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The summer holidays have thankfully come to an end, edits on the Trowchester books can only last so long, and that leaves me with the rest of the year to write something new. So, what should it be?

I’m currently writing a fantasy about three sets of people from diverse cultures who get stranded together on a floating island due to shipwreck/the death of the gods. That’s slow going as I gradually work out the world building, but very entertaining. But after that, I have a choice of:

1. Another 3 Trowchester books – small British city contemporaries featuring the occasional murder and a bit of morris dancing.

2. A follow up of The Reluctant Berserker where Brid the slave gets a story of his own. (For which I need to do some research on Celtic Britain in the 6th Century.)

3. Kind of tempted to do a sort of action/adventury jewel thief m/f romance with an option of turning it m/m/f later on.

4. A follow up to The Wages of Sin.

5. A follow up to The Crimson Outlaw.

6. Something else of your suggestion?

I’d welcome anyone’s advice, as I really don’t have a preference at all.

~

I keep thinking I ought to leave Tumblr because it’s such a time sink, but I find so many interesting things there. For example, this post about a multi-racial casting for founders of the Hogwarts houses

http://themarysue.tumblr.com/post/97309699977/supernatasha-part-ofthecult-hogwarts

particularly the erudite response of supernatasha to the claim that everyone was white in Europe during the middle-ages. I feel sure this is going to be of particular relevance to me once Blue Eyed Stranger comes out and people discover that one of my main characters is a black Viking reenactor. As a matter of fact, the knowledge that people of colour have probably always been in Britain is a fact that Martin himself is passionate about passing on to his own pupils. It’s nice for me not to have had to assemble the research on that myself. I can just refer anyone who objects to go to the excellent Medieval POC.

~

And since I appear to be doing a bit of a tombola – pick three tickets at random and see what you get – kind of blog post, I’m going to end with something that made me happy this week:

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I just wish I could buy it somewhere!


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

Men are human too.

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As a writer of m/m romance I’m always a bit taken aback and amused when I see blog posts about “how to write male characters,” as though it was something you had to approach in the same way as you’d approach “how to write Regency street-urchins” or “how to write convincing aliens.”

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I always read the blog posts with enormous interest, but in my limited experience, they’ve mostly consisted of a rundown of cliches about what men are like (apparently they all watch sports, prefer beer to wine and don’t wash their socks,) that vaguely offend me in the same way that stereotypes about women offend me.

In my lifetime’s experience of men, no two of them have been alike. Most of them have liked beer, but that could be because I like beer and it tends to be something all my friends have in common, the women too. Even so, I know some male wine snobs, and some men who are sports-hating domestic gods, and can whip up a fine meal in the time it takes them to wash and iron their socks.

So what do I do, to create convincing male characters? Well, I look at the one human being about whom I have inside information – the one person who, to a certain extent at least, I understand in depth. That is, of course, me. Then I gift my character with a selection of traits that I either have, or can imagine having. I put the character in situations that I have never had to face, under pressures that I have never had to face, and I imagine how I would react, if I was them in their circumstances.

Of course, those circumstances involve being male, and that means that society shapes the way their traits manifest in a different way from the way I experience things. John Cavendish from False Colors has my temper, for example, and in writing him I do need to take into account the fact that society treats men’s anger and women’s anger differently. In men it’s expected, even respected, in women it’s unexpected, and is treated with suspicion, as irrational and hysterical. So, (in general) a male character can afford to express his anger outwardly, whereas a female one can’t, if she hopes to be taken seriously. Conversely, (in general) no matter how upset he is, a modern male character can’t break down in tears and expect not to be mocked, whereas a female character can.

It’s much easier to figure out what society expects from each gender and how that determines the way a common human trait plays out, than it is to write male characters as though they were not quite as fully human as the writer.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

Happy New Year!

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I should make some resolutions, shouldn’t I? How about these -

Get back to my target weight.

