Sarah Granger – A Minor Inconvenience book tour

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In A Minor Inconvenience, Hugh’s sister Sophia is rather taken with a gentleman whom Hugh scornfully dismisses as modelling himself after one of Lord Byron’s heroes. The gentleman in question bears all the hallmarks of being misunderstood, brooding and mysterious, with a disdain of social norms. To Sophia’s dismay, the whole concept of a darkly handsome romantic hero is quite lost on Hugh (at least, until Theo Lindsay turns up).

Although that reference to the Byronic hero is the sum total of Lord Byron’s connection to the book, I stumbled across some rather fun facts about him in the course of my more general research, which I thought others might find as interesting as I did.

As well as the whole tempestuous affair with Lady Caroline Lamb and suspected incestuous relationship with his half-sister, he had a more redeeming feature—his love for animals. Forbidden by college rules from keeping a pet dog in his rooms at Cambridge, Byron instead had a tame bear. When his favourite dog, Boatswain, was ill with rabies, Byron nursed him. Given that Boatswain was a Newfoundland—not exactly a small dog—and rabid dogs can become vicious, that seems to me to be taking affection to extremes. I suppose it might be accounted for by the ‘mad’ element of mad, bad, and dangerous to know. Byron intended that they be interred together. As it happened, they weren’t, and Boatswain’s tomb is larger than Byron’s.

Byron apparently travelled with a menagerie. Percy Shelley reported the following when visiting Byron in Venice:

Lord B.’s establishment consists, besides servants, of ten horses, eight enormous dogs, three monkeys, five cats, an eagle, a crow, and a falcon; and all these, except the horses, walk about the house, which every now and then resounds with their unarbitrated quarrels, as if they were the masters of it. . . . [P.S.] I find that my enumeration of the animals in this Circean Palace was defective . . . . I have just met on the grand staircase five peacocks, two guinea hens, and an Egyptian crane.

Lord ByronOn a slightly less whimsical note, there’s the enduring tale that Byron used to drink from a human skull that was found in the grounds of his home, the half-ruined Newstead Abbey, and thought to be that of one of the monks who had lived there. He celebrated the idea in his poem, suitably titled “Lines upon a cup formed from a skull”.

Byron engaged his valet, William Fletcher, after seeing him ploughing a field. Which is always a good skill to have in a valet, of course. One never knows when it might be necessary to leave off blacking boots and starching neckcloths and engage in some agricultural activities. One of Mr. Fletcher’s duties was to rub Lord Byron down after exercise. What with this and the shenanigans of Byron’s muscular young gondolier, I’m quite surprised more of his exploits didn’t end up finding their way into the book. Another time, perhaps!

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Sarah’s Official Tour Page:

http://authoressentials.virtualwritersinc.com/2014/03/a-minor-inconvenience-by-sarah-granger/

About Minor Inconvenience

  • Title: A Minor Inconvenience
  • Author: Sarah Granger
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
  • Release Date: 14th January, 2014
  • Genre: M/M Historical Romance

A_Minor_InconvenienceDuty, honor, propriety…all fall in the face of love. 

Captain Hugh Fanshawe returned from the Peninsular War with a leg that no longer works properly, thanks to a French musket ball. Now his fight against Napoleon is reduced to quiet, lonely days compiling paperwork at Horse Guards headquarters.

His evenings are spent dutifully escorting his mother and sister to stifling social engagements, where his lameness renders him an object of pity and distaste. But his orderly, restricted life is thrown into sudden disarray with the arrival of Colonel Theo Lindsay.

Theo is everything Hugh is not-a man of physical perfection and easy yet distinguished address. Surprisingly to Hugh, Theo appears to be interested in making his acquaintance. Lindsay turns out to be a most convivial companion, and Hugh finds great pleasure in his company. Their friendship deepens when they become lovers.

In spite of himself, Hugh falls desperately in love. But when a French spy is suspected at Horse Guards, Hugh discovers nothing is as it seems.and the paper he shuffles from day to day could be the instrument of his lover’s death.

