Saturday, 24 December 2016

Rainbow Snippets - 24/25th December



Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook Group that invites authors to post 6 sentences of their work each weekend. It can be from anything you like, your current WIP, a recent release, the golden oldie that even you had forgotten you had written, or just a scrap of an idea (as long as it has 6 coherent sentences). Nothing of your own work worth mentioning? How about a 6 sentence review of your favourite LGBTQ+ story.

Since Christmas is nearly upon us I think it's only fair to subject you to words from my one and only Christmas story. Grab a mince pie and settle in for another few lines from When Love Flue In. This time I'll let Reagan's mum deliver some of her pearls of wisdom. They seemed appropriate.


“The middle of the night and holidays are always the worst times to be lonely,” she said, her soft tone belying the powerful truth behind the words. “Everyone expecting you to be happy, when you’re feeling anything but.”
There was no one making any such expectations of Dominic. No one at all.
Reagan sighed heavily. Dominic wasn’t his problem. Dominic had said as much himself.




Friday, 23 December 2016

Waiting for a Spark - Buy links

Waiting for a Spark is now available to purchase.

Universal Amazon link getBook.at/WaitingforaSpark
ARe 
And it's uploaded to Smashwords so will be appearing at all the usual places via them at some point over the next few days.

But don't forget, if you sign up for my newsletter by 5th January I'll give you a copy absolutely free.



Could running out of milk have Jerome running headlong into love?

Jerome's life is pretty mundane. Every day he catches the bus to work, listens to his best friend rant on about the latest crisis in his life, and tries to stop his attention from wandering to the gorgeous guy in the back seat.

Friday morning is no different. Except that Jerome is lost in all kinds of lustful dreams because Gorgeous is definitely making eye contact. But when his best friend involves the entire bus in a rant about jobs lost to Eastern Europeans, Jerome finds himself too distracted to challenge it. And that moment of inattention might ruin Jerome's chance to finally discover if reality can match his fantasies because Gorgeous has gone. And without as much as a backwards glance. 

Two days later, Jerome’s run out of milk and all the local shops are shut except for the Polskie Delikatesy. Stepping through the door brings Jerome face to face with the object of his hopeless affection—and an awkward confrontation about the nature of prejudice. If he can come to terms with his own misconceptions about others, and accept the offered chance to set the record straight, maybe he'll be going home with more than just a pint of milk. 


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Waiting for a Spark - a new blurb and grab it for free

Waiting for a Spark now has a new blurb to go with the new cover.

Blurb

Jerome's life is pretty mundane. Every day he catches the bus to work, listens to his best friend rant on about the latest crisis in his life, and tries to stop his attention from wandering to the gorgeous guy in the back seat.

Friday morning is no different. Except that Jerome is lost in all kinds of lustful dreams because Gorgeous is definitely making eye contact. But when his best friend involves the entire bus in a rant about jobs lost to Eastern Europeans, Jerome finds himself too distracted to challenge it. And that moment of inattention might ruin Jerome's chance to finally discover if reality can match his fantasies because Gorgeous has gone. And without as much as a backwards glance.
 

Two days later, Jerome’s run out of milk and all the local shops are shut except for the Polskie Delikatesy. Stepping through the door brings Jerome face to face with the object of his hopeless affection—and an awkward confrontation about the nature of prejudice. If he can come to terms with his own misconceptions about others, and accept the offered chance to set the record straight, maybe he'll be going home with more than just a pint of milk. 


Don't forget that if you sign up for my newsletter by 5th January I'll be giving this book to each subscriber absolutely free.












Saturday, 17 December 2016

Rainbow Snippet - 17/18 December



Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook Group that invites authors to post 6 sentences of their work each weekend. It can be from anything you like, your current WIP, a recent release, the golden oldie that even you had forgotten you had written, or just a scrap of an idea (as long as it has 6 coherent sentences). Nothing of your own work worth mentioning? How about a 6 sentence review of your favourite LGBTQ+ story.

Since Christmas is nearly upon us I think it's only fair to subject you to words from my one and only Christmas story. Grab a mince pie and settle in for 6 lines from the first page of When Love Flue In.



The arse in question wiggled enticingly, forcing Dominic to shift uncomfortably in the soft leather of his chair. He knew that the movement meant nothing. It was neither encouragement nor even flirtation. Reagan was obviously just jiggling his pole. And didn’t that statement bring all sorts of other images to mind that would do Dominic no good whatsoever in his current predicament.
Dominic should just leave the room and let the chimney sweep get on with his job without being subjected to his lustful gaze.


Thursday, 15 December 2016

Finally I have a newsletter

I've finally got myself a newsletter. I intend to try to send an email out every month or so, but don't worry, I'll restrict it to times when I have information to impart. It will be the easiest way to find out about my new releases, cover reveals, and sales. I may even throw in snippets from my latest WIP, plans for future stories, ficlets from our favourite characters, maybe even the occasional freebie.

