Book Recommendations, Nell Reads

Top 9 books 2018

Since 2018 is almost over, I thought I’d share my favorite reads from this last year with you. According to my Goodreads challenge, I’ve read 253 books this year, but that’s not really true; I’ve read more. I’ve read A LOT of fanfiction this year, mostly Harry Potter, but some Star Trek, too, and most of those stories aren’t on Goodreads. So I think at least another 50 isn’t an exaggeration.

I love reading, can you tell? 🙂

But enough about that. Here are my favorite nine books I read in 2018. They’re not all published this year, but it’s the first time I read them (so re-reads of old favorites doesn’t count).

best9 2018

Beau and the Beast by Rick R. Reed
Henry & Jim by J.M. Snyder
Hero Worship by Kris T. Bethke
The Little Library by Kim Fielding
Of Rats and Cats by Addison Albright
The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
Up! by Al Stewart and Claire Davis
War Paint by Sarah Black
Watermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay

You can expect reviews of The Little Library and The Remaking of Corbin Wale here on the blog next year. Henry & Jim is a beautiful, heartbreaking story. It’s total opposite is Of Rats and Cats which is cute and short and hilarious. (Also check out the alternative POV chapters at Addison Albright’s blog, they’re even funnier than the ones in the book). Sarah Black is an old favorite of mine (Marathon Cowboys is a fabulous book) and I was happy when she released a new book this year. Al Stewart and Claire Davis became new favorites last year after I read Dear Mona Lisa…(whoa, what a book!) and when I saw their new release I one-clicked it faster than you can say Up!. 🙂 I already gushed about Watermelon Kisses in the advent calendar, but if you missed it, click here. Kris T. Bethke is a favorite of mine, you know this by now, and I loved Hero Worship. And finally, Beau and the Beast is a fabulous retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Over all, it’s been a very good reading year.

Which was the best book you read in 2018?

Box Sets

Release Day: 2018 Top Ten Gay Romance

Today is release day for the 2018 Top Ten Gay Romance released by my publisher JMS Books. Unexpected Christmas is a part of this fabulous anthology, along with nine other awesome stories.

An anthology is a perfect way to take a chance on new authors and see if you like their stories.

I’ve read several of the stories already. You know by now that I’m a huge fan of Addison Albright (Loved The Contingency Plan and can’t wait for the sequel that Addison is currently writing) and Kris T. Bethke (Hero Worship kept me company on a bus trip from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and I adored it!). Sarah Hadley Brook‘s Motorcycle Man was an amazing story, and I bought J.D. Walker‘s No Snarkasm In Love because of the fabulous title!

When it comes to the stories written by Shawn Lane, K.L. Noone, Deirdre O’Dare, and J.M. Snyder, I look forward to reading them because I’ve read and love a lot of their other books.

The only author I haven’t tried before in this anthology is Laura Bailo, but I’m going to correct that oversight now.

Happy release day to me and all the others! Good job us for making it into the anthology!! 🙂

2018toptengayromance2018 Top Ten Gay Romance brings together the best-selling short stories published by JMS Books that year.

From first love to true love, from submission to sensual, from heat to sweet and everything in between, the couples in these stories are sure to keep you turning the pages as you fall in love with them.

With stories by Addison Albright, Laura Bailo, Kris T. Bethke, Sarah Hadley Brook, Nell Iris, Shawn Lane, K.L. Noone, Deirdre O’Dare, J.M. Snyder, and J.D. Walker, this head-over-heels collection goes beyond bedtime reading. Whether happily ever after or happy for now, there’s an ending for everyone in here!

Contains the stories: The Contingency Plan by Addison AlbrightNo Rulebook for Flirting by Laura BailoHero Worship by Kris T. BethkeMotorcycle Man by Sarah Hadley BrookUnexpected Christmas by Nell IrisHitting It Big by Shawn LaneLeather and Tea by K.L. NooneDoggone Love by Deirdre O’DareCommanding Officer Thomas by J.M. Snyder, and No Snarkasm in Love by J.D. Walker.

Buy links/Add to Goodreads



Awakenings and French Songs, Excerpts

Excerpt from Awakenings & French Songs

In little more than two weeks (fifteen days to be exact) Awakenings & French Songs will be released, and I thought you might like an excerpt? 🙂

awakeningsAn existential awakening and lots of French chansons equal a favorite neighbor seen in a new light.

Iggy Wilker never expected his 36th birthday to turn into an existential crisis. When Iggy’s friends celebrate him with his usual favorite pastime—drinking, dancing, and willing guys—he suddenly wants nothing to do with any of it. He’s fed up and ready for something else. The question is what?

Ronan Clenney has had his eye on his neighbor forever, but as a single father of a precocious eleven-year-old, he’s never believed he stands a chance. But over a late-night cup of tea, it seems that circumstances have changed. Is this the right time, finally?

