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What’s Up, Pussycat?

Release date: July 7, 2017
Length: 24,300 words
Cover Design: Simon Searle

 

Blurb
Finley Harrington despairs of ever being able to move on after the death of Andrew, the love of his life. When he spots an advertisement for auditions for Cats, the last musical Andrew performed in, Finley acts on the spur of the moment and calls for an appointment to audition.
Much to Fin’s surprise, he gets the part he hopes for, but during his struggles with stage-fright, and the teasing of a fellow actor, Karl Rogers, he wonders if he’s made a huge mistake. But Karl’s irritating persona hides a different person inside, and when Fin gets to know him, he develops a surprising attraction to him.
Could Karl be the person to help Fin move on from the past, or is he destined to remain alone?

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Excerpt:

The members of the cast began arriving half an hour later when the three of us were warming up, and my impression of the first man through the door was one of shock. I’d seen Karl Rogers who played Rum Tum Tugger from a distance a few times when I attended the shows in Leicester, but never without his cat costume. He was tall—at least six feet—and his shock of peroxide hair and startling green eyes drew everyone’s attention. His lycra leggings emphasized a large package, and a bright orange cropped T-shirt and matching ballet shoes completed his outfit. He charged into the room like a whirlwind.

“So! Who do we have here?” he shouted, looming over Annette and me, where we stood stretching our hamstrings. “You look weirdly familiar.” He jabbed a finger in my direction, before turning his attention to Annette. “What a pretty kitty. What’s your name, then, darling?” He pronounced the endearment “dahling” and I cringed. I hoped the rest of the cast weren’t like Karl. I’d met a couple of them, but I preferred to keep my distance and monopolize Andrew when the shows were over.

“Annette,” the girl said. “And that’s Finley. The other guy is James.”

Karl spun around to look at James, gave him a cursory nod, then turned back to me. He took a step closer, forcing me to look up.

“Cute!” Karl exclaimed. “Cat got your tongue?” He proceeded to shriek with laughter at his lame joke, and my face heated under the scrutiny.

“I’ve not had the chance to get a word in,” I blurted, and immediately cringed. My voice tended to sound more refined when I was irritated. I couldn’t help my parents or the school I’d gone to, but for the past few years I’d done my best to shake off the accent and sound more like everyone else. I knew Karl would say something, even before he opened his mouth again.

“Ooh, someone swallowed a silver spoon, didn’t they? Wait. Finley? Finley Harrington? Golly, I’m surprised Mummy and Daddy let their little boy do something as lower class as performing on the stage. Shouldn’t you be a lawyer or a doctor or something?” Karl spoke in an exaggerated tone, and my face burned.

“Wow, someone loves himself.” James moved to my side and cocked an eyebrow at Karl.

“I have a sense of humor. You should try it some time.” Karl laughed, and James scowled at him. The boisterous dancer ignored him, and draped an arm around Annette’s shoulders. “You never told me your name, Kitty.”

“Yes, I did. It’s Annette.”

 

Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Social Media

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Blog: http://www.louiselyonsauthor.com
Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com

And just to put a cherry on it, here’s the brand new and utterly charming release from Lillian Francis.

Just Hanging Out

 

Only 99p

 

The Blurb

“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:

// Payhip // Smashwords // Amazon UK // Amazon Universal // Amazon US //

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.

http://lillianfrancis.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter @LillianFrancis_

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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.

* * * * *

 

 

I’m so glad this book is being released again, keeping its original cover. I love it to bits, especially Jasper because I feel a real kinship for anyone who takes comfort from tottering towers of books. Also with Lewis’s wildly embarrassing parents. 🙂

If you haven’t read it before, give it a go. There are riches within.

Stories That Make You Smile

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My guest today, Alexa Milne, isn’t known to me personally but I would so love to rectify that. How about it Alexa? Do you think you might make Queer Company 3 in 2018?

