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Have you ever considered the way the writer's sub-conscious can influence their stories? Am talking about that at Love Byte Reviews.

Over at Open Skye, I'm telling again the story of how a set of timbers at a mill inspired me to write,

And you know the drill - comment here, there or everywhere to be in with a chance of winning.
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Such a busy week all round - especially for reviews. (Like buses, they all come at once.)

The Novel Approach reviewed Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour: I highly recommend this book for all lovers of good English mysteries. Simply delightful.

Humpday interview and chance to win

Oct. 18th, 2017 10:56 am
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Am at Rj Scott 's blog, answering her excellent interview questions and offering the chance to win an e-book from my backlist. You can find out what book first made me cry and my views on writing about real historical characters.






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Am at the Diverse Reader, thinking about connections between Porthkennack books, and at EroticaforAll being interviewed on - among other things - the best resources for researching historicals.

Comment at any (or all) stops for a chance to win a goodie bag.

Reviews for books old and new

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:27 pm
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[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
 

A lovely one for Count the Shells over at The Novel Approach, in which I get a passing comparison to Merchant Ivory (cor!).

Cochrane’s voice lends itself so beautifully to a story such as Count the Shells, as she consistently captures and conveys the time in which her novels are set through little more than the genteel language and gentrified air of her characters.

And a smasher for Lessons for Suspicious Minds at Bookboners & Bibliophily.

how many historical fiction novels can you think of that actually employ the correct form of speech from the time they play in?

Um, I guess the answer is "mine?"

 
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Law Links


"Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




Milord


"'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"

A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.




Sweet Blood


"He tried to keep his voice calm, though his pulse was racing."

Time is running out.

Vito de Vere has ten days to prepare for his performance in the Eternal Dungeon's first play. He may have fewer days than that to fight for his career and to save his prisoner's life.

As the Eternal Dungeon prepares for the greatest change it has ever undergone, Vito must prove his worth by breaking and transforming a criminal. Nobody else is likely to manage it. And nobody but himself cares so passionately whether his prisoner survives.

As an actor, Vito portrays the qualities of courage, love, truth, and trust. Now he must find the strength to take those qualities into the breaking cell.




To receive notices of my fiction by e-mail )
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[Note: This post includes not-safe-for-work links.]


I cleared out my leather life this fall. Technically, all I was doing was donating my leather library – hundreds of vintage leather/BDSM magazines and a few books to the Carter/Johnson Leather Library, a travelling historical library that I had volunteered for in the 00s. But this was also a way for me to say goodbye to the period – 2004 to 2007 – when I'd belonged to the leather community. I proved to be a square peg there in a pentagonal hole, but I'd never had the opportunity to formally leave the community. This would be my opportunity.

At a certain point, I passed on some books by david stein (his name is lowercased) to my apprentice, who is a member of the leather club La Garou. It occurred to me then that I ought to drop a line to david. I'd fallen out of touch with all my friends this year, but I knew that david was ill with cancer, which made it especially important that I stay in touch with him.

Then the urgency of my current task – I was cutting back on my belongings because I faced an imminent inspection by my landlord – caused that thought to slip out of my mind.

I donated the magazines and books. On Twitter, I thanked the Leather Library, as well as the Leather Archives & Museum, which had originally sold me most of the magazines. Then I tweeted, "(*Quietly closes a door on that chapter of my life.*)"

Seventeen days later, I emerged from the bathroom to find my apprentice standing with his smartphone in hand, looking grave. "I think you should sit down," he said.

Thus I learned of the death of david stein.




david stein


Safe, sane, and consensual )
Community )
Publishing )
Romance )
Friendship )
david's writings )
Other tributes to david stein )
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[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Am interrupting the Count the Shells related posts to share this little beauty. It's the artwork for Lessons in Love which will be coming out from Endeavour very soon.

Lessons in Love
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Count the Shells is out today, and the blog tour starts. Comment at any stop to be in with a chance of a goodie bag, which I will mail to anywhere in the known universe.

First stop is at The Novel Approach, where I discuss how much I love the seaside.

I'm pleased with All About Romance's review of Count the Shells, because they 'got' the hero's nephew Richard, who is integral to the story.

Richard is a precocious boy, but never crosses the line into ‘plot-device moppet’; he’s a charming, inquisitive lad, and it’s clear he adores his uncle and that the feeling is mutual.

Rainbow snippet - Count the Shells

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:26 pm
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Count the Shells is out tomorrow, although you can download it already from Riptide. Here's an excerpt I haven't shared yet.

Michael shook his fist in the direction of the helmeted and begoggled figure, who was now setting his machine upright. “Why the hell can’t you watch where you’re going? Idiots like you shouldn’t be allowed on the roads.”
“I’m sorry.” The motorcyclist took off his gloves and pointed along the lane. “There’s a patch of oil or something over there. Sent me sideways.”
“Couldn’t you swerve to avoid it?”
“I thought I had. The blo—” the man caught sight of Richard, “The wretched thing spread further than I’d anticipated. Sorry I scared the boy.”
“I wasn’t scared,” Richard insisted. “Only surprised.”
“Then I apologise for surprising you.” The motorcyclist took off his helmet before removing his goggles. His face was ashen, but he held his hand tentatively out to Richard, although before the boy could shake it, Michael’s stifled shout of, “No!” made them both spin round to face him.
Michael raised his hand to his temple. “Forgive me. I thought I’d seen a ghost. You remind me so much of an old friend.”
The motorcyclist opened his mouth, but before he could speak, Richard exclaimed, “Thomas! Is that who he reminds you of, Uncle?”
“Yes.” Michael could barely get the word out.

