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.

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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?

Advent calendar: day 23

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Behind door number 23 of the advent calendar, we find Welcome Home, Soldier by Deanna Wadsworth. This book was in last year’s Dreamspinner Press advent calendar with Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings, and bought it back then but didn’t read it until now.

I love second chances and I love books with older MCs. I love books where the characters talk things through, and I adore emotional stories that makes me reach for the Kleenex  and go hug my husband when I finish reading. This book ticked all those boxes.

Also: I’m not a dog person (mostly because I’m allergic), but how cute is that dog on the cover? 😍

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Blurb

Clay and Daniel fell in love as enlisted men during Desert Shield, but Don’t Ask Don’t Tell meant they had to keep it secret. After Clay’s convoy was ambushed, PTSD changed him, and their relationship ended in a horrible fight on Christmas Eve.

Twenty-five years later, they’ve reconnected on Facebook, and Clay finds out Daniel will be alone on Christmas Eve. Impulsively, he sets out for Daniel’s hometown of Gilead, Ohio—where Daniel is now the mayor—to surprise him with a visit. But a blizzard strikes and Clay wrecks his car. All hope of seeing Daniel is lost—until a mysterious old man named Nick offers Clay a ride.

The weight of past wounds and the scars of war might make their reunion awkward, but Clay is willing to take the risk to win back his lost love. Despite a lifetime of disappointing holidays, Clay hopes that this soldier is finally coming home for Christmas.

Buy link: Amazon | Dreamspinner Press

Today’s quote from the book:

“So you do feel it?” Clay whispered. He took Daniel’s hand from his chest and pressed to Daniel’s heart. “In here?”

Today’s song to go with the story

Merry Christmas, Darling by The Carpenters, because ever since Clay and Danny parted all those years ago on Christmas Eve, they’ve both had the same wish. One that’s finally, finally fulfilled: I’ve just one wish on this Christmas eve, I wish I were with you

Advent calendar: day 22

teabooks

Behind door number 22 of the advent calendar, we find The Mistletoe Kiss by Ruby Moone. Another favorite from last years crop of holiday books (review here). Christy and Lawrence are awesome, swoonworthy characters that make me want to read more historical M/M romances. I used to read a lot of historical M/F, but when it comes to M/M, I seem to be stuck mostly in the contemporary box. So any historical M/M romance recommendations you have for me would be greatly appreciated.

While I wait for your recs, I’ll just make myself a cup of tea and re-read this fabulous story. Do not disturb! 🙂

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Blurb

Widowed bookseller Lawrence Fenton has spent a lonely lifetime hiding who he is. He has convinced himself his feelings for his far too young, gorgeous, but troubled assistant Christy Shaw are nothing more than pride in his protégé and concern for his plight.

Christy’s life involves walking fine lines: one between his mother and his abusive stepfather, one where he must keep his needs hidden, and hardest of all, one where he must keep his feelings for his serious employer to himself.

Lame since birth, Lawrence cannot imagine anyone wanting him, least of all Christy. But when Christy’s life threatens to spiral out of control, Lawrence steps in. Then Christy’s emotions spill over into a kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. Will Lawrence be able to face the long-buried truth about himself and keep Christy by his side?

Buy link: Amazon | JMS Books

Today’s quote from the book:

He waited for him to resist, to pull away, demand to know what his game was…but he melted into him, buried his face in Lawrence’s neck, and let out a shuddering sigh that pierced Lawrence’s parched, lonely heart.

Today’s song to go with the story

Kissin’ by the Mistletoe by Aretha Franklin, because while the first time Christy kisses Mr. Fenton by the mistletoe might come as a shock to Mr. Fenton, it leads to something good in the end. Something excellent.

Advent calendar: day 21

teabooks

Behind door number 21 of my advent calendar, we find Unto Us the Time Has Come by Sean Michael. How lovely is that cover? Especially the lettering in the Christmas tree! And the insides is as lovely as the outside, and if you’re in the mood for a story about second chances, this is the book for you!

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Blurb

Last Christmas, Kenn Greyson gave husband Chris Martenson an ultimatum—spend more time with the family or we’re leaving. He never expected Chris’s reply would be “then leave,” but that’s exactly what happened, and Boxing Day took on a whole new meaning.

