Out Now – Just Like Santa

If you fancy something short and sweet with a holiday flavour, my super-quick Christmas read Just Like Santa is now available in standalone ebook for the first time:

Jason loves working at the Bright Eyes nursery, but he’s not so keen on what happens at the kids’ Christmas party. As if having to don an ancient, tacky Santa costume isn’t bad enough, he’s mortified when he suffers a costume malfunction. Especially as it happens right in front of the hot—and impeccably dressed—single dad, Alec, he’s fancied for ages.

But when Alec’s daughter Poppy invites Jason round for tea, he finds Alec was only too pleased to get a glimpse of Jason’s naff underwear. In fact, he’d like to see a whole lot more of it. A Christmas miracle? Maybe—but there’s one more embarrassment in store for Jason next morning.

This super-quick read first appeared in the I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus anthology

Available in ebook: JMS Books | Amazon

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Rainbow Snippets is in Black Friday mood

It’s always struck me as somewhat bizarre that, in recent years, Black Friday sales have become increasingly popular in the UK. After all, it’s not like we’ve embraced the family-and-food fest of Thanksgiving which precedes it. Nevertheless, the sales seem to be here to stay, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t taken advantage of the odd offer or two in my time! 😉

So here’s a topical snippet from Counter Culture, my department-store-set rom-com, with our hero Robin and his colleague Azrah in an end-of-day staff meeting with their manager, Gail:

“Now, as you know, we’re holding a Black Friday sale this year to compete with online retailers. Profits this quarter . . .”

With the best will in the world, Robin couldn’t stop his tired brain from zoning out as she recited a list of numbers in excruciating detail. He started to nod off on his feet, waking up with a jerk when Gail slapped a file down on her desk.

“Any questions?”

Azrah raised her hand. “Yeah, I got one. Why are we even having a Black Friday sale? It’s an American thing—nothing to do with us.”

Gail gave her a look like she’d just announced that she had ideological objections to selling stuff. “Coca Cola is an American thing, Azrah, but you didn’t seem to have any problem with keeping a can behind the counter in blatant violation of store policy.

***

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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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Counter Culture

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

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Belling the Kat is out today

In a total change of mood from last week’s Wild Flowers of Berlin, this week I have a snippet for you from Belling the Kat, a light-hearted shifter story from a new mini-collection of a few of my super-quick f/f reads that’s out today from JMS Books:

“You’re doing it again, Kat.” A little frown crinkled Belle’s high, dark forehead and her lush lips twisted in a sympathetic grimace.

I twisted around from where I’d been sitting on the counter in the Ladies, swinging my legs, and peered in the mirror. Yep, Belle was right. It was happening again. I mouthed a couple of curses at my not-quite-as-pale-as-usual reflection, and set to with the breathing exercises.

***

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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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Belling the Kat and Other Stories

Office worker Kat didn’t think the statuesque Belle was her type—until she saw her friend rocking a slinky satin bridesmaid’s dress. Now Kat can’t get the gorgeous image out of her head, but dare she risk losing Belle’s friendship by trying for something more?

To add to her woes, ever since a close encounter of the feline kind, Kat’s had an embarrassing little problem that keeps recurring. Surely someone as beautiful as Belle won’t fall for a woman who occasionally sprouts whiskers—and a tail!

This mini-collection also includes three more super-quick reads featuring women loving women: contemporary romance Little Bit of Ivory; Japanese fairy tale Ice Maiden; and the haunting Dance With Me.

These super-quick reads have been previously published but are now appearing together for the first time.

Available in ebook: JMS Books | Amazon

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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.

***

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.

***

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

***

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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