Meantime, many thanks for playing along and answering my questions.

~~~

Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?

I was born in Wales in the area where my latest book, While You See a Chance is set. I’ve lived in the north of England for a long time but am still passionate about being Welsh and supporting my national teams. I’m retired after teaching for thirty years which means I don’t have an evil day job.
I started writing in 2009 when my favourite character was killed in Torchwood, my favourite show. I’ve written over a million words of fanfiction. I decided to try to write something original, and as I’d written m/m stories in fanfics, kept to that genre with my first novel, Sporting Chance.

I try to write most days but I’m not the most disciplined of writers and often have times when I write a lot or a little. I plan a little and create an A3 sheet for each story which I jot down things about the characters, backstories, events, motivations and friends and family.

 

When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?

I’m not sure whether this counts as a creative activity but I like researching family trees. I started doing my own way back in the eighties when you had to go to London and shift around their huge volumes or to local record offices which is my case took me to Cardiff, Newport, Worcester, Warwick, Taunton and Stafford and Lichfield.

I’ve since done a lot of other peoples’ trees and it can be fascinating. You’ll find a bit about genealogy in While You See a Chance as Sion Goff has returned to Wales to help solve a family mystery he has discovered. What he finds astonishes him.

 

In that crucial inspiration stage of a new story which comes first? Plot, situation or character?

I’m very much a punster with minimal plotting. Usually I get an idea of a meeting and the characters develop after that. Sometimes, there’s a setting as in another new book, My Highland Cowboy. The idea for that came from a TV programme and my love of Scotland. My WIP came from watching kitten cams as one of the MCs fosters kittens and this MC is based on a documentary I saw of a person who was adopted searching for his birth mother.

As I write romance the end is the same but how I get the MCs together is another matter. Sometimes I throw in obstacles or the characters do it themselves. Some stories are more about keeping them together than tearing them apart. I love a bit of hurt/comfort and angst.

 

Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them? Do you have a crisp mental picture of them or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?

Sometimes a character arrives fully formed at other times they reveal themselves. I’ve changed what a character looks like often when it simply doesn’t fit. The physicality of a character matters to me. I tend to write about ordinary men rather than those with the perfect abs. I keep a spreadsheet of characters which often gets edited in order to remember about eye and hair colour or height and size as well as notes on their backgrounds.

Is there any genre you would love to write, ditto one you would avoid like a rattlesnake?

I taught history and I’d love to write a historical story but so far a plot has eluded me except for one set around the murder of Lord Darnley which maybe I’ll write one day. I’d also like to write some f/f romance. I’ve written a few fanfiction stories and have a few ideas. I doubt I’ll ever write m/f. I’ve tried on occasion and my beta readers say it’s awful.

What inspired you to write about older characters?

I have two books out soon. Once thing I’d noticed about the m/m genre was the lack of older characters and heading towards sixty myself, I decided to write a second chances story about two men who had been childhood friends meeting again nearly forty years later. The story While You See a Chance, out on general release from 1st May with Manifold Press, came from that and developed into exploring being gay in three different generations.

The inspiration for my other story, My Highland Cowboy, out on general release with Pride Publishing on 6th June, came from a report on the programme Countryfile about five years ago which discussed diversity in farming. I came up with the idea of an American style ‘dude’ ranch set in the Highlands of Scotland near Glencoe, an area I love. As I love opposites attract and MCs who’ve had to hide their feelings for some reasons, these ideas formed and drove the story.

When writing series, what measures do you take to keep track of those annoying little details – eye colour, car type, name of ex-spouse’s dog – that are so easy to drop into text and so easy to forget about?

I have a list in which I try to include everything about each character in the story. My main problem is continuity of story. In the edits, I always end up having to rewrite events. Perhaps I need a chapter spreadsheet for this as well.

Put together your ideal team of men/women – drawing from all and any walks of life, fictional or non-fictional – who you would want to come to your rescue if menaced by muggers/alligators/fundamentalists?

My ideal team would be Captain Jack Harkness, The Doctor, The Winchesters with Castiel and more surprisingly Crowley, any of the Avengers, Canary and Snart from Legends of Tomorrow, Buffy and Miles, and lastly, Hermoine and Peggy Carter. I’m a bit of a geek.

