Monthly Archives: December 2018

Welcome Denise N. Wheatley

Denise N. Wheatley is here with her story

A Naughty Jolly Christmas

Someone is about to have the best holiday ever…

Sasha Williams is an African-American public relations powerhouse who’s come a long way from the tough streets of Chicago to glamorous Los Angeles. While she loves her LA life, she hasn’t forgotten her roots and always goes back home to celebrate Christmas with her tight-knit family. This year, however, Sasha’s holiday plans are nixed when she’s forced to accompany her sexy, notoriously naughty new client Drake Lancaster on the press tour for his upcoming Christmas movie.

Sasha’s furious, yet finds herself overcome with lust when Drake strolls into her office. She’s surprised considering she’s never dated a white man. Drake’s attraction toward her is just as intense, the pair partake in a hot, steamy sex session right there in her office!

Despite Sasha’s promise to keep things all business during the press tour, their sensual trysts heat up even further while out on the road. In the end, Sasha must decide whether their cultural differences, along with her secret painful past and Drake’s playboy reputation, are worth her risking her heart and career—especially without knowing whether this is the real thing or a racy fling.

Preorder A Naughty Jolly Christmas on eXtasy Books Now!


Drake appeared in Sasha’s office doorway, up close and personal, in all his sexy glory. He slowly eyed her from head to toe. Judging by the look of admiration in his penetrating gaze, he liked what he saw.

So,” Drake began, his titillating tone filled with flirtation, “you’re the notorious Sasha Williams who’s been hired to clean up my image and take me to the next level…”

Drake’s smooth, deep voice sent shivers through her eardrums straight down to her panties. And just like that, her self-control slipped away.

Sasha struggled to compose herself. She managed to force a smile and extend her trembling hand. “Hello, Drake. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”  

He gently took her hand in his and bowed slightly, kissing it softly. “The pleasure is all mine.”

Drake straightened up but didn’t let go of her hand. His firm grip and rugged skin sent delicate tremors straight up her arm. He slowly studied her face. Then he shamelessly became transfixed on her breasts, licking his lips hungrily.

Sasha froze. She felt lost underneath the spell of his intoxicating stare and stimulating touch.

Drake sauntered over to the door and locked it.

Sasha swallowed hard. “Can I, uh, can I get you something to drink?”

“Nope. I’m good. I’ve got everything I need right in front of me.”

Sasha’s heart thumped erratically. She watched Drake head over to the other side of her office.

“Should we take a seat on the couch so you can tell me everything you’re going to do for me now that I’m officially your client?”

Drake didn’t wait for her to respond. He wrapped his arm around her waist and led her over to the couch. When she bent forward to sit down, his hand slid past her hip and cupped her ass.

Sasha gasped as Drake sat dangerously close to her. She moved over a few inches to put some space in between them, but he promptly moved in even closer.

“You’ve got such a beautiful complexion, Sasha. And I love your hair,” he murmured, lightly running his finger over her cheek.

She leaned back and eyed Drake suspiciously. “Do I really? Wait, let me guess what’s coming next. You’re going to tell me how exotic I look, then ask if you can touch my hair, right?”

“Actually no, I was—”

“Because, newsflash,” Sasha interrupted, now in full rant mode, “I’m just your typical, standard-looking African-American woman. My complexion, my hair…my entire look is the norm where I’m from.”

Sasha was so worked up she was beginning to perspire. She hadn’t meant to go off the deep end, but she was tired of that same old narrative of being viewed as some sort of foreign object—as if her form of beauty was somehow atypical. But Drake actually appeared somewhat amused.

“You made mention of where you’re from,” he said. “Where’s that?”

“Chicago. South side.”

“Please don’t call it that.” Sasha giggled. “It sounds so basic.”

“All right then, the Windy City. Great town. I shot a movie there last year. Fantastic food and even better people. Oh, and I hate to break this to you, Sasha Williams, but here’s my newsflash. There’s nothing about you, and you don’t resemble any other woman, period. You’re absolutely stunning.”

