Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘New Release’ Category

Artwork by Meredith Russell

Artwork by Meredith Russell

I read this book at beta level and I’m SO glad to see it back on the shelves again. With engaging MCs, an exciting and unusual setting and some fantastic secondary characters, both human and animal, it’s a great treat and highly recommended.

Blurb

Realising their love will be a hard fought battle. Keeping hold of it might just kill them.

 An unexpected job offer finds zoologist Eric Phillips transported from the elephant house at a zoo just outside London to the wildlife reserves in the South African bushveld. Being able to work with his own herd of elephants, and analysing their behaviour, more than makes up for the remote nature of the research station. The one bright spot on the horizon, quite literally if the sun hits it at the right angle, is the silver freight plane that brings his supplies and half an hour in the company of Tyaan, the gorgeous but taciturn pilot.

With wide open spaces and clear skies, Tyaan Bouwer is never be happier than when he’s flying over the bushveld, the landscape beneath him a changing vista of colour and texture. It’s that view and the freedom to be able to climb in his plane and fly that’s kept him in the small town where he was born and raised. South Africa might be a rainbow nation but in the northern regions where neighbouring countries are far from liberal minded, prejudices and hatred bleed across the borders. Tyaan’s not in the closet, not really. Get him to the city and with his strong, silent routine he can pull a guy without even trying. He’s fine with that as long as they don’t press him into trying to see them again. It’s not like he wants a relationship. And just maybe when he gets home he’s hovering in the doorway of that closet, but he’s never met anyone worth taking the risk for.

The day he’s sent to Limpopo to collect Eric that all changes. He tries to bury the feelings of want that Eric conjures in him, but he can’t resist the bonds of friendship that forms between them.

As a zoologist Eric likes to think that he’s adept at anticipating how a creature will react in any given situation, and they don’t come any more beautiful and skittish than Tyaan. Despite Tyaan’s jittery behaviour Eric has a theory they could be good together but when things go catastrophically wrong it appears their relationship will remain a theory unproven.

Second Edition

Publisher: Finally Love Press

Released: January 2017

Buy Links

Universal Amazon link: myBook.to/TheoryUnproven_LF // Payhip // Smashwords // Kobo // B&N

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 Hobnobs 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_

Facebook // Facebook Author Page

Goodreads // Email: lillianfrancis@rocketmail.com

 

Excerpt

Stepping out of the taxi on unsteady legs, Eric leaned against the side of the vehicle and rested his arms on the roof. The smell of burning rubber and brake discs enveloped the vehicle, searing the inside of his nostrils. He’d hoped the next leg of his journey would be in a better-cared-for vehicle than the taxi had been. This close up, the plane looked… well, old would be the best word to describe it.

As he studied the outer skin of the fuselage for missing rivets and any other manner of unseen defects, a pair of dusty leather boots appeared on the cargo ramp. The measured stride they belonged to was solid and confident, and in no time at all, a man appeared. Tall and tanned, he stooped slightly to avoid any contact with the body of the aircraft, and then grabbing a clipboard from atop a box, he hunkered down in the midst of the crates.

As Eric watched, the man studied the labels and then made a mark on the paperwork attached to the clipboard. Blond hair peeked out from under his hat, fanning out on the collar of his shirt. At no point did he acknowledge the existence of the car, even though he couldn’t have failed to have heard its arrival.

Irrationally annoyed by the well-built blond and his off-putting manner, Eric pushed himself off the car and sauntered round to the other side of the vehicle, closer to the man who was busying himself with his work and ignoring Eric.

His shadow fell across the crates and the bowed head of the— Could this be the pilot? Eric could see no other people near the aircraft. The blond raised his head, a frown pulling the skin tight between his eyebrows.

The man’s gaze settled on Eric briefly before flicking over to the taxi. When he returned to look over Eric once more, the skin of his forehead had smoothed out, but still the man didn’t smile. He nodded in acknowledgement, just once, short and curt, and then dipped his head back to his work and turned slightly away from Eric. With the stranger squatting in the dust, Eric towered above him, the position giving him the perfect view of broad shoulders and a solid frame that Eric couldn’t resist studying.

Abruptly, the man stood and cleared his throat. He dropped the clipboard onto a nearby box, throwing a curious glance in Eric’s direction, and then disappeared back up the ramp. Eric blinked, self-conscious at having been caught blatantly staring, and ruffled a hand through his short dark hair. His embarrassment wasn’t sufficient to keep him from trailing after the man, though, stopping just short of following him into the aircraft to stand near the ramp in the shade of the fuselage.

Preparing to ask the stranger his name, Eric opened his mouth to speak, when he was interrupted by a doleful bleat. Startled, he glanced over his shoulder, scanning the airfield expecting to find signs of a wayward sheep. The forlorn stuttering cry came again, and Eric whipped back round, suspiciously eyeing a crate that was securely strapped to the internal wall of the plane.

“Goat,” said the pilot—Eric had decided that’s what he was—as he came back down the ramp.

The deep timbre of that one word surprised Eric. It was rough and low, with an unfamiliar accent Eric’s subconscious demanded to hear more of. That wasn’t likely to happen, though, because the pilot was already surveying his cargo with his back to Eric. He bent to hoist a crate into his arms, leaving Eric to stare dry-mouthed at the enticing pull of khaki for several seconds. Then the pilot straightened and carried the crate into the plane.

Eric wondered if he should offer to help, but despite the ease with which the crate had been hefted into the air, Eric thought they would probably be too heavy and he didn’t want to make a fool of himself. Not in front of this man.

