Exciting times!

Wow! I know this sound silly and a little naive… but I’VE GOT THREE AMAZON REVIEWS! Or rather Love’s Magic does. And they’re all 4 or 5-Stars! To me, this is tremendously exciting.

At the moment though, I find myself buried in the Love’s Magic sequel, Love’s Trials. Been working with my cover designer, the wonderful and amazing Robin Vuchnich at My Custom Book Cover.

Frankly, I had despaired of ever finding a cover designer who could do the things I desperately wanted done for Love’s Trials. I’d already worked with three others, and was beginning to doubt I’d ever get the look I longed for. But Robin nailed it! I can’t wait to show all of you the amazing look she designed for Colin and Joshua. You’re going to love it! I know I do!

When I wasn’t looking at Robin’s amazing designs, I’ve been frantically doing a final pass on Love’s Trials before it goes off to my editor.

It’s like having two children of two separate ages. One is taking his first steps, and the other has yet to be born. But… I love both of them!!


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The Healer

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The Healer – Janice Jarrell

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The Healer – Janice Jarrell

Colin bent over the girl who sat, sobbing, in the hard, wooden chair. His hand moved to touch her, then halted as if thinking better of the gesture. Joshua watched him, purposefully keeping his distance, shaking off the mist of tears that threatened his deep, brown eyes. Tears would never do, he knew that. Colin would give him that look. The one that let him know he had shown too much emotion.

The girl raised her eyes to Colin’s face and Joshua saw him smile. Not the cocky Irish grin he normally carried like shield, but a soft, gentle smile, a smile that let her know he was there for her, a smile that let her know she was under his protection now and that he would never allow harm to come to her.

“Make no mistake about it,” he told the girl, his deep voice rich with assurance, “I will personally catch this low-life son-of-a-bitch and when I do, I promise you he will regret the day he was born.”

The girl looked up at him and her sobs slowed. Nothing could mitigate the trauma of what she’d been through. But Colin loomed over her like an avenging angel with his wings spread in protection, and his superb build left no doubt about his ability to back up his words with whatever action was required.

“Your name’s Jessica Winfried, right? And that’s your correct address?” He showed Jessica his notepad and she nodded. “OK, then. Don, over there, is going to take you back to your dorm, and I’ll swing by later to make sure you’re OK.”

“Thank you, Sargent.”

Colin took her arm as she rose. “And you’re going to remember the things we talked about, right? You have the counselor’s number and you promised me you’d call.”

Jessica nodded. She bit her lip and looked up at him, hesitated for a moment, then impulsively hugged him. Colin smiled and gently hugged her back with one arm, then turned and walked her to where Joshua stood waiting.

“This is Josh,” he said, reaching to lay his hand on Joshua’s arm. “He’s our Title IX Consultant. But more than that, he’s a great guy and one of my best friends.”

Joshua felt his heart slam against his ribcage. One of his best friends? He glanced at Colin, hoping that the feelings in his heart weren’t showing in his eyes, then turned to Jessica and extended his hand. “It’s good to meet you, Jessica, though I’m terribly sorry about the circumstances.” He saw her throw a hesitant glance at Colin and move a tiny bit closer to him. But she took Joshua’s hand in hers.

“I’ll be working with Colin to help you get through this,” he told her. “We’re going to make sure that you get the care and help you need and deserve. And if there’s anything you need or that either of us can do, all you have to do is call.” He handed her his card. “Please call me to set up an appointment once you’re feeling a bit better.”

“We’re the toughest, smartest team at this University,” Colin told her, now flashing his trademark, cocky grin. “We’re like the Avengers!” He laid his hand on her shoulder. “Trust me. You couldn’t be in better hands.” He turned to the campus police officer who had just approached them. “This is Don,” he told her. “He’s going to escort you back to your dorm, and I’ll be talking to you soon.”

Jessica started toward the door, then turned back to Colin. “Thank you, Sargent.”

Colin nodded and watched in silence as she walked away, then he lowered his head and stared at the floor. For a count of three he stood motionless, then he hissed out a disgusted breath. “Son-of-a…,” He shuddered, then turned to Joshua, seeming to notice him for the first time.

“You were amazing, Colin. Absolutely amazing.”

Colin grimaced and shook off Joshua’s compliment with a tight shake of his head. “Just doin’ the job.”

“Right,” Joshua said, clearly skeptical. He wondered if he dared… then laid his hand on Colin’s arm. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For saying I’m one of your best friends.”

Colin stared at him for a long moment and Joshua wondered if he’d made a mistake, if thanking him had drawn too much attention to the moment, had made it seem he was reading too much into it.

