New month, new giveaway! I’m so glad I made a plan for these posts before January 1st – before I decided to move all my books to JMS. I have a spread in my bullet journal where I’ve written down the titles of the books published each month. Thank you, past me. With all the re-releases now, I wouldn’t have a clue which book belonged where LOL
If you haven’t been following the blog, I’ve decided to do a giveaway each month this year where I give away an ebook copy of the books published during the month previous years.
How does it work?
Last month we did comments, but this month I’ve set up a Kingsumo giveaway. So hop on over here and sign up. You will NOT be added to any email lists by doing so. If you want to get my monthly newsletter, click on the Acronym picture to the right if you’re on a computer, if you’re on your phone, you’ll find it below the post.
May 8th is the last day to enter, and on the morning of May 9th, Kingsumo will pick a random winner.
In May we have two books – Falling Through and Crazy Joe.
Falling Through is one of the pulled ones and not available anywhere at the moment. I still have the book files, though, so worry not. It’s been a long time since I wrote this. It’s a ghost story. Larry is trapped in an apartment, he can’t leave it, and through the years there have been some terrible tenants sharing his space, but now Travis lives there. Larry loves watching Travis, too bad Travis can’t see him.
I love the idea behind Larry and Travis, and it’s one of the stories I haven’t sent to JMS Books yet because I plan to expand it. We’ll see if I get there – so many stories, so little time 🙂
Crazy Joe – the voice in my head says ‘aww’ LOL It’s not an overly cute story, but it’s dear to me. Jonas was bullied in school, and while Abe never was mean to him, he belonged to the group of jocks who were. It’s been sixteen years and Jonas loves his life, but one trip to the grocery store and there he is – Abe Cooper. Abe in his grocery store. Then Abe is at his work. Then in his office…
The buzz from the TV in the living room reached him as he ran his hand over his hair; it seemed to be in order. Travis didn’t often have the time to watch TV. He was always working. Larry didn’t get it. He worked, and worked, and worked, and yet he always fretted over money.
Larry walked towards the noise. He longed to spend some time with Travis, even though Travis couldn’t see him, or hear him…or touch him. Larry wanted to feel the heat from Travis’s body, wanted to see his chestnut hair all messy because Larry had threaded his fingers through it. He wanted to feel those lips against his own, see Travis’s almost grey eyes light up with desire.
It would never happen, though.
Larry shuddered as he remembered the hand going through his chest earlier today, or, at least, he hoped it still was the same day. He hated when he got the time mixed up. Instead of thinking about the Nothingness, he let his thoughts wander back to Travis. What would it be like if his hands didn’t go right through him?
He rolled his shoulders and fixed the collar on his leather jacket before he went into the living room.
His steps faltered at the sight of Travis furiously wiping tears off his face. They’d lived together for two years now, and not once had Travis cried. There had been times when Larry might have shed a tear or two if he’d been in Travis’s shoes, but Travis hadn’t.
He hovered by the sofa. Oh, this is awkward. Should he sit down next to Travis? Larry had never been good at comforting people, and being invisible hadn’t helped him develop the skill. Maybe he should check the kitchen instead, give Travis a moment to collect himself.
Larry huffed. How the hell would he know he needed to collect himself? It wasn’t as if he was aware of Larry’s presence.
He made it halfway through the room, the kitchen door clear in view, when something banged and shattered right next to his head. Larry ducked—silly, since whatever Travis had flung through the air had already hit the previously scarred wall. The soft yellow colour on it had been lovely a few years ago—maybe ten…Larry had a hard time remembering—but since then, there had been several tenants.
A shard from Travis’s coffee cup skidded over the floor and came to a stop right where Larry intended to put his foot. A few brown drops trickled down the paintwork—yet more evidence of a life lived inside these walls. Larry sighed. He tried not to let the melancholia get a grip on him, but after sixty years of staring at the same walls, he sometimes wondered why he still was here.