The blond wore the almost obligatory light khaki bush clothes similar to his own uniform The Foundation had provided. Eric hadn’t noticed a logo on his shirt, but he could hope. If this man worked for The Foundation, Eric could at least enjoy the view, since it was unlikely he was gay. He hadn’t even looked twice at Eric. Not that Eric considered himself drop-dead gorgeous or anything, but he was used to getting his fair share of interest back home in England.

Eric caught a glimpse of Akibo gesticulating wildly at the cab driver. His holdalls were piled at Akibo’s feet, Eric noticed thankfully. At least if the altercation didn’t go well and the cab driver took off, he wouldn’t abscond with Eric’s luggage.

The hollow echo of footfalls on the ramp drew Eric’s attention back to the pilot. Tiredness was pulling on Eric’s nerves, leaving him out of sorts, and the lack of conversation was doing nothing to ease his irritability.

Taking the bull by the horns, Eric graced the pilot with the brightest smile he could muster. “So, do you work for The Foundation too?”

“No.” The man’s stride didn’t even falter as he continued toward the next crate.

Not chatty, then. Downright rude, in fact.

The firm slap of a hand on his back caught him just off centre, almost pitching him forward, and Akibo’s fingers curled over his shoulder and squeezed.

“I see you’ve met Tyaan. Tyaan Bouwer. He’s the local freight pilot. He’ll run your supplies into the research station every week.”

It was almost as if the pilot finally saw Eric as anything other than an annoyance for the first time. Tyaan stepped toward him, straightening to his full height, and Eric resisted the urge to check out the breadth of his chest, instead raising his gaze the few inches’ difference in their height to meet Tyaan’s eyes head-on.

“Tyaan, this is Eric. Eric Philips. He’s the new researcher out at olifant velde.” Akibo turned back to Eric. “That’s the local name for your part of the reserve. It means elephant fields.”

Howzit.” Tyaan stuck out his hand. Eric extended his own automatically, and Tyaan pressed their palms together, enveloping Eric’s fingers in warmth. He gave Eric’s hand a short, sharp shake before releasing him from the firm grip. “The elephant man, hey?”

Eric smiled. “I know I’m no oil painting, but I hope I’m not that bad.”

Tyaan’s top-to-toe appraisal was so fleeting that Eric thought he’d imagined it. An expression skittered across the pilot’s face. Interest, curiosity—Eric wasn’t sure. It manifested itself as a bright spark in his eyes and the faint quirk of his lips, as if he were biting the inside of his cheek. The look vanished before Eric could really work out what it meant, but the amber-coloured eyes still seemed to hold a welcome within them.

“Tyaan’s a man of few words, but you won’t find a finer bush pilot. He’s reliable too. He’ll never leave you wanting.”

Wanting. Despite the pilot’s brusque manner, Eric wasn’t surprised he already wanted to press Tyaan up against the shiny metal body of his plane.

“I’m going up front,” Akibo said, blissfully unaware of the thoughts rampaging through Eric’s head. At least Eric hoped that was the case, since he followed that statement with “Coming, Eric?”

In his dreams, maybe.

“It’s hot enough to fry boerewors in there.” Tyaan shifted his attention away from Eric and addressed Akibo. “Leave the doors open. I’ll only be a few more minutes.”

Eric eyed the pile of sacks sitting in the dirt. More like half an hour. Tyaan’s shoulder and back muscles shifted beneath his shirt as he hefted a sack onto his shoulder and took another one in each hand. The tendons flexed and released in his bare forearms from where he grasped the corners of the sacks tightly.

“Eric?”

Realising he was being spoken to, Eric dragged his attention from the large vein that was running up from Tyaan’s wrist to elbow. “No, I’ll stay out here for a moment. Not used to the heat yet.”

Akibo nodded and, shifting his document bag to the other shoulder, headed toward the front of the plane, leaving Eric with the pilot and an awkward silence.

When Tyaan completed several trips into the plane and the silence had stretched on beyond what Eric could bear—although Tyaan didn’t appear bothered by it—Eric groped for something to say. He waited until Tyaan reached the top of the ramp, not wanting to startle him with his latest pile of precariously balanced sacks.

“It’s an unusual name.” Then Eric added as an afterthought, “Tyaan.”

Blithering idiot! As if the man didn’t know his own name.

Tyaan lowered the sack from his shoulder and placed it with the others. The pile outside the plane was already half the size it had been. Maybe the pilot had been right in his estimate. He pushed his hat back, swiped his arm across his brow and looked at Eric as if he’d just asked him whether he preferred to top or bottom.

“It’s Afrikaans.”

“Oh. So, do you speak Afrikaans?” A worrying thought started gnawing at Eric. “Do they speak it in the town?”

“Sure. I had to, my grandfather refused to speak English. Most people speak English with the odd word thrown in. You’ll get used to it.”

Tyaan returned to his sacks, the conversation obviously over. But Eric wasn’t ready to give up. He liked that gravel-edged sound that emanated from Tyaan’s lips. He could almost see the vibration beneath pale bristles on the pilot’s throat and itched to place his fingers there to feel the movement.

“I like your plane.” Eric cast his gaze over the large silver plane he was standing next to. “Looks like the one in that Indiana Jones movie. You know, the one where they fall out of the plane in the life raft. Temple of Doom, that’s the one…”

His voice trailed off as he became aware that Tyaan had stopped hefting sacks and was just staring, hands on his hips, his expression open and amused.

“It’s not that old. That movie was set in 1935. This is a de Havilland DHC-4 Caribou. They didn’t start making these until 1958…”

So that was how to get the reticent man talking, Eric realised as he allowed the low rumble to drift over him in a reassuring array of facts and figures. Get him on the subject of his plane. There was no question this aircraft was loved and well cared-for and Eric no longer had any qualms about climbing aboard.

