Mind Scrambler by Ofelia Gränd: new release spotlight, excerpt, and giveaway

Today, I have a lovely guest here on the blog, my morning writing buddy Ofelia Gränd, who’s here to talk about her new release, Mind Scrambler, the second part in her Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department series. If you remember, she was here in October talking about Soul Eater, the first book in the series, and now it’s finally time for part two.

Welcome, Ofelia. Take it away! 🙂

Thank you for having me on, Nell. It’s very generous of you to let me hijack your blog LOL.

Back in October, my story Soul Eater was released, and I’m excited to announce that it’s time for book 2 in the Rockshade’s PID series to be published. Mind Scrambler begins right after Soul Eater ends, but with different main characters. Thaddeus and Sandulf from Soul Eater are in this story too, but it’s not them we get to follow.

Captain Kol Jaecar, the head of Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department, gets restless when he doesn’t have a case to work. So, when Elora Long – who we also got to know in Soul Eater – can’t get hold of her brother, he’s happy to go with her to check his home.

Elijah Long, the missing brother, is an empath. I love writing psychic characters. I love writing paranormal stories in general (I love writing all kind of fiction, tbh) but with psychics, you have humans that have been made a little better. Often at a price, of course, and, in this world, empaths pay the biggest price of them all.

Elijah can’t be around people. The emotional onslaught from everyone around him is too overwhelming. He needs peace and space, a lot of space, which is something shifters have a hard time understanding.

And since Elijah is Kol’s mate, he never wants him out of sight once he’s found him.


To celebrate the release, I’m giving away a copy of Soul Eater + a copy of Mind Scrambler to one lucky winner. All you have to do is join here:



Years ago, empath Elijah Long made a bad decision, and he is still paying for it. He’s kept hidden from his abusive werewolf ex for years, but when he wakes in a dark room, cuffed to a wall, he knows he’s out of luck. Elora, his psychic sister, will come for him, he just has to endure long enough to give her a chance to find him.

Captain Kol Jaecar of Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department detests slow times at work, so when Elora wants time off to search for her brother, Kol treats it as if it’s a real case and starts an investigation. What he assumed was a brother not picking up when his sister called turns out to be something else.

Elijah experiences people’s emotions so strongly, it prohibits him from living a normal life. Spending time in the city is out of the question, yet it’s where Elora takes him once she finds him. Elijah does his best to keep his distance, especially from the growling man Elora brought to his rescue. Elijah will never make the mistake of getting close to a shifter again.

The moment Kol smells Elijah, he knows he’s his mate, but how to get close to someone who doesn’t want to be near you? The man who abused Elijah is still on the loose, and Kol calls in the entire team to hunt him down. But how are they to keep Elijah safe when he can’t be around people? And how will Kol stay sane if he can’t touch his mate?

53k paranormal gay romance



She went to unstrap the canoe, and Kol helped her get it into the water.

“Does Elijah have any medical conditions?”

“Other than being an empath, no.”

Kol stared at her. “What? It’s a medical condition?” How could it be a medical condition?

“No more than turning into a giant cat is.”

He nodded. She could have answered with a no.

“Except, he can’t be around too many people.”

Too many? How many was too many? “Will he attack us when we arrive?” Kol scanned the island as best he could from this distance. There were several places where a sniper could hide.

“Attack?” Elora gave a reluctant chuckle and shook her head. “He’s an empath.”

“I know, but he lives on an island. He could have put land mines all around it, have snipers in good places.” He gestured at some trees growing larger by each oar stroke.

Elora turned to stare at him. “He’s an empath! What about that don’t you understand?”

“He’d still want to defend his home, wouldn’t he?” Any sane person would want to defend his or her home. Kol relied a lot on his senses, but lately he’d been thinking about putting some things in place for his cabin. Nothing too crazy, only a few…things.

“He moved to an island.”

“And all you need is a canoe to get there.”

Elora steered them toward a small jetty with a tiny motorboat tied to it. “He’s here.”

Kol sniffed the air, scenting wolves, but it was faint which told him it had been a couple of days since they’d been there. “Does Elijah have wolf friends?”

Elora froze. “No.”

“Are you sure? You didn’t know Frank was a leopard.”

“Eli doesn’t have friends.” She climbed out of the canoe and more or less jogged up the slope toward the small house. “Be calm.”

Kol gave her a blank look. “I’m always calm.”

“I meant emotionally, not what you portray. I know you have a calm facade, but be calm.” She patted her chest.

Kol stared at her. What the hell did she mean?

The door was unlocked, which had Kol frowning. Perhaps it was normal to leave the door unlocked if you were at home, but not if you couldn’t defend yourself.

