comfy chairHappy Thursday!
Today I have a brand new-to-me author in my Comfy Chair. Alyson Pearce is an American transplant currently living in London, where she works full time in publishing and as an author of M/M romances. She fell in love with romances after discovering her grandmother’s library and hasn’t looked back. As a member of the LGBT community, she believes that everyone deserves their chance at a happily ever after.

She has recently released a new series set in the Regency period that follows the adventures and misadventures of a group of gentlemen who are artistically inclined.

Welcome Alyson

Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?

I’m an American by birth, currently living in London while I finish up a masters in Publishing. My passion is romance, of course, but I also love crime, fantasy, and historical fiction. I came to the M/M romance genre through a mix of M/F romance and M/M fanfiction. I found the subgenres of romance I enjoyed (mainly historical, with some paranormal as well) and the tropes I enjoyed in fanfiction. Then I decided to combine the two, both in reading and in writing, which opened up a whole new, exciting world. After reading Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon’s Seducing Stephen and The Gentleman and the Rogue, I tried writing my own novel, and that became The Viscount and the Artist.

In that crucial inspiration stage of a new story which comes first? Plot, situation or character?

Normally I’ll get a glimpse of characters in a situation. For Andrew and Jeremy, it was “what if this peer who didn’t want to be a peer fell in love with an artist?” I had the roughest picture of who Andrew and Jeremy were as characters—kind of like looking at one of those pixilated Classical art works. You know more or less who they are, but not the specifics. Before I write a single word, though, I flesh them out and get to know them as well as possible, that way I know how they would react to a certain situation.

The Viscount and the Artist is the first of what will surely be a long series. When writing series, what measures do you take to keep track of those annoying little details – eye/hair/skin colour, preferred mode of transport, rank or profession, quirks or mannerisms – that are so easy to drop into text and so easy to forget about but will be needed in the next book?

I keep a story bible with all of the series information in it. All of my characters have multiple pages of character sheets, down to the smallest quirk. I also include setting details, historical details, timelines, family trees, and so on to try and keep everything organised. With each book, I add to the story bible.

Villains are incredibly important in fiction since they challenge the main protagonists and give them something to contend with beyond the tension of a developing relationship. The cruel sea. The serial killer. The society itself. Your hero’s inner demons. What sort of villains do you prize?

I love sympathetic villains. In The Viscount and the Artist, the main villain is absolutely society, but that leads to two physical villains—one you see coming and one that’s a bit of a surprise, so I won’t give too much away. With each of those villains, I did my best to make them more than just the ‘bad guy.’ Lady Dersingham isn’t just the woman who’s trying to wed Andrew. She’s also a widow who’s trying to find some source of stability in a world that doesn’t cater to women. And the mystery villain I won’t spoil also battles with their own inner demons, although I have to admit this villain is far less sympathetic. Writing villains you can identify with and sympathise with is just more fun for me, and I think it adds another great element to the story.

Could we please have an excerpt of something?

Instead of remaining in the library, Jeremy explored the house. He hadn’t had much of a chance to the day before, and since this was to be his home for the next two weeks, he wanted to be able to find his way around. When he had accompanied his father on the many dinners Richard had invited them to, he only saw the ground level. There was much left to explore. Making his way through the drawing room and past Andrew’s study, he paused outside the parlour. The door was partially closed, but he could hear voices from inside.
“…can’t ask that of me yet. I’ve only just come into the inheritance.” The voice was unmistakably Andrew’s.
“Even so, as it stands, there is no heir. What if something happens to you?” Phoebe asked.
Andrew scoffed. “Nothing is going to happen to me.”
“We thought nothing would happen to Nathaniel. We thought nothing would happen to Papa. You need to be married, and soon. I suggest by the end of the Season.”
Married? Jeremy couldn’t see Andrew as the marrying kind. Even if he preferred the company of women to that of men, he didn’t seem like the type to settle down.
“And I suppose you already have a candidate in mind?” Andrew asked.
“Lady Dersingham.”
“Lady Dersingham?” Andrew’s voice was sharp. “You would have me—your own cousin—marry that harpy?”
“That harpy happens to be one of my closest friends. I see nothing wrong with her,” came Phoebe’s haughty tone. “It’s common knowledge that she fancies you. She’s already invited you to her ball. It would be the perfect chance for you to get to know her.”
“I don’t want to get to know her! Besides, she’s only just come out of mourning.”
“Which makes this the perfect time for her to seek another marriage.”
“And what of the fact that she’s a scheming, self-centred excuse for a woman?”
“Again, I will remind you that she is a dear friend. If you really feel that way about her, I suggest the two of you go your own way after your marriage is consummated. As long as you produce an heir, I see no problem.”


