Thursday, 31 May 2012

Dark Waters Has A New Home!

The lovely people at Silver Publishing have accepted Dark Waters, and I've just signed and returned the contract! No idea yet when it'll be released, of course, it just said 2012 on the form. But, hey, I'm  so very pleased [British Understatement] it's found a great home in the Silver stable *g*



Dark Waters a shapeshifter story, but this is no urban shifter - he is an each-uishe, a waterhorse of the Scottish lochs, and a very dangerous creature.

I cannot wait to see what Reese Dante and her Art Team will come up with for him!

~ * ~

Needless to say, I have images in my head, and a friend recently sent me a link to the CRWR art site where I found this amazing picture.


Visit the CRWR site HERE and browse their wonderful art, because they have the perfect picture of my waterhorse. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a picture of his manshape, but I have every faith in Silver's artists. They'll create him, I'm certain.


Dark Waters
 
Flein is a wanderer by instinct and need, roaming the known world as the fancy takes him. In the Highland village of Glenfinnan, women have been raped and brutally murdered. The killer is a waterhorse, a monstrous shapeshifter by all accounts. But when Flein meets Donnchadh, first in its equine form, then its man-shape, he knows the waterhorse is innocent. Flein is drawn to the shapeshifter, but he finds it difficult to acknowledge it's more than a monster.

Donnchadh, though wary, shares the same attraction. They join forces to hunt for the real murderer, but time is short.  They must find the killer before more women die. Then suspicion is turned on them and the hunters become the hunted.

~ ~ * ~ ~

Friday, 18 May 2012

Hop Against Homophobia - Unofficial

I'm not officially a part of the Hop - I've been travelling away from home too much recently to get myself organised and sign up for it, but it's been there in the back of my head for days. Maybe for years in various forms.

http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.co.uk/

Why am I so fervently waving the Rainbow Flag in suppost of the GLBT community? Because I hate bigotry and injustice. I hate the cynical abuse of power by those in positions of authority to either fail to protect the vulnerable in their care, or actively work against those whom they have decided do not fit their idea of 'normal', often to score a political or religious advantage. Just as damaging in the long run are the casual everyday throwaway comments by thoughtless people.

Just because my son was born straight doesn't mean I don't have to stand beside those who weren't. Who knows, one of my grandsons might turn out to be gay or bi or transgender. It will make no difference to me or their parents - we love them and accept them for who they are, and that will never change.
 
Just because I'm a straight woman, doesn't mean I can't identify with those in the GLBT community who suffer outright homophobia and those tiny everyday snide remarks and insults. I've had workplace discrimination and scorn aimed at me for being a woman, for being a pagan, for being old. On a small scale, yes, but there. It made me angry every time it happened. So why should I hold back and do nothing when I see it aimed at others?

This is my note on my FaceBook profile

To All Those Who Have Friended Me...

by Chris Quinton on Thursday, 27 October 2011 at 12:56 ·

It's great that I have so many friends of all political and religious leanings, of different races and shades of colour, of all genders and the whole range of sexuality on the Kinsey scale. I care about you all.

I would like to state here and now that:

I support passionately the right of same sex couples to marry if they choose to do so.
I am equally passionate about loathing the bigotry and cruelty that drives children and adults to take their own lives.

I love and admire the courage of those in the public spotlight who stand up and say, "I'm gay."

I have nothing but contempt for the so-called religious people who use their religion to justify their bigotry and cruelty.

I have nothing but contempt for those so-called religious people who attempt to impose their version of religion on others.

If any on my friends list take issue with any of the above statements, please unfriend me as soon as possible.

Blessed be
Chris

Friday, 11 May 2012

Back Home!


I've been away from home for ten days, visiting a friend in Cheshire, and internet access has been patchy.


For most of those ten days, my feet seemed to never touch the ground, and the weather cooperated [mostly]. I'll set up another post in a few days with pics of some of the places we visited, but for now I'll catch up on my writing news - and give grateful thanks to RJ Scott for taking over my website and blogging about Paradox, my latest release, on Saturday May 5th *g*!


Also out now is the print trilogy, The Fitzwarren Inheritance - containing in one paperback volume The Psychic's Tale, The Soldier's Tale and The Lord's Tale, by myself, RJ Scott and Sue Brown! 

