character sketch: Rob from Inheritance of Shadows

Rob is a farm worker on Matty’s farm. He was born in 1884 and started working there when he was about thirteen. He’s now about thirty-five. He’s gentle and good with animals. He’s clever, thoughtful and quiet, a steady sort of person who likes to think things through before acting. If I had to use one verb to describe him, it would be stabilize.

He joined the army in 1914 when Britain first went to war with Germany and was promoted to Sergeant in the Signals by the time he was discharged in 1919. He’s largely self-educated, very eclectically. He’s a regular library user.

His wartime experience involved a lot of communications tech and he happens to find ciphers and codes fascinating and breaks them for fun. (This is extremely handy for my story, I have no idea how it happened, honest!).

Rob has been in love with Matty for years, but Matty was oblivious. Neither of them said anything to each other before they went off to the war, but afterwards, Rob decided that life was too short and fragile not to take a chance at happiness and made his feelings for Matty clear.

Their story begins in The Gate, which is free on the various ebook platforms and when you sign up for my newsletter; and it continues in Inheritance of Shadows.


I am trying to serialize IOS free, monthly for newsletter readers (not always successfully because of life-chaos). The following month, episodes then go to my Ko-fi for subscribers and hopefully when I finish the whole thing I’ll be publishing it as a novel.

an interview with Elizabeth Noble

Welcome to Elizabeth Noble, who has pitched up today to chat about her re-released series, Sentries!

Hello, and thank you for having me today! Recently I decided to find a new home for my oldest series, Sentries. I was lucky enough to place it with JMS Books. The first book, Marked Yours, will be released October 12, 2019. I seriously re-evaluated the book and the series and made some changes, particularly to the first two books. The story remains the same, but they needed a good re-edit. I also added some information that ties the series together in a much better way (I hope).

Tell us a bit about how long you’ve been writing and what inspired you?

I think I started writing before I could even read.  I can remember telling stories to anyone who’d listen since a very young age.

I write pretty much anywhere. I do have an office at home that’s my comfy space. I also have what I refer to as my outdoor office—I take the laptop to the patio when it’s nice outside. When I’m away from home I’ll make notes about whatever chapter I’m working on at the time.

I belong to a few online writing groups. I really enjoy it and these groups are a great source of information and support. There is always someone who knows something about a topic I’m researching, or has good marketing tips. No matter what a person’s profession, it’s always nice to be able to interact with others who do what you do.

Do you read the same things as you write?

I’m a reader of scifi, mysteries and sometimes horror (never watch horror, though). The romance books I read are usually in those sub-genres or BDSM. I also enjoy nonfiction subjects of canine history, archeoastronomy and geology/meteorology.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I have a day job (sometimes I work it at night), I’m a veterinary nurse. As for hobbies I garden and am an amateur astronomer. My younger dog, Finn, and I take obedience classes and we hope to begin competing at the novice level in Rally Obedience this November. Oh, and I LOVE my Netflix!

Tell me a little bit about your most recent release. What gave you the idea for it? How long did it take to write? What did you enjoy about writing it? What did you hate?  

A little more than a decade ago I was reading through a Live Journal—anyone remember that?—board where people looked for books or online stories with certain plots. There was one request for stories about arranged marriages and the very next was a request for two people who’d know each other all their lives but didn’t really get to know each other until they were adults.

I had one of those “aha” moments and the kernel of a story formed in my brain. That kernel turned into a gigantic plot bunny that evolved into Sentries.

In book one, Marked Yours, the two main characters, Todd and Nick, are bound to each other as children. They spend the time between then and when Nick turns twenty-two exchanging letters. It’s not until Nick is old enough that they are physically together. So, in a way they’ve known each other all their lives, but their pre-arranged bonding doesn’t take place until each man is an adult.

Marked Yours

When one society fell, assaulted by natural disaster, in its place rose another, molded into something entirely different. Protectorates were divided by beliefs and distance. Slavery was accepted and threats both natural and supernatural were commonplace.

This became a world where sentries were needed. Trained almost from infanthood, these tough men and women lived in a society within a society. They were warriors and protectors, ferreting out evil and defending the citizens of New Colorado Protectorate from inhuman terrors and, on occasion, human ones.

Todd Ruger was born into life as a sentry. Raised by a hard father into a hard life, Todd becomes the consummate sentry, tough, dangerous, and good at what he does. When he wasn’t quite into his teen years, he was bonded to a special young slave named Nick. For years their only interaction was through letters. Friendship turned to a sort of courtship between them. Todd lived for the day Nick became of age and Todd’s ownership would take effect. That was the day Nick would leave the village with Todd. They’d begin a life together. They’d make a difference.

