Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The Accidental Baker by Clare London - Book Blitz






- Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 16,000 words approx.

Blurb

Donnie Watson's baking disasters are legendary, but this Easter, his mismatched chocolate eggs bring accidental but astonishing results to four downhearted gay men. The chocolate sweets spill onto the pavement of a small parade of local shops—and go on a matchmaking tour like no other! From a bankrupt and betrayed baker, to a homeless but hopeful man, to a conceited bar owner in need of a reality check, and finally to the hapless but caring Donnie himself. 
 
After all, Love means you can have chocolate too!

Review

This is an absolutely delightful story, utterly feel-good and then some.

The Accidental Baker comes with a wonderful hint of magical realism, all in the form of misshapen but heavenly-tasting chocolate creations.

The chocolate ‘whatever-you-want-to-call-thems’ (because they don’t come close to resembling the bunny and other shapes they were supposed to be) manage to get away from poor hapless Donnie only to end up in locations where they can be found by those who need a little helping hand (or should that be helping chocolate) in the love department.

And that’s all I’m willing to say about the story itself. Read it, enjoy it, and I challenge you to not end the book with a huge grin on your face.

Clare London is in a league of her own when it comes to writing fabulous and fascinating stories which, despite being a short read, manage to give a full story and create the impression that we know the characters a lot better than should be possible given the length of the story.


The Accidental Baker is a highly recommended short read for anyone who needs something to brighten their day and lighten their mood. Because, in my humble opinion, Clare London creates the same sort of magic with her words that Donnie creates with his misshapen chocolates. 😊

Author Bio


Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.


She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.


All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!




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Monday, 22 April 2019

A Man of Some Importance by Jacqui Kelly




Self-Published
302 pages

Blurb

He wants to be President, but will his inconvenient past get in the way?

Patrick Devoy Kavanagh lives a double life. In public he is a man at the top of his game – celebrity lawyer, chat-show regular and patron of a number of children’s charities. But behind the scenes he is drowning in debt, his legal practice is haemorrhaging clients and his PA is expecting his child.

The only way he feels he can escape his creditors is to raise his media profile and in doing so he ruthlessly exploits his family and friends. So successful is he that he is told in a radio interview that he should run for President. Patrick mulls this over and decides this is a great idea. He has all the skills, he can talk for Ireland – and it would sort out his money issues.

And so begins the march to the Áras and the promise of something for everyone.

But will his campaign succeed? There are many obstacles in his way, most of his own making, which threaten to blow his own family apart as the soap opera which is the race to become Uachtarán na hÉireann plays out.
Review

I’m not sure what to say about this book. I don’t want to be all nasty, but I really, really didn’t like the story. I always have a hard time seeing the good side of a story in which the main character has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and the fact that he keeps on getting away from it doesn’t make things better…far from it in fact.

Basically what we’ve got here is the story of an unscrupulous lawyer, Patrick Devoy Kavanagh who will literally use anything and everybody—including his current wife, his ex-wife, his children, his pregnant mistress, the partner in his law company, etc— in his life for his own ends. To be perfectly honesty, I’m not sure I was more upset with him being a crook or with all those people around him facilitating his behaviour and supporting it.

*Sighs* I can’t deny that a large part of my dislike stems from the fact that the behaviour as portrayed by our presidential candidate is not exactly unheard of in Ireland (and probably quite a few other countries, but I can’t speak about those). The brown envelope culture of bribery and under the table payments and agreements is all too common here, as is the almost casual acceptance that politicians and lawyers just operate that way and sure, he’s such a cheeky chappy, great company, so we’ll just ignore all the backhanded stuff.

The book just felt wrong. The first three quarters of the story is basically a litany of all his bad (at best) and illegal behaviour while the last part boils down to him being rewarded for being a selfish bastard. Maybe, if Patrick had had one or two redeeming qualities, if he’d shown even an ounce of human decency at some point, to someone, I might have smiled while reading the story and have appreciated it as a darkly comical look at Irish society. Since I didn’t manage to find a single moment where I could make myself believe that maybe Patrick wasn’t all bad, none of it worked for me.

I also wasn’t overly impressed with the name dropping. While side characters such as journalists all had made up names, those were so close to names of real life and currently active media people it felt a bit like lazy writing. And I also can’t help feeling that the book could have done with at least one more round of editing/proofreading.

