Friday, 18 January 2019

Great Savings at Dreamspinner


Ward off the winter cold with some hot reading. There are some great sales coming up at Dreamspinner Press


ALL 3 IMPRINTS: From January 18 to 23, all paperbacks are 30% off.

For readers attending Livre Paris, use code PARIS19 for free shipping to the book fair.

(Sale is set to begin and end based on Eastern Time.)

Keep watching for more great savings.





Thursday, 17 January 2019

Evolution of Language



I have been getting very frustrated lately. As an autistic person, I have real issues about accepting when things are "wrong". I also have obsessions! I've had a tough time adjusting to "house rules" which don't always make sense to me.

Another thing I've had a tough time with is adapting to the American version of English. Until I started writing, I'd not really been aware of how different the two languages are. (I know American is not technically a different language, as officially it's a dialect, but it is to me). Initially, I reacted very negatively to insistence that I learn to write the American way. In particular, written American simply looks wrong and I hate to see my own words on a page spelled wrongly and expressed wrongly. For example, the words color, theater, realize all look very strange to me, and my teachers at school would have marked them wrong if I'd spelled them that way. I would also have been corrected for using all right to mean okay instead of all correct. It's been quite an uncomfortable process, and if I'm honest, it still is.

My latest obsession is about the fact that certain things are becoming acceptable merely because they're used wrongly so many times. My pet peeve (yes, I am going to mention it AGAIN) is the misuse of the verbs to lay and to lie. No, you do not either lay down or have a lay down or go for a lay down. No, you were not laying on the bed and neither was anyone else. I appreciate it has become an obsession of mine, but that's what my autistic mind does and I'm not going to apologise for it. Sadly, this is rapidly leading me to the point where I'm having to abandon books, even my favourite series, because it's become a trigger.

On the bright side, all this has led me to an interest in the development of language, and I'd like to share that with you.

1. Early days

From the days when most of the inhabitants of the British Isles spoke a common Celtic language until the Rennaisance, the Engish Language changed mainly through -

Immigration/Occupation

Over the centuries the British Isles have been invaded/settled many times. First by the Celtic races (thought to have come from Asia), then by the Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Romans,Vikings and French. After each occupation, the Language of the invader/settler became either the primary language or absorbed into the language, with many of its words and phrases being adopted.

Some of the invaders also brought elements of other languages, for example, the Romans introduced not only Latin (which was the first language, in Britain, that was written down to any great degree) but the language of their scholars, which was Greek. While Latin words and phrases dominate many disciplines, Greek also has its place. For example, Latin is the primary language used in Law and Politics, especially the making of laws. Words such as affidavit, prime (as in prime minister), testament, etc come from Latin. Latin is also used almost exclusively in naming plants and animal species. On the other hand, many Greek words have found their way into disciplines such as Medicine (words such as oestrogen, carcinoma, dysentery, and even doctor), as well as Engineering (arch, aeronautics/aeroplane, median etc) and mathematics (parallel, parameter, arch, graph, logic etc)


Filtering Down

Along with their language, invaders such as the Romans brought with them their ideas of a strict class system, with the upper classes speaking a different, more refined version of the language, while the common man spoke a coarser version that lagged behind the aristocracy in absorbing new languages. Those with access to written material had a far wider and more refined vocabulary.

Divisions also arose between the secular population and those who chose to study professions (such as philosophy, law, medicine etc) or became involved with the church.

The French invasion in 1066 brought another wave of massive change across the board. After the war, William portioned out a great deal of land to those who assisted him in the war. These French landowners, who became the new aristocracy, clearly spoke French, and in order to find favour with the new power, the upper echelons of English society quickly adapted to the use of French, which then filtered down to the general populace, although Latin still retained its hold on the professions. An example of French words would be languor, encore, deja vu, matinee, souvenir, fiance.


2 Middle Ages

A major revolution in the language occurred when Mr William Shakespearem, along with his contemporaries, swept in and owned it. Many common words and phrases were simply made up by him. Examples of words are critic, discontent, eyeball, negotiate, premeditated, swagger. Examples of phrases are "break the ice", "method in his madness", "naked truth". "pitched battles", "the course of true love never did run smooth" and "the milk of human kindness".

3. The Navy

Britain has had an effective martial and merchant navy since very early on, trading with places as far away as China and the Americas. Sailors have developed their own language, and were often the first "ordinary" people to make acquaintance with the culture and language of the lands they sailed to, often needing to quickly find a means to communicate, at least on a basic level. Many words and phrases passed down into common usage. Some fascinating examples are -

Freeze the balls off a brass monkey - A monkey was a brass tray where cannon balls were kept. Extreme cold would cause the tray to contract and the balls would fall off.

