Monday, 24 November 2014

Wings, a Story Prompt Monday story



Yesterday, I officially finished my NaNoWriMo project for this year and collected my badge. This week therefore heralds the return of the weekly flash fiction posts.

The picture below was provided by Janet and I almost didn’t use it. Some of my previous flashes have elicited the comment they were more like story prompts than anything else and I have no doubt this week’s attempt will get the same reaction. And I agree. This picture does demand a longer story. However, I’ve got enough plot bunnies to keep me going for the next two years at least, so I decided to leave this here. If I ever do turn it into a longer story you’ll be the first to know.



He just stood there a few feet away while I sat on my desk and stared at him. I still didn’t know if those wings were real or not. If he were to tell me he really was an angel, sent to me by some power I didn’t believe in, I would take his word for it. He’d saved my life when I’d been certain of death. One look at him told me he wasn’t here to talk about matters of life and death. He demanded something bigger and far more terrifying than death.

“Don’t tell me you don’t have a heart. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have your death wish.”
His words stung because they were true. I’d broken my parent’s hearts, shattered their dreams, and had been sure death was the only answer.

“Don’t you know you were created perfectly just the way you are?” He stepped forward, grabbed my tie and took my mouth before I could utter the denial on the tip of my tongue.

He’d waited a month for me to open my eyes. Where his words had failed his kiss succeeded. His lips and tongue made a believer out of me.
  

Monday, 17 November 2014

Another NaNoWriMo Excerpt

Here's another glimpse at the book I'm trying to write during NaNoWriMo. I hope you'll enjoy it but please keep in mind this is a very raw first draft. In fact, I wrote these words earlier today




“Are you ready?”

I frowned at myself in the mirror. I looked ridiculous and couldn’t believe I’d be going out dressed like this. Aidan had been messing with my hair until it fell any which way, with one or two tuffs sticking up to accentuate the disorganisation. I scowled at the white shirt, grey jumper and yellow and burgundy tie.

“Hey, did you hear me?”

Aidan appeared behind me in the mirror and grinned. Trust him to look great. Dressed in identical outfits we should have looked the same. Yet here I was, a prime example of the ultimate dork, while Aidan, as always, looked hot as hell. Truth be told, the costume accentuated his cuteness. The added dark rimmed glasses and the scar he’d painted on his forehead should have made him look silly. In reality, it made me want to jump him here and now and forget about the evening ahead of us.

“I look like a bloody eejit. Why did I allow you to talk me into this?”

“You love me.” His grin grew wicked and I couldn’t help returning it.

“Yeah, I do. Sometimes I wonder if I don’t love you too much.”

“Come on. Stop moaning.” Aidan punched my lightly. “It will be fun. What’s not to like about a night out dressed up as Harry and Ron?”

I kept my mouth shut. We’d had this discussion before, several times. He knew I didn’t want to go out tonight. I’d been getting better about socialising since we met, but I still didn’t like crowds too much and while I could deal with gay clubs, or even gay friendly venues, going to a regular club continued to scare me. I didn’t want to attract attention to myself and although I had to admit dressing up as Ron Weasley on Halloween wouldn’t make me stand out too much, I would have been happier if I could have gone in my own clothes. Or, better yet, if we could just have stayed at home on what had to be one of the busiest party nights in town.

“Stop sulking. We’ll have fun. My colleagues are good people. We’re just going for dinner and a few drinks, nothing major.”

I nodded and gave myself a mental kick up the backside. Aidan had been more than accommodating when it came to all my social awkwardness. Spoiling the one night he really wanted to go out made me the sort of selfish bastard I didn’t want to be.

“Yeah, I know. Let’s go. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.” I turned around and gave him a quick kiss before moving to the stairs. “I’ll try to be not too much of a pain tonight.”

At the restaurant, Larry, Aidan’s manager, smiled at us when we reached the table. 

