Nineteen-year-old Bruno has a secret he can never tell. The sort of secret that means he can never have anything more than sort of friends. Never get close to anyone. Never have a random hook-up or even a kiss—apart from that one time in a club when some beautiful guy wearing luminous wings and neon bangles up his arms, kissed him. His secret means getting fired from job after job washing dishes, until delivering mysterious packaging around London is his only way of making any money. His secret means his life is, at its heart, a lie. Bruno thinks he can live that lie. Alone in his empty, furniture-less flat, he thinks he has to. Until the lonely boy next door throws up on him and they get stuck in a lift together. But that’s the problem when someone starts to care about you, your secrets get harder to hide. And as he and Alexei gets closer, Bruno realises that his only real choice is between hiding his heart and trusting it.
Alexei is confused. About everything. Hiding out in a room in his cousin’s flat, he tries to convince himself that’s where he needs to stay. Bad things happen outside. Things that might make his world grow even darker. Things he doesn’t think he can deal with. He doesn’t want to have feelings for Bruno. Feelings terrify him. But when he starts to understand Bruno has his own troubles, helping him becomes the only thing Alexei wants to do.
All Ilya knows about the world Before is from pictures old books: of glittering cities made of glass: of creatures like bears and wolves that used to haunt not only the forests. He knows little of the wars that forced people to flee the cities. The wars were over a long time ago.
One dusk, when Ilya and his sister are hunting rabbits, a bear, a creature that they were told no longer exists, comes into their forest glade, and everything Ilya thought he knew about his world begins to disintegrate. Especially everything he thought he knew about Caleb, the mysterious boy none of the villagers can understand. Getting to know Caleb feels secret. But Ilya has too many secrets of his own—he can feel heartbeats, sense the forest, the warmth of all life within it. And Ilya has not always lived in the village…though where he comes from, he does not know…
Chapter one of The Happiness Project is now available via my newsletter. This is a free story which will release chapter by chapter to my newsletter subscribers.
I don’t have a blurb but it’s a contemporary romance, between Bruno, who has a heart of gold and wants so desperately to do the right thing–to help people–but the one person he fails to help a lot of the time is himself. And Alexei, who needs coaxing out of his shell, like seriously. Writing Bruno reminds me a little of writing Danny, from Foxes, if any of you have read that story. And the story is very much in Bruno’s head, in his thoughts. I tend to write very close, intimate POV’s. I can’t promise the story won’t have a bit of angst and heartache, but I can promise it will have a solid HEA (eventually lol). I’m going to try and update once or twice a month and I have a few chapters written. I’m not sure how long it’s going to end up–novel or long novella, probably.
Autism Fact: People with autism are more likely to be the victims of violence than committing a violent act
Big thanks to RJ for letting me join in this autism awareness month blog hop. This year’s theme is food and I’d like to share a comfort food recipe of mine (it has oats so I like to think of it as healthy too!). You can swap the butter for coconut oil and the honey for golden syrup to make a vegan version.
I’d also like to do a giveaway for my book Foxes, as this story is very close to my heart. It’s a love story about a big-hearted boy with autism, who keeps his world small in order to survive, but who will do anything to save those around him. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is comment or like this post^^
Here’s my recipe for flapjacks 😊
300g Butter (or coconut oil)
70g Soft Brown Sugar/or whatever sugar you have
3 tbs Golden Syrup or Honey
A couple of handfuls of raisins (optional)
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Melt the butter and golden syrup or honey in a pan, then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix. Tip into a square or round tin approx 23-25cm. Bake in oven at 180C or gas 4/5 for 20/25 mins (depending on how chewy you like them-the longer you leave them the chewier or crunchier they are).
When expectations exceed achievements it’s human nature to think that you’ve failed in some way. When the truth is, you haven’t. At all. Problem is, society, school, has us so goal orientated our brains play sneaky tricks on us—you achieve something, something big, something small (I’m not sure it makes any real difference), your brain pretty quickly moves the goal posts and that achievement? It’s no longer important, no longer something to be celebrated, no longer something you even think about. Continue reading →