Saturday, 31 December 2011

Looking Back and Forward - aka My New Year Res Revisited

For the last two New Year Resolutions, I followed [or tried to follow] a Threefold Path of Intent;

I hereby state that my New Year's Resolutions are: I Will NOT Procrastinate. I Will NOT Be Distracted. I WILL Have Self-Discipline. With whips if necessary. So there, Brain. Cough up the goods.

So how did I do? Pretty damned well on some fronts, not so good on others.

1. My Chris Quinton website fell over. Twice. Thanks to RJ Scott - who is a Website Goddess - it is now safely [fingers crossed] at home on Blogger.

2. Had six stories accepted, from novel-length to a short story;

Game On Game Over - Silver - available now
Home and Heart - Silver - available now
Clue Game - Torquere - available now
Sullivan's Yard - Silver - available February 4th 2012
Paradox - Silver - available 2012
Fox Hunt - Manifold - available February 1st 2012

3. I did well on the kudos front in 2011 *g*.

Home and Heart rose to #3 on Silver's Top Ten.

Home and Heart, and Game On Game Over hit Amazon's Top 20 in Gay & Lesbian Fiction and yo-yoed up and down for weeks before dropping out.

Fool's Errand - Manifold Press - received an Honorable Mention in the Rainbow Awards of 2011

Starfall - Silver Publishing - received an Honorable Mention in the Rainbow Awards of 2011

Home and Heart, Game On Game Over, Fool's Errand and Fools Oath all have Silver Stars on All Romance eBooks.

AND Home and Heart is among the nominees for Love Romances Cafe's 2011 Best Contemporary Award, and I'm among the nominees for Best GLBT Author!Talk about being gobsmacked and chuffed as hell *hg*.

4. On the downside, or rather the potentially good side if I get my finger out, I have a list of WiPs to work on;

Top priority is Fool's Rush - first refusal to Manifold Press - this is the last of the Fool's Odyssey Trilogy and I MUST get this finished in 2012!!

Second priority is Finders Keepers

Then, in no particular order, there's:
Oil and Water - first refusal to Manifold Press
Cause and Effect
The Carandor Interface
The Lennox Selkie
Bennett's Folly
and sundry other wisps of ideas not yet solidified into a plot line.

4. But I backslid and let myself be distracted, consequently a couple of those WiPs have locked up on me and I'm having trouble shaking them loose. They are the two main priorities for the year.

SO 2012's NY Res?? Exactly the same:

I Will NOT Procrastinate. I Will NOT Be Distracted. I WILL Have Self-Discipline. With whips if necessary. So there, Brain. Cough up the goods, you didn't do too shabbily in 2011.

~ * ~

Friday, 23 December 2011

Happy Holidays!

It's very nearly That Time of Year, and I'm wishing everyone peace, happiness, creativity and success for the remaining days of 2011 and all of 2012.

To my intense relief, my patch of England won't be getting a White Christmas this year. Don't get me wrong - I think snow is beautiful, magical, even, in the right setting. Which is anywhere I'm not. The grandkids and dogs love it, of course.

My favorite kind of snow is this ... Roll on Spring *g*

So, love and best wishes to everyone, may you gain everything you desire over the next few days - except weight!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Rainbow Awards, Manifold Press and Me

Elisa Rolle's annual Rainbow Awards were published December 7th 2011. Over three hundred books were submitted in a variety of categories, and I am celebrating along with Manifold Press.

Manifold Press is a very small semi-professional publisher. When I say 'very small', that's exactly what I mean. It is staffed by only a few people, headed by its founder, Fiona Pickles, and everyone fills more than one position. At one point in its first few months, everything was done by Fiona with the help of two others. The workforce has expanded only a little since then, but they manage to produce two high-quality titles every three months.

That's eight in a year, Gentle Reader. Last year, in the 2010 Rainbow Awards, Jane Elliot's excellent End of the Trail received an Honorable Mention. In the 2011 Rainbow Awards, *SIX* books received eight Top Ten rankings in the various categories!

Manifold's logo is Aiming For Excellence in Gay Fiction. I'd say they're right on target.

~ * ~

All of the above books are available for download from All Romance eBooks  and Rainbow eBooks as well as the Manifold Press web site.

I also received an Honorable Mention for STARFALL, from Silver Publishing
Ninth equal in the Best SciFi/Futuristic category

To say I'm giddy with delight, both on my own behalf and on Manifold's people, would be an understatement. So *THANK YOU*, Elisa, for running the annual event, and thanks to all the judges.

