Guestpost, Release Blitz

Re-release Spotlight: He Melted Us by Ofelia Gränd

Today, my lovely friend Ofelia Gränd is back on the blog with another of her re-releases. I haven’t read this one but I like the sound of it, so while you read this post, I’ll go buy it. Okay? 🙂


Hello, everyone! Thank you, Nell, for letting me swing by today. Yesterday, my story, He Melted Us, was re-released. It was first released as part of an anthology called Love Unlocked. This was waaayyy back when they removed the love locks from Pont des Art in Paris, and the call was to write a story about one of the locks.

I did. My lock was removed five years prior, though. There was an incident with an art student stealing a few locks to use in a sculptor – my lock was one of them.

This story is more than a little crazy. Delron, one of the main characters, has the idea that his and Phillipe’s relationship is tied to the padlock. As long as the padlock is in place, everything will be fine, but when it’s stolen, Delron is certain it’s a sign their relationship will end.

When I’m thinking about this story, I mostly remember laughing. Half of the things in there, my sister made up. I was on the phone with her, laughing so hard I cried, while she suggested things Delron could do to get the lock back.

Some of the ideas came from little news snippets, like when Del scrawls at one of the sculptures in École des Beaux-Arts. There was a picture of someone having written vulgar words on Aphrodite, so Delron does too LOL

So, is Delron sane? Not really. Are his actions realistic? Not very. Did I laugh while writing it? A lot 😂

Excerpt:

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

“Hey, listen to this.” Phillipe took a sip of his creamy coffee before reading out the article in Le Monde.

“In response to speculation about the Paris mayor’s involvement in the disappearance of the locks on Pont des Arts, Town Hall yesterday firmly denied having any connection to the incident.”

“They have to say that.” A light flush spread over Delron’s fair skin, and his eyes glistened with anger. Phillipe didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. Delron was way too worked up—it was just a freaking lock, a tacky symbol that had nothing to do with them. He shook his head.

“Here, they’ve asked a woman what she thinks has happened.”

“And what does she think?” Delron’s tight voice made Phillipe glance in his direction again before he continued reading. His strawberry-blond hair was standing on end. He was clenching his jaw and fisting his hands as he waited for Phillipe to continue.

Phillipe skimmed the paragraph. “She says she thinks the mayor hired someone to remove the locks during the night. That it can’t be a coincidence that Town Hall said last week they wanted the locks removed, and now they’ve miraculously disappeared.”

Relief shone in Delron’s eyes. Phillipe double-checked the text to see what might have brought on the change in his demeanour, but he couldn’t find it.

“So they’re out there somewhere? Someone has them?”

“Erm…Del? It’s one woman, a random person, who thinks that. No one knows.”

“No, I know that, but what if she’s right? What if we could find the person who has our lock? Then everything would be fine again.”

Phillipe creased his brow. What the hell was Delron talking about? “It’s just a lock, a piece of metal—”

“It’s the symbol of our love, without it—”

“It means nothing!” Phillipe hadn’t meant to raise his voice. He didn’t want to argue, but it was just a fucking lock.

Delron stared at him. For a moment Phillipe saw hurt in his eyes, but then a perfectly neutral expression chased away every indication of feeling.

“You need to hurry if you don’t want to be late.”

Phillipe glanced at the clock—the ugly cat-shaped clock that defiled the entire room merely by being there. He hated it—he hated the colour, hated the form, and he definitely hated the ugly pink bow around the deformed head. It had been a sunny day about four years ago when Delron had come home with it. He’d presented it as if it were a treasure, and Phillipe didn’t have the heart to tell him he wanted to drop it from the balcony and watch the cars below run over it. It was an urge he fought every day—to throw the darn thing off the balcony and see it shatter into tiny pieces.

The hideous brown cat swung its tail back and forth in sync with each click of a second. The body formed the round shape of the clock, and two creepy yellow eyes followed you wherever you went in the kitchen. He guessed he should be happy it wasn’t one of those models where the eyes moved as well, they were eerie enough as they were, distracting him every time he wanted to see what time it was.

