Romance

Release Day for Writ in Blood by Julie Bozza and Meet the Author #LGBTQ #Western

Oh wow, this is so deliciously weird! And Tombstone is one of my favorite movies because hello, Kurt Russel.

Writ in Blood by Julie Bozza releases today in the LGBTQ+, Western, Speculative, Historical genre.

Courage. Honor. Loyalty. All fine things, but they’ve led John Ringo to kill a man. He was raised right and he knows he’s not a murderer, but otherwise he’s a mystery even to himself. Doc Holliday claims to have some insights, but Doc is too devoted to Wyatt Earp to spare much attention for the man who’s already lost his soul.

Which leaves Johnny Ringo prey to the distractions of a demon. Imaginary or not, if this creature abandons him, too, then surely his sanity is forfeit – and what will his life be worth then?

This Queer Weird West novel follows these three along the complex trails that lead into and out of Tombstone, Arizona in 1881.

Publisher: https://juliebozza.com/book/writ-in-blood/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09GV1TKWB/

Amazon CAN: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09GV1TKWB/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writ-in-blood-julie-bozza/1140199015

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/writ-in-blood

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/writ-in-blood/id1587173755

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1105742

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/3GwLed

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58628163-writ-in-blood

QueeRomance Ink Link: https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/writ-in-blood/

Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com) Link: https://www.limfic.com/book/writ-in-blood/

“And baths,” Doc Holliday was saying, standing tall in the center of their hotel room. “We are in desperate need of baths, and I apologize if you are already aware of that fact. Can you arrange that for us, my dear?”

“Of course, sir,” the girl replied, apparently awed by all this to-do. Holliday was behaving as if he were royalty. “The bathing room’s down the hall on the right, sir. There’s some water heating already, but if you can wait half an hour, sir, there’ll be plenty for both of you, and I’ll build the fire up. I can bring the pot of coffee you wanted right away.”

“Half an hour it is, then,” he declared, handing her a generous gratuity and ushering her out the door. Holliday turned to John. “What do you think, pilgrim? A fine room, considering its surroundings. Though I do believe this town will prove quite a rich lode. I can smell money in the air, and fools waiting to part with it.”

John let his saddlebags drop to the floor, looked around him at the lace curtains, at the porcelain jug and bowl standing before the mirror. At the wide bed with green padded silken spread. Everything looked fragile and ridiculously expensive and dangerously seductive. “And you reckon they won’t care about us both in the same bed?”

“Of course not, people do it all the time. There is a distinct shortage of beds out here in the West, especially in new towns such as this. We were lucky this room was available.”

“I guess I always figured if they said I’d have to share a room they were politely telling me to get lost.” It felt foolish now, having taken umbrage at something that was apparently quite accepted.

Holliday, in the midst of unpacking, cast a look at John. “Are you really one of those half-wild people who rarely visit a town?”

“No, but… maybe I’m more myself out there,” John said, indicating the world stretching beyond the outcropping of humanity. “This is… small –”

“I don’t find it so.”

“– and my earnings have been pretty irregular lately.”

“Don’t fret about that,” the man murmured.

“Who the hell are you, Holliday?” John demanded. “Is this your world? Because you sure seemed comfortable out in the wilderness last night.”

“You like that about me, that I belong in both?” He waited until John shrugged, then continued, “Well, if you do, why don’t you learn to belong here as well, and then you can like yourself for it, too. Share the luxury with me, Johnny. As you said, I shared the darkness with you last night.” The man smiled, walked over to stand before John, reached up to run a hand back through John’s hair. “There’s a handsome face hiding behind that long hair and the trail-dirt, I’ve already worked that out. Now, take your clothes off, pilgrim, and bathe with me. I want to see what those rags hide.” He leaned in close and whispered, “I’m sure you’re quite beautiful naked.” There was a knock at the door – and Holliday stole a kiss from John’s mouth.

John pushed the man away, glaring fury. Holliday let the girl in, and John waited impatiently as she arranged a tray of coffee and cups and a whole lot of unnecessary fixings, waited as Holliday chattered inanely with her. “You’re crazy,” John said once they were finally alone again. The man just laughed, at ease. In fact, it seemed he was enjoying himself immensely. “Are you always like this?” John asked, wondering how long he could suffer it.

“Oh yes,” Holliday said airily. “Well, actually I suppose I’m in unusually high spirits. I promised myself, for these couple of months, complete abandonment. And you do seem to be the kind of fellow I can completely abandon myself to…”

“Don’t talk like that, maybe people can hear us. And – what you did before she came in – if she caught us we’d get run out of town, if they didn’t hang us first.”

