One month until Christmas…

Today is one month until Christmas and the last couple years, I’ve made these elaborate holiday themed blog posts during December, but this year with the move, I haven’t had the time to plan and execute something like that. So instead, I thought I’d recommend six (and a bonus) of my favorite holiday themed reads from last year’s advent calendar here on the blog (when I recommended a holiday story I’d read and loved every day until the 25th).

Hopefully they’ll tie you over while you wait for your favorite author’s holiday story to drop this year 🙂

2018 xmas favorites

Talk Turkey | It’s Not Yule, It’s Me | Watermelon Kisses | Goldilocks and the Bear | Revelry | The Working Elf Blues

The above links are to the blog post from last year where I wrote about these six fabulous holiday stories. On every post, I shared the blurb, the cover, and buy links, as well as a short reason to why I picked it, my favorite quote(s), and a song I paired – in all unseriousness – with the book.

What they all have in common is that I absolutely adored them and definitely plan to re-read them this year.

Tell me about your favorite holiday story in the comments! I’m always on the lookout for holiday stories! 🙂


Bonus: 

I read this book last December, but didn’t include it in the advent calendar because I loved it so much it needed a separate post here on the blog where I could gush freely about it.

But really. If you haven’t read The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish you really really should. It’s a fabulous, fabulous holiday story that deserves all the love. Read my gushy review here (buy link is in the review).

39347033Last month, Alex Barrow’s whole life imploded—partner, home, job, all gone in forty-eight hours. But sometimes when everything falls apart, better things appear almost like magic. Now, he’s back in his Michigan hometown, finally opening the bakery he’s always dreamed of. But the pleasure of opening day is nothing compared to the lonely and beautiful man who bewitches Alex before he even orders.

Corbin Wale is a weirdo. At least, that’s what he’s heard his whole life. He knows he’s often in a fantasy world, but the things he feels are very real. And so is the reason why he can never, ever be with Alex Barrow. Even if Alex is everything he’s always fantasized about. Even if maybe, just maybe, Corbin is Alex’s fantasy too.

When Corbin begins working at the bakery, he and Alex can’t deny their connection any longer. As the holiday season works its magic, Alex yearns for the man who seems out of reach. But to be with Alex, Corbin will have to challenge every truth he’s ever known. If his holiday risk pays off, two men from different worlds will get the love they’ve always longed for.

 

 

Book recommendation

Just a short book recommendation today. Never in a million years would I have thought of shipping Susan Price and Mary Crawford (from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park) but I couldn’t not buy this book when I stumbled upon it. And I’m glad I did; I really enjoyed this short little story.

So if you have a few minutes, want a F/F historical short that is a Jane Austen fanfic, may I recommend Her Particular Friend by JL Merrow?


48496929._SY475_When Susan Price leaves Mansfield Park to accompany her aunt, Lady Bertram, to take the waters in Bath, she little expects to meet an old “friend” of the family. Initially scandalised, Susan finds herself drawn to the former Mary Crawford, now a widow, Mrs Lynd.

Mary has lost none of her playful spirit in the ten years since her family’s acquaintance with the Bertrams ended amid elopement and scandal. Her interest, first piqued by Susan’s resemblance to her older sister Fanny, only grows on discovering Susan’s very different character.

But Lady Bertram will surely never countenance Susan’s intimacy with the woman whose brother caused her daughter’s disgrace — and Mary’s true identity cannot be kept a secret forever.

Buy link: JMS Books

Book recommendations

Instead of a full review, I’m recommending a book series today: Would It Be Okay to Love You by Amy Tasukada.

aoiandsato

I’m one of Amy’s critique partners, and I’ve been reading her Would It Be Okay to Love You series, which has been her free newsletter story for three years, since the beginning. But something sad happened this September: Aoi and Sato’s story ended. And while I think it was the right thing for their characters, I’m still sad.

When Amy’s newsletter arrived on October 1st, suddenly the free story was about new characters. It felt so strange. Every month for the last years, I’ve gotten a chapter of Aoi and Sato’s romance in my mail box, and now…I didn’t.

