I sort of lost the plot for a while – too much to think about – but I’ll carry on with these posts of excerpts from the diary of a young lad living in the Eastern part of Texas in 1869.

The last bit was here where Joe decided he needed to be honest about himself as well as about everyone else.

Jan 28th [Thur]

I don’t think I’ll write every day. What would be the point? Got up ate grits, fed hogs, fed hens, saddled horses, waved Pa and Jacob and Isaac away. That’s every day. I’ll write things that I think are important, or funny, or I think people might want to know.
important, or funny, or I think people might want to know.

Like that we keep Dominie hens, or Old Grey hens some say. They are pale grey but each feather is striped with darker grey and if they sit still in a shadow the little critters are really hard to find. The cocks have bright red combs and the loudest crow to get us all up in the morning. We’d sleep all day if it weren’t for them.

Jan 29th [Fri]

Ma suggested a write a bit about me. So here goes. I’m Joseph Skidmore and I’m eighteen years old. I have brown hair and brown eyes and freckles. I went to school in Mr Dunlap’s parlour like all the other kids round here but I guess the learning stuck a bit more with me than it did with most. I had a sister once but she was killed by the same rattler that bit me and gave me this bum leg. Ma told me that the poison made my leg stop growing properly. I have to use a stick because walking far makes my back hurt, being all to one side and I can’t use stirrups so I can’t rope steers, or rope horses on foot. But I can ride and I drive the buckboard well. There are things I can do and if I’m somewhere where I’m going to stand still for a while I put a block down to put my short foot on that. I read and write better than anyone in the family but Ma and I wondered if I could get a job in town at the store or the undertakers, but the store keeper and the undertaker both have boys of their own. Ben, the undertaker’s son asked Pa if we could swap but Ben’s Pa wouldn’t have it. It’s a good business and Ben’s going to inherit. I don’t know what I’ll inherit. A third share of a ranch doesn’t seem like that much to look forward to to me. But I mustn’t be ungrateful. I could have ended up like my poor sister.

And yet more blog tour!

I’m all over the place!

Today, I’m visiting those scrummy folk at Sinfully Reviews with a guest post about historical precedent in cross dressing for spies. And there’s another chance to enter the contest to win a copy of On A Lee Shore and a gift card.

Here’s the link!

On A Lee Shore is about pirates and treasure and features an uptight hero who is completely out of his comfort zone, a love interest who delights in keeping him off balance and a large cast of scapegraces, cut-throats, ne’er-do-wells and ruffians.

More blog tour!!

I’m visiting Prism Book Alliance today, to answer interview questions and offer an opportunity to enter a contest to win a prize. Additionally, Prism offers a fantastic prize to one lucky commenter each month. Got to be worth a go, right?

Actually no. I’ve already got 3 on the go and need another like a hole in the head. So I’m revisiting books I put aside when I started the ‘getting Eleventh Hour ready to release into the wild’ process.

I’m poking Calon Lan – not much further to go with it which is always when I start second guessing myself and deciding that the end isn’t strong enough. But I’m also reading stuff I wrote last November and haven’t really looked at since. I’ve only tried a little bit of contemporary romance – and that was shifters – so this was new ground to me. But it was fun to write people who could be fairly confident and not have to hide. Also I’m being hugely self indulgent and writing about things that I really like.

Here Mal, museum curator, welcomes Rob, a JCB driver, who has come to the museum to drop off a bunch of flints he has found, though Mal knows, and Rob knows Mal knows, that’s just an excuse.

Mal reached a couple of mugs down from the cupboard and turned on the kettle. “I think I thanked you all for last night, didn’t it? It was good fun.”
“Yeah,” Rob’s grin sounded in his voice but Mal turned to look at him anyway just for the pleasure of it. Rob had taken off his hard hat and put it on the window sill and was leaning against the edge of the window, hands in his pockets and looking out over the patch of grass and shrubs that was all the museum could afford of a garden these days. With his high vis jacket and coveralls undone to show a bright segment of printed tee shirt – the bit Mal could see read “-oun-arm-lu” leaving him to imagine the rest – and with long legs in rigger boots crossed casually at the ankle, he looked both wildly out of place and very much at home. Mal really envied his ease. There was a man, he thought, who knew exactly what he wanted and was fairly confident of getting it.
And what he wants right now – apart from tea – is me!” Mal found that a very satisfying thought. mal's mug
The kettle hissed, the water purred into the mugs soaking the special pyramidal bags that Sharon insisted made much better tea than any other variety. Mal stooped to open the fridge.
“Milk?” Malcolm asked. “Sugar?” Rob had stopped looking out of the window and was watching Mal. Mal could feel it.
“I never say no to a bit of sugar. Bit o’ milk too. Just enough to take the edge off.”
Mal grinned and made the tea then turned and offered Rob his mug.
“Thanks,” Rob said then lifted the mug a bit to read the printing on the side. “Museum curators do it meticulously? Oh. My. God. I hope that’s true.”
Mal snorted. “It’s part of the job to keep the paperwork in good order.”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

Book one about Mal and Rob is called The Bones of our Fathers and is almost done, just needs anothr scene or two and a really severe edit. Book Two – Close Shave – is about 30% done. I should stop messing about with blogs and get on with it, shouldn’t I?

