Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A missing review

I say a missing review because I totally missed it at the time it was published.

A four star review from Lucy at Hearts on Fire.

"I love how they are together, funny and sweet. They tease each other and it’s lovely. The cows, especially, made me laugh. And Mal’s endearment in Punjabi, so charming."

"Kudos... for providing a Muslim character who is human, not villainized or made perfect. Mal has given up a lot to be true to himself (his family, his church) and I loved that he kept his connection to his religion despite it all. He is a man of faith and that faith shows through. I loved him."

"I thought this was a lovely book with characters who were willing to wait and be there for each other. Recommended."




Saturday, 14 January 2017

Fiction Friday

Welcome to the first Fiction Friday post of 2017.

This Christmas I received a shiny new notebook from my Secret Santa. What does this have to do with Fiction Friday? Well, I’ve decided to use it to keep a written reading journal. This way I’ll be able to keep a log of not just what I read but why I picked that particular book at that particular time. It’ll also give me somewhere other than my extensive TBR shelf at GR to list books I stumble across that I ‘really want to read NOW’ and then promptly forget about by the time I’ve finished my current read.

So what’s graced the first page? 
My reading plan for January. Excuse my scrappy writing…

And the first book I read in 2017 was…

Murder Between the Pages by Josh Lanyon. Yes, I know it doesn’t meet any requirements of my reading plan but, hey ho. It's historical and a mystery (of the golden age variety) with two antagonistic leads. Why wouldn't I read this? I can't wait for this to be released in audiobook. 

Back on track:
Romancing the Wrong Twin by Clare London. Oh, I loved this. The humour, the writing, the characters. I mean, who can resist a gruff adventurer type. And the secondary characters were a delight as well. I’d love a ficlet/short where Simon gets his man. I’m desperate to get this in audio but I’ve already listened to the sample and it’s an American narrator for two British characters. Dreamspinner, why do you do this to us? I will buy the audio anyway because, Clare London! But there must be British narrators working in the States.

Alpha Barman by Sue Brown. Testosterone Central. A team of Alphas. A rundown bar. Revenge. And a jilted lover as protector. I enjoyed the story and pacing. However, I had a few issues with Jake but I loved Mitch and I think he should have made Jake work at that apology.

The two books I was determined to read finished in the first week. Excellent. Next up…

A book by Megan Derr. And the one I picked was actually something quite different to her fantasy/fairy tale stories. Locke and Key is a collection of three stories set in the same ‘verse connected by the family of hunters. Locke and Key was probably my favourite, the gruff Locke and Key, his partner in everything but sex (although not for want of trying on Key’s part), slaying the low level vamps in perfect harmony until Locke throws a hissy fit.  Sharing stars Locke’s brother Preston, who is less vampire hunter and more in charge of diplomatic relations to the top vamps. But three of his charges are interested in relations of a different kind. I felt this was the start of a longer story. I was intrigued by the relationship and curious how Preston’s family would react. The Housekeeper stared Richard, a top vamp from the previous story, but is told from the POV of his housekeeper, Trevor, who has been pining over his boss forever. I had a tear in my eye while reading this at one point. Overall a great little collection. 

An Admirer by Megan Derr. Now this is what I would call typical Megan Derr. Sweet secret admirer story with magic. Endearing characters and world building that never intrudes on the story.

I've made a decision this year not to purchase a new book in a series unless I have at least read/started the first book. So I've broken off from my reading challenge three times already this month to read stories that aren't on the list. Twice I've bought the new book, the other time I saved myself the price of the next two books in the series. It may only have been a saving of $2.40 but that's two other sale books I can buy and, more importantly, two less books on my TBR pile. I'll let you know about the two books where I bought the follow ups in my next post.







Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Sorry for the delay

Real Life got in the way, and that means I'm still working on the newsletter. So if you want to sign up for the first issue (and get a free copy Waiting for a Spark, now with the bonus ficlet When the Boat Come In) there is still time. I anticipate it being ready to go by Friday.











Saturday, 7 January 2017

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Payhip

My self published books will now be available on Payhip for those of you that don't like Amazon.


At Payhip the ebook is available in epub, mobi, and pdf. 

I get paid the moment you buy the book so there is no chance of ruthless types absconding with my royalties.

The pricing is slightly higher than Amazon but if you share your purchase on social media I'll give you a 20% discount. (I don't quite understand how the site does this so if you try it you could share the information with me at lillianfrancis (at) rocketmail (dot) com)


Resistance

If you don't like to buy from Amazon, Resistance can now be found at Payhip.

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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

December Reads

December is always my month for reading Christmas stories. This year I bought the Dreamspinner Advent. I don't always buy it because I find I can be very hit and miss with the stories and I've yet to finish the entire set. This year I managed to read 25 of the 31 stories.

These were my favourites: 


Analog to Digital by Posy Roberts - Very cute Christmas story. I knew where things were heading early on but the getting there was cute as hell.


Teddy Bears by Brandon Witt - Adorable and nerdy bears. And how many Christmas stories are set in a bathhouse?


How the Supervillain Stole Christmas by Charles Payseur - If you watched the kids cartoon Phineas and Ferb then you know what I was thinking when I read this. A different take on a Superhero story.


Cursed Miracles by Meg Harding - This short story could have been heartbreaking as a longer novel.


Popcorn Garlands by Ariel Tachna - A cute story that truly reflects the sentiment of the season.


Krampus Hates Christmas by Andi Van - Loved Karl, the Krampus that needed to find his holiday spirit.


Simple After All by Yolande Kleinn - As sweet as gingerbread men, even zombie ones :)


Ranger Station Haven by SA Stovall - I'm not normally one for established couple stories but I love a grumpy MC and this has one of the grumpiest, yet most endearing that I've read for awhile. 
Adorable, funny, and achingly sweet in the best way.

Bite Night by Clare London - Clare London has a way with certain phrases that just make me howl with laughter. This was a funny short story set on Christmas Eve, when 22 year old Benny walks in on Santa's little helpers dropping off some presents around the tree. Only this isn't Santa, or elves, or even reindeer. Have you heard the one about a vampire, a werewolf, and an alcoholic sprite walk into...


For me the rest of the stories ranged from okay to instantly forgetable to meh. Not a great rate of success for the money spent but equally there are stories that I loved in the list above that I wouldn't have looked twice at if I'd been picking and choosing what to buy.



I didn't get to read much else (that wasn't a comic) but I did read a Josh Lanyon I'd had hanging around for several years that I didn't even realise was a Christmas story: The Dickens with Love. Rare books, a mysterious backstory, shady characters, an ocelot, the threat of snow in LA, a descendant of a Dickens character. It's all going on behind a beautiful love story. My only complaint is the sex scenes are a touch OTT (and all the more obvious when you listen to the audio, which I did after I'd finished the read through). As usual with Josh's books the ending it quite abrupt (85% if you're wondering) but there is a glorious coda on their website.






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