Christmas In Holly Pines (Small Town Gay Romance) – Excerpt

Hello, all!

I hope you all are having a nice December. I’m so far behind on pretty much everything, but it’ll all come together. It usually does. 🙂

Christmas in Holly Pines was published on November 1st. I’ve published quite a few books over the years (the Willy series included), but I’ve never had the success that I’ve had so far with Holly Pines. Honestly, it surprised me. Not because I’m not proud of the book – I am – but because it was the first book I’ve published since the Willy series ended last year. It surprised me because it’s a Christmas story not set in my crazy version of the North Pole, and there are no kinky elves or shifting reindeer to be seen. 😉 There is, however, a small shout out to Randy.

Thank you to everybody who has bought or downloaded Christmas in Holly Pines so far. I held on to that story (well, 2 stories in one) for over 2 years. Jacob and Owen’s was written and polished approximately 2 and a half years ago. Only later did I add Dustin and Reese to the mix.

I also send a huge thank you to my best friend for encouraging me to publish it even though she hadn’t read it yet. Just knowing she had that kind of confidence in me and my writing means everything.

Below is a quick excerpt from Holly Pines. It describes the first time Reese Wells and Dustin Knight meet face-to-face. You can find out a little about how Jacob and Owen met in an excerpt that was published in October on On Top Down Under Book Reviews. You can find it here and Kazza’s review of the book here.

Excerpt –

I barely have time to react before Jesse’s yelling my name and running to me. I just manage to lift him up before I fall back on my ass.

“Reese, you’re here.”

“I am. You must be Jesse.”

“Well, duh. You’ve seen me a million times.”

“I’ve seen you exactly twice outside of pictures.”

“Yeah, same thing. Dad, Reese is here,” he calls out as he climbs down.

I look over, and I swear my heart stops. Dustin Knight is standing a few feet away. I take a step toward him, but Owen has other ideas. He nudges me to Jacob.

“This is Jacob Knight,” he gushes. “He’s mine, so hands off, little brother.”

“You’re so weird, Owen,” Jesse tells him.

“Nice to officially meet you, Jacob,” I tell him as I shake his hand.

“You too, Reese.”

Jesse grabs my hand and pulls me to his dad. “This is my dad, Doctor Dustin Knight.”

“Hello, gorgeous,” Dustin says with a grin as he takes my hand in his.

“Oh, my gawd,” Jesse blurts out. “You can’t be calling people that, Dad. This is Reese. He’s practically family. He might not want to stay if he thinks you’re a weirdo.”

I laugh and look down at the kid, my hand still in Dustin’s. “There’s not a person alive who doesn’t like being called gorgeous. And you’ve met Owen. You know I’m used to being around weirdos.”

“I resemble that remark,” Owen says from somewhere behind me.

“Let go of his hand, Dad. Geez. You’re embarrassing me in front of my new best friend.”

“We can’t have that, can we?” Dustin says, letting go of my hand, reluctantly, if his expression is to go by. “Go wash your hands for dinner.”

“You’re not going anywhere, are you, Reese?”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

He rushes off to do as he’s told.

“We’ll, uh, be somewhere,” Owen says, pulling Jacob with him.

“In the kitchen where dinner is?” Jacob asks him.

When they’re out of sight, I get a good look at Dustin. “Hey there.”

“Hey there, yourself.”

He surprises me by leaning in and kissing me softly on the lips. He’s smiling when he pulls back.

“I’m suddenly really wishing we’d met the first time without the others around,” he whispers.

“We have time, don’t we, Doc?”

“Yes, we do. Now let’s go to the kitchen before a certain little boy comes in and fusses at me for monopolizing his new best friend’s time.”

Blurb –

Holly Pines, Vermont, is a traditional small tourist town. In the off-season, there are fewer than two thousand residents. A snow skiing paradise, that number increases dramatically during the holidays. It’s been home to brothers Jacob and Dustin Knight their entire lives.

Being the chief of police in a busy tourist town makes it hard for Jacob to find the time to date. Dustin is bisexual and has plenty of options but no interest in anyone in town. He’s a single father who knows that anyone he brings into his world has to accept that he and his son are a package deal.

Owen Wells is a professional photographer who plans to snap a few shots of the Christmas lights on Holly Pines Bridge then be on his way. A matchmaking seven-year-old boy has other ideas. When unforeseen circumstances keep Owen in town overnight, sparks fly between the photographer and chief of police. Suddenly, Owen’s not so keen on leaving after all.

