TEASER TUESDAY: Dazzle Me

DazzleMeI thought I should do something here on the site where I talk about my books. I realised the only time I ever post something about them is on release day and that’s a bit boring.

I debated if I should make it Teaser Tuesday posts or Throwback Thursday – because we have to have weekday in the title, do we not? And I won’t do WIP Wednesday because you’d grow bored before I manage to finish something.

But I figured with a Teaser Tuesday it could be both old and new stories. It might not be the way people meant for the Teaser Tuesday hashtag to be used, but this is my blog, I can do what I want. I won’t do these posts every week – I’d run out of stories sometime in the summer if I did, but maybe once or twice a month.

So today I’m gonna talk about a story that’s actually very dear to me. I say actually because I often love my stories while writing them and then when they’re out there in the real world my feelings tend to wilt a little. But simply seeing the cover of Dazzle Me makes me smile.

I wrote it back in 2015 as part of the Summer Bigger Than Others anthology. I don’t remember exactly what the prompt was but I think it was that it should be short light-hearted summer fun. And I had a lot of fun writing Dazzle Me.

It’s a 41 pages long silly story about Tom and his boyfriend Santino. Their one-year anniversary is coming up and Tom has this romantic vision of how it’s gonna play out – it’s not going to go how he’d planned.

I saw a segment on TV from a spa somewhere where they had these pedicure fish and stuff – Tom is going to a spa, he goes reluctantly, but he’s going because he thinks Santino wants him to.

Do you guys have any idea how many crazy spa treatments there are? I would never allow fish to eat at my feet but poor Tom doesn’t have a choice, does he? Of course not, I made him have to endure fish and worse!

I sat and dipped my toe into the water. It was pleasantly warm—not hot, just warm. With a sigh, I put both of my feet in there and spread my toes as I eyed the water.

“Eek!” I snatched my feet back up, almost kneeing myself in the chin since I’d been bending to look into the water. Hundreds of small fish swam around in there. Disgusting. I glanced around the room in hopes of no one having heard my squeal. No one but Mahdi seemed to have, and he tried really hard to conceal his laughter.

“The fish are good for you, Mr. Williams.” He gestured for me to put my feet in again. I looked down, swallowed, and rechecked the water. There sure as hell were fish in the basin. I gaped at Mahdi; surely he didn’t mean for me to put my feet in there?

Obviously he did because he was gesturing for me to do just that.

My big toe broke the surface. Instantly a few fish swam to it. I had to steel myself not to pull my foot out of the water. The fish started feasting on me. I closed my eyes to escape the vision. No more aquariums for me. It were as if I’d put my toe down in a glass of soda water. With a deep breath I put both my feet in there, feeling the nibbling, but trying not to think about what was doing the nibbling. God, it was gross, wasn’t it? Having fish eat at you. What the hell had Santino been thinking?

Dazzle Me is greatly misunderstood, how else is it that hardly anyone had read it? Could be that there’s a snail on the cover…could be, but Tom shouldn’t have to be a headless torso on a cover too – he has enough of a headache dealing with the snails.


25587452Tom has been planning for months, but in those plans he never once found himself on a spa table in Bangkok on his and Santino’s one year anniversary. He doesn’t do aeroplanes, doesn’t like the tropical climate, and he does not do spas.

Yet there he is, without a stitch of clothing, and with a man he’s never met before. He’ll do his best to enjoy his day and then he’ll give Santino the best anniversary imaginable, even if it means he has to be covered in chopped-up veggies on him for an entire day…

…if only it were veggies.

Part of “Summer Bigger Than Others – A Summer Anthology” from Beaten Track Publishing.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

Friday Reads | Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle

I’m doing a Friday Reads post today…on a Saturday. I had every intention of writing it yesterday but I was knackered after work and those Fridays my husband isn’t away working the girls and I take a sauna. So I went with sauna with the daughters instead of blog writing.

