We’re so pleased to welcome author Alex Beecroft today, and the tour for her latest novel from Riptide Publishing, Sons of Devils, book one in the Arising series. In which genre does this book fall? Read on to find out, and then be sure to check out the giveaway details too.
What kind of a book is this? Well, it’s the kind I’ve always wanted to write. If you go to my site you’ll see that I’ve said If you make a venn diagram of genres, including historical, fantasy, SF, gay romance and mystery, I occupy the space in the middle where they overlap. The Arising books don’t quite manage to include science-fiction or murder mystery, but they are otherwise historical fantasy with queer protagonists, blending a bit of gay romance
One of the things I’ve noticed readers saying, while I was lurking in my fannish presence on Tumblr, was that while they liked m/m romance, sometimes they wanted stories where not everything revolved around the main characters’ love lives/sexualities. Sometimes they just wanted adventure stories of the same sort you might get with straight characters, but where the protagonists were queer.
That’s what I’ve tried to do with Sons of Devils and Angels of Istanbul. We have Frank who is gay. Since this puts him into conflict with his 18th Century father, he and some friends from university embark on a Grand Tour to study magical landmarks on the continent.
Magic has only just become an important force in the world, since Atlantis arose from the sea once more and all the magical devices it used to power suddenly came back on line. So the scholars of the Age of Enlightenment are now racing to try to understand this newly revealed force of nature, and are making interesting discoveries every day. That’s how come Frank has no idea he is actually a powerful mage. He thinks he’s merely a good linguist with a trick of being able to summon light, and he probably wouldn’t ever have developed further if he hadn’t tumbled into Radu’s hands following an attack by bandits.
Radu is bisexual. In the elevated circles in which he moves, this is much less of a problem for him than the fact that his parents are vampires. In fact, along with his complete imperviousness to all forms of magic including mind control, it’s a factor that he uses to thwart their evil will – I’m not saying how, for fear of giving away the whole plot.
Ecaterina is an enchantress, but she’s my special asexual, aromantic take on being an enchantress – one I personally think would be 100% more useful than just having people fall in love/lust with you all the time. That’s always struck me as being a dangerous power, in the sense that surrounding yourself with people who want sex with you and are constantly being frustrated seems like it could easily turn into a terrible creepy friendzone mess whereby you just end up with multiple stalkers. Surrounding yourself with people who feel you’re a nice person and they really want to help you sounds much more productive to me.
Mirela is a shapeshifter, and we found out together that this does a number on her gender. When I started out writing her, I thought she was cis and straight, but the first time she shapeshifted into a man we both seemed to realize that she didn’t honestly care about gender. By the end of the book, having had the chance to present herself as an Ottoman eunuch, she’s pretty much chosen to stick with that, as a more accurate middling/liminal appearance that reflects her gender better than her own body used to.
Although there is a subplot love story between Frank and Radu which makes their orientations much more front and center of the book – especially in Sons of Devils – none of these things are more essential to the plot than the fact that some heroes and heroines are straight. I hope you can enjoy that. Not all stories with queer people have to be about being queer. Some, I hope, can be about saving the world. and a bit of horror in there too.
About the Book
British scholar Frank Carew is in Wallachia to study the magic generator on nobleman Radu Vacarescu’s land. There, his party is attacked by bandits and his friends are killed. Pursued by a vampiric figure, he flees to Radu’s castle for help.
Unfortunately, this is precisely where the vampires came from. If allowed, they would feed unchecked and spread their undeath across the whole Earth, but Radu maintains a shaky control over them and keeps them penned in his tiny corner of the country.
As Frank recovers from his assault, Radu finds himself falling for the young man. But loving Frank and not wanting to lose him leaves Radu vulnerable to his demons’ demands. Can he bear to let them feed on the man he loves? Or must he give in to their blackmail and set them free to feast on his entire country?
About the Author
Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.
Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City Paper, LA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association of the UK and an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.
Alex was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She lives with her husband and two children in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.
Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has led a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800-year-old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.
She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.
To celebrate the release of Sons of Devils, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit and one ebook from Alex Beecroft’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 18, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!