Be My Valentine – Caleb and Thaddeus

A family moment from The Alphas’ Homestead series – 1.5K words

Caleb didn’t notice anything was amiss when he entered the cabin. He was too fixed on stripping off the heavy coat that had been keeping the icy wind from freezing his bones. The homey smell of venison stew and dumplings meant he couldn’t get the thing off quick enough as he growled under his breath about how he wished spring would hurry. They hadn’t had snow in a couple of weeks but the temperature was so low everything was frozen and covered in a layer of ice. Including himself.

When he was finally free of the coat and it was hung up to dry, only then did Caleb realize that things weren’t as normal as he’d first perceived. The children were all sat around the table as Jacob served each with a bowl of stew, but Ephraim had his fist pressed against his mouth, trying not to laugh, while Martha glared at him. Thaddeus was sat stock still, not his usual squirming self. Even Jacob smiled slyly at him as he walked past to fetch their dishes from the kitchen.

Caleb didn’t say anything. He narrowed his eyes at his mate but that just made Jacob smile even wider and shrug his shoulders. It was only when Caleb walked around to his chair at the far end of the table that he saw what all the fuss was about.

Lowering himself down to sit, the chair creaking under the sudden and considerable weight, he adjusted the cutlery laid out before him and tilted his head at the white envelope leaning up against his cup of water. “Well,” he said and cleared his throat, “what do we have here?”

The deadly silence filling the cabin was only marred by the sound of the wind outside and Ephraim trying to chuckle without being heard, which ended when Martha kicked him under the table. Ephraim covered his pain with a cough, then said with surprising conviction, “It arrived for you today, Papa. Just showed up on your desk.”

Caleb shot him a look of gratitude and sighed dramatically. “Whoever delivered it must have been awful stealthy to get in the house without any of us noticing.” He picked up the envelope and turned it around in his hands. It was small and somewhat creased at the edges like someone had held it a little too tightly. And on the front, in red Franklin crayon, was scrawled the word, Papa.

Jacob appeared at Caleb’s shoulder, waiting until Caleb raised his arms before sliding a plate of food in front of him and then taking his place at the opposite end of the table. “I was a bit concerned about that myself.” He sounded casual but there was a hint of humor in his voice that made Caleb want to smile. Jacob picked up his spoon and leaned over the table to cut up the dumpling on Thaddeus’s plate. “But then Tad and I talked it over and we figured they wouldn’t try it twice. Isn’t that right, Tad?”

Thaddeus was a statue and, with all eyes suddenly on him, could only manage a single nod, doing everything he could to not look in Caleb’s direction. Caleb couldn’t ever think of a time when Thaddeus had been so still. Even in his sleep the pup kicked and fussed and wriggled, as the bruises on Jacob and himself could attest. Everyone else seemed to be finding Thaddeus’s sudden quiet amusing, but it made Caleb want to gather the boy up and never let go.

Figuring that it would be better for everyone to put the little one out of his misery, Caleb sighed and used his butter knife to rip open the envelope. “Well, best see who it’s from.”

The card was fancy. There was lace around the edge and what looked like real feathers, dyed into bright colors stuck onto it too. And in the center, a picture of a full-cheeked Cupid, with a cascade of blonde locks holding up a banner adorned with writing.

Caleb cleared his throat. “I adore you. Be my Valentine.”

Ephraim couldn’t keep the laugh contained any longer but he did his best to disguise it as a coughing fit. Jacob played along, slapping him heartily on the back but that didn’t stop Thaddeus from quietly slipping from his seat and sidling up to Jacob’s chair.

Jacob scooped the boy up, letting him seek solace against his chest and holding him tightly. “What a nice inscription. Who is it from?” He sounded sincere but when Caleb glanced up at him, Jacob’s eyes were worried.

Caleb turned the card over. What he found was familiar. Jacob’s carefully penciled print with Thaddeus’s haphazard lines trying to trace over the top in the same red crayon. The one that Thaddeus only used on very special occasions.

“From a secret admirer.” Caleb felt a knot form in his throat and had to swallow hard to push it away. “It seems my Valentine wants to remain anonymous.”

The room was very still for a minute. Caleb couldn’t tear his eyes away from the words. Thaddeus’s attention span was like a grasshopper, pinging from one thing to the next without warning, but it was clear that he had sat and worked very hard to follow Jacob’s instruction and write out the words himself. But the small boy seemed mortified, curled into Jacob’s embrace, his breath shuddering and verging on tears.

