silver publishing

Game On, Game Over – release date October 8th!

Excerpt:                                                  

By the third day John was fully integrated into the closed society of the archaeological site and the personnel working on it. They were a gregarious bunch, passionate about what they were doing, but capable of amusement at their own expense. All the lecturers were over forty years old, and their relationships with the much younger students were governed by mutual respect and liking. The Tajik locals running the catering, laundry, and site security were friendly, proud of their past, and appreciative of the interest their culture and history fired in foreigners. All in all, the whole, mismatched conglomerate worked together with cheerful tolerance and good humor. But the third day also brought Brent Babcock.

 

John was with Anahita in her trench, an exploratory cut along an inside wall of the caravanserai where some scroll ends and clay tablets had already been found. She was speculating optimistically about further finds when a voice laden with a harsh New York twang cut through her lightly accented English like a blunt saw. John peered over the edge of the trench and saw a man in his late forties, short, stocky, with thinning hair in a buzz cut, and the face of a pugnacious leprechaun. He was talking animatedly with Mike, hands waving to emphasize his points.

 

“Who the hell?” John muttered. But he’d lingered aboveground too long. Mike gestured to him—desperately, if he was any judge—and reluctantly he climbed out of the trench.

 

“John, this is Brent Babcock,” Mike said as soon as he joined the two men. Babcock barely topped John’s shoulder and John was a lean six feet tall. Mike’s solid six-five dwarfed them both. “Mr Babcock, Doctor John Jones, my Assistant Director. John, Mr Babcock’s a reporter—”

 

“Journalist,” Babcock interrupted, sticking out his hand. John took it. “Hi. I’m writing a series of articles on the Silk Roads, and gathering material for a book.” Their handshake was brief, Babcock’s grip strong to the point of discomfort. John managed to resist the impulse to tighten his own grip in response to the power play.

 

“You’ve chosen a fascinating subject,” he said mildly.

 

“Yeah, I know. This was the Lost Road of Ishkoshim, right?” The capital letters were obvious, the title of the book and a TV documentary probably already scripted in the man’s mind.

 

“Um, it wasn’t actually lost,” Mike said. “This spur of it was simply abandoned after the quake in the eleventh century. The spring and cisterns were—”

 

“Yeah, I get it. Like I said before I want to hear your take on it, some of the background history to the dig. Take some photos as well.”

 

Mike frowned thoughtfully. “I’ll have to clear it with the higher-ups first,” he answered. “But I don’t expect it’ll be much of a problem. We’re not exactly rewriting the history books here, and though the finds have been interesting, it’s not in the same category as Tutankhamun’s tomb. I’ll contact them and let you know.”

 

“Okay. I’m not on a tight schedule. I can afford to spend some time on this. I got a photographer in tow. I’d like him to have a look around, get an impression of the site while you’re getting the go-ahead from your bosses.” As if the result was a foregone conclusion.

 

“I don’t see a problem,” Mike said. “On the strict understanding no pictures are taken until sanctioned, and while either of you are on site, you’re accompanied by one of my people at all times.”

 

“I can live with that. You got a deal, Mike.” Babcock’s hand shot out again. “Call me Brent.”

 

“I’ll leave you with Doctor Jones,” Mike said, shaking his hand and wincing slightly. His brief sidelong glance at John was apologetic. “He’ll be your liaison.”

 

It wasn’t what John wanted to hear. But it was a logical choice. Liaising was part of his job description as far as the site was concerned, but if the man and his photographer were going to be underfoot for an unspecified period of time, they might adversely affect his covert mission. While a journalist wouldn’t be as easily removed from the scene as an archaeologist, it was certainly doable—and would be done if or when necessary.

 

Babcock talked at John for over half an hour, and it was as well John was skilled in keeping his thoughts and emotions from showing on his features. His usual friendly mask remained unshaken despite the journalist’s belligerent arrogance, but there was no doubt Babcock was good at what he did. His grasp of the history and trade dynamics of the Roads was excellent. The man was intelligent and articulate—borderline too articulate—and thoroughly unlikeable.

 

That night John lulled himself to sleep imagining various devious and intricate plans for the permanent removal of Brent Babcock.

