Archive for the ‘Military Gay Erotic Fiction’ Category

At long last! I know it has been an awfully long time in the making, but here it is and it shall be available very soon, most probably in October.

Basic Training

Joining the Royal Marine Commandos is a challenge that only the toughest men should take on.

Platoon Sergeant Col ‘Bulldog’ Wilson’s world of work, gym, exercise and discipline is heaved out of its angles when the new recruits arrive with Chris Thompson amongst them. Twenty-one, handsome, tall, university graduate, triathlete, and … openly gay in an environment of institutional homophobia.

Col finds himself thrown into turmoil that is nothing like any conflict he’d ever encountered, nor any operational theatre he’d ever fought in. When this particular battle becomes personal, he has to ask himself who is the enemy.

  • Publication date: October 2011
  • Publisher: MLR Press

Basic Training was written in 2009, but because of personal reasons, the novel’s publication was delayed for over two years. Thanks go to MLR Press for their understanding and patience.

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For Queen and Country is an 18k short story about two very different Officers in the Cavalry regiment.

The story has been published as part of the In Uniform anthology. It is currently available in ebook format on Rainbow eBooks and will be widely available in print and Kindle format on Amazon by the end of Octber 2010.

Dave and Andrew loathe the sight of each other, because one Tankie officer worked his way up through the ranks, while the other came straight from Sandhurst. The result of this animosity is explosive, full of rows, fights, snipes and eventually endless banter.

These two men are thrown together in an unfortunate incident in the middle of the jungle, which leaves them stranded and captured in an environment they know nothing about. They have to learn to work together to survive, and throughout their journey they might just begin to respect each other.

Short Excerpt from “For Queen and Country” © Marquesate 2009

“It seems your ‘friendly’ manner does not impress the locals.” Andrew commented drily.

“It might have occurred to you that I tried to get something for you, you idiot. Even though I have no idea why.”

“A strange and surprising sense of duty, perhaps?”

“Fuck you.” Dave growled.

“Really?”

Dave was suddenly presented with an unexpected smirk from Andrew, so uncharacteristic and out of context, it threw him off track.

“Are you out of your mind?”

“Hardly, but I do admit to enjoying a moment of light relief by seeing you out of your shallow depth, in this otherwise most pernicious situation.”

It took Dave a few moments to process what Andrew had just said. How he hated the bastard’s ability to wrap his insults in a package of posh words. “You’re an arsehole.”

“You are repeating yourself.”

“It’s worth repeating a thousand times.” Dave growled.


Well, it is spring, or at least it should be. Whatever it is on the calendar, it was definitely time for a spring-clean AKA re-design of my website. With the publication of the original Special Forces as paperbacks, and with two more short stories waiting in the wings at publishers’ to come out fairly soon, I was energised to stamp my mark onto Marquesate. 😉

All pages are still there, but most have been re-arranged, so if you get a 404 error, don’t worry, just follow the new navigation.

http://www.marquesate.org/

The pictures speak for themselves, aye? It’s a wonderful feeling to hold the first tome (of four!) in my hands.

Download is free and the paperback is (print cost only) £10.78. The printing costs aren’t the cheapest, because Lulu doesn’t do bulk discounts unless we are talking BULK, but with 559 pages there’s a lot of book for one’s money, and the quality is lovely.  Just to fondle the book … mmmmm … 🙂

Special Forces – Soldiers: the Original Version, is now finally available as paperback.

Special Forces is the story of a Scottish SAS soldier and a Soviet spetsnaz soldier. Two enemies who meet in the line of duty during the early days of the Soviet Union’s last war in Afghanistan. Behind enemy lines respect and finally love grow … but that’s only the official version. This epic spans across over twenty-five years of their lives.

Special Forces – Soldiers is the first cycle of the Special Forces epic, the second cycle is Mercenaries and the third one is Veterans.

This print version is the original version of Special Forces (1st edition), as it was edited by the authors of the time of first publication on Marquesate’s website. The Soldiers cycle was published between July 2006 and March 2007. This is the only version that is authorised by Marquesate.

The print version of Special Forces – Soldiers is strictly non-profit and print cost only. The ebook version is available for free download, and the original chapters remain as on Marquesate’s website: http://www.marquesate.org/special-forces.html

Fly the flags and sound the trumpets, I received the first revenue from Lulu, and in the first month, 47 copies of Beyond Her Majesty’s Men were sold, which makes it – with £0.40 revenue for each wee book – £18.80 for MSF. 🙂

The money has gone straight to the fundraising page: http://original.justgiving.com/marquesate and thus to Médecins Sans Frontières.

