A snippet of Gideon and Lee

pbb_coverI’ve been very remiss in my efforts to advance-market Preacher, Prophet, Beast, book seven in my Tyack & Frayne series, out on 20th April. This story has made deeper and more complex demands upon me and the lads than any of us could have anticipated! But not long to wait now, and the book is available to pre-order here.

http://bit.ly/PreacherPBuk (Amazon UK)
http://bit.ly/PreacherPBcom (Amazon com)

For those of you who like a little advance taste, here you go…

***

Lee fastened the gate after their visitors, and made his way slowly back across the garden. A massive heat still had a grip on the day. The eastern sky held a distant promise of relief, some of the hot gold shading into blue, but the sun was still blazing over Bern-an-Wra tor, and he couldn’t honestly tell from this distance whether the tower had its crowning rock in place or not.

He looked away. His plans for the evening included outdoor dinner with Gid in the orchard’s shade, and later, if their kid was still up for more hijinks, a weekend breaking of the bedtime rules and a stroll and a quick skinny-dip for all three of them in the millstream pond behind the hill. Bodmin winters could be harsh. Experienced moor-dwellers knew to make the best of summer days, and when the weather gods opened a box-of-jewels June like this on the gorse-starred heath, you seized every moment.

Bucca Gwidder, Bucca Dhu. Not figure-of-speech weather gods but two distinct personalities, the Lords of the year’s light and dark halves. The word bucca – meaning spirit, as Rufus Pendower had explained to him, actually stammering nervously over his Bs, the last time they’d been alone together – had become corrupted to pooka or Puck, a mischievous sprite. Out here, the ancient forces were restored. There just wasn’t room for the trappings and twists of civilisation. No room to hide, and no mercy. All the old demons could have sway.

Gideon was on the phone in the hallway when he pushed open the door. Dead-set determined not to hear anything else he shouldn’t today, Lee slipped past him and into the kitchen. He’d volunteered to fix Gid’s favourite casserole, and that required quite a lot of pan-rattling and banging of fridge and cupboard doors before he got stuck in.

Felt good, too. Slam of the chopping board onto the counter top. Slap of beef fillet onto the board, and he diced it as if he’d had a personal grudge with the cow.

Ridiculous. Tamsyn dealt with her emotions better than this. Gideon followed him into the kitchen, and he wiped his hands on a tea towel and turned to greet him with a sane, everyday expression on his face. “Thought that lot were gonna stay around for dinner. You getting hungry?”

“Ravenous. Could eat that raw.”

“I trust you mean the beef.”

“Read it however you want, gorgeous.”

It was a good attempt at their normal repartee. On any other night, it would have driven them back into each other’s arms to take care of unfinished business. Instead Lee took a steadying hold of the counter top behind him and said, uneasily, “Do you think Flora Waite’s all right? She had Tamsie out of the cot before I could stop her, and she was kind of rubbing her face against the poor kid’s. For luck, she said, when I asked.”

“Oh, no. Did Tamsyn wake up?”

“Not really. She doesn’t seem to mind outbreaks of weirdness from her friends.”

“She wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if she did.” Gideon shifted awkwardly. He was flushed, Lee noticed, his handsome summer colour heightened from tan to fever. “I think something is amiss with Flora. We talked a bit about Dev Bowe, and she seemed stressed. Thanks for skipping balletically past me on the phone, but it was nothing you couldn’t know about – I just wanted to give Lamshear Hall a ring and check everything was all right.”

“Lamshear… Oh, right. That’s Dev’s long-term care facility.”

“Mm. Also pronounced bottomless looney bin, poor lad. I dunno – they said he was okay, but something sounded hinky. I might pop over.”

“In your capacity as a police officer? What about poor Rhys?”

“No, just as Flora’s friend. Rhys can take care of Ross Jones.” He fell silent. The helpless, anxious scrape of Lee’s question hung in the air between them. He propped his hands on his hips, looked first out of the window and then at the rug at Lee’s feet. “All right. Speak.”

