Kim Fielding & Venona Keyes Guest Post: The Lord and the Amnesiac Rogue

running blind

Thank you to Gigi for hosting us (Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes) on the Gay Book Review to celebrate the November 7th release of our book, Running Blind.

The Lord and the Amnesiac Rogue

Today’s post was inspired by a scene in Running Blind. Kyle is talking with his sister, discussing books he might audition to narrate:

The laptop keys click-clacked for a moment. “Okay,” Lily said. “Let’s narrow things down a little. What genres? Business? Language instruction?”

“Oh yeah, perfect. Make me figure out how to read Russian in braille. Let’s stick with fiction, okay? I want… voices.”

“Voices,” she said in a bad imitation of, he thought, Donald Duck. Then she switched back to her usual voice. “Got it. Sci-fi and fantasy is cool, right?”


“Lots of voices there, but the names will all be, like, Zaxeron of Planet Sinixis or else Th’g’fae’nae of the High Elf Council.”

Kyle snorted. “There were apostrophes in that elf name, weren’t there?”

“You betcha. How about rooooomance?” She leaned sideways to bump her shoulder against his.

“Ugh. Lady Thistlewhite’s bodice gets ripped by that rogue who’s actually the Viscount of North Squashbottom? But he had amnesia and forgot.”

“Gay romance, kiddo. Lord Thistlewhite’s bodice gets ripped.” She paused. “Do men have bodices?”

“Maybe Lord Thistlewhite enjoys cross-dressing.”

So here, exclusive for you, is a key scene from The Lord and the Amnesiac Rogue. Enjoy.

Lord Simon Thistlewhite stood on the terrace, gazing down at the rolling hills of his estate. Off in the distance, some of his employees were cutting hay, while sheep grazed closer by. The air held a chill, foretelling the coming of autumn. Simon sighed. Autumn was fine enough, with the harvest balls and the annual Shoving Pennies at Peasants Festival, but it meant winter would soon follow. Another season of shivering within the ancient walls of Thistlewhite Hall, alone. Save for the eighty-seven servants. Oh, eighty-six. One of the chambermaids had recently run off with Parson Shrumpet—caused quite a scandal in the village.

Fine. Alone save for the eighty-six servants. He sighed again.

This story is inspiring and I would recommend it to all who would love to read about a positive and refreshing attitude towards tackling a life-altering hurdle.PIU's Review
“Why so unhappy?”

Simon whirled around and then gasped. There stood Fitzdarcy Williams, resplendent in snug leather breeches, a white linen shirt with a white cravat, and a cropped plum-colored riding coat. His devilishly handsome face bore a wide grin, and he bowed deeply.

“What are you doing here?” demanded Simon, hand clutched at his chest. “You were hung last week for stealing that horse. And you’re trespassing!”

Fitzdarcy prowled closer. “I’ve told all of you—I did not steal that horse, although devil if I can recall where I did get him. And you’ve trespassed in my heart, my lord, so turnabout is fair play.”

“Leave here at once or I shall have you arrested!” Despite the dire words, Simon’s heart pitter-patted. Fitzdarcy was so very dashing, so handsome and charming despite his roguishness. And he spoke with the cultured tones of a man of society, which was a puzzle considering Simon had first met him while Fitzdarcy was shoveling manure in the stable.

Still grinning, Fitzdarcy moved a few steps nearer. Simon backed away, but the terrace railing trapped him and he had nowhere to go when Fitzdarcy came within arm’s reach.

“You look striking today, my lord. Effulgent. Is that a new outfit?”

Simon glanced down at himself. “This old thing? I haven’t even had time to change from morning dress yet.” It was just a gown of white muslin, nearly sheer but covering his arms and neck. He wore a red and gold embroidered shawl against the cold, and under the sheer muslin, a chemise. When he was forced to leave the estate, he reluctantly wore gentleman’s attire, but at home he preferred the comfort of dresses.

“You look fetching in it.” Fitzdarcy waggled his eyebrows. “I daresay you’d look even more fetching out of it.”

“Mr. Williams!” Although Simon attempted to sound scandalized, he’d spent the past weeks imagining something very much like what Fitzdarcy was suggesting—and wondering what Fitzdarcy’s strapping frame looked like without his clothes as well. And also speculating on the feel of Fitzdarcy’s taut—

“So will you?” Fitzdarcy’s question interrupted Simon’s rather pleasant musings.

Kim and Venona did such an awesome job on this book and wrote it in a way that you could feel Kim’s upmost respect for her characters. That is what made this book truly amazing.Natosha's Review
“Will I what?”

It was Fitzdarcy’s turn to sigh. “Run away with me? I know society would never tolerate the marriage of a lord to a commoner like me. Although I must say, I don’t feel like a commoner. For example, I can perfectly describe the Banqueting Hall at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, and I can recite entire passages from The Bride of Lammermoor, which it seems to me a commoner ought not be able to do. But thanks to this damnable amnesia, I haven’t any idea who I am, so I expect we ought to assume I am a commoner, seeing as they are considerably, well, more common than members of the nobility. And…. I’m sorry. What was my original point?”

“You asked me to run away with you.”

“Ah. Yes. Run away with me, my lord. We’ll be terribly poor, of course, but we shan’t mind because we will have our love to sustain us.”

