Awakenings and French Songs, Read Around the Rainbow Web Ring

Read Around the Rainbow: Weird Internet Searches

The second topic for our Read Around the Rainbow webring is Weird Internet Searches. We’ve all done them, right? Googled some weird expression you’ve never heard of, wishing you’d never done it when the search result shows up on your screen, often followed by helpful illustrations that you wish you could unsee, and when you hear a sound in the other end of the house, you slam the laptop shut and hope your significant other doesn’t ask you why you’re so red-faced.

You’ve been there, too, right?

But for authors, it’s our job. When we write about a person who has cancer, we google everything there is to know about cancer treatment, if we write horror, we search for topics like 10 Ways to Kill Someone With A Spatula, and when we write M/M romance, we google stuff like “foam party” and “glory hole etiquette.”

Yes, that last part was me 😆

My book Awakenings & French Songs is about Iggy who has an identity crisis. When the book opens, he’s out celebrating his 36th birthday with his friends, an activity he’d usually enjoy. His friends know him well and took him to a foam party, where he’d would jump around, slide his body against other half naked bodies and do stuff with his hands that we won’t talk about here on the blog 😀

But something is off this time. He’s not enjoying himself, and after spending a couple hours in the bar drinking too much, he hides in the bathroom, where he’s doing some soul searching…but he’s rudely interrupted by an erect penis coming through a gloryhole in the wall 😆

Glory hole illustration of a hole in a brick wall and an emoji eggplant coming out of it. And foam. Made by yours truly 😀

Since I’ve never visited a gloryhole and since I’m not an expert on gloryhole behavior, I didn’t know if it was even considered rude to just stick your junk into the hole without warning, or if that was something you had to be prepared for should you visit such an establishment. So I googled “gloryhole etiquette” and learned that yes, it was considered rude to just stick it in there without a warning.

“Don’t just walk in and shove it through, unless you know there is a bona-fide cum-slut on the other side,” someone writes on Reddit. “Wait for a finger to come through the hole,” WolfDaddy writes in this informative set of instructions, and this blog post agrees; “If you notice another fellow in an adjacent stall, you can initiate contact by wiggling a finger through the hole, which is how you say “hello” in international gloryhole signaling.”

International gloryhole signaling. I’m glad it’s an international language, should the need arise to visit a gloryhole in a foreign country 😆

All jokes aside, I’m glad my research showed that it was rude, or I would’ve had to re-write the scene. And although I google a lot of stuff all the time (and not just for my writing, but for my personal life, too), this is probably the most bizarre thing I’ve ever googled.

Tell me about something weird and wonderful from your google history.

Also, check out my fellow webring authors who write on the same topic. I can’t wait to read about their bizarre internet searches 🙂

A.L. Lester :: Holly Day :: Ofelia Gränd :: K.L. Noone :: Ellie Thomas :: Fiona Glass :: Addison Albright :: Amy Spector

Here’s the scene I wrote that initiated my weird search:

I heave a sigh. I might as well just text the guys and get out of here. I pull my phone from the back pocket of my painted-on jeans and start typing a message to Dylan, when someone, without warning, sticks his erect dick through a dingy-looking, duct-tape lined glory hole I didn’t notice earlier.

The head is dark purple and already glistening, a clear indication that the owner gave themselves a little hand before offering me the treat. How thoughtful.

”Suck me,” he hisses from the other side of the wall.

“What?” My question comes out like an aggressive bark.

“Suck meeeee,” the stranger repeats and waves his cock like it’s a wand, as though he’s Harry freaking Potter trying to cast a spell on me.

“How about checking if I want to first? Ever heard of glory-hole etiquette, asshole?”

”You never say no, Iggy.”

I scowl at the dick as though it can see me. How the fuck does this guy know my name? And while what he said might be true—I’ve been called a slut more than once since I discovered what my cock is for—a little common courtesy never hurt anyone. “Yeah, well, today I do.”

“Don’t be a bitch.”

“Great way of convincing me, dude.”

The erection flags a little and I fight the impulse to flick it and force it back to where it came from. Someone give me a medal for my restraint!

“Come on,” the guy whines.

Whining. A huge turn-on. Not. I roll my eyes.

“You don’t even have to get down on your knees. Just toddle over here on your short, little legs and put your mouth on my meat.”

That’s it. I’m leaving. As I unlock the door and exit the stall, I curl my hand into a fist and slam it hard against Dick-Dude’s door when I pass it. “Making fun of my height. Very original. And attractive.”

An existential awakening and lots of French chansons equal a favorite neighbor seen in a new light.

Iggy Wilker never expected his 36th birthday to turn into an existential crisis. When Iggy’s friends celebrate him with his usual favorite pastime—drinking, dancing, and willing guys—he suddenly wants nothing to do with any of it. He’s fed up and ready for something else. The question is what?

Ronan Clenney has had his eye on his neighbor forever, but as a single father of a precocious eleven-year-old, he’s never believed he stands a chance. But over a late-night cup of tea, it seems that circumstances have changed. Is this the right time, finally?

