Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chapter Six-The Party - by SA Meade


Henry and Jack had thought nothing could ever drive them apart. They were wrong. Three months have passed since Jack walked out of the home they shared, and Henry had been too stupid to take back the hurtful things he'd said.

Both assured by their respective parents the other would not be present at Henry's mother's annual Christmas gathering, they attend. Finding they have been duped into seeing each other, Henry realizes that this may be his only chance to try and make things right. But will he be able to convince Jack to come home?

Chapter One can be found here  Chapter Two is here Chapter Three is here  Chapter Four is here and Chapter Five is here

So here, without further adieu, is the final Chapter. Thanks to everyone for coming along for the ride and reading our story. :)

Chapter Six - S A Meade

Henry paused on the doorstep, his hand suspended just above the doorbell. “Do we really have to be here?” He looked at Jack, hoping he’d say that he’d prefer to pop down to the Bell and Whistle for pie and a pint.

“Sorry, my love. Tradition is tradition. You know neither of us would hear the end of it if we turned around and headed home again.”

“But it’s snowing and home is warm and cosy.” Henry brushed an errant snowflake from Jack’s hair. “And our bed is even warmer and cosier.”

“We have all of Christmas to take advantage of that bed.” Jack paused. “I hope. You’re not on call are you?”

“Nope. Since I’ve agreed to be one of the groomsmen at Georgina’s wedding, I’m in her father’s good books. I told you, I’m off until New Year’s Day and I intend to stay at home with you.”

“Then we can deal with this. It’s only for an hour or two, right?”

Henry took a deep breath, braced himself for the onslaught of his mother’s party-madness, and depressed the doorbell.  He reached for Jack with his other hand, twining his fingers through his. “I love you.”

“Love you too.”

The door opened to a blast of warm air and perfume. “Oh darling, I’m so glad you’re both here.”

Henry humoured his mother, letting himself be caught up in her embrace. “It’s great to be here, Mum.”

Emily turned to Jack and hugged him. “Hello darling. It’s so lovely to see you. Come on you two, the party’s in full swing, there’s plenty of food and drink.”

She hustled them into the hall and took their coats. Henry stared at the tree, as impeccably and precisely decorated as usual, at the knots of chattering guests in the lounge, clutching plates and glasses.  Georgina held court in the corner by the drinks cabinet, grasping her fiancé’s arm with the ferocity of a pit bull tugging at a bone. The poor man had the hunted look of someone who had a lifetime of social events mapped out ahead of him. He wouldn’t be escaping to the pub any time soon.

“Go on.” Emily shooed them towards the food. “Go and help yourselves. I don’t want to spend the next week or two eating leftovers and watching those prawns go off in the fridge because your father won’t  touch them after…you know.”

“Yes, mother dear.” Henry winked at Jack and dragged him towards the table which, as usual, resembled a food porn centrefold from a culinary magazine. He picked up a plate, then wondered, should he wait until after they’d eaten? Before the toast? Could he eat anything? His stomach curdled with nerves.

Don’t be stupid. He loves you, you love him. Of course he’ll say ‘yes’.

He slid his hand into his pocket and curled his fingers around the small velvet box, seeking comfort from the warmth and softness of the fabric, knowing that the simple, gold symbol  that represented their future rested inside. Nope, best to go with the routine, food first, pick a moment afterwards.

“Prawn?” Jack grinned and held one of the offending crustaceans towards him.

“Sod off.” He waved it away.

“Well, I’ll have it, then.” Jack swept the prawn through the little cut glass bowl of American style cocktail sauce.

Henry shuddered. He hated horseradish, he hated tomato sauce. Putting the two together was an abomination. “I don’t know how you can. I hope you’re not going to kiss me with that mouth.”

Jack laughed, then lowered his voice to a heated whisper. “I have every intention of doing a lot more than kissing you with this mouth when we get home.”

Oh God. Henry adjusted his trousers to accommodate his sudden erection.  The way Jack then caressed that asparagus spear with his tongue… Jesus.

“Aren’t you going to eat anything?” Jack’s voice was all innocence. His eyes—full of heat and promise—told an entirely different story.

Henry gulped and reached blindly for a sausage roll. “I suppose I’d better.”

Jack laughed, leaned close and touched his lips with a kiss. “You’ll need to keep your strength up for later.”

“You have got to stop tormenting me or I’ll drag you down to the wine cellar.”

“Feel free.”

“Nope, I want you in bed, our bed.” He spooned some potato salad onto his plate. “So no more teasing.”

“Spoilsport.” Jack helped himself to a handful of olives. “I’ll try to behave myself.”

Jack wished the whole evening was over. He sat beside Henry, who perched precariously on the edge of the settee, and wanted them both to be home. Sometimes, tradition was a pain in the arse. He plucked at an olive, relishing the saltiness. He needed to remember to ask Mrs Lewis where she bought them. He’d have died happy to sit down with a jar and a fork and work his way through the lot without stopping. He stole a glance at Henry. His lover’s gaze was distant, as if he was staring into a tangle of wool that he couldn’t quite figure out how to unravel. He’d been a bit like that lately, given to long silences, while he gnawed at his bottom lip. There had been times in the past few weeks where he’d wanted to ask what was wrong but he knew Henry well enough to know that he’d tell Jack in his own sweet time.

“You all right?”

“What?” Henry turned towards him, holding a sausage roll in mid-air. “Yes, I’m fine. I guess I’m just tired. It’s been a long week.”

“Yeah, it has been.” Jack swept his hand down Henry’s back, welcoming the solid warmth of it, the comfort of Henry just being. Knowing that he was his—hopefully forever. “Let’s just sneak out. We wouldn’t be lying to your mother if we told her you’ve been crazy busy. You deserve your rest.”

Henry set down his plate and offered him a weary smile. “I do, don’t I? So do you. We’ve both been busy. All right. There’s just one thing I need to do first. Give me a minute.” He stood up.

Jack watched him walk towards the middle of the room and grab an empty glass from a side table. He pinged it with his forefinger, until it sang out. The chatter faded to silence. Henry set the glass down and shoved his hands into his pocket.

What the fuck? 

Jack recognised all the signs of nerves—the bobbing Adam’s apple, the way Henry shifted his weight from one foot to the other, the tight set of his jaw. Something inside swooped and dove. Whatever Henry was about to do was going to be big and unforgettable.

“Thank you. Now that I have your attention.” Henry cleared his throat. “I have something I need to say.” He stared at Jack, a fire in his eyes. “As you all know, apart from a brief hiccup, Jack and I have been together for quite a while.  I’d really like us to stay that way…forever.” He strode towards Jack, then dropped elegantly onto one knee. “So I want to make it official.”

Jack lost every word and every thought. He saw the future shining in Henry’s eyes and glinting off the ring his lover held before him.

“Marry me,” Henry whispered. “Make me yours.”

There was a muffled sob from somewhere. Jack wasn’t sure if it was Georgina finally getting her reality check, Mrs Lewis or his own mother. He scanned the room for his parents. Not that he needed their approval or anything, but their tearful smiles were blessing enough. He took a deep breath and covered Henry’s hand with his. “Yes please.”

The room filled with applause when he leant forward to kiss Henry. For a moment, they were all there was, all there would be. No one else mattered, the past was done with, the future was set in the band of gold Henry held before him. That was all he would ever need.

The End.

The entire story will be available as a free download from All Romance EBooks and LoveLane Books after the 23 December. Merry Christmas!

I have a few books out there. You can find a list here at Total-E-Bound. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Planning the Christmas Meal

Today's seasonal offering is from 'Biscuits and Bunting', a story about some saucy happenings in a village during the run up to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration.

Here, a Christmas meal is being discussed, with ... undertones.

