Anna Butler’s Heart Scarab
I’m quite excited to have Anna Butler here today. She stops by to share her newest book Heart Scarab, and I convinced her to stay for an interview as well. You’ll definitely want to check out her answers. They’re all kinds of fun. Then you can read all about the book and an excerpt that is all kinds of sexy. At the very bottom, enter for a chance to win a copy of her novella, FlashWired on every stop to one random commentator, Amazon gift card, Heart Scarab Kindle or iPad cover or Gyrfalcon iPad cover.
Amanda C. Stone: Good morning Anna! I’m glad you were able to join me today.
Anna Butler: Hi, Amanda. I’m delighted to be here today to talk to you. Although… looks anxiously at the questions, which are a bit scary… No. I’m still delighted to be here.
ACS: Oh they’re not that scary. They’re just all kinds of crazy because that’s how I do. If you were a candy bar what would you taste like?
AB: Oooohhhh! Sweets!
Chocolate will be in there somewhere. I love chocolate—milk, dark, flavoured, plain. Anyway you like, I will devour it. I have a very sweet tooth, though, so I’d have to admit that I’d prefer my chocolate not to be 70% cocoa unless I’m baking, cooking or making candies with it. Candy-Annie would definitely be smothered in a thick coating of milk chocolate. On the inside, chocolate truffle enclosing a soft, dulce du leche filling.
You wouldn’t be able to eat many Candy-Annies, but boy! Would I be rich on the tongue.
ACS: Those Candy-Annies sound delish! The dulce de leche filling would be just the thing to make it perfect. If you could travel anywhere all expenses paid where would you go? Name one thing you’d see or do there.
AB: Hard one. I’d like to go back to Egypt and spend longer there, because anything Egyptian fascinates me: the history, art, mummies. But I also had a wonderful road trip around the American SW a few years ago but only saw a fraction of the things I’d have liked to see and could only spend a short time at each place we visited. What to choose?
Another road trip, then. This time, I’d like to use an RV and take six months to wander around, taking my time and not rushing madly from place to place. I’d start in Yellowstone—because that place is amazing and I promise not to claim a Darwin Award by doing selfies with a bad-tempered bison two feet behind me—and then meander down through Utah, taking in the Dinosaur National Monument, Arches, Canyonlands, Glen Canyon. Bryce Canyon, the Grand, Monument Valley. All those places where the landscape is so alien and awe-inspiring.
It’s an inhuman landscape. It’s a land for big people. I don’t mean big in terms of physical size, but I can see how only those men and women with big minds and hearts first managed to conquer it. It would crush the small minded. It gave me a great deal of respect for the native people who made it their home for hundreds of years. I expect they saw visions and lived in a world that isn’t quite the one I know.
ACS: A six month tour of the southwest region of the US would be AMAZING! There’s so much to see and do there. There is magically 25 hours in a day. What would you do with the extra hour?
AB: Write more!
Between selling this house and buying a new one two hundred miles away, planning our move, coping with my husband’s retirement, getting my mother through various hospital/medical things and generally just living, I’m struggling to find good writing time at the moment. It doesn’t help that what I time I do manage to carve out of the day, I spend poring over the pictures of our new house and planning curtains and carpets; or I spend wringing my hands over our surveyor’s report and wondering what on earth possessed us to buy a 170-year-old house with 170-year-old windows that all need to be restored or repaired/replaced. Ouch.
So an extra bit of time to push all that away and get back to Bennet and Flynn? Priceless.
ACS: Yes! More writing time would be fab. I definitely wouldn’t complain about that. Anyone can buy the rights to name a star. What would you name a star bought for you?
This might be a bit complex to explain. According to Roberto Calasso, in The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony (great book, by the way), the Greek word korōnē means ‘the curved beak of the crow’, but it also means a ‘garland or crown’. Ruth Amberson, in The Secret Language of Tarot, agrees and says “the Greek word for ‘curved’ is used in this context for any kind of circle or circlet worn on the head to signify a connexion with the gods. This includes the wreath, the crest or horns, as well as the crown, diadem, and tiara.”
ACS: That’s actually really fascinating how one word has so many meanings.
