Holiday Spotlight 2016 – John Amory

John Amory

A Christmas Caroler by John AmoryTitle: A Christmas Caroler
Author: John Amory
Publisher: Prizm
Publishing date: December 3, 2013
Format: ebook
Genre:  LGBT, Holidays, Romance
Length:  34 pages
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Summary:  Jeremy Walsh is a high school senior who’s got big plans for his future — namely, to perform at Carnegie Hall. But before he can get there, he needs to secure the solo in his renowned high school choir’s Christmas concert and get into college. Everything seems to be on track until a cute new student, Zach Brooks, shows up and ruins all of Jeremy’s plans by snatching the solo out from under him. With his college auditions looming and the Christmas concert fast approaching, Jeremy has more on his plate than he can handle. Can the magic of the Christmas season bring Jeremy and Zach together?

Holiday Spotlight 2016 – Astrid Amara

Astrid Amara

Crash Plus Expenses by Astrid AmaraTitle: Crash Plus Expenses  ( Not holiday but the sequel is. )
Author: Astrid Amara
Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Publication date: November 2, 2015
Genre: LGBT Romance
Length: 94 pages
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Summary:  Dan Lewinski would follow his subject Connor Katz to the ends of the earth. It’s what he’s paid to do. Apparently this also includes following his subject Connor Katz as they plummet to earth, because their plane is going down. And Dan likes living so that’s a problem.
It’s also a problem because he knows there’s a secret behind Connor Katz’s past, a reason the man’s sister is paying beaucoup bucks to have him followed, a reason Connor appears so quiet on the outside, yet seems lit like a fire from within. Dan needs to know Connor’s secret.

But if they survive the crash, how on earth can Dan get to know the mysteries of a man he’s been in love with from afar without admitting he’s a private eye who’s watched his every move?

aa_hanukkahonretainerTitle: Hanukkah On Retainer
Author: Astrid Amara
Publisher: Loose Id
Expected Publication date:  November 30, 2015
Genre: Holiday, LGBT
Length: 91 pages
Loose Id logo

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Summary:
Ever since their plane went down in the Alaskan wilderness and they survived the crash, starvation, and a bear attack, Dan Lewinski and Connor Katz have been inseparable. Now they’re preparing for their first Hanukkah together. Connor is finally hoping for some normalcy in his life. And things between them are good. Really good.

In fact the only conflict between them is the evidence Connor stole from the cult of the Conscripted Army of God. Dan wants Connor to testify and use the documents to bring down the cult before it shatters any more lives. Connor wants to put the past in the past and not embroil himself in the cult’s business any more than he already has.

But then Connor’s little sister Kyrie shows up on the first night of Hanukkah. She’s finished her de-programming and wants to get closer to Connor, despite the fact that she still has ties to the cult, especially her boyfriend. But when the cult that made Connor’s young life a nightmare lures Kyrie back, he has no choice but to fight with everything he’s got.

Bellskis Series – Hanukkah storyline.
Carol of the Bellskis Astrid AmaraTitle:  Carol of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #1)
Series: Holidays with the Bellskis
Author: Astrid Amara
Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Publication Date: December 15, 2009
Genre: LGBT Mystery/Suspense
Length: 115 pages
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Summary:  Paralegal Seth Bellski is tired of being the secret lover of his boss, Lars Varga, founding partner of Finch & Varga Law. So when he asks Lars to spend Hanukkah with Seth’s family at their kosher B and B in Whistler, B.C., and Lars refuses, Seth realizes he will never get his self-conscious boss out of the closet.

So Seth prepares to spend his Hanukkah holiday alone in the B and B. Instead he finds himself running the place, as his aunt and uncle are missing, and seven demanding, peculiar, and danger-prone guests have arrived. To make matters worse, Lars shows up, begging forgiveness. Lars’s touches remind Seth of why he put up with his boss’s behavior in the first place. If only the words that came out of that beautiful mouth were as sweet as his kisses.

But how can Seth find time to fix his broken relationship when the guests are demanding kosher, gluten-free diets, losing their pet terriers, and hitting their heads on the ice? Seth and Lars find themselves put through the paces of being a married couple, all while still broken up. But then again, if they can survive this Hanukah, maybe they’ll be singing a carol of the Bellskis.

Miracle of the Bellskis Astrid AmaraTitle:  Miracle of the Bellskis (Bellskis #2)
Series: Holidays with the Bellskis
Author: Astrid Amara
Publication Date: December 13, 2011
Genre: LGBT Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense

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Summary:
Too much family…too little Egg Nog.

It’s been three years since Seth Bellski forced his boyfriend and ex-boss Lars Varga out of the closet. Since then, Seth has passed the bar and become an attorney, and Lars has started his own firm. Their sex life has gotten steamier, and everything seems perfect between them. Until the holidays arrive.

It’s bad enough that Seth’s mother and father want them over every single night of Hanukkah. And that Lars’s less-than-tolerant parents are sleeping in the room next door for the duration of Christmas, putting the kibosh on their kink. They also end up as the attorneys representing opposing sides in a divorce case, one which quickly proves to be much more than it seems.

Amidst Hanukkah candles, Christmas lights, burned dinners and delayed court appointments, Lars and Seth’s relationship is going to need a miracle to survive the ultimate holiday challenge of too much family.

Sweet and Sour Astrid AmaraTitle:  Sweet and Sour
Author: Astrid Amara
Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Publication Date: November 25, 2013
Genre: Gay Fiction, romance
Length: 134 pages
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Summary: Miles thought he and Itai would make a great team, despite the infidelities haunting their past. After all, Itai is smoking hot, they’re both driven entrepreneurs, and they love each other. What else did a person need? Well, a lot more, apparently, because not only are they no longer passionate, they don’t even share the same passions. Like people, affections change, but Miles wonders if a relationship this broken is truly worth repairing.

