Release Day | Scary Gary

First story of the year, yay! Today is release day for Scary Gary – a short little story about a harbourer of shadows and his Grim Reaper.

It all started with an image I saw on Pinterest of a man standing in front of a window in the dark and over the entire picture it said:

There’s a reason I’m afraid of my own shadow.

The first thought popping up in my mind was of a homicidal shadow trying to kill the one who’s afraid of his own shadow. It wasn’t meant to become a real story. I just opened a word document and started scribbling, thinking if it made any sense at all it could become a flash, a 300-word story, or maybe a blog post…for the fun of it, you know.

Well, being killed by your shadow has its pros and cons, right? I mean if you just died it would be a pretty boring story. Cue a Grim Reaper named Gary.

As soon as it gets dark, Micah’s shadow is trying to kill him, but even when it succeeds he isn’t allowed into the realms of death. This makes his life pretty lonely. He’ll live forever trapped in his apartment, and everyone he knows will die while he has to live on. The only one who’ll also be around forever is Scary Gary – the Grim Reaper who arrives every time Micah’s shadow gets the better of him.

If he could have Gary by his, eternity might not be so bad.


Micah Thaxter pressed his back against the cold brick wall, making sure no part of him was visible outside the shadow of the building. The air was thick with the stench of urine and the moldering trash that littered the alley.

His heart was stuck in his throat, but no amount of swallowing made it drop to his chest where it belonged.

How could he have been this fucking stupid? February meant darkness fell early, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. God, he couldn’t believe he’d allowed it to happen. Again.

After thirty years on this earth, he should be able to keep track of time, but the library had been warm and cozy, the book about the history of European kings and queens captivating, and before he knew it, shadows stretched into the illuminated areas.

He blew out a breath, pushed his glasses into place, and glanced across the street. There was no way he’d make it. If he stepped out into the lit circle underneath the lamppost, his shadow would separate itself from the surrounding shadows and it would come alive.

If he was outdoors when the sun dropped and his shadow got enough light to hold its shape unmarred by any other shades, it got a life of its own. He’d been born this way, had adjusted his existence, and normally all went well. When he wasn’t being stupid or became too engrossed in the lives of long-lost kings, it went well.

His building was right there, his door mocking him from forty feet away, a soft glow coming from his kitchen window. So close and yet so far away.

Filling his lungs with the putrid air, he prepared to run. Every muscle in his body tensed before he leaped. His feet hit the asphalt—one step, two.

A chilling chuckle echoed in his ears. He managed one more step before his shadow no longer followed him. One second it was copying his motions, the next its arms reached for him.

The ghostly fingers grabbed Micah’s shoulders, one hand moved up to curl around his throat as his shadow stepped in front of him to block his path, its feet the only part that couldn’t break free of Micah. The chuckle bled into a manic laugh as black dots invaded his vision.

He tried not to panic, silently praying he wouldn’t have to explain to Gary what had happened. His lungs burned and his pulse thundered. No amount of clawing at the hand choking him made it corporeal. His nails scraped the skin on his throat, but he didn’t have time to think about what the stinging burn or the wetness trickling down his chest meant.

He kicked.

He hit.

He scratched.

But there was nothing there—nothing except laughter.

Gary! Had he been able to, he’d have cried for Gary, begged him to come. Gary. His heart slowed, his shadow tsk-ing in his mind. His body grew heavy right before his knees buckled. The second before the world went black, there was a crack of lightning followed by blue smoke, but despite Micah knowing Gary had arrived, he couldn’t fight the darkness any longer.


Micah Thaxter has a problem—one scary, inconvenient problem. His shadow wants him dead and isn’t shy about it.

On the plus side, it’s not his time to die and Scary Gary is always there to carry him back to the land of the living. Gary is far too pale, his black cloak a bit out of fashion, and his scythe quite terrifying, but he’s still one of the most beautiful men Micah has ever seen.

Micah may be stuck with a homicidal shadow, but perhaps there’s a way to keep Gary around too. His job escorting souls keeps him busy, but since Micah has already died once today, Gary’s there. So what’s the harm in offering him a cup of tea?