Beyond Her Majesty’s Men takes place after HMM. It explores a little further the story of these two soldiers in the British Forces, and gives insight into how their friendship develops.

This small collection is a special charity publication for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). It is not available in print, because the (very generous!) charity auction winner exclusively received the print version.

All profit – £0.40 – goes to MSF, and I do not earn a penny from this publication. This, dear readers, is one of the greatest sources of happiness to me, that I might be doing something good in this world, with my wee bit of imagination. So please spread the word and see how much Tom & Alex can raise for this excellent charity.

I will periodically post how much Beyond HMM has made in donations (every penny counts, and many times 40 pence makes quite a few pound) and will directly send the money every month or so to my main charity fund-raising page: http://original.justgiving.com/marquesate

Purchase as download Beyond Her Majesty’s Men:

http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/beyond-her-majestys-men/6517075

With a little delay (I didn’t like the look of the first cover) the small print publication of Tom and Alex’s lives after Her Majesty’s Men has been safely on its way to the Charity Auction winner since Friday. This means that – since the generous winner agreed – once the auction win has arrived and has been read, I will make Beyond Her Majesty’s Men available to buy as PDF, and every single penny will continue to go to MSF, the charity of my choice. A print version will never be available, because this was exclusively for the auction winner, but an e-version will.

Watch this space! Soon the time for a bit of Tom & Alex will be here.

Friendly Fire is a 6K short story, set in the current war in Afghanistan. British Sergeant Major Phil Mason, and American Gunnery Sergeant Jon Rivera, take part in friendly fire, only to encounter enemy fire, that forces them to work together to survive in the Afghan mountains.

In true Marquesate style, those two soldiers are alpha men, fuelled by aggression that finds an outlet in more than fighting. But they are also men who learn to understand that being comrades in arms is above and beyond anything else.

hmm-book-cover_sThere are a couple new reviews of Her Majesty’s Men from June.  🙂

Review © Cassidy Ryan at Cassidy Ryan’s blog (full review) (June 2009)

“I bought this book a while ago, but what with writing and RL, I didn’t get the chance to read it right away. I started it the other day — only to have to put it down again to go to the pesky day job, then last night, unable to sleep, I picked it up again and didn’t stop reading until it was finished — at 5am this morning!

Wow! That pretty much sums it up! It’s a fantastic read; the characters are so real, their relationship sometimes brutal and visceral, but always beautiful. It grips you right from the start and just refuses to let go — one of those “just one more chapter, then I’ll sleep” books.”

Review © Kassa11 at 3 AM (full review) (June 2009)

“This is a unique and different book about two men who are soldiers to their very core, friends and comrades second, and eventually lovers third. While these would seem to cause problems not only inherently within the military but the order of priorities between the men, surprisingly for the span of the book, it works. Whether it would always work between these two is questionable given their very different personalities and needs, but for the entirely of this story, their romance within the brutal atmosphere seems solid and realistic. While this book was not without its flaws, I felt as though the author knew the problems with the characters and decided to leave them as they were, letting the readers decide if they accepted the flaws or not. I could be wrong, but that was the impression I got.

soundtrack-special-forces-mercenaries

Drum Salute: Well, that’s obvious, it’s all for Dan, our Scotsman. I couldn’t find the Royal Scots Dragoons, but have a brilliant Drum salute from Shotts:

Bakara: Dan as Mad Dog, with a hip shimmy. 😉 Can’t find it on YouTube, though.

Kalasnjikov (Goran Bregovic): This one’s totally crazy, and I love it. Bregovic is a Bosnian composer of Serbian and Croatian descent, and my dear friend told me about his music. This is the perfect music for some of the lighter parts in the Balkans, for Dan and Vadim.

Sands of Kuwait: I already blogged about this one. It’s a beautiful and haunting piece of music, and so apt for the Gulf.

All Along the Watchtower (Jimi Hendrix): Do I need to say anything? Dan’s crazy idea to play the tape at full volume to disorient the troops in the beleaguered town, while attacking the tanks with molotovs. I “wrote” this whole action scene in my head while listening to the song over and over and over again in my car.

Barra Barra: Rachid Taha (Hans Zimmer, Black Hawk Down) This is so Dan in Mercenaries. This is the absolutely perfect Mad Dog piece of music. I always so him saunter along in his flip-flops and a towel round his hips, shades over his eyes and fag hanging from the corner of his mouth, coming out of teh showers in the camp in the Gulf.

and here is Rachid Taha singing Barra Barra live (I love the sound of the language!). The live version is fantastic, much better even than the studio one, which I already love to bits.

An Algerian poster gives us the translation. Barra Barra means “outside outside” and the lyrics are:

It’s Algerian Arabic Slang accent , wich means people from the middle east or the other arabic countries can not understand us at all.