“Shit.” He gulped down his coffee, left the newspaper on the table, and hurried out the door. He was halfway down the stairs before he realised he hadn’t said a proper goodbye to Delron. Argh, I don’t have the time to run back up now.

Blurb:

All Delron Chastain wants is to live his life with Phillipe, but when their love lock is stolen from Pont des Art, their relationship is in jeopardy. Without the lock holding them together, Delron is convinced they’ll crash and burn. The only way he can save their relationship is to find the stolen lock, and that is what he plans to do, no matter what.

Phillipe Lebeau loves Delron, but a padlock is simply a piece of metal, and Delron not seeing that is driving him insane. The lock has nothing to do with them. Their life was great until the night the lock was stolen, and Del’s crazy behaviour makes Phillipe question if he’s ever really known him.

Delron’s search leads him through an art-filled Paris. Will recovering the symbol of their love be enough to soothe the mistrust his quest has planted in Phillipe? Phillipe believed he’d spend the rest of his life with Del. But who can live with anyone willing to break the law simply to find an old rusty padlock?

Gay Romance / 16,930 words

Buy links

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/He-Melted-Us

About Ofelia

Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes romance, contemporary, paranormal, Sci-Fi and whatever else catches her fancy.

Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.

When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from her husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods…if she’s lucky she finds her way back home again.

Find Ofelia on social media

Blog :: Newsletter :: Instagram :: Facebook Page :: Facebook Profile :: Goodreads :: Bookbub :: Pinterest

Guestpost, Release Blitz

New Release Spotlight: Bear Claw by Holly Day

Today, my dear friend Holly Day is back on the blog with her newest release, Bear Claw. I’m scheduling this blog post during one of my early morning writing sessions, and the pictures made my mouth water and I’m craving a bear claw and macarons and pastry for breakfast. Maybe Holly should apologize for that, too?! 😁

Nah, just kidding. No need to apologize, but maybe since we only live a couple hours from each other, she should compensate me by sending me a box of pastries? Everyone in favor, say “aye!” 😁


Hi, Nell! Hello, Nell’s readers!

Holly Day here 😊. As some of you might know, I like to celebrate things, and tomorrow, it’s Be an Angel Day. *nods* Yup, it’s true. A day when you’re supposed to act like an angel. I won’t tell you if I will or not, but I wrote a story to celebrate the day, and it so just happens that it’s released today, yay! 🥳

I’ll be over at A.L. Lester’s blog in a couple of days, and I started that post by apologising because I’d written an alpha story – Ally dislikes those. I’m thinking I should do the same here because Nell dislikes stories where one of the characters ‘doesn’t want a boyfriend’. Sorry, Nell!  Shiro does not want a boyfriend. He really, truly doesn’t 😂.

I feel like, maybe, I’ll have to apologise to everyone I visit with this story LOL.

The thing is, The Bear Claw is an alternate universe story. All supernatural characters are either dominant or submissive – not in a BDSM kind of way but in a pack-structure kind of way – and Shiro is submissive. Every dominant he meets can order him to do things.

His first mate was an abusive arse, but since he died, Shiro has been free, or as free as a submissive can be in a society like the one he’s living in. He owns a bakery and while he’s unable to shift into an animal, he can put emotions into cookies and cakes. His employee and friend, Astra, has the ability to make coffee taste divine. If only one of them had been a dominant, they could’ve lived their lives as they saw fit.

When Pitch, a dominant werewolf, takes an interest in Shiro, he does his best to fake being a dominant. When that doesn’t work, he hides in the kitchen of his bakery and does his best to avoid Pitch altogether.

It’s not working very well.

Excerpt:

Pitch kept his face blank despite wanting to frown. All he’d said was that Shiro needed someone to take care of him—all submissives needed someone to take care of them. He and Bernard were proof of it… or Bernard more than him.

