Release Day | Black Bird

It’s been a long road, but now we’re here!

SwanI wrote Black Bird back in 2018, right at the end of the year. I sent it to one on my beta readers who didn’t like it at all, and then I didn’t touch it for more than a year. I kept it on all my to-do lists and every time I was about to start a new story, I saw it there, mocking me LOL.

So, when this year started, I told myself it was gonna be my clean-up year, because Black Bird is far from the only story I move from to-do list to to-do list, it’s not even the only story I have lying around with beta notes attached to it.

And now, I’ve crossed it off my to-do list. Yay!

I have three releases coming up, and none of them are old stories I’ve fixed, so you see how well I’m doing on the whole clean-up year LOL.

But never mind that now! Today is the day Arlo Barman and Nash Silver step out into the world. It’s a paranormal M/M Romance with a werewolf and a caladrius bird. It’s hurt-comfort, age-gap, soulmates, opposites attract, size difference, small town, autumn, kidnapping, a love for plants, vampires, psychics, and lots of other nice things…like black phlegm.

Nash shoved the sandwich into his mouth to not have to talk to Ellis. The frown peeking up behind the shades was enough for Nash to know nothing fun would come from the conversation anyway.

“Your coffee, gentlemen.”

Nash tried to swallow, and swallow, but the bread got stuck in his throat. He tried coughing discreetly to get it unstuck all the while he was looking up at Arlo trying to smile and nod.

Worry shone in pale blue eyes—not the best way to impress someone. Ellis snorted, and Nash gave in and coughed for real, unclogging his throat—sexy as fuck.

“Are you okay?” Arlo reached out as if to touch him, but then he tensed, and dropped the hand with more force than necessary.

Nash blinked away the tears from his eyes and grabbed the coffee cup Arlo had placed before him. “Yeah, sure.” His voice was rough, and he took a mouthful of scalding coffee and fought the reaction to the burn.

“Are you sure?”

Arlo looked at him, his eyes— Then Arlo blinked and everything was normal. The tears must’ve fucked with his vision. “Yes, I’m fine.” He smiled, but before he could check Arlo’s eyes again, he nodded and went away.

“Smooth.” Ellis smirked.

“Fuck you.” There was no heat in the words, and while Nash wished he hadn’t choked in front of Arlo, he had to admit it was pretty funny.

“He’s an odd duck, that one.”

“Odd how?” Nash sipped on the coffee again, more carefully this time around.

“I don’t know, he’s just odd.” Ellis shrugged.

“Because you think he looks odd or because you’re sensing something?”

“Sensing?”

“Seeing.” Nash’s irritation spiked again. Ellis knew what the fuck he meant.

Ellis rubbed his temples. “I don’t know, I have a headache.”

“Hungover?”

“No, I only had one beer yesterday. It’s like it is too much, my brain’s scrambled.”

“Too much of what?”

Ellis shook his head. “It’s a bird, and Gilbert is unhappy—”

“Gilbert’s unhappy?” Nash had missed that. Sure he’d been a little grumpy yesterday, but he’d been hungry and he was always grumpy when hungry.

“No, not yet…I don’t think, but he will be unless something changes. And I keep seeing myself clutching my stomach—I never see myself, it’s like a rule for psychics, we don’t see ourselves.”

“There are rules for psychics? You ever met another psychic?”

“No, but since I’ve never seen myself before I’ve decided it’s a rule. It doesn’t matter, it’s… everything is jumbled, it doesn’t make sense, and lightning is drilling holes in my skull.”

Ellis was paler than usual, Nash had been too focused on Arlo to notice.

“And you’re chasing a bird.”

“I’m chasing a bird?” Nash had never chased a bird in his entire life, and he had no desire to change that.

“A black bird.”

“I’m chasing a blackbird?”

“You’re changed, clothes are ripped as if you’ve changed in a hurry, it’s dark and rainy, almost foggy, you know? And you’re running after a black bird.”

Nash rubbed his neck; he couldn’t think of one single reason that would make him chase a bird.

books2read.com/Black-Bird (20% off in new release in at JMS-Books)


black birdAfter seven years of being on the move, Arlo Barman wants nothing more than a place to call home. But unbeknownst to him, Arlo is a caladrius healer, so staying in one place has never been an option. The compulsion to separate himself from those he’s healed is all-consuming and leaves him little choice but to pack up yet again.

Nash Silver is the only werewolf in his small coastal town. Living undetected in a human world is imperative for his kind, and he and his small circle of friends—a vampire and a psychic—have done so for decades. But Nash’s anonymous existence is jeopardized when a man with an enticing scent moves into town. From the moment Nash lays eyes on the stranger, nothing is more important than being close to him. Not even guarding his secret.

Arlo isn’t interested in a relationship or even a date, his past has taught him nothing good comes from it, but the rather pushy local popping up everywhere he goes has his heart somersaulting. If his heart is somersaulting or not doesn’t matter, because when Nash gets injured, Arlo is the only one who can save him.

Having used his powers, Arlo has to leave Nash and the cozy town he wanted to make his home, but can Nash survive being separated from his mate?

 

A Tour through the Black Bird world

When I write, I most often make up a city or town, give it a name, and I hardly ever specify where in the world we are. I think it’s because the first stories I wrote were set in Sweden, but after a few people mentioning that I was a Swedish author, I stopped placing my characters here.

MapI don’t want to be ‘the Swedish writer’, I just want to be a writer like everyone else LOL. There will always be something Swedish in the way I write, we always bring part of our culture with us wherever we go, and that goes for fictional places too.

But, I want people from all around the world to be able to pick up one of my stories and feel connected to it, sure the environment will always be kind of Swedish, but I don’t want it to be so pronounced that you feel you’ve been dropped into a foreign world (unless I write a foreign world).

But, Black Bird… I never name the city, just the streets, the shops, the pubs, the buildings, the little shortcuts.

CoffeeI grew up in a small west coast city in Sweden. I left home at 16 and moved 1070 km (about 665 miles) up north, where I lived for four years, before moving south again. But no matter where I live, that city will always be home to me. Maybe I was homesick when I wrote it, I don’t know, but Black Bird takes place in my hometown.

So, today I’ve amused myself by ‘walking’ the streets through Google maps. You can’t get to all places, but have a look!

This house reminded him of where they’d lived when he’d (Arlo) been a little boy—it was happiness and freedom on a small piece of land with a tiny house. The town was a ten-minute drive away and while not as picturesque as the red wooden cottage, it still had some small-town charm going on. (Google maps don’t go in on small roads like this, but Arlo lives in here.)

Nash poured yet another beer down his gullet. The sounds in the bar were so fucking loud tonight—people everywhere, the same boring people.

A young blond was trying to get his attention by the bar. Nash recognized him, but it had to be a couple of months ago. He didn’t do repeats, and the sooner the guy got the message the better.

The bottom floor where they were sitting had the decor of an old-fashioned pub, tables and chairs in dark wood, and by the windows were booths made up of black leather sofas with tables screwed to the wall. The upper floor was more like a nightclub with a dance floor and its own bar. Luckily, the DJ hadn’t begun yet.

“What’s up with you today?” Gilbert frowned at him.

“Nothing. Tired is all.” (At Herman’s)

He (Arlo) slowed down as he neared the Big Square. It was a small square, but according to Holly, it was called the Big Square. When he came up close to the coffee shop, he turned left down a slope and there on his right was an apartment building. He checked the street sign to make sure he was on Tradesman Street and parked the car.

For a few seconds, he sat and looked around. The street was narrow, at the bottom floor of the buildings there were shops—a retro bakery, a fabric parlor, a travel agency, and one place that looked like a pharmacy and yet not. At the end of the street, right as it overlapped into a cobblestone road, was the local newspaper in a beautiful white stone building as old at the street itself.

Arlo sighed. It was a charming little town, but he shouldn’t be in the middle of it on a Friday night.

Arlo’s feet ached as he turned into the cobblestone road passing the newspaper building. He could see the river between the old wooden terrace houses, it snaked its way past town, dark and rapid and it would reunite with the sea by the Southern bridge. In daylight it would be beautiful, now it made him shudder.

Nash bolted out of there, jogged down New Street, crossed through the Bathhouse Park, and zigzagged through the narrow cobblestoned alleys of Old Town until he came out on Harbor Street. Ellis lived in one of the newly built apartment houses there, and he almost crashed into an old woman as he rounded the corner to his door.


black bird

After seven years of being on the move, Arlo Barman wants nothing more than a place to call home. But unbeknownst to him, Arlo is a caladrius healer, so staying in one place has never been an option. The compulsion to separate himself from those he’s healed is all-consuming and leaves him little choice but to pack up yet again.

Nash Silver is the only werewolf in his small coastal town. Living undetected in a human world is imperative for his kind, and he and his small circle of friends—a vampire and a psychic—have done so for decades. But Nash’s anonymous existence is jeopardized when a man with an enticing scent moves into town. From the moment Nash lays eyes on the stranger, nothing is more important than being close to him. Not even guarding his secret.

