The audio version of Lost in Time is now available on Audible! I am so, so excited. Callum Hale has done a wonderful job and you can hear a sample and/or buy a copy here. His quintessential British accent brings it all to life!
Lew Rogers’s life is pleasantly boring until his friend Mira messes with magic she doesn’t understand. While searching for her, he’s pulled back in time to 1919 by a catastrophic magical accident. As he tries to navigate a strange time and find his friend in the smoky music clubs of Soho, the last thing he needs is Detective Alec Carter suspecting him of murder.
London in 1919 is cold, wet, and tired from four years of war. Alec is back in the Metropolitan Police after slogging out his army service on the Western Front. Falling for a suspect in a gruesome murder case is not on his agenda, however attractive he finds the other man.
Both men are floundering and out of their depth, struggling to come to terms with feelings they didn’t ask for and didn’t expect. Both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures, and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?
This is the story that I wrote monthly for my newsletter subscribers. It was an extremely stressful experience that I won’t be repeating in the same manner- it was like having an essay deadline every month and ripped my nerves to shreds!
However… I really like the finished story. It’s a 35.5k novella and the first part incorporates The Gate, which was the first thing I ever wrote in the Lost in Time universe and is floating around the internet for free. I wanted to find out what happened to Matty and Rob after the end of the story and this is the result. Scroll down for an excerpt!
It’s 1919. Matty returns home to the family farm from the trenches only to find his brother Arthur dying of an unknown illness. The local doctor thinks cancer, but Matty becomes convinced it’s connected to the mysterious books his brother left strewn around the house.
Rob knows something other than just Arthur’s death is bothering Matty. He’s know him for years and been in love with him just as long. And when he finds something that looks like a gate, a glowing, terrifying doorway to the unknown, it all starts to fall in to place.
Matty’s looking sicker and sicker in the same way Arthur did. What is Rob prepared to sacrifice to save him?
The answer is in the esoteric books…and with the mysterious Lin of the Frem, who lives beyond the gate to nowhere. It’s taken Matty and Rob more than a decade to admit they have feelings for each other and they are determined that neither social expectations or magical illness will part them now.
A stand-alone 35k novella set in the Lost in Time Universe.
The Treaty of Versailles had been registered with the League of Nations late in October. Matty had felt an enormous sense of relief that the peace was formal now, signed and sealed by the high-ups. Fritz having to pay for all the damage he had caused everyone by sucking them into four years of war seemed only fair. That had been one of the topics of conversation when they had gone down to the County Cinema in Taunton with Mrs Beelock and her daughter a week before to watch the Pathé newsreel of the two minutes silence at the new Cenotaph in London.
However, it was a stunned, waiting, recuperating kind of peace for them both, Matty thought. He was reeling still, from coming home and from Arthur’s death. Rob was gathering himself together almost visibly, losing that overlay of Sergeant Curland and returning full-time to Rob who the neighbours knew was a good man to ask for a hand with their hedges.
He could feel them growing again, on the cusp of moving forward. Rob spent his nights in Matty’s bed in the house instead of in the barn. Annie Beelock only came in mid-morning now, her health needing her to rest, and it was a luxurious thing, this waking in the arms of someone he loved. They had fallen into it with ease and familiarity, eating whatever Mrs Beelock cooked for dinner for all the farm men like they usually did, having bread and cheese and cake for tea once she’d gone, and washing up companionably together; and then settling in front of the fire with the books. They had fallen into a pattern that Matty imagined would be like being married. If men could marry the people they loved.
The war had shifted something inside them both. Coming so close to so much death meant that neither of them were inclined to waste more time. They saw what would make them happy and had grabbed it with both hands. That didn’t solve the problem of the books.
Although, it wasn’t really the books that were the issue. It was more that Matty was failing. Not as quickly as Arthur had, for whatever reason. He could feel it in his bones. It could have been no more than the normal slowing down of his body for the winter. But it wasn’t. A glorious, dry, clear, and cold October had morphed into a bitterly cold November. It made him think back to the last autumn of the war, with the angels’ wings of blue and gold arching with a kind of glorious, terrible disinterest over the ants of humanity crawling around in the mud.
He had the same feeling now. The bitter frosts, the clear blue skies of the onset of winter, made him feel like the world was waiting for something to happen. Watching him with a lack of interest that bordered on not noticing him at all. He was failing. He knew it and Rob knew it.
“What’s to be done, then?” Rob had asked one Sunday morning in early October as they were moving the churns of milk out to the block by the lane where the carter would pick them up to take to the station. “I don’t like the look of you, lad. And I don’t want you to go west like Arthur.” He obviously felt awkward bringing it up and had steeled himself to flank Matty with the question as they were working. Matty was getting tired more easily and he supposed that there was no hiding from Rob his diminished appetite and weight loss.
