Saturday, 15 December 2012

Apologies but no excuses

Blogging is a BIG thing these days but it's possible to do too much of it. In the summer, I found I was trying to maintain several different blogging platforms as well as Facebook and Twitter and I had almost stopped writing. Or, if I wrote, I didn't blog.

Decisions - not writing wasn't an option so I decided to cut back the social media to a manageable amount.

I still use Facebook and Twitter - a bit - but now I'm doing most of my blogging here on Wordpress.

I'm sorry to abandon Blogger because it's a good site but there just aren't enough hours in the day!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Comfy Chair Post

I have a new victim in my Comfy Chair - Paula Sophia, author of Shadowboxer and Hystericus.

Shadowboxer, the story of a police officer who has to juggle his jb and his pride in his profession with his long suppressed desire to be a woman, blew me away. Highly recommended.

Paula Sophia is a serving police officer, a poet and a very fascinating lady.

Find out more here.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Six Sunday - a bit late

I have been forgetting to cross post my Six Sunday posts, so here is this weeks:

My six this week are taken from my WIP A Fierce Reaping – a story about a Romano-Celtic warband preparing to ride south to tackle Aethelfrith, a Saxon warleader who is pushing the boundaries north to threaten the lands of the Gododdin. War and mayhem is good fun to write but I think it’s more fun to read when a threat to loving relationships ups the stakes.

Following on from last week’s six, Cynfal is walking some horses back to the picket lines and meets Gwion, the harper, whom he rather fancies. He suspects the feeling could be mutual so speaks to him and asks where he is going. Gwion is going Cynfal’s way but seems uncertain of his welcome:

Gwion shrugged and patted the bay again. “I could help?”
Even croaked the suggestion was tentative, as though too many offers of help, pleas for companionship, had been rejected.
Cynfal nodded. “I’ve been told to walk the horses so it’ll take longer but I’d be glad of some company.”
Gwion’s smile was dazzling as he took the reins of the bay and came to walk at Cynfal’s shoulder.

Previous Six Sundays are listed here, most recent at the top.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Editing Pirates

I’ve been busy for the past month editing and revising my pirate novel “On A Lee Shore” and, wouldn’t you know it, the damn thing has got bigger instead of shrinking. This is because as I read it through I’ve realised that I have missed out bits that I knew about the characters that the reader has no way of knowing.

I’m at a bit of a loss to know what to do with it when it’s finished because I don’t think it’s sufficiently romantic and certainly not erotic enough for the M/M market. M/M readers do seem to require plenty of explicit boinkage laid out in finely detailed black and white. Maybe it’s a skill I should acquire or maybe I should get a writing partner who is good at that kind of thing?

Meantime, the story is what it is – an only-loosely-historical action adventure romp that I’ve had a whale of a time writing – and I’m not apologising for that.

Here’s an excerpt from close to the beginning:

Monday, 25 June 2012

New Release

Lashings of Sauce - an anthology of LGBT stories by authors attending the 2012 UK Meet.

Available from 22nd July, 2012 from JMS Books.

We Brits love our sauce, whether it’s what we lash on our food, read on our seaside postcards, or write in our stories. Come and enjoy a buffet of tasty LGBTQ treats!

From marriages to reunions, via practical jokes and football matches, to weresloths and possibly the oddest Tarts and Vicars party in the world, join us as we celebrate the UK Meet in the best way we know: telling the story.

As a follow-up to the critically acclaimed British Flash and Tea and Crumpet anthologies, our talented writers bring you sixteen stories about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and genderqueer characters enjoying what Britain and mainland Europe have to offer, with their wonderfully diverse range of cultures and landscapes and some incredibly colourful and quirky people.

Contributors include: Tam Ames, Becky Black, Anne Brooke, Charlie Cochrane, Rebecca Cohen, Lillian Francis, Elin Gregory, Clare London, Sandra Lindsey, JL Merrow, Emily Moreton, Josephine Myles, Zahra Owens, Jordan Castillo Price, Elyan Smith and Robbie Whyte. Edited by: UK MAT (UK Meet Acquisitions Team: Alex Beecroft, Charlie Cochrane, Clare London, JL Merrow and Josephine Myles).

My story: A Few Days Away.

Hugh and Tom enjoy their relationship, up to a point – the point being that they rarely get a chance to express their affection ‘properly’. Hugh’s neighbour bangs on the wall. Tom’s mum complains. A holiday seems to be reasonable solution but just offers more problems to solve.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Hop Against Homophobia winner

The name out of the hat was Yvette!

I've been in touch to send a .mobi of Alike As Two Bees and the AKT are better off by a donation plus gift aid!

Many thanks to all the people who took the time and trouble to comment on my blog. I was surprised to see so many of you! I just wish I could have made a donation in each and every name but we have managed to send enough to take one young person off the street and give him or her a safe and welcoming place to stay.

Thanks also to Erica and her team for setting up the blog hop. Maybe see you next year?

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Proper Six Sunday

Last week I forgot to register but this week I remembered! Pasting the 6 here, as usual, for the people who don't like Wordpress.

Last weeks neglect was useful because it introduced Moried, no friend to the scruffy bunch in Troop Three.

This weeks Sunday Six is from my WIP A Fierce Reaping, a story of the Gododdin, set in Scotland and Northumbria in the 7th century AD. A reminder of the premise – King Marro of Din Eidin is alarmed by the encroachment of Saxon forces lead by Aethelfrith upon the lands just south of his borders. With the help of Gwlygad, his steward, he devises a plan to drive the Saxons back to the south. He gathers a band of heroes, trains and feasts them for a year and unleashes them on the Saxons in the spring. But at this point in the story Marro has three hundred young men packed into a small space with energy to spare and nobody to fight apart from each other.

