Friday, 28 November 2014

December Planned Reading List

With so many books in my TBR pile I like to get some idea of what I intend to read during the coming month. It doesn’t always work, some books are still floundering unread even though they been on my planned reading list since January.

December is easy, though. December is Christmas and Festive Holiday reading. There are a couple of books on this list that I don’t own yet. Also I have pre-ordered Dreamspinner’s Celebrate package so I shall have all of those individual stories to read too.

This list isn’t the order I intend to read in either.

Sleigh Ride is planned as my first read because I’ve been looking forward to reading that for months.

Are there any Christmas stories that didn't make my list that you would recommend for me to read?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

When Love Flue In - Giveaway

Want to win a copy of When Love Flue In?

Head on over to Stumblingoverchaos to enter my giveaway there.

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Can't wait that long? Totally Bound have it available for early download here.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Getting Organised

With the best will in the world I’m not the most organised person. I get by on a method of memory (which is crap btw), a prominent white board (for family stuff), and flying by the seat of my pants. Sometimes it is days before I realise that I haven’t done a blog post on one of my own new releases!

I’ve tried buying myself diaries of all manner and description from the bog standard to a Dodo Pad but I just forget to fill them in or, if I get that far, then I forget to check them every day!

However, with my new resolution to blog more I’m going to have to be on the ball. To that end I’m trying to prepare more posts up front and taking advantage of my blog’s feature to schedule the post in advance, because all the time spent writing posts will be for nothing if I forget to submit or fail to promote them.

I’ve also downloaded some free worksheets to help me keep track of what needs to be done. These can be kept in a file on my laptop and are in a pdf format that can be typed into, so there is no need to print them out unless I really want to. I can access the files whenever I need to without having to search for something physical—that I will have more than likely tidied away, somewhere safe i.e. never to be found again.

The site has a variety of different worksheets available, but I’ve started by making use of the Bog Post Planner & Calendar and the Monthly Action Planner.

I’ve found them particularly helpful with my upcoming release to plan posting dates, organise what needs to be written by when, and identifying deadlines.

I’ve got all the tools at my disposal to be a successful blogger. Except time. TARDIS, anyone?

Monday, 17 November 2014

Review Time

Another review for When Love Flue In, this time from Sexy Erotic Xciting. I'm so pleased to get a 'Sexy and Sizzling' four handcuff review!

"Lillian Francis’ When Love Flue In was a lovely tale built on not only mutual attraction but mutual affection."

"Ms. Francis allowed for character development and led us in a journey of self-discovery and sensuality."

"When Love Flue In should be added to any collection of gentle lovers and Christmas cheer. This short read will not disappoint."

Read the full review here.

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Friday, 14 November 2014

October's reads

This is hopefully going to be another new feature. Gosh, I am embracing this blogging lark. Let's see how long I can keep it up.

October’s reads were a mixture of my favourite authors, some stories from the Loves Landscapes event, and some stuff that has been hanging around on my Kindle for too long.

Books read 20
5 star reads: 4
4 star reads: 7
DNFs:  2

5 star reads

Epiphany by JL Merrow

4 star reads

It's All Geek to Me by JL Merrow

Raising the Rent by JL Merrow

Torn by Angela Maye

I Spy Pecan Pie by Anna Birmingham

And for those who only think I read gay romance. A 4 star read from October ( September, August, and July—it took 3 months to read)

The American Boy by Andrew Taylor

In November I'm planning on continuing to read some Halloween inspired spooky reads as well as more standard fare. If I get the chance to read ever again with all these blog posts I have to write!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Welcome to Katherine Halle

