SPEAK ITS NAME is out now!
What is this Speak Its Name of which you speak?
Call it SiN for short. It's a three-novella anthology of gay historical romance. Published by Linden Bay Romance and containing stories from Lee Rowan, Charlie Cochrane and Erastes.
Three novellas? Sounds like a bargain!
It is! Aftermath from Charlie Cochrane is a tale of 1920's Oxford Undergraduates, Gentleman's Gentleman by Lee Rowan is a Victorian Spy drama, and Hard & Fast from Erastes is Jane Austen on Viagra.
SiN will be available first as an ebook, and then 4-6 weeks later in a print edition you can grasp firmly with one hand.
So - here's some snippets from each, and I hope you enjoy them!
AFTERMATH by Charlie Cochrane
When shy Edward Easterby first sees the popular Hugo Lamont, he's both envious of the man's social skills and ashamed of finding him so attractive. But two awful secrets weigh Lamont down. One is that he fancies Easterby, at a time when the expression of such desires is strictly illegal. The second is that an earlier, disastrous encounter with a young gigolo has left him unwilling to enter into a relationship with anyone. Hugo feels torn apart by the conflict between what he wants and what he feels is "right". Will Edward find that time and patience are enough to change Hugo's mind?
"Hugo!" Easterby's deep voice split the still sharp air of the April evening. Lamont didn't turn, nor was he steering a course for his own rooms. Edward kept up a pursuit, eventually abandoning words and grabbing his friend's arm. "Hugo, I only asked you to come and take a glass with me. Can't we do that, like any two civilized human beings?"
Lamont turned, hot tears welling in his eyes. "But we're not civilized human beings, are we? I told you before that a lost legion of temptations lies in your room and I haven't the armor to fight any of them. Don't tempt me, Edward. Please."
Easterby looked stunned. "I never meant to tempt you. I…"
Hugo laid a hand on his friend's arm, equally quickly removed it. "I know, you're innocence itself, honestly. But can't you see that I'm burning?"
"But your letters…I thought that you were perhaps warming to the thought of being close friends. There was so very much affection in each line. Or so I thought. Perhaps I simply imagined it all; wishful thinking on my part again." Edward turned away, gulping as though swallowed pride had stuck in his craw.
"Letters were safe, Edward. It was easy to pour myself into them, and like a fool I succumbed to the temptation to do so. I could kiss your letters and not be tainted. Having the same feelings while being so close to you is agony." He reached out again, merely brushed the wool of Easterby's jacket and shook his head sadly.
"Will you meet me tomorrow, then?" Easterby's voice was full of defeat and sadness. "Not in my room if you can't bear it. At a café or in the bar. Anywhere. I need to talk to you." He raised his hand, let it stop within a hair's breadth of Lamont's face. "I've missed you so much."
Hugo nodded. He didn't dare say anything—his treacherous tongue would betray him. He gently grazed his own hand along Edward's, resisting clasping the fingers.
GENTLEMAN'S GENTLEMAN by Lee Rowan
Lord Robert Scoville has lived in a reasonably comfortable Victorian closet, without hope of real love, or any notion that it's right there in front of him if he would only open his eyes and take notice of his right-hand man, Jack Darling. Jack has done his best to be satisfied with the lesser intimacy of caring for the man he loves, but his feigned role as a below-stairs ladies' man leaves his heart empty. When a simple diplomatic errand turns dangerous and a man from their past raises unanswerable questions, both men find themselves endangered by the secrets between them. Can they untangle the web of misunderstanding before an unknown attacker parts them forever?
Jack said nothing. He didn't dare. The truth was stirring in him like a living thing, but he simply did not know what to say. No, he wasn't mistaken. I would love to have you take advantage of me! That would hardly do. In fact, he was grateful for his lordship's integrity. How wretched it would have been to serve under an officer who expected sexual favors, if the attraction were not mutual.
But was it mutual? Jack could not deny what he himself felt. And hope stirred again, a tenuous thread of possibility. A man who would not take advantage might be exercising self-restraint, not indifference. Did he dare speak?
