My chaotic life

Hi everyone. I’m in Sweden now…or actually I’ve been here since November 9th, but my life has been a giant whirlwind of chaos since I arrived. Who ever said it was easy moving across the world? No one? Okay, sounds about right.

I thought you might like to see a few pictures, if for no other reason than to feel sorry for me and my current situation? 🙂


We brought a few bags with us on the plane, heh. Not more than about 250 pounds worth of stuff. Uuuuugh, that was no fun at all.

When we landed, we stayed at a hotel first because we didn’t get the keys to our new place until the 12th. And after that we stayed for a few more days because we had lots of admin stuff to do (like visiting the Swedish version of IRS to write ourselves back into the country and a gazillion other equally unfun things) and couldn’t focus on moving in.


When we got the keys, we didn’t have any stuff (except for the 250 pounds of stuff we brought on the plane, but we couldn’t sleep on any of that) so we went to Ikea to buy what we decided not to bring on the boat and instead buy new here.


…and we bought all the things. And this wasn’t even half of it. We had to go back the next day, and then they didn’t have what we needed so we ended up ordering some stuff online that will be delivered on Saturday. A new desk for me, among other things. Can’t wait!


After all the unpacking, it looked like Ikea had vomited on our living room floor.

photo_2019-11-19_13-25-53And this is the current state of affairs while we wait for the container of stuff to arrive from Malaysia (on or around December 7). How do you like our very fancy dining table?? 😂 But at least we have a new (very nice!) bed to sleep in, enough things to cook with, and this table is better than having dinner on the floor, don’t you agree?

But OMG I miss my things. My desk things, my books, my vinyl records. My fancy office chair. My teas! So if someone could please tell the boat transporting our things to hurry, I’d be forever grateful! 😀


diving in teaser image

Preston and Sawyer Waters need a vacation in the worst way. Life stressors have gotten to be too much, and they need to reconnect. A month-long stay at a cabin in the woods is perfect to remember how to enjoy each other. But they never expect to meet the man who would fit with them so perfectly.

Wade Johansson loves his life. Running V Wilderness Adventures with his best friends, spending his life on the water, and being surrounded by nature is his dream come true. But he’s missing one key element: someone to love.

The three men find an instant connection and are quick to explore the attraction. It becomes clear immediately that they want a relationship lasting longer than just a vacation. But with Preston and Sawyer living in another town and Wade worried about how he fits, can they find the courage to dive in head first?

MMM Contemporary / 34 032 words

Buy links/Add to Goodreads


add to goodreads



And I did think about it. All the way back to the boat. As I tossed and turned during the night. When I stumbled out of the berth before the sun had crawled over the treetops and as I made coffee with trembling hands.

I thought about it as I took a quick shower, got dressed, and took the dogs out for a walk. It was no wonder I found myself outside their cabin a few minutes later. Accompanied by the chipper sounds of the early morning birds, I knocked on their door.

No one opened, and no sounds came from the inside. I shook my head with a huff. What had I been thinking, rushing up here at this hour? They were on vacation, of course they wouldn’t be awake at sunrise.

But as I decided to return to the boat, the door opened and revealed a sleep-rumpled Sawyer wrapped in a sheet. “Wade?” His voice was gravelly, his hair a mess, his eyes were bleary, and he took my breath away.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t think about the time. I should …” I gestured in the direction of the path that had brought me to their cabin.

“No!” His voice cracked, and he had to clear his throat. “No,” he repeated. “Please don’t go.”

Preston emerged from the bedroom and joined us. He’d pulled on a T-shirt, and it looked like he’d run his fingers through his hair to make it a little more presentable. “Wade?”

“Do you know what I did yesterday?” I blurted out.

They both shook their heads.

“I was hiding. Avoiding you.”

Sawyer’s mouth turned down and he reached out his hand to his husband, who took it immediately.

“Why?” Preston said.

“What did you mean when you asked me out? Did you mean as a prelude to fucking … or as a date-date?”

Sawyer’s answer was immediate. “A date-date.”

I shoved my hands in my pockets. “Have you, uh, done that before?”

“Just casually. Nothing serious,” Preston said.

“Then … what’s different now?”

“We like you.” Preston’s voice was soothing, as though he was trying to calm a wild animal.

