Hi! Thank you, Addison, for allowing us to drop by!
Did you miss World Naked Gardening Day back in May? Worry not! Take off your clothes and get out there. Better late than never.
Just kidding. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, snuggle up on the couch or in an easy chair, put on fluffy socks, grab a hot drink and your favourite reading device because now there’s a box set.
We’re five authors – Holly Day, Nell Iris, A.L. Lester, K.L. Noone, and Amy Spector – who have written a novella each to celebrate World Naked Gardening Day. The amount of gardening varies in the stories, but at some point, there will be someone naked in a garden.
The stories aren’t linked in any way other than someone being naked somehow at some point in a garden close to you 😁
Below you’ll find the opening paragraphs of the five stories.
Perfect Rows by Holly Day
Grayson Dawe walked through the garden. The spring night was cool, and the scent of lilacs clung to the air. His shoulders ached from a long day at work, and he was sweaty and had paint in his hair since he’d forgotten to put his cap back on after the breakfast break. The beer he and Ryan, his best friend and colleague, had grabbed after work had turned into three, and now it was getting dark.
He crouched to look at the plants in the raised bed. He had great plans for the garden this year. His goal was to not have to buy any vegetables at all from May to…he hoped September, but time would tell. He still had a lot to learn, and he had to share with Camden.
Strike a Pose by Nell Iris
I should have never let Filip talk me into this project!
Yes, I want to help my best friend commemorate the fifth anniversary of his beloved father’s death. Yes, I’d do anything for said best friend. Yes, I love spending time with Filip’s other dad, Johan. And yes, I was flattered when Filip called me and told me about the photo calendar and how he and Johan needed “the best photographer in the world” to do the project justice.
Filip knows me too well. He knows which buttons to push to get me to agree to whatever he wants; he knows flattery is my Achilles’ heel. So of course, I said yes when he asked me to be a part of this year’s charity project in honor of his father.
How could I have known that said photo calendar was going to feature naked pictures of Johan?
The Hermit of Aldershill Manor by K.L. Noone
Charlie Ash should have expected rain, on an English countryside afternoon. Unfortunately, he hadn’t thought about it.
As usual, he thought rather helplessly: exactly the way his life seemed to be going lately, the way he kept not seeing things, not realizing, until they snuck up and hit him on the head with thunderstorm force.
Like Aaron leaving. Like the finality of a closed door, an emptied closet.
Or like large fat raindrops, here on a soggy garden path, a good two miles from the spires and crenellations of the historic Aldershill Manor.
He’d gone for a walk because he’d arrived early, tossed his luggage into his assigned scholarly guest room in the east wing, texted his parents that, yes, he’d made it across the Atlantic safely, and then immediately wanted to explore. The skies hadn’t opened up yet, and rolling green grass and tall ancient trees and herb-scented kitchen gardens and a winding silver ribbon of stream had all tempted him. Statues, marble and granite, arched in classical curves and twists. He’d heard there was a lily-pond, the subject of multiple paintings over the centuries.
Warning! Deep Water by A.L. Lester
George wrote the final cheque, put it in its envelope, and wrote the address on it, threw it in the stack to be posted, and pushed the pile of paperwork away with a sigh. There, that was it. The month’s bills paid. And a bit left in the bank. A good month, then, especially after such a long, hard, winter.
He rubbed his hands up over his face and into his hair, easing the tension out of his forehead by pulling at it. It needed cutting. He’d ask Mrs Leland to do it for him when she came back in the morning. For now though, he’d been inside all day…it was time for a walk round the place, check that the vents and doors on the greenhouses were closed, and stretch his legs.
“Come on, Polly,” he said to the dog stretched out in front of the Rayburn as he stood up. “On your feet!”
She raised her head and looked at him enquiringly, not sure whether he was really going out and not just moving round the kitchen to put the kettle on.
The Death of Digby Catch by Amy Spector
The rain had slowed the procession of cars winding their way to the gravesite to a mournful crawl. It was fitting. Not only because it was a funeral, but because the weather was as overly dramatic as Digby Catch had always been.
If August’s uncle could have ordered up the weather for his big day, rain would have definitely been at the top of his list, and Digby would have been looking down, thrilled at the picture-perfect scene of his mourners soaked to the skin.
Not that August was the type to kid himself. There was nothing after this life. And even if there was, there was no chance his uncle was in heaven.
The car ahead of him—something expensive with dark windows—pulled off to the side of the path, and August did the same, throwing his rental car into park and unfolding himself from the front seat.
A few dozen yards away, a small crowd had already gathered under the green awning set up to shield the casket. An unlucky few, those spilling out into the elements, were prepared for the weather, and held umbrellas or wore wide-brimmed hats.
August didn’t have an umbrella. Or a hat. He considered himself lucky to have had a pair of black pants and a black button-up in his carry-on when he’d gotten the call.
Celebrate World Naked Gardening Day with five gay romance novellas!
The Naked Gardening Day stories are a collaboration between Holly Day, Nell Iris, A.L. Lester, K.L. Noone, and Amy Spector. They comprise five MM romance novellas featuring being naked in a garden somehow, somewhere, to mark World Naked Gardening Day on the first Saturday of May.
Contains the stories:
Perfect Rows by Holly Day: Everything would’ve been perfect if Grayson hadn’t been forced to share his garden with Cam. Grayson wants to grow vegetables, and he has a plan for how to do it. Cam loves flowers in perfect rows, but Grayson is incapable of growing things in lines. Most days end in conflict, at least until Grayson realizes he can shut Cam up by kissing him. But will they ever be able to agree about the garden?
Strike a Pose by Nell Iris: Didrik would do anything for his BFF Filip, including taking naked pictures for a charity calendar of his dad Johan, the stunning man responsible for Didrik’s gay awakening. Now a widower, Johan is ready to move on. As they start the project, the attraction between them grows. Their connection is easy, but not without challenges. Will they get their happily ever after?
The Death of Digby Catch by Amy Spector: When August Catch arrives at the Arachne’s Loom estate to collect his late Uncle Digby’s things, he is thrown together with Theo Webb, the heir to the Webb family fortune. The attraction is instant. When Theo begins to suspect Digby may have been murdered, he and August will need to work together to discover the killer, and not let the thing growing between them be a distraction.
The Hermit of Aldershill Manor by K.L. Noone: Charlie’s ready to start a new job and life at Aldershill Manor. As a historian, he’s thrilled to dive into the archives. And he can run from a messy break-up. And explore lovely gardens, too. Lionel does not like tourists, conversations, or social niceties. But he loves his job: helping beauty grow. When he finds the new historian caught in a storm, he offers shelter, which might bloom into more.
Warning! Deep Water by A.L. Lester: Spring 1947. England has just come through the worst winter in living memory. Peter’s been drifting since he left the army a year ago. George is lonely, despite the busy horticultural nursery he owns. Peter’s decision to take a swim in the irrigation tank presents them both with the chance to reach out and help each other. Can two misfits find a way to fit together with someone after all?