Tag Archives: gay

Publishing Roundup: lesbian romance, gay vampires, and Sherlock Holmes in Melbourne

The last few months have seen a few publishing milestones for me, so here’s a bit of a roundup before I resume my travel reports from the UK.

Gay Vampires: Ravenfall

While walking around on a self-guided tour of Roman London, I stumbled across this fantastic view of the Shard and London Bridge Hospital. The Hospital features in the bloody climax of my London-set paranormal thriller, Ravenfall.

The book is also a gay romance, with vampire James Sharpe trying to reclaim his humanity, with the help and love of the very human artist, Gabriel Dare. They might do well with that, provided they survive the plot in which James’s sire is involved.

Recent guest posts about Ravenfall:

Buy Ravenfall

Sherlock Holmes in Australia

I’ve written Holmes and Watson in Australia as a canon-era love story in The Adventure of the Colonial Boy – but I also write more traditional stories of them as epic best friends. I have stories in two sepearate anthologies, both set in Australia!

Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook is coming out in November. My story, The Mystery of the Miner’s Wife, is set in Ballarat.

Baker Street Irregulars 2: The Game’s Afoot is due out in April 2018. It’s full of alternative universe interpretations of Sherlock Holmes. In my story, The Problem of the Three Journals, Holmes and Watson are contemporary Melburnian hipsters, running their cafe, The Sign of Four, and solving mysteries. The book is currently available for preorder:

Lesbian romance: Near Miss

Near Miss, set in Melbourne, is the story of a rock chick and a cool hairdresser who keep not quite meeting until a yarnbombing event intervenes. It came out in August.

I wrote about the story and yarnbombing for Women and Words: Creative Rebellion and Joyful Defiance.

You can get Near Miss at:

Release day: Ravenfall

It’s 1st September, and a happy release day to my latest (and eighth) book, Ravenfall, published by Clan Destine Press.

If you have pre-ordered the paperback, today’s the day your retailer will send it to you on black feathery wings!

Set in contemporary London, Ravenfall is the story of James Sharpe, a vampire who wonders if it’s possible to fallin love, since he doesn’t even know if he has a soul, and Gabriel Dare, an artist who’s wondered all his life if he was mad but he’s pretty sure about one thing – James Sharpe is the best thing in his life. Can he convince James of the same?

They’ll find those answers together, provided they survive all the other monsters who have schemes of their own. People are dying, nobody is safe, and even the undead can die. James and Gabriel will have to risk it all in order to be together for as much of forever as they can manage.

An extract from Ravenfall:

Curious, Gabriel stabbed the tip of the silver knife into the jar of garlic, and placed it in the dish of vampire blood. The blood fizzed, coagulated and gave off a terrible stink.

‘Better toss the silverware out too, then,’ he said.

James, who had pushed well back from the table, shook his head. ‘Keep it in your room.’

Gabriel was inclined to argue the point, but James was staring at the dish of blackened vampire blood in fascinated horror.

‘We don’t have to do this now,’ Gabriel offered gently.

‘We have to find out, don’t we? Apart from anything else, you need protection. You may one day need it from me.’

‘Don’t be ridiculous.’

‘I’m not being ridiculous. You don’t… you don’t know what I… You don’t know.’

Gabriel reached for James’s shoulder, echoing James’s earlier solace.

‘I’m an excellent judge of character, remember? If you can’t trust yourself, trust me. I lived with a father who did his best to grind me into the dirt to get back at my mother; a man who medicated me from the ages of eight to twelve and packed me off to psychiatrists and institutions rather than try to listen, let alone understand. I lived on the streets, and I’ve fought for my independence my whole life. I know what people who want to hurt me look and sound like. You’re not like them. You don’t want to hurt me.’

‘No. I don’t.’

Gabriel’s leaned across the table to kiss James’s mouth. Their lips met, soft and chaste and sweet. James’s skin warmed under Gabriel’s tender touch. He didn’t kiss back, exactly, but with his head tilted up, his whole stance softened, relaxed, held still, and he received the kiss like a benediction. When Gabriel drew away, James’s eyes were closed.


James’s blue eyes opened, and they were full of longing and sorrow and fear. ‘I don’t want to hurt you. That doesn’t mean I won’t without meaning to. It’s happened before. When I first woke like this. A vampire. I didnae know what I was yet. But I was so thirsty and… I did monstrous things, Gabriel.’

‘But you’re not a monster. Trust me on this.’

‘Eight hours ago, you didn’t know that vampires could exist. Now you’re telling the one you live with that you trust him.’


‘With your life.’


‘You’re daft. But please. Even if you can trust my intent, you can’t trust the thirst. Promise me you’ll defend yourself if I… if I forget myself again.’

Mark Ravenfall To Read on Goodreads now!

Buy Ravenfall in paperback!

The ebook is coming in a month.

A Tale of Two Conferences

Narrelle with a snake at Australia Zoo
‘Australia Zoo / Ben Beaden’

I spent the middle of August in Queensland. Respite from Melbourne’s very chilly winter was a bonus but not the purpose.

Instead, I was attending my first ever Romance Writers of Australia conference, and then loitering a little longer so I could join Tim on the Sunshine Coast for his conference with the Australian Society of Travel Writers.

And then I got to cuddle a snake.

Love Gone Wild

The RWA conference – Love Gone Wild – was a big financial commitment, but it was definitely worth the time and the money to attend. Apart from getting to meet with hundreds of fellow writers of romance, I was able to attend the conference sessions. I learned something new at every single panel, even ones where I felt fairly sure I knew the material being covered.

I was able to hear from established writers, publishers and agents about how the industry is changing, how people are responding to the changes, the opportunities that are out there and how writers can look for new ways to engage readers. The conference was what finally made me work out how to import my blog, which used to live on a separate site, into my main website here!

I’ve learned a lot about marketing and more than a few things about how to approach submissions and agent queries.

I even won a raffle prize where I get to consult with a swordsman about writing fight scenes!

My new novel, Ravenfall, made its first appearance at Love Gone Wild – and it was the first time I got to lay hands on the trade paperback of this little beauty!

The ebook is coming later, but for now the paperback is due out officially on 1 September and is up for pre-order on:

The fancy dress evening was a delight too – a flock of flamingos were there!

In all, if you’re a budding or established romance writer, I can highly recommend both membership of the RWA and attendance at their annual August conference. Not only are the sessions of enormous value, there are opportunities to pitch books to a range of publishers and agents. It’s being held at the Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney next year, so you can start preparing now!


I’m not myself a travel writer but in my other life as a freelance writer, I’ve written for universities, hotel chains and entertainers. With Tim attending a conference only the weekend following Love Gone Wild, it made sense to hang about (and spend some time with my fabulous brother Stephen, who lives in Brisbane) and join Tim for some of the events that partners were invited to.

So it was that I found myself learning to paint watercolours in the Sunshine Coast hinterland with artist James McKay and later making pottery chickens at Fried Mudd.

Not to mention seeing critters being cared for at the wildlife rescue centre and cuddling snakes at the Australia Zoo. This place is huge and witnessing two blokes feed a crocodile while attempting not to be eaten by one gives me even greater respect for crocodiles.

My favourite part of the croc show was actually the birds – watching the bright parrots and macaws, the beautiful whistling kite and the massive Andean condor. I was fortunate later to meet a macaw up close.

It’s important just as a person to be curious about the world and to seek out new experiences. As a writer, your curiosity is one of your best writing tools – to go forth and try things out. You never know if you’ll need to write about them. More to the point, I often write about things soon after experiencing them.

Now. How soon can I get a character to muck about with a snake?