But Colin’s only response was to purse his lips and shrug. “You headed back to your office?”

Joshua’s hand fell from his arm. “Yeah. Have some reports to write.” He waited, hoping that Colin would ask about after work but he only nodded and spun toward his small cubicle.

“OK, then. See ya.”

Joshua nodded and immediately turned away. Wouldn’t do to stand and stare after him. He longed to do it. But if Colin spotted him Joshua would get ‘that’ look and not get a phone call for a week. The sin of ‘too much emotion’ demanded punishment.

He knew where Colin would be tonight. He knew what he’d be doing. He’d be perched at the piano bar at McCafferty’s, tossing down Irish Stouts like water and singing Irish folk songs until his voice grew hoarse. Someone, Joshua hoped, would take his keys and get him home safely. Colin never drove drunk, but he had been known to crash on the old, ratty couch in McCafferty’s office to avoid breaking the law.

For a fleeting moment Joshua considered ‘dropping in’ at McCafferty’s tonight, then immediately thought better of it. He’d be begging the lightening to strike. And even being there wouldn’t guarantee he’d be the one to take Colin home. It could just as easily be someone else, especially if he thought Joshua had shown up on his account. He’d have to send the message, even drunk, that he owed Joshua no allegiance.

Joshua sighed as he left the campus police station and walked toward his own office a short distance away. I, he thought, am a fucking fool. He stopped and turned back to gaze at the brick building he had just left, the building where Colin worked. Or am I?

The thought about the ‘pretty boys’ who hovered around the piano bar, hoping for a word from him. He’d seen them flirt with him. He’d seen them flirt with him even when he and Colin were there together. They didn’t care. They knew he was fair game no matter who he happened to be favoring at the moment.

Joshua frowned and turned toward the Title IX offices. They’d never seen him as Joshua had. They’d never seen him bend over someone who’d been brutally assaulted, gently assuring them of his concern and protection. They’d never seen him wrap those wounded souls in his healing aura until they found the strength to look up at him and smile. They’d never seen him steadfastly refuse to leave their side until they had given him that small, barely perceivable smile which proved their soul no longer bled even if their bodies remained battered. They’d never seen him be the healer.

They thought he was hot, with a handsome, Irish face and great body. They thought he sang like an angel and danced like a fire demon. They thought he was a wisp in the wind, quicksilver and mercurial. They thought he was as insubstantial as a cloud and just as impossible grasp. And he was all those things. But he was more.

He was solid and as substantial as a rock to those who needed him. He was a lion in his fierce determination that these souls not suffer again. He was a warrior who pursued the perpetrators of these crimes with a resolve which would not be shaken. And every now and then, he was Joshua’s lover.

God, I wish I knew what drives him, Joshua thought. He only knew something did. He’d be a piss-poor shrink not to see the obsession that lurked beneath Colin’s relentless pursuit of justice. He saw the pain. It would be hard to miss. Colin’s whole being revolved around that pain, and it had now captured Joshua as well.

Joshua sighed. At his desk he slumped into the chair, worrying a fingernail. Colin ran from that pain as though his very life depended on it, and maybe it did. It kept his great, Irish heart locked up tight. No one got in. And no one ever will, Joshua thought. Opening his heart meant opening up to that pain, facing it, dealing with it.

I’d help him, Joshua thought. God, I’d be there for him if he’d let me. But he wouldn’t. And it would be worth Joshua’s life to so much as mention it. He’d be kicked to the curb in a hot second and he knew it. All he could do was be there, silent and accepting. Just be there, giving what he could give… or rather giving what little Colin would accept. Keeping one eye always on the line, the line he dare not cross, keeping his feet firmly planted on the side that kept Colin coming back.

Hoping to be allowed behind that line was wishful, and foolish, thinking. He could only cling to what he had for as long as it was offered. He didn’t know which one of them would break first. Would Colin finally break under the weight of Joshua’s unspoken love and push him away? Would Joshua break under the weight of Colin’s enforced silence and run away? One of these scenarios waited in his future, as unavoidable as death… or breath.

He supposed there were other possibilities, but he didn’t allow himself to consider them. There had to be some benefit to being a Psychologist, if only the dubious benefit of knowing when he didn’t have a prayer. No one could change Colin except Colin, and that didn’t seem likely. His pain was buried too deeply, crusted over by layers of lava-rock built up over years of eruptions. He didn’t know what it would take to break through those layers. Colin’s emotional barriers were high, deep, and firmly in place. And Joshua wouldn’t allow himself to hope that he could be the one to reach past those barriers and touch the heart of the man who waited there.