Lee couldn’t, not at first. His throat was tight with pent-up fear. He waited until he thought his voice would be calm. “I’ll head Ma off at the pass for you, if you like. On Monday.”

“Er… yeah. That would be good.”

“There’s a new garden centre just opened up outside Truro. With Edwardian tearooms. Ought to be irresistible, even against the prospect of getting beaten up by fascists at a Pride parade.”

“Bloody hell, Lee. You weren’t meant to know.”

“Is that the point? This isn’t like a pub fight or a few kids kicking off at Montol. It’s violence, hatred, right here on our streets in Cornwall, and… and you, right there in the middle of it. I don’t understand – why the hell hasn’t the march just been cancelled?”

Gideon took a step towards him, dismay dawning in his eyes. Lee turned to the sink and blindly ran water into the washing-up bowl. He couldn’t let Gideon get a close-up view of him now, on the edge of stupid tears, fighting like a toddler not to crack and cry outright. It’s not that you’d have gone off and done it, although that thought freezes the marrow in my bones. You’d have done it without letting me know. And here I am, locked up like some sea-widow at home, staring off over the water, knowing the damn ship’s gone down.

Gideon’s arms closed round his waist. “It doesn’t work like that,” he said, his mouth like hot velvet against Lee’s ear. “We don’t know if it’s fascists, or some nutter acting alone, or even if anything’s going to happen at all. Oh, my God, sweetheart – don’t cry.”

“I’m not.” Lee wiped the heel of one wet hand over his eyes. “I’m fine, okay? I’m really sorry.”

“What for?”

“Eavesdropping. Getting in your way. Making things harder for you.”

“You don’t do any of those things.” Gideon rocked him. “Listen – I know this new work’s been tough as fuck on both of us. It’s just… very different, that’s all. I don’t go out and get into the middle of things anymore.”

“That must be killing you.”

“A bit. But I’ll get used to it. As for cancelling, we don’t have nearly enough information to justify that, although…”

He fell into a reverberant silence. Lee, who could read his body as well as his mind, and who knew the village bobby of Dark would have cancelled this march at the breath of a threat to its participants, listened to the tensions in the warm body pressed against his. “Gid, tell me what’s wrong.”

“I saw something. In the orchard.”

Lee’s spine chilled. Was this how it felt to other people, when one of his own visions fell from him unannounced? I can see something. Not a stray dog or one of their distant neighbours’ sheep on the loose – something eerie, not to be contained by earthly walls or defences. “What?”

“Not sure. It went round the front. You stay there.”

He set off at a run. It went without saying that Lee would never obey an order of that kind, and he followed on, securing the porch door behind them. God help any serious intruders, encountering Detective Sergeant Frayne in the garden! If it was Daz or any of his feckless mates, he’d rumble at them like a volcano but send them about their business with startling gentleness. Only once had Lee seen him on the edge of unleashed violence: when Elowen had decided she wanted the baby back, and Zeke and Michel had made the mistake of trying to block his response. Still he’d let Lee bear him down to his knees on the clifftop path. All that power, shuddering and restrained in his arms… “Gideon, hold up. I don’t see anyone.”

“No. Me neither, now.” He came to a halt by the gate. “Hang on – over there. Look.”

He was pointing to the thicket of gorse on the far side of the lane. Lee saw the yellow blossoms quiver, as if someone had passed briskly behind them, but then the heavy stillness of the evening returned.

Advertisements

Cold Fusion – FoxTales edition

CF coverIt’s been a while since I blogged, and the reason is so pitiful I hardly dare share it – I forgot my email/password combo for WordPress and got myself locked out. I know, I know. Desperate. But I’ve hacked back in, and I thought I should share a quick update on the state of play with regard to my Samhain titles.

I think most people know by now that Samhain closed at the end of February. I’ve decided that, on balance, the quickest and most economical way of getting my five Samhain books back into circulation is for me and Missus to cottage-industry them out via FoxTales. This will keep my overheads minimal, and I need to bear that in mind because, although the books did great for me with the publisher, they’ve more or less finished their main sales run.

