Just been updating all the pages on my website. One of my publishers, Amber Quill Press (Amber Allure), have produced a whole new website which meant all of their previous publisher links were now incorrect. I know I’ve not added any new books for about a year but at least all my links are up to date:) I also updated a few other pages while I was working on the site. I do hope to have something new later in the year.
April 2, 2014
March 9, 2014
It was something of a shock to realize that it’s been four weeks since I last posted on my blog! I never was one of those folk who blogged regularly but these last few months posting on my blog has become absurdly random. I would like to be able to post something new and exciting but at the moment I don’t have anything suitable. Instead I thought I’d give you an excerpt from something I wrote a while ago but never quite finished: it’s part of a sequel to my historical novella, Smoke Screen, and I never even got as far as deciding on a title, though one idea I quite liked was…
Richard’s lip curled with distaste. “I was the one robbed, expected to pay for your paramour to live in luxury. Your brother lived off me for over a year, be grateful I did not demand the money back. He would be in debtor’s prison instead of using some other unsuspecting husband to pay his way.”
“That is a lie! You know Peter is not like that.” Katerina stopped, taking deep breaths to calm herself. “He loved me, he still does, wherever he is now.”
Listening to the exchange, Julian wondered if Katerina really knew exactly where Peter was. After their confrontation last year, when Katerina threatened to expose Julian’s burgeoning relationship with Richard and her husband challenged her liaison with her so-called brother, Peter had retreated with much less fuss and recrimination than either man had expected.
Katerina too, after her first outburst, had accepted Richard’s conditions much more easily than he believed possible. The fact that Richard and his wife each had something to hold over the other in the censorious society of London’s upper echelon, made each dangerous to the other and Julian had been on the lookout from some further threat or retaliation from Katerina, but it had never materialized. And the quiet acquiescence of her Russian lover, Peter, in quitting the house that Richard had provided had been unforeseen. Richard admitted to Julian later that he had been prepared to resort to bargaining to protect their deadly secret. The only explanation they could think of was that it was more important to Katerina to keep the lifestyle she craved, even at the cost of her lover it appeared.
No, Julian would not have been surprised if Katerina knew exactly where Peter was.
Mirroring Julian’s thoughts, Richard barked a laugh, “I am supposed to believe you don’t know where he is? Come, Katerina, I know you better than that. I wish I didn’t believe how duplicitous you are but…”
“Me?” she interrupted, incredulous. “You say that to me with your lover in the room with us – your… what is the word?”
Richard stepped closer to his wife. “I will not allow you to insult Julian. I have made it clear before, your disagreement is with me. Julian does not concern you.”
“I wish that were the case,” she said quietly, staring at Julian directly for the first time. The look in her eyes did not equate to the tone of her voice and Julian felt distinctly uncomfortable.
“Oh, please,” Richard declared. “Don’t pretend to be the injured party here, you are not. You married me because you recognised I could introduce you into the type of society you craved, while at the same time using my funds to keep your lover in the lap of luxury. Our marriage was never more than a sham.”
“And it meant more to you? You used me as much for…for scenery as I did. A way to hide your real proclivities as a Sodomite!”
Richard strode across the room to open the library door. In an icy voice, he announced, “I will leave for the country tomorrow, Katerina. I am sure you will enjoy yourself sampling the best that London society can offer while I am away.”
Head high and back straight, Katerina swept past him and out into the hallway without another word.
“Well that was unpleasant,” Richard said, leaning against the library door, ensuring it stayed closed. “Come, take the sour taste from my mouth,” he added, a hand held out to Julian.
“Chard,” Julian muttered, shaking his head, but still moving towards him. Richard gathered him in his strong arms, held him close as he searched out Julian’s oh-so-willing mouth. The kiss was both tender and demanding as Julian opened up to let Richard plunder his mouth, both men sighing at the contact.
