Today I am so pleased to welcome Alex Beecroft to Joyfully Jay. Alex has come to talk to us about her latest release, Contraband Hearts. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

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A Return to the Age of Sail

It doesn’t seem like a long time ago, to me, that I was first published with the sea story, Captain’s Surrender. I was on a British Royal Navy kick at the time. That’s how my inspiration works—I get hyperfocused on one thing for years at a time, and then gradually my enthusiasm wanes and I move on to something else.

While I was fascinated with the 18th Century Royal Navy, I wrote Captain’s Surrender, False Colors, By Honor Betrayed, His Heart’s Obsession and Blessed Isle. I also wrote a lot of blog posts about what it was like being a writer of historical fiction. I even themed my website around the sea.

Without ever really intending to, I successfully branded myself as a writer of historical romance set in the 18th Century.

Which was absolutely fine until I couldn’t force myself to write another sea story. I’d set adventures from the Arctic to Australia, done castaways and battles and mutiny from Barbados to the Pacific islands, and it was time for me to do something different.

I always intended to come back. Perhaps not to the Royal Navy, but certainly to the 18th Century, but I got distracted by vampires and spaceships and the Minoan civilization, and before I knew it, nearly ten years had passed.

When Riptide Publishing asked me to do a historical as one of my Porthkennack books, the first thing I thought of was the Stone Age. There are so many fascinating stone circles in Cornwall, and I’ve fancied doing a Stone Age story for years. But really I wanted to set my Stone Age book in Çatal Höyük, just the name of which is full of romance.

So I thought, Maybe this is my time. Remember how you loved the 18th Century? Maybe it’s time to get that back.

And then I thought, Also, imagine the fun you could have with a cat and mouse set up in which one of our heroes was the natural prey of the other. I love that cops and robbers stuff. Enemies to lovers stories are always fun, because there’s an extra dimension of conflict built in.

So I thought about an isolated little town in Cornwall in the 18th Century. Where could I get that sort of dynamic, while also indulging in my love for the sea? The answer was obvious. Cornwall is famous for its smugglers. And what’s a smuggling story without the thrill of evading the steely-eyed Excise Men, the policemen of the coast?

After which, I rushed off and read as much as I could find about 18th Century Cornish life; not only the smugglers and the wreckers, but the miners and the Methodists and the expectation that at any moment Revolution might come here too and sweep everything away in search of a fairer world. And by that time I was hooked. I hope you will be too!


Contraband HeartsHis future depends on bringing the smuggler to justice. His heart demands to join him.

Customs officer Peregrine Dean is sent by his patron to investigate rumors of corruption in the Porthkennack customs house. There he is tasked by the local magistrate to bring down the villainous Tomas Quick, a smuggler with fingers in every pie in town. Fired with zeal and ambition, and struck to the core by his first glimpse of Tomas, Perry determines to stop at nothing until he has succeeded.

Tomas Quick is an honest thief—a criminal regarded by the town as their local Robin Hood. He’s also an arrogant man who relishes the challenge posed by someone as determined and intelligent as Perry. Both of them come to enjoy their cat-and-mouse rivalry a little too much.

But the eighteenth century is a perilous time for someone like Perry: a black man in England. Two have already disappeared from the wrecks of ships. Tomas and Perry must forsake their competition and learn to trust each other if they are to rescue them, or Perry may become the third victim.


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 Contraband Hearts, Alex is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card and an ebook from her backlist, your choice! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 5, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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