Strike a Pose

World Naked Gardening Day: Strike a Pose – Release Day

Wohooo, today is release day for our naked gardening shenanigans; the joint project that me, Holly Day, A.L. Lester, K.L. Noone, and Amy Spector have been working on. It’s written for World Naked Gardening Day, which is today, so throw off your clothes and head out to the garden and do some naked gardening. Beware of rose bushes and stinging nettles, though!

Or if you don’t feel like getting naked in the garden yourself, you can at least read about fictional characters who throw off their clothes. For example Didrik and Johan, who admittedly focus more on the nakedness, than the gardening 😁

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?

M/M contemporary / 17545 words

Buy links

Also make sure to check out all the other stories celebrating World Naked Gardening Day. The fabulous Ally made a landing page for all five of the stories, so check out this link where you can read all the blurbs and find all the buy links.

Let the naked gardening shenanigans begin!!

About Nell

Goodbye April

Another month is over and April has been a hectic one for me, so hectic, I’ve hardly had time to write. Or even read!! Life is also returning to normal after 2 years of pandemic restrictions, so suddenly there are lots of things planned, people to see, places to go. Parties are being planned, concert tickets are bought. And while I’m sure all that will be super fun, I miss the days of lockdown when me, Ofelia, and Ally had time to write our little hearts out, and could get away with not leaving our houses for weeks without anyone considering us weird.

But I also hated being locked up and not being allowed to do whatever I wanted, so maybe this is better after all? Despite the excessive socializing? 😆 And not all socializing is bad as you’ll see in this month’s pictures.

Shall we start?

If you remember, March ended with moving the Day Job office, which means April opened with moving into the new building. It was pure chaos with furniture and boxes everywhere and people trying to connect their own computers. But I’m happy to report I managed to connect my own on the first try 😀

The new building is fabulous, and we’re almost properly settled in. The best part of the move is the location: we’re right on the sea, and this is the view from one of the office windows. If you look behind the tiny lighthouse to the left in the picture, you can see Denmark. Helsingør, to be exact, where Shakespeare’s Hamlet takes place.

I’ve spent lots of time battling weeds in my garden. We inherited them from the previous owner, but after living a year in the house now, we’ve decided to properly evict them. But OMG, it’s hard, back-breaking, never-ending work.

Did I buy a green notebook and pens in five different shades of green to use as my garden journal? Yes, yes I did. 😁

I also planted things. Like these cherry tomatoes that I probably should have started much earlier, but better late than never, right?

My beloved granddaughter, little W, and her parents came to stay for Easter. My husband is a musician, so he’s bought a synthesizer for the grandbaby. It’s a real instrument, not a toy, that he can actually connect to other instruments in his studio, and little W loves it. She pushes the buttons, pull the levers, and bop her head in tune with the music, melting the hearts of the rest of us. Especially her granddad. 😍

Easter also meant inviting my parents over for Easter lunch on Saturday (us Swedes celebrate all major holiday on -Eve instead of -Day) and on Sunday we had a couple friends coming over for fika (if you’re new to the blog and unfamiliar with fika, the most important social event for Swedes, you can read about it here).

The hubby and I decided to test the strength of our marriage by buying and assembling lots if Ikea furniture, because everyone knows that if a relationship survives assembling Ikea furniture, it’ll endure anything.

I’m happy to report that we’re still married 😀

Spring arrived in full force, so one day I had lunch (Thai red curry and rice) outside at a restaurant located close to the office. It was lovely and I did not want to return to work when I’d finished my meal.

And on the last weekend of the month, my daughter and her family returned for another visit (yay!). We went to a nearby garden center, and I bought a tree, a pussy willow. I wasn’t going to, but I looked at it with hearts in my eyes, so my daughter, who eagerly enables my garden cravings, resolutely picked it up and carried it to the counter where I promptly paid for it without complaining. It barely fit (height-wise) into the car, and when we went back home, I sat in the back seat, holding it gently so it wouldn’t tip over.

My darling daughter, Little W, and I spent another Saturday digging up the flowerbed (which in reality was a patch of weeds) by the pool and finally started planting things. Little W has been very helpful in digging up weeds, but didn’t understand why she wasn’t allowed to dig up the newly planted lavender after spending so much time digging up other stuff. She found us very unfair 😍


And that, my dear friends, was a few snippets from my April. Tell me something fun you did last month!

