Friday Reads: Dear Mona Lisa…

There are many things that are great about being a writer but one of the absolute greatest is having author friends. Not only are they someone you can swap ideas with or ask for help, you also get to take part of their writing process. I was there when Dear Mona Lisa… by Claire Davis and Al Stewart was born, I read it when it when it was a draft, and then again when it was finished, and tomorrow I’ll get to see it published.

I’m almost more excited about my friends’ release dates than I am about my own, perhaps because I have greater expectations on theirs.

Dear Mona Lisa… is another favourite (though I think Shut Your Face, Anthony Pace! always will be number one for me) and I was snivelling every time I read it despite knowing exactly what would happen.

Tom steals my heart, as do the foxes. I love that every dawn has a colour, that Tom has shitty parents that despite being shitty are great grandparents and that his ex-wife was his best friend at six-years-old and at forty. There is no black and white – there are apricot yellows, fizzy orange, flooding pink, but also purple rage, yellow shame, sickly yellow, midnight blue, scarlet, and scattered silver. There are foxes and birds and stomach cramps. And Love. Love for a friend, for a partner, for an ex-wife, for a husband, a lost son, and a daughter.

This book shouldn’t be missed!


 

Book cover Dear Mona Lisa... by Claire Davis and Al StewartTom, shy office clerk by day and drawer of foxes by night wakes up one Monday knowing the most extraordinary week of his life is about to begin. In five days time a lifelong ‘secret’ will be made gloriously public—but will it mean losing the person he loves most?

Getting married…

It seems like only yesterday Tom changed nappies and sang nursery rhymes to a laughing baby. He relishes the demands of being a daddy; especially teaching his little girl to draw and paint as she grows up.
But the years tick by and times change. Long-buried secrets must come to the surface which may test even the strongest ties.

Tom and Lawrence…

He writes a list of all the things he has to do before the weekend and sticks it in the middle of his wall. The names and goals hang like threads of a spider’s web, inevitably leading to the centre, and all to the same place.

Dear Mona Lisa…

How to explain?
Each morning he notes the colours of dawn, listens to the birds and waits for the perfect moment. In one hand rests the balance of life and a terrible responsibility, in the other a wedding ring. Difficult days and the past loom, but his friends rally round and one by one the words come to life.
Everyone waits as Tom finds the strength to open up and set free the secrets of his heart in a celebration of family, friendship and love.
A quirky story of modern life, set within the breathtaking landscape of Bradford.

The Hobby Section (Miserable Tales)

The autumn cleaning continues! It’s quite interesting finding things I’d forgotten I’d written. As soon as I started reading The Hobby Section I remembered writing it one evening to my friend – the dashing Mr Fisher. I don’t really recall how it all came about but as so many other things I’ve written, it was a joke. I figured I might as well throw it in with the other stories in the Miserable Tales series so anyone who wants to can share in dear Walter’s dilemmas.


The Hobby Section

Walter inhaled the scent of old books and stale air. The days Subject five worked downstairs were his favourites. Libraries simply weren’t what they used to be—kids screaming, students lazing about, not to mention the computers littering the place. Libraries were made for books, but people had clearly forgotten that. The level below ground was all right, though. The archives to his right, a reading room to his left, and straight ahead was Subject five stacking and rearranging books on a bookshelf.

Subject five bent and reached for something on the bottom shelf showing off his pert arse. Walter groaned as his cock started to fatten. It was time to bring Subject five home.

He took a few steps farther into the hobby section, reaching down to rub himself through his tailored trousers with a trembling hand. Soon he would have Subject five struggling and whimpering underneath him.

Walter squeezed his eyes shut, forcing himself to remove his hand before he gave in to the urge of releasing himself from the shrinking cotton prison.

Subject five was making it harder than it should be. He was, of course, aware of Walter watching, the little tease. Why else would he fall to his knees and wiggle that fine arse in the air? His muttering and reaching for something behind the books on the bottom shelf was all for show. Walter knew Subject five was toying with him and yet he found himself panting like a mindless teenager.

There would be payback once they got home.

Subject five didn’t know it yet, but Walter had prepared a room for him. It was right next to Subject two’s. He had decorated Subject two’s room in bright colours, shelf after shelf of children’s books. It was perfect for him since he’d worked in the children’s section before Walter had the chance to fetch him. Subject five deserved something altogether different. The shelves in his room were filled with crafting books—the hobby section, that was where he’d first laid eyes on Subject five, that was where he belonged.

“Erm, excuse me.”

Walter whirled around and saw a young woman completely dressed in black with blood red hair and dramatic makeup. He scowled as she looked him up and down. How dare she interrupt?

Subject five got to his feet with a smile on his face. “Yes?”

“Did you know that old dude was watching your butt while stroking himself?”

Subject five gave him a horrified look, his eyes dropping to Walter’s tenting trousers before he took a hurried step away.

“Just thought I’d let you know.” The woman shrugged and reached for a book about knitting before turning to leave. “Check the surveillance tape; I’ve seen him here before.” She nodded towards a camera in the ceiling and slipped away. Walter started sweating, his erection dwindling at the sight of the camera. When had they installed cameras?

He needed to get out of there. A perfectly nice library ruined! Subject five would have to wait. He’d dreamt about collecting him from within the library, but he’d have to rethink his plan. Walter would simply have to wait for a day he could take him from the car park.

He hurried away, taking the stair two steps at a time until he reached ground level. There, he took a right turn as soon as he made it out the doors.

Subject six’s library didn’t have cameras.

Friday Reads: Drawing Penises

It’s time to get my act together. I have no idea where this summer has gone but I sure haven’t been using it reading…or writing. Working as much as I have lately there hasn’t been time for any of that, but August is here and it’s time to get my shit together. There probably won’t be a Friday Reads post every Friday but today there is.

This week I’ve discovered Wattpad…or I’m still totally lost over there, but I’ve created an account! Wattpad is a reading/writing community where you can comment on stories that you get to read for free, pretty cool actually. I’ve known about Wattpad for years but had the idea it was mostly Fanfiction over there so I never really looked it up. Turns out there is a little bit of everything which is awesome.

One of the stories I’ve read over there is Drawing Penises by Amy Spector. It’s a flash with characters from Almost But Not Quite, a free story Ms Spector wrote for the Don’t Read in the Closet Event in 2015. If you like puzzles and penises you should check out Drawing Penises, it’s short and free, and if you go over to Amy Spector’s page on Wattpad you’ll see she has a few other stories there – all free.


Book Cover Drawing Penises by Amy Spector

Matthew has a visitor from his past.

Matthew and Timothy are characters from Almost But Not Quite by Amy Spector