BLOG TOUR: The Bandalore by D.K. Girl (Excerpt & Giveaway + Q&A with Author)


Book Title: The Bandalore – Pitch & Sickle Book One

(An MM Gaslamp Fantasy Series) (The Diabolus Chronicles 1)

Author: D K Girl

Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Designs

Release Date: February 25, 2021 

Book 4 in the series is due out April 13

Genre:  Historical MM

Tropes: Slow, slow burn, opposites attract

Themes: Loneliness and friendship

Heat Rating: 2 flames    

Length:  285 pages

It is not a standalone book. This is the first book in the Gaslamp Fantasy series, The Diabolus Chronicles.

It has an unresolved storyline, rather than outright cliffhanger.


Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Silas Mercer died once. He’d rather not do it again.


1885 London, England

Silas Mercer died once. He’d rather not do it again.

On his return to the world of the living, Silas finds himself in the hands of the mysterious Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The Order has London society clamouring for their services, with tarot readings, seances and exorcisms among their arcane specialities.

Now they seem intent on making Silas their newest recruit.

But they want far more from him than cheap parlour tricks.

When the Order partners him with the scandalous rake, Tobias Astaroth, Silas’s new life is turned on its head in more ways than one.

Tobias is quick-tempered, dangerously charming, and far more than the man he seems. 

For Silas, surviving what the Order has planned for him will be a challenge.

But finding a way to survive Tobias Astaroth could prove impossible.

A slow-burn MM Gaslamp Fantasy series.

Contains: Sexual content, violence and rather a lot of cursing.

This is the first book in the thrilling Gaslamp Fantasy series, The Diabolus Chronicles


Mr Astaroth was clearly drunk. Reason perhaps why he failed to be wearing any shoes. Silas noted the large brown stain upon the white of his linen shirt with great consternation. The mark appeared not dissimilar to blood. His dark trousers bore a tear at his right thigh, and the material at his knees was notably caked with dirt.

Gilmore cried out, more pain in the sound this time. ‘You’re breaking my leg, you bastard.’

Silas looked to the bandalore, hoping there might be a musical direction sung to him. But the wood was quiet. He should go to the man’s assistance, Silas needed no magical trinket to tell him so. Man, or gnome, Gilmore was in clear distress. But Silas hesitated.

‘Dear me, do you think I would truly do such a thing?’ Tobias’s words got away from him, slipping and sliding from his intoxicated tongue. A shadow curved around his right eye, a rising bruise.

‘I know you would,’ Gilmore hollered. ‘You crave harm more than your cock craves fucking.’

With no warning, Tobias landed a punch against Gilmore’s belly. Half-hearted as it was, it at last spurred Silas from his reticence. He took a step forward.

‘Now, see here-‘

‘Tobias! Set him down, now.’ Jane moved across the green, clad in a nightgown of the most delicate white lace. Combined with her airy way of moving, it was as though a ghost rushed towards them. ‘Now, Pitch. I will not ask you again.’

The man’s smile was a cruel slash across his damaged face. ‘As you wish. Catch him if you can.’

He lowered Gilmore and seemed certain to set him down, albeit on his head, but at the very last moment, he drew back his arm and swung the frantic Gilmore straight up into the air. Without an ounce of effort apparent, Tobias’s throw sent the screaming, kicking man skyward. Soaring higher even than Silas’s cottage roof.

‘Help me!’

Gilmore seemed to hang in the air for a moment. His scream curdled the blood.

‘Gilmore!’ Silas dashed in beneath the unfortunate gnome, seeking to position himself so he might catch Gilmore when he fell. A dangerous notion, considering the speed of descent, but the man would surely suffer grievous injury otherwise. Silas glanced at the grinning man at his side. The viciousness that simmered within Tobias Astaroth’s emerald eyes was breathtaking.

‘Stop!’ Jane’s command came with a rush of violent wind. A great force swept past Silas, lifting the hairs on his head. The gust swept in beneath the tumbling Gilmore, and at once his downward journey halted in a dead stop in midair. The gnome sobbed, hanging limp against his invisible support, drifting slowly down, a leaf upon a gentle breeze.

