Fridays at Ofelia’s | Dragon in Training


Today, we have Emily Carrington guesting us, and I just leant that Emily is celebrating ten years as a writer this year. Woohoo, way to go!

I’m so excited to be here! Thank you for inviting me, Ofelia.

I’ve been writing for ten years and I thought I’d start out my tenth anniversary year by talking about my very first trilogy, Dragon in Training. It wasn’t published as one book but as three separate novels: Dragon Food, Dragon Fire, and Dragon’s Bane. Here’s a brief look into each of them:

DragonintrainingDragon Food: Something is hunting along the Gulf coast of Florida, and Mark Tavery is tasked with finding it. His expertise in dragons is his pride, but he can’t say the same about his romantic relationships. When he picks up a lamp during his investigation, he’s shocked at his instant attraction to, and all-consuming need for, the genie inside. Mark’s greatest desire is to have Luke in his life and in his bed, but giving in to the promise in Luke’s touch means Mark runs the risk of killing the genie he loves.

Dragon Fire: Luke is a genie with almost limitless power, but it does him no good when his lover, Mark, won’t let him have the two things he really wants: for Mark to rely on him as an equal partner during magical conflicts, and to be dominated in bed. Will Luke ever get the chance to prove that he can be both strong in the field and the perfect submissive in the sack?

Dragon’s Bane: Atlas, a genie-god with nearly limitless power, has one task. He must find the modern equivalent of Cerberus and kill it. He discovers the three-headed dog’s incarnation are three figures that surround his current master — Dan’s current lover, Reese, Mark, a water dragon and Reese’s obsession, and Luke, Mark’s genie. Mark and Luke find their memories are altered and untrustworthy. One thing is clear: Only their love for each other can save them — and everyone at SearchLight — from Atlas completing his terrible final task.

Writing these books initiated me into the fantasy world. I don’t write EPIC fantasy, at least not yet, but I do incorporate fantasy elements into most of my romance novels and novellas. Dragons, genies, werewolves (of courseLOL) other shapeshifters, like kelpies and basilisks, grand and common fae,and an organization called SearchLight that polices all of these magical creatures to make sure they don’t reveal themselves to humans.

IF you would like to follow me on social media, please follow the links below. I’ve also included the links for Dragon in Training and its sequel, Dragon Flux.

Emily Carrington’s Confessions Link 



Shapeshifter Books Central 

Author Emily Carrington 

Dragon in Training 





Dragon Flux (Dragon in Training 3) 





#WhatToReadWednesday | Blue Covers

BlueMondayTwo days ago, it was Monday. Not just any Monday, but it was Blue Monday. The third Monday in January is always Blue Monday, and it’s said to be the most depressing day of the year. Mondays, in general, have a bad reputation, but the third Monday in January is when the credit card bills from your Christmas shopping arrive, it’s dark and cold – if you live in the northern hemisphere – and it’s overall a pretty depressing time.

Unless you decide to love Mondays. Jonas in Crazy Joe figured Mondays needed some extra love LOL

Tomorrow was Monday, his favorite day of the week. To be honest, he liked all the days of the week, but since Mondays had such a bad reputation, he figured they needed some extra love.

If you were to trust statistics, Mondays were bad—most heart attacks and suicides happened on Mondays. But since he didn’t plan on doing away with himself or have a heart attack, there was no reason to mope on a Sunday night.

Instead of moping, I thought I’d list some of my favourite reads. We might have started this week being blue, and we’re gonna continue to be blue, but in a positive way.

Here are a few stories with blue covers worth checking out:

Between Sinners and Saints

Between Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton – I usually steer clear of all books with a religious theme, but I love this one. I’ve read it several times. We have Levi, a surfer and bartender who has sex with strangers about as often as he has a snack. And then we have Jamie, a massage therapist, who doesn’t talk to anyone but his dog.

Levi decides he’s to seduce Jaime, not thinking farther than his instant attraction. Jaime has a past of sexual abuse and has no plans to ever sleep with Levi, but it would be nice to have a friend. When spending time with Jamie, Levi realises he wants more out of life than a series of quick trysts in the bar’s storeroom. And then there is the whole thing with Levi’s family…

Between Sinners and SaintsLevi Binder is a Miami bartender who cares about only two things: sex and surfing. Ostracized by his Mormon family for his homosexuality, Levi is determined to live his life his own way, but everything changes when he meets massage therapist Jaime Marshall.

Jaime is used to being alone. Haunted by the horrors of his past, his only friend is his faithful dog, Dolly. He has no idea how to handle somebody as gorgeous and vibrant as Levi.

Complete opposites on the surface, Levi and Jaime both long for something that they can only find together. Through love and the therapeutic power of touch, they’ll find a way to heal each other, and they’ll learn to live as sinners in a family of saints.

Hunter of Demons

Hunter of Demons (SPECTR 1) – This is so good! I do love Jordan L. Hawk’s stories. Caleb is an unregistered paranormal, his powers aren’t strong, but he can move small things at will. John is a cop, sort of, he’s an agent and an exorcist. And then we have Gray. I love Gray. He’s a drakul – sort of like a vampire, but he drinks the blood of demons. Gray is a spirit, and something goes wrong. So wrong that he finds himself trapped in Caleb’s body.

It reminds me a little of Bone Rider by J. Fally despite it not being the same genre. The connection between Caleb and Gray is similar to that between Riley and McClane in Bone Rider. Brilliant!

With John being an exorcist, Gray being a spirit who’s possessing Caleb, and Caleb being an unregistered paranormal hunting the demon who killed his brother, there are so many fun things going on!

I want to add Hainted to the list too, but the new cover is less blue than the old one, so I’ll just mention it as a great blue read if you’re into ghosts and stuff.

Hunter of DemonsUnregistered paranormal Caleb Jansen only wants a normal life. But when a demon murders his brother, Caleb knows he has to avenge Ben’s death, no matter what the cost. Unfortunately, his only allies belong to an extremist group who would kill Caleb if they found out about his talent.

Gray is a wandering spirit, summoned to hunt and destroy demons by drinking their blood. This hunt goes horribly wrong, and for the first time in his existence Gray is trapped in a living, human body. Caleb’s body…and Caleb is still in it.

Hotshot federal agent John Starkweather thinks he’s seen it all. But when he’s called to exorcise Caleb, he finds a creature which isn’t supposed to exist outside of stories. For Gray is a drakul: a vampire.

Having spent his life avoiding the government as an unregistered ‘mal, Caleb can’t let himself trust a federal exorcist, no matter how sexy. And he certainly isn’t going to give into the heat growing between them and sleep with Starkweather.

Can Starkweather win Caleb’s trust and convince him he isn’t the enemy? Can Caleb keep Gray under control, as the drakul experiences the temptation of a living body for the first time?

Because if he fails and Gray gives in to bloodlust, Starkweather will have no choice but to kill them both.


Spindrift by Amy Rae Durreson – I was preparing to claim this should be on the best blue-covered books despite the colour being a dark teal. But! This used to be a Dreamspinner story and now Ms Durreson has published it again, with a new cover, and yes, it is blue. Here we have evil ghosts in a seaside village. I’m from the Swedish west coast, and I constantly miss the ocean, living in the middle of the woods as I do now. Here we get crashing waves and salty storms – it’s awesome!

I haven’t read an Amy Rae Durreson story I haven’t liked, so if you haven’t checked her out, do!

SpindriftSiôn Ruston has fled to Rosewick Bay to recover from a breakdown which led him to attempt suicide. He needs the peace and tranquility of this lovely North Yorkshire seaside village to recover, but instead he is awoken by the ghost that walks across his bedroom at dawn. Seeking answers, Siôn finds Mattie, the ghost’s descendant, working in the local museum (not to mention his other jobs in the local pub, at the ice cream stand, and on the local lifeboat crew).
Mattie is everything Siôn isn’t—young, bold, and confident—but as they work together to discover the secret history of Rosewick Bay, Siôn falls for him anyway. But the ghosts which stalk the village are far from friendly, and soon Siôn and Mattie realise that not just their chance of love but their very lives are at stake.

Nobody’s Butterfly

Nobody’s Butterfly by Claire Davis and Al Stewart – This is a Christmas story, and yet it’s one of the least Christmassy Christmas stories I’ve ever read. I don’t read YA if I can avoid it (LOL) unless it’s Davis & Stewart who’s written it.

Nobody’s Butterfly is about Johnny and Finn who are foster kids. Johnny doesn’t speak to anyone but the cobweb ghost in his room. Finn is new and he’s Johnny’s opposite. He is loud and he eats all the time. He changes Johnny’s world.

This story is beautiful!

And since we’re on Davis & Stewart, I just have to mention Shut Your Face, Anthony Pace! – today I’m claiming the cover is blue, tomorrow I might say it’s purple. We’ll see. If I’m gonna recommend purple books, it will most likely appear again. Shut Your Face, Anthony Pace! had me laughing and crying. It’s also an YA story and it’s amazing.

Nobody's ButterflyCobweb ghosts are so inconvenient—especially grumpy ones with bad breath. Don’t they know silence is golden?