Bernard came here after finishing his shift at the bar every day to walk Shiro and Astra to work. It should be enough for Shiro to understand he needed a dominant. He gave Shiro one last look before heading for the table where Astra had put two cups of coffee.

Bernard sat, took a sip, and smiled at Astra.

Pitch sat, took a sip, and almost spit it out. “Fecking shit!” He hadn’t meant to growl, and when Astra raised an eyebrow at him, he took a calming breath. “There is something wrong with my coffee, Astra.”

“No, I don’t think so. I told you it would taste like rat poison.”

“Unless I…” Left Shiro alone. He shook his head and set the cup aside. “I see.”

She straightened her back. “I know your kind.”

“Wolves?”

She rolled her eyes. “The kind who thinks that because you can order someone around, you have the right to. Shiro works ten times as hard as you do, and yet you think you have the right to harass him.”

“I wasn’t harassing him.”

Bernard’s gaze jumped between them.

“No? What did you say to make him panic so hard I could smell it?”

Pitch gritted his teeth. “Only that he needed someone to take care of him.”

Both she and Bernard snorted which made Pitch glare at Bernard. “He does. He’s working too hard, and you said it yourself, it’s not safe for him to walk the streets at night.”

“Because of stupid alphas.” Astra couldn’t meet his gaze, but she glared at his nose for several seconds. “It’s not Shiro’s fault people like you think they have the right to dictate his life.”

Pitch didn’t respond. He wasn’t dictating Shiro’s life. He could, but he wasn’t.

Bernard finished his coffee, a bit faster than could be considered normal. “I stink. I have to change shirt. Will you be okay without me for a few minutes?”

“Depends on if dickhead here is gonna stay civil or pull some stupid dominant shit.” Astra crossed her arms over her chest and glared at Pitch’s nose again. She had more spunk than he’d given her credit for.

“I’ll guard them with my life.” He’d meant to make his tone mocking, but it came out all serious. He could guard them. Crazy as it was, he didn’t want some drunken dominants to saunter in here and disturb Shiro while he was baking. He’d appeared contented while he was baking.

Bernard got up, and Astra took the coffee cups, both the empty and the full. As soon as Bernard had left, she put a fresh cup in front of him, and he cautiously took a sip. Divine. The best coffee he’d ever had.

He shrugged off his leather jacket and scratched one heavily tattooed arm before taking another sip. “Is it only coffee or can you change the taste of any food.”

“Only liquid.” She wiped away a drop she’d spilled on the table. “Shiro does baked goods.”

“All kinds of baked goods?”

She shrugged. “It’s not the same. My skill is that I can either make it the best you’ve ever had, bland, or terrible. Should Bernard have taken a sip of your coffee before he’d only taste coffee, nothing special. It’s limited to you, or you know the person I’m pouring it for. It’s a good skill when working in a place like this, but it doesn’t have a great impact on the world.”

Pitch frowned. “Don’t say that. You could have this place overflowing with customers. It could bring in a lot of money.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Money you’d take.”

“What?” He was too stunned to get angry. Did she think he’d steal from them?

“I see the way you’re watching Shiro. He doesn’t want a mate.”

“He needs—”

“Remember the taste of the coffee.”

Pitch scratched the stubble on his cheek. “He needs someone to take care of him.”

“No, he doesn’t. He needs to be allowed to live his life without dancing to the whims of his puppet master. He runs a business; he doesn’t need a dominant to sweep in and steal it from him.”

Steal it? It was better if dominants owned businesses since they couldn’t be manipulated.

Astra huffed. “You’re still not getting it.” With a shake of her head, she went behind the counter and started organizing the display shelf.

Get what?

Blurb:

In a world where all supernatural beings are either dominant or submissive, Shiro Amano doesn’t have many choices. As a submissive, any dominant walking into his bakery can order him around. He hates it. All he wants is to live his life in peace and bake pastries he can spike with emotions far away from obnoxious alphas.