In fact if you sign up before Twelfth Night, the first issue of the newsletter will contain a free copy of my soon to be re-released short story 'Waiting for a Spark'.

Come on, what have you got to lose.






Monday, 12 December 2016

Cover Reveal

I'm pleased to announce that Waiting for a Spark will soon be re-released with a brand new cover, a 99p price point, and hopefully a more enticing blurb.

For now let's see that new cover...


Hope you like it. I made it myself. *preens*


What Makes a Christmas Release?

Come this time of year you can’t move at virtual booksellers for titles that reference snow, bells, or wishes and covers that feature well wrapped up couples, sleighs, and Christmas trees. This fact is especially true in the romance genre.

Christmas stories. It’s a strange concept, at least from an author’s point of view. Why spend time writing and editing a story that will only really sell for a couple of months a year. More often than not, you’ll find authors getting ‘joyful’ over their festive holiday manuscripts in the long, dark, drab nights of February and March in order to meet the publishers’ submission dates. Nights when the jolly, sugar-fuelled highs of December have long since faded. The excitement of new gifts have waned into moans about the battery consumption and food that had been such a delight to indulge shows no sign of shifting from your waistline. With authors working in these conditions it’s a surprise to find any Christmas spirit in the resulting stories at all.

As a reader I understand the appeal of a festive story. Come December the first I’m unlikely to pick up a book that unless it comes with a HOHOHO and a huge dollop of sugar attached. Go back a decade and I never changed my reading habits as Christmas approached. When every book I read involved guns and spies, cops or adventurers my need to make my reading matter appropriate to the season didn’t exist. Yes, I would occasionally pull out my dog-eared copy of Tied up in Tinsel and give that a reread but that was as far as Christmas would intrude on my reading. It’s only since I started reading romance that I discovered this urge to make December a month of light, sweet reads.

So what makes a Festive themed story?

No, you can’t just set it around one of the December celebratory holidays and hope for the best.

A lightweight, low angst story tends to work well. I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t want my Christmas filled with death, destruction or infidelity (I can get my fill of that from the Christmas Day episodes of the British soaps).

I want something sweet that will make me smile. I’m more tolerant of teeth-rotting saccharine sweet stories at this time of the year than at any other, when I prefer my story with a low to medium level bite.

I’m also more likely to accept a version of instalove and be satisfied with a HFN over a full blown HEA. I think this is because many of the stories take place over the short Christmas break or in those few weeks leading up to Christmas so the relationship has to develop quickly and they often only deal with the MeetCute or the start of the relationship. The Magic of the Season brings our MCs together, why should we not believe that same Magic can give them a HEA even if we don’t read about it on the page.

So bring on the snow-ins and candy canes, the elves and dancing penguins, lost presents and blocked chimneys.

I’ll read them all. And some of them I’ll write. When Love Flue In is available now.

What makes a festive holiday story for you?



Buy Links: Totally Bound // All Romance ebooks  //  Kobo  //  Amazon UK  // Amazon US


(This post was originally published here in 2014. The location might have changed but the sentiment hasn't.)

Friday, 9 December 2016

Bones - series review

Another series all finished unless Kim Fielding decides to add another book.

Yes, I'm talking about the Bones series.

I read the first book in this series, Good Bones, three years ago, and then despite buying both sequels I left them languishing in my TBR pile. (Things get lost in there so easily!)

13576676A werewolf story that isn't all 'mine', mates, and insta-love, is always going to endear me to a book in this sub-genre. Chris, the human half of the couple, is an adorable redneck, with more brains than he lets on and a habit of taking a piss off his decking when he's drunk.

Fast forward three years, a quick read of the blurb and my GR review and I'm up to speed and ready to start on book 2. Buried Bones (Bones 2) catches up with the boys several weeks after the end of book 1. This story addresses some of the backstory and lingering issues that the guys are still dealing with at the end of the last book and by the end their relationship is solid. The main story is about a ghost in the house (unlike the characters I guessed who he was almost immediately) and Chris reconnecting with his estranged father. Oh and it appears there is something in the pond.

In Book 3, Bone Dry, Chris and Dylan head off on holiday and leave their artist friend Ery looking after the house. And that thing in the pond...it's a gorgeous naked man. I could see this one had an issue that would be hard to be resolved and despite expecting it, when that moment came I still cried. I should have had faith in Kim Fielding's ability to provide me with a  happy ending. But a HEA seemed more difficult to achieve and still I got a satisfactory one. I loved that Chris and Dylan had quite a substantial part in this story and not just as catch-up filler. And we get to meet up with the characters from Speechless again.

Overall a lovely series and one I'd happily recommend. And it can now be bought in a Dremspinner bundle.


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Rainbow awards

The Rainbow Awards have recently been announced.

I'm overjoyed to discover that:

     Resistance garnered an Honourable Mention 


and 

New Lease of Life was a finalist in the contemporary category.   


Even better news was that the awards raised over $14000 for various LGBT charities this year,


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Sod the charity adverts, send a dead bird

Another of those Victorian Christmas Cards.

