Writing Update

Writing Update

“But I thought it’d be a good thing to bring [writing updates] back to the blog, and my plan is to post about it once a month.” Quote from my last writing update post…in March 🙈

That didn’t go as planned.

But the reason isn’t that I’ve been lazy or forgetful, the reason is that I haven’t written anything. Oh, I’ve tried. I have at least five documents with started story ideas that got discarded when nothing felt right. I’ve been too busy to have the peace of mind to write something, some days I’ve been too busy to breathe. So I had to scrap one grand writing plan after the other, I had to pull out of the 12th anniversary celebration over at JMS Books. But the thought of having to pull out of the advent calendar, too, made me mad.

And determined.

So I wrote something. I finished something. I submitted something. And it felt so good to send the story off to my publisher that I wanted to pop open a bottle of champagne to celebrate. But since it wasn’t even 8AM when I sent the email, I had to settle for champagne flavored tea. Not quite the same, but it worked 🙂

The story is called Eight Months Without You and it will be published sometime in December as a part of JMS Books advent calendar. It’s not a holiday story; it takes place in August, but at least it contains an ugly Christmas sweater (I’ll post the inspiration pic for the monstrosity at the end of the post).

There’s no cover, and there’s no pre-order link, but there is a blurb. Wanna see?

Eight Months Without You

Can Sami and Joakim’s relationship survive accusations of cheating, a thrown wineglass, and eight months of silence?

Hurtful words and a thrown wineglass in a fit of jealousy tear Sami and Joakim apart; fiery tempers and stubbornness keep them from making up. But then, after eight months without a single word, just as Sami is about to make the first move, Joakim shows up, eager to make things right.

Can they overcome accusations of cheating and eight months of silence? Are conversations, confessions, and planning for the future enough? Will the love they still share conquer all?

M/M contemporary / 15 207 words

I guess all that’s left to do now is to show you the inspirational sweater. Don’t say I didn’t warn you of its ugliness 😆

Link to sweater can be found here.

Keep your fingers crossed it doesn’t take me another six months to finish my next story, will ya? 🙂

It Rained All Night, Read Around the Rainbow Web Ring, Strike a Pose, Writing Update

Writing Update

It’s been a while since I did one of these. A quick check in my archive tells me it was January 25 2021, so more than a year ago. I don’t really know why I stopped doing them, but lots of things have happened since then. I moved to my lovely house, I started the Time-Stealing Day Job. And we can’t forget about The Plague, of course. My social media presence has lessened in general, because I want to spend what little free time I have actually writing than on posting stuff on SM.

But I thought it’d be a good thing to bring back to the blog, and my plan is to post about it once a month. I have another monthly thing planned for the blog, but more on that later. First; what’s going on with my writing?

It Rained All Night

My publisher JMS Books have posted in-house submission calls for “this-or-that” short stories. And by this-or-that, I mean for example sugar or spice, where the author picks either sugar or spice and writes a story about it. I did. I picked sugar, and wrote Secrets on a Train, where the two MCs hit it off when Runar notices Valentin putting ALL THE SUGAR in his coffee. There are more this-or-that submission calls, like rain or shine, where I picked rain and wrote It Rained All Night.

Wanna see the blurb?

Can a chance meeting in the rain change someone’s life? 

Meeting someone who can make him stop going is an eye-opener for Henrik. The man, Mikko, is his complete opposite, a steady rock in the wild rainstorm that is Henrik’s life, but the connection between them is both unexpected and instantaneous. Their encounter only lasts a few minutes, but before they part, they exchange phone numbers.

They live far away from each other, but soon they text and call daily, until Mikko is Henrik’s dearest friend and most trusted person. But a late-night question on the phone has Henrik re-evaluating his feelings. It’s impossible to love someone you’ve only met in person once…right? 

Is the connection Henrik and Mikko forged long distance enough to sustain them when they meet again? And will their love be strong enough to give them the happily ever after they deserve? 

It’s 7673 words long and will be released in April, and you can look forward to more short stories about rain. I know for example that the lovely K.L. Noone has written a story for this submission call that I look forward to reading.

I had a hard time coming up with the title for the story, until one day when I listened to one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists, Thom Yorke (lead singer of Radiohead.) The song’s name is It Rained All Night, so I borrowed it for my story because it fits perfectly; it does rain all night. But that’s all the song and my story have in common, I promise.

And if you’ve never heard it, here’s a YouTube link where you can check it out.

Strike a Pose

The first Saturday of May is World Naked Gardening Day. That sounds like something my friend Holly Day would write a story for, because she writes stories inspired by all the weird and wonderful holidays out there. And she has written a story for it. And so have I. And a bunch of other people. Because last year when I stumbled on this fabulous holiday, I said to Holly that she should write a story for it, and Ally said we should all write stories for it, and I said okay, and suddenly we were doing a Naked Gardening collaboration. We enlisted K.L. Noone and Amy Spector, talked to JMS Books to check if they’d be on board to publish a bunch of naked gardening books on May 7, and they said yes.

So, come May 7, five stories celebrating World Naked Gardening Day will be published by JMS Books, and mine is called Strike a Pose. There’s very little actual gardening going on in my story, but there’s a lot of nakedness and people posing as famous ancient sculptures in the garden (where the statues in the picture above served as my inspiration). That counts, doesn’t it? 🙂

The story is 17545 words long and it’s surprisingly spicy for being a Nell Iris story. My stories are usually lower heat, but this one…is not 🔥🔥

Didrik would do anything for his best friend, Filip, including taking pictures of Filip’s dad, Johan, for a charity calendar. Naked pictures, of beautiful, irresistible, wonderful Johan, who was single-handedly responsible for Didrik’s gay awakening. He was also happily married and unavailable…until he wasn’t.

After losing his husband five years ago, Johan finally seems ready to move on, and as they start the charity project, everything changes. With every meeting, every conversation, every pose for the camera, the attraction between them swells and grows, until it burns hot and threatens to consume them.

Their interactions, their relationship is surprisingly easy, but it’s not without its challenges. The age difference for one thing. Telling Filip for another. Is their connection enough to last? Can they overcome the hurdles to get the happily ever after they deserve?

Read Around the Rainbow

The final update for this post is in regards to what I wrote above; that I have a new monthly feature planned for the blog. This idea was born in the morning office with Ally and Ofelia, just like the naked gardener one. (isn’t it amazing what happens when you throw a bunch of creative people into the same space?)

The idea is for us to blog about the same topic on the same day each month, like a webring. Or exactly like a webring, because Ally promptly set one up, recruited more people, made a handful of lovely graphics, and provided us with links and codes and spreadsheets. If you think that sounds scarily organized, you’re right 😁

Maybe you’ve noticed the new, fancy Read Around the Rainbow widget in my sidebar? You can use it to check out all the participating blogs, but we’ll also link to each other in the monthly post. Currently, we’re ten authors participating; A.L. Lester, Ofelia Gränd/Holly Day, Ellie Thomas, Addison Albright, K.L. Noone, Amy Spector, Fiona Glass, Lillian Francis, and J.R Hart, but all of us might not post every time.

The first date for this is March 25, and the topic for our first posts will be our ideal writing shack. It’ll be great fun. I love blogging, but sometimes it’s hard to come up with topics, so this’ll be a great help.

Also, check out what Fiona Glass wrote about this new webring thing. She explains it much better than I do.

#SlidingIntoMyDMs, Meet Cute Chronicles, Writing Update

Writing update

Hi everyone! I hope you had a lovely weekend. I sure did: I had some good news on Friday, I cooked a lot of yummy food, I read lots and lots of fanfic, and of course, I hung out with my husband. But now it’s Monday, and since it’s been ages since I posted a writing update, it’s definitely due now, don’t you agree?

So what have I been up to since my last update (on November 9)? First of all, I won NaNoWriMo. I wrote 52432 words in November which is crazy! And that’s not all: I also spent all of November reading ALL THE HOLIDAY BOOKS and scheduling ALL THE BLOG POSTS in preparation for Holidays at Nell’s in December. So to say that November was a busy month for me is a gross understatement.

So on December 1st, I was an exhausted mess and didn’t want to write ever again…which means I spent the entire month of December and at least two-thirds of January doing other writerly stuff than coming up with new words. Like transcribing my handwritten NaNo manuscript and cleaning it up since it was a hot mess. I also had edits to do, and blurbs to write, and blog posts to write, and social media to keep up with. I didn’t feel the urge to write again until last week or so, but now I’m back in the game again.

I’ve also started to post regularly on Instagram, so if you aren’t already following me there, why not check me out? Here’s the link. And as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve changed the blog a bit. I like it better like this 🙂

Currently I’m in the middle of trying to write a blurb for a story called So Far Away that’ll be released in May, and I’m also writing a story called Wake Him With a Kiss (release in April). Neither of them will be over 15000 words long, so if you’re a fan of my short stories, you have two to look forward to in the near future.

