The Fall Writing Tag

I found a fall writing tag over at Amy Tasukada’s Youtube channel, and I’m stealing it for a little Friday fun.

This year, I’m actually going to experience fall for the first time since I moved to Malaysia in 2012 (Malaysia doesn’t have fall, we have dry and rainy season). I usually go visit Sweden in the summer or around Christmas time, but this year I’m squeezing in an extra visit. I’m going on October 16, staying for two weeks, and the plan is to hug the stuffing out of my daughter, fika a lot (fika is the most important Swedish tradition), go for walks and look at fall colored leaves, and meet friends and family. But mostly just enjoy spending some time with my daughter and her boyfriend.

So I thought a fall themed tag was fitting.

Also, why not check out Amy’s answers here 🙂

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Image from Pixabay

THE FALL WRITING TAG QUESTIONS:

1. Crunching Leaves- The Perfect Sound. What do you like listening to while writing?

Mostly nothing. Sometimes, I listen to electronic instrumental music, but most of the time I write in silence. I can’t listen to anything with lyrics; that just makes me want to sing along and I lose my concentration.

2. Hot Bubbling Cider- What’s your favorite thing to eat or drink while writing?

Honestly, I’m not very picky. I’m happy as long as I have something to drink, whether it’s water, soda, tea, or even the occasional glass of wine. But mostly, I drink water.

3. Bon Fires- The Perfect Night. Name your perfect writing conditions or your perfect writing night.

As long as I have a good quality notebook and my favorite fountain pens, I’m good.

4. Pumpkin Spiced Latte- Something you used to like but now don’t.

I used to be obsessed with reading murder mysteries, but I severely overdosed on them so now I don’t anymore.

5. Halloween- Your favorite part of writing a novel.

Editing, because that means the hard part is done 🙂

6. Monsters & Goblins- What terrifies you most while writing/ drafting a novel?

My own laziness. That I’d rather lie on the couch reading what someone else wrote than do the work.

7. Hay Rides- A Bumpy Ride. What do you do to get over a writers block or get inspired?

Every time I’ve hit a block, it’s been because something in the story isn’t working. So I take a step back and try to objectively look at what I’ve written so far to figure out why it’s not working. And when I’ve found the problem, I change it, and writers block is gone!

8. Haunted Houses- World Building. What are some tips you have on crafting the perfect world?

Don’t forget about the details.

9. Pumpkins- Do your story ideas start with characters, plots, setting or something else?

A lot of the time the idea for an opening scene pops up in my mind and I work my way from there.

10. Ghost Stories. Share a spooky writing prompt!

People make death threats to a woman who’s been a victim of sexual assault, slander her reputation, and treat her like crap, and send a message to all women in the world that they don’t matter. No wait. That was reality. Sorry.

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Release day: Us Again

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Happy release day to me! 🍾🥂🎉🎈

I’m so happy that Sammy and Alex is finally released into the wild. I was in the middle of another writing project when they knocked on my brain’s door and refused to leave me alone. So I said Okay, then in that suffering voice we tortured authors get when new characters wants to get ahead in line of the ones we currently write, picked up my pen, and wrote their story.

It is short, with a little bit of angst but a lot of sweet, like always in my books. It’s a M/M contemporary story and it’s only about 10K words. So if you need a short read to take your mind off things but don’t have too much time, this is perfect for you. It’s also perfect if you’re a fan of hurt/comfort and second chances!

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Blurb:

Will a late-night phone call lead to a second chance at love?

When Alex gets a call in the middle of the night, telling him is ex-boyfriend is in the hospital, he only hesitates for a second before rushing to Sammy’s side. But the Sammy in the hospital bed is fragile, and not the same man who told Alex to leave seven months ago.

Alex wants to help Sammy get better and is desperate to find out what went wrong between them. Maybe even get a second chance with the man Alex hasn’t been able to get over.

But will Sammy let him back into his life?

Buy links/Add to Goodreads

JMS Books | AmazonAmazon UK | Kobo | Google Play | B&N

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Under the Felt Mistletoe

If you remember my last update post, I wrote that I wasn’t sure if I was going to write a Christmas story or not this year. The same day, I picked up my beloved fountain pen and started writing the story of Finn and Nelson, and last week I submitted the story to my publisher and signed a contract.

The story is called Under the Felt Mistletoe and is a short (approximately 13K words) M/M contemporary romance. I made a mood board with pictures that inspired me to write the story. Wanna see?

Under the Felt Mistletoe without titleThe boy with the adorable smile and ginger curls, is my inspiration for Finn 😍 And isn’t that mistletoe made out of felt, florist wire, and tape fantastic?  I want to make one for this holiday season! If you want to make one, too, here’s the how-to link

Blurb:

The most wonderful time of the year is about to get even better.

On a cold, rainy December morning, Finn’s beloved Grampa, his best friend and rock, makes a friend outside their home who he invites for coffee. The last thing Finn expects is Nelson, a man with a painful past, who is beautiful and generous and turns Finn’s knees into jelly.