Raised as a slave, Nick never wanted to be special, but nature had other ideas for him. He grew up in a village with other slave children and was taught to be useful to his future master because he a gift … or curse. The tutors responsible for his upbringing didn’t understand what Nick could do, what he was; they were afraid of him. If sentries hadn’t bought him, it was likely he’d never have lived to see the age of five. All that changes the day Nick leaves the village with Todd. He’s cared for and shown a new, better life with a man who loves him honestly and wholly.

But after being together barely a day, Nick is brutally attacked and injured. Though he recovers without incident, Todd’s heart fills with revenge. The guardian in him turns into a dangerous, driven assassin, a wolf on the hunt.

Todd’s obsession with tracking down the men who hurt Nick and making them pay could very well get them both killed. Can they survive and build the life together they’ve both dreamed of for years?

NOTE: This is the third edition of Marked Yours. The first and second editions were released by another publishing house. This story has been revised and re-edited with the end result being a better, stronger story.

Find Elizabeth

Website : Amazon Page : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads

Mystery, action, chills, and thrills spiced with romance and desire. ELIZABETH NOBLE started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M fiction. Being able to share her stories is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural.

Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess, a spunky Cardigan Welsh Corgi and their sidekick, tabby cat. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe and Cavs!). When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.

Elizabeth has received a number of amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

Website : Amazon Page : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads

A big thank you to Elizabeth for submitting herself to my questions!

interview with Naomi Aoki

This week Naomi Aoki has popped in for a chat. Welcome and thanks so much for visiting!

Why are you doing this interview? (A new book? A new website? A re-release? Just for fun?)

For fun 😊

What started you writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and at sixteen declared I was going to publish a book. At the time I was thinking non-fiction history and would never have considered romance even though I read it quite a bit. But as always happens, life got in the way and it was shoved to the way side until I went back to University and discovered how much I loved putting pen to paper… began dabbling in fanfic and then got the confidence to write original works.

Where do you write?

I’m either at a table I hauled into the lounge so I could work while my computer is charging or sitting on the couch. My cat prefers it when I’m sitting on the couch so she can curl up on my legs.

What do you like to read?

These days the books I read are very much queer and romance. I read very little MF and usually only if a character is transgender. Sub-genre wise… I love romantic suspense, historical romance and paranormal.

What are the three books you’d take to a desert island? Why would you choose them?

Does my kindle count as a single book? (EDITORIAL COMMENT: No! No cheating! 🙂 )

Okay, but choosing three books is hard as a lot of my favourites tend to be a part of a series. But if I have too…. Anna Zabo’s Just Business (Takeover Series Bk2); Tal Bauer’s Whisper; Drake/Elliot’s Shiver. Why? Easy they’ve all got memorable characters who no matter how many times you read the book, you never grow tired of.

Writing is an intrinsically solo occupation. Do you belong to any groups or associations, either online or in the ‘real’ world? How does that work for you?

I belong to my local writer’s group and while some days not much writing gets done or shared, listening to the older members talk about their life can be just as interesting… plot bunny fodder.

Online I belong to New Zealand Rainbow Writers. They are a really supportive bunch of authors who are all ready to lend a hand, an ear or even a virtual shoulder when needed.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing I’m usually reading, gardening or watching anime—or rolling my eyes at my youngest dd’s umpteenth viewing of Gilmore Girls. I love to eat Chinese or Japanese food, especially trying all the weird and wonderful flavours of chips the Chinese shops nearby stock.

Tell me a little bit about your most recent release. What gave you the idea for it? How long did it take to write? What did you enjoy about writing it? What did you hate?

My most recent release was Rueben (Men of Science Book One), an historical novel set in Shanghai, 1878. The idea came about as I thought there really wasn’t many historical novels that involved scientists—or anyone who wasn’t a Lord or a Duke—and the Victorian era is also when a lot of discoveries and theories on the natural world were made, including the theory birds evolved from dinosaurs. Setting it in China was easy. I’ve always loved learning about Chinese culture and graduated with a BA in Chinese earlier this year. (Though my speaking skills are woefully out of practice.) Many stories set in China tend to be during the Song Dynasty or Romance of the Three Kingdoms-esque, but I’m more intrigued with the social and political upheavals associated with the 19th Century. I think it took me four or five months to write. I loved being able to weave Mandarin into the story, but there wasn’t as much as in my previous book.


