All posts by C. J. Anthony

About C. J. Anthony

C. J. Anthony grew up watching soap operas and reading piles of books. She attributes her love of reading and romance to her mother who not only taught her to read but also made countless trips to the library lugging those piles of books home for her to read. It wasn’t a far jump to start writing her own stories, early childhood tales about flower families and travelling to the moon with her best friend. C. J.’s favorite stories to read and write include “opposites attract” pairings—couples who might appear to be an odd couple to the rest of the world, but to each other fit together perfectly, finding their own happy ever after with a little hard work and a whole lot of love. Not surprisingly, C. J. is a big lover of rom coms—she’ll gladly take Julia Roberts standing in front of Hugh Grant asking him to love her, over car crashes and shoot-em up movies any day. She also watches way too much TV and every singing reality show there is. She loves music and musicians of all genres and attending live concerts. She spends most of her time juggling a day job and a commute and freelance design work on the side and falling asleep on her couch, dreaming of a day when she can work all day in her pajamas while living in a house by the beach.

Santa’s Special Gift


Hello everyone! Welcome to day 16 of the Rainbow Advent Calendar! If you’re new here, I’m C. J. Anthony, and I write M/M Romance. If you click on the Books tab above, there is a listing with links for all of my stories.

So how is everyone doing? Christmas (if you celebrate) is 9 days away! Kwanzaa is soon after, and Hanukkah is in full swing now. Whatever holidays you celebrate, I know sometimes there is stress  and pressure to buy every gift and bake every cookie and get everything done in time…I hope everyone is taking some “me” moments and some quiet time to relax alone or with family and enjoy the holiday. Sit with some soothing music and enjoy the Christmas lights. Watch a holiday movie. OR—better yet—read! One of my favorite things at this time of year are all of the Christmas stories that are released. They’re usually short, so they don’t take up much time, they get you in the holiday mood and provide a little escapism for a while. That’s why I’m so happy to be a part of the Advent Calendar, what a great idea! (Thanks Alex Jane!) 24 short stories of all styles by different authors—a new one every day. If you’ve missed any of them, you can click on the banner above or join the Facebook group here. There are some great stories available!
My story features the two characters from my Christmas novella, released last year, Falling for Santa Claus. In this story we revisit Jack and Nick a year later in Great Falls at the annual town Christmas Parade. 🙂
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“What is wrong with you? Do you need to use the little Santas room before we take off?”

“The little…what?” Nick stopped shifting in his seat and looked over at Jack, his face crinkled up in confusion.

Jack, seated next to Nick, looked at him with amusement…and concern. “I was wondering if you had to go to the bathroom. We’ve been sitting in this sleigh for fifteen minutes and you’re fidgeting so much the rocking of the sleigh has me almost seasick! Anyone who looks over here is going to think we’re having way more fun than we really are. If the sleigh’s a rockin’….” He winked at Nick.

Nick rolled his eyes and growled. He shifted and moved his body again so much that Jack had to grab the iron handlebar to avoid being pitched overboard.

“Jesus, just what we need. To give everyone more town gossip about us. And no, I don’t have to…‘go to the little Santas room!’” He glowered at Jack.

It was a week before Christmas and the little town of Great Falls, Vermont was holding it’s annual Christmas Parade. Nick St. James—the town handyman—was reprising his usual role as Santa, and Jack Frost—the town’s head librarian—was in his second year of playing, well, Jack Frost.

Last year, as the town’s newest citizen, Jack had been drafted by the town event planners—Mabel and Flo—to take over the vacant role of Santa’s helper for the parade. The role was supposed to be an elf, but because of his name Mabel and Flo thought it would be hilarious if he portrayed a real Jack Frost. He agreed but regretted it when he saw the skimpy tights they expected him to wear. This year he got proactive and found some powder blue sweatpants at the Goodwill in Rutland and convinced the ladies that with some glitter fabric paint the pants would do just as well as the tights. (Okay, “convinced” might be too light—he had to put his foot down and threaten to not participate in the parade ever again unless they let him wear the pants. That brought the ladies around pretty quickly.) Last year he practically froze his “cute little buns” (as Flo called them) off in those stupid little tights.

“Why are you so antsy then?” Jack asked.

Nick shrugged. “Not antsy,” he mumbled.

“Are you nervous?”

“I’m not nervous! Dammit, I’m fine!” Nick raised his voice so loud a few people nearby turned to gawk.

“Well what’s wrong then? I’d say you got up on the wrong side of the bed, but I know you got up on the same side you do every morning.” Jack waggled his eyebrows and smiled at Nick before leaning over and giving him a quick kiss on his cold, red and very adorable nose. “Calm down, babe, and get your happy jolly smile on so you don’t frighten the poor little kids. It will all be over before you know it and then we can go home and Jack Frost will figure out some way to warm you up.”

Jack’s voice was quiet and calming and the lines in Nick’s face eased. His whole body grew warm and relaxed as he focused on Jack’s smile. Jack never failed to settle him and ease his grumpiness. He still didn’t know how or why Jack wanted to put up with him. But Jack had told him he wasn’t going anywhere and a year later he was still here.

Just then Herb—driving the sleigh—called out to his horses, and off they went.

The parade wound it’s way through Great Falls’ small streets and ended at the gazebo in the center of town. “Santa” and his sleigh brought up the rear. Once at the gazebo, Santa would sit on his throne and chat with all the children and take pictures. Jack Frost’s job was to assist and hand out candy canes to the little tykes.

When they arrived at the gazebo, loud cheers and whistles erupted from the group of town members who were standing in the cold waiting for them. This was only Jack’s second year doing this, but he was sure the smiles and cheers were a little more exuberant than necessary. Looking over to Mabel and Flo—ever over the top—even they were practically bouncing up and down, smiling and waving at him. He caught them elbowing each other and giggling like middle-age schoolgirls.

He frowned and turned to Nick. Nick’s head was down, ignoring everyone, and he seemed to be concentrating on settling himself into his Santa throne.

“Why is everyone so loud? Did Mabel spike the cocoa?”

Nick didn’t say anything and didn’t look up at him, and frankly Jack didn’t have the time to ponder why Nick and everyone else were acting so odd. Kids were already lined up and ready to see Santa. He turned to grab his bag of candy canes but it wasn’t on the floor where it was supposed to be. Swiveling around in a complete circle, looking everywhere, he stopped when his eyesight landed on Mabel.

“Jac-k-k-ie!” She came rushing over to the gazebo. “Here’s your bag Jackie.” She was out of breath and her cheeks were red from the exertion and the cold.