The slow click of the indicator heralded the turn-off to the farm. Hamlyn eased the car over the sodden gravel and pulled up in front of the unit. “I have a Christmas dinner planned at my house, a business thing. It’s one of those necessary evils, but it has to be done. I know it’s a busy time of year for you but if you could fit me in, I’d appreciate it.”
“I’ll check the diary while you’re here.”
Alice, my secretary, was shamelessly peering through the misted window.
We climbed out of the car. Hamlyn followed me through the door. The warmth was a relief after the piercing, damp cold outside.
“Do you a fancy a coffee while you’re here? I’ve been testing out some new biscuit recipes. You could be a guinea pig.” I asked, more in hope than anything else.
“Sounds good to me. I’m not in a hurry to be anywhere.”
I didn’t want to consider the reasons why this was good news to me. I took my diary from Alice’s desk and asked her to fetch coffee and a selection of biscuits before taking Hamlyn to my office.
“Sorry about the mess.” I cleared some space on the desk to try and make it look tidier and sat down.
Hamlyn took a seat and slipped out of his coat. The spice of his cologne drifted across the morass of papers and invoices. I slid my chair under my desk because my dick was having thoughts of its own about Hamlyn’s presence.
Not good.
“What date did you have in mind?” I opened my diary and pretended to be professional, in an attempt to snap myself out of it.
“I know it’s short notice, but is there any chance you can do the last Friday in November? I wanted to get the business over and done with before anyone gets too jaded from a surfeit of celebratory dinners.”
I shuffled through the pages. “That should be fine. I have a lunch but nothing in the evening. Have you any thoughts about what you want to serve?” I picked up a pen.
“It’ll be a sit-down dinner and there’ll be half a dozen guests. Three couples and me.”
How pathetic was it that I perked up at that intelligence? “Any idea what you’d like? French? Hungarian? Italian? British? A Christmas themed meal?”
“Italian would make a change.”
I rummaged through the pile of menus. “Here are the Italian choices. Have a look and give me a call when you’ve decided what you’d like. I can get it all ready and then just drop it by the house. All you’ll have to do is heat it up and serve.”
Hamlyn set the menu down. “I was wondering…if…” He glanced at the menu again. “I’d prefer it if someone could be there to serve it. I don’t want to be in and out of the kitchen all night when I’m entertaining.”
“Fair point.” I considered my list of part-time servers. “I can get one of the girls to serve.”
“I don’t suppose I could persuade you, could I? I’d rather you were there.”
“I don’t usually do that.”
“If you don’t want to, I’d understand.”
I can’t resist pleading blue eyes. I just bloody can’t. This had nothing to do with business and everything to do with wanting him.
Alice clattered in with two mugs of coffee and a plate of fresh biscuits. The Christmas line was a cut above the normal, plenty of chocolate, nuts and fruit. Hamlyn helped himself to a biscuit and smiled at Alice. She dimpled, blushed and scuttled away.
“If you’re the type that goes out on Friday nights, that’s all right. It’s okay to have a social life.”
“What is this ‘social life’ you speak of?” I waved the biscuits away. I’d spent most of the morning baking the bloody things.
“Ah, it’s like that, is it?” His eyes had a glint in them. “Just like me. No life.”
“I’ll do it. I haven’t anything else to do.”
Hamlyn’s smile was worth sacrificing an empty Friday night for. “Excellent. Thank you.”
“Just don’t expect me to dress in a maid’s outfit and hand the canapés around.” I scribbled the details into the diary. “What time will you want dinner for?”

If you want to read how things went the night of the dinner, why not pick up a copy of 'Biscuits and Bunting'?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Some Christmas hooch from Orion Rising

Today's Christmas snippet is from 'Orion Rising'. Even when the world has been overwhelmed by perpetual winter, there's still time for a Christmas party.

I was spared further questioning when someone put the music on. It wasn’t at all Christmassy. The room was loud with chairs and tables being pulled back to clear the floor for dancing. I retreated further into my corner and watched people take to the floor. Some were obviously already feeling the effects of the head gardener’s hooch, their movements jerky, enthusiastic, unsteady. Someone claimed Bernice for a dance and I took refuge in the shadows. I couldn’t dance, drunk or sober. Instead, I took another cautious sip of the hooch and wondered how soon I could leave without being noticed. The first song ended; couples broke apart and went in search of other partners.
“Come on, you anti-social git.” Bernice took my arm and led me out of my corner. “You owe me a dance.”
“How do you reckon that?”
“Because I do.” She grinned and I tried to dance, find the rhythm in the song.
“At least make an effort to look like you’re enjoying yourself.”
I gave Bernice a fixed grin. “Like this?”
“It’s a start. I think you need to unwind a bit, drink more hooch.”
“No thanks—I want to make it back to my room without help. I jigged about and tried not to feel like a gormless twit.
Bernice smiled. “You’re doing just fine.”
I felt like a puppet with wonky strings. When the music finished I turned back towards my corner.
“Dance?” A warm hand grabbed my wrist.
I spun around. Paul’s eyes were impossible to read in the dimly lit room, in the mêlée of the dance floor. His grip was firm.
All the hurt rose and faded when I saw the set of his jaw. I couldn’t deny him in the middle of a crowded room. “All right.”
He smiled and his hand fell away. We faced each other. If anyone was watching I didn’t notice. I was too busy trying not to look like a flat-footed eejit. It was impossible not to touch him, not when the space was small and crowded. We danced close. Each accidental touch was electricity revived. By the time the song had finished, I didn’t want to leave the floor.
“Drink?” he asked, in the brief silence before the next tune.
“No alcohol, please.”
“Don’t worry, there’s the non-alcoholic version of the infamous lemonade, too.” His smile was broader this time.
I followed him through the crowd, to the refuge of the service area, where one of the canteen ladies was acting as a barmaid. Paul asked for two drinks and leaned on the counter. “You can’t dance very well, can you?”
“No. Sorry about that.” I wasn’t.
He handed me a glass. The scent of lemons, free of alcohol, rose from a tumult of bubbles. “It doesn’t matter. As long as you’re having fun.”
I sipped the drink, “It’s all right. Parties really aren’t my thing.”
“I can tell.” Paul grinned. “They’re not mine, either, but I have to show my face.” He watched me over the rim of his glass.
“I suppose you do.”
He edged closer, his arm against mine while we leaned against the counter and watched the revellers. “I’m sorry.” His breath was warm against my cheek. All kinds of things threatened to spill over at that touch.
I didn’t want to give in so easily. I’d nursed my hurts for so long that they almost defined me. “For what?”
“This probably isn’t the best time or place for apologies.”
“I know.” He sighed and looked at his feet. “But I had to start somewhere.”

Michael and Paul fight to survive in a land frozen by endless winter. Will the ice between them thaw once and for all?

If you would like to know whether Michael accepts Paul's apology, you can always grab a copy of 'Orion Rising' here

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A little bit of Christmas from Mourning Jack

Don't you just love Christmas? When I wrote 'Mourning Jack', I knew I wanted to include a bit of Christmas in the story, so here is something seasonal from 'Mourning Jack'

Eric pushed his chair back and stood up a trifle unsteadily. "Are you easily embarrassed?" he whispered.
"That depends"
The table fell silent.
He fumbled in his pocket and produced a sprig of mistletoe. "Ladies and gentlemen, I have my own ideas on how to thank the chef." He held the mistletoe aloft. "Are you up for this?"
Exhaustion made me reckless. "Yes." Everyone in the pub knew anyway. Given that his staff had seen me at the yard, I gathered they all had more than an inkling."
There was wild applause when he kissed me. My cheeks burned more than the bloody pudding because the entire restaurant had joined in, staff included. It didn't matter that Eric was probably too pissed to raise an argument, that he probably wouldn't remember this moment. I wrapped my arms around his waist and savoured it all.

If you want to read more, you'll find it here

What better way to keep warm, than to read some romance on a frosty winter's day?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Baby it's cold outside

Good morning, campers!

I woke up this morning, looked out of the window and decided that it's too cold to venture outside. This is a good day to curl up in the warm, with a cat or two draped on my lap and a good book.

If you're feeling the same way, I have some steamy stories that will help beat the winter chill. They'll take you from the mountains of Pakistan, to the firelit bedroom of an ancient house. You'll visit India during the days of the Raj and a sleepy English village during the run-up to the Diamond Jubilee. If you're into food, you can spend time with a chef in his kitchen domain. There's stories for everyone. So check out my book list!

