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, 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

Release Blitz

New release spotlight: Soul Eater by Ofelia Gränd

Today, I have a guest here on the blog, the lovely and talented (and one of my morning writing buddies) Ofelia Gränd, who has a new book out today. Please help me wish her the happiest of release days! 🎉🍾🥂🎂


Hi! My name is Ofelia Gränd, and I’ve written a story called Soul Eater. It’s a paranormal gay romance book filled with growly werewolves, evil wizards and the occasional ghost. I stopped by here today to tell you about it, but I changed my mind.

Instead of you listening to me rant about my book, I thought I’d ask Thaddeus a few questions. Thaddeus is a wizard who is one of the main characters in Soul Eater.

Welcome, Thad. What is your full name and do you have a nickname?
Thaddeus Ezax. At work, they call me Thad.

What do you do and who do you work with?
I’m a detective. I work in Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department together with Elora Long, Leo Norden, Ric Hunter, and Captain Kol Jaecar.

That must be an interesting job.
I guess.

Where were you born?
In Rockshade.

Do you have a spouse or significant other?
You know I do.

I do. Would you like to tell us about him?
His name is Sandy. He’s a werewolf who turns translucent at the most inconvenient times. He worries too much, but he’s pretty awesome despite being a wolf.

How close are you to your family?
I thought you were gonna ask me questions about the soul eater case. I fail to see what my relationship with my family has to do with it. Before Sandy, I hadn’t talked to my family in three years. It’s best that way. Mom doesn’t want me around, and it’s best for everyone if we don’t see each other.

But were you close as a child? You’re an Ezax, one of the most powerful wizard families in the world. Surely your mother must have taught you your skills and abilities.
*snort* I’m a useless mage. I can’t do any of the things a mage is supposed to do. I was an embarrassment to my mother, and no one was happier than her when I started working with the shifters. None of her wizard friends hangs around shifters, so they wouldn’t hear about my failures.

Okay, moving on from your mother. What do you consider your greatest achievement so far, and why?
*narrowed-eyed stare* Achievement? Has this to do with our solve rate? Elora and I do the best we can. It’s not our fault things are a bit tense at work.

Ah, yeah, no, that was not what I was referring to at all, but if you want to talk about a work achievement, go ahead.
Not really. We caught him, it’s what counts, right?

I guess. Any heroic achievements on your part?
We normally don’t let the public know about individual accomplishments during the investigation, but we never would’ve stopped him without Sandy.

Since Sandy wouldn’t exist without you, I think you can take some credit.
The department solved the case. Together.

Right, okay. Do you have a criminal record?
Of course not, I’m a detective.

Does that mean you’ve never done anything illegal?
As a teen, I used to hang around the black market. And as an adult, I might have… stolen a werewolf skull from the black market. But I don’t have a record.

Do you believe in the existence of soul mates?
Hard not to, after all this.

In your opinion, what is the most evil thing someone could do?
Harvest someone’s spirit and keep it trapped in a skull for nine years. Or maybe it’s worse to devour someone’s soul. I don’t know.

Do you tend to argue with people, or avoid conflict?
I avoid conflict… Most of the time… It’s not my fault Ric’s an ass or the bad guys are arrogant bastards.

No, of course not. What’s in your bedside drawer?
I don’t see how that’s anyone’s business. I’ve been thinking about placing Sandy’s skull on top of the bedside table, though. I think it would be fitting for Halloween.

I see. I’m gonna let you go now, Thad. I get the feeling you don’t really want to do this interview. Perhaps it’s time for your pain meds?
I’m gonna wear this cast for six weeks. I’d like to know how cheery you would be if it was you who had to—

Thank you so much for coming, Thaddeus. It’s been delightful. I think we’ll finish this post off with an excerpt from the book instead of continuing with the questions I had planned. Say hi to Sandy for me.
I can see why Jaecar worries about the press. It’s a nuisance.

What was that?
Nothing. Thank you for having me on.

Anytime.

We must have caught him on a bad day, he’s normally a cheerful guy… or more cheerful, at least. Thank you for letting us drop by, Nell!


Detective Thaddeus Ezax is in over his head. He’s the only wizard in Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department, and it was his name that got him the job. The Ezaxs are known as some of the most powerful wizards in the world, but Thaddeus isn’t your average Ezaxs. Is it any wonder his family shuns him?

