Coming Soon: Private by Matthew Metzger

Private MM

Private by Matthew J. Metzger

Buylink: JMS Books


Sixteen-year-old Shane has finally settled into life in the country, with university ambitions, a steady relationship, and a grudging tolerance for dance that is entirely the fault of his boyfriend, Luke.

Then Shane’s father gets his marching orders, and Shane’s time in this new life is put on a countdown. At sixteen, Shane could legally leave but has nowhere to go. And leaving the first real home he’s had in nearly twelve years doesn’t feel any better whether it’s for the wilds of Cornwall or the local housing association.

But in order to stay, Shane is going to have tell his very conservative, very military family his biggest secrets … all three of them.


“Come over for nine on Saturday. Anna’s got to take Megan swimming.”


“And Dad’s in London for the week.”

Shane ahhed in understanding, and grinned. “See? Sex maniac.”

“Just shut your face and enjoy it,” Luke said.

“Bully,” Shane replied, bringing up a foot to lace his boot. They were his old-old army boots, the ones he’d ‘forgotten to return’ (pinched) ages ago from the Bury base, made out of now incredibly battered black leather. Luke always turned his nose up at them, and did so again at the sight of the damp laces. “Whatever. You get your pointy feet-mutilators, I get boots.”

“Ugly boots.”

“Ugly tights,” Shane said, pointing a finger at them. Luke rolled his eyes but laughed anyway — until the distinctive coughing rumble of Dad’s Land Rover rolled into the car park, and Luke shifted noticeably away. Something twinged in Shane’s chest.

“It’s okay,” Luke said, frowning at him. “You don’t have to tell anyone anything until you want to.”

Shane grimaced. “I have to tell them something if I’m going to stay.”

“Medical school,” Luke said decidedly, and Shane nodded. “Good luck,” Luke added.

“Cheers,” Shane said, a little sourly, and then the heavy glass doors squeaked and Dad’s boots clumped on the carpet.

“There you are,” he rumbled, and eyed the trophy cabinet. “A dance studio, Shane?”

“I figured waiting with Luke was warmer than waiting outside,” Shane said casually, the lie rolling off his tongue easy as anything.

“Fair enough,” Dad said. “Alright, kid?” he added at Luke, who shrugged.

“S’pose so.”

“You, uh,” Dad eyed the tights, “dance here?”

“Yeah,” Luke said. “Ballet.”

“Isn’t that a girls’ thing?” Dad asked.

Luke reddened and scowled. “There’s loads of male ballet dancers, and some of the most skilled ballets are choreographed by men. Matthew Bourne transformed the portrayal of Swan Lake, and …”

“Alright, alright, didn’t mean to offend or nothing!” Dad said hastily, holding up his hands.

“Chill, Luke, Dad’s from the Dark Ages,” Shane said, deliberately keeping his body relaxed. Don’t react, and don’t overreact either. Don’t give anything away.

“Right,” Dad said, eyeing Luke from head to toe, then shrugged and clapped Shane on the shoulder. “Get your arse moving, kiddo. We’re going over to your nana’s for dinner tonight. Aunt Jenny’s popped down for a visit.”

“Aw, Dad!” Shane whined. Aunt Jenny — his mother’s youngest sister, and the only one of his mother’s family they were still in touch with — always tried way too hard. She’d dyed her hair blue last time he’d seen her, and kept asking Jase if it was ‘wicked’.”Please say Aunt Nessa came too.”

“We’re not that lucky, kid, now move it,” Dad said, and Shane groaned, hefting himself to his feet.

“See you tomorrow,” Luke called.

“Yeah, man, later,” Shane tossed over his shoulder, falling into the at-a-distance easiness he’d maintained carefully with every boy except Luke since he was twelve.

“How was school?” Dad asked as they crossed to the Land Rover. It was still grumbling to itself, and Shane slid gratefully into the warmth of the passenger seat. He felt tense — and a bit sick. He had to tell Dad tonight. He had to, but he didn’t know when, because Nana would enthuse about him going off to be a doctor, but that just meant Dad would put a lid on what he really thought and maybe explode when they came home, and…

He swallowed. “Usual,” he said.

