Today, I’ll introduce you to my friend Holly Day on the blog. She’s here to talk about Kiss-A-Ginger Day, and her new release Hop Hop, Carrot Top. Welcome to my blog, Holly!
Five Things Holly Can’t Survive Without
Thank you, Nell, for letting me drop by today to introduce myself. My name is Holly Day, and a few days ago, my first story was released through JMS Books.
I don’t know if you’re aware, but today is Kiss A Ginger Day—I highly suggest you check with the gingers around you so you have their consent before you kiss them. It’s not Sexually Assault A Ginger Day after all. But, if you have their consent, go ahead!
Only about 2% of the world’s population has red hair, and that number is going down. Soon there won’t be any gingers around. Kiss a Ginger Day was created to show appreciation for everyone out there with fiery hair, but also to create something positive for gingers who often are picked on in schools while growing up.
Why is she talking about redheads, you wonder. Well, the story I wrote is called Hop Hop, Carrot Top, and it’s about Kiss A Ginger Day. Not only the 12th of January, but it’s about a man who has a certain ginger he would like to kiss and sees his opportunity to do so when Kiss a Ginger Day arrives.
I’ll share an excerpt from the story farther down, but I thought I’d let you know a little more about me by telling you five things I can’t survive without. Typing that makes me wonder if there really are five things I can’t survive without, but okay, here we go!
- Coffee! – Do I need to elaborate? I think not.
- Salty liquorice – I think it’s a Swedish thing or Scandinavian, at least. It’s liquorice, but it’s salty. I put this on the list instead of chocolate, instead of chocolate! As in, I rate it higher than chocolate. There is a problem, though. I’m gluten intolerant, and most liquorice has gluten in them.
- Wine – I don’t drink hard liquor, and I don’t drink beer—again, gluten—but wine… Saying I can’t survive without it makes it sound as if I have a problem—I don’t, but some days a glass of wine is the difference between a cozy night on the sofa with hubby, and a meltdown. I have four kids, don’t judge!
- Stationery -Few things make me as happy as pens, Washi tape, stickers, post-its, my bullet journal, etc. I have to say, apart from book and clothes now and then, stationery is the only inedible thing I buy.
- Books! – Let’s be honest, this should probably have been number one. It would hurt to have to live without coffee, liquorice, wine, and Washi tape, but it is doable. I would moan for a week in wait for the lack-of-coffee headache to pass, but I would survive. Without books? So much of my identity is books—I write books; I read books; I list books; I sort books; I talk books, and I breathe books. I read books to my kids every day before they go to bed because books! I don’t trust the school to make sure they enjoy books, and books should be enjoyed. It doesn’t matter if it’s a story that changes your life or one you read in thirty minutes and then never look at again—that story affected your life. You were touched by an individual from another place, another time, someone who has lived a life different from yours. And that is pretty cool.
So that was a little about me. Now, I thought I’d introduce you to Flynn and Caspian by sharing an excerpt. Flynn’s mother passed away six months ago. He’s been putting off clearing out the house, but now he’s back in the town he’d promised himself never to set foot in again.
Pizza with Caspian Cook, who’d have believed he’d ever have pizza with Caspian Cook? Flynn puffed his cheeks as he watched himself in the bathroom mirror.
He’d showered, which was stupid. They were going to pack stuff—though Caspian had never agreed to help him pack—and they were going to take pictures of Mom’s furniture to give away.
He got dressed, jeans and a long-sleeve T-shirt—no shirt and tie while he was off work. He spun around in the almost empty room where he’d grown up and grabbed his phone.
“Hi, Tanya. It’s me.” He ran a hand through his still wet hair as he watched his reflection. Children cried in the background, and Tanya sighed.
“Hi. How’s it going?”
“I’m giving it away.”
There were some noises he couldn’t place, dishes maybe. “The entire house?” Everything quieted. “You can’t.”
“No, not the house.” He could use the money, and they’d be a welcome contribution to her household. “The sofa, bookcase, the bed, maybe? Do people want other people’s beds?”
“The bed frame, I’m sure someone would want, perhaps not the mattress.”
“Ah, yeah.” He grimaced and waved a hand despite her not seeing him. “I’m giving it away.”
He stopped on his way out into the living room. “You’re okay with that?”
“I don’t give a damn. I think we could’ve gotten some money from the figurines, not sure, but I’ve seen those in antique stores.”
“Yeah?” He hadn’t had a clue. He’d packed them, but he could keep the box and see if he could sell them or something. Maybe Caspian would know how to go about it. “I’m selling the car. Caspian picked it up today.”
“Caspian? Caspian Cook?”
Flynn held his breath. “Yeah. Do you know him?”
She laughed. “You grew up in the same town I did, right?”
He rolled his eyes. “Yes, but I mean do you know him.”
“Haven’t seen him in twenty years. He was always nice though, a stark contrast to his evil little brother.”
Flynn shivered as he pictured Blade. “They look alike.”
“People say we look alike, but I’m prettier.”
He laughed. “You are.” They looked alike. Flynn’s androgynous looks made them more alike than most brothers and sisters.
“He’s grown now though, right?”
“Blade?” The ice spreading in his gut didn’t care if he was a memory from his childhood or an adult man.
“Well, him too, but I meant Caspian. I haven’t seen him since he was in his late teens.”
“Yeah, he’s grown now.” Flynn grinned. Caspian was about a head taller than he was, had broad shoulders and strong arms. And manly hands.
“Is that appreciation I hear?” She chuckled.
“No! I mean… he’s Caspian Cook.”
“I know he is. I also know he used to watch you.”
Flynn frowned. “What?”
“In school. He used to watch you.”
“Probably only so Blade didn’t kill me. I was a scrawny little thing, several years younger than him. Heck, I didn’t hit my growth spurt until I was fifteen, and even then I hardly grew!”
Her laugh filled him with warmth. God, he missed her.
“Doesn’t matter. He watched you.”
“Yeah, well…” His chest filled with warmth. “He owns Wilson’s farm now.”
“Oh, that’s a cute little farm. You should help him pick curtains.”
Flynn Thomas is back in Hartley. His plan is to be out of there before anyone notices he’s back. He left twenty years ago and promised himself he’d never have to face his childhood bullies or set foot in his bigoted hometown ever again. But it’s been six months since his mother passed away, and someone has to clear out the house.
Caspian Cook is out on a walk with his three dogs when he sees Flynn Thomas, at least he thinks it’s Flynn Thomas. He never forgot the red-haired boy his brother used to harass, and he never forgot how he used to wonder if there were freckles underneath his clothes as well as on his face.
Flynn mistakes Caspian for his childhood tormenter and flees. Caspian can guess why he’s in such a hurry to get away, but he hasn’t seen Flynn in twenty years, and if he allows him to run off, he fears he’ll never see him again. Will spending time with Flynn be enough for him to forget who Caspian’s brother is? Flynn needs help. He underestimated how much work it would be to move his mother’s things. Caspian offers to give him a hand, but can he trust someone who looks like his worst nightmare?
Contemporary M/M Romance / 19,129 words
According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserves 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.
Connect with Holly @ https://lnk.bio/xpae