TulucanSixGifBut, what I’d meant to write about yesterday was Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle by Anne Brooke. I picked this story up a couple of days ago, I wanted something short to read after having put the kids to bed and I admit I grabbed it mostly because of its length and that I’ve read Anne Brooke before.

I’m not big on time travel, I mean I dream about it at times – oh to be young again LOL – but I seldom read books with a time travel plot. It confuses me. In Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle Tuluscan has travelled back in time to save his planet but that also means that he might not meet Karlan, the man he loves.

Despite stepping out of my comfort zone with the time travel part I enjoyed this story a great deal. I liked the characters, they had me laughing several times.

It’s been around for quite a few year, was first published in 2010 but there was a second edition in 2016…I think. Anyway, if you like some lighthearted sci-fi with a little love, check it out!


31198754Whilst finishing up a good day’s work in the Earth Interplanetary Administration Office, Karlan Staithley is disturbed by the appearance of a strange alien called Tuluscan Six. Tuluscan tells him that in one year’s time, Earth will make contact with his people, the Lamarians, and unwittingly destroy them due to an anomaly in the planetary time lines.

He himself has come back to warn Karlan, partly to save his people and partly as in the real time line Karlan and Tuluscan will become lovers. The two men join forces to try to save their futures, but can they in fact change time? And, if they do, how can their mutual passion ever survive?

Publicity and Privacy as a writer

Eye in front of a fence
CC0 Creative Commons

The first week of the year is normally one of the best weeks in my mind. I love planning, setting new goals, getting excited about what the new year has to offer and what I want to accomplish – this has been such a shitty week! You better prepare for some foul language.

There is a great contrast between publicity and privacy in your life when you’re a writer and how we approach that is different from person to person. I started this year with a book release, thought it’d be a fun way to start the year. And as always when you release something you need some publicity or it’s all in vain. If I didn’t want anyone to read my books I wouldn’t publish them so one part of being an author for me is to get people to discover me. Sadly, I suck at it. When I say I’m an introvert, I mean I’m an introvert, not I’m an introvert because that’s what’s writers are supposed to be.

I break out in sweats just logging onto Facebook (though I’m getting better at it, yay me!), if someone knocks on my door my first thought is to hide and pretend I’m not at home, and when it’s time for a get-together of some kind I try to come up with a way to cancel. I could sleep for a week right now because these fucking holidays have stolen every ounce of energy I possessed and I haven’t had time to recuperate – RL work and all.

But the reason I’m so upset right now isn’t due to publicity or lack thereof, it’s because someone touched what’s mine, my private fucking things no one has the right to touch. During New Year I had a few people here. They stayed overnight as often is when it’s New Year and they had phones that needed charging. I wasn’t super pleased to see that they’ve pulled out my phone charger and the cord to my laptop to make room for their phone charger – that actually wasn’t theirs at all but my husband’s and they’d nicked it from his desk – but you don’t make a scene do you?

On the first of January they left and I drew a sigh of relief to have my house back as my own. I sat down and tried getting some people to review Worth His Salt since it was its release day and I hadn’t had the time to reach out to people earlier – those fucking holidays again. The day after I was working and then on the third I sat down to do some graphics for my website. I reached for my drawing pad which is hidden on a shelf by my desk only to realise the cord was missing. I never pull it out, ever.

I have four kids so naturally, my first thought was that one of them had taken it, but that didn’t quite add up. This was in the evening so my husband and I turn on all the lamps in the house and crawled around the floors looking under sofas and tables to see if it somehow had ‘disappeared’ in under there. We couldn’t find it and I had this niggling feeling of something not being quite right about the missing cord. The drawing pad is hidden, it’s up on a shelf tucked away under a few notebooks and some papers, this simply because I have four kids and I know how tempting a pen can be.

My husband looked at the shelf and frowned, then he said it had to be a grownup who had taken it. Three of our four kids don’t reach that high and it isn’t visible where it is so why would the fourth take it? And if he had, he would’ve asked if he could use it, not nicked the cord.

