Rainbow Snippets is due out on Star Wars day

I just got a release date for my new “hot flash” from JMS books, and it’s May 4th – Star Wars day! So today’s snippet is from Aim Higher, which is one of the first stories I ever sold, and which first appeared in the I Do Two anthology in support of marriage equality. It’s a very short story (less than 3,000 words) so it’s a very short snippet! 😉


He’s sitting on my bed again when I wake up, all bulging muscles, stupid wings and that pathetic bow and arrow. “Well, you can bugger off!” I tell him.
He doesn’t, of course. He’s got a hide like a bloody rhino.
“Language, Simone! Does your mother know you talk like that?”

***

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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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Thirteen year old Simone’s not having an easy time of it right now. Her parents have split up, everyone thinks she’s gone mad, and there’s a Greek god visible only to her who won’t stop trying to fix her up with boys. But when her father finally meets Eros—or Eric, as he prefers to be known—matters take a twist none of them were expecting!

Note: this story also appears in the I Do Two anthology

Due out 4th May 2019 from JMS Books

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Autism Awareness Blog Hop 2019

banner autism 2019

I’m delighted to be taking part once again in RJ Scott’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop, and this year’s theme is Childhood Toys.

Nearly two-thirds of children with autism between the ages of 6 and 15 have been bullied. 

 For more facts about autism, and details of all blogs participating in the Autism Awareness Project, see RJ Scott’s master post here: rjscott.co.uk/autism19

Picture of Barbie doll in blue dressChildhood toys

 It’s funny how what you play with as a child can be a clue to what you’ll be like as an adult. As a girl—and in spite of my massive tomboy phase—I loved playing with my Pippa dolls. For the non Brits, Pippa was like a smaller version of Barbie popular in the 1970s (yep, showing my age here!) Like Barbie, she had an endless succession of outfits you could buy, and swap with your friends. Not content with them, I used to hand-stitch extra clothes for her. I was anything but an accomplished seamstress and I can’t remember how most of them turned out, but for some reason the outfit I made after seeing Raquel Welch’s fur bikini in One Million Years BC sticks in the mind. I only had bright blue fur fabric available, so it was certainly eye-catching!

My daughter, by contrast, never clicked with dolls of any kind—or sewing, for that matter. Her cuddly toys had a far more exciting time than Pippa and her friends ever did, going on perilous adventures in space (laundry detergent bulbs made excellent helmets) or mountaineering with Action Man (he was the one with the climbing gear).

And nowadays? True to form, DD, now uni age, is a confirmed jogging-bottoms-and-t-shirt girl. (I’m still waiting to see on the space travel and mountaineering.) And me? I’m sitting here in a dress. And over to the left of me is a half-finished bustle I’m making to wear at a steampunk event in the summer. Well, it could be worse. At least it’s not a fur bikini! 😉

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Giveaway: I’m offering a free e-copy of my third Porthkennack novel, Love at First Hate, to a randomly chosen commenter on this post.

Just leave a comment on this post (wherever you see it) including your email address by 25th April to be in with a chance – and please do check out the other posts on RJ’s list for more giveaways! 😀

LoveatFirstHate_200x300First impressions can doom second chances

Bran Roscarrock has been living in the closet all his life. As heir to an expansive family legacy in the town of Porthkennack, old-fashioned ideals of respectability and duty were drummed into him since childhood, and he’s never dared to live—or love—openly.

Sam Ferreira, an old friend of Bran’s brother Jory, is a disgraced academic desperate to leave his dead-end job. When Jory asks him to take over as curator of a planned exhibition on Edward of Woodstock, the fourteenth-century Black Prince, Sam leaps at the chance to do what he loves and make a fresh start.

But Bran’s funding the exhibition, and though sparks fly between the two men, they’re not all happy ones. Bran idolises Prince Edward as a hero, while Sam’s determined to present a balanced picture. With neither of them prepared to give ground, a hundred years of war seems all too possible. And if Bran finds out about Sam’s past, his future may not be bright, and their budding romance may be lost to history.