(While I was ill, my digestive system went freaky, so I could gain or lose half a stone in a week without any changes of diet. I had absolutely no control over it, and after a couple of months of angsting about it I abandoned attempts to establish control as futile. Now that I am no longer anemic, due to the wonders of intravenously administered iron, it’s time to get back into the driving seat there.)

Walk or dance every week day

(I haven’t been able to get off the sofa for 6 months. I badly need to get reasonably fit again.)

Practice my whistle playing every week day

It’s amazing how fast you can lose all the tunes you know if you don’t practice them, and I have a massive book of morris tunes to learn and memorise. That’s not going to happen without some dedication.

Write at least 250,000 words of new fiction this year. Preferably 300,000.

(I wrote 260,000 words last year. Now that I’m no longer ill, I can surely add another 40,000.)

This one has sub-goals and a certain amount of vagueness attached, because you never know exactly how the muse will strike:

Finish editing Blue Eyed Stranger and Trowchester Blues before April.

Write third book in Trowchester series.

Find a publisher for The Glass Floor or publish it myself.

Write a new Fantasy.

Write that murder-mystery I’ve always wanted to try.

Edit and polish all these new things!

Try some short stories?

That’s it for new year’s resolutions. They’re more a case of setting goals which I know I can achieve. I will also not be too upset if I only walk or whistle 3 times a week – as long as I don’t end up not doing it at all.

People say that you don’t achieve your resolutions, but my feeling is that in that case you just set them too high. It’s useful to give yourself something to do that you know you can do. But even if you don’t fully achieve them, if you’ve tried to, you’ve probably achieved a lot more than you would have done had you not decided to aim for anything at all.

“Do or do not, there is no try,” is – excuse me George Lucas – bollocks. Everything that you achieve is achieved by trying and almost doing it, and then trying again and getting a little closer, and then trying again and doing it – fairly badly, and then trying again and doing it slightly less badly. Etc.

Edge up to your successes gently so that neither you nor they get startled and scared away.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

Too Many Fairy Princes – release day

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Too Many Fairy Princes is out today! I would be more enthusiastic about this if I was not (a) anaemic and (b) still sedated after yesterday (literally, I’m not yet legal to drive a car as it hasn’t worked its way out of my system yet.) So I’m afraid I cannot manage anything terribly upbeat. I’ll have to content myself by saying that I will give away a free copy to the first five people who comment, if you will promise to review it on Amazon. Like it, hate it, I don’t mind, but I’d really be grateful if you would tell people  about it, because I am just … I just can’t, at the moment. Sorry.

Too Many Fairy Princes

 

Happily ever after doesn’t always come quietly. Sometimes it puts up a fight.

Kjartan’s family is royally dysfunctional. He’d prefer to ignore the lot of them, but can’t since his father has set him and his brothers on a quest to win a throne Kjartan doesn’t even want. Worse, his younger brother resorts to murder and forces Kjartan to teleport—without looking where he’s going.

Art gallery worker Joel Wilson’s day has gone from hopeless, to hopeful, then straight to hell. One minute he’s sure his boss has found a way to save the floundering business, the next he’s scrambling to sell everything to pay off a loan shark. If anyone needs a fairy godmother right now, it’s Joel. What he gets is a fugitive elven prince in a trash bin.

They’ll both have to make the best of it, because fairy tales run roughshod over reluctant heroes. Particularly when there aren’t enough happy endings to go around.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

Saturday Snippet

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Here’s a quick snippet from The Crimson Outlaw in which Vali’s reaction to being captured by bandits is not 100% appropriate:

Potentially triggery sexual threat situation, for those who are not quite as thoughtlessly invulnerable as Vali.

~*~*~*~

18th Century Romania

His hand went to his sword just as a man’s long arm snaked out of the darkness behind him, pinned his forearm in place and drew him back against a hard, unyielding chest. The man’s other hand gently touched the long glint of a hunting knife against his throat. And though it pressed in hardly at all, the edge was so sharp a warm trickle made its way down Vali’s neck and pooled in his collar. He froze.

