Review: DSP Advent: Homemade for the Holidays Week 2

Choosing the right gift for that special someone can be the most daunting part of the holidays. In a sea of mass-produced items, why buy when you can DIY? The end-of-the-year festivities are the best time for crafts, whether they’re made from yarn, paper, flour, or even code. And with some love and luck, these special presents might inspire a romance that lasts an evening… or a lifetime. Nothing makes the season merry and bright like a gift handmade from the heart, and to bring smiles to the faces of the ones they care about, these guys are willing to get creative.

YAY Week 2!

Finding Yuletide Karol by L.A. Merrill

Fifty years ago, during the Vietnam War, Lee Elbridge fell in love with an Army cook nicknamed Yuletide Karol, but they haven’t seen each other since.

Now, led by a clue in an old cookbook, Lee sets off on a road trip to find his lost love. He arrives on Karol's upstate New York farm to find preparations for a handfasting in full swing, and is mistaken for the wedding planner’s assistant. As Lee is roped into folding hemp napkin goats and mashing fresh sweet potatoes, he is welcomed by Karol's large, eccentric family of witches and pagans. When Lee and Karol finally get a moment alone, Lee tells him the truth, but it will take more than a little Yuletide magick to bring them together again after almost a lifetime.

R *A Reader Obsessed* - 3 Hearts

If you’re itching to read about a mature couple for the holidays, look no further!

What I enjoy most about Christmas stories is the whimsical feel that anything can happen through the magic of the holidays.

Lee has been searching for a man he only briefly knew during the Vietnam War. Though their time together was seriously short, it was impactful enough for both men to use those memories to get them through some very very difficult life situations. When Lee finally finds Karol, he hopes he can rekindle what they had so many years ago.

 The feel good feels overcome what any quibbles one may have about the set up and progression, and the old saying “love is the only thing that matters” rings true for these two men who finally get their well deserved ending that really is just the beginning!

Ann - 3 Hearts

Such a refreshing change to read about mature characters, I loved that!

Lee has been in love with Karol since they were both very young men in the Vietnam War. Lee was coming off a traumatic mission and Karol literally and figuratively saved his life. It altered Lee forever and no one could live up to the memory of Karol. Which, was incredibly sweet and also so sad. The two knew one another for less than 24 hours but the impact was profound.

Through serendipity, tenacity and a cookbook the two are reunited and the reconnection is lovely, but busy. Karol lives a unique lifestyle surrounded by his pagan friends and family. It’s very different than what Lee is used to, but having Karol back in his life makes Lee see that it’s time for him to embrace something different.

Flour, Eggs, Sugar and Magic by Daniel de Lorne

Wannabe witch Will Brand’s attempts at making magic cookies for the kids at a local shelter go awry when his ex-boyfriend messages and turns Will’s good energy to anger. Will has no idea there’s anything wrong with the cookies until his hunky roommate, Lucas, scarfs three of them, cursing himself with bad luck, unfettered hate, and ill health. In a race against time, Will must find a way to break the spell before accidents, ex-lovers, and a sudden illness make this Christmas Lucas’s last.

Ann - 3 Hearts

Will has a crush on his roommate Lucas. Lucas has a crush on his roommate Will. But, circumstances being circumstances, neither of them has acted on or acknowledged said crush. Will is also a very amatuer witch who tries to do a very good thing that turns out very bad.

I just loved Lucas. And also felt bad for the guy! He’s accidentally cursed by Will with his tasty baked goods and when things started going downhill, they went downhill fast. The drama was a little much for a short story, but the characters were likable enough to make up for it.

The ending was satisfying, especially considering everything Will and Lucas went through, they deserved their HEA by then!

For Joy by Crystel Greene

When college athlete Chad comes out to his parents and gets a nasty reaction, sparkly twink Joaquin “Joy” Acosta offers him shelter in his tiny apartment. Joy’s the sweetest, most beautiful roommate on the planet, and every day, Chad falls in love a little bit more. The problem is, Joy will never know since his banter-loving hipster friends make bear-sized Chad feel all hulking and tongue-tied.

Joy is a sucker for anything handmade, though, and eventually Chad decides to tell him he loves him with a self-knitted pair of gloves. But it turns out knitting is way harder than Chad expected. Fortunately, Joy knows just how to save the day….

​​Cute twink and self-conscious baseball jock, flatmates to lovers, opposites attract, banter, insecurity, fluff, feels, first time, Christmas.

R *A Reader Obsessed* - 3 Hearts

Take a gentle giant, a shy one at that, who’s devastated by his parent’s lack of acceptance when he comes out. Toss in some good luck, and said giant is able to crash on his crush’s couch until he gets his bearings.

Mix this with the holiday spirit, and Chad’s besotted feelings have only one direction to travel and that’s to grow deeper and deeper for Joy. He can only dream and wish that Joy would feel the same. What’s a guy to do?

Again, another easy holiday read, but beware a mean bestie, a preference towards some D/s that seemed incongruent, and the use of one of my most hated endearments. However, this was saved by two great MC’s that were just so darn likeable! Pssst…. the smexy smex didn’t hurt one bit either! Just saying.

Ann - 3.5 Hearts

Oh Chad, how do I love thee . . .

I love me a Chad type character in a story and this Chad made me all kinds of happy. He’s so much more than he seems on the surface and is underestimated entirely too often. It takes a special person who sees him for all his wonderfulness and I couldn’t have been happier to have Joey and Chad paired up.

One of the friends, Franky, was a little much and he could have been dialed down from 11 by a few notches, but he was the vehicle to see Joy’s protective streak come out and Chad and I both loved seeing that.

There was an odd little dynamic about Joy’s sexual preferences that seemed to be dropped in, but not super relevant because the intimacy between Joy and Chad didn’t need any explaining. They seemed to handle things fine all on their own.

Get Lit by Kim Fielding

Uri Kessler is a bit of a klutz. Recently divorced from a guy he married too quickly and yearning to have a holiday that feels special, he decides to make Hanukkah candles. The results are literally a blazing disaster. But Uri’s mishap helps him get to know Oscar Cortez, his sexy new neighbor, and the two men instantly hit it off. While Uri finds himself drawn to Oscar, he’s also afraid to make a mess of their budding relationship. It’ll take a small miracle to make things work between them.

Ann - 4 Hearts

This story! So damn cute with the banter and Uri’s inner musings. Uri’s craft challenged and when he attempts some holiday homemade magic he burns his condo down. Bless his heart, but he is a hot mess in the most charming of ways.

He gets to know his neighbor Oscar through his klutziness and lucky him! The two of them are a total treat together and they fall hard and fast, but in a believable and pretty reasonable way. Oscar’s efforts to learn about Uri’s faith is heartwarming and Uri’s appreciation is humbling and adorable. I just loved these two together and this story was a humorous warm hug wrapped up in just a handful of pages.

A Graphically Designed Holiday by Ren Holly

Graphic designer Eli has harbored a secret crush on nerdy math teacher Lincoln since they were at school together, and he’s perfectly content with his unrequited feelings—until Lincoln requests a special handmade holiday gift: a dating profile with all the bells and whistles Eli can include, one that will be sure to find Lincoln a boyfriend for Christmas.

Eli uses building the profile as an excuse to spend time with Lincoln, but will he be able to watch his friend find love with someone else?

 R *A Reader Obsessed* - 3.5 Hearts

Oh this went down nice and easy!

Eli has been pining for his bestie Lincoln, since college, but as usual, the typical reasons for not making a move always stems from the fear that it'll ruin the friendship. When Eli can’t say no to Lincoln’s request to help him find a boyfriend before Christmas by sprucing up his online dating page, there’s all sorts of inner turmoil.

This really does the trope of friends to lovers just right, with a bit of cluelessness, a lot of UST, with the added bonus of a virgin (though admittedly, the smexy progression rubbed me wrong). Despite that one snafu, this still left me with a smile on my face!

Ann - 4 Hearts

This friends to lovers story nailed the trope so well. The author did a great job of showing me the depth of Eli and Lincoln’s friendship through references to their history and the time they spent together. It was organically done and made me totally believe they were meant to be together well before the two of them figured it out.

And the journey was bittersweet even though I was sure they were going to get their HEA because all of the warm fuzzy love was so obviously there. But, I could also respect Eli’s wishes to protect their friendship and it was worth it to him, to sacrifice his own happiness, as long as Lincoln got his. 

Thankfully the sacrifice was unnecessary and Lincoln’s grand gesture leveled the field between them and the ending was just perfect.

The Great Aerodynamicist by A. Nybo 

Thinking he’s up to the task, droll Irishman Donnell, who is new to Australia, has almost completed assembling a model steampunk flying machine for his nephew’s Christmas present. Then an accident involving a parachute, some superglue, and his mouth lands Donnell in the emergency room with two of his fantasy men… only one of whom is real. 

Ann - 3.5 Hearts 

While this was, in all honestly, a slightly silly setup, I still totally dug on it. The characters, especially Donnell, made me laugh and also shake my head at his predicament. Even though it was slightly over the top, I had to appreciate the result of the meet-cute between Donnell and Charlie. And, as I got to know them and they got to know one another I was completely charmed by their relationship.

Also, who wouldn’t love a guy who went to that kind of effort for his nephew? The author put a perfect amount of personal quirks for the characters to make them relatable, unique and pretty adorable. I really liked the dynamics between the two of them and could completely believe in them in the long term.

**copies of the Advent stories were provided for honest reviews**

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings by Nell Iris

Join author Nell Iris, JMS Books & Signal Boost Promotions in celebrating the re-release of "Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings". Find out more & enter in the giveaway for TWO backlist eBooks too!


Publisher: JMS Books


Young couple Ellis and Casey’s Christmas is set to be a lean one. Struggling financially, they’re only able to manage the most basic needs for their holiday celebration. They can’t afford luxuries like a turkey. Or decorations. Or presents. Between the recent death of Casey’s beloved momma, and Ellis’ estrangement from his family, all they have is each other.

When Ellis finds the saddest looking Christmas tree south of the Mason-Dixon line thrown outside his workplace and brings it home to Casey, things look up. Because what more do you need to have a Merry Christmas than enthusiasm, ingenuity, and someone to love?

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.



Twitter @nellirisauthor

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Review: The Christmas Deal by Keira Andrews

Will fake boyfriends become the real deal this holiday?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—except ex-Marine Logan is jobless and getting evicted. Worse, he’s a new single dad with a stepson who hates him. A kid needs stability—not to mention presents under the tree—and Logan’s desperate.

Then he meets lonely Seth and makes a deal.

Can Logan temporarily pretend to be live-in boyfriends to increase Seth’s chances at a promotion? If it provides a roof over their heads for the holidays, hell yeah. Logan considers himself straight—he doesn’t count occasional hookups with guys—but he can fake it. Besides, with his shy little smile, Seth is surprisingly sexy.

Make that damn sexy.

Shocked that Seth has only been with one man, Logan can’t resist sweetening their deal to teach him the joys of casual sex. No strings attached. No feelings. No kissing.

No falling for each other.

Easy, right?

The Christmas Deal is a steamy holiday gay romance novel from Keira Andrews featuring fake boyfriends, bisexual awakening, a clueless single dad with an angry preteen, and of course a happy ending.

So. Much. Christmas. It was lovely!


‘The Christmas Deal’ brings together two men who are less than happy about the most wonderful time of the year.

Logan is jobless and homeless. And he recently became a single father for a stepson who hates him.

Seth has a rough family past that ruined Christmas for him. And he needs to magically conjure up a loving home if he wants his family-centric boss to give him a promotion.

They’re perfect for each other - in more ways than they could know!

My heart went pitter-patter for Logan pretty early on. He was so out of his depth and pretty cranky, but he was trying so hard.

He didn’t handle Connor, his stepson, all that well at times, but I could appreciate the difficult situation. And poor Connor - whatever his behaviour, I just wanted to give him a hug.

Seth, for his part, was just so wholesome and good. I felt for him, given his family and romantic history, but he definitely had his shit together a lot better than Logan!

The initial set-up to the fake boyfriend caper is oddly sweet.

But once the two men are living together, they find it hard to keep it strictly professional. Particularly once Logan suggests the change the deal to add some no-strings-attached fun.

These two were on fire! Logan has a filthy mouth, and prim-and-proper Seth lets loose spectacularly. Consider me hot and bothered.

I appreciated how the author handled Logan’s bisexuality. It’s a gradual acknowledgement of his fluidity, and one that doesn’t erase his earlier interactions with both men and women.

The emotional connection doesn’t take long. I wouldn’t say it’s insta-love, though not too far off. But their relationship is entirely sincere.


I loved how Seth and Logan became partners so seamlessly - in handling work and family, in learning how to be parents to Connor, and just the routine of life.

The story culminates in the perfect happily ever after, for the little family of three. If you’re looking for a feel-good family-centric MM Christmas romance, I highly recommend ‘The Christmas Deal’!

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Christmas Oaks by V.L. Locey

The Christmas Oaks is officially out! Join author V.L. Locey and Signal Boost Promotions in the celebrating the holiday romance and enter in the back list eBook giveaway!

Cover Design: Designs By Sloan


Can the magic of Christmas, and the soft voice of a man who has seen too much, show Bryan a future where anything is possible?

Bryan Graham is shocked to find he’s inherited a hunting cabin in north-central Pennsylvania. From his grandfather of all people; a stubborn man who went out of his way to make Bryan’s childhood miserable. He’d vowed never to go back to the small, rural community of Kutter’s Summit, not that he didn’t have fond memories of the place. It’s just that he’d rather be celebrating a quiet Christmas back in Nashville with his cat and his contracts. 

A couple of weeks of hunting, cleaning, and handyman work, and he can hopefully put the place up for sale and move on with his life. He never expected to find his childhood friend Parson Greer living in the cabin. Parson is no longer a boy, but a handsome, wary man consumed by the demons of a faraway desert war. When a rekindled friendship shifts into something deeper, Bryan finds himself lost in emotions that a workaholic like him has never made time to experience before.

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

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Review: DSP Advent: Homemade for the Holidays Week 1

Choosing the right gift for that special someone can be the most daunting part of the holidays. In a sea of mass-produced items, why buy when you can DIY? The end-of-the-year festivities are the best time for crafts, whether they’re made from yarn, paper, flour, or even code. And with some love and luck, these special presents might inspire a romance that lasts an evening… or a lifetime. Nothing makes the season merry and bright like a gift handmade from the heart, and to bring smiles to the faces of the ones they care about, these guys are willing to get creative.

Tis the season once again and I, for one, am a happy, happy unicorn! We'll be posting reviews weekly of Advent stories and while this week is a bit behind (I'd like to know who's idea it was to make Thanksgiving a week late this year, I really hate when that happens), but December is here and it's time to let the love of the Christmas short story flow.

The Carpenter's Prince by Jayce Ellis

Sean Edwards would do anything for his nephew, including designing the props for a children’s version of the Nutcracker. He’s ready for the long nights and weekends in the workshop—they’re part of the job, especially given the short notice. The insanely sexy head ballerino is completely unexpected, however.

All principal danseur Keni Jackson wants is to surpass last year’s performance, blow people’s socks off, and cement his place in the studio. The last thing he needs is something to shatter his carefully held control—like a cuddly carpenter who favors jazz over Tchaikovsky.

Sean and Keni are drawn to each other, but not everyone is a fan of their relationship. When Keni’s position is threatened, they have to decide whether to walk away for good, or if what they’ve found is worth fighting for.

Ann - 3.5 Hearts

Sean makes this story for me. You know how, when you read about a character, and you fall for them in all the ways within the first bit of page time? That’s Sean. I mostly was down with whatever happened as long as my Sean got his happy ending. And he did, but there was a bit of minor manufactured drama that got in the way a bit.

That little nugget of a plot point didn’t make me super happy, but there had to be some sort of speed bump on the road to the HEA, and as far as speed bumps go it wasn’t terrible, but stilllllllll, Sean was unnecessarily sad and I did not like that one bit. Of course there was another MC, his name is Keni and he’s a dancer and he’s good and all, but he was onboard, albeit reluctantly, with the nonsense that hurt Sean, so that didn’t endear me to him a whole lot. Sean likes him so very much though and Keni does feel the same for Sean, but I need Keni to grovel some more and make sure Sean knows how amazing he is on the daily. In my head that all happens even after the story was done and they got their HEAs.

Christmas Ghosts by Jenn Moffatt

Dealing with the unexpected loss of his mother isn’t how carpenter Steve Browning planned to spend his Christmas. Hoping her costume jewelry can bring some happiness to others, he takes it to the local community theater, where he runs into his first love, Troy Baxter.

Troy’s trying to help his sister put on a gender-fluid version of A Christmas Carol, but no one on the cast or crew knows which end of a hammer to hold let alone use a power tool. Then a face from the past brings a present-day miracle… one that could lead to the happy future they both thought they gave up back in high school.

Ann - 2.5 Hearts

Christmas Ghosts had good bones to it, but the story never fully coalesced for me. There was a lot of info and relationships to get background on in a short period of time. I think because it was a second chance kind of romance, I needed to feel the love Steve and Troy had before and how it evolved and worked in the present. I was told about the love before, but I was told a lot of things and so I never had a sense of their connection and how it could have held together and rekindle over the years.

I liked Steve and I liked Troy and I wanted to feel moved by them, but there were too many distractions in the form of siblings and grief in a short story to give the guys the page time they needed to become fully fleshed out characters and in turn a romance worthy of a second chance.

Crochet My Heart by Carol Pedroso

Accountant Tristan plans to make a ton of crochet items for his local LGBT charity to sell at their holiday fair. His only problem? He can’t crochet.

Fortunately the community center offers a class, and it’s taught by Charlie, who is gorgeous and sexy and seems interested. At first. Can grandmotherly fellow classmate Ivy guide the clueless men to each other, or will it take something more serious to help them see the possibilities?

Ann - 3.5 Hearts

This story is just adorable. It has all the elements for a warm and fluffy Christmas story and the author delivered the fuzzy love very well. Tristan and Charlie have a super sweet homespun meet-cute and their banter was enough to feel the chemistry between them as they spent more time together. Tristan’s good intentions to the LGBTQ center he volunteers with have him overextended and needing Charlie’s help to meet his goal to provide handmade crocheted treasures for the holiday craft sale. So, already you know he’s a good guy. Charlie is also a good guy and so I couldn’t help but want to read about them getting their happy on.

There was some outside drama that provided the bit of bitter with all the sweet and the secondary characters kept Charlie in line when he veered off track in a moment of stupidity. Instead of being annoyed by the stupid, it actually made Charlie seem a bit more real because people do dumb things when they are falling in love and he redeemed himself quickly and in the end heroically.

An Elf to Myself by Emy Calirel

The last thing Wilhelm expects to find at Michaels, three days before Christmas and in search of a gift to make for his niece, is one of Santa’s elves—a cute one with a wicked, inappropriate sense of humor and a kinky streak. Alabastair may have been kicked out of Santa’s village, but he’s still a Christmas expert. And he’s determined to give Wilhelm and his family the best holiday he can.

With only two days to turn the Grinch’s house into a Christmassy wonderland, they have a lot on their plate. Among the glitter and the cheer, Wilhelm and Alabastair might find more than just the holiday’s magic. But will it be enough to keep Alabastair in Wilhelm’s bed and life when the North Pole calls him back?

Ann - 4 Hearts

I don’t know how, but the author made me suspend all my disbelief and by into elves as quickly as Wilhelm did. I should have been wanting more backstory and worldbuilding, I mean it’s an elf hanging out in Michael’s and he’s pretty open relatively quickly about who and what he is. But no, I was all “meh, it’s cool, these dudes obviously dig each other, let’s roll with it”. And roll with it, I did. 

I think it worked partially because the elves in question weren’t super magical, etc. They were, for the most part, regular people who just happened to work in the North Pole. I was fine with the modern twist the author put on Santa’s story, so I could pretty much forget about that and just wallow in the pepperminty sweet goodness that was Alabastair and Wilhelm. They both fell pretty hard and fast, but they had enough snark and attitude in their banter to balance the sweetness a bit and make their relationship seem possible for the long haul.

Evan Versus the Sharlotka by Chrissy Munder

Rumpled tech support Evan Carmichael has a crush on pristine programming supervisor Gavriil Cottan. The whole company knows it. Except Gavriil. As a closet romantic, Evan dreams of declaring his feelings with a grand gesture, something out of the movies he loves.

The company holiday potluck luncheon gives Evan a perfect opportunity. He finds out Gavriil’s favorite dessert and is determined to make an apple sharlotka just like Gavriil’s mother used to make. The only problem is, Evan is a disaster in the kitchen. Can he master the mystery of the sharlotka and the intricacies of the springform pan in time to both woo and wow Gavriil?

Ann - 4.5 Hearts

I look forward to Chrissy Munder’s stories every year. They are always amongst my favorites and she always writes characters I fall hard for. Evan is right up there as a guy I rooted for from page 1. He’s an everyman that can’t seem to catch a break and his mom is his biggest cheerleader. On paper, he may not seem like a romantic leading man type MC, but heeee isssssssss.

The story is told from Evan’s perspective and being inside his head is a little sad at times, but he’s forever hopeful. His crush on his co-worker Gavriil is so swoony as told from Evan’s view. While I didn’t get to know Gavriil well, he still felt fully fleshed out and I could completely understand why Evan was smitten. The author does a great job of making the time the MC’s spend together count and their conversations are the perfect vehicle to make the romance progress.

Evan’s attempts at baking Gavriil’s favorite dessert for the office Christmas luncheon was freaking adorable and about the sweetest thing I’ve read in a long time. Gavriil’s reaction made it even better and that had to be one of the most satisfying endings to a short story ever.

The Fairy Shop by Tara Lain

When Nate Hawthorne meets Asher Dane, the huge, tattooed hunk is the personification of Nate’s dreams. But Nate knows there’s no future, because Asher is also the personification of his beloved five-year-old daughter Delly’s nightmares. She’s frightened of big men. Things turn around for both of them, however, when Delly goes Christmas shopping at the Fairy Shop and begins her quest for a wand that will make her brave. Neither of them guesses that the Fairy Shop will be the source of far more than Delly’s courage. On Christmas Eve, under the influence of a very unusual fairy, Nate’s life will change forever.

Ann - 4 Hearts

The Fairy Shop is total Tara Lain reading candy for the holidays and I enjoyed every sweet little nibble. The author knows how to write super fluffy love stories that balance with a bit of drama to give a Lifetime feel that’s easy to dive into and get lost in. There’s a lot of story packed into this one, but everything seemed to balance out in the end.

Delly, Nate’s daughter really read like a little kid at first, but her vocabulary changed towards the end that made her seem like a little adult at times which was a little off putting, but not too bad that I was drawn out of the story.

The secondary characters added to the depth of The Fairy Shop and the only thing I would have liked, was more of Asher’s story. I don’t think that could have really been a thing in this case since it’s a short story and I know Asher’s story would be pretty involved. I really liked him though and while there wasn’t anything missing for him, I just wanted more because the author made me like and respect him so much.

**copies of the Advent stories were provided for honest reviews**

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Santa's Last Gift by Sandine Tomas

Looking for holiday fluffy goodness? See today's release blitz from author Sandine Tomas and Signal Boost Promotions for Dreamspun Desires' latest Santa's Last Gift! Find out more and enter in the eBook giveaway of Santa's Last Gift!

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Length: 60,475 words 

Cover Design: Alexandria Corza


The greatest gift might be what they already have.

After years away building his career, event planner Sebastian Chesnut returns to his small hometown of Fir Falls to reconnect with his mother, sister, and young nieces before his job takes him to London.

He doesn't expect to find his high school boyfriend, Matty, has become a virtual member of Seb's family. Back then, Matty only offered a casual relationship, but Seb fell hard, and history is soon repeating itself. Seb’s afraid to hope for a second chance, no matter how much they’ve grown and despite the family they share. Instead, he focuses on creating a last perfect holiday, which won’t be easy with his sister’s ex planning to take the girls over Christmas.

Seb and Matty might not know what to do about their feelings for each other, but one thing’s for sure—it won’t be Christmas without the kids. Can these star-crossed lovers pull off a holiday miracle?

Author Bio

Sandine Tomas grew up an unapologetic bookworm, making friends with characters from the ancient past to the farthest reaches of the universe. Her career as a marketing writer has given her insight into the divergence between what a person thinks they want and what they truly need. Relationships are at the heart of her writing, and she enjoys creating characters who become so real that their stories beg to be told. Writing allows her to explore people and ideas from all sides, spinning a notion around like a gem until its facets glisten.

Twisting the old adage about writing what you know into writing what you feel, Sandine doesn’t shy away from raw emotions, turbulent circumstances, and above all, deep passions, fueled by humor, honesty, and trust. She enjoys instilling her characters with the flaws, courage, and idiosyncrasies that brings them to life.