Over a barrel - Sailors were often strapped over a barrel to be flogged for wrongdoing.

Long shot - Refers to the range of a cannon. Successfully firing beyond their range didn't happen very often.

Above Board - On the deck and therefore clearly visible.

Pipe down - In order to extend the range at which commands could be heard, a whistle (or pipe) was used as the clear, high notes carried further than the human voice. At the end of the day, the pipe would sound the command to stop whatever you're doing, turn off the lights out and sleep.

Phrases that don't need explanation include - All at sea, Between the Devil and the deep blue sea, Close quarters, Give a wide berth, High and Dry, Know the ropes, Panic stations, The cut of your jib etc

4. The British Empire

As well as being influenced by invaders, further major developments in the English language came about with the expansion of the British Empire, when words from the languages of those places invaded by the English were absorbed. Examples are jungle, swastika (which ironically came from the Sanskrit word for inner peace and harmony), juggernaught, loggerheads, cage, commando etc


5. The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution brought a host of new words, simply because it brought new things that needed to be named. For example telephone, lightbulb, steamboat, ship, electricity, camera etc


6. American

The development of English in the US clearly did not begin until the seventeenth century. The first known British settlement was Jamestown. Virginia in 1607. They would have been exposed to the likes of William Shakespeare, but as many of them were escaping religious prejudice and were highly religious, it's by no means certain they would have been exposed to his culture.

The US was not as involved in exploration and expansion as Britain so the influences of the British Empire would have been muted, if they happened at all. On the other hand, they would have been infuenced by the previous settlers, mainly from Western Europe, principally Italy and Spain. Naval influences would also be present, although the US didn't develop its navy formaly until the end of the eighteenth century,

In the US one of the most sudden and drastic changes in language was with regard to spelling. This was largely the result of a unilateral decision - to make the language look more like it sounds - by Noah Webster who published his first dictionary in 1828. He is responsible for things like the replacing of "ph" for "f" in many scientific terms eg sulphur/sulfur, the omission of letters eg aluminium/aluminum, colour/color etc and completely changing words such as aeroplane to airplane.

7. The Printing Industry

Another significant influence came from the printing industry who charged by letter and encouraged their customers to shorten words and phrases when they could eg aniseed/anise, press stud/snap etc.

8. Modern Times


In modern times, the internet had led to a far closer relationship between peoples of many different countries and cultures. Language has, again, become fluid and dynamic. The innovation of texting and things like twitter that limit the length of comments, have also led to changes in the way language is used and the introduction of new words and phrases (lol). Slang has been alive and well since earliest times and has, again, become more influential since the internet opened up the world.

It would seem there has been an almost about face in the way language is developing. Whereas before it was the upper echelons of society who, on the whole, had the greatest connection with peoples of other countries, resulting in changes filtering downward, today such contact is universal, with young people being the most dynamic in the adoption of new trends, slang etc, and the development of language appears to be moving, rather than upward or downward between classes, but rather sideways between young and old.

9. The Future

Language will continue to grow and develop as we move forward but I have to wonder about the future. Whereas in the past, changes have mainly been brought about by the introduction of some new culture or language, with the world opening all its doors and moving toward a truly global existence, surely there will come a point where there is no culture or language that is new anymore. At that point, will the development of language simply stop and language become fixed?

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Happy New Year





It's been quite a year for me. A few significant things that have occurred in my personal life are

  • My son turned 18 in November. It was quite a wake-up call in many ways. My baby is a man and given that we have been so close this made a big impact. It won't be too long now before he'll be out there in the world and I'll be alone. To be honest, his journey into the future is far more terrifying for me than my own. I feel that a period of time alone will be good for me. I feel the need to hibernate for a while. In a way, I've already started.
  • Following on, my son will be attending university next year so we've been working hard, going to Open Days, looking at prospectuses, trying not to think about funding. It's been an adventure.
  • I finally received my formal diagnosis of ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). I've been fighting for it for years and a massive weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I'll look to doing another post at another time about this. Suffice it to say, it heralds a new way of looking at things, and some hard decisions in 2019.
  • I began to actively consider doing a PHD when my son goes to university and a lot of my time frees up. Once everything settles back into its normal pattern I will start work on my proposal, and who knows where that will take me.
The New Year will bring many challenges, and I thought to end the old year I'll look back at some things that have made me smile this year 


 I decided to try my natural hair colour. This is step 1 - blond. Step 2 - grey was not as successful, and I can't wait to colour up just as soon as I can get both money and opportunity in the same place at the same time.









