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#RainbowSnippets: Curious Adventures

rainbow keeper, put the fairy rainbow on the sky, magic ship in the dreamland, scene from wonderland,

image copyright Nadiaforkosh

Happy Saturday! And Happy Autumn too! I hope you all had a fabulous equinox and the
subsequent deluge hasn’t washed you all away! Autumn has definitely arrived with force here and I’ve moved all my wimpy plants indoors before the frosts hit but we still have tomatoes and sunflowers doing well in the garden and bees pottering about 🙂

 

Here’s my #RainbowSnippets post for this week – if you’re new to this, Rainbow Snippets is a chance to read and share 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every Saturday. There’s a huge variety from Steampunk, like mine, to Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Comedy and everything in between. You can join the fun and read all the other fabulous snippets at the wonderfully friendly and supportive official facebook group here.
This week I’m snipping from the first book in my Ashton’s Kingdom series, The Curious
Adventures Of Smith And Skarry, which is now available to pre-order on Kindle or free if you sign up to support us on Patreon. Hugest thanks to everyone who has already pre-ordered, I’ve been really blown away by the support from everyone, it really does mean so much, thankyou 😀

 

This story started life on my kitchen wall, scribbled on the backs of envelopes and slips of paper whenever I got the chance and blue-tacked in place until there wasn’t room for any more and I had to start typing it up! It includes diverse characters from across the gender spectrum and beneath the humorous veneer it asks big questions about the important issues of power, identity and, most importantly,  fine china.

 

For reference, if you’ve been enjoying the Jack and Marjory snippets, this story happens immediately before those events, so Jack and Marjory are still working down the treacle mine at this point – and the Pirate Captain on the front cover is Jack Diamond who rescues them in book two 🙂
If you’d like some world background you can find it here in the INTRODUCTION which is at the start of the book as well.

Am I over-excited-nervous-babbling? lol, I think I may be…

This is the opening of the first chapter….

 

 

“You know what to do?”
“I know what you want me to do.”Jonathan Skarry tugged at his leather gloves and glanced up
and down the street. The rain-licked cobbles winked at him like a militia of snail shells in the
light from the guttering gas lamps overhead. He wasn’t nervous. He was reluctant, certainly, but
his reluctance had nothing whatever to do with getting caught.

 

Untitled design (1)

The evil overlord Wiz has seized control of all the tea, cake and magic in the universe. In a world crammed with dubious science and cream-powered technology, crippled by sugar tax and loose leaf ration books, overrun by cake smugglers, tea fiends and lemonade dealers, ruled over by Tea Time Lords and policed by vigilante mechanical angels, only a band of truly extraordinary adventurers can bring down this oppressive empire and save the good people of Ire from this tea time tyranny. Could these two would-be wizards, Messrs Smith and Skarry, and their band of land pirates, skywaymen, witches, orphans and other relentless rogues, be the anti-heroes The New World has been waiting for, or have they simply stirred up an enormous storm in a rather tiny teacup?

 

Wishing you all a most splendiferous week and don’t forget to check in at the #rainbowsnippets facebook group for more fabulous snippets of LGBTQIA+ fiction

#indiethursday: Tales Of Hopeless Maine Kickstarter

 

This #indiethursday I’m doing something a little different and waving the flag for the Tales Of Hopeless Maine Kickstarter which is steaming its way towards its third stretch goal! There are just 4 days to go to support this awesome project so here’s all you need to know…

Do you like adventure stories? Steampunk? Monsters and magic? Dashing heroines, doughty heroes? Do you like Verne, Wells, Lovecraft and Burroughs? Well here are two cracking yarns that you are going to love, both based around the popular world of Hopeless, Maine and both with illustrations by Tom Brown himself.

Why are there two books in this Kickstarter? Because printing them together will cost less overall, and we can still give you the choice to buy one, or both of the books.

Hopeless, Maine (for those of you who have not yet visited) is an island lost in time. Haunted and tentacle beset, it is home to strange creatures and even stranger people.

