Category Archives: Author Posts

Guest post by Ofelia Gränd

Happy Easter!

I was a bit late writing this post and thought to myself, I’ll make it easy, I’ll write something about Easter. But what’s typical about Easter? In Sweden, we dress up as Easter witches and eat loads of candy.

You might not know what an Easter witch is. A super quick trip on Google told me it’s a Swedish and Finnish tradition. You see, on Maundy Thursday, which is the day I’m writing this, all the witches around here hop on their brooms and fly to Blåkulla. No one really knows where this Blåkulla is. In Sweden, we have several places called Blåkulla — it means blue hill.

Writing this, has the wheels spinning in my head. I know what I’ll be writing for Easter next year LOL. Anyway, the witches hopped on their brooms and flew to Blåkulla to meet up with the Devil and have orgies up to Easter Eve or Easter Sunday, they’re a bit unclear on what day they stopped.

This has to do with the witch persecutions in the 1600s. More than 200 women were killed in Sweden, the last one in 1704. For decades to come, we still had the death penalty for witchcraft, and to prevent witches to get to Blåkulla during this period, everything that could be used as a vehicle was locked away on Maundy Thursday, including cows so no witch would get it into her head to ride there.

Today, kids dress up as witches and go from house to house to wish their neighbours a happy Easter. It’s similar to trick or treating since it’s custom to give the kids candy when they come knocking on your door.

Now, I’m here to talk about The Egg Hunt, an Easter story I wrote back in 2016 that’s now found a new home with JMS Books. There are no Easter witches in it I’m afraid. I’ll save that story for next year 😀

It’s about Tom who lives in a small town called Nortown. He is looking forward to a calm and quiet Easter on his own. Enter Jason, a rather obnoxious bartender from the city who after an incident with his dog need a place to stay.


“Have you seen a little dog?”

Cerulean blue eyes met his, and Tom read both fear and desperation there. His stomach clenched as he took in the guy’s features: a fashionable stubble, long dark eyelashes, and a refined nose. His skin held a warm tone matching his honey-coloured hair. Tom quickly looked away. He didn’t ogle guys, not this close to home.

“Nope, haven’t seen anyone all day.”

“Oh … Do you know how I can get back to the road?”

Tom put the chainsaw down and held out his hand to help the man up.

He slowly climbed to his feet. There were dark patches on the knees of his thin jeans from where he’d landed in the snow. Tom winced when a cold finger brushed against the inside of his wrist.

“Which road do you want to get back to?” They were almost as far from the main road as they were from the road leading into town, not to mention all the tiny little roads that snaked their way through the forest.

“Erm … the one leading into town?”

Tom peered at the sky; the sun would be setting soon. With a sigh, he started packing his things. The trees would have to wait. “My car is on the other side.” He pointed to the pine trees behind him and put the scabbard on the chainsaw blade.

“There’s a road?” The guy stared at the trees as if he would be able to see it now when he knew it was there.

“Yes, a small one.”

“Oh … Biscuit!”

Tom jumped as the guy’s voice echoed over the silent land. “Who are you calling?”

“My dog. He ran away.”

He? “I’m sure he’ll turn up soon.” Dogs usually found their way home, and most of the snow had melted, so he’d probably be fine. Unless he went through the ice, of course, but he wouldn’t mention that to the guy.

“You think?” He straightened his back and looked Tom straight in the eyes, making Tom’s mouth go dry. He swallowed to lubricate it so he could speak.

“Absolutely. He’s probably already back at … wherever you’re staying. Come on, I’ll drive you to where you need to go.”

Tom led the way back to his van. Mud and slush had splashed all over the sides, and Tom had to clear all his papers and shit from the passenger seat for the man to sit. Then he hopped in and started the car. “I have to make a phone call, sorry.” Tom hated when people talked on the phone in the car, but he needed to tell Tris he was going home or Tris would come looking for him.

The signal went through. “Yeah?”

Tom cringed at the tone. “Is it a bad time?”

“Nah, it’s fine … it’s just … never mind. How’s it going?”

“I’m packing up. Had a visitor, so I’m heading home a little early.”

“You didn’t happen to see a dog, did you?”

Tom squinted at the bloke sitting next to him. “No, but I have a man here looking for one.”

“Oh, the idiot’s with you?” There was a sigh of relief on the other end.

Tom pursed his lips and looked at the guy again. “Maybe … lost, and looking for a dog named Biscuit?”

“That’s the one. If it wasn’t for Aiden, I’d say leave him, but could you please drive the moron to town?”

“To town?”

“Yeah, we’re at Jen’s.”

Tom smiled. This could be interesting, and he wouldn’t mind a cup of coffee. “Will do.”


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Guest post by Holly Day

On March 20th, it’s Extraterrestrial Abductions Day, and to celebrate I wrote a story. Mars needs women, it’s a known fact, right? In my story, it’s not Mars that needs women but Negudade.

On Negudade the people are huge, they have sharp fangs, bluish-black skin, and a tail. And they need women because the Negudade females have lost interest in reproducing. The entire population have lost most of their emotional responses, and to secure the future of the planet they’re taking women from Earth.

Carlo Russo, one of the main characters, is out late one night with his best friend, Grace, when they find themselves surrounded by aliens. He has never considered the existence of aliens, but he won’t let them take Grace. His fight is short-lived, and soon both of them is on a spaceship leaving Earth and life as they know it behind.

Zenon Scoreceds Qhainqons, captain of the spaceship, knows his mission is to bring back females, but he finds the male so much more alluring. Never before has he seen a creature as animated, and he suspects he could spend the rest of his life watching the male and not grow bored.


The female they’d apprehended together with the male sat on the cot, touching his arm while staring at Ghurva. Not only staring. Zenon had never seen someone look as angry as she did. He studied her to see if she’d grown fangs. No. Claws? No. And there were no spikes coming out of her skin or any visible poison.

“What’s going on?” He directed the question to Ghurva, but it was the female who responded.

“Carlo has a concussion because some fucking brute hit him in the head.” Those hostile eyes turned to him. “He needs to be looked after.”

Zenon tried to make sense of what she said. What was Carlo, fucking, brute, and concussion? He understood she believed he — the male, he assumed — needed to be looked after. “Is it contagious?”

“Are you deliberately stupid?” He would have called what she did snarl, but there were still no teeth to make it look threatening, so he didn’t know if it qualified as a snarl.

Zenon turned to Ghurva. “What does he need?”

“Peace and quiet, and someone who looks after him. It’s not safe for him to sleep with his brain swelling. He can’t see well, and he might be sick again.”

Ghurva looked at the female and then Zenon. “I don’t know.”

“Well, I know!” She was snarling, Zenon couldn’t find any other word fitting for the way she made her face appear. Mated individuals were willing to do whatever they could to defend their mates. The tales told them there was nothing more dangerous than a mated male, but the females could be dangerous too.

Zenon waited a heartbeat to see if she’d attack, but while those strange pale eyes were locked with his, she did nothing to leave the male’s side. “He needs a shower and new clothes.”

Zenon looked at Ghurva again. He wanted to ask if it was safe to touch them, but he couldn’t with them listening.

“Are you deaf?” Now the female stood, and while Zenon didn’t move, he prepared to fight. Deaf, his brain told him she was asking if he was hearing impaired, but the words weren’t there — language chip. It was a neat invention.


“So take him!” She gestured at the male. “Shower him. Dress him. And put him somewhere where it’s dark and quiet.”

Zenon didn’t react outwardly. His face remained blank, his muscles relaxed, but everything inside him went on alert. She wanted him to take care of the male? Mates didn’t leave each other’s side, and they did not ask others to look after them when they needed help.

Ghurva cleared his throat. “You want Zenon to care for your mate?”

“I would prefer a doctor, but if this Zenon guy … gal? If Zenon is all you have, then yeah sure, send him to Zenon.”

“I’m Zenon.” Zenon took a step closer.

“Then no. The fucker who hit him looked like you. How many are you here? There was another who looked exactly like you too.”

Zenon swished his tail before he got control over it. Ghurva noticed and widened his eyes. Right then, Zenon wanted to snarl at the stupid eye-widening, but he reminded himself Ghurva was how he was supposed to be, and it was the rest of them who’d developed into something that wasn’t Negudade.


Carlo Russo is having the worst day. Not only has he lost his job, caught his boyfriend cheating, and had one too many shots with his best friend Grace, now he’s seeing aliens too. Big, black, tail-equipped aliens. After a futile struggle, he and Grace find themselves on a spaceship leaving Earth.

Zenon Scoreceds Qhainqons doesn’t know what it is about the earthling male. Their mission is to bring back ten females in hopes of them being able to provide their planet with children, but he wants the male. What he’s going to do with the male, he doesn’t know, but he’s claiming him as his payment for going on the mission.

Carlo doesn’t approve of kidnapping, but the aliens aren’t too bad, and once the language chip is installed, he finds it entertaining to talk to them. Zen in particular. They’re standoffish and never show any emotion, but Carlo has no problem cuddling up next to Zen at night.

All Zenon wants is to spend time with Carlo, but it’s his job to get them all home in one piece. Will he be able to keep Carlo safe from all the dangers lurking along the trip? He has to because Carlo is his, and he’s not letting him go.


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Guest post by A.L. Lester

What’s in a Name? Eight Acts is out today! Yay!

It’s a 20,000 word novella that is linked to last September’s Taking Stock with some crossover characters, but both stories stand alone. Taking Stock is set in 1972. Eight Acts is set in 1967.

That’s an important year in the UK, because it’s when consensual gay sex in private between two men over the age of twenty-one stopped being illegal. The legislation was called The Sexual Offences Act (1967). It was the first step toward decriminalising homosexuality in the UK. You can read a bit more about the history of the criminalisation and decriminalisation in this blog post I wrote for my friend Nell Iris and I have more info and some references on my own website.

So. I wrote Taking Stock. And then I wanted to find out more about Adrian and Percy. So I wrote this novella about them. And in my head I had the connection between acts in a play and chapters in a story and the play on words about the legal situation. So the working title was A Novel in Ten Acts, because that’s what I was planning on making it.

Things being what they are though, I only got to eight before things came to a quite satisfactory halt. So I changed the working title to A Novel in Eight Acts and sent it off to be edited with a big proviso that I was trying to think of a title and it wasn’t going to be that and if the lovely and talented Editor Loukie wanted me to put chapters in or take them out then … you get the idea.

And then I forgot about it and went back to editing The Hunted and the Hind and writing my chicken story in between for prevarication and and and … here we are with a novella called Eight Acts.

Sometimes titles come to you like a flash of inspiration before you even write the story. Certainly that’s what happened to me with Hunted and it happened with As the Crows Fly as well. Sometimes they sort of emerge as the story bowls along and become obvious before you get to the end. And sometimes they just sort of land with a splat and you think oh for goodness sake, I can’t think of anything sensible, the working title will just have to do, and you suddenly realise you haven’t been able to think of a ‘proper’ title because the working title IS the proper title.

At that point, you probably have a cup of tea.


It’s the summer of 1967 and the Sexual Offences Act has just decriminalized consensual gay sex in private between two men over twenty-one. Percy Wright and his friend Les Barker have both taken temporary jobs teaching English as a foreign language in London during their long summer break from teaching at a rural boarding school near Oxford.

Percy is keen to soak up some theatre, music, and general culture, whilst Les is also keen to experience the varied gay social scene. When Les picks up a man called Phil at the box office of the Albert Hall when he goes to buy tickets to a Promenade Concert, Percy inadvertently gets thrown together with Adrian Framlingham, Phil’s friend.

Adrian is all the things Percy likes in a man — funny, kind and steady. When Les gets hurt, Percy turns to Adrian for support, but as the end of the summer looms it seems as if their affair will come to a natural end.

What will happen when Percy goes back to his everyday life as a house-master? Will he and Adrian stay in touch? Does he even want a long-distance relationship when arranging to meet someone for sex is still illegal, even if the act itself is not?


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Guest post by Nell Iris

You often hear that writing is a solitary job. It’s true. We sit by our computers (or with our pens and notebooks like I do) and conjure up people from our imaginations, sometimes entire worlds, and creatures no one’s ever heard about. We bury our noses in research; reading books on interesting topics, scour the Internet for the information we need, and fall into black YouTube holes about the body language of rabbits for when we’re writing bunny shifter stories. (Heh, yes, that was me.) And when we’ve found what we’re looking for, we hang up the DO NOT DISTURB sign on our office door, hand our significant other the takeout menu and tell them to feed themselves, and start writing. Alone in our writing cave.

This is all true.

But it’s also an exaggeration. Just like everybody else, writers need people. Like my beloved morning writing crew who, by now, are experts at giving my ass a swift kick when it needs it. Like my most trusted betas who always, always find time to help make my stories better. Like my poor editor who’s probably deleted a gazillion “sit down” and “stand up”s by now. Like my publisher for continued support in my writing.

All these writerly people that I’ve never met in real life but talk to every day (at least some of them) also have another important role in my life: they’re my sounding boards. They listen to rants about problematic stories and give helpful suggestions. They give ideas when I’ve written myself into a corner. And sometimes they outright throw ideas at me when I need one.

They Met in the Woods is one of those ideas. I had finished writing They Met in the Library and was in the middle of writing another story about two guys meeting in the park when it hit me: I could make it a meet-cute story, too, like Library, and name it They Met in the Park. But I also thought that if I was gonna do that, I’d need a third one to complete them. A third They Met in the … But my mind was blank, and I couldn’t think of anything, so I brought it up with my dear writer friend (and fellow JMS author) Kris T. Bethke the next time we spoke. She started throwing ideas at me, and when she suggested the woods, my brain perked up and started plotting immediately.

And the rest is history … as they say. The result is They Met in the Woods. So if you read and like this story, be sure to blow a (COVID safe) cyber kiss to the lovely Kris T. Bethke because without her, Måns and Viggo’s story would never have been written.

Måns Elemander had A Plan. A researched and well-thought-out one, devised to help him avoid getting lost while foraging for mushrooms in an unfamiliar forest. But his cell phone battery didn’t get the memo, died unexpectedly, and thwarted The Plan, leaving Måns with a basket full of mushrooms, but no idea where to go. Until the sounds of someone chopping wood reaches him.

Måns follows the sound and finds a quaint cabin … and its owner, Viggo Moberg. Viggo is kind, understanding of the situation, and willing to help. He’s also smoking hot and their connection is instant, threatening to ignite and burn down the woods. Will the sparks burn fast and fizzle out, or will the attraction grow roots, just like the trees in the forest?


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Guest post by Ofelia Gränd

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, we’re individuals, and we like different things. Kace and Luke in Kisses and Cabins have been friends for thirty-five years, but where Kace is big and burly, Luke is lithe and quite swishy. Kace likes to fish and being in the outdoors, Luke squirms if he gets dirty, so when Luke tells Kace he’s buying a cabin in the woods Kace tries to talk him out of it.

Luke is determined. He’s buying a cabin — for them. Kace doesn’t know what to do with that. It doesn’t matter if he’s attracted to Luke, he’ll not risk ruin thirty-five years of friendship. He’d rather have Luke as a friend than not have him in his life at all.

But things don’t always go as planned.

Continue reading Guest post by Ofelia Gränd