Book, M/M, relationship, Romance

M/M adventure romance at your fingertip – available on Amazon

Hot Property

 

Blurb

Paul is a successful barrister living in a trendy area of London. Once he comes back home from work and finds a dashing, topless stranger with a tool belt around his hips. Only gradually he remembers that he has started building works on his property. He invites the stranger to have a glass of wine with him and… the rest is history? Yes, but not of the kind he could have imagined in his wildest dreams. The stranger turns out to be a tad more mysterious than he can handle. In a matter of days he finds himself embroiled in a passionate affair and a dangerous game where he doesn’t make the rules. If only he could run… If only there was anything he wouldn’t do for James…

And here’s a copy for you ❤ :

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KQDVB8V

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KQDVB8V

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07KQDVB8V

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07KQDVB8V

 

 

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art, communication, interpersonal, lifestyle, self-expression, society

Art: Self-Expression or Communication?

Lou Watton

Have you ever wondered (deep inside, naturally) looking at a piece of art if there was something wrong with you? Something like this: ‘Here is an artistic work which has sold for millions, yet it doesn’t make any sense to me. I wouldn’t pay the price of a cup of coffee for it. I’d rather have another coffee…’ Indeed, how can a line against a coloured background be anything above what it is? And then you muse: ‘Am I missing something here? Maybe I’m not cultured enough? But what if I am right and the rest of the humankind has gone mad? What if it’s only a question of fashion, and someone just has to say that the king is naked! (It won’t be me, though.)’ If it has ever happened to you, know that you have walked into a paradox that cannot be solved, because the answer to all…

View original post 1,312 more words

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family, interpersonal, psychology, relationship

How to be the best daughter in the world

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Yesterday was my Mum’s birthday.  I was almost certain that she was not going to like whatever I would buy for her, yet I still made this mistake of buying something (I could have given cash!). I sacrificed my lunch break. I went to a nice place. I took my time looking for the best. I thought I found it. It was a merino wool jumper. This is because she doesn’t like synthetic fabrics.

I gave it to her. She didn’t like it. She said natural fabrics were difficult to wash. She couldn’t be bothered. I was all wrong. Why couldn’t I buy nylon? Didn’t they have any? I took her back to the shop, as they had plenty of nylon. She now had a choice.

Fast forwarding (really fast!), she didn’t like anything. “This is all nice. But I don’t know. This is not my life style. This is not me.” I just returned the jumper. And I took my money back.

And I drew cash. And I gave it to her. Finally she was happy and I – at peace. Next time I’ll  just have my lunch and be the best daughter in the world. Amen.

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lifestyle, psychology, self-help, Sports

The Psychology of Jogging

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I didn’t make any New Year resolutions, but unexpectedly to myself I started jogging… first thing in the morning, before I go to work. It really is dark and cold out there at this time and pretty empty, despite it being central London. And when I found myself in this inhospitable environment, I realised that it’s not all about keeping physically fit and healthy. It benefits your emotional health even more.

These masochistic jogging sessions, taken earlier than you need to wake up, when you could still be legitimately horizontal, give you the sense of confidence and control, they empower you. It happens because in the morning it’s difficult to wake up and leave your cocoon. The world seems limitless, inscrutable and therefore menacing. Your day ahead seems overwhelming. The self feels small and defenceless before its might. However, when you wake up half an hour earlier and go out, into the dark and cold, everything else thereafter seems manageable, because you have seen the world beyond your normal day with all its challenges and you know its boundaries. Boundaries mean control.

Below are the images of Primrose Hill as it’s supposed to be and the same place as I see it when I enter it at 7 am on a January morning 😂 

 

 

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M/M, Romance, Venice

New Release – Isola Di Fiore

Isola - High Res

 

My new book Isola di Fiore is coming out on 9 August as part of Under the Uniform series from Aubergine Publishing.

 

It’s available for pre-order here:

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Isola-Fiore-Romance-Erotica-Uniform-ebook/dp/B07DZPKTTJ

US: https://www.amazon.com/Isola-Fiore-Romance-Erotica-Uniform-ebook/dp/B07DZPKTTJ/

Blurb

Francesco Di Fiore is a handsome bellboy at a luxury Venetian Hotel. On an average day you can find him in a dashing burgundy uniform with sleek golden streaks. He is popular with guests of both sexes, who spoil him with lavish gifts. He is at ease with his colleagues, many of whom he has also got to know well. He loves his job and rarely leaves his hotel. His hotel is his cocoon that protects him from the elements outside. No wonder he feels no urge to venture out.One night his life takes an unexpected turn and all because he decides to take time off and taste the world outside. He goes on a date, has a good time and finds himself too drunk to notice that his date has wandered off. When he sobers up, he is walking alone through the dark streets of Venice. He stops to watch passing gondolas, but sees something very different. He watches a man tightening a noose about his neck by a bridge down the canal. Francesco dashes through the labyrinth of narrow streets to get to the man just in time to save him. They fall down in each other arms on the cold stones by the canal. When Francesco opens his eyes, he realises that the turmoil in his life is not going to end here.