The compliment flipped Sasha’s feelings from offended to flattered within seconds. She looked into Drake’s eyes and saw nothing but sincerity, then felt herself falling under his spell once again. “Thank you,” she replied quietly.

“And no, I’m not going to ask to touch your beautiful hair, unless you want me to, of course. But your hair is not some sort of peculiar phenomenon to me. You’re not the first woman of color I’ve encountered. My guess is that you’ve never been with a white guy, though, have you?”

Sasha shifted in her seat. She wasn’t comfortable having such a personal,

race-related conversation with this man she’d just met. “I’m sorry, Drake. But we’ve really gotten off track here. Why don’t we get back to business?”

“Sure. Whatever you want…”

Drake’s jeans rubbed against Sasha’s bare leg. He placed his arm behind her along the back of the couch, then let it slip forward over her shoulder, his fingertips practically brushing across her hardened nipples. If she moved an inch, her breast would fall right into his hand. Her entire body stiffened up.

“I’m sure you already heard about the altercation I had at the Hollywood Hills Resort last weekend. Do you think you could spin the story to somehow make me look like the victim? Because I’ve been slaughtered in the press, and when we go out on this press tour for Deck the Halls with Love, I need to have the fans’ sympathy and support.” Sasha cleared her throat and allowed herself to slowly exhale, somehow managing to avoid having her hardened nipple graze Drake’s lingering fingertips.

“Well…” she began, struggling to steady her trembling voice. “The so-called fans who mobbed you at the resort were obviously trying to pick a fight. Their goal was to record the incident and upload it onto social media for likes and followers. I’ll counter the negative press by saying your actions were simply a matter of self-preservation. You were being attacked and had no security with you, so you had no choice but to protect yourself.”

Sasha was pleased with her impromptu response. And apparently Drake was, too, because she glanced down at his crotch and noticed he was fully erect.

“Wow, Ms. Williams. That was a very impressive answer.”

Sasha gazed into his eyes and saw a glimmer of insatiability. She became so memorized that when he slid his hand onto her thigh and gripped it firmly, she didn’t stop him. He boldly took her chin in his hand, pressed his soft, moist lips against hers, and slipped his tongue inside her mouth.

Her rigid body slowly relaxed. She couldn’t believe this was happening and was even more shocked by the fact that she was actually kissing Drake back.

When his hand glided up her leg, underneath her dress, and he slid her panties to the side, Sasha’s first instinct was to close her legs and deny him. But desire overtook her, and she instead opened her legs wider to give him easier access…

A Naughty Jolly Christmas is the first novella of my series, The Holiday Chronicles. Tis the season with this steamy 15,560 word novella, and be on the lookout for the follow-up, My Unconditional Valentine, coming February 2019!

Hello everyone! My name is Denise, and I am a lover of romance, happy endings, and the art of storytelling. I used to cry as a three-year old child when my mother read to me because I so badly wanted to read the books myself! Once I learned, I constantly had my nose in a novel (especially the ones I’d sneak from my mom’s bookshelf). I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and draw inspiration from Chicago, the city where I was born and raised, as well as Los Angeles, which is one of my favorite places in the world. I’ve published several books and short stories, and I’m an avid ghostwriter and editor. When I’m not sitting behind my computer, you can find me in a movie theater, on a tennis court, watching true crime television or chatting on social media.

Speaking of social media, I’d love to connect with you! Here’s where you can find me:

On Instagram

On Twitter

On Facebook

More of my novellas, including the paranormal erotic romance Shadow of a Man, can be found at eXtasy Books:

Don’t forget the giveaway…. For a signed paperback of Cupid’s Christmas Arrow, a $10 Amazon giftcard, & an eBook of Frostbite Christmas to one winner!



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Welcome D. S. Dehel

Today D. S. Dehel brings us Saving the Prince

Christmas: the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it? Or so it’s said.

