Giveaway November

Giveaway!

The eleventh giveaway post of the year! Crazy how fast this year has gone by. I don’t know about you, but I still feel like I’m in some kind of alternative reality. I live with a constant sense of doom. I’m not saying I’m unhappy, I’m not, but I feel like there is a constant threat to life as we know it. I doubt they felt that way in the 50s. But enough soul searching and onto the giveaway! 

We have four stories this month – The Maddest of Men, Honey Baked, Eight Feet of Magic, and Turning Wood. 

How does it work? 

I figured we do an easy comment below thing this month. Tell me what you’re looking forward to the most with the holiday season. I’ll pick a random winner from the comments on the 8th. 

The Books 

All but The Maddest of Men are holiday stories. The Maddest of Men is a post-apocalyptic-people-with-special-skills kind of story.  

Honey Baked is a short Christmas story about John and Zach from Once in May, and it’s no longer available as a stand-alone story, so the winner will get a copy of Once in May which has Honey Baked at the end. They’re contemporary stories. 

Eight Feet of Magic is… steampunk, Norse mythology, and Christmas all mixed into one rather crazy story LOL 

Turning Wood is a short contemporary Christmas story about a man who falls through the ice of the river. 

Excerpt:

The Maddest of Men

He held his tray up to one of the beautiful women standing along the wall of the room. She, like everyone else here, was flawless. Their beauty always made him self-conscious. Why couldn’t the Bureau offer plastic surgery and enhancements like every other branch of society?

He clamped his lips together over his crooked teeth, totally ruining the smile he’d been aiming at her. They hadn’t even given him eye surgery. His fucked up eyes could be a danger in his line of work; he’d tried to make Howorth see it, but he didn’t listen. Not only was he half-blind but there was also the colour. Creed wondered how many here today would remember him because of the different colouring. And sure, even if he had surgery he would still need the lenses to read the results of the scanner, but really, no one, no one, was short-sighted in the modern world. He guessed he should feel lucky Howorth had given him eye correction lenses, but still.

“Are those vegetarian?” The woman pointed at a cucumber slice with some creamy stuff and a roll of smoked salmon.

“Erm…no.” Creed refrained from rolling his useless, short-sighted eyes. “There is salmon on it.” When she simply stared at him, he smiled again. “Fish.”

“I know what salmon is.” Creed swallowed a ‘why the fuck did you ask then’ and fought against the strain in his facial muscles. “What I meant was is there any meat in those.”

“Fish.” He continued to hold out the tray for her while she looked at the salmon rolls. Finally, she deemed fish edible and took one.

A glimpse of red hair weaving through the throng caught his eye. Instead of hurrying along, he stood still and observed as the mass made a path for whoever it was—Creed had a pretty good idea of who it had to be, but he didn’t want to get his hopes up.

Cham Hovda gave a small wave from where he sat on the lounge, his lips were tight, and he was paler than Creed had ever seen him. He hadn’t moved at all during the evening which made Creed believe the rumours of him being shot in the leg the week before were true. They hadn’t been able to find any medical records, but it wouldn’t be the first time someone from the underworld succeeded in staying out of the system—the inquisitor didn’t exist according to the system. Creed had spent a good week trying to dig up something, anything, and he hadn’t even managed to find a name.

Stepping a little closer to the woman, he tilted the tray ever so slightly. “One more perhaps?” He smiled and tried to be discreet in watching as the inquisitor bent down to whisper something in Hovda’s ear.

“Thank you. Could I get a glass of champagne too?”

Creed gritted his teeth. He was obviously not the champagne guy, and he was about to enlighten her when the inquisitor stepped away from the lounge. A few more steps and he would be right between Creed and the bar. “I’ll see what I can do, ma’am.”

He straightened his back and channelled his inner waiter. With an air of nonchalance, he neared the man. Milky white skin, bright red corkscrew curls Creed wanted to pull only to see them bounce back—an evil man shouldn’t look like that. “May I tempt you with some salmon, sir?” Creed tried for flirty but holy shit that hair was distracting. Could someone so angelic looking be the feared inquisitor?

Deep blue eyes bore into his. “I’m good, thanks.” His voice had a slight rasp to it as if those had been the first words he’d uttered today. Where the shiver travelling up Creed’s back came from, he didn’t know.

“I’m sure you are.” He winked, not knowing if it was the right direction to take but hoping the intent gaze meant interest. “Champagne maybe? I’m heading to the bar to get some for the lady over there.” He nodded towards the woman who stood glaring at him.

The man grunted dismissively and turned to leave. Creeds heart sped up as he realised he was about to lose his chance. A thousand things he could say to grab the man’s attention flitted through his mind, but not one seemed right.

“Hey, Grayham! A word.” A mean-looking man dressed in black jeans and t-shirt walked towards them. Creed tried not to stare, but he was far from the only one who forgot all about manners. In a sea of fancy suits and evening gowns, ratty t-shirts and heavily tattooed arms stood out.

Creed went through every name he could remember from the files as he made his way to the bar. Cipriani, Lou Cipriani, Creed was almost sure of it. The man’s hair was jet black, his eyes glowing green, and he possessed an air of power despite his wiry frame. Creed looked at his right hand, and sure enough, the ring and little finger were missing.

He grabbed two glasses of champagne instead of a tray—if someone noticed he’d sort it later. Glancing over his shoulder to make sure the men were still talking, he zigzagged over to the woman. “Enjoy, ma’am.”

She rolled her eyes but grabbed the glass. “Do you have a death wish?”

“Not particularly, why?” Creed smiled, but his heart hammered. Does she know anything?

“Flirting with Grayham.”

Creed stopped moving. “You know him?”

She snorted and tossed her long brown hair—not a natural brown—over her naked shoulder. “Only Cham knows him.”

Cham? Could she be one of Hovda’s girls? He couldn’t see her working the streets, but prostitution came in many shapes and forms. “Why?” Creed had a pretty good idea why. Who’d want to get friendly with the torturer, right? It surprised him that he hoped the bureau’s information would be faulty.

Grayham, if that was his name, didn’t look anything like he’d imagined a torturer should look. Those full lips should smile soft smiles, and there was nothing scary about bouncy curls. His eyes, though… They didn’t frighten Creed. They didn’t have a crazy shine to them, but they were emotionless, guarded.

The woman shrugged. “People who talk to him disappear.” Huh? Right, why no one knew him. Creed should continue to speak to her, few were as willing to share information, but he could see Cipriani getting ready to leave.

“I’m going to go give him his champagne before he slips away.”

“Mhm.” She downed half the glass in one swallow as Creed left.

He came up next to the two men right before Cipriani started to turn. “Your champagne, sir.” He held the glass out for Grayham to take; he didn’t. Instead, he narrowed his eyes and gave Creed a look intense enough to make him squirm—Creed did not squirm. Okay, he totally squirmed.

“Did you do anything with it?” His voice was still raspy.

“No, of course not.”

For a heartbeat or two Grayham stared at him, then he reached for the glass with his left hand. Creed cursed mentally and tried to push the glass towards his right. Grayham dropped his left and grabbed the glass with his right. “Thank you.”

Perfect. Creed hovered with his hand over Grayham’s wrist waiting for his scanner to gather the information that should be there.

Nothing.

Fuck!

Excerpt:

onceinmayJohn took another bite of cheese. It was perfect—warm, nutty and sweet. He hadn’t realised how hungry he was. With the party hanging over him, he hadn’t been able to eat all day, but now, people trickled out the door in a slow, steady stream.

He drew in a breath, enjoying the smell of pine and gingerbread for the first time this season. Chris waved at him as he and Gabe exited the café, and John smiled.

This wasn’t too bad.

He went up on tiptoe, hoping to see the red Santa suit heading his way, but Santa was caught up talking to Gary. John huffed and took another piece of crispbread. Gary had grown chatty lately, and John wasn’t sure he appreciated his friendliness, not that he doubted Zachary for a second. Zachary was the only person he trusted, but Gary was out there mingling and John was here hiding.

“What are you doing?” Zachary suddenly arrived in front of him, grinning, and took a tress of John’s hair between his fingers. It was hanging loose today, spilling over his shoulders like a protective blanket.

“I thought you were talking to Gary.” John winced at how the words sounded. The last thing he wanted was to whine because Zachary was talking to someone.

“I was, but then I noticed a hot little angel standing all alone and eating cheese as if his life depended on it.” Zach wiggled his eyebrows. “And I thought to myself, I’d rather talk to him than Gary.”

“Flirting? Now? And I wasn’t eating that much.” John’s face heated anyway.

“No, you weren’t, but I’d still rather talk to you than Gary.” Zachary scratched his chin under the fake beard, his shoulders slumping.

“Didn’t it go well?” John searched his eyes.

 

Excerpt:

Eight Feet of Magic

Hank held his breath as the sounds of the carol singers’ voices merged with the smog and faded into the dusk. It was the first Christmas songs he’d heard for the season, and it made him think of his mother.

Demetrius dragged him to a narrow wooden door with flaking dark blue paint and rusting iron ferrules. Above, a ghost ship sign painted on a dried up board creaked every time the wind got hold of it.

The Bold Ship.

The words sent a shiver of recognition through him. He’d heard the name before, but how was that possible? He never came to these parts of London—no one in their right mind did.

He slumped down in an attempt to make himself invisible, completely in vain—he had both his size and his velvet coat working against him. The dust of the streets had done nothing to mute the red colour.

Hank had tried to stick to the shadows on the way here, but people kept staring at him no matter what. Barefoot children dressed in rags watched him with eyes wide enough for Hank to fear they’d fall out of their skulls.

He blinked away the smoke hitting him in the face as he followed Demetrius into the grimy tavern. The low murmur stopped as he got a couple of steps inside, then he heard someone chuckle. Heat began climbing his neck, but he refused to blush. It had taken years to get it under a semblance of control. Wiping his sweaty hands on the soft velvet, he kept his gaze on Demetrius’s back.

He’s over there.” Demetrius appeared unaware of the laughter spreading in the room and hurried towards the far corner. Hank filled his lungs with the sooty air and kept his back straight as he followed. Show no weakness. He had to duck at one point not to hit his head on a joist.

It became darker the farther into the tavern they got, and Hank dared a breath of relief. At least his coat wouldn’t be visible from the entrance. He looked around the room before looking at the man Demetrius had stopped next to. When he did, he wished he hadn’t, he wished he’d stayed at home, and he definitely wished he’d worn his old rugged coat.

The man’s dark eyes shone as he watched Hank. Something close to a smile tugged at the corner of his lips, but Hank could tell it wouldn’t turn into a nice one. A dimple almost appeared on his right cheek, or maybe it was a muscle strain from keeping the sneer at bay.

This is your seaman?” His voice was melodic, so melodic Hank almost missed the words.

Yes, my son.” Demetrius nodded frantically, and Hank’s heart made a run for his throat.

No.”

No one was listening to him.

Good, good. I’ve always liked a sturdy man; I need someone big and strong on the ship.”

Hank looked around, hoping against hope someone was standing behind him, and they weren’t talking about him. Several pairs of eyes were watching him with amusement.

I’m no seaman.”

The man cocked his head, making a long tress of black hair glide off his shoulder. “No seaman?” Then he glared at Demetrius. “A seaman was part of the deal.”

He is your seaman. Tall and strong, good for heavy lifting. God knows it’s all he’s good for.”

Hank’s stomach turned, but the usual nausea following Demetrius and Polly’s words halted when the man gave an annoyed huff. If he was annoyed with Hank’s stupidity or Demetrius for pointing it out, he didn’t know, but his gaze turned harder than before.

Silence fell. It spread to the entire tavern and made Hank twitchy—grown men shouldn’t be twitchy.

Finally, the man reached out over the table and offered Hank his hand. “I’m Captain Elazar Steel. What’s your name, lad?”

Lad? Lad! The man must be ten years younger than Hank, and though he was still sitting down, he didn’t look like a big man. Hank couldn’t help but narrow his eyes, and it wasn’t until Demetrius elbowed him in the side he realised he hadn’t responded.

Hank Goodenough…sir.”

Captain.” Hank refrained from rolling his eyes. Dear Elazar didn’t seem to notice, though.

Exceprt:

turning wood

Mason was shaking so hard the bed was groaning in protest. Where was he? He looked around. This wasn’t his bedroom. His entire body burned, his throat ached, and his eyes stung. Lifting the cover, he looked down at himself and groaned—naked. The bed smelled nice, though.

Bolting upright, he remembered. He’d been out walking and…Santa had been there. He rubbed his forehead. It couldn’t have been Santa, but some guy dressed like Santa.

A kidnapper.

He’d been kidnapped by a guy disguised a Santa who had stripped him and put him in a bed. What was he planning on doing with him in bed, naked?

Mason flung off the cover and put his feet on the floor, a nice old hardwood floor but cold enough to make him want to climb back into the bed. So typical of him to get drunk and kidnapped by a Santa lookalike. He couldn’t go anywhere without getting in trouble.

Meet a nice guy and he’ll clear out your bank account, sell your car, and have you evicted from your apartment. Go up north on a holiday and a sex offender looking like Santa will kidnap you and bind you to a bed.

Though, in Santa’s defense, he wasn’t bound, and… Mason rubbed his neck. An image of frantic blue eyes behind… He tried to pinch the bridge of his nose, but his fingers weren’t working as they should. Had that been protective glasses?

Maybe the guy hadn’t looked like Santa at all. Now when he was thinking of it, his hair had been dark, and had he been wearing a white sweater?

A door opened somewhere in the building and Mason’s heart leaped to his throat. Shit, he’s back.

Pushing off the bed, he stumbled a few steps only to once again realize he was naked. Gripping the cover, he wrapped it around his shoulders and turned toward the window. His fingers shook as he tried to open it. He had to push with all his strength to get it to yield, the ice working in his kidnapper’s favor.

He got it open and one leg out, the snow on the windowsill chilling against the inside of his bare thigh.

Hey! Stop.” A tall, dark-haired man with icicles in his beard took a step into the bedroom.

Mason yelped and shoved away from the building. The cover tangled around him; the snow burned against his bare feet as he tried to gain his balance.

Mason!”

The kidnapper knew his name?

Mason ran. It didn’t go nearly as fast as it normally did, it was as if his muscles had melted. Had he been drugged? He only needed to get back to the resort then he could call the police. It couldn’t be far away.

A wall of pine trees appeared in front of him, it grew into a forest, but Mason didn’t care. He ducked and shielded himself from the prickly limbs the best he could.

Oh, for fuck’s sake. Mason! Come back here!”

Mason glanced over his shoulder, the guy gained on him, easily. He ordered his useless legs to move, but they continued their slow-motion thing.

