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NEW RELEASE The Machine: Rise of the Gifted #SciFi #Gay #Romance

The Machine: Rise of the Gifted by Natasha Duncan-Drake

 

The Machine

Rise of the Gifted

by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Men in black aren’t usually associated with figure skating, but when MiBs try to arrest men’s champion Louis Hayes, his ex-rival Rafe Derouet finds out to his cost that telepathic x-files really do exist.
FREE 21st – 23rd Feb ONLY
Smart Link to The Machine on Amazon

 

Rafe Derouet used to be a world class, British figure skater competing against his arch rival, flamboyant American Louis Hayes. A catastrophic knee injury ended his career and now all he can do is look on from the sidelines, commentating where he used to be a star. He hates Louis and wants nothing more than to see his nemesis go down in a blaze of failure.

Then mysterious men in black with guns take over a press meet, trying to arrest Louis, awakening something dangerous in their target, and setting in motion events they cannot control. Most shocking of all, Rafe finds out Louis can literally read his mind.

Dragged into a murky world of government agents and x-files by one of those x-files, Rafe finds his world view completely changing. And, along the way, his hatred for Louis proves to be something else entirely.

Now Rafe just needs to survive so he can decide what to do about it.

If you are kind enough to leave a review at Amazon I would like to give you a free short story sequel to say thank you. Please see the back of the book for details.

 

Excerpt (Listen or Read)

Rafe was in a hurry.

Whoever had had the idea to produce a US/Russian/Chinese special sporting event in celebration of the new economic treaty that was going through had to have been insane. There was figure skating and speed skating, long and short track, in the dual arena and athletics on the field and gymnastics in another arena down the road. It was as if someone had stuck pins in all the sports they thought the various countries were good at and then invited all the top athletes from the three countries to compete.

It was completely crazy and the whole world was watching, which was why Rafe was there reporting on it.

Given the current political climate, everyone was hoping sport could settle some of the latest rumblings. Rafe was waiting for it to all blow up in the organisers’ faces.

He had too many things to do and not enough time to do them, which was why he wasn’t really paying attention to his surroundings. The messages from his producer and his agent were far more important at the moment. If he had been giving thought to anything but texts he would have picked a different route.

“Well look who it isn’t,” said an all too familiar voice with an annoying American twang.

Not that Rafe found all American’s annoying, just this one in particular. He looked up from his phone to see Louis ‘pronounced the French way, darling’ Hayes less than three feet away.

Before he had fallen in the previous year’s world championships and shattered his knee, Rafe had been Louis’ arch rival on the ice. Competing for the UK in men’s figure skating, Rafe had spent the last few years swapping the number one spots in various competitions with Louis, but that was all over now. After eighteen months he could skate again, but he would never be able to compete at top level. These days he was doing TV shows and reporting for European sports channels and Louis was still glittering up the ice.

It made him want to knock Louis’ perfect teeth in with one of his skates all the more.

“Hayes,” he said and then realised that Louis was not alone.

Joy of joys, possibly his other least favourite person was standing next to Louis.

“And Voronov,” he added, wondering which deity he had pissed off to end up with both of them in the same place.

Voronov was a long distance speed skater for the Russians. Tall, blond and very much not sparkly, Voronov was an unlikely friend for a flamboyant American figure skater, but the pair had met at their first Olympics, hit it off and been firm friends ever since. Louis was something of a Russophile and had even been to Voronov’s wedding two years ago, which, given that Voronov was something of a state hero, had been quite a big deal. Louis was also one of the few allowed to call Voronov by a ridiculous nickname like they were in a club or something.

Rafe had met Voronov at the same time Louis had, only their relationship had started off more as instant dislike.

“You’re looking a little harassed there, Rafe,” Louis said, smiling sweetly.

The urge to deck the other man was strong. Rafe employed all of his skating will power not to do it.

“Places to be, important people to see,” he said, doing his best to get in a dig.

Of course he was all too aware Louis was much better at this game; Louis with his perfect hair and designer clothes and sycophantic fan base. It made Rafe grind his teeth.

“The competitors?” Voronov said, tone innocent, but Rafe couldn’t help it, he glared.

That stung.

