Cover Reveal: New Lease of Life by Lillian Francis

Hi, Lillian Francis here, and I’ve popped in to show off my amazing cover for my novel, New Lease of Life, coming soon from Dreamspinner Press.

But first the Blurb.

Phillip used to laugh a lot, back when his friends called him Pip. However the good deed that left him hospitalized not only marred his body, it stripped him of his good humor too. Ever since, he has pushed his friends away and shut out the world. Donating his vintage clothing to a charity shop should have been the final act in a year-long campaign to sever the links with the man Pip used to be, but the stranger on his doorstep awakens feelings in Pip that he hasn’t experienced since the incident that left him angry at the world and reliant on the cold metal of the hideous hospital-issue crutch.

Colby forces his way into Pip’s life, picking at the scab of his past. Colby isn’t interested in Pip’s money or his expensive address. He has only one goal: to make Pip smile again. With every moment in Pip’s presence, Colby chips away at the walls Pip has built around himself. Pip knows it’s impossible to fight his attraction with Colby’s sunny disposition casting light into the darkness in his soul.

Drum roll please.

Presenting

Cover art by Paul Richmond.

 Cover NewLeaseofLife4

It’s smashing, isn’t it, and fits both the story and my vision for the cover to perfection.

New Lease of Life is now appearing on the Coming Soon page at Dreamspinner Press and is already available to pre-order. If you are quick you may be able to pick it up in the current 35% off sale.

Or appearing on my author pages at

Amazon US

Amazon UK

AllRomance

Now the boring bit…

About the Author

Lillian Francis. Author of gay romance. Happy Endings guaranteed. Eventually.

Lillian Francis is an English writer who likes to dabble in many genres but always seems to return to the here and now.

Her name may imply a grand dame in pink chiffon and lace, but Lillian is more at home in jeans, Converse, and the sort of T-shirts that often need explaining to the populous at large but will get a fist bump at Comic-Con. Lillian is a self-confessed geek who likes nothing more than settling down with a comic or a good book, except maybe writing. Given a notepad, pen, her Kindle, and an infinite supply of chocolate Hob Nobs and she can lose herself for weeks. Romance was never her reading matter of choice, so it came as a great surprise to all concerned, including herself, to discover a romance was exactly what she’d written, and not the rollicking spy adventure or cozy murder mystery she always assumed she’d write. Luckily there is always room for romance no matter what plot bunny chooses to bite her, so never say never to either of those stories appearing.

Lillian lives in an imposing castle on a windswept desolate moor or in an elaborate shack on the edge of a beach somewhere, depending on her mood. And while she’d love for the heroes of her stories to either be chained up in the dungeon or wandering the shack serving drinks in nothing but skimpy barista aprons more often than not they are doing something far less erotic like running charity shops and shoveling elephant shit.

Drawn to the ocean, although not in a Reginald Perrin sort of way, she would love to own a camper van and to live by the sea.

 

Find her at

Blog: lillianfrancis.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lillian.francis.100

Twitter: @LillianFrancis_

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/Lillian_Francis

Now to reward you for sitting through the whole post please enter the giveaway for a $10 giftcard.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d0fe9a851/

 

 

Lillian Francis: Theory Unproven

 LLB Banner LLB

Working with elephants in their natural habitat has always been Eric Phillips dream. Getting what he’s always desired introduces him to Tyaan Bouwer, the bush pilot that flies in his supplies, and Eric discovers the allure of South Africa goes beyond the wildlife and the scenery.

But in an area where bushveld prejudices and hatred bleed across the borders, realising their love will be a hard fought battle. Keeping hold of it might just kill them.

 

Buy Links


All buy links will appear here: http://lovelanebooks.blogspot.com/2015/01/theory-unproven-by-lilian-francis-out.html

Lillian Francis

An avid reader, Lillian Francis was always determined she wanted to write, but a ‘proper’ job and raising a family distracted her for over a decade. Over the years and thanks to the charms of the Internet, Lillian realized she’d been writing at least one of her characters in the wrong gender. Ever since, she’s been happily letting her ‘boys’ run her writing life.