What starts out as a chance to get out of the rain, soon becomes more as Nelson helps Finn get ready for the Christmas market. They bond over coffee and fabric and Mariah Carey. Can handmade Christmas ornaments and an understanding heart give Nelson the love he’s been denied?

 

Us Again excerpt

Two weeks until the release of Us Again, and I thought you might want to read an excerpt? It’s a different one than will be used in the release blitz (starting on October 6), so be sure to check out all the blogs that have so graciously signed up to participate if you need to read a little more before you decide if you want to buy it or not.

What am I saying? Of course, you will want to buy it! I love Alex and Sammy, they might be my favorite couple yet 😉😁

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Available for pre-order now:

JMS Books (20% off) | Amazon

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Excerpt

“Alexander?” Sammy’s hoarse whisper pulls me out of my walk down memory lane, and I lift my head and look at him.

“I’m here.”

His eyes are little more than narrow slits, and he squeezes them shut and opens them again slowly, as though he’s making sure I’m not a hallucination. He turns his hand and laces his fingers with mine, making my breath stutter to a halt.

“What are you doing here?”

“David called me.”

“David called you.” It’s not a question, more like an unsurprised statement. “Why?”

I sweep my thumb over the back of his hand. “Because you’re in the hospital.” I keep my voice low.

His eyes flutter closed, and a sigh escapes him. “That’s not a reason.”

“Seems legit to me.”

Gently, he releases his grip on me and wiggles his hand free, hiding it under the blanket. “I told you to leave and never come back.”

My hand flies to my chest and I rub over my heart. Fuck. “I remember.”

He twists his upper body away from me and reaches for a glass of water on the bedside table. I hurry around the bed, so I can give it to him.

“Thank you,” he mumbles and gulps down the contents in one go before giving it back.

“More?”

“No.”

I sit in the chair previously occupied by his brother and move it closer, but don’t touch him. I want to. Oh, fuck, do I want to, but my gut tells me I need to give him time. To let him come to me. My gut is usually right when it comes to Sammy; I just hope that today isn’t the first time it will fail me.

“What are you doing here? I yelled at you. Screamed terrible things. Why would you even care about me enough to visit me in the middle of the night?”

My hands twitch and I shove them under my thighs. “I needed to make sure you’re okay.”

He sighs. “That makes sense. It’s who you are. Care Bear with the huge heart.”

The sound of his old nickname for me makes my eyes and throat burn. I try to swallow it down and close my eyes, but the image of him snuggling against my chest, his fingers playing with my fur as he presses kisses to my skin, whispering, “You’re so cuddly, Care Bear,” pops up on my retinas, and I force myself to look at him or I’ll definitely start bawling.

“Now that you know I’m okay, you can go. Thanks for checking up on me.” His chin wobbles, but he doesn’t look away, trying so hard to convey confidence and assurance, and he’s so fucking brave I fear my heart will explode.

“You want me to go?”

He throws his arm over his eyes. “Yes,” he says in a barely audible voice.

“If that’s what you really want, I’ll go.” The words taste like vomit in my mouth, and I want to rush to the sink and rinse it with water. “But you have to look at me and say it. No hiding. Straight-shooting.”

Everything stops. Time. My heartbeat. Rational thought.

This is it. What the fuck do I do if he tells me to go?

Slowly he lowers his arm. His lips quiver and moisture leaks from his eyes, but he does it.

He says the words. “I need you to leave, please.”

Cover reveal and pre-order: Us Again

usagain

Will a late-night phone call lead to a second chance at love?

When Alex gets a call in the middle of the night, telling him is ex-boyfriend is in the hospital, he only hesitates for a second before rushing to Sammy’s side. But the Sammy in the hospital bed is fragile, and not the same man who told Alex to leave seven months ago.

Alex wants to help Sammy get better and is desperate to find out what went wrong between them. Maybe even get a second chance with the man Alex hasn’t been able to get over.

But will Sammy let him back into his life?

Release date: October 6, 2018

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Us Again is a short M/M contemporary story, app 9500 words, about second chances and finding a way to become “us” again.

Available for pre-order now.

JMS Books (20% off) | Amazon 

Sunday review

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therecruitAlbert Manlii has walked this earth for more than two thousand years, but survival on his own was never easy. Now he leads a faction of highly organized vampires who carefully guard the secret of their existence. Unlike the old days, potential recruits are carefully selected and presented with an offer.

Phillip Brewer has weeks to live—if he lets his disease run its course. He doesn’t want to die, but given a choice, will his desire to live outweigh his concerns about the vampires’ ethics?

When the new recruit’s missteps are cause for concern, can Albert control the fallout, or will Phillip’s life once again be torn apart?