And a tale from my past.

I went to primary school with a girl named Claire, she was born in London but her mum and dad were Welsh, born and bred. I would go around her house on a regular basis (it was the first place I was introduced to the joys of Dr Pepper). Come Christmastime her home, same as ours, would be awash with cards, hung from swags of wool. Except every other card would have a hole in it. Some big, some small. These holes had originally been the image of a robin; realistic, cartoon, it didn't matter. No robins were allowed in the house for fear of bad luck.

I wonder if Mrs Jones would have approved of this card from those cute and fluffy Victorians.



“May yours be a Joyful Christmas” (via Tea Tree Gully Library)
Image from ttglibrary

I found this card in an interesting article from the City of Tea tree Guly library's blog on a book called "Christmas curiosities: odd, dark, and forgotten Christmas by John Grossman. Both scources speculate that "a picture of a dead robin or wren (both bird species were beloved and considered sacred in British folklore) were “bound to elicit Victorian sympathy and may reference common stories of poor children freezing to death at Christmas”. Was this a genuine attempt to raise awareness of social injustice and change society?"

All I know, is that in Mrs Jones' house in the 1970s this card would have had a bloody great hole in it, social commentary or not. 






Friday, 2 December 2016

Are you out of your mind?

This is a two pronged title. I'm going to attempt to post every day again as I did last year. Not so in depth this year though and not always Christmas related.

First up and possibly a reoccuring theme, those wacky Victorians and their 'interesting' Christmas cards.

A Krampus Christmas card (via Tea Tree Gully Library)
Image from ttglibrary 

For those of you unsure...


From the font of all knowledge "Wikipedia": "In Austro-Bavarian Alpine folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as "half-goat, half-demon",[1] who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts. Regions in Austria feature similar figures and, more widely, Krampus is one of a number of Companions of Saint Nicholas in regions of Europe."


A throwback to pagan times, maybe?
Alledgedly Krampus would kidnap naughty children and beat them with sticks. Certainly worst than being given a lump of coal.


All in all a pleasent card to remind children to behave.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

What's In a Name?

To which I am referring to the title of a book. Although, the same could apply to character names, but that is a post for another day. And this book in particular: When Love Flue In.

I have a love hate relationship with titles, and I think most authors would agree. Some come to you as an extension of the story, while others need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the world. Once in a while a manuscript remains obstinately nameless right up until the moment of submission. One of my beta readers had the honour of naming my last short story since my mind blanked every time I tried to come up with something. A cracking title it was too. Simple, perfect, and blatantly obvious with hindsight.

For one of my novels my publisher had turned down my initial title because they already published a book with a similar name and they didn’t want confusion amongst their readers, especially since my book was a low sex content gay romance and the other was explicit het erotica. I doubt anyone receiving the incorrect book would have been impressed. So, I carried out a poll of possible titles with my readers and then submitted my favourites in order of preference to my publisher. Of course, they chose my least favourite of the five.
That story brings up an interesting point, whilst you might think you’ve picked the perfect title for your book, your publisher will likely have other ideas. Here are just a couple of reasons I’ve been given as to why I need to come up with another title:

Too similar to other books they sell.

Certain words are overused. Keep them out of your title.

Needs to focus more on the romance aspect of the story.

Ultimately the publisher has the final say, so even if you feel that the title is perfect, don’t get too attached. Be prepared to lose it. Or self publish!

Is the title really that important? I’d say yes. I’ve overlooked books because the title didn’t appeal to me. Too frivolous. Too dry. Too flat. Once I’m reading I don’t give the title a second thought--I’ve never once finished a book and thought ‘Loved it, but that title had nothing to do with the story’. However the title’s importance in grabbing my attention in an ever increasing market can’t be overlooked. It only needs to hold my attention long enough for me to read the blurb at which point I can make a decision about whether I’m curious enough about the book to add it to my wishlist. In the e-book market the title is probably as important, if not more, than the cover. (In the ‘tree’ read market the visual nature of the cover makes this the more important of the two.)

‘When Love Flue In’ is one of those gems that an author relishes. The title appeared without conscious thought or cajoling the first moment Word asked me to save my document. It needed no polish. It didn’t suffer the indignity of being referred to as Christmas1 in my file for the first few months of its development. Nobody, from beta readers to editors, publishers to readers have ever cast doubt over the quality or validity of that title. It is a title that perfectly reflects the story, with just the right hint of what is to come and a nod to one of the main character’s profession.

I think it is a perfect marriage of title and story. I would say that. It’s like naming a child, when you get it right and the name fits you can’t imagine them being called anything else.
Sometimes it is a struggle. Sometimes I’ve heard it said that the title inspired the story. Sometimes, like this time, it is a flash of inspiration. 

How much thought do you give to the title when choosing a book to read?

When Love Flue In, is a Christmas novella.

A soot-haired chimney sweep, an exploding flue and an uncooked turkey. It’s an unholy trinity that may make all of Dominic’s Christmas wishes come true.

