Late Night Poetry and last day of sales

Since my last writing update, I’ve actually managed to finish Late Night Poetry! I’ve signed a contract for it and everything! Yay for me!! 🙂

It will be released on March 28, and below is the blurb. I will post pre-order links as soon as I have them.

A love story told in answering machine messages.

Saying “I love you” to someone who says it first, isn’t supposed to lead to a break-up, but that’s what happens to Sully and Lou. Sully is out and proud while Lou is in the closet, so when their relationship deepens, Lou runs.

But then Lou starts leaving emotional messages of remorse on Sully’s answering machine. Sully is torn between his love for Lou and his attempts to get over him. With each message, Lou’s regrets deepen. With each message, it becomes more difficult for Sully to forget him. With each message, Sully finds it harder to want to move on.

Can old love poems and heartbreaking honesty help Sully and Lou find their way back to each other?

Late Night Poetry is a M/M contemporary story, approximately 10K words, set in 1990.

I also woke up to an email from my publisher this morning with the most amazing cover for Late Night Poetry, and I thought I’d show it to you. But first, here are three gifs showing exactly how I feel about it:

mr darcy

my precious


Are you ready?

late night poetry

*happy sigh*

Don’t forget that today is the last day of the Valentine’s Day sale at my fabulous publisher JMS Books.

Here is the link to my author page where you can find all my stories published by JMS Books.

vday nell graphic

I also want to take a few seconds to promote an upcoming release by my dear friend Addison Albright. I beta read this story for her and it damned near broke my heart (I sent her “you’re evil” messages while I was reading it 😁) but I can promise you a HEA. The ending is very different (not about the HEA, I guarantee a HEA!!) and definitely not what I expected when I started reading the story. I can’t wait to read the finished, polished book!

Pre-order link When Are You?

way blurb

Valentine’s Day sale!

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone who celebrates, with or without partners, romantic or otherwise. Happy Friday to the rest of you lot!

My husband and I don’t do V-day. In our family, this day is the almost-birthday of our daughter. My due date was February 14, 1995, but since my kid had a mind of her own since the day she was conceived, she decided to stay inside me for a bit longer. 10 more days to be exact. So instead of wishing her happy V-day today, I always wish her “Happy Almost Birthday.” More personal, don’t you think? 🙂

That being said, I’m not opposed to Valentine’s Day sales. Like the one over at my fabulous publisher JMS Books.


But instead of just celebrating love today, JMS decided to do a four day celebration! Wohoo for four day sales! As usual, pre-orders are included in the sale, so if you see something that tickles your fancy that isn’t released yet, just go for it.

Clickety-click this link to be transported to my author page over at JMS Books.

Or if you’re in the mood for a particular trope, here’s some help for you:

Cute bunny shifter | May/December | Established relationship | Second chances | Bittersweet | Best friend’s brother | Star-crossed lovers | Trapped together | 40+

vday recs

Here are some recommendations by other fabulous authors from me to you:

Vows box set by Addison Albright – because sales are the best time to buy box sets and because Addison is a wonderful writer that deserves more love!

Lether and Tea in London by K.L. Noone – because this series is WONDERFUL and I can’t wait for the third book. I’ve already pre-ordered it, but if you haven’t now’s the time.

Once and Floral by Kris T. Bethke – because weddings! And Kris T. Bethke. And I’ve beta read it and know it’s full of cuteness.

Dandelion by T.A. Creech – because look at that cover!! (full disclosure: I haven’t read it but I’m head over heels for the cover)

Chicken Soup by Mel Bossa – because you know I adore short stories and this one is exactly why!

Her Particular Friend by JL Merrow – because Jane Austen characters!! 😍



Gushing and ranting

Today, I thought I’d tell you about a couple things that has stirred up emotions in me lately, both good and frustrated. Let’s start with the frustration.

81XR45UdqkLI recently read and finished Educated by Tara Westover, but the rant isn’t going to be about the book itself. I read the book translated to Swedish, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy it and instead used my new library card and checked it out from the library. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the original English version, only the Swedish translation, but I thought what the heck, how bad can it be? 

The answer was…pretty bad (again, the translation, not the book). There was a lot of little things, but the thing that got me most frustrated was a lazy mistake.

