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Posts Tagged ‘the bones of our fathers’

I don’t have a for certain cover or blurb yet but I’m delighted, and very anxious, to say that Midnight Flit, the sequel to Eleventh Hour, is due to be released on March 14th this year. This, of course, is assuming there are no meteorite strikes and that the editor doesn’t point out an enormous plot hole that demands a rewrite.

It is set in 1931, Miles and Briers have continued their relationship at long distance, which isn’t particularly satisfying for anyone, and their reunion is complicated by the presence of Miles’s mother and that she has come into possession of information that puts her life at risk. Full steam ahead to get back to London before the bad guys do her in! Millie is back too. I do enjoy writing Miles as Millie.

And while I wait to hear what needs to be done to Midnight Flit I am playing around with the 30k words I have so far of Close Shave, the sequel to The Bones of our Fathers.

This one is set a few months after the end of Bones and, while Mal and Rob are very much in it, follows the activities of a different character, Terry Skidmore the barber, his large and rather unruly family and the little gang of lads who meet on Fridays at the White Horse.

Writing Pemberland and its satellite villages is like going home. Relaxing and comfortable but oh so easy to be self indulgent!

But anyway, here’s a snippet from Close Shave, because I like sharing snippets:

Phil Rother’s plans to convert the gentle curtain twitching members of Pemberland’s Neighbourhood Watch Scheme into a legally armed fighting force was the talk of the White Horse on Friday evening. Terry settled in his usual seat with a pint and joined in the bitch fest with delight.
“While one has to admire the fighting spirit that manned the decks at Trafalgar and stood firm in the lines at Balaclava to further our abhorrent colonial practices all over the globe, there’s a time and a place for everything.” Rodney Merrick, ex-Major, RE, raised his g&t and took a sip. “Fighting crime is a young man’s game. Or at least a trained man’s game. When you get to my age, you must be aware of your limitations. Keeping my eyes open and having a cell phone to hand is about the limit of my usefulness.”
They all made the appropriate rubbishing noises and Rodney smoothed his pale pink cashmere sweater over his belly and gave them an approving nod.
“Not sure I want to be in the same county as Phil Rother with a taser,” Dai Beynon said.
“Hear hear!” Harry Farriner’s well-bred yelp caused Dai to eye him with suspicion. “What? I can agree with you, can’t I?” Tonight Harry was wearing pink too, was sporting the world’s curliest man bun and had big silver hoops in both ears. Dai was leaning away from him in case some of the fabulous transferred.
Rob Escley waved his pint glass to draw attention to its emptiness. “Phil’s always wanted to be Action Man. He’s got about the same amount going on in his pants too.”
“Oh, that’s harsh. None of us can help how we’re made.” Mal Bright got up, reaching for his wallet. “My round. Terry, Rodney? Leo, can I put another slice of lemon in your tonic?”
“No, this is fine, thank you.” Once Mal was at the bar Leo picked up his almost full glass and nodded to Rob. “I hope the security at the museum is good.”
“It is but Mal said Brian told him that all the robberies have been after cash, jewellry, phones — stuff you can sell down the pub, or booze and fags. One place they took a pack of chocolate digestives.”
“Kids then?” Terry scowled. “So even if we caught ’em there’d be nothing much that would happen to them.”
“If they are kids, you’re probably right.” Leo frowned. “Someone must know who they are. They’ll be caught out eventually.”
“Better we did and gave the little buggers a hiding,” Rob said, “than they get caught by the police and get a record and decide it’s not worth trying to go straight any more.” That was pretty much what had happened to Kevin, and Terry suspected that Rob blamed himself. Terry blamed other people far more. When you came right down to it, it was usually the parents’ fault.
“Even so,” Leo spoke softly but with authority, “being tased by some wannabe vigilante isn’t going to get anyone back on the straight and narrow.”
“Hear hear,” Rodney said.
“Swipe me.” Harry made big eyes. “Leo said “wannabe”. The man can be taught.”
“Who can?” Mal put a tray on the table and began to distribute the drinks.
“Leo said ‘wannabe’. Right context and everything. I’m so proud.”
“Stop teasing Leo.” Mal sat down again. “Are we still destroying Phil Rother’s reputation?”
“Yes,” Harry said. “He was giving your apprentice a hard time yesterday, Terry.”
“Adrian? What the fuck?”
“I think Adrian must have bumped into him or something and he was shouting at him. I had Grandpa with me and we “accidentally” walked between them. Phil couldn’t do anything without looking bad and it gave Adrian a chance to make a break for it. Talk about using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. And the things Phil was saying. Okay, Ade probably shouldn’t wear those skinny jeans with those legs. He looks like a croquet hoop. But all the same…”
“I saw that, but was on the other side of the street.” Mal scowled. “Rother is such a shit. Surely I heard Adrian’s got a girlfriend?”
“He has,” Terry said. “Nice little thing, lives over by the church. Name’s Sarah and she’s doing her A Levels. I’ll have a word with Ade and if necessary I’ll have a word with Phil. I kicked his arse when we were twenty and he knows I can still do it.”
“I’ll hold your coat,” Rob promised.
“And I’ll defend you in court,” Leo added, “when you’re arrested for assault.”

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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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This one is a bit edgy for me because it’s my first proper try at a contemporary story so I tried to write something I knew about – life in a small town – with a profession I knew a bit about – working in a small cash-strapped museum.

It was sheer self indulgence to make the love interest a heavy plant operator because I do love the big machines. In the archaeological world those huge scary things can be used with considerable finesse. They are also appealing on their own account – all that power!

