Friday, 11 October 2013

It's my birthday, and I'm feeling generous... and curious!

I love birthdays. I always have and I probably always will. (But check back in with me when I turn fifty to see how that’s going.) They never feel like a year gone, but a year gained: another year of memories and life experience. I tend to hang out with people older than myself a lot, so I’m actually always excited to get older. (And to get presents.)

This year, I’m turning 23 and I’ve never felt better. Okay, so 22 was possibly one of the worst years of my life, but I feel like I’m taking some important lessons away from it, and I’m really happy to be turning a corner and just looking ahead. This is probably the first year that I’ve felt different on a birthday, and it’s a strange but liberating feeling. It feels… powerful. And I’m going to take that power and run with it.

But first, let’s get 23 off to a good start! I have one paperback copy of “The Truth About Riley” to give away, and three e-books. I’m happy to ship the paperback anywhere in the world, and if you’re a runner-up who already has an e-book copy of “Riley”, I’ll hold that thought and send you a free copy of the sequel when it’s released next year.

To enter, just leave a comment with your name and either:
a)      Your favourite birthday memory;
b)      Your favourite memory of being 23; or
c)      Your favourite birthday scene in a novel, and why you love that scene.

I’ll leave this open for 48 hours for entries, and draw the four winners on Sunday around 5p.m. EDT.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

How do you start a blog post...

...when you go silent for a while and then release a book?

Well, silence first, I suppose. I had uni finals, so I led myself not into temptation and failed most of them anyway—oops! Then it was knuckling down to finish editing my debut novel—more on that in a moment. About that time, I also started a new job. And roughly two weeks ago, enter second job. (Well, fourth, if you count the writing and proofreading I was already doing.)

So there you have it. Final exams, intense edits and new jobs aren’t conducive to writing blog posts when you’re an introvert who just wants to cower under the safety of your rock. Apologies for that.

But today, I’m crawling out from under my rock for some fabulously rainbow news: my debut novel is released today! The Truth About Riley is now available in ebook and paperback from Bottom Drawer Publications and other booksellers, including Barnes and Noble. (I still gibber with excitement and awe a little when I think about that.)

So what is the truth about Riley? Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite, and the cover to wet your mouth. (No, seriously. Is that not the most droolworthy cover model of all time?)

Riley Aylworth’s life has been completely devoid of intimate contact since a fire three years ago left him with horrific facial scarring, so when he finds an ad for a phone sex service, he decides to give it a call. Except that the number is not a phone sex service—it’s the revenge Cameron Kirkwood’s ex-boyfriend took on the uptight advertising executive after Cam forgot their anniversary and accidentally put him in the hospital. Needless to say, after thirty-nine disturbing calls seeking phone sex, Cameron is at the end of his tether and yells at his fortieth caller. What he doesn’t expect is for Riley to hit redial and yell right back.

The argument helps both Cameron and Riley vent about their issues, and when they’ve calmed down, they decide to exchange numbers and talk again. From this decision springs a friendship that, over time, grows into a gentle romance—all over the phone, because Riley is too scared to meet Cam in person. Showing a potential boyfriend his disfigured face is the fastest way to get rejected, right? Even a month of scorching hot phone sex can’t change his mind, no matter how hard Cam tries to persuade him that with their phone chemistry, the sex would be so much better in person.

Meanwhile, Cam is haunted by the scarred blond he seems to be seeing everywhere, and Riley can’t get the handsome brunet who always seems happy to see him out of his mind. It’s a shock to both men to realise that the guy they’re falling for over the phone is also the man who brightens their day with just a smile; but it’s one thing to let a stranger smile at you and quite another to let him close enough to see into your soul. If Riley can’t break down the walls in his mind and believe that Cameron loves him in spite of his scars, their relationship may be doomed before they’ve even had a chance to kiss.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, you can find the whole of Chapter One HERE on a separate page of the blog. Don’t worry, this is sanctioned by my publisher. BDP released the entire chapter as three teaser extracts in the run-up to today—they’ve done a much better job of selling me than I have. Me, I’m just hoping the words will speak for themselves.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

R&R's First Guest... Introducing Andrew Q. Gordon

Today I welcome to the blog Andrew Q. Gordon, author of (Un)Masked and the Champion of the Gods series.

Hey there, Andrew! It’s great to have you on the blog today. Your last release, The Last Grand Master, is the first in a high fantasy series. Is there a particular reason you chose to write in that genre? It’s always been one of my favourites to read, but I find the idea of having to create an entire world daunting.

Fantasy has always been a favorite of mine too.  I've always wanted to do a High Fantasy – it's a story that's been in me forever.  What helped in creating the world is that I wrote about 1.7 million word of the story before I submitted Book 1 for publication.  So all 'little' bits of the world sort of have years to develop.  Then when I started to revise the rough draft, I had an entire world fleshed which made it much easier to 'build' with.

Do you have a favourite character from your own writing?

That's a tough one – yeah I have some I find easier to write, or more fun to write, but if I had to pick just one? I'd probably go with Peter from Second Shot (a story available for free on Gay Authorsjust click the title to read.) I think there are more 'elements' of me [or my younger me] in him than most.  

Which of your books, published or upcoming, did you have the most fun writing?

