Monday, December 22, 2014

Random Christmas Novellas Part 4

Merry Christmas, Darling by Josh Lanyons
In 2012 I began a holiday tradition of writing Christmas codas for some of my — and your — favorite stories. I ran the codas on my blog and left them up there for readers to enjoy all year round.

Readers requested that I collect the codas and make them available digitally and in print, and I thought that was a fun idea, which is how you come to be reading this. I decided to add another ten new codas to the collection, as well as some recipes for cocktails and dishes that are either featured in the original works or seem to add some final comment or insight into the era or the characters or their relationship.

This was such a fun read.  Some could be labeled outtakes others could be epilogues, but whatever you call them, they are great!  There were a few from stories I haven't read yet so I skipped those and will go back to them once I have.  I think the one for Holmes & Moriarity stood out for me because it wasn't really what you called "happy holiday" but it was perfect Kit and JX, had it been written a bit more happily then it wouldn't have suited the characters and the stories we've come to love.  This is a must read for Lanyon lovers, especially if you're like me and never really ready to let go of his characters when you turn the last page.


I Heard Him Exclaim by ZA Maxfield
Who Likes a Skinny Santa?

Steve Adams's heart hasn't been in the Christmas spirit ever since doctors put a stent in it and ordered him to clean up his act. No longer filling out his Santa suit or allowed to make merry, he's forgoing the holidays this year and heading to Vegas to indulge in the few vices left to him: gambling and anonymous sex.

His road trip takes a detour when he encounters Chandler Tracey, who's just inherited guardianship of his five-year-old niece. Overwhelmed, Chandler's on his way to deliver Poppy to his parents. But fate has other plans and, after car trouble, Chandler and Poppy accept a ride home with Steve. Though the heat between the two men is obvious, they put it on simmer while they band together to make Poppy's Christmas as perfect as possible.

Steve soon comes to believe that while Chandler is the right person to look after Poppy, someone needs to look after Chandler. Fortunately, Steve knows just the man for the job.

Also available in the His for the Holiday Anthology Click here for previous post for anthology information.

Holly Jolly by Silvia Violet
I’m not gay. I just notice men sometimes. Everybody does, right? I notice Dane a lot, like every time I’m near him, but just because I think he’s an attractive man that doesn’t mean I like him, does it?

I’m also not a fan of Christmas. Too many years “celebrating” with my Bible-thumping family ruined the holiday for me. So what if I envy all these cheerful souls dashing about with smiles on their faces? I don’t have to like Christmas, do I? If anyone could get me in the Christmas spirit, it would be Dane with his easy, relaxed manner and his gorgeous smile. If that were going to happen, though, I’d have to find the courage to talk to him and to admit that maybe I don’t know myself all that well after all.

New York Christmas by RJ Scott
Christmas, and the man of his fantasies is back in Chris's life.

It's been far too long since Christian Matthews has seen Daniel Bailey. In fact the last time they met Chris was a senior in college and he was the TA tasked with helping Daniel who was a way too confident freshman.

Some years down the road, Chris is licking his wounds after being asked to leave the private school where he was teaching. He has no job, no money, and has to rely on his friend Amelia for the job and a room to live in. He needs a freaking Christmas miracle to make this Season anything other than a total loss.

Then Daniel comes back into his life and suddenly everything seems possible. Not only is Daniel still the man Christian wants more than anything, but this time Chris may well actually tell Daniel how he feels.

Author Bios:
Josh Lanyon
A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery, adventure and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist.

ZA Maxfield
Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four manages to find time for a writing career, she'll answer, "It's amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework."

Silvia Violet
Silvia Violet writes erotic romance and erotica in a variety of genres including sci fi, paranormal, and historical.

Silvia Violet can often be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like "Do you write children's books?" She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she's actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinful chocolate treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading children's books to her wickedly smart offspring.

RJ Scott
RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.
As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.
With over sixty titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.
Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Josh Lanyon

ZA Maxfield

Silvia Violet

RJ Scott

Merry Christmas, Darling

I Heard Him Exclaim

Holly Jolly

New York Christmas

Monday's Montage Mantlepiece: One Holiday Ever After

The holidays are a time for celebration, discovery, coming home, and maybe even miracles for those who are lucky. From the streets of New York City, to the wintery wonderland of the Maine woods, to the quaint, small town charm of Idaho, the men in these stories have different holiday desires. They’re looking for familiarity or fresh starts, but they have one thing in common—their happily ever afters might be waiting in the last places they think to look. Come see what they unwrap in these stories by three acclaimed authors of male/male romance.

