Guestpost, Release Blitz

New Release Spotlight: Blown Away by Holly Day

Today, my friend and morning writing buddy Holly Day is here for a visit to talk about her brand spanking new book Blown Away, and tempt us with pictures of cake. Make sure you have a tissue handy to wipe drool off your face 🙂


Hello *waves*. Thank you, Nell, for letting me drop by again. It’s lovely being here.

Do you have a sweet tooth? I admit I’m slightly addicted to sweet things, mostly chocolate and salty liquorice, but I won’t turn down cake when it’s offered. I don’t eat gluten so I have to watch it with the cakes, and with a lot of the liquorice too, but I can’t imagine life without sweet things in it.

Did you know it’s the liver that produces the hormone that makes us crave sweet things? It’s called FGF21 and it tells our brain that we need to eat something sweet.

I’m not saying I’m powerless when it comes to making choices, but some people have more of a sweet tooth than others. It’s genetic. Our brain is told more often to eat something sweet than those whose liver produces ‘normal’ levels of FGF21.

So when Espen Urso in Blown Away is craving chocolate cake with cinnamon and cayenne frosting, Tres Leches cake, red velvet cake, chocolate chip cookies, Mexican cinnamon cookies, Bunuelos or whatever it might be he wants to eat, he’s not to blame. You see, Espen is a bear shifter, and everyone knows bears have a sweet tooth. But it’s not only sweet things, Espen likes to eat, and you shouldn’t keep a bear from his food.

Arvid Rai, who’s a blue jay shifter, doesn’t share Espen’s fascination with food – he’s a bird! LOL

You’d think I wrote this story to celebrate World Chocolate Day (that’s on July 7th, and I haven’t written a story for it…yet) or something, but I didn’t. I wrote Blown Away for Big Wind Day that’s on April 12th.

Arvid is an omega on the run. There is a terrible storm, which makes it impossible for him to fly, and a group of hot-headed alphas are hunting him. They catch up with him in Espen’s territory.

Espen doesn’t tolerate intruders, especially not when they’re keeping him from his food, and he wants nothing to do with omegas.


Excerpt:

“Let’s see.” The bear crouched by his side, and Arvid wanted to run. He hadn’t willingly been this close to an alpha shifter since he left home at sixteen.

Gently, the bear took his hand, then he cupped his elbow, and before Arvid could prepare, he pulled. The pain made him scream, then the world went black for a few seconds.

“Easy.”

Arvid kicked, certain the bear now would take advantage of him.

“We should have someone look at it, but now it at least looks as if the bones are aligned. Whiskey?”

“What?” Arvid blinked away the black dots still dancing in his eyes.

“Would you like a glass of whiskey? A bottle perhaps?” The bear shrugged. “Might take the edge off the pain.”

“I don’t like whiskey.”

The bear huffed. “I’m making blueberry pancakes while we still have power. You want some?”

Pancakes? Now?

“With syrup.”

Arvid could’ve sworn the bear’s gaze heated at the mention of syrup—not in the creepy way most alphas’ gazes heated when they saw him, but in a… hungry way.

“I… eh…” Was it a trick? Was he trying to make him stay so he could mate with him?

The bear frowned. “I’ll go back into the kitchen. I might be allergic to birds.” He rubbed his chest. “I’m feeling… stressed. I don’t do stressed.”

Arvid took a deep breath and tried to soothe his nerves. If the bear didn’t know he was the one causing him to stress, he wasn’t about to tell him. “Pancakes would be lovely.” He didn’t move though. His arm throbbed, and he had no clothes.

“My bedroom is up the stairs in the kitchen.”

Bedroom? Arvid glanced at the door. He appreciated the bear wanting to take him in a bed instead of throwing him onto wet ground and have his way with him, but he’d almost believed this guy was different.

“Wardrobe to the left, right inside the door.” He turned his back to Arvid and walked away.

What the hell? Was it a trick? Once he walked up the stairs, there was no escape, the bear could come up after him, attack from behind.

The house shook as a gust of wind took hold of it, and in the next heartbeat, the room went dark.

“Damn. I wanted pancakes.” The statement was followed by a growl, and Arvid flinched. A hungry bear. Steps were coming closer, and Arvid’s pulse sped up.

“I should have you move to the barn. My heart reacts funny around you.” The grumpy tone would’ve been funny if it had been directed at someone else.

“Sorry.”

“Can’t help what you are.” The bear blew out a breath somewhere nearby. “Go get some clothes. I’m gonna light a fire to prevent the house from going cold.”

