New Releases & Housekeeping & Stuff

I, um, I’m an idiot but I kind of forgot to do this for Liberty but, well, Liberty came out January. Woo hoo, yay, etc. These are a set of additional stories set in the Prosperityverse that weave in and out of the main Prosperity narrative. Shackles and Squamous with a Chance of Rain are sort of … origin stories for Ruben and Milord and Miss Grey respectively. Cloudy Climes and Starless Skies is about Byron Kae and Dill, and Liberty explores the world from a different perspective: that of the military-trained aethermancer, Captain George England.

They’re all very different in style, so they were lots of fun to write. Shackles is kind of a dark Victorian fairytale, Squamous is epistolary Lovecraftian horror, Cloudy is sort of David Copperfield biography and love story and Liberty is the full Bram Stoker / Wilkie Collins experience, a found narrative comprised of letters, recordings, court documents etc. I liked the fact that Cloudy let me explore colonialism and gender and Liberty is about empire and patriotism and queerness. With a bit of Star Wars thrown in. Ahem.

So. Yes. That’s Liberty.

For the dialect averse, it contains much less cant than Prosperity.  However, while they do stand alone, the stories are very much connected to Prosperity so I’m honestly hesitant to suggest them as a starting point or an alternative.

And wow, am I bad at selling myself? I think if you’re interested in the Prosperity-verse but don’t like the dialect, your best bet would be There Will Be Phlogiston. It’s a romance, with a Victorian/steampunk flavour, it brushes against Prosperity but doesn’t require it. There’s no cant at all and it’s completely freeeeeee.

Meanwhile, I’m also trying to catch up with my website housekeeping. I’ve updated the FAQs, and I’m working on getting my book serieseseses in order and all the bonus and extras arranged in a sensible fashion. So if you’re interested in that kind of thing, that’s a thing that is happening.

If you’re looking for something to read that isn’t me, I’d also point that KJ Charles’s Jackdaw came out this week. And that AJ Cousins’s second Bend or Break book – Nothing Like Paris – is out on the 3rd of March. If you haven’t read Off Campus or the Flight of Magpies series … what the heck are you doing with your time? You should rectify this immediately and you can thank me later. I was also lucky enough to get Amy Jo round for tea-time over at Prism this week. She gives fantastic interview so do swing by if you haven’t already.

And, finally, just to talk about myself for a bit longer, Waiting for the Flood – my next contemporary romance from Riptide Publishing – releases tomorrow. While it’s not a direct sequel, it’s set in the world as Glitterland so RP have agreed to publish all my contemporaries as a part of the Spires universe. This is very exciting to me because it’s given me opportunity to build up the world and the characters, so you’ll definitely be seeing some familiar faces if you read more books set in the series.

Here’s the blurb:

People come as well as go.

Twelve years ago, Edwin Tully came to Oxford and fell in love with a boy named Marius. He was brilliant. An artist. It was going to be forever.

Two years ago, it ended.

Now Edwin lives alone in the house they used to share. He tends to damaged books and faded memories, trying to build a future from the fragments of the past.

Then the weather turns, and the river spills into Edwin’s quiet world, bringing with it Adam Dacre from the Environment Agency. An unlikely knight, this stranger with roughened hands and worn wellingtons, but he offers Edwin the hope of something he thought he would never have again.

As the two men grow closer in their struggle against the rising waters, Edwin learns he can’t protect himself from everything—and sometimes he doesn’t need to try.

It’s a very quiet, very personal story. I do hope you like it.

The lovely Mark, at Sinfully Addicted to M/M Romance, invited to write them a guest post about it – and you can find that here. Unlike my last post over there, which was accidentally eighty gazillion words on depicting violence, this is a lot more manageable. It’s called Write What You Fear, and there’s a giveaway as well for a book from my back catalogue AND a sneaky bonus peak at my next Spires contemporary. This is a full length novel called For Real. And, well, it’s definitely a romance, but it’s a little bit kinky. So there’s a thing.

