Nell Iris


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Back home and advertising

Hi everyone. I’m finally back home after almost three weeks away in Sweden, hanging out with friends and family, hugging the stuffing out of my daughter, and attending my oldest friend’s wedding. It’s been great, but I’ve had no time for writing and I’ve really missed it. I need to find a way to figure out how to be still be a writer when I visit family.

But now my head is full of ideas and my fingers itch to get started, so hopefully I’ll be banging away on my keyboard soon. The stupid jetlag just has to release its hold of me first.

Now for something completely different: wanna see something pretty?

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Would you look at that! I bought advertising space on the Diverse Reader blog, so for the entire month of September, the pretty cover of Cinnamon Eyes will adorn the front page. Isn’t that awesome? Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it generates lots of clicks and sales! Because Cory and Asher deserve it.

CE two childhood friends blurb

Buy links: 
JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

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Review round-up

Today is the last day of the review tour for Cinnamon Eyes. I’m humbled and overwhelmed by all the love given to Cory and Asher. Never in a million years had I expected all the kind words from bloggers, reviewers and ARC-readers.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart ❤️

I want to share some of the wonderful words with you.

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Jenn at The Geekery Book Review gave it 4 out of 5 stars

“Cinnamon Eyes is such a sweet, good for your heart read! I really enjoyed this story and Cory and Asher, such wonderful men. I found this to be a story of love and finding your place in the world.”

 “I really enjoyed the flow of this story and how, for me, the focus was on the good of these two together and finally finding that healthy, happy place. This is definitely a book to pick up for that feel-good read that makes you smile and leaves your heart happy! Sweet and adorable, Cory and Asher are fantastic!”

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Pixie at MM Good Book Reviews gave it 4 out of 5 hearts

“I recommend this story to those who love fantastic characters reconnecting and discovering love, who adore stories of overcoming limitations and moving forward, who love sweet romances with a dash of sexy, and who love men who refuse to turn their backs on a challenge and face it head on.”

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Heather at Padme’s Library gave it 4,5 out of 5

“Cinnamon Eyes is a sweet and fun read that will make you believe in life and love and has definitely put Nell Iris on my authors-to-watch list.”

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Tracy at Bayou Book Junkie gave it 3,75 out of 5 stars

“This was such a sweet story. It’s a quick and easy, feel good read. Cory and Asher are lovable characters who fit together perfectly. They are good for one another and their chemistry was amazing. You could practically feel the love coming off the pages at you.

The story was lovely and I adored watching Cory and Asher give into the love they have secretly harbored for one another for so long. The story is well-written and flows well. It’s filled with love, understanding, acceptance and healing. Recommendable!”

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Jen at Dog-Eared Daydreams gave it 4,5 out of 5 stars

“Cinnamon Eyes is a friends-to-lovers romance sixteen years in the making and I liked it to bits! Nell Iris gave a generous dose of sweetness to this story, what with two best friends who hadn’t seen one another in more than a decade and a half.”

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Cinnamon at Love Bytes gave it 4,5 out of 5 stars

“The writing is flawless with a great flow and the story just blew my mind.”

“This is a true feel good story, so if you are looking for angst and excitement this is not your story. On the other hand if you are looking for a fairytale love story with true love spiced up with some family drama and heartfelt reconciliation, this story is definitely perfect for you. Highly recommended”

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ce w reviews on releasedate

Buy links: 
JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords


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Cinnamon Eyes and Damien Rice

Today, I thought I’d give you an excerpt from Cinnamon Eyes. The boys have received a lot of love so far and I’m so very happy about it. Thank you for all your kind words, ARC-reviewers and bloggers ❤️

The excerpt starts after Cory (the narrator) has had a small breakdown after a tough call with his mother, and Asher calms him down by putting on some music.