Lillian now divides her time between family, a job and the numerous men in her head all clamouring for ‘their’ story to be told.

Lillian lives in an imposing castle on a wind-swept desolate moor or in an elaborate ‘shack’ on the edge of a beach somewhere depending on her mood, with the heroes of her stories either chained up in the dungeon or wandering the shack serving drinks in nothing but skimpy barista aprons.

In reality, she would love to own a camper van and to live by the sea.

You can read more about Lillian here:

http://lillianfrancis.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lillian.francis.100

https://twitter.com/LillianFrancis_

 

Pinterest and my hissy fit

Theory Unproven is the first story I’ve written where I have used Pinterest as a writing tool. Finding a place to store random photographs has been more useful than I would have imagined. I don’t have to take up space on my hard drive storing photos of planes and wildlife or try to remember where I saved the bookmark of the style of hat that Tyaan wears. On Pinterest the photos have links that can take me back to the original site should I need to revisit some information that I forgot and they are all collected in the same place. If I want to remind myself that the type of antelope I have at the watering hole can be found in that part of South Africa I pin a map and then pin a photo of that animal to remind me what it looks like. Job done.

And once you start to add things to your board Pinterest will send you links to things that might interest you, things you might not even have considered that could help your storytelling. It also tells you when other people have pinned one of your pins to their boards. And this is where my hissy fit comes in. I’ve attached the link for your reading pleasure if you want to see me have a mini meltdown (in the most reserved and English of ways). You have no control over where people pin things, I understand that, but to see the magnificent Bushbuck pinned to a board titled Hunting made me angry. (I know I talk about eating antelope in another post but Bushbuck are hunted mainly for their hide.)

If you want to browse my Pinterest page you’ll find it here.

Do you use Pinterest or other tools to help your writing/reading/hobbies?

Theory Unproven 400x600

Excerpt

Johan turned to his boyfriend. “I guess we can cross the plus-one off his invite. There’s no way he’ll have a boyfriend by next year, and he’s not bringing some one-night stand to my wedding.”

“Wedding?” Tyaan grinned, as much at Jessie’s excited squeal as the revelation itself. “That’s great news. As if I’d bring a casual hook-up to such an important event. Jessie and I will come together.”

“What if Jessie wants to use her plus-one?” Johan asked, fixing Tyaan with another of those looks.

“There isn’t anyone. Is there, Jess?”

“What?” Jessie stilled in her seat. “Umm. No.”

“Unless you want to take that ex of yours from the hospital?”

“A lot can happen in a year. We’ll see nearer the time. Yeah?” She grinned and clapped her hands together. “A wedding! I need details. And champagne.”

Tyaan called for a bottle of champagne and a jug of orange juice—he had a plane to fly in a few hours—and let the wedding chatter wash over him. His eyes fell on the joined hands of Johan and his, well, his fiancé. That sounded so grown-up. They were getting older, each and every one of them. He let his gaze slide up to the smiling face of his oldest friend and felt a sharp tug in his chest.

For all their fooling around, he’d never loved Johan, not as anything other than a friend, but there was no denying the feeling making his stomach churn could be attributed to jealousy.

He wanted someone to look at him in that way, but Johan was right, unless he turned his world upside down, that dream would never become a reality.

 

 

Welcome to Lillian Francis

Welcome to Lillian Francis on the ukgayromance blog.

How did you discover the MM/gay romance genre?

Fanfiction, what else. Then I stumbled over Josh Lanyon’s Snowball in Hell and I could not devour that book fast enough.

What made you start writing in the genre?

My fandom left me with serious wrongs that needed to put right, so I started writing fanfiction. However I realised all the longer stuff I posted were actually AUs and with each subsequent story I was fighting my characters to keep them true to the characters on the show. A published friend of mine, Christine D’Abo, had been nagging me for years to send something to a publisher, so I changed tack and wrote something original. I submitted that story to Ellora’s Cave and that story became Lesson Learned.

Where do you base your books?