For me, Christmas was and is The Nutcracker. You can keep your Rudolph

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and his shiny nose. So what if there is a year without a Santa Claus? Give me Clara and her Nutcracker, a battle with a giant mouse, a Land of Sweets, and snow—lots and lots of swirly snowflake ballerinas.

When Extasy put out the call for Christmas stories around the theme of rescue, my mind immediately went to one of my favorite ballets and the pivotal battle scene where Clara distracts the Mouse King, but with a strong female protagonist and a hot guy.

And there had to be ballet—the ballet—of course, and snow.

 In “Saving the Prince,” you’ll enter the backstage world of ballet, with its backstabbing and competition, constant fear of injury, and even more constant fear of not being good enough. But there’s magic there, too, as Clare discovers when she saves the Nutcracker Prince from being mugged and takes a chance on him as they share one joyous pas de deuxon stage…and another in private.

“Saving the Prince” is for every little girl who stood at the barre and envied the big girls on pointe, for those who stood in the wings and wished they could be the Sugar Plum Fairy, or even better, the Snow Queen.

Come dance with Clare and Ian.

Available from Extasy December 18

You can find all the Extasybooks stocking stuffers here:

You can find D.S. Dehel on Facebook

And blog at

D.S. Dehel

D(awn) S(She’s not telling you) Dehel began writing in crayon in the front of books at the age of three, and kept on scribbling, even though her mom took away her favorite dessert. Mom can no longer take away her desserts, and now she makes her mother buy her books. Though her days in sweaty pointe shoes are far behind her, she once danced with the Wilmington Ballet Company and later became its Stage Manager, so she’s no stranger to the world she describes in “Saving the Prince.”  She’s also written two novels, a novella, and a summer short, “Real Magic.”  All are available from Extasy Books.

Don’t forget the giveaway…. For a signed paperback of Cupid’s Christmas Arrow, a $10 Amazon giftcard, & an eBook of Frostbite Christmas to one winner!


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Welcome Grant C. Holland

Today we have Grant C. Holland and 
Love for Christmas

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Sometimes love needs a little extra nudge from the holidays.Both Les and and Sly are still hurting from recent breakups and they vow to avoid romantic entanglements for the foreseeable future, Unknown to each other, they set out from Phoenix, Arizona on parallel holiday road trips to reach Chicago by Christmas Eve.Good-natured happy-go-lucky Les is great at friendships and a failure at love relationships. He relocated to Phoenix to stick by his best friends and immediately jumped into another painful dating situation that ended in a parking lot Christmas tree market. Sly is eager to leave one of the worst years of his life behind. The end of a two-year romance and the death of his stepfather cast a cloud of gloom over his December. He’s determined to have a better Christmas with his grieving mom in Chicago.By the time Les and Sly unexpectedly cross paths for the third time in their journey, they suspect it just might be more than coincidence. With the help of Christmas carols, Cadillac Ranch, burgers on the road, lots of cookies, and Santa Claus himself, Les and Sly find their happily ever after just in time for Christmas morning.Les is the best friend of Jensen, one of the main characters in the novel Love Next Door, but this Christmas tale can be easily read as a standalone story.

How the Book Came About

This is my first holiday novella. I knew that I wanted to write one, but I wasn’t sure where I wanted to start. When so many of my readers asked for a story about Les, I knew that was where I needed to start.

At the end of Love Next Door, the key characters in the novel all relocate

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from the Midwest to Phoenix, Arizona. I originally planned to write a story about the holiday in the desert southwest, but I knew that Les needed to find a way to return to the Midwest for his Christmas. At least, that’s how I would feel. He also needed to fall in love because he failed so miserably in earlier relationships.

I love road trips, and from childhood, I remembered how if you traveled a common route, you might run into the same people more than once along the way. That’s what happens between Les and Sly. You’ll also recognize that I love Christmas. There’s a lot of the holiday in this book, Christmas carols, cookies, and even Santa himself. I also think if you’re going to be in the city, Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in the world at Christmas.


Les stood at one corner of the check-in desk snacking on a chocolate chip cookie and bending the hotel clerk’s ear about some situation in the past. I tried to think of something to say that could appropriately address the coincidence. The word, “Hi,” felt so inadequate.

