Rainbow Snippets will remember them

Usually on Remembrance Sunday, we go to the service at the war memorial in the village – there’s always a big turnout. However, this year we were all asked not to congregate there, so we observed the silence on our doorsteps instead, and a couple of the neighbours said a few words from the service.

It seems appropriate to post a snippet from my WW1 novel, To Love a Traitor.

George has taken a room in the same lodging house as Matthew, whom he suspects of having been a spy in the war and responsible for the death of his brother. However, George finds he’s becoming far too close to the man he’s investigating:

“Matthew,” George whispered, laying a hand on his shoulder. Matthew started violently. “It’s all right,” George reassured him. “It’s just a dream.”

George started to unwind the sheets from the sweating form. It seemed to help—as Matthew’s limbs were freed, the thrashing eased. “Hush,” George kept repeating. “It’s all right. Just a bad dream.”

“George?” Matthew’s voice was hoarse. “George, what are you doing here?”

“I heard you cry out. I think you had a nightmare.”

“God, George… I was back there in the dugout, when that wretched shell landed and it collapsed… Oh Lord—you don’t want to hear about this. I’m sorry, George. Just being a bit of an idiot. Sorry to have woken you.”

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

To Love a Traitor

2017 EBook_finalist-LG

Wounds 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 feeling pun-tastic

Autumn is upon us, and it’s a favourite season of mine, so this week’s snippet is from the appropriately named Fall Hard (see what I did there?)

Here, our amnesiac hero Paul is reconnecting with a former colleague in Iceland:

“Did I like it here?” I asked, anxious to change the subject. “I mean, I think I must have, but…”

“Oh yes—at least I think so.” Mags hesitated. “Of course, I was never quite sure how much was Iceland and how much was Sven.”

“Did you know him well?” Did I love him very much? was what I really meant.

“I—well…” She fiddled with the rearview mirror. The plastic figure of a red-haired, grinning troll someone—I?—had hung from it swung crazily. “I really only knew him through you.”

She hadn’t liked him, I was suddenly sure. I frowned. “How did I meet him?”

“Through a mutual acquaintance. Egil Skallagrimsson.” I blinked. She’d just named a man who’d been dead for a thousand years.


When you’ve already paid the price for falling, is it safe to trust again?

An accident at Iceland’s Gullfoss Falls robbed British academic Paul Ansell of his American lover—and his memories of all their time together. Eight months later, back in the volcanic land to resume his research on bloodthirsty Viking Egil Skallagrimsson, Paul is still struggling to get his life back together. But trying to deal with his growing feelings for enigmatic Icelander and jet-boat driver Viggo is even harder.

Is Paul’s explosive attraction to this tall, tattooed, modern-day Viking all physical—or sparked by hidden memories?  Paul’s drawn to the idea of a fresh start, but troubled by Viggo’s odd reluctance to talk about their friendship before the accident.

Meanwhile, Alex Winter, a Boston history professor on a working holiday, won’t stop asking disconcerting questions. Unsure whom to trust, and unable to trust himself, Paul begins to suspect the fall at Gullfoss was no accident—but he’s about to learn that some things are better off forgotten.

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

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

And there’s still (just!) time to enter the Pressure Head Audiobook Giveaway

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Pressure Head audiobook giveaway


I’m delighted to say that the first of my Plumber’s Mate Mysteries, Pressure Head, is now available in audiobook – and I have four free audio codes to give away!

If you’d like to be in with a chance to win one, just leave a comment on this post wherever you see it, stating whether you’d like a US or UK code (I have 2 of each) and leaving your email address so I can get in touch if you win.

I’ll make the draw on Sunday 27th September, probably around tea-time. Good luck!

Some things are better left hidden.

Tom Paretski’s not just a plumber with a dodgy hip courtesy of a schoolboy accident. He also has a sixth sense for finding hidden things. Called in by the police to help locate a body near Brock’s Hollow, he’s staggered to encounter Phil Morrison, his old school crush—and the closeted bully whose actions contributed to Tom’s accident.

Phil’s all grown up now, and Tom’s unwilling attraction to him is back with a vengeance. Phil’s now openly gay—and what’s more, he’s interested in Tom’s personal charms as well as his psychic talents. As a private investigator called in by the dead woman’s parents, Phil is sceptical about Tom’s unusual gift, but nevertheless quick to spot its potential to aid him in his work.

The further they go with the investigation, the less they can ignore their shared past, and the more the pressure and the heat build between them. But Tom isn’t certain he wants to know the secrets he’s helping to uncover, while there’s a murderer on the loose who won’t hesitate to kill again—and this uneasy couple is moving right into his sights.

Amazon | Riptide | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

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New in KU – Pressure Head and Caught!