Anyway, do pop over to Sinfully Addicted and say hello. And enter the competition if you’d like to win things, and if you’re curious about For Real.

And, as a kind of Waiting for the Flood release bonus, I have some talking for you. Though it’s not my usual superfast read through of the opening chapter. It’s a superfast something else. There’s a bit in the book where the two main characters (Edwin and Adam) end up talking about their favourite jokes.

The top of the merry-go-round was still just above the water level, although without the base it looked a little bit like a floating cart wheel. I stepped onto the submerged platform and sat down where the spokes met, my feet dangling. Adam braced himself on the bars, watching me and smiling a little as he turned me back and forth through the water.

“Want to hear my favourite joke?” he asked.


“Three logicians walk into a bar. The barman says, ‘So, does everybody want a drink?’ First logician says, ‘I don’t know.’ Second logician says, ‘I don’t know.’ Third logician says, ‘Yes.’”

I stared at him. “I don’t get— Oh, wait .” And then I was laughing, not because of the joke, but because it was so very, very Adam.

“What’s yours?”

“I . . . I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about it.”

“Nuh-uh. Everyone has a favourite joke, even if they don’t know it.”

He was right, of course. Our old friend Max had one about purple-spotted pineapples that was basically a lengthy misdirect for a pun— it was epically dire, but the direness was its charm. Marius had liked the one about the master of quick wit and ready repartee, which was less of a joke than a performance amusing mainly because of how he told it. I had rather envied him for being able to rattle it off so stylishly and effortlessly that people would actually request him to do it. But, now I thought about it, I realised I had my own joke. One I could tell without a single stumble. “Ask me if I’m an orange.”

His head tilted quizzically. “Are you an orange?”


I loved his laugh. I loved being able to make him laugh.

The Master of Quick Wit and Ready Repartee is actually my favourite joke, though I probably don’t tell it as well as imaginary Marius.

So, for your, err, pleasure and most likely your cringe, I offer up my favourite joke – The Master of Quick Wit and Ready Repartee. It’s entirely ridiculous but it makes me laugh and I enjoy telling it.

I hope you’ll share your favourite jokes with me in the comments below.

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31 Responses to New Releases & Housekeeping & Stuff

  1. Kat says:

    Chuck Norris can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.

    Chuck Norris can light a fire by rubbing two ice cubes together.

    If you spell Chuck Norris in Scrabble, you win. Forever.

    They once named a street after Chuck Norris, but they had to rename it because no one could cross it and live.

    They once made a Chuck Norris toilet paper, but there was a problem: it wouldn’t take shit from nobody.

    Chuck Norris counted to infinity – twice.

    Chuck Norris and Superman once fought each other in a bet. The loser had to start wearing his underwear on the outside of his trousers.

    Fear of spiders is called arachnophobia. Fear of tight spaces is called claustrophobia. Fear of Chuck Norris is called logic.

    Chuck Norris can steal someone’s thunder… and then kill them with it.

    Chuck Norris has already been to Mars; thats why there are no signs of life.

    I dare you to ban me!

  2. Pam/Peejakers says:

    Hahaha, you! I don’t know why I did not expect that ending to the joke, though, after reading the one about the orange, but it came as a complete surprise & I just burst out laughing. I have to admit I was somewhat at a loss about the orange joke when I read it in the book. I was like, hunh? And then, because it was obviously a thing, just a thing I had no idea about, I had to google “are you an orange”. Then I was like, ohhhh, okay, I get it 😛

    I love the recording, never heard Marius, of course, but you told it pretty damned well, imo 😉 And not the least bit too fast. Although I’m very fond of the too fast, it’s kinda adorable, but it’s also nice to be able to hear every word on the first run through 😉 Also, I think you have a really nice, expressive voice for reading aloud. This isn’t the first time I thought that either. I was crazy for the one you did in cant, from Prosperity. You could totally do your own audio recordings, if you wanted to. I love hearing you read your stories.

