Tag Archives: bane

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.

Strain_500x750

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.

Bane_500x750

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

Bane_Teaser3D

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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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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Now available for pre-order: Juggernaut, A Strain Novel

Juggernaut_Teaser3D

Juggernaut, the prequel to Strain, is finally available for pre-order at Riptide Publishing!

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.

Stay tuned for a reveal of the full cover art soon!

Zach and Nico’s story pre-dates Rhys and Darius’s, and the events of Juggernaut encompass the beginning of the pandemic for which we see the aftermath in Strain. Reading them in order, however, is not necessary. Both Zach, Nico, Rhys and Darius will ALL be back in Bane, the sequel to Strain (more news about that coming soon!)

More about the Strain universe.

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So, Amelia, are you doing NaNoWriMo? Wellll, yes and no. #amwriting

I’m not officially doing NaNo this year, because I’m too lazy to register. However, I’d really like to finish Bane this month, so I don’t have to worry about finishing it in December when all the holiday crap is happening.

That means I need to write ~67K in 30 days and do some significant revision on the first 33K.

Definitely doable. I wrote the first draft of Strain, which was 66K, in 28 days, and the first draft of Saugatuck Summer (93k) in 15 days.

Unfortunately, I also have to finish revising and submitting Juggernaut, which is going to set me back a few days. I may or may not try to make my 2,200/day word goal before working on revisions the rest of the day.

Luckily, my brain seems to be cooperating. This morning my son woke me up at Too Damn Early o’clock to (very sweetly) bring me coffee and breakfast in bed. I drank the coffee (because coffee) and tried to go back to sleep for a while, but I just sort of lay there drifting in a semi-conscious haze because the caffeine wouldn’t let me truly sleep. While in this state, several issues with Bane‘s plotting clicked into place. So I think I’ll be off to a good start.

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ATTN: STRAIN fans. I need a volunteer for a project. #amwriting

Dear STRAIN readers:

Some of you are aware that I have two more books in the STRAIN saga coming out. A prequel titled JUGGERNAUT and a sequel titled BANE.

JUGGERNAUT is written and I’ll be turning it over to my editor within days. BANE is being written and will be turned in within another month or two.

As I’m revising JUGGERNAUT and going into writing BANE, its become increasingly obvious that the world has expanded to the point where I need a series bible. However, my writing and revising schedule is tight enough that I really can’t find the time to give this project the full attention it needs.

WHAT I’M LOOKING for is a reader who is intimately familiar with STRAIN already (and preferably one who knows enough about writing to know what a series bible requires) to help me.

What will you get in compensation? How about a sneak peek at the early drafts of JUGGERNAUT and BANE?

I will provide you with access to the document I’ve already started, which has the outline of the bible and a sample entry or two in each section to demonstrate what I’m looking for. You will be familiar with (or able to figure out with minimal coaching) how to do things like create bookmarks and link to them within the document so that the table-of-contents is hyperlinked to the appropriate entries, and key words, characters, and concepts within each entry are hyperlinked to other entries as needed.

You won’t be working alone; I will also be adding to the bible as I continue writing and revising. I want to have the bible somewhat complete and available for my editors to refer to as the manuscripts move into the editing phase of things.

If interested, please contact me on Tumblr, Goodreads, or using the form on the About page of my website. Please give me a short explanation of how familiar with STRAIN and/or similar projects you are. Be honest about your ability to help, please? Don’t just respond because you want the sneak peek at the upcoming books. I need someone who is seriously capable, both skill-wise and time-wise, of helping out here.

Thank you!

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In observance of Free Fiction Friday, I give you tentative blurbs to JUGGERNAUT and BANE #Strain @RiptideBooks

So, those of you who have been paying attention have noticed me talking a lot more (and a lot less vaguely) these past few weeks about the upcoming novels in the Strain saga.

Nothing is official or written in stone yet. I’m still waiting on a contract and I have no idea what the release date for these books will be. But I do have titles and tentative blurbs (again, however, they’re not written in stone. Pretty sure the titles won’t change, but the blurbs might.)

Juggernaut is the first of the two books. It’s set roughy 10 years before Strain and chronicles the events immediately before and after the pandemic that wiped out humanity.

JUGGERNAUT

Nicolás Fernández, better known to the clients of his mother’s escort agency as Octavio Costas, is one of the most in-demand male escorts operating independently of the corporate brothel system. To General Logan McClosky, Nico’s willingness to use his skills to influence political decision-makers make him a valuable asset, one McClosky isn’t afraid to employ to get the green light to activate Project Juggernaut, his last, best hope for turning around a desperate military situation.

