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

Friday, 20 November 2015

Just Jack News

I just wanted to share a few bits and bobs about Just Jack.

Join Jack and Leo for a one-off special
This was a short piece (about 500 words) written for Amber Kell's Birthday Bash. It was fun to go back and visit them as Jack talks about celebrating his kind-of-birth-day. You can find this and a small giveaway (running until Sunday) at Amber's blog here.

~*~

Just Jack is now available in print
I love this cover so much and I'm so excited to see it released as a paperback.

Blurb
When the line between fairy tales and magic, and the real world become blurred, can love really conquer anything?

Leo Marsh is having a bad day. He just caught his boyfriend cheating on him, and not for the first time, then he falls, quite literally, for a man who has to be too good to be true.

When Leo slips and falls on some ice in front of Jack, Jack sees something all too familiar in Leo's eyes. For over fifty years, Jack has existed in a solitary life of ice and bitterness. Just like Leo, he was betrayed by a man he loved, and swore no one would ever break his heart again: he gave up on love, and it seemed love had given up on him.

But if by fate or magic, Jack and Leo find their paths crossing for a second time, and with a little guidance from friends, dare to take a chance on each other. The problem is, Jack isn't the charming and uncomplicated guy Leo thinks he is. When Jack gave away his ability to love, he became something else, someone cold and unloving. He became Jack Frost.

As Jack and Leo get closer, Jack is left torn and confused. Jack yearns for anything that reminds him of his humanity, but the truth is, he feels nothing, not warmth, not love, and he knows he might never be able to love Leo the way he deserves to be loved.


My copy came just this morning and I am so incredibly pleased with it. Bittergrace is a good friend and I appreciate the time and hard work she put into doing it for me.

Buy links:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 
~*~
 
E-book on sale
Between the 27th November and 27th December Love Lane Books is offering the e-book with 25% off. If me as an author and Just Jack is new to you and you're looking for something sweet and warming, but also all about the chilly winter days, now is your chance to pick it up at a reduced price.
 
 
For more details on the book including excerpts, reviews and buy links visit Just Jack's page at Love Lane Books here
 
~*~
 
Future plans
Just Jack had been intended as a one off, but after a few lovely readers planted the seed about further books, well, my mind just keeps going there. I have plans for, certainly, 2 further books. They aren't direct sequels, they will be more about expanding the Jack Frost world and focusing on two other Jack's, so a series. I hope to write the first of those ideas in 2016 *crosses fingers*
 
That's all for this edition of Just Jack news. Watch this space for more updates on future books in the series.
 

Friday, 14 August 2015

Fallout (HA1710 #4)

Fallout is the 4th book in the HA1710 series. Details on the other books in this series is at the end of the post.

This book can be read as part of the series or as a standalone story.

Blurb

Can missing a fatal flight be the wake up call Harrison needs?

When Harrison Kelley is banned from getting on Flight HA1710, it seems to be the perfect ending to a crappy couple of days. Not only did he wreck a wedding, but he’s drunk way too much and been on the receiving end of the groom’s brother’s fists. Being escorted out of the airport by security was just the icing on the wedding cake.

Elijah Pettifer has lusted after Harrison from afar for years but Harrison never sees him as anything more than a friend. If he ever saw him at all. While attempting to defend what little honor Harrison has left, Elijah gets caught up in the wave of chaos surrounding his teenage crush. But missing his flight home because of Harrison’s mess might just be the luckiest thing to ever happen to him.

With a 24-hour ban imposed by the airport, and having only each other for company, the two men grow closer. But will the fate of the airplane they should have been on be the push Harrison needs to walk away from the toxic relationship of his past? And can Elijah make Harrison see exactly what he’s been missing out on because of it?

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  ARe  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  | Apple iStore


Reviews

Sexy For Review - 5/5 - "... Ms. Russell wove a tale of life’s adventures, of- you can’t recreate the past, but you can take the good from it and move forward. ... Harrison and Elijah are both beautiful souls finding their way through life and love and Ms. Russell has given them the platform to do it together. Beautifully written, Fallout touched this reader’s heart...."

Multitasking Momma's - 5/5 - "... Harrison also gets to realize who he is and see what he could become. Elijah finally gets the chance he'd missed out on and will get his chance to claim his man. The road to their discovery of what was clearly in front of them, is the icing on this cakish book. ... Sweet, rough, stupid, romantic. These are the words the come to mind when thinking Elijah and Harrison. Thing is, I realize I want more of them so want more of their story in the future. That need to know more is what makes them my fave couple so far...."