    My favorite joke, or at least the only one I can think of at the moment, is this ridiculous thing you & everyone else has probably heard a million times, it’s so dumb & silly but it makes me laugh. These three pieces of string go into a bar. The first piece of string goes up to the bar & orders a drink. The bartender squints at him suspiciously. “Are you string?” he asks. The string says “Why, yes, I am” “Sorry, we don’t serve string here.” says the bartender. So the string leaves, dejected. Next piece of string walks up to the bar, orders *his* drink, same thing happens. So the third piece of string, seeing all this, thinks about it, then he gets an idea. So he ties himself in a knot, frizzes out his “hair”, kinda like a ‘fro, approaches the bar & orders his drink. Once more the bartender regards him suspiciously. “Are you sure you’re not a string?” he asks accusingly. “Oh no” replies the string “I’m a frayed knot.”

    I LOVED Waiting for the Flood, by the way. <3! I think it's a gem, one of your best. I read it in one rapturous sitting yesterday, wet eyes & sniffling all the way through the thing 😛 I, um, actually started tearing up over The Wind in the Willows quote before it even started, so I knew I was in trouble going in 😉 It was very heartachey but I was just as weepy over the happy moments as the sad. I also laughed out loud a few times & "awwwed" a whole bunch of them. It's just plain beautiful. You did good, really good my friend *hugs*

    It's interesting because I remember a lot of the real life elements you incorporated, from seeing them on Twitter when the real flooding was happening. The petal thing, the time you saw a news story of someone canoeing past your street, the time you got drenched by some careless driver plowing through the floodwaters. And even the stuff from before that, there was a pic you tweeted of your hand holding the key to your new house, I think that might have been the first tweet of yours I ever saw. That popped into my head when I was reading the very first paragraph of the first chapter of this. Which I . . . cried over, of course. You owe me a box of tissues 😉

    Also, geez, there was so much about Edwin I identified with. This line: "“This is the story of my life: standing on the edges of things and worrying, when I’m supposed to just walk through them.” Wow, that could be on my tombstone or something! There were a few more of them, but I'll stop here or I'll spoiler the whole book!

    And of course I adored the Liberty stories, though Cloudy is the dearest to my heart. How like you to forget to promote your own stuff, but you are hardly an idiot, I seem to remember there were quite a number of things going on at the time.

    I will check out your updated FAQ's & can't wait to read the guest post at Sinfully, as soon as I get back from running errands today. Can't wait! Er, to read the post, not do my errands 😉

    Anyway, yaaaay huge congratulations on the new release, only now I'm sad because I've already read it & there are months before the next one. I'll just have to read things again 🙂

    • Alexis Hall says:

      I literally had H standing there with a big sign that said SPEAK SLOWLY and he would wave it wildly whenever I started speeding up. I’ve been trying to do better since that time I tried GLITTERLAND and everybody was like … huh, what’s that buzzing sound, oh wait, it’s your voice. I think I do slightly better in person as well – well, not when I’m nervous – but I can wave my hands and also respond to the look of bewildered blankness on peoples’ faces 😉

      I’m glad you enjoyed the joke – I’m sure there’s a specific rhetorical term for that kind of comedically let-downy ending but I’m darned if I can remember it right now.

      Thank you for your knot joke – it made me laugh, because I love silly jokes. It reminds me one about the cycle path that I also enjoy but it’s a sound-joke so you have to hear it. So I’ve probably just spoiled it pointlessly.

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed Waiting. Anecdotal evidence suggests it’s either something people respond very strongly or, err, don’t get at all…not in the sense of being a bad read who didn’t get it, but in the sense of it speaking to and about things that don’t have any resonance for them. Although, now I think about it, that covers responses to pretty much everything I’ve written. And everything else anyone else has written. So…

      Certainly some degree of real life preoccupations and experiences got cycled into Waiting – especially flooding, since I do – in fact – live on a flood plain so I have become an unofficial expert on flooding in the SE 😛

      • Pam/Peejakers says:

        Omg, the image of that, H with the sign, *dies* Also “what’s that buzzing sound” *dies again* Seriously, you’re altogether too cute 😉

  3. Susan Ford says:

    I finished Waiting for the Flood today. It was a lovely story!

