Rainbow Snippets 04/22

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Greetings Snippeteers.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far.

My current WIP has a working title now: “A Springful of Winters”

First the Blurb:

Kit is a bit socially awkward. In fact, the rules of social encounters are mostly a bit of a mystery to him but he gets by, with lots of lists and contingency plans. He doesn’t have any plans in place for when he first meets Stephan, however, and he keeps bumping into the man in the most embarrassing situations. The trouble is, Stephan keeps turning up in unexpected places, arising suspicion that this gorgeous man might just have some contingency plans of his own where Kit is concerned.

 

This week my snippet takes place after Kit has just properly met Stephan, the man he keeps bumping into. Stephan has asked him out on a date. Since Kit has difficulties understanding the rules about this sort of stuff he is discussing this with his friend, boss, landlady and mentor, Yenta, while they work together in their bookshop.

 

“I saw the way he smiled at you, Kit. As if you were the world to him.”

“As if I was the what? That’s just nonsense, Yenta. Almost as nonsense as some of the stories in these books.” I wave a hand in a wide arc to incorporate all of the romance section.

Yenta narrows her eyes and leans forward, poking a bony index finger at me. “Nonsense that I see you reading every day, so don’t pretend you don’t know anything about romance.”

“Doesn’t mean I understand it.” I mutter.

How can I be the world to him? The part of my brain that interprets everything literally wants to scream out that I look nothing like the world. The other part, the part that enjoys reading romance novels and dreaming of happy endings, wants to curl up in his lap and let him shower me with silly metaphors like that forever.

 

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

To see what snippets others are posting this week click here to find the Rainbow Snippets Facebook Group.

If you want you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and tumblr.

Checkout my other titles and as well as a range of fantastic books on our revamped Beaten Track website.

 

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Rainbow Snippets 04/14

Rainbow fence

Hello, it’s been a while since I posted anything. This was a combination of a manic few months getting ready for a show, and some creative differences: I wanted to be creative, but my brain didn’t.

Anyway, turns out all I needed was a couple of weeks of Easter break and an interesting anthology call from my publisher.

My WIP for this anthology involves a character called Kit Winters.

Kit is a bit socially awkward. In fact, the rules of social encounters are mostly a bit of a mystery to him but he gets by, with lots of lists and contingency plans. He doesn’t have any plans in place for when he meets Stephan, however, and he keeps bumping into the man in the most embarrassing situations. The trouble is, Stephan keeps turning up in unexpected places, arising suspicion that this gorgeous man might just have some contingency plans of his own where Kit is concerned.

In this scene, Kit is walking his dog, Bessie, when he encounters Stephan in the last place he expects to encounter anyone.

Around a bend in the track, I stop. Before me is a sight I just didn’t expect, so it takes me a little while to make sense of it. Alongside this part of the track there is a drainage ditch. It is usually filled with water, or varying degrees of mud. Today it is filled with a combination of icy water, slush, mud and Stephan.

“Stephan?” I exclaim.

“Hello, Kit.” He smiles, but it isn’t as brilliant as usual.

“What are you, er, doing here?”

“I’m sitting in a frozen, slushy pool of water.” He tells me, as if this is something I haven’t already worked out.

“Er, why?”

“For the fun of it, Kit.” He snaps, sounding a bit angry as he splashes the water around him with the palms of his hands.

“Oh, I see.” I frown. What he said doesn’t quite match the expression on his face. “You don’t look like you’re having fun.”

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

To see what snippets others are posting this week click here to find the Rainbow Snippets Facebook Group.

If you want you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and tumblr.

Checkout my other titles and as well as a range of fantastic books on our revamped Beaten Track website.

rainbow-snippets

Christmas Book Sale

Beaten Track Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you’re all enjoying this holiday season.

However you all celebrate at this time of year, be it Christmas, Hannukah, Yule or whatever, who doesn’t love a sale?

Smashwords have a 50% off sale every year between 25th December to 1st January. Beaten Track have a plethora of incredible books listed in the sale, including mine.

This means owning a story about fairies and trolls under the bridges of Paris,

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or reading about the shenanigans of an animal handler, living in the middle of the Cheviot Hills, who names his animal crew after fictional bears,

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won’t leave a very big dent in your Christmas money at all.

Locked in the Moment, is currently available for a stunning £1.50. And of course, Eagle Man and Mister Hawk is available free, as always.

For an even better bargain, go for the anthology that Locked in the Moment is part of.

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Love Unlocked is available for free this week and this week only. This is an unmissable bargain.

I also have a Christmas offering in the form of a 1,500 word flash fiction called “Merry F*cking Christmas”. Follow the link for a free download from Smashwords.

To see all the other amazing titles in the Smashwords/Beaten Track sale, follow this link to the Beaten Track Website and click on the the link to the Smashwords sale, in order to buy them at their discount prices.

Have fun browsing, and even more fun reading.

Wishing you all the best for 2018. See you all in the New Year.

Beaten Track Christmas

Review of Disease by Hans M Hirschi

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It was my absolute honour to receive a copy of Disease, by Hans M Hirschi, in return for an honest review.