Itai’s business launch with his ex-boyfriend isn’t helping. And Miles himself has a new business to grow over a busy few weeks where Thanksgiving and Hanukkah collide to form either the best holiday season ever, or a kosher caterer’s worst nightmare. But help comes in the unexpected, ruggedly handsome form of Detective Dominic Delbene, a pickle aficionado with his own ghosts, who stakes out the deli to capture a dangerous drug dealer.

As Hanukkah’s eight days and Miles and Itai’s relationship comes to an end, Miles discovers that Nic is not only good with pickling; he’s good at everything.

Holiday Outing Astrid AmaraTitle:  Holiday Outing
Author: Astrid Amara
Publisher: Loos ID, LLC
Publication Date: December 23, 2008
Genre: LGBT Romantic Suspense
Length: 127 pages

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Summary:
It’s been years since Jonah Levinson has seen his parents. But now he is going to spend Hanukkah with them in order to finally tell them the truth: not only is he gay, but he is a successful author of gay novels and not the struggling (and straight) writer they imagine him to be.

The holiday starts poorly. A record blizzard delays his flight. The snowstorm locks him and his loud, argumentative relatives in the house. The power fails. And, worst of all, Jonah has to share his room with his childhood rival, the perfect Jewish son, the one he spent his entire life unfavorably compared to: Dr. Ethan Rosenberg, son of his mother’s mahjong partner, and apparently God’s gift to the Chosen People.

If this isn’t bad enough, Jonah has to interpret Ethan’s strange new fascination with him. Is Ethan flirting? Or is this just another trick to break Jonah’s heart?

But when a valuable family heirloom is stolen during the festivities and suspicion falls on Jonah, Ethan agrees to help prove Jonah’s innocence. They have eight days to do it. But will they solve the crime before the cooking oil — and everyone’s civility — runs out?

Holiday Spotlight 2016 – New Anthologies

Hello,

This year I have two new holiday anthologies to add.  The first is a Charity bundle from Riptide Publishing.

holidaybundle_500x750_0new-icon-2016Riptide’s 2016 Charity Bundle – Benefiting The Trevor Project.

Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity.

Twenty percent of the proceeds of this title will be donated to The Trevor Project.

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: thetrevorproject.org.

This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories:

Click logo for buy link:

RiptidePublishing

 

 

 

Next up is the 2016 Advent Calendar from Dreamspinner Press. Bah Humbug!

2016-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-bah-humbugCover artist: Paul Richmond

Genres:  Contemporary / Holiday / Mythology / Other Paranormal / Urban Fantasy / Vampires /Werewolves/Shapeshifters / Western

Summary:  There’s always that one guy for whom the holiday season is anything but jolly. It’s a bother, a trial, or in a few cases, a downright misery, but in the end, the holidays bring hope, love, and cheer to even the darkest of days. What else but love would get Scrooge willingly under the mistletoe?

Holiday reading fun! A story delivered automatically to your bookshelf each day in December. More than 400,000 words of romantic fiction in 31 stories that would sell individually for a total of $85.69. Buy the package early and save:

October – $39.99     November* – $49.99

*Sale of packages for daily delivery ends Nov. 25.

Beginning December 1, stories will be available individually as priced or as a bulk package for $64.99.

click logo for buy link:

DreamspinnerPress

 

 

 

Story List:

#ChristmasHatesYouToo by E.F. Mulder

 

Born December 25, Noel Beebe is tired of having his birthday overshadowed by all things Christmas. While looking for love on social media, he comes across a prospective new beau just in time to celebrate the Big 3-0, someone who encourages him to take back his day and say thumbs down to Christmas! On a trip to the Big Apple, Noel does just that, flipping off the Rockefeller Center tree and demanding his coffee in a nondecorative paper cup as a fun birthday prank. His act of defiance is caught on video and soon goes viral, leading to a backlash all over the Twitterverse, Internet, and TV. Suddenly what Noel thought would be his best birthday—and even Christmas—yet is shaping up to be his worst. Can his family and his potential boyfriend prove to the world that Noel isn’t the Scrooge he’s been labeled?

 

 

All I Want for Christmas… Is No Christmas by Colton Aalto

 

Alec Ryder’s arrest in Aspen, early on the morning of December twenty-fifth, is the latest disaster in his series of unhappy Christmases. He’s dreaded the holiday since being subjected to endless church services as a child. Being kicked out on Christmas Day after he came out to his parents, followed by an improbable series of yearly yuletide trips to the emergency room, haven’t made his Christmases any merrier. But getting busted for prostitution is the worst catastrophe; it means Alec’s dream of a college degree is gone, replaced by the specter of jail time.

 

Just when Alec thinks things can’t get worse, Hayden Adler shows up to interrogate him. Hayden is a glamorous attorney who also happens to be Alec’s college roommate’s cousin. Alec’s had a crush on Hayden for years, but whatever miniscule chance Alec might’ve had is now history—just like the life he’s been trying to build for himself.

 

But things aren’t quite what they seem. In a long line of miserable Christmases, Alec will never forget this one, although not for the reasons he suspects.

 

 

Analog to Digital by Posy Roberts

 

For years, Ethan and Toby have said they’ll never marry, despite Ethan’s secret wishes. So leaving sunny California for snowy Minnesota to witness his sister’s vow renewal is not how he wants to spend his Christmas Eve. It’s the second time she’ll say “I do” in less than a year, when Ethan saying those words to Toby even once is hopeless.

 

In the run-up to the ceremony, Toby seems to avoid Ethan, and doubts grow in his absence. Ethan can’t help noticing Toby spends more time with Ethan’s family than with him. Little does Ethan know, Toby has desires of his own. But if Toby doesn’t find a way to reveal them, Ethan could leave for home without him.

 

 

And to All a Good Night by Felicitas Ivey

 

Kobbi AAkers was excited to have a traditional family Christmas with his younger sister Franzi, a famous rock star. But instead of the peaceful holiday he had planned, she’s turning it into a televised musical extravaganza, in a desperate bid for publicity.