My favourite books got a face lift. Okay, Enigma I and II had been re designed previously but Enigma III came out this year and I think all the covers have been beautifully rendered by the amazing Red Haircrow, who also publishes the books, along with The Runaway.

Enigma is the story of an incredible young man, Silver, who is released from sex slavery after 7 years into a world he doesn't understand and doesn't belong in.

Book I follows Silver as he emerges from a self induced robotic state to face the world, and threats from his past, along with his devoted former carer and soulmate, River.

In Book II River is left to care for his twelve-year-old brother when his parents are killed in a car accident. When spiteful family intervene, Silver's history and current mental health issues become a significant problem for the couple due to Social Service's negative attitude. Faced with the threat of foster care for Ben or separation for Silver and River, River makes difficult choices that ultiamately drive Silver away into the arms of a whole new circle of friends that could bring about his making or breaking.

In this book we meet Ariel who is definitely one of my favourite characters to write. He's unashamedly sexual and has no self consciousness about being an exotic dancer or a whore. In fact, the entire merry band of whores, in the Theatre de la Vie are gloriously proud of their dancing (and other) skills. From Alex, the hulking, but graceful and gentle giant, to Suki the martial artist, to Asher whose background is similar to Silver's and who can help him understand and come to terms with his past

In Book III Ben starts to grow up and causes the cracks which marred Silver and River's relationship in Book II to widen, but Ariel, the amazing friend that he is, teaches Silver to fight, whilst conducting his own battle against his very nature to allow him to find his own happy ending.

Hopefully, Book IV will be out sometime this year, introducing the cute and cuddly Kitten and bringing Silver once more face to face with his former Master.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MTWXLUL/ref=series_rw_dp_sw


Although Enigma are, and always have been, my favourite series (I am unashamedly in love with Silver and had the best time of my life seeing the world through his eyes when I wrote him) The Runaway deserves an honourable mention. Also published by Red Haircrow it's cover illustration is by a dear friend and incredible artist, Maria.

In this book, Jack is staying at a lake cabin with his aunt after losing his memory in the accident that took the lives of both parents. Here, he meets Ciarrai, a gender-bending livewire who sweeps him off his feet, then disappears. 


For the first time, this year, I started to listen to audio books. By far my favourites have been the Tales of Verania series by T J Klune. These are also available in paperback and ebook from Amazon.





Thanks to audible, I also re connected with one of my favourite series.



My favourite new books of the year were (Please note that Love Spell now has a different cover, but this was my favourite one so I put it in)





I haven't been as committed to Wednesday Briefs as I should have been in 2018, especially the latter half, but I want to improve in 2019, first because I want to finish the story and second because I've lost my mojo for writing, as I've become mired in all that surrounds the writing part of being an author and my creativity was strangled. I have come to realise that this is partly because of my ASD and I have to accept that I will never be able to keep up with all the social media/blogs/websites etc and my burning desire to do it all has to be let go of. I will focus on three things (apart from facebook and twitter) being this blog, my website and the newsletter. Hopefully that will help me focus and become more effective.

I shall finish with some of my favourite character art. All of the pictures are either by Maria or myself (the good ones are Maria's)

These are Silver (okay, I'm indulging myself but I've already admitted that I'm in love. Somewhere, in some alternative universe, he's mine)








These are both mine and are of Draven from Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden





This one is also mine, of Rowan from Hostage



And this is Morgan from Project X who is also by Maria









My plans for next year

I have two books in production with eXtasy 

Project X 
Lab Rat

I've also been offered contracts on a 3 (possibly 4 )book Fantasy series, and I'm in discussion for another standalone m/f fantasy.

I'm intending to resubmit The Face in the Window, and Memories of Forgotten Love. I'm considering NineStar for the submission. I can't deny that I'm concerned about future submissions with eXtasy becasue they now expect their authors to properly format their submissions according to their house style. I now recognise it's my ASD that prevents me from grasping things like formatting, due to my difficulty in processing information and detail. I have given myself permission to not try so hard at things I know I can't do.

I have one major WIP I'm working on which is a free-post on Gay Authors

I have a photograph sitting on my desktop depicting a character who is demanding a story. I have elements of the story in my mind, but it requires some research and quite a bit of work. I'm not going to start until. Aria's story is completed and that won't be for a few months yet, if I continue to be able to write.

My 8-book "Haunted Hotel" series is still in the pipeline but it's testament to my reasons for pantsing. It's the fist series I've plotted out from the start and I've completely run out of steam. After three books it's become very difficult to conitnue to describe the same features in the same hotel without being completely bored. I'm trying to focus on the differences but you just can't have a character walking into a new place and not noticing things. Eh. I'll work it out eventually. Most of the stories are strong enough to call me back in the end.

