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April is one of my favourite months. It’s the time of year when we can be pretty sure that winter is over, and there’s Easter – not just about chocolate, but about a celebration of life returning as trees green over, there are lambs in the fields and birds are nesting and in my part of the world there is so much apple blossom.

We also take time to consider those of us who are on the Autism spectrum. Autism Awareness Day was on April 2nd, but this whole month we will be sharing facts and being mindful as part of R. J. Scott’s annual Autism Awareness blog hop. 

At least 1% of the population of the world is somewhere on the spectrum, which in number terms for the UK means almost 700,000 people, and if you consider families and close associates too that means that for nearly 3 million people autism is just a part of their daily life.

For more blog posts, please click on the graphic above or one of the links like this one. I believe there will be gifts available from some of your very favourite authors. Since I don’t have much to offer at the moment, please leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner to receive a gift card.

Happy April. Stay home and stay safe.

 

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It’s always a red letter day when one of my dear friends releases a new book for me to enjoy, but when it’s a new instalment of the fabulous Lancaster’s Luck series OOH BOY!!

Peeps, this is SO GOOD.

publicity for book featuring cover

Title: The God’s Eye
Author: Anna Butler
Series: Lancaster’s Luck
Necessary to read previous 2 books? Best read in sequence
Wordcount: c110,000
Category: Steampunk adventure | M/M romance.
eBook Publication Date: 21 January 2020
Publisher: Glass Hat Press © 2020
Editors: Desi Chapman (Blue Ink Editing)
Megan Reddaway
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Internal Art: Margaret Warner

Blurb:

Rafe Lancaster is reluctantly settling into his role as the First Heir of House Stravaigor. Trapped by his father’s illness and his new responsibilities, Rafe can’t go with lover Ned Winter to Aegypt for the 1902/03 archaeological digging season. Rafe’s unease at being left behind intensifies when Ned’s fascination with the strange Antikythera mechanism and its intriguing link to the Aegyptian god Thoth has Ned heading south to the remote, unexplored highlands of Abyssinia and the course of the Blue Nile.
Searching for Thoth’s deadly secrets, Ned is out of contact and far from help. When he doesn’t return at Christmas as he promised, everything points to trouble. Rafe is left with a stark choice – abandon his dying father or risk never seeing Ned again.

Goodreads link

Digital Stores link

About The Series
The Lancaster’s Luck series – which is best read in sequence – charts the adventures of Rafe Lancaster, ex-aeronaut and pilot in Her Britannic Majesty’s Aero Corps. After being shot down and injured in action during the Boer War in 1899, Rafe’s unable to continue as a fighter pilot.

The Gilded Scarab
Returning to London, hard up and looking for a new career, Rafe buys a coffeehouse close to the Britannic Imperium Museum in Bloomsbury where he meets love of his life, archaeologist and First Heir House Gallowglass, Ned Winter.
The Gilded Scarab was a finalist in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Awards, and nominated for the Independent Publishers Book Awards in 2015.

The Jackal’s House
Ned’s excavation at Abydos, Aegypt, faces disruptive tricks and pranks that develop into a real threat to their lives, all seeming orchestrated by the god Anubis. When the life of Ned’s young son is on the line, Rafe carries out a daring rescue attempt and learns the shocking truth about his own heritage.
The Jackal’s House won joint first place for Best Gay Historical Romance in the 2018/19 Rainbow Awards, and joint third place for Best Gay Book.

GIVEAWAY

Between 20 January and 07 February, enter this Rafflecoptor for the chance of a first prize $20 (or equivalent) Amazon gift card, or the second prize of an ecopy of The Gilded Scarab