Arvid still didn’t move. “Eh… do you have a… flashlight or something?”

He could sense the bear watching him in the dark. “You don’t have any night vision?” He moved around, and soon there was the sound of a striking match. “Here.”

He handed him a candlestick with a short candle, two-thirds of it already burned down. “Thanks.” Arvid still didn’t move. He didn’t want to move. Everything hurt.

The bear snorted. “Wait here, I’ll go get you something.” And then he was gone.

Blurb:

Espen Urso would rather stay inside and enjoy a nice, sweet cake than be out in the worst storm of the year. But there’s a group of alpha shifters trespassing, and he needs to defend his territory and keep the people in his village safe. A group of wolf shifters he can scare off, but when he realizes they’ve hurt a defenseless little bird, he loses his patience.

Arvid Rai is having a bad day. He’s an omega on the run, with a group of alphas on his tail. If there hadn’t been a storm, he could have easily flown away before the stupid wolves got their hands on him, or the angry bear noticed he was in his territory. But there is a storm, and the idiot who grabbed him broke his wing, so now he can’t fly anywhere. Still, he deems it best to stay with the growly bear rather than having the other alphas fight over him.

Espen has never believed in the myth of omegas, and it isn’t until he takes Arvid in he realizes how much trouble he’ll be in when shifters from near and far learn he has one in his home. Will he be able to keep Arvid safe from other shifters? Is it even possible to defend his territory with an omega in it?

M/M Paranormal Romance: 13,628 words

Amazon :: JMS Books :: books2read/BlownAway

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

Re-Release Spotlight: The Egg Hunt by Ofelia Gränd

Today, I once again welcome my dear friend Ofelia Gränd to the blog. She has a new release she wants to talk about, or a re-release to be precise. I’ll let her tell you all about it, but before I leave the floor to her I have something important to say:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OFELIA!! 🎉 I hope you have a lovely birthday and that your family spoils you with cake and presents. In case they don’t, I’ve got you covered. I’ve fixed you a LUMBERJACK CAKE!! Goes perfectly with your new release and all the gay lumberjacks in Nortown! 😀

Image from Pinterest

Hello, everyone! Hi, Nell, thank you for letting me crash your blog, again. How about a lumberjack for Easter? You probably don’t know this, but it’s my birthday today. Not that I’ve put a lumberjack on my wish list, but if I should wish for anything, today should be the day, shouldn’t it?

Yesterday, The Egg Hunt was released. It’s not a new release. It was originally published back in 2016, but now it’s found a new home with JMS Books, which makes me really happy. It’s an Easter story, and it used to be a Nortown story, but all Nortown stories will now become Up North stories.

The thing with Nortown is that it’s crawling with gay lumberjacks LOL. Everyone has a beard, and everyone is into forestry or working at the sawmill, and everyone is annoyed with people coming from ‘the city’…until their special someone arrives to Nortown.

Writing these stories is so much fun. I would lie if I said they weren’t littered with stereotypes – they are – but the characters living in Nortown are very dear to me.

In The Egg Hunt, we get to meet Tom and Jason. Tom is your grumpy lumberjack and Jason is an annoying bartender from Whiteport. Jason might be the least favourable character I’ve ever written (apart from my serial killers, of course), but it’s not his fault. I have a tendency of making Jason responsible for everything going wrong in Nortown. If someone’s rude, it’s Jason. If someone says something they shouldn’t, it’s Jason. If someone outs someone against their will, it’s Jason.

But, sometimes, you need a Jason to move the story forward. He’s not to blame LOL.

Excerpt:

Jason was snooping, there was no better word for it. He’d eaten his breakfast in the kitchen, taking the opportunity to open each and every cupboard and drawer in there. He was trying to get a grip on Tom. He’d spent the morning pondering on what he knew about him and had come up with next to nothing. He worked in the forest, he cooked his own food, and he tricked injured men into seeing doctors. That was it.

So far, he hadn’t been able to find any indication of a partner, ex or otherwise. No love letters from long-lost girlfriends or boyfriends, no photos of Tom with a significant other. It didn’t have to mean anything, of course, but other than an old photo of two boys fishing—they couldn’t be more than eight or ten—he’d found nothing at all.

He hesitated outside Tom’s bedroom. He shouldn’t Carefully, he pushed at the door, opened it just a tiny, tiny crack and paused. He looked down at Biscuit, who had followed him around the house.

“What do you think, boy? Any dirty secrets in the closet?”

