Wednesday, November 14, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - Murder at the Bingo Hall - Missing Mate

It's WIPpet Wednesday... :)

Brief Context
This is a first snippet from my NaNoWriMo WIP, Murder at the Bingo Hall, which is all Andrea's fault...as always. ;) This actually started out as her creation.

The story features Iris (George's mum) and her friend Pauline, who are both bingo regulars and also cleaners at the bingo hall. That's where this story begins.

WIPpet Maths for Wednesday 14th November, 2018
14 x 11 = 154 words

And the WIPpet Snippet:
There was nothing else for it; Iris finished the row of tables she was on, dumped the bag of rubbish and marched back upstairs to the foyer and pushed the toilet door open.

“Paul? You in there, love?”

No response was forthcoming, or none she heard. She cocked her head and listened.

“Pauline?”

Still not a peep. Iris released the door and set off for the main entrance, which was the only external exit Pauline could use without giving away that she was skiving.

“Oy, we’re a long way off done, you know,” Iris said as she stepped outside, catching her breath in the chilly air. The wind was bitter and blowing rain right in her face, making it hard to see, but not so hard she’d have missed Pauline had she been out there. Truth be told, no-one in their right mind would stay out there longer than need be. It was Baltic.

* * * * *

What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Wrayburn - 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



Thanks for reading
Deb x

Monday, November 12, 2018

Review: Drumbeat by A.M. Leibowitz

I realised today that I still haven't reviewed Drumbeat, which is shocking. It's been out for... [goes to look...cough] a while. OK, September 1st, it was released, and it was a while before that when I read it, because I struck lucky and got to beta-read. I honestly don't know what the process is like for other beta-readers, but for me it's like getting books on super early pre-release AND getting the chance to talk about the characters and events with the author. A private fan convention, essentially. I love it!

Drumbeat is the third book in A.M. Leibowitz's Notes from Boston series, and I've got to say before I get into talking about the story itself, I love these covers so much. How much? I've got them up onscreen as I type. They're exactly right for the series and for each story.

The observant will notice the series title and the book titles are music-themed, and the characters are all somehow connected to the performing arts (as well as to each other). In Drumbeat, we meet (again) Jamie, who is...a drummer (badum-tish) and Cian who is a hot Irish-American bi guy. Um, I mean, he's a dancer. Yes, that's what I meant.

Now, my job and hobby are such that I've read a few romances over the years. Not hundreds, but enough to get the gist of a few common tropes, and you can forget about those straight off. No friends to lovers going on here (or not between Jamie and Cian, at least). No enemies to lovers either. More a fairly ambivalent tumble into something that is more meaningful because it's natural and necessary. The challenges Jamie and Cian face independently are not instantly fixed by them coming together. Instead, there is a commitment to each other that is more than 'we met, fell for each other, the end'. While romance is in the mix, there is friendship, understanding, compassion, learning to communicate, acceptance. They're not 'perfect' for each other, and there are many obstacles still to be surpassed when we leave their story behind, but there's a definite rightness to what they have.

And there's also Sage. Bloody Sage. I almost wish there was a reason why he's such a sh*t, because it might stop me wanting to smush his face in every time I think of him. (Or boil him in a pan? That could work...) I get the same feeling when I meet people like him in RL, which I guess says it all. A.M. Leibowitz has captured the essence of...Sageness brilliantly. Pity he's an asshole, though. Sage is a lovely name. Still, I suppose everyone deserves one redeeming feature.

Each NfB novel (so far) focuses on two (or more) key characters, but it's really an ensemble cast, and anyone who's read books one and two will recognise many familiar names - Trevor, Andre (sigh), Marlie, Mack, Nate, Izzy...amazing, diverse characters and relationships. It's refreshing to read books like these with actual LGBTQ+ characters. The settings will also be familiar - I have somewhere a sketch of the club that I made while reading. The place is so vivid in my mind, I'm there with the guys, in this instance mostly watching Cian and his dancers. Obviously. Obsessed? Nooo... [whistles nonchalantly]

I could go on all day, but I'll wind it up here by saying Drumbeat, like Anthem and Nightsong, is a stand-alone story, and the author has a knack for minimising spoilers, so you could just pick up Drumbeat and go back later for Anthem and Nightsong, because you surely will.

I've linked the books' titles to the publisher's pages, but here are some more links for where you can buy Drumbeat:

Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Kobo • iBooks



Monday, October 29, 2018

Sparkly Badgers Ghost Hunt #giveaway #books


Be brave and grab your torches - 
it's time for the Sparkly Badgers' Ghost Hunt!

