Hi! Welcome to Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau’s blog tour for our new release, Tin Man. We’re visiting some of our favourite blogs around the place to talk a bit about writing Tin Man, and sharing some of our influences, our ideas, and even an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment, for your chance to win prizes!
Each comment on this blog tour enters you for a chance to win a $20 Riptide credit and an ecopy of Bliss, the first book set in this universe. Entries close July 25, 2015, and contest is not restricted to US residents. Remember to leave your email address in the comments so we know how to reach you!
Today we’re sharing an excerpt from Tin Man. In this excerpt, Ace is scoping out the headquarters of the Anti Terrorist Unit, hoping to see Soren again.
The headquarters of the Anti-Terrorism Unit had been built on the site of the old Government House. Ace knew that because he’d seen the collection of faded old postcards his mom had kept in the back of the closet, postcards that showed stately, beautiful buildings along the riverbank. The war had changed all that. A decade or so of shelling and bombing—way before Ace’s time—had leveled all the grand old buildings of Tophet. They had been replaced by gray, concrete structures, smog-stained and windowless.
Ace told himself that he’d crossed the river just because he hadn’t done it in years, but that didn’t explain why he’d been drawn to ATU headquarters. He bought a lukewarm cup of tea from a vendor on the corner and stood around with the group of people outside the welfare office down the street from the ATU. The day was cold enough that he was able to pull the hood of his jacket up and keep his face hidden without it appearing unusual.
The welfare office was closed, the doors padlocked shut. The screens in the window were broken and flickering, but the occasional message scrolled along the bottom of the screens under the news bulletins: workers wanted in District Two, a factory opening in District Five, applications now open. Government mandated wage. No accommodation. No benefits. Citizens only.
Citizens only, Ace knew, meant only those without criminal records. You couldn’t be a citizen and a crim, and once you were a crim, there was no going back. He’d stood at this same welfare office back when he was a kid, listening to his dad beg the staff for a chance to get a job so that he could feed his family. They’d only left when the staff had threatened to call the police and have his dad arrested again.
Ace saw the same desperation on some of the faces of the men and women who studied the scrolling adverts. Most of them seemed resigned, though, weariness etching deep lines in their faces and bowing their backs.
A cold wind blew off the river as the afternoon softened slowly into dusk. He shivered, the rubbish littering the street scattering about.
Ace had told himself he hadn’t come here looking for Soren Lau, but it was a lie.
He just wanted to make sure the kid wasn’t dead, that was all.
Blurb: Petty thief Ashoka “Ace” King knows better than to get in the way of Tophet’s Anti-Terrorist Unit. Rightfully feared in Tophet’s crime-ridden underbelly, a face-to-face encounter with an ATU is almost certainly a death sentence. But Ace has never been one to follow the rules.
Soren Lau might be an ATU rookie, but he’s not naive enough to believe everything his superiors tell him. Then again, he’s not stupid enough to disobey them, either. If he doesn’t shoot and kill as ordered, he might be next on their list.
But when Soren meets Ace, a moment’s hesitation is all it takes to put both their lives on the line. They don’t know each other, they don’t trust each other, and there’s no way in hell they can both walk away from this alive. But with suspicion and mortal danger mounting against both of them—and the forbidden attraction blazing between them—there’s nothing they can do but try.
Tin Man is out on July 20. You can order it now at Riptide.
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write.
She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centred on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with unironic papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!)
When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her newborn daughter or standing in line at the local coffee shop, waiting on her caramel macchiato.