After all of the above, you may ask yourself why I still give the book three stars (well, two-and-a-half stars rounded up). The reason is rather simple. While the main character in this story didn’t have a single redeeming quality, the book itself fares a little better in my estimation. This is a fast read, with events following each other at an almost impossible pace. And, for a book I didn’t really like, it read ridiculously easily. Although, that’s probably just as well. I’m not sure I would have had the patience to force my way to the end of the tale if it had been a tough read.



Monday, 15 April 2019

Ace in the Picture by Jude Tresswell - Release Blitz



Book Title: Ace in the Picture

Author: Jude Tresswell

Publisher: Rowanvale Books

Cover Artist: Billie Hastie

Genre/s: contemporary M/M/M/M, crime/mystery

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 63 000 words/ 251 pages (paperback format)

It can be read as a standalone, but is also the third book featuring the County Durham quad

Release Date: March 31, 2019 




An art fraud, a polyamorous suspect, an asexual detective…

Blurb

Polyamory and asexuality meet in this third tale about a north-east England quad.

The police suspect Raith Balan of faking a painting. So do money-launderers who sink profits into art. Mike, Ross and Phil, the three men in Raith’s life, must prove his innocence. They’re hampered by their certainty that a member of the Fraud Squad is corrupt.

The senior investigating officer is Detective Sergeant Nick Seabrooke. He knows he is asexual, but is he aromantic too? As Raith’s lovers struggle to keep Raith safe and find the fraudster, the sergeant struggles to understand why the quad is often in his thoughts.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Raith stood in the kitchen in front of the calendar. His gaze shifted from the naked figure depicted on ‘October’ to the highlighted ‘Thursday 12th’ and back again. He pressed a fingertip to his lips, transferred a kiss to the mid-point of the figure’s shoulder blades and ran his finger down the spine—Mike Angells’ spine.

The real-life Mike walked into the room and filled the kettle.

“What are you admirin’?” he asked. “The model or the artist?”

Raith was the artist. “The artist,” he replied. “He’s classy. The model’s okay, I suppose.”

“Cheeky!” Mike admonished.

Changing the subject, Raith asked, “You know what day it is in two days’ time, don’t you?”

“In two days? Well, let’s see… difficult one… It must be Thursday. Aye, that’s right. It was Monday yesterday, so—”

“Stop teasing me! Do you think he’s forgotten?”

‘He’ was Phil Roberts, the man Raith had married 364days earlier.

“Don’t be daft. Of course not. You know Phil. His middle name’s ‘No fuss’.”

“That’s two names.”

“And that’s two cups of coffee. One for you. One for me,” said Mike, handing over a mug.

“None for me?” asked a third man who, yawning, had entered the kitchen. He hugged the two men already there.

“Sorry, Ross,” Mike apologised. “I didn’t make you one. I thought you were still asleep.”

“No. Just dozy,” said Ross sleepily. “I heard Phil’s car. Is it an emergency, Raith?”

“Not exactly,” Raith replied. “He went in early to cover for a colleague.”

Phil had helped to pioneer a form of rectal surgery that used nanocarbon patches to reconstruct torn tissue. He was a respected consultant at the hospital an hour’s drive away in Warbridge, County Durham.

“I’d better get sorted and get out myself,” said Ross. He was, amongst other things, a gallery proprietor in Gateshead, and his journey to work took longer than Phil’s. He yawned again.

“Are you feelin’ okay?” asked Mike, alert to Ross’s tone of voice. “It’s not like you to sound so unenthusiastic about work.” In fact, it wasn’t like Ross to sound unenthusiastic about anything. He was always lively—he personified keenness.

“I’m dead tired cos I didn’t sleep well. I had a strange text late on. You were already asleep. I don’t think you heard the phone buzz. Strange. Unsettling.”

“Oh?”

“How do you mean?” asked Raith. “We’re not going to get involved with more criminal activities, are we? I had enough of crime fighting last time!”

Even though Mike was no longer a detective with the Tees, Tyne and Wear Constabulary, the four of them were involved in a surprising amount of crime fighting. ‘Last time’ had involved an illegal immigrant, and the tensions that had arisen had threatened the survival of the quad.