“Great, thanks Mabel.” He bent down and loosened the drawstring on the bag to open it enough so he could easily reach in. Glancing up, he paused when he saw Mabel still there…watching him with a smile so wide he didn’t know how her face contained it. “Um…Is there something else Mabel?”

“Oh! No…no! Just…have fun!” She gave him a wave before turning and bustling off into the crowd.

Jack shook his head. The stamping of little feet drew his attention and he quickly put a smile on his face and grabbed some candy canes.

~ ~ ~

As the last child was handed off to mom and dad, Jack let out huge breath. They were done for another year. Now all that was left were a few “ho, ho, hos,” a few waves to the crowd and then back in the sleigh. He grabbed his now nearly empty bag and stood to go but was stopped in his tracks by Nick. Nick—usually already headed to the sleigh before the last child was gone—was still sitting in his Santa throne. He was very pale and pulling at his furry Santa collar.

“Santa, are you okay? Don’t you have to…” Jack nodded toward the waiting sleigh. “…get back to the North Pole soon?”

Nick reached up and took his Santa hat off. He gripped it so tight, Jack was afraid the fabric might rip.

Nick cleared his throat a few times. “There’s, uh…well, um…there’s something left in the bag.”

Jack narrowed his eyes at Nick, trying to telepathically communicate what he was really thinking—“What the hell is going on?” Nick wasn’t getting his message though; in fact he looked like he was scared shitless.

About this time Jack also picked up on something else odd. It was…silent. He swiveled, looking out at the crowd of his neighbors. They were all looking at he and Nick…expectantly.

Turning back to Nick—still white as the snow and fidgety—Jack slowly reached his hand in the bag. His fingers rifled through the leftover candy canes before touching something solid and boxy. Pulling it out he saw it was a normal looking Christmas gift—a rectangular box about eight inches, wrapped in red and green striped paper with a red pre-made bow in the middle. There was a small white tag attached with the words “For Jack,” on it.

Glancing quickly at Nick, then back at the box…then back at Nick, he finally gestured to the box. “For…me?”

Jack just nodded.

“Am I supposed to open it…now?” He glanced around at the crowd again before turning back to Nick.

Yet another wordless nod from Nick.

Jack’s gut churned uncomfortably as he tore off the wrapping and opened the lid of the plain brown box.

He blinked.

Then blinked again. He opened his mouth, then shut it, not knowing quite what to say.

Inside the box…was a bright pink rubber…dildo.

He looked up at Nick. Nick looked at him, then at the open box, and his eyes got so wide they looked like they might pop out of his head. His face went from pale white to beet red, as he swore under his breath. He lunged for the box, but since Jack had a hold of it, he only succeeded in knocking it out of Jack’s hand. The box fell and the dildo promptly bounced across the floor several times before it finally landed—a blazing neon pink beacon that was hard to miss.

Gasps and murmurs rang out from the crowd, along with plenty of “Mommy, what is that?” and “Is that a rubber snake, Daddy?” and “Well…that’s sure…different.” Parents hustled their kids away, some covering their little ones’ eyes.

Nick stalked over and grabbed the rubber toy and stuffed it back in the box. Then he grabbed Jack’s arm and propelled him toward the sleigh so fast, Jack had to skip to keep up. This only prompted a few whistles and catcalls from some of the adults in the crowd, followed by, “In a hurry, boys?” and raucous laughter.

Nick stared silently ahead. He gripped the side handlebars of the sleigh so tight, Jack was amazed they didn’t bend in two.

Jack was very confused. What the hell was going on? He recognized the dildo—he and Nick had bought it online a couple of weeks ago. After the Great Falls Pride Parade in June, he and Nick had become friends with a few other gay couples from some of the other neighboring small towns. They got together for dinner or drinks once a month, and this month—next week actually—one of the other couples had proposed a Naughty Toy Gift Exchange. A twist on the typical Gag gift/White Elephant gift exchange so popular at this time of year. The dildo was intended to be their contribution.

But just how in the heck had the gift made it out of their house and into Jack’s bag? Nick looked furious, so he didn’t think he had put it in there, not to mention Nick would be the last person to want the whole town to see something like that. Especially in front of the kids. Had someone played a trick on them?

Jack wanted to talk to Nick about it but decided to wait until they were somewhere more private.

As usual, Herb drove the sleigh back to his farm, just outside of town. When the horses finally stopped, Nick and Jack climbed down. Herb glanced at each of them but averted his eyes immediately. Nick stomped over to his truck and barely waited for Jack to get in before he tore out of the driveway.

Alone finally, Jack spoke. Or tried to. “Nick, what—“

“Home,” Nick ground out.

So, Jack didn’t say any more and they drove the rest of the short trip home in silence.

Once they were inside the house, Nick stomped over to their Christmas tree and rooted through the wrapped presents under it. When he finally stood again, he held a red and green package in his hand. He sank down into the nearby sofa chair and sighed, pulling off his Santa hat.

Jack walked over and stood in front of him. The present Nick was holding was identical in size and shape and wrapping paper to the previous one Jack had already opened.

Without meeting Jack’s eyes, Nick thrust the present at him.

“This was the one that was supposed to be in the bag,” he said heavily.

Jack took the box. He thought about asking if this was the matching butt plug but the expression on Nick’s face was so dejected, he kept his mouth shut. Instead he silently tore the paper off and opened the box.

The items inside this box made him as equally speechless as the dildo had. Inside were two identical platinum rings.

He stared at them, as all of the unusual pieces of the last few hours finally clicked into place.

“Wait a minute. You mean you were going to give this to me, in public…in front of the entire town?”

Nick looked up at him then, eyes wide. He frowned slightly as he comprehended Jack’s words.


“But you hate attention. And spectacles. And everyone knowing our business.”

Nick shrugged. “But you…I thought you would like it. I wanted it to be special for you. You love the town. And they all love you.”

Jack’s heart melted—again, for the thousand-millionth time since he had gotten to know Nick. Nick had been willing to go completely out of his comfort zone and do something he hated…just to make Jack happy.

Nick reached out to take the box. “Just forget it,” he grumbled.

Jack was quicker this time, and yanked the box back. “Hold on, now you’re taking it back?”

Nick stared at the floor as he shrugged. He was silent for what felt like forever, before he finally licked his lips. “You haven’t answered me…about what’s in the box,” he rasped quietly.

“Well, technically you never asked me a question,” Jack responded. “But that doesn’t mean you’re getting these back anytime soon.”

Jack immediately pulled one of the rings out and put it on his hand. He did pause as he stared at the ring, his heart skipping a few beats. When he moved to Great Falls just over a year ago, never in his wildest dreams had he imagined that he would have met someone like Nick. Or that he would be wearing a ring and agreeing to a lifetime commitment. And yet, Jack couldn’t want anything more.