Rafflecoptor code: Click here to enter the competition

EXCERPT [NSFW}

The rhythm was always there, underlying everything.
Our lives for the last few days had been all chaos and confusion—anarchic, even—but at that time and in that place, in a quiet private room, with the muted sounds of a Cairo night drifting in past the half-drawn curtains, we found our peace again. It was there in every touch, every movement, every kiss, every gasp and low moan, every hitched breath and soft-voiced word. With us through entangled limbs, fingers laced together or smoothing heated skin; through kisses flaming like comets across a winter sky; shaking with us through every shattering moment.
Harmony and empathy. Two of the pillars holding up my world.
I never used to believe in love. Not before Ned. He did change me, I can’t deny it. But for the better, I believe. Thanks to him, I felt love then.
And now. And always.
It was hard to breathe. I let my fingers move in the cool, fine linen sheets to ground myself, remind me who I was and where, and raised myself to stare down at Ned’s head, bright gold in the lamplight. He looked back up at me, greeny-hazel eyes warm, expression soft, smiling around the tip of my cock, teasing me with his tongue. First with a languorous sweetness, his tongue flickering so softly, so gently, I was straining to feel it. Then, without warning, he changed the entire cadence. The unhurried touch of his lips became a sudden, hard lick from root to crown and, each time he reached the crown, he stayed there to savour it, mouthing it and swirling his tongue around the tip until I was giddy. Faster. And faster. Urgent. Demanding. And slackened again in an instant. Sweet again. Calming me with lips and tongue.
And all the time, one of his hands trailed up the inside of my leg from knee to the softer skin of the inner thigh, and back again. Over and over. Fingers fluttering and sometimes barely touching, sometimes the harder pad of finger tips pressing and claiming. The other hand he twisted, somehow, to find the bottle of fragrant oil, and while his tongue now teased the skin of my thigh, he smoothed the oil over my straining cock.
By then I was helpless, writhing, hips rising and falling to match Ned’s rhythm. A restrained, quiet pace when Ned had offered slow, undemanding sweetness, faster when he denied me the delicious, calm deliberation for a more frenzied, powerful snap of the hips.
I was the arrow trembling against the pulled bowstring, waiting for the pluck of Ned’s fingers to send me flying.
Perfection.

About Anna

Once Anna was a communications specialist with several UK government departments. These days she’s thankfully free of all that, and writing full time. Anna lives in the depths of the Nottinghamshire countryside with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo, who’s supported by Mavis the Assistant Editor, a Yorkie-Bichon cross with a bark several times bigger than she is but with no opinion whatsoever on the placement of semi-colons.

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I’ve been waiting for this one with considerable excitement because a) werewolves, b) historical that isn’t Regency!!! * c) it’s by Joanna Chambers with a cover by one of my favourite artists d) it’s available from today, and e) there’s a giveaway at her website where you could win a copy of the book and a $20 giftcard! Scroll down for details.

BLURB

Gentleman Wolf (Capital Wolves duet #1)

An elegant werewolf in Edinburgh…

1788. When Lindsay Somerville, the most elegant werewolf in Paris, learns that the man who held him in abject captivity for decades is on his way to France, intent on recapturing him, he knows he must leave the Continent for his own safety. Lindsay cannot take the risk of being recaptured—he may have been free for a century but he can still feel the ghost of his old chains under his fine clothes.

… on a mission…

While he’s in Edinburgh, Lindsay has been tasked with acquiring the “Naismith Papers”, the writings of a long-dead witchfinder. It should be a straightforward mission—all Lindsay has to do is charm an elderly book collector, Hector Cruikshank. But Cruikshank may not be all he seems, and there are others who want the papers.

… meets his match

As if that were not enough, while tracking down the Naismith Papers, Lindsay meets stubborn architect Drew Nicol. Although the attraction between them is intense, Nicol seems frustratingly determined to resist Lindsay’s advances. Somehow though, Lindsay can’t seem to accept Nicol’s rejection. Is he just moonstruck, or is Nicol bonded to him in ways he doesn’t yet understand?

Note: this is the first book of a duology – the story continues and will complete in the second book, Master Wolf.

CONTEST LINK

https://joannachambers.com/2019/08/24/gentleman-wolf-release-day-giveaway/

* This is in no way to suggest that I dislike Regency but it was only NINE years and I get very excited to see some of those other many thousands of years getting some attention.

