Winter Wonderland is a set of four contemporary small-town romances taking place during the most magical time of the year. Some of our characters do their best to escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas, others long for someone to share it with. Guaranteed is that things don’t go as planned. They never do when the snow is coming down hard and the presents are piling up under the tree.
Contains the stories:
Turning Wood: Otho Newcomer moved to the small village of Snowmelt to mend his broken heart in solitude. Mason Dager’s ex cleared out his bank account, sold his car and got him thrown out of his apartment. And he has no one to blame but himself. When Mason makes yet another stupid decision, Otho comes to the rescue, throwing the two men together during the most magical time of the year.
24 Dates: When Victor Hill bought a house with his boyfriend, Jian Kouri it was a dream come true. Now, two years later, instead of liv...ason is a time for hope, but when Victor comes home to find Jian with a plan to woo him for Christmas, is it too little, too late?
The Setup: Dax doesn’t want to see anyone and isn’t pleased when a stranger turns in on his driveway, claiming he's there for a date. Ellis risked his neck driving in the snow to meet his friend for a double date, but when Dax says he's never agreed to a date, they realize they’ve been played. Since there’s a snowstorm, Dax invites Ellis to stay the night, but how to get their revenge for the setup?
Once in a Snowstorm: Daring a snowstorm might not be the smartest thing Aiden Evans has done, but with only a few days to Christmas, he doesn’t want to be alone. Tristan Gardner is looking forward to a quiet night, but instead, he has to save an idiot from freezing to death in his forest. Aiden is going crazy from Tristan’s attitude, but will a steamy night with the surly lumberjack change his mind about leaving?
Publisher: JMS Books, LLC
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Age Difference, Big Character / Little Character, Forced Proximity, Hurt / Comfort, Interracial Relationship, Matchmaker, Opposites Attract
Word Count: 94000
Setting: small town
Languages Available: English
“We should’ve stayed in bed.” Victor scanned the forest framing the road. “Last time we drove here, we ended up in a hole in the ice.”
Jian pursed his lips and gave Victor a look that almost had him choking on the sandwich he was eating. “There will be holes in the ice today, too.”
“I told you to dress warmly.”READ MORE
The way Jian laughed made him pretty sure that if there were holes in the ice, they wouldn’t go into them.
It took a good forty-five minutes of slowly rolling down narrow gravel roads through thick forests before they reached an area packed with cars. “What the hell are people doing here?” Victor stared. How had they found the way?
“They’re here for the competition. We’re running a little late.” He parked and opened his door. “Wait here for a few seconds, I need to go tell them we’re here.”
Victor nodded, not sure of what to expect. He relaxed back into the seat and watched Jian walk up to two hulking lumberjacks and shaking their hands. He gestured toward the car, talked, and laughed. Should he go to them?
They handed Jian a plastic thing, like a huge, hollowed ruler or something, and a plastic card. He waved and jogged back toward the truck.
“Come on, babe. The starting shot will go off any second.”
Victor blinked at him and scrambled out of the truck. “What are we doing?”
Jian handed him a large backpack and pulled out a huge drill.
“What’s all this?” Victor had a hunch, but…
Jian held up the massive drill. “An auger for ice fishing.”
“We own one?”
Jian flashed him a grin. “We do now. I bought it.”
Victor shook his head. “Do you know anything about ice fishing?” Because he didn’t, he’d never been ice fishing in his entire life.
Jian pushed more things at him. “Sure. Come on now, we need to be on the beach in about thirty seconds.”
“What?” Victor—jogged was the wrong word, but he tried to jog. The backpack was heavy, and the other stuff he was carrying were things he couldn’t name. Was it called a fishing rod when it was one of those tiny ones?
When they stepped out onto the beach, Victor forgot how to breathe. There were so many people—more than a hundred. “What the hell is this?”
“First prize is ten thousand dollars.”
“What?” His voice echoed over the ice of the huge lake. He hunched his shoulders and hissed. “Ten thousand?”
“Yeah, there are more than fifty teams listed, and late registrations are welcomed for the first hour of the competition.”
Victor was almost afraid to ask. “How many hours are we going to be here?”
Victor squeezed his lips shut. “Three?”
Jian nodded right as a gunshot went off. Victor stared as every person on the beach ran out on the ice, they fanned out over the lake. “What are they doing?”
“Come on.” Jian jogged out on the ice, and Victor followed. He stopped in the middle and looked at Victor. “What do you think?”
“The spot.” Jian laughed.
“Jian, I have no idea. What’s our goal?”
“To get as many fish as possible. The team with the most fish gets the ten thousand, and there’s a bonus win for the biggest fish. So every fish we get, we’re gonna put in this—” He held up the ruler thing. “We’ll take a photo of it together with our tag.” He held up the plastic card he’d gotten from the men. “After, we’ll put the fish back into the water. No killing them.”
“Oh.” Victor shrugged. “I know nothing about ice fishing, perhaps this spot is perfect.” He looked around the lake, most other teams had already drilled holes and were starting to fish.
“Let’s try it.” Jian put the tip of the drill to the surface and began making a hole. Victor watched the ice building up around it. It didn’t take too long before water splashed over it, and Jian dipped the drill in a few times to wash away the ice.
“I’ll make one here too.” He took a few steps away and got drilling again. “You can start with that hole.”
Victor stared. “Start? How do I start?”
Jian grinned. “Pop the fishing lure into the hole and do what the others do.”
Victor looked around. Everyone was sitting on tiny stools and waving their rods up and down.
“Drop it into the hole, let it fall down to the bottom, and reel in a little. Then you jiggle it.”
Victor had no idea what he was talking about but dropped the colorful little fish with hooks attached into the water and allowed it to drop until no more fishing line was pulled out. He reeled some in. He had no idea how much Jian had meant, but he guessed the lure was twenty inches from the lake bed or so, and did what the others did and jerked the rod up and down in irregular motions.
Someone cheered across the lake and Jian swore.
“I guess they caught something big.”
“But… size doesn’t matter, right?”
Jian winked. “No, it’s the team with the most caught fish who wins, but there’s the bonus—”
Victor squealed as something pulled back when he tried to raise the rod. “Jian!”
Jian laughed. “Reel it in, babe.”COLLAPSE