And it looks like a notebook exploded on my desk when I’m trying to do it 🙂
I hope you’re having a great Sunday, everyone. Sundays are meant to be lazy days and I love spending them with a cup of tea and a good book. So I thought I’d recommend two awesome books I’ve read lately, if you need inspiration on what to read today.
The Bake Sale by Matthew Robbins is a wonderful short story, only 2419 words, but oh what wonderful 2419 words they are.
He leaned his head toward Scott at an angle that invited Scott to kiss Miles in that sweetly innocent place that was not fully on the mouth but also not quite on his cheek.
Miles and Scott is an established couple and this is a little slice of life in their lives. It’s emotional and romantic and sweet, just the kind of story I love the most. It’s perfect if you only have a couple minutes but still want to read something good. Matthew Robbins was a new-to-me author and I’m really glad I took a chance on him. It was so worth it.
Best Friends by J.M. Snyder is also a short story, albeit longer than the above one at 5599 words. It’s about two best friends; Todd has been secretly in love with Riley for ages and his heart is breaking now that Riley is about to leave for the military.
He’s all that exists to me, in me, of me. His hands and mouth bring me to life.
Snyder has a way with words that gets to me. Not everything that she writes has a happy ending, but everything is freaking awesome. This book is no exception
Tell me, are you reading something today?
It’s less than a week until the release of Regaining Trust, six days to be exact, so it’s definitely time to pre-order it if you haven’t already. And the good new is, I have more pre-order links for you!
When workaholic Lawrence Weller walks in on the aftermath of his fiancé Frankie cheating on him, his world shatters. Frankie’s the love of his life, the only person he’s ever trusted, and the betrayal leaves him devastated.
Franklin Ennis makes a huge mistake that he regrets deeply before it’s even over. He pleads for a second chance, willing to do whatever it takes to save their relationship.
A love that deep doesn’t just stop, so Lawrence agrees to try. But mistakes don’t happen in a vacuum. Are they both willing to own up to their part? Will their love be enough to repair what was crushed? Can trust once broken be rebuilt?
M/M Contemporary / 31306 words
Today is Bi Visibility Day, a day to celebrate all of us who identify as bisexuals. Bisexuals are the largest part of the LGBTQ+ community, but despite making up about 50% , we are often erased, both from within and from outside the community. We face lots of prejudice, and people believe a lot of stupid stuff about us. For example: read this article for 10 harmful myths about bisexuals. It happens to all of us: I’ve had people questioning me, asking how can I be such a terrible slut and do that (=be bisexual) to my husband, because being attracted to more than one gender means I’m automatically unfaithful. Obviously. (That was irony if I was unclear.)
So today, we’re celebrating bisexuals everywhere here on my blog!
My fictional characters don’t escape the prejudice either. In Nobody Else’s, Beckett’s best friend Matt, who is also Levi’s older brother, doesn’t understand. Let’s all do our best to not be Matt!
Mars enters Pisces, giving Beckett Cooper the opportunity to assert himself when it comes to a secret infatuation; his best friend’s younger brother Levi. But can Beckett trust what’s in front of him and be brave enough to take what he wants?
With Venus in Virgo, people usually become more reserved, but Levi Byrne always takes the opposite road of what’s expected of him. So, instead of pulling back, he reaches out for a man he’s been interested in for years; Beckett Cooper.
Is it the celestial bodies aligning to bring together two people destined for each other? Or is it a simple tale of boy meets boy, boy likes boy, and boy wants to kiss boy? Do Beckett and Levi even care, or are they too busy getting to know each other … and falling in love?
M/M Contemporary / 19 794 words
Today, I welcome one of my favorite morning writing buddies to the blog, the lovely A.L. Lester, who’s here to talk a little about her brand new release, Taking Stock, that’s out today. The story is set in 1972, the year I was born, so I figure this is a must-read for me, wouldn’t you agree? I also adore gentle stories, found families, and hurt/comfort, so this is definitely right up my alley.
