Wednesday, July 27, 2016

#WIPpet Wednesday - The WAG and The Scoundrel (snippet 2) #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 27th July, 2016, or (2707/2016)=691, but that's too many words, so I halved it, thusly 346 (rounded up, plus the last little bit so it wasn't entirely left dangling in anticip-) 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. :o

In the scene below, Gray's at home alone, and he's trying to figure out his feelings about...everything!

Here's the WIPpet:
It was as well Gray had steered clear of the spirits. The time was fast approaching two a.m., and the ten bottles of Belgian wheat beer - which he'd bought on the premise they'd last out the week and then finished them in one sitting - had made him morose. But for once, his misery hadn't dumped him in the deep dark hole of Life After Jean.

He pondered on that awhile, trying to decide if he felt guilty - which he didn't - and then whether he should feel guilty about not feeling guilty.

Guilt-free, ethereal, divine.

Two a.m. in the reality of a drunken Gray Fisher was a twilight zone in which he could communicate with the dead. Not all of them, thank goodness. There were quite a few he was glad were on the other side of the curtain, including his philandering father - a phrase he'd tried out in the full array of Scottish accents for it sounded much better than in English - but when a light dose of alcohol had softened the edges of the world, blurring the boundaries, Gray felt Jean's presence, he was sure of it, or as sure as he was of anything.

He'd talked himself hoarse, telling Jean all about Will and his dogs. Five days had passed with no contact. No phone calls, no text messages, and he wasn't online. Gray didn't know if that was atypical or not. What was atypical was that he was paying attention, hence his lack of frame of reference.

He was worried about Will, which was...promising, and his pleasure at being worried appalled him. But then, how could he not be pleased, when his concern indicated that, in spite of his doubts on other matters, Gray believed Will had been truthful about his mum.

"I disgust me," Gray admitted to Jean, or to his semi-comatose common sense. He was still a long way from sober but not quite as far into drunk as he had been an hour ago, when he began his one-person séance. "It's so petty. Why do I care if he's bluffing about..." He didn’t know what, or why. He had no logical explanation for the feeling.

Thanks for reading!
Deb x

Monday, July 25, 2016

Can't write #amwriting

The post title may seem a contradiction, but I've taken a break from The WAG and The Scoundrel to write this post, so...

Reflections in brief:
  • I've just hit 60k words, which is quite awesome.
  • I plan to write 75k words, but it's not set in stone.
  • That usually means somewhere around 100k words, but I don't think that will happen this time.
  • There again, I didn't think it would happen last time.
  • Some characters are chattier than I anticipated, which is nice. I think.
  • And there are too many of them (see below).
  • Word clouds are an excellent (if not distressing) way to see which words should not be in there as much as they are.
  • Trying to write to a genre is one of the greatest constrictions on my creativity.
  • I am no longer writing to a genre.
  • I don't care.
  • Mostly.
Look at all these characters!
Main:
Gray Fisher - ex DCI running the SIU. Now a PhD student and part-time lecturer / TV extra
Will Richards - ex investment banker, animal rights activist, vegetarian, surfer
Rob Simpson-Stone - PC / DC

Secondary:
Naomi Tanner - slim, tall, well-dressed, separated from Aaron Tanner
Aaron Tanner - slob in designer suits, director of Berringer’s bank - the techie
DCI Martina Hedley - Rob's previous boss, before he went to undercover
Chief Inspector Greg Petridis - Rob's uniform boss
DI Dom Hooper - new head of SIU
Josh Sandison-Morley (who?)

Thirdary (yeah, I made it up):

Zoë - Rob's ex-wife
Travis - Zoë's current BF
Lucas - Rob's 7yo son
Becky (Gray’s sister)
Will's mum
Gray's mum (possibly, if I don't kill her off first)

Other important people (human or otherwise):
Frederick (Freddie) Berringer
Carrie Duggan (the language specialist)
Hector Laird-Browne (Naomi's lover)
Will’s dogs and other animals
Jon, Micky and Tie - live on farm
Lord Berringer - Freddie's father

Mentioned:
Aunt Cathy - Rob's aunty
Rob's mum
JJ - Rob's brother
Tanya - Rob's sister
Shammy - lives on the floor above Rob


And here is a Word Cloud in the shape of a star (not quite so random as it seems):
Made using WordClouds.com


The WAG and The Scoundrel is scheduled for an October release and is available for preorder on Beaten Track Publishing.

Thanks for reading,
Deb x

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Reunions - snippet 3 (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 Josh and his mother-in-law. The snippet is Josh's mental processing (he's mid-hug).

