Guest Post | Chaos and Conjurations by K.L. Noone and K.S. Murphy

Today, we have K.L. Noone on a visit. They’ll be talking about their and K.S. Murphy’s story Chaos and Conjurations, so be sure to read on! 

Guest Post

Hi there! K.L. Noone here – thank you to Ofelia for letting me drop in to tell you about my & K.S. Murphy’s new release – Chaos and Conjurations!

Chaos is the second in the Regency Magicians trilogy, which started with Spells and Sensibility. In the first book, Captain Henry Tourmaline of the Magicians’ Corps had just returned—wounded—from the fight against Napoleon, and in his search for a cure he found a larger conspiracy…and the Royal College of Wizardry’s new head librarian, Theo Burnett, young and powerful and complicated, someone who offers help, but also has a secret or two…and just might be the most fascinating person Henry’s ever met…

 In book two, we pick up with Henry and Theo investigating—against orders—the magical conspiracy they’ve uncovered. They have no proof, other than what they’ve both seen, and the College simply wants to rebuild and pretend everything’s normal again, after the War…so Theo and Henry are on their own. Almost. With some help, or maybe interference, from friends. Including Theo’s brother. Who, as it happens, is a duke. And Henry and Theo will have to face questions of society, social class, and their future—if they have a future, with that looming threat to all of English magic…

With this one, we really wanted more action—both magical and of the enchanted bedroom toy variety!—and more drama (familial and otherwise!), but also more commitment, by the end: despite everything, Henry and Theo will choose each other. And we promise a happy ending, of course! And one more book to wrap everything up…

Here’s a bit more about Chaos and Conjurations! I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you enjoy all our Naked Gardening stories—I’m so excited to share this project with you all!

Buy Links:

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Barnes & Noble

Chaos and Conjurations

chaosandconjurationsCaptain Henry Tourmaline is having nightmares again. And this time he’s not even cursed.

But Henry’s worried. He might be healed — but the healing spell left his lover Theo in pain, their magic tangled together. They’ve uncovered an ominous plot — but, without evidence, the Royal College of Wizardry refuses to believe them. And Theo’s brother, the Duke of Baselton, wants to meet Henry — but also wants to introduce Theo to a wealthy baron, a more suitable match … who might possess more sinister intentions.

Theo Burnett tells himself he has no regrets. He’s in love with Henry, and a permanent magical headache isn’t too high a price to pay for Henry’s recovery. But he misses his peaceful life in the College Library, before he became entwined in cultists’ plots and perils. And now he’s got his brother to deal with, and a baron asking questions about him. And Theo’s last magical secret is about to come to light … explosively.

Together, Theo and Henry will face curses, cultists, and chaos … and their own emotions, as they fight for their magical happy ending.


Henry nudged the plate of iced buns closer to Theo, as rain brushed the window-glass of the tower. “There’s more.”

“Oh … thank you, but no. Go on.” Theo had a final sip of tea, set his cup down. The rain made melancholy sounds, paper-thin patters across the College’s old stone and neat grass. “I’ve got to go and check on the Library. At last.”

Henry hesitated. Too many words, protests, pleas, snarled themselves across his tongue. Theo had slept beside him, the night before, in the familiar too-small bed in the familiar small tower. Theo had not reached out for him, but hadn’t objected when Henry put an arm around him, trying to draw him close.

Henry himself had not had a nightmare, but he thought that was probably just weariness. A long carriage journey, concern over Theo, a late-night arrival and a thunderstorm as they’d crossed the College grounds to Theo’s cozy home, where Theo’d once taken him up to the rooftop and kissed him for the first time as nighttime lights and torches and stars came out to glow …

“Don’t say it,” Theo said now. “Not again.”

“I know you’re feeling … better.” That wasn’t accurate, or not entirely. In one sense, yes. Recovered from the backlash, the physical exertion. Faithfully drinking Dom’s anti-headache tea. Nearly back to normal — as long as Henry himself refrained from putting strain on Theo’s magic.

“I am, and I can certainly manage inspecting our collections and ensuring that the Silver Scrolls are properly stored and not growing tarnished, and also examining the archival records.” Theo resettled a coat-cuff; he’d chosen pale green today, celadon under mist, with a creamy waistcoat bearing delicate pearl buttons. He looked beautiful, classical, and expensive. “I want to know who else might’ve been looking at those ledgers, and those sorts of draining-spells.”

Henry didn’t want to argue, and did it anyway. “Those texts can –”

“Hurt? Seduce? Entice? Yes, I’m aware.” An emotion flickered across Theo’s face, too fast for Henry to pin down. “I’m good at my profession. As are you.”

“I didn’t mean that,” Henry said helplessly. Once upon a time he’d known how to talk. How to charm. How to conjure up the right answers, often with a lopsided grin.

This was different. This was him and Theo.

He looked at Theo across the breakfast tray. Short, glorious, and stubborn, Theo looked right back. Unflinching.

Henry thought for a second, astonished, that he and Theo did not after all know each other well; that they’d known each other for a matter of weeks, most of which had involved heightened emotions and intense situations; that his heart was completely Theo’s, but he did not even know Theo’s favorite color or whether Theo knew how to ice-skate or might like to learn.

He knew he’d taken Theo’s life apart. And had that been a hint of relief, that Theo might reclaim some piece of that well-ordered librarian’s refuge? At last, Theo’d said. At last.

The rain grew louder, clamoring.

Henry took a breath, let it go. “Your assistants will be happy to see you, I’m sure.”

“I shudder to think of the state of my request box.” Theo got up, collected plates and his teacup, took them to the tower’s tiny kitchen. Over his shoulder, called back, “If you’ve finished, could you bring your cup? If not, I’ll get it later.”

Henry downed the rest of his tea in one gulp — hot and sweet, cinnamon and roses, it scorched his throat — and came over into the kitchen, where Theo was industriously cleaning plates. “Here.”

Theo half-turned, and smiled. His eyes were very green, and warmer than the chilly wet morning; Henry felt hope unfurl like springtime in his chest.

Guest Post | Gentlemen in Love by Ellie Thomas

Today, the lovely Ellie Thomas is back on the blog! She’s talking tropes in her Regency box set, Gentlemen in Love, which is released today!!! Welcome, Ellie!

Regency Box Set - Promo 1

Thank you so much, lovely Ofelia, for having me as a guest on your blog today. I’m Ellie, and I write MM Historical Romance novellas. My first box set of previously published Regency stories is now on release, so in this blog, I’ll be chatting about the six stories in Gentlemen in Love.

In terms of popular MM Romance tropes, many of my stories contain an element of Hurt/Comfort. That’s particularly apparent in A Christmas Cotillion, where my MC Jonathan, forced by family obligation from his hermit-like existence, attends a Christmas country house party. Surrounded by merrymakers, he comes to terms with a painful past love affair, and his close proximity to local squire’s son Nick opens up the possibility for fresh romance.

Regency country house parties are an ideal setting for a Forced Proximity trope. In A Midsummer Night’s Magic, I couldn’t help but throw embittered estranged lovers Matthew and Crispin together at a Christmas gathering. In this Enemies to Lovers story, both men are trapped for several days due to a heavy fall of snow blocking all exits. Also, they are expected to socialise politely and even take part in a group recital of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Thank goodness a bit of supernatural twinkly love magic from Puck intervenes before Matthew actually kills Crispin!

The Enemies to Lovers trope also appears in One Summer Night. After an initial passionate encounter in a tavern alleyway in London, Martin makes all kinds of wrong assumptions about Will’s motives, casting him as a villain. It doesn’t help that Will is involved in a Fake Relationship and pretend engagement with his childhood best friend Imogen. Martin has no idea that neither of them is remotely romantically attached to the other. There is a sense of Opposites Attract about Martin and Will. Martin is upper middle class, steady, circumspect and prone to criticism, whereas Will is an impulsive, creative, free spirit. The differences between them cause Martin to misjudge Will while still desiring him. It was fun to untangle these knots of misunderstanding for their Happy Ever After.

There is another kind of Fake Relationship in A Marriage for Three when Anthony asks Charlotte to marry him, even though he is in a long-term relationship with his steward, Simon. Anthony’s proposal is purely pragmatic. As a wealthy landowner and a friend of Charlotte’s impoverished family, he autocratically sees marriage as a neat solution to help the people he cares for without any emotional considerations. Charlotte and Simon, far more sensitive than Anthony, have their reservations, especially when they start to develop feelings for each other. So having caused the situation, it’s up to Anthony to ensure the future happiness of his found family.

Opposites Attract is the dominant trope in The Thrill of the Chase, where shy, innocent Adrian is pursued around Regency Cheltenham by experienced rake Guy. I thoroughly enjoyed writing about the dynamic between these two, with Guy consistently ruining a potential moment of closeness with a crude suggestion, sending Adrian running for cover. For their relationship to develop, Adrian must learn to stand up for himself, and Guy has to rein in the cheesy lines and sexual expectations for some patience and consideration. Since Guy is an army captain, there’s an element of military romance.

In Shore Leave, Jacob is a Lieutenant in the British Navy, which also gives this story a touch of military romance. There’s a sense of Opposites Attract between Jacob, who is far more comfortable on board his ship than escorting his sister around fashionable Bath when he meets society beau Sebastian. But beneath his polished manners, Sebastian is emotionally reticent, and it’s up to both men to act upon their mutual attraction to blossom into lasting love.

Gentlemen in Love


In Regency England, whether about their daily business in London, attending a country house party or visiting a fashionable spa town, an array of gentlemen meet their match and attain a happy ever after.

Some couples find new love, while others rekindle a long-lost spark in this collection of six light-hearted MM Regency romances from Ellie Thomas, containing the following stories:

A Christmas Cotillion: Thirty-year-old Jonathan Cavendish has long given up any thought of romance. He grudgingly accompanies younger cousin Freddy to a Christmas country house party, as Freddy is infatuated with the lovely Belinda.

To his surprise, Jonathan catches the eye of Nick, a local farmer’s son. The initial attraction seems to be mutual, but can Nick break through Jonathan’s defences and teach him to love again?

A Marriage for Three: When Anthony Wallace proposes to Charlotte Grenville, she is shocked. Lottie has always seen him as an older brother, and she is also aware of his romantic devotion to his Anglo-Indian estate manager, Simon Walker. Should she accept this financial arrangement merely to support her ailing family? And will her growing attraction to Simon be a threat to all their happiness?

A Midwinter Night’s Magic: Matthew Lewis is trapped at a Christmas country house party by snowy weather and forced to take part in a reading of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. To make things worse, his lost love Crispin Marley, to whom he has sworn undying hatred, is among the guests. Can some fairy magic from Puck help the estranged couple to make amends for once and all?

The Thrill of the Chase: In 1813, when modest Adrian Lethbridge visits fashionable Cheltenham to help launch his young cousins into society, to his surprise, he catches the roving eye of Captain Guy Ransome. The ex-army officer is everything Adrian yearns to be; devilishly handsome, experienced and confident. So Adrian is in disbelief that the attraction is mutual. But can he summon the courage to act on his desires?

One Summer Night: After a passionate encounter with a stranger in an alleyway one summer night in 1801, Whitehall clerk Martin Dunne is shocked when he encounters the object of his desire at a society function, complete with a powerful father and a pretty bride-to-be. Is his seducer not to be trusted? And have Martin’s dreams of future encounters and possible romance crumbled to nothing?

Shore Leave: Jacob Longley, Naval Lieutenant, is all at sea in the fashionable Bath Spa. As he attempts to steer his younger sister Letty through the social whirl with a close eye on her reputation, his striking looks can’t help but catch the attention of the exquisite Sebastian Fforde. Will either man break through the other’s reserve? And could their mutual attraction blossom into love?

Regency Boxset Promo 7


Excerpt from A Christmas Cotillion:

Mr Hammond’s chance came when Jonathan was on the dance floor, already partnered for the next dance. Belinda, for once, was unaccompanied but still standing up, as though eager to join in. Mr Hammond was near her, but unfortunately looking in the other direction.

Jonathan glanced over in helpless frustration, not wanting to abandon his young dance partner in the middle of the floor just as the music was about to start. As he again looked from one to the other, he caught the eye of the handsome farmer’s son. He was serving refreshments amongst those who had taken part in the last set of dances. He followed his direction of Jonathan’s scrutiny clearly with a sharply raised eyebrow.

As if receiving intelligence, he nodded at Jonathan decisively, put down his tray on a side table and eased the few yards through the gaggle of couples approaching the dance floor and tapped Mr Hammond on the shoulder.

Luckily, just then the music started and Jonathan saw his expressive face indicating a social dilemma. He nodded towards Belinda and then pointed to the momentarily abandoned tray as if explaining why he could not partner the young lady for himself. When all had been made clear to Mr Hammond, he received a grateful smile from the young man, as though Mr Hammond was doing the favour. He then turned back to collect the tray and offered the contents to the thirsty crowd.

