OPEN GIVEAWAYS – December 9, 2018

Here’s a rundown of all the giveaways on Stories That Make You Smile that are still open as of this posting. Act quickly, some are ending soon!

NOTE: If one of the open giveaways lists a requirement for you to comment on the blog post, please click through to the original blog post (book titles are links) to comment rather than leave it on this post.

Under the Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris

(Excerpt on the original blog post!)

The most wonderful time of the year is about to get even better.

On a cold, rainy December morning, Finn’s beloved Grampa, his best friend and rock, makes a friend outside their home who he invites in for coffee. The last thing Finn expects is Nelson, a man with a painful past, who is beautiful and generous and turns Finn’s knees into jelly.

What starts out as a chance to get out of the rain, soon becomes more as Nelson helps Finn get ready for the Christmas market. They bond over coffee and fabric and Mariah Carey. Can handmade Christmas ornaments and an understanding heart give Nelson the love he’s been denied?

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Slow Thaw by J. Scott Coatsworth

(Author interview and excerpt on the original blog post!)

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, ready for the next step in his career, who is ready 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.

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Closer by F.E. Feeley

(Author interview and audiobook sample on the original blog post!)

Maplewood, Vermont is a picturesque town filled with unique shops, unique homes, and a quaint familiarity all centered around a lake with an unusual history.

Legends, old as well as Urban, float around like the mist that hovers above the lake at break of dawn.

But they’re just stories, right?

Hayden Moore’s life was destroyed when his husband, Malcolm, was murdered. Giving up his job as an assistant district attorney in Boston, Hayden moved to the little burg of Maplewood to recover.

A new life.

A fresh start.

However, something underneath the water is stirring. Something rotten. A deadly secret wakes underneath the black waters of Lake Veronica so disturbing it haunts the nightmares of the local residents.

It’s coming closer…

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Worst Holiday Ever (Anthology from Luxe Press) – Includes The Thanksgiving Parade from Hell by R.L. Merrill

(Guest post and excerpt on the original blog post!)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! OK—scratch that. It’s time for another obligatory family gathering. And nothing spices up the egg nog like bringing your partner home. Surely your belligerent brother-in law, your gimlet-eyed granny and your drunken uncle will keep it classy. With forced proximity and alcoholic beverages, what could possibly go wrong?

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Spells and Stardust by J. Scott Coatsworth

(Exclusive excerpt on the original blog post!)

Spells & Stardust is Scott’s first anthology – eight sci fi and fantasy shorts that run the gamut from regeneration to redemption.

The Bear at the Bar: A gay fish out of water tale with a pinch of magic.Tight: What happens when your lover disappears in midair?Morgan: The year when everything changed.Re-Life: What if you were reborn in a strange new future?A New Year: They met every eleven years. And each time, Hank’s life changed.Repetition: What if you wanted to go back in the closet?Gargoyle: Sometimes you get what you deserve. Sometimes it happens on All Hallows Eve.Avalon: A few bright moments in the sun, stolen from outside time.

Most of these stories have been previously published in various anthologies and journals. This is the first time they have all been collected in one place.

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Drawn to You by Jaclyn Quinn

(Author interview and excerpt on the original blog post!)

Leaving his enormous family behind, native New Yorker, Elijah, decides to move to Brighton Pier for a fresh start. Being part of a large LGBTQ community and landing his dream job at Inkubus, a local tattoo shop, is too big of a draw for him to turn down. But just when he thinks his new life is going perfectly, he finds out his burgeoning relationship is nothing more than a friends-with-benefits arrangement to the man he was swiftly falling for. Suddenly, everything that felt so right to him feels all wrong, and he wonders if New York, with his family, is where he is meant to be after all.

Jake has worked hard for the life he’s made for himself in Brighton Pier. His life as a bachelor is pretty set in stone. Running his own business and spending time with his family and friends is enough for him, or so he’s convinced himself. Though he’s met a man he cares for, he’s adamant about keeping his single life as is. He has his reasons for not wanting to commit to the beautiful man he’s irrevocably drawn to. He just hopes their friends-with-benefits arrangement will be enough to keep Eli in his life.

When tragedy strikes, and Jake’s world is turned upside down, his instincts lead him to lean on the one person who’s become someone special, despite his best efforts to try and push him away. Eli—unable to turn Jake away when a loss so great takes the strong man to his knees—steps selflessly into the void in Jake’s life, regardless of the toll it takes on him. As both men struggle to deal with their own emotional turmoil, their lives veering off course, they grow inevitably closer as the days pass. But even so, they are still left wondering—can two people, drawn together by tragedy, turn a devastating situation into a fresh start? Or is it too late for a new beginning?

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Boys of Brighton (Series Recap) by M. Tasia

Book 1: Gabe
Book 2: Sam’s Soldiers
Book 3: Rick’s Bear
Book 4: Jesse
Book 5: Coop
Book 6: Travis
Book 7: Grady
Book 8: Vincent
Book 9: Shadow
Book 10: The Holidays (*New Release*)

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Romancing the Undercover Millionaire by Clare London

(Excerpt on the original blog post!)

Can poverty and privilege find a loving compromise?

Alexandre Bonfils, a rich and spoiled second son, is tired of being ignored and decides to help when the family’s exclusive wine business is in trouble. Going undercover in the warehouse, he loves the adventure—and the chance to be close to the sassy and sexy manager, Tate Somerton.

Tate is hardworking and financially struggling, bringing up his siblings on his own. A suspected saboteur at work is his latest challenge, but now he also has a clueless, though very attractive, new intern. There’s an immediate spark between the ill-matched couple, until a shocking accident cuts short Alex’s amateur sleuthing.

While recovering in the generous care of Tate and his family, will Alex realize what belonging really means? Passion and pride come together to fight for the company they’re both committed to preserving, but can a personal bond remain when the dust settles?

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Escape from the Holidays – A Winter Holiday Collection from Mischief Corner Books

(Guest post on the original blog post)

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.

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The Escort’s Tale by M.J. Edwards

(Excerpt on the original blog post!)

Do you want to spice up your marriage? Or perhaps you have a cuckold fantasy? Whatever your desire or kink, call JD Pierce.

Under his working name, Jasper has built a solid clientele and reputation. As JD Pierce, high-priced escort, he specializes in bringing bisexual fantasies to life. Sometimes a husband needs to be humiliated. Maybe a couple wants to be naughty and roleplay the seduction of an impressionable boy. Jasper, aka JD, is the man for the job.

When a young woman with a unique problem contacts Jasper, though, he fears he’s out of his depth. Alethia’s husband Nick suffered a spinal cord injury. He has paraplegia. The couple can no longer have conventional sex, and it’s driving a wedge between them. Nick is straight, but Alethia hires Jasper to help them fix things.

Despite his doubts, Jasper throws himself into the challenge. He wants to help sexy Nick reconnect with his beautiful wife. Using imagination and honesty, he unearths hidden fantasies in both of them. What he isn’t prepared for is his attraction to these new clients. The feeling grows quickly from desire to friendship and maybe something more. Will Jasper help Nick and Alethia and then move on? Or will they be the couple to bring to life this escort’s own fantasy?

The Escort’s Tale is a standalone bisexual erotic romance featuring a well-endowed lover-for-hire, a troubled man in a wheelchair, and the determined woman who brings them all together.

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All that Has Flown Beyond by Marina Vivancos

Kaiyo’s bloodline has been part of the Garrow pack for generations. He has been destined to be shaman, to anchor the werewolves to the land, and lend aid with the force of his Ousía. When Kaiyo is fourteen, however, an attacking group kills all of the adults in the pack, leaving young Ahmik, only fifteen, as leader.

Their worries don’t end there.

Smelling blood in the water, enemies hunt the decimated pack from all sides. Kaiyo grows increasingly reckless in his desperation to defend his pack, to finally grow into his shaman powers, and to protect Ahmik: the boy he loves.

In the end, Kaiyo loses his pack anyway.

Packless, landless, Kaiyo drifts. For ten years, he fights to remake himself into the shaman, and the man, he was meant to become. One phone call from his old pack, though, and he is forced to return.

Something is killing children and Kaiyo is the only one strong enough to stop it.

Kaiyo never thought his journey would take him back to his old land, his old pack, and to Ahmik. Forced to face his past, and the wounded love that still aches for Ahmik, Kaiyo will be tested like never before.

Content Warning: This story contains themes of depression and associated thoughts and behaviours. However, as always, it focuses on recovery and strength.

This book takes place in the Natural Magic world but can be read as a standalone.

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An Alpha for Christmas by Charity Parkerson

Christmas Eve night with a sexy new friend turns into the perfect Christmas. But Austin never expects his dream holiday to ruin his life.

Hoping to avoid another yearly gathering of the worst people Austin knows—his family—he volunteers to play Santa’s little helper at the department store where he works. That’s where the sexiest Santa on the planet comes to his rescue.

Will plays Santa every year at his grandfather’s department store. It’s something he oddly enjoys. This year is twice the fun when he’s paired with a mouthwatering elf. When Will finds Austin stranded in the parking lot, he’s more than willing to help. A ride turns into an amazing night together. The night turns into a weekend that changes both their lives forever. Not necessarily for the good.

It’ll take more than a good time in bed to fix Austin’s life. For the first time, Will might have to put someone else first.

This is a short and steamy story, featuring a character from Charity Parkerson’s Low Blow series. It was written to be a complete standalone, separate from the series.

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The Ghost Had an Early Checkout by Josh Lanyon

(Guest post and excerpt on the original blog post!)

To live and draw in L.A.

Now living in Los Angeles with former navy SEAL Nick Reno, artist Perry Foster comes to the rescue of elderly and eccentric Horace Daly, the legendary film star of such horror classics as Why Won’t You Die, My Darling?

Horace owns the famous, but now run-down, Hollywood hotel Angels Rest, rumored to be haunted. But as far as Perry can tell, the scariest thing about Angels Rest is the cast of crazy tenants—one of whom seems determined to bring down the final curtain on Horace—and anyone else who gets in the way.

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The Christmas Angel Series by Multiple Authors (Shared Giveaway)

Christmas Prince by RJ Scott

Prince Raphael, the youngest son of the Montaunoit royal family, is the custodian of his country’s history. At a Sotheby’s auction, he outbids Marc on an item he doesn’t even want. Just because he can.

Meeting the museum curator turns Raphael’s world upside down, and when lust turns to love he knows he has to change.

Can Marc be the one to show Raphael that he doesn’t have to stay the lonely prince forever, and that love is always an option?

This story is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.

Shrewd Angel by Anyta Sunday

Pax Polo is the swashbuckling guitarist for Serenity Free.

Correction: Was the swashbuckling guitarist for Serenity Free.

Now he sports a black eye and his bros have kicked him out of their band—three weeks before Christmas. It’s an unfamiliar kick to his over-inflated ego, but . . . whatever.

No problem.

Thanks to some stellar eavesdropping, an unexpected angel ornament, and a bribe to open for his favorite band ever, Pax will weasel his way back into his mates’ good graces.

All he has to do is friend Clifford, the neighborhood man-shrew, for the summer. Distract him a bit so Clifford’s younger sister can sneak around.

It sounds like a piece of beginners Beethoven. Jolly good fun.

Easy.

Because, Pax totally knows how to friend people. He has heaps of friends. This shrew’s no match for his shrewd ways. Or is he?

A Soldier’s Wish by N.R. Walker

The year is 1969…

Gary Fairchild is proud to be a hippie college student, and he protests the Vietnam War because he believes in love and peace. To him, it isn’t just a counterculture movement—it’s a way of life. When tickets to the Aquarium Exposition—3 Days of Peace & Music, or Woodstock, as it was better known, go on sale, there’s no way he isn’t going.Richard Ronsman is a sheltered farm boy who lives in the shadow of his overbearing father. He’s hidden his darkest secret to earn his father’s love, but nothing is ever good enough—not even volunteering for the Vietnam War. And with just a few days left before he’s deployed, he’s invited by a striking hippie to join him at a music festival.Three days of music, drugs, rain, mud, and love forged a bond between these two very different men that would shape the rest of their lives. They share dreams and fears, and when Richard is shipped off to war, they share letters and love. For Richard’s first Christmas home, he is gifted a special angel ornament that just might make a soldier’s wish come true.

This story is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.

Christmas Homecoming by L.A. Witt

August 1939. Roger Miller and Jack O’Brien have been close since childhood. By the time they realize there’s more between them than friendship, Jack is leaving their sleepy Iowa town for college. But they console themselves knowing he’ll be home for Christmas. Right?

It is Christmas before they see each other again, but that Christmas comes six years and a world war later. Aged, beaten, and shaken by combat, they’re not the boys they were back then, but their feelings for each other are stronger than ever.

Neither know the words to say everything they’ve carried since that peacetime summer kiss, though. Even as they stand in the same room, there’s a thousand miles between them.

But maybe that’s some distance the little angel in Roger’s rucksack can cross.

This 24,000 word novella is part of the multi-author Christmas Angel series, and can be read as a standalone.

The Magician’s Angel by Jordan L. Hawk

Vaudeville stage magician Christopher Fiend lives for the spotlight. His chance at big time stardom awaits him in Chicago, the next stop on the circuit after the little town of Twelfth Junction.

Edward Smith wants nothing to do with his family’s theater. Until Christopher catches his eye on opening night, then treats him to a very special performance during intermission.

When a dead body turns up in the middle of Christopher’s act, suspicion immediately falls on him. If Christopher and Edward can’t work together to clear his name, Christopher won’t make it to Chicago in time. Edward knows he shouldn’t get attached to a man who will be gone in two days, but his heart—and a very special angel—have other ideas.

The Christmas Angel series of holiday romances follow the travels of an angel ornament through the decades as she inspires (and sometimes nudges) lonely men to find their Happily Ever After. The Magician’s Angel is the third in series, which can be read in any order.

Summerfield’s Angel by Kim Fielding

After the hard winter of 1888 ended Alby Boyle’s work as a Nebraska ranch hand, he returned to New York City in search of his long-lost family. His mother and brothers are nowhere to be found, however, and after Alby’s years of absence, Five Corners no longer feels like home. His prospects seem as dim as the nighttime alleys.

When Alby pauses to admire an angel ornament in a department store window’s Christmas display, he meets Xeno Varnham-Summerfield. Wealthy, handsome, and enthusiastic, Xeno brings Alby some temporary cheer. But for Alby to achieve his dreams of love and a real home, well, that may take a bit of holiday magic.

Christmas Angel by Eli Easton

When John Trent, a dedicated member of the new Bow Street Runners, finds an exquisite carved angel floating in the Thames, he can’t stop thinking about it. He tracks down its creator, a sad and quiet young sculptor. But neither the angel nor the sculptor is done with John just yet. The blasted angel refuses to leave him be, behaving not at all like an inanimate object should.

Alec Allston is resigned to the fact that his love will ever be a river that flows out and never flows in. All he wanted to do was create a special gift so that a small part of himself could be with his unattainable and noble beloved, always. But when the gift keeps showing back up at his shop in the hands of a windblown and rugged thief-taker, Alec will need to reconsider his conviction that love is destined to remain an ethereal ideal.

This book is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.

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Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs

There are two sides to every story, even those buried in the past.

When Sam spots the hot guy moving in next door, he’s all for going round to introduce himself. That soon changes when it turns out his new neighbour is in fact an old school acquaintance, Charles Whitmore. Sam didn’t like him back then, and fifteen years haven’t altered that.

Splitting up from his long-term boyfriend means a move across the city for Charlie. As luck would have it, his immediate neighbour is a guy he went to school with, Sam Gellar. While Sam is less than welcoming, his best mate is more than happy to invite Charlie into their social circle. Whatever problem Sam has with Charlie, Charlie resolves to get to the bottom of it, because, frosty beginnings aside, Charlie likes him.

With Christmas just around the corner, fate thrusts them together, and they get on so much better than they ever did at school. Despite his efforts not to, Sam develops feelings for Charlie, and they appear to be reciprocated. If Sam wants to take things further he needs to either confront Charlie about their past–a past Charlie seems to have forgotten entirely–or let it go and move on. Sam knows deep down that he can’t let it go, but it never seems the right time to bring it up. Until it is.

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Home for Christmas by RJ Scott

(Excerpt on the original blog post!)

Can Connor show River a real family Christmas?

When Connor finds River on the roof of the campus admin building, he doesn’t know what to do. His friend is drunk, and shouting into a snowstorm, a bottle of vodka in his hand. The easy part is getting River down; the hard part is insisting River comes home with Connor for Christmas.

River doesn’t have a family, or any place outside of college that he calls home. Not that it matters to him; he’s happy being alone for Christmas in his budget motel, watching reruns of Elf. Only, Connor keeps telling wildly improbable stories of the perfect family celebrations at his parents’ ranch in Texas, and it’s wearing River down. He didn’t ask to be kidnapped. He didn’t want to fall in love with the entire Campbell-Hayes family. But he does.

From one Christmas to the next. This is Connor’s year to rescue River, and himself, for them both to mess things up, make things right, fall in lust and finally, for Connor to show the man he loves what being part of a family can mean.

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Blood for the Spilling by TJ Nichols

(Character interview and excerpt on the original blog post!)

Sheets of ice are spreading across the human world, ushering in an ice age as the magic drained from Demonside turns that world into a desert. Angus and reluctant warlock Terrance have defected from Vinland to the Mayan Empire—a land of dark and potent magic. But the Mayans aren’t offering sanctuary for free.

Nor is the world willing to stand back as Vinland attacks, and the backlash will affect all magic users.

Mage Saka has no tribe. He is now just another refugee fleeing the dying Demonside. He knows the conflict brewing now will be worse than the first demon war. Countries are banding together—not just against Vinland, but against all magic. Where will the powerful Mayan Empire stand?

Angus might have the power to fight Vinland and the Warlock College, but the cost will be terrible. Saka is torn between helping Angus and stopping him. And Terrance would do anything for Angus, but he’s terrified of the man Angus is becoming, even as Saka is warming to the idea of a relationship between the three of them.

No matter what choice they make, victory will be bittersweet, and when the ash settles and the snow melts, nothing will be the same.

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Accidentally on Purpose by J.M. Snyder

(Excerpt on the original blog post!)

One morning before work, Alan Travers accidentally bumps into Detective Jim Garrison at a cafe where both men stop for coffee. The handsome younger man interests Alan, but he misses his chance to get to know the detective better and wonders if he’ll get another.

With the help of his nephew Brooks, Alan concocts a plan to try and get Jim’s attention “accidentally on purpose.” It works, but as things heat up between them, Alan worries what Jim will think if he finds out their getting together was no accident.

Then Brooks goes missing, and Alan’s going to have to come clean. But is he the only one not being truthful?

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Mr. Frosty Pants by Leta Blake

Can true love warm his frozen heart?

When Casey Stevens went away to college four years ago, he ghosted on his straight best friend, Joel Vreeland. He hoped time and distance would lessen the unrequited affection he felt, but all it did was make him miss Joel more. Home for the holidays, Casey hopes they might find a way to be friends again. But Joel’s frosty reception reminds Casey of just how hard he had to fight to be Joel’s friend in the first place. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get past that cool façade again.

Joel isn’t as straight as Casey believes, and his years of pining for Casey have left him hurting and alone, caring for his abusive father and struggling to get by. Unable to trust anyone except his rescue dog—and with no reason to believe Casey is interested in him for more than a holiday fling—Joel’s icy heart might shatter before it can thaw.

Can Casey and Joel’s love overcome mistrust, parental rejection, class differences, and four long years apart? Mr. Frosty Pants is a stand-alone, Christmas gay romance by Leta Blake featuring a virgin hero, childhood friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, and steamy mm first times.

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Beyond Earth Series by Talia Jager

(Guest post on the original blog post!)

Book 1: Without Hesitation

Without Hesitation is set a thousand years in the future. Earth has become a wasteland. Humans traveled into space to colonize other suitable planets. Labels and stereotypes are a thing of the past and gender and sexual identity are as fluid as love as humans strive to survive. Here we meet Everleigh, the commander of her ship named Nirvana. She is under the control of an evil madman, Caspar, who keeps her family captive. He sends her to Valinor to abduct the Empress Akacia. When she arrives, she is taken back by Akacia’s beauty and when the Empress fights back, Everleigh realizes she has met her match.

**This is an LGBT story with a female/female relationship.**

Book 2: Painted Skies

Akacia and Everleigh have been apart for almost an earthmonth. Both still reeling from recent events, they try to get their lives back on track. They soon find out an evil from their past has resurfaced and their lives and home planet Valinor are in danger. Side-by-side once again, they find themselves fighting for love, peace, and their homes.

**This is an LGBT story with a female/female relationship.**

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2 thoughts on “OPEN GIVEAWAYS – December 9, 2018

    1. Probably a little of each! 💖 And some of the giveaways run for about a month, and that keeps the overall count up there.

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