Prior to this scene, Josh and George had a 'bit' of a falling out.  

Note: this snippet includes passing reference to mental health issues and spoilers for earlier books.

Here's the snippet:
He hadn't cried - properly cried, with gulps and gasps and all this disgusting mucus - since...ever, and it was a relief, but not just for the reason of 'letting it all out'. When his dad died, when Sean betrayed him, when George left for Colorado, when Jess died, the fights with Eleanor, his grandma's illness, when the depression got hold of him - all those times when his feelings had paralysed him, not once had he cried. Or not this neverending flood. This was heightened, not flattened, affect. For the first time in his life, he was fully experiencing real sadness - and guilt - without recourse to self-harm. And, for the first time in his life, he knew he didn't have to do it alone.
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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

#WIPpet Wednesday - The WAG and The Scoundrel #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 20th July, 2016; here's 20 sentences from chapter 7 of my work in progress, The WAG and The Scoundrel, which is a white-collar crime mystery / romance (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. Eek!

The characters in the excerpt below are Gray Fisher and Will Richards. Through a bit of sneaky match-making (in a previous story), they've reached the level of...friendship. It could go anywhere, depending on how much Will and I can get Gray to loosen up.

Here's the WIPpet:
If Gray had not been so at peace, he might have worried about the fact he was, in that moment, feeling more content than he had in years. It helped that Will was so calm and 'real'. He strode with confidence, his boots marking a firm, steady rhythm. It was too dark to make out detail or colour, but he was wearing loose-fitting cargo pants and a baggy pullover with a shirt underneath, one collar visible. His hair hung in a ponytail at the nape of his neck, and the long stubble on his chin, turned orange by streetlight, indicated he hadn't shaved in a few days.

This was Will 'at home', and he put Gray completely at ease. He'd accompanied George and his dog on a couple of walks, which he'd enjoyed. But this? This was something else. He could see Will's dogs waiting at the start of a footpath up ahead of them, beyond that, woodland, and felt his stomach fluttering with the effect of the feel-good chemicals.

They reached the dogs, and Will must have given them some kind of unspoken signal, as they all move on again, dashing into the woods. Will and Gray followed at a leisurely pace.

"You're very quiet," Will said. He sounded concerned, but before Gray could reassure him that he was absolutely fine, if not a little wowed, Will looked his way, and that sassy grin blossomed again. "I don't think I've seen you look so chilled."

"I'm really enjoying this walk," Gray admitted. Will gave a deep, gentle laugh, completely unmocking, and Gray joined in. "I should go for walks more often."

"Yeah, well, it helps having these guys." Will nodded towards his dogs in the distance. "They're a reason to get up in the morning, put on my wellies and get out in the fresh air."

Thanks for reading!
Deb x

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Reunions - snippet 2 (Kris and Ade) #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 a bit more from Reunions (Hiding Behind The Couch #7) this week. Kris and Ade are flying to Sweden to visit Kris's parents, whom Ade is meeting for the first time. It's also his first time flying, so he's a bit excitable.

This wee excerpt follows on from my previous Reunions snippet. Ade has just discovered what he thought was chocolate and vanilla ice cream is actually salted liquorice. It may be based on a real experience...

Here's the snippet:
Kris watched, amused, as Ade took another scoop of the ice cream he 'didn't like' and braced for the experience. "They won't throw you off the plane for wasting it, you know."

Ade licked his lips clean and drew his tongue back over his teeth, leaving the tip to probe the gap top front. Kris switched to staring into the black-and-white swirls in a bid to stave off the urge to kiss him. It wasn't the kind of kiss that was appropriate for air travel, and judging by Ade's flirtatious smile, he knew exactly what he was doing.

"So, babe," Ade's cold lips and hot breath brushed featherlight over Kris's cheek, "is the mile-high club a real thing?"
Reunions will hopefully be out around Christmastime. *types faster* You can also read about Kris and Ade in Crying in the Rain - a stand-alone bi/gay (M/M) romance.

Thanks for reading,
Deb x

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Midnight Clear - free until July 31st #Smashwords

Slight blog overload this week, but life is unpredictable, so I'm posting a few days early.

My Christmas novella, A Midnight Clear, is available for free until July 31st in the Smashwords Summer/Winter sale (use SFREE at checkout). If you're not a 'Christmas in July' person, you could download it and save it for later. ;)

The blurb:

It's a cold, desperate December when a young girl flees home, in search of food, shelter and the real Santa Claus. Stranded in George and Josh's hometown, she discovers that the spirit of Christmas can be found in the most unexpected of places. Includes the story of The Little Match Girl, by Hans Christian Andersen.

