Monday, 24 July 2017

Reading Round-up


Because I can't keep calling it Fiction Friday when it's not (Friday).



I know not many of you follow this for recs on graphic novels but I feel remiss when I leave them out since they do make up a large proportion of my reading. Since I'm still catching up from my FF hiatus I thought I'd give this one up solely to my comic reads in that period.

Flintlock by Steve Tanner – An indie comic. I picked this up at Comic Con. I always enjoy this way of buying graphic novels because you often get to speak to the creators. Black and white line drawings make up the majority of the panels here. It’s a collection of three short stories, almost an introduction to three of the six characters the author intends to focus on. All the stories take place in the same timeline, although there is no guarantee that they will ever meet (or so the author tells me) and feature diverse main characters. My favourite of the three was the final one, with two urchin pickpockets recounting the tale of the newest addition to the Bow Street Runners—a metal man called the Clockwork Cavalier.


18710780Widdershins Vol 1: Sleight of Hand by Kate Ashwin. - Another Indie comic that I picked up at Comic Con. Magic. Victorian. Crime fighting. Well-drawn and an interesting story.

The Backstagers issue 1. - Firstly, I was disappointed because I thought I was getting the whole volume but it turned out to only be the first issue. However, it was an interesting introduction to the world behind the stage. Jordy, the new boy at school, needs to find an after-school club and he joins the backstagers, the prop boys that support the theatre club. Jordy might have found somewhere to belong, some friends and maybe someone who can be something more. Wacky and well-drawn. Kudos for a comic with LGBTQ characters.

Fantastic Four, Vol 3: Doomed – I know this has been quite widely slated but I enjoyed most of it. There were three (yes three) Johnny Storms in this volume. Seriously people, three. What’s not to like.

Dash – Issues 1-4. - Independent comic. 1940’s hardboiled PI meets Indy meets The Mummy with an LGBT lead character. Be still my beating heart. The artwork is kind of basic but it suits the story. I loved this, devoured all 4 issues. My only complaint is the story arc isn’t finished. Things are left very up in the air. With the last issue having been published in 2015 I was prepared to put this down to one of those things. (Books/comics don’t get finished for whatever reason, any fanfiction reader will tell you that. Hell, as a fan fiction writer I’m guilty of that myself.) I was all ready to fix everything with a bit of fanfiction. But I decided to do a bit of Google Fu and I found that the project is back on track after a two-year hiatus and there should be two new issues in the autumn. Hoorah. Highly recommended. 

13227852Justice League of America #1 Origins (New 52) - Geoff Johns (writer) and Jim Lee (artist). I like this writer/artist pairing.  This, as the title implies, shows the formation of the JLA at the start of the New 52. The panels are bright and colourful, and all the characters look great. The origin team are Green Lantern (Hal), Flash (Barry), Batman., Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg (Cyborg is the only one whose Origin story we get and it’s pretty much the same as the one I’ve recently read in the Rebirth issue of the same name). Hal is a bit of a dick (think Johnny Storm at his most obnoxious) but this makes for some very funny scenes between him and Batman. And OMG Superbat <3 Batman strips off his cowl and as Bruce Wayne goes to rescue Superman!  I read this as a copy from the library but I’m already planning to buy a copy of my own.

Justice League of America #2 The Villain's Journey (New 52) – An excellent continuation of the previous volume.

And Justice League of America #3 The Throne of Atlantis (New 52) – A change of artist for this volume but not too great a change in style. There was a weak story to start with Cheetah as the villainess but thankfully Arthur (Aquaman) is the focus of the rest of this volume. Oh and we get to see Clark rip open his shirt to reveal Supe’s costume underneath.

I've got the next volume of this already lined up and hopefully by then volume 5 will have turned up in the library.

I've been a Marvel gal for a long time but I'm really enjoying my new foray into DC.


Friday, 21 July 2017

Fiction Friday

All For Show: A Fake Boyfriend Gay Romance by [Kane, Rachel]
Back to showing my favourite covers of the books
recommended here. It's probably the dog.
I would have picked KJ's but 

the cover model reminds me of Jason Orange.
Yes, it's really Friday this time. And this post is a catch-all of different authors.

Babyvamp by Lyssa Dering – Okay, now as a rule I don’t do vampires but I did two in the space of a week and enjoyed them both. I thought the world building was excellent with the vampire police and registration etc. Certain parts squicked me out (the bloodily fluids and use of the word ‘child’ for a lover) but the story was entertaining and the characters were fun. I’d happily read more in this world, especially about the human, Taylor.

Fake it ‘til you feel it by Ashley Oaks – This is just the cutest fake boyfriend trope story I’ve read in a long time. (There’s a short sequel, Valentine, Interupted, catching up with the lads on their first Valentine’s day, which while cute had one event that made me ragey. I'll link you to my GRs review because I can't put things under a spoiler tag here.)

Make Me a Match Vol 2 – Dreamspinner anthology. Overall a mixed bag with a couple of right clunkers in there, but I’m listing it here for ‘Fragments of a Fiery Sun’ by M Jules Aedin. A glorious historical about wharf rats and an Irish lad fresh off the boat. I could have happily read a novel about these guys. Well-crafted and a joy to read.   

All For Show by Rachel Kane – Would have benefited from less introspection and more dialogue tags, but I adored Owen and the author had a deft hand with a lot of Owen’s amusing one liners. Not quite the romantic comedy I was expecting. With issues of poor self-esteem, depression, and manipulative relationships this story had more substance than the light and fluffy tale I thought I was getting. 




