Book Recommendations

I’m Looking Forward to…

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that the fabulous Addison Albright and I are friends and that I love her books. One of my favorites is The Best-Laid Plans (the second book in her Plans series, I raved about it here) and it was among my Top Ten books of 2019. I’ve known for a while that she’s planned on writing a third book in the series, called Change of Plans, and I’ve been waiting eagerly. But the wait is over; she’s spent April writing the story and it’s done. Finally the moment is here, the moment when I’ll get my greedy little hands on it! Because I’m honored to be one of Addison’s betas, which means I get to read the story before everyone else, and if you think I’m gonna take the highroad and not gloat about that, you’re wrong! 😁

[insert annoying sing-songy teasing here, along the lines of I’ll get to read it before you do or something equally smug that makes you want to punch me in the face 😁]

But while you wait for Change of Plans, may I suggest you visit Addison’s blog and check out the snippets she’s posting every weekend from the first chapter (link here). And if you need more incentive, she’s illustrated every single blog post so far and the illustrations are hilarious!! Want a sneak peak?

That glorious red hair on Prince Marcelo makes me love him even more 😍 And look how unhappy Prince Efren is!! 🙂

So fun and creative, and it makes me long for the book even more.

And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, here are books 1 and 2 in the series for you to check out while we’re waiting for the release of Change of Plans.

An untimely death throws a marriage arrangement, the final phase of a treaty, into disarray. Now the Crown Prince of Zioneven can make his own choice from among the princess’s younger siblings. As a royal son in the matriarchal sovereignty of Sheburat, Prince Marcelo grew up knowing Royal sons never married. Never. Period. Except Prince Efren isn’t from Sheburat, and he has other plans.

Buy Link: JMS Books

A death that wasn’t what it seemed… A kidnapping that isn’t what it seems… Time is running out. Enmeshed in political intrigue, death, and a kidnapping, will Prince Efren untangle the web of clues in time to save his naïve young husband, or will Prince Marcelo dig deep to discover a previously untapped inner strength and determination to facilitate his own survival?

Buy link: JMS Books

About Nell

Goodbye April

April. The Month of Moving. Time flew past and snailed by at the same time, in a haze of packing and boxes and excitement over the new house and eagerness to finally get out of the apartment in the neighborhood we’ve come to intensely dislike. So, about 95% of my pictures in my phone is moving related, unsurprisingly, but I managed to find some pictures for you that aren’t of boxes 😁

Tell me, how was your April?

Who else except me eagerly awaits the day we can finally go to the store without wearing a mask?

The Easter brunch. I decided that Isolation Easter called for Mimosas and the hubby agreed. So tea, Mimosas, fresh croissants, eggs (because Easter, duh!), raspberries, blueberries and apple. All that yumminess plus a nice playlist on the stereo and the best company (hubby) made this Easter a very relaxed affair. I approve.

Then one day, everything was packed and ready to go.

Question: what’s the last thing you pack when you move? Answer: the charging station, of course!! Because you have seen the updated version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I hope? 😂

On Friday the 16th, M Day was finally here. Moving day. The movers arrived in their huge truck bright and early and started carrying our stuff. What they finished in a few hours would have taken me and the hubby two weeks, lots of fighting, and threats of divorce, so that was money well spent 😂

If the charging station is the last thing you pack, what’s the first thing you unpack? The tea of course!! Because how else will you find the energy to unpack five gazillion boxes?? 😂

We were greeted in the new house by my favorite flower in the whole wide world, the wood anemone. They grow wild and abundant in Sweden, and it’s a sure sign spring is here. Going out picking wood anemones has always been one of my favorite things to do, and something I missed sorely while living in Malaysia, so my darling daughter and my friends always took pictures of them and sent them to me. And now they grow on my property. That makes me so happy. 😍

I unpacked every box marked “kitchen” on moving-in day. I wanted it set up immediately, so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. When my energy started running out, my stubbornness took me the rest of the way, and the kitchen was organized when I went to bed that night. Yay me!

One week after we moved in, we received visitors: my darling daughter, her fiancé, and my grandbaby. 😍 They stayed the weekend, and this is one of the reasons we’ve bought this big house; to be able to have our family visiting (our apartment was too small and we didn’t have a guest room). Now, we have so many rooms the grandbaby can have her own. And when they went back home, they left a bed and a high chair here for her. That makes me so happy.

And finally, I built a phone stand when I had several important meetings to attend. And since I was nervous and needed all the good luck I could get, I decided using my books and some notebooks to build it. And it seemed to have worked, because the important meetings were a job interview…and I got the job and start today! But don’t worry; that doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing. Nothing could come between me and my writing! 😊

And that’s hopefully the last you’ll ever have to see of moving boxes here on my blog; let’s hope for more interesting pictures in May 🙂

Guestpost, Release Blitz

Re-Release Spotlight: Dazzle Me by Ofelia Gränd

Today, I welcome my dear friend and morning writing buddy Ofelia Gränd back to the blog. She’s here to talk about the re-release for one of her books, and you can expect her back several times in the future to do the same. I welcome all my writer friends on my blog when they need a place to talk about their books.

