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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

 

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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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It’s always fun to try something new and, for me, this week, it’s a podcast story. I’ve listened before to Night Vale – who hasn’t? – but I’ve never listened to an audio book or heard a story read by an actor in a less formal setting.

This came about as part of a Facebook thread on the Queer Sci Fi group. We were all invited to post about what we wrote – which meant I was completely out of place since the majority of my work is historical – and then the person who made the original post paired off all the writers with the idea that we could read each other’s work and maybe do a bit of cross promotion. I’m delighted to say that I was paired up with Heather Rose Jones whose rendering of the stories of the Mabinogion as Merchinogion are absolutely my type of thing to read.

My favourite edition of the Mabinogion is the one illustrated by Alan Lee

The Mabinogion is a collection of ancient stories that weren’t written down until the 12th century and weren’t properly translated until the 19th century. Lady Charlotte Guest, a friend of our local Welsh loving Lady Llanover, made the first translations expanding upon previous work by scholar William Pughe. These stories contain many of the themes found in British mythology and also some of the oldest references to King Arthur. Just for clarity, in Welsh ‘mab’ means son/boys so Mabinogion is stories of the sons – ‘merch’ = daughters/girls 🙂 and that makes a lovely change.

Heather’s stories also feature a leading lady called Elin who is WAY cooler than I am!

Even more interesting – these stories have been produced as a podcast so you can listen to them or read the text. I particularly enjoyed the bilingual blurbs. I may not know more than basic Welsh but it’s a lovely language to hear spoken. Because it is an ancient language it has had to work hard to catch up with the 21st century. Old words take on new meanings and so the language builds up layer upon layer. The first story “Hoywverch” can be split neatly – hoyw and verch – and could be rendered merely as ‘gay women’ according to the dictionary, but scrape away just a little from the surface and they are also “radiant, illuminated and brilliant ladies” and I find that very satisfying. Book two is entitled “Hyddwen” – the white deer – and that taps straight into a powerful otherworldly celtic motif. These stories are beautifully written, with a wonderful rhythm to them and delicate little descriptions spark throughout the plot.

Here is Hoywverch and here Hyddwen. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Bio:

Heather Rose Jones writes fantasy, historic fantasy, and historical fiction, including the Alpennia series with swordswomen and magic in an alternate Regency setting. She blogs about research into lesbian-like motifs in history and literature at the Lesbian Historic Motif Project which provides inspiration for her fiction. She has a PhD in linguistics, studying metaphor theory and the semantics of Medieval Welsh prepositions, and works as an industrial failure investigator in biotech.

Heather has a page on Facebook and can also be found on Twitter.

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I’m more than happy today to be hosting my good friend and mentor Charlie Cochrane, general good egg and huge fun as well as being the wildly talented author of some of my favourite books. Her latest offering in the terrific Portkennack series was released recently and she has been kind enough to answer my questions about it.

Welcome, Charlie!

I’ve read all the Porthkennack books so far and have been delighted at how they paint a picture of the community, past and present. With each book a little more is added to the portrait. What do you like best about writing in the Porthkennack sandbox?

Where do I start? Playing with other people’s toys is always fun, as is working with their ideas. I confess to having had concerns about writing in a universe that had been invented by somebody else, but it’s been remarkably freeing. I guess all the hard work of world building has been done for us.

It’s also been good working with other authors who are also friends. In the early days be bounced lots of ideas of one another, from where the museum would be and who’d run it, to names for the local beer. These things are vitally important!

What non-spoilery plans do you have to add to the village or, on the other hand, is there anything you feel would be inappropriate to find in such a thriving community?

I’ve been fortunate to write one contemporary and one historical, so the different time settings has allowed me to write in a totally different way about the same place. The storylines haven’t had to interact, although there is a thread of buildings and locations which recur in the two stories. I think I’m the only author – so far – exploring Porthkennack in its immediately post Great War guise.

In terms of inappropriate, the thing which would worry me is if Porthkennack turned into a community where everyone was LGBT, a sort of fantasy land which would not be true to its geographical location. Avoiding that will mean a light touch from all those involved, but I’m sure we can deliver on that.