I agreed and a knot formed in my gut. I knew there had been people by my desk – adult people who knew not to touch my stuff. I sent a text to my sister, a ‘Hi, you didn’t happen to take a black USB cord when you were here, did you?’ This was quite late at night so she didn’t respond until the day after when I was at work. First, she sent a ‘No’ then she said she’d ask her friend.

Yes, the friend had it. He’d taken it home with him. Was there a hurry to get it back?

Woman in chains
CC0 Creative Commons

I’m so fucking angry. I haven’t been able to sleep this night because at this point I’d fucking kill him if I saw him. There are very few people who manage to rile me up but he could make me commit murder, I’m not kidding. He has gone through my papers, my contracts, a notebook with passwords and shit for my husband if I should happen to die or something, notes about my stories, my goals and dreams, stories I want to write, my journal – everything about my writing life is there – the PRIVATE part of my writing life.

And as I said, one part of being a writer is publicity, but there is a whole lot that’s very VERY private. I’m fucking furious, but what bothers me the most, and perhaps make me even angrier, is that I feel violated. Silly perhaps, but he touched something that’s mine, that he had no right touching, and I bet my ass he knew exactly what he was doing. Why else put everything back the way it was, the drawing pad was back at its normal place, hidden away just that the cord now wasn’t there. This is my stuff – MINE – and they’re private. Not only did he steal from me, he went through my personal stuff.

If this is an indication of how the year will turn out I’ll be in prison before it’s over.

Fucking, thieving, son of a bitch! (Sorry about the language and that the rant ran so long…I still want to commit murder or at least hire an assassin. Anyone happen to know a good one?)

Worth His Salt – A Ghost Story

I thought it would be fun to start 2018 with a book release, so today Worth His Salt – A Ghost Story (Tattooed Corpse Stories #2) is available to the world!

Book Cover Pink Slip by Amy SpectorThe Tattooed Corpse Series is a series of short stories that have nothing in common except that there at some point during the story will appear a body, the same body as in the previous stories and it has a snake tattoo on its forearm… These stories vary in genre and length (though they’ll all be pretty short) and the characters have nothing to do with each other – it is as it says on the cover ‘Different Time. Different Place. Same Body.’

I love being a writer, I love creating my own worlds, but sometimes you’re the only one in that world – apart from your characters, of course. Therefore it’s fun to take part in something that’s bigger than your own stuff, or at least I think so. We haven’t decided on how many stories there will be in the series but Amy Spector wrote the first one, Pink Slip – A Halloween Romance and now it’s time for Worth His Salt – A Ghost Story.

Worth His Salt is a paranormal little tale about Eldred Henstare, a not so powerful witch, and Mo Vin, a man living next to an abandoned lighthouse.

Two and a half year ago we bought a house in Småland, Sweden (Where Astrid Lindgren came from if you’ve read Pippi Longstocking or any of her other stories), and it’s lovely. I don’t regret moving here but, and that’s a big but, there is no sea.

I grew up on the west coast, I walked along the coastline every day with my dogs, I come from a long line of fishermen, maritime pilots, and lighthouse keepers. When I was a kid my dad use to take me to the ruins of a house on the cliffs where his grandparents used to live. My great-grandfather was manning the pilot look-out tower when it still was in use. It’s high up on the cliffs, the fall down is several metres and they lived there, far away from any civilization and it was even farther back then, with their children. I would worry myself to death, but I guess it was different times back then.

Anyway, I wanted to write lighthouse story, so I did. There is nothing that fills you with such awe as seeing the sea, dark and grey when a storm is brewing.


Book Cover Worth His Salt by Ofelia Gränd

Eldred Henstare is a not so powerful witch who’s been left in charge of helping the city’s lingering spirits to move on. He usually handles it pretty well, but something’s wrong with the spirit leading him to the abandoned lighthouse.

