A blatant plug for my friend Lorraine today – she is a smallholder from Cornwall who has retired* to France with her husband. She has a smallholding book that has lots of good advice teamed with fantastic pictures, but also a very recent release about moving to France. This seems like an ideal book to buy now to plan out either a real-life or fantasy move!
Fed up with the rat race? Dreaming of a simpler life? A better life? A GOOD LIFE? Since the 1990’s hundreds of thousands of people left it all behind and moved to France.
Are you dreaming about moving to France to live a simpler, rural life; perhaps on a smallholding or simply in the countryside? Then THIS is the book for YOU.
This practical and up-to-date book will lead you through the many questions you may have including:
* How Brexit will affect you * Owning animals or setting up a smallholding in France * Finding & securing the right property * Starting a rural business
Benefit from Lorraine Turnbull’s own experience and read the case studies from real people who have moved to live the Good Life in various areas of France. It’s a big step to a brave new world and this timely book aims to help you in your journey to your Good Life in France. Lorraine is an award-winning smallholder and former cider maker who relocated to rural France in 2017.
A big welcome to Lillian today, who has come to talk about the re-release of her fantastic story New Lease of Life!
1. Why are you doing this interview?
I have finally got my arse in gear and re-released my old DSP title, New Lease of Life. For those who are wondering it’s more or less the same, just in UK English and with a newly added epilogue. Of course if you already have the book from before I’ll be releasing the epilogue as a freebie chapter on Prolific Works, so no need to rush out and buy a new copy.
2. What started you writing?
I’d been writing on and off since my teens, and loved English at school (lit and language), but I never really finished anything that wasn’t connected to school work. I drifted away from it for a while, but then I watched Torchwood, discovered livejournal and a previously unknown group of people writing fanfic and the rest, as they say, is history. Two years of (mostly AU) fanfic and I was encouraged to write my own stuff by a published author/fanficcer. So that’s what I did.
3. Where do you write?
Mostly at the dining room table if I’m using the laptop. But if I’m writing old style I love being in a park or the garden.
4. What do you like to read?
I grew up on Enid Blyton, Tintin, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Willard Price.
Progressed to golden age mysteries, noir, and historical mysteries in my 20s and 30s, and I still enjoy picking those up today.
These days it’s mostly gay romance, but that covers a mass of sub genres. So I can still get my cosy mysteries or thrillers or noir private eyes, just with a gay relationship at its heart.
8. Tell me a little bit about your most recent release?
New Lease of Life was originally published in 2015 by Dreamspinner Press. Due to their troubles I got the rights back last year. The idea I attribute to chap I would see on my drive into work every day. He had one of those hospital metal crutches but it never seemed to help him, in fact he always looked so uncomfortable. And I wondered what he his story was, and what his life had been like before whatever had happened that left him in his current predicament, and Pip was born.
I think it took about three months to write and I found the vintage fashion stuff really interesting. A lot of Pip’s clothing choices are things I would chose to wear if I had a different body shape and a lot more money!
What did I hate? Fighting DSP to keep every bloody English expression. It was exhausting.
New Lease of Life
There’s a fine line between independence and isolation.
Phillip used to laugh a lot, back when his friends called him Pip. However the good deed that left him hospitalised not only marred his body, it stripped him of his good humour 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.
Lillian Francis 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, their Kindle, and an infinite supply of chocolate Hobnobs and they can lose themself for weeks. Romance was never their reading matter of choice, so it came as a great surprise to all concerned, including themself, to discover a romance was exactly what they’d written, and not the rollicking spy adventure or cosy murder mystery they always assumed they’d write.
Lillian Francis. Author of gay romance. Happy Endings guaranteed. Eventually.
Jess has subjected herself to my nosy questions today! Morning, Jess! Why have you put yourself at my mercy?
I’m promoting the wide release of my short story collection, Shadow of Justiceon March 10. Shadow of Justice is the eight collected Simon Pearce stories, which had previously been available on KU only. Now they’re available in all formats and paperback, from all of your favorite e-tailers.
What started you writing?
