What I miss…

…the most about Malaysia is all the wonderful food, but recently I found a place nearby that serves a lovely pho, so I bought a big bowl and finished every last drop. It was sooo good, with lots of star anise and cinnamon, and I’m definitely going back there for more.

Beef pho

Sunday book recommendation

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I’ve been crazy about autumn this year. It’s never been my favorite season before, but now I can’t get enough of it. I cook autumnal food, overdose on hot drinks, burn a million candles, and of course read. Because what’s better than curling up on the couch underneath a cozy blanket with a good book and a nice cup of tea?

So today, I thought I’d recommend three books I’ve read that all take place in fall.

Three fall-themed books

I asked my dear friend Kris T. Bethke if she had any suggestions on books taking place in fall (because she’s a falloholic, too) and she promptly said Pumpkin Rolls & Porn Sounds with a chuckle. I’ve read it before, of course. It was the first book I read by Kris, and I bought it back when it was new because I loved the name so much. The book lived up to its name, and just like that I’d found a new favorite author. Full disclosure, though: I’ve never had a pumpkin roll. I’ve never had pumpkin spice anything. Am I still allowed to call myself a fall-lover? 😁

I’ve written about October Spice on the blog before and it was a given re-read for October. I love KL Noone and this short little nugget is no exception. A word of warning, though: make sure you have a snack when you read this book, because you will be tortured by “vanilla-orange petit fours” and “apple spice cake pops,” and I need an apple spice cake pop right this minute! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 🙂

Pine Tree Mary by Ofelia Gränd was a new read for me. I bought it last year when it was released because have you seen that cover, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. But when I asked my morning writing buddies if any of them had a fall themed book, Ofelia had a handy list and I picked Pine Tree Mary off it. And oh my gaaaaaawd, you need to read this book. It has one of the greatest MCs of all time, Hush. Hush is a forest spirit, a hulder who traditionally are female, but Hush is male. This means trouble for poor Hush whose family never lets him forget that he’s different and freakish. What’s so great about Hush as a character is that he’s really believable as a forest spirit. He doesn’t know much about the human world, he doesn’t understand human behavior and when he comes in contact with it interesting things happen.

It’s a lovely story about learning to accept yourself for who you are, and yes there’s a second character, yes there’s a romance, there’s even a crime-solving plot, and all that is great. But Hush steals the show. I love him. I claim him as my book boyfriend, hollow back and all. And it would be so cool to ride a moose.

Buy links:

Pine Tree Mary | October Spice | Pumpkin Rolls & Porn Sounds

Regaining Trust

This story isn’t about cheating it’s about making a mistake and taken accountability for your actions on both parts. It’s about learning to trust but also about how to communicate problems so that things like cheating and lonely ness can be avoided in the future.

What started as a heartbreaker ending up being one of my favorite ending ever. It was a truly wonderful story about how learning to trust again can change a relationship completely but in a good way. Highly recommended.

Goodreads reviewer

Buy links

 JMS BOOKS | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | KOBO | APPLE BOOKS | B&N | GOOGLE PLAY

Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings

You know how I always say Sundays are for reading and tea. I have an addendum: autumn Sundays are even more for tea and reading. And even better? If the book is set in fall.

So if you need something to read today, a story set in fall, something low-angst, second chances, two guys in their forties falling in love, I recommend this:

Sometimes love finds you even when you’re not looking for it.

At 47, Oren Walker isn’t looking for love. When he knocks on Pete Higgins’ door, all he wants is to thank him for helping his mom after she broke her femur. He never expected that one look at the man would make his knees weak and heart flutter.

Pete is happy—albeit a bit lonely—after divorcing his wife of 20 years and isn’t looking to replace her. But when Oren shows up, all grateful and handsome and in that fancy suit, the longing for the deep connection of a relationship flares up inside him.

As the leaves turn yellow, Oren and Pete spend a lot of time in honest conversations. Their attraction grows. Will the two men recognize the promise of new beginnings, and take the chance to find the happiness they both deserve?

M/M contemporary / 17809 words

BUY LINKS / ADD TO GOODREADS

JMS Books  | Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo | iTunes | B&N | Google Play | Smashwords | Scribd

add to goodreads

So why not make a cup of tea (or other hot beverage of choice), light a few candles, maybe put on a YouTube fire (or an actual fire if you’re lucky enough to have one), and read Orin and Pete’s story?

Happy Sunday 🙂

Alternative Prime Sale @ JMS Books

If you want to buy cheap books, but don’t want to be an Amazon Prime member, JMS Books have got your back. For two days, October 13-14, JMS Books offer 50% off all e-books and sell all paperbacks for $8 (US delivery only). So now’s the time to buy some great, and cheap, books.

If you’re in the mood for a good second chances story, may I suggest, Regaining Trust, Late Night Poetry, or the box set One More Chance?

