Superbowl Sunday Sale

superbowl sale

For me, books always trumps sports, any kind of sports. If I haven’t told you, I don’t watch any sports. I don’t have a favorite team. Sports bore me to tears.

Books, on the other hand, do not 🙂

Which is why I’ll slink off and take advantage of the sale. Then I’m going to spend my Sunday with a cup of tea and a good book.

How about you? Are you a sports fan? Will you watch Super Bowl?


As usual, pre-orders are on sale, too. So this is the perfect time to buy Snowed In: Nen and Anani. Or my (very) short story that’s coming out in March, All I See. It’s just shy of 5000 words, but priced at ¢50 it’s still worth it, right?

Or if you want great value for money, Finding The One is only $3 on the sale. Three bucks for four stories, that’s a steal, right? If you need convincing, just read this wonderful review from Goodreads:

“I loved all the stories here. The author has a great way of writing conversations and dates that are interesting, reveal something about the characters, and are like real people getting to know one another. Nobody is mean, no big misunderstandings, just adults finding love.”

Those words filled my heart with joy and warmth and I’m going to save them and look at them when I need a pick-me-up.

Of course, all my ebooks are on sale. Here is the link to my JMS author page.


And since I believe in spreading the love, here are a few favorites of mine I really recommend if you need something awesome to read today:

I’m sure I’ve forgotten many, many great stories, but this is a good start. Happy shopping. And for any sports fan out there: may your favorite team win!

Whatever you do today, happy Sunday! ❤️

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Monday Book Talk

Another new thing here on the blog, is Monday Book Talk. It’s not reviews, it’s not promo for my own books. It’s just me, talking about books I read and liked. There may be a specific theme or trope, or there may be something else connecting them. There aren’t really any rules, just book talk. Because what’s better than talking about books?

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When I traveled to Sweden (I’m back home in Malaysia now, YAY!), I downloaded books to my e-reader I’d read before. It’s perfect to re-read old favorites when spending 14 hours on a plane. I picked two books on the same theme: a main character receiving a wrong-number text and love ensues.

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Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood:

Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by dinner with his brother. But when he receives a wrong-number text confirming the details of a date, he does what any considerate person would—he goes to meet them and explain why they’ve been stood up.

Asher Wescott hadn’t expected his blind date to go well, because when do they ever? Henry shows up instead, and things are suddenly looking up. Socially awkward and attached to his routines, Henry is nevertheless one of the most charming and kind men Asher has met in a long time.

Too bad he’s not Henry’s type.

An accidental date, an impulsive kiss, and a few conflicted feelings later, can Asher get Henry to see the world—and him—in a different light?


Textual Attraction by K-lee Klein:

Lewis has spent most of his adult life looking after his aging parents, and he recently ended a relationship with a domineering guy who’d been nothing but bad for him. Despite his less-than-stellar track record with men, he’s still hopeful there’s someone out there for him, but he’s learned to be careful with his heart. So he can’t figure out why a cryptic, gruff, drunken voice mail from a stranger named Jerry doesn’t make him hit the DELETE button. It’s clear the man’s got the wrong number. But when Jerry begins to text, Lewis finally responds, saying he’s not the guy Jerry wants. Jerry, however, is nothing if not persistent, and he keeps texting and teasing Lewis, even after he knows the truth.

Lewis is surprised when something sparks between them. Jerry turns out to be charming and witty, and they develop an odd friendship through text messages. When Jerry suggests they finally meet in person, Lewis is apprehensive, yet curious. Can he take the big step to meet Jerry face-to-face? More importantly, can he maybe even trust Jerry with his heart?


Even though they have the same main theme, the books are very different. Henry in Textual Relations is the world’s most clueless person (in an adorable way) who doesn’t realize he’s on a date with a man. Lewis in Textual Attraction is super annoyed by Jerry’s texts at first: Jerry doesn’t believe in punctuation and uses lots of emojis which irritates Lewis to no end.

Lewis and Jerry keep texting for quite some time before they finally meet, while Henry and Asher meet the same evening Asher sent the text to the wrong person. Lewis is burned by a previous relationship, while Henry doesn’t even know he’s gay, or at least bi.

