Wrap-Up | October

Another month has gone by, and this time we’re doing the Wrap-Up Wednesday on a Tuesday because we’re having a guest tomorrow. I haven’t had time to read much toward the end of the month, but I did carve out some reading time for myself at the beginning.

Pressure Head (The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries 1) by J.L. Merrow

I started the month with a re-read. It’s been many years since I first read Pressure head, but I enjoyed it a lot, maybe even more this time than I did the first. Tom is a great character.

Pressure HeadTom Paretski’s not just a plumber with a dodgy hip courtesy of a schoolboy accident. He also has a sixth sense for finding hidden things. Called in by the police to help locate a body near Brock’s Hollow, he’s staggered to encounter Phil Morrison, his old school crush—and the closeted bully whose actions contributed to Tom’s accident.

Phil’s all grown up now, and Tom’s unwilling attraction to him is back with a vengeance. Phil’s now openly gay—and what’s more, he’s interested in Tom’s personal charms as well as his psychic talents. As a private investigator called in by the dead woman’s parents, Phil is sceptical about Tom’s unusual gift, but nevertheless quick to spot its potential to aid him in his work.

The further they go with the investigation, the less they can ignore their shared past, and the more the pressure and the heat build between them. But Tom isn’t certain he wants to know the secrets he’s helping to uncover, while there’s a murderer on the loose who won’t hesitate to kill again—and this uneasy couple is moving right into his sights.

https://books2read.com/PressureHead

Forsaken Fae: Book Three (Forsaken Fae 3) by R.A. Steffan

Look at me finishing a series!!! With Fae and BDSM. Actually, now I feel like reading more books with fae. I haven’t read many MM fae stories at all. I’ve read some MF, but it was many years ago.

Forsaken FaeSome people just want to watch the world burn.
Unfortunately, those people seem to be in charge right now.

Trapped at the mercy of a corrupt Fae Court, Len and Albigard must overcome their harshest challenges yet in order to stop the Wild Hunt and retrieve their friends’ lost souls.

Albigard’s father seeks to use his estranged son as a weapon against their enemies, the demons. And apparently, he’s not bothered by the idea of entire worlds becoming collateral damage in his endless war.

Meanwhile, the pair’s only potential allies reside among the dregs of Fae society. The Forsaken—outcasts condemned by the Court—carry a terrible secret regarding the magical imbalance decimating the Fae realm of Dhuinne.

If the three worlds are to survive, Len and Albigard must tame Dhuinne’s dark heart before everything around them falls into ruin.

https://books2read.com/ForsakenFae3

Dangerous Ground (Dangerous Ground 1) by Josh Lanyon

This I read by mistake. I scrolled past it on my reading app, sure I’d read it but couldn’t remember it, so I opened it. I hadn’t read it. With Lanyon, you know what you get, but I was a bit confused at times with this one.

Dangerous Ground

It’s complicated…

Special Agents for the Department of Diplomatic Security, Taylor MacAllister and Will Brandt have been partners and best friends for three years, but everything changed the night Taylor admitted the truth about his feelings for Will.

Taylor agreed to a camping trip in the High Sierras — despite the fact that he hates camping — because Will wants a chance to save their partnership. But the trip is a disaster from the first, and things rapidly go from bad to worse when they find a crashed plane and a couple of million dollars in stolen money.

With a trio of murderous robbers trailing them, Will and Taylor are on dangerous ground, fighting for their partnership…and their lives.

https://books2read.com/DangerousGround

Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures 1) by K.J. Charles

I picked up the audio of this from the library, yay! I get so happy when I find something I want to read at the library. I enjoyed it, not my favourite K.J. Charles story, but great all the same!

Slippery CreaturesWill Darling came back from the Great War with a few scars, a lot of medals, and no idea what to do next. Inheriting his uncle’s chaotic second-hand bookshop is a blessing…until strange visitors start making threats. First a criminal gang, then the War Office, both telling Will to give them the information they want, or else.

