Your Mother Smelled of Elderberry.

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I thought it might be fun to share a few of the TV shows/movies that have inspired various stories I’ve written.

1. Lucifer – Here Comes The Son

2. Father Brown (and like ten other cosy mystery type TV shows) – Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy

3. Antique’s Roadshow – After the Scrum

4. NCIS – The Lion Tamer

5. Forged in Fire – Forged in Flood

6. The Great British Bake Off – The Royal Marine

7. Strike Back – Ivy

8. Monty Python – The Wanderer

9. Travel Shows – Pure Dumb Luck

10. Strike Back & The Unit – The Botanist

Book Excerpt: The Wanderer

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Weddings.
Weddings were a pain more excruciating than a broken nose, or tooth, or both—an event to be avoided when at all possible. Only the blissfully ignorant would voluntarily submit themselves to the farce of “marital bliss,” never mind the noise, whimpering women, and a priest who would undoubtedly drone on and on unless someone whacked him upside the head.
Why did I agree to this shit? If this bint sobs into my sleeve one more sodding time, I’ll shove her into the aisle, manners be damned. I should’ve claimed a sudden bout of dengue fever in Macau and been done with it.
Graham Hodson had returned home early from yet another adventure to attend the wedding of his best mate, Francis, and his soon-to-be husband, former rugby star Caddock Stanford. He’d contemplated doing a runner. His twin brother, Rupert, had threatened to drag him in by the ear, pointing out that they couldn’t disappoint their childhood friend, could they?
Even if he were tempted to do so, Joanne, Rupert’s wife, had promised untold pain if he did anything to ruin Francis’s day. The spoilsport also vetoed all of his ideas to improve the day for the two grooms. He didn’t see why they wouldn’t enjoy having massive cod strung up to their escape vehicle.
Graham glanced across the room, and his mood brightened when he spotted an old mate, Jack Sasaki. They’d spent summers playing on Cornwall beaches together as kids, along with Rupert. They often flirted with the same boys, though one date with each other had been enough to realise they made far better friends.
The half-Japanese and half-Cornish man made his living as a barber a few villages over, in Fowey. Graham hadn’t seen him in a while and would have to find time while home to have a beer and chat with him. He hoped Jack was having better luck romantically than he currently was.
Wanderlust didn’t come with the perks of being romantically available. His passport might’ve been filled with stamps, but his nights had been filled with loneliness—aside from occasional casual sex. His adventures brought joy to his life.
I don’t sodding need anyone to be happy.
 
Now, repeat the mantra until the wedding stops making you act stupidly moody.
It might be the wedding of a close friend, but boredom continued to make his mind drift. Did anyone other than the couple care about the cute dog with a bow tie or the adorable child in the tuxedo? No. The answer would always be no. People went to ceremonies for the food and drink that followed after, and no one would ever be able to convince him otherwise.
A sniffle from the woman beside him was a reminder that maybe some people did care. With a less cynical view, Graham could admit the tuxedos had been well chosen. Tastefully done bouquets of white roses were adorned with pale blue ribbons that had antiqued copper rugby charms dangling from them.
Adorable.
Graham could also admit, however painfully, that the blissful happiness on Francis’s face made him slightly envious. “Sodding weddings.”
A gasp from the weepy twit reminded him not to mutter out loud. He summoned a smile when Francis glanced his way. The things one did for friends.
Oh, hello.
 
Who the bloody hell are you?
 
Never mind who you are. Can I see you naked?
An absolutely gorgeous bloke sitting on Caddock’s side of the church had caught his attention. Tall, with a closely shaved head and black beard, he had a strong jaw—sharp lines all over really, from what Graham could see. He wore a suit that bordered on obscene for the way it clung to his muscled form.
Suddenly this event looks far more interesting than it did a minute ago. Now how do I get myself an introduction? Should be easy. It’s a wedding; single people come to hook up at them, right?
 
Right.
Their eyes met. Almost identical grins of acknowledgement followed, which intrigued Graham. People didn’t always read him so well. Mr Tall, Bald, and Gorgeous smirked as if he knew exactly what Graham had been thinking.
They’d definitely made a connection.
Interesting.
If the wedding ceremony hadn’t been in full swing, Graham would’ve immediately wandered over to introduce himself. They settled for not so subtle flirtatious smirks. His impatience grew more palpable waiting for it to be over.
Their eyes continually drifted towards one another. An electric shock hit him each time. It sounded dramatic even in his head—but he did feel a mysterious sense of adventure just from contemplating a brief encounter with the mystery man.

