Upstaged, an anthology of Queer Women in the performing arts

For those who love the ladies, there’s a new anthology out today:

UPSTAGED cover-2.jpgEditor: A.M. Leibowitz:

We had everything from actual plays to space operas to period pieces to contemporary romance. These talented storytellers captured womanhood, and women on stage and screen, in all their beautiful, wonderful glory. In the end, I was only able to take ten stories. These are the ones that made me laugh and cry and want to sing. There are erotic and sensual tales, gender non-conformity, trans women, lesbians and bisexuals, politics, falling in love, parenting, youthful crushes, opera, toe-tapping musical numbers, death-defying stunts, humor, and more. This anthology is a celebration.

Authors: Aila Alvina Boyd, Renee Young, Marolyn Krasner, Althea Blue, Geonn Cannon, Allison Fradkin, JL Merrow, Kathleen Jowitt, Debbie McGowan, Sonni de Soto

Including my steampunk story, London Lark:

Repairing a salvaged automaton becomes a labour of love for apprentice tinkerer Harriet Hodgkins. But the clockwork coquette is destined for resale, and Miss Pandora’s restoration will signal their separation—unless Hodgkins can engineer a more auspicious ending.

Available in ebook from Supposed Crimes | Amazon

Here’s the start of my story:

The first time I met Miss Pandora Piper, her what was to become the shining star of the Criterion and the darling of London society, she was in a right state, lying in the gutter with both legs broken and her head hanging off to one side.

“It’s proper criminal,” I told my gaffer, old Arthur the tinkerer, as folks call him, although it’s Mr Tunstall to the likes of you and me, “what the toffs’ll do to their playthings.”

Top notch goods, she was, fine featured and with soft ivory skin, so lifelike you’d almost have mistaken her for human, if it hadn’t been for the metal poking out of her poor torn limbs. Lying there abandoned in the gutter, like any other beggar what’s fallen on hard times. “It ain’t right,” I muttered.

“Now then, Hodgkins,” old Arthur said in that soothing old gin-and-baccy voice of his. “We’ll see her straight, don’t you fret. Grab her shoulders—I’ll take the other end, wouldn’t want a young lad like you seeing something he shouldn’t, heh heh heh—and we’ll heave her up on the cart. And no letting that head fall, neither. She don’t need no more dents in her poor face, Lord love her.”

Now, I ain’t a lad, I’m older than I look, and I didn’t reckon Miss Pandora (as we later called her) had anything up her skirts I hadn’t seen every day of my life and twice on Sundays, that being bath night, but neither did I fancy a clip round the ear and a lost place, so I kept mum and did as I was told.

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Rainbow Snippets has gone medieval

Psst! Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not actually here; I’m in Gloucestershire (if all has gone well) watching a re-enactment of the Battle of Tewkesbury. But I didn’t want to miss giving you this week’s Rainbow Snippet – and as Camwolf was re-released yesterday, that’s where this one comes from.

Here, Nick Sewell, lecturer at Cambridge University, is talking to his best friend and colleague, Nadia, about Julian, the student he’s got a crush on:

“Now, I’m not one to gossip—” Nadia acknowledged the lie with a devilish twist to her mouth “—but judging from his essays, that young man’s seen entirely too much of the darker side of life for a lad his age. Wouldn’t want to be adding to his troubles, would we? Coffee?” She didn’t wait for an answer, simply pouring him a cup. “And don’t forget you’re coming round for dinner next week. Marjorie’s got a new recipe she’s simply gagging to try out on you.”

Nick smiled. “How could I forget? I’ll be there, Nads.”

She winced. “Nick, darling, please don’t call me that. It makes it sound like you’re talking to your testicles.”

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Don’t forget to check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors.

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Camwolf_200A race to save his lover—by becoming his own worst nightmare.

Dr. Nick Sewell has it all. Good friends, a career as a Cambridge academic… and recently, a tendency to turn into a wolf every full moon.  When a new student arrives from Germany, Nick is horrified by his visceral attraction to the troubled youth—not to mention his violent jealousy when he sees Julian with another man. He’s floored to find out Julian is a werewolf too.

