What Are They Eating | Mated to the Fire Dragon

What Are They Eating

It’s time for food! If you haven’t seen any of the What Are They Eating posts before, I do this with every story I write. For the fun of it 😄 You can learn a lot about a character from what he or she eats. Do they open a bottle of Dom Pérignon or a Heineken after a hard day at work? There’s a difference 😆

In Mated to the Fire Dragon, they don’t eat or drink much at all. Zale is sick and has no appetite. He drinks a little tea, though.

Liz slowly nodded as she handed him a cup of tea. “You came here to die, not to be saved?”

Zale gave her a weak smile, the lump forming in his throat making it hard to talk. “There is no cure. I’d gone to hell and back if there was something to be done, but there isn’t. I’ve been to every doctor I’ve managed to find, and they all say the same thing.” He cleared his throat. “I don’t have much longer.” Then he glanced at Albus. “But I got to see Albus the Aglow, and I think it’s as close as I’ll ever get to magic.”

He sipped on the tea. It had a woody, slightly bitter taste, and he did his best not to grimace.

“You saw him shift?”

Zale shook his head and drank more tea. Tasty it was not, but his mouth was going slightly numb, and if it numbed his tongue, it might take the edge off the worst pain.

Liz watched him. “You should ask him to change for you. You think you know what they are, but it isn’t until you stand face to face with a dragon you truly realize it.”

Albus is preparing some cold cuts and fruit in his attempts to get Sale to eat something.

“I have toast, some sliced fruit, cold cuts from the butcher’s, and a cup of Liz’s tea.” He lowered the tray to the bed. It looked lovely, but Zale had no desire to eat.
“Thank you.” He patted the mattress. “Come. Sit.”
Albus carefully lowered himself onto the mattress next to him.
“Eat.” He pushed the tray toward Albus.
“I ate in the kitchen.”
Zale breathed in deeply. “Have some more. Who knows, you might still be growing.”
Albus shook his head but ate some smoked meat. Zale took an apple slice, but the apple thickened in his mouth as he chewed. He forced himself to swallow, then he reached for the tea.

And when things get worse, and Zale no longer is conscious, Egil from the Book Dragon’s Lair gives Albus some lunch.

As he opened, Egil pushed a bowl at him. “Made you lunch. Any progress?”
Albus stared at the bowl in his hands. Lunch? No one had ever made him lunch. It looked to be cubes of meat and potatoes covered in sauce. His stomach rumbled at the scent. “Thank you.”
“Has he woken up?” Ethel’s voice was business-like, and he forced his gaze away from the food.
“No.”
“Moved?”
He shook his head.
“Do you want me to check on him?”
He gestured for her to enter, and they slowly made their way up the stairs.

But as a whole, there isn’t a lot of food in this story. Albus eats because he has to, Zale doesn’t eat at all. So it’s not a matter of what they enjoy or what they can afford or anything like that.

Mated to the Fire Dragon

matedtothefiredragonZale wanted to see a dragon. He never expected a miracle.

Zale Hagan is dying. He doesn’t have many days left, but he wants to see a dragon before he leaves the world behind. As a fisherman, he’s seen where land ends many times, but he wants to visit the town where the human realm ends and the dragon realm begins.

Albus the Abomination is a blacksmith on Dragon Row. As a white dragon, he has no status and does his best to keep out of the way of the other dragons living there. But one day Zale steps into his smithy, and everything inside Albus catches fire.

Albus can tell Zale is very ill, but he can’t let him die. Dragon mates don’t get sick, and they live for a long time. Albus tries his best to get one of the other dragons to mate with Zale, but when no one wants to, Albus is at a loss. He could breathe fire into him, but then Zale would have to live his entire life with a white dragon, and no one wants that, do they?

NOTE: Mated to the Fire Dragon takes place on the same street as The Book Dragon’s Lair but can be read as a standalone story.

Buy links:

Paranormal Gay Romance: 38,392 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/MatedToTheFireDragon

What Are They Eating | Saved by the Bear

What Are They Eating

Are you hungry? It’s time to have a look at what they’re eating in Saved by the Bear. It’s a rather short story, and there isn’t much downtime, so there is not a lot of eating, but some. No fancy eating 😆 Though there rarely is in my books… or in my real life. 

I wrote Saved by the Bear for Tell a Story Day, and Frode inherits a magic book that will tell him his story.

Okay, shall we get started? I think it’s only prudent to start with breakfast, don’t you think? Breakfast is after all the most important meal of the day, which Frode seems to have forgotten.

Frode went to put on coffee. He needed a plan, coffee, breakfast, and then… Should he warn Imre about the burglar? He drummed his index finger against the counter. If he told Imre he was leaving for a couple of days, he had to explain why. Or he didn’t have to, but something inside told him it was a bad idea not to tell Imre.

He poured a bowl of cereal and ate standing up while watching the drip of the coffee. A shower was a good idea since he didn’t know what the cabin looked like. Was there running water?