That’s what they were: a gay, polyamorous quad. They lived in Tunhead, a hamlet in Weardale in the Durham hills. Once, Tunhead had rung to the sound of workers’ hammers hitting stone. In a way it still did: Ross had turned it into an arts centre full of smiths, sculptors and potters who wanted to escape the North East’s towns.

“Well, we’re not, are we?” Raith repeated.

“No.”

“Good. Well, my creations won’t create themselves. I’d better get off, too.”

In Raith’s case, ‘getting off’ simply meant walking twenty yards to his studio, a converted storehouse.

“You sure he hasn’t forgotten?” he asked Mike again before he left.

“I’m sure.”

“Okay then.”

“What’s that about?” asked Ross after Raith was gone.

“He’s bothered that Phil’s forgotten their anniversary.”

“He hasn’t.”

“I know he hasn’t. He’s takin’ him off on a trip sumwhere—but you know Raith. He needs everythin’ crystal clear and written in capital letters. And sumtimes, so do I. What was this message about?”

Ross pulled a face and explained. When he’d done so, Mike could understand his concern.

“He wouldn’t be so stupid, Ross… Would he?”

“Not stupid, Mike, but he’s gullible. He doesn’t always think. I just don’t know.”

***

The message stayed in Ross’s mind during the forty-mile drive to the gallery and he couldn’t forget about it once he was there. Some of Raith’s paintings hung on the gallery walls. They were mainly of Weardale’s waterfalls. After heavy rain, the falls transformed from gentle trickles into rushing, gushing powerful forces of nature that the four men knew could kill. They’d seen them kill.

Raith loved to paint the waterfalls. From a distance, his torrents looked alive. The effect was linked to his use of colour. Raith was a tetrachromat; he could see a host of hues in what, to most people, was a single shade. He painted for himself, though, not for fame or money—he had plenty of both, due to his skill with clay not brushes. Several of his wares were on show at the gallery, most tagged ‘sold’ with a price that would feed and clothe all four men for a long, long time. His sensually erotic sculptures, modelled on Mike and Phil, were always in demand and beautifully, lovingly executed. But today, Ross gave Raith’s erotica a miss. He stared, instead, at the waterfalls.

What might induce Raith to produce a piece of work “with intent to deceive”, as the legal phrase was?

That was what the worrying message had suggested. That Raith’s were the hands and eyes behind a painting that the police were interested in. They thought it was a fake. For the umpteenth time, Ross asked himself why?

Raith didn’t need fame and he didn’t need fortune, but did he need the challenge of outwitting the experts? Of copying another artist’s work so accurately that no one would notice the difference?

Surely not. Momentarily, Ross’s dark mood lifted. The only challenge Raith was likely to rise to was the one of finding ways to spice up the quad’s evening meals. Two nights ago, he’d ‘accidentally’ stumbled near the saucepan with a teaspoon of chilli flakes in his hand.

“Oh, look! They’ve fallen in,”he’d said apologetically.

Ross smiled when he thought about it, but anxiety soon returned. Could Raith be feeling resentment? Sometimes, that was the driving force behind a fraud. Failed artists whose work had been refused once too often. Failed artists who took I’ll show them!literally.

No. All Raith’s resentments were little ones that quickly blew over—feeling nagged for not doing his turn on the house-keeping rota, being yelled at for leaving clay-covered dirty washing on top of the pile of clean laundry. Raith took umbrage easily, but he’d be smiling again within the hour. And anyway, he wasn’t a failed artist. He was a very successful one.

He was a strange mixture though. That complexity was part of his attraction. It was part of what made him Raith. His skill was undeniable, but his mental health was fragile— ‘bloody unhinged’ was how Mike would describe Raith in less charitable moments. He could be unpredictable. He could be very violent. He had another side, though, and it was what Mike and Phil and Ross adored about him. Canny, clued up, an ex-con hard as nails… but at the toss of a coin, as loving, as sweet and as trusting as anyone they had ever met. Mike was as loving, and often as sweet, but trusting? No. Mike was ex-CID. It wasn’t in his nature to be trusting.

Which was why Mike was already making phone calls.

About the Author 

I’m not Nick Seabrooke, the ace in the picture, but there are some firsthand truths peeping through the fiction. Like Nick, I’m ace and happy with it, but also, like Nick, I’m wavery on that ro/aro line–and that can cause some soul-searching. If the picture painted in the story is a very narrow one, it’s because I didn’t want to stray too far from what I know. The quad, however, are totally imaginary.