 

Kobbi can adapt, especially since the show’s host Wytt Kanard is easy on the eyes and easy to work with, even if he doesn’t believe in Christmas at all. Wytt is alternatively amused and horrified at the simplicity that is Kobbi’s life and the enthusiasm he has for the holiday, all while taking care of his houseful of unexpected guests.

 

Maybe Kobbi can convince the cynical Wytt that Christmas isn’t an event to be managed, but something special to be shared. Maybe he can muster the courage to confess his attraction and offer Wytt a surprise present.

 

 

Anyplace Else by Kim Fielding

 

Grant Beaudoin should be thrilled to escape Minneapolis at Christmastime and grateful to lounge on a Hawaiian beach. Instead he is mired in self-pity and drowning in too much tequila. His twin is marrying the perfect man, while Grant is stuck in middle management with no love life in sight. A walk into the rain forest leads to a meeting with a doomed man who has a story about a holiday that predates Christmas. Grant comes to realize that difficult endings can lead to new beginnings—and perhaps a brighter future.

 

Bite Night by Clare London

 

Creatures of the Night and Santa’s Christmas duties don’t mix. Every myth and bedtime story tells you so.

 

But on Christmas Eve, when the Elves walked off the job over pension rights, it was time for me—Irwin, the only vampire on Santa’s payroll, despite recent diversity initiatives—and my trusty team to help out. Just deliver a few parcels, Santa asked me. Just help out on your local patch. Just for one night.

 

Armed with my reluctance to face all that human sentimentality, and accompanied by a wise-cracking werewolf and an unruly fairy with a taste for vodka, I did my best. Honest.

But we were heading for disaster until I came face-to-face with cute babysitter Benny. It’s Santa’s Number One Rule—no interaction with the clients. But Benny somehow managed to upset my appetite, inflame my libido, and restore my faith in the Christmas spirit, with one cheeky smile and a tasty body piercing.

 

It’s Christmas, and the show must go on!

 

 

Crashing the Party by Ginger Streusel

 

Retail workers and evil never get a day off, and traveling printer salesman Kale Green is no exception. He might look like a Jolly Green Giant, but he can be a real Grinch. Working on the holidays can dampen anyone’s spirits, and on top of that, a sleepy Georgia town has it out for Kale and his car. From fender-benders to flat tires, Kale and his trusty company car Bessie suffer through it all.

 

While everyone else enjoys holiday parties, Kale drives down south to demo printers. Business is good, but on Christmas Eve, the weather turns bad. A few patches of ice put an end to Kale’s Christmas plans—a night alone with his video games. While Kale waits for the police, his only consolation is the company of fellow driver Wes Armstrong. As festive as a Christmas tree and as jolly as Kris Kringle, Wes proves unexpectedly charming. Kale never thought he’d crash right into a crush.

 

 

Cursed Miracles by Meg Harding

 

Two hundred years ago on Christmas Eve, William Mashinter was frozen in time, cursed by his wife to roam the world on his own, waiting for the love of his life to find him. The love of his life, whom she killed. Time hasn’t healed this wound, and William is tired of the happy holiday and the constant reminders of a love that’s been taken from him. But then the impossible happens, and maybe… maybe he can get a new Christmas perspective.

 

Brady Gallagher has lived three different lives, always aware of the first and most important, yet unable to find the man who will fill in the missing pieces and let him know he’s not crazy. He encounters him at a work event, of all places, but is he willing to throw everything else to the wind and embrace the miracle laid out before him?

 

 

Don’t Let the Light Go Out by L.A. Merrill

 

Ray Fine would like to forget Hanukkah even exists. The holiday holds too many sad memories for the young widower. When he’s paired with new convert Josiah Wilson in a year-long welcoming program at his synagogue, he doesn’t know how he’ll get through eight days of celebration, let alone twelve months of guidance.

 

Josiah has enough on his plate—school, conversion, the holiday concert season—without becoming someone’s shoulder to cry on. But when he discovers there’s more to his new synagogue buddy’s sadness than a case of the “Hanukkah Blues,” he sets out to show Ray how much there is to live for.

 

The first blizzard of the season has other plans, though, and Hanukkah might be a lost cause if Ray and Josiah can’t plow through the snow—and their differences. Determined not to lose Ray to his own darkness, Josiah plans to teach him a lesson about the real Miracle of Light—and love.

 

 

Driven to Distraction by Cassie Decker

 

Cowboys Wyatt and Brady are competing in a team roping event in Missoula, Montana’s annual Christmas Eve rodeo. Christmas is Wyatt’s favorite time of year and nothing is going to dampen his holiday spirit, not even his surly, no-nonsense roping partner. They’ve only been riding together for a week, but Wyatt has already secretly fallen head-over-boot-heels for Brady, though it’s painfully obvious Brady only has eyes for the rodeo’s grand prize purse.

 

When Brady is distracted during a crucial moment in the night’s first roping run and nearly disqualifies them, Wyatt is almost certain he is going to be another of Brady’s many rejected partners. Will Wyatt and Brady be able to sort out their differences and work together to win the grand prize? Maybe if Wyatt can show Brady that Christmas really is a time for miracles.

 

 

First New Year’s After the Apocalypse by Jessica Payseur

 

Wade Turner takes a drunk Jaxxon home after work hoping to get laid. What he gets instead is news that the world as they know it is ending—superbugs are sweeping the nation, leaving high death tolls in their wake, and the president has been assassinated. In this new storm of chaos everyone is referring to as the Apocalypse, Wade decides their chances are better if they stick together.

 

But when Jaxxon’s ex dies in a hurricane and his daughter goes missing, Wade watches the man he loves slip into despair. Desperate to save his relationship, Wade leaves in the middle of the night on a dangerous journey to save Jaxxon’s daughter—a child he’s not sure is even still alive. If he can put this family back together, maybe there will still be something worth celebrating in the aftermath of the Apocalypse.

