View Full Version : Read it, write it, love it, GLBTQ fiction (with a European Twist)

May 11th, 2012, 03:48 PM
Some of the nicest writers of GLBTQ fiction you could care to meet (and I know that, because I've met them!) will be dropping in 12th to 14th May. There'll be laughs, there'll be excerpts, there'll be prizes. Do pop back and join us!

Clare London
May 12th, 2012, 05:16 AM
Good morning everyone, Clare London here, part of the team that's looking forward to making the UK Meet in Sept a great success this year! And the fun starts here this weekend, where we've invited GLBTQ authors to come and share their fiction with us all :)

I'm off to have my coffee and Frosties (other cereals are available *g*) and I'll be posting excerpt and contest links later.

WATCH OUT for the chance to win a copy of last year's UK Meet souvenir anthology TEA AND CRUMPET - signed by the authors!

May 12th, 2012, 06:06 AM
Hello, I'm Anne - I'm just seeing if this works as the system lost my entire first post, yikes!

May 12th, 2012, 06:14 AM
Ooh I'm in so hoping I can hang on somehow! :) Hello, everyone, I'm Anne, and I'm really looking forward to the UK Meet in September - can't wait to be there.

At the moment I'm on a blog tour for my latest m/m book, Where You Hurt The Most (http://www.gayreads.co.uk/short-stories/2012/where-you-hurt-the-most.html). Do feel free to join in on any of the stops (http://www.riptidepublishing.com/events/tours/2012-rentboy-collection-where-you-hurt-most) and there are prizes to give away too.

Here's the blurb:

Adrian is more than happy as high-class escort for a number of regular clients. When his boss and dear friend asks him to entertain his nephew, Adrian readily agrees, but meeting Dan challenges him in ways he'd never imagined. Dan is scarred inside and out from an accident that destroyed a promising future. Despite Adrian's loveless lifestyle and Dan's withdrawal and anger, the two men forge a deep - if unnerving - connection. Soon they find themselves questioning the choices they've made and the futures they've mapped out for themselves.
Yet even bright young men like Adrian and Dan fear the unknown and take comfort in the familiar. Neither may be strong enough to step away from the life they know and toward the one they dare not hope for. But while it's true that love can't heal all wounds, it is the surest balm for where you hurt the most.

Happy Saturday to you all!

Anne Brooke (http://annebrooke.com)
Gay Reads UK (http://www.gayreads.co.uk)

May 12th, 2012, 06:20 AM
Some of the nicest writers of GLBTQ fiction you could care to meet (and I know that, because I've met them!) will be dropping in 12th to 14th May. There'll be laughs, there'll be excerpts, there'll be prizes. Do pop back and join us!

Hi Charlie! I hope I'm in the right place for this. There's something about forums (fora?) that I just can't get my head around. So if I'm not, I apologise in advance.

What to say? I'm not sure. Maybe I should just post an excerpt of my latest book and settle for that?

May 12th, 2012, 06:56 AM
Chapter One
Ben bolted out of sleep, halfway to his feet before he realised he was awake. What was that noise! Something was wrong—he could feel it pressing under his breastbone. He thought he’d dreamed of a subterranean groan, felt again the rush of sticky re-breathed air and then the smoke. God! The smoke, pouring through the shattered windows of the train…
But this was his bedroom. Look, there—the alarm clock cast a faint green light on the claret duvet and gold silk coverlet, familiar as closed velvet curtains and his suit trousers hanging on the back of the bathroom door. 3:14 a.m.
His breathing calmed slowly. Was that what had woken him? Just another flashback? Or could there be an intruder downstairs?
Tiptoeing to the wardrobe, he eased open the mirrored door, slipped on his dressing gown and belted it, picking up the cricket bat that nestled among his shoes. The closing door showed him his determined scowl—not very convincing on a face that looked as nervous and skinny as a whippet’s. Licking his lips, weapon raised, he seized the handle of his bedroom door, eased it down.
And the sound came again. All the doors in the house fluttered against their frames, the ground beneath him groaned, tiles on the roof above shifting with a ceramic clatter. A crash in the bathroom as the toothbrush holder fell into the sink. He jumped, crying out in revulsion when the floor shuddered and the carpet rippled beneath his bare feet as if stuffed with snakes.
Earthquake! An earthquake in Bakewell? Home of well dressing and famous for pudding? The sheer ludicrousness of the idea flashed through his mind even as he raced down the stairs. You… What did you do in an earthquake? Stand under a door lintel, wasn’t it?
As he reached the living room, it happened again. He clutched at the back of the sofa while the entire house raised itself into the air and fell jarringly down with an impact that threw him against the wall. Bricks moving beneath his fingers, he pulled himself along the still-drying wallpaper into the hall, flung open the front door.
There was blackness outside—the streetlamps all guttered out—and silence, a silence so profound that the pressure began again inside his throat. It was so much like being buried underground. As he strained his ears for something friendly—a barking dog, a car alarm—a wind drove up from the Wye, filling his ears with whispering.
No stars shone above. But in the neighbour’s windows, he could see something silver reflected, something that moved with liquid grace.
No way!
The curve of a horse’s neck traced in quicksilver reflected in a driving mirror. A stamping hoof—drawn out of lines of living frost and spider web—splashed in a puddle. Drops spattered cold over his bare ankles.
Coming up from the river, across the bridge, up the sleeping suburban street they rode, knights and ladies. Glimmering, insubstantial shreds of banners floated above them like icy mist. Harps in their hands, hawks on their fists, and now he could hear the music; it was faint, far away, wrong as the feeling that had driven him out of bed. Alien and beautiful as the moons of Saturn.
“No way!”
He clapped both hands over his mouth, but it was too late. The words were out, full of blood and earth and inappropriate, human coarseness. Their heads turned. He caught a glimpse of armour, shadows and silver, as one of the knights reined in his horse, glided close, bending down.
The creature smelled of cool night air. Its inky gaze raked over Ben from head to toe, like being gently stroked with the leaves of nettles, a million tiny electric shocks. His skin crawled with the prickle of it, ecstatic and unbearable, and he gasped, held on the point of a pin between violent denial and begging it to do more.
Long platinum hair slid forward over a face drawn in strokes of starlight. “Which eye do you see me with?”
“I…” croaked Ben, his mouth desiccated, his lungs labouring. “What? I…”
Something in the garden—something huge, covered in spikes, lifted up the house, foundations and all, and shook it like a child’s toy.
Terror goaded him into action. Lurching back into the hall, Ben slammed the door, locked it, shot the bolts top and bottom, fumbled the chain into its slide and reached for the phone. Nine-nine-nine got him a brisk, polite young woman saying “What service please?”
Outside, crystalline laughter tinkled in the starless night. The walls flexed like a sheet of rubber. “Police please! I…” …think I’m being attacked by fairies.
And everything went quiet. Down the street a burglar alarm brayed into the night. He opened the door a crack to see the streetlamps shining vulgar yellow-orange over a score of double-parked cars. There was, of course, no evidence the creatures he’d seen had ever been there at all. He took a deep breath, decided against setting himself up for a charge of wasting police time, and let it out in surrender. “Never mind.”


May 12th, 2012, 07:33 AM
Hi Charlie! I hope I'm in the right place for this. There's something about forums (fora?) that I just can't get my head around. So if I'm not, I apologise in advance.

What to say? I'm not sure. Maybe I should just post an excerpt of my latest book and settle for that?

