Out now: Lord and Master 2: Taking Work Home

Lord and Master 2 cover art
Lord and Master 2 cover art
It was just an office affair, with wonderful sex. Young scientist Mark Paulson liked older men, especially tall, dark, and very handsome men like his new boss. Self-made millionaire Steven Frost had no trouble finding sex, but what he needed was a friend who shared his interests; someone like the young assistant he’d just hired. What started as simply great sex between friends has become much, much more, and now they’re engaged.

Life’s never that simple, of course. Other people have an interest in Steven’s welfare and Steven’s money, and they’re not about to let the pretty little PA half his age take control of either. There’s a reason why Steven was still single at the age of forty-four, and some of his family are intent on ensuring that Mark finds out about it the hard way.

But Mark already knows — true love is about more than champagne and roses.

To read an excerpt, visit: http://www.loose-id.com/JJLoAMa2ex.aspx.

Genre: LGBT Erotic Contemporary
Length: Novel
Price: $5.99
http://www.loose-id.com/detail.aspx?ID=765

More excerpts and a free prequel story at http://www.julesjones.com/fiction/details/takingworkhome.html

More Lord and Master bits on the site

[This went up on my LiveJournal on Sunday. Nobody has reported anything broken, so I’m spreading it further afield now.]

This weekend’s project was updating the website for the forthcoming release of the new Lord and Master novel. If you find any broken links or other glitches, please let me know. New material added:

free novelette Old Age Creeping Over Me

details page for the new novel, Taking Work Home:
http://julesjones.com/fiction/details/takingworkhome.html

three excerpts from the novel, linked from the details page

series information page, with a timeline, some background information, and links to the CafePress shops for the cover art:
http://julesjones.com/fiction/seriesinfo/lordandmaster.html
(I’ll probably add more information to this over time.)

And I created a CafePress shop for the new book’s cover art, which is probably mostly of interest to me, but if anyone else fancies teeshirts or prints of that pretty cover art, that’s where you’ll find it. I’ve also created a cover art calendar that uses the three pieces of cover art [info]annecain has done for my books (L&M, L&M2 and Dolphin Dreams). It is very, very pretty and I am regretting that postage to the UK makes it impracticable to get myself one any time soon.

Tuesday Thingers

This week’s Tuesday Thingers prompt, as ever hosted by TheBostonBibliophile:

Today’s question: Favorite bookstores. What’s your favorite bookstore? Is it an online store or a bricks-and-mortar store? How often do you go book shopping? Is your favorite bookstore (or bookstores) listed as a favorite in LT? Do you attend events at local bookstores? Do you use LT to find events?

My favourite bookstore is Bookbuyers in Mountain View, California. It’s a large second-hand shop specialising in genre fiction, and non-fiction, although it covers other areas as well. In particular, the fiction department has a massive science fiction and fantasy collection, including many titles that are out of print and thus not available new. Just to make things perfect, next door is a branch of Books Inc, a local independent chain selling new books. So if it’s not in one store, you can try the other.

The first time I went in there I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. It was the biggest selection of sf&f I’d seen (though I’ve seen bigger since), and it had a whole lot of books I’d fallen in love with in my local library as a teenager. And more books by the same authors.

I’d never seen some of those books on sale before. They hadn’t made it out of the US rights area, as far as I know. I had a bit of a buying binge. And I kept on buying books — sometimes books I already owned, but which I’d had to leave in storage when I first moved to the uS for what was *supposed* to be a couple of years. Or cheap second copies of something I already owned and had access to, but wanted to take on a trip with me. If they were a cheap second copy, I wouldn’t mind if I had to abandon them halfway through due to weight issues.

I’ve moved back to the UK now, so I don’t go shopping there any more. But I have fond memories still, and when LibraryThing Local was introduced, I went to add it to the database. And found that someone had beaten me to it. :-)

Book review: Masara Minase — Lies and Kisses

Wealthy young executive Tatsuya Soga is trying to trace the younger half-brother he hasn’t seen since they were both children, when their father divorced his second wife and threw wife and child out of the house. While Tatsuya’s waiting for the detective’s report, he goes to a friend’s bar for the evening, and has a bad case of love at first sight when he sees a young waiter playing the bar piano. Haru seems interested in him in return; which isn’t surprising because as rapidly becomes clear to the reader, Haru knows who Tatsuya is and still hero-worships his adored older brother while being convinced that the Soga family must hate him. Tatsuya quite innocently proceeds to seduce Haru in the belief that the attraction is sexual on both sides, leading to much angst the next day when he finally gets that report with a recent photo and the current name of his long-lost brother…

Emotional ups and downs follow as Tatsuya tries to protect Haru from the knowledge that they’re brothers, while resisting Haru’s attempts to get him back into bed. It gets all the harder when he discovers the shabby conditions in which Haru lives, and feels he has to take Haru to live with him. There’s more than one twist to the tale before reaching an ending that’s more or less happy and leaves them together.

