BOOK BLAST: “Fast, Free, and Flying” by Jude Tresswell

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Fast, Free and Flying (County Durham Quad, #6)

Author: Jude Tresswell

Publisher: Self-published (KDP)

Release Date: December 9, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary gay mystery

Trope/s: Ace/non-ace relationships

Themes:  Compromise; guilt; revenge

Heat Rating:  1 flame

Length: 63 000 words

The mystery story stands alone. Helpful, but not essential, to have read a previous title due to character development.

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 

 

Suspects of one crime. Victims of another.

 

Blurb

Drones lie at the heart of this mystery facing Mike, Ross, Raith and Phil, four men who live in North-East England.

A spate of art-related burglaries and a series of horrific kidnaps have occurred. The freedom of the quad, and that of Nick, their special friend, is threatened by involvement in both cases. They are suspected of one and Mike is a victim of the other. The officer in charge is the quad’s old enemy, the homophobic Chief Inspector Fortune. Should the quad set aside their distrust and tell him what they know?

Meanwhile, Nick has issues of his own to consider. Compromises are needed, but how many? 

This is the sixth tale in the County Durham Quad series. Background is included to aid new readers.

 

Excerpt

From Chapter 1

(The whole chapter, read by the author with aerial footage of the setting, is available on YouTube. Link below) 

A new sound had been added to the rustic ones that normally formed the backdrop to life in the Durham hills. Instead of the bleating of sheep, there was a whirring—and it came from the sky. The quad’s new video channel was up and running, and Raith, plus drone, was filming everything and everyone. He was, as he liked to put it, “Doing the rounds.”

   “Doin’ my head in,” was how it seemed to Mike and, right then, there was a danger of that actually happening. Mike was responsible for nearly all the quad’s maintenance work. He was sitting astride a rooftop, replacing the flashing on one of Tunhead’s chimneys. Tunhead was the little hamlet where the quad lived. It was the seat of BOTWAC, the Beck On The Wear Arts Centre, and the video channel was designed, in part, to promote the artisans’ wares.

   “Watch what you’re doin’ with that bloody thing!” Mike yelled from his perch.

   “It’s alright, Mike. I’m in full control,” Raith yelled back.

   “Not from where I am, you’re not! I thought you weren’t supposed to fly it over buildin’s!”

   Raith made the drone whizz round in a circle and shouted, “Well Tunhead doesn’t really count as buildings, does it? I mean, twelve tiny houses, my studio and a disused church. It’s hardly buildings.”

   “It felt like buildin’s when Ross and I were refurbishin’ it all, and it felt like buildin’s three years ago when I knocked the walls through to next door just to give you leg room.”

   “That’s building, Mike, not buildings.”

   Sometimes, there was no answer to Raith’s logic. Mike swore softly, sighed and decided to wait until tea-time, when all the men would be home together. They’d discuss Raith and his drone then. First things first. He continued repairing the chimney.

***

   In Tees, Tyne and Wear Constabulary’s new Tyneside police station, another drone-related conversation had caused heated words that day. The woman making a complaint was angry.

   “Look,” she said to the officer on the front counter, “this is the third time it’s happened in a fortnight. I ignored the first invasion of my privacy. The second time the blesséd thing was hovering overhead, I telephoned. I was told that someone would contact me. Nobody’s done so, and this morning it happened again. I want something doing. I feel I can’t go into my own garden and I’m bothered that whoever’s doing this is spying on me and my children. It’s horrible and it shouldn’t be allowed.”

   The woman had good reason to feel harassed. She lived in what had once been the lodge of a large country estate. That is, she occupied the house that lay at one end of a long, tree-lined drive. The drive led, through parkland with trees and an ornamental lake, to a substantial eighteenth century property. On three occasions recently, the peace of the surroundings had been broken by the whirring of a drone. More importantly, she felt intimidated by the drone’s presence. As she said, she felt she was being spied on. Surely that was a crime?

   It was, the official told her. At least two different offences connected with drone misuse might be invoked on the woman’s behalf, but, in a case like hers, invoking them was problematic. Even if an incident should happen again and a patrol car could reach her while the drone was still visible and airborne, there was little that officers could do. Firstly, they would need to locate and identify the flyer. If they felt that a harassment offence had been committed, they could instruct the flyer to land the drone. However, there was no power of seizure and, indeed, no power to even view the footage unless there was suspected terrorist activity—unlikely in this case. The woman had to be content with an apology and a promise that an officer would definitely come and visit her. In fact, a detective called a few days later, but not specifically because of her case. By then, the big country house had been burgled, and thousands of pounds of silver, porcelain and artwork had been stolen.

 

About the Author 

Jude Tresswell lives in south-east England but was born and raised in the north, and that’s where her heart is. She is ace, and has been married to the same man for many years. She feels that she understands compromise. She supports Liverpool FC, listens to a lot of blues music and loves to write dialogue.

