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Just a quick post to say that along with lots of other brilliant bargains, Labyrinth, Blessed Isle and The Crimson Outlaw are available for 99c in Riptide’s end of year sale. Scoop ’em up for cheap while you can ;)*

*if you want them and don’t already have them, of course. I don’t want to make assumptions.

blessedisleriptide200x133 thecrimsonoutlaw_200x133 labyrinth_133x200

Given that the Arising books are coming out soon, you might be interested in The Crimson Outlaw. While I was writing Sons of Devils (the first in the Arising series) I found myself wanting to fanfic myself by shipping Radu with Cesar. I’m not entirely sure how that turned into the story of young Vali and his adventures with Mihai the bandit, but the workings of inspiration are a mysterious thing. What can I say? I really liked the Romanian setting and wanted to use it more. It’s distinctly odd that this one came out so long before the book that inspired it, but they belong together, thematically.

The Crimson Outlaw also has the distinction of being a Romanian story entirely without vampires. I don’t know why, but that amuses me.

Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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I’m still shuffling from doctors to hospital and back again while ingesting various chemicals and being scanned for things. CT scan yesterday, in which they tried to put a cannula in me in three different places and my veins played hide and seek. Back for another day of being sedated on the 4th of November… So, normal life has still not resumed.

On the plus side I had an absolutely gorgeous review of Blessed Isle today:

Now, I can’t recommend this enough. It’s one of those rare stories that is more than the sum of good plot + good characterisation = success. Blessed Isle is more than an experience, it’s a memory and you will live it. This is a love story that will survive centauries. It’s beautiful.

Which can’t be bettered

I am half way through writing Trowchester Blues, at a wordcount of 36K, which means that it seems well within reach to plan to finish it during NaNoWriMo. We have here the ex-cop falling for the not-quite-ex-enough con, both of whom are mature gentlemen in their forties. I remember the mid-life crisis up close and personal, and sometimes it’s nice to write characters who are closer to your own age.

But the most exciting thing going on at the moment is the imminent release of Too Many Fairy Princes described by Publisher’s Weekly as an “effervescently charming fantasy romance”

It’s due out on the 5th of November, which is fortunately a day on which I’m not due to be sedated, huzzah! I can’t wait :)

Remember remember the 5th of November,
nefarious fairies and plots.
The Queen has her two-bore and she’ll always be sure
she welcomes those goblins with shots.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Excerpt from Blessed Isle by Alex Beecroft

BlessedIsle_500x750

1790 British Age of Sail

For Captain Harry Thompson, the command of the prison transport ship HMS Banshee is his opportunity to prove his worth, working-class origins be damned. But his criminal attraction to his upper-crust First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton, threatens to overturn all he’s ever worked for.

Lust quickly proves to be the least of his problems, however. The deadly combination of typhus, rioting convicts, and a monstrous storm destroys his prospects . . . and shipwrecks him and Garnet on their own private island. After months of solitary paradise, the journey back to civilization—surviving mutineers, exposure, and desertion—is the ultimate test of their feelings for each other.

These two very different men each record their story for an unfathomable future in which the tale of their love—a love punishable by death in their own time—can finally be told. Today, dear reader, it is at last safe for you to hear it all.

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/blessed-isle

EXCERPT

It is too late now to cut a long story short, but I will endeavour not to protract it for very much longer. On Edwards’ fifth turn about the deck the powder monkey returned, bringing with him, up the companionway, a rusty-aproned surgeon, and, leaning on his arm, a man I knew. Ned Compton, coxswain’s mate in the Yarmouth, now holding in his bursten belly with a cut down pair of lady’s stays. “Oh, aye, I know Mr. Thompson, sir. Lieutenant in the Yarmouth, he was. Did hear he’d made captain of the Banshee. Congratulations to you, sir.”

“Thank you, Ned. It’s good to see you again.”

He chuckled. “Aye, main glad you must be right now.”

Things became a little more comfortable after that. They let us out. We were given hammocks to sling in the wardroom, and a change of clothes from the slop chest. Either by way of apology, or as a scheme to investigate us further, Edwards invited us to one of the most painful dinner parties I have ever attended, scrutinising my table manners, peppering us with suggestions of what we should have done to prevent the disaster to our fleet. “Also, I wonder,” he said, “what you found to occupy yourselves with, all that time alone on so blasted an isle.”