 

* * * * *

Silver Publishing’s Pre-Order Buy link HERE

 

 

Coming from Silver on November 26th is Home and Heart, a novella for Christmas.

 

As well as my two leading men, Ben Elliot and Adam Prescott, H&H has some walk-on parts for two rather special characters — Teazle and Bracken. Teazle is a chocolate brown Curly Coated Retriever who at times seems more feline than canine, and Bracken was Golden Retriever with a wonderfully loving disposition and some charming idiosyncrasies. Bracken died far too young of cancer on the spleen but I promise none of that sadness is in H&H — there he is his happy eccentric self, just as he now is in the Summer Land

 

* * * * *

Deep in the Cotswolds in the heart of England, Ben Elliot settles in for a quiet Christmas house-sitting and caring for an elderly woman’s two dogs while she’s away. When her black-sheep grandson, Adam Prescott, turns up on the doorstep, Ben takes in the human stray as well. Destitute and betrayed by family, boyfriend, and Fate, Adam has lost all faith in others, and in himself.

 

Determined to help, Ben soon loses his heart to the other man and believes Adam has feelings for him, too. Then Adam’s ex shows up, offering him the world if only Adam will come back to him. Now Ben must choose whether to step aside, or reach for the only gift he wants this Christmas.

 

Very Short Excerpt:

 

Alternating sips of the hot soup with mouthfuls of bread and relishing the internal warmth the food spread through him, Adam waited until the other man slid a baking tray half-filled with frozen chips into the hot oven. “So,” he said, more loudly than he’d intended. “I bet you have questions. Ask them.”

 

“None of my business,” Ben replied evenly, not turning round. “How do you like your eggs?”

 

“Runny yolks. Are you saying you don’t have any problems with me being here?” Adam heard the belligerence in his voice, but it was too late to tone it down. “Because if you do, you don’t have to stay. I can look after the dogs.”

 

“No way.” Ben snorted. “I have a contract and I’m not breaking it. If you have a problem with that, you can just hop in your car and bugger off.” Their raised voices started a frenzy of barking from the conservatory, and Ben rolled his eyes. “It’s a safe bet one of the first things Mrs B says to me tomorrow will be to ask if Teazle likes you, so if you want to get into your gran’s good books, you better make friends with her first.”

 

“I don’t need your advice!”

 

“Fine.” Ben strode out of the room and Adam heard a door open. Then heavy paws clattered towards the kitchen. Two large dogs came barrelling in and Adam temporarily forgot his anger.

 

“Oh, you beauties,” he said, smiling in spite of himself. Barely over the threshold, the golden retriever dropped a shoulder and flipped, sliding towards him across the tiled floor, already on its back for belly-rubs. The curly-coated retriever was more circumspect. She scrutinized him before permitting him to make a fuss of her. Then she sat beside his chair and leaned her head on his thigh. “I think I pass the canine inspection,” Adam said smugly, enjoying Ben’s irritated scowl.

The Game is on – John Jones, aka Aidan Whittaker, a negotiator with MI6, is currently on assignment in Tajikistan, close to the Afghanistan border. Overtly on a University-run archaeological site, he’s covertly brokering a deal with local tribal leaders. His undercover mission is complicated by the arrival of a couple of Americans; journalist Brent Babcock and his photographer Scott Landon. The two men are there to document the ancient Silk Road, but when Babcock gets wind of a hot news story, he starts asking awkward questions.

 

Scott Landon is a different kind of trouble for John. Fourteen years John’s junior, gay and single-minded, he wants into John’s bed. Not being prepared to jeopardize his operation, John rejects him, despite being drawn to the younger man. But then events around them spiral out of control. Will it be Game Over…?

 

 

Excerpt:

 

John was so engrossed in the painstaking work of excavating the fallen tiles without disturbing the contents of the niches behind them, he nearly fell over when a strange voice said, “Hi.” He regained his equilibrium and glanced up over his shoulder.

 

“Hello,” Anahita responded, but John barely heard her.

