Cover Reveal for In Case You Missed It by S. M. James (excerpt)

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COVER REVEAL

Book Title: In Case You Missed It

Author: S. M. James

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Genre/s: YA LGBTQ romance

Heat Rating: 1-2 flames

Release Date: February 12, 2019

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Tagline

Brooks measured his life in breaths, until Darien took his breath away.

 

Blurb

Brooks is convinced his life is totally, one hundred percent happy. 

Until Darien tracks him down.

Darien was supposed to be the guy he kissed once and remembered forever, but now he’s back in Brooks’s life, with easy smiles and big ideas.

The first of which … show the homeschooled Brooks everything he’s missed out on. But as the pair work through a spring of playing catch up on life, it becomes obvious to Darien that Brooks has a secret. 

And as things heat up between them, Brooks’s secret might just be Darien’s worst fear.

Because Darien has always lived in the moment. 

But Brooks has always lived for the future he knows is inevitable. 

When life is set to tear them apart, will love be enough to keep them together?

 

Excerpt 

“Yo, Dare!” Cameron shouts.

Darien turns toward us in the bleachers and throws up a little wave. From the corner of my eye, I notice Chelsea pointing at me, and Darien double takes. His expression is almost comical.

Darien tosses his lacrosse stick to the side and jogs over to where we’re sitting. His eyes and smile are so wide he looks deranged, but the happiness radiating from him bathes me in warmth.

When he doesn’t say anything, I step in to fill the awkwardness. “Careful. People might think you’re happy to see me.”

He huffs a laugh, slightly out of breath. “Damn, Brooks. You could have given me some warning.”

I stand up and make my way down the few rows until I’m on the one right above him. The others are watching us creepily and it’s weird to have an audience when he’s looking at me like that. I should keep my distance. I can’t. “Are you surprised?”

“Very. You realize this is something you’ve been missing right? Checking out hot guys at practice. We can theoretically check that off your list.”

I pretend to scan the rest of the team. “Mmm … jocks in their natural habitat. My favorite.”

He whacks me in the stomach. “Mean.”

“You said it.”

“Yeah but you were supposed to say, ‘there’s just one guy I’m here for’.”

“I didn’t realize this thing was scripted,” I say, gripping the metal barrier and leaning down a little.

“Don’t be embarrassed. You’re clearly not as well versed in flirting as I am.”

Finallyyour ego makes sense. Too much flirting, not enough criticism.”

He holds his arms out. “What’s there to critique?”

And with that view of his body—his lean legs and loose shorts and tight t-shirt—I have to agree. Damn … the list of reasons why I should give him up melts away. There’s no walking away from this pull between us.

“Mitreski!” his coach calls, snapping me from my thoughts.

Darien ignores him as he drops his arms and steps closer to me. He reaches up to wrap one of his hands over mine. “Wait for me after practice?”

My mind gets loud with warning. What if he’s sick?

What if I catch it again?

What if I end up in hospital this time?

What if.

What if.

What if … he’s perfect for me? Hope surges in my chest.

What if I tell him everything and he doesn’t walk away? What if I get better? It’s an impossible thought, but when I’m with Darien, he makes me want to entertain infinite impossibilities.

“Mitreski, now!”

“Yes,” I whisper. “I’ll be here.”

Darien’s hand tightens around mine. “I don’t want to let go,” he admits.

“There are some thoughts you’re meant to keep to yourself.” But as he goes to pull away, I catch his fingers between my own. Just for a second. Just long enough to show that while I’ll keep the thought to myself, I don’t want to let go either.

As soon as I release him, he jogs back to his team, and I walk back up the three rows to where the others are sitting.

Heat has surged to my face, my ears, my neck. I’m sure I must be embarrassingly red but no one says a thing about it.

Cameron smiles at me, blue eyes twinkling, and it hits me just how much I love my cousin. He’s always been there for me, looking out for me. He knew I needed this.

I nudge him as Darien and the team set up a practice game. “Thank you.”

Cameron shrugs. “I overhead you two today. It was sickening. Really sappy. I had to get you together again, because no one needs to hear that.”

If Cameron told me why he wanted me to pick him up, I probably wouldn’t have come. I would have used the excuse of Darien being sick, and stayed away, intimidated by the thought of showing up—especially with Chelsea here too.

But as I watch Darien run back and forth, with no clue what the rules are, I feel like I’m lit up from the inside. He scores at one point and I’m practically bursting with pride as we cheer and stomp our feet, making as much noise as possible.

Instead of getting embarrassed, he mock bows, loving the attention.

