Magical romance between two power thieves
So I’m sort of patting myself on the back here, but one thing has become clear when sharing this deleted scene from Black Cats and Bad Luck: I made the right call. When I decided not to use this scene and write another instead, I felt bummed out about it and tried to convince myself to use it anyway. Looking back, I can tell it was the better decision. All the main characters hiding in a bed together is adorable, but it really didn’t fit with the rest of the novel.
I took out some of the more spoiler-y elements, so all you need to know is that after an attack all the main characters are huddled together and trying to figure out what to do next. And the ‘wendigo incident’ is an event from the past that the Ward cousins swore a blood oath not to mention and I had a lot of fun with it.
Could only girls have slumber parties? Maybe. I mean, I had spent the night at friend’s houses before. I typically never invited people over. I worried they’d get the wrong idea, see the magic my family could do and start to expect those things from me.
There wasn’t a ton of experience for me to draw from, but I hadn’t attended a slumber party ever. Even though I’d spent the night at friend’s houses, even a group of us. Some component had been lacking to call it a true slumber party. Not pillow fights or something cheesy and stereotypical like that. S’mores? Sleeping bags? No, camping came to mind for those items. Prank calls? Huh. Maybe.
Actually, good thing I never attended a slumber party before. If fond memories of them existed, they would pale in comparison now. Not that this was exactly fun, but it was certainly an experience, one that would have blown any others out of the water.
Why did this qualify as a slumber party? Maybe because we were all on one bed. It was actually sort of weird. We probably wouldn’t all sleep here. We ended up here, Mason freaked out in a nightmare, and Horatio freaked out in turn, not sure if Mason was hurt because ‘nightmare’ definitely applied but that didn’t mean it wasn’t real. Mason was certainly the go to guy for reality-bending dreams.
He was okay, but we were all spooked, so instead of meeting anywhere else, we went to Horatio and Mason’s room. Mason and Horatio’s room? Probably Mason’s room, where Horatio stayed. Horatio only moved away from him to open the door when letting us in. Mason hadn’t gotten out of bed, so… we were all on the bed.
Mason at the head, leaned on the pillows propping him up and Horatio. Miranda on the other side. The rest of us inserted somewhat awkwardly near the foot wherever we could find space. Weird though also comfortable, only the bedside lights on, a little island of light in the dark. Perfect for huddling together and talking in quiet voices.
“Are we sure about this?” Miranda asked after we formulated a plan. “Between Horatio and his shape shifting to the mystical bond you two share, there’s too much that could go wrong.”
“We don’t want a wendigo,” Horatio said.
Stella made an urgent noise, shaking her head and indicating Miranda should stop talking. Miranda put a hand over her mouth. I made an important gesture, then asked Jonah if I did it right.
“What were you going for?” he asked.
“Sign of the cross.”
“Then no,” he answered. Damn.
BTW, the who paranormal romance novel is here and free.
For my new novel and series, I put together some posts that are an introduction to the world and characters of Black Cats and Bad Luck. This paranormal romance is available for free. It’s a new adult gay romance about magic, familiars, dreams, and monsters.
One of the main characters is Horatio, a former familiar who is seeking his true love. You know how shapeshifters are a hot trend in fiction now? This is kind of like that, except it only works in one direction and only once. He spent some time in cat form, though he isn’t really a cat. Because when I try to write shapeshifters, apparently my brain cooperates to a point and then does its own thing.
In this scene, Horatio meets up with the young witch he lived and worked with, her older brother Avery, and his friend Jonah.
“Horatio is a cat.” I went over the facts, seeking comfort from them. “He eats from a black dish with little stars decorating the outside. He gets hair all over my pillows, he smacks me in the face with his tail. Because he’s a cat, our—”
“I hope you weren’t going to say pet,” he interrupted sternly.
“He’s right, Avery,” Stella said. Great, they were both glaring at me. “We don’t own him, we never did.”
Rubbing my face with both hands, I groaned. What the hell I did not even believe in? What the hell? All I could say was, “He’s not Horatio.”
“I am Horatio,” the guy argued.
“And you were lonely, so you followed us here?” And also grew human parts.
“No, you’re where I need to be, and I can sense you strongly. You’re my bridge between worlds.”
Not sure what to do with that, I only weakly said, “Horatio is a cat.”
“I was,” he agreed. “But no longer.”
Everyone had gone insane. I did not have enough sanity on my own to bring them all back to reality. So I did the only thing I could. I gave up, falling back on the bed, closing my eyes, and wishing the world a fond farewell. It would have to get along without me.
“Oh my god.” Jonah laughed. “Awesome! Are you serious?”
Distantly, a reasonable part of myself tried to mount a defense. It argued I shouldn’t allow a naked, possibly deranged guy to waltz in here just because he guessed the name of our cat.
If anyone else showed up out of nowhere buck-naked claiming to be a family pet, or a rough equivalent, they would be full of shit. But this guy? I believed him. While the shape of him changed, he was still Horatio.
— the rest is available here. For free!
For this cover reveal I feel like I should have built up the moment more or done something fancy because I LOVE this cover. Instead, I’m going to wing it in my usual fashion. This book is new for me because it’s my first contemporary fantasy and new adult novel. It’s still a gay romance about magic, familiars, and a love story that began in dreams.
This complete, full-length novel of around 100,000 words should soon be available in many places, but is now only offered in giveaways like this one. It is abundantly obvious to me that I didn’t make this, though you might not be aware if you don’t know me. This cover was made for me and is probably my favorite cover for any of my books.
Here’s a scene from the book. During this section, Avery Ward and his family are arriving at a resort in the Colorado wilderness for a vacation and family reunion. Avery thinks he knows how much magic will occur on this trip (not much.) Avery is wrong.
Around the resort, everything looked picture perfect with fresh cut grass, flowers, and shrubs neatly lining walking paths. The well-maintained areas eventually gave way to the woods. A seemingly endless forest surrounded the property. Outdoorsy types, Pagans, nature lovers, and so on would really appreciate the place. The air was so full of an earthy scent, reminiscent of pine with other notes I couldn’t wait to uncover.
It was difficult to feel anything other than cheerful and optimistic when in a place so beautiful. This would be—
“Awful,” proclaimed Jonah Harris, the friend I’d been allowed to invite along. “This is the worst thing I’ve ever heard! We’re stuck here all week and there’s no magic? Not even a little bit? None? None at all?”
Stella and I exchanged a glance. You tell him, she wordlessly expressed. He’s your friend.
“Yeah,” I confirmed wearily. “None means none.”
“But…” He made a pathetic noise. “What the hell?”
Hefting his blue travel bag over his shoulder, Jonah sagged under its weight. He was mixed race with dark hair and brown skin. He stood much taller than me, yet he reminded me of a kid closer to Stella’s age, one who just discovered the fat present bringing man, uh, who… oh. Jonah resembled a kid who just found out Santa wasn’t real, desperately seeking confirmation from his parents, wanting to believe any alternative to the truth if given the chance.
“Did I forget to mention the ‘no magic’ thing?” I asked even though the answer was clear. Why should I have mentioned it? It wasn’t going to be any different from our regular life. Well, mine and Jonah’s.
Jonah kicked at the dirt of the parking lot. “Man, this sucks.”
“I know how you feel,” Stella consoled. “I couldn’t even bring my familiar.” She sent me a worried look. “I hope he’ll be okay on his own.”
“There will be magic after the ceremony,” I promised Jonah.
“That’s at the very end! The whole reason I came on this trip—” He cut off abruptly.
“No, keep going,” I prompted. “The whole reason you came on a trip with me, your very best friend—”
“Best male friend,” he clarified, suddenly able to carry his bag with ease and walking ahead.
We were both males so, “That’s the most important kind,” I told his back.
“How sexist,” he accused, wheeling around in outrage. “Really, is this the example you wanna set for your little sister?”
“I’m repeating what you said when you complained forever because I—”
“You invited Heather first over me! Thanks for reminding me. I’m still deeply hurt, by the way. We probably shouldn’t mention any of this ever again unless we want to ruin the trip.” Too bad Heather couldn’t come. She was busy. Jonah waited a few seconds before asking, “Did I successfully turn things around?”
“It is a free trip,” Stella noted. “Whether there’s magic or not, it’s a pretty good deal.”
“Thank you, Stella,” I said, smiling at Jonah. But I couldn’t help the feeling that it would be a long week.
–the full story is available here.
In an effort to introduce people to the One More Thing Series and get more reviews, I occasionally make the book One Little Word free. I don’t know if this is a good segue or just a really obvious way of saying that One Little Word is free right now. The sale lasts through Thursday.
I’m super proud of myself for the title because the ‘one little word’ is ‘free’ but it’s also the title of the book, so it works on multiple levels. Because author. I’m good at wording.
Even though there is no possible way I could regret this, I am going to chose a scene at random. Hey, I don’t regret it! So in this excerpt, Luke needed to pretend to date Ryan For Reasons and now he no longer needs a fake boyfriend, so all his problems are solved and everything is right with the world. Right? Not exactly…
I was single and ready to mingle. Wow, that sounded incredibly lame. I would never say that out loud.
I couldn’t keep a grin off my face as I walked down the halls. Maybe a few people shot me weird looks, but who cared? I had a lot to smile about. Namely, I no longer had a boyfriend! What a weird sentence. At least for me, a straight guy.
Dealing with Ryan these days had gotten… wait, he wasn’t a bad guy. For a snarky jerk, he was nice. I liked him. Platonically! Not romantically because I was straight. Some other guy will go crazy for him and those weirdly nice legs of his. Just not a straight guy like me.
-the rest is here. For free!
For the November LGBT Romance giveaway, there’s three gay romance reads that look promising if you’re in the mood to make the most of the winter season. And two that might be right if you want to live in denial. This giveaway isn’t seasonal, I’m just making it that way because I want to. While the title says November, these offers only last until Nov. 14, so make sure to grab your free copies before then. There’s some other good M/M books too, but I tried to select ones I hadn’t mentioned before. And there’s also lots of W/W titles.
Old friends start a holiday fling that could turn into more in this story about a solider and struggling actor.
A romance blossoms in Paris, but the closer it gets to Christmas the closer it gets to the end of their relationship.
Best friends to more in this story of a screw up who must come out of the closet to have a chance with a sexy firefighter in Alaska.
Fake relationship between a billionaire and a librarian on a tropical island. This all sounds good to me, and I’m definitely one of those people who wants summer to last forever.
While on a summer tour, two people in the world of metal music begin to fall for each other in this tale of rock stars and romance.
If you want more summer in the winter, Summer Romance is a free book from me that is available in a different giveaway here.
There’s an LGBTQ+ giveaway happening until Oct. 29, which means there are free books available here. With the exception of two books, the rest of them are of the gay (M/M) variety. Here’s some of the titles that caught my eye.
Is it too early for Christmas? If commercialism in America has taught me anything, the answer is never. And this works regardless, since it’s a ‘Christmas in July’ story. All I really needed to know anyway was there’s a dog and it’s by Becca Seymour.
From the blurb: Join the residents of Kirkby for celebrations, romance, and just a little mayhem. It’s the perfect chance to get to know outgoing and loveable bar owner Ted, and his grumbly younger husbutt, Jason.
As I’m getting elements of horror from this novella, maybe the tagline is supposed to be scary? I thought it was hilarious, and it’s what grabbed my interest. Of course, maybe that’s intentional too as this is supposed to be a dark comedy. Also, I have never heard the description ‘creepy coming-of-age’ story before and I love it.
From the blurb: When Jamie meets Matthew in Soho, he’s drawn to his new-age charms. But when he follows his new friend across the planet to a remote earth-ship in Taos, bizarre incidents begin unfolding and Matthew’s real nature reveals itself
The cover is simple and pretty, and I like the space part at the top, which I didn’t notice at first. And as the tagline explains, this is a “Coffee shop romance in space. Because everything’s better in space.” I find that very hard to argue with. If I did want to argue for some reason, the other part that wins me over is “a series of shorts following two dumbasses in space and their relationship.”
From the blurb: Doran Scott keeps things light. It’s the only way of dealing with the things he’s seen serving in the military — and the tragic past that led him to sign up in the first place. When Doran’s ship lands on Iulia after a skirmish and he walks into Doug’s, there are immediate sparks, but they both know this can only be a one-night stand. Right?
If you like queer books and free stuff, then you’re in luck. Is it too much of a stretch to say this is St. Patrick’s Day related? It’s March and leprechauns are supposed to be lucky, so… I don’t know. What I do know is that there are TONs of free novels and samples available as part of the March Queer Your Heart Out Event.
I think, technically, a ton is 200 pounds. There’s more than 30 books, so maybe if the weight of all the paperbacks were combined, it would be a ton. Anyway, not all the books are YA but they seem to span the gauntlet of queer fiction. There’s bad boys, alphas, harems, lesbians, and more. Go check it out and find your next book to read!
The weather is grey and gloomy today, perfect for curling up with a good book. However, I’m still on the clock right now. I didn’t let the dreary atmosphere stop me though, I’ve been busy. I put two books up on Instafreebie, which means, as the site’s title implies, the books are free. So if it’s cold and dark where you live too, here are two reading options while you keep warm inside.
One is L-O-V-E, a teen romance featuring a bad boy and his preppy opposite who hate each other but can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. There’s feuding, spelling bees and sexual tension, unresolved and otherwise. The sample on Instafreebie is four chapters from the beginning.
The other story, Entirely Too Gay, is a fun, silly book about a guy joining the wrestling team to get closer to his crush. The whole book is free as a thank you to people who sign up for my mailing list. The first half of the story is also available without signing up so that you can sample it first and see if you like it.
At the moment, you don’t even have to enter your email to get L-O-V-E, but of course you can if you like it so that you’ll know when the full version is released and you can get a copy for free. I might change it soon so that an email is required, for science, just to see if there’s a difference. This self-publishing thing means that I get to experiment. I heard a fellow author say that’s one of the perks of being an indie author, and he’s probably right. I’d thought the perks were getting to work in your pajamas and taking breaks to play with your dog, but the freedom to try different things is a pretty good perk too.
One of the things I’m going to be fiddling with is covers for L-O-V-E, and this is the first version. So if you like it, hate it or have any feelings about it at all, let me know.