He couldn’t see his attacker, but he could feel the man was much bigger, much stronger than him. Broad chest, big arms, the smell of woodsmoke and sheepskin. If he struggled, he might open his own throat on that razor of a weapon. And what a stupid way to die, at the hands of some common bandit not ten miles away from home.

“That’s it.” The deep voice, more than a handspan above his head, coaxed him as gently as he would have coaxed his horse. “Don’t you struggle or start, and this will go easier for you. I’ve no mind to kill you, unless you make it needful for me.”

“I have no money.” Vali’s chest was heaving, his body still readying itself to fight, his mind trying to clear away the haze of shock and panic, looking out for its opportunity. He allowed himself to be dragged backwards, away from the path, into the utter dark of the moonless wood.

A chuckle, hoarse but good-humoured. “Well, so they often say.” The voice sounded conversational. The body belied it, moving in a rush like the charge of a bear, seizing him by the belt, spinning them both and slamming Vali’s back into the trunk of a tree. “I’m sure you won’t mind if I check for myself.”

The bandit was now directly in front of Vali, flush with Vali from knees to chest, holding him in place with the weight of his great body. The knife remained at Vali’s throat. The man’s coat swung forwards and enfolded Vali on both sides as the bandit’s free hand moved methodically over him, cataloguing what he found.

“Silk waistcoat lined with fur. Stiff embroidery—must be silver or gold thread—and little stones in it. Metal plaques on your belt and, oh, there’s a nice sword. Get your hand off that, there’s my good boy.”

The voice had slipped into a kind of bedroom murmur—pleased, confidential, intimate—and the experience of being groped all over should not perhaps have been so . . . But it was. The knife at his throat and the pressure from balls to lungs of a powerful, demanding warm body thoroughly dominating him stirred something deep in his bowels. Lust added itself to terror in his panting breaths, and he despised himself and the bandit indiscriminately.

But he still didn’t dare buck up against that blade.

“You’re a little lordling of some kind, but where’s your retinue, eh?” Wind moved the branches, and for a moment, a shaft of light reflected gold from the backs of the eyes that looked down on him. All he could see—two round spots of gold in a dark mass that smelled of hot, vivid, animal sweat. “Run off to find your fortune? Daddy won’t increase your allowance? Nobody loves you enough?

“Let’s see. I could strip these clothes off you and take your horse and leave you wandering these haunted woods alone. Something’d eat you, cover your tracks, no one’d ever know where you’d gone.” That exploratory hand returned, less brusque and businesslike than before. It pushed up the long skirts of Vali’s waistcoat and stroked possessively up his inner thigh. “But what a waste.”

“Ah!” said Vali, gritting his teeth. It didn’t sound as much like a protest as he wanted it to. The mockery stung. He barely stopped himself from writhing—away, towards, he wasn’t sure—and slicing his own neck on the still steady knife. That deadly edge filled his thoughts, commanded his movements. Not entirely unpleasantly, for all he wanted to shove the man’s words down his throat and make him choke on them.

The bandit laughed again and drew a length of cord from the inner pocket of his coat. Vali felt the end of it slither over his fingers. “So let’s suit both of our needs and test how much your family values you, shall we? You’ll make a lovely hostage.”

 


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

Tumblr Tuesday

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Just to prove I am active on the internet somewhere, here is a round up of a few of the interesting things I’ve found on Tumblr this week:

Quiltbag issues

Transgender teen’s survival guide

Trans* Titles for Young Adults

Christians for Gay Marriage Launch “Not All Like That” campaign.

“Queerbaiting” on TV (When subtext ought to have the guts to be text.)

Links relevant to The Glass Floor and its sequels

The 6 Most Mismatched Battles Ever Ottoman heavy artillery, with the emphasis on heavy.

Maps of Atlantis (according to Plato’s account of the city.)

Christian tattoing in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Animals

Camel Art!

