Sale

Smashwords’ Summer/Winter sale

The annual Smashwords Summer/Winter sale is happening as I write this, and is going on all July. Lots of authors participate, reducing prices on their books by at least 25%. JMS Books is participating of course, and we authors get to decide if we want to reduce the prices on our books even more than the 25%. And since I love cheap books, and know reading can be an expensive hobby, I wanted my books to be offered at 50% off.

Yay for buying books at half price, right? Remember to use the code SSW50 at checkout.

Release Blitz

New Release Spotlight: Bring Him Back, Jack by Holly Day

Hello, everyone! Thank you, Nell, for letting me steal a spot on your blog today. Yesterday, Bring Him Back, Jack was released. I wrote it to celebrate Different Colored Eyes Day, so naturally, there is a character with heterochromia, and it’s significant to the story, but where do you all stand on vampires?

I had this idea one day. It was back in the winter, and I was in the sauna. I tend to stay away from the sauna in warmer weather, so I know it was winter LOL. I had a pen a notebook as I often do when I’m in the sauna. Ideas tend to come when I’m in the shower, out walking, or in the sauna. The only place I have something to write on is in the sauna.

Anyway, I had this idea of a world where vampires existed and were treated as second-class citizens, or you know, as slaves. To control them, their human owners attach a device to their chests ready to shoot a stake through their hearts at a push of a button.

I skipped just about everything you know about vampires – they’re not sensitive to sunlight, they don’t dislike garlic, they don’t sleep in coffins, they’re visible in mirrors, they can’t control you with their minds, they don’t need an invitation or enter a home, and they don’t sparkle. But I kept the staking thing.

Malik is a vampire, though his owner calls him Jack, and he has a stake the size of a chopstick attached to his chest. Luckily his stake is made of plastic, so it will only paralyze him, not kill him. When the story begins, he and Ivan have already worked together several times, but now they’re gonna steal a diamond.

To steal a diamond, you need to be stealthy, which is hard when you’re a big vampire not allowed to leave your cage without chains similar to those people wear on death row. Ivan, however, has a plan to get him out of these magically enhanced chains that can’t be removed and to remove the stake 😀

Excerpt:

Malik jumped as the front door opened. Before realizing what he was doing, he’d pushed Ivan into a corner and was ready to attack whoever was nearing them.

Raina frowned as she spotted him. “What’s going on? Where’s Ivan?”

“I’m here.” A hand gently touched Malik’s back, and then Ivan pushed past him. He gave Malik a look with raised eyebrows. “While I appreciate you trying to protect me, I’m capable of taking care of myself.”

Malik didn’t believe him. Ivan was small, even by human standards. Most people would be able to overpower him.

Ivan popped his hip. “I don’t like the look I’m seeing, Malik.”

“You’re small.”

Ivan huffed and stepped back so his back was against the wall, then he stepped back some more. Malik made a surprised sound as Ivan melted into the wall, disappearing. “Ivan? Ivan!”

He touched the wall where Ivan had disappeared and yelped as a hand caught his.

“Are we done playing?” Raina gave them both an unimpressed look while Malik tried to get his heart to slow down. Ivan had disappeared… into a wall.

“Can you walk in there?” If he could live in the walls, no one would ever be able to find him.

Ivan walked out of the wall, and, for a second, Malik believed it wouldn’t let him go. It was almost as if it stuck to him.

“Along it, yes, but I can’t get past corners or doorways, and I can’t go through walls. If I could, the necklace being in a vault wouldn’t be a problem.”

“I have a saw and some nuts, don’t know if they fit. Maybe we can glue them on if they don’t.”

“Glue?” Ivan waved a hand at her. “We can’t fucking glue his heart together.”

Raina rolled her eyes. “Not his heart, stupid. I meant if the nuts don’t fit, maybe we can glue them on instead of him having sharp metal things coming out of his chest.”

Malik suppressed a shudder. He lived in constant fear of triggering the stake by mistake or that Master would do it deliberately. Having someone try to saw the screws off wasn’t anything he was looking forward to.

Ivan met his gaze. “Ready?”

He shook his head. “Yes.”

Ivan’s laugh had heat climbing his cheeks.

“It’ll be fine.” The wince wasn’t convincing.

“Have you ever… removed stakes before?” Malik did his best to keep his voice from trembling.

“Can’t say I have.”

The chains rattled as Malik raised his hand to his heart. The wall behind Ivan was a soft yellow, and he looked at it for several seconds before nodding. Not having a stake ready to shoot through his chest would make life easier.

“I think the coffee table is sturdy enough.” Raina looked him up and down. “But perhaps not long enough.”

Ivan curled a hand around his arm above the cuff. “You can have your feet on the floor.” He turned to Raina. “A towel or a sheet or something so he doesn’t have to lie on the cold surface.”

She went to the same cabinet where Ivan had gotten him the towel.

“Did you manage to find him some clothes?”

“No.” Raina walked into the living room and spread a sheet over a low table, looking like a matchbox in dark wood. There were several tiny drawers on the sides. What did people put in so many drawers?

“I considered asking Zev, but he’s nosy. A hacksaw I could explain, needing a set of his clothes wouldn’t be as easy.”

Ivan grunted and guided Malik toward the table. “Looks like you’ll be naked.”

Malik stared at him, his pulse thudding in his ears as Raina held up a saw of some kind.

“It was a joke.” Ivan tilted his head as he studied Malik.

“I think he’s more concerned about you putting a saw to his chest than what to wear, to be frank. His sense of fashion isn’t as developed as his survival instinct.”

“It’ll be fine.” Ivan patted his arm. “Probably.”

Blurb:

Once every century, a shadow walker is born. Ivan Charna is that shadow walker, and he and his sister Raina are on the run from wizards who want to sacrifice their blood in some crazy rite. They never stay long in one place, and they do their best not to stand out. When Raina loses a bet, Ivan is forced to work off her debt, and they have to stay put. As long as no wizard figures out what they are, Ivan doesn’t mind all that much since he gets to work with his favorite vampire.

Malik lives in a cell in a basement. He’s never allowed to go anywhere without chains around his wrists and ankles, and there is a stake hovering over his heart at all times. Master can trigger the stake with a push of a button. He doesn’t even have to be in the same room to do it. Malik dreams of a different life, a life with Ivan, but he’s a vampire, and vampires have to do what their masters tell them.

Ivan only has to steal one last diamond, then the debt is paid, and he and Raina can leave town. It should be easy, but when Remington Redwood, the man Raina owes money, insists on having Malik shadow his every step, it complicates things. Malik might dream about making Ivan his, but getting him away from Master alive has to be enough. Ivan knows it’s a stupid risk to take, but if he’s stealing a diamond, what’s to say he can’t steal a giant vampire too?

Buy links:

Paranormal M/M Romance: 32,159 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/BringHimBackJack

About Holly:

According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.

Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.

Connect with Holly @ https://lnk.bio/xpae or visit her website @ hollydaywrites.wordpress.com

Guestpost

Coming Soon: Taking Flight by A.L. Lester

The fabulous A.L. Lester is visiting us on the blog today, talking about their upcoming release Taking Flight, the third book in the Celtic Myths collection. I had the privilege of beta reading this little gem and I can’t wait to read the finished product.

I’ve also read the two previous books, Playing Chicken and As the Crows Fly. If you haven’t read them, I warmly recommend them while waiting for the starling book to be released!

But I’ll shut up and leave the floor to Ally now! Welcome, my friend! ❤️

Taking Flight, Trans MCs and a Starling

Firstly a big thank you to Nell, for inviting me to visit today! I’m here blatantly pimping my new release, Taking Flight, which is out on Tuesday 13th July!

As per my usual slightly chaotic creation process, Taking Flight didn’t actually have a name until the last week of June. No pressure or anything. It’s been labouring under the working title The Starling Story, because it’s based on a tale from The Mabinogion, about Brânwen, sister of King Brân of Wales. Her brother marries her off to Matholwch, King of Ireland, but the marriage goes bad for complicated reasons to do with her step-brother mutilating her husband’s horses. Once Matholwch gets her home to Ireland, he banishes her to his kitchens. She tames a starling and sends it with a message to her brother for help.

It’s a fourteen thousand word story that’s part of my collection of reworked Celtic myths and it had been brewing at the back of my head for ages. The previous two feature chickens and crows, so the starling really drew me in. When it came to writing it though, I was much more drawn to the Brânwen character, who is Gwyn in my story. I tried various combinations writing the story from the starling’s (Darren) point of view. I tried to get him to go from Ireland to Wales on his rescue mission, then fix him up with Brân and go back to Ireland to rescue Brânwen, but it just didn’t work.

Then I realised two things. Firstly I was trying to fit a whole strand of The Mabinogion into a short story—and let me tell you, that stuff is both complex and dark! And secondly, I actually wanted to write about Brânwen, because she’s very passive in the original tale and I wanted her to have a happy ending. You know, instead of being married off to a chap who pitched up in a boat one day and asked for her hand, getting trapped in an abusive marriage, her step-brother murdering her kid and then getting home to Wales only to kill herself out of grief.

So Gwyn became the focus of the story. As regular followers of mine will know, I identify as non-binary. I have a couple of non-binary characters in previous books—Jones in The Flowers of Time and Fenn in Shadows on the Border and The Hunted & the Hind, however this is the first time I’ve written a trans guy. I really love Gwyn and I wanted him to have his happy ending as badly as I did Brânwen, so although the story came together nicely once I worked out which POV I wanted to write from it was also quite stressful because I wanted to get him right! Non-binary isn’t the same as trans, obviously—although there’s quite a bit of cross over, in my own sense of self, anyway. I was able to draw on that crossover I think—I hope, although everyone is different—and make Gwyn the person he is.

It’s basically a road-trip story, with self-realisation happening along the way. I really hope you enjoy it.

Taking Flight

Gwyn Mabler is on secondment at the Kings of Ireland Hotel at Tara. He and his brother Brân are in the process of buying the place and Gwyn is getting to grips with the everyday running by shadowing the current owner, Mal Reagan.

Gwyn’s an idiot, though. Mal made it clear from the start he’d like to get Gwyn in his bed and after a couple of weeks of pursuit, Gwyn gave in. Mal was hot and pushy and just the kind of dangerous to pique Gwyn’s interest. He honestly thought Mal knew he was trans.

Since that horrible night, Mal has had Gwyn ‘workshadowing’ Chef in the deeply unhappy kitchen. He doesn’t want to go home and cause a fuss that might make the sale fall through, but when a huge row breaks out over a flour delivery and Mal backhands Gwyn across the face, he finally decides enough is enough. With the help of Darren Starling, one of the line-cooks with whom he’s formed a tentative friendship, he leaves.

During the two-day journey from the middle of Ireland home to Wales they have plenty of time to exchange confidences. Could the delicate pull of attraction between them grow into something stronger? Is it safe for Gwyn to out himself to Darren? Will Darren want to go out with a trans guy? And how will his brother Brân take Gwyn’s arrival home with a stranger?

A 14,500-word short story in the Reworked Celtic Myths series.

About A. L. Lester

Ally Lester writes queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense and lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, Morris the badly behaved dachshund, a terrifying cat, three guineapigs, some hens and the duckettes.

She likes permaculture gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy these days. Not musical, doesn’t much like telly, likes to read. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has fibromyalgia and tedious fits.

Join my newsletter, for a free copy of the novella An Irregular Arrangement or find me on social media via my link-tree.

9 Willow Street

Happy Birthday, Little Bunny

2 years ago today, 9 Willow Street was published. The story that started out as a super short written for a blog anniversary and that grew into a full story after several of the people reading the short said they wanted more. And I’m glad I listened to them, because my little bunny shifter story has received a lot of love since the day it was published.

Heartbroken after the death of his beloved Nana, Hannes, the family outsider, finally allows himself to grieve. The legal battle over Nana’s quirky old house— the only place he’s ever felt accepted and loved—is over, and he moves in and finds a sense of peace.

…and a rabbit.

An adorable bunny with a huge personality moves in, too, and refuses to leave. Hannes instantly falls in love with the sweet animal who helps heal his heart. But one morning, Hannes’ view of the world changes when the rabbit transforms into a man. A man named Mattis.

After the initial shock, Hannes and Mattis discover a connection between them that runs deeper than it seems. Will their newfound feelings survive unraveling secrets and meddling families, and grow into something real? Something deep and everlasting?

M/M paranormal / 28153 words 

So if you haven’t read my bunny shifter book and are in the mood for something sweet and fluffy with fated mates, may I suggest you give it a try? And if you want more after you’ve finished reading, I wrote a short little freebie, too. 9 Willow Street: And Then They Were Three.

About Nell

Re-Release Spotlight: Remember Us by Ofelia Gränd

Today, I welcome Ofelia Gränd to the blog. She’s here to talk about another of her re-releases, and this one is a doozy. I read it back when it was called Trapped and I cried my heart out (as evidenced by this blog post from 2018) and I re-read it when Ofelia started discussing potential new names for the story when she was going to re-release it with JMS Books and cried even more. Just reading her post below made me tear up again, so while I warmly recommend this book, I also warmly recommend Kleenex. Lots and lots of Kleenex.

But enough of that. Let’s welcome my guest, shall we?


Hello Nell, hello Nell’s readers *waves* Thank you so much for letting me drop by again. I’m still in the middle of rereleasing books, and today it’s time for one of my absolute favourites of the stories I’ve written, Remember Us.

Remember Us used to be called Trapped, but there already was a Trapped in the JMS Books catalogue, so to avoid confusion, we renamed it.

It’s funny because I really, really dislike writing in first person – hate, almost. Then every now and then, every third year or so, I convince myself I should give it another try. Most often I end up with a horror story when I do, because if there is one thing first person works for it’s writing psychopaths – an excellent tool to show off the crazy without it being visible on the surface – but this is not a horror story. This is a story about one of my biggest fears – forgetting my family.

Charlie and William have been married for forty-three years, so while I say this is a contemporary story, I guess it’s really a future story since marriage equality hasn’t been around for forty-three years yet. They’ve lived a good life. Charlie had everything he ever dreamed of, a husband he loves, a daughter, love and stability, until…

William doesn’t remember him anymore. Most often he remembers them, but not in present day. He remembers them from when they were young. Some days he remembers they have a daughter, but most often not. And that’s my fear. What if I forget my children?

I never want them to have to sit there and talk to me without me having a clue who they are. I don’t fear growing old, and I don’t fear death for my own sake. It’s what I leave behind.

I never want to leave them, I never want them to be forgotten, and I never want them to doubt how much I love them.

I never want to forget how much I love them.

Excerpt:

He sipped on his coffee and smiled at the trees. “Once, when Charlie and I were by the lake, we found a little trail. I say found…” He chuckled. “We were taking a different trail back to the car and got lost. When we’d walked for a while, we came across this little cabin with a view over the lake.”

I remembered the cabin. We’d been standing there looking at it for several minutes before we turned back to the lake and managed to pinpoint where we were going.

“I always figured we would buy it.” He frowned.

“You did?” It had never been for sale as far as I knew. Once we’d bought our house, I’d stopped looking at what was for sale in the area, though.

“Yeah. Charlie would’ve loved living there.”

“But you wouldn’t.”

He shrugged. “I like the city, but for Charlie, I would live in a place like that.”

I was glad we’d bought the house we did. William did like to live in the city; he liked to have people around him, to have lives brushing up next to his every day. I loved the quiet of the lake, nothing was more relaxing to me than not having to see a single person for days on end, but I didn’t want William to sacrifice anything for me. “You shouldn’t have to give up your hopes and dreams for him.”

“He is my hopes and dreams, and he’s doing it for me…all the time. It’s only fair I do it for him. If the cabin comes up for sale, I’ll buy it. Maybe we could have it as a get-away cottage.”

“It would’ve been nice.” I wondered what the cabin looked like now. We hadn’t been there for years. Time flies, and I wasn’t sure I had the energy to walk the trail anymore. We’d had a good life without a get-away cottage. We hadn’t been on many trips, even fewer once we got Ann. We’d made day trips, but we were both content to stay in our home, and while we’d never had to starve, money had been tight at times. We did the best we could, and I wasn’t complaining.

“It will be. He would be so surprised if I bought it for us.” William grinned and watched the few leaves still clinging to the twigs. “I should call him.”

“Who?” He started to get up, and I looked around to see if there were any personnel nearby.

“Charlie, of course. Who did you think I was gonna call?”

“I…erm…I don’t know.” I had to say something to take his mind off the phone call. I could already see the tightening of his lips and the way his eyes narrowed. If I couldn’t get him to think of something else, he’d throw a fit—throwing fits was an ability he’d never grown out of, no matter how old he became.

“There you are!” Ann came out through the door. “I looked in your room, but you weren’t there.”

“Ann?” I hoped I didn’t sound too surprised, but what was she doing here? On a Thursday? In the middle of the day? Her cheeks were rosy, and her eyes sparkled.

“This is nice.” She looked around the large balcony, her eyes lingering on the patio heaters and the blankets before landing on a pot with heather and some kind of cabbage. “Really nice. How come you haven’t been out here more?”

I shrugged. The patio heaters were new, but it was nice to sit here now, I wouldn’t argue with that. She squeezed my shoulder and sank down on the empty chair next to me. William’s face had turned into a blank mask, but at least he’d sat down again.

“Hello, Daddy.” Ann nodded to William, a faked pleasantness in her tone.

“Humph.” William turned to look at the trees.

“Not the best day,” I whispered, hoping against hope William would remember her, that she wouldn’t be hurt because she was a forgotten child, and that I wouldn’t have to talk about my husband as if he wasn’t there.

Ann nodded and patted my hand, not looking as hurt as she often did, and I dared a sigh in relief. “I’ve talked to the management, and it’s all decided now.”

I frowned at her. What’s decided?

She got to her feet. “I have to get back to work. I just wanted to tell you.” She kissed my cheek and turned to leave.

“What’s decided?”

It was her turn to frown. “I told you, Dad, don’t you remember? Yesterday?” Suspicion crept into her eyes, and I wanted to reassure her I wasn’t turning into William, but I couldn’t remember her telling me anything. Had we talked yesterday?

“About you moving in, too.”

“Oh…that fast?” The heron stretched its neck until its head bumped into my Adam’s apple.

“Yeah. I mean, you won’t be moving yet, but it’s decided.”

“When can I move?” Warmth spread in my chest. I would be with William again. I wouldn’t have to go back to that horrid flat every night.

Ann smiled. “As soon as a spot becomes available.”

Cold followed the warmth. “I have to wait for someone to die?”

Ann winced. “Don’t put it like that, Dad.”

“It’s the truth.”

“It’s not. Some people decide to move out, you know.”

“Sure, Princess.” I chuckled. What person who was too worn out to manage on their own thought moving home was a good idea? I didn’t care, though. To say I hoped someone kicked the bucket was harsh, but I wouldn’t mind if they hurried along to do it. There was no way of knowing how many days I had left, and I wanted to spend them with William.

“It’ll be soon, Dad. I’m sure of it.”

“Yeah? Tell us before you decide to tamper with the food, will you? I’m not sure I would recover from food poisoning.”

“Dad!” She slapped my shoulder then giggled. “You’re terrible.”

“I do my best.” I smiled at her. She appeared younger today.

“I love you.”

“And I you.” I squeezed her hand before she hurried away, blinking a few extra times when my eyes started to burn. We should’ve had another child. Being alone to care for two frail, old men couldn’t be easy.

“Was that your daughter?”

I started at William’s voice. “Yes, that’s Ann.”

“Ann.” He frowned as he said her name. “Annie.”

“Yeah…Annie.” That fucking burning was back in my eyes. He’d always called her Annie when she was a little girl.

“She seems nice.”

“She is. Her parents did pretty well bringing her up.”

William nodded. “They must have.”

“Yeah, they must have.” I patted his hand but stopped when he gave me a wide-eyed look. “Would you like some more coffee?”

“That would be nice, please.” He smiled as he watched a jackdaw land on the grass below.

Blurb:

Charlie Wilkins had everything he wanted—a husband, a daughter, a house that was his home. He still has his husband, but William has forgotten who he is. He still has his daughter, but the roles have switched, and Ann is now the one taking care of them.
 
There is only one thing Charlie wants, and that is to spend the rest of his days with William by his side. But William is living in a nursing home, and Charlie is living…somewhere. Ann says she will fix it; she’ll make sure they’ll get to live together again. Charlie hopes she will before William either escapes or figures out Charlie has left him in someone else’s care. He promised William they’d stay together till death did them part, and he meant it, but what was he to do when he no longer could take care of William?

Contemporary Gay Romance: 12,055 words

Buy links:

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/RememberUs

About Ofelia

Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes romance, contemporary, paranormal, Sci-Fi and whatever else catches her fancy.

Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.

When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from her husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods…if she’s lucky she finds her way back home again.

Find Ofelia on social media:

Blog :: Newsletter :: Instagram :: Facebook Page :: Facebook Profile :: Goodreads :: Bookbub :: Pinterest