New release spotlight: Soul Eater by Ofelia Gränd

Today, I have a guest here on the blog, the lovely and talented (and one of my morning writing buddies) Ofelia Gränd, who has a new book out today. Please help me wish her the happiest of release days! 🎉🍾🥂🎂


Hi! My name is Ofelia Gränd, and I’ve written a story called Soul Eater. It’s a paranormal gay romance book filled with growly werewolves, evil wizards and the occasional ghost. I stopped by here today to tell you about it, but I changed my mind.

Instead of you listening to me rant about my book, I thought I’d ask Thaddeus a few questions. Thaddeus is a wizard who is one of the main characters in Soul Eater.

Welcome, Thad. What is your full name and do you have a nickname?
Thaddeus Ezax. At work, they call me Thad.

What do you do and who do you work with?
I’m a detective. I work in Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department together with Elora Long, Leo Norden, Ric Hunter, and Captain Kol Jaecar.

That must be an interesting job.
I guess.

Where were you born?
In Rockshade.

Do you have a spouse or significant other?
You know I do.

I do. Would you like to tell us about him?
His name is Sandy. He’s a werewolf who turns translucent at the most inconvenient times. He worries too much, but he’s pretty awesome despite being a wolf.

How close are you to your family?
I thought you were gonna ask me questions about the soul eater case. I fail to see what my relationship with my family has to do with it. Before Sandy, I hadn’t talked to my family in three years. It’s best that way. Mom doesn’t want me around, and it’s best for everyone if we don’t see each other.

But were you close as a child? You’re an Ezax, one of the most powerful wizard families in the world. Surely your mother must have taught you your skills and abilities.
*snort* I’m a useless mage. I can’t do any of the things a mage is supposed to do. I was an embarrassment to my mother, and no one was happier than her when I started working with the shifters. None of her wizard friends hangs around shifters, so they wouldn’t hear about my failures.

Okay, moving on from your mother. What do you consider your greatest achievement so far, and why?
*narrowed-eyed stare* Achievement? Has this to do with our solve rate? Elora and I do the best we can. It’s not our fault things are a bit tense at work.

Ah, yeah, no, that was not what I was referring to at all, but if you want to talk about a work achievement, go ahead.
Not really. We caught him, it’s what counts, right?

I guess. Any heroic achievements on your part?
We normally don’t let the public know about individual accomplishments during the investigation, but we never would’ve stopped him without Sandy.

Since Sandy wouldn’t exist without you, I think you can take some credit.
The department solved the case. Together.

Right, okay. Do you have a criminal record?
Of course not, I’m a detective.

Does that mean you’ve never done anything illegal?
As a teen, I used to hang around the black market. And as an adult, I might have… stolen a werewolf skull from the black market. But I don’t have a record.

Do you believe in the existence of soul mates?
Hard not to, after all this.

In your opinion, what is the most evil thing someone could do?
Harvest someone’s spirit and keep it trapped in a skull for nine years. Or maybe it’s worse to devour someone’s soul. I don’t know.

Do you tend to argue with people, or avoid conflict?
I avoid conflict… Most of the time… It’s not my fault Ric’s an ass or the bad guys are arrogant bastards.

No, of course not. What’s in your bedside drawer?
I don’t see how that’s anyone’s business. I’ve been thinking about placing Sandy’s skull on top of the bedside table, though. I think it would be fitting for Halloween.

I see. I’m gonna let you go now, Thad. I get the feeling you don’t really want to do this interview. Perhaps it’s time for your pain meds?
I’m gonna wear this cast for six weeks. I’d like to know how cheery you would be if it was you who had to—

Thank you so much for coming, Thaddeus. It’s been delightful. I think we’ll finish this post off with an excerpt from the book instead of continuing with the questions I had planned. Say hi to Sandy for me.
I can see why Jaecar worries about the press. It’s a nuisance.

What was that?
Nothing. Thank you for having me on.

Anytime.

We must have caught him on a bad day, he’s normally a cheerful guy… or more cheerful, at least. Thank you for letting us drop by, Nell!


Detective Thaddeus Ezax is in over his head. He’s the only wizard in Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department, and it was his name that got him the job. The Ezaxs are known as some of the most powerful wizards in the world, but Thaddeus isn’t your average Ezaxs. Is it any wonder his family shuns him?

