Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings

Autumn. The perfect time to curl up with a nice cup of tea and a good book and listen to the rain smattering against your window. Or to take a nice walk in the brisk fall air and enjoy the glowing colors of the leaves. It’s the perfect time to start something new and exciting.

Just like my main characters in my upcoming release, Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings. Oren and Pete are two genuinely nice guys in their late forties who aren’t interested in games or make-believe. They both want something honest, long-lasting, and real.

Luckily they find each other when Oren’s Mom has an accident and her neighbor Pete helps her…

If you’re in the mood for something uncomplicated, low on drama but high on the feels, and two great guys, pre-order Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings now. It’s only six days until release day.

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pre-order LINKS / ADD TO GOODREADS

JMS Books (20% off until Sept 27) | Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo | iTunes | B&N | Google Play

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This or that

Today, I thought we’ll play This or That – writer edition 🙂

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Monday Book Talk

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Do you re-read books you like?

I’ve come across several people over the years saying that they don’t re-read books because of too-many-books-too-little-time syndrome. I can totally understand this. If I could sleep less and read more, I would! (Or add more hours to the day would work, too).

But even so, I love re-reading books, and I do it all the time. Those days when I’m in a bad mood and need something to cheer me up. Or when I’m sick and need comfort. Every time I need to read a book I can be absolutely certain that I loved, I re-read.

It’s like meeting old friends again. And I’m not bothered that I already know what happens: I’m one of these people who actually seeks out spoilers instead of avoiding them like the plague, so I take comfort in knowing the story. By re-reading, I’m not caught off guard by a sudden angsty moment I wasn’t prepared or in the mood for. I know exactly what I get, and I love it.

I have a shelf on Goodreads called feel-good re-reads. Below are four books from that list.

Tell me which books (if any) you re-read!

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The Naked Remedy | Jesse’s Diner | Shiny! | Galaxies and Oceans

 

 

 

Nell’s Top Five

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Nell’s Top Five

…songs that made me dance when I was 17

30 years ago, in 1989, I was 17 years old and my life consisted of books and music and friends (and school of course). I’ve always been more of the lie on my back on the floor and listen to the lyrics kind of gal than a dance kind of gal, but there were a few songs that made it impossible for me to sit still.

So here’s a list. And to help you paint a picture: I had long blond hair, huge glasses, was chubby and had absolutely no moves. so when you listen to these songs, imagine feet shuffling and lots of arm waving and you will have a pretty good picture of what it looked like 😀

And what can I say; I was a fan of British synth pop 🙂

Tell me: what did you dance to when you were 17?

    1. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
    2. Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat
    3. Situation by Yazoo
    4. Behind the Wheel by Depeche Mode
    5. True Faith by New Order

 

WIP teaser

Today, I’m sharing the beginning of my WIP, Four Christmases, that I told you about here. It’s unedited and it’s short, but I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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2015

The silence that follows after I close the door is wonderful, and I slump against a porch post and let out a long sigh. Shaking my head, I chuckle. I love my granny to pieces, but I’m in desperate need of a break from listening to her repeatedly singing “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” at the top of her voice and out of tune. It comes with a routine and everything; she lifts her cup of eggnog, roar out the word “eggnog” in the lyrics, and cackle like a madwoman, especially after having imbibed quite a few cups of the vile drink in question. Then she looks expectantly at the rest of the family, waiting for us to laugh. I admit it was funny at first, but after the hundredth time my chuckle is polite more than anything.

But it’s been a Whipple family Christmas tradition for years and years, so it wouldn’t be the same without it. I just need a moment of peace and quiet before going back inside for round two.

A shiver racks my body and I wind the thick charcoal scarf I grabbed before fleeing the chaos that is my family Christmas around my neck, shove my gloved hands into the pockets of my light gray peacoat, and then jump off the back porch.

The air is full of huge, light snowflakes twirling leisurely from the sky and landing softly on the frost coated trees and shrubbery in my parents’ garden. It’s not enough to actually be considered a snowfall; it’s more like a reminder that today is December twenty-fifth after all, and we shouldn’t think we’re spared the snow even though it barely covers the ground. It’s as though the weather is keeping us on our toes, teaching us not to take anything for granted.


