Hello and welcome to everyone who’s reading this, the fourth stop on the blog tour for The Crimson Outlaw, my historical m/m novella set in Transylvania. If you’re still reading from this point on, thank you for that! And thank you to Kathy here on the Book Reviews and More by Kathy blog for having me. I feel fairly confident that I’m blogging about something you haven’t had on here before. (Fingers crossed 🙂 ) If you’re following the whole tour, quintuple thanks, and you may find it easiest to do so by keeping up with the schedule on this page.
The Crimson Outlaw, as I’ve said above, is set in Transylvania, and there is a vampire connection, although there are no vampires in the story. Basically, I’d always told myself I would never write a story with vampires in it, because vampires are boring, right? I should know better than to challenge my muse like that. My muse decided to show me who was boss, and before long I found myself writing an epic Fantasy containing armies of strigoi (which is what vampires are called in their home country.) That book is The Glass Floor, and is not a romance, but in the process of writing it I did an awful lot of research into 18th Century Romania, both Wallachia and Transylvania, and I rather fell in love with the place.
It seemed very sad to me that such a beautiful country should only be known for its monsters, and I had plot-bunnied myself by writing an old retainer for my hero with whom I wanted to pair him up. As I couldn’t actually do that with Radu, because he was meant to marry someone else, I thought I would take all the lovely background and the idea and write a new story which would be the romance I’d had to deny myself in the longer book. Hence The Crimson Outlaw was born.
One of the things that really struck me when I was researching Transylvania was the soundtrack. I have to admit I expected something out of a vampire movie – creaking doors, wailing winds, howling wolves. Maybe a lone violin in a minor key…
But that was all put to rest once I started actually looking. This is the musical tradition in which the Lautari gypsies Vali hears playing at the village hall are working:
which is, in my opinion, far more charming. The history of the gypsies in Romania seems to have been one of extensive and long lasting oppression, but you would never know it from their music.
Just to balance things up, though, this – which is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard in my life – is in the more classical tradition of the country. Stirring, dignified, masculine and gorgeous, this was what I wanted to capture in my heroes, but I leave it up to you to decide if I succeeded.
Title: The Crimson Outlaw by Alex Beecroft
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Historical, M/M, Romance
Length: 131 pages/Word Count: 34,000
Love is the greatest outlaw of all.
Vali Florescu, heir to a powerful local boyar, flees his father’s cruelty to seek his fortune in the untamed Carpathian forests. There he expects to fight ferocious bandits and woo fair maidens to prove himself worthy of returning to depose his tyrannical father. But when he is ambushed by Mihai Roscat, the fearsome Crimson Outlaw, he discovers that he’s surprisingly happy to be captured and debauched instead.
Mihai, once an honoured knight, has long sought revenge against Vali’s father, Wadim, who killed his lord and forced him into a life of banditry. Expecting his hostage to be a resentful, spoiled brat, Mihai is unprepared for the boy to switch loyalties, saving the lives of villagers and of Mihai himself during one of Wadim’s raids. Mihai is equally unprepared for the attraction between them to deepen into love.
Vali soon learns that life outside the castle is not the fairy tale he thought, and happy endings must be earned. To free themselves and their people from Wadim’s oppression, Vali and Mihai must forge their love into the spear-point of a revolution and fight for a better world for all.
You can read an excerpt and purchase The Crimson Outlaw here.
Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.
Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City Paper, LA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association of the UK and an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.
Alex was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She lives with her husband and two children 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 led 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.
She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.
I ran something very complicated with my last tour. This time I think I’ll keep it simple. If you would like to win your choice out of my backlist titles (any one novel, or two novellas) comment to be put into the hat. At the end of the tour I’ll draw a name from all those who have commented during the week and post an announcement of the winner on my blog, Facebook and twitter so that you can contact me with your choice and your email address, and I can get your prize to you.
Follow the rest of the tour HERE.