Hi guys! We have K.L. Noone Popping in today with the tour for her new release Steadfast, we have a brilliant sneak peek of Cinnamon and Strawberries K.L.’s holiday novella (releasing in December), we have a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
A love story for the ages! An intimate confession! An epic quest! And happily ever after on the horizon…
Jason Mirelli loves Colby Kent. And Colby loves him. They’ve told the world. And Colby’s recovered from injury, so they’re back at work and back on set. Jason just might have everything he’s ever dreamed of, with a serious leading role, an epic love story, and Colby safe and happy in his arms—but they only have two weeks of filming to go. He’s afraid of the dream falling apart, and he knows Colby has a secret to confess—one that could transform both the ending of their movie and their future together.
Colby never got around to telling Jason his final secret before the accident on set. Now that he’s recovered, he wants to share his writing and his silent script doctor work with the man he loves. Besides, he’s rewritten this script to give their characters a proper happy ending. But he’s nervous about making changes to a classic novel, and he wants the author’s approval.
Colby’s hoping to seek out the famously reclusive author in question, but first he’ll need to trust Jason with this last piece of himself. If he can, he and Jason might finally find their happily-ever-after both on screen and off—for their characters and for themselves.
Holiday Novella Preview!
a Jason & Colby holiday novella preview! From “Cinnamon and Strawberries,” coming December 2020 from JMS Books…
Colby finished arranging lights—gold and white and twinkling—across a bookshelf. Felt Jason’s height and weight and action-hero presence arriving beside him. Turned and put an arm around his other half’s waist, fitting their bodies together. “I like the color. It’s a warm sort of gold. If that makes sense.”
“It does.” Jason dropped a kiss above Colby’s right eyebrow, casual and affectionate and therefore miraculous. “What do you think of the stairs?”
Colby looked. The holiday garland wreathed its way up the bannister, green leaves and holly and small shimmering lights; two decorative reindeer, sculpted in metal and flowing lines, held a conversation on the lowest step, off to one side. Jason had set them out, humming carols under his breath. Colby’s laptop had been playing some nineteen-fifties holiday classics, though it’d stopped a bit ago. He’d been listening to the rain.
Cinnamon and pine and roasted chestnut scents wafted. Coffee and freshly-baked sugar cookies waited in the kitchen. They hadn’t got a tree yet, though that’d been the plan for the afternoon; small old-fashioned lanterns glowed and glass jars of pine-cones perched on shelves and a delicate spray of bronze snowflakes cavorted around the window. The front door wore a holiday-steampunk wreath, full of small gears and toy-workshop tools in bronze and dark green and crimson and deep gold.
The front door. Their front door. Their home, here in London. Himself and Jason, because Jason’s workout equipment and fantasy roleplaying game manuals and massive shoulders had moved in. Himself and Jason, because they’d fallen in love on set and off, through characters and love scenes and afternoons spent running lines and shared book recommendations. Because Jason had stayed with him when he’d been injured, and Colby had told that enormous kind heart a few secrets he’d never shared with anyone, and he and Jason had each other, now.
Like the holidays, he thought. Every day.
He leaned against Jason, secure in the knowledge of happiness. “I love it.”
“I love you.” Jason touched a finger to Colby’s cheek; Colby promptly kissed the fingertip. Jason went on, “Not sure you want to go out and get a tree in this? I know you love rain, but this feels like a weather wizard’s working out frustrations.”
“Welcome to England in December. Laurie wants to know my mince pie recipe, so we can find and practice that instead, and acquire a tree when there isn’t a deluge. It’s been at least two years since I’ve made those.” Sir Laurence Taylor apparently liked to cook, especially sweets, and cheerfully texted at random times to send pictures or ask questions. Colby occasionally looked at the name of that venerable acting legend popping up on his phone, and then had to sit down and remind himself that this was real.
He’d worked with other actors, with big names, before. Sir Laurence was the sort of name that the other big names murmured about, with awe.
