Friday, November 14, 2008

Love in a Cold Climate

I learn stuff when I write. Which is one of the reasons I love to write. I knew that the Thames froze over pretty often in years gone by but had never sat and wondered how and why. When I set out to write a book about the last one, held in 1814, I needed to find this stuff out.

This is the science bit so please concentrate.

Aside from global warming, there's a good reason why the Thames doesn't freeze up now - it's the bridges. Old London Bridge was supported by many piers, each one leaving a much smaller gap than any modern bridge - and this acted like a dam. Chunks of ice floated against the bridges - and like one of those pushing slot machines - the ice jammed up, and the river froze over. When the new bridge was built in 1831, the gaps were larger and the Thames didn't freeze again, or at least, not sufficiently to have a vast "Frost Fair" on the ice - and the famous fair of 1814 was the last one.

OK. That's your lot. On with the smut.

So - the reason behind the snow and ice science and the gratuitous pictures of half naked men in the snow?

Well, my book - Frost Fair is out tomorrow! So it seemed a good excuse.

Frost Fair is set in 1814 when the weather was pretty damned nippy to say the least. England was in a mini-ice age, but was gradually warming up.

It's officially a Regency in the time frame, but there's no drawing rooms, no Bath, no balls. (Well, there are balls--obviously, this is me we are talking about, but they are round and warm and squeezable and no-one dances in them.)

Gideon Frost is an impoverished printer, trying hard to keep his business afloat and only just managing it. To help make ends meet, from time to time he visits the areas notorious for male prostitution (Cock Lane, Lad Lane, and St Paul's Churchyard) to make a few extra shillings.

Then he falls in love--with a client--but not of the Lad Lane type, a client of his print shop and suddenly, when the object of his affection seems about to reciprocate, it's vital that Gideon's secret doesn't come out.

Here, as you can tell, my boys haven't quite got together yet...

Joshua was sure that he could help Gideon. As much as he longed to keep the man by his side forever, he couldn’t see him satisfied with the post of a valet forever. Schemes and ideas swirled around in Joshua’s head, each one more implausible than the last, each daydream sweeter than the one before. He imagined himself as Gideon’s mentor, his patron, setting him—one day—back in business with a new shop, a new press—“Sponsor: Joshua Redfern” across the shop door. And then one day, Gideon might turn to him in gratitude, slide his hand into his own and press those sweet lips to his face. Redfern felt himself hardening at the very thought of it, the way he always did whenever any daydreams of physical contact with Gideon plagued him.

He wondered how it would feel to have him naked and pliant, held tight against him. How his skin would feel, as his fingers traced the line of his backbone from that elegant neck, along the delicious curve of his back to the heaven—and entirely imaginary perfection of his arse. His cock
began to ache as he closed his eyes for a second and flexed his fingers, visualizing how that arse would feel as his hands closed over it. Lean, he was sure. Very little fat, and hard, harder when Gideon clenched... And what else, what delights awaited him... He shook his head and opened his
eyes, letting the vision and phantom body in his arms work its magic, letting the lust course down, down into his loins.

God. He was in danger of spending his seed here in his drawing room without even touching himself. If Gideon’s imaginary form could have this effect, what might his real body do? Whatever it might do, Joshua was quite sure it would not be a disappointment. He strode to the door and took the stairs two at a time, flinging open his bedroom door and slamming it behind him, grateful that he was currently without a valet.

In the seclusion of his room, he allowed himself to revisit his vision of Gideon, grateful, sweet and entirely naked in his arms. Releasing his cock from his breeches, he grasped it firmly, then groaned as the imaginary Gideon dropped to his knees and engulfed the end of Redfern’s swollen cock in that beautiful, wide mouth. Oh God, he thought. Would he look at me like I’m imagining he would as he swallows me? Would he welcome me as I move back and forwards in his mouth—like this? He pumped gently into his hand, his eyes tight closed as his vision lapped and sucked at him.