And of course, I have a couple upcoming releases to tell you about.

First out is #SlidingIntoMyDMs on February 17:

Pre-order link: JMS Books (20% off pre-orders)

“Hi. I heard you’ve been sick.”

Eddy Pennington is recovering from a severe bout of pneumonia when an old acquaintance, Moss, sends him a message on social media. They haven’t spoken in years, but Eddy is pleasantly surprised. He always liked Moss even if they were never close friends.

Moss Fanning has no ulterior motive with his message: all he wants is wish Eddy a speedy recovery. He got over the crush he used to have on Eddy a long time ago.

They reconnect easily and have even more in common now. And when they meet in person, the attraction is instant. Will an innocent, well-meaning message on social media lead to something more? Something deeper? Something…everlasting?

M/M Contemporary / 21998 words

On February 27, the second installment in the Meet Cute Chronicles, They Met in the Park, will be released.

Pre-order link: JMS Books (20% off pre-orders)

Can a spoiled little dog bring two strangers together?

The first time Jacke sees him, it’s a happy accident. He’s taken refuge in a quiet corner of the park, decompressing after a difficult day at work, when the man, dressed in a fancy suit, passes by him walking a spoiled little dog.

As the days pass, Jacke notices the adorable pair several times. He’s unable to take his eyes off the man whose first priority is the dog, even over his own comfort. And one day, when circumstances are right, Jacke takes a chance and speaks to the man. David.

David’s personality is as adorable as his outward appearance, and a short walk in the rain results in mutual attraction and a promise to see each other again. A second meeting in the park turns into a date, and Jacke starts longing for something he thought he’d never have; a partner. But does David feel the same? Will a chance meeting in the park turn into love?

Finally, before I go: you haven’t missed They Met in the Library, have you? Sadonna over at Love Bytes Reviews gave it 4.5 hearts:

[—]the best part of this story is watching these two men act on their attraction and try to build something real.  Brilliantly done.  Highly recommended – especially for fans of the shorter form story but really for anyone who enjoys a good love story

Quote from Love Bytes’ review

Adrian, book-lover extraordinaire, adores his job at the small community library. He gets to share his passion with other people and help them with all book-related questions and issues. When a big, hulking man walks into the library, looking terrified, Adrian’s skills are tested in a completely different way.

Manne’s relationship with books is uneasy, to say the least. He’s dyslexic and events in his past have made him fearful of books and turned libraries into his worst nightmare. But when the quirky, bowtie-wearing librarian steps in to help, the experience turns positive.

Their banter is easy and their chemistry instant. But can an accidental meeting turn into something more? Can someone who has trouble reading ever fit into the life of a man whose passion is the written word?

M/M Contemporary / 17943 words


Writing Update

Writing update

Hi everyone, I hope you had a great weekend. It started out nerve-racking, but by Saturday it looked up, when the American election finally was called in favor of Joe Biden. That’s worth celebrating and me and my husband did even if we’re not Americans.

I’m a NaNoWriMo participant this month. Keep your fingers crossed I’ll win!

But I was going to talk about writing, and not politics. This month, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, and the goal is to write 50 000 words in November. Earlier years, I’ve participated in Camp NaNoWriMo which happens twice a year: in April and July. The difference is that in Camp you can choose your own word count goal, and don’t have to aim for 50K if you don’t want to. I’ve always felt that 50K, approximately 1667 words/day, in a month is an unattainable goal for me, so I’ve never signed up for it. But in July, when I wasn’t even going to participate in Camp NaNo but got talked into it (and set a low goal of 5000 because I was studying at university and didn’t think I’d have the time to write at all) I accidentally wrote over 50 000 words. Accidentally, you wonder? Yeah, that was when I started my morning writing habit and finished three stories in July. So I thought Why not try “real” NaNoWriMo this year?

And so far so good. I’m ahead, and the NaNo website has calculated that I “only” need to write 1534 words/day (instead of 1667) to finish on November 30. My total word count as I write this blog post is 18062 words, so 3000 words ahead of where I should be to avoid falling behind.

I’m currently writing a short story (it won’t be over 15000 words) and I’m on the last chapter. The problem is that I can’t make the last chapter work. I wrote 750 words on it yesterday that I scrapped this morning because I was unhappy with them. And this morning I wrote 1800 new words for my last chapter, and I’m not really sure I like them either. These might be redeemable, though, the ones yesterday weren’t. I’ll think on it until tomorrow and then decide.

