The Short Stories Collection
Length: 45,000 words
Genre: MM romance, Contemporary, Hurt & Comfort, May-December
Release Date: 31 January 2018
Cover Designs: Simon Searle
In Darkest Peru
When shy and geeky Rhys White is ditched by his boyfriend of five years and made redundant from his job in the space of one week, he decides to make some changes. Tired of being boring and hiding being his computer, he throws caution to the winds and buys a plane ticket to Peru.
The adventure in Peru starts out well, but then disaster strikes when the bus he is travelling on is held up by thieves. Rhys loses everything, including his passport, wallet, and phone.
Stranded in Cuzco, not too far from the famous Inca city of Machu Picchu, Rhys tries to find someone to help him. Just when he begins to lose hope, sexy Brazilian, Rafael, comes to his rescue, and his desperation situation takes a turn for the better.
One Snowy Night
After yet another failed date, Keith Brambles’ luck turns from bad to worse, as he tries to drive home in heavy snow and crashes his car. With no phone signal, no warm clothes, and the weather worsening, he fears freezing to death overnight.
But help is at hand in the form of a knight in a white van. Mike Talbot stops to help Keith, and takes him home to warm up—in more ways than one, when the pair’s mutual attraction kicks in.
Mike is everything Keith has ever dreamed of when he thinks of his ideal man. But can Mike really be Keith’s dream come true, or is their night together just another bit of fun?
Lost and Found
When author Philip Johnson loses his much-loved dog, Prince, he buries himself in the fantasy world of his latest novel. But as his heartbreak gradually lessens and he focuses more on the happy times he had with Prince, he realises the hole left in his life needs to be filled with a new puppy.
After responding to an advertisement for a young dog, Philip is surprised to find the owner is none other than Edward Manby, the very good-looking vet who took care of Prince in his last hours. Philip is delighted to discover his attraction to Edward is returned and despite the twenty-year age gap between them, their love for their pets brings them together and leads to romance.
Inspiration for the Collection
I wrote the first two stories in the collection way back in 2014, my first year as a published author. Originally, I wrote both In Darkest Peru and One Snowy Night for an anthology about being stranded in some way. One Snowy Night made the anthology, in its original very short form of 5000 words, and In Darkest Peru was published as a mini novella by the same publisher. Lost and Found was written for another anthology a couple of years later, and when the publisher stopped trading and I got the rights to the stories back, I thought it was a shame for them to fade away. So I rewrote, reworked, extended, and tweaked and here they all are!
The first two didn’t come from my own experiences, although Rhys’ adventures in Peru are something that’s on my bucket list. Rhys often refers to a guide book about the country, which I had already bought with the idea of one day hiking the Inca Trail and flying over the Nazca Lines, just as Rhys does. When the idea for the story came to me, I read the appropriate sections of the book to find out what Rhys would learn from it and what he would see when he travelled there and lost everything. As a keen traveller to destinations not usually classed as “holiday spots” I loved researching this, and still intend to take the trip one day. A little of the idea, where Rhys finds fun with a guide on the Inca Trail, just might have come from a long-ago trip I took to Mexico which resulted in a “holiday romance” with a man working on a horse ranch!
One Snowy Night was a very short story that sprang to mind while I was out running, one of my great loves. I live in an area where there are lots of quiet country lanes to run along, and when I’m running, I think and plot. I considered different ways of being stranded, and on a hot autumn day in 2014, I imagined snow, shivering, and a young man in a crashed car, being rescued by a hunk of a man in a white van. The original story ended not long after Keith’s rescue, but I wanted to give him more than just a warm bed for the night and a cuddle. So, I extended the story to show him and hunky Mike starting to date, with Keith discovering that Mike, while being far removed from his usual type, is exactly what he has always dreamed of.
Finally, Lost and Found. I wrote this one in 2016 and it comes from a very painful experience I went through in the early part of the year. Philip’s best friend, Prince, a German shepherd dog, dies of bloat, and I really wrote from the heart on this. Trojan, my Dobermann, who I’d had for ten years, died that year, so I wrote about Philip’s agony while my own tears dripped on my keyboard. Later that year I went on to get a new Dobermann puppy, Casper, while Philip responds to an ad for a German shepherd puppy and discovers the vet who treated Prince is the one selling. Philip goes through what I did, only he gets the additional pleasure of falling for his lovely vet, Edward, a man twenty years his senior. Although the story is heart breaking at the start, Philip gets his HEA. Be warned though—if you have lost a pet, particularly a dog, this one will be hard to read. A lot of tears went into the writing!
Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.
Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.
Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.
Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.
I am giving away a signed paperback copy of my first novel, Conflicted, published in 2014 with Dreamspinner Press. To enter, please comment on this post and mention that you would like the book. Shipping is worldwide!