It's exactly the right place! Hi, Alex, Clare and Anne. Thanks for coming and sharing your stories. Am looking forward to a beezer weekend of good laughs and good writing.

May 12th, 2012, 07:58 AM
My 2012 Paralympics themed story, Tumble Turn, is available from MLR http://www.mlrbooks.com/<WBR>ShowBook.php?book=CC_TMBLT (http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=CC_TMBLT)

I'll give a free e-book of Tumble Turn to one lucky winner, drawn at random from all the commenters here over the next few days. Draw takes place Tuesday morning, UK time.

Winning isn't everything...except when everything rides on being first.

Ben Edwards is the rising star of British Paralympic swimming, with a medal at London 2012 firmly in his sights. Love isn't going to be allowed to get in the way -- until he meets Nick, who proves to be a big distraction from training. With his times sliding, and a family illness, to worry him, it looks like Ben's Olympic dreams are in tatters. Until Nick comes up with the most outrageous incentive for winning.


Fate's a cruel mistress. Or master. Or something. I got to my seat-eventually, after battling through crowds and then signing autographs for some real swimming fanatics-and I was settling in when something slapped the back of my head.

"Ben!" It was Matty, of course, looking pleased as punch and plonking his backside in the seat behind mine and two to the left. "That's a stroke of luck. I'd forgotten I hadn't got your number on my new phone."

That made me even more angry. Matty pulling the "long lost friend" thing on me when he hadn't bothered to keep my number. I scowled at him, and at the weasely looking bloke sitting to the left of him, who was evidently the ghastly Nick and every bit as horrible as I'd imagined him. There was another bump to my head and I spun round one hundred and eighty degrees, about to give some clumsy sod a mouthful. There was gorgeous-guy-withthe- coffees smiling at me and being terribly apologetic.

"Sorry, did I thump you?" He smiled, revealing the sort of set of lovely teeth that would have been all the better to eat me with, if I'd been lucky. "My fault. I've always been clumsy. I think it's dyspraxia but Jenny just says I'm a prat. With dys-prat-sia." He grinned.

This horrible hot flush-remember my habit of blushing?- started to clamber up the back of my neck, which is hardly my best look given that there's more than a trace of ginger in my hair.

I managed to stammer something like, "No worries," although I could have been spouting gibberish, for all that I was aware. All I could think of was that I'd nearly gone and cocked everything up with my, "Ring me but I won't answer the phone" ruse. At least fate had saved me, and redeemed itself at the same time.

Unless I was buggering things up again by making an assumption too many, this must have been Jenny's brother, and he wasn't the spotty nerd I'd expected.

"I'm Nick." This gorgeous vision of tall, dark handsomeness stuck out his hand. "You must be Ben."

"Yeah, that's right." I managed to shake his hand without shaking too much myself. Sometimes I get a bit clumsy if I'm overexcited.

"We saw you on the telly-Paralympic World Cup, earlier this year. You won."

"You don't half state the bleeding obvious," Matty chipped in, grinning. "I suspect Ben remembers that for himself."

"Just a little." I was hoping the red flush was starting to subside.

"Matty was so proud of you. Kept pointing at the screen and saying that was his best mate from school days. He started to cry when you won." Nick rolled his eyes. "Great Jessy."

I was starting to well up, too. Maybe Matty had redeemed himself a bit. "We said we'd be here, being a part of it. Even back when we were horrible, spotty schoolboys, we knew we'd have to

make London 2012 happen."

"And you did." Matty ruffled my hair, just like we were fourteen again. "I've got tickets to see you, next month, so you damn well better make the final. And get a medal. No pressure."

"Not much. Only from you, Mum and Dad and the whole bloody street."

"Me as well." Nick had got himself settled into his seat, and given that I was in the row below I got a distinct eyeful of his crotch every time I turned to speak to him. I wasn't sure it was helping my coherence.

"Will you be there to cheer me on as well?" I tried a) not to sound too hopeful and b) not to keep staring at his trousers.

"Try and stop me. If you win I'll be basking in the reflected glory for months. We're sport mad in our house and even the friend of a future brother-in-law would count as one of the family if he had an Paralympic medal."

Future brother-in-law? No wonder Matty had been full of the lovey-dovey talk. "Wear your lucky y-fronts, then. I'll need all the help I can get."

"Gah. False modesty." Matty whacked my shoulder with his programme. I was about to launch into a great spiel about how I was up against a really tough field when Nick got there before me.

"No, Ben's just being realistic. There are some really fast Aussies in his event, and this guy from the US is starting to make a splash. No pun intended."

"Which guy from the US?" Matty pulled the face I remember from school, the one which usually appeared when we did algebra.

"The one who placed fourth in that race we watched. When Ben won." Nick gave me a wink. "Was he this thick at school?"

"Worse." I listened in as Nick gave Matty a comprehensive rundown on the top runners and riders in Paralympic swimming. Gorgeous, knowledgeable, funny; he seemed too good to be true. There had to be a catch and I had an awful feeling the catch was insurmountable. He was going to turn out to be straight and only here for the swimming. All my conspiracy theories about Matty finding out I was gay and engineering a meeting would turn out to be hot air and leave me with just daydreams.

"Rebecca Adlington going to do the double again?" Nick's voice woke me out of my reverie. I'd gone off on a mental tangent-mainly involving him, me, a swimming pool and a double bed.

www.charliecochrane.co.uk (http://www.charliecochrane.co.uk/)
http://charliecochrane.<WBR>livejournal.com/ (http://charliecochrane.livejournal.com/)

Rebecca Cohen
May 12th, 2012, 08:25 AM

I'm Rebecca Cohen. And I'm a relative newbie to being published. I'm a Brit now living in Switzerland, and will be flying back to the UK for the Meet.

I've my debut novel is out on the 4th June from Dreamspinner press, and I'll post an excerpt just as soon as I'm sure I've figured out the forums!


May 12th, 2012, 08:34 AM
You can post it right here as a reply, Rebecca.

Clare London
May 12th, 2012, 08:40 AM
Anne, I loved the book! There's something strangely fascinating about rentboys, isn't there? :) But seriously, Adrian gave us a very mature and evocative picture of his life as an escort - it was an interesting and welcome twist to many of the usual tropes.

May 12th, 2012, 08:47 AM
*nods* You can rely on Anne to give you well drawn characters and a storyline that's outside of the 'usual'.

Rebecca Cohen
May 12th, 2012, 09:12 AM
I've just joined so I'm waiting to pass the moderated queue... at the mo I think you're the only one who can read my posts. Once through the other side I'll post :)

JL Merrow
May 12th, 2012, 10:09 AM
Hi, all - I'm JL (Jamie) Merrow and I've never posted here before, so I hope this works!

Anne, that blurb looks fantastic! Will now go and see if you've posted an excerpt here. :)

JL Merrow

Writer of (mainly) m/m romance, and fearless killer of bunnies.
Find me at: www.jlmerrow.com (http://www.jlmerrow.com/)

Becky Black
May 12th, 2012, 10:20 AM
Afternoon all.

Just sent my edits for my anthology story back to my editor. There was at least one facepalm moment in there. :duh: Probably two.

Can't wait for the meet. Between that and the Romantic Novelists Association I seem to be going to lots of writers events this year. I'm off to the RNA summer party on Thursday and the conference at Penrith in July. Still considering about the Festival of Romance too.

