Life update, blurb turnoffs, and a “bestseller”

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all staying safe and taking care of yourselves and your loved ones! Everything is fine in the Iris household: my husband is working from home and I LOVE having him home. I’m not one of these people who’s like gaaaaah my spouse needs to go back to work or I’ll kill them! On the contrary, I told my husband this morning when we met in the kitchen for coffee/tea break that I’ll be sad when he has to go back and work at the office 🙂

I know I’ve been pretty silent here lately and it’s only been a bunch of promo posts, but I’ve had loots of big crap going on in my life (aside for the whole pandemic thing) so I’ve been really stressed out. Most of it is worked out now, though, so hopefully my life will go back to normal soon. Or at least as normal as it can currently be, of course.

photo_2020-04-24_14-47-04

The weather has been lovely here for several weeks, so I’m spending a lot of time on my patio, enjoying the spring, the sunshine, and the warmth. Sometimes I’m writing (I won’t win Camp NaNoWriMo this year, that’s for sure!), but sometimes I’m just having a pot of tea and keeping in touch with friends and family. Out there, under the clear blue sky, with no social media or news sites open on any of my devices, life feels almost normal.


But no more lingering on the current world situation. Instead I thought I’d tell you about five things in a book blurb that will make me go “NOPE!” and put the book back on its virtual bookshelf and immediately forget about it. In no particular order:

  • “[Name] isn’t looking for love” – this means the character will blow hot and cold and I just want to have sex but no relationship, and there will be some drama around the 75% mark that will make me roll my eyes, and nope. Just nope. All I want is the romance and I want the guys to want the romance, so this is a big no-no for me.
  • The word “misunderstandings” – you know how I feel about misunderstandings by now, right? Talk to each other, people!!
  • “Super muscular alpha jock guy likes to work hard and play hard” – come OOOON! This is so done to death and I just want the shy guy or the chubby guy or the ordinary guy or the nerdy guy or the cute guy or the gamer guy or the femme guy or…you get it…to find love. Basically anything except a chest-pounding alpha male guy. (unless we’re talking shifters and he’s an ACTUAL alpha, then it’s fine! 🙂 )
  • When the blurb is five hundred words long – reading the blurb isn’t supposed to take ten minutes. Keep it short and simple, please!
  • Anything with time limits – and with that I mean vacation romances or the likes. I don’t like the “will their relationship be able to survive when they go back to their normal lives?”-aspect of this trope. I want the “ever after” in the HEA. It’s not called HUTVE (happily until the vacation ends) is it?? 😀

Tell me: what things in a blurb will make you go NOPE! 🙂


I also want to share something awesome with you. Since my publisher and I made All I See free, it’s been climbing the (free) charts at Amazon. Look at this:

all i see ranking

I mean…number 3 in Gay Romance and 432 in the entire free store?? That’s pretty awesome, isn’t it?! These are all the free lists of course, but still!! YAAAY for Theo and Kieran.

all I see promo 2

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 

PERMANENTLY FREE!

DOWNLOAD LINKS

JMS BOOKS | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | KOBO | ITUNES | B&N | SMASHWORDS | SCRIBD
 | GOOGLE PLAY |

Permanently free book and pictures of the ocean

I’ve decided to make my very short story All I See permanently free, so if you haven’t read it, now’s the chance. And tell everyone you know that still haven’t read any of my books and don’t want to spend money on an unknown author: now’s their chance to try my writing without risking anything.

(If you encounter somewhere it isn’t permanently free, tell me and I’ll let my publisher know!)

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 

PERMANENTLY FREE!

DOWNLOAD LINKS

JMS BOOKS | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | KOBO | ITUNES | B&N | SMASHWORDS | SCRIBD
 | GOOGLE PLAY |

Yesterday I was climbing the walls and feeling like a prisoner in my own home. Sweden isn’t on lockdown like many other countries, but most people are listening to the recommendations from the authorities and are staying home anyway. My husband has been working from home for weeks (I love having him home and told him the other day that I’ll miss him when he has to go back to working at the office again) and we don’t go anywhere that’s not necessary, like the grocery store.

But yesterday, I needed to get out of the house.

“Drive me to the ocean,” I said to my husband. “Okay,” he said, and we jumped into the car and drove the ten minutes to a nearby beach. It was windy and chilly and only a handfull other lost souls had the same thought as we; that they needed the breeze and the clear blue skies and the open water. We walked along the water and I took a lot of pictures, and when we returned home I was happy. Lighter. We followed up our walk with a Skype date with a couple of friends in Malaysia, and a glass of red wine in the sunshine on the patio after that. All in all, it ended up being a lovely Sunday afternoon, despite the state of the world.

How are you guys doing?

havet

The lone figure in the lower right corner is my beloved husband ❤️

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 

BUY LINKS / ADD TO GOODREADS

JMS BOOKS | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | KOBO | ITUNES | B&N | SMASHWORDS | SCRIBD
 | GOOGLE PLAY |

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.

 

Wrapping up 2019

In 2019, I’ve had eleven individual releases and my stories have been featured in three anthologies.

Think about that for a minute.

Yes, one book is a re-release, so “only” ten new stories. Two are under 10K words. The longest book is only 34032 words and a collab with Kris T. Bethke so I only wrote about half of those words because she wrote the rest. But it’s still a lot. It’s still 185 685 words in one year.

I wrote and published my first fantasy and paranormal stories in 2019. And my first M/M/M story. I wrote about 40+ characters, about age gap, about a fluffy bunny shifter, about a party boy who wanted more in life. I wrote about a homophobic family and an awesome ex-wife. I wrote about star-crossed lovers and about the fear that can grip you when you’re at risk of losing the love of your life.

All that…and I still found the time to move across the world.

