Custom Fit (Tailor Made book 2) is out now!

Custom Fit_medWoohoo! Happy release day to me! And to Andrew and Felix too, who get more than their fair share of “releases” during this smutty gay romantic comedy novella 😉

I’m actually posting this from the seaside, as you have to take your chances to get away in England whenever the weather is good. In an ideal world I wouldn’t have planned it for a release day, but at least it will stop me obsessively checking my Amazon rankings :)

So, here are the buy links:
Amazon |Smashwords | Kobo | Nook | All Romance eBooks

Its $2.99, and don’t forget that Tailor Made is now $0.99, so if you’re new to the series you can pick up both books for less than $4.00! Or less than £3.50 on Amazon UK :)

Right, I’m off to build a sandcastle with my kids, then scoff an ice cream, possibly while paddling in the sea #bliss

Happy reading, peeps!

Jo x

Half price books and a brand spanking new cover!

Blooming Marvellous coverTailor Made cover - art by Lou HarperGot some news today! Fancy getting your mitts on Tailor Made and Blooming Marvellous for half the usual price? Of course you do! Then you’d better head on over to Smashwords and use the code SSW50 at checkout for 50% off!  (Offer good through July 31, 2016)

Tailor Made | Blooming Marvellous

And if you’d like to get a look at Lou Harper’s gorgeous cover for my novelette, By Quarry Lake, you’ll find the cover reveal over on Sinfully Gay Romance Reviews 😀


What’s even better, is you can pre-order your copy on Smashwords right now!

Okay, that’s all for now, folks. Better run a bath for the kids before they destroy the living room… Oh, my glamorous life! 😛

Jo x

New release: Boys Who Go Bump in the Night

BoysWhoGoBump 433x650Happy release day to me and JL Merrow! Yes it is finally the day that our joint anthology, Boys Who Go Bump in the Night, is released on the unsuspecting world.This collection of five short stories is the second volume in our Mad About the Brit Boys collection. Not heard of this collection before? That’s probably because we didn’t realise we were starting one with the first book. Mad About the Boys was our collection of MMF short stories, released two years ago. Seeing as how we would be better known for our gay romance stories, we were at a loss as to what to do with these short stories when the rights reverted to us. So of course what better idea than that hatched over breakfast in the Ibis hotel, Manchester: to self publish them in an anthology together.

Fast forward and we had a whole batch of rights reverting to us on our old short stories, so we decided to create anthologies grouping together different genres. We are kicking off with the paranormal one, and up next will be the science fiction one (Help, My Boyfriend’s an Alien!) available in January 2016. Watch out for an MMM anthology in the spring as well as a contemporary MM anthology. More details to follow as we finalise them.

As an experiment this anthology is only going to be released on Amazon so that we can take advantage of the Kindle Select program. What this means is that readers who are members of Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited will be able to borrow the book for free, but don’t worry if you’re not as the full price is only $0.99 or £0.99. Of course this doesn’t help those of you if you aren’t able to read Kindle files for whatever reason. If you are in this position and want to read the book then please send me a screen shot confirming your Amazon purchase, and I will arrange to send you an alternative file format of your choice (contact

I will be back with news of some promotional blog posts over the next few days, but until then here are the links for the book:

Kindle US | Kindle UK
Happy reading!

Own Cosmo in print! Paperback giveaway contest

StS paperbacksHello, dear readers! I’m excited to announce the release of Screwing the System in paperback at last–a year after it first appeared in electronic form. Doesn’t Cosmo look gorgeous in dead tree format?!

You can buy the in various places online, but I thought I’d run a little giveaway for all my loyal followers here. Just comment on the post below before 11pm on 9th February (GMT) and I’ll enter you into a draw for a signed copy, which I’ll send anywhere in the world. Winner will be announced on 10th Feb.

I’ll be running a similar contest in my newsletter. In fact, I give away a book to one subscriber with every single newsletter I send out, so if you’re not yet subscribed, why on earth not? I only send out newsletters when I have new releases, so no need to worry about your inbox filling up with spam. Just pop your email in the box below (by 9th Feb) and you’re entered for that paperback draw too.

And here’s the Screwing the System blurb for anyone who needs a refresher in just what I’m going on about:

Screwing the System coverHe’s nobody’s bitch. Until he gets a ride on the bitch seat.

Forced to apply for a job he doesn’t want, Cosmo Rawlins has only one aim in mind: fail the interview and get back to making music. Except his attempt to shock the older, sharp-suited Alasdair Grant doesn’t have the desired effect.

Instead of getting thrown out of the office by flaunting an interest in BDSM, Cosmo finds himself on his knees, apologizing to the sexy, good-looking Top.

Alasdair has more important things on his mind than training a novice sub, especially a rebellious bad boy like Cosmo. But there’s something beneath the younger man’s defiant attitude that’s too intriguing to ignore.

As Alasdair takes Cosmo in hand—and for a wild ride on his Harley—he becomes obsessed with bending the young rocker to his will, both in and out of bed. Until he goes one demand too far, and Cosmo is gone in a cloud of dust. Forcing Alasdair to admit that earning Cosmo’s loyalty—and love—will involve the toughest challenge he’s ever faced.

