Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Toni Griffin, Angel Martinez, Silvia Violet, Freddy MacKay for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Chestnuts Roasting
Author: Toni Griffin, Angel Martinez, Silvia Violet, Freddy MacKay
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Catherine Dare
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Winter Holiday
Christmas means different things to everyone, but most often it’s all about pulling loved ones close and brightening the gloom. The fire’s crackling. The snow is piling up outside, even if it’s only in your dreams. Time to snuggle up with some cocoa and some stories carefully crafted by the Mischief Corner Crew to warm hearts and cockles.
Wreath of Fire: Smokey Mountains Bears 2 – Toni Griffin
Michael’s trying to start a new life away from his abusive father, but he’s drifting and not sure what he wants. When he accidentally starts a kitchen fire, the hot new fireman who comes to the rescue is not only another bear shifter. He’s Michael’s mate. Michael desperately needs to get his act together and figure out what he wants if he has any hope of claiming the bear fated to be his.
A Christmas Cactus for the General – Angel Martinez
Exiled to Earth for perhaps the worst failure in Irasolan history, General Teer must assimilate or die. Earth is too warm, too wet, too foreign, but he does the best he can even though human males are loud, childish louts whom he can’t imitate successfully. When a grieving seaplane pilot strikes up a strange and uneasy friendship with him, he finds he may have been too quick to judge human males. They are strange to look at, but perhaps not as unbearable as he thought.
Holly Jolly – Silvia Violet
I’m not gay. I just notice men sometimes. Everybody does, right? I notice Dane a lot, like every time I’m near him, but just because I think he’s an attractive man that doesn’t mean I like him, does it?
I’m also not a fan of Christmas. Too many years “celebrating” with my Bible-thumping family ruined the holiday for me. So what if I envy all these cheerful souls dashing about with smiles on their faces? I don’t have to like Christmas, do I? If anyone could get me in the Christmas spirit, it would be Dane with his easy, relaxed manner and his gorgeous smile. If that were going to happen, though, I’d have to find the courage to talk to him and to admit that maybe I don’t know myself all that well after all.
Snow on Spirit Bridge – Freddy MacKay
Alone in Japan, Finni is struggling against the constant distrust, avoidance, and xenophobia he experiences every day. He misses home. He misses his family. Nightmares come all too frequently because of the stress, and well, Christmas is just not Christmas in Japan. Not how he understands it.
Distressed by how miserable Finni is, his roommate, Mamoru, offers to be Finni’s family for Christmas. Little does he know how much one agreement would change everything between them, because both of them kept secrets neither ever dreamed were true.
So when we were asked to be a part of the Chestnuts Roasting Anthology tour, I had did
idiotic brilliant idea to interview all 4 authors involved in the anthology… live… at the same time. If you have met them in person, you understand why I wanted to do this. If you haven’t you are in for a treat. They are all genuinely nice people, but that are also excellent at what they do and great conversationalists… yes Freddy, even you 😉
I wanted to give you, our loyal readers, just a taste of it. I hope you enjoy (and can follow) the transcript below. It is mostly unedited .. for reasons. I even attempted to include the Facebook stickers that Freddy is so fond of using.
Brandilyn (BC): Thank you to Angel Martinez (AM), Toni Griffin (TG), Freddy MacKay (FM), and Silvia Violet (SV) who have all taken time out of their Saturday morning (or evening as the case may be) to talk with me today. They have a new anthology out through mischief Corner books in celebration of the holiday season. It is called Chestnuts Roasting.
FM: This chat is brought to you by MCB and PBA, please hold on to all personal items, and keep your hands n the car
BC: Can you each tell me a little about your contribution?
AM: Sure thing – I wrote a Science Fiction story for Christmas. Yes, I did.
BC: I wouldn’t expect anything less, Angel
FM: My contribution is a fantasy story. It’s always fun to mix mythologies.
TG: My contribution to the anthology was Wreath of Fire, book 2 in my Smokey Mountain Bears series.
SV: My story is Holly Jolly and it’s about a man who has broken away from his conservative family but hasn’t found the courage to make many friends or do much other than work. He’s never liked Christmas. Then he meets a barista who is carefree and who turns him on instantly except he’s never thought he was anything but straight.
AM: We had to have a Bah humbug story in the mix
FM: Nods Only fitting
TG: Wouldn’t be Christmas without one.
SV: Right. But Tom realizes there are some very good things about Christmas cheer.
TG: He does.
TG: Where that editor when you need her?
