About Nell, Late Night Poetry, Miscellaneous

Autism Awareness Blog Hop


There is no known scientific link currently between vaccines and autism.

I’m honored to take part in RJ Scott’s annual Autism Awareness Blog Hop. I adore anyone who uses their voice and platform to do good, so hats off to RJ Scott for doing this. I’m the last stop for this year, but click this link to see what all the other fabulous authors have contributed.

Also, check out RJ’s master post by clicking this link. By commenting on the post, you can win signed copies of her books with characters on the autism spectrum, among other things.

Also, if you have the opportunity: consider donating to an organization working with autistic people like Lindengate or any other organization you want to support.

Every year the blog hop has a theme, and this year it’s food, and I thought I’d tell you about my current food project: learning how to cook Asian .

Unless you’re very new to my blog (in that case, welcome!) you know I recently moved back to Sweden after living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for close to nine years. I loved living there even if not everything is great about Malaysia (like the fact that being LGBT is against the law) and the best part was the food. Kuala Lumpur is a very diverse city with every kind of cuisine – not just Asian – readily available. But I loved the different kind of Asian food the best.

I’d had some Asian food before I moved. Chinese, of course. Sushi. Really crappy Indian food from the only Indian place in my tiny home town. And Thai, which was my favorite. But moving to a place with so much new (to me) and interesting food was paradise.

I ate my way through all the different cuisines. Malaysian of course (Beef Rendang, yum). Great Indian food instead of the crappy one I’d tried before. Korean (I ADORE Korean BBQ), Vietnamese (pho!), middle eastern, Indonesian, and awesome Chinese, just to mention a few. But my absolute favorites are Thai and Japanese.

So now that I’ve moved to a place where I can’t find that kind of food on every street corner, I figured it was time to learn how to cook it myself. I started with Thai and my favorite dish Pad Krapow and did pretty well, if I’m allowed to say so myself (and my husband agreed, he even called it authentic-tasting). I’ve branched out since, and I’m slowly learning about the flavors. How to use fish sauce and oyster sauce. The difference between light and dark soy sauce. How something tangy/tart/sour enhances every dish. And I’ve also learned that I really, really love fresh ginger.

The dish I miss the most is real Japanese ramen. Before I moved to Malaysia, the only ramen I’d tried was the instant variety which is kind of gross. So imagine my surprise when the hubby took me out on a date to have real ramen, saying You’re gonna love this, trust me. And I did. The rich, cloudy broth that’s been boiled for at least 12 hours, lovely noodles, tender chashu, seaweed, mushrooms, and eggs…YUM!

To borrow a term from the romance world: it was insta-love…and our relationship is still going strong all these years later.

So now my plan is to learn how to cook ramen. I bought a seriously great cookbook and I’ve been reading through it several times. The recipe for the broth is deceptively simple: it calls for 12 liters of water, 4 onions, and 15 pig’s feet.

I visualize myself in the kitchen halving 15 pig’s feet and roasting them in the oven before boiling them in a big ass pot for up to 18 hours.

What can possibly go wrong? 😁


A bowl of gorgeous tonkotsu ramen from my Ippudo, favorite ramen place in Kuala Lumpur.

Sully in my latest release Late Night Poetry, loves cooking and works in a kitchen. To win an ebook copy of this book, all you need to do is comment on this blog post. Tell me about your biggest kitchen adventure, or if you don’t like to cook, tell me about your favorite food in the whole wide world!

I will pick a winner on May 8.

graphic1 late night poetry nell iris

A love story told in answering machine messages.

Saying “I love you” to someone who says it first, isn’t supposed to lead to a break-up, but that’s what happens to Sully and Lou. Sully is out and proud while Lou is in the closet, so when their relationship deepens, Lou runs.

But then Lou starts leaving emotional messages of remorse on Sully’s answering machine. Sully is torn between his love for Lou and his attempts to get over him. With each message, Lou’s regrets deepen. With each message, it becomes more difficult for Sully to forget him. With each message, Sully finds it harder to want to move on.

Can old love poems and heartbreaking honesty help Sully and Lou find their way back to each other?

M/M Contemporary, approximately 10 000 words


Book sale @Smashwords pt II

authors give back smashwords 2020 60 percent off

You remember I told you that my books are 30% off at the Smashwords’ Authors Give Back Sale? Well, since then, I’ve spoken to my publisher and asked that they raise the discount on my books, so now it’s 60%!!

Yes, you read that right. 60% off my books with a few exceptions: the really short ones and the co-written ones, they are still 30% off. Also, All I See is of course free!

An example: Finding The One, my collection of four previously published stories, is now only $2.40. That’s only 60 cents per story and if that’s not a good deal, I don’t know what is! Click here if you want to buy it.

Link to my author page @ Smashwords. Go browse 🙂 

About Nell, All I See

Life update, blurb turnoffs, and a “bestseller”

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all staying safe and taking care of yourselves and your loved ones! Everything is fine in the Iris household: my husband is working from home and I LOVE having him home. I’m not one of these people who’s like gaaaaah my spouse needs to go back to work or I’ll kill them! On the contrary, I told my husband this morning when we met in the kitchen for coffee/tea break that I’ll be sad when he has to go back and work at the office 🙂

I know I’ve been pretty silent here lately and it’s only been a bunch of promo posts, but I’ve had loots of big crap going on in my life (aside for the whole pandemic thing) so I’ve been really stressed out. Most of it is worked out now, though, so hopefully my life will go back to normal soon. Or at least as normal as it can currently be, of course.