And my highly recommended, 'must read' book for this post...


An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities) by [Charles, KJ]
Sod it. I love the background of this cover.
Even if the cover model looks like he's going to
burst into a verse of 'Pray'.

An Unnatural Vice by KJ Charles. (Sins of the Cities # 2)
 This overlaps with An Unseen Attraction and continues the overarching story line.
 This book was damn near perfect for me.
I adored the awkwardness of the first book and how sweet Clem and Rowley were together.
This one has a completely different vibe. Enemies to lovers and flawed heroes. Perfect. 
Now I can’t wait for Mark’s story.
5 stars. 





Enjoy. They'll be at least another 3 FF posts next week, but one will be graphic novels only.

And I'll leave you with two questions to consider.

I've blogged about vampire stories two days on the trot now. How often do you read outside your comfort zone?

And how likely are you to give up on an anthology if the the first few stories aren't very good?




Thursday, 20 July 2017

My poor neglected blog (aka Fiction Friday - the Clare London edition)



It's been a month since I last posted here. And nearly two since I've done a Fiction Friday post. That’s what happens when you try to write and publish a book in two months. (Just Hanging Out, for any of you that might have missed it.)

Hasn't stopped me reading though and I've decided to share my highlights over several posts until we are all caught up. So Fiction Friday will be cropping up on other days, don't let that confuse you. I take no responsibility for confusion over the day of the week from reading my posts.

While compiling these posts I noticed one author got a lot of my attention in these last few weeks so I have decided to dedicate this post just to her. Welcome to

Fiction Friday (on a Thursday) - The Clare London Edition

22550592
Normally I pick my favourite cover to illustrate
these posts. Not this time. Publishers take note,
this is not an enticing cover. The cover models
bear no relation to any of the characters &
it gives no indication of the content of the story.
Out of Time – A short read (less than an hour). An interesting take on vampires (although that word is never used), the effect of immortality, and of being turned against your will. Well written and slightly melancholy as the two MCs meet periodically over time and their attraction turns to affection. Lovely.

No Angel – Okay. Let’s get my grumps out of the way first. I hate this cover. It has no bearing on the story and the models don’t seem to resemble any of the characters. But this cover is for the out of print edition so anyone buying in the future won’t need to put up with it. Second grump: It’s out of print. Boo *thumbs down* (as opposed to Boo!) Because yes, this story is about ghosts, or one in particular; Bryn, a ghost who pinches Felix’s bum on the bus. Be prepared to dislike Bryn at first, he’s a dick, but he’s dead and he’s not had any (dick, that is) for a while. And he’s not the love interest. The love interest is Mickey who is adorable.  This is a really fun read, with lots of Clare London’s trademark humour.
Rest assured this is being repackaged (with additional content - yay!) and will be available again soon. So add it to your GR shelf for a future purchase. You won't be disappointed.


Looking for a quick read. Try...

Chat Line  - Short read. Less than 30 mins. Jerry needs a hand cleaning up his flat. He phones Helping Hands, surprised to find them open on New Year’s Eve. But the service Sean is offering isn’t quite what Jerry was expecting. Sweet, sexy, and funny.

And my highly recommended, must read choice...

Romancing the Ugly Duckling - Clare's latest release and part of the Dreamspun Desire range from Dreamspinner. Gorgeous re-telling of The Ugly Duckling. It had the perfect balance of gentle comedy and romance. Some nice fish out of water moments with Perry. But it’s Greg, all gruff and self-deprecating (and the perfect book boyfriend for me) who steals the show. I got to the end and I wasn’t ready to let this story go. Brilliant. 5 stars.
And I don't have to let them go because I have just purchased this book in audio. I'll let you know how that goes in a future post.


I could recommend Clare London's books until the cows come home but these are the books of hers that I've read in the last six weeks. Enjoy.




Wednesday, 21 June 2017

It's Release Day - Just Hanging Out

Just Hanging Out

Only 99p

The Book
“Come and honour the Oak King.” 

The countdown to the company solstice picnic is one of Shawn’s favourite times of the year. The scents of sage, mint, basil, sunflower, and lavender fill the air as the workshop mixes up the final batch of Litha, their solstice soap. It’s celebration time! This year, Shawn has an extra spring in his step, and it’s all for the new buyer, Tim. Shawn’s fine having a crush on the gorgeous new straight guy. Until he isn’t. 

As the clock ticks down to Picnic-Day, Shawn’s confidence and Tim’s sexuality become mired in doubt and second guesses. It’s a minefield of embarrassed glances and missed opportunities. Seems like they’ll never get together… 

To cap it all, Shawn’s drawn Tim in the secret solstice gifting. What to get for the quiet man who turns Shawn’s legs to jelly and has the best underwear hanging from the washing line in his garden? And will that tempting rainbow of colour be forever seared onto Shawn’s brain?

Word count: ~16700

Cover designed by Lillian Francis at Finally Love Press


Buy Links: Kobo // Payhip // B&N // Smashwords
Universal Amazon link: myBook.to/JustHangingOut_LF

Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf here. 


About the Author
Lillian Francis is a self-confessed geek who likes nothing more than settling down with a comic or a good book, except maybe writing. Given a notepad, pen, her Kindle, and an infinite supply of chocolate Hob Nobs and she can lose herself for weeks. Romance was never her reading matter of choice, so it came as a great surprise to all concerned, including herself, to discover a romance was exactly what she’d written, and not the rollicking spy adventure or cosy murder mystery she always assumed she’d write. 

