Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Blog with Giveaway

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I’m delighted to be once again taking part in RJ Scott’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop

First, a couple of autism facts:

  • Without understanding, autistic people and families are at risk of being isolated and developing mental health problems.
  • Autism is much more common than many people think. There are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK – that’s more than 1 in 100. If you include their families, autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people.

Source: The National Autistic Society

10-Things-NOT-TO-SAY-Invisible-ilness-revised-4.14-400x72dpi-webInvisible Illness/Disability

Autism is just one of over fifty different types of invisible condition listed by Disabled World, an independent Health and Disability news source. Others include digestive disorders, mental health issues and debilitating chronic illnesses such as ME, MS and fibromyalgia.

Unfortunately, the world tends to judge by appearances. People with impaired hearing–but who don’t wear a visible hearing aid–may be told they’re just not listening properly, and legitimate holders of blue badges/permits have been berated and even physically attacked for parking in spots designated for the disabled, simply because they don’t use a wheelchair, or are not using it on that particular occasion.

10-Things-TO-SAY-Invisible-Illness-revised-400-72dpio-webIt can be incredibly frustrating and demoralising for someone living with an invisible condition to be continually told they are lazy, making it up, or a hypochondriac.  Or even just not trying hard enough.

Invisible conditions can impact on all aspects of life, including relationships and employment/employability, and it can be hard for sufferers to get the medical treatment and/or help they need–as even medical professionals are not always immune to the automatic assumption that someone who looks well/neurotypical/etc has no special needs.

And this is why awareness campaigns are so important. The more people know about invisible conditions, the more understanding they will be. And the less people living with these conditions will have to hear “But you don’t look sick/autistic/disabled.”

Graphics are taken (with permission) from Molly’s Fund Fighting for Lupus.

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Giveaway:

Five of my ex-Samhain books are now back on the virtual shelves (with more coming soon). I’d like to offer an e-book of winner’s choice from these titles to a randomly-chosen commenter on this post:

Pricks and Prag 200x300.72dpi hardtail_de-samhained-jpeg-200-300 fallhard_de-samhained-jpeg-200-300 eslam3_200-300 muscling_through_200

To enter, just leave a comment wherever you read this post – but if you’re commenting elsewhere than on my WordPress blog, please make sure you leave an email address so I can contact you if you win!

The winner will be chosen around tea time on May 1st, so there will be plenty of time to enter. Good luck!  🙂

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Slam! is out today

My Rainbow Award-winning romantic comedy, Slam!, is out today in second edition, with its lovely new cover by Garrett Leigh:

eslam3_200-300Limericks, lies and puppy-dog eyes

Amateur poet Jude is a carnivore working in a vegan cafe. His little dog, Bubbles, is the only man in the Anglo-Japanese graduate’s life—but Jude yearns from afar for “Karate Crumpet”, a man who runs past the cafe window every Saturday night leading a martial arts class. Jude’s swept off his feet when he’s rescued from muggers by the object of his affections—and when Jude finds out the calm, competent, hunk of muscle is also gay, he’s in seventh heaven.

Trouble is, the universe seems to be conspiring to stop them getting together. While Jude’s ready to jump straight into bed with his saviour, David’s still got one foot in the closet and wants to take things slowly. Then there’s Jude’s best friend, who has a dangerous secret, and his mother, who’s desperately trying to keep her own love life on track by lying about her age—meaning Jude has to pretend to be a schoolboy!

With a maze of different stories to keep straight, a potential stepfather to keep happy, and ex boyfriends who keep turning up on dates, Jude’s getting increasingly confused. Poetry in motion, it’s not!

Available now 

exclusively on Amazon & on Kindle Unlimited

Note: this book was previously published by Samhain Publishing. This second edition contains only minor revisions.

And in case you missed it: my Shamwell Tales all have shiny new covers too, revealed today on Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews.