Rainbow Book Reviews - " ...This is an emotional roller coaster ride between two men transversing the territory between friends and lovers. Wise, honest Elijah just may be my favorite character in the entire series. ... As Harrison began to change, putting Elijah's feelings in front of his own, trying hard to improve himself, he gained my respect. All of the stories in the series are delightful ... If you like stories about honesty, forgiveness, character growth, and hope, you may enjoy this tale. Thanks, Meredith, for the excellent read. ... "

Prism Book Alliance - 4/5 - "....Fallout is an emotional rollercoaster, both before and after the plane crash, it’s also a beautifully written story of betrayal and friendship, and how sometimes only when things are really dark can you see the light and only then can you look at something with fresh eyes...." 


Excerpt (From Chapter 5)

The day of the crash

Harrison downed the shot of bourbon and slid the glass across the bar. He glanced at his cell phone as the screen lit up. With a sigh, he spun the phone around and read the message. Throughout the day, Elijah had sent him a series of messages. Where was he? What was he doing? Was he okay?

Can’t a guy drown his sorrows in peace?

He sighed when his cell vibrated and Elijah’s name flashed up. The phone danced across the top of the bar. Harrison watched it for a moment.

Leave me alone.

He picked up his phone and canceled the call.

“Wow, that’s kind of rude. Just so you know.”

Harrison checked over his shoulder. “What are you doing here?”

“Looking for you.” Elijah took the stool beside him and rested his folded arms on the edge of the bar.
“How did you find me?”

Elijah shot him a disapproving look as he glanced at the empty glass. “The one text message you did reply to said you were coming to the airport. So I thought to myself where would I go if I wanted to be away from people and wallow in my own self-pity?” He scratched behind his ear and his tone softened. “This was the first bar I looked in.”

“You shouldn’t have bothered.” He didn’t understand why Elijah cared so damn much.

“Maybe.” Elijah sat upright on the stool. “I just wanted to check you were okay. After everything that happened.”

Harrison shrugged. “I’m fine. I just figured it was best to give everybody their space.”

“You mean Kevin?” There was a flash of something in Elijah’s eyes as he said Kevin’s name. Was that a warning?

Release Day: Forever In The Sun

The final book in the Sapphire Cay series.

Blurb

Feuding families, unearthed secrets, and a violent storm threatens the Cay. Will the idyllic island with her cast of characters make it through unscathed? It’s time for the circle to close on the story of Sapphire Cay, and on the men who have lived and found love on her beaches.

Join characters old and new as we celebrate Dylan and Lucas’s wedding and delve into the history of Sapphire Cay.

Connor and Shaun are directly related to Peter and Alfie, a couple whose clandestine lover affair was overshadowed by old prejudices and a world war. Shaun Jamieson is a writer, a romantic and needs to pen the story of the affair’s final secrets; Connor French’s family wants to stop Shaun.

When the two men step onto the sands of Sapphire Cay, they find more than just the secrets of an old love. They find hope and comfort in each other. But with the past hanging over them, can they ever have what Peter and Alfie could not? Or are they just as ill-fated as their ancestors?

Buy links

Amazon UK  |  Amazon US  |  ARe  | ...

Excerpt

Chapter 3

“Don’t show us up. You got that?” Dylan stood under the shade of the trees at the edge of the beach and looked down at Mutt. The dog looked back up at him, before twisting his head from side to side in an attempt to snag the blue ribbon, which held the small pale gray doggy waistcoat in place.

Dylan watched Mutt for a moment. He imagined the dog felt as overdressed and out of place as he did. Dylan didn’t do suits and ties, not like this anyway. He stood tall and smoothed his hand over the material of the gray suit he wore, a similar shade to what Mutt was wearing. Why had he let Edward talk him into this?

We could always dress Adam, Scott, and Jamie in bridesmaid dresses and have them follow you down the aisle, Edward had said far too seriously.

Mutt had seemed the lesser of two evils. Besides, the dog was family now. Their boy, their baby.

With a smile, Dylan affectionately stroked Mutt’s head. He stopped when he heard music echoing from the beach. “Looks like it’s time.” He patted Mutt on the back and encouraged him forward with a pull on his leash.

Emerging from the trees, Dylan stopped where tufts of long grass made way for hot white sand. He glanced along the aisle. Guests were standing in front of their seats, waiting for him to make his way to the front. The lady registrar stood on a platform, beneath an arch of blue and white flowers. He wrapped the leash around his hand, keeping Mutt at his heel, as they made their way to the stage.