Zacharias Houtman is struggling with a crisis of faith. Dutifully, he left seminary and his dreams of starting his own ministry behind to study political science and become his father’s assistant and advisor as the Reverend Maurice Houtman moves into the political arena. But his father is no longer listening to his guidance, veering into malicious and hypocritical zealotry intended to thrill the masses, and leaving behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy.

When their disparate worlds unexpectedly collide, both Nico and Zach will find themselves unwitting instruments in the events that lead up to the end of humanity and civilization as they know it. But will they survive the aftermath?

Those of you who are paying attention may recognize a familiar name in there. Yes, Zach is the elder son of Father Maurice from Strain, big brother to Jacob. Several other Strain characters will make appearances in Juggernaut, as well.

I will warn you right now: Juggernaut does not have a HEA or even a HFN. You have to read Bane, the sequel to Strain, to get that resolution to Zach and Nico’s relationship.

BANE

For two years, Rhys Cooper has lived with Delta Company, the exiled super soldiers infected with the Alpha strain of the Bane virus, whose Beta and Gamma strains destroyed most of the earth’s population. His passionate, undefined relationship with Sergeant Darius Murrell has helped him begin to heal from the abuse, terror, and isolation of his adolescence. But despite frequent sexual exposure to the Alpha strain, Rhys hasn’t become a Jug himself.

Zach Houtman has spent the last twelve years separated from his Alpha-infected lover, Nico. He’s worked for the Department of Pandemic Research and Prevention to study Bane, but his true intentions have been a secret. The head of the DPRP has a far more sinister project, and Zach means to put a stop to it.

Encountering the young man Zach’s father and younger brother terrorized for seven years wasn’t part of the plan, but Rhys’s immunity may be Zach’s best chance to expose the DPRPs secret agenda. And a surprising discovery might finally allow Zach and Nico to be together—and maybe give the Jugs hope for a home and future at last.

So, there you have it. Again, a great deal of this is subject to alteration, but what has, for quite some time, been a rather amorphous project now has taken shape.

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The summer in review (or: “where the heck have you been, Amelia?”)

So, it’s been almost two months since my last blog update. I know. Ask me how long some people have been waiting for responses to emails they’ve sent to me.

My dear friend Depression has been visiting this summer, and hasn’t wanted to leave. For the last several months, it’s been increasingly difficult to make myself do anything unless it has an actual deadline attached to it. Mostly I’ve been doing escapist stuff and avoiding talking to people (if you’re one of those people in question, I beg you not to take it personally, as I’m avoiding everyone. It’s not just you.) The avoidance is probably for the best, actually. When I tend to get this bad, I will often go off the rails and behave badly and lash out at people and it’s not pretty. It also, however, has not helped me get a whole heck of a lot done.

So, what have I been doing?

In order of what you’re going to see released, I have two projects approaching completion.

The first will be coming out just in time for GRL, and is a box set with a bunch of other authors whose company I’m incredibly thrilled to be in.

UnconditionalSurrender_400x600My story is titled The Houseboy: Initiation, and is nothing short of pure, unadulterated erotica. Seriously. There are a lot of stories where I go for “smut with substance” and there is a lot happening behind the sexytiems. This…is not one of those times. It’s Daddy kink. It’s BDSM. It’s age difference, virginity kink, gangbang, objectification, semi-public sex, exhibitionism, and God only knows what else. In many ways, it’s what Strain would have been without the angst and the fuck-or-die element driving the plot. If that sounds like your cuppa, I’ll be sharing an excerpt in my next post. 🙂

Of course, my depression means my inner critic is being particularly loud, and I’m convinced the story is awful and has no place in the bundle and blah blah blah, but hopefully it will go over well. The bundle is up for pre-order if you would like go that route, and here are the links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iTunes

No, you’re not imagining things, Yes, we really are offering you 300K of original stories by some of your favorite authors for only 99 cents. Jump on this. Seriously.

PlayervsPlayer_468bannerThe next project in the works will be coming out in December. I’ve already shared some about it, but in case you missed it, this is my first attempt at an honest-to-God mystery. (Yes, I went to the plotty place.) This is also the same book you might have heard me refer to in other places as Third Wave. I also went to a surprisingly low-smut place with this one. I’m not sure if I was proud or appalled at how sparse the content and kink warnings were when I was filling out the information for the product page at Riptide. PvP will be out in December and is available for pre-order from Riptide. Right now we’re in the middle of edits and I imagine review copies will be going out in the next month or so.

