Release Day | 24 Dates by Ofelia Gränd

Release Day

It’s release day!!!

24 Dates was supposed to be a short Christmas story. I don’t know what I was thinking. The idea always was to write twenty-four dates, so I should’ve understood it wasn’t gonna turn out to be a 10k story. I should have, and yet I was surprised when it got be 38k.

Ah, well… 38k isn’t too long, and I had a great time writing it. I’m probably the least romantic person you’ve come across, so coming up with twenty-four dates wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t super hard either. I’m a bit sad that I’ve cleaned away the note where I scribbled down my ideas – I had ideas I didn’t use! LOL

In this story, we have Victor and Jian who’ve been a couple for years. Everything should be great. They’ve bought a house, moved to a new town, and should be in their happily ever after, but they’re not.

Jian is working all the time, and Victor hardly sees him awake anymore. They don’t talk, they don’t touch, and Victor fears they won’t last. Jian isn’t willing to give up, though. He has a plan – 24 Dates to woo his man.

24 Dates is an Up North story which means it’s standalone, contemporary, and takes place somewhere up north.

Excerpt:

“Are you ready?”

Victor jumped. He’d been too occupied with his date planning to notice Jian coming out through the front door. “For?”

“Our date, of course.” A quick grin appeared on Jian’s lips before disappearing again, and Victor’s heart sped up. Damn, he’s hot.

“Erm… I guess it depends on what we’re doing. Do I need to change?” He gestured at himself. “Pee?”

“Pee might be good if you need to. There are no restrooms where we’re going. And put on shoes that don’t get wet…and maybe a beanie so you don’t freeze.”

Victor studied his expression for a second. “We’re going to be outdoors?”

Jian nodded, and Victor nodded in return before hurrying inside, rushing to the bathroom, changing shoes, putting on a beanie, and pushing some gloves into his pocket.

When he came back out again, Jian hadn’t rolled out the car. “Aren’t we going?”

“We are. We’re walking.” He offered Victor his arm.

Walking? Were they going to the cafe? “On Tuesday, do you have anything planned?”

Jian narrowed his eyes. “Why?”

“Sara and Jonas, at work, usually go out to grab a pizza and a beer at some point each month or every couple of weeks or so, and they asked if I wanted to come.”

Jian’s dark eyes sparkled. “You should go. I know you haven’t found anyone to hang out with here, and I’ve been worried about it. You’re a social guy.”

Victor stared and allowed Jian to guide him down the sidewalk and back toward the school again. Jian had worried? Victor hadn’t known. But Jian was right, he normally had a lot of friends, but he’d… he didn’t know why, but he hadn’t had the energy. He’d only wanted to spend time with Jian, but Jian hadn’t been available. Perhaps Victor had been blind; perhaps it was how their relationship had always been, only he hadn’t noticed before because he’d been too busy having a life of his own.

No, before they’d moved here, they’d done things together. They’d had sex regularly, and a kiss hadn’t been something Victor had to analyze. Kisses had been part of everyday life, not like now, when a kiss was so rare, it made Victor nervous to initiate one.

“Don’t you want to go with them?”

“What?” Victor’s eyes flew to Jian’s. “I do, why?”

“You were frowning.”

“Ah…” He grinned. “I was thinking.”

“About?”

Victor took a deep breath. Did he want to ruin the date? No, but… “How we got here.”

“We walked.” Jian winked but seriousness wiped away the sparkles from his eyes. “I’ve been working too much, and you’ve been acclimating to our new home and your new job.”

“We’ve lived here for two years, Jian. How much acclimating does a person need?”

“I read a study claiming it takes about five years before you’ve built up a new social circle after you’ve moved somewhere. I didn’t break up from my old life. Or I did—I don’t hang out with our friends back in Cortland like we used to, but I still have the guys at work. You started over.”

“Yes, but we have each other, or we should have had each other.”

Jian nodded. “I’m sorry, babe.”

Victor nodded, his throat grew tight. He wanted to blame it all on Jian, but they were two in this relationship, and maybe he hadn’t done what he could to make it work.

Jian tugged at his arm and had them turn off the road going through the town center. First, one tiny snowflake slowly descended toward the ground, then more and more followed. Jian steered them toward the graveyard. They walked along the thick stone wall, and Victor held his breath as he took in the sea of lit candles. “Wow. Is it a special holiday?”

“I don’t think so.” Jian opened a wrought-iron gate and held it open for him. The graveyard was deserted apart from one old woman standing by a grave farther in.

“What are we doing here?” Victor whispered, not wanting to disturb the peace.

“We’re on a date.”

“In a graveyard?”

Jian wiggled his eyebrows, amusement shining in his eyes. “Do you know of a more beautiful place in Northfield?”

Victor breathed in deep, tasting the winter night. The candles looked like a starry sky had fallen to the ground, and the snow slowly came down in big flakes. “No.”

They walked up one of the trails and Victor squinted to read the large gravestones. This was an old part of the graveyard—the bigger the stone, the more important the person. “Look at this.” He tugged at Jian’s arm. “This man was the mayor. I didn’t know Northfield had a mayor.”

“We don’t anymore, I don’t think.”

“So cool.”

They walked past one grave after the other and all stress melted away from Victor. The winter wonderland stretched before him, all the beautiful wreaths and poinsettias people had left for their loved ones, the soft glow of the candles. “This is amazing.”

“Come.” Jian sat on a bench and held out his arm for Victor to sit next to him. Once he did, Jian pulled out a thermos cup from his inner pocket.