Now, before I leave the floor to Ofelia; is it just me, or is the guy on the cover reminiscent of a young Johnny Depp? 😁


Hi! Thank you, Nell, for letting me drop by yet again. I have so many releases coming up – they’re re-releases, I haven’t written four years’ worth of stories these past few weeks – I fear I’ll write more blog post words than words on new stories. But it’s all good. I’m excited to get the stories out there again.

The one I’m here to talk about today is called Dazzle Me. I wrote it back in 2015 for an anthology called Summer Bigger Than Others which is an anthology of short summer stories.

I seldom write summer stories. I’m not a big fan of heat – and for those of you who don’t know, I’m Swedish. What I think is too hot might not be hot at all for you LOL. And I don’t like bugs. Winter is a blessed bug-free season. I honestly don’t understand how Nell could live in Malaysia for several years. I would’ve died 😀

In Dazzle Me, we have Tom who has it in his mind that he’s gonna propose to his boyfriend on their one-year anniversary. Santino, the boyfriend, has to go to Thailand for work at the time of their anniversary and begs Tom to come along. Tom doesn’t do aeroplanes, he doesn’t do tropical heat, and he does not do spas – but for Santino, he’ll do anything.

I can still remember laughing while writing this LOL

Excerpt:

“Wow! Look at all these sculptures. Hey, Tommy-boy—”

“Stop calling me that,” I hissed and peered around the enormous airport.

“But we should totally get one of these when we move in together. How cool would it be to have a huge Buddha in the living room?”

My breath caught in my throat. He’d never mentioned us living together before, and happy as I was hearing him talk about it, I also realised—he’s never mentioned us living together before! My stomach turned inside out. What had I been thinking? God, I wanted to ram my face into one of the stone pillars next to us.

Maybe this whole wedding thing was too impulsive of me. I wanted to get married, but that was the thing: I wanted it. I’d never even considered him not wanting to spend the rest of his life with me. I’m such an idiot! I pinched the bridge of my nose. Why would he even want to? I was old and grumpy, well maybe not that old, and not that grumpy, but I had eleven years on him. My God! Am I going through a midlife crisis?

Santino was too fascinated with a sculpture of a bunch of people having a tug of war with a dragon to notice my little breakdown. My Santo, so animated and alive. Was it selfish of me to want to trap him? What would he do with a rugged, oil-stained husband? I rubbed my forehead, trying to see this whole thing from his point of view.

“Look at this! Tom? What’s wrong?”

So much for him not noticing. “Erm…nothing. Nothing. Where did you say our bags would be?”

“Oh, right! Across the hall here, I think. Read the signs—ours should be on ten.”

It was impossible to miss the baggage claim, and we went to number ten to wait for our bags to arrive. The carousel started humming a little before the conveyor belt began to move. People pushed and shoved to get to their bags, the smell of perfume and sweat almost suffocating. Santino’s bag was among the first out on the belt. He grabbed it and edged to the back of the hall, waiting for me to get mine.

The suitcases rapidly became fewer and fewer, and sooner than I thought possible the hall had emptied of people. My skin was shrinking. A girl the age of maybe four or five managed to grab her pink little Hello Kitty bag before it could go on another spin, and I watched as the empty conveyor belt came to a stop. Dread spread like evil tentacles throughout my body. My bag wasn’t there. Saliva flooded my mouth, my stomach threatened to turn. I never should’ve put the ring in the bag. What if someone had stolen it? I’d had that ring custom-made for Santino.

“Where’s your bag?” Santino searched the hall.

“Don’t know.”

“Huh.” He shrugged. “Guess we’ll have to report it missing.” He took my arm and dragged me toward a petite Thai woman standing by a desk farther down the hall. I cast a longing look over my shoulder, hoping the conveyor belt would miraculously start moving again. It didn’t.

Santino did most of the talking, and the woman gave me a reference number and promised that they would be in touch as soon as possible, but that it would probably take twenty-four to forty-eight hours to locate my lost baggage. I started to hate Thailand. I needed my bag now, not in forty-eight hours. I needed the ring. Selfish or not, I was going to ask Santino to be mine tomorrow. But I couldn’t tell that to the woman with him standing there, I hardly think she could’ve done anything to help anyway.

Blurb:

Tom and Santino’s anniversary is coming up, and Tom has a plan. He’s going to show Santino how much he means to him. The night will be magical.

Tom’s plan did not include a trip to Thailand. He doesn’t do aeroplanes, doesn’t do tropical climate, and he doesn’t do spas. Yet he finds himself without a stitch of clothing on a spa table, with a man he’s never met before while Santino is away on a business meeting.

This was not how it was supposed to go. Tom will do his best to live through the day so they can celebrate their anniversary when they get back to the hotel, but If Santino wanted him smooth and sparkly, couldn’t he have told him instead of booking him an appointment?

M/M Contemporary: 9,524 words

Buy links:

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/DazzleMe

About Ofelia

Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes romance, contemporary, paranormal, Sci-Fi and whatever else catches her fancy.

Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.

