Book Recommendations

5 Books to Look Forward to in December

December is right around the corner and I actually have a bunch of days off from the Day Job around Christmas, so I’m in the process of filling up my virtual book shelf so I have something to read when I can spend my days on the couch in front of the fire, drinking tea immersed in a good book.

There are five upcoming JMS Books releases I have my eye on, and I thought I’d share, if you’re also on the lookout for something to read.

  • The Scent of Pine is Holly Day’s 12th release this year (wohoooo, such great work my friend) and it sounds like a lot of fun, and the MCs sound like they’re the kind of quirky characters Holly writes so well.
  • December with Peppermint is a sequel to October by Candlelight that I read and loved and gushed about here. And you know I’m a huuuuuge fan of K.L. Noone so I can’t wait to get my greedy hands on this one.
  • The Music Box by Kassandra Lea is a re-release that I’ve read and loved before but I’ve never spoken about it because it was released by Dreamspinner Press. As you may know DSP has a history of not paying their authors, so I’ve been reluctant to promote them. So I’m extra happy to see this book being released by another press so I can finally talk about it, because it’s awesome.
  • I’ve had the good fortune to read an early version of Yule Be Naughty by my dear friend Kris T. Bethke. It’s a tale of kinky shifters, something we definitely need in December as opposed to all the wholesome family fun we’re supposed to engage in 🙂
  • Ellie Thomas is rapidly making her way into my list of favorite authors, so I really look forward to A Midwinter Night’s Magic. She had me at “the guests are expected to take part in a recital of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Christmas Day” in the blurb, because I adoooore A Midsummer Night’s Dream. So adding this to my cart is a no-brainer.

Doesn’t that sound like a lovely stack of books to read on my lazy days off in December?

Tell me, what releases are you looking forward to?

About Nell, Book Recommendations

The Perfect Sunday™ 

Happy Sunday, everyone. I’ve decided that today will be The Perfect Sunday™ because wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to do any of the boring adulting stuff and could just indulge in things that make up happy? So in that perfect world, my Perfect Sunday™ would look like this:

(Oh, and a caveat: this is The Perfect Sunday™ for November. If you ask me in July, it’ll look completely different.)

The Perfect Sunday: a Moodboard. I should’ve added a rain cloud because rain will preferably smatter on my roof.

Warm sweaters, fuzzy socks, bowls of soup and cups of tea. Candles and music and books. Of course books, because without books, it wouldn’t be perfect. It would be a perfectly ordinary good day, but we’re striving for perfection today, and books are necessary for perfection. And on days like today, when I just want to wrap myself in warm, cozy things, I’ve decided that re-reading titles from my Goodreads feelgood-shelf is in order. So on this Perfect Sunday, I’ll be reading either of these:

Four titles from my Goodreads re-read feelgod shelf.

Fluff and romance, my two favorite things in books. Fluff and romance make my soul feel good, sort of like tea and a fireplace make my body feel good.

So there you have it. My recipe for a perfect Sunday. Now, if all of you could keep your fingers crossed that my day will actually turn out like this, I’d be grateful. ❤️

Tell me: what would your perfect Sunday look like?

Book Recommendations

Ode to the Short Story

I love short stories. You all know I love writing them, but I love reading them even more. They’re perfect if you’re impatient like me and don’t want to wait five hundred pages for the HEA 😁 Or for when you don’t have much time, but still want to read something. And this last part, is what I’m going to write about today.


stagestruck

My alarm goes off at 5am on the mornings I need to go into the office to work the Day Job (Tues thru Thurs), and one morning, I simply didn’t want to get out of bed. I knew I had to, I knew I needed to brush my hair, put on a bra, eat breakfast, and leave for the train on time, but this particular morning, I didn’t want to. Kind of like a toddler who refuses to do what their parent wants them to do.

Instead, I picked up Stage Struck by Ellie Thomas, fluffed my pillows and started reading. It’s not even 5000 words so I finished it quickly. And when I was done, I was okay getting out of bed. I had to sacrifice eating breakfast that morning, but it was okay because I’d fed my soul and felt uplifted and ready to face the day.

And when I arrived to Helsingborg where I work, I bought a sandwich on the train station and ate breakfast at my desk. Win-win.


seagulls

One Sunday, our friends texted us and said they were inviting themselves over for coffee, and since my husband is of the social sort, he was happy about it. But because of reasons, they were delayed, so they texted again and told us they’d be half an hour late. I didn’t want to start something I wouldn’t have time to finish, so I decided to read instead. I’d downloaded a free short story a while back and started it.