There was nothing more in the world that he loved than the ice and it had been taken away from him. He honestly had no comeback.

Surprisingly he saw Louis dig his elbow into Voronov’s side. Maybe their antagonistic relationship did have lines. Once upon a time he and Louis had been friends and practice mates under the same coach, but then they had somehow become rivals. Rafe still wasn’t sure what had happened, but he had become the British poster boy for the international ice skating federation and Louis had become the American rebel with amazing talent.

“So, who are you commentating for this time?” Louis asked, clearly trying to be nice after Voronov’s below the belt shot.

That just rubbed Rafe completely up the wrong way.

“The BBC,” he said, digging his fingers into his palm to keep himself calm. “Now I’m late for a meeting, so I have to run.”

“Aren’t you co-commentating with the lovely Maria Hessle?” Louis said before Rafe could get away.

“Yes,” Rafe replied, doing his best not to grind his teeth and damning the polite genes his family had handed down.

“I’m sure I read somewhere that you and she were an item,” Louis said, “how’s that going for you?”

Louis’ expression was completely innocent, but Rafe wasn’t fooled, it was yet another dig. When they had been friends there may have been some adolescent fumbling between them and Louis was well aware Rafe’s tastes ran more to the male than the female: yet another bone of contention between them, what with Louis being out and proud and Rafe being firmly in the closet.

“You of all people should know not to believe everything you read,” Rafe said, as sweetly as he could manage.

The one thing he had to be utterly thankful for was that Louis was not the kind to out anyone, not even an ex-rival. Louis had had to defend his own sexuality so much, even before being officially out, technically, that Louis had the integrity not to do that to someone else. Didn’t stop all the digs though.

“Maria is happily attached to a Polish plumber from Chiswick,” he added, because he couldn’t help trying to rub Louis’ nose in the ridiculousness of tabloid reporting.

Of course it didn’t work, Louis just smiled.

“I find it always pays to check,” Louis said.

Every time they met it was the same with the subtle poking at his weakest points. And it galled Rafe to realise that he only understood his own sexuality so well because of Louis Hayes. He had done quite a bit of self examination over the years.

“Well, I really must go,” he said.

Louis clearly wanted to continue the conversation, but Rafe wasn’t sticking around to find out what for. The last thing his career needed was a headline about him trying to kill an American citizen on American soil.

~*~

Rafe was hovering, waiting for the next skater to come along for the press meet. It was currently Louis’ turn. He was supposed to have been interviewing everyone, but even his producer realised that asking him to interview Louis Hayes was a bad idea, hence his co-host, Maria, was doing it. He was in line to talk to the next skater in.

If Louis won things Rafe would have to bite the bullet, since he was the lead interviewer this time round. At least he could be thankful that it had turned out he was good as a celebrity commentator. However, these were just preliminary chats for sound bites, so he could get away with leaving it to Maria.

“Sorry, Ladies and Gentlemen,” a member of the event security team walked up to the gathering, “I’m going to have to ask you to move to a new area. This one is needed for warm up.”

That sounded odd to Rafe, because he was pretty sure no one was due on the ice yet today and he hung back. Louis looked equally put out, which was actually kind of funny. Rafe guessed Louis was bitching to his agent, who patted him on the shoulder, and followed the gaggle of press out as Louis went to make for the locker rooms. Rafe couldn’t resist stepping towards his ex-rival, just to see if he could get an annoyed sound bite. Those he was actually quite good at when it came to Louis.

Louis was trying to find something in his huge, oversized bag, by the looks of things, so Rafe waited for his chance. However, it never came. As soon as the press were out of sight men in black Kevlar appeared from several different places with guns. The truly bizarre thing was that they all seemed to be pointed at Louis.

“Nobody move,” was the shouted order and Rafe froze.

It was difficult for Rafe to believe what he was seeing and, if his face was anything to go by, Louis was just as shocked. Louis raised his hands, staring at the men in black with guns, clearly terrified. Frankly if there was anyone less likely to need a gun pointed at them Rafe had never met them.

“What’s going on?” Louis asked, sounding as confused and petrified as he looked.

“Don’t move,” was the only response and then a woman appeared.