Separated for nearly a year now, both men are miserable apart and coping the best they can for the kids’ sake. With Christmas just around the corner, a new conflict arises: neither man is willing to forego Christmas morning with their children. Chris finally suggests they spend the holiday together at the house and, to his shock, Kenn agrees.

Armed with the knowledge that he’s been a stubborn idiot, but that perhaps he can change and begin to repair their relationship, Chris takes steps to win his husband back. He just hopes he can get Kenn on the same page before Santa comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve.

Buy link: Amazon | Dreamspinner Press

Today’s quote from the book:

“Dad, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure.”

“Do you still love him?”

Kenn didn’t even pretend he didn’t know who Micah was talking about. “I will always love him. He’s the love of my life.”

“Oh.”

He could see Micah working that one out in his head, and he waited for the inevitable follow-up question, but it didn’t come, Micah’s eyelids drooping.

“Night, son.”

He stood, turned around, and Christ was right there. Right there, staring at him.

“Is that true?” Chris asked, eyes burning into him.

“Yeah. You’ve always been my one and only.”

Today’s song to go with the story

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2, because “Baby please come home” is exactly what Chris wants to tell Kenn!

Advent calendar: day 20

teabooks

Behind door number 20 of the advent calendar, we find Christmas Wishes by RJ Scott. First of all: it’s free!! So even if you’re on a tight budget this holiday season (who isn’t??), you can download it and enjoy a break from the holiday to-do list and not pay a dime.

Also, it’s about a grumpy writer who severely lacks in the social-skill-department. Don’t we all? 🙂

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Blurb

Jamie’s car breaks down in the middle of nowhere in a snowstorm. The only hope there is for Jamie and his baby daughter, Grace, is to follow a light leading them to a cabin half hidden in the forest. What they find is a grumpy author in isolation and very little in the way of help.

Lucas never asked for company, particularly a hot guy and his tiny, demanding, daughter. Their arrival brings chaos and destroys his peace and he has no idea what to do. But when lust turns to more he fights the need to kiss his guest.

Because Jamie will be leaving soon, so Lucas doesn’t have to worry he’ll lose his heart. Right?

Download link: RJ Scott’s blog (for the link to instafreebie)

Today’s quote from the book:

I knew I wasn’t the best at social interaction, you name me one author who was all happy smiley all the time, because to date I’d not met one.

Today’s song to go with the story

Christmas Blues by Dean Martin because when Jamie leaves (however temporarily), Lucas is suddenly struck by the blues.

Advent calendar: day 19

teabooks

Behind door number 19 of the advent calendar, we find It’s Not Yule, It’s Me by Michael P. Thomas. It’s funny and emotional; just the way I love my stories. Shannon is a little crazy and Ben has the patience of a saint, and together they are perfect. It doesn’t hurt that I almost fell off my couch laughing at the way they met. It’s hilarious, trust me on this.

This is the first book I read by this author, but it won’t be my last.

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Blurb

Shannon hates Christmas. Mostly because Christmas hates him. It sure seems like it, anyway: every crummy thing that’s happened to him since high school has befallen him at the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Every humiliating break-up, every high-rise hotel fire — heck, a few years back, one guy he had the hots for up and died.

Which goes a long way toward explaining why he’s a whimpering mess when he meets Ben the barista one Christmas morning at his neighborhood coffee house. It doesn’t completely excuse his using Ben’s T-shirt as a handkerchief — while Ben’s still in it — but Ben’s nothing if not a good sport.

Ben’s such a bright spot that after a while Shannon wonders if maybe his Christmas Curse hasn’t been lifted. And what better place to test this theory than at Ben’s family festivities? It’s not like Christmas is actually cursed. Is it?

Download link: Amazon | JMS Books

Today’s quote from the book:

He kisses me. Nothing big, nothing cinematic. He just leans in, kisses me on the mouth, says “Merry Christmas, Shannon,” and walks away. I walk away too, of course. As soon as I float back down to Earth, which takes a second.

Today’s song to go with the story

Blue Christmas by Elvis just to torture Ben, because it’s his least favorite Christmas song in the whole wide world. “I will give you a hundred dollars to turn that off this second.” I don’t think so, Ben 😉