Biscuit sniffed loudly at the door and then pushed it fully open with his nose. Jason smirked to himself. It wasn’t his fault the door had opened. If Tom came home, he’d say Biscuit went in there and he’d gone to look for him. The floorboard creaked as he took a step closer, triggering his memory of last night, when he’d been to the bathroom.

Tom’s room was a little larger than the one Jason had slept in but not by much, although it had two windows—his room only had one—and the light coming through them made a great difference. The walls were light green and the bedding cream coloured, as were the curtains. It was…nice. Nice, soothing, and utterly impersonal. Jason wanted to yell in frustration. Biscuit jumped up on the bed, and before Jason could order him down, he snuggled up like a little pretzel right in the middle of it.

Jason listened for a moment, making sure no car was arriving, and opened the sliding door to the closet. Black, black, and black. Apart from a few pair of jeans, there was nothing but black shirts and T-shirts. Careful inspection revealed a pile of white T-shirts, all plain like the rest of Tom’s clothes, nothing with personality. He rubbed his forehead. It was like Tom was trying to hide in plain sight—almost impossible with his height and that beard…and those eyes. Jason wished he could gaze into those almost-black eyes forever.

Looking over his shoulder, his gaze fell on the bedside table, and he felt a pang of guilt. If someone went through his bedside table, he’d skin them alive, but like a magnet pulling him closer, it drew him in. One drawer: that was all there was.

Jason wiped his sweaty palm against his stomach and tentatively reached out. His fingers touched the cool metal handle, gripped, and pulled it out.

Empty.

He blinked a few times. Empty? Who had an empty bedside-table drawer? Jason banged it shut. It was like Tom didn’t exist.

Blurb:

Jason has one rule when it comes to holidays — work his shift behind the bar and then find a willing body to distract himself with. One night is long enough to satisfy his needs and still walk away with his heart intact. It has worked out fine for most of his adult life, but this Easter, he’s trying something new. He’s leaving the city to visit his friend Aiden, who recently moved in with his boyfriend in the middle of nowhere, but one unfortunate incident leaves Jason without a place to sleep.

Tom doesn’t just not do relationships, he rarely does hook-ups, either, and never too close to home. Living on his own without attachments is easier than having the whole town knowing about him. As the holiday approaches, his lonely house grows even quieter than normal — at least until his friend Tristan dumps an arrogant bartender in his lap.

As soon as Jason lays eyes on the gruff lumberjack whose home he’ll be sharing, he knows who’ll warm his bed for the weekend and help chase away any pending holiday gloom. Too bad Tom doesn’t want to get with the program. As much as he wants to let Jason close, he won’t risk outing himself for a weekend fling. Will Jason trust Tom not to break his heart if he stays longer than a couple of days? Will Tom value their relationship higher than the town gossip?

Contemporary M/M Romance: 34.031 words

Buy links:

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

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

New Release Spotlight: There Will Be Aliens by Holly Day

My friend and morning writing buddy Holly Day is back on the blog today to talk a bit about her newest release, There Will Be Aliens. Can I just say how much I love that name? 😍

Welcome Holly. And no need to do the dishes, I have a dishwasher to do that for me 😉


Thank you, Nell, for allowing me to come back. I promise I’ll help with the dishes this time 😁

Mars needs women, did you know? Or it’s not Mars that needs women – as far as I know, there is no one living on Mars – but Negudade needs women. Now, you might think there is no place called Negudade, and you wouldn’t be alone in those beliefs. Carlo Russo, one of the main characters in There Will Be Aliens, doesn’t believe in aliens at all, let alone a planet called Negudade.

That all changes when a bunch of huge creatures with swishing tails and dragon teeth try to steal his best friend, Grace, from right under his nose. The aliens are there to kidnap women so they can have alien babies.

Carlo’s life might be falling apart, but he has no desire to ever set foot on a spaceship. No matter how much he struggles, he soon finds himself overpowered, though.

Zenon Scoreceds Qhainqons, yup that’s his name, finds the Earthling male alluring and brings him along. He’s on a mission to save his planet. The Negudade people have lost their emotional responses, and by mixing their genes with the earthlings, they hope to bring them back.

The gesturing hands and facial expressions have Zenon intrigued. He could spend his entire day watching the human, but he has a job to do, and that includes flying them safely through an area controlled by space pirates.

I wrote There Will Be Aliens to celebrate Extraterrestrial Abductions Day. Every year, on March 20th, Extraterrestrial Abductions Day is celebrated. You can do it by reading a Sci-Fi story, watch your favourite alien movie, or look at the sky to see if you can spot a UFO. Watch out, though! They’re out to get you!