Plenty more excerpts at the Rainbow Snippets group.

CountTheShells_400x600

Newsletter 185

Oct. 13th, 2017 08:56 pm
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[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Hoping that Friday the thirteenth is treating you well. It’s a grey day here, but very mild (probably the start of “St. Luke’s little summer”) and I’ve been attacking my grape vine. Alas, none of them made their way into my tummy, having been devoured by the blackbirds – it was fun to see them flying in and out of the vine to feed.

News

Count the Shells is out on Monday – cue the happy dance. It’ll be a busy week with an extensive blog tour and, of course, a bag full of goodies to be won. You can comment at any (or all!) blog stops for a chance to win, and every new comment you make increases your chances of winning. Think of it like raffle tickets…
The first review of the story popped up in Publishers’ Weekly, about which I’m grinning from ear to ear.
Cochrane’s ear for historical idioms and sensitivity to the secrecy of gay life in early-20th-century Britain create a powerful impression of accuracy. This deeply felt work is sure to please fans of historical romance.

It’s been a busy week for me with a local writers’ meet up, and RNA lunch and an ITW interview to start. Can I put in a word for the two latter organisations? Any of you based in the UK who are aspiring writers might consider contacting your local Romantic Novelists Association branch to see if they allow visitors at their events. Ours does, and several of are regulars don’t even write romance! It’s a great networking opportunity. And for those of you who like crime and thrillers, the ITW e-zine, The Big Thrill, has some great articles in it. Well worth a look through.

Also coming out soon (November 1st) is the charity anthology Call to Arms which will support refugee aid. All the stories are set in or heavily influenced by World War Two.

My offering is Better to Die, which is inspired by old soldiers, the war grave I tend in the local churchyard and the Gurkha kukri I inherited from my dad.

Here’s an excerpt:

By a coincidence, my great-uncle had served in World War Two, out in Burma, with the Chindits, though it would have been stretching things to hope Great Uncle Frank had known my captain.
Frank was the black sheep of the family. He'd lived in our village until I was five and my fondest memories of the man were the stories he regaled us with. Snakes in the jungle so thin they'd slip through the eyelets of your boots, Gurkha soldiers as hard as adamant that you thanked God were on your side and not the other. Never anything about the fighting, though; he kept that close to his chest.
I'll never forget the dirty great Gurkha kukri Frank kept on his wall. Mum had kittens when he got it down and let me hold it, but I treated it with respect. Didn't so much as nick my fingers.
"Jamie," Frank used to say, "when you take a kukri out of its scabbard, it has to taste blood before it can go back again. That's why I took this out and keep it out, so it doesn't need satisfying again. My fighting days are long gone. You can have it when I'm gone."
"You'll never go," I'd said, secretly delighted that I'd get the thing one day.
"Better to die than to be a coward," he'd replied, enigmatically. Later I found that had been the motto of the Gurkha Rifles, but I was sure there was more to what he was saying than just that.
Frank moved away not long after, and our side of the family lost touch with him. I suspected Dad knew where he'd gone but he wouldn't even let anyone send Frank so much as a Christmas card. When I was twelve Dad sat me down and told me I was old enough to know the truth: war was hard, and Frank had suffered the worst of it. He'd seen some dreadful things, done some dreadful things, and he found it difficult to live with himself. Dad reckoned Frank had come home with something like shell shock so he acted loopy at times. It was safer for all of us not to be near him when things turned bad.
That changed my mind about being a squaddie – I was going to save lives, not take them. Going off to Bart's meant I stopped grave visiting, although I tried to keep up an interest in browsing war books, although that stopped when I discovered sex. No healthy, testosterone-laden medical student was going to stay at home with 'Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence' when he could be out getting his leg over. Notice I didn't say "when I discovered girls" and you'll get the picture.

And finally, at the RNA lunch we were discussing my 'non-bucket bucket list' which made me remember getting on that Lancaster Bomber. Appropriate with Call to Arms in mind!



Charlie
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Keeping up the recent theme of lesser known poets of the Great War, here's The Sinai Desert: A Curse by Captain John More.
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[personal profile] duskpeterson
Folks, my profuse apologies for my delay in replying to your comments on my asexuality post. It was a case of:

"O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! We passed the apartment inspection!"

And then, roughly five seconds later:

"We have bedbugs. Shoot."

So matters remain in crisis at my home; I'm not sure I've gotten a full night's sleep for the past month. (And the bedbugs ain't helping.)