Holiday Roommates by Tere Michaels 
As an actor without prospects, Nate Brandywine needs an emergency roommate for the month of December. During a humiliating gig as a Christmas elf at a NYC department store, he meets Sean Callahan, his producer and a man struggling under the weight of a past-due loan. Sean’s desperate for a place to stay in the city for a few weeks. A month of sharing a workplace and an apartment with someone you can't stop flirting with? Maybe the holidays won’t be so terrible after all.

Holiday Sanctuary by Elle Brownlee 
Chris Declan is trekking through the wintry wonderland of rural Maine, searching for inspiration and himself, when he's literally and figuratively taken by storm. First by the surprise blizzard that finds him seeking refuge in Paul Bak's secluded cabin, and second by Paul. Making the best of being snowed in together soon becomes a comfortable friendship with fireside chats, a quaint holiday celebration, and more. But despite their growing closeness, there's one thing they avoid—what will happen when the snow clears and the holidays end.

Holiday Homecoming by Elizah J. Davis
Gavin Anderson never thought making it as a writer in LA would be easy, but when his latest project falls through, he gives up on Hollywood and heads to Bonabri, Idaho in hopes that the peace and quiet of his childhood home will help him figure out his next move. Instead he finds Eric Nichols, his parents' cute and charming housesitter who is there to experience the small town Christmas festivities. Gavin's plans for quiet reflection are no match for Eric's holiday cheer, and he soon finds himself swept up in the spirit of the season. Gavin thought his life had hit a dead end, but in coming home he finds what might be a new beginning.

Holiday Roommates by Tere Michaels
Chapter 1
THIS, THIS moment right here, was the humiliation frosting on the shitstorm cake his month had been. Nate Brandywine stood in front of the full-length mirror, oblivious to the chattering cast around him.

Happy Holidays, Nathaniel. You have a BFA in Theater from the Yale School of Drama, you spent two years on Broadway as a featured performer, and now? An elf costume.

From the curled shoes—jingle bells, seriously?—to the top of his pointed hat—a pom-pom, for real?—he was Wiggles the Elf, booked for a five-week stint at the brand new La Kiss Store on Fifth Avenue for their “Holiday Spectacular.”

It wasn’t even Macy’s, for God’s sake.

La Kiss—fake French at its finest—decided, as their US kickoff, to recreate a ’50s-era Norman Rockwell Christmas display, with Santa and elves and other winter-related characters learning life lessons while tucked into a silvery white wonderland, as a doo-wop quartet rotated through classic holiday songs. Nate read the “script” and the requirements—cover your tattoos, no jewelry, no gum chewing, no cursing, no current slang, teeth whitening was recommended—and blessed his poker face, because this was a crock.

It was a Monday night so it wasn’t like he had anywhere else to be. Once upon a time, seven on a Monday would have been a time for Nat to chill, enjoying a day off from being on stage as “Thad,” shaking his pelvis and belting out ’60s rock and roll in “Shake and Shimmy.” A show that earned good reviews, nice box office, and then was booted from the theater by the newest Disney production.

Nate was trying not to be bitter. And failing miserably.

Two years employment gone, and now—right before Christmas—he was pounding the pavement with the scores of other un- and underemployed actors in New York City. This was the longest period of time he’d been without a job since he was three, and wasn’t that disheartening. His agent was sympathetic, but she couldn’t conjure up work for all her clients, let alone the low-on-the-totem-pole dwellers. He’d have to wait it out, do what he could to get by.

And not let his mother know he was hanging on by the barest thread.

HE WOULDN’T have considered this role (air quotes) if he wasn’t currently laboring under the added weight of a rent increase that prompted his pot-addicted roommate/ex-stepbrother to pack up and move out. A fact brought to Nate’s attention via a sticky note on the spot where the television used to be when he got home from a networking (more air quotes) event the week before.

Once he paid his December rent with the last of his savings, he would have nothing until this job paid out on Christmas Eve. And no roommate, no long-term job—which meant no apartment come January first. It was almost too shattering to contemplate.

Facing eviction from your beloved apartment—and possibly having to move in with your mother and take her back as your manager—was enough to convince a man to take any role. Any role. If his penis were bigger, he would have considered porn.