“And how goes the training?” Moried asked. “I hope that Cynon is providing instruction in baggage handling and camp fire cookery because we won’t be able to take non-combatants and one can’t expect real soldiers to sully themselves with domestic chores.”
“You mean you kill it and we’ll cook it?” Cynfal snorted. “Spit roast Saxon with horseradish might put some hair on your chest.”
Moried glanced at the front of Cynfal’s shirt, unlaced in the heat of the hall. “Speaking from experience, I see.”

Click to go to the Six Sentence Sunday site and see the list of participating authors. There’s something there for everyone!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Hop Against Homophobia - no place like home

At the end of the day it's brilliant to be able to go home, shut the door and relax. Home is where you are safe. Home is where you are sure of a welcome. Home is the place, as the poet said, where if you have to go there they have to let you in.

But what if that isn't the case. What if home suddenly becomes a place of danger - somewhere that isn't welcoming - what if the door is shut in your face?

That is the situation faced by hundreds of LGBTQ teens when they pluck up the courage to come out to their parents. Some are lucky and are taken in by friends or other family members but some are left homeless and have to go into the care system or onto the streets, with all the dangers that implies.

This is where the Albert Kennedy Trust comes in. The following is reproduced with permission of the organisation.

AKT’s Mission is:

To ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people are able to live in accepting, supportive and caring homes, by providing a range of services to meet the individual needs of those who would otherwise be homeless or living in a hostile environment.

We aim to do this by:

• Providing appropriate homes through supported lodgings, fostering and other specialist housing schemes.
• Enabling young people to manage independent living successfully.
• Improving attitudes within society towards lesbian, gay and bisexual young people.

To support our work all our staff, trustees, carers, mentors & volunteers are committed to:

• Delivering flexible and responsive services centred on the needs of LGBT young people.
• Engaging, supporting and nurturing LGBT young people.
• Providing accessible, safe and positive environments that are respectful of difference and diversity.
• Pioneering and innovative services to meet real need.
• Good communication and participation throughout the organisation and valuing and encouraging the contributions of all those involved. Excellence and best practice.
• Working in an open and honest manner, where trust is earned and given.
• Working as a team.Challenging perception both internally and externally.

And doing the above with passion, energy and enthusiasm.

I think they are doing a grand and important job - one really worth supporting. They have suggestions on their website, which I hope you will visit.

Since this blog hop requires a giveaway, I'm offering a copy of Alike As Two Bees to one commenter, but I will also make a donation to AKT on his or her behalf.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the Hop.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Too late and too long

I’ve been so sick this week that I forgot to register for Six Sentence Sunday! then I forgot to link to my regular post from this one.

I have just about got a working brain again so sincere thanks to everyone who commented last week and apologies for not replying individually to you. Next time, I promise I will do better.

Six Sentence Sunday – lots of opportunities to sample a range of works from sci fi to paranormals to action adventure to historicals by way of masses of red hot het erotica.

But I’m not doing it this week so I can post a longer than usual excerpt from A Fierce Reaping.

Cynfal arrives in Din Eidin under stressful circumstances and sets about making an impression.

The sun was behind the rock by the time they reached the edge of the dun.

“Luath!” One of the lads on guard greeted Cynfal’s companion with a broad grin. “What have you brought us this time?”

“Fine young pigs, Cipno,” Luath said, waving to the cart. “Fat and ready for the slaughter.”

“Five young pigs?” Cipno stared boldly at Cynfal. “I’d have said the one in the cloak is a bit long in the tooth to make a good meal.”

Cipno had a shield and a spear. The first gloss wasn’t yet off the blade. Cynfal shrugged his cloak back from his shoulders to display his own battered weapons and scarred forearms.

“How does your commander feel about brawling on duty?” he asked. “Because we can go at it now and you’ll be in trouble as well as getting hurt, or we can meet up later and I might go easy on you.”

Cipno flushed and took a step forward. “When I’ve finished my duty then. Down by the shore. It’ll be easier to wash your guts off my blade.”

Cynfal couldn’t fault the lad for pride, but he clearly hadn’t the sense of his fellow who tugged at Cipno’s arm urging him back. Or perhaps the sound of hooves approaching, soft on the damp ground, meant more to them than it did to Cynfal?

“Cipno, Rhys.” A dappled horse pulled up at Cynfal’s shoulder, the rider looking down his nose at him. “What are you doing? You’re supposed to be greeting visitors not brawling with them?” His cloak was richly dyed, chequered green and gold, his hair dark, his expression alive with malicious amusement. Everything about him gleamed.

“We weren’t,” Rhys protested. “Cipno made a joke’s all. This one,” he nodded to Cynfal, “just didn’t think it was funny.”

“No sense of humour?” The rider glanced at Cynfal again. “That’s a pity. What is your name and business in Din Eidin?”

“My business in Din Eidin is my own, “Cynfal replied. “My name is Cynfal everywhere.”

Rhys was a lanky lad covered in freckles. He snorted a laugh and nudged Cipno.

“Cynfal Everywhere,” the rider said, “my name is Moried. Perhaps I can guide you on your way? I assume that you want the butchers rather than, say, the tannery or the church?”

“I can find my own way to the barracks,” Cynfal said. “Please, don’t let me keep you.”

Moried chuckled and kicked his horse into a walk. “It’s no trouble. I will wait for you at the gates,” he promised. Cynfal nodded and followed Luath’s cart up the incline towards the hall. He didn’t spare a glance for either of the boys.

