Friday, 7 September 2018

Update blog - 7th September



Once again it has been a while since I wrote anything but here I am attempting to get some words down on paper.

It’s hard to believe that it’s now been around eleven weeks since we move into the new house. Most of the boxes are now emptied or stuff has been placed in new plastic boxes into the garage. We still have a few jobs to be done and there always seems to be something. The biggest job yet to be completed is turning the bathroom into a wetroom which should hopefully start on the 17th of this month. So far, it’s been put back twice. The fitters are also putting a toilet and sink in the corner of one of the dormer bedrooms, so they reckon it’s going to take three weeks. The bathroom will become a wetroom and have a shower with a built-in seat screened off from the sink and toilet with all new flooring and tiles. This should make life easier for me. The other job we need to have done is getting some shelves built in the dining room/office to house the overflow of big books. I’m also thinking about investing in one of those rise and recline chairs to make things easier for me, but they don’t come cheap.

My arthritis has been challenging to say the least. I’m finding getting up more of a problem. My new bed is wonderful, but having bought it online, I didn’t realise how high it is, so getting in and out is awkward with my creaky knees. Sleep isn’t always easy as if I sleep in certain positions the pain can wake me.

The house has a lovely garden so I’m hoping to have a ramp built to get out as there are two steps of around five inches I can’t manage. We have lots of trees, including apple and two varieties of plums. We also have gooseberries in the corner. Our neighbour suggested we might have Japanese Knotweed last week but having frantically checked the internet, it turned out to be bindweed which had wrapped itself around a white phlox. Neither of us are gardeners so we have a man with big boots. I think some of the trees may have to go and there are bushes that need cutting back. At the moment, I can only look through the window, but that’s nice and I can hear the birds in the morning.

I seem to be spending most of my time lately sorting Skype out with my 80-year-old mother and 85-year-old uncle. Skype decided to change our contact names when we updated and that confused everything. My mum thinks if she presses a button the computer will blow up. She wants to talk to my uncle but can’t get through. I’ve wanted to throw the computer across the room. On top of this frustration and worrying about the bathroom being sorted, Sweetie, our six-year-old cat, has been diagnosed with a luxating patella – dodgy knee. It must run in the family. She will need an operation which may cost in four figures. We’ll pay but we’re not sure how much recuperating she’ll have to do, and she has a three week stay in the cattery first, so she isn’t here when the fitters are. She’d be under a floor board in seconds or terrified by the noise.

On the good news, fingers crossed, front, I’ve accepted an offer at the price I asked for my old house. We’re in the process of having all the checks done now. I really hope everything goes through as that will at least be one worry off my mind.

Writing – ah well, it’s been slow and none of my MCs have been talking to me much. I have three WIPs. Cormac and Lachie have been put to one side for now. Denny and Ash are getting their turn, but Owen and Jonah keep popping up every so often. Ash suddenly suggested he was genderfluid or non-binary. He still calls himself he most of the time and she if dressed as she. I’m terrified I’m going to make a mess of writing the story but have done research and read books by other authors. No one person is the same. Ash will be Ash and Denny will expand his horizons. I’m managing to get around 500 words written every so often. This means Cormac and Lachie are at 20K words, Ash and Denny at 25K words and Owen and Jonah at 29K words.
I do have a book coming out at the beginning of next year. This is my May/Dec story called Two for the Road. It's set in Lancashire. There will be more about this and a cover reveal in the near future.

I’ve read quite a few books since I last blogged. Here are those I would recommend. A Gentleman never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian, Promises and Thief of the Heart by Ruby Moone, Private Charter by N. R. Walker, Flaunt by E. Davies, Fluidity by E. M. Leya, Married Ones by Matthew Metzger, Priest by Ella Frank, and books 1&2 of Jay Northcote’s Rainbow Place series. I’ve needed some gentle reads recently and these have been great. My current reads are In Other Words Murder by Josh Lanyon and Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge. I’ve recently discovered that Cordelia has written a series. I used to read her stuff on Livejournal and thought she was brilliant.