February 15, 2014
I thought it was about time I posted another excerpt from my Tudor historical novel, STONE BY STONE – a story about a monk and the man sent by Henry VIII to close his monastery:
Mark looked over his shoulder, smiled and answered, “Among other things. There are some remarkable books in the abbey library, Master Cheyne.”
“Won’t you please call me Andrew?”
Mark inclined his head. “I would be honoured.”
“So I will see these remarkable books and some of your handiwork?”
Andrew sighed. He ought to have known he was reading more into Brother Mark’s interest than was reasonable.
Andrew realized his sigh had been louder than he thought when Mark slowed and turned to him. “You do not wish to visit the library?”
“Yes, of course. I would very much like to see the books and I’m very interested in what you are working on.” Andrew smiled and was unaccountably relieved when Mark smiled back.
It was only a minute or so later when Mark halted at a pair of heavy wooden doors. Grasping the handles, he pushed them open. A dim flickering light, which Andrew realized came from a tall, lit candle in a wall sconce, greeted them. Mark picked it up, lit a branch of candles from it and then led the way inside. Andrew was aware the abbey library had some old rare books and they also had some very new ones. Tavistock Abbey was one of the very first places in England to have a printing press and some of the newly produced bibles in English were being created here.
Like most everyone else, Andrew was very impressed with the idea of books being printed. It was remarkable how swiftly a new book could be ready when compared to the old method whereby each book had needed to be laboriously copied out by hand. However, neither could he deny the beautiful work produced by generations of monks. Andrew had a love of such things—he was proud to have collected a small number of books himself—and it was very hard to think many of the books he admired for their aesthetic beauty would have to be destroyed because of their religious content. He knew he would have to steel himself to such things, however, because he did truly believe that the Catholic bible in Latin was anathema and the people would be better served with an honest, open bible in English.
Brother Mark led the way through the shadowy passageways towards the large windows in the opposite wall. They passed many shelves of books of all shapes and sizes, some so large it was difficult to believe a man could lift them, let alone be able to read them. The room was redolent with the smell of leather and parchment. As they moved deeper inside, Andrew saw different shaped shelves with narrower, deeper openings and he realized they were filled with scrolls, some of which were very ancient and obviously made of parchment, though there were also some examples on paper, which had been produced during the last couple of centuries.
Brother Mark had obviously followed his gaze. “They are remarkable, aren’t they? Our librarian is very proud of the collection.”
Andrew met his gaze. “They will have to be inspected. Sir Richard needs a complete record of everything here.”
Mark nodded. “I know, and I fear what may happen in the future,” he said sadly. “I try to cling to the belief God has purpose in everything he does, but this is difficult.”
For the first time, Andrew wished he didn’t have to be part of this. Part of destroying this man’s private little world—until his own thoughts registered and he acknowledged it was exactly this kind of existence that was at the heart of the problem. These men, and many hundreds like them, existed apart from the reality of life. Supported and served by those whose lives were much more difficult and all too real. Brother Mark may be an honest, sincere monk, but Andrew knew there were many others who lived a life of luxury with no regard for their fellow men. Where was their God in that?
“What did you want to show me, Mark?” Andrew asked, aware his tone of voice was much different from earlier, hard and cold.
Mark glanced at him, a slight frown marring his features. “Why are you angry with me, Andrew? Have I offended you? Please, I had no intent.”
Andrew sighed. “I’m not angry with you, Mark. I allowed myself to forget, for a short time, that we are on opposing sides. I should not have done so. It does neither of us any good.”
“Andrew,” Mark said, his tone soft, beguiling, “we have differing points of view on more than one subject, but surely it doesn’t have to make us enemies. I have already seen you have a taste for the aesthetic, as do I. I did not mistake your pleasure at the stonework or your interest in these books. That is at least two points of view we share. Can we not just share the similarities and try to forget our differences?” Mark stepped closer. “I felt an affinity with you when we met. This is rare for me, and I don’t wish to lose it if I can help it. Will you allow me to be your friend, Andrew?”
