Free Book Alert: Taking Flight by A.L.Lester

A.L. Lester visits the blog today, bringing gifts in the form of a free book! Taking Flight is currently free over at Amazon, so make sure to clickety-click the link…but only after you’ve read the post. You don’t want to miss the gruesome details of the Welsh myth that inspired this story! 🙂

A Free Queer Celtic Myth. Resurrection Cauldron Not Included.

Taking Flight is one of my Celtic Myth collection of short stories/novellas and is free from 7th to 9th March. Thanks so much for letting me pop in and tell your readers all about it!

Taking Flight is drawn over a story from the Mabinogion, a book of Welsh folk tales. It’s about Brânwen, sister of King Brân of Wales. Her brother marries her off to Matholwch, King of Ireland, but the marriage goes bad, because Bran and Branwen’s half-brother Efnysien is angry that he wasn’t consulted about the wedding and cuts off all King Matholwch’s horses’ eyelids during the wedding feast as revenge. Just your average nightmare party guest.

The marriage goes ahead despite this; but once they are back in Ireland the disapproval of his people becomes too much and Matholwch banishes Brânwen to the kitchens where she is beaten daily by the butcher. She tames a starling and sends it with a message to her brother for help. He comes to rescue her with an army and there are various battles and unsuccessful negotiations and Efnysien turns up again making trouble by throwing Brânwen’s son into a fire but then bravely destroying a resurrection cauldron and killing some warriors hiding in flour bags to redeem himself. It’s one of those stories where everybody dies… Brânwen kills herself and Brân is killed in battle but his head keeps giving his seven remaining warriors good advice until they bury it at the Tower of London.

It’s all a bit gruesome, but I knew I wanted to write about the starling part of the story and make the bird in to a person. To begin with I was trying to hitch him up with Brân, but then I realised that it would be a better story if it centered around the Brânwen character, who is very much an object to be moved around in the original legend and is very much not so in my own version.

I’ve also cut out the child-murder, the horse-disfigurement, the battles and the resurrection cauldron. Sorry.

Branwyn’s grave is supposed to be at Llanddeusant on the Isle of Anglesey and the discovery of a high-status Bronze Age mound there is a possible root of the legend. Welsh folk stories were passed down orally for centuries before being written in the Mabinogion in the thirteenth century.

Taking Flight

Gwyn is trying to balance his business aims with his desire to leave the Kings of Ireland hotel. He honestly thought Mal knew he was trans before they hooked up. It takes a blow to the face in front of all the kitchen staff before he reaches his own personal line in the sand and leaves with the help of Darren. Could the delicate pull of attraction between them grow into something stronger?

If you’d like another free Celtic Myth short story, A Wing and a Prayer (3.500 words) is free when you join my newsletter. The other stories are all just over ten thousand words, which makes them long for a short story and short for a novella. ‘Novellette’ sounds like they should be about Victorian maidens though, and they’re not! They are all based on at least a seed of some sort of myth from the wild edges of Europe; Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the Isle of Man, our Celtic west. There are a lot of saint’s stories to pick from and tales that were probably passed down orally before writing was common. There are currently five stories that are all in KU and usually priced at $1.99.

About A. L. Lester

Writer of queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense, mostly. Lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, a terrifying cat, some poultry. Likes gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy. Not musical. Doesn’t much like telly. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has tedious fits.

Facebook Group : Mastodon : Twitter : Newsletter (free story) : Website : Link-tree for everywhere else


New Release Spotlight: Gentlemen in Love Box Set by Ellie Thomas

Thank you so much, lovely Nell, for having me as a guest on your blog today. I’m Ellie, and I write MM Historical Romance novellas. I’m popping in today to chat about Gentlemen in Love, a Regency Box Set containing six of my previously published stories.

What makes a Regency romance distinctive? Of course, the historical setting of late 18th and early 19th century England dictates that to a degree. But there are also familiar themes that readers recognise and enjoy. It is a period when romantic love became a popular idea, which resonates with us today. There are also distinct differences, as this was a society with strongly demarked social boundaries and where etiquette was all-important. Also, it was a time when love between two men was illegal, which lends an extra poignancy to MM Regency romance.

Regency romance tends to be set in the ballrooms, country house parties and fashionable resorts of the period where romance blossoms between couples of the same class and financial circumstances or those who dare to cross the social divide.

Together with social hurdles, there can be personal reservations about romance. In A Christmas Cotillion, while trying to behave as the perfect guest at a country house party, my MC Jonathan gradually comes to terms with past losses to allow his attraction to flourish for local squire’s son Nick.

In The Thrill of the Chase, gentle Adrian is escorting his cousins to the fashionable resort of Cheltenham while countering the unsubtle advances of Regency rake, Guy. I enjoyed how Guy’s unabashed sexuality played out amongst the customary soirees in various ballrooms and assembly rooms, with Adrian’s rabbit-in-the-headlights reaction to such shamelessness.