He’d seen the healer. He had that, and to that he would cling. Colin Campbell, tough Irish cop and legendary enforcer on the University of Virginia campus, was, in fact a healer. And if, as he suspected, they eventually moved in opposite directions, he would always have that.

He only hoped it would be enough.


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Feckless bints I’ve known.

Ok. I find I’ve got to say this.

My first contemporary gay romance novel was released on May 10th. On that day I dove head-first into the roiling confusion which faces any author who wants to promote their book. I suspect that confusion is experienced by all newbie authors, particularly those who are self-published and therefore have no experience or guidance as to how this insane world operates.

I wrote to blog after blog, asking them to review Love’s Magic. I created a Twitter and Facebook page for my book and tried to figure out how to properly use them. I’m sure I made mistakes. I’m sure I was annoying. But I’d never done this before and I had no clue as to what constituted proper protocols.

I very quickly made the acquaintance of kind and wonderful people. People who were courteous and respectful even if their response was that they currently didn’t have the time to review my book. People who were helpful in the extreme, guiding me to other review sites, pointing me to Facebook groups which focused on promoting Gay Romance. There were many such people. Becky Baldridge from ‘Momma Says To Read Or Not To Read’. for one. She quickly became my ‘Yoda’ and kept me from wandering into the tall grass, helping me understand this overwhelming world I had just entered. Josh Dale from M & Men Midnight Cafe was another. Josh didn’t have time in his schedule to read and review my book, but he did promote it on his amazing site and was good enough to guide me to other sites which could help me with promotion. R.S. Dino did agree to review Love’s Magic and did so on his wonderful blog, Rainbows And Stars.

These folks and others were generous and giving in the extreme and were willing to help a newbie author find her way. But there were those who weren’t as kind and I quickly discovered them as well.

There are thousands of Blogs out there which exist solely to promote or read and review Gay Romance books. One would suppose that these individuals do this because they love the genre and feel a sense of kinship with the authors who write in this world, but such is often not the case.

I was shocked and a little appalled to read a post on Twitter from the publisher of a fairly well-known review blog whining and complaining about authors who dared to send her more than one review request. It was clear she found their desperate attempt to get her attention monumentally annoying. Some, she whined, had written as many as ten times!

My first thought was this: Did you respond to their first request and politely tell them you didn’t have time to joyfully review their novel? My guess would be ‘no’. I’ve requested a review from well over thirty blogs, including the one mentioned above. And I can count the number of responses I’ve received on the fingers of one hand. I am left to wonder if those who didn’t bother to respond (including her) even received my email! I mean shit happens on the Internet and emails disappear all the time. If you don’t respond to the authors who offer up their books for you to judge, how the hell are they supposed to know that you received and read their request?

If the folks who run these blogs, particularly the heavy-hitters who have thousands of readers following their every word, can’t demonstrate common courtesy and simple respect to the authors who write the books which support their efforts… can they really expect courtesy in return? Authors aren’t psychic. They don’t know you’ve read their request unless you respond to it… so instead of posting on Twitter about what assholes they are, respond to their request!

Next, I ran into a fairly well-read blogger who blatantly hates authors. She went on at length about how entitled they were, and how she already had many, many unread free books on her Kindle so stop-sending-me-free-books, and how she was in this for the reader not the authors, and how selfish authors were because every free book they offered came with a string attached.

This woman stopped my heart. And though it took restraint I didn’t respond to her tirade and just quietly unfollowed her instead. HAD I responded, I would have asked her why she didn’t simply find something ELSE to do with her valuable time.

I hardly know where to begin with this one. Authors sink years’ worth of time, effort, love, spirit, blood, sweat, tears, and energy into writing their beloved books. And without those books YOU would have nothing to do with your time other than paint your nails, and the readers who you claim to represent would have nothing to read! And yes. There’s a string attached because that is what you DO!! You read and review books! Without the string you’d, once again, be back to painting your nails and watching ‘Housewives of Beverly-Hills’! It starts with the authors. And if they’re courageous enough to offer up their life’s work to you to read and review… SHOW SOME FUCKING RESPECT, YOU FECKLESS BINT!

OK. I feel better now.

I have absolutely no fucks to give to bloggers who claim to love books but who demonstrate nothing but contempt for those who write them. If it meant that I’d sell 10,000 books, gain 7,000 5-Star reviews, and collect 100,000 followers, I would never place one of my books into the hands of such a soul-less human being. I love my books way too much to allow them to be demeaned by such a person. And I respect what authors do too much to want to see my work diminished by someone who, clearly, has no understanding of what it takes to actually sit down and write a book. To my way of thinking… an old fashioned way I’ll admit… those who have no respect for the creative process shouldn’t be involved in it. In ANY way!