What one commemorative event do you feel has best encapsulated the tragedy and pathos of the “War to End All Wars”?

Oh, what a question. I’d have to say the poppies at the Tower of London. For me, it captured the sheer scale of the losses; every poppy was somebody’s child. Running those a close second would be the events commemorating the Battle of the Somme and the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendale). Russell Tovey as Tubby Clayton was superb.

What are you working on now and can we have an excerpt, please?

I’m working on the second draft of another Cambridge Fellows mystery novella. This is very rough and ready! Orlando is trying to get two minutes of peace in the college garden.

“I wondered if I’d find you here.” Jonty’s voice sounded through the railings of the gate.

Orlando looked up, as though completely surprised. “Oh, hello. I was trying to find a moment’s peace.” He waved the papers.

“Sorry. Didn’t realise you were hard at work with your sums. I thought you might be sunbathing. Or resting your legs after the cricket.” Jonty plonked his backside two feet along the bench.

“And how exactly did you know I might be here?” Orlando asked, neatly sidestepping the aching legs issue.

“You were seen by Swann, that rather nice new porter. Limping along—you, not him and his words, not mine—in this general direction. I deduced,” Jonty grinned at the word, “that you’d not make it all the way home so would likely seek a few minutes of repose. And what nicer place could a man find to repose in than this?”

“That last point is indisputable,” Orlando conceded. “Although I’ll take issue with ‘limping’. I merely had a stone in my shoe and had to find a suitable place in which to remove it. I have killed two birds with the proverbial stone.” He brandished the papers again, having risked contradicting his earlier statement.

“You’re not very good at telling fibs, so I don’t know why you bother.” Jonty gazed up at the sky. “What a beautiful day. God’s in a very blue heaven and all is right with the world. Have you had a good day?”

“Excellent, thank you.” Orlando slipped the papers back into his briefcase—what was the use of pretence? “You?”

“Pretty good. All set for the arrival of the dreaded dunderheads. I see the college staff are fumigating the rooms and nailing down anything pawnable in preparation.” Jonty narrowed his eyes then sighed. “All we need now is a case. I think I’ve sufficiently recovered from the last one.”

“I’m not sure I’ll ever recover.” Orlando rolled his eyes. Being asked to defend one’s deadliest enemy on a charge of murder, and in circumstances where superficially he appeared to be as guilty as sin, would have tried the patience of any man. “But another case would be very gratifying.”

“And it would stop you moping.” Jonty gave a sly little sidelong grin.

“I haven’t been moping! Have I?” Orlando added, guiltily. He couldn’t deny his thoughts had turned more than once to the intellectual stimulation of a case, and how much he had missed it through the summer months. Even when they’d holidayed on Jersey he’d occasionally wished a nice, juicy mystery might fall across their path. Not a murder, as he wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but perhaps a missing item to be located or a—

Jonty’s voice cut into his thoughts. “Are you listening? What do you think?”

Orlando, who’d learned it was pointless to pretend he’d been listening or to venture something like, “I need time to consider the matter,” said, “I think I’ve forgotten to pick up the post from my pigeon hole. I’ll need to go back to the porters’ lodge.”

About the Book


Michael Gray returned from World War One injured, but at least he returned. Others were not so fortunate, including his first and greatest love, Thomas Carter-Clemence, with whom Michael had parted bitterly before the conflict began.

Broch, the Carter-Clemence home in Porthkennack, was an integral part of pre-war holidays for the Grays, the two families drawn together in the wake of their sons’ friendship. Returning to the once-beloved Cornish coast for a break with his sister and her family, Michael has to find the courage to face old memories . . . and dare new relationships.

When Thomas’s brother Harry makes an unexpected appearance, Michael is surprised to find himself deeply attracted to Harry for his own sake. But as their relationship heats up, it unearths startling revelations and bitter truths. Michael must decide whether Harry is the answer to his prayers or the last straw to break an old soldier’s back.

Buy Links

Riptide Publishing | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes

 

About the Author

Photo by Templedragon


Because Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her mystery novels include the Edwardian era Cambridge Fellows series, and the contemporary Lindenshaw Mysteries, while her romances feature in the Portkennack series.