Pitch Rhys wants a mate, but he won’t settle for anything but a true mate. As a powerful wolf shifter, he has subs flocking around him, but his true mate is hiding in the kitchen of a bakery and refuses to see him. He can order him to, of course, but since he threatened Pitch with a knife when he allowed his power to leak, he doesn’t think it’s the way to go. Instead, he’s settling to see how many pastries and cups of coffee he can consume in a day.

Two years ago, Shiro escaped an abusive relationship, and he’s not looking for a new one, but when word gets out Shiro is an unmated sub, dominants are invading the bakery. Pitch does his best to scare them off so he can woo Shiro at his own pace, but things escalate too fast. Will Pitch be able to get Shiro to trust him before it’s too late? Can he convince him he wants nothing more than to make him happy and keep him safe?

Buy links:

 Gay Paranormal Romance / 46,763 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/TheBearClaw

About Holly

According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.

Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.

Connect Holly on social media:

Website :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest :: BookBub :: Goodreads :: Instagram

Guestpost

Coming Soon: Taking Flight by A.L. Lester

The fabulous A.L. Lester is visiting us on the blog today, talking about their upcoming release Taking Flight, the third book in the Celtic Myths collection. I had the privilege of beta reading this little gem and I can’t wait to read the finished product.

I’ve also read the two previous books, Playing Chicken and As the Crows Fly. If you haven’t read them, I warmly recommend them while waiting for the starling book to be released!

But I’ll shut up and leave the floor to Ally now! Welcome, my friend! ❤️

Taking Flight, Trans MCs and a Starling

Firstly a big thank you to Nell, for inviting me to visit today! I’m here blatantly pimping my new release, Taking Flight, which is out on Tuesday 13th July!

As per my usual slightly chaotic creation process, Taking Flight didn’t actually have a name until the last week of June. No pressure or anything. It’s been labouring under the working title The Starling Story, because it’s based on a tale from The Mabinogion, about Brânwen, sister of King Brân of Wales. Her brother marries her off to Matholwch, King of Ireland, but the marriage goes bad for complicated reasons to do with her step-brother mutilating her husband’s horses. Once Matholwch gets her home to Ireland, he banishes her to his kitchens. She tames a starling and sends it with a message to her brother for help.

It’s a fourteen thousand word story that’s part of my collection of reworked Celtic myths and it had been brewing at the back of my head for ages. The previous two feature chickens and crows, so the starling really drew me in. When it came to writing it though, I was much more drawn to the Brânwen character, who is Gwyn in my story. I tried various combinations writing the story from the starling’s (Darren) point of view. I tried to get him to go from Ireland to Wales on his rescue mission, then fix him up with Brân and go back to Ireland to rescue Brânwen, but it just didn’t work.

Then I realised two things. Firstly I was trying to fit a whole strand of The Mabinogion into a short story—and let me tell you, that stuff is both complex and dark! And secondly, I actually wanted to write about Brânwen, because she’s very passive in the original tale and I wanted her to have a happy ending. You know, instead of being married off to a chap who pitched up in a boat one day and asked for her hand, getting trapped in an abusive marriage, her step-brother murdering her kid and then getting home to Wales only to kill herself out of grief.

So Gwyn became the focus of the story. As regular followers of mine will know, I identify as non-binary. I have a couple of non-binary characters in previous books—Jones in The Flowers of Time and Fenn in Shadows on the Border and The Hunted & the Hind, however this is the first time I’ve written a trans guy. I really love Gwyn and I wanted him to have his happy ending as badly as I did Brânwen, so although the story came together nicely once I worked out which POV I wanted to write from it was also quite stressful because I wanted to get him right! Non-binary isn’t the same as trans, obviously—although there’s quite a bit of cross over, in my own sense of self, anyway. I was able to draw on that crossover I think—I hope, although everyone is different—and make Gwyn the person he is.

It’s basically a road-trip story, with self-realisation happening along the way. I really hope you enjoy it.