The Oddatsea is a set of four short stories that tell the tale of a Victorian adventuress; Lady Alison Pettigrew, who sets out in her steam-powered submarine to investigate the rumours around a mysterious island. Will she survive the perilous voyage? What befalls her? What does her dashing nephew Jason do? And how will it all end?

The first of these two Tales of Hopeless, Maine is written by Keith Errington, a professional, published author who writes comedy and adventure in equal measure. (You might also know his very best friend Count Rostov?)

 

New England Gothic is the story of Annmarie Nightshade, an orphan who becomes a witch on the island of Hopeless, Maine. There are betrayals, heartbreak and many dangers to overcome but there are also wonders, near escapes and strange journeys. You will meet dark sorcerers, a mad inventor in a lighthouse and the strangest familiar in the history of witchcraft.

This second tale is written by Tom’s partner and co-creator of Hopeless, Maine, Nimue Brown. It goes back in time to reveal the childhood and origin story of one of Hopeless, Maine’s most famous magical inhabitants – Annamarie Nightshade.

This is a prequel to the steampunk graphic novel series Hopeless, Maine. It stands alone but fans of the series will find much that they did not know, which will cast the events in Hopeless, Maine in an entirely new light.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE KICKSTARTER PAGE 

 

http://kck.st/2Zne2Tb

 

 

 

#MythpunkMonday: Table For The Dead

Happy #MythpunkMonday!

Thanks so much for journeying along with me so far, or if your new then very much welcome aboard!

A lot of my own stories centre around the strife and tension suffered by cultures who come seeking refuge, fleeing war and persecution, when the host country fails to welcome and respect them as human beings with established beliefs, values and ways of life.

These deserve to be valued wherever possible, just as those of the established culture are already, but so often they instead become embedded in a strange juxtaposition of both shame and ferocious pride.

When our beliefs, culture, language, skin colour, clothes and ways of being are treated as strange or unnatural by others (especially if they are outlawed, as in the case of the original Rromani refugees in Europe) those precious things which are innately ours can become a source of shame and we can feel the need (perhaps in fear of our lives or liberties) to hide them.

At the same time, in hiding them there is a sense of ritual preservation – a keeping close, a treasuring – and that can become obsessive and unnatural in itself as the evolution of ideas which would take place naturally over time with each generation is now not allowed to happen.

Sacred things die. They are not passed on. Partly out of fear – putting the young ones in danger. Partly our of pride – this knowledge will die with us, the last pure ones, it cannot be trusted to anyone else now, it will become diluted and destroyed or turned against us all.

I’m going to share with you an extract from ‘Mulengi Sinija’ which means Table For The Dead. This is a small shrine of sweet treats laid out for the ancestors to encourage them to remember the next generation, the little ones, and watch over them and visa versa to encourage the young children to enjoy communing with their ancestors.

Here though, the celebration is taking place in a strange new land where the characters are forced to hide who they truly are (firebirds living secretly amongst a population of spiders) and the irony is that the precious link between young and old, past and present, ancestors and living is being lost as the generations pass and so the title is more a lamenting ; a saying goodbye, rather than the celebration it was meant to be….

Mulengi Sinija Extract:

There is a weight, more than the fabric, of that long black skirt and the high necked lace shirt she heaves up over her fire form. Here are the white-beaked masques now with their golden glitter and their gaudy plumes, here are the capes of scarlet velveteen, the sun is sinking with a sigh to the guillotine.

One more cup before we have to go? We drink it slow. Drink deep the thousand stories calligraphed in dark amber there against the white. And when it is all gone, step out into the night.