He bent down, took Nick’s face in his hands and kissed him—with all the love and happiness he could put into it.

“Of course it’s yes, you big lug. I love you.”

Nick—big, strong, gruff Nick—had tears brimming in his eyes. He pulled Jack down onto his lap. They kissed and touched and cuddled, before Jack suddenly pulled away.

“Wait!” He exclaimed. He pulled the other ring out of the box and placed it on Nick’s finger. “There that’s better,” he said happily as he smiled at Nick.

Holding the now empty box, he frowned at it. “Why did you use such a big box?”


Nick grumbled. “That was Flo’s idea. She thought it would be cute. She said with a bigger box, you wouldn’t be able to guess something so small was inside.”


Jack tilted his head. “That would have worked. If maybe the box wasn’t the same size as the—”

“I know, I know!” Nick scowled which only made Jack chuckle.

“Well,” Jack smirked, “This will definitely be one Christmas parade the town won’t forget for a very long time!”

Nick groaned and Jack snuggled closer, kissing him to distraction. When they were both breathing heavily, Jack pulled away and started unzipping the red fur Santa jacket Nick was still wearing.

“You know,” he murmured in Nick’s ear, “This is my favorite part of the Christmas parade.”

“When it’s over?” Nick panted.

“Um hmmm. When it’s over and I get to get a little naughty with Santa.”

Nick moaned loudly as Jack snuck his hand down the front of the soft red pants.

Just then the shrill ring of Nick’s landline phone—because he refused to get a cell phone—pierced the silence.

“Aw dammit, you gotta be kidding me!” Nick snarled.

Jack gripped Nick tighter under his pants. “Ignore it,” he whispered, leaning up and capturing Nick’s lips with his.

After three rings, the vintage answering machine kicked in.

“Hel-l-looo boys! It’s Mabel.”

“And Flo!”

“And we’re sorry for disturbing you two at this momentous time—at least we assume it’s momentous. I hope you found the right gift finally Nick. We just wanted to be the first to congratulate you two and say how tremendously excited we are! It will be Great Falls’ first gay wedding! Now you two won’t have to worry about a thing, we’ve already got a planning list started, I’ll make the cake and the food of course, and Flo will head up the decorations. Oh, Flo, grooms! Put that down on the list, I’m going to have to special order two grooms for the top of the cake. Anyway boys, let us know as soon as you’ve picked a date so we can schedule it into the town event calendar. We—”

The machine beeped loudly as it shut off, cutting short the message.

Both Jack and Nick groaned at the same time, Jack resting his forehead on Nick’s chest.

Nick sighed. “Well that killed the mood.”

“Did you ask them to plan our wedding too?”

“Hell, no!” Nick exclaimed. “I thought we’d just go down to the courthouse.”

“Where the whole town would be there to greet us once we got there?”

Nick grumbled. “Damn nosy town.” Suddenly he smiled wickedly. “We could elope!”

Jack looked at him dubiously. “And face the wrath of Mabel? When I refused to let her and Flo store all of the various festival decorations in the library basement, she stopped speaking to me for two weeks!”

Nick raised his eyebrows. “And that was bad because…?”

“She also refused to serve us. Remember? None of her famous caramel apple pie for two weeks?”

That made Nick grimace. He grunted.

Jack stood up and walked over to the answering machine, turning it off. He unplugged the phone from the wall, then swiveled around and slowly stalked back toward Nick, a sly grin on his face.

“I say we worry about Mabel and everything else later, and get back to our own private celebration.”

And with that, Jack climbed on to Nick’s lap, ready to claim his own personal gift from Santa.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~


If you enjoyed Jack and Nick, you can read how they met and fell in love in Falling for Santa Claus, available at any of the links below.
The Advent Calendar stories are a small gift from us to you for all of your support in 2017. If you give or support charities this season, I urge you to think about donating  the Trevor Project. Their website is, there’s a Donate tab. They provide such great help to LGBT youth.
FallingForSantaClausSM 72DPI


When Jack Frost’s aunt dies and leaves him her house in the tiny town of Great Falls, Jack seizes the opportunity to escape the rat race of Chicago for the quaint village he loved as a child. On his first night he’s welcomed by a baseball bat and a trespassing warning from Nick St. James—longtime Great Falls resident and infamous curmudgeon.Jack wants to give Nick the benefit of the doubt—he can’t deny his attraction to the big man—but after several run-ins with Nick’s grumpiness and closed-off heart, he’s ready to give up. Only after discovering the secret Nick’s been covering up for years does he vow to break through Nick’s walls to find the loving man hiding behind them.


P.S. If you’d like to read about the Great Falls’ Gay Pride Parade, mentioned above, I have it posted as another little free story here. 🙂


New Book Release! Runaway Rock Star

I’m extremely late in making a post about my new book. Have had a lot of life stuff going on lately, but thankfully things are calming down a bit.

RunawayRockStarFS_v1Anyway, my latest book, Runaway Rock Star, came out last week (May 10), and it is a part of the States of Love series from Dreamspinner Press. A little background on the series for those who may not know what it is, the States of Love series is a series with one book about each state in the United States, all written by different authors.

My book is based in Ohio. Now I know a lot of people hear “Ohio” and think “boring” or “what the heck’s in Ohio?” And I admit at first I was like, um…what could I write about Ohio?

See, I have lived in Ohio all my life. Specifically, north central Ohio. So I am well acquainted with my state and what it looks and feels like. And so I was definitely like, gee, what’s exciting in Ohio? I think when you live in a place for so long you take it for granted and you often tend to focus on the negative after a while. All the things your city or state doesn’t have. “The grass is always greener” somewhere else.

In the short process (because the story came to me pretty quickly) of trying to decide what I could write about, I realized there are actually a lot of cool things about my state.

I think our most fun advantage is our size. In less than a day’s drive, you can drive from the northern most point to the southern most point. Or from the eastern border to the western border. Now, I know there are other states that can probably claim the same thing. But what we have within our borders makes us pretty unique I think, because we have a little bit of everything. We have cities and museums and theaters and any kind of big city culture you could want. Drive just a half-hour from any of our cities and you can experience small towns and farms and rural life. We have beautiful state parks to hike in the summer and fall, and snow mountain trails to ski in the winter. And all within a short drive of wherever you may live in the state. I actually wish I could have included more places in the story but the timeline of their trip limited my options.

And so my idea of basing the story around a road trip was born. In one extended Labor Day weekend, from a Thursday through Sunday, my two characters, Lucas Black and Brandon Harris make their way from Cleveland to Cincinnati–with some interesting detours along the way.