Book list. - All available from Total E-Bound.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Endersley House

When I was commuting to my last office job, the long, straight road I took led up over the Downs. At the top of one rise there was a turn on the right, onto a very narrow lane which trailed up a very steep hill. I'd often wondered, as I drove past, where that road led to. One cool and sunny Saturday morning, when I was kicking about trying to come up with an idea for a series, I decided to go for a little drive. I headed up the narrow lane, taking my time so that I could admire the views over the windswept downs. It was one of those sunny/cloudy days where the wind drove fleeting shadows across the fields. At the top of the hill, I found a tiny hamlet. A handful of newer houses, a couple of farms and this beautiful old house. As you can see from the photograph, it's been around a while - 1599 to be precise, although it's highly likely that there was an earlier house there. 

Sadly, it's been broken up and converted into two separate homes, but the building remains intact, and comfortable in its setting, more as if it had grown there, rather than being built. But, there is enough of a house left to fire my imagination. I had the setting for my series. All I needed was a name. I found that when I was searching through some old emails for something. I found one from an Insurance Company, fiddled with the name and 'The Endersley Papers' was born. 

What I'd really love, is to see the inside of the house(s) but I can't bring myself to drive up to the front door, introduce myself and ask for a nose around. After all, I'm English. We don't do that! 

The first of the Endersley stories, 'Lord of Endersley' is available now for Total E Bound VIPs. It's on general release from 3rd October. If you want to see what I think the inside of the house is like, and read about the goings-on between Jacob Endersley and Marcus Billington, feel free to pick up a copy here

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's Saturday Snark Revived.

I'm happy to see that Marie Sexton has revived her 'Saturday Snark' blog hop.
It's a chance to post some snark and read other offerings from other writers.

This week's excerpt isn't so much snark as it is an out and out political argument from  my work in progress, the new second book in the Endersley series.

The scene involves the narrator, Nikolai Denisov, a doctor from a bourgeois Russian family who decided to run a small practice in the Vyborg District of Petrograd, and Alexi Sholokov, a Bolshevik in the making. As you know, nothing good can come of talking politics.


Sholokov sat back. Resentment bristled around him. It was like sharing the kitchen with an angry dog. “You’re only doing it to salve your conscience. You’re doing this so you can feel good about yourself. To tell your God that you’ve done your bit to get into heaven.”

“Oh, for the love of… That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Don’t you get it, Sholokov? I love these people. They mean more to me than any of my parents’ friends ever did. I don’t think they deserve to be left to rot in these tenements any more than you do. But instead of talking and writing screeds that no one will ever read, I rolled up my sleeves and did something. I’ve put my money where my mouth is and I’m doing my small bit to help, my small realistic bit.”

“Fine, you keep telling yourself that. You never be one of us. You can try as hard as you like to ‘lower yourself’ and live amongst us, but you were born in a different world and you’ll never be part of ours.”

“So much for all of us being equal eh? You’ve just made a liar of yourself. Your intolerance of my background is no different than my alleged intolerance of yours. What happens when this ‘People’s Government’ comes to power? Do the undesirable classes get purged? Do you do the same to us that we’re supposed to have done to you? You’re not making much sense and you’re not doing a very good job of convincing me that your workers’ paradise is going to do this country any good.”

He pushed the chair back and stood up. “I can see that we’re not going to agree on this.”

“No, because you know I’m right.”

“Of course, you’re a bourgeois doctor, of course you’re right. You’ll always think you’re right. You’ll go to your grave thinking that way.”

“I’ll go to my grave knowing that I’ve done the best that I can with the advantage my birth gave me. I could’ve easily left with my parents. I have a big house with acres and acres of land that will be mine. I’ve never even seen it. I have no desire to see it. It’s not my home and I am not one for sitting idle, living off the backs of others. That is why I’m here.” I jabbed at my chest, lost in a righteous fury. Knowing that I was the one who was right.”

“Think what you will.” He strode toward the hallway. “We will win. This country will be ours.”

“I suppose that means I’ll have to leave, if that happens. I won’t rush to pack my bags just yet.”

“Spare me the sarcasm, doctor.” Sholokov’s eyes were dark. His chest rose and fell with the deep breath he took and his fingers were white where he clutched the door frame. “Excuse me.” He retreated to his room, sealing the end of the discussion with a loud slam.


I took a bowl from the cupboard and helped myself to some shchi from the pot. Not sure whether I’d intended that silent ‘idiot’ for him or me.

Don't forget to check out more snark HERE

Friday, August 10, 2012

Would you like a little slice of real life with your Romance?

I wrote a book. It's called Mourning Jack.

My original intention was for Ade, the narrator to end up with Cal, the man that his dead best friend, Jack,  had asked him to look after, if he was killed in Afghanistan. The story didn't end that way. Sorry. I tried to write Cal back into Ade's life but it just didn't work. The story lost its soul and its spark. I came up with another idea. The story has the All Important Happy Ending but, apparently, it's not the happy ending that some people expect.

There is a rule, it seems, that Character A must have the All Important Happy Ending with Character B. Sorry, but no. Life doesn't always work out like that. I'm an author, I've been kicking around on this old planet for quite a while. I've experienced some horrible lows and some amazing highs and everything in between. I've experienced life. So, when I write my stories, I try to make sure that they reflect real life and real people as much as possible.

Sometimes you meet someone, you fall in love and you think that you'll spend the rest of your life with them, in a little rose-covered cottage in some wonderful, bucolic hideaway. Yes, it happens but, there are plenty of times when it doesn't. That first flush of shag-each-other-senseless passion fades and you may wake up one morning and realise that it ain't gonna work. The person you love doesn't really love you in the way you need or want to be loved. So, you take a deep breath, take that leap in the dark and move on. You find someone that you can spend the rest of your life with. So, instead of Character A sticking with Character B, Character A falls in love with Character C and gets their All Important Happy Ending.

All right, so Character B is at a bit of a loose end, but it happens. Life happens.

Romance shouldn't be all about the All Important Formula. Yes, it's nice, but...let's face it, if you know that Character A and Character B are going to end up together, having survived a breakup, a misunderstanding, a nasty ex, an earthquake, an attack of rabid ferrets...where's the satisfaction in that? Not every couple survives a breakup, a misunderstanding, a nasty ex, an earthquake or an attack of rabid ferrets.

So, Gentle Reader, take that leap in the dark and read something that gives you a glimpse of real life. Who knows? You might like it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Amy, who posted on the 'French Onion Soup' blog. The Random Number Generator zeroed in on her and she has requested a signed copy of 'Mourning Jack',

Many thanks to all of you for taking part, leaving a comment and having a look at the recipes. If any of you decide to give them a try, let me know how you got on!



Thursday, July 5, 2012

The last recipe! Mourning Jack Give away.

Good evening, everyone. Today's dish is linguine with Italian sausage. Ade had this on the menu at 'The Bay Horse'. It's a nice comforting, hearty dish. Sadly, I have yet to find any Italian sausage in the UK (no jokes please). So this recipe will make me weep with longing as I type it.

Tomorrow night, the lucky winner will be announced. ;)

For the sauce:
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 carton of passata
About 1/2 cup of water (I add it to the empty passata carton and swish it around to get the last bits of sauce)
garlic powder
brown sugar
Italian sausage, cooked and chopped.

Soften onion until transparent, in olive  oil. Pour in the passata, add 1 teaspoon of oregano, garlic powder, basil and parsley.  Simmer for a little while. Add enough brown sugar to take the acid 'edge' off the tomato-based sauce. Add the chopped sausage and simmer a little more.

Serve over linguine with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Don't forget to leave a comment and you could win a copy of 'Mourning Jack'.

You can find my books here

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Give-away - Today's recipe.

Hello and welcome to today's recipe. This is a dish that Cal made for Ade. It's a great summer main course, although I've been known to make it as an alternative Christmas Dinner when the prospect of wrestling a turkey into an oven was just too much.


Tuna steaks - Cal style. (serves 2)

2 tuna steaks
Juice from one lime
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

Marinate the tuna in a mixture of the lime juice, olive oil and garlic. The longer the better.

Saute the pepper until at the desired consistency. I like a bit of crunch to mine because overcooked bell pepper squicks me out. Pour in the tomatoes, add about a teaspoon of the oregano and basil and salt to taste. Simmer.

While the sauce is simmering, grill the tuna steaks.