What the books have in common is that they’re adorable, low angst, feel-good stories that both ended up on my re-read shelf over at Goodreads the first time I read them. And I really love the idea of two people meeting like that: by a text message meant for someone else.

Have you read any books with a theme like that? If yes, tell me. I’d love to read them!

(Apparently Textual Attraction isn’t available for purchase any longer because it was published by Amber and I can’t see that it’s been re-released anywhere else. But Textual Relations is available on Amazon.)

Top 9 books 2018

Since 2018 is almost over, I thought I’d share my favorite reads from this last year with you. According to my Goodreads challenge, I’ve read 253 books this year, but that’s not really true; I’ve read more. I’ve read A LOT of fanfiction this year, mostly Harry Potter, but some Star Trek, too, and most of those stories aren’t on Goodreads. So I think at least another 50 isn’t an exaggeration.

I love reading, can you tell? 🙂

But enough about that. Here are my favorite nine books I read in 2018. They’re not all published this year, but it’s the first time I read them (so re-reads of old favorites doesn’t count).

best9 2018

Beau and the Beast by Rick R. Reed
Henry & Jim by J.M. Snyder
Hero Worship by Kris T. Bethke
The Little Library by Kim Fielding
Of Rats and Cats by Addison Albright
The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
Up! by Al Stewart and Claire Davis
War Paint by Sarah Black
Watermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay

You can expect reviews of The Little Library and The Remaking of Corbin Wale here on the blog next year. Henry & Jim is a beautiful, heartbreaking story. It’s total opposite is Of Rats and Cats which is cute and short and hilarious. (Also check out the alternative POV chapters at Addison Albright’s blog, they’re even funnier than the ones in the book). Sarah Black is an old favorite of mine (Marathon Cowboys is a fabulous book) and I was happy when she released a new book this year. Al Stewart and Claire Davis became new favorites last year after I read Dear Mona Lisa…(whoa, what a book!) and when I saw their new release I one-clicked it faster than you can say Up!. 🙂 I already gushed about Watermelon Kisses in the advent calendar, but if you missed it, click here. Kris T. Bethke is a favorite of mine, you know this by now, and I loved Hero Worship. And finally, Beau and the Beast is a fabulous retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Over all, it’s been a very good reading year.

Which was the best book you read in 2018?

Cover reveal and Valentine’s Day Sale!

Today is Valentine’s Day. We don’t celebrate, me and the husband, because we’re quite romantic on a daily basis…even after close to 25 years together. It might not be very traditional, but that’s the way I like it. Anyone can buy a bunch of roses and a heart-shaped box of chocolate and be considered romantic, but I much prefer my husband’s particular brand of romance. He knows me. He sees me. And he does and says things he knows I’ll appreciate. And that’s why he’s the love of my life.

Ah well. Enough mushiness. I have two important things for you today: one cover reveal and one V-day sale. But let’s start with my number one priority:

Cover reveal for Promise Me We’ll Be Okay!!

It will be released on March 3rd and I’m super excited to show you the cover because I love it so much. Promise Me is a second-chance romance that exist in the same universe as Cinnamon Eyes, so there might be a couple characters that’s familiar if you’ve read it.

Ready? Drumroll, please 🙂

promiseme

What do you do when your past comes knocking?

Six hundred and ninety-five days. That’s how long it’s been since Jude’s fiancé broke off their engagement. With the help of his brother, Jude glued the broken pieces of his heart back together, but when his ex shows up on his doorstep late one evening, Jude fears it will fall apart again.

Two years ago, Vincent made a terrible mistake. He left the love of his life for stupid, ill-advised reasons. It took a traumatic event to bring what was truly important in his life into focus. Older and wiser, he’s now ready to do whatever it takes to win Jude back.

Their chemistry is as explosive as ever, but will they be able to work through the real issues? Can trust once broken be rebuilt?

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Isn’t it pretty?? *happy sigh* And wanna know something else that’s amazing? You can now pre-order it, and if you do it today you will get 30% off because JMS Books have a Valentine’s Day sale!! Yay for booksales.