Dominic is celebrating his first Christmas since his divorce, and although he’s spending it on his own, he’s determined to have a traditional Christmas morning, including a roaring fire. Unfortunately, Dominic’s chimney is blocked, which is why Reagan, a soot-haired chimney sweep, is head and shoulders up Dominic’s flue. Dominic is just lucky the man had a cancellation on Christmas Eve.

Unable to take his eyes off Reagan’s low-slung jeans and enticing arse while Reagan sets about the hearth with rods and brushes, Dominic knows five years is a long time to be obsessed with the man who sweeps his chimney every Christmas. This year there’s nothing to stop Dominic from acting on his desires—except his own insecurities.

An exploding flue provides the opportunity for more than just polite conversation and could be the catalyst for a perfect Christmas. But Dominic will need to stop hiding who he really is before a special sweep can light a fire in his heart.

Publisher's Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.

Buy LinksTotally Bound // ARe // Kobo // Amazon US  &  UK



This blog post originally appeared at Female First in Dec 2014.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Series Review - Dead Man by Lou Harper




In the last few months I have devoured Lou Harper's various paranormal series.
Dead Man, Sanguine, and LA Paranormal.

All three series are very similar in style. The books are made up of short stories, where the main thread that seems to hold the stories together is the development of the relationship, but somehow the stories intertwine and vague hanging threads and unanswered questions are eventually addressed in a later story, or even book.

17858589Today I'm focusing on the Dead Man series.

Dead Man and the Restless Spirits, is the first book of the series and reintroduces us to 'Dead Man' Denton Mills, who we first met in the Sanguine series. Denton isn't actually dead, but he does see dead people. His new neighbour is the stoic and gorgeous Bran. Turns out Bran is a witch and he helps develop Denton's powers. The mysteries were fun and the guys are adorable together. Despite the light tone of the books the third story managed to move me to tears because of the haunting they were investigating.

Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit is a short story set between the two full length collections. It's New Year's Eve and Denton and Bran are at a party, but even then they can't help but stumble across a spirit.

I told you they were all connected. Dead Man and the Army of Frogs ties up all the loose ends from both the first book and the short story. The miscommunication in this collection had me wanting to shake Denton (since we are in his POV), but overall these two guys are still adorable, and more perfect for each other than they realise, and they end the book in a really solid place. Oh, and we get more Gabe (from the Sanguine series) which is excellent news as far as I'm concerned.

I've finished all these series now, but I'm hoping where will be more to come in the future from any or all of these couples.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Fiction Friday - on a Tuesday

It's been a month since I did a round up of my reading.
This has been favourite author reading month.
I started off with the L.A. Paranormal series by Lou Harper. I'd not read any of these stories before despite having had the first book on my Kindle for ages. I plan to do a separate series review post but needless to say it's well worth picking up this series.
In my last post I talked about how much I loved All in With the Duke by Ava March. I followed up by reading the next two books in the series. These books overlap with the first one and there are some excellent crossover scenes within the series. I really loved all the couples in this series.
A Flirty Dozen by JL Merrow is a collection of her short stories. The collection is excellent but my favourites are Love Found on Lindisfarne and A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips, and Thou.
I followed that up with another anthology from JL Merrow and Jo Myles, Truly, Madly, Boys (Mad About the Brit Boys Book 5). This includes one of my favourite  short stories, Epiphany but all four stories are excellent.
Rather than spending the entire month reading JL Merrow  (not that I wouldn't enjoy that) I moved on to Clare London and discovered her excellent timey-whimey story Timeslip.
Historical seems to be my genre of choice at the moment and I moved on to The Copper by Bonnie Dee. I love the stories she writes with Summer Devon so it was hardly a risk to take a chance on this story. Grittier than a lot of the books in her writing partnership but exciting and fast paced with engaging heroes.
No idea why but I had some notion that The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks by Josh Lanyon was an historical. It's not and I'm a numpty for waiting this long to read it. Great mystery and a lovely slow burn relationship.
Comfort read time next. Heat (Salisbury Stories #1) by RJ Scott and Chris Quinton. And it gave me a craving for Jelly Babies.
Another Lou Harper book (and a book to finish off a series) Temper Sanguine (Sanguine #2). I loved this books about a vampire Hunter and his vampire boyfriend. Gutted this is the last in the series. Lou Harper I'd be up for reading more of these two if you have a mind to write them.
If reconnecting and lost love is more your thing I can recommend Dancing Days by Clare London. And lovely to see a mature couple getting the limelight.
The good thing about a short story done well is that you can devour it all in one sitting. The bad thing about a short story done well is that you can devour... Yeah, I  know, impossible to please. Night Watch by Josh Lanyon is one such example. 42 pages of excellence.
Another historical series I devoured was Victorian Holiday Hearts by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon. These novellas are based around a Victorian acting family and take place during various holidays.
And I finished off the month with a paranormal  (it is Halloween). Dead Man and the Restless Spirits (Dead Man #1) by Lou Harper. How can you resist a book where the first line is "Dying sucks hairy monkey balls, even when you're not the stiff.".  And the MCs in this one are adorable.
Next month will see a change of tack for the reading challenge. I'll be attempting to finish off some series that I'm partway through. And I'll also try to clear some of my free reads. So no more favourite authors? Wrong. First book lined up is Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit by, yep, Lou Harper!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Rainbow Snippet - 29/30th Oct



Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook Group that invites authors to post 6 sentences of their work each weekend. It can be from anything you like, your current WIP, a recent release, the golden oldie that even you had forgotten you had written, or just a scrap of an idea (as long as it has 6 coherent sentences). Nothing of your own work worth mentioning? How about a 6 sentence review of your favourite LGBTQ+ story.