Strolling octopus

Art

The art of Christophe Vacher

Illuminated manuscript of the Thranduil parts of The Hobbit

Humour

Days without incident

The Goddess Demeter

Fannishness

Genderswapped Avengers (really brings it home how outnumbered Black Widow is!)

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New Thor: The Dark World posters, in which Loki is actually starting to look like his comic-book self. It’s an attitude thing, I think. He was too naive and innocent in the first film, too unhinged and evil in the second, but now he looks like he’s beginning to settle down somewhere subtle and devious in the middle. Much better!


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

Guest Post by Shira Glassman

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Today I’m handing over to Shira Glassman who I ‘met’ through Tumblr, where she runs one of the most interesting blogs on there, and helps me to remember how important it is to make sure there are always interesting women in my stories. When you’re writing m/m it’s sometimes easy to forget the girls.

Shira’s debut novel came out two days ago and sounds like a fantastic story for anyone looking for fantasy that concentrates on some of the other letters of the quiltbag – or indeed for anyone looking for fantasy, full stop. So without any further chat from me, here we go…

Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she’s also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she’s the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody think she’s faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately.

 

Unfortunately for her, Rivka is straight, but that’s okay — Shulamit needs a surrogate big sister just as much as she needs a girlfriend. Especially if the warrior’s willing to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other women who might be open to same-sex romance. The real world outside the palace is full of adventure, however, and the search for a royal girlfriend quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer.

rivka and sword-isolated

One of my main points of inspiration for this novel was the often-used trope character of the straight, cisgender woman dressed in men’s clothing to further her career in a male-dominated profession. Plenty of women have felt the need to do this throughout history, but they weren’t all straight as arrows the way they are in fiction. If there is a romance with another woman at all in these fairytales it’s a heterosexual one that falls apart when the other woman realizes what she’s got there is a sham man. As a young bisexual woman, I always wondered about those other women. What if one of them had been gay or bisexual herself? I wanted to see what it would look like if the fairy-tale trope of the female soldier posing as a man to boost her warrior credibility came face to face with a real live lesbian, for once, instead of just an adoring straight damsel.

 

I also wanted to give voice to the idea that it’s not just “rescuing yourself” that could flavor fairy tales with feminism, because sometimes everyone needs a little rescuing, but also rescuing each other. That, at the heart, is one of the most moving definitions of friendship.

 

The Second Mango is about two very different women, each alone in their own way, who come together during a search for love, family, and strength. It’s set against a backdrop of tropical beauty and Jewish culture, and contains all the elements of a good fantasy — swordfighting, a dragon, magic potions, wizards, curses, and adventure. As a side note, I’m also really pleased with the fact that the male half of the hetero couple — Rivka’s love interest — is a figure I never get to read about in a romantic context–a beefy older hunk with a goatee, if that’s anyone’s poison.

 

I’d be happy to answer any questions about it, or you can just read an excerpt on the publisher’s website. I hope you’re intrigued, and can join in me “in a lush tropical land of agricultural riches and shining white buildings…”

 

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You can find more about Shira and her Mangoverse (there are sequels underway :) ) on her tumblror her website and you can buy the books from the publisher, Prizm here, or from Amazon here.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

I really mean it this time

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So, the Riptide website says The Crimson Outlaw is on pre-sale, whatever that means. But in practice if you buy it now you will be able to download it immediately, plus you’ll get 20% off. Offer only valid until midnight tonight (Sunday.) So if you do want it, and you’d like 20% off, this might be the time to get it :)

Apologies for me jumping the gun earlier when it turned out only to be available for reviewers and not general readers.

TheCrimsonOutlaw_400x600

 

If anyone’s curious, I decided that the exact shade of crimson I was talking about was Harvard Crimson and not any of the many pinker options it turns out also fall under the ‘crimson’ label :)


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

Aubrey UFO

Today I’m handing over to Julian Griffith, my fellow age of sail fan, so that she can talk about her new novel Love Continuance and Increasing, which I have just downloaded onto my ereader because it sounds fabulous. And isn’t that cover amazing?