Available in ebook & paperback:

Riptide | Amazon

 

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Rainbow Snippets is feeling homesick

I grew up on the Isle of Wight, and I don’t get back there often enough. It’s a great place to be on a hot summer’s day, but today I’m feeling nostalgic for grey, windswept winter days, with the sea whipped up by the wind to crash over the sea wall. Ferry crossings on a blustery day are kinda fun, too. 😉

So today’s snippet is from Lovers Leap, my rom-com set on the island. Here, Rufus and Michael are discovering their different attitudes to the culinary arts:

Rufus blinked. “I like cooking. Always have.”

“Why?”

“What’s not to like? It’s like making little artworks on a plate. And then you get to eat them at the end.”

“Uh-huh.” The closest Michael had ever got to art in the kitchen was when he’d put extra bits of ham on a pizza he was warming up for his tea cos Mum was ill, and made them form the shape of a penis.

It’d been a pretty impressive penis, mind. He’d added slices of salami for bollocks and extra cheese for spunk. Then he’d nearly wet himself when Mum came into the kitchen to check he hadn’t starved to death just as he was taking it out of the oven.

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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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Lovers Leap

LoversLeap_200x300Finalist in the Bisexual Book Awards for 2016

If 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.

Available in ebook and paperback:   Riptide  | Amazon 

LoversLeap_Audiobook.jpg

Also available in Audiobook, narrated by the excellent Mark Steadman:

Amazon Audible

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Rainbow Snippets loves cats. Honest.

The picture on the Rainbow Snippets group shows a cat admiring butterflies. If my experience of cats is anything to go by, that scene will be followed in about 0.3 seconds by a cat chomping down on butterflies. To celebrate our love for what are, when all’s said and done, cute little murder-beasts, today’s snippet is taken from Hard Tail, in which our hapless narrator Tim has gone to stay in his hospitalised brother’s house – and has just discovered his brother apparently has a cat he’s neglected to mention:

I was woken at seven o’clock on the first day of my new life as a shopkeeper by a cat jumping on my chest. As wake-up calls went, it was fairly effective. I opened my eyes to a mouthful of fangs looking like they were about to take my nose off, which, given the dead-mouse breath coming my way, would actually have been a mercy.

“Gah!” I’m never at my most eloquent when I’ve just woken up.

The cat hissed back at me, obviously not a morning person either. I shifted position, hoping it would get the hint and bugger off. Too late, I realised the flaw in that plan.

Claws.

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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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Hard Tail

Southampton Stories #2

hardtail_de-samhained-jpeg-200-300

rawinnerlFinding 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.

Available in ebook: Amazon | Kobo | iTunes | B&N

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Rainbow Snippets is enjoying the snow

Not that there’s snow in Hertfordshire, at least not as I write. But I hear there’s plenty of the stuff in other parts, and in this hemisphere it’s certainly the season for it. So today’s snippet comes once again from To Love a Traitor, which is set in the winter of 1920. Here, undercover investigator George-ne-Roger is perhaps having a little too much fun in the snow with the man he suspects of spying in WW1, Matthew:

George turned the toboggan around and set it at the top of the slope. It was a beauty—elegantly constructed out of wood, with a seat about three feet long set above sturdy, curved runners. He seated himself upon it, and Matthew slung a leg over and sat down behind him. It felt curiously intimate for such an absurdly innocent affair—Matthew’s legs were either side of George’s, and his chest was pressed up against George’s back, his good arm around George’s waist. Thank heaven for layers of clothing between them.

“Right, I’m set,” Matthew said in his ear, the warmth of his breath tickling the back of George’s neck.

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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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To_Love_a_Traitor_400

best-gay-2016

2017 EBook_finalist-LGWounds of the heart are the hardest to heal

Solicitor’s clerk George Johnson has a secret goal when he moves into a London boarding house in the winter of 1920: to find out if his fellow lodger, Matthew Connaught, was the wartime traitor who cost George’s adored older brother Hugh his life.

Yet the more he gets to know his quarry, the more George loses sight of his mission—and his heart. Blessed with boyish good looks and charm in abundance, ad man Matthew is irrepressibly cheerful despite having lost an arm in the Great War—and soon makes plain his attraction to George.

Matthew’s advances become ever harder to resist, and George tries to tell himself his brother’s death was just the luck of the draw, and to forget he’s hiding secrets of his own—including who he really is.

But as George’s feelings for Matthew grow, so does his desperation to know the truth about what happened that day in Ypres.  Even if it means he’ll lose the man he’s come to love.

Available in ebook and paperback: JMS Books | Amazon

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Rainbow Snippets is well random

This week’s snippet comes from a book chosen from my backlist using Random.org‘s trusty random number generator (and if you click on the link you’ll get a comprehensive explanation of randomness and how it is generated, which is a lot more complicated than you might think).

To Love a Traitor is set in the aftermath of the First World War. Here, Roger (who has yet to change his name to George and take up investigating in earnest) is discussing the wartime incident that claimed his brother’s life:

“Well, according to Mabel, some of the reports were contradictory, but there was talk of one man—a Lieutenant Matthew Connaught—who had had a stroke of luck not being caught up in it all. He’d been supposed to be going with them—no one seemed to know why—but the night before, he got a bullet in the leg. It was put down to enemy fire, but, well, I find that a little hard to believe.” Roger shrugged. “Granted I was never in the trenches, but it seems to me the angle’s all wrong. Perhaps if he’d poked his head above the parapet and a sniper had taken an ear off, but a leg?”

“You think it sounds fishy, don’t you?” Sir Arthur’s good eye had the disconcerting quality of seeming to see right through Roger, while giving away in return no more than did his glass one.

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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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To_Love_a_Traitor_400

best-gay-2016

2017 EBook_finalist-LGWounds of the heart are the hardest to heal

Solicitor’s clerk George Johnson has a secret goal when he moves into a London boarding house in the winter of 1920: to find out if his fellow lodger, Matthew Connaught, was the wartime traitor who cost George’s adored older brother Hugh his life.

Yet the more he gets to know his quarry, the more George loses sight of his mission—and his heart. Blessed with boyish good looks and charm in abundance, ad man Matthew is irrepressibly cheerful despite having lost an arm in the Great War—and soon makes plain his attraction to George.

Matthew’s advances become ever harder to resist, and George tries to tell himself his brother’s death was just the luck of the draw, and to forget he’s hiding secrets of his own—including who he really is.

But as George’s feelings for Matthew grow, so does his desperation to know the truth about what happened that day in Ypres.  Even if it means he’ll lose the man he’s come to love.

Available in ebook and paperback: JMS Books | Amazon

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Rainbow Snippets contemplates the passing of the years

I’m not sure how I got from thinking of the turning of the new year to time travel, but there you go – today’s snippet is taken from my novella Trick of Time.  In this snippet, our narrator Ted, who’s a wounded soul from the present day, and rent-boy Jem are sharing an intimate moment in Victorian London:

“Where d’you come from? Not from around here.”

I shivered again at the certainty in his tone. “If I told you, you’d think I was mad.”

“Said I could ask you anything I wanted, didn’t you?”

Somehow, in the darkness, with his arms around me, I could talk to him. “All right, then. I’m from…another time. The future. A hundred and fifty years or so from now, I think. What year is this?”

“Been eighteen eighty-six all year.”

“Then it’s a little less. Say a hundred and forty. Go on—tell me I’m mad.”

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TrickOTime_final

A lover from another time

When Ted Ennis steps out the doors of the Criterion Theatre for a cigarette and finds himself in Victorian London, he begins to doubt his sanity. At first he thinks it’s all a film set, and is sure that the strikingly handsome young man leaning against a lamppost must be the leading man…

What starts as a sordid transaction with a beautiful rent boy quickly turns into something much deeper, drawing him back again and again as he gets to know Jem and craves meaningful encounters with him.

But Ted doesn’t understand the exact conditions necessary for his trips through time—and for Jem, time may actually be running out. Now Ted has one last shot to get back to Jem and save their relationship, before it’s too late…

Available in ebook:  Carina Amazon 

Also available as an audiobook on Audible.

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Rainbow Snippets is heeding the signs

Yesterday, I was delighted to see my MM werewolf novel, Midnight in Berlin, had made a best-of-year list. And today I received a box full of author copies. If that’s not all telling me where this week’s snippet should come from, I don’t know what it is! 😉

This is taken from Chapter One, where our narrator Leon stars in a cautionary tale about the perils of hitchhiking, even when the car’s a Porsche and the driver’s really hot:

Verdammt noch mal!”

It was more of a growl than a curse as he rolled me over and pinned me down again. I was still winded from the impact, but that was okay because I didn’t reckon I could breathe anyhow. He wasn’t the guy who picked me up in the Porsche anymore. My mind flashed crazily to stories I’d read of Peter Stübbe, the werewolf of Bedburg. He’d met a gruesome death four centuries ago, but it looked like he might have left a descendant or two. I was pretty sure I was staring at one of them.

I was really going to die.

Christoph’s face… wasn’t human anymore.

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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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Midnight in Berlin

rawinnerlMidnight in BerlinOne bad decision can change your life forever

It’s midnight in Berlin, and drifter Leon is hitchhiking home in the rain, covered in feathers after a wild festival in the city park. He can’t believe his luck when he’s picked up by a hot guy in a Porsche. That is, until he realises his driver is a creature from his worst nightmares—and plans to turn him into one too. He runs, but he can’t escape the werewolf’s bite.

Christoph made one mistake, but he’s paying for it plenty. He took Leon for a rogue werewolf on his way home from a hunt, and by the time he realises the truth it’s too late to do anything but make Leon a monster to save his life. That doesn’t save Christoph from the pack leader’s harsh punishment.

As Leon struggles to cope with his horrifying new reality—and his mixed feelings for the man who bit him—he’s desperate to discover not only what’s happened to Christoph, but the secrets their pack leader is hiding from them all.

Secrets the pack will kill to protect.

Available in ebook and paperback:

Dreamspinner | Amazon

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Rainbow Snippets is getting ready for Christmas

I’m at that odd stage in the Christmas preparations which I like to call the lull before the inevitable last-minute panic, when I’ll suddenly remember something I’d forgotten I’d forgotten!

Meanwhile, today’s snippet is taken from Poacher’s Fall:

It’s a couple of days before Christmas 1922, and after a hard night’s poaching Danny just wants to fetch some mistletoe for his mam from where it’s growing on an old oak tree.

What could possibly go wrong? 😉

Taking his knife from his boot and shoving it between his teeth for ease of access, Danny began to climb. It took him a couple of goes before he grasped the lowest branch, but once he’d done that, he was able to swing himself up onto it. Blinking snowflakes out of his eyes, Danny reached for the next branch, and the one after that, and soon he was level with the clump of mistletoe he was after. It looked a sight farther along the branch from here than it had from down below. Wishing he had some gloves, Danny started to inch along toward it.

Suddenly his foot slipped. His stomach lurched with it.

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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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Midwinter Manor series

poachersfall_200keeperspledge_200

Poacher’s Fall

One snowy night just before Christmas, 1922, poacher Danny Costessey rounds off a night trapping rabbits by climbing a tree to fetch some mistletoe for his mother—only to fall and break his leg. Taken to the manor house to recover from his injuries, Danny meets the reclusive owner, Philip Luccombe. Village gossip has it Luccombe went mad during the war, but Danny soon realizes he’s simply still mourning his late lover. As friendship grows between them, Danny starts to fall for handsome, shy Philip.

Danny’s lively nature, roguish good looks, and ready laughter enchant Philip, and he finds himself being drawn out of his shell whether he will it or not. But when Danny tries to move beyond friendship, Philip panics—and his rejection threatens not only their happiness, but Danny’s health.
Keeper’s Pledge

A sequel to Poacher’s Fall, set four years later, in 1926.

Landowner Philip Luccombe has been enjoying a passionate relationship with young poacher turned gamekeeper Danny Costessey for four years now. Danny’s love has brought him out of the shell he retreated into when his first lover died after the Great War. But this Christmas, visitors to the manor threaten their happiness. Philip’s young cousin Matthew is artistic, vivacious, and flirtatious: just the sort to remind him of his long-dead first love—and to emphasise the social gulf between Philip and Danny.

But the worst danger comes from much nearer home. An old flame of Danny’s is discovered in incriminating circumstances, forcing the lovers to keep their distance for fear of being tarred with the same brush. Meanwhile, Danny’s younger brother, Toby, has grown to resent the connection between his brother and the lord of the manor. Danny wants to do the right thing—but that could divide the lovers forever.

Available in ebook:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

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Rainbow Snippets is feeling the love

MMGroupMembersChoice2018

So chuffed to see I’ve picked up a few nominations in the 2018 Goodreads MM group Members’ Choice Awards! Lock Nut and the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries did particularly well, with nominations in the following categories: Best Law Enforcement, Best Blue Collar, Best Established Couple, Best Main Character, Best Mystery/Whodunit and All Time Favourite MM Series.

Love at First Hate also picked up nominations for Best Contemporary/Mainstream and Best Enemies to Lovers. And I was delighted to get an All Time Favourite MM Author nomination. 😀

If you’re a member of the group and would like to vote (or just to pick up suggestions for the TBR pile) you can find links to all categories in the master post.

So to celebrate, this week’s Rainbow Snippet comes to you from Lock Nut . Here, Tom and Phil are navigating the murky waters of cohabitation after Phil’s finally moved in with Tom:

“When are we going to chuck out your old hi-fi?” Phil asked as, mission accomplished, we sat down on the sofa in front of the telly to enjoy a well-earned beer.

“What do you mean? There’s nothing wrong with it.”

“Apart from being ten years old? I got mine less than a year ago. And it’s half the size. Doesn’t make sense for it to be the one sitting in a box.”

“Mine was here first.” Okay, I do realise that wasn’t the most mature argument I could have made.

“And it’s your house, your rules?” Phil said it so mildly there was a moment when I actually didn’t realise the big, deep pool of man-eating sharks I was hanging over by a thread that was fraying by the second.

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Lock Nut – #5 in the Plumber’s Mate Mystery series

LockNut_500x750[4]Still waters run deadly.

Tom Paretski, plumber with a talent for finding hidden things, and his private investigator fiancé Phil Morrison have been hired to locate a runaway husband, Jonathan Parrot. The job seems simple enough—until their quarry turns up dead in a canal, and a photofit of Tom’s face is splashed all over the news, making him chief suspect.

The widow, petite ex–porn star Lilah Lovett, is convinced her husband was killed by his gay lover, but Tom and Phil aren’t so sure. Worried they may have precipitated Jonathan’s death, they’re determined to find the real killer. But with a web of incestuous ties linking the suspects, it’s hard to know who to trust. Especially when a second victim dies a gruesome death.

Meanwhile, with their wedding looming and them sharing a house now, Tom’s worried it may all be too much, too fast. The last thing he needs are the mixed messages Phil seems to be sending out. They’ll need to get back on the same track if they want to make it to their honeymoon together—and alive.

Amazon paperback | Kindle Riptide 

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