A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People and International Thriller Writers Inc, Charlie regularly appears at literary festivals and at reader and author conferences with The Deadly Dames.

 

Links

Website: http://www.charliecochrane.co.uk

Blog http://charliecochrane.livejournal.com/ and https://charliecochrane.wordpress.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18

Twitter: https://twitter.com/charliecochrane

GR: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2727135.Charlie_Cochrane

 

 

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My guest today is that most delightful of things, a brand new shiny author just out of the wrappings. So, if you like, you can view this post as being a bit like one of those unboxing videos?

I certainly ‘unboxed’ the ARC of Golden and found it to be huge fun – pirates, dragons and harem boys – what’s not to like?

Anyhow, here’s RL Mosswood. Welcome and thanks for being such a good sport about answering my questions.

~*~*~

Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?
Oh yes! I actually pay the bills by originating mortgages, which is more than a full time job because people get very keyed up by the process around buying a house. I’m regularly texting with clients at 9 and 10 at night, and working on emergency approvals over the weekend. I also dabble in audiobook narration and my partner and I grow, preserve, and cook most of our own food on our homestead which is a job in itself.

When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?

Everything. I’m a huge crafter. I crochet, knit, sew, spin, paint a little… I haven’t written about it much, but one of the main characters in my current work in progress is a fiber artist who raises sheep. He’s more accomplished than I am, but the idea wouldn’t have ocurred to me in the first place if it wasn’t something I enjoyed myself.

What are you reading? Can you recommend something that you wished you’d written yourself?

I’ve been so overwhelmed with harvest season and the Golden release that I’ve gotten really behind on my to-be-read list. Your book, The Bones of Our Fathers, is actually what’s up on my e-reader right now. I’ve been working my way through it one chapter a night by reading it to my five year old at bedtime (I stop reading out loud if things get steamy).

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

I often start with a feel. A setting, a mood, a few bits of description that sort of set the tone. From there, I start to get the idea of the kind of story that could happen in that setting and the kinds of characters that would exist there. The story and characters evolve together, informing one another as the whole thing develops.
Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them? Do you have a crisp mental picture of them or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?

They definitely develop as I write. For instance, I had an idea of Hathar when I started: strong, capable, devil-may-care with confidence bordering on swagger, but I had no idea he was funny until he started saying things that made me laugh.

Is there any genre you would love to write, ditto one you would avoid like a rattlesnake?

I love historical, and would love to write historical, but given that I can barely find time to write at all, I feel like I wouldn’t get anything done if I had to add in time to research all the little details that I would want to get right. Some day, when the kid is grown and I have more leisure time, I’ll dig out my list of plot bunnies and start working through the ones I can’t do justice to right now.

What inspired you to write about dragons and harems and treasure?

This is exclusive content I’ll only admit to here: 10 months ago, I was at a queer fiction convention with only the tiniest inkling that it might be fun to try my hand at writing something of my own. There was a call for submissions at the back of the program that became the seed of the idea for Golden. It was all an experiment really, to see if I could even write a story that was more than a couple of pages. Turns out, I can.

What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.

It might be a little too strong to say that I’m “working on” it, because that implies that I’m currently making progress, but the next thing in the queue is a contemporary romance that takes place on a permaculture sheep farm. It’s fairly quiet and down to earth, based a lot in my real experiences – pretty much the opposite of the fantasy adventure that is Golden, but I hope readers will stick with me and enjoy it.

Could we please have an excerpt of something?

A sample from Golden:

The baths were unlike anything Hathar had ever seen. Granted, it was a palace, so he had expected luxury, but not on this scale. Large enough to easily accommodate twenty men, the room was completely clad in glowing white marble interrupted only by tasteful, intricate mosaics of fanciful sea creatures. It was filled with warm, diffuse light from windows slatted for privacy and vast domes on the ceiling that seemed to be made of a thick, translucent glass. Past an assortment of platforms and benches for preening and lounging, a steaming pool set into the floor took up a large corner of the room. Constantly refreshed by water bubbling forth from the mouths of carved stone fish that appeared to be eternally leaping from the walls above, the pool overflowed into discreet drains set around its edges. As Hathar gawked at the opulent room, the young man who had taken him from the guard was preparing himself for the baths, removing his shirt and hanging it on one of a series of hooks carved into the stone near the door. Hathar looked back now, just in time to see him shucking off his loosely fitted silken trousers. This was another kind of opulence. The boy’s beauty was at least the equal of the room. His form was slender, but not scrawny. His skin was smooth and full over the contours of his modest muscles, a testament to a life without lack and plenty of tender care. He was fair, but there was a golden undertone to his complexion that was echoed in the burnished gold of his curls and his uncanny amber eyes, which came into view as he straightened. Whoever ran this place had taste, Hathar had to give them that.