Lord Robert was still fuming, oblivious to Jack's dilemma. "He must have thought me absurdly naïve. I suppose I was. It had never occurred to me that anyone would stoop so low as to make such an assumption about me. Or about you!" He looked up, his eyes full of some unspoken emotion. Anger? Guilt? "My dear fellow, I am deeply sorry. You must believe I never intended to subject you to anything like that. I can't do a damned thing about my own nature, and I'm grateful beyond words for your tolerance. I had no idea you would be offered such an insult."
"Insult, my lord?" Jack's chest felt tight, and his heart was suddenly pounding. Here it was, then—the chance of fulfillment or the destruction of all he had come to know.
"That you were my—that I would—" Lord Robert flung a hand into the air, helplessly.
"The only insult Captain McDonald offered," Jack said carefully, "was the assumption that I would be willing to lie with him."
It was Lord Robert's turn to hesitate. "I'm not certain I understand."
Their eyes met once more, and Jack could not look away. "He was not mistaken about my nature." And, since at this point there could be no going back, he added, "Nor my feelings for you."
HARD AND FAST by Erastes
Major Geoffrey Chaloner has returned, relatively unscathed, from the Napoleonic War, and England is at peace for the first time in years. Unable to set up his own establishment, he is forced to live with his irascible father who has very clear views on just about everything—including exactly whom Geoffrey will marry and why. The trouble is that Geoffrey isn't particularly keen on the idea, and even less so when he meets Adam Heyward, the enigmatic cousin of the lady his father has picked out for him... As Geoffrey says himself: "I have never been taught what I should do if I fell in love with someone of a sex that was not, as I expected it would be, opposite to my own."
I sat up, dazed, with the terrible realization of how much my life had just changed. He was smiling, just a little. He lay there, looking so delightfully debauched, his lips swollen from my mouth’s assaults, his eyes huge and so dark as to be almost black, that my heart twisted with emotion for him. He reached down and took my hand, still resting on his thighs, caught it in his hand and brought it up to his mouth. With slow, deliberate movements of his tongue, he licked my fingers clean, then turned my hand over and kissed my palm, his eyes closing as he did. It was such a simple and heartfelt declaration of love without words that I was unable to do anything but swallow hard.
Our situation and the danger of it came to us both as the madness receded. We had already been too long closeted together; we could not afford much more time. But our preparations to appear to the others of the house and his gradual re-dressing were delayed again and again by tenderness and kisses as he came to me, again and again.
“One more,” he said, pushing himself against the door and myself. “For I’ll have to live on this moment for who knows how long.” I too, saw the future stretching away from me with nothing more than circumspect glances, unendurable social contact and nights spent lonely, hard and longing.
How my life had reversed in so short a time. From being determined to grant him no quarter, to stand against him in every endeavor, now I was his to command. Just a pressure behind my neck brought my lips down to his; the smallest of his touches had tamed me, just as I fooled myself that I had mastered his recalcitrant nature. I brushed the back of his hair with my fingers, curling it where it had been flattened, and I wanted to say how my heart felt but he had confounded me—as ever.
I tried, knowing that something was needed of me. We could not open that door and resume our lives without some declaration of our intent. And yet, I thought—rational in spite of the glow of new found love—what intents could there be? This madness could never happen again, not in his aunt’s house, and would, inevitably sink to degradation, hidden away in the class of houses that such...tastes were enjoyed, becoming as vile as it was rumored.
I was not sure we had escaped scandal as it was, but to repeat the experience (although every inch of my body wanted to repeat and repeat and repeat) would be insanity of immense proportions.
His eyes hooded in a sensuous manner and he leaned against me, his hands almost kneading my chest, like a cat does. “I think, my dear Geoffrey, that now perhaps we might be a little more intimate than that? At least in private.”
I hope you'll give it a try, please leave a comment to win a copy in print or ebook, whichever you'd prefer. All three authors will be on hand during the day to answer any questions you have, or perhaps share further snippets!
(and in spirit, Lee Rowan and Charlie Cochrane)
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
From Josh Lanyon, author of Adrien English Mysteries"Dashing spies, bold Regency bucks, and the flower of English manhood vie for readers' attention in this smart, original and engaging trilogy.This is not your mother's historical romance!"