New Release Spotlight: Finding Home Box Set by Ofelia Gränd

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 😁

Finding Home

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

Buy Links

JMS Books :: Amazon ::


(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.

About Ofelia

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.

Find Ofelia on social media

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Guestpost, Release Blitz

New Release Spotlight: The Devil Will Care by Holly Day

I know I always say that my friend Holly Day is welcome here on the blog whenever she wants to come, but after today’s post, I might have to re-evaluate my stance. Because WHAT’S WRONG WITH NUTELLA ON A SANDWICH? I don’t even know if we can be friends anymore after such a statement!

But while I take my time deciding, I’ll let Holly tell you about her alien story featuring Nutella! 😆

Hello, everyone! Thank you, Nell, for allowing me back on the blog again! Do you know what day it is today? Yes, Sunday. I hear the mutters. But it’s not just any ole Sunday, it’s World Nutella Day. Every year on February 5th, we’re to celebrate this hazelnut and cocoa spread by posting pictures and sharing recipes of our favourite Nutella creations.

Do you have a favourite Nutella recipe?

I have to admit that Nutella doesn’t play a big part in my life. It’s never something I have at home, and I don’t get it. I mean, I love chocolate, and don’t mind hazelnuts in the least, but chocolate on a sandwich? That’s to ruin a sandwich. You don’t know if you’re eating food or cake. Is it fika or breakfast?!?

Right before covid hit, my siblings and I took all our children (10 at the time) at booked a weekend at a hotel. My kids were super excited. Staying in hotels isn’t something they get to do very often, and when it was time for breakfast, and they realised there were waffles with Nutella, and they got to eat as much as they wanted, I feared we’d be stuck at the breakfast table for the rest of the day. Luckily, kids get full too, and there is only so much sugar you can eat.

That’s one of very few memories I have where Nutella has played a part.

In The Devil Will Care, we have Azrail and Dot who are locked up in a prison cell in Nix. They’re the only two humans that they know of in the entire prison, the rest of the inmates and the guards are aliens. Azrail and Dot aren’t normal humans, though. Azrail can siphon life from people, and Dot is a witch, but they’ve managed not to call attention to themselves during the eight months they’ve been in prison.

It all changes when Dot spots Nutella in the food delivery to the guards and talks Azrail into breaking into the pantry. Because what wouldn’t you do for Nutella?

Sadly, they’re not the only ones who tried to break into the pantry that day, and Azrail happens to almost kill a huge alien who looks exactly like the devil. As you might have guessed, things get hairy after that.

I was in the mood for aliens, so I wrote aliens, but I would still claim this is a paranormal story, more alien romance than sci-fi if you get what I mean. They’re in space, and there are aliens, but it’s not a story that focuses on the scientific or technical parts. Nutella, devils, and a plan to escape are the main components 😁

What would you do if the devil claimed you were his destined mate?

Khaal Lupehell isn’t really the devil, but he’s a red-skinned, horn-wearing, tail-waving, eight feet tall alien who claims Azrail Crow is his mate. For eight months, Azrail has been in an intergalactic prison, and for the most part, he’s managed to keep his head down and melt into the interior. That all changes when he runs into Khaal.

Khaal has to get out of prison. He’d planned to escape even before he met Azrail, but now he has to find a way out. He can’t live with his mate in a prison cell. It’s out of the question. So he’ll steal a ship, take Azrail, and they’ll run for their lives. It’ll work out fine. Hopefully.

Azrail has read stories about destined mates, but surely it can’t apply to him. He’s human, and humans don’t have mates. But when Khaal talks about escaping, Azrail wants to come with him. Being mated to the devil can’t be worse than being locked up in prison, can it?

Paranormal Gay Romance: 35,225 words

Buy links:

JMS Books :: Amazon ::


Footsteps approached, and all three froze mid-argument. Normally, they were more careful when they discussed escaping. It was impossible to know how well other creatures’ hearing was.

They were in the last cell in the row. No one came here without reason. The steps were soft, but it was more than one person, and Khaal held his breath. He believed the guards had brought them back to the cell and left it at that. He didn’t want them patrolling here at all hours of the day.

