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 OMG. OMG.  Oh Em GEE!

Friday 13th isn’t noted for being a lucky day, but I think I have to buck the trend here. I woke this morning to find the incredible, wonderful news that The Gilded Scarab  has been nominated in the Science Fiction and Fantasy section (steampunk sub-section) of the2015 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards.


To say that I am astonished is the mildest of understatements. I am still gibbering and waving my hands about helplessly. This is such a compliment!

So far as I understand it—and remember I am still trying to get my head around things here—the preponderance of books nominated for the Awards are mainstream and I’m one of a handful of authors in the m/m genre who has been nominated (alongside the likes of Heidi Cullinan!  More OMGing!). I really don’t expect to win anything, but I am so stoked to be nominated alongside such eminent beings. Thank you to Dreamspinner for such a brilliant editing team who helped me polish Rafe until he *shone*.

The RT Reviews blog has also posted up an amazing review for Rafe and Ned, and that alone would have had me spinning like a top and squeeing. The nomination? Well, see above for gibbering and helpless hand waving.

I mean. Oh. Em. GEE!




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Only possibly without the swearing. In ten days, The Gilded Scarab will be published, and two days after that, Gyrfalcon. In a (vain!) attempt to look as though I know what I'm doing when it comes to getting the word out, I've set up a few guest spots at blogs belonging to very kind and supportive fellow writers. The dates and places are listed at my website


The picture of the
Deputy editor is purely gratuitous, because all blog posts should have a picture and who can resist a cute dog?

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 February is going to be a VERY busy month!  I am jumping up and down here in excitement, because The Gilded Scarab has appeared on Dreamspinner’s ‘coming soon’ page and that means it is *real*. It’s happening.

16 February 2015

Yup. Two days before Gyrfalcon!  And so I am delighted, pleased, proud and chuffed as all hell to show you yet another wonderful book cover – this one is by the talented Reese Dante



When Captain Rafe Lancaster is invalided out of the Britannic Imperium’s Aero Corps after crashing his aerofighter during the Second Boer War, his eyesight is damaged permanently, and his career as a fighter pilot is over. Returning to Londinium in late November 1899, he’s lost the skies he loved, has no place in a society ruled by an elite oligarchy of powerful Houses, and is hard up, homeless, and in desperate need of a new direction in life.

Everything changes when he buys a coffeehouse near the Britannic Imperium Museum in Bloomsbury, the haunt of Aegyptologists. For the first time in years, Rafe is free to be himself. In a city powered by luminiferous aether and phlogiston, and where powerful men use House assassins to target their rivals, Rafe must navigate dangerous politics, deal with a jealous and possessive ex-lover, learn to make the best coffee in Londinium, and fend off murder and kidnap attempts before he can find happiness with the man he loves.



The polished wood and dark red velvet of the lobby carried through into the Praecipias, giving the lounge a rich and luxurious feel. The light of crystal chandeliers glinted on cut glass and the bottles ranged on shelves behind the bar. As the maître d’ had hinted, it was still rather early and the company was thin. Two patrons sat at separate tables. They straightened and looked back at me when I glanced around, both wearing smiles and expectant expressions. But no. They were good enough, but neither appealed to me. The trick was to pretend I hadn’t noticed them at all, instead focusing on my scotch and lighting one of the thin cigarillos I’d bought at the tobacconist. That way no one’s feelings were hurt.

A shame, perhaps… but no. Thanks to Phryne’s careful hands, I was shining that night. I deserved better than good enough. I deserved much better, and I could afford to wait until there was someone whose company I fancied. So I drew on my cigarillo and inhaled the sharp smoke. If I tilted my head back, I could watch the smoke float up toward the embossed ceiling. It hung in the light, drifting back and forth, and back and forth.

“May I buy you a drink, sir?”

I really am not a nervous man, but I jumped. Good Lord! Where had he come from? Sneaking up from the left, where I still had difficulty seeing things on the edge of sight, I supposed. I hadn’t seen him approach, and now that I looked, two or three others must have come into the room while I had contemplated my scotch and stared at the ceiling. Two stood at the bar talking, and a third slid into a chair at a table near mine, his dark eyes raking me over. He looked faintly familiar, although I couldn’t imagine where I’d seen him. He was well enough, too, but I turned my attention to the man who’d spoken to me.

Oh, but this one was better than good enough! Much better.

About my age, by the look of him, but as fair as I’m dark—wheat blond hair in artful disorder, with quite astonishing hazel eyes set above high, pronounced cheekbones and a strong mouth and chin. Thank God he had a chin. There were far too many men who had none worthy of the name. The rest of the stranger was rather attractive too. He leaned on a cane in his right hand, inclining his long, trim body toward me. It gave him a slight air of eagerness that was, I felt, distinctly flattering, as well as allowing him to show off an evening suit that fitted him like the proverbial glove and must have cost a very pretty penny. Definitely better than just good enough. Unless he turned out to have all the personality faults of Attila the Hun, this one would most certainly merit further attention.

And, really, Attila the Hun hadn’t been all bad. He was rumored to have been very considerate of his horses.

You can preorder The Gilded Scarab here:


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 Over at my website I'm celebrating and mourning this:



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 Over at my website I have succumbed to Sarah Madison's nagging to post a response to four questions on writing:

What am I working on?
How does it differ from other books in the genre?
Why do I write what I do?
What's the writing process?

I am, as ever, long winded about it but there are lots of pictures to brighten things up a tad. You'll like the one of Molly. You even get a bonus one here: 

I've tagged Kate Aaron and Lily G. Blunt to do the meme and they will post their answers to the questions on 12 May. Stay tuned to find out what makes them tick!

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AnubisGood title, huh?

Go to my website to find out more news on the progress of Gilded Scarab  and why I am already plotting a sequel.

Sigh. You know, this sort of thing wouldn’t happen to me if only I did concise.



On another note, the first batch of my new pens has arrived from the US and they are gorgeous. Honestly, I’d never buy promotional pens here in the UK. The US company has a huge range of very affordable stock, heaps better than anything you can buy here. The only problem is that the US company doesn’t do overseas trade, so I have to get a lovely friend there to buy them and ship them. So a huge thank you goes to artist and sculptor Shelley Hunter for being a true friend. Go and check out her website and admire her work.

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 Over at my website, I am crowing over progress made and worrying myself hairless over the fact I can't actually think of anything resembling a plot for this book...


Oh, and this is the Lily with the crooked stem. Wonderful description.


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 Over at my website, I've been ruminating on the perils of writing in the first person


Come over and give me your entirely solicited opinion!

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Gilded Scarab Vignette Two - free to download


Over at my website, a short vignette from Gilded Scarab is free to download.
Vignette Two :  Londinium 1887

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Over at the website  I chronicle a little progress in the complete rewrite of Gilded Scarab...



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Over at the website, I had my lightbulb moment this morning on why I am so dissatisfied with the current WiP, and why I'm finding it such hard going. I hope that I've found a solution, though what it mean is junking about 25,000 words... sigh. It'll hurt, but it's the right thing to do. 

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 Over at my website I ponder how all the best laid plans - or writing outlines, in this case - gang all agley when you actually start the organic process of writing.

Or, as I conclude the sorry tale : DAMN
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