 

If you liked the extract you can read the rest of it on my sister site here:

https://faithintheteapot.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/mulengi-sinija/

 

Thankyou for joining me for MythpunkMonday! I really hope you’ve enjoyed it and if you have, feel free to join in and share some Marvellous Mythpunk that you have written, created or enjoyed. You can share using the #MythpunkMonday hashtag or in the comments here below if you like and I will continue to make this a regular Monday thing 🙂

#RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory

rainbow keeper, put the fairy rainbow on the sky, magic ship in the dreamland, scene from wonderland,

image copyright Nadiaforkosh

Happy Saturday! This is going to be my last snippet from Jack and Marjory for a little while because the first book in the series (Jack and Marjory is just a side story really) is available for pre-order today on kindle  so I’ll be snipping from that instead and you’ll get to hear all about Max and his octopus Collin and meet Captain Jack Diamond who helps Jack and Marjory escape the treacle mines (in book 2).

But for now, here’s my #RainbowSnippets post for this week – if you’re new to this, Rainbow Snippets is a chance to read and share 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every Saturday. There’s a huge variety from Steampunk, like mine, to Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Comedy and everything in between. You can join the fun and read all the other fabulous snippets at the wonderfully friendly and supportive official facebook group here 🙂

So, here is the next snippet from Jack and Marjory – my novella-in-progress which gives two of my Bi-Gendered characters a chance to tell something of their own little side-adventure, which actually had a massive impact on the history of Ire in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ kind of way.

If you missed last week’s snippet you can catch up here: #RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory

If you want to start from the beginning you can do so here: https://blakeandwight.com/2018/09/29/rainbowsnippets-jack-and-marjory/

To re-cap, Jack and Marjory have temporarily forgotten all about the priceless teaset and are feeling star struck at a so cool your trousers might freeze party for beatnik poets, painters and revolutionaries… I’ve been really naughty and slipped in 7 rather long sentences but I hope you’ll forgive me, it is the last we’ll be seeing of J&M for a little while 😉

 

There was a theatre group re-enacting The Ballad Of Amelia Manylentils (how could there not be) in a back passageway and they was  lifting Amelia up into the air on a bar stool, but singing the line about the automaton dolls instead, while someone puffed pipe smoke across the floor through  a length of copper tubing.

 There was poets everywhere and everyone was talking – some was reciting and some was conversing and some was just ranting loudly away to themselves, or perhaps the room at large, or perhaps the universe, or someone in particular on the other side… and men and women with quills and nibs and paintbrushes and wells of ink and mugs of cold, black chicory coffee was writing all over the walls the things wot was being said or thought or sung around them or inside them so that they became essays and poems and novels, by the look of some of them… and still others was reading aloud what was being written as if it were prophecy or scripture or a recipe for the most sinful cake in Devon…

All come to the Golden Lion… all come to see Max… get hung.

The Golden Lion; a shrine and a womb and a cathedral and a tomb and a chrysalis all at the same time…  all to see one man (who wasn’t perhaps, by his own admission, even a man at all) get mullered for love. 

« Because that was all it was, really » 

We suddenly realised that Johnny Moonstruck, owner of the Garish Theatre Company, was standing beside us, with his foot on a bar stool rocking it back and forth, back and forth while he drummed with a paintbrush on the side of his mug of dandelion root coffee, regaling us with his views on life the universe and nothin’ interestin.’

We smiled politely and wondered if the sly bar steward weren’t spiking these innocuous ground root beverages with a dash of camellia sinensis. Like true scientists, we ordered a pot for ourselves without missin’ a beat of Johnny’s dandy disquisition…

JACKANDMARJORYCOVER

being an entertaining and informative piece of travel writing by a couple of rogues on the run as they attempt to avoid the machinations of wizards, monarchs and a ruthless band of beatnik poets, deflect a civil war and deliver a priceless, historical tea set before the owner finds himself at the gallows.

 

Wishing you all a most splendiferous week and don’t forget to check in at the #rainbowsnippets facebook group for more fabulous snippets of LGBTQIA+ fiction 🙂 

 

book cover image by Renphoto 

#indiethursdsay: Amster Damned

 

This #indiethursday I’m sharing my love of…

 

Blurb

A seemingly routine missing person case brings Alice Kittyhawk to Amsterdam where she discovers that locating a missing botanist will involve delving into the murky and illicit world of temporal displacement. Working with the mysterious Ministry of Lost & Found, Alice will have to take on some formidable foes and race against the clock in defiance of the odds which seem to be stacked against her.

