The Return of Simon Feximal – with art and giveaway

Let’s have a quick recap. (Previously on KJC…) I wrote a couple of stories about a Victorian ghost hunter named Simon Feximal and his lover Robert Caldwell, set in 1894 England, followed by a  crossover story, Remnant, with Jordan L Hawk’s occult detectives Whyborne and Griffin, set in 1899. A lot had changed for my characters by the time of Remnant. Robert, previously a carefree young journalist, is now Simon’s full time colleague, with a sinister metal cartouche in his hand and a nasty scar under his eye.

Secret CasebookThe Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal (out now!) is the full story of Robert and Simon, including what happened to Robert’s career, how he got the scar, and what’s going on with the magical implant. I don’t know if I’d have written it if it hadn’t been for Remnant. But once I’d done that, the glimpse into my characters’ future nagged at me until I’d written the book—because, as Simon says, stories must be told.

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal comes out on 16 June. Plus, ‘Butterflies’ (the second Feximal story) and Remnant (Smashwords or ARe) are available free, and the terrific Whyborne and Griffin series has reached book 6 (Remnant comes between Stormhaven and Threshold). Don’t say Jordan and I fail to supply your late nineteenth-century gay occult detective needs.

The blog tour begins today and I’m giving away three copies of the book on a Rafflecopter. Click here to enter!

Here’s the blog tour so you can follow/avoid me to taste. Links as they go up:

11 June – Prism Book Alliance – extract
12 June – Sinfully… – blog post on folklore
13 June – Joyfully Jay – blog post on romance and horror
14 June – Boys in our Books – blog post on writing things you didn’t mean to
15 June – Novel Approach – extract
16 June – Love Bytes – extract

And finally, what you’ve been waiting for: superstar artist Lydmila Tsapaeva has created a truly fabulous piece of Remnant crossover art, featuring Robert, Simon, Whyborne and Griffin. Just adore this:

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The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, a Victorian occult m/m romance, is out now.

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.

A note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide. You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death. I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell

September 1914

Amazon UK

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The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

(This isn’t a promo post as such because the book’s not out till June. But I’ve had a lot of questions on Twitter/GR/here about this book, so I wanted to put the answers in one place!)

Backstory. Last year I wrote a short story called ‘The Caldwell Ghost’ for a Halloween anthology. It was set in the late Victorian period, with a Holmes/Watson-like relationship between Simon Feximal, ghost-hunter and occult detective, and Robert Caldwell, journalist and sidekick who narrates the stories. The premise of the tale was that Robert and Simon have been publicly colleagues and secretly lovers for twenty years, that in writing Simon’s adventures for a Victorian audience Robert has systematically written himself out of his own life, and that he has at last decided to tell the truth.

This is how the story begins:

A note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant, and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.

I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell

September 1914

It was meant to be a one-off but my imagination was caught by foul-tempered, taciturn Simon, and I liked doing Robert’s voice. I wrote another story, Butterflies, which is free on Smashwords, to continue the tale.butterflies

At this point, Jordan L Hawk and I realised we were both doing late nineteenth-century occult detectives on opposite sides of the Atlantic. There was only one thing for it: Jordan’s Whyborne and Griffin had to stop over in London for a quick adventure on their way to Egypt for their book Necropolis. We called the resulting co-written free story Remnant, and it placed second in Best Free Story in the Goodreads MM Readers Choice Awards last year.

Now, Necropolis is set in 1899. That meant I had to jump forward five years in Simon and Robert’s timeline to have them meet Whyborne and Griffin. It turned out as I wrote that a lot had changed. Robert now has a mysterious bit of metal embedded in his hand, a nasty scar under his eye, and a lot of grey hair. The ghost-writing on Simon’s skin is working very differently. They’ve been in the wars.

A lot of people have asked about this–what happened in the intervening years, where is the story between Butterflies and Remnant, what’s the deal? Well, it’s been in my head, and now it’s coming out, and, for starters, get a load of this cover by Kanaxa.

Secret Casebook

FAQs

So is this a novel?

No. It’s a collection of short stories–some closely linked so they form a continuing narrative over days and weeks, others standalone episodes–covering various parts of Simon and Robert’s life.

I’m not sure about short stories…

No, well, me neither. But that’s just how this had to be written.

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What period does it cover? Are we going to find out about the stuff in Remnant?

It starts with ‘The Caldwell Ghost’ and Butterflies, and plays out the full story of Simon and Robert getting together. Then we cover various other incidents–how Robert got his scar, the cartouche we see in Remnant, a particularly evil enemy–all the way to the end.

Um…that sounds a bit ominous.

/cackles/

No, seriously.

Oh, come on, have I ever let you down?

Well–

Apart from then.

Apart from then, no. Fine. Is this going to be sinister?

Hell yes. High level of spooky magic, brooding evil, ghosts, curses, cults, plots, and the creepiest villain I have ever written.

I object to depictions of devil worship, spirit communication or tampering with the occult. Should I buy this book?

No. Or, yes, because I like royalties, but don’t read it.

Is ‘The Caldwell Ghost’ currently available separately?

No, it’s not. It will be included in the book, which is much better value for money anyway, so hang on. You can still get Butterflies and Remnant for free

So, details?

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal is due for publication with Samhain in June 2015. I dare say I will mention it again before then.