Excerpt

Carlo stumbled on the even road. “Shots were a bad idea, Gracie.”

She giggled and hooked her arm in his. “They were. I want pizza now, and I know I’m gonna have a headache tomorrow.”

Carlo sighed. He didn’t want to think about tomorrow. What the fuck would he do with his life? He had no place to stay since Ryan owned the apartment. He didn’t have a job since Ryan owned the restaurant where he’d worked and had been fired from. He didn’t have any money since, well, he’d worked as a waiter in a restaurant.

“It’ll be all right.” Grace patted his arm.

Had he spoken out loud? He didn’t think so. “I wish we had some weed.”

“I’m not sure getting high on top of being drunk will solve our problems.”

“No?” Carlo wasn’t so sure.

“Remember when we lived in the group home on Mill Lane?”

Carlo shuddered. “I’d rather not.”

“How the fuck did we end up here, Carlo? We swore when we got out that we would do something with our lives.”

“We have. Neither of us is in prison, neither of us has a drug addiction, and we’re not living on welfare. It’s a huge step up.”

“Yes, but what about family, a nice house, or a job we like?”

Carlo groaned. “I have to get a new job.”

“See what I mean?” She pulled at his arm, gesturing at a bench bathed in the soft glow of a streetlamp under a huge oak tree. Carlo shivered in the chilly March night but allowed her to steer him to the bench.

As soon as they sat, the surrounding shadows moved.

“What the…” He squinted. “What’s that?”

Grace clung to him. “Did you slip us drugs? I think I’m hallucinating.”

He hadn’t, but could someone else have? But why would they? Four huge black forms moved toward them. Carlo sucked in a breath as he noticed white, gleaming teeth.

The aliens were eight-nine feet tall with rippling muscles, midnight black skin, and…fangs. Not like vampire teeth, but fangs—both upper and lower canines.

“Holy shit. They have dragon teeth.”

Carlo didn’t look away from the monsters. “There is no such thing as dragons.”

“Are you sure?”

Right now, he suspected he was hallucinating or dreaming, so maybe there were dragons in this reality. “No.”

One of the monsters took a step forward. His skin was so dark blue it looked black, and he pointed a sharp-looking claw at them. Three fingers and a thumb, Carlo noted. Could’ve been worse, could’ve been tentacles. Then he swished a tail, and Carlo yelped in surprise.

As they took a step forward in unison, he flew to his feet. He might hallucinate, but he wouldn’t let them take Grace without a fight.

Blurb

Carlo Russo is having the worst day. Not only has he lost his job, caught his boyfriend cheating, and had one too many shots with his best friend Grace, now he’s seeing aliens too. Big, black, tail-equipped aliens. After a futile struggle, he and Grace find themselves on a spaceship leaving Earth.

Zenon Scoreceds Qhainqons doesn’t know what it is about the earthling male. Their mission is to bring back ten females in hopes of them being able to provide their planet with children, but he wants the male. What he’s going to do with the male, he doesn’t know, but he’s claiming him as his payment for going on the mission.

Carlo doesn’t approve of kidnapping, but the aliens aren’t too bad, and once the language chip is installed, he finds it entertaining to talk to them. Zen in particular. They’re standoffish and never show any emotion, but Carlo has no problem cuddling up next to Zen at night.

All Zenon wants is to spend time with Carlo, but it’s his job to get them all home in one piece. Will he be able to keep Carlo safe from all the dangers lurking along the trip? He has to because Carlo is his, and he’s not letting him go.

M/M Sci-Fi Romance | 32,509 words

Buy links

JMS Books :: Amazon.com :: book2read/ThereWillBeAliens

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: Eight Acts by A.L. Lester

I have a guest on the blog today, the lovely A.L. Lester. They’re here to talk about their brand spanking new release, Eight Acts. The main characters in this book was featured in Taking Stock, a book I absolutely adored, so I’ve looked forward to this since Ally told me about it. I was lucky enough to get an ARC, too, so it’s all loaded into my e-reader, waiting for me.

But enough babbling from me. Help me welcome Ally to my blog, please! 🙂


The History behind Eight Acts

Hello there! Thank you so much to Nell for inviting me to pop in today to talk about Eight Acts, my newest release! It’s a twenty thousand world novella set in 1967, just after homosexual sex between two men stopped being illegal in the UK. You can read all about it if you scroll down to the blurb below; but I wanted to use this space to talk a bit about how the story evolved.

