Guest Author: Sandine Tomas

santa's last gift reviewHello, I’m Sandine Tomas and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to tell you about my new holiday novel, Santa’s Last Gift, by giving you an exclusive excerpt. Plus, there’s an opportunity to win a free e-book copy at the end!

The holidays mean different things to different people. To my character, Sebastian and Matthew they represent a time to reconnect and appreciate the family they have both come to love.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Cheryl took up the conversation. “There is a holiday event in town for New Year’s Eve. It’s not sponsored by Waterford….” She tossed a narrowed gaze at her daughter. “It’s a dance and silent auction for charity.” She looked at Matt. “Matt’s sculpture and figurines bring in the most money, of course.” She smiled at Chance. “Our resident princess calls it our ‘New Year’s Eve Ball’.”

Pushing her empty plate away with a low groan, Stephanie patted her inflated stomach. “Ugh. That was too good.” She returned to the topic. “It started three years ago. I told you we created that committee, remember?”

Baz tipped his head to the side, considering, “The Chamber of Commerce charity group?”

“Yep,” Stephanie said, popping the P.

“Steph thought up the dance idea,” Cheryl offered.

“Where do you hold it?”

“The Elk Lodge donates their space.”

Baz arched a brow, lips in a moue.

Matt nodded. “I know, you’re remembering that old wood building not looking like much. But we light the place up, and Ma can do wonders with inexpensive tulle fabric we get in bulk.” Matt grinned. “I bet you got your party skills from her.”

Blushing, Cheryl dipped her head. “I don’t know about that.”

“Don’t get bashful. You make it magical.”

He turned to Baz, forcing his tapping foot still with an internal scold. “We usually all go together. You’ll come, right?”

Bug-eyed, Baz dropped the bread he’d been holding. “What?”

“Of course he’ll be there,” Steph assured, before turning to Baz. “I mean it’s New Year’s Eve. You’ll love it.”

“I don’t dance.”

Steph was having none of that and rolled her eyes. “As long as you don’t judge us too harshly, Mr. Event Planer. Because, let me tell you, we’ve more than held our own. We’ve come up with a new theme each year and try to one-up ourselves.” Steph’s voice got animated. “We hired a new caterer this year and booked a live band instead of a DJ. I’ve been using social media. If we turn it into a must-go-to-event, if we raise the bar, then we’ll attract more donors and not only townsfolk.”

“All the money we raise goes to Holiday Helpers. They provide food for the needy all year round. Matt’s been helping them out for years.”

Face warming, Matt felt all eyes on him. He fought the stammer in his voice. “Nobody should be hungry ever. But around the holidays… well, it’s worse somehow.”

The intensity of Baz’s gaze caught Matt’s breath. “Guess I’m going to a ball.”

Giveaway Offer

What do the holidays mean to you? Tell me in the comments and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a free e-book copy of Santa’s Last Gift! Please provide contact information.

Santa’s Last Gift Blurb

The greatest gift might be what they already have.

After years away building his career, event planner Sebastian Chesnut returns to his small hometown of Fir Falls to reconnect with his mother, sister, and young nieces before his job takes him to London.

He doesn’t expect to find his high school boyfriend, Matty, has become a virtual member of Seb’s family. Back then, Matty only offered a casual relationship, but Seb fell hard, and history is soon repeating itself. Seb’s afraid to hope for a second chance, no matter how much they’ve grown and despite the family they share. Instead, he focuses on creating a last perfect holiday, which won’t be easy with his sister’s ex planning to take the girls over Christmas.

Seb and Matty might not know what to do about their feelings for each other, but one thing’s for sure—it won’t be Christmas without the kids. Can these star-crossed lovers pull off a holiday miracle?

Sandine Tomas Bio

Sandine Tomas grew up an unapologetic bookworm, making friends with characters from the ancient past to the farthest reaches of the universe. Her career as a marketing writer has given her insight into the divergence between what a person thinks they want and what they truly need. Relationships are at the heart of her writing, and she enjoys creating characters who become so real that their stories beg to be told. Writing allows her to explore people and ideas from all sides, spinning a notion around like a gem until its facets glisten.

Twisting the old adage about writing what you know into writing what you feel, Sandine doesn’t shy away from raw emotions, turbulent circumstances, and above all, deep passions, fueled by humor, honesty, and trust. She enjoys instilling her characters with the flaws, courage, and idiosyncrasies that brings them to life.

Sandine lives in New York with her husband, daughters and a Golden Retriever puppy named Noodle. An unabashed TV and film enthusiast, she happily binge watches her favorites until her eyes glaze over. Her other guilty pleasures include attending fandom conventions, sleeping in on weekends, and recharging solo by holing up with a caramel macchiato and an amazing book.

If you’d like to chat, reach out to her on Twitter @SandineTomas or on her website

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Guest Author: Amy Lane

FallThroughSpringFS_v1Fall Through Spring


 When we meet Mason Hayes, we realize right off he’s sort of a dork. He’s like a perpetually horny Fred MacMurray with a runaway mouth. But one of Mason’s redeeming features is his devotion to his brother, Dane.

Dane, we learn in book two, has bipolar, and we see—mostly off page—a depression spiral that throws Mason’s entire life into an uproar, and we root for Mason to not only make his romance work, but to get his little brother back. When Dane is whole and well, he’s a funny, warm, fiercely loyal part of Mason’s life.

I knew that seeing this character from a closer point of view—from the POV of the guy who wouldn’t get out of bed for a month, from the POV of the guy who loved him and kicked his ass out anyway—was going to be rough.

“Mental illness is the suck,” Dane’s love interest says at the beginning. “I’m sorry you have to deal with that. But I’m glad you’re here to game with me tonight.”

And that pretty much sums up how Clay and Mason has to deal with Dane—one up, and one down at a time.

Clay’s experience is mine—people I love dearly have been hurt by imperfect brain chemistry, and it’s our job to love those people through the highs and the lows, and know that the person we care about truly does balance out to a lovely human being in the middle. Upswings are exhausting, and downswings are worse—but as long as the person we love is in there, underneath the balance of medication and human being, the results of unconditional love are unconditionally worth it.

Dane has been grappling with his illness for years—his parents have helped him since his diagnosis, and his brother has taken on that role since he moved away from home. Falling in love hasn’t been on his agenda since his stay in the psych ward, when he originally balanced his medication, because he knows the seductiveness of putting his happiness in the hands of the wrong kind of person.

When Clay puts off their relationship because he’s the right kind of person, Dane is frustrated at first, and then hurt—but when Clay’s devotion sees the test of time through Dane’s absolute worst, Dane comes out on the other side with a fragile confidence. Anybody who can see him through the worst of what his illness has to offer is someone who, just might, come through for him as a lover and not just a friend.

Dane is just like Clay—a twined rosebush of good and bad, with enough thorns on the branches to make it impossible to sort them out.

Dane’s romance was never going to be easy. I know people wanted to see him fall in love—he’s funny and charming, and can be a laugh riot when he’s on an upswing. But just like Carpenter, if we’re going to love Dane, we need to love all of him—and know that the hard parts are worth it, because the person we’re loving is, at his soul, an amazing companion with a good heart.

I loved writing him—and I thought Carpenter was a good match. I hope people adore him like I did.


 A Winter Ball Novel

As far as Clay Carpenter is concerned, his abusive relationship with food is the best thing he’s got going. When a good friend starts kicking his ass into gear, Clay is forced to reexamine everything he learned about food and love—and that’s right when he meets troubled graduate student, Dane Hayes.

Dane Hayes doesn’t do the whole monogamy thing, but the minute he meets Clay Carpenter, he’s doing the friend thing in spades. The snarky, scruffy bastard not only gets Dane’s wacky sense of humor, he also accepts the things Dane can’t control—like the bipolar disorder Dane has been trying to manage for the past six years.

Dane is hoping for more than friendship, and Clay is looking at him with longing that isn’t platonic. They’re both positive they’re bad at relationships, but with the help of forbidden desserts and new medication regimens, they prove outstanding at being with each other. But can they turn their friendship into the love neither of them has dared to hope for?


Amy Lane lives in a crumbling crapmansion with a couple of growing children, a passelamy-lane-2 of furbabies, and a bemused spouse. Two of her books have received a RITA nomination, she’s won honorable mention for an Indiefab, and has a couple of Rainbow Awards to her name. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action-adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

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