In Our Holiday Spotlight:This Wish Tonight (Mischief Corner Collections #2) by Mischief Corner Books and authors Wendy Rathbone , J. Scott Coatsworth , Gregory L. Norris

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This Wish Tonight (Mischief Corner Collections #2)

by Mischief Corner Books, Wendy Rathbone , J. Scott Coatsworth , Gregory L. Norris

 Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay

Available for Purchase at

Mischief Corner Books

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My Wonderland Playlist  by J. Scott Coatsworth

When I’m writing fiction, certain songs speak to me and help inspire the story. For Wonderland, one song in particular inspired the story – Annie Lennox’s version of Winter Wonderland. If you’ve never heard it, it’s divine, full of Lennox’s gorgeous, subversive voice.

I listened to this one pretty much on a loop while writing the story, and if the song weren’t still copyrighted, I would have used the lyrics too.

Here, without further ado – the rest of my Wonderland playlist:

Dig, by Incubus

Barrel of a Gun, by Guster

Aftermath, by Dave Audé, featuring Andy Bell

I Should Go, by Levi Kreis

Angel, by Sarah McLachlan

Burning Bridges, by OneRepublic

By Some Miracle, by Philip Selway

I Want You Now, by Depeche Mode

A Long Goodbye, by Erasure

Mad World, by Tears for Fears

Need You Now, by Cut Copy

Romeos, by Alphaville

Zombie, by Jay Brannan

Hope you enjoy them!

Blurbs:

Warmth, family, good cheer? Not everyone associates these things with the winter holidays. For some, it’s a time of longing and reflection. Mischief Corner Books invites authors to create stories set during the holiday season and centered on the fulfillment of a wish or desire.

Fear of Fire by Gregory L. Norris

Glass Artist Lucius Price works desperately to create a holiday symbol intended to help the town of Villatopia heal from a rash of unsolved hate crimes against gay men. When he is targeted next and his studio set ablaze, handsome firefighter Oscar Ramos rescues Lucius from the flames, creating a different kind of fire during an unforgettable Christmas.

Wonderland by J. Scott Coatsworth

Zeke is a loner his late forties, living in a small cabin in rural Montana. Nathan has been traveling across country on foot since the zombie apocalypse, dealing with his OCD in an empty world.  Zeke just wants someone to love. Nathan just wants to be home again.

Fate brings them together in a winter wonderland, but their own fears and baggage may tear them apart.

Is there still hope for love at Christmas, at the end of the world?

Eve of the Great Frost by Wendy Rathbone

Remi has prepared for over a year to be the king’s gift at the annual celebration of the Eve of the Great Frost on the planet Niobe. Twelve men, taught under the tutelage of the Pleasure Master, hope to be the one (or one of several) chosen to spend an erotic night with the mysterious alien king who always wears a mask. But when Remi’s turn comes to be presented to His Majesty, everything goes wrong from a costume malfunction to breaking protocol. What happens next is a shock, and a night he will never forget.

Length: 40.8k, 228 pages

Format: eBook, Paperback

Release Date: 12/14/16

Pairing: MM

Price: 4.99, 10.99

Genres: mm romance, holiday, Christmas, gay science fiction, gay contemporary

Excerpt from Wonderland:

December 19

Zeke stared up at the darkening sky from the porch of his log cabin. The clouds were rolling in over the mountains, thick as cotton. A year and four months he’d been here all alone, since he’d last seen another living human being. At forty-eight, he was resigned to the fact that nothing much was likely to change in his life from now on.

A good storm was coming—he felt it in his bones, although the winter had been unusually warm and dry so far. He’d need to haul some firewood inside the cabin and check his food stocks. He scratched at his scraggly beard as he carried in the chopped wood to lay it next to the fireplace.

Zeke lived off a combination of trout from the Clark Fork River and an assortment of canned goods from the local Grocery Surplus store, but even that vast source of food was starting to wear thin. Winter was just starting—and still not an inch of snow, though that looked to be changing quickly.

