Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Blog Tour, eARC Review: Tale of Three Shorts by Taylin Clavelli

Taylin Clavelli lives in the United Kingdom, about 15 miles south of Birmingham, and a short journey from the world famous Cadbury’s Chocolate factory. She’s married with children and loves her family with all her heart.
Her love of books has been a long standing affair, with Taylin liking nothing better than to lose herself in an imaginary world.
Until she met Lily Velden, she never considered trying her hand at writing. However, after talking ideas, Lily encouraged her to put pen to paper—or rather, fingers to keyboard. Since, with a few virtual kicks in the right place, she hasn’t stopped. Her confidence eventually led to her writing an original work for submission.
Her first published work was Boys, Toys, and Carpet Fitters, developed for the Dreamspinner Press Anthology – Don’t Try This At Home.
Now she absolutely adores immersing herself into the characters she creates, and transferring the pictures in her brain to paper, finding it liberating, therapeutic, and wonderful.
Outside of writing, her interests include; martial arts (she’s a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-do), horse-riding, all of which facilitates her love of a wide variety of movies. Her action heroes include Jet Li and Tony Jaa—finding the dedication these men have for their art combined with their skill both amazing and a privilege to watch. If pressed, she’ll admit to thinking that the screen entrance of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl, and Shadowfax in LOTR, to be the greatest screen entrances ever. Her all-time favorite movies are Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.
The simple things in life that make her day, putting a smile on her face are:
Laughter – especially that of her children.
The smell of lasagna cooking – it makes her mouth salivate.
The dawn chorus – no symphony ever written can beat the waking greetings of the birds.

Reviews by multitaskingmomma

What do you do when you become invisible to the love of your life?
My Rating: 4 of 4 Stars (Based on Short&Light Read)

This was a truly inspiring and yet scary read for it tells the story of two men who love each other and yet are drifting apart. I really liked this one for it speaks of how relationships should work but people allow the petty realities like work come between them.

David is an ER doctor and he is the epitome of a tired workaholic who comes home expecting and knowing his husband Sean would be there to welcome him. Being tired is not an excuse to forgo the expected affirmation of someone's presence but it is one excuse David seems to be relying on. 

Sean works most times from home so he could get more time with his husband, David. Although it worked for a while he soon realizes that this change in lifestyle only gave him half an hour of David's time. He provides the food, keeps the home clean and tidy, he even makes sure that David bathes and is comfortable. A little bit of consolation like a kiss on the cheek, or a hug or even a cuddle in bed is not much to ask for. It turns out it is too much to ask for and Sean's insecurities can no longer be denied and soon feels he is no longer enough.

When David comes into an empty home, he realizes all the 'what ifs' and is lost. He had treated Sean like he had been invisible and now that he truly is, he does not know what to do to fix things. He resolves to find his Sean but when he does, can he keep Sean with him? Will Sean even stay?

Invisible Excerpt
IT’S the small hours of the morning when I walk through the door of our home. The savory smells of lasagna hitting my senses make me close my eyes in delight. Ahhh, beautiful. Just the thought of beef, tomato, cheese and herbs caressing my pallet has me salivating, and my stomach rumbling. Sean sure knows how to look after me. He’s beyond wonderful.
A tidy apartment and a scrumptious meal are superb to come home to, especially after a hard day in the ER, where I’m surrounded by blood, tears and anguish. My feet hardly touched the ground, from the beginning of my shift until the end. My team and I dealt with everything from a saucepan stuck on a boy’s head, to a multiple pile-up, where the rider of a motorcycle caught the worst of it. He sustained two broken legs, a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder. Thankfully, he was wearing all the correct safety gear, which saved his life and held him together. He’ll have a long road to recovery, but at least he will recover. In the future, however, he’ll set off all airport alarms as he passes through security, with the amount of metal now inside him.
Eating my meal, I settle in to unwind.
The next thing I know, I’m shuddering with cold. Dammit, I’ve fallen asleep on the couch again. There’s no blanket in sight. Oh dear, Sean must be pissed at me. I know he doesn’t like it, and if I could catch myself drifting off, I’d move to bed. Except, I couldn’t, and I didn’t.
Looking at the time, I realize it won’t be long before he’ll be up for work. Walking into the kitchen, I flick the switch of the amber nectar machine, ready to wake him with coffee and a cuddle—albeit a belated one.
With drink in hand, I walk into our bedroom. The bed is empty.

DIY Delights 
While renovating his first house with his partner, Mike, Duncan discovers a plethora of reasons to use his favourite word… Bollocks!
My Rating: 3 of 4 Stars (Based on Short&Light Read)

This is a funny read. This tells the tale of how two men decide to buy a fixer upper. Of course as men they do most of the stuff themselves, hence the title: DIY. As the two sort through the mess, they discover lots of ways to use the word: Bollocks. 

Duncan and Mike buy a house and they name this little fixer-upper Gayden. Meanwhile, they are living in a caravan parked outside Duncan's home which does wonders to their sex life. (You have to think parents, thin walls, shaking caravan and moans of pleasure all in one and you get the picture.) By day they tackle the house, rewiring, stripping, you name it, they do it. They do contract some of the heavier work and hire a carpet installer to obviously, install the carpet, but overall it is mostly them. 

