More Paperbacks…

Facets400x600As well as turning Argent Dreaming [and eventually  Nettleflower] into paperbacks via Createspace, I’m also working through my self-published gay romances written as Chris Quinton. Most of those are titles which have been returned to me following the collapse of Silver Publishing.

I’ve combined three short stories – Home And Heart, Falling Again and Never Too Late, into one anthology, titled Facets Of Love.




Of course, I’m still feeling my way around the Createspace thing, so it won’t be done quickly. Since I’m somewhat technically challenged, I am really pleased my two titles published with Totally Bound are out as paperbacks as well as ebooks under their umbrella. That’s Caravaggio’s Angel, and Carlyle’s Crossing.


DarkWatersDraftCoverDark Waters is also out in paperback, with different cover art from the ebook.

Details of all my gay romance ebooks can be found on my other website, Chris Quinton


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Very Belated Update

Ahem. I think it’s about time I brought this site up to date. It’s been two years. *TWO YEARS*! That’s bad, even for me… Still, my stories have just about escaped from hanging in limbo, and I can say that Argent Dreaming is available in ebook format across all the Amazon sites, and at All Romance eBooks.

Also, it is currentArgentDreamingPrintCoverly going through the system at Createspace, ready to be published in paperback format. Watch this space, as they say.

Another title that will shortly be on the same route, is Nettleflower, co-written with Terri Beckett. Once Createspace has done its thing, that, too, will be released in ebook format as well as paperback.

Even further down the paperback line are Sunfire and its sequel, Sunfire And Shadow. They will be done, but not soon…

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Amber Kell’s Birthday Bash!

I’m over on Amber Kell’s Birthday Bash today – check it out and discover why August 9th is a bit special to me and my family!


In case you missed one, find previous postings of her Birthday Bash story, Wandmaker, HERE




And here is the next part of Wandmaker


“We’re draining her magic.” Rafe kissed Rhea. Her magic rose to the surface and wrapped around the shifter. Rafe glowed for a minute before changing into a tiger. The beast snarled at Teven.

“Don’t even think about it kitty,” Teven warned.

Rhea sighed. Transforming the guards to their cat form always drained some of her power. She spun around to face the king.

“Did you need something?” Rhea asked the king.

“I see I can’t let you out of my sight.” Teven growled.

Rhea sighed. “You are really the most annoying monarch.”

Peller chuckled behind her. “You are just looking for trouble aren’t you,” he whispered.

“Go guard my sister. She’s wandering around here without protection,” Rhea reminded him.

“That’s because we know you’re the trouble maker and need all the attention.” Peller teased.

“Pfft, you two go I need to go so I can talk to the king.” Rhea made shooing motions with her hands. The king looked furious and she needed to smooth things over. She didn’t want her sister to have bad relations with her in-laws before she even got married.

When the guards left Rhea closed the door behind them. “What is your problem now?” She crossed her arms over her chest as she confronted the king.

“My problem?” Teven wrapped Rhea in his arms. “I don’t like to see you in another man’s arms.”

“Hmm.” Rhea examined the king. She let him hold her and didn’t object when he kissed her. The man really knew how to kiss. She hummed at the warm flow pouring through her. Her magic settled to a low buzz instead of the roaring flame of before.

Teven slid his hands up and down her back in a soothing manner. “You belong to me,” Teven said.

Rhea cupped Teven’s face in between her hands. “You’re adorable but I’m not queen material.”

Slipping out of Teven’s arms she blew a kiss to the king before walking out the door. No way would she stay on this planet for the rest of her life. Five moons combined with her power was a recipe for disaster.

“You can get away now but don’t think I’ve given up,” Teven called after her as she left the room.

As she wandered the hall Rhea wondered what the dragon man wanted. Would he be back if she returned to the market? Curiosity had always been her downfall. Her father called it a bad trait but her mother called it fun. Of course mother was a bit unhinged.

Deciding to take her chances, Rhea headed back toward the market. Of course she never got too far before two figures separated from the wall and flanked her on either side.

“You two following me?” She asked raising her eyebrow.

“Of course,” Rafe said back in his human form. “You’re riding the magic hard and you have impulse issues. Besides if your parents didn’t exile us for losing you, King Teven would tear us apart. Face it Rhea you’re stuck with us.

