be making a stop by Natural Bri, though the post doesn’t appear to be up yet. Keep checking back because each time you leave a comment, you get another chance to enter the drawing.

Enjoy! I’ll be back tomorrow to let you know what you’ll find on the next stops!

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Where to buy JUGGERNAUT

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So the various ebook retailers have been getting Juggernaut up on their own time, and now it’s fairly complete, so if you have a preferred site, here are the links:

Riptide Publishing (please remember that more of the sales price goes to the publisher and author if you use Riptide’s own site, thus enabling them to keep making books!)
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Itunes
Kobo
All Romance eBooks (also, Riptide has a 25% rebate going on at ARe right now, which makes this a great opportunity to pick up other Riptide titles you’ve been hankering for, or to pre-order Bane)
Smashwords

So there you go!

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It’s Day 2 of the JUGGERNAUT blog tour! Win an early copy of BANE! @lovebytesreview @MMGoodBookRevie @thejeepdiva @RiptideBooks

Hi and welcome to Day 2 of the Juggernaut Blog Tour! Be sure to follow along and comment at each stop for one of three chances to win a free copy of BANE before it hits the shelves!

Today I’m sharing a deleted scene from Juggernaut over at The Jeep Diva, and a sneak peek at Bane on Love Bytes Reviews. I’ll also be sharing an excerpt at MM Good Book Reviews!

Enjoy the free reads!

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Kicking off the JUGGERNAUT blog tour! @ TTCBooksandMore @SinfullySexyB @cupoporn @ontopdownunder1

Hi and welcome to the JUGGERNAUT blog tour! Be sure to comment at each stop along the way for one of three chances to win an early copy of BANE.

Today I’ll be sharing a sneak peek at BANE, the sequel to JUGGERNAUT and STRAIN, over at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews. You’ll also find spotlight stops at TTC Books and More, On Top Down Under, and Coffee and Porn in the Morning. Come along and get your apocalypse on!

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Juggernaut is live at Amazon! #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

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Juggernaut is up at Amazon!

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Speaking of @AllRomance… #Juggernaut #Bane #Rebate #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

Juggernaut_500x750Bane_500x750While we’re on the subject of AllRomanceeBooks.com, apparently they are having one of their 50% rebate events today to celebrate the launch of their new app. Furthermore, Bane is available for pre-order there, which means if you were planning to buy Juggernaut or order Bane, this is a great chance to get 50% of the purchase price back in store credit.

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Juggernaut is now available @AllRomance #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

Juggernaut is up for sale at All Romance eBooks. If you buy through Amazon, B&N or elsewhere, hang in there, it will be live by Monday!

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Scavenging in the Post-Apocalyptic World Guest Post

As I mentioned in my post on Monday, this week the But What Are They Eating blog is featuring Strain in their FoodFic Friday feature! The post is live now, so head on over!

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One week until JUGGERNAUT #mmromance #postapocalyptic @RiptideBooks

First of all, did anyone else know the Reviews by Jessewave site is back? They are! And they’re under new management. Today they gave Juggernaut a really great review, and they’re not the only ones. Kazza K at On Top Down Under had some really lovely things to say. Check out what readers are saying over at Goodreads, too.

So. Here it is, the one week countdown! That’ll be less than a week, if you pre-ordered from Riptide, of course, and there’s still time to do that.

The blog tour is going to kick off on Monday the 10th, and you’ll want to be sure to follow that because I’ll be giving away early copies of Bane. I’ll have a few deleted scenes from Juggernaut in there, a couple sneak peeks at Bane, and several posts about the pre- and immediately post-apocalyptic society.

Also on Friday the 7th I’ll be featured over at http://bookfare.blogspot.com/ in their But What Are They Eating (food in fiction) feature! Yes, I had to take a moment to compose myself and then double-check that they really knew what they were asking for when they offered me a shot at guest blogging about a series based around a zombie(ish) apocalypse. No, I didn’t go for the obvious cannibal angle and instead I’ll be talking about scavenging in a world where mass production and availability of food is no longer happening.

Yay! So excited! I can’t wait to be able to share this book with you all!

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Spokes for 99 cents!

Amelia C. Gormley:

If you haven’t read PD Singer’s book about professional bicycle racing, now is a great time! It’s an awesome book!

Originally posted on P.D. Singer:

spokesAt Chez Singer, we can’t get enough cycle racing. We’re in the last week of the Tour de France right now. MU mourns their rest days and (shhh, he’s reading for the race scenes) has a bookmark in Spokes. Bobke and Phil Liggett have to go off the air sometime, right?