Welcome to the blog, Ally! I wish you the happiest of release days! ❤️
Fifteen years ago, teenage Laurie Henshaw came to live at Webber’s Farm with his elderly uncle and settled in to the farming life. Now, age thirty-two, he has a stroke in the middle of working on the farm. As he recovers, he has to come to terms with the fact that some of his new limitations are permanent and he’s never going to be as active as he used to be. Will he be able to accept the helping hands his friends extend to him?
With twenty successful years in the City behind him, Phil McManus is hiding in the country after his boyfriend set him up to take the fall for an insider trading deal at his London stockbroking firm. There’s not enough evidence to prosecute anyone, but not enough to clear him either. He can’t bear the idea of continuing his old stagnating life in the city, or going back to his job now everyone knows he’s gay.
Thrown together in a small country village, can Phil and Laurie forge a new life that suits the two of them and the makeshift family that gathers round them? Or are they too tied up in their own shortcomings to recognise what they have?
Thank you so much for having me today to tell you a little bit about Taking Stock!
Taking Stock is a 40,000 word gay romance set mostly in rural England. It’s set on Webber’s Farm, which I first wrote about in Inheritance of Shadows. Inheritance is set in 1919 and is part of my spooky paranormal universe. I based the farm on somewhere I used to know as a child on the Quantock Hills in Somerset and didn’t want to leave after Inheritance. Taking Stock is the result. Although it’s set in the same universe as my other books and some of the same background characters are there, there’s nothing paranormal or suspenseful.
Instead it’s a gentle story about two people who are hurt and angry and tired, who find their way toward each other and help each other heal.
Initially Laurie was going to have a similar chronic condition to me…I have fibromyalgia and seizures…but then just before I actually sat down to get the words out of my head and on to the page, my Mama had a very severe stroke. She is in her eighties and has been more or less working her seven acre smallholding singlehandedly for years. Her frustration and anger at her situation translated directly into Laurie as I was writing. So he’s a combination of both my own feelings about my lack of agency through my disability, and hers.
It was a very emotive story for me to write and I hope you enjoy it.
Tags: MM, gay, romance, historical, ownvoices, disability, farming, 1970s.
Length: 40,000 words
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Release Date: Sept 19th 2020
About A. L. Lester
Writer of queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense. Lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, a badly behaved dachshund, a terrifying cat and some hens. Likes gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy. Not musical. Doesn’t much like telly. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has tedious fits.
You can stalk me on all sorts of different internet platforms here.
Hey everyone, I hope you had a lovely weekend! I did: I had a lovely birthday celebration on Friday with my husband, spent most of Saturday reading, and Sunday I cooked a yummy lunch and then did the edits for my upcoming release Regaining Trust. A perfect combination of lazy and busy.
I’ve continued my morning writing routine: I get up early every morning and meet my writing buddies online at 6AM my time, so I have lots of things going on. Let me tell you about them:
Regaining Trust is of course available for pre-order.
My New Year’s Eve story, the one I told you about in an earlier post is finished and submitted to JMS Books. I named it Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday, it will be released on December 30, and I have a blurb. Wanna see?
Two strangers, a twisted ankle, an ancient stone ship, and a New Year’s Eve they’ll never forget.
Petter sneaks out of the New Year’s party he didn’t want to go to and treks to an old burial site he’s dying to see. Alone. Without telling anyone on a freezing December night. Without cell service…a huge problem when he twists his ankle.
Someone passes by Isak’s house on the path leasing to the stone ship. When the person never returns, Isak worries and sets off to investigate. What he finds is Petter, a pack of sparklers, and an instant connection.
Under a starry sky, they learn they have a lot in common. Will the attraction burn hot and fizzle out like the fireworks going off over their heads when they return to the real world? Or will it deepen, grow, and turn into something real? Something everlasting like the stone ship?
Furthermore, I have two finished stories in various stages of edits. #SlidingIntoMyDMs is the name of one of them, for a JMS inhouse submission call, where the theme is love found on social media. My story is about two old acquaintances, Moss and Eddy, reconnecting on Instagram where Moss slides into Eddy’s DMs. It’s currently at 21500 words and almost ready for betas.