He launched the last of the churns up on to the platform and stepped back, taking his cap off, and wiping his brow with his sleeve. “I’m glad that’s done. I like giving Jimmy the Sunday off, but it all takes longer.”
“Jimmy’s wife’s got him painting the bedroom, he said. She took him out to buy the paint last weekend.” Rob allowed Matty to prevaricate, but as they turned back to walk up the drive, he had put his hand on Matty’s arm. “Matty. I’m serious.”
Matty shrugged his hand off gently. “I know you are. I don’t know. This was Arthur’s enterprise, not mine. I run a farm. He was the brains.”
Rob had looked at him long and hard. “Do you really think that?” he’d asked quietly. “Because you’re wrong. You might have chosen not to follow the same line as Arthur, but you and he have the same amount up here,” he tapped Matty’s head, “however you choose to use it. So, don’t give me any of that.” He had returned Matty’s solemn stare. “We’ll work it out. I promise you. I’ve waited more than a ten-year for you. I’m not losing you to this. Whatever it is.”
A big welcome to Lillian today, who has come to talk about the re-release of her fantastic story New Lease of Life!
1. Why are you doing this interview?
I have finally got my arse in gear and re-released my old DSP title, New Lease of Life. For those who are wondering it’s more or less the same, just in UK English and with a newly added epilogue. Of course if you already have the book from before I’ll be releasing the epilogue as a freebie chapter on Prolific Works, so no need to rush out and buy a new copy.
2. What started you writing?
I’d been writing on and off since my teens, and loved English at school (lit and language), but I never really finished anything that wasn’t connected to school work. I drifted away from it for a while, but then I watched Torchwood, discovered livejournal and a previously unknown group of people writing fanfic and the rest, as they say, is history. Two years of (mostly AU) fanfic and I was encouraged to write my own stuff by a published author/fanficcer. So that’s what I did.
3. Where do you write?
Mostly at the dining room table if I’m using the laptop. But if I’m writing old style I love being in a park or the garden.
4. What do you like to read?
I grew up on Enid Blyton, Tintin, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Willard Price.
Progressed to golden age mysteries, noir, and historical mysteries in my 20s and 30s, and I still enjoy picking those up today.
These days it’s mostly gay romance, but that covers a mass of sub genres. So I can still get my cosy mysteries or thrillers or noir private eyes, just with a gay relationship at its heart.
8. Tell me a little bit about your most recent release?
New Lease of Life was originally published in 2015 by Dreamspinner Press. Due to their troubles I got the rights back last year. The idea I attribute to chap I would see on my drive into work every day. He had one of those hospital metal crutches but it never seemed to help him, in fact he always looked so uncomfortable. And I wondered what he his story was, and what his life had been like before whatever had happened that left him in his current predicament, and Pip was born.
I think it took about three months to write and I found the vintage fashion stuff really interesting. A lot of Pip’s clothing choices are things I would chose to wear if I had a different body shape and a lot more money!
What did I hate? Fighting DSP to keep every bloody English expression. It was exhausting.
New Lease of Life
There’s a fine line between independence and isolation.
Phillip used to laugh a lot, back when his friends called him Pip. However the good deed that left him hospitalised not only marred his body, it stripped him of his good humour too. Ever since, he has pushed his friends away and shut out the world. Donating his vintage clothing to a charity shop should have been the final act in a year-long campaign to sever the links with the man Pip used to be, but the stranger on his doorstep awakens feelings in Pip that he hasn’t experienced since the incident that left him angry at the world and reliant on the cold metal of the hideous hospital-issue crutch.
Colby forces his way into Pip’s life, picking at the scab of his past. Colby isn’t interested in Pip’s money or his expensive address. He has only one goal: to make Pip smile again.
With every moment in Pip’s presence, Colby chips away at the walls Pip has built around himself. Pip knows it’s impossible to fight his attraction with Colby’s sunny disposition casting light into the darkness in his soul.
Lillian Francis is a self-confessed geek who likes nothing more than settling down with a comic or a good book, except maybe writing. Given a notepad, pen, their Kindle, and an infinite supply of chocolate Hobnobs and they can lose themself for weeks. Romance was never their reading matter of choice, so it came as a great surprise to all concerned, including themself, to discover a romance was exactly what they’d written, and not the rollicking spy adventure or cosy murder mystery they always assumed they’d write.
Lillian Francis. Author of gay romance. Happy Endings guaranteed. Eventually.
Elizabeth Noble is here today to talk about the magic of her urban fantasy world and her upcoming release, Scintilla!
Thank you so much, Ally for including me. (You are most welcome! – Ally)
The world is full of magic.