Serve the steaks with a bit of the sauce on top. As much or as little as you like. Nice with a green salad and baked potato.

Don't forget. Leave a comment and you could win a signed copy of 'Mourning Jack' or a PDF copy, whichever floats your boat.

You can buy my books here

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ade's Dish of the Day - Give away.

Today, it's raining and miserable here. Not that I'm complaining. It's better than 110F and not a cloud in sight. As promised, here's another dish from 'Mourning Jack'. Feel free to leave a comment and you could win either a PDF copy of the book or a signed print copy.

One of Ade's dishes from 'The Bay Horse' menu was 'Chicken Paprika'. It's a Hungarian dish and it's a favourite in this house.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts;
1 onion, finely chopped;
chicken stock or vegetable stock;
Caraway seeds;
Sour cream:

Cut the chicken into bite-sized morsels, saute until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set to one side.
Saute the onion until soft and transparent. Add about a tablespoon of paprika and about a teaspoon of caraway seeds. Stir and cook for a minute. Return the chicken to the pan, add enough stock to cover the chicken and simmer for about 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan again and set to one side, keep warm. If the sauce is still a bit runny, turn up the heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced a bit. Add sour cream, enough to turn the sauce to a nice rosy pink. Return the chicken, stir. Then serve. I like it with pasta or if I'm in the mood, I'll make spaetzle.


You can find my books here

Monday, July 2, 2012

Giveaway - Day Two - A fishy Dish

Sorry for the delayed post today, life got in the way. While I'm here, I want to say thank you to the lovely readers who buy my books. I can't even find the words to thank you enough. I do know that your support means the world to me. So, because I'm happy, here's another easy recipe.

Today's recipe is one of the dishes Ade prepares at 'The Bay Horse'. If you happen to come by a nice slab of salmon then this is the recipe for you.

Salmon with a Dill Cream sauce.

Salmon fillets
Fresh Dill
Double cream (half and half if you live in the US).
Salt and Pepper

For the sauce:
One oz butter
One tablespoon plain (all purpose) flour
Double cream
More fresh dill, finely chopped.

Brush aluminium foil lightly with some olive oil.
Place salmon fillet(s) on foil. (If cooking more than one fillet, they each get their own foil package)
Dot fillet with butter (as much or as little as you like - it's your cholesterol)
Sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Place as much or as little fresh dill on the fish as you like.
Wrap parcel so that there's a little room for steam do develop while the fish cooks.

Place in 180C oven.

While fish is cooking, make a roux with the butter and flour. Slowly stir in the cream until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. When you've got it where you want it, stir in the finely chopped dill.

Remove fish from oven, add the sauce and...enjoy.
Goes beautifully with fresh green  beans and lovely little new potatoes.

Don't forget to leave a comment! You could win a signed print copy of 'Mourning Jack' or a PDF, whatever floats your boat. :)

You can find my books here

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Food and a give-away!

To celebrate 'Mourning Jack' being released in paperback, I thought it would be fun to indulge in the food porn side of the story. Ade, the narrator, is a chef and he does a fair bit of cooking during the course of the book. So, this week, I'll be posting one of Ade's recipes every day. Then, on Friday, you can vote on which dish you'd love to eat or make and give your reason why you'd like to try that dish. On Saturday I'll choose a winner who can pick either a PDF of 'Mourning Jack' or a signed print copy.

Today's recipe is Ade's French Onion Soup. It's dead easy to make and it's not pricey. A great lunch for a cold rainy day.

3 medium or 2 large onions, quartered, then cut into thin slices.
1 small leek, finely chopped.
1 tablespoon flour
2 beef stock cubes
Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
salt and pepper

French bread
Grated cheese

Saute the onions and leek in butter and olive oil until soft and transparent.
Stir in flour and cook for one minute.
Stir in a kettle and a  half of boiling water.
Crumble in stock cubes, stir until cubes dissolved.
Add Worcestershire sauce to taste (some like loads, some don't)
Salt and pepper.

Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Prior to serving, toast one side of bread under grill. Turn over, sprinkle with grated cheese.
When cheese melted and bubbling. Spoon soup into bowls, add the toast to each bowl.

My books can be found here

Friday, June 15, 2012

A guest post - Hawaiian Culture is about so much more than Tiki lamps and hula dancing.

Good morning from a very rainy England.

Today, my thoughts are straying longingly to Hawaii. No surprise given that the guest post is written by Violetta Vane and Heidi Belleau, authors of 'Hawaiian Gothic', which was released this week by Loose Id. I am blown away by these authors who really are a much-needed breath of fresh air for the M/M genre so I was more than happy to offer them my blog as part of their Hawaiian Gothic blog tour.

If you haven't read any of their work, I suggest you do!


Hawaiian Pidgin - Language of the Heart

“Today my teacher said we got to learn ‘proper’ English, so we can study things like math and science. Ho, man! Kids got plenty angry. Everybody yelling. “How we going talk to parents widdout Pidgin? Pidgin same as English.’”
She played with her fork, slightly embarrassed. “I raised my hand and said Pidgin is not the same as English. It’s not an inferior kind of English. It’s a different language from English. Like French, or Spanish. Like Hawaiian Mother Tongue...”
(House of Many Gods by Kiana Davenport, p. 52)

English is a pretty amazing language, when you think about it: a strange hybrid bastard beast of a language that now thrives all over the world in thousands of forms, all unique to the people who speak it and the places they come from. And it’s changing and evolving every single day.

It’s more than just accents that set one form of English apart from another: it’s grammatical constructions and even vocabulary. Sometimes these divisions happen along race lines, ethnic lines, lines of class and country. Sometimes these differences are celebrated (think our love for Hugh Jackman’s Aussie accent!), and sometimes (especially when a particular dialect is associated with poor non-white people) they’re denigrated. What’s merely different and what’s “incorrect”? Some of us are told not to speak our own particular version of English. Some of us voluntarily leave it behind in order to assimilate or hide our origins.

In Hawaii, the language of Pidgin developed on the plantations as workers struggled to speak to other across their many language barriers. There were native Hawaiians, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos. The non-Hawaiians had come across vast oceans, leaving everything behind to start a new life on the island, prepared to spend the best years of their lives as indentured workers doing backbreaking labor so that their children would have a better chance in life. And these children lived together, played together, worked together, and invented a common tongue in the process.

So today, if you go to Hawaii, you might talk to people whose heritage, let’s say, is 100% ethnic Japanese, but their family hasn’t spoken Japanese for four generations. Their languages are English and pidgin. They can switch between the two easily, like Ana in Kiana Davenport’s House of the Gods, but pidgin is closest to their hearts. Watch the people in this introduction smile when they talk about that...

Hawaiian Pidgin

When we wrote Hawaiian Gothic, we did a lot of research to make sure the pidgin was as accurate as possible. It’s not just a matter of dropping “be” and adding in a lot of “da kine”. Ultimately, though there’s really not a lot of pidgin dialogue in the book, because both our characters are code switchers. They speak in “proper” English, occasionally in pidgin-inflected English, and only sometimes in this language of the heart...

“Aloha, sleepyhead.” Kalani’s warm breath in his ear. Heavenly.

“How did you do it?” Ori twisted to raise himself on an elbow for a better view of Kalani’s beaming smile. Ori’s other hand brushed against Kalani’s, and their fingers slipped together easily. “You look amazing. Like you were never in a coma. Did you have to sneak out of the hospital?”

Kalani’s smile fell at one corner, and there was a sudden tightness to his eyes. “Ori, I’m still there. My body…”

Ori jerked away from him like he was scalding hot. “So this isn’t real? Am I…are you…are you like a figment of my imagination or something?”

“Would a figment of your imagination be able to tell you—fuck, I guess a figment could tell you anything you wanted to hear.” Kalani hissed. “Scratch that. But I’m real. I’m an ‘uhane, a wandering spirit. I don’t know how it happened. I’m sorry. I should have told you last night. You know, before you got your hopes up.”

“You’re a ghost!” Ori scrambled off the edge of the bed, hit the floor, and crab-walked backward until he crashed into the wall and jumped to his feet. This couldn’t be happening. A rush of terror had his skin crawling and Kalani’s form wavering at the edges. He thought about praying. Thought about the rich, gory tapestry of ghost stories his grandmother would spin in Tagalog, like the one of the multo who had to kill to live again.