Hi everyone!
A big thank you to Lillian for hosting me today! I'm here to talk about my new novella with Dreamspinner, Fixing the Hole. Actually, I'm here to let my MC's talk about their story. Let me introduce you to Steve Crowell and Riley Jones. It's all yours, boys, men, *cough* um, Steve and Riley.
Riley breaks out into a huge grin and waves. Steve's ears pink up and he gives a small smile. Riley snorts and squeezes Steve's thigh.
"So, we're Riley and Steve, well, I’m Riley, he's Steve and I talk enough for both of us. Which is a good thing considering that Steve doesn't really like to talk. Okay well, he doesn't really talk to strangers, he talks to me all the time. Especially – oof."
Riley groans as Steve elbows him in the gut.
"I'm Steve. I'm a lawyer and I'm here to make sure Riley doesn't say anything that will get us in trouble. And I do so talk," he shoulders into Riley again.
Riley rubs his side and laughs. "Oh yes, you do, especially in the b-oof. Stop elbowing me. It's not like I’m going to share your pillow talk! Next you'll be telling them to get off our lawn."
Riley just lets out a mischievous laugh. "If you hadn't guessed, Steve's obviously the more mature one of the two of us, although that does not mean he is not without energy. Because believe me, the man has got stamina. If you know what I mean," he winks at me conspiratorially.
"Oh my God," Steve's cheeks go pink and he hangs his head. "I don't think the nice lady was expecting such a ribald interview."
"Oh come on, she wrote us, of course she was." Riley turns his attention back to me. "Speaking of interviews, did you have any questions?"
"Well, I was going to ask how things are going, but just watching the two of you, it's obvious things are going quite well."
Riley and Steve share an intimate look, one that makes me feel like I'm intruding. They find each other's hands and link them together before meeting my gaze again.
"Things are going well. My contracting business has taken off. I've actually had to hire a bookkeeper and another builder to help with all the jobs. And Steve is my personal lawyer, he looks over all the contracts, makes sure everything is on the up and up."
"And Steve?"
"I would agree with Riley. Things are going very well. We're even thinking about moving in together," he glances over at Riley and squeezes his hand.
"Well, that's fantastic news!"
"Yes it is," Riley says, a big smile spreading across his face. "It means I no longer have to drive thirty minutes if I want –"
"Okay, that's enough of that," Steve says sternly, leaning over and giving Riley a quick kiss on the mouth. Except Riley tangles his hand in Steve's hair and within seconds it's clear the interview is over.
"Well, um, thank you both for being here. I guess we'll sign off for now. They'll be available um, *cough* in a little while to answer any additional questions you might come up with. Just post them below. Thank you all!"
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Thanks to Lillian for hosting me today!

Heavy rains and strong winds slammed an uprooted tree through Steve Crowell’s roof, leaving a gaping hole to match the one in his heart. After his ex left him for a younger man, Steve’s not sure he’s ready to handle another disaster. His best friend highly recommended the contractor, but the man’s already late, and when he shows up with his music thumping, Steve isn’t impressed—until Riley steps out of his pickup truck. Personable, gorgeous Riley talks a mile a minute, which Steve finds both ridiculously endearing and terrifying. Piecing together a heart isn’t as easy as fixing a roof, but Riley might just be the right man for the job.

I was just about to look at my watch again when I heard a pickup truck come rattling up the driveway, loud pop music blaring from the open window.
Silence reigned when the engine cut off. I watched as a wiry young man opened the door and stepped out. I looked him over and took in the muscular legs shaped by a tight pair of jeans. My gaze roved over muscles barely contained by a fitted, army green Henley, finally landing on bright green eyes set in a young face under a military-style buzz cut of brown hair.
"Hi." The young man strode forward, his hand outstretched. "I'm Riley Jones and you must be Steven Crowell. Sorry for being late. My dad tried to convince me to make him eggs and bacon instead of the oatmeal he should be eating for his heart, and he wouldn't let up until I promised to make him a big breakfast this weekend."
Confused by this outpouring of information, I found myself stupidly saying, "Breakfast?"
"Yeah, my mom died when I was in junior high, so it's been the two of us for so long that I just never moved out. I mean, I was gone during college, but then I came back, started my contracting business and it was just cheaper to live with him than get my own place. Then he had some heart trouble and if I don't make him eat right, he'll just eat burgers and fries or those god-awful frozen dinners all the time. And wow, sorry, I just keep talking, don't I? Why don't you show me what you need done, Mr. Crowell?"