We have a giveaway to give away :) If you comment on this post (wherever it appears) you’ll be entered into the hat to win a digital copy of Love Continuance and Increasing in their preferred format (Mobi, ePub, PDF, or LIT).  That will run through the 11th, so it’ll end 11:59 pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, August 11th. That way, everyone has the entire weekend to enter. Comment with your email address so we can get back to you if you win! Anyway, enough from me and over to Julian.

Hi, Alex, and thanks for having me on your blog! It’s so exciting for me to be here, since I’ve been a fan of yours for quite a while, and you encouraged me when I was still unpublished. And now I’m here with my first novel, Love Continuance and Increasing, which is a historical M/M/F ménage romance set in England during the Napoleonic Wars. And it’s that M/M/F aspect, and especially the role that my heroine, Caroline, plays in the story, that I want to talk about today.

Love_continuance_and_increasing_BS

There are a lot of M/M romances set in the Age of Sail, but not very many M/M/F ones that I’ve seen. It’s all too common for female characters in M/M romance to serve the purpose of being an obstacle to the men’s happiness together, rather than having a story of their own.

I could have written that plot easily enough. Caroline is an obstacle for Lieutenant Thorne and Lord Rockingham’s relationship, or at least the idea of her is. Rockingham, who’s an army major as well as a viscount, isn’t married when he and Thorne meet. But just days after the start of their affair, Thorne gets to hear Rockingham’s grandmother badger him to find a girl to marry, as he’s not getting any younger and the cousin next in line for the estate is a ne’er-do-well. Once they’re alone, they talk about it frankly—one of the things I can’t stand in romance is the sort of problem that would be cleared up if the characters would only talk to each other for five minutes—and Rockingham makes it clear that it’s not a dislike of women that’s kept him unmarried, but the hope that someday he’ll find a woman who likes him at least as much as she likes his title. He even asks if Thorne would still be his lover if he found himself in a loveless marriage, but Thorne’s a man of strict principles, and he tells Rockingham no. So it’s right there from the start: Rockingham has to marry, and when he does, their love affair will have to end.

Naturally, Rockingham does marry, and this is where, if the story were like so many others, the woman would turn out to be a harpy so that Thorne would take pity on Rockingham. Perhaps she would cheat on her marriage so that turnabout would seem “fair” or possibly so that Rockingham would divorce her. Another typical outcome would have her die in childbirth (delivering a healthy son, of course, so that Rockingham wouldn’t have to marry again). One way or another, she would somehow get shuffled out of the plot so that the men could be together.

I didn’t want to write that story. I wanted to write one where Rockingham’s wife was just as deserving of love and loyalty as Thorne was, and find a way where the men’s happiness didn’t come at the woman’s expense. That’s how Caroline came to be.

Caroline has the advantage of being exactly the sort of girl that Rockingham ought to marry. She’s the granddaughter of a baronet, so her birth is sufficiently respectable; she’s no great heiress, but she’s not penniless, either. She’s been brought up all her life to run a household well and to have the proper ladylike accomplishments and graceful manners to be a good hostess. And, of course, Caroline’s young enough to have plenty of years to provide Rockingham with a son—she’s just out in society, only eighteen to Rockingham’s thirty-five.

But there’s more than that to her. For one thing, Caroline’s aware of the world around her beyond fashion and gossip—she knows that the 43rd is at Shorncliffe to do more than provide a supply of officers to dance with the local girls, and she asks intelligent questions about military matters. For another, she has courage—she loves to ride, and she really does throw her heart over the fences, even in a sidesaddle. What’s more, she’s lighthearted and merry. She laughs easily, and she makes Rockingham laugh. And she genuinely seems to like him. In short, Caroline’s exactly the girl Rockingham was looking for. I worked hard to make her appealing enough that readers would believe that Rockingham cared for her, even though it meant the end of his romantic relationship with Thorne, and that they would care for her, and about her, as well.

