Up North | The Egg Hunt

Easter Eggs
I’m in the middle of the spring cleaning of my books and the first one to come back up again is The Egg Hunt. The Egg Hunt was previously a Nortown story called Once in a Forest, but will from here on out be an Up North story named The Egg Hunt. I hope that once I’m done it won’t be as confusing.

It’s an Easter story, and if the title didn’t give it away, I’ll let you know that there’s an egg hunt 😀

Anyway, for Up North stories I always do a character introduction, and here we have the story of Tom and Jason.

I find it hard to write this post because I don’t much like Jason. It’s not his fault, but whenever I’ve needed someone to be a bit of an arse in Nortown, Jason is the one who’s received the role. He can say things no one should say, and he can appear selfish at times. He cares for Tom, but it’s not a good sign when I’m swearing over a character I’ve created while reading through the story LOL.

Nah, perhaps I’m unjust. Jason has some good sides or… It’s a defence mechanism.

Tom is your calm, mellow lumberjack. He’s in the closet and has no plans of ever coming out. He doesn’t trust his friends to accept him for who he is, and in his mission to keep himself hidden, he’s become a replica of a person instead of his real self.

Jason will figure him out, though! It’s his mission.

The Egg Hunt was first published back in 2016, but I’m glad to have it back up there. Even though Jason is my scapegoat for all bad things happening in Nortown LOL.

Character card - Tom Character card - Jason

the egg huntJason has one rule when it comes to holidays — work his shift behind the bar and then find a willing body to distract himself with. One night is long enough to satisfy his needs and still walk away with his heart intact. It has worked out fine for most of his adult life, but this Easter, he’s trying something new. He’s leaving the city to visit his friend Aiden, who recently moved in with his boyfriend in the middle of nowhere, but one unfortunate incident leaves Jason without a place to sleep.

Tom doesn’t just not do relationships, he rarely does hook-ups, either, and never too close to home. Living on his own without attachments is easier than having the whole town knowing about him. As the holiday approaches, his lonely house grows even quieter than normal — at least until his friend Tristan dumps an arrogant bartender in his lap.

As soon as Jason lays eyes on the gruff lumberjack whose home he’ll be sharing, he knows who’ll warm his bed for the weekend and help chase away any pending holiday gloom. Too bad Tom doesn’t want to get with the program. As much as he wants to let Jason close, he won’t risk outing himself for a weekend fling. Will Jason trust Tom not to break his heart if he stays longer than a couple of days? Will Tom value their relationship higher than the town gossip?

Release date: April 3rd, 2021

Pre-order in the JMS shop (20% off)

Release Day | 2020 Top Ten Gay Romance

Release Day

It’s release day! 2020 Top Ten Gay Romance is released today. It’s an anthology of the ten best-selling gay romance short stories during 2020 from JMS Books.

A couple of the stories are Christmas stories, so I figured I’d snag a spot for the anthology among the other holiday posts despite it not being a holiday anthology. If you pick this up, you’ll get a little of everything. I’ll post the blurbs for the stories below so you can check them out.
2020TopTen
2020 Top Ten Gay Romance brings together the best-selling short stories published by JMS Books that year.From first love to true love, from submission to sensual, from heat to sweet and everything in between, the couples in these stories are sure to keep you turning the pages as you fall in love with them.

With stories by Kris T. Bethke, Ofelia Gränd, Nell Iris, Shawn Lane, Marco May, J.L. Merrow, Amanda Meuwissen, K.S. Murphy, Elizabeth Noble, and K.L. Noone, this head-over-heels collection goes beyond bedtime reading. Whether happily ever after or happy for now, there’s an ending for everyone in here!

Contains the stories: Once and Floral by Kris T. BethkeTurning Wood by Ofelia GrändAlways You by Nell IrisA Thankful Heart by Shawn LaneThe Sir by Marco MayThe King’s Honour by J.L. MerrowThe Immaculate Marlow King by Amanda MeuwissenPretend You Are for Five More Minutes by K.S. MurphyThe Freedom of Submission by Elizabeth Noble, and A Demon for Forever by K.L. Noone.

The stories:

Once and Floral by Kris T. Bethke 

Once and FloralFlorist West Walker loves weddings. When two gorgeous men walk into his shop for a consultation, he thinks they’re the best looking grooms. Finding out Monroe Peters is just there to support his brother makes West’s instant attraction to the man acceptable.

When Monroe shows up at the shop with a special request, West agrees. And when Monroe asks West to stay at the wedding as his guest, West is thrilled.

Can a magical wedding, the perfect arrangement, and kisses in the moonlight be all these two men need to start their own journey to a happily ever after?


Turning Wood by Ofelia Gränd

turning woodFor Otho Newcomer, the small village of Snowmelt is a haven from his old life. If he’s not exactly a changed man, he at least hopes to keep his distance from all those easy romances, and the inevitable heartache and disappointment that have always followed.

Mason Dager is an idiot. His ex has cleared out his bank account, sold his car and gotten him thrown out of his apartment. And he has no one to blame but himself. But what better way to celebrate a new chapter in his life—one that includes homelessness and the humiliation of telling his family they were right all along—than to spend Christmas at a swanky winter resort like River Cove? It’s already paid for after all.

When a very drunk Mason makes yet another dumb decision, Otho comes to the rescue, throwing the two men together during the most magical time of the year.

What should be the wrong choice for both of them, might be exactly what they need. They’ll just have to survive a nosy best friend, an asshole of an ex, and the scars of their pasts.


Always You by Nell Iris

53435223._sy475_Thom Novak feels like a walking cliché: the gay guy desperately in love with his straight best friend, Lee. But he’s willing to keep his feelings hidden, to do whatever it takes, as long as they stay friends forever.

Lee Conway loves sharing an apartment with Thom, his best friend since birth, and would be happy doing it for the rest of his life … no matter his current girlfriend’s opinion on the matter. But he’s never been known for being in contact with his emotions.

When something happens to upset the status quo, Lee pulls away. Has Lee learned how Thom feels about him? Will it mean the end of their friendship? Or is there another reason Lee needs time to think? A more … hopeful reason?


A Thankful Heart by Shawn Lane

A Thankful HeartIt’s the beginning of November and Fabian is looking to make plans to visit his family with his lawyer boyfriend, Michael, for Thanksgiving week. But when Fabian shows up at Michael’s office during the workday, Michael is rude and unreceptive to the idea, so Fabian breaks up with him.

Making the trip to San Jose by himself, Fabian is welcomed home by his loving Italian family who are just eager for him to come home for good. Fabian is set to make the best of Thanksgiving, single and all, but maybe a special visit will help to make his heart thankful once more.


The Sir by Marco May

the sirTwenty-year-old Jacques fantasizes about being with much older men. All the guys he’s been with around his own age just didn’t cut it, and the one man he’s been with who was older wasn’t old enough. He wants a true silver fox, and he’s more than willing to seek out one who attracts him the right way.

That’s when he meets Sir Nicholas, who might as well be a reimagined Santa stud. After an awkward encounter at the gym where Jacques works, Nicholas offers him a job that pays far more than his janitor position. He’s to be a kept sex slave to serve Nicholas — and whomever else the sexy Sir wants him to serve. Jacques eagerly accepts. After all, Nicholas is exactly the man he’s waited so long to find.

But the more he spends time with Nicholas, the more Jacques wants exclusivity. He’s determined to win his sexy silver fox over to monogamy. Will he manage to get what Nicholas doesn’t seem willing to give? Or will he be just another temporary toy?


The King’s Honour by J.L. Merrow

The King's HonourIn this M/M retelling of the Grimm fairytale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Reuben, a soldier, is on his way to the castle to offer his services to the king, who is sorely troubled with the question of his family’s honour. His wayward daughters go out dancing every night, and refuse to tell how or where.

Walking through the forest, Reuben meets a handsome woodcutter, Corin, who offers to help him unravel the mystery of the dancing princesses. With the magical aid of Corin’s grandmother, the two set out together, mindful that their journey could end in sorrow. The king offers a rich prize to anyone who can discover the princesses’ secret—but the penalty for failure is death.


The Immaculate Marlow King by Amanda Meuwissen

The Immaculate Marlow KingMarlow King is a rare and powerful Storm Mage and an officer of the law, but he has a secret: he has an unfairly intense libido. And he’s a virgin.

After an embarrassing reaction during a sparring match with his rival and fellow Mage Officer, Rembrandt “Remy” Parker, Marlow stumbles upon a thief escaping the scene of her crime. Desperate to escape, she looks in Marlow’s mind to use his deepest secret against him — and curses him to lose his magic until he loses his virginity.

Enter Remy, who is definitely a very bad (very good) idea to fix things.


Pretend You Are for Five More Minutes by K.S. Murphy

pretend you are for five more minutesHenry Kato is in a really bad mood. One of his rude, annoying, and mildly offensive co-workers has been bugging him for weeks about the upcoming office party. To get him off his back, Henry enlists the help of his best friend Luke to go with him as his plus one.

What Henry doesn’t expect is for Luke to blurt out that they’re engaged. Which they’re most decidedly not. Even if Henry wishes it were true.