We made him some noncommittal answer but the thought lodged in my mind. As we plunged back into human society, played cards in the wardroom, stood watches for fellows who were grateful to take a few hours extra rest, the thought of what I had lost began to grow on me like a canker.

I became acutely aware of the space that separated me from Garnet. My hours of solitude, or in the company of other men, seemed grey and barren. Yet my hours with him were a torment of constant awareness and yearning. Without him in the hammock beside me, hot and restless and fidgeting in his dreams like a big dog, I could not sleep. My heart seemed to beat in a cavern within my chest, its tiny flickering unable to fill the dark. A constant squirm of anguish lodged there, like a worm in the flesh.

We breakfasted together and sat next to one another at the wardroom, and yet it felt to me as though he was dead and I was not being allowed to mourn.

Pandora worked her way slowly through the islands of this little known part of the world. The mutineers sweltered in their cage by day and shivered through the exposed nights. I found myself drawn to them, and would spend much of my free time standing by the ship’s rail as near to the cage as I could come. I knew I deserved to share their fate, and in sharing their penance I felt a little calmer.

On our last night aboard as free men, Garnet joined me by the rail. The fitful wind veered into the east. About the bow the water broke into twin curves of luminescence, and the wake stretched out behind us in a sheet of pale green light. A moon like hammered gold hung above us. Other than ourselves, only a midshipman occupied the quarterdeck, and he drowsed by the capstan. From the forecastle came a mutter of voices speaking low and tense. I had noticed a deal of whispering aboard Pandora. She was not a happy ship.

Garnet turned his head to listen, and the faint gilded light flowed across his face. Something in the line of his throat, the shadow beneath jaw and cheekbone, and the little inwards tuck his mouth made at its ends, stopped me dead. Pure beauty, almost too glorious to endure.

He looked at me, puzzled, as my mouth opened and my hands began to tremble. Such dark eyes, intimate as a man’s own fantasies. “Sir?” he asked, briefly uncertain. And then he understood. His mouth curved up, and his face lit with delight. He tugged me forward by the cuff. I swear to you I felt his touch on the material of my sleeve as though it were on my yard. I was mad—I freely admit it—mad with loss and need and regret. I think perhaps I wanted to be caught. I had tasted freedom and knew I could no longer live without it.

We made it no further than down the quarterdeck stair before he pulled me into the shadow of the great cabin, where between the ship’s boats and the arch of deck above lay a patch of shadow so dense we could not see each other, let alone be visible to others.

I hope those ladies who read this will forgive me for the comparison, but, ever had to piss? Ever had to hold it in so long it passed through pain to making you think you were going to die of internal strangulation if you did not let go? Ever have one of those dreams where you cannot find the privy, no matter how you search? You’ll sympathize with my state then. I wasn’t thinking, I’d got so used to having him when I wanted, I just couldn’t hold on any longer.

Dear God the bliss! We were all mouths and teeth and heat, and his hand’s in my hair and the other hand’s down my trousers and he’s going “I never thought… oh Harry… I never thought I’d play this game with you.” And then the doors open and the captain comes out and everything shatters into smithereens like a plate dropped on a stone floor.

Disgrace. Edwards paced up and down behind his desk, hands linked behind his back, lips pursed as though he had bitten into a lemon. Marines behind us, and our wrists tied with rope, and the cabin seemed to pulse ruby red with the force of everyone’s disgust.

I’d been afraid of it all my life, and here it was—exposure, ridicule, abomination, like being flayed and laid skinless on a nest of ants.

“My God,” Edwards turned and glared at us. “In front of my very cabin. Do you have no control at all? No self respect?”

There’s a kind of joy on Garnet’s face, and seeing it shifts everything inside my head. By gradual stages, like sailing out of a fog, the obstruction cleared, my confusion lightened, my shame thinned and lifted: I understood. Garnet needed no refuge, no hidden isle moated all around by impassable sea. Inside himself, where no one else could touch him, he had learned how to be free. How not to be ashamed. “We thought you might like to watch, sir,” he said.

