Thursday, December 13, 2018

Advent Calendar Day 13

One of my favorite posts from last year's Advent Calendar was when I asked you all to submit some of your favorite lines from my stories for possible use in teasers. I got some terrific quotes which I really did end up using a bunch of in teasers this year.

So we're going to do that again--and like last year we'll select four people from the comment section below to receive a magnet of one of these gorgeous teasers created by my dear (and ridiculously talented) friend Johanna Ollila. (If you don't know Johanna, she's one of the wonderful mods of my Goodreads group.)

We're actually going to do this creative exercise twice. This time around, just choose any favorite line(s) for any favorite Josh Lanyon book and post below. NEXT week I'll be looking for best lines from the Dangerous Ground series (Blind Side is coming out next year) and I haven't yet figured out what the prizes will be in that case. ;-)

So here are some samples of teasers and the lines that make them so effective.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Advent Calendar Day 12

Welcome to another day of the Advent Calendar! We have more fresh and delicious fiction from talented Sarah Atkinson. She's chosen to revisit the characters from Stranger Than Fiction, but not the characters you might think. I love this unexpected view of the characters and their possible fates . Perception is everything. ;-)

Good Guy

Sarah Atkinson

Good Guy / Bad Guy – well I guess it just depends whose story you’re telling…

Can a murderer ever be a hero or a good guy? It was a question he was often asked at book events and he always skirted around the issue, turning the question back on the questioner. Once (and this was something he was careful never to mention in front of an audience) he was pretty sure someone had thought he was a killer. A killer? No, not unless being a killer of passion counted.  Even now, two and a half years later, as his car made its way along the desert highway, bringing him back to the scene of his crime, Karl Hagan could feel the heat rising in his handsome face as he thought back to that day of disaster and hope.

It had been summer then, a hot, dry summer made for swimming and long, cool drinks of beer. Karl was keenly aware of his disastrous social skills: in spite of being in the football team, he had always found it hard to form friendships, let alone a partnership, so he had gone over and over the words he would say.  He remembered going over to Ethan’s house intending to make his declaration but Ethan had seemed strangely alarmed – scared almost – to see him, and then Michael had turned up. Frustrated, Karl had left. The following morning had brought him renewed hope and determination and he’d sallied forth only to forget everything he had planned to say, instead he had blurted out the words: “We’re the only two queers in 500 miles.” It still made him cringe. How could he have been so crass? How could he, a writer, have uttered something so utterly unromantic, so lacking in sophistication and (as he later fortunately discovered) so factually incorrect?

* * *

Although he had been apprehensive on the journey there, the signing at Red Bird Books  & Coffee went well.  The turnout, for a town the size of Peabody, was surprisingly good and he was pleased to recognise members of the Coffee Clutch Writing Group among those queuing to buy. The content of his latest best seller was similar to the writing he’d shared with the group, he wondered if fame made the words more palatable. Ethan was positively chipper, whether it was the spirit of Christmas present or the presence of the archangel Michael, Karl was unsure. The coffee, unsurprisingly – yet reassuringly – was terrible. A heavily pregnant Erin, who served him, was still not quite able to look him in the eye… The season of good will led to an invitation to join the three of them and Erin’s partner for dinner. He declined, citing a prior engagement.

At last he was on his way to his final destination and following the exact route he’d taken after Ethan had rejected him that hot summer day. Driven by embarrassment and self-loathing, he had avoided the noise and cheer of Denny’s and headed for The Drifters to drown his sorrows. Now, on a crisp winter’s eve, he again turned left before the railroad crossing, then drove down the narrow road to the small white building. True to form, there wasn’t a Christmas decoration in sight, but a blue neon cocktail glass pouring bubbles lit up both the sky above the bar and Karl’s heart.

Eager steps took him across the chilly parking lot towards the door.  Joyfully, he slid past the leather-clad bikers gathered near the jukebox, skirted the small tables occupied by plaid shirts and headed for the bar and the barman who had his back turned. This time, with no rehearsal, social misfit Karl Hagan got the words right. They were short, sweet and delivered with love: “Babe, I’m home.”  George - the man who’d disproved his statement about there being only two gay men in 500 miles, the very day it was uttered – turned around, smiled widely and leaned across the bar to receive his kiss.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

We interrupt this broadcast...

