Posts Tagged With: Alex Beecroft

Honorary Blogger Alex Beecroft: Write What You Know They Say + Giveaway!

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Write What You Know They Say

by Alex Beecroft

Probably the most hoary and well known piece of writing advice in the world is ‘Write what you know.’ Normally, I have to say I don’t pay a lot of attention. I would rather write what I imagine. However that was mostly because I was writing about 18th Century war ships or elves, neither of which I’m sad to say I have had much experience with in my life.

The decision to write a few contemporaries changed everything. I exist in contemporary times! Astonishing. Suddenly, I really could write about things that I have encountered in my real life. A mind boggling prospect. I was floored for a time. I didn’t know how to treat real things as if they belonged in fiction. Real things have an immovability and gravity that resists being too easily played with. How could I tell stories about things that existed outside my own head?

Believe it or not, it took me a good couple of years to solve this problem, and it was Alistair Maclean’s Caravan to Vaccarès that finally gave me the clue. Caravan to Vaccarès is, in theory, a contemporary, in that it is supposed to occur in the same real world in which the author lives, but there is a sinister ‘gypsy’ and a fat, jovial mastermind with a remarkable car. There’s a perky manic dream girl, the hero reinvents bull-leaping when the sinister figures attempt to murder him in the bull ring and the whole thing ends with an all action chase between a sports car and a speed boat.

It was huge and ridiculous good fun, but it wasn’t remotely believable as an account of anything I could imagine actually occurring in real life.

That’s when it struck me – it didn’t have to be.

I don’t know why it had never occurred to me before that contemporaries were also fiction, and that fiction by its very nature was, well… not real. When I realized that contemporaries could come at reality from a different slant – that they could include all the things the author liked and leave out all the contemporary things that the author disliked, I positively quivered. I quivered with joy, and also with power.

Because suddenly I realized I could do whatever I liked with my fictional contemporary. It could be as realistic as The Bourne Supremacy, if I wanted it to be. It could be as realistic as James Bond, if that was where my fancy lead me.

It wasn’t, of course. If you know me, you know that my fancy turns more towards the whimsical than towards the slick. But now I had my chance to create a contemporary setting that tickled my fancy, and I have to say, I tackled that prospect gleefully.

What do I like? I like small towns with lots of beautiful countryside around them. I like the intimacy of a small town setting where the community spirit is strong. Where you can meet friends accidentally when you’re walking through town.

I like bookshops. Especially those tardis-like ones that are larger on the inside than they appear from outside.

I like history, so naturally my town has Roman walls and a Bronze Age barrow nearby, and a manor with tied cottages where the wishes of the land owner still count as commands to their tenants. I wouldn’t like to live somewhere like that myself, but I’m glad to know such places still exist in England, just because it’s such a strong tie to the past.

But while I’m liking the cosy, sentimental small town setting, I’m also liking explosions and kidnaps and car chases and cops and robbers and mysterious figures glimpsed when their shadow is cast on the garden wall. It’s no fun if I have a whimsical Miss Marple’s St. Mary Meade sort of town and then don’t have shenanigans afoot in it.

And again, but. Having said all that, I also don’t want to have so much fun stuff that the thing stops feeling genuine at all. So amid all of that froth, there need to be characters I can really believe in, with trials and emotions I genuinely care about. And there I can write what I know without having to pass it through a filter of unreality. I know what it’s like to be middle aged and to wonder where the time has all gone. What happens now? I know what it’s like to be finally forced to face a childhood you spent your whole life running from.

I hope there’s enough honesty in Trowchester Blues to anchor the fun parts of it to something that is worthwhile. Trowchester might be a compendium of all the good bits stolen from other cities because I thought they were shiny, but Michael and Finn’s struggle to make themselves new on the other side of losing everything turned out to feel very real to me after all.

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About Trowchester Blues

23484503Michael May is losing it. Long ago, he joined the Metropolitan Police to escape his father’s tyranny and protect people like himself. Now his father is dead, and he’s been fired for punching a suspect. Afraid of his own rage, he returns to Trowchester—and to his childhood home, with all its old fears and memories. When he meets a charming, bohemian bookshop owner who seems to like him, he clings tight.

Fintan Hulme is an honest man now. Five years ago, he retired from his work as a high class London fence and opened a bookshop. Then an old client brings him a stolen book too precious to turn away, and suddenly he’s dealing with arson and kidnapping, to say nothing of all the lies he has to tell his friends. Falling in love with an ex-cop with anger management issues is the last thing he should be doing.

Finn thinks Michael is incredibly sexy. Michael knows Finn is the only thing that still makes him smile. But in a relationship where cops and robbers are natural enemies, that might not be enough to save them.

Available at: Riptide Publishing

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About Alex Beecroft

Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.

Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City Paper, LA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association of the UK and an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.

Alex was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She lives with her husband and two children in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.

Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has led a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800-year-old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.

She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.

Find out more about Alex on her Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

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Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an e-book from Alex Beecroft’s backlist (excepting Trowchester Blues). Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 15. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. 

Don’t forget to check out Heather C’s review of Trowchester Blues to see what she thought of it!

Good luck!

