My year in books

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One of my actual bookshelves featuring no books I bought or read this year

My year in books encompasses both books written and books read.

I can take the first category quickly. As ever, time is shorter on the writing front than I would like.  This year I wrote and published a full length novel, wrote and self-published a novella, revised and re-released a short story for an anthology, co-wrote the first part of a new story with my CP, Carolyn Crane, and (mostly) planned out my next book.  Not bad. Not as productive as I’d like, but considering work and family commitments, not bad. Part of the challenge for me is to try to keep my focus on what I can reasonably achieve, rather than on what other people are doing and comparing myself unfavourably to them in terms of output. I don’t find that easy so that’s going to be an ongoing challenge in 2016. I’ll blog separately, perhaps soon, about the queer joy of co-writing.

So far as reading is concerned, I’ve been conscious that I’ve read less – and probably with less excitement – this year than for the last few years. Even so, I was surprised when I checked to find that I’ve bought less than half as many books in 2015 (c.80) than I did in 2014 (c.170). In 2014, I read a lot of books I liked. This year, as I scrolled through my kindle, I reflected that there seemed to have been nowhere near as many, a fact that made me wonder, a little anxiously, whether romance is losing some of its appeal for me.

That would once have been unthinkable to me but not so now. Also, though, it’s not the whole story. Not when I realised I was forgetting something important: 2015 was the year of the audiobook for me. I’ve bought and consumed 30 titles/200 hours of audiobooks this year (almost all of which I’ve previously read). A huge highlight of that process has been working through Josh Lanyon’s audiobooks, both revisiting old pleasures and finding new things to love in them. They really are all good, but my particular recommendations would be Come Unto These Yellow Sands, The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks and a superb value collection of shorts stories, In Sunshine and in Shadow. Right now – today – I’m listening to, and painfully loving Lovers and Other Strangers. So, so good. Other audio favourites have included Jordan Castillo Price’s Psycop series, Mary Calmest’ Frog and Eli Easton’s The Mating of Michael.

I’ve been fascinated by the experience of audio *reading*. It’s a curious thing. In a normal reading experience, the only filter between author and reader is the reader’s mind. With an audio experience, you get another layer, the narrator. That voice in the dark brings a lot to the table:  tone, inflection…judgment. You find that the tiniest things change meaning. Sway you. Curious to reflect that the Victor Bayne of my reader’s mind is somehow sadder than the man Gomez Pugh gives voice to. Pugh’s Vic is not the Vic I first met, in my head. He is another Vic. A wonderful Vic, to be sure – Gomez Pugh is an incredible narrator – yet he’s subtly different from my original Vic. You get another dimension, another, different experience.

My audio consumption will be likely diminish in 2016. I’ve discovered I need my audiobooks to be high quality reads. The pace of reading aloud is slow – listening to a book takes 3-4 times longer than reading it – and there’s no place for an author to hide at that speed. In my view, it’s only a medium for books you can savour every word of.

There have been some outstanding regular reads this year too. When I finally got round to reading them, I loved Keira Andrews’ Amish trilogy, starting with A Forbidden Rumspringa. I’ll be checking out some of her backlist in 2016. Other new-to-me authors I’ve enjoyed this year include Leta Blake, Megan Erikson and Sarina Bowen. The final book in S P Wayne’s werewolf series, Everything Carries Me to You was a bit of brilliance. Alexis Hall’s For Real was fantastic, and did something I felt like I’ve been waiting for for a long time – brought BDSM plausibly into the real world for me. A massive reading treat of 2015 was glomming Mary Calmes’ Matter of Time series (Sam! Jory!) albeit it left with me something of a book hangover. More recently, I loved Santino Hassell’s Sunset Park -Raymond is one of those rare characters you Actually Fall In Love With – Josh London’s gorgeous A Case of Christmas, and LB Gregg’s With This Bing, a pacey romp with characters I love. LB does great older guys. Dan – I mean, just, uhnnn. (sorry, but Dan!).