It was too much, too much. With one fist pressed hard against his mouth, he came, and his seed pulsed over his sliding fingers. It was needful, cathartic, but it wasn’t satisfying, and never would be until his dreams came true.

And another excerpt... a little later when they DO get together.

Gideon’s hands were in his hair, and his head was tipped back as he cried out softly with each fresh attack. He hooked a leg around Joshua’s, and ground his hips and a sizeable erection into Joshua’s hip.

Joshua needed no further invitation, pausing only to divest himself of breeches and boots before throwing himself down on top of the man, claiming his waiting kiss with his mouth and his eager hot cock with one hand. To his delight, Gideon grasped him in one swift and mutual movement and then finally, face to face, they paused and looked at each other. Joshua gave a growl as Gideon’s hand moved on his prick, oh so slowly but sure, firm and so bloody good. Gideon’s fingers slid down the shaft, teasing his sac with each downward movement and Joshua copied the action, watching Gideon’s face as it twisted in pleasure, taking kisses whenever he could and trying to remember to breathe.

God, he wasn’t going to last, that was certain. It had been too long, and he’d longed for this moment, imagined this too many times. “Gideon...” he whispered, “wait.” He moved his hand over the hot flesh in his hand, pulling and squeezing, loving every sound that Gideon made.

“Too late,” Gideon groaned, and Joshua kissed his words away as warm liquid flowed over his fingers. Gideon’s hand tightened around his shaft, causing Joshua to spend a moment later, hot and far too fast, like a schoolboy with his first fumble.

“Gideon...” He crushed Gideon into an embrace and took kiss after kiss until they were both breathless. “Heaven.”

It sure seems like heaven to me! I hope you enjoyed the smut (and the science!) and if you leave a comment, you might win a copy. I can supply a download pretty sharply, but the print version won't be out for a few weeks, and then I'll need to get copies from the publisher, so you'll need to be a little patient. There's further excerpts on my website, and on the publisher's page.

Keep warm! Shared bodily warmth, remember! Enjoy the video!



Janine Ashbless said...

Whooo! I'm sorry, but that's so hot you're going to melt the ice and everyone will fall into the Thames!

I'm not alone in thinking that hand-jobs - ooh, especially mutual ones - are soooo sexy! Oh yes, I like a bit of split cream...

Madeline Moore said...

I'll split that cream with you, Janine. Hot stuff Erastes. I love the way you get to write explicit erotica and at the same time use the formal language of the times...'He divested himself of his garments and fucked his buddy up the ass' (I'm paraphrasing)

I'm sick and it's dawn and I haven't slept yet so forgive my lunacy. Also I got comments at my blog today, which is a first. (Thank you Janine and Kristina) so I'm all a-flutter.

Congratulations on your book release, Erastes. I'm betting it's a big hit with the boys (and all those dirty girlz, too.)

Pheebles said...

We'll all get a drenching, I say. And won't it be worth it!

I'm so looking forward to reading this one.

Olivia Knight said...

Lurvely, Erastes. And I do like stories set around great big real life meterological events - it escapes the 'pathetic fallacy' of convenient thunderstorms while providing a whopping great plot device to fit one's every requirement - a whopping great historically indisputable plot device, no less.

Vvv sexy men.

Portia Da Costa said...

Yes, love the genuine historical background of the mini ice age. Contrasts beautifully with the hawt action you've written there! ;)

Splendid excerpt! Many thanks for posting it.

MsValerie said...

Whew! I'm fanning myself wildly.

MB (Leah) said...

I totally want this book!

Jeremy Edwards said...

Congrats, Erastes!

Olivia, you've deemed me fuckable for using the subjunctive on one or more occasions (for which I thank you from the bottom of my pluperfect), and I'm sure I speak for the Académie when I say you've officially attained supreme fuckability status by alluding to the pathetic fallacy. When you made that reference, I could swear that sun shone a bit brighter. ; )

Erastes said...

