#SalesSaturday | Finding Home

#SalesSaturdayIt’s release day!!! 🥳 Finding Home is now live. It’s a collection of three of my Up North stories, so we’re talking small-town contemporary gay romances. 

This box set includes Around SevenBanger Challenge, and Once in May which are some of my favourite stories. It’s always hard to pick favourites, but these are all dear to me.

Around Seven and Once in May take place in Nortown, whereas Banger Challenge is a road trip story. The opening scene is in Nortown, but they’re having car troubles between a lot of places after that 😆

They all have a bit of hurt-comfort going on, Once in May being that with the most trauma in the background… or they all have trauma, but of different kinds. 

Once in May is past abuse which had led to John struggling with pretty severe PTSD. Around Seven is childhood trauma due to unfit parents, and Banger Challenge is dealing with the death of a parent.

But these are romance stories, so they’ll find their happily ever after with their special someone before the story ends. 

Below you can read the first chapter in Once in May, and you can grab Finding Home for 20% off in the JMS shop until the 3rd of March.

Finding Home

finding home boxset

Can a restless soul find a home? 

Three contemporary gay romance novellas. Three characters looking for a place to belong. Follow them as they put down roots in the small towns of the north. Oswald has never had a place to call home, but he can’t live in his car forever. Zen is lost after the death of his father and spends his time on the road. Zach returns to his hometown after several years away and finds something he never believed he would. 

Contains the stories: 

Around Seven: Oswald Sattle has been sleeping in his Toyota Camry for the last nine months. Out of money and out of options, he’s on his way to Nortown for a job opportunity he can’t turn down. Joshua Roth has everything he needs, but he wants to make Oswald smile. He keeps suggesting things that will make Oswald stay, but Oswald doesn’t want to overstay his welcome. Maybe it’s time to move on again? 

Banger Challenge: A month after losing his father, the only thing holding Zen Zeppelin Cave together is focusing on a charity junk car race to raise money for cancer research. He had planned on completing the race on his own, but a spur-of-the-moment decision changes that when he invites the adorable, blushing police officer whose driveway he’s blocking to tag along. 

Once in May: To hide 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. He should’ve known the peace he’s found wouldn’t last. One day everything is fine, the next Zachary Fane shows up wherever he goes. All Zachary wants is to be close to John, and if following him around is the only way, then so be it. 

Buy Links 

Contemporary Gay Romance: 102,893 words 

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

Chapter 1: Phone Calls & Problems


John Welsh banged the front door closed, locked the deadbolt, put the security chain in place and reached up to push the latches closed. Not until then did he dare breathe. He had no real memory of driving home from the café, but since he was here unharmed, he figured it had gone well enough.

As the tremors started up again, he hurried through the small log cabin, checking first the kitchen then the combined living room and office. When he couldn’t find any signs of anyone having been there, he dived for the phone on the old desk in the corner and headed to his bedroom.

It wasn’t really a bedroom. When he’d moved in, it had been a small storage space, but the first time he’d inspected it, he knew it would be where he slept. Big enough to fit a narrow bed and still leave a small aisle between it and the wall, the small space was crucial, as was the lack of windows. With only one possible way into the room, there would be no surprise visits.

Unlocking the door took longer than usual, but once he had it open, he slipped inside and shut it without a sound. It was a solid front door, not meant to be inside a house. He locked the three deadbolts he’d installed, double checked they were locked, and grabbed the cover off the bed. The hard, cool press of the walls against his shoulders as he slid down to the floor helped calm him down enough to hit the speed-dial button on the phone.

“Yeah?” Timothy’s deep grumble surrounded him like a blanket, and John drew in one shuddering breath.

“John? John, are you there?”

“Yeah, yeah I’m here.” He pushed the blond tresses out of his face, pulled his knees to his chest and let his head fall back against the unyielding wall.

“You want to talk?”

“No…not really.” Hearing Timothy breathe was enough.

“What happened?” An alertness crept into Tim’s voice, sending a wave of guilt crashing over John. He shouldn’t have called, shouldn’t burden Timothy. That was why he had the rules—to ensure Tim didn’t have to worry, but he’d ruined it by calling.

“I was too late.”

“Too late for what?”

John remained silent for longer than he should. He could tell Timothy was getting restless on the other end of the line. “I went to have breakfast.”

“You did? That’s great!”

No, it wasn’t great. He shouldn’t have gone. The rules allowed him not to go into town this week. He’d told Timothy he wouldn’t, and yet he had gone. Why had he gone?

“I didn’t make it out until…until…some people came.” His hands started shaking at the mere remembrance. That man—the owner of the dog he’d found—had come too close. He’d been about to touch John, but Tom had stopped him.

“So…you had breakfast in a public place while other people were around. That’s great!”

“He almost touched me.” John hoped Timothy couldn’t tell from his voice how shaken he was.

“He? Who?” The growl was comforting, even though John knew Timothy didn’t think a verbal thank-you counted as nearly touching. In John’s defence, the guy had taken a step in his direction.

“The owner of the dog that came by the other day.”

“He touched you?”

“Erm…no. He said thank you.”

A chuckle? Really? Timothy was laughing at him? “Oh, babe. People usually do when you find their long-lost pets.”

“He wasn’t long lost, he was recently lost,” John tried to grumble, but instead, he sighed. He rolled his head a little as his shoulders loosened. Timothy was on the other end, listening to every breath he took, probably measuring how fast they came.

“Are you starting to feel a little better?” Timothy had turned serious again.

“Yes, a little. Thank you.” He did feel better. His limbs were heavy, and he had to suppress a yawn.

“Anytime. I take it there won’t be any other breakfast visits this week?”

“No…I…I think I’ll stay in for a few days.”

“It’s only Monday, though. Maybe you’ll feel ready later on, around Friday maybe?”

“I don’t have to. I talked to several people last weekend.” He’d delivered eggs to the egg hunt. He’d talked to that Tristan guy when he and Tom had come to pick up the dog, and he’d even said hi to Tom in the café today.

“You never have to, John. You’re the only one who says you do. I’d love for you to eat breakfast in the café every day, gossip with the locals or whatever, but I want you to do it because you want to.”

John changed the subject. Nothing he could say about his rules or timetables would change how Timothy saw things.

“When are you coming to see me?”

“Soon, babe. It’s just… It’s a mess here. Anna isn’t…she hasn’t been doing well lately. I’ve had Lily a lot and…” Timothy’s voice trailed off.

“I’m sorry.” Timothy didn’t want to talk about Anna. She was Tim’s sister and, from what John understood, she’d been in and out of some recovery program. He thought it was alcohol, but Tim hadn’t been clear on it. Either way, she wasn’t around a lot, most often leaving her daughter with Timothy.

He shouldn’t burden Tim with his problems.

“No, no, I like having her. It’s just…a little too much to do sometimes. Talking about, did you look at the work I did on the site?”

John let him change the subject; it didn’t matter what they talked about. All he wanted was to hear Timothy’s voice, but he grew more tired by the second. Even if it was only Jen in the café, the breakfasts were exhausting. Today had been…

John yawned and tried to forget about it. After a few more minutes, they hung up, and John crawled into the bed, hoping sleep would make him forget.

Read Around the Rainbow | Someone insults your main character, how do they react?


It’s time for the monthly Read Around the Rainbow post. Every month we’re a group of authors who blog on the same topic, and this month we’re talking characters, more specifically:

Someone insults your main character, how do they react?

Had I been another kind of author, I’d written a bonus scene to show how one of my characters reacts, but I tend to forget them the moment I let them go. The little things that make them them disappear from my memory, and if I try to write them again, they’re flat, uncooperative people.

I’m also super stressed about Holly’s deadline that’s coming up, so I’m taking the easy way out 😆

I don’t really know how my characters react when insulted unless they’re insulted in the story, but the first character who popped into my mind when we decided on this topic was Thaddeus in Soul Eater.

Thaddeus is a mage, but a weak one. His favourite spell is reheating his coffee when it’s grown too cold. then one day, he happens to release a trapped spirit from a werewolf skull that he stole from the black market, and he realises that maybe he’s not a mage at all.

But for this topic, we don’t need to know what Thaddeus is other than him being a magic user. His go-to response when insulted, yelled at, attacked, accused, or anything really, is to throw blue sparks at people.

I’ll leave you with a little blue-sparkling snippet below, but before you go:

Check out what the others have to say on the topic!

Holly Day

A.L. Lester

Fiona Glass

Addison Albright

Ellie Thomas

K.L. Noone

Excerpt Soul Eater

Elora cleared her throat. “She was preparing wings to make the women pretty, but it’s their scents enticing her.”
“What?” Ric whirled around and glared at Elora. “What do you know about scents?”
“N-Nothing.” Elora glanced at Thad.
“Seriously, Ric—” Anger manifested itself in more tiny, blue sparks at Thad’s fingertips. “Get out of here. We’re trying to work. We have a few minutes before Elora crashes, and I want to hear what she has to say before she does, so if you could bury your massive ego for a couple of seconds, we’d appreciate it.”
Ric flashed sharp teeth at him, and Thad was tempted to throw a ball of fire at him.
Thad patted Elora’s knee and nodded for her to continue.
“It’s their scent, their magical scent.”
“Magic doesn’t have a scent.”
Thad didn’t so much as think, he flung a rain of blue sparks over Ric. They wouldn’t harm him, but they did sting. Ric hissed, but Thad spoke over it. “Magic has flavor. Every practitioner has a unique…taste.” He didn’t know how to explain so they understood. “As a psychic, Elora can’t sample it, so explaining it as scent makes sense. How can you be able to know what she’s thinking?”
They were running out of time. After Elora had touched something she—’fell asleep’ wasn’t the right expression and she wasn’t unconscious either, rather something in between.
“Not thinking. I saw the wings…sensed the hunger.”


Wrap-Up Wednesday | February

It’s Wrap-Up Time! I actually had #WhatToReadWednesday on my to-do today, but February is a short month, and I’ve got too few Wednesdays to work with, so I’ll do the Wrap-Up.

I read a few books at the beginning of the month, and then I got too busy chasing deadlines to have time to read. But we have a few titles.

Out of Focus by A.L. Lester

I’ve had this a long time but haven’t read it until now. A cute, slow-burn, contemporary story set in A.L. Lester’s Theatr Fach universe. I’ll definitely check out the other stories there!

Out of FocusAlex has never quite believed he’s good enough. Not as a person and not as a lighting technician. He hates that however hard he tries he can’t get his boss, Luke, to like him. In the two years he’s been in the job it’s become a Thing with him and he’s got a huge crush on the man. He needs to move on for his own sanity and his career and he’s just about to accept a job at a bigger theatre when one of the volunteers he’s bedded and dumped pushes him off a ladder.

Luke likes Alex a lot and has done since the day he walked through the door of Theatre Fawr two years ago. He doesn’t date his staff though, or do casual, and Alex is the epitome of casual. So Luke keeps his distance despite Alex’s constant flirting.

Will Alex’s injury give Alex and Luke the push they need to open up to each other? Or will Luke’s inadvertent discovery that Alex has a secret job offer push them further apart?


Blind Space by Marie Sexton

I reread Protection by S.A. Reid for Holly’s ReRead Friday post since The Devil Will Care is an alien prison romance, but since I read a prison romance, I then felt like reading a little sci-fi. This is great! I almost liked it better this time than the first time I read it.

51masnck1clCaptain Tristan Kelley enjoys the luxuries of Regency service, as well as the pleasure of his Prince’s bed. It’s an easy life, if not a happy one. When the Prince decides to take a trip through the perilous Blind Space, Tristan must go with him, but somebody in the Prince’s guard is a traitor.

Blind and held prisoner, Tristan finds himself at the mercy of Valero, a pirate who bears no love for the Regency. Valero is determined to seduce Tristan, and Tristan fears his resolve won’t last. His duty is clear, but so is his desire. As the days tick by with no word or ransom from the Regency, Tristan begins to question what loyalty means to his Prince, the Regency he’s sworn to, and to the man who holds him captive. He begins to realize that being a prisoner may actually set him free.


Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala

I’m not gonna bore you with more talk about Ondry and Liam. I read Blind Space and was in the mood for aliens, it doesn’t have aliens even though they’re in space, or not aliens-aliens 🙄 and this was on my phone… Awesome, as always.

Claimings, Tails and Other Alien ArtifactsLiam loves his life as a linguist and trader on the Rownt homeworld, but he has ignored his heart and sexual needs for years. After escaping the horrors of war, he wants a boring life. He won’t risk letting anyone come too close because he won’t risk letting anyone see his deeply submissive nature. For him, submission comes with pain. Life burned that lesson into his soul from a young age.

This fear keeps him from noticing that the Rownt trader Ondry cares for him. Ondry may not understand humans, but he recognizes a wounded soul, and his need to protect Liam is quickly outpacing his common sense. They may have laws, culture, and incompatible genitalia in their way, but Ondry knows that he can find a way to overcome all that if he can just overcome the ghosts of Liam’s past. Only then can he take possession of a man he has grown to respect.


Paranormal Protectors: Atlas by Michelle Frost

I’ve just spent a good chunk of time trying to find you a cover and/or a blurb for this one, and instead, I’ve now ended up frustrated AF. I don’t remember where I got this story, but it’s not available anywhere, so probably some giveaway/newsletter sign-up thing.

I caught Michelle Frost, the author, at a bad time. All my googling/Goodreads searching/Amazon searching has told me they’re in the middle of switching websites.

It’s a cute story about a barista being saved by a mage when someone is trying to take him out because he too can turn into a mage with a little help. It’s an interesting universe, and I wouldn’t mind reading more…if I could find the information.

Protection by S.A. Reid

As I mentioned above, this was my ReRead post over at Holly’s. I love this book, and you can read all about it here.

ProtectionWhen Gabriel MacKenna enters Wentworth Prison in 1931, he promises himself two things: never to be buggered and never to turn prison queer. Tough, smart, and ruthless in a fight, he quickly makes a name for himself inside. But Gabriel, saved from the noose by a social crusader, is serving two life sentences. And life is a very long time to endure Wentworth with no comforts but prison food, card games and cigarettes. To survive endless days without the touch of another human being…

Five years after Gabriel’s incarceration, Joey Cooper arrives at Wentworth. Every convict claims imprisonment through a miscarriage of justice, but Joey is truly blameless. Trained at Oxford as a physician, the young doctor is innocent of prison culture and too handsome for his own good. Facing eighteen years behind Wentworth’s towering gates, Joey cannot hope to survive without protection. And protection is just what Gabriel MacKenna offers. At a price…