We’re gonna go a little meta this month 😁 On April 27th, it’s Tell A Story Day, and I’ve written a story to celebrate it. Saved by the Bear will be released on the 22nd and it’s about a book. It’s about a bear too, obviously, but there is a magic book that will show you the future, and since I think we’ve already done lists about bears and I can’t come up with enough books with magic books to make a list, I figured we’d do books about books 😆
I give you writers, librarians, and bookshop workers.
Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux
I’ll take this first because it’s the exception and the first story that popped up in my mind when I thought about doing books about books. They’re FBI agents, not a book in sight, until… If you’ve read The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe, you’ll understand why this story made the list.
A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.
Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He’s cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he’s paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it’s hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliche: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.
Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer’s knife.
The ebook of this isn’t available, but you can grab the paperback on Amazon.
Out of the Blackness by Carter Quinn
This is more obvious why it makes the list. Avery works in a bookshop, and this book is a guilty pleasure for me. I made a Reread Friday post about it that you can read here if you want to know more.
A childhood of abuse has left Avery so physically and emotionally scarred he believes he shouldn’t be alive. His only sanctuary has been his relationship with his older foster brother Sam. Avery finally lets Sam convince him to start therapy to help overcome his crippling anxiety, but even that can’t prepare him for the upheaval caused by meeting Noah Yates.
Noah is everything Avery fears. He’s large and physically powerful—and undeniably capable of destroying Avery’s hard-earned progress. Although Noah seems to have a tender streak when it comes to him, Avery is terrified of being victimized again. But no matter how many times he tries to push him away, Noah never goes far.
Noah wants to save Avery, but can he be the catalyst Avery needs to begin the journey out of the blackness?
Chapter Five and the Axe-Wielding Maniac by Marie Sexton
While Out of the Blackness is a pretty dark story, you might have guessed by the title that this is not. It’s a short story that’s fun while it lasts.
Author Joshua Franklin Hill has a bad case of writer’s block. When an axe-wielding maniac knocks on his front door and asks to dig up his living room floor, he figures his Monday from hell is complete.
But an axe-wielding maniac may be just what Josh needs.
Let’s Hear It for the Boy by T.A. Webb
This is about a reporter so not books perhaps, but a writer, and with all the hate drag queens are getting these days, may I suggest getting to know Auntie Social a little better? This one had me crying the first time I read it, and maybe it’s time for a reread.
Auntie Social is the biggest, baddest drag queen in Atlanta—she knows what she wants and she gets it. She’s tough, merciless, and top dog. That’s what Paul Stewart, reporter for the Journal, had heard, and all he expects when he’s assigned to interview the legend.. But nobody really knows the person behind the make-up.
What if…what if the person behind the sarcasm and music was more than just a man in a dress? What happened in his life that, thirty years later, made him a successful CEO, a philanthropist, and a legend in the gay community? Thirty years and almost a million dollars raised for people living with HIV/AIDs, yet still no one knows the real story.
Until one night, one man breaks through the shell, and Matthew Trammell—Auntie Social—opens the door he closed many years ago and lets his secrets spill out.
Pain is like rain, it covers your skin and soaks in bone-deep, but it eventually recedes and allows fresh things to grow.
ePistols at Dawn by Z.A. Maxfield
I’ve been meaning to reread this but for some reason, I never get there. I read it many, many years ago, and I can’t remember the plot in detail, but we have a writer.
Choose your weapons.
Jae-sun Fields is pissed. Someone has taken the seminal coming-out, coming-of-age novel Doorways and satirized it. He’s determined to use his Internet skills and his job as a tabloid reporter to out the author as the fraud and no-talent hack he’s sure she is.
Kelly Kendall likes his anonymity and, except for his houseboy, factotum and all-around slut, Will, he craves solitude. There’s also that crippling case of OCD that makes it virtually impossible for him to leave the house. He’s hidden his authorship of Doorways behind layers of secrets and several years’ worth of lies – until he loses a bet.
Satirizing his own work, as far as he can see, is his own damned prerogative. Except now he has an online stalker, one who always seems several steps ahead of him in their online duel for information.
A chance meeting reveals more than hidden identities – it exposes a mutual magnetic attraction that can’t be denied. And pushes the stakes that much higher, into a zone that could get way too personal.
Warning: This book contains large Korean men; Will, the houseboy, factotum, and all-around slut; hot sexy manlove including oral sex, and serious ass play. (Jae’s note to self: OCD + socks + mouth = BAD.)
Unhallowed by Jordan L. Hawk
In the mood for strange things? Here we have books and libraries and weird things going on. Awesome!
Monsters. Murder. Librarians.
Librarian Sebastian Rath is the only one who believes his friend Kelly O’Neil disappeared due to foul play. But without any clues or outside assistance, there’s nothing he can do to prove it.
When bookbinder Vesper Rune is hired to fill the vacancy left by O’Neil, he receives an ominous letter warning him to leave. After he saves Sebastian from a pair of threatening men, the two decide to join forces and get to the truth about what happened to O’Neil.