 

 

Guardian Angels by Geneva Vand

 

One snowy evening, a car wreck in front of his toy store triggers terrible memories for Jake. Suddenly, he is in the midst of another winter storm—and another accident, one that not everyone walked away from. When he returns to the present, Jake is on the ground, being watched over by a guardian angel in the form of a kind man named Eli. Eli is no stranger to panic attacks and PTSD, and he’s happy to help Jake get home—where the weather forces him to remain for the night. For Jake, it could be the first step toward a life free from fear and loneliness.

 

 

How the Supervillain Stole Christmas by Charles Payseur

 

Rex Devious (Dr. Devious to meddlesome do-gooders everywhere) can go toe-to-toe with superheroes without blinking an eye. So picking out a Christmas present for his new boyfriend should be no problem. After all, he and Sanjay seem perfect for each other. But with a terrible track record for finding gifts that won’t scare his potential partners away, Rex is paralyzed with insecurity. Until, of course, he decides to change tactics. Instead of having to pick out that perfect present, why not just destroy Christmas altogether? If his nemeses (or his conscience) can’t stop him first, he might just become the supervillain who stole Christmas.

 

 

Iced by Jon Keys

 

Keith Walker, a mall bookstore employee, is struggling to get through another miserable holiday season while trying to preserve a crumbling long-term relationship. One of his few comforts is his morning coffee made by a good-looking, younger barista. Austin Novak felt an attraction when Keith started frequenting the coffee shop, but he doesn’t think the older man has any interest in him or his graphic novel collection.

 

A Christmas week snowstorm buries the city and locks Keith’s car into its parking spot. Keith decides to show Austin his gratitude for helping free the car from the ice with a dinner invitation. The meal becomes complicated when Austin meets Keith’s boyfriend, Shawn, and things go downhill from there when Shawn announces he’s heading to Cancún with his coworkers. Keith is caught between keeping his boyfriend happy and keeping his job. But Keith might not need a plane ticket to find the happiness that’s been missing from his life.

 

 

Krampus Hates Christmas by Andi Van

 

Karl Kringle hates the modern-day Christmas. He was born to be Krampus, but the Holiday Council refuses to let him help his brother Nick—aka Santa Claus—with the Naughty List until he finds his holiday spirit. To meet that challenge, he’s turned human and dumped in a strange apartment.

 

Lewis Weatherby loves the holidays and always has. Not only do his parents own a pumpkin patch and tree farm, he’s also inherited a Christmas-themed shop. All he wants from Santa is the man of his dreams, and the Big Guy might’ve just delivered. Lewis’s new neighbor Karl is gorgeous, sweet, and has a fantastic sense of humor—if his jokes about being Krampus are any indication.

 

Soon getting home is less important to Karl than what will happen when Lewis inevitably realizes the truth behind his jokes. He’s finally starting to understand the real joy of the season—now he just has to figure out how to hold on to it.

 

 

Matthew’s Present by Sarah Hadley Brook

 

Matthew Blick is almost thirty years old, and he hates the thought of another holiday alone. He has become a bit of a wet blanket when Christmas rolls around every year. So much so that even his five-year-old niece, Hannah, knows something needs to change. She asks the department store Santa to bring her uncle a man to love, and when Santa sees her uncle, he formulates a plan to set that possibility in motion.

 

Santa shows up at Matthew’s house and at first Matthew can’t place him, but then the memories of his first kiss flood his mind and he is shocked to find that Santa is the man he has carried a torch for since high school. Will this twist of fate help Matthew change his view on the holidays? Only a kiss can tell.

 

 

Mele Kalikimaka by B.G. Thomas & Noah Willoughby

 

Being rich has its advantages, but it is also rife with suffocating pressures and family telling Chandler Buckingham how to live his life. When his assistant offers to help him escape the mounting obligations of the holiday season by running away to Hawaii, Chandler jumps at the chance. Only to find nothing is quite as he’d expected.

 

Micah Keolu has lived in Hawaii all his life. He has to work two jobs and has little time for a social life, but his loving family and the island beauty around him have given him a heart as big as the ocean. And then one day he rescues a man trapped in an elevator in the building where Micah lives and works maintenance.

 

The unexpected happens as they find themselves drawn together, only to learn there is more to each other than meets the eye. Can two men from very different worlds find a way to enrich each other’s lives? Maybe the magic of the holidays just might bring them lasting joy!

 

 

Of Mooning Santas and Penis Lights by Thianna Durston

 

Former US Marine John Ving hates everything about holiday displays: they’re tacky, they waste energy, and they’re an eyesore. So what does his new neighbor do? He sets up the holiday spectacle from hell, and he doesn’t seem to care which holiday—he has a menorah, a baby Jesus, a Santa, and everything in between. Not to mention it’s swathed in enough lights his house is probably visible from space.

 

High-school teacher Kaden loves the holidays, and huge light displays on his lawn make his heart glow. He’d love to share some cheer—and maybe some kinky fun—with his smoking hot neighbor John. Odd things start to happen to his displays and just as he begins to think life is going his way, with the holidays and with John, a Grinch destroys everything.

 

It’s gonna take the display-hating John to set things right—and what he has planned might blow Kaden’s mind.

 

 

Pixies and Paperwork by Cassia Rose

 

Micheal Donovan’s family has kept the peace between mortal and magical realms for generations, but Micheal skipped out on glory for other plans. He finished school, got a nine-to-five, and tried to fit in. When his cousin meets an unfortunate end on All Hallows, Micheal abruptly inherits the position of Riftkeeper, along with all the prestige and responsibility he didn’t want. Estranged from his family, Micheal never learned the details of the job. All the grumpy, ancestral spirit now possessing his goldfish can tell him is that a mistake could be catastrophic. Micheal isn’t feeling the holiday cheer, and coworkers’ attempts to encourage him only add to a headache of magical proportions. To make matters worse, Ryan Nickles, Micheal’s colleague and cubicle neighbor, has assembled enough Christmas decorations to attract more pixies than Micheal can hide.

 

When Micheal’s attempts to find the Winter Court on the week of the solstice leave him with nothing but a bad cold, he fears he’ll be the first Riftkeeper to break ancient contracts. He’s too stressed to handle Ryan’s attempts to get him into the holiday spirit, but Ryan might know more about the magic of the season than Micheal realizes.

