Throwback Thursday | It Doesn’t Translate

I figured we could talk a little about It Doesn’t Translate. It all started with me reading that for six years in a row MAX hamburgers had been elected the best hamburgers in Sweden…that was all it took LOL.

I wrote a post about how my main character naturally became Max and that he serves burgers in space.

It Doesn’t Translate is one of my favourite stories, maybe my favourite actually…maybe. It’s hard, when in the middle of writing something I always think I have the best story idea and that my characters are the best, but then a little while after release, my focus is elsewhere and I have new favourites. Max and Noir remain favourites, though.

I like sci-fi, light sci-fi, but it’s not my go-to genre, not really. Most often my mind turns to witches and vampires, werewolves and psychics, but every now and then there is a completely ordinary human guy and sometimes there is an alien.

Here we have an everyday guy who decided to open a restaurant in space. He had no idea what he was getting into, but no matter how bad it turned out to be, there is no way he’ll head back to Earth.

Then we have an alien, a space pirate, an ice cream loving, tail swishing, humanoid cat species who decides Max is his mate – not exactly what Max was prepared for.

I had so much fun writing this story I can’t understand why haven’t written more in the same world. I intended to do so, I left a few threads hanging and planned to pick them right up, but this book is turning one this month – 1 year!

I get a little annoyed with myself, I’m too easily distracted. I get a new idea and I throw myself into the new writing adventure and completely disregard the plan I’d set up for myself. I’ll do better in the future, I promise.

Anyway, It Doesn’t Translate is a Tattooed Corpse story, which means a body will appear at some point and he’ll have a snake tattoo. That’s the only thing the Tattooed Corpse stories have in common.

Are you on the Queer Sci-Fi mailing list? If not, sign up now in August and you’ll get a free copy of It’s Doesn’t Translate.

Max walked up to the table, once again praying no one could hear his heart banging in his chest. He kept his face neutral—some species interpreted a smile as aggressive—placed the first cup in front of a purple-haired male with a large flat nose. Piercings adorned his face in more places than Max had believed possible, not that he looked directly at the guy, but he had a hard time not peeking when the gang came and went. He always treated Max like he was invisible and that was alright by him.

Moving on to the next person, he didn’t recognise the jacket, and he didn’t dare look at the man’s face. As he put the cup down the man reached for it, grazing the back of Max’s hand before he could snatch it away.

“Sorry.” The man’s voice was a low purr. Max put some distance between them, but he couldn’t look away as large hands closed around the cup, making it look ridiculously small. He hadn’t seen those hands before, they were dusted with black hair all the way out on the fingers, the pads were broader than the rest of the digit, and there were no visible nails. That didn’t mean there weren’t claws hidden in there somewhere. Max had seen sharp tips coming out after he’d convinced himself a customer was a harmless species. But, for some stupid reason, it pleased him that the creature had five digits on each hand.

The number of fingers didn’t matter though; he was one of Bair’s men—a recruit from the looks of it. He only hoped the guy wouldn’t do anything to prove his worth in here. Shaking his head ever so slightly, he placed the last cup on the tray in front of the quiet man in the corner, the only one who was as small as Max was. Not that Max had considered himself small until he’d arrived here, he was average in every way according to human standards—okay maybe a little shorter than average, but not short short.

The quiet guy always sat in the corner, he never took part in any conversation, he never ate anything other than vegetables, and never drank anything other than black coffee. Max had no idea what species he was, though unless they were Reptoid or human he wouldn’t. His skin had a soft yellow-brownish tone with some dark spots, and it looked almost human in its texture—always nice.

A quick escape took him back to the counter, and he was cursing his shaking hands as he placed Bair and the rest’s cups on the tray. He briefly met Quam’s gaze before heading towards the table again.

In slow-motion he took the few steps bringing him up to the gang. He passed Bair and served the man closest to the wall first. For each cup he put down, his pulse picked up, all too soon he only had Bair’s cup left. It wobbled slightly on the saucer and Max cursed. Bair chuckled too close to his ear, and he steeled himself for another burning onslaught.

“Excuse me?”

Max startled at the purring voice, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw Bair do the same. It was all he needed to be able to take a couple of quick steps out of Bair’s reach—not that it would stop him if he wanted to do something but at least Max could breathe a little easier.