Will has no idea what that information is, and nobody to turn to, until Kim Secretan—charming, cultured, oddly attractive—steps in to offer help. As Kim and Will try to find answers and outrun trouble, mutual desire grows along with the danger.

And then Will discovers the truth about Kim. His identity, his past, his real intentions. Enraged and betrayed, Will never wants to see him again.

But Will possesses knowledge that could cost thousands of lives. Enemies are closing in on him from all sides—and Kim is the only man who can help.

A 1920s m/m romance trilogy in the spirit of Golden Age pulp fiction.

https://books2read.com/SlipperyCreatures

The Carpenter’s Secret (Family Secrets 1) by Noah Harris

I don’t know where or when I got this, and I was afraid to read it, to be honest. As long as I only saw the cover and the title, it was fine, but then I read that the series was called Family Secrets and I feared I’d manage to download a pseudo-incest book or something. I’m terrible when it comes to reading the blurb, and in many cases, it broadens my horizons, but incest – pseudo or otherwise is my biggest NO. Then I read it was a werewolf story and I heaved a great sigh of relief LOL. I liked the story, but if you’ve followed me for some time, you know I’m allergic to epithets and there were way too many ‘the man’ for my liking.

The carpenter's SecretDean Matthews leads a normal, boring life. Until that is, he finds a long-forgotten letter that changes his life forever. Leaving behind his respectable career, Dean returns to his grandfather’s farm to restore it to its former working order and to steward the land that’s been in his family for generations. It’s a choice that leads to a host of complications, including what to do about Mikael Reed, the hot carpenter with a dangerous secret.

The predictable life that Dean used to lead couldn’t have prepared him for Mikael or the complexities of his past. Their easy friendship soon turns into more, but eventually, echoes of family legends rear their heads and a decision must be made.

In this paranormal gay romance, you’ll be intrigued by family mysteries and the secrets that emerge. What happens behind closed doors can be spine-tingling, sometimes hot and sometimes sinister as Dean’s digging results in the illumination of shadows from the past and things that go bump in the night.

https://books2read.com/TheCarpentersSecret

Findley Black and the Ghosts of Printer’s Devil by Amy Spector

We have to have some spooky reads in October, it’s a rule! There is one huge perk with having author friends and that is that you sometimes get to read stories before anyone else does. This story will be released tomorrow, and Amy is the guest who’ll be here 😊. I enjoyed this short story a lot – the book shop is to die for.

Findley Black and the Ghosts of Printers DevilStarting over at thirty-four is harder than Owen Key expected. Lonelier too. There’s Bella, and the odd assortment of kids he’d inherited when a father he barely knew left him Printer’s Devil. But his bookstore employees and his cat aren’t much good when it comes to getting laid.

Findley Black says a lot of things. At least according to everyone at the store. When Owen runs into him for the first time during one of his ghost tours, with his leather jacket and flirtatious looks, Owen finds himself more than interested in what he has to say.

Owen may have been hoping for a one-night-stand, but when Findley asks to stay the remainder of Halloween night in the Printer’s Devil in hopes of seeing the ghost of a serial killer, he finds it hard to say no.

Halloween is a time for ghost stories and trick or treat. But running out of candy is a bad omen, and it’s hard to get lucky when something otherworldly seems determined to ruin your night.

https://books2read.com/Findley-Black

Honey Witch by K.L. Noone

A short, sticky FF read about a princess and her witch. I won’t reveal anything about the plot, you get to figure that out by yourselves. (Last I checked, it was free over at B&N)

Honey WitchWhere does a princess go for advice? In the kingdom of Rosewood, the answer’s simple: ask the honey witch.

Ursula has grown up knowing she’ll inherit the throne, and she’s devoted to her land and her people. But she wonders about her future, whether she’ll be happy, and whether she’ll marry for love. Beautiful earth-witch Esmerelda promises answers, divined in magical honey … and one smile from her has always made Ursula’s heart race.

