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Smoke Signals

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Mike St. George figured that working customer support during the Black Friday sale at SmokeSignals, a game distribution company, would just feature the usual sort of problem customers. He wasn't expecting an aristocratic, self-centered dragon to demand the company send someone to his house to install games in exchange for gold. And he definitely wasn't expecting that to so ...more
ebook, 100 pages
Published February 28th 2018 by Less Than Three Press
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  225 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Skye Kilaen
Super-nerdy m/m romance about a game company tech support guy and a dragon (yes, the dragon shapeshifts into human form.) A charming love story about learning how to communicate with someone who is very different from you. Check it out, especially if you’re a gamer or have ever worked tech support or customer service in general.
Xan West
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars

I really enjoyed this geeky m/m romance, centering a knitter gay MC who works at a gaming company and a grumpy awkward dragon love interest whose hoard is all games. It was cute, sweet, and fluffy, had a lovely satisfying romance arc. Plus there was a kitty I adored!

Read the rest of my review on my blog!

Content warnings (view spoiler)
3.75 stars rounded up

OMG this is SO CUTE!!! A programmer who likes to knit, an eccentric dragon who hoards games, and a cat. Turns out to be a very good recipe to entertain me.

I LOVED the progress of the relationship. I thought the idea of a real dragon in contemporary setting would be weird. But Meredith Katz was able to work it out.

Even though as it comes near the end it seems to lose its steam, and it sort of feel like ending abruptly, I still I had FUN with this novella...
Read on my blog.

I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

#IndieAthon is off to a great start, because wow, this book was amazing.

It’s not often that you find videogames, customer service, Black Friday sales and real, actual dragons in the same story, but Smoke Signals certainly ticks all those boxes. There’s also an adorable romance, cultural differences that lead to awkwardness, dragon lore incorporated into modern human culture, communication about boundaries, knitti
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute cover snagged my attention first, but then... a dragon who hoards games and has just discovered that his hoard is lacking on-line games and the sweet gaming company representative who installs his games? It was too cute! I had to snag it.

So yes, this was a fun, light novella-length story of an average guy, Mike St. George, content to work in his company's customer service call center, dream of the day his knitting can become an online business for him, enjoy his only relationship is his cat
This was outrageously cute. I just wish we had gotten more!
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-fic
Perhaps one for online gamers. It's not awful, but I didn't get it's merit.

Overall I found it awkward. The characters seem more a bunch of contrived 'cute' quirks than fully drawn, neither felt very real. There was little atmosphere as there wasn't that much on-page conversation. There was though some compromise and respect.
Didn't get any sense of predator or gravitas from the Dragon who came across more a sulky child. And I love me some Dragons. This story needed more actual Dragon. I joined t
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cute and fun

Well, I really, really liked this.

In a lot of ways, it's a really *millennial* story - broke customer service guy lives in tiny apartment with his cat, dreams of earning enough money to go visit his family more often, meets rich cranky dragon and they get together enthusiastically after some snark and communication problems.

(Hopefully that's not a spoiler; this is a romance novel)

And you know, contemporary is rarely my thing but I think to make contemporary* work - dragons or othe
Serena Yates
Dragons! I just love reading about them, finding out what different versions authors can come up with, so if you offer me a dragon story, I will definitely want to read it. ‘Smoke Signals’ is the third story of the ‘For the Hoard’ collection I have read, and to my delight it is entirely different from the other two. This tale takes dragons into an alternate contemporary world where dragons are known to exist, are somewhere between revered and feared, and while they are much like the creatures de ...more
Rike @ Random
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute, geeky little m/m short and I loved the idea of a dragon hoarding games.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so cute!
Libby Scobee
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THIS! IS! SO! CUTE! At first I was unsure about the couple, the dragon being kind of a jerk, but wow. Adorable ending, a very good example of clear communication when building and maintaining a relationship, and lots of cute nerd things.
Nicole Field
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dragons
Unlike, I suspect, many of the stories in this collection call, Meredith's novella is more or less modern day in setting; if you can wrap your head around a video game playing dragon.

I was utterly tickled by the premise of this one. For the Hoard is the collection name, harking back to the idea that dragons have hoards and, in this story, Zali'thurg's hoard is video games. I can't think of a single person in my life that I wouldn't recommend this book to.

Mike is a hard working customer support
Mar 04, 2018 added it
Okay, I guess. It started as cute, but the latter part was boring. Like, what use making the other MC a dragon if he then must act like a human and ignore all his dragon traits? Just make him a rich, eccentric human hoarder for the plot to work.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff, lgbtq, queer, my-e-things
3.5 stars. This is cute and well written. Plus, it has dragons! It's short and nice and easy and I really enjoyed reading it. I liked the writing style and I will definitely check out more of this author's work. ...more
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why aren’t there more lighthearted dragon shifter stories? Maybe there are and I’m just not seeing them (only Kasia Bacon’s Rago comes immediately to mind) but this short story was adorable af. Mike is a dedicated tech support guy for a gaming distribution company and Zali’thurg is a dragon who wants to add ALL the games to his horde. When Zali’thurg demands in-person customer service in exchange for his very large purchase, Mike is the lucky volunteer. When one house call becomes two, then thre ...more
Dee Wy
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Awww, that was sweet and cute. Fun Read - Picture a dragon entering the lobby of an office building and staff has to scramble to move furniture to make room for him. Well, he is an important customer after all!
This is a charming romance between a socially awkward but regal dragon Zee and Mike who has a cat and knits.

