Hi, thanks for hosting me! I’m Aleksandr Voinov and I’m here to talk about my newest release, Lying with Scorpions, which is the sequel to Scorpion and part of the Memory of Scorpions gay military fantasy trilogy. I’ll be checking in to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to ask questions in the comments. At the end of the post, you’ll find more information and details for a backlist giveaway. Good luck!
Lying with Scorpions: Reader favourites – Selvan
Selvan, the collective slave of the Scorpions, really started as the answer of a simple problem: What about the baggage train. If you’ve read any military history books at all, or even a detailed account of a campaign, it becomes clear that the actual fighting is really only possible if the soldiers in question are clothed, fed, and looked after.
In short, the baggage train is hugely important to keep a unit functional. We have accounts of the “train” consisting of wives and children, or camp followers, say, merchants and prostitutes. Considering soldiers already carry all their weapons and armour (especially if they are infantry), the amount a human can carry more or less comfortably is limited. Creating the Scorpions, I spent a while thinking about how they do it. I didn’t want a big train for story reasons—so they had to be flexible and relatively lightly armoured. They might have pack horses or maybe a couple mules, but generally, they’d be infantry and travel a lot on foot.
Left the question who’s looking after them. I quite liked the idea of having a few slaves or so, though it was clear that the Scorpions wouldn’t waste time (and blood) defending their helpless slaves against an attack.
And there he was, Selvan, the main supporter and camp follower of the Scorpions. I knew he wouldn’t be a boyish slave that would be sexually exploited and helpless—though that might have been popular. In fact, Selvan always, right from the beginning, struck me as extremely strong and calm, which intrigued me. He seemed like a character that’s found his place in life and is at peace with who he is. The more I wrote about him, the more I learned about his choices, and that he’d be perfectly capable to be a fighting Scorpion, but he chooses not to.
I guess that mix of soft and gentle and strong is what intrigues readers about him. Many readers emailed me to tell me about how much they liked Selvan especially, though he doesn’t really play a huge role and doesn’t have that much time “on camera” as it were.
Of all the characters in the book who work “for the greater good”, Selvan is the only one who’s truly selfless and, unlike Kendras, he never wavers. He displays all the virtues of the Scorpions—sacrifice, brotherhood, service, loyalty—but unlike Adrastes, he’s not in it for power or to force his vision on anybody. Selvan is an unsung hero, somebody who quietly does his job and his duty (and with love), without expecting anything much in return. I think that’s why the Scorpions see him as an equal in many ways and how he ended up being the “soul” of the unit. Readers catch that and are touched and intrigued.
I even received emails threatening me with bodily harm if I dared hurt Selvan in the next books.
Come on, guys. As if the Scorpions would allow anybody to hurt him. 🙂
Title: Lying with Scorpions by Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Historical, Fantasy, M/M, Erotic, Romance, Multiple Partners
Length: 320 pages/Word count: 83,300
If you lie with scorpions, you’d better have a taste for poison.
Now that Kendras’s lover Adrastes has claimed the throne of Dalman, Kendras is tangled deeper than ever in politics and intrigue. As the new leader of the Scorpions and Adrastes’s one true friend, he and his men stand between Adrastes and those who wish him dead.
And many do. Adrastes openly challenges the ocean priesthood for power while establishing himself at court and brokering with the realm’s various factions. He means for the Scorpions to become a fearsome legion again, but Kendras must first learn how to be a good officer and recruit to replace the fallen. His choices will determine the future of a group steeped in hundreds of years of history and tradition.
As both Kendras and Adrastes settle old scores, a new enemy arises in Commander Graukar, a war hero loyal to the old order. In his formidable mountain fortress, Graukar may hold the balance of power. But while Adrastes aims to either rule or destroy Graukar, Kendras finds himself doubting Adrastes for the first time, and sharing more with Graukar than he ever thought possible.
Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing
Aleksandr has been published for twenty years, both in print and ebook. He has ten years’ experience as a writing coach, book doctor, and writing teacher, and he works as a financial editor in London.
After co-authoring the M/M military cult classic Special Forces, Aleksandr embarked on a quest to write edgy, dark, sometimes literary M/M and gay fiction (much of which is romance/erotica)—the only way he can use his American Literature degree these days.
He’s been published with Heyne/Random House, Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and others.
To win an ebook from Aleksandr’s backlist (not Lying with Scorpions), email him at email@example.com with the answer to the following questions (and your preferred file format):
– Name the Scorpions that join Kendras’s unit in this book
– What is Runner’s secret?
– Who was the first officer of the Scorpions, and what happened to him?
Contest runs through the end of January.
Follow the rest of the tour HERE.