Rhea sighed but secretly she appreciated her guards. Her shifters had protected her for years and she felt more comfortable confronting a dragon man with her guards.

“Let’s go see a dragon about what he wants,” Rhea said.


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Mystical Glastonbury, troubled dreams and Tarot cards, a psychic gift she doesn’t want, and a tall, blond Frenchman who isn’t what he seems. Add in a murderer on the loose, and Caitlin’s long-postponed return to the sleepy country town will be a lot more exciting than she’d bargained for.
Available now from Silver Publishing

New Excerpt…

Below the British postage stamps, the address on the envelope was sparse, Lieutenant Leconte, Police Station, Vannes, Brittany, France. La Poste had not been kind to it, judging by the scuffs and creases. The letter it held had been scrawled in haste, the words slanting across the paper. Nor were they easy to read. Philippe Alexandre was reasonably fluent in English, be it written or spoken, which was one reason why it had ended up on his desk. But at first glance it threatened to defeat him.

“Go on,” Aristide said impatiently, “what does it say?”

“It’s about the Duliére murder.” He glanced at the end of the letter. “And signed by Samantha Collio—no, Collis. I remember that case. I’d just become a detective. It was my first murder and I was the lowliest one on the case. Eloise Duliére was beaten to death by her lover, and a little English girl found the body. Guillot still had his hands around Eloise’s throat.”

“He then ran off and disappeared from the face of the earth. Yes.” Aristide nodded. “Poor old Leconte would remember it too. One of the few loose ends he didn’t manage to tie up before he retired. So what has she to tell us, five years on?”

Philippe pushed a swathe of dark blond hair out of his eyes and scanned down the page, muttering the more troublesome words under his breath. Then said, “She says she thinks she’s seen Guillot.”


“Listen to this,” he said and translated the English into French. “Dear Lieutenant Leconte, I saw this man in the High Street and I’m sure it was Alain Guillot. He had long black hair and a scruffy beard and he was with a group of crusties but I’m certain it was him. I know it was a long time ago but after what had happened I don’t think I would ever forget what he looks like.”

“Crusties?” Aristide frowned, rolling the unfamiliar word on his tongue. “Are you sure that’s what it says? What are they?”

“No idea,” Philippe shrugged. “She’s written from an address in Glastonbury—Quest, The Courtyard, High Street. In England,” he added as Aristide’s expressive eyebrows climbed.

“Glastonbury? Never heard of it.”

“You must have. King Arthur and the Grail. They have nearly as many Arthurian links as we do in Brittany.”

“Not my scene. Well, by the look of it, it’s been dropped in your lap, my friend. What are you going to do? Fax a copy of Guillot’s photofit and get the local police to have a word with her?”

“Maybe, maybe not. I think I’d sooner talk to her myself. I was part of the team, though I doubt if she’ll remember me. She was only a child and frightened half out of her wits.”

“My friend,” Aristide said wryly, raking a glance up and down Philippe’s lean six foot frame. “You have the looks of a movie star and the ladies always remember you, whether they’re infants or grandmothers.”

~ ~ ~ * ~ ~ ~

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title is a re-release issue.

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Sometimes You Just Have To Do It…

Leaving Portsmouth – HMS Warrior

Go on a writing retreat, that is. Which meant I packed a case and took myself and my laptop off to a B&B in Ryde on the Isle of Wight for five days, and it’s been great. I’ve broken my partial block, written more than I have in weeks [even if it isn’t as much as I’d’ve liked, and solved a couple of plot hangups.

Sail Training Tall Ship – untweaked

The weather has been kind to me [and the Olympics]. It was overcast when I left Portsmouth Harbour, and some of the photos I took through the windows of the catamaran-ferry make it seem even more gloomy.

Sail Training Tall Ship – tweaked

But all the time I was on the island, it was sunny and comfortably hot. Even yesterday, as I sat on the end of Ryde Pier awaiting the ferry back to Portsmouth, the sun was shining to put the lie to the weather forecast’s promise of rain all day.

North Beach, Ryde

It hasn’t been slogging over a keyboard all the time. I did manage a wander along North Beach to give my feet their first – and probably last – dose of sea water this year, and explored Ryde itself. It’s a fascinating little town, with only one major supermarket right outside the town. There are lots of small local shops in the town itself, the like of which have disappeared from too many town centres in the UK. I also spent a lovely morning chatting with another writer-friend who lives not far from Ryde [lucky woman! *g*].

