Nell’s Top Five

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Nell’s Top Five

…Things I Would Rather Do Than Write A Blurb

It’s that time again. That time when I’m considering quitting this writing thing I’ve got going on because surely it’s not worth it. That time when I’ll almost say Screw this manuscript I worked so hard on for months, I’ll just go hide in my bed instead.

I’m talking about blurb writing, of course. The bane of my existence. Having to  summarize your entire manuscript in 150 words or less, and making it sound interesting so people will want to read it, is harder than writing the stupid story in the first place. Why, why, do we need blurbs? Can’t I just write This story is great, buy it! and be done with it. No?

All right then. I’ll do it. But here’s the top five things I’d rather do than write blurbs.

  1. Hang out with Donald Trump 🍊
  2. Smell durian fruit 🤢
  3. Listen to rap at maximum volume 24/7 for an entire week 🙉
  4. Poke out my eyes with my favorite fountain pen 😑
  5. Lick sweaty, unwashed feet with yellow, claw-like toenails 🤮

Okay, so I made myself gag with that last one, so maybe this list is a slight exaggeration, but you get the general idea. I’ll stop whining now, and work on the blurb. But if you never hear from me again, it’s been nice knowing ya! 😂

 

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WIP teaser

Here’s a second (unedited) teaser from my current WIP, 9 Willow Street. (The first teaser is here.) It’s inspired by my naughty bunny shifter story (I told you about it here) and this is from the first chapter, when Hannes meets the bunny for the first time.

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When my suitcase is put away in the guest room, I return to the kitchen to take care of the food before it perishes.

…and is met by a surprise, a rabbit, in the middle of the kitchen.

I do a double take and come to a halt. “Hello there,” I say.

It stiffens at the sound of my voice and after a moment’s hesitation it hops away. But instead of heading for the back door, it ends up in the corner of the U-shape created by the counters and the breakfast bar, and the bunny is trapped.

With its side turned to me, it flattens itself on the floor, ears flat against the head, down the back.

Carefully, I lower myself to the floor and sit cross-legged at a safe distance.

“Where did you come from?” I keep my voice low so I won’t scare it. “Did you sneak in through the back door? Didn’t you want to stay in the garden and eat all my carrots instead, huh?”

Its nose wiggles furiously and it flattens itself even more to the floor. The rabbit is mainly white, with black ears, black around the eyes, and has black spots and larger areas down its back to the tail. The coat is shiny, and the bunny looks healthy and well fed.

“You’re a beautiful one, aren’t you?”

As carefully as I sat, I get back up on my feet and without taking my eyes off my new friend, I grab a small bowl, fill it with tap water and set it down on the floor. Then I retake my cross-legged position, making sure not to sit too close to the water bowl.

“Don’t be afraid. I know I probably look big and scary to someone as small as you, but I promise I’m nice. I won’t hurt you. And look!” I point at the bowl and then roll my eyes at myself for talking to it as though it can understand what I’m saying. But I don’t let that stop me.

“There’s water if you’re thirsty. And when you’re not as scared of me anymore, I can go back out into the garden and dig up a carrot for you. Would you like that?”

One of its long ear twitches.

“Aha, you liked that idea, didn’t you?”

 

Friday review

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shut your faceWhen Charlie was eight years old, his mum bought him a microscope for his birthday. Since then, he’s known how he wants to spend his life. There have been trials, and challenges, but now – finally – the day is here for him to start college with his lifelong friend Anthony Pace.

Anthony is a red-haired force of nature. He writes poetry about their enemies and eagerly participates in all Charlie’s science experiments without understanding a word. Every morning, he waits at the end of their street so they can get the bus together.

But things are changing.

Families are important, and complex. Charlie’s mum hasn’t been well, and his relationship with Anthony begins to shine like a different star in the sky.

Can everything come together in this explosion of physics and chemicals that Charlie calls life? Will Anthony Pace ever share his poems with the world, and can the Chihuahua, Princess Arabella, ever learn to stop licking?


