World Book Day

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Happy World Book Day.

In the UK, World Book Day is celebrated in many primary schools with a fancy dress day. Children all over the country will be going to school on 7th March, dressed as their favourite story book character, or, in some cases, whatever costume fits the child because there wasn’t the time to make or the money to buy something specific.

My children are now in secondary school, and fancy dress days do not often happen. Whilst my daughter and all her teenage friends are quite happy to attend every Comic Con they can, dressed as their favourite anime characters (daughter: “it’s called cosplay, mum, not fancy dress, duh!”), going to school dressed up is definitely no longer cool.

I love that we have World Book Day. I feel very privileged to be able to celebrate this day as a reader as well as a writer. I still find it a little difficult to believe that last part.

I think it’s great that this day is promoted and celebrated in schools. Promoting reading is never a bad thing.

In our house, World Book Day would often go like this:

“Mum, Dad, tomorrow is World Book Day. I want to go as [insert literary character here].”

We would then proceed to search our wardrobes, junk boxes and craft drawers and make a costume from what we had. I wouldn’t say we are hoarders, exactly, but we do have two attic rooms that our friends have named “The Rooms of Requirement”.

This same conversation might also take place with a number of our friends. I will often get frantic messages on Facebook from someone asking: “My child wants to dress up as Ebeneezer Scrooge. Do you have something they could wear?”

Our Rooms of Requirement regularly provide items for costumes for children and adults alike, for any number of celebrations, World Book Day included. None of these have been specifically bought costumes. They are acquired, recycled, charity shop whatnots; adjusted, accessorized and adapted to fit whatever character the person wants to be.

(And yes, we did have the necessary clothing and accessories to dress up a child as Ebeneezer Scrooge, Lord Voldemort, Pippy Longstocking, The Good Witch of the North, Frodo Baggins. You name it, we’ve done it).

As long as I have friends who ask, I will continue to provide this service. My Rooms of Requirement are always open.

Many parents do not have the time, nor the ability to make a costume, so there is the convenience of buying something. In some ways, World Book Day is becoming a bit commercialized, unfortunately, it is becoming so for the wrong reasons. Some of these costumes cost quite a bit, compared to, say, a book.

In the light of what has been happening online recently in the book world, where many pirating sites have been shut down for offering books for free without the author’s or the publisher’s permission and with plenty of people supporting these sites, because they think all books should be available for nothing, I find it difficult to accept that some people would defend their taking a free download of a book that should be paid for, but will quite happily pay through the nose for a costume of a character that could be from that same book.

What I’m trying to say is, World Book Day is about books, not costumes. The clue is in the title. There would not be any books if it wasn’t for the authors. Authors cannot keep writing if everyone decides that they should be able to get those books for free.

I love dressing up, and I love books, but please don’t spend a fortune on a costume, especially on this particular day, when you could be spending some of that money on books. Dressing up is fun. Pretending to be a favourite character for a day is exciting, but buying books supports the author that might have created that character, and you never actually grow out of a book the way you can grow out of a costume.

It isn’t World Costume Day, it’s World Book Day, so please consider spending some of that money on something to read. You never know, you might meet a new favourite character.

Celebrate World Book Day by buying a book. Share the fact that you bought that book and then review it, because that’s like giving a Mother’s Day card to the person that gave life to the book you’ve just enjoyed.

Thank You, Ana

To celebrate World Book Day, Beaten Track Publishing have a site-wide sale. All titles are available at 20% off, including mine.

I’d especially like to draw attention to the growing list of Children and Young Adult fiction from some amazing Beaten Track authors.

Click these links: Children’s Fiction, Young Adult Fiction.

To get your 20% discount at the checkout, quote the code: WBD19

This is valid until 10th March.

World Book Day

 

 

 

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Rainbow Snippets 02/16

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Beaten Track Publishing did a thing. A Valentine’s thing, just for fun. We each had to pick an ABBA song and use it as inspiration for a short story, poem or prose.

My short story involves Sol and Lucien from my story “Locked in the Moment”. The ABBA song I chose was “I’ve Been Waiting for You”.

I’m sharing six lines from that short story for my snippet this weekend. If you would like to read the entire thing, the link is at the bottom, along with a link to all the other Beaten Track authors’ contributions. There is also a free ebook compiling all the Valentine’s pieces in one place, available from Smashwords. Again, the link is at the bottom of this post.