“Eli? Are you here?” Elora walked into the house, and Kol followed. The scents of the wolves were here too, but no one had been in the house for two days at least.

“There’s no one here.”

Elora looked at him. “You’re sure?” She swallowed audibly. “And no one…dead?”

Kol took a deep breath, scenting the air. “I can’t scent anyone from here, no.”

Elora stared at him, her eyes so wide Kol wanted to hug her.

She took a deep breath. “We’ll go through the house, see if anything is out of place. We’ll find him.”

A simple enough plan and Kol nodded his reply.

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.

For more information, visit her website:


Sale @ JMS Books

Today only, in celebration of JM Snyder’s birthday, JMS Books offer 40% off one purchase. As usual, that includes pre-orders, so now’s the perfect time to pre-order #SlidingIntoMyDMs and They Met in the Park if you haven’t already. But all my books are on sale, of course.

#SlidingIntoMyDMs | Always You

They Met in the Library | They Met in the Park

My JMS author page

I also did some shopping; I had a few books in my cart and I decided to check them out today. Wanna know what I bought? 🙂

Frost & Raine | #PictaBook | Be Still, My Heart

What are you waiting for? Go forth and shop! 🙂

Team Luker

Spouse’s Day: Team Luker

Today, January 26, is Spouse’s Day, a day to celebrate our spouse, our better half, or our significant other. I usually don’t pay much attention to days like these, but I think I’ll honor this one. I’ll make my husband a cup of coffee, and then steal a kiss after his first sip. Coffee flavored kisses are my favorites! 😍

Jools and Ellery Luker, the MCs in Team Luker, wouldn’t usually celebrate a day like this, but then Jools has a health scare, so who knows what they’d do this year…? Have you read the book? What do you think? 🙂

JMS Books | Universal Buy Link

#SlidingIntoMyDMs, Meet Cute Chronicles, Writing Update

Writing update

Hi everyone! I hope you had a lovely weekend. I sure did: I had some good news on Friday, I cooked a lot of yummy food, I read lots and lots of fanfic, and of course, I hung out with my husband. But now it’s Monday, and since it’s been ages since I posted a writing update, it’s definitely due now, don’t you agree?

So what have I been up to since my last update (on November 9)? First of all, I won NaNoWriMo. I wrote 52432 words in November which is crazy! And that’s not all: I also spent all of November reading ALL THE HOLIDAY BOOKS and scheduling ALL THE BLOG POSTS in preparation for Holidays at Nell’s in December. So to say that November was a busy month for me is a gross understatement.

So on December 1st, I was an exhausted mess and didn’t want to write ever again…which means I spent the entire month of December and at least two-thirds of January doing other writerly stuff than coming up with new words. Like transcribing my handwritten NaNo manuscript and cleaning it up since it was a hot mess. I also had edits to do, and blurbs to write, and blog posts to write, and social media to keep up with. I didn’t feel the urge to write again until last week or so, but now I’m back in the game again.

I’ve also started to post regularly on Instagram, so if you aren’t already following me there, why not check me out? Here’s the link. And as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve changed the blog a bit. I like it better like this 🙂

Currently I’m in the middle of trying to write a blurb for a story called So Far Away that’ll be released in May, and I’m also writing a story called Wake Him With a Kiss (release in April). Neither of them will be over 15000 words long, so if you’re a fan of my short stories, you have two to look forward to in the near future.

And of course, I have a couple upcoming releases to tell you about.

First out is #SlidingIntoMyDMs on February 17:

Pre-order link: JMS Books (20% off pre-orders)

“Hi. I heard you’ve been sick.”

Eddy Pennington is recovering from a severe bout of pneumonia when an old acquaintance, Moss, sends him a message on social media. They haven’t spoken in years, but Eddy is pleasantly surprised. He always liked Moss even if they were never close friends.

Moss Fanning has no ulterior motive with his message: all he wants is wish Eddy a speedy recovery. He got over the crush he used to have on Eddy a long time ago.

They reconnect easily and have even more in common now. And when they meet in person, the attraction is instant. Will an innocent, well-meaning message on social media lead to something more? Something deeper? Something…everlasting?

M/M Contemporary / 21998 words

On February 27, the second installment in the Meet Cute Chronicles, They Met in the Park, will be released.

Pre-order link: JMS Books (20% off pre-orders)

Can a spoiled little dog bring two strangers together?

The first time Jacke sees him, it’s a happy accident. He’s taken refuge in a quiet corner of the park, decompressing after a difficult day at work, when the man, dressed in a fancy suit, passes by him walking a spoiled little dog.

As the days pass, Jacke notices the adorable pair several times. He’s unable to take his eyes off the man whose first priority is the dog, even over his own comfort. And one day, when circumstances are right, Jacke takes a chance and speaks to the man. David.