That was until Martha said, matter-of-factly, “I bet it’s from Mrs. Leyland,” before taking a slurp of stew from her spoon.

Ephraim barked out a laugh. “Not on your life. I think there more chance it’s from Reverend Peter!”

Martha shook her head. “Are you simple? No, Mrs. Leyland, for sure.”

The bickering had the desired effect and Thaddeus gradually unfurled his grip on Jacob’s shirt, watching the exchange continue with wide eyes and an ever-widening smile as he figured that maybe he hadn’t been found out after all. That was until Caleb tilted his head and mused quietly, “What about Jack Carter?”

Jacob’s mouth dropped open and he raised his eyebrows. “The architect?”

Caleb shrugged and carefully propped the card back against his mug. “I don’t see why not. He certainly seemed very friendly.”

With that, Thaddeus growled and scrambled down from Jacob’s lap, pounded around the table and launched himself against Caleb’s side. Caleb smiled and hoisted the boy up, saying, “Well, whoever my Valentine is, I think they have excellent taste in cards.”

Thaddeus knelt in Caleb’s lap and grasped Caleb’s face with both hands. Thaddeus pushed his face close and whispered, “You like the van’tine, Papa?”

Caleb whispered back, “I think it’s beautiful, Thaddeus.” He kissed the beaming boy on the cheek, and then slapped him gently on the behind. “But I think we should sit in our own chairs and eat our dinner before it gets cold.”


“So. The architect, huh?”

It had taken a while to settle Thaddeus down, but Jacob descended the stairs with a smile on his face, and a tease in his not-so-serious question. Caleb shrugged and replaced the Valentine in its spot on the mantel. He turned and leaned his shoulders against the beam, crossing his feet at the ankle. “Are you denying that the man was handsome?”

Jacob laughed. “Definitely not. It’s just that I met his delicate wife and can say with certainty that you’re not his type.”

Caleb shrugged again, then pointed over his shoulder with his thumb. “Was that your idea?”

Jacob shook his head and slumped down into the rocking chair. “Nope. That was all Tad. Ephraim bought a card with his allowance, and once I explained what they were for, of course, he had to get you one.”

Caleb frowned. “And who was Ephraim buying a Valentine for?”

“He didn’t say. And no, I didn’t ask. I figure he’ll tell us when he’s ready.”

Caleb pushed himself away from the fire, taking the scant few steps to Jacob slowly, then lowered himself to settle between Jacob’s feet. “Is—Is this something we should do now? Give cards and favors? Because it didn’t even cross my mind. I’m sorry.”

Jacob smiled, languidly reaching his hand out to scratch his fingers through Caleb’s graying beard. “You have my heart every day, Mr. Fletcher. If I need a card to tell you that, then I’m doing something wrong.”

Caleb raised himself up, and leaned forward, laying his body against Jacob’s until their lips met. “I adore you,” Caleb whispered, then kissed his mate, relishing the feeling of their bodies stirring against each other even after all those years.

Jacob smiled against Caleb’s lips. “In that case, I think you should take me to bed and show me just how much.”


All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Be My Valentine – ©Alex Jane 2017 – All Rights Reserved

One Year Anniversary – Home Is Where You Are

5stars Today marks a year since my first novel was published. 5stars

It took a lot of encouragement from a lot of people to get me to push that publish button. I’ll be ever grateful to them and all the people who have supported me since.
To mark the occasion I’m giving away Home Is Where You Are on Instafreebie for the day.
You don’t have to sign up to anything, I just hope you enjoy the read. I’ll close the giveaway tonight before I go to bed. Enjoy!

Free Copy Here!homecoverfullrealsize

Autism Awareness Month 2017 – RJ Scott’s Blog Hop


When I saw RJ had picked the theme of animals for this year’s Autism blog hop, my first thought was actually feeling a little sorry for you guys. Coz I when I hear animals, I think dogs. Because dogs are one of my special interests* Which means I figured I would end up blathering on about dogs to you for ages…and ages and ages and ages.

So in an effort not to bore y’all to death and for this blog post to not go on forever I was trying to think about how I could narrow it down. Which isn’t easy. But then I was thinking about when I went for a diagnostic meeting with a specialist about my ASD and I mentioned I had a dog and the doctor seemed almost relieved and very enthusiastic about it. I was telling her how I found it much easier to relate to dogs than people and she told me that wasn’t uncommon amongst people on the spectrum.