First here’s my snippet.

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The blurb:

Sol is impatient waiting for Lucien while he talks to the neighbours. Lucien is angry he’s being so impatient. They both have their reasons for being unhappy.

I’ve Been Waiting for You is a short, fluffy story in the Locked in the Moment universe, with Sol the Troll and Lucien the Fairy. May contain spoilers and some choice language because trolls swear, a lot. This story definitely contains fluff.

The story, as with the original, is told from Sol’s point of view and begins with him complaining about how he just can’t seem to get on with his and Lucien’s new nieghbours. (warning: some bad language. I did say trolls swear).

“You’ve tried to get me to interact with the local villagers before with mixed results. I made a kid cry just by smilin’ at them. I know I don’t smile that often, but in human form I’m not that fucking scary, am I?” I gave up after the third baby cried and I saw the horrified look on their parents’ faces. “Why the hell would they want to speak to a grumpy old troll like me?”

“They don’t know you’re a troll, Sol. They don’t even know I’m a fairy.”

“Yeah, but they like you, Lucien. Everyone likes you. They speak to you for hours, while I wait off to one side, coolin’ my heels. Do you think I like watchin’ you flirt an’…”

Lucien stops chopping the salad and turns, waving the knife under my nose.

“Firstly…” He stops when he realises he’s waving the knife close enough for the pointy end to make me go cross-eyed. He puts it down on the bench behind him with a huff and then continues, “…I do not flirt. With anyone. Except you, not that you would ever notice.”

“When did you flirt wiv me? What did I miss?” I ask. Dammit, I missed it? I like it when he gets all flirty.

The full short story is available here A Valentine’s Day Short Story , or you can download it free from Smashwords here.

To find all the other ABBA inspired stories from Beaten Track authors, click here.

To download the free ebook, click here.

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 on their blogs this week, click here.

 

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A Valentine’s Day Short Story

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Throughout today authors from Beaten Track Publishing will be sharing flash fiction, short stories, poems and prose, taking their inspiration from ABBA songs. The link to the rest of the stories etc. can be found at the bottom of this post.

I’m very excited to share a short story with you featuring my characters Sol and Lucien from “Locked in the Moment”. Not only are they an appropriate couple to share some Valentine fluff with you, it is also Locked in the Moment’s 3rd book birthday. Three years since my story was published as part of the Love Unlocked Anthology. How time flies.

My inspiration for this short story is taken from the ABBA song “I’ve Been Waiting for You” and I totally stole the title because I can.

The Blurb:

Sol is impatient, waiting for Lucien while he talks to the neighbours. Lucien is angry he’s being so impatient. They both have their reasons for being unhappy.

“I’ve Been Waiting for You” is a short, fluffy story in the Locked in the Moment universe, with Sol the Troll and Lucien the Fairy. May contain spoilers and some choice language because trolls swear, a lot. This story definitely contains fluff.

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I’ve Been Waiting for You

“Where the hell have you been, Hairy? I’ve been coolin’ my heels fer bloody ages waiting for ya.”

Lucien doesn’t have to answer because I know where he’s been: talking to bloody humans on our bridge. I was watching. They flock here in droves and he talks to all of them. He just walks up and starts a conversation while I stand off to one side and scowl at them until they go away. Who the hell do they think they are, standin’ on our bridge and taking up Lucien’s time? Time he could be spending with me, because, well, time’s precious, ain’t it?

We’re like chalk and cheese, me and him. Three years we’ve been together, and every day I wonder what the hell he’s doin’ with me; why the hell he stays.

“And good morning to you, my wonderfully grumpy troll. So sorry you have been made to wait.” Lucien glances at his wrist, as if he’s going to find a watch there. He doesn’t wear a sodding watch, he’s a bloody fairy.  He can make time, if he wants to, with a flick of his fingers. “Oh, a full thirty minutes, you have waited.” He rolls his gorgeous eyes. “Such a hardship.”

Lucien brushes past me without even meeting my eye. Usually he greets me with a kiss. In fact, every morning since that day we found our love-lock moment, he’s greeted me with a kiss and a fluffy speech about how wonderful it is that we found each other, that we’re together and have a home in such a lovely setting, so peaceful and private and all ours.

It’d be fucking idyllic if it wasn’t for all the bloody humans, invading our space, taking up our time when I want Lucien all to myself. At least they don’t hang their bloody love-locks here. They still trip-trap over the bridge when it’s least convenient.