And if you’ve never heard Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, the song Auden grumbles about, lucky you, because it’s terrible. But here it is, if you want to torture yourself 😀

Book sale – 50% off ebooks

 

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My fabulous publisher JMS Books has a sale on all ebooks to mark the end of summer, because when fall comes we need more books. Because books and tea and candles and warm socks are perfect for fall, and go together like…um, I’m not gonna say peanut butter and jelly because I’m not a fan of that combination, but pick something you feel really go together. I’m choosing hamburgers and onions, because I can’t eat burgers without onions! 😀

Anyhooo. That means that my ebooks are 50% off at JMS Books this weekend and through Monday, so if you need to refill your TBR to make sure you have something to read when the days grow colder this is the perfect opportunity.

Why not pre-order my book Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings (release day September 21) if you haven’t already done it, because as you can tell, it’s all about the autumn. It’s also about two men in their late forties starting over.

My collab story with Kris T. Bethke, Falling Into Love also takes place in autumn, so if you’re in the mood for the found family trope, this is just for you.

9 Willow Street also takes place in fall (despite the happy green cover) and features a super cute bunny shifter. Us Again is a short, second chances story with lovely fall colors on the cover.

But all my books are on sale, of course, so check out this link to my author page on the JMS website to see what else I’ve written!


I have some recommendations for books written by other authors you can buy, too, if you already own all of mine 😀

  • Wild Fragile Vines by Vivien Dean (that I reviewed here) is on pre-order. It will be re-released by JMS on September 4 (it was previously published by Amber Quill), and I absolutely adored it. I loved it so much I’m actually considering buying it again (even though it’s the same cover and everything) just to support Ms. Dean.
  • Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds by Kris T. Bethke. It was the first story I read by my dear friend Ms. Bethke and I bought it only because of the fun title, but it turned out to be a great little book and it made me a fan of her writing. It’ll be re-released by JMS (it was previously published by Dreamspinner Press) on September 21 and will share book birthday with Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings!! Yay!
  • Chicken Soup by Mel Bossa, which I talked about here. It’s a very short story but full on the feels, and it’s only 50 cents now so clickety-click and buy it. You won’t regret it.
  • Cultivating Love by Addison Albright. I’ve raved so much about Prince Marcelo from the Plans series lately, so I need to give some love to Ed and Joe so they don’t feel neglected. It was my introduction to Addison’s writing, and it’s one of my favorite re-reads!

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Friday review

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heel Heel by K.M. Neuhold

 

“I’ve never thought of calling a man Daddy before, but I can’t think of a word that fits Vale better. He’s my Daddy, and I’m his pup.” 

Broken and bruised, there’s nothing I won’t do to protect Adrian. I picked him up and made him whole before, and I’ll do it again. Adrian is a sweet pup with a smile full of sunshine and a heart made for love. A sweet pup needs a gentle hand, and that’s exactly what I intend to give him.

There’s nothing quite like slipping an expensive pair of high heels onto Adrian’s feet and watching him light up. If he wants a fairytale, I’ll happily be his Prince Charming.


CW: This review (and the book) contains mentions of domestic abuse, so if this is something you find difficult, please don’t read any further.

I know we’re not supposed to judge books by their covers, but when I saw this book at a release blitz over at my friend Addison Albright’s blog, I instantly fell in love. It’s so cuuuuute! 😍 I downloaded a sample and loved it, so I bought the book and I do not regret it.

This is a puppy play romance with very light BDSM elements about Adrian and Vale, containing many of the things I love to read about: age gap (Adrian is 25, Vale is 40), the power dynamics of BDSM without most of the props (except for puppy related props), a flamboyant character (Adrian), and a caring, soft-hearted dom (Vale).

It also contains two fabulous characters. The story starts with Adrian at the hospital with a broken wrist, because his current partner and dom, Nathan, has hurt him. Adrian returns home despite the objections of his friend who works at the hospital, because it was the first time Nathan was violent. The situation escalates when Nathan gets home that evening and more violence ensues. Adrian realizes that it wasn’t a one-time experience and he runs out of the house—without shoes—to get away. He calls the friend from the hospital and he and his partner pick Adrian up and let him stay in their house.