“Yes?” He hoped the men didn’t notice the relief in his tone.

“You don’t happen to have any cream-based desserts, do you?”

Before Max could stop himself he met the man’s gaze, realised what he’d done, and quickly looked down at his worn sneakers. He had yellow eyes with vertical pupils, but the way the eyes had narrowed made Max aware of having overstepped his boundaries—or he’d probably taken more liberties than was expected of him. A flat nose, and a wide mouth…with lips—it was always nice when a face was human-looking. He was probably taller than Quam and broader too, but hey, five fingers, what more could a man wish for?

Max took a calming breath and cursed himself for spacing out.

He forced his mind to focus on what pastry he had to offer. Few species tolerated dairy products. “I…erm…I have vanilla ice cream.” Max kept it for himself. He liked eating some on those nights when he felt heartbroken, unwanted, and alone. Ice cream might not help that, but he still kept it for those nights.

“You do? Could I have some, please?”

Max was as stunned by the polite manner as he was of the request. “Of course, sir.”

He heard Bair mutter something as he hurried towards the freezer in the back of the kitchen. This was one strange day.

books2read.com/ItDoesntTranslate


It Doesn't TranslateNoir Kioko had only ever seen one human before his undercover work brought him to the diner at the Luna Terminal, and that was at a distance. Humans are rare, most of them disappear without a trace, and he hopes hanging around the restaurant will give him a lead on the smuggling ring he’s investigating. There was no way he could’ve known the human would turn out to be his mate, and no way he can let it show without putting his mate in danger and possibly jeopardising his mission.

Max Welch is the proud owner of the only restaurant within a light year’s distance. He left Earth four years ago to create a better life for himself, but he hadn’t considered the possibility of scary alien pirates making his restaurant their favourite hangout spot. As a measly human there isn’t much he can do about it, but as one of the pirates starts coming by almost every day he has to come up with something before he loses all his customers. That the giant cat man is rather nice to look at changes nothing.

When rumours of another human arriving at the space station start to circulate, Noir’s species trafficking infiltrate and observe only mission may need a revamp. But will Noir be able to protect his mate and another one of his rare species?


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Come Whatever Storms

I found Come Whatever Storms by J.M. Snyder waaayyy down near the bottom of my kindle library. I don’t recall getting it but apparently, I have at some point. Since a post-apocalyptic adventure sounded just fine to me, I began reading.

Come Whatever Storms is about Court and Ronnie, but also about Bree and Adam. There is a virus, people died left and right, but a selected few, about 1% of the population, are immune.

While I do love post-apocalyptic stories I seldom read the pandemic kind, I don’t know why that is really. I’m not saying I don’t ever read them, I’ve read a few, but it’s not what I go looking for.

I really enjoyed this, though. Court has loved Ronnie all his life. They’ve been doing everything together since childhood so when Ronnie decided to marry a woman, Court married her best friend.  He loved his wife, but he was never in love with her. He mourned when the virus took her, and he misses her but had the virus taken Ronnie he might not have survived it.

Ronnie and Court hear about a place where there’s supposed to be both food and electricity and start walking across the U.S. Along the way more and more people join them, but the only one Court wants to spend time with is Ronnie – and Bree and Adam on occasion.

I loved the road trip theme, the searching for food and useful things, the looking out for each other and the aspect of what really is important once electricity is gone and money have no value. I wish this would’ve been a series because many questions were left unanswered and I so want to know where Court and Ronnie ended up. I would’ve loved to be part of their journey and see them build a new life for themselves.

books2read.com/ComeWhateverStorms


Come Whatever StormsIn the near future, a deadly flu-like virus decimates the Earth’s population. The few who remain struggle to survive without electricity, fresh food, or any other amenities they once took for granted.

John “Court” Courtland and his best friend Ronnie Densch are two such survivors. Court has never known a time when Ronnie wasn’t in his life. They grew up together. But it’s only as they begin to move forward in the post-apocalyptic chaos of Virginia that Court realizes he’s in love with Ronnie. Always has been, and always will be, even if he never lets himself admit it out loud.