Heat washed over him, much like it had when they’d entered the earthlings’ cell, and he moved close to the bars. Pressing himself against the cold metal, he tried to get closer to the source.

“Eh… hi.” His human and the female he was with stopped as soon as they spotted him. Khaal pressed his lips together to shield his fangs and nodded.

“We… eh… want no trouble.”

Behind him, Chavir growled and neared the bars, but Khaal swished his tail in warning. When he focused on the humans again, they’d backed a step, and Khaal took a deep breath not to snarl. “We mean you no harm.”

Chavir growled again, and this time Khaal turned around, flashing fangs in warning.

“Perhaps we should come back another day. We only came to give you a peace offering, but maybe it’s a bad time.”

Peace offering? Khaal didn’t understand the concept. He believed the ASF language chip translated it correctly or literally or whatever, but some things weren’t translatable. “What is a peace offering?”

Stillness settled in the corridor outside the bars. Then the male looked at the female and shrugged. “It’s a gift you offer someone, and if they accept it, there is no longer a conflict between them.” He glanced at the female as if to see if she accepted his explanation. She shrugged, then nodded, so Khaal assumed it was correct.


“No. I have the right to take revenge.”

Khaal snarled and whirled around. “I told you no!”

“It’s my right. He—” He pointed at Khaal’s mate. “He did something to me.”

“Maybe a peace offering was a bad idea.” His mate was slowly edging away.

“Told you so.” The female turned around, ready to leave, and desperation threatened to suffocate Khaal. They couldn’t leave.

“No! Wait.” He took a deep breath. “Come closer.”

His mate took a step closer.

“No.” The female yanked him back. “Don’t. Look at the one in the back. He’s insane.”

Khaal glanced at Chavir. He stood tall with his hands curled into fists and his tail swaying ominously behind him. Next, he glanced at Yilea. “Keep him away from the bars.”

She sighed but walked over to stand in front of Chavir. “Why don’t you take a seat, idiot, and let the captain handle this.”

Chavir snarled, but when Yilea smacked her palm against his chest, he sank down to sit on her mattress. “Fine.”

Khaal nodded and turned back to the earthlings. “What’s your name?”

“I’m Azrail, and this is Dot.”

Weird names, but not impossible to pronounce. “Azrail.” Khaal allowed the name to rest on his tongue, enjoying the taste of it. “I’m Khaal Lupehell, captain of the— It doesn’t matter, the ship is no more. I’m the leader of this clan.” He gestured at Chavir and Yilea, wishing they’d look more impressive. Being the leader of two people wouldn’t impress anyone, and he needed to show himself worthy.

“Oh, yay, a clan.” Dot gave Azrail a look he couldn’t decipher, but he feared she was mocking him.

“Sweet.” Azrail took a step closer.

Sweet? What was sweet? He hadn’t seen him eat anything.

“Do you see the ships coming and going from here?”

Khaal hesitated. Did Azrail know what they were planning? Maybe he’d heard their conversation. How well did earthlings hear? “We don’t see them arriving and taking off, but they enter through that door.” He nodded in the direction of the airlock leading out to the dock. He’d never been through it, so he wasn’t sure the dock was through there, but he assumed so.

Azrail nodded. “A couple of days ago, there was a human ship, right?”

Khaal nodded.

“They delivered food.”

Khaal nodded again. He hadn’t seen any food, but they’d brought boxes, and he assumed it was food. They hadn’t gotten anything special to eat, though. It was the same mush they always got. Sometimes it was a brownish mush, other times a grayish mush. He longed for meat, something he had to use his teeth to tear apart.

Maybe they got different foods. Maybe Azrail and Dot got the food the humans delivered, but since Dogron was so far away, they didn’t get any food from home, and therefore they were served the mush. “Have you been getting the food?”

Khaal curled his fingers around the bars, wanting to order Azrail to step closer.

“No. We haven’t been getting anything out of the ordinary.” He frowned. “Have you?”

Khaal shook his head. “Come closer.”