My family has a philosophy that
nothing is one hundred percent terrible if you can get a good story out of it.
I remember so many evenings after dinner with my parents, brothers, cousins,
aunts and uncles and grandparents, where we took turns telling stories about
funny things that had happened to us, getting up and acting out the stories
with different voices and exaggerated movements, laughing until our sides hurt.
It was only a matter of time before someone started writing things down. The
science fiction author Julian May is a distant cousin, so she got there first.
But I guess it’s my job, too.
My first story was a graphic novel
about a lonely vampire who liked to pop through the bedroom windows of unsuspecting
naked ladies. He was always sad because he would fall in love with them, but
was a vampire, so, you know. I was about nine, and I think the naked part kind
of startled my parents, but in my mind it was a tragic story of forbidden love
more than anything else.
Where do you write?
I usually write at home, either at the
standing desk in my office or at the kitchen counter. Sometimes, if it’s cold
and dark and nasty in the morning, I will be very naughty and work in my
jammies in bed well into midmorning. Sometimes I like to go to the National
Museum to write. I was surprised once, last year, when the new Egyptian exhibit
featured the mummies upon which I’d based one of the subplots in The
Star-Crossed Lovers, Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, who were interred together and believed to be one of the
oldest gay couples in recorded history.
What do you like to read?
That really depends. Under normal
circumstances, I love to read historical mysteries. I’m having a bit of a thing
with some of the newer gothic romances right now, too. I’ve just burned through
Amanda de Wees’s delightful Sybil
and wish there were about 20 more. And I love monster mash-ups that are done
half tongue in cheek. I’m currently reading Sherlock
Holmes vs. Dracula
by Loren D. Estleman, and it’s very well done and quite entertaining. If I’m
having a stressful time I enjoy a good, schlocky cozy mystery or a well-written
romance — any sort of pairing. Love is love and all.
What are the three books you’d take to a desert island? Why would you choose them?
I HAVE TO
Writing is an intrinsically solo occupation. Do you belong to any groups or associations, either online or in the ‘real’ world? How does that work for you?
I belong to the Edinburgh Genre
Writers, which meets fortnightly to crit members’ work. It’s quite a bit
different from the American writing groups I’ve belonged to, where feedback was
generally like “This is really, really great, but you might want to think about
this little thing right here, but only if you want to, this is only my
opinion, just saying.” My current group’s feedback is more like “Right. Here’s
an itemized list of everything that’s wrong with this piece, your work in
general, and that hideous tie you’re wearing. But don’t give up. We’ve seen
worse, now let’s go to the pub.” It was a shock at first, but once I realized
it was cultural, I learned to take up the valuable feedback and brush off the
sting. We have a few more American members, now, and it’s always interesting to
see the difference in how we present feedback, as opposed to our UK colleagues.
I’m also a member of the Crime Writers
Association and International Thriller Writers, though I’m not particularly
active with them. And I look forward, of course to UK Meet every two years.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? (What’s your favourite food? Do you have any pets? Do you like to exercise? Netflix? Juggling? Are you learning anything new?)
I run and do taekwondo. I’ve been doing both for a long time, but I started running seriously about a year and a half ago, when I decided to train for a half marathon. I really enjoy those long distances, now, and I try to get out five days a week, weather permitting, which is Scotland, it often is not. I also like to knit and crochet for charity.
Tell me a little bit about your most recent release. What gave you the idea for it? How long did it take to write? What did you enjoy about writing it? What did you hate?
A few years ago, I wrote a novella for Blind Eye Books, The Kissing Gate, which appears in the anthology Blades of Justice. The publisher asked if I wanted to write a short story to give away as a promotional teaser. The Kissing Gate was f/f, but since many of my other books are m/m, the publisher floated the idea of writing a story about Constable Simon Pearce, who appears briefly in The Kissing Gate, with the very briefest of hints about his own personal life. Somehow, during the discussion of the story, it spun itself into eight novelettes with a personal arc that runs throughout them.
