Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped by B.G. Thomas
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THESE FINE SITES!
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have B.G. Thomas back again to talk about his release Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped. Welcome, Ben.
Hello again! It’s me, BG Thomas, aka Ben. Please feel free to call me that. Ben, that is. I hope your holiday is going well. As you read these words, I’ll be on my way to the little town where my husband grew up. We’ll spend a good part of Christmas Eve with his mother, a wonderful lady that I fortunately get to call, “Mom.” I am a lucky man. Sadly, I have to work Christmas day, but I am crossing my fingers that I will be out in the early afternoon. Hey. They are going to feed us, and that’s a nice consolation. I just wish I was home for the release of my new book, on Christmas day, which is called Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped.
Now originally Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped was supposed to be a part of Dreamspinner Press’s annual Advent Calendar, which is an amazing collection of a holiday story every day for the month of December. I’ve been a part of that collection almost every year since I started writing (and selling) books, back in 2010. The theme for that series of stories is Stocking Stuffers, where sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most…. The holidays are a time when bigger often means better, and meals are huge, decorations are over-the-top, and elaborate gifts and grand gestures are one way to show affection. But beneath all the pomp and ceremony are the stories about the very best presents. Presents that often don’t have anything to do with “over-the-top.”
And sometimes the best presents really can’t be wrapped.
A friend of mine were talking and it was in that conversation about a love of animals that the idea was born for my story. But before I tell you where I am going with this, I’ll give you the cover blurb….
SOMETIMES THE BEST PRESENTS CAN’T BE WRAPPED
Ned Balding used to be a decent man—until the stress of seemingly countless responsibilities changes him, and he becomes cold and driven—the kind of man who considers firing an employee days before Christmas. The kind of man who kicks a dog…. But Ned’s transgressions haven’t gone unseen. A Salvation Army Santa witnesses his misdeeds and decides Ned needs to be taught a lesson.
When Ned wakes up the next morning, he’s stunned to discover he’s been transformed into a dog.
In the past year, Jake Carrara has lost his mother, a lover… even his dog. His boss came close to firing him just before the holidays. He isn’t sure he’s ready for another pet when he’s asked to foster a dog, but Jake’s good heart won’t let him refuse. Little does he know, this isn’t just any dog.
Through a twist of fate, two people with little reason to be friends might teach each other to rediscover the good—and the love—in life…..
I let the powers that be at Dreamspinner Press know what I was planning and they liked the idea. Told me to give it a shot. That if I could pull it off, it was just might be the kind of story they were looking for. And so I started to write.
Thing is I wasn’t writing cutsie, although I knew I would certainly have some cute moments in it. I mean like the first time the new Ned, in his body, needs to go…ah…to the bathroom. He wants to stand. And he does. To some rather humorous results. He also can’t bear the idea of eating out of a bowl on the floor. But how does he communicate all this to the young man who rescues him?
And I also wanted to make sure that dog-Ned saw the world the way a dog would see the world, not only from his lower height, but with the colorblindness that dogs see. I thought they saw the world in black and white. How surprised I was to learn I was wrong.
As it turned out, this story wasn’t being contained in the typical 5-18 thousand word limit for Advents stories. Now I’ve gone a little long before. Mele Kalikimaka, which I wrote with the amazing up and comer Noah Willoughby went something like 22 thousand words! But when went to 25K and then 30K and then 35K and still wasn’t done, I knew—sadly—I wasn’t going to get to be a part of the 2017 Advent Calendar. I was pretty bummed to. Because I think Sometimes… was pretty much the best holiday story I had ever written, even better than fan-favorite Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf.
So I wrote Dreamspinner Press again and told them what was happening and they told me to go ahead, finish it, and submit it. And that is just what I did.
Guess what? It was too long for their Advent Calendar. But they liked it. They loved it! Enough to publish it independently from their collection of holiday stories. And to release it on Christmas Day! Which I found pretty darned wonderful.
So there you go. That is how Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped came to be. I hope you will give it a chance. It is a romance like you probably have never seen before. And it is filled with the most important kind of love there is. Pure unconditional love. I think it will fill your heart with warmth and bring a tear to your eyes.
Happy Holidays, no matter what your beliefs!
And may you have a blessed New Year!
Love, B.G. “Ben” Thomas
About the Author
B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade and their fabulous dogs Sarah Jane and Oliver. He is blessed to have a lovely daughter as well as many extraordinary friends. He has a great passion for life.
B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to literature conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy.
In the nineties, he wrote for gay adult magazines but stopped because the editors wanted all sex without plot. “The sex is never as important as the characters,” he says. “Who cares what they are doing if we don’t care about them?” Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he began writing again. He submitted a novella and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the romantic tales have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of story-telling!”
In 2015 he made an entry every day in his blog “365 Days of Silver,” where he found something every day to be grateful for. You can find it right here: https://365daysofsilver.wordpress.com/
“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message. “It is never too late,” he testifies. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”