Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Gentlemen Behaving Badly: "Speak Its Name"

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.


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.”

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!"

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)


Janine Ashbless said...

These lovely excerpts are so romantic! Do you think this is part of the appeal of a historic setting?

Erastes said...

Thanks Janine!

I think we'll admit that the book is more romantic than erotic, my story is probably the most explicit of the three.

I definitely think (personally) that it's the appeal. Even now some men tell me that they have difficulty with their gaydar, and back then it must have been much more tricky when everyone is wearing the same kind of clothes and behaving as convention insists that they do. It's a bit like dwarf courtship in Pratchett, if you've read his books!!

It's easier to ratchet up the Unresolved Sexual Tension too, when two men are sorting through their feelings for each other. First there's the whole "is he, isn't he?" fear and indecision and THEN you've got to make an approach. All far too much like hard work!

But fun to write!

Portia Da Costa said...

Yeah, I have to agree with Janine... I love the romantic quality of these three excerpts!

Loads of delicious yearning and angst. Yum!

t'Sade said...

Those are very sweet and romantic Damn it, one more book I must buy because I want it. :)

Charlie Cochrane said...


There's something very romantic about the past. Whether it's because it really is as exotic as another country in our minds, or whether it's the thought of men in those wonderful suits and Regency breeches...

Lee Rowan said...

Here--just 5 hours behind everyone else.

I think there's a lot of romance to historic stories--partly the dress (though not those scary 'staches). The language is fun to work with, too.

Re: the timeline for the print edition--I checked with Lori at Linden Bay last night, and the schedule is actually 2-4 weeks, not 4-6. The uncertainty is due to the printer's schedule and who's ahead in the queue.

Ashin said...

Ah, what lovely excerpts, thank you! I've been less about the m/m in recent years, but still love historical m/m stories, and these sound just delightful! <3

ashin said...

Ah, what lovely excerpts, thank you! I've been less about the m/m in recent years, but still love historical m/m stories, and these sound just delightful! <3

Charlie Cochrane said...

Thank you - we were very pleased with the way they turned themselves out.

Madeline Moore said...

This looks like a marvelous collection of sexy/sweet novellas.
Congratulations to all three authors.
My - um - appetite, yeah, that's it - is wet for more.

Nuno said...

Great blog. I'll be looking into your work and recommendations

Jestana said...

Your story was very lovely. I enjoy happy endings, but more as sprinkling after a liberal dose of angst. *grin* You managed that wonderfully. I tried to guess how it would work out and I was wrong. *giggle* That's a good thing. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely work with the rest of the world.

Erastes said...

I'm back, later than I wanted to be - my bloody car broke down and it's DEAD!!

Thank you Ashin - I think there's a nice blend of time-zones and spice in them too. Anyone who might like a nice romantic story but doesn't quite know if they want throbbing cocks and anal sex can ease into it (cough) as it were, with these stories!

Erastes said...

Thanks Madeline! It's always difficult to decide on which excerpt to give, I think mine rather explains too much!

Erastes said...

Thanks Nuno, I hope you enjoy them!

Erastes said...

Thanks T'sade! My work here is done!


Erastes said...

Thanks Jestana - It's a fine line with m/m historicals - balancing a Happy Ending with a believable realism - I'm glad it worked for you.

Charlie Cochrane said...

Thank to everyone for the kind words and encouragement.

Madeleine - sexy/sweet is a great description for these stories. And the men they feature.

Jestana - glad the happy ever after was believable. As Erastes said, it's a fine line.

Charlie Cochrane said...

Erastes - I'll get a branch and smite your car a la Basil Fawlty!

Erastes said...

The AA are GODS. "Andy" was there in 10 minutes, charged me up and followed me home. The car is knackered, but it was great to know that at least I could get home.

Kate Pearce said...

I really enjoyed all of these-but then you must've known I would being as I tend to write that way myself :)
congrats-I can't wait to read the whole book!

Erastes said...

Thanks Kate, I think my favourite line was one of Charlie's "Can't you see I'm burning?"

Argh! I melt every time I read that!!

Lauralyn said...

Ohmygosh. These were wonderful excerpts, and I'm going to just love this. I've had a to work and forgot it came out. Shame on me! I was all ansty in late may when you blogged before, but apparently I have the attention span of a gnat.

I'm off to download, and I'll save it as a kind of reward for getting my own edits done today...

Love you all so much,

Erastes said...

No probs, Abstractrx! (smacks)

Do let us know what you think of it.


Jade Taylor said...

Love the excerpts and love the angst, I think the whole taboo thing gives the erotica an added edge and seems to make everything more romantic too. Forbidden love is always more dramatic!

Deanna Ashford said...

I loved all there excerpts, romance and m/m. I've been known to go there myself in my books and would do so more often if my editor let me. Lots of women find m/m erotica fascinating.

Erastes said...

Keep at it, Deanna - there certainly should be more of it out there, and perhaps the way to more acceptance is through the back door, within het romances.

If you'll excuse the pun.


Charlie Cochrane said...

Glad you liked the line - although I'd clean forgotten it. Ever read back over something and say "Did I really write that?"

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, lovely excerpts. SiN is already a top candidate on my TBB list.

I really like historical romance and especially books in the Regency/Victorian timeline. I noticed that when reading those kind of books I most often am reminded of scenes or dialog from the various Pride & Predjudice movies. I love these movies and also the book and I think they formed the image I have of those times most in that regard.

Ohh, and Mr Darcy... ;-)

Charlie Cochrane said...

Abstractrx - thanks so much. Good luck with the edits.

Charlie Cochrane said...