Villains are incredibly important in fiction since they challenge the main protagonists and give them something to contend with beyond the tension of a developing relationship. The cruel sea. The serial killer. The society itself. Your hero’s inner demons. What sort of villains do you prize?

I’ve not written any out and out villains but I love them in my favourite programmes. I love the characters who do good while retaining an element of being bad like Spike from Buffy, Loki from the Avengers, and Crowley from Supernatural.

What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished?

I have two WIPs. Half Full is about an MC who fosters cats, is mixed race and was adopted when little. There are other things I won’t disclose. The other MC provides the title. Jonah was thrown out of a home ruled by his grandfather when he was fourteen for being gay. Luckily, he got help and inspiration for his career from the people who found him and he’s always been one of nature’s optimists and loves helping people, especially children and amateur dramatics and is somewhat larger than life. There is a romance but also a lot about discovery. This one is at 70K words and getting towards completion.

The other WIP is about two younger men in their twenties, one a student and the other just graduated who meet on a bus. One has never considered himself interested in men but finds himself drawn to the other. There are lots of secondary characters and a secret one MC discovers which throws out every idea he’s ever had about his family. This one is at 20K and near the middle.

Could we please have an excerpt of something? 

Here is an excerpt from While You See A Chance.
While You See a Chance

“D’you want help with packing your shopping, sir?” the girl on the till asked in a sing-song voice typical of the area.

“No, thanks, I haven’t got much.” He pulled off a few plastic bags, a difference from the usual brown paper of American supermarkets. In a hurry, he didn’t pay much attention to the people around until a voice, that came from so long ago, distracted him. He lifted his head.

“You have to pay five pence each for those, sir. New rules.”

Sion turned his attention back to the girl. “That’s fine. Don’t worry.”

“You could get a bag for life, sir.”

“Whatever’s easiest.”

He glanced over to the other till in the direction of the voice where a large man stood stuffing his purchases into a bag. He stood well over six feet, with broad shoulders, which Sion supposed tapered down to narrower hips. A heavy suede coat covered the man’s rear, making it hard to tell. His luxuriant salt and pepper locks reflected the many shades that older ginger-haired men often had when mixed with grey. Strands curled over the fur collar of his coat. Something familiar about the man made Sion’s senses tingle.

The assistant at the other till spoke to the customer. “That’ll be eighteen seventy-four please, Mr Price, and I’ll see you at parents’ evening tonight. I hope Jamie’s been behaving himself this term.”

Sion’s breath hitched, and the girl on his till gave him a puzzled look as he turned away. The noise he’d made must have been more audible than he’d intended. Now he was absolutely certain of the man’s identity, even if he hadn’t seen his face. He leaned on the counter and took a deep breath, hoping to slow his racing pulse.

“Are you all right, sir?” the girl asked. “I guess with that accent you’re not from around here. On holiday, is it? It’s a lovely part of Wales, even at this time of year. Lots to do.”

“Yes, sorry, and no, I’ve just moved here,” he said, raising his head to meet her concerned gaze, but keeping his face down. “How much do I owe?”

The girl told him and he handed over the money in a hurry, not wanting to lose sight of the other man. Sion followed his childhood friend until he stopped behind a Land Rover near the entrance. Shaking slightly, Sion moved nearer.

“Phil?” he asked quietly, not wanting to make the man jump.

“What the – ?” Phil stared at him then rubbed his eyes as if he couldn’t quite believe them.

The shock on his friend’s face made Sion step back for a moment. He took in the figure in front of him. Phil had turned into a huge bear of a man, complete with beard. He’d always had the height, but now he had the breadth as well. Sion imagined his size might intimidate the small children in his charge. Now, Phil simply stared, his eyes wide with shock, then took a step backwards as if he’d seen a ghost.

“It’s me, Phil,” Sion said. He supposed he’d also changed over the last thirty years. His hair, now grey, was cut short at the sides but longer on top. He’d put on a few pounds since his teens, but remained lean and wiry, although more through luck and genetics, than diet and exercise.

“Bloody hell.” Phil continued staring, then put out his hand. Sion took it, and they stood shaking and saying nothing for an awkward moment. “My God, Sion, hmm, I’m sorry, I wasn’t expecting … What on earth are you doing here? Are you here for Christmas?”

“I’ve just bought a house locally. I’m back to stay. I guess I’m the last person you expected to find out shopping. Mind you, I could say the same for you. I thought you lived up north.”

“I’ve been back four years. I’m head at a local primary school. When Helen and I got divorced, I decided to come home to Wales. So, why on earth are you here of all places?”

Sion had to collect his thoughts and process that information. Phil and Helen had split up? Come on, get your act together. “I decided to move back after … It doesn’t matter for now, it’s a long story. Look, why don’t you and I have dinner tonight and catch up? There must be a decent local restaurant – unless you’re busy, of course. Sorry, that was presumptuous of me.”

Phil lifted the bag into his car then slammed the boot closed. “No … I mean yes. I’m sorry, I can’t do tonight. I’ve got to get going. I slipped out at lunchtime to get a few bits and pieces for parents’ evening.”

Sion heard the shake in his old friend’s voice, but resisted the temptation to reach out and touch him again. “It’s okay,” Sion said, reaching into his pocket for his wallet. He took out a change-of-address card. “I live here now. Call me any time.”

Sion waited while Phil parked the trolley in the bay to the front of the building and returned to his car.

“I will, but I’m not sure when. It’s a busy time of year, leading up to the holidays.” Phil glanced at his watch. “I’ve got to go.”

Sion moved closer and this time touched the other man’s arm. “It’s so good to see you again.”

Phil continued to stare at the ground, obviously unable to look him in the eye. “You too, but I must get off. I’ll call as soon as I can.” Phil jumped into his car without looking back.

Sion watched the Land Rover pull out of the car park before returning to his SUV. Sitting in the driver’s seat, he reached for his wallet again. Tucked away inside, he found the photo he’d carried with him for over thirty years, taken the day before he went off on his own to Oxford University. Everyone had called them the Three Musketeers, himself, Phil and Helen, always together, sharing everything except their deepest darkest secrets. Sion had loved Phil with a passion, but had never told him. Phil and Helen had gone off together to Manchester University, and had married not long after they’d graduated. Not wanting to stay, Sion had emigrated to America to lecture in history at Yale.

Leaning back in his seat, he thought back to the conversation he’d had with Helen the day before he’d left for Oxford. He’d often wondered if she ever told Phil about his confession that, being gay, he could never feel that way about her. Sion hoped she hadn’t. He’d been surprised to hear of their engagement, but hoped she’d come to love Phil. For the truth and tragedy of Sion’s life was that he’d only ever been in love with one person, and he’d just watched him drive away.

While You See a Chance

Blurb

As children growing up in South Wales, Sion, Phil and Helen were known as the Three Musketeers, always together and never apart – but time moves on. Sion left to lecture in history at Yale. Phil married Helen because it seemed the obvious thing to do, and they settled down to life in Manchester.

Now all three are approaching sixty. After the death of his partner, and wanting to solve a family mystery, Sion returns to his childhood home to start again. When Helen announces she wants a divorce, Phil also returns home, to a new teaching job, and to renovate the ruin of a house he and Sion once dreamed of living in.

Neither man knows the other is back. Neither man knows how the other feels. With so much unsaid, and so many years apart, can Sion and Phil finally face the truth and take a chance on finding happiness together?

myBook.to/WhileYouSeeAChance links to all amazon but just in case

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XW5694F/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1491058183&sr=8-3&keywords=alexa+milne

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XW5694F/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1491058376&sr=1-1&keywords=alexa+milne

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/714329

 

My Highland Cowboy

Blurb

Duncan McLeish owns a ranch. Unlike most ranches, this one is in the Scottish Highlands. Having inherited a failing farm from his grandfather, he turns it into a successful business. He has friends, he loves his home, but he’s lonely, and not even infrequent trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh slake that thirst to find someone. Then Drew Sinclair walks into his life.

Drew Sinclair is tantalizingly close to getting his clothes brand noticed in the industry. He and his business partner, Joy, design individual dresses, while on the side, Drew designs and produces a line of men’s lingerie. He visits Scotland to design dresses for his sister, Jenna, who is marrying Duncan’s best friend at Christmas.

Duncan and Drew have nothing except their Highland upbringing in common, but they say opposites attract, and the attraction is immediate. Is this simply a summer fling, or can two men who live such opposite lives, miles away from each other, find a way to love?

Publisher link for pre order from 25th April – https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/my-highland-cowboy

Link to all Amazon – myBook.to/MyHighlandCowboy

Author Info:

Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions.

Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing. She is currently owned by two mad cats and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.

Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/alexa.milne.5

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Alexa_Milne

Blog – http://alexamilne1234.blogspot.co.uk/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8306423.Alexa_Milne

Email – alexamilne1234@outlook.com

 

My guest today is one of my favourite writers in this multifaceted genre and also, coincidentally, one of my favourite people 😀

Chris Quinton is here today to tell us about her book Love in Three Moves and to answer some questions about her writing process.

Welcome Chris.

Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?

I don’t have a day job, which should give me plenty of time to write. Of course, it doesn’t work out that way – I have back problems which mean I can’t sit at a keyboard for long. I’m also a sloooow writer, which doesn’t help.

When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?

I like to quilt, and to knit, though the latter is only an ongoing supply of fingerless mitts [totally idiot-proof to make]. Back when I was more mobile, I was a 15th century re-enactor, which I loved. I got to spin, embroider, and dance. I have a few ideas to use a re-enacting scenario, but they are too vague to be even a plot bunny for now.

What are you reading? Can you recommend something that you wished you’d written yourself?

Oh, Gods, the list of wish-I’d-written-it books is far too long! Let’s go with anything by CJ Cherryh for SFR and Fantasy, Lindsey Davis for Historical, Dorothy L Sayers for Mystery. On the reading front, I’m rereading CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner series for the umpteenth time. IMO she is right at the top of the list of the best SF writers of all time.

In that crucial inspiration stage of a new story which comes first? Plot, situation or character?

Situation and characters first, then the plot grows organically. But with pruning and training as required. I often have to backtrack and add in elements that occur to me as I’m going along – the definitive description of a Pantster…

Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them? Do you have a crisp mental picture of them or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?

I usually have a pretty clear image of them and what makes them tick. Odd quirks might appear as the story grows.

What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.

At the moment I’m working on Interface, an SF story set in a distant part of the galaxy…

Could we please have an excerpt of something?

Here’s a short piece from Love In Three Moves, three short stories charting the ups and downs in a love affair… This is from the first one, It Takes Two:

“It’s me,” David Grainger called as he opened the front door and walked into the large studio apartment. “Are you back? Babs has been nagging me again. Did you get the Stravinsky commis – ?” He stopped in his tracks. Yes, Ben was back from Geneva. The room looked like Selfridges at the end of a sale day. Cushions, bedcovers, pillows and odd items of clothing lay scattered over floor and furniture, and the warm air was heavy with an exotic, expensive perfume. But over all hung the scent of sex.

Who was it this time? David wondered, irritated. Roger, Melanie, or both? Not that he gave a damn who Ben took to his bed. No, he was peeved because he’d heard nothing from the man for several days. Phone calls and texts had all been ignored, and Barbara wasn’t the only one pissed off about it. Important matters hung on the success of Ben’s trip to Switzerland. Sometimes the man was an irresponsible pain in David’s arse.

Fastidious as a cat, he picked his way across the room, nose wrinkling as the assorted aromas assaulted his nostrils, and David thanked whichever gods looked after dissolute idiots that the used condoms had ended up in the waste bin and not on the floor.

Ben, the other half of Grainger & Tremayne Antiques, enjoyed a varied love life. Ten years of friendship, five of which included a highly successful working partnership, meant they’d shared keys long ago and had free range of each other’s homes in the same Canary Wharf up-market apartment block. It wouldn’t be the first time David had strolled in at the wrong moment. He was bisexual himself, but his own exploits in the relationship arena were a lot less adventurous. Or numerous.

“Ben? Are you still alive?”

 

###

Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XTBV4KB

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713621

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/love-in-three-moves

 

BLURB

 

Love in Three Moves – Three short stories chart a passionate love affair: yet true love rarely runs smoothly.

It Takes Two

David Grainger and Ben Tremayne are perfect partners in business and friendship – and finally they give in to the temptation of taking that further. Their passionate love has been brewing for a long time, and everything about their new affair is wonderful – until it isn’t.

Breaking Point

Ben hasn’t seen his ex-lover David, for a year. He lives alone with his remorse for breaking up their affair, overwhelmed by his fear of commitment rather than his love for David. When, out of the blue, David asks him for a favour, Ben grudgingly agrees. The simple errand takes a complicated turn.

Clue Game