Reuben, Men of Science #1

Rueben would be the first to admit he was stubborn. He hated being told something wasn’t possible when there was no scientific basis for their claims. So, when his peers told him searching for fossils in China wouldn’t be a worthwhile endeavour, instead of quitting Rueben doubled down his efforts to raise the necessary funds to travel there.

But his arrival in Shanghai started with embarrassment and left Rueben fearing his distracted clumsiness had scared away his translator and guide, Yuan Xi, before they’d even left for their destination: the Taihang Mountains in Shanxi Province.

Yet Rueben hadn’t imagined the most important discovery he’d make in those mountains would be about himself. An overwhelming and confusing discovery that had Rueben wanting to run… had him never wanting to leave Yuan’s side.

Yuan Xi prided himself on being a sought-after translator, capable of hiding his anger despite the way his European employers treated him and his countrymen. Knew how to keep a smile on his face while being treated like a servant; remaining invisible until needed.

But this latest job could be hazardous to his health, and Yuan didn’t mean physically. The endearingly clumsy scientist employing Yuan made him question whether he wanted more than emotionless, casual relationships… and whether taking a risk with his heart might be worth it.

Buy Rueben!


Visit Naomi online

FacebookKiwi Authors Rainbow ReadersTwitterBookbub


Thank you so much for blog-visiting, I really enjoy getting to know people through these interviews. And Rueben is now on my tbr list!

interview: Kristin Noone

A warm welcome to Kristin Noone, who has subjected herself to my author interview questions this week!

A warm welcome to Kristin Noone, who has subjected herself to my interview questions this week!

Firstly, what prompted you to let me ask you nosy questions?!

A recent release and a re-release (or two)! My first F/F romance, The Ninepenny Element, just came out from JMS Books, and JMS is also re-releasing my former Less Than Three Press stories – the first M/M shapeshifter story, Port in a Storm, is out now, and the sequel, Fire and Ink, will be available again September 4… followed by the M/M/M polyamory superheroes of Sundown, Holiday, Beacon, also in September. Which I have to say contains some of my favorite characters of mine ever.

What started you writing?

I’ve been writing for ages – in kindergarten I wrote a five-page short story about a girl who loses a tooth – and the Tooth Fairy brings her a baby unicorn, instead of money! (I was a strange and apparently very hopeful child.) More seriously, I started writing in grad school – fanfiction first, as an escape and as a way to play with characters and universes that I loved. And eventually that built into my own original characters and world-building, and I sold a couple of short stories, and then I thought, oh, maybe I can do this! (I do still write fanfic, though! But much less than I used to.)

Where do you write?

If it’s just me home, mostly in the family room with my laptop and music! Otherwise, sometimes upstairs where the actual desk is. Or in a Starbucks, if I’ve got a break from teaching and want to leave campus for a couple of hours!

What do you like to read?

Lots of things! Quite a lot of romance – a lot of M/M, a lot of paranormal, a lot of historical, mostly Regency or Victorian – but also a lot of fantasy and historical fiction, and quite a lot of nonfiction, both for the professor day-job and for pleasure. That’s usually somehow related to scholarly studies of fantasy, romance, monstrosity, comics, gender, and medievalism, though I’ve most recently been reading Gretchen McCulloch’s Because Internet for fascinating linguistic explorations of internet grammar, just for fun!

What are the three books you’d take to a desert island? Why would you choose them?

Only three? Oh dear! Hmm…Patricia A. McKillip’s The Book of Atrix Wolfe, KJ Charles’ The Magpie Lord (can I have the whole trilogy count as one book?), and…some sort of three-way toss-up between Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch, Neil Gaiman’s collected Sandman graphic novels, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in a single edition.

The McKillip is beautiful – lush, lapidary, fantastic prose, full of magic and redemption and also kitchen magic and so many words for both food and love. KJ Charles writes such fabulous romance, with a gorgeous and detailed and diverse magical England and also crackling chemistry. Every time I read Pratchett I find him more profound – that rage, that love, that humor, that fierce compassion – and Night Watch is my favorite Discworld novel. Gaiman’s Sandman is sprawling and epic and weaves together mythology and heroism and grief and loss and family, plus the art is spectacular. And Tolkien because there’s so much to savor and linger over (and occasionally critique!) and have long mental conversations with.

Writing is an intrinsically solo occupation. Do you belong to any groups or associations, either online or in the ‘real’ world? How does that work for you?

I belong to a few facebook groups for authors – romance, M/M, LGBTQ – and also a few for professors and grad students, plus my academic association memberships in popular culture and romance fields! They can be helpful for motivation, advice, and also sometimes just sympathy.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Reading, probably! And working on the next scholarly book, which at the moment is about Star Trek tie-in fiction. But other than that…

Awesome Husband and I are sci-fi geeks and watch a lot of that genre of television and movies, but we’re also beer geeks and can be found wandering local craft breweries. Or playing some good tabletop games, along the lines of Pandemic or Ascension, or doing jigsaw puzzles.

Tell me a little bit about your most recent release. What gave you the idea for it? How long did it take to write? What did you enjoy about writing it? What did you hate?

For The Ninepenny Element, the idea was a combination of about three things: wanting to write something for the “nine” theme for the JMS Books ninth anniversary, and a sequel/spin-off for Elemental starring the older sister of Sterling from that book, and wanting to have some fun with medievalist folklore trivia about ninepence and magic! Unusually for me, the title came pretty early on – this one just knew what it was about. And it felt like it flowed easily; I already knew a lot about the world and Verity’s family (and annoying but adorable clairvoyant younger brother), so that part was easy. The trickiest part was figuring out the “villain” – he’s not really evil, just awful, but I always have a hard time writing characters I dislike! It did give me an idea for a third story, though…

And you can keep up with Kristin in lots of different places!

Website Twitter Instagram Goodreads

Thanks for coming to chat, Kristin!


Read about some of Kristin’s books:

Port in a Storm and the new re-release Fire and Ink

Port in a Storm: A M/M paranormal series, with a runaway kitten shapeshifter and the kind neighborhood witch who rescues him in the rain.

Fire and Ink: Three months ago David Stanton rescued a runaway kitten in the rain. Now he’s got an infamous — and infamously powerful — feline shapeshifter living in his house, helping with his white-witch business, and making him smile. David’s falling in love fast, but there’s still the problem of Colin’s past … and the secrets he’s obviously keeping.


Elemental and The Ninepenny Element

Elemental is a M/M paranormal romance with a blocked writer, a novice witch and a surprise exorcism.

The sequel, the recently released The Ninepenny Element is a F/F paranormal, with a witch, a lawyer, a hexed earring, and a ghost puppy.

(A ghost puppy, people!)


The Extraordinary Series, out soon!

Sundown, Holiday, Beacon & sequel Homecomings

Three superheroes in love! Or one superhero, one former sidekick, and one redeemed supervillain, at least.

Ryan, John, and Holiday have been partners — in every sense of the word — for two years. They’ve saved the world, fallen in love, and remodeled the secret base to include bookshelves and a bigger bed.

But Ryan and John have always been the public face of the team. The world still believes Holiday’s a villain. And he’s been using that reputation to stay undercover and share information. Tonight, though, Holiday comes home injured, and his partners aren’t sure the mission’s worth his life.


interview: Nell Iris comes to chat!

I’m really pleased to introduce a New Thing this week! I’m going to occasionally invite other authors to answer questions about themselves and their work and anything else they want to chat about. The first person brave enough to subject themselves to this is Nell Iris! Welcome, Nell.


Firstly, why are you doing this interview? Inquiring minds need to know!

Because answering questions is always fun? ? Nah, just kidding. I have a new book coming out on August 3, a M/M contemporary short (app 5500 words) story called Team Luker. It’s a story about a couple, Jools and Ellery, who have been together for 25 years and who love each other dearly, but now face some difficulties in their lives.

What started you writing?

I’ve always adored books and reading. I learned to read as a very young child due to my mom’s illness that made her unable to be as active as she wanted, so to keep me occupied, she taught me how to read. Since then, I’ve always existed with my nose in a book and have always been interested in the art of writing.

I’ve always loved writing, since my early school days. My teachers encouraged me and for a while, after high school, I thought writing was something I was going to pursue. But then life happened, as it so often does, and my plans for my future changed. Not until decades later, when at 39, me and my husband left our old life in Sweden behind and moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, did I decide to actually try to achieve my dream. It wasn’t even my idea at first; when I was out to dinner with my husband one evening, he looked at me and said, You know, honey, I think you should write a book. So I did.

What I didn’t realize at the time is that I have actually written in some form or other most of my life. I started a personal blog back in 2006 and wrote every day until 2018 when I decided I was done with that blog. In my day job back in Sweden, I did a lot of writing: I wrote routines for our customer service, I wrote offers, I composed letter templates, and I wrote campaign letters.

So I guess I’ve been writing my entire life. But not until 2016 did I sit down with the intent on writing a book I would try to get published.

Where do you write?

Most of the time I write at my desk, that’s jammed between the couch and the dining room area of our living room. It’s where I have all my pens and notebooks (I write longhand), where I have a little Funko-Pop Professor Snape glaring at me if I don’t do the work, where I feel most comfortable. But sometimes, I take my notebook and venture outside the door. Sometimes I like sitting in a coffee shop, or someplace I can have a glass of wine and write. Mostly, because I don’t want to end up becoming a complete shut-in recluse ?

What do you like to read?

Right now, I read mostly M/M romance books. But I also love poetry and am so happy about the Instagram poets who are bringing back interest to this long ignored artform. I’m also in love with children’s books, mainly middle-school books. It’s before all the teenage drama sets in, when kids are curious and still innocent, wondering about the world and their place in it. Where they still believe in magic and are open-minded, and the books written for that age group reflects that. My dream is to one day write for kids.

What are the three books you’d take to a desert island? Why would you choose them?

The Complete Works of Jane Austen (it’s ONE book, I swear, I have it!!) – because it’s six fantastic stories in one (all right, five, I’m not that fond of Northanger Abbey) and I love Jane Austen.

I would bring the book of Catullus’ poems. Gaius Valerius Catullus was a Roman poet who wrote love poems to a married lady who he called Lesbia in his poems, and some witty, and very vulgar stuff, about life in Rome. I discovered him in my Latin classes in high-school and have read and loved them ever since.

And I would bring Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, by Astrid Lindgren (the author who wrote Pippi Longstocking) because it was my favorite book when I was a kid and all Lindgren’s female characters are strong and independent and excellent role models even for grown-ups.

Writing is an intrinsically solo occupation. Do you belong to any groups or associations, either online or in the ‘real’ world? How does that work for you?

I’m a member of a Goodreads M/M writing group which is currently not very active, but it’s where I met a couple of my most cherished writer friends. And over the years (I haven’t been active for that long yet) I’ve collected a couple more. All my writing friends are online; I currently live in Malaysia where homosexuality is against the law, so my genre isn’t very big here. I don’t know of any other M/M writers here, and only one reader that I’ve encountered so far (Hello Amanda! *waves*)

I kind of like it that way most of the time, because I’m an introvert who easily gets overwhelmed in busy social situations. But sometime,s when my friends are going on writing retreats, I wish I could go. Maybe someday ?

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I LOVE reading. I read all the time, every second I get. Music is also very important to me and I listen to it a lot. I like to listen consciously, and by that I mean not just something that’s on in the background as I do other stuff, but put on a vinyl record (yes, we have those!), pour a glass of red and listen. I love going out to dinners with my husband, I like drinking bubbly with my friends (not too often though, introvert remember?), I love my bullet journal, going to bookstores, and drinking tea. And I’m currently trying to revive my old German skills (I took a lot of languages in school – except for Swedish since I’m a Sweden, I learned English, French, German, and Latin) and right now I’m trying to un-rust my German. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy learning languages.

Tell me a little bit about your most recent release. What gave you the idea for it? How long did it take to write? What did you enjoy about writing it? What did you hate?

My husband had a health scare recently, of the “we have to rule out cancer”-kind. For a while, I was really frightened and anxious; we’ve been together for more than 25 years, he’s my best friend, and I can’t imagine my life without him. And the c-word is just so damned scary, especially considering a couple of my friends have just recently battled it (or is currently battling it). So to deal with my anxiety, I decided to write.

The words poured out of me and I finished the story in a day. Granted, it’s only about 5500 words, but I sat down, wrote a beginning, a middle, and an end in only one day (then it needed some beta reading and editing and all the other frills, of course, like books always do).

The story is about Jools and Ellery and it’s inspired by my husband’s health scare and my feelings at the time. I loved writing it because it gave me something to focus all my nervous energy on, instead of just sitting around thinking “what if?”

In the end, the story turned out great and my husband doesn’t have the big scary C, and when it comes to Jools and Ellery…well, you just have to read their story and see what happens to them, don’t you? ?

Nell’s new release, Team Luker, is out on August 3rd.

What if this is the last time we lie like this?

Uncertainty is keeping Ellery Luker awake at night and robbing him of his appetite. It’s been five days since the love of his life and partner of twenty-five years, Jools, went to the doctor. Five days since the biopsy. Five days of going crazy with worry and what ifs?

What if Jools suffers from the same disease that stole Ellery’s mother when he was just eleven?

What if all Ellery’s worst fears come true?

What if…?

Read an excerpt and buy from JMS Books


Find Nell elsewhere!

Email:  contact@nelliris.com

Web –  TwitterFacebookGoodreads  – InstagramQueeRomance InkBookbub