As they work, there are lots of bollocks thrown all over the place and even if it is expected these two reach the peak of frustration and maybe some angst come in to spice up their story, there is none. These two are true friends, companions and erotic lovers who keep to their humor even when Mike's leg goes through a whole from the bathroom floor into the kitchen below. As he hangs on the three solid sides, Duncan laughs it up and fails miserably to pull his lover out. It is all fun, with bollocks thrown here and there.

DIY Delights – Excerpt

Needless to say, once the day came when my life partner, Mike, and I bought our house, no one was surprised when it turned out to be in need of a little TLC. In fact, if it was a trauma patient, it would have been taken immediately to intensive care.
That was when the “Holy fuck, what have you taken on?” version of the word bollocks was used.
The wiring was old. The electric heater was there to cover the hole from an open fire, and the bathroom was a disaster waiting to happen. Walls were covered in fading flock paper, and the banister looked as though it had been leaned on a few too many times. As far as carpets went... ughhh. That was when I found another way to use the word—in disgust. Things were living in the crumbled rubber backing.
The poor dwelling was in a shocking state, considering it was only built in the sixties.
It had its good points, though. The damp course and walls weren’t in bad condition. Only a few parts needed rendering. No roof tiles were missing, and neither squirrel nor bat had taken up residence in the loft. Structurally, the place was sound. All it needed was the home improvement equivalent of some Botox and a serious facelift.
Our house was a little two-story, two-bedroomed cottage on the outskirts of Evesham—a town around a third of the way to Bristol from Birmingham. The town itself wasn’t small, and continued to expand into the surrounding farmland. It’s an area well known for its fruits and vegetables.
Due to the cottage’s dilapidated condition, and lack of sleeping accommodation, we purchased the property for an exceptional price. Beautifully, both of us could see its potential. The electricity source at ground level was up to standard, and so was the basic plumbing. The convenient thing was we had a caravan to stay in while we completed repairs.
We loved the cottage. The first thing we did was give it a name—Gayden.

Devastated by loss, Matthew sleepwalks through life, existing but not living. Can someone rescue him from his waking nightmare and help him to live again?
My Rating: 4 of 4 Stars (Based on Short&Light Read)

This is a true tearjerker of a read but instead of going down to more misery, the light at the end of the tunnel gets visible by the millimeter and Matthew may just find his way out. I really, really liked this one. Of the three tales, this is my favorite.

Matthew lost his husband, lover and best friend one day when a bullet came in the way. As a paralegal, he is good at his job, his boss gave him the leeway he needed and his co-workers gave him space. As the months rolled in, people took Matthew's presence for granted: a walking shadow of a man who works and goes home and nothing else. He does not even talk to his co-workers anymore. He is lost in his dreams of the happy days with his husband Sam and the nightmare of being alone and lost without the love of his life.

Elliot is a lawyer new to town and he had been working in the same firm as Matthew. He had seen the man walk in, walk out, take coffee, work, work and go home. No socializing, no talking with co-workers, just work and quiet solitude. Attracted to the quiet, attractive man, he reaches out in friendship. When he sees the sadness in the eyes, the grief lining the face, he resolves to be a friend, a best friend, an anchor. 

The tale of Elliot and Matthew span two years in this little short story but it shows that Elliot has the patience and the tenacity to be a loyal individual Matthew could rely on. Although for Elliot there was the love, for Matthew, it was a long road to travel. It was a gradual learning and loving and when they finally confirm their love, it was done without guilt for Matthew now moves on with Elliot but never forgets Sam.

Sleepwalking Excerpt
Matthew almost looked like a ghost, too—he was thin and gaunt. The trousers of his grey suit were held up by a belt that, judging by the markings, had been tightened several holes—so, it must have fit him properly at some time. Other than that, he kept clean-shaven. As for his dark brown hair... it had been cut and cut well, because it didn’t seem to matter how many times his fingers ran through it, it looked fantastic.
Yes, I’d studied him quite a lot since I started. I’d noticed him on my first day, and every day since. There was something about him that drew me to him, and yet he’d never looked at me even once—it was as if he were off in his own world, and a sad one at that. I’d never seen him smile, and I felt nothing other than sadness emanate from him whenever I passed by his desk. I didn’t even know the color of his eyes, as they were always buried in a file, or watching the floor whenever he ventured elsewhere in the office. His thick rimmed glasses stopped me getting a sideways peek at them, too. The wide arms hid anything that might expose them to me.
The only thing that elicited any kind of positive emotion from him was his coffee—frothy cappuccino with two sugars. Relief washed over his whole body and downcast face with his first sip, which was usually followed by the back of his hand swiping the foam away from his upper lip.
Yes, I was so intrigued with the man that I knew how he took his coffee. A little stalkerish, I know, but there was just… something.
FOR a few days, I’d noticed a change. If it were possible, he was even more withdrawn than usual, yet no one in the office said a thing, or even seemed to care what was happening with him.
I decided to do something about it.

Related links:

1 comment:

  1. Wow thank you so much for such wonderful reviews. :) :) :)