They’d been lucky to have him on Steadfast at all, much less in the significant role of Colby’s on-screen father. And somehow he’d decided that Colby needed a friend, or at least perhaps they both needed someone to talk to about Shakespeare and sticky toffee pudding.
“Not sure I’ve ever had a real mince pie.” Jason had become sidetracked by traditional holiday foods. “It’s got…raisins?”
“And currants, and apples, and mixed peel, and in my version brandy and a bourbon cream sauce. I’m absolutely going to need a new suit fitting before our premiere. Speaking of, did you see Jill’s text?”
“About meeting up whenever we’re back in LA to see my family? Yeah. I’ll check with Mom tonight and we can figure out the timing.” Jason’s hands snuck beneath Colby’s jumper, under violet knit, resting over bared skin. “You feel nice.”
“I’ve put on weight.”
“Nice,” Jason repeated, with some emphasis; Colby knew perfectly well that those big soulful brown eyes worried. Jason had never liked how thin he’d been, back when he’d kept forgetting to eat and hadn’t bothered cooking much and hid cold weary bones under layers of shirts and scarves and armor. “You want me to make lunch? Something with stuffed peppers and sweet potatoes, maybe? Something easy.”
“I do love it when you cook for us.” He did. Jason was in fact an excellent cook, having grown up with a mother and grandmother who held very loud Italian opinions about sauces and risotto and garlic. Jason had, before Colby, got out of the habit of making anything, living alone and single in Los Angeles and not going to the trouble; but he’d always liked cooking for partners, he’d said, if someone wanted him to, and the hint of bashful embarrassed hope had gone straight to Colby’s heart and woven gold into all the cracks.
They tended to cook together, these days.
He tucked his face into Jason’s neck for a moment. “You smell like pine needles and guava.”
“The first part’s your candles. Also you know I borrowed your soap, in the shower. You were there. Mine’s almost out.”
“We should go shopping. And I was still a bit fuzzy after all the magnificent sex. You’re lucky I was coherent at all. If I was. Did you say something about icing sugar, or did I?”
“You did. Like being decorated, you said. Lots of white splashes all over you. And cream. Can I decorate you some more?”
“Yes,” Colby said, and curled a finger around a belt-loop of Jason’s jeans. “Right now? Right here?”
Jason steadied Colby and himself as best he could. His heart hadn’t calmed down yet. Slamming into his ribs—seeing Colby come running through a doorway, eyes wide, breath quick—hearing Colby ask for help—
But Colby’s eyes were bright. And Colby’s hand on his arm was exuberant, not frightened.
“—I’ve saved them, you see,” Colby was saying, voice tripping all over itself in excitement, accent rippling and delighted. “I’ve worked it out, the happy ending, and I’m very sorry you’ll have to lose an arm, but that won’t be too dreadful, and your Stephen can come home to Will after all, but if I’m going to change anything that drastic I do want to explain, so I’ll need your help, but anyway, here, tell me whether you think it’s all right—”
“You’re okay,” Jason said.
“Oh.” Colby blinked at him, then smiled. Will’s dressing gown slid off one shoulder; Jason moved to tug it back up, but Colby already was, unselfconsciously graceful. “Yes. Very much.”
“You…saved Will and Stephen?” He took offered script pages. “You changed the ending?”
“Yes, I had to—I couldn’t let them be tragic—yes, go on, read it—”
Serenity the PA had tactfully wandered down the hallway and was pretending to be texting. Night fell like a slowing carousel around them, through tall curtain-framed windows full of stars.
Jason kept an arm around Colby, who believed in happy endings. Found the beginning of the new scenes.
After a minute he said, “Holy shit yes.”
“Yes, I thought so too, did you like the bit when Stephen—”
“Hang on, I’m not done—” It was good. It was so good. He wanted to leap headlong into Colby’s words, to plunge into this imagined historical future. He could see himself playing it out, knowing exactly the quaking weight in Stephen’s steps toward Will’s townhouse, fearful and hopeful, reunion only a possibility until it became triumphantly real…
He knew how Stephen would gather Will close with his one good arm, and how the tears would burn: Will lived, Will still wanted him, they would face the rebuilding of their lives together.