The stranger in Francesco’s arms is every bit as attractive as he is vulnerable. Francesco senses trouble. His protected life in a five star paradise is about to come to an end. He brings the stranger to his tiny loft room at the top floor of the hotel. The stranger’s name is Ralf and he is a full time artist and a makeshift poet. Francesco hears a story of a desperate heartbreak and feels unable to show his guest the door. They fall asleep together in his single bed. This is how their turbulent relationship begins.

Ralf settles in Francesco’s room and Francesco provides both the roof over his head and counselling. Soon neither of them can say whether Francesco’s sensitive care is the kindness of a stranger or the affection of a kindred spirit. They begin a passionate affair against the backdrop of the great city. They lose themselves in the web of narrow streets and snaking canals, caught in the whirl of their frenzied emotions. They divide their time between the splendour of Venetian palaces and a farmer’s hut on a rural island in the Venetian lagoon. Will Francesco’s lifestyle and temptations of high life destroy their volatile arrangement, or will Francesco Di Fiore once again rescue his troubled poet and whisk him away to a rustic paradise, where they could belong only to each other?

Isola Di Fiore is everybody’s dream only a few can follow. Have a taste of what it’s like on the other end. This is a novella of 35,000 words in the M/M genre for an adult reader.

 

Under the Uniform

 

Major release of 2018 – Under the Uniform series from Aubergine Publishing. Seven amazing M/M authors at their best in this mega-release spanning three months. Every fortnight you will be treated to a great story. Every story is independent, but they all have someone special at their heart – a man in a uniform. Ever wondered what is Under the Uniform? Now is the chance to find out.

In the series:

Dance With Me by Ann Grech
Rescue Me by Tracy McKay
Made to Measure by Viva Gold
Hot Nurse by Brad Tanner 23.08.2018
Long Tall Texan by Lisa Harris 06.09.2018
Square One by Jessica Harris/JJ Harper 20.09.2018

 

 

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art, child development, National Gallery, parenting, Van Dyck

The case of a missing Van Dyck

We have a copy of Van Dyck at home, as above. Here Van Dyck depicted his close friend, Francois Langlois, who was an engraver and an art dealer. This is my favourite work by Van Dyck, one he didn’t paint for big bucks and indeed never got a penny out of. For once he just painted what he liked.

Back in August, when my twins were 3 years and 2 months old my son asked me to explain what it was, pointing at the painting. So, I did. I said it was a painting by Van Dyck, of his friend.

‘And a dog,’ my son said.

‘Yes, there’s a dog here too,’ I agreed. ‘He must have had a dog.’

Then my son said:

‘Mammy, let’s go to Van Dyck.’

And I thought: Why not?

And so we went on our first visit to the National Gallery. My grand design was first to take them to the portrait they already knew, then try to explain to them that Van Dyck had painted many more things and show them around.

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To cut the short story short our visit to the National Gallery lasted about 3 minutes. When we entered Van Dyck’s room, we discovered that the portrait of Langlois wasn’t there. They had taken it down for whatever reason. They had no idea what a volatile material I was dealing with – brains of three-year-olds. I did my best to convince my little visitors that all they saw around was Van Dyck, but they kept on saying: ‘Mammy, let’s go home.’ And we did. As we were leaving, my son said: ‘Mammy, we’re going to see Van Dyck, alright?’ I replied: ‘Unfortunately not. Not until you appreciate there’s more to Van Dyck.’

After this visit they kept on reminding me about Van Dyck and the fact that they still hadn’t seen him (the panting is still on our wall, so I suppose there’s no escape). But weeks passed and eventually the word ‘Van Dyck’ parted from our vocabulary… Until the early days of October, when my daughter came up to me out of the blue and said: ‘Mammy, I want to see Van Dyck.’ So, I agreed once again and I didn’t regret.

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They were only 3 years 4 months old now, but the transformation was spectacular. There was still no trace of our good old Langlois, but they accepted that everything in the room was Van Dyck. I told them about the king. They were more excited about the horse. I told them: ‘If you must know Van Dyck didn’t even paint the horse. He wouldn’t paint horses and clothes. He would subcontract it.’ No, I’m not claiming they understood it (well, I just don’t know), but they listened to me attentively. I was able to take them to other rooms and we talked about boats and houses and trees. I showed them another Van Dyck, in another room. Then my son pointed to a painting opposite and asked: ‘Is this also Van Dyck?’ And I said: ‘No, this is Rubens.’ And thus we moved on.