Top of the list - and I may have already mentioned this *g* - Silver has accepted Finders, Keepers. They have also accepted my m/f paranormal romance, Argent Dreaming. Written under the name of Chris Power, this was first published by A.N. Other publisher back in 2008. I've only just managed to get back the copyrights on the four remaining stories I've written and co-written. Terri Beckett, my co-author on three of them, and I will be resubmitting in due course, when we've had a chance to read through and edit them.

The print release of Game on, Game Over is on May 17th, the ebooks Finders, Keepers is due August 25th, and Argent Dreaming [still in the name of Chris Power] is pencilled in for September 22nd.

Now, after no time at all to do any writing [I am twitching], I must dive back into Fool's Rush for Manifold Press, because time is flying by and I hate deadlines with a passion...

~~~*~~~

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Don't tell Chris, but RJ Scott has stolen her blog...

Hi guys! RJ Scott is in the house generally making a mess on Chris Quinton's blog!

My buddy Chris has a new book out today. It's an awesome story of a guy who experiences something out of this world. She is away from her computer with limited access so I kindly volunteered to pimp and write a blog for her site...

The blurb for her new book is:
Phil thrives on the danger and excitement of his job, and he trusts his partner with his life. Until Ryan kisses him. It's a diversionary tactic, but the kiss shakes Phil to his foundations. He doesn't need or want a long-term lover, but now it seems his heart does.

A short time later, Phil finds himself trapped in his wrecked car, drifting in and out of a dream-haunted coma where he's living a parallel life. Centuries in the past, someone's trying to kill Caius Marcellus Valens, and nothing is the way it seems. When the dream invades Phil's waking life, he must separate past from present before it tears apart his world--and the best relationship he's ever had.

The buy link is here: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/new-release-c-1/products_id/847/

I was lucky to read this when she was a)writing it and b)as a pre release PDF. I love how she so cleverly wound the two *seemingly* separate stories together. Go see the extract. You won't be disappointed.

I said I would post a short blog post to accompany this and so asked for some questions on Facebook... This is what happens when you let RJ loose on your blog!


oOo

Silver Pixie: Why not talk about what makes you tick? What inspires you? What doesnt?


I gave a lot of thought to this question. I wasn’t entirely sure what makes me tick or what inspires me. I could say it’s the pictures of all the pretty men out there, or the TV that I watch, or the films I see, or even the books I read.

But when I really think about it. It’s the rush.

When I am in the zone and words are just appearing on the screen ahead of me thinking, and I have a storyline in my head and my characters become real I have the most incredible high. It's peaceful and addictive.

Does this make me weird?


Pauline Allan: How about why you write M/M romances? Why does that genre appeal to you go greatly? :)


Men. Mostly. ROFL…

Since I can remember I have been a bromance addict. My very first bromance addiction was based around 'Battle Of The Planets'. An animation based, I think on a Japanese animation and dubbed in american. Jason and Mark. I wasn’t interested in the girly, or the big guy, or the little kid, I wanted the conflict between the hero's and I wanted to see them duke it out and then in the next breath put their lives on the line for each other. Sighs.

So I guess I am now sharing my bromance addiction with the world. You poor things…

And the fact there can be moments of intense heat between two men where you can just have them going for it, temper and anguish and then the hottest sex ever.

Does this make me weird?


LeeAnn Pratt: what is the most annoying things a character has doine, in your head of course to get your attention so you'll write THEIR story?


Well I think Jack and Riley are hard wired into my brain as they keep demanding more barn sex, hence Texas 3 (August).

Also Alex wants to put back all the stuff he stole and boy has he been nagging me to do it, hence Oracle 2 (October) and then he kind of wants his powers back but I am not sure how Luke feels about this. I guess we'll see when I write it.

Does my characters talking to me, make me weird?

Paula Hadgraft: Do you plan out your characters and worlds before writing, or do you just start and see where the characters take you?


No I don't plan anything really. I have photoboards that I pull together with inspirational photos, and I also have this App on my iPad called IThoughtsHD which is a drag and drop programme to keep an eye on character.

I know for a fact in Oracle 2 that Alex replaces an item into a museum in Oxford, UK, and I have the scene in my head. So I will have scenes I want to write but usually no idea of how I am going to get them on paper until I get into the zone.

