Tag Archives: lesbian

Review: A Study in Velvet and Leather by K. Caine

The second volume in Improbable Press’s 221b Series (the first was my own A Dream to Build A Kiss On) is the splended A Study in Velvet and Leather, due for release on 1 December 2018. An advance review copy was coaxed into my greedy little fingers, though, and promptly gobbled up.

K. Caine may have written a female Sherlock and male John in a canon-era setting, but  her tale departs wonderfully far from a traditional telling of thie enduring pair.

John Watson, invalided war doctor, is gay. It’s a surprise to find Stamford’s flat-hunting friend is a woman, but she’s an unusual one. Sherlock is a consulting detective, dressing most often in men’s attire and (we later learn) a reader of Sappho. They move into Baker Street together.

John narrates their life together: his increasing involvement in Sherlock’s cases and John recovers his health, along with his fascination for Sherlock’s methods and curiosity about so much that remains secret and unsaid about Sherlock’s life. John also records his bemused yet growing devotion to his astonishing flatmate, recording but not always understanding Sherlock’s response to him.

But as John develops his surprised and secret feelings for this remarkable woman, an undercurrent from Sherlock’s unspoken private life breaks the surface. The case involves “the well known adventuress” Irene Adler, a compromising photograph, and a private club. The meaning of velvet, leather and many of Sherlock’s mysteries will come to light.

One of the many glories of this book – which include engaging characters, the gorgeous flow of the writing and an exploration of the fluidity than can exist in gender and sexuality – is how seamlessly K. Caine uses the 221b ficlet format to tell a single story.

The 16 chapters of the book are subtly separated into 221-word sections, the last word of each section beginning with ‘b’.  This meets the rules of a 221b ficlet, yet is so smoothly done that the reader may not notice it, as the story’s rhythm moves so gracefully.

A Study in Velvet and Leather is one of those delicious books where you can’t decide whether to gulp it down in one go, or sip it slowly to make it last.

I’ve never been a sipper, though – and I was so involved in Sherlock and John’s adventures and feelings, so invested in them too – that I gulped that story down in a few hours one Saturday. The conclusion was both fantastically satisfying and left me yearning for more of these incarnations of Holmes and Watson.

A fabulous bonus to the whole story is the series of Appendices, in the form of notes between the two. I seriuosly can’t get enough of this fluid John and Sherlock. Additionally, the artwork by Avid Branks is sparing and elegant, and contains little clues of its own .

Which makes it doubly awesome that K. Caine is now writing another Improbable Press book with them, Conductivity.

I can’t wait.

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Cover Reveal: Scar Tissue and Other Stories

At the beginning of May, my Patreon reached its first goal of $100 a month! That means that, as soon as I’ve finished writing the last few stories, getting them edited and getting it all formatted, all my supporters will be getting a free short story collection from me! (The rest of the world will be able to buy it a week or so later.)

Once those final three stories are completed I’ll release a Table of Contents to whet your appetite. In the meantime… TA-DAAAA! This is the cover! Designed by me, using Canva. 🙂

Scar Tissue and Other Stories will contain several stories that have appeared in print elsewhere, along with stories, poems and photo art that were written just for this collection!

Stories include Lost and Found flash fiction, stories set in the worlds of some of my novels, Holmes♥Watson fiction, Holmes+Watson epic besties fiction, and one of the few non-genre stories I’ve written, which gives the collection its title.

If you want to get a free copy of Scar Tissue and Other Stories when it comes out, and get access to other books, works in progress and other exclusive content, you can support me on Patreon for as little as US$1 a month.

Another Scar Tissue Art sneak peek

Last month I shared a sneak peak of some photo art that will appear in Scar Tissue and Other Stories, which I’ll be releasing when my Patreon reaches $100 a month. (Only $20 a month to go, guys!)

I only have three more stories to write for that collection, too! One will be set in the Kitty and Cadaver universe, another in the Ravenfall universe, and the third will be a take on the Orpheus legend.

