Sale | Eight Feet of Magic

steampunk

 

This is a bit off season, but what are you gonna do? LOL 

Eight Feet of Magic is a crazy steampunk story I wrote back in 2017, and it’s about Yule. Or it’s not really about Yule as much as it’s about an insane trip in a steam-driven balloon ship to the Arctic Circle, but it takes place during December. 

JMS Books has this Publishing Partners program. JMS authors who also have self-published books are offered to put their books in the JMS shop among other sites you can’t get your books on as a self-pubbed author. Or maybe you can, but it’s hard.  

Anyway, I signed up Eight Feet of Magic for the Publishing Partners and it’ll now be available in the JMS shop, the Google Play shop, Bookstrand, and Dreame. It’ll still be available on all the retailers it’s been so far, so this is just extra. And since it’s a new book in the JMS shop, it’s 20% off for the coming week (in the JMS shop only). 

Excerpt: 

Hank held his breath as the sounds of the carol singers’ voices merged with the smog and faded into the dusk. It was the first Christmas songs he’d heard for the season, and it made him think of his mother. 

Demetrius dragged him to a narrow wooden door with flaking dark blue paint and rusting iron ferrules. Above, a ghost ship sign painted on a dried up board creaked every time the wind got hold of it. 

The Bold Ship. 

The words sent a shiver of recognition through him. He’d heard the name before, but how was that possible? He never came to these parts of London—no one in their right mind did. 

He slumped down in an attempt to make himself invisible, completely in vain—he had both his size and his velvet coat working against him. The dust of the streets had done nothing to mute the red colour. 

Hank had tried to stick to the shadows on the way here, but people kept staring at him no matter what. Barefoot children dressed in rags watched him with eyes wide enough for Hank to fear they’d fall out of their skulls. 

He blinked away the smoke hitting him in the face as he followed Demetrius into the grimy tavern. The low murmur stopped as he got a couple of steps inside, then he heard someone chuckle. Heat began climbing his neck, but he refused to blush. It had taken years to get it under a semblance of control. Wiping his sweaty hands on the soft velvet, he kept his gaze on Demetrius’s back. 

He’s over there.” Demetrius appeared unaware of the laughter spreading in the room and hurried towards the far corner. Hank filled his lungs with the sooty air and kept his back straight as he followed. Show no weakness. He had to duck at one point not to hit his head on a joist. 

It became darker the farther into the tavern they got, and Hank dared a breath of relief. At least his coat wouldn’t be visible from the entrance. He looked around the room before looking at the man Demetrius had stopped next to. When he did, he wished he hadn’t, he wished he’d stayed at home, and he definitely wished he’d worn his old rugged coat. 

The man’s dark eyes shone as he watched Hank. Something close to a smile tugged at the corner of his lips, but Hank could tell it wouldn’t turn into a nice one. A dimple almost appeared on his right cheek, or maybe it was a muscle strain from keeping the sneer at bay. 

This is your seaman?” His voice was melodic, so melodic Hank almost missed the words. 

Yes, my son.” Demetrius nodded frantically, and Hank’s heart made a run for his throat. 

No.” 

No one was listening to him. 

Good, good. I’ve always liked a sturdy man; I need someone big and strong on the ship.” 

Hank looked around, hoping against hope someone was standing behind him, and they weren’t talking about him. Several pairs of eyes were watching him with amusement. 

I’m no seaman.” 

The man cocked his head, making a long tress of black hair glide off his shoulder. “No seaman?” Then he glared at Demetrius. “A seaman was part of the deal.” 

He is your seaman. Tall and strong, good for heavy lifting. God knows it’s all he’s good for.” 

Hank’s stomach turned, but the usual nausea following Demetrius and Polly’s words halted when the man gave an annoyed huff. If he was annoyed with Hank’s stupidity or Demetrius for pointing it out, he didn’t know, but his gaze turned harder than before. 

Silence fell. It spread to the entire tavern and made Hank twitchy—grown men shouldn’t be twitchy. 

Finally, the man reached out over the table and offered Hank his hand. “I’m Captain Elazar Steel. What’s your name, lad?” 

Lad? Lad! The man must be ten years younger than Hank, and though he was still sitting down, he didn’t look like a big man. Hank couldn’t help but narrow his eyes, and it wasn’t until Demetrius elbowed him in the side he realised he hadn’t responded. 

Hank Goodenough…sir.” 

Captain.” Hank refrained from rolling his eyes. Dear Elazar didn’t seem to notice, though. 

Steampunk M/M Romance: 18.7k words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/EightFeetOfMagic

Blurb:

Eight Feet of MagicThere is still magic to be found. Even in the bleakest of places.

Hank Goodenough has spent his entire life in the smoggy streets of London trying to keep his head down and not to get noticed. Not an easy feat when you’re the tallest one in the room and have a brass funnel protruding from your head. When he finds himself laid off work once again, his dad wants to drag him away on a crazy quest. Before he can figure out how to get out of it, he finds himself on a steam-driven airship in search of Odin, the old Norse God and sharing a room with Captain Elazar Steel, a man strutting around on one high-heeled boot and one peg leg.

Steel doesn’t care that the winks, smiles, and small touches he and Hank share might get them hanged once they land on the ground again. He is determined to show Hank there is magic in the world and that there is no better place to be than on his balloon ship steering towards the Arctic Circle.

Update | Camp NaNo

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

― Jodi Picoult

typewriter-3711589_640

We’re back on track, people! Or…we’re trying to find the track LOL. I didn’t write anything in March. I’m not kidding. I think my word count for the entire month was around 420 words, which might be my worse month ever. On the other hand, I went through thirteen stories that will be republished soon. So I didn’t sit idle.  

But now I’m writing. April 1st was the start of Camp NaNo, and I decided that come hell or high water, on April 1st I would be writing. And I was. I’ve written 13k in six days, but now I’m gonna work the dreaded day job – is it hell or high water? – so there won’t be many more words this week, I’m afraid. 

My goal for NaNo is 15k, but I think I’m gonna change it. 20k should be doable. We’re only on the sixth today and while I’ll be working a lot the coming two and a half weeks, I should manage to get 7k down, don’t you think? I mean there is always the weekends. 

I’m keeping track of my words, and I’ve written 71.306 words so far during 2021 which is 28.52% of my yearly goal. I feel like I should be further along, but given the circumstances, I guess it’s okay. 

We’ll see how it goes. I need to start planning for holidays stories if I’m gonna write any. My publisher sent out a list of deadlines for the coming holidays, so I need to have a bit of a think on that. So many stories to write and so little time… 

 

Guest Post | Wake Him with a Kiss by Nell Iris

Guest-Post

Hello again, Ofelia and Ofelia’s fabulous readers. It’s me. Nell. I’m visiting so often I should be awarded VIP status, don’t you agree? 😊 I’m immensely grateful to have friends as awesome as Ofelia who lend their space for me to promote my stories. Friends like that are the greatest!

Today I’m here to talk about my new short story Wake Him with a Kiss.

“He’s going to get his first tattoo. Write me a story.” That was the message I got from my dear friend Kris T. Bethke, followed by a link to this picture. I’d complained to her that I needed to write a short story for a thing but had no inspiration. And she’s great; I often turn to her when I need a listening ear or someone who understands, and this time was no different. And she delivered.

“He’s going to get his first tattoo.” Who is he? Why is he getting his first tattoo? Is there a particular reason, is he commemorating something? And how can I turn this into something romantic in less than 10K words? These were all questions swirling around in my head after receiving the message until I was struck by an idea. If I’d been a cartoon character, a light bulb would have gone off above my head.

A picture can be a great inspiration. My very first published story, Unconditionally, was inspired by an image. One day, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and stopped on an amazing picture of a sad-looking man, sitting down, dressed only in a veil. Lots of questions popped up in my head. Who is he? Why is he sad? Why is he only wearing a bridal style veil and nothing else?

