Thursday, 16 February 2017

Making Progress

I can't believe I let two weeks slip by without making a post. I've been busy finishing up some art work for people and also started back writing.


I've settled on working on the sequel to Dead Things. I had to put the story aside for a long time as my head was in a dark place for quite a while. The darkness of a zombie apocalypse and Devin and Noah's world sadly wasn't where I wanted or needed to be. But I'm feeling stronger and more positive right now, so ready to try tackling the story again. I've already added just over 3000 words taking the story up to 51K and I've made myself a rough plan of where the story needs to go and covers about 6 more chapters.

This book has been a long time coming and I hope for people who enjoyed the first Dead Things story, once I'm finally done they don't feel disappointed. I love Devin and Noah so hope I do justice to the next stage in their story.

I'm excited to be writing again and am grateful for everyone's support these last few years. Thank you.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Getting away

Last week I went away with my husband for a short break. It was nice to put work aside (even if I did jot down a couple of new story ideas, having found inspiration while we were there) and spend some time together. We booked a lovely two person lodge on a holiday park in the Peak District. It had its own little sauna, hot tub and spa bath, so we enjoyed some time lazing around the lodge.


Throughout the week we visited a few places.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Rd to Frosty Hollow in print & Knowles Brook #2 snippet

You're not imagining it, this is another post. That's two in one year. I should be careful not to over do it :)

So what's new?

As of this past week The Road to Frosty Hollow is available in paperback.

 
Main post to links and stuff here

We've had some great reviews for the story so thank you to every one who has read Frosty Hollow. I'm particularly proud of the story, which was my one and only release in 2016. It was a tough year and some days it was hard to get in Nick and Cameron's heads, so it means a lot, the positive reactions I've seen to the book.

I've been working on various cover art this last week, including pieces for AE Ryecart, RJ Jones, Amber Kell, RJ Scott and KC Wells (phew), but did manage to jot down an outline of my characters and what their story is going to be for the next book in the Knowles Brook series. I made a brief start (before getting distracted by art again) on the first chapter and look forward to finding more time in the coming weeks.

Here is the very short, rough and unedited start of Knowles Brook 2.

****

“Mikey, you’ve ten minutes.”

Mikey glanced at the back of the bathroom door. He parted his lips, but didn’t call back to his brother who he knew would be standing on the other side, waiting, wondering if he was okay. Eventually, there was the dull sound of Jeremy heading downstairs and Mikey released a breath. He glanced at his reflection in the mirror above the sink. Doubt gripped him.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Where I make grand plans I'll probably not stick to.

2016 was a quiet year for me on the writing front. I won't go into great detail but the car crash I had the year before still cast a shadow, both in physical hurt and affecting my mental health. My back, my leg, my head seem to take it in turns to cause me discomfort but the frequency is gradually lessening and not getting me down the way it had been. To try and get a handle on my depression and anxiety I took part in some counselling. It was a different experience for me and I'm not wholly sure of how much it helped me. I do struggle to express myself (or at least I think I do despite people assuring me I don't come across like a complete imbecile) and I'm a better listener than I am at speaking. But it was interesting and I got to say out loud how things had affected me and still were, and admitted I knew things had to change. Sitting at the bottom of my pit of misery clearly wasn't working.

The last few months of 2016 were a lot better. Most of the insurance stuff concerning the crash was finally settled and anything outstanding needs no input from me. Though slow, I did start writing again and managed to release a co-authored book, The Road to Frosty Hollow, with RJ Scott. I've told her before but I'll say it again, I appreciate all of your support and thank you for letting me write the story with you :) And one more good thing to end the year was moving house. We're about settled in, a few bits and bobs to finish up, but I'm happy and so glad we went ahead with the move.

So, here we are, 2017. I'm going into this year thinking positively. I have plans for the writing projects I'd like to try and complete. Though I have other ideas and stories I'd like to tell, these are the ones I particularly want to focus on this year *crosses fingers*,

1. A second book set in Knowles Brook. The series is intended to be a series of standalone stories linked by the village of Knowles Brook and a few recurring characters. I have an outline for the next book and feel, following Frosty Hollow, it's the type of story I'd be happiest tackling next.

2. Dead Things 2. The story currently stands at about 48K and what I'd consider to be 2/3s of the way through. I have outlined the final few chapters, it's just finding the right frame of mind to get lost in zombies and the darker storyline.

3. The rerelease and eventually writing the third book in the Lone Wolf Trilogy. The Good Wolf and The Bad Wolf have both been returned to me and I'd like to find the time to read them through and see if there's anything I'd like to add to the stories.