We are still making our way through Buffy and Angel. We’re on the last series of Buffy and S4 of Angel. Also watching GBBO – love a cake. This is Us is back on but I’m getting really annoyed about Kate and how everything is about her weight. Watched Keeping Faith which was good except the ending was frustrating. Current must watch is Bodyguard – very tense! Somehow, even though I close my eyes half the time I’ve become addicted to 24 hours in A&E and there always seems to be a repeat on somewhere.

That’s about it for now. Next month is going to be a sad one in our family as it will be a year since my brother died. I think of him every day. Sometimes the guilt of being alive while he’s not can be overwhelming, especially when he has little ones who miss him terribly. Charlie looks so much like him now he’s grown up a little and lost his baby features. He’s a real little boy now. He and his sister have coped amazingly and are doing well in school.

I hope everyone had a lovely summer. The schools are back over here in the UK. I can’t say I miss not being back at work myself. I have friends who are still at the chalkface and it’s no easier being a teacher. I’m looking forward to heading into autumn. I like the sun but not when it’s warm.

Take care out there and to those off to the UK Meet, have a fun weekend.

Alexa

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Update 26th June



First, the usual apology that there have been few updates recently. I haven’t been in the best state of mind for various reasons, and not much writing has been done in a while.

Real life has been demanding. We moved house on 14th June. My knee chose that day to really seize up. Luckily, I managed to get over the threshold and into the new place. Moving was stressful. The removal firm had packed everything the day before and placed lots of boxes on their van overnight. It took three van trips to get everything here. Luckily, we had some help on the day but at six thirty that night we were left with the basics of something to sit on and sleep on and all out belongings in over 100 boxes. The next day we stared at fifteen of them placed against one wall of the living room in despair while eating left over pizza for breakfast.
Of course, having arthritis, I am next to useless at moving things, but we began opening boxes. We cleared the wall in the living room that first day and most of the stuff in the kitchen, except we couldn’t find the cutlery. Our next door neighbour came to the rescue. The cutlery, of course, was in the last of twelve boxes in the kitchen.

Over one week later, we have two functioning bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and the dining room is nearly done. The other upstairs bedroom is still full of boxes of books. Change is hard for me, but at least I can see outside now and watch the world go by. The cat is getting used to being here too and loves spending the day on the top of the stairs soaking up the sun.

As well as moving into the new place, I still have to sell my old place which means clearing it and cleaning it. Thankfully there are lovely people who do both of those things for a fee.

With all this going on, writing has been non-existent. I’ve reached an impasse with the Cormac and Lachie story. I sort of know where I’m going next but can’t get the words down. I have started to look at turning what was going to be a trilogy into a pair of books. The first one will be 80K and I have 30K of the next one. Half Full part one is ready to go but I want part two written before I submit and there is still a lot to say in this story. I figured I had to start somewhere. I’ve also decided I need a better seat so am planning to get measure up for one of those armchairs that lifts legs and lifts you up and out to lessen the pressure on my knees if I can.
I do have two stories on sale still. Choosing Home is still available at 99p or free on KU and My Highland Cowboy is one sale at 99p for this month. Next month, Sporting Chance will be on sale. I’m hoping to get a few more people to read my books. The next one, Two for the Road, won’t be out until near Christmas, but it is all edited and ready to go in case an earlier slot becomes available.
On the reading front, I’ve managed to read a few good books recently. I’ve enjoyed Crocus by Amy Lane, The Alcove by Rosalind Abel. Lock Nut by J L Merrow, and especially enjoyed Break Through by C F White and Denim by K C Wells. Current reads are Rainbow Place by Jay Northcote and The Henchman of Zenda by K J Charles. All recommended.
We haven’t watched much in the way of box sets. We did catch up with Homeland and once again I wondered why anyone would employ Carrie. Also watched the wonderful finale of Sense8. So sad not to get to see those characters again. We’ve mostly been watching football. Some how I end up having most games on. The face grabbing and rolling around has been Oscar worthy. I had hoped VAR would stop them, but it seems to be worse and there have certainly been more penalties.
That’s it for now. I hope those of you in Britain are enjoying the sun. Me, I hate the heat, so it’s not for me. I’ll just look out and sit here with the fan on full.



