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.

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

 

Friday Reads | Line of Sight

This week I’ve picked up Line of Sight by Jenn Burke. It’s another story from the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet event, this time from 2015’s Love is an Open Road Anthology.

I haven’t read anything by Jenn Burke before but I liked this short little Sci-Fi tale. Cal has been stranded on Earth for a year, he’s in love with the man who took him in when he first arrived, but while he still was waiting to be rescued he doesn’t want to start anything. Ryan lost his husband in a car accident and is hesitant to start a relationship. But things happen, Cal’s past is coming back to disrupt Cal and Ryan’s lives, and they find themselves fighting for survival.

This is a quick-paced short story with a little of everything – love, action, aliens, you almost died!!!, and more. Be sure to check it out. You find it for free here.


Book Cover Line of Sight by Jenn BurkeBetrayed by his alien partner, it takes intergalactic cop Cailad kar Natoth a full year to accept that he’s stranded on Earth. Rescue just isn’t going to happen. He’s now Cal Smith, a bartender of all things— but the situation could be worse.
Out from under the pressure of regulations, he has a chance to explore the emotions he’s always kept tightly controlled. Ryan Cameron, the man who offered him shelter and a job when he needed it most, once held up the chance to be more than friends— and now that Cal’s sure he’s staying, it’s time to take him up on it. Maybe they can see if the lust and desire ricocheting between them is the start of something more.
But Ryan’s lingering grief over the death of his husband five years before— and an unexpected visitor— might steal their future before they have a chance to build it together.