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Rainbow Snippets is Falling Hard

This week’s snippet comes from this week’s re-release: Fall Hard, my Iceland-set, Viking-saga-influenced romantic suspense. Our amnesiac hero, Paul, is visiting an exhibition on Egil’s Saga and is about to realise there may be a reason why he’s blocked out those memories…

Then I came to the Nidstöng, the scorn-stick. It was another grotesque exhibit, a representation of a half-rotted horse’s head, set upon a stick carved with runes. Again, there was the smell of must, of closed rooms and things long dead. I stood paralysed, lines from the saga running through my mind:

Egil took a horse’s head and fixed it on a pole. After that, in solemn form of curse, he thus spake: “Here set I up a curse-pole, and this curse I turn on King Eric and Queen Gunnhilda.”

I’d seen something like this before. But not here. And it had been different; the head had been a skull, its bones shining whitely in the grey light that came through our window…

***
rainbow snippits scissors

Don’t forget to check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors.

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fallhard_de-samhained-jpeg-200-300When you’ve already paid the price for falling, is it safe to trust again?

An accident at Iceland’s Gullfoss Falls robbed British academic Paul Ansell of his American lover—and his memories of all their time together. Eight months later, back in the volcanic land to resume his research on bloodthirsty Viking Egil Skallagrimsson, Paul is still struggling to get his life back together. But trying to deal with his growing feelings for enigmatic Icelander and jet-boat driver Viggo is even harder.

Is Paul’s explosive attraction to this tall, tattooed, modern-day Viking all physical—or sparked by hidden memories?  Paul’s drawn to the idea of a fresh start, but troubled by Viggo’s odd reluctance to talk about their friendship before the accident.

Meanwhile, Alex Winter, a Boston history professor on a working holiday, won’t stop asking disconcerting questions. Unsure whom to trust, and unable to trust himself, Paul begins to suspect the fall at Gullfoss was no accident—but he’s about to learn that some things are better off forgotten.

Available in ebook on Amazon & on Kindle Unlimited

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New Cover for To Love a Traitor

To_Love_a_Traitor_4002017 EBook_finalist-LG

My EPIC award finalist historical romance, To Love a Traitor, has a brooding new cover – and I’m delighted to say it will be back on the virtual shelves sooner than expected!

The new re-release date for the ebook is 6th May, and it’ll be out (again) in paperback by the end of the month. 🙂

 

Wounds of the heart are the hardest to heal

Solicitor’s clerk George Johnson has a secret goal when he moves into a London boarding house in the winter of 1920: to find out if his fellow lodger, Matthew Connaught, was the wartime traitor who cost George’s adored older brother Hugh his life.

Yet the more he gets to know his quarry, the more George loses sight of his mission—and his heart. Blessed with boyish good looks and charm in abundance, ad man Matthew is irrepressibly cheerful despite having lost an arm in the Great War—and soon makes plain his attraction to George.

Matthew’s advances become ever harder to resist, and George tries to tell himself his brother’s death was just the luck of the draw, and to forget he’s hiding secrets of his own—including who he really is.

But as George’s feelings for Matthew grow, so does his desperation to know the truth about what happened that day in Ypres.  Even if it means he’ll lose the man he’s come to love.

Due to be re-released by JMS Books on 6th May 2017

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Fall Hard is out today

I’m delighted to say my Iceland-set romantic suspense novel, Fall Hard, is out today in second edition:

HonorableMentionMD

fallhard_de-samhained-jpeg-200-300When you’ve already paid the price for falling, is it safe to trust again?

An accident at Iceland’s Gullfoss Falls robbed British academic Paul Ansell of his American lover—and his memories of all their time together. Eight months later, back in the volcanic land to resume his research on bloodthirsty Viking Egil Skallagrimsson, Paul is still struggling to get his life back together. But trying to deal with his growing feelings for enigmatic Icelander and jet-boat driver Viggo is even harder.