Strong arms grabbed him from behind and Mason might have yelped again. He wasn’t a yelper, not normally.

Are you out of your mind? You could have died.” The man’s gruff voice did nothing to calm him down. “Come on, let’s get you back in bed.”

The man steered him around, Mason would like to say he fought for his freedom, but his resistance only lasted for thirty seconds or maybe it was closer to five. He was too exhausted to stand, and the man carefully wrapped an arm around his waist to help him back towards the building—a cute little log cabin.

The Maddest of Men

To prove his loyalty to Cham, Grayham is willing to do anything, and he does. He helps Cham run his empire by finding out the truth by any possible means. It’s not as hard as it may seem, all he has to do is ask the right questions, and his internal polygraph will tell him if someone is lying or not. And when they lie—well he deals with that too. Life as an executioner can get quite lonely, not that Grayham plans on doing anything about it. It would kill him to have to off a lover.

Creed is a retrieving agent on a mission. He is to infiltrate one of Carona’s drug organisations to get to the inquisitor. Rumour states the man with the fiery red curls has supernatural powers; it also says anyone coming close to him disappears. Creed has no idea how he’s going to make it out alive or why his supervisor sent him in without backup. But, when an opening to work as a waiter at one of the drug lord’s parties presents itself Creed sets to work.

In a world where people compensate for the years of bombings and starvation with clinic bought physical perfection a man with crooked teeth and mismatching eyes stands out. Grayham notices the waiter watching him straight away. If he’s there to harm Cham, he’ll deal with it. Creed knows he must get his hands on the inquisitor so when he is invited to the man’s flat he agrees to come even though he knows it might be the last thing he’ll ever do.

onceinmay

In an attempt to run from his past, John Welsh has spent the last few years building walls around himself. He knows the best way to stay safe is to keep people at arm’s length and preferably out of sight. During weak moments, he might wish he had someone, but he’s not ready. After all, it takes seven years for the body to replace all its cells. He has four years to go before he’s new.

Zachary Fane is always on the move, always on his way to somewhere. He’s going from job to job, from country to country. Contrary to what people might think, he wants nothing more than to find a place to call home, and he knows just where. This time, he is ready. This time, he will stay in Nortown. This time, things will be different. But when he arrives to buy the log cabin he believed would be his, he finds it inhabited. When he goes to talk to the new owner, he is met by the most beautiful green eyes followed by a door slammed in his face.

John should’ve known the peace he’s found in Nortown wouldn’t last. One day everything is fine, the next a mountain of a man shows up wherever he goes. All Zachary wants is to be close to the quiet man who has moved into his cabin. If following him around is the only way, then so be it. Sooner or later, John will get used to having him there … at least, if Zachary hangs around long enough.

Includes the short story, “Honey Baked.”

 

Eight Feet of Magic

There is still magic to be found. Even in the bleakest of places.

Hank Goodenough has spent his entire life in the smoggy streets of London trying to keep his head down and not to get noticed. Not an easy feat when you’re the tallest one in the room and have a brass funnel protruding from your head. When he finds himself laid off work once again, his dad wants to drag him away on a crazy quest. Before he can figure out how to get out of it, he finds himself on a steam-driven airship in search of Odin, the old Norse God, and is sharing a room with Captain Elazar Steel, a man strutting around on one high-heeled boot and one peg leg.

Steel doesn’t care that the winks, smiles, and small touches he and Hank share might get them hanged once they land on the ground again. He is determined to show Hank there is magic in the world and that there is no better place to be than on his balloon ship steering towards the Arctic Circle.

turning wood

For Otho Newcomer, the small village of Snowmelt is a haven from his old life. If he isn’t exactly a changed man, he at least hopes to keep his distance from all those easy romances, and the inevitable heartache and disappointment that always follow.

Mason Dager is an idiot. His ex has cleared out his bank account, sold his car, and got him thrown out of his apartment. And he has no one to blame but himself. But what better way to celebrate a new chapter in his life — one that includes homelessness and the humiliation of telling his family they were right all along — than to spend Christmas at a swanky winter resort like River Cove? It’s already paid for, after all.

When a very drunk Mason makes yet another dumb decision, Otho comes to the rescue, throwing the men together during the most magical time of the year.

What should be the wrong choice for both of them might be exactly what they need. They’ll just have to survive a nosy best friend, an asshole of an ex, and the scars of their pasts if they hope to find something together.

Release Day | Ghost Dater

Trick or TreatIt’s release day!!! 🥳 Ghost Dater is a short story about Thad and Sandy from Soul Eater, but when I told JMS Books that I was gonna write a story for their Trick or Treat call, I meant to write it about Jaecar and Elijah from Mind Scrambler. When they weren’t cooperating, I figured I’d better let Thad and Sandy have a story instead. 

It’s been ten years since Sandy was killed and one year since he was brought back. Thad thinks it’s something worth celebrating – Sandy does not.  

