Sunday, August 21, 2016

Reunions - snippet 6 (Josh and George) #RainbowSnippets

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you'll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story's main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

* * * * *

I missed last week's Rainbow Snippets - no time. :( But I've made sure I made time this week. :) Here's another snippet from Reunions (Hiding Behind The Couch #7). The scene from which this is taken features George and Josh again. It's Sunday morning, and they're about to head next door but one - to Sean's house - for an Ulster fry.

Here's the snippet:
Josh sniffed. "You're wearing my aftershave."

"Ah, yeah. I picked up the wrong one, sorry."

Josh moved closer and sniffed again. He narrowed his eyes. "Why does it suit you better?"

"You don't know that."

"I like it more on you than on me."

"You like the smell of the stables on me, so that means nothing."
Reunions will be out around Christmastime...

You can also read about Josh and George in pretty much any Hiding Behind The Couch book, but if you wanted to shortcut and just read about their relationship (spoilers for the series up to Season Three), then there's Chain of Secrets - a stand-alone gay (M/M) romance novella.

Thanks for reading,
Deb x

Thursday, August 18, 2016

#WIPpet Wednesday - The WAG and The Scoundrel (snippet 5) #amwriting

WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Witt - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=355404

So, it's the 18th August (I'm a day late :/): 8+18=26 sentences of my work in progress, The WAG and The Scoundrel, which is a white-collar crime mystery (ish) / romance (ish) (LGBTQ). It's the first book in the Gray Fisher Series, which is a spinoff of Hiding Behind The Couch. It's scheduled for an October release. It's written! Hurrah! I'm currently working through it - as is my no.1 beta-reader (Nige) to make sure it's fit for my editor. This will likely be the last snippet from this WIP.

In the scene below, Gray and Will are having dinner and talking about Jean-Michel - Gray's deceased civil partner.

Here's the WIPpet:
"Very French," Will said.

"Close. He was Belgian, but he was very French in his diet, and his love of wine...in everything, really. Although he hated reading, whatever the language. He'd ask me to read to him, and I'd be coming to a good part and notice him watching me and smiling. I'd look at him and say, 'What?' and he'd shake his head and motion for me to continue. Or he'd stop me and ask me to re-read something that he found amusing or sad." Gray felt his eyes filling but pushed on. "And then he'd cry and tick me off for being cruel and telling him sad stories." He tried to blink away the tears, laughing to cover his loss of composure.

Will offered a kind, sympathetic smile, although tonight wasn't supposed to be about Gray, and he tried his hardest to thwart his sudden tearfulness.

"How long were you together?" Will asked.

"Three years. It's crazy. He's been gone longer than that, and I feel it, stretching into eternity. The days are all the same - get up, realise he's gone... I still miss him so much." Gray held Will's gaze, needing him to understand why he was so resistant to the idea of a relationship. He didn't just miss Jean; he missed having someone who knew him, knew all his faults and loved him anyway.

He was under no illusion that Will could be such a man. Gray didn't buy into hopes and dreams - he'd seen far too much of the other side of human nature, the cheaters, the liars, the fraudsters - but Will was like a breath of fresh air. Of course, Gray knew the intricate details of Will's animal rights activism, but in all other respects, he was a gentle, law-abiding citizen. A handsome one at that, although Gray imagined he didn't look an especially good catch himself right at that moment. He was exhausted, and miserable, and he needed a haircut, and to get a grip.

"I'm sorry. I didn't come all this way to burden you with my grief."

Thanks for reading!
Deb x

Thursday, August 11, 2016

#WIPpet Wednesday - The WAG and The Scoundrel (snippet 4) #amwriting

WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Witt - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=355404

So, it's the 10th August: 3+7=10, and 8 is 378 words of my work in progress, The WAG and The Scoundrel, which is a white-collar crime mystery (ish) / romance (ish) (LGBTQ). It's the first book in the Gray Fisher Series, which is a spinoff of Hiding Behind The Couch. It's scheduled for an October release. It's...getting there.

There are three main characters in The WAG and The Scoundrel: Gray Fisher, Will Richards and police officer Rob Simpson-Stone - a previous colleague of Gray's. In the scene below, Rob is at the public swimming pool with his son, Lucas. Rob and Lucas's mum, Zoë, are divorced, and Zoë has custody.

Here's the WIPpet:
"Mum said you could come to the fireworks with us."

"Did she?" Rob tried not to let his surprise show, but it didn't matter. Lucas was already two body lengths away and splicing the water with helicopter arms. These past few weeks, his crawl had come on in leaps and bounds. He was still creating whitewater and bringing his arms forward too soon, but he'd only learnt to swim in the summer holidays, when he'd had Rob at the pool on every day off, before late shifts and after earlies.