“…but you don’t really want to know all that. I’m just boring you.”

“No.” I could listen to you talk all day long. “It’s fascinating.”

Evidently Tyaan had run out of words. He shrugged and turned his attention back to his cargo. “It’s old, but you’re safe in my hands. I promise you that.”

Eric didn’t doubt it; he just hoped one day he might get the chance to find out.

Reviews for Theory Unproven (first edition)

5 elephant review from Bike Book Reviews.

The opening line is a cracker in itself.

OH MY GOODNESS, I AM REALLY EXCITED FOR US TO BE HOSTING A BOOK BLAST FOR THIS EPIC, WONDERFUL, MASTERFULLY WRITTEN LITERARY ENTREE KNOWN AS ‘THEORY UNPROVEN’ BY LILLIAN FRANCIS! 

Okay, I’m blushing (and grinning, just a little bit) and we haven’t even got to the review yet. Right off the bat she hits on a point that I’m already concerned will deter readers… the length.

When I started this book and realized how many pages it had, I said to myself, “How in the world is this book gonna hold my interest for this long, it has to be a dang good one”, (but I needn’t have worried) let me assure you my friends, it is a dang good one and more!

And a few more choice quotes:

…a wonderful passionate story 

Get this book and get ready for passion, devotion, and yes suspense all rolled up in a nice package! 

Thank you Lillian, for making me realize it isn’t the length, long or short of a book, it is the heart of it that matters!

Read the review in full here.

Another 5 star review from MM Good Book Reviews.

The passion between Eric and Tyaan is both sweet and explosive. 

…the first half of the book is rather light hearted and relaxed before really going into the action.

There is a lot of sweetness to be had set in an amazing landscape with some pretty damn intelligent animals. In fact, a couple of the elephants are minor characters in their own right and thoroughly enjoyable.

Read the full review here.

Former reviewer Tina gave Theory Unproven 4.5 stars. Check out her review in full here at Leafmarks.

“Both characters are just wonderfully elaborated, and they have this freaking hot chemistry, despite all the things popping up to mess with them. Lillian Francis did a wonderful job of conveying the heart and soul of these two guys, and when the heat turns up, it gets damn hot! It’s either slow and romantic, rough and steamy, or smoking hot and passionate.”

“Lillian’s writing is powerful, gripping, emotional and captivating, she creates enticing characters and a sexy, emotionally charged story line.”

“I lived within the story, I felt the South African heat, smelled the elephants and tasted the dust on my tongue, I laughed, smiled and cursed with the guys. How they managed to overcome their challenges to form a deep and everlasting love and build such a strong relationship touched me deeply.”

“Highly recommended for those who share my love for the beautiful African continent… and want a well done, sweet, funny, suspenseful and delicious romance without too much angst.”

4.25 star review at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords.

With a zoologist, Eric Phillips, as one half of the main couple, I loved the realistic way his life and work with the elephants was portrayed.  Dirty, all consuming, and soul satisfying…the readers understands through the many passages what it must be like to have that deep connection with another species. 

All good characters, all people the reader will want to spend time with.

Tyaan is a character that will draw conflicted feelings among the readers.  I thought his was a character grounded in the reality of the changing times in South Africa…Got it, you understand him even if you don’t like his actions, it makes him human.

While I was reading it, I was hooked on the elephants, Eric and Tyaan’s attraction for each other and strained journey towards a relationship.  

This is a long book yet most of the time I spent reading it flew by.  And I could easily book a flight back to this universe.  

…this story is so lush, so vibrant in feeling and scope that I am still so very much in love with Theory Unproven weeks later.

I recommend this story for all who love romance, foreign lands and a landscape of adventure where the search for love can be rough, affectionate, and hard won.  

Read the review in full here.

5 heart review from Hearts on Fire reviews

…the story was well paced, with great main characters and secondary characters…

The chemistry between the two main characters has a great build up, with compassion for Tyaan…, and hope for Eric that he won’t get his heart broken, since you love him pretty much from the start of the story!

If you like animals, you are going to love these two characters! (Jack and Ianto, the elephants)

I would recommend this book for romance lovers who really enjoy the development of the story as much as the romance and hot scenes…

Read the full review here.

 

Read Full Post »

I’m always pleased to see new books from Manifold and this month there are some doozies!

~

BREAK OF ANOTHER DAY

by Jay Lewis Taylor

The Great War is over. Jack Townsend, no longer a hospital orderly, is back at work in his photographer’s shop in Lewisham. But there is no peace yet; his blackmailer is still in business, and Celia Vavasour seems determined to manage his life. All his life; even his love-life …

Meanwhile in Sussex, David Lewry, former army officer, is still holding off from a closer relationship with Alan Kershaw, once in the Navy and now the village’s GP. Lew knows how much Alan wants him, but this last step is one he cannot take – not yet, unless something changes …

16,200 words/66 pages
$1.99

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Smashwords

~

ARDENT

by Heloise West

In the village of Torrenta, master painter Morello has created a color that mimics the most expensive pigment of all, the crimson red. Master Zeno, from strife-ridden Medici Florence, tells him the color gives him a competitive advantage – but Morello must be careful. Fraud is ever-present in the dye and pigment markets.

As they work together in Torrenta, Morello falls hard for Zeno’s assistant, Benedetto Tagliaferro, a young man of uncommon beauty and intelligence. Benedetto is still fixed on his old lover, the master painter Leo Guisculo, and cannot return Morello’s affections.

But when Leo dies in a terrible accident, it’s to Morello that Zeno and Benedetto turn for help. And Morello soon finds that in Florence, every surface hides layers of intrigue.

