Gingerbread Mistletoe by Amy Aislin - Blog Tour, Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway


Lighthouse Bay 2

The last thing Jeff wants is to spend time with the man who totaled his car—the one he spent years restoring with his late father. But if he wants to resurrect his childhood town’s annual outdoor hockey tournament, he’s got no choice.


The last thing Mika wants is to work with the guy who took off right after the accident, without ensuring he was okay. And working together on organizing Jeff’s proposed tournament sounds like a complete nightmare. He’s got enough on his plate after surviving cancer.


Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together, but is that enough for them to set their differences aside and pull off the tournament in only two weeks? Or will they prove to be immune to the magic of Christmas?


Cover Artist: Natasha Snow


Genre/s: Contemporary m/m holiday romance

Trope/s: Enemies to lovers, small town, forced proximity

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 62,000 words

It’s book two in the Lighthouse Bay series, but can be read as a standalone.

Goodreads

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK



interview

Introduce yourself and your writing

Hi everyone! I’m Amy Aislin, author of twelve m/m contemporary romance novels. I have several series on the go, including a hockey series called Stick Side, a cowboy series called Windsor, Wyoming, and a couple of small town series: Lighthouse Bay and Lakeshore. Whether you like slow burn, second chances, small towns, age gap, opposites attract, friends to lovers, hockey, cowboys… I’ve got something for everyone!


Tell us about your new release. What inspired you to write it?

In the spring of this year, I started brainstorming ideas for a Christmas romance because I knew I could make one happen based on my writing schedule. From there, I picked my tropes (small town, enemies to lovers, forced proximity), and once that was done I made a list of all of my side characters who needed stories but whom I didn’t yet have plans for.


Gingerbread Mistletoe was born from there!


What are you working on at present? Would you like to share a snippet?

I’m currently working on a college childhood best friends to fake boyfriends to lovers romance and it’s such fun to write! It’s tentatively called Keeping Casey and I expect to release it in late January/early February 2021.


It’s still very early days yet, but here’s a short snippet of my best friends, Ethan and Casey. Subject to change, of course.


“Which club are you joining?” Ethan asked.


“Not sure yet.” Tray in one hand, Casey stood, fitting the strap of his messenger bag over one shoulder. Ethan grabbed his gear bag and his backpack and followed him to the trash bin. “I made a list of the booths I want to visit.”


Shocker. “Is it laminated?”


Casey flipped him off and kept talking as though there’d never been a break in the conversation. “But there’s, like, fifty clubs to choose from. Everything from an animal liberation club to beekeeping to calligraphy.”


“Hmm.” Ethan led the way out of the cafeteria and into the mid-September evening. The sun had dipped behind the nearest buildings, casting shadows across the quad. The campus quad was lush and green, leafy trees providing shaded areas of study, and paved paths criss-crossed in multiple directions. “None of those sound like you,” he said.


“No. They sound like they’re for someone who wears socks with sandals,” Casey teased, bumping their shoulders.


Ethan glanced down at his footwear. “It was a little too chilly for bare feet.”


“Running shoes?”


“It was too warm for them,” Ethan mumbled, acutely aware of Casey’s laughter and how it made his stomach bounce.


“Honestly.” Chuckling, Casey threw an arm around Ethan’s shoulders. At their matching heights of six feet, it was easy for him. “You’re still the nerdiest jock I’ve ever met.”


Do you have any genres you prefer reading, and if so what are they?

M/m romance is my primary reading genre, but outside of that I also read a lot of young adult fantasy. Occasionally I’ll dip into historical fiction, but not often, and only for books that include dual storylines: one set in the present and one set in the past.


What book are you reading at the moment?

I just finished Roan Parrish’s Better Than People and Briar Prescott’s The Happy List. Both were so good!


Do you have a favourite character and/or book you've written? Who, what and why?

My favourite character that I’ve written is actually from my favourite book I’ve written: Mitch from On the Ice. He starts off as a bit of a brat but he’s hiding a lot of hurt, and underneath the mask he wears is a loyal friend and a man who just wants to be loved for who he is. He’s still a brat throughout the whole book, but as you peel back the layers, the reader finds that there’s so much more to him. Mitch was an absolute joy to write, and he keeps making cameos in other books because I just love him so much.


Do characters and stories just pop into your head, or do you take your time thinking about and planning them?

Both. Most often a character or story will come to me, but then I’ll sit down and start thinking about it in more detail: the theme, tropes, and character arc. I can’t start writing until I know what the conflict is and what direction the character development will go.


Do you write often? Do you have a schedule?

I write as often as I can based on my own schedule, which is often for me. I do work a day job Monday-Friday, so on weekdays I get up extra early and do a writing sprint before work. If I don’t have other things to work on in the evenings, like promo for an upcoming book or edits on a different book, then I’ll try to get in another hour or so of writing after work. On weekends, I try to get my writing done in the morning to leave my afternoons and evenings free.