‘Why must you ruin my fun?’ Tobias folded his arms, staring hard at Jane as she approached, a pout upon his full lips.

The sun drifted from behind a cloud, its rays setting his eyes alight once more, and marking the pronounced angles of his face. Despite his notable injuries, his odd beauty, accentuated by bowed lips and long dark lashes, was still evident. Rather captivating, if Silas were honest, but he’d just now glimpsed a ferocity beneath the delicate exterior which lent it a certain ugliness. 

Q&A With D.K. Girl

How long have you been writing fiction?

Writing fiction…since childhood 😊 I still have stories that I wrote in primary school. But writing decent fiction? That wasn’t until my late thirties, after I’d gone back to University and did a ‘Professional Writing’ course and thought ‘oh yeah, I used to love writing. Let’s get back into that.’

What made you decide you wanted to put yourself out there to be published?

This is a really good question! I’m not sure I’d ever thought of it that way, in that I could have just written for myself and kept the stories on a hard-drive somewhere, safe from the world. So perhaps that is my answer! It was an unconscious decision that I wanted to write with a view to being published. I think because the first trilogy I wrote (a very clean YA scifi) was a homage in many ways to the action adventure movies I’d grown up with as a kid…The Goonies, Flight of the Navigator, Never Ending Story…and my ultimate dream would be to have something I’ve written adapted for the screen, so it had to go out into the world.

What was your first published book?

ExtraOrdinary written under Danielle K Girl. It’s a super clean YA action adventure SciFi, that I really needed to get out of my system. My newer stuff tends to be much more adult and ummm, less clean.

Is there one genre you haven’t tried but you see yourself writing in the future?

Steampunk. There is something about those stories that just really draws me in. And really, dabbling in Victorian England, the era of Gaslamp, is not so far removed from the style of steampunk so I can see myself branching off there one day with an MM story. I definitely have a thing for mech and goggles. Steamboy (anime) was my introduction to steampunk actually, and it made a mark I haven’t forgotten.

What are your thoughts on erotica?

LOVE. There is nothing like a decently written erotica, something that makes you squirm with all the sexy time but has characters that are more than just their genitals, with a story too. I think that takes damn good talent to write stuff like that. And I find erotica is fantastic when you need to look for new and interesting ways of describing sex. My stories are not erotica, but the sex scenes are all on the page, no fade to black for me, and so I’m always on the lookout for turns of phrase and descriptions that will keep the scenes interesting.

Name your favorite authors and some of their stories you’ve enjoyed? What do you like about the writing?

So in the MM genre I’ve found some of my all-time favourite authors. T J Klune and K J Charles would be my top two, I suppose, I mean I am an ‘insta-buy’ for both of them, but it’s hard to narrow it down, because it can depend on the mood you are in, as to who suits it. Both these authors just blow me away with writing style – Charles because it is just so poetic at times, and each sentence is a beauty, and Klune because he can make my heart hurt. That man should come with a warning. Caution: may cause injury due to excessive laughing or crying. Or both.  I have to prep myself to read him, because he knows how to have you reaching for the tissue box (because of tears…not other stuff…but there is that too) and it is just a beautiful thing. If I met him I would totally fangirl out.  But having named those two, I can’t let a question like this go without mentioning a few others – Emily Tesh, Madeleine Miller (oh sweet Jesus she killed me with ‘Song of Achilles’), Tal Bauer (I usually stick to fantasy but he had me by the gonads with ‘The Murder Between Us’), Eliot Grayson (Mismatched Mates series is just too much fun), C S Poe and K L Noone (The Magician must be the most under-rated book ever…go read it, you’re welcome).

What book are you reading at the moment?

It’s okay to give a fellow author a plug! Well, in line with my ‘favs’ list, I’m reading ‘Spells and Sensibility’ by K L Noone and K S Murphy. Oh my god, slipping into anything K L Noone is just heaven for me. Her writing is just *chef’s kiss*. No one describes colours in quite the same way as Noone. It’s interesting to read a co-write, I think I can see the difference between the two authors, but nothing too jarring. Its set in a turn of the century English world, with magic and dashing gentleman falling head over heels as they fight to protect one another from evil. Count me all the way in.

