Stevie Woods:author of gay romantic fiction

October 8, 2011

Great Review for Stone by Stone!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 7:50 pm
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I was delighted to discover that my Tudor set historical novel, Stone by Stone, has received a lovely review from Top2Bottom Reviews.

“In Stone by Stone, Stevie Woods has created a novel that makes its characters suffer and work for their happy ending. It was impossible not to sympathize with Andrew and Mark’s struggle to carve some semblance of happiness from the obstacles that continually derailed them on their journey.

This is a story for the true romantic who believes falling in love and sharing a life with another is the greatest reformation of all.”

Go here to read the full review.

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com

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September 28, 2011

Stone By Stone now available at ARe Books!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 10:13 pm
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Stone By Stone

Stone By Stone

By: Stevie Woods | Other books by Stevie Woods
Published By: Amber Quill Press, LLC
ISBN # 9781611241679
Word Count: 62000
Heat Index    

Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Reader, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc), Rocket, Epub

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About the book

Can two men build a relationship when one must tear down each stone that the other has worked so hard to build?In the year 1535, after a misspent youth, Brother Mark is a hardworking Benedictine monk toiling as a stone mason at Tavistock Abbey. There, he finds himself irrevocably drawn to one of the men sent by King Henry to audit the monasteries prior to closure.

Andrew Cheyne is fascinated by the handsome young man and breaks down the monk’s boundaries with an ease that neither expected. When Andrew returns four years later to finally close the Abbey, each man must also come to terms with their past to attempt to plan a future they can share.

But fate plays a cruel trick on them. Or, as Mark wonders, is it God teaching him a lesson?

Attempting to forget Mark, Andrew commences a brand new life, but fate has more lessons in store for him yet.

Excerpt:
…The next sheet showed two figures, one kneeling in front of the other, head bowed, while the standing man’s hands were upturned just above the kneeling man’s head. The expression on the standing man’s face was rapturous as he gazed towards heaven. Andrew stared at the scene for a moment, “The baptism?” he asked.“Yes,” said Mark, grinning a little as he added, “I’m so pleased you recognised it.”

Andrew cocked his head to one side. “It would be hard not to. Your work is strikingly simple, yet so revealing.” Mark almost looked embarrassed, but he smiled. The other two drawings were of the raising of Lazarus and Christ on his cross. “These will take you quite some time,” Andrew ventured.

“What better use for my time and the talent given to me by God?” Mark shrugged. “Of course, I will still have to help work on the necessary stonework around the abbey, too, so I will only be able to work on this for a portion of my daily labour, but I don’t mind giving of my own time whenever I am able.”

“Your own time? I’m surprised you have any time to yourself with your five hours of physical labour each day and the many prayers you must perform.”

Mark frowned a little. “I am young and strong. I can always find a way to give of my time in the service of God.”

“Hmm. I understand you feel some kind of commitment to your calling, even if I don’t fully understand it.” He smiled at the monk, glancing at the table again. “What other drawings have you to show me?”

Mark eyes widened and he rolled up the rest of the drawings. A faint flush rose up his cheeks as he said, “Oh, those are only some earlier drafts, not worth looking at now you have seen…”

Something niggled at Andrew and he couldn’t help his suspicion over Mark’s nervous reaction. Abruptly, Andrew grabbed the roll of papers from Mark, who cried, “No! Give them back.”

Andrew frowned. “I won’t damage them, you know.”

“They’re mine,” Mark said pettishly. “Give them back.” He held out a hand.

Needing to know, Andrew ignored Mark. “What else do we have here? Could it be there is something here that Sir Richard ought to be informed of?”

“No, please.” Mark gasped as Andrew laid them on the table and unrolled them. Mark took a step back, and Andrew felt the monk’s eyes boring into him as he looked through them, putting aside those he had already seen.

Andrew’s movements slowed as he looked at the collection of intricately drawn depictions of male nudes. Beautiful, delicate…aroused men.

“God’s death!” He glanced up at Mark. “Why did you keep these?”

“They are my punishment,” Mark replied, the anguish plain.

“What?” asked Andrew, not understanding how such beautifully rendered male bodies, all anatomically correct and in contact with each other, could be a punishment. Mark didn’t answer, and Andrew looked at the monk. His face was flushed and he couldn’t meet Andrew’s gaze. “Answer me!”

Mark’s head lifted at the tone in Andrew’s voice and, in a low voice, he answered, “These drawings remind me two men together is an unnatural act and such men should be punished. These drawings bring to mind that such activities offend the eye and mind of our Saviour.”

Andrew snorted. “So you keep these and look at them, just to remind yourself of how bad they are?”

Mark nodded.

“If nothing else, that must offend the artist.”

Mark hesitated.

“What is it?” Andrew asked, his eyes narrowing. “What haven’t you told me?”

“There is nothing else to say.”

“Yes, there is. I sense it.” Holding the drawings tightly in one hand, Andrew advanced on Mark. “You’re not telling me everything, Brother. Is it because you hide a desire for the men in these drawings? Is it because you allow your cock to get hard when you secretly go through these images?” Before he finished speaking, Andrew’s hand shot out and he grabbed Mark’s genitals through his habit. As he’d expected, Mark’s cock was indeed hard, forcing the monk to admit, at least to himself, that Andrew was right.

Andrew smirked at Mark, whose face was pale except for two bright spots on his cheeks. Andrew’s gloating was tainted, though, as such close contact with the man he desired caused his own cock to fill and rise rapidly, so fast it became painful…

http://steviewoods.com

September 21, 2011

Stone By Stone now out in Print!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 7:44 pm
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I was delighted to learn today that the Print version of my historical novel, Stone by Stone, is at last available through  Amazon.

 

It is already available through Amber Quill in a variety of ebook versions and through Kindle.

http://steviewoods.com

August 28, 2011

Out today! Historical novel Stone By Stone!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 9:42 am
Tags: , , , , ,

My new historical novel, Stone By Stone, is released today from Amber Quill Press! This story was not easy to write and I am proud of the finished result – I just hope that readers agree!

BLURB:
Can two men build a relationship when one must tear down each stone that the other has worked so hard to build?

In the year 1535, after a misspent youth, Brother Mark is a hardworking Benedictine monk toiling as a stone mason at Tavistock Abbey. There, he finds himself irrevocably drawn to one of the men sent by King Henry to audit the monasteries prior to closure.

Andrew Cheyne is fascinated by the handsome young man and breaks down the monk’s boundaries with an ease that neither expected. When Andrew returns four years later to finally close the Abbey, each man must also come to terms with their past to attempt to plan a future they can share.

But fate plays a cruel trick on them. Or, as Mark wonders, is it God teaching him a lesson?

Attempting to forget Mark, Andrew commences a brand new life, but fate has more lessons in store for him yet…

Available now in eBook and to be published in Print in a few weeks:

http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/StoneByStone.html

Stevie
http://steviewoods.com

May 29, 2011

ON REFLECTION for sale at ARe Books!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 11:56 am
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On Reflection

 

On Reflection

By: Stevie Woods | Other books by Stevie Woods
Published By: MLR Press, LLC
ISBN # 9781608203307
Word Count: 60000
Heat Index    

Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc), Epub

add to cartRead More

Click here for the print version

About the book

Nic Volenz is a nightwalker, an abomination in the eyes of the Temple who must drink blood to survive. It was never his choice to be such a creature, and now after two hundred years of painful existence, he wants only to end it all. He plans to return home, where it all began, and say goodbye to the few good memories he has left before greeting the sun.

His mind full of memories, some good, some bad, Nic retraces the steps his life took in the city of Volenzkya, reinforcing his desire to end it all — until he meets Maxim, a young man whose passion for life, and Nic, rekindles Nic’s need for a connection with all he thought he had lost.

 

An excerpt from the book

Abruptly, he stood up, threw a few coins on the table, and stalked out of the tavern.

What the hell was he doing? It was all so pointless. He was just marking time; there was no reason for any of this. He stopped in the middle of the path, silently admitting to himself just how sterile his existence was. He had no hopes, no dreams, no goals. What was it all for? He answered his own question: Nothing. It was all for nothing.

He lifted his head and looked at the sky above, dark and foreboding with storm clouds gathering. He smiled grimly. Well, if he wanted confirmation…

He made the decision on that dark street and felt the pressure melt away. He knew what he had to do, what he needed to do. Go back to where it all began so very long ago, before he became the worldly Nic Volenz; to when he was the poor foundling Nicolo d’Volenzkya, named for the street and city where he had been abandoned. It would be spring now in Volenzkya, and he needed to see home, to feel its familiarity, its warmth, one last time before he bid a final farewell to his existence. It was probably maudlin, but he didn’t care. Nic had been struggling with himself over this for months, years, even; another few weeks or so wouldn’t matter.

Swiftly changing direction, he headed for the docks. It didn’t matter that it was the middle of the night; there was always a watch on the ships, and he could find out which vessel was heading for Volenzkya. It was only a four-day journey by sea to the capital city, and he could comfortably stay in his cabin for that short period of time without arousing suspicion, claiming to be a poor sailor.

He was back at the house where he was staying an hour before dawn, having arranged passage on a ship leaving the next evening. Nic had taken the precaution of feeding on his way back from the docks; he didn’t wish to risk needing to feed on board ship. He hadn’t had an attendant for the last few months and he soon packed his own bag. Traveling light was a habit of his now.

Standing by the window, he watched the sun slowly lift above the horizon and knew he had made the right choice. He would go home, say goodbye to the places that meant something to him, and then let everything go. He was almost surprised to find that he wasn’t afraid; he felt at peace for the first time in one hundred and eighty years.

Chapter One

Volenzkya

As he looked up at the soaring towers of the huge Temple, Nic couldn’t help but smile. An enduring testament to the past glory of the city, they called it. If the building was enduring, what did that make him? He remembered the Duke laying the first stone amidst the prayers of the priests and priestesses and the cheers of the crowds. So much was different, and yet everything was the same. The smile faded when he thought perhaps only he had changed; changed from the young man who was desperate for experience, desperate to know everything that was knowable. Oh, he had learned, he had learned far too much, and how he had counted the cost.

Shaking his head to get rid of the troublesome thoughts, Nic quickened his pace and strode purposefully through the increasingly narrow streets, feeling as if he was marching back in time. If only he could put the clock back, if only he could go back to those days he had spent in this very city with Paolo. He should have died all those years ago with Paolo, instead of continuing to exist as the unclean thing he was.

Almost a hundred years he had existed before he met Paolo; “lived,” he called it back then, before he came to understand that he really was undead. People like Paolo; they were truly alive, because one had to be alive to be able to die. Nic couldn’t die; he had passed that long ago. All a nightwalker could do was cease to exist. For well over another hundred years after Paolo had died he had continued to exist, never again finding another to love the way he had with Paolo.

For a long time he had hoped he would again find someone who could look at him with compassion and understanding, but eventually even that slender hope had died. All he had now were memories, and they were no longer enough to sustain him.

As soon as the sun had dipped below the horizon, Nic had ventured out; heading for the city center, but it wasn’t long before his feet led him to the docks again. He’d not had the opportunity to properly study his surroundings when his ship had dropped anchor in the bay, because there was no dock space free, meaning the passengers had to be rowed ashore. By that time the sun was almost up, and he needed to get under cover quickly. He took a room at the nearest inn, as rough as it was. He had no interest in what the place was like as long as it provided him shelter for the short time he had left.

Dusk was falling as Nic stood on the dock overlooking the vast harbor, even larger now than the last time he had seen it. Of course, that had been over a hundred years ago, so what else could he expect?

When he looked out over the sea, however, he saw a different view. He saw the harbor as he remembered it, though not from roughly a hundred years in the past, but from two hundred years ago, when he had been a raw youth of thirteen summers trying to escape with his bounty.

* * *

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.

June 2, 2009

The Macaronis spend the month of June at Coffee Time!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 9:32 pm
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The Macaronis, a group of Gay Historical authors to which I am proud to belong,  is hosting a month long extravanza at the Readers Retreat on Coffee Time Forum for the whole month of June.

macaronisbanner

“We are a group of authors of m/m historical romance, aiming to bring you high quality romance that is fun, gripping, sexy and heartwarming as well as being historically accurate. If you like Regency gentlemen and Victorian Lords, Georgian men-of-war and gay Cavaliers, this is the group for you. We’ll be answering questions such as “Are you really named after a type of pasta?” and “Boxers or briefs? What did men wear for underwear in the 18th Century?” We’ll be sharing excerpts of our books, running competitions, posting photos and videos, and hopefully chatting to anyone who’s interested in chatting to us.”

Come and join in the fun!

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com


February 27, 2009

Title for prequel novel to Beyond

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 8:16 pm
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Phaze newbeyondtheveilsm2 Definitely decided on the title for my prequel novel  about Malik, the Corsair captain – DRAWING THE VEIL.  I think that says exactly what occurs in this story.

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com

July 21, 2008

New Release – Beyond the Veil

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 3:54 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’m excited to be able to announce that my second novel, Beyond the Veil, is being released today by Phaze Books.  It is a yet another historical – you’d be right to think I have a soft spot for historicals!  I’m posting the Blurb below, together with the first few paragraphs to give a taste:

BLURB:

Captured by the aggressive pirate captain of a Barbary corsair ship off the North African coast in the latter half of the eighteenth century, David Jordan faces a life of slavery of the worst kind when he is taken to the specialist markets of Tripoli.  However, the enigmatic man who finally buys him is not at all what David expects.

Robert Charteris has a very personal reason for fighting against the iniquity of slavery and, in disguise, witnesses the disposal of the slave cargo from a captured English ship and, for the first time in fifteen years, Charteris feels an interest in another man.

His decision to rescue the young man has repercussions he could never have expected in this tale of high passion and forbidden love.

EXCERPT:

David was forced to duck yet again as a cannon ball screamed overhead, this one slamming into the ship’s mast, the cracking of the wood drawing everyone’s attention, but miraculously it held. More cannon balls whizzed and shrieked as they tore through sails or broke off some of the smaller spits holding the shrouds aloft.

Slipping further back into the shadows, David cursed his stupidity at ignoring the perils of travelling in the Mediterranean as he watched the Barbary Pirates pouring across the ship’s tilting deck, its surface already awash with blood. The crew manfully attempted to fight the pirates back but they were not only outnumbered, they were outfought. David had no weapon and weighed his chances if he tried to help.

His attention was drawn by the angry bellowing of a pirate who was chasing Miss Bateson, her long blonde hair coming loose from its tortoise shell grip and streaming out behind her. As she looked back over her shoulder, her eyes showed fear yet her mouth was set in a determined line. David was debating his options when he saw young Tom Bateson struggling with one of the pirates.

Almost immediately David understood that Tom had been attempting to help his sister, who ducked hoping to avoid another pirate trying to intercept her.

Without a second thought, David ran out of his hiding place and launched himself at the pirate who shook the sixteen-year-old youth like he was a rat in the teeth of a dog. The man was huge, his bare arms bulging with muscles where the split sleeve of his shirt fell open, his legs braced with a wide stance. David landed on the pirate’s back but the man was not even unbalanced. He dropped Tom instantly though, and twisting from his shoulder he reached back and cuffed David upside the head.

David hung on even though his head was spinning and his ears were ringing. With a growl, one of the man’s beefy hands gripped David’s right arm and his vice-like hold broke David’s grasp as if it was nothing. He yanked David towards him and his other hand slammed into David’s chest, throwing him clear across the deck where he landed heavily, his head ringing.

Suzanna Bateson’s forward rush came to an abrupt halt when she ran into a solid object. Strong arms wrapped around her, keeping her from falling. For a moment she looked grateful for the help, until she glanced up and gasped in shock.

She was held tight in the grip of another pirate. A tall man whose dark eyes were all that could be seen of his face, the rest of it covered by a black veil edged in silver attached to his burnous, and the long hooded cloak favoured by the Turks, which was also edged in silver. The burnous fell over loosely fitting black pantaloons and a loose silver shirt worn split open to the waist where it was tucked inside the wide waistband.

“What have we here?” he asked in English but with an odd accent.

The woman struggled in his grip, but he merely pulled her closer to him. “I like a woman of spirit. I think I might keep you,” he said as his eyes swept over her.

He leaned in towards her, obviously intending to kiss her and she shouted in shock, “No!”

Ignoring his increasing dizziness, David attempted to roll to his side to try and get his knees underneath him but just then Tom Bateson barrelled out of his hiding place among some fallen sails and leapt at the tall pirate.

“Leave my sister be, you bastard!” he yelled as he attempted to land blows on the man’s kidneys.

The tall pirate swirled the girl away into the arms of her erstwhile pursuer while he grabbed up the fair-haired youth. “I can clearly see you two are related,” he said with a smile, his oddly accented voice warm with amusement.

David just managed to hear the captain say, “Take them to my cabin, Achmed,” before everything dimmed and he gave in to the pain pounding behind his eyes, momentarily losing consciousness.

A rough voice calling out in a language he knew he ought to recognize dragged David’s attention back to his surroundings. He tried to open his eyes but swiftly closed them again as the brightness seared his pupils. He tried to listen to what was being said, but at first he could not even remember which language it was, let alone interpret it.

However, he realized it was the pirate Captain speaking and with growing horror he did recognize a few of the foreign words, “…kill the injured men too. They’re no use as new crew and even less use on the slave block.”

<end excerpt>

Buy today from Phaze: http://www.kingcart.com/Phaze/product=Beyond+The+Veil

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com

My Publishers:

http://www.phaze.com

http://www.torquerepress.com

June 6, 2008

Blogging on The Macaronis

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 9:15 pm
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The Macaronis is a Blog for authors of gay romantic fiction which I joined recently and I posted my first blog on there entitled: Writing historicals versus other genres – is there a difference? You’ll have to wander on over there to see what I think 🙂

Stevie

http://steviewoods.com

My Publishers:

http://www.phaze.com

http://www.torquerepress.com

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