Update | Haunted by Deadlines

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

Right now, it feels like maybe, just maybe, I’ve taken on more than I can handle. The deadlines are coming closer and closer with each day passing, and my workload at the day job is increasing. We also got it confirmed that my son has dyslexia last week, so lots of school contacts and such.

Him being dyslexic is nothing we’re surprised by. I’m dyslexic. By the time you’re reading this, I’ve first written it, then read it, then ran it through Grammarly, then listen to it, sometimes twice, and yet I’m sure you can find a typo or a missing word somewhere.

What saddens me is that I know he’ll have a hard time in the coming years as the workload in school increases. As an adult, I’ve learned my strategies, I’ve learned what works for me, and while hubby sometimes might have a hard time decipher my handwritten notes, I do all right on a computer (at least in comparison LOL). My son has a lot of hard work ahead of him figuring out what works for him, and I wish I could spare him having to work through it.

But, this post, was supposed to be about what’s going on writing-wise and nothing else. I’m working on two stories at the time, both will be Holly Day stories, and I hope I’ll soon be begging my beta readers for feedback.

I’ve written 97.290 words so far during 2021, and according to my tracker that leaves me 39% done with my goal of writing 250.000 words. So I think, I’m doing pretty well. I just need a couple of weeks with no obligations, a maid, and food deliveries to make my deadlines LOL

The plan is to write the third Rockshade story next, but… If I’m gonna write any holiday stories this year, I need to start planning for those too.

There are so many stories and so little time. Do all authors feel that way? I guess they do. There are always ideas, always scenes playing out in my head. They might not turn out anything in the stories like they are in my head, but there is a constant flow of scenarios. A pleasant problem, I guess. Except I get frustrated when I don’t have time to write them.

Ah well, we’ll see how far I’ve come next month.

Up North | Pet Delivery

I’m behind on my character introductions! Right now, I feel like I’m behind on everything, but ah well…

In just a few days, Pet Delivery will be released. It was once called Once in the Underworld, but it made me think of criminals and possibly demons, and since it’s a contemporary story about a guy hidden away in Nortown until he gets to testify, I wanted to change it.

Gabriel was at the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed a murder. He’s been whisked away to Nortown since the police believe no one would come looking for him there.

Chris owns Nortown’s only grocery shop, and when he hears the police has stashed away someone in his grandmother’s old cabin, he worries. The cabin isn’t suitable to live in during the winter, so to make sure the poor person doesn’t freeze to death he goes up there to check on them.

Gabe is a gentle soul. He loves animals and the hardest thing about being in the witness protection program is that he had to leave his two cats. He can endure the cold cabin and the bearded guys in plaid shirts staring at him as if he’s an alien when he goes into town, but to never see Toffee and Caramel again, Gabe can’t accept that.

Chris is stuck. The years go by and he’s still working most days of the week in the grocery shop he took over from his mother, he’s still living in the same cramped flat, and he’s still talking to the same people, day out and day in. Meeting Gabriel brightens his boring life.

Blurb:

Chris Hart owns the only grocery shop in Nortown, but he isn’t exactly overrun by customers. Some days he wonders why he bothers to open the doors at all. Spending his days smiling at the few people trickling in and his nights alone in bed isn’t the most interesting life a man could lead. But when Chris suddenly gets the excitement he’s been craving, it may be more than he bargained for.

Gabriel Miller loves his life. He’s close to his sister, has a job he adores and is the proud owner of one and a half cats. But all of it is taken away when he witnesses a murder. To keep him safe, the police place him in Nortown, of all possible locations.

Chris can’t believe they’re letting someone live in his gran’s old cabin in the middle of the winter. It’s too cold. When the poor man shows up in his shop looking to buy clothes, Chris’s heart melts, despite the freezing temperature. Gabriel notices the way the shopkeeper looks at him, but it can’t be right. No one looks at a heavyset man with heat in their eyes. Do they?

JMS Books :: books2read.com/PetDelivery

Guest Post | So Far Away

Guest-Post

Hi everyone, have you missed me since I was here last? It’s always a pleasure to be here, talking to you people and visiting the lovely Ofelia. I’m very grateful for your hospitality and kindness ️ Today, I’m here to talk about my newest release, So Far Away.

What’s the first thing you’d do if you’d been separated from your significant other (others) for a long time—weeks or even months—and finally got to see them again?

Zakarias and Julian in So Far Away are separated because of a global pandemic; Zakarias has caught the virus and Julian is an ICU nurse and to keep him safe, Zakarias moved out of their house and into the guest house on their property. They’re only separated by a few meters, but it might as well be the moon. Before this happened, they hadn’t been apart a single night for years, so neither of them is coping well. Julian is swamped at work and worried sick about his fiancé. Zakarias only has mild symptoms, but he worries about Julian working himself to the bone and is frustrated about the situation.

They talk every day, even see each other from a safe distance, and try their best to keep their spirits up, but it’s not the same when they can’t touch each other. Can’t offer physical comfort.