Moried was as good as his word. As Cynfal approached the gate to the hall he spotted the horseman, his bridle over his arm, talking to two other men. “Ah here they are now,” he called when he noticed the cart. “Luath and his six little pigs.”

“That joke’s a bit old now,” Cynfal called. “Old and stinking. Can’t you come up with anything new?”

“This is Cynfal Everywhere,” Moried performed the introductions. “He wants to see someone at the barracks.” His raised his eyebrows suggestively.”

“Dear me,” one of the other men sighed, “we’re not as badly off for girls as all that. On the march though …”

Cynfal nodded. “And who are you?” he asked. “I like to know a man’s name before I carve his lights out.”

“Cynon ap Clydno.” He was tall – almost as tall as Cynfal – with a thick brush of dark hair and a beard that came well up his cheeks. His weapons were clean but they too had a scar for every visible inch. A worthy opponent, Cynfal thought, but the man’s smile seemed more amused than aggressive. He obviously knew the game inside out – that half laughing half intense banter of threat and joke that men used to test each other for weakness and strength. It was a game Cynfal had excelled at once.

“I am a man of the barracks,” Cynon added. “Come and see me. Moried – I think you were wrong. I think this one is answering our sovereign lord’s summons, not hoping for a job in the butchers.”

“My mistake,” Moried said with a grin and bowed Cynfal and the cart past.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Today in the Comfy Chair - Stevie Carroll

Today my guest in the Comfy Chair is my friend Stevie Carroll, author of ‘The Monitors’, in Noble Romance’s Echoes of Possibilities, which was longlisted by the Tiptree Awards in 2010. She has also written short stories that appeared in British Flash and Tea and Crumpet, anthologies published by the UK Meet organisation. Her first solo collection of short stories, A Series of Ordinary Adventures, is published by Candlemark and Gleam in May. Read more here.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

New Comfy Chair post

My guest today is Sue Roebuck, author of Perfect Score, who is chatting about her latest release - Hewhay Hall, a horror novel about good, evil, cowardice and courage - also bog wights!! Please drop by and say 'hi'.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Guest post - Charlie Cochrane.

My guest today is the very lovely Charlie Cochrane, author of the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries and one of the organising team for the UK Meet – a convention for readers and writers of LGBTQ fiction [this year it is being held inBrighton on the weekend of 15th and 16th September! I'll be there, will you?] Charlie has the facility of being able to write the most deliciously amusing prose then suddenly deliver the most appalling yet enjoyable wrench to the heart strings. She is here today to talk about her latest release – Tumble Turn – a romance set against the Paralympic swimming competitions and anything else that has cropped up in conversation.

Read more here

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Another Comfy Chair post!

Today my guest is B G Thomas, an author of M/M romance, whose latest release, Meant to Fly, is part of Dreamspinner's "Men of Steel" anthology. Come and join us to hear BG's views of gay superheroes and why there can't be enough of them.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Yes, it’s that time of week again, folkies! Six Sunday is an opportunity to try bitesized samples of work in a dozen different genres. Just click on the links to see the authors offerings. If you like the idea a new sign up post will be put up about Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Unpublished authors are welcome to register as well

Set in Scotland and Northumbria in the late 7th century AD, A Fierce Reaping tells the story of some of the men who took part in an ill-fated attempt to drive the invading Saxons back. Cynfal, down on his luck and with nothing to lose, joins Troop Three of the cavalry, aka the Misbegotten, made up from volunteers the other commanders don’t want. Cynfal knows that they will get all the dirtiest jobs but in the meantime he is pleased to catch up with old friends and see to the education of the promising youngsters:

“New girls – where?” Pup demanded.
The guard shrugged. “I dunno – it’s just what I heard.”
“And what do you think you’re going to do with girls, Pup?” Cynfal asked as they hurried on up the track.
Pup flushed, the pink showing clearly even through the wispy whiskers he was cultivating. “I’m not sure,” he admitted with a sheepish grin, “but I’d dearly love the chance to find out.”

Friday, 13 April 2012


A couple of weeks ago I made a 'hey guys, congrats on the new releases' post on a blog and now it turns out that there was a giveaway and I've 'won' no less than SIX m/m novellas from Carina by cracking authors too - Erastes and Ava March amongst them.

So not only have I some brilliant reading in store but I can use them as a primer for excellent writing. *cracks knuckles and looks forward to being eddicated*

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Today in the Comfy Chair - Tristram La Roche

Over on my Otherblog today I have an interview with Tristram La Roche, fellow Etopia author who has penned sure classics of raunchy gay erotica as "On my Knees", "Fixed" and, my personal interest, "The Hun and the General".

Why not come over and say "Hi" and read an excerpt from "Fixed" that will rock your socks?

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Six Sentence Sunday – I’ve borrowed their nice graphic but I wish they had a nice manly one of a big hairy bloke with a sword or something. Posting here to save people having to go to Wordpress.

6 sentences from WIP, A Fierce Reaping, set in Scotland and Northumbria in the late 7th century AD. Accepted into Troop Three, aka The Misbegotten, or Cynon’s Hounds, Cynfal is beginning to gather the equipment he needs.

“So it’s three years since we last got drunk together,” Aeddan said, finally. “Damn me, it feels like longer. Ah, there’s Cynon, and it looks like he might have found you something to ride.”
“I’d be happier if it had been a pony.” Cynfal scowled. “What is that – a big sheep?”

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Saturday visitor!

