Thursday, January 07, 2016

We are all works in progress



Blood, sweat and tears really don't matter
Just the things that you do in this garden.


(Levellers - 'This Garden')




I was thinking.

I like to do that occasionally, but I rarely give myself the time. I take my Kindle to the loo with me, I proofread in bed, I listen to music while I drive. The rest of the time I'm working, sleeping, or I am in the company of others (I'm working really hard on that last one).

Today, I took a few minutes to think and reflect, which is not the same as wallowing. I'm quite adept at living in the moment, but sometimes being mindful is about engaging with thoughts. Indeed, creative thinking requires it.

Prompted by a reader's question, my thoughts zoned in on a story I have partly written, which I shouldn't really think about until I've finished what I'm writing now. I did come up with a few ideas, which I safely stowed for later reference, and then I came here to write this post (another thing I'm working hard to do more of).

And I thought...

I'll write a blog post about my current works in progress.

Yet on the way here, I was waylaid by a rather more poetic / philosophical stance: that we are all works in progress.

That's all, really. I'm not going to spell it out, because it's...something to think about!

* * * * *

But now you're here, I'll tell you about my current works in progress, too! :)

I've just finished Chain of Secrets, which is included in the Love Unlocked Anthology (Beaten Track, Feb 14, 2016). I'm in the process of editing the other stories now - it's a great anthology of just seven wonderful stories - still 150k words in total! I'll say more about the anthology another time.

Chain of Secrets is the story of Josh and George's friendship  - a gentle and quirky journey from childhood best friends to...well, that would be telling.

For readers of the Hiding Behind The Couch series, this story will spoil a good few events through from season one to season three, so you should read up to that point first. For everyone else, this is a stand-alone story and requires no prior or post reading of the series.

I'm also working on Reunions (Hiding Behind The Couch Season Seven), which is themed around reunions, unsurprisingly. High school reunions, reconnecting with old friends...it's all in there. Hopefully. I'm only a little way into writing.

Raine and I have also been discussion our next collaborative story... More on this another time, because we're both fairly up to our eyes in other writing adventures! You can find our published stories to date here: Seeds of Tyrone series on Beaten Track.

Lastly, I want to say a huge thank you to the readers who have contacted me recently, asking about future stories featuring characters from Hiding Behind The Couch / Checking Him Out. Yes, there will be a book about Jesse and Leigh, and yes, there will be a book about Gray and Will. I'm not sure exactly when, but they will happen.

Thanks for reading! :)

Deb x

Thursday, December 31, 2015

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

It's New Year's Eve, so it is!

Not my favourite time of year, I must admit. I don't make resolutions, and I have a psychological aversion to fireworks and 'Auld Lang Syne'. But never mind all that.

On Christmas Day, Raine O'Tierney and I released a Christmas story - Christmas Craic and Mistletoe - which is, in fact, two Christmas stories rolled into one. The second story - Tom and Michael - has a rather lovely chapter entitled 'What are you doing...'

The inspiration for that chapter (aside from the characters themselves, of course) was the song 'What are you doing New Year's Eve', as recorded by Harry Connick Jr.

So I thought I'd post a little teaser from the chapter, along with a link to the song, to help get you in a smoooth romantic mood!

Whatever you're doing this New Year's Eve, have a good one! :)

Deb x



 * * * * *

Excerpt from Christmas Craic and Mistletoe - 'What are you doing...'

Tom rubbed his eyes, as if it would wipe his mind of all the things he wanted but could not have. It was late, and he was tired, but if this day had at least given Michael pause for thought, it was worth it.

The door from the pub creaked open, but Tom didn't bother checking to see who it was. He already knew.

"Are you all right, Tom?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just needed to gather my thoughts." He let his hands drop to his sides and blinked to clear the blur. "So...I was wondering, Michael. What are you doing New Year's Eve?"

"Um, nothing much. I'll probably go to Marie's. I don't know. How about you?"

"Same, but...would you like to come back here?"

Michael spent a moment thinking it through, and then smiled and nodded. "Yeah. I'd really like that. We need to get tickets now, though. I'll go and do that, shall I?"

"Aye, if that's OK with you?"

"God, yes! This place is great!"

Michael fairly bounced back inside, and Tom's thoughts immediately drifted. It was terrible conspiring like this. Of course he wanted to spend New Year's Eve with Michael - this and every one for ever after - but it was also a backup plan, in the event that he failed to persuade him tonight.