Was he going to the cabin?

He glanced into the living room. The book was on the coffee table, closed since he didn’t want it to play when he wasn’t watching. Taking a careful swallow of the still too-hot coffee, he winced as it burned his tongue. He left the bowl on the counter and went into the living room.

He’d only check to see if going to the cabin was a good idea.

With a hammering heart, he opened the book. The pages fluttered and stopped at one of the last pages. Ice filled Frode’s core. They’d reached the end?

We’re skipping lunch and jumping directly to the evening meal. Which happens to be pizza. Again. I wonder how many per cent of my books have pizza in them 😅

 “Pizza okay?”

“Pizza?”

“I figured you’d be busy for a while, so I made dough. Should be ready to add the topping now.” He walked into the kitchen, which was a replica of Frode’s apart from Imre having managed to make it look cozy. Frode took a deep breath and allowed his shoulders to drop for the first time all day.

“Sit.” Imre nodded at a stool by the counter. “Tell me about the book.” He wasn’t looking at Frode, his focus was on the dough. The muscles in his forearms played underneath the skin as his hands worked. Frode sighed and continued to watch, transfixed, as Imre moved the dough to a sheet and added tomato sauce.

“Frode?”

“Sorry. Haven’t slept. Brain’s not working.”

Imre smiled, and damn, he was hot. “The book?”

“Yeah, yeah, the book. I was called to the attorney’s office.”

Imre nodded.

“And got a book with Will Tell Your Story printed on the cover. I thought nothing of it. A stupid title. When I got home, I opened it, and the pages were blank.”

Imre frowned but didn’t speak. He added mozzarella on top of the tomato sauce, and Frode got stuck watching him again.

“Blank pages.”

“Right. I figured it was a diary, so I flipped through it, and something was written in the middle.” Had it been in the middle? He hadn’t paid attention the first time.

“What did it say?”

“It told me my story.”

Imre stilled. “What?”

“From my childhood, through my teens, up until I got killed in a car crash this morning. Or got pushed down the stairs midday by the burglar and hit my head and broke my leg.”

And then after they’ve been running for their lives and need to eat something, they find a can of beans.

“You need to rest.”

Imre gave him a stiff nod. “I need to eat. Shifting back and forth, healing, it takes a lot of energy, and I haven’t eaten since lunch.”

Crap. “I guess there is no takeout here.”

Imre shook his head. Not so much as a glimmer of a smile. Damn. He got a déjà vu from his first days in the apartment. Imre hadn’t smiled then either and Frode had been terrified. He wasn’t now, and he felt like shit for ruining Imre’s fantasy.

“I’m sorry.”

Shrugging, Imre gave him a ghost of a smile. “Not your fault. I think I have a bag of trail mix in the car, but it won’t last long.”

“Are there any cans? Mice can’t get into cans, can they?”

Imre opened one cupboard after the other and grunted as he found the pantry. He held up two cans. “Chicken soup and cannellini beans.”

“Great.” Frode did nothing to hide his wince. Beans. He hated beans. Imre chuckled.

“Dare we light a fire?” He studied the pipe going into the wall behind the wood-burning stove. “What if the cabin catches fire?”

 “I’ll fetch the book!” Frode almost ran out of the cabin to get to the car. The book would tell him if they’d burn themselves to death or not.

Saved by the Bear

saved by the bear

Would knowing how you die change the way you live?

Frode Hall inherits a book that promises to tell his story, and it does. It starts with a recap of his childhood, leads him through his teens and into adult life. Then it turns a page and shows how he dies in a car crash the following day. Frode panics, but can he trust the book? It’s showing a huge Grizzly sneaking around the garden, and there are no bears in the garden, only Imre, his neighbor.

By not being in his car when the predicted car crash was to take place, he survives another day. But someone has learned he has the book, and it’s showing ninjas breaking into his apartment to get it. Unsure of what to do, Frode turns to Imre. Frode doesn’t know what to believe about his growling and talk of mates, but he trusts Imre to help him. They leave the city in a hurry, but will the book give them enough warning to keep them alive or will their journey end in a gruesome prophecy?

Pre-order

Paranormal gay romance: 14,970 words

JMS Books :: books2read.com/SavedByTheBear

What Are They Eating | Batshit Bassel

What Are They Eating

It’s time for the What Are They Eating post, and this month, I could answer that with one word – soup. I wrote Batshit Bassel for Soup It Forward Day, and the main thing in this story is soup 😆

Bassel is a psychic with no control over his powers and therefore he can’t do the kind of work psychics normally do – predict things and save the world and such. But he’s convinced he can make the world a better place by giving people soup. Soup is nutrition and love in a bowl, and it’s exactly what people need.

Every day, he sells two kinds of soups in his food cart. 

A witch or psychic bonded to a shifter was a force to be reckoned with. They could achieve great things, borrowing power from each other. Shifters were strong and agile, fierce and protective. Psychics could see the future and help prevent crimes and catastrophes, predict the economy, and make smart business decisions.

Bassel could serve soup.

He didn’t turn his nose up at it. There were people doing big, amazing things, and there were people who affected the world in a more subtle way. His mission was a subdued approach, a gentle push in the direction of a better day and hopefully a better life—for his customers.

There were many lost souls, scarred souls, lonely souls who needed a bowl of soup. He’d never perform miracles, but he could give people something warm to eat and listen to their problems. He loved doing it. It was fulfilling knowing he’d touched a person’s spirit and made them feel better.

In the snippet above, they’re not eating any soup, so let’s have an excerpt of when they eat.

“Would you like some soup?”

The boy startled and looked a little afraid, as if Bassel had tried to lure him away with candy.

“I… eh… don’t have any money.”

Bassel shrugged. “Of course not. You’re a child.”

The boy glared at him, and Bassel turned the words over in his head. Were they insulting?

“When you have a job, you can pay me back. Now, do you want chicken soup or chickpea soup?”

The boy scrunched his nose at the mention of chickpeas. “Chicken.”

With a smile, Bassel filled a bowl. “I’m thinking about adding a hotplate or maybe one of those pans to have over an open fire. I could make skillet flatbread to go with the soup. I think people would appreciate it, and if I went with the open fire option, it would help warm people in the winter.” Spring was around the corner, but he was still frozen to the bone every day when he came home, no matter how many layers of clothes he put on. “Or maybe there are portable pizza ovens. Wouldn’t that be cool?”

The boy stared at him as if he was insane—he was.

“Come sit.” He grabbed the folding chair he had standing next to the food cart with one hand while balancing the bowl of chicken soup in the other.

Hesitating for a moment, the boy then slowly neared the chair.

As he sat, Bassel handed him the Styrofoam bowl and a spoon. “Did you have a good day at school?” Bassel assumed he went to school.

The boy nodded and looked away as an ache spread in Bassel’s chest—the boy’s. He had no idea what had triggered the crushing wave of grief washing over him, but something had.

“Oh, sweetheart. Eat your soup. Everything gets better with soup.” He was quiet for a few seconds before asking, “What’s your name?”

“Dag Espen.”

“Oh, you’re a bear?” Espen meant bear, rightDag nodded and blew on a spoonful of soup before putting it into his mouth. Warmth spread in Bassel’s soul—all his own. He loved feeding people. 

There is a lot of soup, but at one point, Bassel is making pancakes, and toward the end, Dag and Thor are to spend the night in Bassel’s place, and then they’re having nacho pot pie.

Bassel was buzzing. Thor would come. Or he’d try to come. He looked across the table at Dag, who was staring at the nacho pot pie.

“What is this?”

“Nacho pot pie. You helped me make it.”

“I know, but…”

“Taste it. If you don’t like it, there’s always soup.”

Dag grinned and dug in as warmth filled Bassel’s chest. He couldn’t pinpoint the emotion, a mix of them, but he had a feeling he’d been tested. He wasn’t sure if he’d passed or not, but since Dag was content, he didn’t care.

“It’s good.” Dag spoke with his mouth filled with food.

“Don’t talk with food in your mouth.” The words were out of Bassel’s mouth before he could reflect on what he was saying, and he froze as he stared at Dag.

“What?”

“My mother always said that to me. I never believed I’d say it to anyone.” But you didn’t talk with food in your mouth.

Dag paled. “My mom used to say it too. She’d ask if I’d had a good day in school and then tell me not to talk with food in my mouth when I replied.” The pain following his words had Bassel sucking in a breath. Dag’s grief was still raw.

“Perhaps it’s a thing mothers do?” And imbeciles, apparently.

Nodding, Dag took another bite, and Bassel followed suit. Normally, when he made this dish, he had heaps of jalapenos in it, but he skipped them today since Dag would be eating. It was much better with jalapenos.

“So, ready for a movie?”

Dag nodded and sped up his eating.

Batshit Bassel

batshitbasselSome people perform miracles, others serve soup.

Bassel Uxium will never save the world. He doesn’t have the skill. He’s the product of his parents’ sin, a psychic with no control over his powers. But he can serve soup, and soup works wonders in its own way. He isn’t bitter about it. Some people create miracles, others give a frozen soul a warm bowl of love.

Thor Espen’s life changed in a heartbeat. A few months ago, his sister died, and he became the guardian of his nephew. His life isn’t fit for a child. He’s the owner of a nightclub, and his schedule doesn’t leave room for a cub. When his nephew starts spending time with the weird soup guy with the food cart outside his club, he allows it.

Bassel aches for the little boy who is cloaked in grief and tries to ease his sorrows with soup, one bowl at a time. He aches for Thor too, but in a different way. Thor should focus on work, but he can’t get Bassel out of his head. Can a bear shifter and a defective psychic have something together, or will the budding relationship turn to ashes, along with Bassel’s predictions of a fire?

Buy links:

Paranormal Gay Romance: 20,177 words 

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/BatshitBassel