His chest ached, because Colby had written words that reached in and gripped his heart and shook it apart and then soothed it into a soft safe rhythm again.
He looked up, after. “This is right.”
“Yes,” Colby said. “Yes. It’s a good history—two men getting to be happy together, because they did, they could, we have to tell those stories—”
“But it’s also right for them. What they do with the house, with their lives—”
“I wanted it,” Colby said, “to feel like joy.” He looked like joy too, wrapped up in an embroidered period dressing gown.
“It does,” Jason said. “It does.”
“But to make that change…” Colby hesitated, excitement not dimmed but reshaped. “First we’ll have to tell Jillian. It’ll alter the tone of the film.”
“She’ll love it. I do.”
“I think she will—we’d talked about the ending, and I’d said I wasn’t entirely happy—but it’ll mean a longer shoot. I can put more money into it, that’s not a problem, but we’ll be asking the crew to extend their commitment. I’ll understand if some of them can’t, of course.”
Jason mentally skipped over the financing comment. It was a reminder—Colby had a hell of a lot of money even compared to Jason’s action-hero income, enough to casually fling at a production in need—but he’d already made peace with that. He knew Colby used it to help people.
More importantly, he guessed that most if not all of their crew would stay on. If not for the paycheck, for Colby. “Bet they’ll want to. This is big. This kind of story. Telling it.”
“That’s the other part. I know how much the novel means to the people who love it.” Colby squared shoulders. “I think, in order to do this…we should go and find George Forrest and ask. Not permission, precisely—he gave that when we agreed on the rights, and he said he didn’t want to be involved—not bothered by all that nonsense, was how he put it—but I’d like some sort of…”
“Perhaps. I want to be respectful. I’ll show him my version, and he can comment, I’d not mind, he knows Will and Stephen the best—I wonder if he’d like raspberry tarts as a sort of gift—”
The next realization hit Jason’s brain like a falling ton of Regency-era bricks. “Colby?”
“That’s the bit I’d like your help with, not the baking but the travel, because—”
“Possibly not tarts?”
“If you do this…if we do this…” He had both hands on Colby’s shoulders. Bracing. “It’ll mean telling people. About your writing. It’ll have to. We could try to keep your secret, I know you and Jill’ve been good at that, and I’ll help, you know I will. But it won’t work for long. If you’re the one finding the author, if you’re showing him this—if even one person says even one thing—with the press we’ve already got…” He gave up, said it again: “You’ll have to tell people. And I know you don’t want to.”
Colby didn’t flinch. “I know. I’m fine with it.”
“I am. I’d already decided that, last night. I thought…yes, it’ll change things, but I’m proud of what I write. And I love Stephen and Will, and I believe in romance, and if giving them a happy ending means being a bit brave about sharing myself, I can do that.”
You can, Jason thought. His hands gentled, holding those slender shoulders; his heart skipped a beat, caught breath, felt awe like sunrise. He thought that even without being in love with Colby, which he was, he’d love Colby: someone who cared about happiness deeply enough to face the price of it with open eyes. With freshly-made raspberry tarts in hand.
Character Bleed series!
Seaworthy (book 01)
Stalwart (book 02)
About K.L. Noone!
K.L. Noone employs her academic research for writing romance, frequently LGBTQIA, often paranormal, fantasy, or historical. Her full-length romance novels include the Character Bleed trilogy (Seaworthy, Stalwart, Steadfast), Cadence and the Pearl, and A Demon for Midwinter, available from JMS Books, and A Prophecy for Two, available from Inkshares, and she’s also the author of multiple romance short stories with JMS Books, and previously with Less Than Three Press, Circlet Press, and Ellora’s Cave. Her non-romance fantasy fiction has appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress and the magazine Aoife’s Kiss.
With the Professor Hat on, she’s published scholarly work on romance, fantasy, and folklore, including a book on Welsh mythology in popular culture and a book on ethics in Terry Pratchett’s fantasy. She is happily bisexual, married to the marvelous Awesome Husband, and currently owned by a long-legged black cat named Merlyn.