Arlo isn’t interested in a relationship or even a date, his past has taught him nothing good comes from it, but the rather pushy local popping up everywhere he goes has his heart somersaulting. If his heart is somersaulting or not doesn’t matter, because when Nash gets injured, Arlo is the only one who can save him.

Having used his powers, Arlo has to leave Nash and the cozy town he wanted to make his home, but can Nash survive being separated from his mate?

books2read.com/Black-Bird

Caladrius Bird

There is this Roman myth about a luminescent snow-white bird known for its beauty and song…

CastleThe caladrius birds have amazing healing powers, so back in the day, they were often kept in the King’s court where they protected the royal family.  Some say that if the bird looks someone in the eye, it will take the sickness into itself and allow the person to live, but if it looks away, the sick person will die.

As often is with myths, the stories varies. According to some stories, all the bird has to do is look at an unwell person to heal them. In others, it has to touch its beak to the person’s mouth to take the disease into itself. Once it has, it has to disperse of it somehow. In some stories, the bird flies up into the sun where the sickness is burned away. But that’s not how it actually happens…

These birds are expensive, incredibly so, and the people dealing with them are cunning.  They can’t risk just anyone knowing what they’re doing, they can’t let anyone know they have a real, living caladrius bird in their possession.  There is a market for these creatures, you see. And if the wrong people hear about someone dealing with caladrius birds all sorts of bad things can happen.

In the free, the caladrius lives in the forest where it sleeps high up in the trees. It’s therefore important that, when in captivity, the caladrius gets to live in a large aviary filled with plants.

In the wild, the caladrius will find a mate and stay with them for the rest of their life. They develop an extra sense of their partner’s emotional state. If their mate is in trouble, the caladrius will feel it and come to help. If their partner is unhappy, they’ll comfort them by singing.

The caladrius has the most beautiful song. They sing when they’re happy, when they’re angry, when they’re afraid, when they mourn, when they’re in love. The song is at its most spellbinding when the caladrius is sad.

Every morning, the caladrius wakes at sunrise and sings to greet the day.

But you don’t find caladrius birds in the wild anymore…

When kept captive, the caladrius will come to see its keeper as its partner, but since it would prefer another caladrius it’s important not to allow it any contact with its own kind or the hard work to create a bond might be for nought. If they remain with their owner, they will eventually respond to their emotional state as they would a true mate.

Black Bird

Nash poured yet another beer down his gullet. The sounds in the bar were so fucking loud tonight—people everywhere, the same boring people.

A young blond was trying to get his attention by the bar. Nash recognized him, but it had to be a couple of months ago. He didn’t do repeats, and the sooner the guy got the message the better.

The bottom floor where they were sitting had the decor of an old-fashioned pub, tables, and chairs in dark wood and by the windows, there were booths made up of black leather sofas with tables screwed to the wall. The upper floor was more like a nightclub with a dance floor and its own bar. Luckily, the DJ hadn’t begun yet.

“What’s up with you today?” Gilbert frowned at him.

“Nothing. Tired is all.”

“Tired?” Gilbert looked at Ellis as if he would object to Nash being tired, but Ellis grinned. Most of his face hidden behind the shades he always wore when they were out among people. Nash didn’t like when he wore them.

It was easy to see if and when Ellis picked up on something when he didn’t wear those glasses—not knowing was annoying.

“Yes, tired. Not everyone wakes up at sundown, some of us have normal, tedious jobs to go to.”

“I don’t wake up at sundown and since when has being tired stopped you from being polite?”

“Gentlemen, gentlemen.” Ellis glanced at them over the glasses, his eyes shifting between hazel green and milky white. “There’s a bird in town.”

Nash frowned. As far as he knew there were thousands of birds in town. “A particular one you’re thinking of?” And since when were they ornithologists?

“Nope, that’s all I have for now.”

“You mean it’s a… vision or whatever?” What the hell could a bird mean?

“A whatever.” Ellis moved his hands like wings. “White one second, black the next.”

White? Nash pictured the guy in the coffee shop, the strange one, but he was a human, not a bird. He would’ve known if he was a shifter. Nash always sensed the shifters straight away, not that there were many. “Is it… Does it mean anything?”

“How would I know? I’m not the brain in the group.” Ellis raised his eyebrows before pushing his shades back in place.

“Gilbert?”

Gilbert flashed his fangs. “I’m pretty sure I’m the stomach of the group. Can we grab someone to eat? I’m starving.”

Black Bird will be released on the 16th of May.