Sandy has been moping for about a week, and Thad has had enough. Since all stories should be either about a trick or a treat, I decided to have Thaddeus trick Sandy into believing they’re having a party. Sandy isn’t pleased. 

Here’s the beginning of the story: 

Excerpt:

Thaddeus Esax was a sorcerer extraordinaire—or not extraordinaire exactly. He was of mixed race which was considered taboo in most, if not all, wizard families. Growing up, he’d believed he was a lousy mage, but then he’d brought a werewolf back from the dead and kept his ghost alive. Not only alive, but the stupid wolf was also a talking, thinking, sometimes solid asshole. It had to mean he wasn’t completely useless. He hoped. 

The werewolf in question, Sandulf—Sandy—Hunter, was Thad’s mate—or so he had believed. Sandy was the biggest jerk he’d ever met. The hottest too, but telling him that only went to his head. Stupid wolf. 

Thad glared at him. “Are you gonna mope all day?” 

Something had happened a little over a week ago. Thad didn’t know what, but Sandy was keeping a distance between them, and it fucking hurt. He’d believed they’d be together till the end of time, but Sandy hadn’t touched him in days. Shifters were known to want to touch. All. The. Time. Mates were never far apart, but Sandy hardly looked at him these days. Last night, he hadn’t even come to bed. 

“I’m not moping.” He ended the sentence with a silent snarl. 

Sandy had been in ghost form most of the week—as he was now. Thad could see him; a washed-out version of the strong, virile man he had been when alive. 

Should someone enter the room, they’d only see Thad, though. 

If Thad were to flood him with energy, Sandy would grow solid and appear alive to the people around them, but since he’d stayed a couple of feet away for an eternity, Thad hadn’t touched him. 

He didn’t need to touch him to send energy his way, but why pollute the world with a grumpy werewolf when he could keep him invisible to those who didn’t need to suffer the sulking? He was doing the world a favor. 

For days, Thad had walked around feeling hurt. Was Sandy acting like this because he didn’t want Thad anymore? It was his biggest fear, that he wasn’t enough for Sandy. 

But Sandy couldn’t leave him, they were tied together. Thad had involuntarily forced him to stay close to him at all times. They couldn’t break up, or he guessed they could, but then it would mean Sandy would go back to being dead for real. 

He hoped Sandy didn’t want to break up. What if there would be a day when he chose death over having to spend every second of every day with Thad? 

At the same time… Sandy was a werewolf, and he claimed Thad was his mate. It should mean Sandy would want him forever. He didn’t want to believe Sandy had lied to him, and why would he? 

Thad tried to push away the hurt in his chest. It was as if Sandy was withdrawing from him—from the world. And it scared the crap out of him. What would he do without Sandy? Who would he be without Sandy? Where could Sandy go? Theoretically, Thad could put his ghost to rest, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t kill Sandy. Some might claim he wasn’t alive at all, that he had been killed on Halloween ten years ago—and he had, but Sandy was alive. He was a talking, feeling, thinking being, and Thad loved him—when he wasn’t being a stupid werewolf. 

But after a week of hurt and worry, Thad was rapidly growing angry. He’d had enough. 

“Great!” He’d meant to smile, but it came out as a sneer. “I have things to do today, so we’re leaving.” 

“You are off from work.” Sandy crossed his arms over his chest. 

“I’m never off.” Not true. He was a cop, so if something were to happen, Jaecar, his boss, would call and demand he come in, but they didn’t have any major cases at the moment, so he’d most likely have the day off. 

Sandy scowled, and anger flared in Thad. Energy rushed to his fingertips, but he curled his hands into fists to prevent it from escaping. “I’m going shopping.” 

“Shopping? You went shopping yesterday!” 

“That was grocery shopping. Now I’m going shopping shopping.” 

Sandy hated shopping. If he was in solid form, he could undress and put on whatever clothes he wanted, but as soon as he faded, he was back in his T-shirt, threadbare jeans, and bare feet. Thad wasn’t planning on going clothes shopping though, but he didn’t tell Sandy that. Right now, he didn’t think Sandy deserved that kind of information. 

He grabbed a jacket and walked out the front door, slamming it with more force than needed. He used magic to lock it and stomped toward the car. Sandy would kill him, or try to at least, but he hurried into the driver’s seat and turned the key. 

As he accelerated, the prickles on his skin grew more intense, meaning Sandy would soon be yanked to him. He prepared to be snarled at, so he pushed the gas pedal harder. The prickles intensified, and he slammed the brakes right before the swoosh pulling Sandy to him happened. 

“What the fuck are you doing?” Sandy snarled, as predicted, and climbed off—out of—Thad. It was a good thing he didn’t weigh anything when in ghost form. 

“Going shopping.” It was their first Halloween in their new house and Thad wasn’t going to let Sandy’s foul mood ruin it. Sandy might claim to hate all holidays ever invented, and he might scoff at Thad’s decorations, but the house would be properly decorated. He pursed his lips as the wheels spun in his head. He needed to do something to cheer Sandy up or this Halloween would be dreadful. 