 

 

Popcorn Garlands by Ariel Tachna

 

Carlos Mendez spends all year working hard at his Houston-based landscaping business, and he sends every spare penny he earns back to his family in Mexico. By the time the holidays roll around, he doesn’t have much patience for the unadulterated greed and consumerism paraded past him. But a chance meeting with his neighbor, Ned Williams, and Ned’s cancer-stricken daughter, might help to remind him of the real meaning of the season—something beyond the gaudy lights and extravagant displays—something he wants to be a part of.

 

 

Ranger Station Haven by S.A. Stovall

 

Federal park ranger Carter Williams dislikes kids almost as much as he dislikes Christmas. He chose his career to escape human contact, not embrace it. And no matter how much his husband Owen tries to sway his opinion, Carter is a grump who would rather ignore the holiday. Owen’s efforts are put on hold, however, when they get a call about six missing foster kids lost in the park.

 

Christmas Eve takes a turn for the worse when Owen injures himself rescuing the children. Stranded in a snowstorm until dawn, Carter has to keep Owen awake and healthy while simultaneously watching six runaways. What he thinks is a nightmare come to life is actually a beautiful gift in disguise—the kids transform the ranger station into a Christmas wonderland. And before it’s all said and done, they might transform Carter’s heart as well—if he can keep his bah humbug attitude in check.

 

 

Resolutions by Emma Keene

 

As an advertising executive, it’s Logan’s job to sell people holiday cheer, and he’s good at what he does. But deep down, Logan hates everything about Christmas, so he worries that his crush on the hot baker who loves the holidays is a recipe for disaster.

 

Last year, Logan saw Ryan at a holiday party Ryan was catering, and the attraction was instant. In a drunken moment, Logan made it his New Year’s Resolution to ask the pastry chef out. But another year has slipped away, time is running out, and Logan’s assistant demands he collect on his resolution. Can Logan find the confidence that usually comes so easily to him? And if he does, will Ryan have any interest in spending the holidays with a man who doesn’t share his enthusiasm for the season?

 

 

Santa for Hire by Asta Idonea

 

Dumped by his ex on Christmas Eve two years ago, Oxford Street department store manager Richard Barrett now hates the holidays. Things go from bad to worse when the store’s usual Santa is too ill to reprise his role and the firm sends cocky but handsome Blaine Ryder to take his place. The attraction between the two is clear, but Blaine is an incorrigible player who reminds Richard of his ex. His idea of a relationship is a quick roll in the hay, and his advances have Richard running for the hills. It might take some special intervention for both of them to realize they can change enough to have a chance at a holiday romance.

 

 

Scrooged Over by David Connor

 

For dueling radio hosts Deke and Dudley, the battle over Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving. Deke hates the whole season. Dudley is a yuletide overachiever. They put their debate to a vote, inviting audience members to weigh in. The loser must go on a blind date of the winner’s choosing. Dudley decides he wouldn’t mind taking the loss, if his blind date, picked by Deke, turns out to be Deke himself. As Christmas gets closer, not only does that fantasy seem unlikely, but everything that can go wrong for Dudley does, including malfunctioning decorations, rancid cookies, and a lost pile of hundreds of handwritten Christmas cards. Just days before Santa’s arrival, Dudley’s about to throw in the red and green towel and join all the haters. It’ll take a miracle to change his mind….

 

 

Simple After All by Yolande Kleinn

 

Noah Fiore, contracts attorney and dedicated curmudgeon, spends every Christmas with his family on the shore of Lake Superior. It’s practically tradition for his sister to invite a tragic tagalong to the festivities. But this year Kara’s guest is no pity case. Riley Coto is a friend, and his warmth and charm quickly win over the Fiore family.

 

When Riley overhears Noah complaining about Kara’s habit of bringing home strays for the holidays, he feels more than a little out of place. But Riley finds himself drawn to Noah. Something tells him there’s more to the man than the bad attitude he shows the world. With Christmas coming fast, Riley is falling for Noah, and there’s nothing simple about that.

 

 

Teddy Bears by Brandon Witt

 

Other than working the front desk of a gay bathhouse in Denver, Brian McKay is a bit of a recluse. At the best of times, his social life consists of work, role-playing games at a local toyshop, and making YouTube videos with his Teddy Bear hamsters. The arrival of the holidays—with the annoying music, Christmas shopping, and all the reminders of how he disappointed his father—just reinforces his reclusive nature.

 

When James Olsen, a gorgeous daddy bear who frequents the bathhouse, notices him, Brian is at a loss. He’s not proud of his own bear status or his struggle with weight. The idea that James has interest in him beyond an easy hookup is more than Brian can fathom. But with a little bit of holiday magic, James might help Brian learn to accept Christmas again—and himself.

 

 

The Fortune Cookie by Matt Burlingame

 

Thirty-three-year-old technical writer Laurence Hart is a modern-day Scrooge when it comes to the holiday season—and the rest of the year, too. He doesn’t like most people, they don’t like him, and he’s happy to keep it that way. Over lunch with his best friend, he receives a fortune cookie promising him true love. The next day, forced to work on a holiday charity committee or lose his job, he meets Nick, a jolly ginger giant who loves all things Christmas. Together they face numerous obstacles to put together a holiday fair to raise money for children in foster care, in only four days. While Laurence has to mend his curmudgeonly ways to make the event a success, Nick’s holiday magic might mend Laurence’s heart.

 

 

The Orpheum Miracle by Pat Henshaw

 

Christmas joy is a matter of perspective. For some, it’s the happiest time of the year. For others, not so much.

 

Twenty-nine-year-old Mick, the son of crack addicts, isn’t exactly a dyed-in-the-wool Scrooge. Mick’s been on his own from childhood. As a teen, he lived in a shelter where for a short time he had a boyfriend. After the boyfriend left, Mick moved to the Orpheum Theater. While squatting there and taking care of the grand old building, Mick watched others celebrate the holidays from a distance, never able to share in their joy.