I did a blog tour that still has a few stops on it this upcoming week. I’m doing a giveaway of a $20 GC to the ebook retailer of the winner’s choice along with some Ohio-related items in a prize pack. Check out the blog links below to enter and also to read more about Ohio and the book:

Buy links:

Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo


Blog tour links:

May 10 My Fiction NookRunawayRockStar_Blog TourGraphic

May 11 Love Bytes Reviews

May 12 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

May 15 Open Skye Book Reviews

May 17 The Novel Approach

May 18 Boy Meets Boy Reviews

Happy Holidays Blog Hop!



Happy Holidays everyone!!

We’re getting into the homestretch, only 8 more days til Christmas! It can be such a busy time of year, so much rushing and planning and shopping and baking. (yummm, well, at least there are benefits to baking–all those delicious cookies and other Christmas treats.)
If you celebrate a different holiday than Christmas, I hope you are not too harried and busy getting ready for your celebrations.

And if you’re reading this, then I hope that means you’ve been able to sit down and relax a little with the Blog Hop. I, myself am looking forward to checking out the other authors’ posts. I’ve barely had any time to read many Christmas stories this year, and I hope I can make up for that this week.

FallingForSantaClausSM 72DPIMy Christmas story is called Falling for Santa Claus, and it came out with Dreamspinner Press in July. It’s a totally fun, lighthearted tale of Jack and Nick and the quaint town of Great Falls where they live. An excerpt is posted below and the BEST part is the book is part of TWO great sales going on right now!


Today is the last day of a special two-day sale on the Dreamspinner site. You can get my book—and any book on the entire Dreamspinner site—for 30% off! Just click the image below.



If you miss the Dreamspinner sale, there is also a sale going on at for the rest of the month of December – 25% off Dreamspinner holiday books. (click the ad below)



So there you go — lots of options to go shop some holiday sales for gifts for yourself. And better than that ugly knitted sweater from your great-aunt that you just know is under the tree with your name on it. 🙂

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! (And don’t forget to check out the other authors participating in the hop, below.)

1. Nicki J. Markus / Asta Idonea 2. Thianna Durston
3. Charley Descoteaux 4. L. J. LaBarthe
5. Alina Popescu Writer 6. V.L. Locey
7. Jo Tannah 8. Hot Men in Hot Water
9. A Little Bit of Naughty 10. Karenna Colcroft
11. Lou Sylvre: Romance Across the Rainbow 12. Samantha MacLeod
13. Sexy Erotic Xciting 14. Heloise West
15. Lila Leigh Hunter 16. Meg Harding
17. Louise Lyons 18. Grace Kilian Delaney
19. Vera’s Version 20. rainbow lyrics and mellow mushrooms
21. Dianne Hartsock 22. Ki Brightly
23. C. J. Anthony 24. Creating Character Connections
25. Putting Characters Together 26. Creating Magic Between Characters




Sighing heavily, I groaned into a stretch as I shut the car off. I was so tired. I couldn’t wait to get inside and find a bed. Tomorrow the movers would arrive with the rest of my stuff, so tonight I needed a good night’s sleep.

My legs were stiff, and the cracking of two forty-three-year-old knees echoed loudly in the desolate stillness. I grimaced. Geez, I didn’t feel old enough to have body parts making creaky sounds already. Then again, I had been in the car a long time. When was my last pit stop? Somewhere in Upstate New York, maybe?

I stretched again, hands on my hips, twisting my back until I felt it crack in relief. After grabbing my duffel bag out of the back, I shut and locked the car door, then headed up the walkway to the front door.

“Stop right there!”

I jerked and dropped the keys on the front porch. The booming voice thundering through the quiet darkness behind me caused my heart to slam double time in my chest.

“Step away from the door.”

I raised my hands and turned around slowly. I didn’t know who the guy was, but at least he wasn’t wearing a cop uniform or carrying a gun. He did, however, have a baseball bat… held by two thick, sturdy arms. He was a tall, burly bear of a man with long wavy hair, and in the low light I caught the beginnings of a beard across his face.

The man bounded up the steps, holding the baseball bat out defensively in front of him with both hands. “This house is the private property of Ms. Margaret McKinnon. You’re trespassing!”

I took in a couple of breaths and put on a shaky smile before I spoke, hoping to calm the big guy down. “Listen, I know what this looks like, a stranger trying to get into a house at this time of night. But I’m Maggie’s—Ms. McKinnon’s—nephew. I’m moving in.”

The man moved his head imperceptibly and squinted at me as he processed my explanation. His body was still tensed and his mouth tight.

I nodded toward the floor. “I’ve got keys, see?” I would have bent down and picked them up, but as the man was still holding the bat, I decided as little movement as possible on my part was the best policy.

“Show me proof,” the man growled.


“That you’re Margaret’s nephew.”

Lowering my hands carefully, I bent down to open my duffel bag. The man followed my every move, his steely dark eyes trained on his target.

I pulled out the folder of papers from the lawyer and handed them over to the man. “I’m Jack, by the way.”

No response, but the man lowered the bat to take the folder and open it. As he read, his whole face sagged and his eyebrows shot up. “This says Last Will and Testament… is Miss Margaret….” His voice grew hoarse and trailed off.

I nodded gently. “Three weeks ago.”

“Damn,” the man said quietly. He went back to scanning the papers and soon was scowling again. “These papers refer to a Jonathon Frost. You said your name was Jack.”

He made a motion to reach for the bat again, so I spoke up quickly.

“Jonathon’s my name, but everyone calls me Jack. Aunt Maggie gave me that nickname when I was born, and it just kind of stuck.”


“My mother and Aunt Maggie were sisters. Frost is my mother’s married name.”

Geez, how long was this inquisition going to go on? I appreciated the man watching out for my aunt’s house, but I was exhausted and it was cold out. Was I going to have to list every cousin twice removed to prove who I was? Maybe I should just hand over my driver’s license and social security card too.

The man grunted and handed the papers back to me. “My condolences. Miss Margaret was… a hell of a lady. Damn shame.”

I opened my mouth to say thank you, but the man was already down the steps and close to the street. No “Have a nice night” or “Sorry for nearly beating you with a baseball bat.” I shook my head, grabbed my duffel and keys, and went inside.



When Jack Frost’s aunt dies and leaves him her house in the tiny town of Great Falls, Jack seizes the opportunity to escape the rat race of Chicago for the quaint village he loved as a child. On his first night he’s welcomed by a baseball bat and a trespassing warning from Nick St. James—longtime Great Falls resident and infamous curmudgeon.