75,600 words/292 pages
$6.95

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Smashwords

~

HARBINGER ISLAND

by Dorian Dawes

Every community has a dark side, a sordid past that’s kept to hushed whispers and out of the ears of prying tourists – and Harbinger Island has the darkest shades of them all. Professor Bartleby Prouse is obsessed with the secrets and occult conspiracies surrounding the island’s myriad of unsolved murders and mysteries. He’ll have to use every bit of magic and cunning at his disposal if he is to protect his students after they unwittingly draw the attention of one of the island’s most insidious cults.

A collection of character-driven stories which combine dark fantasy and horror elements within a modern setting. The diverse cast of LGBT+ individuals come from various backgrounds, and the stories examine the prejudices they experience in their day-to-day lives along with the supernatural horrors they face.

84,500 words/322 pages
$6.95

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Smashwords

~

Wishing Jay, Heloise and Dorian all the best with their new books. I can’t wait to read them.

Read Full Post »

Shelton in Love Release Blitz

Title: Shelton in Love
Author: Dianne Hartsock
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary
Length: Novel
Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Synopsis

Shelton has found the man of his dreams, but keeping him is an entirely different matter.

Shelton’s falling hard for his attractive roommate, a man who would happily sleep with him, adding him to the list of men in his life. But Shelton wants more than just a fling with Nevil. How can he convince the elusive man there could be something lasting between them?

Shelton in Love is told in five stories spanning two and a half years of Shelton and Nevil’s relationship, the ups and downs, trials and celebrations, with a promise, a separation, a frantic return, temptation and a final triumph. Sometimes Shelton finds it difficult to love a beautiful man, but Nevil is worth the effort. Shelton’s eager to move their relationship to the next level, marriage, but will Nevil ever be ready to take this step with him?

shelton in love

Excerpt

Nevil laughed at something the man said, and Percy straightened, clearly furious with him. He suddenly grabbed the front of Nevil’s shirt and pulled him close, giving him a hard kiss.
Surprised, Shelton looked quickly around, but there was no one else to see their blatant display of affection. He was hardly aware of the pain that squeezed his chest as he dropped his gaze to his hands clasped on his lap. Nerves burning, he pleaded with the universe to be invisible and that Nevil wouldn’t see him sitting on the bench. He wished the ground would swallow him up, anything, afraid to move and draw their attention.
In a moment he heard their voices drift off and he risked a glance, seeing them disappear into the trees in the opposite direction from him. He waited a few minutes then, sick with disappointment, rose and walked the short distance home.
The apartment had an empty silence to it he’d never noticed before, and he reluctantly closed the door behind him and locked himself into the quiet, lonely rooms.
“Damn,” he said, not sure what he meant by the word. Without bothering to change, he went to the kitchen, grabbed a can of soup out of the cupboard and began to heat the brownish blob over the stove instead of the microwave, not minding the extra time it took. What else did he have to do, anyway? Nevil had said he’d see him that night, but he never should have gotten his hopes up.
Unthinking, Shelton took his hot bowl of soup to the living room and bit off an oath at the sight of the couch. Body instantly on fire and aching for Nevil’s touch, he placed the soup on the coffee table and sat down, sinking into the cushions. Trembling, he surrendered to the memory of Nevil’s skillful fingers; his hot lips and tongue bringing fulfillment. Shelton could never tell Nevil, but that night had been the best in his life.
Drawing a ragged breath, he sat up and clicked on the television before letting one mindless show after the other numb his senses and nudge him toward sleep. At one in the morning, he finally dragged his aching body to bed only to sleep fitfully, listening for Nevil to come home. It was another two hours before he heard the key at the front door and Nevil’s familiar tread in the hallway.
Shelton’s pulses leapt to life as Nevil’s footfalls paused outside his door. He clutched the blankets, urging Nevil to come in and kiss away his hurt and loneliness. He didn’t even care where he’d been. After a brief moment, the footsteps receded and Nevil’s door closed firmly. Shelton rolled to his side and stared at the wall for a long while.

Buy Your Copy

Less Than Three Press: https://goo.gl/YtfqLo
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/698219

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

About the author

DIANNE HARTSOCK is the author of m/m erotic romance, both contemporary and fantasy, the psychological thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. Oh, and a floral designer. If she can’t be writing, at least she has the chance to create through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage to bring a smile to someone’s face.

Currently, Dianne lives in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play.

Social links

Website: https://diannehartsock.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diannehartsock
Twitter: https://twitter.com/diannehartsock
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/diannehartsock/

Read Full Post »

Blurb:

Matthias Reynolds loves his life. He’s starting to make it as a graphic artist at last and has a job he really likes at a local café that pays the bills. When a night out clubbing leads to an awkward morning after, he’s embarrassed and more than ready to forget all about it. When Talani Enforcers show up at the café, he doesn’t know what to make of it all as he’s led away in restraints.

Standing accused of crimes he struggles to understand, he finds he has an unexpected champion: the Talani warrior and war hero J’nah Quislin. J’nah knows that Matty is his. All J’nah has to do is keep Matty safe from those who engineered Matty’s charges and sentencing. That, and get Matty to accept that universe always intended them to be together as one. All it requires is for Matty to return J’nah’s devotion and offer his willing submission. Can Matty do it, with all that it will mean for his future?

Buy from Amazon

Shelve it on Goodreads

Author Bio:

Leona is a longtime staunch supporter of human rights and environmental causes. Her favourite genre to read is M/M fiction and she particularly enjoys science fiction, fantasy, and action/suspense subgenres—especially if they have a nice seasoning of romance. She has far too many books on her Kindle, has overloaded her phone with even more and, when not reading, writing, being driven to distraction by her children, or being overlorded by her three cats, can be found trying to locate the portal that the sock monster uses to steal socks from her dryer.