I lean over to Cameron. “I’m going to tell him.”

He jerks around to look at me, all humor gone. “For real? Brooks, are you sure?”

“You’re the one who said I have to.”

He shrugs. “It’s really not up to me.”

“I know.” I hesitate before letting out a sigh. “But it’s not up to me either. I really like him, but he has the right to know what he’s getting into, before anything happens.”

“I hate to agree with you … but it’s true.”

“I’m a lot to take on.”

No, you’re not. You need to stop seeing yourself as a burden. Fuck, Brooks. You’re always going on about wanting to be treated the same as anyone else, but you need to start treating yourself that way too.”

Cameron’s right. It pisses me off that he’s right so I’m definitely not going to agree, but I note his words. Let them sit, percolate. Soak them into my subconscious. “I have to tell him.” I push as much emphasis as I can into the words, trying to convince myself as much as him. “But I have no clue how.”

“Hey, don’t overthink it. The right moment will come up, and whatever happens from there, happens.”

I watch Darien, wishing the world could just slow and give me endless days of school, and watching practice, and making friends, as I plunge into a world of incomprehensible feelings.

“It’s the ‘whatever’ part I’m afraid of.”

But facing it is inevitable.

 

About the Author 

S. M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, S. M. is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

Member of SCBWI. 

Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Bookbub

Amazon

Goodreads

 

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Release Blitz To Be Honest (#lovehim #3) by S. M. James (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: To Be Honest (#lovehim series book 3

Author: S. M. James

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Genre/s: YA LGBT romance

Length: 81,000 words/380 pages

Heat Rating: 1 – 2 flames

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: November 15, 2018

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Paperback US 

Paperback UK

Paperback AU 

Blurb

2400 miles. Four friends. One big secret.

Angus Reid is pretty sure he’s being catfished. 

After spending the last half of junior year talking online to the guy of his dreams, Angus wants to meet. In person. So when Scotty brushes it off with excuses of not being ready, red flags go up.

Determined to either catch Scotty out, or take a shot at real love, Angus embarks on a summer road trip with his adorkable roommate, Tyler. But as summer stretches on, and mixed messages fly between them, Angus finds his heart torn.

His potential catfisher?

Or his straight best friend?

And while their road trip takes them across the country, Angus is headed for one destination.

Either a happily ever after … or a broken heart.

All books in the #lovehim series are stand alones. The series number is recommended reading order.

Excerpt

I pull out of the parking lot and Tyler directs me to the campsite. The ground is rough as anything, and it’s lucky it’s summer, because I can just imagine that in winter we would be driving on ice.

“Just here,” Tyler points to a space ahead, confirming it on the map the campsite admin handed us.

It’s reasonably busy and we’ve had to drive a bit further down. There’s forest pushing in all around us and I can only spot two other tents. Not that those monstrous things could be called tents.

“Just do you know,” I say as I put the car in park and follow Tyler out. “If I get killed, I’ll hold you personally responsible.”

“If you get killed, I promise I’ll make it up to you.”

“I’ve got to tell you though, I’m not planning on dying a virgin.”

He throws a smirk at me over the roof. “Don’t worry, neither am I.”

I open the trunk and start shifting some of our stuff into the front while Tyler lays down the back seats. When I climb in, a thrum of electricity passes over my skin and I have to remind myself to cool it. We’re just friends. Tyler slides in after me.

“Here.” He hands me some blankets and we set to work making it comfortable before lying back, heads rested at the opening.

It’s so peaceful. The night is still and quiet, holding the warmth of the day, and the stars stretch out above us endlessly, smudges of silver blurring them together. I fold my hands behind my head as Tyler takes off his glasses and tosses them in the front.

“And that right there,” Tyler says in a nasally voice, pointing through the back windshield of the open trunk. “Is the ubulla majorious.”

I give him the side eye, not sure if he’s joking or not. “Oh yeah, and what’s that?” I point to another cluster.

“The fibrosious enema.

“And that?”

Ursulla’s Uranus.

I snort, rolling onto my side to look at him. “You are so full of shit.”

“I swear.” He lays a hand over his heart. “See? There’s Angusius’s Titianus.”

He finally gets a laugh out of me and I shove his shoulder a little. “I think your brain’s broken.”

“Nope. It remembers everything, remember, Angus?”

“I do remember. Which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if you knew all the actual names of the constellations and were just goofing around.”

He tries to hold back a guilty smile.

We lapse into a comfortable silence, him staring up at the stars, and me staring at everything but him.

I hesitate. “Thanks for not bailing on me.”