Saturday, 2 June 2018

MY HIGHLAND COWBOY ON SALE NOW



I love this story and now you can get it for 99p on Amazon UK or same value on other Amazon sites. The idea came from an episode of Countryfile, a UK TV show. It's had some great reviews I wanted to share. These are a few of them.

REVIEWS

Review by S.E.X Review
Drew and Duncan lit the scenery and pages with Ms. Milne's eloquent writing and creative
story telling.Together the men radiated beauty and affection. The secondary characters
added depth to the story and I hope to see many more books transpire from this one... My
Highland Cowboy was a lovely read and should not be missed.


Review by Books Laid Bare Boys
Who doesn't love a cowboy... this definitely hit the spot. This is the sort of book that I
couldn't put down and honestly some of the moments these two shared were amazingly hot!!!

Review by Boy Meets Boy Reviews
My Highland Cowboy had so many of my love buttons in it, I don’t even know where to start.
I love opposites who attract, but also complement, cowboys, snark, Scotsman, Brits, kilts and
a well-earned HEA. Drew, Duncan and I got it all in the Highlands... It wasn’t an easy road to
an HEA for these guys, but it wasn’t overly angsty either. Thankfully! The journey and the bit
of back and forth made the HEA more believable and while it did evolve pretty quickly once
the time came, the compromises were legit for their lifestyles and I was all kinds of happy for
them.

Review by Padmes Library
Cowboys, the Scottish Highlands, opposites attract, comedy, romance, heat, family.  What's
not to love?  My Highland Cowboy has it all and even though it is packed full of a little bit
of  everything it doesn't lose its heart. Will their chemistry be enough to overcome the
location logistics? Well, for that answer you will have to give My Highland Cowboy a read
for yourself but I can safely and honestly tell you that you will not regret it. Having a story
that can both break your heart and warm it on the same page is not easy and shows real talent
by the author, as is  having just the right amount of angst mixed into a lighthearted read.

Review by Making it Happen Book Blog
My Highland Cowboy is one of those stories that’s just right, with the perfect balance of…
well,just about everything.  Wonderful setting, characters I adored and in whom I became
invested, just the right amount of angst, and some hot and sexy intimate scenes thrown in
for good measure. This is definite re-read material, and though this is the first book I’ve read
by this author, I’m now adding a whole bunch more of her books to my list! It is very well
written with a good hook to keep your attention, and the chemistry between Duncan and
Drew is quite obvious and definitely sizzling...feeling their love as well as their aching from
being apart was what kept me riveted to the pages.

  Review by Heather York
My Highland Cowboy is packed full of a little bit of everything yet it doesn't lose its
heart. The whole idea of a City Slickers style ranch in Scotland is an interesting setting
to bring main characters Duncan and Drew together for a family and friends wedding.
The old adage sometimes you have to give to get,well that is what Duncan and Drew
are facing if they want to be together and watching them deny what they feel is more
than a fling is a bit heartbreaking but seeing their family and friends rally around them,
or at least try to, is heartwarming. Having a story that can both break your heart and
warm it on the samepage is not easy and shows real talent by the author.

Review by Wicked Reads
This is a very enjoyable read...Ms. Milne has created a story which hangs together really
well...Overall a good read, with some lovely scenes and fabulous side characters – thank
you, Ms. Milne.

Review by Joyfully Jay
The plot itself is wonderful in its simplicity... just two guys who are attracted to each other,
trying to navigate their worlds when they are so very different from one another. Add in
kilts, lacy men’s underwear, and some Highland cows, and you have a nice story. And if
there is a sequel in the making with two secondary MCs, then I’ll definitely read it.

Review by MM Good Book Reviews
This is a great story that I found intriguing, the idea of a Scottish cowboy was just fascinating
and having a fashion designer as his love interest was delicious... The story is perfectly
written with it being a sweet romance with just an added dash of angst, the relationship is fast
paced but it felt natural. Duncan and Drew just fit perfectly together making it seem natural
for them to fall for each other so quickly. I enjoyed this story and thought that it was a great
read; it’s perfect for a lazy afternoon in the sun where we get a huge dose of romance shot
through with hot sex.  