“We’re not getting drunk in a graveyard, are we?” Victor made wide eyes.

“No. I’ll save it for Halloween.” Jian chuckled. “It’s hot chocolate. I was looking at recipes for some cool Christmassy drinks, but there aren’t many hot ones, and we didn’t have the ingredients needed, so hot chocolate it is.”

“It’s perfect.”

Jian handed him the cup and pulled out another one from another pocket. Victor laughed. “Do you have anything else in there?”

“Why don’t you check?”

Victor chuckled and sipped on the chocolate. “This is beautiful.”

24 Dates in the JMS shop (20% off)

books2read.com/24Dates


24datesWhen Victor Hill bought a house with his boyfriend, Jian Kouri it was a dream come true. But now, two years later, instead of living their happily ever after, they hardly see the other awake.

With Jian out the door before Victor gets up in the morning, and asleep on the couch nearly as soon as he walks in the door, the life Victor imagined couldn’t be further from reality. They don’t talk; they don’t touch, and Victor fears he and Jian have already drifted too far apart.

The holiday season is a time for hope, but when Victor comes home to find Jian with a plan to woo him for Christmas, is it too little, too late? The dates are great, and there are filled with Christmas fun to get Victor in the right spirit for the holiday, but are they enough for the two of them to fall in love again? Or is there just too much in their relationship that needs fixing?

Winter Books | Ofelia Gränd

Soon it’s winter!

winter

This year I’ve listed my spring books, my summer books, and my autumn books, and now we’ve come to my winter books. The winter months, according to Google, are December, January, and February, but I’m cheating a little and posting this now.

Winter is my second favourite season, autumn being my absolute favourite. And since Christmas falls during the winter, there will be some holiday stories. It’s always fun to write holiday stories, and I’ve written one this year too – 24 Dates will be published on December 2nd.

There will be more winter books in the future, #PictaBook for example. It takes place in February so, it’s a winter book. It might be my all-time favourite book I’ve written…maybe LOL

But enough about future releases! The winter book I have available now are the following:

Once in a Snowstorm Poor Aiden gets caught in a snowstorm but is saved by Tristan and his beloved dog Og. It’s a 29k contemporary M/M story, and it’s a bit over the top – it’s meant to be. It’s the first in the Nortown series but can be read as a standalone if one so pleases.

Once in the Underworld – This is the fourth story in the Nortown series, and it can be read as a standalone too. It’s about Chris and Gabe. Gabe happened to witness a crime and the police hide him in Nortown. A 31k contemporary gay romance.

Just Words – Nortown 4.5 an Aiden and Tristan short, and if you want to read this, I suggest you read all the stories leading up to it. Maybe not Once in a Forest or Once in May, but rest. A 6.4k contemporary established couple story

Honey Baked – Nortown… erm… the last one I wrote… 5.5! LOL It’s a Christmas story about John and Zach, so read Once in May before you read this one. It’s 8k of Santa kink.

Trapped – Aww, I don’t know what to say about this. It’s not romance, not really. There is plenty of love, but Charlie and William have been married for many years. Their daughter is a grownup, and William doesn’t remember him anymore or most days he doesn’t some days he does, and those are the days Charlie lives for. It’s a 12k contemporary shared-an-entire-life kind of story.

From All of Us to All of You – One of the first stories I ever wrote. It’s about Lucia, which is a holiday of light we celebrate in Sweden. It’s 14k and I don’t dare to open it in fear of what I’ll see there LOL

The Snowflake – Now, who said winter had to be cosy Christmas stories? Here we have some blood and gore and ice sculptures. 21k of crazy love, talking cats, and body parts! Horror, yes, but crazy people can be in love too.

Eight Feet of Magic – Adventure! This is one of those I loved writing. Hank Goodenough and Captain Elezar Steel steer a steam-driven airship towards the Arctic Circle in search of a Yule miracle. 19k of steampunk, and last year I published it one part at the time throughout December on my Facebook page – it’s still there if you search for it.

Turning Wood – Last year’s Christmas story and *drum roll* part of the 2020 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology from JMS Books. I’m super happy about that, thank you to all of you who bought a copy. It’s the first in the Up North series, a series of standalone contemporary gay romances. In this, we get to meet Otho and Mason, two gentle souls who connect over some Christmas food and near-death experiences.

Scary Gary – I love Scary Gary, he’s my favourite grim reaper LOL. This is a short little thing, only 5k, and it free everywhere than on Amazon because they’re effing slow over there. It about Micah who has a shadow who wants to kill him, and when the shadow succeeds, there is Gary – scythe and all.

Happy reading!

Cyber Monday Sale @ JMS Books

Did you miss the Black Friday Sale? Worry not, these days there are sales left and right. We’re having a Cyber Monday Sale over at JMS Books today and tomorrow.

Since I suggested you’d stock on Christmas books last time, perhaps we should have a look at some paranormals this time?

CyberMonday

Sadly, no new books have popped up in the last two days, so the titles available are:

  • 2020 Top Ten Gay Romance (Turning Wood)
  • 24 Dates
  • Banger Challenge
  • Black Bird
  • Crazy Joe
  • Cup o’ Sugar
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Jaeger’s Lost and Found
  • Legendary Loves (Pine Tree Mary)
  • Nine Stones
  • Pine Tree Mary
  • Quinny, Focus!
  • Soul Eater
  • Turning Wood
  • When Skies Are Gray

You’ll find them all here!

Happy reading