It was a difficult balance to strike, and Rob wasn't sure of the wisdom of giving in so easily to his son's demands, but he had a lot of catching up to do. It would've been different if they'd still been a family under one roof. The opportunities to do things together were always there, like when Rob's dad had said 'come on, then, let's get this mess sorted' and Rob had cussed under his breath at being coerced into tidying his room before he could go out with his mates, even if it did only take half as long with his dad's help. Those times had taken on a new value, now Rob was looking back from the vantage point of a dad on the outside.

Lucas had turned and was on his way back across the pool, oblivious to other swimmers dodging around him. His strokes were getting slower and longer, which improved his technique. He was no natural water baby, that was for sure, but as long as he was building stamina, Rob was happy. Strength was more important than speed. His panting son appeared next to him, grinning and proud.

"You did great there, Lu."

The praise made his grin wider still. "My arms hurt."

"Yeah, they will do, mate. When you bring your arms back -"

"Are you coming, Dad?"

So much for talking technique. "Where?" Lucas tutted and rolled his eyes. He looked the spit of Zoë, and just as astute. "Are you sure your mum said that?"

"Yeah." Lucas stretched the word for emphasis and gave Rob the kind of hopeful, pleading big-blinky-eyed look that instantly stole any hope he had of saying no. The boy was always one step ahead.

Thanks for reading!
Deb x

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Reunions - snippet 5 (Josh and George) #RainbowSnippets

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you'll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story's main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

* * * * *

I'm going with another snippet from Reunions (Hiding Behind The Couch #7) this week. The scene from which this is taken features George and Josh and comes a couple of chapters after last week's snippet. I think they're gonna be OK. ;)

Here's the snippet:
George had reached Josh's shoulder and kissed his way up his neck—
"So it was a coincidence, on our honeymoon," Josh said.
—and across his cheek. "Uh-huh."
Josh squinted, trying to focus on George's eyes up close. "You're very…virile this evening. We can always—"
"Joshua, shut up and kiss me."
Reunions will hopefully be out around Christmastime. /o\

You can also read about Josh and George in pretty much any Hiding Behind The Couch book, but if you wanted to shortcut and just read about their relationship (spoilers for the series up to Season Three), then there's Chain of Secrets - a stand-alone gay (M/M) romance novella.

Thanks for reading,
Deb x

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

#WIPpet Wednesday - The WAG and The Scoundrel (snippet 3) #amwriting

WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Witt - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=355404

So, it's the 3rd August: 3x8=24 sentences of my work in progress, The WAG and The Scoundrel, which is a white-collar crime mystery (ish) / romance (ish) (LGBTQ). It's the first book in the Gray Fisher Series, which is a spinoff of Hiding Behind The Couch. It's scheduled for an October release. :o

There are three main characters in The WAG and The Scoundrel. So far, the WIPpets have focused on Gray and Will. The third character is police officer Rob Simpson-Stone - a previous colleague of Gray's. In the scene below, Rob has not long been in bed when his phone rings.

Here's the WIPpet:
"Hello, who's this?"

"My name's Naomi. Are you PC Simpson-Stone?"

"Naomi Tanner?"

"That's right."

"Yeah, this is Rob Simpson-Stone. How can I help you, Mrs. Tanner?"

"It's about Aaron. He's in danger. Could we talk face-to-face?"

"Is he in immediate danger?"

"He's in hiding. He thought he'd be safe, but..."

Rob threw the covers back and sat up. "Where are you, Naomi?"

"Drury Court. Number thirty-two."

That was the address Aaron had given to Rob two weeks ago - his mother's place, therefore, Naomi's mother-in-law's. It seemed like an odd setup. There again, Rob didn't suppose all marriages ended in acrimony.

"OK. I'll be with you in thirty minutes." He ended the call and spent a few seconds staring at the screen. So it had begun: the antisocial hours, the late-night calls.

Thanks for reading!
Deb x

Monday, August 01, 2016

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down (2ed) - release day!

Today is release day for And The Walls Came Tumbling Down - second edition!

For those of you who read the first edition (thank you), the story is the same, but it's a much, much better read.

It's a funny thing, going back to an 'old' story. I wrote And The Walls Came Tumbling Down in 2009, so it's not that old. However, when technology or science is involved, a year (or less) is all it takes to date a story. So, there are no flip phones in the second edition, but the Tamagotchi got to stay.

