Coming in December

On December 21, my holiday story Four Christmases will be released, and it will be a part of a JMS Trio (like In My Arms Again). I don’t have a cover or a pre-order link yet, but  I thought I’d share the blurb and a mood board instead, so you know what to expect.


FOUR CHRISTMASES

Will a decade-old family feud and long held secrets stand in the way of love?

Auden Whipple is searching for a bit of peace and quiet from his loud family when he stumbles across the neighbor, Porter Eldin. Porter is scorching hot on a freezing Christmas Day, and nothing like Auden expected. A moment shared by the creek, begins a relationship that surprises them both.

As the Christmases pass, Auden and Porter’s relationship deepens. But the obstacle of the unresolved conflict between the Whipples and the Eldins makes Auden worried. Worried to tell his family of his new-found love, worried that the conflict will come between them.

Can two men truly in love help mend fences that have been broken for too long? Can the holiday spirit help Auden and Porter find their happily ever after?

RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 21


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WIP teaser

Today, I’m sharing the beginning of my WIP, Four Christmases, that I told you about here. It’s unedited and it’s short, but I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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2015

The silence that follows after I close the door is wonderful, and I slump against a porch post and let out a long sigh. Shaking my head, I chuckle. I love my granny to pieces, but I’m in desperate need of a break from listening to her repeatedly singing “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” at the top of her voice and out of tune. It comes with a routine and everything; she lifts her cup of eggnog, roar out the word “eggnog” in the lyrics, and cackle like a madwoman, especially after having imbibed quite a few cups of the vile drink in question. Then she looks expectantly at the rest of the family, waiting for us to laugh. I admit it was funny at first, but after the hundredth time my chuckle is polite more than anything.

But it’s been a Whipple family Christmas tradition for years and years, so it wouldn’t be the same without it. I just need a moment of peace and quiet before going back inside for round two.

A shiver racks my body and I wind the thick charcoal scarf I grabbed before fleeing the chaos that is my family Christmas around my neck, shove my gloved hands into the pockets of my light gray peacoat, and then jump off the back porch.

The air is full of huge, light snowflakes twirling leisurely from the sky and landing softly on the frost coated trees and shrubbery in my parents’ garden. It’s not enough to actually be considered a snowfall; it’s more like a reminder that today is December twenty-fifth after all, and we shouldn’t think we’re spared the snow even though it barely covers the ground. It’s as though the weather is keeping us on our toes, teaching us not to take anything for granted.


And if you’ve never heard Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, the song Auden grumbles about, lucky you, because it’s terrible. But here it is, if you want to torture yourself 😀

Writing update

Hi everyone! Did you have a nice weekend? I did, I got lots of writing done. We have an author chat room with JMS books where some of us authors hang out and sprint together, and this weekend I was fortunate enough to sprint with both Tinnean and Elizabeth Noble.

Having other people to sprint with is very helpful: it’s so great to have someone cheer you on, and someone to be accountable to instead of just sitting by my desk and say I’m writing when what I’m really doing is scrolling Twitter. So I’m really grateful to my author friends at JMS Books who hangs out in the chatroom doing sprints. And tonight, I have another sprint date with the lovely T.A. Creech.

So what is it I’m writing, you might ask? Well, I’m working on a holiday story, tentatively called Four Christmases for one of JMS Books Trio collections. If you haven’t heard of the Trio collections, they are, and I quote, “themed collections of three gay romance stories by a trio of authors. Each story is available separately, but readers can get all three for a discounted bundle price.”

Four Christmases is sort of an enemies-to-lovers story, but not really, and it’s about Auden and Poe whose families (who are neighbors) have been locked in a stupid fight for years, but now the MCs meet after haven’t seen each other for a decade or so, and are attracted to each other. The story will be told over four Christmases (hence the title), and start in 2015.

I’m really liking where it’s taken me so far and the plan for tonight is to start writing 2016.


It’s hard, writing Christmas stories in August with palm trees and 35C (95F) outside the window, so to get in the right holiday spirit I listen to music. My husband is not a fan of Christmas music in August and glares at me, but I just smile sweetly and say It’s work, honey, and that’s that 😀


And while we’re on the topic of Christmas, don’t forget that Unexpected Christmas is now available on Kindle Unlimited!

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Amazon | JMS Books (if you want to buy it and own it 🙂 )

Unexpected Christmas on KU

Is it too early to start talking about Christmas books? Yes?

Not for me; I’m currently trying to write one so I’m doing my best to get into the holiday spirit. Christmas music in August? Welcome to my life! 🙂

Maybe you’re one of those people who thinks it’s never too early for Christmas? If you are, here are some great news for you: Unexpected Christmas is now available on Kindle Unlimited!

So if you have a KU subscription and haven’t read my story about Danny and Ax yet, now’s your chance to do it without having to pay extra! 🙂

blurb ku bigger text

 

Amazon | JMS Books (if you want to buy it and own it 🙂 )

Excerpt:

A few minutes later, a vehicle approached from behind. Reacting instinctively, I turned around and waved my arms, hoping the big truck would stop and have mercy on my freezing ass.

