Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology to be Released November 21st!

BoE_533x700Boughs of Evergreen is a collection of 23 short stories celebrating the holiday season in all its diversity. Penned by authors from the UK, the USA, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, these are tales of the young and the not-so-young from many different walks of life.

Themes of family, friendship and romance take readers on a journey through some of the major holidays, both past and present, including Thanksgiving, Advent, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Eid, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas and New Year. In each we find at the very least hope, and often love, peace and happiness.

Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization [USA] providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. For more information, visit: www.thetrevorproject.org.

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THE STORIES:

“A Friend for Christmas” – J P Walker
“A Midnight Clear” – Debbie McGowan
“From All of Us to All of You” – Ofelia Gränd
“Homme for the Holidays” – Jonathan Penn
“Kiss Me At Kwanzaa” – L.L. Bucknor
“Lion’s Hero” – Alexis Woods
“One Nightstand” – Rick Bettencourt
“Shiny Things” – Amy Spector
“The Bard and his Boyfriend” – Kathleen Hayes
“The Christmas Present” – Larry Benjamin
“The Invasion of Tork” – Claire Davis and Al Stewart
“X-Mas Cake: A Modern Fairytale” – Raine O’Tierney
“A Christmas Tale” – Hans M Hirschi
“A Family Christmas” – Terry Kerr
“A Good Word” – L.M. Steel
“A Little Christmas Magic” – K.C. Faelan
“Always Have, Always Will” – Amelia Mann
“An Angel in Eyeliner” – Hunter Frost
“Boyfriend Goes Home” – Laura Susan Johnson
“Christmas Commitment” – Shayla Mist
“Coming in from the Cold” – Ava Penn
“Holidays with Drum and Bell!” – Matthias Williamson
“Te Amo, You Mushrooms” – S.H. Allan

The anthology in its entirety releases Friday, November 21st. Preorder it here.

My story, An Angel in Eyeliner, will be released individually on December 1st.

Angel in Eyeliner

 

All Mitch wants for Christmas is a quiet holiday free from grief. Patching up the face of the target of a mugging in the back alley of his bar seems to throw that wish right out into the cold Chicago night. But the tatted, pierced, and skinny-jean wearing Keller Graham is fearless and proves to be more than a pair of icy blue eyes lined in black. Keller may be a thief, but Mitch never expected him to steal his lonely heart.

Preorder from Amazon here.
Preorder from Smashwords here.

Meet the Character – Mitch Sterling

280px-FullMoon2010I’ve been tagged by Kenzie Mack to join a group of fabulously talented writers in the Meet the Character Blog Hop.

Kenzie Mack transplanted from the mid-west to California with her husband and four children.  She mistook the drought for part of the sunny Cali climate package.  Snow and almost daily rain are not missed.

A lifelong lover of reading and writing, Kenzie chose the indie path into publishing.  The road wasn’t easy.  There are many aspects needed for the production of a book.  The learning pains were many, but the end product warms her heart every time she sees the cover.

Kenzie Mack is the author of Moon Shadows: A Reader’s Choice Tale (March 2014)B&N

Fresh from a break-up, John’s routine jog becomes a run in with fear when he is surrounded by a pack of larger than life wolves. There’s no time to wonder how these creatures arrived in non-wolf country, CA.  They want a snack and he’s clean out of Scooby treats.

When the alpha arrives, John is given a choice.  Surrender to his previously hidden animal instincts or leave and never look back.  Something in the fierce creature’s eyes holds him enthralled and his decision is made.  By night’s end, his life is changed—forever.

This book is an adult tale which offers a reader’s choice for you to pick the pack’s alpha.  Make it a She-Wolf or a He-Wolf.  Or read both.

Purchase this book on Amazon:  www.amazon.com/dp/B00J12ARHO
Find out more about Kenzie on her website: www.kenziemack.com
Follow her on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/MsKenzieMack
Or Twitter: @MsKenzieMack

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Now to introduce you to Mitch Sterling, the main character of An Angel in Eyeliner (Beaten Track Publishing – part of Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology due out November 2014).

BoE_533x700Who is Mitch?