As the story unfolds, we learn that even though Nathan was never physically violent toward Adrian before that night, he’s been verbally abusive for most of the six years they’ve been together, and Adrian displays signs of being abused. Despite this, he tries his hardest to keep a hold of his sunny personality, which is different from how a lot of other domestic abuse victim characters I’ve read handle the situation. And I’m not saying that to minimize anyone’s reaction to being abused (either book character or real person) but it was an interesting take on the subject I haven’t encountered before.

“I won’t hide, and I won’t cower. I’ve been through worse than this, and I can make it through this too.

I’m going to be just fine, I resolve as if thinking it can make it so. If anyone is stubborn enough to pull it off, it’s me.”

Vale, the other MC, calls Aidan “Sunshine” and that’s the most appropriate endearment I’ve read, I think.

“I read somewhere once that if you keep smiling, you can trick your brain into being happy. It worked when I was living on the street, and it’s going to work now if it kills me.”

And this is how Adrian approaches his life after Nathan. He tries so hard to be his normal, sunny self and for most part, he succeeds. Then there are the moments in between, the moments when he can’t help but to react to situations in the way he’s learned to react around Nathan over the years, and those moments break my heart.

Vale is a puppy trainer (yes, people-puppies, not dog-puppies) and he’s know Adrian for seven years. Vale helped Adrian off the streets when he was 18 and living in his car, gave him a home, and helped him get on his feet. He agreed to train Adrian to be a puppy (in a non-sexual way) because that’s something Adrian had wanted for years. Overall, Vale was Adrian’s super hero.

Adrian has had a crush on Vale ever since, but at the time Vale felt that the age difference was too great for something to happen between them (when Adrian was only 18 and he was in his 30s). When Vale finds out what has happened to Adrian, he immediately steps up and helps, and he’s just what Adrian needs. Adrian’s crush on Vale has never faded, and the reader learns that Vale likes Adrian back, but he fears that Adrian only wants him because he’s grateful.

That is not the case, as I’m sure you’ve realized by now 🙂

Adrian and Vale both help each other to grow. Vale helps Adrian get over the abuse, to grow and find happiness. Adrian in turn brings life and happiness into Vale’s lonely existence, because despite having trained countless of puppies over the years, he’s never had a puppy of his own. Even though Vale is the dom caretaker, Adrian is equally important for him and his growth.

Arguments can be made that the relationship happens too fast, that Vale is just a rebound for Adrian, but I don’t feel that way at all. They’ve known each other for seven years, it’s clear that Nathan feels threatened by Vale, and Adrian liked Vale from the start – all this tells us that it’s not a rebound. If anything, Nathan was a rebound for Vale, for a relationship Adrian wanted with Vale but never got.

It’s a very sweet story with two great characters whose love for each other jumps off the page. Adrian is a ray of sunshine, and I love how the author gave him puppy-like characteristics even when he’s not in his puppy-gear. He wiggles and scrambles and bounces, and it endears him to me even more. Vale is a big teddy bear in a dom package with a big heart. They are just the kind of characters I love.

If I have to complain about something, it’s that after they have sex for the first time, there are a bit too many sex scenes for my taste, but since I think most romance books have too many sex scenes, that’s probably just me 🙂

This book is the second in a series, but it can be read as standalone. I haven’t read the first book and had no trouble following the plot.

I warmly recommend Heel. I dare you not to fall in love with Adrian! 🙂

“[…]he’s standing completely nude by the sink, doing his best to wrap his cast.

“Only a few more days,” I say, taking the cling wrap from him to help get it on correctly.

“I can’t wait. I’ve been making a list on two-handed things I want to do like play the piano and juggle.”

“Do you know how to do either of those things?” I ask with a half-smile.

“No, but I’m a very fast learner,” he assures me in a sultry voice that makes me think we’re not talking about playing the piano anymore.”

Buy link: Amazon