I have no set location, or even country. Often the location is dictated by the story content. Lovers Entwined is set in Boston for reasons that would be considered spoilers. My current submission piece, a story about an elephant sanctuary, is based in South Africa, and my working manuscript is set in a submarine under the waves.

Both my short stories and Lesson Learned are set in the UK, though. And, so far, I have always had at least one British MC.

So, in reality, three of my four published works have been set in the UK. Wales, the West Country and London.

Tell me about your current/forthcoming novel.

As you can tell from my output, I write really, really slowly. Consequently, my latest novel is already a year old.

Lovers Entwined is set in modern day Boston for the main part, and even I, as its creator, struggle to define it.

Is it contemporary? Yes.

Is it historical? Yes

Is it paranormal? Maybe

You decide:

Ewan is one of Boston’s leading genealogy experts. When a would-be bridegroom comes looking for confirmation that there are no skeletons in his ancestral closet, Ewan considers turning the job down. Trey is a jerk of the highest order and yet Ewan experiences an infuriating attraction that’s easy to justify. Trey’s exactly his type—a carbon copy of the man Ewan’s been looking for his entire life.
Harder to explain is the sense of recognition that leaves Ewan speechless the moment Trey steps into his office. Or the stomach-churning sensation at the thought of casting the job aside.

Trey gets more appealing by the day, leaving Ewan struggling with forbidden desire for his client. Desire not helped by strange voyeuristic dreams that have started to haunt his sleep. Dreams that appear to be an echo of the past…

And the cover, it’s one of my favourites and sums up the book completely.

What are you writing at the moment?

While my contemporary story set in an elephant sanctuary is trying to find a home, I’ve been working on a story set on a submarine during WW2. Allegedly a mystery, it is really an excuse to explore one man’s discovery of his sexuality and another’s uneasy acceptance that being gay doesn’t mean he can’t be happy. All wrapped up in a time period when the very nature of their relationship could get them thrown in gaol. With spies. And high-tech gadgets, 40’s style. And hopefully a few red herrings.

Author Bio

An avid reader, Lillian Francis was always determined she wanted to write, but a ‘proper’ job and raising a family distracted her for over a decade. Over the years and thanks to the charms of the Internet, Lillian realized she’d been writing at least one of her characters in the wrong gender. Ever since, she’s been happily letting her ‘boys’ run her writing life.

Lillian now divides her time between family, a job and the numerous men in her head all clamouring for ‘their’ story to be told.

Lillian lives in an imposing castle on a wind-swept desolate moor or in an elaborate ‘shack’ on the edge of a beach somewhere depending on her mood, with the heroes of her stories either chained up in the dungeon or wandering the shack serving drinks in nothing but skimpy barista aprons.

In reality, she would love to own a camper van and to live by the sea.

Back Catalogue

Novels

Lesson Learned (Debut Novel) published by Ellora’s Cave

Lovers Entwined published by Ellora’s Cave

Short Stories

Waiting for a Spark published by JMS Books (previously appeared in the Lashings of Sauce anthology)

When Love Flue In published by Silver

Find Lillian

At her blog

On Goodreads

And occasionally on Twitter

Lesson Learned

lessonlearned_msr

Blurb

Tired of having been constantly on the move, Drew is determined to make Cardiff his home. When Drew starts his new job as teacher in Cardiff, he strikes up an immediate friendship with Nathan Morgan, a young History teacher.

Nathan is instantly attracted to Drew, but doesn’t want to risk their fledgling friendship by declaring the extent of his desire. Completely oblivious to Nathan’s quandary, Drew doesn’t realize the true nature of his own feelings for Nathan until accusations from a student force both men’s hands.

But Drew has spent his life running away. Running away from his mistakes, his desires and a secret-filled past. Drew is forced to choose between running away once more and a possible future with Nathan.

Excerpt

Yet another long corridor punctuated by wooden doors. The smell of paint still lingered, indicating the pale-green walls had been recently spruced up for the start of a new school year. The color also told Drew Jackman, as he glared at the floor plan in his hand, that this should be the humanities department and consequently not only was he in the wrong corridor, but almost certainly the wrong block.