Sometimes for me that magic is nothing more than having a pre-programmed coffee maker at work.
Imagine a world where some people were born with magical abilities. A world where magical humans come in four types, scintillas, aether, prisms and acoustics capable of manipulating elements such as electricity, air, sound and light.
There might be a cop who can alter the way light bends for a few seconds or minutes making it easier to catch a criminal in the act. Or, if that criminal had the same ability, they could slip past surveillance cameras. A man with the power to control electricity might use his gift to deep dive into the digital world or short out an alarm.
There are no potions or spells, but there is plenty of magic in my urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, El Corazon.
When I was planning the first book, Scintilla, I wanted to use magic, but I didn’t want a lot of complicated rules or spells. Their society has rules governing what is considered ethical or illegal of course, but the basic magic is simple. My goal was to make the magic a natural, organic thing that was as part of an individual as their height or eye color. Yes, being magical is special, but no more so than being a talented musician or athlete.
Magical people sometimes need specialized medical equipment. Other magicals, as they’re referred to collectively, are discriminated against because there are others who fear what they can do. And, of course, there is always some person or organization that wants to exploit those with magical ability.
What I tried very hard to do, was imagine what obstacles a magical person might encounter or what special needs might be required in unusual circumstances. For instance, the young man, Brandon, in Scintilla who manipulates and has power over electricity is Tasered. Not a good idea to do when someone has the power to push that energy back to you. Since this is a romance, there is sex and I was able to explore how an electrified body might react differently. Would it hinder improve his or his partner’s experience? Being a scintilla is a natural part of Brandon, but how much of that part of him can he, or does he share?
Humans aren’t the only beings that can wield magic in this world, however.
There are the djinn.
Mythology gives us different types of jinni and so far, I’ve included two. One can cause havoc in computers and another sort likes to meddle in the affairs of people. Like anyone else, there are those that are honorable and good, and some that use their powers for crime.
Wait, there’s more!
My world has the magic of shifters. Technically, shifters aren’t magical in the same way as others, but the ability to look human and turn into something else is some serious magic in my opinion. Brandon’s love interest, Raul, is a werewolf, a Dom and a bounty hunter. That right there is darn magical! Werewolves are tough beasts and Raul can take more of what Brandon can dole out than a human could. That gives them plenty to explore, when they’re not fighting crime that is.
There are instances where one’s magic can be used against them. Without revealing spoilers, suffice to say, Brandon gets a harsh lesson in reality. His ability can’t always protect him and there’s always someone else who knows more about what he can do than is healthy for him.
How far is too far to go to save someone you love?
Brandon Lynch is magical. He’s a scintilla who can manipulate electricity. Leaving his structured, unexciting life and job at his father’s billion-dollar business in Boston and heads south for a vacation adventure in Rio Rico, Arizona. He’s living out a fantasy by traveling to the El Corazon adult entertainment club and has booked one glorious session with a werewolf Dom, complete with knotting.
Part-time Dom for his family business, the El Corazon, and full-time bounty hunter, Raul Fierro uses what nature gave him as a werewolf to bring pleasure to some, and justice to others. He hasn’t been in a real relationship for longer than he wants to think about and his gruff and growly exterior keeps any unwanted interactions at bay. He’s not against a partner, but he’s willing to wait for the person who sees the real Raul—and his wolf—who lurks beneath the surface.
A seemingly chance meeting with Brandon the day after their scheduled session leads to a week-long affair. Raul accepts it for what it is, a vacation fling for Brandon even though Brandon is someone Raul could easily fall in love with. When Brandon returns to Boston and Raul resumes his normal routine, they keep in touch until the time Brandon’s father arrives in Rio Rico, announces his son is missing, and he intends to hire Raul to find him. Raul wastes no time picking up Brandon’s trail. Rescuing Brandon from human traffickers is only the beginning and more adventure than either man wanted. Their hunt brings them together in an unexpected way. Can they bring down a powerful, international ring of traffickers all while protecting each other and their new-found love?
“We can run current through those barrels, magnetize them and create a barrier. All we have to find is enough copper.”
Raul nodded. “I like it. I’ll get the rods, see if you can find some copper piping, but stay in this area. If we have to go into the rest of the building, we should go together.”
To Raul’s utter surprise, Brandon didn’t argue but simply nodded. “I’ll start over there. Looks like some sort of utility junction.” He motioned to a floor-to-ceiling metal locker that extended out about four feet from the wall and was at least another four feet wide.
Raul retrieved a half dozen of his iron rods from the van. They were three feet long and a quarter inch in diameter. He’d had them specially made and if needed he was strong enough to bend them. Holding them in one hand, Raul used his free hand to grab one of the metal barrels and carried everything to the ruined door. The rods were deposited on top of the barrel before he carried two more over and set them in a row by the first barrel. He turned to see what Brandon was doing.