Sometimes he wished that he wasn’t the last man on Earth. He’d always been a loner. He’d lived up here on the slopes of the Reservation Divide his whole life, first with his father, and then these last ten years by himself. He’d acted on his impulses once or twice, driving down to Missoula for some big-city life in the town’s two gay bars, but he’d never found what he was looking for, and now it was too late.

It turned out that absence really did make the heart grow fonder. He wished that he had someone—anyone—to talk to. He snorted. If wishes were fishes, we’d all live in the sea—one of his father’s favorite sayings.

Maybe I should think about heading south.

The first year after the plague, he’d stayed put as it ravaged Thompson Falls down in the valley below. Even rural Montana hadn’t escaped its reach. Even so, he’d run into one of the besotted, still living a couple weeks after the end, and had blown it away with his rifle. Its blood had splattered all over his face, but he hadn’t gotten sick.

He shrugged. Someone had to be immune. Maybe I was the unlucky sod.

Zeke covered the rest of the wood with a new waterproof tarp to keep out the snow and sleet. That was one advantage of being the last man in the world—there were so many things at his disposal, right there for the taking, and he didn’t have to pay a dime for them.

He snorted. Money—such a strange, strange thing. Sometimes he would crack open a cash register in town to grab a handful of metal coins—quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies—just to run them through his hands.

He cranked up the generator out back and went into his library room to check the shortwave radio, just like he’d done every day since the plague. It was his ritual, though he’d long since given up hope.

He sat down and scanned through the bands, listening intently for anything signifying human contact. There was only static.

Zeke went back outside and sniffed the air. Cold wind whipped at his beard. Snow was coming, for sure, but he should have enough time to make it down to the market for a quick supply run before the storm began.

He checked the fuel gauge on his ATV. It was low—he should probably top off in town. The first month after the plague, when he’d deemed it safe again to go out, he’d found a way to tap the underground tanks at the old Sinclair gas station, so he had all the fuel he needed.

He strapped one of his heavy-duty canvas sacks onto the back of the vehicle and hopped on, firing her up. He took a deep breath of the cool pine-scented air and then started off down the canyon toward the empty town of Thompson Falls.

Excerpt from Eve of the Great Frost:

I stood quiet and still as instructed, my hands clasped behind my back, my head slightly bowed. The red jewels on my sleeves caught the light, winking. All twelve of us glimmered in rubies.

We waited.

The pleasure master was a short, portly man with gray-silver hair tied tightly back. His black shirt was trimmed in white fur. He held a traditional leather whip, black as onyx, that he gestured with the way a conductor of an orchestra might use his baton. Since the new ways and laws came into effect, whips were for ornament only, never used for punishment.

Some said the new young king wanted to do away with slavery for good. I did not know. If it were true, why were we here tonight, clad in the Cloaks of Erotic Promise? Was it for the ritual and nothing more?

My stomach lurched at the thought. I wanted more than ritual. I wanted this night to prove to myself I had something to give. I’d trained hard and with great dedication. I longed to belong to another in pleasure, in surrender. Decadence, sensual ardor, red passion’s heat—these were things I craved. To be worthy. To be wanted. I would not have sold myself otherwise. I knew my family would be taken care of by being chosen, but honestly, I was doing this for myself.

I stood on that gold stage worried, nervous, excited. My fingers clenched to fists, something we were told not to do. The sounds of revelry began to diminish, the volume softening across the ocean of dancing, moving bodies until only the voices from the guests outside could be heard wafting on the cool breeze.

Heads turned. The celebrants looked in the direction behind me. I was not allowed to move. I could not see what was happening, but I could feel it: the electricity of his approach; the change in air pressure.

The king had made his entrance.

The air seemed to flutter about me. Light and flame, gilt and tinsel—everything glowed. The great hall seemed too small to contain it all.

I could feel his presence looming closer, a psychic weight, a change in the dimensions of reality both subtle and dramatic. Everything blurred, all heat and distant ringing of stemware and held breaths mixing with raised pulse rates, the inner hum of awe, the rustle of silks as people realized they now occupied the same space as a legend.

Every part of my being wished to break formation, to turn and look upon the origin of this catalyst of change and upheaval, this man who’d brought an end to our suffering ways.

