Holly Day is back on the blog! Yay! I scheduled this post before breakfast, which was a mistake because the excerpt she’s included made me hungry! Peanut soup, yum! It also made me want to read this book, so when I’m done here, I’m going to go one-click it, and I hope you’ll do the same. Oh, and btw, Holly. Never mind the Nutella incident. I’m over it, we’re fine. Just don’t do it again! 😆
Hello, everyone! Thank you, lovely Nell, for allowing me back on the blog. We’re gonna talk soups today. I’m aware of having harmed our friendship by bringing up Nutella in a less favourable way (but seriously, Nutella!?!) the last time I was here, so we’re gonna stick to a safer topic this month. Soup.
I wrote Batshit Bassel to celebrate Soup it Forward Day. It’s a day that was founded by the Soup Sisters who give soup to the homeless and other people in need. Soup it Forward Day isn’t about soup kitchens, though. The purpose of the day is to give a loved one a bowl of therapeutic soup. A warm bowl of love. Because sometimes there’s a need.
Bassel is a psychic. Though he’s not your everyday psychic. His mum was a precog and his dad was an empath. They never should’ve had a child. In this world, psychics mate with shifters, not with other psychics. The result is that Bassel has no control over his powers.
He gets premonitions on occasion, though he can never predict the timeframe or if it’ll happen at all. He’s more in tune with his empathic side, though he has no control over that either. Sometimes another person’s emotions wash over him, and sometimes they don’t.
Bassel has come to terms with never being able to perform miracles. He doesn’t have to, he has soup. And as long as you have soup…
He owns a food cart, and every day he has two different kinds of soups for sale. When he feels that someone struggles emotionally, he gives them a steaming bowl and a chair to sit on, and then he listens. He’s convinced he can make the world a better place, one bowl at a time. It might not be a miracle, but love goes a long way.
I loved writing this one! It’s all cosy soups and a bear shifter because we have to have a love interest, right? The love affair can’t be between Bassel and his soups. So we have Thor who owns the nightclub next to where Bassel is selling his soup.
Thor lost his sister a couple of months ago, and as a result, he’s now the guardian of his nephew. Thor has no idea how to create stability for a child. He works all the time, and into the early morning hours. It’s not an ideal situation. But then there is Bassel. Crazy Bassel with his soups.
When the nephew starts spending his time by the soup stand, Thor has to rethink what he knows about Bassel, though. Maybe he’s not as crazy as everyone thinks, and maybe he’s just what Thor needs.
If you’re hungry, give it a go! 😁
Some people perform miracles, others serve soup.
Bassel Uxium will never save the world. He doesn’t have the skill. He’s the product of his parents’ sin, a psychic with no control over his powers. But he can serve soup, and soup works wonders in its own way. He isn’t bitter about it. Some people create miracles, others give a frozen soul a warm bowl of love.
Thor Espen’s life changed in a heartbeat. A few months ago, his sister died, and he became the guardian of his nephew. His life isn’t fit for a child. He’s the owner of a nightclub, and his schedule doesn’t leave room for a cub. When his nephew starts spending time with the weird soup guy with the food cart outside his club, he allows it.
Bassel aches for the little boy who is cloaked in grief and tries to ease his sorrows with soup, one bowl at a time. He aches for Thor too, but in a different way. Thor should focus on work, but he can’t get Bassel out of his head. Can a bear shifter and a defective psychic have something together, or will the budding relationship turn to ashes, along with Bassel’s predictions of a fire?
Paranormal Gay Romance / 20,177 words
It was a cold day. The morning air misted around Bassel as he breathed. Today’s soup selection was a vegetarian African peanut soup he’d never served before, and an Italian meatball soup with tomatoes and noodles.
The first customer had yet to arrive, and he stirred the containers and breathed in the day. Something was niggling at the back of his mind, a foreboding. The creeping feeling overtook his muscles, and the cold, calm morning transformed into something he couldn’t put words to.
Seconds bled into minutes and nothing changed. He moved around, rubbed his neck, and rolled his shoulders.
