Guest Post | Eight Months Without You

We have Nell Iris back on the blog 😊 Welcome, Nell!

Hi everyone, I’m back! I want to start with a big thank you to my lovely hostess, Ofelia, for inviting me to come to talk about my new release today 😘

My new story is called Eight Months Without You, and like I wrote when I visited Holly’s blog yesterday, it features two themes I usually don’t include in my books; jealousy and communication breakdown. I wrote about jealousy at Holly’s blog yesterday, and now I’m here to talk about communication breakdown.

I’m wondering if you notice how I keep using the phrase “communication breakdown” instead of miscommunication which is more commonly used. Well, I’m doing that on purpose since one of my least favorite themes/tropes in the whole wide world is miscommunication, and I tend to avoid those kinds of books like the plague. Jealousy is different, I’ve always loved reading about jealous MCs, but people who fight or break up because they refuse to talk to each other give me the hives. 😁

I can almost hear you asking, “But Nell, why did you even write a book on that theme if you hate it so much?” and I can’t blame you if you do. In my defense, it’s not really miscommunication, it’s more like the communication stopping completely after a spectacular fight including accusations of cheating and one character (Joakim) walking out on the other (Sami) and doesn’t come back…for eight months.

If you think that makes Joakim sound like a jerk, Sami isn’t much better. He didn’t exactly blow up Joakim’s phone trying to get him to come back, he didn’t march over to his place, bang on his door, demanding to be let in so they could talk. No, at first he was angry, and then he was miserable.

“But Nell, why should we even read a book about two jerks?” you might ask, and to that I say; because they still love each other, and they desperately want to be together so they’re ready to talk. Isn’t that reason enough? 😊

Eight months without you quote


Can Sami and Joakim’s relationship survive accusations of cheating, a thrown wineglass, and eight months of silence?

Hurtful words and a thrown wineglass in a fit of jealousy tear Sami and Joakim apart; fiery tempers and stubbornness keep them from making up. But then, after eight months without a single word, just as Sami is about to make the first move, Joakim shows up, eager to make things right.

Can they overcome accusations of cheating and eight months of silence? Are conversations, confessions, and planning for the future enough? Will the love they still share conquer all?

M/M Contemporary / 15207 words

Buy links: 

JMS Books :: Amazon :: Books2Read

Eight months without you

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:

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When I open my front door and am faced with Joakim, my first thought is He’s wearing his Christmas sweater. Why is he wearing his Christmas sweater? It’s August.

My gaze flits from his sweater to his chest, up his neck, to his face, and back down to the sweater, unable to settle, trying to drink all of him in at once.

I rub my forehead. His Christmas sweater? That’s where my mind goes? Not what are you doing here? Not where have you been these last eight months? Not why didn’t you call, or why now after all this time of silence? Not even it’s in the middle of the night.

No, it’s the stupid, garish sweater. “Make Love, not Lutefisk,” it says on the chest, and underneath the text is a huge fish wearing a Santa hat. It’s the ugliest thing I ever saw; Joakim’s sister Ellen gave it to him a few years ago because It’s ridiculous and Joakim’s weakness is ridiculousness.

The sweater is the reason we started talking to each other the first time we met; I’d been tricked into sitting on the jury of an Ugly Holiday Sweater Competition held at my neighborhood pub owned by a friend of mine. Joakim won in a landslide and my first words to him as I handed over the prize were, “Good Lord, man, where did you find that monstrosity?”

My question made him smile, and it transformed his face from serious and somewhat harsh to stunningly handsome. It was like the first drink of water after running for ten kilometers, like watching my favorite hockey team win the cup, like the first glimpse of the bright red Mustang I couldn’t afford when I saw it at a car show at twenty.

Perfection. That’s what it was.

And the way to Joakim’s heart was apparently through his Christmas sweater, because he waggled his eyebrows, leaned closer to me, said “Admit it, you just want to peel it off me,” and that was that. We fell into bed later that same night.

Despite that fond memory, I still hate—or at least strongly dislike—the sweater. Especially in August, after not seeing it—or him—for eight months.

Hey Sami,” he says when all I can do is stare with my heart pounding in my ears. My mind is blank, and I have no idea what to say, or if I even could say anything at all because my mouth is so dry. Not even the breathiness in his voice when he says my name helps.

I’m frozen. An ice sculpture.

Why is he here? Now? Eight months after our relationship ended spectacularly with a screaming match, a thrown wine glass exploding on impact with my crisp white walls—forever staining them deep burgundy—and Joakim storming out of my apartment?

Not that I knew it was the end at the time, but it’s been a long time since that night ten days before Christmas, a long time without hearing a word from him, and I can take a hint.

But I’ve been a dick, too, to be honest. I haven’t exactly blown up his phone trying to contact him either. At first, because I was a mess of steaming anger and piercing pain caused by the accusations he hurled at me, and when he didn’t come back for days, confusion set in. When days grew to weeks that grew to months, resentment settled in my gut.