 

“Ma’am,” the man said, smiling and tipping a nonexistent hat. He was crouched on the planks protecting the edge of the trench. Aviator shades hid his eyes, but his smile was wide and bright. Sun-streaked blond hair curled over his forehead and onto the collar of his blue T-shirt, both emphasizing his tan. He was in his early to mid-twenties, ridiculously good-looking, and not one of the students. A camera hung around his neck. Babcock’s tame photographer, then. And, irritatingly, he was on his own, no Babcock in sight, and no escort either. John scowled, unwilling to admit to the immediate attraction pulling at him, or the pleasant warmth of incipient arousal in his groin. It was an added complication he didn’t need and he couldn’t allow his libido to get in his way. His solution was simple; a prickly defense kept away all kinds of trouble.

 

“So where’s Babcock?” John demanded. “I thought he was supposed to show up again.”

 

“Uh, yeah, but something came up and he sent me instead. I gotta report back to him.”

 

“You shouldn’t be on site without an escort,” he said curtly.

 

The man’s smile didn’t waver. “Yeah, I know I need a watchdog.” It was a pleasant drawl, redolent of the American Southwest, and it did nothing to cool John’s blood. “I’m trying to find one. Scott Landon.” He held out his hand.

 

John planted his hands on his hips and ignored the offered courtesy. “Go over to the building and wait for Professor Preston. He’ll allocate someone to assist you.”

 

“Been there, done that,” Scott said cheerfully. “No one showed.”

 

“I expect he’s busy,” Anahita piped up. “I’ll go and see if I can find him for you.”

 

“Thank you, ma’am.” But he made no move to return to the offices and wait for Mike.

 

 

 

Scott didn’t know what impulse drew him to the trench inside the ruins, but he was grateful for it when the man straightened and turned to face him. He was tall, lean, and sun-browned, his almost-black hair worn a little too long and showing a few threads of silver at the temples, though he was probably under forty. Deeply set in high-cheekboned, hawklike features, dark brown eyes gazed stonily at Scott. Somehow the man managed to give the impression of glaring down his impressive, aquiline nose despite his head being on a level with Scott’s knees. While not strictly handsome, his was the most interesting face Scott had seen in years, and also the most attractive. Right now, however, that face was the personification of aloofness. A warm pulse of interest spread through Scott’s blood. Never one to pass up a challenge, he waited until the woman took herself off, then gave the man a thorough checking out from behind the mask of his shades.

 

“So,” Scott said brightly, “what do you have here?”

 

“A trench,” he bit out, his rich voice becoming more clipped. “Wait by the offices, Mr Landon.”

 

“Okay,” he said, not moving. “But please call me Scott. Mr Landon’s my father and it’s way too formal for me.” He widened his smile to an out and out grin, as charming and engaging as he could make it. “Hey, c’mon, you need to loosen up. I’m not like Brent, I swear. Can I come down there?”

 

“I do not need to do anything, Mr Landon,” the man said icily, “and no, you can’t. Go away.”

 

Scott sighed, and wondered what the man’s mouth would be like when it wasn’t pressed into a thin line. Of course, he might not be gay, but he wouldn’t be the first so-called straight guy whom Scott persuaded sexual experimentation was a good idea, though he might be the most difficult. Nor was the setting ideal for seduction. But, as Scott reminded himself, a faint heart never won tall, dark, and interesting.

 

* * * * *

 

Available for Pre-order ow, Release Date )ctober 8th

Pre-Order link HERE

In Chez Chris today, I have an interview with–no, let me rephrase that. I have a conversation between RJ Scott and her partner in crime, Diane Adams. Foolishly I’d said to RJ, “I’d like something from you and Di about your new werewolf book and how you came to write it.”

 

“Oooh!” she said, “I’m sure we could do something.”

 

Then this arrived… I love these crazy girls!

 

***

 

Poor Chris Quinton said we should do a chat for her blog. So, Diane and I dived in…

 

RJ: So I get to ask a question first… what is Sam’s hell did you think you were doing writing a book with RJ Scott?

 

DA: I figured “Hmmm, I want to sell a gazillion books, what should I do?” The answer to  that was pretty obvious. Oh, I mean, I wanted the challenge of writing with a well respected author. (Really I thought it’d be fun, but that’s the boring answer)

 

RJ: well it’s certainly been fun… hard work as well given the Americans are always in bed when I am up…

 

DA: That’s cause you UK sorts have the oddest hours. Strange way of talking too (Oh wolfie 2, change the “que” to line), but mostly you’re okay. And it was fun when I managed to catch up with you, lol.