For the first time, the first books in two of my series, The Shamwell Tales and The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries, will be available in Kindle Unlimited for the next 90 days – grab them while they’re there!

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Rainbow Snippets is celebrating International Cat Day

Happy International Cat Day! Wishing warm laps and tuna fish suppers to cats everywhere. 🙂

In this not-unrelated snippet taken from the second of my Shamwell Tales, Played, our dramatic hero Tristan is in the depths of despair – and about to finally meet an elusive inhabitant of the house he recently inherited:

Of course Con had been upset. Who wouldn’t be upon discovering they’d just shagged a base, imbecilic turd? Tristan was a flesh-monger, a fool, and a coward. And that was the best that could be said of him. He lay there, the cushion still over his face in the vague hope he might manage to smother himself, until an odd sensation at his naked hip caused him to freeze in alarm.

It happened again. There was something smooth and warm brushing against his skin, soft yet hard, like an iron fist in a furry glove. And there was the definite suggestion of whiskers.

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

Played! – #2 in The Shamwell Tales


All the world’s a stage . . . but life doesn’t come with a script.

Posh boy Tristan Goldsmith has one last summer of freedom before he joins the family firm in New York—no more farting around on stage, as his father puts it. But the classically trained actor can’t resist when the Shamwell Amateur Dramatics Society begs him to take a leading role in their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As an added incentive, he’ll be giving private acting lessons to a gorgeous local handyman who’s been curiously resistant to Tristan’s advances.

As a late-diagnosed dyslexic still struggling with literacy, Con Izzard’s never dared to act before. With arrogant yet charming Tristan helping him with his lines, he finally has his chance to shine. But Con’s determined not to start a romance with a man he’s convinced only wants a casual fling.

Tristan’s never been one to back down from a challenge, especially when he realises his attraction to the tall, muscular handyman isn’t just physical. Just as he thinks he’s finally won Con’s heart—and given his own in return—disaster strikes with a slip of the tongue that shatters Con’s trust and sends him running for cover. This show may be over before the curtain’s even opened.

Available in ebook and paperback: 

Riptide | Amazon

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Rainbow Snippets is feeling the heat

The mercury was in the mid-thirties yesterday, which for a lily-skinned Brit like me is definitely Too Hot. On the other hand, though, it did make me feel like I was in Italy, which is where the book I’m currently working on, the 6th Plumber’s Mate Mystery, is set.

So this week I’m snippetting from Heat Trap, my 3rd Plumber’s Mate Mystery, which is set during a very hot summer:

Making a slightly embarrassing contrast with my slobbing-around-the-house-in-a-heat-wave gear of shorts and a crumpled T-shirt, Phil was freshly shaved and wearing a crisply ironed short-sleeved shirt loose over a pair of chinos. The outfit did a very nice job of showing off his broad chest and shoulders and trim hips. You’d think a big bloke like him would feel the heat more—would show it, even, him being a blond and all—but he always managed to look cool whatever the weather. Maybe he kept ice cubes in his undies.

Nah, I’d have noticed. I mean, I don’t like to brag, but I reckon I was pretty well acquainted with the contents of Phil’s undies.

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

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


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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Counter Culture is out in audiobook and I have codes to give away

I’m delighted to say that Counter Culture, my light-hearted rom-com starring a steampunk and a retail worker, is now out in audiobook. And to celebrate, I have FOUR Audible codes to give away!

To be in with a chance of winning a code for a free audiobook, just leave a comment on this post (wherever you see it) with your email address and stating whether you’d prefer a US or a UK code. I’ll make the draw on Sunday 26th July.

ETA: The draw is now closed and winners have been notified by email. Thanks to every one who played!

And here’s a snippet to whet your appetite – here, our heroes have, after many near-misses and mortifying mishaps, actually managed to get together for a cup of tea:

“You know, you’re a lot more normal than I thought you were,” Robin said as they carried the teas to the living room. “Um, that came out sounding wrong.”

Archie laughed and put on a posh voice. “How dare you, sir! Accusing me of normality—the very idea! This means teacups at dawn.”

“It does?”

“Er, that works better if you’ve actually heard of tea duelling.”

“People duel with tea?” Robin’s eyes widened. “I suppose a fresh pot could give you a nasty scalding.”

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

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, paperback and now audiobook: Riptide | Amazon

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A Decade of Gay Romance is out now

Happy tenth birthday to JMS Books!

To celebrate turning ten years old this month, JMS Books has brought out an anthology of readers’ favourite stories – one for each year of the decade. I’m delighted that my short story, Dead Shot, is one of the stories included.

And that’s not all! Why not check out the JMS Books Blog for author blog posts, daily sales and giveaways this month?