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As I imagine everyone in the genre knows by now, April is Autism awareness month, and therefore time again for R J Scott’s amazing Blog Hop event. Click on the image to the left to go to her masterpost.

We start with a fact:

34% of children on the autism spectrum say that the worst thing about being at school is being picked on.

Children can be very unforgiving of other children who don’t conform to the world view that they are just beginning to formulate for themselves with the help of parents siblings and relatives. The trick is to catch that early one and stop it before it can turn into picking on, or even bullying. And for that adults need to be educated as well. We’re never too old to learn.

The subject we have been given for our posts is “Childhood Toys”.

Obviously my mind went straight to history – in fact prehistory – and I wondered what is the oldest child’s toy to be found.

This is quite hard to establish. Children’s toys need to be small, portable and, usually, organic – soft and cuddly with no sharp edges. Sadly organic things tend not to survive for very long so we are left with more robust materials, ie harder to work, more valuable, more highly prized. Such valuable items in metal, stone or wood have usually been attributed either to use or ritual.  If one digs up a human figurine painstakingly carved from stone or bone can one say for certain that it’s a votive offering to the gods – or a dolly?

Tiny depictions of kitchenware found in tombs – an expression of what one will need in the afterlife or dolls tea party?

Sometimes we’re lucky and not only find objects, but also find illustrative material. It seems that grooved clay discs that were initially assumed to be parts of a loom are actually yoyos.

Wheeled objects are very popular – chariots of course, and Scythian children appear to have played with little facsimiles of the wagons they lived in.

But you can put wheels on anything – horses, lions, even hedgehogs!

 

This stone hedgehog was made in Iran some 3000 years ago. But older toys have been found including the item below. This bone disc has a hole in the middle and on each side is an incised image of an antelope. It is 30,000 years old.

This may have been a thaumatrope – the toy made by spinning two images on a string so they appear to be one.

In the image on the reverse the antelopes legs are drawn up. Twist the string and it appears to twitch its ears and jump.

Was this a toy to amuse a child, or a religious ritual? We don’t know for sure but I can’t see any reason why it can’t have been both.

Time for a giveaway – I will pick a commenter to win a novel from my books page. 

If you would like to donate to a charity that does sterling work in providing for the needs of autistic young people, I don’t think that you could do any better than RJ’s charity of choice – Lindengate.

Lindengate is a Buckinghamshire-based registered charity that offers specialised gardening activities to help those with mental health needs in their continuing recovery
Operating from a 5-acre site adjacent to the Wyevale Garden Centre in Wendover Lindengate offers a wide range of gardening/horticulture activities so that users can spend time in a managed and calm and safe environment, either singly or in small groups, working towards recovery.

You can donate here.

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I feel as though I’ve been waiting for this book for ages but now it’s finally here!!

 

THE JACKAL’S HOUSE

 

 

About The Book

Something is stalking the Aegyptian night and endangering the archaeologists excavating the mysterious temple ruins in Abydos. But is it a vengeful ancient spirit or a very modern conspiracy…

Rafe Lancaster’s relationship with Gallowglass First Heir, Ned Winter, flourishes over the summer of 1900, and when Rafe’s House encourages him to join Ned’s next archaeological expedition, he sees a chance for it to deepen further. Since all the Houses of the Britannic Imperium, Rafe’s included, view assassination as a convenient solution to most problems, he packs his aether pistol—just in case.

Trouble finds them in Abydos. Rafe and Ned begin to wonder if they’re facing opposition to the Temple of Seti being disturbed. What begins as tricks and pranks escalates to attacks and death, while the figure of the Dog—the jackal-headed god Anubis, ruler of death—casts a long shadow over the desert sands. Destruction follows in his wake as he returns to reclaim his place in Abydos. Can Rafe and Ned stand against both the god and House plots when the life of Ned’s son is on the line?

