Rainbow Snippets is getting in the Halloween Spirit

Charley Descoteaux posted a picture of skulls for Day of the Dead over at the Rainbow Snippets Facebook group this week, which reminded me of this little snippet from Fall Hard, my romantic suspense novel set in Iceland. Our amnesiac hero, Paul is visiting an exhibition on Egil’s Saga, and has come across the exhibit of a Viking scorn-stick. It’s jogged a memory – but not necessarily a pleasant one!

I’d seen something like this before. But not here. And it had been different; the head had been a skull, its bones shining whitely in the grey light that came through our window…

Our window. There had been a horse’s skull in our flat. Mine and Sven’s.

I stumbled out of the exhibition, tearing off the headphones.

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.


Fall Hard


Some memories are better off lost in the mist…

Eight months ago, British academic Paul Ansell lost his lover—and all the memories of their time together—in an accident at Iceland’s Gullfoss Falls. Returning to the misty island country to resume his study of the bloodthirsty Viking Egil Skallagrimsson is tough as he struggles to pull his life back together.

First, there’s his colleague, Mags, who treats him like glass, and summer student Alex, who peppers him with discomforting questions. Then there’s Icelandic jet-boat driver Viggo, a tattooed, modern-day Viking who won’t say much about how they know each other. Leaving Paul to wonder if their volcanic attraction is fuelled by a desire to make a fresh start, or desperation to forget the past.

As more fragments of his lost memories fall into place, Paul is unsure if he can trust himself, much less anyone around him. And he begins to suspect his accident was nothing of the kind.

Warning: Contains a modern-day Viking whose boat has V8 engines for oars, and a harsh land of hot springs and hotter passions that won’t forgive any false steps.

Available in ebook & paperback:  Samhain Amazon

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Sapphic Spectres

I’m delighted to say that Haunting Muses is now available in ebook and paperback, just in time to get you in the mood for Halloween:

In this collection of lesbian stories, ghosts, be they actual or the metaphorical ghosts of memories, aren’t necessarily evil and hauntings may or may not be bad. How do we move beyond the foul spirits or integrate the shining beings who haunt us in the cruelest or the best ways? And how do we or our characters reconcile these ghosts into transformation and healing within present reality?

Includes stories by Sacchi Green, Deborah Walker, Pascal Scott, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Elaine Burnes, Doreen Perrine and my own story, Dance With Me.


I love a good anthology call, and this one really intrigued me with its wide interpretation of hauntings – and the chance to write a story about a very different kind of love from my usual. Here’s a little snippet from Dance With Me:

“Read to me,” Helen says, perched up on the kitchen counter, her stockinged legs swinging. “Read some more of that book about the girl who faked her own death to frame her husband. I like that one.”

“You would,” I say. “But I can’t. I’m cooking. See?” I hold up the knife I’ve been using to chop the courgette. It’s larger than the one I’d usually use for vegetables, but it’s beautifully curved and I like the way it feels in my hand. “Maybe after tea.”

“You’re soooo booooring,” she moans, slouching in a parody of teenage ennui. Then she smiles and sits up straight again. “If you don’t want to read, how about putting on some music? We could dance. You like dancing. I could teach you some more steps.”

I look at the knife, its surface too dull to show my reflection. It does feel good in my hand…

I put it down firmly. It’s only for a short while. “All right. But just a few dances.”

Available in ebook and paperback: Amazon 

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Rainbow Snippets is at the Cheltenham Literature Fest

I’m currently getting my culture on at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. So what better than a snippet from my novel Slam! which was actually inspired by, and partly set at, the festival?

Here, our hero Jude is just about to head off from his mum’s house to a poetry slam:

“Want to come to the slam with me?” I mentally crossed my fingers, feeling guilty. I’ve never performed my poetry in front of my mum, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to start. I’d probably end up feeling like I was in the school nativity play again, and while it hadn’t been all bad—I’d loved the dress they’d put me in, and the sparkly angel wings—I’d taken one look at Mum’s face in the audience and dried up totally, crushed by the weight of parental expectation. The teacher had had to step in: “What’s that you say, Gabriel? You bring glad tidings of great joy?” Mum had never let me live it down.

