A warm welcome to author C.J Anthony joining us today to talk about her new release “Falling for Santa Claus”.
Hi, I’m C. J. Anthony and I’d like to thank Love Bytes for hosting me today. I’m here to talk about my new novella with Dreamspinner Press, out today, called Falling for Santa Claus…
*record scratching noise* Back up, wait…did I just say Santa Claus? But it’s July, you’re thinking. Santa Claus comes in December with all that cold and snow right? Not in July when it’s shorts and T-shirt weather and ice cream and sunshine and all the good stuff we look forward to all year, right? Well, yes, that’s true…but hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little Christmas in July!
This is the fourth stop on my blog tour. I hope you’ll prop your feet up, grab some ice cold lemonade or ice tea, turn that AC up to it’s coldest setting and blast it while you follow along. You’ll get to find out more about the story, why I wrote it and also a little side story about what Jack, Nick and the other residents of Great Falls are up to this summer. At the end of the tour, I’ll be choosing two winners from all the comments on all of the blogs (which means every time you comment on a different blog, you get another entry!) and they’ll receive a special Christmas in July gift from Santa himself. Blog links are listed below.
Today let’s go back to Great Falls and continue reading a little side story about Mabel and Flo and see how they’re coming along with their plans for a Pride festival…and if they’ve figured out what’s going on between Nick and Jack.
Mabel looked up at the sound of the door chime and smiled widely.
“Jackie! Good morning! Come on up here, there’s plenty of room.”
“Up here” was the front counter of the diner, and where Jack usually sat when he came in. However today, Nick was already sitting at the counter with two empty seats next to him. Jack, hesitated uncomfortably, glancing longingly at a couple of empty tables that he would much rather occupy.
“Well don’t be such a slowpoke, your coffee’s getting cold!” Mabel had already poured him a cup and was waiting impatiently.
Letting out a resigned sigh, Jack walked slowly to the counter. Mabel had placed his coffee cup in front of the seat directly next to Nick. Without a look at either Nick or Mabel, Jack sat down on the second stool down from Nick and deftly slid his coffee cup over in front of him, quickly taking a big gulp of the warm brew. When he sat the cup back down, he glanced over at Nick, who gave him a head nod of acknowledgement and then kept right on eating.
Mabel’s eyes narrowed to slits as she glanced back and forth between the two men. Jack’s little stunt didn’t fool her. Something was up between these two men, she knew it in her bones the same way she knew it when a rainstorm was a mile away.
“Um, yeah, Mabel, that’d be great.”
As Mabel headed back into the kitchen, the door chimed again as another customer burst in with a clatter of noise. Papers flapped around as someone huffed and puffed, interrupted by “Oh excuse me, darlin,” and “Pardon me, Margie.”
Flo came wheezing up to the counter, squishing into the space between Jack and Nick and tossing what looked like a pile of brightly colored posters on the counter. She leaned on the counter for a minute to catch her breath before scooching herself up onto the stool.
“Hey, Jackie, hey Nick,” she panted. “Whew, it’s hot out there today!” Her face was red and damp with sweat.
Jack looked at Flo with concern as he handed her a couple of napkins from the dispenser. “Mabel,” he called out, “can we get a glass of water out here, please?”
“Thank you, hun,” Flo huffed as she gratefully took the napkins and dabbed at her forehead.
“Flo, what were you doing?”
“Posting up these flyers all over town. Thought I’d get an early start to beat the heat, but sheesh it’s like an oven out there.”
“The weather report did predict unusually hot temperatures for July today.” Jack said sympathetically.
“I’ll say! He—” Flo was interrupted by a loud growl coming from her right.
“What in the freaking hell is this?” Nick was clutching one of Flo’s flyers in his hand and his face was a dangerous shade of red.
Jack grabbed one of the flyers to see what it said. Great Falls First Annual PRIDE Parade Celebration. July 29, 2016, starting at 11 am at Maple Street and ending in the town square, where there will be food and games and fun for the whole family! Jack opened his mouth but didn’t get the chance to say anything. Mabel bustled back to the counter placing a plate of hot food down in front of him.
“We’re having a Pride festival! We know it should have been in June but there was already too much to do for the Spring Fling that month.” Mabel answered Nick.
Nick waved the poster in Mabel’s face. “I thought I vetoed this years ago!”
