Friday, December 14, 2018

📘🎥Friday's Film Adaptation🎥📘: The Three Godfathers by Peter B Kyne

The story is already beloved by film buffs thanks to the many adaptations for the big screen, including the 1948 John Ford/John Wayne collaboration and the 2003 Japanese anime Tokyo Godfathers. But here is the original 1913 novelette in all its warm humanity and humor. Three bank robbers on the run in the frontier American West happen upon a birthing mother who begs the men to watch over her baby as the delivery takes her life just as another is brought into the world. Naturally, they do, and find that their new charge brings them a new outlook on their wicked ways. American novelist PETER B. KYNE (1880-1957) was born in San Francisco, California. From early on it was clear that he had a gift for writing, and his time in the army during the Spanish-American War and World War I gave him plenty to write about. Kyne's novels include The Go-Getter (1921) and Cappy Ricks (1916).

Is the story of The Three Bad Men—-not The Three Wise Men "What's a godfather, Bill?" The Youngest Bad Man inquired. "What job does he hold down?"

"You're an awful ignorant young man, Bob," replied The Wounded Bad Man reproachfully. "A godfather is a sort of reserve parent who promises to renounce the devil with all his works an' pomps."

The Youngest Bad Man smiled wanly. "Well, Bill, all I got to say is that us three're a lovely bunch o' godfathers."

The daylight raid on the Wickenburg National Bank had not been a success. It had been well planned, boldly and cleverly executed, and the four bandits had gathered unto themselves quite a fortune in paper money; the job had been singularly free from fuss and feathers. Nevertheless, as has already been stated, the raid was not a success. The assistant cashier, returning from luncheon, had, from a distance of half a block, observed two strangers in town. Both strangers were mounted and stood on guard in front of the Wickenburg National. In an alley just back of the bank two saddle horses were standing; and as the assistant cashier paused, irresolute, two men came out of the bank, mounted the two horses waiting in the alley, and, followed by the men who had been standing on watch in front of the bank, rode out of Wickenburg in rather a sus- picious hurry. The assistant cashier had an inspiration.

"Thieves! Robbers 1 Stop 'em!" he yelled.

His hue and cry aroused to action an apparently inoffensive and elderly citizen who was taking his siesta in front of The Three Deuces saloon. Now this man in front of The Three Deuces was not the sheriff. He was not even the city marshal. Rather he inclined one to the belief that he might be a minister of the gospel a soultrapper on guard at the portals of The Three Deuces, within which, judging by the subdued rattle of poker chips, ivory balls and an occasional hoarse shout of "Keno!" one could be reasonably certain of a plethora of brands ripe for the burning. The aged citizen asleep in the chair outside was arrayed in somber black, with a turn-down collar and white lawn tie, a "biled" shirt with a ruby stud in it, and patriarchial white whiskers. But his coat, of a clerical cut, effectually concealed two pieces of artillery of a style and caliber popularized by time and tradition in the fair state of Arizona.

The four galloping horsemen were abreast The Three Deuces when the cry of "Robbers!" aroused all Wickenburg. It awoke the man in the chair; and he came to his feet with the suddenness of a ferocious old dog, filled both hands and cut loose at one of the four horsemen. There was a reason for this. The elderly citizen had a deposit of three dollars and seventeen cents in the Wickenburg National. Also he possessed a fair proportion of civic pride, and the horseman upon whom he trained his hardware was carrying a gunny-sack containing a ro rata of the said elderly citi- zen's three-seventeen.

Four Bad Men had ridden into Wickenburg that December afternoon, but only three rode out. One of the three had a bullet hole through his left shoulder. The man who stayed lay, thoroughly and effectually defunct, on top of a bulging gunnysack in front of The Three Deuces. Came presently the paying teller of the Wickenburg National and removed the gunny-sack. Came half an hour later the coroner of Wickenburg and removed the body. As for the elderly citizen of deceptive appearance, he walked uptown to a hardware store, re- plenished his supply of ammunition and returned to The Three Deuces in a highly cheerful frame of mind. Here let us leave him, for with this story he has nothing further to do. From now on our interest must center on The Three Bad Men who rode out of Wickenburg headed for the California line which happens to be the Colorado River.

They made their first halt at Granite Tanks, twenty-five miles from Wickenburg. Here they watered their horses and then pressed onward toward the river. At the river they found a boat, thoughtfully provided for just such an emergency as the present.

Darkness had already settled over the land when The Three Bad Men came to the Colorado River. It would have been wise on their part to have waited until the rising of the moon, but our story does not deal with The Three Wise Men. Within the hour a posse might appear, and, moreover, The Three Bad Men were of that breed that prefers to "take a chance." They rode their jaded horses into the flood until the yellow waters lapped their bellies; then they shot them and shoved the carcasses off into the current.

An hour later The Three Bad Men landed on the California side near Bill Williams Mountain, filled their boat with stones and sank it, and shouldering a supply of food and water sufficient to last them four days, headed up a long box canon that led north to the Colorado Desert. They made fair time after the moon came up. All night long they trudged through the box canon, and at daylight it opened out into the waste.

"Well, boys, I guess we're safe," re- marked The Worst Bad Man, who was the leader of the trio. "It's cooler in the canon, so suppose we camp here. I feel like breakfast and some sleep. How's your shoulder, Bill?"

The Wounded Bad Man shrugged the wounded member disdainfully.

"High up. Missed the bone and don't amount to much, Tom. But I've bled like a stuck pig and it's weakened me a little." "I'll heat some water and wash it up, Bill," said The Youngest Bad Man, much concerned.

They made a very small fire of cat-claw and ironwood, brewed a pot of coffee, breakfasted, washed and dressed The Wounded Bad Man's shoulder and slept until late afternoon. They awoke much re- freshed, ate an early supper and struck out across the desert to the north, where in time they would come to the Santa Fe tracks. There were lonely stations out there in the sands they might be worth investigation. Then on to the new mining camp at Old Woman Mountain a camp which, following the whimsical and fantastic system of desert nomenclature, which seems to trend toward such names as Mecca, Cadiz, Bagdad, Bengal and Siam, had had bestowed upon it the not inappropriate name of New Jerusalem.

