5 things and 1 Facebook Party

Happy Saturday, everyone. This post starts with five things I’ve loved lately, and ends with one huge Facebook Party. First the list:

Rocketman. My husband and I watched this movie a couple weeks ago, and I really loved it. I don’t watch a lot of movies (or shows), so my hubby tries to find things he knows will entice me, and Rocketman was definitely one of those things. If we’re comparing musical films, i.e. Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody, I think I liked BR better, probably because I like Queen a little more than I like Elton John. Because objectively, Rocketman was a better movie. The scene below was fabulous. Have you seen the movie? Did you like it?

(PS: I’ve had Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on repeat in my head since we watched it. Doesn’t matter if I listen to anything else, it’s still stuck. So I’m getting a bit annoyed now, tbh 😀 )

My new fountain pen and the new ink. I can almost hear you guys: But Nell, don’t you already have a thousand fountain pens? Hush, you! I’m a writer, and writers need pens! Also: I was in need of some serious retail therapy, so I indulged 🙂

(I was going to post pictures of my pen and my ink bottle, but it’s a depressingly gray day here today and barely any daylight, so all the pics I’ve taken look like crap. So instead I snagged pics from Lamy’s webpage)

Fountain pen plus fabulous ink

An older Andy Bell (singer of Erasure) with a white beard 😍 I loved him when he was younger and flamboyantly gay, and I love him in a daddy beard. It doesn’t hurt that their new album is the best they’ve released in 20 years or so.

The re-release of Shifting Silver by Brandon Witt. I already own this book, I bought it back in 2017 when it was available through Dreamspinner Press. But because DSP stopped paying their authors, Brandon Witt pulled his titles and has worked on re-releasing them. And because I love this book so much – I love all books I’ve read by this author but Shifting Silver is my absolute favorite – I decided to buy this re-released version, too. I often do that with books I really love. Or buy one ebook and one print book. Anyway, when it came up for pre-order months ago, I one-clicked it faster than the speed of light. Then I forgot all about it, so when it showed up in my Kindle app a few days ago, I was ecstatic. I re-read it and it was as great as I remembered it. If you haven’t read this beautiful story, you really should. Buy it here.

Shifting Silver book cover

YouTube write-ins / write with me: Some days, my beloved morning writing crew has real world stuff they need to deal with (jobs! kids! sleep!) and can’t join me in my writing mornings. And since I prefer the company, even if it’s virtual, I’ve watched write-with-me videos on YouTube on these lonely mornings. Mostly on authortuber Kate Cavanaugh’s channel. I found her when one of her videos, I tried writing like Stephen King for a day, showed up in my YouTube feed. I enjoyed it, so I stayed with her. She’s done more “I tried writing like” experiments ever since, and other writing experiments, too, like 24-hour writeathon for example. She posts regularly and puts out high quality content, which are two things that make me happy. So if you want to follow an authortuber, I highly recommend her channel.


Now for the Facebook Party: today, Love Bytes Reviews celebrates that they’ve reached 1000 members in their FB group by putting on a huge party. It starts now, 9 am CET (Central European Time) November 7, and will continue until tomorrow, November 8 9:45 am CET. Each author has 15 minutes to party, so as you probably understand, considering it’s going for over 24 hours, there are a lot of authors participating.

If you want to party with me, my fifteen minutes start at 3:30 pm CET / 9:30 am EST, but I’d definitely recommend you popping by whenever you have the time. You can expect Giveaways Galore! 🙂

So come join us. Here’s the link to the group.

Screenshot Love Bytes Lovers Facebook group

Autumn tag

I found an autumn tag on the internet, and since y’all know I’m crazy about fall this year, I decided to put it up on the blog today.

Favorite thing about autumn?
The crisp air, it’s so lovely.

Spooky autumn or cozy autumn?
Cozy, cozy, cozy!!

Haunted house or Halloween party?
It’s a pandemic; parties are frowned upon, so I guess haunted house?

Carve pumpkins or paint pumpkins?
First, I’m Swedish and we’re not as pumpkin obsessed as the rest of the world during this season. But if I had to choose…? Listen, I’m not really artistic so whatever I chose would end up really ugly. I might write a haiku about a pumpkin, instead, if that’s okay?

Go apple picking or go on a hay ride?
I’m allergic to hay, so I guess apple picking? But since hay ride sounds like more fun, I might take an allergy pill and hope for the best.

Pumpkin spice lattes or mulled apple cider?
I’ve never had pumpkin spice anything (see above question about carving pumpkins) so mulled apple cider.

Falling rain or a crackling fireplace?
Don’t make me choose!! It’s like picking a favorite child, but more difficult because I only have one kid. But all right. Fireplace.

