It’s been a long time coming … (questions answered)

I’ve been thinking a lot the past few weeks about brand awareness, engagement, and what it means to really connect with people about a topic we all love–in this case, books, specifically love stories.

It’s caused me to re-think some of the things I’m doing to connect with you, and it’s shown me that I may need to clarify some of the stuff surrounding my brand and well … me. Read on for answers to your two (three, really) biggest questions below.

TL;DR

1 and 2. Who are you, and what are you about?

I love writing love stories.😍🥰😘 I have since I was twelve. Some of them have an HEA (romance) and some of them don’t (WF). Writing is my passion, and I will probably always have an idea notebook or a story in progress. But it’s only been a few years since I decided to start my author career and publish said stories. And that’s where The Owen & Makayla Series came from.

As I continue this journey of putting my stuff out there, I realize there are a lot of paths, steps, and considerations I must figure out before I can get that “great American novel” to you. While I’ve been writing forrrevverrrr 😲, I’ve just decided to let people see what I’ve been writing, and I want you to see the best side of it possible. Right now, my debut novel manuscript is in a contest, and I’m waiting for the outcome. That outcome will determine how I put that book out, and how fast some of the next books come out afterwards.

During the time I’ve been waiting and writing,✏ I’ve also found other ways to put content out there and to talk about topics that I love with all of you that are also waiting for my next story to come out.💨 (Plus, I’m reading and enjoying other stories, and I want you to know about those, too!)

That is where all of the Nerdy Romantics “stuff” came from. 🧐

3 (okay and yes, 4). What’s Nerdy Romantics (#nerdyromantics), and what’s all this stuff with it?

Nerdy Romantics is what I’ve named my fan group.

If you’re a fan of my work, you’ll love: romance, romantic comedies for sure. In most of my stories, my characters also love nerd pop culture: Star Trek, superheroes and comics, Star Wars, fantasy. They may be gamers in their spare time or into 80s TV. They may even go gaga over a heist movie or the Terminator franchise. Think of them like the guys from The Big Bang Theory. All of them were big nerds who wanted love (even Sheldon after a while). And I’m like that, too.

I get why you may not really know that. Owen & Makayla are romance, pure and simple. They aren’t into anything “nerdy” and I didn’t set the story in a sci-fi or fantasy world. They do watch all 3 Matrix movies (more on that in my podcast), but they debate over it for a few minutes before they … well, lets just say they think about other things. So that’s why I’m changing my free book offer to a story that makes more sense to those just joining our awesome club! I am writing it right now and hope to have it out in November. Stay tuned.

And yes, if you’re a current newsletter subscriber you can get this story FREE, too.

Okay cool. So why all this other nerdy romantic stuff? Because I like talking to you! ❤💛❤💛❤I like providing content on the stuff we both love: romance novels, nerd pop culture, reading books. And I want you to feel comfortable engaging at whatever level you want to. HOWEVER, each Nerdy Romantics “thing” provides different content. So if you want it all you have to be there for all of it!

🎙🎤🎧NR Podcast--reviews, chats, commentary that will only be provided there.

NR Newsletter –3 things I’m nerding out over 🧨and most book giveaways that aren’t anywhere else. (Just because you follow my blog doesn’t mean you are a newsletter subscriber. If you are a newsletter subscriber, you get both. And you can do that here.)

Social mediaMy Instagram is mostly stories and posts you’ll only see there. 📷Many posts have bits of stories I’m working on. Twitter Fridays–not reposted anywhere else (at least not by me). 🤬🤪

Facebook Group (superfans)private group and not reposted. 😍😍😍😍Also the place where I ask a lot of questions while writing and bounce new podcast show ideas. (It’s where I came up with the name). 🤔My guest hosts for my book chats are Facebook Group members.

🎉🎊So there you have it. A life update in a nutshell. And if you didn’t read it, there’s a summary below. BOTTOM LINE: I love that you’re here; books are coming soon (oh so many books); and now you know what Nerdy Romantics means and why it’s “all over the place.” 📖

TL;DR
  • I love writing love stories
  • I am writing more of them as you read this
  • I’d love to hear your feedback on them when they come out
  • Nerdy Romantics is my fan group
  • Nerdy Romantics love romance and nerd pop culture. (Think Big Bang Theory)
  • I provide Nerdy Romantics fans with a lot of free content in a lot of places
  • And biggest news of all: I’m working on a new short story that will show the essence of what Nerdy Romantics is all about. And yes, it will be FREE to newsletter subscribers.

Same logo, new clearer tagline.

Why did I do this? (I read “Twenty-Four Hours of Freedom” out loud!)

On episode eight of the Nerdy Romantics Podcast, author Y. M. Nelson will read her first indie published short story, “Twenty-Four Hours of Freedom.” This is part 1 of the “Owen & Makayla Trilogy.”

In this episode:

  • I list the songs on the playlist for the story
  • I read the story (in its entirety)
  • I talk about how I came up with it
  • I address the most common feedback I get about the trilogy

Books Mentioned During the Episode

“Twenty-Four Hours of Freedom” is available for free at most eBook retailers. You can find them here.

“Forty-Eight Hours of Bliss” is available for free at https://ymnelson.com/subscribe

To learn more about the trilogy, read the description here (purchase links are available)

If you have read any of my stories:

Please leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon (or your eBookseller’s platform). Reviews help you by easily connecting you with books you may like, and they help the author be exposed to new readers.

Playlist for the Owen & Makayla Trilogy on Spotify

Listen to this episode here, then subscribe!

Ep.8 Y. M. Nelson reads "Twenty-Four Hours of Freedom" Nerdy Romantics Podcast

I love feedback! (Rate and Review here:)

FOR ANDROID USERS: Click the button below and leave a review on my podchaser page.

Podchaser - Nerdy Romantics Podcast

FOR APPLE USERS: Click the button below and scroll down to find the section to rate and review this podcast.

Friday Fun Review: “Accidentally Engaged” by Farah Heron

Accidentally EngagedAccidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this one! (and loved the audio version too!)

This book is delicious. Well, not the actual book, but all the food mentioned had my mouth watering.



And the story was delightfully cute and funny. It’s just the right combination of food and fun for a novel.

Premise: Reena Manji hates her job. She’d rather be nurturing sourdough starters (that she’s named) and cooking than doing finance. Not to mention entertaining her parents’ meddling in her love life. Enter Nadim–an Indian Captain America with a British accent. Nice … until Reena finds out her father’s arranged for them to be married.

What I loved:
I got a view of East African-Indian culture with this novel, and it made me appreciate how connected we all are, and we don’t even realize it. The cultural descriptions and experiences were unique to these set of characters, so I didn’t get that “this is how East Africans are” or “this is how Muslims are (or aren’t in this case)” kind of feeling, but I was learning about a culture that I barely knew.

The cooking show contest scenes were AH-MAZ-ING! I am not really a fan of reality TV competitions, but I would totally watch this play out. All the purely fun and romantic stuff seems to come out in these scenes for me.



I also managed to get the audiobook, and I listened to part of it. The uplifting music, the narrators, it was an experience that made the words even more fun and cute! it was all wrapped up in this feel-good bow. Next is for this to be a Netflix movie.

What I sort of Liked:
The meddling parents that want to get her married already were hilarious! Especially near the end when family secrets are revealed. What I did not appreciate was the father’s motivation for getting her together with Nadim. That made me so angry! (But I’m pretty sure I was supposed to be). I wish Reena would have been more angry, though.



The heat level. I didn’t really research the heat level or even know what it was before reading. Sometimes I do because I specifically want a steamy romance. This one is sweet-steamy I guess is the best description. There’s heavy making out on page and language, but the sex is closed door. I usually find that as a let down. Here, it works, because everything else is so sweet and fun and cute. Also, Heron has just enough of the steamy making out that you don’t miss the unseen sex.

Overall:
This one was a deliciously wonderful read. Okay, beyond hungry right now. Gotta end this and eat something.

Did you like Accidentally Engaged? Agree with this review? Let me know in the comments.

Friday Fun Review: AMERICAN QUEEN by Sierra Simone

American Queen (New Camelot Trilogy, #1)American Queen by Sierra Simone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED THIS BOOK! And you will too. Here’s why.


The Premise
From Goodreads: “Warned as a girl to keep her kisses to herself, Greer Galloway disobeys twice–once on her sixteenth birthday as she’s kneeling in a pool of broken glass, and another time after a charming stranger named Embry Moore whisks her into the dazzling Chicago night. Both times she falls in love, and both times her heart is broken beyond repair. And so as an adult, she vows never to kiss—or to love again.

“That’s until the Vice President of the United States shows up at the university where she teaches, and asks for one thing: for her to meet with the hero-turned-President Maxen Colchester. Maxen, the soldier who was her first kiss in that pool of broken glass.

“And the other complication? The Vice President is none other than charming Embry Moore himself.”

This trilogy is inspired by the stories of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot, but as you’ll see it’s a very original story. AMERICAN QUEEN is the first in the Trilogy, with American Prince and American King following.

The story/The sex/ The characters
The story is intricate and has levels, as I notice most of Sierra Simone’s novels do. So, the progression of the central romance is not the only thing that keeps you turning pages. But the romance was more than enough to keep you turning pages.

Good golly Miss Molly this was scorching! I have learned from experience anything Sierra Simone is NSFW (Not Safe For Work), but this is next level NSFW. I wouldn’t even attempt to read this on my lunch hour and try to come back to work. This is a graphic, open-door, BDSM erotic romance with a non-traditional couple. Basically, what I’ve come to learn is this is Sierra Simone’s thing. This is her niche.

What I thought I looked like after every sex scene (cool while reading explosive sex):


What I actually looked like after every sex scene (a big ole mess):


Of course, as stated there is a lot more here. There are elements of mystery, political intrigue, and there’s one element of social commentary that I am especially proud of. During one scene, Greer points out the obvious difference between a couple in an abusive relationship and her own relationship—consenting and loving. Many people when they don’t understand something, they think negatively about it. A BDSM relationship when done right is not abusive or an excuse to be abusive. I’m glad that Sierra Simone points this out.

About the characters: I don’t know why, but for some reason, I wanted to hate everybody. These are people who on the outside have it all—money, power, fame. But I couldn’t hate Embry, Ash, and Greer. I didn’t really get a book boyfriend here or a favorite couple, I was more fascinated by them. It’s kind of like when I’m watching a where-are-they-now kind of show about a celebrity. Or a 20/20 episode where they go behind the scenes of famous people. It’s intriguing and fascinating, and you appreciate whatever they went through. In the end, the hatred went to the right people, I think. I need to keep reading to make sure.

The story will leave you like this and wanting to get part 2 ASAP:


So, just read it already.


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Friday Fun Review: “Her Russian Billionaire” by Theodora Taylor

I finished this book a week ago, and up until now, I didn’t realize how I would structure this review for the best impact. But now I think I’ve figured it out. I thought it best to talk about just this book, and then about the author in general. While this is not the best written book (3 stars), the author’s hustle, and dedication to supplying her fanbase with what they want is noteworthy. As an author, I give her 4 stars.

(Added disclaimer:) The trick is to figuring out if you’re in her fanbase. This is probably a good representation of a lot of the erotic romances she writes. Her alphas are aggressive, almost brutal to a point, and as she says…ruthless. The heroines have some issues, but are more unique than any I’ve seen so far in erotic romance novels.

So this will be a way-left different review than what I usually do. Different set up and maybe even different tone/language. You can read the premise, get a feel for the characters, and all that prelim stuff in the sample and book blurb. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

About the book, Her Russian Billionaire:

Heat Level: High. (This is steamy, erotic, and sexy)

Taylor’s motto is that she writes “hot books with heart” and that’s what this is. The heart comes in the form of story. So while there’s a lot of graphic sexy times for you to see, there’s also a story, characters arcs, backstory, something to hold on to. Some of the earlier (and maybe still) self-pubbed romances came off as straight porn because, let’s face it, you could write whatever you wanted (not as much anymore, but you get my drift). This woman is a writer, not a porno creator.

Am I impressed by the writing? Not so much. There are some grammar issues and some craft issues with the POV. The dual POV rehashes some scenes during first transitions. For instance, the first few pages of another POV have the exact same plot points, so it reads as if we are repeating what we just read instead of getting another perspective. And in the middle of the novel, we get a repeat of the prologue. Again, this is from a different POV, and there’s a point to it, but we could use a little less rehash to understand the points to be made.

But does this writing criticism matter? For the most part–NO. Here’s why.

