GUEST POST ~ Saved by the Bear by Holly Day #GuestPost #Excerpt

✨ Guest Post ✨

Hello, everyone! Thank you, Addison, for allowing me to steal a spot on the blog again. I’m Holly Day, and every month, going on 28 months straight now, I’ve released a story to celebrate a certain holiday. Not your normal holidays, but those you wonder why they exist at all.

This month, we’re celebrating Tell A Story Day 🥳 (April 27th), and to do it, I wrote Saved by the Bear.

Storytelling is of great importance. It helps us understand things and helps us remember and learn. Studies have shown people who read are more empathic than those who don’t because we feel with the characters and develop our empathic ability. And you know how they say a reader lives a thousand lives? I think that’s true. We might not leave the couch, but we’re seeing worlds, and our hearts connect with people. They might not be real people, but I hardly think it matters.

In Saved by the Bear Frode inherits a book with Will Tell Your Story written on the cover from his uncle. He has no idea what to do with it and thinks it’s a little creepy. When he’s back in his apartment, he opens the book and laughs at himself. It’s filled with blank pages. A diary. Of course, it’s a diary. It makes perfect sense. If you write in it, it will tell you your story. He can’t for the life of him understand why his uncle would want him to have an unwritten diary, though.

Then a sentence appears.

The book tells Frode’s story. It starts at the beginning and takes him through his childhood, his teens, and into adult life. Towards the end of the book, they’re catching up to where he’s at now, and he believes that’s where it’ll end, but nope. The book continues, but the end of the book is the end of his life, and they’re almost there.

He stays up all night and reads what will happen, and when he sees his death, he panics. Understandably so. I expect most of us would if we found a magic book that predicted our death.

In an attempt to change his fate, he knocks at his neighbour’s door.

This isn’t a long story, only 15k, and it’s told from Frode’s perspective. Normally, I do a double POV, but not this time. I don’t like only doing one POV, I always feel like I’m leaving out half the story, and it’s the same when I read. I prefer books with double POV, preferably in third person. Some of my favourite books are in first person, single POV, so it’s not that I don’t read them, but it’s happened a zillion times when I don’t know what I’m gonna read that I open a book, see that it’s written in first person, and pick another.

We all have our preferred formats, I guess, and I’m in awe of those authors who write first-person well because I feel trapped when I attempt it. And sometimes that’s what a story needs, but 95% of everything I write is a third-person double POV. But not this one!

So magic books, bear shifters – oh, I didn’t mention that, did I? Imre, the neighbour, is a shifter. Frode doesn’t have a clue, and even when the book shows him, he doesn’t believe it. And there aren’t many calm moments. There can’t be when you’re trying to save your life.

Saved by the Bear by Holly Day

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?

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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?

The swooping feeling had him momentarily closing his eyes before he focused on the page. It showed him calling Mrs. Lewis. As he did, the corners of the living room turned darker. Frode swallowed. Had it been the wrong decision? He hadn’t slept all night. Would he survive a day at work without falling asleep at his desk?

Since he’d been awake when Hye came to speak to him, he guessed so.

He watched himself take the book and the keys to the cabin and jog down the stairs. Imre wasn’t waiting by the door, and considering he had left earlier than normal, perhaps he was in the shower or eating breakfast. Frode wished the book would show Imre in the shower.

He shook himself. He did not need to see Imre in the shower. Last he checked, he wasn’t a Peeping Tom, and he’d had enough of men for a lifetime. A lifetime that sadly only looked to be about two pages. It couldn’t be. He couldn’t die.

His knuckles turned white as he tightened his hold on the book. He watched himself rush out of the building, jump into his car, and the page turned. Frode gasped. No!

He was on the last page. His heart was beating so fast it hurt, and he was shaking. Would the book show his death?

Focusing again, he watched himself turn the key in the ignition and put the car in reverse. As he backed out of the parking lot, a car came toward him at a rapid speed. Frode shouted, but as the car didn’t slow down, the crash was inevitable.

Everything went black, and he sat on the couch hyperventilating. Was it over? Had he died? He flew off the couch, pushed the book into the box, which still held the keys and the papers to the cabin, and hurried out of the apartment.

He rushed down the stairs, winced when he reached the spot where he’d break his leg, and almost ran into Imre’s door in his haste to reach it. He raised a shaking hand and knocked.

It didn’t take many seconds before Imre yanked the door open. His hair stood on end and there were sleep lines on his cheek.


“Hi, sorry to be neurotic and all, but could you keep this box in your apartment today?”

Imre blinked, but a smile crept onto his lips. “Keep the box?”

“Yeah… I have a bad feeling.”

The air around Imre changed, and Frode almost believed he’d grow the way he had in the book.

“A bad feeling?”

 “I called in sick because I haven’t slept all night—” Imre’s eyes softened. “—but I think I have to go.” He’d go, and he’d listen to Hye, but he wouldn’t rush home the way he’d done in the first scenario. He’d stay in the office and not be hit by cars or be pushed down stairs.

He hugged the box to his chest and wanted to open the book to see if it was the right decision.

“And?” Imre gave him a confused look. Understandable since he’d been quiet for several seconds.

“And I was called to an attorney yesterday. In this box, there’s a book, some papers about a cabin, and keys. I’ve inherited it from Dad’s uncle, but I think… This is gonna sound insane, but I think someone will come looking for this box.”

Imre watched him with narrowed eyes. “You’re afraid your ex will find out and try to take it from you?”

Dario? He couldn’t have anything to do with this, could he? “Or someone else. And I know I’m putting you in an awkward situation, but I don’t think anyone would come to you to look for the book.”

“The book?”

“That’s in the box.” Frode grimaced. Was he painting a target on Imre’s back by asking this of him? Fuck.

“And it’s the book they want, not the keys to the cabin?”

“It’s the book.”

Imre nodded slowly. “And it’s what? A first edition of a Shakespeare play or something?”

“No, it’s not a fiction book or a play.”

Silence spread again, then Imre shrugged. “Okay, I’ll put it in my socks drawer.”

Frode blew out a breath. “Thank you.”

Imre shook his head but looked amused. “You’ll come for it after work?”

“Sure. When do you get off?”

Heat flared in Imre’s eyes. “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

He grinned. “I get off at five, but it’ll take some time before I’m home. I’m working in Draymoor today.”

Frode’s heart stuttered. “Draymoor? The cabin is in Draymoor.”

“Draymoor is big, and it’s mostly forest.”

“What are you doing there, then?” It came out more accusingly than Frode had meant to.

Imre stared. “I work in forestry. Clearing and planting and so on, and, as I said, Draymoor is big. I’ll be working there a lot in the coming year.”

“Oh… I have no idea what shape the cabin’s in, but if you want to sleep there instead of driving back and forth.” Heat climbed Frode’s cheeks. They’d hardly spoken, and here he was offering a cabin he’d never seen. “It’s a long drive, I mean.”

The way Imre smiled had his heart flutter for different reasons than it had all night. Damn him.

“I have to go!” He whirled around before he said something else stupid, only to wince as he once again came face to face with the spot where he’d break his leg.

Imre chuckled behind him, and Frode sighed. Way to make an impression. He didn’t want to make an impression, but crap.

About Holly Day

According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.

Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.

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