BLOG TOUR: Fade to Blank by C.F. White (Excerpt & Giveaway + )


Book Title: Fade to Blank (London Lies # 1)

Author: C F White

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Rhys Everly-Lawless

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romantic Suspense

Trope/s: Slow burn, hurt/comfort

Themes: Enemies to lovers, Revenge, Secrets, Mystery

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 78 000 words/ 280 pages

It’s the first book in a new series.

Book 2 is coming later in the year. Book 1 ends on a HFN for the couple.



Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK


A celebrity accused of murder. A writer needing his big break. The lies that tie them together.


Accused of a murder he didn’t commit, vilified celebrity Jackson Young enlists the help of a rookie journalist to clear his name and write his biography.

Jackson has a secret though. One he must keep from becoming public. But Fletcher’s dreamy green eyes, Irish drawl and effortless charm makes it hard to suppress those long-buried feelings, even if it could compromise his innocence.

Uncovering the murky past behind Jackson’s rise to fame, Fletcher grows closer to a man he’d once declared as talentless, and their intense attraction starts to affect not only his professional integrity but the life he’d made since moving to London.

Falling for the subject of his book could be fatal for Fletcher, and Jackson should know better than to trust a journalist.

Fade to Blank is the first book in the London Lies trilogy set in 1999, and is a slow burn, enemies to lovers, hurt/comfort romantic suspense.



Fletcher drew troubled eyebrows in. “Are you okay?” he asked.

“Okay? Okay?” Jackson breathed out a laugh that was more a release of pent up anguish. He’d always been taught to laugh in the face of adversity. He hadn’t been able to do much of that lately. Any flicker of amusement seeping out when in Flaymore would only have been captured by an inmate wanting a name for himself and used against him in the media. He rubbed his stinging eyes. “My girlfriend is dead. Someone strangled her whilst I was passed out in the other room. The world thinks I did it. I’ve spent six months inside because I wasn’t granted bail. This morning I wasn’t told that I was free because they believed I didn’t do it. They just couldn’t prove that I did. I can’t quite see how I would be okay after all that. Do you?”

Perhaps that was too blunt. Too much, too soon? Perhaps all this seeking the truth was coming across more selfish than he’d anticipated. It was. But the world was pointing at him. So he needed to prove his innocence to force people to look at who might have killed her, instead of allowing them to tie the noose around his neck.

And on that thought, his heart almost stopped. So the desperation kicked in. “I need you. Your help.”

Fletcher softened before him. “Okay,” he said. “Go on. Why would I, the fella you tried to knock out due to one bad review, want to write another article about you?”

“I want more than an article. And you’ll have a ready and waiting readership for this. It’ll rocket you to a fortune you never knew existed.”

“Wind your neck in, lad, that’s a touch arrogant there.”

“Arrogance doesn’t equal guilt.” Jackson leapt up from leaning against his bike, new found energy resumed. “Nor does it equal untalented.”

Fletcher glanced away, flicking his gaze back just as quick. “What are you talking here, then? A featured piece?”

Jackson forced a smile. “A full exposé of Jackson Young and why he isn’t the man he’s been depicted as in the media of late.”

“So this is all about you? Not… Tallulah?”

Jackson sucked in a breath at her name. It still stabbed at his heart, strangled his chest, erupted bile into his throat. He wondered if it would ever stop.

Scrubbing fingers across his perspiring forehead, Jackson had to find the right way to explain what he needed. What he had to do before it was too late and this was all hidden under the carpet as so many of the lies and manipulations already had been. He wasn’t sure how far he should go. How much he should admit he knew. There was the whole story. And there was his story.

“I was arrested for something I didn’t do,” he settled on. “I’ve been painted in the media as a monster. Pretty much all my friends and family have abandoned me because they believe people like you.”

“People like me?”

“People with the ability to write words and print them for the public to read, to believe and to act upon.”

“I never wrote about what happened to her. I’ve avoided talking about you, or her, since.”

“I know. Now I want you to.”

Jackson waited for the faint glimmer of understanding to work its way across Fletcher’s face. He had to know this would be the ultimate scoop for him. A writer, a journalist, a gossip columnist…whatever the man claimed to be, if he took this opportunity he could retire.

“I don’t write news. I write…gossip.” It sounded a lot like he hated to say that word, and his gaze blinked away from Jackson toward the glass frontage of London Lights HQ.

“I don’t want you to write for a paper. I don’t want this to be news, or gossip. This is the truth. My truth.”