Mo Vin likes his quiet life in the cottage next to the lighthouse, at least it’s quiet until one night when Eldred Henstare—young, beautiful and crazy—arrives. After that night things aren’t the same. A man is found dead on the beach outside Mo’s cottage, and he’s almost sure he’s the one who killed him, except it doesn’t make sense. Why would he kill anyone?

Eldred needs to get rid of the ghost haunting Mo. If he doesn’t Mo’s life is in danger, but to do it he needs both Mo and his brother Lachtin to help out.

 

Do you believe in magic?

I think one of the reasons I write is that it lets me create a reality different from my own. I’ve always been one to read a lot of paranormal books – urban fantasy, a little sci-fi, a few ghost stories, the occasional horror story, too – and I love the raised stakes in a paranormal world, not that this world isn’t terrifying enough but at least you don’t have to fear for vampires when walking the dog at night.

Reading about supernatural beings helps me escape my own reality and sometimes I need a break. I love my life but some days the laundry pile seems a little too high, the dirty dishes overtake the kitchen, and it feels like I’m not doing anything except preparing food, on those days I willingly let a werewolf drag me away from the normal world.

But, I fear, that if I would be part of a magical world for real I’d be like Eldred Henstare…or worse. Eldred is my newest character and he’ll see the light of day on January first. Eldred is a not so powerful witch who will teach you to always carry salt and preferably your twin brother wherever you go. He’s very dear to me, but…and there is always a but, isn’t there? Things don’t always go the way Eldred had planned.

Hand in water

Eldred Henstare rubbed his neck for the hundredth time since he’d left home. The strap of his messenger bag dug into his shoulder, and the salt and candles in it grew heavier and heavier with each step. A long time had passed since he’d jumped off the bus and started walking.

He didn’t know where he was going, or rather he knew precisely where he was going, could walk there with his eyes closed, but he didn’t know what the end destination was.

The wind whipped his face; raindrops bounced off his skin with enough force for him to suspect they were hail. He shivered under his too-thin jacket and cursed his stupidity of not donning rainwear. The ghost calling him wouldn’t care what he was wearing, and the risk of running into a living soul out there was minimal. To this day Prince Charming had never appeared when he’d been out chasing ghosts—one day he would, though. With Eldred’s luck, it would probably be the ghost of Prince Charming he’d have to guide into the light.

He sighed and shielded his face as he climbed a dune and was greeted by the white foam riding the crashing waves of the sea. A thread of moonlight managed to shine through the clouds, and he stopped to catch his breath for a second…or five.

The ghost Eldred is chasing isn’t Prince Charming, it will lead him to a living man instead. Mo Vin is living in a small cottage next to the old lighthouse and normally he doesn’t get visits on rainy nights.

Mo stared at the stranger. There was something not right with him. As he held the door open, the man drew a sign in the air, blew out a breath, and then crossed the threshold.

“Rough night?” Mo took in the soaked clothes, his reddish hair clinging to his forehead, and the wide hazel eyes. He was young, smallish, and entirely out of place in Mo’s cottage.

The man shrugged. “Not the best night for a walk in the moonlight.”

He had that right. “Do you want me to call a taxi for you? Or perhaps you have someone who can come pick you up…your mother?” How old was he? He could still be living with his parents.

“My mother? No thank you; I’m trying to avoid her at all costs.”

“Oh…” Mo tried to decipher the look the man gave him.

“You’re alive? I mean you’re living here?”

“Yes.” Mo crossed his arms over his chest. He didn’t need some kid judging his home. It wasn’t much, but it had been in his family for generations, and he loved his cottage.

“What’s your name?”

“Mo Vin.”

“You’re moving?”

“No, my name is Mo…Vin.”

“Oh, there is no luck in the world, is there?” The kid grinned, and Mo ignored the way heat rushed to his groin. He was far too young for him anyway.

