Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Random Tales of Christmas 2018 Part 5

Summerfield's Angel by Kim Fielding
The Christmas Angel #2
After the hard winter of 1888 ended Alby Boyle’s work as a Nebraska ranch hand, he returned to New York City in search of his long-lost family. His mother and brothers are nowhere to be found, however, and after Alby’s years of absence, Five Corners no longer feels like home. His prospects seem as dim as the nighttime alleys.

When Alby pauses to admire an angel ornament in a department store window’s Christmas display, he meets Xeno Varnham-Summerfield. Wealthy, handsome, and enthusiastic, Xeno brings Alby some temporary cheer. But for Alby to achieve his dreams of love and a real home, well, that may take a bit of holiday magic.

As the winter of 1888 changed his livelihood Alby Boyle decided to go home to New York City to try and find his family but when he arrives they aren't there and Five Corners no longer feels like home.  Be it fate, coincidence, or the angel herself Alby finds himself meeting Xeno Varnham-Summerfield and his world will never quite be the same again.

Summerfield's Angel is a lovely addition to The Christmas Angel series.  Some might tag this one as an opposites attract sub-genre and to some degree that is exactly what it is but the truth is, Alby and Xeno's journey is about letting go without forgetting, accepting without giving in, and of course just a touch of fate thrown in for good measure(you know the kind where you should turn right but something compels you to turn left and nothing is ever the same again😉😉).  That's about as close to a spoiler as you are going to get from me but I'll just say that if you are looking for a story to warm the heart, make you smile, maybe shed a tear or two then Kim Fielding's Summerfield's Angel is for you.  I'll add that if you are not typically a historical fan, don't let the 1888 setting put you off because you will truly be missing a great read. 

I'll admit there is a part of me that would have loved to see just how the Christmas Angel went from 1750s England to 1880s New York but then again it is Christmas and that means there is always an air of mystery, miracles, and hope.  So as much as I'd love to know the angel's journey from one point in time to the next, its actually kind of nice just believing that she is exactly where she's needed most and meant to be and that there are probably hundreds of untold stories of the happiness she managed to point in the right direction in those 130+ years.  After all, Christmas is all about opening your heart and believing in something bigger, be it religiously, spiritually, or Santa and I look forward to seeing where she turns up next.


The Christmas I Know by Nicky James
Andrew Walker has memories of what Christmas is supposed to be like. Having lived so many years without a family to share the holidays with, he’s determined to rebuild traditions with his fiancé, Val. However, Val’s ideal Christmas doesn’t align with Andrew’s.

Not only do the men come from two different worlds, but they live thousands of miles apart.

During a disastrous trip to Toronto to visit Val for the holidays, Andrew meets Xavier, a caring and thoughtful man who only wants to help Andrew out of a bad situation and get him where he’s supposed to be for Christmas.

Xavier grew up in a loving home filled with a holiday spirit that reminds Andrew of his childhood. Reflecting on life and love, Andrew realizes how mismatched he and Val truly are and wonders if this is the life he’s destined to live.

Perhaps being alone is better than settling for someone who doesn’t make him happy.

Except, no one should be alone at Christmas, so when Xavier finds out Andrew’s plan to travel home alone after ending his relationship with Val, he has a different agenda.

Maybe it’s time Andrew gets a taste of the Christmas he knows in his heart.

Tinsel Fixes Everything by Alex Jane
They say you never get over your first love.

After a meteoric rise to baseball stardom, Chase Meadow’s dream is cut short and he’s back home for good, helping his brothers run the family bar while he finds his feet. Plenty of things have changed since he left for college. Although one thing he recognizes right away is Joel Levine.

From setting eyes on the skinny, stammering teen their first day of high school, until reluctantly parting five years later, the two of them had been inseparable. And now, Joel is definitely someone not easily forgotten.

But as Chase settles back into home town life, he finds that under the superficial differences—the leather jacket and tattoos—Joel is still the same person he fell for when they were fifteen. While they’re both older and wiser, Chase never stopped loving Joel. And as Christmas rolls closer, Chase starts to think that maybe Joel never stopped loving him either.

They say you never get over your first love.
Some people don’t have to.

Unwrapping by Clare London
Last Christmas Eve, Harry and Matt got together. Sort of. This Christmas Eve – and with the help of a Secret Santa gift – will they make it official?

