Today I am so pleased to welcome Anna Butler to Joyfully Jay. Anna has come to talk to us about her latest release, Heart Scarab. She has also brought along some fabulous giveaways! Please join me in giving Anna a big welcome!

 Shoot ’em Ups

I don’t know about you, but in real life I try to stay away from conflict. It’s the way we’re wired, isn’t it, to get through life as easily as we can manage it.

But where’s your story without a bit of conflict? Flat as the proverbial pancake, that’s where. Without something throwing an obstacle in the main character’s way, something that gets between them and what they want, you won’t have a smidgeon of excitement or tension. It would all be sort of ‘meh’.

I hate ‘meh’.

The Taking Shield series is all about conflict on a grand scale: humanity fighting a war to the death with an alien race it has never even seen. In particular, it charts the life and loves of my hero, Shield Captain Bennet, as he infiltrates enemy bases and leads raids deep into enemy space.

So far, so old-school science fiction. Hero brandishing a laser against a big cyborg warrior robot thingie. But you know, while I like explosions and lasers, I find characters and what happens to them far more satisfying than yet another spaceship going belly up in a flash of white flame. I like my conflicts human in scale. I still like the big war going on, the flashbangs and explosions and spaceships crashing down onto world in flames. But I really love the characters who are pulled into the fights, who are flying the spaceships or raiding the Maess’s bases—who they are and why they’ve ended up as they have, who they love, who they fight with, how they prosper or even, sadly, how they die.

The war with the Maess is too vast a canvas to see. It rages over dozens of star systems, across hundreds of light years, over a hundred years. But there, in that tiny corner of the canvas, that’s where Bennet and Flynn stand. That’s where Bennet is not only fighting his little corner of a big war, but where he’s dealing with the smaller, but no less demanding conflicts in his life. The demands of duty and service and how they override his own desires and ambitions. The emotionally draining and contorted relationship he has with Joss, his lover of more than nine years. The way that Fleet Lieutenant Flynn walks into Bennet’s carefully regulated life of duty and service and turns it on its head.

Taking Shield, and within that series, Heart Scarab, isn’t a romance, but it is a love story. It’s about two people caught up in something huge and threatening, who have to fight their personal battles as well as the big cyborg warrior robot thingies. And who have to fight to reach each other.

I hope that as you read Heart Scarab, and the other books in the Taking Shield series, you’ll see that Bennet and Flynn are all about drama and conflict, stress and war—and you’ll come to see what sort of people they are.

And maybe, like me, you’ll come to love them. And you’ll root for them to have a happy ending. Some day.


Heart Scarab by Anna ButlerTelnos is an unpleasant little planet, inhabited by religious fanatics in the festering marshlands and unregistered miners running illegal solactinium mines up in the hills. But the Maess want Telnos, and Shield Captain Bennet’s job is to get out as many civilians as he can—a task that leaves him lying on Telnos while the last cutter of evacuees escapes in the teeth of the Maess invasion.

Bennet is listed missing in action, believed dead on a planet now overrun by Maess drones. His family is grieving. His long-term partner, Joss, is both mourning and guilt-ridden.

And Fleet Lieutenant Flynn? Flynn is desolate. Flynn is heart-broken… no. Flynn is just broken.


Anna Butler was a communications specialist for many years, working in UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to running an internal TV service. She now spends her time indulging her love of old-school science fiction. She lives in the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo.

Where to find the author:


Anna has brought some great giveaways for readers along her tour. First off, Joyfully Jay readers can leave a comment below to enter to win a copy of Anna’s novella, FlashWired (epub, mobi or pdf). Contest closes on Sunday, August 30th at 11:59 pm EST.

She also has some great tour wide prizes to give away. These include:  

  • Amazon gift voucher
  • Winner’s choice of a Heart Scarab ipad cover or kindle cover
  • Gyrfalcon iPad cover

Enter for those by following the Rafflecopter link below.

Rafflecopter giveaway

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
%d bloggers like this: