Stevie Woods:author of gay romantic fiction

January 31, 2015

Excerpt from gay historical novel, CONFLICT

Filed under: writing — imagine647 @ 10:59 pm
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conflict200x300Here’s an excerpt from CONFLICT, the sequel to my gay historical novel, CANE, as the story continues into the Civil War:

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.

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.


“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>

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January 30, 2015

Excerpt from historical novel, CANE

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 3:08 pm
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CanePhaze(200x300)CANE, a novel set on a sugar plantation just before the beginning of the American Civil War:


Privileged young Pieter may have grown up on a sugar cane plantation, but that doesn’t mean he agrees with the way his father runs things. He falls in love with Joss, one of his father’s slaves, and their affair sets off a chain of events that is destined to tear them apart.

When Pieter’s father dies, he returns home hoping to find Joss. It’s too late for their love, but maybe it’s not too late for Pieter to find happiness. As he makes his way to America, Pieter realizes old conflicts still rage, and even as he finds a new love, danger stalks his every move. Can Pieter learn to overcome the hate and fear that threaten to tear his world apart?


“You can’t sell Tillie and Joss, you just can’t.  They’re like family to me,” Pieter stated fervently.

“They’re our slaves, Pieter, nothing more.  Your poor mother was unwell when you were a baby and Effie helped in your upbringing, but that shouldn’t make her anything more to you than what she is.  I admit I allowed you too much freedom growing up and you made attachments that no well brought up young man should have.  It is wrong and you know it!”

“Who says it is wrong?  They are people, just like you and me…”

“No, they are not!  They are slaves, born of slaves and that is all they will ever be.  They will never be your equals and you do the girl no service treating with her as you do.  I knew she was part of the problem with…”

“No, no, you don’t understand.  I had already thought better of my stubborn attitude about marriage.  I have already decided that you are right and that I should…”

“It makes no difference anyway.  I have to pay the debt.”

“Please, Father.  I’m asking you, if you must sell slaves then so be it, but not Tillie and Joss.  Please, I have agreed to what you want.”

Nicolaas looked at his son, saw the pleading in his eyes.  Pieter said he had already decided before he knew of the gambling debt and Nicolaas knew his son would not lie about this.  It would only be fair to relent a little.  “Very well, I will keep the girl; sell someone in her place but…”

“And Joss?”

“No, Joss is one of the best field hands.  A good strong lad, he’ll fetch a good price.”

“Please, not Joss.  One of the others.”

“Enough!  I have given you the girl, what more do you want!”

“Joss, I want Joss!” Pieter’s voice was shrill, his eyes wide and Nicolaas stared, unable to understand.

“Don’t be a fool!  I told you he must…”

“No, no!  God, don’t you understand?  It’s not Tillie I need, it’s Joss!”

His voice was no longer shrill.  Pieter spoke quietly but with such intensity that Nicolaas finally understood what he was trying to say.  His mouth dropped open with shock and Nicolaas stared at the son he thought he knew.  Now Nicolaas realized he didn’t know him at all.  His Pieter, his pride and joy, the boy whose intelligence had been a source of delight, he…?  He… instead of women?  Oh God!

“You…you have…relations with that slave? With that man?  How could you?” Suddenly overwhelmed with disgust, Van Leyden declared, “You…you’re depraved, you godless sodomite!”

Looking remarkably calm in the circumstances, Pieter said, “Yes, I have relations with Joss, because I love him.  And I don’t believe I am godless, after all, God gave me the heart to love a man.  I hardly think my being a…a,” Pieter stumbled over the word his father had called him, “a sodomite is any worse than you being a slaver.  At least I show him kindness not cruelty.”

Nicolaas couldn’t believe what his son, his son, was saying, and comparing him to such depravity.  Fury added bitterness to his tone.  “If it’s the last thing I do, I will ensure that both he and his sister are removed from this property immediately and sold as soon as I can arrange it.  If I can sell them off the island I will do so.  I will do everything possible to ensure you never see him again!  Now, get out of my sight!”

<end excerpt>

Available in ebook or print from Phaze Books:

Or from

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October 20, 2010

Phaze Books’ September Top Ten!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 10:28 am
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I was very pleased to discover that ONE SMALL STEP, my contemporary romance, is still in Phaze’s Top Ten for September!



November 20, 2008

Sale offer at Phaze Books

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 8:53 pm
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Phaze new

November is the fourth anniversary for Phaze Books and they are offering a 25% off coupon – good for both eBooks and print – for sales from their site.  The offer is available for both the 21st and 22nd November so head over there and see what is avaiable.  The code to enter for the 25% offer is BIGFOUR.



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October 6, 2008

Update on new stuff on the way!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 6:16 pm
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Gosh time flies!  I hadn’t realised that I hadn’t posted anything about my recent acceptances.  I have a short story – Bridging Time – coming out in the Torquere Halloween Sip Blitz.   As far as I know they are due out on the 31st!

I’ve also had a submission accepted for the Christmas Blitz at Torquere, this one is called Fortune’s Choice and of couse will be out in time for Christmas (not got a precise date yet).

Last, but not least, I have another Single Shot coming out but as yet have no idea when.  This is a sequel to my earlier fantasy historical Sip, The Wrong Path, and it is called Twists & Turns.

I’m working on a novel at the moment and am waiting Edits on my two novels due out in January, and of course the two outstanding Single Shots will need editing too.

Wow, I’ve got my hands full – but what more can an author want!!


September 6, 2008

Never Enough Time!!…. but

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 6:17 pm
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I have been trying to organise myself so I made myself some notes – and came to understand today just how much I have on my plate over the next few months.  I have two novels which are due edits pretty shortly, and a couple of novelettes that I’ll be asked to edit soon too.  I have a new novel I am dying to start on but I have a novella to finish first for a deadline.

I have promised myself to be more involved in the Macaronis and Britwriters Blogs and be a bit more prepared with promo stuff.  And to get back to posting on the TQ LJ.

My first reaction to all this was a panicked ‘Bloody Hell, how can I cope with all this working round my job and family!’

My second reaction was that I love writing and I should be grateful I’m not stuck staring at my laptop with no ideas floating around my poor brain!’

While I can often be heard to complain that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, I’ll never be stupid enough to complain about having too many contracts 🙂  I’ll have to take each day as it comes – and pray the deadline don’t all fall on the same day LOL!

September 3, 2008

Print release for BEYOND THE VEIL

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 5:52 pm
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I was over the moon to learn that my novel has done well enough that the publisher are going to give it a print release!

I have not got any detailed information yet but it looks as if it might have a November release.  Woohoo!!


My Publishers:

June 5, 2008

Novel submission acceptance!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 10:36 pm
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I was thrilled to get the offer today of a contract from Torquere Press for my latest submission! This time it’s a novel, my first attempt at a fantasy paranormal, entitled On Reflection.

It never ceases to amaze me how my writing has taken off. It is only a little over 18 months since I seriously pursued being published, and now I have one novel, a short story in an anthology and five novelettes published. My second novel is due out next month from Phaze and with this new acceptance, I have two other novels contracted, one with each publisher!

Of course, this doesn’t mean I can slow down! If anything, I have to keep at it, produce new work. So, back to the writing 🙂


My Publishers:

May 10, 2008

Catching Up!

Filed under: website,writing — Stevie Woods @ 7:25 pm
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Heck, it was something of a shock when I realised how long it had been since I wrote anything on here! I have been so involved with writing, editing, promoting and most recently redesigning my website that blogging was way down on the list. Now, I have to try to remember what has happened in my writing world since March…..

I have had another Sip submission accepted from Torquere, this time for a fantasy called TUTELARY. Not had a publication date for that yet, but should be soon.

I do have a publication date for my novelette, TACTICS, though, it will be released by Torquere on 5th July – which means I will have two releases in the same month by two different publishers as Phaze are releasing BEYOND THE VEIL, my historical novel, on 21st July. That’s a first for me, two publishers in one month, wow!

What else? Oh yeah, I had another wonderful review for CANE a few weeks back. This time I received 5 Angels from Fallen Angels reviews. A sample:

Cane is a glimpse into a man’s heart and soul, and we are privy to Piet’s love, his hurt, his life. Watching Piet accept himself as a gay man during that time period with all the hiding necessary to stay safe and to not become ostracized by those you love gave me a new respect for anyone who has openly accepted their preference.

To read the full review, go here:

Lastly, I have finally obtained my own domain and only yesterday I uploaded my completely redone website, I think this version is much cleaner and easier to navigate. Have a look:

I think that is it, though the odds are I’ve forgotten something 🙂 I will post again if I’m right!

I will try to get back into a routine of posting more regularly.


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March 11, 2008

Contract for ‘Conflict’ – at last!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 12:10 am
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Phaze new
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now and when I checked I realise it has been almost three weeks since I got the news I want to document! Gosh, time does fly when you are busy.

I was very pleased to hear – 3 weeks ago now! – that another novel of mine has been accepted for publication. Particularly pleased as this one – ‘Conflict’ – is the sequel to my historical gay romance, ‘Cane’. It has taken longer than I hoped to get it accepted but that hardly seems to matter now that I have the contract signed, sealed and delivered!

Really, 2008 is turning out to be a good year for me (so far!). My second novel – ‘Beyond the Veil’ – is due out in July, as is another novelette – ‘Tactics’ – as I just heard today. Busy month July! And now I have another novel slated for next January – that seems a long way away, but I have so much planned for this year that I’m sure it will be here before I realise it!


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