It’s also an edgy release day because the book is supposed to be the first of a series set in the fictional town of Pemberland which, if it existed, would be just off the A465 and alongside the River Monnow about where Ewyas Harold is now.

So, a big new project that’ll keep me going for a good few years, I should think. Book 2, Close Shave, is about half written!


Available today from Manifold Press

THE BONES OF OUR FATHERS

Blurb:

“The bones of our fathers cannot lie.”

Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.

Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?

Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.

Buy Links:

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073JM29TD/
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073JM29TD/
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-bones-of-our-fathers
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/733184

I’m off to my compulsory Welsh class shortly – aka dosbarth Cymraeg gorfodol – but first I’m going to allow myself a bit of a squee. The Bones of Our Fathers [contemp m/m] is finally finished bar the annoying whizz through to insert missing commas and work out why Scrivener has exported it with all my italics as underscores instead. It’s a shade under 80k words and will probably be 80k when I’ve looked it over and added the inevitable “OMG they never mentioned that again” bits.

And because that is nearly done, I thought I’d mention some of the other things in the pipeline.

Calon Lan – only with the proper little ^ over the A – is with Manifold Press and will be published later this year. I think maybe August 1st but making no promises. This is the historical Great War m/m story told from the point of view of the sister of one of the protagonists.

Manifold Press has a call out for submissions for a WW2 themed anthology called Call to Arms. I’ve got a story almost ready to go to submission for that.

I’m a couple of thousand words into Eleventh Hour #2 – I’ve missed Miles and Briers – but I still have no title. I sort of fancy Midnight Departure because that happens. I think it will be shorter than EH#1 but who knows.

Close Shave – sequel to Bones is around 35k words and I have bits and pieces and plans and plots for at least 4 more books and a couple of short stories.

A Fierce Reaping [hist m/m set in post-Roman Britannia] is still at 65k words and needs 30k of those editing out and another 70k adding to tell the whole thing. Not sure what to do with that one. I’ve also got plots and plans and resources for The Hounds of the North [hist m/m 1st century Rome and Britannia] and The Shepherd’s Hut [hist m/m WW2 set near Eastbourne].

Now I just need to get my head down and write.

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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?

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Squeee

I’m so excited *chair dances* and I just can’t hide it!

This month I have written more than in the past 2 years put together. Now I just need to consistently do a bit each day.

Anyhow – excerpt – this is the bit where I hit 50k:

Mal looked at Gary’s collarbones, which were level with his eyes, and tried to get his head round the idea that this immense, intimidating, inarticulate and very straight man was trying to facilitate his gay best friend’s love life. It was one of the sweetest things he’d ever seen.

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Almost there

I’m feeling quietly chuffed. 48534 words for Nanowrimo!

I never thought I’d manage that. The story is almost finished too in the sense that I’ve got it’s skeleton laid out, I just need to add some muscle and connective tissue and some glandular oomph – all the usual stuff including the bits where I’ve typed [add sex scene here].

Anyhow, here’s an excerpt. Everyone else has had the flu, now it’s Mal’s turn:

Twenty minutes later he was regretting ever moaning about wanting his Mum. Betty was no substitute for the soft handed angel of his daydreams. Brusquely she reorganised his room, opening the window to let an excruciating blast of cold air waft through the place because, she said, “smells like something died in here”, plumping pillows with sharp angry punches and banging a bottle of Lucozade down on his beside table with enough force to make it impossible to open unless he wanted his ceiling to be dripping.
“Um, Betty, it’s not that I don’t appreciate you coming but you don’t seem to be very happy.”
“Of course I’m not happy.” Betty put her hands on her hips and glared at him. “First off you went to Sharon to whine about being ill. Just because she’s all cuddly and mumsy and shit doesn’t mean that I’m not perfectly capable of giving you comfort, capische? Secondly, I’ve had to rush over here in my lunch hour in the rain because Elspeth is giving us both a hard time and Sharon doesn’t really want to be left on her own in the museum with her. Fuck sake, she’s a grown up, she could just tell Elspeth to piss off like I do but no she’s scared of losing her job and doesn’t seem to think that you’ve got our backs even when lolling there on your bed of pain, which I think you have really in your own wussy way, and – and – where was I? Yeah thirdly what have you done to Rob you wanker?”
“What do you mean, what have I done to Rob?” Mal had been expecting Rob to be mentioned but had assumed something a bit more specific. “I haven’t done anything to Rob. I haven’t seen him?”
“You haven’t?” Betty’s eyebrows rose. “Uhuh, so why did he tell me you and he were going out Monday night, and why has he had a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp ever since while you’ve been wandering around in a daze snapping left right and centre. And now, boo hoo, you’ve taken to your bed.”
“I’m fucking ill.” Mal hadn’t meant for his voice to rise but it did and his voice caught and he dissolved in a bout of painful coughing. Betty reached for the still too lively Lucozade, swore and fetched him a glass of water instead.
“There you go, though I don’t know why I bother. You were the best thing that’s happened to Rob, you know. Jeez, he’s had some rough years but … well, I guess it might be for the best.”
“Shall we agree not to interfere in each other’s love lives?” Mal suggested once he could speak again. “Otherwise I could make some comments about how friendly you seem to be getting with Gary.”
“Hey, lay off Gary,” Betty raised a warning finger. “Gary might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, though I reckon he might surprise us all yet, but he is good at one particular thing and that’s making me happy. Who do you make happy, Mal? Give that some thought, all right. Shit is that the time?”

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