“Cadets tomorrow?”

“Nah,” Shane said. “It’s the radio test for the newbies. No point.”

“Fair enough,” Dad said, rolling the car out onto the road and turning away from the town centre. He snickered, and Shane eyed him sideways. “Never thought I’d ever catch you in a dance studio.”

The sick knot intensified.

“Yeah, well, I wasn’t dancing.”

“No shit,” Dad chuckled. “Never told me your mate did, mind. That’s the Devereux kid, ain’t it?”

“Yeah. Luke.”

“Bit of a bender, then, is he?” Dad asked. “Your brother mentioned it before, guess he was right.”

Shane blinked. Liquid nausea flooded his stomach, red-hot and painful, and a cold sweat prickled into being on his palms. “What?”

“Bit of a bender,” Dad repeated, and made a limp-wristed gesture over the steering wheel. “You know, one of them gays.”

Shane bristled, and ground his teeth. “Doesn’t matter if he is,” he said finally.

“Relax, kid, I’m not having a go at your mate,” Dad snorted. “Just didn’t figure you’d get on with one of them fluffy pouf types.”

Shane swallowed hard. His fingers were shaking, and he curled them into his palms. “He’s a good friend,” he said numbly.

“Sure he is,” Dad said. “Least you know he’s not going to be going after your girl, eh? She dance there too?”

“Yeah,” Shane said. “Not today, though. She’s twisted her ankle.”

“Turned out to impress her for nowt, then?” Dad asked, then clucked his tongue. “Better luck next time, kiddo, but don’t let her get used to it or you’ll be stuck in that studio from now ’til kingdom come.”

Shane turned to stare out of the window, biting his lip. He couldn’t tell him. He couldn’t, Dad would think he was ‘one of them fluffy pouf types’ and he wasn’t, he was just Shane and he liked boys and he loved Luke and that was it, but Dad …

“Just watch you lock the bathroom door when you go at the Devereux house, eh kid?” Dad chuckled — and Shane’s mouth engaged before his brain was in gear.

“I have to tell you something,” he blurted out.

And then his brain stalled, the nausea flooded outwards from his stomach — and he threw up in the footwell.

Matthew’s Bio: Matthew is a character. Quite literally. He’s not actually real, he’s just kind of good at pretending he is. But he’s actually as made up as his books – elements of truth, but that’s about all.

Matthew is an author of primarily gay romance novels, both adult and young adult. He is looking to branch out into mainstream fiction, other non-traditional sexualities, and fantasy.




Stranded in a remote country village in 1920s England when his car breaks down, shy young Arthur finds himself drawn to the rough mechanic who comes to his aid, Bob Goodman. Forced to stay until the May Day holiday is over, Arthur makes the best of it, enjoying the village procession and fete.

But the villagers seem to know more about him than they should, and there’s a second, darker, May celebration that starts when the sun’s gone down. In the drunken revelry that follows, Arthur is whisked off in a wild dance by Goodman, who plays the part of Jack in the Green, the spirit of the greenwood.

Dancing turns to loving, but is everything what it seems? And is one night all Arthur can have?
Excerpt: (found at JMS Books)

The Morris men were no longer in their gleaming white shirtsleeves; to a man they had blacked their faces and donned their ragged coats, and the bells were silenced. The clash of their staves together now seemed to Arthur sinister, almost threatening. He shivered in the cool of the evening.

“I thought only one of the men was to have a coat of rags — their, ah, wardrobe master, or whatever they term him?” Arthur ventured to Mrs Ives, who stood proudly by his side as her husband and daughter processed past.

“That may be how they do things in some parts,” she told him with a sniff, “but it’s not the way of things here. You ask Bob Goodman, he’ll set you straight.”