“Here we have Gryffindorians. Nice outfits lads; although it does remind me of this fan fiction my wife is forever talking about. Not sure I want that image in my head right now.”

My cheeks flamed up to match the colour of my hair as some of Aidan’s colleagues burst out laughing while others clearly had no idea what Larry meant. I did. I’d read some of those stories online and one quick glance at Aidan told me he had as well and that he’d had those stories very much in mind when he suggested these costumes.


“Cockus Engorgio.” Aidan smirked at me as he whispered the words while we sat down and damn if his words didn’t have exactly that effect on me. I said a silent prayer of thanks for the tablecloth covering my crotch as I tried to ignore his still sniggering colleagues.



Monday, 10 November 2014

A NaNoWriMo Excerpt

As you may have noticed I failed to do a flash fiction post last Monday. I don’t have one ready for today either. The annual writing madness called NaNoWriMo kicked off on November first and I haven’t had the time to work on anything other than the three projects I’d lined up for it.

I’m very glad to say I’ve so far managed to stay ahead of schedule. Which is just as well. While November is usually a very quiet month in the day job, this year it is anything but. I’m working close to full-time hours every week in November and am trying to fit my writing in anywhere I can. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep up the mad schedule, or how long the husband is willing to put up with hasty dinners and little or no assistance when it comes to keeping the house presentable. The more words I can write before fatigue takes over, the better.

Still, I didn’t want to deprive you all, so this week I’ll share a little (unedited and uncorrected) excerpt from the story I’m working on. Here’s what’s been happening so far.

Nineteen year old Lennart has recently fled his traumatic childhood environment for a new start in Dublin when he meets the slightly older and very confident Aidan. The two men grow close very quickly and when Aidan has to leave the room he’s renting, Lennart offers him a place to stay. The following scene takes place just after they’ve collected Aidan’s possessions from his old house and Lennart has witnessed Aidan’s former housemates calling Aidan names.

***



“Are you okay?” Aidan barely glanced at me and my heart hurt for him. “I should have just told you not to come. There was no need for you to experience that. The bastards. Why was getting rid of me not enough for them?”

“Aidan?” He slowly looked up at me. “Why didn’t  you tell me?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t told anyone. What would have been the point? It was where I lived and although I tried finding another room it wasn’t happening.” He sighed. “Also...” he stopped talking and shook his head. “Never mind.”

“What?” I couldn’t conceal the frustration in my voice and wasn’t sure I wanted to. I’d bared my soul to him, shared all my shit and even cried on his lap. And he hadn’t been able to tell me he lived with three bullies?

“Your confidence was growing.” Aidan sounded defensive. “You were so happy to be away from your parents, your hometown and all the bullying you’d endured. I didn’t want to tell you it could be just as bad here.” He paused and thought. “And there was no need. I had no intention of ever bringing you to that place. Even if I’d gotten on with those pricks, my room would have been too small and who wants to hang out with their boyfriend while three strangers are in and out of the same house all the time?”

The angry retort I’d been working on as he made his speech died on my lips when I heard the word boyfriend. “You mean that?”

“Yes, of course I mean that. I would never have exposed you to them if you hadn’t insisted on coming.”

“No, not that.” I was afraid to ask. “That other thing you said. The word you used. Did you mean that?”

Aidan looked confused and I realised it had probably been a slip of the tongue. One of those things people say without thinking and unaware of the impression it might make on others.

“Lennart, I’m sorry but you’ll have to be more specific. What word do you mean? I used quite a few.”

I studied the floor in front of my feet while I wondered whether I had it in me to be brave enough to ask. In the end I didn’t have a choice. Not asking – not knowing – would drive me crazy. “You used the word boyfriend.” I whispered the sentence and wasn’t sure whether or not he’d heard me until I saw his feet approaching mine across the floorboards.

“But you are, aren’t you?” The surprise in Aidan’s voice took my breath away. He’d thought of me as his boyfriend while I’d been barely able to hope I might keep him as a friend. “I mean, I thought you were.” My silence clearly confused Aidan. “If that’s not what we are...I mean, if that’s not what you want...”