Awakenings and French Songs, Read Around the Rainbow Web Ring

Read Around the Rainbow: Weird Internet Searches

The second topic for our Read Around the Rainbow webring is Weird Internet Searches. We’ve all done them, right? Googled some weird expression you’ve never heard of, wishing you’d never done it when the search result shows up on your screen, often followed by helpful illustrations that you wish you could unsee, and when you hear a sound in the other end of the house, you slam the laptop shut and hope your significant other doesn’t ask you why you’re so red-faced.

You’ve been there, too, right?

But for authors, it’s our job. When we write about a person who has cancer, we google everything there is to know about cancer treatment, if we write horror, we search for topics like 10 Ways to Kill Someone With A Spatula, and when we write M/M romance, we google stuff like “foam party” and “glory hole etiquette.”

Yes, that last part was me 😆


My book Awakenings & French Songs is about Iggy who has an identity crisis. When the book opens, he’s out celebrating his 36th birthday with his friends, an activity he’d usually enjoy. His friends know him well and took him to a foam party, where he’d would jump around, slide his body against other half naked bodies and do stuff with his hands that we won’t talk about here on the blog 😀

But something is off this time. He’s not enjoying himself, and after spending a couple hours in the bar drinking too much, he hides in the bathroom, where he’s doing some soul searching…but he’s rudely interrupted by an erect penis coming through a gloryhole in the wall 😆

Glory hole illustration of a hole in a brick wall and an emoji eggplant coming out of it. And foam. Made by yours truly 😀

Since I’ve never visited a gloryhole and since I’m not an expert on gloryhole behavior, I didn’t know if it was even considered rude to just stick your junk into the hole without warning, or if that was something you had to be prepared for should you visit such an establishment. So I googled “gloryhole etiquette” and learned that yes, it was considered rude to just stick it in there without a warning.

“Don’t just walk in and shove it through, unless you know there is a bona-fide cum-slut on the other side,” someone writes on Reddit. “Wait for a finger to come through the hole,” WolfDaddy writes in this informative set of instructions, and this blog post agrees; “If you notice another fellow in an adjacent stall, you can initiate contact by wiggling a finger through the hole, which is how you say “hello” in international gloryhole signaling.”

International gloryhole signaling. I’m glad it’s an international language, should the need arise to visit a gloryhole in a foreign country 😆

All jokes aside, I’m glad my research showed that it was rude, or I would’ve had to re-write the scene. And although I google a lot of stuff all the time (and not just for my writing, but for my personal life, too), this is probably the most bizarre thing I’ve ever googled.

Tell me about something weird and wonderful from your google history.

Also, check out my fellow webring authors who write on the same topic. I can’t wait to read about their bizarre internet searches 🙂

A.L. Lester :: Holly Day :: Ofelia Gränd :: K.L. Noone :: Ellie Thomas :: Fiona Glass :: Addison Albright :: Amy Spector


Here’s the scene I wrote that initiated my weird search:

I heave a sigh. I might as well just text the guys and get out of here. I pull my phone from the back pocket of my painted-on jeans and start typing a message to Dylan, when someone, without warning, sticks his erect dick through a dingy-looking, duct-tape lined glory hole I didn’t notice earlier.

The head is dark purple and already glistening, a clear indication that the owner gave themselves a little hand before offering me the treat. How thoughtful.

”Suck me,” he hisses from the other side of the wall.

“What?” My question comes out like an aggressive bark.

“Suck meeeee,” the stranger repeats and waves his cock like it’s a wand, as though he’s Harry freaking Potter trying to cast a spell on me.

“How about checking if I want to first? Ever heard of glory-hole etiquette, asshole?”

”You never say no, Iggy.”

I scowl at the dick as though it can see me. How the fuck does this guy know my name? And while what he said might be true—I’ve been called a slut more than once since I discovered what my cock is for—a little common courtesy never hurt anyone. “Yeah, well, today I do.”

“Don’t be a bitch.”

“Great way of convincing me, dude.”

The erection flags a little and I fight the impulse to flick it and force it back to where it came from. Someone give me a medal for my restraint!

“Come on,” the guy whines.

Whining. A huge turn-on. Not. I roll my eyes.

“You don’t even have to get down on your knees. Just toddle over here on your short, little legs and put your mouth on my meat.”

That’s it. I’m leaving. As I unlock the door and exit the stall, I curl my hand into a fist and slam it hard against Dick-Dude’s door when I pass it. “Making fun of my height. Very original. And attractive.”

An existential awakening and lots of French chansons equal a favorite neighbor seen in a new light.

Iggy Wilker never expected his 36th birthday to turn into an existential crisis. When Iggy’s friends celebrate him with his usual favorite pastime—drinking, dancing, and willing guys—he suddenly wants nothing to do with any of it. He’s fed up and ready for something else. The question is what?