Blog/Website

 

 

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RELEASE BLITZ: “A Share in a Secret” by Jude Tresswell.

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: A Share in a Secret

Author: Jude Tresswell

Publisher: Self-published on Amazon KDP

Release Date: April 18, 2020

Genre/s: LGBTQ crime and mystery

Trope/s: Sexual/asexual relationship; gay polyamorous relationship

Themes: Compromise, trust, honesty

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 63 000 words/ 227 pages

It can be read as a standalone, although it is Book 5 of the County Durham Quad series.

Background information is included for new readers.

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Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Sooner or later, secrets will out…

Blurb

Mike, Ross, Raith and Phil are a gay, polyamorous quad who live in County Durham, North-East England. Mike’s nephews visit, and launch the quad into a tale involving inclusivity and investment scams, false arrest, and a desperate attempt to keep a dangerous secret hidden.

Meanwhile, Nick Seabrooke is now living and working in the village. Can the quad navigate the complexities of a sexual-asexual relationship? They would risk their safety for each other. Are they willing to do so for Nick?

This is the fifth County Durham Quad story. As always, background information is included for new readers.

Excerpt

Here is the start of the story. It’s a typical exchange between the four men…

Late afternoon in ‘Cromarty’, a normally quiet home in Tunhead, County Durham. Phil and Mike were seated in the living room. Phil stopped typing the article he was preparing for a medical journal and looked in the direction of the kitchen. Mike stopped skyping his brother, looked up too and, not really expecting an answer, asked, “What the fuck’s he up to now?”

The ‘he’ was Raith, Phil’s husband. Raith was a successful artist and ceramicist, but he sounded like someone intent on demolition not on creation.

“I thought all our kitchen units were the easy-glide, silently-closing variety,” Phil commented as another cupboard drawer slammed shut.

“They are, but the manufacturers hadn’t met Raith, had they? Nuthin’s Raith-proof, is it?”

The banging stopped and voices took their place. Ross, Mike’s civil partner, had come into the kitchen from the garden. He walked through to the living room and met Mike’s and Phil’s enquiring eyes.

“He’s made a chart. He was looking for something to stick it up with,” Ross explained.

Stick it up? It sounded like he was hammerin’ it up,” said Mike.

“A chart?”

“Yes. He’s fixing it on the wall now. It’ll either amuse you or horrify you. I’m not sure which. Possibly both. He wants us to discuss it before Nick comes round for his tea.”

“I thought we were involving Nick in all our discussions,” Phil remarked.

“Yes, but not this one. You’ll see why in a minute. Come on.”

Mike, Ross, Raith, Phil—and Nick. By their own definitions the first four men were four sorts of poly. Polydomestic: they shared the household duties. Polypecuniary: they shared their incomes too. Polydemocratic: they had equal say in decisions and tossed a coin if the vote was evenly split. And fourthly, they were polyamorous: they loved each other deeply, although Ross only had sex with Mike. Nick was Tunhead’s most recent inhabitant. He shared most of his meals and much of his spare time with the quad, but although he now lived in the village, he didn’t live in Cromarty. There were reasons for the need for a little separation. Hence Raith’s chart. Nick might be romantically and emotionally attracted to men or, rather, to one man—Mike—but he wasn’t attracted to anybody sexually. In fact, he was revolted by the thought of an intimately physical relationship.

Ross stood aside and ceremoniously waved Mike and Phil through to the kitchen. In place of the whiteboard that, ten minutes earlier, had indicated the week’s household duties list, there was a large sheet of cartridge paper divided into two vertical columns. The left hand column comprised extremely realistic drawings. The other, narrower one was partially filled in. It contained some ticks and some crosses.

“Are you plannin’ expandin’ into illustratin’ porn?” asked Mike as he studied the drawings. “That’s you, Phil! Bloody hell. That’s me!” he added, and pointed to a portrayal of two men indulging in frottage.

“Yes, I’ve already put a cross by that one,” Raith said. “I knew Nick wouldn’t like it.”

“Looks like you two liked it though,” Ross commented as, curious, he took a close look.

“So this is… what, exactly? And I’m not talkin’ about the drawin’s themselves. I can see what they are.”

“Well,” said Raith, “I thought it would save us a lot of future problems if we sorted out what we were allowed and not allowed to do when Nick’s in our home instead of in his place.”

“And you figured that a bloody big explicit poster starin’ at him over his tea was the best way to do it?”

About the Author

I’m married, I’ve grown-up children, I’m asexual (although a different sort of ace from Nick) and I do enjoy writing stories that aren’t constrained by hetero-norms.

The plots are always stimulated by something on the news – in this instance, the homophobic reaction of some people and groups to the UK government’s decision to introduce lessons on inclusivity into the school curriculum.

I enjoy writing light dialogue as well as dealing with serious issues, though, and I hope that some of the quad’s interchanges will make readers smile.