It features Adrian and Percy, who are minor character in Taking Stock. Once I got that finished last summer, I spent a few months wondering how they got together. They seemed so solid in Taking Stock, a contrast to the confusion felt by the main characters. Percy teaches maths and science at a boys boarding school. The story is told from his point of view. He’s in his early thirties, sensible and steady, but lonely. He meets Adrian when he and his friend Les, a fellow teacher, decided to spend a summer in London teaching English to adults at a language school. Adrian is a criminal defence solicitor, a few years older than Percy and very down to earth and grounded.

They are both middle class, educated, and formed by a time when it was against the law to have sex with another man in the UK. By default therefore, they lived their professional lives in the closet.

However.

Having said that there was still a vibrant, connected queer community in London during the period between the Labouchere Amendment in 1885 and the relaxing of the law against ‘gross indecency’—mostly used to prosecute gay men for acts other than anal sex—in the Sexual Offences Act of 1967. I tried to reflect that in both books.

Then during the period I was writing, an acquaintance of ours died. He had lived with his partner since 1968. It suddenly brought it home to me that although technically 1967 is history…it’s more than fifty years ago, after all…it’s still living memory.  I knew that already—my mother still grumbles about the second world war being taught at GCSE!—but it didn’t really resonate with me until I realised these two lovely men had lived through all of this. I went away and did some reading at that point and I found this lovely book, Between the Acts, which is transcribed from interviews of gay men recorded some time in the 1970s.

I really recommend have a look at it if this period of UK history is your thing. Things have changed so much in the last fifty years. We’re not there yet by any means, but we’re moving forward. I’ve put more references on my blog if history is your thing.

Eight Acts

It’s the summer of 1967 and the Sexual Offences Act has just decriminalized consensual gay sex in private between two men over twenty-one. Percy Wright and his friend Les Baker have both taken temporary jobs teaching English as a foreign language in London during their long summer break from teaching at a rural boarding school near Oxford.

Thirty-three year old Percy is keen to soak up some theatre, music and general culture, whilst the younger Les is also keen to experience the varied gay social scene. When Les picks up a man called Phil at the box office of the Albert Hall when he goes to buy tickets to a Promenade Concert, Percy inadvertently gets thrown together with Adrian Framlingham, Phil’s friend.

Adrian is all the things Percy likes in a man…funny, kind and steady. When Les gets hurt, Percy turns to Adrian for support, but as the end of the summer looms it seems as if their affair will come to a natural end.

What will happen when Percy goes back to his everyday life as a house-master? Will he and Adrian stay in touch? Does he even want a long-distance relationship when arranging to meet someone for sex is still illegal, even if the act itself is not?

A 20k novella that’s set five years before Taking Stock. Stand alone.

About A. L. Lester

Writer of queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense. Lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, a badly behaved dachshund, a terrifying cat and some hens. Likes gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy. Not musical. Doesn’t much like telly. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has tedious fits.

WebsiteSocial Media and other stuff

Guestpost, Miscellaneous

More Nell Around the Internet

A few weeks ago, I collected a lot of links to guest posts I’ve written around the internet here in a blog post. (Link if you’ve missed it). Since then, I’ve had more releases and have written more guest posts, so it’s time for another round-up.

The Met in the Park

At Holly Day’s blog, I wrote about how I’ve come to love writing about characters who are 40 and above these days (link to blog post). At Ofelia Gränd’s blog, I wrote about how one of the MCs in They Met in the Park is a bit of a loner (link to blog post). And finally, at my publisher JMS Books’ blog, I wrote about how I’m a huge fan of quiet romances (link to blog post).

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Universal Buy Link

They Met in the Woods

At Holly Day’s blog, I wrote about how foraging for mushrooms in fall is a Swedish national sport and I also give you a recipe for chanterelle toast (link to blog post). At Ofelia Gränd’s blog, I wrote about a new word I’ve learned, cottagecore, and how I’ve been writing cottagecore for years without even knowing it (link to blog post). At JMS Books’ blog, I wrote about how They Met in the Woods probably wouldn’t have been written if it weren’t for my dear friend and sounding board Kris T. Bethke (link to blog post).

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Universal Buy Link

Misc

And my final link this time around was when I was visiting A.L. Lester’s blog. She has a new series on her blog, authors writing about their pet peeves, and I was honored to be the first one. I rant about my aversion to shower sex scenes, and you don’t wanna miss it. If nothing else because I spent a looooong time making a graphic for it…since I couldn’t find a “shower sex forbidden” picture anywhere on the internet. Shocking, I know! 🙂 (link to blog post).