Apart from that, there are lots of little pieces going around in my head, most of them ideas for things to do on my blog and website. As I'm keeping my website mainly for my own books and reviews, I thought maybe I'd do something with my backlist, revisiting my other books, maybe with character inspirations and background details, character interviews etc. Is that the sort of thing you'd be interested in? Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to post or PM me, even if it's only to point out exactly what's wrong with my writing. It would be much appreciated.

I'll leave you with a unicorn, for three reasons. First, my daughter is obsessed with unicorns and I have been surrounded with them over Christmas. I now see unicorns everywhere, even in Asda (UK equivalent to Walmart). I mean, how cute is that tea pot and they have a unicorn glitter dispenser!

Second - Gary!!!!! (see Tales from Verenia)












Thursday, 13 December 2018

Newsletter Giveaway and Christmas Story



Check out my Newsletter for the latest news, views and giveaways. This month we have some exciting news about audiobooks and some progress updates.

In the meantime I leave you with a link to a heartwarming Christmas story

A Miracle at Christmas

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Why I... Series by Colette Davison


BLOG TOUR


Book Title: Why I Left You, Why I Need You, Why I Trust You 
(available individually or in an omnibus edition)

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: Why I Left you: 296 pages; Why I Need You: 320 pages; Why I Trust You: 300 pages.

They are a loosely linked series, but can all be read as standalones.




Blurb

   

Why I Left You

Jamie is struggling with university, money and depression. The last thing he needs is for Brett—the guy who left him four years ago—to walk back into his life. Yet it could be just what he needs.

Ever since Jamie left him, Brett has been running away from commitment. But when he meets Jamie again, he’s forced to re-examine every aspect of his life.

Brett and Jamie are drawn back together by an undeniable spark, but unless they can come to terms with the past, their relationship won’t survive the present.



          


Why I Need You

Following the death of their parents, Fin put his life on hold to raise his little sister. He’s convinced her well-being is all that matters, even if it’s at the expense of his own. A chance meeting with Noah opens his eyes to the possibility of happiness. A happiness that could shatter the moment Noah discovers Fin has an eight-year-old in tow.

Noah has been living a lie for years. When he gets publicly outed, he gets kicked out of his parents’ home and business. Although he’s angry at being disowned, Noah knows it means he’s finally free to love whomever he wants. But in order to have a fulfilling and lasting relationship, Noah has to get past his repressed upbringing and inhibitions, before Fin walks out of his life.

In order to stay together, Fin and Noah have to be brave enough to be honest with themselves and each other.




   



Why I Trust You

Martin is the larger than life funny guy, the one who’s quick to soothe other’s pain, whilst hiding his own. He wants nothing more than to find ‘the one’, but his love life consists of a string of break-ups. He’s close to giving up on love, until he meets Ryan online, the artist whose work speaks to his soul. There are just two problems: Ryan already has a boyfriend and he lives in California, which is one hell of a long way from England.

Working with Martin to develop a game is supposed to be purely business; a way for Ryan to earn the money to leave his abusive boyfriend. Except, he finds himself falling for the enigmatic Englishman. Wondering what kind of spark there might be if they were in the same country is one thing, escaping his boyfriend is another.

Wounded by their past relationships, Martin and Ryan have to learn to trust each other in order to have a chance at building a future together.

**These stories contain mature language and scenes, including descriptions of sex, depression and domestic abuse**


INTERVIEW


Let’s start by telling us, in twenty words, or less, what you’re book’s about.
Why I Left You is an emotional second chance romance, about first loves reuniting after a brutal misunderstanding.

What was it that led you to write in the genre(s) you write? 
My first experience reading the m/m genre was via a charity anthology. I was hooked by the characters and the emotional impact of many of the stories: it was just what I needed when I was struggling with post-natal depression and was at a very low ebb. I first wrote Why I Left You as an act of catharsis. I needed an outlet for how my depression was making feel, at a time when I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I then did nothing with Jamie’s book for almost a year, during which time I sought help and was able to become more open about my own experiences. A friend convinced me to let them read Why I Let You and their reaction to it encouraged me to carry on writing in the genre.

Are your books character led or plot led, or both?
They are very much character led.

What is your favourite part of the writing process?
I love getting the first draft down, although it can sometimes be very hard going. On the whole, I love letting the words pour out. However I also enjoy redrafting and polishing. It’s wonderful seeing those very rough first draft words transform into a book other people might enjoy.