...for a quick word about prizes. :-)

Here's what we have so far in the way of winners.

The Yule Log

Our winners were Sam Spayde, PI and Ariel. It turns out WS will not ship to Alaska so Ariel generously requested that her log be gifted to someone else. So our second winner is now Binkabunny with that glorious coconut cake recipe.

If you do want to collect this prize, I've got to have your address ASAP because these yule logs go very quickly!

Audio Book Download Codes

My three winners are:

 El gato sobre el tejado

If Only in My Dreams (print Christmas collection)


Zoey Brouthers


And because it's the holidays and I'm feeling generous:




Happy, happy holidays to all of you! 

(And don't you worry! Lots of prizes and giveaways still to come!)

Winners, you can contact me through Facebook, Goodreads or the contact page on my website.

Advent Calendar Day 11

Good morning! Less than two weeks until Christmas!

This morning we have more fiction! Today's offering is a sweet and sexy little coda to Winter Kill by the ever-so-talented Natasha Chesterbrook. There's a little story behind this coda. Remember last year when I asked everyone to "write the beginning paragraph of a holiday coda for your favorite Josh Lanyon couple?" Well, that's what Natasha did--and then went on to write the coda too! Isn't that wonderful?

Seeing that it yielded great results, maybe we'll try that exercise again this year! :-)

Winter Kill Coda

Natasha Chesterbrook

Rob was surprisingly nervous as he offered the brightly wrapped gift to Adam. Light from the fireplace glinted off the gold and silver wrapping cinched by a large red bow, curling ribbon snaking in all directions and a silver bell no less to round out the ostentatious display. The store’s wrapping department had gone beyond festive into Christmas mania. That’s what you get for waiting until the last shopping day - Santa’s elves had nothing on the seasonal worker stressed out from the overload of too much glitter, faux fir scent and one too many peppermint lattes. He didn’t want to admit why he waited so long to shop. Adam could be so hard to read even after over a year together. So yeah, he was nervous. What was the worst that could happen?

When the paper fell away and Adam opened the box, Rob wasn’t expecting his next words, “And here I thought neckties were as kinky as you got.”

“Huh?” Well, Rob looked inside the box to confirm its contents. The shiny black leather collar with brushed silver studs lay nestled in the tissue paper with the coiled length of matching leather leash beneath. “That’s a – “ 

He blushed hot at the joke and reached for the box. Adam deftly moved away while snatching the collar and held it up to his neck. “Is this what you were thinking?” Adam’s laughter uncoiled the tension in Rob’s shoulders.

“They’re not for you, Darling.” Sometimes he couldn’t help himself even if Adam has heard all the jokes before.

Rob noticed how Adam’s smile shone bright in the winter morning sun from the front windows. The day was beautiful much like the man before him.

“Yeah? So you’re going to wear it?” The single lifted brow on Adam’s handsome face was the last straw to Rob’s restraint. He swooped in, grabbing his man around the waist, serving up the kiss with more enthusiasm then finesse because he knew Adam wouldn’t care, would actually prefer it.

Once they’d parted for breath as much as to finish the moment, Rob stated, “Sally Gardner’s Rhodesian’s puppies are weaned.”
Adam looked at Rob with a mixture of wry amusement and fondness and said softly, “You got me a dog.”

“No, I got you a collar. The dog’s for me.” The kiss this time was tender and soft and seemed to last forever.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Advent Calendar Day 10

Tonight is the final night of Chanukah, so I thought perhaps it would be appropriate to share this little jewel of a poem by Mark Strand.

The Coming of the Light

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Advent Calendar Day 9

Day 8 already! It seems the holiday season is flying past as fast as the rest of the year.

Today I'm giving away three copies of If Only in My Dreams, the print collection of my five Christmas novellas. This is the only collection that has all my Christmas stories in one nice big package.

Share the three elements you personally find essential to a holiday romance story in the comment section below, and I'll randomly choose three participants to receive a free copy.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Advent Calendar Day 8

I can't remember if I shared this cartoon last year or not. It's about eight minutes of "The Night Before Christmas." I'm sure I saw this many times as a little kid because it's so familiar--starting with all those kids packed into that bed with the pink quilt. ;-)

Anyway, enjoy! Have a lovely weekend. May you get all your shopping done!