Alex Beecroft is on my otherblog today, answering questions about elves, Saxons and her latest release Under the Hill: Bomber's Moon, which is a fantastic read! I finished it about 5 this morning - a compensation for insomnia - and just WOW!

Please come and say hi :D [or say 'hi' here if the damned site won't let you post :(]

Happy Saturday!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Another guest!!

Yes, tomorrow I will be playing host to Alex Beecroft whose latest release Bomber's Moon is currently making my head explode - Lancaster bombers and ELVES, me dears!! Just fabulous.

I will post links!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Six Sentence Sunday again

Yes, it's that time of the week again. My sentences are here.

Also, I joined in with the April fool's daft flashfic challenge for the Macaronis. My offering is just under 1000 words, was written in one sitting and is based on the prompt "Bugger Bognor" - famously reputed to be the last words of George 5th.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Guest blogger!!

Today I'm lucky enough to have Erastes on my otherblog answering questions as diverse as what city would she like to set a story in and dump, snog or marry.

Please come and say "Hi".

Friday, 30 March 2012

Guess what!

I'm having a visitor on my other blog tomorrow.

Erastes will be here to answer questions about history, cities and 'dump, snog or marry'!

Cool, eh?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Here's my first attempt at it:

6 sentences from WIP, A Fierce Reaping, set in Scotland and Northumbria in the late 7th century AD. Cynfal wishes to join a war band but has been challenged to wrestle a champion for his place.

Cynfal met his eyes and they held each others gaze for a long minute before both leaped to grab and hold. Chest to chest they heaved and twisted, feet scrabbled in the rushes, hands slid across skin just beginning to sheen with sweat. Around them the men of the hall howled. Cynfal rammed a shoulder into Aeddan’s armpit and grabbed a handful of his breeks to lift. The fabric tore. There was a shriek of laughter.

[The photo is nothing to do with Scotland or Northumbria but a very lovely image of a terrific sport - Oil wrestling where combatants wear leather capris and douse themselves in extra virgin before they start. An ancient sport with time-honoured traditions. Yes, guy on top has his hand down the other guys pants - a completely legitimate move. Doesn't guy on bottom look thoughtful about it.]

Friday, 23 March 2012

Visiting again!

Today I'm being entertained by Kiran Hunter here. Kiran asks some very interesting questions - not at all easy to trot out an answer. How about clicking that link? Then you can check out Kiran's novel Bedevil, a M/M paranormal about a stressed relationship and a 'haunted' house.

The end is nigh

As of this morning I have cracked the 100 thousand word mark on my novel “On A Lee Shore”. this is good because the end is nigh but bad because I’ve written two chapter that are pretty much continuous action and now have to find a way of ending the damned story in a way that isn’t a damp little fizzle after lots of KABOOMs.

So there’s still a cause for concern and still a lot of work to be done [after the 1st draft is complete the story can marinate for a while before I'll go at it with the pruning shears] but I can’t help looking at that word count and feeling just a bit pleased.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Lucky 7 Meme

Here are the rules:
1. Go to page 77 (or 7th) of your current ms
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.

4. Tag 7 other authors. {Yeah like that’s going to happen.This is a strictly voluntary game.}

I’ve chosen 7 paragraphs from Page 77 of A Fierce Reaping which isn't strictly my current WIP but pages 7 and 77 of Lee Shore would have taken too much explaining [also I've missed writing the characters]. Cynfal, an experienced but down on his luck soldier, has struck lucky and is leading one wing of Troop Three in a cavalry force sent by Marro, King of Din Eidin, to drive the Saxons out of Northumbria. Here they are just setting out:

Cynfal laughed and turned to Gwion. “Let’s get this misbegotten bunch moving. Can’t you play us something more cheerful?”
Gwion tilted his head. “How about your favourite?” he asked. “When father went to the mountain?”
Cynfal leaned to slap the back of his head, but Gwion was already playing the catchy little tune and voices were chiming in with “Giff, Gaff, catch catch, fetch fetch.” Cynfal shrugged, laughed and began to sing as well.
The song was a good choice. Just as father called to his dogs Giff and Gaff, so Marro was sending them out on the hunt, “catch catch, fetch fetch”, hoping they would return with a border set beyond which the Saxons wouldn’t venture. Maybe Marro appreciated that too? He was smiling, frail and bony in the watery sunlight, and his lips moved in time to the words.
“Dear gods,” Cynon swept up and spun his horse to Cynfal’s side. He glared across at Gwion. “Couldn’t you have come up with something more dignified than that nursery rhyme?”
“Dignified?” Cynfal said. “I didn’t realise you wanted dignified. I thought you wanted ponies packed, whores wrangled, ditches dug, tents put up and general dying done. Nobody mentioned dignified.”
“Well it’s too late now,” Cynon said and grinned. “Everyone likes this song!” And he joined in loudly with “Catch, catch, fetch, fetch” as he rode back to the head of his troop.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Blog hopping again

Sue Roebuck wanted to meet one of my characters from Alike As Two Bees - the result can be found on her blog here.

It's quite good fun role playing a character. I used to play in online RPGs, until I decided that I would be happier if lonelier writing alone. By putting yourself into the head of a character and responding to dialogue over which you have no control you can learn a bit more about how his mind works. It's good fun too.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Star Wars Blogathon - I've been tagged!

Or rather I said "Oooh can I have a go" - I blame the Mars Bar I had for lunch - and Sue Roebuck said "Oh, go on then."

Anyhow the game is to write a 250 or less piece of fiction where one of your own fictional characters tries to write Star Wars themed fan fic then admit to it here.