What is your least favourite part of the writing process?
It’s not exactly part of the process, but writing can be very lonely. No one else can do it for me, so it’s very much just me and a blank page/screen a lot of the time. When my characters are talking to me, it’s fantastic, but when they’re quiet, it can be very tough.

Where do you get your inspiration for your characters? 
From everywhere, really. I suppose my characters are the sum of my experiences and the people I know or have encountered. Jamie’s experience with depression came from deep within my heart. Likewise, Fin’s story about balancing work and distance study, In order to become a teacher in Why I Need You, is something I chose to do for several years.

Tell us a little about the characters in your book and their story. You can use more than twenty words this time.
After four years apart, Brett and Jamie are different people than each other remembers. Brett has given up on his dream of travelling and works in a call centre. He’s treading water, to help out his housemate while she does her MSc. Once cheerful, smiling, Jamie is now struggling with depression and is unwilling to ask for help. When their worlds collide again, they have to face the tragic event in their past, in order to move on and have a future together.

If you could have one wish what would it be?
For everyone to be happy.

What's your deepest fear?
Losing one of my children, or them losing me. Fin and Olivia’s situation in Why I Need You reflects this.

If I came to dinner what would you feed me? 
Lasagne.

Which of your characters would you like to be sharing the dinner table with us?
All of them? Not that I have room for them all, but it would be so hard to choose between them. If I had to choose two of the Why I… characters, I’d probably go with Martin and Ryan from Why I Need You, because Martin would be the life and soul of the meal.

Tell us in the character’s own words, what he/she would have to say about you.
Martin would definitely think I’m far too serious and that I don’t take enough time out for myself. He’s got a point!

What would they say (again in their own words) about themselves, and their story that will make us want to read about it?
Why I Trust You is mine and Ryan’s story and really, what more reason do you need to pick up a copy? Seriously though, behind all my bravado I hurt, just like everyone else. I’ve been used more times than I care to think about and I was ready to give up on love altogether. Then I met Ryan and… well, you’ll have to read our story to find out what happens when two hurt men, looking for someone to believe in and trust, find each other.

Which other fictional character(s) would you like to be present at the dinner party?
I’ve just finished reading Autoboyography by Christina Lauren, so I’m going to have to go with Tanner. I loved his poetic descriptions and dry sense of humour. I think he’d be a lot of fun at a dinner party.

What other authors would you say have either influenced your writing or you would like to emulate?
Some of my favourite m/m authors are Christina Lee, Sloane Kennedy and Riley Hart. They are definitely the ones who influenced me to start writing in this genre. I wouldn’t say I try to emulate anyone else; my voice is my own.

What do you prefer writing. A one off novel, a series or short stories?
I’m enjoying writing loosely linked novels: they all stand alone as one-off novels, but share some characters. When I get to write cameos of previous characters, it very much feels like coming home. I hope that makes sense! I don’t write short stories often. I have just written one which contains all three couples from the Why I… series, although it’s centred around Fin and Noah from Why I Need You. It’s free to download on Prolific Works: https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/dfezJZby5dNdXk5gTp93

What kind of books do you read (if you have time to read)? 
At the moment, mainly m/m romances, to keep myself familiar with current trends in the genre. There’s the added bonus that I love reading and writing this genre! I also enjoy reading YA and fantasy novels.

Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in 5 years time? 
Hopefully, in 5 years’ time, I’ll be able to write full-time. I’ll still have my family around me and hopefully my daughter won’t be too much of a cranky teenager at that stage!

Do you have any other projects in the offing we should look out for?
I’m currently working on redrafting With You I Rise (Angels & Misfits Book 2) with T.N. Nova. I’m also working on the first draft of a ménage et trois novel, I Wished For You. Yes, I have a slight obsession with four word titles: send help!

Where can we find you?
The best place to find me is in my reader group on Facebook, Books With Heart. I share snippets there I don’t share anywhere else and that’s where cover reveals etc happen first. You can find my reader group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1449972488434304/
I’m on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Colette_Davisonhttps://twitter.com/Colette_Davison
Finally, I have a newsletter for semi-regular updates: http://eepurl.com/c8Dk6v




Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited






 



Excerpts


Why I Left You

“You’d get drunk faster on spirits,” Brett said, wandering up to him.

Jamie glowered at him and then fixed his gaze on the dance floor. “Thanks for the tip, but I’m good.” He sipped more slowly at the new pint.

Brett didn’t move. “I didn’t think you were into guys anymore.” The question sounded casual, but his body was full of tension as he leaned against the wall beside Jamie.