In honor of the Tour, Spokes is on sale for 99 cents. Like any good stage race, there is a finish line, so get yours before the sale ends.

Available from Rocky Ridge Books, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and All Romance eBooks, as print and ebook (MOBI, EPUB, and PDF.) 99 cents everywhere, if Apple will just get with the program.

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Come join me Sunday at a live reading with Ginn Hale, Kim Fielding, and more!

Sunday I’ll be doing a reading at Another Read Through here in Portland. The topic is LGBTQ Science Fiction and Fantasy, so I’ll be reading from Strain (or possibly Juggernaut? I keep waffling.) I believe there will also be some Q&A time afterward, so if you have questions about my upcoming books, Juggernaut or Bane, this is a chance to pump me for details!

Guardians of the Gaylaxy – Celebrating LGBTQ Science Fiction and Fantasy

Presenting authors Talya Andor, Kim Fielding, Amelia Gormley, Ginn Hale, and Nicole Kimberling

Sunday, July 12 @ 1:30 pm

Another Read Through (3932 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227)

Another Read Through and Gay Romance Northwest are partnering together for a special author event with five writers which will boldly explore star systems and fantasy realms while spotlighting LGBTQ main characters and relationships.

Join us on Sunday, July 12 at 1:30pm for an out-and-proud and out-of-this-world afternoon of readings by writers Talya Andor, Kim Fielding, Amelia Gormley, Ginn Hale, and Nicole Kimberling. From fantasy epics to sci-fi thrillers, each author takes the reader on an exciting, imaginative journey.

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Vespertine by Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn! Coming September 10! #mm #goodreads

Amelia C. Gormley:

OMG so excited for this, ever since Leta mentioned she was working on a “Rock Star and Priest” book!

BTW, I just finished Leta’s “Smoky Mountain Dreams” (it took me this long because even though I knew I would love it, I hadn’t been in the headspace for it, mostly because Leta’s characters always hit me hard emotionally, and I was having a hard time with my depression and couldn’t cope with that prospect.)

Anyway, let me just say, if you haven’t read it yet, DO IT. OMG it was just so brilliant and good.

Originally posted on Leta Blake:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00075]

Can a priest and a rockstar obey love’s call?

Seventeen years ago, Jasper Hendricks and Nicholas Blumfeld’s childhood friendship turned into a secret, blissful love affair. They spent several idyllic months together until Jasper’s calling to the Catholic priesthood became impossible to ignore. Left floundering, Nicky followed his own trajectory into rock stardom, but he never stopped looking back.

Today, Jasper pushes boundaries as an out, gay priest, working hard to help vulnerable LGBTQ youth. He’s determined to bring change to the church and the world. Respected, admired, and settled in his skin, Jasper has long ignored his loneliness.

As Nico Blue, guitarist and songwriter for the band Vespertine, Nicky owns the hearts of millions. He and his bandmates have toured the world, lighting their fans on fire with their music. Numbed by drugs and fueled by simmering anger, Nicky feels completely alone. When Vespertine is forced to get sober…

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BANE, the sequel to JUGGERNAUT and STRAIN, is available @NetGalley #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

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BANE, the sequel to JUGGERNAUT and STRAIN, is now available for reviewers at NetGalley!

Also, if you have been wanting to get the paperbacks of any of my previous releases, the paperbacks for Strain, Saugatuck Summer, and Player vs. Player are all discounted this week at Riptide!

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Teaser Tuesday: An excerpt from Juggernaut – Waiting Out the Plague

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I got off track posting snippets and excerpts for a few weeks, but now I’m back! I bring you part of a scene from Juggernaut today!

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

Juggernaut will be released August 10 and is available now for pre-order through Riptide Publishing.

I’m going to put it behind a cut for spoilers.

Continue reading

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Juggernaut is now available to reviewers on NetGalley! #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

Juggernaut_500x750NetGalley. Juggernaut. That is all.

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I’ve been waiting to see them all in a row like this! #StrainSeries @RiptideBooks

As promised, I’m putting the Juggernaut and Bane covers up here today. But then I have also wanted to see the whole series laid out, chronologically. While it doesn’t matter which order you read Juggernaut and Strain in, this is how they fall:

Juggernaut_500x750They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

There is an excerpt available from Juggernaut at Riptide.

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In a world with little hope and no rules, the only thing they have to lose is themselves.