 

To compensate for my lack of time to do long reviews just now, I’m using the #indiethursday hashtag to share the indie love and point at some fabulous indie books I’ve enjoyed reading 😀

So, what fab indie fiction are you reading / writing this month? Blessings on your brew and best of luck with all your indie endeavours, lets keep flying the flag for indie writing!

#MythpunkMonday: Matchless

Happy Mythpunk Monday!

I’ve always been haunted by the story of The Little Match Girl. Clarissa Pinkola Estes compares it to The Red Shoes and I (in my own small humble opinion) agree with her – how easy it is to spend our days staring at false lights, false hopes, striking match after match to gain a few seconds of cold brightness and the illusion of warmth ; a futile ritual of protection against what lurks in the dark both inside and out… when really all we are doing is burning the hope we do have. The girls in stories like this all have things of worth, things they can use to take care of themselves, but they exchange them / discard them / burn them up / let well-meaning others take them away or brand them ‘useless’ or ‘dirty’ … and they end with nothing.

I’ve worked this theme into several of my Mythpunk stories and I’m going to share one of them with you today. It’s called Matchless but I didn’t want the ending to be as hopeless as the original tales always are ; they always end with the girl dying and the reader is left to take the wisdom away with them but at the end of my tale, because I wanted the reader to be drawn right in and become a part of the story from the outset, I also wanted wisdom to call to them at the end from within the story itself. So we have the old woman, the wildish nature, the instinctual self, the soul-grandmother, the quick little bright snake that says ‘eat my fruit, open your eyes, see the truth of the matter.’

Here’s a little snippet for you, if you like it, you can read the rest for free on Vocal.

 

Strike one. Strike and you will see us. Strike and know you are not alone and glimpse in an eye blink that we are all the same. True our limbs do not twist and gnarl the same way, true there are washes of muted colour in our sunken orbs and those do vary. True the tails, the talons, the scales, the teeth and claws, the hair all are not identical and we are ancient and new born and have seen the world birthed and have lived but not even a day. But strike again and see us, strike, strike two, you know we are just like you. You know that once upon a time each of us fell down and this, this gap between the lives of all the others, this skipped heartbeat, this caught breath, this missing note, this blind spot in the corner of the universal eye is where we all go.

Matchless also features in the Mythpunk collection, Mahrime: Mythpunk For Monsters

 

Thankyou for joining me for our third MythpunkMonday! I really hope you’ve enjoyed it and if you have, feel free to join in and share some Marvellous Mythpunk that you have written, created or enjoyed. You can share using the #MythpunkMonday hashtag or in the comments here below if you like and I will continue to make this a regular Monday thing 🙂

#RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory

Happy Saturday!

Last weekend we had a wonderful time at the annual kite festival – think endless sandy beach covered in giant kites including a purple and black dragon and a giant blue octopus! Plus vintage fair ground rides and candyfloss 😀 We also saw japanese kite fighting for the first time which was thrilling and got to shout ‘WASSSOIIII!” to cheer on our fave gekko kite 😀 This weekend we’ll be spying for the harvest moon and the last of the Perseids (we saw them right at the start of their peak but now we might have resort to the internet, lol) and basking in what seems to be ‘St Michael’s Little Summer’ come early!

Here’s my #RainbowSnippets post for this week – if you’re new to this, Rainbow Snippets is a chance to read and share 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every Saturday. There’s a huge variety from Steampunk, like mine, to Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Comedy and everything in between. You can join the fun and read all the other fabulous snippets at the wonderfully friendly and supportive official facebook group here 🙂

So, here is the next snippet from Jack and Marjory – my novella-in-progress which gives two of my Bi-Gendered characters a chance to tell something of their own little side-adventure, which actually had a massive impact on the history of Ire in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ kind of way.

