Today’s cat vacuuming has been learning how to use SmashWords by uploading my shaving erotica short story “Naked”, which you can now find in a variety of ebook file formats at:
It’s been on my website as a basic html page for a long time, so many of you will have already seen it, but I’d appreciate any comments about whether the shiny new file formats actually work. Also, it now has cover art. :-)
When Bill found a porn mag at the back of his boyfriend’s cupboard, it wasn’t just any porn mag. Bill hadn’t known until then that Kevin was into shaving — or that it might turn him on too. Now he’s finding out what it means to be… completely naked.
Historical novel about Katherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry the Eighth. I abandoned it after 25 pages — I think it’s well written, and I would probably have enjoyed it a lot when I was a teenager, but it simply didn’t hold my interest enough to keep reading it when I have a two year TBR mountain.
First of the Nicholas Bracewell mystery series, set in a theatrical company in Elizabethan London. Bracewell is the bookholder for Lord Westfield’s Men, a responsible position in its own right even without the additional tasks taken on by Bracewell. Bracewell finds himself with an unexpected task of the worst kind when his friend and colleague, actor Will Fowler, is called in a tavern brawl. Bracewell is determined to find the killer, but has other equally urgent matters to deal with, not least of which is ensuring nothing goes wrong with the performance of a new play before the Queen herself. Jealous rivalries both within the company and with another company aren’t helping matters…
It’s an entertaining romp, but unusually for Marston, there were a couple of elements that could be problematic for many readers. They’re historically accurate, but nevertheless they need flagging up. One is the portrayal of one of the senior actors as having a taste for pretty boys, and this being tolerated as long as he leaves the company’s apprentices alone – which he doesn’t. Given other things he’s written I don’t think Marston intended this, but it does come over as equating “homosexual” with “pedarest”. The other is that the book does get into the head of characters with the strong anti-Catholic prejudices one might expect in this time period.
(No, I have not missed a book — got my numbering wrong last month, with two numbered 69, and have now corrected.)
Abridged on 2 CDs and read by Anthony Head. This has a slightly complicated pedigree — it’s the abridged audiobook of one of a series of novels about amateur sleuth and crime novelist Paul Temple, which themselves are novelisations of a long-running series of radio plays. The book was published in 1971, but the radio play was first broadcast in 1948-9, and the book has a strong period feel. Great fun.