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Snippet!

I’m ping ponging between tasks today, because I have a child unexpectedly returning to the nest for a couple of days before he goes to see a friend. I’ll have to feed him up so he can build up his strength before the two of them spend 72 hours straight playing Skyrim, or whatever the cool kids are playing now.

Anyhow, though he’s most welcome, my mind isn’t really on my work. But I am trying so, to show good faith, here’s a little bit of Midnight Flit:

“Have you a light?” Falk leaned against the window at Briers side. He withdrew a cigarette from his silver case and tapped the end on the edge of it. Briers grinned at the familiar affectation and offered a box of matches.
“Thank you,” Falk said and lit the gasper then continued in smooth unaccented Serbian. “I hope your young lady has taken no harm from her experience?”
“None at all,” Briers said. “Though I believe she may be a little more wary about whom she allows into the compartment in future.”
“That’s hardly fair,” Falk’s protest was quiet but earnestly meant. “He was lying in wait for them. I’d heard someone enter the compartment before they did and I thought it was you.”
“Ah, yes, well.” Briers grimaced. “Possibly I’m being a little over-protective.”
“You?” Falk snorted. “I don’t believe it. No truly.” He snorted again. “And your companion is chafing at your concern? I can imagine how galling it might be to be with someone who treats one as a child.”
“That’s not fair!” Briers scowled at him, then whispered, “And she’s already given me a right ear-bashing about it. Bless her. And how are you getting on with the other people in your compartment?”
Falk grinned. “The young Russian reminds me of a weimaraner I had when I was a child. The least graceful creature I have ever met but filled with boundless and genuine goodwill. The musician … interests me.”
“I what way? Professional or personal?”
Falk met his eyes with the smallest of smiles. “In every way. He is wary, I feel he has something to hide. I would like to find out whether it is the same secret we share or something more reprehensible.”
“And what do you plan to do?”
“Cultivate an aquaintance, of course. ” Falk blew smoke towards the window.

It’s nice spending time with old friends.

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Communication

 

They say communication is key but all too often in daily life our communication skills let us down. We can’t find quite the right words to express ourselves, or we find we’re talking at cross purposes with the other person or the emotional barometer of the other person suggests that we’d best go along with what they want because, at that moment, their needs are more important than ours. Language doesn’t help. I remember my feeling of the world turned on its ear when I discovered that in America a frown is this facial expression:

Whereas for us frowns happen above the nose and can signify anything from extreme displeasure to puzzlement to concentration. It’s perfectly feasible for someone to frown and smile at the same time, on this side of the pond. Put this in a book and Brits will understand but you’ll have loads of confused American readers. Now I understand about American frowns when I see it in a book rather than a dignified little crease forming between the eyebrows I’m imagining this sort of expression:

 

Probably not what the writer intends, but how do I know? Human interaction makes misunderstanding inevitable and it’s a very useful weapon in the writer’s arsenal.

How many books have you seen that have, as the major crisis, a miscommunication between the protagonists? Perhaps due to a misunderstanding or just, as one reviewer put it, “because they just can’t talk to each other like fucking adults”. I like my characters to communicate like fucking adults, maybe because it’s such a hard thing to achieve in real life, but it can be fun to let themselves wind themselves up a lot first. I’ve been winding up Briers and Miles like nobody’s business and, while they are prone to talk through their problems, conditions aren’t ideal for a heart to heart. Eventually,they have to grab their moment:

Briers expression was tense and there was a crease between his brows that made Miles frown in response. He didn’t feel any need to ask what Briers was talking about but this was a bad place and a bad time.
“I don’t feel it’s appropriate in present company,” he whispered with a nod towards his sleeping mother.
“No,” Briers shook his head. “We need to clear the air and this is probably the only opportunity we’ll have. Miles, I love you like a rat loves Cheddar but I’ve got an inkling that, right at this moment, the feeling isn’t reciprocated. What have I done to upset you.”
“Done? Nothing,” Miles drew a deep breath. “Nothing in particular. I’m horribly on edge. This whole situation is very uncomfortable, and frankly I’m worried sick. So when you talk over me, or patronise me or – in short – behave like most men do with their wives – it is a little … irking.”
Miles became aware that Briers jaw had dropped. “Talk over – I don’t.”
“Yes, you do. Think about it. When we were at dinner–”
“That’s just playing a role!”
“See! You did it then.”
Briers rocked back in his seat. “Oh heck. So I did!”

See I used frown there. >:| Lets turn one upside down

 

Thoughts

I’ve been having a whole load of very confusing thoughts lately. Part of it is due to recent terrible upsets amongst the group of people I see most frequently online, some of whom are friends and most cherished. Part of it is due to my own rather uncomfortable mental health issues, where on any given day I yoyo back and forth between the numb apathy of depression and the hyper-awareness of anxiety. Neither are helpful when trying to create entertaining fiction.