Edwards’ disapproval flickered for a moment. Something intense went through it, fast as lightning. It looked to me a lot like panic. The effort of compressing his mouth back into scalpel thinness made him dab at his forehead with his handkerchief. Reaching for his logbook, he opened it, took out the sheaf of ill written notes that marked the latest page.

“I am,” he rustled through them, brought a sheet out and pressed it to his lips, “a little behind with my paperwork. I have not yet written up my log of the past fortnight.” Setting his elbows on the table, he steepled his hands, as if praying. “There is nothing in here to suggest we ever picked up two castaways from Ducie island.”

I could all but hear the creak of strain as he winched his mouth up at the ends into the straight line of a satisfied smile. “Until I have recorded that fact, you are legally missing, presumed dead.” He crumpled the sheet on which, I guess, his record of our rescue lay scrawled, looked at me with the triumph of a man dismissing inconvenient tedium. Then he threw the only evidence of our existence out of the stern windows, where it bobbed for a while like a duckling in our wake, before sinking.

“If I never record it, there is no legal proof that you were ever here. This frees me of the necessity to bring you back to England for trial. For your guilt, I have the evidence of my own eyes.” Over my shoulder he exchanged a glance with the sergeant of marines. “There can be only one appropriate punishment. You will be hanged from the yard arm until you are dead, and your bodies disposed of in the sea.”


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Firstly, thank you to Kaetrin for this lovely review of Blessed Isle

http://www.kaetrinsmusings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/blessed-isle-by-alex-beecroft.html

 

Their story is full of adventure on the high seas, personal sacrifice and joyful love, in a time when they could not be open about it, where, if caught, they would face death by hanging.  It was bitter that they could not be free even in Rio about their relationship, but sweet that they found in each other, someone worth the risk.

I’m so glad that people are liking Harry and Garnet, and that the slightly experimental format of interactive diary-writing seems to be going down well, rather than putting people off.

skullicon

Secondly, ring out those bells, ring out those celebratory bells, for the first draft of The Glass Floor is finished at a respectable 135,870 words. I know there are things to add in the second draft – how Frank’s father knew to get to Istanbul on time, why Mirela decided to go home, when Nabih got the anti-mind-control charm to the sultan, whether Frank managed to rescue Protheroe’s notes or the bandits got them, what happened when Ecaterina’s beauty spell failed the first time – so it’s probably a good thing that it’s a Fantasy, where a length of 150,000 is my upper limit.

But still, before I start on the edits, I owe it to myself to write a couple of novellas now, just to decompress with something that isn’t going to take half a lifetime to finish.

Is The Crimson Haiduc a laughable title for a future novella? I love the word ‘haiduc’ (or hajduk, or hayduck) but partly because it does sound rather ridiculous. A haiduc is a Romanian outlaw/freedom fighter with all the glamour of a Robin Hood, and somehow neither ‘bandit’ nor ‘outlaw’ has the same romance.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Heh, after writing that blog post about how to add more female characters to your novels, I immediately started worrying if I was a classic case of ‘do what I say, not what I do.’

With some relief I thought of Lady Farrant in False Colors, Emily in Captain’s Surrender, Krissy, Caroline and Alec’s mum in Shining in the Sun, Oonagh, Liadain, Grace and Phyllis in Under the Hill, Isobella in His Heart’s Obsession, Elizabeth, Mary, the ghost and Cook in The Wages of Sin, and Maria Cobham in By Honor Betrayed.

Surely after all that nobody would judge my feminist credentials on Blessed Isle, in which there are no speaking parts for women at all?

BlessedIsle_133x200

Hah. I should have known. Because here is a fascinating scholarly review on Romance Novels for Feminists of that very book:

The politics of M/M romance and Alex Beecroft’s BLESSED ISLE

 

Fortunately I think she liked it anyway. Phew! :)


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

I’ve always felt I was eminently qualified for the position of absent minded professor, and now I can’t remember whether it’s day 3 or 4 of the Blessed Isle tour. I do remember that I’m over here on the Scarf Princess’s blog, talking about why there’s nothing wrong with a man being a bit effeminate if that’s the way he rolls, though it probably takes more bravery and strength of character than it does to be ‘masculine’.

http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/book-tour-for-blessed-isle-by-alex.html

 


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Today I’m at Elisa Rolle’s http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1862471.html although in the event of Livejournal being down, which it seems to be very often at the moment, I’m also on her mirror account at Dreamwidth http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3415887.html

