Cover Reveal | Soul Eater

Can you guess what showed up in my inbox this morning? A cover!

Soul Eater is a 51k long paranormal story about  Sandulf Hunter, a dead werewolf, and Thaddeus Ezax, a useless mage – or so he believes. He comes from one of the most powerful mage families in the world, and yet he’s never been able to do even the simplest spells a mage is supposed to do. Things aren’t always what they appear to be, though.

Thad is a detective working in the Paranormal Investigations Department. He and his colleagues are trying to catch a serial killer, but when Thad comes across a spirit trapped in a skull, his life changes forever.

As he rounded a corner, he came into the main cavern. Table after table were filled with anything a magic user could need. Herbs, potions, knives, stones, and a lot of things he didn’t want to acknowledge.

The howl of a cat in a cage had blue sparks rain from his fingertips, but he tried to suppress it as he hurried past the market traders.

Pickering had the last table in the row—of course, he had. By now, Thad should have learned nothing ever went quick and easy. He held his breath as he stopped by the table.

“Thaddeus.” Pickering had short, red hair, and his face was filled with freckles.

“Einar.” Thad nodded at him.

“What can I do you for? Looking for a familiar?” He grabbed a cage with the largest toad Thad had ever seen.

“Ah… Eh… no. I was wondering—”

“A love potion?” He held up a tiny, red flask with a skull painted on it, and Thad almost laughed.

“No, thank you. Have you heard about—”

“Shrunken head?” He bent down behind the table.

“No!” Thad hoped he didn’t have a shrunken head back there. Could he ignore a shrunken head or did he have to report it at work? If a raid came out of his visit here, he’d be hunted for the rest of his life, and he did not want the wizards running the largest black market for miles and miles at his tail.

“This then?” Pickering tossed something at him, and Thad caught it. A buzz spread into his fingertips as he held up the…skull. Swallowing hard, he studied the sharp canines. The dog must’ve been massive when it had been alive.

“W-What is it?”

Pickering looked nervous as he leaned in closer and lowered his voice into a whisper. “Werewolf skull, very powerful. But I guess it’s wasted on you, mage.”

Werewolf? Was someone killing werewolves now or was it an old skull? Thad swallowed hard.

“Yes.” Why did it buzz? Thad was a mage, everyone in his family was a mage. Spirits meant nothing to him.


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.

Up North | Deleted Scene from Quinny, Focus!

ToolsA few weeks back I promised a deleted scene from Quinny, Focus! And here it is.

I started writing it as a dual pov story, but after some pondering, I decided to remove Will’s pov. What follows below is what I’d written when I left Will to drink his tea and work on his house without prying eyes.

William Johnson stared at the flaking paint on the window frame. It needed scraping and painting. The July morning was chillier than he’d expected, but the sun was warming his back.

He loved his little cottage style house. He’d been lucky to find it. And yeah, it direly needed fixing up, but he could do it. The carpenter job he’d been promised didn’t happen because of the pandemic, so now he was home all day with nothing to do. And lucky for him, he had some money in the bank.

To say his mother’s death had come timely would make him a terrible son, but the money from selling her house sure had.

His phone buzzed, and he grinned when he saw Quincy’s name in the inbox. The message made him chuckle. It was a gif of a tired man drinking coffee, and then Quincy asked if he wanted to join him for a cup on the balcony.

Will looked at the window frame and sighed. He could have a cup of tea with Quincy before he started—coffee gave him a stomachache.

Sure, he typed. Give me five minutes to get the kettle started.

He got a winking bunny in reply and shook his head while heading for the kitchen.

Quincy had sent him a friend request, and when Will had accepted—normally he never would, but on Quincy’s profile it said he lived in Whiteport, and since Will didn’t know anyone here, he accepted—they’d started writing personal messages to each other. Those messages had become the highlight of his day.

Quincy was quirky, always talking as if they could see each other, but Will played along. It made him less lonely.

Having a cup of tea in his empty, echoing kitchen was no fun, but having a cup of tea in his empty, echoing kitchen with a buzzing phone made him a part of the world somehow.

He looked at the cupboards. He’d removed the doors to sand down and paint. He’d bought a grayish green color that would look great in the old kitchen, but then he figured he should take advantage of the nice weather and do some outdoor work. Cupboards he could paint on rainy days.

Quincy: Ah, there you are. I thought you’d stood me up.

Will laughed and shook his head. He’d been here all along. Grabbing his cup, he walked over to the table and sat. He almost burned his lips, but aborted the sip, and started asking Quincy about his plans for the day instead.

They drank their beverages, or Will didn’t know if Quincy did, but he drank his tea once it had cooled down.

Quincy was sending several memes that had him choking with laughter, and Will figured there were worse ways to spend the morning.

Quincy: You’re leaving?

Will frowned and started typing that he wasn’t, but then another message buzzed.

Quincy: Just as well, I need to work. Thank you for the company.

A shark blowing a kiss followed, and Will chuckled.

Time to work then.

Quincy was working in telemarketing and could do his work from home, not that it was going well. People weren’t interested in buying things right now, at least not from some salesperson calling them up.

To say Will didn’t worry about the future would be a lie, he’d moved here to start over, but that wasn’t easy to do during lockdown. Maybe he should start his own company, but who’d hire a carpenter in these times?

Sighing, he got to his feet and went to deal with the windows.

****

A date. Warmth spread in Will’s chest. A date was… Was it too much? Cold followed. He didn’t want to lose Quincy; he was all he had right now—the only person he talked to on a daily basis even if it only was through private messages online. If the date went badly, he’d lose that.