Damn his male pride, if he had accepted the assistance the principal had offered, he would be safely ensconced in his new teaching domain by now. Instead he was wandering the corridors, lost. Yep, there was no other word for it, he was well and truly lost and this floor plan of the school made no sense whatsoever.

And, of course, there wasn’t a student or teacher around anywhere to point him in the right direction.

The slap of rubber-soled shoes on the staircase to his right caught his attention and Drew moved through the double doors toward the sound. Maybe he wasn’t completely out of luck. There was a brief flash of denim as the sneakers carried on up the stairs and then Drew could hear the unmistakable sound of the doors above as they swung back on themselves.

It was the only movement in an otherwise silent building, so he followed it, but even as he did, Drew frowned, wondering who was prowling the corridors. The principal had stated that all the students in school today, which was only the new intake of year sevens and the senior years, would be in orientation for the first two lessons, meeting tutors and student advisors.

Coming out into another green corridor at the top of the stairs, Drew spied his intruder at one of the notice boards that graced the walls in this particular part of the building.

Maybe he could get directions and exert a sense of authority at the same time. It wouldn’t hurt for the student body to get the impression that whilst he was a new teacher at the school, he was not going to be a pushover. And who better to start with than one of the senior students who, from the way he carried himself, looked like he would command respect and possible adoration from his peers.

“Shouldn’t you be in lessons?” Drew spoke clearly as he strode toward the young man.

Dark wavy hair flicked out as the young man’s head whipped round. Drew got the impression of amusement in gray eyes and a raised eyebrow in the blur of movement, but his face had been schooled into a deferential expression by the time his gaze settled on Drew.

“Actually, I’ve got a free period—” the young man started. A local boy, Drew realized. That was definitely a Welsh accent, and after four years in South London, it was a like a gentle caress to his eardrums.

“Still, library or sixth form center,” Drew interrupted the young man and saw that brief flash of amusement once more. “No hanging around the corridors.”

This time a grin split the young man’s face and he appeared to be struggling to get it back under control. “You must be Andrew Jackman.”

“That’s Mr. Jackman to you,” Drew reprimanded, although he was curious as to how he was already known when so far he had only met Shirley Hartley, the principal. “What’s your—”

“I’m Nathan Morgan.” The pause was barely a heartbeat. “History teacher.”

He rarely got embarrassed, but Drew could feel his cheeks start to heat under the amused gaze of the other teacher. “Ah. Oops?”

In a desperate bid to bring this uncharacteristic blush under control, he glanced over the other man’s broad shoulders at the poster he had been pinning to the board. “Join the History Detectives”, it proclaimed, the remainder of the text disappearing behind a solid biceps that flexed as Drew focused on it, if the shift of material was anything to go by. This movement dragged his attention back to the unwavering gaze of the young history teacher.

Turning on the charm to save face—it had been his way of avoiding trouble and awkward situations since he’d been a boy—Drew grinned. “Aren’t you a little young to be a teacher?”

“I’m twenty-four. I’ve been told I have a baby face,” Nathan confirmed with a shrug.

The gray irises were flecked with blue, and despite the nonchalant roll of his shoulders, Nathan had yet to look away. A sloping snub nose led down to full, but masculine lips and a strong chin, the skin smooth now, but Drew could imagine it would already be darkening with stubble before the school day was over.

He wondered how he could ever have mistaken this man for an adolescent. The baby face was an illusion, Drew decided. He glanced at the low-slung jeans, the wide belt barely holding them up over narrow hips. A casual shirt, sleeves rolled up to expose the pale flesh of muscular forearms, was unbuttoned far enough to reveal an obscure band t-shirt.

“The clothes don’t help,” Drew teased, feeling almost instantly at ease in the other man’s company. Nathan, Drew reminded himself. His name is Nathan.

“What should I wear? Corduroy and tweed?” Gray eyes twinkled mischievously, the azure flecks multiplying until Drew would swear Nathan’s eyes were blue now if anyone had asked.