 

I had a laugh writing this little story,  Eldred managed to capture my heart without me noticing. Worth His Salt is the second story in the Tattooed Corpse series, but you do not have to have read the first story (Pink Slip by Amy Spector) to read it. The Tattooed Corpse series is a series of short stories who all have one thing in common, and only one thing – the same body appears in each story – apart from that, anything can happen.


Book Cover Worth His Salt by Ofelia GrändEldred Henstare is a not so powerful witch who’s been left in charge of helping the city’s lingering spirits to move on. He usually handles it pretty well, but something’s wrong with the spirit leading him to the abounded lighthouse.

Mo Vin likes his quiet life in the cottage next to the lighthouse, at least it’s quiet until one night when Eldred Henstare—young, beautiful and crazy—arrives. After that night things aren’t the same. A man is found dead on the beach outside Mo’s cottage, and he’s almost sure he’s the one who killed him, except it doesn’t make sense. Why would he kill anyone?

Eldred needs to get rid of the ghost haunting Mo. If he doesn’t Mo’s life is in danger, but to do it he needs both Mo and his brother Lachtin to help out.

Up for pre-order on Amazon and Smashwords.

Friday Reads | Blessing and Light

I’m in an aww state at the moment. I just put my little one down for a nap and sneaked in a few minutes of reading before taking care of the mess in the kitchen (it’s still there *sigh*) and opened Blessing and Light by Kasia Bacon – yes, Ms Bacon this week too. Last week I read A Late Bite to Eat.

Blessing and Light is a 15-pages long story taking place during the Night of Winter Lights. Sæbastyn Hyago is watching his Captain work, happy to be there with him instead of being part of the celebrations, but then everything changes and Sæbastyn biggest fear threatens to become true.

For such a short story it’s packed with emotions and I tiptoed out of the bedroom with a smile on my face. Blessing and Light is part of The Order series, and I haven’t read it so they’re definitely going on my to-read list.

Blessing and Light is a free read so check it out if you’re curious!


Book Cover Blessing and Light by Kasia BaconIt’s the Night of Winter Lights.

Heedless of the holiday, the Commander of the H’Aren fortress, Captain Torýn Torhdhar, seems to find his satisfaction in work.

Such occurrence hardly surprises his Orderly, Sæbastyn Hyago, even though the young Lieutenant has spent a silent, aching decade wishing his superior officer would pursue pleasure elsewhere—specifically in his arms. But as the evening continues, nothing about it meets Sæbastyn’s expectations. Will the Lieutenant see his secret desires realised, or his heart shattered?

This alternative winter holiday short, which is a standalone set in the Order Universe.

Friday Reads | A Late Bite To Eat

Back in April, I read The Poison Within by Kasia Bacon and now there is a little sequel!  A Late Bite to Eat (Inspector Skaer #1.5) is just a short ten pages long, but it still had me giggling. It’s told in Eryssa von Brenn’s POV and if you’ve read The Poison Within you know Eryssa is a Furia and she is a delight LOL.

The story starts where The Poison Within ended – Eryssa is with Caylii, her partner, and since Caylii still is recovering from what happened Eryssa hasn’t left her side to feed.

She will now, though…

The poor peasant didn’t stand a chance, but at least Eryssa was kind to him.

I loved this short little story and I really hope we’ll get more of Eryssa in the future because that girl makes me laugh. I’d like to know more about Furias and their role in this world…or perhaps not this world.

If you too want to read A Late Bite to Eat, sign up for Kasia Bacon’s mailing list before the 15th of December because that’s when subscribers will get this story…I was lucky to get an early peek at it 😀


Book Cover A Late Bite to Eat Kasia BaconFuria Eryssa von Brenn lives life to the fullest in every respect, so an empty stomach doesn’t sit well with her…

A Late Bite to Eat, a flash fiction written from Eryssa’s POV, takes place after the events described in The Poison Within. It will be offered to subscribers of The Order Newsletter on December 15th, 2017. It will also be added as a bonus read to the back matter of The Poison Within for new readers.