Hey everyone! Some of my favorite authors over at MLR Press have been cooking up some yummy goodness for the holidays. Read on for a release schedule of all the stories, and an excerpt from “The Advent Calendar,” by Christopher Koehler.
Missing the Holidays in July (or how did this all come about?)
Back in July, Laura Baumbach (owner of MLR, for those that don’t know) was having a moment of “my babies are growing” when she was talking to her oldest son. With the way things were playing out for him, he’d be moving and taking her only grandchild away (ended up not moving but that’s a different story) – she was looking at a slightly empty house at the holidays and she was feeling sentimental. She posted a message to the author/staff loop about the holidays and traditions – she said something about if someone would like to join me, let’s do a holiday anthology. Within six hours or so, about 15 authors had said “oooh, I’ll write one.” So an innocent email to the MLR author and staff loop snowballed (yeah, couldn’t resist that one) into 42 days of stories (one a day with a few days with an extra story) covering the holidays between November 20th and December 31st…Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Yule, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s.
The stories range from the sweet and sentimental to a hot one or two (or more). Some of the authors are revisiting characters/series: Ethan Day is visiting Boone and Wade from Sno Ho/Life in Fusion; S.J. Frost has Ky and Robbie from Black Heart Down; James Buchanan’s Joe and Kabe go tree hunting. Others are introducing us to new characters. There are a few new to MLR authors with Mia Watts, Brynn Paulin, TA Chase; there are a few brand new authors with K-lee Klein and NJ Nielsen; and lots of MLR favorite authors with ZA Maxfield, Rick R. Reed, William Neale, JP Bowie….I could go on, but you can check out the calendar.
All of us at MLR wish everyone the happiest of seasons! May you keep warm with your someone special and a story or two.
Executive Editor/Formatting Director
ManLoveRomance Press www.mlrpress.com
Toby wanted children more than anything, and it bothered Derek to see the man he’d fallen in love with so down, but it also made him feel defensive, as if he, Derek, were personally responsible for the other man’s unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
Whenever the subject came up, Derek felt torn between comforting Toby and rolling his eyes. Lately, it seemed like rolling his eyes won, and didn’t that just make him feel like a prime,
But every time Toby started mooning on about the pitterpatter
of little feet, all he could do was wonder just when it was
Toby had been infected with the baby rabies. Symptoms included
feelings of vague yearning, elevated levels of sentimentality, and
otherwise inexplicable trips to Baby Gap.
The real danger of baby rabies, Derek thought darkly as
he climbed down the ladder, was its communicability to those
closest to the primary victim. The entire subject made him feel
like dirt. He loved Toby more than anything. Was what they had
not enough? Was he not meeting Toby’s needs? The idea hurt to
think about, and made him feel worse than he already did these
Later that night, after perfunctory lovemaking, Derek
lay awake, Toby snoring softly beside him. The rest of their
evening had been pleasant enough, both of them backing away
from the subject, an intricate dance of avoidance and unvoiced
recriminations, neither saying what he really wanted or meant.
They were together, alone.