Andrew stared at this man, who he now acknowledged could so easily mean more to him than Mark could possibly know, or accept if he did know. Mark might be talking about friendship, but Andrew’s reaction was much more personal, as his stiffening cock could attest. But like Mark, it was rare for Andrew to feel such an acceptance of another being with such speed or ease. He knew he likely wanted more than was possible, but he was willing to take whatever he could have. He could take himself to task later.
“Yes, Mark,” Andrew said. “I would like that.”
end of excerpt
Available in Ebook and Print from Amber Quill Press:
Also from Amazon and all good booksellers
January 30, 2014
He wanted to pray but couldn’t think of any prayers, and in truth, he never really believed in the Temple anyhow. Then the thought occurred that if there was truth in the legends of evil, perhaps good existed too. Though watching as the creature clutched Ettore to him and lapped the blood from the horrific wound in his neck, Andreas found it hard to believe anything could fight such evil. When the nightwalker finally released the now-dead Ettore to crumple at his feet, Andreas concluded it was too late for him to be having second thoughts.
The creature turned his attention to Andreas, the smile back on his handsome face. How could Andreas consider such an evil creature to be attractive? Lords of Divinity, he had blood dripping down his chin, and Andreas daren’t give name to what was coating his clothing.
He walked to stand directly before Andreas. “You are something special. I will enjoy so much being with you.”
Andreas’ skin crawled at the suggestion, but he could do nothing but stare at the nightwalker, whose smile widened as he grabbed Andreas around the waist and tossed him over his shoulder before dashing off through the park at a dizzying speed. Andreas felt himself lifted through the air, and he realized they were sailing over the wall surrounding the far side of the park, landing on a darkened road that Andreas didn’t recognize. It was difficult for Andreas to make out much of anything from his position hanging upside down over his captor’s back. The nightwalker continued across the road and then down a dark alley, his pace never slowing. A door slammed open, and abruptly they were inside.
From what little Andreas could see as they climbed the rickety staircase, they were inside a dilapidated building, what kind he couldn’t tell. At the top of the stairs, the creature turned down a corridor, entering the first door, and Andreas noted it was better cared for than the rest of the building.
There was a desk on one wall, a comfortable chair in the middle of the room with a small side table next to it, but the nightwalker strode past them, heading for the large bed in the corner. He tossed Andreas onto it, and Andreas was surprised to discover he could move. Immediately he attempted to jump to his feet, but a hand pressed on his chest.
This time the creature grinned as he said, “Oh no, my pet. I’ve not even begun with you yet, let alone finished.”
Andreas sank back onto the bed. Inside his head, he was desperately trying to make his body obey, to run as far and as fast as he could, but instead he calmly began to unbutton his clothing and remove it piece by piece. The watching nightwalker was also removing his attire.
When they were both naked, he said, “I knew I was right in my choice. You are perfect.”
To discover what happens next, go here
January 26, 2014
I’ve listed links for All Romance eBooks and Smashwords. The books are also available for purchase from Amazon Kindle, but Amazon has upped the price a little to around $1.25 – not my choice I assure you:)
For more information about my publications, please visit my website:
January 17, 2014
I’m sorry I’ve been so remiss in not posting updates for some time. Suffice it to say that I had things going on in my personal life and my writing had to take a back seat for a while. I did manage to start writing again at the beginning of 2014, but that was under my other pen name with which I write mainstream fiction, though I admit I still had some difficulty working on that story, my feel for writing is still not quite right yet.
I do have a couple of gay fiction projects I’m committed to for later in the year and I’m pretty certain everything will be fine by then:)
When I’m feeling more like my old self I’ll have a go at writing some short pieces for the blog.
September 5, 2013
I wanted to find a new excerpt to post from my paranormal vampire novel, On Reflection, and I found one describing one Nicolo’s earliest memories – seemed ideal for a man who lived a longer than normal life:
A tall, thin, callow boy ran along the wooden planking of the docks, the hunk of bread he’d stolen clasped tightly in his fist. Heart beating in his chest, partly from fear and partly from the exertion, Nicolo darted between a stack of crates, cargo waiting to be loaded on one of the docked ships, only to be shocked when he ran into someone.