Mitch Sterling is a lonely former combat medic who owns a small bar. Christmas is his favorite time of year and he goes all out when decorating, desperately trying to immerse himself in the holiday spirit and forget about his grief.

Where does An Angel in Eyeliner take place?

The story takes place in Mitch’s bar and attached apartment in downtown Chicago on Christmas Eve.

What won’t Mitch talk about?

Brian, his lover, who was killed on duty in Iraq two years ago. But once Mitch meets Keller Graham, he has a hard time keeping his mouth shut about anything.

Mitch’s Goal?

To have a quiet Christmas free of sadness and full of holiday magic.

The problem?

A tall, skinny-jean wearing, raven-haired man with a pierced tongue and black eyeliner, who Mitch saves from a group of thugs in the alley behind his bar. Keller Graham’s icy blue eyes have a way of drawing Mitch out and making him laugh. The man is fearless and it stirs up feelings Mitch hasn’t had since Brian.

I look forward to sharing Mitch and Keller’s story.

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Meet Next Week’s Authors

Debbie McGowan
debbiemcgowan Debbie McGowan is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven fiction, covering life, love, relationships – the whole shazam. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at seventeen, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At twenty-five, she went back to college to study social science – tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can!

midnight_clear_boe_533x800Debbie’s addition to Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology (November 2014) is A Midnight Clear.

It’s a cold, desperate December when a young girl flees home, in search of food, shelter and the real Santa Claus. Stranded in George and Josh’s hometown, she discovers that the spirit of Christmas can be found in the most unexpected of places. Includes the story of The Little Match Girl, by Hans Christian Andersen.

You can find Debbie on any of the following social media sites:

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/writerdebmcg
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/beatentrackpublishing
YouTube:  www.youtube.com/deb248211
Tumblr: www.writerdebmcg.tumblr.com
LinkedIn:  www.uk.linkedin.com/in/writerdebmcg
Google+:  www.plus.google.com/+DebbieMcGowan
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/4401329.Debbie_McGowan
Website: www.debbiemcgowan.co.uk

K.C. Faelan

Many moons ago, with the encouragement of a writer friend, K.C. Faelan wrote her first fanfic story. After a few years, her muse went into hiding, and then suddenly re-emerged, urging KC to participate and write a story for one of the prompts in the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s 2014 Love’s Landscapes DRitC event. The story she wrote was “If At First You Don’t Succeed,” a romantic comedy about established couple, Evan and Julien and their unsuccessful attempts at kinky sex.

KC prefers to write contemporary male romance, but enjoys reading about them in almost every setting from paranormal, to sci-fi to historical backdrops. She loves men, from the Alphas to the omegas, and all the pretty boys in between. Intelligence and humor whet her appetite. Toss in a course of UST, a dash of angst, season with fluffiness, and she dives right in. Oh, and don’t forget the extra-large side-helping of sex. For dessert, it’s HEA all the way. She loves dark chocolate truffles and candies, and food often plays a part in her stories, and in the ones she enjoys reading.

KC lives in Northern California with her husband and two rescue birds. Their female bird hates women and wishes KC would go play in the middle of traffic or take a long walk off a short pier.

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KC’s addition to Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology (November 2014) is A Little Christmas Magic.

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and Ryan Forsyth is helping his friends decorate for Christmas. Little does he know that the weekend will usher in a profound change to his life, a chance for happiness if he isn’t too scared to reach out and grasp it.

Boone Ainsworth has been friends with Ryan since junior high, ever since their mutual friend Greg Hayes introduced them. Since the day they met, no one has stood a chance at claiming Boone’s heart except Ryan, but Ryan is so far in the closet he hasn’t got a clue.

Their happily ever after is just a step away, until a panicked decision changes everything. From that point on, things don’t go smoothly and Ryan and Boone make mistakes that neither may be able to forgive. But it’s the holidays, and Ryan is banking on a little Christmas magic to help smooth the way.

You can find KC on any of the following social media sites:

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8147151.K_C_Faelan
Blog: www.kcfaelan.wordpress.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/kcfaelan

Please be sure to check out these two amazing author’s next week on their blogs!