What did I like and hate about writing it? Interestingly, the same things. The editor/publisher, Nicole Kimberling, is very hands-on, and would often suggest structural or thematic changes to the stories that sent me back to the drawing board, sometimes more than once per story. I hated that, but at the same time, her suggestions were often really interesting, and took the stories to some really cool places.I can imagine it would be a frustrating way to work for someone who is very precious about their words and their art, but I’m not. I live and work on both sides of the red pen, and I’m most interested in putting out a kick-ass story, so if someone has a suggestion that’s objectively better than what I’ve done, I don’t have any ego about taking that suggestion.
It took literally three times longer to complete the cycle than I’d planned for, but ultimately, I’m really proud of how it all turned out.
Constable Simon Pearce doesn’t believe in love. It’s a dangerous proposition for many people in 19th century London, but for an ambitious copper climbing Scotland Yard’s greasy career ladder, it’s out of the question.
He doesn’t believe in
monsters, either, though there seem to be a lot of them about. Whether it’s a
ghost haunting a London churchyard where men seek men’s companionship, a
phantom hound in Edinburgh that’s hell-bent on revenge, or a murdered
businessman on a cross-country train who just won’t stay dead — the mysterious
has a way of finding Pearce, whether he wants it to or not.
But are these happenings
truly supernatural? Or is something worse — something thoroughly human — to
Pearce has his theories —
about crime, about monsters, and about love. But life has a way of testing even
the most carefully considered ideas. And as he chases mysteries from one end of
Britain to the other, he may just have to reconsider his ideas about all three.
And that’s the end of The Flowers of Time blogtour! Thank you so much to everyone who has hosted me, it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to visit. Here’s a recap of the topics and where you can find me:
Emily is a long-time writer of m/m romance and is visiting today with an interview with Ashley from her upcoming release with Changeling Press, Heartwood 3: Yew and Thorn
Emily Carrington: Hi, Ashley.
A: Actually, it’s Ash, ma’am. That’s my nickname but I want everyone to know I’m using it instead of my legal name. At least until I have to switch back for something like getting a job.
EC: Okay, Ash. Tell me about your nickname.
A: Aidan accidentally gave it to me, but I liked it so much that I claimed it for my own. It seems to fit with my being nonbinary.
EC: Tell us about Aidan.
A: He and Mike are my foster parents. I’m thirteen and they’ve been taking care of me for about eight months now. It’s just turned January 1st here in Pennsylvania. Anyway, Mike and Aidan are great. They’re gay and Aidan knows almost everything about the LGBTQ community. [she giggles] Although he calls it QUILTBAG and hopes everyone will start using this more inclusive, if silly sounding term.
EC: What does it stand for?
A: Queer, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, Asexual, and Gay.
EC: Neat. It does sound a little funny though. Do you mind if I ask about your white cane?
A: Sure. I’m visually impaired. Not like Aidan, who’s totally blind and can’t see anything, but I don’t’ see much. No movement, few colors, and basically straight ahead of me. I can read 72 point font but that’s about six times bigger than everyone else reads, so I read braille instead.
EC: I’d like to go back to you mentioning that you’re nonbinary. How and when did you realize this?
A: Over the summer with Aidan and Mike. I didn’t feel like a girl or a guy-thing, and I don’t have discomfort with my body being a girl’s, but I like to wear gender neutral clothing. Like T-shirts and jeans that aren’t specifically cut for a girl. If I really start enjoying the new, UU, church Mike and Aidan and I are going to, I might ask to wear a suit or something. But for now, I like it that Aidan says they’ll take me as I am.
EC: Thank you for visiting with us, Ash. Is there anything you’d like to share that I haven’t asked?
A: You didn’t ask why I had to be thirteen before someone would even talk about adopting me.
EC: Mike and Aidan are planning to adopt you?
A: If they can get all the right permissions.
EC: Okay, I’m asking. Why?
A: Aidan says it’s because fate wanted me to be with them. Mike says it’s God. But I think it’s because I just didn’t fit with the other families. I was too scared with them to be myself. Now I can be, and Mike, Aidan, and their adopted daughter, Candice, love me just as I am.