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.



Limericks, lies and puppy-dog eyes

Jude Biggerstaff is all the way out and loving it—mostly. The Anglo-Japanese university graduate is a carnivore working in a vegan café, an amateur poet with only one man in his life. His dog, Bubbles.

Then there’s “Karate Crumpet,” a man who regularly runs past the café with a martial arts class. Jude can only yearn from afar, until the object of his affection rescues him from muggers. And he learns that not only does this calm, competent hunk of muscle have a name—David—but that he’s gay.

Jude should have known the universe wouldn’t simply let love fall into place. First, David has only one foot out of the closet. Then there’s Jude’s mother, who lies about her age to the point Jude could be mistaken for jailbait.

With a maze of stories to keep straight, a potential stepfather in the picture, ex-boyfriends who keep spoiling his dates with David, and a friend with a dangerous secret, Jude is beginning to wonder if his and David’s lives will ever start to rhyme.

Warnings: contains a tangled web of little white lies, a smorgasbord of cheesy limericks, a violin called Vanessa, some boots that mean business, and the most adorable little dog ever. Poetry, it’s not…

WINNER of the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy

Available in ebook & paperback:                 Samhain Amazon

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Rainbow Snippets is of a certain persuasion

Today’s snippet comes from my story in A Certain Persuasion, the upcoming anthology from Manifold Press, which features modern LGBTQ+ fiction inspired by Jane Austen’s novels.

Here we see the former Mary Crawford from Mansfield Park, now a widow, proving she’s not lost her sense of fun (and also proving just how many more words you get for your six sentences in Regency style prose!)

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A Certain Persuasion

Now available to pre-order:

I’m delighted to be part of this upcoming anthology from Manifold Press, which features thirteen stories from eleven authors, exploring the world of Jane Austen and celebrating her influence on ours.

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Tales of the Unexpurgated – with giveaway!

Happy Banned Books Week everyone!


I’m delighted to be celebrating Freedom to Read over at The Novel Approach today – why not pop on over, read some Tales of the Unexpurgated and maybe let me know about your own favourite banned books?

All commenters over at The Novel Approach will be entered into a draw to win an ebook from my backlist. Good luck!🙂


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Rainbow Snippets is Visibly Bisexual

In celebration of Bisexual Visibility Week, here’s a snippet from Lovers Leap where, for a change, the bi guy really is confused. Only not about his sexuality. It’s about everyone else’s.😉

In this snippet, Liz is explaining to Michael that her romance with a trans woman doesn’t mean she’s attracted to guys:

Liz got right up in Michael’s face, her eyes narrowed to little slits like a snake’s. “I’ve got no problem with dicks. Well, not actual dicks, anyway. It’s the man on the other end I’ve got a problem with.”


“Jesus, do I have to spell it out? Lesbian.”

“Yeah, but . . . Girls are great, yeah, don’t get me wrong. But blokes are too. And if it’s not the actual tackle you’re objecting to, what is it?” He whirled to face Rufus. “Come to that, what you got against tits?”

Rufus hesitated, put on the spot. “Um, they wobble?”

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.



Lovers Leap

LoversLeap_200x300If they looked, would they ever leap?

Good-looking, confident, and doted on by his widowed mum, Michael is used to thinking only of himself. Getting shoved off an Isle of Wight pier by an exasperated ex ought to come as a wake-up call—but then he meets Rufus and he’s right back to letting the little head take charge. Rufus is cute, keen, and gets under Michael’s skin in a disturbing way.

Would-be chef Rufus can’t believe his luck when a dripping wet dream of a man walks out of the sea on his birthday, especially when Michael ends up staying at the family B&B. Life is perfect—at least until Michael has to go home to the mainland.

Rufus can’t leave the island for reasons he’s entirely neglected to mention. And though Michael identifies as bi, breaking his mum’s heart by coming out and having an actual relationship with a guy has never been his plan. With both men determined to keep their secrets, a leap of faith could land them in deep water.

Riptide  | Amazon | ARe

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Rainbow Snippets is better late than never

Oops! I have a feeling I’ve missed a few weeks of posting snippets. I blame everything on UK Meet eating my brain, coupled with having to kit out the youngest Merrowlet for sixth form (and that was a drama in itself) and see the firstborn off back to Uni (sniffle).

So in keeping with the back-to-school theme (and because I’m currently writing Shamwell #4) here’s a snippet from my first Shamwell Tale, Caught!  featuring hapless teacher Robert:

All was peaceful for a moment as I carried on shepherding form 2E into St Saviour’s Church, tins and jars for Harvest Festival clutched in tiny hands. Thirty pairs of eyes (actually, twenty-nine and a half; Jodie was wearing a patch for her lazy eye) searched eagerly for sight of parents and grannies. I gazed out on the sea of female and/or wrinkly faces in the pews and wondered idly if there was any job in the world, anywhere, that was worse for meeting men than the average primary-school teaching post. Father confessor in a nunnery, maybe? Avon cosmetics rep? Or one of those poor sods who went round emptying the sanitary bins they put in ladies’ loos?

[As this is a gay romance, it’s probably not a spoiler to say he meets his man on the very next page! *g*]

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.



caught72webYou can run from the past…but the past runs faster

Shamwell Tales, Book 1

Behind Robert’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s
taken a job teaching in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But he’s knocked for six—literally—by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.

Sean works in pest control, rides a motorbike, and lives on a council estate. On the face of it, he shouldn’t have anything in common with Robert’s bow-tie, classic-car style and posh family background. Yet Robert is helpless to resist Sean’s roguish grin, and a rocky, excruciatingly embarrassing start doesn’t keep the sparks between them from flaring.

Despite Robert’s increasingly ludicrous attempts to keep his past where it belongs, his past hasn’t read the memo. And soon his secrets could be the very things that drive Sean away for good…

Warning: contains the alarming misadventures of a pest control technician, a stepsister with a truly unfortunate name, and a young man who may have more bow ties than sense.

Amazon | Samhain | ARe

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Now available from the e-tailer of your choosing

A Flirty Dozen by JL Merrow

Previously only available on the ‘zon, you can now get this anthology of some of my short fiction from all the usual outlets – or, if you so desire, you’ll be able to pick up a paperback copy from me at UK Meet.😀


This anthology, available in ebook and paperback at a fantastically low price, comprises 12 stories, all by JL Merrow, which are also available from JMS Books as standalone e-books.

Ranging from gritty to giddy, all feature two men finding their happy ever after—or at least for now—with a dash of the author’s trademark humour.

Read about boys from the wrong side of town, boys from the right side of town, and boys from a town you really wouldn’t want to live in. Meet a rent boy with a secret, a very earthly version of Cupid, and men with a definite tinge of the supernatural. Opposites attract, wishes come true, and old enemies find forgiveness in this variety pack of eight contemporary stories and four paranormal tales that’s a perfect introduction to the writing of a very British author.

Available in ebook: Amazon | ARe | JMS Books | Smashwords

and in paperback: JMS Books

Contains the following (all of which have been previously published, and are also available as standalone ebooks): 

Love Found on Lindisfarne
Free Ride
Light the Fire
Dead Shot
Stronger Where it Counts
Jack in the Green
A Ghoul Like You
Batteries Not Included
Making it Pay
Trick or Treat
Good Breeding
A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips, and Thou

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Paranormal Heroes Giveaway

I’m over at Night Owl Paranormal today as part of their Page Turning Paranormal contest which is running through to the end of August, with a host of giveaways including:

ebooks, signed books, gift cards, paranormal DVDs, Tarot Cards

I’m talking about my top 5 paranormal heroes – why not pop on over and enter the draw for a psychic reading? Good luck!😀


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