  1. I’m late to the game on Theodora Taylor. This novel was written in 2012 at near the beginning of her career. All of us are still learning with that first or second book. You can already tell from her FIVE-CHAPTER SAMPLE of Her Russian Beast at the end of the Kindle edition of Her Russian Billionaire that she’d already improved on the writing issues I saw. If you’re new to her work like I was, stick with her. It will pay off.
  2. Most people are not writers. I’m a writer and English professor, and I read like one sometimes, even when I just want to be entertained. So most of these “writer things” people do not notice, or if they do, they read over it because the story is good. So instead, review what I have to say about this author.

About the author:

As an indie author, I have so much respect for any indie author that can put 1 book out–let alone over 30, to garner a following in a genre that’s so vast and has so much competition, and gain an expanding following while doing so. Taylor has earned every bit of good for what she’s put out there. And most of her recognition started from garnering a word-of-mouth following. She’s done so well at it, that she got on Harlequin’s radar and she’s penned two books with them.

But her indie books are her crowning glory. They are full of steamy goodness and compelling story. She’s one of the many indie authors dispelling the continual stigma that the indie is somehow a “lower caliber” book than one traditionally published. Taylor delivers an entertaining book and on her motto of providing her audience with “hot books with heart.”

Friday Fun Review: “Dating You/Hating You”

I promise this will be the last of the Christina Lauren books for a while! The next Friday Fun Review will be from an indie author (like me!)

Dating You / Hating YouDating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’ve been following my Friday Fun Reviews on my site (or my reviews on GR for the last 2 months), you’ll know that I had Dating You / Hating You on my TBR list for 2 YEARS. It took me picking up My Favorite Half-Night Stand by coincidence to jumpstart my voracious consumption of everything Christina Lauren (writing duo Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings). Still so glad it happened!

Premise
In true CL fashion, this is a hilarious romcom with an amazing couple (both written as gorgeous) and a bunch of New Adult drama. It reminds me of the Netflix romcom “Set It Up” in parts, except Carter and Evie are the agents (execs), not assistants. However, this one also has a serious undercurrent.

Again, I’ll let them do the premise. [from Bookbub] “Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge–causing the pair to vie for the same position–all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals–so why can’t they act like it?”

Along with their antics is a boss that has problems with powerful women–and more than a few secrets, Carter’s family, including an artist brother that’s right out of an “Uncensored” episode on TV One, and a host of friends and assistants that provide substantial amounts of hilarity.

Characters
Just like in MFH-NS, these characters are so relate-able. This is a dual 1st person POV Carter/Evie, but their friends and family will steal the show. All have the memorable personalities of a CL ensemble cast, and as a writer, I’m in awe of how they put them all together without getting them mixed up and giving each a unique voice. It begs for a movie so you can see these characters in action (or just get more of them.)

The story/The sex/The reviews
What steals the show romcom-wise is their “war” on each other and the “shots they fire” in a specific series of slapstick moments (trying not to create spoilers here.) Some thought it was over-the-top; I thought it was awesome!

Also notable is the lack of sex in this one. Having just read Beautiful Bastard where there was not much more than sex, I found DY/HY refreshing. However, if you are reading this hoping for the same amount of sex that you usually get in a CL novel (a la the Beautiful series), then you may be disappointed. I wasn’t. The story was so engaging and fun that I enjoyed it and didn’t notice the lack of sex in every other chapter. Sometimes, you just need a break!

Another difference is the hint of serious social discussion on female inequality at work. These agents are pitted against each other by a boss who’s obviously from the 60s. Don Draper has nothing on this dude. Some reviewers were turned off by Evie’s treatment in the office, and the inequalities of women in this story. While I am too, I also understand how REAL this is in an office. On top of that, these are Hollywood agents, so EVERYTHING is ramped up 100x more than in a regular office. If this scenario angers you, don’t blame CL, blame these male execs and companies who are shortchanging women! CL portrayed this in a real and eye-opening way. It should make you mad enough for action against the oppressive system, not CL for showing it.

Overall
This is a great story. It’s very much on the Women’s Fiction/chick-lit side of CL’s romance spectrum but still has a great couple dynamic. I haven’t thought about a movie cast for this one, but it could do well as a Netflix Romcom.

If you’ve read this one, what do you think about the movie cast? Comment below.

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