Monday, April 16, 2018

Newish Release: Hiding Behind The Couch Box Set Two


I haven't had time to blog properly on a Monday for a few weeks, so my apologies if you're a regular reader. I'm doing my best to get back in the swing of it.

This is just a quickie to announce the release of Box Set Two of Hiding Behind The Couch, which is available on Kindle only (and Kindle Unlimited).

BOX SET ONE

  • Beginnings
  • Ruminations
  • Hiding Behind The Couch (Season One)
  • No Time Like The Present (Season Two)
  • The Harder They Fall (Season Three)
  • Crying in the Rain
  • First Christmas


BOX SET TWO

  • In The Stars Part I (Season Four)
  • Breaking Waves
  • Chain of Secrets
  • In The Stars Part II (Season Five)
  • A Midnight Clear
  • Red Hot Christmas


BOX SET THREE (sometime in 2018/9)

  • Two by Two (Season Six)
  • Hiding Out
  • Class-A
  • Those Jeffries Boys
  • Breakfast at Cordelia’s Aquarium
  • The WAG and The Scoundrel


NOVELLAS/SHORT STORIES BOX SET

  • Beginnings
  • Class-A
  • First Christmas
  • Breaking Waves
  • Chain of Secrets
  • A Midnight Clear
  • Red Hot Christmas
  • Hiding Out
  • Breakfast at Cordelia’s Aquarium
  • To Be Sure
The novellas/short stories box set is also available as a paperback - readers asked for print editions of the novellas and short stories, so here they are. Note: these stories will all appear in the numbered box sets.

The novels are also available in paperback editions. :) Visit Beaten Track Publishing for all purchase/download links


Thanks for reading!
Deb x

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - No Filter: Very Odd - #lgbtqia

But I have news! I submitted a story for Upstaged—the upcoming anthology from Supposed Crimes—and it was accepted! Woohoo! :) It was nerve-racking, I won’t lie. It’s the first time I’ve submitted a story anywhere since my first novel. This writing malarkey never gets any easier. I’ll post more about the anthology nearer publication time.

Anyway, it’s WIPpet Wednesday. I’m allegedly writing No Filter for CampNaNoWriMo. I haven’t managed much writing, but it’s coming along slowly.

Brief story info:
No Filter is a crossover novella of the Hiding Behind The Couch and Checking Him Out series(es), featuring Libby (and others) from HBTC, and Matty (and others) from CHO.

This week’s snippet is from Libby’s point of view; it follows from last week’s snippet, where Libby was scheming. Note (and also a spoiler for anyone reading HBTC who hasn’t got as far as Season Six): Josh and George are Libby’s foster/adoptive parents. Highlight to read.

WIPpet maths for 11th April:
9 sentences, 2 paragraphs… 9+2=11.

And the WIPpet Snippet:
Only Josh was home, so she wouldn’t get a definite yes or no until later, but she could still sound him out. She’d have preferred to talk to George first—it made sense to wait until he got in from work, but sense and patience were not playing on the same side this afternoon. Plus George would say ‘who?’ and then she’d have to tell the whole story to remind him, whereas Josh would remember exactly who she was talking about the second she mentioned the name. Possibly even before.

Pocketing her phone, Libby clicked the remote control to lower the stairs from her attic bedroom into Josh’s office, drawing breath as she descended, her speech at the ready, but she’d have been addressing an empty room. Very odd. She reached the bottom of the stairs and cocked her head, listening. He usually called up to say if he was going out, but she couldn’t hear much of anything, although…it sounded like the TV was on, which was even odder. She went to investigate.

* * * * *

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, April 04, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - No Filter: No Patience - #lgbtqia

I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks because of workload, which hasn’t lessened any, if I’m honest. Uni work, publishing…there are not enough hours in the day/days in the week!

Still, it’s WIPpet Wednesday. :)

Brief story info:
No Filter is a crossover novella of the Hiding Behind The Couch and Checking Him Out series(es), featuring Libby (and others) from HBTC, and Matty (and others) from CHO.

This week’s snippet is from Libby’s point of view; this is the start of chapter two (the previous snippets were from chapter one).

WIPpet maths for 4th April:
4x4=16 paragraphs.

And the WIPpet Snippet:
Libby jiggled her leg impatiently to the FaceTime bleeps. It never took Poppy this long to pick up. In fact, Libby was quite sure if she added up all the seconds of waiting from all of their calls in the two years since they’d become friends, it wouldn’t come close to the hours she’d been waiting this time. She gave up.

And called again. On and on it rang. “Come on…come on…what is she do— At last!”

“What?” Poppy’s puzzled frown appeared onscreen at too-close range, like she was stuck inside the phone.

Libby backed off in mock-horror. “Nothing.” Objectively, it probably hadn’t taken Poppy any longer than normal to answer, but Libby was desperate to share.

