Elaine White is the author of multi-genre romance, covering everything from paranormal, crime and contemporary. Growing up in a small town and fighting cancer in her early teens taught her that life is short and dreams should be pursued. Living vicariously through her independent, and often hellion characters, she lives comfortably at home with a pack of wolves cleverly disguised as one standard poodle. The Winner of two Watty Awards – Collector's Dream (An Unpredictable Life) and Hidden Gem (Faithfully) – and an Honourable Mention in 2016's Rainbow Awards (A Royal Craving) she has explored the worlds of multiple genres, but remains a romantic at heart. A self-professed geek, Elaine has fallen in love with reading and writing LGBT romance, offering diversity in both genre and character within her stories.
I’m an author and reader, who just can’t get away from books. I discovered the MM genre a few years ago and became addicted.
Top #50 UK reviewer on Goodreads
#1 reviewer on Divine Magazine
Never Let Me Go, by Elaine White
The Prequel to The One That Got Away
I have LOADS of books on my TBR list for 2018. This post will feature some of the paperbacks and e-books that I've purchased over the years, that I really want to actually get read. I spent good money on buying them, but I always prioritise those that I've agreed to review and never seem to make time for those that I paid money for. Which seems kind of ridiculous. So, 2018 is my year of catching up on the ones I was desperate to read, paid for, and never got round to.
Of course, there will be a mountain of solo novels that I want to read, but since 2018 is my year of catching up, I plan to do the series books first. There are a lot of comics that I also want to read, since I've been buying quite a few Humble Bundle's ever since I discovered the site last year. Plus, comics are great for fitting in when you don't have a lot of time. A comic of 150 pages can be read in just half an hour, thanks to the fact that all the world building and detail is put into the illustrations, so you can fit in a whole lot of comics in a short time than you can short stories or novels.
Right Kind of Wrong, book 3 in the Decadent Series, by Elaine White.
Even bad boys can get their hearts broken.
#Decadent #lgbtq #indieauthor #mmromance
Charlie Stone has problems. He’s just found his boyfriend and his new BFF in bed together, and only because he failed to show up for his fortnightly back, crack and sack wax. Furious, he storms out of the house and speeds away from the gates of his luxury life into the unknown.
When he finds himself stranded on the side of the road in a remote village, his future looking bleak, his dreams wasted on a fairy tale that turned out to be a nightmare, he’s not expecting the handsome but shaggy-looking bookshop owner, Nathan Marshall, to come to his rescue. A Divine intervention if Charlie ever saw one. But the village is foreign land to glamour puss Charlie, who’s more at home shopping for the latest trends and getting his hair coiffed than trekking through muddy hills in jeans and wellies. And Nathan’s never even seen the inside of a beauty salon, let alone considered having that tumbleweed on his chest waxed.
Hope seems lost until Charlie discovers that an amateur dramatics group are looking for budding stars to fill in two of their starring roles. Could the village offer more than babbling streams, scenic moorland and the smell of horse manure? Could it offer a chance to claim back the dreams he thought he’d lost? And, more importantly, could an unlikely romance be brewing on the horizon? Even when the dark pasts of this unlikely pairing come back to haunt them?
A darkly comic look at love, death, dysfunctional family and emotional trauma. Gay romance. Gay romantic comedy.
Book – His Boy
Author – Dean Cole
Star rating - ★★★★★
Cover – Cute!
POV – 1st person, present tense, one character
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Contemporary, Romance, Comedy
Content Warning – domestic abuse, suicidal thoughts, cheating, mental health, stalking
Yes, this is a romantic comedy, but it's also so much more than that. It's a journey of self discovery, of self reflection, and, as Nathan puts it, an awakening.
I'm still feeling pretty speechless, having just finished it, with a tension headache from wanting to cry but not being able to, so forgive me if I prattle on and don't make any sense.
I loved the main character of Charlie. He's flamboyant, femme, over-dramatic and adorable. Vulnerable at the core, he's someone who has been seeking validation his entire life but has never found it outside of a credit card before. He constantly underestimates himself, undervalues himself, and got sucked into the belief that material things could make him happy.