Here’s the pre-order link for Promise Me We’ll Be Okay at JMS Books. What are you waiting for, run over there and clickety-click!! If you haven’t read Cinnamon Eyes and wanna catch up before reading my new book, here’s the link to that.

Eh, you know what? Here’s a super handy link to my author page at JMS Books so you can check them all out if you’re interested! 🙂

Promise Me We’ll Be Okay | Nell Iris Author Page at JMS

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v-day

All the other e-books at JMS Books are also 30% off, of course, so after I’m done writing this post, I’m heading over there to do some shopping. I think you should, too. If you need suggestions, here are a few great books I warmly recommend:

Closets Are for Clothes by Addison Albright. Won’t be released until February 24th, but I was fortunate enough to beta read it, so I know it’s awesome.

Hero Worship by Kris T. Bethke. And when you’ve read the book, I strongly suggest you head over to her webpage and download the five #FlashFiction stories, because you will want to read more about Alex and Matt, I promise.

Officer Charming and the Prince Who Wooed Him by Sarah Hadley Brook, because who can resist that title? (And the book is awesome too!) Seriously, Sarah is so creative when it comes to naming books I’m a little bit jealous 🙂

Regency Rogues Box Set by Ruby Moone, because who doesn’t wanna read four books about Regency Rogues?? I know I do!! 🙂

Angel Wings and Bullets by E.F. Mulder. Unexpectedly delightful, and by that I mean I hadn’t heard of the author before I found this gem.

All About the Cowboy Box Set by J.D. Walker. Granted, I haven’t read this particular box set, but I’ve been on a J.D. Walker reading spree lately and need to refill my dwindling supply of short, romantic stories 🙂

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Happy shopping everyone!!

Best Books 2017

Hi everyone, I hope you’ve had a great first week of January and started the year as you want to continue and all that…you know what I mean 🙂

There won’t be a review this Sunday. Instead, I thought I list the 9 best books I read last year, my 2017 favorites.  They weren’t necessarily published last year, but I read them in 2017 – that’s the criteria.

Drum roll, please.

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2017 was a good year for holiday stories as you can tell. And for short stories, since pretty much all of them are shorts, except Freckles (170 pages according to Goodreads.) And Snapshots, but that’s a collection of shorts. It was also a year for new discoveries: I hadn’t read Amy Aislin, Clare Davis & Al Stewart, Ruby Moone, or EF Mulder before.

This was my bookish year according to Goodreads:

goodreads year

Compared to 2016, I slacked off this year and only read 149 books (to last year’s 246). Average for 2016 was 3.3 stars, so this year was an improvement. The average length was 86 pages compared 134 in 2016. So, I’ve read shorter and fewer books…but better. I can live with that 🙂

What were your favorites from last year?

Sale: buy more books

oct sale

JMS Books redesigned their site and offers 30% off all ebooks to celebrate until Friday October 20th. Why not run over and buy some books??

Here’s a link to my books if you haven’t read them all yet: Nell Iris at JMS Books. 30% off! That’s a steal, go buy them at once! 😁

But why not browse around and see if you find something else you like? My friend Addison’s books are on sale too, and they are all great (especially Cultivating Love❤️). And I’ve done some shopping myself. I’ve been eyeing Sarah Hadley Brook’s Eggplant Highlights and Mustard Yellow Jeans for a while, but haven’t bought it until now. Isn’t it the greatest title? The cover is cool, too. Clickety-click the link and see for yourself.

I also bought Purple Daze by J.D. Walker (because purple cover), Dude Mama by Michael P. Thomas (because mpreg), and Dish of the Day by Clare London (because MMM). I also preordered Sweeter Than Honey by Jessica Payseur.

Yay, I love shopping books. Don’t you?

Short story recommendations

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: I absolutely love short stories. Many times I prefer to read a short story instead of a 400+ page novel. I’m not necessarily a big fan of all the side plots and the unnecessary drama you need to fill up all those pages. I want to read about the romantic couple, not about everything else happening in their lives.

And these last few weeks I’ve read three excellent collections of short stories, so I thought I’d share.

