Rainbow Snippets is remembering the war

It’s Remembrance Sunday tomorrow, which makes it particularly apt that my sombre (but hopeful) super-quick read set in the aftermath of WW2, Wild Flowers of Berlin, is out today.

When I was researching this story, I watched colour footage of Berlin in the immediate post-war period, and it struck me powerfully how much of the city was reduced to piles of rubble – street upon street of endless grey.

So here’s a (rainbow) snippet, with Henny reflecting on how her home city has changed:

Ruth won’t remember the times before the devil took our country and our people’s hearts, not as I do. So many clubs, like the Dorian Gray and the Topp-Keller, where you could buy a drink and watch handsome women singing in drag, and where pretty boys picked up foreigners for love and money. Berlin was beautiful then, gleaming white and red and gold. Now, the pretty boys are all dead and the clubs long since closed down or destroyed. I had a lover then, Anna, with cornflower eyes and wide, red lips that laughed and swore and kissed me with equal abandon. When she was killed in the bombings of 43, I thought my heart died with her.

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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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Wild Flowers of Berlin

In post-WW2 Berlin, Henny grieves for her fallen lover, Anna, killed by an Allied bomb. As she joins other women rebuilding their shattered city from its ash-grey ruins, Henny recalls happier times and finds her eye caught by a young woman in a green dress. Ruth is too young to remember the heyday of pre-war Berlin, when the bars were full of handsome women and pretty boys—but perhaps her youthful spirit and optimism can bring Henny to hope for the future.

This super-quick read first appeared in the Call to Arms anthology

Available in ebook: JMS Books | Amazon

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Counter Culture Blog Tour continues

Today on the Counter Culture blog tour, I’m visiting the lovely Joyfully Jay, where I’m talking (although not terribly seriously) about what steampunks actually do. Why not pop along and join me – and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! 😀

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Counter Culture is out today

My new m/m novel featuring a steampunk and a stressed-out retail worker, Counter Culture, is now available in ebook and paperback:

Customer service has never been this personal.

Robin Christopher, beleaguered retail worker, isn’t having an easy November. His boss is raising stress levels planning a Black Friday to end all Black Fridays, his family doesn’t understand him, and his best friend thinks his new crush is a hallucination brought on by watching too many episodes of Doctor Who.

Archie Levine dresses in Victorian style and divides his time between caring for his young son and creating weird and wacky steampunk gadgets from bits of old junk—when he’s not looking after his mum and trying to keep on good terms with his ex. The last thing he’s got time for is a relationship, but the flustered young man he met while disembowelling a fridge is proving very tempting.

When his mum’s social conscience is roused by a local store with a cavalier attitude to the homeless, former rough sleeper Archie shares her anger. Little does he know that Robin works for that same store. When Archie finds out he’s sleeping with the enemy, things could cut up very rough indeed.

Available in ebook and paperback : Riptide | Amazon

This breezy, low-stakes novel showcases Merrow’s bright humor and strong voice. Readers will find plenty to love in this sweet romance – Publisher’s Weekly

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Super-quick F/F read out today

I have a never-before-published lesbian short fairy tale out today:

Trolling for Cupcakes

Skipping through the Mirkwood on her way to buy cupcakes, Billie finds her way across a bridge barred by a gruff, if gorgeous, troll demanding a toll. Worse, there’s a strong hint the herculean hermit will be happy to take a pound of flesh as her tribute.

Lonely troll Granita may be more bluster than bite, but if Billie can’t persuade the comely colossus of the copse to accept another form of currency, her sweet treat could cost her an arm and a leg—literally! She’ll have to hope she can find something even sweeter with which to tempt her Titan.

Available in ebook:  JMS Books Amazon

Here’s a quick (rainbow) snippet from the story:

Billie clasped her hands demurely in front of her and smiled brightly. “Well, how about this? I’m not totally opposed to the idea of paying a reasonable toll for passage through your property. I’m sure it won’t cost an arm and a leg.”

Too late, she realised the narrative trap into which she had fallen.

“An arm and a leg?” The leviathan laughed, and birds fluttered off in fright at the booming sound. “You’ll be lucky. I’ve eaten sparrows with more meat on them than you. I’m going to need more than a couple of spindly limbs for my dinner.” As if to emphasise her point, her titanic tummy rumbled with the thunder of a storm that wasn’t quite as distant as one might have preferred it to be.

