Today I am so pleased to welcome Nora Phoenix to Joyfully Jay. Nora has come to talk to us about her latest release, Smolder. She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and great giveaway! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Inspiration is a funny thing. Ask writers what inspired them to write a certain story or book, and you’ll get a broad range of answers.
A news article.
A social media post.
A book they’ve read.
In the case of my Ignite trilogy, it was a cover. Jay Aheer had posted this stunning cover in her group, and I had to have it. That cover did something to me, even though it was a far cry from the contemporary or mpreg romances I usually wrote. It was vibrant and dramatic, and the first seeds of a story were planted…
My son provided inspiration as well. He and I did a massive road trip in 2018 where we started talking about disasters and what kind of disasters could wipe out mankind. Look, he’s a ten-year old boy (or he was at that time). He loves stuff like that, haha. And that’s how it started. What if…
What if aliens came to earth disguised as a meteor shower?
What if three men had to survive that alien invasion?
What if they had to flee their own government as well?
That idea took root, and I plotted out the story. Ignite is hard to describe because it mixes several elements. It’s above all a love story, a slow burn MMM romance between three men, each with his own baggage.
There’s Tan, who survived at the cost of losing himself. There’s Austin, who had to stand by helplessly and watch Tan get hurt. And there’s Mack, who is innocent and sheltered while at the same time an expert at survival.
But it’s also a story that shows where hatred of anyone who is different can lead to, where systematic hatred of LGBTQ+ people can lead to. Add aliens to the mix, and you have a suspenseful survival story, where love blooms when it’s least expected. And of course, as is to be expected in any book with my name on it, things get steamy as well, haha. Book one is a slow burn, but after that, the romance heats up.
Despite the dystopian setting, this is not a somber, depressing story. It’s a triumph of love, of everything that’s good in the world, in mankind. And it’s one hell of a thrill ride to get to that happy ending.
The first book in this trilogy, Ignite, came out in 2018. Book two, Smolder, will release in a few days and the third book won’t be far behind. This is a series I’m truly proud of, not only because it has an important message, but above all because it’s a beautiful love story, a romance that shows love really does conquer all…
“What are you thinking about, sweetie?” Tan asked.
Mack was pulled from his thoughts. He’d missed that Tan had stopped sewing and was looking at him now with curious eyes. His cheeks heated. “N-nothing.”
Tan grinned. “We both know that’s not true, now is it?”
Mack lowered his eyes. “It’s…not something I wanna share.”
He peeked from between his eyelashes. Tan’s expression had softened. “That’s fine, honey. You don’t have to tell me anything. I was curious because you had such a sweet smile on your face. I was kinda hoping you were thinking happy thoughts about me.”
“I was,” Mack blurted out, his cheeks practically on fire now. Why hadn’t he kept his mouth shut?
Austin looked up from his book. “This, I want to hear.”
Mack’s first reaction was that he was absolutely not sharing what he’d been thinking of. How embarrassing would it be to admit he’d been thinking of them both, comparing them in his mind, and ruminating about the effect they had on him? He’d die of shame if he had to tell them.
But wasn’t that what Tan had meant that it couldn’t always come from them? That Mack had to start something as well? He’d been racking his brain about a way to initiate more, whatever more looked like, since he had no clue. He’d leave that part to Austin and Tan. Maybe this was his chance. It was embarrassing, yes, but he had been thinking nice things, right? Like, romantic things? Or sexual, he wasn’t sure about the clear distinction between the two.
He took a deep breath. “Back home, on the compound, we have this wall we built out of loose rocks. It’s taken years, but we made it with stones and pebbles with soil in between. Over time, the wall rose higher and wider, like an extra defense. And one day, when I was working on it, I noticed a flower, a bright purple one, growing right between two stones. It shouldn’t be in that wall; it didn’t belong there, but it was. I left it because the beauty of it struck me. I admired its strength, its tenacity to bloom where it had landed.”
He breathed out, releasing the tension in his shoulders. He’d said what he’d been thinking of. Now all he had to do was bring it home. He looked up at Tan, who was watching him with a puzzled expression. “That’s what you remind me of, of that flower. You’re…you’re beautiful, and you bring color to what’s drab. You bloom.”
In a world where it’s every man for himself, all they can do is hold on to each other…
A slow burn MMM survival romance. The second book in an exciting trilogy!
Austin, Mack, and Tan have found a safe spot at the deserted farm. They have food and shelter, but what will the cost be of defending their little slice of heaven?
Unexpected visitors keep showing up, and it becomes harder and harder to tell friends from enemies…and the line between right and wrong becomes more and more blurred.
They grow closer and closer, finding comfort with each other, but when disaster strikes and threatens what has blossomed between them, will they find a way through this?
While the world around them burns, all they have are each other.
Smolder is the second book in the suspenseful Ignite series, a slow burn MMM romance set in an alternative world. The romance heats up in this second book, and the men will find their happy ever after in book three.
Buy link: Amazon
Nora has brought an ebook of Ignite and an ARC of Smolder to give away to two lucky readers. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, January 9th at 11:59 pm ET.
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