Please join me in celebrating this special collection of holiday stories from Mischief Corner Books. J. Scott Coatsworth is here today sharing his motivations for the them of his story, Slow Thaw.
Escape from the Holidays Collection
For the second year in a row, Mischief Corner Books is putting out a winter holiday collection – Escape from the Holidays – ten stories revolving around various December holidays:
The end of year holidays can get overwhelming for anyone. Things to do. People to see. Last minute work obligations to take care of. Sometimes it’s just easier to escape from it all, running away from the responsibilities and expectations, or ignore the underlying disappointment from relatives who don’t see eye-to-eye with you.
Because escaping the holiday grind can lead to new, unexpected paths, and breathe new life into one that’s been stuck in a rut. Giving something to run to instead.
Sometimes, getting away from it all lets you know what you really have. Sometimes, taking a chance on the unknown leads to what you really want.
About the Books
Tropes: second chance
Keywords: Thanksgiving, Asexual, Romance
The holidays are usually a whirlwind of busy activity for Anson—decorating, baking for friends—but this year, his heart isn’t in it. He’d hoped coming out to Daly as asexual would be the right thing to do. Since then, he hasn’t heard a word from the handsome photographer.
Now Daly’s suddenly shown up at his front door, asking Anson to trust him, to come with him. He doesn’t dare hope in case this is just another build up to a bigger heartbreak.
I have my mom to thank for so much. First of all, she fostered a love of reading. According to her I’ve been reading since I could hold a book and I got my first library card at age 3. Growing up I used to read 100 books a year, but of course, that doesn’t happen as often since there’s writing to do and a day job.
Secondly, I have to thank her for always pushing me to keep chasing my dream of being an author. Who else am I going to bounce ideas off of, and she helps me when I get stuck. Suppose you could say she’s my biggest fan.
When I’m not writing I enjoy time with my dog, tending my garden, baking sweet treats, walking through crunchy fall leaves and blankets of cold snow, playing video games, and reading! I’ve a fondness for horses and blankets (is it possible to own too many?)
And yes, some days I still wish I was Batman.
For more information about Kassandra’s work, please visit:
Burning Down the House
Release Date: 12/1/18
Word Count: 11K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Contemporary, Holiday, Romance
Tropes: Family, Reluctant Suitor
Keywords: Thanksgiving, Romance
Leo’s quiet vacation in Vermont is cut short by news that his beloved grandmother’s in the hospital because she tried to burn down her own house. Feeling low and depressed that she might be falling victim to dementia, Leo takes comfort in a man he meets in the hospital’s Quiet Room. The encounter’s supposed to be a one-night stand, one and done, no strings attached, but Leo’s surprised when he wants more.
The problem is that Aaron comes with strings and complications—ones Leo isn’t sure he wants to deal with on top of his own problems. Leo’s going to have to reach deep if he wants more than superficial, but he’s determined to try if the universe will just cooperate.
Gregory L. Norris is a full-time professional writer, with work appearing in numerous short story anthologies, national magazines, novels, the occasional TV episode, and, so far, one produced feature film (Brutal Colors, which debuted on Amazon Prime last January). A former feature writer and columnist at Sci Fi, the official magazine of the Sci Fi Channel (before all those ridiculous Ys invaded), he once worked as a screenwriter on two episodes of Paramount’s modern classic, Star Trek: Voyager.
Two of his paranormal novels (written under his rom-de-plume, Jo Atkinson) were published by Home Shopping Network as part of their “Escape With Romance” line — the first time HSN has offered novels to their global customer base. Norris judged the 2012 Lambda Awards in the SF/F/H category. Three times now, his short stories have notched Honorable Mentions by Ellen Datlow. He won Honorable Mention in the 2016 Roswell Awards in Short SF for his short story ‘Mandered’. Norris lives and writes in the outer limits of New Hampshire with his husband, their small pride of rescue cats, and his emerald-eyed muse. Follow his literary adventures on Facebook, or at http://www.gregorylnorris.blogspot.com
For more information about Gregory’s work, please visit:
The Holiday Spirit
Release Date: 12/5/18
Word Count: 5K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Fantasy, Holiday, Humor, Romance
Tropes: Office Romance
Keywords: Christmas, North Pole, Elves
It’s hard being the PA for the Holiday Spirit.
Julian is more dedicated than most, and knows the job inside and out. But that doesn’t mean he’ll still have a job when the new Holiday Spirit is elected. It also doesn’t mean he’s immune to the cough charms of the office, but that’s a whole other problem.
Carole lives with her husband and family in Pennsylvania, USA, where she spends her time trying to find time to write. Recipient of various amateur and professional writing awards, several of her short stories have been translated into Spanish, German, Chinese and Polish.