“Are you kidding? It was a choice between this and going home. Trust me, it was a no brainer.”

“I’m honored.” I roll my eyes.

He chuckles softly and pokes me in the bicep. Two fingers. Just like the first day we met. “You should be. You’re always my first choice.”

My cheeks heat and my stomach twists painfully. I’m well aware of his teasing tone but somehow my body completely misses it. “I mean, I wouldn’t say you’re my first choice. At least second or third, though.”

“Ho-oh!” He hangs his head back, showing off his long neck. “You’ve wounded me.”

“Need mouth to mouth?”

He cracks up. “I’d probably enjoy it too much.”

He’s teasing. Teasing. But damn it, if I don’t get this flirting under control it’s only a matter of when not if our friendship implodes.

I’m dying to trace my lips over that long, smooth stretch of skin just below his ear.

He rests his head to the side, looking at me, and a chunk of hair flops down in his eyes. “Have you heard from Scotty yet?”

The lust dries up as worry kicks in. “No, actually. I’m trying not to think about it.”

“I’m sure he’s fine.”

“If he’s done something—”

“No. He wouldn’t have. From what you’ve told me it was his choice, you can’t think like that.”

I scrub a hand over my face. “I basically forced it on him though.”

“Hey.” Tyler’s fingers circle my wrist and he tugs my hand away. “Nope. We’re not doing this. You don’t control other people’s choices. Not today, not tomorrow, just don’t.”

“If only it was that simple.” I sigh.

“It is.” He’s so certain I almost believe him. Instead I reach out and pull the back door closed.

“I’m tired,” I say, tucking up my legs. And if my legs are too long for the space, Tyler’s definitely will be.

With the door closed the outside world is cut off. Tyler turns back to the window, looking up at the sky, and for the thousandth time this year, I wish I had someone to share my feelings with. It sounds lame as hell but I could really use a hug. I just want somebody to be my somebody.

And with Scotty gone, I’m further from that than ever.

About the Author

S.M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

​​Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Instagram

BookBub

Goodreads

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following:

$30 Amazon gift card (AU or US only)

2 x paperbacks international (That Feeling When or To Be Honest)

3 x eBooks international (That Feeling When or To Be Honest)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: That Feeling When (#lovehim #1) by S.M. James

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

That feeling when…you realize you need to read the blurb to figure out what’s going on.

I may be in the minority, but I just didn’t care for this book. It was okay at best. Partly, because of the use of present tense and first person POV, but mostly, I didn’t get the attraction between a movie star of unknown age and a 17-year-old camper.

I finally read the blurb after I was over a quarter of the way through because I just didn’t get why an actor, whose age is never mentioned, would fall for a teen. According to the blurb, Landon Summers is a teen heartthrob, but his age is never mentioned in the story. He does state, at one point, that legal age for drinking in Australia is eighteen so when he offers a drink to the 17-year-old he has a crush on, he jokes that his trailer can be the Australian embassy. To me, that means he’s over eighteen.

The story also indicates he’s done three seasons on a teen show and he’s doing the movie for a teen audience and it’s filming at the camp where 17-year-old Archie and his twin are attending. We know Landon is on his own in Hollywood as his parents and siblings are still down under. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my math brain makes him a minimum of eighteen or nineteen, more likely twenty or twenty-one. And that just doesn’t float for me with his crush on and “insta”love for the formerly straight, now questioning, teen. More food for thought: Archie and his sister are there to improve their SAT scores but have apparently applied for colleges already because Archie has received a rejection from the dance academy he wanted to attend. That makes me believe they are going to be high school seniors. If true, I just don’t get this “romance” at all.

Landon is an okay character, but his decisions and worries seem rather childish. Most of his friends and family know he’s bi but coming out for someone has the potential to ruin his career. His behaviors in those instances are teen-worthy, but again, no age is specified. Archie, however, is worse with his worries about his father’s ambitions for him and his statements about not wanting to be both gay and a dancer. And he’s totally clueless as to why he’s attracted to Landon. Honestly, given the first person present tense of the story, I felt as if I were reading a girl’s diary.

I honestly don’t have anything good to say about the story, though I made a commitment to go to the end, where we discover the guys are finally going to spend some time together as more than friends. There were so many holes in the story and so much of it made me squeamish about Landon’s age that the most I can say is it was okay. Two stars.