Email: lillianfrancis@rocketmail.com


Excerpt
“Come on, everyone. Time to honour the Oak King.” Miriam stood in the centre of the office and jiggled a deep wooden bowl, exquisitely carved with the face of the Green Man. “Come and pick your giftee.”

Yes, I did say Oak King. Miriam’s a new-age hippie, whose 100% natural soap has taken her from cooking the stuff up in her kitchen and selling it from a stall at various markets, to a thriving shop and workshop with a staff of twenty plus. We’ve branched out into candles in the last few years, but it’s the soap, especially the seasonal range, that brings in the punters. Oh, and she’s a Pagan. Hence, the honouring the Oak King statement.

Don’t worry. There’s no sacrifice involved. We have a massive picnic on the Downs on Midsummer’s Eve, drink too much local ale, and the Oak King—normally Ali from Packaging, in a headdress made of antlers and a myriad of leaves, flowers, and herbs—hands out our jokey gifts. Then we settle in to watch the sunset and bid the Oak King farewell for another six months. In other words, it’s a chance to eat well, drink better, and have a laugh, all the while showing appreciation for an amazing boss and honouring her beliefs, even if we’re a mix of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and atheists. Dunno why the atheists can’t have their own capital letter. Me, I’m probably an agnostic with Taoist leanings.

“You too, Shawn,” Miriam called over to me. “Stop hogging the copier and grab a name.”

I glanced at my watch and then flicked my gaze surreptitiously out the window. Still time. If I was quick, and Miriam didn’t choose that moment to chat, I could be back at my station without missing a moment of the action. Shaking a leg, and my impressively pert behind, I slipped in between two of the admin clerks and plucked a slip of paper from the pot. Without bothering to even glimpse at the name written on it, I stuffed the folded slip into the front pocket of my jeans and returned to the photocopier. One more glance at the time—8:52—and I pressed the button to start my items printing.

There were enough pages in this print run to keep me at the copier for a good few minutes. I saved up all but the most urgent for these five minutes just before nine. It was a routine I’d been keeping for the last few months. As the copier warmed up after a night of inaction, with the gentle whirr of reanimated machinery, I took a moment to enjoy the view from the window. The azure blue of the sky contrasted with the white blossom on the tree just on the edge of the company’s land at the rear entrance. Beyond, a neat row of cottages caught the eye and drew the gaze of anyone who had time to stop and watch.

As I appreciated the view, a door of one of the cottages opened and a tall, broad man stepped out onto the path that led down a well-kempt front garden to the road. Yeah, I know that kempt means well cared for, so the well is redundant. I work in communications and I’ve a Desmond in English Lit and Environmental Science. That’s lower second class honours for those of you not in the know. Not bad for a lad from Saath London. Of course, four years at Canterbury, another four living in this small Sussex town, coupled with some conscious effort, have more or less knocked that accent out of me.

Less about me, back to another thing that was kempt and well put together. The object of my voyeuristic tendencies stepped through his gate and out onto the pavement then turned in my direction. A happy sigh escaped me as the early morning sun caught his wavy hair just right; fiery copper reflected back to me in reds and gold. His eyes were green, and flecked with amber. Not that I could see his irises from this distance—I could barely make out the strong features that made up his ruggedly handsome face. And the freckles that gave him an oddly incongruous boyish look were filled in from memory at this point. I sighed again, far too dramatically for my own liking.

Rather than concentrate on the parts of him that required my imagination, I studied the visual feast in front of me. Now he’d cleared the obstruction of his neighbour’s privet, I had an uninterrupted view, where I could drink my fill without the risk of getting caught.

Chinos—the russet pair today—encased long legs, and heavily muscled thighs bunched beneath the material with every determined stride that brought him a step closer. Finally, the man disappeared below my sight line. The photocopier whirled to a stop, spitting out the last few pages of my weekly comms report and a stack of sample leaflets for Miriam’s perusal. I had about five minutes to school my features and get back to my desk, or get caught tongue-tied. Again.

A flash of colour caught my eye as I turned away from the view and I spun back to the window expecting to see the swoop of ring-necked parakeets. The birds were becoming a more common sight in local gardens these days. Maybe the green bastards thought I was homesick and followed me from London.

Instead of the expected flap of wings, my gaze found the source of the flashes of colour: a washing line strung in the back garden of one of the cottages. Clothes hung from the line, fluttering in the gentle breeze of a pleasant June morning. Not just any clothes, though.

Nope, a whole line full of bright, skimpy, tight underwear. Underwear that I’d seen advertised in Attitude that very morning as I read on my bus journey to work. And by seen, I meant studied. Intently. Double-page spread. Three all but naked guys getting handsy with each other and appearing to love every minute of it. Hell, I’d even stuffed in my headphones, thanked any deity who wanted to listen that I was sitting in the back, and watched the ‘making of’ video. Those models were having fun, no doubt about it.

Get A Grip. Flamboyant, colourful, crotch-cupping, butt-caressing underpants. With a marketing campaign that focused on the gay man. Ask a straight guy about GAG and 95% wouldn’t know what you were talking about.

Not only that, but the garden the washing line was located belonged to—

“Morning, Shawn. Printing again?”

Now I was close enough to see the green of his eyes. The deep rumble that came from his broad chest caressed the vowel sound in my name and threatened to turn my legs to jelly.