“Don’t be scared. Please. Look, the worst I could do was rattle some blinds. I can only stay solid for you. I don’t know why. Maybe because you never gave up on me. Not that I blame Anela. And Julie, maybe I could stay solid for her, but she’d be so afraid, she’d try to cast me out.” His lips twitched and his eyes shone, not with ghostlight but with the onset of tears. “Eh, no make like dat, brah. All hamajang, dis.”


Where to Buy: Hawaiian Gothic - Loose Id
Website with First Chapter Excerpt & Multimedia Extras: Hawaiian Gothic
The Writers: &

Blurb: For Ori Reyes, coming home to Hawaii is hell. His Army Ranger career ended in dishonorable discharge, a prison term and disgrace in the eyes of his family. As for his childhood friend Kalani—well, Kalani could never love him back, not the way Ori wanted to be loved. And it’s too late for Ori to tell Kalani how he really feels, because Kalani’s in a coma that all the doctors say is terminal.

Then Kalani shows up to welcome him home.

Even though Kalani's body is unresponsive, his spirit roams free, and for the first time he's able to reveal the true depth of his feelings for Ori. They set out to solve the mystery of Kalani’s dark family history, a journey of redemption that leads deep into the ancient Hawaiian spirit world. For Ori, taking on monstrous ghost-guardians is easier than facing the hardest choice of all: that he might have to let Kalani go.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Reasons to be British, Part 27 and a half: The Derby

Summer has arrived on our damp, green little island. From the dreaming spires of Oxford to the Epsom Downs, people will be hoping for good weather, for England to do well at Euro 2012 and for enough Pimms to see them through the long Jubilee weekend.

There are many things I love about an English summer and one of my favourite things is the horse racing. We Brits love our horses. Hell, even Shakespeare acknowledged that when he had Richard the Third shouting for a horse during the Battle of Bosworth. We're talking proper racing here with jockeys who ride with their brains and not with their whips. We're talking about one of the most beautifully bred, exquisite, temperamental creatures on the planet - the English Thoroughbred. I love them. I love their quirks, their beauty and their courage. I love the history and the pedigrees and the fact that today's thoroughbreds can all be traced back to a handful of scrappy stallions. It's the one thing I have in common with our Queen, this love and fascination for horses.

The Queen, bless her, takes her racing very seriously. She breeds race horses, she knows their pedigrees inside out, she names her horses, and let me tell you, she's very clever at naming them. Even when she's in the midst of the craziness surrounding the Diamond Jubilee, she still finds the time to enjoy her racing.  Today's big race is a prime example. It's the Epsom Derby, the original Derby. No Mint Juleps and red roses here. This race has been running since 1780.

It's a huge occasion. People come by the bus load. They fill the massive stands or crowd into the infield where proceedings are less formal. It's the second race in the British 'Triple Crown' for three-year olds. It's handy that it falls during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations because it'll be an even bigger occasion than usual. The Queen will be there. She doesn't have a runner this year, but she loves her racing and it must be a nice little 'break' from the hectic itinerary she's been keeping this year.

I'll be watching. It's the end of an era today. It's the last time we'll be able to watch it on the BBC, because from next year, another channel will be covering the race. But it's the British thing to do.

Speaking of which.  Today marks the launch of a new blog. UK M/M Romance . To celebrate this most British of occasions, me and my fellow Brit Authors - Sue Brown, Chris Quinton, R J Scott and Lisa Worrall are holding a competition to win:

a $30 gift certificate to spend with Silver Publishing

The choice of an ebook from the back catalogues of:
Sue Brown, Lisa Worrall, Chris Quinton, 
SA Meade & RJ Scott

All you have to do is visit the main blog, check out our questions, then visit each of our blogs to find the clues.

Sue Brown
Chris Quinton
R J Scott
Lisa Worrall

So, pour yourself a Pimms, tuck into those strawberries and have some fun. Happy clue hunting!

Friday, June 1, 2012

A New Look

My lovely friend and Cover Art Wizard Genius, Emmy Ellis, has redesigned my blog for me.

I absolutely love it.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Oh no! Not another new release!

Dudes, I promise, this is the last one until the end of August.

'Biscuits and Bunting' is my take on a behind the scenes look at a village getting ready to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It's a big deal here. Our village is hurling itself into the festivities with a lunch on the village green or, for the well-heeled, you can pay £60 a head to eat in a marquee in the middle of a field. The village brass band (one of the finest in the country, believe me) will  be having a concert on the green in the evening. There's all kinds of things going on. You can go to the village shop and buy a celebratory bottle of Pimms with a Union Jack all over the label,  or a 16-pack of crisps (potato chips) also emblazoned with our national flag. If you really want to throw yourself into the spirit of the occasion, there's Union Jack bunting (see above picture) for sale.

Being an anti-social old fart, I'll be staying at home and writing. I'll listen to the celebratory chimes from the church. If Friday night's bell ringing practice is anything to go by, they need to tighten things up a little, but it'll sound glorious because our bell ringers are good. It wouldn't be a Friday night in the village without the faltering chimes of practice. I may also give in and buy a bottle of Pimms so I can make Pimms cocktails to toast Lizzie's health and all that good stuff. I'll need something to wash down the salmon and cucumber sandwiches, trifle and Union Jack crisps.

It's a very British occasion and 'Biscuits and Bunting' is a Very British book. There's food porn and naughty bits. There's gossip in the village shop and someone running amok with a cricket bat. What could be more British than that?

To whet your appetite, here's a little teaser:

Neil pulled the car up in front of my house. “This is the part where you ask me in for a cup of coffee, I accept, but…somehow…we never get round to having the coffee.” He put the car in park and turned off the ignition.

I did a quick mental inventory. The bed sheets were clean. I’d just changed them that day. There was coffee, nothing lying around that shouldn’t be there, a bottle of lube and condoms in the bedroom cabinet. “Would you like to come in for a coffee?”

He grinned. “I wouldn’t say no.”

We climbed out of the car. Mrs Bramley’s net curtains twitched. I didn’t care—I was too busy fumbling for the keys.

We tumbled into the house. Like a good host, I took Neil’s coat, hung it up and backed him to the wall.
He plunged his hands into my hair and kissed me greedily. The silence was occupied by sighs, gasps and soft moans. Denim scraped on denim. Neil smelt of wood smoke and tasted of wine. He pushed back until we reeled across the hall towards the stairs.

“Where’s your bedroom?”

“Usual place, top of the stairs…you know.” I took his hand and led him up the narrow staircase.

Pssst! If you like it, you can buy it here

So, here's the give away question: What thing/person/whatever comes to mind when you think of Britain?
Best answer wins a PDF of 'Biscuits and Bunting'. :). A winner (or winners depending on how many entries there are) will be chosen on Wednesday, 30th May.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mourning Jack - Give Away!

So, in this crazy busy spring, I have another book being released...Mourning  Jack. It's released by Total E Bound on Monday, 14th May. I'm back to my comfort zone with this one. It's contemporary and it has food and horses in it. Ade, the narrator, is a chef. So there's some food pr0n. I just couldn't help myself.

Mourning Jack is all about hurt,healing and moving on. Ade, being a chef, uses his skills in the kitchen to make people happy, to offer them comfort by providing them with good food. One of the dishes he gives Cal is chili con carne. I love chili, it's great on a cold and rainy day. It's hot and  it's satisfying. I don't get to have it very often because my family aren't fans of chili. But, for those who are, here's mine (and Ade's recipe)

1 pound ground beef (80/20)
ground cumin (around a tsp)
chili powder (around a tsp)
14oz can chopped tomatoes - with juice
garlic powder (about half a tsp)
cayenne pepper - if you like to scorch your eyeballs.
oregano - 1 tsp.
one tin pinto beans (optional)

Brown the beef in a pan. When it's browned, stir in the ground cumin, garlic and chili powder. If you're a heat freak, this is also the time to add the cayenne pepper. Let this cook for a minute or two, until you can really smell the spices. Add the tomatoes and juice. Stir, bring to a simmer and then add the oregano and salt to taste. If it's not tomatoey enough for you, feel free to add a squirt of tomato paste. You may need to add a tiny bit of brown sugar to take the acidic edge off the tomatoes. Add the *beans, if you must. Leave to simmer until the meat is tender.