Last but not least, *CONGRATULATIONS* to all the Top Tenners!

~ * ~

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Author Anna Marie May's Latest Release

Betting on Love by Anna Marie May, released by Silver Publishing


Accepting a bet to seduce any guy his best friend chooses puts Zach McKinney in the path of Len Marshall. Smitten at first sight, Zach forgets all about the bet and falls madly in love until Len's forgotten past catches up with them, putting them both in danger.

For Len Marshall, meeting Zach was something akin to destiny. It not only brought love into his life, but made him feel like he has a home. The new relationship, though, is overshadowed by a past that Len has blocked from his memory and by certain individuals who want to make sure those memories stay buried forever.

Can love built on shadows last the test of time? Or will their happiness be destroyed by the same men who took Len's life away all those years ago? Because this time, they're out for blood.

~ * ~

"You want me to do what?" Zach's voice wasn't nearly as outraged as it probably should've been, but, even being known as a party boy and always knee deep in mischief, he had his limits.

Rick Cooper, his lifelong friend and fellow ne'er-do-well, smiled widely at him, a wicked gleam in his eyes. "You heard me," Rick drawled, his gaze meeting Zach's who held it confidently. "I'll pick someone for you to seduce and if you succeed..." his voice trailed off, leaving the sentence unfinished.

"If I succeed?" Zach prompted him, wondering what could possibly make him go for this nutty bet.

"This here, my friend--" Rick reached into his pocket, pulling out a sheet of paper and dangling it in front of Zach. Zach fought the urge to give in and snatch it away. "This is Rita's phone number."

Zach's mouth hung open. "How long have you had this?" he asked, wondering what his friend really was up to. His fingers itched, slowly making their way toward the phone and the promised number but Rick only shook his head.

"No, my friend. Not yet."

Zach grumbled something extremely unfriendly under his breath.

"So I need to seduce someone you pick and if I succeed I'll get her phone number?" he asked, a resigned tone in his voice.

Zach McKinney was equal opportunity, which meant he liked both men and women. He wasn't the kind of guy to think stalking was a good idea but there was simply something about Rita Monroe that drew him like a moth to the flame. So far they had only shared chance encounters but her bright blue eyes and blond hair were tugging at something buried deeply within his soul and kind of like an addiction for chocolate, he couldn't help himself. He snorted. Maybe he shouldn't be comparing the woman of his dreams to chocolate.

"Yes." Rick's eyes held an almost unholy glee, which caused Zach to shift uncomfortably on his chair. "Let the games begin!"

Out of nowhere, his mother's voice drifted through to Zach, causing a tendril of guilt to flutter through him that he quashed ruthlessly. You can't continue to trample people's feelings and expect to keep getting away with it...

~ * ~
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Genres: Gay, Romance, Suspense/Mystery
Format: eBook
Pages: 276 pp.
Word Count: 57037

~ * ~

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas is Coming...

Meet Teazle, fresh from her cameo role in Home and Heart, posing for her Christmas photo. [She forgave me for the hat as soon as I gave her homemade liver treats.]

Twenty days to go, and I have to drop the writing for a few days to start the card writing stint and pressie-hunting/sorting/wrapping. Not that the writing is going particularly well - the epic Cold From Hell is seeing to that.

But some good things have been happening. My last two books with Silver, Game On, Game Over and Home and Heart, have been yo-yo-ing up and down in Amazon's Top 100 Gay Books List - and still are - even if it's in the lower half these days *g*. They've had some crackin' good reviews as well. And my royalties were the best I've ever had *hg*. Which was just as well, really - they've all been spent on replacing a very sick breadmaker with an upmarket Kenwood Chef Major Titanium Kitchen Machine. Daughter in Law is positively giddy with excitement for the Kenwood to arrive, and has made a list of goodies she intends to make with it. She is, I hasten to add, an amazing cook! The terminally ill tumble dryer needed replacing as well. So now I'm back to penniless.

Silver will be releasing my short Sparkle, Sullivan's Yard, on February 4th 2012, and I'll have a novel-length Timeslip story called Paradox coming out some time in 2012. Also, Manifold Press will be releasing my Fox Hunt on February 1st 2012.

And the WiP folder just keeps growing...

~ * ~

Thursday, 1 December 2011

A Date for Your Diaries



Starting on Christmas Day, Manifold Press are offering 12% reductions on all their titles sold through their website until January 6th, 2012!

So drop by and treat yourself to some excellent romance fiction!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Sue Brown's Latest Release - Final Admission

Sue Brown's latest release is Final Admission, available NOW from Noble Romance!