I’ve been a lover of vampire stories my whole life. It started in my early teens when I discovered Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and I’ve read and re-read it so many times I’ve lost count. Not only because of the vampires, but also because of the epistolary format (love epistolary stories!) The love continued with Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and even Twilight. (Yes, I liked it, the first book at least. No, I don’t have a problem with vampires glittering in the sun.) And with them, countless other vampire stories over the years.

So when Addison Albright, my dear friend and one of my favorite authors, decided to write a vampire story, I jumped with joy.

I had the honor of beta reading The Recruit way back when. Last week, I finally read the finished version, because I also had the honor of beta reading The Choice, which is the sequel (yay!!), and I needed to be up to speed on what happened in The Recruit, especially considering that Addison added several thousand words after I read it.

That was a great way of spending an hour on a lazy Sunday afternoon. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know by now that I’m a fan of Addison’s writing, and The Recruit is no exception. I like her no-nonsense style. I like that her guys are regular guys (even when they are vampires, though maybe not Albert in this story 🙂 ). I like her restrained yet emotional way of writing love stories.

The Recruit ticks all those boxes.

But what I like the most is her unique take on vampire lore. She’s created a completely different world than you’d come to expect (i.e. vamps dressed in flowy capes, sleeping in coffins in dusty old houses). Instead, Addison has brought the vampires into the 21st century. They use technology and other advancements to their advantage. They are organized and resemble a spy organization more than an ancient secret society. They are smart, clever, and even though they still need to drink blood to survive, they don’t attack humans, drain them and leave them for dead. In short, they’re civilized, while they still have that romantic glow vampires tend to have.

The Recruit is worth reading only for the interesting world building. But then there’s all the other good stuff like a cherry on the ice cream sundae, and what you end up with is a delicious read that I warmly recommend. Very warmly.

And it’s currently available on KU.

Also: if you’ve already read The Recruit, you will definitely want to read The Choice when it’s released. Trust me on this, I know. 🙂

Buy links:

JMS Books | Amazon 

 

 

Update

It’s been two months since I last wrote an update on what I’m doing, so maybe it’s time again? Whaddaya think? 🙂

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In July I was on a vacation on the tropical island Gili Air, Indonesia (which you know if you follow me on Instagram) and it pretty much looked like this for four glorious days:

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My daughter and her boyfriend was here for a visit, so I prioritized cuddles and quality time with them over writing. It’s safe to say that July was an awesome month.

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In August I wrote like a fiend to catch up with lost time. I finished my first ever fantasy story, Snowed In: Nen and Anani, and submitted it. It will be released in January 2019. I’ll tell you more details when I have them.

Blurb:

”It is time to go to my son.” Nen waited for fifteen rotations to hear those words, since that time the snow wouldn’t stop falling. But now that he’s about to meet Anani, the love of his life, again, he’s afraid. What if Anani doesn’t feel the same anymore?

Anani, the guardian of the water element, was only seventeen when he was banished from his mother’s court. Heartbroken that he couldn’t be with the one he loved, he lost control over his emotions and his power. No matter what he tried, the snow wouldn’t stop and as a last resort he was sent away.

When they finally meet again, Anani is hopeful but disillusioned. The law that kept them apart hasn’t changed. How will they be able to find their happily ever after?

And what happens when the snow starts falling again?

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Kris T. Bethke and I have started book 2 in our Family Found series, titled Diving In. We’ve only written a couple chapters so far, but at least we’re working on it. I’m sad to say that I’m the one who’s behind on this project, but sometimes life happens and when it does, it’s great to have an understanding writing partner like Kris. Really. She’s the best.

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I’m trying to decide whether I’m gonna write a Christmas story or not. I have an idea, but I haven’t started yet. The deadline for the submission call is September 30. Like I said, life interfered with my writing and I haven’t had time to do everything I planned. Or maybe I just haven’t prioritized right?

Anyway, I can probably manage in time. But I have to decide like yesterday. Ugh. Maybe I’ll just dust off my Spotify Christmas playlist and see if the mood strikes? I’ll let you know.

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Speaking of Family Found series. If you’re a regular follower of my blog, I’m sure you haven’t missed that the first book, Falling Into Love, is out now. So if you’re in the mood for something “sweet, fast paced, low angst” to quote Kat at Love Bytes, may I suggest Liam and Austin? 🙂

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Liam O’Donoughue is happy with his life. He runs V Wilderness Adventures with his best friends, his chosen brothers, and gets to spend his days hiking in the gorgeous Adirondacks. What’s not to love? But when he meets Austin on a hike, he thinks he’s found something he didn’t even know was missing.

Austin Jock is content with his work as a radiology tech and playing bass in a cover band. Someday he wants to find his forever person but doesn’t believe in romantic fireworks and isn’t sure it’ll ever happen. Then Liam comes crashing into his life, igniting sparks. Huge, life-altering sparks.

The connection between the two men is instant, and things move fast. But Austin isn’t sure what to do with everything he’s feeling inside. Can Liam convince him falling in love is the easiest thing in the world?

Buy links/Add to Goodreads

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

add to goodreads