Have you purchased any fall decor?
Not unless a gazillion candles counts?

Favorite photo that you took last fall?
Maybe this one, because it meant we’d finally moved back to Sweden after more or less a year’s moving preparations?

Favorite autumn-themed movie?

Favorite color to wear in autumn?
Listen, if you’re here for the fashion advice, you’re in the wrong place. I wear black all year round 🙂

Favorite autumn-themed book?

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Best way to spend a rainy day?

Tea, candles, a YouTube fire, and a good book

Favorite autumn food?
Soup, soup, soup!!

Favorite autumn quote
One by one
everyone has left
autumn wind

Haiku by Kobayashi Issa

Favorite autumn leaf?
Maple

Favorite autumn activity
See above question about rainy days 🙂

Favorite autumn scent?
The crisp air after a fall rain

Is your birthday in autumn?
If September 11 counts as autumn, or does it have to be at least October? 🙂

Favorite song with the word “October” in the title (yes, I made this question up myself 🙂 )

Nell on the Internet

Lately, I’ve popped up here and there on the internet, and I thought I’d posts some links to it here for you to check out if you’ve missed them.

I wrote three posts about Regaining Trust. One was posted on my publisher’s blog (link) where I wrote about how cheating is always the least favorite trope among romance readers. I also wrote two posts for my writing buddies’ blogs. At Ofelia Gränd’s blog (link) I wrote about “once a cheater, always a cheater,” and at A.L. Lester’s blog (link) I talked about whether feelings change after an incident of infidelity.

I also wrote my bimonthly guest post at Love Bytes Reviews, where I made a list of 15 things that make happy right now. Check it out here, and feel free to tell me about things that makes you happy in the comments. 🙂

Number four of the things on my list that makes me happy is “lighting up dark Swedish evenings with an abundance of candles” and this is my desk during my morning writing sessions. It started out with two candles and then sort of evolved from there 😂

#BiVisibilityDay and Nobody Else’s

Today is Bi Visibility Day, a day to celebrate all of us who identify as bisexuals. Bisexuals are the largest part of the LGBTQ+ community, but despite making up about 50% , we are often erased, both from within and from outside the community. We face lots of prejudice, and people believe a lot of stupid stuff about us. For example: read this article for 10 harmful myths about bisexuals. It happens to all of us: I’ve had people questioning me, asking how can I be such a terrible slut and do that (=be bisexual) to my husband, because being attracted to more than one gender means I’m automatically unfaithful. Obviously. (That was irony if I was unclear.)

So today, we’re celebrating bisexuals everywhere here on my blog!

My fictional characters don’t escape the prejudice either. In Nobody Else’s, Beckett’s best friend Matt, who is also Levi’s older brother, doesn’t understand. Let’s all do our best to not be Matt!

Mars enters Pisces, giving Beckett Cooper the opportunity to assert himself when it comes to a secret infatuation; his best friend’s younger brother Levi. But can Beckett trust what’s in front of him and be brave enough to take what he wants?

With Venus in Virgo, people usually become more reserved, but Levi Byrne always takes the opposite road of what’s expected of him. So, instead of pulling back, he reaches out for a man he’s been interested in for years; Beckett Cooper.

Is it the celestial bodies aligning to bring together two people destined for each other? Or is it a simple tale of boy meets boy, boy likes boy, and boy wants to kiss boy? Do Beckett and Levi even care, or are they too busy getting to know each other … and falling in love?

M/M Contemporary / 19 794 words

JMS Books | Universal Buy Link

Sunday cover love

Do you ever see a cover that you just adore, that you drool over and seriously consider printing and framing it and hanging it on the wall? Or is it just me? 😁 Lately, I’ve come across a few covers like that, and I thought I’d share them with you.

Disclaimer: I’ve only read one of the books, so I cant speak to if the other three are good or not. What I can say is that I drool over all four of these. Aren’t they pretty? 😍

cover love

Florentine | The Unbroken Circle | The Curse of Flight | Summerweek

The one I’ve read is Summerweek by Katherine Traylor. It was a lovely story, matching the wonderful cover, so if you’re in the mood for a F/F romance, second chances about a queen and her lady-in-waiting, this is the perfect story for you. Clickety-click the link above to buy it.

Sometimes, when I see a really pretty cover, I get scared to read the book because what if it’s not good enough to match the cover? I agree that it sounds a bit drama-queen-ish, but I’ve had it happen to me, so I’m traumatized 😁

To be perfectly honest, I wish I had the R.G. Hendrickson cover for one of my books. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be! 😁

Tell me about a pretty cover you’ve seen that you just want to print and hang on your wall!

