Rainbow Snippets: Queer Relations

For this week, I thought I’d choose a snippet from Queer Relations, the second story in my Regency romp series, Twelve Letters. Coming of Age, the third story in the series, will be released next Saturday, November 19th, and is currently in the 20% off pre-release/new release sale at JMS Books until November 26th.

Authors who take part in Rainbow Snippets each weekend are encouraged to post a few lines from one of their stories on their blog and then link back to the group post on Facebook. I always enjoy joining in with Rainbow Snippets, especially to read and comment on everyone else’s choice of snippet.

The Twelve Letters series is an ensemble piece, but Queer Relations focuses on Percy Havilland, my archetypal Regency himbo. In this snippet, Percy has just received the full impact of a family scandal which threatens to uproot his privileged existence as he indulges in a rare moment of self-reflection.

Percy could not quite recall the short journey to Mayfair, but once there, he found comfort in his familiar, elegant surroundings. Shivering and suddenly chilled, he ordered a bath to be drawn and soon settled in the scented hot water, his arms tightly wrapped around his knees.

His secure and comfortable life seemed like sand slipping through his hands, and he felt as small and vulnerable as the bullied youngest brother he had been at home, or the put-upon shrimp of a boy packed away to boarding school. He had spent most of his childhood either hiding or recovering from the attentions of bullies, including those to whom he was related.

When he had gone up to university at fifteen, he had subsequently shot up in height and filled out from stick-thin to willowy. At this point, the curse of his boyish prettiness developed into startling beauty. Only then did he realize that speculative glances from fellow students and some masters no longer threatened a beating but held the promise of enjoyable physical pastimes.

Rainbow Snippets: Twelve Letters

Coming of Age, the third in my Regency romp Twelve Letters series (starting with Twelve Letters and followed by Queer Relations), will be released later in November and is currently on a 20% prelease/new release sale at JMS Books. So, for this week’s Rainbow Snippets, I reckoned it was appropriate to return to Twelve Letters where the story started for my ensemble cast.

Authors who take part in Rainbow Snippets each weekend are encouraged to post a few lines from one of their stories on their blog and then link back to the group post on Facebook. I always enjoy joining in with Rainbow Snippets, especially to read and comment on everyone else’s choice of snippet.

In these few lines from Twelve Letters, the first of the correspondence has gone astray, with my MC Jo Everett having confused two notes, one meant for his tailor and the other for his spoiled and pampered current squeeze, Percy.

A few streets away, in a very expensively decorated apartment in Mayfair, Percy Havilland lay luxuriously in bed, pillows freshly plumped, a cup of steaming chocolate placed on a small table close by, one hand delving under the bedclothes as with the other, he impatiently tore open the seal of a letter from his current lover. 

When it had been brought to him with his morning refreshment, he had gleefully noted the familiar handwriting with a sense of growing anticipation. Even if he was not the richest or most noble among his circle of suitors, Jolyon was shaping up nicely as an accommodating suitor. Aware he had to make an effort to retain his intended’s attention, he had swiftly learned how best to stoke Percy’s considerable appetite. 

So, preening with expectation, already stroking lazily, ready for rapturous words of boundless praise and fathomless desire for his undoubted beauty, Percy unfolded the note. With a delightful smile already curving his luscious lips, Percy read,

Sir, 

After much deliberation concerning my new coat, I feel that the mother of pearl buttons, rather than the brass, would bestow the finishing touch of elegance.

With a howl of frustrated outrage, Percy crumpled up the note and flung it onto the floor, his disappointed stand shrinking sadly in his grasp.

Coming Soon: A Trick of the Light

My new story, A Trick of the Light is now on pre-release! It will be released on October 1st and is currently included in the 20% off pre-release/new release sale at JMS Books until October 7th.

This is my story for JMS Books‘ Halloween Trick or Treat submission call. Like last year, I’ve picked Trick, and I also decided to set my story in the city of Bristol. But this time I have moved the historical setting to the 1950s – a bit of a change from my recent Regency stories! However, there is a link between my last year’s Halloween story, A Tricky Situation, as my main character Kit returns in a ghostly form to help a more modern young man with a similar life challenge…

Kenneth Taylor has bright plans for a future as an engineer. In the summer of 1957, as soon as he returns home to Bristol from two years of National Service in the Royal Signals, a furious row with his dad means he’s thrown out of the house, and his prospects are in jeopardy.

He finds lodgings in the hilltop, bomb-damaged suburb of Kingsdown, determined to be independent and juggling night school with his humdrum day job. He soon meets Gino, the good-looking son of a local café owner and is thrilled when the attraction proves to be mutual. As their romance blooms, Kenneth finds unexpected encouragement from an apparition in the mirror who inhabited the house in the late 18th century.

When the ghostly vision of Kit also appears to Kenneth in his dreams, it seems they have much in common when Kit reveals his dilemma at a similar age, concerning his growing attachment to a young man, Ned. Past and present intermingle as Kenneth faces parallel and difficult decisions. But can he trust Kit? Or is it all merely a trick of the light?

Recent Reads: Big Boy Pants, Dear Diary and Terribly Tristan

I’ve been lucky enough to read not just one ARC or pre-release this week, but three! And they have all been wonderful reads.

Big Boy Pants by N E Mack is now on release (from September 15th) and is the third story in Straight Lace, an ongoing series of 6 MM erotic shorts. They centre on Bryan, a student jock ‘twunk’ who makes some extra cash as a gay-for-pay cam boy. Of course, it’s all an act, or so he thinks, despite his increasing bond with his favourite viewer, I’m Watching.