It is sweet and then a little hot. I liked the portrayal of a positive stepmother a great deal as well.

Quick nice read.
3.5 stars
Sweet and accomplished little dragon-meets-nerd story.
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a cute fluffy story. I really liked that the author didn't make the dragon into a purely human form when they transformed, that was a neat touch. Also, now I want a pair of knitted slippers. ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved how the story was built (scenarios totally believable in the context of that world and not belabored), how their relationship was negotiated (and how the sex was depicted - I loved the ongoing insistence on his being a dragon, even when in psuedo-human form, very different from other dragon stories I've read). ...more
Pandora  Phoenix
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dear Author,
Do you want fandom ships? Because this is how you get fan art.

4.5 just because the book seems to ramp up nicely, well fleshed characters, starting point of excellent world building then BAM! Done.

pleaae tell me there is a book two coming?!
Elaine White
Book – Smoke Signals
Author – Meredith Katz
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 83
Cover – Cute!
POV – 3rd person, one character
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Contemporary, Paranormal/Supernatural, Dragons


This was all kinds of adorable!
I loved Michael and Zali'thurg, together and apart. They were really well written and well explored characters, with great chemistry that built slowly but was so cute to watch.
The writing was perfectly on point to suit my
4 stars

Synopsis: Mike works as a customer service rep for a game distribution company. On one of the busiest days of the year, he is asked to deal with a customer, a dragon, who wants the entire back catalogue of games because he hoards them. Mike goes to Zali'thurg's house to download the catalogue and spends several days there. When Zali'thurg wants the newest releases in a couple of months, Mike is sent out again.
As Mike gets to know Zali'thurg and interacts with the autocratic being, he real
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully nerdy and humorous.

My one disappointment was that the dragon spent so much time in his pseudohuman form. It'd have been cool to see gaming equipment adapted to a dragon's form. It's not like Zali'thurg didn't have the money for a custom-made rig. It could've been something Mike helped him figure out, even!

Also, one of the reasons I like "monster" romances is because of the strangeness, the way you can't expect any of the usual norms to apply in terms of how sex and romance go. This
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I actually had a lot of fun with this book. Early on I started thinking, "Oh, God, am I going to hate Zali'thurg because he's a total asshole?" but then, as the story progressed, it moved on to a more, "Oh, Zali'thurg is a non-human entity who doesn't understand humans, wants to understand humans, and when presented with information on humans, acts to make his behavior reasonable." And I mean that seriously, because a lot of books like to pull the, "Oh, I'm an inhuman creature so I can't be expe ...more
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this short romance, and I recommend it highly!

The romance is slow-burn, sort of enemies to friends to lovers, and both characters really charmed me. Zali'thurg's social awkwardness is easy to relate to, even though he is quite an alien character, and Mike is patient and caring, without ever surrendering his own needs to serve Zali'thurg.

The gaming details are important but not esoteric at all, and I think anyone could enjoy the book. But as a gamer, I especially enjoyed the Inf
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Meredith Katz books and always look for the next one.
When I saw it for review on NetGalley I knew I was in for a good read.
Michael St George works for a gaming company and is tasked with attending the home of a dragon Zee to help increase his hoard by installing many games which he greatly enjoys playing.
Michael at first is nervous about working with the dragon but doesn’t hide who he is.
Zee seems rude, arrogant and once changes to human a gorgeous man who intrigues Michael very much.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, romance, lgbt
A nice, cute romance between a guy who likes games and a game hoarding dragon. I really liked that - okay, very often in this kind of book, the human is clueless about how the non-humans work, but the nonhuman knows everything about how humans tick. Even when the author decides that the nonhuman isn’t fully versed in humans, very often the unfamiliarity they have with people isn’t half as convincing or important as the human’s unfamiliarity with no humans. This did a very good job of convincing ...more
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5* rounded up!

This was so freaking cute and funny!!

Zali'thurg was such an accidental asshole, he's probably one of my favorite characters ever, I love him! Mike was also a great main character and I loved seeing the cultural differences between them and how they started learning from each other over time. It was also the perfect length for my taste, it was slow-burn enough to feel genuine, but it also not so slow that it didn't have time to develope properly. Definitely highly recommended!
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Author of LGBT+ romance and speculative fiction! Likes humans, monsters, and the hazy places between the two.
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