This could be why I’ve written myself into a plothole in no less than THREE separate stories and I am REALLY  struggling with the temptation to pack it all in and write fan fic instead.

Snippet!!

It’s a while since I’ve posted one of these.

I’m just finished a rewrite of The Lunar Imperative, which first appeared in the Foolish Encounters anthology, making it a LOT longer and adding back in all the fun world-building stuff I thought people wouldn’t want. That’s with my betas and there will be snippets of that another time.

 

But for now I’m trying to get my head back into the 1930s with Miles Siward and his mother, Emily, wife of the British Ambassador to Bucharest. Miles is visiting the Embassy:

“Since you are without dear Pritchard,” she said, “I thought I would come to see how you are getting on. I see you are having problems with your cuffs. Please allow me.”

“You’re a life saver, Ma.” Miles offered her the box with the cufflinks.

“Platinum?” Ma said. “And dark nacre. I don’t remember these, dear?”

“A gift from a friend,” Miles said, and couldn’t help smiling. Briers had presented him with the small package after a fleeting but mutually satisfying meeting in Paris. Miles hoped that Briers had been equally pleased with the gift he had hidden in his bag before they had left their hotel.

“A friend?” Mother raised her artfully darkened eyebrows – odd how Miles had never noticed the little tricks used by females to enhance their beauty until he had to master them. “I must hear more about this friend at some time. Such good taste Now, give me your hands.”

After so many years helping his father achieve the effortless elegance required of members of His Majesty’s diplomatic service, it was the work of a moment for Ma to fit the links through the stiff linen cuffs.

“Thank you.” Miles shot his cuffs and inspected himself in the mirror. “Will I do, Ma?”

“Beautifully.” Ma linked her arm through his and guided him towards the door. “I don’t know what I did to be blessed with two such handsome sons.”

“We don’t know what we did to be blessed with such good genes.” Miles squeezed her arm gently and opened the door for her.

More later 🙂

 

I hope you have been enjoying the stories in this great event as much as I have. You really don’t want to miss any so it’s a good idea to join the Facebook Group where links to each new story will be posted.

There are so many more than 24 authors each posting a little something to thank the readers who have done so much to support them over the past year. Never be shy about letting an author know what you enjoyed about their work – they might write more of it!

Today it’s my turn to provide a story but first little word about the charity I support.

The Albert Kennedy Trust is based in Manchester. For the past 28 years it has been providing comfort and support for homeless LGBT+ teens around the UK and has fantastic links to similar charities in other countries. It’s astonishing the difference a few pounds can make to a kid who might otherwise be sleeping rough. I’ be supporting them again this year, especially important at Christmas.

But …. I guess you’re here for the story.

He’s Behind You

A pantomime dame taking liberties with the chorus line? Sounds like a job for Millie Carstairs!

Download He’s Behind You HERE

Since the links are apparently not working click below for the whole story

Continue Reading »


I’m delighted today to be playing host to the lovely David Dawson whose latest release – The Deadly Lies – is now available!

This is the second in the Dominic Delingpole mysteries, the first of which, The Necessary Deaths, is a cracking read.

Welcome, David.

~*~*~

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. You could say some of my dance moves are pretty creative! I’ve been with them for five years, and it’s been a riot. This year we went on tour to New York and Chicago, and sang with the gay choruses in those two cities. It was exhilarating and very moving. The high point was singing in a Chicago school. We sang to both the lower school and the upper school, and did a workshop with their school choir. Ten years ago it would have been almost unthinkable for a gay choir to sing in a school. We must never forget how far we’ve advanced. Next year we’re off to mainland Europe.

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

Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty is a wonderful book – and I wish I’d written it! It’s set in 1980’s London, and recalls a brutal time in Britain’s history. But Hollinghurst writes it with great wit and pace. It’s not just a damn good plot, it’s also a great piece of social history. His novel The Stranger’s Child is also a very good piece of social observation, and a very complex structure, set in multiple historical periods. Hollinghurst handles the switch between periods deftly and with great lightness of writing.

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?

This is a great question for me, because I’ve just finished my first romantic suspense novel for Dreamspinner Press. The two Dominic Delingpole Mysteries are primarily thrillers, with strong love interest woven in. Dreamspinner asked if I could write a romance for my next novel, and I said yes! It’s been a steep learning curve for me, and involved reading lots of Dreamspinner’s great authors, to get the feel of structure. Yes, there are some structural differences. In a thriller or mystery, the jeopardy moments are usually to do with physical harm, or threat of physical harm. In a romance, the jeopardy moments are to do with heartbreak, or disappointment. Which means that for the romance I’ve drawn on a lot of personal experience! (Cue violins and tears).

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 very detailed spreadsheet, with information about all the characters. However, the physical details of my characters are less significant. It’s what they do that’s important. This hit home to me after I spoke to a number of readers about my first book: The Necessary Deaths. I had spent time trawling the Internet for gorgeous looking men (well someone’s got to do it) that represented my vision of a particular character. Then I would describe them in the book. The reality is, readers have their own image of what a character looks like. It’s based on what the character does, coupled with the reader’s own experiences of people they’ve met. I think it’s better I allow readers to paint their own pictures. I can guarantee every one will be different.