Stupid! Answer him. All I could do was echo the greeting, anything else was beyond me, the sight of those pants hanging in a neat rainbow of colour seared on to my brain. “Morning, Tim.”

Tim faltered as though expecting there would be more forthcoming, but I had nothing. Nothing workplace appropriate, anyway. Asking your colleague to model his undies for you was probably frowned upon, even for a liberal employer like InScents, and Tim was still comparatively new and seemed kinda shy for a big guy. I wouldn’t say we were friends yet but I hoped we were getting there. So I kept my mouth shut.

The moment stretched on but it could have lasted no more than a second or two, then Tim carried on past, heading for his desk. I thought I’d detected a dusky flush of rose under his freckles but I was easily distracted and couldn’t quell the urge to watch the tight pull of Tim’s chinos as he walked away from me.

Not an unfamiliar feeling any time Tim walked in front of me.
But now I couldn’t stop myself from imaging his muscular arse cheeks enclosed in a pair of GAGs.

* * * * *


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Cover Reveal - Just Hanging Out

Everything is a mad rush for this release. Why?

Because it takes place at midsummer, which is a week away, and I'm determined to align the release to the celebration (provided Amazon plays ball).



About the book

“Come and honour the Oak King.”
The countdown to the company solstice picnic is one of Shawn’s favourite times of the year. The scents of sage, mint, basil, sunflower, and lavender fill the air as the workshop mixes up the final batch of Litha, their solstice soap. It’s celebration time! This year, Shawn has an extra spring in his step, and it’s all for the new buyer, Tim. Shawn’s fine having a crush on the gorgeous new straight guy. Until he isn’t.
As the clock ticks down to Picnic-Day, Shawn’s confidence and Tim’s sexuality become mired in doubt and second guesses. It’s a minefield of embarrassed glances and missed opportunities. Seems like they’ll never get together…

To cap it all, Shawn’s drawn Tim in the secret solstice gifting. What to get for the quiet man who turns Shawn’s legs to jelly and has the best underwear hanging from the washing line in his garden? And will that tempting rainbow of colour be forever seared onto Shawn’s brain?



Add it to your Goodreads shelf here.


Friday, 26 May 2017

Fiction Friday

The end of the month is nigh. I think it’s time to round up the last two weeks of reading.

35131899The Last Light of Day by Rachel Kane – Don’t let the cover, or the blurb, fool you, this is a contemporary. It’s moody, atmospheric, and just a little bit creepy. I’ve not read this author before, she seems to be comparatively new, with her first release in December ’16 and 10 releases in the 6 months since. If they are all like this I would certainly buy them but I’ve noticed one of her series is dragon based, and I’m really not sure about that.

Rain by LA Witt – I must confess to being a numpty with this one. I didn’t realise this was a sequel. In fact, I was over halfway through before the thought occurred to me.  This is the sequel to Rules of Engagement, which I actually have unread on my Kindle *facepalm* Anyway not having read the first book didn’t impact on my enjoyment at all. I just thought I was going into a new book with an established couple for leads.


I don’t often bring low rated books to your attention but I feel I should here. Making Anthony Watch by Anita Dick. I one-starred this book. To me this book screamed sexual assault, pure and simple. There was nothing romantic about it. Luckily this was a free read and it was also quite short so I didn’t waste either time or money on it.

To cleanse the palate after that one something fairy tale sweet. And who better to go to for that than Megan Derr.

30517107The Rapier Brothers by Megan Derr – A collection of stories about the three Rapier brothers and how they find love.  Low steam but perfectly sweet.

The Maker Jock by SA McAuley – Cute story that is classed as a HFN by the author. I had no problem with how the story ended but I have the sequel to read anyway.

The Magician’s Assistant by LF Blake – This is a very dark read. Again it is free, and I doubt I would have willingly picked it up. I can’t say I enjoyed it because the subject matter really doesn’t allow for that but it kept me enthralled until the end.

An Unseen Attraction by KJ Charles – Despite the fact that the graphic taxidermy parts always seemed to appear when I was eating, I thought this mysterious tale was excellent. Well written and diverse leads, and a plethora of interesting side characters inhabited this historical tale of a Lord’s bastard, his manipulative brother, and a quirky little animal stuffer. Even with their quirks, or maybe because of them, the two leads fit together perfectly. 5 stars



This is a really mixed collection, I hope you find something that takes your fancy.



Monday, 22 May 2017

Big Gay Fiction Giveaway



There are some great books on this list, including Waiting for a Spark. You've got until 29th of May to take advantage of lots of free books so don't miss out.

Click the link to see what's on offer.


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Dreamspinner are 10 years old



And to celebrate they have 35% off across the store until 18th May. 


That means you can pick up New Lease of Life and many other goodies. 

There'll be other celebrations going on, so keep your eyes peeled on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Fiction Friday

Let's try and get this bi-monthly at least.

Leo Loves Aries (Signs of Love #1) & Leo Tops Aries (Signs of Love #1.5) by Anyta Sunday. Absolutely adorable. Who knows why I waited so long to read these books. This is slow burn and so delicious. And the short sequel is more than just the rumpy pumpy that the title implies. 5 stars.

The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters (Granby Knitting #1) by Amy Lane. Another book I've had on my Kindle for ages. You know I love a grumpy, reticent MC, right? Yeah, this. Bring on the rest of the series...

Taken by the Geeks by E. Davies - PWP. Remember that fandom saying 'I'll be in my bunk'? *cough* Well you know where to find me ;)

The Locked Room by RayeAnn Carter. This is an interesting novella. I can't say too much without giving away the secret of what is behind 'the locked door'.