I let out a giddy yelp as it slowed down, but it got stuck in my throat when the driver rolled down the window.

He was huge and couldn’t hold his head upright without banging it on the ceiling. Big steel gauges adorned both his ears — at least an inch and a half wide — and his hair was black and so closely cropped it resembled a five o’clock shadow more than an actual haircut.

“You need a ride?” he asked and his voice was deeper than the Mariana Trench, perfectly matching his frightening appearance. Black tattoos crept up his neck and snaked down his hands below his sleeves. His shoulders were wide, his muscles strained the sleeves of his thick black jacket, and his cheeks were hollow. I was one second from shitting myself.

“I’m not riding with a serial killer!” The words slipped out of my mouth and I groaned. I couldn’t have kept my mouth shut for five fucking seconds to avoid being chopped up and thrown to the wolves?

He threw his head back and let out a thunderous laugh.

“What’s so goddamned funny?” I glared at him, but he didn’t seem to care.

“I’m no serial killer.”

“And I’m just supposed to take your fucking word for it?” I raised an eyebrow. I knew I was being combative and taking out my frustration on this stranger, but I couldn’t stop myself.

“You could call my ma for references.”

“Ha ha. Very funny.” With a deep sigh, I resigned to my fate and started walking again. No way was I getting into a car with that mammoth of a man.

“Where you goin’?” he called after me. When I didn’t bother to answer, he eased off the break and let his truck crawl after me.

I swirled around. “Stop following me, you creep,” I hissed.

He let go of the steering wheel with one hand and held it up as if he surrendered. “Look, man. It’s freezin’. You’re wet and miserable. Get in the truck and lemme take you wherever you’re goin’.” His deep voice was surprisingly gentle. Non-threatening, as if he’d come to expect reactions like mine.

“I’m really not a bad guy.” He stuck out his lower lip in a pout that would have made a five-year-old girl green with envy and I had to bite my lip to stop a smile from erupting.

“Really?” I tried to hang on to my mistrust, but he made it hard. His appearance screamed RUN AND HIDE, but there was something soft in his eyes that told a different story.

He shot me a crooked smile. “It was worth a try. It works on my niece every time.”

The fucker knew all the right words to say to disarm me. “And how old is she?”

“Four.”

I huffed out a reluctant chuckle. “Well, you know how it is. Everyone always says how they couldn’t believe their neighbor was a serial killer because he seemed like such a nice guy.”

His eyes grew big and round. “You’re sayin’ you don’t trust my niece as a character witness?” He sounded as I’d just delivered the biggest insult of his life, but the amused glint in his eyes told me it was all for show.

“Can you blame me?”

“I guess not.” He sighed and grew serious. “Please. I couldn’t live with myself if I left you here to freeze to death.”

My body screamed at me to take him up on his offer. The ice pellets were relentless and I was soaked and gloomy and was starting to feel like maybe being ax murdered wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen to me right now.

The openness in his posture and honesty in his eyes had me on the verge of caving. “You promise you won’t kill me?” I sounded like a scared little kid even to my own ears.

Short update

I just wanted to tell you that I’ve requested my rights back for Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings from Dreamspinner Press, my advent calendar story from 2017. The rights reverted back to me on May 31, so as of now, you can’t buy this story anywhere.

Never fear, though! It will be republished by JMS Books in time for the holidays, so all is not lost if you’ve missed Casey and Ellis’ story.

Thanks to Dreamspinner Press for taking a chance on me. It was a pleasure working with you. 😊

 

 

Advent calendar: bonus

teabooks

I know I said yesterday was going to be the last day of the advent calendar, but then I read another book that I just had to squeeze in, so…SURPRISE! Bonus day in the advent calendar!

Because on a whim I bought Talk Turkey by Bru Baker when Dreamspinner Press had a 40% sale on their holiday books and I freaking loved it. It was hilarious, and I’m not talking a chuckle or a giggle here. I’m talking laugh-out-loud-clenching-my-stomach-funny. Laugh-so-hard-I’m-crying-funny. But what made it so special was that between those humorous moments were heart-wrenching moments. First I cried because I laughed, and on the next page I cried because my heart ached for poor lonely Carson who calls a turkey hotline because he doesn’t have anyone else to talk to. I loved this book!

And you have to tell me something: is there really such a thing as turkey hotlines? (I’m Swedish, remember? We don’t eat turkey for Christmas or celebrate Thanksgiving, so I don’t know about these things.)

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Blurb

Carson is a California transplant settling into life in the Windy City. On his first Christmas away from home, he assures his worried family he’ll be having a real Christmas dinner.

Recent culinary school graduate Tom Stockton earns some extra money giving out cooking advice at the Talk Turkey hotline. Tom’s honeyed voice and sharp sense of humor are attractive to the lonely Carson, and Carson finds reasons to call the hotline again and again. But on Christmas Eve, Carson’s call is less playful and more panicked with the big meal looming. Carson is just looking for advice, but Tom has a surprise in store that might lead to much more.