If you missed last week’s snippet you can catch up here: #RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory

If you want to start from the beginning you can do so here: https://blakeandwight.com/2018/09/29/rainbowsnippets-jack-and-marjory/

To recap, Jack and Marjory have completely lost track of the teaset thanks to the smooth talking painter / poet Michael Biscotti and his crew of Beautiful, Beatnik, Bastard associates…

 

Michael had told us to ‘come and find him later’ and then promptly vanished, leaving us surrounded by a superfluity of creative coves all far too stuck up their own chimney stacks to pay any attention to us. And, after a few minutes careful consideration, we was still not a stone’s throw on in our quest to take some sort of decisive action.

So we just sat back and enjoyed watchin’ the birds all doing their thing. It was true that we’d been stupidly distracted by the divine bastard that was Michael Biscotti and forgotten to notice what happened to the teaset ( and later we felt that in this respect our arrival at The Lion was not our finest hour) but for now the pressing matter of that fine porcelain and all it portented   was eclipsed by the pre-raphs turning the carpet into a canvas of tea-painted utopian scenes from mythical antiquity and Joyce Jameson standing on a table in the centre of the room, draped in the Mor-Irate flag crying 

“Whoever has the last bag of flour…  whoever has the last bag of flour…  push the  limits of the diaphane… find the soul of the commonest object… the soul of the teapot… the soul of the teasot… the last bag of flour…” 

 While two ladies sat on the floor surrounded by dried out teabags writing every word she said in tiny, tiny script on those tiny, tiny dried out bags, while five men stitched the finished ones together to make…  we had no idea… 

JACKANDMARJORYCOVER

being an entertaining and informative piece of travel writing by a couple of rogues on the run as they attempt to avoid the machinations of wizards, monarchs and a ruthless band of beatnik poets, deflect a civil war and deliver a priceless, historical tea set before the owner finds himself at the gallows.

 

Wishing you all a most splendiferous week and don’t forget to check in at the #rainbowsnippets facebook group for more fabulous snippets of LGBTQIA+ fiction 🙂 

 

book cover image by Renphoto 

#indiethursday: Jennings and Jennings Paranormal Investigators

This #indiethursday I’m sharing my love of…

 

Blurb

‘Jennings and Jennings, Paranormal Investigators, available for hire in the Home Counties. Are you plagued by supernatural goings on or troubled by fantastical events? We can help, using the most modern scientific advances, to rid you of even the most ancient of terrors. 3 pence an hour, double on Sunday.’

So ran the advert and soon came the requests for our husband and wife team to help out in these 4 comedy steampunk paranormal stories. Gasp, laugh, and be generally titillated as you encounter:

A haunted house, a strange case of mesmerism, a murderous fiend, and mysterious theft of alchemical artefacts.

 

To compensate for my lack of time to do long reviews just now, I’m using the #indiethursday hashtag to share the indie love and point at some fabulous indie books I’ve enjoyed reading 😀

So, what fab indie fiction are you reading / writing this month? Blessings on your brew and best of luck with all your indie endeavours, lets keep flying the flag for indie writing!

 

#MythpunkMonday: The Star Talers

Happy #MythpunkMonday!

Today I’d like to share with you a little extract from one of my own own Mythpunk stories ; this is from The Star Talers – a short poem spun from elements of the original Grimm fairytale.

It was inspired by the historic treatment of Rromani slave dancers during the 13th to 18th centuries and the parallels between this and the modern cycle of poverty and exploitation that I have witnessed in the red light districts of British cities today. As such, it touches on  issues of slavery, abuse and recovery, sexuality, identity and self-discovery and ends with the hopeful thought that, ultimately, we can survive and journey on from our past…

 