For a number of reasons The Three Bad Men preferred to travel by night. Primarily they were prowlers and preferred it. Secondly, although one may encounter tor- rid weather by day on the Colorado Desert even in December, the nights, on the contrary, are bitterly cold and The Three Bad Men had no blankets. Also there was this advantage about traveling at night and sleeping in the shadow of a rock by day: they would not meet other wanderers and there would be no embarrassing questions to answer respecting the hole in The Wounded Bad Man's shoulder.

Consequently The Three Bad Men traveled by night. From Mojave Tanks they swung west to avoid the mining operations there, although more than once they glanced back wistfully at the little cluster of yellow lights shining across the sands. The Wounded Bad Man's shoulder was in a bad way and needed medical attention. Also they needed water; but they were desertbred and could last until they came to Malapai Springs.

So they turned their backs on Mojave Tanks and tramped onward. Now they were in the ghostly moonlight of the open desert, with the outlines of the mountain ranges on each side looming dim and shadowy fifteen or twenty miles away; now they were picking their way carefully through clusters of murderous catclaw, through tangles of mesquit and ironwood. Up dark, lonely arroyos they went; down long alleys between the outstretched arms of the ocatillas with their pendulous, bloodred blossoms, passing dried, withered Joshua trees twisted into fantastic shapes as if their fearful surroundings had caused them to writhe in horror; through solitude and desolation so vast and profound as to inspire one with the thought that the Creator, appalled at the magnitude of this abortion of Nature, had set it apart as an eternal heritage of the damned.

In the forenoon of the fifth day they came to Malapai Springs. Here The Three Bad Men drank deeply, bathed, filled their canteens and stepped blithely out for Terrapin Tanks, the next waterhole a little-known and consequently unfrequented spot where they could rest for a few days before attempting the last desperate leg of their journey to the railroad.

"Don't stint yourself on the water, Bill," The Worst Bad Man advised as they departed from Malapai Springs. "There's always water at Terrapin Tanks."

Nevertheless, with the instinct of the desert-bred, The Worst Bad Man and The Youngest Bad Man were sparing with the water themselves, although careful to conceal this fact from The Wounded Bad Man. The latter's shoulder was swollen and inflamed, and it was a relief to him if the bandages were kept wet.

The Worst Bad Man, who knew the country better than his companions, had timed their arrival at Terrapin Tanks al- most to the hour. The sun was just coming up over the low red hummocks of hematite to the eastward when The Three Bad Men plodded wearily up a long, dry canon, turned a sharp, rocky promontory into an arroyo and paused.

Borne on the slight desert breeze a sound came to them from up the arroyo. It was a mournful, wailing cry and ended in a sob a sound that bespoke pain and fear and misery.

The Three Bad Men looked at one another. Each held up an index finger, en- joining silence. A second, a third time the sound was repeated.

lt's a human voice," announced The Worst Bad Man, "an' there's death in it. Wait here. I'm goin' in to see what's up."

When he had gone The Youngest Bad Man, after the restless and inquisitive manner of youth, climbed a tall rock and gazed up the arroyo.

"I see the top of a covered wagon," he announced.

"Then," said The Wounded Bad Man, "It's a tenderfoot outfit, an' that's a woman cryin'. No desert rat'd come here with a wagon. Fools drive in where burros fear to tread, Bob. They're tenderfeet."

"That's right," agreed The Youngest Bad Man. "Some nester come in over the trail from Imperial Valley and bound for New Jerusalem, I'll bet a new hat."

"Whoever's doin' that whimperin' is sure bound for New Jerusalem," The Wounded Bad Man replied with a grim attempt at humor. "An' if I don't let a doctor look at this shoulder o' mine before long I'll head that way myself."

The Worst Bad Man was gone about ten minutes. Presently the others saw him re- turning. On his hard, sunscorched face deep concern showed plainly, and as he trotted down the arroyo he scratched his unkempt head as if in search of an idea of sufficient magnitude to cope with a grave situation. When he reached his comrades he sat down on a chunk of black lava and fanned himself with his hat.

"There's a fine old state of affairs at the Tanks," he said huskily.

"They ain't dry, are they?" Fright showed in the wide blue eyes of The Youngest Bad Man. The Wounded Bad Man sat down very suddenly and gulped. The Worst Bad Man replied to the question.

"Worse'n that."

The Wounded Bad Man sighed. "It can't be," he said.

"There's a wagon at the Tanks," con- tinued The Worst Bad Man, "but no horses. It's a tenderfoot outfit a man an' his woman an' they come in from Salton, via Canon Springs and Boulder, headed for New Jerusalem. Some o' their kin has started a boardin' tent in the new camp an' these two misfortunates were aimin' to go in with the rush an' clean up a stake. They make Terrapin Tanks all right, but the water's a little low an' the man ain't got sense enough to dig out the sand an' let the water run in. He's one of these nervous city fellers, I guess, and it just naturally hurts him to set down an' wait till that sump-hole fills up. Besides, he don't take kindly to usin' a shovel, so he sticks in a shot o' dynamite to clean out th' tanks an' start the water runnin' - The Wounded Bad Man sprang to his feet, cursing horribly.

'The damned, crazy fool!" he raved. "I'll kill him, I will. I'll kill him just as sure as I'm thirsty."

Three outlaws on the run risk their freedom and their lives to return a newborn to civilization.

Release Date: December 1, 1948
Release Time: 106 minutes

John Wayne as Robert Marmaduke Hightower
Harry Carey Jr. as William Kearney "The Abilene Kid"
Pedro Armendáriz as Pedro "Pete" Rocafuerte
Mildred Natwick as Dying Mother
Ward Bond as Sheriff Buck Sweet
Mae Marsh as Mrs. Sweet
Jane Darwell as Miss Florie
Guy Kibbee as Judge
Hank Worden as Deputy Curley
Dorothy Ford as Ruby Latham
Ben Johnson as Posse Man
Charles Halton as Oliver Latham
Jack Pennick as Luke
Fred Libby as Deputy
Michael Dugan as Posse Man #2
Francis Ford as Drunken Old-Timer at Bar
Richard Hageman as Saloon Pianist
Gertrude Astor as Townswoman
Ruth Clifford as Woman in Bar
Jack Curtis as Bartender
Harry Tenbrook as Bartender #2
Eva Novak as Townswoman
Amelia Yelda as Robert William Pedro Hightower

Author Bio:
Peter Bernard Kyne was an American novelist who wrote between 1904 and 1940. Many of his works were adapted into screenplays starting in the silent era, particularly his first novel, The Three Godfathers, which was published in 1913 and proved to be a huge success. He is credited in 110 films between 1914 and 1952.