“Bullets are now ineffective.” Flash Fiction for Siobhan Muir’s #ThursThreads

Tex_playing_video_gamesI jumped through the nearly closed wormhole, snagged the shiny dagger lying on a mutant toadstool, then climbed up the wall of Bloodthorne Castle a breath away from the secret passage leading into the King’s treasure room.

“I’m almost to the princess,” I gloated, taking a moment to glance over at Kevin as his vice-like grip on the controller turned his knuckles white. His tongue darted out to wet his lower lip and my concentration faltered…for a moment.

“Fine, I’ll just have to use my infinite ammo blaster when you get there,” he said.

I clicked the red button and selected an item from the drop down menu, ducking into the dark passageway. “Your bullets are now ineffective, Kev. I put on my resistance cloak. Nothing gets through this baby.”

“Christ!” Kev threw the controller across the room and scooted back until he hit the couch. “How the hell am I supposed to beat you, Eric? I never win. Never!” He crossed his arms over his chest.

“Are you pouting?” I asked, hitting pause.

Kev squinted at me.

I slid over next to him. “I can only teach you so many tricks to this game. You might have to start getting sneaky.” I grazed my lips over his ear.

He pulled away and gave me a long, hard look that made my heart beat faster.

“Take off your pants. We’ll see if you save the princess with your cock in my mouth.”

“I love you.” I wimpered.

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Check out the winners for the week here.

Take a look at all the entries for the week here.

“You don’t know a damn thing about me.” Flash Fiction for Siobhan Muir’s #ThursThreads

closet“This is crazy, Dad.” Paul ran both hands through his hair, eyes affixed to the floor.

Craig, on the other hand, stared at me like I had grown two heads. “Are you positive?”

I laughed then. I had just come out to my two sons after forty years of denial and their reactions couldn’t be more fitting. Paul never liked anything outside the norm, preferring to stay in his safe little world. And Craig constantly questioned everything, his scientist’s brain always at work.

“It’s that whole mid-life crisis thing,” Paul replied before I could answer, beginning to pace. “He’s struggling to find himself after being alone for so long and with his 55th birthday around the corner….”

I grabbed him by the arm to stop him. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t just say that. I’d like to think you believe me to have a healthier grasp on reality AND my own life than that.”

Paul sighed. “This is not who you are, Dad.”

“You don’t know a damn thing about me, Paul.” I said through clenched teeth. I took a calming breath. “What do you either of you know about my life? You went to live with your mother in the middle of grade-school and never gave me the time of day when I tried to keep in touch. But here it is twenty years later, we’ve reconnected and I’ve finally accepted who I am. I had hoped my sons would understand.”

Craig blinked and smiled. “He’s positive, Paul.”

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Check out all the weeks entries here.

Find out who took home the prizes here.

“Take it back.” Flash Fiction for Siobhan Muir’s #ThursThreads

I walked in from the garage, smiling at Jim as he came down the stairs. His green eyes hadn’t lit up like they used to since he’d moved in with me last week. So I thought I’d try and lift his spirits with a present.

“What is that?” He asked, furrowing his dark brow at the tissue-wrapped object in my hands.

“It’s a housewarming gift.” I removed the tissue to reveal an antique lamp. “For us.”

I put the lamp on the end table near our leather sofa. It was hand-painted and in excellent condition. It looked divine.

Jim walked over to stand near me as he studied the lamp. “Take it back,” he said finally, covering his mouth as he broke into tears.

“Hey…” I gathered him in my arms, rubbing his shoulders. “If it’s not something you like….”

He mumbled something unintelligible through his sobs and I held him tighter, attempting to calm him down before having a conversation. “Talk to me,” I said after wiping away his tears with my thumb.

“I’m having a much harder time than I thought I would with….this,” he gestured about the room.

“My house?” I swallowed. “Or me?”

“No, lover. No.” He held both of my hands. “It’s what moving in together means…for me. I’m going to need some time to adjust before you start buying US such lovely things.”

I relaxed a bit . “You like the lamp?”

“You know you have exquisite taste.”

I smiled. “No rush then.”

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Check out the winners for the week here.

Read through all the entries here.