One story’s villain is another story’s hero.
Available for pre-order on the SMP website! 🙂
I love this cover with all my heart. Copper’s eyes are so beautiful 🙂 Done by the wonderful Alex Zappa
1907, twenty years into the zombie Plague
Reuben is a baker living in the slums of London, sharing a room with his father and an extended family of cockroaches. Poor, uneducated, and repressing all his sexual desires, he leads a life of misery, only sometimes sprinkled with gin and a rough tumble in a filthy back alley.
But when he is abducted into Bylondon to be the slave of a wealthy crime family member named Erik Dal, his values are put to the test. His new master is obsessed with all things equestrian, and Reuben soon learns that if he obeys and performs well as Erik’s horse, he might just get everything he yearns for: pampering, foods he never even dreamed of, and shameless sex with a demonically handsome young man in leather riding boots.
As Copper, Erik’s treasured dun stallion, Reuben must submit to his new master’s obscene fancy of possessing another man completely. That is, if he yearns for treats and not the lick of a riding crop. Fake tails, harnesses, and a new haircut to his ginger mane help Reuben transform into Copper, but the fear of losing his dignity in the eyes of society might just prove to be a bigger restraint than any bit, bridle, or handcuffs.
All that for the small price of his freedom. Though at times, Reuben feels it’s his soul that Erik is after instead.
And a closeup on Copper’s beautiful face, just because I can!
Everything works on this cover 🙂 The lovely harness, Erik’s blue fingers, stained with ink, the wallpaper skulls representing the zombie aspect, and then the pony shadow <3 I actually set it as my wallpaper on my phone ha ha. Agnes did as well and scared the poor guy at the phone shop when she brought hers in for maintenance haha!
This book is yet another installment in the “Zombie Gentlemen” universe and just like “Stung” and “Off with Their Heads!” it’s set in 1907. All these stories are standalones that tie in with each other slightly. “Stung” is set in Honeyhill, a forced labour camp ran by the Dal family, whereas in “The Copper Horse“, Erik Dal is one of the heroes (if you can call a man as morally grey as him a ‘hero’ ;D). And then in “Off with Their Heads!“, one of the MC’s is an anarchist, fighting against the social changes the MC in “Stung” wants to bring. I love telling a story from many different sides. I believe it creates a world more diverse and shows that right and wrong can be subjective. One story’s villain is another story’s hero.
In a way, I know “Zombie Gentlemen” can be considered obscure. Steampunk, though very low-tech (so close to a historical novel), zombies, and homoerotic on top of that. I always try to put across that these stories are not *about* zombies. Zombies, a dystopian world, are a background to what is truly interesting to us – fully fleshed out characters with goals and emotions. No amount of maggots and zombie bees make a story, it’s the characters that step forward with their passions and mold the plot to their liking. So all I can hope for is that readers not used to a bit of horror in their romance, can look past it and let themselves in on the bumpy, thrilling rides in “Zombie Gentlemen”.
And “Stung” is surely a thrilling ride! It’s romantic and hot in its own way without losing the thriller aspect. We struggled deciding if we wanted to call it a ‘thriller’ or ‘romantic suspense’. ‘Thriller’ won in the end because I believe ‘romantic suspense’ is more about a mystery, while “Stung” is more about completing a mission and trying to survive all the bumps on the road. It’s sometimes hard for us to slap a genre on out books, as we tend to mix various themes. Even our ‘dark’ stories always have a bit of humour in them, etc.
Tags: alternative history, book, copper horse, cover, dystopian, erotic, fetish, fiction, gore, homosexual, k.a. merikan, lgbt, m/m/, ponyplay, romance, romantic fiction, steampunk, the copper horse, thriller, victorian, zombie