So, slowly but surely, the books will reappear – Driftwood, The Salisbury Key, Scrap Metal, Brothers of the Wild North Sea. I’ve already got Cold Fusion reissued to Amazon and Smashwords. It feels odd telling people not to buy my books, but please bear in mind that, although the covers will be different, all these new editions will be exactly the same as the Samhain versions you may have purchased. I’m making that clear in the description/blurbs, to avoid confusion. However, if you haven’t yet got your copy of Cold Fusion, here are the buy links, and watch this space for news about the others!

http://bit.ly/ColdFusionUK

http://bit.ly/ColdFusionCom

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/711242

 

My Festive Shortie – Buy Links

wclab_cover

Quite a strange experience, writing this in a fortnight after spending every waking hour since February wrapped up in Seven Summer Nights! I fell in love very fast with Karan and Rob, and I hope you enjoy their little story, too. Here are the buy links:-

http://bit.ly/ChristmasLightsUK

http://bit.ly/ChristmasLightsCom

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/691184

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-whenchristmaslightsareblue-2194019-168.html

Another audiobook giveaway!

halfmoonchambersSo! I think you enjoyed my Last Line audiobook giveaway, and as we plough into the festivities, I’d like to chuck a few more gifties in your direction. This time it’s the Half Moon Chambers audiobook, which, let me tell you, is a rockin’, gorgeous, authentic and lovely adaptation, and I am *fussy* about my voices. 🙂 Once more I have FIVE codes to give away for Audible.com, and TWO for Audible.co.uk, and once more all you have to do is leave a comment telling me which you’d like, and Lucy and I will random-pick some winners on Monday. Good luck! xxx

Audiobook Giveaway! Last Line

LastLine cover finalWell, let’s get this audiobook giveaway launched! I’ve been waiting because, although I have gift codes for Audible.com and Audible.co.uk, I’m not sure how my European friends can get their hands (or ears) on the prizes. I’ve asked Audible about it, and I’m waiting to hear back, but meanwhile I have FIVE .com and TWO .co.uk codes for the Last Line audiobooks to give away. Who wants ’em? Just leave a comment here and tell me whether you’d need codes for Audible.com or Audible.co.uk. I’ll pick my magnificent seven winners on Tuesday. It’s a brilliant production, with a proper Brit narrator and everything! 😀

Seven Summer Winners!

lucycomp041216Well, this was a great little competition. Thank you so much for all the comments. Tyack & Frayne was a winner by a head, neck, and most of the horse, but there were a lot of votes for The Salisbury Key – more than I’d anticipated, and I’ll definitely bear this in mind for the future. It was all food for thought, that’s for sure. I do feel very called to return my attentions to Gideon and Lee as soon as possible in the New Year, but if I’m granted time, strength and imagination, I will eventually turn my attentions to Daniel and Rayne, Sasha and Laurie, and that brand-new Foxanormal. 😀

I really appreciate that so many of you took the time to share your thoughts with me. I had plenty of names to put into my absurd woolly hat, and Lucy (as you can see) was very excited about picking seven of you out. Here are the winners:

From here at the blog – Simon, Carolyn, Dewi and Pat Steifer

And from Facebook –

Justine Anderson, Mary Grimm and Chrystalla Thoma.

Congrats to you all! Now I need to know what prizes you’d like. Please email me at harperfox777@yahoo.co.uk, or PM me on Facebook with your email addie. Remember, you can choose any ebook from my current list – check it out at www.harperfox.net/books – and that includes Seven Summer Nights, or if you’ve already got those, I’ll put you down for a copy of my Christmas novella, releasing, I sincerely hope, on 22nd December. If I fail miserably in my festive ambitions, I’ll put you down for whatever comes next off the busy FoxTales press!