4. A follow up to Just Jack about a different Jack Frost and delving a little more into the other creatures that inhabit their world.

and 5. Book 1 in a co-authored series with RJ Scott about cops. We came up with the idea a while back and hope to really get things rolling at some point this year :)

So there we go. What comes of the year, I guess we'll see. But here's hoping it is awesome.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Road to Frosty Hollow

Blurb

Nick and Cameron face old demons, and find new love, on a Winter road trip.
Former Marine Nick Sheridan is at a crossroads. With his entire life ahead of him he struggles to find direction and his place in the world. Car sharing to get home for his sister’s Christmas wedding seems like a good idea at first. Spending the time with the man he kissed and left years before, maybe not so much.

Cameron Bennett lost most of his teenage years to cancer and he now lives every day to the fullest. He decides to drive from Seattle to Vermont for his best friend’s wedding and capture moments of it on film. He hadn’t planned on car sharing with the man who kissed him ten years ago, but somehow he ends up with a brooding Nick by his side.

Along the way, the men learn that sometimes life plans mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. Love can be found in the most unexpected of ways, and facing your demons head on is sometimes the only way to live.

Buy Links



Latest Reviews
 
Dog-Eared Daydreams - 5/5 - "....The Road to Frosty Hollow is a heartwarming love story between two men who have known each other for years, have had feelings they believed were one sided, and are now on a cross-country road trip from Seattle, Washington to a wedding in their hometown of Frosty Hollow, Vermont....
 
....The Road to Frosty Hollow was a beautifully co-written slow burn romance which not only reiterates why RJ Scott is one of my favorite go-to M/M authors, but that Meredith Russell is as good at being an author as she is a cover designer. This one left me with a satisfied smile on my face and in my heart. Five-plus stars...."
 
The Way She Reads - "....I thoroughly enjoyed my road-trip with Nick and Cameron and was rooting for them to come together every mile of the way. Sometimes all I want is a relatively angst free, uncomplicated, yet engrossing story, which is exactly what The Road to Frosty Hollow was—utterly delightful...."
 
Making it Happen - "....Now see, this is a wonderful example of sweet, sexy second chance holiday romance.  It has characters you'll come to care for pretty quickly and want to root on throughout the story, a bit of tension coming from some unknowns in Cameron's life that cause some bumps in the road between him and Nick, and the constant hope throughout the story that everything will work out with a happy ending...."
 
Sexy Erotic Exciting - 5/5 - "....Scott and Russell delivered a well-developed story of two men on the cusp of much-needed changes and the ability to find a timeless love in each other.
 
I immediately connected with both characters and their joyous personalities even in times of despair. 
 
The Road to Frosty Hollow was a feel good, highly romantic story that brought a warmth to the spirit of love and the holidays...."

 
Excerpt

Chapter 1 

“This is crazy, sis. I can’t believe I let you talk me into this road trip.”

Nick Sheridan sat on the end of the bed and stared at his luggage. He’d been pacing a line back and forth in front of his bedroom window for what felt like hours, but, was really only minutes, and his nerves were getting the better of him. He held his cell phone in front of him, set on speaker phone, waiting for the reassuring sound of his sister’s voice to fill the room.

“It’ll do you good. It’ll do you and Cameron both some good,” Kaitlin said.

Her voice held an edge of excitement. She was setting him up, and he knew it, and he was pretty sure she knew he knew it. Cameron Bennett was the last person Nick wanted to share a cross-country drive with, with his dimples, and his smile and his ability to make Nick forget how to speak.

With a sigh, he scratched a hand though his hair, teasing his bangs to spiky points. “Maybe.” He glanced around his bedroom. He was supposed to have packed everything into boxes ready for the move back home in the New Year, but surfaces were still scattered with mementos of his life and his closet remained full of his clothes.

Kaitlin asked, “What time did Cameron say he was getting there?”

Nick rested his phone on the bed and got to his feet. “Anytime now.” He crossed to the window. Lifting a slat in the blind, he looked out on the street below.

Kaitlin’s voice came from the bed behind him. “You remember what he looks like, right?”

How could he not remember Cameron Bennett? The man’s face was plastered all over his sister’s social media every time Cam happened to be in the same state as her: Cam and Kaitlin horseback riding along a treacherous mountain trail, or jumping out of a plane, or parasailing. The man took risks that made Nick worry, considering Kaitlin sometimes got involved too. Kaitlin and Cameron had been best friends since any of them could remember.

Not only that, but Cameron’s face was all wrapped up in memories of one stolen kiss and years of what ifs.

Not that he was admitting that to his sister. “Shut up,” he said, raising his voice to make sure she could hear him.

Kaitlin laughed. “It’s so easy to wind you up. But seriously, have some fun, live life, get all thinky about what you want to do.”

“Thinky?” Nick mouthed the word to the room and smiled. He had been thinking. In fact, he’d done nothing but thinking ever since he received the official invitation to Kaitlin’s wedding a few months ago.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Happy New Year! Better late than never.

