Nell Iris' Christmas

Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings

I went on a trip this weekend: I took a train to my daughter and her BF and spent a few days in her company. We set up her tree, listened to Christmas music, drank glögg, and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a glorious time.

However, I left my computer at home and completely forgot to schedule a new release post for Saturday and the re-release of Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings. I mean…who does that?? Ah well, sh*t happens and all that.

So…if you’ve missed it: Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings is now available again after having been out of print since late May when I pulled it from Dreamspinner Press.

Yay!! Casey and Ellis have a special place in my heart, so I’m glad they’re out in the wild again 🎉🎉

If you want:
established couple👨‍❤️‍👨
ugly Christmas tree 🍿🎄
Southern insults🤬
creative gifts💍
heart-melting romance💓

cover blurb reveiw quote




Cinnamon Eyes


cinnamon graphic

Do you ever wonder where authors get their inspiration from? 

Ever since the early eighties, a Swedish artist called Thåström has been one of my absolute favorites. He started his career as a singer/lead guitarist in a punk band and after that he had a couple different bands before he went solo. He sings in Swedish (with few exceptions), and I’ve loved him since my early teens, well over thirty years.

In 1989 he released his first solo album, and on that record was a song called Flicka med guld (Girl with gold). I love that song, and it has a deep personal meaning to me for reasons I don’t want to share, but suffice to say, it’s very important to me.

The song is about a girl with golden brown eyes; the lyrics reads like a poem, and the music, the acoustic guitar and his raw voice, speaks right to my heart. And that song, was the original inspiration for Cinnamon Eyes.

I originally wanted to name my story The Boy with Cinnamon Eyes, in reference to the song the MC Asher has written about the other MC Cory (see the lyrics in the picture above), a direct reference to A Girl with Golden-Brown Eyes, but my publisher asked me to change the title (because of valid reasons) so I shortened it.

My lyrics and Thåströms lyrics are nothing alike, of course, aside for my title being inspired by his title/song, but then I took it and made it my own. Or rather, I made it Asher’s.

Those lyrics has stayed with me for 30 years, and I suspect I’ll love them as much, if not more in another 30 years.

Below is the original Swedish lyrics and the translation. It’s a literal translation and it loses all its poetry in this version, but at least you’ll get an idea what I’m talking about.

flicka med guld

Also: Thåström the artist was actually my inspiration for Asher’s looks, too. Wanna see?

thåström inspo cinnamon eyes

And if you want to hear the song, even though it’s in Swedish:


Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and break away from his demanding family. When his therapist encourages him to do something for himself, he knows exactly what he needs. I want to see Asher again. The best friend Corey ever had who, at fifteen, held Cory’s heart in his hands without knowing it.

Asher’s had a troubled relationship with his father since he came out. Now that Pops is sick, he’s fighting for his right to help or even find out about his father’s health. Then there’s the complication of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go.

When Cory and Asher meet again after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?

M/M Contemporary / 34 679 words

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



Nell Iris' Christmas

3 more days…

…until the re-release of Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings! Yay, I can’t wait for Casey and Ellis to be back out in the world again!

If you already bought it back when it was released by Dreamspinner Press, you don’t need to buy it again (because the changes are very minor and only edits) unless you want the new, cute cover of course! But if you haven’t read it, here are the pre-order links:

cover blurb reveiw quote




If you need an excerpt to help you decide: 

Back out by the door, he got down on the floor to put his sneakers on — no shoes inside, thank you very much — and noticed something under the Christmas tree.

He abandoned the worn sneakers and knee-walked over to check the item. It wasn’t very big, so he got down on all fours to see better.

It was a ball: a little bigger than a ping-pong ball and wrapped in newspaper. It hadn’t been there yesterday when they’d gone to bed, so Ellis must have sneaked it under the tree this morning.

He sat back on his heels and his hand flew to his mouth.

Ellis had gotten him a gift for Christmas!

Tears welled up in his eyes and spilled down his cheeks. He didn’t wipe them away; he just sat there. Staring at the newspaper-covered ball.

What could it be?

He threw himself on his stomach and crawled as close as he could while making sure not to tangle his hair in the low-hanging branches. A message scrawled with a red marker in Ellis’s almost illegible writing greeted him: merry xmass boo.

Next to the writing, he’d also drawn a small, crooked heart, with one arch much bigger than the other.

Casey couldn’t keep his hands off it. He traced the heart with his finger, wanting nothing more than to tear off the paper and see what Ellis had gotten him. But he didn’t, of course.

Instead, he crossed his arms on the floor in front of him and rested his head down. Watching the present, he exhaled a shuddering breath and closed his eyes.

He still had no idea what to give Ellis tomorrow. Considering he had absolutely no money, what could he buy?

Untangling one of his hands, he reached out and enveloped the ball, but resisted the urge to shake it. He just held it in his hand, and somehow it made him feel closer to Ellis.

He shouldn’t be surprised that Ellis had gotten him a present. He knew how much Casey loved Christmas, how desperately he missed his mother, and was sad that there wouldn’t be any knitted socks wrapped in plain brown paper for either of them this year.

Of course, he’d found a way to cheer Casey up.

Casey let go of the present and wiggled his way out from under the tree. He supposed he could always resort to giving Ellis stupid coupons like he’d given his momma when he was a kid. But instead of one month of doing the dishes, it could be stuff like one hour of hard ass-fucking or a promise of rimming Ellis until he screamed Casey’s name and shot his spunk all over the place. He could even draw dirty pictures on the coupons to illustrate the gifts.

He nodded to himself. It would have to do. But next year he’d buy Ellis a real present.

Casey jumped off the floor, took one last longing look at the ball before he pulled on his shoes and went out for his run.