I blog at https://polyallsorts.wordpress.com. There are posts about asexuality, polyamory, beer, tattoos, book covers, and many other story-related items. There are photos of the Durham countryside, the setting of the stories, too. I’m always happy to receive and respond to comments. Well, if they’re friendly ones!

 Author Link: Blog/Website




Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Tales of Bryant by V.L. Locey - Review Tour





Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Cover Design: Sloan J Designs

Length: 35,000 words approx.

Blurb

Four Seasons. Two Men. One Love.

For struggling film student Isamu Taylor, life's refrain is about to change from boring documentary about a passionless delivery boy to a blazing and wildly erotic love story.

After spending weeks admiring handsome but older Manhattan executive Brian Gilles while delivering brioche to him in Bryant Park, the man of his lusty dreams has just expressed a desire to get to know Isamu better. A night on the town is just the beginning of a whirlwind romance that will span not only four seasons but countless years.

Amid the beauty and charm of Bryant Park, New York City, two men are about to discover that love knows no age or economic boundaries. This is a collection of four short stories starring these two amazing men, their one sublime love, and the park where it all started.


Review


Tales of Bryant was exactly what I needed to read today. A sweet, mostly angst-free and captivating story about two young men learning how to be together and trust their feelings for each other. Add to that the touch of May to December and my afternoon was well and truly made.

Weeks before Brian at last talks to Isamu and invites him for an evening out, Isamu is already dreaming about the rich, successful, and somewhat older man who regularly orders coffee and a brioche from the shop where Isamu works part-time.

One evening out soon turns into more, but Isamu can’t quite believe Brian could truly be interested in him, a student and basically a nobody, when Brian could get just about any man to follow him with just one crook of his finger.

The path to true love is never smooth and rarely easy, so it takes four seasons before both men are ready to reveal exactly what’s in their heart and in their past, but their journey to that moment is wonderful, imaginative, charming, and rather sexy.

This could easily have been a too-sweet-for-its-own-good story but cleverly avoids that trap because neither Brian nor Isamu are portrayed one-dimensionally. Isamu’s issues and moments of doubt and unreasonable behaviour may be mostly due to his youth, while Brian’s issues stem from a past he keeps very close to his chest for the longest time, but thankfully, these two men had the sense to not jump to dramatic conclusions and talk their shit out. I can’t begin to tell you how happy it makes me to read a romance in which both characters have the sense to actually talk to each other about the important stuff.

This story was written so well, it almost read itself. It also conveyed a love for New York City and Bryant Park which was obvious from the vivid descriptions we got of both. I loved the imaginative ways in which Isamu’s hand-held video camera was used, just as I adored the organic nature of this developing relationship.

Long story short, Tales of Bryant is a wonderful feel-good read and I’m delighted there’s one more instalment to come (May 2019). I, for one, can’t wait for the moment when Brian and Isamu will get their official happily ever after.



Author Bio


USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning 
LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful 
pleasures. 

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.





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Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Trusting Him (The Retreat #2) by L.M. Somerton



Book Title: Trusting Him (The Retreat #2)

Author: L M Somerton

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M BDSM

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 59 495 words

It is a standalone story within The Retreat series.




 

Blurb

Luke Redding’s military background is an asset when it comes to managing The Retreat, but it hasn’t helped him find the submissive he longs for. A secluded life in the New Forest, witnessing a stream of happy couples playing out their fantasies, doesn’t provide much opportunity to develop a relationship either. When a friend’s manipulations lead to him taking on silver-haired Skye as a trainee sub, Luke finds it hard to trust in his own ability to provide the guidance Skye needs.

Skye Ingham wants to explore his submissive nature but the noise and crowds at The Underground are overwhelming. He can’t believe his luck to be taken under Luke’s wing and offered a job at The Retreat. As Luke tests his boundaries, Skye trusts him implicitly, but how can he convince his new Dominant to have faith in himself?

Amid the bustle and excitement of a big house party at The Retreat, Luke and Skye edge their way towards a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and desires. But it will take a final leap of faith to secure their future and open a path to love.

