MälarQueers is a series of stand-alone short works about young queers living in and around Stockholm, Sweden. Stories about happy things, sad things, nerdy things. Stories about special days and normal days. Some are romances, others aren’t.
The name MälarQueers come from the phrase “Mälarens Drottning” (Queen of lake Mälaren), which is a nickname for Stockholm. There are currently four published stories in the series, and one languishing on my to-do list but scheduled for publication later this year.
Rising to the occasion
Sometimes facing old enemies means making new friends.
Freelancer Clara isn’t exactly feeling like hot stuff: bills are mounting, clients are scarce and her social circle has been steadily shrinking since her high school graduation. She’s desperate for a win, so when it turns out her six-year-old niece is supposed to bring saffron buns to school for St. Lucia’s Day, Clara wants nothing more than to make them from scratch. That is, until she remembers that the task involves coming face to face with her old nemesis—yeast.
Luckily for Clara, her very cool downstairs neighbor happens to be a baking fiend. If she can put her pride and social reserve aside for long enough, she might be able to save the buns along with her self-confidence. She might even make a new friend in the process…
Rising to the Occasion is a queer, New Adult, contemporary novelette about self-esteem, anxiety and friendship. It is set in Stockholm, Sweden and is about 8,000 words long.
Christmas Red Alert
When change feels like a crisis, how do you give ‘new’ a chance?
Polyamorous Agnes is only conservative about two things—the design of Star Trek uniforms (which should not have changed after the TNG era, pre-movies) and how to spend Christmas. But things change, kids turn into adults, and suddenly most of her blood family has decided to be someplace else for the holidays.
When her nesting partner Amir decides this’ll be a great opportunity to start making their own Christmas traditions with their newly formed polycule, Agnes does her best to get in the spirit of things. But when her best friend-turned-girlfriend pours sarcasm over every speck of holiday cheer, it’s all just a little much for Agnes. Can she wrangle things into place for a cozy but unconventional Christmas, or will it all come crashing down?
Christmas Red Alert is a queer, New Adult, contemporary romance novelette about tradition, change and adjusting to new normals. It is set in Stockholm, Sweden and is about 15,000 words long.
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Keep the Gender Receipt
Some comings-out involve changing rooms, not closets.
The days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve are heaven and hell for Marie-Louise. On one hand, it means three days of quiet to read and eat leftovers. On the other hand—braving the horrors of the post-Christmas sales to exchange the plethora of femme gear her family gifted her for a new, butch look. She’d love a new name to go along with it, but she doesn’t expect to find that in a store.
Then again, she also doesn’t expect to find the nerdy girl of her dreams in the check-out line at H&M…
Keep the Gender Receipt is a queer, Young Adult, contemporary romance novelette about gender, dapperness and tabletop rpgs. It is set in Stockholm, Sweden and is about 12,500 words long.
Ring In, Ring Out
Moving on isn’t always a straight march.
8 months single, non-binary Robin is pretty sure he’s over his ex-girlfriend. He’s survived their anniversary, both their birthdays, Easter, Midsummer and Halloween on his own. He thought Christmas would be hard, but it was a breeze. No bickering about whose family to spend it with, no being guilt-tripped into spending way too much on gifts. Overall, a marked improvement.
Ready to walk into the new year with pep in his step and reinvigorate his social life, Robin prepares for a New Year’s Eve house party. What he isn’t prepared for is his anxiety ramping up as the party draws near…
Ring In, Ring Out is a queer, New Adult, contemporary novelette about anxiety, music and moving on. It is set in Stockholm, Sweden and is about 7,500 words long.
Pine Needles and Fireworks
What would you be willing to sweep under the rug in order to impress your crush?
Linn really wants her new roommates to like her. So when Dajana, the resident Mom Friend and Plant Parent, asks her to take care of the houseplants—including the Christmas tree—while everyone else goes back to their families over the holidays, Linn is quick to agree. Being alone in their shared apartment for the first time starts out well, but as the text message flirting between Linn and Dajana increases, so does the quantity of needles Linn finds under the tree every morning.
Not wanting to admit she screwed up something as simple as watering a tree, Linn sweeps up the needles and hopes no one will notice. But as the St. Knut’s Day party to throw out the tree approaches, the little lie starts to feel bigger. And as for trying not to fall in love with her roommate… well, that ship has definitely sailed.
Pine Needles and Fireworks is a queer, New Adult, contemporary romance novelette about houseplants, independence and responsibility. It is set in Stockholm, Sweden and is about 17,500 words long.