Sunday, 16 June 2019

GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

I am sooooo sorrry. Real life has been an utter bitch of late and I forgot to announce the winners!

So..... drum roll...... the winners are.....

Sula!

Jen CW!

and Debra E!

Well done ladies and to all those who participated <3 p="">
I will be emailing you shortly.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

VERY UNEDITED PROLOGUE OF LAUREL HEIGHTS 3


                                                               

PROLOGUE

Holding the lighter under the bowl of the spoon, he watched, fascinated, as the white powder began to crystalize and melt into the water under the heat of the flame. He smiled; this was good shit, the best that money could buy—he should know, he’d paid enough for it. Not that he minded. His father had always said, “If you want to do a job right, you need to make sure you have the right tools.” He glanced at the array of… tools… on the table, the best that money could buy. Each one designed to do exactly what he needed it to do. He closed the lighter and shoved it in his pocket, then picked up the syringe.
With a steady hand, he dipped the needle into the mix and slowly pulled back the plunger. When he was satisfied all the liquid had been drawn into the syringe, he lifted it up to the light. His heartbeat quickened and the blood rushed in his ears. He’d thought about this moment for so long, and now the wait would soon be at an end.
He picked up the rubber tourniquet and turned, his lips curving as the man’s eyes widened comically, and he tried to scream from behind the gag he’d used to quiet him. His fear was palpable. It rolled off him in waves. Had done from the moment he’d sat up on the back seat of his car and ordered him to drive. He stank of it. Good. He should be afraid. Even more afraid than she’d been, because he’d know it was coming.
He walked slowly towards him, his footsteps heavy on the flagstone floor, the sound deliciously ominous as it echoed around the small space. He liked it. Gave the proceedings a film noir vibe, ramped up the anticipation. From the sheer terror in the man’s eyes as he watched his every move, he could tell he wasn’t the only one who felt it. That was good, too.
He stopped in front of the chair he’d strapped him to and, keeping his tone conversational, said, “I’m going to take off the gag. You can scream if you want to—I’d be surprised if you didn’t—but no one will hear you, and it won’t change how this is going to end. You should know that. Just in case you were hanging onto any hope that you’ll get out of here alive—you won’t” He loosened the gag and pulled it down, so it sat around the man’s neck like a shabby bandana.
“W-what d-do you w-want from m-me?” The man stammered over the words, his lips trembling.
“Retribution.”
“Retribution?” The man shook his head. “F-for what? I-I didn’t d-do anything.”
He tied the tourniquet around the man’s upper arm and pulled it tight. “Neither did she.”
“I d-don’t—” He held the syringe up to the light and pressed the plunger gently, sending a thin arc of liquid into the air. “No, don’t.” The man tried to pull his arm away as he tapped the bulging veins that stood proud beneath his skin. “Stop, please, please. I-I’ll give you money. I-I’ll do anything you want, please, please don’t.” The man’s voice cracked, the tears rolling from the corners of his eyes as he pleaded for his life.
He laid the point of the needle against his arm and, with a little pressure, broke the skin and slid into the vein beyond. His heart raced, so loud in his ears he could barely hear the man beg. And he wanted him to beg. God, he wanted him to beg.
“I-I didn’t do anything!”
“I know,” he said softly. “That’s why we’re here. Because you didn’t do anything.”
“I don’t u-understand.”
“You will.”
He leaned in and pressed his lips to the man’s ear and pushed on the plunger. The name he whispered as the heroin surged into the man’s blood stream was the last he would ever hear. A name that filled the man’s eyes with a sudden understanding, horror and a strange sort of acceptance. Almost as if he’d known this day would come. He smiled as the man began to slip into unconsciousness.
He was right. This day would come. Had come. It would be coming for all of them.





Saturday, 25 May 2019

GIVEAWAY!!!

As some of you are aware, my first new release in two years was out yesterday and I'm in the mood for a giveaway.

I recently had my favourite quote from a movie ever, tattooed on my arm.... "That ain't tactics, honey. That's just the beast in me." Which is from my favourite Elvis movie, Jailhouse Rock.