Today, Lucien does not greet me with a kiss, nor even a brush of his delicate fingertips. He just walks past me without so much as a glance. I think I might’ve done something wrong.

I follow in his wake, running to catch up with him because, despite being about two feet taller than him in our human forms, he walks bloody fast when he’s angry. I don’t see this side of him very often, but when I do, it’s like he’s all full of fire and sparks, and I love it. Makes me want to laugh—tiny little thing like him lit up like a firework—except, I’ve seen what he can do. He is a fairy, after all, and when he’s all fired up like this, sometimes you just have to stay out of his way.

Today, though, I’ve done or said something to upset him and I don’t like upsetting him. I want to fix it, but first, I need him to tell me what it is.

“Alrigh’, Hairy, out wiv it,” I say, a little breathlessly, when I eventually catch up with him at our front door. It’s not that far from our bridge to the little mill house where we’ve been living for the last three years, but trolls weren’t built for running.

“Out with what?” he asks, trying to sound his usual bright and cheerful self as he stands with his back to me and his hand on the door latch. His knuckles are white with tension, and I can hear the unhappiness in his tone. I don’t like this one little bit.

He’s always happy, my fairy. What’s happened to make him unhappy? And what’s more important, what can I do to make it all better?

“What’ve I done?” I ask. “Is it somethin’ I’ve said? You know you’re gonna have to tell me. I’m a thick-skinned troll. I’ll never work it out in a month o’ Sundays.”

“This time, you don’t get an explanation.” Lucien pushes on the latch and walks inside without looking back.

For a few moments I’m stunned into immobility. What the hell is goin’ on? How can I make things better if he won’t talk to me?

When I finally walk through the door, Lucien is in the kitchen preparing lunch. Well, I say preparing lunch; it looks more like he’s murdering a lettuce with a very large, sharp knife. I imagine he’s pretending the lettuce is me. He’s also muttering angrily to himself in French. I fight the urge to laugh again. He’s got such a sunny disposition. Muttering angrily doesn’t suit him at all.

“Il est impossible, ce farfadet.” He chops viciously at the lettuce to emphasise each word. “Je suis très fâché avec lui. Il a attendu trente minutes? J’ai attendu toute une vie.”

After three years of living with Lucien, I have picked up a few words of French. I don’t need to translate everything he’s said. I can guess from the context—and his dark mood and the fact he’s committing side-salad-slaughter—that he’s mad at me and thinks I’m impossible. That’s nothing new. I am impossible. What’s he on about after that, though? Attendu? What does that mean? Wait? What’s he been waiting for? When was he waiting? I was waiting an age for him to finish making out with the bloody neighbours.

The knife slams down hard on the bench, making me jump. When am I ever going to remember that he can read my thoughts as if I’ve spoken out loud?

“I was not making out with them, Sol. I was being nice. You should try it sometime.”

“Oh, yeah?” I snort. “Because that’s something I’ve been practising for the last two thousand years, bein’ nice. It’s like second nature to me.”

Lucien clicks his tongue.

“You can be nice when you want to be.”

There’s even a hint of affection in his tone, except he’s picked up the knife again and is now assassinating a couple of defenceless tomatoes.

“What would I even say to them, eh?” I ask. “You’ve tried to get me to interact with the local villagers before with mixed results. I made a kid cry just by smilin’ at them. I know I don’t smile that often, but in human form I’m not that fucking scary, am I?” I gave up after the third baby cried and I saw the horrified look on their parents’ faces. “Why the hell would they want to speak to a grumpy old troll like me?”

“They don’t know you’re a troll, Sol. They don’t even know I’m a fairy.”

“Yeah, but they like you. Everyone likes you. They speak to you for hours, while I wait off to one side, coolin’ my heels. Do you think I like watchin’ you flirt an’…”

Lucien stops chopping and turns, waving the knife under my nose.

“Firstly…” He stops when he realises he’s waving the knife close enough for the pointy end to make me go cross-eyed. He puts it down on the bench behind him with a huff and then continues, “…I do not flirt. With anyone. Except you, not that you would ever notice.”

“When did you flirt wiv me? What did I miss?” I ask. Dammit, I missed it? I like it when he gets all flirty.