Read More…

Love Bytes Book of the Year Poll


Holy Moly! Home Is Where You Are made it through to the 2016 Book of the Year Poll on Love Bytes Reviews. Which is amazing!

It was properly gobsmacking to make it through the weekly and monthly rounds, so to see Caleb and Jacob’s story up with all those other fantastic books at the end of the year is kinda crazy.

Obviously, if you would like to vote, that would be lovely. You can click Here, but mostly, I just wanted to say thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has bought, read and reviewed any of my books in 2016, thank you to everyone at Love Bytes who have been so supportive of my new venture, and thank you to everyone who voted for Home last year.

You guys are the best.


Big Gay Fiction Giveaway 2016

How would you like to read novels, novellas, shorts and samples from over 80 authors for free?

Well, you can do just that this week with the Big Gay Fiction Giveaway.

Running until the 27th November, the giveaway has something for everyone — sports, shifters, crime, menage, family, comedy, historical…you name it. Clicking on the book (or books…I may have clicked quite a few already) will take you to Instafreebie, where all you do is sign up to the author’s newsletter, pick which format you’d like and the free book will be delivered to you.

It’s a brilliant way to discover new authors, and nab some stories that you might already have your eye on. Stocking up for the winter months ahead is always a good idea. Plus, they’re free so it’s the perfect opportunity!

You can peruse the books here –

I’m offering Home Is Where You Are if you don’t already have it.


Happy shopping!

Birthday Presents!!


Win Signed Copies and Other Things because I’m a year older!!

Read More…



The giveaway is now closed. And the winner is…

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 21.03.18

5stars Gayle Offerjost! 5stars

Congrats to Gayle and thank you to everyone that took part : ) x

I’m doing a giveaway as part of Victoria Sue’s Release Party on Facebook for her new book, The Beginning. I’ll be online there between 9-9.30 pm BST tonight chatting about werewolves and stuff, and answering questions about Home Is Where You Are and The Alphas’ Homestead series, so come and say Hi!

To celebrate me finally managing to get actual printed books made, I’ll be giving away a paperback copy of Home Is Where You Are. I suppose I can even sign it for the winner…if you want. I’ll also throw in some other bits and pieces of swag too.


All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment on this post.

That’s it.


Then tomorrow (I’ll give it 24 hours so 9pm BST Friday), I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner, and announce it…everywhere.

While you wait, you could always sign up to the newsletter with the widget at the bottom of the page. That way you can take part in more giveaways, get exclusive news and offers.

Or you could check out the Home Is Where You Are page for buy links, info, reviews and whatnot.

Or take a look at some of the things in the menu, like blurbs for future books or free stories.

Or, of course, you could drop by the release party to ask a question...or if you miss it, there’s a facility on Goodreads where you can do that any time : ) x




It’s taken me far longer than it should have, but I finally managed to navigate Createspace and get the paperback edition of Home Is Where You Are up on Amazon. Fingers crossed, the edition looks okay –– although the cover turned out a little darker than shown online –– but if there are any issues you know where I am x

Buy Links

Rainbow Snippets – 12.06.16


Rainbow Snippet time! If you’re new to Rainbow Snippets, it’s a Facebook group where authors of LGBTQ fiction post a six-sentence snippet of a WIP, a published story, or a recommendation, every weekend. You can see all the snippets here.

Today, a selfish plug for “Home Is Where You Are” which is now available for purchase : ) Reviews welcome.


When Jacob’s hand came up to cup Caleb’s jaw and pull him closer, Caleb braced himself against a jolt of revulsion and disgust. It never came.

Jacob was the one to pull away this time. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to–”

Caleb caught him by the wrist and held on tight, not letting him move more than a few inches away. He grappled with his thoughts, and finally found the words to say, “I–I can’t make you any promises.”

Jacob stared for a moment, then shaking his head, whispered, “I never asked for any.”

First of the buy links.

The first buy link for Home Is Where You Are is up.

25% off if you press the social media button.

Buy on Payhip



Keep your eyes peeled. Before June 10th with any luck.



Rainbow Snippets – 20.02.16


Where does the time go! Snippets are here again. Find all of them on the Facebook page. I’m cheating a bit today, a little more than six sentences, but I didn’t want to slice up this exchange. From the current WIP x


“Thank you.”

Caleb shrugged and pulled his hat on. Jacob was having none of it though. “I mean it. Thank you for letting me stay. You know you don’t have to.”

Caleb paused as he stepped down into the street, his boots crunching on the frozen mud. “There’s some bad weather coming. Turning you out in it wouldn’t do either of us any good. I’d only worry that you’d be back…stealing my chickens.”

Jacob cracked a smile. “I would never steal chickens from you. Your horse, sure, but never chickens.”

Rainbow Snippets – 30.01.16


So, if you’re not already aware of this event, every weekend a bunch of authors get together to celebrate LGBTQ fiction by posting six sentences of their work, whether it be published, work in progress, or a little bit of something that won’t ever come to anything. It’s only six sentences to represent the colors on the Pride flag, and just on Saturday and Sunday…except it isn’t. People post a little thing, mostly at the weekend but often stuff pops up during the week too. So do drop by and check out the post for this weekend, or any past weekends on the Facebook page.

My snippet this week is a little something from the Old West shifter fic I’m working on. I’m hoping to get the first draft done by the end of next month…although the rate I’m going right now, it might be next year. Keep your fingers crossed for me! x


Jacob stood in the doorway, fidgeting with the roll of fabric in his hands, his head bowed. Caleb felt a sudden pang of emotion when he realized Jacob was holding the bloody, tattered remains of the pants he had been wearing the day before. Caleb rose to his feet, and walked cautiously over to him.

Reaching out, Caleb took hold of the bundle, and drew it gently out of Jacob’s reluctant hands. He walked back to the fire and tossed the fabric casually onto the embers. “Would you like some more coffee? And food? There’s eggs and ham, if you’d like?”

Jacob’s eyes were fixated on the rising flames for a moment, before he took a deep breath and nodded. “That would be…thank you. If it’s not too much trouble.”

Rainbow Snippet – 23.01.16


This week’s six sentence snippet is from the new WIP with the horrible working title of Little Werewolf House. Don’t forget to check out the other snippets on the Facebook page and you can read a little more about Caleb and Jacob here


Jacob didn’t speak until Caleb was laying the clothes out on the bed. “Is it just you here alone, Alpha?”

Caleb started at the form of address, shocked at the heat that flared in his belly, more than the way his wolf ached to hear it.

He coughed, and stuttered out, “I…yes. Yes, it’s just me.” He felt a pang of sadness at having to admit the words aloud, but added, with a undertone of warning in his voice, “And don’t call me that. Caleb is fine”

Music – The Dying Cowboy

Trying to get back into a decent mindset to pick up where I left off with the Old West shifter story, I thought some music might help. Took me all of a nanosecond to figure out which song would work.

I had the very great privilege to see Frank Fairfield play at The End of the Road Festival a few years ago, and he’s utterly mesmerizing. Just him and his instruments were more captivating that many performers I’ve seen with all their bells and whistles. The highlight for me was during one of his fiddle pieces, his playing was so frenetic, the bow literally shredded; long hairs flying around him while he kept sawing away like a man possessed. It was magical.

Anyway, there’s an interesting article here, and this little glimpse into his devotion to authentic folk music here if you’re interested.

WIP – Caleb

“The closer he got, the harder his heart pounded. It had been so long since he’d been close to another of his kind, the effect it was having on his wolf was almost too strong for him to bear. It was hard to get a good look at the person on the wagon, being wrapped in at least two blankets that covered everything but his face. And even that was obscured by the way his head lolled on his chest.

Caleb was surprised to find the boy lashed to the seat with a rope. The sheriff saw the look on his face and placated him, explaining, “He couldn’t sit upright unaided when we left, but he made it clear he didn’t want to get in the back of the wagon.”

Caleb grunted, accepting the explanation, but angrily attacked the knots holding the boy there all the same. When the last one came free, the boy toppled sideways into Caleb’s arms. Caleb caught him easily and was disturbed that the dead weight of him felt so light, despite the length of his limbs. Gathering him into his arms like a child, he started towards the cabin, with the Sheriff striding ahead to get the door.

For a moment, Caleb could have sworn that he felt a soft, warm breath on his neck, and a murmured, “Alpha,” but it seemed unlikely, even though his wolf gave a long deep sigh and curled around the imagined word like it was a warming fire.”

Excerpt from the wip currently known as Little Werewolf House

Image credit: Becky –