I suppose it isn’t all that smart for a fledgling author to say such things. And if I’d written my books when I was younger maybe I wouldn’t have. But I’m way too old to be governed by fear of dumb people.


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Short story – Dinner with Colin – Just some food and sass between friends.

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Joshua stood at the counter chopping lettuce.

“What’s that?” Colin asked, lounging against the fridge.

Joshua halted for a split second then sighed and continued chopping.

“Honest, Josh. What is that?”

“I’m not gonna play, Colin. I know you know what lettuce is.”

“I just haven’t seen it a long time.”

“Of that I have no doubt. But there are those of us who don’t subsist entirely on pop tarts and Lucky Charms.”

Colin snickered. “You’re feeding me healthy food. Awww, that’s sweet, Josh.”

“Fuck you.”

“Maybe. Depends on how good your dinner is.”

“Please. Spare me your delusions of grandeur. I didn’t offer to cook dinner for you just so I could be your sexual dessert.”

“All that green stuff,” Colin teased, wrinkling his nose in distaste.

“It’s green! Pretend it’s a shamrock and EAT IT!”

“You’re sassing me?” Colin said, eyes wide in mock amazement. “I let you cook me dinner and you’re giving me sass?

“Sorry. Lost my head for a second there.”

“That’s no way to get yourself a blowjob, m’man.”

“I could always run out and grab you a pizza,” Joshua said, turning from the salad to the stir-fry sizzling on the stove. “You could apply it directly to your cardio-vascular system. Then you’ll be spared the bother of eventually gasping, clutching your chest and falling to the ground in a heap. Save you a ton of time.”

“I have a great body,” Colin informed him.

“On the outside,” Joshua replied.

“Humph!” Colin huffed. “The pretty-boys at McCafferty’s like it well enough.”

“And how many of them have actually seen it?”

Colin dropped his head, laughing. “Not many. In spite of my reputation as a big-time fucker-of-men, which I do everything in my considerable power to encourage, by the way, I’m not all that promiscuous.”

“I don’t know how you could be and still do your job as well as you do,” Joshua replied.

“Yeah. It’s more likely I’d be passed out on the floor.” He watched Joshua as he fussed over their dinner. “Very few guys at that bar have seen the inside of my apartment.” He paused for a moment. “Even fewer have seen the inside of my bedroom.”

Joshua turned to look at him. “Well then I suppose should consider myself lucky.”

Blessed is more like it,” Colin said, grinning.

“God, you’re full of yourself!”

“And you love it, Joshua,” he said. “Don’t bother giving me that look. You wouldn’t have me any other way.” He walked to the stove where Joshua stood, spatula in hand, and wrapped both arms around his waist from behind. “If I’d been some shy, retiring little flower you wouldn’t have given me a second glance. You said it on our first date. You have a weakness for larger-than-life men.” He nuzzled against the back of Joshua’s neck.

“And what do you have a weakness for, Colin?”

“A well-cooked dinner and a sweet dessert.”

“And I’m the sweet dessert?” Joshua asked, turning in Colin’s arms to look up into his honeyed-green eyes.

“If the dinner’s good enough, and if you play your cards right.” He shrugged and winked. “Remains to be seen.”

Joshua turned back to the stove, shaking his head but unable to keep from smiling. “In that case I suppose I’d better add more spice.”


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Almost A Promise – Short Story – X-Rated!

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Almost A Promise – Janice Jarrell

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Almost A Promise – Janice Jarrell


Colin pulled him close and kissed him, his wet tongue sliding against the seam between Joshua’s soft, full lips, claiming entry, taking possession.

For the ten-thousandth Joshua wished he was stronger, wished he knew how to fight off Colin’s overwhelming allure. But the mere scent of his skin, spicy and clean like a whiff of raw ginger, was enough to take Joshua’s breath away. There was no question of pulling away when Colin got this close. He was only lucky they weren’t in a public place, though he doubted it would make much difference. The only way to avoid Colin was to avoid Colin. Once he was within touching distance, the big Irishman had him, and they both knew it.

“What’s the matter, baby?” Colin asked, grinning his cocky grin, flashing his dimples.

“Oh, like you don’t know,” Joshua murmured, leaning back slightly from Colin’s embrace.

Colin snickered and slid his tongue along Joshua’s jaw and down his neck. Kissing changed to licking, changed to sucking, changed to biting, and Joshua moaned as Colin’s mouth did what Colin’s mouth always did, drove him half mad with desire.