A lane to the sea, Ryde

Seahaven House, my B&B, was literally just across the road and down a bit from the Pier. Two minutes walk once you reach the landward end of the Pier – which takes nearly ten minutes on foot. But there is a train that frequently runs the length of the Pier and on to Shanklin. My room at Seahaven was en suite, comfortable, with a desk-fan, a TV and free WiFi, and if I wasn’t on a low carb diet for my T2 Diabetes, the full English breakfasts would have piled on the pounds *g*. As it was, my eggs, bacon and mushrooms were delicious, even without the rest of the trimmings on offer.

Down Union Street, Ryde

JD Wetherspoons have a pub on Union Street, also with free WiFi, so if I wasn’t writing in my room, I was there, beavering away. As well as JDW, there were other restaurants and cafes that offered basic salads at good prices, as well as pricier places to eat.


~~~ * ~~~

Once I was back in Portsmouth, and with nearly an hour to wait for my train home, I took the chance to take some photos of HMS Warrior while the sun was still cooperating.

HMS Warrior, Portsmouth


She was built in 1860, the Royal Navy’s first iron-clad warship, and is now part of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyards complex.



HMS Warrior – figurehead



Her figurehead is rather fine as well.



There’s more information on Warrior HERE, and the Historic Dockyards – home of Nelson’s HMS Vistory and Henry the Eighth’s Mary Rose HERE. One day I’ll treat myself to a visit to the Dockyards. I haven’t been there since I was a child.

So all told, I had a damned good – and productive – time, and it would be wrong to end this without a photo of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower…

The Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

Isle of Wight and Seahaven, I will be back.

P.S. The rain held off until I’d just started my walk from the train station to home, and then the heavens opened. But at least it was warm rain *g*…

~~~ * ~~~

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Argent Dreaming – Release Date and Excerpt



Release Date September 22nd from Silver Publishing – Pre-Order Now!

Cat has issues with Glastonbury, the town at the heart of what once was the Vale of Avalon. The power that lives there broke through her barriers and awoke her talents, but the experience terrified her and she has refused to let those talents manifest. But now, five years on, she reluctantly goes back to Glastonbury.

Philippe Alexandre is a detective with the Police Judiciaire based in Vannes, France. He is undercover in Glastonbury to follow up on new information about an old murder that happened near Vannes. He meets Cat and is as drawn to her as she is to him. He disco vers that Cat knows his witness, and decides to use their mutual attraction to pump her for information.