Excerpt

It wasn’t dignified, but Luke twisted around in his seat to take a look at his potential employee as he wound his way between the tables. He hadn’t formed an impression of what Skye might look like, but the reality was better than anything Luke’s imagination could have conjured. Skye was slight, delicate, maybe five feet six or seven, no more. His skin was lightly tan, a coloring that Luke guessed came from his heritage rather than the sun. He had no tattoos that Luke could see and considering that all he wore was a short leather kilt, that didn’t leave much room to hide any. The wavy hair Luke had assumed was pale blond was in fact silver-gray, though the boy’s eyelashes and brows were a much darker shade, which made Luke wonder if the silver was natural.

Skye stopped in front of the table facing Luke and Carey. He clasped his hands behind his back and ducked his head. “Gordy said you wanted to see me, Mr. Hoffman.” Skye’s voice was so soft Luke had to concentrate to catch his words.

“I did, Skye. You remember I spoke to you about a job at The Retreat in Hampshire?”

Nodding, Skye darted a quick look at Luke. Luke caught a glimpse of violet-blue eyes before Skye focused his gaze on the carpet once more.

“Well, this is Mr. Redding. He’s in charge of The Retreat. I want you to wait on us over lunchtime and show him what you can do.”

“Hello, Skye,” Luke said, keeping his voice low and trying to project reassurance. “I hear you’ve had excellent training. We have a mixture of guests staying at The Retreat, but they all have something in common. They love their food. We have a dedicated chef and customers can pick their own menus and eat as much as they want. That means a lot of serving both at table and in the guests’ rooms. Do you think you can handle that?”

Skye scuffed his bare toes into the carpet. “Yes, Sir.”

“And you understand that The Retreat caters for men who are in the BDSM lifestyle, just like here at the club?” Skye nodded and a light pink flush bloomed on his cheekbones. “Sometimes, you might be required to wear very little or nothing at all. Does that worry you?”

“No, Sir.” Skye’s response was barely audible.

Luke wanted to make eye contact with the shy young man but Skye kept his gaze lowered.

“Remove your kilt, Skye,” Carey ordered.

Luke tightened his grip on his drink. He expected Skye to bolt but instead he undid the buckle at his hip, let the leather garment drop to the floor then stepped out of it.

“Hands behind your back,” Carey instructed.

Luke glanced around the restaurant. Almost every man in the place had turned to watch. Skye stood absolutely still, clad only in the mesh thong that was issued to all the serving staff at The Underground to wear under their kilts.

“Fetch two menus, please.”

Luke watched, entranced, as Skye walked away, hips swaying. He might as well have been naked for all the coverage his underwear gave him. He had natural grace and if it weren’t for the slight tension in his shoulders, Luke might have believed he was entirely comfortable following Carey’s orders.

“You’re testing him. Why?” Luke didn’t take his eyes away from Skye as he collected two menus and returned to the table.

“Because you need to be confident that he will do as you ask, when he’d prefer to run and hide.”

“He’s attracting a lot of attention.”

“Are you surprised?”

“Not at all. He’s stunning.”

Carey’s smile turned into a smirk. “Then you can handle him from now on.”

Review

For full disclosure I should probably point out that I’m a fan of L.M. Somerton. Ever since I first discovered her Tales from the Edge series, I’ve been stalking her for new releases. And I may or may not have done a happy dance when I learned about the new, loosely connected, series called The Retreat.

While I certainly think it can be read as a stand-alone, Trusting Him is the second story to take place in The Retreat and focusses on Luke Redding, the manager of this amazing establishment. I had like what I’d seen of him in the first story, Serving Him, and couldn’t wait to see how he’d arrive at his own happily ever after. I wasn’t disappointed.

In Trusting Him the reader is never in any doubt that Luke Redding and Skye Ingham are made for each other. The attraction between them is instant and only grows once Luke starts training Skye to help him explore is submissive nature and needs. When it turns out the attraction soon turns into compatibility and after that it’s only a matter of (very little) time before the two men realise they are not only good together but meant to be a partnership.

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that the journey Luke and Skye make is intense and incredibly erotic. Nor should anyone be surprised to learn that the host of secondary characters making an appearance are well developed, intriguing, and a tremendous lot of fun.

In fact, this whole book was a pure delight to read. Very low on angst, it is the story of two men learning to trust both each other and themselves to be enough and exactly what the other needs. That their path to that realisation was both adorable and incredibly sexy was a huge bonus.