Decades without anything to do, without any goals or challenges, without someone to talk to. He’d talked plenty over the years, but he never got any response.
Travis was resting his head in his hands, and against his better judgement, Larry went over. He threw himself on the sofa and put his feet on the table, the black-and-white brogues still as polished as they’d been that day so long ago when everything had changed. Larry figured he was one of the best-looking eighty-year-olds alive—or whatever he was.
“So, what’s going on?” He put his arms behind his head and stretched out on the sofa. He picked the pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and shook one out. It always soothed him to feel a cigarette resting on his lips. He couldn’t light it, couldn’t taste it, but the motion was comforting. “Rough day at work? Because, let me tell you, my day wasn’t a picnic, either. You don’t fool around in the Nothingness.” He tsked and shook his head. “You wouldn’t last a day, kid.”
Then he eyed Travis. He probably was a little older than Larry had been when he’d died, but Travis couldn’t hear him, so he couldn’t oppose the kid comment, anyway. And, come to think about it, Larry was old enough to be his grandfather even if he didn’t look it or feel it. Time passed was simply that; Larry hadn’t aged, he couldn’t even say he’d changed his way of thinking over the years, though it was hard to know, of course.
“So, anything good on TV today? We could grab a beer and watch a movie.” Larry laughed. If only he could have a beer.
He glanced in Travis’s direction and almost choked on the air he’d breathed in.
Travis watched him. His brow softly creased as if his red-rimmed eyes strained to see. It looked like he was trying to figure something out. Scary how he looked Larry straight in the eye. Larry didn’t move, he hardly dared to blink, but then he lifted his hand and waved it in front of Travis’s eyes.
After pouring the coffee in a thermos cup, he splashed in some milk and then headed for the door. Dairy, coffee, and cocoa were all bad for the environment, and Jonas prided himself in making good choices for his food, but no man was perfect, and coffee without milk was just plain coffee while coffee with milk was magic. Everyone needed a little magic, and he needed to get to school, needed to sit by his desk with a pile of essays and hearing the familiar chatter and shuffling feet around him. It was his life now—colleagues, students, and coffee.
He needed nothing else.
It was a fifteen-minute walk to the school. He kept his pace slow so he could sip on his coffee in peace. The smooth, warm surface of the cup soothed him.
“Good Morning, Mr. Raghnall.”
“Morning, Ava.” Jonas nodded at the shy girl who’d be in his class in the afternoon and continued his walk.
“Mr. Jonas!” Jonas winced as Dylan came jogging toward him. Damn it! He’d stopped wincing at school jackets a long time ago. “Is it true there’s a new gym teacher?”
New gym teacher? Ms. Sanders had left them for a school in Whiteport—shudder—three weeks ago, and they’d all helped cover gym class since. Jonas had stayed in the main building and made his classes theoretical. “I haven’t heard anything.”
There had been a staff meeting he’d missed because he’d been in another meeting with a parent of a girl in the ninth grade, but surely someone would’ve informed him if there was a new teacher.
“Oh…” Dylan’s shoulders slumped. “I heard someone say there would be.”
“I’m sure Principal Wright will hire someone soon.” Though getting anyone to apply for a job here wasn’t easy. Northfield was a small town, the school tiny compared to most high schools, and the salaries offered were lower than in the bigger cities. That was life in the countryside, but Jonas wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“Yeah… See you later, Mr. Jonas.” Dylan jogged ahead to meet up with a group of guys dressed in similar school jackets. They were all on the football team. Jonas tried really hard not to hold it against them. Most of them were good guys, teenage boys as a group, though… Sighing, he shook his head. One run-in with his past shouldn’t upset his calm this way. He was a grownup, a teacher… a role model.
Walking in through the main entrance, he waved at the school caretaker as he changed a light bulb, and slipped into the office he shared with three other teachers—two now since Ms. Sanders had moved.