 

RJ: We need someone to ask us questions…this isnt working… who can we find… BEANY!

 

DA: LMAO – okay, yeah, that’ll be good, um, I mean she’d be good :D . Though I think I’m pretty amusing.

 

DA: We can start over.

 

DA: You know I’ve been trying to get you to write with me since our days of writing that unmentionable F word stuff. So, I finally got my way (it only took about three years). And it was fun! So tell me, why did you agree to do it?

 

RJ: Because I think you write awesome stuff… I love your writing…it’s very poetic…lyrical… also you can make sure I get rid of all the wardrobes, trousers and torches….

 

DA: Oh, such lovely reasons (blushing now). You know I think you are an awesome writer. We can’t have any que’s lingering around and the what is it you said about the road construction? lmao. You know it’s a wonder we understand what the other is saying at all! I’m not sure how you do it anyhow. I could never write a book with characters based completely in another culture. I’d never remember boys can wear jumpers in England and wash up with a flannel.

 

RJ: See, the difference is, in England, in UK, we are clever…ROFL…

 

DA: ummm huh. I thought you were supposed to be polite too. (is it bad to say England? Is England still there? I really don’t keep up with things well).

 

RJ: Is it still there? Yeah… I am English, BUT the Welsh and the Scots and the Irish are clever too… hence the UK…

 

DA: I see it’s just us American, European, Australians who fall on the wrong side of clever LMAO ( I think we have made a wrong turn again haha!)

 

RJ: Anyway back to the book… coughs… so… Jamie was totally your creation… did he just pop into your head fully formed as a character?

 

DA: Well, he introduced himself to me but I didn’t really know who he was until I started writing. I rarely have more than a description and a vague idea of personality before I start writing. I’ve read a lot about character sketches but there’s no way I could complete one on my characters until the book is finished. Then it seems rather pointless. I don’t make character lists before hand either, the characters appear in the story where they belong, that’s when I find out who they are. How do you manage with your characters? (are they just running amok in your head, breeding bunnies?)

 

RJ: I know that *insert character’s name here* is a cop or a vet or a millionaire… I know that *character 2* is a barista, or a writer… past that it kind of hits me when I start writing…

DA: Neither of us is much of a preplanner, one of the things that makes writing together really interesting. I can feel how much we’ve learned as we get into the second book we are really getting a feel for each other (pardon the pun).

 

RJ: I can’t wait to see what we make Doug do…

 

DA: and Sam, who really isn’t even Sam at all. I like it that his character is secret even from himself. It’s going to be fun to find out what’s hidden inside (like chewy nougat or a crunchy nut).

 

RJ: Well in chapter three… no one is reading this right?… well, in chapter three the shit really hits the fan…

RJ: I have a question – how is your Making Of A Man series going? And when can I read the next part?

 

DA: No one will see this… so tell me all the good stuff! MoaM series is going great, I’m working on book four now. Clark’s Story, and you’ll get to it sometime next week, lol. I wish everything came as easily for me as writing the Making of a Man books. What are you up to these days?

 

RJ: Just releasing my next YA book and writing Heart Of Texas #2… *Cowboy Christmas*… Riley’s past comes back to haunt him in a life changing way… nods…

 

DA: That sounds really dramatic! I’m looking forward to your YA I don’t read many of those but I enjoyed your first one. Are YA harder to write?

RJ: Yes and no. I dont know about you but when it comes to writing a sex scene in the M/M books we write there is sometimes this feeling of *been there done that* almost *insert A into B*… I mean how many more ways can writers describe sex? That is why in your books and mine we focus on the emotions behind the act.  So in the YA books, I focus on the emotions even more. In book 2 of the Love series there is a sexual act but it is so sweet and innocent…

Do you find writing sex hard? No pun intended.

 

DA: Sex is my least favorite thing to write. Mostly that’s true because of the things you mentioned, I worry about it reading more like a “how to” manual than an erotic scene. So the emotions, which are individual to each character are vital in making a difference. Probably only 10 or 15% of any given book is a full out sex scene (some even less than that) but I have spent longer writing those scenes than any other. I have learned that sometimes what seems stilted when I’m writing, reads fine after the fact so I push on.