What are your writing and personal goals for 2020 and beyond?

In the last 1.5 months of 2020, I’m finishing up a novella that I’ll be releasing in early 2021. That’ll be done by the second week of December. I’m also finishing up my friends to lovers novel I mentioned above.


And then, starting mid-December, I’m actually taking a writing break for the rest of 2020. I’ve been going non-stop since February and I need to recharge my writing batteries.


I tend to plan out my writing year in small chunks, basically one book at a time, otherwise it just gets intimidating. So the only thing I’ve got planned for 2021 is to finish writing a young adult coming of age novel that I started two years ago and that I’ve been wanting to get back to recently. After that? Who knows!


Are you obsessed with stationery? And if so, what and why?

Yes! But I don’t know why! I just love notebooks and the prettier they are, the more I want them, and then, of course, I never end up using them because they’re just too pretty.


If you could go anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go, who would you take with you, if anyone, and why?

Probably Norway. I meant to go when I did a study abroad year in England in university, but never got the chance. I’d take my sisters because we’ve never actually taken a trip just the three of us and we’d have a blast!


excerpt

Standing, he held a hand out to the man who was so much his type it was almost laughable. Three or four inches taller than Mika’s own five-ten height, dark brown hair that shone red under the warehouse’s lights, like the deepest shade of mahogany, with charcoal-gray at the temples and above his ears, and lines that fanned out from narrow eyes a dark shade of blue. A high forehead in a heart-shaped face and the physique of a footballer completed the package.


All of that wouldn’t have been a big deal on its own, but the way he held himself with the cool confidence of someone who knew his place in the world?


Yowza. Talk about Mika’s type wrapped in a black wool coat and a stubbled jaw more gray than brown. He’d have been giving Jeff his number if the guy wasn’t scowling at him.


Wait, that scowl . . .


Jeff stared at his outstretched hand. “No.”


“Uh.” Rearing back, Mika dropped his arm back to his side. “Excuse me?”


Zach crept up behind him, gaze swinging from Mika to Jeff. “What’s wrong?”


Jeff waved a hand at Mika. “This is the guy you want me to work with?” He put special emphasis on this, as though Mika were a criminal who’d steal his wallet when he wasn’t looking. Straightening his spine, Mika planted his hands on his hips.


Zach blinked once. “Yes?”


Holland Stone—Zach’s boyfriend and Mika’s ex—approached from where he’d been working on his float for the parade, clad in a dusty T-shirt and even dustier jeans. He squinted at Jeff before turning to Zach and Mika. “You two okay?” He held a hammer in one hand like he meant to wield it. Not that he ever would, but the image would’ve made Mika chuckle had he not been so confused.


And frankly? Kind of hurt. What the hell had he ever done to this guy?


“I can’t work with him.” There was no give in Jeff’s tone.


“Why not?” Zach stepped in close to Mika, butting in against his left side. “Mika’s the best.”


Aw. The ire in Mika’s chest faded a little at Zach’s words. It was nice of him to say, especially since Mika had made the worst of first impressions on him last Christmas.


The amount of disgust in Jeff’s scoff would’ve been impressive had it not been directed at Mika. “I’m not working with the guy who totaled my dad’s car.”


Mika’s head jerked back. “What?”


Zach and Holland swung their gazes his way.


“I didn’t!” Taking a step back, he raised both hands. “I’ve never totaled anybody’s car in my life.”


“Oh no?” Jeff argued, raising both eyebrows, and god, the sarcasm. “Not even a turquoise 1956 Chevy Nomad near the Bluffs in Pacific Palisades? About this time last year? Ring any bells?”


That was where Mika knew this guy from! Jesus, he was still holding a grudge? “Okay, first of all, I apologized, like, seven times. Second, I gave you my number. It’s not my problem that you didn’t call. Like I said—I would’ve paid to get it fixed. And third.” Leaning over the desk, he narrowed his eyes on a squinty-eyed Jeff Bellmoor. “Totaled?”


Jeff winced. “Fine. That’s maybe the wrong word.” Uttered so begrudgingly, it was a miracle he managed to say the words at all. “But like I said—it’s not about the damage.”


A huff of exasperation escaped Mika and he threw his hands up. “I don’t know what that means.” He hadn’t known then either.


“Never mind.” Rubbing his forehead, Jeff turned away. “You wouldn’t understand.”



Lighthouse Bay

Christmas Lane, Gingerbread Mistletoe


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the author

Amy's lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she's read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she's been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn't at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada's largest environmental non-profit.


An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group, Amy Aislin’s Readers, to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her infrequent newsletter.


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