Do they have what it takes to convince everyone the engagement is real? Or will they burn up in smoke before the night even gets started?


The Freedom of Submission by Elizabeth Noble

The Freedom of SubmissionIan Groden loves his life. He’s happily married to the most wonderful man in the world. His career as the CEO of a thriving family business is right on track. He’s got it all. Ian is a man with a secret, however. He appears in control, but in reality, he’d rather let go and put his longings and physical pleasure in the hands of another. Being a submissive is utterly tantalizing and allows Ian to live out his every sexual whim without reservation or guilt.

Taren Murdoch is the man who fulfills Ian’s needs. He’s Ian’s husband, Dom, and protector. It’s Taren who doles out the pain Ian craves. There’s another side to that coin and that is to ensure the pain is never too much for Ian. Taren turns Ian’s pain into pleasure, a job that sometimes takes planning and creativity.

Ian and Taren have taken a break from their everyday lives and are enjoying a trip where they can indulge in their fantasies. It’s rare Ian has the freedom to spend day and night submitting to Taren. Will Taren be able to make sure he and Ian enjoy this dream vacation as much as they hope?


Demon for Forever by K.L. Noone

A Demon for ForeverA demon, a rock star, and wedding bells!

Justin Moore and Kris Starr have their happy ending: a life together, full of magic and music. Justin’s always wanted to get married, and ever since Kris proposed, he’s thrown himself into wedding planning. But planning a wedding’s not easy when the whole world’s watching their choices — including whether to invite Kris’s estranged father.

Kris wants Justin to have that perfect day. He’ll support the man he loves, whether that means agreeing to carrot cake or writing a new love song or getting excited when Justin shyly wants to wear a wedding dress. But Justin also wants him to reconcile with his father. And Kris loves Justin.

So, with their wedding weeks away, Kris will try to face the ghosts of his past … with his demon at his side.

Cover Reveal | Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday by Nell Iris

Today, Nell Iris is joining us. Nell is a fellow JMS Books writer, and one of the lovely people showing up in my morning office every day – we write together every morning I’m not working. Today, we’re doing a show and tell, so I’ll step away and let Nell take it from here.


First, I’d like to thank my hostess, the lovely Ofelia Gränd, for having me on the blog today. I’m here today to reveal the cover of my upcoming holiday release, Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday. It’s a New Year’s Eve story, so it’s perfect if you like me (and Petter and Isak in my story) think that NYE is a stupid holiday that’s best spent in the comfort of your own home, with a good book and a glass of bubbly. Of course, that’s how I’d spend most of my holidays if I thought I could get away with it.

Anyway. Back to the reason I’m here. The cover. So get comfy, pop a bottle of bubbly for an extra festive effect…or you know, sparkling cider if it’s too early on a weekday for you to drink bubbly. Then take a deep breath and look at the beautiful cover. I love it so much I look like a heart-eye emoji every time I look at it.

Nell torn cover

It’s the perfect cover for the story: Isak and Petter meet by an ancient stone ship setting on New Year’s Eve when our history nerd Petter twists his ankle, and knight-in-shining-armor—eh, winter jacket, it’s mid-winter in the north after all—comes to his rescue. But before they return to civilization, the burn a few sparklers Petter brought, drink disgusting champagne that turns out to be non-alcoholic, and start falling in love. So this is Petter on the cover, wearing the sweater his grandmother knitted for him, making silly New Year’s resolutions while burning sparklers.

Nell RF cover

Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday is already available for pre-order on my publisher’s website. So why not head over there and pre-order this beauty? It will be available on December 30, so you’ll have it just in time for a quiet, bookish New Year’s Eve. I won’t even mind if you skip the champagne; Petter and Isak would have preferred hot chocolate and coffee anyway 😊

Nell text post

Blurb:

Two strangers, a twisted ankle, an ancient stone ship, and a New Year’s Eve they’ll never forget

Petter sneaks out of the New Year’s party he didn’t want to go to and treks to an old burial site he’s dying to see. Alone. Without telling anyone on a freezing December night. Without cell service…a huge problem when he twists his ankle.

Someone passes by Isak’s house on the path leasing to the stone ship. When the person never returns, Isak worries and sets off to investigate. What he finds is Petter, a pack of sparklers, and an instant connection.

Under a starry sky, they learn they have a lot in common. Will the attraction burn hot and fizzle out like the fireworks going off over their heads when they return to the real world? Or will it deepen, grow, and turn into something real? Something everlasting like the stone ship?

M/M Contemporary / 20851 words

Buy link: https://www.jms-books.com/nell-iris-c-224_232/resolutions-for-an-arbitrary-holiday-p-3607.html