The weather has been lovely here for several weeks, so I’m spending a lot of time on my patio, enjoying the spring, the sunshine, and the warmth. Sometimes I’m writing (I won’t win Camp NaNoWriMo this year, that’s for sure!), but sometimes I’m just having a pot of tea and keeping in touch with friends and family. Out there, under the clear blue sky, with no social media or news sites open on any of my devices, life feels almost normal.

But no more lingering on the current world situation. Instead I thought I’d tell you about five things in a book blurb that will make me go “NOPE!” and put the book back on its virtual bookshelf and immediately forget about it. In no particular order:

  • “[Name] isn’t looking for love” – this means the character will blow hot and cold and I just want to have sex but no relationship, and there will be some drama around the 75% mark that will make me roll my eyes, and nope. Just nope. All I want is the romance and I want the guys to want the romance, so this is a big no-no for me.
  • The word “misunderstandings” – you know how I feel about misunderstandings by now, right? Talk to each other, people!!
  • “Super muscular alpha jock guy likes to work hard and play hard” – come OOOON! This is so done to death and I just want the shy guy or the chubby guy or the ordinary guy or the nerdy guy or the cute guy or the gamer guy or the femme guy or…you get it…to find love. Basically anything except a chest-pounding alpha male guy. (unless we’re talking shifters and he’s an ACTUAL alpha, then it’s fine! 🙂 )
  • When the blurb is five hundred words long – reading the blurb isn’t supposed to take ten minutes. Keep it short and simple, please!
  • Anything with time limits – and with that I mean vacation romances or the likes. I don’t like the “will their relationship be able to survive when they go back to their normal lives?”-aspect of this trope. I want the “ever after” in the HEA. It’s not called HUTVE (happily until the vacation ends) is it?? 😀

Tell me: what things in a blurb will make you go NOPE! 🙂

I also want to share something awesome with you. Since my publisher and I made All I See free, it’s been climbing the (free) charts at Amazon. Look at this:

all i see ranking

I mean…number 3 in Gay Romance and 432 in the entire free store?? That’s pretty awesome, isn’t it?! These are all the free lists of course, but still!! YAAAY for Theo and Kieran.

all I see promo 2

Theo and Kieran have been together for five years. They’re very happy…behind closed doors. Theo accepted from the start that Kieran isn’t out to his conservative parents and has a lot to lose if they find out about his sexuality.

But a moment of sadness at a wedding changes things. Theo is faced with a decision: live the rest of his life in secret…or break it off.

Or is there a third alternative?

M/M Contemporary / 4633 words 



About Nell, Sale

World book day sale

Today is world book day. In my opinion, every day is book day, of course, but I’m glad the  rest of world is finally catching up with reality 😂

In celebration of this glorious event, my fabulous publisher JMS Books offers 40% off all ebooks today only! That’s right. Book sale on book day – isn’t that the best idea you’ve ever heard? 🙂


My author page at JMS Books

All my books are 40% off (except All I See that’s FREE!) so clickety-click the link above to do some shopping!

As usual, pre-orders are included in the sale. At this time, I don’t have a pre-order, but that doesn’t mean other authors don’t. After a glance at the Coming Soon tab, I found these five books that interest me and that I’m considering buying. The only authors I’ve read before are Ofelia Gränd and W.S. Long. The other three are new-to-me authors, and what better time to try new authors than on sale day? 🙂


Black Bird | Ethel’s: A Lesbian Bar in NYC | Love Among Strangers | Pizza Delivery | Sleeping on a Bench

About Nell, All I See

Permanently free book and pictures of the ocean

I’ve decided to make my very short story All I See permanently free, so if you haven’t read it, now’s the chance. And tell everyone you know that still haven’t read any of my books and don’t want to spend money on an unknown author: now’s their chance to try my writing without risking anything.

(If you encounter somewhere it isn’t permanently free, tell me and I’ll let my publisher know!)

all i see reveiw quote

Theo and Kieran have been together for five years. They’re very happy…behind closed doors. Theo accepted from the start that Kieran isn’t out to his conservative parents and has a lot to lose if they find out about his sexuality.

But a moment of sadness at a wedding changes things. Theo is faced with a decision: live the rest of his life in secret…or break it off.

Or is there a third alternative?

M/M Contemporary / 4633 words 




Yesterday I was climbing the walls and feeling like a prisoner in my own home. Sweden isn’t on lockdown like many other countries, but most people are listening to the recommendations from the authorities and are staying home anyway. My husband has been working from home for weeks (I love having him home and told him the other day that I’ll miss him when he has to go back to working at the office again) and we don’t go anywhere that’s not necessary, like the grocery store.

But yesterday, I needed to get out of the house.

“Drive me to the ocean,” I said to my husband. “Okay,” he said, and we jumped into the car and drove the ten minutes to a nearby beach. It was windy and chilly and only a handfull other lost souls had the same thought as we; that they needed the breeze and the clear blue skies and the open water. We walked along the water and I took a lot of pictures, and when we returned home I was happy. Lighter. We followed up our walk with a Skype date with a couple of friends in Malaysia, and a glass of red wine in the sunshine on the patio after that. All in all, it ended up being a lovely Sunday afternoon, despite the state of the world.

How are you guys doing?


The lone figure in the lower right corner is my beloved husband ❤️