“And secondly,” he continues, his lips twitching because he’s picked up my thoughts again and I can tell he’s finding it difficult to stay angry with me, “waiting thirty minutes while I forge good relationships with our neighbours is nothing compared to—.” He stops, snapping his mouth shut.

He turns away with a frustrated huff through his nose and picks up the knife to commit grievous bodily harm on some poor unsuspecting spring onions.

I frown. What did he just stop himself from saying? I could try and pick the thoughts out of his head, but I’ll bet all the fairy dust in his glittery little pockets that he’ll stop me from seeing anything he doesn’t want me to.

“You’d be right.” He huffs, without turning around.

I see his shoulders slump ever so slightly, and his tone isn’t nearly so angry as it was. In fact, I think some of those radishes he’s now decapitating might even survive.

“Oh Sol.” He sighs, dropping the knife and turning to fling himself into my arms. “I’m so sorry. I should not have been so angry with you.”

I don’t even hesitate before I wrap him up in a furry, troll hug. He’s even tinier when I’m in my troll form and he’s gone fairy, but I never make the mistake of thinking he’s fragile—not until now when I realise my fur is wet with his tears.

“Oh my god, Lucien. What the hell is wrong? Tell me, please. I hate arguin’ wiv ya, sweetheart. I know I said something to upset you, but I don’t know what.”

“It’s nothing, just me being silly, mon amour.”

He pulls away and looks up at me. We both change back to our human forms because it’s difficult to make eye contact with him with an overhanging monobrow. It gets a bit crowded in this kitchen when it’s full of troll, plus my fur gets in the food and he gets a crick in his neck looking up at me.

I reach out and caress his cheek with smooth, brown, clawless fingers. He closes his eyes and leans against my hand, linking his delicate fingers with mine before turning his head to kiss my palm.

I gasp as his lips brush my skin. He’s so…beautiful, and he’s smiling, but the tears clinging to his long eyelashes make his eyes look sad.

“It’s not nothin’ though, is it?” I ask as I wipe away two tears that are tracing lines down his face. “I want to fix this, Lu, but I don’t know how.”

“There is nothing to fix, Sol,” he assures me.

“Well, forgive me for thinkin’ otherwise,” I snap, then shake my head as his eyes widen. “Sorry, but you’re cryin’ and I made that happen, and now I have to fix it.”

For a moment, I see defiance in Lucien’s eyes, and his chin lifts, as if he’s going to refuse to tell me. He’s stubborn like that sometimes. However, his chin lowers and he looks away with a sigh.

I think again about what he was muttering before. Despite living with Lucien for three years, my French is still abysmal. He said something about waiting. Finally my brain translates it.

“He’s impossible, that troll. I am so angry with him. He waited thirty minutes? I waited an entire lifetime.”

 Oh my god. I hate myself. I look down and meet his gaze. I can see by his expression he knows that I know.

“I waited for you,” he whispers so softly I can barely hear him. “For three hundred years, yet you get impatient waiting for thirty minutes.”

“I know,” I whisper back. He’s never going to forgive me, but I need to apologise anyway, or I’ll never forgive myself. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t’ve been so angry.”

“No, you should not.” He narrows his eyes before his expression brightens and he reaches up to pat my cheek.

“I’m such an arse, Lucien. How do you put up wiv’ me?”

“Because I love you, you great furry oaf.” He smiles and suddenly everything is all right. “Of course I forgive you.” He smirks, his expression playful. “You said you wouldn’t be able to work it out by yourself. I’m so proud of you.”

“Shut it!” I huff, grabbing his ribs and making him gasp and giggle.

Suddenly, we’re kissing, rolling about on the floor, giggling and breathless, fingers tangled in hair and his legs wrapped around my hips.

He turns me so I’m lying on my back. My hand is halfway inside his floral pattern shirt as he straddles my waist when everything he said finally sinks in. I know he loves me, and I love him, with all my stone heart, but he loves me with a heart that’s the size of a fucking planet and it blows me away.

“Sol?” he whispers, touching my face in concern.

“I know I’m impossible to live wiv, Lucien.” I lower my eyes, unable to meet his gaze as I lay out my faults before him. “I’m a bloody nightmare most of the time. My fur gets everywhere. I’m grumpy as hell, usually in the morning, and sometimes mornings last all day. I get stupid jealous when you’re talkin’ to other people and I know I shouldn’t even worry, because you’ve always had eyes only for me. I don’t want you to stop being the lovely, friendly, fluffy, glittery fairy that you are, because that’s the person I fell in love with, when I didn’t even know I needed anyone. I spent two thousand years on my own, Lucien, but I didn’t realise it was such a prison until you released me. I unlocked all those love-locks on my bridge that day, but you unlocked my heart. I don’t even know how you did it, it just happened. Sometimes, when I see you with other people, smilin’ and makin’ them smile, I wonder what the hell you’re doin’ with a grumpy old sod like me.”