I also have to give a shout out to Lisa Henry (aka Discontented Winter) for her amazing fanfic – some of her stories transfixed me this year. Gorgeous, emotional writing…and free. So good, it doesn’t seem right to not be paying for it. There’s something here about the sheer joy of storytelling, untrammeled by writing to market/promo/performance anxiety etc. Something to ponder for 2016. I also need to read the sequel to Dark Space which I only just realised is out. Incredible book. That’s one I’ll pay for at least.

There’s undoubtedly a pile of books I’ve forgotten to mention that I ought to have, but this is  only an impressionistic glance at my booklife in 2015. I’ve spent too long on this post already. Why look back when I could be slipping in my earbuds, sinking into the final chapter of Lovers and Other Strangers?  I’m sorry , reading friends, to be lax with my praise, and uncomprehensive. But the need to read is calling me, so I must away.

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12 days of Christmas Stories Giveaway – Day 12

And so it is the final day of my 12 Days of Christmas Stories Giveaway – I feel quite sad!

Today, I’m not featuring any particular book, just giving you the chance to win whatever book you’d like: today’s prize is a $20 ARe voucher plus your choice of any eBook from my backlist.

Just tell me what book you’re absolutely burning to read right now – I have an ulterior motive of course – your comments will serve as inspiration when I come to add some books to my Kindle for the Christmas holidays (when I plan to read, read, read. Bliss!) They don’t have to be Christmas Stories, and they don’t have to be current releases, just something you really want to read. I look forward to reading your comments.

Oh, and Happy Holidays!

EDITED TO ADD – THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS D TORINI – CONGRATULATIONS!

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12 Days of Christmas Stories Giveaway – Day 11

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Oh my gosh! I’m almost at the end of my big Christmas giveaway ! Yes, it’s day 11 – just one more day to go after this (and tomorrow’s a doozy, so stay tuned)!

Today’s giveaway is the fabulous RJ Scott’s Love’s Design. As has become traditional, let us begin with the blurb :-D

Can Christmas be the time when Kirby finally stops running and allows himself to fall in love with the man who saves his life? CIA Agent Stefan Mortimer is cooling his heels in the UK until he can go home. Taking on easy assignments with Bodyguards Inc. seems like a good solution to keep him sane. He’s used to life throwing him curveballs, and it’s just another day at the office when he rescues Kirby Devlin and his niece and nephew. Now he has to keep Kirby and the kids alive and stay professional.  Kirby Devlin has one priority; keeping his small family safe. On the run, and facing danger at every turn, Kirby finally runs out of places to hide on a snowy December day at Edinburgh airport. Stefan comes to the rescue, saves him and the children. Is it possible that Kirby finally has someone to trust?  Now, if only it would be as easy for Kirby to trust Stefan with his heart.

This is the story of Stefan, one of the bodyguards in Bodyguards Inc. and  Kirby. Kirby is a young guy who’s already had a pretty hard life, has recently been saddled with a niece and nephew he didn’t know he had and who now finds himself on the run from the nasty guy who may have killed his brother. Kirby’s a lovely character. He’s had to learn to get by without support or help from anyone, and he’s suspicious of all forms of authority and officialdom. You feel for him so hard. There’s a great scene where he nabs all the toiletries from a hotel bathroom because he just can’t pass up free stuff and then he’s all embarrassed when he sees that Stefan has noticed (*swallows hard*). As for Stefan, he’s big and tough and reliable and basically everything Kirby needs but has never believed he could possibly have. Watching the tentative growth of trust between these two is satisfying and heart warming and it’s all that PLUS a bag Santas because this is happening with snow falling and Christmas trees being decorated and reindeer cupcakes being made :-) Go forth and read!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment about your favourite Christmas song. The winner will be decided at 8pm on 13th December 2015.  If you can’t wait to read it, you can find buy links here!

And do makes sure to come back tomorrow for the final giveaway which will be in the nature of a star prize, naturally :-)

About RJ

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Email rj@rjscott.co.uk

Website www.rjscott.co.uk/

Twitter https://twitter.com/Rjscott_author

Facebook www.facebook.com/author.rjscott

EDITED TO ADD – THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS MARI CARDENAS – CONGRATULATIONS!