“Should you be doing that?” Raul asked as he closed the distance between he and Brandon.
Brandon was poking at what looked like a circuit board, then he grabbed a hold of a bundle of wires and gave them a shake. “Eh, you probably shouldn’t, I won’t get more than a bee sting.” He shrugged. “As far as I can tell there’s no power.”
Raul stepped to the side and flicked a switch up and down, looking up at the ceiling lights. Nothing happened. “You appear to be correct. Bee stings hurt,” he grumbled. The interior of the junction was a mess of dials and wires, levers and smaller switches. There were two tanks in the center. Raul followed the copper tubing from the tanks until they disappeared into the ceiling. “Do you see a ladder or anything I can stand on?”
“Why don’t I stand on you?”
Raul glanced back at Brandon. “Can you yank these things free?”
Brandon rolled his eyes and heaved a sigh. “I’m human but we don’t have spaghetti muscles.”
“My apologies.” Raul nodded and laced his fingers together, offering Brandon a step up.
In one smooth movement Brandon was standing on Raul’s shoulders. Raul held his calves to brace him and watched as Brandon tugged on the closest copper pipe. It took them a half an hour of steady effort to pull piping loose, move to another section and repeat their task. In the end they a half dozen six to seven-foot lengths of copper tubing.
Brandon jumped to the ground still holding the last section of copper. “This should be plenty.”
Raul looked pointedly at the dark lamps. “No power, remember? Unless you’re suggesting we bang on them until they magnetize.”
Brandon heaved a sigh and cocked his head. “Seriously?” He held out his free hand and a narrow blue wave arched to the copper pipe. “Yet, you call me Sparky.”
“Can you actually generate enough power, long enough to accomplish what we need? That’s higher voltage.”
Brandon nodded. “I think so, yes. It’s not something I can maintain forever, but I think I can generate enough for a long enough time for our purpose.”
“What’s your plan?”
“Well, copper and iron and steel can be magnetized when electrified.” Brandon pointed to the door. “That door is metal. If we put one barrel on each side of the door and charge them it would be damn hard for anyone to get through,” Brandon said.
“A big version of those little electro-magnets kids make in science class,” Raul added. “And easy enough to find plans for if we need to.”
“Yep. It’ll take me a few minutes.” Brandon sprinted back to the van while Raul pulled the barrels to the door then retrieved the copper and iron.
They worked steadily setting up their barrier. Once it was ready and in place Brandon put both hands on the barrel sitting inside the building. He glanced back at Raul.
“Ready.” Raul backed up a few feet and watched while Brandon took a few deep breaths, closed his eyes and leaned into the barrel.
Scintilla releases on March 10. It’ll have wide distribution for a week before going into Kindle Unlimited.
Mystery, action, chills, and thrills spiced with romance and desire. ELIZABETH NOBLE lives by the adage “I can’t not write.” She doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t make up stories and eventually she learned how to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M fiction. A part of every day is spent living in worlds she created that are filled with intrigue and espionage. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural.
When she’s not chronicling the adventures of her many characters, Elizabeth is a veterinary nurse living in her native Cleveland, Ohio. She has three grown children and now happily shares her little, brick house with an adorable mixed breed canine princess, a spunky Cardigan Welsh Corgi and their sidekick, tabby cat. Elizabeth is a fan of baseball, basketball (go Cavs and Indians) and gardening. She can often be found working in her ‘outside office’ listening to classic rock and plotter her next novel waiting for it to be dark enough to gaze at the stars.
Elizabeth has received a number of amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.
Rob is a farm worker on Matty’s farm. He was born in 1884 and started working there when he was about thirteen. He’s now about thirty-five. He’s gentle and good with animals. He’s clever, thoughtful and quiet, a steady sort of person who likes to think things through before acting. If I had to use one verb to describe him, it would be stabilize.
He joined the army in 1914 when Britain first went to war with Germany and was promoted to Sergeant in the Signals by the time he was discharged in 1919. He’s largely self-educated, very eclectically. He’s a regular library user.
His wartime experience involved a lot of communications tech and he happens to find ciphers and codes fascinating and breaks them for fun. (This is extremely handy for my story, I have no idea how it happened, honest!).
Rob has been in love with Matty for years, but Matty was oblivious. Neither of them said anything to each other before they went off to the war, but afterwards, Rob decided that life was too short and fragile not to take a chance at happiness and made his feelings for Matty clear.
Their story begins in The Gate, which is free on the various ebook platforms and when you sign up for my newsletter; and it continues in Inheritance of Shadows.