“I do. I am. I mean I want to be.” Relief and anger battled inside me. I glared up at him, balled my hand into a fist and punched him in the shoulder. “If I’m your boyfriend you’ve no excuse. You. Should. Have. Told. Me. Every word was accentuated by another punch.

Aidan threw back his head and laughed. Tension left his body and the man I’d met, the Aidan I’d gotten used and attached to, returned. “You’re right, probably.” He closed the last few inches between us. “I didn’t mean to keep you in the dark. I just didn’t want to burden you with stuff you didn’t need to know about.” He lifted my hand from his shoulder and pushed it against the wall above my head. “Forgive me?”

Before I could answer his mouth was on mine and I had to trust the hunger in my response to his kiss, told him how very forgiven he was.

***

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Coming Soon: Nothing Ventured by Jay Nortcote

It is my pleasure and honour to welcome Jay Northcote to my site. Her latest book, Nothing Ventured, will be released in two days time. It is a wonderful book as you’ll be able to discover for yourself below.

For my review of Nothing Ventured, please visit my blog, The Way She Reads, here.




Genre: contemporary m/m romance
Length: 46,000 words approx
Release date: Wednesday 12th November 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy links:


Blurb

When Aiden agrees to run the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—he’s expecting it to be a bit of a laugh. The training will be tough, but Aiden could use the motivation to regain some fitness.

Matt is the sexy cousin of one of Aiden’s coworkers and a last-minute addition to the team. When he agrees to train with Aiden, Aiden suddenly finds the prospect of regular workouts a lot more appealing.

Soon attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. Matt doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, and Aiden doesn’t want to fall in love at all, but despite their insistence on no strings, they grow closer. As the day of the race approaches, time is running out for them to work out how they feel about each other.



Excerpt

They moved on to discuss training more specifically. Liv, of course, had already planned out her schedule and suggested the rest of them do the same.
“It helps me focus if I make a plan and stick to it,” she was saying. “I’ll be running four days a week and going to the gym for weight training twice. That gives me one day of complete rest a week.”
“One whole day!” Aiden shook his head as he picked up his now nearly empty pint. “Careful, your muscles might atrophy or something.”
He drained the last dregs and wiped the foam from his lip with the back of his hand. He caught Matt watching him as he did it, and he licked his lips deliberately. He couldn’t resist flirting with the man even though his interest was completely unreciprocated. The bloke looked as though he had a stick up his arse, and Aiden couldn’t imagine he’d like anything more interesting up there. Shame. Aiden wouldn’t have minded trying.
Liv’s voice snapped him out of daydreams about Matt’s arse and back to the here and now. “So how many times a week will you be aiming to run, Aiden?”
“Oh... um, yeah. Three or four, I guess,” he said vaguely. “That sounds about right. And I’ve got some weights at home, so I can use those if I don’t make it to the gym.” They were at the back of a cupboard, gathering dust.
“Matt lives near you. Maybe you could train together?” Liv had a wicked glint in her eye. “It’s always motivating training with someone else. It’s so easy to wimp out on a rainy day if you’re not answering to anyone, isn’t it?”
“I suppose,” Aiden replied warily. “But I don’t think it’s necessary. I wouldn’t want to slow Matt down.”
He expected Matt to agree. Why the hell would Matt want to train with him? Aiden hadn’t exactly made a great first impression. There was no way he’d want Aiden tagging along behind him and cramping his style.
But surprisingly, Matt grinned at him. The evil, slightly too knowing look in his eye was familiar, and for the first time Aiden could see the family resemblance between him and Liv. “I think that’s a great idea.”
Aiden opened his mouth, but for once he was at a loss for words. He closed it again and swallowed.
“Brilliant,” said Liv. “Make sure you swap numbers, then, so you can arrange something.”
Matt got out his phone. “We can start tomorrow after work. What’s your number?”
Aiden knew when he was beaten. It seemed he’d acquired a training partner. An annoying, bossy, sexy but tragically straight training partner. But at least the view of Matt’s arse would be nice while Aiden was trying to keep up with him.