“Dammit, Colin!” Joshua gasped, his arms locking tight around Colin’s neck, pulling him hard against his skin. Not wanting to let go, not ever wanting to let go. But that was the problem wasn’t it. He had to let go. There wasn’t any other way to stay in Colin’s life except to let Colin go. Colin wouldn’t tolerate anything else. Don’t try to hang on to Colin or you’ll never see him again. He’d put up with anything except the slightest hint of intimacy or real connection.

But intimacy and real connection was exactly what Joshua craved. As good as their lovemaking was, as wonderful as it felt, as much as Colin’s presence filled his heart, Joshua was still empty when it was over. Left with a hollowness that he couldn’t shake off, a hollowness that only Colin’s love could fill.

He bit his lower lip and carded his fingers through Colin’s sandy hair. His head arched, giving Colin complete access to his neck and throat. “So sweet,” he whispered, his fingers clenching and unclenching in the thick waves. “So perfect.”

Colin’s hand found the back of his neck and drew his head forward until their eyes met. “Not perfect,” he said, his voice rasping. “I’ve never seen perfection and I’m sure as fuck a far, far cry from perfect myself.” He tilted his head and for a moment the honeyed-green eyes that stared into Joshua’s narrowed as if pondering some unfathomable mystery. “You come close though,” he said at last. “You come damned close, Josh.”

Joshua smiled, letting his mind drift. What does he mean? he wondered. Moments like those were dangerous. They lifted a shade and scattered the darkness, giving him just the tiniest glimpse into the world he longed for, the world that would be, if only Colin could open his heart.

Then Colin grinned and his eyes dropped. The hand on the back of Joshua’s head tugged hard and Colin’s teeth gripped the sweet juncture where Joshua’s neck and shoulder met. “Oh, God!” Joshua cried out, then instantly wished he hadn’t. Not only could you not take too much if you wanted to keep Colin close, you didn’t dare give too much either.

He’d pull away and look at you with the wary, reproving glance that he seemed to reserve for those moments when Joshua let too much emotion show, too much need.

Colin wouldn’t be needed. Need was a request. Need asked for a reciprocal give-and-take that Colin refused to permit. “No promises,” he’d said on the first night they’d kissed. “No promises to anyone. Ever.”

You could need Colin all you wanted. You could need him as the very air you breathed. But you couldn’t ever let him see it, because if he did…

Colin’s fingers yanked at the collar of Joshua’s shirt, almost tearing the cloth as his lips moved lower, seeking the skin of Joshua’s chest. When the cloth held, he grunted out a frustrated breath and leaned back. “Let’s get the hell out of these clothes,” he muttered. “C’mon, Josh. Let’s take this upstairs.”

What would he do if I said ‘no’, Joshua wondered. It had never happened, of course, and probably never would. But if he did… would Colin’s green eyes widen with surprise? Would his beautiful mouth twist in a frown? Or would he merely smirk and shrug, indifferent to rejection because what Joshua didn’t want, someone else certainly would.

He held Joshua’s hand as they climbed the stairs and Joshua could hear that Colin’s breathing was ragged and uneven. He wants me, Joshua thought. I’ve got that at least.

In the bedroom, Colin turned Joshua to face him and began to unbutton Joshua’s shirt. His face was soft and open and his smile was touched with tenderness. It was always that way when they made love. It was the only time Colin allowed real emotion to show and Joshua often wondered if that same tenderness was present when Colin took other men to bed. He wanted to believe it was there only for him, but that kind of wishful thinking was risky and could lead to the kind of self-delusion that would quickly drive Colin away.

He peeled Joshua’s shirt away and tossed it to the floor then began to strip off his own clothes. Joshua finished undressing his clothes falling to the floor at his feet, his eyes fixed on the man who stood so close. He never got enough of the sight of Colin’s body. The sculpted muscles of his chest made Joshua’s mouth water and his hands shook with the desire to stroke that smooth skin. Colin’s shoulders bunched with muscle and his legs were long and powerful. He was a lean, powerfully built animal, sizzling with sexual promise and Joshua ached to feel that magnificent body pressed against his own.

He strode to where Colin stood waiting and threw his arms around his neck gasping at their bodies made contact, moaning as Colin clutched him close and twisted, throwing both of them to the bed.

“Now then,” Colin murmured, his lips once again pressed to Joshua’s throat. “Mmmm,” he moaned. “God, yes, Josh, that’s so good.” Their lips met pressing together again and again, tongues meeting… caressing. Their kisses, slow and soft at first, soon became devastatingly passionate. Colin’s mouth reclaimed his again and again, kissing him as though he could never get enough, as though he longed to absorb Joshua’s very essence into himself. Their bodies pressed close as they lay face to face writhing against each other as they kissed, both men sucking in air in sharp gasps between intoxicating kisses.