Before I could speak, Les recognized me. He nearly choked on his cookie and coughed while pounding the desk with his right hand. I said, “I’d like a room for the night.”

While Les struggled to regain his composure, the woman at the desk smiled and shook her head. “I’m so sorry, Sir. I checked a customer into our last room only fifteen minutes ago. I know that one of our properties on the east side of the city still has rooms available. Can I call ahead for you?”

Les listened and then tried to speak. He couldn’t stop himself from coughing. I looked at him with some alarm, but then I heard a low wheeze and a long intake of breath. He choked out, “Don’t go!”

I turned to the desk clerk for help. “Could you get this man some water?”

I knew from past first aid training that the Heimlich wasn’t called for since Les could choke out words. He was breathing, and he wasn’t turning blue. The clerk acted quickly and filled a paper cup from a water cooler in the back corner of the reception area.

Les gulped it down and blurted out, “Oh, holy shit!” Two seconds later his face turned a bright shade of pink, and he uttered, “Oops.”

“It’s quite alright. I didn’t mean to make you choke, and I don’t want to intrude. The east end of the city isn’t far. I’ll have a head start on the drive in the morning.”

Les waved a hand, coughed, and said, “No, I insist. I’ll give you a warning, though. I watch any cheesy Christmas stuff on the TV that I can find.”

“The Grinch?”




“That awful version of The Little Drummer Boy?”

“Well…”The clerk chimed in, “We all have our limits. Can I toss in a comment here?”

I said, “Please do.”

She stretched across the desk and cupped her right hand gesturing for us to come closer. I leaned in, and Les joined me. He was close enough that I wanted to reach out and touch the whiskers on his cheek. The clerk said, “I know I shouldn’t say it because it would mean one less reservation for the company, but I think the two of you are a perfect match. It’s the holidays. Take a chance. We’ve got couches in the lobby if something goes horribly wrong.”

Les grinned from ear to ear. “See, she’s on my side. Listen to her.”

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Grant C. Holland

Grant C. Holland lives in the upper Midwest, and he’s devoted to small-town stories and men who have their hearts firmly rooted in the country’s heartland. He grew up in a small Midwestern town much like those in his stories, and he has a special love for the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. You can most often find Grant settled in a coffee shop with tea in hand letting his muse lend a guiding hand to developing his stories of gay romance.

Follow Grant: 

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Don’t forget the giveaway…. For a signed paperback of Cupid’s Christmas Arrow, a $10 Amazon giftcard, & an eBook of Frostbite Christmas to one winner!



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Welcome Tanya Chris

Today’s guest is

Tanya Chris with her Christmas story, 

Giving Chances

Universal Amazon link

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‘Tis the night before the night before Christmas and there’s only one Bright Light Beauty Shoppe left in all of Connecticut. When Mitch and Jackson make a simultaneous grab for it, they make a connection that goes deeper than a brush of hands over a gaudy pink-and-purple box.

Mitch is shopping for his youngest sister, who he hasn’t seen since he came out to his parents a year and a half ago. This will be his first Christmas back with the family he’s not sure he can forgive.

Jackson is shopping for a new boyfriend. No! Bad Jackson. He’s supposed to be on a relationship break. His ex-boyfriend only moved out a month ago and his best friend tells him he’s too quick to jump into commitments. The plan is to enjoy some uncommitted sex, so why not enjoy it with Mitch?

As the final days of Christmas count down, Mitch and Jackson find that all they have to do to get everything they want this year is give love a chance. 

Giving Chances is an M/M standalone Christmas novella

…with a happy ending. 

Tanya Chris

Tanya writes in a variety of romantic and erotic genres, being an avid follower of many of these genres herself. Some of her favorites are M/M romance, MFM threesomes, and female dominated BDSM.

Tanya lives in New England with her boyfriend and her cat and has participated in many of the activities about which she writes, but not all of them. It’s left to the reader to decide which are which.

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Profile

Origin story:

I wrote Giving Chances to submit to a Christmas anthology. The theme for the anthology was “gifts” which I incorporated into the book in two ways. First, our heroes meet while grabbing for the latest must-have toy off the shelves of a toy store at the mall. Mitch wants it for his sister, Jackson for his niece, and so a gift is literally the way the story starts.

But the best gifts we give each other don’t come in a box. Mitch has been estranged from his Catholic parents since coming out. Now they want to reconcile and he’s uncertain about it. Jackson talks him into giving his parents a second chance.

A lesbian friend of mine saw Bohemian Rhapsody over the weekend. I asked her what she thought of the bisexual representation and she was OK with it. (I know there are are people with harsher opinions, but she enjoyed the movie—thought it was shallow but entertaining and especially loved the music.) The one thing she wasn’t buying was the way Freddie Mercury’s parents reconciled with him at the end. She doesn’t believe parents ever change their minds like that.

Some mutual friends of ours just got married in Vegas after what we thought might be a permanent engagement because the mother of one of the brides is so dead set against it that she refuses to be in the same room as the other bride. Our friend finally decided she wasn’t waiting for her mother to come around anymore and committed her heart where it belonged. Yay for them.

Do parents ever come around? I don’t have any personal experience because in my family coming out announcements don’t cause rifts. Even my ultra-traditional Mexican-American cousin-in-law constrained himself to disgruntlement when his son came out because that’s what being a parent fucking means. But I like to think people can outgrow their prejudices, and I hope we can forgive them when they do.

All that probably makes it sound like Giving Chances is a deep and angsty story, but it’s 90% fluffy fun—snowball fights, dirty massages, sweet sex, and Christmas cuddles between two guys who deserve the best love can give them. The story wasn’t picked up for the anthology, so I published it myself and you can buy it for $0.99 or read it free with KU.

Don’t forget the giveaway…. For a signed paperback of Cupid’s Christmas Arrow, a $10 Amazon giftcard, & an eBook of Frostbite Christmas to one winner!


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Welcome Lynn Michaels

Once again, Lynn Michaels is here. This time with Red Run Rescue, part of the Winter Magic anthology at eXtasybooks.

Sequel to the Spring Fever anthology these six stories bring you shifters seeking warmth and cheer with a little Winter Magic thrown in for this festive season.

Winter Magic – where warmth and cheer and all good things associated with the festivities of this magical season are set to make your hearts glow. The Winter Magic anthology features six shifter stories from some of your favorite eXtasy Book authors. Let romance work its magic for you this winter.

These 6 authors originally came together with these hot shifter stories in

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Spring Fever, where restless wolves and excited shifters of all kinds expect to fall head over heels in love due to Spring Fever.

Now, they’re back with 6 sequels…

Winter Magic is full of hot surprises, including Red Run Rescue from Lynn Michaels…

Red Run Rescue, Winter Magic by Lynn Michaels    
New twins, the magic of Yule, and a new threat for the red deer shifters. Rory and Donner have brand-new twin, red deer fawns, and they plan to celebrate the magic of Yule with their new family. Their party is interrupted by the council who had found another red deer, and she’s pregnant. It’s an obvious trap, but Rory and Donner can’t ignore it. Celebrating Yule means so much more this year.

Click here for more Winter Magic at eXtasybooksE

Donner didn’t waste time thinking about what his human form
thought about it all. He lowered his head and charged the other deer,
turning from protector to competitor in a flash of flank and tail

Red Run Rescue, Winter Magic ~Lynn Michaels

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Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. When she’s not writing she’s kayaking, hanging with her husband, or reading by the pool. Lynn writes Male/Male romance because she believes everyone deserves a happy ending and the dynamics of male characters can be intriguing, vulnerable, and exciting. She has both contemporary and paranormal titles and has been writing since 2014. Her stories don’t follow any set guidelines or ideas, but come from her heart and contain love in many forms.

Click here for Lynn Michaels on eXtasybooks

Don’t forget the giveaway…. For a signed paperback of Cupid’s Christmas Arrow, a $10 Amazon giftcard, & an eBook of Frostbite Christmas to one winner!


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Welcome Cameron Allie

Today’s guest is

Cameron Allie with her story, A Little Bit of Naughty

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Three lonely people. One chilly winter evening. Multiple bottles of wine. A crackling fire. One hot night that might lead to more…

Brandi is interested in having a sexual affair with her friend Emily. Brandi thinks one hot night will be enough to cleanse her need for Emily, the only problem: Emily’s straight.

Emily has a crush on their friend Reed, who has recently been dumped. Brandi sees this as an opportunity to help Emily capture Reed’s attention, while also scratching her own itch. Quiet, bookish Emily agrees to Brandi’s wicked plan, and finds herself more than a little intrigued by the idea of surprising Reed with a three-way.


The whistling sound emanating from Emily’s phone indicated she had a text message.

When Emily glanced at it, Brandi saw her brow furrow in confusion. “What is it?” Brandi asked before taking a sip of coffee.

Emily looked up from her phone.“Reed just texted me, but all it says is that Rachel left. What do you suppose that means?”

Brandi shrugged. “Ask him.”

Brandi watched as Emily’s pale,slender fingers glided over the keyboard, carefully selecting each letter.Brandi continued to drink her coffee. It did wonders to warm her up on such a chilly afternoon. With Christmas only a week away, the coffee shop was decorated with lights, ribbons, and little Santa Claus dolls. People stood inline waiting to order a drink or a treat, most of which were themed for the holidays. Everything from eggnog Frappuccinos to gingerbread cookies helped to spread cheer to those dusting the snow off their coats.

“You don’t think he means that she actually left, do you? I mean like packed up and left, left,” Emily wondered as she set the phone down.

“Maybe. It’s not news they were having problems. They fought all the time. It’s been like an icebox in their house for months. Do you remember, like, three months ago we had dinner there,and they didn’t speak to each other the whole time? After we left we could hear them yelling at each other. That’s just not healthy.”

“But that was months ago. You don’t think they’re still upset?”

Emily was such a sweetheart. A naïve sweetheart. She worried about everyone’s problems, and she constantly wondered what people thought of her. If Brandi had to guess what Emily wanted for Christmas, she was sure it would be world peace, but Brandi knew there was something naughty lurking beneath that good-girl persona. No one could be that nice all the time. Brandi was trying hard to get that mischievous side to show.

The phone whistled again. They both looked at it. Emily snatched it up before Brandi had a chance to read the text as it skidded across the screen. Brandi smiled as a gasp escaped Emily’s pretty mouth.

“She did! She actually left him.”

Causally, Brandi asked, “When?”

The phone whistled again.

“Last week. He wants to know what I’m doing.” She bit her lip. “He wants to talk.”

Now it was Brandi’s turn to gasp. “You like him, don’t you!”

Emily blushed.

“Admit it.”

“He’d never go for me. He’s so suave and debonair. He’s always wearing fancy clothes, and he makes a lot of money. He’s out of my league. Rachel was perfect for him, classy, refined. Geez! The two of them used to go to wine tastings.”

“It didn’t work out for him and Rachel, though, did it? She was too snooty. He needs someone who actually want shim, not the outward appearance.” Brandi considered the situation and came up with an ideaone that would give Emily a shot at Reed, plus give herself a chance to see what was beneath Emily’s candy-coating. “You know what we should do?”


Brandi quickly glanced around the crowded coffee shop. Emily followed suit, looking from table to table, before her gaze settled back on Brandi’s. Reaching across the table, Brandi placed her hand on Emily’s, leaned forward, and whispered, “We should have a three-way.”

Now available at eXtasy Books 

Bookstrand  & Amazon

Available on December 14th at all other third party sellers.

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About Cameron

Romance author Cameron Allie grew up in a small town north of Toronto. As a child she loved stories, and after reading her first romance novel at age fifteen, her dreams of writing became singularly focused on the love story. She is currently living in Ontario with her husband, their young daughter and with their cat, who is constantly trying to interrupt the writing process.