Bare Studs - A Dreamspinner Anthology.  Of these 10 stories I liked all but 2. Several would have benefited from being novellas rather than short stories.  My absolute favourites: Coffee a run by Jess Roth. 4*/Executive Decision by Alice Archer. 4*/Flat packed by Henrietta Clarke. 4.5*/Moonshine by Charlie Tannen. 4.5* (Gutted I can find no other work by this author)/Love on the Tarmac by Quinn Dressler 4*/How to Build a Shed by Kim Dias. - Adorable. A little white lie. It can't do much damage, right? 4*   Overall an above average anthology.

Where There's Smoke (Panopolis #1) by Cari Z. - Great take on the superhero story where the ordinary guy falls, not for the hero, but for the Villain. Can't wait t read the next one.

Prosperity (Prosperity #1) by Alexis Hall - First off this is not a traditional style romance. It's an adventure, with airships, robotic dead men, deranged priests, kraken, and the most diverse bunch of characters you'll ever fall in love with. Ruben and Milord damn near broke my heart. 5*

Not bad for less than a fortnight's worth of reading. And I've been writing this last few weeks, and beta reading.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Looks like Fiction Friday has gone monthly

Well, it looks like Fiction Friday has gone monthly. Prepare for a big post.

All four star reads unless marked otherwise.

New Status Needed by Annabeth Albert. Cute catch up with Adrian and Noah from Status Update as they cope with one of the milestones they mentioned in the original book. Oh, and did I mention it is free :)

Beta Test (#gaymers #2)by Annabeth Albert. Opposites attract. Slow burn. Road trip. Multicultural. Interracial. Do I need anymore reasons to give this 5 stars? Written by Annabeth Albert. Nuff said.

The Art of Mutual Pleasure by K.A. Merikan. If you're expecting hearts and flowers you've come to the wrong authors. The title says it all, and Benjamin gets pleasured over and over and over again.
Heed the warnings, they are not there to make up the word count ;)

Death Goes Overboard (A Detective Heath Barrington Mystery #2) by David S. Pederson. I hadn't read the first in the series but this didn't affect my enjoyment at all. I enjoyed this as a historical mystery with gay characters. I wasn't sold on the romance though. N.B. This is a Bold Strokes book and their e-books are really expensive, if you can grab this one in a sale I'd do that. I'm certainly going to look out for the first book that way.

Threshold (Whyborne & Griffin #2) by Jordan L. Hawk. Exciting, horrific entertainment. I adore these two and their second adventure was as heart-stopping as their first. 5 stars.

The Return of the Earl by Sandra Schwab. New to me author. Mostly an m/f writer., this is only their second m/m book. Firstly, the cover is awful. But the book, I enjoyed. Historical, for those of you where that will make a difference. I'd have liked alternate POV in order to get some idea of the true Bryn (Con's opinion was tainted by his mood).

At Your Service (At Your Service #1) by Ariel Tachna. That the author is invested both in Paris and publishing shined through in this novel. This is a story of second chances where everyone (including the reader) had to work for happiness all round but that made it all the more satisfying when it came.

A-Viking by Kiernan Kelly. Suspend your disbelief and fall into this cute and genuinely funny story.

Baked Fresh (Portland Heat #2) by Annabeth Albert. Change of pace from the first book. Both guys were damaged in their own way with serious self-image issues.

Take This Man (anthology). To celebrate gay marriage. A 3 star read over all but worth inclusion here for this story alone. Ink Stained by Krista Merle. Historical. I could happily read a whole book about these guys. I stalked the author for any more work. There isn't any :(

Keep Me Still by Stephen Hoppa. My surprise read of the month. I honestly didn't think I'd enjoy this as much as I did. For some reason I thought this would be a generic shifter story. Why? I don't know, It's not even a shifter story *facepalm* Recommended.

Frostbite by Alexandria Bellefleur. Short (under an hour) fairy tale of the type LT3 do so well. Adorable. And LT3 have 30% off for the next couple of days. Recommended, especially at that price.

Phew, told you that would be a long list. And that doesn't even include the comics I've read.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

First 5 star review!

I'd been so close with those 4.5s. And then this review appeared.

"Oh my. Renaissance was nothing like I expected it to be. It was so much better than whatever expectations I had!"

"This was more of a slow burn romance, a journey of sorts as Smudge and Raleigh realized that they actually could be friends and maybe even something more, if they gave themselves half a chance and if they believed they were worthy of the other's affections."

"Without a doubt, Renaissance deserves five stars. ♥"

DogEaredDaydreams





Buy Links

Amazon US // Amazon UK // Kobo // Payhip // Smashwords


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

RJ Scott’s Annual Autism Awareness Blog Hop


Today is my turn to host RJ Scott’s annual Autism Awareness blog hop.
The masterpost showing all the stops on the hop can be found here on RJ’s blog.


Is it possible that animals are the answer? Dogs. Horses. Guinea Pigs.



Research is continuing in the area of animal therapy but initial findings appear positive.

Now for the giveaway part of the hop.

Animals play a big part in one of my books. Theory Unproven is set on an elephant sanctuary in South Africa. So to celebrate this year's blog hop I'm giving away a copy of Theory Unproven. 

Leave a comment below and I will use random.org to pick a winner. 