~*~*~

Golden

Author: R.L. Mosswood

Release Date: September 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-947139-91-6
Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Romance
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Word Count: 33500

Sex Content: Explicit
Pairing: MM
Orientation: Bisexual, Demisexual, Gay
Identity: Cisgender

Purchase Links:

NineStar Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/golden/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075DG7WCD/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/golden-rl-mosswood/1127062192?ean=2940154536094
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/746310/1/golden
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/golden-34

Golden

Book Blurb
Harem boy might not be the most appropriate role for someone who’s never really seen the appeal of sex, but Elin’s status as dahabi: golden in a land of tan and brown, has marked him for The Dragon’s service since birth. He’s content enough with his life of uncomplicated, if restrictive, luxury, until an unremarkable chore becomes a case of love at first sight.
Mysterious newcomer Hathar, a roguish “merchant adventurer” from far-off lands, ignites an exploration of Elin’s first taste of physical desire, as well as a desire to experience life beyond the palace. Now, they must find a way to escape The Dragon’s clutches before Hathar’s ship departs, stranding them forever as dahabi of the haram.

If you’d like to follow R L Mosswood she can be found on her website here.

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A Conversation

To celebrate the fact that we both have relatively new releases Julie Bozza suggested we have a bit of a chat about our work. Chatting is always fun and so is Julie, so I jumped at the chance. This is the result:

An interview that turned into a conversation between Elin Gregory, author of The Bones of Our Fathers, and Julie Bozza, author of A Night with the Knight of the Burning Pestle.

Experience and/or Research?

Julie: Congratulations on your lovely new novel, The Bones of Our Fathers. I loved reading it and gaining an insight into an area of work that I’m unfamiliar with – though like most jobs it seems a mix of 5% excitement and 95% routine! I understand you were drawing on your own work experience. What was it like to write about something that is ‘everyday’ for you? Have you done that before, with this or any other job?

Elin: Aww thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think we all put bits of our own experiences into our writing. Even with historicals there are certain constants. Dogs have fleas, horses will tread on your foot, cats don’t give two hoots whether you’re in 19th century Surrey or 1st century CE Jerusalem. But yes, museum work is mostly very much routine even though TV and films make it look very exciting. I blame Indiana Jones. For every day a museum curator has something wildly exciting to do they have a year where they have to fill in forms, follow policy, beg for money and try to stop the building, exhibits and collection from deteriorating. Writing about it was fun though. To be honest I did it as a complete change of pace from writing about historical matters that require huge amounts of research. I still had to do some research – finds of archaeological human remains have procedures – but not nearly as much as, say, finding out whether there was a local bus service in East Essex in 1925.

How have you managed it? The Night with the Knight of the Burning Pestle rang very true to me. Have you ever trodden the boards?

Elin: I wish I’d seen that

Julie: Thank you kindly! I’m so happy and relieved to know it worked for you – because, no, I’ve never been an actor. Except for once in college when I played Jeeves, very badly, in a sketch written by my love interest at the time. My main problem as an actor is that I am way too self-conscious!

However, I love TV, film and theatre, and I’m an utter fangirl about various actors, so I’ve thought a lot about what they do and how they do it. And I concluded a long while ago that actors and writers have much in common along the lines of character analysis and portrayal, and telling a story. Also, the whole behind-the-scenes stuff fascinates me, and I love how the productions are a real team effort. So, no real direct experience but instead lots of love, thought, love, reading, love and research – not to mention encouragement from my sister, who likes me writing about actors.

Obviously Indiana Jones and my sister both have a lot to answer for!