Joshua’s moans grew more intense, a guttural admission of desperate need, his cock aching, throbbing with desire. Eyes closed, he threw his head back. “God, Colin, please!” he moaned, then clenched his teeth to stifle the cry when Colin’s big hand dropped and grasped the hard pulse of his erection. While Joshua whimpered, Colin slid his own throbbing hardness against Joshua’s grasping both their cocks, still devouring Joshua’s lips with long, hungry kisses.

Joshua’s body stiffened, overwhelmed by desire so sharp and demanding that he was past caring that Colin might see this signal of Joshua’s deeper need. Again and again he thrust frantically into Colin’s hand, feeling the big Irishman’s body bucking against his, trembling, shaking all over, as consumed with need as Joshua.

Joshua’s moan became a wailing cry as his orgasm struck with the power of a lightning strike. His body convulsed against Colin’s, lost in a molten ecstasy that flamed through every cell. He felt Colin’s cock pulse again and again and heard his deep, throaty cry as he spasmed in release, his body shuddering against Joshua’s skin.

For a long time afterward they lay together, still clutched in each other’s arms, their breaths harsh and uneven, their bodies still convulsed with after-jolts of bliss. Finally, Colin stirred. He pressed his lips to Joshua’s, his touch gentle, almost tentative, then turned to his back, his breathing still erratic.

“Wow,” he half-gasped. “Wow, Josh.”

“Yeah,” Joshua replied, stretching out his trembling hand to touch Colin’s chest, feeling the sweat-damp muscles bunch beneath his fingers. “That was…,” he hesitated, afraid to say too much, unsure of how his lover would react.

“Amazing,” Colin whispered.

Joshua lifted himself on one elbow and gazed at him. “Amazing doesn’t begin to describe it,” he whispered.
Colin didn’t turn to look at him. His gaze was unfocused and his beautiful mouth was a taut line. Did I show too much? Joshua wondered.

Colin’s head turned and their eyes met. His brow was lightly furrowed in an expression more perplexed than angry. This was not the wary, warning glance that Joshua had received in the past. Colin’s gaze conveyed curiosity, even confusion. As though he was unsure who Joshua was or of his place in Colin’s life.

“What are you thinking?” Joshua whispered, his voice tentative.

For a long moment the look on Colin’s face held, and his eyes burned into Joshua’s as if asking a question he was incapable of articulating. He doesn’t know how to say it! Joshua realized, his mind suddenly filled with wonder. He’s feeling something he doesn’t even recognize! His breath caught in his throat but he forced himself to remain silent. He knew he didn’t dare voice the wild, insane hope that flared in his chest. He knew that if it existed at all, voicing that hope would quickly extinguish it.

He smiled at Colin and reached to caress his cheek, hoping that the love in his touch wouldn’t cause Colin to startle and withdraw. But Colin received his caress with a smile. He shook his head and huffed out a short breath, as if shaking off an absurd idea, surprised it had even occurred to him.

His eyes, again, met Joshua’s and this time Joshua saw the anger. He knew it wasn’t directed at him. Colin’s anger was for himself. He’d allowed a moment of weakness. He’d given Joshua a tiny glimpse into what it would be like if Colin actually needed him. That was Colin’s confusion. That was the emotion he had to struggle to identify.

“Gotta go,” Colin blurted. He sprang to the side of the bed and reached for his clothes. “I’ll see ya tomorrow, right? Don’t we have a meeting?”

Joshua nodded, grateful that he, at least, had this. His role as a University of Virginia Title IX Consultant required him to work with the university’s campus police force where Colin was ‘Sargent in Charge of the Special Assault Unit’. It’s how they met. It’s what kept Colin a fixture in his life. He protected that professional partnership with fierce strength, never uttering one word in the course of their work together that reflected his personal feelings. It’s how he kept Colin close and he would never allow his feelings for the big Irishman to threaten that connection.

“Yeah,” he replied. “We’re meeting about the O’Malley case.” Then, with a quiet sigh, he laid a tentative hand on Colin’s shoulder. “Shower before you go?”

He knew his request would be seen for exactly what it was, a naked plea for just a few more minutes with the man who was his whole world. But right now he didn’t care. Such an admission was allowed after they’d made love, a singular concession to closeness that Colin permitted only at that moment.

“Better not,” Colin replied, but he softened his refusal by covering Joshua’s hand with his own then leaned forward to kiss him. He hesitated and Joshua heard him puff out a quick exhale. “We’ll do this again,” he murmured.