Warning: This title contains an overbearing Top with a less-than-glamorous job, a rebellious brat who refuses to call him sir, and a total lack of high-end BDSM clubs or playrooms. Expect floggings over the kitchen table instead.

Paperback buy links: | | Samhain

Sweet and Sour – a Hanukkah meal with Astrid Amara and Nicole Kimberling

Today I’d like to welcome Astrid Amara and Nicole Kimberling to the blog–two writers whose work I much admire. They’re sharing festive recipes today as they take you through the preparation of the delicious Hanukkah meal from Astrid’s new book!

Astrid AmaraAstrid Amara:

I’m not a foodie, I’m really not.

And yet it seems every Hanukkah romance I write has food as a central theme. In Holiday Outing, the entire Levinson family has to stretch their kitchen’s contents over the course of several days as a storm knocks out power and strands the guests. In Carol of the Bellskis the couple Lars Varga and Seth Bellski are on the outs until Lars shows up and offers to help Seth out of a jam by preparing kosher meals for his family’s B&B until the owners can be found. In the sequel, food preparation makes up much of the awkward and, later, bonding experiences between the characters and their extended family. And In Love Ahead: Expect Delays, my characters have to subsist on gas station snacks and pizza delivery. Okay, not really a central food theme there, but there IS food, I’d like to point out.

This prevalence of food is not intentional. I didn’t think, hey, I want to write a lot about baking! But somehow this just happens. I have a few theories as to why:

1. Food is the central part of a majority of family-oriented holidays. Christmas ham, Thanksgiving turkey, Easter… eggs…? (Jewish, remember?), it doesn’t matter. We are mammals and we like to eat. And what better excuse to stuff yourself senseless with mashed potatoes and gravy than a nationally-recognized holiday?

2. Food is the central part of Judaism. I’m sort of kidding. But food is important in Jewish households, whether kosher or not. A good Jewish mother always makes sure everyone has second helpings. And this isn’t a stereotype about Jewish women, I’ll have you know. As the book “How to Be a Jewish Mother” once said, “you don’t have to be Jewish, or a mother, to be a Jewish Mother.”

3. Food is something I’m not good at. Let me clarify – I’m good at eating food. I’m a champion eater. But cooking stresses me out. I much prefer hanging out with people who are willing to cook for me. I have some incredibly talented friends and family who love to cook, and I oblige them at any opportunity by offering up my discerning, princess-tuned palate and my insatiable gullet.

cover_SweetandSourSo when I came up with the idea of a man trying to run a deli and catering company, I realized Sweet and Sour was going to describe food preparation. A lot. And since all I actually ever prepare is the occasional tuna fish sandwich, strawberry banana smoothie, and maybe some pasta, it was time to turn to the experts. I asked Nikki to come up with a kosher, dairy-based celebration dinner menu.

(I also happen to know she loves challenges like this. During our weekly writer’s meetings years ago, she used to come into my apartment and look at all the random assortment of ingredients I had and would make a dinner out of them).

Of course, she went above and beyond the call of duty and not only came up with a menu, but she then cooked it for me. And I ate it. And it was good. Especially those Israeli donuts. Damn, now I’m hungry.

I better go see if someone happens to be cooking for me in the kitchen… Oh look! He is! Ha, it’s good to be a princess. And on that note, over to Nikki…

Nicole KimberlingNicole Kimberling: 

I’ve long been a fan of Astrid Amara’s Hannukah tales. For me they’ve got everything I want in a contemporary holiday romance: humor, family and food. So I was really excited when she asked me to create a dinner menu for Sweet and Sour.

During the course of the story the protagonist, Miles Piekus is called upon to cater a dinner for a passel of hungry rabbis. For the meal to be kosher, the menu could include either meat or dairy but not both. Now normally, this means that Hannukah meals are dairy-free affairs, but because Astrid loves dairy products more than any human being I’ve ever met, she wanted to do it the opposite way. So I was left with the challenge of making a satisfying three-course meal with no red meat. And did I mention this was to take place on Thanksgiving Day?

Because the story is set in Seattle I chose the iconic Pacific Northwest fish, salmon, for the primary protein. That part was easy—the difficult aspect was making a menu that I felt the main character Miles would imagine. All I really knew about him was that he made pickles and had as Israeli boyfriend. And just like that an idea clicked into place—the main dish would be salmon choucroute a specialty of the Alsace region of France.

lemon pickle tinyChoucroute (or saurkraut as it is more commonly known) is created by the same process of lacto-fermentation as Jewish-style pickles. I thought that an adventurous, ambitious pickle maker like Miles would want to show off his skills as much as possible, so I wondered where else I could get a unique pickle into the menu. Looking at Miles’ romantic history, I thought he might have traveled to the Middle East—home of one of my very favorite salted products—the Morrocan preserved lemon.

A brief survey of traditional Hannukah desserts in Israel led me to the sufganiyot. Essentially, it’s a filled, raised doughnut, but who doesn’t like a fancy doughnut?

