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Captivating story, amazingly written

Truus reviewed Liam For Hire

5***** Highly recommended
#mm #romance #contemporary #lgbt #gay #addict #survivor

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Autism Awareness

A Childhood Toy

I have a pretty high AQ even though I am not on the ASD spectrum. I am also a bit of a board game geek. It has to be the reason that certain types of games appeal to me above others. So, the childhood toy I have chosen to write about is for the older kid: Mastermind. My family had one of the original with the slightly creepy couple on the cover! It’s a code-breaking game between two players. The problem-solver has to work out the colours and the order of four pegs through the clues given by the other player. It will likely test the patience of some children with needs but since It doesn’t rely on random chance at all, it helps to develop rational thinking and logic. I still play this from time to time. Online versions are available.

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Autism Awareness

I am proud to be part of RJ Scott’s autism awareness blog hop. Hope you enjoy this and other posts and help raise awareness of neurodivergence.

Autism fact:

Children on the ASD spectrum may become preoccupied with parts of objects like the wheels on a toy truck. They may also become obsessively interested in a particular topic such as aeroplanes or memorizing train schedules.

Do check out the lesfic YA novella I published last year where one of the main characters is a teenage boy with ASD:

Courting Light

Our days were numbered but precious.

 Courting Light is the story of Josie, an eighteen-year-old about to leave home to start university in London. She volunteers at a summer camp for disabled children. When Josie is paired with the autistic teenager Lucian, she faces intense experiences that are truly eye-opening. To her surprise, Lucian is not the only one who captures her attention. Over the weeks, Josie develops powerful desires evoked by the camp’s enigmatic young leader with a shaved head and tattoo on her skull.

“Poignant and moving” ~ The Lesbian Review

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Enter my giveaway to win a copy of Courting Light or the second part of my London Stories series, Liam For Hire. Opens till 24 April, and I’ll randomly pick a winner. You choose the prize!

After Liam For Hire, I am looking forward to my new release, Blue Jay, the third and final London story. Out on 28 June 2019 with Beaten Track Publishing.

I support Aspie World—a UK-based initiative that helps people understand autism, and created by Dan who has Asperger’s Syndrome. The channel is a great place for informative short vids on autism.

And check out fellow writer Dawn Sister’s blog post on the creation of a character with ASD in her novella A Springful of Winters. It’s a 5-star read for me!