Warning: Contains gallant English officers in love, dastardly French spies, skintight pantaloons (sometimes on the floor) and gleaming tasselled Hessians.

Excerpt:

Hugh was so turned about by the time the next set of dances ended that he had lost sight entirely of Lindsay. He retreated to the edge of the room, seeking a wall to stand against, only to find a hand placed in the small of his back and Lindsay’s voice close against his ear. “Escaping already, Fanshawe? I cannot permit that. We must present a united front if we are to prevail.”

Smiling, he turned his head. Lindsay looked even more handsome than Hugh had remembered, the silver buttons on his uniform coat sparkling in the light and his grey eyes filled with warmth along with the lazy amusement they so often showed.

“Does your united front permit a strategic regrouping?” Hugh asked.

“Music to my ears, Fanshawe. What have you in mind?”

“I was thinking a glass of punch and perhaps some cool air in the hall.”

“With a tactical brain like that, I can’t think how you have not yet been gazetted as general.”

Procuring a glass of cold punch each, they escaped to the hall that ran the length of the house. It proved to be a busy thoroughfare, used by those seeking to move to the card room or the dressing room, or simply to take some cooler air. In unspoken agreement, they moved to the far end and the large window onto Grosvenor Square, where they would not be disturbed. As Hugh turned to speak to Lindsay, he spied a familiar and extremely unwelcome figure reaching the top of the stairs. Stanton was here, and although Hugh thought he cut a most peculiar character in his striped waistcoat, he was fairly sure Sophia would be less discriminating in her taste.

“Damn it,” he said, momentarily forgetting he was in company.

Lindsay followed his line of sight. “Ah,” he said. “I had the impression the other night that Stanton was dangling after your sister.”

“In a manner of speaking,” Hugh concurred grimly.

“I suspected as much. Perhaps what gave me the first clue was when he likened her eyes to the beauty of stars sparkling like bright diamonds in a sky of black velvet and her smile to the sunrise that graced the dew of Eden’s first dawn.”

Hugh turned a revolted eye upon him. “No,” he begged. “No, for God’s sake, even he would not be so—so—”

“Lost in the poetical throes of passionate romance?” Lindsay suggested.

“I was about to say making a cake of himself,” Hugh said. “But Sophia—I am sure that no matter how handsome she might think him, she would never hear such nonsense without succumbing to giggles.”

“It’s possible I exaggerated his words a little,” Lindsay confessed. “Perhaps he merely mentioned how prettily her eyes shone and that her smile could light the room.”

“Well, that’s bad enough,” Hugh said indignantly. “What sort of a fellow spouts such claptrap?”

“I take it you have never courted a lady,” Lindsay said. “At least, not successfully.”

Hugh choked on his punch. And then something, whether honesty or some inner demon, prompted him to answer. “No, I never have.”

Lindsay fastened his eyes on Hugh’s suddenly, and the look in them was such that Hugh found it difficult to breathe.

Praise for A Minor Inconvenience

“…this romance is one of the best period pieces I’ve ever read.” Rainbow Reviews

“Sense and Sensibility meets A Minor Inconvenience ~ I just loved the way this book read; like reading a gay Jane Austen.In the best tradition of a sweeping historical background, Sarah sets the scene for a great romance with all the trimmings and style of the regency era…. The story is intricate and beautifully written.” Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews  (A Minor Inconvenience was one of the site’s Hotpicks for January)

“The writing is beautiful, some of the wry, clever speeches laugh-out-loud funny, and throughout the whole there is such a sense of time and place that you forget that this mundane world of ours isn’t one of breeches and Almacks, Vauxhall gardens and opera dancers.” Anna Butler

“.the humor in this story is a treat!… I applaud the author for delivering a fresh, captivating plot and such wonderfully unique characters as Hugh and Theo. If you are fancying a highly entertaining historical story – you can’t go wrong here.” Live your life, buy the book 

“I loved this book..I think anyone who loves historical romance written in the style of its setting and who likes a plot based story will love it too.” Mrs Condit & Friends Read Books

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Minor-Inconvenience-Sarah-Granger-ebook/dp/B00FSDBKJ4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1397655814&sr=1-1

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-minor-inconvenience-sarah-granger/1117165789?ean=9781619217669

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/a-minor-inconvenience

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18670544-a-minor-inconvenience

About Sarah Granger

Sarah Granger is a sucker for a happy ending. She believes, however, that characters will only fully appreciate their happy ending if they’ve suffered along the way.