A New Adventure.

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Want more from the World of Dahlia?

Join my Patreon for exclusive flash fiction, short stories, vlogs, and a host of behind-the-scenes insights to my novels.

https://www.patreon.com/dahliadonovan

What’s on tap for this month?

Behind-the-scenes for my upcoming Urban Fantasy MM Romance along with an exclusive excerpt.

A Flash Fiction featuring Freddie from The Caretaker.

Storytime with Dahlia vlog.

A Q & A for the Main Characters of Here Comes The Son.

Plus a bunch of other fun stuff.

 

Excerpt: The Royal Marine

They traded stories over their simple pasta dinner. Akash half expected the man to make a move—or to make one himself—but the evening had been too easy, too comfortable for it; they’d simply enjoyed the shared meal.

A sharp contrast to what Akash imagined a first date with Scottie might entail. The former rugby player had texted him four times since the night he’d stopped by uninvited, having stolen his number out of BC’s phone. The persistence concerned him; he had no interest in having his life turned upside down by a stalker.

Making a mental note to apologise to his sisters for not taking their complaints about similar behaviour from other men more seriously, Akash had sent a text of his own earlier to Tens and Caddock. He knew them the best out of the rugby players involved with the Sin Bin. They’d sort out their mate, or he’d do it for them.

“Thanks for the tea.” Akash gestured toward the tin sitting on the nearby shelf. “Do you know how bloody hard it is to get that particular type of tea? It’s perfect for making biscuits.”

“Right.” Hamish was staring at him. He nodded absently, but didn’t actually appear to have heard him.

“Something wrong?”

Standing abruptly, Hamish strode around the table to grab Akash by the shirt. He dragged him up out of his chair, causing him to stumble forward. Akash could only blink at the slightly taller man in confusion, until those wonderfully rough fingers dug into his hair and yanked him up into a kiss.

Akash surrendered to it briefly before bringing his arm up to separate their lips—and bodies—when Hamish’s fingers drifted down the front of his shirt. “We’re not doing this in my kitchen. Not yet. Well, not in the bakery kitchen, ever. Health inspectors would have a fit.”

Hamish brushed his knuckles across the bulge in Akash’s trousers. “Later, then?”

“Later when we’re somewhere else and there aren’t two nosy brats peeking through the door.” Akash pointed toward the barely visible twins, who were once again eavesdropping on them. “Off with you both. I left you dinner on the table upstairs.”

While the rest of the meal went well, the passionate moment had definitely passed them by. Hamish stayed for another hour, helping to wash up the dishes. They exchanged several heated kisses, until Akash had to quite literally shove the man out the door.

He sank back against the frame of the still open door to catch his breath after seeing Hamish off. “Well, bugger me.”

Amazon

Review: The Royal Marine

Another great entry in this wonderful series. The MC’s aren’t rugby players but they are good friends with the men from prior stories and their significant others. Akash and Hamish are the kind of characters I’ve come to expect from the author. They’re adults, there’s an age gap and while the Hamish is quite dominant and protective, never treats Akash as anything but an independent, capable adult. There is a touch of suspense around Akash’s business being targeted and danger for Hamish going on protective details that last for months. The romance is always rather low-key but not pushed to the background either. The narrative feels natural and realistic and I also enjoy the diverse backgrounds and family dynamics the author adds to the mix. I find the style of writing refreshing and anticipate reading more from Dahlia Donovan.4.5 Stars, Nrevvy on Amazon

Excerpt: The Botanist

Amazon

Are you serious about this leaving shit?” Trace sat across from him at one of their favourite bars in Coronado—McP’s Irish Pub. “I thought you’d be in until you hobbled out with no hair or teeth, clinging to your walking frame.”

“They pay you by the joke?” Wyatt flicked one of his onion rings across the table at him. “I’m done—nothing left for me to accomplish.”

“Weak sauce. Utter fucking weak sauce.” Trace leaned forward with his elbows on the table. “It’s the gay thing, isn’t it?”

Wyatt didn’t even blink in response. He waved the bartender over for another round of Guinness; Hamish had gotten all of the SEALs hooked on it. “What gay thing?”

“The fucked up policy that says you can’t serve if you’re open about who you are.” Trace pushed the plate of nachos to the side. “None of us give a shit who you fuck—or who you love.”

Wyatt knew the men under his command respected him, thought of him as a friend. SEAL teams were almost always tight-knit units. They only had each other to count on in the middle of treacherous missions. “None of you?”

“None of our element.”