 

Only his Technicolor dreams liven his dull, mechanical life until one day the world around him begins to change. Mick is surprised when a man named Jim buys the vintage Orpheum and plans to restore it. Something about Jim makes Mick think they’ve met before. In fact, Jim rekindles Mick’s longing for a better life and a little holiday magic for himself.

 

 

The Stockings Were Hung by Cassie Sweet

 

Hill hates Christmas.

 

The shoppers. The cheer. The drama. All of it.

 

Each holiday season is a painful reminder that seven years before, his lover, Drew, walked out of his life and moved across the country, leaving Hill like a cup of rotten eggnog. Now Drew is back and wants Hill to put a little jingle in his bells. Well, not this Scrooge.

 

Drew admits he moved to get away from Hill—but not for the reasons Drew gave him all those years ago. Some of his best memories are of Christmases he celebrated with Hill, and he wants nothing more than to spend a little holly jolly with the only man he’s ever loved. However, getting Hill to agree to a reunion is going to take a Christmas miracle.

 

 

The Vampire’s Dinner by TJ Nichols

 

For vampire Charles Redfort, Christmas is a bitter reminder of the day he was killed by a werewolf. After fleeing the vampire army he was created to serve in, he has lived in exile in England. Once a year he allows himself to tell the truth about his life over dinner. Then he eats the man he’s hired for the night.

 

Blake Wells is an engineering student by day and escort by night. He works Christmas because he doesn’t want to see his father, and his mother doesn’t want to see him. When he meets Charles, he thinks he’s gotten a bonus present that he can’t wait to unwrap. But as the truth is revealed, Blake will have to think fast to live until morning and convince Charles to give up his lonely life.

 

 

Traditions by Ann Anderson

 

When Marcus and James started dating a few years ago, James invited Marcus home to spend the holidays with his close, Christmas-loving family. Marcus quickly realized once was enough, and since then, he’s stayed behind.

 

But this year will be different. Though the festivity and chaos make Marcus uncomfortable, he loves James, and he’s decided to put aside his unease so they can spend Christmas together—even if it means losing his hotel room to one of James’s siblings, braving the cold to go caroling, and battling the crowds so the children can visit Santa. It’ll all be worth it if Marcus can take his place in the family’s traditions—and maybe begin a new tradition for the two of them.

Holiday Spotlight 2016 – Jamie Fessenden

Jamie Fessenden

 

new-icon-2016

 

 

 

acopforchristmas-1000x1500Title: A Cop for Christmas
Series:  n/a
Author:  Jamie Fessenden
Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services
Publication date:  11/19/2016
Cover artist:  Reese Dante
Genre: MM Romance, Holiday
Length: Novella
Characters:  Mason Collier, Steve Coleman
Summary:  Mason Collier isn’t big on authority figures. When Office Steve Coleman pulls him over and gives him a speeding ticket, he doesn’t react well. He’s even less happy when he discovers the cop lives next door to his parents’ house. No matter where they turn this holiday season, Steve and Mason keep running into each other, and whenever they talk for more than a minute, they piss each other off. But from wayward dogs to Christmas tree hunts to maple syrup festivals, it proves impossible to avoid each other in the small town. If Mason can see the good man behind the badge, he might just get a cop for Christmas.

Buy Link:  amazonBuyButton

 

The Christmas Wager by Jamie Fessenden

Title:  The Christmas Wager
Author: Jamie Fessenden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: December 20, 2010

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Blurb:

Won One Perfect Note (Overall Honorable Mention) in the 2011 Rainbow Awards.

To discharge a debt to his friend, Andrew Nash, Lord Thomas Barrington returns to the family estate he fled six years earlier after refusing to marry the woman his father had chosen. To Thomas’s dismay, Barrington Hall is no longer the joyful home he remembers from his childhood, and his young niece has no idea what Christmas is. Determined to bring Christmas back to the gloomy estate, Thomas must confront his tyrannical father, salvage a brother lost in his own misery, and attempt to fight off his father’s machinations. As the holidays near, Thomas and Andrew begin to realize they are more than merely close friends… and those feelings are not only a threat to their social positions but, in Victorian England, to their lives as well.

The Healing Power of Eggnog by Jamie FessendenTitle: The Healing power of Eggnog
Author: Jamie Fessenden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: November 30, 2013

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Blurb:  Will Sutherland hasn’t been home to see his parents in four years—not since they reacted badly when he came out. This Christmas, he’s finally worked up the courage to go home, where he’s surprised to find they’ve taken in a boarder. Ryan Bennett is just a couple years younger than Will, cute, sweet… and openly gay.

As Will deals with his jealousy of the man who’s been receiving the love and acceptance he was denied, Ryan finds himself falling for Will’s brooding good looks. But Ryan also suspects the Sutherlands may be using him as a pawn in their long-standing conflict with their son. Will this Christmas finally tear the family apart, or is there a chance they can put their hurt and anger behind them?

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming”.

Author contact:

 

 

Holiday Spotlight 2016 – J.J. Cassidy

J.J. Cassidy

doornails-holly-jj-cassidyTitle: Doornails & Holly
Series:  n/a
Author:  J.J. Cassidy
Publisher:  Stone Mountain
Publication date:  November 25, 2016
Cover artist:  Nancy Canu
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novella
Characters:  Eben Kruzs, Rob Catchet, James Morley
Summary:  On Christmas morning seven years ago, James Morley died in a senseless traffic accident, leaving his devastated partner, Eben Kruzs, alone and adrift. Wallowing in guilt, Eben refuses to let go of his grief and move on—never mind come out of the closet. Three determined spirits have three nights to drag Eben out of the pit he’s dug for himself—and a sexy ex-employee may just be the answer to everything that’s wrong in Eben’s life. Or not.