Sarah lives in the Cotswolds, an idyllic part of the English countryside with gently rolling hills, dry stone walls of golden stone and fields dotted with sheep. She has shamefully broken with local tradition by not having a rose growing around her front door. When she isn’t writing, Sarah enjoys walking in the countryside with her elderly black Labrador.

Social Links: Website | Goodreads  | Facebook


Susan MacNicol – Double Alchemy Blog Tour, Interview, and Giveaway!

Please welcome the fabulous Susan MacNicol who’s stopped by on her Double Alchemy book tour to answer some questions on writing, social media, music, and more!
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What was the most challenging part of writing Double Alchemy?

I think it was tying together all the back story and facts into a cohesive whole. Trying to make sure I’d covered all the events I’d mentioned, explained them satisfactorily so that book 1 could come to a conclusion that wasn’t a cliff hanger as I don’t like those. It was making sure that the timeline flowed well, that the events happened logically and nothing was left to chance. There are a lot of little incidents all needing to knit together.

Is there a genre of M/M Romance you haven’t written that you would like to write? (i.e. Historical, Fantasy, Horror)

I’ve said before I’d love to do a historical M/M around the time of Victorian London and Jack the Ripper, a subject that holds a bizarre fascination for me. I want a really rich, sweeping saga that takes place over many years as opposed to my usual stories. I haven’t given it much thought, but I will do when I get some time.

Do you work on multiple manuscripts at once or do you limit yourself to one at a time?

I tend to work on one at a time, finish it then start the next. But I have been known to digress and write some short novellas in between working on the longer books I’m busy with. Plus I’m writing a fictional book based on fact – a factional book if you like- with Sue Brown about child sex abuse in the Boy Scouts. This is done whenever I get a spare moment. Which isn’t often. :(

How do you balance your time between writing and social media?

You can actually balance that? Oh my God, I never knew…*chuckles* it tends to take over. I have to be very careful not to let it. It’s such a necessary part of the writing endeavor and critical to an author’s success. I tend to write and then pop in and do some socialising, then write some more. I also have a Male Pole Dancing group on Facebook so I need to give that some TLC as well…

Do you listen to music while you write?

I do sometimes. I like noise when I work, I don’t sit in a study all by myself. I sit in the lounge, with the family around, the TV blaring, the dog going mad because he wants a walk and I simply zone out. But I love listening to Foo Fighters, Kasabian, The Killers, Muse and a myriad of other rock groups when I write. I have some playlists on Soundcloud if anyone wants to take a look.

https://soundcloud.com/sue-mac-nicol

Have you ever had characters try to change/succeed in changing the direction of your story? Do you let them roam free and follow them where they want to go, or do you reel them back in and move on as you intended?

I am one of those writers who have absolutely no pre conceived idea about my characters, my plot, or the story. I begin a book with three of four main characters, brief description as to looks and personality (I tend to model them on star signs, yep, true) and perhaps a page of the story from start to finish. Then I simply sit down and write. So the characters develop as I write, their like, dislikes, habits, quirks and that’s essentially it.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take 5 items with you (food and water is provided), what would you take with you?

There had better be wireless as I’d need my smartphone and my Kindle. It can get pretty boring on a desert island by myself and I need the book boyfriends.

Sunscreen

A comfortable blanket or *sighs* a Onesie – I don’t wear a Onesie – ever – but perhaps this might be the time to start.

Some writing paper and a pen so I can write that ‘great novel’

What kind of research did you have to do for Double Alchemy?