Recently head-reeling news for her included her novel Jared:Urban Wolves #1 being nominated for an Indie Award from Metamorph and placing as a finalist in the 2016 Rainbow Awards, earning an Honorable Mention. She’s still suspicious that it’s all been a dream, but as long as her readers are happy and she can find at least one of the missing socks, she’s happy.

You’ll find her books on Amazon, including on Kindle Unlimited. You’ll also find her on Facebook at Leona Windwalker, where you can keep up on news regarding current, new, and upcoming releases.

Click the graphic below to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read Full Post »

 

Left Behind is an MM erotic romance set in the Scottish Highlands. It is the first book in the new Abducted Hearts series that is being released as part of Loose Id Publishing’s Three for the Holidays range. Book Two, Highland Gathering, is coming very soon and the final installment, Haunted Heart will release in February!

Blurb

Stewart is instantly attracted to Gary, but he isn’t sure he’s ready to date again. Gary wants Stewart, but he doesn’t think Stewart will stick around when he finds out the secret Gary is hiding.

Faced with the prospect of spending Christmas alone with his daughter, Havana, in the house he used to share with his husband, widower Stewart Robertson heads north to a campsite in Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands. There, he meets Gary James, an American parapsychologist with beliefs very different to Stewart’s own.

The sexual attraction is instantaneous, and overwhelming, and when Gary asks Stewart to spend Christmas with him and his friends in Fort William, Stewart agrees. Knowing next to nothing about each other, the two quickly start a physical relationship.

Stewart, emotional, angry and still reeling from the recent death of his husband, doesn’t know if he’s ready to start dating again, but he can’t deny that he wants Gary, a man who is keeping a secret that threatens to derail any chance of a happy ending before they even get started.

 

 

Extract

“If we’re going,” Stewart said after Lucas finished explaining his plan, “you need to go tell your dad.”

“My dad?” Lucas looked confused.

“Yep. He doesn’t even know I’m here with you. You’ll need to tell him.”

“Can I tell my uncle instead?”

That threw Stewart off his stride. He fought the urge to roll his eyes. “Who are you camping with?”

“My uncle.”

“Then yes, it would be easier to tell your uncle. I thought he was your dad.”

“No. My dad’s in Iraq.”

Right. So not much point calling him, then, Stewart thought. He never had been good at understanding the way children’s minds worked.

Instead of admitting that, Stewart gestured for Lucas to go. He took Havana inside to get ready, and when he emerged from the kata, Lucas’s uncle was taking up far too much room on the decking outside, armed with two camping chairs and a cooler.

“Snacks,” he said in an American accent Stewart didn’t even try to place. He flashed Stewart a blinding smile, his height forcing Stewart to look up at him.

He transferred the cooler and folded camping chairs into one hand before extending the free one for Stewart to shake. Stewart did and earned another of those jolts of attraction. It was worse the second time around, with the skin contact and that dark, intense gaze on him. The man’s hands were big, his grip strong, but his skin was soft. Warm. Stewart cleared his throat.

“Gary,” the man said.

Stewart knew he was staring, not letting go of Gary’s hand. The man’s height and build and presence made Stewart feel like he was caught in a tractor beam, frozen in place and rendered incapable of movement or speech. But inside, Stewart’s mind was racing a million miles an hour. He was chastising himself in no uncertain terms for behaving as he was. For feeling the way he was. For even noticing how much stronger Gary was compared to him, and for remembering Gary naked earlier that morning and wishing he had stayed longer.

Already it felt like an imperfect memory. Hairy chest, muscular body, impressive cock. He was mad at himself for focusing on the latter. For immediately fixating on how much he wanted to fuck. Get fucked. Even just be held in strong arms, feel that smile directed at him from someone who clearly thought there was still stuff worth smiling about. Because it didn’t seem to matter how much time Stewart spent with Havana, how tightly he hugged her, and how much he worried about her, he was lonely. So lonely, sometimes he wondered if he was going to die from it. And that was a drama-queen thought by anyone’s standard, but sometimes it was true. It was like the pain. A seemingly endless state from which there was no escape.

“Now, back in the States, this is the point where the other person gives their name.”

Stewart crashed back to reality in time to jerk his hand out of Gary’s. He took a deep breath. This is the part where you decide I’m batshit crazy and should in no way be allowed near either you or your son. Nephew. Whatever.

“Stewart,” he managed. “Sorry, my brain’s away with the fairies.” Wasn’t that the truth?

Gary flashed him another smile, and Stewart had to take a step back. He shook his head, forced a laugh, then said, “I haven’t been sleeping. Hence coming here to get away from it all, but that hasn’t worked either. My head’s not in the game. This is Havana. Your nephew’s been doing a great job keeping her entertained all morning.”

“So I’ve been told.” Gary turned his attention to Havana, allowing Stewart the opportunity to give the man another once-over.

Baggy waterproof trousers, expensive walking boots, and a quality branded outdoor jacket. Gary looked every inch like he belonged in the great outdoors, with the exception of the black T-shirt with luminous green alien face and the writing The Truth is Out There picked out in silver underneath. People tended to wear their oldest, least-favorite clothes when there was a chance of them getting muddy, Stewart reasoned. He turned his thoughts back to Gary, who was calling Havana a little lady and offering her a bow.

“I hear we’re off to do some exploring by the river, maybe see if we can rent some bikes?” Gary said when he straightened.