When still under 18, he lied about his age and enlisted in Company L, 14th U.S. Infantry, which served in the Philippines from 1898-1899. The Spanish-American War and the following insurrection of General Emilio Aguinaldo provided background for many of Kyne's later stories. During World War I, he served as a captain in Battery A of the 144th field Artillery, known as the California Grizzlies.



Release Blitz: Meik & Sebastian - Obsessed #4 by Quin Perin

Title: Meik & Sebastian
Author: Quin Perin
Series: Obsessed #4
Genre: Gay Erotica, M/M Erotica
Release Date: December 13, 2018
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh at Black Jazz Design
After ruining his chances with Sebastian, Meik is plagued by the past and haunted by the present. His escape: booze and sex. But the memories of Gabe continuously well up and never ebb. They become an ever-present companion he cannot escape.

Will he hoist himself out of depression to seal the past and face the present or will he lose himself in the bottom of the bottle?

This is the fourth and FINAL book of the Gay Erotic Romance “Obsessed”. It features explicit adult m/m content as well as romantic elements. Warning: mentions of illness and death.

Sex shouldn’t be so hard. People did it all the time. Hell, he and Gabe were proof that people fucked. By now though, he’d looked up too much information. That was the problem. He’d researched and researched. Looked up articles. Instructional videos. Diagrams. He wanted to be prepared, but he’d ended up scaring himself.

The doorbell rang, several times in quick succession. Gabe’s familiar pattern. Anxiety served as a cold shower to his erection, the bulge dying down. He shut the drawer, bouncing up like a jack-in-the-box.

He galloped down the stairs, grinning when he saw Gabe walk towards him, having let himself in. His backpack dangled from his shoulder, and he smiled widely. “Ready to work on homework?” he teased.

“Yeah. Sure.” Meik chuckled. He approached Gabe, meeting him at the bottom stairs. He took the backpack from his shoulder, letting it thud to the ground next to them. “We can work on our anatomy homework.”

Meik moved in to catch Gabe’s lips, but his kiss ended up skidding across those dark curls when Gabe tilted his head forward into Meik’s chest, sighing loudly. “You’re talking like we’re in a cheap porno. I don’t like it.” His whining was muffled. “I don’t even take anatomy.”

A snigger and Meik buried his nose in Gabe’s hair. “You kinda like it. Admit it.”

“Never gonna happen.” Gabe kept his giggles quiet, but his body shook against Meik’s.

Trickling his fingers along Gabe’s side, he snuck them under his shirt, touch light on the warm skin. “Admit it,” Meik lilted, tickling him.

Gabe squirmed, shaking his head. “No.” His laughter, still silent, made his entire body tremble.

“Not gonna stop until you admit you like my porn talk.” Meik enjoyed the way Gabe wiggled against him, hips pressing together. The erection that had died down started regaining strength until the weight of what he’d planned settled on him again. Would things change? Would they be the same? Would Gabe even want to sleep with him? Those same doubts had plagued him for the last couple of weeks.

“Meik! Stop!” Gabe shrieked in laughter, palming his chest and pushing him away. He was breathless, blotches of pink on his cheeks, tears clinging to his lashes.

“Fine, fine. Only ‘cause I like you though.” Meik held his hands up in surrender.

“You are the biggest dork. I don’t know why everyone at school thinks you’re cool.”

“I cultivate my image very carefully.”

“Oh, so I am the only one who knows the real you?” Gabe’s head quirked, hands fisting in Meik’s shirt.

It was an interesting question. A probing one. Meik didn’t know the answer himself. His brows drew together, and he shrugged. “Dunno. Maybe.”

“You’re supposed to say yes. It’s flattering and romantic.”

Meik leaned in, nipping at Gabe’s pout. “I mean...yes.”

“Better,” Gabe hummed.

Meik pressed their lips together. “Why don’t we...head up to my room?” The words came out with a hitch, surprisingly.

“Sure.” Gabe pulled away, snatching up his bag. “I brought those movies for us to watch.”

Gabe didn’t seem to have a clue what Meik planned. After all, they spent most weekends watching movies together. 

Author Bio:
This is Quin&Perin. We are a team of Sultry Gay Romance writers who focus on detailed, toe-curling, and realistic smut scenes with a fair share of dirty talking (Oh, boy). Unlike other authors in the genre, we write without the goal of publishing anything. Publishing is just the cherry on top of a cream-covered bubble butt.


Obsessed #4


Brought to you by:  GAY BOOK PROMOS

Release Blitz: A Hometown Holiday by K Evan Coles

Title: A Hometown Holiday
Author: K Evan Coles
Genre: M/M Romance, Holiday
Release Date: December 12, 2018
Life in a college town suits Josh Cassidy. He has good friends and neighbors, and the bookshop café he runs with his family is thriving. As the winter holidays begin, Josh finds himself enamored with police officer, Alex Curiel, an old friend who has recently moved back to town. The trouble is, Alex isn’t ready for the world to know he’s attracted to men.

At Alex’s request, Josh agrees to closet their relationship, but the secrecy quickly becomes a burden. When Josh realizes he is falling for Alex, he has more and more trouble denying his feelings. Soon, both men are forced to decide if hiding behind closed doors is the kind of future they’re looking for.

After work, Josh walked four blocks down Pleasant Street to Jamison’s Pub. He smiled as he imagined his sister’s knowing look, especially after he found Alex at the bar talking with Matt, who was pouring drinks for the after-work and -school crowd. Alex glanced up at Josh’s approach and his smile seemed to light the room.

“Hey, Josh.” Matt set his hands on the bar top. “Alex was just telling me that you’ve been making him listen to your old man music.”

Alex grimaced. “I never called it old man music.”

“No, I did,” Matt countered.

“And I said that I didn’t mind listening to it,” Alex said. “A roommate of mine in college liked jazz.”