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12 days of Christmas Stories Giveaway – Day 10

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Just three more days of this giveaway event left, and in the final countdown, we have the fabulous Twinkle Twinkle by Josephine Myles. As ever, let’s start with the blurbz:

When old schoolmates meet again, sparks fly!

It’s Christmas Eve, and down in Accident and Emergency Dr. Tom Berriman really hasn’t got into the festive spirit. Newly returned to his home town, he’s missing the big city he left behind and can’t get enthusiastic about a holiday he’ll be spending on his own. That is until he catches sight of the attractive electrician fixing the lights—who promptly crashes down out of the ceiling and becomes Tom’s patient. Tom can’t believe his luck…until he realises he knows the man already.

Electrician Vince has changed out of all recognition since they were at school together, where Vince was the butt of all the bullies’ jibes—and worse—while nursing a hopeless crush on Tom.

If the newly-hunky Vince can forgive his former tormentor, and Tom can get over his lingering guilt, maybe their Christmases won’t be quite so lonely after all.

I really loved this story. It’s short but it packs a punch, and as with many of Jo’s stories, it manages to be both earthy and touching at once. It also features one of my very favourite things – MCs who share a difficult history. Here we have A&E doctor Tom and electrician Vince, who haven’t seen each other since they were at school, where Vince was bullied by Tom’s group of friends.

I loved how Jo showed that the character that was diminished by this history was not Vince but Tom. Of the two of them, it is Vince who has moved on, Vince who shows Tom how to find the courage to overcome the past. And how Vince does that – bravely, boldly – is so very entertaining to read.

I’ve got to add that one my favourite things about this story is how thematically pleasing it is. It’s about, I think, sparks and jolts. Sparks of attraction, and of life and vitality. Jolts of recognition and  reality. The text is sprinkled with flashes  and sparks and electricity, twinkles and fairy lights and sparkles. So richly enjoyable. So wonderfully, gorgeously satisfying.  Highly recommended. :-)

To win a copy of this lovely story, leave a comment about your favourite Christmas decoration. The winner will be decided at 8pm on 12th December 2015. And if you just can’t wait, you can buy a copy here :-)

Oh, and remember, there’s still 2 more days of giveaways to go!

About Jo:

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo publishes regularly with Samhain, and now has over ten novels and novellas under her belt. Her novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion, although she prefers to leave the “boring bits” of the ebook creation process to someone else. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and a soon-to-be toddler.

Website and blog: http://josephinemyles.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/josephine.myles.author

Twitter: @JosephineMyles

EDITED TO ADD – THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS LEE TODD – CONGRATULATIONS!

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12 Days of Christmas Stories Giveaway – Day 9

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It’s day 9 of the giveaway! How can it have gone so quick? Today’s book is Clare London’s Nice and Snow (With a Kick), a little Christmassy sequel to A Twist and Two Balls. Here’s the blurb:

 Nuri’s expecting a quiet Christmas, driving his cab, doing some studying, enjoying good food and drink – and devoting some serious loving to boyfriend Eduardo. Occasionally he misses his homeland of Turkey, but he’s content to share the London celebrations with Eddy.

But what with Eddy’s distress over his new role at the local comedy club, interference in their love life from Nuri’s irrepressible brothers, a disturbing number of costumed Santas on the street, the dangerous slush on the roads, and then the portly, bearded man dressed in red, in need of an urgent cab ride…

It doesn’t look like things will be that quiet after all!

This is a really fun little story featuring one of my favourite Christmas staples: the could-he-be-real? Santa figure. The story starts off in contemporary, multicultural London with happy and very together couple, Nuri and Eddy. It’s all very everyday to start with, but the closer we get to Christmas, little oddities begin to appear, then increase in frequency, culminating in a car journey with an old man who might just be Santa. There’s a lovely sprinkling of magic, a briefly lovely detour via Turkey (complete with due acknowledgment of St Nick’s Turkish roots) and, at the end, a little amplification up of our heroes pre-existing  happy ending, as befits a Christmas story. All in all, cute, fun and very feel-good.