Jack wants to give Nick the benefit of the doubt—he can’t deny his attraction to the big man—but after several run-ins with Nick’s grumpiness and closed-off heart, he’s ready to give up. Only after discovering the secret Nick’s been covering up for years does he vow to break through Nick’s walls to find the loving man hiding behind them.

Christmas in July!

Okay so this post is a little late since today is the last day of July, LOL. Life has been busy the past few weeks. In exhausting ways and also in good ways.

One of the good things is my new book release! Falling for Santa Claus was released a week ago, on July 24 by Dreamspinner Press. The blurb and buy links are listed below.

FallingForSantaClausSM 72DPIYes, it is July and yes is a Christmas story. Dreamspinner chose to put release a handful of Christmas stories in July and I am so happy that mine was one of them!

I held a blog tour and a giveaway. Comments left on any of the posts are entries (be sure to leave a way for me to contact you!). I will leave the giveaway open until Aug. 3. The blog links are below.  Two winners will win special Christmas gifts from Santa! 🙂

In the posts I share a little about what inspired me to write the story and the characters and I share some Christmas memories. Three of the posts (Oh My Shelves, Love Bytes & Prism) contain a fun short story I wrote about what the characters are doing this summer (it takes place after the book).

Blog Links:

July 17 – MM Good Book Reviews

July 21 –  Oh My Shelves

July 24 – Divine Magazine

July 24 – Love Bytes

July 25 – Bayou Book Junkie

July 28 – Dreamspinner Press Blog

July 29 – Prism Book Alliance

When Jack Frost’s aunt dies and leaves him her house in the tiny town of Great Falls, Jack seizes the opportunity to escape the rat race of Chicago for the quaint village he loved as a child. On his first night he’s welcomed by a baseball bat and a trespassing warning from Nick St. James—longtime Great Falls resident and infamous curmudgeon.

Jack wants to give Nick the benefit of the doubt—he can’t deny his attraction to the big man—but after several run-ins with Nick’s grumpiness and closed-off heart, he’s ready to give up. Only after discovering the secret Nick’s been covering up for years does he vow to break through Nick’s walls to find the loving man hiding behind them.

Buy links: Dreamspinner Press   Amazon   ARE   BN   Kobo

Getting the Magic Back

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and I’ll get to that in a minute. First I have a big announcement to make! Last week I had a short novella accepted by Dreamspinner Press! It won’t be out until July 2016 so I don’t have many details yet, other than it will be released as part of a special promotion that month. I am super excited though!

One of the reasons I’m excited is because that story was the end of a year-long writing drought for me. After I wrote a story for the Goodreads Love’s Landscapes event last summer, I promised myself that my next goal was to write a full-length novel. I felt ready to try something larger and the only way I knew I’d be able to do it was to not let myself get distracted by another short story picture prompt or submission call.

Then my EDJ got busy. My freelance side business got busy. And since both of those jobs pay the bills they had to take priority. The busy pace carried over into 2015 and next a personal issue got added into the mix. I swear the first half of this year just felt like I had a dark cloud hanging over me all the time. Not that life was bad, just kind of a “meh” feeling. Just filled with nothing but trying to put fires out and keep my head above water.

Finally at the start of this summer things started to ease up a bit and I told myself I had to get started writing again. Except…it just wasn’t happening. I knew how the last half of my novel would go, but I just didn’t quite know how to start it. (And no, I didn’t want to start in the middle and write out of order).

So…I decided I would write one more novella, for a submission call, just to see if I could get myself writing something—ANYTHING— again.

And it worked. The short story amazingly got accepted by Dreamspinner. Then I wrote another short ficlet for the Married in Vegas blog tour just because I loved the theme and had to write for it. And last week, the beginning of my novel came to me! I’m only a few paragraphs in, but it’s a start and I know it will flow from here. My goal now will be to keep myself on track and keep writing on it.

I’ve been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s (the author of Eat, Pray, Love) podcast series called Magic Lessons this week and have been super inspired. In it she talks to 5 different women who all were feeling stuck in their creative lives and wanted a jumpstart. She gives advice and encouragement and also gets advice from other authors, artists,etc. who are actively working in the creative world every day. So much of it resonated with me, whether it was remembering why I started writing back in 2009, or why I needed to kickstart myself and keep writing now. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the reason I felt like I was slogging away for the first half of this year was because I wasn’t writing. We all need something in our life that is an escape or an oasis of joy from the day-to-day drudgery. A point of light that gets us through and gives us hope and something to look forward to. For many people that is their creative outlet. And right now, for me, that is writing. 🙂

What Happens in Vegas…


I joined a blog hop with 11 other authors to celebrate the passage of marriage equality and promote LGBTQ charities. The theme? Waking up married in Vegas. I LOVED the theme when I heard it and I couldn’t wait to write a story for it!!

Today my story was posted on Love Bytes review blog and I want to thank Dani and Love Bytes for hosting me as part of the hop.

Click here to read about Sean and Max and how one drunken night led to…Marrying the Best Man.





Happy Valentine’s Day and Gay Penguins!

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! I hope everyone is having a great day, whether you celebrate the day or not, I hope you are happy.

Inspired by the adorable penguins below, I wrote a short ficlet for Valentine’s Day, nothing too fancy or erotic (if you’re looking for Fifty Shades of anything, you won’t find it in this story.) It’s just a sweet high school meet-cute. 🙂 (And I wrote most of it while still sick so please don’t get too harsh on grammar, etc. I was just glad I was able to finally get it up *snicker, snicker* and on time.)

I am part of a special Valentine’s Week Blog Hop with a TON of other great authors. By visiting each blog through the rafflecopter at the end of this post, you will get entered to win a brand new Kindle and free books from every single one of us! I meant to get this post up earlier in the week but got waylaid with being sick for a while, but the contest runs until the 16th so if you hurry there are still a couple of days and plenty of chances to enter! Click the link at the bottom that says “A Rafflecopter giveaway.”

VDay Blog Hop

All of the authors are listed after the story, with links to their blogs.

~*~ ~*~

Gay Penguins

Dylan scowled at all the red and pink filling up the hallway. Cutout hearts, balloons, envelopes with cutesy cards, mini boxes of candy, flowers—anything that could be taped to a locker. The normal wall of sound of high school students, yelling and laughing and chattering and slamming lockers now also included high pitched squeals and shrieks and “OMIGAWDs.” He winced visibly as Jackie Paluzzo shattered his eardrum with an obnoxious squawk.

It was Valentine’s week. And at Parkview High School, there was a long-standing tradition of “Secret Valentine’s.” It really wasn’t so “secret,” because it was honestly just an excuse for those who were already dating to shower themselves with cutesy little gifts and notes. All. Week. Long. The boys in the school secretly hated Valentine’s week and groaned about it amongst themselves for weeks beforehand. But those with girlfriends begrudgingly went along with the tradition, to keep their girlfriends happy and putting out. Cause really what other reason was there to have a girlfriend?