It's been a funny old year, as they say. Looking back at 2015, there's been some ups and downs. But it's a new year and I've made plans whereby I want to focus on more of the positive things in my life, my work, to rekindle relationships and sometimes just take a moment for me. So here I'd like to focus on the good stuff of 2015 and my plans for 2016.

Releases and writing:
At the very start of the year, Just Jack was released. I grew up reading fairy tales and fantasy stories, watching Disney movies so it was great fun to play in a world of magic and make believe.

The first half of the year was a bit of a struggle on the writing front, but with support I will be forever grateful for I managed to edit and add a few scenes for the rerelease of Sex and Cocktails with Pride Publishing in July, along with completing Fallout, the fourth book in the HA1710 series written with a group of awesome authors, and also Forever in the Sun, the last in the Sapphire Cay series with RJ Scott (both books released in August). So a little quiet on the release front but to be honest I'm so happy to have been able to write anything the way things have been at times.

Last January, Dead Things 2 had just crept past the 10K mark. In November, I finally felt ready to pick it back up again. The story currently stands at 40K and I'm looking forward to getting stuck back in this coming week.

So my projects for 2016 are first to complete Dead Things 2, then work on the second book in my Knowles Brook series, I'd like to write a second book to make Just Jack into a series of Jack Frost stories, and continue with a shifter series idea I've started plotting out. Also this year, with RJ Scott, I'm writing books in the Providence PD series which will be all about cops and bad guys. I'd also like to look at stories to send to Pride Publishing, possibly a series and then completing my Lone Wolf Trilogy that is with Extasy Books. I'd hoped to write the book last year but like Dead Things, the plot involved darker themes than I could really handle at the time. I already felt on the edge so didn't feel able to put myself in my characters shoes. But, 2016 is new and shiny so hopefully this year I can look to make a start on the third book.

Art:
Cover art has kept me sane (well as sane as I usually am lol) through 2015. It was great to get back to my desk and be able to lose myself in something creative. There's only so many TV Box sets a girl can go through while laid up. I will do an update on my art blog later this month looking at some of my favourite pieces from last year, but a heartfelt thank you to all the authors I worked with last year :) I look forward to seeing what you have for me this year.

Life:
I will say it's been hard to be positive sometimes but I appreciate the people in my life and their support. A few nice things from the year include being hired as a maths tutor after my friend put in a word for me. It's been great and already we've seen some good progress between mock exam papers with her marks. I'm so proud of her and I really needed that to show me I'm not completely useless to everyone at the moment. Also, my sister went back to work after her maternity time for her second child so I am now back babysitting once a week and despite a patchy start with lots of tears, my niece's not mine, she's now one of the favourite parts of my week. She's a funny little thing and she makes me smile constantly.

I had a few lovely weeks away with my husband, two of those were in different parts of Wales. My granddad was Welsh and going there makes me kind of feel like going home, though the sheep give zero fucks about road safety lol. Also we painted a couple of walls in the house and tidied the garden... well hubby did, mine was more a supervising kind of position lol.

For 2016 my goals are mostly to focus more, move more, eat better, be brave - especially where driving and leaving the house is concerned, de-clutter my life (I've already done my clothes and shoes) and the house and set up my office properly, laugh more, get out and see my friends, take some time for me and actually do something with that time - TV watching sure, but also find other ways to relax or be creative. Don't hide behind my problems. I want to get some control back in my life.

So, come Monday I'll be ready to say - Happy New Year!

Monday, 30 November 2015

Cover Reveal - New Lease Of Life by Lillian Francis

Hi, Lillian Francis here, and I’ve popped in to show off my amazing cover for my novel, New Lease of Life, coming soon from Dreamspinner Press.

But first the Blurb.

New Lease of Life

Phillip used to laugh a lot, back when his friends called him Pip. However the good deed that left him hospitalized not only marred his body, it stripped him of his good humor too. Ever since, he has pushed his friends away and shut out the world. Donating his vintage clothing to a charity shop should have been the final act in a year-long campaign to sever the links with the man Pip used to be, but the stranger on his doorstep awakens feelings in Pip that he hasn’t experienced since the incident that left him angry at the world and reliant on the cold metal of the hideous hospital-issue crutch.

Colby forces his way into Pip’s life, picking at the scab of his past. Colby isn’t interested in Pip’s money or his expensive address. He has only one goal: to make Pip smile again. With every moment in Pip’s presence, Colby chips away at the walls Pip has built around himself. Pip knows it’s impossible to fight his attraction with Colby’s sunny disposition casting light into the darkness in his soul.

Drum roll please.

Presenting
Cover art by Paul Richmond.

Also to celebrate the reveal Lillian is having a giveaway over at her blog here