Today I am so pleased to welcome RJ Peterson to Joyfully Jay. RJ has come to talk to us about his latest release, The Locket’s Tale. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving RJ a big welcome!

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I’m so excited to be here today to tell you about my latest book, The Locket’s Tale. It’s a contemporary MM romance short story that was inspired by a question from one of my readers!

I do a weekly post in my reader group called WWKWednesday (Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday) and was asked the following:
You’re walking in town. You spot something on the sidewalk. You know you should return it to its owner but you’re desperate to keep it. What would it be? (Of course, you can be a hero and return it after professing how much you like it.) ;D

Here’s my original answer:
It’s a large antique locket, it’s quite ornate and hangs on a heavy silver chain. I open it and rather than photos, there’s an inscription: “Place this around your neck and think of a favorite book. Close your eyes and wish open me and you’ll be transported to the story for a day.”

The temptation is too much, so I immediately hang the locket around my neck and wish as hard as I can. When I open my eyes, I’m in…

Well, okay, not gonna spoil it and say where I ended up, but I’ll admit I used the locket a few times. Then my conscious got the better of me and I placed an ad in the local paper. Several days later, I return the locket to its rightful owner after they are able to describe it completely, including the magical power within. We become dear friends for the rest of our lives.

The ebook can be pre-ordered here:


“What do you mean, it’s missing?” Fury raged within me. That locket meant more to me than life itself. “How can it possibly be gone, Mavis?”

“I have no idea, Eli. When was the last time you saw it?” Mavis sounded just as exasperated as I felt.

“You know I used it about a week ago. It had been a while and I felt like spending some time in Oz.” I paused, thinking for a moment. “Hmm, I believe I brought it down to the shop a day or two after that. I wanted to clean it up a bit and I keep the good silver polish in my workroom.”

I owned a little antique shop on Main Street in the center of Milford. Grafton Curiosities did a good business, as we attracted a steady supply of tourists passing through town.

“Oh wait,” I suddenly remembered. “You weren’t in that afternoon. Was that last Thursday? I was sitting behind the front counter, so I brought out my cleaning supplies to work on the locket there.”

Mavis scurried around the counter and searched the shelves underneath.

“Nothing,” she declared, then opened the ornate old cash register, examining each bill slot. “Nope, not here either.”

“Of course it wouldn’t be in there,” I chided. “We’ve both been in and out of there the past few days. One of us would have seen it if it were in the register.”

I walked around the front of the shop trying to envision what had occurred that afternoon. I paused, staring at the entrance. Spinning around, I said to Mavis, “A couple came in and were looking at some of the items down that aisle.” I pointed to displays containing some pressed glass. “I started to follow them so I could offer assistance. I was about halfway there when the bell rang above the door. I turned to see two teenagers—they were eighteen or nineteen, I think—come in. I was about to ask them what they wanted when the woman called to me and I turned back to her.” I shook my head, realizing my mistake. The customer distracted me for a moment, and I lost sight of the two miscreants at the front door.

“You got distracted, didn’t you Eli?” Mavis asked gently.

“Dammit. I did. I bet those two kids saw it on the counter and snatched it.” I moved to one of the stools behind the counter and sat heavily. “Shit. What am I gonna do, Mavis? That locket has been in my family for generations. It’s irreplaceable.”

“Now, now, Eli. Calm down. We can figure this out.”

Mavis was just a few years older than my fifty-nine years, but she doted on me like an elderly aunt. She’d been in the shop since before I took over twenty years ago, having worked for my family for years, and she was much more than an employee at this point. More of a sister to me than anything else. I adored her, but she could get on my nerves.

“I don’t want to calm down, Mae,” I told her, using my nickname for her so she wouldn’t get riled up. “Those kids that snatched it have no idea what it is and for all I know, they’ve tossed it in the pond or damaged it somehow.”

“If those teens did toss it away, perhaps someone found it. You could place an ad in the lost and found section of the newspaper,” Mavis suggested.

“That is a possibility,” I agreed. I thought about it for a moment, then shook my head. “But Cousin Reggie knows of the existence of the locket; I don’t necessarily want him to know of my blunder.”

“But Reggie lives on the other side of the country, Eli. How could he possibly see the ad?”

“I’m convinced he has people keeping an eye out. While he doesn’t really know many details about the locket itself, I know he’d love to get his hands on it. Let me think on this.” I muttered to myself as I slowly made my way to my workroom in the back of the shop. I had received a delivery of old books that I wished to examine. Hopefully it would take my mind off the locket for the time being.


When Miles Wickford happens upon a locket one day during his morning walk, little did he realize how his life would change.

Elias Grafton is frantic when his beloved locket is taken from his antique shop. He fears it may be lost forever.

Miles is intrigued by the power the locket possesses but can’t in good conscience keep what doesn’t belong to him. Although it can’t hurt to try it once or twice, can it?

A locket brings these two men together. And fate, or the locket’s magic, leads to so much more.

Sometimes love is just lying there, waiting to be found.

A Locket’s Tale is a small town, MM romance featuring older guys, a lost locket, and just a hint of magic.


R.J. Peterson is a retired graphic designer. An avid reader—preferably while sipping a vodka martini or bourbon on the rocks—he’s had a long and varied career, including library page, car wash attendant, travel agent, and graphic designer in the marijuana industry. In addition, he worked in the banking industry for twenty-five years. He loves to travel and has been on 55+ cruises. When not on a cruise, he and his husband live in New England.

He never planned to be a writer, but a fateful day in January, 2021 changed it all. He woke with a story stuck in his head and started typing. The more he types, the more ideas he gets.


R.J. has brought a copy of The Locket’s Tale to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, February 20th at 11:59 pm ET.

  • 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: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post