Buy link: Amazon | Dreamspinner Press

Today’s quote from the book:

Is two quotes because they sort of go together…

It said a lot about Carson’s current state of mind that he’d named the turkey currently taking up a good three-quarters of the real estate in his refrigerator. Sure, he’d be eating it. But that didn’t mean he shouldn’t name it. Especially since it was doing such a great service for him, being his sole companion for Christmas dinner. At the rate it was defrosting—which was interminably slowly—it would be coming as a guest and not the meal, which was all the more reason to name it.

and

“I can’t believe I’m indulging this, but…why Terry?”
“Because I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. Terry’s a unisex name.”
“Well, that makes perfect sense, then. God forbid you misgender the turkey you’re going to eat in three days,” Tom said wryly.

Today’s song to go with the story

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole, because Carson is desperately trying to make the holiday season bright by cooking a turkey even though he can’t cook, but in the end it’s not the turkey but Tom who manages to cure Carson’s loneliness.

Advent calendar: day 24

teabooks

Behind door number 24 of my advent calendar is another of my own books, Make the Yuletide Gay. Or rather, it’s an anthology that features one of my stories, The Christmas Day Date, but you’ll also get four other short holiday stories written by Addison Albright, Amy Tasukada, Nicky Spencer, and Stephen Hoppa.

Five stories for the price of…nothing actually, because the anthology is FREE!! (There are a few Amazon market places where they charge for it (gaaah!) but if they do in your country, go to any of the other stores listed below.)

This is the last day of the advent calendar, because I’m Swedish and Swedes celebrate today, on Christmas eve. So while you’re reading this, I’m probably gorging myself on food with my husband and my friends, singing Swedish Christmas related drinking songs, and having a lot of fun.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the advent calendar! Happy holidays everyone!

Sexy Santa

The Christmas Day Date blurb:

Two men. Changed Christmas plans. A gazillion cookies.

Lenny Painter’s idea of the perfect Christmas is sleeping the holiday away. He’s got nowhere to be, and the only item on his Santa wish list is to catch a glimpse of his cute neighbor, JJ.

Julius Jones’s carefully organized Christmas is canceled at the last minute. In a fit of rage, he rids his apartment of all holiday cheer, including the rainbow-decorated tree.

But Lenny rescues the beautiful tree from a sad demise and end up spending the afternoon with JJ. When JJ asks Lenny to celebrate Christmas Day with him, Lenny accepts.

But it isn’t a date. Or is it?

IBOOKS | B&N | KOBO | SMASHWORDS | SCRIBD | AMAZON

(The blurb for the entire anthology and the individual stories are below the YouTube video, so make sure to scroll down if you want to know more about the other stories.)

Bonus scenes

I’ve also done something I usually never do with my stories: written a couple bonus scenes for Lenny and JJ. So if you feel that you want more after you finished The Christmas Day Date, click the links below.

Decisions (A New Year’s Eve story about Lenny and JJ)
The Valentine’s Day Date (A Valentine’s Day story about Lenny and JJ)


Giveaway

For the chance to win two of my back list titles in ebook, tell me about your favorite thing to eat or drink on Christmas (or whichever winter holiday you celebrate).

Don’t forget to leave your email address in the comment section so I can contact you if you win.

Today’s quote from the book:

JJ took one look at me and threw his head back and laughed. It was a joyous sound. As if someone had taken all the wonders of Christmas, crafted into laughter, and gifted it to him.

Today’s song to go with the story

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland, because, well, where do you think we got the title idea from?? 😀

Complete blurb:

Sleigh bells ring—are you listening?

It’s that time of year again, and we have the perfect way to get you in the mood: A free anthology! Five holiday stories that are guaranteed to warm your heart, heat up your cold nights, and most importantly: Make your yuletide gay.

A Christmas Party to Remember by Nicky Spencer

Last Christmas, Cory and Wes made a connection that left them both thanking Santa. But when Cory doesn’t show up for their first date, Wes swears he won’t make that mistake again. This year, can Santa’s magic find a way to bring them back together?

Let’s Not Go Crazy by Stephen Hoppa

The holidays are stressful enough without Ethan’s boyfriend Nate trying to kill him with Christmas cheer. But Nate’s found a whole new way to torture Ethan when he reveals that he wants kids. Will their conflicting desires tear their relationship apart, or will they find a way to ring in the new year stronger than ever?

Captain Jack and the Snack Attack by Addison Albright

Two men determined to win the same treasure at a charity silent auction, a wayward kitten, grumbling tummies, and a dilemma: what’s the correct gift-giving etiquette for a first date that’s mere days before Christmas, and what could possibly go awry with this merry combination?

The Christmas Day Date by Nell Iris

One rainbow Christmas tree in harm’s way and an afternoon spent eating far too many cookies, equals two men with changed holiday plans. But how does that translate into a date?

The Year of the Monkey by Amy Tasukada

The last thing Aoi wants to do for New Year’s is spend it with his boyfriend’s parents, who were far from thrilled when their son came out. Can Aoi warm their hearts making traditional mochi or will they end up in an even stickier situation?