When a kidnapping case is dropped into his lap, Thaddeus must act fast. While most five-year-olds can cast a location spell, Thaddeus can’t and is forced to get creative. When he finds himself in possession of a black market werewolf skull with a ghost trapped inside, accidentally releases the spirit, and somehow forms a connection with it, things get even crazier.

Sandulf Hunter doesn’t remember dying, but he remembers the last thing he saw before everything went black—a wizard. All wizards must die! The only problem is, the wizard standing next to him smells too damned good, so good Sandy thinks he might have to keep him.

And since wherever Thaddeus goes, Sandulf finds himself yanked along, he might not have a choice in the matter anyway.

  • Tags: Paranormal M/M romance, mystery, ghosts, werewolf, wizard, fated mates
  • Length: 51.5k
  • Publisher: JMS Books LLC
  • Release Date: Oct 31st, 2020

Buy Links

Excerpt:

As he rounded a corner, he came into the main cavern. Table after table were filled with anything a magic user could need. Herbs, potions, knives, stones, and a lot of things he didn’t want to acknowledge.

The howl of a cat in a cage had blue sparks rain from his fingertips, but he tried to suppress it as he hurried past the traders.

Pickering had the last table in the row—of course he had. By now, Thad should have learned nothing ever went quick and easy. He held his breath as he stopped by the table.

“Thaddeus.” Pickering had short, red hair, and his face was filled with freckles.

“Einar.” Thad nodded at him.

“What can I do you for? Looking for a familiar?” He grabbed a cage with the largest toad Thad had ever seen.

“Ah… Eh… no. I was wondering—”

“A love potion?” He held up a tiny, red flask with a skull painted on it, and Thad almost laughed.

“No, thank you. Have you heard about—”

“Shrunken head?” He bent down behind the table.

“No!” Thad hoped he didn’t have a shrunken head back there. Could he ignore a shrunken head or did he have to report it at work? If a raid came out of his visit here, he’d be hunted for the rest of his life, and he did not want the wizards running the largest black market for miles and miles on his tail.

“This then?” Pickering tossed something at him, and Thad caught it. A buzz spread into his fingertips as he held up the…skull. Swallowing hard, he studied the sharp canines. The dog must’ve been massive when it had been alive.

“W-What is it?”

Pickering looked nervous as he leaned in closer and lowered his voice into a whisper. “Werewolf skull, very powerful. But I guess it’s wasted on you, mage.”

Werewolf? Was someone killing werewolves now or was it an old skull? Thad swallowed hard.

“Yes.” Why did it buzz? Thad was a mage, everyone in his family was a mage. Spirits meant nothing to him.

“A hundred and fifty.” Pickering raised one red, way-too-bushy eyebrow at Thad.

“A hundred and fifty dollars?” He could almost pay that to be able to bring it to work and have it analyzed. If someone was targeting werewolves, they had to be stopped.

“Thousand. A hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Do you think they’re easy to come by?” Pickering’s blue eyes were wide as they searched the shadows around them.

Thad’s hands shook as he placed the skull on the table. “No, I guess—”

“I can get you another animal if you want? Lion shifter? I know where there’s a pride. I need your order by the end of the night, though. There isn’t much time left to get it set up. Samhain is the only day a harvesting ritual works, and special orders increase the price, so you know…” Pickering shrugged.

Thad nodded. Coming here had been a huge mistake.

Pickering narrowed his eyes. “So what do you want?”

“I wanted to ask you a—”

“This more your price range perhaps?” He held up four black candles. “Blood candles. They’ll help you call forth the spirits. A hundred dollars.”

Thad nodded. He’d heard of blood candles, never owned any. Warlocks made them—a blood sacrifice to increase the power of the candles. When they were lit in a circle, they’d enhance the power…or something. Thad didn’t do circles. He was a mage, he had the power at his fingertips and not contained in a circle. Not that sorcerers and warlocks couldn’t bring their powers outside their circles—they could—but all their big, powerful magic work required a circle. But if it would get Pickering talking…

“Okay.” He grabbed his wallet and handed Pickering the money he’d budgeted for groceries.

“Excellent.” He turned to a side table to wrap the candles in paper. Thad must’ve lost his mind, but the skull vibrated.

“Have you heard of any…” Thad cleared his voice before hissing, “…soul eaters in the area?”

Pickering froze. “Jesus, Thaddeus. If that’s what they have you working on, you need to quit. Right away.”

“There is someone?”

Pickering shook his head, almost dropping the candles. Thad’s core filled with ice. There was a soul eater? He’d hoped he was imagining the signs.