And then, as if to speak his name were to conjure him forth, Jack in the Green himself came whirling into their midst. No longer a stately observer, now he seemed determined either to lead the dance, or to subvert it. Arthur stared as the giant figure flung itself about as if the great costume were merely a featherweight. There were cries of “Jack! Jack!” and other calls that Arthur didn’t understand.

“Where’s Robin?” a swarthy fellow by Arthur’s side shouted out across the revellers, his call almost deafening in Arthur’s ear.

“A bowshot hence in Inglewood!” came a reply from the other side of the lane, with the curious ring of an oft-repeated ritual.

“And the maid?” came the ear-splitting riposte. Arthur braced himself for another cry.

The dancers stopped.

The sudden stillness was almost as confusing to Arthur’s senses as the constant, whirling motion had been. Slowly, stealthily it seemed, Jack in the Green crept nearer to where Arthur stood — if such a monstrous being could be said in any sense to creep.

Even the evening breeze that had whispered its way down Arthur’s collar earlier seemed to be waiting, breath caught, for the answer.

“Who knows?” came Bob Goodman’s voice, soft but clear in the silence, sending a not unpleasant tingle down Arthur’s spine.

“An’ who the hell cares?” roared a Morris man, and amidst loud laughter and renewed beating of the staves, Arthur found himself seized by the hands and swung into the melee. Scrabbling not to lose his footing and fall, Arthur let the Morris men pull him along, turning him until he was dizzy, now pulling him into the fray until he feared he’d be injured by those great cudgels they wielded, now pushing him back out until his cheek rasped against twiggy foliage as Jack in the Green saved him from the ignominy of a fall.

Arthur’s head was reeling by the time they reached the green and the great bonfire set up there. The Morris men let out a great cry and began to dance around its flickering light. Arthur, it seemed, had been entirely forgot.

Satyrs, Arthur thought. They’re like satyrs, revelling in Arcadia.

The young women of the village were there already, bare of foot and loose of hair, waiting to welcome their queen to her own bacchanal. Arthur caught one last glimpse of Lily’s face, shining in the firelight, and then she was gone with her sisters to who knew where.

“Watching the women? Now, we both know that’s not your usual pursuit, my fair young lad.”


He had divested himself of his leafy encumbrance, yet the outlandish guise appeared to have left a lasting mark upon his character. There was no sign, now, of the respectful tradesman. He spoke to Arthur as to an equal.

Or at least, Arthur hoped that he did.

The breeze had picked up once more. Arthur shivered.

“If you’re wanting to get warm, my lad, it seems to me you should be getting closer to the fire,” Goodman said softly. “Or, as might be, farther away.”

Arthur swallowed, and started as a calloused hand grasped his own and pulled it up to roughened lips. He could feel the stubble that always darkened Goodman’s jaw rasp against his knuckles as black eyes looked deep inside him.

Available now from JMS and ARe


New Release: JL Merrow – Batteries Not Included

How would you react if you woke up one morning to find you were in bed with your favorite rock star? More to the point: how would the rock star react?

Animal rescue worker Sam is content to live a quiet life, dreaming of an unattainable man, rock sensation Cain Shepney.  Trouble is, his meddling mother, Lilith, thinks he deserves to have all his dreams come true—and she isn’t above performing a little magic to achieve her ends!  Sam’s shocked to wake up one morning to find himself actually in bed with his celebrity crush—but that’s nothing to how Cain feels about it! Suddenly Sam’s got to deal with an irate, naked, andvery distracting rock star in his bed.

Cain has it all—he’s good-looking, famous, and adored by millions. But his life takes a turn for the surreal when he wakes up in bed with Sam. Expecting everyone to be worried sick by his disappearance, Cain’s horrified to find his manager—and even his mum—insisting that he’s an imposter, and that the real Cain Shepney is right where he belongs.

Sam just wants to help, but with Cain convinced he’s a crazed, celebrity-kidnapping stalker, Sam’s got his work cut out to convince the object of his affections to trust him long enough to find out just what the hell’s going on.