So when Julian asks What’s the first thing you’re gonna do when you get out of there? Zakarias’ answer is immediate. Kiss you.

Me, I’d cuddle up next to my husband, bury my nose in his warm skin, and sleep. I sleep like crap without him, so I’d be exhausted if we’d been in this situation. What would you do?

Caveat: While this story is definitely inspired by the covid-19 pandemic, the virus in my story is a figment of my imagination and not covid-19.

So close

Excerpt:

When the rumble of his SUV approaches, I flip open my laptop and log onto Skype. It doesn’t take him long to call, and I answer with a grin. “Hey, babe. I’ll just check the soup.”

I’ve already made sure my laptop camera is facing the kitchen so he’ll see me move around. And who’s to know if I stretch and bend a little more than necessary?

Julian groans. “I see you’re in a better mood.”

“What do you mean?” I ask, grin widening.

“Yeah, drop that innocent routine. It doesn’t work with me.”

“It doesn’t?” I wink and saunter to the cupboard, stretching and reaching for a glass on the top shelf. “I think I’m gonna drink water from a wineglass today. Makes it feel more special, you know,” I say over my shoulder, catching a quick glimpse of him on the monitor, eyes glued exactly where I want them. Score!

His microwave dings, but when I turn around a few seconds later, he’s still eating me up with his gaze.

“Your food’s ready,” I say.

“Mhm.” He nods slowly but makes no move to go get it. So I let him be for a while. Saunter around the small kitchen area, grabbing things I don’t need from high shelves to make sure my T-shirt rides up more. Stick out my ass whenever I can, swing my hips more than necessary, smile, and flirt while I chat about nothing in particular. When I can’t drag it out any longer, I ladle soup into a bowl and sit by the computer.

He meets my gaze. His mouth is upturned, his eyes shiny, and he shifts in his seat. “I guess I’ll go get dinner then,” he says, and when he stands there’s a noticeable tent in his pants.

I make a mental fist pump.

He quickly returns with his heated lasagna. We’re both hungry and devour our dinners without talking much. We put away the dirty dishes in companionable silence; doing everyday household chores together makes it seem a little more normal, even through a laptop screen.

When we’re done, he wanders to the couch, but I lie down on the bed, resting the laptop on my stomach.

“I have stuff I need to do,” he mutters. “Laundry. Or neither of us will have anything to wear soon.”

“That would be worse for you than me. I can always claim a bad Wi-Fi connection and leave my camera off for meetings. Work in the nude.”

That makes him chuckle. “You’re too proper for that. You’d be embarrassed and you’d worry your camera wasn’t properly turned off.”

“I could put duct tape over the camera.”

“We don’t have duct tape in the guesthouse.”

I scowl. “Why not? Duct tape is a necessity of life.”

“I know you think so,” Julian laughs, “and I know you keep some in your drawer at work for emergencies. But you do realize you’ve lived in the guesthouse for weeks now without noticing there isn’t any, not to mention needing it?”

We banter back and forth for a long time, and it does us both good. Julian relaxes more and more every minute and my anxiety level hasn’t been this low since I moved out here, maybe even since the pandemic started.

When we can’t put off real-life any longer—he needs to do the laundry and I need to clean this place, it’s getting filthy—we say goodbye and hang up. But instead, we text each other between chores.

Julian: What’s the first thing you’re gonna do when you get out of there.

Zakarias: Kiss you.

Julian: Yeah?

Zakarias: Definitely. Kiss you, get you naked, cuddle, and smell you. I miss your scent.

Julian: What if I’m at work? What will you do then?

Zakarias: Lie in our bed? Use the coffee grinder and make some of the really good stuff? Use every appliance we have in our kitchen? Break open a fancy bottle of the best wine? Abduct you from work so I can kiss you?

Julian: Yes, please. Abduct me from work.

Blurb:

sofaraway

Engaged couple Zakarias and Julian are convinced nothing can separate them…until a global pandemic hits. Zakarias catches the virus with mild symptoms and isolates in the couple’s guest house. The few meters dividing them might as well be the moon as he watches Julian, an ICU nurse, work himself to the bone, unable to support him the way he needs. Frustration and worry build as the weeks pass. Will Zakarias be declared healthy before Julian burns out?

M/M Contemporary / 14 567 words

Buy link:

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Books2Read

About Nell

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bonafide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along at the top of her voice but she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, bullet journals, poetry, wine, coffee-flavored kisses, and fika (a Swedish cultural thing involving coffee and pastry!)

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a bisexual Swedish woman married to the love of her life, a proud mama of a grown daughter, and is approaching 50 faster than she’d like. She lives in the south of Sweden where she spends her days thinking up stories about people falling in love. After dreaming about being a writer for most of her life, she finally was in a place where she could pursue her dream and released her first book in 2017.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, short over long, and quirky characters over alpha males.

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