Friday, 17 February 2017

Reading plan - February

The title doesn't lie this is my reading plan for February.

To finish:
Jack of Thorns by Amelia Faulkner
Astounding by Kim Fielding

Focus reads:
Duty to the crown by Rebecca Cohen (followed by Forever Hold his Peace)
Hexmaker by Jordan L Hawk

Books by Rebecca Cohen
Books by Jordan L Hawk
Books beginning with D
Books beginning with H

Loving Hector by John Inman

Blueswater Bay:
The Deep of the Sound by Amy Lane
When to Hold them by GB Gordon
Rain Shadow by LA Witt

Next in series:
Stormin Norman by Sue Brown (Bk 4 & finish)
He's Behind You by Rebecca Cohen (Bk 3 & finish)
Threshold by Jordon L Hawk (Bk 2)
Us by Sarina Bowen (Bk 2 & finish)
Kiss the Rain by Megan Derr (Bk 2)

Optimistic I think, especially since at the time of writing Samhain have just announced they are closing at the end of the month and under my new purchasing restrictions (in a pointless attempt to control my TBR pile) there are at least 4 books that need to be read before I commit to buy the sequels and only two week to do that in. And I have a book to beta by the 24th, which obviously isn't on this list.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Reading Round-up - January

As you know if you've been following this blog I set myself a reading plan for January. Time to see how I did.

Focus books:
Alpha Barman by Sue Brown and Romancing the Wrong Twin by Clare London. Read them both.

Theme books read:
Dreamspun Desire titles - 1
Sue Brown titles - 2
Megan Derr titles - 3
Books beginning with R - 1
Books beginning with A - 9
Sue Brown series - none finished but made progress on 1
Off list reads - 6 (these were mostly because next book in series was on sale and my resolution is to stop buying recklessly.)
Currently reading (books I started in Jan and carried over) - 2 (Jack of Thorns by Amelia Faulkner and Astounding by Kim Fielding)
DNFs - 3
Comics (collections not issues) - 3
Fanfic - 2

Total read - 19
Not a bad haul for January. I should probably keep a log of how many I bought, but I'm not that brave!

Monday, 13 February 2017

More Fiction Friday - still catching up on a Monday

In the last post I left you having read Rebecca Cohen's excellent cross-dressing (for plot not kink) historical set in Elizabethan England. From there I moved to post WW1 America. (Yes, books give me the power of time travel and I don't even need to find somewhere to hide my TARDIS.) Aunt Adeline's Bequest by Amy Rae Durreson was a beautifully written short story. The mystery itself was easily solved but the emotions and the love story were gorgeously portrayed.

This amazing read was followed by a couple of awful reads. One where I skimmed to the end and the other that I dnf'd. I retreated to the wonderful world of Merlin fanfic. Ashes, Embers, Flames by unpossible. Gorgeous, broken, stoic Arthur is one of my favourite things and he is perfect in this as an ex-para with a dark secret, who doesn't think he's good enough for Merlin. I was sobbing like a baby while they muddled through from friendship to a relationship.Sweet, angsty, slow burn relationship with an exciting plot and a hint of magic.

Then I moved on to something so OTT and cracky that I wasn't sure if I'd fallen into an alternate reality. Frat House Troopers by Xavier Mayne. Suspend your disbelief before you open this book and hen fall down the rabbit hole and hold on for the ride. I had some issues in the first 20% with the way the guys expressed themselves in regard to gay porn and gay guys in general, but after that it was ridiculous and fun.

And I finished January with Served Hot by Annabeth Albert. A sweet quick read that was just perfect for those times when what you really need is fluff. We all need that so I bought the rest of the series.

And that rounds up January. Phew!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Fiction Friday - a catch up

So I totally failed at rounding up January's reads. My excuse is I was so focused on getting Theory Unproven back out and available for you to purchase that I just didn't get the time.

I finished the last post with Hazel Takes Over. From their I moved on to one of Dreamspinner's Dreamspun Desire titles. The few of these I've already read are pure 'fantasy' romance (as opposed to fantasy/romance, which I'll come to in a moment), full of romance tropes, instalove, and work out perfectly endings. They're akin to gay Mills and Boon (Harlequin for those of you across the pond) but that is their point; if you want realism and angst-ridden stories then move along, because these are books are unapologetically sappy. Enough with the summing up of the DS line, which title did I read:

The Duke in Hiding by MJ O'Shea - Fits the lines brief perfectly. And managed to make me cry. My only complaint (apart from a bit of miscommunication that annoyed me) was that we didn't get enough time with Theo at the end before the big moment. I'd have like the reactions of his friends, and a more public declaration.

Now on to some fantasy/romance (see, I told you it was coming). Pirates of Fathoms Deep by Megan Derr. The first book in this series, The High King's Golden Tongue, was one of my favourite reads last year. If anything this one is even better; a pirate and a one-eyed captain of the guard, second chances, a plot, and, of course, a King that nobody pays any heed to, despite his gruff and bluster. And this series has some glorious covers. I mean, look at this one.