Author of the Aisling and Wolf’s-own series, Carole is currently in the process of developing several other works, including more short stories than anyone will ever want to read, and novels that turn into series when she’s not looking.
Carole is an avid reader of just about anything that’s written well and has good characters. She is a lifelong writer of the ‘movies’ that run constantly in her head. Surprisingly, she does manage sleep in there somewhere, and though she is rumored to live on coffee and Pixy Stix™, no one has as yet suggested she might be more comfortable in a padded room.
…Well. Not to her face.
For more information about Carole’s work, please visit:
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Release Date: 12/8/18
Word Count: 22K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Contemporary, Near Future SF, Holiday, Romance
Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Workplace Romance
Keywords: scientists, isolated setting, Antarctic
Javier Fernandez is a climate scientist living in a research station near the South Pole. Since his husband was killed in a car crash, he’s preferred to be alone, and is less than thrilled to have a junior scientist thrust upon him by his rich patron.
Col Steele is a trans man fleeing a bad break-up. He is ready for the next step in his career, and eager to spend Christmas anywhere but at home.
When a crack in the ice separates the two men from safety, they are forced to come to terms with their own losses and each other.
Scott is the admin for the Queer Sci Fi site. He 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, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.
For more information about Scott’s work, please visit:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/
Celebrations In The Season Of Long Nights
Author: Mere Rain
Release Date: 12/12/18
Word Count: 12K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Paranormal, Holiday, Romance
Tropes: Protector, Anticipating Abandonment
Keywords: Demon hunter, holiday
Having escaped his abusive family by winning a scholarship to college, Shahin promised himself he would never go back. So when his plans for winter break fall through and he’s left homeless for a month, he decides he’d rather camp in the park than go home. But he doesn’t realize it’s the solstice, the longest night of the year, the start of the season when the supernatural is at its strongest.
Yima is a demon-hunter, a duty passed down through his family. He doesn’t resent it, but it does get lonely, especially since his work is at its most difficult and dangerous when everyone else is celebrating with family. After he rescues Shahin from a demon attack and finds that he has nowhere safe to stay, he takes him back to his flat.
Mere Rain is an international nonentity of mystery whose library resides in California.
Mere likes reading, travel, food, art, and you.
For more information about Mere’s work, please visit:
The Holiday Home Hotel
Author: Lou Sylvre
Release Date: 12/15/18
Word Count: 30K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Magical Realism, Paranormal, Holiday, Interracial, Romance
Tropes: second chances, divine interference
Keywords: singer, drag, hotel, gods
Daren Novak and Gunny Schuler have known each other since freshmen days at the University of Washington, where they’d started a romance Daren assumed would last. But at the start of winter break, Gunny bowed to the dictates of his lifelong religion and his overbearing father and left UW never to return.
After a failed marriage, Gunny built a quiet life embracing his gay identity, and left his North Dakota home, his marriage, and his father’s business for a forestry and teaching career in Oregon. Meanwhile, Daren has built up his own life around managing a unique holiday venue, the Holiday Home Hotel, and performing for the guests in drag as “Dare.”
A decade has passed since they last saw each other, but now winter’s harsh weather brings them face to face—helped along by a minor goddess and powerful forest spirit. Too much hurt might lie between them now to fix things, but interfering supernatural beings are determined to force them to try.
Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and she likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other, and sometimes saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and very sexy.
As if you’d want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair.
She is the author of the six well-loved books of the Vasquez and James Series and a holiday favorite, Falling Snow on Snow. She teamed up with Kiwi author Anne Barwell to write Sunset at Pencarrow, an adventurous tale of New Zealand romance.
For more information about Lou’s work, please visit:
Something to Celebrate
Author: Evelyn Benvie
Release Date: 12/19/18
Word Count: 21K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Paranormal, Holiday, Romance, Interracial
Tropes: Mysterious stranger, culture clash
Keywords: holiday, yokai, Japanese myth, demisexual, nonbinary
Niko doesn’t hate the holidays; that would require too much commitment. He just doesn’t care about them anymore. He’s a demi, disillusioned mess and he doesn’t care about much at all. That is, until an enticing stranger blows into his life this Christmas and catches his attention–and his heart.
Fan is lost and lonely, a winter spirit adrift in a human world that has all but forgotten them. And then they meet Niko, a young man with the ability to see them, and they remember what it means to stay somewhere. To want someone.
Chance brings them together. But is chance enough to build a relationship on?
Evelyn Benvie is a wooly jumper from a family of black sheep and has always wanted to be a writer. She was raised on a steady diet of classic fantasy and science fiction but grew dissatisfied with the way people and relationships were often portrayed in mainstream books. Like, why does the princess have to get married at all? Why are aliens gender-coded? Why is every single person straight?