Location, Location, Location

Julie: The Welsh countryside and the village way-of-life seemed absolutely key to your story. I feel it wouldn’t have played out quite the same in any other setting. Do you find the location is always a vital part of your novels?

Elin: It has to be really. The location, in space and in time, gives you the options for what is and isn’t possible plotwise. My hero in the small Welsh border town can’t pop to the opera house any more than a medieval knight could pick up his iPhone to ask what time the joust starts tomorrow or my pirate hero could invite his boyfriend for Netflix and chill. What they do has to be realistic for the place or the period. Also, small communities tend to have their own way of dealing with things, whether it’s a village or the crew of a ship.
You’ve handled this yourself as the contrast between The Apothecary’s Garden and Butterfly Hunter shows. Two utterly different locations that give the characters different stresses and responsibilities.

Julie: Thank you! Yes, I’m really interested in the way that human beings and the environment shape each other – obviously not always in positive ways, alas, in the ‘real’ world. I don’t think it’s something I consciously plan ahead for other than choosing a general time and place, but it’s certainly something I enjoy exploring when writing.

Creativity

Julie: Do you have a ‘Muse’, or do you think that’s just a romantic way of viewing an intellectual/emotional process? How would you explain your Muse (or creative processes) to non-writerly people?

Elin: I sort of do. I have a character – I call him Charlie – who donates different aspects of his personality to other characters from time to time. But mostly he chirps up in response to hearing or seeing something that might make a story. I suppose it might be more accurate to say that Charlie is the bit of my brain that says “Oooh what if …?” Charlie’s a lot braver than I am and suggests things I’m not prepared to write but he’s a load of fun to have around.

Is your muse a help or a hindrance? For instance, is he much help with changes of pace between the romances like Butterfly Hunter and the edgy stuff like The Definitive Albert J Sterne? Do you have a different approach to plotting or does the plot grow organically out of the actions of the characters?

Julie: Three cheers for Charlie! My Muse bears an uncanny resemblance to Ewan McGregor, which means he’s always entertaining and mostly inspirational, even when being contrary. He’s also very … adaptable. Flexible, even. LOL! Which partly answers your question.

But the duller, more serious answer about the differences between Albert and Butterfly Hunter is more about how I’ve changed over the years. I started writing what became Albert about 25 years ago, back in the heyday of Silence of the Lambs. It grew over the years, but I never changed the story’s timeframe, as I liked the ‘low tech’ vibe. Poor Albert couldn’t even do a DNA test – something taken for granted in most crime dramas these days!
Anyway, don’t let me head down that rabbit hole.

Back then, I was way more into writing angst. I’ve mellowed over the decades, or maybe I’ve come to value different things. I’m not sure of the answer there … If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, it’s that I’ve always been interested in “the power of love”. But perhaps I’m now writing about how that works towards good things, rather than how it can twist into bad things.

Current Projects

Julie: What are you working on now / next?

Elin: I have more Pemberland books in the pipeline – Terry the barber’s book is half written and I have bits and pieces of 3 more – I’m a few thousand words into an Eleventh Hour sequel set in 1931 just as European politics was beginning to get really edgy and I’m doing research for other stories too. When I’ll get them written I have no idea. Even if I retired I have no doubt that I still wouldn’t get much time to myself. I so envy the people who seem to be able to write beautifully even though they are surrounded by their family.

How about you? What are you working on – and when oh when will we have the sequel to The Apothecary’s Garden?

Julie: LOL! I’ve been thinking about Hilary and Tom a lot lately, you’ll be glad to know. I did make a start on the sequel, but then put it on hold when I realised I wasn’t quite ready yet. There’s one more novel I have to write, and then I’ll see if I can get to Hilary and Tom’s little corner of Wiltshire.

The novel I’m just about to launch into is a historical romance set in India. I want it to be my Last Hurrah with Manifold Press, as it feels like such a good fit with the Press’s ethos. I have been madly reading and researching, and feel rather daunted by what I’m taking on. But it’s an idea that has stuck with me for a couple of years now, and (as I’m sure you find, too) when the Muse is that doggedly persistent, it’s a mistake to turn away.

