Author: Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 12/01/2016
Length: Short Story (<15K)
Genre: Gay Fiction
Carlos Mendez spends all year working hard at his Houston-based landscaping business, and he sends every spare penny he earns back to his family in Mexico. By the time the holidays roll around, he doesn’t have much patience for the unadulterated greed and consumerism paraded past him. But a chance meeting with his neighbor, Ned Williams, and Ned’s cancer-stricken daughter, might help to remind him of the real meaning of the season—something beyond the gaudy lights and extravagant displays—something he wants to be a part of.
This is a short and sweet reminder of what the holiday season really means.
Although you don’t really get to know the characters, although there isn’t any romance in the story and although it ends without giving you any kind of resolution Popcorn Garlands made me laugh, made me cry and made me hope to hear more about these characters in the future.
It’s a reminder for when things seem bleak there are good people out there if you open yourself up their friendship and these friends come along just at the right time and often for the strangest reasons. Carlos is a good man who looks after his family back in Mexico and when he knocks on a neighbours door to give him a heads up about his decorations he couldn’t possibly have imagined how that good deed was going to change his life.
Ned is a proud man but a man who desperately needs someone in his corner as he fights to make ends meet and look after his sick daughter. I loved the rallying around by friends in this story – it spoke of true Christmas spirit. Popcorn Garlands could almost be an extended blurb for a full length story and I would definitely read it if the author chose to give us more of Carlos and Ned’s story.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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