When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from her husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods… if she’s lucky she finds her way back home again.

Find Ofelia on social media:

Blog :: Newsletter :: Instagram :: Facebook Page :: Facebook Profile :: Goodreads :: Bookbub :: Pinterest

So Far Away

Release Day: So Far Away

Today is release day for Zakarias and Julian’s story, So Far Away, so if you haven’t already pre-ordered it, it’s time to snag it now 🙂

Engaged couple Zakarias and Julian are convinced nothing can separate them…until a global pandemic hits. Zakarias catches the virus with mild symptoms and isolates in the couple’s guest house. The few meters dividing them might as well be the moon as he watches Julian, an ICU nurse, work himself to the bone, unable to support him the way he needs. Frustration and worry build as the weeks pass. Will Zakarias be declared healthy before Julian burns out?

M/M Contemporary / 14 567 words

Excerpt

When we’d just bought it, we spent many long evenings making plans and discussing options. We’d share a bottle of wine and make long lists of things we wanted, things we deemed necessary in what was going to be our forever home. The lists started outrageously—a wine cellar bigger than the actual house with an employee who turns the bottles? Really, Zakarias?—but distilled into a few reasonable items. So Julian’s dream of the biggest bathroom in the northern hemisphere—a Bath Palace, Zakarias, not a bathroom—complete with a pool, a jacuzzi, a sauna, and every other imaginable luxury, turned into a more feasible sized room with a fancy walk-in shower and a separate bathtub with jets—both of them big enough to accommodate the two of us. It also has a heated floor and double sinks. And my favorite feature; the tiny lights over the bathtub, sprinkled in the ceiling like a starry sky.

We both love the house; it’s our sanctuary. Every design element is chosen for comfort and to make it feel like a real home. Like someplace we can be ourselves. Someplace we can grow old together.

There are things left to do on the house before we’re happy with it, and we still spend evenings on the couch, sipping wine and making lists. Evenings that more often than not turn into heavy make-out sessions on the couch, with clothes being torn off and strewn about. Evenings that end with us panting in a sticky mess and blissed-out grins on our faces, but without deciding what to do with whatever room we’re considering remodeling at the time. “The discussion is half the fun,” he’ll say with sparkling eyes, and my mouth agrees, while I’m thinking the discussion is all the fun, because I could live in a tiny shack in the forest and be happy as long as he lived there with me.

But this house…it’s not just a house, it’s a home. Our home and I miss it.

I miss coming home from work and finding Julian sprawled on the couch in only his underwear, watching some horrid reality show or other on the big screen TV. I miss waking up early on weekends and preparing luxury breakfasts for him, miss how the scent of freshly baked bread never fails to wake him and lure him out of bed. I miss the adorable sight of him stumbling into the kitchen, bleary-eyed, hair in disarray with pillow creases on his cheek and dried drool on his chin. I miss how he beelines for me like a heat-seeking missile and winds himself around me, burying his face in my neck, snaking his arms around me, and tapping three times over my heart.

His family came up with that code when he was little; his younger sister was born with a genetic developmental disorder and never learned to speak, so three taps to the heart meant “I love you.” She died when she was only five, but the family keeps her memory alive with that gesture. It was how Julian told me he loved me for the first time. I didn’t understand it at the time, but when he told me the story, I realized he’d been telling me he loved me long before the words were spoken out loud.

I straighten my spine. Shake my head at my moment of weakness before marching back to the guesthouse and pulling a sweater over my head. I pour out the cold forgotten contents of my mug and pour fresh, steaming coffee into it.

Then I sit, take a sip, and breathe.

Coming Soon, So Far Away

Coming Soon: So Far Away

Hello everyone! I’m sorry about my absence; it feels like I haven’t been here forever. I know it might not seem that way to you, because I’ve scheduled posts in advance to keep this place from being empty. But I’ve been busy with the move so I haven’t posted as much as I want to. But I’ve moved now, so hopefully things will be back to normal around here.

Because of this, I haven’t spoken much about my upcoming release, but today’s the day. 🙂


Some months back, I read an article in a major Swedish newspaper about a married couple being separated because of the pandemic. They were elderly, and one of them lived in a nursing home but the other didn’t, and because of restrictions, they weren’t allowed into the same room. They could only see each other through the window and they wrote each other letters and they were both sad because they’d been married for decades.

That story made me tear up, but it also sparked a slew of questions in my head, questions that led me to writing this story. It’s not a story about an old married couple; it’s the story about Zakarias who’s infected with a virus and his fiancé ICU nurse Julian and how they cope with being separated.

Caveat: while this story is definitely inspired by the covid-19 pandemic, the virus in my story is a figment of my imagination and not covid-19.

Engaged couple Zakarias and Julian are convinced nothing can separate them…until a global pandemic hits. Zakarias catches the virus with mild symptoms and isolates in the couple’s guest house. The few meters dividing them might as well be the moon as he watches Julian, an ICU nurse, work himself to the bone, unable to support him the way he needs. Frustration and worry build as the weeks pass. Will Zakarias be declared healthy before Julian burns out?

M/M Contemporary / 14 567 words