“Then your roommate had crap taste in music, too.” Matt moved to pour a pint of Josh’s favorite ale. “Listen, man. Josh and I met on the first day of kindergarten. He’s always been a scrawny, ginger-headed fuckface who listens to oldies and worships the Rat Pack.”

Josh shrugged out of his coat and pulled up a stool. “Now you’re just making shit up. I didn’t start listening to jazz until middle school and I’ve never worshipped the Rat Pack. I’m not even scrawny anymore. It’s not my fault you can’t see past Coldplay and Radiohead. Both bands I like, by the way,” he said to Alex.

Matt made an exasperated sound. “And you wonder why you’re still single.”

“Some people like a little variety.” Josh accepted the pint Matt handed him with a smile. “And one of these days, the right man is going to figure out that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to the old man music. Now shut up and give me a menu, please, because I feel the urge to eat myself into a food coma.”

Matt slapped some menus down before he moved away to take another order, and Alex eyed Josh with a grin.

“The right man, huh?”

Josh smiled. “It could happen. Sorry I was late.”

“I should hope so. Matt started harassing me the minute I set foot in the door, and I’m so hungry I could eat my own hand.”

“Oh, shit.” Josh laughed. “Well, that’s easy enough to fix. How about we split an order of poutine? Would that make you happy?”

“Yes, it would.” Alex’s eyes gleamed. He loved the decadent combination of French fried potatoes, brown gravy, and cheese curds. “But I thought you weren’t a fan?”

“It’s growing on me. Besides, the look on your face every time you eat it makes up for the weird, funky cheese.”

“Okay then, poutine to start.” Alex laughed and ran a hand over his chin. “I sort of dig your music, you know, no matter what Matt says. It’s wild and beautiful.” He dropped the hand to his beer glass and brushed his knuckles against Josh’s. “Like you. You’re beautiful,” he murmured.

For a moment, Josh forgot where they were. He forgot that he and Alex were keeping a secret, and were far more than friends behind closed doors. His cheeks flushed, his heart beat a little faster, and he simply admired Alex’s handsome face.

“You’re the beautiful one,” he said, voice quiet.

They continued like that while they ate—flirting while pretending they were not, almost touching but never quite daring—and Josh’s desire burned hotter with every minute. After dinner, the short drive from the pub to Josh’s house seemed to take forever, and the front door had hardly closed behind them before they pounced on each other.

Author Bio:
K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Random Tales of Christmas 2018 Part 7

Phin's Christmas by Bonnie Dee
Doubt invades a fairy-tale holiday.

Excited to celebrate his first Christmas with his true love, Phin Abernathy searches for the perfect gift for Teddy, the artist who saved him from solitude (The Artist). But his happy holiday dreams are soon threatened.

After a year of living on his own, then with his beloved partner, Phin has mostly banished his negative view of himself. He and Teddy are happily saving toward a house they can share, when a chance encounter with a stranger raises Phin’s old ghosts of doubt, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Struggling to quell such negative spirits, Phin focuses on volunteering at a children’s shelter. But when he sees his Teddy and handsome Justin Crump (The Medium) in a suspicious situation, it is difficult to control his racing thoughts. Belief in Teddy’s love for him wars with Phin’s fear his lover wants something more.

Phin must decide how far he is willing to go to keep Teddy in his life, and truly embrace his own worth before he can ever celebrate the season.

Monday Memorial Moment: The Artist

Monday Mystical Magic: The Medium

Phin and Teddy are finding their place in the world, living and loving as they work toward getting a home of their own.  When Phin sees Teddy with someone else his old fears of self-worth come to the surface.  Will he be able to face those fears and continue his happily ever after?

Phin's Christmas is a follow-up to The Artist, almost a Christmas Coda though probably too long to actually use that phrase but whatever you call it, it is a must read.  If you have already read Artist than it is a no-brainer that you will want to dive in to Phin's Christmas and if you haven't then I highly recommend reading Artist first.  Technically this could be a holiday standalone and a lovely tale at that but knowing the journey both Phin and Teddy(especially Phin) faced to get to where they are now makes this holiday treat even better.

One of the elements I loved the most about this story is that the author showed that even though Phin conquered many of his fears in The Artist, they still lurk in his mind and it doesn't take much for them to surface.  Yes, had he just communicated with Teddy more than he need not have feared the worst but considering the life he led up to meeting Teddy(which is why I highly recommend reading Artist first) it is no wonder that he warred within himself if the risk was worth it.  Just beautifully depicted from beginning to end.

I should add that we get to see Justin and Albert(and Albert's mom) from The Medium and where they are in life.  Do you need to read Medium first? No.  My personal preference is I'm glad I did but no you don't need to, you won't be lost with their contribution to the story.  This may be Phin and Teddy's holiday tale but it was nice getting a glimpse of Justin and Albert too, just heightening the Christmas treat level for me.


Christmas Outing by AE Wasp
Veterans Affairs #1.5
Troy and Dmitri have worked everything out - well, almost everything. Except for the part where Troy's family doesn't know Dmitri exists.

Troy's been out of the Army for almost a year, and except for a few short weeks, hasn't been back to West Virginia at all.

Now Christmas is coming, and his mother can't be put off any longer, not unless Troy wants to break her heart.

But Troy's biggest fear is that going home, new boyfriend and service dog in tow, is going to break his Momma's heart just as much.

A Protectors Family Christmas by Sloane Kennedy
The Protectors #5.5
It’s the holidays for a group of very special men who’ve managed to become a family in the last year and while all the guys are coming together to celebrate Hawke and Tate’s upcoming wedding, a few of them have big plans of their own…

A change of plans…
Newlyweds Ronan and Seth are settling into married life as Ronan considers his return to medicine and Seth starts dreaming of a future that may include the pitter patter of little feet a lot sooner rather than later.

Building a future…
Knee deep in wedding preparations, Hawke and Tate are celebrating something even more important – Matty’s final round of chemotherapy treatment. As they anxiously await confirmation that their son is finally in remission, both men strive to give their little boy a normal life including a new house, playdates with Matty’s new best friend, Leo, and a new support system of men and women who are starting to seem a lot like family.