Or if you like me can’t wait for Christmas, and want to stock up on lots of holiday stories so you have a tall stack ready to go, Four Christmases, Unexpected Christmas, and Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings are also 50% off.

All my ebooks are off course 50% off, so if you’re in the mood for something else, check out my JMS author page.

And in case you’ve already read all my books (in that case: I LOVE YOU!) here are some recommendations of books written by other authors published by JMS Books:

Five recommendations
  • Pine Tree Mary by Ofelia Gränd, because a male huldre and would you look at that gorgeous cover? 😍
  • Taking Stock by A.L. Lester, because reviewed by the frigging NEW YORK TIMES 😍
  • Best Friends by J.M. Snyder because who doesn’t love best-friends-to-lovers?
  • Love With the Next Door Neighbor by Kris T. Bethke (not yet released, but pre-orders are ALSO 50% off) because who hasn’t been desperate for a new Kris T. Bethke story??
  • Cultivating Love by Addison Albright in paperback, because you really need your favorite books in both ebook and paperback

Writing update

And it’s Monday again. I’m not ready. I had the best Sunday I’ve had in forever, yesterday, and I never wanted it to end, so I’m a bit grumpy about today being Monday. I didn’t even do something all that exciting; just hung out with my darling husband, him watching something on one of the many streaming services, me cuddled up next to him reading an excellent book, with candles, tea, and cinnamon rolls. You get it. Cozy and slow and wonderful, just like Sundays are supposed to be.

But alas. Monday. And it’s time for another writing update, so here it goes.

#SlidingIntoMyDMs

#SlidingIntoMyDMs, written for the JMS Books in-house submission call about love found on social media, is still with one of my betas. I should probably get to writing a blurb while I wait for it back, but writing blurbs are not my favorite thing to do, so I keep procrastinating. Maybe I need to come up with a reward for myself that I only get if I write the blurb? What do you think of that idea? 😀

Meet Cute Chronicles

I told you in my last update about They Met in the Library, and an unnamed WIP about Otis, Kirby and a little dog named Princess. They Met in the Library is a meet cute story, and as I was writing Otis and Kirby, I realized that was a meet cute, too. So that had me thinking. What if I wrote a third meet cute story, because three is better than two right? So I named Otis and Kirby’s story They Met in the Park, then I went ahead and renamed the characters, so they are now David and Jacke (nickname for Jakob) instead of Otis and Kirby. Then I started They Met in the Woods, that I’m currently writing. Woods about Måns and Viggo who meet when Måns forages for mushrooms in the forest and gets lost, but luckily comes across Viggo.

Library and Park (both around 17K words) only need one more pass before they are ready for betas. Woods is currently at about 12K words (and I’m aiming for around 17K words to match the other two), but the words are pouring out of my pen so if the writing continues like this, it will be done this week.

They will be released early next year, and I’m toying with the idea of giving them all the subtitle Meet Cute Chronicles. Not that they’re a series or anything, but because of the theme being the same. Oh, and another thing all three They Met books have in common is that the characters are all in their forties.

What do you think? Meet Cute Chronicles yay or nay? 🙂

Nell on the Internet

Lately, I’ve popped up here and there on the internet, and I thought I’d posts some links to it here for you to check out if you’ve missed them.

I wrote three posts about Regaining Trust. One was posted on my publisher’s blog (link) where I wrote about how cheating is always the least favorite trope among romance readers. I also wrote two posts for my writing buddies’ blogs. At Ofelia Gränd’s blog (link) I wrote about “once a cheater, always a cheater,” and at A.L. Lester’s blog (link) I talked about whether feelings change after an incident of infidelity.

I also wrote my bimonthly guest post at Love Bytes Reviews, where I made a list of 15 things that make happy right now. Check it out here, and feel free to tell me about things that makes you happy in the comments. 🙂

Number four of the things on my list that makes me happy is “lighting up dark Swedish evenings with an abundance of candles” and this is my desk during my morning writing sessions. It started out with two candles and then sort of evolved from there 😂

Top 5

I think fall is my favorite season. It’s a recent development, spring has always been my favorite season before. But this year…fall just got into my blood and refused to leave. I want to do all fall-y things and read all the fall-y books and eat all the fall-y food.

So I thought I’d make a list of my top 5 favorite things about fall.

Four of my favorite fall things
  1. The air. There’s something so clear and fresh and crisp about the fall air. It’s feels great for the lungs and fills me with energy, and I love having the window or balcony door open and letting it into my apartment.
  2. Every day is tea day
  3. Soup season! My favorite food is soups of all kinds, but my husband doesn’t want to eat them in summer because it gets too hot. So as soon as it says September in my calendar, I declare it soup season and cook it several times a week.
  4. The colors. The flowers in the above picture was sent to me by my parents for my birthday and I absolutely fell in love with the colors. It was the most perfect fall-y bouquet I’ve ever seen 😍
  5. Candles and Chai latte and reading! We go through so many candles, but I love them. It makes everything instantly cosy!