Serve in a nice deep bowl with loads of grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top. I also like crumbling tortilla chips over it. Yum.

*My fellow countrymen, for some reason, like to add red kidney beans to their chili. This  is an abomination. Purists say that you shouldn't add beans at all. If you must, use pinto beans. They tend to absorb the flavour of the chili rather than dominate it, like nasty big kidney beans.

What I'd love to know is what recipe do you fall back on when you've had a lousy day?
The winner of the free PDF of 'Mourning Jack' will be the person whose recipe appeals to me the most.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 16th. So get posting! I'm hungry!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Glorious new cover art!

One of the absolute best things about writing and being published is that day when the cover art arrives. Today is no exception. Total E Bound's Art Director, Emmy Ellis, has produced another gorgeous cover. This one is for the first of 'The Endersley Papers' series, 'Lord of Endersley', which is due to be released at the end of August.

I think the artwork captures the story perfectly. So, without further delay, here it is!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sometimes, it only takes a song.

I love to write. I really do. I can't help it.

I get these characters who turn up on my doorstep and demand that I tell their stories. Sometimes it's easy. They know exactly what they want to say, where they want to go, what they want to do. Sometimes, it's not so easy.

I knew I wanted to write a story about a chef. I love food. I love reading cook books, I love cooking. People have complained that some of my emails are food p0rn. Food seems to turn up a lot in my stories. The trouble was, I couldn't quite decide what to do with Ade. It took a few attempts to find a story that fit him best. But I was still missing that elusive final spark that kicks off the writing.

For some writers that spark is a visual clue, a picture, a moment when the sun slips over the rooftops or snow swirls past a window. For me, it's always music, it always seems to be a song that sets things off. That's certainly how it was for 'Mourning Jack'. I happened to watch the 2011 Brit Awards and there was a performance that brought the audience to its feet and gave me chills. That's when Ade's story finally fell into place.

Is there a song that inspires you?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Today's guest - Stephen Osborne talks about Wrestling with Jesus

It's a wet and windy day here in deepest Wiltshire. The perfect day for curling up on the settee with a box of chocolates and a good book. If you're looking for something to read, you might want to give Stephen Osborne's book, 'Wrestling with Jesus' a try. Intrigued by the title? I was too. But Stephen explains all.

In my younger days, I actually did some professional wrestling, as unbelievable as that would sound to anyone who knows me! As I had a boyish face and was skinny as a rail, I was what is known as a jobber (this means I generally got the snot beat out of me). The character of Kyle in Wrestling With Jesus is based in part on a guy I had several matches with. "Kyle" was bigger than me and had long, light brown hair and a short beard and mustache. We worked well together, and I think people liked seeing him beating the crap out of me. I got a few licks in, but he always managed to mangle me in the end! It never occured to me that "Kyle" resembled a certain historical figure until I began to hear people say things like, "When are you going to fight that guy that looks like Jesus again?" When I began writing Wrestling With Jesus, (which didn't have a title at the time) the picture of Kyle and me in the ring kept coming into my mind. Naturally, the guy I used to wrestle on occasion was very different from the character in the book in terms of personality and mental prowess, but physically they are one and the same! I wonder what ever became of "Kyle?"

Excerpt: THE folded chair hit the back of Kyle’s head with a resounding thud that could be heard at the top of the bleachers. Kyle flew forward, hitting the ropes. His opponent, a rather good-looking Hispanic kid who went by the unlikely name of El Toro, swung again and slammed the chair into the center of Kyle’s back. Kyle collapsed to the canvas, seemingly dead to the world, as the crowd cheered.

Randy Stone, sitting far up in the bleachers in an attempt to distance himself from the more rabid wrestling fans in attendance, winced in sympathy. “I don’t care what he says. That’s got to hurt like a son of a bitch.”

Randy’s companion, a raven-haired beauty and card-carrying fag hag named Debbie Jacobs, munched on her popcorn. “I can’t see what attracts you to the guy. If you ask me, he’s got a hot body, but that’s about it. He’s got the brains of a split pea.”

“You haven’t even met him yet,” Randy replied, the tension in his stomach mounting to Huge Fucking Butterfly levels. He’d been worried that Debbie would be skeptical about his blossoming romance with a professional wrestler, but he’d hoped she wouldn’t start off with quite such an openly negative attitude.

“He just got hit by a chair. Twice. And he let the guy do it. Believe me, he’s got the brains of a split pea, and that’s being insulting to split peas. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure this Kyle guy is fine for a quick fling, but you’ve been acting like he’s The One, and I just can’t see that.”

“He’s sweet,” Randy replied. “He’s just a really nice guy, and he treats me like I’m Einstein.”

“Compared to him, you are.”

 “I admit, at first it was his hot bod that attracted me, but it’s developed beyond that. I’m really falling for the guy.”

“Seems like you might fall quite literally. I’m betting he’ll want to body slam you before sex or something like that. He looks like he’s got that gorilla mentality.” Debbie chewed more popcorn. “How on earth did you ever meet up with this guy? Didn’t you say he was a closet case? You didn’t meet up at a club, then. And I’m pretty sure he isn’t a customer at your bookstore. That guy never progressed beyond Hop on Pop.” She found a kernel that hadn’t popped and spit it back into the bag.

“Would you give him a chance?” Randy pleaded. “I really like this guy, Debbie. I want the two of you to get along.”

An older gentleman near them was staring not at the ring but at Debbie, or more precisely at Debbie’s chest. She caught him and flashed the guy an angry glare. “Hey, Gomer, the action is down there in the ring.”

The man flushed and shifted his gaze back to the middle of the gym.

In the ring, the tide of events had turned. Kyle Temple had managed to kick El Toro in the genitals without the referee catching him. After several punches to El Toro’s face that would, in a real fight, have resulted in the Hispanic boy suddenly sporting at the very least a bloody nose but instead simply gave El Toro a stunned look, Kyle leaped up and dropkicked the handsome kid right out of the ring.

“So violent,” Debbie muttered.

“It’s not real,” Randy reminded her.

“Well, duh. That poor little bastard would have been wheeled out of here on a cart minutes ago if these blows were actually landing full force.”

“It’s like playacting,” Randy continued, picking up on Debbie’s condescending attitude toward his new beau’s chosen profession. “They’re enjoying themselves and entertaining the crowd. What’s wrong with that?”

A grimy teen seated in front of Randy turned around, a sneer on his pimpled face. “You can’t fake that shit, dude. Say that any louder and Kyle Temple will come up here and pound the fuck out of you.”

Randy shrugged. “He pounded the fuck out of me pretty good last night, actually.”

Debbie laughed, nearly choking on her popcorn. The teen frowned in confusion before turning back to watch the action in the ring.

Intrigued and want to read more? Check out the details here: Wrestling with Jesus

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Everybody likes the bit with the tomato.

Who'd have thought it?

I wrote a scene in 'Orion Rising' where Michael and Paul, the two main characters, partake of a couple of tomatoes plucked from a vine in an underground garden. Tomatoes are important and the fact that they're growing in a world wrecked by climate change is close to miraculous.

So, it got me thinking. I have copies of 'Orion Rising' to give away. I wanted to do something other than make people tweet links to the blog to win a copy (you can tweet the link anyway, that would be very nice, thank you). I have a question and all you have to do is answer to be in with a chance of winning an e-copy of the book.

I'll pick the best two answers, or drag in a friend to pick the answers and post the winners on Wednesday, 11th April.

The Question: What is the one fruit or vegetable you'd want, if your choice was limited by extreme circumstances? No treats, chocolates, cakes, cookies, pork scratchings, chips, pizza. Just a fruit or vegetable you couldn't live without. And, why can't you live without said fruit or vegetable?

Just post your answer and email address for a chance to win a copy of 'Orion Rising'.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In which Sue Brown answers a Silly Question.

So, the lovely Sue Brown is answering all sorts of silly questions from her fellow authors today.

As usual, my mind is in the gutter and my question to Sue reflects that. Hey, it's an important subject, yannow?