Where You Lead

It’s no secret I’m a Mary Calmes fan, and luckily for me, she writes a lot and I always save her books for when I’m in a ‘Calmes mood’, and now I was in a Calmes mood LOL. Where You Lead is a rather short story about Peter and Carver.

We get their background story, how they met, and how things were before they did, and it’s all in traditional Calmes possessiveness. But when we’re dropped into the story Peter and Carver are going to celebrate Christmas with Carver’s parents, the only problem is that Carver intends to stay there. His mother is poorly and his father needs help taking care of her. He’s been too afraid to tell Peter until now, though.

He needs Peter to move there with him, needs it.

Peter is heartbroken, he loves Carver but he also loves his job and moving to a small town with all the nosy people getting in everyone’s business isn’t at all what he had planned in life. But can he survive a long-distance relationship? Can the relationship survive long distance? And really is his life in the city more important than Carver and his family? And so typical Carver to spring this on him now, like this.

If you’re looking for a cosy little Christmas read, this is for you. I loved it!

Where You LeadATF agent Peter Lomax isn’t a hearts and flowers kind of guy, but he can be possessive, and it caused problems until Carver Fleming. Carver may be part of the art world, but he gets Peter, loves belonging to the man, and Peter treasures the way Carver understands them together.

Carver loves Peter, but he’s fully aware that six months doth not a commitment make. Carver wants to make the relationship last forever, but he’ll have to leave their life in Chicago to take care of the family he loves. He wants to do it with Peter by his side, but going from the city of Chicago to tiny Colt, Kentucky is a big change.

Carver has only one Christmas wish: Please, oh please, let Peter fall enough in love with Carver’s family to follow Carver home.

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End of the Year Sales

Merry Christmas, everyone! There aren’t many days left of this year, of this decade, in fact. I’m perfectly fine with another year gone by, but thinking in ten-year chunks does scare me a bit, I have to admit. Not that I fear getting older, but ten more years and the kids will be on their way out of the house, and where does that leave me?

But, I’m not posting here today to speculate about where I’ll be in 2030, I wanted to let you know that, as always, when we’re coming to the end of the year, there will be some book sales.

Right now there are two different sales running, a Holiday Sale over at JMS-Books, and Smashwords End Of The Year Sale. So if you want some books to read over the holidays, you’ll find mine here:

Holiday Sale at JMS-books, ends on the 26th

Holiday sale

Cup o’ Sugar – 40% off

Jaeger’s Lost and Found – 40% off

Legendary Loves (anthology) – 40% off

Nine Stones – 40% off

Pine Tree Mary – 40% off

Turning Wood – 40% off

Smashwords End of Year Sale, ends on January 1st

25% off

Jaeger’s Lost and Found – 25% off

Nine Stones – 25% off

Pine Tree Mary – 25% off

50% off

Turning wood – 50% off

It Doesn’t Translate – 50% off

The Maddest of Men – 50% off

The Lords of Lettuce – 50% off

Legendary Loves Vol 1 – 50% off

Silent Woods – 50% off

Summer Bigger Than Others – 50% off

Love Unlocked – 50% off

Never Too Late – 50% off

Seasons of Love – 50% off

He Melted Us – 50% off

Buried Desires 1 – 50% off

Deadly Sugar (Deadly Sugar 1) – 50% off

Buried Desires 2 – 50% off

Deadly Lies (Deadly Sugar 2) – 50% off

Deadly Sugar Collection – 50% off

Buried Desires 3 – 50% off

The Snowflake – 50% off

Once in a Snowstorm (Nortown 1) – 50% off

Once in a Forest (Nortown 2) – 50% off

Once in May (Nortown 3) – 50% off

Once in the Underworld (Nortown 4) – 50% off

Once Around Seven (Nortown 5) – 50% off

100% off

From All of Us to All of You – 100% off

Dazzle Me – 100% off

The Empty Egg (Nortown 2.5) – 100% off

Happy Endings (Nortown 3.5) – 100% off

Just Words (Nortown 4.5) – 100% off

Honey Baked (Nortown 5.5) – 100% off

Falling Through – 100% off

Trapped – 100% off

Happy shopping!