Rainbow Snippets: Just Our Luck

Here we are! Back with another Rainbow Snippet*!

This week’s snippet comes from Just Our Luck, being written for JMS’s 13th anniversary!

“You’re looking at me again.”

“Yeah, yeah. You caught me. Must be that pretty face of yours.” 

In the middle of pulling a pair of Luca’s pants out of the laundry basket, N’ver froze with one of those I’m-might-strike-you-dead expressions on his face. The very second N’ver slid that look to side-eye Luca with it, Luca held in a laugh and shrunk back, pushing himself as far against the arm of the couch as possible. 

“You cannot escape that way, you know,” N’ver said. “You may try fleeing for your life, but I highly doubt you’ll make it.” 

“How ‘bout begging? Will that work?”

“It couldn’t hurt.”

Luca put on the most pitiful face he could conjure—lip pushed out and down and quivering, eyes wide and pleading, fingers interlaced and pinned under his chin—and whimpered. They both enjoyed those little noises Luca could make, and Luca was very much not ashamed to make them now, sitting on the couch in the living room folding laundry with the half-demon he’d accidentally summoned and had somehow fallen in love with. 

“Please, N’ver Moore? Don’t kill me. I promise, I’ll be good.” 

N’ver didn’t only scoff, he rolled his head back, but Luca guessed that was to hide the laugh he didn’t want him to see. 

“Fine. I suppose I can spare your life this time. But only because you are so very utterly pathetic.” Before resuming the folding, N’ver paused, hesitated, and then glanced Luca’s way with a worried pinch between his eyes. “I…I didn’t mean—”

“I know, N’ver.”

*Those who participate in the Rainbow Snippets FB group try to post six sentences from a WIP, completed work, a book rec, etc, and then share it with the group.


Trans Rights Read-a-thon Day Three

Another day, another chapter, another pledge! Four chapters down!

If you’d like to support my fundraising by matching my donations or just making a one-time donation (or simply interacting with my posts and others in the tag!) you can do so at my gofundme. I’m raising money for the Trevor Project by pledging a flat donation of $50 and then $5 for every chapter I read this week.

Words in Progress Wednesday

Today’s words are from the story I’m working on for JMS’s 13th anniversary.

Just Our Luck is about Luca Antonelli, a seventh-generation Third-Tier Wizard born on the seventh day of the seventh month at seven o’clock in the morning. But Luca was born with an unfortunate condition. He was born unlucky. After a botched attempt at asking someone out on a date leaves him mortified, Luca desperately attempts to brew a luck potion. Only instead of getting a potion, Luca accidentally summons a demon.

N’ver Moore is a half-demon of the Moon Tribe who was sold into servitude as a baby. Whenever someone uses the correct spell, it binds him to a new master. Being bound to Luca Antonelli is unlike anything he’s ever experienced.

(I’ll write a better blurb at another time lol)

The shards of glass rattled and scraped along the floor as they reshaped themselves into what they once were. Magic brushed across Luca’s skin, feather-light and kind, and when Luca, finished with the quick and basic mending spell, took a good look at it, he frowned, disappointed by the outcome. Sure, the cup had mended itself, but not without a few jagged lines and one big crack down the middle. Better than nothing, but it’d be nicer had the repairs been a bit more flawless.

“Sorry.” He picked up the mug and handed it to Nathan. “It’s not…the best. If you want me to pay for it—”

“Wow!” Nathan exclaimed, taking the mug and examining it, turning it this way and that to get a better look. “That was incredible! I didn’t know you were so good at magic! Are you leveled?”

“Ah…” Luca scratched the back of his neck and first offered a nervous chuckle. “Well, I…yeah, sorta.”

“I had no idea! Are you ranked? What’s your level? And title?!”

Not used to anyone making a big deal of his magic, considering, especially, his magic had never really impressed anyone before, Luca blushed and awkwardly shifted his weight from foot to foot.

“I chose wizard for myself,” Luca said. “And I’m a Third-Tier, but just barely.”