David’s personality is as adorable as his outward appearance, and a short walk in the rain results in mutual attraction and a promise to see each other again. A second meeting in the park turns into a date, and Jacke starts longing for something he thought he’d never have; a partner. But does David feel the same? Will a chance meeting in the park turn into love?

Finally, before I go: you haven’t missed They Met in the Library, have you? Sadonna over at Love Bytes Reviews gave it 4.5 hearts:

[—]the best part of this story is watching these two men act on their attraction and try to build something real.  Brilliantly done.  Highly recommended – especially for fans of the shorter form story but really for anyone who enjoys a good love story

Quote from Love Bytes’ review

Adrian, book-lover extraordinaire, adores his job at the small community library. He gets to share his passion with other people and help them with all book-related questions and issues. When a big, hulking man walks into the library, looking terrified, Adrian’s skills are tested in a completely different way.

Manne’s relationship with books is uneasy, to say the least. He’s dyslexic and events in his past have made him fearful of books and turned libraries into his worst nightmare. But when the quirky, bowtie-wearing librarian steps in to help, the experience turns positive.

Their banter is easy and their chemistry instant. But can an accidental meeting turn into something more? Can someone who has trouble reading ever fit into the life of a man whose passion is the written word?

M/M Contemporary / 17943 words


Book Recommendations, Guestpost

Playing Chicken by A.L. Lester: Sunday Book Recommendation + Guest Post + Giveaway

My morning writing buddy and all around fabulous human being, A.L. Lester have a surprise new release, Playing Chicken, a short story she graciously gifted to the morning writing crew for free. I was all over the story the second I got it and I loved it. So today is a two-for-the-price-of-one blogpost: a classic Sunday book recommendation from me, and a guest post from A.L. Lester to celebrate the release. There’s also a giveaway, so keep reading.

Let’s start with cover and blurb, shall we?

Marc returns home from London to his isolated Welsh cottage for good, having found his ex boyfriend shagging someone else in their bed. Who’s the thin, freezing cold man with the bruised face he finds in his barn? Will the tenuous connection between them grow, or fade away?

A 9,000 word short story to mark the Welsh St Valentine’s Day, St Dwynwen’s Day, the 25th of January. With chickens.


Marc could feel the fine connection there, a tiny golden thread running between them.

Quote from Playing Chicken by A.L. Lester

I loved Playing Chicken. It was short and funny, but at the same time it has a serious undertone, and it touches on heavy subjects. Both main characters are hurt from past relationships and meet by chance when Marc finds poor Mal in his barn. The story is around 9K words, so what we get is just the beginnings of a relationship, like a sunrise after a long period of darkness. The characters are quirky, the chickens were funny, and I loved the setting. I was transported to rural Wales, I was there in the kitchen with Marc and Mal having tea, I was there snickering about the chickens.

But what I love the most is how down to earth it is. Just like Taking Stock by the same author (that was one of the best books I read last year. In fact, I loved it so much, I bought it in both ebook and paperback). There are no grand gestures, or over-the-top love declarations. But there are understanding and connection and understated romance, and I absolutely adored it.

Tag line: A short contemporary gay romance to mark St Dwynwen’s Day – the Welsh St Valentine. With Chickens.
Genre: Gay, romance, contemporary, meet-cute, short story
Length:  9,000 words
Release Date:  18 Jan 2020

And now, help me welcome A.L. Lester to the blog. She’s her to tell you a little about the Welsh St. Valentine’s Day and the background for one of the main characters in the book, Mal.

Thank you so much for having me here to day to talk about my new short story, Playing Chicken! It’s a meet-cute bit of fluff that I accidentally wrote as a distraction from Real Life ™ over the last couple of weeks. I have recently joined the UK Romance Novelist’s Association’s Welsh chapter (Cariad Chaptercariad means love in Welsh) and we are doing a Thing next week around St Dwynwen’s Day, the 25th January.

Dwynwen is sometimes talked about as ‘The Welsh St Valentine’ and there are various origin stories. They all start with Dwynwen being one of the twenty-four daughters of the fifth century King Brychan Brycheiniog, one of the South Wales kingdoms. She fell in love with a young man called Maelon Dafodrill, but her father wanted her to marry someone else. I’ve written about my favourite version of the legend on my own blog, so I won’t repeat it here!

One of the things that amuses me most, is that in the legend, Maelon—Mal in my story—is given the surname Dafodrill. Despite the similarity to the flower—I initially wondered if he was yellow-haired—in old Welsh, dafodrill actually translates as tongue. And in modern Welsh, maelon means bald.

So poor Mal is actually suffering with the name Bald Tongue. I wondered if that was because he was a man of few words? Or perhaps he spoke the unvarnished truth rather than dressing things up?