So she dreamed of writing sensible books with sensible characters who better reflected her own experiences as a queer woman. It’s taken a while, and fiction has gotten a lot more diverse since then (even as her own characters have gotten a whole lot less sensible), but it’s all good. “Something To Celebrate” is her first major publication; please continue to support the author in the future!
For more information about Evelyn’s work, please visit:
Author: Angel Martinez
Release Date: 12/22/18
Word Count: 15K
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genres: Science Fiction, Humor, Romance
Tropes: enemies to lovers, displaced person
Keywords: alien planet, snow, Yule, resort, shipwrecked
Sofia Cancino is tired of her mundane life, her artificial environment and her large, boisterous family descending every holiday season. She’s promised herself this year will be different and books a stay on the exclusive—and expensive–holiday-themed resort, Yule Planet. She looks forward to being pampered while reconnecting with Old Earth traditions steeped in the magic and mysticism of nature. Everything will be perfect and she’ll leave as a more authentic human, better connected to her roots.
Naturally, things go horribly wrong. Sofia’s landing pod goes off course and instead of stepping out on the landing pad at the resort, she finds herself in the snow-swept perpetual winter of the planet’s hinterlands. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s “rescued” by a band of criminals on work release who run deliveries to the resort from far-flung shuttle delivery sites. They refuse to take her, a paying customer, to the resort and insist on dragging her along on their parcel run. Riding giant monsters. In frigid weather. Not to mention, Marta, who handles the monsters, obviously hates her.
If Sofia survives her vacation, she’s definitely yelling at someone’s supervisor until she gets a refund.
While Angel Martinez is the adult fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of queer fiction – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.
For more information on Angel’s work, please visit:
Author: Toni Griffin
Release Date: 12/26/18
Word Count: 22K
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Genres: Paranormal, Holiday
Tropes: family, comedy of errors
Keywords: hellhound, demons, holiday, Christmas
This year the holidays seem to be rubbing Archie the wrong way. He can’t stand that damn happy music blasting in the stores and all over the radio. The decorations went up far too early—and don’t even get Archie started on how cheery everyone is.
Seeing the holidays cause Archie to slip back into a depression, Adze decides to take matters into his own hands. The one thing his mate has always wanted is to see the Tudor houses in England. Besides, it’s the perfect time to escape the humdrum heat in Melbourne. Adze can’t think of anything better than curling up in front of a roaring fire with his mate while snow falls outside.
Of course, life would never be that easy. Baby demon stowaways and Christmas Krampuses hell-bent on doing good leave the pair wondering just where things went wrong.
Buy Links Coming Soon
Toni Griffin lives in Darwin, the smallest of Australia’s capital cities. Born and raised in the state she’s a Territorian through and through. Growing up Toni hated English with a passion (as her editors can probably attest to) and found her strength lies with numbers.
Now, though, she loves escaping to the worlds she creates and hopes to continue to do so for many years to come. She’s a single mother of one and works full time. When she’s not writing you can just about guarantee that she will be reading one of the many MM authors she loves.
Feel free to drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.
For more information about Toni’s work, please visit:
Waiting on the Rain
One young man desperate to make things right for the monks who raised him. Another looking to escape the limelight. The two best friends stuck in time because of promises.
A couple looking to make a bigger unconventional family—one young woman who wants to help the world become a more beautiful place, one transwoman looking to put down roots for the both of them.
Love isn’t always easy, but the good kind is worth fighting for, even when others don’t understand it. The story of what becomes of their love is what will be passed down into legend. Because stories like this, people remember.
When Jira, Boon, Areeya and Fon come together to celebrate Yee Peng and Loy Krathong, sparks fly and dreams coalesce. But that’s only the beginning…
Buy Links Coming Soon
Freddy grew up in the Midwest, playing sports and running around outside. And honestly, that much has not changed since Freddy was small and throwing worms at other kids, except worm throwing has been replaced with a healthy geocaching addiction. Freddy enjoys traveling and holds the view a person should continually to learn about new things and people whenever possible.
Freddy’s contemporary LGBTQ book, Incubation: Finding Peace 2, won 3rd Place – Best Gay Erotic Fiction in the 2012 Rainbow Awards. In 2013, Freddy’s story, Internment, tied for 3rd Place – Best Gay Fantasy in the Rainbow Awards. Freddy’s steampunk/SF story, Feel Me, was a Finalist and honorable mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards for SF. And in 2015, Freddy’s urban fantasy Snow on Spirit Bridge was also a Finalist and honorable mention.
For more information on Freddy’s work, please visit or email:
Mischief Corner Books is giving away a $25 Mischief Corner Books gift card with this tour. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:
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