Rainbow Snippets: Coming of Age

This week for Rainbow Snippets, I’m sharing a few more lines from my new release Coming of Age, the third in my Twelve Letters Regency romp series.

Coming of Age, plus the first two books in this series, Twelve Letters and Queer Relations together with all my titles are in JMS Books Cyber Monday 40% off ebook sale today and Monday.

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.

This snippet is taken from the middle of my story and includes Ben, another member of my ensemble cast. Best friends from childhood, Captain Ben Harding and Jo Everett work together on a charity that Ben has founded to help injured ex-servicemen.

When on duty at the charity’s office one day, a soldier leaves his two young motherless children in Jo’s bemused care. At a loss, Jo temporarily leaves them with his friend Percy in Mayfair before conferring with Ben. The discussion takes place in Ben’s Piccadilly rooms, ruled by his eminently capable manservant Cribbins, where Ben is somewhat surprised at Jo’s decision to involve Percy. 

Ben was incredulous. “What? Percy allowing two brats to clutter up that gorgeous drawing room without complaining that they clash with his color scheme? And heavens forfend if they leave any dirty finger marks on his wallpaper or venture within ten feet of his precious possessions.”

Jo shrugged nonchalantly, “They seemed to be adjusting quite happily when I left. They were engaged in rearranging Percy’s dressing room as their bedroom which they found quite exciting.”

“I don’t expect such harmony to last,” Ben joked. “Ah well, if Percy has a conniption and shows them the door, we can always rely on Cribbins to find a dark cupboard to stash them for a couple of days.”

Rainbow Snippets: Coming of Age

It’s release day for my new story, Coming of Age and so the perfect excuse to choose a Rainbow Snippet from this story! This is the third in my Regency romp series, Twelve Letters, following the lives and loves of a group of men in Regency London. Coming of Age 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.

This snippet is from near the start of Coming of Age. By this stage in the series, we have three established couples who have got together in the first two stories, gentleman Jo Everett and Bond Street tailor, Daniel Walters, Captain Ben Harding and Doctor Edward Stephens, and finally bratty pink of the ton Percy Havilland and his infinitely patient older lover Nathan Brooks.

In this snippet, while Jo is calling on Percy at his Mayfair home he encounters an infuriated Nathan on his way out. Once in Percy’s presence, Jo perceives that his friend is uncharacteristically questioning his own worth and his relationship with Nathan.

Jo chose his words carefully.

“It’s plain to all of us that know you both well that he genuinely cares for you. Nathan’s not the changeable sort once he’s made up his mind. I could never imagine him dismissing you on a whim.”

Rather than batting back that assertion with a knowing flutter of his eyelashes, Percy said quietly, “I realise that. It’s not Nathan who I doubt.”

Jo was at a loss for a reply. After many years of ton training, he was breezily au fait with the intricacies of drawing room protocol, but correctly addressing the insecurities of a former lover regarding his current beau was outside his general experience. No etiquette book he had encountered sought to cover that topic.

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: A Tricky Situation

As we’re so close to Halloween, for this week’s Rainbow Snippets, I thought I’d share a few more lines from my last year’s Trick or Treat Halloween story A Tricky Situation. This story, along with my new Halloween tale, A Trick of the Light, and all my titles are included in the JMS Books 40% off Halloween weekend sale from October 28th – 31st.

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.

This snippet follows on from last week’s lines where in 18th-century Bristol, Christopher Holloway, (known as Kit) a wealthy merchant’s son was being pursued by a gang of thugs near the docks. He’s rescued by blacksmith Edmund Hall who then walks him home, away from danger.

As they talked, they reached the top of the hill, with Kingsdown before them. The open countryside was traversed by the new Parade with its few splendid houses. Any residue of Kit’s alarm dissolved so close to home and familiar security.

“You’ll be safe from here on,” Edmund said as if reading his thoughts.

“I don’t know how to thank you,” Kit said, starting to fumble in his pockets, wondering if his saviour would be insulted by an offer of payment.

The problem was solved unexpectedly. Kit felt the tip of a work-roughened finger lifting his chin. Surprised but not unwilling, Kit looked up at Edmund who bent to touch his lips softly with his own. He instinctively closed his eyes, lost in sensation.

When the fleeting kiss ended, Kit’s eyes flickered open. “I’ll consider myself thanked,” Edmund said and Kit could hear the smile in his voice.

Rainbow Snippets: A Tricky Situation

I meant to post this yesterday, but thoroughly got carried away with writing my WIP, so that’s as good an excuse as any! As we’re getting close to Halloween, I thought I’d choose a snippet from A Tricky Situation, last year’s Halloween story written for JMS Books’ Trick or Treat submission call.

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 story ties in with this year’s Trick or Treat story, A Trick of the Light. They are both set in the same city of Bristol, England (plus a street in the same area and even the same house!) and share a character, Kit Holloway, who appears as a young man in the 18th-century setting of A Tricky Situation and as a ghost in the 1950s in A Trick of the Light!

In this snippet taken from the start of the story, Kit is on a drunken night out near the docks with his high-spending, fast-living aristocratic friends who his father encourages him to mix with when he gets mugged by a gang of ruffians. He manages to escape and while fleeing, he hides in a narrow alleyway as they give chase…

While engrossed in his earnest prayer to repent from a life heading to debauchery, the shock of a hand closing on his wrist nearly made him cry out. Its pair was placed firmly across his mouth. Is this another trick? In his terrified state of mind, he convinced himself the unseen figure lurking in the shadows of the lane was a demon ready to drag him down to the depths.

Instead of the prick of a pitchfork, he heard a whisper. “Don’t make a sound.”

Rainbow Snippets: A Trick of the Light

As it’s still fresh in my mind, I thought I’d choose another snippet from my new release, A Trick of the Light, my Trick or Treat Halloween novella for JMS Books.

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.

I chose a spooky snippet last week from this 1950s story, so this time, I thought I’d concentrate on a more romantic few lines. At the start of A Trick of the Light, my main character Kenneth Taylor has returned home to Bristol after a stint in National Service and having argued with his father about his future ambitions, he is living in a grotty rented room. But life looks more hopeful when he meets Gino, the son of a local café owner and they begin a tentative flirtation. After their first date at a local cinema, they return to Kenneth’s room…

Although he was half-waiting for Gino’s move, it was a pleasurable shock to feel Gino’s hands on his hips, those soft lips he had imagined on his, finding the bare skin on the nape of his neck above his collar. Teacups forgotten, Kenneth turned in Gino’s arms, and they kissed. In the haven of Kenneth’s room, there was no rush, no urgency, and Gino seemed perfectly content to press his lips to Kenneth’s for moments on end.

After daydreaming since he had first laid eyes on Gino, the actuality was equally as thrilling, but also romantic. Nothing like those snatched encounters behind the barracks where darkness and haste were expedient, and the act was never mentioned again after the event.

At long last, Gino drew away, his dark eyes liquid, his full lips reddened. “I’ve been wanting to do that for weeks,” he confessed, and Kenneth felt the fragile defences around his heart dissolve.

Universal Book Link

Rainbow Snippets: A Trick of the Light

As it’s release weekend for my new story A Trick of the Light, I had to choose some lines from it for this week’s Rainbow Snippets!

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.

A Trick of the Light was written for the JMS Books’ Halloween Trick or Treat submissions call and is currently in the 20% off pre-release/new release sale at JMS Books. The story is set in England in 1950s Bristol and ties in with last year’s 18th-century Bristol-set Halloween story, A Tricky Situation as my main character makes a cameo appearance as a ghost.

In A Trick of the Light, Kenneth Taylor has been thrown out of the family home by his dad for having his own life ambitions that go beyond working in the factory where his father is a supervisor. In this snippet, in his shabby rented room in bomb-damaged Kingsdown, Kenneth has been mulling over his options, none of which seem promising, as well as the dilemma of his increasing attraction to Gino, the son of a local café owner. Undecided and discouraged, Kenneth glances in the mirror and sees more than his own reflection, faced with a ghostly vision from a previous century…

He was wearing striped satin knee-length breeches topped by a rich orange coat fitted to the waist, the full skirts ending at mid-thigh, with lace ruffles at his neck and wrists. The finishing touches to the outfit were shiny buckled shoes on his feet, and even a short, powdered wig covering his natural hair. He looked as if he’d stepped out of a historical film or one of Kenneth’s school history books.

But the expression on his face was kind, even compassionate, as though he sympathised with Kenneth. Transfixed, Kenneth watched as the effigy slowly faded, leaving him alone in the darkness with the sound of dance music echoing from the floor above.

Rainbow Snippets: Another Chance for Love

This week I’m choosing a snippet from my second published MM Romance, Another Chance for Love, published by JMS Books for their Second Chances submission call.

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.

Another Chance for Love is set in Bristol in the early 1920s, and tells the story of Adam Merryweather, recovered physically from his injuries incurred during WW1 but brokenhearted at his estrangement from wartime lover, Alf. Then one day, he spots a familiar form in the street…

At first, he barely noticed the figure, but some instinct made him look again and register recognition. The uniform might be replaced with civvies but once seen properly, the resemblance was unmistakable. The average height, spare build, the way he held his head and that particular way of walking was distinctive.

On impulse, before he could stop himself he called his name. “Alf,” he called. And again, louder and with more urgency, he shouted, “Alf.” 

The man ahead hesitated then stopped and turned.

Rainbow Snippets: Queer Relations

For this week’s Rainbow Snippets, I’m choosing another few lines from my new release, Queer Relations published by JMS Books.

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.

Queer Relations follows on from my ensemble story Twelve Letters about the lives and loves of a small group of Regency gentlemen. The plot concentrates on spoiled brat Percy Havilland, whose privileged life is thrown upside down in a family scandal.

In this snippet, Percy has just been kindly rescued from social embarrassment by his former lover Jo Everett, my main character in Twelve Letters, who is reflecting on the recent past while walking home from Percy’s house with his true love Daniel Walters…

In the spring and while in Percy’s calculating clutches, Jo had mis-addressed two letters. One was a wildly indiscreet letter to Percy and the other, a note about trimmings to his tailor. What could have been a disaster had turned out to be the stroke of luck of a lifetime, Jo mused, as it had afforded him the chance to associate with and fall in love with Daniel, whose thoughts also seemed to be dwelling on those past events.

“Now I’ve met him, I can understand why he inspired that letter. Mr. Havilland is extremely beautiful,” Daniel said rather wistfully. 

“Percy? Oh yes, very pretty,” Jo said in an offhand tone as if agreeing to a well-established fact like ‘old King George is mad,’ or ‘we are at war with France.’ “But to my eyes,” Jo added firmly, “you are far lovelier, and altogether a finer man than Percy could ever be. And,” he continued, bending slightly to whisper in his loved one’s ear, “you’re a hundred times better in bed.”

Rainbow Snippets: Queer Relations

As it’s release weekend for my new Regency romp, I thought I’d share 6 lines from Queer Relations for this week’s Rainbow Snippets. Queer Relations is now on a 20% new release sale at JMS Books until September 16th.

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.

Although it can be read as a standalone, this tale follows on from my July story Twelve Letters about a group of young gentlemen living in the exclusive West End of London. This snippet is taken from the start of Queer Relations where Percy Havilland, an outrageously spoiled brat, is mulling over the unsatisfactory state of his love life, having failed to play off his most recent lover, Jo Everett, with his current beau…

But Jo had not responded with the passionate fervor that Percy anticipated. As the Season drew to a close, Percy had seen very little of Jo, and Nathaniel Brooks, rather than taking Jo’s place with the alacrity Percy anticipated, had kept a calculated distance. 

After gracing several country house parties with his presence over the summer, Percy had returned to the capital with the presumption that his days and nights would resume their uninterrupted and pleasurable course. However, although he was affable enough whenever Percy encountered him at a St. James’ gentlemen’s club or a lady’s salon, Jo showed no sign of wishing to reignite his liaison with Percy. 

There were even some peculiar rumors abounding in their select and private circle of gentlemen who enjoyed other gentlemen, that Jo was involved with someone outside the ton, even a cit, which Percy dismissed out of hand. After tasting Percy’s perfections, it was impossible that Jo would ally himself with someone ugly or common.