But Vesper is hiding secrets of his own, ones he doesn’t dare let anyone learn. Secrets that grow ever more dangerous as his desire for Sebastian deepens.
Because Kelly O’Neil was murdered. And if Sebastian and Ves don’t act quickly enough, they’ll be the next to die.
A Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson
I’m including this! Archives and books and ghosts and stuff. Great story!
Looking for a fresh start, historian Luke Alcott takes on a job cataloguing the archives in an old army training centre. Eelmoor Hall is an old house on a lonely heath and the only other living soul on site is Sergeant Jay McBride, the surly caretaker. But Luke can’t escape the feeling he’s being watched, and as the halls echo with invisible footsteps and his sleep is haunted by nightmares, he realises that he and Jay aren’t alone in this house.
The Mistletoe Bride has been trapped here a very long time. She’s cold, angry, and desperate. And she has no intention of letting Luke leave until he’s found her—or joined her in death. As the snow begins to fall, Luke and Jay must risk all to save each other from this vengeful ghost.
Murder at Pirate’s Cove by Josh Lanyon
Cosy mystery… in a bookshop.
Ellery Page, aspiring screenwriter, Scrabble champion and guy-with-worst-luck-in-the-world-when-it-comes-to-dating, is ready to make a change. So when he learns he’s inherited both a failing bookstore and a falling-down mansion in the quaint seaside village of Pirate’s Cove on Buck Island, Rhode Island, it’s full steam ahead!
Sure enough, the village is charming, its residents amusingly eccentric, and widowed police chief Jack Carson is decidedly yummy (though probably as straight as he is stern). However, the bookstore is failing, the mansion is falling down, and there’s that little drawback of finding rival bookseller–and head of the unwelcoming-committee–Trevor Maples dead during the annual Buccaneer Days celebration.
Still, it could be worse. And once Police Chief Carson learns Trevor was killed with the cutlass hanging over the door of Ellery’s bookstore, it is.
**This story contains NO on-screen sex or violence.
Mr. Frosty Pants by Leta Blake
I know, I know, we don’t want Christmas now, but it has a writer!
Frosty former friends get a second chance in this Christmas gay romance!
Can true love warm his frozen heart?
When Casey Stevens went away to college four years ago, he ghosted on his best friend, Joel Vreeland. He hoped time and distance would lessen the unrequited affection he felt, but all it did was make him miss Joel more. Home for the holidays, Casey hopes they might find a way to be friends again. But Joel’s frosty reception reminds Casey of just how hard he had to fight to be Joel’s friend in the first place. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get past that cool façade again.
Joel’s years of pining for Casey have left him hurting and alone, caring for his abusive father and struggling to get by. Unable to trust anyone except his rescue dog his icy heart might shatter before it can thaw.
Can Casey and Joel’s love overcome mistrust, parental rejection, class differences, and four long years apart?
Think of England by K.J. Charles
Another favourite! I reread this not too long ago and wrote a post about it, so if you want to read what I wrote then, you’ll find it here!
Lie back and think of England…
England, 1904. Two years ago, Captain Archie Curtis lost his friends, fingers, and future to a terrible military accident. Alone, purposeless and angry, Curtis is determined to discover if he and his comrades were the victims of fate, or of sabotage.
Curtis’s search takes him to an isolated, ultra-modern country house, where he meets and instantly clashes with fellow guest Daniel da Silva. Effete, decadent, foreign, and all-too-obviously queer, the sophisticated poet is everything the straightforward British officer fears and distrusts.
As events unfold, Curtis realizes that Daniel has his own secret intentions. And there’s something else they share—a mounting sexual tension that leaves Curtis reeling.
As the house party’s elegant facade cracks to reveal treachery, blackmail and murder, Curtis finds himself needing clever, dark-eyed Daniel as he has never needed a man before…
Reclaiming Love by V.L. McElfresh
I was a bit hesitant to include this one, but here we go. It’s a… it’s tagged as BDSM, but as I remember it, it’s about a man who was badly abused ‘in the line of’ BDSM (or what his abusive, stalker ex called BDSM), and I… eh… am a bit uncomfortable with that. But it has a writer! And hurt comfort is always nice, right?
He’ll risk it all for a new chance at life & love.
Kevin Stohler survived a violent and abusive relationship but escaped with a damaged psyche. Connor McCann walks into his life like a living dream. Kevin can’t believe Connor is interested, but he agrees to a date. Connor proves to be patient, kind and truly interested.
Before they can enjoy life together, something has to be done about Kevin’s ex, Josh Harding. Josh has stalked Kevin for three years, and the stalking escalates as Kevin’s feelings for Connor grow. Kevin fears that loving Connor might kill him. It’s a risk he’s willing to take to reclaim a chance at love.
The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings by Lily Morton
And I’m gonna include this because it’s awesome and because Levi is a cartoonist and therefore makes the author criteria. Yes, he does.
Levi Black is at a crossroads. After suffering a loss and breaking up a long-term relationship, he’s looking for a change. When he receives the news he’s inherited a house in York, he seizes the opportunity to begin a new chapter in his life.