To Conclude

Julie: Thank you so much, Elin, for the conversation! It’s been a great deal of fun – and I’m looking forward to reading all the many wonderful stories you’re working on now.

Elin: Thank you so much for chatting! Also grand news about the book with the Indian setting. Can’t wait to read that 🙂

~~~
I was so very pleased to host Julie today. Please find below links to the details of her fantastic book and her social media sites.

Blurb:
Dale is proud of how his acting career is progressing. Tonight, for instance, is the last night (at the beautiful Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) of a well-received run of Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle, in which he plays Rafe. But his colleague Topher, who plays Jasper, seems to think something is missing in Dale’s life. They’re not really friends, and Dale sees little point in reprising the one night on which they were not-really-friends with benefits.

However! Despite the distractions of performing this chaotic two-plays-within-a-play, Dale is plagued by the niggling doubts prompted by Topher. Dale might be better off paying attention, though – because maybe Francis Beaumont, writing over 400 years ago, already provided the answers to Dale’s dilemma.

38,500 words/150 pages
$4.95

Available from Manifold Press

Amazon US buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XXL37SV/
Julie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliebozza
Julie’s LIBRAtiger Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/libratigerbooks/
Julie’s blog: http://juliebozza.com/

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My guest today is one of my favourite writers in this multifaceted genre and also, coincidentally, one of my favourite people 😀

Chris Quinton is here today to tell us about her book Love in Three Moves and to answer some questions about her writing process.

Welcome Chris.

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 don’t have a day job, which should give me plenty of time to write. Of course, it doesn’t work out that way – I have back problems which mean I can’t sit at a keyboard for long. I’m also a sloooow writer, which doesn’t help.

When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?

I like to quilt, and to knit, though the latter is only an ongoing supply of fingerless mitts [totally idiot-proof to make]. Back when I was more mobile, I was a 15th century re-enactor, which I loved. I got to spin, embroider, and dance. I have a few ideas to use a re-enacting scenario, but they are too vague to be even a plot bunny for now.

What are you reading? Can you recommend something that you wished you’d written yourself?

Oh, Gods, the list of wish-I’d-written-it books is far too long! Let’s go with anything by CJ Cherryh for SFR and Fantasy, Lindsey Davis for Historical, Dorothy L Sayers for Mystery. On the reading front, I’m rereading CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner series for the umpteenth time. IMO she is right at the top of the list of the best SF writers of all time.

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

Situation and characters first, then the plot grows organically. But with pruning and training as required. I often have to backtrack and add in elements that occur to me as I’m going along – the definitive description of a Pantster…

Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them? Do you have a crisp mental picture of them or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?

I usually have a pretty clear image of them and what makes them tick. Odd quirks might appear as the story grows.

What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.

At the moment I’m working on Interface, an SF story set in a distant part of the galaxy…

Could we please have an excerpt of something?

Here’s a short piece from Love In Three Moves, three short stories charting the ups and downs in a love affair… This is from the first one, It Takes Two:

“It’s me,” David Grainger called as he opened the front door and walked into the large studio apartment. “Are you back? Babs has been nagging me again. Did you get the Stravinsky commis – ?” He stopped in his tracks. Yes, Ben was back from Geneva. The room looked like Selfridges at the end of a sale day. Cushions, bedcovers, pillows and odd items of clothing lay scattered over floor and furniture, and the warm air was heavy with an exotic, expensive perfume. But over all hung the scent of sex.

Who was it this time? David wondered, irritated. Roger, Melanie, or both? Not that he gave a damn who Ben took to his bed. No, he was peeved because he’d heard nothing from the man for several days. Phone calls and texts had all been ignored, and Barbara wasn’t the only one pissed off about it. Important matters hung on the success of Ben’s trip to Switzerland. Sometimes the man was an irresponsible pain in David’s arse.

Fastidious as a cat, he picked his way across the room, nose wrinkling as the assorted aromas assaulted his nostrils, and David thanked whichever gods looked after dissolute idiots that the used condoms had ended up in the waste bin and not on the floor.