I mostly write queer historical fiction with a bit of paranormal and romance thrown in for good measure. Playing Chicken came out of nowhere and caught me by surprise. I think I badly needed distraction in the first few weeks of the year from all the horrible things happening everywhere and something fluffy rather than the paranormal shenanigans I usually write seemed very attractive! To begin with, the story was set on Christmas Eve, but it just didn’t sit right and after the discussion on our Cariad Chapter zoom call last week, it seemed that St Dwynwen’s Day was a natural fit. And I ended up making poor, frozen, unjustly accused Maelon one of my main characters, because he deserved a happy ending!



His first aid kit was rudimentary but covered the basics. Antiseptics, dressings, butterfly strips. It should do the job. He hauled it out from under the driver’s seat, eyeing the squeezed-in boxes disfavourably. That was going to be today’s job, he supposed.

He was so taken up with his mission that he forgot there should have been a chicken in the porch until he turned back toward the house. He blinked in disbelief. She had a friend. Two friends. They were sat in a row on the back of the garden bench underneath the parlour window. As he watched, they jumped down, one by one and stood in a line, as if waiting for him. The two new ones were very clearly the same breed as Chicken Number One. Big, fluffy, orange. One had more exciting headgear than the other two and was a bit bigger, so he guessed that was a boy-chicken. Cockerel. Cock. He sniggered quietly and then stopped himself as the first chicken…he could tell it was the original one because it had a bit of black in its tail and the others didn’t…looked at him disapprovingly.

Obviously cock jokes were out. The telepathic chicken didn’t like it.

“Sorry,” he said. “I was just getting the first aid kit for Mal. I’ll stop.”

He performed a shuffling dance around them to get back indoors. “You’re like the Midwich Cuckoos,” he told them. “You are not coming into my house. Stay outside. It’s bad enough having a porch full of chicken shit.”

Mal was on his feet looking at him in alarm when he stepped through the parlour door, and the dog was standing beside him, hackles up.

“Who were you talking to?” he asked in a panicked voice. “Is someone out there?”

Marc shook his head. “Chickens,” he said. “I seem to have chickens living in the porch. It’s fine. He narrowed his eyes. “What makes you think there might be someone out there? Who hurt you?”

Mal sat down on the edge of the chair and ran his hands over his cheeks, pulling a face. The dog sat beside him and put her chin on his knee, staring up at him, and he absently began to pet her ears. Marc knelt beside him and opened the first-aid box.

“My ex’s dad,” he said, quietly, after a moment or two. We’d split up anyway. Ages ago. But he saw me in Welshpool a couple of days ago and wanted to drive the point home.’ He shivered. “I’d only gone down into town to pick up some food and bits.” He winced as Marc turned his face toward the light and began to wipe the cut against his hairline with antiseptic. “I’d left Anghared up here, else he wouldn’t have got near me.”

The dog gave a small woof as she heard her name.

“Would he, girl? Stupid man.”

“So how did you end up in my barn?” Marc said, gently fixing butterfly strips over the cut. It had come open again and was bleeding a bit, but it looked like it would be fine. “Come on, let’s look at your ribs too, while I’m at it.”

“They’re fine, honestly. Only bruised.” Mal pulled away and Marc just looked at him. Mal sighed. “All right, all right.” He began to unzip the big hoodie he was swamped in and winced again. Marc raised an eyebrow, silently asking for permission and then reached out to help when Mal nodded. There were a lot of layers to get through and it took a while to gently extract him. The cold was still coming off him in waves and he was shivering badly as he said, “I’ve been staying up in the woods. But I felt too bad to get home. Anghared found me, didn’t you girl? And we needed somewhere out of the cold. I’m freezing, still.”

He was shuddering, which was probably a good thing in retrospect, Marc thought. He hadn’t been shivering at all when he’d first come inside. Incipient hypothermia. He had a quick look and a gentle feel of the ribs. They were badly bruised but he couldn’t feel anything shifting around, so he’d call that good. Mal’s skin was icy cold under Marc’s fingers.

“Bath?” he said. “Or body-heat?”

“Ugh,” he screwed his face up. “Do I have to?”

“Yes,” said Marc firmly. “I don’t want you to die on my first day home for two and a half years. If that’s all right.”

“What I’d like…What I’d like, Marc, is to sit in front of your fire and watch the snow come down through your parlour window, and count your increasing number of chickens in the porch, and find out more about you.”

Quote from Playing Chicken by A.L. Lester

About A.L. Lester

Writer of queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense. Lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, a badly behaved dachshund, a terrifying cat and some hens. Likes gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy. Not musical. Doesn’t much like telly. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has tedious fits.

Connect with A.L. Lester here