I really am weird.


Right?

Friday, 4 May 2012

Introducing F.M. Parkinson...


The Walled Garden is F.M. Parkinson's debut novel, so of course I asked her how she came to choose such a fascinating setting, and that other burning question authors often get: why?


Why did I write the novel?  Some years ago a friend and I spent part of a morning attempting to write a story about a man living in the Victorian England of the 1850s.  My friend wrote a page of splendid prose, all about a horse and carriage driving through the cobbled streets of a town; I managed three lines of absolute drivel, because I had no real idea of what life was like at that time.  But the idea wouldn’t go away and I decided to continue with my efforts.

The novel began life in a different version, and the first scene was one in which two men were confronting one another.  One of the characters had just behaved in a stupid and irresponsible way; the other was livid over this.  I then realised that while I knew a bit about one of the men, I had no idea as to how the other had ended up there.  And although I knew where I wanted my characters to go with their relationship, I had no clue as to how to get them there.  So I had to go back and create a story to get them both to that point.

As I continued writing, I realised that I needed to find out far more about life at that time, in particular the law regarding homosexuality, as it changed several times in England during the nineteenth century.  I also wanted to know about public and private attitudes to sex in its many variations.  It was fascinating to discover that whatever face Victorian society presented to public gaze, in private people were as uninhibited and passionate in their love as anyone today would be.

I’ve also always had a fascination with the high-walled gardens found on most country estates.  (I’m sure that The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was an influence.)  Most of these gardens were kitchen gardens for growing the vegetables and flowers used in the owner’s house, though other ones were designed as gardens to be used as places for the owner of the property to take his leisure.  All of them, whatever their function today, have an air of mystery, secrecy and seclusion about them that, to me, conjured up a place where two men could shut out the world and its demands and be quite private with each other for a while, the high walls and locked door to the garden cutting them off from the rest of society.

Before I started to write this story, I had only attempted short pieces of fiction set in the contemporary world.  I couldn’t write this story in the same manner – I had to find some other style.  I therefore tried to echo the style of English novels written at that time, not just in language but in the slower pace of telling the story, while still making it acceptable to the reader of today.  And once I had got my characters to that scene of confrontation, I found I still had a long way to go, with many twists and turns, before I could bring the novel to a close.

It was fascinating to find out about that time - about households and servants; about clothing (right down to men’s underwear); about the workings of parliament (quite different to today); about railways and stations, and what certain towns and cities looked like at the time. I studied newspapers, magazines, books, plans, paintings and photographs of the time; wrote to various august bodies for information, and visited the places I used as settings in the novel. Every aspect of life needed research.

I enjoyed discovering all about my characters and their respective lives.  I hope that readers of the story may do so too.


Buy Link HERE

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Manifold Press - May 1st Releases - Part Two of Two


The second of Manifold's May 1st releases is a hard-hitting historical novel by the acclaimed R.A. Padmos - Unspoken.


Stefan is a working-class man – or would be, if there was any work! – when he meets Adri and they begin an affair. Married with children, Stefan resists this development in a society where homosexuality is legal but scarcely tolerated. Nor does he understand when Adri warns him about the territorial ambitions of Hitler’s Germany, which their country will be unable to oppose. In a daily battle against guilt, poverty and other, more tangible enemies, Stefan and Adri struggle to hold on to a love which should never have existed at all – but which may be the only thing helping them to survive.

Excerpt

They had made a habit of waiting for each other after getting their stamp, and after a few days it was as if it had always been this way: the control stamps, the looking for work, the cups of coffee at Stefan’s home and the hand-rolled cigarettes they shared.