Thank you Janine! I do love handjobs and you so rarely see them in erotic fiction - and it's something we all do, specially frustrated men in breeches!

Glad you enjoyed!

Erastes said...


Thanks Janine - I love the paraphrasing.

"Forsooth! Thy cock is the size of a potato"

"Nay," he replied. "they haven't been invented yet.


Hope you feel better soon!


Erastes said...

Thank you, Pheebles!

Erastes said...

Thanks Olivia! I am guilty for using the thunderstorm device... but this, as you say, was much easier!

They had to keep warm, somehow, after all!


Erastes said...

Thank you Portia! Shared bodily warmth is certainly the way to keep warm.

Erastes said...

Thank you, mb (leah), Jeremy and msvalerie!

Olivia Knight said...

I'll just say "Ruskin" in a husky voice, Jeremy...

I'll confess to a few thunderstorms myself, but at least with stories set in England, a sudden shower of rain is no great leap of feasability.

So when, exactly, were potatoes invented...?

Jeremy Edwards said...

I'll confess to a few thunderstorms myself, but at least with stories set in England, a sudden shower of rain is no great leap of feasability.

And besides, isn't it true that the classically "fallacious" pathos is when the writer goes so far as to suggest that Nature actually sympathizes with peeplz? By comparison with that, the nonsentient thunderstorms we all indulge in would seem to be mere pathetic peccadilloes.

And my cat thinks I anthropomorphize too much.

anderyn said...

Ooooo. I never knew why the Thames froze over, but I remember reading that it did. Are you sure your two boys aren't hot enough to melt it, though?

Count me in for the drawing!

Madeline Moore said...

it was me whhat paraphrased, E.
This talk of weather is interesting.
Dark and stormy nights are still a mainstay of mystery, likely because they are still effective. Heat waves work, too, always have and always will. Nice idea, tho, to use ice and snow in erotica. I hail from the prairies so I know from ice and snow, so I know it doesn't curtail screwing, just screwing outside (where I come from, back in the day exposed skin would freeze in two and a half minutes, and they weren't kidding!)

Still sick tho so can't continue blithering on about it. Must go catch zzzzzzs.

Madelynne Ellis said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this. I bet the Thames looked really pretty all iced over.

Olivia Knight said...

You can write a sequel, Erastes, set two years later in The Year Without A Summer - by all accounts a strange, dark, freaky time, inspiring - among others - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Lord Byron's Darkness. And apparently very influential for Edgar Allen Poe, too. So why not have it seminal for Gideon and Joshua?

Hmm, if there's a third massively dramatic and miserably cold event near the same period, perhaps you could extend to a trilogy... Anyone know of any other sudden striking weather events in the early 1800s in which these two handsome heroes can freeze their nadgers off?

Marinca said...

Wonderful heroes, wouldn't mind at all spending some time inside their minds, under their skin. These snippets sound delicious, Erastes, such a triumph of time-setting - real enough to spy in on from a freezing cold alley!

I'm intrigued, already aching to read much more of this!

Calen said...

You have such a way with stories. I am so excited for this book. AH! Can't wait!

P.S. LOOOOVEE the pics.

Erastes said...

Thanks Anderyn!

And of course it did freeze over lots of times before 1814, and indeed in the years like 900ad it was a yearly occurrence, but the bridges facilitated the freezing - and explains why it rarely froze afterwards.

Erastes said...

Sorry Madeline, I realised that after I'd hit send. What a plank I am. But I have an excuse. I'm sick too.

The cover is rather misleading - well completely misleading, as there's no snow sex thank goodness! Brrr! Don't want to embarrass my boys by having their bits shrinking!

Erastes said...

That's an excellent idea, Olivia, and in fact, when I started to write this, I thought 1814 WAS the year without a summer and was surprised to find it wasn't. It would be interesting to do and see people's reactions, as they'd have no clue as to why it was happening.

Hmmmmm.... Thank you!

