Throwback Thursday | Dealy Sugar

We’re getting closer to Halloween so I figured we could talk a little about Deadly Sugar. I can’t believe it’s been four years since I wrote this one LOL.

If you aren’t stalking Amy Spector online you should, she’s full of old school horror fun. Back in 2015, she wanted to do a joint writing project, not as co-authors of one story, but she wanted us to write a story bundle. Despite not knowing much about horror at all, apart from having a laugh writing it, I was thrilled to join the project.

From the beginning, we were meant to be three authors, but real life with all its time stealing demands happens to all of us, and in the end, only Amy and I were able to make the deadline so it became BURIED DESIRES – A Horror Double Feature.

I fucked up a little. We were supposed to write horror romance stories, but Deadly Sugar isn’t romance. I’m not saying that there isn’t love…a twisted kind of love but still love.

Jett is a pastry chef who has moved away from his partner since their relationship wasn’t going anywhere. All Jett wants is to build a life, buy a house, get married, adopt a kid, so when Josh, his partner isn’t interested he decides to buy a house for himself and end the relationship. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t miss Josh, he does, a lot. But maybe it’s time to move on, and his neighbour is quite hot.

David, Jett’s neighbour, doesn’t need a lover, he already has several chained up in his basement. But when Jett comes sniffing, he has to deal with it. Things don’t always go as you plan, though.

I was had so much fun writing Deadly Sugar, perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had writing a story. It’s dark and disturbing and if someone else had written it and I was the reader I might think the author was batshit crazy…and maybe I’d been right LOL.

It was getting dark again, Jett had never noticed how dark October was until he’d moved out here.

If David saw him, he’d probably think him mad. But that was a risk Jett was willing to take. If he stayed cooped up in the house listening to Josh’s messages on voicemail much longer, he’d go insane.

The air was chilly, but Jett figured he’d be warm soon. It wasn’t until he was standing over one of the flower beds that he realised he didn’t have a spade or shovel. Surely there must be one lying around. He went to the garden shed. Something must’ve been left behind.

After some rummaging around, he found a rusty digging fork in the garage—not what he’d had in mind but better than nothing. Jett didn’t know what you were supposed to do in a garden in the autumn, but he thought digging around a little sounded like a good idea.

It would’ve been a shame to mess up the well-kept plots, so Jett went to the bottom of the garden, right where the forest began. Down there was a messy area of uneven soil, Jett didn’t know if he would call it a garden bed, but it wasn’t lawn, and it wasn’t forest, so he figured he could take his frustration out on the patch of dirt without destroying anything of value. It looked like someone had dug there before.

Digging was therapeutic. Jett watched the soil fall between the tines over and over again. He was sweating, puffing each time he drove the fork into the ground. Pushing it down with his foot, and using his body weight to bend it before lifting the fork with a heap of dirt on. Dusk fell, but Jett kept on digging. Darkness took over, but he continued to shove the fork into the soil. Jett had a hard time seeing what he was doing, but he kept it up, kept on lifting and shaking the dirt, before forcing the tines into the ground again. Sweat was pearling on his forehead and his back ached, but there was no stopping him. Down, lift, shake. Down, lift, shake. It felt good to use his body and not have to think about moving boxes or phone calls.

He pushed the fork into the ground, lifted it with a huff, and shook. When he shook, he saw that something was stuck between the tines. Stopping the motion he looked closer.

A bone.

Jett let go of the garden fork. It fell to the ground. The impact forced the bone out from between the tines, and it landed right next to them. Jett stared. His heart was beating fast. It couldn’t be a bone. You don’t find bones that size in your garden. What animal has bones that size anyway? It was probably twenty-five centimetres long, maybe even more.

He took a step back. It had to be a stick, some kind of strange wood that became white when left in the soil. It has to be.

“What are you doing?”

Jett whirled around, a scream escaping his lips before he managed to force his mouth closed.

***

David watched Jett try to get himself under control. His eyes were wide, and his panting could be heard from several metres away. David was not pleased to see him digging around. He should’ve figured it might happen when the house went up for sale, should’ve taken precautions. How Jett reacted now, when he’d disturbed the resting place, would determine the outcome of the events to follow.

“N-nothing. I’m just digging a little, needed to get rid of some surplus energy.”

David laughed, the guy really did look spooked—hot. “There are more fun ways to do that.”

“Erm…yeah, I’m sure you’re right.” Jett smiled tentatively, his breathing becoming more and more normal, but he still wouldn’t look in the direction of where he’d been digging.

“I was wondering if you’d fancy a cup of tea. I was just about to put some on when I saw the light in your kitchen. I’m still not used to seeing it lit, but when I did, I thought why not ask if you wanted a cuppa.” David shrugged to show just how impulsive his idea had been. He had, in fact, been planning to ask Jett since breakfast, but impulse was better than planning…at least when you were trying to win someone’s trust.

“That would be lovely, thank you. I’ll just wash off first. Meet you at your place?”

David nodded and started walking back towards his house. Once he was out of sight, he stopped and waited. Jett was already on his way to his house, so all David had to do was wait for a minute or two.

Jett closed the door, and David went back to the resting place. A humerus. How has that managed to get so close to the surface? David reached for it. For the longest bone in the arm, it wasn’t very long, at least not this particular one. David sighed and thought of Matthew—it must be his. It had been three years now, and David still carried some fond memories. He’d been lovely—curly hair and brown eyes. David had been able to count all his vertebrae through his olive-coloured skin even in poor lighting. Too bad about the bedsores.

He held the bone close as he walked back to his house. Luckily, he already had prepared for Jett’s visit.

books2read.com/DeadlyCollection

books2read.com/BuriedDesires


The Deadly Sugar CollectionThe Deadly Sugar Collection includes Deadly Sugar, Deadly Secrets, Deadly Lies and a special link to Deadly Dates – a hidden chapter.

All Jett ever wanted was a big house where he and his partner could raise a family together. The only problem is his boyfriend doesn’t want to take the step. Jett refuses to wait any longer. If Josh doesn’t want to come with him, he’ll move on his own and begin to build the life he wants. And who knows maybe the cute neighbour would be willing to fill Josh’s shoes.

David doesn’t want any neighbours. He has all the company he needs locked away in his root cellar and a neighbour snooping around could easily ruin his perfect life. It doesn’t help that the neighbour is a pastry chef – a spreader of evil, an abomination the world needs to be saved from.

Maybe David can fit Jett into his busy schedule. Maybe he can keep him around for a little while. David decides to give Jett a chance, he does, after all, have a great bone structure that would turn him into a fine piece of art once David helps him lose all that unnecessary weight. But as David starts to put his plan into motion, Jett’s ex reappears. With Josh coming back Jett has a chance to get everything he wants if only he can get rid of the neighbour…

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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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.