Thanks. Like Erastes, I'd like to see more m/m within het books, particularly present day ones, reflecting the fact that it's part of life.

Erastes said...

Thanks Jade

I agree, and it's partly that which makes the subject fascinating for me. Plus I like to explore HOW men managed this in times gone by. Yes, there were hasty couplings in dark corners, but when it came to something deeper, that's when it gets more fun to write.

Also hasty couplings are fun too - I'm doing more of those in my next novel...


Erastes said...

Charlie - most definitely.

I read Hard and Fast and I think. Cor! Did I do that? Then I look at the pedestrian crap I'm doing today and don't think I'll ever do anything good again.

/self pity...

Charlie Cochrane said...


Thanks. The Georgian/Victorian age is certainly a fascinating era and Mr D'Arcy is one of its most splendid specimens.

Charlie Cochrane said...


*Slaps your self pity with the branch I was keeping for your car*

Erastes said...

That's great shoganrea! are you a print or an ebook fan?

I think if you like those films and books you will love these stories, as they all resonate with the eras when Maurice, Brideshead etc were set. Mine is rather a spoof of Austen, which I'm sure you'll spot!

Charlie Cochrane said...


That forbidden element is intriguing, especially writing about a time when all sorts of things were forbidden or 'not done'. It seems unbelievable today that there were times, in certain tiers of society, you couldn't talk to someone if you hadn't been formally introduced.

anderyn said...

Such lovely snippets. Your writing is as lush as always, erastes!

Erastes said...

That's great shoganrea! are you a print or an ebook fan?

I think if you like those films and books you will love these stories, as they all resonate with the eras when Maurice, Brideshead etc were set. Mine is rather a spoof of Austen, which I'm sure you'll spot!

Erastes said...

Thanks Anderyn *blush*

Anonymous said...


That sounds very promising. I'm sure that I'll love SiN then.

Since I've bought myself an iRex ebook reader last christmas I've become quite an ebook fan. And I already have trouble finding space for all my print books. ;-)


He definitely is. I think I had a crush on him the first time I saw the movie. ;-)

Charlie Cochrane said...


Are you old enough to have come across the movie where Mr D is played by Laurence Olivier? Lovely...

Anonymous said...


The movie with Laurence Olivier was made before I was born, but I've seen the 1940 version on tv. I also like the 1980 tv version, which I have on DVD, and of course the last adaptation from 2005 with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.

But with Mr. Darcy it's more the character that I'm fascinated by and not the actor playing him.

Charlie Cochrane said...


I hasten to add I;ve only seen the 1940's one on TV. (I may be crumbly but not that much!)

D'Arcy is extraordinary, a man who appeals across the generations. I truly believe that in the 51st century they'll still be reading Jane Austen (or imbibing the story on brainpod or whatever) and women will still fall for this enigmatic man.


Madelynne Ellis said...

Ah, you know you can always reel me in with a bit of historical m/m. The clothing does if for me as much as the angst.

My current "amusing myself" project is a m/m historical featuring two men locked in a haunted folly for the night :-)

crawling_angel said...

Erastes said...

Ooo Madelynne thanks! Your project sounds intriguing. I hpe that you decide not to keep it to your self and let me see it!

And yes, the clothes are a big draw for me, specially 18th cent onwards. Buttons, ties, cravats, waistcoats, key fobs, all that kind of thing. BRACES. argh!

You wait till Hayden Thorne hits the scene. I am not worthy to button her boots. She can make me come simply by describing a young man in Victorian trousers.

Erastes said...

Miss C Angel, I am tempted to ban you for that cheeky comment!!!!


But you are forgiven.

crawling_angel said...

SiN for short. SiN forever! Needless to say I will wait for the printed version. *cough* I prefer to hold something in my hand *cough* … just like the boys do. ;)

*dorkhead* *slaps self*
What the hell am I doing wrong to post this? *gahhh*

Erastes said...

I'm Off to bed now, chaps. Thank you to everyone who commented, and made us feel good about this anthology.

Please feel free to keep commenting, all comments go into a draw to win a copy, and if any questions are still unanswered, I'll do them in the morning.

Lee Rowan said...

"Andy" was there in 10 minutes, charged me up and followed me home.

er.. You working on a new plot bunny there?

Erastes said...

Actually, Lee I looked at what I'd typed afterwards and thought "oops"

Watch out for Erastes' next: Heaving bosoms and garage mechanics... Although I may have to change my name.

Angell said...

WOW - so incredibly well written and wonderfully erotic.

This is a must have for my collection.

Erastes said...

Hope you enjoy it, Angell!

jessewave said...

These 3 excerpts from this anthology made me want to go out and buy this book immediately and I will do so AND review it. This book sounds so romantic. I think that in historical M/M romances the actual sex in the book is not as important - the characters, the chemistry between them and a terrific story are what attract me as opposed to contemporary M/M fiction where my expectations are quite different.

I don't think I have read any books by these authors so I'm really looking forward to reading Speak Its Name.

Erastes said...

Hi again Jessewave! Thank you for your kind comments and let me know when you review it, all right?

I think that a three author novella anthology is a good way to get a feel for authors' work, they have to be a fuller story than a short story.

And if you like our work, then it gives me more books on the list! (Sorry about that!!)

Charlie Cochrane said...


Thank you!

I agree with you about the different expectations with historic fiction; it's the nuances and characterisations that appeal to me.


jessewave said...

I'll be sure to let you know when I review the book by sending you the link. I'm really looking forward to this one. Right now I'm reading Captain's Surrender and we'll see if I agree with your review of this book Erastes :) (I believe you really liked it but felt that the middle seemed rushed, I think.

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