Review by Divine Magazine
My Highland Cowboy is an interesting twist on the usually-American-set ranch story... The
chemistry is strong, and their intimacy was very hot! The dialogue is engaging, the humor is
strong, and the story pulls you deeply into their world. A solid, fun read... recommending it
for anyone on the lookout for depth and humor with love woven throughout.  I’m fast
becoming a fan of Alexa Milne, and this is just another shining example of why!

Review by Diverse Reader
I love a story of opposites finding each other. I immediately loved both these characters.
The writing was beautiful along with the world she created for us in the Highlands of
Scotland; from the warm days of summer to the snowy days of winter... I loved the story,
the characters,and their families and I’m hoping to read a story about Lachie and
Cormac, please!!

Review by Bayou Book Junkie
I loved Duncan and I really wanted him to get his HEA... there was no denying the sparks
that flew when Duncan and Drew were together. The story was very enjoyable, fun, hot,
with just enough angst to keep things interesting and very well-written. Very
recommendable!

Review by The Geekery Book Review.
My Highland Cowboy is one of those reads that has a bit of everything, opposites attract,
cowboys, out and proud and I loved it! There is also a great blend of romance, humor and
just the right amount of angst too. I totally fell for Declan and Drew and their touching story!
This book made me laugh, made me swoon and yes there were a few tears, it really had it all.
I loved both of these men... they fall in love and find a way to make it work! I definitely am
looking forward to reading more from Alexa Milne!

Review by Key Smash Blog
The setting of this book is so vivid I could practically smell the hay. Duncan’s ranch is a
lovely backdrop for a sweet but fraught love story. I got attached to Duncan immediately;
as he came out of his shell more and more..., my emotional investment grew. There’s just
enough angst and pining to offset the sort of idyllic ranch moments, so it doesn’t ever veer
into too-fluffy territory. It’s the perfect mix of quiet and sweet and sad, with a lot of hotness
thrown in.

Review by Rainbow Book Reviews
If you like opposites attract stories, if a cowboy in the highlands and an up-and-coming
fashion designer from London sound like an interesting couple, and if you’re looking for a
read that is entertaining to the point of being very funny, has an interesting Highland
setting, and contains some very hot, passionate moments between two men falling in love,
then you will probably like this novel.

Review by Love Bytes
What makes this story interesting is the characters. Both Duncan and Drew certainly, but
the side characters as well. The sex scenes were well done, and I totally felt the bond that
forms between the men... It was a good way to spend my reading time this weekend, sexy
men are always a good thing!

Review by V's Reads
This is a sweet and sassy romance... These guys have so much love to give. There are really
nice side characters here [too], who are supportive and loving of both Duncan and Drew.


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Series Recap Blitz: Responsible Adult Series by C F White (excerpt)

Responsible Adult Series 
Book #1 - Misdemeanor - currently 99c

Book #2 - Hard Time  - currently 1.99
Book #3 - Reformed - currently 2.99

The Responsible Adult series follows bad boy Micky O’Neill as he attempts to better his life to bring up his disabled little brother. A past full of juvenile delinquency and living in a small town rife with idle gossip means Micky struggles to be seen as anything other than a no-hoper from the wrong side of the tracks... until he takes a job at the local supermarket and meets his boss, Dan, a university graduate and self-proclaimed shy, awkward bookworm.


Dan, older and burned from a past relationship, is the one person who sees through Micky’s tough-guy facade to the true heart underneath. With fear and mistrust on both sides, the two must steer their way through a complicated relationship where outside forces are determined to break them up at every turn.


Responsible Adult is a series about growing up and learning that falling in love always brings responsibility.



Excerpt from Misdemeanor


“You can join us if you like. Enough to go around.” Dan pointed at all the food and drink.

Micky looked down, licking his lips, but shook his head. He glanced at the play park and Dan followed his line of sight to see the blond bloke by the swings surrounded by a gaggle of girls, one of whom he picked up in a fireman’s carry and proceeded to slap her arse. Micky snorted and turned back to Dan.


