Advent calendar: day 13

teabooks

Behind door number 13 of my advent calendar, we find Once in a Snowstorm by Ofelia Gränd. Tristan is grumpy and Aidan is high maintenance and you can just imagine how well that works when they get snowed in together in Tristan’s cabin in the woods!

Also, read this blog post by Ofelia. She tells the story of how Once in a Snowstorm came to be and it’s hilarious.

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Blurb

Daring a snowstorm might not be the smartest thing Aiden has ever done, but he can’t stand being in his flat a moment longer. With only three days to Christmas, he doesn’t want to be alone. He wants a place to belong, wants people around him who won’t look down on him. He might not find all that at his mother’s place, but at least it’s better than being alone in the city. If he can make it there, that is.

Tristan is looking forward to a quiet night in front of the TV, but instead, he has to save an idiot in designer clothes from freezing to death in his forest. Tristan tries not to notice the man’s good looks, just like he has tried not to notice any man’s good looks for the last seven years. He knows where relationships go and is far better off living alone, with his dog, in his cabin.

Aiden is driving Tristan mad with his bratty comments and irresponsible ways, and Aiden is going crazy from Tristan’s judgmental attitude. Luckily, in a few days, the weather will clear up, and the two men won’t have to be together any longer. But will a few steamy nights with the grumpy lumberjack change Aiden’s mind about wanting to leave? And will Tristan still want to go back to his peaceful, predictable life without fear of getting his heart broken?

Buy link: Amazon

Today’s quote from the book:

Wide glassy eyes turned in his direction. “I can’t get the fire to take. I’ve lit, and lit, and lit, but it keeps on dying.”

Tristan wanted to roll his eyes—who doesn’t know how to light a fire?—but the tremble in the man’s voice stopped him. He must’ve tried for a while if he was this close to tears over a freaking fire.

Today’s song to go with the story

Mer Jul by Adolphson & Falk because Ofelia is from Sweden like myself, so she needs a classic Swedish Christmas song to go with her book. “Mer Jul” means “more Christmas” and the song is about how the singer wants more of everything associated with Christmas! 🙂

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Advent calendar: day 12

teabooks

Behind door number 12 of my advent calendar, we find Angel Wings and Bullets by E.F. Mulder. If you need to believe in a little bit of magic this holiday season, this is the book for you!

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Blurb

A seemingly lost little girl leads Bart to the scene of a horrible accident. As he consoles Sawyer, who crashed his bike into a New York City bus, he finds himself comforted instead when Sawyer offers him a pendant to keep him safe as he heads off to boot camp and eventually war.

More than a decade later, the pair are reunited on Thanksgiving Day, one on one side of a soup kitchen serving table, one on the other. They nearly miss each other, but fate — or something else — seems to want to bring them together.

It isn’t only on that day, either, but throughout the holiday season, during which Bart discovers the significance of the pendant and both men learn to believe in angels and second chances.

Buy link: Amazon | JMS Books

Today’s quote from the book:

Surely there were better options—closer friends he could turn to when he needed to talk. “I feel like I would never run out of things to tell you,” he said as if answering my thoughts.

Today’s song to go with the story

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing by Frank Sinatra because you need musical angels to go with bookish angels.

Advent calendar: day 11

teabooks

Behind door number 11 of my advent calendar, we find Watermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay. I’ve had this book on my TBR list since it was released last year, but haven’t come around to buying it until now. Why, oh why haven’t I read it before?

I wanted something diverse for my advent calendar, something not Christmas and maybe even with MCs that weren’t white, gay, CIS dudes. And Watermelon Kisses ticked all these boxes. It also made me cry and swoon and smile and love. It made me want to scoop these two men up in my arms and promise them everything will be all right. It made me want to go and find my husband so I, too, can have flavored kisses (but unlike Esmail, I want coffee flavored kisses, not watermelon flavored ones).

I want to scream from the rooftops how great this book is and make everyone understand that they need to read it. You there, you reading this. You need this book. Trust me.

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Blurb

Life hasn’t been easy for Amir since he fled Iran after a brutal imprisonment. The trauma experienced at the hands of the guards left a dark spot on his soul. The one constant in his life since relocating to Chicago has been his lover—now husband—Esmail, whose steadfast love and support has soothed his wounded heart.

​But this Shab-e Yalda, Amir wants to be the one giving his husband something special, because even after the darkest nights, the sun will rise again.