Yelling out, half-expecting a blow, Nicolo attempted to twist past the man, but a large hand had grabbed at his tattered clothing and hung on.
“What have we here?” the man queried, pulling Nicolo back against him, one strong arm holding the boy tight against his sturdy body.
“Let go!” Nicolo squirmed, but abruptly understood the man wasn’t going to let him loose. Afraid that the man would turn him over to the baker, who would at best beat him, at worst turn him over to the watch, Nicolo looked at up at the man holding him. “Please, please let me go. I mean no harm, I’m just hungry.” Nicolo used his large dark eyes as best as he could, letting his lip tremble a little, too, knowing it made him look helpless.
The man laughed heartily. “Oh, but you’re a smart rascal, too, aren’t you?” Still not letting him go, the man looked Nicolo over carefully, even turning him a little to push up his torn tunic and look at his back. “Avoided most of the bruises, I see. Smart and quick. The captain could make good use of you, I think,” he added thoughtfully.
Nicolo frowned, not understanding what the man was talking about, but afraid he might have run from the frying pan into the fire. “What do you want with me? Don’t hurt me, please. I won’t make any trouble.” Nicolo kept his voice low, not knowing why, but sensing he ought to be careful with this stranger.
“I’m not going to hurt you, boy. I’m offering you a chance to get off these streets, to do honest work. Sleep in a bed and have regular meals in return. You can earn a little payment, too, in time, when you can pull your own weight. Isn’t that better than thieving just to live, and risk ending up at the end of a rope or on the execution block for your pains?”
“Not my fault I have to steal,” Nicolo grumbled, not being taken in by the promised future. It was too much, too easy. “They threw me out when I got too big; they said I ate too much. I was only twelve. Is it my doing I’m big for my age, I ask you?”
“The foundling home?” There was sympathy in the stranger’s voice.
Nicolo looked up at the man again, searching his eyes, trying to decide what he really wanted. “Yes,” Nicolo answered. “They were always talking about how lucky I was to be looked after, how I was a fortunate child that the Divinity had saved. If I was so fortunate, why didn’t I have any parents? Why was I abandoned without even a name of my own? Found on Santa Nicholas Street, I was, so they call me Nicolo.” The memory still stung; it seemed to Nicolo that he was destined to be forever abandoned.
“Still, I’m pleased to meet you, Nicolo d’Volenzkya.” The man released Nicolo, holding his gaze as he continued, “My name is Phillipe Donato, and I am second mate on the clipper Oreole. Will you accept my offer; make a better way in this life?”
Nicolo looked at Phillipe, disbelief gnawing at him, even as hope grew in his heart. “You meant what you said? A place of my own to sleep, food to eat? For good, honest work?”
“Yes, I meant every word. Someone was kind to me once when I really needed it, and I swore to repay the favor one day.”
“And you—you don’t want—anything else from me? I…” Nicolo backed away a little. “Someone tried. I’m not that kind of…”
“No, Nicolo, I’m not that kind either,” Phillipe interrupted sharply. “You won’t be touched, I swear.” Phillipe actually smiled then. “Unless you earn the captain’s wrath, but that’s something we all risk. Come with me on board the ship. You will earn your keep, I assure you. The work is hard and you have much to learn, but one day you can proudly say that you are a sailor.”
“A sailor? I have dreamed of seeing other places. I saw pictures in a book once of far away lands. They are real? You have seen these places?” Nicolo asked excitedly.
Phillipe took hold of Nicolo’s arm, but gently, as he led the ragged boy out from among the crates and back onto the dock. Nicolo darted a look around, praying the baker was no longer looking for him.
“Oh, I’ve seen more places than you have ever heard of, boy,” Phillipe was saying. “The stories I could tell you.” He grinned then. “But Captain Costalla, he’s been to places you’ve never even dreamed of.”
