I’m taking part in an awesome Christmas sale event 🙂
This is going to be right up the alley of anyone who loves LGBTQ historical romance: fourteen authors with favourite books on sale for the next two weeks. Follow the posts to learn about the books and their settings and read tantalising excerpts, then visit the links to pick up a great read for half-price or less from December 12 – 24. You’ll find details of these bargains and where to find them at the end of this post.
I decided to feature Unnatural in the event, a standalone novel that is set in the Enlightenment world. Normally $3.99, it’s going to be $1.99 during this event.
I wrote this book because I wanted to continue to write about the ideas that run through the main Enlightenment trilogy which were generally around Enlightenment-style thinking i.e. the rejection of long-held ideas based on superstition, tradition etc. in favour of ideas based on measured, observed reality. In the main trilogy, David and Murdo (eventually) throw off their old ideas about themselves and society and take up new ideas based on the experiences they have together and of each other. It wasn’t an idea I was ready to let go of when I got to end of Enlightened, so, in Unnatural, I developed the idea a little further by making one of my characters, James, a scientist and naturalist whose whole outlook on life is shaped by his observations of the natural world…
When he got to the end of the garden, his dancing slippers were soaked from the wet grass, but he didn’t care, just leaned on the fence and looked out over the little manmade lake his grandfather had created fifty years before, James’s favourite place on the whole estate.
He wasn’t sure how long he stood there, just looking out over the water, or when he became aware of the presence of others nearby. At first all he heard was a low chuckle of laughter, then the murmur of voices—two at least, or were there three? However many there were, the voices were male, the husky laughter they shared, low and intimate—and growing nearer. James didn’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone. He stepped back into the shadow of one of the willows that ringed the lake, hiding himself, and waited for the owners of those voices to materialise, searching his shadowy surroundings with his keen scientist’s gaze.
They emerged at last from a clump of trees twenty yards away, two figures, walking side by side. Their shirts blazed white in the darkness making James frown with puzzlement till they drew nearer and he realised they’d been swimming. The wet linen clung to their torsos, and both of them carried some bundled-up clothing under their arms.
It was Iain. Iain and, of all people, Mellick, one of the grooms. Laughing together—like equals.
James realised they were going to pass the willow he stood under. He stepped back, even further into the shadows, moving slowly and carefully so as to make no noise, obscuring himself behind the solid arching trunk of the old tree.
They didn’t notice him, just walked on, still murmuring to each other, chuckling softly now and then.
After a little while, James realised where they were going—they were making for the boathouse, growing more careful as they drew closer to the ramshackle building, both of them looking around several times before, one after the other, they entered, and the door closed behind them.
From his place in the shadows, James felt as though his breath had got stuck in his throat. Only when the two men were out of sight behind that closed door did he manage to gasp a breath. He knew what this was, or he thought he did, and now he was feeling too many things all at once. Curiosity and excitement, and anger too, that Iain had wanted this more than he wanted to be with James tonight.
But of course, this was different.
He’d suspected as soon as he’d caught that first glimpse of them emerging from the trees, heard the soft, intimate music of their voices. James might have no experience himself, but he’d heard about men who indulged in…unnatural desires. Men who did the very things that he spent hours in his bed at night trying to imagine while he stroked his aching prick.
He would never have thought that Iain would want this, though. Iain, who was so manly and vigorous. Iain, who was the most bruising horseman James knew, who could bowl anyone out at cricket. Iain, who could run faster, climb higher, swim more strongly than anyone.
Without consciously deciding to do it, James found himself walking slowly towards the boathouse, his steps carefully silent. He knew these paths like the back of his hand, had been walking them since he was a tiny boy collecting tadpoles in spring, and he made no sound as he approached the wooden structure that housed the rowing boats for the lake.
Silently, he drew closer to the single, small window. A faint glow from within told him they’d lit a candle, a reckless decision since, even standing a couple of paces back from the glass, James could make out the two men inside as they came together.
They put their arms around each other so that they stood chest to chest, and then their lips were meeting—
They were kissing each other…
Now discover a new author. Find a new book to read. Click on the “website” links to read the authors’ posts:
The Reluctant Berserker
Era: Early Medieval/Dark Ages Saxon
February and December (Dominus Calendar Series I)
Era: Imperial Rome
Amazon Worldwide $0.99/.99p
Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee
Simon and the Christmas Spirit (Victorian Holiday Hearts series)
Christina E. Pilz
Fagin’s Boy: The Further Particulars of a Parish Boy’s Progress
On Wings of Song
Era: WWI – 1920
Era: Early 20th Century New Orleans
Era: American Revolution
Era: pre-Civil War Key West, Florida
Dreamspinner $.89c Dec.19 only
Man & Monster
Era: 1799, America
Ganymede: Abducted by the Gods
Era: Bronze Age, fantasy, alternate myth
Men of the Cross (Battle Scars I)
Era: Medieval – 12th century