Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit and Give-Away: JL Merrow

As part of our anniversary celebrations, author JL Merrow popped by for a visit. Unfortunately Lorix couldn't get her teapot out as JL isn't a fan, so we cracked open a bottle of wine and found out a bit more about this fabulous author.

Firstly, she told us (and now you) about her newly re-vamped short story, Making It Pay.

Making It Pay (A short story)

Sometimes you can’t see the silver lining for the clouds…
Abandoned as a baby and now working as a rent boy, Daniel finds it hard to let people get close to him. But nightclub bouncer Rob has a kind face and he’s helped Daniel out once already, so when he catches Daniel on a bad night, Daniel accepts his offer of money and goes home with him.
Even though it breaks his heart.
Letting Rob pay him for sex may have wrecked their friendship just when Daniel needs all the friends he can get. But there are more reasons than one why he hasn’t seen Rob since that night—and one in particular that makes building a relationship seem almost too much to hope for…
Due out from JMS Books  16th November 2014
Note: a version of this short story first appeared in the Dreamspinner Sindustry anthology, now out of print, under the title Sunshine. The story has been fully revised and re-edited, and is around 10% longer than the previously published version.

Then it was time for the interview! yay....*sips from wine and listens closely*.

What are your favourite M/M themes? 
I find the stories I connect with most tend to feature a damaged, vulnerable—yet strong—first person narrator. Which probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s skipped ahead to read my answer to the next question!  I’ll happily read most sub-genres of m/m, but mystery and historical are particular favourites at the moment.

What books do you consider Desert Island Keepers?
It’d have to be some of the first m/m books I ever discovered—the Adrien English mysteries by Josh Lanyon, and the PsyCop series by Jordan Castillo Price. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of re-reading those ones! PsyCop, because Vic Bayne is such a fantastic, flawed character—and the Adrien English books because, like everything else Josh writes, they’re just so well written. 

What's your go-to tasty beverage?
As I say in my author bio, I’m that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea—so if I’m working, it’s coffee, or if the sun’s well over the yard-arm and I’ve clocked off for the day, a nice, large glass of shiraz.

Do you have any secret talents? Inquiring minds want to know!
Well, back in my college days, I used to be a member (on the Latin side) of the Cambridge University Ballroom Dancing Team, so I have jived for Cambridge! 

If you had to choose to be one magical beast, what would it be and why? (You don't have to say unicorn...but we won't say neigh either). 
Hmm... I think I’d go for a being a dragon.  Flying would be awesome, and the ability to make my enemies burst into flames would be pretty cool, too. And a girl can never have too large a hoard of gold. ;)

Do you have author envy? Whose words do you read and think, "GAH, I wish I wrote that!"?
Without a doubt, Alex Beecroft. Her descriptions are so vivid and so lyrical, and her imagination so wide-ranging. And whatever she’s writing about, she really knows her stuff!

Any new projects you're currently working on? 
I’m currently finishing up the sequel to Caught!, which is titled Played! and is due out from Samhain in June 2015. It features a different main couple, but Sean and Robert from Caught! make an appearance too. And I’m in the planning stages for a third book in the Shamwell Tales, which will feature one of the side characters in Played!, plus a new character, in an age-gap romance.

JL Merrow is kindly offering up an e copy of Making It Pay and any one story from her backlist, to one lucky winner. To enter to win, please leave a comment on this blog post and let us know:
(1) your name and a means of contacting you (e.g., email, Twitter handle, link to Goodreads account, etc.) and 
(2) Your secret talent! 

The competition closes at midday (GMT) on Sunday 23rd November. Winners will be chosen at random and contacted by December 6th. Good luck!

Thank you JL for dropping by, to find out more about JL Merrow visit her goodreads page.

Author Bio:
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again.  Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour.  Her novellaMuscling Through was a 2013 EPIC Award finalist, and her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy.

JL Merrow is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at:

on Twitter as @jlmerrow

and on Facebook at


  1. HaHa No secret talent here! Thank you for the chance at the giveaway!

  2. Secret talent would be keeping my sanity with a very active 3 year old. Thanks for the great giveaway chance!

  3. Huh. I was seriously struggling to think if I had a secret talent and unfortunately the only thing coming to mind is incredibly disgusting - I can reach my nostrils with my tongue and make it look like I'm picking my nose. My baby brother used to love this trick right up to his early teens!

  4. Please count me in too. My secret talent would be in helping to edit other people's letters, articles, comments.
    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

  5. Thanks for the great interview and contest! No real secret talent here, except maybe "managing" my team at work and my family at home. :-)

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

  6. I have been trying ti figure out my secret talent but everyone knows of them. Debby
    debby236@gmail dot com

  7. Great review. Secrew talent? Hm. I would tell you. But then I would have to kill you. ;)

  8. I was a dj on my college's radio station, I've got a great on air voice.
    jasdarts at hotmail dot com

  9. I'm pretty good at card tricks.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. Struggling for secret talents! Can't wait for the next Plumbers Mate book - loving Tom and Phil!

  11. Secret talent? I can key numbers on a 10-key at 400 npm accurately and carry on a conversation . I would love to read this book. Dmdkindle at gmail dot com

  12. My secret talent is playing the clarinet. I know, that's awesome right?
    debdeege (at) optonline (dot) net

  13. I can lock the knuckles on the first two fingers on both hands.

  14. Secret talents? I think I have no secret talents. :(


  15. Congratulations Donna, you are our randomly picked winner!! Worth having a nose picking tongue for.....
    You will be contacted by us and JL Merrow. Thanks everyone for joining in!