Dylan glanced from side to side, remembering to smile whenever he met anyone’s eyes. He was relieved when he reached the front. Focusing on the area to his right, he aimed to where Scott was waiting. He handed Mutt’s leash over to Scott, then took his place in front of the registrar.

Anticipation turned over his stomach and he stared back toward the trees. He wanted nothing more than to see Lucas, to touch him, to kiss him, to catch the slightest of glimpses of the man he would call husband from today. This morning had been close to torturous. He had never been one for traditions or following the rules, but Tasha had insisted they shouldn’t see each other until the ceremony. He might have missed waking up with Lucas but it meant each touch and every kiss, when he did see him would be all the better for it.

The music faded into a second piece. As the instrumental recording rose in volume, so did the swell of emotions within him. He didn’t think he’d ever felt so happy, nor had he ever loved someone as much as he did Lucas. He looked at his lover and couldn’t help but smile.

Lucas was wearing a pale blue suit, set off with a dark tie that matched the one Dylan wore. He looked incredible, and Dylan thought back to their first nights together, right here on the beach. Lucas had been a different man back then, they both had. Together they had grown and moved on from what their lives had been. Lucas had found a sense of peace and happiness and realized that sometimes you have to stop, take a breath, and enjoy life. And Dylan? He finally stopped running. For years he thought, if he didn’t stay too long in one place, all the bad stuff and his broken relationship with his dad would get left behind and lost. The thing was, it didn’t work like that. Those things he carried with him always, but with Lucas, he’d taken steps to forgive both himself and his father.

Arm in arm, Lucas and Tasha walked toward the front. Tasha was in a lightweight sapphire blue dress, tailored to fit her growing belly. Lucas lifted his head, meeting Dylan’s eyes. The smile he had on his face warmed Dylan’s heart and he was sure he had never felt anything like this before—pure bliss, perfect happiness, as he had everything he could ever want.

Reaching the edge of the platform, Tasha kissed her brother on the cheek and took her place on the left beside Liam. In her hands, she clutched a small posy of white flowers. The stems were wrapped tightly in blue ribbon and a small fabric purse hung from her wrist. She already seemed misty-eyed, and she leaned in close to her husband as she watched her brother with love and pride in her eyes.

Lucas stepped up to stand beside Dylan. He gently took Dylan’s hands in his, then leaned forward. “I know,” he whispered and pressed a kiss to Dylan’s jaw.

Dylan looked at his fiancĂ© and narrowed his eyes. “What?” he mouthed.

“Cake,” Lucas mouthed in return.

There was no chance to reply as the music faded and the registrar welcomed them and their guests. He half-listened to her words, all the time his attention firmly on his soon-to-be husband. If Lucas was upset about the cake, he wasn’t showing it. He looked happy. Briefly, their gaze met and Lucas reassuringly squeezed Dylan’s hands. The cake didn’t matter. What mattered was they were here, they were together, and they were about to seal their happy ever after with vows and the exchanging of rings.

And that was everything to Dylan.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Sex and Cocktails - Out Now

Blurb

Cocktails make a one-night stand seem like a good idea, but Daniel and Ty discover one night is harder to walk away from than they think.

Daniel Rawlings is happy with his nine-to-five life in Chicago. He has an office job, a mortgage and he’s about to turn thirty. He’s happy—or so he thinks. During the last night of a sun-filled vacation in Miami, he meets wild-haired, free-spirited Ty. With the help of some summery cocktails, Daniel and Ty embark on a passionate one-night stand, though neither man really wants it to be just one night.

The thousand miles between cities may make their relationship harder than either man could have imagined. When Ty visits Daniel in Chicago, they grow closer, and Daniel realizes the two of them could be so much more than just the sex and cocktails of Miami. As their time together draws to a close once again, Daniel and Ty have a decision to make. Is what they have when they're together worth the heartache of saying goodbye over and over again?
 
Note: this book was previously published elsewhere, but has been re-edited and additional content added

Buy links:

Pride Publishing/Totally Bound  |  Amazon UK  Amazon US  ARe  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |

Excerpt

"Christ." Daniel Rawlings closed the book he had been reading and sat forward on the bed. He gave up. There was no way he could concentrate with the noise coming from the bedroom next door.

Muffled laughter accompanied the sound of the creaking bed. Did Rick and Steve realize how much he could actually hear? He massaged his brow as the couple fell silent. Were they done?