Clare London
May 12th, 2012, 10:42 AM
I'm off to the RNA summer party on Thursday and the conference at Penrith in July. Still considering about the Festival of Romance too.

Hi there Becky, great to see you! That sounds like a busy schedule, and lots of fun too :) I've always tried to go to as many events as I can afford, not necessarily for "selling" purposes, but because of the joy and support in meeting fellow authors and swapping tips and moans and successes! What do you think is the best thing you get out of them?

May 12th, 2012, 10:44 AM
Hiya Jamie and Becky; great to see you here. Looking forward to seeing you in September (and at the Festival of Romance, if you get there, Becky).

Can I share a secret that one of Becky's facepalm edit moments was not spelling her name correctly?

May 12th, 2012, 10:46 AM
Can I answer that as well? I think the best thing is being with people you don't have to explain to. They understand the issues, the ups and the downs. And, for UK Meet and similar, we don't have to explain why we write what we write...

Becky Black
May 12th, 2012, 10:52 AM
Oh it's definitely getting to meet fellow authors. I connect with lots of them on the internet of course, and that's great. But sometimes it's nice to talk out loud about this writing malarkey too. I've been to a couple of my local RNA chapter meetings too, so get to meet the writers there. And readers too of course, who don't think the stuff you write is crazy, they like it!

Becky Black
May 12th, 2012, 10:55 AM
Can I share a secret that one of Becky's facepalm edit moments was not spelling her name correctly?

Hey! It was technically spelled correctly! It was just, er, slightly deficient in the capital letters department.

May 12th, 2012, 11:43 AM
Thanks, Clare & Charlie! Adrian waves to you both!

Ooh, and Becky - I once changed the gender of a secondary but fairly important character and didn't notice till my editor pointed it out!! Talk about facepalm moment ... !!!

JL Merrow
May 12th, 2012, 11:43 AM
Here’s an excerpt from my new m/m contemporary, Hard Tail

Finding love can be a bumpy ride.
His job: downsized out of existence. His marriage: dead in the water. It doesn’t take a lot of arm twisting for Tim Knight to agree to get out of London and take over his injured brother’s mountain bike shop for a while. A few weeks in Southampton is a welcome break from the wreck his life has become, even though he feels like a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and unfamiliar technical jargon.
The young man who falls—literally—through the door of the shop brings everything into sharp, unexpected focus. Tim barely accepts he’s even in the closet until his attraction to Matt Berridge pulls him close enough to touch the doorknob.
There’s only one problem with the loveable klutz: his bullying boyfriend. Tim is convinced Steve is the cause of the bruises that Matt blows off as part of his risky sport. But rising to the defense of the man he’s beginning to love, means coming to terms with who he is—in public—in a battle not even his black belt prepared him to fight. Until now.

Warning: Contains an out-and-proud klutz, a closeted, karate-loving accountant—and a cat who thinks it’s all about him. Watch for a cameo appearance from the Pricks and Pragmatism lovers. May inspire yearnings for fresh air, exercise, and a fit, tanned bike mechanic of your very own.


The bell above the shop door tinkled, and Matt Berridge fell into my life.


I’d been staring at that glass door, willing someone to come in and stave off the killing boredom before I stuck a bicycle spoke through my neck out of sheer bloody ennui. So when a broad-shouldered, shaggy-headed lad in mirror sunglasses loped into view, I was all eyes. He wore lived-in jeans and a purple Weird Fish T-shirt, with a battered biker jacket over the top. He looked like he’d just got back from a festival somewhere. At least, he looked like I imagined a guy who’d just been to a festival might look. I’d never been to a festival. Too busy with exams and work and getting married to a girl I didn’t love.

When he pushed open the door, I barely had time to mentally punch the air—and then he was gone, well-shaped arse over tit.

I’d swear it was nothing but his own feet he tripped over. With a soft cry of “Argh—shit!” he sprawled into the shop on his hands and knees. I didn’t realise who he was at first—I just hurried out from behind the counter to help the poor sod up. But when he looked up from under that dark mop of hair, it was obvious. At least, if you had the inside information I did. The sunglasses, which I now noticed were scratched, hung from one ear, and there was a massive purple bruise around his right eye, which was swollen and half-closed. I winced involuntarily when I saw it, then hoped like hell he hadn’t noticed.

“Hi,” I said as he staggered to his feet, holding on to my arm. “I’m Tim.”

“Oh, right—you’re Jay’s brother? Good to meet you.” He smiled lopsidedly, adding dimples to the freckles already sprinkled on his lightly tanned face. I could easily imagine him as a beach bum somewhere like California, although given the South Coast accent with a hint of a West Country burr, I was guessing Cornwall was probably nearer the mark. “Sorry about that. I’m a total klutz, ask anyone. I’m Matt.”

Hard Tail is available from Samhain (http://www.samhainpublishing.com/) Publishing here (http://store.samhainpublishing.com/hard-tail-p-6805.html).

I’m in the middle of a blog tour to celebrate its release, and everyone who comments on a tour post will be entered into a draw for winner’s choice of an e-book from my backlist, PLUS a gift certificate for $25 from Amazon (or the e-book retailer of your choice).

Full details and itinerary here (http://www.jlmerrow.com/index.html). :)

JL Merrow

Writer of (mainly) m/m romance, and fearless killer of bunnies.
Find me at: www.jlmerrow.com (http://www.jlmerrow.com/)

Becky Black
May 12th, 2012, 11:52 AM
Thanks, Clare & Charlie! Adrian waves to you both!

Ooh, and Becky - I once changed the gender of a secondary but fairly important character and didn't notice till my editor pointed it out!! Talk about facepalm moment ... !!!

Oops! :D My all time favourite I did was a simple wrong pronoun, a her instead of a him, which changed the meaning of the sentence to imply that the government had arrested the hero's horse. Oh dear.

May 12th, 2012, 11:53 AM
That's a corker of an error, Anne. I've changed characters' names or eye colours, but never their gender, You win.

May 12th, 2012, 02:54 PM
Oops! :D My all time favourite I did was a simple wrong pronoun, a her instead of a him, which changed the meaning of the sentence to imply that the government had arrested the hero's horse. Oh dear.

The horse was innocent, I'm sure of it! :)


Elin Gregory
May 12th, 2012, 03:08 PM
Hello folks!

Well from what I've seen so far I no longer feel quite so bad about having no less than three different people with the same name in my current WIP. *facepalm*

Also :D only another 18 weeks to the UK Meet! Am I unreasonably excited about that?

Clare London
May 12th, 2012, 03:09 PM
<!--> <style> v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> I'm struggling with the forum format too, as I think Alex said earlier LOL.

http://i609.photobucket.com/albums/tt177/clarelondon/book covers/thumbnails/SwitchT.jpg (http://s609.photobucket.com/albums/tt177/clarelondon/book&#37;20covers/thumbnails/?action=view&current=SwitchT.jpg)

So I'll just plough right in and treat you all to a never-before-seen excerpt of my new short story out at Dreamspinner later this month. Called SWITCH, it's the 3rd in a series of follow-up stories featuring Zeke and Miles from TRUE COLORS. And I make no excuse for the shorts being both steamy and romantic!

SWITCH (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2937&cPath=121) is out on May 23, but you can find the others - AMBUSH and PAYBACK - for sale HERE (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=121), along with the original novel, which is on sale at a special discount this month.