For the setting of A Marriage for Three, it’s money, power and class as well as lack of prospects for women which informs this story. Charlotte might be an independent young woman, determined to support her family as much as her two adult brothers, but her career prospects are minimal. A practical offer of marriage from Anthony, a close friend of the family and wealthy landowner, becomes her only option, despite the fact he’s in a long-term relationship with his steward Simon. It was interesting to explore the dynamic between these three people as emotional equals as they work out their unconventional future as a family.

There’s also a sense of class difference in One Summer Night, where middle-class civil servant Martin has a passionate encounter with aristocratic Will. Martin gradually realises that Will exists in a gilded cage, his circumstances dictated by his politically ambitious father, who just happens to be Martin’s department superior. With a fake engagement between Will and his childhood friend Imogen thrown into the mix, there’s a wealth of misinterpretations for my couple to untangle before reaching an understanding.

Manners and mores also influence A Midwinter Night’s Magic and Shore Leave. For Matthew in A Midwinter Night’s Magic, a careless acceptance to a Christmas country house party leads to him being stranded due to bad weather with his despised ex-lover Crispin while being forced to participate in amateur dramatics. It’s little wonder that some Shakespearian magic is required to bring the warring couple to reconcile.

Shore Leave is also impelled by the workings of polite society in the popular resort of Bath, where Naval Lieutenant Jacob steers his younger sister through the social round and encounters seasoned exquisite Sebastian. But when it comes to matters of the heart, Sebastian is less forthcoming, and both men have to work at turning this attraction into a fully-fledged romance.


In Regency England, whether about their daily business in London, attending a country house party or visiting a fashionable spa town, an array of gentlemen meet their match and attain a happy ever after.

Some couples find new love, while others rekindle a long-lost spark in this collection of six light-hearted MM Regency romances from Ellie Thomas, containing the following stories:

A Christmas Cotillion: Thirty-year-old Jonathan Cavendish has long given up any thought of romance. He grudgingly accompanies younger cousin Freddy to a Christmas country house party, as Freddy is infatuated with the lovely Belinda.

To his surprise, Jonathan catches the eye of Nick, a local farmer’s son. The initial attraction seems to be mutual, but can Nick break through Jonathan’s defences and teach him to love again?

A Marriage for Three: When Anthony Wallace proposes to Charlotte Grenville, she is shocked. Lottie has always seen him as an older brother, and she is also aware of his romantic devotion to his Anglo-Indian estate manager, Simon Walker. Should she accept this financial arrangement merely to support her ailing family? And will her growing attraction to Simon be a threat to all their happiness?

A Midwinter Night’s Magic: Matthew Lewis is trapped at a Christmas country house party by snowy weather and forced to take part in a reading of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. To make things worse, his lost love Crispin Marley, to whom he has sworn undying hatred, is among the guests. Can some fairy magic from Puck help the estranged couple to make amends for once and all?

The Thrill of the Chase: In 1813, when modest Adrian Lethbridge visits fashionable Cheltenham to help launch his young cousins into society, to his surprise, he catches the roving eye of Captain Guy Ransome. The ex-army officer is everything Adrian yearns to be; devilishly handsome, experienced and confident. So Adrian is in disbelief that the attraction is mutual. But can he summon the courage to act on his desires?

One Summer Night: After a passionate encounter with a stranger in an alleyway one summer night in 1801, Whitehall clerk Martin Dunne is shocked when he encounters the object of his desire at a society function, complete with a powerful father and a pretty bride-to-be. Is his seducer not to be trusted? And have Martin’s dreams of future encounters and possible romance crumbled to nothing?

Shore Leave: Jacob Longley, Naval Lieutenant, is all at sea in the fashionable Bath Spa. As he attempts to steer his younger sister Letty through the social whirl with a close eye on her reputation, his striking looks can’t help but catch the attention of the exquisite Sebastian Fforde. Will either man break through the other’s reserve? And could their mutual attraction blossom into love?


Excerpt from A Christmas Cotillion:

Mr Hammond’s chance came when Jonathan was on the dance floor, already partnered for the next dance. Belinda, for once, was unaccompanied but still standing up, as though eager to join in. Mr Hammond was near her, but unfortunately looking in the other direction.

Jonathan glanced over in helpless frustration, not wanting to abandon his young dance partner in the middle of the floor just as the music was about to start. As he again looked from one to the other, he caught the eye of the handsome farmer’s son. He was serving refreshments amongst those who had taken part in the last set of dances. He followed his direction of Jonathan’s scrutiny clearly with a sharply raised eyebrow.

As if receiving intelligence, he nodded at Jonathan decisively, put down his tray on a side table and eased the few yards through the gaggle of couples approaching the dance floor and tapped Mr Hammond on the shoulder.

Luckily, just then the music started and Jonathan saw his expressive face indicating a social dilemma. He nodded towards Belinda and then pointed to the momentarily abandoned tray as if explaining why he could not partner the young lady for himself. When all had been made clear to Mr Hammond, he received a grateful smile from the young man, as though Mr Hammond was doing the favour. He then turned back to collect the tray and offered the contents to the thirsty crowd.

It was neatly done, with Mr Hammond now obliged by his very good manners to ask the young lady to dance. Mr Hammond braced himself and made his way to Belinda, face flushed with embarrassment as though expecting a rebuff. Instead, he received her hand and a warm smile. Jonathan didn’t realize he was holding his breath until the couple reached the floor, unimpeded.

After a hectic country dance, Jonathan and his puffing partner retired from the fray. He was satisfied to see Mr Hammond and Belinda remain on the floor for the next set of dances, now conversing with apparent ease. As he looked at this with a feeling of pleasure, a glass of sparkling wine was placed in his hand with a murmured, “That was a good notion.”

He looked around in surprise to see the farmer’s son right next to him. Close up, his eyes were very blue indeed and his wide mouth was curved in that increasing familiar smile. Jonathan felt as tongue-tied as Mr Hammond had been previously in Belinda’s presence as he stiffly thanked the young man for his assistance. He seemed unfazed by Jonathan’s constraint.

“Just call me Cupid, or rather Nicholas, or even Nick, if you prefer,” he said with another dazzling grin, before turning gracefully to serve refreshments to the guests behind Jonathan.

Book Links

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Books2Read


Ellie Thomas lives by the sea. She comes from a teaching background and goes for long seaside walks where she daydreams about history. She is a voracious reader especially about anything historical. She mainly writes historical gay romance.

Ellie also writes historical erotic romance as L. E. Thomas.

Twitter: @e_thomas_author


New Release Spotlight: Batshit Bassel by Holly Day

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

Buy links:

JMS Books :: Amazon


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.

Connect with Holly on social media:

Website :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest :: BookBub :: Goodreads :: Newsletter :: TikTok

About Nell

Goodbye February

February was the month I kept a close eye on the sky, watching for the light that was supposed to return. And it wasn’t a promising beginning…

…because snow. Yes, I know. It wasn’t much. And it melted and disappeared pretty much the next day. But still. It was disheartening and made me wanna crawl into bed, pull the blanket over my head, and go into hibernation with the bears and the hedgehogs.

But I didn’t. Instead, I lit some candles and planted my ass in front of the kitchen fire. There’s probably a cup of tea somewhere in the vicinity, too.

One Saturday in early February, we had a couple of friends over for dinner, drinks, and dancing. (Oh-em-gee, so much dancing.) Among other things, I made this caramelized shallot and thyme galette which tasted divine, and it’s basically the only picture I took the whole evening that’s fit for public consumption. I’m not going to post a photo of all the bubbly bottles we emptied, or any the shaky videos of us jumping around and “singing” along to 80s synth hits until 3am as though we were eighteen again. I’m not going to post a picture of our tired faces at the breakfast table the next day and I’m not going to tell you that I fell asleep on the couch as soon as the guests had the good grace to leave the next day.

Instead, we’re going to pretend that the rest of the evening was as refined and cultured as this Fancy French Galette™️. Right? Right. 😆

I told you I’ve been keeping an eye on the sky for the entire month and even though it doesn’t feel like it, the camera roll on my phone tells me there’s been a lot of pretty skies for me to photograph. Like this one, which welcomed me home from work, giving me hope that the light was actually on its way back.

I told you in January that I’ve decided to learn how to crochet, and I’ve continued that project in February. I’ve started a shawl (not in the picture) and I’ve made a few different bookmarks because they’re little things I can finish quickly and practice different patterns. I’m practicing how to make star granny squares, and I have lots of ideas and projects I wanna make. I love crocheting. I didn’t think it was going to be so much fun!

And then it was Valentine’s Day. We don’t do V-day in our house; we love and appreciate each other every day, not just on the one decided by commerce. But I admit I wasn’t upset about the yummy vaniljhjärtan (vanilla heart pastries) we got for fika at the office on V-day. I could’ve done without the heart-shaped balloons in the break room, though. 😆

One morning I refilled one of my long-neglected fountain pens and decided to write by hand again, instead of trying to do it on the computer. I don’t even know why I’m trying to write my first drafts on my laptop; pen-and-paper style is so much better for me. More inspiring. More fun. So I wrote a good chunk of words in my current WIP called Meeting Lucky.

And then it was time for more fika. Fat Tuesday means semlor (read more about it here) in Sweden and who am I to break with tradition? I chased the hubby away to the bakery and told him not to come home without at least one semla, and he returned with two…and a chocolate cupcake for himself because he’s not a fan of semlor. Well, I am…so I ate his, too 😆

Ever since I bought the bookshelves for my office, I’ve been on a book-buying-spree so the shelves won’t be so empty and sad. This is February’s book haul: it’s a nice stack and I’m itching to read all of them.

And then on the last day of February, I looked up and realized the migrating birds were back and the sky was bright and pink at seven am.

It’s here. The light. It’s here to stay.


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.

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