But first, an image of the record they’re listening to. And yes. That’s my record player and my copy of the album 🙂 (Click the link below if you want to know exactly which song they’re listening to in this moment)

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He started the kettle. While he waited for the water to boil, he chose a record from his vast collection and put it on the turntable. The familiar crackle of the needle was comforting, like a childhood teddy bear. Music had always been my coping mechanism in life. No wonder everything had gone straight to hell when I’d been unable to rely on it to keep me sane.

The sounds of an electric-acoustic guitar floated through the room. After a few bars, a vulnerable male voice accompanied it, instantly captivating me. Asher handed me the cover before continuing to the kitchen to fix the tea.

Damien Rice. I’d never heard of the artist before, but just a few words in the lyrics, I was sold. I curled up and let the music carry me away. The song grew in intensity, and I took in every word of the gut-wrenching lyrics.

I stared at Asher with my mouth hanging open when he brought the tea and joined me on the couch.

“I knew you’d like it.” He smiled.

Huddled close together, we drank our tea and let the music wash away the painful conversation with my mother. It was exactly what I needed. That…and Asher.

After he’d turned the record over, I laid my head down in his lap. When exhaustion came, I let it carry me away.

ce w reviews on releasedate

Buy links: 
JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords


18 Comments

#RainbowSnippets

Weekends means Rainbow Snippets-time here on the blog, since I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. According to their description, “it’s a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction—a WIP or a finished work of even 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).”

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Cinnamon Eyes was released yesterday. Yay! Celebration time!

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(Seriously, though. Whoever invented confetti didn’t think that through properly. It’s sooo hard to clean up! 🙂 )

Anyway. This week’s snippet continues where we left off last week. Cory and Asher, alone, face-to-face for the first time in sixteen years.

And a big thank you to all of you who have commented and said it was emotional. Y’all made me very happy, because that’s what I was going for ❤️

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Pale green eyes bored into me, peering all the way into my soul. I drew in a shuddering breath, and the confession spilled out of me. “I’ve missed you.”

The words hardly escaped my lips before I was wrapped up in his strong arms. Our bodies fit perfectly together, with my head right under his chin. I wound my arms around his waist. As I did, his shirt slid up, and my hands came in contact with naked skin.

Warmth rushed through my fingertips and heated up my body. My appetite had vanished as the depression set in, and I’d lost nearly thirty pounds over the last year, leaving me constantly cold. Here, in his embrace, was the first time I wasn’t freezing in a long time.

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ce w reviews on releasedate

Cory and Asher’s reception has so far been great, making me a very proud and excited book mama. I set out to write an emotional story with an intense reunion, and I’m happy I succeeded 🙂

Buy links: 
JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

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You can find me on FacebookTwitter, or Goodreads. Feel free to stop by and say Hi! I love new friends!

I’ve also gotten a Facebook profile for my pen name, so if you feel like it, I would love to be your friend 🙂


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Release Day: Cinnamon Eyes 🍾

ce w reviews on releasedate

Buy links: 
JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | B&N | Kobo

A long-awaited reunion.

Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and to break away from his demanding family. When his therapist encourages him to do something for himself, he knows exactly what he needs. I want to see Asher again. The best friend he ever had who, at fifteen, held Cory’s heart in his hands without knowing it.

Asher’s had a troubled relationship with his father since he came out. Now that Pops is sick, he’s fighting for his right to help or even find out about his father’s health. Then there’s the complication of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go.

When they meet after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?

Cinnamon Eyes is an emotional story of what happens when two people who never wanted to be separated, finally reunite.

 

Excerpt:

When the song ended, I opened my eyes and clapped with the others. He didn’t look up or say anything, just started strumming another slow song on the strings. Judging by the cheers from the room, it was a popular one.

And then he lifted his head, opened his eyes, and started singing.

I gasped.

It was him. Asher.

Both my hands flew to my face and covered my mouth.

Sixteen years later and I still would have recognized him anywhere. The hair was as unruly as ever, and just as rock ‘n’ roll as his voice. The jawline so sharp he could probably cut glass with it. And the nose was still a little too big for his face.