It seems like M/M readers soemetimes anticipate a certain amount of sex in a book. That used to make me nervous but readers know me a little better now. How do you feel about that, do you now, or have you ever felt pressured to include graphic sex as a part of your books?

 

RJ: I had that very question when I released my earthquake fic…I mean the two guys are running from forest fires and are both injured. So they are not gonna stop off for a quick shag behind a burnt out car… But i was worried. I think there is an expectation in M/M readers for sex, mine included! It’s not enough to say I love you anymore, the love has to be shown to be real.
It reminds me of a quote in Throwaway… goes to find…

“Research had given him the basics, Tab A into Slot B using Product C after ensuring Product D is firmly in place. The mechanics of it were simple. The prospect, however, of having an A that big anywhere near his B was mildly worrying.”

ROFL…

 

DA: Ha! I have to admit it’d worry me. It’s easy to get sidetracked worrying about sex because how much is too much and you lose the story and it’s just repetitive instead of arousing…how much is too little and you lose the readers hoping for some heat. I’m telling you, it can feel like a tightrope sometimes. For the most part I’ve solved that by not thinking about it. I write the story and much like the characters who appear when needed, the sex happens when it’s appropriate. Then I groan and say, “gawd, I have to write sex now, thanks guys” lol. It’s really not that bad but I prefer writing the romance and the dynamics of the relationship more.

Speaking of which you are a very strong plot writer, whereas my stories are all character driven. I am in awe of how you do that, devise such interesting story lines and bring the characters alive as well. I get so caught up in the dynamics of character development that is almost always the focus of any given book. Do you think we reached a pretty good balance with that writing Shattered Secrets?

 

RJ: Yes I do… we have a good plot with the wolf breaking and the hints at the end about the *********, but we also have a very intense character in Rob and a irreverent character in Jamie…and thank you for saying nice things (what is it you want?)… oh and regarding the sex, a very good mutual friend of ours, Chris Quinton, writes GAPGAP in her manuscripts if thinking about how to write the sex holds up the story.

 

DA: That’s rather brilliant. I can see it now – “I”m done!” off to the publisher it goes, only to come back “GapGap?” Seriously my editor would have a blast with that, haaa. I gave a character the last name of Rubble once, just as filler. It nearly went to print that way! Still, moving along and coming back to it isn’t a bad plan at all. I’ll use “pokepokesucksuckgaspgasp” actually that might be good enough! Heh. or how about, “Please insert favorite sexual act here.” I guess in the end there’s really no getting out of it and sometimes I end up with something wonderful like the first sex between Alex and Jared.

Personally I think the hottest sex I’ve written is between Grey and Drake, my angels in Rearranging Stars. Not sure how much of a judge I am of my own writing. I mean, lol. Tell us which book contains your hottest scene. I think it’s that barn scene in Heart of Texas.

 

RJ: Yep, I think from what people have said, the barn scene in HoT is definitely my hottest scene… rofl… all that naked flesh just standing and …. guh… rofl… and yes, the sex between Grey and Drake is *hot*.

 

DA: See how I picked out the hottest thing you ever wrote. I so rock! Well, sadly other duties call so we’ll have to continue this delightful chat another day. Just remember “road construction” “standing in line” and “parking lot” and we’ll be just fine…oh and keep Sam out of “jumpers” will you?

 

RJ: Sam has a jumper in his wardrobe and it is a pale pink colour. It is his favourite jumper. He wears it when he goes out clubbing with his torch so he can see the way.

 

DA: I wish I could draw so I could illustrate the picture for you that drew in my mind. A guy in a pink dress carrying a wooden flaming torch down a busy night street. I love it! and I loved having the chance to talk to you, RJ. Time to get back to work on Wolf 2. Thank you for having us, Chris!