I talked about myself and my books on Brad Shreve’s Gay Mystery Podcast (an episode entitled Four Times As Much Mystery) in April, 2020. (Link below)

Social Media Links

Blog/Website | Amazon Author Page for all works |

YouTube link to audio version of the short asexual/ sexual story Scar Ghyll Levels – available on Amazon Kindle.

(Audio version contains 200 photos of scenery)

Four Times As Much Mystery with Jude Tresswell (Ep. 028) on the Gay Mystery Podcast

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Continue Reading RELEASE BLITZ: “A Share in a Secret” by Jude Tresswell.

BOOK BLAST: “Earnest Ink” by Alex Hall

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Earnest Ink

Author: Alex Hall

Publisher: Nine Star Press

Published: October 14, 2019

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Genre/s: Queer Spec Fic, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense

Trope/s: Found family

Themes: Mystery/adventure

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Orientation: Asexual, Pansexual

Identity: Cisgender, Trans

Warning: Depictions of Trauma, Blood, Violence, Murder,

Eating disorders, Body hatred, Transphobia, PTSD, War

Length: 72 100 words/244 pages

It is a standalone book.

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Blurb

While twenty-year-old FTM Hemingway is making an excellent living as a tattoo artist in a near-future version of Hell’s Kitchen, the rest of the country is splintered and struggling in the wake of a war gone on for too long. Technology has collapsed, borders rise and fall overnight, and magic has awakened without rhyme, reason, or rule, turning average unwitting citizens into wielders of strange and specific strands of magic.

Hemingway’s particular brand of magic has made him a household name. Not only is he a talented artist, but his work comes to life. Literally.

When NYC’s most infamous serial killer—the East River Ripper—abducts Hemingway’s best friend, Grace, he has only days to save her. Hemingway teams up with his stoic cop roommate to hunt for the killer and rescue Grace before she becomes the Ripper’s latest victim. But as the duo chase clues to the serial killer’s identity, Hemingway begins to fear the magic he and the Ripper share might eventually corrupt him too.

Buy Links

NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Smashwords | B&N | Kobo

Excerpt

Earnest Ink

Alex Hall © 2019

All Rights Reserved

I work without speaking because that’s the way I prefer it. The vibration of my machine, the softer buzz of the fluorescent lights overhead, the tap of my foot on the pedal—it’s the best music in the world.

When I hit a ticklish spot, the girl I’m working on gasps, jolting in my chair.

“Don’t move,” I say. And then, with a salesman’s false cheer: “Almost done!”

The girl is sweating down the crook of her neck. She’s got silver glitter paint on her eyelids and cheeks, a new fashion trend I just can’t quite get behind. Under my lights the mix of perspiration and makeup looks like a blurry constellation.

She wanted a bee inked onto her collarbone, one of those tiny honeybees you find on good tequila bottles. Easily done, and she met the cash requirement. She’s eager, nervous, and breathing in and out in little puffs.

I can’t remember her name, but that’s fine. Customer relations is Eric’s job.

There’s another kid leaning over my glass counter, watching eagerly as I work. “Does it hurt?” he asks. “When the magic happens?”

The bee’s fat yellow thorax wriggles from side to side as it begins to wake, fighting the pressure of my needle, hungry for life.

“It looks like it hurts,” the kid says. I ignore him.

One minute more and—thanks to my peculiar magic—this bee will fly free.

I’m perched on a swivel stool, a wet paper towel in my hand to wipe away ink. It’s too hot in my studio, even with the industrial fans whirling overhead and the door propped wide open. Evening light slants in through the door and the north-facing, floor-to-ceiling window panes that look out onto West Forty-Sixth. It’s muggy, too warm for New York in October, and all of Hell’s Kitchen is wilting, including my client.

“What does it feel like?” the kid demands. He’s leaving greasy fingerprints on the surface of the glass as he strains to get a better look at what I’m doing. I study him out the corner of my eye, wiping sweat off my nose with the back of my wrist before it drips on my customer. He looks like one of the street punks who have taken to running in packs near the cruise terminals, sleeping in old, abandoned cargo containers and panhandling up and down the marina.

He’s skinny and tall, hair dyed an unsettling violet and styled into spikes all over his head. He’s got a silver ring in his septum and more hoops in his ears; his eyelashes are coated with purple mascara to match his hair. Green glitter paint sparkles on his lids. His T-shirt and jeans are torn and dirty, and he’s got a pack of black-market cigarettes rolled into one sleeve against his upper arm.

About the Author

Sarah Remy/Alex Hall is a nonbinary, animal-loving, proud gamer Geek.

Their work can be found in a variety of cool places, including HarperVoyager, EDGE and NineStar Press.

Author Links

Blog/Website| Twitter: @sarahremywrites

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Continue Reading BOOK BLAST: “Earnest Ink” by Alex Hall