Barra barra (outside) = bb
Sadness, hate and the reign of arbitrary
Bb
Destruction, jealousy ; there is no trust left
Bb
Thirst and people are unlucky
Bb
No honour, but oppression and slavery
Bb
Rivers were dried up and seas have ruined everything
Bb
Stars are switched off and the sun went down.

I am so glad I finally know what it means.

hmm-book-cover_sJen posted an absolutely wonderful review of Her Majesty’s Men on her review blog Well Read.

Jen reviewed Her Majesty’s Men because she had read Code of Honour in the I Do anthology, and I am extremely thrilled that she liked Tom and Alex’s story just as much as Joe and Roux’s.

This is a brilliant quote from her review, which made me grin:

Many of you who read this blog will know that I like my heroes to be ‘real men’; to be masculine and to be comfortable in their alpha status. Well, to get an idea of how manly the characters are in this book, you need to think of the most manly man that you know or have read about and then inject him with three buckets of testosterone. That will give you an idea of the sort of men that Tom and Alex are in this book. Marvellous.

Fantastic, isn’t it? The rest of her review is well worth a read, and so is her entire blog. Jen’s reviews are always witty and interesting to read.

Thanks, Jen, for the vote of Excellent. I close with another quote:

Apart from that, this book was a rough ride from start to finish. I loved it because violence, pain and brutality are issues that don’t bother me and I welcomed a read that was so different from the normal m/m fayre. If you don’t like those things in your romance, then I suggest you stay away from Her Majesty’s Men. If you like books filled to the brim with testosterone, packed with action with men who are a mix of arrogant and confident on the outside, yet a seething mass of insecurity and self-hatred on the inside, then this book is for you. For those people, I highly recommend you read this and it gets a grade of ‘Excellent’ from me.

Quotes copyright Jen from her blog Well Read. Read the full review.

Her Majesty’s Men is available as e-book and paperback from the following places. It can be ordered directly from the printer, where it is available both in print and as an e-version.

Her Majesty’s Men is available in paperback from all known book stores, such as Amazon, but please consider to either buy directly from the publisher or the printer, or from independent bookstores or chains other than Amazon. Here is a collection for you, in addition to buying directly from the printer:

45145088

I have been privy to many a conversation, discussion and plain annoyed rant about the simplification and standardisation of the author’s art (words! voice! style!) as it is employed by numerous publishers.

I shall not name any names nor point any fingers, but this topic really is extremely close to my heart. The policy to “de-was” by many publishers is not only shocking, but also ridiculous, and basically results in a text that has no “was”. I assume that every reader can easily imagine what a sad and simplified text that would be, if the author’s craft is taken away and instead maimed and mangled into a misunderstood mould of what language should look like.

Writing is Art. As much or as little as painting or singing or drawing or sculpting or any creative endeavour that taps into the richness of the creator’s imagination and allows us to see the world through the artist’s eyes.

Language is Art. Language is the tool of the writer as Artist, like the colour palette and the brushes are for the painter. You reduce the tools to a standardised minimum and your colourful painting, bursting with life and emotions, is turned into a poor caricature of its self.

Authors should have a distinctive  voice. If they don’t then they are no artists, but as mass produced as a Hollywood plastic surgeried “beauty”, to please the masses. The integrity of the author’s voice is more important to me than anything else, and part of this integrity is the choice to write what I want to write and what I strongly feel about writing, and not anything/something as sterile as “the market” might demand. That’s not art, that’s a cheap sell-out.

Because this is what makes literature fascinating, versatile and rich; this is what gives every reader something to like or to dislike. This is what Art is, to express oneself, and to find one’s artistic integrity.

As for what this means for Marquesate: I rather be less commercially successful than sacrifice the integrity of my writing and thus my Art. Take it or leave it, like my writing or dislike it, but this is a promise.

Well, do they? I wager they very much do indeed, especially in fiction. Of course, I would say that, since I exclusively write fiction about soldiers, and those uniforms very much do make the men, but the question is, why?

Inspired by a fascinating (or several) discussion(s) in my camo men forum, I’ve been thinking about what turns me on and what turns me off as a writer, and why do I write what I write.

men-yes

Clothes are symbols, even the most innocuous t-shirt and jeans are a symbol, a sign, they tell something about the wearer, and the viewer or recipient or reader of that symbol/sign interprets it within their own context, and a generally agreed one, as part of everyone’s personal context. Just like the process during reading we reflect on and interpret clothing, styles, etc. And what they stand for. As an example, the reading process:

  1. readers are following the unfolding story characters, plot, etc.
  2. readers are reflecting continuously on relationships between all the elements in the story and their own experience
  3. parallel processes generate emotional charge and overall response

Of course, the moment we are getting into the territory of uniforms (and much has been written about such uniforms as youth “uniforms”, etc), we are firmly in the land of symbolism in its strongest form.