Simon considered the offer. Love was a beautiful thing, and Fitzdarcy was beautiful as well. But poverty was rather tiresome, he suspected.

Undoubtedly sensing Simon’s reluctance, Fitzdarcy closed the distance and placed his lips nearly touching Simon’s. “Let me give you a taste of what we can have, my darling Simon.” And he kissed Simon so hard and so deeply that Simon—who hoped mint toothpaste and proper oral hygiene would be invented soon—felt nearly faint.

Still kissing, Fitzdarcy grabbed Simon’s bodice and gave a mighty pull, tearing both gown and chemise and exposing Simon’s heaving chest to Fitzdarcy’s roving hands.

Not to be outdone, Simon grasped Fitzdarcy’s shirt. Being of heavier material, it was harder to rip, but Simon had been working out. The fabric gave. When he placed his fingers against Fitzdarcy’s collarbone, Simon felt a fine metal chain.

Simon broke off the kiss and pushed Fitzdarcy slightly away. “What’s this?” Simon asked, peering at the pendant hanging at Fitzdarcy’s palpitating chest.

“Oh, that? I haven’t any idea. I was wearing it when I woke up with amnesia. I’m lucky I wasn’t accused of stealing it as well.”

“But… but….” Hope swelled within Simon, tangling his tongue.

I loved this story for everything that it wasn’t. You know how in this type of stories the disabled person becomes the asshole that refuses to get help, all while being rude and disrespectful to his helpers? This story is not that cliché and Kyle is not that man.Ele's Review
“What is it, my darling?”

“I recognize this! It’s the North Squashbottom coat of arms!” He gasped as realization hit. “And you must be the Viscount of North Squashbottom, who went missing after bandits attacked his coach just outside of my village. That was two days before you appeared.”

The other man considered this for a moment. “Viscount of North Squashbottom. All right. That sounds reasonable enough. Will you still call me Fitzdarcy, though? It has a nicer ring to it.”
“Of course!” Simon embraced him heartily.

After extricating himself from the hug, Fitzdarcy smiled. “You know what this means, don’t you? We can get married and be obscenely wealthy as well.”

“Well, yes. Except for the small matter that we happen to be two gentlemen, and marriage equality won’t be recognized in England and Wales for another two hundred years.”

“Pish-posh. Obscenely wealthy, remember? I’m sure we can work something out. A generous contribution to the building fund for the church of St. Affpickle, perhaps.”

Yes, Simon thought. That probably would work. Especially since Parson Papplewick, the new clergyman, had displayed a particular interest in Simon’s quite alluring Second Footman.
“How about a celebratory fox hunt?” Simon suggested. “Or some tea in the gardens?”

Fitzdarcy leered. “How about we finish what we started instead?”

Simon nodded happily. That would be very fine indeed.

Running Blind.Title: Running Blind
Authors: Kim Fielding & Venona Keyes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 7th Nov, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary/Hurt/Healing/Comfort
Page Count: 211
Reviewed by: PIU, Natosha and Ele

Kyle Green is on top of the world. He and Matt have been together for ten years, and—as the voice of Ecos, the wildly popular anime character—Kyle is treated like a rock star in anime circles. But in an instant, a stroke leaves him blind. When photographer Matt gets the opportunity of a lifetime, Kyle reexamines their relationship, discovers it has been a safety net rather than a true romance, and sets Matt free to pursue his dream. Kyle’s life and career as he knew them are gone, and he must now find the courage and creativity to draft a new plan.

After being away for fifteen years, Seth Caplan comes home to Chicago to care for his mother and to partner with a small start-up tech company. He and Kyle meet after Kyle’s collision with a child’s sidewalk toy, and they hit it off. Kyle wants to get back into running, and Seth becomes his guide. As they get to know each other, they start seeing each other beyond their three-times-a-week runs. But Seth’s revelation of the dark reason why he left his career in California sends the relationship into a tailspin and leaves both men running blind.

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About Kim

Kim Fielding is very pleased every “me someone calls her eclectic. Her books have won Rainbow Awards and span a variety of genres. She has migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States and currently lives in California, where she long ago ran out of bookshelf space. She’s a university professor who dreams of being able to travel and write full “me. She also dreams of having two perfectly behaved children, a husband who isn’t obsessed with football, and a house that cleans itself. Some dreams are more easily obtained than others

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About Venona

Venona Keyes is a modern woman who believes in doing it all; if doing it all is only in her head. She amazes people that she can be wholly unorganized yet pack a perfect carry on suitcase for a ten day trip to Paris. Ms. Keyes is a believer in the just in time theory, and can be seen sprinting in airports to the gate before the plane door closes.

Venona has experienced love and loss at the deepest level, and is thankful for writing and daydreaming, for it kept, and still keeps her sane. Writing also introduced her to some of the most supportive and wonderful people, to which she will always be grateful.

Venona is a voracious reader, loves her feline boys, volunteers at an animal shelter, attempts to cook everything in her CSA boxes, is an accomplished speaker, is a seasoned triathlete, and enjoys swimming, biking, hiking, skipping, dancing, and her beloved overgrown garden.

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Octocer 31 – MM Good Book Reviews
November 1 –  The Novel Approach
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