Today, I once again welcome my dear friend Ofelia Gränd to the blog. She has a new release she wants to talk about, or a re-release to be precise. I’ll let her tell you all about it, but before I leave the floor to her I have something important to say:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY OFELIA!! 🎉 I hope you have a lovely birthday and that your family spoils you with cake and presents. In case they don’t, I’ve got you covered. I’ve fixed you a LUMBERJACK CAKE!! Goes perfectly with your new release and all the gay lumberjacks in Nortown! 😀
Hello, everyone! Hi, Nell, thank you for letting me crash your blog, again. How about a lumberjack for Easter? You probably don’t know this, but it’s my birthday today. Not that I’ve put a lumberjack on my wish list, but if I should wish for anything, today should be the day, shouldn’t it?
Yesterday, The Egg Hunt was released. It’s not a new release. It was originally published back in 2016, but now it’s found a new home with JMS Books, which makes me really happy. It’s an Easter story, and it used to be a Nortown story, but all Nortown stories will now become Up North stories.
The thing with Nortown is that it’s crawling with gay lumberjacks LOL. Everyone has a beard, and everyone is into forestry or working at the sawmill, and everyone is annoyed with people coming from ‘the city’…until their special someone arrives to Nortown.
Writing these stories is so much fun. I would lie if I said they weren’t littered with stereotypes – they are – but the characters living in Nortown are very dear to me.
In The Egg Hunt, we get to meet Tom and Jason. Tom is your grumpy lumberjack and Jason is an annoying bartender from Whiteport. Jason might be the least favourable character I’ve ever written (apart from my serial killers, of course), but it’s not his fault. I have a tendency of making Jason responsible for everything going wrong in Nortown. If someone’s rude, it’s Jason. If someone says something they shouldn’t, it’s Jason. If someone outs someone against their will, it’s Jason.
But, sometimes, you need a Jason to move the story forward. He’s not to blame LOL.
Jason was snooping, there was no better word for it. He’d eaten his breakfast in the kitchen, taking the opportunity to open each and every cupboard and drawer in there. He was trying to get a grip on Tom. He’d spent the morning pondering on what he knew about him and had come up with next to nothing. He worked in the forest, he cooked his own food, and he tricked injured men into seeing doctors. That was it.
So far, he hadn’t been able to find any indication of a partner, ex or otherwise. No love letters from long-lost girlfriends or boyfriends, no photos of Tom with a significant other. It didn’t have to mean anything, of course, but other than an old photo of two boys fishing—they couldn’t be more than eight or ten—he’d found nothing at all.
He hesitated outside Tom’s bedroom. He shouldn’t… Carefully, he pushed at the door, opened it just a tiny, tiny crack and paused. He looked down at Biscuit, who had followed him around the house.
“What do you think, boy? Any dirty secrets in the closet?”
Biscuit sniffed loudly at the door and then pushed it fully open with his nose. Jason smirked to himself. It wasn’t his fault the door had opened. If Tom came home, he’d say Biscuit went in there and he’d gone to look for him. The floorboard creaked as he took a step closer, triggering his memory of last night, when he’d been to the bathroom.
Tom’s room was a little larger than the one Jason had slept in but not by much, although it had two windows—his room only had one—and the light coming through them made a great difference. The walls were light green and the bedding cream coloured, as were the curtains. It was…nice. Nice, soothing, and utterly impersonal. Jason wanted to yell in frustration. Biscuit jumped up on the bed, and before Jason could order him down, he snuggled up like a little pretzel right in the middle of it.
Jason listened for a moment, making sure no car was arriving, and opened the sliding door to the closet. Black, black, and black. Apart from a few pair of jeans, there was nothing but black shirts and T-shirts. Careful inspection revealed a pile of white T-shirts, all plain like the rest of Tom’s clothes, nothing with personality. He rubbed his forehead. It was like Tom was trying to hide in plain sight—almost impossible with his height and that beard…and those eyes. Jason wished he could gaze into those almost-black eyes forever.
Looking over his shoulder, his gaze fell on the bedside table, and he felt a pang of guilt. If someone went through his bedside table, he’d skin them alive, but like a magnet pulling him closer, it drew him in. One drawer: that was all there was.
Jason wiped his sweaty palm against his stomach and tentatively reached out. His fingers touched the cool metal handle, gripped, and pulled it out.
He blinked a few times. Empty? Who had an empty bedside-table drawer? Jason banged it shut. It was like Tom didn’t exist.
Jason has one rule when it comes to holidays — work his shift behind the bar and then find a willing body to distract himself with. One night is long enough to satisfy his needs and still walk away with his heart intact. It has worked out fine for most of his adult life, but this Easter, he’s trying something new. He’s leaving the city to visit his friend Aiden, who recently moved in with his boyfriend in the middle of nowhere, but one unfortunate incident leaves Jason without a place to sleep.
Tom doesn’t just not do relationships, he rarely does hook-ups, either, and never too close to home. Living on his own without attachments is easier than having the whole town knowing about him. As the holiday approaches, his lonely house grows even quieter than normal — at least until his friend Tristan dumps an arrogant bartender in his lap.
As soon as Jason lays eyes on the gruff lumberjack whose home he’ll be sharing, he knows who’ll warm his bed for the weekend and help chase away any pending holiday gloom. Too bad Tom doesn’t want to get with the program. As much as he wants to let Jason close, he won’t risk outing himself for a weekend fling. Will Jason trust Tom not to break his heart if he stays longer than a couple of days? Will Tom value their relationship higher than the town gossip?
Contemporary M/M Romance: 34.031 words
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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