Buy Links:

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Holiday Spotlight 2016 – Debbie McGowan

Debbie McGowan

 

debbiemcgowan_otbTitle: Of The Bauble
Series:  n/a
Author:  Debbie McGowan
Publisher:  Beaten Track Publishing
Publication date:  15th December 2016
Cover artist:  Decorous Anarchy / Debbie McGowan
Genre: YA bi male/non-binary fantasy romance
Length: Novella
Characters:  Kieran O’Sullivan – a nineteen-year-old British Irish student, and Jinn – a ‘genie’ trapped in a bauble. See blurb/summary for secondary characters.
Summary:  When nineteen-year-old Kieran O’Sullivan takes a trip to the attic for the Christmas decorations, it proves to be an illuminating experience. Box includes: – a hapless but not altogether helpless student – a pedantic supernatural being (or two, or…well, quite a few) – a funky older sister – the coolest mum in the world – a naughty rescue bunny and her easily led feline sidekick – an insightful ex-girlfriend – twinkle lights – tinsel – baubles * Warning – may contain traces of magic and a smidgeon of social commentary (hey, it’s a book by Debbie McGowan – did you expect anything else?) * Of the Bauble is a young adult, biromantic/non-binary fantasy romance.

Buy Links:

http://www.beatentrackpublishing.com/shop/proddetail.php?prod=otb_format
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/679648?ref=b10track
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-ofthebauble-2168951-143.html
 Amazon UK
Amazon

Author Contact information:

http://www.debbiemcgowan.co.uk
http://deb248211.blogspot.com
http://www.twitter.com/writerdebmcg
http://www.facebook.com/DebbieMcGowanAuthor
https://www.goodreads.com/DebbieMcGowan

 

 

2016 Holiday Books & Reviews

I do not consider this a review blog.  I love sharing information about books in the MM genre and collecting and sharing holiday books through the MM Holiday Delights event.  Occasionally I will share books and reviews when I find books that I really enjoy.  Below are four holiday books that I read and my thoughts on each book and also links to reviews that I read that were either more in depth or expressed my thoughts on the books more eloquently and in one case helped put into words the way the story made me feel.

During the week that we celebrated our Thanksgiving holiday, I actually found time to read.   Wonders never cease!   I recently won an Amazon gift card, so I splurged on some Holiday books, plus I finally read a holiday book that I bought last year, but never found the right time to read.  I shouldn’t have waited!  It is so good.  I guess I will begin with that one.  🙂

WinterBallFSTitle: Winter Ball (Winter ball #1)
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date:  December 25, 2015
Genre: MM contemporary
Blurb:  Through a miserable adolescence and a lonely adulthood, Skipper Keith has dreamed of nothing but family. The closest he gets is the rec league soccer team he coaches after work—and his star player and best friend, Richie Scoggins.

One brisk night in late October, a postpractice convo in Richie’s car turns into a sexual encounter neither of them expected—nor want to forget. Soon Skip and Richie are living for the weekends and their winter league soccer games—and the games they enjoy off the field. Through broken noses, holiday decorating, and the killer flu, they learn more about each other than they ever dreamed possible. Every new discovery takes them further beyond the boundaries of the soccer field and into the infinite possibilities of the best relationship of Skipper’s life.

Skipper can’t dream of a better family than Richie—but Richie’s got real family entanglements he can’t shake off. Skipper needs to convince Richie to stay with him beyond winter ball so the relationship they started on the field might become their happy future in real life!

Thoughts:  I loved this story.  When I finished reading it, I felt like I  had just had a great big happy hug.  Skipper and Richie have been friends for six years, then in a chance moment, they realize that their feeling go deeper than friends.  The journey to their happily ever after is not exactly smooth.  They both have had less than perfect childhoods and that colors their ideas of relationships, plus Richie is still dealing with his family situation, which is a mess.  Thankfully, their long term friendship and deep affection for one another works in their favor.   It was sweet and endearing and a pleasure to read.  I absolutely adored the secondary characters (well – the nice ones).  I am excited that there is a second book in the series, Summer Lessons, which just released.

I would like to share a wonderful review of Winter Ball  by Christy Duke:   Christy Duke’s Reviews

Buy Links:

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Up next is a fun, sweet short story from last years Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar anthology.

o-blame-it-on-the-fruitcakeTitle:  Blame It on the Fruitcake
Series:  Dreamspinner 2015 Advent Calendar
Author:  Pat Henshaw
Publisher:  Dreamspinner press
Publication date:  December 01, 2015
Cover artist:  Paul Richmond
Genre: contemporary gay romance
Length: Short Story (12,035 words)
Characters:  Sam McGuire, Jay Merriweather
Summary:  Fruitcake is the laughingstock of the holiday season. But can it be an aphrodisiac instead? Motorcycle mechanic Sam McGuire is surprised to find a gaily wrapped box on his doorstep with a piece of fruitcake accompanying an invitation to a holiday party. Wondering if he’ll fit in, Sam attends the party—mostly to get more of the fruitcake he falls in love with—and meets Jay Merriweather, his new neighbor. The lure of Jay’s big family and its holiday tradition of enjoying Grandma’s fruitcake hook Sam, as does the sexy man himself. But Sam can’t imagine why handsome, college-educated Jay would want someone like him, who was raised in a children’s home and barely graduated high school. Maybe the magic of the holiday season can help two men who seem so different come together like the ingredients in a well-made fruitcake.

Thoughts:  This is a sweet story with an opposites attract vibe going on. The two men are brought together by, of all things, fruitcake. I liked the MC’s, thought the grandmother was a fun character, wanted to thunk the younger brother AND I really want to know what kind of fruitcake that grandmother makes, because I have yet to find one I like. LOL
It is a sweet, fun holiday read and I enjoyed it as my first Pat Henshaw book.

I would like to share this great review of Blame it on the Fruitcake by Whit!!!!!!!!! at It’s About the Book

Buy Links:

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Barnes & Noble

 

 

santababy-digital_largeTitle:  Santa Baby 
Series:  Minnesota Christmas #4
Publisher:  Heidi Cullinan
Publication date:  November 08, 2016
Cover artist:   Kanaxa
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Length: 80,000 words
Characters:  Dale Davidson, Arthur Anderson, Gabriel Higgins
Summary:  Trimming the tree is more fun with three.