“You know why I am with you.” Lucien reaches down to caress my cheek, running his thumb along my bottom lip and making it tingle. “We were meant to be together. I knew this, even before I had set eyes on you. I knew this every day I watched over your bridge and waited. I knew, even when everyone else told me it was making me sick, and every time I woke up in my own bed because I’d fallen asleep at my post and someone had carried me home. I would still go back the next day to watch and wait.”

Such devotion, before he even met me, and I had no idea.

“I could hibernate again,” I tell him, watching his face for any signs that this is not what he wants to hear. “Not soon, not for years, but I will sometime in the future. What will you do then?”

His expression doesn’t change. He’s still smiling, his eyes tender, his fingers caressing my jaw.

“I will wait, Sol. I will watch over you and wait.”

“But what if you get sick again?” I can’t let that happen. “Maybe I should just stop hibernating.”

“I could never ask you to do that, just like you do not wish me to stop being nice to everyone we meet. It is your nature, Sol. If you do not hibernate, you will get sick.”

“But if I do, you will.”

“I won’t, not this time.” He sounds so certain, but I need to know more.

“How can you be so sure?”

“Last time, you did not know. You woke up to find that I’d been watching over you, but while you were in hibernation, you had no idea why I was there. This time, when you wake up, you will know I’ve been waiting for you.”

He leans in to kiss me, pressing his lips to mine. I respond instantly as my brain mulls over what he’s said. He loves me, and I love him, and that’s all that matters. And then there isn’t time for thinking.

“What if I hibernate for another three hundred years?” I ask when we finally come up for air.

“Then that is how long I will wait,” he assures me, his head resting on my chest, his delicate fingers playing with the curls of thick hair he finds there. “I would wait a thousand lifetimes for you, Sol.”

His confession takes my breath away, and I wrap my arms around him, holding him tight.

“I won’t ever complain about waiting for you, not ever again. I promise,” I whisper. “I love you, Lucien.”

“And I love you, Sol.” He sighs happily. “Now, maybe we should eat that salad I just murdered before it goes all limp and soggy.”

“Ooer, Hairy. It’s nasty when your salad goes limp.”

“Sol, really.”

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I hope you enjoyed this. Now for the links.

To find all of the other awesome stories, poems etc from the rest of the Beaten Track Team, click here. There is a free ebook to download with everyone’s contributions in one place. Oh look, another anthology from Beaten Track Publishing. We’re just unstoppable. Find it on Smashwords. Also, if you would like to download a copy of my story to keep for later it is available from Smashwords. Click here

If you enjoyed meeting the characters in this short story, please do consider buying the original book to find out how Sol and Lucien found their “love-lock” moment. Locked in the Moment is available from Beaten Track Publishing, Amazon and Smashwords. The Love Unlocked Anthology is available here.

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Rainbow Snippets 02/09

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Hello all, it’s been a while since I posted a snippet. January was a wash out for me. If I could, I’d like to restart this year, without the chest infection, flu and subsequent admission to hospital in respiratory failure. Thankfully, I’m well on the way to recovery and ready to start sharing snippets again.

The snippet I’ve chosen is from my seasonal story, A Frosty Tail, available free on Smashwords. It was the lovely frozen bubble photos on the Rainbow Snippets Facebook post that made me think I had to share something from this story, as the cover is a gorgeous frozen bubble as well.

A Frosty Tail was written for the Rainbow Advent Calendar but it’s not really a Christmas story, even though some of it takes place around Christmas time. The story continues on until the beginning of Spring, which we are all waiting for with anticipation because of the cold and snow and winds we’ve all been experiencing lately. That’s if you’re located in the Northern Hemisphere, obviously. For those of you in the Southern hemisphere, experiencing heatwaves, hopefully this snippet will cool you down (or not).

First, here’s the blurb for A Frosty Tail:

When professional gardener, Liam Walton, falls and hits his head on his way home from work one cold and frosty winter’s night, he is rescued by a beautiful yet mysterious young man with white hair, icy blue eyes and very cold hands.