Then there was the challenge of showing how Thorne fell in love with Caroline over the space of only a couple of days. It actually helped that he started out expecting to resent her because then, when she was kind and gracious to him, he was thrown off balance. Caroline’s looks didn’t hurt, either; Thorne’s first sight of her was as she came into the drawing room before dinner, in an elegant gown and with pearls threaded through her hair. Thorne spent most of his life at sea, and he just wasn’t used to women like that; she was so far out of his experience that she seemed like a creature out of Fairyland, not part of the real world. And, at dinner, when Thorne describes his part in the action at Trafalgar, Caroline’s grandfather, Sir Ralph, makes a comment that shows so little understanding of the principles of war that it borders on offensive. Caroline immediately jumps in to correct him, and from that moment, Thorne is smitten.

It was easier to show how Caroline fell in love with Thorne. She was still just shy of twenty, and even though she was married and a mother, that wasn’t enough for most men, who subscribed to the common notion of women as lacking in intellect, to treat her seriously. Thorne did. That, combined with the intensity of his attention to her, was enough.

This is the point where a story would usually play the situation as a love triangle, with Caroline faced with an impossible choice between two good men, and the prospect of betrayal and misery until one or the other of the men showed himself unworthy, and the final couple then goes off into what we’re told will be a happily-ever-after.

I didn’t want to write that story either. Frankly, I’ve never been able to believe in the happy ending in a situation like that; it’s always seemed more likely that it will end up like Arthur and Guinevere and Lancelot, with nobody happy. And yet, that story always bothered me, too. Why should Guinevere have to choose? Why should two men, the closest and dearest of friends, let that bond be broken because they both love the same woman? Why shouldn’t they all be able to love each other, happily ever after?

Since this was my story, I decided that they could. And so Caroline, instead of being an obstacle, became the character who linked the men back together in a way that would have been impossible for the two of them alone.

The excerpt below is from that fateful dinner party. As I’ve already described its importance, I thought you might enjoy seeing how it played out. Thanks for having me here, Alex! I hope everyone will take a look at Love Continuance and Increasing, which is now available from Storm Moon Press in ebook and print!

***

Thorne could not have said, later, what had been served at dinner, though he knew it had been lavish; for all the attention he paid it, it might just as well have been ship’s biscuit and dried peas. He found himself sitting directly across the table from Marcus, with Rockingham’s mother at his right and Mrs.-Filmer-the-aunt at his left, and only Lord Brackley between her and Lady Rockingham, who sat at the head of the table as hostess. She was so poised as to make the conversation seem effortless. At first, she engaged her sister-in-law on a discussion of her children, and brought her aunt and mother-in-law in to contribute their wisdom, all in such a way that Mrs. Pennington never once took offence; but it was later, when she was encouraging Lord Brackley and her grandfather to attend to what details he and Marcus could give of the recent battle, that she earned his undying admiration. She asked such questions as to give shape to what, in truth, had been hours of sheer chaos, and Marcus was describing how the Percy had come to the assistance of the Prince, to rescue the French seamen who had leapt from the burning Achille, and he was contributing a word or two on how the boats had barely avoided destruction when the Achille‘s still-loaded guns had exploded in the heat, when Sir Ralph said something that silenced them both.

“Nearly destroyed, you say? You’d have done better to leave the Frogs in the water, and let ‘em boil or drown.”

Lord Brackley raised his glass to him. “Well said, sir.”

Marcus just sat there, plainly shocked. Thorne could never understand how such a bold commander could be such an innocent by land, but there it was; he was amazed that anyone could suggest such a thing. He’d long since given up himself on expecting landsmen, especially civilians, to have any sense of conduct in battle, but he couldn’t think of how to answer without giving offence to a marquess and a baronet, both his seniors in age as well as rank. Lady Rockingham, though, had no such fear.