An important question to ask…
Meanwhile, Mav is looking to make things official with Eli despite the young man’s busy schedule with medical school. But before he can ask the man of his dreams that very important question, he has to get past Eli’s family first, including a posse of two overprotective fathers, several intrusive uncles and a little girl who just wants to brush Mav’s hair!

Figuring it all out…
With Memphis, Brennan and Tristan settling into their newfound relationship and our favorite threesome from New York visiting for the wedding, there are plenty of chances for old friends to connect and new bonds to be formed.

The best kind of chaos…
And of course, what wedding wouldn’t be complete without a little drama including some white hot sexual tension between a not so old grandfather and a certain cocky bodyguard? Add in some more Barrettis, a couple of precocious kids, several dogs, one spoiled cat and a gaggle of new, hot alpha men and you’ve got the perfect storm for a holiday that only the Protectors could pull off!

Heroes for Holidays by Charles Payseur
Spandex and Superpowers #4
Cody travels from Metro City to the Caribbean island lair of Dr. Devious to look after the place while the supervillain is in space for the holidays… and maybe to mend his broken heart. With Christmas fast approaching, Cody is desperate to avoid reminders of his recent disastrous breakup, and a few weeks of sun and relaxation sound perfect—until a drunk (but very cute) superhero crashes the party by literally crashing onto the beach.

And that’s just the start of Cody’s problems—angry shark-men, mysterious lava creatures, and a malfunctioning AI all make his holiday getaway anything but relaxing. Amid the chaos of his adventures in lair-sitting, though, Cody might find just what he needs—a new chance at love.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar "Warmest Wishes."

Saturday Series Spotlight: Spandex & Superpowers

OMG!(And you know I am so NOT an "OMG-kinda-gal" so when I say OMG I mean O-M-G!!😉😉  I discovered Charles Payseur's Spandex and Superpowers series last Christmas and loved the originality of it.  Well, Hero for the Holidays is just as original, not something you can often say by the fourth installment of a series.  From Cody's landing on Dr. Devious' island to his first encounter with the drunk superhero who crashes while he's sunbathing au naturel to the television show All My Werewolves, everything just made me smile, laugh, and cheer.  Let's face it, superheros and supervillains aren't exactly the first thing to come to mind when thinking of Holiday Romance but Charles Payseur makes it work and leaves you wanting for more.  A perfect blend of rom-com, fantasy, and sci-fi makes Hero for the Holidays a must read, especially if you want something different this holiday.  Can't wait to see what not-so-evil-doings he brings us next.


The Boyfriend Rule by Francis Gideon
How to Make a Carrot Cake #2
Billy Lawson hates Christmas, which means his boyfriend, Nate must work twice as hard to keep the holiday spirit alive between them.

Billy Lawson hates Christmas. The carols, the gaudy decorations, and the crowds seem to be even worse this year. To make matters worse, it looks like Billy's father, Jimmy, will be stuck in the hospital over the holiday season due to his illness. Billy thinks he's fine, but when Nate wants to go to yet another holiday party, Billy ditches the cookies he's making and the party. Just when Billy thinks he'll be alone on Christmas, Nate reminds him that there are certain rules boyfriends must abide by.

Click to Check Out Previous
Random Tales of Christmas 2018

Part 1  /  Part 2  /  Part 3  /  Part 4
Part 5  /  Part 6

Phin's Christmas by Bonnie Dee
December 1903
Snow was rare in London, but one gloomy afternoon, pristine white hid the usually coal-streaked walls and trash-strewn streets and alleys. Shop windows and doors were framed in pine boughs, smudged windows washed clean so passersby might better gaze at the wares within.

I had spent the previous Christmas season on my own, free from the prison of my parents’ home at last, a lonely, contemplative time that had actually strengthened my resolve to become my own man. This year, I had Teddy and could truly enjoy the bustle of shoppers, carolers, and bell ringers. For weeks, I’d collected small gifts for my beloved in preparation for the holiday, but that particular afternoon, I’d purchased a paintbrush Teddy had gushed over, an expensive addition to his art supplies.

“Buy a nosegay, mister?” A little girl swathed in a woolen shawl offered a bedraggled bunch of cloth posies. “Only a penny.”

I bent to examine her basket full of equally pathetic flowers before choosing some violets. “Here you go, my dear. I’ll give you a shilling for such a large and lovely bouquet.”

Her eyes grew to saucers as I placed the coin in her cold palm. “Thank you, sir.”

I pretended to smell the flowers. “Mm, a touch of spring in the heart of winter. Lovely.”

She giggled at my joke. I wanted to take the skinny little thing someplace where she could warm her feet and get a good meal. Instead, I bought her a small bag of hot chestnuts from a nearby stand. They’d serve to warm her hands as well as her stomach.

Suspicion narrowed her eyes. “I’m no down-the-alley Sally, y’know.”

“I didn’t think you were, miss. Happy Christmas to you.” I continued to offer the striped sack.

Her gaze shot back and forth between the bag and my face before she snatched it from me. “Thanks, mister.”

She darted away as if fearing I’d change my mind or drag her someplace private for a poke. The grim facts of city children’s lives never ceased to make my chest ache. Teddy had told me I would go broke if I kept giving out pennies, buns, or boiled potatoes to every urchin who approached me on the street, but such small kindnesses were only a drop in the bucket of their miserable lives.

“I love your generous heart, Phin,” Teddy once said as he held me close and kissed me. “My greatest goal in life is to follow your example and become more giving.”

I had pointed out how generous he’d just been during lovemaking and our talk led to another bout in the bedsheets.

In those first months together following our separation, we could scarcely keep our hands off each other. Every moment was precious since it must be carved out of our busy lives. It did not help that I lived at Mrs. Pettigrew’s boardinghouse and Teddy in rooms on his uncle’s property. Lord Peter Worthington’s former carriage house had been converted to a garage to hold a shiny new Wolseley gasoline carriage. He allowed his nephew to use the chauffer’s quarters above for a studio and bedroom. Teddy and I could not cohabit under his uncle’s very nose, but we were saving to buy a small house.