Once instrumental in reuniting Ben and David, their friend Barbara Curtis now needs the couple’s help with her own love-life. Despite being in Paris on their pre-honeymoon, Ben and David are caught up in the ensuing puzzle, involving a Paris art gallery, the works of Shakespeare, a devious crossword, a pair of precious earrings – and satisfaction for Barbara’s heart.

Chris Quinton – a Bio

Chris started creating stories not long after she mastered joined-up writing, somewhat to the bemusement of her parents and her English teachers. But she received plenty of encouragement. Her dad gave her an already old Everest typewriter when she was ten, and it was probably the best gift she’d ever received – until the inventions of the home-computer and the worldwide web.

Chris’s reading and writing interests range from historical, mystery, and paranormal, to science-fiction and fantasy, writing mostly in the Gay genre. She also writes the occasional mainstream novel in the name of Chris Power. She refuses to be pigeon-holed and intends to uphold the long and honourable tradition of the Eccentric Brit to the best of her ability. In her spare time [hah!] she reads, or listens to audio books while quilting or knitting. Over the years she has been a stable lad [briefly] in a local racing stable and stud, a part-time and unpaid amateur archaeologist, a civilian administrator at her local police station, and a 15th century re-enactor.

She lives in a small and ancient city not far from Stonehenge in the south-west of the United Kingdom, and shares her usually chaotic home with her extended family, three dogs, a Frilled Dragon [lizard], sundry goldfish and tropicals.

Her blog/website is: http://chrisquinton.com

Her Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/chris.quinton.1

Update

I’m off to my compulsory Welsh class shortly – aka dosbarth Cymraeg gorfodol – but first I’m going to allow myself a bit of a squee. The Bones of Our Fathers [contemp m/m] is finally finished bar the annoying whizz through to insert missing commas and work out why Scrivener has exported it with all my italics as underscores instead. It’s a shade under 80k words and will probably be 80k when I’ve looked it over and added the inevitable “OMG they never mentioned that again” bits.

And because that is nearly done, I thought I’d mention some of the other things in the pipeline.

Calon Lan – only with the proper little ^ over the A – is with Manifold Press and will be published later this year. I think maybe August 1st but making no promises. This is the historical Great War m/m story told from the point of view of the sister of one of the protagonists.

Manifold Press has a call out for submissions for a WW2 themed anthology called Call to Arms. I’ve got a story almost ready to go to submission for that.

I’m a couple of thousand words into Eleventh Hour #2 – I’ve missed Miles and Briers – but I still have no title. I sort of fancy Midnight Departure because that happens. I think it will be shorter than EH#1 but who knows.

Close Shave – sequel to Bones is around 35k words and I have bits and pieces and plans and plots for at least 4 more books and a couple of short stories.

A Fierce Reaping [hist m/m set in post-Roman Britannia] is still at 65k words and needs 30k of those editing out and another 70k adding to tell the whole thing. Not sure what to do with that one. I’ve also got plots and plans and resources for The Hounds of the North [hist m/m 1st century Rome and Britannia] and The Shepherd’s Hut [hist m/m WW2 set near Eastbourne].

Now I just need to get my head down and write.

Today is my turn to play host for RJ Scott’s annual Autism Awareness blog hop.

Previous hosts and those that cover the dates for the rest of the month may be found here on RJ’s blog.

As you will know by now, if you have followed all the posts in the blog hop, autism manifests in a lot of different ways. For some people, like Andy Warhol and Tim Burton, it gives them a unique view of the world that brings them celebrity, for others its a challenge to be faced but there are still joys to be experienced and big wins to be celebrated.

Every child should be given opportunities to try new things, see new sights and enjoy new experiences so they can find the things that give them joy and will help them to be stronger and happier adults.

 

Let’s not deny people their opportunities to shine, to stand up and crow and say ‘Look, I did that’.

Just because someone doesn’t do things the same way as most people, it doesn’t make their achievements less important.

All these quotes are taken from the Autism Speaks website which can be found Here.

More information on autism can be found on these websites:

http://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/myths-facts-stats.aspx

http://nationalautismassociation.org/resources/autism-fact-sheet/

http://kerrymagro.com/68-things-to-know-about-autism-for-autism-awareness-month/

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html

And here, again, is the link to RJ’s masterpost – http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/autism-awareness-blog-hop-2017.html

Since this is a blog hop and blog hops mean presents, if you leave a comment with your email I will pick a winner at the end of the month and we’ll have a chat about what you would prefer to receive. Until then happy hopping.

xxx