It was almost a promise. Almost.


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Glowing reviews for ‘Love’s Magic’!

Can’t tell you how thrilled I am to read the glowing reviews for Love’s Magic! As a first-time author, these reviews are a thrill for my heart. But beyond that, it’s so gratifying to know that others see in these characters what I’ve seen in them from the start.

I’m deeply grateful to these reviewers for their willingness to give of their time and effort. They have a great love for books and the authors who write them and that love shows in their willingness to give back to the gay romance community by serving as reviewers and bloggers. It’s a time-consuming process that requires both love and commitment. I’m in awe of these folks. A grateful newbie author thanks them from the heart.

From Fay Kennedy – 5-Stars! 

“This was a first time read for this author and I absolutely loved it. The story had me with in the first paragraph as Nate and his boyfriend David bantered. But this also includes a fabulous story for Colin and Joshua’s romance.

‘Maybe some things are worth a broken heart, he mused. Maybe some men are worth it. A beautiful quote in this book from Joshua’s thoughts. I loved the Irish scenes with Joshua and Colin. Both stories interwoven and brilliantly written.”


From Dani Grey – 4-Stars! 

“I fell in love with these characters. The way they had to fight for their love and futures was a ride of ups and downs to the end.

They fight not just ghosts of the past, but also have to fight for their future. “


RS Dino 4-Stars!! 

“Janice is no rooky at writing skill. I am aware of her writing gigs for the past years and her experience certainly pays off well in this book.

Finally, I love how the author ended the book. The happy ever after is, of course, expected, yet, still, reading how it happens without a cliffhanger calmed me down.”


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Meet Nate Reese! Trying to save Love’s Magic!

Nate Reese was not pleased when he was sent to Charlottesville, Virginia to secure the services of Professor David Gardener as a consultant for a documentary film about the Revolutionary War. As an Associate Producer at Paramount Studios he had better things to do.

But at thirty-five Nate was growing tired. The frenzied Hollywood pace had taken a toll, and since he had fallen into the niche of documentary film development rather than the more visible genre of the big feature film, the upward slant of his career was less than dramatic. His time with David Gardener living the slower, more graceful pace of David’s life at the university had made him even more keenly aware of how chaotic his own existence had become. He loved the creative aspect of the work he did, but he longed for a more peaceful and meaningful lifestyle. Returning to Hollywood after their meeting only served to reinforce his unhappiness and increase his desire to return to Virginia… and David.

The time they’d shared in Virginia quickly became a treasured memory in Nate’s heart and each meeting which followed drew them closer together. When David asked him to take an Associate Professor’s position at the University of Virginia, and become his live-in partner, Nate happily agreed.

The idyllic life they share is shaken to the core when Nate is injured struggling to protect a student under attack. Traumatized by the incident, Nate seeks answers and resolution by becoming a leader of activist group called ‘End Assault’, a decision which David refuses to support.

Angry and confused by his reaction, Nate struggles to understand his partner’s decision but feels he has been betrayed and abandoned just when he needs David most.

Understanding that David’s steady, solid personality can easily transform into an obstinate, fearful refusal to face the facts, Nate tries, unsuccessfully, to keep his association with ‘End Assault’ from intruding on their lives. But David appears more focused on the damage Nate’s activism may do to his career than he does on Nate’s commitment to finding solutions to the university’s on-going problems. His refusal to heed David’s warning and leave the ‘End Assault’ movement eventually shatters their relationship, leaving both men alone and heartbroken.

Nate is committed to the militant path he’s chosen and David refuses to support his choice. Both men are right. Both men are stubborn. Both men remain desperately in love. Can they grow into a deeper acceptance of each other’s viewpoint and find Love’s Magic again?


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Meet David Gardener…

David Gardener found Love’s Magic late in life. Until then he stepped through his journey in an emotional daze, living by rules laid down by others and building his self-image around his career success as a University of Virginia Professor. His insecurities, developed in childhood through a cold, critical father, made faith in himself  hard to find. The kind of happiness offered by the incredibly handsome Associate Producer, Nathaniel Reese, seemed a hope beyond anything he deserved.

David was a man pursued by demons. His father’s critical voice echoed in his ears even years after the man’s death. But day by day Nate’s voice gently coaxed David forward, assuring him not only of his love but of David’s worthiness to be loved. David still struggled to find the self-acceptance he needed in order to release his fears. But Nate’s voice was now the guiding force in his life and David followed that voice toward the love and healing he now knows he deserves.