Nice is an offensive word

Another snippet from my forthcoming Blue Jay. I struggled to write Chris, more than I’d imagined, but the creative process also brought out the gender variance within me. The novel shows my struggles and my refusal to conform as much as those of the protagonists. It’s been a challenge to write with a heteronormative binary language.

~~~

Sensing Alex’s paradox of fascination and restraint, Chris challenges him. “Like what you see?”

Alex swallows. “No… I mean yes… You…”

Damn the stutter. “You’re nice looking.”

Chris laughs, a dose of sardonicism clear on her face. “Nice?”

Nice. Why couldn’t he think of something else to say? Alex opens and shuts his mouth a couple of times but fails to defend himself for using such an innocuous word. He should have known that Chris would find that inoffensive word offensive.

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A Writer’s Life

Two men meet

Smiles reach their eyes

They call each other sweet

To one another they never lie

 

Invent the boys who fall in love from the start

Love endures but we don’t know why

They frolic like porn stars

“I’m coming,” the protagonist tends to cry

 

Character development I do by halves

Their back stories the men will tell

A happy ending it must have

Onward to the next in the series and keep my readers under a spell

 

Could do better, not a bright spark

My English teacher used to bark

 

Does your mother know?

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Does your mother know?

—A love song for Blue

You tell me I am hot.

I think you are teasing me. You say your name is Blue and you like chicks like me.

Blue. Pink. White. Pink. Blue

I prefer to be called a lady. Take a chance on me.

You laugh, taking my words to heart. I must have given you a look, to use my eyes, my best feature, and show you I’m more than good. I’ve grown from a child to be the girl I’ve always wanted to be.

Dance with me. In the dusk, amidst the wriggling heat

Your smile is brighter and whiter than the snow in February. Our first dance of many

Sugar and spice and all things nice, not the snips and snails

Does your mother know that you’re out?

You chat with me, flirt a little and tell me your secrets.

I’d love to get to know you.

To know me, along the dark nights of the city

Does your mother know that you’re out?

My move is lightning fast. You tell me to take it easy, your meaning buried by the vibrating rhythm.

I am not easy.

 I mean we have some way to go.

Under the rainbow light of the disco ball, your words blind me. I don’t care if you live far away because we won’t go there on this wintry night.

Does your mother know

I said we’d take it easy. Chill out and see how it goes.

You give me hope that we’re in for the long haul.

Does your mother know

I’ll let you see my wishes, that I’m not only looking for a bit of fun.

I am the one. I am the one. My want like a broken record

You tell me I’m cute and I have a style. Well, thank you. I love your smile, too. It lights up my world when some days the insides are blacker than tar. Do you know—

Under the colourful glitter, you see me.

The only girl in your eyes

We dance funny and slow. They fixed a lot of things but not my two left feet. There’s no alignment for that small flaw.

Does your mother know that you’re out?

Blue, you talk to me and flirt, and you are not afraid of us. Your strong fingers hold me tight when I want to run.

Does your mother know that you’re out?

It’s been a while, so I guess we are taking it easy as a ballad, a slow song at the end of the night. Like a child on a summer trip, I ask often, “Are we there yet?” I make you smile with my petulance.

Does your mother know

I can’t wait to show you all the favourite spots in my head, on my body. I am too fast. You are ticklish, but that’s okay. I don’t need to touch you if I can inhale the musk of your skin in the dusk.

Does your mother know

You’re kind of miserable and far too serious. You and I are poles apart.

I give you my invitation to dance, wrapped up in red and gold, an enticement to be reckless and free.

Does your mother know that you’re out?

You ask me to move for you like a dancing queen. I take it as a compliment. A queen, maybe, but never a dancer. Two left feet, remember?

Does your mother know that you’re out?

We slowly sway. We giggle like two people in love, wriggling our toes because the covers are not made for someone tall.

“Gimme, gimme, gimme the blanket,” you plead, teeth chattering in the cold. Your big feet exposed after midnight

Does your mother know that you’re out?

We talk for hours, playing the game. ‘Knowing me, knowing you’ until we run out of steam

Do you eat the crust or the middle of your pizza first? I once met a man who ate his in a spiral.

You shake your head to show your amusement.

Does your mother know that you’re out?

We are in a dance of leisure, our bodies twist and pirouette, our fingers entwined. Hearts meddled. Let me forget the times when they made fun of me. Right now, I am the winner who takes it all.

Does your mother know that you’re out?

No, but I want to take you home. To her

I’d better come out from hiding. I will tell her I am a girl. Blue and J, in love. What you see in a public lav, but it’s meant to be forever

Your mother will know that you’re out.

~~~

Read more in London Stories #3 Blue Jay, expected June 2019

For more stories and poetry inspired by ABBA’s songs, see Beaten Track Publishings’ special Valentine’s Day collection.

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Courting Light

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This week’s snippet is from Courting Light, my summer YA lesfic. My MC meets the teenage boy she is looking after for the first time here. Hope you enjoy the extract.

~~~

I moved towards the last boy standing. He still held onto his bag tightly with his eyes downcast, avoiding my gaze.

“I’m Josie. What’s your name?”

I extended my hand to shake his while I tried to read his name label and saw that he’d written his name in rather small letters in the left- hand corner of the white rectangle. The handwriting was neat and controlled, but I couldn’t read it. Except the ‘L’.

My offered hand remained untouched.

“What’s your name?” he replied without meeting my eyes or returning my handshake. His speech was clear. Words pronounced in imitation of my accent.

I hesitantly moved closer and was now near enough to see his name: Lucian. The letters were drawn in a tight script that broke the white surface.

I didn’t know what might be considered wrong about him by society, but my instinct told me we’d be fine. That we’d make this work. “Would you like to pair up with me, Lucian?”

I smiled because at that time I still believed if I did that enough I would gain people’s trust. Except, Lucian was exceptional. He failed to look up to meet my smile and he didn’t respond.

 

Person on the Track

Person on the Track

A statement

Made up of words

To put them beyond reach

A child

Their sibling

Loving partner and parent

 

Always the memory

Of the loud thump

As he met the end

With no wish to return

His twitching hand and fingers

Were my false hope

 

Today, they are the fading reminder

Of the void, with

Screams in my head

No one wanted to hear

 

An incident

They call it

To muffle the roars

Easier on their ears

 

Person on the track

Most of all, once beloved

 

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