Monday, 27 June 2016

Giveaway for Island Counselor


Island Counselor

I have a giveaway for Island Counselor. Join in with the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

Buylinks:
Paperback: Dreamspinner | Amazon

Logan is there for everyone, but who is there when he falls apart?

Counselor Logan Wilde has a successful therapy practice in London, but when a traumatic incident there leaves him suffering from PTSD, he takes refuge in his holiday cottage on the Isle of Wight, unable to face going back to work. Not that he’s allowed to relax. Logan’s time is taken up with helping Liam Owens, plus there’s Nick Brent, whom Logan discovers collapsed on the beach. Nick and Logan spend their time bickering with each other, but that doesn’t alter the attraction they feel.

Logan is forced to make some hard decisions about his future, which entails facing up to recent events. Only he’s not alone—Nick is with him. Unfortunately someone else makes a decision too, and now trouble is on its way to the Isle of Wight.


The Isle Series

Sunday, 26 June 2016

A Contrast of Prides

Yesterday I went to London Pride. I came back tired and happy, and planning to write this post. Then this morning I read a post from B.A. Brock. Please read his blog. I think the contrast is really telling. This is my third Pride. I went years ago with my girlfriend, her sister and my friend. Walking in the parade was the first time I was comfortable holding my girlfriend's hand in public. Bear in mind I was forty before I acknowledged openly that I wasn't straight, so Pride has a special place in my heart.

I spent yesterday in Trafalgar Square in London with the lovely JL Merrow. I came back from Pride tired, sun-baked but happy, as I'd spent the day surrounded by people where I didn't have to filter who I am. That was the message for 2016 London Pride. #nofilter.




I know Pride has the reputation for scantily clad young guys, but in London they'd probably freeze their nuts off. Oh dear, Sue, you're showing your age. I can't talk about that side of Pride but let me talk about it from a dumpy middle-aged bisexual's point of view. In the queue to get in, we met Matt. That's what I love about queues. You get to talk to really interesting people. We talked about our writing, London theatre and had a laugh about the Bible 'enthusiasts'. Matt wanted to blow glitter in their faces, which was a lot politer than our desire to harangue them with Bible verses.

We got in early, found a bench and a glass of wine, and watched the opening number from the stage show, Kinky Boots. The opening entertainment was much better than last year. After we'd been slowly cooked in the sun we wandered around the square. Were there stalls last year? Anyway, more wine, more entertainment, and sunbathing, and people watching. I loved seeing the confidence people had together. I loved rainbows and people dressed up, especially the guy in seventies gear and the gold shoes.

Then it was time to see the parade - kind of. The joys of being a short-arse is I only saw the heads of a few people and the buses/floats. But we got to cheer everyone. The kid playing disinterestedly with his DS on the bus made me and Jamie laugh. There were a huge number of banners for Orlando. I was pleased that a Christian group got huge cheers, as did a trans group (I mention this specifically), and the police/emergency services. I was surrounded by same-sex couples happy to kiss and cuddle in public.

The last thing we did (and yes it was very middle age/middle class of us) was get out of the sun by popping in the National Gallery for a cream tea. Yum!! I was facing the window, and I could see a reflection of two policemen. I'd just said to Jamie that it must be a boring job, having to stand in one place all day, then a young man bounced up (literally) and kissed one of them. It made my day.

I know the Pride celebrations carried on all night. Matt, wherever you are, I hope you had a great time!

I didn't take any photos because my phone is being a total arse with the battery. But I'm sure you'd like to see these tweets. This is what my Pride is about.



  

This was my Pride. Relaxing, joy, people having fun. Proposals, cheering and sore feet. I wasn't there long. I'm not and never have been a party animal, but I had an afternoon of fun. The predicted rain and thunderstorms held off although there was a dramatic clap of thunder as I walked back across the bridge to Waterloo station. I grinned as a shriek rose from the crowd I'd just left.

This morning I read this post on B.A. Brock's blog, IT’S PRIDE! HUMANS WELCOME (Down for transitioning gender, be back soon), an anonymous guest post talking about Pride and being transgender in a community that doesn’t always embrace the “T” in LGBTQ+. I asked B.A. if I could link it here.
It felt like there was some unspoken rule that if you are transitioning you need to stay in your closet and don’t come out until we can’t tell you apart. I also didn’t pass for a lesbian (or dyke either). Read the rest here.
I don't want to speak for the blogger, so please go and read this blog. Yes, I'm 'old', but there were plenty of people like me at Pride, men and women of all ages. As a trans group walked passed in the parade everyone was cheering. I never thought to question how individual trans people were treated. It was a wake-up call for this cis female. 




Isle Series



The Isle of... Where?

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Isle of Wishes

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Isle of Waves

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Isle of Waiting

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Island Medics



Island Doctor

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Island Counselor

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Friday, 24 June 2016

Review of Solo Honeymoon from Lisa Worrall

Solo Honeymoon from Lisa Worrall

Buylink: Amazon

As Sue Brown and I walked around the streets of Venice, I knew I had to set a story there. I’d wanted to go to Venice for as long as I can remember, you know? So when I had the opportunity to attend the first Italian MM Romance convention, I jumped at the chance. It was everything I’d imagined and more, so much more. St Mark’s Square, The Basilica, the street vendors, the gondolas, the canals, and the people... the people were wonderful. So welcoming, so warm.

When I started writing Solo Honeymoon, I knew I wanted Leo to see Venice through the eyes of someone who lived there. Someone who could take him to lesser known, less touristy parts, although he did see St Mark’s Square and The Basilica. Leo’s experience was mine. His wonder as he walked into that beautiful church was mine and it was wonderful to be able to write from the heart; which is where I’ll keep my memories of that wonderful weekend forever.

Blurb:

Leo Barratt hadn't written his bucket list, but he was pretty sure there were several things he wouldn't have put on it. Like... waking up to a Dear John letter from his fiance, Eric, the day before their wedding... or going on his honeymoon - alone.

But, under the strict instructions of his mother, he found himself in Venice at Bauta, the beautiful bed and breakfast where he'd supposed to have started off married life. Instead, he planned to spend three weeks inside his room and wait for the pain to go away.

Or at least that's what he thought...

Bauta, was run by Matteo Leghissa and his mother, Luana. Used to getting his own way, Matteo refused to allow Leo to wallow in self-pity and appointed himself as Leo's official guide.

Apparently, falling in love with a beautiful stranger wasn't on Leo's bucket list either but.....

Review: I have a disclaimer to make. As I visited Venice with Lisa I am utterly biased and totally in love with Venice and Solo Honeymoon.

Right, onto the review. As ever I'm not going to recap the plot. I love Lisa's style of writing. She manages to combine a lyrical style of prose without ever descending into the purple variety. Lisa always gets me invested in her characters. I wanted to nail Eric to the wall for hurting Leo. Then Leo meets Matteo and his mother, and you just know they are meant to be. But, like all good love stories, they both have baggage and secrets to overcome. I was cheering them on from the moment Leo and Matteo meet on a cobblestones. A lovely story in a beautiful city.
 


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Cover Reveal: Resistance by Lillian Francis

Cover Reveal - Lillian Francis - Resistance

Author: Lillian Francis

Release Date: July 5


Cover: Garrett Leigh at Black Jazz Design

Length: 53,600 words

Buylink: here

Blurb: 


How long can you wait on a promise?

After his first night with Mal, Rick broke the habit of a lifetime and invited the
sexy radiographer to spend the weekend in the sleepy English village he 
called home. Rick isn’t in denial but he’s afraid to reveal his sexuality in the 
close-knit community that has known him since he was a babe in arms.

The sex is amazing but equally Mal loves lazy days spent in the garden at
Slopy Bottom, and every precious moment he spends with Rick. For Mal the 
village quickly becomes an oasis of peace, far from the noise and grime of life 
in London, a slice of tranquillity with Rick at the heart. But Mal has defied his 
family and his religion to be true to himself, and there is no way can he join 
Rick in his self-built closet, no matter how comfortable it is...

Rick is afraid revealing the true nature of his relationship with Mal will change
the way his neighbours see him. He adores these people, this village, and he 
can’t face the thought of losing everything over who he chooses to sleep with. 
When the alternative is giving up a man who has slotted perfectly into his 
life—a man who he might just love—it’s no choice at all. But, knowing what 
has to be done isn’t always as easy as putting it into practice.

About the Series

Resistance is book 1 in my new series, Village Love. Village Love is set in the fictional Sussex village of Slopy Bottom. I'll let Rick tell you how Slopy Bottom got its name.

“It’s one p, Slopy Bottom. The village has been there centuries. Local historians think it started life as Slope Bottom since the oldest houses are on the low slope at the bottom of a hill. The rest of the village spread out into the valley as the years went by but the name stuck. At one point the village was all but owned by a French lord, which could account for the mispronunciation, and it appears to have been Slopy Bottom ever since.”

Rick and Mal? Haven't you written about those characters before?
The simple answer is yes. Rick and Mal appeared in a one-off short story, Resonance. Resonance spawned this story which in turn spawned a whole host of storylines. As Resonance doesn't take place in the village it has been assigned as Village Love 0.5.

Do I need to read Resonance to read Resistance?
No. Several of my beta readers didn't read Resonance before working on Resistance and found it had no impact. However, Resonance is the story of how Rick and Mal meet and will obviously shed further light on their relationship.

Where can I buy Resonance?
Resonance is currently available at ARe and Amazon.
At Are it has been free on a semi regular basis since release. It is currently free until 31st July.
At Amazon it is 99p or the equivalent. Here's a universal link to take you to your local Amazon store. myBook.to/ResonanceL_F

Will there be more books in the series?
Definitely. I'm already working on Book 2, and Book 3 has been urging me to write it's opening scene in the last couple of days (I resisted, but I did make
some scrappy notes). I have very brief story lines, if they work out, for at least
a Book 4, and maybe a Book 5. If you read a particular character that you like drop me a line and let me know, I've undoubtedly got a plan to pair him with someone!

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.


Twitter @LillianFrancis_




Email: lillianfrancis@rocketmail.com


Saturday, 18 June 2016

Have you read... Mr Plum?

Mr Plum

Buylinks: Amazon | All Romance ebooks

Each morning, Dave gets his morning coffee from the tiny coffee shop on platform 4, whilst he waits for his train. One morning he notices that the man in front of him gets the cup with plum-coloured sleeve, which matches the stripe in his tie, earning him the name Mr Plum. Plum is Dave's favourite colour. He notices details like that.

With the unsubtle help of Kai, the barista, a gentle romance starts between Dave and Mr Plum, aka Tom. A romance conducted in front of the commuters of the 8:50 to London Waterloo.



Excerpt:


Whenever Tom told the tale of how they got together, he started with the story of the laundrette and the boxers.

Dave used to smile and pull him into a hug, but Dave never told Tom he was wrong. Well, there are some things you sacrifice for the sake of a quiet life.
It actually started with a takeaway coffee cup two months previously. If Dave was going to be totally accurate, he'd point out it was because of the cardboard sleeve of the cup, the one they used to stop your fingers burning, but then Tom would say his OCD was showing and tell him to shut up.
*
It was the colour of the sleeve Dave noticed, a deep plum that matched the stripe on the tie the guy was wearing. Dave always noticed things like that. He had a keen eye for detail. Dave was green with envy; he had never been given that sleeve. Plum was by far and away his favourite colour, and yet the world and the coffee shop on the station had never seen fit to give him a plum sleeve on Dave’s morning drink.
He didn't get it this time either. His was red. It was a deep red and it wasn't bad, but it wasn't plum and it made Dave grit his teeth in frustration. He could hardly demand that Kai, the barista with a huge smile who made him industrial strength coffee every morning at no extra charge, hunt through cardboard sleeves until he found a plum one. Yeah, he could just see how well that would go down with the queue of bleary-eyed commuters behind him. So he just smiled thinly and, clutching his coffee, followed Mr Plum, for want of a better name, out of the tiny coffee shop on platform four, to await the 8:50 to London Waterloo.
Mr Plum wandered farther up the platform than Dave normally stood, his nose buried deep in his Kindle. He didn't seem to notice the covetous glances Dave had been casting at his coffee cup.
The train arrived and they both got on, Mr Plum in another carriage. Dave was lucky enough to find a seat, and he sat, sipping at his coffee, with the crimson sleeve around his cup. If the coffee tasted a little bitter to him, maybe that was just an added dash of sour grapes—plum coloured, of course.
***
Two days later, Dave swore miserably under his breath as he staggered up the stairs to the platform.
Having been off work the previous day, enduring the torture of root canal work at the dentist, Dave was not in the best of moods. He was grumpy and hurting like hell, despite painkillers the dentist had sworn would fell an ox. It had taken him a long time to get moving that morning, his whole face and jaw aching with the pain. It was 8:48 and he was too late to get a coffee. With the best will in the world, Kai couldn't move the line that quickly.
Miserably, Dave moved to his usual spot on the platform, waiting for the train to arrive. Lost his own world, Dave wasn't prepared for the cup of coffee thrust under his nose. He looked up to see Mr Plum smiling at him.
"Kai thought you might be in be in need of this," he said, holding out the cup.
When Dave didn't take the cup immediately, his smile started to wobble. Dave noticed that Mr Plum had a really nice smile, in fact he had a really gorgeous face. Warm, dark brown eyes and olive skin, framed by a crisp, dark-red cotton shirt. The tie had a red motif the same colour as his shirt. This guy knew how to coordinate.
Mr Plum started to withdraw the cup as the train pulled into the station. "Maybe I got the wrong person," he said uncertainly.
"No!" Seeing his caffeine disappearing, Dave made a grab for the cardboard cup, "I'm sorry, I'm not feeling so good this morning." Their fingers tangled briefly as he took the cup.
Having handed the coffee over to him, Mr Plum's smile returned. "Kai said that. Hope you feel better tomorrow." He moved down the platform to his usual spot with a brief goodbye.
Dave stared after him for so long he almost forgot why he was standing on the platform and had to make a hasty scramble to get in before the doors closed. As he sat down, clutching his coffee in one hand and the free newspaper in the other, Dave mentally made a note to thank Kai and settle up with him on Monday. It wasn't the first time Kai had given out a free coffee if he felt his customer was in need, but Dave didn't like to take advantage of the generous barista.
He took a sip of the strong black coffee and for the first time, caught sight of the cardboard sleeve. The plum-coloured cardboard sleeve. For the first time since he'd got up, a smile curved Dave's mouth as he traced his fingers over the cup.

Friday, 17 June 2016

3 Days to go until the release of Island Counselor

Only three days to go until the release of Island Counselor!



due out 20th June 2016

Paperback: Dreamspinner | Amazon


Logan is there for everyone, but who is there when he falls apart?

Counselor Logan Wilde has a successful therapy practice in London, but when a traumatic incident there leaves him suffering from PTSD, he takes refuge in his holiday cottage on the Isle of Wight, unable to face going back to work. Not that he’s allowed to relax. Logan’s time is taken up with helping Liam Owens, plus there’s Nick Brent, whom Logan discovers collapsed on the beach. Nick and Logan spend their time bickering with each other, but that doesn’t alter the attraction they feel.

Logan is forced to make some hard decisions about his future, which entails facing up to recent events. Only he’s not alone—Nick is with him. Unfortunately someone else makes a decision too, and now trouble is on its way to the Isle of Wight.