“You did say you were a history teacher.” Drew grinned, relishing the easy banter that they had slipped into. Relaxing against the wall, Drew crossed his feet at the ankles, the leather of his new boots creaking as they rubbed against themselves. He rolled his shoulders experimentally. The knot of tension that he had been carrying in his neck since he’d woken up that morning had disappeared at some point in the last ten minutes.

“And you teach science, but I don’t see a lab coat or test tube in your pocket,” Nathan jibed.

“How do you—?” Drew asked, his confusion at being recognized once more reasserting itself. He pushed himself off the wall and thrust his hands into the pockets of his trousers, the paper map of the school crushed in his fingers.

“The American accent,” Nathan confirmed. His eyes narrowed and it appeared he had picked up on Drew’s discomfort. “Shall we start again? Hi, I’m Nathan Morgan, a history teacher here at Everwood Community College.” Nathan thrust out his hand.

Slowly, Drew tugged his hands from his pockets, the paper map catching on the thin lining.

“Andrew Jackman. But everyone calls me Drew. I’m new here, in case it isn’t obvious. In fact, I’m new to Cardiff, just moved here from London.” Drew grasped the offered hand, noting the firm grip, and shook it vigorously. “Do I call you Nate?”

“Hell no. Nathan’s short enough, but Nathaniel’s a bit of a mouthful.”

“Nathan then.”

The intensity of Nathan’s grin was blinding, but Drew suspected it matched his own. Warm skin pressed against his palm. Drew felt the apprehension that always accompanied yet another fresh start slip away.

Nathan indicated the crumpled plan of the school Drew was still holding in his free hand. “You’ll get lost using that. I’m doing nothing first period. Want me to show you around?”

“Thanks.”

Nathan’s gaze flicked down to their hands. “You might want to let go of my hand first. The kids do like to tease.”

Lovers Entwined

loversentwined_msr

Blurb

Ewan is one of Boston’s leading genealogy experts. When a would-be bridegroom comes looking for confirmation that there are no skeletons in his ancestral closet, Ewan considers turning the job down. Trey is a jerk of the highest order and yet Ewan experiences an infuriating attraction that’s easy to justify. Trey’s exactly his type—a carbon copy of the man Ewan’s been looking for his entire life.

Harder to explain is the sense of recognition that leaves Ewan speechless the moment Trey steps into his office. Or the stomach-churning sensation at the thought of casting the job aside.

Trey gets more appealing by the day, leaving Ewan struggling with forbidden desire for his client. Desire not helped by strange voyeuristic dreams that have started to haunt his sleep. Dreams that appear to be an echo of the past…

Excerpt

“Your ten o’clock is here, Mr. Matthews.”

“Give me two minutes and then send him in. Thanks.” Releasing the button, Ewan pushed his ergonomic computer chair away from the solid oak desk and stood up. He wheeled it over to a dark-stained wooden door in the corner, which he opened to reveal a larger, more imposing chair in black leather.

“It’s all about the perception,” he muttered to himself as he swapped the chairs and wheeled the leather recliner back to the desk.

People expected a certain air of the old and antiquated when they researched their past and that was what Ewan’s office was designed to provide. From the oak paneling in reception, the row upon row of leather-bound books which were never opened—most of his research was done online and the books he did use were old and treasured and safely stored at home—to the solid antique—secondhand—furniture in dark woods, the company screamed “trust me with your past”.

If Ewan could have aged himself to look older than his twenty-eight years, he would have, but despite the glasses and the somber suit, with vest, Ewan could do nothing to disguise the quiff at his forehead. It pinged back into place however he cut his hair, making him look similar to a dark-haired Tintin and giving him a look of perpetual youth.

The knock on the door came at the same time as his computer blipped a notification that a search had yielded results.

“Come in,” he called out, his attention distracted by the list of available marriage certificates that met his criteria, and without looking up, he waved in the direction of the comfortable high-backed chair on the other side of his desk. “Take a seat, Mr. Capell.”

With several strokes across the keyboard, Ewan narrowed the search, already speaking as he depressed the enter key. “Sorry, I had a result on the search for your sister’s…” His gaze finally fell on the subject of his latest project, and he looked nothing like the provided photograph.

