I suck in quite a big way. I completely forgot to sign up for any of the weekly posting thingies and I didn’t get round to post my recommendations yesterday.
So here’s a bit of everything!
First of all my recommendation for this week.
I am very keen on historicals – obviously – and also very keen on hearing bits of authentic voices of the time. I also like work with a bit of a harder edge to it than I usually find in stories aimed at the romance market.
Elliot Mackle is a writer who provides all those things with his series set in the 1960s about Captain Joe Harding, USAF, and his careful relationship with the precocious son of a senator. Captain Harding’s Six Day War and the more recent Captain Harding and His Men are both 5 star reads on the Speak Its Name website and have enjoyed a lot of critical acclaim.
Elliott has also written another cracking series set post WW2 in Florida about the relationship between a club owner and a cop. It explores a world of careful discretion against a backdrop of heterosexual licence and sleaze, where happiness may be achieved but only with extreme caution. I recommend It Takes Two and Only Make Believe very highly.
Here’s Elliott’s website. Check it out.
Okay – from the sublime to the ridiculous.
This is in celebration of having broken through a combination of writer’s block, chaos at work and home and a HUGE tide of “well when it comes right down to it what’s the point”, something that floods from time to time, but I think is on the ebb right now.
I’ve been working on Eleventh Hour this morning.
Briers Allerdale and Miles Siward, SIS operatives, were captured by the vicious members of an anarchist cell, but managed to escape, taking Crane, another captive, with them:
Miles took off with a spin of wheels and a scatter of gravel. “Oh god,” he muttered. “These roads are appalling. Can’t get up much speed because the bends are so sharp.”
“Stupid,” Briers grumbled. He slapped his hand on the dashboard to brace himself as Miles braked and guided the car around the first bend. “Who on earth thought that was a good idea?”
“Drainage channels,” Crane said. His voice sounded stronger. “They make a criss-cross pattern and the roads run alongside them. With the sluice gates they can control the run off and reduce the risk of flooding.”
“More flooding.” Briers glanced back down the road where the headlights were shining so brightly. “Fast as we can go, Miles. Alfred, it might be best if you lay down on the back seat. These are the type of thugs who carry guns.”
“I would if I could,” Crane said, “but there’s a load of stuff in here with me.” Briers turned as far as he could and peered into the back as Crane rummaged around. He heard a metallic rattle and moonlight glinted on something in Crane’s hands.
“Ah, so that’s what it is.” Crane sounded both shocked and resigned. “Briers, can you handle a tommy gun?”
“A what?” Miles yelped.
“Keep your eyes on the road,” Briers advised. “Crane, are you sure?”
“I enjoy watching the flickers,” Crane admitted. “The magazines are pretty distinctive.”
“Oh, good man. Pass it forward.”
With the weight of the Thompson in his hands and a spare magazine clamped between his knees Briers felt more able to deal with their pursuers, but Miles was obviously rattled. He took the next bend too fast, the tyres rattling on the stones at the edge of the road before the car straightened and hurtled on into the dark countryside.
“I don’t suppose you’ve got anything else back there?” Miles asked, his voice sharp with nerves. “A small tank for instance? A Sopwith Camel. The band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards? Because I can see their lights. They are getting closer.”
“No.” There was a tense tone in Crane’s voice. “But I think I may have a box of Mills bombs on the floor behind the driver’s seat.”
“Hand grenades!” The Austin, already careening along at an unsafe 40 mph, jerked as Miles floored the accelerator.
“No, that’s good.” Briers laid a calming hand on Miles thigh. “It explains why they aren’t shooting at us for a start. Crane, you know enough to recognise a Mills bomb in the dark. Any experience in that line?”
“Four years in the Sappers.” Briers could hear Crane shifting around. “I didn’t see much combat but … There’s another box here but the lid is tied down.”
“I think we have enough firepower for an Austin Swallow,” Briers assured him.