The bikes were a new addition to the plan. It seemed Lucas made things up as he went along. Or waited until he had initial approval before adding additional details.

“Seems that way,” Stewart said.

Gary looked at Lucas. He grinned. “Lead on, dude.”

 

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK  |  Loose ID  |  ARe

 

Author Bio

Born and raised in bonnie Scotland, Douglas Black writes contemporary MM erotic romance. Welcome to your fantasy.

 

Author Links:

https://douglasblackerotica.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/DBlackErotica

https://www.facebook.com/Douglas-Black-1632968396841732/timeline/

 

 

Read Full Post »

janes

My guest today is a much loved idol and mentor and a superlative author of British based comedy romance, touching historicals and some very creepy books with shifters. She has also written the world’s most appealing plumber.

I am speaking, of course, of J L Merrow, and she is here today in celebration of the recent release of A Certain Persuasion – an anthology of Jane Austen themed stories from Manifold Press.

Welcome JL!

Jane Austen’s grasp of the English language is justly celebrated. Is there any part that you can quote for us that you particularly relish?

Ancles. I just love the way she spells it. But I suppose that doesn’t really count, so how about this one:

“The whole of this unfortunate business,” said Dr Lyster, “has been the result of PRIDE and PREJUDICE. Your uncle, the Dean, began it, by his arbitrary will, as if an ordinance of his own could arrest the course of nature!”

  • Except, of course, that doesn’t count either; it is (as every serious Janeite will know) from near the end of Fanny Burney’s 1782 novel Cecilia, Memoirs of an Heiress.

So I guess I’ll have to go with this, from Mansfield Park, which more or less sums up my own approach to writing:

“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody, not greatly in fault themselves, to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.”

What inspired your story in the A Certain Persuasion anthology? May we have an excerpt?

I’ve always been fascinated by the characters of Mary and Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park. In many ways, they’re far more appealing, especially to the modern reader, than the “real” heroine, Fanny Price. They’re lively while she’s quiet; confident while she’s fearful, active while she’s passive, and worldly in a modern way while she is a throwback to the fainting medieval damsels who were to be so beloved of the Pre-Raphaelites.

As I mention in my author’s notes in A Certain Persuasion, there are significant lesbian undercurrents in the relationship between Fanny and Mary. Perhaps Mary, like her brother Henry, was drawn to Fanny precisely because she was so very different to the Crawford siblings. I’m not sure, however, that such a fascination would form a strong foundation for a lasting love. To my mind, Fanny’s younger sister Susan—who takes her place at Mansfield Park after Fanny’s marriage to Edmund—has, with her “fearless disposition,” far more in common with Mary.

This excerpt from “A Particular Friend” shows Mary and Susan’s first meeting:

It was undoubtedly a fault, Mary reflected, to have retained at the staid old age of nine-and- twenty that playfulness, that lack of regard for consequences, which men found so captivating in a girl of nineteen. And yet, she could not help herself, nor indeed would she, if she could. Let others wait for old age to excuse their eccentricities; she would have what fun she might while still young enough to enjoy it.

And was it so very bad a sin, merely to introduce oneself to a young lady whose handsome face and tall figure had caught one’s eye across the pump room?

By no means, were it not that Mary needed no introduction to tell her this young lady’s name – and was, moreover, quite aware that the young lady’s family would not wish for the acquaintance. Mary felt her spirits lift with the prospect of mischief as she crossed the room with unhurried tread.

“Excuse me,” she said, directing her most charming smile at her fair quarry, who was presently engaged in fetching a glass of water. “But are you not Miss Susan Price, of Mansfield Park?”

Miss Price smiled back, an uncertain smile, but not a hesitant one. “I am indeed. But forgive me … ”

“Ah! No forgiveness is needed, I assure you. And how are you enjoying the waters?” Mary asked, inclining her head in the direction of the glass held by Miss Price. Amusement bubbled within her, but it would not do to let it show. “Or as I should rather say, how are you enjoying Bath? For I am quite sure nobody enjoys the waters.”

“I like Bath very well, thank you, and although I dare say you are correct about the waters, this glass is for my aunt.” Miss Price’s eyes showed her confusion, but she forged bravely on, Mary was delighted to see. “You are acquainted with my aunt, Lady Bertram?”

“Oh, yes, indeed. At least, I was formerly so. I regret to say we have not been greatly in contact, these past ten years. Tell me, how does your sister, Mrs Bertram?”

“Fanny? Oh, Fanny is very well.” A flush of colour suffused Miss Price’s cheek as she spoke with enthusiasm of her sister. “She is lately delivered of their second child, a fine, healthy boy. They have named him William, after his uncle.”

It was not often Mary surprised herself, but to her astonishment she found her pleasure at this news entirely untainted by jealousy. “I am so pleased to hear that. You will perhaps not know this, but at one time dear Fanny and I were quite intimate. I wonder if she still wears the gold chain I gave her?”

Miss Price took a breath, and appeared to straighten her back, although indeed her posture needed no correction. “Perhaps you would be so good as to tell me your name, so that when I write, I may remember you to her?”

“Oh, have I neglected to mention it? How very careless of me. But of course. I am Mrs Lynd – now widowed, alas. But formerly I was Mary Crawford, of Mansfield Parsonage.”

Miss Susan Price, it seemed, was made of sterner stuff than her elder sister. Her jaw did not drop; she did not swoon; her eyes widened but a fraction and her gasp was barely audible.

Nonetheless, as Mary inclined her head and glided away, she found herself entirely pleased with the consternation she had caused.

What are you working on at present?