Only my vow of discipline kept me in my place.

The pleasure master said from somewhere behind me in a voice of wavering bass tones, “Welcome, Your Highness, Emperor of Niobe, Greatest of Venerables, King Shin. I have the honor of presenting to you on this glorious evening the revered and most exotic gifts of our land, the finest and most beautiful physical representatives of our male citizens, trained in the esteemed art of exquisite gratification.”

An enthralling voice replied, “The honor is mine.”

Buy Links Etc:

Publisher:  (info only)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAEIP8C (preorder until 12/14)

Apple: Coming Soon

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thiswishtonight-2181667-166.html  (preorder until 12/14)

Barnes & Noble: Coming Soon

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/this-wish-tonight

Smashwords: Coming Soon

iBooks: Coming Soon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33197468-this-wish-tonight?from_search=true

Author Bios:

Gregory L. Norris

I am a full-time professional writer, with numerous publication credits to my resume, mostly in national magazines and fiction anthologies. A former writer at Sci Fi, the official magazine of the Sci Fi Channel (before all those ridiculous Ys invaded), I once worked as a screenwriter on two episodes of Paramount’s modern classic, Star Trek: Voyager and am the author of the handbook to all-things-Sunnydale, The Q Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Alyson Books, 2008).

In late 2009, two of my paranormal romance novels for Ravenous Romance (www.ravenousromance.com) were reprinted as special editions by Home Shopping Network as part of their “Escape with Romance” segment – the first time HSN has offered novels to their customers. In late 2011, my collection of brandy-new terrifying short and long fiction, The Fierce and Unforgiving Muse: A Baker’s Dozen From the Terrifying Mind of Gregory L. Norris is being published by Evil Jester Press. I have fiction forthcoming from the fine people at Cleis Press, STARbooks, EJP, The Library of Horror, Simon and Shuster, and Pill Hill Press, to name a few.

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before. He is currenty working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.

Wendy Rathbone

Wendy Rathbone has had dozens of stories published in anthologies such as: Hot Blood, Writers of the Future (second place,) Bending the Landscape, Mutation Nation, A Darke Phantastique, and more. Over 500 of her poems have been published in various anthologies and magazines.

She won first place in the Anamnesis Press poetry chapbook contest with her book “Scrying the River Styx.” Her poems have been nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling award at least a dozen times.

A Stella Advent Calendar Review Day 17: And to All a Good Night by Felicitas Ivey

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RATING 2,75 out of 5 stars

and-to-all-a-good-nightKobbi AAkers was excited to have a traditional family Christmas with his younger sister Franzi, a famous rock star. But instead of the peaceful holiday he had planned, she’s turning it into a televised musical extravaganza, in a desperate bid for publicity.

Kobbi can adapt, especially since the show’s host Wytt Kanard is easy on the eyes and easy to work with, even if he doesn’t believe in Christmas at all. Wytt is alternatively amused and horrified at the simplicity that is Kobbi’s life and the enthusiasm he has for the holiday, all while taking care of his houseful of unexpected guests.

Maybe Kobbi can convince the cynical Wytt that Christmas isn’t an event to be managed, but something special to be shared. Maybe he can muster the courage to confess his attraction and offer Wytt a surprise present.

And to All a Good Night by Felicitas Ivey fell a little short to me. I’m a huge fan of holiday stories, but my problem with this one was I totally missed the Christmas spirit, I’ll be very honest and say the book ended and I didn’t even realize it. I wasn’t ready because it felt like I knew nothing about what was happening. The relationship between the supposed main characters was pretty much nonexistent, not even some building, no chemistry, no attraction, nothing at all.

The only reason why I’m not giving it a lower rating is Kobbi. I liked him a lot, he’s so caring and lovely, it was impossible to not fall under his lovely spell. And his cat? Adorable.

I don’t even like the cover art by Catt Ford, sorry.