So I had the menu:

Appetizer: a dip of toasted local hazelnuts and tahini served with toasted pita wedges and crudités.

carnival soup small flatStarter: Warmly Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Main: parchment-wrapped salmon parcels with preserved lemon cream served with cranberry choucroute and kohlrabi and potato latkes

Dessert: sufganiyot 2 kinds Sugar-Coated with Rhubarb Jam or Mexican chocolate Glaze with marshmallow crème.

Next I went about actually creating the meal. The choucroute and pickled lemons were easy to make, through time-consuming—each item taking approximately three weeks to mature. (And just as a side note—saurkraut DOES off-gas as it goes through its maturation process. A lot. There’s a reason people keep this stuff in the garage.)

Then tragedy struck. On the day I was to demo the whole meal for Astrid I got held up at the restaurant and by the time I got to the grocery store I could not find a single piece of fresh, wild-caught salmon. Not one. I don’t know if some big grizzly bear had come by or what, but the fish case had been cleaned out. All I could find was a solitary can of farmed pink Atlantic salmon.

But if working in the restaurant industry for decades has taught me nothing else, it’s solidified in me the knowledge that the show must go on.  On the spot, the poached salmon parcels changed to lemon-pickle spiked salmon cakes fried in clarified butter.

And you know what? They were just amazing—so delicious that Astrid changed the menu. (She also researched wine-pairings.)

Eventually the menu looked like this:

Hors d’oeuvres: Hazelnut tahini crudités, Melon-cheddar skewers, and Romano-stuffed mushrooms. Paired with a Baron Herzog White Riesling.*

First Course: Warmly spiced pumpkin soup with Gruyère served in seasonal squash. Paired with Kinneret Chardonnay from Israel’s Ella Valley.*

fennel, onion and apples tinySecond Course: Lemon-spiked salmon cakes on a bed of Alsatian choucroute, accompanied by potato-and-kohlrabi rösti and an Israeli fresh vegetable salad. Paired with Hagafen Napa Valley Pinot Noir.*

Dessert Course: Sufganiyot with Mexican chocolate glaze and marshmallow crème or strawberry-and-rhubarb jam fillings. Served with coffee or tea. Paired with Kedem Port.*

*All wines are meshuval.

Now while I can’t advise everyone to go buy a length of cheese cloth and food-grade bucket (yes, they really exist) and ferment your own cabbage, I can heartily recommend that anyone interested in a quick meal of salmon cakes try these out.

Miles Piekus’ Emergency Salmon Cakes:

Ingredients (for 2 people or 6 salmon cakes)

1 can salmon
clarified butter or Ghee (vegetable oil would also be okay)
1 egg
Unflavored dry bread crumbs a handful or two
1 piece of preserved lemon the size of 1/2 a green olive, skin and pulp, chopped finely.
1 tsp dry tarragon
A pinch of pepper—any kind
2 Tbsp fresh, chopped cillantro
(Salt probably unnecessary as preserved lemon is VERY SALTY)

Step 1- Mix stuff with fork (mixture should
Step 2- Divide into 6 parts and fry in clarified butter 2-3 mins each side
Step 3—Serve!

NOTE: Commercial preserved lemon has been appearing in stores recently. The brand I’ve seen around in stores is this one:

But if you can’t find the lemons, just use a teaspoon of chopped capers instead.



About the Authors

Astrid Amara lives in Bellingham, Washington. She spends her days working as a civil servant, her nights sleeping, and the time in between either writing, riding horses, hiking around with her dogs, or staring at the wall. She is a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for her novel The Archer’s Heart , a contributor to the Irregulars anthology,  and is the author of numerous titles including the Holidays with the Bellskis series and Half Pass. Learn more at

Apart from being the editor for Blind Eye Books and the author of the Bellingham Mysteries, Nicole Kimberling is also a professional cook. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, where she is currently at work developing recipes that prominently feature kale and other locally-produced cruciforms.

Merry Gentlemen: interview, giveaway and review

Merry Gentlemen coverJust a fly by post to link a lovely review from Lisa on The Novel Approach

I absolutely adore Christmas stories and their sugarplum sweetness, so leave it to Josephine Myles to write a holiday treat that takes place around Christmastime but has little to do with the miracles and the fa-la-la-la-la, and everything to do with romantic complications, with much hilarity and bird poop thrown in just for fun. Yes, there’s a point to the poop. It’s pointedly practical poop, relevant to the plot and character development, even, so there. Read and you’ll understand.

And I’ve been interviewed over on Boy Meets Boy Reviews, and there’s a giveaway. Check it out to find out more about the background to the story :)

The Junk Blog Tour calls at Pants Off Reviews

Junk Blog Tour BannerToday I’m blogging about the experience of finally starting a proper series over on the lovely DarienMoya’s blog, Pants Off Reviews. Come and share your favourite series! Leave a comment there for a chance for a $5 ebook voucher.

And there’s another guest post and giveaway I’m involved in today, for the Summer Lovin’ blog tour. That’s over on Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews, along with a fabulous review by Monique!