Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday

Happy New Year

It’s finally here, the last day of 2021. I can’t say I’m gonna miss it but who knows if next year will be any better? I’m not even gonna be cautiously optimistic; I’m just gonna go with the flow. But my year will at least end on a high note: our Malaysia BFFs are visiting today and we’re going to eat and drink and catch up on the last two years. I really look forward to it.

But if they weren’t visiting, I’d be equally happy to spend the day on the couch with a good book, an even better playlist, and a bottle of bubbly. Because bubbly is mandatory on New Year’s, right? And if this sounds like your idea of fun, too, I have just the book for you:

Two strangers, a twisted ankle, an ancient stone ship, and a New Year’s Eve they’ll never forget

Petter sneaks out of the New Year’s party he didn’t want to go to and treks to an old burial site he’s dying to see. Alone. Without telling anyone on a freezing December night. Without cell service…a huge problem when he twists his ankle.

Someone passes by Isak’s house on the path leading to the stone ship. When the person never returns, Isak worries and sets off to investigate. What he finds is Petter, a pack of sparklers, and an instant connection.

Under a starry sky, they learn they have a lot in common. Will the attraction burn hot and fizzle out like the fireworks going off over their heads when they return to the real world? Or will it deepen, grow, and turn into something real? Something everlasting like the stone ship?

Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday is 50% off in the Smashwords End of Year Sale, so it’s cheap, too!


My New Year’s resolution is to not start smoking in 2022 either…just like Isak in the book 🙂

Before I go, I’ll leave you with the beginnings of a playlist; a song that’s mandatory to listen to as a Swedish person on New Year’s Eve. 😆

Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday

Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day

Today, January 17, is apparently Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day. Hands up if you knew it existed! I didn’t 🙂 More than 80% of the people making vows to better themselves admit to breaking them, and January 17 is the day most give up. So how do we celebrate this day? Well, if you promised something you’re regretting, today’s the day to break it, guilt free.

So tell me, will you take the out? 🙂

Two (fictional) people who won’t be breaking their resolutions are Petter and Isak from Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday. Read it (if you haven’t already) and you’ll understand why 🙂

Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday is sweet and romantic. Nell Iris adds plenty of atmosphere to the read, making everything a little more special. This tale covers one night and includes all the feels. It’s the perfect little romance. 

Amy’s (Mostly) MM Romance Reviews

Two strangers, a twisted ankle, an ancient stone ship, and a New Year’s Eve they’ll never forget

Petter sneaks out of the New Year’s party he didn’t want to go to and treks to an old burial site he’s dying to see. Alone. Without telling anyone on a freezing December night. Without cell service…a huge problem when he twists his ankle.

Someone passes by Isak’s house on the path leading to the stone ship. When the person never returns, Isak worries and sets off to investigate. What he finds is Petter, a pack of sparklers, and an instant connection.

Under a starry sky, they learn they have a lot in common. Will the attraction burn hot and fizzle out like the fireworks going off over their heads when they return to the real world? Or will it deepen, grow, and turn into something real? Something everlasting like the stone ship?

M/M Contemporary / 20851 words

Buy links:

JMS Books | Universal buy link

Excerpt

“Awesome. Are you the kind of person who makes resolutions?”

“Usually not.” I accept the lit sparkler he holds out to me. I’ve loved these things since I was a little kid, even more than fireworks, and up here, in the howling wind with a sky full of stars above my head, in the company of a kind stranger and huge ancient stones, they’re more beautiful than ever.

“But this year is different?”

“Yeah. I’m doing some…significant changes in my life this coming year, so I thought ‘why not?’ It can’t hurt, right? Even if I agree with you about the arbitrariness of this so-called holiday.”

“You do?”

“Sure. It’s not a thing we celebrate because of some natural phenomenon, like the solstice. It’s just to mark that the Earth has done another lap around the sun. I mean, that’s great and all, but why do we need to celebrate it?”

Isak’s face lights up in a wide grin. “Yes! This is what I always say when people complain because I refuse to embrace the spirit of the holiday.”

I return his smile. “Exactly!”

“I’ll drink to that. Finding a like-minded person makes it worth subjecting myself to this awfulness.” He takes another swig, face contorting, and then hands over the bottle to me.

“Are you trying to poison me?” I take the tiniest of drinks, barely enough to wet my mouth.

“Hey! You’re the one who brought it.”

“And I regret it deeply.”

The sparklers have gone out, and Isak lights a couple new ones, handing me one. “So tell me about your resolution.”

“You’ll think it’s stupid.” I avert my gaze, looking out over the ocean. Far away a tiny pinprick of light moves across the water. Who’s out in a boat now?

“I won’t. Promise.”

I follow the little prick of light as it moves away, and it’s easier to talk about it when I’m not looking at him. “I’m going to be more true to who I really am.”

Gently, he replaces the burned-out sparkler in my hand with a new one. “Why would I think that’s stupid?”

“Because people do. I’m almost thirty, I’m supposed to have reached that stage already in my life.”

“People assume a lot of shit, don’t they?”

I take my eyes off the boat and allow myself to be mesmerized by the sparkler, by the tiny stars shooting out of it in every direction, by the crackling sound and its energy. It burns hot and fast, but it gives its all doing it. “Yeah,” I say.

