Mar. 9th, 2015

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It's Victorian London, and wealthy young gentleman Giles Fullerton is still grieving a year after the death of the man he loved, his grief made worse by the need to conceal it. He deals with the emotional pain by walking the streets through the night, until he can face sleep. Young lamplighter John Banks knows a thing or two about grief himself. He loved his wife dearly, even though he's gay, and has missed her each day since her death. The young gentleman who wanders his route on so many nights may have attracted his attention with his good looks, but John can see that something drives him into the night. Enough so that at last John speaks to him, concerned for his safety. Curiosity about John's job of lighting and dousing the streetlamps provides something for Giles to focus on outside his grief.

There's companionship of a sort in a stranger to speak to, and gradually the two young widowers reveal more about themselves to each other in their conversation each night; first in coded and deniable references to their grief, and then more openly. Enough so that they finally act on their attraction. But this is Victorian London, and a relationship is barred by more than their being both men; the social gulf between them would be every bit as shocking to society, and moreover puts them at far greater risk of exposure than if they could meet as equals. Will they both have the courage to find a way through to a chance at happiness?

This is a gentle, slow romance, and all the better for it. It's a lovely short novella with a pair of well drawn, appealing main characters and some good secondary characters, and a sex scene that adds to the emotional development rather than being there to make up the word count. One for my re-read list.

Available free to members of the Heroes and Heartbreakers website, or you can pay a modest sum to get a nicely formatted ebook with a gorgous cover.


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In the unlikely event that anyone who would care about this doesn't already know about it -- SFWA has amended its membership requirements to allow small press and self-published science fiction & fantasy to be considered. That doesn't mean it's open season, as there is still the requirement to make a commercial sale, i.e. make a minimum amount of money in a reasonable time period from the fiction in question. The *same* amount of money as was required under the old rules. Qualifying markets are still qualifying markets. If your publisher isn't a qualifying market, you have to provide the evidence yourself.

As far as novels are concerned, it's $3000 net advance/royalties in a one year period after 1 Jan 2013. I'm still not entirely sure what the qualifying period on short fiction is, but would assume it's the same. Some more detailed information at the VP's blog:
http://www.kittywumpus.net/blog/2015/03/05/answering-more-questions-about-the-sfwa-qualifying-process/
http://www.kittywumpus.net/blog/2015/03/02/how-to-apply-for-sfwa-membership-with-small-press-or-self-published-credentials/

This does only consider income received after 1 Jan 13. But of interest to me is that had this rule been put in place back when RWA did the same thing around eight years ago, I would have qualified for SFWA membership with Dolphin Dreams, as indeed I did with RWA membership. At which point I'm sure that various people would have insisted that no, I didn't, because my stuff isn't Real Science Fiction and Fantasy (TM). And I would have enjoyed watching them flail every bit as much as I did on the romance side.

It's an incentive to get that space opera back out on the submissions rounds, and finish the urban fantasy. :-)

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