Soon. By spring for certain. I pictured a little brick home on a quiet street with neighbors who were not curious about bachelors sharing living quarters. An idyllic life I’d never dared to imagine was within my grasp all because wonderful Teddy had looked past my ungainly appearance and deformity to see me, Phineas Abernathy. The day he’d arrived at Everdale, my family home, to paint my sister Rose’s portrait was the day my life had changed forever.

Lovely fat snowflakes had turned to cold rain by the time I reached Miss Dolly’s tearoom, where I was to meet Teddy. I entered the warm, steamy shop, which smelled of cinnamon and currant buns, and greeted the portly woman behind the counter with a nod and a smile. Only a few of Dolly’s regular customers knew that underneath her feminine clothing was a man’s body. I, of all people, understood the parts one must keep hidden in order to survive in the world.

I spotted Teddy at a table in the corner and hurried to join him. He smiled and stood up to greet me with a handshake. We would have kissed if we were someplace private, but even Dolly’s, a haven for men of our sort, was too public a place for such a display.

He gave my hand a warm squeeze. “How was your day?”

I shed my coat, and we both took our seats. “Busy. I have a new client, a German girl named Greta. Her parents want me to erase her accent to give her a better chance of landing a British husband. With a last name like Schultz, there’s little hope of that.”

Teddy shook his head. “Ah, the things parents do to ‘improve’ their children’s lives. What a sorry world it is.”

He pushed a half-eaten bun toward me and poured a cup of tea. “But no lamentations today. I have a surprise planned. It’s a gift for us both, but I can’t keep it hidden until Christmas as you will need to take part in it.”

“What is it?” I bit into the soft, cinnamon pastry that melted into sugar on my tongue.

“I’m afraid to tell you until we get there. You might not agree to do it.” But he didn’t sound worried. Teddy knew very well he could convince me to do almost anything.

“That sounds ominous. What do I have to do?” A sip of bitter tea was a wonderful chaser to the sweet bun.

“I want to have a tintype made. A keepsake, something we can look at years from now when we are old that will help us recall our youth and all the wonderful times we had.”

I stopped drinking. “But you’ve already painted a portrait of us.”

“Photographs are different, a brief moment preserved forever. The camera captures a likeness exactly, which is why portrait artists must do something more or become irrelevant. That is what the old school realists refuse to accept!”

As always when speaking about art, Teddy grew passionate. He could go on a tangent for minutes at a time, but I loved his passion. Actually, I loved him in every mood, even when he was frustratingly stubborn, pushy, or impulsive.

“Will you pose for a tintype with me?” he wheedled. “It will be a perfect Christmas gift we can share to celebrate our first year together.”

“If that is what you want, I’ll do it.” I’d become more comfortable with my body and modeled for Teddy in the privacy of his studio wearing fewer clothes than I would wear for this tintype, but posing in front of a strange photographer would be difficult for me. My aversion to my appearance was a battle I might never completely win.

Dolly stopped by our table, her square, ruddy face beaming above her high lace collar. “May I refill your pot, gentlemen? Or perhaps you’d care for more buns.”

“No, thank you,” Teddy replied. “We’re off on a holiday errand. I’ve got Mr. Abernathy to agree to a tintype. What do you think of that?”

Her low voice dropped to a murmur. “Wonderful. You make a lovely couple, if you ask my opinion. Ah, how I miss my dear Harry during this festive season. I wish I had a tintype of him.”

Dolly’s love had died almost a decade ago, but she continued to hold vigil for him in her heart. When she spoke, one would think he had passed only yesterday. I imagined I would feel the same if I ever lost Teddy. The very idea made me ill.

“Have you someone with whom to spend Christmas, Miss Dolly?” I enquired, thinking to invite her to pass the day with us if she would be alone.

“I’m afraid I’ve promised to spend the season with my brother’s family. The teahouse will be closed while I don trousers and waistcoat and conduct myself as a jolly old fellow.” She shook her head.

“We shall celebrate the holiday when you return,” Teddy said. “The three of us and some of our other friends who enjoy a more unconventional sort of gathering.”

“Sounds divine, my dear. I shall look forward to it while I’m suffering suet pudding and my brother’s memories of the good old days.”

We bid Dolly goodbye and donned our outdoor clothing.

I unfurled my umbrella to shelter us as we hurried through the drizzle. Already the white blanket had melted to dingy gray, and the snow would soon be gone. But it had certainly been pretty while it lasted.

Christmas Outing by AE Wasp
Dmitri didn’t often come to the waiting room area of the University Veterinarian clinic. He stayed mostly back in the lab, entering and exiting through a staff entrance in the back. It always caught him off-guard that there were people with their pets sitting in the room, waiting, as the name implied, to be seen by the vet students and their supervisors.

With Sweetie sitting at his feet, Troy blended in with the rest of them. Dmitri observed him, unseen, from behind a pillar.

Clutching Dmitri’s travel mug between both hands, Troy looked a little lost and uncertain. His forehead was wrinkled between drawn-together brows, and his leg jittered so hard, Dmitri was surprised the woman sitting next to him hadn’t moved or asked him to stop yet.

He was also gorgeous even in the stark hospital lighting. When he leaped up to grab the door for a woman struggling with a small kid in a stroller, a somewhat larger kid who clung to her hand, and what sounded like a very unhappy cat in a bulky pet-carrier, Dmitri sighed.

Troy was just so thoughtful, and kind, and dealing with crap Dmitri was just beginning to comprehend the depths of. Ron, the dog trainer and friend responsible for introducing Sweetie into their lives had cautioned Dmitri that the holidays would add an extra level of stress and that Dmitri was going to have to be extra-patient.

Dmitri watched as Troy gave the woman his seat and introduced the free-range kid to Sweetie, letting the kid pet the endlessly-patient dog. Troy’s smile at the sight was blindingly pure, and Dmitri felt as if a band had squeezed his heart.

How had he gotten so lucky? He didn’t deserve it. He was nowhere as nice and kind as Troy. But he could try to be the partner Troy deserved. Summoning his nerve with a deep breath, he walked into the room. He cringed as every eye turned to him as they saw his white lab coat and assumed he was one of the doctors that actually treated the animals. Sorry to disappoint you, Dmitri thought to himself. I wish I could help you.

“Hey,” he said, coming up behind Troy, touching him gently on the shoulder.

“Oh, hi.” Troy straightened up from the crouch that had brought him to the kid’s level. He held out Dmitri’s coffee mug. “You forgot your coffee. I know you hate the coffee here, and, well…”

Dmitri took the cup. “Thanks. Sorry, I was -”

“Sorry, I -” Troy spoke over his attempted apology.

Troy wrapped Sweetie’s leash over his hand and unwrapped it, over and over. “Can we talk?”

The woman looked between their faces, watching as if they were the best show she’d seen all day. He gave her a tight smile and led Troy away with a hand on his elbow. “Follow me.”

He ignored the glares from people thinking that Troy had jumped the line and guided Troy down the hall. He tried a few doors until he found an empty consultation room. He flipped the occupied indicator flag out and closed the door behind them.

“I’m sorry,” Troy was saying even as Dmitri turned around.

“No. Really. It’s fine. I totally get why you haven’t told your parents yet. You’re right. I did have it easy. Pretty much as easy as you can be without having gay parents.” He reached out and pulled Troy in for a hug. “So, you do what you have to do, okay?”

Troy nodded against his shoulder. Dmitri kissed the side of his head. “You are going to have to tell them about us eventually someday. Unless you’re planning on dumping me?”

“No! Don’t even joke. Besides, you’re going to dump me one day when you get tired of my crap.”

“Never.” Oops. He hadn’t meant to say that so seriously. They hadn’t talked about the future yet. Not really. Even the moving in had been framed as more of a way to save money than as a recognition that Troy slept over six nights out of seven and both of them liked it that way.

Troy’s arms tightened around Dmitri, and he could feel Troy’s heart beating against his chest. If only they could just stay here like this for an hour, a day. A lifetime.

Troy exhaled heavily and pulled away. “I know I have to come out to my parents. I know, and I will. That’s why I’m here. I’m scared; I’m just scared. You don’t know what it’s like; your parents were open to it from the beginning. From what I understand, they knew you were gay before you did.”

What could Dmitri say to that? It was true. Sure, he’d had to deal with some bullying at school and the general homophobia of Western society, but he never had to worry about his parents not loving him because of who he was

“As long as I know you’ll tell them eventually. I know it’s stupid, but I feel like you’re embarrassed by me. And, and I don’t know if it’s jumping the gun to say this, but I kinda want to be in your life for a long time. That means one day I’m going to have to meet your family.”

Troy set on the edge of the examination table, twisting his wool cap in his hand. “I know. And I don’t want to go without you. I need you there. I know I’m going to need you there as much as I need Sweetie maybe more.”

“So what do you want to do?”

Troy reached for Dmitri with both hands and Dmitri came to stand between his legs. Troy slid his hands around Dmitri’s hips. “Come with me? Come with me to my parents’ house.”

“As your boyfriend? Or friend?”

Troy took a deep breath. It seemed like every step he took required all the bravery he could muster.

Dmitri thought Troy had been brave in Afghanistan, but he’d told Dmitri that the things he had to do since getting back – admitting his weaknesses, admitting he was scared, and admitting to himself and others that he was gay – sometimes felt as if they dwarfed anything he had to do in the war.

“Can we start with friend?” he asked. “I know it’s cowardly, I know it. And I hate myself for even asking. But I need you there. With me.”

“Best friends, at least?”

Troy smiled. “Of course. We can get matching bracelets.”

Dmitri grabbed for Troy’s arms where they held his hips. “You know I’m there for you, babe. However, you need me. I can be just your friend if that’s what you need.” He pushed in close to Troy, sliding his hands up to Troy’s neck and tilting his head up and bending down for a kiss. It was a good kiss; he gave it everything he had. Swiping his tongue across Troy’s lips until he opened his mouth and let Dmitri in.

Dmitri cradled Troy’s skull in the palm of one hand while he kissed all the breath from his lungs. Troy’s hands tightened on Dmitri’s hips, and he pulled Dmitri flush against him. They made out pressing against each other until Dmitri felt as if he was two seconds away from having sex with Troy right on the table. With a groan, he pulled off of Troy and stepped back, glad for the white lab coat that he could draw around him.

The evidence of Troy’s arousal, however, was plain to see. Dmitri bit his lower lip and ran his hands over Troy’s erection, pressing hard.

Troy closed his eyes and groaned. He grabbed Dmitri’s hand by the wrist to stop him “God, stop. That’s not fair.”

“And it’s not something a best friend would do either,” Dmitri grinned. “I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep my hands off you the whole time we’re at your parents’ house. We’ll probably have to sneak off somewhere to make out, like teenagers. Is there a barn? Always wanted to have my way with some hot cowboy in a barn.”

Troy stood up adjusting himself in his pants. “There’s no barn, but I will have my truck. We’ll probably have to pick up groceries at some point, and it’s a long dark road to the grocery store.”

“I like the way you think, Detroit.”

Dmitri walked Troy back to the waiting room, keeping his hands to himself, figuring it was good practice for his Christmas break. “Wait a second, did you say we’ll have your truck? We’re driving?”

“Yep. I gotta take Sweetie, and I don’t think she’d do well on the plane. Plus it will be fun. I haven’t been on a road trip in forever.”

“How long does it take to drive to West Virginia?”

“Twenty-two hours.”

Dmitri groaned.

“With two drivers, we can do it in two long days.”

“But your truck’s a manual. I don’t know how to drive a stick.”

Troy hooked a finger into the belt loops of Dmitri’s pants and whispered into his ear. “Oh I don’t know, I think you drive stick just fine.”

Dmitri smacked him with an open hand. “You’ll be singing a different tune day two into a three-day road trip as the only driver.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll teach you how to drive before we leave. It’s easy. You’ll pick it up in a jiffy.”

“You’d better hope I do.” He planted a quick kiss on Troy’s lips. “Angel is going to be so jealous.”

“We’ll bring her next time.” Troy kissed Dmitri back. “See you after work.”

Dmitri watched him walk across the parking lot. It was a nice view. When he turned back to the room, the woman from earlier caught his eye and smiled.

“Everything good?”

“Going to meet the parents,” Dmitri admitted, raising his eyebrows.

She laughed. “At Christmas? Good luck!”

“Thanks.” Dmitri bent down to look into the cage. A small black kitten sat with her feet tucked up under her, eyes wide as she stared around the unfamiliar place. “What’s wrong with the kitty?”

“Oh, nothing,” she answered. “Just getting spayed.”

The small child tugged at Dmitri’s coat. “She has to get an operation, so she doesn’t get pregnant because cats have sex and make babies just like people. Only they have more kittens than people have babies because people only have one baby at a time.” He paused. “Usually. Mostly.”

Dmitri met the woman’s eyes, and they shared a smile. “That is one hundred percent correct,” he told the little boy. “Good luck with your cat,” he said to the woman.


As he walked back to his lab, Dmitri wondered if he had made a mistake by not having his own practice.

Heroes for Holidays by Charles Payseur
COME DOWN to the Caribbean, Sanjay had said. Take your mind off things. It sounded almost too good to be true.

Cody’s stomach lurched as the jet’s propulsion pushed him back into the plush cushion of his seat. There was no way this was legal. Not when the small, egg-shaped craft had landed on the roof of his apartment building in Metro City. Not when a pleasant, robotic voice had asked him to kindly step inside before any local superheroes arrived to stop them. Not with the ground blurring below him, the craft ripping a path through the sky, the gentle hum of an impossible engine the only noise to distract him from his rushing thoughts.

Was it normal to think of an ex when hurtling toward maybe-certain-doom? Cody cursed himself and tried to put all images of Craig and his carefree smile and his sexy butt and his mischievous eyes and… what was he doing again? At least he was leaving winter behind, and with it the memories of his and Craig’s last Christmas. Rented cabin in the woods. Boxes of wine. Entire sample kit of lube and toys. Cody shook his head.

Getting out of Metro City was a good idea. No little things to remind him that his relationship had just imploded. No having to see the café where they would go to people watch, or the park where they had once built a snow fort. Just warm sand and… and… and lair-sitting for an infamous supervillain. Definitely a good idea.

Cody looked down at the landscape rushing beneath the jet. It certainly beat dealing with airport security. In what seemed like minutes, land disappeared and everything was the blue-green expanse of water. He sucked in a breath. He’d never been that far from Metro City—certainly never traveled out of the country—and the sudden change dropped like a weight in his gut. Working in advertising, much of his time was spent arranging ads, for everything from cologne to dog shampoo, that featured happy people on the beach, but he had never even been to the ocean.

And with that, the gravity of the situation finally sank in. What was he doing? On a jet bound for the island fortress of Dr. Rex Devious, one of the most nefarious villains the world had ever known. And okay, so, yes, Devious was also the boyfriend of Sanjay, one of Cody’s dearest friends, but still. This was in an unsanctioned aircraft probably breaking dozens of international laws, which made Cody a criminal now, too, and all for what? Why had he agreed—

“Onboard scanning indicates a spike in heart rate,” a robotic voice said, cutting off his racing thoughts.

Bonnie Dee
Dear Readers, I began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, I was the designated ghost tale teller guaranteed to frighten and thrill with macabre tales. I still have a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat.

As an adult, I enjoy reading stories about people damaged by life who find healing with a like-minded soul. When I couldn’t find enough such books, I began to write them. Whether you’re a fan of contemporary historical or fantasy romance, you’ll find something to enjoy among my books.

To stay informed about new releases, please sign up for my newsletter. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter @Bonnie_Dee.

AE Wasp
After time spent raising children, earning several college degrees, and traveling the world with the U.S. State Department, she is returning to her first love - writing.

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world that can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.

Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.

Sloane Kennedy
Although Sloane Kennedy always dreamed of being a writer as a teenager, she didn't take the plunge until 2015 when she released her first novel. Since then, she has released nearly 30 books including the Amazon best-selling "Pelican Bay" and "Protectors" series. While she initially began writing M/F romance, she found her true passion writing gay romance and nearly all of her most recent releases reached the #1 spot on Amazon's Gay Romance bestseller list and several have made it to Amazon's overall bestseller list. Sloane was born in Germany but grew up in the U.S. and although she currently lives in Wisconsin, the place where she has always felt most at home is Seattle and many of her books take place in the Emerald city. When not writing, a menagerie of 2 dogs, 3 cats and 2 horses takes up what little time she has left in the day!

Charles Payseur
Charles Payseur lives and writes in the frozen reaches of Wisconsin, where he enjoys the craft beer and excellent cheeses of the area a bit more than is strictly healthy. Along with his partner and growing herd of pets, he avoids doing household projects by reading and writing, and his short fiction and poetry has been published or is forthcoming at Strange Horizons, Nightmare Magazine, and Lightspeed Magazine, among others.

Francis Gideon
Francis Gideon is pretty much nocturnal and drinks too much coffee. These two things may be related, but he's not sure yet. Also, he writes books. Francis Gideon is a writer of m/m romance, but he also dabbles in mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal fiction. He likes to stay up late, drink too much coffee, and read too many comic books. He credits music, especially the artists Patti Smith, Frank Iero, Gerard Way, Florence + the Machine, and The Pixies as his main sources of inspiration, but the list grows every day. Since age twelve, he’s been trying to figure out what genre is best suited for a strange, quiet kid like him and so far, he’s happy to be where he’s ended up. When not writing fiction, Francis teaches college English classes while he studies for his PhD. He has published several nonfiction and critical articles on everything from the Canadian poet and artist P.K. Page, transgender identity in the YouTube community, using fanfiction as a teaching tool, and character deaths in the TV show Hannibal. Those are all under different his “real” name, though. He writes his novels using his middle name, Francis, so that his students don’t Google him and ask too many questions. Both Francis and his partner live in Canada, where they often disagree about TV shows and make really bad puns. To talk more about books, bad horror movies, LGBT poetry, or anything else, please drop him a line! PS: The image used for this profile is clearly not Francis, but the album art cover for Brand New's Deja Entendu. Which is really good. You should check it out.

Bonnie Dee

AE Wasp

Sloane Kennedy

Charles Payseur

Francis Gideon

Phin's Christmas by Bonnie Dee

Christmas Outing by AE Wasp
A Protectors Family Christmas by Sloane Kennedy

Heroes for Holidays by Charles Payseur

The Boyfriend Rule by Francis Gideon