James Trenchard is a dick. Everyone in Bingwell, Brock, and Bacon says so, and after Ethan’s first encounter with the man, he agrees. Ethan resolves to avoid James but ends up working closely with him and discovers the lawyer's hiding a secret from the world. Ethan also realizes he's falling too hard too fast. Ethan has to decide if he should help James and risk getting entangled in the mess James has gotten himself into, or move on. But walking away from love is never a simple decision to make.


Chapter One

"Trenchard is a dick. Unless you're a chick. Then he's the only one with a dick. The rest of us might as well not exist."

There was a rumble of agreement around the coffee room at Vince's vehement rhyming declaration.
Ethan looked around at the other assistants, as they nodded in agreement. As the newest employee of Bingwell, Brock, and Bacon, the largest advertising agency in the city, he had no idea who Trenchard was, or what he had done to offend the senior administrator. He noticed the small, secretive smile that curved the lips of several women in the room, as they stared down into their coffee cups. Ethan had the impression she knew a lot more than she was giving away.

Vince curled his fingers around his cup so tightly Ethan feared that it was going to crack. "Do you remember last year with Antonia from the third floor?"

"Heck, yes." Paul chimed in. "He was all over her the second we walked in the building."

"And she went out to dinner with him." Vince's tone was bitter. "When I asked her to go out for a drink, she laughed at me. Then Trenchard raised his eyebrow, and she was dropping her panties before you could say slut."

Paul shrugged. "Yeah, but he's James Trenchard, Vince. If he asked you out, you'd be dropping your panties even faster."

Ethan waited for Vince to explode. He was, as far as Ethan was aware, a full-on heterosexual male, albeit an arrogant douche who had the women running for the hills.

Instead, Vince bit at his fingernail, before saying, "Nah, probably not."

"Who is this dude?" Ethan asked, totally confused.

Vince gave him a look. "He's James Trenchard."

As if that was supposed to explain everything. By the way they all nodded again, maybe it did.
From the way they said James Trenchard, Ethan wasn't sure what he expected. The Messiah, perhaps? In all the years his mom forced him to go to church, no one told him that he'd meet the Messiah at Bingwell, Brock, and Bacon.
* * * * *

In the lobby, as James Trenchard greeted Leanne Cauldwell, the administration director and Ethan's boss, Ethan stared at him, trying to see the attraction. Sure, the guy was good-looking, almost beautiful even, for a guy in his mid-thirties, with sleek, light brown hair that curled over his collar, and ice-blue eyes framed by long lashes. Those lips wouldn't look out of place on a woman, except, on Trenchard, they didn't look effeminate. He was wearing a charcoal gray, pinstripe suit, with a plum-colored shirt and tie. Ethan noticed how well the suit pants showed off Trenchard's ass. The lawyer seemed friendly enough. Ethan wondered what he'd done to warrant the enmity of Vince Lines.

Up until the moment Trenchard let the door bang behind him, right into Ethan's face.

"Told you so." Vince's nasty whisper floated behind Ethan.

The guy was a dick, no doubt about it. Not a word of apology for almost rearranging Ethan's nose, then Trenchard ignored them all as they used the elevator to the tenth floor. Ethan stared at the lawyer's back with dislike, his top lip curling as James Trenchard openly flirted with Ethan's boss.
Ethan felt sickened, the way Trenchard's hand rested on her lower back as he guided her toward the conference room. What was worse, Leanne "Lay-one-finger-on-me-and-I'll-bust-your-balls" Cauldwell was positively blooming under Trenchard's sleazy charm. She had just giggled—giggled—at something he said.

But as the lawyer showed Ms. Cauldwell into the large, airy room, he looked over his shoulder to the men following them, Ethan included.

"Your boys get prettier every year, Lulu," Trenchard said conversationally. "Especially that large one. He's so young."

The large one, of course, had to be Ethan; he cleared most of the men by at least half a foot. And he wasn't fucking pretty. Especially not with a door imprint on his face. Unimpressed at being reduced to the level of a thirteen-year-old girl, Ethan rolled his eyes at Vince and Paul.

He noticed Ms. Cauldwell hadn't even bothered to look at her team. "You batting for the other side this year, James?"

"I bat for everyone," Trenchard said, then showed his perfect, white teeth.

Ethan imagined Trenchard sinking them into Ethan's shoulder, even as he sank his cock into Ethan's body.

Ms. Cauldwell snorted. "I bet you do. Well, my boys are pretty and clever, so don't you forget it. Don't make the mistake of thinking they're just for show."