You can win a copy of Nice and Snow by leaving a comment about what your favourite wintry mode of transport. The winner will be decided at 8pm on 11th December 2015. If you can’t wait till then, you can buy the book at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or ARe. Other places too, no doubt.  :-)

Keep coming back till the 12th for more holiday  giveaway goodness!

About Clare:

Clare London took her pen name 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 three 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.

Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here:
Website: http://www.clarelondon.com
E-mail: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk
Blog: http://www.clarelondon.com/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarelondon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/clare_london
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/clarelondon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/clarelondon/

THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS JENF27 – CONGRATULATIONS!

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12 Days of Christmas Stories Giveaway – Day 8

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It’s day 8 of my 12 Days of Christmas Stories giveaway!

Today’s giveaway is Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee’s Simon and the Christmas Spirit. First the blurby-blurb:

The holiday spirit has forsaken Simon Harris. A recent reminder of the man who used, then left him, sends lonely Simon on a glum visit to his club to while away a few hours. A breath of fresh air in the form of Christopher Andrews is about to enter his stale life.

Performer of many talents and faces, Christopher gained entrée into the club to win money at cards. Unfortunately, he’s losing. But the evening needn’t be a complete disappointment as he strikes up a friendship with a gentleman which ends in a bedroom.

Simon and Christopher enjoy a few hours of pleasure together, never expecting to see each other again, but Simon’s newfound resolution to change might just transform both their holidays.

A short story, which includes a brief excerpt. Simon and Christopher’s future will appear in our next short: Will and the Valentine Saint.

I’m a sucker for historical Christmas stories. I  don’t know what it is – maybe it’s the sense of continuity, the nostalgia, maybe something about the purity of the festive spirit, untrammelled by the sheer commercial glitter of Christmas these days. I love the pictures historical Christmas stories conjure up: candlelight and oranges and Christmas pudding, the wassail bowl and simple decorations of greenery. The Christmas goose! ALL that. I have a very ancient paperback collection of Mary Balogh regency Christmas shorts that I dig out every year to feed this obsession because there’s NEVER ENOUGH historical holiday stories. Consequently, I was beyond delighted to learn that Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee were bringing one out this year.

In this late Victorian setting we get two deeply contrasting MCs, the lonely, staid, conventional Simon who lives in isolated splendour and poor, generous-spirited, joyful Christopher, an actor who lives hand-to-mouth with a motley collection of family, adopted family, friends and lost souls seeking sanctuary. All in all, a perfect set up for Christmas themed messages around love, family, and what’s important in life.

Christopher is a lovely character – fearlessly joyful in a way that you don’t see often. He wears his heart on his sleeve and disarms Simon with his easy honesty. I really enjoyed the parts where poor, lonely Simon is trying to work Christopher out – he’s so afraid and stuck in his ways, he doesn’t dare take Christopher at face value at first, but when he finally takes that step, and decides to trust him, it’s sweet and heart-warming and I was grinning with happiness.

And guess what? You can WIN this story! All you need to do to enter the giveaway is  leave a comment about your favourite actor in a Christmas movie or play. The winner will be decided on 10th December 2015 at 8pm GMT.

If, however, you can’t bear to wait to read it, you can buy it now, perhaps here at Amazon.com or here at ARe.

Happy reading, and remember, there will be a giveaway every day until 12th December. :-)

About Summer and Bonnie

Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee have co-written over a dozen books. Their historical novels usually feature cross class romances which give the protagonists even greater hurtles to overcome than being gay men in dangerous times. Summer is the racy alter ego of author, Kate Rothwell, who writes gaslight historicals. Bonnie is interested in flawed, often damaged, people who find happiness together. These writers met by chance online, and have actually even met in person once.

THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS CECILLE – CONGRATULATIONS!

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12 days of Christmas Stories Giveaway – Day 7

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Day 7 of my big 12 day giveaway features another of my stories, namely my own 2015 Christmas release, Humbug.

Humbug– you may not be terribly surprised to learn – is based on one of my favourite Christmas stories, A Christmas Carol.

