This Wish Tonight

by J. Scott Coatsworth, Wendy Rathbone

This Wish Tonight anthology
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 4.99
ISBN: B01NAEIP8C
Pages: 157

Warmth, family, good cheer? Not everyone associates these things with the winter holidays. For some, it’s a time of longing and reflection. Mischief Corner Books invites authors to create stories set during the holiday season and centered on the fulfillment of a wish or desire.

Eve of the Great Frost by Wendy Rathbone

Remi has prepared for over a year to be the king’s gift at the annual celebration of the Eve of the Great Frost on the planet Niobe. Twelve men, taught under the tutelage of the Pleasure Master, hope to be the one (or one of several) chosen to spend an erotic night with the mysterious alien king who always wears a mask. But when Remi’s turn comes to be presented to His Majesty, everything goes wrong from a costume malfunction to breaking protocol. What happens next is a shock, and a night he will never forget.

Wonderland by J. Scott Coatsworth

Zeke is a loner his late forties, living in a small cabin in rural Montana. Nathan has been traveling across country on foot since the zombie apocalypse, dealing with his OCD in an empty world.

Zeke just wants someone to love. Nathan just wants to be home again.

Fate brings them together in a winter wonderland, but their own fears and baggage may tear them apart.

Is there still hope for love at Christmas, at the end of the world?

Reviews:Melanie on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words wrote:

I love collections. They often provide a quick introduction to new authors or give you a variety of stories that cross genres such as This Wish Tonight does. Mischief Corner Books delivers a collection which includes science fiction, zombie apocalypse and a contemporary mystery. Not bad for the holidays! And romance too. Here they are with my mini reviews and ratings!

Eve of the Great Frost by Wendy Rathbone – 4.5 stars

Remi has prepared for over a year to be the king’s gift at the annual celebration of the Eve of the Great Frost on the planet Niobe. Twelve men, taught under the tutelage of the Pleasure Master, hope to be the one (or one of several) chosen to spend an erotic night with the mysterious alien king who always wears a mask. But when Remi’s turn comes to be presented to His Majesty, everything goes wrong from a costume malfunction to breaking protocol. What happens next is a shock, and a night he will never forget.

I loved the world building here and really wanted to know so much more. It was an intriguing picture Rathbone built up in my head, especially one such as me who knows her Prime Directive (yes, geek flag flying). In a short amount of pages, she had their characters, built their relationship, and made it real. And very sexy, erotic. Khan would have approved.

Wonderland by J. Scott Coatsworth – 4.5 stars

Zeke is a loner his late forties, living in a small cabin in rural Montana. Nathan has been traveling across country on foot since the zombie apocalypse, dealing with his OCD in an empty world.

Zeke just wants someone to love. Nathan just wants to be home again.

Fate brings them together in a winter wonderland, but their own fears and baggage may tear them apart.

Is there still hope for love at Christmas, at the end of the world?

Coatsworth came up with an altogether different sort of apocalypse in Wonderland. Still meant the end of civilization and most of humankind. Zeke is thinking he’s the last one left until Nathan shows up. What follows is tender, real, and loving. Its a beautiful story of hope, recovery and weirdly enough romance. Coatsworth has taken a familiar theme and made it his with these wonderful characters and an ending that leaves you smiling and full of wonder. Yes, I loved it.

Fear of Fire by Gregory L. Norris – 3.5 stars

Glass Artist Lucius Price works desperately to create a holiday symbol intended to help the town of Villatopia heal from a rash of unsolved hate crimes against gay men. When he is targeted next and his studio set ablaze, handsome firefighter Oscar Ramos rescues Lucius from the flames, creating a different kind of fire during an unforgettable Christmas.

Fear of Fire works for most of the story. I loved the men, especially Lucius Price the glass artist. Norris fits enough of glass working into his story to make Lucius and his art real. I wish that Oscar and the firefighters felt the same. Perhaps the small town and their firefighters could account for the inconsistencies that pop up here but in this time and place, they and the procedures followed are hard to overlook. As much as I loved this couple, the rest of the story felt unrealistic enough to bring the rating down. If you are looking for romance alone, then this couple might be just your thing.


About the Authors

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott lives in the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into science fiction and fantasy by his mom at the tender age of nine, he quickly finished her entire library. But he soon began to wonder where all the queer people were.

After coming out at twenty three, he started writing the kinds of stories he couldn't find at Crown Books. If there weren't many queer characters in his favorite genres, he would will them into existence, subverting them to his own ends. And if he was lucky enough, someone else would want to read them.

His friends say Scott's mind works a little differently than most - he makes connections between ideas that others don't, and somehow does more in a day than most people manage in a week. Although born an introvert, he forced himself to reach outside himself, and learned to connect with others like him.

Scott's stories subvert expectations that transform traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something different and unexpected. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark.

His romance and genre fiction writing brings a queer energy to his stories, filling them with love, beauty and power. He imagines how the world could be - in the process, he hopes to change the world, just a little.

He lives with his husband of twenty five years in a Sacramento suburb, in a cute little yellow house with a brick fireplace and two pink flamingoes out front.

You can find me at Dreamspinner here, Goodreads here, on Amazon here, on QueeRomance Ink here, and on Facebook here.


Wendy Rathbone

Wendy Rathbone has been writing for years, but since 2012 her focus is mostly on m/m romance. She writes all genres but seems to prefer fantasy and sci fi. She is also an award-winning poet. She lives in Yucca Valley, California, USA.


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