Taking Flight

Gwyn Mabler is on secondment at the Kings of Ireland Hotel at Tara. He and his brother Brân are in the process of buying the place and Gwyn is getting to grips with the everyday running by shadowing the current owner, Mal Reagan.

Gwyn’s an idiot, though. Mal made it clear from the start he’d like to get Gwyn in his bed and after a couple of weeks of pursuit, Gwyn gave in. Mal was hot and pushy and just the kind of dangerous to pique Gwyn’s interest. He honestly thought Mal knew he was trans.

Since that horrible night, Mal has had Gwyn ‘workshadowing’ Chef in the deeply unhappy kitchen. He doesn’t want to go home and cause a fuss that might make the sale fall through, but when a huge row breaks out over a flour delivery and Mal backhands Gwyn across the face, he finally decides enough is enough. With the help of Darren Starling, one of the line-cooks with whom he’s formed a tentative friendship, he leaves.

During the two-day journey from the middle of Ireland home to Wales they have plenty of time to exchange confidences. Could the delicate pull of attraction between them grow into something stronger? Is it safe for Gwyn to out himself to Darren? Will Darren want to go out with a trans guy? And how will his brother Brân take Gwyn’s arrival home with a stranger?

A 14,500-word short story in the Reworked Celtic Myths series.

About A. L. Lester

Ally Lester writes queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense and lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, Morris the badly behaved dachshund, a terrifying cat, three guineapigs, some hens and the duckettes.

She likes permaculture gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy these days. Not musical, doesn’t much like telly, likes to read. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has fibromyalgia and tedious fits.

Join my newsletter, for a free copy of the novella An Irregular Arrangement or find me on social media via my link-tree.

Guestpost, Release Blitz

New Release Spotlight: Just to Breathe by Holly Day

Today, I have a guest: Holly Day is here to talk about her latest release, Just to Breathe. Be extra nice to her this time, please, because I feel like I’m neglecting her (and the other lovely people of my morning writing crew) with my new day job, so let’s show her some love so she doesn’t think I’ve stopped loving her 😁

Just to Breathe is a friends-to-lovers story. I love friends-to-lovers stories. In fact, I wrote a guest post over at Holly’s about it if you’re interested, or is that too meta? 😁

Anyway. Welcome, Holly!!


Thank you, Nell, for letting me drop by today. Hello everyone! Did you know that on June 8th, it was Best Friend Day? That’s a day worth celebrating, is it not? I believe it is, so I wrote a story…

Just to Breathe was released last week, and it’s about Nico and Matt who have been best friends since kindergarten. For years, Nico has been in love with Matt, but he won’t risk their friendship, so he’s sworn to never let Matt know. Things don’t always go as planned, though.

This is one of those stories that got crazier and crazier while I wrote it. I love those stories – light-hearted and a bit insane.

It all started with a song by Dori Freeman on Spotify while I was walking to work one morning, and then in the evening when I sat on the sofa and turned on the TV there was a documentary about Al Capone.

What do you get if you mix a modern-day singer-songwriter with bluegrass influences with a gangster from the Prohibition era? Just to Breathe – that’s what you get.

Nico is snatched off the street, taken to a warehouse where he’s roughed up some, and then he’s told he has twenty-four hours to bring his kidnappers the item they want. Nico has no idea what it is they want, so he turns to Matt who is a cop. Together they try to figure out who the people who took Nico are and what they want, all with the help of Matt’s family who also are cops – all of them.

One crazy thing leads to another, and soon Nico fears for his life.

Excerpt:

Matt got out of the car. “You should stay inside.”

“I got worried. I tried to call you.”

Matt grabbed a bag from the backseat and walked toward him. “You shouldn’t use your phone. They might have it tapped.”

Nico sighed. “I’m not interesting enough to have my phone tapped.”

“I disagree.” He grinned. “Use mine if you want to call someone, okay?”