Is Paul’s explosive attraction to this tall, tattooed, modern-day Viking all physical—or sparked by hidden memories?  Paul’s drawn to the idea of a fresh start, but troubled by Viggo’s odd reluctance to talk about their friendship before the accident.

Meanwhile, Alex Winter, a Boston history professor on a working holiday, won’t stop asking disconcerting questions. Unsure whom to trust, and unable to trust himself, Paul begins to suspect the fall at Gullfoss was no accident—but he’s about to learn that some things are better off forgotten.

Available in ebook on Amazon & on Kindle Unlimited

In case you’re wondering about any of my other ex-Samhain books, you’ll find all the latest information about re-release dates, new covers etc on my website.

Already back out there:

Pricks and Prag 200x300.72dpihardtail_de-samhained-jpeg-200-300muscling_through_200

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Rainbow Snippets is Muscling Through

With Muscling Through coming out in 2nd edition today, where else could today’s snippet come from? 😉

In this scene from Chapter 2, Cambridge lecturer Larry takes big Al, who works on the punts, to a University dinner for the first time:

When we walked into this big hall with the fancy woodwork, everyone stared at me and Larry. I wasn’t sure if it was ’cause of me or ’cause we were two poofs, but there was loads of other blokes without girlfriends, so maybe they were used to poofs.

We walked past this tall bloke going bald on top, and he looked at Larry and me and said, “My God! Since when have gorillas been allowed into Hall?”

Larry sort of huffed. “Really, Doctor Hardwicke, one would have hoped that an English don would have been able to come up with something a little more original and pithy.”

I know he said pithy, not pissy. I asked him afterward.

***
rainbow snippits scissors

Don’t forget to check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors.

***

muscling_through_200The bigger they come, the harder they fall… in love.
Cambridge art professor Larry Morton takes one, alcohol-glazed look at the huge, tattooed man looming in a dark alley, and assumes he’s done for. Moments later he finds himself disarmed—literally and figuratively. And, the next morning, he can’t rest until he offers an apology to the man who turned out to be more gentle than giant.

Larry’s intrigued to find there’s more to Al Fletcher than meets the eye; he possesses a natural artistic talent that shines through untutored technique. Unfortunately, no one else seems to see the sensitive soul beneath Al’s imposing, scarred, undeniably sexy exterior. Least of all Larry’s class-conscious family, who would like nothing better than to split up this mismatched pair.

Is it physical? Oh, yes, it’s deliciously physical, and so much more—which makes Larry’s next task so daunting. Not just convincing his colleagues, friends and family that their relationship is more than skin deep. It’s convincing Al.

Contains comic misunderstandings, misuse of art materials, and unexpected poignancy.

Now available in ebook and on Kindle Unlimited

Due out in paperback for the first time on 30th April 2017

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Muscling Through is back out today

I’m delighted to say that Muscling Through is back on sale. It’s out today in ebook with a brand new, yet subtly familiar, cover*

And it’ll be out in paperback for the very first time at the end of this month, which I’m dead chuffed about. 🙂

2013_EBook_finalist-sm

muscling_through_200The bigger they come, the harder they fall… in love.
Cambridge art professor Larry Morton takes one, alcohol-glazed look at the huge, tattooed man looming in a dark alley, and assumes he’s done for. Moments later he finds himself disarmed—literally and figuratively. And, the next morning, he can’t rest until he offers an apology to the man who turned out to be more gentle than giant.

Larry’s intrigued to find there’s more to Al Fletcher than meets the eye; he possesses a natural artistic talent that shines through untutored technique. Unfortunately, no one else seems to see the sensitive soul beneath Al’s imposing, scarred, undeniably sexy exterior. Least of all Larry’s class-conscious family, who would like nothing better than to split up this mismatched pair.

Is it physical? Oh, yes, it’s deliciously physical, and so much more—which makes Larry’s next task so daunting. Not just convincing his colleagues, friends and family that their relationship is more than skin deep. It’s convincing Al.