BLURB: Miles Winter and Zeke Roswell have excited and enthralled each other since the day they met. Zeke’s uninhibited lovemaking has allowed Miles to grow in confidence, and their relationship to deepen. Back from a business trip, Miles knows he should take care of his backlog of work, but the delight of being back with Zeke makes him realise he has more important needs–including the one sexual step he hasn’t yet taken. Business can wait in favor of a commitment far more primal and more permanent.

Miles had arrived late for [I]Bondage, after a succession of airport delays, and the show was already in full swing.

The room was full of laughter and loud commentary and more than a few glasses of champagne being raised in salute to Zeke Roswell. Miles had pushed through the door behind a group of Japanese collectors and barely found a space to settle his case and coat. Malia had spotted him first, rushing over to make him more comfortable. But it had only been another few seconds before Zeke’s gaze found his, over the heads of the visitors milling around him. It was eerie, the way Zeke always knew he was there within moments of arriving.

Eerie, and very exciting.

Miles had recognized the look of welcome in Zeke’s eyes—shortly followed by weariness and the onset of frustration in the face of so many people’s clamor for attention. He’d taken Malia to one side, and they’d managed to extract Zeke from the crowd shortly afterward. Zeke had already spoken to everyone who wanted to meet him; given soundbites galore for the press. Miles reminded him that the gallery had staff to cover the remaining hours of the event, and hustled him out to the limo and off to dinner at an undisclosed location.

Now they were at last in Miles’s bed, Zeke’s body stretched out underneath him, his comfort and passion in easy and willing reach. Tonight, the gentle touches made Miles shudder with excitement and impatience, even though he was usually the one who took a little longer to relax and surrender. Whereas Zeke knew exactly what he wanted and pursued it with hunger and mischief as swiftly as he could.


But tonight… tonight was different. Miles rolled over again and spooned back up against Zeke. This time he didn’t flinch when Zeke ran his hand over his ass; this time he pushed back into the caress, inviting more.

“Talk to me,” Zeke murmured. He continued to stroke Miles, his strong hand running the length of Miles’s back, over his buttocks, down his thighs as far as Zeke could reach, then back up again. “Tell me what you saw at the show.”

Miles pursed his lips. “Not sure I can do you justice. My color blindness, remember? I don’t always get the full benefit ….”

Zeke gave a dismissive grunt and slid one of his hands around to Miles’s belly, playing with the trail of dark hair down to his groin. Miles’s cock thickened and stretched, the need starting an ache in his gut. “Not just the colors. Tell me what you saw.”

Miles frowned. He wished he could see the expression in Zeke’s eyes, try to guess what Zeke wanted. But Zeke had always told him to speak his mind. To speak his feelings. “Well, there was the usual dramatic combination of art and sculpture, all sizes, all mediums.” He smiled at the memory. There’d been a ladder effect of exhibits—paintings and other creations, stepping up beside each other, behind each other, making the visitor crane his head to be able to see it all. There were pictures of seducers and the seduced; those in bondage and those dominating; those who flushed with pleasure and the pure contentment of finding their sexual place in life and those who fought against it, anguished both physically and emotionally. The sexual bondage scenes had been playful, exciting and stimulating. But there’d been other, different views of bondage— photos of couples arm in arm but with body language that cried for separation, of workers miserable at their desk, of people of all ages who looked nothing but painfully uncomfortable in their clothes and home setting. The leaflets and placards Zeke had showed him in the office some weeks ago were there, evidence of protests against discrimination and repression. And in amongst the pictures were structures and tokens illustrating the locations where these things happened. In back streets, in public forums, in the comfort of a man’s living room. Everything in together, a riot of activity, a challenge to anyone’s critique. A jumble, like the box of exciting goods Zeke had spilled on Miles’s office carpet. Seemingly a mess, yet brought together by Zeke’s talent into an experience like no other. It was what people had come to expect of a Zeke Roswell show.

Miles’s smile caught on a gasp as Zeke bit mischievously at the skin stretched tight over Miles's hip.

“Turn over,” Zeke muttered. “On to your belly. Keep talking.”

Miles rolled slowly over, resting his head on his hands. His heart beat more rapidly again. Zeke had a way of demanding things of him that reached into Miles’s equally assertive soul and invited total surrender. He wished they’d spent more time on familiar foreplay tonight, kissing and nipping gently at skin until one or the other of them laughed or begged to move on. He wanted to taste Zeke’s cock on his tongue, wanted to suck and lick it, a better taste by far than the champagne at the show. He wanted time to—

No, he didn’t. There’d be time for all that, another night.

“What did you feel?” Zeke murmured in his ear, breaking into his thoughts. “Tell me.”

“I felt excitement, suspense, anticipation.” Miles’s mind drifted back to all he’d seen. “There were curtains over the corners of the room, half-hiding the displays underneath. There were corners I turned and came face to face with shocking images. Sometimes it inspired anger or distress, sometimes titillation. There were explicit scenes of erotica, of both pain and ecstasy. Scenes of platonic but deeply felt love. It was… tantalizing.”

Zeke nodded. Miles felt the brush of Zeke’s hair on his shoulders as Zeke shifted down the bed. His tongue lapped gently at the small of Miles’s back, making him gasp again. Zeke stretched his leg over the back of Miles’s calf, momentarily holding Miles down on the bed. Miles felt the cheeks of his ass tighten with something between thrill and trepidation.

“I said, keep talking.”

Becky Black
May 12th, 2012, 03:16 PM
The horse was innocent, I'm sure of it! :)

They never got her to talk! :shifty:

May 12th, 2012, 03:20 PM
Not unreasonably excited at all, Elin. I've been counting down for months.

I'm the queen of people with similar/same names, mainly due to me naming them after rugby players. Had two Haskells in Home fires Burning...

Elin Gregory
May 12th, 2012, 03:26 PM
Hello folks! Third time lucky. I've forgotten how these forums work.

From some of the comments I no longer feel quite so bad about having 3 different people called Pollack in my WIP.

Also :) only 18 weeks until the UK Meet! Not that I'm counting or anything.

Rebecca Cohen
May 12th, 2012, 03:30 PM
Right, now I'm up and running for real... here is a pre-publication excerpt from my debut novel Servitude - a m/m sci-fantasy (due on 4th June from Dreamspinner)

Chapter One

As High Lord, Tancorix Reagalos had many duties he hated. Attending the annual meeting of the leaders of the Five Cities of Rystal Lake ranked high on the list, it being only marginally less objectionable than dealing with his fellow leaders individually. The carriage ride back from this year’s event had given him time to reflect on yet another excruciating conference, which, considering the disastrous leeway he had been forced to consent to on behalf of his city of Katraman, was not a pleasant experience.

Tancorix could usually rely on the rolling scenery to distract him on such journeys. But as his carriage raced alongside its banks, the shimmering waters of the lake only annoyed him further as he remembered the debate he’d lost on fishing quotas. And even the view of the Splander Mountains far to the north couldn’t ease his mind, no matter how vivid the lightning that lit up the distant sky. The plains could not give way to the urban sprawl of his city soon enough. At least that way he wouldn’t have to dwell on the grain agreement he had been forced into signing.

Stepping down from the carriage as it arrived back at Reagalos Manor, Tancorix noticed his wife heading toward him at such a pace that her long hair and robes streamed behind her.

“Librava wishes to speak to you. He says it’s of great importance,” Isabelle said. “He’s waiting in your office.”