So La Kiss’s gig it was. Nate owed his former castmate Carin a fruit basket for the recommendation. And he would send her one as soon as he could afford it. Currently, however, the full amount of rent due in seven days would leave him with seventy-four cents in the bank. Oh God, he had to stop thinking about it, or he would start screaming in the middle of this crowd of meandering elves.

“Looking good!” Astrid, the “elf wrangler” chirped as she floated by. “You are the perfect height for this!”

She could have kicked him in the nuts. It might have hurt less.

Holiday Sanctuary by Elle Brownlee
Chapter 1
SNOW BEGAN to fall in huge flakes. They grabbed onto one another dancing in lazy clumps, spinning and floating, taking their time in the still afternoon air before giving in to gravity. It was bracingly cold and fresh, surrounding pines gathering the snowfall, the frosty ground crunching underfoot. There was palpable quiet here. Snowflakes could be heard meeting and melding, while the gentle sway of tree trunks provided a soothing rhythm.

Chris stopped and had an appreciative look around. He whistled the chorus of an old holiday standard and admired how his breath clouded and crystallized. With a smile he sucked in a huge inhale of this perfect winter day, and then he shed his backpack to get a drink and check his bearings.

He was tromping around the great wilds of northeastern Maine through a vast park filled with hidden streams, huge glacial erratics, and the densely standing trees leaving an impression of ochre red and impenetrable green. It was new to him and proving to be wonderful. He’d come in the winter on purpose, was supplied and prepared in case the weather turned foul, but he hadn’t seen any grim alerts on his GPS. He would have enjoyed company, a rowdy group or even a special someone to share this with. But right now he didn’t have a special someone, and he had to admit, rowdy company wasn’t what he wanted, either. Beyond that he couldn’t think of any of his pals who’d be primed for winter backcountry survivalist adventuring. They were great in the office, and great at any microbrewery, but get them away from technology and comfort and forget it.

Okay so maybe he didn’t want company after all. Thoughts of someone else warming his sleeping bag, having a cup of coffee, creating a geyser of steam with him as they peeled from that shared sleeping bag in the frosty early morning, and conversation other than Apps and tech developments flittered through his mind. He amended one final time; definitely company, certain and special, but no one like that in his life these days. This lack seemed all the more glaring with Christmas being less than a week away. He had no plans except to be back to his car and checked into a motel for a shower.

Chris didn’t let that dampen his spirits or fun. He peered at the sky and pondered if it’d show him anything, dense gray and shouldered low to the earth with steadily falling snow distinguishable just reaching the treetops, but he wasn’t exactly an expert. It appeared the same as this morning, and the day before when there hadn’t even been a flake in sight.

The wind kicked up, swirling the snow and pushing the trees to circle in place. Chris put his knit cap back on and gathered his gear and with a last glance at the map, got going again. He was on a trail, and somewhere was a ranger who knew he was in here. He’d keep hiking—really, conditions didn’t feel too bad—but he’d head toward the park’s boundary and search for a road all the same. Better safe than sorry, even if that meant tomorrow he’d backtrack to this spot and resume his determined circuit of the interior.

Chris nodded and set off again. He’d be fine.

Holiday Homecoming by Elizah J. Davis
GAVIN HAD always liked to think of himself as a pragmatic kind of guy. Even when he’d been new to LA, fresh out of college, he’d known better than to think things would come easy. He’d been prepared to pay his dues, work hard for what he wanted, and take everything he was offered with a grain of salt. If it seemed too good to be true, it probably was, and yet….

It hadn’t seemed too good to be true this time, though. His big break, his chance finally to pitch his series to someone who could make it happen had seemed earned through years of shitty jobs and networking and constant revising and refining of his writing. He’d let genuine hope and excitement filter in through his cautious optimism, too much too early, and as a reward, it had all gone to shit.

I’m sorry, man. They loved the idea, and they thought you were great. Now’s just not the right time.

A rejection Gavin had barely heard over the noise of the bar, a waste of his last ten-minute break for the night. He’d gone out back and leaned against the wall next to the dumpster, wishing desperately that he’d thought to bum a cigarette off someone. It had been years since he quit smoking, but it was never too late to start again. He’d stayed out there until Jesse had come to find him. The bar had been packed with college kids celebrating their winter break freedom and making Gavin feel at least ten times older than he actually was.