Ben, the other half of Grainger & Tremayne Antiques, enjoyed a varied love life. Ten years of friendship, five of which included a highly successful working partnership, meant they’d shared keys long ago and had free range of each other’s homes in the same Canary Wharf up-market apartment block. It wouldn’t be the first time David had strolled in at the wrong moment. He was bisexual himself, but his own exploits in the relationship arena were a lot less adventurous. Or numerous.

“Ben? Are you still alive?”

 

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Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XTBV4KB

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713621

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/love-in-three-moves

 

BLURB

 

Love in Three Moves – Three short stories chart a passionate love affair: yet true love rarely runs smoothly.

It Takes Two

David Grainger and Ben Tremayne are perfect partners in business and friendship – and finally they give in to the temptation of taking that further. Their passionate love has been brewing for a long time, and everything about their new affair is wonderful – until it isn’t.

Breaking Point

Ben hasn’t seen his ex-lover David, for a year. He lives alone with his remorse for breaking up their affair, overwhelmed by his fear of commitment rather than his love for David. When, out of the blue, David asks him for a favour, Ben grudgingly agrees. The simple errand takes a complicated turn.

Clue Game

Once instrumental in reuniting Ben and David, their friend Barbara Curtis now needs the couple’s help with her own love-life. Despite being in Paris on their pre-honeymoon, Ben and David are caught up in the ensuing puzzle, involving a Paris art gallery, the works of Shakespeare, a devious crossword, a pair of precious earrings – and satisfaction for Barbara’s heart.

Chris Quinton – a Bio

Chris started creating stories not long after she mastered joined-up writing, somewhat to the bemusement of her parents and her English teachers. But she received plenty of encouragement. Her dad gave her an already old Everest typewriter when she was ten, and it was probably the best gift she’d ever received – until the inventions of the home-computer and the worldwide web.

Chris’s reading and writing interests range from historical, mystery, and paranormal, to science-fiction and fantasy, writing mostly in the Gay genre. She also writes the occasional mainstream novel in the name of Chris Power. She refuses to be pigeon-holed and intends to uphold the long and honourable tradition of the Eccentric Brit to the best of her ability. In her spare time [hah!] she reads, or listens to audio books while quilting or knitting. Over the years she has been a stable lad [briefly] in a local racing stable and stud, a part-time and unpaid amateur archaeologist, a civilian administrator at her local police station, and a 15th century re-enactor.

She lives in a small and ancient city not far from Stonehenge in the south-west of the United Kingdom, and shares her usually chaotic home with her extended family, three dogs, a Frilled Dragon [lizard], sundry goldfish and tropicals.

Her blog/website is: http://chrisquinton.com

Her Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/chris.quinton.1

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My guest today isn’t just a blinkin’ good author but also a dear friend and mentor, a fellow UK Meet Committee member, a stalwart of the writing community and an all round good egg.

Charlie is here today to celebrate her brand new release – In the Spotlight. a bundle of two stories about men who tread the boards.

Charlie, what inspired you to write these stories?

My love of sport and the theatre. In the case of All That Jazz, I was once going to a rugby match at London Irish and I saw two blokes having a row in the club car park. My mind went into overdrive and by the time I’d considered all the possibilities why they’d been arguing, I had the makings of a character. At a similar time, the all-male productions at the Globe made me wonder if an all male Chicago would be a goer – so when these two ideas conflated I had the germ of a story. (Any more detail would give it away.)

If Music Be came from another mixing of ideas. I love Will Shakespeare’s work, especially Twelfth Night; the sexual politics and gender bending in that play are mind boggling. It’s something I’ve explored before and no doubt will do again. When hubby got given a Military Wives CD, it made me wonder about military husbands and – again – these two seemingly disparate things came together to make a tale.

Have you tackled the theatre in other stories?

Oh, yes. The Cambridge Fellows found themselves embroiled with an all male production of “The Scottish Play” and “Awfully Glad” concerns a WWI officer who appears in a concert party dressed as a woman (do I detect a theme here?) I guess it’s a matter of writing about what I enjoy watching or reading about!

“The Roosters”, an army concert party started in 1917 with the donation of a 100 drachma note by a Surrey wicket keeper and continued to perform for over 30 years