What are you currently working on?

Oh, thanks for asking 😉 So I’m 51% of the way (thanks Pacemaker App!) through Book 5 of my ‘TheDiabolus Chronicles’ Series., which will be called ‘The Fulbourn’. Book 4 – The Greensward – Pitch & Sickle Book Four – should be out, or just about to release when this interview goes up, so I’m pretty excited about that. And I’m having such a blast writing this series. I’m loving being in Victorian England, with my daemon and his deadman lover. I’m also loving making their lives very difficult, but occasionally allowing them some ‘happy time’ to share together. The series should be about 7-8 books, depending on how the characters decide to take things, and already I’m feeling kind of sad about saying goodbye to this world.

When creating your characters, do you have models/actors/real people in mind or are they totally fictional? I

 Totally have ‘real’ people in mind, but for appearance only. Generally, the personalities will be created from scratch, with little pieces of a bunch of people thrown into the mix. But in terms of picturing the character I need to have a visual that I take from the real world. I can adjust it of course, they won’t be replicas, and once the reader has the book then they will be transformed into however that reader sees them of course, but they begin life based on a real person. So in the case of Pitch & Sickle – Pitch (the daemon) was inspired by Harry Styles (in his OneD days), with a dash of Felix from K-pop group ‘Stray Kids’ thrown in, because that boy is just beautiful. Silas is all Jason Mamoa, because I will take any excuse I can get to stare at pictures of that piece of human perfection.

As a gay fiction or m/m romance author, do you feel that the trend is changing where it is becoming more mainstream?

I think this is tricky to answer because I’m quite immersed in the MM readership, so it feels to me like everyone loves MM and reads it. But if you look at someone like Madeleine Miller with ‘Song of Achilles’, or T J Klune and his mainstream success with ‘The House in the Cerulean Sea’ then it definitely looks encouraging for gay fiction (I know there is contention about what is gay fiction and what is MM, but I’d count these as gay fiction rather than MM, though for marketing of course they would be in both!). I also think the phenomenal success of ‘The Untamed’ on Netflix, based on Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s book The Grandmaster of Daemonic Cultivation, which is BL, would have given all the powers that be a reason to sit up and take notice of the whole MM genre and see that it hasn’t faded away, that there is a voracious audience for it. Is that a good thing if it goes mainstream though? Now there’s another question…

Do you believe it’s important for you to know the gender of the author?

No, absolutely not. It’s the reason I used D K Girl, instead of my actual first name, because I don’t’ want to be judged by it. Once you have read a book and judged it by the story and the characters and the prose, then it’s always interesting to delve a little into the author.  Then you might go ‘oh, that was written by a xxx…that’s interesting.’ And as an author I might look/think a little deeper on how the author’s style might have been affected by their gender, but I don’t feel it is necessary at all to know the gender of the author when you pick up their story. In fact, I think its more necessary that you don’t know, so you are reading without any unconscious bias getting in the way of a good story.

As an m/m romance or gay fiction writer, what stereotype of gay men bothers you the most?

Argh I hate the obsession with tops and bottoms, and the stereotyping about what each of those might entail, the type of person you must be if you are one or the other. I found a fantastic blog post recently from a guy who was a ‘side’ and he was explaining what that meant and that it is totally unacknowledged, as everyone is just fixated on who is top and bottom, and wants to put people into a box.

Your favorite gay TV show or movie?

The Untamed. (talk about sexual tension…sigh)

Your favorite gay celeb?

Lil Nas X (that guy knows how to live large)

About the Author  

Danielle K Girl is an Aussie who lives in stunning Tasmania with her three furkids, cats Luffy, Sweetie and Ren.

Her idea of heaven is a farm full of rescue animals, with a vegie garden that sprouts peanut M&M’s and chocolate wheaten biscuits.

When she’s not keyboard-deep in mysterious, beguiling worlds, she is binge watching K-Dramas, listening to K-Pop or hiking through the beautiful Tasmanian wilderness.

Author Links

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