“Now there’s an ambition: to be so absolutely debauched we get thrown out of every town we visit. What’s the matter, pilgrim? With your reputation, you must be used to finding yourself unwelcome.”

“Yes, but for gunfights, not for something like that.”

“You don’t care about them, do you? Surely it doesn’t matter to you what they think.”

“No, but it’s personal, it’s private.” Under Holliday’s interested gaze John shrugged again, uncomfortable.

Smart enough to change the subject at last, Holliday headed for the coffee and began pouring two cups. “How do you want it, pilgrim? Let me guess… you like it just as it is. Now, I like coffee with cream and sugar – though they only have milk here, I’m afraid – but that’s too civilized for you, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” he said. Holliday brought one of the cups over, and John eyed it dubiously. The thing looked so delicate it might shatter in his hands, though of course it looked quite safe in Holliday’s fine fingers.

“Take it, pilgrim. It’s either this lovely little cup, or drink straight from the pot.” Holliday laughed. “But you would, wouldn’t you? Don’t let me give you ideas.”

John quickly swallowed the coffee, felt the heat of it spread through his chest and the strength of it clear his head. He poured himself another cup, then sat cross-legged on the floor, pointedly ignoring the chair opposite the one Holliday sat in – avoiding even the rugs. The wooden floorboards, though polished, were the most natural part of the room.

They sat in silence for a while, finishing the pot of coffee between them. Then Holliday asked, “Where were you from before Texas? You don’t speak like a Texan.”

“California before that. We traveled west from Missouri. Before that, Indiana.”

“And before that?”

“My family?” John shrugged – but such things had mattered in Mason County, when it was the newer German immigrants versus the longer-settled Americans. “The Dutch part of Belgium, if you go back far enough, but that never made no difference to me.”

“I see…” was the response. However, Holliday didn’t ponder on it long. Instead he sat up as if about to stand, saying, “Let’s inspect the bathing room. I haven’t felt clean for a couple of weeks now, and tonight I want to make the best possible impression.” Perhaps he saw John’s reluctance, for he said, “I suppose from the look of you, my dear, that your ablutions involve jumping in a river once a year whether you need it or not. But would you indulge me? I like that you are so vivid to all five of my senses, that you assault me so thoroughly, but I’d like to see your handsomeness as well as your wildness.”

“Don’t call me ‘dear’,” John said sullenly. “I’m not made for words like that. I don’t know what you want from me, Holliday, but I’m not your dear.”

“We just fuck, yes, and keep each other company between our amorous bouts. But don’t mind me if I treat you affectionately.” The man confided, “Most of the time, I promise you I don’t mean a word of it.”

Author Bio:

Ordinary people are extraordinary. We can all aspire to decency, generosity, respect, honesty – and the power of love (all kinds of love!) can help us grow into our best selves.

I write stories about ‘ordinary’ people finding their answers in themselves and each other. I write about friends and lovers, and the families we create for ourselves. I explore the depth and the meaning, the fun and the possibilities, in ‘everyday’ experiences and relationships. I believe that embodying these things is how we can live our lives more fully.

Creative works help us each find our own clarity and our own joy. Readers bring their hearts and souls to reading, just as authors bring their hearts and souls to writing – and together we make a whole.

And that’s me! Julie Bozza. Quirky. Queer. Sincere.

How would you describe your writing style?

I start out with a “classic style” approach, in that I’m trying to convey something to a reader in prose that’s relatively straightforward to understand. Yonks ago when I took a college-level creative writing course, the lecturer discussed the “ABCs rule” and that resonated with me. The rule is to aim for writing that is Accurate, Brief, Clear and Simple – unless there’s a good reason not to. I envisage a broad readership, who appreciate effortless reading, but don’t mind a “difficult” word when it’s the best one for the job, and enjoy the occasional literary allusion and maybe even a poetic turn of phrase.

That’s the starting place. Then I consider the genre and the expectations it creates, the subject and the setting of the novel, and – importantly – the point-of-view character(s). Their dialogue will be closely attuned to their personality and situation in life, but the narrative will reflect that, too, at least to some extent.

I’ve written a lot of fan fiction in my time, and one of the benefits of that has been in trying to adjust my own style to suit the voice of various genres, settings and characters. Fan fic is of course worthy in its own right, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to try different things, step beyond your comfort zone, and receive feedback from equally passionate writers and readers.