Suffering from a serious book hangover after this one I decided to try something completely different. Deadpool's Art of War. Overall the story was meh, with Deadpool playing devils advocate to increase sales of his new book by starting a war between Thor and Loki that ended up including a whole host of Marvel characters. There were some excellent moments though and worth the read for those bright spots alone. And another title with Deadpool in (yes, he's everywhere at Marvel atm) Uncanny Avengers: Unity Vol 2. Better than volume one but I'm disappointed about the direction they are taking Hank Pym.

The Actor and the Earl by Rebecca Cohen. I've been sitting on this book for ages. Who knows why? It was excellent, with that constant low level worry that they might get found out and sentenced to the tower and execution. The rest of the series awaits (yay!) and I may even have a new book to beta *grins*

Have I only made it to reading day 23 Jan? *sigh* I read too much. Hah! No such thing... But I'll end this post here and bring you up to date next week. I'll leave you with a question.
The next book in Megan Derr's Tales of the High Court series, The Heart of the Lost Star, isn't due out until August. I don't know if I can wait that long. Is there any book that you just can't wait to read but have to because it's yet to be published?

Friday, 3 February 2017

I know this is supposed to be Fiction friday...

but I forgot to prep the post.

Instead have a quick round up of what's happening in my quiet corner of the publishing world.

The first newsletter went out, only a week late and with only one formatting issue that I've had reported back to me (which I had caught when it was too late, and didn't see the point of reissuing). I'd hoped giving away a free book would generate some reviews for said sadly neglected short but it was not to be. Still, it's good to have Waiting for a Spark back on the virtual bookshelves.

Talking of returning to the shelves, I managed to get Theory Unproven re-released just days before my self-imposed deadline. I also flirted with sending out ARC copies. I've had a few reviews from that but I'm not sure how much impact that has had on sales.

This month I intend to re-release Lesson Learned, my very first book from back in 2012. In fact it was originally released 5 years ago yesterday. I'll be sharing the cover in a week or so. This one has had a bit of a rewrite and has taken more work to get it back on the shelves. Thanks to Clare London, Alex Jane, and Katherine Halle for helping with this. I WILL have this on sale by the end of the month.

I've signed all my books up to Payhip. But I've yet to have any sales there. I think there is a post here but I'll save it for another time.

Anyway, that's just a quick catch-up on what's happening with me. Oh, and my hair is purple.
I'll leave you with a banner for Theory Unproven, because who can resist looking at those boys...and Eric and Tyaan aren't bad to look at either.

Universal Amazon link:

Monday, 30 January 2017

Theory Unproven Re-released

I'm so happy that the story of Eric, Tyaan, and the elephants is available to buy again after three months off the shelf. If you're wondering there have been no changes to the content. Only the publisher has changed.

For anyone that doesn't know what I'm talking about, here's the lowdown.

Theory Unproven

Artwork by Meredith Russell

Working with elephants in their natural habitat has always been Eric Phillips dream. Getting what he’s always desired introduces him to Tyaan Bouwer, the bush pilot that flies in his supplies, and Eric discovers the allure of South Africa goes beyond the wildlife and the scenery.

But in an area where bushveld prejudices and hatred bleed across the borders, realising their love will be a hard fought battle. Keeping hold of it might just kill them.

* * * * *

An unexpected job offer finds zoologist Eric Phillips transported from the elephant house at a zoo just outside London to the wildlife reserves in the South African bushveld. Being able to work with his own herd of elephants, and analysing their behaviour, more than makes up for the remote nature of the research station. The one bright spot on the horizon, quite literally if the sun hits it at the right angle, is the silver freight plane that brings his supplies and half an hour in the company of Tyaan, the gorgeous but taciturn pilot.

With wide open spaces and clear skies, Tyaan Bouwer is never be happier than when he’s flying over the bushveld, the landscape beneath him a changing vista of colour and texture. It’s that view and the freedom to be able to climb in his plane and fly that’s kept him in the small town where he was born and raised. South Africa might be a rainbow nation but in the northern regions where neighbouring countries are far from liberal minded, prejudices and hatred bleed across the borders. Tyaan’s not in the closet, not really. Get him to the city and with his strong, silent routine he can pull a guy without even trying. He’s fine with that as long as they don’t press him into trying to see them again. It’s not like he wants a relationship. And just maybe when he gets home he’s hovering in the doorway of that closet, but he’s never met anyone worth taking the risk for.

The day he’s sent to Limpopo to collect Eric that all changes. He tries to bury the feelings of want that Eric conjures in him, but he can’t resist the bonds of friendship that forms between them.

As a zoologist Eric likes to think that he’s adept at anticipating how a creature will react in any given situation, and they don’t come any more beautiful and skittish than Tyaan. Despite Tyaan’s jittery behaviour Eric has a theory they could be good together but when things go catastrophically wrong it appears their relationship will remain a theory unproven.