Title:    The Jackal’s House

Series:    Lancaster’s Luck: Book II.   Sequel to The Gilded Scarab

Publisher:    Dreamspinner Press

Publication Date:   30 October 2017

Genre:    Steampunk adventure m/m romance

Wordcount:    c111,600

Cover Artist:    Reese Dante

Illustrator (Map):    Margaret Warner

Goodreads

 

About The Series

 

description here description here
The Gilded Scarab The Jackal’s House

Lancaster’s Luck is set in a steampunk world where, at the turn of the 20th century, the eight powerful Convocation Houses are the de facto rulers of the Britannic Imperium. In this world of politics and assassins, a world powered by luminiferous aether and phlogiston and where aeroships fill the skies, Captain Rafe Lancaster, late of Her Majesty’s Imperial Aero Corps, buys a coffee house in one of the little streets near the Britannic Museum in Bloomsbury.

So begins the romantic steampunk adventures which have Rafe, a member of Minor House Stravaigor, scrambling over Londinium’s rooftops on a sultry summer night or facing dire peril in the pitch dark of an Aegyptian night. And all the while, sharing the danger is the man he loves: Ned Winter, First Heir of Convocation House Gallowglass, the most powerful House in the entire Imperium.

Find out more about the Lancaster’s Luck books and the world of Rafe and Ned

Excerpt

I like kissing.

Like Ned, I’d spent years in hiding. His constraint had been matrimony and the sense of honor and duty that would never have allowed him to be unfaithful to the mother of his sons. Only her untimely death had released those bonds. Mine had been less noble: I had no desire for a court-martial and a dishonorable discharge from Her Imperial Majesty’s Aero Corps. Most of my encounters over the years had been quick and furtive, but I’d taken every chance I could to practice my technique.

I not only liked kissing, I was good at it.

Fast little kisses to start with, kisses that barely made contact with the skin of Ned’s throat, kisses meant to tease. He tilted his head back to let me in, closing his eyes. His mouth opened on a soft sigh. I hoped he was giving himself up to the pleasure, losing himself in it, that nothing mattered to him at that moment except the feel of my mouth on his throat and lips. I hoped so. I wanted to please him.

I kissed and licked the delicate skin under his ear until he choked with laughter at the tickling. He tightened his grip on my hands and tugged at them until I raised my head. Ha! He’d lulled me into trusting him there and took full advantage of it. He swooped to capture my mouth with his, cutting off breath and thought, bringing a dizzying warmth with his hot tongue, and making me moan.

Of course, they were very manly moans.

 

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press ebook  |  Dreamspinner Press paperback

Amazon.com  |  Amazon.co.uk  |  Apple iBooks

B&N  |  Indigo  | Kobo

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter draw for

  •  1st prize—$25 or equivalent Amazon gift card
  •  2nd prize—a signed paperback of the first Lancaster’s Luck book, the Gilded  Scarab.

About Anna

Anna was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She recently moved out of the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London to the rather slower environs of a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside, where she lives with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo.

Website and Blog | Facebook | The Butler’s Pantry | Pinterest | Twitter

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So that lovely lady at Signal Boost Promotions is running a Blog Tour for me right now with a nice little Rafflecopter giveaway attached. The winner will get a paperback copy of the book and there may possibly be another special gift too.

Check out the list:

August 21 – Love Bytes
August 22 – The Way She Reads, BooksLaidBareBoys, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Nerdy Dirty and Flirty
August 23 – The Novel Approach
August 24 – Love That’s Out of This World
August 25 – MM Good Book Reviews
August 28 – Sinfully MM Romance
August 29 – Zipper Rippers, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Padme’s Library, Bayou Book Junkie, The Geekery Book Review, Louise Lyons
August 30 – Rainbow Gold Reviews
September 1 – Making It Happen
September 4 – Bayou Book Junkie
September 6 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
September 8 – Diverse Reader
September 11 – My Fiction Nook

Some of the posts are blog posts, some are reviews. I’m filled with my usual mix of curiosity and trepidation about what people will think!

Meantime, many thanks to Signal Boost!

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I was asked to post this by F E Feely in case anyone who sees this might be interested in joining in.

prg-valentines

This contest is brought to you by the Paranormal Romance Guild!! Click the graphic below for details.

proof_prg_wordpress_3-0-copy

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