In Sweden, we tell temperature by using the Celsius scale, not the Fahrenheit. But in a chapter when Tara Westover writes about how her abusive brother opened the car window when she said she was cold and how the freezing winds of northern Idaho in January chilled her to the bone because the temperature was in the twenties…that doesn’t work in Swedish. For a Swedish person, speaking or reading Swedish, when the temperature is in the twenties, it’s hot, or at least not freezing cold! Because 20C is 68F. And it’s such a stupid mistake with the easiest of fixes, and instead the error pulled me violently from the book and made me so irritated I seriously considered DNF:ing the book. Until I calmed down and realized it wasn’t the book’s fault, but the translator’s.

But now, days later, I’m still bloody annoyed by it and I’m considering emailing the publisher and pointing out the error.

Am I being a bit sensitive and over-reactive? 😀

Anyway. I finished the book and it was fascinating, even though I don’t agree with the 4.48 star-rating it currently has on Goodreads 🙂


Now for the good: I rarely watch movies (or TV shows) to my husband’s great sorrow, because I prefer reading. But he knows the best way to get me to watch something with him is by telling me about a sci-fi movie. I love sci-fi (watching, not reading!). So the other day, we watched Ad Astra with Brad Pitt, and I loved it.

There was a loneliness penetrating the entire movie from the first minute, that overwhelmed me. I loved the character development and found it believable (even though I’ve read reviews disagreeing with me – screw them! 😀 ) and how Brad Pitt’s character just kept going and going, but how everything that happened changed him in the end. I liked it a lot. And I felt that loneliness in my bones for days afterward – that must mean the movie was good, right? 🙂

Have you seen Ad Astra or read Educated? What did you think? 🙂

Guest post

Today, I’m a guest over at Love Bytes. I’ve written a love letter to the library and I also mention a poem about a dead goat.

Clickety-click this link if that sounds like something you’d want to read 🙂


Late Night Poetry, excerpt

I’ve actually written since my last writing update, so I thought that you’d like to read an excerpt from my story Late Night Poetry. It’s still unedited, so forgive any mistakes.

The tagline for the story is A love story told in answering machine messages. Enjoy.

Monday October 22, 1990

“Hi Sully. It’s me. Um…Lou. But yeah, you can hear that of course. I…uh…know I shouldn’t call you, but…I just had to hear your voice, even if it’s just your answering machine message. I’m…”—deep sigh—“I’m so fucking sorry, you have no idea. I wish I was brave like you but I’m not. I’m so sorry for letting you down. So, so sorry.”—Sob. Long silence—“I…guess I should hang up. I just… I love you, you know? I guess I’m like that Donne fellow you told me about. Two kinds of fool? But instead of being in love and talking about it in a poem, I’m letting the one I love go. That’s gotta be worse, huh? Take care, Sully. I…uh…

My legs turn to jelly as I listen to the message, and I sink down on the chair and lean my forehead on the kitchen table with a loud groan. When the machine beeps, I rewind the tape and listen to the message again. And again.

I just love you, you know.

I bang my head against the table repeatedly as I listen to it a fourth time, my heart aching more and more for every repeat.

“Ouch,” I yelp after a too hard thump, and rub my sore forehead with fingertips still stiff after the outdoor chill. “And you just had to quote John Donne to me, you dickhead,” I mutter and shove my hands under my thighs so I won’t replay the message a fifth time.

I didn’t even know he paid that much attention to me when I read poetry around him. He’s the kind of person who prefers beer over books and paintball over poetry. He’s constantly in movement even when he’s sitting; legs jiggling or fingers drumming a tattoo on his leg, or he’s tossing and catching with his ever-present baseball.

So to hear that he actually listened to me when I read out loud around him—and poetry no less—prickles my heart. I always thought he was in his own world, not paying much attention to me. He never mentioned it after he caught me doing it the first time.

“You’re reading out loud.” He’d found me with my coffee, a lit candle, and whatever poetry book I’d checked out of the library, the first time he spent the night in my tiny apartment.

He startled me, but I nodded. “Yes. I like to hear the words out loud. Does it bother you?”

“Nah,” he said and kissed me on the mouth, morning breath and all since the sleepover was unplanned and he hadn’t brought a toothbrush.

After that, I continued reading the poems out loud around him, thinking he tuned me out and didn’t pay attention.

Seems I was wrong.

But it wasn’t the only time I was wrong. I also thought that when someone said “I love you,” it meant that they wanted to be with the other person, but that was obviously wrong, too. At least if the person saying the words were named Lou Hillman.