And he wasn’t far off. My body was in flight mode, my stomach churned, and I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs. Neptune lumbered over to my side and sat next to me, leaning his massive body against my leg. I buried my fingers in his soft fur, comforted by his presence.

“Did you hide from us because you don’t like us?” Sawyer asked.


“Then why?”

I turned my head away, unable to look at them anymore. So many questions were spinning inside my head, but I knew there were no answers to any of them. Not at this moment, at least.

What I wanted was to know I wouldn’t get hurt, because I had a feeling they could be very important to me if I let them. But who can guarantee something like that before they’ve even been out on a single date?

So, I drew in a deep breath of forest air, scratched my dog behind his ears, and turned to look at them. “Yes,” I said. “I’d love to go out on a date with you.”

Writing update

Hi everyone! As I’m writing this (Tuesday 5th), I’m still in Malaysia, spending my last few days here in a hotel room, waiting eagerly to go. But when you read it, I’m back in Sweden, in another hotel since we won’t get the keys to our new home until tomorrow (Tuesday 12th). We’re eager to start our new lives, and you can expect updates from how I cope with the darkness and the cold that is Sweden in winter 🙂

Anyway. After not writing a single word during the month of October, I’m now writing again. I’m planning a new project: a collection of short stories revolving around a common theme. Books! It will be previously unpublished short stories and I want to bundle them together so I’ll reach a word count high enough for the book to be available in print as well as ebook.

And I’ve started writing my first short story for this collection. It’s called Late Night Poetry, and the tagline is “A love story told in answering machine messages.” It’s set in 1990, hence the answering machine, and it’s about two young men, Sully and Lou, who used to be together but they broke up because Lou isn’t out and his parents wouldn’t accept him if they knew he was gay. And after Lou broke up with Sully, Lou starts calling and leaving messages on Sully’s answering machine.

As I write this, I’m at 3415 words, but it’s entirely possible that I’m finished with the story when you read this. I have several other ideas (at least three) for short stories to go into this collection.

And for the first time in a long time, I’m not writing for a submission call, so I don’t have a deadline. I think I’ll enjoy that…at least for a while 🙂

After my month off, I really enjoy writing again which is a sign that we mustn’t forget to take care of ourselves. I have an entire list of self-care things in my bullet journal, things that makes me feel better when I’m stressed or down, and I’ve done plenty of the items on the list this past month. Like re-reading my favorite books, or searching for “fluff” on AO3, or listening to music I love.

Tell me about something that you do when you need to engage in self-care. 🙂


2019 Top Ten Gay Romance

I have some happy news!! My story Awakenings & French Songs has been popular enough this last year since its release to be included in the upcoming 2019 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology that will be released in December by my fabulous publisher JMS Books. Just look at the adorbs, super cute cover of the anthology below, and you’ll have no trouble understanding why I’m walking around looking like a heart-eye emoji! 🙂

WIHOOOOOOOO *imagine a happy-dancing, confetti-throwing, champagne-drinking Nell Iris here*

awakenings and top ten

Me, Iggy and Ronan are very happy about this, and we’re in excellent company. Here’s a list of all the stories included in this fabulous anthology:

  1. Snowed In: Jonah and Cooper by Kris T. Bethke
  2. Awakenings and French Songs by Nell Iris
  3. More Than Summer by Shawn Lane
  4. Back from the Future by JL Merrow
  5. I Thee Wed by A.R. Moler
  6. Home Coming by Elizabeth Noble
  7. Sound the Fairy Call by K.L. Noone
  8. Saved by Sam by Deirdre O’Dare
  9. The Amulet by Pelaam
  10. Truck Me All Night Long by J.D. Walker

top ten gay romance x3

Something even more amazing is that this is the third year in a row that one of my stories are featured in these Top Ten anthologies, and I’m really happy and honored. So a huge, heart-felt Thank you to all you fabulous people out there making this possible. Without you, I wouldn’t be here ❤️

The release date for the 2019 edition of the Top Ten anthology will be released on December 28, and I will post pre-order/buy links as soon as they are available.

If you can’t wait that long to read a fabulous collection of short stories, may I suggest you check out the 2017 and 2018 editions? My very first published story Unconditionally is featured in the 2017 edition, and my best-selling book of all times (up to the day I’m writing this) Unexpected Christmas is featured in the 2018 edition. Both of those stories are in excellent company, and if you need an added incentive (other than my stories that is) to buy either of them, Beau and the Beast by Rick R. Reed (featured in 2017) and Leather and Tea by K.L. Noone (in 2018) are two excellent stories, worthy of your attention!