Questions, questions, questions are often the thing that inspires my stories. Whether it’s from a picture, a line in a song, or something I watch on TV. Sometimes it’s something I observe in real life. And I find it very interesting. Inspiration is an intriguing thing. Intriguing and weird and funny and awe-inspiring, and when it hits me, I grab it with both hands and don’t let go.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Freckles

Excerpt:

But whatever it is she’s referring to, it lessens Lo’s tension. He meets my gaze, and this time when he opens his mouth, words spill out. “I came out to my family. It’s ridiculous to wait until you’re thirty-four, but they’re very religious, and…I’ve heard them say things that led me to believe they wouldn’t accept me.”

My stomach drops. I can’t believe people are still bigoted assholes in this day and age. And it doesn’t help how many stories I’ve heard over the years; it never gets easier.

I lean closer. “How did they take it?”

Lo’s grimace says everything I need to know. “Not great. Not as horrible as I feared, but not good. They asked me to give them time and don’t come see them for a while. Despite that, I’m…relieved. Living a lie is fucking exhausting.”

I nod. “I know.”

He looks at me, taking all of me in. His gaze lingers at the pride tattoo on my left wrist and the rainbow bracelet on the other then finds its way up my body until he meets my eyes. Searching. Finding whatever answers he’s looking for if the barely noticeable nod is something to go by. “How did your family react? If you don’t mind me asking?”

“I don’t mind. It was a long time ago. I came out to my parents before going to university. Always the rebel, always at odds with them. They probably took it worse than your family. My mom never spoke to me again, but my dad reached out to me after she died. We’re trying to mend fences but it’s not easy.”

“I’m sorry,” he says.

“Thank you. But I’m fine. We weren’t close. I tested their limits at every turn, and they resented me for it. And anyway, a long time has passed since. I don’t know if I’ll ever trust my dad again, but it means something that he reached out, you know?”

His gaze on me is intense and I can feel it all the way in my stomach. “Yeah. But how do you forgive someone for rejecting you for who you are?”

His question makes me lean back in my chair. I’ve never thought about it. Just continued my life as I did before my father called me after twenty years of radio silence. As though I’m waiting for him to hurt me again. Never fully trusting his intentions or opening up to him.

“I don’t know,” I say.

Lo nods as if saying “yeah, that’s what I thought.” He has a point. But it’s also not who I want to be.

“But I can’t let that define me,” I say. “I refuse to be a tragic statistic. Maybe kids are unrealistic in thinking their parents will have their backs no matter what. It’s not like you become a great human being just because you created a new life; anyone with functioning equipment can do that. If you were shitty and bigoted before, becoming a parent won’t magically change that. Changing who you are take lots of work. So I guess I gave up hope on them and found my own family instead. Much like you’ve done.” I nod to Nina, who nods at my words.

Lo reaches out and tugs her ponytail again, and this time she lets him. “He’s right, Lo-Lo,” she says. Lo smiles at her, and nods. The look they share is private and I avert my eyes and let them have their moment.

“All right,” Nina says a few seconds later. “Let’s get this show on the road. I haven’t got all day.”

That breaks the intimacy of the moment and we all straighten our backs and go back to business. “Tell me what you’d like,” I say as I take out my portfolio for him to look through.

“I’m probably a walking cliché, but I’d like a rainbow. On my wrist.”

“Nah. Nothing cliché about it,” I say

Blurb:

Wake Him With A KissWhen Lo is dragged into the tattoo shop by his bossy cousin, he steals everyone’s attention. The big man is afraid of needles but wants a tattoo to celebrate an important moment in his life. And he wants Amos to do it.

Tattoo artist Amos is mesmerized by Lo from the moment he lays eyes on him. He’s huge but kind, strong but gentle, and his freckles…God, his freckles.

They hit it off immediately, but Lo grows nervous as the big moment approaches. Will Lo flee from the tattoo machine before they have time to get to know each other? Before they have the time to see if the sparks will turn into something more?

M/M Contemporary / 6926 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.

Find Nell on social media:

Newsletter :: Webpage/blog :: Twitter :: Instagram :: Facebook Page :: Facebook Profile :: Goodreads :: Bookbub :: Pinterest :: Ko-Fi