Friday favorite

Now that all days blend together and time doesn’t exist anymore, it’s more important than ever to celebrate Fridays as the start of the weekend. And what better way than to do that than with music? Music makes everything better.

So here’s one of my favorite songs. It always makes me want to dance and jump and be happy 💃🍾

I don’t care if Monday’s black
Tuesday, Wednesday, heart attack
Thursday, never looking back
It’s Friday, I’m in love

 

JMS Books 10-year anniversary

I already told you that JMS Books celebrate being in business for 10 years this year and that they’ve planned a lot of stuff to mark this special occasion. One thing is releasing the anthology, A Decade of Gay Romance that features my story Unexpected Christmas:adogr and uc

The anthology was released on July 1st, so now’s the time to go pick up your copy if you pre-ordered it. Or buy it if you haven’t already.

Here’s the link


But that’s not everything they’re doing. The celebration is going on the entire month of July, so on top of that anthology, they will also have daily author sales, there’s a chance to win free books, and JMS authors are writing guest posts for the JMS blog. Including me.

And I did a thing for my guest post. Want a clue? 😁

9ws flashfic

Keep your eyes peeled on the JMS blog on July 22nd if you want to read what I did!

Seriously, though. Check out the blog (here’s the link again) and read the guest posts from the other authors. Maybe try a new-to-you author in one of the daily sales? Enter the giveaway to win a free book? Whatever you can do to support a small queer press like JMS Books is appreciated. They treat their authors really well, are open and honest, and pay their authors on time. All the things that should be a given, but unfortunately aren’t.

So join me in celebrating the incredible achievement of being in business for 10 whole years! (And the thing I did won’t be published here on this blog…#justsayin 😀 )

Autism Awareness Blog Hop

6

There is no known scientific link currently between vaccines and autism.


I’m honored to take part in RJ Scott’s annual Autism Awareness Blog Hop. I adore anyone who uses their voice and platform to do good, so hats off to RJ Scott for doing this. I’m the last stop for this year, but click this link to see what all the other fabulous authors have contributed.

Also, check out RJ’s master post by clicking this link. By commenting on the post, you can win signed copies of her books with characters on the autism spectrum, among other things.

Also, if you have the opportunity: consider donating to an organization working with autistic people like Lindengate or any other organization you want to support.


Every year the blog hop has a theme, and this year it’s food, and I thought I’d tell you about my current food project: learning how to cook Asian .

Unless you’re very new to my blog (in that case, welcome!) you know I recently moved back to Sweden after living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for close to nine years. I loved living there even if not everything is great about Malaysia (like the fact that being LGBT is against the law) and the best part was the food. Kuala Lumpur is a very diverse city with every kind of cuisine – not just Asian – readily available. But I loved the different kind of Asian food the best.

I’d had some Asian food before I moved. Chinese, of course. Sushi. Really crappy Indian food from the only Indian place in my tiny home town. And Thai, which was my favorite. But moving to a place with so much new (to me) and interesting food was paradise.

I ate my way through all the different cuisines. Malaysian of course (Beef Rendang, yum). Great Indian food instead of the crappy one I’d tried before. Korean (I ADORE Korean BBQ), Vietnamese (pho!), middle eastern, Indonesian, and awesome Chinese, just to mention a few. But my absolute favorites are Thai and Japanese.

So now that I’ve moved to a place where I can’t find that kind of food on every street corner, I figured it was time to learn how to cook it myself. I started with Thai and my favorite dish Pad Krapow and did pretty well, if I’m allowed to say so myself (and my husband agreed, he even called it authentic-tasting). I’ve branched out since, and I’m slowly learning about the flavors. How to use fish sauce and oyster sauce. The difference between light and dark soy sauce. How something tangy/tart/sour enhances every dish. And I’ve also learned that I really, really love fresh ginger.

The dish I miss the most is real Japanese ramen. Before I moved to Malaysia, the only ramen I’d tried was the instant variety which is kind of gross. So imagine my surprise when the hubby took me out on a date to have real ramen, saying You’re gonna love this, trust me. And I did. The rich, cloudy broth that’s been boiled for at least 12 hours, lovely noodles, tender chashu, seaweed, mushrooms, and eggs…YUM!

To borrow a term from the romance world: it was insta-love…and our relationship is still going strong all these years later.

So now my plan is to learn how to cook ramen. I bought a seriously great cookbook and I’ve been reading through it several times. The recipe for the broth is deceptively simple: it calls for 12 liters of water, 4 onions, and 15 pig’s feet.

I visualize myself in the kitchen halving 15 pig’s feet and roasting them in the oven before boiling them in a big ass pot for up to 18 hours.