Another snippet from Village Love #2. For anyone that loved Resistance, this is Smudge's story. A snippet from Chapter 3.  (Unbetaed. Beware! Also I have no idea if this is 6 sentences. I kept losing count.)


 “He’s very good with the children, isn’t he?” A female voice had Smudge near jumping out of his skin. He tore his gaze from Raleigh to find the woman that had been sent to the drinks table standing beside him with a paper cup. “A much better librarian all round than the last one. Always accommodating, makes time for everyone, easy on the eye, if you like that geeky, supply teacher look, and great with kids.” She sighed. “He’d make a perfect husband. Shame he’s gay.”









Thursday, 27 October 2016

Review - Resistance

A four heart review for Resistance from Lorix at Boy Meets Boy Review.

"Sweet, witty, comforting - and utterly English."

"Many moons ago I used to devour Katie Forde books and this gave me the same warm feeling."

"Mal and Rick are a lovely couple, they are MC's to love, but more than that the whole cast of village characters is great and promises that more stories are going to come from this world. After all, Rick is not the only gay in the village."



Buy Links: Kobo // ARe // B&N
Universal Amazon link: myBook.to/Resistance_LF


Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf here

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Rainbow Snippets - 22/23rd Oct



Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook Group that invites authors to post 6 sentences of their work each weekend. It can be from anything you like, your current WIP, a recent release, the golden oldie that even you had forgotten you had written, or just a scrap of an idea (as long as it has 6 coherent sentences). Nothing of your own work worth mentioning? How about a 6 sentence review of your favourite LGBTQ+ story.


Another snippet from Village Love #2. For anyone that loved Resistance, this is Smudge's story. A snippet from Chapter 2.  (Unbetaed. Beware!)

While he waited for Mal to appear, Smudge rummaged in the fridge, certain that he still had a can of liquid inspiration in there somewhere. He straightened, triumphant, the slim can held aloft.

“Those energy drinks are really bad for you, you know.”

“Don’t you start.” Smudge popped the lid, in part just to be pedantic, and took a longer than normal pull from the can. “I get enough dire warnings from Adam. Anyway I thought you were a radiographer, Doctor Malik.”







Monday, 17 October 2016

Who’s next in Slopy Bottom?

With Rick and Mal’s story told (at least for now) many of the reviewers have expressed an interest in finding out about other inhabitants of the village.

Who are the most likely candidates to get their story told?

Smudge: Owner of the print shop. With his tats, multi-coloured fauxhawk, and gauges Smudge stands out in the village quite unlike anybody else. Does his image and devil may care attitude mask a desire to find ‘the one’?

Adam: Purveyor of fine coffee and snacks. Adam came to the village with a babe in arms and no wife. That was 15 years ago and he’s still alone. It hasn’t always been that way; he’s had a lover in the village. Not that their relationship was common knowledge, thankfully, since it blew up in their faces. A younger, career-minded lover and a kid in primary school, while trying to establish his own business...it was never going to work. Broken promises had upset Benjy more than Adam. No, they’d had their chance and now they suited friends better than lovers. A couple more years of Benjy being his sole focus while his boy finished school and then maybe Adam would have time to find someone of his own. But you can never tell when cupid’s arrow will strike.

Raleigh: Church organist. When the vicar and his wife he arrived in Slopy Bottom several years ago they brought the curly haired, angelic organist with them. The only openly gay character in the village at the start of Resistance, he is beloved by both the young and the elderly of the village. But is his heart as guarded as his past?

If you follow my #rainbowsnippets you'll know who's next ;)


Resistance Buy Links: Kobo // ARe

Universal Amazon link: myBook.to/Resistance_LF


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Rainbow Snippets - 15/16 Oct



Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook Group that invites authors to post 6 sentences of their work each weekend. It can be from anything you like, your current WIP, a recent release, the golden oldie that even you had forgotten you had written, or just a scrap of an idea (as long as it has 6 coherent sentences). Nothing of your own work worth mentioning? How about a 6 sentence review of your favourite LGBTQ+ story.


Another snippet from Village Love #2. For anyone that loved Resistance, this is Smudge's story. Still in Chapter 1.  (Unbetaed, so excuse the overly-long sentences. Means you get more words for your snippet anyway!)