There’s something comfortably camp about the behavior of theatrical types, including the straight ones. They certainly seem happy touching each other when being interviewed on the television. Any thoughts?

Plenty! Cultures develop around professions and settings, so the language and interactions in the theatre will be different to those in accountancy. I’m sure the fact that actors spend a lot of time pretending to be someone else in an artificial setting must have an influence, too. Perhaps it loosens the inhibitions or something.

Mind you, that relaxed physicality can be seen in my beloved rugby, too. One of the factors must be the close contact on the pitch (hands and heads go places in scrums and rucks that they don’t go in other sports). But it isn’t just during the game – the lads are very tactile when celebrating a try, or after the match. I also see tweets from them along the lines of, “In bed with my pal x, watching TOWIE”. They’re clearly sharing a bed in the way Morecambe and Wise platonically shared a bed, as has been customary through time, but you can’t imagine a footballer making that sort of tweet, for fear of snide comments. I wonder if it’s because rugby players have nothing to prove in terms of their masculinity? After all, the world’s top rugby referee is “out” and nobody bats an eyelid.

What are you working on at the moment?

Something rather different and a bit daft, about which I’m giving no more details as I don’t want anyone else to nick the idea. J

Can we have an excerpt?

Of course! Here’s a bit from All That Jazz:

“Are you looking for someone?” An incongruously quiet voice sounded beside him.

Hardly the most original chat up line. Francis eyed the stranger warily. He’d got past the point of being impressed by smooth lotharios sporting smarmy clichés although this bloke didn’t seem like one of them. If Francis had been a betting man he’d have put twenty quid on the remark being genuine and heartfelt.

“Not really.” Francis used his huskiest tones, ones belying the clothes he wore, tones intended to impress. Whoever or whatever the bloke with the clichéd lines was, he had a stunning smile to accompany them. And an honest fresh face—as complete a contrast to Rhys fucking don’t trust him as far as you can throw him Mannering as you could get.

“Sorry, you just looked a bit lost.” The stranger turned face on, his smile now shy and losing some of its lustre.

“Maybe I am. Not sure I know anyone here.” Francis couldn’t believe he was uttering the words, and in such a bashful manner. He was used to being the confident, pushy one in these sort of joints. Or at least he’d been good at acting that part once Mannering had gone. He’d had to learn to make the running, determined not to let that poncy sod ruin any more of his life than he already had done. So why was he now admitting to some beddable bloke that he was anything less than Mr. Confidence? Especially tonight when a beddable bloke and a bottle of beer were top of his shopping list.

“You do look a bit out of place.”  Another devastating smile. Why the fuck did beddable bloke make you feel like you’d never been in a bloody gay bar before?  “It’s not your average pub, this place. Most of the team hang out here and it’s coloured the atmosphere.”

“The team?” Francis cast a quick glance around. The rainbow flag over the door might well have been false colours, given the butch, well built appearance of the bar’s clientele. It looked more like your average suburban local than a haunt of the spenders of the pink pound. Perhaps the flag had actually been flying over the Brasserie next door and he’d missed it in his foul temper? No, the looks and nudges he’d had were genuine enough, and he wasn’t so dragged up that he could really be mistaken for a bird.

~~~~~~

In the Spotlight

Blurb:

All That Jazz
Francis Yardley may be the high kicking star of an all-male version of Chicago, but bitter, and on the booze after the breakdown of a relationship, he thinks that the chance for true love has passed him by. A handsome, shy rugby player called Tommy seems to be the answer to his problems, but Tommy doesn’t like the lipstick and lace. Can they find a way forward and is there still a chance for happiness “nowadays”?

If Music Be
Rick Cowley finds himself taking up am-dram once more, thinking it’ll help him get over the death of his partner. He’d never anticipated it would mean an encounter with an old flame and the sort of emotional complications the Bard would have revelled in. Still, old Will had the right word for every situation, didn’t he?

Link: Amazon UK Amazon US

Bio and links: As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes.  Romances, mysteries, sometimes historical and occasionally hysterical. Rumours that she has written about weresloths are true.

Charlie’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People and International Thriller Writers Inc, and regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

You can reach Charlie at cochrane.charlie2@googlemail.com (maybe to sign up for her newsletter?) or catch her on Facebook, twitter, goodreads, her website or her blog.

 

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