Instead of Ebenezer Scrooge, I have a Quin Flint (skinflint, geddit?), a management consultant who specialises in advising businesses on downsizing (aka firing people).

Quin is … driven. He’s determined to progress in his career, and he doesn’t care who he steps on to get ahead. Until one day, his ball-busting boss, Marley Joseph, side-swiped by a sudden family bereavement, tells Quin not to make the same mistakes she’s made over the last twenty five years, confiscates his phone and orders him to take a day off.

Over the next day and night, Quin finds himself confronting his past, opening his eyes up to his present – including good-hearted colleague Rob Paget – and ponders what his future holds if he sticks to his current path.

But can Quin change his life around in just one day?

You can find the buy links here.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below telling me what your favourite Scrooge-inspired movie or book is. The winner will be decided on 9th December at 8pm GMT.

Keep coming back for new giveaways every day till 12th December! :-)

EDITED TO ADD – THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS ANGELA – CONGRATULATIONS!

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12 Days of Christmas Stories Giveaway – Day 6

WhatHappensXmas_coverIt’s day 6 of this big festive event and today’s giveaway is Jay Northcote’s What Happens At Christmas. Woot! First the blurb:

When two friends pose as boyfriends, could what happens at Christmas turn into something more?

Justin is recently and unhappily single. Christmas is coming, and he doesn’t want to face his ex alone at their office party. So Sean—Justin’s best mate and long-time secret crush—volunteers to go with him and pretend to be his new flame. Sean has always lusted after Justin from afar, but there’s never been a good opportunity to ask him for more than friendship. Posing as Justin’s boyfriend isn’t a chore, and if Justin wants to rebound onto him, Sean’s more than willing. At the party pretence and reality blur, and a kiss on the dance floor leads to a night of passion. In the aftermath, they both assume it was a one-time thing until fate intervenes. Stuck together in London over the holidays, they give in to temptation again. But what happens at Christmas stays at Christmas… right?

Jay Northcote writes fantastic “slice of life” stories. Contemporary, realistic, believable, and with a genuine sweetness I find irresistible. Oh, and *clears throat* …hot. I really like Jay’s sex scenes. I believe in them. I’m a reader who considers sex scenes to be vital and I have a small and secret list of writers who I think write these particularly well. Jay is one of them. There’s something around pace, something around sincerity. You can tell the sex scenes matter to her; that they’re not just filler. As a reader, I really appreciate that.

And I haven’t told you anything about the story yet, have I, lol?

This book features one of my very favourite tropes: the fake relationship. In this case, the MCs, Justin and Sean, are long terms friends who pose as boyfriends at Justin’s office party to help him save face in front of his cheating ex. It’s a delicious set up. I love that the MCs have a long history, and a deep intimacy already, and Jay does a great job of explaining why they’ve never got together before and why they’re reluctant to be honest with one another now.

The story also features a snow-in which is officially another one of my Very Favourite Things in romances, especially when you throw in some (ahem) ‘snowman building’.

All in all, this a lovely Christmas story and highly recc’d – and you can win a copy by entering the giveaway – just leave a comment about who you would most like to be snowed-in with. The winner will be decided on 8th December 2015 at 8pm GMT.

Oh, and remember to keep coming back or more giveaways every day until 12th December. :-)

If you want to read the book now, now, now goddammit! you can buy it in any of these places:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017W1NZ88

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B017W1NZ88

Universal Amazon: http://mybook.to/WHAC_JayN

Author Bio:

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

www.jaynorthcote.com    Twitter    Facebook profile    Facebook Author Page    Newsletter    Jay’s books

EDITED TO ADD – THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS CAROLYN – CONGRATULATIONS!

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12 Days of Christmas Stories Giveaway – Day 5

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I can’t believe it’s day 5 of my huuuuge Christmas Stories giveaway already!

