It Rained All Night, Read Around the Rainbow Web Ring, Strike a Pose, Writing Update

Writing Update

It’s been a while since I did one of these. A quick check in my archive tells me it was January 25 2021, so more than a year ago. I don’t really know why I stopped doing them, but lots of things have happened since then. I moved to my lovely house, I started the Time-Stealing Day Job. And we can’t forget about The Plague, of course. My social media presence has lessened in general, because I want to spend what little free time I have actually writing than on posting stuff on SM.

But I thought it’d be a good thing to bring back to the blog, and my plan is to post about it once a month. I have another monthly thing planned for the blog, but more on that later. First; what’s going on with my writing?

It Rained All Night

My publisher JMS Books have posted in-house submission calls for “this-or-that” short stories. And by this-or-that, I mean for example sugar or spice, where the author picks either sugar or spice and writes a story about it. I did. I picked sugar, and wrote Secrets on a Train, where the two MCs hit it off when Runar notices Valentin putting ALL THE SUGAR in his coffee. There are more this-or-that submission calls, like rain or shine, where I picked rain and wrote It Rained All Night.

Wanna see the blurb?

Can a chance meeting in the rain change someone’s life? 

Meeting someone who can make him stop going is an eye-opener for Henrik. The man, Mikko, is his complete opposite, a steady rock in the wild rainstorm that is Henrik’s life, but the connection between them is both unexpected and instantaneous. Their encounter only lasts a few minutes, but before they part, they exchange phone numbers.

They live far away from each other, but soon they text and call daily, until Mikko is Henrik’s dearest friend and most trusted person. But a late-night question on the phone has Henrik re-evaluating his feelings. It’s impossible to love someone you’ve only met in person once…right? 

Is the connection Henrik and Mikko forged long distance enough to sustain them when they meet again? And will their love be strong enough to give them the happily ever after they deserve? 

It’s 7673 words long and will be released in April, and you can look forward to more short stories about rain. I know for example that the lovely K.L. Noone has written a story for this submission call that I look forward to reading.

I had a hard time coming up with the title for the story, until one day when I listened to one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists, Thom Yorke (lead singer of Radiohead.) The song’s name is It Rained All Night, so I borrowed it for my story because it fits perfectly; it does rain all night. But that’s all the song and my story have in common, I promise.

And if you’ve never heard it, here’s a YouTube link where you can check it out.

Strike a Pose

The first Saturday of May is World Naked Gardening Day. That sounds like something my friend Holly Day would write a story for, because she writes stories inspired by all the weird and wonderful holidays out there. And she has written a story for it. And so have I. And a bunch of other people. Because last year when I stumbled on this fabulous holiday, I said to Holly that she should write a story for it, and Ally said we should all write stories for it, and I said okay, and suddenly we were doing a Naked Gardening collaboration. We enlisted K.L. Noone and Amy Spector, talked to JMS Books to check if they’d be on board to publish a bunch of naked gardening books on May 7, and they said yes.

So, come May 7, five stories celebrating World Naked Gardening Day will be published by JMS Books, and mine is called Strike a Pose. There’s very little actual gardening going on in my story, but there’s a lot of nakedness and people posing as famous ancient sculptures in the garden (where the statues in the picture above served as my inspiration). That counts, doesn’t it? 🙂

The story is 17545 words long and it’s surprisingly spicy for being a Nell Iris story. My stories are usually lower heat, but this one…is not 🔥🔥

Didrik would do anything for his best friend, Filip, including taking pictures of Filip’s dad, Johan, for a charity calendar. Naked pictures, of beautiful, irresistible, wonderful Johan, who was single-handedly responsible for Didrik’s gay awakening. He was also happily married and unavailable…until he wasn’t.

After losing his husband five years ago, Johan finally seems ready to move on, and as they start the charity project, everything changes. With every meeting, every conversation, every pose for the camera, the attraction between them swells and grows, until it burns hot and threatens to consume them.

Their interactions, their relationship is surprisingly easy, but it’s not without its challenges. The age difference for one thing. Telling Filip for another. Is their connection enough to last? Can they overcome the hurdles to get the happily ever after they deserve?

Read Around the Rainbow

The final update for this post is in regards to what I wrote above; that I have a new monthly feature planned for the blog. This idea was born in the morning office with Ally and Ofelia, just like the naked gardener one. (isn’t it amazing what happens when you throw a bunch of creative people into the same space?)

The idea is for us to blog about the same topic on the same day each month, like a webring. Or exactly like a webring, because Ally promptly set one up, recruited more people, made a handful of lovely graphics, and provided us with links and codes and spreadsheets. If you think that sounds scarily organized, you’re right 😁

Maybe you’ve noticed the new, fancy Read Around the Rainbow widget in my sidebar? You can use it to check out all the participating blogs, but we’ll also link to each other in the monthly post. Currently, we’re ten authors participating; A.L. Lester, Ofelia Gränd/Holly Day, Ellie Thomas, Addison Albright, K.L. Noone, Amy Spector, Fiona Glass, Lillian Francis, and J.R Hart, but all of us might not post every time.

The first date for this is March 25, and the topic for our first posts will be our ideal writing shack. It’ll be great fun. I love blogging, but sometimes it’s hard to come up with topics, so this’ll be a great help.

Also, check out what Fiona Glass wrote about this new webring thing. She explains it much better than I do.