Leave a comment below, telling me your favourite movie quote and the movie it came from, and I will give away a copy of The Gardener and the Movie Star in the format of your choice, to the first three my glamorous assistant (my 13 year old if I can drag her away from YouTube!) pulls out of the hat!  Don't forget to leave your email in the comment.

Happy quoting!

Blurb: 

Drew Singer, aka Brock Kipwell, had played Slade Donovan, action hero, for five years. After a shooting at the premiere of his new Slade outing, which resulted in the death of his personal assistant. Drew left L.A. for the little village where he grew up, in North Yorkshire, to nurse his shattered hip and broken heart. All he wanted to do was spend some time with his grandmother shut away from the world. But there was one thing he hadn’t counted on… the presence of his childhood friend, and first love, Cameron McDonald.

Cameron McDonald was Yorkshire born and bred. He still lived and sometimes worked on his parents’ farm, while he ran his own gardening business. Life was plodding along nicely, until he walked into Marty Singer’s kitchen to find she had a new house guest. The two of them had been boyhood friends, best friends, until the final summer when they turned fifteen and they’d become so much more.

Ten years have passed and their attraction to each other is as strong as ever. But Cam is dealing with his troubled friend, Ed’s, problems, and Drew is carrying so much survivor’s guilt he can barely stand the weight of it. Is this their second chance? Will either of them grab it with both hands? Or is there something waiting in the dark that neither of them expected?


Excerpt:

“Cameron David McDonald! If I have to call you one more time, I’m coming up there with a cricket bat to beat you out of that bed!”
Cam groaned into his pillow. He really must talk to his mother about her indecisiveness. That was the third time she’d changed the method of how she was going to get him out of his pit. Although the cricket bat did sound preferable to the colonoscopy she’d threatened to give him ten minutes ago.
He rolled over onto his back and immediately wished he hadn’t. Sunlight spilled through the gap in the curtains, directly onto his face. He swore through gritted teeth and threw his arm over his eyes before they burned out of his skull. Okay, a little dramatic maybe, but he didn’t really care about opinions on his turn of phrase.
He did, however, care about getting his hands on Edward Maybury III, the so-called ‘best friend’ who was responsible for his current tender condition. Maybe he could get his mother to try out her colonoscopy skills on Ed. He smiled inwardly—too afraid to try a real one in case his head exploded—at the thought of his mother, dressed in the head-to-toe hazmat suit she wore for sheep dipping, and Edward Maybury naked on a trolley with a tube up his—
“Are you trying to make me kill you?”
“Mornin’ Mum,” Cam mumbled.
She ignored him completely. Of course, he’d expected nothing less.
“That’s it, isn’t it?” she blustered as she stomped around his room. He quickly pulled the duvet over his head, knowing from experience he had nano-seconds before she opened the curtains. “You think I’ve nothing better to do than waste God knows how long in a courtroom, explaining to a bunch of strangers why I beat my only son to death with a copy of Gardeners World!”
He didn’t need to come out of his duvet cocoon to know she was now stood at the edge of the bed with her hands on her hips, worrying at her lower lip to stop herself from uttering the profanities queuing up on the tip of her tongue.
“Ed made me—”
“You’re a little old to be using the “Ed made me do it” excuse, aren’t you?”
“But it’s not my—”
“You’re twenty-six!” she countered. “Of course, it’s your fault!”
“I gotta say, Mum,” Cam said sarcastically. “You know those sensitivity classes you’ve been taking? I’d demand a refund.”
“You’re hilarious,” she deadpanned. “Now get up, or you’ll be late.”
“Late for what?” Cam was confused. “It’s Sunday.”
“I promised Vera Newman you’d put those shelves up in her dining room today. I did tell you three times this week.”
“Crap.”
“You forgot.” Beatrice shook her head in despair.
“I did not forget,” Cam replied, venturing slowly out from under the duvet. He squinted until his eyes had adjusted to the light and blinked a few times to bring his mother into focus. “I temporarily misplaced the information.” If he hadn’t, it would have influenced his response to Ed’s constant whinging that they hadn’t had a lad’s night out for ages.
Her lips twitched, and he grinned. Luckily for Cam, Beatrice adored her only son, otherwise she’d have beaten him to death with Gardener’s World long ago. God knows he’d given her enough reasons. Especially during the terrible teenage years.
“You stink.” She wrinkled her nose in distaste. “Go on, you lazy sod, get in the shower. If you’re lucky, there might be some breakfast waiting for you when you’re done.”
Cam winced as his stomach made its feelings perfectly clear on that subject with a triple somersault and a backwards roll. “I’m never eating again.”
“If I had a pound for every Sunday morning I’d heard that….” Beatrice didn’t even bother finishing the sentence. “Now shift.” She padded across the room to the door and opened it, pausing to add with a wicked glint in her eye, “You’ll feel much better with some greasy bacon and a couple of snotty eggs inside ya.”
“Ugh,” Cam complained as a wave of nausea washed over him. He glared at Beatrice as she closed the door on her smiling face. “You’re evil,” he shouted. “I’m going to report you to Social Services!”