The cover was cute—an attractive light blue color with a sketch of a man falling from the clouds toward another peeking out over the bottom frame.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 343 pages
Published September 16th 2018 by May Books
ASINB07DTB7MJ4
Series#lovehim #1

Blog Tour for That Feeling When by S. M. James (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: That Feeling When

Author: S. M. James

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling

Genre/s: YA, LGBT, contemporary romance

Length: 77,000 Words/343 pages

Release Date: September 16, 2018 (Available now in paperback)

Add on Goodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue  Words is happy to host S. M. James today. Thank you for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.

Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?

Yikes, yeah. It’s nerve-wracking stuff, especially as this book kicks off a 6-book series of stand alones PLUS their short stories. So we’ll see how that goes.

That Feeling When is a dual POV YA, which alternates chapters between Landon and Archie as they figure out who they are, and how far they’ll go for love. As for a favourite character, I don’t think there’s any way to pick. I finished writing this book and actually missed these guys, which is one of the totally weird and wonderful things about being a writer. And now I’ve finished writing To Be Honest, I feel the same way about those guys.

As for my favourite part, there’s a certain scene involving a camera, an audition, and a whole lot of trust, that really builds Archie and Landon’s relationship up to another level and was a lot of fun to write. It was great to see Archie finally let go of his insecurities.

  • What is your favorite underappreciated novel?

Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green. Holy moly that book was hilarious and I seriously rec it everywhere I go. I can’t remember a book actually making me laugh out loud before—the situations Noah kept getting himself into just got more and more ridiculous. And the sequel lived up to it, which is always a great surprise. I need to reread this one soon.

  • Does your research lead to bizarre internet searches? If so, tell us about some of your wackier searches, or ones that would make you nervous if your computer were ever confiscated by law enforcement.

Heh, umm. You could say that. There have been bombs, automatic weapons, and disposing of bodies, because what else do characters in a fantasy novel need to know? For one of my genre novels I had to look up how long it took for a dead body to decompose, and there was this post about ‘Coffin births’ and DON’T LOOK IT UP because gross! So gross! (And if you did look it up, sorry to scar you for life but you were warned.) As you can tell, I’m still not past it.

The most interesting thing I’ve researched for contemporary is anterograde amnesia. Some of the stories from people living with it were almost beyond comprehension. For my next novel, I’m continuing my research into Cystic Fibrosis and the impact it has on day to day life.

  • Who would play the main characters in a movie about your book?

Haha there’s a reason I don’t cast movies.

I feel like I should have a Pinterest board for this kind of question but it is appallingly hard to find Aboriginal actors. I did watch an interview with Mark Coles Smith once, who may not look exactly like Landon, but had the same kind of boyish charm.

For Archie, man, take your pick. Brenton Thwaites, Billy Unger, Nick Robertson. If they can manage surly and vulnerable, we’re good.

  • What is your favorite quote?

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry. But why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

(Five guesses what this is from).

 

 

Blurb

Dance Academy reject, Archie Corrigan, resents the stereotype guy ballet dancers are gay. Because he isn’t. At all. Forced to reassess his life goal at Camp Crystal Cove, it’s by sheer dumb luck he meets Landon Summers, who turns everything Archie was sure of into chaos.

Poor boy turned teen heartthrob, Landon Summers, is the name on everyone’s lips. With his unexpected leap to fame, his agent advises him to keep his bi status on the down low. Not a problem! Until Landon meets Archie.

Their unexpected friendship leads to an inevitable kiss, but their moment is caught in high definition and used as fuel for blackmail. If the truth gets out, Landon’s career could be over, and Archie will be forced to acknowledge the one thing he’s fought to deny.

But how do you go back to your average life once you’ve experienced That Feeling When … you’re finally happy?

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited 

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Excerpt

Landon Summers is into guys. I think he likes you.

And while Meredith didn’t say anything about me, there was something way too

knowing in her look. Everyone else seems too into their own lives to be paying us any

attention, and even when we’re announced winners of the trivia, my celebration doesn’t

crack the surface chill that’s taken over me.

Meredith’s wrapped her arm through mine, and she’s cheering with the others, one hand

in the air.

I’m a week in the past. Watching Landon pull on that stupid costume in the dark. The

spark in his eyes as he thanked me. The brush of his skin on mine.

How was that only a week ago?

Why can’t I go back and enjoy that moment more? Savor my time with him?

Really take it all in, before he went and messed it all up.

About the Author

SM James in an Australian author who writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters. While not writing, SM is a readaholic and netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee. Member of SCBWI. Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBT+ characters.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Instagram

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following prizes:

1 x Paperback copy of That Feeling When (US only)

2 x $15 Amazon gift card (international)

3 x eBook copy of That Feeling When (international)

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