Today I am so pleased to welcome J.L. Merrow to Joyfully Jay. J.L. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Lock Nut (Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #5). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

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Crochet, Knit or Knot?

One of the characters in Lock Nut is very into knitting. She creates vintage-style mittens etc to sell as a sideline in her aunt’s antiques shop.

Now, while I’ve always been fond of macramé, I never really got into knitting when I was younger. My toy rabbit Fred waited in vain for the scarf I started knitting him to get longer than six inches. But a few years ago I fancied giving it another go, so I armed myself with a “For Dummies” type manual and a succession of YouTube tutorials, and actually managed to complete quite a few projects (although sadly, not Fred’s scarf).

Crochet HooksAdmittedly, they weren’t the sort of projects that require stitch counters and row counters and looking down at a pattern every other stitch. My sort of knitting is more the something-to-do-while-watching-telly variety. And equal parts the oops-dropped-a-stitch-better-unravel-several-rows variety. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to produce a number of scarves and simple fingerless gloves. Some with stitches more complicated than knit one, purl one, even!

The trouble with this sort of knitting is that eventually, you run out of people to give scarves and mittens to. And with the best will in the world, there are only so many you can wear yourself and not have people look at you funny.

So, flushed with success, I thought I’d try crochet next.

After all, there are so many lovely things you can make with crochet. Pretty lacy retro things. Cute little steampunk amigurumi. Calorie free cupcakes, even. I can knit (two needles) and I can do macramé (no needles). Crochet (one hook) should be somewhere in between the two. Easy, right?


I have a confession to make regarding the noble art of crochet: Reader, I suck at it.

I’ve tried, believe me. I have an assortment of hooks and how-to guides, not to mention a small mountain of yarn, bought in a sudden burst of enthusiasm. They languish, now, in the Discarded Projects Bag of Shame. I can manage the chain stitch—although the links tend to vary in size quite alarmingly—but any attempt to do anything more complicated is an utter and complete failure. Whilst I’m generally quite proficient in counting numbers up to five and even beyond, I can never seem to work out correctly which is the second, third or whatever chain from the hook.

So when I’m asked if I crochet, the answer is that no, I do knot.

Question: Do you crochet? (If so, can you recommend an idiot-proof way of learning – please?!) Or have you never felt the urge to become a hooker? 😉


Lock NutStill waters run deadly.

Tom Paretski, plumber with a talent for finding hidden things, and his private investigator fiancé Phil Morrison have been hired to locate a runaway husband, Jonathan Parrot. The job seems simple enough—until their quarry turns up dead in a canal, and a photofit of Tom’s face is splashed all over the news, making him chief suspect.

The widow, petite ex–porn star Lilah Lovett, is convinced her husband was killed by his gay lover, but Tom and Phil aren’t so sure. Worried they may have precipitated Jonathan’s death, they’re determined to find the real killer. But with a web of incestuous ties linking the suspects, it’s hard to know who to trust. Especially when a second victim dies a gruesome death.

Meanwhile, with their wedding looming and them sharing a house now, Tom’s worried it may all be too much, too fast. The last thing he needs are the mixed messages Phil seems to be sending out. They’ll need to get back on the same track if they want to make it to their honeymoon together—and alive.


JL MerrowJL 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.

She writes (mostly) contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Two of her novels have won Rainbow Awards for Romantic Comedy (Slam!, 2013 and Spun!, 2017) and several of her books have been EPIC Awards finalists, including Muscling Through, Relief Valve (the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) and To Love a Traitor.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Connect with JL:


To celebrate the release of Lock Nut, JL Merrow is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 19, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post