“You did but you’re not the only gay man in town anymore.” She gestured at Jack and smiled sweetly “And he approved it!”
Jack’s eyes widened as three pairs of eyes turned to look at him. He was only concerned with the angry pair that looked like they were going to shoot lasers at him and incinerate him instantly. Looking away from Nick he turned to Mabel. “I don’t remember anything about—”
“It was your first day, here remember?” Flo piped up. “When you came into the diner and we were having that nice conversation, getting to know you.”
Jack groaned inwardly. That had been nearly nine months ago. He’d completely forgotten and assumed the ladies had too. “I never actually agreed—”
“Listen boys it’s already planned and everything’s coming along real nice,” Mabel said. “Although I’m afraid it will be a bit toned down from the usual celebrations. Two celebrations in one month put a strain on the budget, and of course most of the money had to go to July 4th.” She frowned sadly for a minute before brightening back up again. “But everyone’s pitching in, it’s become a real labor of love. And isn’t that what Pride is all about?”
“Pride is about gay people, Mabel.” Nick sputtered through gritted teeth. “Gay people celebrating that they’re gay. It is not for straight people, much less planned by straight people!” His voice had risen loud enough that the whole diner could hear.
Flo looked devastated and on the verge of tears. “Well that’s not very inclusive, Nick,” she said quietly.
Mabel just rolled her eyes. “Flo, Nick’s just being a big ol’ party pooper!” She leaned over and got into Nick’s face. “Now we have all kind’s of holidays and celebrations to honor members of our community—our mothers, our fathers, our veterans, heck, we even have the Kiddie Fest in August for the kids to have one last hurrah before school starts. We should be allowed to honor the gay members of our community just as well.” When she was done she stood back with a satisfied grin on her face, still looking Nick squarely in the eye.
Nick crumpled the poster in his hand. “It will be a cold day in hell before I show up to this circus.”
“Well get your parka out then because you and Jack are going to be there as our Grand Marshals!” she cackled.
Oh boy! Has Mabel gone too far? Keep reading along on the blog tour to find out.
And if you like what you read above, then check out the book at any of the links below:
When Jack Frost’s aunt dies and leaves him her house in the tiny town of Great Falls, Jack seizes the opportunity to escape the rat race of Chicago for the quaint village he loved as a child. On his first night he’s welcomed by a baseball bat and a trespassing warning from Nick St. James—longtime Great Falls resident and infamous curmudgeon.
Jack wants to give Nick the benefit of the doubt—he can’t deny his attraction to the big man—but after several run-ins with Nick’s grumpiness and closed-off heart, he’s ready to give up. Only after discovering the secret Nick’s been covering up for years does he vow to break through Nick’s walls to find the loving man hiding behind them.
Follow the rest of the tour:
July 17 – MM Good Book Reviews
July 21 – Oh My Shelves
July 24 – Divine Magazine
July 24 – Love Bytes
July 25 – Bayou Book Junkie
July 28 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
July 29 – Prism Book Alliance
C.J. Anthony started reading and writing at an early age. She attributes her love of reading and romance to her mother who not only taught her to read but also made countless trips to the library lugging piles of books home for her to read. She loved getting lost in the people and places and adventures she found in books. It wasn’t a far jump to start writing her own stories, early childhood tales about flower families and travelling to the moon with her best friend.
C.J. has always been a hopeless romantic, believing in true love and soul mates, and HEAs with a little humor and a little angst along the way–life is never perfect, after all, but everyone deserves a happy ending and someone there to catch them when they fall. Her favorite stories to read and write revolve around the idea of “opposites attract”—couples who start out as two people who couldn’t be more different from each other. They might appear to be the odd couple to the rest of the world, but to each other they are perfect, creating their own happy ever after with a little hard work and a whole lot of love.
Not surprisingly, C. J. is a big lover of Rom Coms—she’ll gladly take Julia Roberts standing in front of Hugh Grant asking him to love her, over car crashes and shoot-em up movies any day. She also watches way too much TV and every singing reality show there is. She loves music and musicians of all genres with the attitude that nothing is a guilty pleasure and all music has a purpose even if it is just to make you dance and laugh.
She spends most of her time juggling a day job and a commute and freelance design work on the side and falling asleep on her couch.
You can find C. J. at:
@C_J_Anthony on twitter
Comment on the blogs participating in C.J her tour to have a chance to win a lovely package!