Fall recommendations

Since I’m obsessed by fall, I’ve compiled a few autumn-themed recommendations for those lovely evenings spent listening to the rain smattering on the roof, in front of a sparkling fire, and sipping a cup of tea. At least that’s how I envision myself spending all my fall evenings this year (conveniently forgetting about laundry, and a house that needs cleaning, and food that needs cooking). If you’re with me, here are some songs, books, and movies you could enjoy along with the tea. Or wine. Red wine is good in fall, too 😁

Fall-themed playlist


The sun went out just like a dying amber / That September in the rain
September in the Rain – Annie Lennox

In the middle of September we’d still play out in the rain / Nothing to lose but everything to gain
September – Daughtry


October / And the trees are stripped bare / Of all they wear / What do I care?
October – U2

I’m blinded by the lights / Of October skies
October Skies – Mumford and Sons


One November / Spawned a monster / In the shape of this child
November Spawned a Monster – Morrissey

So never mind the darkness, we still can find a way / ‘Cause nothin’ lasts forever, even cold November rain
November Rain – Guns’n’Roses

Fall-themed books

September :: October :: November

But Nell, you say. Shiny Things isn’t called “Something, something November.” No. You’re right. It turns out I haven’t read a book titled something with November; even though there are two M/M romance books called Mr. November (one by Bailey Bradford and the other by Pepper Espinoza) I haven’t read either of them. And I want to recommend books that I’ve read and loved. Hence Shiny Things, that takes place in November.

Fall-themed movies

I haven’t seen You’ve Got Mail in years and years, but I’d never say no to a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.

“Ask yourselves why you were clapping.”

“You must never move the body.”

Feel free to add to my recommendations in the comments. Have you read a book with November in the title? What do you listen to in fall? Or watch when you curl up on the couch in front of the TV? πŸ™‚

Miscellaneous, My Books

More Nell Iris books in KU

Are you a Kindle Unlimited subscriber? If yes, you’ll be happy to learn that more of my books are now available in KU. Unexpected Christmas and His Steady Heart have both long been in the program, but recently, JMS Books agreed to add more of my books to the program, so now all of these stories are also available:

So whether you’re in the mood for bunny shifters, a queer wedding, friends-to-lovers, fated mates, second chances, best friend’s brother, finding home, bittersweet young love, 40+ characters, or Christmas, you can now read it without paying extra if you’re a KU subscriber. And no worries if you’re not; the books are still available to purchase in all the usual stores, too!

Go forth and read! πŸ™‚


Goodbye March

March is my second least favorite month of the year, a close second to November (ugh, November is dreadful!) and I’m so happy it’s finally over. Spring is here, April is here. I’ve always loved April, but this year it’s extra special since we’re moving into our new, huge, fabulous house in the country on April 16. So a big chunk of this month has been me packing, packing, and packing, as you’ll see later in this post.

But I’ve had some fun, and we’ll start with that.

My morning writing habit continues, even if I haven’t done much actual writing in March but a lot of the other stuff authors need to do. Blogging, social media, guest posts, release related stuff, worrying that we suck…things like that. But everything feels better with a cup of tea in my favorite cups (that now sadly are packed).

A lot of my writing time in March has been spent moaning and whining about my newsletter, and trying to figure out how to make it happen. I’ve watched YouTube videos, read articles and blog posts, looked at other authors’ newsletters and testing testing testing, but finally it’s done and live and sign-upeable. (Have you signed up? If no, why not?? Clickety-click this link and sign up, pretty please with sugar on top? ❀️) I really ought to send my morning writing buddies big bouquets of flowers (or bottles of booze) as thank you for enduring my rants and not breaking up with me. If you didn’t already know, Ally, Ofelia (and JM, not present this particular morning, though) are awesome people. Go buy all their books, they deserve it.

I bought my first garden book (The Herb Garden) because surrounding my huge house is an equally huge garden, and I want to grow things! Things I can eat, not useless flowers and crap that’s only meant to be pretty πŸ™‚

And then we went on a road trip to visit my darling daughter, her fiancΓ©, and the most wonderful grandbaby in the world. It was perfect road trip weather and we had travel mugs with coffee and tea, and egg sandwiches. It was lovely.

My daughter, grandbaby, and I went for a long walk, and our destination was a park full of bronze age petroglyphs. This place has soooo many rock carvings and I was like a kid in a candy store, running around, shouting “Oh, look at this!” or “Wow, have you seen this?” to my daughter, while photographing everything. I adore rock carvings and rune stones and old things, so this was a truly wonderful experience. And when reading about it later, I learned that only a small percentage of all the carvings are painted red, so they recommend a visit during the dark, when the rocks are illuminated at an angle, making it easier to see the carvings not painted with red color. I’m definitely doing that next time I visit!

My daughter, her fiance, and my grandbaby, three of the best people I know, on another walk. A cold, muddy one, but fun and enjoyable nonetheless.

My six-month-old granddaughter’s favorite book. 😍 I buy her lots of books (even if I didn’t buy this particular one) because I’m determined to make her into a book worm just like her grandmother πŸ™‚

But then we had to go back home and start packing, and I’m not kidding when I say there’s boxes everywhere.

Most of our stuff is now in boxes…including the rolling pin. Something I discovered when I was making pizza one night and couldn’t find it anywhere. So I used the tomato sauce can, because as we say in Sweden “man tager vad man haver” (one makes due with what one’s got) 😁

And every weekend morning, my husband and I enjoy a lazy, lovely breakfast together. This was last Saturday: freshly baked croissants, pineapple, apple, blood orange, juice, ginger shots, boiled eggs, and tea/coffee. I adore all the spring-y colors of this particular morning: the pink of the pink grapefruit juice, the green of the matcha genmaicha tea, even the orange lid on the salt. Made me really happy deep into my soul.

Tell me; did you do anything fun in March?

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 GrΓ€nd’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 BooksΒ :: Amazon ::Β 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 GrΓ€nd’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 BooksΒ ::Β AmazonΒ ::Β Universal Buy Link


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! πŸ™‚ (link to blog post).

About Nell, Miscellaneous

Three Days – Three Temporary Desks

Last weekend, I went to visit The World’s Cutest and Most Wonderful Grandbaby 😍 (and her parents of course), but a weekend away from home does not equal a vacation. A writer never rests! So I got up at my usual time, met up with my morning writing crew, and did what I was supposed to do: wrote! I was there for three mornings and tried three different writing spaces, so I thought I’d show you what it looks like when a writer (at least this writer) travels.

Morning 1: the kitchen table. Good table space, awful chair. My butt is spoiled with my ultra comfy office chair at home and did not approve of a hard kitchen chair.

Morning 2: couch/coffee table. My behind was happier this morning (very soft and comfy couch) but my back not so much. A low coffee table is not ideal despite excellent table space, and my back threatened to quit if I didn’t move. So I did. I don’t wanna be a spineless person after all πŸ˜‚

Morning 3: the couch+couch cushion desk. Again the couch is very comfy for my behind, but the cushion…well, it was at least moveable so I could lean back and put it on my lap. That was tolerable at least.

Verdict: I think morning 3 wins after all because the couch is comfier than the kitchen chair any day. But also: being awarded with sunny morning baby smiles and soft baby cuddles make everything worth it. I’d even sit on the kitchen chair by the coffee table if it meant I could start every morning with a happy baby smile πŸ™‚