I love cross-references between my favourite BDSM worlds, so to see members of Collars & Cuffs mentioned as coming to visit The Retreat just put a huge smile on my face. It didn’t even matter that they were characters I couldn’t remember from the Wells & Williams series.

This story also made me smile more than once due to the wonderful imagery the author used:

“Sometime during the night, Skye had turned into an octopus, his arms and legs spread across Luke’s body.”

Long story short, I adored this book. And now I’m wondering who might be up next for a story. Could it be Tor and Rayne, somebody as yet unknown, or will it be our bearly barman Goran? Whoever it will be, I will be keeping an eye out for their book. I’m well and truly hooked.


Related Review: Serving Him

About the Author

LM lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 and 2018 Golden Flogger Awards for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received multiple Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards.

You can track her down online here: Pride Publishing | Website | Facebook |





Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Autism Awareness Blog Hop - What's in a Toy




Autism fact: Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.


Childhood Toys

I’m delighted to be taking part in RJ Scott’s autism blog hop again, although I have to admit that when I learned that the theme for this year’s autism blog hop was childhood toys, I had a few second thoughts. I honestly can’t remember a time at which toys were important to me. I have no memories of favourite playthings when I was younger, nor do I look at the items in toyshops now either with nostalgia or whishing a particular toy had been available when I was younger.

While I did have, of course, toys, for me it has always been, and still is, all about books.

But wait, says you. This is supposed to be a post about things to play with. Books are fabulous of course, but reading isn’t the same as playing.

And you would be right.

Reading is also often a solitary activity, where as toys, more often than not, easily allow for playing with others and are often created for exactly that purpose.

So, there’s me. My friends are carrying their Barbies around and playing with them whenever they can and I? I watch them, not quite understanding what the fun is supposed to be while secretly wishing for the book I haven’t finished reading yet.

The day I decided to turn my personal book collection into a library, everything fell into place. I went the whole distance and created tickets for my friends (and/or their Barbies) and put little envelopes in my books, with room to make note of the return date. My friends loved coming to my library, borrowing books, either for themselves or for their Barbies, and I’d found a way to join in and enjoy myself.

I learned a valuable lesson back then. Children don’t necessarily want to play with the traditional toys you find in shops. It was a lesson that came in handy in the recent past.

The hubbies godson is on the autism spectrum and for years we struggled to come up with appropriate gifts for Jack. It was only when I reminded myself that a toy can be anything a child likes spending time with, that things got easier. Jack likes pictures and we can’t make him happier than providing him with new ones, preferably lose, individual images he can carry around with him. Card games, postcards, they delight him more than any expensive toy possibly could. As for us, we just want to see him happy. When we stopped overthinking the toy issue, we achieved exactly that.


  
Autism blog hop master post: Master Post - rjscott.co.uk/autism19

Lessons in Love



Falling for each other was easy. Staying together comes with a learning curve.

Three months after they met in the miraculous library, Cian is nervously preparing for Mitch’s arrival in Dublin. As much as he’s looking forward to three long days with his boyfriend—without parental supervision—he can’t help worrying about the fact that they will have to share both his small room and his even smaller bed. He doesn’t even own pajamas.

Their relationship is new, and Cian may be two years older, but he has little more experience than Mitch when it comes to intimacy and boyfriends. He isn’t sure what he’s doing or what’s expected of him. As a result, Cian and Mitch are in for a whirlwind weekend, filled with shocks, surprises, fun, and deepening feelings.

Against the backdrop of Ireland celebrating its national holiday, Cian and Mitch learn their first Lessons in Love.

While a Miracle in the Library was a young adult story, Lessons in Love features two young men old enough to consume alcohol and be sexually active. This book is therefore meant for readers who are eighteen years or older and contains sexual acts between two consenting men.

Universal buy link: mybook.to/LiL

Giveaway

Tell me about your favourite childhood toy (or book) below for the chance to win a title from my backlist.

Charity

I’ve thought about this long and hard. There are so many very worthwhile charities in desperate need of money it is almost impossible to pick one over the other. So, I guess you could say I took the easy way out when I decided to support RJ’s chosen charity, Lindengate. This is a mental health charity that works with autistic children and can be found here: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/lindengate