NEW RELEASE: The Locket’s Tale by R.J. Peterson (Excerpt)


Book Title: The Locket’s Tale

Author and Publisher: RJ Peterson

Cover Artist: Ron Perry Graphic Design

Release Date: February 21, 2024

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Older guys, small town

Themes: Just a hint of magic

Heat Rating: 3.5 flames (there are only a couple of sex scenes, but they are quite detailed)

Length: 22 600 words

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.


Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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


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.


It was an ordinary day, much like every other in my life. I awoke at seven without an alarm, my body tuned to the rhythms of my life. After a quick shower, followed by coffee and a bagel, I set off on my morning ritual five-mile walk through my neighborhood and around Milford Pond before returning home. 

I was a freelance editor, and this was how I started each day. It helped clear my mind. A brain reset, if you will, before delving into the next manuscript.

I sometimes varied my route slightly, just for a bit of variety in my otherwise oh-so-similar days, and this Friday was such a day. On my return home, I turned right on Folsom Street, which would take me by a small park, complete with a playground for the neighborhood children. 

The park was empty at this hour, children already in school this sunny but cool October morning. As I ambled down the sidewalk, I heard a dog barking in the distance as something caught my eye on the pavement ahead of me. A ray of sunlight reflected on its surface. A coin perhaps.

But as I approached, its form became more distinct. Is that something on a chain? I stopped mere inches away and bent to retrieve it. A silver locket in the shape of a book. And yes, a matching chain. Curious. I looked around but saw no one who might have dropped it.

I examined the locket, noting the fine filigree work on the front surrounding an oval gem—lapis lazuli was my first thought—where one might expect to find a photo. Instead, the oval contained a cabochon of what appeared to be lapis lazuli. I opened it, hoping to find something that might help to identify it or the owner and was surprised to see words delicately engraved upon what looked like pages.

Despite my squinting, I couldn’t quite make out the words, so I closed the locket and placed it in the front pocket of my jeans. I’d employ the help of a magnifying glass to decipher the message once I returned home. And so I set off to complete my journey, wondering what secrets this jewelry might hold.

* * * 

Entering the back door of my Craftsman home, I shrugged off my jacket and hung it on the peg just inside the kitchen entry. I filled my favorite Yeti tumbler with ice and water, then proceeded to my office to begin the day’s work. But first, a closer look at the locket.

Pulling it from my pocket, I placed it on the desk blotter and grabbed a magnifying glass from the top drawer. I examined the front and back, but again, found no distinguishing marks, so I opened it to study the message engraved inside.

Place this locket about your neck,

Then close your eyes and think

Upon a book that you adore

And let the story sink

Into your brain. Now make a wish

And you will find, indeed,

You’re in said story for a day

Or more or less. Take heed!

“Hmmm, that’s interesting,” I said aloud to the empty room. “But it still doesn’t tell me who this trinket may belong to.” I shrugged, glancing at the small digital clock on my desk only to see it was later than I realized. “I’ll give this more thought later.” I opened the project management app on my iMac. “But now I really need to get to work.”

About the Author 

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.

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