When the new characters showed up, I felt like my home was invaded by strangers instead of the friends I’ve come to expect. And I don’t want people to forget about my friends, so that’s why I’m recommending Aoi and Sato’s story today. Because who wouldn’t love a fluffy romance about a robot fanboy and an erotic voice actor? I know I do. I’m all about the fluff. Also, I have a crush on Sato! He’s such a wonderfully nerdy awkward character and I adore him! 😍

Here’s the blurb to the first book so you have any idea what I’m talking about 🙂 Also, there’s no reason for you NOT to one-click the first book (link here) since it’s FREE!! As in no cost. Zero dollars. And who doesn’t like free books? 🙂

A robot fanboy. An erotic voice actor. Will their secrets overwhelm their love.

Sato doesn’t get out much. The anime company accountant spends his days at a desk and his nights working on his own small-scale robots. His geeky life is like a dream, but it has just one piece missing…

The world only knows Aoi for his moans. The erotic voice actor has legions of fangirls obsessed with his gasps of simulated ecstasy. And his new boyfriend Sato can barely handle the attention.

As Aoi’s popularity rises and secrets about his past begin to reveal themselves, can the accountant and the voice actor rise above their problems to create something real?

Year One is a short story anthology collection unlike anything you’ve ever read. If you like geeky settings, and sweet romance, then you’ll  love Amy Tasukada’s slice-of-life story.

Buy Year One and start the lighthearted love story today!

Amazon link to the entire series.

Also, why not sign up for Amy’s newsletter if you haven’t already; I’m sure I’ll learn to love Iroha and Kenta, the invading strangers, when I get to know them better 😁

If all you have is a few minutes, pt 2

Back in August, I recommended three of JMS Books’ “Hot Flashes” (i.e. very short stories, under 5000 words) that I had read and loved. And since Sundays are the perfect day for reading and a cup of tea and laziness, I bought and read no less than five Hot Flashes today. They were all excellent, so I thought I’d tell you about them in case you happen to be in the mood for something short and well-written that will warm your heart.

october spice (2)This story made me fall in love with autumn and I want to eat everything Evan bakes. 

Blurb

Evan Goldman loves fall, October, and Halloween. He’s decorated his bakery, he’s made cinnamon-pumpkin cupcakes, and he’s spending his day off inventing a new cake recipe. He isn’t expecting customers, and he’s busy with chocolate and ginger.

But a delivery mix-up has a customer knocking at Evan’s door. Matt’s right out of Evan’s fantasies: a deliciously adorable off-duty firefighter who compliments his cupcakes and makes Evan smile, and looks at him like Evan’s the tastiest treat of all.

They’ve only just met, but Matt might bring all of Evan’s fantasies to life … with extra spice.

Buy link: JMS Books


sea change (1)

Warning: keep the Kleenex box nearby!

Blurb

Nis. His name had been Nis.

Those three little letters are still carved on Taer’s heart, etched deep so the tide and time won’t wash them away. Nis, the other half of his soul. Then the storms came, and Nis was gone.

So why can Taer hear his laughter on the wind?

Buy link: JMS Books


3 hot flashes

Two very different ninth anniversaries, two friends finally admitting how they feel after ten years, and two men daring to open up and share their feelings after an accident. What’s not to love?

Buy links (JMS Books):

The Nine Year Bar | Dare to Venture | He Ain’t Heavy

Book sale – 50% off ebooks

 

eoss v2 fall

My fabulous publisher JMS Books has a sale on all ebooks to mark the end of summer, because when fall comes we need more books. Because books and tea and candles and warm socks are perfect for fall, and go together like…um, I’m not gonna say peanut butter and jelly because I’m not a fan of that combination, but pick something you feel really go together. I’m choosing hamburgers and onions, because I can’t eat burgers without onions! 😀

Anyhooo. That means that my ebooks are 50% off at JMS Books this weekend and through Monday, so if you need to refill your TBR to make sure you have something to read when the days grow colder this is the perfect opportunity.

Why not pre-order my book Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings (release day September 21) if you haven’t already done it, because as you can tell, it’s all about the autumn. It’s also about two men in their late forties starting over.

My collab story with Kris T. Bethke, Falling Into Love also takes place in autumn, so if you’re in the mood for the found family trope, this is just for you.

9 Willow Street also takes place in fall (despite the happy green cover) and features a super cute bunny shifter. Us Again is a short, second chances story with lovely fall colors on the cover.

But all my books are on sale, of course, so check out this link to my author page on the JMS website to see what else I’ve written!