The years after David’s divorce were devoted to his career. The satisfaction he took from the success of his teaching strategies had helped distract him from the emptiness inside. But meeting Nate shone a bright light onto that emptiness making it impossible to ignore. Working up the courage to tell Nate exactly how he felt required months of soul-searching and reaching deep inside to find previously undiscovered courage. But when Nate agreed to move to Virginia as his partner David knew it was worth any struggle.

Nate saw in David the inner strength and steady, solid reliability he yearned to put at the center of his life, and their partnership proved to be everything Nate had hoped for. He excelled in the academic environment David provided and loved the slow, graceful rhythm of the life they shared. Both men were incredibly happy until Nate was attacked on the Tog in a brutal on-campus assault.

Nate coped with his trauma by joining an activist group devoted to changing university policy on such attacks, a group David is reluctant to support. Fearful that Nate’s activism will endanger his hard-won position as an Associate Professor at the university, he withdraws, refusing to participate in ‘End Assault’s’ upcoming Rally. Traumatized by how close he came to losing the only real happiness he’d ever known, David couldn’t bear any reminder of Nate’s attack and ‘End Assault’ makes it the central issue of their lives. Afraid of appearing weak in Nate’s eyes, David foolishly hides his real feelings which only serves to widen the gap between the two men until their once-idyllic life teeters on the brink of complete destruction.

Love’s Magic is almost lost and both men will be forced to acknowledge previously hidden flaws in their thinking before they can find that magic again. Will they choose to be right? Or will they choose to be happy?


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David and Nate struggle to recapture Love’s Magic!

David Gardener, Professor of Revolutionary War History at the University of Virginia for over twelve years is beloved by students, admired by faculty, and sought out by university administrators. He has moved past the pain of a cold and critical father and his own fears about his sexual identity to become one of the most popular figures on campus.

Before meeting Nate, David avoided romance, building his life has around his two daughters and his successful career. A quiet and unassuming man who loved his garden and kept to himself, David had learned to live with loneliness.

But the beautiful and talented Nate Reese awakened the long-buried spark of attraction with frightening force. David’s yearning to form a relationship with the young associate producer was matched only by his fear what this new attraction might do to his now-settled life.

But Nate possessed the kind of open and loving heart that David instinctively knew could lead him to healing and peace. Struggling to find a way to safely connect to Nate, David is repeatedly torn between the safety of solitude and the frightening thought of embracing his needs in spite of the potentially threatening consequences. Eventually though, he begs Nate to take a position at the University of Virginia and Nate happily agrees.

Their differences resolved and more in love than ever, they embark on their life together only to have their new-found happiness threatened by forces almost beyond their control. Nate’s traumatic encounter with a knife blade during an on-campus assault moves him to a position of leadership in an activist movement called ‘End Assault’.

David is devastated by Nate’s attack, but can only see disaster for his career if he pursues this militant course. Frightened of the potential consequences he is reluctant to support Nate’s efforts while Nate, feeling abandoned by his partner, sees David’s aversion to his involvement as indifference to the trauma he suffered.

Both men have valid points of view, but peace between them will require one of them to care more about being happy than he does about being right. Will the love they share be enough to see them through the complex and divisive issues with threaten not only their relationship, but the university they both love? Read Love’s Magic and find out!!


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Love’s Magic now available! You’ll love these characters!

Love's Magic

I am very excited to announce that Love’s Magic is now available on Amazon.

I have to admit that I fell completely in love with the characters who inhabit Love’s Magic. Meet Colin Campbell, my handsome, dynamic, over-the-top sexy Irish police officer. Colin is a man who refused to ever allow love and intimacy to touch his heart. As a result, no one was more surprised than he when his normal ‘love-um-and-leave-um’ attitude hit a brick wall named Joshua Abrams.

Unlike Colin, Joshua is , steady, introverted, and longing for commitment. Although head over heels in love with Colin almost from the moment they met, he firmly believes this love can only lead to heartbreak. At yet, Joshua proves to be the one man who can break down Colin’s emotional barriers and open his heart to the kind of magic that love can offer.

The freedom-loving Colin never expected to fall in love and certainly had no clue how to handle it. Consequently, when his hot Irish temper created a horribly destructive explosion between them and Joshua flees to his home in Illinois without a word or a forwarding address, Colin found himself lost and adrift.

His struggle to overcome his pride and Irish ego and seek out the love of his life touched even MY heart!I hope you’ll check out Love’s Magic and meet Colin and Joshua for yourself. These two charismatic men personify the idea of ‘opposites attract’, but their love story will touch your heart. Available NOW on Amazon!!

Read the synopsis here!


Reach me at: jjarrell@lovesmagic.online
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