It had been a long night. All Gavin wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed and sleep until he felt capable of dealing with the world again.

Naturally, his roommates were having a party.

Gavin had lived in the same dumpy little rental house for the past five years and had three roommate turnovers in that time. His current roommates were brothers willing to share a room, which meant rent was split three ways instead of two. At the time, the benefit had outweighed the fact that they were also in their early twenties and determined to become rock stars. There’d been many times in the past six months Gavin had come to regret his decision.

“Hey, man, have a beer,” someone shouted as Gavin pushed his way through the crowd in an attempt to get to his bedroom. The house reeked of beer, pot, and Axe Bodyspray, and Gavin’s head began to pound in time with the music blasting through the stereo.

“Leave room for Jesus,” Gavin muttered, feeling like a disapproving granddad as he passed a couple grinding in the corner. He’d been young once. He’d gone to parties and smoked and drank and had public almost-sex, but he wasn’t twenty anymore, and at the moment it all seemed exhausting at best. He made it to his room and pushed open the door, glad for the relative sanctuary his space provided.


Gavin flipped on the light to find a couple on his bed, well on their way to naked.

“Occupied?” The guy said again, giving Gavin a “come on, bro” eyebrow raise.

It was the “fuck you” cherry on the crap sundae the universe had bestowed upon him, and Gavin was suddenly and completely done with everything. “Get out of my room.” The “over it” must’ve been clear in his tone, because the couple scrambled from the bed without further protest and gathered their clothes. They were still dressing when Gavin slammed the door behind them.

For a moment all he could do was stand there, surveying his bedroom like it was his first time really seeing it. His bed sat directly on the floor with an overturned plastic crate that served as his nightstand, which held a little alarm clock and a lamp. The only other furniture in the room was a beat-up dresser he’d gotten at a yard sale and a plastic desk he’d inherited from whoever had lived in the room before him. There was nothing on the walls: no pictures or mementos out to personalize the space. It wasn’t home; this place was only ever meant to be temporary. A place to stay until he moved on to the next phase. Only the next phase had never come. Everything of value, aside from his computer, sat in a box next to his desk. It was filled with his sketchbooks and notebooks—one sad cardboard box full of dreams and ambitions that had amounted to squat over the past fourteen years.

What the hell was he still doing here? He was a thirty-four-year-old man still living like he was eighteen, and he was tired of it. He was tired of his ugly little bedroom and sharing a house with kids ten years his junior. He was tired of the LA scene and the late nights bartending. He was tired of the Hollywood bullshitting and the wasted hours of his life spent trying to get his foot in the door. He couldn’t stay here. Not another week, not even another night.

It took an hour to get his stuff packed and three trips to the car to get it loaded. One trip with his duffle bag full of clothes and toiletries, one trip for the box of books he couldn’t bear to leave behind, and one trip for his box of failed endeavors that marked his time in LA.

A sense of responsibility overriding his current irritation, Gavin left a note for his roommates on the bed, along with enough money to cover his share of the utilities. His rent was paid through December, and considering what he’d put up with in the time his roommates had lived there, he didn’t feel like he owed them more than that. After another moment of consideration, he left his contact information, just in case. It was almost Christmas, and he didn’t think he needed to provide the universe any more fodder to use against him. Gavin was already a defeated man. He’d packed up his toys, and he was going back home.

Author Bios:
Tere Michaels
This bio would be more interesting if I could fictionalize it...

I am an East Coast girl (Metro NYC to be exact), born and bred and with some slight princess traits. For example, "camping" is staying in a hotel without a pool.

Writing has always been my dream, my goal, the way my brain and my heart found a happy place. When I was five my mom got me a subscription to a Disney magazine and precocious early reader that I was, I immediately caught on to the fact that someone, indeed, WROTE these stories. That it was a real profession and from then I was locked in to what I wanted to do.

Of course it took me til just past my fortieth birthday to fully succeed by having my first novel, "Faith & Fidelity" published, but I've been writing for decades and whether or not I made a dime, it was always my "must do"                                           thing.

In the meantime I've freelanced, worked in offices, managed a bookstore, lived in LA, starved and prospered and became a married mom in the 'burbs.

Right now my wonderful husband and my darling son and I live in a cute house in the NJ suburbs; we share our abode with three cats, a hamster and approximately 100 fish (warning: when the pet store says "they're all male!" don't believe them). Life is good and I am beyond grateful to my family and friends and fans who've brought me to this point.