It wasn’t the greeting he’d wanted, given his current mood. The archivist was not known to travel, so his presence at the manor did not bode well. Without stopping to change out of his traveling clothes, Tancorix headed straight for his office. There waiting for him was the shabby figure of Prasutagus Librava, Archivist to the Five Cities of Rystal Lake, carrying a number of scrolls under one arm. There was a sheen of sweat across his brow, and he was pulling nervously at his high collar.

“This had better be good, Librava. I am a busy man with a very short temper today,” said Tancorix as he entered his office.

“Believe me, my lord, what I have to tell you could have potentially damaging repercussions for your family.”

One by one Librava placed four scrolls on the desk in front of Tancorix. “These materialized in my office yesterday. On cursory inspection, it seems that the paper has been magically treated to appear at a time when the conditions of the contract written had been met.”

Tancorix picked up one of the scrolls and unwound it. “This has to be some kind of a hoax.”

“If I may explain, sire. One of your ancestors, a Romanus Reagalos—” Librava paused as Tancorix groaned at the name. “—signed a number of these contracts. All of them with the same conditions attached.”

“I sense a ‘but’ coming.”

“Indeed, sire.” Librava picked up one of the remaining scrolls, checked the details written on it, and handed it to Tancorix. “This one is the worst of the four.”

A few very tense seconds later and the quiet of the office was broken by Tancorix’s roar of anger. Seething, he ordered Librava to arrange a meeting with the Hadrals, the rulers of Xenetra, immediately.

Politics aside, Tancorix doubted he would ever like Lady Urla Hadral. Her unfriendly smile spoke volumes; she was clearly delighted at the new turn of events. Librava had been right in his assumption that the Hadrals would have also received a copy of the contract, and the glint of malice in Urla’s eyes warned Tancorix that little could be achieved by means of negotiation.

“It was, of course, quite a shock to find out how shoddily a member of our family was treated by the Reagalos,” said Urla. “And just as shocking to see how long reparation has taken.”

Tancorix watched the contempt spread across his wife’s face. “I am sure you are shaken to the core,” said Isabelle.

“Terribly so,” replied Urla. “But I believe that compliance with the terms of the contract will go some way to restore my usual balanced demeanor.”

Librava’s face morphed into a picture of concern, and Tancorix thought he was mentally cataloguing the valuable documents and books in his office that could get damaged if things were allowed to get out of hand.

“I’m sure both parties were equally overwhelmed by the nature of what has come to light,” said Librava diplomatically. “But we must find a way of moving forward that is agreeable to all involved.”

“I have read the contract,” said Bartemus Hadral, “and as far as I am concerned, I expect the High Lord to honor the conditions.”

Tancorix snorted. “You will live to be disappointed.”

“In the short time I’ve had the contract, I’ve managed to conduct some research,” continued Bartemus, ignoring Tancorix’s grunts of discontent. “It is not only the scroll that is magical, but Liam Hadral also arranged for the contract itself to be governed magically. You will find that the element of choice has been removed, so Lornyc, the unfortunate boy that he is, will have no option but to serve my son, Methian, who is the youngest Hadral.”

Only his wife’s hand on his arm had kept Tancorix in his chair. “Don’t be preposterous!”

Bartemus pressed on. “From what I’ve read so far, the traditional servant markings will appear within forty-eight hours of the contract materializing.”


“It’s all in the bylaws, Tancorix,” said Bartemus, his tone containing none of the smugness of his wife’s. “I’m sure Librava can provide you with a copy.”

“But you surely can’t approve of this,” said Isabelle, looking directly at Urla. “You were just as vocal in the condemnation of Lornyc and Methian’s involvement when they were at College. You can’t possibly want Lornyc to be given to your son as a servant—past mistakes can easily be repeated.”

Urla stared back impassively. “But this time Lornyc will be Methian’s manservant, not his equal. And believe me, my son cares far too much for his reputation to risk an improper relationship with a member of staff.”

“Your son’s reputation,” said Isabelle, “is the reason I didn’t want Lornyc anywhere near him.”

The atmosphere in the office chilled as the two women glared at each other. Librava rustled the papers on his desk. “I am afraid, Lord Reagalos, that in regards to the bylaws, Lord Hadral is indeed correct.”

“This is ridiculous,” said Tancorix, his pale cheeks flushed red in anger. “Give me a copy of those bylaws—now!”

Librava thrust the papers at Tancorix, his hands shaking slightly. “I have highlighted the pertinent paragraphs.”

Fuming, Tancorix waded through the legal jargon. The more he read, the worse the situation became. “I suppose there’s little more I can do but concede defeat. But be warned, Hadral. Should anything happen to Lornyc while he is in service to Methian, neither you nor your son will live long enough to regret it.”


May 12th, 2012, 03:32 PM
I've been able to see your posts, Elin, but they've been under moderation. I think everyone can read them now. *hugs*

Becky Black
May 12th, 2012, 03:38 PM
I've been able to see your posts, Elin, but they've been under moderation. I think everyone can read them now. *hugs*

Oh that's why I got email notifications of a reply on the post, but couldn't find it! I thought I was going mad. :goinginsane:

Right, shall go find an excerpt to post.

Becky Black
May 12th, 2012, 04:33 PM
Here's an excerpt from my latest release - m/m sci-fi romance, Higher Ground (http://www.loose-id.com/Higher-Ground.aspx). Check out more details and more buy links on my website. (http://beckyblack.wordpress.com/bookshelf/higher-ground/)



Zach is impatient and likes to hurry. Adam likes to take it slow and to tease. But, they’d have worked it all out – if only the end of the world hadn’t gotten in the way.

Zach Benesh is sure his prediction is right – the island colony of Zahara is about to sink into the ocean. Adam Gray isn’t as certain, but he’s happy to follow the intense, brilliant geophysicist into the mountains to escape the flooding. Though he’d be even happier without three hundred other people – and their pets – tagging along. He’d like to have Zach all to himself out there.

But Zach’s prediction is right and as disaster begins to unfold towards an unstoppable, inevitable conclusion, the two young scientists must become a team in the fight to save their people. They draw strength from their rapidly developing relationship, but the higher Zach and Adam climb, the more difficult the tests they face – as lovers and as men.

Excerpt from Chapter 6

An alarm woke Zach. He looked around in confusion, not recognizing the room or the alarm. Not his room, not his alarm.

“Alarm off!” The muffled voice came from the other side of the bed, where someone lay buried under the covers. The alarm turned off.


Adam’s tousled head emerged. “Who else were you expecting?” He rubbed his eyes. “Oh God, it can’t be seven already.” He pulled the covers back over his head.

Zach looked down at himself. He lay on top of the bed covers with a blanket over him, all of his clothes still on. His shoes were missing, though. Hazy memories of the night before came back to him, riding through the darkness on his bike, half-asleep already but needing to find Adam, needing to make sure he’d be safe. And wanting him, wanting him so much. Fearing they’d never have another chance.

But when he’d arrived, he’d been barely coherent, and the memories became even hazier, as if he’d been drunk, though he didn’t think he had been. Whatever happened after that it hadn’t included sex -- that much he knew.

“Adam, I’m sorry about last night.”

Adam emerged from under the covers. “Sorry for standing me up? Or sorry for having the nerve to show up here? Or sorry for collapsing onto my bed like a dead weight?”

“Um, all of those.”