I think the one I had the most fun writing is (Un)Masked.  Anyta Sunday and I co-wrote it and I just loved working with her.  We are probably going to do some more books together soon, which thrills me.  I think she's brilliant and working with her really helped me a lot.  The other thing that really stands out is the setting. Antya is from New Zealand originally and writing it, she would toss out somewhere or something from New Zealand and I'd go look it up and as we wrote it, Wellington seemed to come alive for me.  That was pretty cool.

Do you have a preferred time and place for writing?

Now with the baby, any time I can is my new favorite.  I usually use the kitchen table and most of my work is done after 'lil q goes to sleep around 8:30ish. Before that I used to love to go to the coffee shop and write. I'd plug my earphones into my MacBook and could disappear while I wrote. Then if I was stuck, I could look around to see if there was anything worth checking out.  Usually there was/is.

How important is music to you as a writer?

Music isn't a huge piece of writing for me.  It can be stimulating, but mostly I use it to block out the rest of the world. With the right tunes, I can totally ignore yet hear the music. 

Pick one of your books. What three words or phrases would you use to sell it to me?

Since Purpose is due out next, let me use that.  The first three words of the book are: "Someone died tonight." I'll leave it at that.

Speaking as a reader now, what do you look for in a good book?

I'm a terrible reader because I have my own pet peeves as a writer.  But what's 'good' for me is vivid, memorable characters – much more so than an engaging plot.  I loved Larry Benjamin's What Binds Us. I just thought it was fabulous.  The three MC, Thomas, Dondi and Matthew were so well done, it was like I knew them. But he also wove such memorable secondary characters that each had a life of their own.  That to me is a great book. That I still think about it well after I've turned the last page.

Anything you’ve read lately that you can recommend?

Oops, answered this too soon.  Aside from that, I loved Veined by Anyta Sunday, Plan B by SJD Peterson and Captive Heart by Tali Spencer. So that's a contemporary paranormal, contemporary college age romance and a fantasy – something for everyone. =)

If you could have lunch with any three authors, living or dead, who would they be and why?

Tolkein – just because; Stephen Donaldson I've read some articles about him and think he's fascinating, and Mercedes Lackey – her Valdemar series were so amazing to me when I found them as someone who was just coming out. 

Back to writing… What can we look forward to seeing from you next?
Purpose is next. The Spirit of Vengeance takes human hosts and forces them to avenge the innocent. Purpose looks at the toll it takes on one man – William Morgan – and what happens when he meets someone who he falls in love with. How do you reconcile your 'Purpose' with your humanity?  I think it's a bit different than the usual from me.
I'm working on Book 2 of the Champion of The Gods. And I hope to have at least one college age novel/novella out by this time next year.  We'll see.

And finally, is there any advice you can give to aspiring writers?
I'd want to know why they're writing. If they want to write and be published and make it their career, I'd tell them to write a lot and start thinking about getting your name out there.  Reality is harsh, but it's like winning the lottery to have a book published that 'takes' off and makes enough to live off of.
If the goal is just to write because it's in you – join an online writing community and share your work with readers.  There are thousands of readers who go to Gay Authors to read gay fiction for free. The feedback, encouragement and support is really amazing if you share something with them. 

A big thanks to Andrew Q Gordon for taking the time to stop by. Good luck with your future writing, and have a great day!
Thanks for having me.

You can keep up with Andrew's writing by checking out his website, or find him on Facebook or Twitter. You can also get in touch by emailing him at

If you enjoyed meeting Andrew today, check out his latest titles. If they look interesting, just click the covers to be taken to the buy page.


Jay Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.

When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life. 

The Last Grand Master

Champion of the Gods: Book One

In a war that shook the earth, the Six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For the three thousand years since, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity.

But then a new wizard unleashes the power of Neldin. Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, uses dark magic to create an army of creatures to carry out his master's will.

One by one, the sovereign realms fall. Soon the only wizard who can stop Meglar is Grand Master Farrell, the Prince of Haven, the hidden home of refugees. An untried wizard, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

While helping Nerti, queen of the unicorns, Farrell saves Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen to be Farrell's mate. But Farrell approaches love with caution, and before he can decide how to proceed, Meglar invades a neighboring kingdom. Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Farrell pushes himself to the limit as he and Miceral fight not only to stop Meglar but for their very survival.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Welcome and stuff

Hey there! Welcome to Rascals and Rainbows, the place where M/M romance author Henrietta Clarke will be sharing her thoughts on reading, writing and romance—just what it says in the tagline.

First, a little about myself. I’m a Yorkshire lass who has been writing pretty much her whole life, but only got into M/M romance a couple of years ago. I was first published in October 2012 and haven’t looked back—my debut novel, The Truth About Riley, is due for release in early July. You can find out more about my books here, and I’ll be keeping you updated with what I’m currently working on right here on the blog. When I’m not writing, I’m generally reading, baking or sewing. I’m a hopeless romantic, a cynical idealist, and an ardent believer in true love. I also believe that sod’s law governs everything and laughter is the best medicine.

Next, a little about the blog. I’m going to use this space for a variety of things: updates on my writing, maybe with some quotes and snippets from upcoming work, the occasional free short story, and of course some giveaways. In addition, I’ll be bringing in some guest bloggers, interviewing other authors, and reviewing any books I think are definitely worth your time to read. And I’ll most likely throw in some posts about random things happening in my life, so you get to know the woman behind the pen a little better.

So, that’s who I am and what I want to achieve here. I hope you’ll find something here to satisfy you. If you want to get in touch, links to my Twitter and Facebook profiles are in the sidebar, or you can email heclarke[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk. Looking forward to hearing from you!