The way Louis’ eyes opened slightly and a frown of confusion appeared on his face, replacing the complete shock, Rafe guessed Louis knew her…

FREE 21st – 23rd Feb ONLY
Smart Link to The Machine on Amazon

Birthday Bargains! 50-100% OFF eBooks

Birthday Bargains! 50-100% OFF eBooks

It’s our birthday 🙂

We have decided to celebrate by giving back to our readers and having a 1 day sale on our eBooks.

Most of our 99c books are FREE today and our other books are all 50% off.

The links below will take you to Smashwords where you can use the code below each book at the checkout stage and it will give you the listed discount. Smashwords has formats for all eBook readers.

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Code: YK56E ($2.99 $1.50)

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AtoZChallenge 2015: T is for Tom Hiddleston

AtoZ Challenge 2015 Wittegen Press TAtoZChallenge 2015: T is for Tom Hiddleston

This year our theme at Wittegen Press is ‘Why’ and we are talking about the inspirations or reasons behind some of our books.

Today Natasha Duncan-Drake is talking about the inspiration behind her book series Dark Reflections, the second of which, Dreams and Reality, came out at the end of last month.

Tom Hiddleston as LokiSo I bet you’re wondering why Tom Hiddleston is the prompt for today, that’s because it was his love of Loki, who he plays in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and his engagement with the character that inspired Me, Myself and I and then Dreams and Reality.

It was a simple matter of my brain wandering off one day and going: ‘What if an actor like Tom met the character he was playing?’

The most interesting aspect was the fact that it is more than clear that when Tom is playing Loki he sympathises with him, not what he does, but the events which have driven him to it. He is also playing the villain 🙂 .

If I am to be utterly truthful, at first the only thing in my head was the sex scene at the end of Me, Myself and I 😉 . Then it occurred to me, wouldn’t it be interesting if the actor met the good guys as well, then the novelette was born. That was when I jumped feet first into the idea of superheroes and all the tropes that go with them.

Tristan is inspired by more than Tom (I have a whole heap of favourite actors who I’ve researched bits from), but it was definitely Tom who gave me the start. It was Tom’s commitment to Loki that made the whole idea interesting.

P.S. For those who are fans of Tom and read the end of the book – you’ll know which bit I am referring to, it’s obvious – I actually wrote that in 2012 way before July 2013, so I assume (although not totally accurate) I am psychic 😉 .

Are you a Tom fan? If not, why not?! 😛 What is your favourite part he has played?

 


FREE Book Offer

Me, Myself and I by Natasha Duncan-DrakeMe, Myself and I (Dark Reflections #1) by Natasha Duncan-Drake

This is a permanently FREE title on all platforms. Just click on the main book link and pick where to download it.

Tristan is an actor and he plays a supervillain in the movies. At least he thought he did, but then he has an accident and he wakes up surrounded by the world of the films. Now he has to figure out if he’s hallucinating, if somehow the movies are real and he’s been transplanted to another world or if he is actually Devon, a supervillain having a psychotic break. Whatever the answer: it’s frighteningly crazy.

Book 2 of the series Dreams and Reality is now also available.


 Our other AtoZ blogs: Tasha’s Thinkings | Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles| FB3X (AC)



If you enjoy our daily free books you’ll really love our permanently free books, including the two FREE ebooks we’ll give you just for joining our mailing list.

Wittegen PressWe'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.

We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.
Curse of a Banshee
Sophie Duncan
Assassin's Blood
Natasha Duncan-Drake
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AtoZChallenge 2015: F is for Fanfiction

AtoZ Challenge 2015 Wittegen Press FAtoZChallenge 2015: F is for Fanfiction

Hello one and all and welcome to day 6 of the AtoZChallenge 2015. At Wittegen Press we are introducing some of the ‘why’ behind our books. Today Natasha Duncan-Drake will be talking about her book The Machine and why fanfiction is significant.

I love fanfiction. I have been writing it since before I knew there was a word for it and reading other people’s since Sophie first handed me some of hers. When I discovered fanfiction communities online, it changed my life. Many fanfic writers are wonderful people and many of them are editors, writers, librarians and teachers in real life and they are more than willing to pass on their expertise to writers willing to accept it. I honed much of my craft thanks to them, in the fanfic arena.