AB: So what, I hear you say as your eyes glaze over. What does that have to do with stars?
ACS: Well yes, that was my next question.
Tiaras scintillating with diamonds as they catch the light, shining and flashing, dazzling the senses as they glitter and gleam. They are things of beauty. Frivolous fripperies they may be, but they’re the most flattering headgear a woman can wear. Tiaras *sparkle*. Like stars.
I adore tiaras.
A star called Tiara might be a little too frivolous. But one called Korōnē is perfect.
ACS: Oooh. I do like how you think. Sparkling stars, sparkling tiaras. Perfect indeed. You are traveling with The Doctor (or any other time traveling person). Would you visit the past or the future?
AB: Much as I love the past, and would love to visit the ancient world with the Doctor, I think I’d rather opt for the future.
Mostly, because I want to believe we have a future, and we haven’t messed up Earth beyond repair. A little bit of seeing it with my own eyes would be reassuring.
Most of all, though, I want to get to a future where things like gender roles, or skin colour, or who someone likes to have sex with, just don’t matter. Where issues like religion, or gay marriage, or women’s control over their own bodies don’t tear us apart but bring us together in mutual understanding. I’d really like to see a future where we don’t wear labels like gay, straight, black, white, religious, atheist. A future where we’ll all just people. People with all their warts and faults, all their brilliance and intelligence, all their courage and loyalty and great hearts, all their beauty and all their ugliness. And nobody cares whether what gender you identify as, whether you’re black or white or purple with green spots, or who you sleep with.
If we can’t reach that—and some days I fear we can’t—well, maybe it’s going to be ancient Egypt after all.
ACS: I would love to see that kind of a future as well. Thank you so much for stopping by today. I absolutely adored having you.
AB: Thanks for letting me visit here today, Amanda. It’s been a blast.
Telnos 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
Flynn liked kissing. In fact, Flynn considered himself something of an expert in the art. He’d tried it in all its forms, from the first tentative pressing together of juvenile lips that had you wondering what all the fuss was about, to the discovery that if you just opened your mouth and, you know, kind of moved everything, your tongue suddenly had a lot more positive uses than just allowing you to articulate clearly and swallow things without choking. Flynn got the hang of it, ran with it, and never looked back.
Soft kisses and hard kisses; kisses that were wet and slobbery with people who didn’t know exactly how to hold their lips to get the best and sexiest effect, and wet and sexy kisses with people who did. Kisses that turned the blood to molten lava and kisses that cooled you as you came down. Kisses that inflamed and kisses that soothed; feverish kisses and languid after-sex kisses. Kisses that meant only good fellowship and casual affection, and kisses that were desire incarnate.
Flynn had not only tried them all, he’d made them his own. He was considered by all the relevant authorities to be rather a specialist in the area.
Flynn really liked kissing. He had been gratified by the discovery that Bennet liked it too. Because now he could add slow kisses to the repertoire. Kisses so leisured and intense the world came to a stop while a hot tongue moved over his lips, explored each and every tooth down to the last molar, while teeth pulled at his bottom lip, biting it gently until it was swollen and hot and heavy, and he had to lick his lip to cool it and met Bennet’s tongue with his. Only then, would Bennet’s mouth close over his and start a real in-earnest kiss that lasted several more centuries. Those were kisses Bennet seemed to specialise in.
Flynn was always willing to take tips from another expert. A man should always try to extend his technique.
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.
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22-Jul: Prism Book Alliance
29-Jul: Just Love Romance, Bayou Book Junkie
5-Aug: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
12-Aug: Andrew Q. Gordon
19-Aug: My Fiction Nook
26-Aug: Joyfully Jay
2-Sep: The Hat Party
9-Sep: Inked Rainbow Reads
16-Sep: Velvet Panic, Molly Lolly
23-Sep: Emotion in Motion
30-Sep: BFD Book Blog, Jessie G. Books
7-Oct: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
14-Oct: MM Good Book Reviews
21-Oct: The Novel Approach
28-Oct: Amanda C. Stone
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Thank you for hosting me here today, Amanda. It’s been great fun!