Available in ebook:  JMS Books | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Note:this story first appeared in the 2010 Dreamspinner Advent Calendar, now out of print. This version has been re-edited, but not substantially altered.


I swung my legs off the bed, glad I’d slept in my boxers. “Um. Would you like some breakfast while you wait?”

Cain glared at me. “You think I’m eating or drinking anything you give me? I should have you arrested. Bloody date-rapist!”

We both jumped when the phone rang. Cain snatched it up. “Hello?” His face drained of colour, completing the Goth look. “What? What the hell do you –? No, of course it’s not a bloody hoax! Well, did she check? Neil? Neil?” Cain stared at the phone for a moment, then put it down without looking. It missed the bedside table and hit the carpet with a dull thud.

“Look, maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, here,” I said cautiously, “but — car not coming, after all?”

Cain looked at me, his eyes deep pits of despair, blacker than the kohl that surrounded them. “He said he’d rung my mum, and she’d told him the real Cain Shepney was snoring in his bed over at hers, just like he was supposed to be.”

I gave him a sympathetic grimace. “Mothers, eh? Look, you’ve got this all wrong, you know. I haven’t got a clue how you ended up here, either. And, you know, I don’t think anything actually happened last night.” At least, I bloody well hoped it hadn’t. I’d be gutted if I’d shagged Cain Shepney and then forgotten all about it. And I’d seen enough to be damn sure I’d have remembered it if he’d shagged me.

I stood up and stretched. Cain stepped back and pulled the duvet more tightly around himself. Possibly because, standing up, I was taller than him by around a foot. Or, you know, it could have been the raging stiffy that was doing its best to poke through my boxers in a way that could, in the circs, conceivably be viewed as threatening. “Er, sorry about that,” I said, looking down. “It’ll go away in a mo. I just need to think about my mother for a bit.”

“You sick bastard,” he muttered.

“Hey, not fair! Sick would be thinking about my mother to get a stiffy –” Oh, fuck. Thinking of Lilith had made me remember that bloody doll.

Meeting my Authors

Meeting and getting to know authors is one of my favourite occupations, particularly when they write books that I love. Pre my publication days I had never met an author. They seemed remote individuals, way out of my league. I connected with them through their books. I didn’t know there were conferences where you could actually meet authors. I think that is because I wasn’t online before I discovered fandom. It’s sad but I’m never going to get the chance to meet authors from my past because they have died. Now I’m not going to pass the opportunity to meet authors such as David Eddings or Marion Zimmer Bradley, whose books I loved with a passion.

Over the past few years I’ve fangirled many gay romance authors, and some of them I now call friend. There are still so many that I haven’t met. I must admit that some of my favourites don’t go to the conferences, but if I ever saw their names on the guest lists I would sell my kids to get a ticket. It’s all right, my kids aren’t going to read this. They need never know until I put them up on eBay.

One of the things that I’ve noticed in the almost four years I’ve been in the business is the increase in male authors, and picking the brains of Elizabeth North from Dreamspinner, she says there’s a 65:35 ratio of female/male authors in Dreamspinner. Romance is not a dirty word in a genre that encompasses such a wide range of writing.

Recently, I met T.J. Masters, who wrote Taking the Gardener. He makes great cake! I would happily visit his house for more cake. Thanks to Clare London (Freeman), another author with whom I bonded over fish finger butties, I met Liam Livings. I’d seen him at the UK Meet but he was busy busy. Liam has a lovely Christmas novella, Christmas Serendipity.

Of course, as a writer you get to meet great people, from readers and reviewers to authors and publishers.

R.J. Scott (The Fireman and the Cop), Chris Quinton (Carlyle’s Crossing), S.A. Meade (Stolen Summer), Meredith Russell (Saving Mr Fox) and Lisa Worrall (Monty series) are all pals, with mad skills, from the business to editing to beautiful covers. What I love about these ladies and our genre is that everyone helps everybody else. Need to know someone who can do something in the genre? Ask me and I’ll point you in the right direction.