    One of my favorite jobs in the library in 6th grade was to repair the books. I worked more in the library than I attended class. I’d finish my work early and the teacher would send me over.

    • Alexis Hall says:

      Oh I’m so happy you enjoyed it 🙂

      I have lots of librarian friends so I did end up doing a lot of research into book conservation and it’s totally fascinating. Takes a lot of skill and a lot of care, and I admire it very much 🙂

  4. Kathy says:

    LOL! That was wonderful! Waiting For The Flood is now on my Kindle! Yay! Here are a couple of jokes for you….

    A newly ordained priest is about to hear confessions for the first time, and he’s a little nervous. So he asks an older priest to sit in on the session and offer up any suggestions for improvement. After hearing a couple of confessions, the older priest asks to have a private word with the younger priest.

    ‘I have a few suggestions’, the older priest says. ‘First, fold your arms over your chest and rub your chin thoughtfully with one hand.’ The younger priest does this, and the older priest says, ‘Good. Good. Now, try saying things like ‘I see’ or ‘Yes, I understand’ or if the parishioner falters you might say encouragingly ‘Yes, my child, go on.’ So the young priest practices saying comforting and encouraging things until the old priest says, ‘Well done! Now, don’t you think that’s better than slapping your knee and saying ‘No way! What happened next?’

    And this one I love because it points out how we sometimes overlook the obvious.

    Holmes and Watson are on a camping trip. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes up and gives Dr. Watson a nudge.
    “Watson” he says, “look up in the sky and tell me what you see.”
    “I see millions of stars, Holmes,” says Watson.
    “And what do you conclude from that, Watson?”
    Watson thinks for a moment. “Well,” he says, “astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meterologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I see that God is all-powerful, and we are small and insignficant. Uh, what does it tell you, Holmes?”
    “Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!”

    Happy Book Release Day!

    • Alexis Hall says:

      Thank you – I hope you enjoy Waiting.

      And thank you for the jokes. I loved them, and did indeed laugh loud – especially at the second. Which I’m going to tell the next time I’m in a joke-telling situation 🙂

  5. Kaetrin says:

    Just bought and downloaded it. Happy release day!!

  6. PeggyL says:

    I look forward to reading WAITING FOR THE FLOOD. ☺

    If you are interested, I have a bunch of “lawyer” jokes from this site:!-%28jokes%29

  7. Lotta says:

    I’m really looking forward to reading Waiting for the Flood, it sounds wonderful and I loved the excerpt over at Sinfully Addicted. Unfortunately, I am all out of jokes at the moment.

  8. Darla says:

    I loved hearing you tell the joke from the book! And I LOVED Waiting for the Flood! Beautifully quiet love story with all the rainy MOOD! The only joke I know is too filthy for this blog.
    *skips away*

  9. willaful says:

    The American version of that joke is “the Aristocrats.” An entire movie has been made about it.

    The orange joke reminds me of my son’s best joke, which is an extension of the “interrupting cow” knock knock joke:

    “knock knock”
    “who’s there”
    “interrupting nobody.”
    “interrupting nobody who?”

    My favorite joke: “What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vender?” “Make me one with everything.”

    • Alexis Hall says:

      I don’t think I know that joke? Or the movie. I mean, I know the Disney movie with the cats… but I suspect that’s something different?

      Thank you for the jokes – the hot dog vendor in one particular is delightful, although I can see why your son appreciates the knock knock one 🙂

  10. Molli says:

    I loved Waiting for the Flood. So good.

    Edwin’s sense of humor is maybe a tad like mine. My favorite joke is unfortunate.

    What’s green with wheels??
    Grass, I was kidding about the wheels.


    Thanks for sharing your joke with us! And your book!

    • Alexis Hall says:

      Thank you Molli – I’m so happy you enjoyed Waiting.

      And, yes, I think Edwin would love that joke too. And so I do 🙂

      My other favourite joke is just this embarrassingly rubbish pun. It goes ‘what’s white and swings through the trees?’