Fanfiction

I still write fanfiction from time to time and The Machine actually started out as a real person fanfic in the figure skating world with sci-fi elements. It languished, unfinished, on my hard drive for years and then, there we were doing the Giveaway Games 2012 where we gave away a new short story/novelette/novella every day during July. I was desperate for good stories to post 🙂 . Thus I went delving into my old folders.

I changed all the names, changed the professions of some characters, the nationalities of others, wrote out some all together, slightly altered the setting, rewrote huge swathes of it, finished what had never been written and The Machine was born.

Thinking about it, it might have been quicker to write a completely new one from scratch, but I really liked what I had of the plot 😉 .

So, yes, fanfiction became original fiction and I really like how it turned out.

Do you read fanfic? Have you ever delved into AO3, which is the best fanfiction site around? (If you would like to see my fanfic is is available under my pename Beren on AO3).


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The Machine by Natasha Duncan-DrakeThe Machine by Natasha Duncan-Drake

FREE download*: Mobi | ePub | PDF

Louis Hayes is a world renowned figure skater and Rafe used to be his biggest rival until his knee gave out. Now Rafe reports on the event and he’s trying to avoid interviewing Louis when things take a turn for the bizarre. When men with guns surround Louis and then start flying through the air like they are attached to elastic Rafe wants to duck and cover, but soon he’s being kidnapped by a Louis he no longer knows who seems to be able to read his mind. One wrong move could mean Rafe’s death, but he can’t believe Louis has become a monster.

*Files will only be available for 24hrs on 7th April.


 Our other AtoZ blogs: Tasha’s Thinkings | Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles| FB3X (AC)



If you enjoy our daily free books you’ll really love our permanently free books, including the two FREE ebooks we’ll give you just for joining our mailing list.

Wittegen PressWe'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.

We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.
Curse of a Banshee
Sophie Duncan
Assassin's Blood
Natasha Duncan-Drake
* indicates required



Dreams and Reality – Superheroes, Sex and Succour – NEW eBook

I love superheroes so I knew sooner or later I would write a book with them in 🙂 . So today I am very pleased to announce my new book Dreams and Reality is available for purchase at most  of the major eBook retailers.

If you would like to know more about the inspirations behind the Dark Reflections series, pop back to this blog on the 23rd of April for the letter T on the AtoZChallenge, because I will be talking all about it.

This book took a very long time to write, mostly because I just couldn’t finish it to make a novel I was willing to publish. I had 2/3rds of it written just after the first book in the series, Me, Myself and I (permanently FREE so pick it up now), was published back in 2012, but I didn’t know how to complete it. I am very glad to say that at the end of last year inspiration finally struck and I was able to create something I could be proud of.

Thank you to everyone who has waited so patiently. It already has 2 5* reviews over at Goodreads and I hope everyone else will enjoy it as well. Scroll down to hear the first part of the book read by me.

~*~
About the Book
 
Title: Dreams and Reality: Superheroes, Sex and Succour
Series: Dark Reflections
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Word count: ~50K
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Romance, Gay, Bisexual
Published: March 30th 2015

Tristan Havering believes all the crazy things he experienced in an alternative dimension, real-world version of the superhero saga ‘Power Up’ were a dream brought on by concussion; he’s about to find out how terrifyingly wrong he is.

Four months after the steamy, narcissistic liaison he shared with Devon, the supervillain he plays in the movies, dangerous things begin spilling over into his world, and Tristan has no choice but to believe the impossible: superheroes and supervillains are real.

His only hope is Devon, mercurial and unstable, once driven completely out of his mind by his own power, but will he help Tristan a second time? Tristan has no choice but to frantically reach out and return to Devon’s crazy reality or face insanity at the whim of a power he cannot hope to control.

Buy Links
Chapter 1 Part 1 of Dreams and Reality read by Natasha Duncan-Drake

 

~*~

FREE Book Offer

If you leave an honest review for this book where you bought it we will give you the follow-on short story ‘Oh, Really?’ absolutely FREE as a thank you. Simply fill in the form below to point me at your review. None of your details will be shared or used for any other purpose than contacting you about the free book.