The grin on Nathan’s face made Luca’s heart do some very silly things. A somersault or two. Some fluttering. Even a few sparkles glittered.

“Third-Tier, Fifth-Tier, whatever, hell, you’re ranked! I couldn’t even get into an academy to study magic, let alone take a Ranking Qualifier Exam.” He shrugged, and managed to convey disappointment, longing, and resignation all in one shoulder lift. “My family’s always been touched, but never produced any real practitioners. All I can do is simple illusions and dumb impressions.” Nathan rotated his hand, turning the cup in it. As he did, the cup changed from yellow to orange and then back again.

“Nothing special.” Still grinning, he sighed, and said, “Anyway, I’ll get this all cleaned up and then bring you another hot chocolate.”

Another smile tickled Luca’s mouth, threatening to pull wider and wider, a damn hanger shoved in his mouth. He nodded, and took a step back to allow Nathan some extra room to clean the mess Luca’d made. When he did, however, the back of his foot clipped one of the chair legs, rocking him off-balance. His hand landed hard on the back of the chair, but his momentum was too much for it to help him. The chair started to fall, taking him with it.

The only reason Luca remained upright, was the hand under his elbow. Nathan’s hand kept Luca steady, helped him gather his bearings, put the world back in place for him.

“You good?” Nathan asked once it became clear Luca wasn’t about to crash. “Luca?”

Luca, face flushing so hot, wouldn’t be surprised to see steam rising off him. He had no idea which way to look, which direction would be less humiliating. All he knew for sure was looking right at Nathan would likely result in Luca bursting into a thousand mortified pieces. Didn’t help much when he took a peek at Nathan and found him grinning. Amused, Luca thought, and couldn’t bring himself to look away again.

“You’re a little clumsy,” Nathan said with a cute chuckle in the back of his throat, “ain’t ya’?”

Oh, clumsy didn’t even begin to cover it. Yes, Luca was a klutz, but dear gods, it went so much further. From bumbling awkwardness to being an introverted extrovert. A talented wizard who could barely work his own magic. Still, Nathan waited for an answer with that adorable smile on his face.

“I—well, sorta, I guess. Uh…” Luca shifted in place. “I’m sorry, I keep makin’ a mess and—”

“Don’t apologize, kid.” Nathan’s hand moved from beneath Luca’s elbow to over his shoulder. “I think it’s cute.”

Luca’s belly flipped. Cheeks warming, again, he froze, staring wide-eyed at Nathan. Not only had Nathan started something of an actual conversation with him, he said he thought he was cute. Well, technically, he said he thought Luca’s clumsiness was cute, but Luca’s clumsy ass belonged to Luca, ergo, Nathan thought Luca was cute.

Of course, instead of replying with some sentiment of gratitude or responding with a returning compliment, Luca opened his mouth only to have a ridiculous giggle drop out of it. He desperately tried to stop this by clapping both hands over his mouth and folding in his lips; both efforts a huge failure. Maybe clumsy was cute, but this was thoroughly embarrassing.

This silly reaction to such a simple remark made Nathan’s eyebrows lift. He smiled, the amber flecks in his eyes glistening like buried treasure.

“Uh. So.” Nathan started heading back to the counter. “I’ll go grab your drink.”

“Oh, um, actually, my lunch hour’s almost over.” Not exactly a lie, even if most people didn’t really count twenty more minutes as almost over. Luca, noticing how much of his Quiché remained, shoveled a bunch more into his mouth before continuing with, “I should probably get back.”

This hadn’t been the worst interaction, but Luca did not want to push his luck. He needed to get out of here before disaster struck.

“Um, okay? What about your hot chocolate? I could make it a to-go order if you want.”

But Luca was already attempting to flee, to make his daring escape, before he made a complete and utter ass of himself. An even bigger one, as it were.

“N-no, that’s…it’s all good.” He clipped the back of his hip on the corner of a table as he backed away. Not exactly helpful in his attempts to keep from making a fool of himself. And it hurt. Enough to make him wince, but not enough to make him stop to soothe the pain. “I really need to go.”