These images, however, belong to the flash fiction series Lost and Found, based on photographs of lost/found objects I’ve taken on my wanderings. I won’t give you titles this time, though I encourage you to post your guesses about where the photos come from. 🙂

As with the previous images, these embellished photographs are from pictures I’ve taken myself and then fiddled with in the Enlight program on my iPad.

If you’re considering supporting me on Patreon, I already have SO MUCH there for you to read and enjoy, whatever your support level. Every supporter gets an e-copy of the re-release of Duo Ex Machina Book 1: Fly By Night and in due course, every supporter will get the e-book of Scar Tissue and Other Stories.

Supporters at the $1 ‘Fly By Nighters’ level will see posts on my research (books, Melbourne, locations) as well as poems and lyrics (many of the latter will be used in the third Duo Ex Machina book, Number One Fan.)

Supporters at the $3 ‘Backstage Pass’ level can read all the Fly By Nighter level post, as well as all the chapters of the edited, re-released Duo Ex Machina Book 2: Sacrifice that have been posted to date, sneak peaks of works in progress or stories about to be released (including the recently released ‘The Problem  of the Three Journals’ in Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot) and the upcomiong Holmes♥Watson romance A Dream to Build a Kiss On.

‘Class Act’ supporters ($5 a month) get all of those two tiers plus bi-monthly writing tutorials – two are currently there for the reading, with a third due at the end of May.

And if you’re a ‘Name that Tune’ supporter at $10 a month, you get naming rights within one story a year, and an ebook when it’s available!

So if the mood takes you to support my writing via Patreon, you have a lot of reading to get on with from the start! And of course my eternal thanks! Not to mention other rewards, which are listed for each tier.

Quintette of Questions: Nicole Field

This week’s new romance release interview is with Nicole Field:

Nicole Field

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how did you choose the title?

This book was previously published under the name Gothic. Titles are always the most difficult thing for me. I try to name books before I actually get through to finishing writing them. The unfortunate problem with that system is that, sometimes, the novel’s title doesn’t fit with the novel anymore.

That was the case with this book. After several drafts to get it to its current form, I threw aside the name Gothic, and chose Changing Loyalties.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Oh goodness. Maybe I’m not particularly creative, as all four of these actors come from the last 10 years, but in my head, the casting of my main characters would be as follows:

Main character Dahlia: Mila Kunis
Love Interest Elliott: Ian Somerhalder
Love interest Bianca: Melissa George
Best friend Renee: Ksenia Solo

3. What five words best describe your story?

Polyamorous, paranormal romance, drama city.

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple or team?

I’ve always loved Joscelin and Phedre from Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, but I’m also a huge fan of Mercy and Adam from Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thomspson novels!

5. What song always makes you cry?

For me, that song is ‘It Can’t Rain All the Time’ by Jane Siberry, and features in the 90s movie, The Crow. Whenever I hear that song, I am filled with imagery of falling rain, darkened streets, and despair so deep that you need the reminder this song offers.

‘It can’t rain all the time
The sky won’t fall forever.’

The movie itself is so atmospheric, and I love it when a song like this one can transport you without you even needing to turn on the DVD player.

About Changing Loyalties

When Dahlia finds the body of her father, a werewolf, brutally murdered and left to die alone, she’s left with more questions and grief than answers. But who or what killed him remains unknown, and it soon becomes clear her father isn’t the killer’s only target.

Adding to the growing pile of mysteries in her life is the new job—for a company that seems to be run by the kind of people who have no qualms about murdering werewolves. Even more frustrating, Dahlia’s new boss, Bianca, is curt and rude—and far more intriguing than seems fair.

About Nicole Field

Nicole writes across the spectrum of sexuality and gender identity. She lives in Melbourne with her fiancee, two cats, and a bottomless cup of tea. She likes candles, incense and Gilmore Girls.

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Buy Changing Loyalties