Today’s wonderful story is Eli Easton’s Midwinter Night’s Dream. First, the blurb:

Micah is the hippest, most chill guy on campus. But when he gets the hottest kiss of his life from a cute guy during a game of ‘spin the bottle’, Micah’s cool turns into a puddle of anxious goo. Sure, Micah’s always been a little bi-curious, but he never thought he’d pursue a guy, much less a guy who doesn’t seem to be interested in getting caught.

Leo is passionate about two things: gay rights activism and acting. He stays focused and in control, and he never, ever, dates straight guys. When a chance spin of a bottle at a party has him locking lips with Micah Springfield, president of the Delts, dread-headed, serial-dating, straight Micah, Leo is determined to forget about it, no matter how incendiary the sparks or how gorgeous Micah may be.

Leo has bigger problems. His senior project is directing Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream just before the Christmas break. When his venue cancels at the last minute, Micah offers the use of his parent’s barn in rural Pennsylvania. Leo’s play may be saved, but what about his heart? Between Micah’s sweet lips, his family’s welcoming arms, and a devious bulldog who is determined to play Puck, Leo may find himself falling under the spell of Christmas magic.

Here’s a little factoid for you: the original title for my first novel was Midwinter Madness and it was loosely based on Twelfth Night, my favourite Shakespeare play. Sadly, my publisher insisted on a name change (to the uninspiring The Lady’s Secret) however, that is not the point of this anecdote. The point is that I was predisposed to like Midwinter Night’s Dream for that reason… though also because I really, really like Eli Easton’s books.

Midwinter Night’s Dream isn’t, however, based on Twelfth Night, but rather on A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a change of season to make this into a somewhat unlikely but very satisfying holiday romance.

One of our heroes is Micah Springfield, the brother of Hank (the eponymous hero of last year’s Unwrapping Hank). Laid back, dreadlocked Micah falls, with uncharacteristic swiftness and force, for theatre major Leo. Their first kiss, during a game of spin the bottle, is one of those spectacular romance moments that I just love. I whooped audibly at that point. But despite the immediate and overwhelming connection between them, Leo won’t consider starting anything up with lady-killer Micah who has only just discovered his bisexuality.

In the lead up to the putting on of the play, Eli has a fantastic section mirroring the plot of  A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the cast she’s created. I particularly loved Hank and Sloane as Oberon and Titania and Grinch the bulldog as their servant, Puck. It was tremendous fun and added a little hint of low key magic to the proceedings.

Despite this story being based on a play set in the height of summer, this whole book has a fantastic holiday feel with the wintry landscape and Christmas sights and smells and tastes. It made me feel downright sappy.

So, yeah, basically I loved it and you should read it.

If you are so inclined, you may enter the giveaway, simply by leaving a comment below about your favourite Shakespeare character. The winner will be decided on 7th December 2015 at 8pm GMT. However, if you just can’t wait that long, follow the buy links below.

Amazon.com    AllRomanceebooks

About Eli

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.

Eli’s website is http://www.elieaston.com  and you can email her at eli@elieaston.com

 EDITED TO ADD – THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS SULA – CONGRATULATIONS!

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12 days of Christmas Stories Giveaway – Day 4

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Day 4 of my 12 day giveaway extravaganza features the Christmas story I released last year, Rest and Be Thankful.

This one has a bit of a special place in my heart for various reasons. First and foremost, one of the MCs, Cam, is  quite like me in certain ways. Not that I’m a super-fit cyclist like he is, with a burning desire to live in the depths of the Scottish countryside, but  I am, like Cam, quite an independent soul who finds it difficult to admit when I need help from anyone.

Writing a character like that was quite…cathartic.

It’s also a little bit of a love letter to the Scottish countryside. Generally, I’m more of an urban creature. I love the city I live in very dearly, but sometimes I do like to get away to a nice, secluded little corner of the world where it’s ever so dark at night, and ever so quiet.

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about your favourite little secluded corner of the world, whether it be in the country, the city, or maybe even between the pages of a book. The winner will be decided on 6th December 2015 at 8pm GMT.

In the meantime, keep popping back for move giveaways, m’dears. One every day from now till 12th December. :-)

EDITED TO ADD – THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS SY JOHN EWING – CONGRATULATIONS!

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