Once a boy shows you the stars, they’re a hard act to follow

Claire Davis and Al Stewart are word magicians. Shut Your Face, Anthony Pace! is the third story of theirs I’ve read. The previous ones, Dear Mona Lisa…  (review by yours truly here) and Up!, were fabulous, and so is Anthony Pace.

Davis and Steward don’t write your garden variety characters that you can find in a gazillion other books. No, their characters – and stories – are unique and quirky and humorous with a clear thread of sadness running through them. They are the kind of stories that grab you in the heart and refuse to let go for days after you finished them.

Charlie and Anthony have been friends for a long time, since they were kids. Now they’re starting college, and are very excited. Their friendship is strong, even though they’re very different. Anthony is the red-head poet who understands Charlie completely, and offers him a safe haven whenever he needs it.

Charlie is the scientist to Anthony’s artist. He’s somewhere on the autism spectrum, but when his mum took him to the doctor, they didn’t want to diagnose him.

Charlie firmly shut the door in his head, the way Mum showed him when he was eight years old. He shoved away the galloping horses in his chest, the wire around his head and the dam wanting to burst from his eyes.

It becomes clear at the very beginning of the book that Charlie’s mum isn’t well. He does his best to take care of her, but it’s overwhelming and difficult for a teenager with undiagnosed autism. His mother’s illness is the only secret he’s kept from Anthony, and it’s difficult as they grow closer and their relationship deepens and takes a new turn.

When everything explodes, it’s magnificent. I hid in the bedroom with a box of Kleenex and ached as I watched Anthony being there for Charlie. My heart throbbed for hours afterward.

Thank you, Ofelia Gränd, for recommending this book to me. I blame you for my puffy eyes and runny nose after finishing the book, though! 🙂

Shut Your Face, Anthony Pace! gets my warmest recommendations.

I finish this review with one of Anthony’s poems. They are naive and fabulous, and tells you everything you need to know about what kind of person Anthony is.

Now spectrums they will cause
Lots of speculation
Nattering about you and your supposed
Problems with communication
But I hear
And I see
You are not problems
Not to me
Your beauty is much bigger than mine
I know one day
You’re gonna shine

Buy link

 

A blast from the past

I thought I’d entertain you with a very old picture of myself today. It’s about 30 years ago, 1988 or 1989 and I was 16 or 17. Denim on denim. Huge glasses. Perm. I mean, have you seen anything prettier?? 😂😂

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The photo is taken outside my high school. I took lots of languages (Swedish and English of course, but also French, German, and Latin). I read The Queen of the Damned (I was an Anne Rice fan girl!), watched L.A. Law on television (loved law-and-order shows!) and Besökarna (Swedish horror movie, English title The Visitors) at the movies. I listened to Behind the Wheel by Depeche Mode and Sign Your Name by Terence Trent D’Arby.

I was still quite shy here, until a year or two later when I made a new friend who got me into acting, and that changed my entire life.

Also a year or two later, I met my future husband, the love of my life, the cutest boy I’d ever seen. And even though I don’t act any longer, or watch much TV or film, and stopped reading Anne Rice a long time ago, that boy is still in my life. And I plan to keep him forever.

Tell me something about your 16-17 year-old self in the comments! 🙂

#FlashbackFriday

“I want to see Asher again.”

Cinnamon_Eyes_400Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and break away from his demanding family. When his therapist encourages him to do something for himself, he knows exactly what he needs. I want to see Asher again. The best friend Corey ever had who, at fifteen, held Cory’s heart in his hands without knowing it.

Asher’s had a troubled relationship with his father since he came out. Now that Pops is sick, he’s fighting for his right to help or even find out about his father’s health. Then there’s the complication of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go.

When Cory and Asher meet again after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?