My Meet Cute Chronicles that I wrote about in my last writing update – and by the way, I settled on it for a subtitle, so thanks to you who weighed in 😍 – are moving forward. They Met in the Library is submitted to JMS Books and will be published on January 13. They Met in the Park is with beta readers, and They Met in the Woods only needs one last read-through before it’s ready for betas.

Wanna read the blurb?

Adrian, book-lover extraordinaire, adores his job at the small community library. He gets to share his passion with other people and help them with all book-related questions and issues. When a big, hulking man walks into the library, looking terrified, Adrian’s skills are tested in a completely different way.

Manne’s relationship with books is uneasy, to say the least. He’s dyslexic and events in his past have made him fearful of books and turned libraries into his worst nightmare. But when the quirky, bowtie-wearing librarian steps in to help, the experience turns positive.

Their banter is easy and their chemistry instant. But can an accidental meeting turn into something more? Can someone who has trouble reading ever fit into the life of a man whose passion is the written word?

I also have some very good news: my story Always You made it to this year’s Top Ten Gay Romance anthology! Yaaaay, that makes me so happy. As usual, JMS Books bundle together their top ten selling short stories from the year, and I’m thrilled you guys loved Thom and Lee so much they are featured in the anthology. It’ll be released on December 30 and is already available for pre-order on JMS website. I’ll post the link below.

2020 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology, and the anthologies for the three previous years. Is it just me, or do the covers get cuter and cuter each year? 🙂

2020 Top Ten Gay Romance brings together the best-selling short stories published by JMS Books that year.

From first love to true love, from submission to sensual, from heat to sweet and everything in between, the couples in these stories are sure to keep you turning the pages as you fall in love with them.

With stories by Kris T. Bethke, Ofelia Gränd, Nell Iris, Shawn Lane, Marco May, J.L. Merrow, Amanda Meuwissen, K.S. Murphy, Elizabeth Noble, and K.L. Noone, this head-over-heels collection goes beyond bedtime reading. Whether happily ever after or happy for now, there’s an ending for everyone in here!

It’s the fourth year in a row one of my stories have been included in the top ten anthology and that makes me so happy I’m doing a butt wiggle in my office chair as I write this. And if you haven’t read the anthologies from 2017-2019, now’s the perfect time to buy them: use the one time coupon code NeedMoreBooks that gives you 50% off one purchase (valid through November 14) and you’ll be albe to buy 40 (yes, you read that right, FORTY) stories super-duper cheap. It’s a bargain! So clickety-click the links below, and don’t forget to add the coupon code when you check out!

Buy links

2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Writing Update

Writing update

And it’s Monday again. I’m not ready. I had the best Sunday I’ve had in forever, yesterday, and I never wanted it to end, so I’m a bit grumpy about today being Monday. I didn’t even do something all that exciting; just hung out with my darling husband, him watching something on one of the many streaming services, me cuddled up next to him reading an excellent book, with candles, tea, and cinnamon rolls. You get it. Cozy and slow and wonderful, just like Sundays are supposed to be.

But alas. Monday. And it’s time for another writing update, so here it goes.


#SlidingIntoMyDMs, written for the JMS Books in-house submission call about love found on social media, is still with one of my betas. I should probably get to writing a blurb while I wait for it back, but writing blurbs are not my favorite thing to do, so I keep procrastinating. Maybe I need to come up with a reward for myself that I only get if I write the blurb? What do you think of that idea? 😀

Meet Cute Chronicles

I told you in my last update about They Met in the Library, and an unnamed WIP about Otis, Kirby and a little dog named Princess. They Met in the Library is a meet cute story, and as I was writing Otis and Kirby, I realized that was a meet cute, too. So that had me thinking. What if I wrote a third meet cute story, because three is better than two right? So I named Otis and Kirby’s story They Met in the Park, then I went ahead and renamed the characters, so they are now David and Jacke (nickname for Jakob) instead of Otis and Kirby. Then I started They Met in the Woods, that I’m currently writing. Woods about Måns and Viggo who meet when Måns forages for mushrooms in the forest and gets lost, but luckily comes across Viggo.

Library and Park (both around 17K words) only need one more pass before they are ready for betas. Woods is currently at about 12K words (and I’m aiming for around 17K words to match the other two), but the words are pouring out of my pen so if the writing continues like this, it will be done this week.

They will be released early next year, and I’m toying with the idea of giving them all the subtitle Meet Cute Chronicles. Not that they’re a series or anything, but because of the theme being the same. Oh, and another thing all three They Met books have in common is that the characters are all in their forties.

What do you think? Meet Cute Chronicles yay or nay? 🙂