First of all, here is the blurb:

When journalist Hunter MacIntyre is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, he realizes that his life is about to change, not to mention that he’s been handed a certain death sentence.

Alzheimer’s is a disease affecting the patient’s loved ones as much, if not more, than the patient themselves. In Hunter’s case, that’s his partner Ethan and their five-year-old daughter Amy. How will they react to, and deal with, Hunter’s changing behavior, his memory lapses, and the consequences for their everyday lives?

Disease is a story of Alzheimer’s, seen through the eyes of one affected family.

 

My Review

Hans Hirschi’s Disease is a brilliant and highly emotional journey into a horrible illness, told from the point of view of the sufferer, with snippets of comments added by his husband and daughter.

Hunter is a writer and when he is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s he begins to record his life, his daily struggle with his diagnosis, prognosis, the symptoms and how he feels about losing the world and the loved ones around him. His husband, Ethan, finds the diary after Hunter’s death, and adds notes to explain some of the difficulties from his point of view, along with some shocking revelations that truly caught me off guard.

Despite what seems like a dire story line with a predictably sad ending, this does not feel like a tragic story. The diagnosis is tragic, of course it is, and knowing that there is no cure, and that Hunter will lose everything before he loses the battle is also tragic, but amidst all the sadness there is a glimpse of a life lived and a soul that loves and is loved in return. It is horrifically sad, but Hans does an incredible job to keep the balance just right.

I cried, oh yes, I cried more than once, and at times had to put the book down and walk away because it upset me so much. I defy anyone who has watched a loved one disappear before their eyes because of this horrible disease not to find this book a challenge to read, but at the same time, it is such an important story because it is told from the point of view of the sufferer. This is something we, as onlookers, never see. We see what is lost to us, yes, but never what is going on in that slowly disappearing mind. Disease let’s us see this from Hunter’s unique perspective, and tells how he feels on a day to day basis. He tells how his world is being slowly stolen away from him and replaced by something no one understands, not even his closest loved ones and least of all, him.

I knew this book would be an emotional roller coaster from the very beginning. There is no massive shock reveal. We know Hunter is going to die. He tells it how it is. It begins with him describing his initial diagnosis and the build up to why he sought help. We then follow him through his ups and many downs. It doesn’t bear thinking about just how awful it must be for him to know that he won’t see his daughter grow up, or that he will be leaving his husband to raise her on his own. All of these subjects are explored with feeling and a stark reality that is touching and beautiful.

Hans handles all the legal issues of a same sex couple trying to make sure their family stay together and are provided for after a death, with a calm acceptance that is heartbreaking. It isn’t enough that they have to cope with Hunter’s disease, they also have the legal struggles faced by most same sex couples in this world. Our society needs a kick up the backside when it comes to basic human rights and if you didn’t know that already, you need to read this book. This is just one family’s struggle.

Hans is a brilliant writer and this book should be on everyone’s shelf.

Disease is available from Beaten Track Publishing, Amazon UK and Smashwords

 

About the Author

Author Hans M. Hirschi

Hans M Hirschi has been writing stories since childhood. As an adult, the demands of corporate life put an end to his fiction for more than twenty years. A global executive in training, he has traveled the world and published several non-fiction titles as well as four well-received novels. The birth of his son provided him with the opportunity to rekindle his love of creative writing, where he expresses his deep passion for a better world through love and tolerance. Hans lives with his husband and son on a small island off the west coast of Sweden.

To find out more about Hans click here to see his author page on Beaten Track Publishing or to visit his blog click here.

There is an author chat over on Facebook today, hosted by Bike Book Reviews. Click here to join Hans and ask any questions you might have about his wonderful book.

For anyone affected by Alzheimer’s or wishing to find out more about the disease click here to visit the Alzheimer’s Society UK website where they have information about the disease, how to get support and how to help support those suffering with the disease themselves.

 

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Rainbow Snippets 10/21

Russ's light painting

Hello again. This is a bit worrying, that I have time to do a post for this week’s Rainbow Snippets. That’s three weeks in a row that I’ve posted. I’m sure I’ll discover that there something else I should be doing.

My very colourful cover photo this week was taken by my photographer friend, Russ, whose photos I have used quite a lot over the last few years. This one was taken just two nights ago. Some rather magical effects that makes some local graffiti look quite spectacular. There’s a link below if you want to see more of his amazing photography.

And so to this week’s snippet. From my age gap romance WIP, it is an exchange between Jules and his teenage daughter. Jules has brought Tristan to his house after discovering the man has less than ideal living conditions at present.

In the kitchen I encounter a very confused Amy.

“Dad?” She regards me with a quizzical expression. “I thought you were going round to see How Mr Gilman was.”

“Yes, and I brought him here because…urgh!” I blow out my cheeks and take some deep breaths to calm down.

“Dad, what’s wrong, is he okay?”

