Stevie Woods:author of gay romantic fiction

January 31, 2015

Excerpt from gay historical novel, CONFLICT

Filed under: writing — imagine647 @ 10:59 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

conflict200x300Here’s an excerpt from CONFLICT, the sequel to my gay historical novel, CANE, as the story continues into the Civil War:

BLURB:
Two men, one war. Can love survive when each takes a different side?

Leaving his lover behind to support the abolitionist cause, Piet Van Leyden finds himself leading one of the first all-black Union troops into the heart of battle. Reuniting with free slave and former love Joss brings some comfort, but will his presence tempt Piet into
forgetting the love waiting for him at home?

Sebastian Cane wonders how he’s able to go on without Piet by his side. When a series of unfortunate events lands him a prisoner of the Union, Seb knows he must rely on his wits and his love for Piet to survive…and get home to him.

Two men, one war. Can love survive when each takes a different side? While Pieter goes to fight for the abolitionist cause, a series of events lands

Sebastian a prisoner of the Union and Seb must rely on his wits and his love for Piet to survive…and return to him.

EXCERPT:
It was difficult for Pieter to concentrate on Grainger’s words. Of course he had thought on the possibility of running into Joss once it was permitted for blacks to join the army, but he had never really believed it would happen. There were literally thousands of men in the Union army, the numbers rising all the time and the odds must be enormous.

His thoughts faltered again as he heard the lieutenant state the private’s name. Peters? Joss had taken… Pieter didn’t know what he felt about it, that Joss had taken that as his name. Flattered? Appalled? Touched? Oh, Joss!

“Peters?” Pieter queried haltingly, his voice sounding odd even to his own ears.

“Yes, sir,” Joss replied, keeping his voice formal, staring over his commander’s shoulder. Then abruptly he shifted his eyes and looked directly at Pieter. “Named for the only man who ever showed me a kindness, sir.”

Pieter stared at his old friend and ex-lover, emotion running through him to find him looking so well. “I see,” he replied softly. “Thank you, private.”

“Sir!” Joss said smartly, stepping back into line.

Pieter knew he gave orders and passed out praise and criticism in equal measure, but when the day ended the only thing he could clearly remember was the look in Joss’ eyes as they had stared at each other. Pieter just had to talk with him but he couldn’t simply single him out to speak to privately without reason. A company commander would have no cause to communicate with a private soldier without going through junior officers, unless for censure or commendation.

He paced his tent for thirty minutes until he recognized there was a way. Grainger had inadvertently given it to him.

“Grainger!” he called, sticking his head out of his tent, looking round for the lieutenant.

“Here, sir,” a voice floated from nearby in the dark and then the pale face of the lieutenant came into view.

“That private, the one who you introduced?”

“Peters, sir?”

“Yes, that one. Send for him. I want to have a few words and he should be ideal for providing me with background.”

“Yes, sir, immediately.”

Pieter sat in the rickety chair behind the small folding table in his small tent. He was nervous at the prospect of seeing Joss again, and being able to talk to him. Pieter smiled at his own reaction, he knew it wasn’t at all logical.

Presently, the lieutenant brought Private Peters inside the tent and the black man saluted his officer smartly, eyes staring straight ahead, back ramrod straight as he stood to attention.

“At ease, Peters,” Pieter said, a surreptitiously shared look between them at Joss’ choice of surname, and then with a glance at Grainger he added, “Thank you, Lieutenant. I will take it from here.”

Grainger glanced from his captain to the private as if silently asking if he were sure, but he merely nodded, saluted and left.

Pieter just stared at Joss for a long moment and his old friend stared back and slowly smiled. He was suddenly assaulted with images of the two of them together, long years ago when all that mattered were those snatched moments together. Memories of his hands moving slowly as they skimmed over Joss’ ebony skin; Joss kissing him with abandon and each murmuring promises of forever. Those had been naïve times he realized now but they had been good times.

