Apologies for the longer than usual gap between newsletters – I was going to send one out a fortnight ago but events in the UK meant it would have been inappropriate. Even if I’d been in the mood to send one. Please raise a glass to Her Majesty’s amazing life if you haven’t already done so.
Three bits of big news!
First of all, my lot for the Children in Read auction is live. I’m happy to send a signed copy of Lock, Stock and Peril to the highest bidder, wherever they live in the world, so why not put in a bid to support a cause that’s close to my heart.
Next there’s another one of those smashing themed events, this time featuring gay romances all of which have performers in, including my double-header, In the Spotlight. And, as usual with these things, it’s time limited so head over and make a note of the books while you can.
All That Jazz
Francis Yardley may be the high kicking star of an all-male version of Chicago, but bitter, and on the booze after the breakdown of a relationship, he thinks that the chance for true love has passed him by. A handsome, shy rugby player called Tommy seems to be the answer to his problems, but Tommy doesn’t like the lipstick and lace. Can they find a way forward and is there still a chance for happiness “nowadays”?
If Music Be
Rick Cowley finds himself taking up am-dram once more, thinking it’ll help him get over the death of his partner. He’d never anticipated it would mean an encounter with an old flame and the sort of emotional complications the Bard would have revelled in. Still, old Will had the right word for every situation, didn’t he?
Third, but by no means least, a reminder that Love in Every season has been relaunched with that smashing new cover.
Four seasons, four stories, one connection – finding love.
Two men who hate Valentine’s Day discover they might have been wrong.
A Paralympic swimmer gets an unusual incentive to win gold.
Love and lust flourish under desert skies, but nature’s cruel.
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night gets a new twist.
Next morning, Jamie was first into the training room, stifling yawn after yawn.
Not his best night’s sleep. There’d been a phone call from work—problems on the plant that he needed to be aware of—that had spawned both a handful of further communications and waking at four in the morning worrying that he’d be called in today and not get to see Alex again.
He’d been the other root cause of sleeplessness. The book. The wink. A dozen little things Jamie had noticed through the day that might mean something and might equally be nothing more than a mare’s nest constructed around his wishful thinking.
Why did romance—especially in its early, budding, “does he fancy me or doesn’t he?” stages—have to make you feel so nauseous? He put his papers on the table and wondered whether he could sneak a cup of coffee before the fun began.
“You look worse than I felt after the dentist.”
Jamie almost jumped out of his chair. How—and why—had Alex sneaked up so quietly?
“Nervous, with it.” Alex grinned.
“Sorry.” Jamie tried to compose himself and not keep looking at the left side of Alex’s face, which seemed a bit swollen. What would that feel like to kiss better? “Problems at work. I keep thinking I’m going to have to go in and sort them out.”
“Oh, that would be a shame. To miss out on the practice interrogations, I mean,” Alex added, just a touch too quickly.
“Yeah. I’d hate to miss today. May be my last chance to practice, before next month,” Jamie said, trying to convey about a dozen different messages in his tone of voice and the look in his eye.
“And there was me thinking you were wondering who’d sent you that mystery Valentine.”
“What mystery Valentine?” What was Alex talking about? Surely the bloke hadn’t somehow managed to sneak a card through Jamie’s door, and he’d missed the bloody thing?
“Hey, I was only joking. Sorry.” Alex looked mortified. “You mustn’t have slept well. I’ll keep my stupid jokes to myself.”
“No, you’re all right. I just need to dose myself up with caffeine, and I’ll stop being an ogre and become my usual miserable self.” That definitely counted as fishing for compliments. He hurried on. “I can’t get out of my head the worry I’ll be called in.”
“Turn your phone off and if anyone from work asks, tell them had no signal. Somebody else can cover, can’t they?” Alex slung down his briefcase and jerked a thumb in the direction of the cafeteria. “Right. That coffee.”
Jamie leaped out of his chair. “I thought you’d never ask.”