Four weeks had gone by but that was just time, and Stefan didn’t think much about how easily the days and weeks had passed. That night was no different from so many other nights. They had strolled through the neighbourhood before it was time for Adri to go home. It didn’t mean anything that Stefan dropped his keys when he wanted to open the front door. It was only logical that they reached out at the same time to retrieve the fallen object and, when their hands touched, it was fully by accident. And yet, for a few seconds that must have lasted an eternity, they were frozen in the shock of recognition – until Stefan quickly grabbed the keys and stood upright again.

“It’s me, girl,” he called upstairs to Marije, because that was what he always did. He knew he was supposed to double-lock the door for the night but somehow he had forgotten even this simple routine. The touch of Adri’s fingers had burned a sign into his hand. Not until there was a knock on the door was he able to move again, and before he could say anything the other man was inside with him. In the dark, cramped entry to his home, where his wife was waiting upstairs for him to kiss his children goodnight, he was being kissed by a man.

“Oh God … oh God … What did I do …?” Adri sounded as shocked as Stefan felt.

“I don’t want to scare my wife and children, so I’ll keep my voice down and I won’t hit you, but I never want to see you at my door again.” Stefan pushed the door open. “Get out.”

That night Marije told him she had missed her time of the month.

***

He felt like himself again when he caught Adri’s gaze, waiting in line for another job neither of them would get, and turned away. It was easy as anything. A man kissing another man? Why would any normal, healthy bloke want to do such a sickening thing? He remembered how he had walked through the park last summer, with Marije, during one of those rare moments the kids were all at grandma’s for a few hours in the afternoon. It was almost like it had been when they were engaged and had a bit of money and so much free time on a Sunday they didn’t know what to do with it. There had been this man, if you could call it that, dressed just a bit too colourfully and moving in a way that would only look attractive on a young woman. The creature had looked Stefan straight in the eye, and winked at him.

“Doesn’t it make you sick to the stomach?” he had hissed.

Marije had pulled at his jacket. “Don’t say a thing like that. That man surely doesn’t mean to hurt us. Perhaps he can’t help being that way.”

“Why should I have to even see dirt like that in our park? Or are you saying it’s normal, for men to be like that?”

“Perhaps not normal, no …” she had admitted, after some hesitation.

“So you’re agreeing with me.”

“But that’s no reason to judge that poor man so harshly. I can’t imagine anyone choosing to be that way, to be without a loving family, with no respect from anyone.”

“Respect?”

“Please, Stefan, opoe Doffer didn’t offer to look after the little ones so that we could have a fight. When was the last time it was just the two of us? Let’s enjoy it, yes?”

He left the memories for what they were, when he saw Adri walk away without looking over his shoulder even once. He didn’t dare move until the other man had turned a corner, too afraid he would run after him, too afraid he would be spineless and weak.

No one should misinterpret his situation. He worked hard on the days he had a job, and stood for hours in line to hear, “sorry, man, nothing today”, only to do the exact same thing the next day and the next. He never neglected any of the tasks at home that a man shouldn’t leave to his wife, mother or daughter, and he paid more attention to Selle and Wilfred because Marije was too sick to run after two lively boys. He felt his urges night after night, but he didn’t press her to allow him the use of her body. And, when she nodded her consent, he was extra careful with her because of the new child growing inside her – but also for a reason he hardly dared to face.

BuyLink HERE

58,000 words/220 pages

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Manifold Press - May 1st Releases Part One of Two


Two more releases from Manifold Press - first is the debut novel The Walled Garden by F.M. Parkinson, a Victorian romance...


William Ashton, retained as a gardener by Edward Hillier, discovers his new master to be a detached and driven man. Over the years, as travail and tragedy bring them closer together, he understands that they have more in common than he first realised, but the affection they feel for one another will be sorely tested by boundaries both of class and of rigid Victorian morality. Like the private garden behind the high walls their love must flourish only in the strictest secrecy – or else it will not do so at all.

Excerpt

In the midst of Nature run riot wandered Hillier, making his way through the grass, unaware for the moment of the presence of his gardener. Ashton did not seek to remind him, finding he took pleasure in watching his employer. To Ashton’s eyes he seemed in harmony with his surroundings, and the gardener saw no reason to disturb the pleasant interlude. Hillier turned and caught sight of Ashton where he stood amidst the green foliage by the half-opened door and hastened back to him, an aura of intense, suppressed emotion about him.