I have some recommendations for books written by other authors you can buy, too, if you already own all of mine 😀

  • Wild Fragile Vines by Vivien Dean (that I reviewed here) is on pre-order. It will be re-released by JMS on September 4 (it was previously published by Amber Quill), and I absolutely adored it. I loved it so much I’m actually considering buying it again (even though it’s the same cover and everything) just to support Ms. Dean.
  • Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds by Kris T. Bethke. It was the first story I read by my dear friend Ms. Bethke and I bought it only because of the fun title, but it turned out to be a great little book and it made me a fan of her writing. It’ll be re-released by JMS (it was previously published by Dreamspinner Press) on September 21 and will share book birthday with Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings!! Yay!
  • Chicken Soup by Mel Bossa, which I talked about here. It’s a very short story but full on the feels, and it’s only 50 cents now so clickety-click and buy it. You won’t regret it.
  • Cultivating Love by Addison Albright. I’ve raved so much about Prince Marcelo from the Plans series lately, so I need to give some love to Ed and Joe so they don’t feel neglected. It was my introduction to Addison’s writing, and it’s one of my favorite re-reads!

recommendations

If all you have is a few minutes…

If you’ve followed me for a while, it won’t come as a surprise to you that I LOVE short stories, I have ever since I read Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew in my early teens. There was especially one story in that collection that stuck with me, called Survivor Type. It isn’t long, but in just a few pages Stephen King managed to scare me and gross me out, and I’ve never forgotten it, never forgotten how much punch it packed while still being so short.

That’s why I love writing and reading short stories. I love reading about a slice of life in the characters’ lives. I love being dropped into the thick of things, not knowing what happened before, but learning enough in the short read to be able to enjoy the story.

So, needless to say, I read a lot of short stories. And a lazy Sunday a couple weeks ago, I had a short story marathon, and thought I’d recommend three of them.

The Reasons Why is a wonderful story about an established couple where Eliot is annoyed when he gets home, but Ben reminds him why Eliot loves him so darned much. Chicken Soup is a story about loneliness, but also hope, and the ultimate proof that it only takes 3348 well-written words to make me cry. Honey, I’m Home is another established couple where Gabe realizes he’ll do anything to keep the lovely Ruben.

All three are under 5000 words (like all stories in the JMS Books “Hot Flash” series) so if you only have a few minutes to spare but want to read something great – pick one of these!

hot flash

Buy links: The Reasons Why | Chicken Soup | Honey, I’m Home


The Reasons Why by J.M. Snyder

After a long day at the office, all Eliot Travers wants is a much needed nap before dinner. Which his husband Ben is supposed to make.

But when he gets home, Ben is playing a game on his phone and Eliot doesn’t smell anything cooking in the kitchen. As Eliot’s temper starts to rise, he wants to know what exactly Ben’s been doing all day long.

Ben tells him to look on the table by the stairs, where Eliot finds a note he missed when he came in. A note that reads The Reasons Why I Love YOU.

A second note on the steps leads upstairs. Then Eliot finds a third, and a fourth.


Chicken Soup by Mel Bossa

Though Jimmy’s ill and isn’t getting any better, he hopes to have a bit of fun during Pride weekend. When he meets Nolan, a young dancer in the parade, Jimmy takes a chance on making himself vulnerable for the first time in years.

What Jimmy doesn’t expect is how strong Nolan will make him feel with a simple gesture of support.


Honey, I’m Home by Michael P. Thomas

Loving Ruben Pacheco is easy. He’s sweet, he’s supportive, he keeps the bills paid and plenty of food on the table. Loving living with Ruben’s parents presents more of a challenge. They’re critical, overbearing, and openly rooting for Gabe to go home so Ruben might crawl back into the closet.

Gabe’s in love, but he’s getting annoyed — Ruben’s great and all, but is he worth all the hassle?


I’ve also written one story for the Hot Flash line and since this is my blog, Imma go ahead and do some shameless self promotion. (Since it’s the same cover as the ones above, I’m choosing another graphic instead) 😀

all I see promo 2

Theo and Kieran have been together for five years. They’re very happy…behind closed doors. Theo accepted from the start that Kieran isn’t out to his conservative parents and has a lot to lose if they find out about his sexuality.

But a moment of sadness at a wedding changes things. Theo is faced with a decision: live the rest of his life in secret…or break it off.

Or is there a third alternative?

M/M Contemporary / 4633 words

 BUY LINKS:

JMS BOOKS | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | KOBO | ITUNES | B&N | SMASHWORDS | SCRIBD
 | GOOGLE PLAY |

 

Short Story Sunday

Is there a better way to spend a Sunday than lazying around, having a cup of tea, and reading a good book? If there is, I sure haven’t found it.