Nicolo looked at the mate with fascination now. He’d heard all his life that Volenzkya was the center of the world, the capital city of a vast empire, but all he ever saw were the same dirty streets and the poor folk eking out a living in the shadow of the huge, grand buildings where people lived like lords. Places people like him couldn’t get near, let alone enter. The ‘world’ he heard talk of might just as well be across the wide blue sea that he could see from the top of the foundling home, for all the good it did him.
But still he could dream of something better, and he had long wished to escape the drudgery of his life for the adventure to be found on the large ships that swept in and out of the harbor day after day. It was one of the reasons he used the docks to hide out and make his base after he was thrown out of the foundling home. Hoping that, one day, he could leave on one of those ships and see the world beyond his tiny portion of it. Now, it looked as his long-held dream was about to become reality.
ON REFLECTION is available in eBook and Print from MLR Press – and all the other usual avenues:)
August 15, 2013
“The story was well written and since the whole plot revolves around secrets, it was something easy to relate to. If you enjoy a little taste of the paranormal world, then this might be for you.”
To read the full review, go here
July 22, 2013
“While approaching Drew’s house, he finds that Drew has got a secret of his own, and it’s a doozy. When they talk, they find out that secrets never go away, that they always find a way to come out in the end. And sometimes with disastrous results.”
To read the full review, go here
July 21, 2013
I look at him; I see him.
Have you ever looked up the word ‘see’? Compared to ‘look’? Perhaps you should. There’s a difference, you know.
I have to admit that I found that out because of Paul, though not from any dictionary. From that very first mission Paul saw me, the real me that I believed no one ever saw, yet I was never hidden from him though it took me a while to understand that. He saw me better than anyone ever had, better than my wife ever did. He saw my pain, my despair but he also saw my need. A need I didn’t even know I had.
I know now that I reacted to him because of his special awareness of me, because I was – ever so slowly – learning to see him. I think that eventually I saw him better than anyone ever had.
When I realized that, I became afraid. To see someone that clearly puts a responsibility on you and somehow gives them an odd kind of power over you. Weigh that against the knowledge that they see you just as clearly and you are balancing over a precipice. Either you will fall or you will grab each other for support.
So what do I do now? A lot of time has gone past. I have a sense that perhaps at last the time has come. I have to be sure though. I want him to grab me, to hold on to me for support, yet I’m afraid he will let me fall.
I’m watching him now.
He’s just standing there talking the way he does with his hands almost as much as with his voice. I’m hanging on to each and every word, though if you asked me later to explain what he was talking about I couldn’t tell you. It wasn’t what he said as much as how he said it.
That voice, warm and soothing, yet tinged with excitement. Like his expression. Once I caught sight of his eyes my description of him changed from excited to passionate. In my mind, where Paul is concerned, they are indistinguishable, the man just exudes passion.
Which is rather my problem because I wanted that passion aimed at me. I know how much he cares; I’m just not sure he cares that way. I’m not even sure that he thinks about love or sex, not since he lost his partner. I think he buried all such thoughts and he purposely lost himself in his work.
Which, even putting my own desires aside, is so sad. Never has a man had so much to give.
Then suddenly, he stopped talking, his mouth slightly open. He snapped it shut and dipped his eyes for a moment. I frowned because I didn’t understand why he stopped mid-sentence.
Then he raised his eyes staring directly at me and I felt a tightening in my stomach, a thudding in my chest and all at once I was afraid to meet the gaze of my best friend and I dropped my eyes. I was afraid that he already knew what I wanted, what I desired – what I feared.
He breathed my name and almost unwillingly I lifted my gaze to meet his bright blue eyes. They were sparkling and his lips were curved in an odd, almost embarrassed smile.
Then I remembered something and I smiled. For a while I had forgotten that when he looks at me; he sees me.
For a short while, I had been blind. Now, once again, I can see.