Contains comic misunderstandings, misuse of art materials, and unexpected poignancy.

Now available in ebook and on Kindle Unlimited

Due out in paperback for the first time on 30th April 2017

Note: this book was previously published by Samhain Publishing. This edition contains only minor revisions.

 

*For a given definition of ‘subtly’

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The Shamwell Tales are up for pre-order

ShamwellSeries_0And that includes the brand new book #4, Spun!

All of my Shamwell Tales are now available to pre-order from Riptide Publishing

The books are available to pre-order individually in ebook and paperback, and books #1 – #3 (Caught!, Played! and Out!, which were previously published by Samhain) are also available in a discounted ebook collection: 

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Hard Tail is Out Today

I’m delighted to say that Southampton Stories #2, Hard Tail, is out today in second edition:

hardtail_de-samhained-jpeg-200-300

rawinnerlFinding love can be a bumpy ride

With his job and his marriage dead in a ditch, Tim Knight doesn’t take much persuading to leave London for the greener fields of Southampton and look after his injured brother’s mountain bike shop. But Tim’s a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and technical jargon—not to mention struggling with the realisation he can no longer deny his sexuality, at least to himself.

The reason? Matt Berridge, his brother’s bike mechanic. Fit, tanned and an adorable klutz, Matt takes a tumble the day they meet and falls straight into Tim’s heart. There’s only one problem: Matt’s boyfriend, who Tim’s convinced is abusing him, despite the stories Matt comes up with to explain away the bruises.

A black belt in karate, Tim’s no pushover when it comes to physical confrontation. But he’ll need to step his courage up a gear if he’s ever going to come out, be himself—and save the man he’s coming to love.

Available exclusively on Amazon & on Kindle Unlimited

As with all the books I’m re-releasing under my Sea Singer imprint, this book has received only minor revisions from the Samhain edition and will be available exclusively via Amazon for the first 3 months, after which I plan to make it more widely available.

 

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Rainbow Snippets is back up on Amazon

I’ve been busy getting some of my Samhain books back up on Amazon, and one of them is Hard Tail, my cycle-shop romance set near Southampton.

Here’s a little snippet featuring our hero, Tim, who’s staying in his brother’s house after the break up of his (Tim’s) marriage:

I wrapped a towel round my waist and was about to go downstairs when it occurred to me I was alone here. No one to care if I walked around naked; no one to hiss what if the neighbours look through the window at me. I blew a kiss at my hazy reflection in Jay’s tiny bathroom mirror; already the clear patch I’d wiped was misting over again. After slinging the towel over the side of the bath, I sauntered downstairs, my cock bouncing lightly at every step. Damn, it felt good to be free.

Until, of course, the front door opened when I was halfway down the stairs and [Jay’s girlfriend] Olivia stepped into the house, her eyes exactly level with my tackle.

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rainbow snippits scissors

Don’t forget to check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors.

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Southampton Stories #2

hardtail_de-samhained-jpeg-200-300

rawinnerlFinding love can be a bumpy ride

With his job and his marriage dead in a ditch, Tim Knight doesn’t take much persuading to leave London for the greener fields of Southampton and look after his injured brother’s mountain bike shop. But Tim’s a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and technical jargon—not to mention struggling with the realisation he can no longer deny his sexuality, at least to himself.

The reason? Matt Berridge, his brother’s bike mechanic. Fit, tanned and an adorable klutz, Matt takes a tumble the day they meet and falls straight into Tim’s heart. There’s only one problem: Matt’s boyfriend, who Tim’s convinced is abusing him, despite the stories Matt comes up with to explain away the bruises.

A black belt in karate, Tim’s no pushover when it comes to physical confrontation. But he’ll need to step his courage up a gear if he’s ever going to come out, be himself—and save the man he’s coming to love.

Due out in 2nd edition 28 March 2017 

exclusively on Amazon & on Kindle Unlimited

Now available to pre-order

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