Thursday, September 7, 2017

Foxglove Copse by Alex Beecroft - Blog Tour with Author Guest Post

About Foxglove Copse

After a massive anxiety attack, Sam Atkins left his high-powered job in the City and committed himself to life on the road in a small van. Six months in, he’s running out of savings and coming to the conclusion that he might have to go home to his emotionally abusive family.

Needing time to think, he takes a walk through a copse by the Cornish roadside, only to stumble upon the body of a ritualistically killed sheep. As he’s trying to work out what the symbols around the animal mean, the sheep’s owner, Jennifer, and her nephew, Ruan Gwynn, come upon him.

Ruan is a kind-hearted young man with a large supportive clan, and since he and Sam feel almost instant attraction, he doesn’t want to believe Sam is a sheep-killing cultist. In fact, the moment he lays eyes on Sam’s miserable solitary life, he wants to rescue the man. But as the killings escalate, he and Sam need to stop whoever is actually to blame before they can concentrate on saving each other.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

About the Porthkennack Universe

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur's Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

One of the things I was interested in exploring while I was writing Foxglove Copse was the idea of being part of a large multi-generational family with deep ties to a particular place.

To put that in context, my family moved around the UK wherever my father's work sent him, and my earliest memory is of leaving Northern Ireland where I was born and settling in Cheshire on the edge of the Peak District. It took me ten years to stop calling myself Irish – though now I look back I realize I never had that right in the first place.

As well as having no ties to the place we lived in, by the time I was old enough to remember anything, my father had separated us from all the members of our extended family. I think my grandparents were dead by then. My father's family had a tendency to fall out and never speak to one another again, and he didn't like my mother keeping in contact with her folks either. As a result, the family I grew up in was my parents, and two sisters who were already grown up and not living with us by the time I was old enough to take note.

This didn't seem odd to me at the time – the way you're raised is your normal – but throwaway comments from people, (who, for example, expect you to know your grandparents' names) lead me to slowly realize that this isn't necessarily the way everyone else does it.

Because opposites attract, or at least intrigue, I decided it would be interesting to make one of the main characters of Foxglove Copse a member of one of the ten oldest families in Porthkennack. These are the families who have been in this place since before written records began. They were probably fishing from these coves in the Stone Age – so they naturally think of this place as theirs, as much theirs as their own blood and bones.

Over the long years that they've all lived together in this one small town, the oldest families would have intermarried, they would have knitted themselves together through debts and obligations and pacts and feuds, and it seemed to me that they would regard everyone else who turned up later as being a newcomer. Not as important or as valid as them.

What would that be like though? When I wrote Ruan Gwynn, it was with the idea of finding out what it would feel like to be a member of a widespread and respected clan with deep unspoken ties and responsibilities to each other and the land. Ruan might be an unimportant happy-go-lucky young man just out of university, with no job and no prospects, but he's also a Gwynn. That means he has responsibilities to carry on the traditions of the clan and protect the next generation not only of his own family but also of all the Old Families.

My other main character, Sam, has cut himself off from his family and has nobody at all. I'd like to say it's a case of opposites attract there too, but Ruan finds Sam's isolated existence sad and slightly repellent. I think he's wrong there – it's better to be alone than to be with people who make you feel like hell. But is it better to belong to a large supportive family who all look after each other? I don't know. You'll have to let me know if I've got it right, or if my rose tinted glasses were too strong.

About Alex Beecroft

Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.

Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City Paper, LA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association of the UK and an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.

Alex was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She lives with her husband and two children in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.

Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has led a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800-year-old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.

She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.

Connect with Alex:


To celebrate the release of Foxglove Copse, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and an ebook of their choice from Alex’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 9, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. I can relate to both aspects--I'm a bit of a loner, but also have a fairly close family (that can be annoyingly underfoot at times)...


    1. Being an introvert in a large family must be really difficult! Thanks :)

  2. Thank you for the post.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  3. Congrats, Alex, and thanks for your thoughts about family. I'm more like you, no strong attachments to past family. But I've found that's true among a number of gays. There's a reason for the saying about having a "chosen" family. Having supportive relatives is great when you have them, but that support can come from any loved one. -
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

    1. Yes - I'm fortunate enough to have a lovely found family now, and they have 99% of my loyalty. It's nice to know that there are people out there who will love us for ourselves, if we can only find them.

  4. Thanks for the post. I'd rather have chosen family than half-assed support or back stabbing. It hurts a lot when you find out those you love have vastly different ideals than you do when it comes to the safety & well-being of your only child.
    legacylandlisa at gmail dot com

    1. Definitely! A bad family can be the worst thing in the world, and I'm completely behind Sam leaving his behind. We don't owe it to them to allow them to continue to hurt us.