Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Tour for Blessed Isle by Alex Beecroft (Guest Post & GIVEAWAY)

Today's an exciting day for me as I have the wonderful Alex Beecroft visiting my blog.  She's here to talk about her newest release for Riptide Publishing, Blessed Isle, as well as hosting a great giveaway.  She's also talking about gay characters and stereotypes, so keep reading and give a big welcome to Alex Beecroft.........

Good morning both to my regulars and to readers of this blog who've never heard of me before. I am Alex Beecroft, and I've been kindly invited to blog here as part of the fanfare attendant on the re-release of my novella Blessed Isle from Riptide Publishing, on the 31st of December. Thank you ever so much to the Scarf Princess for letting me hog the blog for a day. Do come back to mine anytime......

There's been a bit of controversy recently in the m/m blogosphere on the subject of 'chicks with dicks', with one gay reader particularly insulted that what is meant by this term is not strong-but-effeminate men, but weepy nonentities who only exist to be rescued.
The subject of stereotyping is a perennial problem in m/m. Quite justifiably, nobody really wants to see a character who is every insulting gay stereotype mashed into one, limp wristed and camp and played for laughs. But on the other hand depicting every gay character as a straight-acting hard guy is also an insult to all those guys out there whose style is more 'feminine'. (Though frankly don't get me started on the terms 'effeminate' and 'feminine' – as though all women were the same.)
In Blessed Isle, I tried to have my cake and eat it. Harry is very straight-acting, deliberately so, as the consequences of anyone suspecting you were gay in the 18th Century could include execution. Harry is the kind of guy who passes for straight because it's easier, it's safer, and it means he gets to comfortably fit in with society. In other words, by acting tough he's actually conforming to the values of a society that would hate him if it knew what he was. It's a valid choice and probably the one I would make in his situation, but whether it's the bravest way to go is debatable.
Garnet, however, is significantly more flamboyant. I hoped that he would come across as the kind of strong effeminate man that the blogger was talking about. Although an 18th Century gentleman couldn't be 'out' without endangering his life, Garnet makes very little effort to hide and is very much more open about what he likes, who he wants, and what he is. Harry certainly thinks that this is because Garnet is fearless.
When I think of the sheer bravery of the Stonewall drag queens, I would agree. I admire Garnet more for being as camp as he possibly can be in his circumstances. I think it takes more balls to put the swish into swashbuckling than it does to stand around looking perfectly acceptably masculine. Whether that makes him a chick with a dick is up to you to say. If 'chick with a dick' means 'man who occasionally behaves like a strong woman' I don't think it would be a bad thing to be at all.

For Captain Harry Thompson, the command of the prison transport ship HMS Banshee is his opportunity to prove his worth, working-class origins be damned. But his criminal attraction to his upper-crust First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton, threatens to overturn all he’s ever worked for.
Lust quickly proves to be the least of his problems, however. The deadly combination of typhus, rioting convicts, and a monstrous storm destroys his prospects . . . and shipwrecks him and Garnet on their own private island. After months of solitary paradise, the journey back to civilization—surviving mutineers, exposure, and desertion—is the ultimate test of their feelings for each other.
These two very different men each record their story for an unfathomable future in which the tale of their love—a love punishable by death in their own time—can finally be told. Today, dear reader, it is at last safe for you to hear it all.

You can read an excerpt and buy Blessed Isle here at Riptide.


Alex Beecroft was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She studied English and Philosophy before accepting employment with the Crown Court where she worked for a number of years. Now a stay-at-home mum and full time author, Alex lives with her husband and two daughters 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 lead 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.
You can find Alex on:


As a giveaway on this tour I'm offering either the two books of the Under the Hill series, or any other two ebooks in my back catalogue.

The giveaway works like this; with every post on the tour, I'll ask a question about Blessed Isle. If you're interested in entering the competition, email me the answer to the questions off blog (ie, not in the comments.) Then at the end of the tour, I'll make a list of everyone who got all the answers right, and out of that list, I'll pick a winner at random.

Today's question is “What dashing accessory is Garnet teaming with his black and silver suit in Rio at the end of the story?” Email me the answer on  GIVEAWAY ENDS AT 11:59 PM CST ON 1/4.


  1. I am so disappointed that I have this book, but haven't started yet.I need to get my butt in gear!

    1. There's still one more day to go, and it's only a little book - you could do it in a night ;)

  2. I'm all in favour of more m/m heroes who are in touch with their feminine side! I've never been a fan of the stereotypical "alpha male", and it's great to see a wider range of gay men represented. As you say, it takes a particular kind of courage to go against gender norms when being gay could get you killed.

    1. Yes, to be honest, the older I get the more the 'alpha male' just seems like only half a decent person, and downright boring to boot. It's a shame that as women we don't value 'feminine' traits more highly.

  3. I'm not a fan of alpha males either. I like complex characters who react according to the situation. Which is probably why I keep writing about a man with multiple alter-egos.

  4. Sound like an interesting in the closet book. Given the time frame, it has to be.