The old bus could barely manage forty on a good day but, despite his panic, Raleigh wouldn’t dream of going that fast in the centre of the village. However, even with the needle wavering around the twenty mile an hour marker on the vintage speedometer, Smudge’s lithe form and bright hair soon became nothing but a fixed point in his mirror.
For one heart-thumping moment Raleigh thought Smudge intended to chase after the mobile library. Sweat broke out at his hairline and his hands tightened on the steering wheel. But the moment passed, Smudge shouted something about fines that Raleigh couldn’t quite make out over the noise of the diesel engine, and then his shoulders slumped and he turned to talk to old Mrs Danridge.
Crisis averted, Raleigh let out a long steadying breath and slowed the bus even further to take the humped bridge over the stream, sounding his horn as he went. 







Friday, 14 October 2016

Fiction Friday

It's been a few weeks so lets catch up with where we were. The end of September and books beginning with A, I think.

The last five A titles I read began with the word 'All'. Unfortunately only one was worth mentioning.
All In with the Duke (Gambling on Love #1) by Ava March. I have to admit I've had this book in my TBR pile for years. Why hadn't I read it before now? I love historicals. And Rent Boy stories. Why then? I'll tell you. All the people on GR that had shelved this as BDSM, that's why. I'm cautious when it comes to BDSM stories and let that caution push this book away every time it came up on my radar. However, in reality there is very little bdsm in this story, and yes I typed it in little letters on purpose, because for me it was only minor play and really didn't have that much impact on the story. The focus was the relationship and how it could possibly work. And I loved this book. Thankfully there are two more books in the series.

With the send of September came the end of reading books beginning with A. Did I move on to B? Nope.

As a transition book (and because I wanted to finish the series) I read the last book in J L Langley's Sci-Regency series, book 3 My Regelence Rake. Relationship-wise this was on a par with book 2 for me but there was less focus on the overarching story line and unfortunately this wasn't finished. MRR was published in 2013. I have stalked the author somewhat and apparently she is working on book 4 and hopes to have it ready for publication in mid 2017.

October's reading challenge is 'books by some of my favourite authors'.
There may be a lot of recommendations.
Perhaps I should start a separate post...




Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Village Love - A series review

Stella at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words has reviewed the Village Love series to date and given both books 4 stars.

Resonance

"The short was a beautifully surprise especially cause it is very detailed in the writing"

"Characters well delined, medical procedures well explained and an intrigued atmosphere. I truly felt myself in that room with Mal and Rick."

"It’s very rare to me to find good shorts around, Resonance was a winner."

Resistance 

"Rick and Mal and their relationship is exactly what I like to see in my books, it was sweet and sexy, but most of all was realistic"

"I adore romance set in small villages like Slopy Bottom, the peace, the people, the nature and the sceneries Lillian was great at describing."

"I can’t wait to know more about these boys and a couple more of guys I fell in love with while reading Resistance. I’m so happy to know (cause I’m stalking the author and I’m not sorry about it) there is so much coming soon."

"I feel to recommend it especially if you’re looking for an angst-free, light and well written story."


The reviewer also praised Garrett Leigh's cover art, calling it "different and so welcomed." The cover art for Resistance is up in the Rainbow Awards Cover Art contest. Show Garrett (and different) your love by going to vote for it.






Buy Links: Kobo // ARe

Universal Amazon link: myBook.to/Resistance_LF



Monday, 10 October 2016

Resistance - Now available everywhere

Exactly what it says on the tin. The 90 days Kindle Unlimited period has finally expired and Resistance is now available in all the usual places.

Resistance (Village Love Book 1)

How long can you wait on a promise?

After his first night with Mal, Rick broke the habit of a lifetime and invited the sexy radiographer to spend the weekend in the sleepy English village he called home. Rick isn’t in denial but he’s afraid to reveal his sexuality in the close-knit community that has known him since he was a babe in arms.

The sex is amazing but equally Mal loves lazy days spent in the garden at Slopy Bottom, and every precious moment he spends with Rick. For Mal the village quickly becomes an oasis of peace, far from the noise and grime of life in London, a slice of tranquillity with Rick at the heart. But Mal has defied his family and his religion to be true to himself, and there is no way can he join Rick in his self-built closet, no matter how comfortable it is...

Rick is afraid revealing the true nature of his relationship with Mal will change the way his neighbours see him. He adores these people, this village, and he can’t face the thought of losing everything over who he chooses to sleep with. When the alternative is giving up a man who has slotted perfectly into his life—a man who he might just love—it’s no choice at all. But, knowing what has to be done isn’t always as easy as putting it into practice.


Buy Links: Kobo // ARe
Universal Amazon link: myBook.to/Resistance_LF


Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf here.


Cover designed by Garrett Leigh at blackjazzdesign.com


Friday, 23 September 2016

Fiction Friday

Wow, what a tease I am. I've done something that I hate in the books I read (automatic 1 star deduction), I've left you on a cliffhanger.

Where were we? Ah, yes...

