…and while it’s cold outside, cosy up inside and read some thoroughly warming fiction this December!
Come and join the authors of Winter Warmers this week on our Toe-Tingling, Finger-unFrosting, Neck-Nuzzling, Sofa-Snuggling Blog Tour – all for the purpose of keeping you warm, you understand!
Each day, one of us will chat about the why and how of our warming, heartfelt, romantic and amusing stories. Feel free to chat with any of us about your thoughts for the season – especially if you have equally good ideas to keep warm And your comment will also enter you into a draw on Monday Dec 17 to win a FREE COPY.
Yesterday was Clare’s turn, and you can find her blog post here: http://clarelondon.livejournal.com/457799.html
My contribution to the anthology is a steamy tale, When in Amsterdam… It was inspired by a visit I made several years ago to the Dutch city during early December, the time of year when they have their Sinterklaas celebration (5th December). I remember being shocked and confused to see the strangest Christmas decorations I’d ever encountered in many of the shop windows: little blackface dolls in floppy hats. To me they appeared to be golliwogs–dolls now all but gone from Britain as they’re deemed to be racist–but they are in fact representations of Zwarte Piet, Sinterklaas’s helper.
When I returned to Britain I had some fascinating discussions with a Dutch friend about it, and she filled me in on the mixed feelings people in the Netherlands have about this enduring tradition. It struck me as being an interestingly complex tradition to hang a Christmas story on–or more accurately, a Sinterklaas story. My point of view character is Brandon, a black man from Bristol on his first visit to the Netherlands to meet his new boyfriend’s family. Over the course of a few hours in Amsterdam, Brandon is exposed to all manner of new experiences as Jos widens his world.
The story actually turned out quite differently–and much more kinky–than I’d intended as my muse was sidetracked by the idea of a sex shop and my two characters heading in there to buy a Sinterklaas present. They also pass by a cannabis coffeeshop–something else the city is famous for. I wanted to get a flavour of Amsterdam into the short story, including the trams and bicycles, the narrow old houses reflected in the canals, and the rooms inside them with their vertical ladders between floors. The hotel Jos and Brandon stay in is on my favourite Amsterdam canal, the picturesque Brouwersgracht. I recommend seeking it out if you ever get a chance to visit this fascinating and beautiful city. And while winter might not be the best time of year weatherwise (those icy winds off the North Sea are something else), there’s still plenty to do and see while you’re there.
Who knows, you might even bump into Brandon and Jos, wandering around hand in hand…
Baby, it’s cold outside! Beat the chill with Winter Warmers – a seasonal anthology
Mulled wine. Butterscotch kisses. Hideous sweaters. Candy at the beach, or a trip to a sex shop in Amsterdam. And the man of your dreams, wrapped around you…
Winter warmers come in many shapes and sizes, from the tongue-in-cheek to the hot-as-hell. Enjoy a quintet of heart-warming tales of men loving men from Clare London, Chrissy Munder, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Lou Harper that are guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.
One thing’s for sure—it’s going to be a red-hot Christmas!
Lucky Dip by Clare London
Andy Jackson always knew that class 2C’s help in preparing for the annual Christmas Fair would be a mixed blessing. Then he’s paired up on the Lucky Dip with Greg, the man who dumped him but now can’t keep away, the pupils are either lecturing him on his lovelife or losing bladder control, and no one’s fixed the broken handle on the storage room. It may all be one whoopee cushion too far for him.
Butterscotch Kisses by Chrissy Munder
Matthew Morrison is determined to conquer his fear of heights and achieve a winning outcome. At least, that’s what the best-selling, self-help book he’s listening to promises. Being stuck on a three-story tower in the middle of a snowstorm wasn’t part of the plan. With no St. Bernard in sight, it’s Cute Ticket Guy Adam to the rescue, and an outcome Matthew never anticipated.
Wintertide by Lou Harper
May meets December when Jem and Oscar chance on each other at the Santa Monica Pier, only weeks before Christmas. The two men are separated by age, social status, and their taste in candy, yet if they are both naughty and nice, they might just find holiday cheer together.
When in Amsterdam... by Josephine Myles
Brandon is on his first visit to new boyfriend Jos’s home country, just in time for their Sinterklaas celebrations. But an unexpected detour into a sex shop leads Brandon to new discoveries about himself, and a whole new dynamic to their relationship. The weather may be cold and damp, but Brandon and Jos soon heat things up!
A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips, and Thou by JL Merrow
Kindle US | Kindle UK | Smashwords
What’s the best gift a young man could get for Christmas? Mohawked saxophonist Liam wouldn’t have picked the hideous collection of knitwear he’s presented with by his mum and his aunties. He’d rather have the gorgeous older man he sees every day while busking at King’s Cross. But with a little Christmas magic in the air, maybe those garish garments are just the thing for attracting a silver fox…