Out now: A Collision With Reality

My alter ego’s new short is released today. It’s the first of a series of short stories, but can be read as a standalone. More details below:

acollisionwreality-f500-400x600

Flynn’s new boss is so hot he can’t wait to get home to tell the chatroom how much he wants Dom’s cock down his throat. By Friday, he’s shared quite a few thoughts on what he’d like his boss to do to him. But he’s not as anonymous as he thinks, and Dom’s intent on disciplining him for breaching company policy on social networking. Dom gives him a choice of put up or shut up: he can play out the fantasy in real life, or he can walk out of the office without a word to HR as long as he never talks that way about Dom again. Flynn chooses “put up”—but he’s forgotten about one of the things he said he wouldn’t mind doing.

ISBN: 978-1-9459-5236-4
Series: In Like Flynn 1
NineStar Press (where you can find an excerpt)
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon: Australia ¦ Brazil ¦ Canada ¦ France ¦ Germany ¦ India ¦ Italy ¦ Japan ¦ Netherlands ¦ Spain
Or search on your local Amazon using ASIN: B01MZ2891M

Barnes & Noble
SmashWords

Out now: Knotting the Tie

Knotting the Tie is out today. And… it’s currently free. It will probably remain free indefinitely at Loose Id, although official list price is $1.25. You’ll need to sign up for a Loose Id account to download it, but they don’t spam. You can read an excerpt at the book catalogue page before you sign up. (And thanks to Predatrix and Neyronrose for beta-reading this at very short notice. :-)

Knotting the Tie

KNotting the Tie cover art -- gay romance novel
After a year together, Alex knows what he has with Robin is for life, and he wants to stand up and say so in public. It’s time to propose, and he’s doing it the old fashioned way – roses, champagne and going down on one knee. But it may take more than that to persuade Robin it’s safe to put the past behind him. Maybe even more than the persuasive powers of a glass of champagne and going down on both knees…

This is a standalone sequel short story to Nice Tie – it’s the story of Alex proposing to Robin, but you can read it without knowing anything about the novel.

Available now at the Loose Id website: http://www.loose-id.com/knotting-the-tie.html

Contest: Nice Tie at The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews is running a Summer Party all month with lots of giveaways each day, and an ongoing contest where you can rack up points each day for a bigger prize. I’ve got a copy of Nice Tie up for grabs in today’s giveaway – scroll down to question 13. Yes, it’s a multiple-choice question, but since the answer’s in the blurb for the book, it’s not exactly difficult. :-)

Book log 2015 – 5) Summer Devon — The Gentleman and the Lamplighter

It’s Victorian London, and wealthy young gentleman Giles Fullerton is still grieving a year after the death of the man he loved, his grief made worse by the need to conceal it. He deals with the emotional pain by walking the streets through the night, until he can face sleep. Young lamplighter John Banks knows a thing or two about grief himself. He loved his wife dearly, even though he’s gay, and has missed her each day since her death. The young gentleman who wanders his route on so many nights may have attracted his attention with his good looks, but John can see that something drives him into the night. Enough so that at last John speaks to him, concerned for his safety. Curiosity about John’s job of lighting and dousing the streetlamps provides something for Giles to focus on outside his grief.

There’s companionship of a sort in a stranger to speak to, and gradually the two young widowers reveal more about themselves to each other in their conversation each night; first in coded and deniable references to their grief, and then more openly. Enough so that they finally act on their attraction. But this is Victorian London, and a relationship is barred by more than their being both men; the social gulf between them would be every bit as shocking to society, and moreover puts them at far greater risk of exposure than if they could meet as equals. Will they both have the courage to find a way through to a chance at happiness?

This is a gentle, slow romance, and all the better for it. It’s a lovely short novella with a pair of well drawn, appealing main characters and some good secondary characters, and a sex scene that adds to the emotional development rather than being there to make up the word count. One for my re-read list.

Available free to members of the Heroes and Heartbreakers website, or you can pay a modest sum to get a nicely formatted ebook with a gorgous cover.

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia
Kobo

Musa Publishing closure

Musa Publishing announced yesterday that they were closing shop. The impact for me is minor, as I had only one short story with them, my m/m fantasy short “And if I offered thee a bargain“. The Musa edition will be going away on 28 February, but there’ll be a new edition at some point.

In the meantime, all Musa titles are 80% off until they shutter the website on 28 February. I am in two minds about this, because it damages the reprint market for authors. But if there were any titles from Musa that caught your eye, go and get them now, because even if they reappear from another publisher, it may be a while.

Coming soon: Nice Tie

Nice Tie is currently scheduled for release in next week’s batch of new books from Loose Id. This is subject to the usual caveats about problems in getting the formatted ebook files onto a working server, but you should be able to get your hands on the book on Tuesday. Herewith the blurb and buy link — excerpt to follow as soon as the approved excerpt is available.

Nice Tie

Nice Tie cover art -- gay romance novel Alex Hall likes watching good-looking men doing up good-looking ties, a kink he can safely indulge on his morning commute as long as he’s discreet. At least until the day he meets new client Robin Wood, whose face seems oddly familiar. Embarrassingly familiar, when Robin recognizes him as “that guy on the bus.”

Lusting after the client and his tie is a really bad idea. Acting on it would be even worse. Which doesn’t stop Alex’s impulsive suggestion when he realizes that Robin’s as intrigued as he is awkward. They’re both grown-ups, they can handle the conflict of interest, and if nothing else it will get the awkwardness out of the way. And there’s a cheap hotel at the end of their bus route.