The skull moved.

It couldn’t have, and yet Thad saw it turn. Perhaps he’d touched the table without noticing.

“Einar?”

Pickering wiped his palms on his thighs, not looking at Thad.

“Einar. Someone is carving up young women. My stupid werewolf colleagues think it’s a shifter. It’s not. Someone is stealing their energy.”

Pickering didn’t move. He stared at the half-wrapped candles.

“I’m right, am I not?”

Pickering shoved the candles at him. “You need to leave. Leave now, Thaddeus, and don’t ask any more questions.”

“But—”

“You think he’s only making angels?” Pickering’s voice was so low, Thad had to strain to hear him. “You think a powerful warlock would leave anything behind for the police to find? It’s a game to him. It amuses him to have the dogs running around in circles. Don’t get involved in this case, Thaddeus.” He turned around so fast Thad jumped.

As Pickering pretended to unpack a box on the ground, Thad picked up the skull. He opened his mouth to get Pickering’s attention so he could hand it back but halted. Looking around, he couldn’t see anyone watching him although that didn’t mean no one was watching him. As carelessly as he could, he placed the skull on top of the candles and cradled the bundle to his chest.

Trying not to run, he took aim at the exit, a furious voice screaming in his head.

ABOUT OFELIA GRÄND

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.

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Autumn tag

I found an autumn tag on the internet, and since y’all know I’m crazy about fall this year, I decided to put it up on the blog today.

Favorite thing about autumn?
The crisp air, it’s so lovely.

Spooky autumn or cozy autumn?
Cozy, cozy, cozy!!

Haunted house or Halloween party?
It’s a pandemic; parties are frowned upon, so I guess haunted house?

Carve pumpkins or paint pumpkins?
First, I’m Swedish and we’re not as pumpkin obsessed as the rest of the world during this season. But if I had to choose…? Listen, I’m not really artistic so whatever I chose would end up really ugly. I might write a haiku about a pumpkin, instead, if that’s okay?

Go apple picking or go on a hay ride?
I’m allergic to hay, so I guess apple picking? But since hay ride sounds like more fun, I might take an allergy pill and hope for the best.

Pumpkin spice lattes or mulled apple cider?
I’ve never had pumpkin spice anything (see above question about carving pumpkins) so mulled apple cider.

Falling rain or a crackling fireplace?
Don’t make me choose!! It’s like picking a favorite child, but more difficult because I only have one kid. But all right. Fireplace.

Have you purchased any fall decor?
Not unless a gazillion candles counts?

Favorite photo that you took last fall?
Maybe this one, because it meant we’d finally moved back to Sweden after more or less a year’s moving preparations?

Favorite autumn-themed movie?

Favorite color to wear in autumn?
Listen, if you’re here for the fashion advice, you’re in the wrong place. I wear black all year round 🙂

Favorite autumn-themed book?

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Best way to spend a rainy day?

Tea, candles, a YouTube fire, and a good book

Favorite autumn food?
Soup, soup, soup!!

Favorite autumn quote
One by one
everyone has left
autumn wind

Haiku by Kobayashi Issa

Favorite autumn leaf?
Maple

Favorite autumn activity
See above question about rainy days 🙂

Favorite autumn scent?
The crisp air after a fall rain

Is your birthday in autumn?
If September 11 counts as autumn, or does it have to be at least October? 🙂

Favorite song with the word “October” in the title (yes, I made this question up myself 🙂 )

What I miss…

…the most about Malaysia is all the wonderful food, but recently I found a place nearby that serves a lovely pho, so I bought a big bowl and finished every last drop. It was sooo good, with lots of star anise and cinnamon, and I’m definitely going back there for more.

Beef pho

Sunday book recommendation

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I’ve been crazy about autumn this year. It’s never been my favorite season before, but now I can’t get enough of it. I cook autumnal food, overdose on hot drinks, burn a million candles, and of course read. Because what’s better than curling up on the couch underneath a cozy blanket with a good book and a nice cup of tea?

So today, I thought I’d recommend three books I’ve read that all take place in fall.