I couldn’t see his green eyes from here, but I remembered them vividly. The pale color of a leaf newly broken out of its bud in spring, was such a stark contrast to his black eyelashes and olive complexion and had always hypnotized me with their beauty.

When he started singing, his voice pulled me out of my initial shock.

Two best friends
Like no one had ever seen before
Always together
happy and troublesome and wild
Sharing scraped knees
and high flying dreams
Carefree as the clouds in the sky
The boy with laughing cinnamon eyes
And I

The words struck a chord inside me. They reminded me of our friendship, all the way down to the scraped knees. Had he written this song? Had our friendship inspired him?

Then one day
he shimmered with a different light
Just one look at him
made my heart ache, stutter and want
I felt the same
pouring from his soul
A longing for more between us
The boy with loving cinnamon eyes
And I

He sang with such emotion, and the pronouns he used didn’t escape me. Asher was singing to a man, and my stomach made a hopeful jump.

Our story
didn’t have a fairytale ending
He had to leave me
and all I could do was to cry
But with no choice
I had to let go
We hugged and were saying goodbye
The boy with grieving cinnamon eyes
And I

I swallowed. I didn’t understand. That sounded just like … I shut down that thought immediately. It couldn’t be.

It’s been years
and my life has never been the same
I’m often wond’ring
what could have been if he’d stayed
Maybe one day
I’ll see him again
In dreams we were never apart
My boy with the sweet cinnamon eyes
And I
My boy with loving cinnamon eyes
And I

After the last chord rang out, the bar was deadly silent for a heartbeat, and then everyone started cheering and clapping and whistling.

Everyone except me.

I folded my arms on the table in front of me and collapsed with my forehead on top of them and my face hidden in the dark space between.

Had I heard what I thought I’d just heard?

Was that song … about us?

Had he had feelings for me too, back then?

The thought made me shake, and I grabbed my elbows and squeezed to keep myself from flying apart. I took a deep breath and didn’t let it out until my lungs screamed and burned in protest. I repeated the process several times until my teeth had stopped chattering and my heart had slowed its furious pace.

I was still hiding when someone cleared their throat in my vicinity.

“Excuse me? Benji said you wanted to talk to me? Are, uh, are you all right?”

His voice was as deep when he spoke as when he sang, and it sent a shiver down my spine, completely different from the previous desperate shaking. I took a deep breath and raised my head. Forcing myself to face him.

At first, he didn’t seem to recognize me. He searched my face for clues, but it only took a few moments for the spark of realization to light up his eyes.

“Cory?” His voice was gravellier than ever. “Cory, is that you?”


5 Comments

Save the date: Cinnamon Eyes

I’ve got a release date for my upcoming book. Mark your calendars for August 12, people! I can’t wait for you to get to know Cory and Asher and I hope you will love them as much as I do.

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A long-awaited reunion.

Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and to break away from his demanding family. When his therapist encourages him to do something for himself, he knows exactly what he needs. I want to see Asher again. The best friend he ever had who, at fifteen, held Cory’s heart in his hands without knowing it.

Asher’s had a troubled relationship with his father since he came out. Now that Pops is sick, he’s fighting for his right to help or even find out about his father’s health. Then there’s the complication of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go.

When they meet after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?

Cinnamon Eyes is an emotional story of what happens when two people who never wanted to be separated, finally reunite.


3 Comments

Coming soon: Cinnamon Eyes

 

cinnamon-eyes

A long-awaited reunion.

Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and to break away from his demanding family. When his therapist encourages him to do something for himself, he knows exactly what he needs. I want to see Asher again. The best friend he ever had who, at fifteen, held Cory’s heart in his hands without knowing it.

Asher’s had a troubled relationship with his father since he came out. Now that Pops is sick, he’s fighting for his right to help or even find out about his father’s health. Then there’s the complication of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go.

When they meet after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?

Cinnamon Eyes is an emotional story of what happens when two people who never wanted to be separated, finally reunite.