Once upon a time... A teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock 'n' roll kinda gal opened up a doc and started purging her demons. Several self-published books and a debut from Dreamspinner Press later, with more tucked away in her evil lair, R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after. You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, being a mom-taxi to two brilliant and busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock 'n' Romance.
A Peace Offering
December 1, 2019
Contemporary ~ Holiday ~ LGBTQ
Dover Billings has sold his handcrafted wares at the Dickens Fair in San Francisco for over twenty years. He's not as outgoing as the other artisans at this yearly Victorian celebration and prefers to observe the festivities from the shadows. That is until a new corset maker moves into the booth next door and unsettles his carefully constructed life. Landry Malcolm is handsome, well dressed, and the life of the party… one Dover wants no part of. Too bad he's attracted to his confident younger rival.
Landry desperately wishes to get through to the beautiful artist next door, but every move he makes seems to be the wrong one, until a drunken kiss breaks through Dover’s serious demeanor. Miscommunications plague any attempts to find common ground, though, leaving Landry wondering what—if anything—he can do to make things right. Will a custom-made peace offering open the door to friendship, cooperation… and maybe more?
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."
Ghoul Me Once: Magic & Mayhem Universe Shifted Book 2
October 21, 2019
Paranormal ~ Shifters
The Magic and Mayhem continue as Garrett and Layla, along with their allies from Assjacket, return to the Bayou in a new Shifted adventure...
Clarabelle Cocodri has a lot on her plate as guardian of her teenaged gator Shifter brother. When her favorite cousin—and new alpha—returns to Terrebonne Parish, she's not too sure it's for the best. He's mated to a witch, and the congregation has been done dirty by magic users. But when she finds a gorgeous stranger in her garden shed with a magical malady, she knows she'll need Garrett's help.
Johann Bastien is a lonely, down-on-his-luck musician in the French Quarter looking for a change in his life and a break from his bullying bandmates. He gets more than he bargained for when he's compelled to take a walk into the darkness and wakes up in the St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery a new—but definitely not better—man. He flees to the Bayou and finds solace in a quiet garden shed until he can figure out what he'll do next...that is until the most beautiful woman he's ever seen opens the door.
Garrett Cocodri and Layla Du Mer are fated mates who just want the opportunity to strengthen their bond. But Garrett's father left a mess for them and everyone and their gator needs their help. When an injured Shifter is found with a strange bite, and Garrett's childhood best friend shows up unexpectedly, Garrett is forced to put his bonding on hold to face challenges he never saw coming.
Can Johann be saved from his debilitating condition? Can Clarabelle learn to trust her cousin and overcome her fear of witches? Will Garrett and Layla become the leaders Terrebonne Parish not only wants but needs? These witches and Shifters will have to work together and try to ignore their hopped-up hormones in order to rebuild their struggling congregation and survive a powerful foe who threatens them all.
*Can be read as a standalone, but reading Shifted will enhance the experience.
18+ for sex, hex, and compulsive movie quoting...
Summer of Hush
October 8, 2019
Contemporary ~ LGBTQ ~ Rock & Roll ~ Music
Hush is back… and it’s about to get loud.
After two years grieving the death of his best friend, Silas Franklin is back on the road with his metalcore band, Hush. With a new member, a brilliant new album, and a headlining spot on the last cross-country Warped Tour, life couldn’t be better—unless Silas could meet the intriguing music blogger known only as the Guru. Silas has followed his blog for years and feels the Guru might be the only person who “gets” him.
For years Krishnan Guruvayoor has reported on the metal scene as an anonymous blogger, and he’s just landed an internship on the Warped Tour as well as a potential position with a well-respected music magazine. His best friend arranges for him to meet singer Silas Franklin—but only as Krish the Intern. Their chemistry is instant, and Krish is thrilled to get to know the man behind the music.
The rock star and blogger quickly go from meet-cute to cuddle session, but secrets, overprotective bandmates, meddling media, and a terrible accident all conspire against them. Can their romance survive the summer of Hush?
Shifted: Magic and Mayhem Universe (Minded Book 3)
June 24, 2019
Paranormal ~ Ghosts
Maggie and Louis, Intervention Specialists from the Afterlife, are used to the unusual—or so they think—but a 500lbs alligator on the run, a mute witch with wonky magic, and a vulgar, talking cat are more than they bargained for. Welcome to Assjacket, West Virginia.
Love is All Volume 2
June 10, 2019
LGBTQ ~ Anthology ~ Contemporary
Eight bestselling and award-winning authors bring you brand new stories celebrating love is love!