Abruptly, I stand and slam my hand on the delete button, strip out of my running clothes, and jump into the shower.

Mood board:

late night poetry picspiration v2

All I See

“Very short but sweet”

all i see reveiw quote

Theo and Kieran have been together for five years. They’re very happy…behind closed doors. Theo accepted from the start that Kieran isn’t out to his conservative parents and has a lot to lose if they find out about his sexuality.

But a moment of sadness at a wedding changes things. Theo is faced with a decision: live the rest of his life in secret…or break it off.

Or is there a third alternative?

M/M Contemporary / 4633 words 



add to goodreads

“That was when I knew. I would never get to do what Seamus did today. I would never stand up in front of family and friends with stars in my eyes and a trembling voice and say ‘I do.’ At least not with Kieran and he’s the only one I’ve ever wanted, so who else would I do it with?”

“Don’t be sad.” His eyes are pleading with me.

“I’m trying really hard not to be. I want to be happy on Seamus’s wedding day.”

He takes a step forward, definitely standing too close now. “I love you, Theodore,” he rasps.

“I know you do.” My voice is thick, and my chin trembles. The love has never been the issue. He’s not one of those people who has a stunning woman on his arm as cover for his gayness. His excuse for nearing thirty-five without the hint of a girlfriend is that he’s too busy with work. His family believes him because he does work a lot. He isn’t, however, too busy for a relationship considering he spends every free moment in my home. As soon as he steps inside my door, he replaces his well-tailored suit with sweats and a tank top, gives me his full attention, and works hard on winning the boyfriend-of-the-century award. Secret-boyfriend-of-the-century, but still.

Except that we’ve never been on a date. Never walked hand in hand on the street or introduced each other to family and friends or done any of the other things couples do. All our time together is spent behind closed doors where we’re safe from discovery. Where no one can find out his big secret: Kieran O’Riordan is gay. Very gay, as in he loves taking it up the ass.

I understand, though. His family is over-the-top conservative, even Seamus. He’s loyal to me, but I know his parents make it difficult for him to be my friend. They aren’t subtle in their opinions when we meet. To be perfectly honest, I doubt Seamus and I would have become BFFs if we’d met when we were older, and he’d known about my sexuality. He’s not bigoted like the rest of them, but he’s a family man and will do anything to avoid confrontation with his parents.

Like his brother, Kieran loves his family. But knowing they wouldn’t accept who he really is and that he’ll lose them if they find out — at least the parents and the third brother, Liam — makes it an impossible situation for Kieran. And I’m not going to be the one who forces him to choose between us. I’m not.

When he hooks his index finger with mine, I finally lose control over my threatening tears and say the words we both know are true, but that have never been spoken out loud. “I want what Seamus has,” I whisper. “I want to get married, too.”

“I know, baby.” He takes my hand and laces his fingers with mine.

“Don’t!” I try to pull free, but he’s too strong and refuses to let go. “What if someone sees us?” I hiss.


Writing update

“As I write this, I’m at 3415 words, but it’s entirely possible that I’m finished with the story when you read this.”

You know when words you say come back and bite you in the ass? Welcome to my life! 🙂

In my last writing update (November 11) I told you about a short story I’m writing, Late Night Poetry, and that’s when I wrote the words in the beginning of this blog post. Show of hands: how many of you think I was finished when you read that sentence? No one’s holding up their hand? Means all of you are right 😀

Everything just got to me the last quarter of the year: we had so much to do with the move and then settling in here in Sweden in a new town where we’ve never lived before. And then came Christmas.

So I’m still att 3415 words in Late Night Poetry.

Also: since I moved to Sweden something strange has happened. I’ve been a night owl all my life and it’s been a rule rather than an exception that I’ve been awake until at least 4AM. But here in Sweden, I find myself going to bed early, like 11PM and waking up before the morning birds. And while I don’t mind it, per se, it’s thrown off my entire writing routine. I used to start writing at around 8 or 9PM, but I can’t do that now with my new sleeping habits.

So when do I write?

This has thrown me off more than you can imagine, and thoughts like Who am I even anymore? is swirling around my head. I need to figure out a new routine…which is my goal for this week (and maybe next if one week isn’t enough).

So until I have any actual writing progress to report, here’s some picspiration from Late Night Poetry for you.

Tell me: have major changes to your life ever affected you in some unexpected ways?

late night poetry picspiration v2