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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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Her Particular Friend is out today

Her Particular Friend

herparticularfriend_200

This short story is a sequel to Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, focusing on some of the secondary female characters. It first appeared in the anthology A Certain Persuasion.

When Susan Price leaves Mansfield Park to accompany her aunt, Lady Bertram, to take the waters in Bath, she little expects to meet an old “friend” of the family. Initially scandalised, Susan finds herself drawn to the former Mary Crawford, now a widow, Mrs Lynd.

Mary has lost none of her playful spirit in the ten years since her family’s acquaintance with the Bertrams ended amid elopement and scandal. Her interest, first piqued by Susan’s resemblance to her older sister Fanny, only grows on discovering Susan’s very different character.

But Lady Bertram will surely never countenance Susan’s intimacy with the woman whose brother caused her daughter’s disgrace—and Mary’s true identity cannot be kept a secret forever.

Amazon JMS Books

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Rainbow Snippets is feeling Particularly Friendly

This week’s snippet is taken from my short story Her Particular Friend (see what I did there?) which comes out in standalone ebook in 4 days’ time. This story, which first appeared in the anthology A Certain Persuasion, is a sequel to Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, set around a decade after the book’s end.

I always felt vivacious antagonist Mary Crawford was a far more interesting character than priggish heroine Fanny Price, and here have her meeting Fanny’s younger sister Susan for the first time in Bath:

Miss Price took a breath, and appeared to straighten her back, although indeed her posture needed no correction. “Perhaps you would be so good as to tell me your name, so that when I write, I may remember you to her?”

“Oh, have I neglected to mention it? How very careless of me. But of course. I am Mrs Lynd – now widowed, alas. But formerly I was Mary Crawford, of Mansfield Parsonage.”

Miss Susan Price, it seemed, was made of sterner stuff than her elder sister. Her jaw did not drop; she did not swoon; her eyes widened but a fraction and her gasp was barely audible.

Nonetheless, as Mary inclined her head and glided away, she found herself entirely pleased with the consternation she had caused.

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rainbow snippits scissors

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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Her Particular Friend

herparticularfriend_200

When Susan Price leaves Mansfield Park to accompany her aunt, Lady Bertram, to take the waters in Bath, she little expects to meet an old “friend” of the family. Initially scandalised, Susan finds herself drawn to the former Mary Crawford, now a widow, Mrs Lynd.

Mary has lost none of her playful spirit in the ten years since her family’s acquaintance with the Bertrams ended amid elopement and scandal. Her interest, first piqued by Susan’s resemblance to her older sister Fanny, only grows on discovering Susan’s very different character.

But Lady Bertram will surely never countenance Susan’s intimacy with the woman whose brother caused her daughter’s disgrace—and Mary’s true identity cannot be kept a secret forever.

Due out 23rd October from JMS Books

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Rainbow Snippets is Away with the Fairies

Yikes! Almost missed this one coming out today – my m/m fairy tale, The King’s Honour, is now available in ebook. It’s based on the Grimm fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, a cautionary tale about what happens if you try to stop girls having fun. 😉

Here’s a snippet, where Reuben, on his way to the castle, meets Corin, a woodcutter at work:

The soldier took a moment to admire the young man’s figure as he stood there, his hands on his hips, sweat running down his finely-sculpted chest, before answering the woodcutter’s question. “No, I’ve no desire for a princess. But I find I’m strangely inclined to live in a castle, and be king hereafter.”

“Ah, there’s many a man has had such a wish, and all of them lie buried at the foot of the tallest tower. I’m thinking ’twould be a shame to see you there too, that handsome head cut from your shoulders.”

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rainbow snippits scissors

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 King’s Honour

(short story)

thekingshonour_200

An m/m retelling of the Grimm fairytale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Reuben, a soldier, is on his way to the castle to offer his services to the king, who is sorely troubled with the question of his family’s honour. His wayward daughters go out dancing every night, and refuse to tell how or where.

Walking through the forest, Reuben meets a handsome woodcutter, Corin, who offers to help him unravel the mystery of the dancing princesses. With the magical aid of Corin’s grandmother, the two set out together, mindful that their journey could end in sorrow. The king offers a rich prize to anyone who can discover the princesses’ secret—but the penalty for failure is death.