Sandine lives in New York with her husband, two daughters and a Golden Retriever puppy named Noodle. An unabashed TV and film enthusiast, she happily binge watches her favorites until her eyes glaze over. Her other guilty pleasures include attending fandom conventions, sleeping in on weekends, and recharging solo by holing up with a caramel macchiato and an amazing book.

If you’d like to chat, reach out to her here or on Twitter (@sandinetomas) or Facebook(sandine.tomas).

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: His Unexpected Mate by T.L. West

Author T.L. West and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of His Unexpected Mate! Learn more about the paranormal suspense and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: His Unexpected Mate
Author: T.L. West
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: December 2, 2019
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 23800
Genre: Paranormal, LGBT, Action/Adventure, Bonded, Shifters, Private Investigator, Police officer, Paranormal, murder investigation

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Living in a small wooden cabin at the edge of a forest and working to solve the mystery of recent murders, young Eli Bright learns the locals believe a man-beast is responsible.

As an outsider, he is watched very closely as he works with the young local sheriff, Stanley Blake. But Eli knows there has to be a proper explanation. Paranormal creatures don’t exist, right?


His Unexpected Mate
T.L. West © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Eli and Stanley acted as fast as possible. They both hurried into Stanley’s car, and Stanley drove them to the murder site. It wasn’t far, and judging by the houses, the residents liked living a simple life. Eli didn’t see one expensive-looking house on the way. There wasn’t much traffic either. Eli tried not to imagine how scary and quiet the area would get at night. Speaking of which, the sun was about to set any minute now. Stanley kept talking to his officers throughout the ride. He sounded authoritative to Eli as he talked on his portable car radio.

Eli was surprised when the car stopped outside an ordinary bookstore. There were no other cars in sight. “Is this where the murder happened?” Eli asked, looking at the bookstore again. It didn’t seem like a typical crime scene at all. “Why isn’t anyone gathered over here?”

“We are keeping this one under wraps from the public at the moment,” he said, and Eli followed him out of the car. A few people looked curiously at the sheriff but went on their way.

Eli kept quiet as Stanley opened the door to the store. All the lights were off except one lamp on a counter. Eli looked at the bookcases as he followed Stanley farther into the store. A lot of them seemed old to Eli. Heck, the entire store felt antique. Eli couldn’t help but notice a whole bookcase filled with books about dark magic and curses. He remembered what Stanley had told him about the residents being interested in the paranormal.

They reached a wooden door. Stanley opened it to reveal a flight of stairs going to the upper story. “The owner of this bookstore, Robert Mathieson, was found dead upstairs in his apartment,” said Stanley as he started to climb. “His neighbor from across the street, Mrs. Beatrice, reported it to the station. She came over to talk to him and found him lying on his bedroom floor, covered in blood.”

“Deputy Patterson is already waiting for us,” he continued as Eli followed. “Another officer is at Mrs. Beatrice’s house trying to keep her calm.”

Mr. Mathieson’s apartment wasn’t big. He didn’t look like a tidy man to Eli at all. There were books scattered around the room. Eli noticed some of the books were about ancient magical spells. “Patterson, you in there?” called Stanley.

“Yes, Sheriff,” came a voice, and a young man with brown hair walked out from one of the rooms to meet them.

“This is Eli Bright,” Stanley introduced Eli to his deputy. “He will be aiding us in the investigation.”

“Call me Eli.” Eli smiled as he shook Patterson’s hand.

“I have to warn you though, the sight isn’t pretty,” said Patterson.

Eli nodded. He had seen bloody, dead bodies a couple of times while working on cases. He had also spent a lot of hours at the morgue during his investigations. Eli followed Stanley and Patterson into the bedroom. “Oh!” Eli wasn’t sure what to say. He had seen pictures of the two previous murders but seeing one for real was a whole other story. Mr. Mathieson’s body looked as if it had been attacked by a large wild animal. Eli could make out claw and bite marks all over the man’s body, and there was blood everywhere.

“The med team is en route for examination,” said Patterson as Stanley looked at the body.

“My take is the attack occurred last night,” said Stanley. Eli looked too. Stanley was right. Judging by the condition of the blood on the floor, the body had been lying there since last night.

“Were there no signs of a break-in?” the sheriff asked.

“No, sir,” answered Patterson.

“Three murders in three weeks,” said Stanley as he rubbed his forehead. He was worried and rightfully so. It was his job to take care of the people living here. Eli wanted to place a comforting hand on Stanley’s shoulder, but he didn’t dare in front of Patterson, and especially not when he knew he had feelings for him. The med team arrived after a few minutes. It was a good thing the sun had set, and people were already in their homes. It allowed the sheriff’s department to keep everything under wraps as long as possible. No one wanted to roam around after dark when they knew there was a murderer, or as they believed, a werewolf, out there.