Iggy has never believed in romance, but can Ronan show him he’s wrong? That love is a real thing?


Pre-order now:

JMS Books (20% off) | AmazonAmazon UK | Kobo | iTunes | B&N | Google Play

We do this a lot, me and Ronan, hang out together without talking, sometimes with music playing, sometimes not. It’s never uncomfortable, I never feel the need to talk just for the sake of talking. I can relax in his company in a way I’m unable to around anyone else. I’ve come to cherish these moments and I crave them more and more.

“Thanks for this,” I say after a few minutes.

“Anytime. Tell me about the ‘eh’ night.”

I sigh and rub my palm on my head. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“Who says something’s wrong?”

“It must be, right? I don’t like doing the stuff I’ve always loved anymore. The guys brought me to a huge party tonight. I’m not kidding when I say ten guys threw themselves at me during the first hour. And what did I do? Declined their generous offers, drank sugary drinks, and hid in the bathroom where Dicky Potter tried to get me to suck his cock by waving it in my face and insulting my height.”

“Oh, no! Not your height,” he says with a faux horrified expression. “He must’ve had a death wish.”

“Ha ha, very funny.” I throw a mock glare at him. He knows that being vertically challenged is a sore spot for me, but he’s the only one who can get away with making fun of it. Also, anyone with two brain cells can probably figure out why I wear boots that add four inches. Hint—it’s not for comfort.

“And…Dicky Potter?” He rises an eyebrow.

“Yeah, you know. He waved that thing at me as though he tried to Wingardium Leviosa me.” I show the motion I’ve learned from the movies with my finger.

Ronan presses the heels of his hands to his eyes and his shoulders shake.

“What’s so damned funny?”

“I shouldn’t have let you watch Harry Potter with Emery and me. I will never be able to look at them again without thinking about Dicky Potter,” he chokes out between chuckles. “And then Emery is going to ask what’s so funny, and—”

“Stop!” I hold up my hand. “Not another word!” My eyes are about to bug out of my head at the thought of sweet Emery hearing about that. Ugh. I shiver.

He peers at me and we burst out laughing.

The silence returns after our merriment fades. A new song starts playing on the stereo. A haunting violin and a lonely piano is followed by a guy singing. His voice is so full of emotion, I can’t help wondering what he’s singing about. The words hit me right in the heart and make my chest ache with loneliness. A lump appears in my throat and I swallow to keep it from spilling out of my mouth.

I can feel Ronan’s eyes on me. Can he see my weird mood? The shine in my eyes caused by French words sung with a desperation I’ve never heard before? I suck in my lower lip to stop my chin from trembling.

“Would you like more tea?” Ronan’s voice is soft, as though he’s addressing a scared kitten.

I don’t trust my own voice, so I nod. The familiarity of his movements when he fixes my tea reassures me. The care in which he adds loose tea leaves to the infuser and pours water of just the right temperature over them. The way he patiently waits three minutes while it steeps. The gentle smile he gives me as he sets the mug in front of me.

The French guy agitates my heart with his singing, and Ronan calms it with his kindheartedness. The contrasts are intense, making my skin feel too snug for my body, my chest tight, and my stomach worried. My pulse flutters in my neck, and I worry that Ronan will see it. I don’t know what to do with myself.


More book sale

‘Tis the season to buy cheap books…apparently.

smashwords year end sale 2018Smashwords has their End of Year Sale and all my published books are 50% off through January 1, 2019. (Pre-orders aren’t included in this one, sorry!) All of the books in the image above is 50% off now, so if your library misses any of them, now’s the time to go shopping.

Still in a holiday mood? Under the Felt Mistletoe and Unexpected Christmas are only $1.50 each. Finding The One is only $3, if you want four books for the price of one. Or if you need something heart wrenching, Angel and Firebird is only 99 cents.

Clickety-click this link to get to my author page on Smashwords. Happy shopping!

Finding The One, Sale

Book sale and an announcement

jms christmas sale 2018

I’m sorry I’m a little late telling you about the big sale at JMS Books (I was busy Christmassing. Happy Holidays, everyone!) JMS Books offer 50% off all ebooks through December 26, and as usual that includes pre-orders. So you can get any of my upcoming stories in the picture above for half price, as well as my already published books of course.

And there’s something else. Something amazing! Look at this screenshot from JMS Books. See the word next to the title?

fto print

YES! Print!! My words will finally exist in print!! Isn’t that amazing? Finding The One will be released in print version on December 31 and you can buy it for only EIGHT BUCKS on the sale. That’s four stories in print for only $8!

I’m so excited I don’t know whether to cry from happiness or do the happy dance!!

This link will take you to my author page at JMS Books. Shop away!