M/M Contemporary / 34 679 words

JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Google Play  |  B&N  | KoboiTunes | ScribdSmashwords |

“I wrote the song after my boyfriend broke up with me. He said I was emotionally unavailable.”

cinnamon graphic

“This is a true feel good story, so if you are looking for angst and excitement this is not your story. On the other hand if you are looking for a fairytale love story with true love spiced up with some family drama and heartfelt reconciliation, this story is definitely perfect for you. Highly recommended”

– Love Bytes

Excerpt

I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was even taller than I remembered, and every angle of his body was as sharp as his jawline. Narrow shoulders ended in a bony, ninety-degree corner. Prominent collarbones were visible in the wide neckline of his black T-shirt, together with tufts of black hair.

His hips were slender and his legs long, and everywhere I looked, he was straight and angular. Except for a slightly rounded belly. I wanted to reach out and put my hands on the soft-looking flesh, stick my hands under his T-shirt and find out if he had hair on his stomach, too.

“Cory.”

His voice rasped along my body, making me quiver all the way to my toes. I dragged my gaze upwards, knowing I stared shamelessly, but unable to stop.

“Cory,” he said again, took a step closer, and grabbed my chin between his fingers. Nudged it upward, forced me to look him in the eyes.

I tried to avert my gaze, afraid of my reaction if I looked directly at him.

“Cory,” he whispered a third time. “Look at me.”

My lips trembled, but I did as he asked.

Pale green eyes bored into me, peering all the way into my soul. I drew in a shuddering breath, and the confession spilled out of me. “I’ve missed you.”

The words hardly escaped my lips before I was wrapped up in his strong arms. Our bodies fit perfectly together, with my head right under his chin. I wound my arms around his waist. As I did, his shirt slid up, and my hands came in contact with naked skin.

Warmth rushed through my fingertips and heated up my body. My appetite had vanished as the depression set in, and I’d lost nearly thirty pounds over the last year, leaving me constantly cold. Here, in his embrace, was the first time I wasn’t freezing in a long time.

cory is that you v2

Guest posts and takeovers

I thought I’d update you on my upcoming activity all across the internet so you know where you can find me other than on this blog.

Today, I have a guest post over at Love Bytes Reviews, where I rant about social media. Check it out and tell me what you think. I will also participate in Love Bytes 6-year anniversary celebration in their Facebook group on April 8, at 00:30EDT, so if you’re a night owl, this is the perfect time to come and keep me company.

I’m also participating in R.J. Scott’s autism awareness blog hop during April. My post will be up here on the my blog on April 27, but until then you can check out her blog and keep up with all the other fabulous authors who also participate.

On April 6, at 5PM EDT, I’ll be over in Drea Roman’s Facebook group, Drea’s Dirty Divas for a 30-minute takeover, to celebrate Drea’s birthday.

On April 20, at 9AM EDT, I’ll be in Noah Steele’s Facebook group Noah’s Dream Hive for takeover to celebrate his upcoming release Fighting For Love.

noahs dream hive

Finally, I’ll be in Vicki’s Vixens, VL Locey’s Facebook group, for another author takeover to celebrate a new release on April 28, 10:30 EDT.

Phew. Lots of stuff going on in April…as though doing Camp NaNoWriMo wasn’t enough 😀

I hope I’ll see you around.

Writing update

Happy Monday, everyone! I thought I’d tell you about what I’ve got going on at this moment.

I’m still writing 9 Willow Street, my bunny shifter story (inspired by this super short as you probably know by now if you’re a regular visitor to my blog). I’m currently at 13500 words, and I plan on finishing it this week. Keep your fingers crossed that I’ll make it!

I love that little bunny! He’s adorable and so possessive of his human before shifting into his human form himself.

Here’s the inspiration picture for the bunny. Isn’t he the cutest?

mio


His Steady Heart is submitted and accepted by my publisher and will be released May 25. Wanna read the blurb?

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?


I’ll be doing a lot of writing in April, because I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. My publisher always has a cabin for any of us writers who wants to participate, and I love the community feeling so I signed up. Let’s hope I reach my goal of 20K words. My first step will be to finish 9 Willow Street, and after that I have another project ready to go. I’ll tell you more about it later.

bujotracker

I made a NaNo tracker in my bullet journal to keep up with my progress. Let’s hope it’ll be all filled out and pretty at the end of the month!

Have a great week, everyone! 🙂