Well, what should I write next, then?

seven-summer-nights-customdesign-jayaheer2016-banner1

Seven Summer Nights is out! Here are the buy links:-

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/SevenSummerNightsUK

Amazon.com: http://bit.ly/SevenSummerNights

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/686203

All Romance eBooks

Now, I think I warned you over on my Facebook page that there would be FUN. I want to give some books away, dammit! And I also want to pick your brains a bit, so this is a two-birds-with-one-stone job.

I’m exhausted after finished Seven Summer Nights, and I’ve had to dive straight into some very hard on my festive shortie, which may or may not happen. It has a great title – When Christmas Lights Are Blue – but I understand that it also has to have some words in it to make it saleable.

Honestly, you lot are so demanding. 😀

So, here’s a not-exactly-competition. Anyone who gives me an answer will get their names put into Lucy’s little hat in the usual way, and on Sunday I will pick out seven of you – yes, seven, because, y’know, Seven Summer Nights, and… well, marketing. (I know how to do this stuff!) My seven winners can choose an ebook each, and it can be Seven Summer Nights, anything from my backlist, or, if they’re lovely folks who’ve already bought every word I’ve written (and have I told you lately that I love you?), I’ll put them down for a copy of When Christmas Lights Are Blue. Or – as I have to say, because time is running out, and my brains are quite broken – if my Christmas Lights don’t switch on in time, I’ll put those winners’ names down for a free copy of whatever I write next.

Which brings me to the competition. What the hell do I write next? I’ve got a few ideas noodling around in my skull, and I’d love some feedback on what would be most popular. Just tell me, either here in the comments or over at my Facebook, which option you’d like to see emerging next from the FoxTales Factory – either 1, 2, 3 or 4. I’m not saying I’ll take any notice of the winning choice… because I’m a monster, mu-hah-hahhhh! …but your opinion will definitely influence my thinking, and although I’m plainly a little bit delirious and hysterical today, I’d really value your thoughts. And, as I say, there’s no “right answer” to get your name put in the hat – I just need a number.

So, here we go:-

Option 1: Sasha and Laurie Get Married. This would be book three of the Midwinter Prince series, and, as you might gather from the title, perhaps not as serious as the previous two. It will be a fun romp. But you know life is never straightforward for my Prince boys, so I’d also be taking a fun look at post-Brexit Britain and the upsurge in racism and general intolerance as the lads negotiate their way to the altar. I know, right? So much fun. 😀

Option 2: A Salisbury Key sequel. I’d have to sell this one to Samhain because they still hold the rights, but it’s definitely something I’d consider if enough folks wanted to see it. Summer and Winter Rayne still have a lot to say for themselves, and fans will know that I left Winter on the verge of a rather amazing discovery. And Dan and Rayne are settling now into their long-term romance, and have many adventures in store.

Option 3: Preacher, Prophet, Beast. Another good title, I think, and, “What would that be for, Harper?” I hear you say. Well, what that would be for is book seven in the Tyack & Frayne series, and I think a few of you might just enjoy another encounter with Gideon and Lee. I’m planning a longer book for them this time, and a great deal of danger and upheaval in the strange world of Dark.

Option 4: A brand-new novel, and I really don’t have many more ideas beyond that, except that I think I’d like to go contemporary, adventurous, maybe with a big dash of magic thrown in. I don’t want to say “paranormal”, because I love my readers who don’t love paranormals and I want to keep ’em, so paranormal to the extent that the Tyack & Frayne series is paranormal – ie a strong real-world setting, but all kinds of gateways opening out of that into mysterious realms. Which, for me, is just the way things are, so perhaps I need a new category. Fox-anormal?!

 

There you go, then.  Tell me which of those appeals the most, and on Sunday, Lucy Fur and I will pick the winners. I’ve had a very small peek, and Seven Summer Nights is doing fine. I never chart outrageously with my indie-pubbed work, but a visit to the top hundred on Amazon is lovely, and very much appreciated, so thank you to everyone who’s bought the book so far, and I really hope you enjoy it.