Trenchard swept a glance appreciatively over the small group of men; his gaze lingered on Ethan's face. "Oh, I won't underestimate them, Lulu; I definitely won't."

And didn't Ethan just know Trenchard was talking to him. He wanted to punch him in the face.

"I don't think your boy likes me very much." James confided to Ms. Cauldwell as they sat down.

"Mr. Williams has good instincts," Ms. Cauldwell said.

Ethan resisted the urge to preen a little.

"I'm sure he does." Trenchard drawled.

The rest of them spread around the table. Ethan didn't know how it happened but somehow he ended up on the opposite side of the table from the lawyer. His temper rising, he avoided looking at the man's smug face; instead, his gaze fell on Trenchard's hand wrapped around a fountain pen. Long fingers tipped with well-manicured hands—strong hands. Ethan wondered what they'd look like around his dick. Flushing guiltily, Ethan looked up, to catch Trenchard smirking. Hastily averting his eyes, Ethan caught Ms. Cauldwell staring at them with a resigned expression.

"For heaven's sake, put him down, James." Ms. Cauldwell sounded more resigned than angry as she tapped her fingers on the table impatiently.

Trenchard leaned back in his chair. "I haven't touched him, Lulu."

Ethan wondered if he was the only one who could hear the yet.

"He's off-limits. Mr. Williams, if you could actually concentrate on our meeting?" Her tone made it clear that it wasn't a question.

His cheeks grew even hotter. Ethan muttered his apologies. He could feel the amused stares of all his colleagues except for Vince, who glared at him from farther down the table. Ethan looked up to see Trenchard still gazing at him, as if he were a succulent piece of prime rib.

~ * ~

~ * ~

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

RJ Scott and Diane Adams - In the Shadow of the Wolf

RJ Scott and Diane Adams have created a fascinating world in their trilogy In The Shadow Of The Wolf. These are not the usual werewolf/shifter stories, the relationships between alphas and betas are intriguing and oull the reader right in - and that goes for the interaction between the wolf and human societies as well.

Just released Broken Memories is the second in the trilogy, following Sam, first introduced in Shattered Secrets.

The third book is Splintered Lies, and will tell Nick and Joe's story. It will be out in 2012 and I, for one, cannot wait!

 ~ * ~

Broken Memories Blurb 

Sam Harrison remembers nothing of his former life. All he knows is that he has nightmares that won't leave him alone and an irrational fear of shifting from human to wolf.

Doug McKenna has little respect for any wolf that isn't strong. That Sam was nearly broken is something he can't reconcile. Still, Sam needs looking after, and Doug decides to prove to Sam he has nothing to fear with an Alpha by his side.

~ * ~

Shattered Secrets Blurb

Jamie is human and he's a wolf. Werewolves aren't just some supernatural fairytale. They are a living breathing part of society. Once they hid their true natures, but now they are out and proud. Wolves are an accepted part of society, but even with all the new laws, it's not easy.

Race relations made society complicated enough, then came the gay rights movement adding a whole new dimension to the struggle for acceptance. Add a new species to the list and you have a whole different world

Rob is a cop and has just passed his thirtieth birthday, being promoted to a special police task force specializing in wolf / human cases. He sees it all. The seedy underbelly of city life, the fights, the murders, and the parts of human / wolf interaction that people would rather ignore. He meets a young man, Jamie, at a club and embarks on the hottest one night stand of his life. Little does he know that his lover is a shifter. He has no worries with wolves, but interspecies relationships are not on his to-do list.

When a case involving kidnappings of young werewolves lands on Rob's desk the ugly face of the werewolf sex trade is something he has to deal with. With Jamie seemingly at the centre of it all can Rob push past his prejudices and keep his lover alive?

~ * ~

Monday, 28 November 2011


Lisa Worrall's UNSHAKEABLE FAITH is out from Dreamspinner Press today!


Of all the bars in all the towns in all the world, the stranger walks into Brody Tyler’s. With no memory and a name he chose from a newspaper, Nash is a gamble—one Brody is willing to take. It isn’t long before Brody and Nash fall in love, but then a tragic accident shatters their cozy world, resetting Nash’s memory once again.

The “new” Nash Walker is a businessman with a bottom line, and he doesn’t care what or who gets stomped on. Waking up in a hospital bed after a hit-and-run with no idea where he’s been for the past six months is bad enough, but someone trying to kill him is even worse. Enter Brody Tyler, accidental bodyguard.