Buy Links:
Katherine Halle is known as the “Queen of Happy Endings.” She firmly believes that no matter what the obstacles, what the struggles, or how much angst is involved in the journey, that the ending should always be a happy one.
Katherine’s love of the written word started at a very early age with repeated demands of “read to me” to any who would listen. It was only natural that writing would follow. As a child, she could often be found daydreaming, thinking up fanciful stories and writing them down. Now she does it on a laptop. Much faster.
Katherine’s favorite animal is her dog. She likes books, movies, and quirky television shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hart of Dixie. She loves cooking and watching cooking shows. She has lived in both Europe and the United States and loved both. When she’s not writing or plotting, Katherine enjoys spending her time listening to music, reading books written by other people, and being with her family.
You can find Katherine here:

Monday, 10 November 2014

First review for When Love Flue In

The first review of the revised edition of When Love Flue In is now in from Nautical Star Reviews and I'm pleased to say it gets a solid four stars.

"When Love Flue In had me smiling about half way through the book.  I always know I am going to love a story when it actually makes me FEEL something!"
"I loved the details that the author provided and the wonderful character development."
"Reagan’s mom is just awesome"
"If you are looking for a short and sweet romance to get you in the Christmas spirit, When Love Flue In is a great choice!  There is a sweet and gentle buildup to Dominic and Reagan’s relationship and when they finally give in to temptation, the heat is phenomenal.  After years of longing glances and private fantasies, they finally get what they have wanted for so very long!"

Friday, 7 November 2014

November plans and a notification

In an endeavour to be more visible I've decided to do a post toward the beginning of the month (yes I know we're already a week in but I only decided to so this two days ago) laying out my objectives for the month.

As many of you know, I'm a snail pace slow writer (made even slower at the moment by the fact that I'm trying to cram Arrow Season 2 before Season 3 gets too far ahead and I get spoiled) so many of these posts will just read

Continue working on *insert working title of current manuscript here*.

Hopefully, I will be able to come up with something more exciting than that on a monthly basis but if not at least you'll know I'm still writing.

So, on to my plans for November.

Continue working on my novella tentatively titled New Lease of Life. It currently stands at 43K, so I think it has passed the realms of novella and is firmly burrowed into novel territory. With at least four more key scenes and a possible epilogue to write I can see that heading up to 70K quite easily which puts finishing the first draft deep into December.

Write at least five blog posts for blog stops to get the word out about When Love Flue In. I have four blogs already agreed for stops, three with dates attached.

Get some reading in.

Contact Chris at Stumbling over Chaos to do a giveaway.

If by a miracle the first draft of NLoL gets finished; start research into Astrochelys yniphora. Sounds impressive, hey?

Next month I'll let you know how I got on :)

Oh, and I nearly forgot the notification.

When Love Flue In is available for early download from today.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

I suck

I suck at a fundamental part of being an author in the 21st century. Honestly, I do.

I totally suck at social media.

My blog has the most famous attribute of a London bus--you wait forever for a post and then three come along at once.
I tweet sporadically.
And I wouldn't touch facebook with somebody else's rusty pole.

Why, when I am obviously so eloquent *rolls eyes* do I find keeping up with social media such a challenge.

Firstly, and probably the main reason, is that I have a very limited time set aside to actually write. And that includes blog posts. I'm sacrificing a day's work on my latest manuscript* to write and upload this post. There is a key word in that last sentence. Sacrificing. I see social media as a necessary evil which keeps me from the part of the job that I love, the act of story telling.

Secondly, much of social media boils down to authors waving their arms around and screaming 'hey, look at me'. It's hard to be heard amongst the shifting tide of other authors or the latest tropes and the louder and more often you shout the more likely someone will take a look at what you are offering. (Of course, go too far on that path and start forcing your way into conversations or your wares on unsuspecting readers and you will do more harm than good.) Unfortunately, as I've said before somewhere on this blog, I'm really not very good at blowing my own trumpet *insert lewd joke and Frankie Howerd's eyebrows here*.

That said I'm well aware that some changes need to be made. I will attempt to ensure there is at least one post a week here at the blog. Sometimes it won't amount to much more than what my plans and goals are for the coming month or it could even be as little as one of my own photos to brighten up your day, but I will attempt to be more visible.

Now, if I could just get some more traffic at my blog I'd know I wasn't just shouting into the ether.

*intended to be a short story for the Dreamspinner Random Act of Kindness submission, the story has escaped the confines of the 11k word count and is now racing through novella territory and heading toward novel length. Something else I suck at...