“You weren’t here, and your mom says you’re not to leave my side.”

Matt nodded. “Okay.”

“Okay?”

“I have to do what Mom says, right?” He winked and went for the door. “Oh, it smells divine. Did you cook?”

“Obviously.”

“Some stuff.” He held out the bag for Nico to take.

“Thanks.”

Matt put two plates on the kitchen island and tested the temperature of the lasagna. “I think it’s still warm enough.”

Nico nodded, and they sat.

“Do you know anything?” He took a big bite of lasagna, not having realized how hungry he was until Matt got back.

“Nah. I found a man who’s recently moved to Halsworthy whose last name is Allegretto. He’s twenty-two, though.”

“So?”

“You’re thirty-four.”

“So?”

Matt rolled his eyes. “If they mistook you for him, they weren’t doing a good job. You might be young looking, but you’re not twenty-two, darling.”

“You’re saying I look old?”

Matt shook his head, a grin playing on his lips.

“And you’re older.” One year.

“I am and therefore wiser. The idiots grabbing you did a shit job.”

Nico guessed it all depended on what their purpose was, or maybe not considering they’d taken the wrong person.

“Did you talk to him?”

Matt chewed and swallowed. “Who?”

“Allegretto.”

He shook his head. “No, but I sent Amber the information I found.”

“They haven’t found it?” What had they been doing all day?

Matt shrugged. “They probably have.”

“What do we do now?” Nico hated not having anything to do.

Matt took a folded paper out of his pocket and handed it to him. Putting his fork down, Nico unfolded it and read the information.

“An auction? In Walman?” Walman was a larger city about a hundred and thirty miles north from Halsworthy. The auction was held tomorrow night, starting at midnight. Nico shook his head. “Who starts an auction at midnight? That’s stupid.”

“Read at the bottom.” Matt reached over the island and tapped at the paper.

“There is a surprise item that won’t be shown until the end of the auction.” Nico frowned. “Why would anyone bid on a surprise item?” The items listed weren’t cheap. There were paintings and sculptures, and a diamond necklace. “Who has money to impulse buy something like this?”

Matt poked at what little food he had left on his plate with his fork. “They wouldn’t be impulse buying it. My guess is they can’t show it on the viewing because they don’t have it… yet.”

Nico gaped. “It’s the it!”

Matt shrugged. “It could be.”

It could be. Or… “It’s not it.” Nico deflated.

“What do you mean, it’s not?” A frown overtook Matt’s face.

“I guess it could be.” Maybe. “But it could also be they, Mr. Cheekbones and the goons, want to grab it before it’s sold.”

Matt nodded. “You’re too good for glitter glue.”

“Nothing and no one is too good for glitter glue.” Nico pushed his plate aside. “You want to go to the auction?”

“We need to survive tonight first.”

Nico frowned. “What do you mean?” Dusk was slowly falling, but it would be a long time before it got dark for real. They’d eaten and now when Matt was back, things were as they should be.

“It’s twenty-four hours soon.”

A chill crept into Nico’s chest. “But they don’t know where I am.”

Matt looked at him. “Perhaps it was stupid of me to go back to Halsworthy. It gave them an opportunity to follow me.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Matt!” Nico threw his hands in the air. “Do you think they did?”

He shook his head. “No, I didn’t see anyone, but I was in your apartment for about half an hour. They could have placed a tracker on my car.”

Nico stared at him. “They would?”

“I don’t know, Nico. Perhaps they’re too stupid to do something like that.”

Nico got up and turned off the light.

“What are you doing?”

“Making it look like we’re not here.”

A smile stretched Matt’s lips. “My car is outside.”

“Move it. Put it somewhere where it isn’t visible from the road.”

“If they have a—”

“Move it!” It wouldn’t matter if they’d put a tracker in it, but he wanted Matt to hide it anyway.

Blurb:

Nico Allegretti has been best friends with Matt Barnes since kindergarten. There is no one more important to Nico than Matt, and while he’s known for years Matt is the one for him, he’ll never tell him. He won’t risk ruining their friendship.