I’ve mentioned but a few authors. I am definitely going to talk more about the authors in the genre, many of whom you’ll be able to meet at the UK GBLT Meet over the next few months.


Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot, and has become expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

Sue can be found at her website,; her blog,; Twitter,; and her Facebook,

Giveaway: Liam Livings’ Inspiration for Christmas Serendipity

UK Gay Romance blog post

I’d like to thank, Sue Brown for having me here. And to anyone who thinks it’s too early to talk Christmas, I’m sorry, but I’d just like to say there are houses round the corner from us, covered in Christmas lights up. This may only be happening in Essex, but I doubt it.

(You’re quite right, Liam, the lights have been twinkling for over a week in Surrey. Sue)

If people would like to be entered to receive a free ebook of Christmas Serendipity, please comment below this post with your email address. When do you put up your decorations? Sue will do some magic random picker thing (daughter picking out of the neon yellow bobble hat) at 6pm GMT, 8th December and I will send you the ebook.

Why do I like Christmas?

For me, Christmas is a time for a rest from work at the end of the year. A time to see friends and family, and to re-evaluate what you’re going to do next year. Last year we hosted Christmas and had 14 people either coming for a meal, or staying the night. Whether that was a rest or not is debatable, but we both really enjoy hosting, and it meant we enjoyed time with friends and family over the break. It felt like we were running a hotel, changing the bedding and towels. The BF had a meal plan for what we were cooking when, when our prepared meals had to be removed from the freezer. It was all organised with Cathy like precision. It was great fun.

Christmas 2011, we drove about 500 miles over 5 days to see family, so we thought we’d have a change from that in 2012.

What is my perfect Christmas?

I used to think my perfect Christmas would be what American Jewish people did in New York City: go to the cinema and have Chinese food. Or so my friend from uni told me. However, now I think I’m more traditional. It’s basically something approximating the time David, Tony, Cathy and Christian have in Christmas Serendipity. Also I don’t think Christmas is all about Christmas Day, because after all it’s only one day out of the whole year. For me, Christmas is the whole break from the office Christmas party, lunch in the pub, right through until you go back in January.

Opening presents in stockings with the BF, champagne cocktails and smoked salmon nibbles mid morning. A late Christmas meal, with Yorkshire pudding. Watching the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast, and then some favourite festive films. I like a good chat over the meal, and some more over cheese and crackers later that evening, but I’m not so into the games. One of my favourites is The Holiday, with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslett. I watch that every Christmas and every time it makes me cry. I also love, The Family Stone, which has Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton in it. They are both completely cheese on toast, but I love that in a Christmas film.

I do enjoy a bit of sales shopping too, in my perfect Christmas. Not Boxing Day, that’s still for friends and family, but the day after, that’s when we hit the shops. I normally have a list, which for those who know me, won’t surprise you at all. We would start at the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street, and work our way to the Tottenham Court Road end, via Covent Garden and Soho. Finally we’d collapse on a bus surrounded by bags, making our way home.

Why I wrote the novella?

My first novel was a large manuscript, which is being spilt into three novels – the Best Friends Perfect series, with Wilde City Press. At the start of 2013 I wrote another novel, And Then That Happened, and in a lull between that and my next idea I wanted to see if I could write something shorter, but still have fun, engaging characters which for me are so important. I’d never written a proper novella before, and I found I really enjoyed it.

The inspiration for Christmas Serendipity was when I saw the start of the story being played out by two female friends outside a pub in a market town in Cornwall, in summer 2013. As the woman who worked at the pub left saying she’d been sacked, I thought I wonder what they do now. And that was the start of the story, only with Tony and David.

The Cathy character started forming in my mind after meeting Charlie Cochrane’s daughter, Cathy at UK Meet 2013. It was the second time I’d met her and somehow she fell into the story as it needed someone to keep things on time, and smooth the way. I have told them about this, and as a thank you Cathy’s getting a copy of the ebook.

About Liam Livings

Three things about him – there are five more on the website, one is a lie.