It was time to break the book slump.And there was one book I wanted to read knowing that the author would be at the UK Meet, and that I had owned for some time. And it was at the other end of the alphabet completely!

What was it? Well, it was delightful. And I'll tell you the title in part two of this post.

Of course I never got around to writing part two of the post. So, what was the book?

Widdershins by Jordan L Hawk. Massive 5 stars. This is not a cutesy love story. Alt historical with monsters, magic, death, and destruction. With a side order of betrayal. But at the heart, under all the blood and dark magic, is a glorious love story and a satisfying HEA. I've downloaded the next book ready for my next reading slump.

As you may remember I was reading my Kindle in alphabetical order. Back to the A's.

Worth a mention because it's free, Academic Interest by Jane Davitt. A short spanking fic. Available on AO3.

Then there were three pretty dismal reads, two which I deleted straight off my Kindle (this is very rare so shows you how bad they were) and the third, which was meh, okay, but was riddled with proofing and editing errors. This especially miffed me because in the author's bio she claimed to be a professional editor. Let me tell you, I wouldn't even send a manuscript to an editor in that state, I certainly would be annoyed if I got it back from a professional like that. Any how I digress...

Is three books a slump? Was it time to break out the next Whyborne & Griffin?
Yes, I guess, but no, I didn't. And wasn't the next book a gem.

When Dreamspinner launched their Dreamspun Desire line I side-eyed with caution. Embracing the tropes that underline romance? Never a m/f Mills and Boon (Harlequin) reader in the past I wondered if I could enjoy the stories on offer. Stories that made no excuses for themselves as anything other than cliche ridden pleasures.

Ace in the Hole (Wild Cards #1) by Ava Drake - If this is a sample of the range then sign me up for it. Trope ridden ridiculousness that I absolutely adored.

A-Muse-Ing by Willa Okati - Whoa, this book was originally published in 2008, and as such it is hock full of sex. Probably too much for me. Had it been published now I suspect it would have had half as many sex scenes. But the story, well, that was a tale of impossible love; funny, as the title implies, but sad in places too.

Afflicted (Afflicted #1) by Brandon Shire - My GR reviews starts with 'OMG Hunter is Matt Murdoch'. Make of that what you will :)

Against A Wounded Landscape by Vivien Dean - A stoic knight, a rescued prince, sexual tension, denial. This book was formerly with Amber. I have no idea if the author intends to reissue it. It would be a shame if it disappeared forever.

Aiden's Angel by Aundrea Singer - Demons. Angels. Possession. Magic. True Love. Betrayal. Tears (mine). HEA. Honestly, I sobbed my way through the last 25% of this book.

Alaska (Heartwarming) by Kim Fielding -  God damn you Kim Fielding. Beautifully broken. Cried through pretty much the entire story.

I took a break from the As to proof/beta read Clare London's Sweet Summer Sweat. See what I though of it here. *fans self*

Then I shifted over to a series I started recently. The Sci-Regency series by JL Langley. I found book 2, The Englor Affair, much more enjoyable than the first story. I think I liked the MCs more in this one and the overaching plot is starting to make more sense. I have one more book to go. I hope the main storyline is wrapped up in the next book as I've noticed this was the last book published by this author and that was back in 2012.

All About Trust by D.P. Denman. Another free read, this time from the 2015's Don't Read in the Closet. This has some major trigger warnings going in but if you can face them it is a beautiful story of learning to trust at the most basic level.

I don't know how many more books make up the A section of my Kindle or even how many more I'll read before I get bored with this system. I think I'll try to keep this up until October and then make October a favourite author month.






Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Sweet Summer Sweat by Clare London


I spent last weekend reading Sweet Summer Sweat. What can I say about this book? *glances at cover* I guess you're thinking it's just your bog standard threesome erotica. You'd be wrong. The first 40% of this story creeped me out completely. I read every line with a feeling of impending doom. Then, bam, or should that be wham, bam, thank you, mam. I didn't have time to be nervous because the sexytimes kicked up a gear and I was distracted for the rest of the book.


I don't want to give too much away so I'm not going to say much more than that.

If you've read Clare London before you'll know that she writes a damn fine sex scene, and, as you should be able to pick up from the blurb, there is a lot of sex in this story. But at no point did I find my attention wandering, or dare to consider skimming. This book had my undivided attention, every word, every thought, every look. Every droplet of sweat rolling languidly down tanned flesh to the waistband of skimpy cut-off shorts... Oh my. *fans self*

Now, if I could only get that damn song out of my head...




Author: Clare London

Release Date: September 20 2016

Publisher: Jocular Press

Length: 74,000 words

Buy Links: Amazon US Amazon UK AllRomance Smashwords 

Blurb

When you find a place where lust and sex rule life, and your every desire can be fulfilled, why would you ever want to leave?