THE STAR TALERS

The boy had been hollow rose

Carved out from the hip bones of his mother

Beautiful as a choked out sob against silk pillows

Beautiful as a neck bent back swanlike to display the pulse

Beautiful as an eggshell is to crush and feel the yellow juice spill down

And lap

It

Up

Once. Once he had been that hole

A space to fill with so much Other Blood

Now he stands on the banks of a bright river, Old,

Full, frayed, and spilling out onto the bank

No one comes near

The fear of all the screaming demons, stench and blade sharp thorns that close around him

Holds the world away

But still he will stay

He heard a story once; a whisper, rumour, gossip or snatch of song that clung like a butterfly to his sleeve – there is a land across the river, where you can see the stars fall to earth and in their fierce, full, burning beauty there is peace…

 

Thankyou for joining me for my second MythpunkMonday! I really hope you’ve enjoyed it and if you have, feel free to join in and share some Marvellous Mythpunk that you have written, created or enjoyed. You can share using the #MythpunkMonday hashtag or in the comments here below if you like and I will try and make this a regular Monday thing 🙂

If you enjoyed The Star Talers excerpt, you can read the rest of it here on Vocal:

https://poets.media/the-star-talers

 

#RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory

rainbow keeper, put the fairy rainbow on the sky, magic ship in the dreamland, scene from wonderland,

image copyright Nadiaforkosh

Happy Saturday!

Autumn has arrived here with a vengeance but it seems the wind might just have died down enough for the kite festival this weekend – tentacles crossed!  😀

Here’s my #RainbowSnippets post for this week – if you’re new to this, Rainbow Snippets is a chance to read and share 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every Saturday. There’s a huge variety from Steampunk, like mine, to Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Comedy and everything in between. You can join the fun and read all the other fabulous snippets at the wonderfully friendly and supportive official facebook group here 🙂

So, here is the next snippet from Jack and Marjory – my novella-in-progress which gives two of my Bi-Gendered characters a chance to tell something of their own little side-adventure, which actually had a massive impact on the history of Ire in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ kind of way.

If you missed last week’s snippet you can catch up here: #RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory

If you want to start from the beginning you can do so here: https://blakeandwight.com/2018/09/29/rainbowsnippets-jack-and-marjory/

To recap, Jack and Marjory have pretty much failed on their mission to deliver the teaset to Max, Max is now going to be hung for being an evil revolutionary and tea-addict and J&M now find themselves heading into the The Golden Lion and possible poetic peril…  (slightly less than 6 sentences this week, but they are long ones!)

 

So, The Lion has ghosts; for certain. But there weren’t room for a spirit when we got there; it was crammed from floor to rafters with bodies. Poets, painters, musicians, writers, actors, tea fiends, tiffin madames, gutter wizards, hex slingers, The Garish Regulars were there and even some of the scribes from the Burlington Arcade. 

Michael steered us unerringly through the coterious jungle of flesh and fancy fabrics and faces we recognised from theatre programmes and wanted posters.

“Christina! Darling! Bill! We’re back… yes, this is the Hex slinger, the ‘woman of the hour’…yes, indeed… somebody get Margo here some cake… and get us all a  Black Dragon we’re dry as rocks aren’t we dear?” 

If you’ve never been at a so-hot-you-might-combust party with a so-hot-you-might-combust poet’s hand on your shoulder and his silky voice like a smooth skinned chilli pepper spicin’ up the soup, then you’ve probably no sympathy for us at all, Pal, when we tell you that it was well over an hour before we came to our senses and found ourselves sat on the floor with a hip flask full of  oolong, a belly full of sponge and not the faintest idea what had happened to the teaset or what, exactly, we ought to be doing with ourselves.

JACKANDMARJORYCOVER

 

being an entertaining and informative piece of travel writing by a couple of rogues on the run as they attempt to avoid the machinations of wizards, monarchs and a ruthless band of beatnik poets, deflect a civil war and deliver a priceless, historical tea set before the owner finds himself at the gallows.

 

Wishing you all a most splendiferous week and don’t forget to check in at the #rainbowsnippets facebook group for more fabulous snippets of LGBTQIA+ fiction 🙂 

 

book cover image by Renphoto 

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