250 words or less is the big problem but I took out a chapter or two and got it down to 329! That's bloody succinct for me.

So here it is - Ben Morcambe of "Between the Covers" writing Star Wars fanfic.

The bookshop door banged closed. Ben let out the breath he had been holding. "Bugger," he said. "And bugger the lot of them. I do not sound like an Ewok, even if I am annoyed."
He usually had to run a gauntlet when he was crossing the back yard but today it had been worse than usual. When he had got back with his groceries lads from the repair shop had been dancing around, each with a cardboard tube, making light saber noises. The skinny one and the big one had poked him until Lee and JJ called them off.
At the shop counter with tea and a little Bach to soothe his ruffled nerves, Ben scribbled on his notepad, filling the yard with pissed off stormtroopers and, eventually, his soul with peace :

"Retreat to the repair shop," Lee Skywalker bellowed and he and JJ Solo covered the retreat of C3PO and Chewbacca, shooting from the hip and shouting defiance. But of course their luck couldn't last. JJ was caught, roughed up - just enough to gently dishevel his hair and show some interesting bits of skin - and forced to his knees at the sinisterly booted feet of Daft Ada. "Ah Solo," Daft, to his friends, said."We meet again. You will pay for your dreadful smuggling ways. Captain, have him stripped, washed and taken to my private shuttle."
But Obi-Ben thought otherwise. "This is not the delectably tall, blond, buff, muscular adventurer with the regrettable sense of humour that you seek. The very worst crime of which he is guilty is budgie smuggling. No - look elsewhere. The robot and the Wookie went thataway. Here's a tin of WD40 and some Nair."
"Gee, Obi-Ben," JJ Solo said once they were alone. "You saved my life - and my ass - how may I ever repay you?"
"Oh we'll think of something," Obi-Ben said with a smile.
Gratitude - so much more ethical than the Force.

Just plain contrary

I'm going to christen my computer the Procrastination Station, I think. I can't think of any good reason why when I'm at work with both hands busy, music playing and am trying to concentrate I get characters chatting away in the back of my minds and coming up with some half way decent dialogue and business, but when I'm at home and quiet and could actually write it all down they shut up and hide.

So frustrating!

But I did have one idea that made me giggle a lot this morning and in a coup of lateral thinking I've written that down on a bit of paper. Hah! They weren't expecting that.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Visiting again!

So delighted to be a guest on the blog of my good friend Charlie Cochrane! Yes that Charlie Cochrane - the one who writes the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries! Please come and join us, just for a giggle.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Surprised and delighted

And totally gobsmacked to have got a four star review from Speak Its Name! If you are a fan of historical LGBTQ fiction and aren't familiar with the website, they are trying to make a comprehensive list of all the titles every published and to review most of them. This is a BIG job especially since it's a popular genre now and the list has new titles every month. The List does all kinds of damage to my bank balance!

Also delighted to recommend this blog to any one who enjoys writing historical fiction. Not only is Ms Bolich an accomplished fantasy author but she is an expert in the care and use of horses. Her blog posts about horses in fiction are both educational - I have to admit to neglecting to consider some of the things she mentions - and inspiring.

AND I've been hosted again at the lovely blog of the equally lovely Kay Berrisford, whose new novel, Bound to the Beast, will be out soon!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Sunshine award!

Surprised and pleased to get this today from my mate and beta extrordinaire Sue Roebuck. :)

To conform to the rules I have to list 10 things that make me smile.

1. Robins!

2. The way a cat will close its eyes when it decides it can trust you.

3. The stupid expression on my dog's face when I scratch his chest.

4. That moment in a story when I realise that something I put in chapter 2 means I can do something REALLY cool in chapter 8 and it will look as though it was planned.

5. When I get the perspective right in a drawing.

6. That moment during research when I come across something that fits perfectly with a vague plot idea that I really wanted to do.

7. News that a friend's medical check up went well.

8. Jupiter looking especially magnificent at the moment.

9. Getting good feedback from someone I respect.

10. My friends make me smile. You know who you are. :D

Passing it along to:

Catherine Cavendish
Ute Carbone
Dianne Hartsock
J A Cummings
Jess Lansdel

Author interview

No, it's me this time? @_@ If you ever wondered why I write what I write and or what my attitude to pr0n is come and find out on Tristram La Roche's blog! :D

Thursday, 8 March 2012


Delighted to see familiar names in the line up for this years DABWAHA finals.

Camwolf by J L Merrow is nominated in the GLBT category and If it Aint Love by Tamara Allen is nominated as a novella [and it's a FREE read too!]

The very best of luck ladies!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Guest post ~ please welcome Dianne Hartsock

This gorgeous cover is a good match for Dianne Hartsock's latest work - Nathaniel - a story of adventure, political shenanigans, family differences and a exciting tinge of magic!

Thank you, Dianne, for agreeing to come here and talk for a bit about your work and influences.


The Lure of Fantasy

Hi everyone! Elin, you asked me once what draws me to writing fantasy. Goodness, my love affair with the genre started way back in my early teens. Tolkien, of course. But like most teens, there was a dark patch in my life where the fantasy of Ursula K. LeGuin gave me the escape I needed. So did Anne McCaffrey’s ‘Dragon Riders’ series. And then I discovered C.J Cherryh, and I was hooked for life. Her heroes are so wonderfully flawed, brave and shy and powerful. They’re gentle people who are made into heroes by circumstance rather than desire.

I wanted to do that. I wanted to create worlds where readers could lose themselves, leave reality and enter the realm of fantasy and adventure and romance. Find worlds filled with enchantment and courage and magic.