Johnny Strong is the expert; he hasn’t spoken in two years. Not one word to anyone except the ghost. The main purpose of life is to avoid people and not get noticed. Friends? He doesn’t need them; and certainly nobody wants him despite what the ghost says.

Until a new boy appears at Windybank—Finn Lyons, teenage wizard. He eats frogs, concocts potions, and is always hungry. Not only does Finn stand up for Johnny; he actively seeks his company and soon becomes part of life.
First love; family and words; a heady mix to go in the potion but how will it all turn out?

Hubble bubble; Johnny Strong’s in trouble! Silence is not always golden in this sweet, zany story of the purest magic at Christmas.


Winter (The Haunted Heart 1) by Josh Lanyon – I like Josh Lanyon, I think she writes great stories, but I’ve never been the fangirl many of my reader friends are. I enjoy them, I pick up her books when I don’t have the energy to gamble, but that’s been it. Until I read Winter. I loved it!

It has everything a good ghost story should have. A creepy house, and a grieving, depressed main character who plans to take his life in ten months. It’s gripping. The best Lanyon story I’ve read.

The Haunted Heart WinterStill grieving over the sudden death of his lover, antiques dealer Flynn Ambrose moves to the old, ramshackle house on Pitch Pine Lane to catalog and sell the large inventory of arcane and oddball items that once filled his late uncle’s mysterious museum.

But not all the items are that easy to catalog — or get rid of.

Quill Me Now

Quill Me Now by Jordan Castillo Price – I’ve only read this story in this series, so comparing series isn’t fair, but I like PsyCop better. Still, it’s funny, and it’s blue. Dixon comes for a family of scriveners who can put spells in their writing to influence people. They can make it so a customer, by reading a sign, always wants to come back to the same restaurant, for example. Dixon fails his quilling ceremony though and can’t work in the family business. But maybe he can write Valentine cards? He enters a competition, but there is something fishy going on, and instead of walking away, Dixon soon finds himself in some shady affairs.

Quill Me NowWhat if the words you wrote came true?

Spellcraft isn’t exactly a respectable business, but it does pay the bills. At least, it should. Unfortunately, Dixon Penn failed his Spellcraft initiation. Instead of working in his family’s shop, he’s stuck delivering takeout orders in his uncle’s beat-up Buick.

Winning a Valentine’s Day contest at the largest greeting card company in the tri-state area would be just the thing to get his life back on track—but something at Precious Greetings just doesn’t add up. And despite numerous warnings to quit pestering them about his contest entry, he just can’t stop himself from coming back again and again.

It doesn’t hurt that the head of security is such a hottie. If Dixon had any common sense, he’d be scared of the big, mysterious, tattooed Russian.

To be fair, no one ever accused him of being too smart….


Seven (The Others Project 1) by Adrienne Wilder – This is so awesome! A sci-fi story where there are individuals with special powers. Seven, a precog, manage to escape Sub-Floor which is where all the evil testing and terrible things take place, and now he’s looking for a way to help his friends while fighting the enemy.

Chase lives next door to Seven, and he shouldn’t get involved. It’s evident Seven is batshit crazy, but he can’t walk away. And the more he learns the more afraid he gets that the stories Seven are telling are true.

I love this series. It’s dark and evil, so if you’re looking for light-hearted fluff, this isn’t for you, but damn.

SevenA past that won’t let go…

After losing his job, Chase Sarim finds himself living in a shit hole apartment. His new neighbor calls himself Seven, wears aluminum hats and carries around a ceramic rooster. He also seems to know what Chase is going to do or say before it happens, and talks about people named, Nine, Three, and Four.

Chase knows better than to get involved with someone like that.

But some men are just to hot to resist.

A future of fear…

Seven has been running for his life ever since he escaped Sub-Floor. In order to elude those hunting him he can never have a home, never have friends…and love? It’s nothing but a weakness that can be used against him.

Hiding had become a way of life. Until Chase.

Greed, power, and corruption…

Dr. David Stone knows Seven has a secret. Why else would his colleague, Dr. Radcliff, help Seven escape Sub-Floor?

It wasn’t the loss of a defective precog that bothered Stone, it was the fact Radcliff was willing to die to keep Stone from knowing why he did it. Or better yet, how.

Two men, one love, brought together by a series of impossible circumstances and destined by fate for an entangled future.

But maybe fate has nothing to do with it.

Nowhere Ranch

Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan – Is it blue? Yes, it’s blue LOL. Cowboys anyone? I don’t read a lot of BDSM books, but I do like this one. Roe is a ranch hand who got thrown out by his religious family years ago. He’s protecting himself by not letting anyone in. When he runs into his boss, Travis, in a gay bar, they hook up. His first reaction is to run, but there is something with Travis.

Things aren’t as easy as to hook up and finding a HEA, of course. There is always a past catching up with you, and there is in this story too.

It’s a Cullinan story, so you know there’s gonna be some kink…or plenty LOL. So not my usual type of story, but still one of my favourites.

Nowhere RanchLove will grow through the cracks you leave open.

Ranch hand Roe Davis absolutely never mixes business with pleasure—until he runs into his boss, Travis Loving, at the only gay bar within two hundred miles.

Getting involved with the ranch owner is a bad idea, but Roe’s and Travis’s bedroom kinks line up against one another like a pair of custom-cut rails. As long as they’re both clear this is sex on the side, no relationship, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

Shut out by his family years ago, Roe survived by steadfastly refusing to settle into so much as a post office box. As his affair with Travis grows into more than just sex, Roe’s past catches up with him, threatening the thin ray of happiness he’s found, reminding him it’s well past time he went on his way.

But even a loner gets lonely, and at this point, there’s nowhere left to run. The shame and sorrow of what he’s lost will stay with Roe wherever he goes—until he’s ready to let love lead him home.

How many do we have now? Perhaps we need one more.

Sex and Sourdough

Sex and Sourdough by A.J. Thomas – They’re hiking the Appalachian Trail! To be honest, I don’t remember all that much about the plot – there is an abusive ex, a baker with health issues, and lots of sourdoughs – but it’s the setting.

I read this story, and then I told hubby we really should get into hiking. He gave me the look. The one telling me he knew this was just a phase that would pass by the time I read the next book and figured we should have a bookstore, that I should’ve become a librarian instead of a teacher, or that we should move to *insert exciting location here*.
And he might have been right, but every time I see the cover of this book, I dream about hiking the Appalachian Trail. Wouldn’t it be cool? So cool.

Sex and SourdoughAnders Blankenship never intended to hike the Appalachian Trail alone, but when his boyfriend cancels, Anders steels his courage, leaving the abusive relationship to tackle the long-distance hike. Though a hiking virgin, he’s glad he made the decision when he receives threatening messages from his ex. Luckily, Kevin, an experienced backpacker, takes him under his wing.

Kevin Winters isn’t looking for a hiking partner, let alone a fling with a cute man on the rebound. After learning he has the autoimmune disorder that killed his father, Kevin left his family to wander remote trails. Convinced his future holds only pain and death, Kevin refuses to get close to anyone. The family sourdough recipes he recreates over a campfire are his only solace.

In the wilderness, Anders and Kevin discover a lot of common ground. While the future holds uncertainties they may not be ready to deal with, it might also hold the chance for happiness.

There! If you can’t find a blue book to get you to not feel blue from the list, I have a few that I’ve written. Just saying *wink*

Feel Blue with Ofelia

Guest Post | They Met in the Library (Meet Cute Chronicles) by Nell Iris


Today, Nell Iris is with us to celebrate the release of They Met in the Library, which is the first of three meet-cute stories that will be released during the first months this year. And make sure to read the entire post, because there is a giveaway in there. Welcome, Nell!

First of all, I’d like to say thank you to Ofelia for letting me borrow her blog today and tell you all about my new release. You’re always so kind and generous. Thank you 😘

They Met in the Library starts with a meet cute. A meet cute is, according to Wikipedia (link:; “In film and television, a meet cute is a scene in which the two people who will form a future romantic couple meet for the first time, typically under unusual, humorous, or cute circumstances.”

The first time I heard this term was when I watched the movie The Holiday for the first time. Wonderful character, old guy Arthur Abbot who used to work in Hollywood, explains to Iris (Kate Winslet’s character) what it is, and then the movie itself is full of meet cutes (I especially like the one between Graham (Iris’s brother played by Jude Law) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz)).

After the meet cute, the writer can flesh out the story into a whole novel following the classic story structure (attraction-tension-big drama climax at around 80% – HEA), or they can do what I chose to do in Meet Cute Chronicles: focus on the meeting, one or two more dates/meetings after the first one, and then add an epilogue for the HEA. I found it a great way of keeping things lighthearted in a time when cute, funny, and flirty is something many of us desperately need.

First out is Adrian and Manne in They Met in the Library. Adrian is a librarian who loves books, and Manne is dyslexic with a fraught relationship to them. They meet when Manne steps into Adrian’s library and is on the verge of panic at the sight of all the books. Luckily, Adrian comes to the rescue…

The meet cute is the common theme for all three books in my Meet Cute Chronicles; They Met in the Library (release day January 16), They Met in the Park (February 27), and They Met in the Woods (March 2021). Meet Cute Chronicles isn’t a series, they’re not connected other than through the main theme, the meet cute.


Adrian, book-lover extraordinaire, adores his job at the small community library. He gets to share his passion with other people and help them with all book-related questions and issues. When a big, hulking man walks into the library, looking terrified, Adrian’s skills are tested in a completely different way.

Manne’s relationship with books is uneasy, to say the least. He’s dyslexic and events in his past have made him fearful of books and turned libraries into his worst nightmare. But when the quirky, bowtie-wearing librarian steps in to help, the experience turns positive.

Their banter is easy and their chemistry instant. But can an accidental meeting turn into something more? Can someone who has trouble reading ever fit into the life of a man whose passion is the written word?

M/M Contemporary / 17943 words


JMS Books:
Universal Buy Link:





I notice him immediately when I return to my desk. He’s hard to miss; a big hulking man with a shaved head, huge gauges in both ears, and strong arms covered in tattoos.

But his looks aren’t what draws my attention. No, it’s his pale face rivaling the freshly fallen snow outside the windows. And the way he barely moves at all, not even a slight rise and fall of his chest. Is he even breathing? The only thing not frozen is his gaze. It darts over the library, from one bookshelf to the next, and he’s looking at them like they’re wolves ready to strike.

Knitting my eyebrows together, I look closer. He’s swaying a little and he really isn’t breathing, so I round my desk and hurry across the floor, slowing my steps as I approach so I won’t scare him.

“Sir? Are you all right?” I ask.

His eyes keep flitting around as though he hasn’t heard me. He’s tense; I could cut glass on the cords of his neck.

I soften my voice. “Sir?”

He tears his gaze away from one of the many book displays—I’m looking for a book and the cover was blue— and looks at me, but I’m not sure he realizes I’m a human being. His eyes are glassy and unfocused and wild. Pleading for help. He looks terrified, reminding me a little about a visitor who had a panic attack right here in the library a couple years back.

“Sir?” I keep my voice low, soothing. “Sir, you’re worrying me. If you don’t take a breath, I’ll have to call the ambulance.” No reaction. I take a couple steps closer and gently touch his arm, as I scan his face, looking for clues. He’s perspiring and his pulse flutters frantically in his neck. He’s holding his coat in one huge hand and the grip is so tight his knuckles are whitening.

This man is scared to death, and if I don’t do something quickly, he’ll pass out.

I gently squeeze his arm. “Sir? You’re safe here with me. I won’t leave you. Would you please breathe for me?”

There’s a glint of recognition in his eyes, as though my words are getting through to him, as though he realizes I’m a fellow human and not a dangerous predator ready to attack.

His chest rises and falls, and he dips his chin once. The acknowledgment—and the breathing—makes me relax, so I smile at him.

“My name is Adrian, and I work here. Would you please come with me? My desk is just over there.” I point. “You can sit down for a second and I’ll get you a glass of water, okay?”

Another dip to his chin.

“Great. Are you all right to walk to my desk on your own, or would you like me to help you?”

Without a word, he holds out his elbow; I link my arm through his and coax him toward my desk. After just a couple steps, he speaks. “There are so many books. I don’t know what I was thinking, coming here. I can’t do this. I can’t. There are so many books.” His voice is fervent. Agitated.

I give his arm a little squeeze, reminding him that I’m here. “Yes sir. We have a lot of books here. A little too many if you ask me, at least when it’s time to put them all back.” I’m hoping my words and a little humor will divert his attention from whatever scares him about the books and bring him out of his state. The little huff he lets out tells me I’m onto something, so I continue to babble. I’m very good at babbling, after all.

“Just a few more steps and we’ll be there. I’m the boss of the information desk, but don’t tell my coworkers I said that. They’ll try to tell you I’m wrong. That we’re all equals here at the library. But you and I know that’s not the case, right? Only someone wearing a bowtie can be the boss of the information desk, that’s an old rule.” I bump my shoulder to his to show I’m kidding and get another huff as a reward.

I pull out the visitor’s chair. “Please sit, sir.” He collapses into the rickety old wooden thing that’s seen better days—every year, the city council cuts funding to our little library, so we can’t splurge on stuff like furniture— and it groans underneath him. He’s way too big for the tiny little thing; he’s spilling out of it, as though someone poured him into it and didn’t stop when he started flowing over. The man is muscle upon muscle—easily double my width—and tall, maybe even a bit taller than my own six feet four inches. I hope the chair won’t collapse underneath him.


Nell Iris author bio and social media links

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide 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.

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