Find all the ghosts, collect all the letters and submit the spooky phrase to enter the prize draw and win sweets and books.

Everyone who enters gets to choose a book prize but only one lucky hunter will go away with every eBook.

Good luck and happy ghost hunting!

For clues, visit the Facebook Event Page:


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - Alumni: Sturdy Door

It's WIPpet Wednesday... :)

Brief Context
This is another snippet from Alumni (HBTC #8). At the end of Reunions (HBTC #7), Josh was stuck in the loft, having gone up there to investigate some psychic tools Dan had discovered earlier. In this snippet, he’s still sitting on the lip of the loft hatch, and he’s called Dan—I skipped forward a bit.

WIPpet Maths for Wednesday 24th October, 2018
18 x 10 – 24 = 156 words

And the WIPpet Snippet:
A series of thuds, loud and likely emanating from a fist, echoed up the stairwell while a torrent of foul language poured out of Josh’s phone.

“I can’t pick this, this…stupid…” There was another loud thump followed by a muted roar. “That’s it. I’m calling the locksmith,” Dan said.

“No!” The word was out before Josh could check himself, and he scrabbled to take his phone off speaker. “I don’t want a locksmith.”

“The guy’s not cheap, but he’s good,” Dan contended, mistaking Josh’s petulance for miserliness, but the cost was irrelevant; he simply could not take more ridicule, albeit that what he’d endured so far was his own. His curiosity had made a fool of him, and his pride had ensured he’d had plenty of time to reflect.

“Have you tried shouldering it?”

“Are you having a laugh? They’ve got flimsier doors on Fort Knox.”

It was a very sturdy door, Josh had to agree.

* * * * *

What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Wrayburn - 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



Thanks for reading
Deb x

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - Alumni: Disappointed

It's WIPpet Wednesday... :)

Brief Context
This is another snippet from Alumni (HBTC #8). At the end of Reunions (HBTC #7), Josh was stuck in the loft, having gone up there to investigate some psychic tools Dan had discovered earlier. In this snippet, he’s still sitting on the lip of the loft hatch, and he’s accepted he’s not getting down on his own.

WIPpet Maths for Wednesday 17th October
17 - 10 = 7
This is from p61 of my manuscript.
6 + 1 = 7
(Yes, I know it’s really convoluted…)

And the WIPpet Snippet:
“Mr. Sandison. Gordon Baines here.”

Oh, thank all that is… “Hey, Gordon. Thanks for returning my call. I was…erm…wondering if, perchance, you still have a set of keys to the building?”

“Keys to the building…” Baines sucked his teeth, the noise crackly and distorted against Josh’s ear. He moved the phone away and continued listening on loud speaker. “I might be wrong, but I think I only had the two sets I gave to you. Have you lost them?”

“Erm… Not lost them, as such, more…I’m locked in.”

“Oh? I had the locks checked before I put the building on the market.”

“Yes, and I’m sure the locks are all working fine.”

“Right, so what exactly do you mean by locked in?”

“I, erm… It’s complicated.” It always worked when George said it. “Can you help me or not?” Josh was being bolshy, but he’d apologise later. Anything to get him out of his predicament.

“If I’ve got them, they’ll be in the safe. I’ll pop and have a look and call you straight back.”

“It’s OK, I’ll wait on the—agh! The bloody bleep again! Please, please have another set.”

Josh wasn’t optimistic—about anything, ever, but particularly on this occasion—thus he had no justification for being so utterly disappointed when Gordon called back and confirmed the only two sets of keys to the first floor of the building were, as he’d said, in Josh’s possession. Or, in fact, several feet downwards and to the left of his possession.

“Damn it!”

Back to his contacts, no more horsing around. He hit the call button.

* * * * *

What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Wrayburn - 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



Thanks for reading
Deb x

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - Alumni: What Goes Up...

It's WIPpet Wednesday... :)

Brief Context
This is another snippet from Alumni (HBTC #8). At the end of Reunions (HBTC #7), Josh was stuck in the loft, having gone up there to investigate some psychic tools Dan had discovered earlier. I’ve been trying to figure out for ages how to get Josh down again, and I've done it.

But first, here he is, sitting on the lip of the loft hatch, and he’s accepted he’s not getting down on his own.

WIPpet Maths
10 paragraphs for the 10th of the 10th.

And the WIPpet Snippet:
Josh opened his contacts list and scrolled. Adele…no. If she sets eyes on this lot—he glowered at the attic stash—she’ll think all her Christmases have come at once. Andy…he’ll have me abseiling my way out. Would that be so bad? A quick downwards glance assured him it would. Baines Property Services…potentially. He mentally bookmarked Baines and continued scrolling through friends and business contacts, imagining the scenario for each, all of them horrific, leaving him with a shortlist of two, neither of which he was eager to try.

Dan or Gordon Baines. Dan. Gordon Baines. He’d have flipped a coin if he’d had one to hand. Lesser of two evils? Hard to say, but probably Gordon. Embarrassing as it was to have his ex-landlord come and rescue him from the top of a stepladder of only moderate height, Josh could no longer feel his legs. He made the call.

“Good afternoon, Baines Property.”

“Good afternoon. Would it be possible to speak to Gordon, please?”

“Who’s calling?”

“Josh Sandison.”

“One moment, please.” He was put on hold—no music, mercifully—and then the same voice came back on the line. “Mr. Baines is in a meeting and asked me to tell you he’d call back shortly.”

Josh held in his cry of anguish. “OK. Thank you. Please do tell him it’s rather urgent.”

“I’ll be sure to let him know.”

There was a bleep in Josh’s ear. He moved his phone away and stared, horrified, at the ‘call ended’ notification. The fingers of his other hand—clinging tightly to the lip of the loft hatch—were aching, and he had cramp in his buttocks from keeping them tensed for so long, but there was no floor in the loft, and if he tumbled backwards…

“Now, there’s an idea.” It would certainly get him down quickly.

* * * * *

What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Wrayburn - 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


Thanks for reading
Deb x

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - Meredith's Dagger #bivisibilityday

Well, my writing is not going well even though I’m on a writing holiday (at home). So far, there’s nothing in Alumni that is a) right for Bi Awareness Week, and b) suitable for a blog that can be accessed by people of all ages.

Brief Story Info:
For WIPpet Wednesday, I’m posting from one of my longest-standing works in progress (I wrote it in 2011) in the hopes it might inspire me to do some more work on it. The story is titled Meredith’s Dagger, and it’s contemporary fiction with historical interludes (based on real local history), a bit of romance thrown in and some feminist commentary on mental health, witch hunts and modern psychiatry. (Yes, I’m that good at sticking to a genre).

The setting is a university town house shared by Julian and Richie, both students, Anneka (she and Richie are long-term buddies) and Tamara (Tam), who is Julian’s older sister and bisexual. There’s a long history between Richie and Tam—much longer than either is aware of.

This novel needs a major rewrite, but the scene from which my snippet is taken will make the final cut.

And Richie and Tam look at bit like this:


WIPpet Maths for 26th September:
26-12=14 paragraphs.

And here’s the WIPpet Snippet:
Richie opened the door and let the cat go in first.

“You know anything about sexing cats?” he asked, expecting to find Julian sprawled out on the sofa.

“I might do. Why?”

Not Julian. A female voice, and he recognised it immediately.

“Tamara? What’re you doing here?”

“Well, I could lie—tell you I just happened to be passing by and thought I’d pop in to say hi to my little brother…”

Richie was torn between averting his eyes from the scantily clad woman who had been the object of his adolescent fantasies and the desire to drink in every inch of her wonderful being. She and Julian had the same dark hair, grey eyes and slightly cleft chin, which put him in quite a predicament. He felt himself getting hot under the collar as she returned his gaze with a playful smirk.

“Come to think of it, what are you doing here?” She swung her bare legs off the sofa and sprang, dancer-like, to her feet.

“I live here.” Richie inflected his response as part question, part statement of fact.

“Interesting.” Tam reached down into the large white bag on the floor in front of her, withdrew a softpack of cigarettes, took one out and lit it, all in one carefully choreographed move.

“Why interesting?” Richie asked. He was transfixed and saw no reason to hide it. There was no rule against flirting with a Denby…he hoped.

“The thing is, Richie…” She paused to draw on the cigarette and exhaled sharply. “It is Richie, isn’t it?” He confirmed with a nod, and she laughed. “I haven’t forgotten your name or anything. I just wasn’t sure what you preferred these days. But anyway, what I was going to say was you’re not really the type one imagines Jules choosing as a roomie, although…” She paused again to inhale from the cigarette, propped it in the ashtray—an object they didn’t have when Richie left for the supermarket—and tiptoed around him.

Richie remained still apart from turning his head to maintain eye contact. “Although?”

“You grew up.” She breathed the words onto his neck as she came around his side. Her hair brushed against his arm.

* * * * *

What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Wrayburn - 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

Thanks for reading
Deb x