Rhys Cooper is a dead man. Cut off from the world since childhood, he’s finally exposed to the lethal virus that wiped out most of the human race. Now his only hope for survival is infection by another strain that might provide immunity. But it’s sexually transmitted, and the degradation he feels at submitting to the entire squad of soldiers that rescued him eclipses any potential for pleasure—except with Darius, the squadron’s respected, capable leader.

Sergeant Darius Murrell has seen too much death and too little humanity. He’s spent a decade putting plague victims out of their misery and escorting survivors to a safe haven he can never enjoy. He’d rather help Rhys live than put him down, so when Rhys can’t reconcile himself to doing what’s necessary to survive, Darius is forced to save Rhys in spite of himself.

But with each passing day, it looks less and less likely that Rhys can be saved. And that means that Darius might soon have to put a bullet in the head of the one person in years who reminds him of what it means to be human.

Strain is available now at Riptide.

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The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

People who have read the Juggernaut excerpt will recognize the name “Secretary Littlewood.” You can also read an excerpt of Bane over at Riptide.

The Bane blurb makes it apparent that, as of the end of Juggernaut, Nico and Zach haven’t gotten their happy ending. Sorry about that. The situation between the characters at the end of Juggernaut is an impasse which just can’t be resolved at that time. But never fear! Bane continues their story and brings a very satisfying level of closure to both their plot and Darius and Rhys’s, and also for your other faves from Delta Company in general.

Less than three months to go until Juggernaut!

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Oh! The Bane page @RiptideBooks has an excerpt already! With Darius and Rhys! #postapocalyptic #mmromance

Gosh, I was so excited about the Bane pre-order and everything that I didn’t even notice the excerpt was already up! (or maybe it wasn’t and they just sneaked it in there since it went live.)

Have you been missing Darius and Rhys from Strain? Well, catch up with them now!

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They’re here! Check out the covers for JUGGERNAUT and BANE @jayhjay432 #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

I’ll post them here tomorrow, but for now, head over to JoyfullyJay and check out the gorgeous covers for Juggernaut and Bane!

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BANE is now available for pre-order! @RiptideBooks #mmromance #post-apocalyptic

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Bane, the sequel to Juggernaut and Strain, is now available for pre-order at Riptide Publishing!

The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

Remember, Bane is the sequel to both Juggernaut AND Strain. While Juggernaut and Strain can stand alone (meaning you can read them in any order, though chronologically Juggernaut happens before Strain) you really want to have read them both before reading Bane. Also be aware that Zach and Nico’s story (from Juggernaut) doesn’t really get its happy ending until Bane, so you’ll want to read them both.

Be sure to tune in this Thursday, May 14, for the exclusive reveal of the covers for both Juggernaut and Bane over at JoyfullyJay!

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NEW RELEASE: Training Complex by Leta Blake! Buckle Up! Matty’s Back! #mmromance #gay

Amelia C. Gormley:

SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

Originally posted on Leta Blake:

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Almost a year ago, Matty Marcus showed up in my head again looking pretty and saying, “Hey, I have a really fun idea for a novella! Wanna write it for me? It’ll be easy, fast, hilarious and you’ll have no regrets! I promise!”

Matty Marcus? He’s a little bit of a liar, guys.

The book turned out to be pretty intense and it required a lot of work. Not to mention it’s 121,000 words long! Far from a novella! More like a longish novel! But the good news is that I persevered and I’m pleased to report that Matty Marcus got his book! Yep! It’s officially released into the world!

It’s a little big thing called TRAINING COMPLEX and you can buy it now!

Amazon
B&N
ARe
Smashwords

Coming soon to iTunes and other outlets.

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Coming this week: The JUGGERNAUT and BANE cover reveal!

Juggernaut_Teaser3DBane_Teaser3D

Finally, at long last, you’ll get your first look at the covers for my upcoming titles in the Strain series, Juggernaut and Bane (link for Bane is not yet active but will be soon)!

This coming Thursday, May 14, JoyfullyJay will be hosting the big cover reveal! Be sure not to miss it!

Juggernaut

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

Bane

The unstoppable weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

As you can see, Juggernaut is actually a prequel to Strain, though the two are stand-alone and can be read in any order. Bane is a sequel entwining storylines involving characters from both books. In order of release, the sequence will be Strain, Juggernaut, and Bane. In chronological order within the universe, the reading order will be Juggernaut, Strain, and Bane. Either way works.

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