It seemed no time at all had passed before Michael announced his return with, "Got them."

"Grand."

"Should be a good night."

"Definitely."

"The music's pretty good tonight. It'll be amazing on New Year's."

"Amazing..." Tom laughed. "And I bet there's loads of talent."

"Like live bands?"

"Good-looking fellas."

"Oh! I suppose. But..." Michael was frowning again. He combed through his curls with his fingers, pulling his hair back from his face. "We are coming together, aren't we?"

"Yeah, we are, Mike." How to put it? "Listen, this whole thing of me suggesting we move to Belfast? I'm not assuming anything. You're going to be spoilt for choice, so you are."

"Lads, you mean?"

"Well, yeah."

"Why would they be interested in me?"

"Why wouldn't they? You're handsome, kind, fun to be with..."

"Go on with ye!" Michael laughed, embarrassed.

"It's all true."

  * * * * *

Christmas Craic and Mistletoe
(Seeds of Tyrone #3)

 Published: 25th December, 2015
Length: 115k (406 pages) approx.

Two couples, two unique stories of love at Christmastime...

Harrison and Paulo were once passionate lovers - until tragedy tore them apart. When the men miss an opportunity to reconnect at a Christmas party, Paulo is prepared to move heaven and earth to see Harrison again.

Michael's coming out didn't go down well in his conservative hometown of Omagh, and the bullies are out to get him. But he has a guardian angel on his side - his unrequited long-term crush, Tom.

Will the magic of Christmas in Ireland be enough to see these two couples through?

This book features characters from the Seeds of Tyrone series, but can be read and enjoyed independently.


Purchase Links:
Beaten Track | Smashwords | All Romance eBooks
Amazon UK [Kindle Edition] | Amazon.com [Kindle Edition]

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Craic and Mistletoe! A festive surprise...

It's a terrible state of affairs that it's taken me TWO DAYS to post about the newest story co-authored by the wonderful award-winning Raine O'Tierney and little ole me. The reason? It's inexplicable, unfathomable and my own bloody fault. I decided we should put out this story on Christmas Day, and near-killed the pair of us doing it.

So, two days of collapsy-coma-sleep and the mother of all headaches later, here I am, telling you about our latest story.

It's a Christmas story (really, Deb? Yeah) and it's part of our amazing Seeds of Tyrone series. And yes, I do get to call it amazing, because...did I mention award-winning authors? Also, if we don't like our own stories, there's no hope for anyone else liking them. The best bit of collaboration is that we get to read and write at the same time, so my praise, really, isn't arrogance. It's praise for my co-author.

Do you like Two-for-Ones?
Because that's what you get with Christmas Craic and Mistletoe. Our fine on-the-cover likenesses are of Michael and Harrison. Readers of the first two books in the series (Leaving Flowers, and Where the Grass is Greener) will have met these marvellous fellows before. Harrison is the twin brother of Jill, who was Aidan's line manager at The Grand Heights. By the end of Leaving Flowers, Jill's relationship status means she's essentially family. Michael first appears in Where the Grass is Greener, working alongside Seamus on the cabbage-picking job.

In Where the Grass is Greener Harrison and Michael become friends. Good friends, but...well that would be far too easy, wouldn't it? And predictable. Which Raine and I are most definitely not, hence your fantastic festive two-for-one, and it's only $2.99! How good is that? I should also point out that because this was a rush job, we'll be revisiting it after Christmas is done and dusted, so the paperback will be a while coming, and we also recommend you buy the ebook now - because we want you to read it, we think you'll enjoy it, and it will be $3.99 by next Christmas. So many good reasons! Links are handily included below the blurb.

The Blurb:
Two couples, two unique stories of love at Christmastime...

Harrison and Paulo were once passionate lovers - until tragedy tore them apart. When the men miss an opportunity to reconnect at a Christmas party, Paulo is prepared to move heaven and earth to see Harrison again.

Michael's coming out didn't go down well in his conservative hometown of Omagh, and the bullies are out to get him. But he has a guardian angel on his side - his unrequited long-term crush, Tom.

Will the magic of Christmas in Ireland be enough to see these two couples through?

This book features characters from the Seeds of Tyrone series, but can be read and enjoyed independently.


* * * * *

Purchase Links:

* * * * *

by Debbie McGowan and Raine O'Tierney

Published: 25th December, 2015 (Beaten Track)
Length: 115k (406 pages) approx. 