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Another satisfied reviewer

"Renaissance by Lillian Francis was a pure joy to read."
"...there is no sex scenes and it was perfect. Imo it shouldn’t have been different and I want to thank the author for the respect she showed to Raleigh with this choice."
"The writing was so engaging, it made the reading easy to follow and I particularly enjoyed it in the descriptive scenes. With her style Lillian brought me to Sloppy Bottom and its people and it was a great place."
"I feel to highly recommend Renaissance by Lillian Francis, one of the best book I read in 2017." 

4.5 stars from Stella at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

And well deserved praise for Garrett Leigh's cover art. 




Buy Links

Amazon US // Amazon UK // Kobo // Payhip // Smashwords



Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Love Bytes Reviews gives Renaissance 4.5 stars

"The story is well written and held my attention right up to the last page. I didn’t put it down once, which is a compliment."

"I highly recommend this series if you’re looking for a sweet, miscommunication, enemies to friends sort of book. It is totally outside my normal dark reads, but I’m enjoying the series. Give it a try."

"I’m hoping for a story that includes Bruce the big bear who loves bacon… but we’ll have to see what she brings us. I personally can’t wait to see what is next."

"I think I liked this one the best so far. The story is told with the same level of writing as the first two, and the various characters that we met previously, tie directly over into this one. I would definitely tell you to read the two previous installments before reading this one, since they aren’t long. I think it is important so that you know who everyone is. I love the residents of Slopy Bottom, and I’m sure you will as well."

4.5 hearts. Dan at Love Bytes Reviews



Buy Links

Amazon US // Amazon UK // Kobo // Payhip // Smashwords






Monday, 10 April 2017

Reviews are in for Renaissance

"This was what I would describe as a very sweet book, they very slowly develop in to friends, then friends who sometimes kiss but thats where it ends.
I know all books can't be wildly passionate and full of fun under the covers and I'm glad this one wasn't as it wouldn't have fitted the story.
We get to meet back up with Rick, Mal and the villagers from book 1 and they all play a part in bringing the two characters together.
This author always writes a good book and this didn't let me down.
Looking forward to book 3.
4 out of 5 stars." Sue at Books Laid Bare Boys 



Buy Links

Amazon US // Amazon UK // Kobo // Payhip // Smashwords


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Your questions answered

Well actually they're my questions, but I've answered them because I know they're what you guys are thinking.


About the Series
Renaissance is book 2 in my series, Village Love. Village Love is set in the fictional Sussex village of Slopy Bottom. I'll let Rick (from Resistance) tell you how Slopy Bottom got its name.

“It’s one p, Slopy Bottom. The village has been there centuries. Local historians think it started life as Slope Bottom since the oldest houses are on the low slope at the bottom of a hill. The rest of the village spread out into the valley as the years went by but the name stuck. At one point the village was all but owned by a French lord, which could account for the mispronunciation, and it appears to have been Slopy Bottom ever since.”

Who’s this Rick you mention? I notice he’s in the blurb for book two, as well.
Rick is the village gardener/handyman. His story of how he struggles to fit his sexuality and his London-born Pakistani boyfriend in to his life in his sleepy village home is told in Resistance (Village Love #1). Rick and Mal’s  meet-cute is told in a short story, Resonance. As Resonance doesn't take place in the village it has been assigned as Village Love 0.5.

Do I need to read the other books in the series to read this one?
No. Each book deals with a separate couple. However, in such as small village people bump into each other all the time. So yes, characters will appear that the reader is introduced to in the previous books. 

Where can I buy the previous books?
Resistance Universal Amazon link myBook.to/Resistance_LF
Resonance Universal Amazon link  myBook.to/ResonanceL_F

At all the other usual suspects: Kobo // B & N // Smashwords. And on my Payhip page. If you buy there and share on social media you’ll get a discount.

And if you buy before Sunday 9th April Resistance is reduced by 75% across the board and Resonance is free everywhere except Amazon.



Will there be more books in the series?
Definitely. I'm gearing up to start work on Book 3, Trevor’s tale. I have very brief story lines, if they work out, for at least a Book 4, and maybe a Book 5. If you read a particular character that you like drop me a line and let me know, I've undoubtedly got a plan to pair him with someone!
I've already been asked about Adam, the coffee shop owner. Yes, he will definitely get his story told.

Why are you telling me this now?
Because Book 2, Renaissance, is now out. So if you've read Resistance and wanted Smudge's story, it's here.

Buy Links: Kobo // Payhip // B&N // Smashwords

Universal Amazon link: myBook.to/Renaissance_LF










Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Renaissance at Kobo

For all those readers that prefer an epub, Renaissance is now available at Kobo.

If you do chose to buy there, could I ask for you to leave a review. In fact if you've bought any of my books from Kobo a review would be appreciated. The review facility there is hardly ever used.





Opposites Attract

It's opposites attract week over at Joyfully Jay. I'm there giving away a copy of Resistance.

There are loads of other brilliant prizes too. Pop on over and see what you could win.


Monday, 3 April 2017

Renaissance - Out today

It's finally here. Release day for Renaissance, book 2 in the Village Love series, and Smudge's story.

Cover Art: Garrett Leigh
Smudge really needs to get laid, if only to stop himself wondering about the softness of Raleigh’s curls and why he keeps running away.