**Christmas Freebie from Clare London's contribution to the 2017 Rainbow Advent Calendar Facebook Group**  

Somehow I missed Unwrapped last Christmas so when it crossed my reading list I jumped at the chance to read this short story.  I was not disappointed.  Harry and Matt's journey may be short in pages but its long in adorability and chock full of Christmas spirit, everything that a holiday tale should be: fun, romantic, humorous, with plenty of heart.


A Very English Christmas by Keira Andrews

Gay Amish Romance #3.5

A sexy and sweet holiday romance with Isaac and David

Living in the “English” outside world, Isaac and David have left behind the rigid, isolated Amish community where they first discovered their forbidden love. Staying with Isaac's older brother in San Francisco, they yearn for a home—and bed—of their very own.

As they experience Santa Claus and the bright lights and merry carols of modern Christmas for the first time, can they make their secret holiday wishes come true?

Book 3.5 in the Gay Amish Romance Series from Keira Andrews. 10,000 words.

Note: This gay Christmas romance features family togetherness, holiday cheer, sexual exploration, and creative use of mistletoe.

First published in December 2015 as part of the Wish Come True charity anthology.

Click to Check Out Previous
Random Tales of Christmas 2018

Part 1  /  Part 2  /  Part 3  /  Part 4

Unwrapping by Clare London
“Good God, it’s a yeti. Carrying a shopping bag.” Harry opened the front door to his flat and let the bulbous figure shuffle in past him. “Welcome, mythical creature. You are far from home and from your mystical masters in the high mountains of the Himalayas, but I hope that the big, bad metropolis will treat you well this Christmas Eve—”

“Shunh unh, Huuree,” came from the moving mound of thick, red, hooded coat, plus assorted scarves and shawls. It waddled into the lounge and a giant, gloved hand dropped the bag it had been carrying onto the sofa.

Harry followed, grinning. “Are you delivering for Santa? You’re a day early, you know. Not that you’re not welcome, you always are. Especially if that’s a Christmas gift for me.”

The visitor shook the upper part of its body. It was difficult to identify it as a head, because it was wrapped in several scarves that hid where its neck met its body. “Cahhnh fiynn anyhnging guuhd.”

Harry sighed and tugged at the end of one of the scarves. “Matt—because I assume it is you underneath all this clothing—please understand that I can only understand what you’re saying because I am supersensitive, am attuned to your chi, and we’ve been best friends for ages.”

“Muthh be a yuhhhr.”

“Yes. Must be well over a year. Whatever. And of course I talk that same language when I’ve had too many beers and my tongue gets itself tied. But no-one else will work out what you’re saying. Can I remove some layers?”

Two bright blue-grey eyes peered over the top of thick cloth, darting from left to right in the room.

A Very English Christmas by Keira Andrews
Chapter One
“It’s perfect.”

They stood at the end of a little no-exit suburban street that backed up to a narrow stretch of land running along the railway tracks. Isaac’s heart thumped. David was right—it was perfect.

“The garage would be just the right size,” David added.

“It would. It’s almost as big as the house.” Isaac peered around. “It’s quieter here at the end of the street. Except for the train, I guess.”

David smiled slyly and leaned closer. His warm breath puffed over Isaac’s cheek. “But we don’t mind that particular noise, do we?”

Isaac flushed. Growing up in Zebulon, he’d dreamed of running away and riding a train all the way to the ocean. And on more than one icy Minnesota night, he’d pleasured himself to the train’s distant rumble.

After checking the time on his phone, David straightened the collar of his shirt beneath his jacket. “She should be here any minute.” His pale blue eyes were bright in the way they got when he was excited about something. He ran a hand through his thick, dark hair, fiddling with the bangs that fell over part of his forehead.

They both wore button-up shirts and nice pants, although Isaac wished he’d put on a sweater as he shivered in the gray December gloom. “For California, it sure gets cold here sometimes.”

David took Isaac’s hands and rubbed them with a smile. “It hasn’t even been a year yet, and we’re getting soft. Just think of how cold the outhouse must be in Zebulon today. June said they already have a foot of snow. Maybe I’ll get you some gloves for Christmas.”

Isaac arched a brow. “We said we wouldn’t buy each other anything. We need to save our money, or we’ll never be able to move out. The gloves I have are perfectly fine. When I remember to bring them, that is.” They both laughed.

“Yoo-hoo!” a woman’s voice called. “Are you the boys I talked to about the rental?”