A surprised sound escaped him as he focused on the woman in front of him. “Good morning.”
“What do you have today?”
Soup. Right, he was selling soup. It was his life’s mission, not to try to understand what was happening in the universe. He plastered on a smile. He didn’t get any emphatic clues of how the woman was feeling, but she looked content if a bit stressed. She had bought from him before and had never stood out.
“Vegetarian African peanut soup and Italian meatball soup.”
“Peanut soup? You can make peanut soup?”
He smiled. “There is more in it than peanuts. It’s tomato, chickpeas, kale, sweet potato, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, stock, and some peanut butter, of course.”
“Do they have peanuts in Africa?”
Bassel took a deep breath. He should have learned by now not to use countries or continents in the recipe names, but he’d found it online, and it was called African peanut soup. “Yes, ma’am, peanuts grow well in Africa.”
She pursed her lips. “I thought they were American.”
He smiled, but on the inside, he was sighing. “So what do you say? Some peanut soup?”
“Yes, please.” She chuckled a little as he poured the soup, but he had no interest in continuing the conversation. Something was going to happen. He didn’t know what, but the something’s-wrong feeling increased by the second, and he needed her away from there.
She paid and left, but the sense of relief he’d hoped for didn’t come. He stomped his feet, shifted his weight, and cracked his neck.
“Giving in to the ticks, Batshit?”
The hyena was walking past the food cart. What was he doing here this early? Normally, he didn’t arrive until it was time for Bassel to pack up. He’d been early yesterday too, though not this early.
Before Bassel could think of a reply, he smelled smoke. It was thick enough for him to cough, and he rushed away from the cart. It had to come from behind Come Inside. “Fire!”
He ran. Past the hyena who stared at him as if he was off his rocker, and it wasn’t until he’d rounded the old brick building he realized he probably was. For him to be suffocating on smoke, there should be smoke, and he couldn’t see the tiniest little plume.
The hyena’s laugh followed him as he disappeared through the back door of Come Inside, making Bassel’s face heat. There was no fire.
He could still smell the smoke, thick enough to make his eyes tear up—or maybe it was humiliation. To be certain, he walked into the area behind Come Inside. He checked the area where the trash cans were and peeked into an open shed with a motorcycle and a kids’ bike—had to be Dag’s.
Nothing was burning, there was no smoke, and he had kangaroos in the top paddock. He wished they were real. He’d never seen kangaroos in real life.
“Are you okay?”
Wonder mixed with humiliation. It was clear he wasn’t all there today since he didn’t notice when people approached him. Case in point, here was the bear. “I’m fine.”
He didn’t meet his gaze since it was clear he was raving mad and not fine.
“Ed said you smelled fire.”
The bear took a step closer, and Bassel forgot how to breathe. The emotions in his chest went from anxious and scared to hot and needy. He could feel the bear’s lips on his, his tongue tangling with his, and he moaned.
A look of concern overtook the bear’s face, and he stepped closer as if prepared to catch Bassel should he faint. Bassel wasn’t about to faint. He too stepped closer and wrapped his arms around the bear’s neck. He pressed his body against his, went up on tiptoe, and brushed his lips over the mouth dropped open in a stunned expression.
That’s when he stilled. It wasn’t how it was supposed to be. His brain provided him with a sensory replay of being pressed against the brick wall and kissed hungrily.
He froze, only to scramble backward the next second. “Sorry, wrong timeline.”
Oh, God, could this day get any worse?
The bear stared at him. “Wrong timeline?”
Bassel rubbed his face. “Ah, yeah, in the future. But it might not happen.”
A small smile played on his lips. “I think it happens.”
Bassel hadn’t known his face could feel as if it was burning. “Erm… It was not how it was supposed to happen. You’re to be the aggressor, not me. And it’ll be against the wall.” He motioned to the building.
The bear’s eyes grew wide.
“Don’t worry, it might not happen.”
“The more you say that the more I’m gonna worry it won’t.”
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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