Unlike Nick, Julian has spent his life among other wolves, and in this subject, he’s the teacher and Nick the student. Nick struggles to adjust to this reversal of roles, especially since he’s an alpha and Julian a natural submissive. That dynamic just adds to the attraction smoldering between them, whether they’re in human form or wolf.

But Julian’s pack and the abuse he suffered isn’t far behind him, and the pack wants to reclaim him. For Nick to hold on to his lover, he’ll have to embrace the monster within.

Second edition now available: Dreamspinner | Amazon paperback

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Camwolf is out today- with giveaway

I’m chuffed as anything that my first MM werewolf novel, Camwolf, is out today in second edition:

Camwolf_200A race to save his lover—by becoming his own worst nightmare.

Dr. Nick Sewell has it all. Good friends, a career as a Cambridge academic… and recently, a tendency to turn into a wolf every full moon.  When a new student arrives from Germany, Nick is horrified by his visceral attraction to the troubled youth—not to mention his violent jealousy when he sees Julian with another man. He’s floored to find out Julian is a werewolf too.

Unlike Nick, Julian has spent his life among other wolves, and in this subject, he’s the teacher and Nick the student. Nick struggles to adjust to this reversal of roles, especially since he’s an alpha and Julian a natural submissive. That dynamic just adds to the attraction smoldering between them, whether they’re in human form or wolf.

But Julian’s pack and the abuse he suffered isn’t far behind him, and it wants to reclaim him. For Nick to hold on to his lover, he’ll have to embrace the monster within.

LonewolfNow available in eBook and paperback

Note: the novel has been re-edited but the story is essentially the same as the first edition.

And to celebrate the re-release, I’m going on a blog tour:

 

July 5 – MM Good Book Reviews : Excerpt, and Free Short Story: Lonewolf
July 13 – Long and Short Reviews : Top 5 Literary Werewolves
July 16 – Love Bytes : Alpha Wolf
July 17 – The Novel Approach : A Very British Werewolf
July 18 – My Fiction Nook : City of Perspiring Dreams
July 19 – Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter : Excerpt
July 20 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words : May-December Romance

(Please forgive me if I’m a little slower than usual to answer comments; I managed to again time a weekend away to coincide with a new release!)

Giveaway!

Win a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate!

(Winner will be randomly chosen from commenters on the tour on Wednesday 25th July)
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Rainbow Snippets is melting in the heat

It’s a teensy bit on the warm side today (read: even my desk fan has heat exhaustion) and I’ve been working on the next Plumber’s Mate Mystery, so here’s a snippet from Heat Trap:

When I woke up at Phil’s on Sunday morning, the sun was streaming through the thin curtains he had at the windows of his attic flat, giving me a whole new appreciation of the phrase heat rises. And not in a good way. I was sweating like I’d just got back from a five-mile run, and I hadn’t even moved yet. My dick was all keen to get up close and personal with the six-foot hunk of lean muscle lying next to me, but the rest of me was saying no sodding way.

“Bloody hell,” I grumbled, flinging an arm up over my eyes. That sun was vicious. “Too hot for sex. That’s just sad.”

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Don’t forget to check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors.

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Heat Trap – #3 in the Plumber’s Mate Mystery series

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Old flames can leave a nasty burn.

It’s been six months since plumber Tom Paretski was hit by a shocking revelation about his family, and he’s been avoiding dealing with it ever since. His lover, PI Phil Morrison, wants Tom to dig deeper into his history and try to develop his psychic talent for finding things, but Tom’s not nearly so keen. Just as he decides to bite the bullet, though, worse problems crawl out of the woodwork.

Young Devil’s Dyke barmaid Marianne has an ex, Grant Carey, who won’t accept that things are over between them, and he’s ruthless in dealing with anyone who gets in his way.  When Carey threatens an old friend of theirs, Phil and Tom step in to help—but that makes them targets themselves.

What with his uncertainty about Phil’s motives, Tom’s family doing their best to drive a wedge between them, and the uncovering of an ugly incident in Phil’s past, Tom’s not sure who he can trust—and the body he finds in the pub cellar isn’t the only thing that stinks.