An older, redheaded woman approached from down the street, and David waved. “Yes, that’s us.”

“I’m Margery Hunt.” She thrust out her hand, and David and Isaac introduced themselves. “Let me show you the place.” She turned back up the street.

“Isn’t it here?” Isaac pointed over his shoulder.

“Oh, are you interested in the house? I thought you answered the ad for the basement apartment.” She opened a notebook and held it at arm’s length, squinting.

“There must have been a mix-up,” David said. “We need a place with our own garage. We saw the rental sign out in front of the house and thought that was it.”

“That’s for rent too if you’d rather.” Margery scrawled something in her notebook. “The other house is divided into two apartments, but this one’s a single. Two bedrooms and no basement, although you do get the garage. Of course the rent is higher.”

Of course. Isaac’s stomach clenched. “How much higher?”

“Fifteen hundred a month.”

Isaac couldn’t believe his ears. “It’s fifteen hundred a month for the house?” They could afford that! They’d have to work hard, but—

“Sorry, kid. It’s fifteen hundred more. Three thousand a month, and that’s including utilities.”

“Oh,” Isaac said. He saw his own disappointment mirrored on David’s face.

“Want to see it anyway?” she asked.

“Sure,” David answered. To Isaac, he whispered, “Maybe it won’t be what we want inside anyway.”

“Maybe not.” Isaac threaded their fingers together, and they followed Margery.

And of course the house was just as darn perfect inside.

Despite the faded wallpaper and scuffed parquet floors, it was just what they needed. A regular-sized bedroom for them, a tiny bedroom where they could put a desk, a small kitchen, and a bathroom that needed new tiles and grouting. It wasn’t fancy, or big, but it could be theirs.

Isaac held tight to David’s hand as they peered around the good-sized garage where David could easily set up his workshop. There was even a storage shed in the backyard, which ended at the ridge before the railway tracks. It wasn’t as if it was their dream house or anything. It was way too small, and the neighbors were too close for that.

Still, it would be years before they could afford to buy a place of their own, with land and perhaps a barn for a workshop and a few animals. Isaac still had to finish his GED, and college would be four years if he decided to go.

Margery had kept up a steady stream of chatter as she toured them around. “So that’s about it. It’s a great starter home for a young couple. What do you do?”

“We’re both carpenters,” David answered. “Although Isaac goes to school as well. It’s an alternative school with flexible hours for students who are a little older.”

Isaac added, “I’m still an apprentice carpenter. David does the designing too.”

“Carpenters, hmm? That’s a good trade. Do you make furniture and such?”

David nodded. “I’ve been fortunate to stay very busy since we moved here. Word of mouth has been good.”

And fortunately for them, people in San Francisco were willing to pay huge amounts of money for custom furniture, cabinets, and fancy places to sit in the backyard called gazebos.

“Where are you boys from?” Margery asked.

“Minnesota,” David answered.

Isaac knew she could hear the German in their accents but didn’t explain any further. Most “English” people—as the Amish called anyone who lived in the modern world—were nice, although a few had treated Isaac and David like zoo animals once they found out they’d grown up Amish. Especially when they found out they’d lived in an ultraconservative sect that didn’t even have indoor plumbing and had hardly any contact with the outside world.

At least now Isaac and David had learned a lot and could usually get by without being endlessly confused.

“Minnesota, huh?” She smiled kindly. “I hail from Wisconsin originally. My husband’s people were from Modesto, so we ended up here in the Bay Area. Do you live in Dublin, or are you looking to move here from somewhere else?”

“Right now we’re living in the city with my brother Aaron and his wife Jen,” Isaac answered. “They have a town house in Bernal Heights. She’s a doctor, and my brother teaches math.” Why was he telling her that? Focus and get to the point. People don’t want your whole life story. “It’s been great living there, but we’d really like our own place somewhere a little quieter. We figured Dublin might be good since it’s the end of the BART line and we can still get into the city.” The online listing had said it was “steps” from the train station, although it was a fifteen-minute walk. But Isaac didn’t mind.

“So you own two houses on this street?” David asked.

“Three, including the one my husband and I live in.” She led them down the driveway and pointed to a bungalow with faded red trim and a fence that needed fixing. “It was his bright idea to buy these houses as rental properties years ago. I think it’s time to sell them and stop being landlords. He’s not convinced, even though his back has gotten so bad that he can’t do much of the handyman work around the places anymore. So, what do you think? Can you take the house? If you’ve got your references and such, I can get the ball rolling today.”