A casual three-button polo shirt in turquoise-blue covered broad shoulders and was tucked into navy slacks. Light ginger hair, almost a golden copper in color, flopped in a mess across his forehead, just long enough to irritate piercing blue eyes. Tanned skin flashed in his vision as Mr. Capell raised a hand to push the hair from his face.

Ewan was struck by a blinding sense of recognition, and even though he was certain he had never seen this man before, it was strong enough to suck all the air from his lungs. He gasped in a ragged breath and couldn’t stop his gaze from roaming the length of his new client. Berating himself for his unprofessional attitude, however unintentional it had been, Ewan attempted to collect his scattered composure and get the appointment back on track. What had he been saying? Oh yes, work. “Um, yes, I just got a hit on your sister’s marriage certificate.”

“I get that reaction a lot,” Trey Capell said, drawing attention back to Ewan’s faux pas in the most inappropriate way. He dropped into the chair Ewan had indicated, his limbs splayed languidly, thighs spread almost as if in invitation.

“I—” Ewan was struggling to regain his composure, partly because he almost choked on his tongue at the blatant display from his new client, but mainly due to the perplexingly familiar blue eyes that watched him from the body of a stranger.

Talking over Ewan’s attempt to come up with a reasonable excuse for his unethical behavior, Trey Capell continued to extol his virtues. “Admittedly it’s normally from girls these days. Guys just assume—”

“That you’re a prat,” Ewan said, muttering angrily under his breath.

“Eh.” Trey Capell actually did a double take before obviously deciding he’d misheard. “Guys just assume I’m straight since I’m with Paige. You being gay isn’t a problem. I’ve been known to surf that side of the beach on occasions myself.”

“I was going to apologize,” Ewan said, interrupting Trey Capell before he had the chance to insult Ewan further. The inane chatter coupled with his embarrassment at being caught ogling his client already had Ewan fighting the temptation to lean across the desk and slap that condescending pretty face.

He straightened his pen on his blotter and attempted to regain some semblance of control. His “Oxford” English accent became more pronounced, adding an aloof edge to his voice in the process. “I simply had the most overwhelming feeling of déjà vu when you walked into the office. But since you have unnecessarily brought my sexuality into question, let me assure you that you are perfectly safe with me. I certainly wouldn’t associate with such a self-centered idiot, even if you were the last man on Earth.”

Okay, so much for regaining control. That wasn’t quite where he’d intended to go when he’d started speaking. What the hell was the matter with him today?

“I— What?” Wide-eyed, Trey blustered, huffing out a breath and pushing himself up straighter in the chair. “You can’t talk to me like that. I’m your client. Don’t forget who is paying your wages.”

The retainer check was still in among the documents in front of him. Dragging the check across the blotter on his desk, Ewan picked it up and studied it.

“Not you, it appears,” he said, keeping a straight face. “The initial consultation has been paid for by a Ms. P. Black.”

Gripping the check between the thumb and forefinger of both hands, Ewan held it out over the desk between them. He’d already made an awful impression on this client, and quite frankly, he didn’t care, the man was insufferable.

“I don’t need your business. I have clients lining up around the block. Yes, I’m gay. I’ll be asking you lots of question to which I will expect direct and informative answers. I don’t have the time to deal with an arsehole. If any of these points are going to be a problem for you, then I can tear this check up now and we can both get on with the rest of our lives. Without ever meeting again.” And if those last words coincided with Ewan’s stomach clenching in a painful cramp, well, he put it down to the two cups of coffee he’d had since breakfast.

“No.” Trey Capell looked almost panicked at this proposition. “That’s fine. I don’t have a problem with any of that. Could we start again?” He stood and extended a hand. “Trey Capell. Nice to meet you.”

Ewan pushed himself to his feet and took the offered hand. It was firm and strong, and awareness prickled at his palm.

“Ewan Matthews,” he said with a brief nod of acknowledgement.

He resolutely ignored the sensation of relief that swept over him as the tight band relaxed its grip on his stomach.