A date! They’d never been on a proper date. Going to a restaurant was out of the question, but they could have a dinner date at home… only… Sandy couldn’t eat. 

“You couldn’t wait two minutes until I was ready to go?” 

Thad narrowed his eyes. There had to be a way to make it so Sandy could eat, if only for an hour or so. 

All Hallows’ Eve was when the veil between the living and the dead was the thinnest. There had to be some spell or rite or something he could perform to get Sandy to be more alive than he was. Sandy would never let him try, though. They’d both seen what could happen when you played around too much with the dead. But if he tricked him somehow… How would he get away with cooking and stuff? Sandy would notice if he did more than the quick meals he usually did for himself. 

“What? You needed to make yourself pretty before you left the house? I told you we were leaving.” Thad did his best not to let any of his plans show. Sometimes he believed Sandy was turning into a mind reader. 

Blurb:

ghostdaterThaddeus Esax has a grumpy werewolf problem. For a year, he’s been mated to Sandulf Hunter, a ghost werewolf he brought back from the dead without meaning to. It’s been great. Thad’s been happy, and he believed Sandy was too. But Sandy has been sulking for more than a week, and Thad fears their relationship isn’t going as well as he believed. 
 
The problem with being mated to a ghost is that said ghost never can leave your side, and therefore it’s extremely hard to keep secrets. Thaddeus wants to surprise Sandy, to cheer him up, but to do that, he has to trick him into believing they’re doing something they’re not. 
 
Telling Sandy they’re having a Halloween party doesn’t go over well, but how do you trick a ghost? By making him believe he’ll be dressed up as a pirate for an evening, of course. 

Buy links: 

Gay Paranormal Romance: 9,376 words 

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

Giveaway October

Giveaway!It’s giveaway time!!! We’re in October, do you know what that means? It means Halloween and horror LOL. 

How does it work?   

It’s quite easy. Every month, I’m running a giveaway of books published in previous years during the current month, and to make it easy on everyone, I’ve set up a Kingsumo giveaway. You enter your email address, you’re not subscribing to anything by doing so, but make sure to sign up with an address you check regularly since it’s on that I’ll contact you should you win. 

To enter hop on over here! 

The Books 

We have four books this month. Three years in a row, Amy Spector and I gave out a horror double feature in October, so we have Deadly Sugar followed by Deadly Lies. The third year, I wrote The Snowflake, which is one of my favourite stories, but it’s quite bloody. And last but not least we have Soul Eater, which isn’t horror; it’s paranormal romance. Ghost Dater, which will be released on the 13th, is with the characters from Soul Eater. 

Deadly Sugar and Deadly Lies are about Jett and Josh. In the first book, their relationship is on rocky grounds, and Jett buys a house outside of the city and moved without Josh. The next-door neighbour keeps men in his root cellar, an unusual hobby, but Jett figures it out. The second book builds from there. 

The Snowflake is about my favourite ice sculptor. He’s insane, no question about it. But even disturbed people can fall in love, and Theophile is in love. To prove the depth, he’s gonna make the most breathtaking sculpture ever made, and he does… too bad people have to die to make it work LOL 

And Soul Eater is the first story in Rockshade’s PID series, I have yet to write the third and last story, but I will. It’s about Thaddeus who is a wizard and police. While trying to solve a case, he accidentally brings a werewolf back to life. Or not to life, he summons the ghost of a werewolf, and he just happens to be that werewolf’s mate. There is a lot going on and it all happens on Halloween when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. 

Excerpt:

deadlysugarJett felt more alive than he had in a long time. His kitchen smelled of chocolate and vanilla, and the sticky cake looked perfect. Not even the white blob of whipped cream that fell to the floor when he lifted the whisk out of the bowl too quickly could dampen his mood.

He put on his shoes, not wanting to wait another minute before he handed over this magnificent chocolaty creation to his neighbour. It would make any man melt, and he felt giddy at the thought of trying it on the thin, brown-haired man next door.

Cake in one hand, the bowl of whipped cream in the other, he was ready to go. Slowly, he made his way around the cardboard boxes to the front door. As he tried to open it with his elbow, the tune of Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ cut through the air. Jett froze. He was dying to hear Josh’s voice, had been longing for it all day, for several days, but he needed to put some distance between them. The ache in his chest was overwhelming; he didn’t think he’d ever been this lonely in his entire life. He put the cake down on top of one of the moving boxes and took his phone from the pocket of his jeans. The butterflies in his stomach wouldn’t stop fluttering around, even though he tried to tell them it was over. Unless Josh changed his mind, they would never go back to being an item.

The display was lit, Josh’s name written in stark white over the black screen. Jett let his thumb hover over the green icon, the butterflies urging him on, but he managed to put the phone down without answering. He reached for the cake and hurried out the door. That didn’t stop him from hearing the phone start to ring again as soon as it had quieted. What’s making Josh so eager now?