Desperate, but not stupid.

She mouthed, “Is your mum there?” then, after Poppy’s nodded confirmation, said at a normal volume, “Did you ask your mum about coming over to do the project?”

Poppy’s eyebrows shot up into her hair. “Um…no…not…yet?” Her panic-stricken expression, along with excitement, almost set Libby off giggling. Poppy mouthed, “Project?”

“I dunno. Make something up!”

Poppy shrugged helplessly—“OK”—and tilted her head back to shout, “Mum, can I go to Libby’s to work on our project?”

“What project?”

“One for…sixth form.” Poppy shrugged again. She didn’t look optimistic.

“You don’t start sixth form for another month.” Her mum’s voice was closer now, and she appeared in the background, in rubber gloves, viciously attacking a baking tray with a scouring pad.

“We want to make a head start.”

A brief silence followed, in which Poppy was turned mostly the other way, but Libby saw her cheek lift a split second before her mum answered, “I suppose so. It’s only your summer holiday you’re wasting.”

“Thanks.” Poppy turned back to Libby with a grin and talked on the move. “The bus is due in two minutes and I need to get my trainers on.”

“OK. See you soon.” Libby ended the call. On to the next stage of her scheme.

* * * * *

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

Book Review: In The Present Tense by Carrie Pack

Title: In The Present Tense
Author: Carrie Pack
Publisher: Interlude Press
Published: 19th May, 2016
ISBN: 9781941530788

Blurb:
Miles Lawson goes to sleep dreaming of a future with his boyfriend Adam, but wakes to find he is married to Ana, an acquaintance from high school. When he learns he has been time traveling, Miles is consumed with finding a cure for his rare condition—and finding his first love.

Traveling more frequently, Miles assembles the puzzle pieces of his life and, in doing so, alienates his wife. As he loses control, Miles must realize that sometimes fixing your past mistakes means changing your future. But will he be able to convince Adam he is telling the truth before it’s too late?

Review:
In The Present Tense isn’t literary fiction. I appreciate this is a curious way to start a review – what the book is not – but most novels I’ve come across that take on topics of an intellectual/political nature in the way Carrie Pack does are, ultimately, vessels through which the author can show off their leet writing skills through a complex story arc, spectacular vocabulary and their ability to come up with the most convoluted sentences ever. It’s nice – if they’re aiming to appear on the A’ Level English Literature syllabus at some point in the future – but there’s too much clutter between execution of concept and the reader’s ability to just enjoy the story.

In short, Carrie Pack cuts the crap – which makes this book accessible to a wide range of readers – and gets straight down to the storytelling. And wow, what a story this is. It tackles issues around mental health and illness, and I’ve got to say, as someone who has worked/teaches in the fields of psychology/psychiatry, it is wonderful to read realistic depictions of mental ‘disorders’ such as dissociative identity disorder and schizophrenia.

I also want to applaud the author for portraying the horror of enforced psychiatric incarceration. The way it’s done is not ‘thrilling’ in the typical thriller novel sense, but it is thrilling. My heart was hammering so fast at times, and I felt nauseous – the same reaction I get to real-world oppression. I’ll admit, my worldview incorporates an anti-psychiatry stance, and I sense the author’s sentiments are not incongruent. We might have left behind the vast asylums of the past, but a diagnosis of an acute mental disorder is, for some people, tantamount to throwing away the key. We need to see these people in our stories if for no other reason than they are invisible in the real world.

That’s only part of the story, albeit a very significant part. The time travel is done so well, but there’s little more I can say about it without either repeating the blurb or giving away key elements of the plot. I, like most readers, have a brain that skips past chapter headings and subheadings, so I generally had to hop back a few lines and read the author’s helpfully included dates. Truthfully, I was too desperate to keep reading the story, so mostly I gave these a cursory glance before once more submerging into Miles’s world.

While Miles is most certainly the main character, we do get a few different points of view, and again, these are all clearly marked by subheadings, but they’re also easy to identify if you do just keep reading, like I did, into the night. I forced myself to stop at 92% to squeeze an extra day out of this story. It’s so good.

Finally, the characters…well, this is where the author has really hit it out the park for me. LGBTQ+ main character, the politics of mental health, time travel and damn fine characterisation. There’s no sweetness and light in here; all of the characters have huge flaws, like real people. Some situations cast them in a poorer light than others, and the emotional impact on the reader is the same roller-coaster ride we get from our interactions with people we know. The only character I was 100% onside with was Miles, even though at times I wanted to give him a good talking-to or simply remove him from the situation. The traits/behaviours distinct to Miles at different points in time were also a nice touch.

I loved In The Present Tense from beginning to end, and the sequel is out this summer (2018)! I’ll be at the front of the queue.

Received through NetGalley.