Amazon paperback | Kindle Riptide 

 

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Free short story: Lonewolf

Camwolf_200

Camwolf is due out in second edition on July 13th, and in preparation, I’ve relaunched Lonewolf, a FREE linked short story that’s been unavailable for a while.

For full details and a chance to enter the Camwolf blog tour giveaway for a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate, see my guest post on MM Good Book Reviews

 

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Rainbow Snippets is finally widely available

Whoops! I dropped the ball on Raising the Rent, my MM novella featuring a romance between a college teacher and a student with a sideline as a rentboy: took it out of Kindle Unlimited and forgot to upload it to other retailers. That’s now sorted (although I’m still waiting for it to appear on Kobo) so today’s snippet is taken from Raising the Rent:

Despite the cold, Nathan took the long way round to his patch, past the local college. The walk was warming him up a bit, anyhow. Less than a week to go now and he’d be there, finally doing his A-levels. English, History and French. He’d pass them, and then he’d get himself a place at university—somewhere was bound to take him—and he’d get a degree. And then he’d go round and see his stepdad, wave the certificate in his face and stick two fingers up at the bastard who’d always told him he was as thick as pigshit and only good for one thing.

Of course, then he’d have to leg it, sharpish, as odds on the git wasn’t any less free with his fists these days than he had been when Nathan had been living with him.

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Don’t forget to check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors.

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Raising the Rent

raisingtherent_de-samhained-jpeg-200_300

Never fall in love with a customer—especially if it’s sex you’re selling

Rent boy Nathan’s determined to get an education and get off the streets for good. But when he turns up for his first day at college he’s horrified to find his English teacher is one of his regular customers: Stephen, the one Nathan dubbed The Voice because of his educated, honeyed tones.

Stephen’s just as shocked to see Nathan sitting in his class, not to mention terrified he’s about to be exposed as having paid for sex with a student—which would mean public humiliation and could cost him his job. But when Nathan shows he’s only interested in getting his A Levels, not in blackmail, Stephen realises there’s more to the nineteen-year-old than meets the eye.

Nathan still has to earn a living, though—but when a customer turns ugly, he finds himself unable to work and homeless as well. Stephen steps in to help, and Nathan starts to think they could have a future together—if Stephen’s guilt and lack of trust don’t end this back-to-front romance before it even starts.

Available in ebook:  Amazon iTunes B&N

ETA: & Kobo

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Rainbow Snippets is enjoying Pride month

It’s Pride month (depending on where you are) so this week’s snippet is taken from my Plumber’s Mate short story The Drag Queen Wore Red, which features Tom Paretski getting mixed up in mayhem at London Pride:

It was like trying to run through custard. Which was actually kind of an appropriate thought, seeing as how most of the crowd was, in varying proportions, hot, colourful and downright tasty. Everyone and his puppy-play pal was out on the streets of Soho for Pride, and most of ’em were wandering down Old Compton Street in the wrong bloody direction.

The right direction being, obviously, the one I was trying to chase after a would-be murderer in. He was dressed as an angel, in gold lamé shorts and matching wings, which you’d think would help him stand out in a crowd. Generally speaking, you’d be right.

In the middle of Pride? Not so much.

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Don’t forget to check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors.

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The Drag Queen Wore Red – #3.5 in the Plumber’s Mate Mystery series

Capital Crimes no blurbs

 

‘A rich and varied assortment of dark minds and dark deeds. Deliciously disturbing.’ Peter James -2015 Voted by WH Smith readers The Best Crime Author Of All Time

“For anyone whose literary tastes run to the dark and the twisty, CAPITAL KILLS is a damn near perfect taster menu.” – Simon Toyne – international bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy

Contains my story The Drag Queen Wore Red, a short story in the Plumber’s Mate Mystery series (set between Heat Trap and Blow Down)

Slightly psychic plumber Tom Paretski and his sister visit London Pride – but crime is never far away!

Available on Amazon

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A Literary Locale

WightMischief_FBbanner_DSPIt’s the final day of the Wight Mischief Blog Tour, and I’m over at the Dreamspinner Press blog talking about–for a change–OTHER books set on the Isle of Wight!