The knot that had replaced the butterflies in his stomach made it hard to smile as he neared the neighbouring house. So typical of Josh. Jett had managed to forget about him for a few hours, had been excited about baking for the neighbour, and now all he wanted was to run back and fetch his phone so he could talk to his partner. His former partner, he reminded himself.

He tried to shut down his brain as he gazed up at the house. In the dark it almost looked like his, the white façade spooky in the moonlight, but still hauntingly beautiful. He shivered. He was being silly; this was the kind of house he’d always wanted. The fact that it was dark outside didn’t change that. It would’ve been better if Josh had wanted it too, but he hadn’t, and now here Jett was—in front of another man’s house.

With a deep breath, he raised his hand to knock on the door, but then he hesitated. Not a single lamp was lit. Maybe he wasn’t home. Jett listened. The wind rustled in the trees, and he thought he heard a soft clinking noise from the garden. Maybe he’s out working on something. Jett had seen some kind of garage on the side of the house, maybe it was a workshop of some kind.

He started to walk around the house. An owl hooted in the dark, making Jett flinch. He hesitated. He’d never been afraid of the dark, not really, but it was very dark. Raising his head and squaring his shoulders, he started walking, the gravel crunching beneath his feet. It’s just a few metres in the dark.

Where are you going?”

Startled by the harsh voice, Jett whirled around and almost dropped the bowl of whipped cream. “Oh, erm…I thought you were in the garage. Thought I heard a sound.”

As you can see, I’m not.” The neighbour stood inside looking at him, the door opened just a crack.

Jett tried to read his facial expression, but all he could see was the eyes glinting in the dark. “I brought cake this time.” He raised the plate and smiled.

The silence went on for a little too long before the man opened the door some more. “How lovely, why don’t you come in?”

Are you sure?” Jett suddenly didn’t feel certain about going inside, cold washed over him as he waited for the man to answer.

Of course, do come in. My name is David, by the way.”

Jett walked inside, carrying the cake as a shield. “Nice to meet you David. I hope you like chocolate.”

Excerpt:

thesnowflake

“Dad.”

“Theophile.”

Silence filled the barn, making its walls belly out from the pressure of it.

“Still playing with ice?”

The chainsaw grew heavier in his hands. Theo searched for something to say, but, as usual, no words came to mind. “Sculpting.”

Dad snorted. “Still trying to be an artist?”

“I am one.” And soon, when he’d figured out what his next piece would be, his dad along with the rest of the world would be awestruck by his talent, his innovation, his…another good word that would make the masses bow in reverence.

“Theophile.” He tsked and shook his head. “The world has enough of queer artists trying to milk the stereotype. Grow up and get yourself a real job. You don’t have the grace to play the role.”

Theo couldn’t say what was happening. His mind clouded with black smoke, a roar sounded in his head, and in the next second, he pressed in the two start buttons on his chainsaw.

Blood splattered over the swan as the blade cut into his dad’s skin and continued through muscle and sinew. There was a small kickback as the nose of the blade severed the spine, but Theo gained control of the saw at the same time as the head thudded against the ground

The body collapsed, blood sprayed in pulses, turning the wood shavings almost black. Theo stared for a moment, unable to take it all in.

He’d beheaded his father.

For some reason, he’d always assumed death would be quieter, more…unique.

“Do you think the customer will appreciate the dye?” Cat tilted his head to the side as he watched the sculpture.

The ice was melting, no faster than it should, but talking to Dad had given it a few extra seconds. The blood glimmered like rubies around the swan’s neck and down its chest. “I think it’ll melt away.” Sadly.

Would it be more morally appropriate to bring out the other ice block and start over? But if they didn’t know the swan had been baptised in blood, did it matter?

Cat shrugged the way cats sometimes do and left the barn. Theo followed him with his gaze and then continued to look out through the open door after he’d disappeared from sight.

Filling his lungs with air, he looked down at his father’s head. He came across as so much nicer when he was quiet.

Excerpt:

souleater

Sandulf Hunter howled. Indescribable pain had stolen his mind and a terrible realization of no longer being sane haunted his heart. Fire licked at every part of the body he no longer had. Fear mixed with hope of this being the end made him scream.

Little by little, a world formed around him. He didn’t know how long he’d been trapped in the darkness, fighting to get out, but now he could see.

It was night, and there were candles…

Memories threatened to drown him, and he snarled. Standing, he shifted into his human form. The wizard had forced him into his wolf form and had kept him there no matter how much he’d struggled to shift back.

A whimper had him whirling around. There, by one of the candles, was a man. He had his back to Sandy, swaying where he stood. Sandy didn’t recognize him, but it didn’t matter. All wizards needed to die.

His teeth grew, claws formed at his fingertips, and he relished having the power to change at will again. He leaped, ready to snap the man’s slender neck.

Right as he was about to make contact, the man turned. His chestnut hair falling into his eyes, his face contorted in pain.

Sandy didn’t care. He opened his mouth to tear out the man’s larynx and placed his clawed hands on his shoulders, only to fall through. The impact never came, and one confusing second later, he was sinking his teeth into thin air.

The man fell to his knees, screaming.