This is a single-volume story, so the plot’s not that deep, but there’s still a solid story that’s got more to it than just an excuse to throw two pretty young men together and spice it up with a suggestion of incest. And it’s well set up, with the nine year age gap between the men making it plausible that Tatsuya wouldn’t recognise the 17-year-old he last saw as a child, and Haru having a good reason to be in that bar.

The characters are interesting and pleasant people. Tatsuya is a decent, kind man who cares about other people, and while he’s pushy when he first seduces Haru, it’s an honest case of mis-reading signals rather than refusing to take no for an answer. Haru’s believable as a teenager who’s pretending to be older than he really is, but who’s still vulnerable inside. There are also some good supporting characters, in particular Haru’s older step-brother from his mother’s third marriage.

This one has plenty of explicit sex, but it’s there to serve the story, which is good news if you find sex boring without a story to go with it. It’s not as graphic as in some manga, but it’s erotic as it is.

The artwork is excellent, and apart from the colour cover there are also two very nice colour plates inside. The physical production quality is extremely good, with heavy paper and crisp reproduction of the art.

The subject matter’s going to squick some readers, but if you can handle that, this one’s well worth a look.

Lies & Kisses at Amazon UK

Lies & Kisses at Amazon US

LibraryThing entry

Tuesday Thingers

I’ve missed the last few Tuesday Thinger prompts because I’ve been so knackered when I get in from work that my brain turns to mush and I don’t even remember to check what the prompt is, let alone write a response. But today I’ve managed something. This week’s prompt from bostonbibliophile:

Today’s question is only marginally about LibraryThing but I thought it might be a fun question anyway. It’s more about blogging. Everyone who participates in Tuesday Thingers has a blog- some have a book blog, some have several, some have blogs that are more personal, etc.- and we’ve all chosen to participate in this particular way of networking to build traffic, get to know each other, etc. So my question is: what other weekly memes or round robins do you participate in? Is this the only one? Why Tuesday Thingers and not some other weekly Tuesday meme? Or do you do more than one?

This is the only weekly meme I participate in. I’m not that interested in memes in general, but this one grew organically out of an existing social group and conversation that I participate in, and as such tends to cover topics that I find to be an interesting prompt both for writing my own contribution and for reading what others have to say. It’s also something that seems to appeal to some of the non-LTER people who read my blog, which is hardly surprising given how many of them are also of the “You will have to pry my books from my cold dead hands” persuasion.

Of course, I started a new job not long after Tuesday Thingers started up, and promptly dropped out of much of my online activities (mostly through lack of energy when I got home rather than lack of time). So I skip Tuesday Thingers more often than not at the moment. But it does say something about how much I enjoy the meme that I will still wander around and read some of the other responses.

Do I want a Cybook Gen 3?

I’m seriously thinking about buying an ebook reader, a concept which is probably causing various people to fall off their chairs they are laughing so hard. Because I don’t do ebooks. Not only do I not do ebooks, there is an entire fanfic zine series which exists in large part because I don’t like reading anything more than a couple of screens’ worth on a screen, and felt that if I was going to format a good piece of fanfic and print it out, I might as well make it available to others who felt the same way.

Now, it has caused a certain amount of amusement and bemusement over the last couple of years that I, an epublished author with some modicum of success in ebooks, do not read ebooks myself. The trouble is that a particular combination of medical issues means that I find ebooks significantly harder to read than dead tree books. One of those problems is the RSI, which makes pushing a button to turn a page rather more painful than turning a physical paper page. That’s before we factor in more page turns for the same word count on any screen that’s small and light enough to routinely carry around with me.

Add in how little reading I’ve been doing the last few years, and dropping the price of half a dozen hardbacks (at a bare minimum) on a fragile piece of electronics I will undoubtedly sit on or drop in the bath seems unappealing even if I didn’t have physical discomfort problems with ebooks.