Sales Links

        

Book Details:

ebook, 50 pages

Published December 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 163533179X (ISBN13: 9781635331790)

Edition Language English

A MelanieM Advent Calendar Review : The Orpheum Miracle (2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug) by Pat Henshaw

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

the-orpheum-miracleChristmas joy is a matter of perspective. For some, it’s the happiest time of the year. For others, not so much.

Twenty-nine-year-old Mick, the son of crack addicts, isn’t exactly a dyed-in-the-wool Scrooge. Mick’s been on his own from childhood. As a teen, he lived in a shelter where for a short time he had a boyfriend. After the boyfriend left, Mick moved to the Orpheum Theater. While squatting there and taking care of the grand old building, Mick watched others celebrate the holidays from a distance, never able to share in their joy.

Only his Technicolor dreams liven his dull, mechanical life until one day the world around him begins to change. Mick is surprised when a man named Jim buys the vintage Orpheum and plans to restore it. Something about Jim makes Mick think they’ve met before. In fact, Jim rekindles Mick’s longing for a better life and a little holiday magic for himself.

Pat Henshaw has written a delightful story of a magical theatre who manages a holiday miracle for a lonely man who’s never been able to leave his past behind.  Mick’s story of loss and shelters becomes real in The Orpheum Miracle.  Now grown, Mick lives in the old theatre, hidden at night, and during the day, one of her maintenance men keeping her  going.   Then she’s sold and her new owner wants to refurbish her and return her to her old glorious self.  When Mick realizes the new owner reminds him of his boyhood friend and love lost, the story moves into magic.

As with all of Pat Henshaw’s stories, they could all be easily expanded in full novels.  The plots, the characters and the world building often  cries out for the full-blown treatment.  So does The Orpheum Miracle.  But if that never comes to pass, I’m so happy that I got to read Mick and Jim’s story.  It perfect for the holidays or any time of the year.

Cover by Paul Richmond works for the series and its delightful.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 25 pages
Published December 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781635331660
Edition Language English

Cover Reveal and Release Blast: Tarnished Souls by Dev Bentham (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Tarnished Souls
Author: Dev Bentham
Release Date: December 16th 2016
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

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Tarnished Souls is a series of contemporary romance novels centered around Jewish holidays:

Life can be hard. Hard enough to leave two men tarnished and hopeless.They might be too damaged to see the truth in each other, but just maybe finding their bershert, their true love, will finally make them shine.

Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

BOOKS IN THE TARNISHED SOULS COMPILATION

Learning from Issac

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It’s hard to break out of a rut. For years, Nathan submerged himself into his job at St. Genevieve’s. He enjoys teaching, hates faculty meetings, loves his science and has committed himself to the cycle of college life. Along the way, he’s become resigned to being a gay man in a straight culture, a Jew among Catholics, and single in a world of couples. Then the brilliant Isaac Wolf appears in his classroom. Isaac’s a few years older than his fellow students, gorgeous, self-composed and Jewish.

Isaac has his own secrets, which Nathan finds out at the racy new club downtown where the boys who dance out front can be bought in the back room. Nathan thinks he’s about to get a lap dance, but behind the beaded curtain the man on his knees turns out to be Isaac. Nathan’s mind isn’t the only thing Isaac blows. Afterward, Nathan can’t stop thinking about that night. The question is whether Nathan can let himself fall in love with a student, much less someone with Isaac’s checkered past. Is it too late for a student to teach his professor the true nature of love and respect?

Publisher’s Note: This book contains graphic imagery of men having sex together. And enjoying it. However, the story is primarily a romance. Don’t be disappointed if you read pages and pages and pages without encountering acts, organs or orgasms.

Fields of Gold

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Life is full of compromises. That’s what Avi Rosen tells himself. He’s a yeshiva boy turned historian, working on his dissertation and stretching his meager stipend by moonlighting as a closeted politician’s houseboy. Their relationship used to feel like a real affair. Lately it seems more like a job.

It isn’t until he meets someone decent that he realizes how corrupt his life has become. Pete is a tall blond farmer who charms Avi with his dazzling smile and his straightforward life. But even if he can believe this refreshingly honest man doesn’t have his own political agenda, will Avi find the strength to emerge from the dark life he’s chosen and find a future in the sun?