When a kidnapping case is dropped into his lap, Thaddeus must act fast. While most five-year-olds can cast a location spell, Thaddeus can’t and is forced to get creative. When he finds himself in possession of a black market werewolf skull with a ghost trapped inside, accidentally releases the spirit, and somehow forms a connection with it, things get even crazier.

Sandulf Hunter doesn’t remember dying, but he remembers the last thing he saw before everything went black—a wizard. All wizards must die! The only problem is, the wizard standing next to him smells too damned good, so good Sandy thinks he might have to keep him.

And since wherever Thaddeus goes, Sandulf finds himself yanked along, he might not have a choice in the matter anyway.

  • Tags: Paranormal M/M romance, mystery, ghosts, werewolf, wizard, fated mates
  • Length: 51.5k
  • Publisher: JMS Books LLC
  • Release Date: Oct 31st, 2020

Buy Links

Excerpt:

As he rounded a corner, he came into the main cavern. Table after table were filled with anything a magic user could need. Herbs, potions, knives, stones, and a lot of things he didn’t want to acknowledge.

The howl of a cat in a cage had blue sparks rain from his fingertips, but he tried to suppress it as he hurried past the traders.

Pickering had the last table in the row—of course he had. By now, Thad should have learned nothing ever went quick and easy. He held his breath as he stopped by the table.

“Thaddeus.” Pickering had short, red hair, and his face was filled with freckles.

“Einar.” Thad nodded at him.

“What can I do you for? Looking for a familiar?” He grabbed a cage with the largest toad Thad had ever seen.

“Ah… Eh… no. I was wondering—”

“A love potion?” He held up a tiny, red flask with a skull painted on it, and Thad almost laughed.

“No, thank you. Have you heard about—”

“Shrunken head?” He bent down behind the table.

“No!” Thad hoped he didn’t have a shrunken head back there. Could he ignore a shrunken head or did he have to report it at work? If a raid came out of his visit here, he’d be hunted for the rest of his life, and he did not want the wizards running the largest black market for miles and miles on his tail.

“This then?” Pickering tossed something at him, and Thad caught it. A buzz spread into his fingertips as he held up the…skull. Swallowing hard, he studied the sharp canines. The dog must’ve been massive when it had been alive.

“W-What is it?”

Pickering looked nervous as he leaned in closer and lowered his voice into a whisper. “Werewolf skull, very powerful. But I guess it’s wasted on you, mage.”

Werewolf? Was someone killing werewolves now or was it an old skull? Thad swallowed hard.

“Yes.” Why did it buzz? Thad was a mage, everyone in his family was a mage. Spirits meant nothing to him.

“A hundred and fifty.” Pickering raised one red, way-too-bushy eyebrow at Thad.

“A hundred and fifty dollars?” He could almost pay that to be able to bring it to work and have it analyzed. If someone was targeting werewolves, they had to be stopped.

“Thousand. A hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Do you think they’re easy to come by?” Pickering’s blue eyes were wide as they searched the shadows around them.

Thad’s hands shook as he placed the skull on the table. “No, I guess—”

“I can get you another animal if you want? Lion shifter? I know where there’s a pride. I need your order by the end of the night, though. There isn’t much time left to get it set up. Samhain is the only day a harvesting ritual works, and special orders increase the price, so you know…” Pickering shrugged.

Thad nodded. Coming here had been a huge mistake.

Pickering narrowed his eyes. “So what do you want?”

“I wanted to ask you a—”

“This more your price range perhaps?” He held up four black candles. “Blood candles. They’ll help you call forth the spirits. A hundred dollars.”

Thad nodded. He’d heard of blood candles, never owned any. Warlocks made them—a blood sacrifice to increase the power of the candles. When they were lit in a circle, they’d enhance the power…or something. Thad didn’t do circles. He was a mage, he had the power at his fingertips and not contained in a circle. Not that sorcerers and warlocks couldn’t bring their powers outside their circles—they could—but all their big, powerful magic work required a circle. But if it would get Pickering talking…

“Okay.” He grabbed his wallet and handed Pickering the money he’d budgeted for groceries.

“Excellent.” He turned to a side table to wrap the candles in paper. Thad must’ve lost his mind, but the skull vibrated.

“Have you heard of any…” Thad cleared his voice before hissing, “…soul eaters in the area?”

Pickering froze. “Jesus, Thaddeus. If that’s what they have you working on, you need to quit. Right away.”