A bright spot in all this was the outpouring of warmth that you gave me. It was especially nice to hear from folks whom I knew were out there (I can see your names on the People portion of my profile) but who I either hadn't heard from for a while or with whom I'd never had the chance to speak before.

Just one clarification I need to make, because I fear I misled some of you through the phrasing of my previous post of this: My previous post was the first time I'd actually said, "I'm coming out as asexual." The asexual folk I've interacted with previously either didn't know I was ace or didn't realize I was new to the community.

On to my replies!


Firecat wrote:

"I'm bi and nonbinary and maybe gray-a (haven't made up my mind about that)"

Me, I'm still trying to decide how to label the romance part of my asexuality. I mean, yes, I'm still capable of falling in love; it just doesn't mean much to me, in the grand scheme of things.

I fully understand that, for some people, being in love is a long-term, highly meaningful experience. And I find romantic love so fascinating that I wrote a fifty-page bachelor's thesis about romantic love. Also, I've written a few stories on the topic. :)

But falling in love is something that happens at the beginning of my relationships; my romantic feelings for the new person last roughly six months, and then the romantic feelings disappear. It's been this way all my life. Took me a while to figure out the pattern and to stop panicking when I reached the six-month mark. For me, love doesn't equal romantic love.

(This is why I always felt a bit awkward talking about my long-term "romantic friendship." Romantic feelings didn't enter into it, after the initial period.)


Ambitiousace wrote:

"I'm nonbinary and ace myself ((I'm not alone"

Oh, how cool! I seem to be racking up letters on the queer spectrum; what is surprising is how many other queer folk out there are doing the same. :)


Kjata wrote:

"I'm bi and have never felt a part of the LGBT parts of the internet because of how many times I've been told to either A) choose, or B) that I'm faking it for e-points"

As a formerly bisexual-identifying person, I can't decide whether they're just clueless that B isn't actually an insult of bisexuality. I mean, they think being bi is something trendy that you'd want to fake? (*Whips on sunshades and looks cool.*)

The rest - yeah, it's tedious that this sort of stereotyping of bisexuality is still taking place, nearly fifty years after Stonewall.


Schneefink wrote:

"*sends cookies*"

Gluten-free chocolate chip, please?


Rose Red wrote:

"(I hope) my web-pal."

One of my best. :)


Fawatson wrote:

"I say all this from the 'lofty position' of having realised many many moons ago (long before the internet got up and running) that I am better off as a singleton than trying to be part of a duo.... They didn't have internet communities for it back then"

Oh, you too? I'm pretty sure the asexual community was around by the time I started to label myself celibate (my initial label), but the nonbinary community was nowhere to be seen in 1997 when I realized that was what I was. I put off coming out as bigender/androgynous/queergender/nonbinary (the terminology kept changing) for quite a few years as a result. I wanted a support system, darn it.


Anonymous wrote:

"I am also aromantic, and demi-girl/agender."

(*Looks up definition of "demi-girl" and is enchanted.*) I mean, you even have your own flag! Do you mind if I ask what being a demi-girl is like for you?


Musicman wrote:

"You are a free range human being, Dusk."

Love that phrase. :)


Anais_pf wrote:

"BE YOU!"

:)


Maureen Lycaon wrote:

"And I accept you totally as that."

Always nice to hear from you! This showed up on my Twitter feed, and I thought of you quizzing me on why I'd made wolves the villains in one of my stories.
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
Law Links


"Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




Men and Lads


"'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"

A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.




Sweet Blood


"He tried to keep his voice calm, though his pulse was racing."

Time is running out.

Vito de Vere has ten days to prepare for his performance in the Eternal Dungeon's first play. He may have fewer days than that to fight for his career and to save his prisoner's life.

As the Eternal Dungeon prepares for the greatest change it has ever undergone, Vito must prove his worth by breaking and transforming a criminal. Nobody else is likely to manage it. And nobody but himself cares so passionately whether his prisoner survives.

As an actor, Vito portrays the qualities of courage, love, truth, and trust. Now he must find the strength to take those qualities into the breaking cell.




To receive notices of my fiction by e-mail )
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You can currently pick up the first Lindenshaw book for less than a quid (or whatever that is in your local currency.)

Go to your local amazon to take advantage of the offer.

BestCorpseForTheJob_200x300

I couldn't have been more wrong!

Oct. 10th, 2017 11:42 am
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[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
When we had the planning meeting for UK Meet 2018, I had concerns that we'd peaked. We sold out in 24 hours for the 2016 event and what with the two year gap - and other events cropping up - I was worried that our numbers would go down and suggested we plan around that eventuality.
Was I right? Was I fairy cakes. Yesterday we sold out in 6 hours 30 minutes, and that would have been a shorter time if the mailshot hadn't arsed about. I feel so sorry for people who didn't get a ticket and had to go on the mailing list, but demand is now hugely outstripping supply.
Roll on 2020?

Count the Shells Blog tour

Oct. 6th, 2017 07:49 pm
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[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
I'm very excited about the tour for Count the Shells - looks like an epic one. When it starts to go live, you can comment at any stop to win a bag of goodies. The more times you comment the more chances you have.

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