Iggy has never believed in romance, but can Ronan show him he’s wrong? That love is a real thing?

M/M Contemporary / 11 120 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Universal Buy Link

9 Willow Street, All I See, Awakenings and French Songs, Family Found Series, His Steady Heart, In My Arms Again, JMS Trio Collection, My Books, Nell Iris' Christmas, Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings, Snowed In: Nen and Anani, Team Luker, Top Ten Anthology

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

Awakenings and French Songs, Coming Soon, Top Ten Anthology

2019 Top Ten Gay Romance

I have some happy news!! My story Awakenings & French Songs has been popular enough this last year since its release to be included in the upcoming 2019 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology that will be released in December by my fabulous publisher JMS Books. Just look at the adorbs, super cute cover of the anthology below, and you’ll have no trouble understanding why I’m walking around looking like a heart-eye emoji! 🙂

WIHOOOOOOOO *imagine a happy-dancing, confetti-throwing, champagne-drinking Nell Iris here*

awakenings and top ten

Me, Iggy and Ronan are very happy about this, and we’re in excellent company. Here’s a list of all the stories included in this fabulous anthology:

  1. Snowed In: Jonah and Cooper by Kris T. Bethke
  2. Awakenings and French Songs by Nell Iris
  3. More Than Summer by Shawn Lane
  4. Back from the Future by JL Merrow
  5. I Thee Wed by A.R. Moler
  6. Home Coming by Elizabeth Noble
  7. Sound the Fairy Call by K.L. Noone
  8. Saved by Sam by Deirdre O’Dare
  9. The Amulet by Pelaam
  10. Truck Me All Night Long by J.D. Walker

top ten gay romance x3

Something even more amazing is that this is the third year in a row that one of my stories are featured in these Top Ten anthologies, and I’m really happy and honored. So a huge, heart-felt Thank you to all you fabulous people out there making this possible. Without you, I wouldn’t be here ❤️

The release date for the 2019 edition of the Top Ten anthology will be released on December 28, and I will post pre-order/buy links as soon as they are available.

If you can’t wait that long to read a fabulous collection of short stories, may I suggest you check out the 2017 and 2018 editions? My very first published story Unconditionally is featured in the 2017 edition, and my best-selling book of all times (up to the day I’m writing this) Unexpected Christmas is featured in the 2018 edition. Both of those stories are in excellent company, and if you need an added incentive (other than my stories that is) to buy either of them, Beau and the Beast by Rick R. Reed (featured in 2017) and Leather and Tea by K.L. Noone (in 2018) are two excellent stories, worthy of your attention!

Thank you again. You rock!! ❤️



Awakenings and French Songs


“This book wasn’t about passion or need. It was more of a discovery of wants and hopes.”

awakeningsAn existential awakening and lots of French chansons equal a favorite neighbor seen in a new light.

Iggy Wilker never expected his 36th birthday to turn into an existential crisis. When Iggy’s friends celebrate him with his usual favorite pastime—drinking, dancing, and willing guys—he suddenly wants nothing to do with any of it. He’s fed up and ready for something else. The question is what?

Ronan Clenney has had his eye on his neighbor forever, but as a single father of a precocious eleven-year-old, he’s never believed he stands a chance. But over a late-night cup of tea, it seems that circumstances have changed. Is this the right time, finally?

Iggy has never believed in romance, but can Ronan show him he’s wrong? That love is a real thing?

M/M Contemporary / 11 120 words



add to goodreads

Awakenings quote review quote

There’s also a short Valentine’s Day story about Iggy and Ronan you can read after you’ve read the book here on the blog


We do this a lot, me and Ronan, hang out together without talking, sometimes with music playing, sometimes not. It’s never uncomfortable, I never feel the need to talk just for the sake of talking. I can relax in his company in a way I’m unable to around anyone else. I’ve come to cherish these moments and I crave them more and more.

“Thanks for this,” I say after a few minutes.

“Anytime. Tell me about the ‘eh’ night.”

I sigh and rub my palm on my head. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“Who says something’s wrong?”

“It must be, right? I don’t like doing the stuff I’ve always loved anymore. The guys brought me to a huge party tonight. I’m not kidding when I say ten guys threw themselves at me during the first hour. And what did I do? Declined their generous offers, drank sugary drinks, and hid in the bathroom where Dicky Potter tried to get me to suck his cock by waving it in my face and insulting my height.”

“Oh, no! Not your height,” he says with a faux horrified expression. “He must’ve had a death wish.”

“Ha ha, very funny.” I throw a mock glare at him. He knows that being vertically challenged is a sore spot for me, but he’s the only one who can get away with making fun of it. Also, anyone with two brain cells can probably figure out why I wear boots that add four inches. Hint—it’s not for comfort.

“And…Dicky Potter?” He rises an eyebrow.

“Yeah, you know. He waved that thing at me as though he tried to Wingardium Leviosa me.” I show the motion I’ve learned from the movies with my finger.

Ronan presses the heels of his hands to his eyes and his shoulders shake.

“What’s so damned funny?”

“I shouldn’t have let you watch Harry Potter with Emery and me. I will never be able to look at them again without thinking about Dicky Potter,” he chokes out between chuckles. “And then Emery is going to ask what’s so funny, and—”

“Stop!” I hold up my hand. “Not another word!” My eyes are about to bug out of my head at the thought of sweet Emery hearing about that. Ugh. I shiver.

He peers at me and we burst out laughing.

The silence returns after our merriment fades. A new song starts playing on the stereo. A haunting violin and a lonely piano is followed by a guy singing. His voice is so full of emotion, I can’t help wondering what he’s singing about. The words hit me right in the heart and make my chest ache with loneliness. A lump appears in my throat and I swallow to keep it from spilling out of my mouth.

I can feel Ronan’s eyes on me. Can he see my weird mood? The shine in my eyes caused by French words sung with a desperation I’ve never heard before? I suck in my lower lip to stop my chin from trembling.

“Would you like more tea?” Ronan’s voice is soft, as though he’s addressing a scared kitten.

I don’t trust my own voice, so I nod. The familiarity of his movements when he fixes my tea reassures me. The care in which he adds loose tea leaves to the infuser and pours water of just the right temperature over them. The way he patiently waits three minutes while it steeps. The gentle smile he gives me as he sets the mug in front of me.

The French guy agitates my heart with his singing, and Ronan calms it with his kindheartedness. The contrasts are intense, making my skin feel too snug for my body, my chest tight, and my stomach worried. My pulse flutters in my neck, and I worry that Ronan will see it. I don’t know what to do with myself.


Awakenings and French Songs, Sale, Super Short

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I thought we’d celebrate with a book sale (details about the sale is at the end of the post) and a short story featuring two guys you know by now: Iggy and Ronan from Awakenings & French Songs.

I hope you all have a great day, and I hope that you enjoy this little sneak peek into Iggy and Ronan’s future. ❤️

Valentine’s Day & French Songs

“What’s all this?”

Ronan’s voice startles me out of my close inspection of our dinner table, and I squint at him. “What does it look like?” I bark, cross my arms over my chest, trying to hide the nervous flutter in my stomach.

He steps closer to the table; his eyes taking in the flickering tea lights, the fancy place settings with the huge red wine glasses he loves so much, and the bottle of Bordeaux decanting in his Grandmother’s old crystal carafe. There are no roses though, I draw the line at clichés such as roses and heart-shaped chocolate.

“It looks like a romantic dinner.” He steps closer to me, nudging my shoulder with his arm. “But that can’t be it, can it? Surely Iggy Wilker wouldn’t do something as banal as a romantic dinner for his partner on Valentine’s Day?” He clutches a strand of imaginary pearls and flutters his eyelashes.

“Shut up,” I grumble and slide my hand around his waist, burying my nose in his upper arm and inhale his scent.

“If I remember what you told me last year correctly,” he continues and flings his arm around my shoulders, “the only way Iggy Wilker, gay party-boy extraordinaire, will ever spend Valentine’s Day is with go-go boys in red skimpy underwear or giving head in a public bathroom.”

I tilt my head back and shoot him a glare. But the impish look in his eyes tell me he’s enjoying himself far too much and there’s only one way to shut him up. So I reach up, cup the back of his head, pull him down, and kiss him.

It’s hot and wet and eager and dueling tongues and clashing lips, and my knees go weak when he moans.

When I pull back, his eyes pupils are blown, his lips puffy, and his mouth stretched in a wide, sunny smile. He wraps his arms around me and crushes me against his body.

I cuddle close, resting my cheek on his chest. The beat of his heart is strong and steady in my ear. His hands wander up and down my spine and he presses a kiss on the top of my head.

“I did it for you,” I blurt.


“This. I did it for you. Because I’d do anything for you, even celebrate fucking Valentine’s Day.”

“Oh Iggy,” he says in a shaky voice and tightens his grip on me.

I look up and meet his gaze. “I wanted to do something special since Emery is with Maya.”

He meets my gaze and cradles my face in his hands. “Every day with you is special.”

“You’re a sap.” I rise to my toes and brush my lips against his before letting him go and pulling out a chair. He sits. and then knits his eyebrows together as though he just thought of something. “You didn’t cook, did you?” he asks with alarm in his voice, peering out into the kitchen.

I chuckle. “Honey, no. I’m trying to wine and dine you. Not burn our house down and poison you.”

He laughs, eyes crinkling with happiness and glittering with mirth, making my heart stutter in my chest.

“Pour us some wine and I’ll go get the food,” I say.

On the way to the kitchen, I press play on the stereo. A moment later, I rejoin the love of my life, hands laden with food, accompanied by Edith Piaf singing Je ne regrette rien.

I couldn’t agree more.

vday sale

All ebooks are 40% off at JMS Books thru Monday, even pre-orders. So if you want to buy cheap books, click here to get to my author page.