Things were very different now, the love he’d felt for Joss then had been real but he knew it paled into comparison with what he’d learned he was capable of, but he would never regret his feelings for Joss. Suddenly Pieter’s face was split by a grin and he rose and strode around the table, and the two men embraced. They didn’t hold the hug
for long, both being aware of the difficult situation.

“God, it’s good to see you looking so well,” Pieter commented as he retook his seat. “Grab a stool,” he said as an afterthought.

Joss did as he was asked and sat opposite his captain. “Oh yeah, I never expected to see you here.” He hesitated a moment, giving Pieter a long look.

“What?”

“I didn’t know if you were still in Louisiana,” Joss explained, his voice low.

Pieter nodded, dropping his eyes as he said, “I didn’t want to leave Sebastian. I remained as long as I could, but I just wasn’t able to stay among those people down there. I was… I couldn’t keep bottling up my real feelings and it was starting to…to. I didn’t want to damage what we had by staying,” his voice barely above a whisper as he spoke.
He looked up at Joss then, attempting to smile at his friend, but it might just as well have been a grimace.

Joss recognized the sorrow in Pieter’s eyes that his friend was trying to hide, the ex-slave knew him too well.

After a moment, Pieter continued, “I tried to persuade Seb to come up north with me, not that I really expected he would. He has too much of a commitment in Louisiana.”

Reaching across the small table, Joss laid his hand over Pieter’s and gave it a small squeeze, attempting to comfort him. “I’m sorry, Piet, but I can’t say I’m surprised. His family have lived there for generations, don’t suppose he feels he can simply walk away from that.” He didn’t add that he also felt that if Cane had loved Pieter as much as he claimed he ought to have had different priorities. It would be no kindness to Pieter to voice that thought.

“I know and also in the few letters I did manage to receive from him before the mail stopped getting through, he admitted to feeling a greater responsibility to his slaves now and that…” Pieter stopped, as if remembering just who he was speaking to. He shrugged an apology.

Joss looked Pieter square in the eyes and commented, “Well, we know who to thank for that change in outlook, don’t we?”

“Enough about me,” Pieter said decidedly. “How about you?”

Joss gave Pieter a quick rundown of his life since they had parted in New Orleans, admitting that after a slow, difficult start the life he now had was good. He explained a little about Nathaniel and how the old Negro had helped shape his new outlook. Joss told him that Nathaniel had even taught him to read, and he reminded himself that he should show Pieter the letter he’d written when he got the opportunity.

He admitted he was glad to be able to accept responsibility for his own life, though it had been hard at first to get work and he had felt so lost and unsure most of the time until Nathaniel had taken him under his wing.

He gave a deprecating laugh. “Strange as it sounds,” Joss confessed, “I have felt happier since I joined up. Even after a year or so of freedom I was used to the,” he sought for the word he wanted and smiled wryly when he remembered it, “constraint of slavery and oddly I missed the…structure it gave my life.” He shook his head at his own confused thinking and Pieter smiled sadly at what had been done to people like Joss.

Joss regarded Pieter, giving his old friend a long assessing look. A little unnerved by the stare, Pieter asked, “What?”

“You’ve changed,” Joss said quietly and as Pieter frowned, he explained. “You’re more…comfortable, more sure of yourself.” Eyes lighting up as if Joss suddenly understood, he smiled broadly and added, “You know who you are.”

<end excerpt>

Available in ebook or print from Phaze Books: http://www.phaze.com/book.php?title=Conflict

Or from Amazon.com

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July 15, 2013

New excerpt from historical novel, CONFLICT!

conflict200x300Here’s a new excerpt from my historical novel, CONFLICT, sequel to CANE, which takes the story into the Civil War.

BLURB:

Two men, one war. Can love survive when each takes a different side?

Leaving his lover behind to support the abolitionist cause, Piet Van Leyden finds himself leading one of the first all-black Union troops into the heart of battle. Reuniting with free slave and former love Joss brings some comfort, but will his presence tempt Piet into forgetting the love waiting for him at home?

Sebastian Cane wonders how he’s able to go on without Piet by his side. When a series of unfortunate events lands him a prisoner of the Union, Seb knows he must rely on his wits and his love for Piet to survive…and get home to him.

EXCERPT:

It was cold in the tent; damn it, was cold nearly all the time. It seemed forever since Pieter had actually been inside a brick building. He pulled the blanket off his cot and wrapped it around him. Pieter could hardly remember the last time he had felt really comfortable and cozy. Then he suddenly remembered one warm day, sitting on a veranda eating a picnic lunch. It had only been a couple of days after he’d arrived at Morning Star. Sebastian had been showing him around the vast plantation when they took a rest and ate. They’d sat comfortably on the wooden veranda of the old Blue Bayou plantation house, sharing a basket of food, while his new employer had told him of the history of his family and the plantation. Even then, Pieter had known he was in love with the man.

Smiling, Pieter knew it was the emotion inside that had made him feel warm that day as much as the sun beating down on them. That feeling was still there, deep inside, and as he allowed the sense memory to flow over him, Pieter’s heart beat faster. His cock filled as he imagined Sebastian’s lips on his, and his hands caressing his body. It had been so long and he missed his lover terribly.

Sighing, Pieter couldn’t deny that he regretted leaving his lover back in Louisiana, but he was honest enough to admit that he could never have stayed there in the circumstances. He wished every day that Seb could have come with him, but as much as he wished it could be otherwise, he couldn’t blame Sebastian for clinging to the only life he knew.

Belatedly, he realized that yet again his hand was in his pocket and he was running the small silver button between his fingers. He stopped the movement, grasping the button tightly and pulling it free. It rested in the palm of his hand, glinting slightly in the flickering candlelight. It was all he had of Sebastian with him and it had long been a kind of talisman. A constant reminder of the man he loved, the man he missed so very much.

Pieter could still see the look in Sebastian’s eyes as he dropped the button into his hand when he left to travel north. He had never forgotten the trust Sebastian placed in him, knowing that he would come home some day. To Pieter, wherever Sebastian was, that was home.

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November 7, 2012

Conflict – 25% excerpt!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 9:26 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Today’s excerpt, starting at the quarter point in the story, is from CONFLICT, my Civil War historical novel and sequel to the popular, Cane. CONFLICT garnered some excellent reviews, including a Recommended Read from Fallen Angels, Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews and 5 Stars from Literary Nymphs!

Bitterly, James remembered how he’d called to see Sebastian, to sympathize with him over his manager’s betrayal, to offer what help he could, but Cane would hear nothing said against the man. Sebastian had even refused to join the Confederate army when it was raised, wouldn’t fight for his home, his people. James had gone to ask him to come with him so they could serve together, renew the friendship that went back so many years. But no, Sebastian’s priority was Morning Star. He had a responsibility to his slaves he said. To his slaves!  Good God, what about his responsibility to his own people, to his State!

Van Leyden tossed and turned on the bed, muttering in his sleep. Farrand stared at him, this man who had so much to answer for. The prisoner’s sleep became even more disturbed and he shifted on the bed, his right arm flung to the side where his hand fell open.

Something caught the light from a flickering oil lamp nearby and, curious, James investigated. Van Leyden held a small silver button in his hand, one that James recognized immediately. He’d seen that set of buttons many times before, even unfastened them when he and Sebastian had been lovers.

Fury raged through him and jealousy. He had, of course, wondered at the kind of influence Van Leyden had over Sebastian. If it could be seated in more than just friendship, but he hoped he was wrong. But for Van Leyden to have this button — Sebastian had always been proud and possessive of the set of monogrammed buttons his mother had given him. There was only one way Van Leyden would have one. It was a keepsake from his lover.

James realized now he’d still held to the hope that sometime in the future he and Sebastian could have rekindled their relationship, but Sebastian already had a lover — Pieter Van Leyden. Angrily, James reached for the silver keepsake but as his hand brushed Van Leyden’s the other man stirred, reflexively closing his fist over the button.

James took his gaze from the man’s hand and looked into his face instead, to find Van Leyden staring back at him. Puzzlement swiftly gave way to resentment when it dawned on him what James had attempted.

Eyes blazing with anger, the Dutchman clutched his talisman protectively against his chest. “You have no right…”

Interrupting sharply, James snapped, “I have no right!  You betrayed him. How dare you?”

Mouth tight, eyes hard, yet his voice calm, Van Leyden stated, “Not that it’s any of your concern, but I did not betray him. This,” he glanced down at his still tightly closed fist, “was his parting gift to me.”

Fuming with frustrated anger, Farrand backed away and turning sharply stalked out of the hospital tent.

***

As James walked away from the cause of his distress, his anger deepened with each step. How come the scoundrel hadn’t been more badly hurt? Why hadn’t the fucking bastard been killed! Fucking bastard! Hah! That was too damned close to home! James couldn’t stand to think of that…that bastard with Sebastian.

Then he spotted Wyatt walking past in the distance and James suddenly recalled that Van Leyden was a prisoner and that if he survived — God damn the man! — he would be sent to a prison. Notorious places they were. Prisoners died like flies, he’d heard. With a brittle smile, James made for his tent, his smile widening as he ducked inside. He had a letter to write.

***

Pieter watched in shock as Farrand stalked away from him and out of the hospital tent. Relief flooded through him that he’d woken when he did. He’d been dreaming, he couldn’t remember what about, but he knew there was danger. Was it only a coincidence that he awakened just then? Or had his subconscious mind somehow been warning him?

He opened his hand again and stared at the precious keepsake; remembering only a short time ago wondering if he was silly to carry it around with him. Now, he knew just how much it meant to him; he would have hated to lose his only link to Sebastian.

***

In a frustrated rage, James wrote to Sebastian, knowing that he was still at Morning Star. The words flowing swiftly from his pen, he told of fighting a battle against a group of Union soldiers during which the enemy captain had been captured. He’d heard of course, he wrote, that white officers led nigger soldiers in the Union army but to actually see it! Then he admitted his shock when visiting the hospital to discover he recognized the wounded Yankee captain in charge of one such company. James wrote that he shouldn’t really have been surprised to see Pieter Van Leyden in such a position after the way he’d betrayed his own kind. Then, with a vicious smile, heartlessly, he had added: The man is better off dead!

He read the words again, nodding to himself. Then like a dash of cold water he realized he could never send the message to Sebastian. He couldn’t appear so cold and unfeeling to Sebastian, who, for whatever unfathomable reason, still cared about his ex-manager. James wanted to ‘comfort’ Sebastian; he needed to be supportive, not condemning of ‘poor’ Van Leyden. He carefully re-wrote the letter, first reminding Sebastian of their long and also intimate friendship before writing about Van Leyden. He described the scene in much the way he had before, but instead adding at the end: Still, I know how fond of the misguided young man you were, and I’m sorry to have to tell you that he died of wounds sustained in the battle.

Feeling much more comfortable with the wording, he added another paragraph telling Sebastian that he would call to see him whenever the opportunity next arose, though it could be some time before it would be possible. He signed and sealed it, making plans to get it mailed as soon as he could.

Chapter Four

The following morning, as Wyatt had stated, the Confederates broke camp. The half-dozen wounded were loaded into two wagons and moved out among the first group to leave, a half-company in attendance. Wyatt was at the front of the formation.

Pieter slumped in the second wagon, his back against the rear of the driver’s seat, his head almost touching the back of the soldier driving the wagon. Doctor Mayer sat alongside the driver, half turned toward the bed of the wagon where two of the more seriously injured men lay. The shortage of room in the wagon necessitated Pieter’s half sitting position.

Pieter was the only Union prisoner and Wyatt had insisted on tying his hands and fastening the rope to the wagon. Mayer protested, but the only concession Wyatt allowed was that the doctor placed Pieter’s injured arm carefully before Pieter was secured. However, Pieter considered Wyatt was being over-cautious because he didn’t believe he had enough strength to escape anyway. Not yet at least. He had to trust that his vigor would return to allow him to make the attempt before too long. Pieter had no intention of being sent to a Confederate prison. He’d heard enough rumors not to want to discover if they were true.

From his position in the bed of wagon, Pieter could see where they had come from, and until the cart made a sweeping turn to rejoin a wide dirt road, he watched as the rest of the Confederate troops gathered their belongings together. He knew they would soon form up, throwing out a screen to protect the main column as they retreated to their own lines. Pieter didn’t know exactly where that was, but he knew it wouldn’t be too far from the Union forces.

Both sides kept an uneasy, wary eye out as they each tried to outwit the other. Each commanding general wished to pick the battle ground, while at the same time, not allowing his opposite number to choose where he wished to fight. The front lines were constantly changing. Pieter assumed they were moving toward Louisiana.

It took longer than he expected to reach the Confederate camp. It was big, and looked to be at least semi-permanent. The wagons were driven to the left flank where it appeared there was a hospital complex, judging from all the activity going on around the two tents. Pieter gave an involuntary shudder at the haphazard pile of amputated limbs he glimpsed, grateful indeed that he had been spared that. However, he had been wondering for a while if his wound had begun to bleed again. He could feel something warm and wet on his arm and he’d been feeling sleepier and sleepier as the journey progressed.

As the doctor alighted and moved to the rear of the wagon, Pieter commented, “Doctor, I believe I could be bleeding again.”

<end excerpt>

If you’d like to read the full story, the novel can be purchased here

http://steviewoods.com

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April 10, 2012

Read some of my First Chapters!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 11:37 am
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I am the guest author today on the D Renee Bagby First Chapters Blog! If you visit there today you can read the first chapters of four of my novels: CANE, its sequel CONFLICT, BEYOND THE VEIL and its prequel DRAWING THE VEIL.


 

February 14, 2011

Valentines’ Love Letters on The Macaronis Blog

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 7:56 pm
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Taking part in the Valentine’s Day celebration on The Macaronis Blog, I have posted two love letters from characters in my historical releases, Cane, Conflict and Smoke Screen. Pop over and have a look, and take the time to read the other entries from my fellow Macaronis, they are wonderful!

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com

Gay erotic romance – love knows no boundaries

March 31, 2010

Top Pick Review for Conflict!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 8:21 pm
Tags: ,

I just received an excellent review from Night Owl Reviews  for my historical gay romance and I am really bouncing.  They have now given me a Top Pick for both Cane and Conflict!

“I thought Conflict showed how war could split families, loved ones, friends, and a nation up brilliantly.”

Read the full review here

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com

December 19, 2009

Slabs of stone, Wax Tablets – SIN Advent post!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 12:18 pm
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As I reported a few days ago I am taking part in the Speak Its Name Advent Calendar and today is my day! Below you will find my post as displayed on the SIN site, but please go and have a look at the other posts from my fellow authors, there is lots to enjoy – and lots to win!  If you want to win one of my posts read my post and comment – either here or on SIN – and you will be entered into the draw.  Enjoy!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM STEVIE WOODS

I’ve got an extra Christmas present this year. A revised version of my first novel, Cane, which also happened to be my first historical novel, is set to be re-released by Phaze Books in both ebook and print on 21st December, and I couldn’t be happier.

I think the situation deserves a little background information because it is linked with the whole point of this blog. The re-release happened because the sequel novel, Conflict, which had been released by a different publisher than Cane, was due to be released in print in September, but the original publisher of Cane had not released that novel in print and it seemed to me that if one came out in print, so should the other. Canes contract was coming to an end in August and the timing seemed auspicious to query if Conflict’s publisher would be interested in taking over Cane’s contract. Happily, they were and the ball was set rolling for a re-release as soon as it could be arranged.

So why did I feel it was so important to get the novel released in print? This is a question which came up because of a few comments on various lists and blogs I have seen over recent months about the advantages – or otherwise – of differing publication methods.

When I was offered my first contract by a publisher specializing in ebooks, I was overjoyed. I’d sold a book. Someone actually wanted to publish my book! People would actually get to read it! You get the picture. At the time, that was all that really mattered to me. I’d spent almost a year writing that novel. What with the research, the first draft, the self-edits, the re-write – well I’m sure you all know exactly what I mean. I’m not saying I didn’t have a ball writing it, but still I had wanted a result after all that effort. Of course, it wasn’t the first time I had gone through that, but it was the first time I had been offered a contract.

Later, of course, I wanted my work available in any media possible and I had learned by then that not everyone liked the idea of digital media – and far too many people didn’t even know what it was!

So naturally having my work published in print too became a goal. So far, counting Cane, three of my five novels are in print (Cane, Conflict and Beyond The Veil) and one novella, Death’s Desire, as part of the anthology Past Shadows, is also in print. My short stories are only available in ebook format and I think if I wanted those in print I would have to go the self-publishing route, and I’m not sure if that is something I want to do. I confess to not knowing very much about self-publishing so I am still thinking about that one. I need to do some research into the whole process and, of course, the costs involved etc.

However, another opportunity arose recently when a submission call went out by a new Audio venture who wished to release audio versions of suitable published novels or short stories. The call just happened to coincide with the complaint of a friend of mine who particularly loves audio books, but couldn’t find enough of the type of books she likes. When I mentioned the new venture to her she wanted to know what I was waiting for! Why wasn’t I already submitting? So, I did. As I write this, I am waiting to hear if they will accept any of my submissions. (Or, fingers crossed, all of them. )

It seems to me that is the best of both worlds – all worlds? – to have my stories available for anyone to read in any media they want. It shouldn’t be an either/or, and us/them attitude. In one form or another, books have been here since man first began to think, to understand he could put ideas down for others to read – whether on slabs of stone, wax tablets, papyrus, paper or modern media.

Folk love to read – I say we should give them as many choice as possible, make it easy for them!

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com

http://bookworld.editme.com/StevieWoods

https://swquill.wordpress.com/

MyPublishers:

http://www.torquerepress.com

http://www.phaze.com

http://www.mlrpress.com

Advent Calendar Giveaway!

Leave a comment here on this post and I will randomly select one name from the entrants on the last day of Advent, December 24th. The winner can chose from any of my historical works in ebook format.

December 1, 2009

Awesome Sale at Phaze Books!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 7:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

From now through New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2010, when you shop directly from Phaze Books at www.Phaze.com you get to take 20% off your total order including ebook and print titles!

Enter discount code: SANTA at checkout to enjoy the savings!

So if you are thinking about buying any of my Phaze books, now is the time!

BEYOND THE VEIL, historical m/m novel, in eBook and Print

 

DRAWING THE VEIL, prequel to BEYOND THE VEIL

 

CONFLICT, historical Civil War m/m novel in eBook and Print

 

 

 

Visit my page at Phaze Books for the Blurbs and to read an excerpt:

http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Stevie+Woods/exact_match=exact

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com

http://bookworld.editme.com/StevieWoods

My Publishers:

http://www.phaze.com

http://www.torquerepress.com

http://www.mlrpress.com

 

October 8, 2009

Conflict is now out in print!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 9:56 pm
Tags: , , ,

conflict200x300

Well, it is finally out! My Civil War historical novel, CONFLICT, has just been released in print by Phaze Books.

It has been on the cards for some time and it is really exciting to know it is now available in Print as well as eBook.

I think the only thing more exciting will be to actually hold the book in my hands 🙂

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com

http://bookworld.editme.com/StevieWoods

My Publishers:

http://www.torquerepress.com

http://www.phaze.com

http://www.mlrpress.com

September 6, 2009

Phaze Books Labor Day Sale!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 10:11 am
Tags: , , ,

Phaze new If you are considering buying any of my Phaze releases now is the time!

Starting now through Labor Day, Monday, September 7th, all Phaze Books’ ebook and print titles are on sale for an incredible 20% off!

To take advantage of this sale, use the sale code HARDLABOR at checkout.

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com

http://www.phaze.com

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