I mean. Look at this:

Nells 2019

So maybe I don’t need to feel bad for not writing much the last three months of the year (because of the move from Malaysia back to Sweden)? And maybe, we can all agree that this many releases in one year is a bit…excessive?

That being said. OH MAH GAWD, I released eleven books this year. How awesome am I?

Have you read them all? Which one was your favorite?

Thank you, all, for this year, I could never do this without you. I hope you will stay with me for the next year, maybe even for the next, new decade.

Happy New Year to you all. Don’t commit to resolutions you’ll break before February, and if you celebrate the coming of 2020 with a glass of champagne, think of me 😉

Buy links:

Awakening & French Songs | Snowed In: Nen and Anani | All I See | Diving In | His Steady Heart | 9 Willow Street | Team Luker | Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings | In My Arms Again | Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings | Four Christmases

Legendary Loves vol 2 | Most Wonderful Time of the Year | 2019 Top Ten Gay Romance

If all you have is a few minutes…

If you’ve followed me for a while, it won’t come as a surprise to you that I LOVE short stories, I have ever since I read Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew in my early teens. There was especially one story in that collection that stuck with me, called Survivor Type. It isn’t long, but in just a few pages Stephen King managed to scare me and gross me out, and I’ve never forgotten it, never forgotten how much punch it packed while still being so short.

That’s why I love writing and reading short stories. I love reading about a slice of life in the characters’ lives. I love being dropped into the thick of things, not knowing what happened before, but learning enough in the short read to be able to enjoy the story.

So, needless to say, I read a lot of short stories. And a lazy Sunday a couple weeks ago, I had a short story marathon, and thought I’d recommend three of them.

The Reasons Why is a wonderful story about an established couple where Eliot is annoyed when he gets home, but Ben reminds him why Eliot loves him so darned much. Chicken Soup is a story about loneliness, but also hope, and the ultimate proof that it only takes 3348 well-written words to make me cry. Honey, I’m Home is another established couple where Gabe realizes he’ll do anything to keep the lovely Ruben.

All three are under 5000 words (like all stories in the JMS Books “Hot Flash” series) so if you only have a few minutes to spare but want to read something great – pick one of these!

hot flash

Buy links: The Reasons Why | Chicken Soup | Honey, I’m Home


The Reasons Why by J.M. Snyder

After a long day at the office, all Eliot Travers wants is a much needed nap before dinner. Which his husband Ben is supposed to make.

But when he gets home, Ben is playing a game on his phone and Eliot doesn’t smell anything cooking in the kitchen. As Eliot’s temper starts to rise, he wants to know what exactly Ben’s been doing all day long.

Ben tells him to look on the table by the stairs, where Eliot finds a note he missed when he came in. A note that reads The Reasons Why I Love YOU.

A second note on the steps leads upstairs. Then Eliot finds a third, and a fourth.


Chicken Soup by Mel Bossa

Though Jimmy’s ill and isn’t getting any better, he hopes to have a bit of fun during Pride weekend. When he meets Nolan, a young dancer in the parade, Jimmy takes a chance on making himself vulnerable for the first time in years.

What Jimmy doesn’t expect is how strong Nolan will make him feel with a simple gesture of support.


Honey, I’m Home by Michael P. Thomas

Loving Ruben Pacheco is easy. He’s sweet, he’s supportive, he keeps the bills paid and plenty of food on the table. Loving living with Ruben’s parents presents more of a challenge. They’re critical, overbearing, and openly rooting for Gabe to go home so Ruben might crawl back into the closet.

Gabe’s in love, but he’s getting annoyed — Ruben’s great and all, but is he worth all the hassle?


I’ve also written one story for the Hot Flash line and since this is my blog, Imma go ahead and do some shameless self promotion. (Since it’s the same cover as the ones above, I’m choosing another graphic instead) 😀

all I see promo 2

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

 BUY LINKS:

JMS BOOKS | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | KOBO | ITUNES | B&N | SMASHWORDS | SCRIBD
 | GOOGLE PLAY |

 

St. Patrick’s Day sale and author takeover, and number 1!

sale

My fabulous publisher JMS Books has a St. Patrick’s Day sale today, all ebooks are 45% off. Clickety-click here to be magically transported to my author page so you can do some shopping.

As usual, pre-orders and new releases are included in the sale, so take this chance to buy my new super short release All I See – which by the way is number one on the Amazon charts as I write this!! – for only 54 cents. Number one, can you imagine?? 😀

all I see number one

Also, don’t forget that I’m going to be at Helena’s Book Haven over on Facebook today to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! 11PM EDT is my time slot. I can also recommend being there for Addison Albright’s takeover. She always has the best posts in takeovers like this. She’ll be there at 2PM EDT.

(Also: Addison’s books are also 45% off today, of course. If you haven’t read Cultivating Love, now’s the time to buy it!!)

helena stpatricksday

All I See – release day

All I see cover screenshot

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

Buy-links / Add to Goodreads

JMS BOOKS | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | KOBO | ITUNES | B&NGoogle Play

add to goodreads

all I see promo 2

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 have never been spoken out loud. “I want what Seamus has,” I whisper. “I want to get married, too.”

“I know, baby.” He 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 don’t care.”

I glare at him. “Of course, you do.”

He shakes his head and grabs my other hand, too. “Not anymore. I also want what Seamus has.” He lowers his head until his mouth is next to my ear. “I want to get married to the love of my life.”

More tears spill down my cheeks. “Don’t toy with me, Kieran. You heard your father. He wants you to find a wife. A wife. Not a flaming gay husband.”

I want a flaming gay husband.” He cups my cheeks. His hands are huge and cover most of my face, and with gentle thumbs, he brushes away the wetness under my eyes. “I want you.”