Had he bitten him? There was no taste of blood. He pulled in a breath, trying to scent blood—there was no blood, no fresh blood at least. Those candles smelled disgusting.

He scented the man again—divine. No!

The world spun around him. Clouds twirled on the night sky. His blood was on fire, but not in a painful way anymore. Instead, he was pulsating with need. He needed the wizard; the wizard was his.

But all wizards must die.

It didn’t matter what he smelled like. It didn’t matter who he was. Sandy pulled in another breath and groaned. His. The murderous little wizard was his. His cock grew hard and his teeth ached with the need to mark him.

The man cradled his head and sobbed.

What the fuck?

“Stop it.”

The wizard flew to his feet, his mouth agape as he stared at Sandy. He shook his head. “No.” The shaking increased. “No. It’s not true. It’s all a dream.” He looked around as if he hoped he was elsewhere. It had Sandy’s brain short circuiting.

He wanted the wizard dead; he wanted the wizard to never leave his side. He wanted the wizard gone, but he didn’t like it when it looked like he wanted to be elsewhere.

How had they gotten here?

Sandy could have sworn he’d been underground the last time he’d been conscious. Had this wizard stolen him from the other wizard while he’d been out cold? But could he have carried him all the way outdoors?

Sandy must outweigh the man by quite a lot, and while looks could be deceiving, he didn’t look very strong.

Memories of a narrow stair and dark tunnels flashed before his eyes. The wizard was on the small side, Sandy was not. He was big for a shifter. Maybe he’d used some spell to make him lighter…or smaller. He glanced down at himself and frowned at the black T-shirt. Hadn’t he been wearing a shirt, a charcoal dress shirt?

Studying the wizard with narrowed eyes, he tried to remember. He’d been on a date, hadn’t he? But not with the wizard. No, he’d have known if he’d met his mate on a blind date—right, it had been a blind date. Ric had set it up. He couldn’t remember who he was supposed to meet, though.

“Who are you?” Sandy crossed his arms over his chest and glared at the wizard. His mate couldn’t be a wizard.

A quick look around told him they were alone. He couldn’t see anyone and there were no scents other than the repulsive candles. Hadn’t there been another man?

“Thaddeus Ezax.” Thaddeus followed his gaze and looked around the circle too, then he waved his hand and extinguished the candles.

deadlysugar

After six years of a relationship going nowhere, Jett Thompson has moved away to start over. Maybe his new neighbour David can help distract him from the ache left by his ex’s absence. To get closer to David, Jett invites himself for a cup of tea, but things don’t go as planned. David is standoffish and secretive, and when Jett asks about the strange noises coming from the back of his garden, he gets no answers.

David’s life is good. He has a whole root cellar full of lovers, and he doesn’t need a nosy neighbour meddling in his business. He doesn’t need a friend, but maybe he can make room for another lover. Jett might make beautiful cakes, but David knows nothing tastes as good as thin feels.

deadlylies

After being betrayed by his husband in the most unimaginable way, Josh Thompson has only three things on his mind; grab his son, find help, and get out. When Josh can’t get to his son, the plan to save them both becomes a little more complicated.

Injured and afraid, Josh doesn’t know where to turn. When he finally gets hold of the police, the bodies he could’ve sworn he saw are gone, and no one believes him. Did he see them? His husband, Jett, tells him he’s been in an accident and is imagining things, but Josh doesn’t trust him. He has to get out of there before it’s too late, but how to get his son away from Jett when he guards their every step?

thesnowflake

Nothing inspires art like love.

Theophile Lekas has spent the last seventeen years trying to build a name for himself as an ice sculptor. Ice is his world, but he lives for Dylan Mincer.

But loving from afar isn’t enough, and if Theo wants to win Dylan’s heart, he’ll need to sweep him off his feet. And what better way to do it than with a sculpture that will leave Dylan breathless and the world in no doubt of Theo’s genius?

After an argument leads to murder, Theo is hit with true inspiration. And he has the perfect block to begin his project. For Dylan, Theo will create his masterpiece. And it will be as unique as a snowflake

Great art requires the perfect muse.

souleater

Detective Thaddeus Ezax is in over his head. He’s the only wizard in Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department, and it was his name that got him the job. The Ezaxs are known as some of the most powerful wizards in the world, but Thaddeus isn’t your average Ezaxs. Is it any wonder his family shuns him?

When a kidnapping case is dropped into his lap, Thaddeus must act fast. While most five-year-olds can cast a location spell, Thaddeus can’t and is forced to get creative. When he finds himself in possession of a black market werewolf skull with a ghost trapped inside, accidentally releases the spirit, and somehow forms a connection with it, things get even crazier.

Sandulf Hunter doesn’t remember dying, but he remembers the last thing he saw before everything went black — a wizard. All wizards must die! The only problem is, the wizard standing next to him smells too damned good, so good Sandy thinks he might have to keep him.

And since wherever Thaddeus goes, Sandulf finds himself yanked along, he might not have a choice in the matter anyway.