Monday, December 15, 2014

Batteries Not Included excerpt by JL Merrow

How would you react if you woke up one morning to find you were in bed with your favorite rock star? More to the point: how would the rock star react?
In Batteries Not Included by JL Merrow, animal rescue worker Sam is content to dream of rock sensation Cain Shepney. Trouble is, his meddling mother Lilith thinks he deserves to have all his dreams come true -- and she isn’t above performing a little magic to achieve her ends! Sam’s shocked to wake up one morning to find himself actually in bed with his celebrity crush -- but that’s nothing to how Cain feels about it! Suddenly Sam’s got to deal with an irate, naked, and very distracting rock star in his bed.

Cain has it all -- he’s good-looking, famous, and adored by millions. But his life takes a turn for the surreal when he wakes up in bed with Sam. Expecting everyone to be worried sick by his disappearance, Cain’s horrified to find his manager -- and even his mum -- insisting he’s an imposter, and the real Cain Shepney is right where he belongs.

Sam just wants to help, but with Cain convinced he’s a crazed, celebrity-kidnapping stalker, Sam’s got his work cut out for him. Can he get the object of his affections to trust him long enough to find out just what the hell’s going on?  Will this romantic screwball comedy have a happy ending?

Batteries Not Included
JMS Books (12/14/14)
ISBN: 9781611526851


“Holy shit, who the hell are you?”
As wake-up calls went, I could think of better ones. At least, I could have if I wasn't terminally sleep-deprived. I cursed the day I ever let Lilith buy me that voice-recording alarm clock—she must have been laughing herself silly when she sneaked in to leave that little message—and reached out to turn the bloody thing off.
And hit flesh. Bare flesh.
What the fuck?
Suddenly more wide awake than if I'd been mainlining espresso all night, I stared into wide, grey eyes, surrounded by enough kohl to start a fire with. The face that went with them contained full, red lips, a cute little nose, and was topped off with spiky black hair with just a hint of purple.
“Oh, thank fuck for that,” I breathed, relaxing. Because I'd just realized I was dreaming. Had to be, as no way was the real Cain Shepney, pop phenomenon and mega-star winner of Britain's Got the Idol Factor, stark bollock naked in bed with me. “Come back over here, Cain,” I mumbled, reaching out for him.
“Get the fuck away from me!” I felt a sudden chill as Cain ripped the duvet from the bed and wrapped it around his naked form, backing away slowly.
Oh, bloody hell. It was turning out to be a nightmare. Which was odd, because usually my dreams about Cain Shepney were strictly of the pleasurable variety. You know, the sort where you have to change your boxers after, and possibly the sheets as well… is that too much information? My mates are always telling me I over-share. Then they meet Lilith, and they realize that actually, I'm pretty reserved, considering. I lay back on the bed and closed my eyes. Maybe if I tried to direct the dream a little, it'd go back to being good? “Mmm, Cain,” I murmured.
“Look, just shut up, will you? And, and tell me who the fuck you are, where the fuck we are, and just how the hell I got here?” Cain's voice got higher and higher, and cracked on the last word. It was a good thing this wasn't real. It couldn't have been good for his vocal chords.
I sighed. “Look, it's a dream, okay? Just relax, and it'll turn into that one with the teddy bears and the novelty condoms.”
“You're completely insane,” Cain muttered. “And depraved. Seriously, teddy bears? I'm calling my manager.”
“Fine,” I said. “But you're giving me back my bloody duvet first.” I made a grab for it, and Cain sort of squeaked. We had a brief tussle, which ended with me victorious and Cain sprawled on his arse on the floor. My mouth went suddenly dry. Bloody hell, he was hung like a cart horse. “Can I dream, or can I dream?” I said, smugly. “You sure you don't want to get back into bed?”
“What was it?” he demanded, getting up and grabbing the phone off the bedside table. “Rohypnol? Or did you just spike my drinks? Hello? Neil? It's me. Cain. I need you to send a car for me right now. And some clothes, all right? And yes, I know it's practically Christmas! Seasonal sodding greetings!” He broke off to glare at me. “What's the address?”
It was about this time I started to wonder. I mean, he was acting like, well, Cain Shepney, if he'd woken up in my bed. The real Cain Shepney. And trust me, I'd had the dream version in bed with me often enough to know the difference. “Er, 25, Eden Place?” I said cautiously. “That's St Albans, AL1 4OT, for the satnav.” I paused, then swung my legs out of bed. They felt like my real legs, not dream ones—I could tell, because my right ankle clicked when my foot hit the ground, where I'd broken it playing rugby. “Um, are you really Cain Shepney? My name's Sam, by the way.”
He stared at me, the phone seemingly forgotten in his hand, and then he nodded.
I sighed. “Oh, bloody hell. Did my mum put you up to this?”

Twitter - @jlmerrow,

To purchase from JMS Books, click here
To purchase from Amazon (UK), click here
To purchase from Amazon (US), click here 

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy.
She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.


Lloyd Meeker said...

Yes, a great set-up! It will be a fun read. Sam's mum promises to be a force of nature...

JL Merrow said...

Thanks, Lloyd! :)
Yep, Lilith takes her parenting responsibilities seriously. Meddling in every aspect, no matter how personal of your offspring's life? Check. Embarrassing said offspring on a regular basis? Check. Refusing to grow old gracefully? Check and double check. ;)