And what does a uniform symbolise? I’d like to open the floor, here, instead of listing what they stand for for me. I will post that later.

What do uniforms symbolise for you? Why do you read what I write (if you read me, that is).

What turns me on as a writer? What men do I find fascinating enough to write about? No need to guess much: men in uniform, but it has to be military. Police and firemen don’t cut it. In a civilian setting: men with tough bodies in simple clothing: jeans (but NOT blue jeans, yuck, gives me the completely wrong signs), t-shirt or polo shirt, or shirt, or sweater, and so on. Those clothes hide nothing, they accentuate the hard angled body. They don’t try to shout “look at me! I have status! Money!” from the rooftops, because they don’t need to. When it comes to characters, the way I imagine them, they don’t have to be sculpted, but have to be fit. Tough. Enduring. A challenge taken and a challenge given.

In fact, pieces of uniform worn by people who want to look cool but don’t actually do the job, doesn’t do it for me either. It either has to be the real job, or nothing. Otherwise it feels like a fake.

Now, what turns me off as a writer? Suits. There is nothing more unsexy than a man in a suit in my opinion, and I don’t care how great their bodies are beneath it. Pin stripes are the devil’s wallpaper and ties are the devil’s loo roll. Their context to me is boring, physically weak, doing boring jobs in offices, and there is nothing more off-putting than an office environment. Men in suits, for me as a writer who is fascinated by power play between males and always pitting Alphas against Alphas (some young, some old, but all in the Alpha-making), lose any chance at Alpha-ness, and lose their strength. What is a man worth who pushes numbers around instead of doing pushups? A perfectly sculpted body from careful gym work is far less sexy than a tough body created from genuine hard work.

Granted, those are two extremes, but I am a writer of extremes, so there’s no surprise there. Sports guys, well, those might be a possibility, but they don’t really cut it either. No, Marquesate is firmly steeped in the military and nothing else. However, I am really interested in hearing what others get turned on in reading, what symbols, what worlds, what lives and what clothes that make the men?

Let’s open the floor up again.

What turns you on, what do you like to read about, which clothes make the man for you? And why?

men-no

Images: tongue in cheek 😉 Copyright with their respective copyright owners.

This is my personal soundtrack for Special Forces, the Soldiers cycle. Why don’t you share yours, if you have any music/soundtrack?

soundtrack-special-forces-soldiers

There are two pieces that are actually scene music. Both are from the fantastic soundtrack to Black Hawk Down by Hans Zimmer. The rest just made me think very much of the characters.

Dan, this so so very much Dan, even more so than Flower of Scotland.
Amazing Grace: The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

Vadim, of course, and isn’t it great to have a 1984 video of the Red Square? I remember the height and the end of the Cold war well.
Soviet National Anthem. Red Square (1984)

This is an example of some of the music that would be Dan’s kind of music. Later on, in Mercenaries, he buys some CDs and I mention in the narative which ones those are. Happy hunting.
The Pusher: Steppenwolf

I couldn’t find this particular Moya lyubov on YouTube, I’m afraid. If anyone can find it, please let me know. It’s an incredibly sexy piece of music with such a cool voice. This, to me, embodies the time when they’ve accepted their attraction as in: it’s more than crazy sex.

Now we come to the music that is real soundtrack music, i.e. music I created the scenes in my mind to. Synchrotone, this is when Dan saves Maggie’s Life. He spots the car and then he runs not for his life, but hers, and gets blown up and at the end the almost dream-like scene of her over him, calling his name but then he succumbs. All of this is perfectly set to this piece of music. I must have listened to it hundreds of times, and I saw the scene and “wrote” it in my head before I ever put pen to paper AKA fingers onto keyboard. I could see it all very clearly.
Synchrotone: Hans Zimmer (ignore the actual video, it’s the best quality audio of Synchrotone that I could find on YouTube)

And here I made a mistake for the next one, because the next one actually belongs into “Mercenaries”, but alas, I don’t want to redo the screenshot and the whole blog entry. 🙂 It’s Gortoz A Ran, an incredibly haunting piece of music, and this is the music when Dan waits for Vadim’s execution, the scene in his room in the embassy, which he then thrashes. Again, I saw everything clearly before I wrote it down.
Gortoz A Ran – J’attends: Denez Prigent & Lisa Gerrard (Hans Zimmer, Black Hawk Down) I think the language is Breton

So, tell me yours!