And I have another beautiful review to mention today. This one from On Top Down Under makes me feel that special authorial glow you get when someone really seems to have got what you were trying to say :)
There were so many things that I loved about Blessed Isle….I was transfixed to my Kindle throughout the whole book.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Gosh, this is unlike me, I’m blogging twice in one day! Here I am also at the Cup o Porn blog, asking “what’s in a name?”

http://cupoporn.net/2013/01/01/tuesday-tangent-with-alex-beecroft


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

I’m slightly confused, since people on Twitter seem to be saying that Blessed Isle is out already. I thought it came out on the 31st. However, what I’m not confused about is that I’m doing a blog tour to launch the book, and that starts tomorrow:

BlessedIsletour_150x300badge

Stops for this tour:

December 31, 2012Book Reviews and More by Kathy
January 1, 2013Cup O’ Porn
January 1, 2013The Jeep Diva
January 2, 2013Pants Off Reviews
January 2, 2013Elisa Rolle
January 4, 2013The Pen & Muse

BlessedIsletour_468x60banner

Do come along if you’re interested. I’ve written posts that run from ‘alone together on a deserted island – is it such a good thing?’ to ‘why the heck did you call him Garnet?’ and answer many other questions you never wanted to ask in between ;) I’m also running a tour giveaway, the winner of which can have any book they please from my backlist. Fun times! I’ve never done a blog tour before, but I think it should be great.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Woohoo! Coolness :) I have a new cover for Blessed Isle, and Riptide already have a coming soon page for it. And we have a blurb. It’s so efficient!

And I really, really love this cover. Obviously you can rarely go wrong with a tall ship, but look, they have uniforms and period shirts and everything.

Blurb

For Captain Harry Thompson, the command of the prison transport ship HMS Banshee is his opportunity to prove his worth, working-class origins be damned. But his criminal attraction to his upper-crust First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton, threatens to overturn all he’s ever worked for.
 
Lust quickly proves to be the least of his problems, however. The deadly combination of typhus, rioting convicts, and a monstrous storm destroys his prospects . . . and shipwrecks him and Garnet on their own private island. After months of solitary paradise, the journey back to civilization—surviving mutineers, exposure, and desertion—is the ultimate test of their feelings for each other. 

These two very different men each record their story for an unfathomable future in which the tale of their love—a love punishable by death in their own time—can finally be told. Today, dear reader, it is at last safe for you to hear it all.

~

They would normally do something this long (100 pages) for $4.99, but this is going to be going at the bargain price of $3.99 because it’s a reprint.

(The story used to be available in the Hidden Conflict anthology, which is no more. So if you have one of those, you now have a collectors item!)

It’s due on the last day of the year, which will be a great way for 2012 to go out for me :) I’m looking forward to it.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

that Riptide Publishing have accepted “Blessed Isle” for republishing as a stand alone novella. It’s going to get an editorial sprucing up from the amazing Sarah Franz, a new cover, and come out in time for the new year. Hurray!

I’ve spent most of today (well, the part not spent on the second draft of Too Many Fairy Princes) updating my website with the new information. And it’s just occurred to me that I still need to change my LJ and Blog sidebars to match. It’s surprising how much non-writing this writing life involves.

Garibaldi_biscuit

I’ve always been very sceptical about the idea that a blog helps sell your books, but I’ve now had it proved beyond a doubt. When editing a scene in which the Queen offers Dave a nice cup of tea and some Garibaldi biscuits, checking the spelling of Garibaldi biscuits lead me to this wonderful place:

http://www.nicecupofteaandasitdown.com/

Having spent far too much time since reading every article, I’m definitely getting the book.

I’m still not quite so convinced about the ‘If you read my non-fictional blog, you will of course want to read my fiction too’ correlation. If I enjoy your non-fictional blog, surely it’s only logical that I’ll want to read your non-fiction? Bounding from ‘wow, great writing tips’ to ‘I must buy your steampunk fetish mystery’ is one giant leap too much for me.

I had intended to say some stuff about Authorial Voice again, but then it got late and I forgot what I meant to say. It was probably just something on the lines of ‘stop overthinking things and write,’ anyway. So, not helpful.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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