The Viscount and the Artist

Andrew Cardwell is a man driven by duty to his country and to his family. After the death of his uncle, he’s determined to provide security and stability for his family as the new Viscount Cardwell—even if that means marrying and producing an heir. Surprising himself, Andrew decides to sponsor a young artist named Jeremy for the season, to help him find a patron. What he doesn’t anticipate is how well Jeremy fits in his bed…and his life.

Jeremy Leighton knows what it’s like to be a disappointment. The only son of a vicar, he’s refused to follow the path his father set for him, choosing his passion for art, instead. He accepts Andrew’s proposal, hoping to prove to his father—and himself—that he can succeed as an artist. After spending time with Andrew in and out of bed, Jeremy struggles not to fall for the damaged viscount, knowing the season will likely end in Andrew’s engagement.

Between a meddling cousin, a widow on the hunt for a new husband, and their own doubts about the relationship, how can Andrew and Jeremy shed the expectations of others to find true happiness?

Buy Links:
Amazon – http://bit.ly/ViscountandtheArtist
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1535207388
Are – http://bit.ly/TVATAARE
B&N – http://bit.ly/TVATABN

About Alyson

Dear reader,

Allow me to tell you a bit about myself. I fell in love with stories at the tender age of five. With a librarian for a grandmother and an English and History teacher for a grandfather, I suppose it was fated. My first stories were records of my time spent at their house, embellished here and there when I felt the need. I soon moved on to re-writing pop culture classics like Star Wars. Unsurprisingly, those were abandoned as soon as I learned what copyright was.

Over the next few years, I developed a love of fantasy and historical fiction, and tried my hand at writing both. During that time I also picked up my first romance in the basement of my grandmother’s house. It wasn’t until I started writing fanfiction, though, that I actually started writing romance. That was also where I discovered slash fiction. I quickly added in m/m fiction to my reading, and eventually decided to give writing it a go.

The Viscount and the Artist is my first novel.

Website – http://www.alysonpearce.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AlysonPearceAuthor/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/pearce_alyson

I sort of lost the plot for a while – too much to think about – but I’ll carry on with these posts of excerpts from the diary of a young lad living in the Eastern part of Texas in 1869.

The last bit was here where Joe decided he needed to be honest about himself as well as about everyone else.

Jan 28th [Thur]

I don’t think I’ll write every day. What would be the point? Got up ate grits, fed hogs, fed hens, saddled horses, waved Pa and Jacob and Isaac away. That’s every day. I’ll write things that I think are important, or funny, or I think people might want to know.
important, or funny, or I think people might want to know.

Like that we keep Dominie hens, or Old Grey hens some say. They are pale grey but each feather is striped with darker grey and if they sit still in a shadow the little critters are really hard to find. The cocks have bright red combs and the loudest crow to get us all up in the morning. We’d sleep all day if it weren’t for them.

Jan 29th [Fri]

Ma suggested a write a bit about me. So here goes. I’m Joseph Skidmore and I’m eighteen years old. I have brown hair and brown eyes and freckles. I went to school in Mr Dunlap’s parlour like all the other kids round here but I guess the learning stuck a bit more with me than it did with most. I had a sister once but she was killed by the same rattler that bit me and gave me this bum leg. Ma told me that the poison made my leg stop growing properly. I have to use a stick because walking far makes my back hurt, being all to one side and I can’t use stirrups so I can’t rope steers, or rope horses on foot. But I can ride and I drive the buckboard well. There are things I can do and if I’m somewhere where I’m going to stand still for a while I put a block down to put my short foot on that. I read and write better than anyone in the family but Ma and I wondered if I could get a job in town at the store or the undertakers, but the store keeper and the undertaker both have boys of their own. Ben, the undertaker’s son asked Pa if we could swap but Ben’s Pa wouldn’t have it. It’s a good business and Ben’s going to inherit. I don’t know what I’ll inherit. A third share of a ranch doesn’t seem like that much to look forward to to me. But I mustn’t be ungrateful. I could have ended up like my poor sister.

And yet more blog tour!

I’m all over the place!

Today, I’m visiting those scrummy folk at Sinfully Reviews with a guest post about historical precedent in cross dressing for spies. And there’s another chance to enter the contest to win a copy of On A Lee Shore and a gift card.

Here’s the link!

On A Lee Shore is about pirates and treasure and features an uptight hero who is completely out of his comfort zone, a love interest who delights in keeping him off balance and a large cast of scapegraces, cut-throats, ne’er-do-wells and ruffians.

More blog tour!!

I’m visiting Prism Book Alliance today, to answer interview questions and offer an opportunity to enter a contest to win a prize. Additionally, Prism offers a fantastic prize to one lucky commenter each month. Got to be worth a go, right?

Actually no. I’ve already got 3 on the go and need another like a hole in the head. So I’m revisiting books I put aside when I started the ‘getting Eleventh Hour ready to release into the wild’ process.

I’m poking Calon Lan – not much further to go with it which is always when I start second guessing myself and deciding that the end isn’t strong enough. But I’m also reading stuff I wrote last November and haven’t really looked at since. I’ve only tried a little bit of contemporary romance – and that was shifters – so this was new ground to me. But it was fun to write people who could be fairly confident and not have to hide. Also I’m being hugely self indulgent and writing about things that I really like.

Here Mal, museum curator, welcomes Rob, a JCB driver, who has come to the museum to drop off a bunch of flints he has found, though Mal knows, and Rob knows Mal knows, that’s just an excuse.

Mal reached a couple of mugs down from the cupboard and turned on the kettle. “I think I thanked you all for last night, didn’t it? It was good fun.”
“Yeah,” Rob’s grin sounded in his voice but Mal turned to look at him anyway just for the pleasure of it. Rob had taken off his hard hat and put it on the window sill and was leaning against the edge of the window, hands in his pockets and looking out over the patch of grass and shrubs that was all the museum could afford of a garden these days. With his high vis jacket and coveralls undone to show a bright segment of printed tee shirt – the bit Mal could see read “-oun-arm-lu” leaving him to imagine the rest – and with long legs in rigger boots crossed casually at the ankle, he looked both wildly out of place and very much at home. Mal really envied his ease. There was a man, he thought, who knew exactly what he wanted and was fairly confident of getting it.
And what he wants right now – apart from tea – is me!” Mal found that a very satisfying thought. mal's mug
The kettle hissed, the water purred into the mugs soaking the special pyramidal bags that Sharon insisted made much better tea than any other variety. Mal stooped to open the fridge.
“Milk?” Malcolm asked. “Sugar?” Rob had stopped looking out of the window and was watching Mal. Mal could feel it.
“I never say no to a bit of sugar. Bit o’ milk too. Just enough to take the edge off.”
Mal grinned and made the tea then turned and offered Rob his mug.
“Thanks,” Rob said then lifted the mug a bit to read the printing on the side. “Museum curators do it meticulously? Oh. My. God. I hope that’s true.”
Mal snorted. “It’s part of the job to keep the paperwork in good order.”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

Book one about Mal and Rob is called The Bones of our Fathers and is almost done, just needs anothr scene or two and a really severe edit. Book Two – Close Shave – is about 30% done. I should stop messing about with blogs and get on with it, shouldn’t I?

Happy release day to Avylin Winter. This is her first published work, I hope the first of many.

volatile_9781786514547_800 (1)


Like a depressed moth drawn to a wild flame, Chris hoped that flame would brighten his life, not burn him alive.

Chris Sinclair fades into a gray world after losing his mother to cancer. When forced to attend a concert, as a last attempt to coax him out of his shell, he discovers that life might not be as bleak as he first thought.

Dante Heron holds the audience between the tips of his fingers and the delicate bow, playing the violin as if every heart is his to command. However, something darker brews behind the façade, and Chris is determined to solve the enigma.

When Chris is offered the job of traveling around Europe with the famous violinist, he surprises himself by accepting. With no idea of what awaits him, he’s thrown into a world where emotions rule and rules are bent.

They’re a perfectly dysfunctional match, but then there’s always calm at the heart of the storm.

Buy Links:





Author bio:

Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight.

Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her.

She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.

This is Avylinn’s website with all her social media links

signalboosttransparentI often host blog tours but I don’t often do one myself. But I thought I’d give it a go for Eleventh Hour, because I think Miles and Briers deserve it, and I must say that Signal Boost Promotions have made the job so easy. Thank you Signal Boost!

Over the next couple of weeks my book will be popping up in various places around the web. Today a big thank you to My Fiction Nook for hosting my excited thoughts about plumbing. I promise this is relevant to the book.

So plumbing and relevancy – ah, yes, what’s in it for you? A Rafflecopter thingy – check it out, there’s a gift card. You could buy books if you won!! I believe that the way Rafflecopter works is that you can enter more than once so here’s a list of the sites you could visit. Books, people!! Book shopping is the best.