After his tumultuous teenage years, Smudge has settled into his quiet life in the sleepy English village of Slopy Bottom. He’s his own boss with the time and space to indulge his artistic creativity. And he has friends. He’s happy. Satisfied. Lonely. And the pool of potential soulmates is almost non-existent. His friends, Rick and Mal, flush with their own happy romance, keep trying to set him up with the most incompatible men, and he's never finding true love on Grindr. Hell, he's not even going to manage a hook up based on the kinky messages he’s been getting recently. He'll just have to slake his desire to find his own HEA in the pages of bosom-heaving romance novels.

Raleigh is the darling of Slopy Bottom’s blue rinse brigade: church organist, mobile librarian, and apparently wedded to his trademark cardigans. He seems to be the polar opposite of the artistic Smudge, whose brightly coloured mohawk and piercings should be a red flag to Raleigh. Yet he’s yearning for company too. It’s just that Raleigh has less expectation and definitely less courage to chase after it, for reasons that he keeps very close to his chest. Reasons that don’t stop him from being drawn irresistibly to Smudge.

Smudge is sure that the way Raleigh runs from him whenever he sees him is cruelly deliberate. A reflection on his bad boy looks and his disdain for Raleigh’s precious church. So why can’t he stop thinking about the softness of Raleigh’s curls and his delicate body? Then Raleigh offers an olive branch of sugar and caffeine, Smudge’s favourite combination, starting them on a road to an awkward truce. And when they are conned into working together on a community project at the local hospital, the proximity ignites a spark that can’t be ignored. But navigating the murky waters that could take their relationship beyond tentative friendship all depends on whether Raleigh can release his secret fears – and whether Smudge is the man to share and allay them.

Buy Links

Amazon US // Amazon UK // Kobo // Payhip // Smashwords



Friday, 31 March 2017

Fiction Friday

I’ve been a bit quiet this month. Lots going on IRL. I’m afraid I got a bit behind with my Fiction Friday posts. Let’s see if I can do a quick round-up for you guys now.

Hexmaker by Jordan L Hawk. (Hexworld #2). This is probably my favourite series of Jordan’s. I like having a different couple in each story but still having contact with the other couples in a shared world. This one is Owen’s story. When we met him in Hexbreaker, Owen seems very standoffish. Of course, there are reasons for his behaviour that we discover here. Owen is all about doing ‘the right thing’ for his family’s honour. Shame that his familiar is a common thief. Even more infuriating he is everything that Owen wants. Only one problem, Owen’s getting married in a week.  Well plotted and exciting. And so many more people whose stories I want to read, especially Nathan, Owen’s transgender brother.  All the stars!

He’s Behind You by Rebecca Cohen. (Treading the Boards #3) This final book deals with a Christmas panto for the Players. It also has an older MC, who is recently divorced and just starting to embrace his sexuality, and a gaming nerd. I’d have liked more from the Players side of things.

The Laird’s Forbidden Lover by Amelia C Gormley. Men in kilts, what’s not to like. This one is historical. It has a format that I enjoyed but might put other readers off.

I Hate Summer by HT Pantu. This one was hard work but ultimately worth it. At first you wonder why Idrys is attracted to Trystan but it soon becomes clear that Idrys is an unreliable narrator. This one was hard going but I ultimately worth it. I'm surprised there have been no more books from this author.

The Last Grand Master by Andrew Q Gordon. (Champion of the Gods #1) Fantasy adventure. Relationship-wise this is pretty much instalove/fated mates but the relationship isn't really the story. And this is actually a Book One. The story is in no way finished at the end, just at a semi satisfactory conclusion. I’ve already bought book two.

Winter Kill by Josh Lanyon. There’s no use pretending that I’m not a huge Lanyon fangirl. I adore her work and she can get away with a barely-there romance plot because the mystery is so often strong. Honestly her books could have been written just for me. These are the books I wish I could have read in my twenties when I was devouring murder mysteries like chocolate. This one is strong in plot with a slow, low burn romance. Loved it.

When to Hold Them by GB Gordon (Bluewater Bay #9) The Bluewater Bay series general hits all the right buttons for me. This one is no exception. First class hurt/comfort with hot as hell sex scenes.

Laid to Ruins by Isabelle Arden (Lancelot’s Fall #1). Surprise read of the month for me.  This was a freebie purchase. After the first chapter I was seriously considering this as a dnf but I persevered and by the 50% mark I was sucked in and devouring every page. I think my issue with the beginning was that the start felt quite insular and info dumpy, then I couldn’t get my head around this portrayal of Arthur or Lancelot (Merlin has a lot to answer for and fan fiction only makes it worse). Warning: the pov MC is a wanker, the sex borders on dub con (certainly at the beginning), and love doesn’t change people. I have added the sequel to my ‘to read’ list for April (and to buy, because I don’t own it). I can’t think of higher praise than that.

I am the Highway by Jason Huffman-Black. Gorgeously well written with obvious affection between the MCs. Free for Don't read in the Closet event.

I'll Be Your Drill, Soldier by Crystal Rose. I laughed, I loved. I cried. I cried even more when I realised this author had published nothing else. I wanted a sequel that should us how our boys got to that epilogue hint.

And I finally finished Jack of Thorns. So good. Don't worry that it took me so long to read. I was savouring this one. If you don't plan to read the next book straight away then don't read the epilogue.

Only two 5 star read this month (Hexmaker & Jack of Thorns) but plenty of fours.


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Grab a bargain

To celebrate the upcoming release of Renaissance, all the other books in the Village Love series will be reduced in price leading up to the release on 3rd April.

Resistance will be $0.99. That's 75% off! A reduction of $3.
And Resonance will be free.