***



Author Bio

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

Links


Jay’s books

Friday, 7 November 2014

Linguistically Challenged Part 12; Chris McHart



Bio:
I’m Chris McHart and I’m a writer from Germany. My pen name is not German, it is based on my love for a lot of Scottish things (yes, kilts and whisky).
I stumbled upon English written books because I was tired of bad translations. It was kind of natural to continue in English as I started writing myself a few years ago.

I’ve got way too many animals, always not enough time and more stories in my head than I can possibly write. If I’m not busy you can find me on a few social networks, killing time until I’m running late again…

and I have a blog/webpage: http://www.ChrisMcHart.com

The questions:

-     What language do you speak most of the time?

I’m living in Germany, and I speak exclusively German. I can follow a conversation and find my way around on a vacation, but skyping with me might not be a good idea.

-     What language do you think in?

    That depends. I’m usually thinking in German, except when I’m writing or doing anything writing related, like plotting.
Now that I think about it, I guess I spend more time thinking in English, since I’m most of the time thinking about my writing.

-     What language do you dream in

I rarely remember my dreams, so I can’t say, but I do tend to daydream and these dreams are in English.

-     What language do you swear in after you’ve really hurt yourself?

German. Although a well placed f*** works pretty well, too.

-     What language are you most comfortable in?

Speaking: German. Writing: English. Sounds weird, but I actually start second guessing myself when I’m writing German. I’m checking everything I write in English, too, and I know I make grammar mistakes sometimes, but writing in German is harder than writing in English at this point.

-     How easy or difficult is it for you to switch from one language to the other?

      That occurs sometimes in chats, when I’m having one in German and one or two in English. I can switch pretty easy.
While writing I can, for example, talk to someone in German and write English at the same time, without getting out of one language.

-     Does it affect you when you’re in a group where both languages are being spoken?

I haven’t been much in this situation, but yes, that confuses me.

-     Do you ever speak the ‘wrong’ language to someone?

That happens, yes. Most of the time when I get interrupted while writing or when I’m thinking about my writing. I also sometimes just use an English word in a German sentence. That tends to confuse people a bit.

-     Would you translate yourself from one language into the other or ask someone else (professional) to do it?
I’ve thought about that, but I don’t know if I could do it. I plan on trying, though. J

-     If size of (potential) market wasn’t an issue what language would you be writing in?

I’m most comfortable in English right now, but I’m planning to write in German some day.

Thanks to Helena again, and I look forward to comments!

Chris’s latest release:



Blurb:
Dean believes love is never wrong, but is that still true if there's a twenty-one year age gap? 

Jeff was raised to believe love between two men is wrong. Or is it? Can love ever be wrong? When Jeff meets the much younger Dean, he only knows he wants him, consequences be damned. But things are not as easy, especially after Jeff's ex calls and announces big news. 

And Dean? He thinks the new neighbor is hot, but he's not interested in anything more than a rebound fuck. That's what he tells himself, at least. But lust isn't a good basis for a relationship, more so since Jeff isn't sure whether he can deal with being gay. 

Love is never wrong, but can Jeff accept that?

Excerpt:

The deep voice, coming from behind me, shot shivers down my spine. I turned. My gaze traveled up and down the man standing in front of me, and holy shit. Short, dark brown hair with grey at the temples highlighted the sharp features of his good-looking, angular face. And he had a body that made me want to beg. I didn’t know what to beg for, just that I wanted to. Damn. Muscles defined his arms, not too obvious, but clearly there. Along with the slight padding on his hips, his appearance gave me the impression that he might work out, but was definitely not obsessed with it. He was somewhere around the age of forty, forty-five, if I guessed right. A man of my tastes.

Buy Links: