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

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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Just write, really #amwriting

On Pinterest this morning, I saw a list of 'six things that make your writing look amateurish' or some such condescendingly arrogant title. I visited the linked page, which had been liked sixty-one thousand times!

Some readers may not be surprised to find out that in my first paragraph, I hit three of the six 'no-no's listed. For the curious, I used an -ly word (they're like swear words, but more swearly-er), and italics for emphasis (bad, bad, bad), and...some other thing. Oh, yes. I did that thing where the thing is doing a thing for which there is no thinging word for it and you're not Shakespeare (or Stuart Ayris), so the chances of getting away with making up your own word are, at best, slim.

Do I sound like I'm mocking? Good. Because I am. Wherever authors look, there are 'experts' telling us how NOT to write. Well, balls to all that.

My advice, for what it's worth, is this: just write the damn story.

The fussing and editing comes later. And even then, if there is a good reason for doing something, even if all those experts say you shouldn't, do it anyway!

Like, for instance, I have this character called Josh. Regular visitors to my blog may have met him before. ;) Josh is the main character/narrator of Hiding Behind The Couch, and he has a distinct way of speaking, which involves superfluous deployment of complex vocabulary.

Now, 'the rules', according to all the internet writing gurus, command we 'keep it simple - don't utilise when use will do'. Except...no. Sometimes, 'utilise' carries a different connotation to 'use'.

Aside from that, there's this other rather more salient thing (be specific... ad nauseum, meh) when it comes to Josh: he uses language to show off his intellect and neutralise perceived threats in social situations.
The other peculiarity he has is to use really+very to describe the strength of his emotional response.
 "When you get home from work, I'll explain it to you. Flirting 101."
"Might be useful. That's really very dangerous. Do I do it a lot?"
(In The Stars Part I: Capricorn–Gemini)
"Not as silly as me," Josh admitted, feeling really very silly for jumping to conclusions. "The washing machine's got a cold wash setting. That should do the job."
(Two By Two)
He does it a lot more in my head than he does in what's written on the page because the grammar Nazis are after me...Agh! Run for the hills!

This example I include to illustrate that, to me (which is important - this is my opinion, not another subset of rules to be universally adhered to), character development and authenticity trump mindless compliance to dos and don'ts.

That said, all of us are guilty of overusing certain words, and these can change with each story we write. We may, on a revisit, find more descriptive verbs, more specific nouns, but the story needs to be written first (oops, there goes some passive voice).

So, once you've written the story, here are some tools that might prove useful. Or not.

Smart Edit Lite (free - Windows only): http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/Other-Office-Tools/Smart-Edit-Free-Edition.shtml
Word counter and text analyzer (online): http://sporkforge.com/text/word_count.php
Edit Minion (online): http://editminion.com/

Thanks for reading,
Deb x


Image derived from https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9105641
By Vox Efx from Baltimore, United States - Bleach Bypass Efx, CC BY 2.0

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Reunions #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 all over the place with writing this weekend. I have three WIPs on the go, and I'd planned to snip from something else entirely, but I couldn't find a section that worked.

I've opted instead for this little section of Reunions (Hiding Behind The Couch #7), where Kris and Ade are flying to Sweden to visit Kris's parents; Ade is meeting them for the first time. It's also his first time flying anywhere, and he's enraptured by everything about the experience. They're accompanied by Kris's second cousin, Eric.

Here's the snippet:
"I'm a poor example of my people." The grimace that accompanied Kris's first mouthful of the in-flight coffee confirmed it. "I mean, who ever heard of a Gothenburger with a shellfish allergy?"

A quiet, deep-toned chuckle came from across the aisle. "You like caviar, Ade?" Eric asked.

"The posh stuff?"

"Hardly!" Kris scoffed. "It comes in a squeezy tube. Like fish-egg toothpaste."

Ade mimed throwing up. "I don't have to eat that, do I?"

"Yep," Kris said, made a liar by Eric's simultaneous response of 'no'.
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 08, 2016

Who cares about genre anyway? #amwriting

I've heard of (and been part of) many a discussion about the pure horror experienced by readers of M/M romance when all of a sudden, SMACK! BAM! in the middle of their hot man-on-man action, there's an intimate scene between a man and a woman! Gasp!

More often, it's described as a 'hetero' scene, yet in many cases, the reason the scene has found its way into an M/M romance is because one of the two male main characters is bisexual. It may even relate to other aspects of gender/sexual/relationship/identity, but that's for another post.

All I'm getting at is, the way I see it, it's at best hypocritical to be a proud member or ally of the LGBTQ community and then spit bi-erasing disgust when faced with the reality of love is love.

Preachy bit over. I mention it, in part, to make clear my writing philosophy, which is essentially to follow where the characters lead. I love the process of getting to know a character, walking alongside on their journey of self-discovery, and they often surprise me.

It does, however, mean sometimes (often, potentially always), I flout the genre boundaries. So...

The WAG and The Scoundrel - (one of) my current work(s) in progress, is, primarily, the story of Gray Fisher, an ex undercover cop. There's a (possible) love interest in Will Richards (as in, I think they'd be really good for each other, but I'm only the author), so there likely will be some elements of same-sex romance in there. I know Gray is gay. Will is attracted to men, but I'm only just getting to know him. However, the story is not a romance per se.

Now, the trouble is, when it comes to listing books on Amazon, Smashwords, ARE, etc., categories are restrictive. There is no 'white-collar crime mystery with same-sex and opposite-sex romance elements'. I'll add keywords, of course, and I'll list it in the best-fitting categories. The stories I write are, generally, cross-genre fiction that fit under the contemporary umbrella. And it's a hoooooge umbrella. You could fit a gazillion people under it and we'd all stay dry.

Anyway... I am getting to the point, I promise.

Fair warning is given, with no apology, that when the book goes on sale, it will be listed however vendors see fit, so don't come crying to me if it ain't your bag. I didn't choose the bag.

If you like your reading to tick one box only, then you should probably look away now.

The excerpt below features the other prominent character in the Gray Fisher series (which I'm envisaging as a trilogy, but who knows? Not me, that's for sure).

Readers of Hiding Behind The Couch (of which the Gray Fisher series is an entirely stand-alone off-shoot) will have briefly met Rob Simpson-Stone before. He went to school with 'The Circle' and was, erm, very close to some of them. Please also note that I do not call women 'ladies' nor endorse heroes swooping in to save damsels in distress, and Rob obviously hasn't read Othello, or he might've had something to say. In other words, this is from Rob's point of view.

OK. I'm done with the waffle. Here's the excerpt:
The town held a special place in his heart, for it was in Stratford that he and Zoë had met. He’d been on duty, and she’d been with a group of her fellow students, out for a day of ‘history’ before an evening at the theatre to see Othello, followed by post-play refreshments. Rob and his partner on the beat that evening had stopped to watch the five young women stagger out of a bar, using language that was a bit ripe for young ‘ladies’, especially as the young ladies in question were well-spoken, well-dressed and most certainly well-to-do.

As they continued on their zigzag trajectory to the next establishment, the heel came off one of the women’s shoes, and she tilted sideways, lost her balance and fell into the road…or she would have done, had Rob not swooped in to catch her. She had decreed him her hero—her very own Othello—and planted her wine-wetted lips on his cheek. From that moment, he was a goner.

Rob smiled to himself as he strolled along the dark bank of the river, shimmering silver and black in the sliver of moonlight that hung in the sky like a slash in a blackout curtain. He could remember the night and day that followed so clearly it could have happened mere weeks ago.

Thanks for reading. :)
Deb x

Image of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2549765

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Cherry Pop Valentine #RainbowSnippets

Finally, finally, finally... I'm posting my first RainbowSnippet! :)

I've been in the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook for a few months, and it's a fab idea (thank you, Charley). We get to share snippets from our LGBTQ+ stories, make recommendations of stories we've read etc. and readers of our posts can follow the trail back to other #RainbowSnippets.

So, without further ado, this is a six-line snippet from Cherry Pop Valentine, which is a short story (11k words) I wrote last year for a Valentine's Day challenge. This month (July), it's available for free in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale (use SFREE at checkout).

Here's the snippet:
In the final clip of our band on stage, Sven brings a single rose across to me at the piano and kneels. I take the rose from him, and we fade to black.

Ten years together, and even though he’d said yes to us one day getting married, we’d decided not to bother with a civil partnership and instead wait out the change in law. Now we could get married, I felt like it was he who should propose. I’d thought maybe he’d been thinking about it, until the guys in the band starting nagging about what brilliant publicity it would be if the video turned into reality. We’d recorded it a couple of months back, and the real video was going out in five days’ time, on Valentine’s Day.
And here's the blurb:
Their band's new single is due to be released in four days' time, and lovers Sven and Flavier are beyond excited. It's tipped to be a big hit, and Flav can't wait to see the online reaction to the promo film he's made.

But when he joins Sven in bed, he can't even begin to imagine the fallout that will ensue when he awakes, and all his dreams are shattered with just one click of an upload button.

Can he fix the damage caused by that one careless click, or will he be condemned to endure Valentine's Day alone?
* * * * *

Thanks for reading,
Deb x