He was the one who left; if he can’t be bothered to call me, I won’t call him either.

Ridiculously childish for a man in his late thirties, but I can hold a grudge.


And by now, too much time has passed. Eight months without contact, without a single word from either of us or without an official ending to a two-year-old relationship we both were convinced would last forever.

How did that even happen? What kind of people are we who can do shit like that to each other? What kind of coward can’t pick up the phone and call his partner after a stupid argument? And who throws a glass at someone’s head and walks out without looking back?

I can’t think about that night. When I do, my chest grows so tight I can hardly breathe, making me lightheaded and dizzy. So I’ve been trying to forget him like he must have forgotten about me.

It’s getting easier.

At least that’s what I try to tell myself.

Cover Reveal | The Setup

So… I’ve had this cover for some time, and I’ve posted it on Facebook and in my newsletter, but I kept forgetting to post it here. Now though! We’ve reached the moment, peeps! 😆

The Setup is a contemporary short story, and it’s very dear to me. I wrote it back in July since we had an early deadline on the Christmas stories so with everything going on in my real life, I’ve more or less forgotten this story.

Not forgotten, but I had forgotten that Ellis made me laugh. I sat here by my desk, went through the edits, and chuckled to myself. Sometimes you need a little silly fluff in your life 😊

Are you ready to see the cover (again)? Here it is!

the setup

Three years ago, Dax Howard got out of a bad relationship and swore never to date again. He loves his picturesque cabin outside Nortown and is looking forward to three weeks of quiet over the holidays. He hadn’t foreseen a stranger turning in on his driveway in the middle of a snowstorm, claiming he’s there for a date.

Ellis Rush has risked his neck driving in a snowstorm to meet his friend Daniel and his boyfriend Dom for a double date he agreed to go on as a favor. Reaching the destination, he can’t see Daniel’s car anywhere, and when the mountain of a man opening the door says he’s never agreed to go on a double date, Ellis realizes he’s been played.

The more Ellis explains the situation, the more annoyed Dax gets. Dom is one of his closest friends, and he does not appreciate the setup, no matter how intrigued he is by Ellis. Since the roads are undrivable, Dax invites Ellis to stay, and together they plot their revenge. Cooking for Ellis, kissing Ellis, and sleeping next to Ellis isn’t the same thing as dating, is it?


Contemporary Gay Romance: 14,382 words

JMS Books

Release day: November 19th

Naked Gardening Day Gay Romance Box Set

A few days ago, my lovely friends – Nell Iris, A.L. Lester, K.L. Noone, and Amy Spector – and my alter ego – Holly Day – had a release. If you remember back in May, we celebrated World Naked Gardening Day. Now the stories are out in a box set, yay! 🥳

We’re talking five MM romance novellas featuring being naked in a garden somehow, somewhere, for some reason. Make sure you don’t miss it! You don’t have to get naked if you don’t want to. Considering November is cold where I live, I’m opting for curling up under a blanket and reading the stories instead of participating 😆

Gardening needs

The World Naked Gardening Day Stories

Naked Gardening Day AnthologyPerfect Rows by Holly Day: Everything would’ve been perfect if Grayson hadn’t been forced to share his garden with Cam. Grayson wants to grow vegetables, and he has a plan for how to do it. Cam loves flowers in perfect rows, but Grayson is incapable of growing things in lines. Most days end in conflict, at least until Grayson realizes he can shut Cam up by kissing him. But will they ever be able to agree about the garden?

Strike a Pose by Nell Iris: Didrik would do anything for his BFF Filip, including taking naked pictures for a charity calendar of his dad Johan, the stunning man responsible for Didrik’s gay awakening. Now a widower, Johan is ready to move on. As they start the project, the attraction between them grows. Their connection is easy, but not without challenges. Will they get their happily ever after?

The Death of Digby Catch by Amy Spector: When August Catch arrives at the Arachne’s Loom estate to collect his late Uncle Digby’s things, he is thrown together with Theo Webb, the heir to the Webb family fortune. The attraction is instant. When Theo begins to suspect Digby may have been murdered, he and August will need to work together to discover the killer, and not let the thing growing between them be a distraction.

The Hermit of Aldershill Manor by K.L. Noone: Charlie’s ready to start a new job and life at Aldershill Manor. As a historian, he’s thrilled to dive into the archives. And he can run from a messy break-up. And explore lovely gardens, too. Lionel does not like tourists, conversations, or social niceties. But he loves his job: helping beauty grow. When he finds the new historian caught in a storm, he offers shelter, which might bloom into more.

Warning! Deep Water by A.L. Lester: Spring 1947. England has just come through the worst winter in living memory. Peter’s been drifting since he left the army a year ago. George is lonely, despite the busy horticultural nursery he owns. Peter’s decision to take a swim in the irrigation tank presents them both with the chance to reach out and help each other. Can two misfits find a way to fit together with someone after all?

Goodreads : Publisher : Amazon