Just one date. One night for Alex to enjoy watching beautiful hands managing a tie with style. One night for Robin with a man who can understand his own grooming kink, even if it’s not quite the same as Alex’s. One night, and then just good friends, while they’re working together. Nobody else’s business.

But Robin has entirely too much experience with romance at work, and the past isn’t staying past.

ISBN: 978-1-62300-771-3
Publisher: Loose Id
Author: Jules Jones
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
Length: 42,000 words
Price: $5.99

2014 book log: 2) Sam Starbuck — The City War

Roman Senator Marcus Brutus is a patriot, devoted to the Republic. Many of his days are spent actively working for the Republic, protecting the system he believes in. His main respite is the occasional trip to his country villa in the company of his dearest friend, and lover, Cassius. But his tireless work may not be enough, not when the consul Julius Caesar is taking more and more power to himself. When Cassius first proposes a drastic solution, Brutus rejects the idea, but as the months go by, it becomes ever more obvious that given enough time, Caesar will overthrow the Republic and make himself emperor.

I bought this because I love Sam’s fanfic, and expected him to do a good job of original fiction drawing on historical fact. I wasn’t disappointed. This is one of those novels where I think it can be enjoyed both by readers who know nothing about the historical characters, and by readers familiar with the historical story, or with Shakespeare’s play. There’s a solid story here that fleshes out the basic facts and brings Brutus to life as a real person, a decent, honorable man faced with a choice between evils. His decision is not a simple one, and is made over the course of months, as more and more evidence accumulates of what Rome’s future could be if Caesar is not reined in.

And it’s not just Brutus who’s brought to life here. There’s a good exploration of Cassius and his motives. In addition, there’s a brief but lovely portrait of Brutus’s wife Porcia, and a marriage that is a loving partnership and friendship, not just a useful front for a gay man. Along with the historical characters, there’s original character Tiresius, a teenage runaway taken on by Brutus as a horseboy. Tiresius has secrets to hide, but as Brutus discovers more about the boy’s troubled relationship with his father, it provides him with insight into his own troubled relationship with Caesar, a man who may or may not be his biological father. The interactions between the characters create a rich portrait of a situation where there is no easy right and wrong.

One of the problems with writing historical fiction is that historical people could have very different moral values and beliefs, often ones that don’t sit well with a modern reader. In trying to make a lead character synpathetic, it’s easy to slip into the trap of turning him or her into a twenty-first century person in fancy dress. This book does a superb job of presenting the characters in their proper context, with believable explanations for their attitudes and beliefs about various issues.

It’s not a romance, because it follows Marcus Brutus and his relationships with Cassius and others in the months leading up to the assassination of Julius Caesar, and anyone who’s familiar with either the history or Shakespeare’s play will know that Things Do Not End Well for the conspirators. But well researched as far as I can tell, beautifully written, and I’d recommend it to someone looking for historical fiction with an LGBT theme.

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/city-war
at Amazon UK
at Amazon US

Re-release: One Size Fits All

I’ve been experimenting with self-publishing some of my old short stories that have gone out of print. After much angst, I’ve managed to upload “One Size Fits All” to Smashwords, and am awaiting the results from feeding it into the maw of Amazon.

This one’s priced at 99c, but I have also been playing with the coupon code generator on Smashwords. Plug the code RE95K into the appropriate place (ooh er, missus) before Monday, and get 100% off. And all I ask in return is for some feedback on whether the file actually works in your viewing device of choice…

You can find the book at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376309

Blurb: Hugh’s everything that Gavin could ask for in a lover. Everything, apart from his taste in underwear. Nothing wrong with the underwear, you understand, but that’s the problem. It’s boring. So Gavin decides to have a rummage through Hugh’s underwear, just in case there’s anything more interesting tucked away. And what he finds is so interesting that he tries it out for size…

m/m erotic romance, very mild kink, 3000 words.

Webcomic mini-review: Yaoi 911

I wandered into Alex Woolfson’s sf webcomic site Yaoi 911 while he was still posting Artifice, and was hooked. The ad I clicked said “smart guy-on-guy sci-fi”, and that’s exactly what I got.

Artifice, now complete, is a solid story about an android soldier who didn’t obey orders, and is now being interrogated by the company’s top robopsychologist to find out why. There follows a battle of wits as Doctor Maven tries to uncover why Deacon, last survivor of an assassination squad, not only failed to kill the last survivor of the colony his unit was sent to dispose of, but attacked the retrieval team sent in to fetch him. Excellent writing by Woolfson teamed with nice art by Winona Nelson, and it skilfully blends a thoughtful look at the use and abuse of androids with a delightful gay romance.

The Young Protectors, currently in progress, is a superheroes comic. Although some of the superheroes we run into aren’t so heroic… In the prologue, young superhero Kyle has just finished a quick visit to a place he doesn’t really want to be found by the rest of the team, when he encounters supervillain The Annihilator. The Annihilator’s price for not telling the world that he just saw Kyle go into a gay bar for the first time is… a kiss. :-) Kyle goes back to ordinary after-class superheroing in the first chapter, but life rapidly gets more complicated for him. At forty-something pages in, there’s a lot of intriguing backstory and long-term plot being hinted at, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Also, some acidly entertaining commentary about the amount of collateral damage around superheroes. Woolfson’s excellent script is pencilled by Adam DeKraker and coloured by Veronica Gandini. I have no idea where Woolfson’s planning to take this, but if you like your superhero comics with some May/December superhero/supervillain in the mix, take a look at this.

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