The second story is called They Met in the Library, and it’s about Adrian the bowtie wearing librarian and Manne, a dyslexic. It’s currently at 17658 words and needs one more thorough edit before I can send it to betas. The story has been a bit of a bother, and I’ve struggled with wrestling it into shape, so I’m letting it rest for a couple weeks before the next edit. I need a bit of distance to it, to make sure I don’t miss anything.
I’m also in the middle of writing a currently nameless story about Otis and Kirby, and a spoiled little dog named Princess. I scrolled past the image below in my Instagram feed a few weeks back, and it inspired me to write this story.
I’m also on Pinterest now, if that’s your thing. One of my writing buddies says it’s her favorite social media place, so I thought “why not?” I’ve just recently started, though, and still trying to understand how it all works, so I don’t have a ton of content. But here’s the link if you want to follow me.
Lots of updates today, and I’ll just throw in one more before I go. You haven’t forgotten about my super-short flashfic sequel to 9 Willow Street, right?
Hannes and Mattis have been happily married and heartbound for two years when a tiny, one-eared rabbit shifter kit hops into their lives and seems reluctant to leave…
This free story is a short glimpse into Hannes and bunny shifter Mattis’ happily ever after.
M/M Paranormal / 2240 words
RELEASE DAY: OCTOBER 3
Do you ever see a cover that you just adore, that you drool over and seriously consider printing and framing it and hanging it on the wall? Or is it just me? 😁 Lately, I’ve come across a few covers like that, and I thought I’d share them with you.
Disclaimer: I’ve only read one of the books, so I cant speak to if the other three are good or not. What I can say is that I drool over all four of these. Aren’t they pretty? 😍
The one I’ve read is Summerweek by Katherine Traylor. It was a lovely story, matching the wonderful cover, so if you’re in the mood for a F/F romance, second chances about a queen and her lady-in-waiting, this is the perfect story for you. Clickety-click the link above to buy it.
Sometimes, when I see a really pretty cover, I get scared to read the book because what if it’s not good enough to match the cover? I agree that it sounds a bit drama-queen-ish, but I’ve had it happen to me, so I’m traumatized 😁
To be perfectly honest, I wish I had the R.G. Hendrickson cover for one of my books. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be! 😁
Tell me about a pretty cover you’ve seen that you just want to print and hang on your wall!
Hi everyone. Today is my birthday, so I found a birthday tag on the Internet, that I thought would be fun.
When is your birthday?
Today. September 11. Not the best day as birthdays go; I spent my 29th birthday watching planes fly into tall buildings on a repeat loop. And then 2 years later, 2003, Anna Lindh, the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs was murdered on my birthday… so yeah 🙈
How old are you turning?
48, baby! I love being in my forties.
What was your favorite present that you’ve ever received?
Probably diving lessons, back in 2015. Me and hubby vacationed on Gili Air, Indonesia and we have a friend living there. He used to be a diving instructor, so he gifted me beginner’s diving lessons for my birthday. It was awesome.
Are you having a party this year?
No. I’ve done enough partying in my life. I gave myself the moniker The Party Princess when I was younger, but I’ve outgrown that now. This evening’s plans are Italian cold cuts, wine, vinyl records, and going to bed early. Like I said; no more party princess 😁
How do you usually celebrate your birthday?
Dinner and wine.
What was the most memorable birthday that you had?
Probably 9/11 2001, for obvious reasons. Best memorable is the diving lessons.
If you had an unlimited amount of money what would you do for your birthday?
A regular year (as in a year without a global pandemic when we’re allowed to travel), I’d go to the Maldives and stay in a fancy water villa. Something like this. And I’d bring my daughter and her fiancé, and we’d have a lovely, lazy family vacation in the ocean! (My daughter and I both used to be fish in an earlier life, I’m certain of it!)
What’s your birthday wish list?
A covid-19 vaccine? If that’s too much to ask, I want my granddaughter to be born healthy and safe.
If you only had one birthday left, what would you do for your birthday?
See Maldives fantasy above.
Show a picture from your birthday, preferably an embarrassing one
Nope, sorry, no embarrassing pictures 😁 But here’s a pic from my diving birthday of me and my friend/diving instructor, going through the basics in the pool.
Do you have any birthday traditions?
Probably dinner and wine?