Seagulls is also less than 5000 words so I didn’t have trouble finishing it before our friends arrived. I’m also happy to report that I had time cleaning up the sobbing mess that was yours truly after finishing this story (because it was heartbreaking) and when our friends rang the doorbell, I’m pretty sure they couldn’t tell that I’d been crying just a few minutes before.

Another win for the short story!


My husband drives me to the train station every morning, and one day he was extra tired and not very talkative, so I decided to read a little instead of trying to force him into conversation. And I was in the mood for something Christmassy, so I picked Turning Wood that I’d had on my TBR since forever. 

Turning Wood is longer than the other two, close to 14K words, but I read it until it was time to kiss my husband goodbye and get out of the car, I read it on the platform while I waited for the train to arrive, I read it on the ride, and finished it just as we rolled into the station where I had to get off. Almost as though I’d planned it, but no. It was just a happy coincidence. 


runescribeOne day at the office, I was all alone in the break room for lunch. All my colleagues who had their lunch break at the same time I did, had stuff planned. Someone needed to run an errand, someone else hadn’t brought lunch from home so they ran out to buy something, and so on. It’s rare to be all alone in the break room; there are always people there, eating or drinking coffee, and always, always talking. 

So when I found myself alone, I took advantage. I opened the Scribd app, found Runescribe that sounded interesting, so I dove in. I read as I ate, read long after I’d eaten all my food, and finished it right before my lunch was over and I had to return to my desk and my work. And feeding my soul as well as my body, made the afternoon easy and fun, so I hope I’ll be alone in the break room again.


I recommend all these stories if you’re in the mood for something short and only have a few moments to read. And I really recommend snatching moments here and there to read; it’s so great for the soul. Tell me: do you steal reading time in those in-between moments when it’s so easy to scroll the phone, play a mindless game, or stare out into space, doing nothing?

Book Recommendations

Sunday Book Recommendation – the October Edition

On the last day of October, a Sunday (and everyone knows Sundays are for reading), I thought a book recommendation post was in order. Lately, I’ve read three new books that all take place during October, and I want to tell you about them. Because can you think of anything better than to spend an October Sunday curled up with a warm beverage of your choice (I’ve been favoring hot chocolate lately), by a fire if you have one (otherwise Youtube fires work, too), under a blanket with a good book? I sure can’t. 🙂

And before I get to the recommendation part: these three books are all published by JMS Books, so you can buy them at 40% off today. Even better, right? 🙂

Rain hummed in the background, a low musical counterpoint. October doing its best, even in Southern California. Cool steely skies and pumpkins appearing on porches.

October by Candlelight by K.L. Noone

When the lovely K.L. Noone visited my blog, celebrating the release of October by Candlelight, I wrote “So this book could be written just for me” and I was not wrong. I’ve read it now, and it exceeded my expectations, it was even better and fluffier and lovelier than I thought it would be. This book is definitely ending up on my feelgood-re-read Goodreads shelf, and I’m declaring it a must-read for the month of October. If you want to read about an established couple who recently moved in together, and if you want all the coziness of October and none of the scary stuff, this is the perfect book.

I read a tweet a while back saying that we shouldn’t write reviews based on our emotions. F*ck that sh*t, I say, it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. K.L. Noone’s words makes me feel things, they make my heart grow in my chest, make me smile, they chase away all memories of a long hard day at the Day Job. Her words make me happy, and I’m not gonna pretend otherwise.

He was tired, starving, in pain, and now they’d dragged him down to the beach. In October. It had stopped raining for the moment, but the clouds hung heavy above them.

Call Me Charles by Holly Day

When my friend Holly Day visited my blog to tell you about her release Call Me Charles, I wrote that the excerpt she brought broke my heart and made me mad. And OH-EM-GEE, reading the actual book made me both madder and sadder. Charles’s so called friends are first class assholes, and I’m seriously contemplating writing a fanfic version of this book where I can write myself and a baseball bat into the story so I can show the assholes exactly what I think about them. But I probably won’t do it, because Charles has Hubert to take care of him. Hubert who buys a sandwich from Charles for months, despite bringing his own lunch from home, despite Charles giving him normal bread when Hubert’s gluten intolerant, just because he finds Charles cute.

Holly excels in writing cute, quirky characters and this story is no different. Charles might not be as quirky as Adrian in The Dragon Next Door, but almost. He’s cute and naive and a little bit clueless, so I can’t blame Hubert for wanting to wrap him up in cotton and protect him from the world. It’s a lovely story, read it, you won’t regret it!

As he caught his breath, his sweat-soaked shirt clinging to him, he berated his stupidity. On this dark October night, he had been tricked as easily as a child. He risked forfeiting his life for a moment of unwariness.