He rubbed his neck with paint-stained fingers. Shit, should he have declined?

Ah, should he have?? LOL The poor soul didn’t have a choice, really. I had already decided that he would date Quinny.


quinnyfocus

Quincy Dean is one lucky guy. After months of virtual flirting, he’s convinced the man of his dreams is living next door. True, they’ve never spoken face-to-face, and William Johnson has never posted a picture of himself, but how many William Johnson’s could there be?

Quincy is positive the two of them would be great together. But if he’s ever going to get the chance to convince Will of that fact, he’s going to need to do it before his perfect man figures out he’s too good for Quincy’s little corner of Whiteport and disappears from his real life forever.

But how do you woo someone when you have to stay six feet apart? Direct messages are great, but they aren’t very romantic. And when Quincy begins to notice that Will’s messages don’t always match up with what he’s seeing through his blinds, he worries that even online he and his dream guy are drifting apart. Six feet or not, it might be time to ask Will out on a date.

Release Day! | Quinny, Focus!

balloons It’s release day!!!

Quinny, Focus! was an impulse story. I was nearing the end of one tale, and I was gonna write a story for JMS-Books that’ll be part of a series published in 2021 when J.M. sent an email with an in-house call for stories featuring dating during social distancing.

I figured I could use a short story between the longer ones, so I replied to the email, saying I’d write one. And I did.

It was my husband giving me the idea. I asked him what he thought I should write about, and he said a guy who is flirting with his neighbour, gesturing through the window. It got the wheels spinning. There is no gesturing thought the windows, but Quincy is convinced his neighbour William Johnson is the man of his dreams. He’s also convinced the William Johnson he’s talking to online is the William Johnson he spends his days stalking through the window.

Ty’s name flashed on the screen, and Quincy hit reply with a sigh.

“Hi, Ty.”

“Quinny!”

Quincy winced. “Are you drunk?” There was music in the background, though not too loud.

“Nah, had a couple of beers. I’m so fucking bored, I could die.”

Quincy rolled his eyes. “Mhm.”

“Do you think it would be so bad to break the six-feet-apart rule just once?”

Quincy took a deep breath. “Well, I guess it depends, but if everyone breaks the six-feet-apart rule just once, there will be a lot of breaks. And people are idiots, if they break it once, they’ll break it again.”

“Yes, but I’m horny. Aren’t you horny?”

Quincy looked across the yard to Will’s now dark apartment. “Yeah, I’m horny.”

“So you want to hook up?”

Quincy spluttered. “What? No!” Ty and he had never hooked up, would never hook up. Quincy loved him like you loved an annoying little brother—meaning he most often wanted to strangle him.

“Oh, come on, would it be so bad? We’d get off, and we know each other so it’s not like we’re endangering strangers.”

“Ty.”

“I know… I’m bored… And horny.” The sigh was deep, and Quincy suspected he’d had more than a couple of beers.

“You should do what I do and find someone online to talk to.” Quincy looked across the yard. The kitchen light had come back on. He hurried over to the laptop and opened it again.

Will wasn’t online.

Maybe he needed a glass of water.

“You’re still talking to the stranger?” Ty yawned.

“He’s not a stranger! He’s my neighbor and future boyfriend.”

Ty groaned. “Dude, you don’t know if it’s him you’re talking to.”

Quincy huffed. “Of course, it is. Everything he says fits, and—”

“Have you seen a picture?”

“No, he doesn’t have any pictures of himself on his profile, but it’s him. I went over there to read the name on his apartment door, and it’s him.”

“Quinny—”

“Stop calling me that! It’s not my fault I got a weird name, don’t make it worse by turning it into a girl name.”

“Nothing wrong with girls.”

“What in that sentence gave you the impression I think there is something wrong with girls?”

“Hey, now, calm down.”

“I am calm!”

“Sweetheart—” Quincy removed the phone from his ear, glared at it for several seconds before holding it to his ear again. “—doesn’t mean it’s him.”

“It is him. He just wrote he was tired and was going to bed, and seconds later, the lights went off in the apartment. And when I went to read the name on his apartment door—”

“Please don’t tell me you went there.”

“We’re allowed to go outside! I wasn’t licking anyone, I was going for a walk.”

“Up the stairs in the apartment building across from yours?”

Quincy growled. “He spells his name exactly the same, he moved to Whiteport in February, he doesn’t know anyone here, and he’s home all day because the job he was supposed to start didn’t pan out with the pandemic and all—it all fits!”

“How many ways can you spell William Johnson?”

Quinny, Focus! in the JMS shop (30% until Monday, then 20% off till Friday)

books2read.com/QuinnyFocus


quinnyfocus

Quincy Dean is one lucky guy. After months of virtual flirting, he’s convinced the man of his dreams is living next door. True, they’ve never spoken face-to-face, and William Johnson has never posted a picture of himself, but how many William Johnson’s could there be?

Quincy is positive the two of them would be great together. But if he’s ever going to get the chance to convince Will of that fact, he’s going to need to do it before his perfect man figures out he’s too good for Quincy’s little corner of Whiteport and disappears from his real life forever.

But how do you woo someone when you have to stay six feet apart? Direct messages are great, but they aren’t very romantic. And when Quincy begins to notice that Will’s messages don’t always match up with what he’s seeing through his blinds, he worries that even online he and his dream guy are drifting apart. Six feet or not, it might be time to ask Will out on a date.