I had a very pleasant exchange with a reader awhile back about whether the characters’ names had any particular meaning for me, and I thought other readers might be interested in knowing this too. If you’re not into vague authorial introspection, you can skip this post :D
I am going to take a break from the Ganymede Quartet universe until probably early 2016, but I have a lot more stories I’d like to tell about the GQ characters. There are some stories I am going to insist on telling whether anyone says they’re interested or not, but I am curious which stories readers might think they want.
A collar and tie are more than just clothes.
To Henry Blackwell, they represent freedom and choice. They don’t mean as much to Martin, but he wears them to the Metropolitan Ball, an exhilarating rite of passage for masters and slaves alike. At the party, drunk on champagne, Henry convinces Martin to act against his better judgment with devastating results.
Fearing Martin will be taken from him, Henry does what he believes necessary to keep Martin by his side, but Martin doesn’t agree with his methods, and they’re at odds when they most need to act in concert. Henry feels he’s been wronged, but can he find it in his heart to forgive Martin? Perhaps more importantly, does he deserve forgiveness himself?
This is the fourth and final installment in the Ganymede Quartet, continuing the story from A Willful Romantic (Ganymede Quartet Book 3).
Buy links will be updated as they’re available.
A Free Choice (Ganymede Quartet Book 4.5) FREE
Love should be a choice, not an obligation or duty.
Martin’s own birthday is just days before Henry’s. Parties have been planned, but with everything that’s happened, will anyone feel like celebrating?
Taking place concurrent with events at the end of A Collar and Tie (Ganymede Quartet Book 4), A Free Choice concludes the series—for now.
Back in April, I took a trip to New York, which is one of my very favorite places. I visit as often as I can, which isn’t often enough. I went to go to the Rainbow Book Fair–not as an exhibitor this time, but to hang out with Leta Blake, who was an exhibitor. I’ve wanted to be in New York at the same time as her for years now, and this time it worked out. I also wanted to do some research: riding subways, visiting stations, as well as taking a couple of tours at the Tenement Museum.
The medical side of sex and sexually-transmitted disease in the GQ books is similar to the historical record, but with some important-ish differences.
Henry is fortunate enough to be invited to attend a slave party and wedding in early February 1901. Now, I must say, my husband (who knows everything about Henry and Martin despite never reading a word I’ve written) was incensed when I told him Henry was going to a slave party. He was adamant that the slaves deserved something of their own, separate from masters, and I don’t actually think he’s wrong, but the fact is that Henry wanted to go and Martin wanted him there, so he went. I do think it was very unusual for Henry to be there, but it’s well-established that Henry does a lot of unusual things.
In Chapter 18 of A Willful Romantic (GQ Book 3), Martin reads Henry the February installment of Drake’s Progress and that’s that. There was, however, an entire sex scene that originally finished off the chapter which was cut in the final round of editing.
There are all sorts of reasons for cutting a scene, many of them well-thought-out and logical, but this one got cut because I just didn’t want it in the book, basically. I do love the conversation they have at the end, though, and I tried to think of a way to keep that, but the book’s fine without it.
It’s a sex scene so it’s NSFW, obviously.
Near the beginning of A Willful Romantic (GQ Book 3), Henry and Martin go ice skating on the Lake in Central Park with their friends. This clip from 1902 is a good example of what I was picturing when I wrote the scene.
There was a signal to let people know the ice was ready for skating in Central Park: a red ball raised from the bell tower. Was it on a stick? Did it levitate? I haven’t a clue. For skating in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, they would fly a white flag with a red ball/circle from the streetcars to alert the public, so this red ball thing is pretty consistent. I have to say, the red ball=ice connection isn’t really an obvious one to me.
I have Henry and his friend Freddie Caldwell (and Martin and Tom, of course) go downtown to buy skates for the slaves, and what I had in mind was Modell’s, a sporting goods store that’s been around since 1889, with a store in Lower Manhattan dating from that time. I don’t know for a fact that they carried ice skates, but there’s no reason to think they didn’t.
(I was pretty good at rollerskating, but I’ve never gotten the hang of ice skating, and I have no idea what the difference might be.)
A Vital Chemistry (Ganymede Quartet Book 3.5) FREE
First love, new love.
On Valentine’s Day, Martin prepares to tell Henry he loves him. It’s not appropriate for a slave to burden a master with his feelings, but Martin doesn’t think Henry will mind. He won’t let himself hope for Henry to return the sentiment, but the truth is that he feels loved. He knows how that feels because he was loved before—by his friend Richard at Ganymede.
Martin treasures his memories of Richard, but he’s glad to be with Henry here and now. There’s a vital chemistry that draws Martin to Henry, and it’s unlike anything he’s experienced before. There’s more between them than Martin thought possible between master and slave, and he wants to believe it will endure, but he worries Henry will someday fall for a free man. Can Martin trust in Henry’s love?
This story is told from Martin’s point of view and runs parallel to events that take place in Chapter 12 of A Willful Romantic (Ganymede Quartet Book 3).