What can possibly go wrong? 😁

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A bowl of gorgeous tonkotsu ramen from my Ippudo, favorite ramen place in Kuala Lumpur.


Sully in my latest release Late Night Poetry, loves cooking and works in a kitchen. To win an ebook copy of this book, all you need to do is comment on this blog post. Tell me about your biggest kitchen adventure, or if you don’t like to cook, tell me about your favorite food in the whole wide world!

I will pick a winner on May 8.

graphic1 late night poetry nell iris

A love story told in answering machine messages.

Saying “I love you” to someone who says it first, isn’t supposed to lead to a break-up, but that’s what happens to Sully and Lou. Sully is out and proud while Lou is in the closet, so when their relationship deepens, Lou runs.

But then Lou starts leaving emotional messages of remorse on Sully’s answering machine. Sully is torn between his love for Lou and his attempts to get over him. With each message, Lou’s regrets deepen. With each message, it becomes more difficult for Sully to forget him. With each message, Sully finds it harder to want to move on.

Can old love poems and heartbreaking honesty help Sully and Lou find their way back to each other?

M/M Contemporary, approximately 10 000 words

Free books @JMS Books

You know how I always call my publisher JMS Books “fabulous”? Well, they are, and right now they’re really living up to that word.

A couple days ago, they asked their writers if we wanted to offer some of our books for free, for people who are practicing social distancing, are isolated because of illness or belonging to a risk group, or people who are working their asses off to keep the rest of us safe (and in toilet paper) because of COVID-19, and many of us, including me, said yes.

jms free

As I write this, there are 51 books offered for free at JMS Books’ webpage. That’s many, many hours of free entertainment for you or someone who really needs to be entertained.

Here is the link to all the free books


The book I’m giving away is Cinnamon Eyes:

cory is that you v2

Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and 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 Corey 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 Cory and Asher meet again after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?

M/M Contemporary / 34 679 words

Link to Cinnamon Eyes


8 free books

This is just an example of all of the books that are offered for free right now. What are you waiting for? Clickety-click this link and go wild!

Feelgood re-reads and sweetness

Hi everyone! I hope you are all well and staying safe, and I hope your loved ones are well and staying safe, too. I’m well, and my family is, too. I barely leave the house, but that’s nothing extraordinary for me: I’m an introvert homebody who’d prefer to never leave the house, and have to mentally prepare even for mundane stuff, like going out and getting groceries 😀

Yesterday, I was convinced I had contracted the virus (despite only going to the grocery store this week where I didn’t interact with anyone) because I had trouble breathing, which is a warning sign. And then I remembered that I have allergies, and that spring is coming. Malaysia doesn’t have spring, so I’ve forgotten what it feels like after 8 years in a tropical climate. So I popped a pill, talked myself down from the ledge, and this morning when I woke up, I felt perfectly fine again.

So, I decided I need to step away from all the frantic reporting. It’s not like I’m hiding or ignoring the news, but I need a breather. Besides, I trust my husband to inform me if the end is nigh and I need to find the nearest bunker.

So what do you do when you need a breather from the apocalypse? Read, of course!! So I went to my trusted “feelgood re-reads” list on Goodreads and picked a few books that always make me feel better. I thought I’d share them with you, if you also need to take your mind off things.

feelgood

A Second Harvest if you want age gap and slow burn. Cultivating Love if you want to read about an established couple’s deepening relationship. For A Reason if you want the MCs to meet early in the book and then read about how they make a life together. Galaxies and Oceans if you want to read the most romantic book on the planet and want a huge dose of hurt/comfort. Jesse’s Diner if you want to read about a guy who really doesn’t get when he’s being flirted with. And Let Your Heart Be Light if you want fluff.

Buy links:

A Second Harvest | Cultivating Love | For a Reason | Galaxies and Oceans | Jesse’s Diner | Let Your Heart Be Light


And if it’s sweetness you need, I’ve been known to write a sweet book or two.

cover blurb available now w review quote

Maybe a cute, fluffy, possessive bunny shifter?

Amazon | JMS Books

promo horoscope review quote

Or maybe a brother’s best friend story with corny horoscopes and a butterfly that sort of looks like BB8?

Amazon | JMS Books

Cover blurb review quote

Maybe you want to read about two guys in their late forties finding love? Also, there is an ex-wife in this story, but she’s NOT a shrill bitchy harpy – on the contrary 🙂

Amazon | JMS Books

all i see reveiw quote

Or if all you have is a few minutes to yourself: a shorty (just under 5K words) about an established couple and a dilemma?

Amazon | JMS Books

Or check out all my books over at JMS Books. Most of them are sweet and cute and fluffy.