On his way to meet Matt at the restaurant, a case of mistaken identity ends with Nico in the trunk of a car. When he’s released, his kidnappers give him twenty-four hours to give them what they want. The problem is, Nico has no idea what that could be.

Not knowing what else to do, he turns to Matt, who is a cop. Together they go into hiding while looking for clues. Being kidnapped doesn’t change Nico’s resolve to not let Matt know how he feels, but hiding in a small cabin together makes it hard to ignore. Matt’s small touches and compliments must mean nothing. Had Matt felt the same, he’d let him know by now … right?

Buy links:

Contemporary Gay Romance: 15,392 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/JustToBreathe

About Holly

According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.

Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.

Connect with Holly @ https://lnk.bio/xpae or visit her website @ hollydaywrites.wordpress.com

Guestpost, Release Blitz

New Release Spotlight: 4 Small-Town Romances by Ofelia Gränd

Today, I welcome Ofelia Gränd to the blog, who’s here to talk about all her May releases, that are all small-town romances. I love small-town romances! I’ve never understood the big city romances where the big city is almost like a character in the story; I much prefer a small-town setting. Preferably paired with a lone wolf!

Before I leave give the floor over to Ofelia, can we just take a moment to admire the model on Aiden and Tristan? He’s too cute for words!! 😍


Hi! Thank you, Nell, for letting me drop by today.

I’m in the middle of moving all my books to JMS Books, which means I have a lot of re-releases, and May is the month of small-town romances.

I have a series called Up North. It’s a series of contemporary stand-alone M/M romance stories. They’re all taking place in the same area, in small towns scattered around the north.

This month, I have four releases in the Up North series, all of them re-releases, and all of them taking place in the same little town – Nortown. We have Pet Delivery (was called Once in the Underworld before) that’s a 30k story and was released on the 8th. Then we have The Empty Egg which is a 4.6k freebie about Aiden and Tristan that was released on the 19th. Today, Aiden and Tristan is released. It includes Once in a Snowstorm, The Empty Egg, Happy Endings, and Just Words, which adds up to 46k. And then on the 29th Once in May will be released, and it’s about 48k. It’s a lot of titles to keep track of LOL

Have you lived in a small town? I have, and where I live now you can’t even call a town. We have no shops, no public transportation, nothing. It’s a crossroad with about 150 inhabitants.

I’d say the biggest pro with living in a small place is the community. People are looking out for each other. The biggest con is that everyone knows what you’re up to. And the gossip, my God, the gossip LOL.

In Nortown, they have a grocery shop and a cafe. The cafe is the social hub. It’s where everyone meets up, where the gossip is spreading.

Aiden has lost his job and he only has a few days until he has to leave his apartment in the city. When the walls are closing in on him, he hops into his car and heads north. He’s on his way to his mother’s, in hopes of her taking him in despite not having spoken to him for years. He didn’t think the snowstorm would be as bad as it is.

Tristan lives in a cabin outside of Nortown. He’s your garden variety grumpy lumberjack LOL and he’s not pleased when he finds a guy face down in the snow without proper clothing for the weather. City people, ey? They don’t even know how to dress right. But Tristan can’t let the poor bastard freeze to death, so he takes him to his cabin.

That’s pretty much how Aiden and Tristan’s adventures start, and soon they’ll become part of the small-town everyday life. Once they’re no longer trapped by the snowstorm, Aiden gets many of his preconceptions concerning small towns confirmed, but he’s also welcomed into the community.

Excerpt:

“Og!” His call was answered by a bark nearby. “Come on, boy.”

The darn dog didn’t come. Tristan sighed, grabbed the yellow snow shovel standing by the door, and started trudging through the snow. Og had better be stuck, or Tristan would strangle the stupid mongrel with his bare hands.