BC: so we have a Sci-fi, Fantasy, Paranormal, and a Contemp
SV: Snuggling with Dane to watch his favorite Christmas movie – Die Hard
TG: We do. A nice mix.
BC: do you find that your readers like having such a wide range in one collection?
TG: Gotta love die hard!
SV: I love the variety
FM: Snow on Spirit Bridge takes place in Japan and centers around a foreign exchange student. He is feeling isolated and very far away from home. It doesn’t help that Christmas in Japan is very different than back home in Chicago.
AM: It depends on the anthology – some of our anthos have a more narrow focus But they do seem to enjoy the variety for Christmas
SV: I’ve seen several readers comment that they enjoyed one of the story when they didn’t expect to because of the genre so I think it’s great exposure
FM: This one probably has the most range out of any of our anthologies
AM: And part of our cunning master plan.
FM: I think Christmas lends itself to that kind of thing. Die Hard is an excellent movie
AM: It does – some readers were less forgiving when they found a scifi in the cowboy antho for instance.
FM: Did you know the director purposefully puts all his movies during Christmas?
TG: We, ourselves are such a diverse group that I think it shines through in what we write.
SV: I’m a genre mixer anyway so it seems normal to me.
SV: I didn’t know that Freddy
BC: true, very true
TG: Me neither. Lol
BC: I think readers are much more forgiving with Christmas Stories in general.
FM: Yes, because the audience is more forgiving of the stuff he does in the movies because it’s Christmas
BC: the as pretty cool to know. I love the Die Hard franchise
Okay back to point… I often have readers asking me what books to start with for various authors. Each of you, what one book do you recommend first and why?
TG: As long as there’s a happy ending *cough* Freddy *cough*
BC: Does Freddy know what that means?
FM: A story can’t always end happy *hides from germy platypus*
SV: That part of the story came from real life. Hubby and I watch Die Hard every year when we return home after Christmas at the in laws
AM: Freddy did good for Christ,as I love that, Silvia, that you guys do that.
BC: 8 minutes in, i have completely lost control… I am impressed it took that long
FM: And I did do good for the Christmas story *preens* I made a happy
SV: That’s such a difficult question for me because some people love paranormal and some don’t and I have a mix. I’m going to say If Wishes Were Horses for me.
TG: That’s a hard one for me as I love forbidden Mate after the re writes, it’s one of my favourites. It’s just hard to recommend a reader start at book 4 in a series. So I always go with Unexpected Mate, which I also love. I’m surprised it took that long too, Brandilyn. Lol
AM: What book should readers start with? For me, they can go two directions – if they want to start with scifi, I always suggest Gravitational Attraction. That’s my flagship SF story and a good mis of SF and space opera for the romance readers. For those readers who prefer fantasy, I point them to Finn – the pooka who started it all.
BC: Speaking of the Holland brothers, did I see on the MCB website that a Holland Brothers Christmas will be reissued soon?
FM: Me… Me… Um. Intermnent if they are a fantasy fan. Contemporary…. Beginning Again *looks to wife for approval*
TG: It will be. December 6, AVHC will finally be available again. Yay
AM: Yes – both good choices for the squirrel.
AM: We love the new AVHC cover. So festive
FM: My SF is Feel Me. Excellent SF but it is not a romance.
TG: Only a small addition for this one though as it is a small Christmas story.
FM: Nods. Something like 1500 words?
BC: Its all good, I think you made some new fans that will be wanting it
Okay Angel, you have to tell me what is up with the “how many Demons it takes to screw in a lightbulb” question. I sense a back story.
TG: The other book of mine that I love while I was writing it is Bryce’s Cop. But once again that’s book 2 in a series. Lol
SV: I know the feeling Toni. I really want to recommended Embracing Need because I love Tristan so much but it’s book 3.
AM: LOL – that’s a friend and reader being snarky. But that refers to my Brimstone boys – who can make trouble where none existed before.
FM: I see Shax looking peeved
BC: I figured snark was involved
TG: Lock up your pretties if Shax is coming for a visit.
FM: Shax is more trouble than me!
AM: How many demons would it take? Well, Shax would have to steal the light bulbs, since they forgot to put them on the last requisition. Verin would have to open the crate and Ness would have to actually screw the bulbs in – since there on the ceiling and Shax is too short.
FM: So none! it takes an angel
TG: Lol. Yep.
AM: I think Ness counts as a demon. Fallen, you know.
FM: Nah. Still an angel.
TG: Still angel.
SV: I agree. Still an angel
AM: In disposition if not definition.
TG: The creator is overridden.
