Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Coda 13

Mark and Stephen from the I SPY series




**This coda is actually a snippet from the novelette I Spy Something Christmas that will be out (fingers crossed) in time for the holiday.



I closed my eyes, dozed.

Music was playing downstairs. Bing Crosby. Very traditional. I smiled. The floorboard squeaked and I opened my eyes to soft light and wonderful smells. Irish coffee and warm gingerbread.

Stephen set the tray on the bed and crawled in beside me once more.

“You’re spoiling me.”

Lena is spoiling us both.” He broke off a piece of gingerbread and held it out to me as though he were feeding me wedding cake. I raised my head, nibbled the gingerbread, licked his fingers when I’d taken the last bite. He closed his eyes and gave a twitchy smile. I kissed his fingertips and let my head fall back in the pillows.

“Favorite Christmas carol?” I asked.

“Modern or traditional?”


“‘Silent Night.’ ‘Please Come Home for Christmas.’ You?” He offered another bite of gingerbread.

I took a bite. Swallowed. “This year? ‘I’ll be Home for Christmas.’”

He smiled, understanding. “Traditional?”

“Not really a carol. The Christmas section of Handel’s Messiah.”

“I should have guessed that. My turn. Favorite Christmas movie?”

Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol.”  

Stephen laughed.

“Quite serious. It’s one of your classics, yes? I loved that razzleberry dressing and woofle jelly cake.”

“You do enjoy your food. I’m not sure where you put it.” He stroked my ribcage.

I sucked in my stomach. “Yours?”

It’s a Wonderful Life.”

I said, “You’ve made a difference in a lot of people’s lives. A good difference.”

His green gaze was grave. Sometimes he saw too much.  “Best Christmas memory?” he asked.

“This,” I said. “Tonight.”




  1. Oh, Mark and Stephen!! I looooove "I Spy" series and getting this in time for the holiday? That would be truly wonderful. THANK YOU for the snippet. I can't wait!

  2. Awww. I Spy Something Bloody was the second Josh Lanyon book I ever read and the one that got me officially hooked when I realized that it wasn't just a coincidence that I had liked The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks so much, but that ALL your books were going to make me as happy and as satisfied as the two first ones I had just read. :)

    Have a lovely day, Josh, and thank you for this snippet. I'm going to listen to Christmas carols the whole day and I will start with the "I'll be Home for Christmas" (by Bing Crosby, of course). ;)

  3. Thank you, Josh! Love the snippet, it's such a warm and cozy scene. :)

    ...and now I have to explain to my colleagues why I'm grinning like mad. ;)

  4. Thank you for the cute snippet!! Really looking forward to reading the whole thing (≧∇≦) That gingerbread house picture is stunning by the way! :)

  5. What a sweet little snippet. I know you're not gonna believe this, but Mark and Stephen are my second favorites. I look forward to reading their holiday story. If not before Christmas, then after. No matter when it is, I will most assuredly be delighted by it. Thank you!

  6. Since Mark & Stephen were my request for a coda, you know what a delight it is to see this snippet. Good luck with finishing the holiday novelette. I hope you are feeling better.

  7. UMMMM...I could smell the warm gingerbread. #happy

  8. Saving my wrists and not responding individually to each comment, but you're all making me smile. :-D

    I am feeling a bit better, Susan. Thank you! And the truth is I'd rather be sick now and get it over with than come down with it on the holiday!

  9. You shouldn't be worried about responding. Just bask in the glow. You so deserve. These are amazing.

    1. It's hard not to respond! I do appreciate the kind comments. ;-)

  10. Mark and Stephen!!! Improving a lot in communicating with each other, aren't they. ;-) Now I really can't wait for "I Spy Christmas".

  11. **This coda is actually a snippet from the novelette I Spy Something Christmas that will be out (fingers crossed) in time for the holiday.

    More Christmas gift!!

  12. These Codas are really getting me the festive mood, this one is very reflective, made me think about a few things. I must go back a re-read the books.... thanks Josh.

  13. Lovely.
    What a romantic you are, Josh. :~D

  14. Must be synchronicity that I logged on the very day another book in the "I Spy" series is published. Of course, I purchased it on Amazon and still want a paperback copy. I admit "I Spy Something Bloody" is my favorite story and Mark, my favorite character. Perhaps because of the truth he expressed about wanting something so bad that the fear of not getting it can intimidate you from even trying. I think this motivation underlies the dysfunctional behavior of several of your other characters as well. Maybe it is simply anachronistic when a grownup doesn't remember he isn't still five years old and doesn't need to protect himself against disappointment in the same way. Looking forward, to reading the new "I Spy Something Chrstmas". Thank you for your continued interest in Mark and Stephen. Toni Rapone, Montana