Happy release day to Avylin Winter. This is her first published work, I hope the first of many.

volatile_9781786514547_800 (1)


Like a depressed moth drawn to a wild flame, Chris hoped that flame would brighten his life, not burn him alive.

Chris Sinclair fades into a gray world after losing his mother to cancer. When forced to attend a concert, as a last attempt to coax him out of his shell, he discovers that life might not be as bleak as he first thought.

Dante Heron holds the audience between the tips of his fingers and the delicate bow, playing the violin as if every heart is his to command. However, something darker brews behind the façade, and Chris is determined to solve the enigma.

When Chris is offered the job of traveling around Europe with the famous violinist, he surprises himself by accepting. With no idea of what awaits him, he’s thrown into a world where emotions rule and rules are bent.

They’re a perfectly dysfunctional match, but then there’s always calm at the heart of the storm.

Buy Links:





Author bio:

Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight.

Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her.

She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.

This is Avylinn’s website with all her social media links

signalboosttransparentI often host blog tours but I don’t often do one myself. But I thought I’d give it a go for Eleventh Hour, because I think Miles and Briers deserve it, and I must say that Signal Boost Promotions have made the job so easy. Thank you Signal Boost!

Over the next couple of weeks my book will be popping up in various places around the web. Today a big thank you to My Fiction Nook for hosting my excited thoughts about plumbing. I promise this is relevant to the book.

So plumbing and relevancy – ah, yes, what’s in it for you? A Rafflecopter thingy – check it out, there’s a gift card. You could buy books if you won!! I believe that the way Rafflecopter works is that you can enter more than once so here’s a list of the sites you could visit. Books, people!! Book shopping is the best.


My guest today, for the twelfth and final Summer’s Day interview, is Rebecca Cohen, author of fantasy and historical novels, some of which have huge relevance to this anthology. Also she’s fun and I’ll be able to fangirl her a bit at the UK Meet in a couple of weeks!

Welcome Rebecca and thanks for answering my questions.

What led you to pick your source material for your story?

I love Shakespeare, especially the comedies. This is probably not news to anyone who has read my historical novels. For the anthology I wanted to do something a little different so instead of choosing a particular play (and to be honest I would have trouble picking just one!) I decided to set the story amongst the actors of the time, specifically the King’s Men which was Shakespeare’s acting company. This basically gave be an excuse to have lots of Shakespearean-esque bickering and insults.

Shakespeare definitely has a way with words. What is your favourite insult/endearment/inspiring passage/? Which bit do you wish you had written?

I love Much Ado About Nothing and my favourite bits are when Benedict and Beatrice are squabbling – this is one of my favourite exchanges:

A dear happiness to women: they would else have
been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God
and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that: I
had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man
swear he loves me.
God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some
gentleman or other shall ‘scape a predestinate
scratched face.
Scratching could not make it worse, an ’twere such
a face as yours were.
Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.
I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, and
so good a continuer. But keep your way, i’ God’s
name; I have done.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on the fourth Crofton Chronicle (https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-crofton-chronicles-universe-7098-s). Green Eyed and Black Tempered was a book I never intended to write, but when faced with terrible writer’s block I turned to two of my favourite characters to help.

Could we please have an excerpt?

“Wouldn’t it be glorious to play Lady Macbeth?” Jacob reached out, holding his hand aloft, as if to beseech his audience. “But screw your courage to the sticking place. And we’ll not fail.”
“You’d be better as one of the old crones,” David sneered. “You’ve already got newt eyes.”
Jacob scowled. “What do you mean by that?”
“Beady little eyes, reptilian in nature.” It wasn’t true, Jacob had quite lovely, pale blue eyes, but David wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to twist the dagger.
“You foul, miscreant lout-mouth,” Jacob snarled, sounding far more hurt than David had expected. “I am not surprised you would spew such false words, for you would not dare hope to own a mirror lest you crack the glass with your turnip-shaped head.”
“Turnip-shaped head!” Really, Jacob was too much. Flying off the handle at a little not-so-friendly banter. “Thou art a tiresome, beef-witted barnacle. Better suited to the stews than the stage.”
Jacob sprang to his feet. “No man in their sound mind would pay for your performance, be it on the stage or the stews. You are loathsome and even those who could not see would turn their heads from you.”
David almost knocked his chair over in his haste to stand. “You have gone too far, I will not stand for such a slight against me. I will teach you more with my clenched fist than you are capable of learning with your deafened ears.”
Gwilliam grabbed him before his could throw a punch, and Carl pulled Jacob away. In a foul mood, David threw off his so-called friend, and slunk out of the tavern.


REBECCA COHEN is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes



Release Date: 12th of August

Cover Art: Jay Aheer Simply Defined Art

Genre: MM Mixed*

We have modern retelling of some plays, interpretations of others and one of the sonnets, and delightful referencing of anything Shakespeare.

There is gentle YA romance next to very hot 18+ stories and all kinds of relationships – first love, May/December, interracial, second chances, happy endings and even a tragic one.

We’re travelling from Ancient Rome through Renaissance England to modern day UK, Venice Beach and other places in USA, Vancouver and Havana.

There’s fun, drama, tears, angst, joy and, above all, lots of true love.

Note: All proceeds of this collection go to the It Gets Better Project™.

Buy Links:
amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.de: https://www.amazon.de/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-English-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.com.au: https://www.amazon.com.au/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/655310