The perplexed look Nathan gave him almost made Luca stop. Almost crashing into the person behind him and coming much too close to knocking their coffee all over the floor, however, kept him going.

“Uh…’kay. Will I see you tomorrow?”

“Yeah!” Luca replied, far too loud to sound casual. Cheeks burning red, he tried to fix his blunder with a, “I mean…yeah. Sure. I dunno. Maybe,” and hoped like hell Nathan—even without a magical education—could magically decipher his ridiculous rambling.

Nathan may’ve tried to say something else; he did open his mouth and all, but if he did want to add a little more to this very awkward and embarrassing farewell, Luca didn’t give him the chance. Instead, he spun around and sprinted the last few steps to the door, tried to shove it open only to remember after a few attempts that he needed to pull, and then flung himself out into the cold afternoon, wondering if this was a good time to find a new place for lunch.

Happy Trans Rights Readathon!

As per my last post, I’m participating in the #transrightsreadathon via tiktok (also sharing through facebook and Instagram)

If you’d like to support my fundraising by matching my donations or just making a one-time donation (or simply interacting with my posts and others in the tag!) you can do so at my gofundme. I’m raising money for the Trevor Project by pledging a flat donation of $50 and then $5 for every chapter I read this week. I’ll be reading Season 2, Episode Nine of Cole McCade’s Criminal Intentions.

Happy Reading!

Trans Rights Read-A-Thon

Let’s fight hate through reading!

Below are pieces of an article in the Mary Sue about the Trans Rights Redathon.

As transgender rights are challenged across the US in increasingly horrifying ways, the internet is coming together to raise money to fight these unjust laws and support transgender people. Author and journalist Sim Kern has created a Trans Rights Readathon, which will take place from March 20th-27th across TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

The Trans Rights Readathon is a decentralized fundraiser, meaning every participant gets to set up a fundraiser for whatever trans organization or individual they prefer. After announcing their participation in the event, creators will read books by trans authors and post content using the hashtag #TransRightsReadathon, including book recommendations or their to-be-read (TBR) list.

“A few days ago, I was feeling a lot of despair over the nearly 400 anti-trans bills proposed in the US,” Kern tells The Mary Sue via e-mail. “Online, I was hearing trans creators echoing that despair, but other than that I was hearing way too much silence. I saw a TikTok by Mercury Stardust talking through her tears about this despair, but also sharing that she’s doing something about it—by hosting a fundraiser March 30th, where she and Alluring Skull are going to raise $1 million for a trans charity, Point of Pride. 

“She inspired me to try to organize within my own community—which is book people and publishing people online. I immediately knew, though, that I didn’t have the bandwidth or the reach to organize a centralized campaign the way Mercury is,” Kern continues. “So I thought it would be cool to do a decentralized campaign, where each content creator who joined up would read as many books by trans authors as they could in a week, and host their own fundraising drive for the trans-supporting organization of their choice. This would spread around the stress of hosting a fundraiser, and it would spread around the proceeds to lots of smaller, local orgs that badly need the funding!”

The format of the Trans Rights Readathon is loose on purpose. Creators can post whatever they want, however they want, as long as they’re reading trans books and raising money for trans rights. People can also boost the event by interacting with posts from participants, including shares, retweets, likes, comments, etc. They can also post about the event itself, even if they’re unable to participate directly. Ultimately, the goal is to combat the anti-trans bills sweeping the US by helping trans organizations and individuals get the funding they need to keep fighting.

“What’s working so well here is the way each individual creator signing up is becoming an organizer,” Kern tells us. “So even if they just raise $5 or $10, the dollar amount doesn’t matter, they’re announcing to their wider community, ‘Hey, trans rights matter to me, and I’m going to drop my regularly scheduled content this week and focus on this issue.’ That creates a ripple effect going beyond 575 creators that’s frankly incalculable.”