Dot cleared her throat. “Let’s not tempt fate, shall we?”

About Holly day

According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.

Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.

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About Nell

Goodbye January…

…and good riddance. I never wanna see you again, Stupid Awful Month.

Usually, my worst month of the year is November because it’s gray and dreary and dark, but surprisingly, November didn’t suck last year. So I thought I’d made it through this winter season without the obligatory The-Darkness-Makes-Nell-Very-Depressed episode…but life and the universe had other plans. They decided to postpone the episode to January instead.

Because seriously. Has January been darker than usual? Grayer? More depressing? Has it gone on and on and on for one thousand years? Yes. Yes it has. But now we’re done with it and February is a blessedly short month, so soon spring will be here. And the light. I need the light. Because f*ck, I can’t get used to the constant darkness of the winter months in my neck of the woods, even if I’ve been back in Scandinavia for over three years. I miss living next door to the equator and 12-ish hours of daylight every day, and when people ask what I miss most about living in Malaysia (I bet you miss the heat!) my answer is always, always DAYLIGHT!

But okay. The month hasn’t been all bad. In fact, it started pretty great.

Because if you remember, my beloved daughter and her family was here for New Year’s and they stayed for almost an entire week after. Which meant I got to hang out with this amazing person for days, and life is always better with the grandbaby around. If you’re wondering what she’s doing in the picture, she’s working on my computer and drinking coffee…because that’s what all the adults in her life are doing (except for me, I drink tea, but the principle is the same).

Hey honey, let’s read something, I said.
No, gramma, I gotta work, she answered and started typing away, stopping only to pour more imaginary coffee for herself from her watering can. 😍

Not even getting stuck outside the train station because the fire alarm was triggered for some reason, so no one was allowed to enter the building, leaving me standing outside in the freezing rain for 45 minutes sucked, because my daughter, her fiancé, and Lille W came and picked me up and drove me home. I wish they’d permanently move in with us. We have the room. But alas, they have other plans.

Before they went back home, we had a beer-tasting event. My son-in-law’s mission in life is to find beers for me that I really love. In general, I prefer wine over beer, but he wants to share the experience of a good beer with me. And after trying for years, he finally managed to find me a five-star beer. The Trappistes Rochefort 10, (to the right in the picture), is the best beer I’ve ever had. I loved all of the beers above, but the 10 was extra special.

I spent so much time in January looking up at the sky, hoping to see a glimmer of blue amidst all the gray clouds, and one evening when i looked up from the computer after working from home, the sky decided to reward me with this color show. It was so beautiful IRL, I almost cried.

One Friday after work, the hubby and I decided coldcuts and wine and a fire was in order. We listened to a bunch of favorite vinyl records and stayed up way too late, and it was glorious.

You know when you take down the Christmas lights and you set them on the floor “for a second” before you’re gonna put them away for the season, and then something distracts you and you forget about them, and the next morning, you rush to work, not paying attention to the lights abandoned on the floor…and then the vacuum cleaner robot starts his scheduled programming and you come home to a battleground where the Robovacuum won over the Christmas lights and dragged one of his opponents back to the charging station?

No? It must be just us then 😆

My chest almost burst with happiness when I got home from work one evening and it wasn’t pitch black outside.

The only good thing about January is that it’s blood orange season, and I love blood oranges. It’s my second favorite fruit, beaten only by pineapple.

I’ll learn to knit when I become a grandmother, I’ve always said, and now that I’ve been a grandmother for close to 2,5 years, I decided it was time. Only, I decided I wanted to learn how to crochet instead. My mom taught me the basic stitches back in the day, but I probably haven’t touched a crochet hook in 35-ish years. So even if this is the wonkiest and most crooked excuse for a granny square you’ve seen in your life, it’s not bad for a first try in over three decades, is it?

And! I’ve already improved since I did that thing. My goal is to crochet a blanket of granny squares for the grandbaby. Deadline: before she turns ten 😆

There’s only one way to end this post: with a sunrise on my way to work.

How has your January been? Tell me something that made you happy in January!