“What the fuck would you know about it?” Jamie tipped his head back against the wall, closed his eyes and breathed in and out. Just Breathe. “Sorry. I don’t want to fight with you, not tonight.” He pushed his hair back and took a good-sized gulp of his beer. “I just want to hang out and relax. If you’re not gonna help me do that, would you please get lost?”

Brett’s eyes widened. “Help you? How would I be able to help you?”

Jamie shook his head. “Forget it.”

Except he couldn’t get the thought of kissing Brett out of his head, which was totally fucked up. He decided it was the drink talking, stirring up long-forgotten feelings. He glanced at Brett and knew instantly he shouldn’t have done. Brett’s blue eyes seemed more intense under the ultraviolet lighting, almost supernaturally so. They bored into him, trying to understand what he’d just said. And damn if that gaze didn’t make his legs weak and his stomach flip over, the way it always had done when they were younger.

He knocked back the rest of his beer and then put the plastic cup down on the floor beside his feet. He straightened up too fast and swayed. Brett reached out and grabbed him by the shoulders to steady him.

“On second thoughts, I guess you’re already well on the way to being plastered,” Brett said.

Before he had time to regret even thinking about it, Jamie did something stupid. He stepped in to Brett and kissed him.


Why I Need You


“I’m staying at a friend’s house for now,” Noah said, trying to inject lightness into his voice. “Martin. He’s cool. You should meet him sometime.”

“Just a friend?” Fin asked, his eyes narrowing ever so slightly. Was that curiosity playing across his face?

“Yes,” Noah said. “We went there once, in high school, but we’re really not into each other. What about you? Have you got a boyfriend?” It was a stupid question, really. They wouldn’t be out together if either of them was involved with someone else.

“No.”

“Really?” Noah acted surprised. “I can’t believe someone as cute as you is available.”

Fin let out a short laugh. “I’d have thought you’d have been snapped up quickly, too.”

Noah ran his finger around the rim of his pint glass. “I’ve been keeping a low profile. I had to keep up appearances for my parents and all that. Now, I’m free. What’s your excuse?” He was sure he saw panic flit through Fin’s eyes. They certainly darkened for a couple of seconds, his irises becoming almost indistinguishable from his pupils.

“I’ve been too busy, I guess. Too much work and study.”

“You know what they say,” Noah said. “All work and no play makes Fin a dull boy.”

“I’m dull, am I?”

“Not from what I’ve seen. Yet. But you’re in danger of it,” Noah said in a knowing tone. “You should definitely get out more.”

“Oh, yeah?” Fin asked, his voice lower than it had been moments before. He leaned towards Noah, resting both elbows on the table. “And who would I do that with?”

Noah leaned towards him as though there were some sort of invisible tug coming from Fin. He could tell by the way Fin’s eyelids were a little heavy and the lazy curve of his lips that he’d welcome a kiss in that moment. Noah found he wanted to. He wanted to feel the texture of Fin’s lips against his own, wanted to taste him. His hands became clammy. It felt like the few people in the bar were all staring at them. It didn’t matter whether it was true or not; he could already feel the blood pounding in his head. His stomach lurched at the thought of prying eyes watching what should have been an intimate moment. So, instead of doing what he knew they both wanted, he leaned back.

“I’m sure you can find someone,” he said in what was supposed to have come out as a cocky, laid-back tone but actually sounded really dumb.


Why I Trust You

As Martin spoke, Ryan drew as quickly as he could. He wasn't aiming for anything of beauty, just the gist contained in a series of incredibly rough sketches. It was impossible not to get caught up in Martin's vision. The childlike excitement in Martin's voice encouraged Ryan to smile as he drew, visually realising the story that was beginning to unfold in Martin's rambling and often chaotically organised sentences.

"And that's it," Martin said. "I talked too fast, didn't I? You should have stopped me."

The truth was, Ryan had loved listening to Martin's deep, smooth voice. He'd loved being able to switch off from everything else to focus on nothing but Martin's words and the sketchpad and pencil. He used his phone to snap a few photos of his rough sketches and emailed them straight to Martin.

"I sent you a present," he said. "And, no, you didn't talk too fast."

"Got it," Martin said. "Holy shit. You drew these while I was talking?"

"Yeah, they're kind of rough."

They were more impressions than clear drawings. Bold lines used to create the suggestion of vast detail. But despite that, Ryan was confident that the content of each sketch was clear.

"I'll obviously need to translate all these ideas into digital format and pick a style that'll work across platforms without pixelating on larger devices or looking too visually cluttered on smaller screens. I'll work on some solid graphics ideas over the next few days."

"These are amazing," Martin breathed. "I just… wow."