Pinups and Puppies by RL Merrill
Tell Me More by Meg Bonney
What If It All Goes Right by Sophia Soames
Criminal Intentions: In Bloom by Cole McCade
Sugar Crush by Susan Scott Shelley
When Frankie Meets Johnny by Xio Axelrod
The Gentleman Attraction by Connor Peterson
Just One Look by Mary Calmes
With a foreword by Roan Parrish.
All proceeds from the sale of the anthology will be donated to an LGBTQ+ advocacy group.
Worst Valentine's Day Ever Worst Day Ever Book 2
January 21, 2019
Contemporary ~ LGBTQ+ ~ Interracial/Multicultural ~ Paranormal ~ Humor
Eleven lovelorn singletons. Eleven tales of Cupid, catastrophe, and maybe more…
These characters have had it with love—or, if not with that, with Valentine’s Day. But no matter how they fight it, Cupid refuses to relent. From struggling singles to secret crushes to enemies turned much, much more, these lightning strikes of love will add a spark of hope to your holiday.
Worst Valentine’s Day Ever flips the script on lonely hearts who seem destined for Valentine's disaster. If you like laugh-out-loud rom-coms, terrible dates gone right, and gorgeous happily-ever-afters, then you’ll love this adorable collection. It ain't all hearts and roses; but these tales of triumph will find your faith in Valentine's Day—and your faith in love—restored.
The Worst Day Ever Series
The Worst Day Ever Series collects tales of hilarity, hope and survival for characters facing classically-stressful situations. From not-so-happy holidays to doomed-to-be-a-disaster predicaments, they find the love they need to get them through. This series is proud to feature characters from diverse backgrounds, #ownvoices authors, and a range of romantic themes: contemporary to paranormal, cis/hetero to LGBTQ+, sweet to steamy, body-positive, neurodiverse, interracial/multicultural, and more.
LovRRs Authors: Eva Moore, Kilby Blades, Deb Lee, Marie Booth, Daphne Masque, R.L. Merrill
Typhoon Toby Forces of Nature Book 2
January 22, 2019
Contemporary ~ LGBTQ ~ Humor ~ Music
On the surface, Toby Griffiths appears to have it all—talent, money, a brilliant mind, and model good looks. With his best friend, Reese, he’s built an empire as a singer/songwriter.
But beneath that glittering exterior, Toby suffers the lasting effects of abuse. To keep his tempestuous past where it belongs, he insists on anonymity with lovers—no names, no personal information. But a vacation fling in Bali changes all that, and he can’t get his recent playmate out of his mind.
Therapist Spencer Hart left Bali with a bad case of pneumonia and a broken heart. Although he’s recovering, he’s shocked to find his secretive partner on TV, and he’s determined to see him again. Spencer arranges to attend one of Toby’s fundraising galas, and their reunion is tense.
Toby tries to stick to his rules… until a New Year’s kiss with Spencer washes away the last of his resistance. But Toby is a man with secrets, and when the storm comes ashore, it could devastate not just his professional life but his fledgling love affair and his longtime partnership with his best friend.
Will Spencer stand by his side and help him weather the storm as Toby faces his worst fears?
Worst Holiday Ever Anthology
November 15, 2019
Contemporary ~ Paranormal ~ Holiday ~ LGBTQ ~ Multicultural ~ Rock & Roll ~ Romantic Comedy ~ Vampires
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! OK—scratch that. It’s time for another obligatory family gathering. And nothing spices up the egg nog like bringing your partner home. Surely your belligerent brother-in law, your gimlet-eyed granny and your drunken uncle will keep it classy. With forced proximity and alcoholic beverages, what could possibly go wrong?
Hurricane Reese Forces of Nature Book 1
January 30, 2018
Contemporary ~ Interracial ~ LGBTQ ~ Music & Stage ~ Humor
The life of Tony-winning musician Reese Matheson resembles a natural disaster, and caregiver Jude De La Torre is caught in the eye of the storm. But can the love of two opposites survive caring for an ornery octogenarian with wayward balls and a meddling family insistent upon tradition?
Fresh off the successful London run of his musical, the last thing Reese expects when he comes home is a house surrounded by paparazzi and his girlfriend throwing his stuff into the pool. All he wants to do is spend time with his beloved grandfather and musical mentor who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Reese knows he doesn’t have much time left before the elder Matheson forgets who he is. In classic “Hurricane Reese” form, he moves into the cottage by the sea and displaces Jude, the intriguing caregiver he hired two years before. When Grandpa proves too much for Reese to handle on his own, Jude comes to his rescue, taming Grandpa… and the Hurricane as well. Soon all Reese can think about is how to get Jude out of his scrubs and into his bed—permanently. Will Hurricane Reese destroy everything in his path, or will this odd couple learn to harmonize together?