Before long, Cat’s long suppressed talents are forcing themselves forward and she realizes that the visions she sees are linked to Philippe’s case. Together they must save the innocent before the killer can attack again and next time Cat will be the target.

~~~ * ~~~

Chapter One

Melanie sat up with a spine-wrenching jerk and paper crackled around her.

“Nooo,” she whimpered, screwing her eyes shut. “Not again!” Yesterday she’d burned the last sheets of blank paper, every unmarked page in her sketchbooks, every pen, pencil, paintbrush and charcoal stick she possessed. What did I forget?

She forced her eyes open.

The dawn light filtered through the canvas walls, more than enough for Mel to see the litter surrounding her. Pages torn from the paperback novel she’d read the previous evening, all of them covered in scrawls of red and black and purple—lip pencils and eye-liners, noted the rational part of her mind. Panic overwhelmed the rest of her.

“No!” Mel cried, scrabbling the desecrated pages together and scrunching them into a ball. “Nonono—” But some of the images were already burned into her head: Mark, naked and defenseless but for the protecting bars, surrounded by viciously barbed vines straining to reach his flesh.

Mel stumbled outside, the dew shockingly cold on her bare feet. The fire from last night still smoldered and she shoved the wadded mass of paper into its heart.

It seemed a lifetime before the flames flickered into life and destroyed it.

* * * *

“I’ve often thought,” said Maeve Argent, much as the Queen declaimed the formula that opened Parliament, “that I should design my own Tarot cards.”

“Why not?” Caitlin agreed absently, more intent on the computer. “Everyone else and their dog has.”

“But the time has never been … auspicious,” her mother went on as if she hadn’t spoken. Maeve patted her chignon to make sure every strand of her tastefully red hair was in place. “Now, however, my intuition tells me The Time Is Here.”

“More likely the last bank statement,” Cat said, patently unimpressed, but with an affectionate smile. “I keep telling you, the New Age bandwagon is pretty much over. But there might be a little bit of profit in it.”

“Money is secondary,” Maeve said loftily, pushing the missive from the bank out of sight beneath a magazine. “I am Guided To Create—”

“Come off it, Mum.” Cat chuckled. “Save that for the punters, not me.”

She aimed a swipe at her daughter’s dark head and missed. “Don’t be so cynical, my girl. You’ll get your comeuppance before long, just you wait and see. Seriously, what do you think of the idea?”

Cat shrugged and sat away from the keyboard, shaking back the heavy waves of her shoulder-length hair. “If it’s anything like that book you’re going to write, it’s a non-starter,” she said bluntly. “I’ve yet to see so much as a title page.”

“Don’t be picky. As soon as I get round to sorting out my notes, you’ll have it. Tarot cards, my girl, and don’t change the subject.”

“Well…” Cat gave it serious thought. “It’ll have to be done on a shoestring budget and the bank won’t extend our overdraft or give us another loan. I tried that when Tank blew his engine.” Twenty years ago, the Tank had started life as a 7.5 ton exhibition truck belonging to a now defunct Brighton firm. A major refit transformed it into a travelling shop, with a small alcove for Maeve to give Tarot readings. The equally radical paint-job, glossy black with silver astrological designs around the name, Argent Dreams, written in silver Celtic-style lettering, turned it into an eye-catcher. “Unless we do it all ourselves,” Cat continued. “In which case we’ll have to find a small-time printer willing to take a chance and to wait for payment. But more than that you’ll need an artist. Someone who’ll follow your instructions to the last ink-splash and come very cheap. In fact,” she added with sudden interest, “you could design cards and notepaper—we could run them off on a colour copier and sell packets of it. Not so many overheads.”

“No,” said Maeve, a hint of steel in her voice. “Tarot cards.”

Cat gave another shrug and hunched over the keyboard again. “All right,” she said. “Just remember the kitty is practically empty. All the profit we made at the South Coast Craft Fair went straight to the garage for the intensive surgery on Tank’s suspension. Those soapstone incense burners are going well,” she said after a pause. “I’m doubling up on them and cutting back on the lacquered brass ones, okay?”

“Is that what you’re doing?” Maeve frowned. “Stock-sheets?” As if it was a somewhat questionable social practice. “I thought you were supposed to be working on Mrs Hewitt’s star chart?” Any professional scepticism Maeve might have had about astrology-by-software had been dispelled the first time Cat had run a birth-date, time and place through the computer and come up with a very similar result to her own reading, in a fraction of the time. And Cat, as everyone knew, had all the psychic ability of the average house brick, despite the talents of both her parents.

“I did that last night. Stock control’s important, Mum. It’s where your next bottle of Grand Marnier comes from.”

“Don’t be snide.” But there were no sharp edges in the word-play and Maeve gave the girl a swift hug as she headed for the kitchen. “Cup of tea, dear?”

“Yes, please.”

While she waited for the kettle to boil, Maeve covertly studied her daughter from bare feet, leggings and loose t-shirt, to the glossy curtain of hair. Black as a raven’s wing that hair, and with the same kind of iridescence in the sunlight. It fell about Cat’s face in waves and curls that most women would pay a small fortune to possess. Stefan’s hair had been that dark and had curled in the same untamed way. Maeve’s fingers itched to comb it out, smooth it into neatness as she had when Cat was a child. Instead she tucked back a stray tendril of her own hair, re-ordering the tortoiseshell combs that helped to hold the heavy chignon in place. Working on automatic, because her attention was all on Cat’s profile, half-hidden by that wing of silk.