Young runaway Scot and his boyfriend Jerry escape their deadbeat homes and families, hoping to leave prejudice behind them and travel to a new life in Las Vegas. Unprepared and naive, they're lost almost at once, and shelter at a run-down, deserted motel in the middle of the scorching hot Nevada desert. A place with secrets, run by staff both gorgeous and uninhibited, and driven by a mysterious sexual connection Scot’s never even dared to dream.

All but drugged by the lazy heat and the hedonism around him, Scot watches as Jerry is seduced away and realizes their relationship was nothing more than shared lust. Restless, Scot knows he wants true love and real understanding. Could he find it with the mysterious and elusive owner of the motel, Connor Maxwell? Connor seems to think so, every time he appears and pursues Scot for his own. But where does Connor come from? It seems the passion calls him into being at its own whim.

Eventually, what binds Connor and his friends to the motel may be too strong for Scot to break through. Scot has ambitions to travel, to make something of his life – but is his only option to embrace life at the motel in his true lover’s arms?

Or will that love be strong enough to release them both...




Saturday, 17 September 2016

Rainbow Snippets - 17/18 Sept



Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook Group that invites authors to post 6 sentences of their work each weekend. It can be from anything you like, your current WIP, a recent release, the golden oldie that even you had forgotten you had written, or just a scrap of an idea (as long as it has 6 coherent sentences). Nothing of your own work worth mentioning? How about a 6 sentence review of your favourite LGBTQ+ story.

It's been a while since I posted a rainbow snippet. That's not to say I haven't had anything ready
 for you guys to read. I have. But life has thrown me a curve ball that put me off my stride for a while. Anyway, enough moping, let's get on with the snippet.

This snippet is from Village Love #2. For anyone that loved Resistance, this is Smudge's story. Let's start at the beginning.  (Unbetaed, so excuse the overly-long sentences.)


“No, no, no! Don’t you dare. Not again.” Smudge tightened his grip on the books in his hand and hastened his pace.

Surely, he wouldn’t? But Smudge knew the exact moment Raleigh had clocked him. Only the fact that Mrs Danridge, one of the frailer members of the Slopy Bottom community, was poised on the pull-down steps of the mobile library gave Smudge any hope that he would make it to the village green car park where the bus resided for several hours every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

With the length of the main road of Slopy Bottom stretching before him like a scene out of Alice in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz, Smudge broke into a jog. 


Friday, 16 September 2016

Fiction Friday

I start this Fiction Friday with... comics.

Yes, I read (in some cases re-read) the first 5 issues in the new Spider-man/Deadpool comic. I have them as individual comics but they are collected in Vol 1: Isn't it Bromantic. A big 5 stars for the volume as a whole (with some of the comics hitting 4 and others 5 stars). Deadpool is doing his damnedest to befriend Spider-man. The dance sequence in issue 4 is particularly inspired. *croons* "I had the time of my life and I owe it all to you."

I did say I would read some old books that had been hanging about on my Kindle. And I did start that with My Fair Captain by JL Langley, which I'd had hanging about since Nov 2012! I have the second book in the series somewhere and should dig it out before I forget the overarching story arc.

Unfortunately (or not) my plans were ruined by Jay Northcote and In To You. I reviewed it here on release day. Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

After that my book finding lethargy struck again. I put my Kindle2 (the paperwhite) in alphabetically order and I've been reading whatever the next unread book is, regardless (unless it is part of a series and I have books to read in front of it). I started this system on 24th August and I'm still using it.

First up the number titles.

2015 Top Ten Gay Romance - an anthology by JMS Books. My favourite stories were (all 4 star reads) were Batteries Not Included by J.L. Merrow, Just My Style by J.M. Snyder, & What's in Your Box? (Djinn #1) by A.R. Moler. (NB I didn't read Hat trick because I've read the rest of the series.)

629 Miles To Love by Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe. This was one of the books I picked up at Amber just before they closed. Lovers Reunited trope. I was rooting for these guys from the beginning.

Then, within the space of a couple of hours, I dnf'd 5 books, all from the same series. And then the first A book I picked up was another DNF. It was time to break the book slump.And there was one book I wanted to read knowing that the author would be at the UK Meet, and that I had owned for some time. And it was at the other end of the alphabet completely!

What was it? Well, it was delightful. And I'll tell you the title in part two of this post.



Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The best laid plans

The best laid plans have a tendency to go awry when life throws you a curve ball. Consequently I think it's best I talk in plans for the rest of the year rather than this week or month. It's not like I've ever been any good at sticking to my plans anyway.

Writing tools photo writing_zpsd6d7efdd.jpg
I've had the rights back to Lesson Learned for a while now. A conversation with Meredith Russell at the UK Meet has kickstarted the design process for a new cover. Plans are underway to get that back out in circulation before Christmas.

Waiting for a Spark has recently reached the end of its contract with JMS. I'll be sorting out a new cover for that in the coming months.

The second book in the Village Love story is well underway. I've had the first draft back from two of my betas. Another of the things I need to get on with.

That curve ball has stopped me in my writing tracks. I've not written new words in more than 6 weeks, but never fear they are all still in there, I just need to find the oomph to get them out.

Followers