Question: Boxers, jockey shorts, tidy whities or commando?

Sue's answer: They all have their place... um... boxers, let those puppies breathe.

Sue, I couldn't agree more. I love a man in boxers. Oh yeah....

Sue has a new book coming out, 'Stolen Dreams'. It's on the top of my TBR list, like all of her new releases are.

And, for more on Sue, don't forget to visit her blog.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sue's Lucky Seven

Here's a new game for writers:

1. Go to page 77 (or 7th) of your current ms
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as they're written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 other authors. No cheating.

It's a great way to have a snoop at what our fellow authors are up to. :)

Pass it on.

This is from the freebie I'm writing for the Goodreads M/M Readers Group annual write-in. 'Love is Always Write'

The story's called 'Tumbleweed' and this is from page 7.


“Not by choice. I just take jobs where I can find them these days.” I sprinkled cheese onto the chilli and added a glob of sour cream.

“So you’re not living anywhere permanent?”

I took a sip of beer. “I was living in LA. My … partner and I broke up after five years. I decided to make my way back home to Pennsylvania. It’s taking a while.”

“Where are you headed to next?” Riley spread butter over a piece of

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A sudden change of plan.

For anyone who's waiting with baited breath for my next release, 'Orion Rising', it's now being released tomorrow, Monday 19th March.

I'm thoughtfully providing a link here. :D

Friday, March 16, 2012

For my next trick - Biscuits and Bunting!

Total E-Bound is releasing a series of books to mark the Diamond Jubilee celebrations this year. My own modest contribution, 'Biscuits and Bunting' will be one of them. I had a lot of fun writing it and I hope you all have a lot of fun reading it.

In the meantime, here's the blurb. Enjoy!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sara York has taken over my blog!

Happy Weekend, everyone. Today, the lovely Sara York is taking over my blog to talk about her latest release.

I want to thank Sue for having me today. It’s an honor to be on her blog. Last fall my writing turned dark, as in thrillers and mystery. I began work on Not That Type of Guy, a dark thriller that ask the question of what would you do if your lover ripped apart the very foundation of what you believed.

You may think you know someone, share the most intimate encounters with them, then find out what you assumed about them wasn’t the whole truth. It seems like everything is going well with their relationship until disaster strikes.

Then Torn to Shreds came to me in a flash, demanding that I write Lucas’s story. Lucas is young, sweet and innocent—that is until he’s abducted. Lucas is at the end of his rope, ready to end it all. Brett is pissed that Amos, his biggest enemy, asks for help, but since it’s really for Lucas he can’t turn down that request.

Torn To Shreds was the story that had to be told, forcing me to write past exhaustion. I hope you enjoy both of these stories and their dark tales.

Blurb for Not That Type of Guy
When CIA assassin Aiden Johnson is trapped between a bathroom wall and a hard man, he chooses the hard man, much to his surprise. Aiden doesn’t want to admit he’s gay, but his first stumble into man love leaves him disoriented, searching for answers and desperate to find the truth. He covers his real desires by dating an ultra hot girl, but it’s the guy sitting a few tables away that draws his attention.

Super nice and attractive Doctor Trace Williams is so special he seems like an angel to Aiden. Their first kiss blows Aiden away. That Trace sees into his soul, even when Aiden is trying to hide everything, pisses him off. Aiden needs Trace in his life, but once Trace finds out the truth about Aiden’s job, will they have any part of their relationship left?

Blurb for Torn To Shreds
When Lucas Spires goes missing his brother, Amos, turns to Brett Hutchings, an ex Marine, kicked out for being gay. After Amos betrayed him, forced him out of Lucas’s life and ended his career, Brett vowed to never to never to speak with, much less help Amos, until the end of eternity. But Brett can’t deny his need to save Lucas, the one guy he’s never been able to get out of his system, even if it means working for Amos.

The trail is cold, with Lucas missing for more than a month. The cops are clueless, unable to find even a hint that the young man was abducted instead of just wandering away. When Brett latches onto a trace of evidence, it looks like he’ll find Lucas, but the clue doesn’t pan out the way he thinks it should.

Lucas can’t take the abuse any longer. He’s at the end of his chain, literally. If he could escape into the mountains, he would, but the sick bastard attached a manacle to his leg, exerting his control physically. Lucas is desperate to escape his captor; all hope has vanished, crushing his spirit. Lucas dreams of a savior, but Brett walked away a long time ago, and he’s the only man strong enough to save Lucas.

Torn To Shreds releases on March 15th.

Excerpt for Not That Type of Guy

The debriefing went smoothly. Aiden didn’t say anything about the sex. He thought he was totally home free when Wayne, one of the analysts, looked him in the eyes and frowned.
“In Chuck’s report, he said you and he escaped the tail by going into the bathroom. What exactly did you do in the bathroom?”
Aiden’s stomach turned. They were asking him the impossible. If he and Chuck didn’t answer the questions in a similar manner they were both screwed. This type of operation called for total transparency, no one lied on the team. You lie, you die. Sure, they lied to everyone on the outside from congress to the president, but in this room, truth was the only option.
When you worked with the types of stress he and his team lived with on a daily basis, you had to trust everyone on your team. Liars could kill a mission, exposing everyone to harm or even death. He’d never lied before, but he would today just to save his ass.
“I walked in and entered the stall, unzipped my pants and did my best to sound like I was using the bathroom.”
Wayne shot him a quizzical look. “The tail believed it?”
“Must have,” Aiden said.
Wayne didn’t look like he believed him. This was going to shit real fast. Aiden wouldn’t tell the team about the best fucking blowjob he’d ever received. Couldn’t tell them. Fuck, it wasn’t any of their business. He didn’t understand what had happened. That was a lie; he knew exactly what had happened to him. Those moments when he was in high school playing sports, and he’d felt something brewing in his cock while watching the guys running around the locker room naked, he’d known. He’d always passed it off as the excitement of playing the game or some other excuse, but the truth haunted him.
He’d grown up in a very conservative household. Guys didn’t like guys. It was impossible for him to like a guy because he wasn’t gay. His father drilled the idea into him daily, especially after the calendar incident. No way could he ever be gay. Gay was wrong. His father and brothers hammered it into his head every chance they got. Any feelings he’d had for guys weren’t real, just figments of his imagination, and if he kept telling himself the way it was supposed to be, according to his father, he could overcome this small issue. Liar, Liar.
“Let me see.” Wayne slid his chair over to the computer and camped out for a few minutes.
“What are you doing?” Carol asked as she hung her head over Wayne’s shoulder. “If the guy said he was taking a crapper, then he was.”
“Just looking,” Wayne said.
The seconds stretched into minutes as Wayne pored over reports. At one point he picked up his headphones and listened to an audio file. His face remained impassive, just like a CIA trained agent should be.
“Ahh, I’ve got it.” Wayne jumped up, the smile triumphant on his face.
The world tilted and Aiden wondered what Chuck had said. He had no idea where Chuck lived--Europe, Asia or even the US. They must have already conducted the interviews with him, and Wayne found the part about the bathroom.
“Chuck said the same thing,” Wayne said.
“God, Wayne, you’re being ridiculous. What the hell else do you think our guys were doing in there? They're professionals, and they don’t lie about their activities,” Carol growled.
Wayne shot her a look, and Aiden tensed again. This wasn’t good. The team blew off steam every debriefing session, but this was worse than normal. He didn’t like the tone in Carol’s voice.
“Damn it, Carol, I know we can trust our team, but I had to check. It’s strange that the tail would accept they were taking a crap. Aiden, was the tail on the train?”
“From what I could tell, no. He stayed behind at the station. Sharif was traveling with only three other men.”
“Good, good. Next I want to hear about the poison delivery. You weren’t supposed to trip against him.”
Relief washed over Aiden. Any chance of them guessing about his gay moment disappeared as they got back into evaluating his performance and hashing out exactly what happened during the mission. Improvements were suggested, and everyone agreed he and Chuck worked well together.
The mention of Chuck’s name brought heat to Aiden’s crotch. He didn’t want to see Chuck again. Didn’t want to have thoughts about men. The thoughts of men touching him, invading his body and sucking him dry had him worried about his future. No way would he give into this crazy temptation. Jessica hadn’t been right for him. Sure she was glamorous and beautiful, but she was rather aggressive. Maybe he’d call Sue. She was as docile as a kitten with low ambition outside the bedroom.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Beat the Winter Blues Tour - Today's Stop.

