Release Blitz for Nell Iris’ Cinnamon Eyes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 34,679 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and break away from his demanding family. When his therapist encourages him to do something for himself, he knows exactly what he needs. I want to see Asher again. The best friend Corey ever had who, at fifteen, held Cory’s heart in his hands without knowing it.


Asher’s had a troubled relationship with his father since he came out. Now that Pops is sick, he’s fighting for his right to help or even find out about his father’s health. Then there’s the complication of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go.


When Cory and Asher meet again after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?

 
Excerpt
 
When the song ended, I opened my eyes and clapped with the others. He didn’t look up or say anything, just started strumming another slow song on the strings. Judging by the cheers from the room, it was a popular one.


And then he lifted his head, opened his eyes, and started singing.


I gasped.


It was him. Asher.


Both my hands flew to my face and covered my mouth.


Sixteen years later and I still would have recognized him anywhere. The hair was as unruly as ever, and just as rock ‘n’ roll as his voice. The jawline so sharp he could probably cut glass with it. And the nose was still a little too big for his face.


I couldn’t see his green eyes from here, but I remembered them vividly. The pale color of a leaf newly broken out of its bud in spring, was such a stark contrast to his black eyelashes and olive complexion and had always hypnotized me with their beauty.


When he started singing, his voice pulled me out of my initial shock.


Two best friends
Like no one had ever seen before
Always together
happy and troublesome and wild
Sharing scraped knees
and high flying dreams
Carefree as the clouds in the sky
The boy with laughing cinnamon eyes
And I


The words struck a chord inside me. They reminded me of our friendship, all the way down to the scraped knees. Had he written this song? Had our friendship inspired him?


Then one day
he shimmered with a different light
Just one look at him
made my heart ache, stutter and want
I felt the same
pouring from his soul
A longing for more between us
The boy with loving cinnamon eyes
And I


He sang with such emotion, and the pronouns he used didn’t escape me. Asher was singing to a man, and my stomach made a hopeful jump.


Our story
didn’t have a fairytale ending
He had to leave me
and all I could do was to cry
But with no choice
I had to let go
We hugged and were saying goodbye
The boy with grieving cinnamon eyes
And I


I swallowed. I didn’t understand. That sounded just like … I shut down that thought immediately. It couldn’t be.


It’s been years
and my life has never been the same
I’m often wond’ring
what could have been if he’d stayed
Maybe one day
I’ll see him again
In dreams we were never apart
My boy with the sweet cinnamon eyes
And I
My boy with loving cinnamon eyes
And I


After the last chord rang out, the bar was deadly silent for a heartbeat, and then everyone started cheering and clapping and whistling.


Everyone except me.


I folded my arms on the table in front of me and collapsed with my forehead on top of them and my face hidden in the dark space between.


Had I heard what I thought I’d just heard?


Was that song … about us?


Had he had feelings for me too, back then?


The thought made me shake, and I grabbed my elbows and squeezed to keep myself from flying apart. I took a deep breath and didn’t let it out until my lungs screamed and burned in protest. I repeated the process several times until my teeth had stopped chattering and my heart had slowed its furious pace.


I was still hiding when someone cleared their throat in my vicinity.


“Excuse me? Benji said you wanted to talk to me? Are, uh, are you all right?”


His voice was as deep when he spoke as when he sang, and it sent a shiver down my spine, completely different from the previous desperate shaking. I took a deep breath and raised my head. Forcing myself to face him.


At first, he didn’t seem to recognize me. He searched my face for clues, but it only took a few moments for the spark of realization to light up his eyes.


“Cory?” His voice was gravellier than ever. “Cory, is that you?” 

Author Bio


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 but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!


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 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and wants to write diverse and different characters.


http://www.nelliris.com/
https://www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor/
https://twitter.com/nellirisauthor/
https://www.pinterest.com/nelliris/

 

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Release Blitz for Nell Iris’s Find His Way Home (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 19,884 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb

 

Shakespeare-loving teacher Elliot Dunn has been unhappy living in the big city for a long time. He yearns for fresh air, visible stars, and stillness, but his relationship with divorce lawyer Mick Hudson keeps him from moving away.

When a dramatic event occurs in Elliot’s class, he’s shaken to his core and suddenly can’t stay anymore. He leaves his partner of two years behind and returns to the tiny town in the mountains where he grew up.

Living in a rented cabin in the woods, with only an owl for company, Elliot slowly regains his peace of mind. But being away from Mick is agonizing, and when a ghost from Elliot’s past pays him a visit, everything comes to a head.

Elliot is faced with a hard decision. Should he stay on the stress-free mountainside alone, or return to the hustle of the city and try to make a life with Mick?

Excerpt

He spent the rest of the afternoon pacing his living room with Lady Gaga blasting from the speakers. He heard his phone ring at some point, but ignored it and kept pacing, rubbing his palms on his head, tousling his short hair. The phone rang several more times, but Elliot walked and walked, until the front door flung open and a wild-eyed Mick stood there, glaring at him.

Mick’s gaze roved over him, making sure he was okay, and then he marched over to the stereo and cut off Gaga in the middle of a rah-rah. “What the hell, Elliot?”

The curse stopped Elliot’s pacing, and he stared at his lover with wide eyes. His well-spoken, hot-shot lawyer partner never used profanities. During their time together, Elliot had heard him swear maybe once or twice, and him doing it now knocked the wind out of Elliot’s fury. He groaned, grabbed his lover’s hand, and hauled him over to the couch where he sank down, pulling Mick with him.

“I’m sorry. But I’m angry.”

“I can tell. What happened?”

“I let them buy me, that’s what happened.” Elliot spat out the words.

“What?” The question was so loud Elliot flinched. Mick sighed, stood and shook off his coat, unbuttoned his suit jacket, and kicked off his shoes. Then he sat back down, turned to Elliot, and wrinkled his nose when he saw the state of his hair. “It looks like you’ve tried to pull it out,” he muttered, and ran his fingers through Elliot’s locks, trying in vain to tame it. “Tell me what happened.”

When Elliot had recounted the afternoon’s events, Mick grabbed his hands and drew him closer, and he followed willingly. He ended up straddling Mick’s lap, arms around his neck, and his forehead leaning on his lover’s shoulder.

“I’m so sorry,” Mick mumbled and rubbed his stubble against Elliot’s temple.

“I shouldn’t have taken the money,” Elliot grunted. “I’m so stupid.”

“You’re not stupid. You had no other choice.”

“There’s always another choice.”

“What else could you have done?”

“I could have told them to go fuck themselves,” he gritted out. He took a deep breath, forcing himself to calm down. “Or I could quit.”

It was several minutes before Mick asked, “And do what?”

Elliot held his breath for a moment before whispering, “I could go back home.” Mick stiffened. “I hate it here.”

“I know.” The thickness of Mick’s voice hit Elliot like a freight train, but he didn’t take back his words. He couldn’t.

“I have to go home. At least for a while. I need silence.” He caught his lower lip between his teeth to stop it from quivering. “This was the last drop, you know?”

Mick nodded and tightened his arms around Elliot until they felt like bands of steel surrounding him. “What about us?”

“I don’t know.” He hesitated. “You could come,” he whispered, knowing what the answer would be.

He heard Mick inhale a shuddering breath, and a drop of wetness landed on Elliot’s cheek. “I wish I could.” Mick voice trembled.

“I can’t stay. Even for you, honey.” Elliot was crying now too, big hot tears wetting Mick’s expensive wool suit jacket.

“I know.”

When their tears finally dried, they spent the rest of the night making desperate love, saying nothing, letting their bodies do all the talking.

Two days later Elliot was back home, enjoying the peace and quiet in a freezing cabin in the mountains. Trying to stifle the disillusionment he felt with the world and himself, while hoping he would have time to get over it before it was time to go back to work.

Author Bio

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 but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

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 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and wants to write diverse and different characters.

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Release Blitz for Nell Iris’ Unconditionally (excerpt)

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Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords | iBooks | Google Play | B&N


Length: 16,981


Publisher: JMS Books

Blurb


Flamboyant book café owner Luca Moretti and geeky doctor Gus Hansen have been together for six years when the Supreme Court ruling makes same-sex marriage legal in all states. On June 26, 2015, Gus gets down on one knee and Luca screams yes.


On their wedding day, shortly before the ceremony, Luca’s mother explodes in anger, calling him a freak. The reason? He’s wearing a white veil, sprinkled with crystals.


Their relationship has been strained for a long time, and her words trigger traumatic memories. Instead of walking down the aisle, Luca runs.


Away from his mother. Away from Gus.


Gus counts down the minutes when Luca’s mother comes knocking. He realizes something’s wrong, but when he goes to talk to Luca, his husband-to-be is nowhere to be found.


Can Gus find Luca in time and manage to convince him to come back and get married?

Excerpt

Gus opened the office door, and his breath hitched when he saw Luca. Luca sat on the fake office lawn with his back to the door, a glittering white veil spilling from his head, covering his naked body. He was curled in on himself as if he was trying to make himself smaller. Goosebumps covered every inch of his naked skin, and as Gus stood there watching, Luca shivered.


Gus had only seen him like that once before, after a visit with his mother when Gus couldn’t go with him because of a shift change at the hospital. When he’d gotten home late that night, he’d found Luca lying on the floor, naked and curled into a ball. Not crying, not raging, just exuding quiet despair. Gus would prefer a tantrum, a dramatic screaming match, or even throwing things. This scared the crap out of him.


Without thinking, Gus kicked off his dress shoes and crossed the floor in a couple quick steps. He sank down behind his fiancé and lifted the sparkly hem of the veil with careful fingers. He ducked under it, scooted close, and let it fall over his own head, too.


He snaked his arms around Luca’s waist and pulled him into the V of his legs. A weight he hadn’t been aware of lifted from his shoulders when Luca relaxed and leaned back into Gus’s embrace.


Luca rested his head on Gus’s shoulder, and Gus tightened his grip. He caressed the smooth skin on Luca’s belly with his thumbs and burrowed his nose in his fiancé’s hair, inhaling the familiar scent, letting it calm his worried heart.


“I’m sorry.” Luca’s words were little more than a whisper.


“I love you.”


Gus’s voice cracked on the last word. He hadn’t realized how much the last minutes had affected him. He didn’t want to admit to the little nagging voice in his mind that had whispered, What if? All he knew in this moment was that he was never letting Luca out of his sight again. Or at least not letting him see his mother without Gus being with him.


“Oh, honey, I didn’t mean to worry you.” Luca fidgeted and wiggled in Gus’s arms until he managed to turn around. He wrapped his long legs around Gus and threw his arms around Gus’s neck. The veil got caught between them and Luca moved to take it off, but Gus stopped him.


“No.” He freed the exquisite fabric from its trap, taking great care not to pull off any of the crystals. When the veil covered them both, he put his arms around his fiancé and spread his fingers wide on the small of Luca’s back. He rested his cheek against Luca’s and whispered, “I have no idea what happened, but I’m always on your side. Always.”


“I know,” Luca whispered back.


They didn’t move for several minutes. Gus’s hands wandered up and down Luca’s back, gentle fingers running over the spine. Gus’s heartbeat returned to normal, and they just sat there, breathing together. Inhaling and exhaling as one. In this moment, Gus didn’t care about a worried mother or the waiting guests. He just needed to be close to his fiancé.

Author Bio

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 but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!


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 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and wants to write diverse and different characters.

 
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