JMS Books began in 2010 as a way of getting a few friends into print. Ten years later, we’ve published more than 2,000 books celebrating LGBTQ+ romance from over 200 authors. A Decade of Gay Romance is a collection of our ten best-selling short stories, one for each year (to date).

From first love to true love, from submission to sensual, from heat to sweet and everything in between, the couples in these stories are sure to keep you turning the pages as you fall in love with them.

With stories by J.M. Snyder, Drew Hunt, JL Merrow, Wayne Mansfield, Terry O’Reilly, Edward Kendrick, Shawn Lane, J.D. Walker, Nell Iris, and Elizabeth Noble, this head-over-heels collection goes beyond bedtime reading. Whether happily ever after or happy for now, there’s an ending for everyone in here!

Contains the stories: My Best Friend’s Dad by J.M. SnyderTwelve Hours I by Drew HuntDead Shot by JL MerrowThe King’s Prize by Wayne MansfieldMy Beagle, the Yenta by Terry O’ReillyLet Go of Loneliness by Edward KendrickAccidentally His by Shawn LaneA-dork-able by J.D. WalkerUnexpected Christmas by Nell Iris, and Home Coming by Elizabeth Noble.

Available in ebook: Amazon | JMS Books

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Stroke to His Cox is out now in ebook

My short story about young men messing about on the water, Stroke to His Cox, is out now in second edition with a lovely new cover – and if you buy from the JMS site, it’s on sale at 20% off for a limited time only.

Here’s a little snippet to whet (wet?) your appetite, with cox Dave giving a pep talk to the rowers just before they start a race:

We rowed out to our allotted starting position, halfway down from Bait’s Bite Lock.

“Right, lads,” I said. “This time we’re having them. We’ve got everything to row for today, and we’re bloody well going to get our oars. I know you can do it, and so do you, so let’s show those Clare bastards what’s what.”

He may have the body of a weak and feeble woman—” Tariq broke off as Archie turned round and threatened to thump him. “Sorry. How about this, then? Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; or close the wall up with our English dead!”

Bloody arts students.

Check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors

Stroke to His Cox


Pint-sized Dave Tanaka, coxswain of his Cambridge college’s rowing team, loves having eight strapping athletes hanging on his every word, their strength at his command. But there’s one in particular whose attention he craves: Archie, who rows stroke for the side.

Six-foot-six Archie acts like he’s just one of the lads—although the way he calls out some of the other rowers on their thoughtless comments makes Dave’s heart beat harder for him. But is there anything personal in it?

Tensions rise as they compete in the inter-college races, the Bumps—and as they prepare for their final race, the one that will determine if they win their oars, Dave still doesn’t know if Archie is in the same boat as him in more ways than one!

Also includes Firm Pressure, a mini-sequel to Stroke to His Cox

Note: this short story has been previously published.

Available in ebook: Amazon | JMS Books

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Rainbow Snippets says Black Lives Matter

I thought it would be appropriate this week to snippet from one of my stories that has a POC as MC, so here’s a few lines from Belling the Kat, featuring the rather appositely-named Kat who’s been nursing a seemingly hopeless crush on her best mate Belle:

“Don’t look at me!” I wailed, because who wants the girl of their dreams to see them all hairy? Not to mention the… other thing. Even sensible cotton underwear can only hide so much. But she just kept coming, and then I felt her stroke my hair, again and again, and it was so soothing I just forgot myself and leant into her.

“Oh, Kat,” Belle said softly, cuddling me. “I wish…” She scratched my chin, and I nuzzled into her touch even though it tickled my whiskers, and tried to summon the nerve to put my arms around her. Then again, it’d be a shame if I snagged any of that pretty lace.

“Wish what?” I wanted to say, but it came out as, “Mraow?”

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

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.

Available in ebook: JMS Books | Amazon

These stories are also collected in A Feminine Flirty Dozen:

A Feminine Flirty Dozen

Together for the first time, twelve short stories of women loving women from award-winning author JL Merrow. Some are funny, some are sweet, some are steamy—and some are haunting, with genres ranging from steampunk through paranormal to fairy tale, and from contemporary erotic romance to historical.

Meet shapeshifters and spirits of the forest, enjoy a lovers’ reunion and watch friends become something more. Encounter strange creatures, automata, and women on both sides of the law. See two of Jane Austen’s minor characters find love together, and others find hope amid the ruins, as JL Merrow explores the feminine side of life—and love.

Contains the stories: London Lark; First Time; Nine Days and Seven Tears; Capture the Moon; A Particular Friend; Wild Flowers of Berlin; Trolling for Cupcakes; Little Bit of Ivory; Ice Maiden; Dance With Me; Belling the Kat; Blazing June

Available in ebook and paperback: JMS Books Amazon

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