Ryan felt a warmth surge through his chest. It felt so good to be really, truly appreciated by someone. The fact that it was a guy he'd never met and who lived several thousand miles away only made it hit home how truly miserable he'd become. But that awareness didn't stop the guilt from seeping into every fibre of his being. He was sneaking around behind Zane's back, talking to another guy. A guy whose voice he liked. A guy who made him feel appreciated. If Zane found out, he'd flip out and accuse Ryan of cheating. He gripped his pencil tightly, to the point of almost snapping it in half.

"I'd better go," he said, his voice suddenly weary. "I've got work in a few hours, so I'd better get some sleep." Not that he was convinced he would be able to sleep, as his thoughts were so mixed up about the way Martin made him feel.

"Yeah. Sorry I kept you up."

"No problem. It's been fun." It really had been. That was the thought Ryan wanted to take away with him, rather than the guilt, but he knew the guilt would win.


About the Author 

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She lives in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children, a crazy dog and a lazy cat.





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Thursday, 8 November 2018

FREE FOR THREE DAYS "Kicker, the forgotten front" by R G Hoover.

I am a member of the #asmsg writing group and a few weeks ago I read in our newsletter about a book that had been written to remember a group of veterans from WWII that tend to be largely overlooked. In his own words. R G Hoover wrote,

Every year I watch the TV programs on Memorial Day and Veterans Day that are presented to honor the veterans of World War II, and every year I am disappointed that a segment of those veterans is forgotten.  The history and actions of veterans of the European, African and Pacific theaters are always well represented and honored, but the veterans of the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater are never mentioned. The CBI gave us such notable units as the Flying Tigers, Merrill's Marauders and the first military use of gliders. It was the largest WWII theater with the worst weather conditions imaginable and it featured over 700,000 allied troops completely supplied from the air for over 3 years.  As the son of a veteran of the CBI theater, it is very disappointing to me that such an important segment of our honored military is always overlooked.

If you would like to find out more about "The Forgotten Theatre" there is a lot of information out there. I found this site to be particularly helpful and fascinating. Beware though because once you start, it gets a hold of you.


As a way of honouring the brave men and women who died in the CBI Theatre R Grey Hoover is making his book, Kicker (The Forgotten Front), available on Amazon for free during the Veterans Day holiday. Kicker is based on actual experiences and military records and tells the story of Grey's own father and many other CBI veterans through the eyes of a single protagonist. The book does not contain vulgar language or erotic scenes and is acceptable for teens as well as older generations. It tells the story of our forgotten veterans both on the home front and the CBI front.


Blurb

World War II is raging. A young father must choose between his family and duty to his country- a decision that could cost him everything.

Based on actual experiences of United States veterans and official military aviation history records from World War II, this is the thrilling story of a family’s journey into war. While his loved ones struggle with shortages and rationing at home, Sam endures relentless Japanese attacks against his unarmed aircraft over the treacherous mountains and torrid jungles of Asia. His job is to drop supplies to Merrill’s Marauders and over 750,000 allied soldiers fighting in the perilous jungles of Burma. If the enemy is not stopped, the American way of life will end.

If you like non-stop action with a touch of humor and romance and the chance to learn about the “forgotten front” of WWII, then this is the book for you.


Excerpt

April 4, 1944 - Dinjan Airbase, India

Sam and Bobby Joe were totally exhausted when they crawled into their charpoys. The harrowing events of the day had taken its toll on them physically and mentally. In spite of the heat and noise of the jungle, Sam felt the blessed relief of sleep approaching soon after his head hit the pillow. However, as he drifted off, a feeling of unease came over him. It was a feeling that something was wrong, not here in India, but at home. He didn’t know if he felt uneasy because he still hadn’t received mail from home or because of some unknown reason, but the feeling stayed with him until he finally succumbed to his exhaustion and slipped into a deep sleep. 

Thankfully, his slumber was not disturbed by his recurring nightmare, and he slept soundly until the wee hours of the morning when he suddenly awoke not knowing what had disturbed him. A light rain was falling outside, and except for an occasional flash of distant lightning, the basha was in total darkness. He lay very still, listening to the sounds around him. He strained his hearing, but no sound came except for the steady breathing of the sleeping men around him. After several minutes, he relaxed, thinking his imagination was playing tricks on him. He was almost asleep again when he thought he detected a faint unfamiliar sound coming from somewhere in the basha. Once again, he listened intently, not sure he had heard anything; but then he heard the sound again—only this time it seemed closer, and he was sure it came from within the basha. He couldn’t quite place the sound, but it seemed like something soft brushing against an object. He listened closely, but all was silent. None of the other men in the basha stirred, and after an extended period of silence, he relaxed once again in anticipation of sleep.

