Saturday, 31 March 2012

Paradox News - and a Giveaway by Sue Brown!

I know it's over a month away, but I have to show everyone the cover for my next book. Paradox is released on May 5th from Silver Publishing, and Reese Dante has just sent me the cover design. She has nailed every element in this timeslip mystery romance, from the images to the atmosphere to the lighting and colour. The woman has so much talent, I am perpetually in awe. Every time I submit a book to Silver, I have two thoughts dominating my mind.

1: Will they accept it?

2: If they do, I can't wait to see what marvels Reese [and now Lee Tiffin as well!] will produce to illustrate it.

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But before I go on to post the blurb and a short excerpt from Paradox, my good friend Sue Brown has a release today - STOLEN DREAMS - and she's holding a kind of Follow the Clues Hunt on her blog, with a Giveaway! She asked me for a silly/sensible question to be on my blog, so here it is, along with her answer.

CQ: *Ahem* If you were stranded on a desert island, which of your heroes would you want to rescue you, and why. Please note, this is RESCUE, not STRANDED WITH *g*

SB: Hmmm. I'd be saved by Eric in Chance to be King. He's an action hero!! All those muscles.... although would I need brains as well? Hmm, James Trenchard from Final Admission. He's clever and a fast talker. He'd get me out of trouble. 

Heh. So Sue has gone for brains over brawn. Just as well I restricted her to her own characters, otherwise she'd be torn between two TV characters, one of whom has brains and brawn, but doesn't float her boat quite the same way as his slightly less brawny and less brainy but much prettier brother.

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And now on to Paradox - Phil has a job he loves, full of danger and excitement most of the time, and a working partner he trusts with his life. Until Ryan kisses him. It's only meant to be a diversion tactic to convince the heavies they're two harmless gays, but that kiss shakes Phil's word to its foundations. He doesn't do commitment. He doesn't need or want a longterm lover, but that's what his heart is reaching for.

An accident leaves him drifting in and out of a dream-haunted coma, trapped in his wrecked car waiting for rescue, and he is sharing a parallel life. Centuries ago, someone is trying to kill Caius Marcellus Valens, and Phil must find out who and why. But he's alone. No partner, no backup - or is there? Nothing is the way it seems.

"We need to be closer." Phil nudged his elbow into Ryan's ribs. "Come on, Bucky."
"Wait! Fuck's sake, you hot-headed—"
Phil ignored his partner. He pulled off his dark cap, ruffled his short hair into trendy spikes, and strolled casually across the square with a swagger to his shoulders, confident as always that Ryan would follow his lead. He walked through the cordon of Belushi's men, ignoring the suspicious glares directed his way, and stopped to read the illuminated menu and programme outside the Paradiso Club. From the corner of his eye, he saw Fremantle hand over a package the size and shape of a book. He could even see the dark print at each end and didn't need to read it to know the cardboard bore the Amazon labelling. No book sat inside it; according to their info it held a gold and gem-framed icon, three hundred years old, stolen from the Csák-Salazar Gallery in Budapest a month ago. Then Phil saw three heavies striding purposefully towards him. Fuck, Ryan, where the hell are you?
And there he was, running towards him waving and grinning like an idiot, untidy red-blond hair flying in the evening breeze. "Hé, Jacques, je suis tarde! Je suis désolé!" Ryan called in French, the language their code for follow my lead. Ryan didn't slow down when he was close. Instead he barrelled into Phil, wrapping one arm around him and pulling him into a close embrace. And kissed him, full on the mouth, his hand clamped on the nape of Phil's neck, ensuring he had to stand there and take it. Heat seared through Phil's blood. Ryan's mouth was hot, demanding, moving slow and languorous on his as if he would feast on him for hours. He tried to breathe through the shock of it, tried to fight the tide of sheer lust flaring up in him, tried to push his partner away. But his muscles would not cooperate. Instead his arms moved of their own volition and locked around Ryan's lean body, holding him closer—then Ryan ended the kiss and nibbled on his earlobe. "We're creating the diversion," he whispered. "Dennis and Vera are making the retrieval."
Shock became anger and Phil broke their embrace, shoving Ryan away from him. Somehow he managed to remember they were on assignment, and what was at stake. "Qui était avec vous?" he yelled, improvising quickly. He didn't have to fake his outrage.

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Saturday, 10 March 2012

A Very English Village...

Last year my book Game on, Game Over was released by Silver Publishing. The first part of the story is set in Afghanistan, the second in Avebury, a tiny village in the southwest of England, and the book got some pretty good reviews *g*.

Among the comments on one review site was the remark that the commenter didn't think villages like that really existed any more. I didn't comment at the time because that would mean giving away some major spoilers, but the book has been out for long enough now that I don't have to be careful.

St. James

Avebury has the three ingredients necessary for the formation of a village; a church - St, James; a manor house - Avebury Manor; and a pub - the Red Lion. As an added bonus, it also has the largest prehistoric stone circle yet discovered in Europe.
Avebury Manor

The Red Lion
Aidan's view of Avebury: "Safe. That was how Aidan felt as he waited on the corner for a bus to pass, then hobbled quickly across the main road. Safe in a small community which on one level was so quintessentially English it ought to be preserved under a dome in perpetuity. It had only one drawback: the largest circle of standing stones yet discovered, a circle of prehistoric, sacred space wide enough to encompass a good part of the village, elevating it to Tourist Magnet status. A definite bonus was the post office with its small but useful general store, and the Red Lion public house, both within easy walking distance of the cottage."

High Street

The Henge Shop

High Street
The High Street - which is a cul de sac - has more pretty thatched and slate-roofed cottages than I could realistically upload here. So here are the Henge Shop, which has a brief part in the novel, and a couple of cottages...

While Game on, Game Over is the story of Aidan and Scott, there is one other character who has an impressive role in the last part - TBC, aka That Bloody Cat, aka The Magyar Mog, depending on who is yelling his name.

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Sunday, 4 March 2012

News and Reviews

My two latest releases have received some very favorable reviews! Sirius, guesting at Reviews by Jessewave, gave Fox Hunt 4.5 stars, which stacks up very nicely with the four and five starred reviews/ratings on GoodReads [and the lone two-star *g*].

Sullivan's Yard has also collected four and five starred reviews/ratings at GoodReads - plus the obligatory two-star *g*

Which goes to prove once again that a writer can't please all of the people all of the time.

~ * ~

Jeff Taylor
The current WiP, Finders, Keepers,  is about halfway long the final furlong; the showdown has been choreographed and written, now I'm writing the fallout... The pic is of Jeff, an undercover insurnace agent who makes the mistake of falling for his mark.

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In other, more personal matters, my recent diagnosis with Type 2 Diabetes has interfered with my writing schedule. I didn't realise Diabetes could have such a marked effect on my sight! It has really screwed my range of vision. At the moment, none of my glasses give me good screen-vision,while my long-range vision is great with my screen-reading glasses! Can't use the El Cheapo reading glasses you can buy for a few pounds, as my right eye is considerably weaker than my left. This will almost certainly sort itself out in time, as the meds and diet seem to be working really well now, but until it does, writing is a problem.

When a writer has trouble reading the screen while writing, severe impatience and frustration ensues.

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