“I tried to undress you and get you under the covers, but it was like trying to move a sack of potatoes.”

“Sorry,” Zach said again. He should leave, get to the lab, check the results of the tests he’d left running overnight. But maybe he had a few minutes. Desire stirred in him as he looked down at Adam, all warm and tousled from sleep. Adam’s eyes were open all the way now. Light stubble covered his chin and neck. Cautiously, expecting to have his hand slapped away, Zach reached out to stroke gently along Adam’s jaw, feeling the rasp of the night’s beard growth. Adam didn’t bat the hand away. His eyes locked with Zach’s. He must have had plans the night before -- plans Zach had ruined. Maybe they could fulfill those plans this morning. He grew hotter at the thought of it, his skin flushing. His clothes felt suddenly tight, and he longed to be out of them.

He leaned closer, whispered Adam’s name, and “Sorry” again. He was sorry, for the loss of the time they could have had. This morning, they could have been waking up in this bed naked, both under the same covers, bodies entwined. But the past could never be reclaimed. Useless to worry about it. He had to think of the future. If they had a future. If his prediction came true and it all happened too quickly for them to escape, then he might never have another chance to be with Adam.

Adam allowed the kiss, only barely responding at first, but then abruptly relaxing into it, opening his mouth to Zach. He ran a hand through Zach’s hair -- which felt as if it must be standing out from his head like a cartoon of a man suffering a fright -- then pulled him closer, turning onto his back. Zach’s cock was already hard, and desire flared in his belly, heat flushing through him, sweat breaking out. He dragged at his collar as his breathing began to speed up. So hot. He decided then. He had to take this opportunity. If they died, then he wouldn’t have missed his chance. He’d have the memory of Adam, the last man he made love to. He pawed at the covers over Adam, pulled them away clumsily. Adam wore only a pair of boxer shorts. His torso gleamed with the light sweat of sleep, bringing out his golden tan. Freckles dusted his shoulders and chest, and some soft dark blond hair covered his chest and trailed down his belly.

Zach followed this treasure trail, marveling at the beauty of Adam’s body, running his fingers down the middle of Adam’s chest, down to his flat and taut belly, swirling around his navel and making Adam shiver. His skin roughened with goose bumps, and as if they were contagious, they rose on Zach’s skin too, sweeping up his arm and down his back. That such a man should want him made Zach shake his head in wonder. He reached the waistband of the shorts and paused. Adam was responding to the kisses, but would it be presumptuous for Zach to slip his hand into the shorts? He couldn’t be sure Adam had forgiven him for last night yet or had given Zach permission to touch him so intimately.

So he compromised. Instead of slipping his hand inside, he rested it on the outside, cupping it around the stiffening cock, feeling it shifting and growing through the fabric.

“Zach,” Adam sighed out. He pulled away from the kiss and pushed Zach’s shoulder, moving his head down. Zach didn’t resist, kissed his way down Adam’s neck and onto his chest. He flicked each nipple in turn with his tongue, and Adam groaned and shifted his hips, pushing up against Zach’s hand.

That felt like permission. And he’d gladly have taken Adam up on the permission but he heard his Link. A message. The sound he’d specified for notifications about his tests being completed. He pulled away from Adam with a gasp.

What the hell was he doing? He should be halfway to his lab, ready to analyze the results, not fooling around in Adam’s bed. An understandable desire, to take what might be the only chance he had to do this, but inexcusable all the same. The whole colony was in danger, and he was too busy to do the work to confirm how long they had to escape.

Adam tried to draw him close again, but Zach pulled out of his arms.

“I have to go.”

“What?” Adam leaned up on his elbows, disbelief on his face. “What are you talking about?”

“I have the final test results to analyze.” He scrambled to his feet. His shoes lay on the floor at the bottom of the bed. He didn’t dare sit on the bed to put them on, in case Adam put his arms around him to bring him back, because he didn’t know if he could resist. His cock throbbed in his pants, demanding immediate attention. His whole body felt as if it was screaming in protest at the abrupt end to activities.

“Are you kidding? What the hell is wrong with you, Zach? You wind me up and then just bail out? Are you trying to piss me off?”

“No. I’m sorry.” He looked down at Adam’s perfect and near-naked body. His shorts were tented by the erection Zach feared he’d never get another chance to touch. “Believe me, I’m so very sorry. But I have to go.”

Knowing he’d weaken if he stayed a moment longer, he strode out of the bedroom. As he closed the door, a thump from the other side told him Adam had tossed what Zach guessed was a shoe at the door.

Check it out to see if - well, when - the boys manage to finally make the timing work.

Elin Gregory
May 12th, 2012, 04:44 PM
Excerpt of "Alike As Two Bees"

Historical novella published in March by Etopia Press.

Horses, love, and the tang of thyme and honey...

In Classical Greece, apprentice sculptor Philon has chosen the ideal horse to model for his masterpiece. Sadly, the rider falls well short of the ideal of beauty, but scarred and tattered Hilarion, with his brilliant, imperfect smile, draws Philon in a way that mere perfection cannot.

After years of living among the free and easy tribes of the north, Hilarion has no patience with Athenian formality. He knows what he wants—and what he wants is Philon. Society, friends and family threaten their growing relationship, but perhaps a scarred soldier and a lover of beauty are more alike than they appear.


Once the usual splashing and ducking were over, they settled down to swim, racing along to where a few timbers were visible from the wreck of a small ship. Philon won easily this time because he was thinking about his work; normally he took care to cut it a little more finely, to at least give Anatolios the possibility of winning. The boy could be annoying, pushy, demanding, and too clever for his own good, yet Philon was fond of him and tried not to beat him soundly every time. But today the horses of the Dioscuri were much on his mind. He had already chosen one of his models, had made a start on carving her, in fact. He had seen her many times, fleet-hoofed, high tailed, flying along the road outside the yard while the rider raised a hand in response to Anatolios’s shout.
“You won!” The panting cry brought him back to the present. Anatolios had caught up. He splashed a couple more ragged strokes to cling to one of the barnacle-dotted*timbers. “I’ll do better on the way back.”
“When we’ve got our breath back,” Philon said. Setting his feet down on the gravelly bottom close to the wreck, he ducked under to cool his shoulders before offering Anatolios his hand. “Dive?” he suggested and laughed as his young friend swam close to clamber up his back. Anatolios’s feet slipped on his wet shoulders, tugging his hair. Then the boy caught his balance and stood. Their shadows lay, green and shifting, on the sand beneath the clear water. Anatolios was poised with his arms spread, as though he might take off and fly.
“Horsemen coming!” Anatolios called. He dived from Philon’s shoulders and struck out for the beach.
By the time they were calf deep, the horsemen were close enough for Philon* to hear the sharp beat of hooves on wet sand. There were only four of them today instead of the usual band, riding fast and shouting back and forth. The chestnut, bay, gray, and black coats of the horses were darkened with sweat and seawater. Spray flew as one rider took his red-brown mount into the sea.
Anatolios reached to grip Philon’s wrist. “Look,” he said, pointing. “Oh, look.”
Philon grinned at Anatolios’s*rapt expression, though he had to admit the picture the horse and rider made as they churned the blue sea to white foam was very appealing. But his attention was drawn by chestnut rather than bay flanks. The mare ran neatly, her chin tucked in and an ear cocked for the word of her lord who leaned forward, shouting to the rider of the gray as the two horses ran shoulder to shoulder. His skin was almost as brown as the mare’s hide, and his pale hair mingled with her mane.
Philon and Anatolios often stood at the side of the yard to watch as the horsemen streamed past. Most of the riders smiled at the boy, probably remembering when they had been as young and as excited by the world, but the man on the chestnut mare always looked beyond Anatolios, and his smile was for Philon.