Brody’s determined to help Nash remember and bring back the man he loves. Nash thinks Brody’s a drop-dead gorgeous pain in the ass. If only he could remember….


Chapter One

BRODY turned the glass over in his hand and held it up to the light, checking for smudges before rubbing them away with the clean bar towel. He smiled as he glanced around the empty bar—his bar. Brody had practically grown up on the stool behind the bar. Tyler’s had been his grandfather’s place and his great-grandfather’s before that, and where he’d spent most of his summers. When he was a little boy, his pappy had let him put the peanuts into the little dishes for the tables. Then, as the years passed, he was given a cloth and allowed to clean the tables, then the bar and, finally, he graduated to a summer job mixing cocktails and opening beer bottles. “Money ain’t worth nothing if you ain’t worked for it, Brody. You remember that,” Pappy said time and time again in his harsh, Texan bark. “Just because you come from money, son, doesn’t mean you don’t have to earn your own.” 

Brody knew he was fortunate to have grown up in one of the wealthiest families in San Antonio, but Pappy’s words had struck a chord with him, and he’d never coasted through life on his parents’ shirttails. He’d decided against taking the easy route and stepping into a tailor-made role at the successful Tyler home-improvement chain, instead working his way through college and grad school to pursue his love of architecture.

He’d only been out of grad school for three weeks, the ink on his degree barely dry, when his grandfather had been diagnosed with cancer. Spending hours by Pappy’s bedside, they’d shared memories, Brody had read To Kill a Mockingbird to him, and more often than not, they just sat in silence, each garnering the comfort they needed from the other’s presence. During one of those long days, Pappy had told Brody he was leaving the bar to him, but that he wanted him to sell the place and use the money to set up his own firm.

Ten days later he held Pappy’s hand as he took his final breath, and after they’d buried him beside Grams, Brody had left the wake at his parents’ house. He’d had no idea where he was going—maybe his subconscious had been guiding him, maybe it was Pappy himself, he didn’t know—but he found himself standing outside Tyler’s, the key in his numb fingers. 

Inside, gazing around the empty room, inhaling the familiar smells and assaulted by a myriad of memories, Brody knew he could never part with it. He’d taken off his black suit jacket, picked up a bar towel and a glass… and he was still doing the same thing six years later. Not many twenty-seven-year-olds had their own successful business, and he knew how lucky he was. He’d already had a large clientele of regulars, and after some modernization, word of mouth had made it one of the most popular bars in town. It might not have been the life he’d envisaged, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

Stacking glasses on the shelf behind him, he glanced up at the mirror when he heard the bell indicating the arrival of a customer. Unable to contain the breath that escaped his lips or the sudden speeding up of his heartbeat, his gaze tracked the man’s path to the bar. 

The stranger looked to be about the same age as him, and probably around six feet tall. But it wasn’t his height and age that had Brody’s cock twitching in his pants. The guy was basically the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, man or woman. Putting the last glass on the shelf, Brody picked up the towel and began to rub down the sleek wood of the bar top. He failed dismally in his effort not to stare as the man settled himself on a stool, and cursed inwardly at the press of his wayward dick against the denim of his jeans when the man ran a shaking hand through short, light-brown hair, causing his tight T-shirt to cling to the muscles of his lean chest.

For God’s sake, snap out of it, Brody! He threw the towel over his shoulder and pushed his chocolate-colored bangs out of his eyes. Could you be any more obvious? Stop drooling over the poor guy and go serve him. Brody squared his shoulders, grabbed a beer mat, and walked toward the end of the bar, hoping desperately that the butterflies flapping up a storm in his stomach weren’t about to fly out of his mouth. 

“Hey,” he said brightly, slapping the beer mat down on the bar in front of Tall and Gorgeous. “What can I get you?”

Brody’s stomach hit his shoes when the stranger lifted his gaze and he looked into the prettiest green eyes. No, not green, too ordinary. They were the deep sea-green of a stormy ocean, splattered with gold flecks and rimmed with long dark lashes, and he would have been more than happy to spend the rest of his life gazing into them. Yeah, thank you, Oprah—just get him a drink!

Green-eyes scanned the array of alcohol on the shelves behind Brody and shrugged. “I’m not sure.” 
Brody’s brow furrowed at the weight of those words, as if it had taken an incredible effort to voice them. When the man glanced at the rows of beer and then back at him, Brody was sure his heart actually skipped a beat at the innate sadness in his eyes. “Hey.” He reached out without thinking and placed his hand over Green-eyes’ hand where it lay on the bar. “Are you okay?” His breath caught in his throat at the well of tears in the gaze that flitted to his and then away.

“I don’t know,” he mumbled.

Brody glanced at the clock on the wall and made an executive decision. You’re the boss, dumbass, every decision you make is executive. Ignoring his inner voice, he tossed the bar towel into the basket beneath the bar, grabbed two bottles of beer from the shelf, put one down in front of the stranger, and smiled reassuringly. 

“Here you go,” he said softly. “You look like you need someone to talk to. And who better than your friendly bartender? I’m a good listener, honest. You have to be or they won’t let you into bartending school.” He felt something warm unfurl in his gut when the man’s lips twitched. “Listen, I’ve got a couple of hours before this place starts filling up, so what do you say I turn over the closed sign and we chew the fat for a while?” He held up his right hand as if to swear an oath. “I promise I’m not an axe murderer, and they assure me the insanity has skipped a generation.”

Brody waited as Green-eyes seemed to weigh up the suggestion for a few moments and then nodded. Brody’s smile grew wider and he strode across the room to turn the sign on the door, flick up the lock, and pull down the blind. He noted the way Green-eyes nervously studied the label on the bottle of beer, and frowned in concern when the man started as Brody sat on the stool next to him. 

Picking up the second beer, he took a long draw before turning on the stool to face the other man. “Hi, I’m Brody, Brody Tyler, the owner.” He held out his hand and his gaze snapped up when long fingers folded around his and he felt a sharp shock of static pass between them. Judging by the man’s intake of breath, he’d felt it too. Clearing his throat, Brody tried not to drop the hand he held as though it were a hot potato and raised an eyebrow in question. “And you are?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said I don’t remember,” Green-eyes replied in a tired voice. “I have no idea who I am.”

~ * ~ 

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Home and Heart - Released Today - and a great Review for it!

Head over to Silver Publishing and snap up this heart-warming Christmas romance! It's the perfect 'Curl Up On The Couch by The Fire' read !

~ * ~

Deep in the Cotswolds in the heart of England, Ben Elliot settles in for a quiet Christmas house-sitting and caring for an elderly woman's two dogs while she's away. When her black-sheep grandson, Adam Prescott, turns up on the doorstep, Ben takes in the human stray as well. Destitute and betrayed by family, boyfriend, and Fate, Adam has lost all faith in others, and in himself.

Determined to help, Ben soon loses his heart to the other man and believes Adam has feelings for him, too. Then Adam's ex shows up, offering him the world if only Adam will come back to him. Now Ben must choose whether to step aside, or reach for the only gift he wants this Christmas.

Christmas may not be a time of celebration for Ben.

~ * ~


" ... Ms. Quinton structures this charming story simply - boy meets boy and they fall in love - and sticks with it in tone, language and feel.  A small English town as the setting, Christmas the time of year, and two characters who play off of each other so well.   It is wonderful when a writer commits to an idea, sets the stage, then spins out a yarn that wraps around you like a warm blanket in front of the fire on a cold winter's night.

What better present to have under the tree than this quiet gem of a story from a writer who knows what she is doing.  Happy holidays to you too, Ms. Quinton.

Hot chocolate for the soul."

~ * ~

Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Start of a WiP...

Just because it's being stubborn - this is a way of getting my own back on The WiP...