I’ve got two novels in Riptide’s Porthkennack series in the pipeline: Wake Up Call and One Under (title TBC). Porthkennack is a fictional town in north Cornwall created by the very fertile imagination of Alex Beecroft, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing in her sandbox (now, do not be suspecting me of a pun*!) My novels are both contemporary MM romances dealing with more serious themes than many of my books, and the first one is due out in April 2017.

For a total change of pace, I’m currently writing the fourth in my Shamwell Tales series of MM romantic comedies set in the (fictional) English village of Shamwell. For those who’ve read the third book, Out!, this one, provisionally titled Spun!, features two returning characters as the main couple: David and Rory. It’s a May-December, odd couple relationship, with David a very camp, out gay man and Rory discovering there’s more to his sexuality than he thought after the failure of his marriage. It’s due out in July 2017.

*Mary Crawford’s line, after she comments that “Of Rears and Vices, I saw enough.” Gotta love a girl who makes dirty jokes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BIO:

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again.  Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

JL Merrow is the author of “A Particular Friend” which appears in A Certain Persuasion, an anthology of stories set in and around the writings of Jane Austen, featuring LGBTQIA characters.

When Susan Price leaves Mansfield Park to accompany her aunt, Lady Bertram, to take the waters in Bath, she little expects to meet an old ‘friend’ of the family. Initially scandalised, Susan finds herself drawn to the former Mary Crawford, now a widow, Mrs Lynd.

Due out from Manifold Press 1 November 2016 SmashwordsAmazon ARe

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

comfy chairMy guest today is an author that I first met at this years UK Meet, and I most most intrigued to hear about his first release, The Necessary Deaths, which came out on the first of November and which I, for one, am gagging to read.