May 13th, 2012, 02:42 AM
Just dropping in to say that all my Dreamspinner Press books currently have a 30% discount: http://bit.ly/aPUFel

Happy reading!

And goodness me but it's sunny for a second day running. How can that be?!?


May 13th, 2012, 07:47 AM
And goodness me but it's sunny for a second day running. How can that be?!?

I'm not saying anything in case we jinx it!

May 13th, 2012, 07:50 AM
My book of twinned novellas, Home Fires Burning is now available in e-book and print from Cheyenne. At Amazon in print (http://www.amazon.com/dp/098282677X) and e-book (http://www.amazon.com/Home-Fires-Burning-ebook/dp/B005JER3K2), but also at all the usual sources.

Two stories, two couples, two eras, timeless emotions.

Excerpt from 'This Ground Which was Secured at Great Expense', a bittersweet story set against the backdrop of WWI:

“You have to go home. You must be mad to want to stay here.” Phillip smoothed his chin, easing fingers over the parts the razor had left raw. </SPAN>
“There’s no one at home to go to. You know I’ve no close family.” Nicholas stared at the letter from Colonel Johnstone, the one which virtually ordered him to get home and take a rest. There was little point in staying if Phillip had gone, anyway; better to go back to Hampshire and try to keep his hands to himself when he met Paul. </SPAN>
Phillip had been given leave, too and he seemed alight with some private, inner glow. “How about you? What have you planned?” Nicholas asked the question for formality’s sake; the thought of Phillip enjoying a passionate reunion with some chit of a thing burned into his dreams, torturing his sleeping self. </SPAN>
“I’ll be seeing family, of course, and…” Phillip considered his face in the mirror once more. Nicholas suddenly realised he was playing for time, weighing up his options. He’d seen that expression before—it spoke of utter candour. “And I have someone waiting for me, someone I’m very close to.”</SPAN>
Nicholas had to fill the silence that clung to the coattails of that bald statement. “Not like you not to have mentioned her before.” The strain in his voice seemed amplified by the tension which had descended between them.</SPAN>
“I didn’t feel entirely sure I could, not up until now.” Phillip finished his toilet and rolled down his sleeves. He turned, fixing the full piercing glare of his green eyes on his fellow officer. “You’re a good man in a tight corner. Reliable. Can I rely on you now?”</SPAN>
“Of course.” Nicholas awaited the revelation, the great secret he was to be entrusted with. Was Phillip laying siege to some other officer’s wife, sapping her resolve and providing comfort while her man was miles away? If so, it was little wonder he wanted to get home. </SPAN>
“It’s not a girl, at home. It’s a man. Yes, I know I’m a bloody idiot telling you, but I trust you with my life, Nicholas. Have done every day since I got posted here. You’re not going to shop me, are you?” Phillip ran his hands through his dark hair. “Not sure it wouldn’t be worse if you told my parents than if you told the Colonel. He’d probably be more sympathetic so long as I’m not buggering Miller.” </SPAN>
The unaccustomed coarseness made Nicholas wince, although he was sure its origin was nothing but Phillip’s nerves masquerading as bravado. “I had no idea.” Weak words, stupid sounding once they hit the air, yet it was all he could manage. If only he’d known, he might have said something. Sooner. </SPAN>
“I’m hardly likely to advertise it, am I? Fergal’s a good sort—he’s an engineer, working on ships’ engines for Vospers. Wants to get to sea himself, the idiot.” The deep affection apparent in Phillip’s voice cut into Nicholas’s heart. He’d never heard him speak this way, even about his family. </SPAN>

www.charliecochrane.co.uk (http://www.charliecochrane.co.uk/)</SPAN>
http://charliecochrane.<WBR>livejournal.com (http://charliecochrane.livejournal.com/) </SPAN>

May 13th, 2012, 08:01 AM
Tee hee, Charlie - I'm keeping quiet - honest!

As it seems that no matter what I do, it's impossible for me to post an excerpt here (are there gremlins lurking?!?), if you would like to read an extract from Where You Hurt the Most (http://www.gayreads.co.uk/short-stories/2012/where-you-hurt-the-most.html), you can do so direct at the publishers (http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/where-you-hurt-most)!

Sorry I can't be more fulsome - maybe I just don't have the right access permission here :)


Becky Black
May 13th, 2012, 10:40 AM
Just been editing the extract I'm going to have for North Wales for the Torch Relay blog posts. It's from a work in progress that's currently resting and waiting its turn for editing. Of course now I want to start editing the whole thing TODAY!

Too many stories, not enough time!

May 13th, 2012, 02:47 PM
You're obviously in a different corner of England then. We had one day of sunshine and today it's back to the buckets and mops again. ;)

Elin Gregory
May 13th, 2012, 02:49 PM
Happy Sunday! I hope you're all enjoying yourselves. I know it's Mother's Day across the pond so if you are where that's all happening and are in a position to benefit I hope you're being spoiled rotten by your families.

Me? I've done a load of laundry and am editing a novel about pirates between ironing shirts. I'm still in London at the moment and am having problems finding the confirmation for what i remember about street lighting in the 1710s. Don't want to make too much work for my betas and even piratical swishbucklers have to at least try for some historical verisimilitude.

I feel SO proud. I typed verisimilitude correctly on the first attempt!

Here - have a pirate-free excerpt of the pirate story:

It was later than he would have liked when Kit Penrose stepped from the doors of the coffee house but he waited for his good friend Tristan, who had paused to bow to a gentleman in an exceedingly full-bottomed wig. Kit stepped aside from the door and adjusted the set of his hat while he waited, his reflection rippling in the uneven glass of the window panes. He could have gone on alone but Tristan had insisted he needed to take Kit’s arm. He had said it was due to the love he bore him, but Kit believed it was because he was having problems with those absurd shoes.

“I can’t understand why you’re wearing them,” Kit said once Tristan had joined him. “They make you walk like an old Duchess with corns.”

Tristan snorted. “Fashion, dear boy. If one wants to be noticed at work it’s best to look as though one has no financial worries. As long as they all think I’m being very good at what I do on a whim they’ll keep on promoting me to try pique my interest.”

“Bloody silly reason for promotion,” Kit growled and Tristan gave his arm an affectionate squeeze.

“Maybe you should try it?” he suggested. “You look like a Quaker – that’s not going to give them any faith in your fighting spirit, now is it?”

Kit glanced at Tristan’s ebullient costume – tightly curled wig, an exquisitely fitted coat, a riot of embroidery on his waistcoat, those ridiculous shoes with heels that brought Tristan up to equal Kit’s height. Kit own attire, mostly shades of sensible hard wearing brown including his own curly hair, did look penny-pinched in comparison.

“Perhaps not,” he said, “but I don’t look like someone who might well wage war over a hole in my stocking. Since when have curls down to the waist and cuffs up to the elbows been a fighting man’s costume?”

“Oh,” Tristan feigned offence and slapped the hilt of his small sword, a practical weapon apt to give pause for thought when it was noticed. Tristan was an excellent swordsman and was not averse to exercising his skill in a good cause. But they had been good friends since childhood and today, Kit saw with a grin, he decided to let Kit live.