As I’m already very much into magic and witchcraft being a Wiccan, it was easy enough to take certain elements from the book and translate them into fiction. The magyck of Matthew Hopkins, as I’ve said, is something very close to home and the kind ladies and gents at the Mistley Museum were very obliging in filling in any gaps. They were honoured that I was writing about a local legend, even if he was a real person. I took a trip out to Mistley, took photos of the area, had tea in a local café and thoroughly enjoyed my research trip.

If you could be friends with any of your characters, who would it be and why?

Definitely Shane. I love his talent as a hacker and I’m one of those who like to ‘stick it to the man’. So his talents would come in incredibly useful when I’m figuring out which conspiracy the government is trying to cover up at the moment and also divest some parliamentary fat cats out of their not so hard earned money, and into my bank account.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?

The real pleasure I get is when someone tells me how much they enjoyed reading my books. It’s such a buzz to have people tell you the ways they loved it as the story is different for everyone. I love the fan art they send me, pictures of my guys with quotes from the book that mean something to that reader. It’s a huge compliment. Just simply being acknowledged and thanked for making someone happy in that way is the best reward.

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About Double Alchemy

Title: Double Alchemy
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Release Date: 25th March, 2014
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance

Double_AlchemyPowerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.

THE WORLD IN SHADOW

In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.

In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await.

Purchase Links

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com.au | Amazon.ca

Boroughs Publishing Group | Smashwords | All Romance eBooks

Susan’s Tour Schedule

Praise for Double Alchemy

I love Paranormal stories & I’m a huge fan of Susan Mac Nicol’s M/M books. In this book, she brings both genres together & gives us this amazing story. With her master storytelling, she takes us into the mystical & magical world of Witches, Warlocks, Withinners & Feys. A world where danger lurks in the shadows.” – Maria Recchia

“I stayed up all night reading this story. Susan has a way of writing that is different than anyone else. She’s uniquely brilliant at weaving a tale that brings out my emotions. I have laughed in every one of her stories. That’s incredible for me. Not just a smile, but a laugh. I love that. This book needs to be read. You won’t be disappointed.” – Author Kindle Alexander

Praise for Susan Mac Nicol

We have to re-iterate that this Author will always be an automatic one-click for us. Her writing is flawless and her flawed characters are completely lovable. There’s always something quirky and fun in her stories as well as drama, angst and heaps of passion! We can highly recommend!!” – Gitte & Jenny – Totally Booked Blog

“Susan has been hailed as a genius writer of male/male literature. Her Saving Alexander has been nominated for several awards and has been reviewed widely. Congrats on all your success, Susan. You have earned it.” – Gay Lit Authors

susanmacnicholAbout Susan Mac Nicol

Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, UK, and left for South Africa when she was eight. She returned to the UK thirty years later and now lives in Essex. Her debut novel Cassandra by Starlight, the first in a trilogy, was published last year by Boroughs Publishing Group in the US. Sue’s latest story, Double Alchemy is her fifth m/m romance.

Sue has written since she was very young, and never thought she would see herself becoming a Romance writer, being a horror/psychological thriller reader all her life. But the Romance genre is now something very close to her heart and she intends continuing the trend.

Sue is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists Association here in the UK.

Susan Mac Nicol is also author of The Magick of ChristmasConfounding Cupid, Cassandra by StarlightTogether in StarlightStripped BareSaving AlexanderWorth Keeping and Waiting for Rain.

Social Links: Website | Blog| Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

B. Snow – Chats on Pre-Releases, the Writing Process, Hobbies, and Swag Ideas.

Hi, all, Charlie has graciously allowed me to guest blog today!

When I asked her what might be good to chat about, she gave me a whole list of topics (because she’s awesome), so I decided to let my short attention span run free like the wind, and will be blathering about:

pre-releases

writing process

hobbies

swag/craft ideas

And to make the post more interesting, I’m going to randomly insert pictures of our cat.

Pre-releases: not even at the pre-release stage yet. I will have two stories in upcoming anthologies, but I’m not sure what the titles will be yet.