 Finders, Keepers
Chris Quinton

Chapter One

The harsh sounds etched into Jeff's brain like acid, and it wasn't until the tinny backbeat registered that he managed to comprehend the torture was being perpetrated by his cell phone. And it was the Indiana Jones theme, which meant Nate wanted him. Jeff swore, realized he was cursing in Russian, and swore again. In English. He'd been debriefed in Moscow, of course, but that didn't mean Borya Ivanovich was out of his thought-processes.
"Fuck," he croaked, his hand flailing in the general direction of the night table. "Fuckfuckfuck..." It could only be bad news, like the cancellation of his well-earned and long-overdue vacation. Since he'd walked off the plane from Moscow only ten hours ago and had proceeded to wash Russia and vodka out of his system with good old American bourbon, he was not inclined to be reasonable. More by luck than judgment, Jeff located his phone and pressed the key. "Nyet," he croaked. It would have been a snarl if his hangover had permitted it. "Shit. No. Fuck off."
"Sorry, kid." Nate sounded weary and Jeff acknowledged a faint twinge of sympathy. His handler was no spring chicken and it had been a rough assignment for both of them. But Jeff hardened his heart.
"No." He cut the connection and shoved the phone under the mattress, then pulled the pillow over his head and tried to get back to sleep. It didn't work. Even muffled by fabric and whatever else went into making a mattress, Indiana Jones assaulted his senses again. Jeff whimpered and surrendered, fished out the cell and fumbled for the correct key. "What?" he demanded. "I love you like family, Nate, but I swear I'm going to break every bone in your body if this is a callout."
"Are you alone?"
"Huh?" Jeff took the phone away from his ear and stared at it. He never brought anyone to his apartment, or at least, he didn't remember doing so on this occasion. Not that meant much, given the amount of alcohol he'd poured down his throat. Nate, on the other hand, sounded surprisingly sober. Carefully, Jeff swiveled his head around to check out his bed. The other pillow was pristine, no sign another head had rested on it, and the covers on the far side were still tucked in. The en suite door stood open on a darkened bathroom, and he could hear no sound from the shower or toilet. "I think so."
"Make sure."
"I'm sure! Come on, if I brought someone back with me he sure as hell wouldn't be sleeping on the fucking couch!" Jeff racked his brain and managed to recall stumbling from the club on his own and crawling into a cab. "I'm sure," he repeated.
"God. How much have you sunk?"
"Listen, I'm due this!" But it was more than time owed. All those months undercover, Jeff needed the space to crawl back into his own head, and his handler knew it was well as he did. If not better.
"I know. It's tough." Nate's voice was quiet, reasonable. "Thing is, it's an emergency."
"Trust me, Jeff. This is an easy case, nearest you'll get to a paid vacation and still work."
"If it's so easy, Boss-man can give it to someone else," Jeff muttered.
"Sorry, kiddo. It needs your gay ass."
"Shit! Tell me that doesn't mean what I think it means." Jeff dragged his free hand through his hair, fingers catching painfully in the tangles. "Nate?"
"Sorry," Nate said and his regret was genuine, Jeff knew. "It's a skin-job. I know we've just come out of the Kerzhakov assignment, but the boss wants you in on this one. We'll get double our leave back at the end of it, he says."
"I want it in writing, signed and witnessed," Jeff snapped, giving in to the inevitable. "Okay. Where and when?"
"Manhattan office, one hour. Call a cab."
"Yeah," he answered grimly. "Right. Connolly does knows it's three o'clock in the fucking morning, right?"
"Yup. And he's the boss. See you soon."
Jeff groaned. Moving and feeling as if he was three times his thirty years, he crawled out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom. This wasn't the worst hangover he'd ever had by a long shot, but he'd planned on sleeping it off before he started on earning the next one. His vacation plans hadn't been ambitious: get drunk, maybe have random anonymous sex if/when it was on offer, and sleep off the alcohol. And remember to think in English. Soap, rinse, repeat.
Sometimes life sucked. He stared at his reflection in the mirror, and for a moment Borya Ivanovich gazed back at him. That face, with its wide blue eyes and vulnerable mouth framed by heavy untidy waves of dark hair, looked more like twenty than thirty despite his defined cheekbones. His naked chest, bare of any hair thanks to the depilation of even the few strands that tried to grow around his areoles, was a sleek, creamy expanse of lightly defined muscles. So were his limbs, making him as graceful as a classical Greek statue. The apparent youthfulness was his stock in trade, but surely he was at his sell-by date now? Jeff swore and forced himself to relax until his eyes and mouth were his own again.
His talent for sinking himself so deeply into his roles made him invaluable to the Security and Retrievals Department of Davidson & Hart Insurance Inc, but when he spent a long time undercover, he found it hard to slide back into himself. Nate helped, of course. That was one of the main reasons why they were agent and handler. "Jefferson Damiano Taylor," he said slowly. "From El Paso via UC Berkeley and Quantico." Though Quantico had been only a brief interlude before he and the FBI agreed he wasn't their kind of material after all, and Texas had long since been purged from his accent. By the time the last word of his mantra was spoken, his own narrowed gaze and wry half-smile faced him. He gave himself a mock-salute. "Welcome home."


Two days to go and Home and Heart will be released by Silver Publishing!

Deep in the Cotswolds in the heart of England, Ben Elliot settles in for a quiet Christmas house-sitting and caring for an elderly woman's two dogs while she's away. When her black-sheep grandson, Adam Prescott, turns up on the doorstep, Ben takes in the human stray as well. Destitute and betrayed by family, boyfriend, and Fate, Adam has lost all faith in others, and in himself.

Determined to help, Ben soon loses his heart to the other man and believes Adam has feelings for him, too. Then Adam's ex shows up, offering him the world if only Adam will come back to him. Now Ben must choose whether to step aside, or reach for the only gift he wants this Christmas.