The room smelled of coffee and paper. Jonas took a deep breath and allowed his shoulders to drop. This was what he did, this was where he belonged.
“Did you hear?” Sara Nelson, a fellow language teacher and his best friend, stormed into the room, dumped her bag on her desk, and sat on her chair.
“The hot guy.” She wiggled her eyebrows and laughed.
Jonas rolled his eyes but smiled at her. “Who did whom and did you guys go out without me? Since when am I not invited?” There wasn’t anywhere to go in Northfield, but the cafe served alcohol, so pizza and a beer was a possibility. They usually met up once every other week or so—Sara, Gabriel Gonzalez, and him—to share a glass and talk some shit. Sometimes other teachers tagged along, but mostly it was just the three of them.
“Oh, no.” She leaned in closer and lowered her voice. “Apparently some guy called Wright, practically begging for a job—”
“Ah, Jonas, Sara.” Principal Wright filled the doorway, his thinning gray hair neatly combed, and his suit immaculate. Robert Wright had been the principal at the school for as long as Jonas had worked there. He was a quiet man who kept to himself and seldom needed to assert his authority. “I want you to meet our new coworker, Abe Cooper.” Wright stepped aside and gestured for Abe to enter.
The room spun around Jonas, but no matter how much he prayed he’d wake up at home in his bed and realize this was just a dream, he remained seated by his desk. Sara’s mouth was moving, and Abe was smiling and shaking her hand, but Jonas couldn’t hear what they were saying.
Abruptly, he stood. Everyone turned to look at him. Wright frowned, Sara had her eyebrows raised, and Abe took a small step in his direction, preparing to offer his hand.
“I have to go.” Jonas squeezed himself past Abe without looking at him and stumbled out into the corridor.
This was not happening.
Nausea curled in his stomach, and he hurried into the bathroom to splash some water on his face. How long he stood there he didn’t know, but for some unknown reason, he couldn’t let go of the sink.
Enter the giveaway here! The winner will be drawn on May 9th.
Abe Cooper is starting over. For fifteen years he’s lived the life that was expected of him, but not anymore. He’s packed up his things, bought himself a cabin in Northfield, and managed to secure a job at the local high school teaching gym and coaching the football team. But his new beginning didn’t include running into Crazy Joe on his first trip to the grocery store.
Jonas Raghnall has everything he needs — good friends and a job he loves. He’s worked hard to get over what happened sixteen years ago, but one run-in with his past and all the memories come flooding back. Seeing Abe Cooper, The Abe Cooper, sets everything out of balance.
Abe had pictured a fresh start with no ties to his past, but now that Jonas is there, he wants nothing more than to be close to the man who had butterflies filling his belly when he was in high school. Jonas doesn’t want to come face to face with his past, but if he sees Abe every day, it’s not really meeting up with your past, is it? It’s more like a date with your future.
Travis is running himself ragged. He’s trying to keep two jobs just to pay his rent. If he has to flirt with some creepy old women at the pub to get a little extra tip money then so be it. One day, he’ll have someone special waiting for him when he gets back home from work, or is that too much to ask? Right now isn’t the best of times to get a boyfriend anyway since Travis is going mad, but one day… Every so often, Travis gets the feeling of not being alone, and sometimes, he sees things. But he tries to stay positive; maybe there’s a strapping young fella waiting for him in the looney bin.
Larry’s existence was dead boring until Travis moved in. Now he spends his time watching Travis, fantasising about touching him, kissing him… Their movie nights would be a bit cosier if Travis knew he was there, but sometimes, you have to settle for what you can get. As far as roommates go, Travis is the best Larry has ever had, and it isn’t Travis’s fault he can’t see Larry – no one has been able to since the day he died.
When Travis loses one of his jobs, both he and Larry fear for their future. Larry can’t imagine being without Travis, and Travis is desperate to find a way to pay his bills. While Travis searches for a solution to his money problems Larry has to decide if he’s willing to risk existence as he knows it for a chance of a better life.