Twin Cities developer Dale Davidson has come to Logan, Minnesota, to turn it into Christmas Town, not to give in to Arthur Anderson’s offer to join him and his fiancé, Gabriel Higgins, for a Christmas Eve threesome. Dale is polyamorous, but it’s clear Arthur is offering a night of fun and nothing more. Maybe one night with the couple he admires so much won’t hurt…

Together the three of them light a fire hot enough to boil Lake Superior in January, and one night of fun becomes an extended engagement as Dale puts down some tentative roots in his new hometown. Everyone loves Dale, Logan’s own Santa Claus, and somehow no one knows what wild times are happening right underneath their noses. No one knows, either, the complicated ways they’re falling in love with one another.

But a shadow from Dale’s past emerges, an abuser threatening him with violence and shame. Ronny doesn’t want a happy ever after for Dale, only to draw him back into a consuming darkness. It will take the love of not only Gabriel and Arthur but all of Logan to convince their Santa he has nothing to be ashamed of—and that he will always have a home in their hearts.

Thoughts:  This was an interesting addition to the Minnesota Christmas series. We met Arthur and Gabriel in Book 2. They had their HEA and now their story is changing. This book explores polyamorous relationships and it is complicated. In addition to this, the story also explores the serious issue of consent.
The book still has the steamy romance I expected from Arthur, Gabriel and Dale, but also moments that were uncomfortable and serious.
I read reviews after I finished the book to see if there was someone that could express my thoughts more eloquently than myself and it was Kaje Harper. Her thoughtful, insightful review expresses those feelings.
I thought the book was wonderful. I love the way this author takes on topics that are out of the usual romantic story line and tackles social and political topics, while still giving us a sweet, sexy …romance.

Here is a link to Kaje Harpers wonderful review:  Kaje Harper’s Goodreads review

Buy Links:

smashwords

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Barnes & Noble

 

a-little-christmas-magic-k-c-faelan-mm-holiday-delights-2016-boughs-of-evergreen-holiday-anthologyTitle: A Little Christmas magic
Series:  Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology
Author:  K.C. Faelan
Publisher:  Beaten Track Publishing
Publication date:  December 1, 2014
Cover artist: 
Genre: LGBT, Holiday, Christmas, Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Short Story
Length: 90 pages
Characters:  Ryan Forsyth, Boone Ainsworth
Summary:  It’s the day after Thanksgiving and Ryan Forsyth is helping his friends decorate for Christmas. Little does he know that the weekend will usher in a profound change to his life, a chance for happiness if he isn’t too afraid to reach out and grasp it. Boone Ainsworth has been friends with Ryan since junior high, ever since their mutual friend Greg Hayes introduced them. Since the day they met, no one has stood a chance at claiming Boone’s heart except Ryan, but Ryan is so deep in the closet, he hasn’t got a clue. Their happily ever after is just a step away, until a panicked decision changes everything. From that point on, things don’t go smoothly and Ryan and Boone make mistakes neither may be able to forgive. But it’s the holidays, and Ryan is banking on a little Christmas magic to help smooth the way.

Thoughts: 
A friends to lovers story with the MC’s having some issues to are going to make it hard for them to have an HEA.
An event causes Ryan to finally admit his feelings for Boone,his best friend, but Boone is hesitant. He has seen how Ryan reacts to stressful situations in the past and his own past experiences make it difficult for him to trust Ryan. The progression of the relationship is rocky and both characters make some,big mistakes. Boone’s especially bothered me.
I liked that the characters asked for help, worked on the relationship, discussed what they felt needed to happen or not happen to make the relationship work. I enjoyed the bit of Christmas magic that Ryan experienced. It was cute and unexpected. The ending was sweet and I felt hopeful for the MC’s HEA.

Buy Links:

amazonBuyButtonamazon-uk-logobeaten_track_letterhead02_600

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Holiday Spotlight 2016 -Brandon Witt

Brandon Witt

christmas-miracles-of-a-recently-fallen-spruceTitle: Christmas Miracles of a Recently Fallen Spruce
Author:  Brandon Witt
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Publication date:  December 01, 2015
Cover artist:  Paul Richmond
Genre: MM Contemporary Holiday
Length: 7000 words
Characters:  Paxton Peterson and Logan Charles
Summary:  Paxton Peterson’s favorite day of the year is his annual Gay Boy Christmas dinner. He’s checked and double-checked his to-do list, because nothing stresses him out like the unexpected. Confident everything will run smoothly, Paxton embarks on his yearly snowshoed hike through the Rocky Mountains near his home. His perfectly planned evening is cut short by Logan Charles’s careless enjoyment of his brother’s snowmobile, and Paxton is stranded in the woods. It’s the worst thing that could’ve possibly happened to him—or maybe the best.

Buy Links:

DreamspinnerPress

 

 

file_000Title: Teddy Bears   new-icon-2016
Author:  Brandon Witt
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Publication date:  December 01, 2016
Cover artist:  L.C. Chase
Genre: MM Contemporary Holiday
Length: 15000 words
Characters: Brian McKay and James Olsen
Summary: Other than working the front desk of a gay bathhouse in Denver, Brian McKay is a bit of a recluse. At the best of times, his social life consists of work, role-playing games at a local toyshop, and making YouTube videos with his Teddy Bear hamsters. The arrival of the holidays—with the annoying music, Christmas shopping, and all the reminders of how he disappointed his father—just reinforces his reclusive nature. When James Olsen, a gorgeous daddy bear who frequents the bathhouse, notices him, Brian is at a loss. He’s not proud of his own bear status or his struggle with weight. The idea that James has interest in him beyond an easy hookup is more than Brian can fathom. But with a little bit of holiday magic, James might help Brian learn to accept Christmas again—and himself.

DreamspinnerPress

 

 

 

Author contact information:

http://www.brandonwitt.com