“I can’t tell you how much this has done to restore my faith in humanity! There were so many allies out there who were immediately ready to jump into this campaign and start spreading the word, as soon as they heard about the Readathon,” Kern says. “It turns out there are tons of people in the online bookish community—at least 575—who were eager for a way to speak out and protest these anti-trans laws, but weren’t sure how. And if that’s true of BookTok and Bookstagram, I wonder how many other communities are primed to rally around trans rights and other social justice issues as soon as there’s a clear call to action that’s tailored to their strengths?”

Kern hopes to see a variety of content shared under the #TransRightsReadathon hashtag. “So far, I’ve been loving the announcement videos where folks are sharing the trans orgs they’ll be supporting, because I’m learning about so many great, local nonprofits. I love the book recommendation lists going around, sharing titles in various genres. I especially love some of the humor posts and memes around the Readathon that have started to circulate. And I’m excited to see live ‘read with me’ sessions, book reviews, and vlogs next week!”

The Trans Rights Readathon is brand new, but Kern says they would love to do it again next year. They also shared that they would love to see others adopt the format “as a rapid-response kind of organizing in response to other social justice crises,” and that they’d love to see more Internet communities rally around trans rights and other causes in this way. ” I’d love to see other online communities use similar decentralized organizing principles to rally around causes like trans rights. “Can we get the fitness people to do pushups for trans rights? Can we get cosplayers to do cosplaying for trans rights?”

The first Trans Rights Readathon will take place March 20th-27th. Creators who want to participate can sign up via this Google Form. For updates and to see what participants post during the fundraiser, follow the #TransRightsReadathon hashtag across social media.

I’m very excited to announce that I will be participating in the readathon via TikTok!

The Trans Rights Readathon is a decentralized fundraiser, meaning every participant gets to set up a fundraiser for whatever trans organization or individual they prefer. After announcing their participation in the event, creators will read books by trans authors and post content using the hashtag #TransRightsReadathon, including book recommendations or their to-be-read (TBR) list.

I can no longer read books as fast as I used to, so I will be pledging by chapters read, starting with a flat donation of $50 and then an additional $5 per chapter I read. This is the link to my gofundme page set up to send all donations to The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to crisis intervention, peer support, public education, and advocacy of trans youth.

Please follow me on Tiktok at authorksmurphy to watch my progress, and support the movement by either donating along with me (if you can!) or sharing, liking, interacting with my posts and others on TikTok or other platforms. The goal is to come together with our trans community and its allies and use our voices to speak over all the hate.

It’s here!

Chaos and Conjurations is officially out and available on JMS-Books and Amazon! It will also be for sale on B&N and Smashwords. I will make a post when it is. K.L. Noone and I are delighted to share this with everyone and cannot wait to start book three.

Chaos and Conjurations
Regency Magicians: Book Two
Sequel to Spells and Sensibility

Captain Henry Tourmaline is having nightmares again. And this time he’s not even cursed.

But Henry is worried. He might be healed — but the healing spell left his lover Theo in pain, their magic tangled together. They’ve uncovered an ominous plot — but, without evidence, the Royal College of Wizardry refuses to believe them. And Theo’s brother, the Duke of Baselton, wants to meet Henry — but also wants to introduce Theo to a wealthy baron, a more suitable match … who might possess more sinister intentions.

Theo Burnett tells himself he has no regrets. He’s in love with Henry, and a permanent magical headache isn’t too high a price to pay for Henry’s recovery. But he misses his peaceful life in the College Library, before he became entwined in cultists’ plots and perils. And now he’s got his brother to deal with, and a baron asking questions about him. And Theo’s last magical secret is about to come to light … explosively.

Together, Theo and Henry will face curses, cultists, and chaos … and their own emotions, as they fight for their magical happy ending.

Social Gap
Good vs Evil
Regency Romance

Available at:

Rainbow Snippets: Chaos and Conjurations

One more Rainbow Snippet* for Chaos and Conjurations before it’s officially released tomorrow!

