…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
There is a giveaway that will be available throughout all blog tour stops.
A backlist ebook from ALL of the authors participating in the anthology (one each from Tamara Allen, Joanna Chambers, KJ Charles, Kaje Harper, Jordan L. Hawk, Aleksandr Voinov, and Alex Beecroft)…7 books in total!
A $50 Amazon giftcard
A $50 donation in the winner’s name to AllOut.org (all proceeds from the sale of this anthology will also be donated to this charity)
“I Don’t Like Historicals (why people don’t read them, and why you should)”
by KJ Charles
As the blurb for the new gay historical romance anthology Another Place in Time proclaims:
“This collection of short stories was birthed because a sworn “I don’t like historicals” reader fell in love with what have become some of her favourite books.”
It’s funny, the “I don’t like historicals” thing. I did a bit of nosing around, and it seems to me the main reasons people are resistant to gay historical romance fall into some basic groups.
(I’m not going into this one in detail here but just take my word for it: a good historical will clue you in seamlessly, without clunky exposition and piles of facts, just like a good SF, fantasy or book featuring an unfamiliar location/occupation does. If it’s a research dump, it’s not a good book and you have my permission to stop reading it.)
All of which can be rolled into:
Now, it is true that if what you want in your romance is a straight, open, primrose path to a HEA, if you’re angst-averse or want your fictional worlds totally LGBT-friendly, historical may not be for you, except for some select periods and places. That’s your right to read what you want. But in general, romance readers want a path to true love that doesn’t run smooth. As my five-year-old insists, ‘It’s not a proper story if nothing goes wrong.’
When I worked at a romance publisher as an editor, many moons ago, we had to bring an acquisition document for each book we acquired to the editorial meeting, and at the head of the document was: Conflict. We had to summarise the basic conflict of each book in a line or two, and woe betide you if your book had none. No conflict means no obstacles, nothing to overcome, no up-and-down, no personal growth, no nail-biting moments as it all goes wrong, and no corresponding joy when it all come right. No story.
Quick primer: Conflict can be internal to the individual (A is closeted; B hates the man who ruined her father) or internal to the relationship (C wants a baby while D is a free spirit) or external (E is being pursued by warlocks who want to eat her soul, which puts a crimp in her dating life; F and G will go to prison if they’re caught together).
Historical queer romance provides a huge opportunity for external conflict. In many periods, the law is the big external factor, particularly for m/m romance because most anti-homosexuality laws focused on men. How you tell if the other guy is interested, how you dare to make a move, how you can spend time together, how you find a way to an HEA. These are huge, apparently insuperable difficulties in themselves. Then you add in the ‘stuffiness’ – the historical constraints on behaviour. What people could do or be seen to do; who had the power and who had none; the demands of social position and gender roles; the issue of race when racism was open, standard and even required.
You could look at that lot and say, wow, that sounds depressing and complicated. But for a romance writer, it looks like an entire warren of plot bunnies. What if you’re a lord in love with a servant? What if you’re trans in a time when there wasn’t even a word for that? What if you are totally dependent on your family, with no social safety net if they reject you? What if your loved one is of a different race, in racist times? How do we get to a happy ever after?
Historical romance isn’t stuffy: it subverts stuffiness. It uses the constraints of the past to power up the sexual tension and raise the stakes. The cruelty of the laws may give more opportunity for things to go wrong, but it also tells us how passionately our protagonists are committed to making them go right.
Obviously, queer historicals romanticise the often dreadful conditions queer people endured in the past. That is what romance does. But I think this genre is a celebration, rather than a discarding of the truth. It’s a way of saying: queer people have been around all the time, they’ve lived and loved and found happiness in defiance of the odds, and these are stories of things as they should have been. A claiming of happy endings out of sometimes unpromising materials. This is romance.
Another Place in Time has stories ranging from entirely frothy to seriously high stakes. A range of settings from the Knights Templar in the Middle East to small-town 1940s USA, via Regency England. A cast of characters who all, in their own ways, search for love and find it, and defy all the obstacles in their way, internal or external.
And not a research-dump in sight.
ABOUT KJ CHARLES:
I’m a writer of romance, mostly m/m, often historical or fantasy or both. I also have a contemporary thriller as well. I like to mix it up.
I blog about writing and editing at kjcharleswriter.wordpress.com.
I live in London, UK, with two kids, a tolerant husband and an even more tolerant cat.
Follow me on Twitter @kj_charles or friend me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kj.charles.9
Welcome to another place in time…where one can be swept away into lands and eras long forgotten.
Included in this anthology:
“Office Romance” by Tamara Allen
The post-war economy is at a standstill, much like Foster Wetherly’s life until he’s forced to do battle with irritatingly confident—and competent—fellow ex-doughboy Casey Gladwin for a position in their shrinking department at Manhattan Security Mutual.
“Introducing Mr. Winterbourne” by Joanna Chambers
Lysander Winterbourne appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, amiable, and a renowned sportsman, he is the darling of London society. As far as Adam Freeman is concerned though, Lysander is just another spoiled aristocrat.
A wealthy mill owner, Adam has no time for the frivolous world of the ton, but when his younger brother becomes engaged to Althea Winterbourne, he reluctantly agrees to be introduced to society–with the Winterbourne clan’s golden boy as his guide.
Resigning himself to a few days of boredom, Adam is surprised to learn that there is much more to Lysander than his perfect surface. But will Adam have the courage to introduce Lysander Winterbourne to his own secret self?
“The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh” by KJ Charles
Lord Gabriel Ashleigh is a ruined man. Last night he lost everything at the card tables to his brother’s worst enemy, notorious gambler Francis Webster. Tonight, he’s going back for one more game. Ash thinks he has nothing left to lose. But Francis sets the stakes, and they’re higher than Ash could have imagined…
Two Regency bucks. One game of cards. Everything to play for.
“Unfair in Love and War” by Kaje Harper
Many men lost brothers overseas in the summer of 1944. Warren Burch was one of them. For months he still clung to his big city life in Philadelphia, but finally he’s made the difficult choice to return to his home town. Warren’s polio-stricken leg won’t let him serve, so the least he can do is be there for his mother, when brother Charlie never again will. Arriving home means a whole new life, constrained by the rhythms and prejudices of a small town. Fortunately, it’s made more interesting by the mysterious and attractive young man next door.
“Carousel” by Jordan L. Hawk
When a child goes missing, is it a simple case of a young runaway, or are more sinister forces at work?
“Carousel” is part of the Whyborne & Griffin series and takes place between the events of Stormhaven and Necropolis. It can be read as a standalone.
“Deliverance” by Aleksandr Voinov
This is a re-vamped, re-edited, improved version of “Deliverance”. It’s about William Raven, a templar, who thought he’d escaped his past. (Same character as in The Lion of Kent.)
Along with a foreword written by Alex Beecroft, enjoy these original short stories that make up “Another Place in Time”.
All proceeds from the purchase of this anthology will be donated to AllOut.org in celebration of LGBT History Month, October 2014.
Title: Another Place in Time
Authors: Tamara Allen, Joanna Chambers, KJ Charles, Kaje Harper, Jordan L. Hawk, Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher: Boys in our Books
Release Date: October 1, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon, Smashwords