With shoulders slumping, Isaac and David shared a glance. Isaac said, “I think we’d better see the basement apartment.”


David stripped down to his briefs and stretched out on the bed with a sigh. He knew he had to let it go, but he couldn’t get the house out of his mind. Before they got their dream house, they needed to find a place that would do in the meantime. The cramped basement apartment Margery showed them was…fine. They’d have neighbors upstairs, though, and David would need to find a space to rent for his workshop.

He’d hoped that if they could find an affordable house to rent with a garage, he could save money on the workspace and get a tax write-off—which he wasn’t sure he quite understood, but it was apparently a benefit of working from your house. Most importantly, he could spend more time with Isaac.

Isaac had been working so hard between school and carpentry with David; if they could work from home, it would make it all so much easier. David loved the idea of not having to take crowded buses to his workshop.

Still, it didn’t seem worth it to move out of Aaron and Jen’s town house until the right place came up. Yet the more they looked, the more it seemed impossible to find anything in the Bay Area that was even in their ballpark. Even though he’d been putting away a bit every month to save for first and last months’ rent, it wasn’t enough.

Leaning a slim hip on the doorway to the adjoining bathroom, Isaac leered. “How you doin’?” He ran a hand over his sandy hair, which he kept short. After years with shaggy Amish haircuts, they both liked their hair neat and trimmed.

David waggled his eyebrows with a chuckle. They didn’t always understand the jokes on TV, but Isaac loved that one from the show about friends. Lifting his arms over his head and keeping them in place, David wriggled down a bit on the mattress.

Isaac’s eyes gleamed as he licked his lips. “Want it like that tonight?”

Kim Fielding
Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

Kim’s novel Brute was the 2013 Rainbow Award Winner for Best Gay Fantasy and tied for fourth place for Best Gay Novel.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Nicky James
Nicky James live in the small town of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada and is mother to a wonderful teenage boy and wife to a truly supportive and understanding husband, who thankfully doesn't think she is crazy.

Nicky has always had two profound dreams in life; to fall back hundreds of years in time and live in a simpler world, not bogged down by technology and to write novels. Since one of those dreams is impossible, she decided to make the other come alive on paper.

Nicky writes mm romance novels that take place in fantastical, medieval type settings and loves to use the challenges of the times to give her stories and characters life.

Nicky has also ventured into writing other sub genres of mm romance including contemporary, historical and Mythological. Look for new titles coming soon.

Alex Jane
Stories of M/M romance with happy endings...eventually.

After spending far too long creating stories in her head, Alex finally plucked up the courage to write them down and realized it was quite fun seeing them on the page after all.

Free from aspirations of literary greatness, Alex simply hopes to entertain by spinning a good yarn of love and life, wrapped up with a happy ending. Although, if her characters have to go through Hell to get there, she’s a-okay with that.

With only a dysfunctional taste in music and a one-eyed dog to otherwise fill her days, Alex writes and walks on the South Coast of England—even when her heart and spellcheck are in New York.

Sign up for her monthly newsletter on her website.

Clare London
Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

Keira Andrews
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

Kim Fielding
EMAIL: kim@kfieldingwrites.com

Nicky James

Alex Jane

Clare London
EMAIL: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk

Keira Andrews
EMAIL: keira.andrews@gmail.com

Summerfield's Angel by Kim Fielding

The Christmas I Know by Nicky James
Tinsel Fixes Everything by Alex Jane

Unwrapping by Clare London

A Very English Christmas by Keira Andrews

Book Blitz: Only Love by Garrett Leigh

Title: Only Love
Author: Garrett Leigh
Series: Only Love #1
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2018
Cover Design: Book Cover by Design
The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves thirty-two-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms.

Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O’Dair. In the shadow of the epilepsy that periodically plagues Max, he and Jed form an unspoken bond. After a late night episode, Jed realizes how much Max means to him, and life has taught him not to waste time.

But the lines between contentment and complacency are blurred. Things left hidden resurface to tear through their world, and before they can repair the damage, death comes to call again. Faces, past and present, rally around them to weather the storm, but before long, they are left with only love.

Author Bio:
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at Black Jazz Design, and co-owns the specialist stock site Moonstock Photography with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.


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