I am hooked on the sly humour with which the continuing story is told, from Hidden to Frills to Big Boy Pants. Bryan’s reaction to his unexpected journey of discovery is note-perfect as his trepidation and surprise are overcome by uncontrollable desire and he slowly realises that he might be ‘a little bit gay.’ This is another perfectly polished gem in an outstanding series. Can’t wait for the next one!

Holly Day’s delightful short story Dear Diary will be released on September 17th and is currently on a pre-release/new release 20% sale at JMS Books until September 23rd.  In this sweet and moving story, the diary format worked perfectly to show the mindset of the diarist, who suffers from anxiety and depression, further triggered by a romantic breakup. The ups and downs of his progress are charted in the tone of his entries and especially by the presence of lovely Lars. This was so heartwarming, rooted in reality but also wonderfully romantic. Such an engaging read.

The final story in this fab trio is Terribly Tristan by Lisa Henry and Sarah Honey, the third and final story in their wonderfully funny Bad Boyfriends Inc. series, set in Sydney’s student district. Terribly Tristan is now on pre-release and will be out on October 18th. The first two books in the series Awfully Ambrose and Horribly Harry are now available on KU and are highly recommended for anyone in need of a giggle!

As ‘slutty butterfly’ Tristan has fluttered around in the two previous books as roommate to Ambrose and Henry in a rickety student house, I couldn’t wait for his story! If Ambrose used his acting skills to make some cash as a professional bad boyfriend, Harry accrued deliberately appalling wardrobe choices, whereas now it’s Tristan’s turn, he simply truthfully tells the horrified parents of his ‘dates’ how much he adores sex with as many partners as possible.

His meeting with Leo made me cry with laughter and I was giggling all the way through this delightful tale as Tristan realises that after working his way through the hot male population of Sydney while not remembering anyone’s name, he might decide not only to be a proper boyfriend to Leo but a good one too.

It was lovely to be back in the shared house with Tristan and coupled-up Harry and Jack, and a treat to have a heart-melting cameo from Ambrose and Liam. This was such a heartwarming story and the perfect finale to this terrific and very funny series.

Coming Soon: Queer Relations

Queer Relations, my follow-up to my July story, Twelve Letters is now on pre-release! Queer Relations is included in the 40% Labour Day Weekend sale at JMS Books with all my titles until Monday, and then it will be on a 20% pre-release/new release sale on the JMS site until September 16th.

When I wrote my Regency romp Twelve Letters for JMS Books’ 12th Anniversary celebrations, I had no intention of writing a sequel. But my characters ganged up on me (the disadvantage of having an ensemble cast) and Percy the Regency brat sashayed into my head and demanded his own story. So I was outnumbered! Queer Relations will be on release from September 10th.

In the autumn of 1814, the Honourable Percy Havilland is generally content with his sheltered existence in London’s exclusive Mayfair. As a society beau, renowned for his fair and youthful beauty, an object of desire to other well-born gentlemen, Percy is slightly miffed that his personal life is not running as seamlessly as he might wish.

His good-natured lover from the spring Season, Jo Everett, has inexplicably lost interest, and his replacement, Nathaniel Brooks, is far too hard-headed to be cajoled and manipulated into pandering to Percy’s every whim.

But these trifles are cast into proportion when out of the blue, a family scandal of immense proportions threatens Percy’s peace of mind and his standing amongst the ton. Fearing rejection or even social banishment, to his surprise, Percy discovers a small, unconventional band of friends, including Jo, who are prepared to stick by him. And more importantly, he finds Nathan is utterly reliable in a crisis.

Will Percy remain spoiled, immature and pampered? Or can he grow from this disaster to appreciate the value of true friendship? And might he even learn to love?

Rainbow Snippets: One Summer Night

For this weekend’s Rainbow Snippet, I thought I’d choose six lines from my upcoming story release, One Summer Night, a Regency romance for JMS BooksNight or Day story submission. This story is now available as a pre-release with 20% off at JMS Books.

As usual, authors who take part in Rainbow Snippets are encouraged to post a few lines from one of their stories on their blog and then link back to the group post on Facebook. I always enjoy joining in with Rainbow Snippets, especially to read and comment on everyone else’s choice of snippet.

One Summer Night begins with a nameless passionate encounter between my couple, Martin and Will that results in all kinds of misunderstandings when they unexpectedly meet again at an aristocratic function. Martin, a government clerk, is astounded to learn that Will is not only the son of a politically powerful man who rules Martin’s Whitehall department but also that Will is engaged to be married! Will persuades Martin to meet him one evening at Vauxhall Gardens so he can explain his true situation regarding his false engagement and also, his and Martin’s hot first meeting…

“My father was haranguing me about setting a date for the wedding, and avoiding giving him a straight answer, for Imogen’s sake, not mine,” he added hastily, “was a strain on the nerves. I walked along the river for a while and then found myself in that tavern. Of course,” he said with a sly glance at Martin, “if I met someone amenable who would have offered me a helping hand or mouth, I wouldn’t have said no. But as it was, I was content with a glass of port wine and a convivial setting, fully intending to return to Berkley Square afterwards. Then I espied a tall, dark, and handsome stranger, who ogled me like I was a fallen angel and with one speaking look, promised to fulfil my every need.”

“And did I?” Martin asked, glad of the sheltering darkness to spare his blushes.