One anthology has the theme of bedtime stories and will probably have that as the title. It will be published by Wilde City Press. My story for that anthology is currently titled “Miles To Go” and is about Joe, his wife, Marty, and their young son, Ethan. Other than having bouts of insomnia, Joe is perfectly content with his life until Marty gets the completely insane idea that he’s gay and moves out. Joe will do anything to keep his family together, including agreeing to Marty’s condition of going out on seven dates with men to see if anything “sparks”. To facilitate these dates, Marty hires a babysitter, Danny, who is smart, responsible, and great with Ethan, but just a little too good-looking and flirtatious for Joe’s comfort. But that would really only be a problem if Joe were gay, right?

The second story is a fundraiser anthology from Less Than Three Press for Project Fierce Chicago, a charity that plans to provide transitional housing to homeless LGBT youth. As you may know, even though LGBT people are at most 10% of the population, LGBT kids make up 40% of homeless youth. Since I’m lucky enough to never have even come close to being homeless, I wrote “Hearth and Home” as a sort of fairytale. It’s also my only F/F story – that just worked better for my idea, plus it’s not just boys that get kicked out of their homes for liking someone of the same gender.

Natasha’s stepmother piles work on her at home, but it’s not bad enough for Natasha to consider marrying a man she doesn’t love, even if he is a prince. When she gets thrown out of the house for confessing that she likes girls, she ends up in the city without a copper in her pocket. She eventually finds a hearth to sleep on and wins people over with her heart and intelligence. She’s smart enough to know that Amelia, a lady-in-waiting she met at the ball, is too far out of reach for a poor girl to even dream about. And yet she can’t stop dreaming about her.

So, that’s pre-releases. My process as a writer? Write a little, slowly, then complain about it a lot. No, actually, I think I need to go back to what I used to when I first started: write out the parts that wrote themselves in my head, even if it’s the most major pain in the ass afterwards to string them all together and by that point in the writing, the story has changed so some of those scenes don’t even work anymore. But it would probably still be faster than trying to write chronologically and getting stuck.

What would also help is the weather warming up, so the cat won’t need to sit on my lap and lie across my arm as I’m trying to type.

pic 1 for Charlie's blog-cat across armI can’t be mad at her, though; it’s the first winter since we lost our other cat, and while she didn’t like him much, she did like his warmth.

pic 2 for Charlie's blog - cats getting along

(The cats getting along because winter)

pic 3 for Charlie's blog - cat helping me write

(The cat “helping” me write)

Hobbies! I’m throwing this one out to you all. How do you read and write and watch TV shows and movies and knit and get it all done? I seem to be able to do only one thing at a time, unless it’s a knitting project that’s JUST knit stitches. I can watch or read if it’s just knit stitches, because I don’t have to look or count. So how do you all divide up your time? Schedules? Timer? Color-coded charts like Hermione made for schoolwork?

And a question: do any of you like to read short stories? I have two WIP short stories in various stages of completion. Should I try to get them published? I mean, is there an audience for them? I could put “Emily’s Magical Bejeweled Codpiece” (yes, that’s the real title) up as a free read if I had a few more things out for people to actually buy. Currently, all I have out are these:

What I Learned From My Roommate in Alyson Books’ Dorm Porn 2

DormPorn2cover

From A Simmer To A Burn in Dreamspinner Press’ Cross Bones

Crossbones cover

and my only standalone book so far, also from Dreamspinner Press, A Cunning Plan

CunningPlan_postcard_front_DSP

Really, I don’t know what I was thinking with that one. it’s a Regency with just enough paranormal to piss off historical purists but not enough paranormal for paranormal fans.

Ooh, and swag ideas. I thought about making quilted tote bags as swag for my novella A Cunning Plan, even though I don’t know how to quilt. If you choose prizes for a giveaway, would it be a quilted tote bag, a pair of hand-knitted wristwarmers, or an e-copy of a book? 

Charlie, thanks again for letting me ramble. Time to go get some tea!