Snowflakes clung to his beard, and as he touched the knitted cap on his head, he realised it was already covered with snow. A walk outside was not what he’d envisioned after his arduous journey into town. He’d only gone in on his snowmobile to make sure he’d have enough dog food at home—he was pretty sure they would be snowbound for days. He’d had a quick chat with Jennifer, and then he’d headed back home. Maybe he should’ve stayed in town.

Jen always worked too hard. Running the motorway café and taking care of Luke all by herself was tough, and Tristan always worried when he couldn’t be there.

“Og!” The dark and the snowflakes made it hard to see. Nothing but snow-covered tree trunks and not a dog to be found.

Another bark came from close by. Tristan squinted into the woods. Og’s bright eyes glowed in the dark. A white-spotted dog was not easy to locate when everything was white-spotted, but now when Tristan knew what he was looking at, he could see that Og was indeed trapped. A dark figure held on to his collar, not that Og appeared to be bothered, judging by the happy thump of his tail against the snow, creating a white cloud around both him and the person on the ground.

Tristan took a careful step closer. His grip on the shovel tightened. What kind of lunatic came into the woods in weather like this?

“Hello?” Tristan stopped a couple of metres away from the body—a man, he saw now—and waited for a response. Only a muffled groan came. Fuck!

Tristan dropped the shovel and hurried forward to the man and shook him lightly. “Hey. Come on, wake up.” The eyelids fluttered as the man tried to open his eyes. Tristan touched his forehead—icy cold. The man was almost completely covered in snow and his hair was wet—Tristan assumed his clothes were, too. Without thinking, he reached for the man’s hand, shook loose his fingers from Og’s collar, and started to pull him out of the snow.

He sighed as he took in the trendy jeans and sneakers. Why couldn’t people dress according to the weather? If Og hadn’t found him, he’d have frozen to death—he wouldn’t look so pretty in his designer clothes in a casket.

He hefted the man up in a fireman’s carry and started making his way towards the cabin. It was like carrying an ice block. He guessed he should be pleased about the man being short and small framed. His curly dark hair flopped around his face with each step Tristan took.

They weren’t far from the cabin, but ploughing through the snow with the extra weight of the man and Og running around his legs had Tristan sweating and out of breath in no time at all. He grunted as he sank knee-deep into the snow, mentally cursing the stupid man for walking into his forest.

He couldn’t stay angry, though. He worried about the man being injured. It would be impossible to get an ambulance out here, and Tristan only had a basic knowledge of first aid. First, he needed to get him out of his wet clothes, that much he knew. Hypothermia was no joke.

Blurb:

Daring a snowstorm might not be the smartest thing Aiden Evans has ever done, but he can’t stand being in his flat a moment longer. With only three days to Christmas, he doesn’t want to be alone. He wants a place to belong, wants people around him who won’t look down on him. He might not find that at his mother’s place, but it’s better than being alone in the city. If he can make it there, that is.

Tristan Gardner is looking forward to a quiet night in front of the TV, but instead, he has to save an idiot in designer clothes from freezing to death in his forest. Tristan tries not to notice the man’s good looks, just like he has tried not to notice any man’s good looks for the last seven years. He knows where relationships go and is far better off living alone, with his dog, in his cabin.

Aiden is driving Tristan mad with his bratty comments and irresponsible ways, and Aiden is going crazy from Tristan’s judgmental attitude. Luckily, in a few days, the weather will clear up, and the two men won’t have to be together any longer. But will a few steamy nights with the grumpy lumberjack change Aiden’s mind about wanting to leave? And will Tristan still want to go back to his peaceful, predictable life without fear of getting his heart broken?

Contains the stories “Once in a Snowstorm,” “The Empty Egg,” “Happy Endings,” and “Just Words.”

Buy links:

Contemporary M/M Romance:46,142 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/AidenandTristan

About Ofelia:

Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes romance, contemporary, paranormal, Sci-Fi and whatever else catches her fancy.

Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.

When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from her husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods…if she’s lucky she finds her way back home again.

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