A Tricky Situation by Ellie Thomas

A Tricky Situation is about Kit, a young man learning to stand up for himself and his beliefs and values. He does it elegantly and impressively, which is one of the reasons I like this book so much. Yes, the love interest Edmund plays a part in Kit’s transformation, but most of it is Kit himself. And while I wish the romance aspect could have been elaborated more (you know me, I’m a sucker for the romance!), reading about how Kit comes to important realizations about himself and who he wants to be is a delight. I’m amazed at how much the author made me care for Kit with so few words, something that takes great skill for a writer. Showing someone’s complexities in 500 pages is easy. Doing it in 8427 words is much harder. And for that, I tip my hat to you, Ellie Thomas.

So if you’re in the mood for a historical short story about self-discovery with a hint of romance, this is definitely the book for you. And Ellie Thomas, if you read this: should you ever feel the urge to write a Kit and Edmund epilogue, I’ll definitely read it.

Book Recommendations

Sunday Recommendation

It’s Sunday again, and Sundays are for tea, a sparkling fire and for homemade apple bread (I baked this apple bread with apples from my own garden yesterday, it was super yummy and I recommend it!) And for reading. Always reading! So I thought I’d recommend two great books I’ve read lately, and that were both released by JMS Books yesterday.

Adrian Green’s new next-door neighbor isn’t really a dragon, but he does snarl an awful lot.

The first time Adrian saw Lorcan Walsh, he knew he needed Adrian’s help. Lorcan has a fractured leg and an empty apartment. Luckily, Adrian doesn’t mind helping him fill his lair with gems, and Doris’s second-hand shop has everything a dragon could possibly want.

The problem is, Lorcan doesn’t seem to want his apartment decorated, and sneaking presents past a grumpy dragon isn’t easy.

All Adrian wants is to cheer Lorcan up, but when Lorcan’s ex appears at the door, Adrian fears not even vintage coffee cups will get them their fairy-tale ending. What if the way to a dragon’s heart isn’t lined with treasures?

If you visited my blog yesterday, you probably saw the new release spotlight post for The Dragon Next Door, written by my friend and morning writing buddy Holly Day. I received the post from Holly several days ago, and after I’d scheduled it, I fangirled to her how much I loved the excerpt, so she kindly sent me an ARC. I couldn’t wait to read it, and threw myself into the story when I should’ve been doing something else and I absolutely loved it.

The Dragon Next Door is the epitome of the grumpy/sunshine trope: Adrian is the sunniest of all the sunshiney characters I’ve ever read, cute and quirky and I would hate to have him as my real-life neighbor (because OMG he’s persistent and intense and he decorates Lorcan’s apartment!) but as a fictional neighbor, he’s fabulous. Lorcan is the dragon next door (who’s not really a dragon), and he’s a GRUMP! (for completely valid reasons) who doesn’t stand a chance against the whirlwind that is Adrian.

This book is super cute and funny and I couldn’t put it down. Read it when you need something lighthearted that will make you smile!

A dragon shapeshifter’s moved into Crescent Beach. And everybody knows dragons are dangerous. But Rob’s never met one, and he tries not to believe wild rumors. He’s a good witch, if not the most powerful, and he works hard to keep his quiet beach town welcoming to everyone. He’s hoping to find the dragon, just to talk … but the person he discovers might be everything he’s ever wanted.

Avery knows all the rumors about dragons. After all, he is one, though he’s a bookwyrm who tries hard to be harmless. He’s accepted a librarian position in a town everyone says is a safe haven, and he hopes that’ll be true. But when the local witch shows up unexpectedly, Avery expects the worst … but his story just might have a happy ending.

I pre-ordered Bookwyrm by K.L. Noone a few days ago, and the first thing I did after waking up yesterday morning was downloading my copy. After my morning writing session was over, I made a pot of tea and sat down by the fire to read. I had a wide smile on my face the entire time, so wide my husband asked what I was reading, and I took a (short) break to explain to him the magic that is K.L. Noone’s writing.

“That sounds great,” he said when I finished. “Why aren’t more people reading her books?” I ask myself this question often. Why aren’t more people talking about K.L. Noone, why don’t I see more people recommending her stories? She’s one of my absolute favorite authors, her writing is magical, maybe even more magical than Avery the Bookwyrm, her characters quirky and interesting, and the stories themselves are fantastic. If you’ve never read a K.L. Noone book (despite all my embarrassing fangirling about her), I beg you to give her a try. You won’t regret it.

I’ve yet to meet a K.L. Noone book I didn’t like, and Bookwyrm is no exception. It’s short and delightful, 3669 words of pure joy, and after I’m done writing this blog post, I’m going to make a pot of tea and read it again. ❤️