From Van Dyck as an item to Van Dyck as a category in less than three months. From Van Dyck as a category to Van Dyck as a part of the artistic universe in one single visit. From one dimension to three… In less than three months they developed the ability to see a work of art not in isolation, but as a part of a larger creative input by the same individual. In less than a day they realised this input was only the beginning of their journey into the world of art. It looked like the next dimension was only around the corner.

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We were so excited we went to the National Gallery again, and this time we took a proper adult tour of the place, getting properly tired as a result:

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No new dimensions were discovered on that day.

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art, opera, unrequited love

Una Furtiva Lagrima – the essence of unrequited love

L’elisir d’amore (Elixir of Love) is a popular opera by Gaetano Donizetti about unrequited love, and Una Furtiva Lagrima (One Furtive Tear) is by far its most well-known aria. This is one of the most performed arias of all times.

In the olden days the theme of unrequited love was always among the favourites in the works of art – a dear of poets, musicians and artists. In contemporary works it has no more than a faint presence, which is a shame, since it plays a prominent role as far as the human condition is concerned.

Unrequited love is one of the worst experiences you can have in life. There are plenty of those who will say experience is experience and it’s valuable for that, it makes you grow emotionally, it makes you who you are… Err… I can assure you that none of those who would say such a thing actually has proper experience of the matter. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? On rare occasions. Most of the time it scars you for life. Unrequited love is a nasty thing. It dwarfs you. It dehumanises you. You feel very small. You depend on someone’s mercy, but mercy is one thing you almost never get.

The main problem here is that people are mostly selfish. They are concerned only with their own hurts, and indifferent and even cruel when it comes to the hurts of others. Yes, no one is obliged to love. But in the olden days they probably had a better understanding of the fact that we all have responsibility to fellow human beings at the human level. In this respect sensitivity to the matters of heart becomes an obligation, even where feelings are absent. You are not obliged to love, but you have to be kind. Where an outright rejection can cause sufferings, understanding and compassion can gently take through the worst… But unfortunately this rarely happens, and Una Furtva Lagrima is as relevant as it was at the time it was written.

In my view this piece goes to the very root of the condition and captures its very essence. In this story the main protagonist is an uncouth peasant. He falls in love with a woman more sophisticated than himself, who has always been arrogant towards him, without any hope of winning her heart. So, in order to help himself he buys what he believes to be an elixir of love, a potion capable of making anyone irresistible to the object of his affection. In reality it’s just a cheap wine. He drinks it (which makes him completely drunk) and when he sees the woman of his dreams he spots a tear in her eyes. He believes his elixir is working and her tear is a sign that she has feelings for him… In reality she is simply annoyed with him.

Una furtiva lagrima
negli occhi suoi spuntò:
Quelle festose giovani
invidiar sembrò.
Che più cercando io vo?
Che più cercando io vo?
M’ama! Sì, m’ama, lo vedo. Lo vedo.
Un solo istante i palpiti
del suo bel cor sentir!
I miei sospir, confondere
per poco a’ suoi sospir!
I palpiti, i palpiti sentir,
confondere i miei coi suoi sospir…
Cielo! Si può morir!
Di più non chiedo, non chiedo.
Ah, cielo! Si può! Si, può morir!
Di più non chiedo, non chiedo.
Si può morir! Si può morir d’amor.

A single furtive tear
from her eyes sprang:
Of those festive, young girls
envious it seemed to be.
What more need I look for?
What more need I look for?
She loves me! Yes, she loves me, I see it. I see it.
Just for an instant the beating of
her beautiful heart I heard!
And my sighs became as one
fleetingly with her sighs!
Her heart beating, her heart beating to hear,
our sighs confounded as one…
Heavens! Yes I could, I could die!
More I can’t ask, I can’t ask.
Oh, heavens! Yes I could! Yes I could die!
More I can’t ask, I can’t ask.
Yes I could die! If I could die of love.

This is exactly what happens to you. You scour for any signs, however small, to convince yourself that you mean something to him/her, only to sober up and see that you have no meaning at all. This unrelenting roller-coaster your mind sends you on can exhaust you to delirium. Every sign can become a proof that you’re meant to be together, and the wilder your imagination runs, the more devastating your comeback to reality becomes. You see the tear, and you feel the heartbeat, and your respective sighs become as one… but then it strikes you that you’re on your own.

Next time you think you’re screwed – think Una Furtiva Lagrima.

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