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’ve just sent Dreamspinner Press the manuscript for a new romantic suspense. It features two new characters; an American living in London called Luke Diamond who falls in love with an Englishman called The honourable Rupert Pendley-Evans. It’s got a very tense plot, and there’s lots of jeopardy on the way to true love!
The project I’ve now got my teeth into is a gripping tale based on a true story I was told this year. It’s my hardest project yet, because I got far too close to the real story, and I’ve had to distance myself to allow the drama to be told properly.

An Excerpt of The Deadly Lies

Dominic and Jonathan stood side by side on the sand, sharing the beauty of
the moonlight dappling the surface of the sea. The air was warm and still; the hubbub
of Sitges nightlife sounded muted and distant. Dominic slipped his fingers through
Jonathan’s, squeezed his hand tight, and kissed him on the cheek.
“Thank you, Jonathan.”
“What for?” he asked. “I haven’t done anything yet. I may yet need to protect
you from the perils of the night. I anticipate we will imminently be attacked by
international drug smugglers or carried off by white-slave traders to be sold in the
markets of Morocco as the playthings of Arab oligarchs.”
Dominic laughed, rested his head on Jonathan’s shoulder, and watched the
moon-silvered waves lap the shore.
“I think I want to say thank you for so many things. You make me very happy.
And I feel guilty I wasn’t honest with you about this evening, or the meeting
earlier—”
“What meeting earlier?” Jonathan turned to look at Dominic. “So your visit to
the antiques shop was just a cover story, was it?” His face appeared severe, but
Dominic was certain it was mock anger. He knew Jonathan too well.
“No, not entirely. I did go to the antiques shop, and I did find the gift for you I
was looking for. But the reason I didn’t tell you about the meeting—”
“Dominic, stop.” Jonathan kissed him gently on the lips. “We all have
convenient lies to tell from time to time. I am confident—no, more than that—I know
you love me enough not to want to hurt me. I know there’s some good reason for your
secrecy. I love you and I trust you. You don’t have to say any more.” He looked into
Dominic’s eyes. “But if I find it’s another man—”

~*~*~

Published: December 5th 2017
Genre: Mystery & suspense
Publisher: DSP Publications
Available in: paperback and ebook
67,000 words

The Deadly Lies is the second in the Dominic Delingpole Mysteries series. The first The Necessary Deaths was published a year ago, and won an FAPA award for mystery and suspense.

BLURB:
Dominic and Jonathan are on their romantic Spanish honeymoon, and things are perfect… except Dominic has kept a secret from his husband. He’s failed to tell Jonathan that he plans to meet his former lover, Bernhardt, who is speeding on his way from Germany to present Dominic with a mysterious gift.
But Bernhardt is killed in a suspicious car accident. Shortly before he dies, he sends Dominic a bizarre text message that will take the newlyweds on a hair-raising adventure.
Lies upon lies plunge Dominic and Jonathan into an internet crime that could destroy the lives of millions of people. What is the mysterious Charter Ninety-Nine group? And will their planned internet assault force Dominic to choose between the fate of the world and the life of his lover?

BUY LINKS:

Dreamspinner | Amazon US Kindle | Amazon US Paperback
Amazon UK Kindle | Amaon UK Paperback | Apple iBooks | B&N | Kobo

book title

Links to The Necessary Deaths
Blurb:
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.

Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Apple iBooks

book title

BIOG:
David C. Dawson is an award-winning author, journalist and documentary
maker. He lives near Oxford in the UK with two cats and his beloved Triumph
motorbike.
He writes mystery & suspense, with men in love at the heart of each story. His
books have been described as “real page-turners” and “un-put-downable”. His debut novel The Necessary Deaths, won a FAPA award for Mystery & Suspense.
One reviewer for his latest book The Deadly Lies described it as “very sexy”.
He campaigns hard for equal rights, and sings with the London Gay Men’s
Chorus.

SOCIAL LINKS

Website http://www.davidcdawson.co.uk
Blog http://blog.davidcdawson.co.uk/#home
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/david.c.dawson.5
Twitter https://twitter.com/david_c_dawson
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/DavidCDawson

New RE-releases!

Such good news this week as various authors begin to recover from the various upsets in the publishing world!

Charlie Cochrane’s wonderful Cambridge Fellows books are once more available, in paperback too this time!

We have a schedule for the re-release of JL Merrow’s Plumber’s Mate books, including exciting news of a brand new one.

And – like lightning – KJ Charles has got her self pubbed titles out of defunct Pronoun and back up with D2D.

I can’t believe that anyone who reads this blog is not as much of a fan of the above authors as I am but if you have missed out do yourself a favour. There’s nothing quite like the rush of warmth you get when reading something excellent for the first time.