Buy link: Amazon | Mischief Corner Books

Today’s quotes from the book:

(I can’t just pick one quote from this book. It’s impossible!)

“[—] But I fell for you right then and there. Those eyes-”
“They’re just plain brown,” Amir protested.
“So deep, so sincere,” Esmail continued.

and

Esmail kissed Amir’s forehead and sighed. They leaned against each other, beard against beard, heart against heart.

and

“[—] Stolen moments away from prying eyes. That’s what those were,” Esmail continued. “I loved every one of them. Eating watermelon and stealing kisses. Best taste in the world. Your watermelon kisses.”

and

“[—] as a thumb traced over a long keloid that cut from the tip of his hipbone to Amir’s ass. “These don’t scare me away. Never will. These scars mean everything to me. I love every one of them, because they meant you lived. That you came back to me.”

Today’s song to go with the story

Winterlude by Bob Dylan. Not a Christmas song for a non-Christmas story. Instead, a wintery song that’s the perfect companion to Amir and Esmail’s celebration that takes place on the winter solstice. And because the lines below fit perfectly with the song. (Sorry about the Spotify link, but I couldn’t find it on YouTube. I guess Bob Dylan makes sure to protect his stuff!)

Everything is gonna be all right
Oh, I see by the angel beside me
That love has a reason to shine
You’re the one I adore, come over here and give me more
Then winterlude, this dude thinks you’re fine

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/6h8laPks98zPizQ5qahy40

Advent calendar: day 10

teabooks

Behind door number 10 of my advent calendar, we find The Working Elf Blues by Piper Vaughn. My writing buddy Kris T. Bethke tweeted about this book a couple days back, prompting me to one-click it. I loved it so much it bumped out another book I’d planned on featuring in this advent calendar. Because who can resist a grumpy loner and a bubbly real life elf? Not me, that’s who! 🙂

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Blurb

Garnet Evergreen has never heard of an elf abandoning the North Pole for a human, but he yearns to be the first. Ever since he saw Wes, the boy with sorrowful eyes, Garnet felt an undeniable kinship. Over the years, he’s watched that boy grow into a man, and now he’s determined to give Wes a Christmas he’ll never forget. If only Garnet had thought to test his father’s sleigh before leaving…

Orphaned as a child, Wes spends every Christmas alone at his cabin. When he’s woken by a suspicious boom and finds a wrecked sleigh and an unconscious elf, he doesn’t know how to react. Wes isn’t fanciful. He doesn’t give much credence to the stories about Santa Claus and flying reindeer. But a part of him wants desperately to believe when Garnet promises forever, even if life has taught him that no one ever stays…

Buy link: Amazon | Less Than Three Press

Today’s quote from the book:

It occurred to Garnet Evergreen, as he plummeted toward Earth, that perhaps fleeing the North Pole in his father’s untested, fir-sap-fueled sleigh might not have been the best of ideas.

Today’s song to go with the story

Jingle Bells by Michale Bublé and The Puppini Sisters, because just like Miss Fanny Bright, Garnet got upsot in the snow. (Wait! I just realized that doesn’t happen in this version. Ah well, read the lyrics here—if you don’t know them already—and you’ll understand what I’m talking about 😀 )

Advent calendar: day 9

teabooks

Behind door number 9 of the advent calendar, we find The Holly Groweth Green by Amy Rae Durreson. If you’re in the mood for a historical fantasy fairytale featuring a navy doctor who was injured in WWII and a wizard from Elizabethan time, that’s liberally sprinkled with magic, and beautifully crafted with magical language – this is just the story for you. I have heart eyes writing this!

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Blurb

When wounded doctor Laurence Payne is stranded in the snowy English countryside on Christmas Eve, 1946, he is surprised to stumble upon Mistle Cottage and its mysterious inhabitant. Avery claims to be an Elizabethan wizard, and Laurence struggles to explain away the atmosphere of the cottage as mere coincidence and trickery. He spends a magical twelve days of Christmas celebrating with Avery, but then wakes to find his lover has vanished and the cottage has fallen to ruin overnight.

Laurence’s investigations lead him to the story of an ancient fairy curse—Avery is doomed to spend only Christmas Eve to Twelfth Night in human form until he finds true love. Laurence sets out to give Avery the greatest gift of all—his heart and with it the chance to live for more than the fleeting winter weeks he’s been sentenced to.

Buy link: Amazon | Dreamspinner Press

Today’s quote from the book:

“Such beauty,” Avery murmured, finally lifting his hand to trace through Laurence’s hair. “You shine like gold against me.”

Today’s song to go with the story

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen by Pentatonix because an Elizabethan wizard needs to be accompanied by music appropriate for a man of yesteryear, albeit with a modern twist 🙂

Advent calendar: day 8

teabooks

Behind door number 8 of my advent calendar is another of my own books, Under the Felt Mistletoe. Today is release day, so I thought it was perfect to feature my lovely boys Finn and Nelson in the calendar.

The idea for this story came when I read somewhere on Twitter about a guy who had been thrown out of his home when his parents found out that he was gay, but every year for Christmas he left them presents on the porch (😭😭). That story from real life broke my heart, and I needed to write a HEA for him. Even if it’s only fictional.

I hope you’ll like it 🙂

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Blurb

The most wonderful time of the year is about to get even better. 

On a cold, rainy December morning, Finn’s beloved Grampa, his best friend and rock, makes a friend outside their home who he invites in for coffee. The last thing Finn expects is Nelson, a man with a painful past, who is beautiful and generous and turns Finn’s knees into jelly.

What starts out as a chance to get out of the rain, soon becomes more as Nelson helps Finn get ready for the Christmas market. They bond over coffee and fabric and Mariah Carey. Can handmade Christmas ornaments and an understanding heart give Nelson the love he’s been denied?

JMS Books | AmazonAmazon UK | KoboGoogle Play | B&N | Smashwords | iTunes

Giveaway

I haven’t forgotten that promised you a giveaway every time I feature one of my own books in this advent calendar.

To enter the giveaway: tell me which celebrity you would like to kiss under the mistletoe in the comments. Don’t forget to write your email address or some other way for me to contact you if you win.

The winner will get a copy of Unexpected Christmas and Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings, two of my three Christmas stories from last yearin ebook. (The reason I’m not giving away the third story is that it’s already free, so it would be incredibly cheap of me! 🙂 )

Today’s quote from the book:

With a mischievous glint in his eye, he picks up the stool and walks away. “You’d better try it, though. Make sure it works before you sell it.”

“What do you mean?” I ask his retreating back.

“I mean you should kiss Nelson under that thing, what did you think I mean?” His cackle echoes through the house as blood rushes to my face so quickly I swear I can hear it whooshing in my ears.

I’m mortified. My face is burning, my ears are burning, my neck is burning. It’s not that I don’t want to kiss Nelson. I just don’t want my sixty-seven-year-old Grampa being the one to suggest it.

Today’s song to go with the story

All I Want For Christmas is You by Steve Grand, because Finn and Nelson sing it to their hearts content as they make Christmas ornaments for the market, but since I’m not a huge fan of Mariah Carey, I changed it up a little and chose this version instead 🙂

Advent calendar: day 7

teabooks

Behind door number 7 of the advent calendar, we find Happy Merry Christmas by Amy Tasukada. KFC for Christmas dinner? Sounds…different, right? But sometimes “different” is just what the doctor ordered, so if you want to learn more about Japanese Christmas and read a cute story about Aoi and Sato, this is just the book for you!

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Blurb

Will they ever get the Christmas of their dreams?

Aoi can’t wait for his first Christmas Eve with Sato. The erotic voice actor Aoi wants nothing more than to share the Japanese tradition of having a KFC chicken dinner with his boyfriend.

When Aoi is offered an incredible gig that would finally earn him enough money to move in with Sato, he takes it without thinking. He fails to realize that the job could cause him to miss spending Christmas Eve with Sato altogether…

Sato’s counting down the seconds to his Christmas Eve with Aoi. He’s even planning a big surprise with a present from Santa. There’s only one problem: he can’t find the perfect gift, and Christmas is fast approaching.

Just when everything falls into place for Aoi and Sato, they must overcome their greatest challenge yet: learning to be there for each other, even when countless obstacles are keeping them apart.

Happy Merry Christmas is a sweet romance.  If you like heart-warming characters, romance that makes you smile, and a pinch of holiday drama, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s tale of Christmas joy.

Buy link: Amazon

Today’s quote from the book:

He didn’t think about how deep in his throat to make the sound or if he should let it hum along his vocal cords before pushing the sound out his nose. No. These moans of pleasure were real, and they were only for Sato.

Today’s song to go with the story

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John&Yoko / The Plastic Ono Band because of the title, but mostly because Yoko Ono is Japanese and so are Aoi and Sato 🙂