Second Edition 
Publisher: Finally Love Press
Released: January 2017

Buy Links

Universal Amazon link

Payhip // Smashwords // Kobo // B&N

Reviews for Theory Unproven (first edition)

5 elephant review from Bike Book Reviews.

The opening line is a cracker in itself.


Okay, I'm blushing (and grinning, just a little bit) and we haven't even got to the review yet. Right off the bat she hits on a point that I'm already concerned will deter readers... the length.

When I started this book and realized how many pages it had, I said to myself, "How in the world is this book gonna hold my interest for this long, it has to be a dang good one", (but I needn't have worried) let me assure you my friends, it is a dang good one and more!

And a few more choice quotes:

...a wonderful passionate story 

Get this book and get ready for passion, devotion, and yes suspense all rolled up in a nice package! 

Thank you Lillian, for making me realize it isn't the length, long or short of a book, it is the heart of it that matters!

Read the review in full here.

Another 5 star review from MM Good Book Reviews.

The passion between Eric and Tyaan is both sweet and explosive. 

...the first half of the book is rather light hearted and relaxed before really going into the action.

There is a lot of sweetness to be had set in an amazing landscape with some pretty damn intelligent animals. In fact, a couple of the elephants are minor characters in their own right and thoroughly enjoyable.

Read the full review here.

Former reviewer Tina gave Theory Unproven 4.5 stars. Check out her review in full here at Leafmarks.

"Both characters are just wonderfully elaborated, and they have this freaking hot chemistry, despite all the things popping up to mess with them. Lillian Francis did a wonderful job of conveying the heart and soul of these two guys, and when the heat turns up, it gets damn hot! It’s either slow and romantic, rough and steamy, or smoking hot and passionate."

"Lillian’s writing is powerful, gripping, emotional and captivating, she creates enticing characters and a sexy, emotionally charged story line."

"I lived within the story, I felt the South African heat, smelled the elephants and tasted the dust on my tongue, I laughed, smiled and cursed with the guys. How they managed to overcome their challenges to form a deep and everlasting love and build such a strong relationship touched me deeply."

"Highly recommended for those who share my love for the beautiful African continent... and want a well done, sweet, funny, suspenseful and delicious romance without too much angst."

A 4.25 star review at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords.

With a zoologist, Eric Phillips, as one half of the main couple, I loved the realistic way his life and work with the elephants was portrayed.  Dirty, all consuming, and soul satisfying…the readers understands through the many passages what it must be like to have that deep connection with another species. 

All good characters, all people the reader will want to spend time with.

Tyaan is a character that will draw conflicted feelings among the readers.  I thought his was a character grounded in the reality of the changing times in South Africa...Got it, you understand him even if you don’t like his actions, it makes him human.

While I was reading it, I was hooked on the elephants, Eric and Tyaan’s attraction for each other and strained journey towards a relationship.  

This is a long book yet most of the time I spent reading it flew by.  And I could easily book a flight back to this universe.  

...this story is so lush, so vibrant in feeling and scope that I am still so very much in love with Theory Unproven weeks later.

I recommend this story for all who love romance, foreign lands and a landscape of adventure where the search for love can be rough, affectionate, and hard won.  

Read the review in full here.

A 5 heart review from Hearts on Fire reviews

...the story was well paced, with great main characters and secondary characters...

The chemistry between the two main characters has a great build up, with compassion for Tyaan..., and hope for Eric that he won’t get his heart broken, since you love him pretty much from the start of the story!

If you like animals, you are going to love these two characters! (Jack and Ianto, the elephants)

I would recommend this book for romance lovers who really enjoy the development of the story as much as the romance and hot scenes...

Read the full review here

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Theory Unproven returning to a virtual bookshelf near you

I'm pleased to confirm that after a brief hiatus Theory Unproven is to be re-released under my publishing label, Finally love Press. 
Nothing has changed in the book, and it even retains its gorgeous cover, thanks to RJ and the generosity of LLB. (Eagle eyed readers may notice the change of logo but that is it.)

Release is scheduled for 31st January and with that in mind I am offering ARC copies of the ebook in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate that many of you that come here may already own the book but for those who don't the offer is there.

The requirements (such as they are): 

ARC Reviews to be posted within two weeks of release (31st Jan). Reviews to be posted on Amazon and where possible Goodreads (and any other places that take your fancy). If you post reviews in your blog please let me know. I'll be sending the book out via email. Please leave a note in comments below if you are interested or email me on lillianfrancis (at) rocketmail (dot) com with the subject line ARC request.
If any review sites are interested please contact me separately and I can arrange to send a promo pack.

The book:

Working with elephants in their natural habitat has always been Eric Phillips dream. Getting what he’s always desired introduces him to Tyaan Bouwer, the bush pilot that flies in his supplies, and Eric discovers the allure of South Africa goes beyond the wildlife and the scenery.
But in an area where bushveld prejudices and hatred bleed across the borders, realising their love will be a hard fought battle. Keeping hold of it might just kill them.