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Meet the Author

T.L. West is an author of paranormal romance, mystery and fantasy. He enjoys writing characters that grow during the story and feel relatable to readers. His stories are a mix of romance, action, and danger. He’s been writing since high school. He has a degree is Human Genetics. Along with writing stories he also loves staying healthy, drawing, reading and taking the time out to relax. He likes maintaining his privacy.


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Angels Sing (Daddy Dearest #2) by Eli Easton

Eli Easton and Signal Boost Promotions are here today to help you get into the holiday feels with new release, Angels Sing (Daddy Dearest #2)! Discover more about the latest standalone in today's blitz and enter in the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Daddy Dearest Series

The Daddy Dearest series features single dads. Each book in the series features a new couple and can be read as a stand-alone.

Book #1 - Family Camp - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link


Jamie Bailey has not had such a wonderful life. He gave up his dreams of Harvard at 18 to raise his sister’s unwanted baby, and later a prized job to help a sick friend. Now the father of six-year-old Mia, and assistant manager at Raven Books, Jamie’s dreams are dashed once again when Uncle Billy admits the bookshop is in dire straights.

Stanton Potter, son of the most notorious businesswoman in Bedford Falls, loves his job teaching at the local elementary school. But he’s less than thrilled when he is forced to put together a Christmas pageant with first-graders, including Mia Bailey.

When Stanton meets Jamie, angels sing. Jamie’s gender-bending fashion sense and sweet aura have Stanton suffering through the worse crush he’s had since he was a teen. But can there be any hope for them when Jamie and Mia’s lives are about to be uprooted?

This Christmas, it’s Jamie’s turn to receive a little help from heaven.

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, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine 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, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

Her website is

You can email her at

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Guest Review: Chasing the Dream (Everyone's Mechanic #1) by Anne Marie James

When Lee meets his fantasy man, his shy nature makes him want to run. But what will he do when his dream guy won’t let him?

Saul Valencia. Tall? Check. Muscles? Check. Everything Lee Clark ever dreamed of in a man? Check. Bad case of nerves and feeling like an idiot whenever he’s around? Sigh. Check.

Being kicked out of the family home for being gay would have been bad enough, but Lee Clark also worked in his dad’s garage. Losing his family, his home and his job all in the same day left him floundering. He can’t believe his luck might be changing when he finds a job at Everyone’s Mechanic, another garage, where he’s accepted for who he is.

Then Saul, a former linebacker for the NFL Raleigh Raptors and a friend of Lee’s boss, walks into his life. The man is the embodiment of all his teenage fantasies, but Lee doesn’t dare hope Saul will ever actually notice him.

Intrigued from the start by the shy man now working for his business partner’s boyfriend, Saul struggles through bad advice and misunderstandings to convince Lee that he’s serious about wanting a chance with him. Getting Lee to give him a shot at romance was difficult enough, but when drama and blackmail from outside sources are added in, the relationship becomes almost impossible.

It will take the combined efforts of Lee’s garage family and Saul’s real one to set things right.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and homophobia.

2.75 Hearts

Reviewer: Annery

Lee Clark is one of those characters prevalent in classic bodice rippers and assorted contemporary romances, regardless of gender or romantic orientation: he’s young, beautiful, and talented at everything he does. In Lee’s case, despite his youth, he’s a top-notch mechanic whose talent, when revealed, garners a faithful clientele which only pales in comparison to fans of his artwork, which wows and leaves dumbstruck those who see it. Lee has no formal training but his drawings are amazing. However it can’t all be a bed of roses for our boy. His saintly mom is dead, his father kicks him out when Lee is forced to come out as gay, and his older brother, a cartoon villain, just plain hates and persecutes him. What’s a boy to do? Fret not. Prince Charming is around the corner.

Saul Valencia is a retired NFL player, who though out in his private life, has yet to make his orientation public, why should he have to? He’ll do it for Lee. Saul meets Lee at a BBQ or rather their eyes meet and Saul knows Lee is the one. That should’ve been my cue or rather confirmation that this was not a story for me. I don’t need or like made up drama but IMO this just coasted on lots and lots of wishful telling with minimal attempt at real world verisimilitude.

The book starts with Lee, having just left home with all his worldly possessions in his truck, interviewing for a job at Everyone’s Mechanic, owned by Kirk Smith. Not only does he get hired on the spot, but he gets a place to live, is pretty quickly embraced by a chosen family of friends, and meets the rich, famous, & delectable former NFL star Saul Valencia, who falls head over heels for Lee at first sight. Literally.

We’re also dropped in the midst of a world and multitude of characters, which made me think that maybe this was Bk.2 or 3 in a series, but I don’t think it is. I had no trouble following, the writing is pretty clean and clear, but I can see how some would be disturbed by all of these folks with pretty extensive back stories popping out of the woodwork. I think it’s meant as set up for future volumes in a series, but perhaps it could have been done another way.

Ultimately I didn’t care enough about this to form any strong opinion about it. There was no real conflict. Lee is too good for this world, he’s a bit tentative or insecure about why Saul loves him, makes him wait or prove himself, and later doubts Saul’s affections etc. As I said, a standard contemporary or old style bodice ripper. If you’re in the mood for some a forgettable and almost wholesome read this could work for you: there are friends who are family, actual family, little girls, puppies, and a rescued Prince.