“I have not stood in this garden for many years,” Hillier began, clearly needing to explain. “It is very pleasant to walk here again.” He surveyed the overgrown state. “I am afraid it is going to be more work than I realised. I should have spoken to you before everything started to grow, but I have been so busy elsewhere.”

It was a pity, reflected Ashton somewhat gloomily, that his employer had not mentioned the work sooner. He supposed the lawyer would want him to clear it all. That, however, was what he was paid to do, he reminded himself again firmly. If he found Hillier’s manner towards him more that of an equal than anything else, he did not consider it further.
As if reading Ashton’s thoughts, Hillier went on, “I wish this place to be cleared – only a little, you understand. You need not return it to its formal state. I prefer it to be left a little – untidy.” He was not looking at Ashton as he spoke, his gaze intent upon his surroundings.

“Very well, sir,” replied Ashton, accepting the eccentricities of the well-to-do without demur, “but the work would be done faster if there was more than me to do it. It’d take two of us far less time to clear the garden; then you’d have it nice for the rest of the summer.” He supposed this was Hillier’s aim. “Be pleasant for you and Mrs Hillier to walk in.”

The lawyer’s attention was caught; he turned to stare at Ashton. “Obviously I have not made myself clear. I want you alone to work in this garden. Only you. No-one else will be allowed entrance.” He turned away, once more looking around him, then swung back to face his employee, his tone becoming fierce. “I will not have anyone else in here, do you understand? I hold the only key there is to the door. I will have a copy made and you shall have that other key. You must keep it safe, and lock the door behind you when you are in here.”

Some surprise must have shown on Ashton’s face, however well he tried to conceal the emotion, for the lawyer added, “I need somewhere I can walk in peace, knowing that no-one will disturb me.” And to Ashton’s amazement he began to explain.

“When I was a child, Will, I came here to escape from my everyday world. The property belonged then to a Mr Elswood, an elderly gentleman, and on his death, for he had no immediate family, it was purchased by a Mr Crichton, from whom I bought it many years later at the time of my marriage.” A fleeting expression, almost of pain, passed across his face. “Neither owner was in residence very often and we youngsters wandered at will through the park. I dare say we were trespassing, but we were never caught. I found this place and climbed one of the trees near the wall to see over, and determined there and then it should be my own special garden. I think it must have been built originally as a pleasure garden. It was overgrown even then – a boy’s delight.” He laughed quietly, his grey eyes sparkling with gentle humour. “I was small enough in those days for the branches of the tree to take my weight. It was over there.” He indicated toward the far side of the enclosure. “It has been cut down long since, but then I was quite able to scramble onto the wall and down through the bushes on the inner side. I spent endless hours of enjoyment here, thirty or so years ago; it was an escape from the reality of my life.” He gazed for a moment longer at the overgrown foliage before turning to look at Ashton. “Tell me, Will, have you met my aunt?”

It was such a switch of topic in this unlikeliest of unlikely conversations, that Ashton blinked. He had not seen Miss Hillier, but had heard more than enough about her from Curtis to make him determined to avoid her if at all possible, for by all accounts she sounded a redoubtable lady. “No, sir.”

“Dear Aunt Ursula,” Hillier said softly, half to himself, “I must have been a trial to her. You see, Ashton, she brought me up from babyhood, and I owe her everything. But she ordered my life like clockwork and it was a relief, sometimes, to escape.” He half turned away and fell silent.

The gardener could do nothing but stand in mute silence. He could not reach out to this man the way he wished to, not even as one friend offering understanding to another. He had no right to do so, even though Hillier had spoken with such candour to him, a virtual stranger, and one not of his own standing.

Hillier turned back to him, his self-control regained. “There is little more to tell. I grew too tall and heavy for the branches to support me safely, and then I went away to finish my schooling at Rugby. I didn’t see the garden again till after I had bought the property, and then … I had no wish to do anything about it … until now.

“It is all arranged, Will, I have spoken to Josiah Curtis, and he will see that you have time to do this work for me.”

Ashton found his voice. “Why me, sir? Anyone could have cleared the place for you long ago.”

The owner of Pennerton Manor paused for a moment, as if deciding whether or not to answer. Finally he replied, “You will not be a disturbance to me,” and gave the gardener a smile of friendship that silenced Ashton completely.

Buy Link HERE 

102,000 words/380 pages