1) He lives, with his partner and cats, where east London ends and becomes nine-carat-gold- highlights-and-fake-tan-west-Essex.

2) He was born in Hampshire with two club feet (look it up, it’s not nice) and problem ears, needing grommets: this meant he was in plaster from toe to groin until he was two, and had to swim with a cap and olive oil soaked lamb’s wool over his ears – olive oil bought from a health food shop, before it was sold by supermarkets.

3) He started writing when he was 14: sat in French lessons during a French exchange trip, for want of anything better to do, he wrote pen portraits about his French exchange’s teachers. He wrote for his school’s creative writing magazine and still writes a diary every day.

How to get in touch with Liam Livings

@LiamLivings on Twitter He told me he’s new to facebook, so please be gentle with him.



Christmas Serendipity will be published by JMS on 8 December.


 Buy links from 8 December: JMS booksSmashwords 

Just before the Christmas holiday, in a snowy small town in England, refugees of Christmas bad luck, handyman, plumber Christian and office worker David find themselves thrown together at miss Organiser, Cathy’s non-family Christmas.

Christian thinks the world has ended as his parents get used to him being gay, and disinvite him to their Christmas. David has just been fired from his waiting job, and is still getting used to the fact that he has dumped him. Although David’s ex was a useless cheating, money grabbing waste of space, he was at least, David’s useless, cheating, money grabbing waste of space. And now David doesn’t even have that. He’s not in the mood for a night out with his best friend, camp Tony, just before Christmas. Instead they retire to Cathy and Tony’s place, to find a quiet Christian.

With Cathy’s organizational skills  and enthusiasm, these four spend a non-family Christmas together, making the best of it. Together they drink, eat and play their way through Christmas, surprising each other at how it turns out, and how well they all get to know one another during the short break.

Refugees of serendipity and luck, David and Christian realize that spending the holiday season together may be just what they both needed, when they both needed it. They find that apart from both just escaping from awful relationships, they also have much more in common.


We talked late into the night, moving onto Cathy’s special Christmas spirits. “Only to be drunk at this time of year,” she explained. She appeared with a tray of snowballs—yellow advocaat and lemonade, foaming with a little red cherry perched on top of each one. “This’ll send us to sleep,” she advised.

We took it in turns to throw more wood onto the fire, until we ran out. Cathy announced she was going to bed. She’d made up the spare room for Christian, and she pointed to the sofa in the corner for me.

I looked at her, feeling slightly light-headed from the alcohol, and started to ask if she’d show me how to make it up. Before I could say anything more, somehow she’d managed with just one hand, to turn it into a bed and cover it with perfect duvet and pillows.

“Thanks, Cathy. Night.” I stood up, a little unsteadily.

She kissed my cheek. “Night boys.” And she made her way up the stairs.

Tony followed, waving goodnight to us both.

And then there were two. I’ll admit I did consider, for a brief moment, just following Christian to his room. But I decided he wasn’t that sort of boy, and really, neither was I. So instead, I opted for an awkward goodnight hug/kiss, standing over the remains of the Indian takeaway in the middle of the floor. The gentle glow from the fire and a few candles around the room gave the only light. He kissed my cheek and I his, before lingering for a moment too long on his neck, holding the hug as long as I could manage without seeming creepy. I felt his breath on my neck and I felt myself responding in my boxer shorts. We both pulled back and stared into each other’s eyes, his warm breath mixing with mine as I breathed in and out. He smiled. I stared into his deep blue eyes and kissed him again, this time with our tongues exploring each other’s mouths. He gently bit my bottom lip and a jolt went to my groin. I felt his hand on my bum, trying to pull me towards him, despite our legs being a few feet apart, separated by the takeaway. We fell onto the sofa, his small frame landing gently on my muscly chest. He sat astride me, leaning down and continuing to kiss me. His hands caressed my pectoral muscles under my T-shirt, tweaking my nipples, harder and harder.

Maybe he was that sort of boy, and maybe I was too.