Amazon
Resistance 

Kobo
Resistance 

Payhip - To obtain the discount use the 'share' button.
Resonance 
Resistance 

Smashwords
Resonance 
Resistance




NB apologies to anyone that has tried to grab Resonance at Amazon for free. Despite me contacting them for a price match, Amazon have yet to reduce the price :( Unfortunately all the power is with the authors in Kindle Unlimited.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Cover reveal - Renaissance

Renaissance, Book 2 in the Village Love series will be hitting the virtual bookshelves early in April. and I have an amazing cover and the blurb for your perusal.
As with the rest of the series the cover art is by the multi-talented Garrett Leigh.




The Book

Smudge really needs to get laid, if only to stop himself wondering about the softness of Raleigh’s curls and why he keeps running away.

After his tumultuous teenage years, Smudge has settled into his quiet life in the sleepy English village of Slopy Bottom. He’s his own boss with the time and space to indulge his artistic creativity. And he has friends. He’s happy. Satisfied. Lonely. And the pool of potential soulmates is almost non-existent. His friends, Rick and Mal, flush with their own happy romance, keep trying to set him up with the most incompatible men, and he's never finding true love on Grindr. Hell, he's not even going to manage a hook up based on the kinky messages he’s been getting recently. He'll just have to slake his desire to find his own HEA in the pages of bosom-heaving romance novels.

Raleigh is the darling of Slopy Bottom’s blue rinse brigade: church organist, mobile librarian, and apparently wedded to his trademark cardigans. He seems to be the polar opposite of the artistic Smudge, whose brightly coloured mohawk and piercings should be a red flag to Raleigh. Yet he’s yearning for company too. It’s just that Raleigh has less expectation and definitely less courage to chase after it, for reasons that he keeps very close to his chest. Reasons that don’t stop him from being drawn irresistibly to Smudge.

Smudge is sure that the way Raleigh runs from him whenever he sees him is cruelly deliberate. A reflection on his bad boy looks and his disdain for Raleigh’s precious church.  So why can’t he stop thinking about the softness of Raleigh’s curls and his delicate body? Then Raleigh offers an olive branch of sugar and caffeine, Smudge’s favourite combination, starting them on a road to an awkward truce. And when they are conned into working together on a community project at the local hospital, the proximity ignites a spark that can’t be ignored. But navigating the murky waters that could take their relationship beyond tentative friendship all depends on whether Raleigh can release his secret fears – and whether Smudge is the man to share and allay them.



Monday, 13 March 2017

Missing England – a Theory Unproven extra


Missing England – a Theory Unproven extra 


Eric carefully slit the brown tape on the parcel that Tyaan had delivered earlier. He pulled back the flaps slowly, savouring the reveal of whatever items his gran had sent him over from England this month. While he never asked for anything outright, she had the knack of gleaning from his letters what he was missing the most and sending that over in her monthly parcel. Of course, she was the thing he missed the most but it was unlikely that she would ever jump out of the box herself—figuratively rather than literally, at 5 foot nothing his gran was small but not that small—since she was petrified of flying. 

His fingers closed around a familiar shaped jar and he tugged it from the box. Marmite. Amazing. He’d been craving the savoury, salty spread for weeks now. He couldn’t say why. That and Star Bars. Maybe with a couple of months in the bushveld under his belt he was missing home, just a little bit. Fish and Chips. Ant and Dec on the telly. Slipping his boots on without having to check for venomous creatures first. Porn at the click of a mouse. Mrs Harris’ scones. His gran’s neighbour made the best scones. 

The rain. Eric couldn’t believe he was saying this but he missed the sudden downpour that could blight even the sunniest summer’s day back in London. The days when rain fell in sheets, dripping off your hair and down your collar. When hay and muck was heavy with the added weight of the water, and dampness mingled with the smell of elephant and rhino, monkeys and zebra, goats and pot bellied pigs as he made his way around the zoo. 

No one would ever believe he missed the rain. 

They would have rain later in the year, Tyaan had reassured him, when Eric had mentioned the dust and his concerns about the watering hole drying up. 

Summer—and didn’t Eric struggle to get his head around the fact that Tyaan was talking October through to March rather than a couple of weeks in late July, early August—would bring even hotter temperatures than Eric had experienced so far, coupled with an increase in humidity. And thunderstorms. By December the bushveld would be more green than brown and flowers would spring up under foot like a carpet. And apparently, if he thought the bushveld was noisy now it was nothing compared to the sounds of nature at its most vibrant, with newborn impala and wildebeest and the influx of migrating birds. Rain almost every afternoon, torrential storms with fantastic lightning displays—fantastic, if you weren’t out trying to fix a fence in it or fly a plane—and flash floods as rivers burst their banks. 

Maybe he should look into stockpiling sand bags and check the maps of the preserve for dried up river banks. Maybe Tyaan could help him; after all a local’s knowledge wouldn’t hurt. Maybe by January he would be cursing the rain once again. 

Eric placed the Marmite on the table in front of him and reached back into the box. A couple of packets of Golden Wonder Cheese and Onion crisps, the DVD of Mama Mia, and a piece of paper. His gran always wrote a letter but that was in an envelope waiting to be opened at Eric’s leisure. Perhaps she'd thought of something after she’d sealed the envelope. Eric glanced at the note and grinned as he read the first line. 

Mrs Harris’ scone recipe. 

Now, if he only knew someone who could bake. 





Universal Amazon link myBook.to/TheoryUnproven_LF

Payhip // Smashwords // Kobo // B&N