Father F'in' Christmas Minded Prequel
August 13. 2017
Paranormal ~ Ghosts ~ Holiday ~ Romantic Comedy ~ Christmas
Fans of Minded and Blossomed will enjoy seeing one of Louis's early solo Interventions in this wacky and sweet new tale from the afterlife.
When deceased firefighter Tommy Quintana wakes up in a gymnasium and is told he suffers from Death Denial Syndrome, he knows the one thing he must do in order to move on: mind his wife, Kimberly. Assigned to work with Intervention Specialist Louis Sheffield, he soon learns that he has much more to make up for than he thought as his widow is literally dying of a broken heart. With the help of a 1980s-era punk rocker, a gargoyle, and an alley cat, Tommy will attempt a friggin' Christmas miracle to save her.
Blossomed Minded Book Two
March 31, 2016
Paranormal ~ Ghosts ~ Holiday ~ Samhain
On Samhain, the veil between the spirit world and the material world thins. Anything can happen, including the rebirth of those souls who weren’t given the chance to live to their full potential. One such soul had accepted her early death as her destiny. Fate has much more in store for her.
Discover a sweet tale of new life, new love, and puppies! All proceeds from this novella for the month of April 2016 will go to benefit Autism Awareness.
For ages 18 and up due to adult content.
TEACHER: THE FINAL ACT Hollywood Rock 'n' Romance Trilogy Book Three
*UPDATED WITH NEW REVISIONS
**New Cover by WordSugar Design**
In Teacher, Jesse Martin gets sucked into the vortex that is the life of Danny Black, rock god and lead singer of the metal powerhouse, Blackened. She thought she was just taking a home instructor position for the summer, but things got complicated quickly as she and Danny fell madly in love.
In Act Two, the lovers maneuvered the tricky path from dating to living together, with pitfalls at every turn.
At the end of Act Two, we left our lovers on a dark precipice. Jesse’s doubts and the chaos of Danny’s life threatened to tear them apart. Instead, they are now closer than ever and ready to take that next step. But nothing will ever be easy for our teacher and her rock god, including planning the perfect wedding. A jilted colleague from Danny’s past, a desperate ex, a potentially fatal tragedy, a remodel, a parent-teacher conference, illness, a drag queen, and many many more obstacles are piled in their path. Will Jesse and Danny ever find their happily ever after or will they forever be as those famous doomed lovers, kept apart by circumstances beyond their control?
FOR READERS 18+ Due to language, incredibly steamy sexual situations, and continued hijinks by the hairy, perverted neighbors!
TEACHER: ACT TWO Hollywood Rock 'n' Romance Trilogy Book Two
*A new version has been uploaded to correct mistakes
**New Cover by WordSugar Design**
In Teacher, Jesse Martin and Danny Black find a love that neither of them ever thought possible under the most unusual circumstances. Many obstacles stood in the way of their budding romance, including their student-teacher relationship, an unstable ex-wife, and the question of whether Danny’s voice would ever be rock-ready again. But when Danny’s 12 year-old daughter Jane removes the most important obstacle by giving them her blessing, it's time to celebrate. The Second Act finds these two lovers navigating a fresh relationship with new roles and expectations. Together they share experiences that bring them closer, and really bring on the heat. Danny works at chipping away the wall Jesse has built to protect herself and she tries to keep him grounded as Blackened heads to the studio to record their masterpiece. Then life places new obstacles in the way of our adoring couple. Jesse’s health takes a turn for the worse, Danny scrambles to finish school, and a meddling mom sticks her nose in where it doesn’t belong making Jesse question, once again, whether or not she’ll ever fit into Danny’s world. A whirlwind turn of events brings them closer, then threatens to tear them apart. Will their new love survive the insanity that is Danny’s life? Will Jesse fight to keep her new family together? Will Cosmo accept that Sunday Shower Day is detrimental to his love life? These questions and more will be explored in Teacher: The Second Act.
THIS NOVEL IS MEANT FOR READERS 18+ DUE TO EVEN STEAMIER SEX, CRAZIER HIJINKS, AND ENOUGH FOUL LANGUAGE TO MAKE A ROCK STAR BLUSH.
TEACHER Hollywood Rock 'n' Romance Trilogy Book One
March 13, 2015
TEACHER: A Hollywood Rock n’ Romance Trilogy Book One ** NEW FANTASTIC COVER BY WORDSUGAR DESIGNS**
Everyone deserves a second chance in life.
After receiving yet another pink slip, teacher Jesse Martin is desperate for a way to make ends meet. When her principal offers her a Home Instructor position for the summer, she finds herself giving a second chance to an angry, reclusive, rock god living in the Hollywood Hills.
