Happy Holidays! Today Men Under the Mistletoe releases from Carina Press. The anthology features romantic holiday stories to warm your heart and tingle your toes by Ava March, KA Mitchell, Harper Fox and yours truly.
We’re promoting the anthology with a mini blog tour starting right here and right now. Along the way there will be snippets to read and the occasional prezzie to giveaway -- check the bottom of this post for the week’s scheduled stops.
Anyway, today’s topic is Christmas Kisses. There’s something inherently romantic about Christmas, I think, though I’m not exactly sure why that is. It’s not romantic in the way Valentine’s Day is. The romance of Christmas is tied in with a sense of nostalgia -- that longing for the way things used to be -- for home and family and all good, familiar things. It’s the time of year when we finally stop to count our blessings, and it’s also the time of year when we almost can’t help but evaluate our lives against our childhood dreams.
It can also be a lonely time of year if you’re far away from family and friends, and maybe that’s part of where that wanting someone special and all our own comes from. Someone to open presents with on Christmas morning and kiss under the mistletoe Christmas night.
Anyway, that’s the day’s topic. Christmas Kisses. You’ll find some tantalizing oscillatory excerpts from the anthology below.
Oh! And today I’m giving away one of the rare print editions of the anthology. To be eligible for the random drawing you must A - Follow the blog (look to the right hand sidebar and follow the directions) and B - leave a comment.
In the beginning of My True Love Gave to Me, I tried to capture the intensity of first love. The rush of emotion, the innocence of youth, the all-encompassing need to be together. In Alexander and Thomas’s case, it’s 1817 and the holiday season, which means a continual press of social and family obligations. Finding time alone with no one else being the wiser is almost impossible. In this excerpt, Alexander arranges some time completely alone with Thomas. It’s first time since they’ve arrived in
from London when they have more than a brief stolen moment together. Oxford
A cool draft of air swept into the entrance hall as the butler opened the front door. “Mr. Norton, your carriage.”
It was all he could do not to dart out the door. His father’s black town carriage stood at the ready at the foot of the stone steps. Another one of their hostess’s footmen had the door already open. Rather than immediately enter, he paused to give the direction to the driver then followed Thomas inside, settling on the black leather bench opposite him.
The door snapped shut.
“Why are we going to
?” Thomas asked. Drury Lane Theatre
“We aren’t.” He closed the shade on the window in the narrow door, cloaking the interior in almost full darkness. “I needed to give the driver a direction and it will do as good as any.”
The carriage lurched forward.
Alexander pounced on Thomas, cutting off his words.
Knees straddling muscular thighs and with his hands cupping that strong jaw, he pressed his lips to Thomas’s. Greedy and impatient, he flicked his tongue against the seam of Thomas’s lips.
With a groan, Thomas opened his mouth. A silken tongue brushed his own.
Hot and intense, sensation washed over him, filling his chest, his heart, his soul. A moan shook his throat.
By God, it was only like this with Thomas. No other had ever come close to rousing these feelings within him. Making his pulse pound through his veins and need claw desperately at his throat. This was where he belonged. With Thomas. In the man’s arms.
He lifted me carefully into his arms. My mouth found his and he pushed me back for a second, then groaned and sought me for himself. I buried my hand in his hair’s rough silk. Shuddering, he kissed me, his fingers clenching on the collar of my shirt. He laid us
down on the debris-strewn floor. Dust and small stones were still falling—seeing this by lamplight, I choked in terror, but he hushed me. “No. Look at me. Just look at me.”
His clear grey eyes, his smile, were enough to stop the roof from caving in. They would hold up the sky. I imagined him as Orion, or Bootes, the shepherd-god who bore his namesake star Arcturus, stretched out across the starry night, and I seized him.
The first kiss was tentative. The second kiss not so much.
They had kissed as boys, but back then the simple pleasure of mouths pressed together and shared breath had been fraught with their own insecurities about who and what they were. Kissing had somehow seemed more gay than the other things they did, and neither of them had been totally comfortable with it.
So it was a surprise to realize how familiar the taste of Web’s mouth was. Twelve years ought to make a difference, seeing that it was unlikely Web still lived on chili dogs, Dr Pepper and Goodart’s Peanut Patties. But Web still tasted sweet as Mitch parted his lips with a gentle tongue. He closed his eyes, savoring Web’s instant, generous response. Yes, they’d both learned a few things over the years. Web’s tongue touched his own. It really didn’t get a lot more personal than tongues twining in the dark, moist heat of two men’s mouths.
Mitch broke the kiss with reluctance and one final, teasing lick. The hardness under his caressing hand began to throb more urgently, and he was conscious only of wanting to make this good for Web. The best ever. Maybe he had been a moody, difficult kid, but he had loved Web with all his heart, and if he hadn’t taken the time to show it then…
Don’t forget to join the blog and comment below for a chance to win a print copy of Men Under the Mistletoe.
The schedule for the rest of the week looks like this:
Ava March on Home for the Holidays -- December 6th
KA Mitchell on Scene and Setting -- December 7th
ALSO ON DECEMBER 7TH we’ll be blogging at Carina about what the boys will be doing next year -- and we’ll be exchanging cookie recipes. Seriously.
Harper Fox on Dark to Light -- December 8th
And a final Happy Holidays from all of us on December 9th right back here where you started!