Friday, 12 December 2014

Guest Author - Faith Ashlin

Faith Ashlin's new release is now available for early download HERE from Totally Bound - treat yourselves to an early Christmas pressie with this gay, alternate reality novel!

A Slow Process of Understanding

How does a world that accepts slavery affect both master and slave? Can two people build a new life for themselves with a start like theirs?

It’s a world like this one except for the all-powerful State that’s very firmly in control and the fact that slavery is legal. Jimmy had never really thought about it or the fight for freedom going on around him. He was too busy enjoying his privileged life as an actor on a sci-fi show.

But what is he meant to do when he’s forced to permanently bond to a slave he doesn’t want just because he made one silly, drunken mistake? Does it change who he is, what he is?

Trouble is, Jimmy isn’t sure who he was to start with. He’d never thought about it.
And what about his slave, Nate? Can a slave force Jimmy into learning something about himself?


‘It’s not fucking fair,’ was all that kept going through Jimmy’s mind. Over and over on repeat. It wasn’t fucking fair—not fair he was here, not fair he’d be here for weeks, not fucking fair he was being forced to bond with some guy he didn’t even know. How could something like that ever be fair?

Okay, so maybe he’d stepped out of line and said things he shouldn’t, to people he shouldn’t. Said them long and loud. But he’d been drunk, and everyone knew he was an arsehole when he was drunk. He’d just kind of assumed they knew he was he was a friendly, didn’t-mean-it kind of arsehole.

And okay, maybe he had hit someone, but he hadn’t meant that either. He was the kind of drunk that did stupid things they wouldn’t normally—things they didn’t mean. Hit people they didn’t mean to. It wasn’t personal. He hadn’t known who the guy was. Just some random kid, who just happened to have a powerful mother.

Was it such a crime to get drunk and say things he shouldn’t, in front of people he shouldn’t? And hit people he shouldn’t?

Yeah, actually even he knew it was a crime, but shit, this was a hell of a punishment.
He was a good guy really, only the authorities hadn’t seen it like that, and now he was fucking stuck here. Even the minor celebrity that came with being on a TV show with plastic spaceships hadn’t bought him any leeway. But he should have known that, known what a hard, unforgiving bastard The State could be.

Now he had to pay for his stupidity. Nothing else to do now but suck it up and pay his dues.

But it might not be all bad. They’d told him he was going to be bonded with this guy—which was as near as damn it to fucking marriage—but the man would still be Jimmy’s slave. Jimmy would own him, be accountable and responsible for him. That was supposed to be part of his punishment. To teach him to be responsible, so in future, he’d act that way toward The State.

Owning a slave. That was a weird concept, but there could be positives.

He wasn’t about to treat a slave the way some people did. He’d seen it—at parties, around, hell, on the streets. Slaves bent over and fucked, passed around for anyone’s pleasure. Treated as slabs of meat. He wasn’t about to do anything like that. He’d be fair, protect him from the perverts. He’d be responsible, just like they wanted, even if it wasn’t fair.

They both knew the score, knew there’d have to be sex, but he knew how to treat a person right. Slaves were people, no matter what The State said. He’d take the free, no-strings sex as a bonus. But people, anyone, deserved to be treated right.

He might not have understood the freedom movement, but he could help one man live an easier life. He’d be doing his small part to make the world a more decent place. He’d be responsible and accept his punishment like a man. Once he got through prison.

That made him feel a little better about everything.

He just hoped the guy didn't look like the tail end of a rhinoceros. 

                                                                                              ~ * ~
[If this whets your appetite, a much longer excerpt can be read on Totally Bound's site...]

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Heat and History...

Heat, the book I co-wrote with the immensely talented RJ Scott is set in Salisbury, so I thought I'd give you a rough idea of this little city on the edge of Wiltshire. I'll issue a disclaimer right at the start - I haven't been able to 100% verify all the information below, as the Salisbury Reference Library doesn't hold anything much in the way of historical records. Everything is stored at Chippenham, which is a complicated bus or train ride away. So we are relying on my memory and inside knowhow gleaned during my years with the now defunct Salisbury Museum Archaeological Research Group [aka SMARG], and a ten-year-old survey on the Archaeology Data Services website.