May 13th, 2012, 02:52 PM
Oooh, Anne, that excerpt from 'Where You Hurt the Most' is intriguing!

Elin Gregory
May 13th, 2012, 03:03 PM
Is there some kind of time limit on posting, Anne? If I take too long over fiddling with a post when I hit 'submit reply' it asks me to log in. Most odd.

However, thanks for the link. Your story looks like a cracker.

May 13th, 2012, 05:02 PM
Many thanks, Fiona & Elin! Glad you enjoyed the extract!

Not sure about the time limitation though - I copied & pasted the excerpt so I was fairly quick, but maybe it just objected :)


May 14th, 2012, 03:58 AM
To celebrate the cricket season having started (and this being - theoretically - glorious May) I'm posting a link to my free taster story for the Cambridge Fellows Mystery Series (http://store.samhainpublishing.com/cambridge-fellows-mysteries-series-172.html).

You can find "Once we won matches" here (http://www.wildeoats.com/Once-we-won-matches-by-Charlie-Cochrane.html).


“It shouldn’t do that, Dr. Stewart.”
“That’s the third time you’ve said the same thing. And it doesn’t matter how many times you repeat the phrase, it won’t change the facts. It can and it does.” I tried my best to smile kindly; I loved it when Orlando Coppersmith found things that contradicted his powers of intellect and reason.
“But it defies all logic. Whatever variables you apply, it makes no sense.” Orlando shook his head, loosening the curls which always seemed keen to fight free from the restraint of comb or pomade. I loved those curls, too. When we first met and I fell head over heels for Orlando, it was that wild mane of hair, so carefully restrained, that got me all of a lather. It spoke of hidden qualities within him, parts of his character that I had to find and liberate.
I digress; Orlando says I do that a lot. I have a story to tell you and I’m not being logical about it.
“Well, you can’t deny the evidence of your eyes.” I said, wrinkling my nose in delight.
“And you do it, don’t you — with that flipping movement or whatever you call it.”
“That’s a matter of the finger action, although some people do it from the wrist. Similar thing here. The hand position makes all the difference.” I made a series of movements with my fingers, flexing and twisting.

May 14th, 2012, 03:59 AM
I'm sure sometimes the internet just likes to be mean.

May 14th, 2012, 07:13 AM
“That’s a matter of the finger action, although some people do it from the wrist.

Snerk. Charlie, do you work at being a tease, or does it come naturally? :D

May 14th, 2012, 07:23 AM
I'm really excited now because we've just done the final proof on 'Necessity's Door', and Riptide have released an excerpt. The book is due out on 28th May (and is available to buy on pre-order right now). It's a gritty, contemporary urban drama involving a cop who goes undercover in order to target an unpleasant crime boss with a liking for rough trade.

So, without further ado, here's a snippet from the very beginning of the book. Hope you enjoy it!

“How the fuck did I get landed with this?” Jake knew he was grumbling to Mac again, but he felt like grumbling, dammit. His back ached from so much standing, his feet hurt from being pinched into cowboy boots that were at least a size too small, and most of all he was bored. Bored bored bored. Bored of standing on the same street corner half the night, bored of staring at the same brick wall, bored of having nothing to read and no one to talk to—except for the occasional stolen moment with his partner. They’d replaced his mobile phone with a cheap, app-less throwaway because his own was police issue and too easy to spot, and he could hardly pull out a newspaper or a book. The punters weren’t keen on intelligence when it came to choosing rentboys.
He knew the answer to his question, anyway. He’d got landed with this the same way he got landed with so many other undercover jobs: because he was the only openly gay copper on the local force. He didn’t exactly shout it from the rooftops, but he was a member of the Gay Police Association, he went on the occasional Gay Pride march, and most unavoidable of all, his senior officers knew. It had seemed important when he’d first joined the force not to hide his true nature, but times like tonight left him wishing he’d been more discreet. Then someone else might be propped against a lamppost in nothing more than jeans and a flimsy T, acting as bait for the target they had in mind. A particularly nasty target called Frank Warren, who’d muscled in on the local drug scene a few months back and flooded the streets with cheap cocaine. A target who’d so far eluded their every attempt to catch him and who took great delight in taunting them.

His latest effort had been to infiltrate the school which was only yards from the police station’s front door and get about a third of the pupils there hooked. Jake’s inspector hadn’t seen the funny side of that, or of the conversation he’d had with the school’s headmistress, and had put Jake to work. Jake, because the only thing they really knew about Frank Warren was that he liked good-looking young men and preferred to buy them in.

If Jake had kept his mouth shut about being gay, someone else could have been kicking his heels on this street corner. Someone like Paul McKee, known to one and all as Mac. Mac, who provided backup on these undercover ops; who was a decent mate; who was standing here listening with the utmost patience to his latest rant. He’d be perfect in the role. He was handsome enough in a strong-jawed, manly way, and he looked terrific in jeans and cowboy boots. Sadly, Mac wasn’t Frank Warren’s type, and he himself was. He scowled and kicked the lamppost. “So go on, then. Why do I get landed with all the really crap stuff?”

“Because you’re jail bait. The inspector would hardly pick you if you looked like Quasimodo.” It was a serious enough reply, but made with the hint of a twinkle in Mac’s blue eyes. A twinkle that Jake knew well and could respond to, even when his feet hurt and he felt like shit.

He chuckled. “That your way of saying I’m good looking?”

“Dunno if I’d go that far, sweet pea. Too many compliments and you’ll get a swelled head.”

“Yeah, yeah.” He wasn’t sure his head was most likely to swell if Mac kept on looking at him like that. He’d had the hots for his sort-of-partner for months, but wisely kept his mouth shut. Mac had a reputation as a ladies’ man, and their friendship—and Mac’s support on these undercover assignments—was too valuable to risk.

A car dawdled along the opposite side of the street, slow and purposeful enough to catch both men’s professional attention.
“What’s this?” Mac muttered. “Don’t tell me it’s our Frank?”

But Jake shook his head as the car’s front window wound down. “No, I’ve seen this one hanging round before. He was at the corner shop last night, giving me the eye. Looks like he plucked up the courage to come back. You’d better make yourself scarce. I guess I’m back to work.” He raised his voice to yell at Mac for the punter’s benefit. “Told you you couldn’t afford me, you cheapskate!”
Mac took the hint. “Call yourself a rentboy?” he snarled back. “I could pay off half my mortgage with what you’re charging.” He spat dangerously close to Jake’s left boot and marched off.

Briefly Jake wished his own mortgage was as miniscule as that, but the last thing he needed at a time like this was the distraction of money worries. He gave his partner’s retreating back the finger before crossing the street to lean in at the car’s open window. “Something I can do for you?”

May 14th, 2012, 07:26 AM
No work necessary, Fiona. Formative years spent watching Carry On films and listening to Round the Horne have ingrained it in me.

May 14th, 2012, 07:28 AM
There have been some great excerpts here the last few days and you're keeping up the cracking standard, Fiona!

May 14th, 2012, 08:37 AM
Thanks very much, Charlie - I'm delighted you enjoyed it. :)

May 14th, 2012, 03:47 PM
I've preordered a while back, Fiona - can't wait to read it! :)

May 15th, 2012, 04:13 AM
That's fantastic, Anne. I hope you enjoy the whole book, not just this little snippet!