Her response floated up the stairs. “If I had a pound for every Sunday morning I’d heard that….”


Friday, 24 May 2019

THE GARDENER AND THE MOVIE STAR - RELEASE DAY SNEAKY SNIPPET!

Blurb:

Drew Singer, aka Brock Kipwell, had played Slade Donovan, action hero, for five years. After a shooting at the premiere of his new Slade outing, which resulted in the death of his personal assistant. Drew left L.A. for the little village where he grew up, in North Yorkshire, to nurse his shattered hip and broken heart. All he wanted to do was spend some time with his grandmother shut away from the world. But there was one thing he hadn’t counted on… the presence of his childhood friend, and first love, Cameron McDonald.

Cameron McDonald was Yorkshire born and bred. He still lived and sometimes worked on his parents’ farm, while he ran his own gardening business. Life was plodding along nicely, until he walked into Marty Singer’s kitchen to find she had a new house guest. The two of them had been boyhood friends, best friends, until the final summer when they turned fifteen and they’d become so much more.

Ten years have passed and their attraction to each other is as strong as ever. But Cam is dealing with his troubled friend, Ed’s, problems, and Drew is carrying so much survivor’s guilt he can barely stand the weight of it. Is this their second chance? Will either of them grab it with both hands? Or is there something waiting in the dark that neither of them expected?


Excerpt:


Flashbulbs exploded as Brock stepped out onto the red carpet. He stood for a moment, waved to the crowd, then turned and held out his hand to Melanie. The gasp was audible as the fans waited to catch a glimpse of his date, wondering which Hollywood starlet it would be. He almost laughed as the gasp turned into a disappointed groan when Melanie got out of the limo. She schooled her features with a welcoming smile and slipped her hand through the crook of his elbow, guiding him expertly toward the bank of photographers and entertainment reporters, all clamouring for their pound of flesh. He wondered how they’d feel about him tomorrow, after the announcement he planned to make at the press conference after the premiere.
“Over here, Brock!”
“This way, Brock!”
“To me, Brock! To me!”
The photographers shouted out his name, their flashes enough to blind him, but he kept his smile plastered firmly on his face as he turned this way and that, the click of camera shutters drowning out everything else around him. Melanie put her hand in the small of his back and leaned in to say something, but he couldn’t hear her. He glanced over his shoulder at her and, as he did, there was a strange stinging sensation across his cheek, as if he’d been slapped. He opened his mouth to say as much to Melanie, but he heard a piercing scream from somewhere in the crowd and turned in its direction, which was when Melanie slumped against him, blood pouring from the hole in her neck, a bewildered expression in her deep blue eyes.
“Mel?” Brock held her to him, instinctively pressing his hand to her throat. “Mela—” He didn’t get to finish her name, knocked to the ground by what felt like a punch to the back, Melanie falling from his arms.
“He’s hit! Brock’s hit!” The shout echoed in his ears as more gunshots rent the California night.
“It’s not me,” Brock tried to yell, but he was already being hauled up the red carpet toward the movie theatre, by two beefy security men, their radios crackling loud static. He slapped at them, calling out Melanie’s name over and over.
“Shooter’s down!” suddenly came over the radio. “I repeat, shooter’s down!”
The security guard quickly fired back into his own radio, “We need EMT’s, now! We’ve got two casualties, one GSW to the back and one dead.”
Dead! Brock’s panic spiralled out of control. He desperately tried to shrug off the hands that held him in a vice-like grip as pain, sudden and white hot seemed to flow through him to converge in his lower back. “Melanie!” he screamed. “Mel—!”

AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON NOW!

Monday, 20 May 2019

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW: THE GARDENER AND THE MOVIE STAR (RELEASE DATE 24/5/19)




Drew Singer, aka Brock Kipwell, had played Slade Donovan, action hero, for five years. After a shooting at the premiere of his new Slade outing, which resulted in the death of his personal assistant. Drew left L.A. for the little village where he grew up, in North Yorkshire, to nurse his shattered hip and broken heart. All he wanted to do was spend some time with his grandmother shut away from the world. But there was one thing he hadn’t counted on… the presence of his childhood friend, and first love, Cameron McDonald.


Cameron McDonald was Yorkshire born and bred. He still lived and sometimes worked on his parents’ farm, while he ran his own gardening business. Life was plodding along nicely, until he walked into Marty Singer’s kitchen to find she had a new house guest. The two of them had been boyhood friends, best friends, until the final summer when they turned fifteen and they’d become so much more.

Ten years have passed and their attraction to each other is as strong as ever. But Cam is dealing with his troubled friend, Ed’s, problems, and Drew is carrying so much survivor’s guilt he can barely stand the weight of it. Is this their second chance? Will either of them grab it with both hands? Or is there something waiting in the dark that neither of them expected?

AVAILABLE PRE-ORDER IN THE U.S. HERE AND IN THE U.K. HERE
AND ON SMASHWORDS HERE

Thursday, 13 September 2018

FREE READ - KISS ME GOODBYE


The salty breeze gently brushed Adam’s hair back from his face as he sat cross-legged on the sand. He was close enough to the water’s edge for droplets of spray from rolling waves to dampen his skin, but back far enough to ensure the safety of his jeans. He smiled. Ben always teased him about his unwillingness to get his precious jeans dirty. Not that Adam cared. They were what brought them together for fuck’s sake.
The memory flooded back as though it were yesterday. He’d been staring at them on the rack, weighing up the pros and cons of splurging on a genuine pair of Levi’s, versus the cheaper pair he’d seen in Walmart that would mean he could eat more than beans on toast until pay day. That was when a voice from behind him said, “Your arse would look fantastic in those.” His smile widened as he remembered the carrier bag resting against the leg of the chair in the coffee shop half an hour later. He couldn’t remember what they’d talked about over that first of many coffees, but he’d known from the start that he could listen to Ben, forever.
What about Josh?
Adam sighed heavily and brought his knees up to clasp his arms around them. Josh. Josh was uncomplicated. Josh was steady. Josh was… present. Adam looked out across the water, squinting as the sun peeked out from behind a cloud. “What the fuck am I supposed to do?”
“What do you want to do?”
Adam sucked in a breath and closed his eyes. “I knew you’d find me.”
“You wanted to be found?” Ben flopped down beside him.
“True.” Adam opened his eyes and continued to stare at the sea. “Sometimes I forget you know me better than I know myself.”
“You needed to think. This is your thinking place.”
Our thinking place,” Adam corrected automatically.
Our thinking place,” Ben affirmed.
“How long have you known?” Adam couldn’t resist asking the question.
“From the start.”
Adam’s gut tightened. “I never meant to hurt you.”
“I know,” Ben said softly.
“Ben—”
“Look at me.”
“I can’t.”
“Why?”
“I’m afraid.”
“Of what?”
“That you hate me.” Adam heard the break in his voice but didn’t care. “That you hate me, and I’ll see it.”
“The only way you’ll know is if you look at me.”
God, he hated it when Ben made sense. Which was basically all the time. It was one of his less attractive traits.
Do you hate me?”
Look at me.”
Adam swallowed past the lump in his throat. It sounded so loud in his own head, he was sure whales at the bottom of the sea were staring at each other with WTF? expressions on their big whale faces. He slowly turned his head, clasping his arms tighter and tighter, his fingers biting into his skin as he willed himself to look at Ben.