Esme has loved Ursula silently for years, despite knowing a common earth-witch can’t hope to marry a princess, especially one so generous and passionate and worthy of a royal marriage. But when Ursula comes to her with a question about love, Esme can’t resist introducing her princess to the sweetest magic of desire … and some even sweeter uses for enchanted honey.

https://books2read.com/Honey-Witch

Fridays at Ofelia’s | The Truth Of Sweet Things

Trick or Treat

Today, fellow JMS author A. J. Morrow is on a visit, and I have to say, I love the cover of her upcoming story, The Truth Of Sweet Things (that you can pre-order over at JMS Books and get a 20% discount) Welcome A. J.

Hi there! 

I’m A. J. Morrow, author of The Christmas Arrangement, The Truth Of Sweet Things, and A Christmas Exchange (as well as several other projects in the works). When writing, I try to focus on a little bit of escapism–short, fluffy novellas, the type that make you feel warm inside. I especially love holiday stories, and those set in autumn. You can’t beat the atmosphere in the colder months!

My upcoming work, The Truth Of Sweet Things, is a short story I wrote after a long weekend back in my hometown, which reminded me of all the happy memories I have of the fall. It inspired me to write about the season–even if the focus is on a character who hates it. Of course, the main character, Becca, soon learns to get over this when she reunites with her teenage crush, Amy–an avid lover of the season, and a newly out lesbian.

One of my favourite parts of the writing process is getting to know your characters and settings. I try to keep certain things (like town names/places) vague so that the reader can imagine the places they’re familiar with, but I do still aim to get a good sense of the environment and people within the story. Hopefully, the atmosphere of fall–the browning leaves, the slight chill in the air, the pumpkins and novelty coffee and the long walks with people you love–will be one of the main take-aways from this story.

This story has taught me a lot about the art of short stories–usually, my shortest works are about twenty thousand words long, so this was very new to me! I really enjoyed writing this piece–shorter fiction is very different in structure and style to longer works, so it was a fun experience, and hopefully I’ll be able to take what I learnt into future stories.

More than anything, I’m just excited to get this story out there, and to see people’s responses to it.

The Truth Of Sweet Things comes out on the 6th of October.

Blurb:

Book cover the truth of sweet things by A. J. Morrow

Becca hates Fall and everything that comes with it; her best friend, however, disagrees

and decides to set her up with her sister, Amy, who she’s sure will change Becca’s

mind. Amy is charismatic and smart–and the woman Becca has been in love with since

high school. When Amy texts her out of the blue, will Becca come out of her shell

enough to pursue this relationship?

Excerpt:

‘Becca glanced at her watch. She was early, but the cold was bitter that day so she decided to head inside already.

The coffee shop was small and quiet–homey, even–with wooden tables and low hanging lights. Paper Halloween decorations were hung over the windows and across the counter, the orange of them matching the orange leaves visible outside. Becca slid into a chair on the far side of the room and took the menu from in front of her.

She stared out the window, letting her mind wander. As her eyes traced over a cluster of leaves dancing in the wind, she felt her anxiety melt back into the chair. It was warm inside the shop, warm and heady, and Becca was already tired from a day at work. When the waitress came over to get her order she stuttered an answer, somehow surprised that she had been noticed.

The drinks arrived quietly in front of her, the waitress smiling at Becca, who must have been quite visibly nervous. Becca took a sip of her hot chocolate and then turned back to the window, watching to see if Amy would actually turn up.

For all her intense watching, she didn’t actually notice when Amy did arrive. She was exactly on time–which fit her character, Amy was known to be punctual–and when she slid into the seat opposite her, Becca jumped.

In the time she’d been waiting, the sun had slipped out of the sky, taking most of the sunlight with it, but when she turned to look at Amy, Becca realised that she didn’t need it. Even in the dim, newly October light, Amy was magnificent.’