However, when he gets there, he finds a house that has never kept its occupants for very long. Either through death or disinclination, no one stays there, and after a few days of living in the place, Levi can understand why. Strange noises can be heard at all hours of the day and night, and disturbing and scary things begin to happen to him. He never believed in ghosts before, but when events take a sinister turn, he knows he must look for help. He finds it in the unlikely form of the blue-haired leader of a ghost tour.
Blue Billings is edgy, beautiful, and lost. Utterly lost. He conceals so many secrets that some days it’s a miracle he remembers his own name. He knows that he should ignore Levi because he threatens the tenuous grip Blue has on survival. But there’s something about the kind-eyed man that draws Blue to him. Something that demands he stay and fight for him when he would normally run in the opposite direction.
As the two men investigate the shocking truth behind Levi’s house, they also discover a deep connection that defies the short length of time they’ve known each other. But when events escalate and his life is on the line, Levi has to wonder if it was wise to trust the Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings.
#PictaBook by Ofelia Gränd
Alterego promo 😁 Jules is a librarian.
Jules Rose leads a quiet life working as a librarian. He’s happy to spend his spare time reading books and talking to his homicidal cat. What more could he wish for? But when his cozy Friday night is shattered by a friend request on his book community app, politeness gives him little choice but to accept. Jules doesn’t want to talk to anyone, but he can’t be rude. Besides, if he had to talk about something, books is the topic he’d pick.
Phoenix Ford is dyslexic and avoids everything that has to do with the written word, but when the colleague he’s trying to impress calls him stupid, he decides to convince the other man, he’s mistaken. All he needs is the right book to make him look smart, a perfect balance between intelligent and short. And who better to ask for help than a guy who loves books so much, he labeled one boner-worthy on a book app?
When Jules finds out Phoenix never has read a book from start to finish, he’s on a mission. He will find the right book, the book that will make Phoenix fall in love — with reading. Phoenix’s plan might have been to listen to the book Jules picked for him to impress his colleague, but that was before he got to know him. Talking about books is a sure way to Jules’ heart, but is it enough for him to agree to go on a date?
The Book Dragon’s Lair
I’d already scheduled the post when I realised I have one more book that about books. How could I forget?!
Time and time again, Ryu the Ravenous has petitioned to be allowed to move to the human realm, but every application has been denied. As a black dragon of near royal blood with plenty of gemstones in his treasure cave, many females want him for a mate. Ryu doesn’t want a female mate, though, and when he’s badly burned in a conflict between tribes, he sees his chance to escape.
Egil Olsen is running The Book Dragon’s Lair, a bookstore on Dragon Row, while Draken the Dreadful, his mate, is away fighting a war on the other side of the veil. The relief of not having Draken around is great. For the first time in years, Egil doesn’t have to watch every move he makes. When word reaches him that Draken is on his way home after having been injured, he considers running away.
The dragon stepping over the threshold to The Book Dragon’s Lair isn’t Draken, though. He claims to be, but Egil knows his mate, and while all dragons are dangerous, the male standing before him is nowhere near as cruel as his mate. Ryu never wanted to be a book dragon. Books don’t sparkle, but if it’s the price he has to pay to be in the human realm, he will pay it. He’ll take over Draken the Dreadful’s treasure, and he hopes he can take over his mate, too. Egil doesn’t want to be mated to a dragon, but without a mate, he’d be homeless and without a job.
A few hours after having met Ryu, Egil thinks being mated to him might not be too bad, but how will they be able to fool the people around them into believing Ryu is Draken? And what will happen if the real Draken comes back?
And you know… A diary is a book, so…
My therapist wants me to write a diary to help me manage my depression. I have no idea how it’ll work, but I didn’t have the energy to argue with her.
All I want is for life to go back to the way it was before I walked in on Christopher and Jason. Or maybe not because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive Christopher for cheating on me in our bed, but I want to function as I did before that moment. Before I lost everything.
Do you remember Lars Olsen from school? I do my best to stay away, but it’s like he’s magnetic and pulls me in every time I see him. I shouldn’t be dating. I don’t want to force my crazy on anyone, but he’s asked me to dinner. He deserves a sane partner, so it would be unfair to go, wouldn’t it?
Saved by the Bear
Would knowing how you die change the way you live?
Frode Hall inherits a book that promises to tell his story, and it does. It starts with a recap of his childhood, leads him through his teens and into adult life. Then it turns a page and shows how he dies in a car crash the following day. Frode panics, but can he trust the book? It’s showing a huge grizzly sneaking around the garden, and there are no bears in the garden, only Imre, his neighbor.
By not being in his car when the predicted car crash was to take place, he survives another day. But someone has learned he has the book, and it’s showing ninjas breaking into his apartment to get it. Unsure of what to do, Frode turns to Imre. Frode doesn’t know what to believe about his growling and talk of mates, but he trusts Imre to help him. They leave the city in a hurry, but will the book give them enough warning to keep them alive or will their journey end in a gruesome prophecy?
Paranormal Gay Romance: 14,970 words