“It’s you.” The words were involuntary. Adam couldn’t have stopped them if he’d wanted to.
“It’s me.”
Ben held out his arms and Adam scrambled into them, inhaling the musky scent of his cologne. He curled his fingers in Ben’s shirt, trying to get as close to him as he could. It was comfortable, familiar, like putting on an old sweater. He snorted inelegantly.
“What’s funny?” Ben asked, rubbing his chin on the top of Adam’s head.
“I was just thinking you feel like an old sweater.”
“Um… thanks?”
“In a good way.”
“And Josh? How does he feel?”
“Why would you ask me that?” Adam tried to pull away, but Ben wouldn’t let him.
“Just answer the question.”
“I don’t see why—”
“Adam!”
“Different! Okay? He feels different.”
“In a good way?”
“Yes… but different. Not like you.” Adam brushed at the tears that threatened to escape his lashes.
“He’s not me.” Ben replied. “And he doesn’t have to be.” Ben loosened his hold and cupped Adam’s cheek, forcing him to look him in the eye. “What we were is done, you know that, and even though what we were to each other will never be over, you can have something else with Josh. He’s a good guy. More importantly, he’s good for you.”
“You like him?”
Ben nodded. “I really do.”
“Thank you.” Adam lifted his hand and brushed his fingers through Ben’s hair. Ben captured his hand and pressed a kiss to Adam’s palm. His gaze, when it met Adam’s was sorrowful.
“The sun’s going down.”
“Don’t go yet. I’m not ready.” Panic flooded through him. Not yet! Not yet! “Please…”
“Won’t Josh be waiting?”
“He won’t mind.”
Ben looked out at the water and smiled as he pulled Adam back into his embrace. “Okay, but just until the sun sets, then I have to go.”
They sat huddled together, watching the sun slowly sink towards the horizon, the first twinkling of stars high above them. Adam watched the water turn orange and gold, the warmth of Ben’s arms and the beat of his heart against Adam’s cheek giving him the comfort and acceptance Adam so desperately craved.
Then it was over.
They stood up and Adam brushed the sand off his jeans, ignoring Ben’s smirk. “Not a word.”
“As if I would.”
Adam rolled his eyes and took a deep breath. “I guess this is it.” His throat was thick with unshed tears. “It’s harder than I thought.”
“Nah,” Ben said. “This is the easy part.”
“Easy?”
“Yep. All you have to do is kiss me goodbye.”
“That I can do,” Adam said. He closed his eyes and leaned in until he felt the sweet, softness of Ben’s lips on his, a gentle brush of skin against skin that was over all too soon. Adam opened his eyes. Ben was gone. And even though he’d known he would be, Adam still looked up and down the beach for a sign of him. Of course, there was none. The only thing left behind was the lingering taste of his kiss and the sense of peace Adam needed to move on.
“Hey, are you okay?”
Adam turned to see a middle-aged man eyeing him curiously, holding onto the leash of an exuberant husky. “Sorry?”
“You look a little lost,” the man said with a frown, his gaze moving to the tears on Adam’s face. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” Adam wiped at the dampness on his cheeks.
The man looked relieved. “When I saw you talking to yourself, I was a little worried.”
“I used to come here with my husband,” Adam explained. “He died three years ago. And, well, I’ve met someone, you know? It just seemed like the right place to say goodbye.”
The man’s gaze softened, and he nodded sympathetically. “I’m sure he was with you.”
Adam shoved his fingers into his pocket and found the ring he’d put there earlier. He didn’t need to take it out, he knew what was engraved on the inside, he’d looked at it often enough. Ben & Adam, Forever. “I know he was.”


Sunday, 5 August 2018

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE?

As Abba tunes play in my head, flitting from one to another, thanks to the release of Mamma Mia 2, I had a thought.... dangerous I know....

We all love a bit of Abba, whether we're out and proud, or it's a guilty pleasure hidden beneath the cover of our earbuds. You can't help it. From Dancing Queen to Waterloo to Winner Takes It All, they're indelibly imprinted. So much so, that it's really hard to pick a favourite.... but that's what I'm asking you to do today, my lovelies, just for pure and simple fun.

Which Abba song is YOUR favourite?