He was in that dreamy state just before slumber when he felt the presence of something or someone nearby. Once again, his senses came to full alert, and he made a conscious effort not to move. He listened carefully, bringing all his senses to bear. He could see or hear nothing, and yet he was sure something was there. He was startled when someone at the other end of the room moved, but then all was silent once again. He was lying on his back, so he slowly moved his head to the right and scanned the darkness. 

  At first he saw nothing, but then attention was drawn to a slight movement at the foot of his bed. He couldn’t make out what it was. It appeared to be an undistinguishable shadow against the darker background of the room. As he watched, the shadow moved, and he held his breath as it silently glided along the side of his bed. There was no sound as it moved, and it slowly drew nearer and stopped near the head of his bed. He could tell that it was something large, but due to the extreme darkness, he was unable to see what it was. His instincts told him this was something dangerous and evil, and the hairs on the nape of his neck stood erect. At that moment, a distant flash of lightning faintly illuminated the scene, and in that instant of light, Sam could see the large form of a tiger standing beside him. 

The animal’s head was enormous. Its eyes, momentarily reflecting light from the faraway lightning, gave the beast an evil, devil-like appearance. This was death incarnate staring directly at him. 

Sam was frozen with fear, and his heart seemed to stop. His .45-caliber pistol hung on the wall not three feet away, and he cursed himself for not keeping it inside the mosquito netting with him. He knew the tiger could see that he was awake, and he feared any movement would cause it to attack. The animal stepped closer, and Sam could see its dim outline and smell its damp fur and the fetid odor of its breath. The tiger appeared to know its victim was helpless. The great beast took its time as it sniffed the mosquito netting as if testing its strength. Slowly it raised a huge paw and placed it against the puny impediment. The tiger’s claws caught in the netting, and with a mighty swipe, it ripped the flimsy material away from the bed.


Author Bio

R Grey Hoover is an Air Force veteran with a family tradition of military service that dates back to the American revolution. He wrote his book “Kicker the forgotten front” to honor his father and the other veterans of World War II who fought in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theatre.  During the war, the European and Pacific theatres got most of the supplies and media attention leaving the CBI theatre with the leftovers. Even in today’s media coverage of World War II the CBI theatre is never mentioned. The author’s book is an attempt to correct this gross oversight.

R Grey Hoover’s social media links:




Friday, 26 October 2018

Release Day! The Hunt by Jo Tannah



Title: The Hunt

Published By: eXtasy Books

Author: Jo Tannah

ISBN: 978-1-4874-2041-3

Page: 84

Word Count: 23428

Estimated Publish Date: October 26, 2018

Series: The Adventures of Marcus Kildud #1

Heat Level: 3 Flames



Categories: Adventure, Gay, GLBT, Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense, Erotica

Blurb: 

When the hunter becomes the hunted, the only thing left to do is run.

Lieutenant Marcus Kildud and his men are rangers for hire. They specialize in insertion, extraction, escape, and evasion. He answers an urgent request from the Planet Terrus’ Prelate, the Lord Fulsam, whose son has disappeared and is presumed dead.

Their task is to find the ring the Prelate’s son wore. The promised compensation and bonus offered are enough to make this their team’s final mission.

What they meet in the forest is something none of them have ever encountered before. Marcus now faces the unimaginable. He realizes too late that sometimes, running away may be the only option left to stay alive.

Note: This work has been previously published but has been reworked, re-edited, and expanded.

Social Links:

eXtasy Books Author link: http://www.extasybooks.com/jo-tannah/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoTannah
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jotannahauthor
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RCKB5J6

About the Author:

I grew up listening to folk tales my father and nannies told either to entertain us children or to send home a message. These narratives I kept with me and finally, I wrote them down in a journal way back when I kept one. Going through junk led to a long forgotten box and in it was the journal. #

Reading over the stories of romance, science fiction and horror I had taken time to put to paper, brought to light that these were tales I never met in my readings.

The tales I write are fictional but all of them are based on what I grew up with and still dream about. That they have an M/M twist is simply for my pleasure. And I hope, yours as well.



Teaser:

There it lay, unmoving, coiled around a massive branch that bent under its weight. The wind became stronger, bringing with it the first drops of cold rain. Marcus' lungs burned from lack of air and yet he dared not move. Even with his heart thundering in his head, he couldn’t move. Malik’s breathing came out loud and harsh against his ear. When one of the creature’s eyelids lifted, it revealed a yellow eye, and Marcus couldn’t help flinch back against Malik’s chest. Malik tightened his arm around Marcus and covered his mouth with a free hand.

“Don’t. Move.” Malik whispered softly in a harsh tone.