“Grandpapa, for shame!” she said. “Captain Birtwhistle told us of how the Achille caught fire, and how her men were abandoning ship. That is very nearly a surrender, is it not, Captain?”

Marcus swallowed. “Yes, my lady, you might put it that way.” Thorne wasn’t so sure, but after the Defiance and the Dreadnought had shot away most of the Achille‘s rigging, though they had a flag, they might not have possessed the means to lower it, and by the time she caught fire, their quarterdeck had been so pounded that she probably hadn’t an officer left who could surrender, so it was a moot point.

“And it is dishonourable in the extreme to continue fighting after a surrender. Any men left alive then are properly prisoners. Why should it matter whether they are on their deck or in the sea?”

“Well, when you put it that way, my dear…” her grandfather said.

Lord Brackley coughed. “I had not understood it entirely, my lady. I beg your pardon for my earlier remark.”

“I am not offended, my lord,” Lady Rockingham said. “I am sure you had no intention of suggesting that Captain Birtwhistle or Lieutenant Thorne would ever conduct themselves in a dishonourable fashion. A misapprehension, that is all.” She gave him a disarming smile. “May I offer you some more of this orange cream?”

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Lieutenant William Thorne, of His Majesty’s Navy, is a man of humble origins. He knows that his affair with Major Anthony Rockingham of the 43rd Infantry can’t last forever, not only because the war against Napoleon has sent him on blockade duty in the English Channel while the major’s regiment trained ashore, but because Rockingham is a viscount, and viscounts must marry. When Rockingham’s letter reaches him, saying that he’d chosen Miss Caroline Filmer as his bride, it is no more than Thorne had expected.

What he does not expect, when he returns home after the Battle of Trafalgar, is to find an invitation to the christening of Rockingham’s son. He does not expect, when he meets the young viscountess, that he would fall instantly and passionately in love with her. And he certainly does not expect that Caroline would fall just as desperately in love with him. Thorne is sure that their feelings for each other can only lead to disaster, even more so as his love for Rockingham has never gone away. While the war with France continues, Thorne finds himself fighting a war within his own heart.

Love Continuance and Increasing by Julian Griffith – Now Available from Storm Moon Press for $6.99 (ebook) or $13.99 (paperback)

The Crimson Outlaw is out now!

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Woohoo! It feels like a long time since I’ve had a new release, due to my unfortunate habit of bunching things up and leaving big gaps between the bunches. And typically I’m going on holiday tomorrow so I won’t be around to promote it for a week, but never mind, I can do that a bit when I get back.

This is my first book with a cover drawn by an artist. I asked for something with a fairy-tale theme because Romania was such a fairy-tale country (full of witches and wolves) during the time when this was set, and I think the artist has done beautifully. Despite that slightly fairy tale feel, this is a historical not a fantasy.

So with no more ado, I announce the arrival of

TheCrimsonOutlaw_400x600

Love is the greatest outlaw of all.

Vali, heir to a powerful local boyar, flees his father’s cruelty to seek his fortune in the untamed Carpathian forests. There he expects to fight ferocious bandits and woo fair maidens to prove himself worthy of returning to depose his tyrannical father. But when he is ambushed by Mihai Roscat, the fearsome Crimson Outlaw, he discovers that he’s surprisingly happy to be captured and debauched instead.

Mihai, once an honoured knight, has long sought revenge against Vali’s father, Wadim, who killed his lord and forced him into a life of banditry. Expecting his hostage to be a resentful, spoiled brat, Mihai is unprepared for the boy to switch loyalties, saving the lives of villagers and of Mihai himself during one of Wadim’s raids. Mihai is equally unprepared for the attraction between them to deepen into love.

Vali soon learns that life outside the castle is not the fairy tale he thought, and happy endings must be earned. To free themselves and their people from Wadim’s oppression, Vali and Mihai must forge their love into the spear-point of a revolution and fight for a better world for all.

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/crimson-outlaw

With a short excerpt here


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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