I love to talk to people about writing and books and my book(s) so feel free to drop a line at teremichaelsblog @

Elle Brownlee
Elle Brownlee has always followed her creative, adventuring spirit.

Growing up she loved westerns and taking long hikes. On these explorations she'd craft miniature worlds with moss and rocks while making up stories about everything that happened there. This often included dashing cowboy heroes. As an adult, not a lot has changed. She still loves westerns, long hikes, and allowing her imagination to roam. She also loves spending time with family and friends, rooting for her baseball team, rainy days in autumn, and the perfect cup of tea (black, steeped extra strong, with milk—please!).

Her romances feature flawed but relatable characters in immersive settings, told with wit, tenderness, and a sly note of sarcasm. Though a cynic in many ways, Elle believes love can conquer all. Every story is a little bit naughty, a whole lot of nice, and will always end with happily ever after.

Elle currently lives in New York City, where she maintains her miniature worlds in terrariums and writing. She’s so thankful to be able to share her work with a growing audience, and especially grateful to have you reading along.

Elizah J Davis
Elizah Davis has lived in various parts of the United States, but currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying the abundance of coffee readily available there. She earned her degree in creative writing after she realized journalism involved too many facts and not enough unicorns. She loves stories of all kinds, but has a particular fondness for romance and fantastical adventures. When she isn’t busy making things up, Elizah enjoys reading, laughing at cats on the internet, buying girly shoes, and trying to come up with world domination plans that don’t require the donning of pants (her endeavors towards which have thus far been unsuccessful).

Tere Michaels
EMAIL: teremichaelsblog @

Elle Brownlee

Eliza J Davis


Defined by Others by MCV Egan

Coming Home by Rebecca Brooke

Title: Coming Home
Author: Rebecca Brooke
Expected Release Date: December 22, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Tanner Marano has finally found the girl of his dreams and after lots of hard work and heartache, Danielle is finally his. Now all he wants to do is make her his wife, but with meeting his parents and deployments, Danielle is more nervous than ever.

Danielle Renton went through immense heartache only to be brought back into light by Tanner. He is her own knight in shining armor. Yet there is a secret she's keeping for fear it will push him away.

When Tanner comes home with everything be as he left it?

Author Bio:
Rebecca lives near the shore towns of New Jersey, with her husband and two kids. When she's not writing she loves reading and watching SOA and TrueBlood.



LETTERS HOME(currently $0.99)

Brought to you by:

Cover Reveal: Sail by M Mabie

Title:  Sail
Author: M Mabie
Series: Wake #2
Genre:  New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Expected Release:  Early 2015
This isn’t just a two-year long one-night stand. It’s my life.
This is my life. Our life. It isn’t just some careless affair.
I’ve made the worst decisions a woman could, but I’ll earn my second chance.
She can try keeping all the guilt for herself, but I’m just as much to blame.
Loving Casey wasn’t my biggest mistake. Fighting it for so long was.
I’ll show her how fearless our love makes me. I’ll protect her torn heart.
He still has magic in his eyes. He’s the man who makes me happy.
Her voice still brings me to my knees. She says my name like it’s sacred.
I live for the day when I’m his. To take care of him. To love him the way he deserves.
I can’t wait to be all she needs. I can give her a happy life, security and so much love.
Sometimes two ships never meet in the night, but ours did.
Sometimes the water is rough. It beats you all to hell until you have no choice but get stronger.
Our love story reads more like a tragedy, but to me it’s clean and pure.
Let them point their fingers. Without a love like ours, they haven’t really lived. I pity them.
I’m a cheating wife and a villain. I am his honeybee.
I’m a snake in the grass and I sleep best when I’m lying next to his wife.
I want to be his everything.
I’m nothing without her anyway.
This isn’t even close to over.
It’ll never be over.

Author Bio:
 M. Mabie lives in Illinois with her husband. She is the author of the steamy comedy Fade In. Her sophomore release, Bait, is the first book in the angst-filled erotic Wake Series. She writes unconventional love stories and tries to embody "real-life romance."

She cares about politics, but will not discuss them in public. She uses the same fork at every meal, watches Wayne's World while cleaning, and lets her dog sleep on her head. She has always been a writer. In fact, she was born with a pen in her hand, which almost never happens. Almost. 

M. Mabie usually doesn't speak in third-person either. She promises.