Good morning from a grey and damp and non-blizzardy England. Today our guests talk about what to do in a blizzard. So without further adieu...

Things to do in a Blizzard – Blaine D. Arden.

I'd like to start with things do to before a Blizzard. Being prepared is a large part of how successful our Blizzard-night-in will be.
- Keep a generous stock of food and drink. Don't go wild on the beer, leave some room for bottled water. And, remember, canned is better than frozen, but only if you remember to buy a NON-electrical can opener.
- Keep every rechargeable item you own charged. Don't bother with the robotic hoover, using a broom will keep you a lot warmer during a power-out, and don't forget the gameboys if you want to keep the kids happy. (using the term kids very loosely here)
- Check your flashlight(s) for batteries and keep extra batteries nearby. Keep flashlights in places you can easily reach in the dark. The basement may seem like a good place, but don't call me when you end up at the bottom of the stairs with a broken leg
- Stock up on candles, matches, and wood if you have a fireplace. Splurging on candle-holders is not a luxury, unless you don't mind spending days de-waxing every possible surface in the house
- Do you have enough fleece plaids, socks and thermal underwear? If not, go shopping, now! I know those snuggies look ridiculous, but you won't be laughing when it starts freezing and you don't have one.
- Keep a shovel in the house. Yes, IN the house, not in that shed at the back of the garden. Trust me, you'll look foolish trying to dig your way over there with your bare hands.
- For a more naughty Blizzard-night-in: don't forget to stock up on lube, condoms and a variety of preferred play items :)

Well, I think that concludes the preparations. Unless you think of something else, of course. Better to be safe, than sorry.

Blaine D. Arden is a purple haired, forty-something writer of gay romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, fairies (the pointy eared ones), platform shoes, and the colors black, purple, and red, who sings her way through life. Born and raised in Zutphen, the Netherlands, Blaine spent many hours of her sheltered youth reading, day dreaming, making up stories, and acting them out with her Barbies. When not writing, reading, or at choir practice, Blaine has singing lessons and hopes to be in a band someday. Blaine can be found at:

Andrew Grey:

During a blizzard I invariably retreat into the house and spend the day doing absolutely nothing. I love to hear the wind whistle around the house knowing I’m inside where it’s warm and I don’t have to do anything in particular or go anywhere. The last blizzard we had, Dominic and I watched it snow form our kitchen windows and then he made hot apple cider and we curled together on the sofa in front of the television. Of course, the blizzard didn’t last that long and I had to go to work the following day, but it was definitely nice while it lasted.

Andrew Grey grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation. Andrew's hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle,, Pennsylvania. You can find out more at , on facebook, twitter, or email him at

Clare London:

Things to do in a blizzard
Of course I have extensive experience of blizzards, living as I do in … um … balmy London. We only need a light fall of snow for 36 hours, and the country’s train network grinds to a halt in shock. I think I’ve worn my snowy-weather boots twice in the last year!

However, what the London weather *does* prepare us for is rain – long hours of cold, grey, sleeting, spiky, soaking rain.

Unlike the romantic white of snow, the grey rain seeps in down the back of your neck and up through the too-thin soles of your shoes. I still remember the Great Storm of 1987, when the weather forecaster is (in)famous for telling everyone the night before that of course there wasn’t any chance of a storm.

Next morning, we woke to widespread power lines down, fallen trees, floods, damaged property, many injuries. The famous seven oak trees in Sevenoaks, Kent had lost six of their number in one terrible night.

Amazingly, Hubby and I slept through the whole thing. We woke up to our alarm blinking away because power had been cut during the night, and wondering why there was no traffic noise outside. And, I have to admit, we just snuggled back down into the safety and warmth of our bed LOL. That’s OUR favourite thing to do in a blizzard – or equivalent!

About Clare: Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters. Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home. All the details of her books and free fiction are available at her website and blog.

From S.A.Meade: - What Not to do in a blizzard.

Years and years ago, my ex and I did the annual Christmas present run to Birmingham. We didn't have a car so we took a bus. The journey up was uneventful but the journey back to Cambridge was...interesting. The weather forecasters predicted snow. We really didn't give it much thought. After all, someone else would be doing the driving. All we had to do was sit and admire the view.

A few flakes fell when we left Birmingham. By the time we reached the next stop, Coventry, there were a few more. The bus headed on to Northampton, by which time there was a healthy amount of snow. We still weren't worried. It was pretty, right? In Bedford the snow was really coming down. The bus headed for St. Neots, up the hill and onto open, flat land. Big Mistake. The wind piled up drifts across the road and the foolish souls who'd ventured out were stranded and so was our bus.

We sat in the bus while babies cried and the wind slammed into the side of the bus. After an hour or so, I began to envy the men of the party who could pop out for a quick pee. No such luck for the women. My eyes started to water. I fidgeted and worried and wondered whether I could ask for a diaper because I wasn't confident that my bladder could hold out much longer. Finally, one brave woman said ... "To hell with this, I need a pee." Half a dozen visibly relieved women followed in her wake, myself included. We blundered into a snowy, freezing hell and did what needed to be done, in the teeth of the gale and blowing snow.

A little while later, the police made their way to the bus, we were all loaded into a wagon and taken back to the Police station in Bedford, where the generous souls of the local Womens' Royal Voluntary Society had provided beds, biscuits and that great British pick-me-up, tea. After a sleepless night trying to bunk down on the floor with fifty other stranded souls, we were loaded back onto the bus and we made it back to Cambridge.

So my advice. Don't go out in a blizzard. If you must, make sure you (a)pee first and (b)have a cast iron bladder.

About S.A.Meade: lives in deepest Wiltshire and is pathetically happy to see rain after eight years in the desert of south central Arizona. She stumbled into writing m/m by accident when she realised that her historicals put agents to sleep. Since then she’s realised she’s addicted to the genre and keeps writing more dirty books. She loves cooking and eating what she cooks and shares her home with a patient husband and son and two heat-seeking cats. S.A. can be found boring people witless with her blog -">

There's a give away today. My new book, 'Orion Rising' is released on 26th March, by Total E Bound, so I'll be giving a copy away to the best answer to what to do in a blizzard.
And remember, our other authors will be doing give-aways on their release days. So keep following and keep posting!

Our books are all released in March. Don't forget to check them out!

Blaine D. Arden 3/9/2012 The Fifth Son
Andrew Grey 3/15/2012 A Helping of Love
Ethan Stone 3/25/2012 Subject 13
S.A. Meade 3/26/2012 Orion Rising
Clare London 3/28/2012 Ambush

Sixteen authors are here to do their best to make your winter brighter in January, February, March, and April. (Unless you’re south of the equator, and then we’ll just be jealous of your summer.) Every Wednesday will be a new stop on the tour (see schedule below). Be sure to leave a comment at each stop for up to sixteen chances at the grand prize: a $200 USD gift certificate to the e-retailer of your choice. Also keep an eye out for links to individual authors’ sites on their release dates for a chance to win some free books.

March 7: Things to Do in a Blizzard (hosted by S.A. Meade)
March 14: St. Patrick’s Day (hosted by Clare London)
March 21: Spring Break (hosted by Blaine Arden)
March 28: Join us for a March Getaway (hosted by Tales from the Writing Cave)
April 4: Favorite Winter Movies (hosted by Stumbling Over Chaos)
April 11: Signs of Spring (hosted by J.P. Barnaby)
April 18: Join us for an April Getaway (hosted by Marie Sexton)
April 25: Farewell (hosted by Joyfully Jay)
April 30: Grand Prize Announcement (hosted by Heidi Cullinan)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mourning Jack - The blurbage

If you stop by this blog now and then, you may have seen a recent post showing off the wonderful cover art for my 6th May release, 'Mourning Jack'.

I've just received the banner pack with the promotional bits and pieces so I thought I'd share the postcard with you because it has the blurb on it. :D

And the bookmark is also very nice indeed.