Okay, here we go. Salisbury didn't start off on its current site. It probably began as a Neolithic causewayed enclosure on a nearby hill before moving down to the valley in the early 13th century. This followed ongoing disputes between the powers that be at castle and the church, and in 1220 the cathedral was re-sited on church-owned land beside the River Avon. At the same time, the city was planned out in the usual grid pattern, and some of the chequers were named for the inns in them; the Three Cuppes, the Blue Boar, and the Cross Keyes, to name but a few.

A city wall was part of the project, but didn't really get off the ground. Impressive stone gates were constructed [now long gone], but the wall was no more than a dirt rampart and was never completed. It exists today in the street name - Rampart Road - and a short piece of bank and ditch in the grounds of Bourne House.

Communities already existed on and around the chosen site. Palaeolithic stone tools have been found,  as well as Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Roman artifacts, and at least two Anglo-Saxon cemeteries. The church of St Martin and the village around it predates the new city.

While Laurels, the Mandineaus' restaurant, is fictional, and its address wasn't given in the story, it is sited in New Street, and backs onto the walls of the Close that surrounds Salisbury Cathedral. Its stand-in body-double is the New Inn. Don't be misled by the New. The street and the building are among the oldest in Salisbury.

The city planners had an eye to sanitation. Watercourses were diverted down channels [canals] in the centre of the streets to serve as open sewers that carried waste away into the river. The street known as New Canal still reflects that. Now it's part of the city's notorious one way road system.

Visitors to Salisbury have scratched their heads in a WTH moment at the name of a small coffee bar; Nuggs 1268. Back in the year 1268, Hugh Nugg lived here. It's a prestigious site on the corner of Blue Boar Row and Endless Street, and Nugg was probably an eminent - and rich - guild member. Endless Street isn't, of course. It's possibly named for a well-to-do family called Endell or Endle.

Another eye-catching place is the Odeon cinema. It was once the Hall of John Halle, built in 1470. Halle was elected mayor four times, and was also Salisbury’s MP. He took on the Bishop of Salisbury in defence of the citizens' rights, so much so he managed to offend the king and ended up in prison for a while. Inside it has some impressive Jacobean panelling.

This is a brief snapshot of Lewis' Salisbury... Come and visit if you're in the area; we have some great restaurants and pubs, plenty of shops, and lots of history tucked away in unexpected places.

~ * ~


Serving up passion, family, love and hate, with a side order of arson.

Lewis has lost nearly everything, and now it seems that Devon is here to take the last thing he has left - working in his beloved restaurant, Laurels. But when an arsonist threatens everything Lewis loves, he realizes sometimes everyone has their ghosts, and he discovers an unexpected ally who is prepared to risk everything for him.

Set in the small cathedral city of Salisbury, Master Chef Lewis Mandineau no longer owns the Laurels, the restaurant that had been in his family for generations. Betrayed and robbed by an ex-lover, he's had to sell to Carnegie Enterprises, an American corporation. That isn't all Lewis has to contend with. Rachel, his beloved younger sister has been left severely hurt by the car crash that killed their parents, and taking care of her has to be his priority.

Enter Devon Trelawney III, sent to assess the viability of the restaurant and its staff. Devon knows all about family tradition. But he also knows sentiment has no place in business matters, and the Laurels' potential is swamped by the debts it has accrued. Devon is a hardheaded businessman, first and foremost, but Lewis and Rachel test his resolve in different ways. Soon Devon is forced to admit that what seems like an impossible love can sometimes become something very real.  

Buy Links for Heat

Love Lane Books  |  Amazon (US)  |  Amazon (UK)  |  ARe  |  Smashwords  |  B&N  |  iTunes