FM: Yup Angel loses this one.
AM: So, yes, then, the answer is zero
BC: okay next question…
SV: We win!!
BC: If you could breed a character who was a love child of four different media icons, who would you choose?
SV: Easy: Chris Pine, Chris Evan, Karl Urban and RDJ
FM: LOL Silvia would have the quick answer
SV: Probably anyone could guess that from my timeline
BC: okay you each get to choose one
TG: Lol… Throw in some Chris Hemsworth and Huge Jackman with Silvia’s lot and I’d be a happy girl.
FM: I’m a Kirk/Spock ship myself (new guys of course)
TG: Hugh Jackman.
AM: Sir Patrick Stewart
SV: Oh each of us choosing one? Then I’d go with Karl Urban. I’m a McKirk shipper but I’m all for Kirk/spock too or McSpirk (threesome!)
TG: I’ve got to fly the aussie flag.
FM: Zachary Quinto
AM: That would be an interesting kid
FM: Ooo! Sir Patrick *drools*
SV: It sure would!
FM: He is a beautiful man (and choice) Angel
TG: Chris Hemsworth. I want THOR!
AM: You already picked
FM: Yup Can’t take it back
FM: You took Hugh
TG: Umm.. Hugh was a spelling correction. Lol
FM: Nope. Too late. Wolverine is your boy You got the brooding bad boy
TG: Either way and I’m a happy girl. Lol
BC: Nothing wrong with Wolverine
SV: Nothing at all. I love brooding bad boys!
BC: Another fun question for you. You lock three M/M authors in a room and drop in one item. Who are the authors, what is the item, and what happens?
AM: Edmond Manning, Brandon Witt and Freddy. The object is a puppet. Madness ensues but a fantastic play is written.
SV: Oooh I like that!
FM: Or blood. Lots and lots of blood.
TG: I want to drop Freddy in a room with a squirrel. And see which one is crazier.
AM: That’s not an answer. That’s a disaster.
TG: Lol. I know.
FM: *goes to get very small straight jacket for the squirrel
SV: That was what I was thinking too Toni!
TG: I’m trying to decided which poor suckers to drop in there with her.
FM: I feel I’m being ganged up on here.
AM: As you should.
TG: Would we do something like that?
BC: Yes yes, you would
FM: The Edmond, Brandon, me combo would either be glorious or gory, but produce something fantastic.
TG: Oh right, we would. Lol
BC: I like that combo
AM: So who would you pick, Freds?
TG: I do too. Lol
BC: and all Outside the Margins authors… (had to get the plug in there, you just left it open for me)
SV: It would be frightening. I’d have to watch with my eyes partly covered.
FM: *looks at the boys in the corner* Don’t worry. I’m harmless.
AM: I’d be on the floor, laughing
TG: Don’t believe her!!! I’d be sitting eating popcorn.
AM: (and Brandilyn loses control again)
BC: I lost it ages ago
BC: Okay one more fun question then we will get back on task… maybe if you were having a coffee klatch, name five characters, each from a different book (not your own), with whom you’d like to share that special time with.
FM: Ooh! It is the pecan caramel popcorn from Garretts *wants
TG: It is. Of course.
AM: Oh, good question!
TG: I don’t drink coffee, so none. Lol
BC: Garrett’s has Pecan caramel popcorn? Why didn’t someone tell me this while I was in Chicago????
TG: It was sooooo good too.
BC: it can be tea, milk, water.. whatever your poison, Toni
TG: Oh fine.
FM: I think me, Shakespeare, and Poe with a writing desk would be fun.
TG: *goes to think*
FM: Yes, I got Toni addicted while she was here.
SV: Elizabeth Bennett, Lord Crane from the Magpie Lord, Whyborne from Whybourne and Griffin and I’m thinking still….. I want caramel popcorn!!
AM: Whyborne from Jordan Hawk’s books, Stephen Day from KJ Charles, Roan McKichan from Andrea Speed’s Infected, Vin Vanbly from the King books and…let’s see…Mamoru from Snow on Spirit Bridge.
FM: *Think of all the tragedies we would write together.
SV: Nicholas from Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney, the book that started my deep love for romance
TG: D & Jack, Ty & Zane, Sam & Jory. Sorry, I’ve gone 6 from three different books. Just to be different.
BC: it’s all good
SV: LOL! That would be a crazy coffee meet up. Toni. It might end in bloodshed
AM: It might
TG: I know. Would certainly be different. All those big tough alpha males.
BC: took me a minute to place D & Jack… been too long since I read Zero at the Bone
SV: I love that book!