Why did I release a second edition at all? Well, in part it's because - I think - I'm a more accomplished author now. I have more of an idea of what I'm doing, at least. I re-read my own stories, and I tweak and refine, but only if I'm not happy with them / I feel I've done a disservice to my readers. Of course, the best I can ever achieve is to be happy with the story at a specific moment in time, and my next revisit will undoubtedly include at least one shriek of 'What was I thinking?'

But the main reason I decided to re-release And The Walls Came Tumbling Down (and the earlier books in the Hiding Behind The Couch series) is this:

There was a time when the stories were predominantly written in passive voice... just like that! It's not my fault. Well, it is. I had difficulty switching from academic to creative writing. Now, that difficulty is reversed. The same thing happens when I'm grading students' assignments. I spot a missing hyphen, and I have to remind myself: grading, not editing. :D

Where did the inspiration for And The Walls Came Tumbling Down come from? A few places. First off, I'm a fan of Tom Holt, who writes light humorous sci-fi/fantasy, and in part, I wanted to try my hand at that. But then, as is always the way, the characters took over, although to a lesser extent than in my other stories. Thus, whilst I started out with the intention that Jack Davies would be a hapless hero who 'saves the world' by accident, he had other ideas.

Alongside the science fiction, there is some social science fact in the form of humankind's effect on the planet and the environment, which we tend to assume is a recent phenomenon, yet humans have been using rock to make tools for more than a million years (Ericson and Purdy, 2009), and those rocks had to come from somewhere.


Disused Sandstone Quarry in Ruff Wood, Ormskirk, Lancashire
The site provided sandstone to build houses in Ormskirk in the 19th century (WLDC, 2014).

As a species, we like to leave our mark, much like a dog cocking its leg, except humans (allegedly) have 'higher' cognitive functions, such as the ability to reason and consider consequence (don't pee on the electric fence). Alas, we also have the ability to ignore the consequences in favour of immediate gratification.

But anyway, And The Walls Came Tumbling Down isn't preachy, in spite of my almost constant horror at what we're doing to the planet.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Not shown in this photo: abandoned supercars, shipped-in marine life and a population five times larger than forty years ago.

Plus, there's also my usual exploration of the social bridges we build, break and attempt to repair.

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down ebook is available for a so-low-it's-almost-free price of 99c/75p.

The paperback will be available within the next few days.




Thanks for reading!
Deb x

---

References:
 
Cressey, D. (2011) 'Gulf ecology hit by coastal development: Dubai's artificial islands are affecting marine ecosystems.' Nature Vol 479: 7373. http://www.nature.com/news/gulf-ecology-hit-by-coastal-development-1.9374 [accessed 01/08/16]

Ericson, J.E. and Purdy, B.A. (eds)(2009) Prehistoric Quarries and Lithic Production. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

McElroy, R. (2016) 'The story behind Dubai's abandoned supercars.' https://www.carkeys.co.uk/news/the-story-behind-dubais-abandoned-supercars [accessed 01/08/16]

UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (2015) State of the environment report: United Arab Emirates 2015. UAE.

West Lancashire District Council (2014) 'Ruff Wood, Ormskirk' http://www.westlancs.gov.uk/leisure-recreation/parks-and-countryside/parks-and-countryside-sites/ruff-wood,-ormskirk.aspx [accessed 01/08/16]

Images:

'Disused Sandstone Quarry in Ruff Wood'
© Copyright Gary Rogers and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/131063

'Dubai, United Arab Emirates'
© Copyright Roman Logov and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
https://unsplash.com/@prostoroman

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Reunions - snippet 4 (Josh and George) #RainbowSnippets

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you'll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story's main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

* * * * *

I'm going with another snippet from Reunions (Hiding Behind The Couch #7) this week. The scene from which this is taken features George and Josh and comes a couple of pages after last week's snippet.

Prior to this scene, Josh and George had a 'bit' of a falling out (it was pretty horrific). Now, Josh is in the car, all set to go and find George, but he doesn't get that far...

Here's the snippet:
Josh had his head down and was no longer watching him. Guess it's up to me to make the first move - or so he thought, until his phone vibrated in his hand.

I'm sorry. I love you.

George looked up from the screen; Josh was out of the car and walking towards him. His stomach flipped, and he felt the familiar tingling all over his skin, which made him shiver all the more, but he was willing to risk freezing to death to work this out.
Reunions will hopefully be out around Christmastime. \o/

You can also read about Josh and George in pretty much any Hiding Behind The Couch book, but if you wanted to shortcut and just read about their relationship (spoilers for the series up to Season Three), then there's Chain of Secrets - a stand-alone gay (M/M) romance novella.

Thanks for reading,
Deb x