Three fall-themed books

I asked my dear friend Kris T. Bethke if she had any suggestions on books taking place in fall (because she’s a falloholic, too) and she promptly said Pumpkin Rolls & Porn Sounds with a chuckle. I’ve read it before, of course. It was the first book I read by Kris, and I bought it back when it was new because I loved the name so much. The book lived up to its name, and just like that I’d found a new favorite author. Full disclosure, though: I’ve never had a pumpkin roll. I’ve never had pumpkin spice anything. Am I still allowed to call myself a fall-lover? 😁

I’ve written about October Spice on the blog before and it was a given re-read for October. I love KL Noone and this short little nugget is no exception. A word of warning, though: make sure you have a snack when you read this book, because you will be tortured by “vanilla-orange petit fours” and “apple spice cake pops,” and I need an apple spice cake pop right this minute! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 🙂

Pine Tree Mary by Ofelia Gränd was a new read for me. I bought it last year when it was released because have you seen that cover, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. But when I asked my morning writing buddies if any of them had a fall themed book, Ofelia had a handy list and I picked Pine Tree Mary off it. And oh my gaaaaaawd, you need to read this book. It has one of the greatest MCs of all time, Hush. Hush is a forest spirit, a hulder who traditionally are female, but Hush is male. This means trouble for poor Hush whose family never lets him forget that he’s different and freakish. What’s so great about Hush as a character is that he’s really believable as a forest spirit. He doesn’t know much about the human world, he doesn’t understand human behavior and when he comes in contact with it interesting things happen.

It’s a lovely story about learning to accept yourself for who you are, and yes there’s a second character, yes there’s a romance, there’s even a crime-solving plot, and all that is great. But Hush steals the show. I love him. I claim him as my book boyfriend, hollow back and all. And it would be so cool to ride a moose.

Buy links:

Pine Tree Mary | October Spice | Pumpkin Rolls & Porn Sounds

Regaining Trust

This story isn’t about cheating it’s about making a mistake and taken accountability for your actions on both parts. It’s about learning to trust but also about how to communicate problems so that things like cheating and lonely ness can be avoided in the future.

What started as a heartbreaker ending up being one of my favorite ending ever. It was a truly wonderful story about how learning to trust again can change a relationship completely but in a good way. Highly recommended.

Goodreads reviewer

Buy links

 JMS BOOKS | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | KOBO | APPLE BOOKS | B&N | GOOGLE PLAY

Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings

You know how I always say Sundays are for reading and tea. I have an addendum: autumn Sundays are even more for tea and reading. And even better? If the book is set in fall.

So if you need something to read today, a story set in fall, something low-angst, second chances, two guys in their forties falling in love, I recommend this:

Sometimes love finds you even when you’re not looking for it.

At 47, Oren Walker isn’t looking for love. When he knocks on Pete Higgins’ door, all he wants is to thank him for helping his mom after she broke her femur. He never expected that one look at the man would make his knees weak and heart flutter.

Pete is happy—albeit a bit lonely—after divorcing his wife of 20 years and isn’t looking to replace her. But when Oren shows up, all grateful and handsome and in that fancy suit, the longing for the deep connection of a relationship flares up inside him.

As the leaves turn yellow, Oren and Pete spend a lot of time in honest conversations. Their attraction grows. Will the two men recognize the promise of new beginnings, and take the chance to find the happiness they both deserve?

M/M contemporary / 17809 words

BUY LINKS / ADD TO GOODREADS

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

add to goodreads

So why not make a cup of tea (or other hot beverage of choice), light a few candles, maybe put on a YouTube fire (or an actual fire if you’re lucky enough to have one), and read Orin and Pete’s story?

Happy Sunday 🙂

Alternative Prime Sale @ JMS Books

If you want to buy cheap books, but don’t want to be an Amazon Prime member, JMS Books have got your back. For two days, October 13-14, JMS Books offer 50% off all e-books and sell all paperbacks for $8 (US delivery only). So now’s the time to buy some great, and cheap, books.

If you’re in the mood for a good second chances story, may I suggest, Regaining Trust, Late Night Poetry, or the box set One More Chance?

Or if you like me can’t wait for Christmas, and want to stock up on lots of holiday stories so you have a tall stack ready to go, Four Christmases, Unexpected Christmas, and Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings are also 50% off.

All my ebooks are off course 50% off, so if you’re in the mood for something else, check out my JMS author page.