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Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2015 | Tags: , , , , | 35 Comments

Book Review: Trowchester Blues by Alex Beecroft

Reviewed by Heather C

23484503Title: Trowchester Blues
Author: Alex Beecroft
Series: Trowchester Blues #1
Heroes: Michael May and Fintan Hulme
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Length: 77,300 words
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: February 9, 2015
Available at: Riptide Publishing
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Michael May is losing it. Long ago, he joined the Metropolitan Police to escape his father’s tyranny and protect people like himself. Now his father is dead, and he’s been fired for punching a suspect. Afraid of his own rage, he returns to Trowchester—and to his childhood home, with all its old fears and memories. When he meets a charming, bohemian bookshop owner who seems to like him, he clings tight.

Fintan Hulme is an honest man now. Five years ago, he retired from his work as a high class London fence and opened a bookshop. Then an old client brings him a stolen book too precious to turn away, and suddenly he’s dealing with arson and kidnapping, to say nothing of all the lies he has to tell his friends. Falling in love with an ex-cop with anger management issues is the last thing he should be doing.

Finn thinks Michael is incredibly sexy. Michael knows Finn is the only thing that still makes him smile. But in a relationship where cops and robbers are natural enemies, that might not be enough to save them.

Continue reading

Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, Heather C's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Another Place in Time by Various Authors Blog Tour: Promo + Giveaway!

Heahter C:  It’s here.  It’s finally here!!  This past May at the Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans, I was hanging out with Susan from Boys in our Books and she was telling me all about this project she was putting together for charity.  She asked if I would help promote it here at TBG.  The project?  An all M/M historical romance anthology from a handful of my favorite authors!  Ack!!  Imagine how excited I was when historical romance is almost the only thing I read these days!  I’m kinda disappointed in myself that I didn’t have the time read and review by today (release day).  But I’ve read and loved all of these authors so that is a pretty certain indication about how great this collection will be.  Go ahead…sample these awesome authors and help raise money for AllOut.org.  Have you gotten our copy yet?

 

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About Another Place in Time

Welcome to another place in time…where one can be swept away into lands and eras long forgotten.

Included in this anthology:

“Office Romance” by Tamara Allen

The post-war economy is at a standstill, much like Foster Wetherly’s life until he’s forced to do battle with irritatingly confident—and competent—fellow ex-doughboy Casey Gladwin for a position in their shrinking department at Manhattan Security Mutual.

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“Introducing Mr. Winterbourne” by Joanna Chambers

Lysander Winterbourne appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, amiable, and a renowned sportsman, he is the darling of London society. As far as Adam Freeman is concerned though, Lysander is just another spoiled aristocrat.

A wealthy mill owner, Adam has no time for the frivolous world of the ton, but when his younger brother becomes engaged to Althea Winterbourne, he reluctantly agrees to be introduced to society–with the Winterbourne clan’s golden boy as his guide.

Resigning himself to a few days of boredom, Adam is surprised to learn that there is much more to Lysander than his perfect surface. But will Adam have the courage to introduce Lysander Winterbourne to his own secret self?

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“The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh” by KJ Charles

Lord Gabriel Ashleigh is a ruined man. Last night he lost everything at the card tables to his brother’s worst enemy, notorious gambler Francis Webster. Tonight, he’s going back for one more game. Ash thinks he has nothing left to lose. But Francis sets the stakes, and they’re higher than Ash could have imagined…

Two Regency bucks. One game of cards. Everything to play for.

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“Unfair in Love and War” by Kaje Harper

Many men lost brothers overseas in the summer of 1944. Warren Burch was one of them. For months he still clung to his big city life in Philadelphia, but finally he’s made the difficult choice to return to his home town. Warren’s polio-stricken leg won’t let him serve, so the least he can do is be there for his mother, when brother Charlie never again will. Arriving home means a whole new life, constrained by the rhythms and prejudices of a small town. Fortunately, it’s made more interesting by the mysterious and attractive young man next door.

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“Carousel” by Jordan L. Hawk

When a child goes missing, is it a simple case of a young runaway, or are more sinister forces at work? 

“Carousel” is part of the Whyborne & Griffin series and takes place between the events of Stormhaven and Necropolis. It can be read as a standalone.

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“Deliverance” by Aleksandr Voinov

This is a re-vamped, re-edited, improved version of “Deliverance”. It’s about William Raven, a templar, who thought he’d escaped his past. (Same character as in The Lion of Kent.)

Along with a foreword written by Alex Beecroft, enjoy these original short stories that make up “Another Place in Time”.

All proceeds from the purchase of this anthology will be donated to AllOut.org in celebration of LGBT History Month, October 2014.

Available today at Amazon & Smashwords.

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Connect with the Authors

 

Tamara Allen

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Joanna Chambers

Website | Facebook | Twitter

KJ Charles

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Kaje Harper

Goodreads

Jordan L. Hawk

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Aleksandr Voinov

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Foreword by Alex Beecroft

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blog_Tour_GiveawayIn this blog tour giveaway, there’s a few different prizes to win! These include:

  • A backlist ebook from ALL of the authors participating in the anthology (one each from Tamara Allen, Joanna Chambers, KJ Charles, Kaje Harper, Jordan L. Hawk, Aleksandr Voinov, and Alex Beecroft)…7 books in total!
  • A $50 Amazon giftcard
  • A $50 donation in the winner’s name to AllOut.org (all proceeds from the sale of this anthology will also be donated to this charity)

To enter, just click the link below!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.

Good luck!

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments