Welcome to my feelgood world!
I write feelgood novels about love, friendship – and about making dreams come true. The characters are often strong women with a good sense of humour, looking for something new to happen in their lives. The setting is always the beautiful Swedish countryside.
I was born and raised on a small farm in Roslagen, 90 kilometres north of Stockholm, and moved back a few years ago with my husband. The cows are long gone – but we have Putte the Cat, a ferocious hunter who tirelessly patrols the fields and ditches for voles and mice. And we still own a few acres of land and all the barns, painted traditional Falurödfärg red, are still standing.
And as I write a new chapter of my next book, and of my life, I look out the window and see the lake where I used to row and fish and swim when I was a child.
That makes me feel good.
Here is a presentation of my books.
The cosy Anna Lisa series (five books).
And the four novels that I describe as “feelgood with depth”.
The Anna Lisa series
Part 1. A Summer on the Road (En sommar på luffen)
Shortly before her 30th birthday Anna-Lisa Johansson breaks up from her boyfriend of seven years. She´s had it with his slick careerist style.
She is also dead tired of her dull office job.
Anna-Lisa´s dream is to open a shop, selling 50´s furniture, pottery and fabrics. But the rent for even the tiniest store space in Stockholm is impossible.
Then Anna-Lisa stumbles across a novel about a poor man in the early 1900´s who lost his job and in order to survive became a tramp.
She is fascinated by the story. His life on the roads was hard. But there were adventures, too.
Slowly a plan forms in her head.
She decides to spend the summer on the road. She wants to find out if it is still possible get a meal and shelter for the night in exchange for helping people with menial tasks. She could mow grass or paint a fence.
Alone on the roads, there would be time to think about the future. And hopefully figure out how to make that shop dream come true.
At the end of the summer Anna-Lisa has walked many, many miles. She has stayed in cosy red cottages and slept under the stars. She has met good people, bad people. Even dangerous people.
And she has met Ralf.
The guy with a 50´s Chevy pick-up truck, cowboy boots and golden brown eyes. He gives her a lift on a hot day. He laughs at her hobo project. And flirts endlessly.
Anna-Lisa finds him terribly annoying.
But when he saves her from being attacked by two men, on a dark road on Midsummer´s Eve, she falls in love.
Part 2. Anna-Lisa´s Antiques (Anna-Lisas Antik)
31 year old Anna-Lisa Johansson´s dream has come true. She left her dull office job in Stockholm to open an antiques shop in the idyllic village of Söderberga.
The young dealer of mid-century modern furniture and 50´s cool stuff is living life to its full. She loves her work. And she soon makes friends with the villagers.
There are Marianne and Birger, hard-working and good-hearted farmers. Lillan, the fun-loving hairdresser who is pushing 70 but refuses to stop working. And Johnny, the mechanic with the looks of a film star.
They all turn up at Anna-Lisa´s Antiques in the afternoon, to have 3 o´clock coffee and home-baked goodies. Village life is sweet.
But dark clouds are building up at the horizon.
Burglars raid antique shops in the area. And one morning Anna-Lisa discovers that all the finest faience vases in her shop have been stolen. It is a major economical setback.
To makes things even worse another mid-century modern shop opens, at nearby castle Solstaholm Hall. The proprietor Veronica Lander does everything she can to steal Anna-Lisa´s customers. But – there is also Veronica´s fiancée, count Rutger Scheede, wo turns out to be a completely different kind of person.Anna-Lisa and Rutger meet at auctions and flea markets. Slowly they fall in love.
Part 3. The Country Store Girls (Flickorna i speceriaffären)
Young shop owner Anna-Lisa operates a successful antiques business in a former general store in the rural village of Söderberga. Every afternoon she puts coffee and cookies on the table in the middle of the shop. The villagers who have become her friends gather for the 3 o´clock coffee.
One day an old lady shows up at the 3 o´clock coffee. Britta is 95 years old and used to work in the shop when she was a girl. She is curious of the young woman who now owns it, for more than one reason.
The two women becomes friends. But Britta never reveals her big secret that links hers and Anna-Lisa´s lives together.
When Britta passes away she leaves Anna-Lisa an old chest full of diaries, and also ten letters. Britta has written the letters for her young friend. They take Anna-Lisa on a journey through the 1900´s and a secret love story that stretches over 60 years.
Part 4. Anna-Lisa´s Choice (Anna-Lisas val)
Anna-Lisa is engaged to count Rutger Scheede. Her antiques shop in the idyllic village of Söderberga is a growing success. She and her neighbour friends have 3 o´clock coffee in the shop almost every day.
One day an auctioneer calls. He would like to hire her to work some of the outdoor summer auctions. Anna-Lisa simply loves those auctions with their mix of antique farmhouse furniture and 50´s lamps. But she is not sure if she really is capable of that job.
But after conferring with the 3 o´clock coffee gang and getting a lot of pep talk Anna-Lisa decides she should try.
Dressed in a beautiful 50´s dress and bickering with the auction crowd Anna-Lisa is a success.
Then an auction firm on island Åland (Finnish island, but Swedish speaking) calls. Would she be interested in working at one of their auctions? Anna-Lisa hesistates.
Åland, that is where Ralf grew up. Ralf is the man she met on her summer on the road and with whom she fell deeply in love.
Ralf and Anna-Lisa only had a week together, but he will forever have a place in her heart.
But what are the chances that he would be on his childhood island now?
And Anna-Lisa is engaged to be married. She would never fall for Ralf again …?
Part 5. Farewell, Söderberga (Farväl, Söderberga)
Nine years have passed since adventurous Anna-Lisa spent a summer on the road.
That was how she found the Söderberga village and the old general store that became her antiques shop. And that is where she met count Rutger Scheede, now her husband of five years.
Rutger and Anna-Lisa are parents to a girl and a boy.
The Solstaholm castle was destroyed in a fire. The family now live in a newbuilt white mansion with the ruin as a dramatic back-drop.
But the wind of change is blowing. Now, the mere existence of Söderberga is threatened. The authorities have found out that the village name Söderberga was unduly claimed in the 1930´s. The correct name is something completely different, a silly name that the villagers don´t even want to utter.
And new neighbours move to the village. One of them is all too familiar.
It is Ralf, again. Ralf, with whom Anna-Lisa had a passionate love affair during her summer on the road. And who turned up six years ago and almost made Anna-Lisa break up with Rutger.
Although her whole life with Rutger is at stake Anna-Lisa can´t help seeing Ralf. The two ex-lovers spend hot summer nights on Anna-Lisa´s porch.
Just as friends. Just talking. But passion is there too, burning under the surface.
The Letters on the Library Bus (Bokbussen)
Runner-up in Book of the year 2020 and Storytel Awards finalist.
At first sight farmer´s wife Malin seems to have it all.
But she misses her dairy cows, sold a couple of years ago. And passion left her marriage long before that. Her husband Anders seems content, leaving every morning to his job on a forest machine. But Malin is lonely and lost and longs for someone to confide in.
The best part of the whole week is Wednesday afternoon.
That is when the library bus makes a stop in their village. Malin always picks up a new bunch of books. They are her escape from reality.Civil servant Erik is starting a new life in the countryside. He recently moved from Stockholm to the village of Söderbegra, where he rents an old cottage.
He enjoys the sweet country life – which includes a library bus stopping close to his new home.
One day a piece of paper falls out from a novel. The handwritten words about loss and longing moves him and makes him curious.
Who is the woman who wrote this?
Erik leaves a letter for her at the library bus. He tells her he has been in the same place in life. He asks her if she would write back to him.
Something makes her say yes. But on one condition: they mustn´t reveal their identities.
An anonymous correspondence begins. Malin and Erik hide their letters under a shelf in the library bus, to be left and picked up when the librarian and the bus driver are busy.
And as they begin to confide in each other and share their mutual love of nature, feelings start to grow between the two. To Malin it feels like a window is opened in what she has started to think of as her prison. Now the library bus Wednesdays becomes even more of an escape from her real life.
The Matchmaker Cat (Sommaren då katten flyttade)
Two years have passed since the morning Malin left him.
Bur Anders is far from over her. He is miserable and lonely. He used to love his work as a forest machine operator. And he works longer hours than ever. But there is no joy, it is just a way to get away from home which is empty and lonely without her.
Malin was the love of his life.
Anders´ only company is his furry red friend. At least The Cat is there to greet him when he comes home in the evenings.
But now The Cat has been missing for a week.
Did he too get tired of being with Anders – and has wandered off to find himself a new home?A year has passed since the evening when Christian told Nilla that he wanted a divorce.
Nilla has been miserable and lonely. Christian was the love of her life
But this morning the ache is suddenly gone.
Maybe moving to an old house in the countryside with a garden in great need of loving care has done the trick?
And today she is going to the cat shelter to pick a kitten.
She opens the door to have her morning coffee outside.
Then she realises someone is waiting for her on the stairs.
A beautiful red cat.
The Renovation (Reoveringsobjektet)
Susanne has left a loveless marriage. And also the Stockholm architectural firm where she has worked, in order to freelance.
When she is being offered a prestigious assignment remodelling an old shoe factory into an upscale conference centre it seems the perfect chance to start over.
But after a while the clients present their plans not only for the old factory but for the whole village. They are going to tear down every house along the old street. The tenants of the shabby old houses are people who can´t afford anything else.
Susanne has moved into a former grocery store while she is checking out the factory.
And she has already made friends with her new neighbours.
The whole project is starting to feel morally impossible.
Two of her new friends are Ingegerd and Conny. She is an old lady who has lived in the factory village her whole life and often invites Susanne in for coffee and sponge cake. He is a caretaker and owns the house with the old gas station, and a good friend of Ingegerd´s.
Conny is fifteen years younger than Suaanne but he makes her laugh more than she has laughed in a very long time.
The Wishlist (En bättre människa)
Kicki leads a happy life as the new hair dresser of rural village Söderberga.
Her house has a neon sign, a retro style hair dressing salon and a pink walk-in-closet.
Kicki has been a singleton her whole life. She loves men and often falls in love. Until her latest love starts talking about living together. Then she breaks up.
Because Kicki loves her way of life and she is never going to give up her freedom.
When she – again – chooses a weekend with her friends over going to see her mother, her mother tells her she is egoistic.
“One day it will be too late”, she warns Kicki.
Only days later her mother unexpectedly passes away, without Kicki having a chance to say goodbye.
Guilt and sorrow is torturing Kicki. She makes a decision. She must try to be a better person.
On the invitation cards for her 50th birthday she writes a wish list:
A bottle if really good Italian wine.
A suggestion of what to do to become a better person.
She gets a lot of nice suggestions. Join the local Red Cross. Go into local politics. Give a homeless person a haircut.
She starts on her assignment right away.
And in order to focus she won´t allow herself dating until she really has become a better person.
Then excavator operator Nick asks her if he can rent her spare room for a couple of months …
Would you like to know more about my novels?
Please send me an email: eliahman (at) gmail.com