It was neatly done, with Mr Hammond now obliged by his very good manners to ask the young lady to dance. Mr Hammond braced himself and made his way to Belinda, face flushed with embarrassment as though expecting a rebuff. Instead, he received her hand and a warm smile. Jonathan didn’t realize he was holding his breath until the couple reached the floor, unimpeded.

After a hectic country dance, Jonathan and his puffing partner retired from the fray. He was satisfied to see Mr Hammond and Belinda remain on the floor for the next set of dances, now conversing with apparent ease. As he looked at this with a feeling of pleasure, a glass of sparkling wine was placed in his hand with a murmured, “That was a good notion.”

He looked around in surprise to see the farmer’s son right next to him. Close up, his eyes were very blue indeed and his wide mouth was curved in that increasing familiar smile. Jonathan felt as tongue-tied as Mr Hammond had been previously in Belinda’s presence as he stiffly thanked the young man for his assistance. He seemed unfazed by Jonathan’s constraint.

“Just call me Cupid, or rather Nicholas, or even Nick, if you prefer,” he said with another dazzling grin, before turning gracefully to serve refreshments to the guests behind Jonathan.

Book Links: 

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Books2Read :: Add to Goodreads :: Add to Bookbub

Regency Box Set Promo 2

About Ellie Thomas

Ellie Thomas lives by the sea. She comes from a teaching background and goes for long seaside walks where she daydreams about history. She is a voracious reader especially about anything historical. She mainly writes historical gay romance.

Ellie also writes historical erotic romance as L. E. Thomas.



Twitter: @e_thomas_author



#SalesSaturday | A Touch of Spice by Ellie Thomas

Today, we have Ellie Thomas on a visit! She’s here to tell us about A Touch of Spice that’s released today 🥳 Welcome, Ellie!

Touch of Spice Promo 2

Thank you so much, lovely Ofelia, for having me as a guest on your blog today. I’m Ellie, and I write MM Historical Romance novellas. Today is release day for my new story, A Touch of Spice, set in Elizabethan London, so it’s great to celebrate that here!

I tend to write about a range of historical periods in my MM Romances, so I always enjoy trying to give my readers a flavour of the specific period in which my stories are set. The Tudor period is so colourful and immediate and yet so different from our 21st-century lives in terms of attitude and customs.

This is the second story about my couple, Gregory and Jehan, who got together in last year’s Valentine’s tale, The Spice of Life, set in the early 1570s. For my new story, it’s a year later in their ongoing romance, and they are hoping to live together after some delay to their plans. So I wanted to place them firmly in the streets of Elizabethan London with day-to-day life bustling around them.

Of course, resource books are an invaluable aid in conveying a specific era. As usual for all things Tudor, I snagged my copy of Ruth Goodman’s How To Be A Tudor, which relates everyday life from dawn to dusk.

It was such a great help with the details of Gregory and Jehan’s daily life as they manage the spice shop in a lane off bustling Fleet Street. After some reading, I could also describe street scenes in terms of what people wore, how they acted and what they might say. This is where Ruth Goodman’s book How to Behave Badly in Renaissance Britain came in handy. I mean, who could resist an entire chapter on insults?

Early in my story, after Gregory visits Jehan in the spice shop, he comes across an altercation about a badly parked cart blocking the street. I simply had to follow the pithy comebacks of the time when the carter runs out of patience and asks the interfering do-gooder to, “Kiss my arse!” Some insults are as effective now as they were then.

In writing gay historical stories, I’m always aware of the punitive laws in past centuries. In 1533 under English law, sex between two men became illegal and punishable by death. Since it was normal for men to share bedrooms and even beds without remark, the law seems at odds with established and accepted customs.

It was fascinating to learn from How to be a Tudor, that much of the population might have been confused or unaware as there was no specific explanation of sodomy in this law. As Ruth Goodman explains, “those who took part in male homosexual behaviour, as well as their friends, colleagues and neighbours, could simply fail to see the connection between that which was condemned and that which formed everyday life.”

In this way, I could imagine Gregory and Jehan peacefully settling into their new domesticity, sharing the business, a home and a bed, at least privately, like any young couple starting out together, with little fear of outside interference to their future happiness.

Touch of Spice Promo 1


Mistress Cecily looked up from her stitching with a smile as Gregory entered her sewing room. Gregory felt a sting of nostalgia, that increasing sensation of being caught between two worlds. The safe patterns of boyhood grated against the exciting challenges of impending adult independence as he passed the age of a serving lad, only tied to this place by family loyalty.

As a courtesy, Gregory reported the purchase of the nutmeg and delivered his lady’s remaining money. Mistress Cecily nodded her head absently without bothering to count the change.

“And how is young Master Zanini today?” Mistress Cecily inquired.

“Both he and his trade are doing well, and he sends his compliments,” Gregory replied, the courtesy causing Mistress Cecily to smile more widely.

The Master and Mistress, Gregory’s de facto parents, had been delighted when he broached the notion of entering into merchandising. Jehan’s skill and knowledge of the goods he sold were never in question but Master Crossley had previously dealt with the business side of running the shop where Jehan was apprenticed. So the newly established merchant had scant experience of running a business and little certainty in his ability to notate letters and numbers.

Here, Gregory held the advantage. Growing up in a considerable household and being involved in its daily management proved invaluable, and Master Robert had guided him through the rest, poring for hours over the business ledgers and discussing how best to invest Jehan’s store of sovereigns.

If Master Robert had gladly imparted his knowledge of bookkeeping, Mistress Cecily had immediately bestowed her patronage on the Ludgate shop. Gregory reckoned that Master Crossley would not be dismayed at losing such a prestigious customer since he owned both premises, but Mistress Cecily’s friendly support to Jehan was a boon, as well as her recommendation of his services.

A few months after Jehan started trading from the narrow shop, Gregory was set to join him, openly as a partner in the business and privately, to conduct their burgeoning love affair. In overcrowded London, it was usual for men to share a room or even a bed without inciting gossip or moral outrage. Additionally, there was a small upstairs front room in direct proportion to the shop below, ideal for keeping the shop’s records. This chamber had a decent-sized window overlooking the street, garnering enough natural daylight for scribing.

Gregory had been preparing to decamp to Ludgate permanently in the depths of winter, when Master Robert’s elderly father had fallen down from the icy front steps of the Bishopsgate house. The doctor declared that Master Edward was lucky to get away with shock and bruising and a clean break of the bone in one arm. Gregory was a particular favourite of the old gentleman and had attended him in recent years more from fondness than duty. After the accident, not only did Master Edward require more practical assistance until his limb was mended, but the shock of the injury suddenly aged and confused him. For some months, it seemed that only Gregory’s presence could restore his good humour.

Neither Master Robert nor Mistress Cecily expected Gregory to remain to tend to their kinsman, but he could not bear to leave under the circumstances. After all, he reasoned, they had unhesitatingly opened their home and hearts to an orphaned boy. It would be unthinkable to repay those long years of kindness with desertion, especially when the old master needed him.

When he tried to explain his decision to Jehan, he feared outright rejection, even the end of their dreams of forging a life together, but although Jehan’s expressive face was sombre at the disappointing tidings, his dark eyes were full of compassion. “Family comes first,” He said. “You can’t desert Master Edward now. I sympathise, and I would expect no less of you. After all, if you hadn’t stuck by me when I was in trouble, where would I be now? You’re not the kind of man to abandon loved ones to follow your own desires, and I cherish you all the more for that quality. Never fear, I can wait a while longer.”

A Touch of Spice

atouchofspiceIn the spring of 1573, twenty-one-year-old Gregory Fletcher is a happy man, set to move into the spice shop on London’s Ludgate Hill with his true love Jehan Zanini, who he spared from being condemned as a thief the year before.

But Gregory’s kind inclinations to help others in need tend to thwart the couple from fulfilling their dreams as Gregory delays living with Jehan to assist his adoptive family in a crisis.

Then William Anstell, their friend and the cause and saviour of Jehan’s previous problems, gets amorously involved with an unscrupulous tavern server and relies on Gregory and Jehan to resolve his embarrassing mess.

Can the lovers finally put aside distractions and other people’s problems to find lasting happiness?

Book links:

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Books2Read :: Goodreads :: Bookbub

About Ellie Thomas

Ellie Thomas lives by the sea. She comes from a teaching background and goes for long seaside walks where she daydreams about history. She is a voracious reader especially about anything historical. She mainly writes historical gay romance.

Ellie also writes historical erotic romance as L. E. Thomas.



Twitter: @e_thomas_author