Length: 26,000 words (75 pages) approx.
Suitable for younger readers and adults, aged 12+. 
A stand-alone story from the Hiding Behind The Couch series.
Also part of Boughs of Evergreen - A Holiday Anthology (proceeds to The Trevor Project).

* * * * *

An excerpt:
"Hey," George said gently. "Are you OK?"

The person in front of him startled and sat up quickly, banging their head back and making the whole shop window judder with the force of the jolt. The girl - he assumed, though she was barely old enough to say with certainty - glared up at him.

"Fine," she snapped. She closed her eyes again. George didn't know what to do. Ask if she needed help? If she needed money?

"I, err..." he began, then nothing else. Maybe he could just offer her some money - enough to buy a sandwich at the garage, although it was cold and she could do with finding somewhere inside. He pulled the change from the cigarettes free of his pocket and examined it. A two-pound coin and a few coppers wasn't going to get her very far, and he felt it would be insulting to offer it. Being homeless didn't make her worthless. He put the money away again. OK, so twenty quid was a bit on the generous side, but that's all he had. He approached and crouched in front of her, trying not to intimidate.

"Here," he said, offering the twenty-pound note. She glared at it and then at him.

"I'm not a prozzie," she snarled.

"Sorry?" Her response surprised him, and it took a few seconds for the meaning to register, at which point he lost his balance and nearly fell backwards. He righted himself and adjusted his position.

"A prostitute," she said. "I'm not one of them."

George laughed to cover his embarrassment. He must have looked really stupid. "I didn't think you were. I mean..." He paused, trying to gather the words to explain his thinking. "It's cold," he said, and it was. If he spent much longer in the same position he'd need her help to get back up again. "I thought maybe you could go to the twenty-four-hour McDonald's and..." He was probably stereotyping, he didn't really know, as it was the first time he'd properly talked to a homeless person, but he imagined they didn't get much opportunity to eat, or else why would there be soup kitchens? "I don't know," he hedged, trying to make the advice sound like it wasn't him telling her how to survive the bitter December night. "Hang around the place, munching fries really slowly, or something? Stay out of the cold awhile."

She was still studying him suspiciously, and he didn't know what else to say to convince her.

"Really," he said, leaning a little closer. "Take it."

She took it finally, and George carefully stood up. It was so cold. How was she even lying on the floor? It was overwhelming him; he turned quickly so he couldn't see her anymore, and stepped off.

"Thanks," she called after him.

He looked back at her and smiled, trying not to notice the desperation, the sadness in her eyes. He gave her a courteous nod and returned to the car, fighting to clear his mind of the image of her face. The engine started up and the heaters blasted him with warm air. He turned them off, the guilt too powerful to appreciate their luxury. The car stereo kicked in; another Christmas song. 'Let It Snow'. It had to be the first year ever he was wishing desperately that it wouldn't.

Thanks for reading,
Deb x

Thursday, July 14, 2016

#WIPpet Wednesday - Class-A #amwriting

My first proper WIPpet Wednesday - there's maths involved! :o

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 13th July, 2016, and I'm going with easy maths because my brain is tired.
Page 13, I counted 7 lines down and 'wipped' the next 16.

This is from my just-gone-to-editor WIP, Class-A, which is both part of Take a Chance - a YA/NA LGBTQ (M/M) anthology (which I'll explain more about in a future post) - and a very short interlude in my series, Hiding Behind The Couch. For followers of the series, Class-A happens during Ruminations (starting with the law halls of residence party).

The characters in the excerpt below are Simon and Jess, law undergraduates. Simon is the main character in this story, which is told from his point of view.

No cover yet...

Here's the WIPpet:
If only he felt differently, how easy it would be. "I'm sorry I hurt you." That much was true.

"You didn't really."

"But I did embarrass you."

"I wish you'd been honest with me."

"As do I. I seriously underestimated you, Jess."

She lifted her head, looked him directly in the eye. There was a sparkle of fun there, but she meant business. "I still won't marry you, and not because I don't like you. It's awful your father's forcing you to be someone you're not."

"Coercion rather than force. If my lifestyle is too much at odds with his, he'll simply bypass me. My nephew will occupy the house, take the title and the crap that goes with it. I'd say he's welcome to it."

"But you want the money."

Finally, a glimpse of understanding. They shared the same currency after all.

Thanks for reading!
Deb x