The story starts with Charlie escaping just after finding his boyfriend and best friend in bed together. He runs out, without his wallet, steals his boyfriend's temperamental car, in his bunny slippers, and a phone with a dead battery. Then gets stranded in the rain when he tries to avoid killing a bunny that surprises him on the road in the middle of nowhere. All this happens in the first few pages, but already we learn so much about who Charlie is, what his personality is like. That is so difficult to do with a 1st person narrative, and it's one of the reasons that I've never been a big fan of them. Sometimes it can take chapters before a character is organically named, described, or explored personality wise, in a 1st person narrative. Dean Cole avoids all of this, because the entire narrative is 1st person present tense, which means we're basically inside Charlie's mind the entire time, so he thinks through his choices, contemplates mistakes and opportunities, all as we follow his journey.
Then in walks Nathan, the saviour. A bookshop owner – yay, for the small town business man! – and someone with a heart big enough to take Charlie in on a thundering, raining night, but who isn't all that and then some. He's lifted off his feet by the evil cheating boyfriend, Richard, at one point, doesn't fight back, isn't in perfect condition, and that's awesome! Nathan is real, in a way that Richard is superficially everything that a man of forty-nine should be in a romance novel. Only, instead of Richard being the one who gets the guy in the end, it's Nathan. Breaking stereotypes and book tropes all in one.
Right from the start, I loved how Charlie was written, that he had that snarky, bitchy sense of human that I love so much, but can be quite over-the-top in the wrong set-up. He didn't have a great childhood, with a homophobic father, an absent/disinterested mother, but he fought hard to get away from all of that, even if it did take him down the wrong road. In a way, Nathan had a similar upbringing, except that he lost his parents to an accident, they died when he was young and he was raised by his grandfather. They both grew up alone, isolated from other kids their age, without parents who were there to help them grow. And I love that they discuss their pasts openly, when it feels natural. And they had great chemistry together, especially before anything bedroom-related happened. Which, when it did, was entirely off page and only known from Charlie telling his bestie Sasha about it.
I loved that there was a lot of soul searching going on in Charlie, right from page one. He knew that he'd been complicit in certain behaviours, that he'd allowed certain things to happen right in front of his eyes, and that things needed to change. And, despite the temper tantrums, the feisty moments, the times when his mood swings and depression got the best of him, Charlie tried his hardest to make it work. To find a way to change his fate, his luck, and his life, to something that was positive.
There's also a really diverse character set. I mean, it isn't often that I find someone even close to resembling me in a book, but there was Penny – a woman in a wheelchair, who had a positive outlook on life, and wasn't woe-is-me, but who wanted to get on with living her life to the full. Sasha and the girls were a riot of hard working, bubbly, exciteable girls who had Charlie's back no matter what. Hyacinth exists in just about every small town there is – a woman who had a dream, but gave that up for marriage/babies or some other demand that made it impossible to have both, who could never get over that loss, who thought themselves a failure and took it out on everyone else. And Richard, the self obsessed businessman with more money than sense, a temper that drifts into the controlling and violent, and a manipulative nature that is unrivaled. There are disabled characters, old biddies looking for a shot at stardom in community theatre, smart bookstore owners with a dream they're afraid to pursue, the flamboyant gay hag with no dress sense and no class, and the ordinary, every day people who make up a little village like my home, and the one in this book, who balance out the craziness of those who shine a little too brightly.
It addressed serious issues – like parental abandonment/loss, domestic abuse, financial independence, and anxiety/panic attacks – while still being the right kind of funny, the right kind of sweet and romantic. It wasn't overly cute or bubbly. The chemistry between Charlie and Nathan stood up to scrutiny and longevity, despite it being a case of somewhat insta-attraction. I won't say insta-love, because it wasn't, but everything did happen in a pretty short timeline, about a week or two. Yet it still managed to feel organisc, natural, and totally believable.
