Newsletter 169

 The nasty gnashers are no more! Instead of an inflamed gob (TMI, Charlie) I have a beautifully sewn up gum. And I tell you, six lots of local anaesthetic make you high as a kite – not worth repeating the experience just for that, though.


Samhain will be shutting its doors at the end of this month, so the first eight Cambridge Fellows books will be out of e-book/print stock for a while until they find their new home. If you need to get your paws on any of them, you’ll need to act quickly. Bargains a-plenty at the Samhain site 

My next full length romance, Broke Deep, is not just up for pre-order, the cover art has been revealed. Very in keeping with the story. 


Before Broke Deep is let loose on the world, I’ll be republishing one of my old stories, for which I’ve got the rights back, “All That Jazz” (presenting it paired up with “If Music Be” from the Summer’s Day anthology). More news on exact dates hopefully next time around. Need to get my plans in order. 

Here’s a snippet from All That Jazz: 

The first lines of “All That Jazz” sounded seductively, in Francis’s bell clear voice.

Freddie watched his friend slink across the stage. From the third row of the circle, his favoured place for observing any show, he’d have bet fifty quid that the average punter wouldn’t have guessed Francis wasn’t a woman. And a bloody attractive one at that. One of the—straight—stagehands had made a pass at the ‘leading lady’ even though he must have known damn well that the entire cast of this production was male. That was the whole bloody point.

The bit about the noisy hall and the nightly brawl came and went.

Francis was holding it up well, the slight nerves which had come across in the opening lines fading now into an assured performance. He’d have to give as good as this when it came to first night. Novelty value was all very well, but if people didn’t believe they’d had their money’s worth from their night at the theatre then no amount of innovation was going to compensate for them feeling hard done by.

Freddie took his eyes off Velma and had a good look at the rest of the troupe. Nice legs, every one of them, not a bosom out of place. It was taking a huge risk having no women in the cast of a show that relied on the relationship between its two leading ladies. Granted, it was the sort of thing which was being done with Shakespeare; didn’t the Globe prove that no-one batted an eye at a reversion to all male theatre? There were never any snide remarks in the broadsheets about some Ophelia who had to pad her cleavage and shave twice before taking the stage. It was an experience regarded as oddly highbrow.  But how would the same newspapers react to an all male ‘Chicago’? Only the press night would tell and there was a rumour that the Daily Telegraph was sending someone. Not necessarily the top man, but it would still be a coup. So long as the critic thought the show justified the trip.

Freddie closed his eyes for a moment, focussing his thoughts and reassuring himself that it was worth the risk. It was the right musical, of course it was. All the mad suggestions when they’d first mooted it—among the saner West Side Story or Wicked—had been little more than private wishes and fantasy fulfilment. When someone had suggested the Sound of Music he’d been ready to throw the whole thing up. Then somebody else had started humming ‘Razzle dazzle’ and the penny had dropped. They could have chosen either Chicago or Cabaret, Kander and Ebb’s music and Fosse’s choreographic ideas having a bizarre manliness, even butchness, to them. But given that Mary Sunshine was a cross dressing role already and Mama Morton seemed to have been created to be played by a drag queen, the die was cast. There even turned out to be peculiarly masculine edge about Velma which Francis had been bringing out beautifully in all the rehearsals so far.

“He’s got it alright.” Freddie’s partner—business and pleasure—slipped into the seat behind his and leaned forward to whisper conspiratorially while the performers took their break. “From the first time I saw him at your shindig I knew he’d be the business.”

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