The first fantasy world I created is like the one you’ll find in my current story, Nathaniel. It’s a world very much like our own, with a touch of magic and awe that lifts you out of your every day life and sets you in the midst of a battle between will and destiny. Which will conquer? It focuses on a race of people destined to go insane with power, but can they save themselves by learning to control their passions? This novel length book is currently sitting on a publisher’s desk, but it will be another month before I hear if it’s been accepted or not.

It’s the waiting that kills me.

With Nathaniel, I wanted to take this world one step further. Sure, there’s magic, but I wanted my hero, Taden, to be completely enchanted by my magic user. Nathaniel is beautiful and sensual and possesses powers far beyond anything Taden has encountered before. Taden is bewildered and captivated by him, falling hopelessly in love despite his better judgment. The story focuses on their love affair, weaving Nathaniel’s magic throughout the pages until Taden surrenders to his charms. This is an m/m erotic romance, after all!

Currently, I’m busy writing an m/m contemporary romance and also a stand alone fantasy story involving gargoyles and witches. But never fear! I have the outline plotted for a sequel to Nathaniel, which will be my next project. I hadn’t planned on doing a sequel, but now that Nathaniel is out, I miss him and Taden, Miranda and the gorgeous, deadly Corin. I find myself being lured back into the realm of fantasy, where everything is possible.

Thank Elin for having me as your guest today. Fantasy is a wonderful genre to lose one’s self in. I highly recommend it!

Feel free to contact me any time.

Dianne Hartsock

Etopia Press:

From the moment Taden rescues Nathaniel from the Sutherlin soldiers’ torture, he finds himself caught in the gaze of the most beautiful eyes he’s ever seen; amazing eyes that hold him thrilled and confused. The Sutherlins are planning to invade the beautiful Tahon Valley, but as Taden secrets Nathaniel from their reach, he finds himself drawn to the young man. Not only does he feel the urge to protect him, but he feels an ache he hasn’t felt in many long years.

Nathaniel claims to be a traveler from a distant continent, saying he comes in peace. True or not, the youth has powers beyond anything Taden has seen—control over men and animals and the very weather. Taden falls hard for the strange traveler, protecting him not only from the Sutherlins but from his own mistrustful people, who don’t understand Nathaniel’s powers and accuse him of being a witch…


Taden’s scalp prickled, a shiver running through him. He twirled, hand on his belt knife, and found Nathaniel standing inches from him. They were almost touching, and Taden watched, fascinated, as Nathaniel’s green eyes darkened under his stare. The heat from Nathaniel’s body wrapped around him, caressing him in that intimate moment.
“Miranda’s finally asleep,” Nathaniel told him shakily.
“That’s good. She appeared exhausted.” Taden didn’t ask who she was. At that moment, he didn’t care. He touched Nathaniel’s gold-flecked curls, as silken as he’d imagined them to be. Enthralled by the dimple at the corner of Nathaniel’s luscious mouth, he impulsively cupped his cheek, stroking the alluring hollow with a gentle finger. His pulses hammered at the contrast of pale skin and his own sun-darkened hand, picturing the exotic tangle of their bodies.
He slid an arm around Nathaniel’s waist as desire seared him. “Come with me,” he said huskily, aching to love Nathaniel as gently and tenderly as he could and drive the anxiety from his lovely eyes. Nathaniel lifted his shoulders but didn’t resist as Taden urged him into the trees.
Nathaniel remained silent as Taden spread the blankets on a fragrant carpet of pine needles. Taden gave him a close look. With a pang he realized that the young man stood passively, waiting for whatever Taden chose to do with him. As much as he hungered for him, Taden didn’t want Nathaniel like that, unresponsive. He reached for Nathaniel’s hand and pulled him down beside him on the blankets.
“I would never hurt you,” he said as he leaned into Nathaniel’s body and slid his tongue over his full lips. He played with the laces of Nathaniel’s tunic, loosening them further. Fire licked through him as Nathaniel’s chest rose on a quick breath. Taden slipped two fingers inside the soft fabric to stroke the lean muscles of Nathaniel’s chest.
He nudged Nathaniel’s lips wider and groaned as the young man’s tongue darted into his own mouth, jolting him with lust. He caught the tongue with his lips, sucking, wanting to swallow Nathaniel whole.
Taden lingered over his kisses, slowly undoing the rest of the ties on Nathaniel’s tunic. He shifted on the blankets and thrilled at Nathaniel’s sigh as he bared his chest. Taden slid his tongue along Nathaniel’s chin with a fond murmur, savoring the saltiness of skin and the prickle of unshaven hair. He kissed the slim column of his throat and paused to suck gently on a vein pulsing in the heated skin.
He glanced lower and suddenly leaned on an elbow, his eyes ravaging the intoxicating sight of small nipples sitting like jewels on white skin. A single mole, innocent, utterly provocative, lay within kissing distance and drew his lips. Taden teased it with his tongue, smiling slyly when Nathaniel made a startled sound and gripped his shoulders.
Taden circled each hardening bud with his tongue, tenderly kissing the fading bruises. He slid a hand across Nathaniel’s abdomen and felt his muscles tighten. He slid a finger along the edge of Nathaniel’s pants, then moved his hand upward to brush his thumb over a sensitive nipple. Heat slammed through him as Nathaniel arched his back with a guttural cry. Unable to resist the temptation, Taden dropped his lips to the free bud, flicking it with his tongue, nibbling and nursing on it until Nathaniel was panting, a pleading note in the sound.
The tone changed suddenly to panic, and Taden jerked his head up in surprise, clashing with eyes wide with fear and arousal. He watched a trickle of sweat follow the curve of Nathaniel’s cheek. Surely the Nathaniel wasn’t afraid of him?
“I won’t hurt you,” Taden assured him again. Unexpectedly, Nathaniel gave him a tentative smile and touched Taden’s hair. The shy, heated glance undid him, and he had to fight the urge to strip Nathaniel then and there and thrust his arousal deep into the enticing body.
Taden dropped his head on Nathaniel’s chest. “Give me a moment,” he whispered hoarsely, concentrating on control. He wanted their joining to be perfect. It was hard when Nathaniel continued to thread his hands through his hair. With a growl, Taden straddled him, pinning the wandering hands over his head. “Careful, or I can’t promise to be gentle.”
Nathaniel’s eyes were hooded, and Taden watched, enchanted, as the tip of his pink tongue slid across pale lips. “Do anything you like,” Nathaniel invited.


