Monday Monday – and that means only one more Monday after this until the UK Meet where we will celebrate LGBTTQ fiction in ALL its forms, shapes and shades of the rainbow. Romance always takes centre stage but I’m planning on fangirling the authors who write the harder edged genre fiction too. Can’t wait!
But until then it’s grand to be able to host another author who has contributed a story to the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology from Dreamspinner Press!
My guest today is Bette Brown. Welcome Bette.
Have you ever visited the UK? If so where did you go? If not, what would you most like to see if you were able to make a visit?
Yes, I have visited the UK. The first time was only last year, in fact. My family and I stayed for just under four weeks, and after spending one week in London, we spent the remainder travelling around in a campervan through England, Scotland, and Wales, getting a very small taste of what this beautiful place has to offer.
What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?
My campervan holiday actually, the DSP prompt for a story set in the UK, and most importantly their relaxation of their AE standard and the allowance of British English for these stories—I didn’t feel I could let that opportunity pass.
Could you tell me a little about it?
The Jacobite is the story of Jon, an Australian tourist. A death in the family is the reason he is in the UK, but having come so far, he’d decided that he really should stick around to make the most of. So he took extended leave from work and decided to travel around the countryside. The story highlights one day of his campervan journey in NW Scotland. It turns out to be a rather important day, because not only does Jon get to travel on The Jacobite—the railway made famous in the Harry Potter movie The Chamber of Secrets—but he also meets Colin.
Colin is an English university graduate who is taking time out after finishing his studies to find himself. Time out for Colin means hitchhiking around Scotland with a pack on his back and little else—his main objective is to hike the beautiful scenery.
Jon and Colin learn they have much in common, not the least of which is a burgeoning attraction to the other. Over the course of a wet and cold afternoon in Mallaig where beer is consumed and laughs are had and a return train trip is missed, they realise they may have found something neither was expecting.
Could you please tell me about your other work?
I only have two other short stories at this point. One is called Dirty Martini. It was released first in an anthology called Second Chances and then individually released and is published by Bottom Drawer Publications. I also participated in the Goodreads MM Romance group free event “Love has no Boundaries” in 2013 with a story called The Candidates.
What are you working on at the moment?
What am I working on? That is a good question. I am working on everything and nothing—at least that is how it seems most of the time. I have so many works in progress that it is almost ridiculous. If I could only compile everything together I would have the words for about 5 or 6 novels. Pity the themes don’t all meld together.
My immediate focus though is another contribution to the GR MM Romance event for this year—Don’t Write in the Closet. I chose a prompt that I never would have imagined would appeal to me, but when I missed out on my first, then second, and even third choices, and this hadn’t been snapped up, I began to consider what I could do with it. I think it was meant to be.
The prompt is of a man dressed in lacy red panties and thigh-high leather boots, and the accompanying Dear Author request is for the man, a closeted police detective, to be found dressed this way by his very unaware police partner.
I am so excited by this story, and in fact have already begun my plan for a sequel. This screamed GFY to me, and I am having so much fun creating the tension between the two men. Tension that is going to culminate in a very dynamic interaction by the end of the story. I have titled the story Exposed and can’t wait for it to be published.
Please could we have an excerpt?
Here is an excerpt from my WIP, Exposed:
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons flowed through the sound system, filling his brownstone with its rich magnificence and surrounding Mason Reid with a total separation to the world outside his four walls. He couldn’t hear the traffic, and he couldn’t hear the neighbors next door. And god he needed it. He lifted a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon to his lips, breathing in the heavy notes of blackcurrant and dark cherry, then took a mouthful, swirling it over his tongue and enjoying its flavor before he even swallowed. So good, he thought, swallowing, the liquid sliding easily down his throat.
He looked at the open bottle on the counter, deciding to leave it uncorked to breathe, and left the kitchen, walking through the dining room and then the lounge room. His footfalls accompanied the music as he moved across the hardwood floors, clack, clack, clack, only muffling when he crossed a rug. He stepped into the entry, pausing for a moment to take another sip of his wine before he began to walk again. The marble underfoot made a new, brighter sound. He liked it. His hips swayed to the music with every accentuated step he took, and he lost himself to the moment.
Mason ascended the staircase. Despite wearing the shoes, he didn’t reach for the banister. He climbed steadily, the action as natural as if he’d been in bare feet. The stair runner removed the music from his steps, but he’d get that again as soon as he reached his bedroom. The parquetry oak floors there wouldn’t let him down.
His business shirt ruffled with his movements, swishing about in the breeze he created as he walked. He’d removed his tie and undone his buttons, but as yet hadn’t removed that one item of clothing, even if he had already changed from his restricting everyday suit pants and boxer briefs, and of course his shoes and socks. Going downstairs still wearing his shirt had been an unconscious decision. He was in his own house, but down there, downstairs, so much of his parents still remained. In so many ways the house was still theirs and always would be. They would never again step in it, but their presence would always be a part of it, and he never wanted that feeling to change. His modesty was for them.
Many thanks, Bette, for answering my questions, today.
Readers – if you would like to see more of Bette’s work you can follow her at the links below:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/bettebrowne
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bette.browne.1
Take a ride to Northern Scotland on the famous train, the Jacobite, and rediscover desire. Get lost in the Peace Maze in Northern Ireland during a downpour and let a handsome young redhead come to the rescue. Take a tour of historical Blackpool on the English coast and set the stage for the perfect romance. From England to the outer isles, the UK holds treasure troves of romance, history, intrigue, and—naturally—quirky British humor. Not Quite Shakespeare samples it all in fifteen stories.
A man in London makes an accidental confession of sexual need to a virtual stranger who happens to be his boss. An American revisits West Sussex and rekindles an old flame with a romp in the stables. A couple finds their perfect third while vacationing on a pig farm in Yorkshire. In the office, on the race track, or in the kitchen baking bread—romance in the UK is alive and well, and full of sweet surprise.
Ninety-nine Problems by Becky Black
The Jacobite by Bette Browne
Illumination by Sam Evans
Wag, Not a Dog by Theo Fenraven
The Benefits of Hindsight by MA Ford
Apollo, Heathcliff, and Hercules by S.A. Garcia
Misadventures of Mislaid Men by Penny Hudson
Rough Tackle by Annabelle Jacobs
Bread and Butter Pudding by Jules Jones
First Contact by Rhidian Brenig Jones
Chanctonbury Ring by Sarah Madison
Tops Down, Bottoms Up by Jay Northcote
In the Doghouse by Chris Quinton
Wrong Number by Megan Reddaway
Best Vacation Ever by Rob Rosen
You can pre-order it HERE