K.L. Noone and I are so excited to continue Theo and Henry’s story and hope you’ll join them for some more puzzle-solving, tea and crumpets, evil cultists, and a supper-party with Theo’s scandalous brother.

Ice skewered all his senses, petrifying him—and vanished.

Theo’s magic, in his head, did not hurt. But Henry felt it—felt the leap and swell of vivid literate anger, protective fury, a clamor of words and leather and parchment and jewels, star-hard and pointed. Theo ran right into the attack and ripped it apart and let it go, and Henry knew it as if he’d done it himself, swept along with the sound of Theo’s voice, their voice.

It left him dizzy, shuddering with immensity, climactic. But it didn’t leave him sobbing in pain, nor bleeding, nor collapsed against the sofa-cushions. Unlike Theo, when Henry himself—

He barely had time for that thought. The ice had gone. So had Theo’s magic. The weight lifted. Theo was lying very still, eyes closed, one arm fallen from the side of the sofa. Blood painted his face.

“No,” Henry whispered. “No, no, Theo—Theo, wake up—” His fault. All his fault.

He’d hesitated. He’d taken a second, to make himself choose. He hadn’t trusted Theo. Not fast enough. And now he was fine, he was safe, whatever’d hit him was gone, and Theo was—

I really hope you’ve enjoyed some of these samples before Chaos and Conjurations is officially released! Get a copy at:

If you’re interested in the Regency Magicians Trilogy but have not yet read the first, Spells and Sensibility, you can find copies at JMS-Books.com, Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

*Those who participate in the Rainbow Snippets FB group try to post six sentences from a WIP, completed work, a book rec, etc, and then share it with the group.

Rainbow Snippets: Chaos and Conjurations

Heyo! 🙂

Missed the last two weeks because I was fortunate enough to be on vacation! A wonderful week with my spouse and kids and one of my sisters in Disney World. Got to see my cousins and beautiful god babies. Even got some pretty fun souvenirs, which we never do.

So, yeah. It was a nice getaway. Hope everyone out there gets all the nice relaxing vacations they need!

Anyway, today’s Rainbow Snippet comes from the upcoming release by myself and K.L. Noone, Chaos and Conjurations, currently available for preorder at JMS-Books.com. Chaos and Conjurations is the sequel to Spells and Sensibility.

Chaos and Conjurations finds Captain Henry Tourmaline and Head Librarian Theo Burnett facing a brand-new threat, an evil lurking in the shadows–a threat no one else wants to believe exists. As an ancient, long-thought-disbanded cult gathers power, Henry and Theo must search for proof of its existence if they’re to stop it while they struggle with their own tangled magic, rising pressures and insecurities, and a social gap screaming that they don’t belong together.

Come back to Regency London for some more magic, riddles, and tea, and join Henry and Theo as they search for answers, attend a supper-party with Theo’s scandalous brother, and uncover a few last remaining secrets…

Official release date: March 11th, 2023.

Here’s the snippet, which might be…a little longer than six sentences this time 😂

Henry scrubbed both hands over his face. “I don’t know, Theo. I don’t know how to do this. I don’t trust myself. And I don’t trust your baron, and I don’t know whether that’s because he’s trying to seduce you, or because he’s everything I can’t be, for you and your world, or because he’s a damned evil murdering dark cultist. And I can’t use magic to find out.”

“No—well, you could, but we’ll both feel—but I could—”

“I’m not done.” Henry pressed a hand to his own mouth, for a moment: as if sickened by the words. “I love you, and I’ve never felt worse in my life. Even when I thought I was dying. I don’t know who I am right now, I don’t like not knowing, and I know I’ll hurt you again. And I can’t bear that.”

“Oh God,” Theo said. He had to put a hand on his wall. It was that or collapse. Absurdly, he was still standing by the door. An exit. Such irony. “Are you…are we…are you…leaving me?”

*Those who participate in the Rainbow Snippets FB group try to post six sentences from a WIP, completed work, a book rec, etc, and then share it with the group.