Friday Reads: Down South

Friday again and this week I actually read something. I picked up Down South by C.E. Kilgore a week or so ago – what girl doesn’t want to read about a post-apocalyptic cowboy??

I really liked the first half of the story. We got to see the apocalypse happen, and maybe I read the wrong kinds of books, but most often we are thrown into a world where the apocalypse already has taken place. I liked that we got to be there, I liked the characters and the way the story built, but then when the end came I felt a little cheated. There are more books in this series but they’re all stand-alones so it won’t be of Gabe and Liam and the others.

***spoiler***

I’m just bitching now, but I have to let it out. I did like the story, but those who know me know I can’t stand too sweet and this turned into way too sweet for me. You know in the college movies when the guy tells the girl he loves her and the entire audience in huge stadium get to their feet to applaud him? I turn off the TV when that happens, can’t stand it, would rather shoot myself in the foot than endure it, and I’m sad to say that there I was enjoying myself out on the ranch when suddenly the shooting myself in foot moment came. I’m not saying that to be mean, I, in fact, think it can be an asset because the average reader loves a big love declaration with a clapping audience. I, on the other hand, was hoping for the neighbours to attack…

Now don’t get me wrong, I really liked this story, and I might pick up another book or two in the series. If you like a cowboy getting his boy despite being out of electricity and working cars, this is the story for you!


Book COver Down South by C.E. KilgoreWhere do you want to be when the world ends?

An apocalyptic M/M Romance. Electricity is gone. Society is on its knees. The heart’s compass becomes the light in the darkness.

Gabe’s a Texas rancher who’s always kept part of himself on a separate paddock from his ranch hands and the small town of Post. When your hometown’s population is barely over five-thousand, chances are high you’re the only gay man for miles, and that coming out would do more harm than good. When the power goes out, a very lost and very far from home man named Liam stumbles onto his land. Stuck on the wrong side of the pond with no way home, Liam, a writer for a British travel magazine, struggles with culture shock. Gabe struggles to save his cattle from the apocalypse, and to ignore the attractive Liam’s obvious interest in more than friendship.

About the Heart’s Compass series:
Our heart has its own compass. It knows where we should be heading, even if the rest of us doesn’t. Through loss and love, our heart’s compass guides us through life, often to somewhere completely unexpected. When the world ends, the heart’s compass of several people has them headed in directions they may have never traveled otherwise.

Each book in the series is a stand-alone, novella-length story, but is written within the same fictional setting in which the Earth has just been struck with several massive solar flares. All modern technology has been rendered inoperable. Cars, computers, city infrastructure, phones – all gone in an instant and without warning. In the days directly following the end of the modern world, people must learn to depend on each other, and on their heart’s compass, if they hope to survive.

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