Ronnie is a private, inscrutable man who lets no one close to him except Court. With winter coming on, Ronnie wants to move farther south to warmer weather, and Court follows without question. Along the way, they’re joined by other survivors, a ragtag bunch all looking for guidance. As they travel, they hear faint radio signals from Fort Sumter, South Carolina, where a rebuild effort is underway.

The world Court once knew has changed, leaving behind a dangerous and lawless landscape. But come whatever storms, he knows he can weather them with Ronnie by his side. Will Sumter turn out to be everything Court hopes for and more? And will he find the courage to tell Ronnie how he really feels before it’s too late?


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Cup o’ Sugar

It’s release day!

Cup o’ Sugar is a short werewolf story in the Hot Flash series. The stories in the series aren’t related to each other, but it’s a series of really short stories, 2000-5000 words, written by JMS-Books authors.

I used to write a lot of short fiction, flash fiction was my go-to format, but when I write that short I most often write horror. It’s much easier for me to create something creepy in a couple of pages than it is to create something romantic, so I cheated. I made the main character a werewolf who finds his mate – insta-love is okay then, right? LOL

Roarak Halfhide of the Halfhide pack found his mate in a cafe called Cup o’ sugar, but his mate is both human and male, something he doesn’t think will go down well with his pack. So, he does what every sensible alpha would do and decides to pine from afar. It’s going well, in a couple of years time he thinks he’ll learn to like coffee and maybe Sam, his mate, won’t run into hiding every time Roarak enters the cafe. Maybe…

But even the best-laid plans…

Looking up the street, he sighed. He couldn’t see over the hedge, but he automatically turned in the direction of Cup o’ Sugar, his favorite cafe. The only cafe he’d ever consider entering. Huddling in a cramped space filled with humans wasn’t his idea of fun, but he’d push through any crowd to get a glimpse of Sammy. Sam—not listed anywhere, no last name to be found—was the most beautiful creature he’d ever laid eyes on. His scent had called Roarak in from the street and enslaved him on the spot. Not that it ever could be, but his heart and soul belonged to Sam.

They had never spoken to each other. Sam hid in the kitchen every time Roarak entered the cafe, his heavenly scent souring in fear every time he glanced in Roarak’s direction.

Someday he’d find the reason for Sam’s fear and he’d take care of it.

“I’m gonna grab a cup of coffee.”

“Coffee! Are you insane?” Zev frowned at him. “I’m serious, have you gone mad? I thought we were ditching work for a beer, a nice cold beer.”

Cup o’ Sugar didn’t serve beer.

“No, I want coffee.”

“Yeah? Well, I’ll see you at home then. And I’m taking the car.”

Roarak almost groaned. Walking home in this heat would be a nightmare. They’d manage to purchase a property right outside the city. It was in bad condition, but since they were carpenters, at least most of them, they’d fix it up.

As soon as they got some money everything would turn out great…as soon as they managed to scrape together a few bucks. This constant worry about money. He wiped his neck.

The good thing about the property was the acres of land—not nearly as much as his old pack had, but enough for the six of them to run on.

“Fine, take the car, but you’re cooking dinner.”

Zev gave him the finger—not very beta like. Had the beta in his old pack done that, Roarak’s father would have had him whipped. But Roarak wasn’t his father so he simply returned the gesture before walking out on the street and turning in direction of the cafe.

“Hey, asshole.” Zev rolled down the window as he cruised up next to him. “When are you gonna claim her?”

Roarak winced. Her.

“You’re fooling no one, you know. We can all scent the desire on you, and that desperation in your eyes—you’re not hiding it well. Plus you hate coffee and you never eat any of the stuff they have in cafes. Just snatch her up and bring her home. She’ll adjust.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

books2read.com/CupoSugar

Cup o’ Sugar is on a 20% discount at JMS-Book shop till the 16th of August.


cuposugar

Roarak Halfhide of the Halfhide pack understands his duty. He’s found his pack a home, now he just needs to keep them safe and fed. It doesn’t matter that Sam, one of the workers at Cup o’ Sugar, makes him want to shirk his duties and spend his time sipping coffee in one of the booths.

He doesn’t even like coffee.

But things don’t always go as planned, and when there is a threat to Sam, Roarak can’t pretend to be just another coffee-loving customer. He has to protect his mate.