I like to think that my own novels and stories, ranging as they do from dark serial-killer thrillers to pure romance, reflect a range of voices suitable to their individual content. But if you can also find a thread of a “Julie Bozza voice” stitched throughout, that would be wonderful, too.

In any case, I hope the end results are immersive and enjoyable!

What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.

The first pro book I wrote was The Definitive Albert J. Sterne. I tried to get it traditionally published, and it did earn me a literary agent for a while, but it wasn’t to be. Instead, I just kept writing.

Eventually I set up my own small publishing press in Australia, called Homosapien Books. The best and worst thing about it was that I decided to publish anything – fiction and non – that appealed to me, rather than focus on a particular genre or subject. It was a mistake, but I enjoyed that aspect of it, too. As part of the press, I set up the Diverse Connections imprint for fiction that featured relationships of the Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations (IDIC) kind. This brought me the honor of publishing Narrelle Harris and Alison Venugoban!

I still didn’t publish my Albert, though. As you may be aware, it’s a very very long novel, and it’s pretty full-on, especially as it includes chapters from the serial killer’s point of view. I wasn’t sure how readers would react, and frankly I just didn’t have the nerve.

What I did publish of mine – to finally answer the question – was The Valley of the Shadow of Death. This was an Opposites Attract story of a naïve cop and a compromised mobster, who have an affair while the mobster helps the FBI build a legal case against his boss.

I published it in 2001 – and I’m just belatedly realizing that makes this year my 20th anniversary of being a Published Author! Obviously I should celebrate.

Anyway! We moved from Australia to England to live in 2004, and I had to close down Homosapien Books as a result. Luckily for me I eventually connected with Manifold Press in the UK during their early days of publishing, and they ended up taking on three of my earlier novels: Albert, Valley, and Homosapien. And I suppose I had better leave the story there!

What was the hardest part of writing Writ in Blood?

I suppose “the hardest part” is the same for all my books and stories: just having the confidence to get started and keep going and then {gasp} share it with y’all!

But I wanted to talk a bit about the research I did for Writ in Blood.

One thing I did find challenging was that scholarly tomes, and even contemporary accounts about historical figures, would often describe a person in their narrative – but then not provide any examples to demonstrate the point they’re making. It’s classic telling rather than showing! As a reader, I am a bit antsy about taking such statements on faith, and I’d rather be given some examples so I can make up my own mind. As a novelist, I could really do with some more detail so I can flesh out those bare bones!

Apparently Doc Holliday had “a mean disposition”, and Mattie Blaylock was “shrewish”, but we are left to imagine how these characteristics were displayed and to what extent. We are given no information on which to form our own judgement about whether such reputations were deserved, or whether these people’s words and actions were capable of different interpretations.

In these two cases, I have to say I remained unconvinced, and my novel’s characters reflect that. But maybe I was wrong…?

Who was your favorite character to write and why?

Oh, John Ringo, for sure! I love all the main characters in Writ in Blood, and remain fascinated by their mix of traits and tangle of relationships. But it’s Johnny who kicked it all off in the first place, and kept me going through several long dark teatimes of the soul.

I wasn’t able to find out much about the historical Ringo when I first conceived this novel, so he has slowly evolved as I learned more. The John Ringo in my novel, though, is definitely a result of this drawn-out process, this patchwork of imagination and influences. If I was coming to his story fresh today, I would write him differently, in both large and subtle ways. It’s very tempting to do just that!

That goes for Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday as well. There is more and more to learn about them all, and in many ways I feel I’m not done yet with the Old West and the Tombstone story – because there is always more to explore, more to tell, and after that there’ll be more again.

It’s just as well I have a few other works-in-progress I really must get on with!

What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?

One of my WIPs is a Regency Romance set in India in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The main characters are a Sikh gentleman and a Scottish officer in the British East India Company, along with an English officer who befriends them.

I still have lots of reading and researching ahead of me for this one, but that’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the process. Having done the same over the years for the Old West, I’m eager to really get into this small multifaceted part of the huge colorful subcontinent.

Author Website: https://juliebozza.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/julie.bozza

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/libratigerbooks/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliebozza

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juliebozza/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/juliebozza

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/julie-bozza/

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/julie-bozza-2/ Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Julie-Bozza/e/B009JPO878

Giveaway:

Julie is giving away an Amazon gift card with this tour

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47209/

~*~

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