“Thanks, but I got Flynn.” He scrunched up his legs, hugging his knees to his chest and hung the glass down over the top.


“Your parents not around then?” Dan asked, voice full of concern.


“Nah,” Micky said with a shrug. “Mum passed away. A while back now. And Dad’s, well, Dad’s not round so much anymore.”


“Workaholic?” Dan asked, almost hopeful.


“Something aholic, yeah,” Micky said. He shuffled his feet on the blanket, bunching it up and flattening it back down. “He’s just not good to be around Flynn.”


“So you take care of him by yourself?” Dan asked.


Micky nodded.


“Wow. That’s…” Dan searched for the word. Three years spent lovingly studying the English language hoping to come into good use this time. “Commendable.”


“Not really,” Micky said, ducking his head. “Any sibling would do it.”


“I don’t know about that, mate,” Dan said. “My big sister can be a right cow. She would’ve left me on a doorstep somewhere.”


Micky chuckled. He didn’t pay Dan much attention, choosing to watch Flynn and Tamsin as she spun him on the seated roundabout. Dan watched them, too, for a bit, before turning back to Micky.


“He’s a character,” Dan acknowledged. “There a reason he’s so small?”


Micky finally turned his attention on Dan. “Yeah,” he replied, voice tiny and tight. He scraped his teeth over his bottom lip several times, dragging away the congealed moisture forming over them. “He’s got a condition. He’s a little behind in years, too.”


“Oh,” Dan said. He might have that etched onto his gravestone. “What’s the condition?”


“Williams syndrome?” Micky replied, then, with a shrug, shook his head. “Don’t worry. No one’s ever heard of it. It’s pretty rare. One in twenty thousand or so.”


“Oh,” Dan said. Again. For fuck’s sake.


“So, yeah, I’m sorry about earlier. I probably snapped at you.” Micky twirled the glass in his hand. “The friendly thing. One of the things he’s lacking is any stranger danger. They’re a bit overly social, if you know what I mean. Susceptible to being taken advantage of. Scares the crap out of me.”


Micky dipped his head, shaking it from side to side. He shuffled again and Dan sensed he was clamming up after having been so forthcoming. Dan didn’t want Micky to stop talking. He was strangely fascinated by him. It wasn’t just that the bloke was nice to look at, which he evidently was. But his voice had an undertone of something more and Dan desperately wanted to find out what that was.


“How else does it affect him?” Dan wondered aloud.


“Multitude of things.” Micky exhaled. He took a deep breath before responding any further. “Medical stuff like a weak heart. Had two major heart surgeries as a baby. Will probably need another one in his lifetime. He has stomach troubles. Bowel issues. Weak muscles. The eyes. Teeth. Hyperthyroid. Plus he’s got learning difficulties.” Micky’s eyes glazed over as he swished the glass in his hand. “He’s an eternal child. Sees the world like it should be in a fairy tale, minus the evil characters. Everything is bright and beautiful and everyone is his friend.” Micky paused. “It’s a real shame that life isn’t like that. Because a world full of Flynns would be the one I wanna live in.”


Dan paused for a moment, trying to take it all in. What Micky said. Flynn. The condition. The ideal. And how Micky described it all.


“I’m sorry you’re dealing with all that by yourself,” Dan finally said. “I had no idea.”


He’d just been lusting after his body all week. Now Dan knew the bloke had a soft, loving and caring side, what the hell was that going to do to him now?




Author Bio

Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.


She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.


Having worked in Higher Education for most of her career, a life-altering experience brought pen back to paper after she’d written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Having embarked on this writing malarkey, C F White cannot stop. So strap in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride...



n honour of Williams Syndrome Awareness Day, Pride Publishing are putting Misdemeanor, Hard Time and Reformed on a price promotion. You can get all three books at 99p/c each on Friday 18th May. Link here: https://www.pride-publishing.com/serial/responsible-adult, but you can also buy it at this price at most other retailers.

If you’d like to learn more about Williams Syndrome, then you can find out all the excellent work that the charities in both the UK and US do here:

www.williams-syndrome.org.uk
www.williams-syndrome.org