And in case you’ve already read all my books (in that case: I LOVE YOU!) here are some recommendations of books written by other authors published by JMS Books:

Five recommendations
  • Pine Tree Mary by Ofelia Gränd, because a male huldre and would you look at that gorgeous cover? 😍
  • Taking Stock by A.L. Lester, because reviewed by the frigging NEW YORK TIMES 😍
  • Best Friends by J.M. Snyder because who doesn’t love best-friends-to-lovers?
  • Love With the Next Door Neighbor by Kris T. Bethke (not yet released, but pre-orders are ALSO 50% off) because who hasn’t been desperate for a new Kris T. Bethke story??
  • Cultivating Love by Addison Albright in paperback, because you really need your favorite books in both ebook and paperback

Writing update

And it’s Monday again. I’m not ready. I had the best Sunday I’ve had in forever, yesterday, and I never wanted it to end, so I’m a bit grumpy about today being Monday. I didn’t even do something all that exciting; just hung out with my darling husband, him watching something on one of the many streaming services, me cuddled up next to him reading an excellent book, with candles, tea, and cinnamon rolls. You get it. Cozy and slow and wonderful, just like Sundays are supposed to be.

But alas. Monday. And it’s time for another writing update, so here it goes.

#SlidingIntoMyDMs

#SlidingIntoMyDMs, written for the JMS Books in-house submission call about love found on social media, is still with one of my betas. I should probably get to writing a blurb while I wait for it back, but writing blurbs are not my favorite thing to do, so I keep procrastinating. Maybe I need to come up with a reward for myself that I only get if I write the blurb? What do you think of that idea? 😀

Meet Cute Chronicles

I told you in my last update about They Met in the Library, and an unnamed WIP about Otis, Kirby and a little dog named Princess. They Met in the Library is a meet cute story, and as I was writing Otis and Kirby, I realized that was a meet cute, too. So that had me thinking. What if I wrote a third meet cute story, because three is better than two right? So I named Otis and Kirby’s story They Met in the Park, then I went ahead and renamed the characters, so they are now David and Jacke (nickname for Jakob) instead of Otis and Kirby. Then I started They Met in the Woods, that I’m currently writing. Woods about Måns and Viggo who meet when Måns forages for mushrooms in the forest and gets lost, but luckily comes across Viggo.

Library and Park (both around 17K words) only need one more pass before they are ready for betas. Woods is currently at about 12K words (and I’m aiming for around 17K words to match the other two), but the words are pouring out of my pen so if the writing continues like this, it will be done this week.

They will be released early next year, and I’m toying with the idea of giving them all the subtitle Meet Cute Chronicles. Not that they’re a series or anything, but because of the theme being the same. Oh, and another thing all three They Met books have in common is that the characters are all in their forties.

What do you think? Meet Cute Chronicles yay or nay? 🙂

Nell on the Internet

Lately, I’ve popped up here and there on the internet, and I thought I’d posts some links to it here for you to check out if you’ve missed them.

I wrote three posts about Regaining Trust. One was posted on my publisher’s blog (link) where I wrote about how cheating is always the least favorite trope among romance readers. I also wrote two posts for my writing buddies’ blogs. At Ofelia Gränd’s blog (link) I wrote about “once a cheater, always a cheater,” and at A.L. Lester’s blog (link) I talked about whether feelings change after an incident of infidelity.

I also wrote my bimonthly guest post at Love Bytes Reviews, where I made a list of 15 things that make happy right now. Check it out here, and feel free to tell me about things that makes you happy in the comments. 🙂

Number four of the things on my list that makes me happy is “lighting up dark Swedish evenings with an abundance of candles” and this is my desk during my morning writing sessions. It started out with two candles and then sort of evolved from there 😂

Top 5

I think fall is my favorite season. It’s a recent development, spring has always been my favorite season before. But this year…fall just got into my blood and refused to leave. I want to do all fall-y things and read all the fall-y books and eat all the fall-y food.

So I thought I’d make a list of my top 5 favorite things about fall.

Four of my favorite fall things
  1. The air. There’s something so clear and fresh and crisp about the fall air. It’s feels great for the lungs and fills me with energy, and I love having the window or balcony door open and letting it into my apartment.
  2. Every day is tea day
  3. Soup season! My favorite food is soups of all kinds, but my husband doesn’t want to eat them in summer because it gets too hot. So as soon as it says September in my calendar, I declare it soup season and cook it several times a week.
  4. The colors. The flowers in the above picture was sent to me by my parents for my birthday and I absolutely fell in love with the colors. It was the most perfect fall-y bouquet I’ve ever seen 😍
  5. Candles and Chai latte and reading! We go through so many candles, but I love them. It makes everything instantly cosy!

So tell me: what’s your favorite thing about fall? 🙂

Fall to-do list