Now, what else have I been working on? Well, a great deal of my new-word productivity this summer has been spent on Bane. What Bane is, I’m hesitant to say, because it keeps changing on me. It started as a prequel to Strain, set about ten years before the events of Strain. It was the story of high-end escort Nico and Zach Houtman, the disowned elder son and brother of Father Maurice and Jacob in Strain, and how their actions and the actions of those around them led to the activation of Project Juggernaut and the plague that wiped out most of humanity.

And then I discovered that Darius, Rhys, Xolani and the rest of the Delta Company gang wanted in on some of the plot threads that developed as a result of those pre-plague events, it became a sequel to Strain with portions that jumped back in time (via extended flashback-like sections) to before the plague. So it was sort of going to be a prequel-within-a-sequel, if that makes sense?

But then, as I brainstormed a few plot points with Chris, the editorial assistant at Riptide, I realized I probably have too much content for just one book. Nothing is set in stone yet, but it is looking like it might be two books–the original prequel I envisioned, and then a sequel which will take the events of the prequel and bring them together with the characters from Strain. Right now the whole project is still being called Bane, though I imagine at some point there is going to be another title involved.

So, what does this mean? Well, I’m really excited about Zach and Nico’s story, especially since I get to delve into a lot of the politics and build the world and events that resulted in the plague, but for those of you who were fans of Strain, I’m sure the big news here is that yes, Darius and Rhys WILL be back. It was actually pretty amazing from a writing standpoint. I was stuck writing some stuff with Zach and Nico, so I decided to switch over and start working on a new scene with Darius and Rhys, and I swear, everything just fell into place. They came back to me so easily and naturally, and it just felt so right, and once I started working on them, everything else started to take shape and make sense. So I’m hoping to have the first draft of this two-book manuscript done in another month or two, and then hopefully Riptide and I will have more information for all of you.

And don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten that Geoff and Robin from Saugatuck Summer, or Matt and Chris from The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams, are still supposed to get their own books. Those are just on the back burner for now because Bane is consuming my brain. And for those of you who are looking forward to PvP, you might like a heads-up that Niles’s twin brother Jordan will also be getting his own book, and also I may be dipping my toe into the f/f pool and giving Rosie, Niles’s boss and best friend, her story as well. In fact, she’s poking me in the back of the brain pretty hard and demanding it, and you just don’t say no to Rosie. It doesn’t happen.

Next month, I’ll be up in Seattle at Gay Romance NW 2014, and then in October, of course, I’ll be at GRL2014 in Chicago. I was not one of the lucky few who got an author spot, so I’ll be attending as a reader, but I will be at the Riptide table for the book signings, and I’ll be around, so you’ll get a chance to see me.

So there’s a lot in the hopper right now, the big issue is just overcoming the urge for avoidance and escapism that is part and parcel of being depressed. I’ll be trying to dig my way through my email and message backlog, so hang tight if you’re waiting to hear from me. Hopefully it will get easier the more I work on it. But for those of you are are still reading at this point, especially those of you who deal with chronic depression, what do you do to overcome it when you get in that place where you just want to avoid anything and everyone and not deal with it all?

 

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The #STRAIN #blogtour, last day: catch a sneak peek at BANE, the prequel to STRAIN @BookReviewsMore @RiptideBooks #mmromance

Strain_TourBanner(2)

Today I wrap up the Strain blog tour over at Book Reviews & More by Kathy with a very special post: namely, the first chapter of the (rough draft) prequel to Strain, titled Bane.

While Strain deals with the aftermath of the apocalyptic plague, some ten years after it begins, Bane deals with its genesis. It looks at the political state of the world leading up to the catastrophic decision to implement Project Juggernaut, and focuses on a few pivotal people involved in the events leading up to and immediately following the beginning of the plague. You’ll meet some new players, as well as encountering a few familiar names from Strain.

This book is still very much a rough draft WIP–not even my editor has seen it yet–so anything in the excerpt I’m sharing is subject to extreme revision. So take it all with a grain of salt.

Author TM Smith is also hosting a spotlight stop, as well as sharing her review of Strain, so be sure to drop by her site as well. Remember that each stop you comment on qualifies you for another entry into the drawing for one of three ebook copies of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy. The contest will remain open until February 28, with the drawing to be held on March 1.

Finally, in an interesting twist, Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4) has released over a week early at All Romance eBooks. It’s still available for pre-sale at Riptide, as well, and on sale at that, but if you want to get your hot little hands on it even earlier, here’s your chance! Also tune in the week after next for the Every Inch of the Way/To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #4 & #5) blog tour, during which Heidi Belleau and I will be sharing a complete bonus story from The Professor’s Rule, divided into pieces among the stops.

Thank you to everyone who has hosted and participated in the Strain blog tour. This has been an incredible amount of fun!

 

 

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