Thank you again. You rock!! ❤️



Romance isn’t just for the young

Who says only twentysomethings are allowed their happy endings? Not me, that’s for sure. So if you want to read about guys in their late forties, who knows what they want in life, who aren’t interested in playing games or drama, and just want to live out the rest of their lives with a good man by their sides, may I suggest either of these books? 🙂

romance isn't just for the young

Team Luker

What if this is the last time we lie like this?

Uncertainty is keeping Ellery Luker awake at night and robbing him of his appetite. It’s been five days since the love of his life and partner of twenty-five years, Jools, went to the doctor. Five days since the biopsy. Five days of going crazy with worry and what ifs?

What if Jools suffers from the same disease that stole Ellery’s mother when he was just eleven?

What if all Ellery’s worst fears come true?

What if…?

M/M contemporary / 5446 words




promo tl

Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings

Sometimes love finds you even when you’re not looking for it.

At 47, Oren Walker isn’t looking for love. When he knocks on Pete Higgins’ door, all he wants is to thank him for helping his mom after she broke her femur. He never expected that one look at the man would make his knees weak and heart flutter.

Pete is happy—albeit a bit lonely—after divorcing his wife of 20 years and isn’t looking to replace her. But when Oren shows up, all grateful and handsome and in that fancy suit, the longing for the deep connection of a relationship flares up inside him.

As the leaves turn yellow, Oren and Pete spend a lot of time in honest conversations. Their attraction grows. Will the two men recognize the promise of new beginnings, and take the chance to find the happiness they both deserve?

M/M contemporary / 17809 words


JMS Books  | Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo | iTunes | B&N | Google Play | Smashwords | Scribd


Monday Book Talk

booktalk banner

I’m pretty sure you’re growing tired of hearing me talk about just how much I love short stories by now, but bear with me for moment, please. I have another reason for loving them!

I am someone who can’t just put down a book I love. Yes, I admit: I have a problem.

*stands up and clears throat* Hello, my name is Nell and I’m a readoholic!

Seriously, though. I don’t understand you people who can read a chapter and then put the book down and do something else. Especially not while reading in bed, because one of the greatest pleasures in life is a nice bed, fluffy pillows, cool sheets, and a great book. I can read for hours and hours and it’s happened more than once that I’ve been so sucked into the book that I realize that crap, maybe it’s time to sleep, when the morning prayers start outside my window (Malaysia is a Muslim country) sometime between 5 and 6AM.

So here’s the deal. If I read short stories, I can finish the story and put down my e-reader and fall sleep at a reasonable hour. But if I read a 100K word story, it’s likely that I’ll be prompted to put it down by the morning birds. So you see! Another reason why short stories are better!

Tell me: are you one of those weird people who can read one chapter and then put the book down and go to sleep? 😂😁







Nell’s Top Five


Nell’s Top Five

…things I don’t understand

…and I mean the little things, not serious stuff like racism, sexism, or homophobia. No, this is just small, everyday things that are popular and I don’t understand. I don’t hate them or anything…I just don’t get it. 

  1. Beyoncé. I’m probably the only one on planet Earth who’s not on the Beyoncé train, but I just don’t get it. What’s so great about her? All I feel when I hear her music is “meh?”
  2. Pinterest. What am I supposed to do on Pinterest, except looking for fan-art pictures of Severs Snape I can decorate my bullet journal with?
  3. Bubble tea. Why is everyone so crazy about bubble tea? It’s…weird!
  4. PJs. Why would I want to sleep with clothes on? It’s uncomfortable! Also: being in bed is the most legitimate time all day to not have to wear clothes. Why not take advantage of it?
  5. Facebook (or Instagram or Youtube) live. Why? I have yet to see one that hasn’t been unscripted and rambly. There’s a reason TV networks prepare like crazy for live broadcasts: they don’t want to bore the viewer to death!
  6. (Yes, I know it says top 5, but it’s my blog and I break rules if I want to 😀 ) Podcasts! So much talking and my mind starts drifting and I suddenly I have no idea what I’ve been listening to.

Are you upset with me now for not getting something you like? And please tell me about something popular that you just don’t understand! 🙂

five things I don't get