He winced as what he assumed was the headboard hit the shared wall, and cursed as his mind went to places he had no intention of going. Shifting, he pulled at the front of his board shorts as heat grew in the pit of his stomach.

Words muffled by sex echoed around him as the bang of the headboard hit a continuous rhythm. "Fuck, yeah. Oh fuck, hell yeah."

Daniel wished he had taken Neil up on the offer of a walk down to the beach. But some quiet time with a good book had seemed like the perfect way to spend a couple of hours before the inevitable evening of loud music, gallons of alcohol and his friends trying to set him up with any man they could who still had his own teeth. They were in Miami as a last hurrah before Daniel’s thirtieth birthday. As the eldest of the group, he wasn’t sure what the others thought would happen once he hit thirty—maybe that his balls would shrivel up and his cock would fall off.

"Oh, oh, oh."

"Oh, for fuck’s sake." Daniel squeezed his legs together. They were his best friends. Imagining them together just felt wrong.

Throwing the book to one side, he got off the bed. He stood in the middle of the room. The bang-bang rhythm stalled, but only for a moment. There was a muted cry from the other room. The bed creaked as the men moved around, then a new rhythm started—slow and forceful.

Idly, he ran his hand over his stomach then lower. He blinked as he caught his erection. Damn. The pace quickened again next door, and he had no intention of picturing their come faces. Grabbing his towel, he headed for the shower. The pitter-patter of water on his head would hopefully drown out the sex sounds.

He locked the door then quickly undressed. He turned on the faucets and stepped in when the cool water had run off. Closing his eyes, he dipped his head under the warm spray. Blowing the water from his lips, he leaned back and looked up at the ceiling. He ran a hand back over his hair and wiped the wet trails from his face. All he could hear was the drumming of the water as it hit his chest and the plastic base. Taking the shower gel, he lathered his palms. He glided his hands over his body, first his chest and shoulders, then his stomach. He reached lower, his fingers sliding between soapy curls. It only took a touch and he was hard again, his thoughts filled with hot male bodies entwined and fucking.

He closed his eyes and worked his hand along the length of his dick. He needed this. His friends had tried setting him up throughout the week, pushing him toward men as they danced, cheering him on as he had drunkenly locked lips with men who were most definitely only after one thing. But even when drunk, he was too damn sensible. He didn’t care about sex. Well, okay, he did care, because yeah, he loved sex, but it had to mean something. If he had sex with someone, it was because there was a connection there. It wasn’t because some stranger had grinded against him to a Justin Timberlake song and they had sucked face.

Sex. Fuck, he hadn’t gotten any in what felt like forever, since his ex had walked out of his life. Biting his lip, he spread his legs a little and leaned his hand against the tiles.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Fallout (HA1710 #4), available for pre-order

The last few weeks you have been treated to releases from RJ Scott (Retrograde), Sara York (Velocity) and Clare London (Flashbulb), the first three books in the series Flight HA1710.

The series has 6 books, and though the stories themselves are standalone, they are linked by the events surrounding a plane crash, and how that affects the various people involved.

Fallout is the 4th book to be released, and is now available for pre-order at Amazon, AmazonUK, and ARe, and due on general sale at the end of the week.

****

Blurb

Can missing a fatal flight be the wake up call Harrison needs?

When Harrison Kelley is banned from getting on Flight HA1710, it seems to be the perfect ending to a crappy couple of days. Not only did he wreck a wedding, but he’s drunk way too much and been on the receiving end of the groom’s brother’s fists. Being escorted out of the airport by security was just the icing on the wedding cake.

Elijah Pettifer has lusted after Harrison from afar for years but Harrison never sees him as anything more than a friend. If he ever saw him at all. While attempting to defend what little honor Harrison has left, Elijah gets caught up in the wave of chaos surrounding his teenage crush. But missing his flight home because of Harrison’s mess might just be the luckiest thing to ever happen to him.
With a 24-hour ban imposed by the airport, and having only each other for company, the two men grow closer. But will the fate of the airplane they should have been on be the push Harrison needs to walk away from the toxic relationship of his past? And can Elijah make Harrison see exactly what he’s been missing out on because of it?

****

Reviews

5/5 stars ~ "Sweet, rough, stupid, romantic. These are the words that come to mind when thinking Elijah and Harrison. Thing is, I realize I want more of them so want more of their story in the future. That need to know more is what makes them my fave couple so far...." ~ Multitaskingmomma