Available in ebook: JMS Books Amazon

Note: this story first appeared in the Bedknobs and Broomsticks anthology.

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Hard Tail is now out on Audible

Very topically, given the location of the 2020 UK Meet *g* I’m delighted to say the second of my Southampton Stories, Hard Tail, is now out on Audible, narrated by the excellent Philip Rose:

Finding love can be a bumpy ride

With his job and his marriage dead in a ditch, Tim Knight doesn’t take much persuading to leave London for the greener fields of Southampton and look after his injured brother’s mountain bike shop. But Tim’s a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and technical jargon—not to mention struggling with the realisation he can no longer deny his sexuality, at least to himself.

The reason? Matt Berridge, his brother’s bike mechanic. Fit, tanned and an adorable klutz, Matt takes a tumble the day they meet and falls straight into Tim’s heart. There’s only one problem: Matt’s boyfriend, who Tim’s convinced is abusing him, despite the stories Matt comes up with to explain away the bruises.

A black belt in karate, Tim’s no pushover when it comes to physical confrontation. But he’ll need to step his courage up a gear if he’s ever going to come out, be himself—and save the man he’s coming to love.

Audible US | Audible UK

Also available in ebook: Amazon | Kobo | iTunes | B&N

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Pricks and Pragmatism, the first Southampton Story, is also available on Audible:

Audible US | Audible UK

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Rainbow Snippets is enjoying the scenery

I love Autumn. Summer’s heat is over, and the scenery is amazing – the colours of the trees are so rich and varied.

This week’s snippet is taken from the newly-released-in-standalone-ebook Alpaca My Bags, where Scott is enjoying a rather different type of view! 😉

When I turned away from the window, it was to see a young man approaching me with an alpaca.

I blinked—and then again, to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Ryan—I guessed—was so exactly the sort of rough-hewn, outdoorsy type I’d been known to conjure up in a fantasy or two.

I’d go for a walk with you any day, I thought dizzily as he ambled over, smiling at me from behind a full, but neatly trimmed dark beard that set off his tanned face nicely. Who needs the alpaca?

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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.

***

Alpaca My Bags

Silver fox Scott Riley is holidaying on the Isle of Wight with his newborn granddaughter and her parents following the breakup of his relationship. A bit of fun in the sun with rugged alpaca farmer, Ryan, could be just what the doctor ordered for Scott—but first he’ll need to get past his over-protective daughter! Stressed out from new motherhood, Katie’s worried her dad’s going to get his heart broken.

Free spirit Ryan doesn’t believe in relationships. An ex foster child, he’s learned to move on quickly from hook-ups and cut his emotional losses. But with the island’s limited dating opportunities, he’s taken up knitting to while away the lonely evenings. Ryan’s not planning to waste a minute in getting Scott into his bed—but into his life?

They’ve said all along it’s just a holiday fling. When both men realise it could be the start of something more, they’ll need to work hard to counter Scott’s family’s misgivings—not to mention their own.

Available on Kindle and KU

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Alpaca My Bags is out now on Kindle and KU

Yes, it’s a few days earlier than announced, but my Isle of Wight-set summer holiday novella Alpaca My Bags (previously available in the Hot Summer Nights anthology, now out of print) is now out on Kindle and KU, so if you’re feeling nostalgic for warmer weather now there’s a bit of a nip in the air, why not check it out?

Alpaca My Bags

Silver fox Scott Riley is holidaying on the Isle of Wight with his newborn granddaughter and her parents following the breakup of his relationship. A bit of fun in the sun with rugged alpaca farmer, Ryan, could be just what the doctor ordered for Scott—but first he’ll need to get past his over-protective daughter! Stressed out from new motherhood, Katie’s worried her dad’s going to get his heart broken.

Free spirit Ryan doesn’t believe in relationships. An ex foster child, he’s learned to move on quickly from hook-ups and cut his emotional losses. But with the island’s limited dating opportunities, he’s taken up knitting to while away the lonely evenings. Ryan’s not planning to waste a minute in getting Scott into his bed—but into his life?

They’ve said all along it’s just a holiday fling. When both men realise it could be the start of something more, they’ll need to work hard to counter Scott’s family’s misgivings—not to mention their own.

Available on Kindle and KU

Due out at other retailers 3rd December

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