“I’m not sure my editor will buy into it.” Fletcher sighed. “And if she did, she’d pass it onto the more seasoned journalists.”

“I don’t want your editor. I don’t want this in your poxy magazine.” Jackson spat the word, nodding toward the office block in contempt. He wanted nothing to do with any of that. Especially not London Lights. “This has got to be independent.”

“I don’t understand. I thought you wanted an exposé?”

Jackson stepped forward, a hair’s breadth from Fletcher, so close he could taste the man’s coffee breath. “Ever want to write something different? Something good. Something that could make a name for yourself away from the trash rags? Don’t you want to see your name on a shelf?”

“What type of shelf?”

“A book shelf. I want you to write my biography. So if you ever wanted your fortune handed on a plate, Fletcher Doherty…” Jackson held out his arms. “It’s here.”



Introduce yourself and your writing
Hi there, I’m C F White and I write contemporary British gay romance. I have to add the British in there as my books all do tend to stay in or around London as that’s where I live. My tag line kinda sums up what you can expect from me and my books: Romance, mainly. Gritty, often. Love, always. It means you can expect a bit of angst, a bit of gritty realism but a HEA always guaranteed – even if it’s a long time getting there!

How long have you been writing for, and what inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen, but taking it seriously for about ten years now. I always wanted to write from an early age and had several novels under my belt as a teenager but none were published. Went to uni to study film and drama, started writing film scripts then life took over. I picked it back up again after my second son was born. From then, I couldn’t stop. It was like the flood gates were opened and all these stories rushed out of me. I loved that I could escape to a world that was so different from my own, I was in charge of what happened and then learning the craft with each book published is a real treat!

I guess the real inspiration came from my son. He has a rare syndrome which makes him eternally happy and social all the time. He’s such a great character that I ended up writing a book featuring him which became my debut series – the Responsible Adult series – which centres on an ex juvenile delinquent being left to care for his little brother, whilst also coming to terms with his sexuality.

Tell us about your new release. What inspired you to write it?
My latest book is the first in yet another three-book series. I have a thing about writing in trilogies! Fade to Blank (London Lies #1) is a romantic suspense set in 1999 and centres around Jackson Young, one half of UK TVs presenting dream team, who is serving time for the suspected murder of his socialite girlfriend. But with no evidence to convict, he is released with a fierce determination to clear his name that has been smeared in the mud by the press. He enlists the help of Fletcher Doherty, a writer stuck in the reviews and gossip column of the newest online magazine, who has had enough of chasing gossip and uncovering scandals for a celebrity hungry nation. The potential to elevate his career and reap the royalties that such a book would bring, ultimately make Fletcher accept the job that no one should want.

But there’s a murky story beneath Jackson Young’s rise to fame and the two men find themselves entangled into a web of lies and manipulation that runs deep into the underbelly of British television. There are people determined to silence Fletcher from giving Jackson a mouthpiece. But with every word written and every fact checked, Fletcher peels away the layers that had made up the captivating persona of Jax to reveal the true, vulnerable man underneath. He’s unable to walk away despite the threat to his career, his relationship, and the life he’d made for himself since settling in London.

Fade to Blank starts the series off with a slow burn, enemies to lovers romance fizzling between Jackson and Fletcher that continued throughout the three books.

The inspiration behind this came from a merge of several documentaries I’d binge watched on Netflix. I have a thing for true crime dramas!

How did you decide on the title?
I wanted something that reflected Jackson’s celebrity and television past, the fade to black is usually used in film/tv etc but because Jackson has lost who he is through the accusation of murder, he’s having to start out so he’s more fading to a blank slate. It sorta makes sense when you start reading!

What are you working on at present? Would you like to share a snippet?
The latest WIP is the second book in the London Lies series that follows on from Fade to Blank. Hide to Seek (London Lies #2) should be coming out later this year and it’s probably best to give you a snippet rather than give too much away about the plot. So, here’s a little scene of what’s to come in all its unedited glory:

As he shut the cupboard door and went to take his first strike of three-day stubble, Jackson paused the razor at his philtrum when he was entrapped by the sight in the mirror.
He stared through the glass that reflected out the main bedroom. Fletcher’s face was contorted, and he mumbled to himself, as though he was giving himself a stern talking to. Then, back to Jackson, he stripped off his top, unbuttoned his jeans and lowered them to his ankles.
Jackson froze, unable to tear his eyes away. Fletcher’s body was a magnificent sight. Toned, slender, just a hint of grooved muscles that flexed along his back, then when the man turned, head bowed, Jackson drew in a breath. Fletcher had thick, dark hair scattering across his chest, surrounding each pert nipple and snaking invitingly down into tight boxer briefs.
The man was all natural. All male. All dark hair and pale skin. Not preened, pruned, nipped or tucked. Not like any of the men he’d been with before. Not like Diego. He was just him. Sincere. Relaxed. Jackson’s skin burned at the sight. He couldn’t stop himself from lingering his gaze too far, from travelling down that physique to find what was safely tucked within black cotton. Fletcher, it seemed, was as aroused as he.
And, fuck, if there was a contest right then, Fletcher would win, hands down.
The wardrobe door flung open, preventing Jackson’s view, and Fletcher ducked behind. Jackson tried to stop looking. He willed himself to just shave his damn face. But he couldn’t. He waited it out, staring through the reflection to that open wardrobe door and yearning for it to close.
It did. And startled green eyes found his.
Was it a second? Was it longer? Jackson couldn’t tell. But what it was, was a moment. A moment that they both had to acknowledge. Gaze not leaving his, Fletcher slipped on a shirt, gradually fastening each button. Then, back to him, he tugged on a pair of jeans and said, “We’ll deal with it.”
Jackson wondered, as he watched the man leave the room, if he’d meant their unrelenting problem of attraction or their agonising erections.
Regardless, Jackson took care of his own.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Keeping the suspense going. As I knew this was going to be spun over three books, it was hard to keep everything in and not give it all away to start with. I actually started the whole book without knowing what happened, which helped keep up the suspense and mystery for myself. I know now!

Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
Not to start a mystery/suspense without figuring out who done it first! I wrote myself into a few holes but I have managed to get out. It’s been a real learning curve writing this sort of series and I’ve really enjoyed learning the craft.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just keep writing. And reading. Remember that a first draft is exactly that. Write what you want and love. Don’t force it if it’s not coming to you straight away. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. You’re a writer if you write. You’re an author if you publish it, any which way you can.

What book are you reading at the moment?
I’ve been reading Gregory Ashe’s Hazard and Somerset mysteries lately. I think I binged about five of them in one go. What kept me going was the slow burn of the two MCs. I was desperate to find out when they’d finally throw caution to the wind and be together. It kept me page clicking like mad. I’m currently on the sixth book in the series – Reasonable Doubt.

What other novels do you adore/ writers you follow?
I tend to go for the romantic suspense or mystery and crime elements within an MM romance. I love a complex plot series over multiple books with that slow burn that has you screaming at the couple to just do it already! Josh Lanyon, Gergory Ashe, Dal MacLean, Cole McCade, A E Ryecart are all authors I admire and read.

Do you have a favourite character and/or book you’ve written? Who, what and why?
I’m exceptionally fond of my District Line series. I threw everything I had at those books and started writing them about ten years ago, so they’ve been with me a long time! I’d say they are my favourite couple and each book became my favourite.

As for my favourite character, Micky from my Responsible Adult series will always have a special place in my heart. He goes through the biggest transformation of all of my characters. From a nineteen-year-old juvenile delinquent to a man who steps up to be his brother’s guardian and Dan’s long-term partner. He’s rough and tough and beaten down, but his unconditional love for his disabled brother makes him an absolute hero.

Do characters and stories just pop into your head, or do you take your time thinking about and planning them?
They do tend to pop in my head. But it could take a long time before they make it onto paper. Jackson and Fletcher from London Lies came to me about three years ago and it took me this long to flesh them out write their words. I don’t plan on paper, but I do think about them. A lot!

Are you a panster or a plotter?
Complete pantser. I can’t plan. I’ve tried it and I hate it. I feel like the book is already written if I plan. I prefer to be surprised where it goes, much like the reader!

Do you write often? Do you have a schedule?
I fit writing in as and when I can. I work full time and have two kids, one with special needs to writing oftentimes takes a back seat to everything else. It’s why I do a lot of drafts online first, it means I can write on the go, directly onto my phone. So, no, I don’t have a schedule. I see and free window, I sit down and write.

If you had access to a time machine just once, is there anything you’d go back and change? Either on a personal level or an historical event?I’d go back and stop coronavirus!

If you could choose any superpower or magical ability, what would it be and why? What would you do with it?

I’d love to fly. I’d love the ability to just jump and soar into the sky, above the clouds and have that total freedom from the hustle and bustle of the world below.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things (or people) would you want there with you?
A laptop to write, a case of Pinot Grigio, and my kindle!

About the Author

Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly search for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed and brought pen back to paper having written stories as a child but never the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, she can’t stop. So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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