Please join me in welcoming David Dawson.

~~~

Hello, David. 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 work as a documentary film maker. I was with the BBC for about twenty years, firstly as a trainee journalist then in television making documentaries, before going freelance. I’ve filmed all over the world, as a director and a producer, most recently making educational and charity videos.

I’m still producing videos, but my son is steadily taking that over from me, although I do some camera operating for him sometimes; it’s great being directed by your son!

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

I sing bass with the London Gay Men’s Chorus. They’re a great bunch of guys and they’ve been my strength and support over the last few years. We’ve sung in all sorts of places including: at Sandi Toksvig’s wedding to Debbie, at the West London Synagogue for World Aids Day, in St Paul’s Cathedral for Age UK and outside the House of Lords when the House debated the Equal Marriage Bill. Next year we’re off to New York and Chicago to sing alongside the Gay Men’s Choruses there. No, I’ve not written about the Chorus – yet. Look out for their appearance in a future mystery!

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

I’m re-reading Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave. I’d read it a few years ago, and when I saw they’d made a film of the book, I worried they’d spoil it. Not at all. If you see the film, or read the book, be ready to weep buckets!
I aspire to the beautiful prose style of Armistead Maupin. He just gets better and better. His more recent books surpass the early Tales of the City books. Those early books were great fun, but it’s clear that with maturity, comes reflection and insight.

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

Oh that’s a tricky one, because they’re like Siamese triplets. They’re inseparable. I suppose for me the plot and core characters are born pretty well simultaneously. That is, I know who’s going on what journey and where they’re going to end up. Once I’ve fleshed out the characters in my head and on paper, I invent situations for them to deal with, on the journey through the book. Then the supplementary characters evolve, as the plot evolves. Sometimes I’ll experience a situation with someone in real life, then I’ll work out how to write it into a book.

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 like to spend time on developing histories for all my characters, I use pictures a lot for that, and names are very important. Once I set those, I’ll go for a ride on my motorbike, or cycle somewhere, and think about the character and about what has already happened to them. It helps so much in creating their motivation for doing things, or explaining why they react in a certain way to new situations. Once I’m writing the story, I’ll add to that back-story as events unfold. I have a spreadsheet full of character descriptions and images, to remind me when I forget what colour their hair is!

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

I’ve got an idea for a series in the science-fiction/supernatural genre, which I’m developing at the moment. There was a BBC drama series many years ago called “Out of the Unknown” which had a huge influence on me.

It took ordinary everyday circumstances, and then twisted them slightly, creating daytime nightmares. I think they’re far spookier than the usual night-time stuff.
I don’t think I’m cut out for historical drama/romance. My son’s the historian, not me! That said, I’ve been thinking about a thriller series set around The Chilterns during the Second World War. The Ministry of War had some very interesting places tucked away in this countryside, including what was called “Churchill’s Toyshop”, where boffins invented all sorts of amazing devices to defeat the enemy.

Do you find there to be a lot of structural differences between a relationship driven story and one where the romance is a sub plot?
Pretty well all decent novels are relationship driven. Even Tom Hanks, the lone survivor in Castaway, had the inanimate volleyball Mr Wilson to talk to!

The Necessary Deaths has a strong romantic plotline in the developing relationship between Dominic and Jonathan. The extraordinary circumstances that they’re plunged into test their relationship and develop it further, in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I give the romantic story plenty of room to breathe, because it’s integral to the thriller. The romance between Dominic and Jonathan is what motivates them to react in the way they do.

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?

Yes, I have acute OCD on this! I have a spreadsheet full of detail and photographs about every character, even the minor ones. As soon as I write a new piece of description in the story, I add it to the spreadsheet. Photographs of people also help me imagine their back-stories, and how they might react to situations. One of my favourite tasks is to spend an evening scouring the internet for photographs of gorgeous men who might fit certain characters! It can be very distracting…

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?

George Clooney can come to my rescue! Every time. He’s been a hero of mine ever since he rescued the boy from the storm drain in episode seven, season 2 of ER. In fact, I’m such a big fan, he’s a major character in a short story of mine that Dreamspinner Press is publishing in its Love Wins Anthology for Orlando this December.

But you want a team? Well, I think Dame Maggie Smith would stand up to any mugger, any day! She and George would make a fabulous team. In fact, I wonder why they haven’t been paired on screen already!

clooney-smith

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?

Villains have got to be credible, so they need reasons for being bad. No one is all good, or all bad.

In The Necessary Deaths, the principal villain is motivated by ideology, and is very bad. But they still have a seductive side, which makes them intriguing and even appealing. Everyone has the capacity to be a villain, circumstances and back-story dictate whether the transformation to the dark side happens or not. In the second Dominic Delingpole Mystery I’m tackling this whole issue, which I think is fascinating.

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.

The Dominic Delingpole Mysteries will unfold over five books. I’ve plotted the overarching story, and I’m just finishing the second book in the series. I’m also working up the World War Two science fiction tale in the background, it’s quite a juggling act I can tell you!

Could we please have an excerpt of something?

From The Necessary Deaths:

“Mrs. Gregory,” said Dominic. “I would be very happy to have you as a client, but I’m not sure in what way I can act for you.”

Samantha smiled. “And neither am I just at the moment. Let’s call you a professional friend. I have no one else who I can turn to, and your legal mind will help me to see things a little more clearly. As you can tell, I’m a little emotional just now.” She turned away to wipe a tear from the corner of her eye. Then she looked at him steadily.

“Simon and I are very close. Ever since Richard, his father, died in a climbing accident, we have been a very tight family unit. I’d like to think Simon and I can tell each other everything.”

Dominic wondered if she was keeping up a brave front, or whether she really believed Simon told her everything. Her comments clearly contradicted what Simon’s housemate Jay had said an hour ago. Dominic decided that, as she was his client, he owed her the duty of honesty, and he should tell her about what he had learned in the last few hours.

“Samantha, I’m afraid I believe Simon may not have confided everything in you in recent times. I went to see John this morning before coming here. He told me about their relationship and how Simon was not yet ready to tell you.”

Samantha smiled.

“Dominic, I’m his mother. Do you think that I didn’t know?” She sighed. “I knew he was finding it difficult to tell me, and I was waiting for him to pick the right time. I didn’t want to rush him.” She paused. “But yes, you’re right, and I am wrong. Simon hasn’t confided everything to me; I merely know and am waiting for him to tell me. John is a lovely boy, and I was just pleased to know that Simon is happy.”

Samantha narrowed her eyes slightly as she asked, “But why do you think that means he must have kept other secrets from me? Surely you of all people must know how difficult it is to come out?”
Dominic blushed briefly. “Everyone’s circumstances are different, of course, and for young people it really is much easier….”

“Oh nonsense! Can I just say that I think it’s a bit rich for you to judge Simon when you’re so secretive about yourself? We spent nearly three hours in the car together last night, and I still don’t know whether or not you have a boyfriend!”
This time Dominic’s face turned crimson.
“Samantha, could we just get back to—”

“Well, do you?”

Dominic sighed. “I think it’s my turn to acknowledge that I am wrong. Yes, I do have a partner, and no, I am not very open about it. In this day and age, it probably is unnecessary for me to be quite so discreet. But after a while, it gets to be almost a habit.”

Samantha giggled. “Oh, Dominic, how delightfully bashful you are! I imagine that it’s rare you have a conversation like this with your clients.”

Dominic smiled. “Samantha, I can tell you truthfully that I have never had a conversation like this with my clients. You must meet Jonathan some time. I think you two would get on like a house on fire.”


A young journalism student lies unconscious in a hospital bed in Brighton, England. His life hangs in the balance after a drug overdose. But was it attempted suicide or attempted murder? The student’s mother persuades British lawyer Dominic Delingpole to investigate, and Dominic enlists the aid of his outspoken opera singer partner, Jonathan McFadden.

The student’s boyfriend discovers compromising photographs hidden in his lover’s room. The photographs not only feature senior politicians and business chiefs, but the young journalist himself. Is he being blackmailed, or is he the blackmailer?

As Dominic and Jonathan investigate further, their lives are threatened and three people are murdered. They uncover a conspiracy that reaches into the highest levels of government and powerful corporations. The people behind it are ruthless, and no one can be trusted. The bond between Dominic and Jonathan deepens as they struggle not only for answers, but for their very survival.

Buy Links:
Dreamspinner | Amazon UK | Amazon US | B&N | iTunes

BIOG:

David C. Dawson is an author, award-winning journalist and documentary maker, living near Oxford in the UK.
He has travelled extensively, filming in nearly every continent of the world. He has lived in London, Geneva and San Francisco, but now prefers the tranquillity of the Oxfordshire countryside.
David is a Mathematics graduate from Southampton University in England. After graduating, he joined the BBC in London as a trainee journalist. He worked in radio newsrooms for several years before moving to television as a documentary director. During the growing AIDS crisis in the late eighties, he is proud to say that he directed the first demonstration of putting on a condom on British television.
After more than twenty years with the BBC, he left to go freelance. He has produced videos for several charities, including Ethiopiaid; which works to end poverty in Ethiopia, and Hestia; a London-based mental health charity.

David has one son, who is also a successful filmmaker.

In his spare time, David tours Europe on his ageing Triumph motorbike and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus. He has sung with the Chorus at St Paul’s Cathedral, The Roundhouse and the Royal Festival Hall, but David is most proud of the time they sang at the House of Lords, campaigning for equal marriage to be legalized in the UK.

You can follow David at the following sites:
Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blog

necessarydeathsthe_headerbanner

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »