Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Next Big Thing

I’ve been tagged by Jo Myles for ‘The Next Big Thing’ blog tour. Never one to blow my own trumpet—I’m really not that flexible—and knowing how badly I suck at utilising social media, I grabbed the opportunity to embrace a wider audience with both hands.

Luckily, her email landed in my inbox at just the right time. I was despatching the first draft of my next novel to those wonderful peeps I rely on to rip my work to shreds so that I can, hopefully, put it back together again with as few tears as possible before submitting to publishers.

What is the title of your book?

Theory Unproven.

How did you come by the idea?

Watching a nature programme about intelligence in certain animals—in this case elephants--the seeds of an idea struck almost straight away. Luckily I had the foresight to hit record on the set-top box. I built the entire story around the two theories that they proved with the elephants.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary gay romance--with a touch of angst.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?

Ah, this is a hard one. I never really had actors in mind when I wrote this. There were several drawings by Michael Breyette which I looked at when I first started writing and thought, yeah that’s Eric and that’s Tyaan, but I never referred to them again so I might have drifted away from them as the story progressed. However they are great pieces of art so clicking the links won't be too much of a hardship for you.

*Thinks hard.*

Tyaan – Chris Hemsworth, maybe, with slightly shorter hair and muscle defined by hard work rather than working out. Hang on, what colour eyes has he got? They need to be golden brown. And that scruff is far too manicured, it needs to be unkempt as if he just couldn’t be arsed to shave for a couple of days.

Source: imdb.com via Lillian on Pinterest


Eric – need a London guy with dark hair. Nigel Harman, maybe, but that reference is perhaps a little obscure for international audiences.



One character I can say for certain is Gilda. She’s the love of Tyaan’s life.

Source: avrosys.nu via Lillian on Pinterest


She’s a de Havilland DHC-4 Caribou. A little large for a bush pilot, but Tyaan fell in love with her the moment he saw her and knew he had to have her. It’s the only woman he’s ever felt that way about.
 
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I know should write these things as I go along, but my least favourite part of writing is the synopsis be it one line or five pages.

Unless you give it a chance, love will always be a theory unproven.

That’s off the top of my head. What do you think?

Will your book be self-published or traditional?

I’ll be submitting it to a publisher, I’m not quite sure which yet.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Wow, umm ages. I’m a slow writer unfortunately. This novel started life as a short story which probably took about 3 weeks to write. Then I went back to it at some point in July, but I was interrupted by edits on two other stories for the better part of July/August, so I probably didn’t get back to it in earnest until September and I finished the first draft second week of November, during which time I added another 80K to the word count.

So back to the question, probably about 11 weeks in total.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

*frowns* Well, I try not to emulate anyone else’s work. This is a story I wanted to tell based on an initial seed of information and the characters sort of took it places I’d never intended when I got that first idea.
I certainly haven’t read anything and thought ‘I want to write a story like this.’.  I read things and tell myself ‘That was bloody amazing, I wish I could write like that.’ But that isn’t the same thing.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I had the idea and decided to try and write it as a short story with a view to submitting it for Dreamspinner’s Animal Magnetism anthology, with maybe a second short story to follow as a sequel. Even keeping it to the bare bones I couldn’t get it anywhere near the maximum word count.

I decided not to try to force the story into a format it didn’t want to live in. Instead, it became a novel, both stories flowing seamlessly together into 92K of lust, angst, pain, denial, love, dust, sun and elephant dung. Wow, there’s a lot going on when you put it like that.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It also features two male elephants with more than a healthy interest in each other and an intelligence quota that may appear high, but research proves is perfectly normal within the elephant community.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Gobsmacked

I was gobsmacked to discover that Lesson Learned has been nominated for Best Debut Novel in the m/m romance Goodreads awards. One of many I know, but still, to even make this rather long shortlist is an achievement. That I had to read the list three times just to be certain I hadn't imagined it should convey my surprise at making the list, it certainly wasn't something I expected to happen.

If you haven't yet voted and you would like to (although not necessarily for me) the link to the nominations is here http://www.esurveyspro.com/Survey.aspx?id=1af2af8b-773e-4236-ab9e-c4affac951c5 You don't have to be a member of the group or even of Goodreads to vote, nor do you need to vote in every category.

Also, Lashings of Sauce, the anthology which includes one of my short stories, has been nominated for Best anthology.

Oh, happy days.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Thursday, 6 December 2012

It's finally here

Lovers Entwined is out today and finally it's my chance to introduce you to Ewan and Trey.


Blush sensuality level: This is a sensual romance (may have explicit love scenes, but not erotic in frequency or type).

Ewan is one of Boston’s leading genealogy experts. When a would-be bridegroom comes looking for confirmation that there are no skeletons in his ancestral closet, Ewan considers turning the job down. Trey is a jerk of the highest order and yet Ewan experiences an infuriating attraction that’s easy to justify. Trey’s exactly his type—a carbon copy of the man Ewan’s been looking for his entire life.

Harder to explain is the sense of recognition that leaves Ewan speechless the moment Trey steps into his office. Or the stomach-churning sensation at the thought of casting the job aside.

Trey gets more appealing by the day, leaving Ewan struggling with forbidden desire for his client. Desire not helped by strange voyeuristic dreams that have started to haunt his sleep. Dreams that appear to be an echo of the past…





Line: Paranormal & Fantasy Romance
Series: None
Book Length: Plus Novel
Book Type: eBook
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
ISBN: 9781419941658
Buy links: Ellora's Cave

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Final Calls

Last chance to enter the Lovers Entwined giveaway over at Stumblingoverchaos

Lovers Entwined will be released tomorrow.


Also while I'm here, I'll be giving away one copy of When Love Flue In to a lucky winner picked from the comments on either of these post.

http://lillianfrancis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/good-luck-will-rub-off-when-i-shake.html

http://lillianfrancis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/just-facts-maam-aka-sometimes-wikipedia.html

I'll keep the giveaway open until the 7th December, so if you want to try and win a copy head on over to either post and leave a message.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Good luck will rub off when I shake hands with you...

photo credit: janGlas via photopin cc
Hi, I’m Reagan and I’m a chimney sweep. That's not me in the picture by the way, my hair is darker, there's a chance my ears are bigger and I don't wear the traditional get-up to actually do my job. Especially not the hat, I hate the hat. No, on the job you're far more likely to find me in dirty jeans and a T-shirt.
Before you ask, nope, I’m not a cockney. I’m from the West Country, a small village in Somerset to be precise. Not that any of the London sweeps I’ve ever met speak like Dick Van Dyke. I can’t sing either, in case you’re wondering. As for nifty dance routines on the rooftops, well, I don’t think Health and Safety would be too impressed. Anyway the closest I get to dancing is flailing my limbs around on the dance floor at the clubs I go to…when I get the time. And I can slow dance with the best of them, but can’t we all? I mean, what’s difficult about leaning into the latest hot, hard body?
I say the latest because I can’t seem to keep a boyfriend longer than a month.
Don’t know why.
I know I’m not what you’d call traditionally handsome, but I’m not likely to scare small children or curdle milk. As for the rest of me, hell, sweep work is physically demanding—I never need to visit the gym—and my body reflects the effort that my job demands.
Maybe it’s the hassle of being self-employed; some guys don’t understand that when you work for yourself, occasionally you need to make sacrifices of your time. In the quiet summer months I can supplement my income by appearing at weddings. It’s a tradition that capitalises on the superstition that sweeps are good luck, dating back to a story that claimed George III’s life was saved by a chimney sweep. I said I can’t really dance but I can jump a broomstick. Of course, that means most of my summer work is weekends.
Then come September, my work starts in earnest and I’m busy, busy, busy. It’s rare that emergency calls need to be made, most people schedule their yearly cleans well in advance. But occasionally there are problems, flues catching on fire where people have skimped on the need to have their chimney swept. Sometimes people forget, or their circumstances change and they suddenly realise in a panic that it’s Christmas in two days’ time and the sweep has yet to make an appearance. I try to accommodate all my regular customers, but a callout on Christmas Eve, well, that’s never going to happen.
Unless… No… Who am I kidding? There’s one customer who I can’t deny. Not that it’s ever going to lead the places my fantasies would like it to go. Maybe that’s another reason why I can’t keep a boyfriend, my unquenchable desire for the unattainable.
Wow, that was some tangent. You don’t want to hear about my sex life, or should I say lack of it, and I certainly don’t want to talk about the blond Adonis who fills my dreams, and most of my waking—or is that wanking--fantasies.
Let’s get back on track, chimney sweeps… I could forgive you for thinking my story is a historical one. Sombre scenes of child labour and smoke-filled skies. Rotund capitalists eagerly exploiting small urchins, sending them up chimneys; quite regularly to their death.
No, this is the twenty-first century not Victorian England. Thankfully. My sexual proclivities, as I think I’ve possibly already implied, embrace all that is male. It’s a fact I’m not in the slightest bit ashamed about, but a situation that would have been unimaginable a hundred years ago.
Got distracted again. Where was I?
Once a profession in decline due to the 1956 Clean Air Act, nowadays chimney sweeps are making a resurgence. Physically fit men and women can once more be found in the hearths’ of many homes across the country, due to the credit crunch and rising energy prices. I specialise in open fires as opposed to wood burning stoves, although I do have the training tackle both. I just prefer to work on an open fireplace. Sometimes it can be a dangerous job, or so the Health and Safety Executive tells us. We may not be sending small children up to clear the blockage or dancing on loose slate tiles but the job can have its hazards.
I’ve been attacked by a trapped bird, just missed being brained by a falling brick, lost my heart to a man I can’t have, been stranded on a roof when my ladder fell and ruined more T-shirts than I care to mention.
Then there’s the problem with the soot, it’s carcinogenic. And that can mean long-term health problems if you’re not careful. I always wear a mask. No, that’s not actually true, there are five occasions I haven’t worn a mask, but what’s five chimneys out of hundreds. And technically it’s always been the same house, the same chimney, the same blond-haired picture of perfection watching me. My mum would kill me if she ever found out I was playing fast and loose with my health like that, especially since it’s just because I don’t want to look like an idiot in front of a man who always looks so amazing.
All in all, I love my job. I work for myself, travelling the county, always somewhere different. I’m rarely treated with indifference. My regular customers always seem pleased to see me, treating me like an old friend. At the weddings I appear at I’m treated with the reverence for the luck bearer I’m purported to be.
So what if it’s a dirty job, someone’s got to do it.
I can always shower.
When I get home.



Reagan appears in my new Christmas release When Love Flue In.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Just the facts, ma’am (aka, Sometimes Wikipedia does get it right)



R J Scott's Christmas Blog Hop

According to the font of all knowledge, Wikipedia…
The chimney uses the pressure difference caused by a hot column of gas to create a draught and draw air over the hot coals or wood enabling continued combustion. Chimneys may be straight or contain many changes of direction.
Strangely this is quite a fitting description for the relationship between the two main characters in my new Christmas short, When Love Flue In. It took a change of direction in Dominic’s life before he could acknowledge what he wanted. Needless to say years of lusting after a man he thought he had no right to, had taken its toll and with the change in his lifestyle, the feelings he had tried valiantly to keep under wraps finally bowed to the pressure. As ‘the oracle’ tells us, this can only lead to one thing…combustion.

copyright Lillian Francis

One of the working fireplaces in the kitchens at Hampton Court.


At this point I could insert a joke about how many sweeps it would take to fill that massive hole but I'll leave that to your own warped and twisted imaginations. Look at those scorch marks though. That fire must have been throwing out tremendous heat.

Hopefully, my story will provide you with even a fraction of that warmth.

I'll leave you to decide.

When Love Flue In is out today from Silver Publishing


Christmas, a time for friends, family and roaring fires. Unfortunately Dominic faces the festive season alone with a blocked chimney.
A soot-haired sweep, an exploding flue and an uncooked turkey. It’s an unholy trinity.
This year Christmas might be perfect.

It’s Dominic’s first Christmas since his divorce and though he’s spending it on his own he’s determined to have a traditional Christmas morning, including a roaring fire.

Which is why Reagan, a soot-haired chimney sweep, is head and shoulders up Dominic’s flue.

Unable to take his eyes off Reagan’s low slung jeans and enticing arse while he sets about the hearth with rods and brushes, Dominic knows five years is a long time to have an obsession with the man who sweeps his chimney every Christmas.

This year there’s nothing to stop Dominic from acting on his desires.

But Dominic will need to stop hiding who he really is before a special sweep can light a fire in his heart.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Lovers Entwined - Giveaway

Ewan is one of Boston’s leading genealogy experts. When a would-be bridegroom comes looking for confirmation that there are no skeletons in his ancestral closet, Ewan considers turning the job down. Trey is a jerk of the highest order and yet Ewan experiences an infuriating attraction that’s easy to justify. Trey’s exactly his type—a carbon copy of the man Ewan’s been looking for his entire life.

Harder to explain is the sense of recognition that leaves Ewan speechless the moment Trey steps into his office. Or the stomach-churning sensation at the thought of casting the job aside.

Trey gets more appealing by the day, leaving Ewan struggling with forbidden desire for his client. Desire not helped by strange voyeuristic dreams that have started to haunt his sleep. Dreams that appear to be an echo of the past…


Head on over to Stumblingoverchaos where I'll be giving away a copy of Lovers Entwined.

http://www.stumblingoverchaos.com/archives/21860

Closing date for entries is 5th December.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

When Love Flue In - Giveaway

Sometimes Santa isn’t the best thing to come out of a chimney.

Head on over to Stumblingoverchaos where I'll be giving away a copy of When Love Flue In.

http://www.stumblingoverchaos.com/archives/21858

Closing date for entries is 30th November.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lest We Forget

Poppies, like heroes,  can be found everywhere.


Copyright Lillian Francis



Enough said.

If you need more food for thought though, check out the poems of Wilfred Owen, who was killed on 4 November 1918 during the battle to cross the Sambre-Oise canal at Ors. This link will take you to The Sentry, where Owen packs enough visual imagary to fill a short story into a poem. His other poems are listed on the right; all will make you think if you care to do so.


Thursday, 18 October 2012

You wait all year for a new release & then two come along at once...

As I posted recently, my new novel Lovers Entwined will be released on the 6th December by Ellora's Cave.

But this post isn't a reminder of that even though I've opened as such.

My Christmas story, 'When Love Flue In', will be released by Silver Publishing on the 1st December. Since it is part of Silver's 25 Days of Christmas, Let is Snow, it has a generic cover.


Generic maybe, but I think it has a lovely wintery feel.

Hopefully the story will stand out amongst the crowd, but being the first release of the group can't be a bad thing, can it?

I best let you know what it's all about, eh? Although, there's a clue in the title.

When Love Flue In

Christmas, a time for friends, family and roaring fires. Unfortunately Dominic faces the festive season alone with a blocked chimney.
A soot-haired sweep, an exploding flue and an uncooked turkey. It’s an unholy trinity.
This year Christmas might be perfect.

It’s Dominic’s first Christmas since his divorce and though he’s spending it on his own he’s determined to have a traditional Christmas morning, including a roaring fire.

Which is why Reagan, a soot-haired chimney sweep, is head and shoulders up Dominic’s flue.

Unable to take his eyes off Reagan’s low slung jeans and enticing arse while he sets about the hearth with rods and brushes, Dominic knows five years is a long time to have an obsession with the man who sweeps his chimney every Christmas.

This year there’s nothing to stop Dominic from acting on his desires.

But Dominic will need to stop hiding who he really is before a special sweep can light a fire in his heart.

Pre-order from Silver now and double your reward points!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A blurb and a release date

I have a release date!

Lovers Entwined will be released on 6th December at Ellora's Cave.

Now finally, I can reveal the blurb.

Lovers Entwined

Ewan is one of Boston’s leading genealogy experts. When a would-be bridegroom comes looking for confirmation that there are no skeletons in his ancestral closet, Ewan considers turning the job down. Trey is a jerk of the highest order and yet Ewan experiences an infuriating attraction that is easy to justify. Trey’s exactly his type—a carbon copy of the man Ewan’s been looking for his entire life. 
Harder to explain is the sense of recognition that leaves Ewan speechless the moment Trey steps into his office. Or the stomach-churning sensation at the thought of casting the job aside. 
Trey gets more appealing by the day, leaving Ewan struggling with forbidden desire for his client. Desire not helped by strange voyeuristic dreams that have started to haunt his sleep. Dreams that appear to be an echo of the past.

Read an excerpt here

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Update to my Work in Progress page

Thought it was about time I updated my Work in Progress page.

So this post does exactly what it says in the header. http://lillianfrancis.blogspot.co.uk/p/work-in-progress.html

For those who can't be arse to click the link, here's the entry in full:

Thought it was about time I updated my work in progress page.
My second novel 'Undying Love' is in that tentative breath-holding stage of submission. I'll pimp it out until somebody likes it enough to say yes.
‘Undying Love’ went through many title changes but has now become ‘Lovers Entwined’. It was accepted by Ellora’s Cave and will be released in their Blush range. I believe I’m still the only author to offer m/m in this range. Is that a good or bad thing, I’m not sure? I’m finally coming to the end of edits, so hopefully a release date will be imminent. The cover has been finalised and is available for your perusal here.
In the meantime I'm working on stories for a couple of submission calls:

A Christmas Story, which I like to call 'When love flue in', is almost ready for submission. A few little edits and the synopsis to write, then I'm good to go.
As you may have seen this novella was accepted by Silver for their range of Christmas stories. Expect to see some pimping of this in the run up to the festive season.
A story for the Animal Encounters call at Dreamspinner. The brief - animals must bring our couple together in some way.
Unfortunately mine is looking like being way too long for the 12K max word count!
I was correct in my assumption. Having pared the story down to its bare bones and still unable to get it below 13K, Dreamspinner declined it for entry into the anthology on the grounds it was too long. Anyway the lads have decided they have a longer story to tell and that 13K currently stands at 30K and counting.

And finally, a story for the Snow on the Roof call at Dreamspinner. The brief - one of the couple must be over forty. Often in my stories my boys have trouble communicating, in this I take that to a whole other level!
Based on my previous experience with the Dreamspinner anthology format I’m not even going to try to get this ready for the November deadline. The handwritten notes on this are already pointing to a much longer story, one which will have to wait until after the New Year.

Okay update over. Move along. Nothing funny or clever to see here!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Just a teaser - Cover Reveal

Over the summer I received the artwork for my latest novel and I'm feeling the need to share it with you all.

It comes on its own at the moment since the blurb has yet to be finalised but the cover is a fair representation of the story within.


Cover design is by Dar Albert. I think he's done a great job. What do you think? Does it pique your interest?



Sunday, 22 July 2012

*Face Palm* I am a techno idiot

Some how I have managed to delete all the comments on all my posts. Don't ask me how, not paying attention probably (I have too many windows open to concentrate on any of them).

Just so you know this wasn't done intentionally, I value each and every comment I recieve here. If you're new here this isn't a lonely loveless blog, it's just run by someone with the brains of a rocking horse!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

In search of a topic (and not the chocolate nutty sort)

What to say…

Today is the release of Lashings of Sauce, an anthology which I am proud to be part of since I am sharing pages with the likes of Jo Myles, Charlie Cochrane, JL Merrow, Clare London and Jordan Castillo Price. It celebrates what it is to be, not just British but, European in this year of commemoration and festivity.
So, as my title proclaims, what should I write about?  To be honest I’m still slightly in awe of all the names my story nestles in amongst and the insightful, witty blog posts that will undoubtedly be out there to promote this release. Which reminds me, I used the word amongst in my story. It’s a word I have used for too many years to stop myself writing it naturally, but on the read through I edited it out, changing it to among to bring it in line with what I had come to expect publishers would want. Amongst is an old fashioned word apparently and not one that would be immediately recognised by English speakers worldwide, one that would jar them from the reading experience, much like leant (leaned) or dreamt (dreamed). Imagine my joy when I was told since it was a British publication, celebrating all things British, I could use the word amongst.
Hah, there was my subject matter for my blog, the difference between UK and US English. Imagine my horror when I opened my Google Reader on Monday to find Jo Myles had done a blog post on that exact subject! Back to square one then…and preventing the use of my favourite line from my briefly sketched out plan: “I’m all for having your lead character pound his boyfriend’s arse, but having him pound his boyfriend’s donkey is just all sorts of wrong.” (aka the difference between arse and ass)
Why don’t I just tell you about my contribution to the anthology?
It’s called Waiting for a Spark and it’s set in our teeming metropolis.
Ooh, London. Bright lights, big city. The West End. Soho. Chinatown. Big Ben. The streets formerly roamed by Jack the Ripper.
Is it a theatre story, all greasepaint and glitz? Or werewolves changing beneath a full moon reflected in the dark glistening water of the Thames? Maybe lust and unbridled passion in the Houses of Parliament? Or 19thC bobbies tracking a notorious killer?
All very exciting, yes?
Nope. To be honest that part of London that you all know is tiny in comparison to the rest of it. The meandering outer boroughs where one town slides easily into the next is where this story is really set. Towns where people are getting on with lives which are humdrum in comparison to the images living in London conjures up.
And that is what my story is about. Everyday, mundane things. The bus ride to work in the mornings where you break the routine by fantasising about the gorgeous man that always sits near the back of the bus. Or running out of milk on a Sunday evening after all the shops have closed, except one. Of how, even inadvertently, we can all be just a little bit racist. Sometimes in thought, word, deed or just in the things we don’t say and the assumptions we make.
Yes, I know. Two things have happened. I’ve mentioned racism and most of you have decided not to read this story. It’ll be one you skip, after all you don’t have to read every story in an anthology, right? The second thing that has happened is that all of you that have seen Avenue Q are now humming a little song. I wish I could find a decent copy to link you all to but You Tube is awash with crackly camera phone copies of this song. I thought at this point about putting in the Racist Rap by Doc Brown but it wasn’t really appropriate for the sentiment my story is trying to portray.
*slaps forehead* But of course, Doc Brown has done other comedy raps and one that goes back to where I started this blog post. A celebration of all things British. And what can be more British than a nice cup of tea.
(Probably not safe for work. Contains swearing.)


Lashings of Sauce
AUTHOR: UK MAT
ISBN: 9781611523386
PRICE: $6.99
GENRE: Anthology • Contemporary • Erotic Romance • Fiction • Gay • Historical • Lesbian • Transgender
LENGTH: 77,891 words

We Brits love our sauce, whether it's what we lash on our food, read on our seaside postcards, or write in our stories. Come and enjoy a buffet of tasty LGBTQ treats!

From marriages to reunions, via practical jokes and football matches, to weresloths and possibly the oddest Tarts and Vicars party in the world, join us as we celebrate the UK Meet in the best way we know: telling the story.

As a follow-up to the critically acclaimed British Flash and Tea and Crumpet anthologies, our talented writers bring you sixteen stories about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and genderqueer characters enjoying what Britain and mainland Europe have to offer, with their wonderfully diverse range of cultures and landscapes and some incredibly colourful and quirky people.

Contributors include: Tam Ames, Becky Black, Anne Brooke, Charlie Cochrane, Rebecca Cohen, Lillian Francis, Elin Gregory, Clare London, Sandra Lindsey, JL Merrow, Emily Moreton, Josephine Myles, Zahra Owens, Jordan Castillo Price, Elyan Smith and Robbie Whyte. Edited by: UK MAT (UK Meet Acquisitions Team: Alex Beecroft, Charlie Cochrane, Clare London, JL Merrow and Josephine Myles).

This anthology is a souvenir of the 2012 UK Meet, an occasion for GLBTQ supporters to get together in a relaxed setting to celebrate and chat about the fiction community they love. Funds from the sale of this anthology will go towards future UK Meets, to which all are welcome. Please visit the
website for details, or contact UK MAT through the publisher.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Phew, it's exhausting

Today I'm carrying the torch. Trudging the streets of this fine land, the skies mercifully clear of rain.

Well, the clear skies are true enough. The rest of those first lines, not so much. I won't be pounding the pavements between Grimsby and Lincoln today, that honour falls to dedicated people far more deserving (and fitter) than I am. What I am doing, is carrying the GLBTQ torch on this leg of the journey.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Check out the blog here, various posts from writers involved in the GLBTQ UK Meet, coming from and/or about the various points of the torch's journey. My post 'Panic Mode and Tenuous Links' has gone up today (Day 40 for those who are counting) and can be found here.

Monday, 11 June 2012

There's a new Blog in town

If you like your m/m stories set in Britain then check out this Blog, 'UK M/M romance' where authors can share information about themselves and their British based stories.

I've got a post over there today. If you'd like to check it out you can find me here.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

How important is a title?

Titles, much like the dreaded synopsis, can be the bane of a writer’s life. For me, titles either come to me immediately or have to be dragged from the text, kicking and protesting all the while. These second type are often barely satisfactory and rarely my favourites.
Take my recently sold Christmas story, as an example.
When Love Flue In
The title is, I hope, frivolous, amusing and gives an indication to the type of tale you will find within the book’s pages.
It hit me in a lightning flash, with no thought required, and it is one of my favourite titles to date. I tried not to get too attached to it though because publishers have the right to ask you to change your title. Thankfully, Silver appear to have no issue with it and my little play on words has survived the editor’s pen.
Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. A recently suggested title for a possible publication, ‘Ripples from the Past’, has been turned down because it wouldn’t appeal to the publisher’s mainly romantic readership.
So, how important are titles to you when making your purchasing decision?
As a reader I would suggest the title is quite some way down my list, certainly behind author, blurb and friend’s recommendations. Possibly on a par with cover art.
However, when you stop to think about it, what are the first two things you see as you are streaming through the huge number of new releases every week?
Cover art and title.
Consequently, neither of these aspects might make you buy the book, but either could be the reason why you stop to look in the first place.
With that in mind, can I ask, if all you had to go on was a title which of these would make you want to stop and investigate further?
Conquer the Past
Our time, this time
Through Dreams we Collide
In Dreams
Past Love, Future Hopes
Dreams of Past Love
Pasts Entwined
Tracing Desire
Descendants and Desire
Ancestral Guidance
Historical Precedent (for Love)
What went before
Ancient History
Love Redux
Timeless Hearts
Deja Hearts
Deja Love

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ho, Ho, Ho... Merry Christmas!

Yes, I know it’s May and you may be excused for thinking that the rain we’ve been experiencing has seeped into my brain. But it hasn’t.
No, I have Christmas news.
My story ‘When Love Flue In’ has been accepted by Silver Publishing as a release in their 2012 Christmas range ‘Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow’.
Look out for future posts over the coming months when I'll be sharing more details about this story.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Lesson Learned - Now available from Amazon

So the title pretty much says it all and really I should have posted this ages ago.

Lesson Learned is now available to buy from other vendors.

Here at Amazon UK

Here at Amazon.com

Here at Barnes & Noble

And from All Romance ebooks where it is hugely expensive.

If you like you can leave a review at these sites to encourage others to enjoy it.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Guest Blogger - Katherine Halle

When Lillian asked if I wanted to blog over here on my release day, I jumped at the chance and then immediately was faced with the "Oh my god what do I talk about!" fear.  And so we started e-mailing about what I could write about. I kicked around a few ideas. Then I had an epiphany in the shower.  So without further ado, let me introduce you to Lane and let him tell you the top ten things he loves about Greg and maybe even share one of his recipes.

So there are a lot of things about Greg that I love, but these have got to be my top ten.
Ten:  He makes a mean crème brulée.  Sometimes you want jello and sometimes you want crème brulée and Greg makes the best chocolate crème brulée on the planet, hands down.
Nine:  His arms.  He's not that big of a guy, but he's wiry muscled, and that's most apparent in his arms.  Especially his forearms.  I love to watch him cook, watch those muscles move under his skin and know just what those muscles can do in other activities.
Eight:  His intensity.  He gives one hundred percent to everything he does – running his restaurant, cooking, caring for his employees, and loving me.  To be the focus of all that intensity can be really overwhelming at times but I love him for it.
Seven:  His voice.  It can be soft and sweet or growly and gruff.  Both make my heart do funny things in my chest.
Six:  He loves Lexie.  Lexie and I have been friends for so long. I don't know what I would do if the two of them didn't get along.  The two most important people in my life and they adore each other.  I couldn't be happier.
Five:  He cooks for me.  You laugh, but I can burn water without even trying.  I subsisted on fast food, chips, and beer before I met him.  Now I have to actually work out to make sure I stay in good enough shape to hunt demons.  He's making me fat!
Four:  Massages.  He is amazing at them.  Maybe this connects back to number nine and how much I love his arms, because obviously he uses his hands and arms to do a massage.  But I think his massages can be their own thing, they are that good.  There's nothing better to come home to than a hot meal and a first class massage after hunting demons.
Three:  His laugh.  Greg laughs with his whole self. It lights up his face, makes his eyes twinkle, and his whole body shake. It's a real honest to goodness belly laugh.  In my line of work, laughter is the best medicine there is to combat the nightmares I face everyday.
Two:  The way he kisses.  It's like the way he laughs. He puts everything into a kiss: all his emotions, his lips, his tongue, his arms, full body press.  No quick pecks from Greg.  They're mind blowing and they're all mine.
One:  His heart.  He loves with his whole heart – sensing a theme here?  He's the most giving, most caring, most generous person I know.  For some reason he's chosen to love me, and I feel blessed each and every day because of it.
So, now you know the top ten reasons I love Greg.  Quickly though, before he comes back and realizes I've snuck into his recipe box lemme give you this recipe.  It's a favorite of mine; it was one of the first meals he cooked for me and, well let's just say that if he wants something from me, this is a surefire way to get it. 

Thanks for letting me tell you about Greg. Hopefully you all will check out the story of how we met. 
Bye for now! 
Lane
Cranberry Chicken
8 oz Catalina Dressing
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1 lb can whole cranberry sauce
2 celery stalks chopped
½ green and red peppers chopped
½ onion chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Mix together dressing, soup mix, and cranberry sauce.  Place chicken breast and vegetables in a greased baking dish and pour sauce over top.  Back at 350 for 60 – 90 minutes until internal chicken temperature reaches 165.  Serve with rice or noodles.

Katherine's Bio
The nickname "Queen of Happy Endings" is an apt one for Katherine Halle.  She firmly believes that no matter what the obstacles, what the struggles, or how much angst is involved in the journey that the ending should always be a happy one. 
Katherine's love of the written word started at a very early age with repeated demands of "read to me" to any who would listen.  It was only natural that writing would follow.  As a child, she could often be found daydreaming, thinking up fanciful stories and writing them down.  Now she does it on a laptop.  Much faster.
Katherine's favorite animal is her dog.  She likes books, movies, and quirky tv shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  She is a closet foodie.  Although currently living in Europe, Katherine is an American by blood and heart.  When she's not writing or plotting, Katherine enjoys spending her time having movie/tv quote-athons with her husband or cuddling her kid.
She can be reached at http://katherinehalle.wordpress.com/  or @KatherineHalle on Twitter.


Thanks, Katherine.

A Watched Demon Always Boils is available on Torquere Press from today.

Here's the official blurb:

Lane is a professional photographer hired by Greg to do a photoshoot and magazine spread about his restaurant in hopes of making his business more profitable. Trouble is Greg's got a demon on his back, literally. Now Lane is in a race against time to save Greg from the demon and convince him that Lane isn't crazy, he wants to help Greg.

Take one stubborn chef, a determined photographer, mix in an evil demon and a slightly crazy best friend, and watch it come to a boil.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Lesson Learned

Published by Ellora's Cave
Now Available to buy from Ellora's Cave. Click the link to buy.



Blush sensuality level: This is a sensual romance (may have explicit love scenes, but not erotic in frequency or type).

Tired of having been constantly on the move, Drew is determined to make Cardiff his home.  When Drew starts his new job as teacher in Cardiff, he strikes up an immediate friendship with Nathan Morgan, a young History teacher.

Nathan is instantly attracted to Drew, but doesn’t want to risk their fledgling friendship by declaring the extent of his desire. Completely oblivious to Nathan’s quandary, Drew doesn’t realize the true nature of his own feelings for Nathan until accusations from a student force both men’s hands.

But Drew has spent his life running away.  Running away from his mistakes, his desires and a secret-filled past. Drew is forced to choose between running away once more and a possible future with Nathan.

Book Length: Novel
Book Type: eBook


This is the first m/m book to be published by Ellora's Cave in their Blush range!


It also available to buy from other vendors.
Here at Amazon UK

Here at Amazon.com

Here at Barnes & Noble

And from All Romance ebooks.

Guest blogging

Today, in celebration of the release of Lesson Learned, I make my first foray into the world of guest blogging.

Visit me here at Tina Donahue Presents where I will be babbling on about life as a first time author.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

It's all in a name

Or is it?

Are the names of your characters really that important or can you just pluck any name out of thin air and use it?

In a historical story I would say, yes of course names are important. You can't set a story 200 years ago and then use a name that has only come into being in the last 50 years.

In contemporary stories this fact becomes less important. With the world now a global community made smaller and smaller by 24 hour broadcasting and the internet we steal from each others' countries and cultures all the time. Using a name that doesn't originate where the story is set means nothing. In these stories, careful consideration to names might only be applied if you want to say something particular with the characters' names.

If it doesn't matter, then why am I currently 7000 words into a story and I'm still refering to my two lead characters as X and Z in the manuscript?

Want to help? Tell me what you think.

Lead 1
Duncan
Domanic
Cameron
Brendon

Lead 2
Connor
Ciaran
Dermot
Reagan

How do you pick the names of your characters?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New Release

My first book, Lesson Learned, will be available from Ellora's Cave on 2nd February 2012.

Lesson Learned

Tired of having been constantly on the move, Drew is determined to make Cardiff his home.  When Drew starts his new job as teacher in Cardiff, he strikes up an immediate friendship with Nathan Morgan, a young History teacher.

Nathan is instantly attracted to Drew, but doesn’t want to risk their fledgling friendship by declaring the extent of his desire. Completely oblivious to Nathan’s quandary, Drew doesn’t realize the true nature of his own feelings for Nathan until accusations from a student force both men’s hands.

But Drew has spent his life running away.  Running away from his mistakes, his desires and a secret-filled past. Drew is forced to choose between running away once more and a possible future with Nathan.

Read an excerpt here.