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Don’t forget the giveaway…. For a signed paperback of Cupid’s Christmas Arrow, a $10 Amazon gift card, & an eBook of Frostbite Christmas to one winner!



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Welcome Amy Aislin

Today we have
Amy Aislin with Christmas Lane!

It’s recent college graduate Zach Greenfeld’s favorite time of the year and he’s just received a temporary gig planning Lighthouse Bay’s Christmas parade. Not only does it speak to his penchant for organization, it also puts him face to face on a daily basis with his unrequited crush—Holland Stone. But his new job starts off in disaster when the most important float—Santa’s sleigh—gets damaged. 

Holland needs to win the Lighthouse Bay Christmas parade float competition in order to grow his new dollhouse-making business. The prize is an article in a major city newspaper, and nothing beats free advertising. Except, eager to help the adorable parade organizer, he volunteers to help fix Santa’s sleigh, leaving no time to work on his own float, and putting his prize at risk.

Damaged floats, snowstorms, and a last-minute parade emergency force Zach and Holland closer than ever. All they need is a little bit of Christmas magic to help them realize they belong together. 

Title: Christmas Lane

Series: Lighthouse Bay #1

Publisher:  self-published

Release Date (Print & Ebook): November 29, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): approx. 65,000 words

Genre: m/m contemporary romance

Tropes: May/December, small town

Cover design: Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art

All buy links:






“Christmas is my favorite time of year,” Zach said.

“You don’t say.”

Something soft hit him in the back. Whirling, he gaped at a smirking Holland, then at the crumbled snowball at his feet.

“You didn’t!”

Holland’s smile widened. “Oh, I did. What are you gonna do about it?”

This was a new side to Holland. One Zach was totally on board with. He grinned and scooped up some snow. “It’s on!” A second snowball hit him in the shoulder. He straightened, gave a war cry, and—

Where’d Holland go?

Whack. A snowball to the back of the head. Pieces flaked off and fell down the back of his jacket.

“Ahhhhh!” Hopping around, he tried to get it out to the chorus of Holland’s laughter. “Cold, cold, cold.”

Holland poked his head out from the other side of the Christmas tree. Another snowball hit Zach in the thigh.

“Oh, this is war, Holland!”Giving a great cry, Zach tackled Holland to the ground. Snow sprayed in an arc around them, getting everywhere. In their hair, in their boots, up pant legs,underneath jackets that got rucked up as they tumbled, exposing skin to the elements.

“Ha ha!” Zach crowed from atop Holland, where he straddled Holland’s thighs, arms in the air in triumph. “I win!”

“You think so?” Holland flipped them, and all of a sudden, Zach found himself on his back, staring up at a laughing Holland.

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He froze as calloused fingertips lightly brushed his cheek, sweeping away a small patch of snow. Holland’s hair, mostly white with streaks of dark brown, almost sparkled in the brilliant lights of the tree. His weight pressed Zach into the snowy ground, but Zach didn’t register the cold or the hard earth. Pressed together from thigh to chest, all Zach felt was Holland’s hard body against his own. His heart pumped. What would he see in Holland’s eyes if Zach met them? Curious and apprehensive in equal measure, Zach lifted his gaze.

Holland’s eyes, the color of faded denim in the light of day, were black as the night against a backdrop of red, green, blue, and white lights that shone from the tree. Only inches away, they locked with Zach’s. Zach’s breath left him in a rush, fanning against Holland’s face. Holland’s gaze dropped to Zach’s lips.

Zach quivered, waiting.

Clearing his throat, Holland stood, towering above Zach at his full six-foot-two height. He held out a hand. “Let me walk you home.”

Zach slumped deeper into the snow and closed his eyes against the disappointment.


Smiling gamely, Zach took Holland’s hand and let Holland pull him up and walk him home.

Amy Aislin

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very)amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling,astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario. 




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