I hope you’ll drop by and leave a comment to enter the $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate giveaway. Good luck! 😀

Wight Mischief

 

wight_mischief_200_300A ghost of a chance at love.

Personal trainer Will Golding has been looking forward to a getaway with his best friend, Baz, a journalist researching a book on ghosts. But on the first day of their camping trip on the Isle of Wight, Will takes a walk on a secluded beach and spies a beautiful young man skinny-dipping by moonlight.  Ethereally pale, he’s too perfect to be real—or is he?

Lonely author Marcus Devereux is just as entranced by the tall athlete he encounters on the beach, but he’s spent the years since his parents’ violent death building a wall around his heart, and the thought of letting Will scale it is terrifying. Marcus’s albinism gives him his otherworldly appearance and leaves him reluctant to go out in daylight, his reclusiveness encouraged by his guardian—who warns him to stay away from Will and Baz.

The attraction between Will and Marcus can’t be denied—but neither can the danger of the secrets haunting Marcus’s past, as one “accident” after another strikes Will and Baz. If they don’t watch their step, they could end up added to the island’s ghostly population.

Dreamspinner Amazon Kindle | Amazon paperback

 

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Rainbow Snippets is feeling steamy

And by steamy I mean in the mood for steampunk, that is; I do hope you weren’t misled into expecting something else. 😉

This week’s snippet is taken from my short f/f  steampunk story London Lark, due out in the Upstaged Anthology featuring queer women in the performing arts on July 15, 2018.

For those who missed my previous snippets from this story, please note that Miss Pandora is an automaton, and Hodgkins, our narrator, is NOT a lad! 😉

Weeks it was I worked on her—I don’t say all the time, mind, as we’d plenty of other calls on us. There’s always something as wants fixing. Mechanical housemaids, sweeps’ boys, even a false nose for some syphilitic toff what’d got stuck on sneezing. We always tells ’em they ain’t designed for so much snuff, but what toff wants to listen to a tinkerer and his lad telling him to curb his pleasures?

Miss Pandora, though, she was my labour of love, and I was at her side all the hours I could spare.

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Don’t forget to check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors.

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CaptureTheMoon

 

If you’re interested in other f/f fiction I’ve written, check out my website here: https://jlmerrow.com/my-books/lesbian-fiction/

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Wight Mischief is out today

WightMischief_FBbanner_DSP

Hurrah! It’s release day for Wight Mischief, my romantic suspense novel set on my beloved Isle of Wight and first published by Samhain. This edition has been completely re-edited and generally given a wash and brush-up, but remains substantially the same story as the first edition.

Today on the Wight Mischief blog tour, I’m a guest over at The Novel Approach, where I’ll be talking about Fantasy Islands: why islands are so popular as fictional locations.

I hope you’ll drop by and leave a comment to enter the $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate giveaway – and I hope you’ll forgive me being a little slower than usual to answer comments, as with stunning good timing, I’m away at a steampunk weekend in Morecambe. 🙂

 

Wight Mischief

rainbowawards_hon_mention3

wight_mischief_200_300A ghost of a chance at love.

Personal trainer Will Golding has been looking forward to a getaway with his best friend, Baz, a journalist researching a book on ghosts. But on the first day of their camping trip on the Isle of Wight, Will takes a walk on a secluded beach and spies a beautiful young man skinny-dipping by moonlight.  Ethereally pale, he’s too perfect to be real—or is he?

Lonely author Marcus Devereux is just as entranced by the tall athlete he encounters on the beach, but he’s spent the years since his parents’ violent death building a wall around his heart, and the thought of letting Will scale it is terrifying. Marcus’s albinism gives him his otherworldly appearance and leaves him reluctant to go out in daylight, his reclusiveness encouraged by his guardian—who warns him to stay away from Will and Baz.

The attraction between Will and Marcus can’t be denied—but neither can the danger of the secrets haunting Marcus’s past, as one “accident” after another strikes Will and Baz. If they don’t watch their step, they could end up added to the island’s ghostly population.

Dreamspinner | Amazon Kindle | Amazon paperback

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