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Snapshots by Addison Albright

I’ve already told you that I had the privilege of beta reading Addison’s collection of short stories, but that didn’t make me any less excited to read the finished versions. I absolutely love reading the final product of something I’ve critiqued or betaed: it’s like watching a child grow up.

And I wasn’t disappointed with the result: I loved every one of them. What I like most is that it’s such a diverse collection of stories, ranging from a meet cute in an adult video arcade to an established couple getting married, and everything in between. It’s an aptly named book: the reader is treated to snapshots from the different couples’ lives, a brief look into their relationship.

Most of them leave me wanting more, which I consider a good thing. It means I wasn’t bored with the story, it kept my interest the entire time, and I’m hungry to know what happens next in their lives. I want to know what happens to George and Blaine in King Kong vs The Skinny Pirate—will their relationship work out despite them being so seemingly different? I would love to read about how Darryl and Warren in Now and Forever met, their story before the marriage. And I definitely want to read more about Evan and Gary, in my favorite story Cow Pie Bingo.

TL;DR: Snapshots is awesome. Read it. 😀 

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Falling Hard: Stories of Men In Love by Dale Cameron Lowry

I found this collection of stories via the #RainbowSnippets group I joined a few weeks back. I click around and read all the other authors’ contributions and this jumped out at me immediately. It was something about the language and the way the author treats the words that made me weak in the knees. And after the second week in a row with the same reaction, I decided I needed to buy it.

And I was not disappointed. All of the stories are magical, there’s no other word for it. The emotions leap off the page in Dale’s writing and I was mesmerized and couldn’t put it down. I even loved Far From Home, which is a sci-fi story and I don’t read sci-fi (I prefer to watch it, thank you very much!) But the concept of the story was so clever and original, so it was impossible not to love it.

The stories in this collection is also diverse and interesting. I loved everything from the shy ghost in Ghost of a Chance, to reading about how established couple Mike and Ken meet a third guy that they can’t seem to forget in Pacific Rimming. But I think my favorite was Loggerhead. I’ve always said I don’t like reading about established couples because the author always fucks up their relationship for the sake of the story—but that’s not the case here. Loggerhead tells the story about how Jake and Eric find their way back to each other. And it contains my favorite quote:

“I never forget that I love you. But sometimes I forget how important that is to me.”

*swoon*

TL;DR: Falling Hard is awesome. Read it. 😀 

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A More Perfect Union by B.G. Thomas, J. Scott Coatsworth, Jamie Fessenden, and Michael Murphy

I’ve read this collection of short stories before, when it was just released. But the other day I felt like something short and cute and thought I’d just read one of the stories before bed time. 

Yeah, right. As if. *snort*

At 5:30 AM, I put it down after re-reading all of the stories again, and they were even better this time. I love the premise of the collection, I’ll cut and paste it here for you (taken from Goodreads), if you’re not familiar with it:

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I can’t decide which story I love most. Flames by Coatsworth tells the story about Alex and Gio, and how Gio gets badly hurt in a fire. I love to read about Alex’s journey from being afraid of commitment to how he’s willing to do anything to get Gio to come back to him.

Jeordi and Tom by Michael Murphy is about a young couple. They show extraordinary bravery and loyalty and fight for each other against a homophobic family in a small Kentucky town. Someday by B.G. Thomas is a story about a Lucas who met Dalton in kindergarten and knew from the start they would get married one day.

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So cute! And so right. What if two boys fall in love, why shouldn’t they be allowed to marry? It’s incomprehensible.

But maybe it’s Destined by Jamie Fessenden that’s my favorite after all. And even though I love the story about how Jay and Wallace meet, get separated by life and circumstances, meet again, and finally start building a life together, I think it’s the dedication from the author that makes me love it the most.

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 TL;DR: A More Perfect Union is awesome. Read it. 😀 

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I warmly recommend any of these collections of short stories. If you haven’t read them, I strongly suggest you run to your nearest virtual bookstore and buy them—you won’t regret it.

And if you have suggestions about short story collections you think I’d like, feel free to tell me in the comments 🙂