“I’ll drink to your resolution. I’m sure it doesn’t mean much to you because we don’t know each other, but I think you’re doing the right thing. Now drink.” When the sparkler sputters and dies out, I look at Isak. “It does mean something. Thank you”.

Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday

Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday: Guest posts and sales

I’ve popped up in a few places around the Internet these last couple days. My morning writing buddies have been gracious and kind to let me visit their blogs and talk about Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday, so if you’re interested in reading any of them, here are the links:

At the lovely A.L. Lester’s blog, I talk about the history of new year’s resolutions. Have you ever heard of The Peacock Vow? If not, head over to her blog and read about it in my post.

Over at Ofelia Gränd’s blog, I write about changing your life, something Petter and Isak from the story have in common. Something I’ve done myself. Clickety-click here to read about it.

Holly Day is a new addition to our morning writing crew, and she also lent me her blog to talk about my new release. There, I write about Ale’s Stones – the setting for the story – my roadtrip to visit them, and the one who inspired me to write this story. Check it out here.

Picture from IFLScience’s Facebook page

This meme could have been made by Petter and Isak in Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday.

Have you bought it yet? If not, hurry on over to the Smashwords’ End of Year sale where it’s 50% off. Today January 1st only, since it’s the last day of the sale. My publisher also has a holiday sale through Saturday, and it’s 30% off at JMS Books.

Buy links

JMS Books (30% off: $2.79)| Smashwords (50% off: $1.99)| Universal Buy Link

Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday

Out now: Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday

Today is the release day for my New Year’s Eve story, Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday. Happy release day to me! 🎉🍾🥂

Two strangers, a twisted ankle, an ancient stone ship, and a New Year’s Eve they’ll never forget

Petter sneaks out of the New Year’s party he didn’t want to go to and treks to an old burial site he’s dying to see. Alone. Without telling anyone on a freezing December night. Without cell service…a huge problem when he twists his ankle.

Someone passes by Isak’s house on the path leading to the stone ship. When the person never returns, Isak worries and sets off to investigate. What he finds is Petter, a pack of sparklers, and an instant connection.

Under a starry sky, they learn they have a lot in common. Will the attraction burn hot and fizzle out like the fireworks going off over their heads when they return to the real world? Or will it deepen, grow, and turn into something real? Something everlasting like the stone ship?

M/M Contemporary / 20851 words

Buy links:

JMS Books | Universal buy link


Usually, my stories are set in a vague, undisclosed place because the location isn’t important for me. But Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday is different: it’s set in a real place in Sweden, Ale’s Stones, an ancient stone ship erected about 1400 years ago. Me and my husband visited this place in July (I wrote about it here) and I was in awe. I love history, so visiting that monument was fantastic.

I took some liberties with the place: not the stones themselves and the ocean below, but the village at the foot of the hill where the stones are located, so if you’ve been there and are thinking What the heck is this? you know the reason. 🙂

Anyway. To celebrate the release of the book that I wrote after my visit there, I thought you might like to see some pictures from my trip?

A glimpse of the village at the foot of the hill. The real one, not the tweaked one from my story.

The dirt path leading up to the stones, the one Petter planned on crawling down on New Year’s Eve since he sprained his ankle and couldn’t walk and support his weight.

Isak is strong and hauls me to my feet without any trouble. “Wow, that was easier than I thought,” he says. “You don’t weigh much.”

“No.” I’ve always been small, short, and lean—verging on skinny—with eyes too big for my face and pale skin. I’m also swishy and emotional and impulsive, which is why people are still treating me like a kid, I guess.

“That’s all right. That’ll make this whole thing a lot easier than if you’d been the big bodybuilder type. It was easy enough to think you were under that huge jacket. I would have had to go get one of the cows to help carry you down if that had been the case.”

The thought of being slung across the back of a cow and carried down the steep hill is ridiculous and makes me giggle again. I’m usually more self-conscious about my giggle and try to remember to chuckle like a manly-man would—yeah, right—but for some reason, I don’t care around Isak. “You have cows?”

“No, but my neighbor, old Mr. Berglund, does.”

Quote from Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday

Maybe these cows are old Mr. Berglund’s? 😀

The actual stones

The ocean next to the stones

And finally, Nell in front of the stones 😁

The story about the stones, written on the site itself.


If we’re ever allowed to travel again and you’re passing by the south of Sweden, I warmly recommend a visit to Ale’s Stones. Until then, you can experience it through Petter and Isak’s eyes in Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday.

I hope you’ll enjoy it. 🙂

Coming Soon, Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday

Pre-order Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday

December 30 is approaching, and the release of Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday with it, so I thought I’d remind you to pre-order it if you haven’t already.

Two strangers, a twisted ankle, an ancient stone ship, and a New Year’s Eve they’ll never forget

Petter sneaks out of the New Year’s party he didn’t want to go to and treks to an old burial site he’s dying to see. Alone. Without telling anyone on a freezing December night. Without cell service…a huge problem when he twists his ankle.

Someone passes by Isak’s house on the path leading to the stone ship. When the person never returns, Isak worries and sets off to investigate. What he finds is Petter, a pack of sparklers, and an instant connection.

Under a starry sky, they learn they have a lot in common. Will the attraction burn hot and fizzle out like the fireworks going off over their heads when they return to the real world? Or will it deepen, grow, and turn into something real? Something everlasting like the stone ship?

M/M Contemporary / 20851 words

Pre-order at JMS Books (20% off through 1/5/21)