“Yes, yes, he’s okay, apart from being the stubbornest, most obstinate and argumentative person I’ve ever met. He’s also very sore because he crashed his car yesterday and then thought it was a great idea to sleep on his floor because he has no bed, no heating, no electricity, no bloody sense….” I throw my hands up in frustration. “Anyway, he’s here, and likely to be staying the night, even if I have to tie him to the bed.”

“Oh.” She giggles wickedly. “Too much information, dad.”

“Amy!” I exclaim, shocked that she would make such an assumption.

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

To find out what others are posting this week click here.

To see more of Russ’s amazing photography click here. And please, don’t use any of his pictures without his permission.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and tumblr and don’t forget to share.

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Rainbow Snippets 10/14

Rainbow fence

Wow, I managed two weeks in a row.

This week’s snippet once again, comes from my age-gap WIP about a head teacher and his newest member of staff, and takes place a little before the one I posted last week.

The background to this one is that, Tristan is at home resting after a disastrous first day at work that involved delayed flights which made him late and a visit to A&E. His suitcase was lost in transit and has just turned up at the school so Jules signs for it, persuading the delivery guy to leave it with him instead of taking it to Tristan, mostly to save the delivery guy a very long round trip, but Jules may have other motivations he’s not admitting to himself. Jules signs Tristan’s name on the delivery receipt to keep the guy’s records correct.

“Jules McPherson, you’ve just committed fraud.” Suzy gasps, following me as I carry the suitcase back up to my office.

“Oh my god.” I have to sit down, because my legs are shaking. “I did didn’t I? I don’t know what came over me, except it makes sense for me to take the suitcase to Tristan since I live so close.”

“Yes, it makes perfect sense.” Suzy sounds dubious and is giving me a strange look.

I need to get away from her before she starts asking any deep searching questions, like “why?”.

 “I’m helping out a colleague in trouble, Suzy.” I frown at her, answering as if she’s asked the question anyway.

“What?” She raises her eyebrows and feigns innocence but I can see her brain working, the cogs moving at a million miles an hour. “I never said a word. But there’s helping out a work colleague and then there’s committing a felony for a friend. You know, like the: I’m-such-a-good-friend-I-would-help-you-hide-a-body kind of thing?”

“Suzy, what on earth are you talking about? I hardly know the man.” I can’t make out her reasoning at all. “I haven’t offered to hide anyone’s body, and signing Tristan’s name to say I’ve received his suitcase is hardly a crime against humanity. As long as Tristan gets his stuff, what’s the harm?”

Well, there you go. Another week, another snippet.

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!). 

To see what others are sharing this week, click here.

Feel free to reblog, share and follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Pintrest. Also find my work and other awesome stuff at Beaten Track Publishing.

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Rainbow Snippets 10/08

Happy weekend, Snipeteers all.

This weekend my daughter went off on a school trip to see the sights of London and she bought me the awesome mug you see in the photo above.

The significance of the rose is, obviously, that is a rainbow one and she knows me so well, but our surname is Rose and her first name is so difficult to find that she always finds things with roses on as an alternative.

The mugs have nothing to do with my snippet this week, apart from the fact that the two main characters are drinking coffee while they talk. Perhaps they are drinking from mugs with Shakespeare quotes on them, because they are both English teachers after all.

The snippet is from my age gap romance featuring Jules, head teacher and Tristan, newly employed English teacher with an alarming habit of getting himself into scrapes.

Here is Tristan asking Jules for some advice and not really getting to the point.

“Jules I got a dilemma.” Tristan tells me. “No, a moral issue, is it a moral issue? I don’t know.” He frowns at his coffee, as if he’ll find the answer there, and then shrugs as he continues. “Let’s just call it a sticky situation.” He shakes his head in frustration. “No! it isn’t a sticky situation because that makes it sound as if I’m in some sort o’ trouble but I ain’t. It’s a question of personal values and I think I might need some advice from someone older n’ wiser.” His eyes widen and he turns to face me with a look of horror on his face as he realises the implications of his words. “Not that you’re older by a wide margin, you ain’t, you’re just wiser than me maybe? Jees that sounded awful, I’m sorry.” He turns away, biting his lip.

The movement has separated us, and the gap feels like a thousand miles after having the warmth of his leg pressed against mine. I don’t make any attempt to close the gap, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to. Instead I focus my attention on listening.

“Maybe I should o’ started by sayin’ I respect your opinions, Jules, and we ain’t known each other long, but I kind of trust you’d give me the right advice.” He shakes his head in disgust at himself. “Shit, this ain’t comin’ out right at all.”

“No, obviously not, because if it was I assume I would actually know what you were talking about. Right now I don’t have a clue.” Tristan shoots me a half irritated, half amused look.

“You c’n be such a sarcastic bastard sometimes.”

I raise my eyebrows.

“Not Sarcastic, just British.”

I’m hoping to finish this by the end of the month so I can begin something else for NaNoWriMo, because that is just around the corner. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Anyway, thanks for reading and feel free to share, follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

To find out what others are sharing on the Rainbow Snippet site this week click here and see the pinned post.

Have a nice week.

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