Sacred Hearts

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Life’s a gamble–and lately David Schwartz’s partner has been losing so much that David must close their restaurant, the hippest little place in Portland. He sells everything and moves back home, but at thirty-five, he’s not eager to sleep alone in his childhood bedroom or to be supported by his father for the second time in his adult life.

David’s had enough. He needs to start over, maybe with someone like the elusive man he’s been seeing in his dreams. An old friend offers him a job catering a movie set in Puerto Vallarta. It’s been years since David’s alcoholism spun out of control along the highways of Mexico. Determined to experience Mexico sober, he stuffs his few remaining possessions in a backpack and takes the next flight down.

As Mexico prepares for Christmas, David lights Hanukkah candles, celebrating the return of the sun and wishing for true love. On the first night of Hanukkah, David meets a tall, dark stranger who rocks his world in a secluded moonlit cove. Is this the mystery man of his dreams–the answer to David’s prayers? And what must David sacrifice to make his dreams come true?

Bread, Salt and Wine

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Some wounds never heal. George Zajac grew up in a religious family with a father who beat “the swish” out of him. At thirty-eight he’s a troubled man. Escaping his miserable life as a banker in New York, he moves across the country to start again in Los Angeles as the catering chef for a prestigious French Restaurant. Kenny Marks, a writer who’s currently waiting tables, is everything George cannot be—flamboyant, proud and sexually confident. Enthralled by Kenny, and against his own better judgment, George agrees to a date. Sparks fly. The sex is amazing. But even after the two get close, George is crippled by humiliating sexual hang-ups. Still haunted by his childhood, he lingers in the closet and can’t commit to a relationship with Kenny.

Love is the great healer, but is it enough? George’s emotional scars could drive Kenny away, and with him, George’s last chance at happiness.

The books in the Tarnished Souls series can be found on Goodreads

EXCERPT

(from Fields of Gold)

Jack stood in the bathroom, straightening his tie in the mirror. “I don’t know how late I’ll be tonight.”

“Okay.” I lay naked on the bed, watching him get ready.

“I left some cash on the table. We’re almost out of coffee. Maybe you could get groceries.” He gave the tie one last tug, picked up his briefcase, ruffled my hair and left.

I stared at the ceiling. My ankle and ass both throbbed. I glanced at my wrists where red bracelets of bruises were beginning to purple. What would they have looked like if the cuffs hadn’t been lined with fur? I rolled one sore shoulder and the other before levering myself up to sit on the edge of the bed. This new kink of Jack’s wouldn’t have been my first choice. The only really sexy thing about the whole evening had been seeing Pete’s mouth around my cock. And that had been imaginary. Although Pete had been pretty clear it didn’t have to be. I shook my head. That thought wasn’t something I could indulge right now.

The crutches would be on the living room floor where I’d dropped them before Jack had half carried, half marched me to the bedroom. Pink flesh bulged around the bandage on my ankle. I unwrapped it, trying not to wince as pain bolted through me every time I moved. The swollen outside of my ankle was deep red and dark blue. At least it matched my wrists.

I stood on my good leg and hopped to the kitchen. Ten twenties lay on the kitchen table, still crisp from an ATM. He must have stopped at a cash machine on his way down. There was about half a cup of coffee left in the pot. I poured that, grabbed the ice bag from the freezer, propped my foot on a chair, and tried not to think too hard about my life.

GIVEAWAY: Win a paperback copy of Nobody’s Home by Dev Bentham

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About the Author

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I write contemporary gay romance. My characters are flawed and damaged adult men who may not even know they’re looking for true love, but when they meet their bershert, their true love, their lives are transformed. My stories are set in the real world where gay men have gay friends, families who do or don’t accept them, personal histories they’re not necessarily proud of and a myriad of experiences that have made them who they are.

I live in Northern Wisconsin with my Boston Terrier and Chicago spouse. I’ve published short stories, poetry, newspaper articles and academic papers and have worked in nearly every profession from restaurants to retail to open-water diving and now write m/m romance out of my fascination with love, courage and gender.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

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