Dianne would love to know about your favourite fantasy author. Comment below to go into the draw for a PDF copy of Nathaniel.

Monday, 5 March 2012

And the winner is ....

Metallumai! I'll be in touch.

I'll do another giveaway on St Patrick's Day just because!!

Today I have been lucky enough to have a guest spot on the lovely Alex Beecroft's blog. Pay a visit and get the low down the influences I'll admit to and what i do when I'm not writing. Alternatively pay a visit and read Alex's blog. It's really worth doing!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Alike As Two Bees Giveaway

Want to know what it's about? Read on. Want a copy? Comment and your name will go in the hat!

Horses, love, and the tang of thyme and honey...

In Classical Greece, apprentice sculptor Philon has chosen the ideal horse to model for his masterpiece. Sadly, the rider falls well short of the ideal of beauty, but scarred and tattered Hilarion, with his brilliant, imperfect smile, draws Philon in a way that mere perfection cannot.

After years of living among the free and easy tribes of the north, Hilarion has no patience with Athenian formality. He knows what he wants—and what he wants is Philon. Society, friends and family threaten their growing relationship, but perhaps a scarred soldier and a lover of beauty are more alike than they appear.


Given an appreciative audience, the horsemen were bound to show off a little. They raced toward Philon almost knee to knee, but parted neatly to pass him by. He turned on his heels to watch them go, but they pulled up, setting their horses to prance. The youth on the black horse made his mount rear, forehooves pawing, his eyes on the brown-bearded man on the gray who laughed and called him to his side. The man on the chestnut laughed too, then trotted the mare back and pulled her up a pace or two away from Philon. He smiled. “Hello, sculptor. A fine day for swimming.”
“Hello, rider,” Philon said. The man was fine-boned and lightweight, but well muscled in his chest and shoulders. On his left thigh was a long, pale pink scar, curving like a smile against the brown skin—a sword cut?—suggesting his horsemanship had been gained on the battlefield rather than just the riding square. The brief exomis he wore was frayed at the edges where the embroidered braid, once expensive, was threadbare, and it had fallen from his shoulder to gather in sodden folds in his lap. The sparse hairs on his chest looked like fine wires of gold.
“A good day for a gallop,” Philon said. “Your mare is beautiful.”
“She is,” the man agreed and gave her a little nudge so she arched her neck, sidling closer. Philon raised his hand to place it on the mare’s glossy hide and stroked down her neck to her shoulder until his hand was an inch or two from the rider’s sweat-sheened thigh.
“Her name is Charis,” the rider said, reaching forward to tug one of her ears.
“Charis,” Philon said. He grinned as the mare turned her head to lip at his chest.
“She won’t bite. She just likes the salt,” the rider assured him. “I know your name too. I asked about the sculptor’s apprentice. I said, ‘No, not the boy. I want to know the name of the youth.’”
The warmth in Philon’s face was suddenly not just due to the sun. “I don’t know who to ask to find out your name,” he admitted.
“You won’t need to ask if I tell you. I’m Hilarion.” Hilarion’s smile was very white, aside from the missing tooth just below the scar at the left side of his lip. He didn’t seem at all self-conscious about either. Philon returned the smile and patted the mare’s neck again in lieu of thinking of something to say.
Hilarion’s eyes crinkled still further at the corners. “Can you ride? My mare will take double on the sand.”
“I…I don’t know.” Philon felt himself flush again. “I’ve ridden a mule sometimes on the way to collect something.”
“A mule?” The rider of the gray horse shouted a laugh, echoed by the youth on the black, but Philon felt they were laughing at Hilarion rather than him.
Hilarion grinned. “Linos,” he called. When the brown-bearded man looked at him, Hilarion made a gesture to his friend Philon had never seen before. Linos laughed and made it back. “Charis is not a mule,” Hilarion said, hitching himself farther along his horse’s back. “Come. You can sit in front of me. Don’t worry. I won’t let you fall.”
He offered his hand and Philon stared at it, imagining the sleek chestnut hide under his thighs and Hilarion’s arms supporting him, holding him tight. He had been warned that there were some men who might take liberties. Hilarion’s gap-toothed smile seemed genuine enough but…

Friday, 2 March 2012

I think it's going to be one of THOSE days

I've just found out that my website has suddenly developed a virus - thanks for the warning, Dianne, and I hope there are no ill effects. It was fine Thursday morning :(

I've parked the domain name so, with any luck, nobody else will get caught by it. If you have - sincere apologies.

It's official

Alike as Two Bees is up on Amazon UK and US this morning.