Reese Wells is a traveling nurse who never stays in one place for long. His older brother may have found love, but he has no plans to follow suit. That changes during a video call with Owen and young Jesse Knight. When the boy’s dad joins the chat, all bets are off. Reese is suddenly eager to take a trip to the small town of Holly Pines, Vermont.

Jacob and Owen’s relationship runs smoothly from the get-go. Dustin and Reese’s, not so much. Between a quick misunderstanding, a jealous nurse, a busybody teacher, and a less than maternal ex-wife, these guys have to work hard to become the family they desperately want to be.

Available from Amazon in Kindle Unlimited and paperback.

You can add it on Goodreads here.

~*~

In the event I don’t pop in again before the end of the month, I hope you all have the best of holidays and a very Happy New Year!

Until next time,

Candi

 

 

Upcoming Release: Christmas in Holly Pines

I’m happy to announce that my new release, Christmas in Holly Pines (Small Town Gay Romance) is up for pre-order on Amazon. It’ll be published on November 1st.

This is my first time in years to not be writing about Willy the Kinky Elf and the rest of the North Pole gang. I have to admit, it’s been really hard not jumping into their world over the past few months. I’m not going to lie… I miss the hell out of those guys. But it was time to move on.

Christmas in Holly Pines has been in the works for a couple of years. It tells the tale of two sets of brothers who come together thanks to a matchmaking seven-year-old boy. The first part of the book – that would be Jacob and Owen’s – was written and completed two years ago. It was originally written to just be their story. I didn’t publish it because it wasn’t time. Then last year I made the decision to add both Jacob and Owen’s brothers – Dustin and Reese – to the mix.

While I haven’t made a definitive decision yet, there’s a big chance Christmas in Holly Pines will be on Kindle Unlimited, meaning it will only be available on Amazon for the first 90 days. I hate doing that but it might be the best option.

Another thing to note – the entire Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series will also go into KU. This likely won’t happen until after January 1, 2022, as I simply don’t have the time to finish reformatting them, nor do I want to go through the hassle of pulling them from the other e-sites right now.

I hope you all enjoy Jacob & Owen’s and Dustin & Reese’s stories. Both stories are in one book and told in alternating points-of-view. Each story plays out until the very end. You can find the info below.

It’s roughly 103,000 words, or 367 Kindle pages. It’s long because, as I said above, it’s 2 stories in one.

You can find the pre-order link here.

On October 21st I’ll be giving away an e-copy of Christmas in Holly Pines as well as a $10 Amazon gift card as I help On Top Down Under Book Reviews celebrate 9 years. I’ll update with the link when it goes live. Click the link to check out their schedule of events for October. There are a bunch of great author posts and giveaways happening.

Until next time,

Candi

Blurb

Holly Pines, Vermont, is a traditional small tourist town. In the off-season, there are fewer than two thousand residents. A snow skiing paradise, that number increases dramatically during the holidays. It’s been home to brothers Jacob and Dustin Knight their entire lives.

Being the chief of police in a busy tourist town makes it hard for Jacob to find the time to date. Dustin is bisexual and has plenty of options but no interest in anyone in town. He’s a single father who knows that anyone he brings into his world has to accept that he and his son are a package deal.

Owen Wells is a professional photographer who plans to snap a few shots of the Christmas lights on Holly Pines Bridge then be on his way. A matchmaking seven-year-old boy has other ideas. When unforeseen circumstances keep Owen in town overnight, sparks fly between the photographer and chief of police. Suddenly, Owen’s not so keen on leaving after all.

Reese Wells is a traveling nurse who never stays in one place for long. His older brother may have found love, but he has no plans to follow suit. That changes during a video call with Owen and young Jesse Knight. When the boy’s dad joins the chat, all bets are off. Reese is suddenly eager to take a trip to the small town of Holly Pines, Vermont.

Jacob and Owen’s relationship runs smoothly from the get-go. Dustin and Reese’s, not so much. Between a quick misunderstanding, a jealous nurse, a busybody teacher, and a less than maternal ex-wife, these guys have to work hard to become the family they desperately want to be.

Happy Holidays!

What a year it’s been, huh? Geez. I’m sure I speak for everybody when I say that 2021 can’t get here fast enough.

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate, the final installment of the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series. It’s been a great ride and I’m beyond thrilled that so many readers have embraced my crazy version of the North Pole. Ending the series was bittersweet. I hated to say goodbye but I knew it was time. Don’t be surprised if I pop up in the coming years with short stories and updates from that world. I love these guys and I can’t imagine walking away permanently. And then there’s the fact that Willy the elf rarely shuts up in my head. 😉

Kazza of On Top Down Under Book Reviews added Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate to her favorite books of 2020 list. How awesome is that? She’s been a huge supporter of my books since Taking Lance way back when. I’ll forever be grateful. Check out her list here. To be included with so many amazing authors and their amazing books means so much.

Also, you have to read/listen to her review of the book. You can do that here. She always has the best visuals. The Darth Vadar wearing a Santa hat one is perfect for Willy’s quote. I love it!

Something else that’s pretty awesome? Author KC Faelan asked me to do a follow-up interview for her website to the one I did last year. You can check out last year’s post here and the follow-up here. It’s always a pleasure stopping by and talking with KC. I can talk anybody’s ear off about my books, but it means much more when I’m discussing them with someone who’s read them, who knows the characters and the stories. She’s a fan of the series and knows all about Willy’s crazy world. 😉

~~~

I’ve been bad this year about posting. Worse than usual, I mean. I think 2020 has been crazy for everybody. I’ve barely even promoted ‘Santa’. I’m truly blessed to have the amazing readers I have. If you’re new to the series, welcome! And I guess I should apologize in advance for Willy. 😉 If you’ve been with me from the beginning and are still hanging around, I adore you. Seriously.

There was never supposed to be more than one book. I’ve said this a million times but I’m saying it again… there’s no greater compliment to an author than to be asked for more. I love every single one of you.

Happy Holidays to all who celebrate! Here’s hoping for an amazing 2021!

I’ll be popping back in real soon with my end of 2020 post.

Until next time,

Candi

Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate: E-book and ‘Willy’ Swag Giveaway

I’m in the middle of preparing for yet another tropical storm or hurricane to hit my area.

I mean, really, WTF, 2020?

This has been the craziest year ever for hurricanes.

Even so, I wanted to pop on and let everybody know that I have a giveaway happening at On Top Down Under Book Reviews right now. It’s to celebrate their 8th (yay!) blog anniversary and the November 1st release of Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate.

The giveaway –

An e-book of the winner’s choice from my catalog, 1 ‘Santa’ cover magnet, 1 ‘Willy’ quote magnet, 2 (different kinds) naughty list postcards, one ‘Santa’ cover keychain, and a reusable tote bag with Santa’s cover on it. There are also a couple of surprises I’ll be throwing in for the winner.

This giveaway is open to international entries and ends on October 31st.

Check out the giveaway here or by clicking the banner below and enter via Rafflecopter or by commenting on the giveaway post. There’s also a quickie excerpt from the story that hasn’t been shared anywhere else.

Good luck and I hope y’all enjoy Santa and Drew’s story.

Until next time,

Candi Kay

Pre-Order: Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate (Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer, #7)

Hi, all.

I’m excited to announce that Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate, the 7th and final installment of the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series, is now available for pre-order and will officially be published on November 1st. Right now, it’s only available on Amazon. It will be added to other e-tailers in the coming weeks.

I mention this in the blurb but I need to stress it again – this book cannot be read as a standalone. If you’ve not read the other books in the series you’ll be confused.

You can find the pre-order link here.

Blurb –

From the World of Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer.

The North Pole isn’t exactly as it appears in fairy tales. It has the elves and Santa and his reindeer, but Santa and Mrs. Claus aren’t the jolly couple the world believes them to be. The reindeer are all shape-shifters who transform into gorgeous beings in human form and are respected by all.

Santa Claus has everything except the one thing he craves most – a mate of his own. Forever told it wasn’t in the cards for him, he goes about his days longing for something he knows he can never have. Maybe Andrew Lanzer isn’t his fated mate, but he knows what he feels for the reindeer goes far beyond simple attraction.

Drew sees how Santa looks at him, but he’s not stupid. Santa’s wife may be gone now, but history has proven she’ll be back. Time and again. He’s hoping one sexual encounter will be enough to get him out of his system. What he doesn’t expect is for it to open the door to so much more.

When Mary Claus demands to be heard, the entire North Pole is thrown into chaos. With the man he loves and his newfound son by his side, Santa must fight harder than he’s ever fought before to rid the North Pole of her conniving presence once and for all. Along the way, he may even discover that what the Fates have always led him to believe might not be true after all. With help from Willy the elf and a few new allies, Santa Claus may finally get the happily-ever-after he’s only ever dreamed of.

Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate cannot be read as a standalone. The finale of the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series, it contains characters and stories from each book that will be confusing to readers who have not read the series.

 

 

Final Willy the Kinky Elf Book, New Series, Latest Author Drama, This and That, Updates

I’d already taken a step back from writing and doing blog posts for awhile.  Then 2020 hit and I was forced to step back whether I wanted to or not. Y’all know me. When I do pop in and do updates in a blog post it’s usually pretty long. My apologies in advance.

Now to some long overdue updates…

Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer, #7

I typed the words THE END on the 7th and final installment of the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series. Ending that series is bittersweet. I admit to getting quite emotional when I typed the last chapter. If you’ve read the series you know that the last chapter or two always takes place at the annual Christmas party. There’s usually quite a bit of drama, more than a little humor, and tons of announcements about things that have changed over the previous 12 months. In this book, Santa’s story, it takes place over 4 chapters, the equivalent of 26 Microsoft Word pages. Note that a lot of cuts will be made and chapters shortened before the book is finalized so expect that number (maybe even the number of chapters) to drop substantially.

For those who don’t know, Santa’s love interest is Andrew (Drew) Lanzer, Luke Lanzer’s (from last year’s installment) younger brother.

There’s also the matter of Mrs. Claus and ridding the North Pole of her and her meanness once and for all.

Expect the usual Willy the elf shenanigans, including what he dubs Operation Rid-A-Ho – his personal mission to get rid of Mrs. Claus – who he’s always (not so) affectionately called a ho. 😉

It’s also a bit serious in some places. Santa has a lot to do to prove to the residents of the North Pole that he’s changed and won’t be taking his wife back.  He’s always taken her back for reasons brought out in this book. Not everything is as it has appeared in the past.

There’s also the matter of Santa being told throughout his existence that he’s not allowed a mate. This was discussed at length in Barry the Lonely Reindeer & His Bashful Elf (#4 in the series). Drew, however, believes wholeheartedly in the mate bond and is convinced his own mate is out there somewhere and he knows that it can’t be Santa Claus, regardless of the connection they seem to have.

Right?

Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂

Each couple from the previous 6 books, and the themes of their stories, are brought in and mentioned at a critical moment. That’s all I can say about that and the story as a whole. Just keep in mind that this is the FINAL book of the series so a lot of things need to be elaborated on that haven’t been in the past, and some issues need to be put to bed once and for all.

The (very rough) first draft came in at almost 108,000 words, by far the most I’ve ever written for one book. Again, expect that number to change.

I have a title and a cover. The blurb still hasn’t been finalized.  I always have a hard time with blurbs, as my best friend could attest.

The plan (as always) is to put the book up for pre-order in the coming weeks, to be published on November 1st.

Another thing to note is that Willy the elf hasn’t shut up in my head for 7 books, plus 3 short stories (the last of which will be published in Santa’s book). For that reason, you can probably expect a freebie or more in the coming years catching you up on the happenings in the North Pole.

Other Updates 

I’ve basically thrown my hands up on all others I’d planned to publish this year. Some are written but they need final run-throughs. I had originally planned to publish a 2-book An Unlikely Romance Christmas Edition about 2 brothers who find love in their small Vermont town during the weeks leading up to Christmas. The first book has been long finished (first draft) but it’s on hold because one of the main characters in the first story is a small town cop. I’m not opening the door for that because of the current political climate. I’m very proud of the story, and I love the character, but it’s just not happening this year.

I have other An Unlikely Romance books that are honestly ready to be published. I’ve just not had time to do anything with them. The same applies to at least 2 books of the College Encounters series. Here’s hoping that 2021 isn’t quite so crazy.

Hooper Lake Series

The Hooper Lake series (series title subject to change) is a little different from other books I’ve written. It’s a 5 book series about 5 adopted brothers who all have to come back to their family home when the oldest brother has a life-changing event occur. Each brother has a unique backstory. I’ve tried to add humor but there are some pretty serious issues delved into with each of the brothers.

The series has been completely outlined (something I’ve never done) and I’ve already started writing all 5 books, another thing I’ve never done before. The first two are pretty much complete. They’re all basically being written at the same time in order to keep details accurate and consistent. I hope to publish all 5 books at the same time not long after the 1st of the year. I may place them in Kindle Unlimited but that’s undecided at this point.

More details will come out as I complete the books.

Latest Erotic Author/Social Media Scandal

If you follow the erotica genre on social media you’ve probably seen the latest. If not, I’m sure a quick search will take you there. A male author has been using a female pen name to write lesfic. Okay, no big deal. I write gay romance under a pen name. I’m a female and have never claimed to be a gay male. Every bio I’ve ever written for Candi Kay describes the real life me 100%. The only difference is the name I write and publish under.

What is a big deal is that this author didn’t just write under a pen name, he catfished a lot of women. As in, gaining  trust and sexting. From what I’ve read, private photos were sent to him that would not have been sent had the women known he wasn’t the female he claimed to be.

