Welcome to our third week of celebrations for the amazing
In today's post, it's all about Christmas stories. We'll look at A Viking For Yule, the prequel, of sorts, A Cop For Christmas, and The Christmas Wager, plus a personal story Jamie has chosen to share. We also have another giveaway for one of his books.
First up, A Cop For Christmas
|Cover by Reese Dante|
Mason Collier isn’t big on authority figures. When Office Steve Coleman pulls him over and gives him a speeding ticket, he doesn’t react well. He’s even less happy when he discovers the cop lives next door to his parents’ house.
No matter where they turn this holiday season, Steve and Mason keep running into each other, and whenever they talk for more than a minute, they piss each other off. But from wayward dogs to Christmas tree hunts to maple syrup festivals, it proves impossible to avoid each other in the small town.
If Mason can see the good man behind the badge, he might just get a cop for Christmas.
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Second in today's line-up, the sort of sequel A Viking For Yule
|Cover by Reese Dante|
After Sam's grandfather nearly died in a blizzard one year ago, Sam has panic attacks in snow storms. So where does his friend Jackie propose they spend the holidays, as the last stop on their trip around the world?
Iceland. Of course.
But there's more in Iceland than snow. When Arnar, a handsome Icelandic man, offers to escort Sam on a several-day tour of the beautiful countryside, they soon find themselves drawn to each other. But Arnar is firmly rooted in his native soil, and Sam has to return to the US in a week to care for his ailing grandfather.
Suddenly, yule can’t last nearly long enough.
NOTE: Though this novel includes characters from "A Cop for Christmas," it is a standalone adventure. It isn’t necessary to read "A Cop for Christmas" first.
SAM LAY AWAKE in Arnar’s arms long after they turned off the light, fretting about how much he loved the feel of Arnar’s body against his and how soon he was going to be leaving him behind. There was no way he could stay in Iceland. Grampy needed him, and Sam needed him. Even though he didn’t like to think about it, Sam wasn’t sure how much longer his grandfather would be around, and he didn’t want to miss any more of the time they had left together. It could be years—he desperately hoped it would be—but he needed to be there. He’d remember this trip fondly for the rest of his life, but it was a vacation, and vacations couldn’t go on forever.
He was startled when Arnar whispered, “What’s wrong?”
“I thought you were asleep.”
“I was, but I guess I sensed you were still awake.”
Arnar sighed and caressed his chest and abdomen in long, languid strokes. The touch soothed and reassured him. “Is something bothering you?”
“The end of the trip is bothering me,” Sam admitted. “I can’t stop thinking about leaving Iceland in a few days.” Leaving you in a few days.
“I see Jackie’s brainwashing hasn’t fully taken hold.”
Sam smiled despite his dark mood. “About living in the moment?”
“Anything could happen tomorrow, Sam. You could get hit by a falling meteorite, or I could keel over from being too strikingly handsome for mortal beings to endure.”
“Oh, shut up!” Sam laughed.
“Sam,” Arnar said gently, as his hand slid down to cup Sam’s cock, “I know I was the one going on about this when we came inside, so… yeah, I get it. But if we don’t enjoy what we have, because we know it will be taken away soon, we won’t enjoy anything. It’s all temporary.”
“Is that supposed to cheer me up?”
“I don’t know,” Arnar said. It sounded as if he were about to drift off again. “But I want us both to stop thinking so much. Let’s just enjoy each other while we can.”
“Okay.” Sam caressed Arnar’s arm, but he let the hand stay cupped around his dick and balls. It felt nice down there.
“Life is a banquet….” Arnar began.
Sam finished Jackie’s favorite quote from Auntie Mame. “… And most poor bastards are starving to death.”
“Já.” Sam recognized the word for yes—it sounded like ‘yow’ to his ears.
It wasn’t long before Arnar’s deep, rhythmic breathing convinced Sam he was asleep again. He knew Arnar and Jackie were right. Just as he might not have a lot of time left with Grampy, he didn’t have a lot of time left with Arnar. Sam needed to focus on what he had and not let it slip away while he worried about the future.
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And thirdly today, The Christmas Wager
|Cover by Paul Richmond|
Lord Thomas Pendleton, second son of the Duke of Branmoor, needs to discharge a debt to his friend Andrew Nash. In doing so, he must return to the family estate he fled six years earlier after refusing to marry the woman his father had chosen. To Thomas’s dismay, Branmoor Hall is no longer the joyful home he remembers from his childhood, and his four-year-old niece has no idea what Christmas is.
Determined to bring some seasonal cheer back to the gloomy estate, Thomas must confront his tyrannical father, salvage a brother lost in his own misery, and attempt to fight off his father’s machinations.
As Christmas Day draws near, Thomas and his friend Andrew begin to realize they are more than merely close friends… and those feelings are not only a threat to their social positions, but, in Victorian England, to their lives as well.
A short time later, Andrew was sitting in his dressing gown, sipping a brandy near the tub in Thomas’s room. This, too, had become a ritual with them, back at the University Club—one of them bathing while the other sat nearby, both of them enjoying one of their lengthy philosophical conversations.
Thomas didn’t appear to be feeling philosophical tonight. He sat in the water, steam billowing about him, sipping his own brandy and brooding. After his third glass, he was rather tipsy. “I really don’t see that we’ll have any attendance at the dance at all. It’s going to be an unqualified disaster.”
“We shall see,” Andrew replied. He was used to Thomas’s dark moods and knew not to take them overly seriously. “Have the invitations gone out yet?”
“No!” Thomas gestured dramatically with his snifter, splashing some brandy into the tub. “That’s part of the problem. Henrietta is still preparing them.”
“Who is Henrietta?” Andrew looked at him quizzically. “I thought your mother said she would take care of it.”
“She did take care of it, by ordering Henrietta to do it. She’s my mother’s personal secretary.”
“I see where your streak of industriousness comes from.”
“Of course not. I would never—”
Thomas staggered to his feet, dripping with water. He brandished his snifter at his friend like a weapon. “If I weren’t a bit drunk, and naked, I would call you out, you scoundrel.”
Andrew laughed, but he found the sight of Thomas’s naked crotch so near, and at eye level, extremely disconcerting. He set his glass down on the floor, then stood to take Thomas’s snifter out of his hand.
Thomas offered no resistance.
“Sit down, you fool,” Andrew said, “before you slip and break your neck.”
“The water is getting cold, at any rate.”
“Then let me help you out.” Andrew slipped his arms underneath Thomas’s armpits. Thomas wrapped his own arms around Andrew’s shoulders in a soaking-wet embrace, allowing his friend to half lift him out of the metal tub.
Andrew found Thomas’s towel and wrapped it around him before settling him on the chair he’d been using himself. Then he held out his arms, surveying the sodden arms of his dressing gown. “Well, that ends my evening. I think I shall retire to my room and crawl into a nice dry bed.”
Andrew wasn’t certain whether Thomas would find his way to bed, if he left, or simply fall asleep in the chair. So he helped his friend up again, made certain he was reasonably dry—at least so far as his sense of honor would allow—and then helped Thomas climb into his own bed. “There you go.”
“Andrew, you are the best friend a man could ever ask for.”
Andrew smiled, feeling self-conscious. “Everybody’s a bosom friend when you’re drunk.”
“I’m not that drunk,” Thomas protested. “And I mean it. You’re wonderful, and I adore you.”
That made Andrew even more uncomfortable. He smiled faintly and permitted himself a light brush of his fingers along Thomas’s forehead and cheek—to brush the hair out of his eyes, or so he told himself. “Sleep well.”
Then he went back to his room. He doubted he would sleep well. Not after that. Oh, why did Thomas have to be so prone to these bouts of melancholic affection? They made Andrew’s life agony.
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My interest in writing started early. I still have a picture book I wrote and illustrated in elementary school, and my brother and I began writing in earnest when Star Wars swept across the world. We wrote stuff similar to Star Wars, of course, though not in the same universe. I have a ton of old illustrations sketched out in imitation of Ralph McQuarrie (the absolute genius whose sketches and paintings helped shape the look of Star Wars) as I built my own worlds, and my brother has similar illustrations he created.
At some point, when I was about twelve (and he was nine), we decided nobody would ever take our books seriously, if characters couldn’t swear I them. We weren’t allowed to swear, so our characters weren’t saying anything more colorful than “darn” or “shucks.”
So we went to our mother and pleaded for more artistic freedom. And she gave it to us—within reason. We were now allowed to use the words “damn,” “dammit,” and “hell.”
And so began my descent into vulgarity. My mother can now no longer read anything I write without cringing and asking, “Where did you learn to swear like that?”
Well… that’s what “creative freedom” gets you, Mom.
More about Jamie Fessenden:
Jamie Fessenden set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple short pieces in his high school's literary magazine and had another story place in the top 100 in a national contest, but it wasn't until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie wrote several screenplays and directed a few of them as micro-budget independent films. He then began writing novels and published his first novella in 2010.
After nine years together, Jamie and Erich have married and purchased a house together in the wilds of Raymond, New Hampshire, where there are no street lights, turkeys and deer wander through their yard, and coyotes serenade them on a nightly basis. Jamie recently left his "day job" as a tech support analyst to be a full-time writer.
Find Jamie on his website, Facebook, or Twitter.
Thanks for celebrating with us. Come back next week for more of Jamie's books, our author interview, plus one more chance to win.
Until then, happy reading!