Honestly, I felt Charlie's pain. I didn't have a lonely childhood, bad parents, a dream I can't pursue, or anything that he had. I wasn't poor, I don't have to depend on others for money or the luxuries in life, and I don't have all that bottled up emotion he has. But I felt it. Since about 40% of the way into the book I was constantly on the verge of tears because I could feel how messed up and emotional and desperate this poor kid was, and how much he just needed to be loved. I ended the book with a tension headache, because every time I had the chance to cry, there was something funny or sweet or distracting to take my mind off it and I never got that release. But I don't care. I have that same feeling after finishing this book that I've had with the worst ugly-cry book I've ever read. And that is...essentially...satisfaction. Because, it was everything I wanted it to be.
Overall, this was a plot based romantic comedy that hits the feels with a sledgehammer.
“I blow Richard a kiss then give him the finger. His face drops like he's just seen a ghost. Well, he has. The ghost of the old Charlie Stone. Something has shifted inside me. Something that tells me I'm never going to be the same again.”
“I'm a survivor. I mean, look at me. I've survived what were basically white water rapids on the way up here, I've eaten nothing but things that grow out of the ground and I've evaded an army of blood-thirsty witches. I'm practically Tarzan.”
The One That Got Away, by Elaine White
2017 was a tough year for me. I had a lot of health problems and they followed me into early 2018. Combine that with my publisher spreading out releases throughout the year and, from now on, I think I'll be releasing maybe 3 books a year.
That's meant I've had to think hard about what I want to release in 2019 and what order I want to keep releasing books. My Cacodemon series and Decadent series are now complete (as of end of 2018) so I need to think ahead to what is left. I have 2 stories in The Royal Series, then that will be complete, too. I also want to write a follow-up spin-off series from Cacodemon, but that's still in the developmental stage so there's no hope of it being ready for 2019 or 2020.
I've submitted a short to an anthology that will lead into The Bright Side Brigade, so that needs to be published sometime in 2019. I also promised a reader that I will publish Faithfully - a story that was previously well-loved on Wattpad and even won a Watty award - since it's been a long time since I removed it with the intention of publishing it and never got around to it. Which means 2 of my 3 slots are already booked. The fact that I'm currently writing book 4 in The Royal Series takes up my last slot for 2019, if I want to release A Royal Legacy in any sort of proximity to the rest of the series. The problem is that A Royal Legacy is split into 2 parts, because of the massive word count.
So, 2019 has three set releases : The Bright Side Brigade, Faithfully and A Royal Legacy: Part One. Which leaves A Royal Legacy: Part Two to be released early 2020. Leaving 2 further slots for that year. I think I'd like to fill them with solo novels, to get some of them out there in the world and offer my readers something fresh and different from me, but it all depends on what is completed and what I feel is ready to be published.
Or, I can go a different route and publish book 1 in a brand new series. Perhaps my Creatures of the Night series, which has 4 our of the 6 novels already completed. Add in a solo novel and that would be 2020 all set and ready to go.
Which just leaves the other 105 novels on my current WIP (mostly series count) waiting for a home.
Because I write for a living and am considered unfit to work, it means that I have more time to write continuously and as the mood strikes than someone who had a day job. Which means that I have a large pile of completed novels - about 12 that are currently in close-to-publishing condition -- that have nowhere to go.
Here's a little peek at my to-do-list, a visual representation of all the novels that are completed and ready to go, once I can find a place for them:
[gallery size="medium" ids="14380,14381,14382,14383,14384,14385,14386,14387,14388,14389,14390,14391,14392,14393,14394"]
The Other Side, book 2 in the Decadent series, by Elaine White
Ignorance is bliss…the truth is terrifying.
#Decadent #lgbtq #indieauthor #mmromance
ONE ROOM. FIVE SUSPECTS.
THREE HOURS TO FIND A KILLER.
'An impressive debut' James Oswald
A waitress. A cleaner. An actress. A lawyer. A student. Everyone is a suspect.
In a locked room - with no escape, and no idea how they got there.
In the bathtub, the body of a man they all knew. Someone murdered him. Someone in this room.
They have three hours to find out. Or they all die.
THE RULES ARE SIMPLE. THE GAME IS NOT
Imagine Agatha Christie had created an interactive Escape the Room game, and GUESS WHO would be the result. For fans of the DI Helen Grace series by MJ Arlidge, The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, Ragdoll by Daniel Cole, and Rattle by Fiona Cummins.