      A mering-u-tang.

      I have no idea why it cracks me up to the extent it does.

  11. Karen says:

    I so enjoyed Waiting, and like Pam I remember the tweeting around the time of the floods, its beautiful and understated and full of feeling.

    My joke really is a bit visual, and so I hope it works :
    A while ago I worked for an East end guy, think Alan Sugar mark 2, who was married to a slightly younger stunningly beautiful swede,known as K who was very proper. At one of their dinner parties the wine flowed and talk moved onto tattoos and piercings.
    ‘John is a really big fan of tattoos’ announced K, ‘but I have always resisted, I always thought that they were tacky, but last week he persuaded me to get one.’ There was total silence at this point, it was like finding out that Grace Kelly has a tattoo. Someone asked – what is your tattoo of ? A mouse said K, its on the top of my thigh – would you like to see it ? Every man, and most of the women practically drooled at this juncture. K slowly lifted her skirt to show the top of her thigh, no tattoo – she looked up ‘the mouse has gone, i think the pussy must have eaten it’


    • Alexis Hall says:

      Thank you for kind words about Waiting 🙂

      Joke definitely works – I laughsqueaked, which I think was the intention?

  12. Jax says:

    Am I losing my mind? I can’t find any mention of For Real in your post at Sinfully Addicted. Can you give me a hint about where it is on the page? Thanks!

    Here’s my joke:

    A man goes into a supermarket and asks to buy a half head of lettuce. The young produce assistant tells him they only sell whole heads of lettuce. The man persists and asks to see the manager. Walking to the back room, the boy says to the manager, “Some idiot wants to buy a half a head of lettuce.”

    Just as he finishes his sentence, he turns to find the man standing right behind him. He adds, “And this gentleman would like to buy the other half.”

    The manager approves the deal and the man goes on his way. Later the manager says to the boy, “I was really impressed with how you got yourself out of that situation earlier, I can use someone who can think on their feet at the new store I’m opening in Toronto.”

    “Toronto?” the boy asks. “Sir, the only things that come out of Toronto are hookers and hockey players.”

    “Wait a damn minute,” says the manager. “I’ll have you know that my wife is from Toronto.”

    “No kidding?” replies the boy. “What position did she play?”

    • Alexis Hall says:

      FOR REAL isn’t up anywhere yet – and I tend not to talk about things until there’s get-go from the publisher. But I do have a release date now – which is 1st of June, assuming nothing goes horribly wrong. So hopefully there’ll be more information available in a month or so when the blurb and cover and stuff go up. I’ve written the blurb but the artist is still working on the cover, and the book is in edits at the moment. I’m … err .. quite nervous about it. It’s very different.

      Thank you for the joke – I cackled 🙂

  13. Gwen says:

    You are thinking of shaggy dog stories. My dad was a constant punster and loves shaggy dog stories. His jokes were so bad, my sister and I would look at each other and try to figure it out, because the obvious meaning was just so stupid, there had to be a deeper meaning. My dad would start laughing and explain. And my sister and I would look at each other and think… Wow. It really was that stupid. He’s a nuclear physicist. I don’t know how he was so amused, but what a lovely thing it is to laugh easily.

    “In its original sense, a shaggy dog story is an extremely long-winded anecdote characterized by extensive narration of typically irrelevant incidents and terminated by an anticlimax or a pointless punchline.
    Shaggy dog stories play upon the audience’s preconceptions of joke-telling. The audience listens to the story with certain expectations, which are either simply not met or met in some entirely unexpected manner. A lengthy shaggy dog story derives its humour from the fact that the joke-teller held the attention of the listeners for a long time (such jokes can take five minutes or more to tell) for no reason at all, as the end resolution is essentially meaningless.”

  14. Gwen says:

    I remembered the one joke I can remember, which I still frequently forget.

    What did the dead head say when they ran out of drug money?

    “What is that terrible noise?”

    I also do a pretty good version of barfy dog, but you’d have to see it to get it.

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