So if that’s how you plan on spending your day, I thought I’d help you. And since I’ve made it my life’s mission to spread the word of how great short stories are, here are some of my favorites. I’ve read all of them more than once, and I adore them. One–or all–of them are perfect for a slow, lazy day.

So make a cup/glass of your favorite hot or cold beverage, check out these gems, and relax! You deserve it! ❤️


war paintWar Paint by Sarah Black

There’s an art to love.

Mural artist Ben has come from Tel Aviv to Atlanta to work on a commission. A successful artist, he’s still lonely and isolated after his family’s rejection. Ben is charmed and surprised when local soldier Eli mistakes him for homeless, and brings him a cup of coffee and a biscuit. This gesture opens the door. Eli is lost, trying to make sense of a future without the Army after a combat injury ends his career.

Art gives them a new language and a path forward. But lost men can reach out, desperate to hang on to anyone close. Is what they find together real, and the kind of love that will last?

26610 words / MM Contemporary

Buy link (Dreamspinner Press)


peachesPeaches & the Shadow by K.L. Noone

At twenty-four, Ethan Aur has a lot to prove. He’s the youngest member of his family, the academic one, and the latest heir to the tradition of supernatural quests and spells and enchanted swords. The family’s always protected him and worried about him, and his older brother keeps calling to check in.

But this particular quest is Ethan’s quest, and this ghost is his problem. He’s going to solve it on his own. By any means necessary. Even if that ghost is a very handsome man, charming and confident and dominant and kind.

Jake O’Malley took one look at the newly arrived Knight and that magical Sword and those determined eyes, and now he’s aware he’s in trouble — as if he didn’t have enough problems, being the trapped and ghostly version of his 19th Century brothel-keeper bastard self. But the Knight who’s come to help is everything Jake could’ve ever wanted: brave and generous and sweet, vowing to find a way to solve Jake’s stuck-between-worlds predicament, no matter what it takes.

Even if that involves a mutually pleasurable ritual involving sexual magic.

7023 words / MM fantasy

Buy Link (JMS Books)


permanently leglessPermanently Legless by JL Merrow

Only half the man he used to be — but maybe that’s enough

The Taliban may have taken both Chris’s legs, but he came back from Afghanistan with his sense of humour and his lust for life firmly intact. The one thing that can shake his confidence is meeting Josh, the one-night stand from before his tour of duty he hasn’t been able to forget.

It turns out Josh hasn’t forgotten Chris, either. He spent the time they were apart fearing the worst every time a soldier was reported killed in action — and wishing Chris would use the number Josh gave him, and call.

Josh’s delight on seeing Chris again quickly turns to shock on seeing his injuries. With Chris such a changed man, can they still have a future?

7015 words / MM Contemporary

Buy Link (JMS Books)


paint it blackPaint It, Black by J.D. Walker

Engelbert Trentworthy — dear God, call him Trent — is a bit of a slut. Most people don’t take him seriously, and really, neither does he. Trent keeps things simple and doesn’t allow others to get close for reasons he never shares with anyone. Then he meets photographer Elias Lane at the customer service desk where he works.

Elias is captivated by Trent’s appearance and asks him to be part of a photo shoot. Unfortunately, Trent’s image ends up in a shop window near his job and causes all kinds of havoc. To make it up to him, Elias buys Trent dinner. But when Elias tries to push for more, Trent backs away.

Somehow, between the coworker who’s harassing Trent for sex and the specter of Trent’s black past, Elias is determined to get Trent to give him a chance, in every possible way.

13244 words / MM Contemporary

Buy link (JMS Books)


of rats and catsOf Rats and Cats by Addison Albright

All he wanted to do was retrieve his newspaper, but Raymond is panic-stricken when a rat dashes through his open apartment door. No worries, though. Pandy is on the job! Except Kevin doesn’t want Raymond’s cat to eat his beloved pet…mouse.

Can Kevin rescue Corky before Pandy gets to her? Will Raymond’s upturned box of…um… personal toys and videos drive Kevin away, or will the pile of filigree undies Corky has burrowed into turn Kevin on?

5822 words / MM Contemporary

Buy link: JMS Books

Now available on Kindle Unlimited, too, if your book budget is as strained as mine. And after you’ve read this fabulous story, you should immediately run over to Addison’s blog and check out the bonus content. The beginning of the story written in Kevin’s POV is almost funnier than the original 😀