Part of the "All You Need is Love" anthology
from Encompass Ink
What are you working on at the minute?
I've got a lot of projects on the go, right now, but I'm currently writing (what I think is) a really cute story about a male nanny. It's called Unmasked and it's 18+. It's all about Bennett, who is out of work and takes a recommendation to become a nanny, since he has the interest and the academic credits to do it. What he doesn't expect is for the father interviewing him to be the same man he had a one night stand with just a short time before. The ensuing chaos has been really fun to write, since I don't really add kids to my 18+ stories that much. They've certainly made it far more interesting.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
I'm a weird writer. I don't seem to fit any of the stereotypes or 'styles' that others do. After a book is completed, I let it sit for a few weeks or months then come back to edit it, then leave it for a few more months before editing it again and again and again. I like to do about 10 edits before I submit it to any publishers, just because I know I struggle with editing and want it to be perfect. But when it comes to writing a book, there are times when I hit a block and reading back what I've already written is the only way to keep going, but there are also times when I zip straight through from page one to The End without stopping and don't edit it for months. I especially like to do this if I'm going to be writing a series one after the other. Then I'll stop at the end or when I get stuck, to go back and refresh what's happened before.
For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
Definitely e-books. I have weak muscles and nerves in my hands/wrists/arms, so holding a paperback or hardback can be far too painful to do it too often. I'm a sucker for a good bargain, though, so if I can get a paperback or hardback cheaper than the e-book, to suit my budget, I'll definitely not hesitate to buy it. It just means that I have to plan my reading of that book for when I know I won't be doing much else.
Decadent, book 1 in the Decadent series, by Elaine White
Sometimes, to be happy, you must first…break out of the box.
#Decadent #lgbtq #indieauthor #mmromance
ourteen-year-old Casey is determined to have fun this summer going to camp with his best friend, Ella. His overprotective mother frets that attending this one instead of trans camp like he’s always done will cause problems, but Casey has his heart set on going stealth anyway.
His mom just might be right.
All Ella wants is love for her best friend, and she’s determined to set him up with someone, despite Casey’s protests that he just wants to have fun, not get involved in a summer romance. But things get complicated when camp bully Ryan focuses his energies on the two friends. At least Casey’s cute bunkmate, Gavin, appears interested in getting to know him better, making Casey rethink the whole romance thing.
Until he finds out Gavin and Ryan are good friends.
Summer camp turns into so much more when Casey has to decide if Gavin is worth pursuing, friend of a bully or not.
There’s just one more problem: Ryan knows Casey is transgender.
The Trade, by Elaine White
I'm severely allergic to most animals, including fish, horses, cats and dogs. I've owned fish and dogs all throughout my life, but only became allergic to them after a stem cell transplant in 2003. Now, we can no longer have either, except for a pure poodle. We can't even have a cross, like a Weimerdoodle.
We tried. We got this adorable pup that we named Charlie, and after explaining my circumstances to the breeder, he offered to let us have the pup but if there was ever a risk to my health in the first year, we would be able to give him back to a good, safe home. Unfortunately, within just a few weeks, I became severely ill - barely able to breathe, an unfortunate vomiting and pneumonia type illness, that could only be explained by the poor dog. So, we sadly had to give Charlie back to the breeder, who was kind enough to promise that he would be rehomed.
Eventually, we found a pure poodle, in our Bracken, and my health has been fine with him.
Decadent: The Reunion, book 5 in the Decadent Series, by Elaine White
Coming May 12th
This reunion could be one to remember...for the wrong reasons.
Our canine hero has roamed 16th century Europe for decades with his master, the chemist Valentyne. He has visited realms far and wide, stayed in palaces, served kings, witnessed wonders. And above all he was loved. How he was loved.
Until the day the polymath Vilder appeared, and the dog's beloved master disappeared from his side, 200 years ago. 200 years spent waiting for his return.
But he doesn't lose hope. He will never rest until he finds Valentyne, even if it takes 200 years more. Because tomorrow is another day. And tomorrow could be the day that reunites them.