What’s your favorite part about your birthday?
I don’t know really. To be perfectly honest it feels more and more like any other day of the year. But all the well-wishes from friends and family, I guess?
What’s one thing that changed a lot since your last birthday?
Last year, I lived in Malaysia and now I live in Sweden. Huge change. Another huge change is that I’m becoming a grandmother for the first time any day now.
Have you ever been thrown a surprise party?
Yes. The first year I lived in Malaysia, 2012, was the year I turned 40. My husband also turned 40 that year (in February), so when we were in Sweden in May, our friends threw us a joint surprise birthday party. It was fabulous. That’s probably the last time I had an actual birthday party, come to think of it. 😁
That was all the questions. Do you have any birthday traditions? 🙂
Have a great weekend!
Do you remember this summer, when I did this for JMS Books 10-year anniversary celebration? I did something else: I expanded the short flashfic and made it longer (still very short though!!) and my fabulous publisher agreed to do this:
Sequel to 9 Willow Street
Hannes and Mattis have been happily married and heartbound for two years when a tiny, one-eared rabbit shifter kit hops into their lives and seems reluctant to leave …
This free story is a short glimpse into Hannes and bunny shifter Mattis’ happily ever after.
M/M Paranormal / 2240 words
RELEASE DAY: OCTOBER 3
Yes, that’s right! The flashfic will be published! And it will be free! So if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t read blogs and missed the story, now’s your chance. Or if you just really love Hannes, Mattis, and the little rascal, and want the story on your e-reader so it’s yours forever.
Isn’t that just great?? 💃 (‹- me doing the happy dance)
Today, it’s 22 days until the release of Regaining Trust, and I thought that I’d tease you a little with an excerpt. The sneak peak is from the first chapter, and the main conflict is in the blurb, so I there’s no need for a spoiler warning. I’m adding the blurb first though, if you’ve managed to miss it 🙂
Frankie swallows several times before he speaks. “You’re home.”
I nod; my throat suddenly closing up and making it impossible for me to produce a sound.
His hands twitch, as though he wants to reach out and touch me. “I’m sorry,” he whispers.
I nod again.
“You have to believe me. I’m so, so sorry.” He chokes on the words.
I force my mouth to cooperate. “I believe you.”
His gaze meets mine, penetrates my very soul as he searches for answers. “But you’re angry.”
I avert my gaze. Am I angry? Heartbroken, devastated, yes. Is my trust betrayed? Yes. But angry? I don’t know. In the end, I settle for a shrug.
“Will you talk to me? Or at least listen when I talk?”
I scrub my palm over my face and hang my head. “I’m tired, Frankie.”
“Please, please, please.”
I straighten. “Not tonight. I have tomorrow off. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
“Go to bed. I need a shower.”
“Will you join me? After?”
He jerks as though I slapped him.
“I need some space,” I explain.
He curls up even more and swallows a whimper. “I understand. You take the bed, I’ll sleep on the couch.”
“You’re too tall for the couch.”
“I don’t care. I deserve to be uncomfortable.”
I don’t have the energy to argue so I nod and get up and walk into our bedroom without looking back at him. After my shower, I pull on an old T-shirt and soft sleep pants—more armor—but as I climb into bed, I remember Frankie curled into a tiny ball on our too-short couch, and I sigh.
I grab a blanket from the closet and one of his pillows from the bed and return to the den. He’s not sleeping but he doesn’t say anything when I enter, only follows my movements with his gaze as I approach.
“Head up,” I mumble and when he obeys, I slide the pillow underneath him, then spread the blanket over his curled-up frame.
To avoid looking at him, I don’t linger. As soon as I’m done, I turn and start walking away.
His broken voice stops me. “Why are you always so thoughtful? Even now?”
I want to walk away without answering his question, but I promised myself a long time ago to always communicate, to not be like my parents, so I can’t ignore him. It’s not who I am.
“I love you,” I say. “I don’t just stop loving you, no matter what.”
“You love me.” He sounds as though he hasn’t expected me to say it ever again.
I nod, back still turned to him. “But I don’t know if that’s enough. Sleep. We’ll talk tomorrow.”