Ofelia has popped in to talk about her recent release, 24 Dates, and I’m so happy to have her here! Welcome, Ofelia!
Thank you for letting me visit again, Ally!
A few days ago, 24 Dates, a contemporary Christmas M/M romance story, was released, and I thought I’d drop by to tell you a little about it. Victor and Jian have been a couple for some time now, but things didn’t turn out the way they’d planned.
A couple of years ago, they bought a house together, and by now they should be well into their HEA, but Victor hardly sees Jian awake anymore. He’s leaving for work early in the morning and falls asleep in front of the TV almost every evening.
Victor has more or less given up and is preparing for a lonely, depressing Christmas, but Jian has a plan. In 24 dates, he will win his man back—there is no other option. The first date is on December 1st and then he has one date planned every day up till the 24th.
Now, what qualifies as a date? The opinions about it might (and will) differ, but there will be lots of food, chilly outdoor activities, some craft dates, and jigsaws. Yes, a jigsaw puzzle.
Do you have any special Christmas (or other holiday) traditions in your family? When I grew up, the family (Mum) always got a jigsaw from some mysterious giver (Mum). It was somewhere between 3000 and 5000 pieces, and the days following Christmas, the dining table was occupied. She dug out desk lamps she kept hidden away during the rest of the year, and there were bowls of toffee and homemade knäck (hard toffee with chopped almonds). She’d sit up half the night, fitting pieces together.
So, no Christmas without a jigsaw, and one of Jian’s dates is to solve a 1000 pieces jigsaw in one day—a date and a challenge all in one!
Do you like jigsaws? I’ve created one for you here! (Ally: I LOVE Ofelia’s jigsaws, they’re so cool!) I feel like I should apologise. I solved it, but it took me 17 minutes and 27 seconds… and I created it and therefore knew the motif. I usually make one for my newsletter subscribers, but this was a little trickier than I normally do them. Can you beat 17 minutes and 27 seconds? I bet you can LOL
- Tags: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Christmas, Established couple, interracial
- Length: 38.000 words
- Release date: December 2nd, 2020
- Buy links : Publisher Buylink
Victor winked at him. He hoped it was a craft thing, but they’d done the candles, done the paint-by-numbers, so what else was there? He had to give Jian credit for creativity. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to come up with twenty-four dates without doing repeats.
Walking into the dining room—as Jian liked to call it—there was a jigsaw box on the table. “Jigsaw?”
“Yup, it’s a challenge. Can we finish it in one day?”
Victor stared at the box. “It’s a thousand pieces.” Was he insane?
“Yes, I read online that a thousand pieces puzzle takes somewhere between three and ten hours to solve.”
Victor pursed his lips. “As I recall, it took weeks when I was a kid.”
Jian frowned. “No, we’re finishing this today, because tomorrow we can’t have a puzzle on the table.”
“No. Where will we put all the food? Plus, some pieces could get lost if they’re lying around here tomorrow.” The look Jian gave him made him think there was more behind the statement than he let on.
“Okay. Roll up your sleeves, we’re having ourselves a puzzling day.”
Jian shook his head, but pulled out a chair and sat.
The motif was of a bookshelf filled with books and at least fifteen cats—more, since more and more became visible the longer Victor looked at it. “This is cute.”
“Yeah, I figured… you like cats, right?”
Victor glanced at him. “Sure.”
“No, not sure. I mean, you’re not allergic or anything?”
“To a picture of a cat? No.”
Jian grimaced. “You like dogs better.”
“It’s a puzzle, Jian. It looks like fun. And yeah, in real life, I like dogs better, but cats are adorable.”
“And dogs need walking.”
Victor laughed. “Sure.”
“A cat you can let out. You can install a cat flap, and it’ll mind its own business.”
Victor stared at him. “Are you thinking about getting a cat?” He would love a cat. Sure, he’d always deemed himself more of a dog person, but they couldn’t take care of a dog properly with how they were working. And now they had no idea how Jian would be working. Cats were adorable.
“No, I’m not.”
Victor shrugged. “Too bad. A cat would be fun. And remember last year when the mouse got in? I bet it wouldn’t happen if we had a cat.” He ripped open the plastic bag with the puzzle pieces and poured them out onto the table.
“This is a lot of pieces, Jian.” Victor frowned at the pile.
“A thousand would be my guess.”
“Idiot. Okay, let’s do the frame first.”
“What? No, I want to do the cats.”
When Victor Hill bought a house with his boyfriend, Jian Kouri it was a dream come true. But now, two years later, instead of living their happily ever after, they hardly see the other awake.
With Jian out the door before Victor gets up in the morning, and asleep on the couch nearly as soon as he walks in the door, the life Victor imagined couldn’t be further from reality. They don’t talk; they don’t touch, and Victor fears he and Jian have already drifted too far apart.
The holiday season is a time for hope, but when Victor comes home to find Jian with a plan to woo him for Christmas, is it too little, too late? The dates are great, and there are filled with Christmas fun to get Victor in the right spirit for the holiday, but are they enough for the two of them to fall in love again? Or is there just too much in their relationship that needs fixing?
About Ofelia Gränd:
Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes romance, contemporary, paranormal, Sci-Fi and whatever else catches her fancy.
Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.
When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from her husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods…if she’s lucky she finds her way back home again.