I don’t know this author, but I’ve seen him ALL OVER THE PLACE when I’ve gotten on Twitter. We followed each other and he was always, ALWAYS tweeting, retweeting or I’d see comments he made on there. He typed a blog post outing himself as a married (for 25+ years) father of 3.  Apparently he thought that he’d tell the truth and all would be dandy. Uh, no. He violated the trust of a lot of people who never would have shared what they did had they known who he really was.

Do you know what else is bad? The fact that so many people (mostly men from what I’ve seen today, though I’ve seen some women too) are supporting him and telling him he’s ‘brave’.

Uh, what the hell?

Brave?

For lying and catfishing innocent victims?

I seriously just saw a comment where a man called someone on Twitter bigoted for daring to give her views on the above-mentioned author. He then said (later down in his comments) that what the catfish did was ‘marketing’. I kid you not. The man who said this is an author. Below is his quote. I’m not naming him.

‘You’re exhibiting awful, bigoted behavior. Be better. {author name} was incredibly brave and deserves our admiration. Bravery is in short supply today when so many cower before a minuscule number of hard left woke fanatics.’

Incredibly brave, my ass. He was a predator who got his kicks by preying on unsuspecting women. Had he simply been writing as a pen name and not using that pen name to gain the trust of others who sent him photos and talked sexually with him, no biggie.

I’ve been asked for years why I’m not as ‘out there’ as most authors. In my early days of being published I trusted two people I never should have trusted. The first one outed my (and other authors’) real names on Twitter when he had a mental breakdown. The other one was worse. I put a lot of trust in that one. He was someone I considered a friend and mentor. The first one angered me. The second one hurt me. It took a lot of time to get over both so my trust is minimal when it comes to new people. I hate that because I’d never been this way before.

I know those mentioned above are the minority, but it still makes it difficult to trust again after you’ve been stabbed in the back not once but twice. My closest friend and I met online and we’re still going strong almost a decade later so I’m not saying all people you meet online are fake or are out to hurt you. I’m just saying be careful who you trust. I could seriously write a book about the 2 who betrayed me but they’re not worth it. Not anymore.

That’s all I’ll say about that. If you want names of the latest author and the one whose quote I used defending him, shoot me a message. It’s all public. As for the other 2 in my own life, I won’t be sharing that information. The past is the past and I’m over it now.

What else?

I’m sure there’s a lot I’ve missed considering my long absence from this blog and most of social media. Just know that I read all my messages and emails and I can’t stress enough how much I love hearing from readers.

Take care of yourselves. We’re in trying times right now and the new numbers of COVID-19 cases are staggering, my state now considered a hot spot. Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and if you’re told to wear a mask, wear a mask. It’s a small inconvenience. I live in the South where it’s miserably hot this time of year. But you know what? I go nowhere without my mask on, regardless of how uncomfortable it gets to be. And trust me, when the heat index is often close to 110 F with sky high humidity, it gets uncomfortable.

I still wear my mask.

Until next time,

Candi Kay

 

Happy Holidays!

Traveling and a bad case of the flu has kept me mostly offline recently, but I couldn’t not pop on and wish everybody very Happy Holidays!

Thank you to everyone who has picked up Luke the Hybrid Reindeer & His Vivacious Elf and Kane the Fake Elf & His Sexy Mall Santa. I’m thrilled with the feedback both stories have received so far.

Someone was kind enough to nominate Dylan the Bad Boy Reindeer & His Virtuous Mate (Willy, #5) as ‘best paranormal’ in the MM Romance Group on Goodreads. If you’re a member of the group, even if you don’t vote for ‘Dylan’, I hope you’ll vote for some of the other amazing books that have been nominated. You can find ‘best paranormal’ here, but make sure you vote on others!

The first draft of the still-untitled Santa’s story (Willy, #7 – the series finale) is close to being complete. It’s going to be so hard saying goodbye to those guys. I’ll update more on the story throughout the year.

Author KC Faelan interviewed me a few weeks ago about my writing process and Willy’s World. It was such a fun interview. You can check it out here.

Also, all my books published on Smashwords, with the exception of the .99 books, will be on sale for 25% off from December 25th through January 1st during the Smashwords End of the Year Sale. You can find my Smashwords profile here.

I hope everyone has an amazing holiday. My husband and I will be spending Christmas Eve watching Die Hard. Christmas Day will be spent with his family before my sons and their significant others come by my house for dinner. We’re starting new traditions. Last year we did Mexican food and margaritas. This year will be steaks, and well, margaritas. 😉

I’ll be back soon with my end of the year post and updates on upcoming books.

Until next time,

Candi