And yet… I like the *concept* of ebooks. I have a couple of Project Gutenberg pieces loaded on my geriatric Palm IIIxe, for “stuck at the bus stop” occasions, and would have more if I could obtain the circular tuit necessary to remember how to use Plucker and load up some more. So I’ve been thinking on and off about getting something, most likely a Palm TX as that will give me the PDA functions I do make some use of, plus give me a major screen and memory upgrade over my IIIxe, plus add wifi capability. These are probably worth the money for me, especially as it’s a genuine tax-deductible business purchase.

Only now a friend has offered me her Cybook Gen 3 for a hundred quid, because it Does Not Play Well with her Mac and she wants to switch to a Sony. I have time to think about this, because she won’t want to get rid of it until September, when the new Sony unit ships.

I’m tempted, at that price. I’m *very* tempted. I’ll definitely want to play with it for a bit to see if it suits me (I’m concerned about the epaper reverse-polarity flash on page-turn, for starters), but the widget seems to offer a reasonable compromise between big enough screen to be usable and size/weight issues. As far as I know it can also play MP3s, which would be useful. And it has the long battery life that the TX doesn’t have (a major reason why I don’t already have a TX).

Anyone want to give reasons why I should/shouldn’t go for this?

[Note: this was originally posted on my LiveJournal, and I forgot to mirror it here until a day or two later, by which time I had been convinced that I *do* want to buy the Cybook. Still open to further comments, though. :-)]

July book log

My book log for July is thin, in spite of my best intentions.

Reginald Hill — Blood Sympathy, which I didn’t review because I couldn’t quite get into it.

Masara Minase — Lies and Kisses
Yaoi manga, which I read on Monday but haven’t had the energy to review yet. Enjoyed this — lovely art and I liked the characters.
http://www.librarything.com/work/698499

P D James — Cover Her Face
The first Adam Dalgliesh book. Current lunchtime reading. Only part way through, and finding myself disinclined to finish it. I’ve always liked it on previous reads, but it is I think my least favourite of the Dalgliesh books, in part because it *is* the first, and the character is not so well developed as he was later on in the series. I’d probably do better with it if I were reading it straight through rather than a small section each day.
http://www.librarything.com/work/14341/

You’d think I’d be reading more, since I’m now spending at least an hour a day on the bus in the course of getting to and from my place of wage slavery, but I tend to get sick if I try to read on the bus. I have scribbled odd notes for stories on my Palm, which is less of a problem because my scribbling notes tends to involve long bouts of staring out of the window, but even that is something that can lead to feeling queasy after a while. Nevertheless, I’m contemplating joining the modern world and getting an ebook reader, of which more in a later post. I might be able to manage short stories downloaded from places like Strange Horizons.

I also found myself on the mailing list of two publicity agents looking for book bloggers to review their clients’ books. The first one sent me a personalised email that made it clear up front that he wanted to offer me a free review copy, and that he had reason to think it might match my reading tastes (he was in fact off-target in this, but it was a reasonable assumption for him to make). He got a personalised reply explaining that I’m not interested in review copies right now because with the new day job I’m not in a fit state to give a review copy proper attention. He’d probably found me in the first place by putting appropriate keywords into Google, and mailmerged the book bloggers that turned up, but it was clearly a mailshot targeted at bloggers who might be interested in reviewing that specific book. If I was still getting through a book every day or two, I’d have been interested in getting the review copy even though it’s outside my usual interest range.

The second one… Well, suffice it to say that I had reported it as spam before I realised that it was an offer of a review copy. That’s because it *was* spam, being a mass mailshot of a press release for a book, with a small item way down at the bottom saying that review copies of this book were available on request. Since it was presumably offering me a free copy of a book, rather than just trying to get me to buy one, I used the unsubscribe link on the next offer instead of following my usual “nuke from orbit” policy. But really, expecting people to read a long ad for the book before mentioning that this is in order to offer them a review copy is likely to prove counterproductive when dealing with bloggers.

I did wonder if my name had been added to a list of book bloggers to spam, but there have been no further unsolicited offers of review copies, so perhaps not. All very odd.

(I should note for anyone who’s thinking of offering me a review copy of something that a) the answer is likely to be “thanks but no”, for reasons well illustrated by the first part of the post; b) I live in the UK, so there may be a postage issue for non-UK books.)