Meet Cute Chronicles

Take a Walk in the Park Day

Today is Take a Walk in the Park Day, when we are encouraged to stretch our legs at our favorite trail or neighborhood park. That’s an excellent suggestion, especially if the sun is out in your corner of the world like it is in mine. This optimistic internet page says it’s the perfect opportunity to maybe compose an original poem. No pressure or anything, just go out for a walk and write a poem. Right. 😀

If you’re not a poet, maybe you can do what Jacke in They Met in the Park does. He’s found a remote corner in his neighborhood park where he likes to decompress and breathe for a few moments after work. And if you, also like Jacke, spot someone who’s cute, maybe take a chance and talk to them today (at a covid-safe distance ofc)? If it’s raining in your part of the world, you can offer to lend them your umbrella or just take a slow stroll and soak in the atmosphere 🙂

And should the urge to write a poem strike you, go for it 😀

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?   

M/M Contemporary / 17478 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Universal Buy Link

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Book Talk

The Audiobook Experiment pt 3

My audiobook experiment continues and I’ve discovered two new advantages with audiobooks:

1: My hubby likes watching TV and I don’t; I prefer reading. I can read to a lot of shows or movies, but some are just too noisy. For example when they’re dialogue heavy, or loud comedies (for example Family Guy) make it impossible for me to concentrate on what I’m reading. But now, the problem is solved: I put on my headphones and listen to an audiobook and hubby can watch whatever he wants without disturbing me 🙂

2: I’ve started packing up our apartment since we’re moving to a house in the country on April 16, and listening to audiobooks while packing, makes packing a whole lot less hell-ish. So yay!

But enough about that. Here are four of the books I’ve read since my last installment.

(And if you’ve missed the other parts of my experiment, here are the links to part 1 and part 2)

Promises, part 2 by A.E. Via taught me that a good narrator (and Aiden Snow is a very good narrator) can keep me interested even if I find the book just so-so. Aiden Snow’s voice for Quick, his southern drawl, made me swoon, and listening to him narrate sex scenes while I was grocery shopping might not have been the best idea I’ve ever had 😂 On the other hand: I tend to skim the sex scenes in books, especially if they’re numerous, and it’s a bit more difficult to do in audiobooks than when reading with my eyeballs. Not impossible of course, but a bigger hassle than just letting my eyes glaze over until they stop going at it.

Unfit to Print by KJ Charles (my first KJ Charles book, am I last to the party?) taught me that it’s easier to look up an unfamiliar word when reading with my eyeballs than when I’m listening to an audiobook. In an ebook, I can just copy the word and paste it into google (or even use the built in dictionary when available) but hearing the unfamiliar word presents a bigger challenge. It’s not impossible, but complicated enough for me to be bothered. Especially if unsure of the spelling. 🙂

Upside Down by N.R. Walker made me want to go to Australia, find narrator Glen Lloyd and kiss him! Gawd, he was fantastic. The Aussie accent. The way he narrated Jordan’s blurting motor mouth. His distinct and easy-to-follow voices for the different characters. He was perfect. And the book was super cute and over the top and I loved it. Not even the little miscommunication part could get me to not love it, and that says something, considering it’s my least favorite trope in the whole wide world.

Color of You by C.S. Poe taught me that Greg Boudreaux is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. (I listen to another book narrated by him, Invitation to the Blues by Roan Parrish – a re-read – and adored it). When it was bedtime on the day I read it, I had two hours left of the book and was in the middle of a very tense moment and couldn’t go to sleep without knowing what happened. But I also couldn’t stay up for two more hours, so what to do? I ended up eyeball reading the the last part (fast reader, remember, didn’t even take me an hour) since the ebook was also available in Scribd, and after that I could go to sleep. But the next morning, I was a bit disgruntled that I hadn’t heard the last part, too, because the narrator did such a stellar job with the voices, so I decided to finish listening to it, too. It was definitely worth it, even if I already knew what was happening. And Greg Boudreaux narrated that part just as beautifully as I’d suspected he would.


I’m very happy with how this experiment is progressing, and I admit I can no longer say I don’t listen to audiobooks, because I do. But I plan on a fourth installment before I deliver my final verdict, so come back. You don’t want to miss it.

And as always: feel free to recommend me your absolute favorite audiobook in the comments. I have an Audible credit to spend 😁

Coming Soon, Wake Him With a Kiss

8 Days Until Wake Him With a Kiss

Have you preordered my short story Wake Him With a Kiss yet? If not, now’s the time! 🙂

It’s a very short (about 7K words) story about Amos, a tattoo artist, and Lo, who’s about to get his very first tattoo to celebrate an important moment in his life; him coming out to his family. He wants a rainbow tattoo on his wrist and he’s researched artists and loves Amos’s work.

I googled a lot of rainbow tattoos to use as inspiration, and found one that stood out to me. Want to see it?