:) I do like these two, and I feel there is more to tell.

Erastes said...

Thank you, Madelynne

The lithographs and prints of the time show it as being picturesque, but I bet it was soon very grubby!

Erastes said...

Thank you Marinca - it's odd that there's generally weather of some sort in my books - and there's a lot of "how to write" tips which say that you shouldn't include weather. But perhaps because I've always lived in England where weather (and tea and queueing) is so important, I can't imagine writing a book without it.

Erastes said...

Thank you, Calen!


Kate Pearce said...

You know I'm always interested in reading about 2 lovely Regency chaps getting it on-and I love the mutual hand-jobs-used that myself I think in one of the Simply books :)

Olivia Knight said...

"Writing books are full of shit." - Olivia Knight

Come on, though - they're written by people, not by God. Apply all the rules from writing books to both bestselling and accoladed literary books, and you end up with - no books. Some fascists campaign against adjectives, some against modifiers, some against using any variations on "said" whatsoever... I wince for those who attend creative writing courses, esp degree courses, where they have to dance to some little writing Hitler's tune to have their style Accepted.

Yup. I'm opinionated today. Point me at any issue and pull the trigger. Auto-rant!

(I do hope you do a year-without-a-summer sequel, though, Erastes. So we have something to look forward to when we finish this one!)

Erastes said...

Hello Kate! *waves*

Thank you, there's just something irresistible (to me anyway) about that breeches placket!!


Erastes said...

*laughs* Yes, Olivia, I know what you mean, though. So many "books on writing" are written by people I've never heard of. I have Vonnegut's rules above my computer and that's about it.

Ranty is GOOD!

I carefully put mostly "saids" into Trangressions - only to have the editor change most of them!! So now, I just write what comes naturally. Even if it is "unctuously"

Mina said...

Wow! I've been waiting for this one to come out! Have been lapping up the excerpts (mmm!)

(Btw, is it wrong of me to get as excited by the science as I am by the pretty, pretty pictures?)

Erastes said...

Thank you, Mina! If you like the science, you'll probably like this, as it's quite nitty gritty in comparison to nice clean Regencies!

Madeline Moore said...

Erastes may I have Vonnegut's writing 'rules' please. I'm a huge fan but don't remember such a thing.

This was a great post!

Erastes said...

Sure! Here you go!

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read FF now! I'm sure your boys will find lots of ways to keep warm in all that ice and snow! I'm glad they remembered to moisturise their hands...don't want any chaffing now, do we? ;p

Erastes said...

Hi Christine

Hee! There are definitely cold hands on warm... bits.

Madelynne Ellis said...

The lithographs and prints of the time show it as being picturesque, but I bet it was soon very grubby!

Ah, but even grubby can be beautiful.

Anonymous said...

(Browser wouldn't behave yesterday when I tried to comment, so I'm trying again today, my apologies. I'd love to be considered for the drawing if it's still okay. Anyway...)! Why couldn't you have written my school textbooks, Erastes? If every
scientific tome had featured uber-sexy slashiness and luscious male nudes
along with the academic stuff, I would have been the model student. Sigh.

Even though I live in a city that's usually too warm for snow (damn), I love
finding out what happens when men get together in the cold. (Men's ice hockey
is a homoerotic fantasia. Watch a game and you'll see!) Wow...

Erastes said...

Thank you anonymous! Yes, you are still in time - the winner will be announced very soon !

Madeline Moore said...

Thanks E!

KV's rules for writing are copied, pasted, saved (in my 'Quotes' file)
printed, posted on my bulletin board.
He was the best but I digress...
Thank you for the informative (as always) sexy post w pics.

Jade Taylor said...

Loved it, sexy, sensual, literary and informative - great post!

Erastes said...

Thanks Jade!

Caffey said...

Gosh, he looked hot in that ice and snow! You picked great pics! And a regency to boot, yum! And thanks for the treat with the excerpt!

Erastes said...

Thank you Caffrey!