“There is someone?”

Pickering shook his head, almost dropping the candles. Thad’s core filled with ice. There was a soul eater? He’d hoped he was imagining the signs.

The skull moved.

It couldn’t have, and yet Thad saw it turn. Perhaps he’d touched the table without noticing.

“Einar?”

Pickering wiped his palms on his thighs, not looking at Thad.

“Einar. Someone is carving up young women. My stupid werewolf colleagues think it’s a shifter. It’s not. Someone is stealing their energy.”

Pickering didn’t move. He stared at the half-wrapped candles.

“I’m right, am I not?”

Pickering shoved the candles at him. “You need to leave. Leave now, Thaddeus, and don’t ask any more questions.”

“But—”

“You think he’s only making angels?” Pickering’s voice was so low, Thad had to strain to hear him. “You think a powerful warlock would leave anything behind for the police to find? It’s a game to him. It amuses him to have the dogs running around in circles. Don’t get involved in this case, Thaddeus.” He turned around so fast Thad jumped.

As Pickering pretended to unpack a box on the ground, Thad picked up the skull. He opened his mouth to get Pickering’s attention so he could hand it back but halted. Looking around, he couldn’t see anyone watching him although that didn’t mean no one was watching him. As carelessly as he could, he placed the skull on top of the candles and cradled the bundle to his chest.

Trying not to run, he took aim at the exit, a furious voice screaming in his head.

ABOUT OFELIA GRÄND

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.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Facebook group | Pinterest | Instagram

Guestpost, Release Blitz

New Release: Taking Stock by A.L. Lester

Today, I welcome one of my favorite morning writing buddies to the blog, the lovely A.L. Lester, who’s here to talk a little about her brand new release, Taking Stock, that’s out today. The story is set in 1972, the year I was born, so I figure this is a must-read for me, wouldn’t you agree? I also adore gentle stories, found families, and hurt/comfort, so this is definitely right up my alley.

Welcome to the blog, Ally! I wish you the happiest of release days! ❤️

New release, Taking Stock by A.L. Lester

It’s 1972.

Fifteen years ago, teenage Laurie Henshaw came to live at Webber’s Farm with his elderly uncle and settled in to the farming life. Now, age thirty-two, he has a stroke in the middle of working on the farm. As he recovers, he has to come to terms with the fact that some of his new limitations are permanent and he’s never going to be as active as he used to be. Will he be able to accept the helping hands his friends extend to him?

With twenty successful years in the City behind him, Phil McManus is hiding in the country after his boyfriend set him up to take the fall for an insider trading deal at his London stockbroking firm. There’s not enough evidence to prosecute anyone, but not enough to clear him either. He can’t bear the idea of continuing his old stagnating life in the city, or going back to his job now everyone knows he’s gay.

Thrown together in a small country village, can Phil and Laurie forge a new life that suits the two of them and the makeshift family that gathers round them? Or are they too tied up in their own shortcomings to recognise what they have?

A gentle story about two people who are hurt and angry and tired, finding their way toward each other and healing.

Thank you so much for having me today to tell you a little bit about Taking Stock!

Taking Stock is a 40,000 word gay romance set mostly in rural England. It’s set on Webber’s Farm, which I first wrote about in Inheritance of Shadows. Inheritance is set in 1919 and is part of my spooky paranormal universe. I based the farm on somewhere I used to know as a child on the Quantock Hills in Somerset and didn’t want to leave after Inheritance. Taking Stock is the result. Although it’s set in the same universe as my other books and some of the same background characters are there, there’s nothing paranormal or suspenseful.

Instead it’s a gentle story about two people who are hurt and angry and tired, who find their way toward each other and help each other heal.

Initially Laurie was going to have a similar chronic condition to me…I have fibromyalgia and seizures…but then just before I actually sat down to get the words out of my head and on to the page, my Mama had a very severe stroke. She is in her eighties and has been more or less working her seven acre smallholding singlehandedly for years. Her frustration and anger at her situation translated directly into Laurie as I was writing. So he’s a combination of both my own feelings about my lack of agency through my disability, and hers.

It was a very emotive story for me to write and I hope you enjoy it.

Tags: MM, gay, romance, historical, ownvoices, disability, farming, 1970s.
Length: 40,000 words
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Release Date: Sept 19th 2020

Buy links for Taking Stock here

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.

You can stalk me on all sorts of different internet platforms here.