Christer is too old to believe in fairy tales. He’s not the kind of guy to pick the proverbial seven flowers on Midsummer’s Eve so he can dream of who he will marry, and he certainly isn’t the type to fall for someone he’s just met. Especially not a womanizing blogger named Henrik.
Besides, Christer’s previous marriage didn’t end with a happily ever after. Therefore he has no interest in gifting his heart to someone who lives five hundred miles away and probably isn’t even gay. His family is right: it’s time he grew up and stopped dreaming.
But Midsummer’s Eve in Sweden is a magical night, and Henrik won’t stop flirting. As the midnight sun shines down on the misty woods, maybe there’s room for one last dream.
Guest post with Author Ingela Bohm
Midsummer Night’s Dream
Midsummer is a huge deal in Sweden, second only to Christmas (and for some, not even that). If you don’t celebrate it, you’re viewed as kind of odd, and people probably feel sorry for you. It’s kind of mandatory to do something.
Christer, the narrator of my new novella The Seventh Flower, spends his Midsummer’s Eve the usual way: at the family cabin in the middle of the woods. Not that he’s so very keen this year, because he’s still moping about his failed marriage – sort of. He’s not depressed or anything, just… resigned. His illusions are dashed, and spending time with his family won’t make him feel better. In fact it will probably have the opposite effect, but cancelling will bring more problems than suffering through it, so he goes.
And good thing he does, because he’s about to meet the love of his life.
It’s just… there’s a problem. Henrik, a colleague of Christer’s brother and this year’s pity invite, isn’t entirely unknown. Christer has been crushing on him for the better part of a year, while Henrik doesn’t even know who Christer is. It’s a recipe for awkwardness, and boy does Christer do awkwardness well. He’s a master.
But it’s Midsummer’s Eve, and the air is filled with magic. As soon as dinner is over and done with, Christer finds a way to lure Henrik away from the other guests and into the woods. This is where he feels most at home. He loves the bright summer nights out here in the middle of nowhere, where mosquitoes whine and the mist dances on the water.
This is where he can be himself, and even though he’s shy with Henrik, Christer finds himself opening up. He tells Henrik about the history of the place, about the old club house that’s falling to pieces, about the forest industry that once thrived in this abandoned village, about his grandparents’ hard life. He never talks like this with anyone, but somehow Henrik makes it so easy to let the words flow. Almost as if he actually finds Christer’s stories interesting.
They stay for hours out in the woods, and Christer just can’t stop talking. It’s as if there’s something in the air – something not quite real. The sun only sets for a couple of hours, and in the golden afterglow Christer’s silly crush grows into something more. Something he really shouldn’t give in to – because Henrik lives too far away, and the whole thing is doomed from the start.
Or is it?
Find out in The Seventh Flower, on sale from February 8.
Ingela Bohm lives in an old cinema, tucked away in a northern Swedish forest where she can wander around all day long and dictate her books. She used to dream of being an actor until an actual actor asked, “Do you really need to do it?” That’s when she realized that the only thing she really needed to do was to write. She has since pretended to be a dietician, a teacher, a receptionist and a cook, but only to conceal her real identity.
Her first imaginary friend was called Grabolina and lived in her closet. Nowadays she has too many imaginary friends to count, but at least some of them are out of the closet. Her men may not be conventionally handsome, but they can charm your pants off, and that’s all that matters.
Ingela’s more useless talents include reading tarot cards, killing pot plants and drawing scandalous pictures that no one gets to see. She can’t walk in heels and she’s stopped trying, but she has cycled 12 000 miles in the UK and knows which campsites to avoid if you don’t like spiders. If you see her on the train you will wonder what age she is.
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Books by Ingela Bohm
The Pax Cymrica series:
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