A freebie for the festive season...
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Happy Holidays!
(And a happy Holliday...?)

December 2020

I hope that this finds you well and enjoying the festive season as best you can under these trying circumstances. 

We have some new friends to welcome from the Liminal Fiction site, where I shared a copy of my novel The Fine Point of His Soul during September. I'm so glad to have you on board! If it's any reassurance, I usually only send out newsletters when I have some specific news to share - so I will be popping into your inbox quite irregularly.  

This time round, I have a free story to share with you in honour of the holidays, and news of a deep sale with all my books 50% off on Smashwords - along with an update on my WIP Writ in Blood, and a review of Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole.

Happy reading!

Free story: "Love in Every Stitch"

I'm delighted to share this new short story with you, called Love in Every Stitch. My current WIP is a Queer Weird West novel, which inspired me to write something similar-ish as a festive freebie. I hope you'll enjoy reading it - and that you won't mind something different again once the novel is out!

Blurb: Jake is a trapper working high in the mountains of Wyoming Territory, usually not seeing another human from one month to the next. Recently, however, he’s had an unexpected guest – an Easterner named Edwin, who pitches in to ensure that Jake has enough supplies to survive the coming winter. As the evenings draw in, Jake works on knitting a blanket, adding a bit of love (and maybe even magic) into every stitch, hoping to entice Edwin to join him under its warmth…

You can download it from Smashwords:

Or check out other stores via the Universal Link:

I hope you enjoy Jake and Edwin's tale!

WIP: "Writ in Blood"

I've spent much of 2020 working away at a novel - currently called Writ in Blood - which retells the historical Tombstone story, with John Ringo, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp as the main characters. While I've followed the "real life" story as best I can, I've added in elements of queerness and of the supernatural - hence me describing the genre as Queer Weird West.

It's probably wise to add that it's not a romance, though it's about true friendship and loyalty and love (and lust!) of various kinds. The tangle of relationships between the three main characters has a profound influence on their individual lives.

I'm working on a last draft of the manuscript now, and hope to release it in 2021 - one way or another. I will probably be seeking a new publisher, given that Manifold Press has been closing down, so if anyone has any suggestions about where best to send a submission, I'll be very interested to hear!

Image: "The Horse Rustler" by William Herbert Dunton (source: Wikimedia Commons).

50% off: Smashwords End of Year Sale

I'm delighted to be taking part in the Smashwords End of Year Sale, which is being held right now! All my books are 50% off - including The Butterfly Hunter Trilogy for $4.99 USD and The Definitive Albert J. Sterne for $3.99 USD. There are a few free stories in there, too, along with my latest, Love in Every Stitch.

You can find all my books and stories listed here:

Don't forget to check out your other favourite authors on Smashwords, too! This is a great opportunity to stock up on ebooks, whether you're anticipating the freedom of summer holidays or the prospect of curling up in front of a fire. Either way, books are your BFFs, for sure. 

Review: "Hamilton's Battalion" by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole

I very much enjoyed this themed collection of stories, especially as the "trio" covered straight, gay and lesbian romances. Three cheers for that!

"Promised Land" by Rose Lerner was a terrific read with two endearing MCs. I loved all the detail of their Jewish lives and practices, and how these created both common ground and friction between them. I was relieved by (and positively cheered!) the avoidance of tired old tropes re a woman disguised and working as a man, e.g. they knew each other right away. It all felt so fresh and fascinating.

The only thing that peeved me (and this is me being very picky) is that it was presented in the context of the main characters writing down their memories of Hamilton for his widow's benefit. But then the story itself was told in the usual third-person prose. It wasn't an epistle or a first-person account, which makes a mockery of the context. However! It was also much more readable this way, so I guess I just wish the context itself had been handled differently.

All in all, this was top stuff!

"In Pursuit Of . . ." by Courtney Milan was absolutely charming! Another two endearing MCs, a mixed race relationship, and some very funny moments. And the cheese... oh, the cheese... it was a third character in its own right. I loved this story.

"That Could Be Enough" by Alyssa Cole was wonderful once it settled down. The initial meeting was just too OTT for me, too florid. I don't at all mind a relationship that begins with a mutual attraction / falling in love, when the relationship is then developed realistically / organically over time. However this initial attraction was way overblown.

Once we're past that, however, the story and the characters settle into themselves, and it all becomes delightful and intriguing. I loved that one character, being a dressmaker, expressed herself in appropriate metaphors, e.g. "The pattern in Andromeda’s head took on a form that she couldn’t resist—oddly enough, it was precisely Mercy’s measure." Perhaps more could have been made of that. What I loved most was that the MCs were both black women intent on making their own ways in the world, whether successfully or not, and that they loved that about each other.

Despite my quibbles, I love that this volume exists with its multifarious inclusiveness, and I also loved its setting in the era when the idealistic / hopeful project of America was being born; hence a happy 5 star rating!

Amazon US link:

My Facebook group

I have a Facebook group for my friends, readers and fellow travellers, called Life, Libraries, Love and Knitting. We are a small group of BFFs so far, with a fairly low-key dynamic - while I want to keep the atmosphere relaxed and informal, I would love for more of you to join us!

As you'll gather from the group's name, I don't intend this to be all about me and my writing, but instead about anything in life that we love, whether that's knitting or not! 

Please do click the link and ask to join. As required by Facebook, there are rules to agree to and questions to answer - but seeing as that's part of their efforts to keep interactions civil, I hope you won't find it too onerous.

We'd love to see you there!


Thank you 
for reading!

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