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.