So tell me: what’s your favorite thing about fall? 🙂

Fall to-do list

9 Willow Street: And Then They Were Three

Today is the release day of my super short flashfic sequel to 9 Willow Street. It’s two years later, and I’m giving you a short glimpse into Hannes and Mattis’ happily ever after. I’m not kidding when I say it’s short, a little more than 2000 words, but on the other hand, it’s completely free! Yay! Who doesn’t love free books, even if they’re short, right? 🙂

JMS Books | Universal buy link

And if you’ve never heard of 9 Willow Street, here’s blurb and links:

Heartbroken after the death of his beloved Nana, Hannes, the family outsider, finally allows himself to grieve. The legal battle over Nana’s quirky old house— the only place he’s ever felt accepted and loved—is over, and he moves in and finds a sense of peace.

…and a rabbit.

An adorable bunny with a huge personality moves in, too, and refuses to leave. Hannes instantly falls in love with the sweet animal who helps heal his heart. But one morning, Hannes’ view of the world changes when the rabbit transforms into a man. A man named Mattis.

After the initial shock, Hannes and Mattis discover a connection between them that runs deeper than it seems. Will their newfound feelings survive unraveling secrets and meddling families, and grow into something real? Something deep and everlasting?

M/M paranormal / 28153 words

BUY LINKS / ADD TO GOODREADS

JMS BOOKS | AMAZONAMAZON UK | KOBO ITUNES B&N | GOOGLE PLAYSMASHWORDS | SCRIBD

add to goodreads

Hello October

This year is weird, because on one hand it feels like it’s been going on for-fucking-ever with the virus and the social distancing and everything else that’s been going on. On the other hand, I can’t believe it’s already October. How can it already be October when this year has craaaaaaaaawled by? Like I said. Weird.

But before we charge into October, I wanted to look back on September. September was the best month in the entire year because on the 17th, I became a grandmother to a healthy baby girl, who’s so adorable there are no words, who owns me completely even though she’s only 2 weeks old.

So you may now address me as Mormor Nell. (Swedish has different words for maternal and paternal grandparents. Mormor/morfar is maternal grandmother/grandfather, and farmor/farfar is for paternal)

But enough about that. Let’s look at some pictures from September, shall we?

Me and the hubby was out for a lovely Sunday lunch (appropriately socially distant) and at the table next to us, sat a Very Good Dog. It just sat there the entire time their human was inside the restaurant doing something. Didn’t move a muscle, didn’t make a sound, despite children running around and people passing by the the table. We were absolutely fascinated by the obedient, adorable creature.
I’ve cooked a lot of autumn-y foods. Like a wonderful stracotto (Italian pot roast) that cooked for hours and was supremely delicious served with mashed potatoes and an excellent bottle of red wine.
I bought candles for my desk: I need something to light up the dark Swedish fall mornings
Disney Plus launched in Sweden, so me and the hubby started a re-watch of Star Wars in numerical order. Holy crap, the guy playing Anakin in episodes 2 and 3 is such a terrible actor – even worse than I remembered – and I cringed every time he was on screen. Too bad for such an interesting character and story arc.
My birthday was on the 11th (as I told you about here) and me and the hubby celebrated it with cold cuts, fruit, and a nice prosecco. We listened to music and enjoyed ourselves. It was a lovely birthday.
My darling daughter sent me a b-day present (since she was pregnant on the verge of bursting and couldn’t come for a visit): a new kettle. There was nothing wrong with my old one, but this one has temperature control (necessary for green tea) and a “keep warm” button (excellent for my writing mornings) and I love it!
Speaking of kettles: when we went to see the darling daughter and the newest member of our family, we stayed at a hotel. I woke up early to write in the mornings and didn’t want to wake up my hubby with the rather loud kettle (I NEED tea for writing or there’ll be no words at 6 am) so I connected it in the bathroom. He did not like that when he woke up and lectured me on electricity and water and bathrooms, and told me to use it in the room the next day, he didn’t care if he woke up 😍
We spent two days cuddling our granddaughter, and I can’t believe how time flew while doing nothing but looking at a sleeping infant. When we returned to the hotel, we went to the mostly empty bar, had a beer and grinned at each other. Because what else are you supposed to do when you’re really really happy?
On the last day of September we kissed our daughter and granddaughter goodbye and drove back home, straight into the sunset
And finally: I wrote every single day in September, too. I went up to write every morning at 6 am, save one day, the day after my granddaughter was born. I allowed myself to sleep in that day, but I did my writing later instead.

Tell me something you did last month that you enjoyed!