It didn’t work for me because of my aforementioned terribleness as a human being but YMMV.

Release Blitz: Pattern for an Angel by CJane Elliott

Pattern for an Angel is out now! Celebrate with author CJane Elliott and IndiGo Marketing today and read an excerpt too!

Title: Pattern for an Angel
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: CJane Elliott
Release Date: December 1, 2019
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/NB
Length: 17,150
Genre: Romance, holiday, single dad, drag queen, contemporary, genderfluid, nonbinary, acceptance, family, angel, Christmas, chosen family, meet cute

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Can an angel gown for a little boy let a single dad and a drag queen stitch together a new pattern for love?

Hospice nurse Gabe Martin is bisexual but doesn’t have time for love—his main priority is raising Ian, his adopted five-year-old son. Ian loves wearing dresses at home and wants an angel gown for his kindergarten holiday pageant. When Gabe visits a sewing store to get help with Ian’s costume, he’s assisted by a bewitching employee named Loren who opens up Gabe’s focused world.

Drag queen Loren Schuster likes playing with gender norms and wearing skirts and dresses in everyday life. A bad breakup killed his interest in serious relationships, but he reconsiders that stance when gorgeous single dad Gabe walks into the shop. Loren helps young Ian see it’s okay to be himself, and together, Loren and Gabe create a new pattern for a family full of love.


Oh well, you win some, you lose some, Loren thought after he rang up her purchase. As he was replacing the purple-blue material on the shelf, the bell to the shop door tinkled. The store had been crazy busy, which was to be expected for the Friday after Thanksgiving. He turned. Now there’s someone I’d love to win.

The guy coming in the door was seriously hot—dark and lanky with a mouth made for kissing. He was being steered along by a gal, but they were enough alike to be siblings. Loren hoped. His mouth twitched at the expression on the guy’s face and his wide eyes. Safe to assume he’d never been in a sewing shop before.

Loren stepped out from behind the counter and remembered that he was wearing one of his favorite skirts when the guy’s gaze dropped. He braced himself for some negative reaction and was floored when the guy smiled happily and nudged his companion. She brightened.

“Oh, you’re perfect,” she exclaimed.

“I am? I mean, of course I am, but why?”

“We’re looking for a way to sew an angel dress for a little boy.”

“Aww. That’s wonderful.” Loren waited for Hot Guy to say something, but his smile was more than enough. “Do you have the pattern?”

“Oh. Yeah.” Hot Guy had a deep voice. Lovely. He got the pattern out of his bag and handed it over.

“Hmm. Yes.” Loren inspected it and nodded sagely. “This seems straightforward enough.”

“It does?” Hot Guy was even hotter with that hopeful expression.

The truth was, Loren was talking out of his ass. Mia was the expert, and this was her store. Loren enjoyed being around the fabrics and different materials, the buttons and the lace, because he loved playing dress up. But you could put what he knew about sewing into one thimble. However, Hot Guy and his girlfriend/partner/sister didn’t need to know that.

“The problem is,” the gal said, “neither of us know fuck-all about sewing. I still can’t believe Ian’s kindergarten expects the parents to sew these costumes. I mean, are we in the 1950s or what?”

“So this is for your little brother?” Loren asked.

“My son,” the guy said.

Huh. He didn’t look old enough to have a kindergarten-aged child. Bummer that Hot Guy was apparently married or whatever. But that was the story of Loren’s life.

Then the gal piped up. “Gabe adopted him last year. He’s a great kid.”

Sounded like they weren’t together if only Gabe adopted this kid. “Great. So you’re Gabe, and you’re…?”

“Nita. We’re sister and brother. Gabe’s a single dad.” Nita cut a significant glance at Gabe, who frowned back. Loren could relate. Sisters always loved to meddle in their siblings’ love lives.

“Hi, Gabe and Nita. I’m Loren. I’m sure we can help you figure out the sewing part. Let’s start with material.” Loren’s favorite. White satin was way more fun than drab paisley.

Ten minutes later, after a delicious wallow in all the permutations of white satin, they had the fabric. Gabe hadn’t offered many opinions about which material but had seemed amused by Loren’s and Nita’s many exclamations.

But when Loren confronted the rest of the pattern instructions, his head spun. Mia was usually here and helped folks with deciphering the patterns. Loren could only guess what some of it meant but did his best to pick out thread and other needed parts and assembled them on the counter.

“Well. This is everything.” Loren hoped. He started to ring up the items.

“Everything but a sewing machine. What do we do about that?” Nita asked.

“You can rent them. This seems a simple enough pattern.” Panic rose in their faces, and Loren quickly added, “Or, better yet, you can hire someone to sew the costume.”

“Could you?” Gabe asked, shooting a sudden intense glance in his direction.

Damn. Of course he could not. But something made Loren say, “Why, I’d love to!"

Life was getting interesting. Even if Loren had to learn to sew. By tomorrow. How hard could it be?

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Meet the Author

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane is an award-winning author whose sexy, passionate stories explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is bisexual and an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

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