TG: I got the audio. And love it.
BC: Is the audio good? I read it before the Audio was out? but I might get the audio for a re-read
TG: I read it years ago and fell in love with them. When I saw the audio several months ago I snapped it up and fell in love with them all over again, I think I’ve listened to it another two or three times since then.
BC: Oh Roan! That would be awesome, Angel. Have you read Epitaph, yet?
AM: No, not yet. It’s only out on Amazon and they don’t take Paypal *cries*
BC: *makes note to go to audible to get ZatB* oh no! It was so good.
AM: I’ll get to it
BC: But I adore that entire series
AM: Me too – one of my favorites.
SV: What series is that?
FM: hm. Hawk and Fisher the Guardians of Haven. John Taylor from the Nightside series. Shinmen Takezo from Vagabond, and Manji from Blade of the Immortal. Oh, and Alana and Marko from Saga.
BC: Infected Andrea Speed
SV: Okay. I haven’t read those.
BC: It took me 1/2 of Prey to get into it, but by the end of Prey I was completely hooked
AM: Looks at Freddy’s list* I don’t know those
SV: I think I shied away afraid of not having an HEA
FM: *is in a completely different zone than everyone else
TG: I’m thinking manga?
SV: I was thinking manga too
FM: Two of those yes. Saga is a really fantastic graphic novel
AM: Ah, got it
FM: Vagabond and Blade of the Immortal are the manga
TG: See, we cover all our bases here. Lol
FM: The nightside and guardians of haven are fantasy written by Simon R Green
BC: Nothing wrong with Variety
FM: Glad I could provide variety
BC: Okay back to the point of the interview. Anything else you want to tell our readers about Chestnuts Roasting (or your story in there)?
FM: I made a happy
TG: She did.
AM: Yes. We can confirm the happy.
SV: I love writing Christmas stories and including details like favorite songs, decorations, etc. I hope that shows in Holly Jolly.
FM: I do not promise no tears up to the happy. I think it does Silvia. You have fantastic touches to the story.
BC: tears are fine, but Christmas stories have to have a happy
FM: *doesn’t agree, which is why I was strong-armed into an agreement
AM: I’ve only ever written one other Christmas story, and that was for Finn. This one…this one I wanted to explore the assumptions we often make concerning gender identity.
BC: I am quite intrigued by all of these stories. They will certainly be on my Christmas reading binge list this month
TG: Wreath of Fire is about Michael, a poor abused young man that’s got no family and no prospects. When he tries to do something nice, disaster strikes.
FM: You did an excellent job of having Teer confront gender conformity. *high paws*
AM: Thank you! I really felt for Michael, Toni – that poor kid.
SV: Thanks Freddy! But I must agree Christmas stories need to be happy or at the very least hopeful. I do love Jim Grimsley’s Comfort and Joy which ends hopeful but not with an HEA
TG: It’s hard for me to write stories that are set in cold environments and I’ve lived in the tropics my entire life and never really experienced cold. (Except of my recent trip to Chicago)
BC: I hear you, Toni… though I did live int he mid-atlantic for 3 winters, so I have finally experienced this winter thing people talk about.
Okay one final question and then I will let you get back to your weekend. What are each of you working on? What is next?
SV: I’ve got Wild R Christmas releasing on December 10 and I’m currently writing Fitting In 3: Burning Up which will be an m/m/m with firefighters.
FM: Mine is reflects on love and family, life and death, with a little twist added in.
TG: Right before this started tonight I was working on the re edit of Corey. I hope to have it done as soon as possible, as I am a little behind on it. After that I need to finish my fear story, Steps to You.
FM: Ah. I am working on a story for a Wilde City anthology then moving onto my third Finding Peace story. Edits. Writing. And more edits.
BC: Edits are important *nods*
TG: I also have edits for both Frankie’s Vamp and Bryce’s Cop, which are both re releasing in the new year.
SV: I’m editing a sci fi/shifter m/m/f to re-re-release also.
FM: Nods. And finally all your re-releases will be done and you can start working on new stuff!
TG: They will be. Yay.
AM: I’m just finishing up a story with the god Hermes and a dragon – Dragons, Diamonds and Discord. Then on, I hope, to the sequel to Rarely Pure and Never Simple.
FM: Yay for Silvia’s MMF
TG: Bring on the new year with new stories to tell.
SV: Woohoo for new stories!
SV: My re-release if the first book I ever had pubbed. *is not *if
FM: i didn’t know that. So cool!