Christmas may not be a time of celebration for Ben.

~ * ~

Game On, Game Over is my recent release from Silver Publishing.

The Game is on - John Jones, aka Aidan Whittaker, a negotiator with MI6, is currently on assignment in Tajikistan, close to the Afghanistan border. Overtly on a University-run archaeological site, he's covertly brokering a deal with local tribal leaders. His undercover mission is complicated by the arrival of a couple of Americans; journalist Brent Babcock and his photographer Scott Landon. The two men are there to document the ancient Silk Road, but when Babcock gets wind of a hot news story, he starts asking awkward questions.

Scott Landon is a different kind of trouble for John. Fourteen years John's junior, gay and single-minded, he wants into John's bed. Not being prepared to jeopardize his operation, John rejects him, despite being drawn to the younger man. But then events around them spiral out of control.

~ * ~

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Back Home and Back In Business

Well, more or less *g*. This is the view across the Aire and Worth dales, overlooking Keighley, taken from the bus stop by St Mary's Church. I was staying in a house a few minutes walk from the church, all of it uphill. P's front garden path has the nickname of the North Face of the Eiger, and is not to be attempted in icy and/or snowy conditions.

Luckily, by the crafty use of preventative magic [I'd packed those spiky things you clip on over your shoes to stop you sliding on packed snow/ice, just in case, so of course it didn't snow] the weather stayed unseasonably warm.

As well as socialising with a longtime friend for a couple of weeks, I also took care of her two cats, freeing her up to spend a week visiting another mutual friend over in Cheshire. Tarry [Tarantella and Odile] Dilly are two retired Russian Blue breeding queens, litter sisters, and very difficult to tell apart. Tarry very kindly grew two white whiskers so I could identify her.

It wasn't all holiday. I finished the final draft of Fox Hunt and sent it to Manifold Press [they'd accepted it on the strength of an earlier draft], and I received the first round of edits this morning. It should be released on February 1st 2012.

~ * ~

Monday, 21 November 2011

Home and Heart available to pre-order from Silver.

Apologies, my website has fallen over and I don’t know how to sort out the problem – the entries are there in the background Dashboard, but not showing on the live Front Page. If the blog side still works, I’ll update, blog and promo as usual, and hope my website Guru can solve the problem.

Sooo… Here I go, with everything humanly possible crossed for luck…

Just a few days to go to the release of Home and Heart from Silver Publishing – it’s a heart-warming Christmas tale, just right for reading on your Kindle or similar when curled up on the couch in front of a fire, with a beverage of your choice *g*.

Pre-Order buy link HERE

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Game On, Game Over - another excerpt

Game On, Game Over - another teaser *g*

Scott didn't know what impulse drew him to the trench inside the ruins, but he was grateful for it when the man straightened and turned to face him. He was tall, lean, and sun-browned, his almost-black hair worn a little too long and showing a few threads of silver at the temples, though he was probably under forty. Deeply set in high-cheekboned, hawklike features, dark brown eyes gazed stonily at Scott. Somehow the man managed to give the impression of glaring down his impressive, aquiline nose despite his head being on a level with Scott's knees. While not strictly handsome, his was the most interesting face Scott had seen in years, and also the most attractive. Right now, however, that face was the personification of aloofness. A warm pulse of interest spread through Scott's blood. Never one to pass up a challenge, he waited until the woman took herself off, then gave the man a thorough checking out from behind the mask of his shades.

"So," Scott said brightly, "what do you have here?"

"A trench," he bit out, his rich voice becoming more clipped. "Wait by the offices, Mr Landon."

"Okay," he said, not moving. "But please call me Scott. Mr Landon's my father and it's way too formal for me." He widened his smile to an out and out grin, as charming and engaging as he could make it. "Hey, c'mon, you need to loosen up. I'm not like Brent, I swear. Can I come down there?"

Just some photos...

I'm currently away from home for three weeks, visiting a friend in North Yorkshire - just on the edge of Ilkley Moor to be exact, and a misty, moisty time it is *g*. But not snowing or freezing, which I'll take as a win. As well as socialising, I'm also helping her out by house- and cat-sitting while she goes off to visit another mutual friend for a week. I've also been doing some heavy edits to Fox Hunt, and should be done with that by the time she gets back. That is, if I don't get distracted by zoning out with her two Russian Blue ladies. Tarry [Tarentella] and Dilly [Odile] are very determined when it comes to sitting on laps and being petted *g*.