Occasionally though, some brave souls, (usually girls) would take the week to heart and use it as an opportunity to reveal their secret crush on someone. There were a lot of new couples come February 15. And a lot of new break-ups by February 21st.

“Awww, whatsamatter pookie, why you look so sad?” Before Dylan had a chance to respond his cheeks were squished between a vise grip and his whole head shook back and forth. It was just how his sweet old Great-Aunt Mabel would greet him. If he had a Great-Aunt Mabel.

But no, Great-Aunt Mabel in this case, was really his petite, flannel shirt-wearing, purple-haired lesbian best friend Jules. Her face was all scrunched together as she looked up at him, lips pursed in a kissy-face. With a final jerk she let him go, and he rubbed his jaw tenderly.

“Ow, that hurt!”

Jules rolled her eyes. “Oh grow a pair already. Come on. Let’s go! I’ve been waiting forever. What took you so long, anyway?”

Dylan groaned. “It’s all this damned Valentine’s crap. Worse than the line for a Supernatural meet and greet at Comic-Con.”

Jules’ face twisted in a grimace. “Ugh. Yeah, sickening. On both accounts.” She banged her hand against his locker. “Quit wasting time then so we can get the hell outta this pukefest.”

Dylan quickly spun the combination on his lock and jerked open his locker door. As the metal creaked, something flat and square and red fell right into his hands.

He blinked as he and Jules stared at it like it was something from an alien planet.

After the shock wore off, Dylan sighed and looked accusingly at Jules. “Is this some kind of joke?”

She looked at him blankly before her eyes grew wide. She gestured to her chest. “Me? You think I did this? Sweetie you know I love you but I think we’ve already established that our species don’t intermingle that way.” Dylan was as gay as Jules was lesbian. However while she—in her words—”doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks about me being a dyke,” Dylan was a bit more reserved in shouting to the whole world, “I’m here, I’m queer, Get over it.” In fact, only Jules and his parents and older sister knew he was gay. And since Jules was his only real friend, that meant no body at school knew. He was a pretty quiet, unassuming, typical scrawny teenage geek who did well in his classes and spent his free time reading comic books and watching Avengers movies. He wasn’t anyone special or important in the high school social web so he was more than content to just hang out in the background with Jules and bide his time till graduation.  He didn’t have any outward traits that screamed “gay,” so as far as he knew everyone at school—well anyone who might even give him a second thought, which weren’t many—assumed he was straight. Which meant that whoever left this envelope for Dylan…was probably female.

Dylan and Jules both looked silently back down at the envelope, then Jules looked up at him. She started sputtering and her face contorted and her eyes twinkled. Laughter burst forth and she clamped a hand over her mouth in a faux attempt to contain herself.

“Oh. My. God!” She leaned closer to him. “Dylan’s got a girlfriend!” she sing-songed.

Dylan smacked her with the card. “Shut. Up!” Jules doubled over cackling. Dylan threw his books into his locker, grabbed his history and English textbooks, backpack and slammed the metal door hard. Jules was finally slowing and catching her breath, but started to bubble over again when he looked at her. “You suck!” he said, as he strode past her.

Dylan made it all the way outside before Jules finally caught up with him.

“Hey! Hold up, asshole, short legged person here!”

Dylan slowed to a stop, and she appeared at his side. “All right, all right, geez. I’m sorry.” Her face sobered. “Actually, I’m sorry for the poor girl who’s gonna get her happy little heart broken when she finds out you will never be interested in her boobs.” Suddenly her eyes lit up. “Although I might be…maybe I can console her after you crush all her dreams, and I can convince her how icky you boys are—”

“You’re sick Jules!” Dylan whirled around and headed across the lawn.

“Oh come on, D!” Jules caught up to him again. “At least open it!”

Dylan glanced down. The offending red square was still in his hand and starting to get crumpled. He glanced around quickly then pulled Jules over to a nearby tree. Putting his backpack down on the grass, he took a deep breath and stared at the envelope.

“It’s not going to jump up and bite you, now come on, just open the damn thing so we can leave and I can mock you some more.” Jules smiled sweetly at him. Dylan narrowed his eyes at her but turned the envelope over and slipped his finger under the crease.

He pulled out a white card with a simple red heart on it. Inside, it said:

Great job on the English essay for Miss Carter’s class. It deserves to be entered in the contest.”

Neither Dylan nor Jules knew what to say. He flipped the card over, looked at the envelope again. Nothing. There was no name on the card, but obviously it must have been from someone in his English class. Miss Carter had given an assignment to write an essay about a high school student’s view of the world today . The New York Times was running a national essay contest and Miss Carter was going to enter the best essay in the contest. Today in class she had read Dylan’s essay and announced that his was the one she was going to submit.

“Hmmm,” Jules put her index finger on her chin in an exaggerated pose. “So someone in our English class…maybe Heather Nelson? Or oooh—” She jerked on his arm so hard he nearly tipped over. “Jackie Kozlowski!” Jackie Kozlowski was the homely, brainy girl of their class—stereotypical straight, nondescript hair, braces and heavy framed glasses.

Jules’ huge grin showed she was enjoying this entirely too much. Dylan wished she had never been around when he found the card. He pulled his arm out of her grasp and started walking.

“Oh come on!” She continued yelling after him but he kept moving forward.

 ~ * ~

When Jules finally caught up with him, she wisely shut up on the topic and started babbling about something else. He stayed silent as they found his car and drove uptown. They were going to hit Spin and the Book Nook. Spin was the local indie record store and Jules would spend hours in there if Dylan let her. Dylan, on the other hand could spend hours in the Book Nook. The Nook was a small independent bookstore run by great lady named Eva. She had shelves and shelves and shelves of new and used books, and she even had a small comic section. And every time Dylan stopped in, she had a new supply of “special” books that she got just for him.

The first time Dylan had been browsing through the store and came upon a label on a shelf that read “LGBT Literature,” he’d nearly died. He broke out into a sweat and looked all around—even though there was no one else in the store but Jules and she was way over in the Music section—before stepping closer and reading the titles. There were a lot of non-fiction titles like, “My Child is Gay. Now What?” or “How Do I Know I’m Gay?” or the infamous “It’s Get Better” book. There were some history books like the story of Stonewall and biographies of famous Gay people like Harvey Milk. But then…on the next two shelves were fiction books. About gay men—and lesbians, although Dylan had no interest in those books. All sorts of stories and tales in every kind of genre—from mystery to science-fiction to horror, hell there were even romance books—all written about other gay men and boys just like him.