This story contains scenes of an adult nature involving physical intimacy between two men. There is also an awful lot of weather, a pretty white fox, a vicar that tells ghost stories and some very dangerous behaviour on a frozen lake (do not try this at home).

A bit of context before the beginning of the snippet: Liam has invited the mysterious Jack to his house for dinner. Jack appears wearing the same clothes as he was wearing the night before when they first met, including no shoes or socks. It is freezing outside and has been snowing all day. Liam comments on the lack of footwear.

“B-but don’t your feet get cold?” Liam cursed his mouth for stuttering.

Jack shrugged, jumping up to sit on the low porch wall, his legs dangling. He stretched out one foot, his toes pointing elegantly in Liam’s direction.

“Why don’t you check and see?” He invited.

Jack’s feet did not look like the feet of a man who never wore shoes. They looked smooth and soft and delicious, with slender, almost delicate toes. Liam made a conscious effort not to lick his lips. He was sure this man was going to be the death of him. He took Jack up on his invitation, reaching out to hold the foot with both hands. Jack tipped his head back with a sigh of pleasure.

And here are the links:

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 this week click here.

A Frosty Tail is available free from Smashwords or Prolific Works. A review on Smashwords or on Goodreads would be greatly appreciated.

I’ll leave you with a request to “watch this space”. On 14th February I’ll be sharing a special Valentine’s short with my characters Sol and Lucien from “Locked in the Moment”. The wonderful authors from Beaten Track Publishing have got together to share some Valentine fluffiness using ABBA songs as prompts. My story will be posted on my blog on Valentines Day along with the link to the BTP master blog where you will be able to find links to all the other authors’ contributions.

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Rainbow Snippets 01/19

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Welcome to my Rainbow Snippet this week.

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 have posted on their blogs this week click here to find the pinned post in the Rainbow Snippets Group over on Facebook.

First, here’s my snippet for the weekend.

Snow! We had snow this week. Perhaps not as much as some people, but it was there, big fluffy flakes and a layer of white over everything.

I love snow. I have plenty of amazing memories of days spent sledging and making snowmen which progressed into snow sculptures. I even made a Snow Dalek and a Snow Tardis one year. Someone knocked the top off my dalek as they walked past, shouting “Exterminate”.

The theme seems to be snow, so I’m sharing a snippet from my summer 2018 release, A Springful of Winters.

In this snippet, Kit, who finds it difficult to cope with changes in his routine, is having a great difficulty accepting that, despite it being the first day of Spring, it is snowing heavily.

Snow? On the first day of spring. It goes against all the rules of nature, Yenta.” I huff as I look out the window of the bookshop where I work.

“Oh, come now, Kit,” Yenta says in a soothing tone. “Even if it is the first day of spring, you have to admit, the snow looks beautiful. It’s like Christmas again, or how Christmases used to be when I was a child.”

“Christmas?” I exclaim, giving her a startled, disgusted look. “But it’s nearly Easter. It’s been winter for three flipping months. That was ample time to give us some snow, but nooooo, first day of spring and boom, it’s bloody Snowmageddon out there. What the hell is going on?”

Cover and Blurb:

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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, arousing suspicion that this gorgeous man might just have some contingency plans of his own where Kit is concerned.

Find A Springful of Winters at Beaten Track, Amazon and Smashwords.

A Springful of Winters was written as part of the Seasons of Love Anthology published by Beaten Track and available from there, Amazon and Smashwords. The anthology is just about as diverse as it could possibly be so there really is a story for everyone in there.

I will be joining Ana Newfolk at her Author Chat event over on her Facebook group this weekend. There are 52 authors taking part, with competitions and giveaways and general chitchat. Go on over there to meet new authors and connect with favourite ones. Click here to find and join the group.

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Rainbow Snippets 12/29

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Welcome to my last Rainbow Snippet of 2018. The above picture pretty much sums up how my festive period is panning out. I am knee deep in cheese products right now, with no end in sight.

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.

My snippet this week comes from my recent Rainbow Advent Calendar release: A Frosty Tail. This story is still available free from Smashwords. I’m trying to put it on Amazon, but that may not happen until New Year.

First take a look at the gorgeous cover, designed by Roe Horvat, and read the blurb.