I really love this tattoo, and it’s what Amos makes for Lo (except for the cloud, it’s not included in Lo’s tattoo). I could imagine getting it myself, if it wasn’t for my super sensitive eczema skin. 🙂

Excerpt:

While he was talking, I finished the sketch and I turn it to him so he can see. His hand flies up and covers his mouth and he doesn’t take his eyes off it. “It’s perfect,” he breathes.

It’s a rainbow like he asked for, but instead of neat, perfect lines, they are a little messy, as though I’ve painted them with my watercolors. The colors are intense and float into each other in some places, while they are more saturated and precise in others. The red doesn’t go all the way to the end of the rainbow, and the indigo is just a thin line at the start but swells out and runs into the blue at the end.

It’s stunning, if I may say so myself. Completely inspired by the man in front of me.

“Yeah?” I ask.

Lo nods. “Yes. It’s beautiful. Exactly right.”

When Lo is dragged into the tattoo shop by his bossy cousin, he steals everyone’s attention. The big man is afraid of needles but wants a tattoo to celebrate an important moment in his life. And he wants Amos to do it.

Tattoo artist Amos is mesmerized by Lo from the moment he lays eyes on him. He’s huge but kind, strong but gentle, and his freckles…God, his freckles.

They hit it off immediately, but Lo grows nervous as the big moment approaches. Will Lo flee from the tattoo machine before they have time to get to know each other? Before they have the time to see if the sparks will turn into something more?

M/M Contemporary / 6926 words

Pre-order now: 

JMS Books (20% off pre-orders) :: Amazon :: UBL

His Steady Heart

Tolkien Reading Day

Today, March 25 is Tolkien Reading Day (more about that here). Do you want to know a secret? I haven’t read The Lord of the Rings. I made it through The Hobbit, and started on The Fellowship of the Ring but about 200 pages in, I threw in the towel. I just…couldn’t. My most Tolkien fanatic friend said Keep going, it gets better, I promise, but I decided that 200 pages was more than enough to know I wasn’t a fan, so I put it back on my bookshelf and hoped its mere presence meant people thought I’d actually read it. 😀

Years later, I watched and loved the movies, but the point of the above story is to tell you I won’t be reading Tolkien today. Will you?

If your answer is no, if you’re like me and not a fan of the books, I have another suggestion for how you can honor this Tolkien Reading Day. One of my books has a nudge to Tolkien: in His Steady Heart, one of the main characters is named Pippin, after Pippin (Peregrin) Took the hobbit, but without the hairy feet 😁 So if you don’t feel like five million pages of high fantasy with evil creatures and sloooooooow walking and talking trees, may I suggest His Steady Heart? 🙂

Ashley Buchanan—Buck—moved back home to take care of his sick mother when he was 22. That was the first time he met Pippin, the neglected 6-year-old boy next door. Fifteen years later, Buck—a caretaker by nature—offers up his couch for Pippin, who needs a break from his mom and a quiet place to sleep.

Pippin Olander is a ray of sunshine despite his emotionally lacking upbringing and works hard to make a better life for himself. Even though he’s fiercely self-sufficient, he learns to accept help from Buck, his rock and only steady presence in his life.

Their friendship deepens and grows into something more as they spend more time together. But when other people try to throw a wrench in the works, when Pippin’s independence is triggered, can Buck and Pippin trust in the love they’ve found?

M/M Contemporary / 25604 words

JMS Books :: Amazon 

Nell's Newsletter

Newsletter!

I don’t know if you remember, but in early January, I whined blogged about how one of my goals for 2021 was to set up a newsletter (link to post here). In the post, I wrote that I’d spend the month of January setting it up…and well, I did. I did other stuff, too, of course, but I started in January. I continued into February, because there was a lot to do, mainly writing the freebie story I wanted to give away as a reward for signing up.

And now it’s March, and now I’m finished. Yes, you read that right, my newsletter is ready for the world, ready for you, and I can check that off my to-do list!

*excuse me while I go pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate this momentous occasion*

It’s entirely possible that you know about the newsletter already because I’ve posted it on all my social media accounts, but this post is for anyone who reads my blog and nothing else.

There’s a sign-up tab at the top of the page (underneath my banner) and there’s a sign-up link in the sidebar (underneath the “About Nell” section) and of course, I’ll pop a link here, too.

So clickety-click this button if you haven’t already signed up to my newsletter and you’re dying to do it.

Erik and Magnus have been neighbors for five years and lovers for eighteen months. Magnus is ready for the next step in their relationship—moving in together—but Erik’s memories of his messy divorce make him hesitant.

Will a dramatic and potentially dangerous incident nudge them in the right direction?

Love on the Balcony is a 7k newsletter exclusive, contemporary story about an established couple in their forties. It’s short, sweet, and emotional, like most Nell Iris stories.