Liam Livings has stopped in to talk about the Serendipity Box Set, published by JMS Books! And we’re giving away a free copy to one lucky reader!
Three stories by Liam Livings chronicling the serendipitous relationship of lovers David and Christian as they meet and fall in love. Along the way, there are bets between friends on how soon the two men take before sleeping together, and old-fashioned family attitudes pose a problem they must overcome. But there’s plenty of British humour, letter-boxing, visits to hospital, and even talk of adopting babies, as well as plenty of time for the men to express their love for one another as they learn to love and live together.
Contains the stories: Christmas Serendipity, Serendipity Develops, and The Next Christmas.
Liam’s favorite box sets:
In the Serendipity Box Set, David and Christian are both massive Harry Potter fans, so one of their favourite box sets is the Harry Potter films. They enjoy watching them together, at Christmas and throughout the year.
I have so many favourite box sets that I’ve categorised them because picking one would be like picking a favourite meal or child or album, and who can be so confident as to pick one favourite out of all those choices? Not me!
Read on … and enter for a chance to win a free copy of the Serendipity Box Set!
Favourite teenage American box set — Gilmore Girls or Dawson’s Creek
I grew up with Dawson’s Creek and love all the angst and teenage soul-searching about finding themselves and their love and their place in the world. The ending was also perfect; it tied up all the loose ends and had everyone (except one character who sadly died) happy ever after.
The storyline about Jack coming out at high school was pretty ground-breaking in the mid-nineties and it showed me a positive response from his friends and some of his family, which gave me hope while I struggled to come out.
Gilmore Girls — I was a late-comer to this party. I accidentally stumbled across it on one of the higher up channels and was instantly hooked by the snappy, funny dialogue and cultural references and the sparky relationship between the three Gilmore girls of the title — Emily Gilmore, the matriarch; Lorelia, her wayward daughter; and Rory, the teenage born-out-of-wedlock daughter Lorelia had while in high school.
In one scene, Lorelia listed some essential films she and her daughter watched regularly; I subsequently bought them all and wasn’t disappointed.
The secondary characters are a joy, too — Paris Geller in particular has some brilliant one-liners. The friendship between Lane and Rory that evolves through the whole box set, through different schools, university, and boyfriends, is wonderfully comforting. I loved the friendship between Lorelia and Sookie (Melissa McCarthy could film herself drying her hair and talking to camera and I’d go to the cinema to watch it).
I loved this box set so much that, when I reached the end, I went right back and watched the first episode again.
Favourite adult American box set — Brothers and Sisters or Six Feet Under
Brothers and Sisters has an ensemble cast comprising the sort of A-list actors you’d have leading a drama on their own, but here you get them all. In one drama. Sally Fields, Calista Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths, Rob Lowe. And of course the gay brother played by Matthew Rhys with his happy-ever-after after lots of false starts and bumps in the road.
It’s soapy, it’s multi-layered, it’s family, it’s funny, it’s dramatic. I used to save it to watch on Saturday morning and my friend and her partner used to watch it, too, and we’d almost always text saying how much we’d cried at that week’s episode. Loads of twists and turns in the storyline.
Each character has a properly developed story of their own, but it’s the way they’re interwoven that got me every time. It perfectly showed how you love your family because they’re your family, but you don’t always like them.
Sometimes I watch the last episode just because it brings it all together so perfectly and it STILL makes me cry, watching it now, even though I’ve seen it tens of times. If you’ve seen the film Steel Magnolias, it’s like watching that, over five seasons. It. Is. Amazing.
Six Feet Under is similar to B&S in that it’s focused on a family who run a funeral home, which is also where they live. Each episode focuses on a death that the family then organise the funeral for. It sounds morbid, but it’s actually anything but. It’s very life-affirming.
There’s so much dysfunctional family dynamics going on between the two brothers and sister in the house, just like in a real family. Each character has their own storyline and issues and secrets they keep from the others.
I didn’t watch this when it was first on TV because I’d just lost my dad (and this starts with the patriarch dying) but, given time and distance, I actually really loved this complex, multi-layered drama. It’s another box set I’ve re-watched numerous times, too. You see so much more each time around.
Each episode has its own story, but there’s plenty of long story arcs across the seasons and the whole box set. This has a gay brother, too, and I enjoyed the rivalry and contrast between him and his straight sibling. It reminded me of my relationship with my own brother.
Favourite British box set — Gavin and Stacey
This is a character-driven comedy romance about Gavin, a boy from Essex (a county just outside London, renowned for its brashness and glitz, too — see Towie, a reality TV series set there) and a girl, Stacey, from a remote part of Wales, who fall in love.
There’s contrast, there’s humour with the secondary characters — both Gavin and Stacey have a best friend who is even more Welsh/Essex than they are themselves. My mum is almost exactly like Gavin’s mother, Pamela — the diets, the clothes, the fussing over her son, the phrases she uses.
If you’ve not seen it yet, I can thoroughly recommend it. There may be a few British cultural references some Americans don’t follow completely, but I think most of the character and humour transcends that and works as long as you speak English. I mean, I love Friends and that has plenty of American references I’m not 100% about, but I just go with it and enjoy the ride.
If you’d like to enjoy the ride David and Christian follow together, you can now buy all three novellas about their story in one box set.
Or enter below for your chance to win a free copy! One winner will be announced next Saturday, so enter today!