 



Saturday, December 19, 2015

Checking In released + When Skies Have Fallen Rainbow Award

Rainbow Book Award Runner Up: When Skies Have Fallen





When Skies Have Fallen - my historic romance - was fourth runner-up in the Rainbow Book Awards, which is a wonderful thing. It made me take stock and reflect on why I wrote the story.

There is a history hidden behind the glamour and excitement of the swashbuckling heroes and flying aces whose exploits litter fictional accounts of the Second World War. To reach it took hour upon hour of research, reading first-person accounts of what it was like on the home front. This was the story I set out to tell.


For many in war-torn 1944, love blossoms in the dance hall, and airman Arty Clarke is no exception. He's a thinker and a dreamer; however, it's not the beautiful, talented dancer in his arms - his best friend Jean - who inspires his dreams. For when his gaze meets that of Technical Sergeant Jim Johnson, Arty dares to imagine a different dance.

Their love is forbidden, by both the armed forces and the law, but with Jean's cunning and support, Arty and Jim try to bridge the distance between them and find true love despite the danger and a life-threatening disaster that could destroy Arty's dreams for good.

Can the pair stand strong together, no matter how many skies have fallen?


New Release: Checking In



Checking In - the continuation of Sol and Adam's story (Checking Him Out) - was released 15th December. If you haven't already, you can download Checking Him Out for free pretty much anywhere.

Freelance engineer Sol Brooks is in hot demand. He's landed a couple of big contracts and is all set for a business trip back to the other side of the pond. The last thing he needs is an unexpected visitor to complicate his departure.

Especially when that visitor puts his relationship with Adam on rocky ground.

Determined to fulfil his contractual obligations, Sol goes ahead with the trip. It's a great opportunity and a chance to catch up with old friends. And he's going to check in regularly.

What could possibly go wrong?


The series so far (all written to work as stand-alone stories, but better read in this order):

Checking Him Out (Book #1 - Sol and Adam)
Checking Him Out For the Holidays (Novella - #1.1 - Sol and Adam)
Hiding Out (Novella - #1.2 - Noah and Matty, with Josh, George and Libby from Hiding Behind The Couch)
Taking Him On (Book #2 - Noah and Matty)
Checking In (Book #3 - Sol and Adam)

What readers are saying:



You can find all of my books here: beatentrackpublishing.com/DebbieMcGowan

And/or visit my website: debbiemcgowan.co.uk


Thanks for reading. :)

Deb x

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: When Skies Have Fallen by Debbie McGowan



When Skies Have Fallen received an honourable mention in the 2015 Rainbow Awards!


What the judges said: "Exceptional historical accuracy and sense of setting: the novel rings with authenticity. The characters are strong and the plot tension comes not just from the war but their own desires and the demand for secrecy. Pacing is sometimes a bit slow. Extremely strong historical romance overall." (http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4656033.html)




When Skies Have Fallen is available as a free ebook - also available as a paperback (not free): beatentrackpublishing.com/whenskieshavefallen


For many in war-torn 1944, love blossoms in the dance hall, and airman Arty Clarke is no exception. He's a thinker and a dreamer; however, it's not the beautiful, talented dancer in his arms-his best friend Jean-who inspires his dreams. For when his gaze meets that of Technical Sergeant Jim Johnson, Arty dares to imagine a different dance.

Their love is forbidden, by both the armed forces and the law, but with Jean's cunning and support, Arty and Jim try to bridge the distance between them and find true love despite the danger and a life-threatening disaster that could destroy Arty's dreams for good. Can the pair stand strong together, no matter how many skies have fallen?


(First published 2015 by MM Romance Group as part of Love is an Open Road)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

BIKE BOOK REVIEWS!!: BIKE & THE BABES HOLIDAY BOOK REVIEW BLITZ DAY 2!!...





HEY
GUYS, FOR DAY 2 OF OUR HOLIDAY BOOK REVIEW BLITZ I HAVE DECIDED TO
BRING OUT A POST I DID LAST YEAR! AS EVERYONE KNOWS DEBBIE McGOWAN IS
ONE OF MY FAVES, AND I LOVE HER BOOKS! HERE ARE MY REVIEWS ( MY HOW THEY
HAVE CHANGED :p) OF THREE OF HER HOLIDAY STORIES I DID LAST YEAR! I
HAVE SPRUCED UP THE QUOTE AND RATING PICS, BUT THE REVIEWS ARE THE SAME!
LET'S GET TO IT.