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When professional gardener, Liam Walton, falls and hits his head on his way home from work one cold and frosty winter’s night, he is rescued by a beautiful yet mysterious young man with white hair, icy blue eyes and very cold hands.

This story contains scenes of an adult nature involving physical intimacy between two men. There is also an awful lot of weather, a pretty white fox, a vicar that tells ghost stories and some very dangerous behaviour on a frozen lake (do not try this at home).

And now for the snippet:

Liam’s legs felt weak and his head pounded. Dizziness threatened to topple him again and in desperation he reached out for something solid to hold onto, hoping he’d find a fence post, or a tree trunk. Instead he found an arm.

“Woah, there, big feller.” A cheerful, male voice called in a lilting Scottish accent. A hand grabbed his and held it fast. The other arm snaked around Liam’s waist to stop him from falling. “I got you, don’t worry. Of course, I can’t guarantee we won’t go arse over tit anyway. I’m only just getting used to these legs myself.”

“W-what?” Liam asked in confusion, trying to focus on his rescuer.

“Legs.” The voice by his side repeated. “And feet, really? How do you cope with just two?”

You can download A Frosty Tail for free from Smashwords, or from Prolific Works.

Smashwords are holding their annual end of year sale. All of my titles are either free or at 50% off. Click here to visit my Smashwords author profile.

Beaten Track also have many titles in the sale. Click here to find out which ones.

I also blogged about the sale on my Goodreads page.

Have a Brilliant New Year. See you all in 2019.

Dawn xoxoxoxo

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Rainbow Snippets and Winter Solstice

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Welcome to my festive Rainbow Snippet.

Very early this morning, I gathered with my family and friends to celebrate the Winter Solstice and welcome the return of the light after the shortest day of the year.

We met on the beach, and because we live on the North East Coast of England, we were able to see the sunrise over the sea. It was special, and magical and not as cold as we expected it to be for midwinter. The silhouette in the picture above is my daughter waiting to greet the sun.

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 on their blogs this week, click here.

I couldn’t let this weekend slip by without sharing another snippet from my free story, A Frosty Tail. The story begins on a cold, dark December night, and has a lot to do with magic, a white fox, midwinter and some rather unusual weather.

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First here’s the blurb:

When professional gardener, Liam Walton, falls and hits his head on his way home from work one cold and frosty winter’s night, he is rescued by a beautiful yet mysterious young man with white hair, icy blue eyes and very cold hands.

This story contains scenes of an adult nature involving physical intimacy between two men. There is also an awful lot of weather, a pretty white fox, a vicar that tells ghost stories and some very dangerous behaviour on a frozen lake (do not try this at home).

Now for the snippet.

Liam is listening to his friend, Father Jacob, explain about white foxes and their possible meaning in mythology. Except, instead of shedding some light on Liam’s encounters with a mysterious and beautiful white fox, the stories have only set to make him feel very ill at ease.

Father Jacob smiled, topping up Liam’s mug with more mulled wine.

“The appearance of a fox in a dream often symbolises loneliness, and sometimes a way of pointing you in the right direction.” The priest continued. “Of course, a white fox could be emphasising that symbolism, or in fact could mean something completely different. I’d have to look that up. The Celts respected foxes for their cunning and intelligence. They believed the creatures were the guardians of the gateway to the underworld.”

“Right.” Liam leaned back in his chair, cradling his mug of wine, frowning thoughtfully. “Except I didn’t dream this fox, and I very much doubt there’s any gateway to the underworld on the track that goes past my cottage.”

“I should hope not.” Father Jacob chuckled. “There is also the ancient belief that seeing a fox near a homestead is a bad omen.”

That little snippet did not make Liam smile.

“A bad omen?” He asked, surprised that Father Jacob, of all people would give such stories any credence.

To download A Frosty Tail for free from Smashwords, click here.

A Frosty Tail was written for the Rainbow Advent Calendar, 2018. To enjoy a wealth of free stories (two per day from 1st to 24th December), from a whole host of amazing authors, go over to the Rainbow Advent Calendar group on Facebook. Some of the stories are only available free until the end of the event.

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The Advent Calendar finishes on 24th December, but don’t despair, because Smashwords annual sale Starts Boxing Day (26th December). Many titles will be discounted, with some available for free, including mine and quite a few others from Beaten Track Publishing. To find out which titles are in the sale go to The Beaten Track profile page at Smashwords.

Happy reading, and have a great Christmas and New Year.