 

RJ: Yeah, thanks, Chris, for having me here and putting up with Diane Adams… rofl…

Bye, Diane! Have a good day y’all. xxxx

 

DA: Bye RJ! I’ll try, ma’m ;) and you do the same xxoo

 

RJ: Indubitably, my dear Diane, one will…

 

***

 

See what I mean? I think that’s the reason they work so well together – apart from their talents, they are both happy lunatics! *g* Now I’m off to buy Shattered Secrets and Rearranging Stars…

 

Thanks for the great conversation, RJ and Di.

 

RJ and Di also have solo works out there to be grabbed – RJ’s Eoin, the third book in her Fire trilogy due for release on September 17th, and Di has the already mentioned Rearranging Stars, all three books are from Silver Publishing, with covers by the award-winning Reese Dante.

 

Buy link for Shattered Secrets HERE
Buy link for Rearranging Stars HERE
Buy link for Eoin HERE

The second book in The Fitzwarren Inheritance Trilogy is now out! RJ Scott’s gripping The Soildier’s Tale takes up the next challenge posed by Jonathan Curtess four hundred years ago.

Corporal Daniel Francis has returned to his childhood home in England to heal; the only one of his unit that survived a roadside bomb. His reasons for skipping medication are based on a stubborn refusal to become an addict, and he is overwhelmed with survivor’s guilt.

Doctor Sean Lester has joined his father’s surgery and when he is held at knife point by a patient high on drugs it is Daniel who leaps to his rescue-much to his horror.

When Sean nearly runs Daniel down in the dark he finds a man who needs help, and resolves to be the person to show Daniel that it is possible to live through guilt and find happiness.

Set against the backdrop of the Fitzwarren family curse, The Soldiers Tale is a story of one man’s fight to find his place in a new world outside of the Army.

Can’t wait to read more? Arriving on July 2nd 2011 is the thrilling conclusion to this trilogy, Sue Brown’s The Lord’s Tale

Click HERE to buy The Soldiers Tale

And HERE to preorder The Lord’s Tale

Starfall - Chris QuintonI’ve just learned that STARFALL will be released as a print book on June 4th, the same day that THE PSYCHIC’S TALE goes live at Silver!

 

I am very pleased, to put it mildly. Being published in e-book format is great, but to actually hold a Real Paper Book in my sticky paws is the ultimate high.

 

In other news, I’m back home after a couple of weeks in the Welsh Marches, South and North Wales. I’ve got lots of hotos to sort through, and a blog to write on Stokesay Castle, the inspiration for Westford Castle in The Psychic’s Tale.

Starfall - Chris Quinton
Just got the cover for Starfall, my gay contemporary SF novel due out from Silver on March 19th.

What really impressed me with this is the pains the artist took to liaise with me to get their features exactly the way I see them. Especially in relation to Ash, the one in the forefront.

Although you can’t make out the detail of Ash’s eyes in the size of the pic, it’s enough to see that they aren’t quite human.

Reese did a brilliant job, IMHO.

In the giddy euphoria induced by my Starfall cover, I forgot about The Psychic’s Tale, recently accepted by Silver Publishing and to be released June 2011.

TPT is the first novella in a trilogy, ‘The Fitzwarren Inheritance’. Each novella is written by a different author – me [Chris Quinton], Rj Scott and Sue Brown. It was Rj’s idea, and I got roped in toward the end when another author dropped out.

…“I curse you and your children’s children, that you shall all live out your allotted years, and that those years shall be filled with grief and loss and betrayal, even as you have betrayed and bereaved me.”

Four hundred years ago in rural England, a mob burned two man to death, but not before one of them, Jonathan Curtess, hurled a dreadful curse at the mob’s leader, Sir Belvedere Fitzwarren. The curse has followed the family through the centuries, bringing grief and loss to each generation.

Mark Renfrew is a closeted psychic and openly gay. When his grandmother discovers a family link to a 17th century feud and a still-potent curse, she insists he investigates and do his best to end it. When he travels to the village of Steeple Westford, he meets and falls for Jack Faulkner, an archaeologist. He also meets the Fitzwarrens, who are facing yet another tragedy.

Then Mark learns that the man who cursed them had twisted the knife by leaving three cryptic conditions that would lift the curse, and he knows he has to try to break the curse his ancestor had set…

Rj Scott has just had the second story – The Soldier’s Tale – accepted for release a couple of weeks after TPT, and Sue Brown is starting on the third and final story.

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