It took him three weeks of walking by the section before he got up the nerve to finally take one of the books off the shelf and just look at it. And then he put it back so fast he barely got to read the title.

It was another three weeks before he stayed still long enough to hold the book in his hands and actually read the blurb on the back cover. Then he would put it back and look at another, his hands shaking the whole time.

“There you are Dylan. Did you finally find something you liked?” Dylan jumped and the book tumbled out of his hands. He grabbed for it and shoved it back on the shelf as quickly as possible, before turning to see Eva smiling at him.

“Umm…ahh…not really…ah…”

She cocked an eyebrow at him. “Really? In all the weeks you’ve been browsing this section, there’s nothing you want to read? Nothing?”

Dylan’s face heated up and he couldn’t speak or move.

Eva smiled wryly and walked over to the shelf. Concentrating on the titles, she pulled three different titles off the shelf, placed them in the plain brown paper bag she was carrying, then unzipped the top of his back pack and placed the books inside. She leaned closer. “Those are on the house. Bring them back when you’re done.”

And then she turned on her heel and walked away. She never said anything about the books in front of Jules, she never said anything when they left the store and she waved goodbye.

Dylan couldn’t believe it. And he still couldn’t believe it when he got home and opened his book bag after carefully closing and locking the door behind him. He quickly pulled out the bag to see what she had picked out for him.

He devoured all three long before his and Jules’ next weekly visit to the shop and he was all antsy and excited to return.

Once again, Eva never said a word, other than to ask if he liked the books, when he gave them back to her. He simply nodded, and she picked three more books off the shelf and put those in his backpack. And so was the beginning of their weekly ritual.

On this particular week, Jules had taken an entire hour browsing at Spin and Dylan had to finally drag her out of there so that they could still hit the Book Nook before they to get home.

As usual the store was quiet when they walked in, some nondescript background music playing softly. Eva greeted them with a hug and told them to look around; she was tagging some new books at the register. They were doing just that when the sound of books falling made them turn.

“Hey Jay-Z, what up?” Jules called out. “Jay-Z” was Jace, Eva’s son and he worked part time at the bookstore. He was also in their grade at school. He was one of the band geeks although he was definitely not what you thought of when you heard the words, “band geek.” He was really cute, had reddish-blonde hair kept a little long in the front, green eyes and a very warm smile. He had a calm, confident yet humble air about him. If it weren’t for the band thing he probably could have been a popular kid. But he never seemed to care one way or the other, just did his own thing. He liked being in the band. Dylan and Jules didn’t really have much chance at school to interact with him—he was in their English class and Jules’ history class—but they saw him all the time at the bookstore, usually as he was today, on a ladder, shelving books for his mom.

He turned smiled at them. “Hey guys.”

“Klutzy klutzy, Jay-Z, better watch out the boss is going to can you.” Jules pointed to the pile of books he’d just dropped.

Jace grinned, “Yeah she’s a slave-driver, she’ll probably send me to bed without supper.”

“I heard that!” came the call from Eva at the front of the store.

Dylan stepped forward and quickly picked up the books Jace had dropped and handed them to him, so that Jace wouldn’t have to come back down the ladder.

Jace smiled slowly, and paused, looking down at Dylan before holding out his hands for the books. “Thanks, Dylan.”

Dylan flushed but he wasn’t sure why. “No problem.”


The next day, Dylan trudged as slowly as he could to his locker at the end of the day, fearful of what he might find. Sure enough there was another square red envelope. This one held something hard inside though. When he flipped it over he saw a silver CD through the round window with some writing on it.

“OH Mi Gawd, like, she made you a mix CD! I bet it’s just full of gooey songs about how much she loves you and wants to be yours 4-eva!” Jules voice was so loud some of the kids standing near them looked over at the two of them.

Dylan elbowed her hard. “Shut. Up,” he hissed through his clenched teeth. Jules just rolled her eyes in glee. He started to shove the thing in his backpack and she stopped him. “Now, wait, don’t be in such a rush! Don’t forget to read the love note that’s attached!” Dylan glared at her but paused and pulled the CD closer.

There was a small orange Post-It note attached:

I liked your Blue Turtle shirt yesterday, they’re my favorite band too. Thought you might like this.

Now Dylan paused to check out the CD a little closer. It was a burned copy of one of Blue Turtle’s first CDs, one of their most popular but one Dylan didn’t have yet.

Jules peeked over his shoulder. “Oh hey, isn’t that the CD you were looking for the other day at Spin?”

“Yeah.” Dylan was still staring at the CD.

“Cool, at least you’re getting some good stuff outta all this hearts and flowers shiz.” She grinned. “Come on, let’s get outta here.”

~ * ~

The third day, Dylan found a small bag hanging from his locker at lunch time. Inside were a couple of Hershey bars, some trail mix and a pack of Oreos. The red envelope inside held a card with picture of Cookie Monster on it and inside, his secret admirer had simply written, “enjoy your lunch,” with a smiley face underneath.

On the fourth day, the gift was the latest installment of his favorite comic book, Star Robot. There was no note, just a paper heart slipped inside the front cover.

“Dude, okay so, seriously? I know you’re all bummed that some girl likes you but she’s pretty damn cool. I’m serious about taking her off your hands once you break her heart.” Jules clasped her hands in front of her and mouthed a constant stream of “Please, pretty please” at him.

“Stop it. She’s just trying to get me to like her, it doesn’t mean anything. Doesn’t mean she likes this stuff.”

“But she did say she liked Blue Turtle—”

“She could still be lying.”

Jules quieted for a moment. “I wonder how she just happened to know your favorite comic?”

It was a weird coincidence. If he didn’t know 100% for a fact that Jules was definitely a lesbian, he would have guessed it was her, since only she was the one who knew so much about him. And thankfully he didn’t have to worry it was her because, well…that would just be too weird.


When Friday dawned, Dylan was nervous and anxious and sick and dying for the day to just be over with already.  Jules chattered and taunted him all the way to school and he tried to just ignore her. Every time he stopped at his locker during the day he expected to find something, but there was nothing. He was relieved but knew it was all just a temporary reprieve. He knew there would be something waiting for him at the end of the day. When the final bell rang and the whole school erupted in noise and bodies, he contemplated making a run for one of the doors without even stopping at his locker. Yeah, that would work! Except not really…whatever his secret admirer had left for him would still be there Monday morning. Not to mention he would disappoint—and probably piss off—whatever girl had been sending him the cards and presents all week. He was still going to disappoint her, but probably it was best to just do it now, rather than put it off. Still his heart was pounding as he headed to his locker. He saw Jules was already there waiting for him. And he saw the little piece of red peeking out from his locker. It buzzed in his brain like a warning bell. “Danger! Danger!!”