BC: Thank you ladies for taking time out of your morning/evening to talk with me today. It has been fun!
SV: Thank for chatting with us Brandilyn!
TG: It’s morning here now, so that applies to us all. Lol
SV: Have a great rest of your weekend everyone!
TG: Thanks for having us. I hope it wasn’t too painful for you.
FM: Thanks, Brandilyn! It’s been fun!
AM: Thank you so much for letting us run amok! We love you!
BC: nah not painful. I have been around you all in person. I knew what I was getting myself into
FM: *has to retype Brandilyn every single time because my friend Brandylin in college spelled it the opposite
TG: I’m off to crawl into bed. I’m glad I don’t have to work tomorrow and can sleep in. Lol… Poor Freddy.
FM: *kisses* Night, dear. Sweet dreams. *tucks in bed
BC: so THAT is why people insist on spelling it that way
SV: My parents are heading back home soon so I’m off to say goodbye to them. *waves*
AM: Thanks for staying up, Toni! Thank you for taking time out of family weekend, Silvia!
TG: Thanks again Brandilyn. I had a blast.
FM: Nods *group hugs*
BC: yes what Angel said
TG: You’re welcome.
AM: *hugs* Talk to you later, everyone! (back to the dragon)
FM: *back to my Squirrel Captain
Excerpt From “Holly Jolly” by Silvia Violet:
Dane caught my eye and raised a brow, clearly asking me if he should serve Shelley another drink. I shook my head and wrapped my arm around her shoulders. “You’ve had enough. Let me take you home.”
She pulled away and grinned at Dane. “You’re not going to listen to him, are you? He’s way too much of a killjoy. It’s sad really.”
My face heated. “Shelley, please. Let’s just go.”
“Are you really going to refuse me?” she asked Dane.
“I think you’d do best to listen to your friend.”
She got a wicked look on her face and I braced myself. Even sober she was good at embarrassing me. “Shelley.” I used my best I’m-warning-you tone.
She leaned over the bar. “If you won’t give me tequila, how about giving me your number?” She dug around in her massive purse and finally produced her phone. “What time is it anyway? Surely you need a break, honey. You wanna take a break with me?”
Dane smiled kindly, but I could see he was going to let her down. “That is a lovely offer, but actually—” He looked at me and winked. “—he’s more my type.”
I sucked in my breath and stared, mouth hanging open. I must have looked like an idiot, but his eyes sparkled with heat. My cock started to harden. What the fuck was going on with me?
Shelley punched my arm. “Why don’t you go for it, then? Might loosen you up.”
I stared at her like she’d grown another head.
She laughed loudly, attracting more attention. “I’d be happy to watch.”
What the fuck? “Shelley, you really need to let me take you home.”
She shook her head. “No way. If the shits in management are going to screw me, at least I can take them for all the free tequila I can get.”
“Don’t ruin your career over a couple of asinine comments.”
Dane nodded. “He’s right. Let him take you home or at least somewhere else. You don’t want to do this at work.”
Her eyes filled with tears. “It’s so fucking unfair.”
Dane patted her arm. “I’m sure it is, but screwing yourself won’t make it any better.”
“You’re positive you don’t want to screw me instead?” she asked.
I couldn’t help being embarrassed for her, but the truth was, she was that blunt sober.
“Sorry, darling, and no, I won’t do him in front of you either.”
I choked on the swallow of soda I’d just taken. “Look, I—”
Dane shook his head. “Get her out of here. We can talk later.”
I helped Shelley get to her feet and kept my arm around her so she wouldn’t fall.
“Tom.” It was Dane calling me. I hadn’t realized he knew my name. I turned around, and he handed me a folded napkin. “Later,” he mouthed.
When I had Shelley tucked into the passenger seat of my car, I pulled the napkin out of my pocket and looked at it as I walked toward the driver’s side. His number was scrawled on it with the message “call me.” Oh my God, he actually did want to go out with me. Okay, more realistically, he probably wanted to sleep with me. But I’m not…
Oh really? So why did your cock get hard when he looked at you?
About the Author:
Mischief Corner Books is an organization of superheroes… no, it’s a platinum-album techno-fusion group…no, hold on a sec here… Ah, yes. Mischief Corner is a diverse group of authors who met on a mountain in Tennessee and decided since we probably were too easily distracted to rule the world that we’d settle for causing a bit of mayhem instead. In addition to making mayhem, we publish books with a diverse range of genres and topics… we live to break molds. MCB. Giving voice to LGBTQ fiction.
Hearts on Fire
BFD Book Blog
MM Good Book Reviews
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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