The girl’s face was a little drawn, paler than Maeve liked to see and her vivid blue eyes—Stefan’s eyes—were strained beneath translucent lids. Nor was it only the outward appearance she inspected, but the subtle language of stance and inflection. It didn’t take a mother’s intuition or psychic talents to tell her Cat was restless, lonely and unsettled, and she had been for some time. Since she had graduated from Reading University and come home, subdued and reserved, with no talk of Robert Webb or any other man. Had come home to Brighton and immersed herself in the running of Argent Dreams, the family’s small fortune-telling and New Age bric-a-brac business. Theses days they just about scraped by on Craft Fairs, Psychic Fairs, County Shows and village fetes throughout the south of England, augmented by regular astrology columns and air-slots in local papers and radio stations. But Maeve was more concerned about Cat. It seemed there was no man in the life of her charming twenty-four year old girl and that was not as it should be, in Maeve’s book.

So what had happened with Robert Webb? Maeve remembered him as a tall, brown-haired young man, not at all bad looking and with a nice smile, if a little aloof. Cat had brought him home during the last half-term break of her final year at the university and Maeve had been delighted to see her rather withdrawn daughter so obviously happy. Not that she had always been so introspective. Before her father’s death she had been a laughing, confident child, never still, full of energy and curiosity. Grief for their loss had changed that but for a while Rob had given Maeve back the real Cat.

But now he was conspicuous by his absence and had been for the last eighteen months, while Cat was again holding the rest of the world at a distance.

Oh, well. Rob was strongly Virgo, Maeve recalled, precise and critical and rather rigid and therefore incompatible with Cat’s Scorpio. Besides, love affairs have a habit of ending. She’d had one or two heartbreaks herself until she’d met Stefan. Stefan Ezust, a true Rom of Hungarian-born cigány-stock. They’d met at a Psychic Fair in Margate where she was reading Tarot cards and her crystal ball in a tent, and calling herself Maeve Fortuna—it sounded more esoteric than Maeve O’Rourke—and it had taken only one glance at that laughing brigand to know this was the man meant for her.

They were married by the month’s end. Stefan changed his name—well, anglicized it—to Argent and between them, Argent Dreams was created. So was Cat. Named Gráinne Caitlin and in later years shortened by the girl’s own insistence to Cat, to Maeve’s regret. Stefan hadn’t minded, just laughed and teased them both. He made a joke out of everything life threw at them, the good and the bad. He’d even turned the lung cancer into one, so much so that even though it eventually killed him, he was never defeated by it.

But something was defeating his daughter and Maeve was determined that would never happen if she could prevent it.

Surreptitiously, although she knew Cat was effectively blind and deaf when concentrating on the computer, Maeve took her Tarot cards out of her capacious purse. With the girl’s image held clear in her mind, she picked five at random and laid them face up on the worktop. The Emperor, the Tower, the Priestess, the Moon, the Lovers. All major cards. That was interesting. And rather unsettling. But the Lovers at least echoed the last star-chart she’d done on Cat—

“Mum, aren’t you supposed to be meeting Aunt Sophie at eleven?” Maeve gave a startled jump. Cat was not as oblivious as she’d thought.

“I am—oh, God! It’s five-to! I’ll be late!”

“My mother, the White Rabbit…” She offered the charming smile inherited from her father and shoved her feet into a pair of sandals. “I’ll give you a lift if you’re ready to go now.”

“I’m ready,” Maeve replied, scooping up the cards and shoving them back into her purse. Sophie, of Sophia’s Aromatica, herbalist, part-time medium and cousin several times removed to Stefan Argent, might well have some useful ideas on Tarot card designs.

“Let’s go, then. Oh and don’t forget, we need some more of her Moon Flower oils and the potpourri.”

“Don’t panic, dear. I never forget a thing, you know that.”

 ~~~ * ~~~

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Argent Dreaming – The Cover!

The Art Department at Silver Publishing is a hive of talent. The award-winning Reese Dante had created the perfect cover for my paranormal mystery romance, Argent Dreaming and I couldn’t be more thrilled with it. The novel is due for release on September 22nd, and I’m finding it hard to wait *g*.

When the final edits have been done, I’ll post an excerpt.

~ * ~

Caitlin has issues with Glastonbury, the town at the heart of what once was the Vale of Avalon. The power living there awoke her talents, but the experience terrified her and she has blocked them. Five years on, she returns to Glastonbury.
Philippe Alexandre, a detective with the French Police Judiciaire, is undercover in Glastonbury to follow up on new information on an old murder that happened near Vannes. Cat knows his witness, and he decides to use their mutual attraction to pump her for information.
Soon Cat’s long suppressed talents are forcing themselves forward and she realizes the visions she sees are linked to Philippe’s case. Together they must save the innocent before the killer can attack again.
~ * ~
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