Thinking about it, I'm more scared than excited. After writing stories for 50 years I'm finally taking the giant step of tethering one out in the open to bleat until something big with teeth comes along. That is a very scary prospect and the most comforting thing I feel I can do is avert my eyes from it and carry on with the next story.

However I do get to do some nice things as well. I can host people on my blog and vice versa. I'm really looking forward to some of my guests and some of my visits! More about them when I've got myself sorted out.

Meantime, real life calls! That damn kitchen floor won't scrub itself.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Fabulous few days for gay lit!

It must be spring because there are so many new books out or available for preorder that I'm not sure what to get first!

Charlie Cochet's The Amethyst Cat Caper is released today. It sounds like a super noirish adventure with a tough cop and an Englishman abroad. I've been looking forward to that.

Becky Black's Higher Ground is out today as well.Speculative fiction with a lovely m/m twist.

Dianne Hartsock's Nathaniel will be published on March 2nd! Isn't that a lovely cover. I'm agog to find out how that recurve bow fits into the plot!

Then there are the preorders.

J L Merrow's Camwolf is out in paperback very soon. I've already read this as an ebook and it was terrific.

Erastes's revamped [hee] story A Brush with Darkness is available to preorder from Carina. Lush Italian setting, driven artist and a very dangerous love interest. Yum.

As if that wasn't enough there's a free short story - You're Different - from Clare London!

AND Alex Beecroft Bomber's Moon has had a stunning review from Publisher's Weekly.

So exciting!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Alike As Two Bees

I got the cover art this morning. Isn't it warm and - honeyed? Yes that's the word. Strength, skill, beauty, spiced olives and honeycomb under a forever sky.

I'll do an offical post with the proper blurb and excerpts in a few days. *gulps* It's not long now. March 2nd. I only hope anyone who reads it enjoys it as much as I did writing it.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

A challenge

Sue Roebuck, bless her, has challenged me to finish my pirate novel, On a Lee Shore, by the time she comes back from the UK next week. I'm not sure whether this is because she wants to find out what happens or because she's sick of me belly aching about it. It NEEDS to be finished - there's a lot of redrafting to do and I'm beginning to get annoyed with it. Once it's finished I can set it aside for a few months and do something else. then I'll come back to it and give it some ginger on the 2nd draft!

As of this morning I was on about 91k words. Right now I have:

Another 10K should just about do it.

Maybe 15.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Get out, you're barred

This is a phrase heard quite commonly in the rougher bars in the UK. Basically, if customers misbehave, have misbehaved in the past or seem likely to misbehave the owner of a business, usually but not necessarily a pub, is entitled to refuse to serve them. People fighting, arguing, making racist or homphobic comments, causing damage or getting so drunk they puke on the floor can be barred. I think most people would agree that this is a reasonable reaction for a business owner with the best interests of his/her other customers at heart. However, it would not be reasonable for the pub owner to come across to your table and say "This is a sport pub, you were talking about books. Get out." Gr worse still "Get out, you're not wearing football strip and you look like you might talk about poetry".

But isn't that more or less what Paypal is doing with its ban on certain controversial subjects? J S Wayne has explained why this is a very bad thing here but I would like to know what Paypal's criteria are and how they are applied. Who, in other words, makes the decision that a book, or an author, has to be banned? Are Paypal going to employ readers to skim novels electronically looking for certain triggery keywords? Or are they hoping the publishing industry will self regulate by choosing not to publish books with 'questionable' content? Or are they hoping that authors will restrict themselves to the straight and narrow?

Fat chance, Paypal.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Hold these dates!

September 14th – 16th 2012 will see the third annual UK Meet for readers/writers/reviewers/fans of GLBTQ fiction.

There will be a full day of programmed events on Saturday 15th, plus social events on Friday evening and Sunday morning.

Full press release, with details of where, what and how to book, goes live Friday 24th Feb.

Call for submissions for linked anthology “Lashings of Sauce” goes live Friday 2nd March.

UK Meet team (Jo, Jamie, Clare, Alex and Charlie)

Also - brand new spiffy website!!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Three weeks

That is three weeks until my novella, "Alike As Two Bees" [so glad they kept the title], is released by Etopia Press. So far it has been a very interesting process with content edit and copy edits to deal with - mercifully nothing too scary - and a mock-up of the cover to look at. The business side of things is far scarier. I thought I'd have longer to get my ITIN sorted but I'll have to try and fit in a trip to London soon - a horrible prospect for someone who gets uncomfortable at the thought of going shopping in the next town. As for dealing with the US embassy - dear lord, there are people in there with GUNS! But, got to man up and get it done! *feels nauseous*

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Congratulations, Erastes, on Muffled Drum being runner up in the Love Romance Cafe vote for best Historical Romance of 2011! Very exciting to see a M/M romance doing so well in competition with ALL the romances. Also *bounce* my story "Alike as Two Bees" will be released by Etopia Press on March 2nd. More news later!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

I have until Tuesday to condense approx 2000 years worth of history into about 3000 words, keeping it factually accurate, making it entertaining and adding a special section about the importance of women.

Writing fiction is SO much easier!

Speaking of which, I haven't done much lately due to a combination of Christmas, cold weather and the hostile takeover of my office by my daughter and her minions. That'll teach me to keep it tidy! Over the weekend I'm going to make it really messy, that should keep her out.

I have written 300 words since January 1st. Pathetic. But it made me giggle very much to write our hero waking in bed in just his drawers, chained by the wrist to the bedpost, then subvert the trope by making it nothing whatever to do with sex. I'm so easily amused. :)