Ronan Clenney has had his eye on his neighbor forever, but as a single father of a precocious eleven-year-old, he’s never believed he stands a chance. But over a late-night cup of tea, it seems that circumstances have changed. Is this the right time, finally?

Iggy has never believed in romance, but can Ronan show him he’s wrong? That love is a real thing?

M/M Contemporary / 11 120 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Universal Buy Link

It Rained All Night

It Rained All Night: Release Day

It’s finally here, the release day of my short, friends-to-lovers story It Rained All Night 🎉🎉🎉 I wrote it for the JMS Books “rain or shine” submission call, and a lot of my fellow authors seem to have gravitated toward the rain-theme. And if you search for “rain-themed songs” on the internet, you find lists like “154 Songs About Rain to Soothe the Soul.” I wonder what it is about rain that interests creative types so much. Do you know?

I hope it rains in your corner of the world, today, so you can read It Rained All Night and listen to the rain-themed playlist accompanied by a gentle spring rain smattering against your windows. Make a cup of tea, or other hot beverage of your choice, and cozy up with my book. It’s so short that you’ll still have time for all the items on your to-do list for the day and still have a moment to yourself.

Have a lovely Saturday, all.

It Rained All Night; the kissing starts

He opens his mouth for the third kiss, and after that, I lose count. All that exists is his hand atop my heart, his lips against mine, his tongue in my mouth. His breaths. His leg flung over my hip.

Quote from It Rained All Night

Buy links

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Universal Buy Link

The final song on the rain-themed playlist is the song that lent its title to my book. I wrote a rain-filled story, but couldn’t come up with a name. Until one day when I listened to this song and a lightbulb went off over my head. Because it does rain all night (and then all day) in my story…but that’s also the only thing this song and my book have in common 😀

And It Rained All Night by Thom Yorke

And it rained all night and then all day
The drops were the size of your hands and face

Check below for the complete playlist if you want to make it in your streaming service and listen to it while you read It Rained All Night…because you have bought it, haven’t you? 🙂


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? 

M/M contemporary / 7673 words


The complete rain-themed playlist:

Crying in the Rain – A-ha
Rain Dogs – Tom Waits
Rain – The Cult
Here Comes the Rain Again – Eurythmics
A Rainy Night in Soho – The Pogues
Over the Rainbow – Fläskkvartetten
Rain When I Die – Alice in Chains
Riders on the Storm – The Doors
Ain’t Gonna Rain Anymore – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Kingdom of Rain – The The feat. Sinéad O’Connor
Prayers for Rain – The Cure
The Garden – Einstürzende Neubauten
Famous Blue Raincoat – Leonard Cohen
And It Rained All Night – Thom Yorke

It Rained All Night

It Rained All Night: Tomorrow’s the Day!

Today is the last day of the countdown to It Rained All Night. The thirteenth quote and the thirteenth rain-themed song, and it’s raining outside my window as I write this, so the weather also seems excited about my upcoming release. Maybe it’ll rain all night tonight, in honor of my story? 😀

If you’d only met someone IRL once and then talked for three years online, would you be excited for your second meeting? Or nervous? Scared out of your mind? Henrik is frantic; they have a conversation so impactful on poor, buttoned-up Henrik, that he must see Mikko immediately. He can’t wait. Luckily, he has access to a private plane, or the 1500 kilometer trip would’ve taken forever…

It Rained All Night; after three years, it’s definitely time for a second meeting.

Lying in my bed, listening to the rain, I finally allow myself to admit what I’ve known for a long time but refused to acknowledge. I care for him. Deeply. He’s nested himself underneath my skin, into my very soul, in a way I didn’t expect, or even notice before it was too late.

Quote from It Rained All Night

Pre-Order:

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Universal Buy Link

When I told my husband about my countdown idea and that I had a list of rain-themed songs, but I still needed a few to make it 14, he said “Oh, you already have Famous Blue Raincoat, of course.” I didn’t, and I was stunned. How could I forget about it? I have a gazillion playlists on Spotify, and this song is in at least 80% of them, so wouldn’t it have been funny and tragic if I’d forgotten it, and made this particular playlist without it? 🙈 Husbands can be very useful 🙂

Famous Blue Raincoat by Leonard Cohen

Ah, the last time we saw you you looked so much older
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder

And this is it for the countdown, because tomorrow is R-Day. Release day. Make sure to pre-order your copy so you can download it first thing when you wake up! And stay tuned for the last song to complete the playlist.


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? 

M/M contemporary / 7673 words