My second favorite Ofelia in the whole wide world (it’s also my daughter’s name and she’s my top favorite, okay? 😆) is visiting today, telling us about her newest release: a box set! I love box sets, they are great value for money, and I love stories about finding home, so this is right up my alley.
But before we dive in, help me welcome the world’s second best Ofelia™️ to the blog. It’s lovely to have you here, welcome back anytime! 😘
Hello! *waves* Thank you, Nell, for allowing me to swing by today! 🥰
I have a box set out! 🥳 It’s called Finding Home and it’s three contemporary stories about finding a place to call home.
The stories are Around Seven, Banger Challenge, and Once in May, and they all have a main character that’s constantly moving around, never staying in one place too long, and leaves as soon as things get hard. They all have different reasons for why they act the way they do, but the result is that they as adults have no place to call home.
I grew up in a small coastal town with a population of about 28k inhabitants. It’s not so small that I knew everyone living there, and since I’m a hermit, I didn’t try to get to know everyone either. But it has that… you hear a surname and know which family they belong to, and so on. Word travels fast.
I moved away from there when I was sixteen, and don’t ask what I was thinking, but I moved to the north. My poor mother. It was a ten-hour drive to get there, and it was (and still is) the tiniest little village. According to Wikipedia, there are 3.5k inhabitants. It’s bigger than where I live now. According to Wikipedia (again), 150 people are living here 😆
So you can see how I go from a small town to a village, to a crossroad, and I tell hubby several times a week, that we need to move, because there are too many people here. (Nell’s note: there’s only fifty-ish people in my village…just sayin’ 😆)
If you think I write small-town romances, you’re not wrong! I think I would die in a big city. I mean if someone had dropped me off in Tokyo I don’t think I would’ve survived.
So if you’re also feeling panic build inside at the thought of… eh… people 😆 maybe check this box set out. I’ve borrowed a lot from my years living up north – the tiny villages, the long roads, the forest, and the cafe as the hub where everything happens. That cup of coffee in the cafe on a Saturday morning to catch up on the week’s gossip. And flannel shirts, let’s not forget that there are a lot of bearded men in flannel shirts in my Up North stories 😁
Can a restless soul find a home?
Three contemporary gay romance novellas. Three characters looking for a place to belong. Follow them as they put down roots in the small towns of the north. Oswald has never had a place to call home, but he can’t live in his car forever. Zen is lost after the death of his father and spends his time on the road. Zach returns to his hometown after several years away and finds something he never believed he would.
Contains the stories:
Around Seven: Oswald Sattle has been sleeping in his Toyota Camry for the last nine months. Out of money and out of options, he’s on his way to Nortown for a job opportunity he can’t turn down. Joshua Roth has everything he needs, but he wants to make Oswald smile. He keeps suggesting things that will make Oswald stay, but Oswald doesn’t want to overstay his welcome. Maybe it’s time to move on again?
Banger Challenge: A month after losing his father, the only thing holding Zen Zeppelin Cave together is focusing on a charity junk car race to raise money for cancer research. He had planned on completing the race on his own, but a spur-of-the-moment decision changes that when he invites the adorable, blushing police officer whose driveway he’s blocking to tag along.
Once in May: To hide from his past, John Welsh has spent the last few years building walls around himself. He knows the best way to stay safe is to keep people at arm’s length. He should’ve known the peace he’s found wouldn’t last. One day everything is fine, the next Zachary Fane shows up wherever he goes. All Zachary wants is to be close to John, and if following him around is the only way, then so be it.
Contemporary Gay Romance: 102,893 words
JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/FindingHomeBoxSet
(From Around Seven)
Oswald drove and drove, and then he drove some more. Going off the main road might not have been his smartest decision, but the narrow gravel roads had begged for him to come. All around there were trees, one more colourful than the other, and for the first time since Aiden had managed to get hold of him, he could fill his lungs with ease—well, maybe not ease, but it was easier.
It would be easy to lose himself in the woods. Give up. Fade away. No one would miss him if he weren’t to be anymore. He’d held on for two hundred and seventy-three days; maybe it was all right to let go. It was fitting, decomposing together with the leaves falling off the trees.
Frowning, he drummed his thumb seven times against the steering wheel. He needed out of the car. Needed to think away from the sad reality of the mattress and the pile with a few sets of clothes that were all he owned.
He’d walked out of Guy’s apartment without taking a single thing of what they’d bought together, without a single souvenir. Since he was a kid, he’d learnt not to get attached to things; fewer items made it quicker to pack.
The forest cleared a little up ahead, and Oswald was surprised to see a sign. Had he perhaps found Northfield? He should check on a map where that was and get his sweet arse over there so he could find the hotel Aiden had mentioned.
The sign was red and white, flaking paint revealing dark-grey wood underneath. ‘Canoe Rentals’, it said.
Canoes? It couldn’t be too hard, could it? He’d get some fresh air and exercise and wouldn’t have to think about his pitiful life trapped in a rusty Toyota. Stopping by the road, he drummed his finger against the window seven times and jumped out. On the way over to the cottage, he pressed his forefinger against his thumb—he only made it to five before a man came out to meet him. After having said hello, he started over and managed seven uninterrupted taps.
* * * *
Joshua sighed as he walked into his cabin. There was craft paper on the floor, cords and shit that the electrician had cut off and left lying around, not to mention the dirty footprints. He guessed it was his job to clean up—not that he would do much. He was painting the living room this weekend so the protective plastic and paper might as well stay where they were.
There was nothing he’d rather do than have a quick shower—the layer of sweat and sawdust clung to him—but this shit would still be here when he got back. Better get it over with now than get grimy again.
It wasn’t sparkly clean, but an hour later he’d swept the living room, so there weren’t any loose parts on the floor, and cleaned the kitchen and bedroom so he could be there without feeling like he was walking into a construction site. There was nothing he could do about the smell—it had that new touch to it that he hated. Maybe it would be better once he’d cooked something, though he doubted it because the stove was new too. But soon, it would feel like home again.
A quick shower and then he was out the door. Having breathed in sawdust all week, he needed some fresh air, and the river was calling him.
Throwing his fly-fishing rod in the car, he drove off into the forest. The gravel roads on his land snaked their way to the river, and then, when he couldn’t drive any farther, it was about a thirty-minute walk before he was at his fishing place.
It took longer for him to get there than it normally did so he couldn’t stay long. The nights were getting darker fast, but he needed the quiet, needed to breathe the fresh air, hear the water. Soon, the leaves would fall off the trees, but it only made it more beautiful. Nature was clinging onto life for as long as it could, the abundance of colour as it went out like fireworks only to wake up in a few months again. He loved autumn. All seasons had their charm, but not like autumn.
He sighed and let the week go. The knowledge that he’d go home soon, have a beer, and then sleep for as long as he wanted did wonders for his sanity.
And then an empty canoe came floating down the river.
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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