I, um, I’m an idiot but I kind of forgot to do this for Liberty but, well, Liberty came out January. Woo hoo, yay, etc. These are a set of additional stories set in the Prosperityverse that weave in and out of the main Prosperity narrative. Shackles and Squamous with a Chance of Rain are sort of … origin stories for Ruben and Milord and Miss Grey respectively. Cloudy Climes and Starless Skies is about Byron Kae and Dill, and Liberty explores the world from a different perspective: that of the military-trained aethermancer, Captain George England.
They’re all very different in style, so they were lots of fun to write. Shackles is kind of a dark Victorian fairytale, Squamous is epistolary Lovecraftian horror, Cloudy is sort of David Copperfield biography and love story and Liberty is the full Bram Stoker / Wilkie Collins experience, a found narrative comprised of letters, recordings, court documents etc. I liked the fact that Cloudy let me explore colonialism and gender and Liberty is about empire and patriotism and queerness. With a bit of Star Wars thrown in. Ahem.
So. Yes. That’s Liberty.
For the dialect averse, it contains much less cant than Prosperity. However, while they do stand alone, the stories are very much connected to Prosperity so I’m honestly hesitant to suggest them as a starting point or an alternative.
And wow, am I bad at selling myself? I think if you’re interested in the Prosperity-verse but don’t like the dialect, your best bet would be There Will Be Phlogiston. It’s a romance, with a Victorian/steampunk flavour, it brushes against Prosperity but doesn’t require it. There’s no cant at all and it’s completely freeeeeee.
Meanwhile, I’m also trying to catch up with my website housekeeping. I’ve updated the FAQs, and I’m working on getting my book serieseseses in order and all the bonus and extras arranged in a sensible fashion. So if you’re interested in that kind of thing, that’s a thing that is happening.
If you’re looking for something to read that isn’t me, I’d also point that KJ Charles’s Jackdaw came out this week. And that AJ Cousins’s second Bend or Break book – Nothing Like Paris – is out on the 3rd of March. If you haven’t read Off Campus or the Flight of Magpies series … what the heck are you doing with your time? You should rectify this immediately and you can thank me later. I was also lucky enough to get Amy Jo round for tea-time over at Prism this week. She gives fantastic interview so do swing by if you haven’t already.
And, finally, just to talk about myself for a bit longer, Waiting for the Flood – my next contemporary romance from Riptide Publishing – releases tomorrow. While it’s not a direct sequel, it’s set in the world as Glitterland so RP have agreed to publish all my contemporaries as a part of the Spires universe. This is very exciting to me because it’s given me opportunity to build up the world and the characters, so you’ll definitely be seeing some familiar faces if you read more books set in the series.
Here’s the blurb:
People come as well as go.
Twelve years ago, Edwin Tully came to Oxford and fell in love with a boy named Marius. He was brilliant. An artist. It was going to be forever.
Two years ago, it ended.
Now Edwin lives alone in the house they used to share. He tends to damaged books and faded memories, trying to build a future from the fragments of the past.
Then the weather turns, and the river spills into Edwin’s quiet world, bringing with it Adam Dacre from the Environment Agency. An unlikely knight, this stranger with roughened hands and worn wellingtons, but he offers Edwin the hope of something he thought he would never have again.
As the two men grow closer in their struggle against the rising waters, Edwin learns he can’t protect himself from everything—and sometimes he doesn’t need to try.
It’s a very quiet, very personal story. I do hope you like it.
The lovely Mark, at Sinfully Addicted to M/M Romance, invited to write them a guest post about it – and you can find that here. Unlike my last post over there, which was accidentally eighty gazillion words on depicting violence, this is a lot more manageable. It’s called Write What You Fear, and there’s a giveaway as well for a book from my back catalogue AND a sneaky bonus peak at my next Spires contemporary. This is a full length novel called For Real. And, well, it’s definitely a romance, but it’s a little bit kinky. So there’s a thing.
Anyway, do pop over to Sinfully Addicted and say hello. And enter the competition if you’d like to win things, and if you’re curious about For Real.
And, as a kind of Waiting for the Flood release bonus, I have some talking for you. Though it’s not my usual superfast read through of the opening chapter. It’s a superfast something else. There’s a bit in the book where the two main characters (Edwin and Adam) end up talking about their favourite jokes.
The top of the merry-go-round was still just above the water level, although without the base it looked a little bit like a floating cart wheel. I stepped onto the submerged platform and sat down where the spokes met, my feet dangling. Adam braced himself on the bars, watching me and smiling a little as he turned me back and forth through the water.
“Want to hear my favourite joke?” he asked.
“Three logicians walk into a bar. The barman says, ‘So, does everybody want a drink?’ First logician says, ‘I don’t know.’ Second logician says, ‘I don’t know.’ Third logician says, ‘Yes.’”
I stared at him. “I don’t get— Oh, wait .” And then I was laughing, not because of the joke, but because it was so very, very Adam.
“I . . . I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about it.”
“Nuh-uh. Everyone has a favourite joke, even if they don’t know it.”
He was right, of course. Our old friend Max had one about purple-spotted pineapples that was basically a lengthy misdirect for a pun— it was epically dire, but the direness was its charm. Marius had liked the one about the master of quick wit and ready repartee, which was less of a joke than a performance amusing mainly because of how he told it. I had rather envied him for being able to rattle it off so stylishly and effortlessly that people would actually request him to do it. But, now I thought about it, I realised I had my own joke. One I could tell without a single stumble. “Ask me if I’m an orange.”
His head tilted quizzically. “Are you an orange?”
I loved his laugh. I loved being able to make him laugh.
The Master of Quick Wit and Ready Repartee is actually my favourite joke, though I probably don’t tell it as well as imaginary Marius.
So, for your, err, pleasure and most likely your cringe, I offer up my favourite joke – The Master of Quick Wit and Ready Repartee. It’s entirely ridiculous but it makes me laugh and I enjoy telling it.
I hope you’ll share your favourite jokes with me in the comments below.