Danny Black should have it all. But an unbalanced ex-wife, a troubled pre-teen daughter, and a threat to his livelihood have him ready to make some major changes. Never one to back down from a challenge, he'll take on this stubborn, beautiful teacher who seems immune to his “gimme” smile, and attempt to win her heart in the process.
Can Jesse accept that this time, offering someone a second chance will change her life for the better? Will she embrace the life Danny is offering her and discover that when it comes to life’s lessons, sometimes love is the best teacher?
This novel is for readers 18+ due to the hijinks of some hairy and perverted neighbors, a no-nonsense personal assistant with a foul mouth, a fragile pre-teen going through some real drama, and plenty of good, good lovin’. Add these together and you’ve got all the makings of a crazy, real-life Rock n’ Romance!
Minded A Haunted Story
May 1, 2016
Paranormal ~ Rock Romance ~ Holiday
***Previously part of the Santa's Naughty List: 25 Tales of Paranormal Bad Boys Anthology. This version contains a new ending, an additional chapter, and sneak peeks at three related stories soon to be released.
When landing in Purgatory, no matter the cause of death, a soul must experience an awakening, establish awareness, and ultimately, achieve acceptance of inevitable circumstances.
For Maggie Stone, none of these options were ideal. She was a woman in control of her own destiny, not a pawn in some afterlife game! But in order to “move on,” she’ll have to accept help from an unlikely source dressed in black denim and pissed off at the world. Will she be able to complete her task, work her magic, and mind her kin still struggling with her death?
Louis Sheffield has spent an eternity in Purgatory for reasons beyond his control. When he’s given an opportunity to earn his ticket out of his holding cell, he’s irritated to learn he’ll have to hold the hand of a pretentious, know-it-all, party girl whose every action grates on his last nerve. But Maggie is not all she seems, and once he’s exposed to her world, suddenly he’s tempted to finally accept his destiny and embrace hope.
These two lost souls must work together against the clock to complete their seemingly impossible task. When their charges refuse to cooperate, Maggie and Louis must resort to unorthodox methods to create harmony from bitter chaos. In the end, it all comes down to choices and consequences they never imagined possible.
Revisit the crew from Haunted and find out if, once again, love can cure the haunted.
***This story can be read as a standalone, but readers may want to read Haunted and Fated first as the events in Minded take place after those two books. Minded is a paranormal spin-off that is the first in a series of related novellas.
Fated Haunted Book 2
Contemporary ~ Rock Romance ~ Holiday ~ Multicultural ~ Magical Realism
As a music journalist, I’ve interviewed rock stars from all over the globe, using my special “intuitions” to pen some of the most in-depth and personal interviews in the business. Meeting Maggie’s Bones—and especially their intense bass player, Mage—proved to be a life-changing experience. I was immediately drawn to this strange but intriguing man, and we spent an amazing night bonding over our similar experiences growing up “freaks”. We had a fantastic connection, unlike anything I’d ever experienced…
Until Mage started talking about dreams, about destiny and fate, and it brought up too many painful memories…ones I’d buried long ago in a desperate bid to function as a normal human being. That didn’t quite work out as planned. Now I’m spiraling down a depressing, anxiety-filled hole, and while I want so desperately to believe that I can heal from my past and love again, love Mage, I’m afraid I may be Fated to be alone…
Take another wild ride with the hard-rocking members of Maggie’s Bones, and see if love can once again cure the haunted.
Author Note: While Fated is a stand-alone story, readers will get greater enjoyment (and more hot, emotional rockers) by first reading Haunted.
November 11, 2014
REVISED AND UPDATED VERSION!
Ink and art are in Jaylene Charles' blood. When her overbearing father died unexpectedly, Jaylene quit her internship with a prominent Berkeley therapist and followed her heart to New Orleans. Finding kindred spirits there, she got back to her tattooing roots and realized her dream of owning her own tattoo shop. Jaylene had everything she thought she wanted when five tattooed, pierced, and broken-hearted rock n’ roll boys challenged her to put her skills, and her heart, to the test.
Maggie’s Bones were Metal’s next big thing when tragedy struck, leaving them devastated and at each others' throats. Their label demanded a follow-up to their latest insanely successful album, and they were running out of time. Hiding out in Louisiana to salvage their career, they sought Jaylene’s help. She immediately felt a connection with D, the broken man with the sorrowful eyes and missing smile, but refused to let him in.
Can Jaylene trust that D's feelings are more than gratitude? Can the man with the sad eyes make her accept that sometimes love really can cure the haunted?
FOR 18+ READERS: ADULT THEMES AND SEXUAL SITUATIONS.