“Hey lover boy!” Jules was standing in front of his locker when he finally reached it. She grasped his arms tightly and looked solemnly up at the red envelope, then back at him. “The time has arrived. Are you ready, Dylan Michael McKenzie? Are you ready for your life to change forever?”

Dylan didn’t react in anyway; he just shoved her aside and opened his locker. The simple little envelope fell into his hands, and he stared at it for a moment before he ripped the paper to shreds to get to the card inside.

“Whoa, be careful there, Cujo.” Jules warned.

On the front of the card were two cartoon penguins with rainbows chests, holding hands. Between them a red heart hung in the air. The inside was blank except for a note:

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Dylan. No more hiding. I am outside waiting by the big tree, if you want to meet me.”

Dylan started to sweat. He could do this, right? He’d just walk out there and tell whoever the girl was, thanks, but no thanks. That he wasn’t really into dating anyone right now. That would work. He set his jaw and started throwing books into his locker.

“Lemme see, lemme see!” Jules practically ripped the card out of his hand. She read the inside then looked at the outside again. “Dylan, did you look at this?”

Expecting all kinds of snarky comments about how cute it all was, Dylan was surprised to see how serious she was.

“It’s two penguins—”

“With rainbows on their stomachs.” When Dylan still looked clueless, she rolled her eyes and tried again. “Rainbows. And I’m pretty sure they’re both male penguins.” She raised her eyebrows for emphasis.

Dylan’s stomach turned, but he refused to acknowledge what she was saying. “Jules you are reading way too much into a cutesy little card.”

“No I don’t think I am!” She was all excited now. “Those silly card-makers only do hetero straight lovey dovey cards. One of these penguins would have a stupid bow on her head and silly eyelashes or something, to make sure we all know one of them is a girl.” She waved the card in his face. “But not these. No girly markings in sight. And they’ve got rainbows! Rainbows Dylan! I’m telling you, they’re gay penguins!” Jules’ voice was so high now she sounded like she could be one of those girly penguins she’d been describing.

Dylan grabbed the card and stuffed it into his backpack. “I think you’re taking the rainbows a little too literally, Jules. They’re just rainbows. Meant to look cute. Nothing more.”

“You don’t know that—”

She continued as they walked toward the front door. Dylan had a different fear now, a fear that this was all some big colossal joke to someone. That someone had found out he was gay and was going to out him.

When they walked outside, there were still tons of kids milling around. But only one person standing by the big tree at the edge of the yard.

Jules grabbed Dylan’s arm so hard he feared she would draw blood. “Oh. My. God!” she whispered. “It’s Jay-Z!”

Dylan’s mouth dropped open, because yes, sure enough it was Jace. He was sort of aimlessly pacing back and forth toeing the ground, checking his watch. Jace was definitely not a prankster or mean, at least he had certainly always been pleasant to them at the bookstore.

“Go!” Jules hissed in his ear. “Go get em’ tiger!” She let go of his arm and gave him a shove so hard he nearly lost his balance. That would be just great, to face plant right in front of Jace.

Somehow his legs moved him forward until he was standing in front of Jace.

Jace smiled sheepishly. “Um, hi, Dylan.”

“Hi…?” Dylan made his mouth move until this weird strangled version of the word came out, trailing off into what sounded like a question.

“Listen, I, um, I hope the card and gift thing all week was okay. Not too cheesy?”

Dylan just shook his head.

A relieved smile crossed Jace’s face. “Oh cool. I…well, I’d been wanting to ask you out for a while and well…I seem to chicken out every time you come in the store.” He grinned and his face turned a little pink.

Wait a minute…did he just say what Dylan thought he just said?

“You…you want to go out? With…me?”

“Yeah. I mean, if you want to. The new Avengers movie is still playing at the theater downtown,” he paused and when Dylan didn’t say anything, his face fell a little. “Or you know if you just want to go as friends that’s cool too. Or—”

“No!” The word burst out of Dylan’s mouth in a rush and he wanted to fall into a pit of embarrassment. “I mean, no, I’d love to go out. With you. I’m just…surprised that’s all.”

Jace smiled but still had a question on his face.

“I mean, I…” Dylan sighed. “I’ve been expecting it to be a girl all week, I…I didn’t even know there was anyone else like me in school.” The last part was whispered; although by this time most of the kids were gone and there was no one near enough to them to hear.

Jace cocked his head. “Like a girl would have been cool enough to get you the latest copy of the Star Robot?” His lips quirked.

“Yeah, well, Jules was hopeful. She was going to swoop in once I broke the poor girl’s heart.”

Jace threw his head back and burst out laughing. “She’s hysterical,” he finally said when he could breathe again.

“She’s…something, that’s for sure.”

They both stood there for a few moments, silent, looking at each other. Dylan still couldn’t believe a guy as cute as Jace wanted to go out with him.

“Okay then,” Jace finally said. “I’ll pick you up about six? We can grab some pizza at the Shack first?”

“Sure. Sounds great.”

Jace broke out into a smile that lit up his whole face. “Great, see you then!” He turned and left but Dylan was still rooted to the spot. Until he got smacked back to reality by a slap on the back of the head.


“Shut. Up! Dylan’s got a boyfriend! Dylan’s got a boyfriend!”

“We’re not—” he started to say, but she was ignoring him, babbling on about love and romance or something. Dylan really wasn’t paying attention. His face muscles were twitching and he realized it was because of the big cheesy grin on his face. At the beginning of the week, when he’d received the first card he never would have dreamt in a million years that the week would end up like this. He had a real date. With a cute boy.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Authors participating:

A.J. Marcus
Aidee Ladnier
Alexa Milne
Amanda Young
Annabeth Albert
Anne Barwell
April Kelley
Brandon Shire
Bronwyn Heeley
C. J. Anthony
Catherine Lievens
Cecil Wilde
Charlie Cochrane
Christopher Koehler
David Connor
DP Denman
Draven St. James
Elin Gregory
Elizabeth Noble
Ethan Stone
Eva Lefoy
H.B. Pattskyn
Hayley B James
J.M. Dabney
Jennifer Wright
Jessie G
Julie Lynn Hayes
Karen Stivali
Kazy Reed
Kendall McKenna
L M Somerton
Lily G Blunt
Lisabet Sarai
Lynley Wayne
M.A. Church
Megan Linden
Morticia knight
N.J. Nielsen
Neil Plakcy
Sibley Jackson
Stephen del Mar
Sue Brown
Tali Spencer
Tara Lain
Thianna Durston
TM Smith
Tracey Michael

Shiloh Saddler